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Random Genealogy Tidbits

Some thoughts and insights to share.

November 3, 2013

 While using the collateral genealogical research method, I looked at census records, church records, death records, cemetery records, obituaries, marriage records, and land records.  Besides my grandmother and her parents, the collateral relatives included Grandma’s brother and his children, Grandma’s sister and her children, and Grandma’s aunt and her children.   In the past, this method has proved to be productive, however, in this case, there was little information to be found,except for the general location of West Posen.  Recently I found Grandma on a passenger list.  She arrived in 1882 at the age of two with her mother and her brother and sister.  Her father was not on the list, and I presume he came earlier and then sent for the rest of his family.  The family’s place of origin was only listed as “Germany” – not much help.  But now I had Grandma’s year of birth – 1880......  More to come.

October 26, 2013

We all experience “brick walls” when doing our genealogical research.  I reached a dead end almost immediately when searching for my grandmother’s year and place of birth.  She never knew where she was born and could only guess at her age.  Her parents were natives of Germany and that is all she knew.   After searching all of her known collateral lines—that is, searching for information about her siblings, parents, and aunt on her father’s side, I still came up with little more than I started with.  The only new clue is that they came from West Posen area of Germany, which is now in Poland.  Her Aunt Minnie was the first of the family to arrive and she married a man from Gross Jestin, Pommern.  That is not too far from West Posen and also now in Poland. ............ More to come.


October 15, 2013

Genealogical research can be bewitching. Halloween is nearing. It's two of my husband’s ancestor’s favorite time of year. They were witches and he can claim them in his family tree. I am referring to Colonial America when the fear of witchcraft prevailed. These “witches” were the subject of an overriding fear of things that the colonists did not understand. In the case of Lydia Gilbert, she was accused of killing Henry Stiles. She never held the weapon or was anywhere near the place of death. Thomas Allen, a militiaman, cocked his musket during a training exercise and inadvertently knocked it against a tree. The weapon fired killing Henry Stiles. Mr. Stiles lived in the household of Lydia Gilbert. It is not known if there was trouble between them, but subsequently she was accused of witchcraft, because “by the devil’s help”, she caused the musket to fire. Collecting names and dates is part of genealogical research, but the interesting part is when there is a good story to be told. There were many books and articles written about the witches in Colonial America, many concerning Salem, and Massachusetts. But many men and women were accused and indicted in Connecticut as well as other less known courts. There is a lineage society of the descendants of witches, called Associated Daughters of Early American Witches. Membership is by invitation only. I can check their list of approved ancestors. 


October 4, 2013

I have been searching for many years for information on my grandmother, Hilda Lewin Pelling.
 Today I found her on a passenger list index coming from Bremen, Germany, to Baltimore, Maryland in 1882 on the ship "Hermann".
She was two years old. Her siblings, Otto, and Ottillie (Tillie) and her mother, Wilhelmina were on board, but her father, Theodore Lewin, was not in the index.
Either the person indexing the manifest missed him, or he came a year or so earlier and sent for his family in 1882.
 I can't find him on any other list, and I hope to be able to see the original manifest to confirm whether he was or wasn't on it.
The manifests back then did not give much information, so I still don't know where they came from in Germany, only that they were farmers.


October 2, 2013

October is Family History month.  Some Social Studies teachers encourage or even require students to learn
about their family history and to prepare a family tree.  If you don't know where to begin or don't have access to
many resources,
contact me for a free consultation.  If further help is desirable, my rates are very affordable.


September 28, 2013

  Today I am researching in early New York before the American Revolution.  Luckily, the people that I am researching were quite notable.  They were in and out of court, leaving written records of their dealings with friends and enemies.  They were Indian scouts and interpreters.  They attended the local churches and left records of their marriages and births of their children.

August 31, 2013

Family History Research in the

Digital Archives of Norway

For those who have Norwegian ancestry, The Digital Archives of Norway can be a wonderful source of information for your ancestor.  I have access to these databases and in some cases the actual scanned record (written in Norwegian) is available. 


July 4, 2013

4th of July Memories