December 31, 2012

Seeking all grandchildren of Col Henry Ludington

Col Henry Ludington and his wife Abigail of Dutchess County, NY had 12 children between 1761 and 1786.  Many of them stayed in New York State, some of them ventured west to Michigan and Wisconsin where they amassed fortunes in the lumber business.  The town of Ludington, Michigan is named for their grandson James.  Harrison, also a grandson, was Governor of Wisconsin.  I am related to the Tertullus line of Catskill, NY that accounted for 8 of the grandchildren. I would like to find all their cousins. Thus far I have identified 49 grandchildren, but have not determined if daughters Rebecca and Mary had any children to add to this clan.  If you happen to know, please share that information.

The children and their marriages were as follows:

1761    SYBIL  called the "female Paul Revere" + Edmond Ogden, 1 son
            Henry b 1786

1763    REBECCA  +  Henry Pratt     NO FURTHER INFORMATION

1765    MARY
            possibly married 3 times: David Travis, ? Colwell, Asahel Gilbert

1767    ARCHIBALD + Elizabeth Sears, 3 children
            Orin 1796, Eli 1800, Cornelia 1801

1769    HENRY  died young

1771    DERRICK  believe he died unmarried at age 69

1773    TERTULLUS + 1) Rebecca Brown  4 children
                                2) Anna Egbertson, 4 children
            1) Eliza 1805, Julia 1807, Amelia 1808 , Henry 1809
            2) Ira 1814, Robert 1816, Harriet 1817, Tertullus 1820

1776    ABIGAIL believe she died unmarried at age 39

1778    ANNA + Joseph Colwell, 11 children
??? could he be related to Mary's 2nd husband mentioned above?
            Clarissa 1797, Vashita 1799, Sophia 1802, Anna 1804, Julia 1807,
            George 1809,  Warren 1811, Lewis 1814, Eliza 1817,
            Augustus 1819, Joseph 1823

1782    FREDERICK + Susannah Griffeth, 12 children
            Harrison 1812, George 1814, Nelson 1818, Oliver 1820,
            Harriet 1822, Anna 1823, Abby 1827, Joseph 1829,
            Samuel 1830, Cornelia 1832, Frederick 1834, Lewis 1838

1784    SOPHIA + John Caverly, 7 children
            Julia 1810, Esther 1812, Sarah 1814, Rebecca 1817, John 1820,
            Henry 1821, Phillip 1824

1786    LEWIS + Polly Townsend, 7 children
            Laura 1814, Delia 1816, William 1818, Robert 1822,
           Charles 1825, James 1827, Lavinia 1829

That makes 49 ... but I feel there could be more. The search continues.


December 9, 2012

WORTH CHECKING: Unusual first or middle names might be Mother’s Maiden Name

While looking in the newspaper archives for Charles E. Ludington, I happened upon an 1896 marriage announcement for Miss Florence Durand of Lake Forest, IL and Mr Ludington Patton of Milwaukee.  Ludington is one of my family names and some of them did live in Milwaukee, so I wondered if Mr Patton was related to my Ludingtons who originated in New York.  I had not encountered the family name of Patton previously.

Doing more research I found that Ludington Patton was born in Nov 1871 to James E Patton and his wife Sarah E Ludington – yeah, Wisconsin records can be SO helpful!  Then checking census records for the family, I found that his mother Sarah was born in Kentucky in 1839 – and she matched up with someone already in my tree.  She was the oldest daughter of New York born Harrison Ludington,the 13th Governor of Wisconsin. Like with many females, it can be hard to locate them if they change their name through marriage.

I have many individuals in my tree with their mother’s maiden name used as a first or middle name.  In fact, Ludington Patton’s daughter was named Sarah Ludington Patton. So it's worth checking.

November 30, 2012

NY Town Clerk Register for Civil War = GOLD MINE

When Ancestry published these records a year or so ago, I found a few of them very helpful .. and some, not really helpful at all. It depended on the clerk in each village and how fully or carefully they completed the registration entries.

I had great success confirming that my ancestor James McDole of Ulster County had, in fact, been born in Northern Ireland (as suspected). Then I had great disappointment in the Delaware County registers that listed little more than name and company for many enlisting villagers.

Today I found detailed records for the village of Rushford, Allegany County. There had been confusion over the wives and sons of Norman Beecher. These CW records confirm that his oldest son Lyman was born to Norman and wife #1, Ann George and that other sons, including Chester, were born to his second wife, Lois George (Ann's sister).

