Ancestry.com has again updated their DNA Results Summary. Sure, it’s only as accurate as the number of people who have tested. What my latest results tell me is that Ancestry has had a whole lot more Swedish, German and Slavs testing and not many Balkans.
I know this because the updated results show I am 42% Eastern European and Russian and 41% Germanic Europe.
In Ancestry’s last update, I was considered French; today I am of German ancestry.
My paternal line would not have thought much of that finding; with a name like Leininger they would have accepted the Germanic Europe as fact. The truth is more complex – the ancestors that were forgotten most likely would have been livid with the designation as they considered themselves French. My two times great grandmother was christened as Marie Marguerite not the Germanic Maria Margarette. Her spouse was christened Jean Leininger and not Johan. They resided in the Palatinate, the region that flipped several time between what is now Germany and France. They wisely spoke both French and German. Funny that the land has stopped switching but the ethnicity indicators haven’t. Ancestry would be smart to have a Palatine region noted instead of moving ethnicity results every update.
Interestingly, the results do include 5% of an ethnicity estimate as French and the region is the Riviera, where my Lamphere’s (Landfairs) did reside in the 1600’s prior to fleeing France for London and then Ireland and then Virginia. It appears they intermarried with relatives and others who fled with them and that is somewhat supported in that I now have no Irish identified. Well, that’s not quite true, either…
My Irish is encompassed under my Scottish designation.
I also find it interesting that I have Welsh separated from England (which encompasses Northwestern Europe now). I am most definitely Welsh with my people moving to Cheshire for a time. That is shown in the map, along with the northwest section of France. That is also correct as I have some William the Conqueror folks originating in that French region.
My maternal line, though, would have my grandmother in requesting her money back.
Family stories shared by my grandmother say her side moved to the what is now the outskirts of Zagreb, Croatia around the time of Christ because of overpopulation on the island to the south where they once resided. That would most likely have been Kos Island, part of Greece today. The now defunct National Geographic project did route my ancestry on that trail. Grandma said my grandfather’s people had already been in the Zagreb region when her people arrived and they had been Gypsies. National Geographic’s results showed that, too. Using records, I can show that my maternal line was in the Zagreb region as far back as the 1600’s. Based on a title the family was awarded, I can show some were in the region as early as the 1100’s. For 900 years, they resided in a small area in what is now known as Croatia. According to Ancestry, I’m 3% Balkan.
Explaining to my grandmother how Ancestry obtains their results would have been maddening. I’m sure some of you are going to have to try with an older relative. I send you good thoughts in doing that!
I am quite impressed, though, with Ancestry and their Swedish results. Look above as I have shown how Southern Sweden is shown by region. I have worked very hard to get most of my husband’s Swedish lines identified and they are from the area Ancestry identified. I’m looking forward to someday seeing a trend like this for my other ethnicities.
Ancestry has also released a section called StoryScout. It’s housed under DNA and includes information that you may have provided in a tree. I didn’t spend much time on this but I did take a look and it reminded me of something that is important to do and I honestly fail at it.
The section is based on census and military records from the 20th century. Sure, I’ve saved those records to my ancestors 20 plus years ago. I know where they lived, who they lived with, blah blah blah. What gave me pause, however, was that it correctly showed my maternal grandfather and noted that his income was nearly twice that of an average man at the time. He made $1400.00 per year when the average was in the mid $700.00’s. Wow. This explained to me why my immigrant family could afford a car in the 1920’s, a phone in the 1930’s, travel to California in the 1940’s and to Europe in the ’60’s. Now I understand why grandma, when babysitting me, would drag me to the nice stores and dress shops and had her hair done each week. Duh! They never flaunted their wealth and dutifully shipped supplies several times a year back to the old country. Thanks, Ancestry, for taking one small data point in the census and giving me an insight I hadn’t he thought about. Try it, it might work for you, too.
Enter your email address on the page and click pwned?
I have several email accounts and I entered all of them to check. I was surprised to find that one had been breached. It was a government site from last summer that I use for genealogy research. I changed the password on that site and just to be more secure, changed my email password.
While changing my password I had another “Aha!” moment; I never took the time to really check out my email Security settings. The devices I have connected to the email are shown but I had to pause at the Third-party apps with account access. My bad for not reading the small print and clicking “I accept” when visiting an organization’s website! I had given permission unknowingly to two retail organizations to have access to my calendar and contacts. It was quite easy to disable that! I’ve begun my holiday shopping so after I’m done, I plan on rechecking my email account to see if I somehow give permission for access that is unwarranted.
