Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why Do a DNA Test?

As you begin working on your family tree, gathering information from relatives, you are going to also gather some interesting "stories"  about your heritage and those members of your family, many of which you have probably never even heard a word about before now. You will hear the usual stories about your heritage, that you are of German, French or English background, or perhaps that you have a famous Native American Indian in your lineage somewhere.

As you gather your information, sooner or later, you are going to hit the proverbial "Brick Wall" You are stuck, can't find another generation further back; can no longer even connect a male surname to any definite location in a given country any more. You know that they had to come from somewhere and the question now is where did they migrate from.

If you are to this point, it is definitely time to consider investing in some DNA testing which is currently available through Normally these tests run $99 each but they presently are having a sale at $79.00.

By doing your DNA, you may turn up some ethnic backgrounds that you never knew you had in your family tree or you can rule out various nationalities also.

Some folks like to get their DNA tests pretty soon after starting work on their family tree because they can post their DNA test results with others who have matches to your DNA groupings. You can then exchange information back and forth with one another, thus developing areas of your family tree that you might not have been able to expand before.

If you are wanting to validate the male lineage of your family, be sure to have a male member do the testing. If you are female, you can have a brother, father, or father's sibling do the DNA test. If you are more interested in the female side of the family, you, a sister,or mother can do the test.

I am new to the entire process of reading DNA test results and if you have problems understanding them also, don't be afraid to ask for assistance. Just know that you are opening up an entire new avenue of research and investigation once you do your tests.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Decker Family Who Disappeared

When doing your family history, sometimes you come across some things that peak your curiosity. Maybe there were many in one family who all die within days, weeks or months of one another, or they took off for parts unknown and you haven’t been able to figure out where they went to.

In the case of multiple deaths within a family grouping in a short period of time, you can probably trace the cause (even without death certificates for proof) to what was going on in that time frame in that particular part of the country. Epidemics of diseases, such as plagues, small pox, yellow fever,or scarlet fever would claim the lives of many in one family, along with those of their neighbors. Natural catastrophes, such as floods, earth quakes, tornadoes or hurricanes as well as the droughts which caused “The Dust Bowl” era can also be researched on line and could be the reason.

I am going to share with you the mysterious disappearance of one of our own families in the hopes that just maybe there could be some descendants still alive out there who can help shed some light on what happened.

This is the story as it has been passed down to family genealogists.
There were three brothers, Aaron, James and William Decker who all married and left the area of Stony Brook which is near Patterson New Jersey in Passiac County to travel  to Crawford Co, Ohio, settling there in 1828.

We know that Aaron and James were twins and born in 1783 in Stonybrook. There is also a good chance that William was actually a triplet but we do not know that for sure since William was stolen by Indians as a child. He was brought back as a young man by the Indians and identified by his mother by a scar on his foot.

Aaron married Mary Vandroof or Vandrehoof. (there are several spellings of her last name)  We know that they had the following children: Frederick born 1812, Mahalan born 1818 , Maria born 1822, Alexander born 1827, Emaline born 1829, Caroline or possibly Caty , Jane born 1819, James A born 1810 and Sally Ann 1816

James (Jacobus) Vanderveer , nicknamed “Cobe” married Jane Luke. Her parents were Abram or Abraham Luke and Ann Ryerson.  At some point in time Abraham changed his last name to Decker but so far none of our family researchers have been able to locate any official documents as to when that was done nor why he would take that step.

James and Jane had David, born 1809, Harriet (Julia), John born 1818, Martin born 1816, Charles , Catherine born 1817, Aaron born 1820, William born 1828, Eliza, Jeremiah, Ann  Jeannetta, Emma born Sept 1827, Mary Ann and four others who died in infancy.
Most of their children were born in New Jersey, .

William married Harriet Luke, Jane’s sister.  We also know that he married at least three times and that Altye or Altia Meyers (Marten) was also another possible wife.  We know that there were at least three children born of the marriage between William and Harriet, Johnson, Julia and Mary Ann. There are another 18 children but their names are unknown at this time, as is which woman of the other marriages are their mother.  We do not have ages on the children of William and Harriet’s children but we have to assume they were approximately the same ages as those of William’s brothers children.

