Please, let’s just keep this between us: Sometimes I watch television for my wife.
I have to say, though, that while I’m always happy to spend time with her, the idea of being sucked into one of those romance reality TV dramas she enjoys can really be tough. Let’s just say that they aren’t my go-to choice for entertainment. Continue reading Karmic roses→
Okay, I know the title of this post is not going to be popular amongst many of our readers. My original title contained at least one curse word! It’s not that I do not care about the 1950 census, it’s more of an overall appreciation of how many more records are now available at our fingertips, as well as the rise, and partial fall, of the U.S. census as a go-to resource in genealogy. Continue reading The 1950 census – who cares?→
About three months ago, I was contacted by a man hoping I could help track down some information about someone in my family tree.
“I found something interesting about a possible past relative of yours named Helen Elizabeth Wilson. I found her in a Cornell University magazine, and she wrote an article about Sherlock Holmes which may be the first of its kind ever written anywhere in the world. I am a Sherlock Holmes researcher and would love to know a little more about her. Is this something we can discuss? I appreciate your time.” Continue reading The game’s afoot→
Last week the New York City Municipal Archives revealed a new online platform where anyone around the world can now access full color scans of more than 9 million historic New York City vital records. The collection encompasses birth, marriage, and death records from 1855 to 1949 (with some gaps).
Founded in 1950, the New York City Municipal Archives is the largest local government archive in North America. In 2013 funding was granted to begin work on the digitization of the Archive’s historic vital record collection and the multi-million-dollar project has been ongoing ever since. Continue reading New York City vital records now available online→
Following up on my earlier post on the Roosevelt family, I noted that Presidents Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt’s kinship by marriage was the closer way they connected, as their closest kinship by blood was that of fifth cousins. (Their last common Roosevelt ancestors in New York City were in the early eighteenth century.) Continue reading The closest presidential kinships→
There was no mention of Emily. No mention of her in any yellowed letters or penciled-in pedigrees, or in any “clippings” of scandal or gossip. Indeed, the only snippet of her was as a young girl “with ague” found among census records. There she was, “Emily A. Ginder” in 1870, and 1880 again, living in the household of my great-great-grandparents Jacob and Martha (Lacy) Ginder. Yet there wasn’t the slightest clue as to who Emily was, or what had become of her. There seemed to be no further trace of Emily Ginder. Surely she’d married early on or, as we genealogical types like to say when we don’t have the answer, she simply ‘died young.’ Continue reading The ‘last’ aunt→
Working on the Early New England Families sketch for George Parkhurst of Watertown, I find myself deep in the middle of three marriages, a total of fourteen children, financial destitution, and return to England. If you are a descendant of George Parkhurst, you may not know that he returned to England, because all his surviving children who left descendants were from his first marriage. By his second marriage, which produced five more children, he has no descendants known to us.Continue reading Never a dull moment→
Okay, so this post will be a bit of rant mixed with some fun genealogy. Last year, a great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt asked for my assistance in making a chart to demonstrate the mildly complicated nature of the presidents’ maternal grandparents and their previous spouses. More on that in a moment. I also mentioned to the great-grandson that years ago, thanks to late William Addams Reitwiesner, I learned of one of the more surprising close kinships of the 26th President, to presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald! Mr. Roosevelt said he would be interested in that chart as well, so I made the chart below that demonstrates the kinship. Similar in pattern to the kinship I had described in a previous post regarding the kinship of Mark Wahlberg and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Theodore Roosevelt’s matrilineal ancestors are the patrilineal ancestors of Lee Harvey Oswald, making them third cousins once removed, with their common ancestors being Joseph and Anne (Carter) Oswald of Liberty County, Georgia. Continue reading Roosevelts without middle names→
I have worked on some challenging research cases lately that involved trying to prove Mayflower lines. While I am well versed in creating proof summaries for cases that don’t have cut and dried evidence, trying to prove the Silkworth and Merrithew lines has really tested my abilities. Both cases involve problem generations where no direct evidence could be found; therefore, linking grandchildren to grandparents became a plausible option. After conducting exhaustive research, my clients and I decided to proceed with proof summaries, although we are still waiting to see if they will be approved by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Continue reading Pending arguments→
I am continually struck by the effects of happenstance in genealogy. Because I was putting together notes on my grandmother’s family, I went looking for a source on the Gates family of Worcester, Massachusetts; because my eye was caught by the next entry to one for my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother;because I remembered enough of my eighteenth-century art history to recognize the artist Ralph Earl (or Earle) as both an ancestral uncle (by unhappy marriage) and a cousin, I have found a family painter who might almost stand in for the even more famous François Boucher, a forebear my grandmother’s family has had to give up. Continue reading An artist’s ambition→