Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Are Your Ancestors Keeping Secrets From You?

   Earlier this month I posted - Elusive Civil War Ancestors.  This post will continue to look at William Albert Clark and his Civil War records, or lack of records.

   I like to treat genealogy like a science.  It does have that nice –logy suffix.  Since I’m treating it like a science I tend to create theories about the ancestors that I am studying.  Theories are great to have.  They help focus your research goals and give you a sense of accomplishment whether you prove or disprove them.

   In the case of William Albert Clark, my theory is that he must have served in the Civil War.  William was born in 1840 in West Cambridge (now Arlington) MA.  He and his father ran a harness making company. He was 21 when the war started and after the war ended, he got married.   He married a girl named Emma Read from Jersey City, NJ.  So, either he met her on the way to or from the war front or mail order brides came from New Jersey back then.

   I realize that neither of those two choices may be true.  The idea of William serving in the Civil War and passing through New Jersey where he meets his future wife does support my theory.  All I had to do was to find the proof.

   To date I have been fairly successful at finding the service records of those who served in the Civil War.  I did find William Albert’s draft record in 1863, but I haven’t been able to find any service or pension records.  Maybe it was time for a new theory.  Maybe William Albert was drafted but never served.

   I went to NARA in Waltham and asked where I could find information on war exemptions and it was suggested that I go to Arlington where William lived.  Arlington is about 10 minutes away so it wasn’t a problem.  I visited the Arlington Library and was told that the person I wanted to talk to wouldn’t be in until that afternoon.  I left a message.

   This was all serendipitous because it gave me time to visit the Clark house a mile down Mass Ave.  I wrote about that adventure here - Old Photo Reveals More Clues.  While I was at the old house, I crossed the street to the Fire Department and the adjoining War Memorial Park.  In support of my new theory, I couldn’t find William Albert in the rolls for serving in the War from Arlington.

   Later that afternoon I received a call from a very nice Arlington librarian.   She had gotten my message, done her own research and she told me the records I wanted were at NARA.  I smiled quietly to myself.  Her research did point me to the exact records I needed to ask for - The Civil War Letters of Exemption.  “Oh, by the way, they only have the surnames beginning with C.”  I said that should work out well and thanked her for her help.

   A week later, I visited NARA again to look at the Letters.  Unfortunately, the index should have stated that the surnames were not only limited to the letter C, but even more limited to names beginning with Cu.  Any of you Currys or Currans or Cunninghams out there might be in luck, I wasn’t.

   The folks at NARA suggested more avenues and I requested – Descriptions of Persons Drafted 1863-1864.  This wonderful old ledger listed men who were drafted and later exempted from service.  I found a couple of William Albert’s cohorts from the 1863 draft, but no William.

   This guy was really holding on to his secrets tightly.

   I wonder if there was a stigma associated with not serving.  Not serving didn’t seem to hurt Grover Cleveland or John D. Rockefeller.  They both paid someone to serve for them.  Whatever did happen to William Albert during the war years he didn’t share with his family.  I have read and reread the 100-year-old notes from his daughter-in-law, Mary (Cheney) Clark, and she mentions nothing to support either of my theories.

   The answers look like they will remain elusive for a while longer.

   My lack of success won’t deter me from acting like a scientist and creating new theories.  I know that science will shine a light on all those dark places, like secrets, and illuminate what they are and whether they are false or true.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Family Trading Cards: Displaying Your Genealogy

Get your Family Trading Cards.  Learn cool facts. See what your ancestors looked like.  Fun for the whole family. Collect them all!

I thought to myself, what would be better to teach my kids about their family history than to turn it into a game.

Kids love playing card games and I love talking about genealogy.  I created a game called BlackSheep.  The game consists of a deck of cards that represents six generations of direct line ancestors and their siblings.  Each card has a photo (if I had one), the family surname in large letters, birth and death info and a mini family tree.

I designed scoring hands that would help everyone understand relationships.  You would get 8 points if you played a son, father and grandfather or 16 points for a daughter, mother, grandmother and g-grandmother - those are called a Patriarchy or Matriarchy.  You could get 7 points for a child and both parents or 25 points for a child, both parents and all 4 grandparents - those hands are the Little Tree and Big Tree.  By now you get the picture.