We have no idea exactly when they all formed their wagon train and left New Jersey, or the exact month in which they arrived in Crawford Co. Ohio. The closest I can estimate would be July 1828 , since we have James & Jane’s son William being born in Crawford Co OH on that date. We also do not know what prompted the move away from their father and other family members in the first place.

The three brothers and their families all arrived in Crawford Co. Ohio and William and his family returned East immediately. It is said that the family was lost sight of in Pennsylvania.  It is also noted that their son Johnson, died among the Indians at Council Bluffs, Iowa.

What happened upon arrival in Ohio after such a long and tedious trip to make William and his family turn around immediately to return east?  Did Johnson leave his father, mother and sisters to travel to Council Bluffs Iowa by himself? He would have probably been in late teens or early twenties, certainly considered a man by that day’s standards but to go off by himself in unknown territory to me does not seem likely although certainly possible. The wording “died among the Indians” also fascinates me. To me it suggests that he was living among the Indians there in Council Bluffs and that he wasn’t killed by the Indians. I’ve not been able to locate a burial site for him, but then again, if he was living “among the Indians” that would also suggest that he might have married an Indian or at least taken on the Indian customs of cremation burial. We have no information as to if he married, or how long he lived in Council Bluffs before he died or if he didn’t go there directly upon leaving Ohio but maybe went to another state on the route back east with his parents and stayed for awhile before returning to Council Bluffs.

William would have been approximately 45 years of age when they made the trip to OH and returning back East alone, with his wife and two daughters, also seems highly unlikely.

Between 1846 and 1852, Council Bluffs ( then known as Kanesville) and  was the headquarters for a substantial LDS presence in western Iowa as they later migrated to Utah.

There were Indian uprisings beginning in 1831 with the Black Hawk Wars and those skirmishes and wars went on for several years. We know that there was gold and silver discovered in and around Council Bluffs in the 1850’s which lured many men to come to the area in the hopes of striking it rich. 

With the family “lost sight of” in Pennsylvania, we have to assume it was in the latter part of 1828 to early 1829. Were William and Jane attempting to get back to where they originally came from in New Jersey?  Did they decide to start afresh in a totally new area? We have no answers and so far all researching for records have met with the proverbial brick wall! 

Please if anyone out there happens to be from this family or knows anything about their history, contact me!  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hubbard Family Researchers

I am searching for other Hubbard Researchers who are interested in correcting mistakes I'm seeing on  family, (world connect) and to name a few places where I am locating numerous errors in our family history.

I started going to each of those where I located errors where they combined two family lines together, making a comment or a "postem" to tell them their information is incorrect. After finding page upon page of erroneous information, I quit and decided possibly I could reach more people here through my blog.

Probably one of the best sources of early history of the Hubbard Family  in the United States is one called "The One Thousand Years of Hubbard History" by Day. I will advise anyone who does use it for research to watch information closely because of the way some of it is organized. Be sure you get the groups of children listed with the correct parents.  Also be sure that you make sure that you don't confuse different branches with the same first name and last name together as one family

The families in question right now that I've been working on are George Hubbard and his wife Mary Bishop. His records have been intermingled with those of George Hubbard who married Elizabeth Watts! Both George's were born in England, their parentage is unknown and even the exact location of where they came from in England is unknown. 

It is known that George (dob 1594-1600) who married Mary Bishop came to the US in about 1633, around the same time that the other George arrived also. George and Mary first settled in Watertown and then moved to Wethersfield,Ct in October 1635. In 1638 he and his family removed to Milford,Ct. and then later to Guilford
 Ct in 1648. He is called George Hubbard of Guilford Ct in the book "The One Thousand Years of Hubbard History.

Several of their children were born in England and came to America's shores with their parents while the others were born here. Known children of this family are Mary, John, Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth, Abigail,  Daniel and William. In "The One Thousand Years of Hubbard History", there is also listed a son named George with a question mark after it. I've not been able to locate any information on this George.

The other George and his wife Elizabeth Watts are ancestors of the famous Elbert Green Hubbard of the Roycroft movement and writer of "Message to Garcia" and other political writings, who died aboard the Lusitania  in 1915 with his 2nd wife Alice Moore.  This George is known as George Hubbard of Middletown, Middlesex, CT
This George and his wife Elizabeth  also came from England and was born in 1601. Elizabeth was born in 1618.
They had the following children: Daniel, Mary, Joseph, Samuel, Nathaniel and Elizabeth.