If you had New York Civil War ancestors, be sure to check these records -- the local clerk may have recorded these details for your family too.

November 28, 2012

Why County Names Can Matter: Oswego or Owego?

Town and village names can be confusing, especially if there are similar ones in the same state. At times I wondered "why bother with the county name?", but realize it can be very helpful. A county name can help you locate a small village and track movement of your family group. It can also clarify a possible mis-spelling when two different places have very similar names.

An example that I encountered in New York are OSWEGO and OWEGO.  Family tree references were found for siblings in the Beecher family being born in both places.  They are about 100 miles apart.

Oswego is the larger of the two, in a county of the same name, north along Lake Ontario. While Owego is a smaller village in Tioga County, west of Binghamton. Of course, families move, but a distance of 100 miles in the 1870s for farmers would certainly catch my attention and cause me to double check.

November 27, 2012

Destruction at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn

Hurricane Sandy hit this beautiful, historic cemetery and felled many of its huge trees, destroying some monuments as has been reported in the NY Times and other New York papers. This cemetery is the final resting place of some very famous people like Leonard Bernstein, Louis Comfort Tiffany, "Boss" Tweed, etc. and lots of everyday people who were buried in this "rural" cemetery created in 1838.

If you, like me, have any ancestors buried at Green-Wood, please consider making a donation via their website . They estimate that 292 trees were downed and that clean-up will cost at least $500,000.  

If you can help, please do !

November 15, 2012

Who was Elisabeth Grafin Finck von Finckenstein ?

I have come to love pouring over legal notices for estate settlements, especially if the estate was large which brings all the long-lost cousins out of the hinterlands to grab a piece for themselves.

Unmarried Emily A. Watson died in Westchester County in 1924 at age 80 leaving an estate of $12 million ….. notice, that was in 1924 !!  She was the second-born daughter of “Colonel” John Watson and his wife Mercy Watson (who also happened to be his first cousin – turns out that was common with the Watson clan).  John had an extremely successful career in the leather industry and for some time was a partner with his brother-in-law Zadock Pratt.  John's older daughter, Mary J, had died in 1902, the childless widow of Evan T Walker.  Emily was the prime heir to both of those estates. 

A few first cousins whom Emily had never even met filed suit to get a share.  These were names I had not previously known from my family research:  Tennessee Taylor Watson Owen, Mary Rufus Watson Foster, Fannie Watson Carothers and Hattie Sanders, all born in Mississippi.  Really?  The Watsons were from Rhode Island and some of them ventured over to New York, but Mississippi ?? These were cousins on Emily’s mother’s side of the family. Two of Mercy’s younger brothers, Rufus and Asa, moved to Mississippi in the 1840s and evidently the families had lost contact.

While trying to figure out exactly who Tennessee Watson and others were and how they fit into the family, I broadened my newspaper searches once it became clear that the legal battles might wage on for a while. Yes, for quite a while.  I have found notices from 1924 through 1963 thus far. WOW ! Emily died in 1924.

But the New York Times article published 29 June 1932 listed two never-before-seen names:  Herwarth von der Decken and Elizabeth Grafin Finck von Finckenstein. 
Who were they?

November 1, 2012

Cousinology: Larz Anderson & Charlotte Higbee

I have come to learn that reviewing and identifying each person listed in a will and their relationship to the deceased can open a new world of cousins near and far.  One example is Larz Anderson who was found in a legal notice following the 1913 death of Charlotte Higbee in Binghamton, NY.The notice also stated "Cincinnati papers please copy". Why? Who lived in Cincinnati? The Higbees were from NJ and the Clarks from NY.

Charlotte was an only child born in NYC to Henry Higbee and Eliza W. Clark.  She never married.  After the death of her parents she relocated to Binghamton where she lived near or with the family of her mother's older brother Henry Clark. So how did Larz Anderson fit into the family tree?

October 17, 2012

New Evidence that I had the wrong parents for James W Clark of Delhi, NY

In my earliest efforts to piece together the family of Dr Adam Clark and his wife Harriet Watson of Albany County, NY, I made quite a few assumptions. They had married about 1820 and their numerous children were born between 1821 and 1843 prior to the establishment of government birth records. Several of their sons had Watson as a middle name and some had moved to Delhi in Delaware County. When I found a James W Clark, born 1829, living in Delhi, I initially wondered if he was another of their sons. James was a farmer in Delhi married to Elizabeth Bailey, the father of quite a few children, and a veteran of the Civil War. 