I'd like to say that they loved playing the game.  I think I got a little too complex with the rules and the hands.  We did enjoy laying out all the cards on the table and arranging them into family units.  We talked about this uncle or that grandmother and all the places that our relatives came from.

So the game (for now) was a bust.  Sitting down with your kids and talking about family history - priceless.

Friday, November 25, 2011

11 - 11 - 11: Day 5 - Favorite New England Ancestors - Part I

In celebration of November 11th, 2011, 11-11-11, I will be writing all month long about my favorite things in groups of 11.

I actually have more than 11 favorites for this category so I will have two installments.

Here are the first set of 11 favorite New England Ancestors:

  • Edward Clark (1622-1710) & Dorcas Bosworth (1622-1681) - [Haverhill, MA]
    • The beginning of my wife's Clark line in America with Viking DNA
  • John Putnam (1580-1662) & Priscilla Gould (1585-1662) - [Salem, MA]
    • Infamous connection to the witch trials
  • John Hoar (1616-1704) & Alice Lisle (1624-1696) - [Concord, MA]
    • Gateway ancestor to royalty
  • William Lewis (1602-1671) & Amy Weld (1620-1673) - [Roxbury, MA]
  • Nathaniel Whiting (1609-1682) & Hannah Dwight (1625-1714) - [Dedham, MA]
  • Nathaniel Colburn (1615-1691) & Priscilla Clarke (1615-1692) - [Dedham, MA]
  • William Frothingham (1603-1651) & Anna (1607-1674) - [Charlestown, MA]
  • James Kidder (1626-1676) & Anna Moore (1630-1691) - [Billerica, MA]
  • Shadrach Thayer (1629-1678) & Deliverance Priest (1644-1723) - [Braintree, MA]
  • Henry Adams (1583-1646) & Edith Squire (1587-1672) - [Braintree, MA]
    • Connection to at least two presidents
  • Richard Sylvester (1605-1663) & Naomi Torrey (1614-1668) - [Scituate, MA]

Though none of these folks came over on the Mayflower, most of them were immigrants.  You could say that they came over on the "Second Boat".

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011) R.I.P.

   Anne McCaffrey was a wonderful storyteller.  I read a dozen of her books when I was in my twenties and still have them on my shelf 20 years later.  I was just talking to my son about The White Dragon this past weekend as he was about to play the latest Zelda video game.  In this incarnation of Zelda they start the story with a description of how Link forms a bond with a large bird that he can mount and fly.

   I always form a connection with the authors that I read.  Their words influence the person I am and will be.  Today I wanted to find a closer connection.

   Anne was born in Cambridge, Middlesex, MA - that makes her a local girl and one more thing for us to be proud of.  I was hoping with names like McCaffrey and McElroy that I could find some good Irish or Scottish leads, unfortunately not.  I did find that Anne's grandfather, George H. McCaffrey, was a Boston Police Officer.  My father was also a Police Officer.

   When in doubt I look for connections from my wife's side of the family.  She's related to everyone.  With a little research I found the Anne is my wife's 10th cousin once removed.  One line of Anne McCaffrey's ancestry leads back to Thomas Perkins and Phebe Gould.

Thomas Perkins (1622-1686) & Phebe Gould (1620-1686)
Martha Perkins & John Lamson
Samuel Lamson & Sarah Kimball
Edward Lamson & Martha Whipple
Daniel Lamson & Anne Chard
Martha Lamson & John S Perkins
John L Perkins & Hannah Bleasby
Irene S Perkins & George H McCaffrey
George H McCaffrey & Anna McElroy
Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)

   This coming Thanksgiving break will be a good time for my son to put away the video games and pick up a good book written by his cousin Anne. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our Mayflower Ancestor

This is a great time of year to post about Pilgrim ancestors.  So far I have found one on my wife's side.

Our connection is to Stephen Hopkins.  He wasn't really one of the pilgrims, he was considered one of "the Strangers", as he didn't belong to their congregation.