In "The One Thousand Years of Hubbard History" it states that George and Mary (Bishop) along with another George Hubbard, Thomas Hubbard and a William Hubbard  and Mary's (Bishop)family (John Bishop and children) all left Watertown and went to Westerfield. After being there about 3 years, George and Mary and their family left with Thomas Ufford, William Fowler, Rev. Peter Pruden and others, going southward to the shores of Long Island sound and settled in Milford. There is a list of 44 names as Settlers of  Milford Nov 21, 1639 on the first page.
He then sold his property on Milford Island before 1650 and moved to Guilford along with his son in law John Fowler.

Descendants of George and Elizabeth (Watts) line migrated from Connecticut into New York and eventually ended up in parts of Illinois and then back to New York again. I find that Daniel Hubbard (son of Daniel and Temperance from Middlesex Ct) and his wife Eunice Clark, at some point moved to Green Co. N.Y. where Daniel died in 1825. I do not have a death date for Eunice. Their son, Rev Solomon born 1770 in Middlesex Co, Ct died 1823 in Mayville Chautauqua Co, N. Y. and his wife, Hannah (Willard) died in 1834 in Buffalo, Erie Co. N.Y.

Their son Silas born in 1821 married Frances Julia Read/Reed. He became a Doctor and moved his family to Bloomington Illinois where his son Elbert Green was born. This is the Elbert Green who married Bertha C. Crawford first and had four children, Elbert, Sanford, Ralph and Catherine . They divorced and he married Alice Moore, and they had a daughter Miriam Elberta Hubbard who was born out of wedlock.

Elbert and Bertha married in Bloomington Illinois but returned to Erie, N. Y. where their children were all born.
I believe that all descendants of Elbert Green Hubbard, are now deceased. I do know that some of them were still involved in running the Roycroft museum in New York for many years.

It is a shame that researchers of the two George Hubbards from Connecticut were not diligent in maintaining the accuracy and integrity of all the work which had been done and recorded for prosperity. I am in hopes that somehow it can be once again separated and corrected in all records.

I personally would love to find out positively one way or another if these two lines do entwine somewhere along the way because I would be delighted to find that I am related (even by a shirt tail) to the famous Elbert Green Hubbard, writer and craftsman, who died aboard the Titanic.

I am desperately searching for any descendants of either of these two lines who can supply additional correct information on them or a professional genealogist who would be interested in attempting to figure out how we can get what records are now out on the Internet that are incorrect either corrected or removed so that these errors do not persist in generations to come who may be in search of their ancestors.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Are You New to Genealogy Research?

Welcome to the wonderful world of genealogy research!

With increased interest in doing genealogy research, I have to suggest first of all signing up to get  great information from Kimberly Powell who is the guru at!  Be sure to bookmark as one of your favorite websites and sign up to get her emails sent to you regularly. She gives you some great tips on getting started, how to organize your files, different types of charts that you can use and all kinds of great websites that you can check out. 

I’ve been doing genealogy for quite a few years now, but I continue to get her emails, check out the genealogy section on about often and am amazed at the knowledge that she has. She is always listing websites that I’ve never even known about or ones that I’ve forgotten. She also has several good books that you can get at the library or purchase at the bookstore if you wish to have a hard copy on hand at all times.

When I hit “brick walls”, which I seem to do quite often with all of the different families that I’ve been researching, I will often turn to her website for inspiration and websites that might help me break that wall down.

Several other places that you can also get good genealogy search tips is from They have a learning center with a wide variety of articles to assist you in learning to search for your ancestors. If you are not able to pay for the subscription part of their site, some parts of it are free, take advantage of their message boards and the other free parts of their website. is another one of my favorite sites where there are thousands and thousand of records. You can also get a free family tree making file at their website if you have not purchased one elsewhere. If you would like to build your tree on-line, there are many places where you can also do that free of charge. My preference is where you can control who has access to your information. They have both a free section as well as a paid subscription section which is extremely reasonable.

Other sites I like are Cyndi's List and geneabloggers,,,and You can get lost in them for hours and hours looking at information. Then there is which has many cemeteries listed both in the US and some other foreign countries where you can search for your ancestors grave site.