Just like covid, behind the scene activity to your tech tools can maliciously effect you! Take a few minutes to check it out and stay safe!
I haven’t used Evernote in awhile, so imagine my surprise this morning to receive an email that someone with a Mac in India signed on to my account 7 hours earlier. Definitely wasn’t me or anyone I know!
Being somewhat paranoid, I tend to not click on links sent to me in emails. Instead, I used my current Kindle to go directly to Evernote online as I haven’t downloaded the ap to that Kindle.
Another surprise – I was unable to disable the device as my account was accessible only from the Kindle that I had the ap downloaded to. I’m really not understanding that since the hacker didn’t have the Kindle with the ap on it! Unfortunately, I’m not tech savy enough to figure out how to access my account on a different device so I then spent time on a Kindle hunt to find the device with the ap.
Took me a few minutes to figure out where the old Kindle was and to fire it up. After getting through the ad to purchase more Evernote services, I clicked on Settings and Devices. Sure enough, there was the hacker’s device. Clicking “disable” hopefully blocked the hacker from having some afternoon fun with my account.
The hacker didn’t find anything useful as after taking notes, I transfer them to whatever computer I’m using as soon as I’m done with a meeting or archive visit. I keep nothing on Evernote. That practice wasn’t established because I didn’t trust Evernote to keep my documents safe; it was my process to use Evernote in settings that aren’t conducive to paper and pens/pencils, such as in a library stack or outside at a cemetery with the wind blowing. Now I’m glad that was how I used the ap!
I decided it would be wise to change my password. I’m a little miffed with Evernote as you cannot easily do that. The directions online say to go to Account Settings and click Security Summary. I don’t have that, possibly because I never purchased an updgrade package. My only option to update a password is to email them and then they send me an email and then I go back to their site and change the password. All this for a device I don’t even use any longer.
So, adieu, Evernote. I’ve uninstalled the ap on the old Kindle after clearing the cache and signing out of the account. I won’t be downloading it to my new one, either. When the pandemics over I’ll be using the note ap on my cell instead.
With only 3 days left before Ancestry.com pulls the plug on your access to old messages sent to you in their system, you’ll need to follow the instructions below soon or your old correspondence will be lost.
It’s quick and easy but times a wastin’!
First, after logging in, click on the envelope icon on the right side ribbon next to your sign on.
Next, you’ll see swirling circles while the page loads. On the bottom left the following message will be displayed:
Click the green button “Download Folders” It doesn’t take long. Underneath the button your messages will be downloaded to your computer as a zip file:
Clicking the zip file will display any folders you may have created to save correspondence. Mine looks like this:
It is saved to your computer’s download file. Go to the Download Folder on your computer, find the file and drag it to where you want to save it. For the purpose of this blog, I just moved it to my desktop but will be placing it in a Cloud.
To view a message, simply click on it. In the Baines folder, the message will be saved to look as follows:
Yes, just like the comedian “Mr. Bean,” I have Beans in my family!
This simple task will take you less than 5 minutes. Why would you not want to save information from far flung family members? It’s also a good way to go back through old correspondence as a missed clue may be unveiled. Many of my messages contain email addresses and if I haven’t written to the individual in awhile, I might not be able to locate the address quickly if I need to in the future. Since you just never know where genealogy is going to take you, I’d rather be safe then sorry by saving the data today.
Today’s blog is not about genealogy so you can stop reading now if that is your interest Instead, it is my take on the current state of the educational environment. I am writing this because I am furious. Our today becomes tomorrow’s history; I want the future to learn from the past.
I missed writing last week as I was consumed with my newly designated title of ESSENTIAL WORKER and due to the lack of communication, cooperation and consistency in government policy, was working 16.5 hour days with no compensation for the overtime or weekend work so that children can go back to school and die alongside their teachers. It makes my heart break.
My long time readers know I try very hard to not to be political in my weekly blog. I understand bureaucracy moves slowly. I respect free speech and differences in opinion. I have been an educator since 1977. I did not choose that career to get rich or for the summers off (we don’t get paid and we work most of the summer unpaid planning and taking training).