Mayflower Compact
Signing the Mayflower Compact

Stephen Hopkins (~1580-1644) & Mary
Constance Hopkins & Nicholas Snow
Stephen Snow & Susanna Deane
Hannah Snow & William Cole
Jane Cole & Thomas Gross
Hannah Gross & Samuel Small
Joshua Smalley & Keturah Hopkins (see continuation below)


Stephen Hopkins (~1580-1644) & Mary
Giles Hopkins & Catherine Whelden
Caleb Hopkins & Mary Williams
Thomas Hopkins & Deborah Bickford
Thomas Hopkins & Keturah Dyer
Keturah Hopkins & Joshua Smalley
Hannah Smalley & John Watts
Keturah Watts & Alexander Hathorn
Orris Hathorn & Lydia Hart
Belle Hathorn & Roy Clark (my wife's paternal grandparents)

Old Photo Reveals More Clues

   Last week I gave a presentation on who the unlabeled women are in this photo dated 1885.

   At the time, my theory was that the photo was taken at the home of William A. Clark in the backyard of 402 Mass Ave Arlington, MA.  I had no evidence to prove this.

   I had the unexpected opportunity to visit this house.  Since I hadn’t planned to be there I didn’t have the photo with me.  Luckily, I posted the photo to my blog the night before and pulled it up on my phone.

   I’ve always looked at this photo as if I’m looking into the yard, the fence behind separating adjoining yards.  Beyond this fence, there is a view of distinctive second floor windows on the neighbor’s house.

   I walked around the house and down Avon Place to where the backyard should have been.  A relatively new house had been built in the space.  I checked out the designs of the second floor windows of all the neighboring houses and thought it was foolish that those same windows might exist 125 years later.

   I walked around the block to see the fronts of these houses hoping that a renovation to the backs might be different and that the fronts still contained the old architecture.  None of the houses in the adjoining lots had those windows.  As I went back to my car, accepting the fact that either the neighborhood had changed or that the photo was taken somewhere else, I realized that I needed to change my perspective.

   I’ve always thought that the photo was shot looking into the yard.  What if it was shot looking out of the yard?  The simplest answer was to turn around.  There, on the house across the street, were the windows.



   I challenged my own assumptions and got the proof I needed to confirm the location of this old family photo.  As genealogists, we must be tenacious detectives.  Sometimes we have to shelve our brick wall cold cases.  As soon as new clues are presented, take out those bricks, get a new perspective and you are likely to catch a break.

New Clues: Word Cloud

Monday, November 21, 2011

11 - 11 - 11: Day 4 - Favorite Old Photos

In celebration of November 11th, 2011, 11-11-11, I will be writing all month long about my favorite things in groups of 11.

Here are 11 of my favorite old photos from my collection:

The marriage of Eliza Ovens to Ben Hallett - Wiltshire, UK 1864 

Hathorn family on the lawn - St George, Maine 1898 

Shahbazians together in America 

Krause siblings - Illinois 1886 

 Maglio family outing  ~1930

Maglio family portrait - 1917 

Krause family on the farm - Calhoun Co, Illinois 1921 

Three generations of Clark family - Arlington, Massachusetts 1885 

 Clarks and Reads - 1885

Schulz family and friends - St Louis, Missouri 1898

Four generation of German women - Albig, Merke, Schulz, Krause - St Louis, MO 1906

Next Up: Favorite New England Ancestors

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thank you, Southborough Public Library

  We had a great turn out last night at the Southborough Public Library for my presentation on "Who is Aunt Mary Soule?"

   We learned that there can be hidden tresures in your old unlabeled photos.  In our journey last night we found out that a woman who was label as Aunt Mary in an old family photo was actually my wife's 2nd great grandmother, Caroline (Matthews) Read, from Scotland.  Also, one of the unknown friends in the photo turned out to be the real Aunt Mary Soule, 2nd wife of the famous John Payson Soule.

   Thank you, Southborough Public Library for letting me give this presentation and to everyone who came and participated in the great discussion afterwards.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tonight in Southborough: Who is Aunt Mary Soule?

   I will be presenting, at the Southborough Genealogy Club monthly meeting, the process I went through to identify the real Aunt Mary Soule.  

Along the way I'll talk about:
  • Putting faces with names
  • Networking with cousins
  • Preserving family history
Please join us tonight, November 17, 2011. 7:00 PM at the Southborough Public Library.

11 - 11 - 11: Day 3 - Favorite Famous Cousins

In celebration of November 11th, 2011, 11-11-11, I will be writing all month long about my favorite things in groups of 11.

Eleven of my favorite famous cousins (actually my wife's cousins):
Next Up: Favorite Old Photos

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Who Is Aunt Mary Soule?: Identifying People In Old Photos

Aunt Mary Soule?