I found a great new website that I am going to be taking advantage of, thanks to an article today by Kimberly at You plug in your ancestors name and birth and death years and it will create a timeline for you of things that happened during their lifetime. is going to be so helpful in knowing when many things happened during their lives.

Of course you can always just use your favorite search engine, type in the name and the word family or genealogy after it and pull up many different locations where you can find information on that person (in most cases) and many people will use this as their first method of searching. Have fun searching!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

William Howard Taft

There are many famous people who are descendants of the Samuel Chapin/ Cecily Penny linage.  Today I would like to focus on the pedigree of William Howard Taft, born September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Not only was he our 27th U.S. President, serving just one term from 1909-1913. he also served as the Provisional Governor of Cuba, and also held the position as the Civil Governor of the Philippine Islands under Teddy Roosevelt.. Under Ulysses S. Grant, he served as Secretary of War and as Attorney General in his cabinet. President Warren Harding appointed him as Chief Justice of the United States in 1921 and he served in that capacity for nine years, resigning just shortly before his death in 1930 on March 8th in Washington D.C.

He married Helen Herron (her nickname was Nellie) in 1886 and they had three children, Robert Alphonso, Charles Phelps and Helen Herron  . President Taft led the way for his sons and grandsons, who also chose political careers.  His son, Senator Robert Alphonson Taft, his grandson Senator Robert Alphonso Taft II ,and his great grandson Robert Alphonso Taft III who served as Governor of Ohio.    .

William Howard Taft descends from Samuel Chapin, & Cecily Penny, their son Josiah Chapin and his wife Mary King, their son, Seth who married Bethia Thurston, their son John who married Dorcus, their son John who married Rhonda Albee and their daughter who married Levi Howard.

    Samuel Chapin and Cecily Penny
 Samuel CHAPIN (1598-1675)Paignton, Devonshire, England
 Cicely PENNY (1601-1682) Paignton, Devonshire England

    Son: Josiah CHAPIN (c1634-1726)Oct 29, 1634 in England
          and Mary KING (1639-1676) Jun 15, 1639 in Weymouth, Norfolk Co, MA 
          Married on Nov 30, 11658 in Weymouth, Norfolk Co, Ma
Children: Henry Feb 15, 1671-Mar 20, 1671 Weymouth, Norfolk MA
Deborah Jun 16, 1664 Weymouth, Norfolk Ma died Aug 16, 1668 Braintree Norolk MA
Deborah Feb 12, 1675 Braintree, Norfolk Ma died Apr 9, 1702 Uxbridge, Worchester Ma
Sherm May 11, 1667 Weymouth, Norfolk MA died Jun 6, 1667 Braintree, Norfolk, MA
John 11 Jun 1661 Weymouth, Norfolk, MA died 22 Feb 1686 At Sea
Joseph 17 May, 1670 Weymouth, Norfolk MA  died 1722
Josiah Jr Dec 17, 1665 Weymouth, Norfolk MA died May 20, 1693
Henry Feb 15, 1671 Weymouth, Norfolk MA  died Mar 20, 1671 Braintree, Norfolk Ma
Deborah Chapin Jun 16, 1664 Weymouth, Norfolk MA  died Aug 16, 1668
Seth (Captain) Aug 4, 1668 Braintree, Norfolk MA  died Apr 1, 1746, Mendon Worchester MA
Second wife: Lydia Brown Pratt
Married Sep 20, 1676 Braintree, Norfolk MA
And had 4 or 5 children.


Title: Mendon, Worcester Co., Massachusetts Vital Records
Publication: Births, Marriages, and Deaths
Media: Book
Page: Page: 455
Text: Death: Chapin, Josiah Esqr., Sept. 10, 1726. (In his 92d y. G.R.1.).
Title: Weymouth, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts Vital Records
Publication: Baptisms, Births, Marriages, and Deaths (Published 1910)
Media: Book
Page: Vol. II Pages: 45; 108
Text: Marriage: Chapin, Josiah and Mary King, Nov. 30, 1658.* * Intention not recorded.

I did not give you the entire family tree of this family but if you go to, or I am sure you will find many records on him if you would like to complete his family tree.