As time goes on more and more resources become available, providing the opportunity to check early life events more carefully. Especially helpful are smaller local newspapers, many of which are being digitized. For the era prior to government vital records, a newspaper report can be important. I have been spending time and effort searching those newly-available newspaper records for verification and documentation of many family members.  However, that is not how I discovered my error.

October 14, 2012

1951 Report of House Fire Reveals An Unknown Sister b 1822: Harriet Hill Hull

While searching online newspapers for information regarding the 1899 death of young Hiland Hill in Catskill, NY, the report of a house fire in 1951 surfaced.  It referenced a home at Hill and Bronson Streets in Catskill that had been built in 1848 by Hiland Hill (1786-1850), the great grandfather of my research subject.

It mentioned that the builder had been the father of  “late bankmen Frederick and Henry and Mrs. A. Cooke Hull”.  Really ? I had records for 2 other daughters of Hiland and his wife Mary Butler, Mary and Emily, both of whom had died unmarried. I knew nothing of Harriet.

Lucikly A. Cooke Hull is not a common name and I easily found him, a physician, trained in NYC and practicing in Brooklyn. He and Harriet married about 1845, too early for her to have ever been listed with her parents in a census. Aaron Cooke Hull was a leader in the field of homeopathic medicine as were his brother and brother-in-law which adds a bit of interest to the story of the Hill bankers.

You never know when a “remember when” or other historic notations in a newspaper will reveal new family members and stories.

October 12, 2012

Who was Alice Hill's Mother ?

While working on the Comfort Family of Catskill, NY I was tracing Hiram and Julia’s daughter Hellen, born in 1828.  She appeared as married in the 1860 census with husband Henry Hill and a daughter, Alice, aged 9. I had confirmation that Henry and Hellen had married in 1859 which made it seem obvious that Alice was not Hellen's daughter.  But who was Alice's mother?  Both Henry and Hellen had appeared in the 1850 census as single living with their parents. Had Henry married soon after and had his 1st wife died before 1859? 
I could find no evidence.

Although it is not available online, I was able to purchase a copy of the 1855 State Census for Greene County NY. There I found Hellen living with her mother, listed as single, and assumed I would find Henry as head of household with Alice and her mother. I did not. So I looked for his parents. His mother, now widowed, was listed as head with Henry and two of his sisters ... no Alice, no wife.

October 8, 2012

The Challenge of Common Names: Miss Black of Indiana

While working on the Peckham family, I found that George had married a woman from Indiana whose first name was at times listed as Elnora, Eleanor, Elenore.  I assumed that they married in New York City about 1917, but could not find a newspaper marriage announcement nor a matching entry in the ever-so-helpful index of brides and grooms created by and published for free by the Italian Genealogical Group. I wanted to find her maiden name and birth family.

Mrs. Peckham died in the mid-1920s and a death record index listed her name as Elenore Black Peckham … so that was a good start. I wanted to see if I could find Eleanor Black in NYC in the years before her marriage.  I did not find a census record, but a 1915 passenger record seemed to match her. It stated that she was born in Greenfield, IN about 1888 and was living on 114th Street in NYC. 

I thought the rest should be easy – just check the 1900 census. Not found ! She had been traveling overseas, so find her passport application. Not found ! No matching birth record was found for Eleanor on family search either.

September 19, 2012

Death Notices Name Family Members, or do they?

The New York Herald Tribune published a death notice in April 1899 for Mrs. Erastus Corning which provided quite a bit of detail about her family -- things we often long for like maiden name and parents.  Here are the people listed:

The deceased was Mary Parker Corning, widow of Erastus

Her parents: Amasa J Parker and Harriet Langdon

Her children: Parker, Harriet, Edwin

Her siblings: General Amasa Parker, Mrs VJL Pruyn

However, her daughter Harriet was listed as "now Mrs. Wheeler H. Peckham, Jr" -- no, that was not her husband !

August 20, 2012

Cousinology: Heirs to Mary J Walker of NYC

While checking Binghamton, NY newspapers for items regarding the Clark family there I came across a page 1 headline:


And that was in 1902! Named were Arthur W. Clark, Mrs Frances Gordon Sears, and Charlotte Haynes Higbee as "children of her cousins".  There is lots of intrigue here. 