   Have you ever had an old photo that was unlabeled or mislabeled?  I've had dozens.  Join me when I present to the Southborough Genealogy Club the process I went through to identify the real Aunt Mary Soule.  

   I will be sharing tips on:
  • Estimating the age of the photo
  • Validating sources
  • Creating & testing theories
  • Developing a research plan
  • Finding corroborating evidence
Please join us this Thursday, November 17, 2011. 7:00 PM at the Southborough Public Library.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Displaying Your Genealogy: The Royal Wall Mosaic

   I’ve spent a number of years telling my children how they are related to the royal families of Europe.  I’ve rattled off famous names and talked about how far back in time each line goes.  I’ve told them that genetically there is a little bit of all these kings and queens in them.  Essentially, I got – “That’s nice Dad.”

   So, in order to get my children more interested in genealogy I needed to get more creative, more visual.  OK, I wouldn’t say that I got as crazy as Richard Dreyfuss sculpting Devils Tower out of mashed potato or Kevin Costner building a baseball diamond in a corn field.  At one point, I think I heard one of the kids say – “Mom, what’s Dad doing?”

   I started printing and cutting and pasting.  I began on a small corkboard, then moved up to a larger corkboard and realized that it still wasn’t enough space.  Then I laid claim to an entire wall in the cellar and the Royal Wall Mosaic was born.

   I printed every generation in a direct line so that the connections were clear.  I scoured the internet for images of as many royal ancestors as possible.  I displayed the royals across the wall from Brian Boru, King of Ireland, at the far left (representing the West) to Alexios Komnenos, Byzantine Emperor, at the far right.  In between were the kings and queens of Scotland, England, France, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Russia and Hungary.  I tied it all together with bright red adhesive lines connecting all the families.

   Now this had the intended effect.  For days, my kids would go to the cellar and look at the wall to check out the Who’s Who.  I would point at the middle and tell them, “See that guy there.  He sentenced Joan of Arc to death.” or “You know the story of Robin Hood and Prince John?  Well guess what, you are descended from John.”

   My children even started to show their friends.  One friend was quoted, “You have the coolest parents.”

   The point of my story is that your genealogy shouldn’t hide in a book or in a computer program.  Your genealogy wants to live large.  Print your family history as large as you can and paper a wall, sew it into a quilt or turn your ancestors into ornaments and hang them on a real tree.  All your hard work won’t matter if your history is covered with dust.

   Start working on your Mosaic.  If you build it, you never know who might come.

Royal Wall Mosaic: Word Cloud

Monday, November 14, 2011

11 - 11 - 11: Day 2 - Favorite International Towns of Origin

In celebration of November 11th, 2011, 11-11-11, I will be writing all month long about my favorite things in groups of 11.

Eleven of my favorite international towns of origin (and the surnames that originated there):

Next Up: Favorite Famous Cousins

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran Spotlight: Warren F Clark

Cpl. Warren F Clark in France with the 820th Airborne Engineer Aviation Battalion

   Warren Clark landed on the beach in Normandy early in the morning on day 2 of the invasion.  As a member of the 820th their role was to repair the airstrips in France to create an Advance Landing Ground.  By July, they had completed the repairs on the first 5000-foot runway in time for the landing of C-47 cargo planes.

   Warren at 91 has been a WWII Veteran, an artist, a teacher, an art director, a humanist, a genealogist, a wonderful father and grandfather.  As a veteran, he has taught me pride and honor.  As an artist, he has taught me the appreciation of visual design and fonts.  As a humanist, he has taught me respect for all life.  As a genealogist, he has taught me history and the connection to all humans.  As a father-in-law, in the absence of my own father, he has shown me love and how in turn to be a great father also.

   Warren, thank you for serving your country and being there for me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

11 - 11 - 11: Day 1 - Favorite Genealogy Websites

In celebration of November 11th, 2011, 11-11-11, I will be writing about my favorite things in groups of 11.  I know that tomorrow is really 11-11-11, but I'm going to reserve tomorrow for a Veterans Day post.

Eleven of my favorite genealogy websites (in no particular order):

Next Up: Favorite International Towns of Origin

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Elusive Civil War Ancestors

   Since this is the sesquicentennial of the beginning of the Civil War, I have decided to “begin” to get serious about finding my children’s Civil War ancestors.  I’ll be easy on myself and make it a goal to be complete in four years in time for the anniversary of the end of the war.