William Howard Taft is just one of many historical people that descended from this family. Since there seems to be quite a bit of interest in this family particular line, I will put together some additional articles about other people.

In the meantime, happy digging!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Banging Your Head against Brick Walls

Every time I solve one problem, it seems like I create at least ten more when I am doing genealogy. I get one brick wall broken down and then whammy…..I am hit in the head with a zillion more! 

I am actually working on two different Parker lines, one from my family and one from my son-in law’s family and I am running into the same problems with both of them. I either can only get back so far in time on a generation or else I have some information on the families but not enough to figure out where they were born, where they lived or where they died. I have about exhausted every avenue I can think of on some of these people! 

Therefore, I am going to post here about one of the Parker families that is on my side of the family.

 This is the story of Ezra B.PARKER DOB unknown and Lydia Alta Decker; born 1856 in Bucyrus, OH and Died May 1930 Lydia was the daughter of David DECKER and Rebecca SCHRUM (M) . David’s parents were James Vandeveer (Cobe) DECKER  and Jane LUKE.

They married in Aug 1877, probably either in OH or in IL since they lived in Cornell, IL for a time. I do not know if Ezra died but my records show that she later married William ANDERSON. There were two children of this union Cleopatra PARKER born in 1879 in Iowa, and Charles Albert PARKER born in 1884, I have no children listed for her marriage to William Anderson.

Cleo had a brother Charles Albert PARKER, he was born Sept 1884 and in 1905, he married Golda KINNEY. They had three children, Madge Evelyn, George Leverne and Marjory Bernice.

Cleopatra (Cleo) PARKER married A. J. BURT (no known info) in 1894 and then later married G. W. HUNTER. With A. J. she had the following children: Iris Lorena born 1899, Lelah Montress born 1897, Charles Emery born July 1895 (he married Mary Casson, had two daughters Montress Vanetta Burt born 1920 and June Lee Burt born 1926.

Iris Lorena BURT (1899-1918 Peoria IL) married Howard TALBOT in Nov 1914. They had at least two children that I know of, Audrey Berdette born Oct 1917 and Eugene Burt born Dec 1920. Eugene married Helen Elizabeth HAWKINS

I have searched and searched for records on this family from stem to stern and have come up empty handed. It is interesting how actually you can find more on some of the older generations than you can on the newer ones. 

I hope that there is someone out there on the Internet who is related and going through the same frustrations that I am of not finding much information.

Is there anyone out there related to this family?

I think I am going to have to invest in these books, they look like they might help me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Documenting Now For Future Generations

Back in November 2010, I wrote an article about Continuing Family History and  how we often get so caught up in researching all our ancestors from the past that we are neglecting to keep up with documenting current generations and stories and mementos of today. Terri left me a comment which has taken me some time to formulate a good answer. She stated, “It's interesting Kay that you talk about preserving our history now for future generations. It is more difficult today to do that with technology the way it is. I have so many letters from my ancestors but today we just text, email or phone. We don't write things down. We need to think about how to preserve heirlooms and record events for our future children.”

Here are some things that I have been doing for my children and my grandchildren that might also be helpful to you.

First of all, I have set up several family trees using tribal where I have first a master tree with all the connecting family branches and then trees also set up for each of my children and their spouses and their group tree. This way, they can see how everything connects together on the master tree and then if they want to just concentrate on their own tree along with that of their spouse, they can do that also. The nice thing about tribal pages is that you can enter information about each person in the notes section and you can also include photographs if you have them.

As a security measure, I also have these trees on my computer as well as copied onto discs along with a copy of my family tree maker, which is the program off of the LDS website, so that they can install this program on their own computers if they want to continue to do additional work on the lines. This also ensures that if for some reason the Internet site is no longer available that all of my work will not have been done in vain.

The next thing I have done is created genealogy books for each family so that they can have a hard copy that they can physically hold and read and absorb all the information that it contains. In some cases, there is so much information more than one book is required.

As for heirlooms to pass onto future generations, I began by going through my photographs, labeling as many as I could on the backs and placing them into individual envelopes for each of my children.  There are some personal items that I want them to have and I have told them that I would like them to have those right now so that I am sure that they will receive them. If there are certain items that I just have to have, then I will be sure that those things are listed in my will and that their names will be listed on the physical item so that they will assuredly receive them.