Who was Mary J. Walker that she had an estate valued at a million dollars, who were the three cousins, and how exactly were they related

July 30, 2012

Check State & Occupation Information in Census Records

While tracing the children of Rhode Island born blacksmith Hezekiah Peckham, who migrated to Oswego New York, I "lost" his son Benjamin.  Ben was born in RI about 1825 and was found in the 1850 census with his mother and brother, listed as a baker. But I could not find him in 1860 or 1870. In 1880 he seemed to match a record found for a baker age 54, married to Lucy, and living in Michigan with 10 year old daughter Eva who was born in WISCONSIN !

So I looked in the 1870 census in Wisconsin and intially could not find them. Then I tried Benjamin, born RI, no surname and checked for occupation of baker -- there he was as PICKEL with matching wife and daughter plus 3 older sons in Milwaukee.  All three sons were listed as born in New York, so I looked again at the 1860 census and did find him with with Lucy and the 3 boys. I'm glad I noticed that Eva was born in Wisconsin or I might have missed his sons.

July 10, 2012

Orin Day Peckham of Rennselaerville

In attempting to find and confirm the birth, marriage and death dates of all the children of Peleg and Desire (Watson) Peckham, I was stumped by odd seeming online family tree entries for their son Orin. He is listed as born in either 1805 or 1813, died in 1825, MARRIED ! If he was born in 1813, marriage didn’t sound reasonable if he died at age 12.

Births are difficult to confirm in those years unless a christening record can be found; I did not find one for Orin. I also could not find a newspaper account of his death nor a grave listing. 

June 28, 2012

Newspapers can get the names wrong

Looking for information on Clarence H. Sandford, husband of Hattie Clark, I searched newspaper archives and found him listed as giving away his niece Jane at her wedding in 1894.  However, some confusion followed regarding the name of both the bride and the groom.  I didn’t have much information on Clarence’s siblings, so I thought this marriage would help me.  Eventually it did, but lots of cross-checking was needed.

June 7, 2012

Thomas Edward Ludington, St Paul MN 1900

Thomas was the son of George Washington Ludington and grandson of Col. Henry Ludington, born in NY 1856.  He was with his parents and siblings in Kent County in the 1860 and 1870 census.

In the 1880 census Thomas was a single bookkeeper in St Paul, MN and still single in the 1885 state census.  However, the 1900 census listed him as a widower. Who had he married, when, and what happened to her?

June 4, 2012

When did Wheeler Watson’s Wife Die?

For some time I have been trying to find evidence of the death of Sarah Taylor Peckham, Wheeler’s wife.  She was believed to have been born about 1764 in Rhode Island.  She and Wheeler married in 1799 and soon thereafter moved to Rensselaerville, New York.

May 28, 2012

Remembering Civil War Ancestors

women were involved too !

 Wisconsin Soldiers' Aid

Her nephew George Williams Peckham 1845-1914
     Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, 1st Reg, Co B

May 15, 2012

Know the In-Laws: The Ludington Sisters of Catskill

You might be surprised by what is published in a local newspaper about someone who does NOT live there.  I happened upon a Texas death notice in a Saugerties, New York newspaper because the deceased's sister lived there.

The Ludington sisters, daughters of Tertullus, lived in Catskill, New York. Harriet was born in 1817, married John Lusk in the late 1830s and remained there even after being widowed in 1848.  Several years later she married widower Henry Turck of Saugerties (about 13 miles south of Catskill) and moved there with several of her children.  Harriet remained in Saugerties until her death in 1898.

May 11, 2012

A Civil War Pension File Can Reveal Family Stories

At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to pay the fee for the Civil War Pension File of Reuben Lake who served with the New York 127th Infantry.   Then I heard the family tale that he’d been a prisoner at Andersonville who weighed 65 pounds when released and his wife Sarah went to transport him home.  Now that sounded intriguing … BUT be wary of family tales !

May 6, 2012

James McDole: His Revealing Civil War Registration Record

 In 2011 published additional Civil War records to its collection including “New York Town Clerks’ Registers of Men Who Servedin the Civil War”.
Some of the information gathered included: date of birth, place of birth, father’s name, mother’s MAIDEN NAME, marital status, previous occupation, bounty received, if any.  Interesting that the bounty amounts seemed to range from $50 to $900.

Not all town registrars were thorough, many were incomplete, some were rather illegible and some clerks could not spell ! (occupations:  laiborer, taylor, etc).  I have the CW pension file of one of my ancestors, so I know he enlisted in Ulster County, NY but he is not found in these registers.  However,  I really lucked out on my ancestor James McDole. 

April 13, 2012

Were any of your relatives impacted by the sinking of the Titanic?