That said, I will not stand by silently when peoples’ lives are needlessly risked. Don’t believe it (like one of my neighbors who insists there is no reason to wear a mask), here’s the facts – a 6-year old girl died Monday of covid in the same school district that the person WITH NO BACKGROUND IN EDUCATION who is UNELECTED but APPOINTED by the governor and who, like those currently tweeting that the virus will magically go away, refused to allow the school district where this child died to deliver educational services for an additional 3 weeks online because “Step aside, folks, there is nothing to see here!” These bullies threatened to withhold all state funding if school does not resume with a brick and mortar, aka traditional, model by the end of August.
Due to the wavering decisions and the utter lack of concern for children, their families and the public school staff, I, along with my colleagues across the country, have worked tirelessly to try to make the smallest classes possible for social distancing and to quickly trace students from period to period WHEN THE VIRUS ATTACKS. This is not an IF, this is most definitely a WILL.
For those that don’t believe that, here’s the truth…in my small school that opened to teachers only 3 weeks ago, we have already had 1 teacher with a covid diagnosis in the second week. At my previous school, in the same time period, with about the same number of staff, they’ve had two. My husband’s school has had two since April, one in the last two weeks. If you have this many infections with educated adults all wearing masks and social distancing, using hand sanitizer and washing their hands well, you don’t think you’re going to have a problem when the students return?! Think of yourself as a kid. Instead of playing cooties the elementary kids will be playing covid. Middle schoolers can not stay out of each others faces and forget social distancing with high school and college – they are huggers! The children are doing developmentally what is normal but these times are not. If we can’t save them from themselves their is blood on all of our hands.
I am outraged at the system that allowed this to happen I also question how a teacher became an essential worker in the last week. If that’s the case, why do we close schools for weather problems?
Just come out and tell us how many in power view our role – you want cheap childcare and if you lose a few, well, that’s life! You never cared about educating children before; if you had, you would have funded us adequately so the little darlings didn’t have to go door to door selling overpriced junk. My husband and I wouldn’t have had to spend our own money for years on items our students needed. If the value of education was really a priority there would be no threats to withhold funding. I am so sick of the lies.
If I read one more article or hear one more news story about teachers being happy to return to school this fall I’m going to scream. NO THEY AREN’T. Like the rest of humanity, they long for the good ole days, last seen this past February, when they could make a difference face-to-face with their students. Those days are gone for now and what is needed more than anything else is prioritizing life over what once was.
If everyone had done what was the right thing to do we wouldn’t be faced with this problem today. Children wouldn’t be dying. Those kids that return to school and live through this will not have to have the burden for the remainder of their lives of knowing they brought home an illness that killed their family. They won’t have to face the grief at the loss of their beloved teacher. This madness can be halted and I’m praying someone, somewhere has the power and the sense to do the right thing.
I’m also sick of hearing about students falling educationally behind. Here’s a quick and simple solution for that – just have everyone attend year round once the virus is behind us. Cut out the electives for the summer term and just teach the basics. Duh! If we can have students skip a grade then the whole issue of learning loss is a moot point anyway. Studies have shown that students who do not start school until age 8 can compete academically in a short time. Funny how our leaders, and I use that term loosely, pointed to Nordic countries who kept schools open last spring as what we should do. Those are the same countries with well funded educational systems that don’t have young children in formal education. They have physicians and dentists available for the children. Heck, I can’t even get Walmart to donate free eyeglasses to my needy kids anymore. So again, I ask, if education is so vital, then why are the basics not provided for our children?
No electronics in the home? Seriously, except for the last two generations NO ONE WAS EDUCATED BY USING THE INTERNET. Here’s a novel solution – have local districts pay the local newspaper for a subscription for every family. The lessons can be incorporated in the newspaper. It’s delivered daily to the family’s door. You’re developing a generation who will learn more about their community and the world. They are practicing reading and math by analyzing the charts and graphs. Vocabulary is enriched. You’re insuring that the press remains a vital and important partner in the community. Why are we not doing this? As much money as schools saved on paper and ink they can certainly afford to purchase a year newspaper subscription for their students. Actually, in my community, the newspaper is already free electronically for our students. If schools wanted to save even more money, they would just need to purchase a paper edition for those that don’t have electronics.
I am fortunate to be able to be eLearning but several of my fellow teachers were not granted the same privilege I was, even though several has serious medical conditions and two are still recovering from covid’s long lasting side effects.