I also have heirlooms that once belonged to my grandparents, some of which will also be disturbed the same way. If no one wants those items, then I will have them donate them to a museum, or I will handle it myself before I leave this beautiful world.

At present, there are four boxes in my hall closet, labeled with the name of each of my children. Inside they are going to find a collection of items that we have previously discussed that are to be theirs, along with some other items that I’ve saved over the years that I think they will be pleased to have.

I started a journal of my life for my children and my grandchildren. I want them to know about my growing up years as well as all the marvelous things that I have been privy to in the history of  this world and our country. Thank you Terri for your comment to my post because it has reminded me that I really need to be more diligent, working on this on a regular basis.

Like Terri, I also regret that nowadays so much of our communication is handled by the impersonal emails, the twitters and by phone. We no longer often hold a physical letter or greeting card in our hands and see the writing of that person, which by the way, really does tell so much about their personality! But graphoanalysis is another subject and maybe something I will post about at a later date if some interest is shown by my readers. 

I personally am probably the worlds worst pack-rat when it comes to saving things from my children and their growing years such as pictures that they created and were lovingly hung on the refrigerator, to handmade birthday cards and  Christmas gifts that they have given me over the years. I have their graduation announcements from school and even came across their old vaccination records when I was cleaning out my keepsake drawer. I’ve saved Mother’s Day, birthday and  Valentine’s Day cards that they have given me over the years, all stored in a special box.

I do know of one father who was stationed overseas in Iraq for over a year and he kept every single email that his wife and children sent to him. He plans on including that into his genealogy records. I am sure those will be very interesting reading for his grandchildren some day.

So even though communications of today have gotten away from the handwritten word, there are still ways of preserving precious memories and I hope that this will give all of you some new ideas for saving yours.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Headaches and Heartaches

Misinformation can cause you a lot of headaches and heartaches when you are in the process of doing genealogy work.  Granted, your prior generations may have started working on your family tree, but if they have not documented their resources, there is a very strong chance that they have gathered information from relatives, family bibles, hearsay or family tales as well as genuine document sources. But if they have not made any notations of where their information has been gathered from, please do not take it as the gospel truth! Take the time to go back and recheck your information and add documentation.

One of my pet peeves is seeing information that has been put onto what I consider reputable source websites by people posting their family information which has not been verified and proven.  Just because you have found a tree that looks like it matches your family’s information and has additional information that you now want to add to your tree, don’t just do so without being sure that it is indeed your family’s roots.

I hate to point fingers, but I have found incorrect information at both sites where you have paid to have a subscription to access information as well as at free websites where people have posted information. These are well known websites and we tend to rely on them as being accurate. It is important to remember that they do not verify the information that has been submitted to them.

If you find what appears to be matching information for your family, make an attempt to reach the poster of the information so that the two of you can share references and other family information to validate everything as true. Chances are you are going to find relatives and establish some long lasting relationships in the process.

I want to share with you a very obvious mistake on a family tree that hopefully you will see as quickly as I did when I saw it. I will make mention that I have contacted the website and asked if there is any way they can put me in touch with the author of this family tree so that we can discuss this information.

History of the Olmstead/Olmsted Family

The Olmsted family originated in England
My records start with Richard, born about 1430 and mentioned in the Domesday Book, Essex Co, England 1086. Olmsted Hall meaning “Place of the Elms” is a moated structure and now belongs to Queens College, Cambridge.

Next listed is James Olmstead born in about 1520 married to Alice. My records have no last name for her but on line I found her last name could be Sorrell or Hawkins. I also found 3 children listed of this marriage.

Next is James Olmstead born about 1550, who died in 1595. He married Jane Bristow on Aug 12, 1576 and they lived in Great Leighs, Co, Essex, England.
As my reference I have Olmstead Genealogy
 Jacobus, Old Fairlefied Vol I pg 451

James immigrated to America in 1632 aboard the ship “Lyon” and settled in Cambridge, MA and in 1636 some removed to Hartford. James came to America with his Uncle James Olmsted .Some online references also state there were other nephews and a niece in the party.