William Albert Clark - ~1885

   I have already found a 3rd g-grand uncle, but that is not the same as a direct line family member.  I’m looking for two people.  The first is my wife’s great grandfather, William A. Clark, from Massachusetts.  I have a draft record, now I need some service records.  The second is my 3rd g-grandfather, Theodore Schulz, from Missouri.  I have nothing for Theodore.  That is why I’m off to NARA in Waltham.

  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Andrew Aitken “Andy” Rooney (1919-2011) R.I.P.

 (Rene Perez / Associated Press)

   I wanted to write about Andy Rooney because I have always found him interesting in a curmudgeon sort of way.   I had intended to say something about his origins and maybe dig up a few interesting skeletons.  As soon as I started researching, the thing that hit me first was Andy’s middle name: Aitken.  Since Aitken is one of my family surnames, my article immediately changed directions.

   OK Andy, so how are you related to me?  Where did you come from?

   I have found that Wikipedia is a good informal source for biographical information and easily verifiable.  Andy was born in Albany on January 14, 1919 to Walter and Ellinor (Reynolds) Rooney.  If I’m lucky Aitken is either Walter’s or Ellinor’s mother’s maiden name.  The family shows up in both the 1920 and 1930 US Census for Albany.  Wikipedia information verified, check.

   The Census lists Walter as being born in Massachusetts and his parents are from England and Scotland.  More bells are going off now as Scotland is in the record.  The surname Aitken is uniquely Scottish.  I’m going to have to find Walter’s mother.  The Census lists Ellinor’s birth in New York and both her parent’s origins as England.  I can stop looking at her, at least for now.

   My next step is to find either Walter’s death or marriage record.  Based on the time period it would be easier to find an early 1900’s marriage record.  The marriage record I found had almost everything a genealogist could want.  Best of all the record had Walter’s parents listed as Charles and Annie (Aitken) Rooney.  There’s the Aitken connection I was looking for.   Just as a double check I found Walter’s 1900 US Census record with his family including Charles and Annie. 

   Walter and his older brothers were born in Massachusetts, so I searched for a Massachusetts marriage record for Charles and Annie next.  I found two.  One record was registered in Fitchburg and one was registered in Leominster.  Charles was from Goosige, England (at least that is the way it was transcribed).  I couldn’t find any reference to Goosige anywhere.  I took a closer look at the digital image of the marriage record and the second “g” looked more like a “y” – giving me Goosiye.  Other researchers have Charles from Keighley in Yorkshire.  Another search and I found Goose Eye, just outside of Keighley.

   Annie was listed from Edinburgh with parents Andrew and Nicholas.  I had to go back to the image again to see if there another transcription error.  Nope.  It really said Nicholas for the mother’s name on both the Fitchburg and Leominster records.  An IGI record and an 1851 Scottish Census record confirmed the spelling as Nicholas.

   The trail starts to get cold at this point. My Aitkens are from Dunbartonshire and Lanarkshire and Andy Rooney’s are from Midlothian.  Aitken means Adam, which would make it a very common and not necessarily related surname.

   I didn’t find any connections or skeletons but it is interesting that Andy Rooney started out in the newspaper business and his grandfather, Charles Rooney, managed a paper mill and his g-grandfather, Andrew Aitken, was a paper maker.  Looks like paper ran in his blood. 

Andy Rooney: Word Cloud

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bernice (Biggs) Bainton: Update #2

Bernice Biggs was a graduate of Dedham High School in Dedham, Massachusetts.  She graduated in 1914.  Does anybody know her or her family?  I'd like to give them this original photo.  If no one speaks up then I will have to research her and find her family.

Update #1:  Annie Bernice Biggs was born in the Belgian Congo in 1895.  She married Fred Sturgis Bainton in 1921 and had two daughters - Pauline and Phyllis Bainton.  Now I'm looking for the Bainton sisters.

Update #2:  Pauline Bainton became a nurse and then married Charles Bashaw in 1958.  I sent an email to a person that I believe is their son.

Waiting to hear back.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Connection Wheel: Displaying Your Genealogy

   I’m always looking for a new and interesting way to display genealogical information.  My father-in-law, an art professor and genealogist, was much the same way.  He would sketch linked family trees on six-foot scrolls of paper, each major family connected by a marriage.  I took his idea a few steps further and connected one end of the paper to the other – making a Connection Wheel.