Prior to last month, I would have said NO.  But, as I delved into New York Ludington family members who migrated to Wisconsin, I discovered a connection to this terrible event.  Not a close relative by any means, but part of the larger family group.

My ancestor Tertullus Ludington (1773-1821) had several nephews who ventured further west while he remained in New York State. In particular, the sons of his younger brother Frederick (who also spent his entire life in NY) moved west to Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and beyond.

April 2, 2012

Spelling Challenges in Wisconsin

In tracing the Wisconsin spider experts George Williams Peckham and his wife Elizabeth Gifford, I began re-constructing her family.  Elizabeth, known as Bessie, was born in 1854 to landscape architect Charles Gifford and his wife Mary Child in Milwaukee.  Her father died when she was about 7 and her mother remarried.   

Confirming her stepfather’s surname was not easy as it was spelled differerently in every record found.  Luckily Wisconsin has some great genealogical websites that helped piece it together.  Always search a local or county biographical record – it might just provide priceless information.

March 31, 2012

Hankey or Hankinson?

Researching the 1841 birth of John Hankinson Appleton/Stockton Heath, Cheshire England stumped me when it came to identifying his parents and finding their census records. In 1864 he married Rosina Craghill and listed his father's name as William with his occupation as tailor. Generally this information, always collected on UK marriage certificates, is very helpful.  But I could not find anyone named William Hankinson in Cheshire nor Lancashire or any other likely spot.  I ordered several possible birth certificates for John based on free bmd listings, but the father's information never matched.

March 18, 2012

Know the In-laws: Who was William Austin's wife in Matagorda Texas?

In the Matagorda Texas 1860 census William Austin of New York (who had been living with his maternal aunt Amelia Ludington Hodges) was married to Mary E born 1838 in Virginia.  At the time they had three children under the age of 6. It caught my eye that there were 3 additional people in the household all with the surname Ives, aged 18, 14, and 8: Lucy, Charles and Walter. The older two were born in Virginia and Walter in Texas … could they be Mary’s siblings?

March 16, 2012

Know the In-laws: the elusive George Kempton

In tracing the family of David Depeyster Acker (1822-1888), I was trying to configure the family group of his second wife, Julia.  Their 1865 marriage record listed her as the widow Floyd but I was not sure how to find her maiden name. Her 1892 will provided what looked like a great clue -- one of the executors was listed as her brother and his surname was Outcalt.  But that was not her maiden name.

Over time and examining many, many documents I found that she was the daughter of Moses and Amanda Pomeroy and she had a younger sister named Lucy.  Moses died in 1834 and shortly thereafter her mother married John D. Outcalt and added two young sons to the family, John and Cornelius.  I found that Lucy married George Kempton in New York City in 1855.  So know I knew the surnames of everyone.

February 12, 2012

Tertullus Ludington of Catskill, New York

While reviewing my Catskill Village cemetery photos in preparation for uploading them to, I realized that I had stumbled upon information regarding the children of Tertullus Ludington, my 5th great grandfather. His gravestone listed his death as 16 Jul 1821 at age 48. I had forgotten that I'd found other family members buried next to him.

February 7, 2012

Cousinology: Charlotte Higley in Binghamton 1910

While piecing together the descendants of Dr. Adam Clark and wife Harriet Watson, an unrecognized “niece” showed up in the 1910 census with Harriet Gordon Clark, widow of their son Henry.

February 5, 2012

Family Snippets: The Comfort Sisters of Catskill

Hiram Comfort (1791-1839) and Julia Ludington (1807–1886) raised five daughters in Catskill, New York where Hiram owned a sash and blind factory.  He had been born in Orange County, New York but was in Catskill by 1822 when he married Julia, the daughter of Tertullus Ludington (son of Colonel Henry Ludington and brother of Sybil who both played important roles during the Revolutionary War).

February 3, 2012

I thought only living people were listed in the census

Well .... I guess that's not always true as can be seen here in an excerpt from the 1911 UK census.  

We likely would never have known of these young children ... so thanks Edward or Eleanor, whoever talked to the census taker.

February 2, 2012

Don't let the Congress block access to the SSDI

As David Rencher mentioned today at the Rootstech Conference, House ways and Means is seriously moving toward shutting down access to this very important genealogical data source.

Contact your reps in Congress as well as the H W&M committe ... Call them at 202-225-3625 and let your voice be heard!

If the issue is the inclusion of the social security number, drop it -- but give us access to the dates.


February 1, 2012

What kind of job is that?