Since James and Jane Bristow are my direct lineage, prior researchers in our family only concentrated on our direct line and did not list all of their children. We are descended from Richard Olmsted and his wife Frances Slany/Slaney. My records indicate that she has a brother Thomas Slany of London, whom I have not definitely located yet or her parents.

My records show that Richard and Frances had the following children:
Richard baptized 1612
Mary baptized 1615
John baptized 1617
Sarah baptized 1620
Rebecca baptized unknown but married to Thomas Newell
Joseph baptized 1627

Again, References used were
Olmstead Genealogy
Jacobus, Old Fairfield, Vol. I pg 451

Here is where the fun part starts
I found a record on line where someone posted a tree for this family with all of the above information. On their tree they show the son Richard, baptized in 1612 with parents as
James and Jane Bristow. They show that the SON  was married first to Jane Bristow and then to Frances Slany . The record went on to state that Jane Bristow was born in Hatford, CT  and that she married Richard in Essex England and their children were born in Hatford CT. There were 3 children from this marriage, Richard born between 1608-1612, James born 2/16/1617 and John born 2/16/1617.

Before we go further with this record do you see the glaring blunders?  They have the son marrying his mother! They also have his mother being born in America and then marrying the son back in England.

The son, Richard, of Richard and Frances  Slany  had 3 children, their mother unknown
Yet I find records saying that Frances Slany was the mother of these children!
James an unnamed daughter and John (my line) born 1649 who married Mary Benedict and then married Elizabeth Pardee Gregory. I have found records where all of the children from both marriages were mixed in together as well as records where one of the children was listed with the wrong mother.

I have found records where Eunice is listed as the daughter of Mary as well as Elizabeth. Now I need to go back to my resource records just to be sure that what my prior researchers found is indeed correct. To see with my own eyes the printed material they used to validate who’s daughter she really is.

If there are any other Olmstead/Olmsted researchers out here reading this article, I hope you will come forward and contact me so that we can work on some research together.
There is no way I am publishing any of my information on line until I am sure it is correct, at least in my own mind, and be willing to share it with the world.

Friday, April 1, 2011

FREE at Civil War Records

In case you have not heard of (is that possible?) and know that they have both a paid for subscription part as well as many records that you can get free of charge, be sure to go there and register!

The week of April 7th to April 14th is opening up their Civil War records along with Census reports from 1860 and 1870 to the general public. If you have not had the opportunity to locate those records or census reports before now, it is a great time to take advantage of this offer.

I would suggest that you go through all of your family surname records and write down every man and boy from the age of 14 on up who could have possibly participated in the Civil War. Even young boys went along to help the soldiers so don't discount the boys. Also make sure that you copy down the towns, or at least the areas where they lived at the time, which will assist you in knowing which regiment they may have been attached to.

Then plan on burning some midnight oil so that you can look them all up during this week.  Hopefully you will turn up lots of information to add to your files. 

Happy Hunting

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Walking In Their Shoes

I am so pleased to see how much the show Who Do You Think You Are? has spurred interest in so many people to begin, or continue, their quest to find their roots. The show makes it look so simple doesn’t it? Just plug information into and magically YOUR family appears!  In reality it isn’t that easy.  There are many features about that I like but please, please, please ( I can not stress this enough) don’t believe everything you read on there or other sites, such as World ,,, or Family  and others, as being the gospel truth! Records on those sites are all listed by people just like you and me, amateurs putting together their family history. Those sites do not go through and check each and every piece of information that is submitted to them. We are all prone to making mistakes. Now am I saying not to use these resources?  No, by all means  use them as reference material , just like you would anything else that you might find elsewhere on the internet. But then research and document it with proof to be sure it is indeed correct material to go with your own family genealogy.
Be sure that you start with what you know about your own family and work backwards.  I so hope that people are taking time to truly document their findings and making sure that they are indeed finding their own family! Now with that being said, I am going to tell you that sometimes rules are meant to be broken. I know, big contradiction to what I just told you isn’t it? Perhaps you know that your great great great grandfather was someone famous…. lets say like Daniel Boone, Walt Disney or Frank Lloyd Wright, these are all hypothetical by the way, but what if you know there is a connection, your family has told you that you are related. You have several generations in-between where you have a big gap. Since they are famous, you could take their descendant chart and work from them back through to where it meets up with yours. Just be sure that you are indeed correct by getting supporting documentation! Maybe you are not a direct descendant but a cousin several times removed, or a cousin by marriage, etc.