   The letters ‘EKG’ at the heart of the diagram are the initials of my children.  One of my reasons for creating this Wheel was to get them interested in family history by showing them how they are connected.  Each spoke is their connection to a distant direct line ancestor.  Between the spokes are famous cousins that share at least two of those ancestors.  By default, adjacent cousins are also cousins to each other.

How to create your own Connection Wheel:

   First start with a deep genealogy, 10 to 12 generations works well.  I say this a bit tongue in cheek.  Not all of us have found 10 to 12 generations.  I know I haven’t on my own lines, but my children are lucky to have a mother with a great New England family history.

   I selected from my genealogy all of the immigrant ancestors.  These folks work well because they are also the ancestors of a large portion of the United States.  Next, if you haven’t already, research the ancestry of a bunch of famous people.  I have cousin connections for about 200 actors, writers, artists, presidents, and historical figures to choose from.  I narrowed the list by selecting only those cousins with at least two common ancestor links.  The next step is definitely trial and error.   Pick your favorite famous cousin to start.  Look at your narrowed list for all the cousins that are also cousins of your starting person.  Make an educated decision which one should be next either by knowing which ancestors are fairly common or perhaps to show some deeper connection like actors who have starred together or political rivals.  Continue the process of adding puzzle pieces until you have come full circle.  In my case, I have 11 famous cousins in the diagram.  Your diagram could have any number of connections.  Go wild.

   This is about creating engaging visual illustrations of your genealogy to help all generations appreciate their history.

   Try this at home and tell me about your Connection Wheels.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Old Dogs and New Genealogy Clues

   We organize data and it becomes information.   We interpret and integrate that information and it becomes knowledge.  When knowledge of one topic merges with the knowledge of another, we get the spark called innovation.

   I have been researching genealogy for over 25 years and the world of genealogy keeps changing.  I plan to keep changing along with it and learn as many new tricks as I can.
   I haven’t had the need to do much Civil War research in the past but I decided to take advantage of a workshop presented by the National Archives in Waltham.  The session was titled Torn in Two: Researching Civil War Records at the National Archives.  I had been to the Archives dozens of times in search of Naturalization records.  This was an opportunity to find out what else they offered.

   The most important and most disappointing information that I learned was that Waltham didn’t have any of the Service or Pension records.  Everything was in Washington DC.  This drawback was offset by the fact that Waltham does have thousands of other Civil War records and letters.

   The presentation focused on the hidden treasure behind the Service and Pension records.  Once you have a Pension application number or the regiment that your ancestor served in you can send away for the entire file.  This entire file could be dozens of records including letters and genealogical information.

   As soon as the workshop was over, I took advantage of the newfound knowledge and headed for the research room.  The Archive’s Service records are indexed by Ancestry.com and the Pension records are indexed by Fold3.com.  If you have access to these sites then you can get started at home, if not well the National Archives gives you access for free.

   I started with some research for a friend.  A few minutes later, I had the Massachusetts regiment that her ancestor served in and the Pension index record with two application numbers, one for him and one for his wife after he died.  Using the application numbers my friend will be able to send away for a variety military files the government has collected.

   I was a bit luckier. 

   My 3rd great grand uncle, George Albig, was born in Germany and immigrated to the US around 1850.  Thirteen years later, he fought for the Union and died at the Battle of Ringgold Gap in Georgia.  His mother, Margaretha (Hess) Albig, (my 4th g-grandmother) filed for George’s pension.  Fold3 had 20 pages digitized from this pension application.   Many of these pages were sworn affidavits from friends and neighbors saying that Margaretha was who she said she was.  

   One document was genealogy gold.  It had the birth information for my 4th g-grandfather, Johann Georg Albig, in 1796 in Endsee, Germany and the birth of Anna Margaretha Hessin in 1800 in Hartershofen, Germany.  There were the godparent’s names and the parishes where the baptisms took place also.  I now know that they were married in 1820 and that there is a 14-year gap between that marriage and the birth of my 3rd g-grandmother, who I thought was the first born, which creates a few questions.

   Take every opportunity to learn something new, every day if possible.  This old dog learned a new trick and the rewards were records that confirmed my research and opened up new avenues into this line of German ancestry.

Old Dogs: Word Cloud