Beamsman in a tannery
This is an excerpt from the 1911 UK census.  We had thought that John Holmes was a greengrocer ... so it was surprising to see this entry.  Actually it was his wife Margaret who was the greengrocer and John had a strange sounding job at the tannery.

January 31, 2012

YIKES !! My Images Disappeared

As a new blogger, I was shocked today when I checked my postings (one published and 2 scheduled) and found that my key images had DISAPPEARED.  Well, I had copied an excerpt from records and then just did a copy/paste into the blog. They looked fine in preview .. then they vanished, replaced by a ? in a box.

Well, since they were key to my story I decided to try to copy them as jpegs and re-post them ... and they look OK now.

If they happen to disappear again, please let me know.  I'm dancing my way through this new application. Thanks.

Rosina Hankinson of Garston/Liverpool: Her Name was Key to Finding a Missing Person

The Hankinson family of Liverpool, England had 9 children, the oldest of whom was William born in 1865. He was with his parents in the census of 1881, aged 16 and a plumber. I could not find him 10 years later in the 1891 census -- not with the family, not alone.  

January 23, 2012

Who knew that John Quigley remarried !

John Quigely married Anna Sheils in 1917, just a year before her untimely death. When checking the Ulster County Marriage Archives for the specific date of their marriage, a second entry was found for John.

Ulster County Clerk's Office. Marriage Record Index
 Groom Name             Bride Name               Date of License
Quigley, John J. Jr.   Sheils, Anna M.           04-12-1917   
Quigley, John, Jr.     Feigert, Wilhelmina     11-18-1932   

January 22, 2012

Get to know the in-laws

I do believe that knowing the in-laws, finding the cousins, discovering how families intermarried makes the family history story richer ... and sometimes does help you piece together otherwise unknown relationships.  Finding someone listed as nephew or mother-in-law can breakdown your brick wall.

January 15, 2012

Occupations Matter: Liverpool Marriage Banns

Many of the families I have been researching in Liverpool, England had commonly used names, particularly those of Welsh heritage such as Williams and Jones. Often ten individuals of similar age could be found in Liverpool with a name like Edward Jones. Soon I realized that knowing the person's occupation could be a key in identifying them.  Knowing their father's name and occupation is equally important.

January 13, 2012

Looking for the Sangaline Family in Saugerties

German immigrant Peter Sangaline was known to be living with his wife Margaret and children in Saugerties, Ulster County, New York from the early 1870s until after 1910.  Searching through the federal census records online, I initially could not find them. I searched both and Heritage Quest hoping to find a match in at least one of those sources. I just could not find them even if I varied the spelling. The German spelling might be Zangline, but no luck there either.

January 9, 2012

Bryan Craghill: A Liverpool Butler

The family always knew that many of their ancestors were " in service" and even knew that Bryan was a butler. They knew he had married Fanny Krebs and that their daughter Rosina was born in 1842.  That was about all they knew. 

The only census where Bryan was found was 1851 stating that he was born in Yorkshire about 1813 and was a servant in Liverpool. In attempting to build a story, a family history, it is tough when you have such limited information. But, with some curiosity and a little investigation, a tale can emerge.  

January 2, 2012

Piecing Together My Genealogy Finds

After five years of researching for myself and others across the U.S. and in the UK, I feel that I've developed some great techniques and uncovered a myriad of resources.  I've hit roadblocks and dead-ends, like everyone else.  Unless you were lucky enough to have been handed a complete, well-researched, fully documented family tree that fulfilled all your family history needs, you too will be struggling with genealogy puzzles.  I certainly don't have all the answers, but will share what works for me.

Luckily, I became interested in genealogy in an era when many online resources were available and more were being digitized every day.  I had decades of professional experience collecting, organizing, and analyzing data for research and business applications, so the tech approach suited me.  By nature, I am a questioner.  Probing for the "answer", the proof, the documents to back up the assumptions is how I work.  However, I've had to accept that at times I can't prove my assertions to my own satisfaction.... so, I report what I know or suspect, note how I came to that conclusion, and then add the item to my follow-up file.  Maybe next year I'll find the definitive proof.

The intent of this blog is to document how I've been solving genealogy puzzles and putting pieces together into stories from what I've found.  It will wander around through my family and the families of others I've been researching.   Occasionally I find a great story on someone not really related to my research subjects, but that's interesting too as it reveals something of the time and I'll write it up too.  Overall it's an attempt to document some really interesting lives I've uncovered and hopefully will aid others in seeing how I found out about them.

I hope you enjoy -- come back soon !