Let me give an example by telling you about what has happened in some lines of searching for my own family history. I have come across mix-ups in posting entire generations as being part of a family group when they were not part of the family at all, but because so many of the “names matched up” someone along the way decided they were indeed all of the same family. If they had really and truly paid attention and done their research, they would have found yes, indeed members of the families all seemed to name their children identical, but they were from two separate areas of New Jersey and Connecticut! I have one ancestor where we truly are not 100% about his wife or wives, but now there are several listings for him on and World Connect with each wife entered separately as his spouse!

I have come across women married to a man who were listed as his child and not his wife! Because someone didn’t take time to truly research and document, now it is out there on the internet and others continue to copy this information as if it is true when in reality it is not.

Because a father and a son both have the same name, and there is no JR after the son’s name, someone took it upon themselves to enter a tree where they combined them as one person, where as if they had paid attention to where they lived, who their wives were and their dates of birth and death, the error would never have been made. Now those of us who are true direct descendants of these men, have to go in and try and straighten out this mess so that records at D.A.R., S.A.R. and other organizations  can be corrected and taken off of dispute! 

So in your zest to locate your family’s ancestors and truly enjoy the adventure of finding them, be sure to:

 1. Document your sources be it birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, copies of land documents or gravestones (by the way I’ve seen some of these be spelled wrong and have incorrect dates) or if you are using family owned documents. Leave a good paper trail so others can follow in your footsteps and carry on when you have passed away.

2. Take time to find some books about the era and area where your ancestors lived and read up on what was going on in that time frame. Pay attention to the nationalities of the people who lived in the area, their religious affiliations, were there epidemics of illness which would wipe out families or communities. Were there Indian disputes which would cause people to migrate out of the area. Was there major crop failures, or perhaps they were in the middle of a battlefield area and had to evacuate.

3. Find maps from that time period, boundaries of cities, counties, states, and even countries have not always been as they are today. How do I know? Well, I found out the hard way that there were parts of Switzerland that were actually part of Germany at one point in time!

4. I know that there were census reports back to the 1790 period but be careful trying to understand them. The handwriting is often horrible, there are various spellings of names and instead of listing all the members of a family by name they are recorded by an age bracket. Also remember back in that time, there was a different calendar, many still used the Julian calendar, compared to the Gregorian calendar that we use today, which is going to throw your dates off.

5.Collaborate with other family members to try and find your ancestors. Reach out in your attempts to locate other branches of your family because they might have information to share that you don’t have and between all your efforts you can put together the puzzle of your family. Look for the ancestors of siblings of your relatives. They may be looking for you as well. For instance, go post on message boards, join Surname or Ethnic groups over at Yahoo and get acquainted. There is also a group called Brickwall at Yahoo that has some wonderfully talented researchers who are willing to give you assistance. If you are of Native American Indian descent, join one of the tribal groups on yahoo. The Cherokee board is very helpful, even if you are not Cherokee.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I don’t care if it is from another researcher on a website, maybe they don’t even happen to have the same surnames in their family but would be able to give you some good tips and advice. Ask a librarian at your local library because many of them are knowledgeable. Go to the local genealogy library in your town because many of the people who work in there have been doing research for years and years. Also you are always welcome at the local LDS Church library in your city. They certainly are not as large as the facility in Salt Lake City, but they do have resources there as well as they are able to order films from other locations for you to view. Again, the people who work in this library are also very knowledgeable.

7. “If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well” and doing it correctly. Even if you do publish information on any site or even on your own site and you have it open for public viewing, please be sure to let others know that “to the best of your ability you know this information is correct, but we are all open to human error, if you see something that you dispute, please contact me.”   Or write something to that effect. Also if you do not include information about where your sources of information have been gathered from, indicate you do have documents on file if they are interested or if you don’t have any, advise that also.

8. Now get started. Gather together some pedigree charts or get a genealogy program installed on your computer (there are some good ones that you pay for as well as some free ones), get a notebook or set up a section on your computer so that you can be ready to add some great stories about the different people in your family so that your ancestors come to life for others. There is nothing exciting about just seeing a family tree with lots of names and dates written down!

Happy Hunting!