If you have taken the time to read this I want to thank you. Send good thoughts or pray or whatever you believe in because my colleagues, my students, their families and the greater community needs all the help it can get.
I’ve been consumed with my Hollingsheads for the last two months so I’ve not blogged about a few awesome resources I’ve come across that may benefit you. Some are free, some are not. Here they are:
MyHeritage Photo Enhancer is a wonderful tool not just to fix blurry photos but also get a better view of fuzzy documents. I tried this out in June when I was having difficulty transcribing handwriting from a Quaker document. I also tried it on an extremely blurry group photo I had of my husband’s Harbaughs but the original photo was too small so it didn’t work well. You can read more about this here.
New York Genealogical and Biographical Society began Beta testing in March their new online collections. I was not a participant due to other commitments though I did use it briefly in June and July when I was in need of New York records. Here’s more info about the update.
Want to attend a training/conference/Zoom/GoToMeeting, etc. session but know you’re not available at the day/time it’s being presented? No worries – most organizations will record and make the session available for viewing later. Go ahead and sign up anyway. You’ll probably get an email with a link to view later. I had to miss an APG Virtual Chapter meeting in June and an American Ancestors class in July but was able to watch what I missed at my convenience later. So, go ahead and sign up for the event even if you can’t attend!
Academia.edu is a new tool in my toolbox and I honestly couldn’t have analyzed my Hollingsheads in Barbados as I did without it! There is a membership fee, ballpark about $50 annually, that I’ve more than gotten my money’s worth in the last two months. The site allows you access to unlimited journal articles and papers by educators on a wide variety of topics. I selected history and the Caribbean in particular to learn more about the time period I was researching (1650-1750). That allowed me access to archaeological studies recently done to gain a better perspective of what life was like then, historical works revisited (so I could easily find primary sources), and opportunity to contact social scientists with questions directly. The site is not just for history enthusiasts but that’s the only part I’ve used. Membership also provides you your own website, which I have not set up since I already have my own, but it’s a nice feature and looks like it’s quick and easy to use if you’re new to webdesign. If you’ve used JStor, this is similar but I’ve found that it contains more info if you’re focusing on a sliver of time and place.
Don’t forget YouTube and your local Genealogy Society! I recently watched a wonderful video about River Pirates. I had no idea there was such a thing in the Midwest, nor was I aware of some of the terror that reigned in small communities due to deranged families. It also never occurred to me that there was poor workmanship back in those days that resulted in lives and supplies being lost. I heard about the topic from my local genealogy society; one of the member’s brother was the speaker and I’m so glad I viewed it. Hubby and I went to school in Indiana and that topic was never addressed in the curriculum!
Last but not least, and probably more important than everything mentioned – if you haven’t noticed Ancestry.com has updated their messaging system. Gone are the folders you may have previously used to save correspondence with other members. You can download it so you don’t lose anything. I strongly urge you to do so TODAY as it will be gone this month. I don’t know what they did yesterday but I had 11 messages. I had recently reached out to several folks who had some Hollingsheads in their trees but it wasn’t 11. In reviewing the messages, I discovered most were not new (9) and the two that were were old – one was from November 2019 and the other from June 24, 2020. Guess they got lost in cyberspace but it did make me look bad as I try to respond within 48 hours! Check out this feature to see if the update they did before dawn’s early light this past week affected your messages.
Ever wonder what happened to an object that was once held in high regard in your family but has since disappeared? Maybe you aren’t sure if there ever was such an item but you’d like to explore the possibility. This blog is for you… When I began internet genealogy back in the 1990’s we still had dial up service. Remember that? Going through your home phone line to connect resulted in no one being able to get a phone call while someone was surfing. With all the junk calls I get daily, I’m thinking that wasn’t such a bad option, but I digress. Back then, my husband would joke that it was okay he couldn’t make a phone call because I was hunting down the family jewels. Clearly, our families never had much jewels but I did wonder whatever became of the muskets or hoop skirts or Bibles. Most likely, the muskets broke and when the hoop skirts were no longer haute couture they were either repurposed or trashed. The Bibles, however, never went out of style so what happened to them? Your first step in locating the long lost item is to research if it ever was. Start by asking your oldest living relative. I know that no Bible was brought from the old country by my maternal side because I asked my grandparents, who were the gateways, if they brought it with them. Both said they brought one suitcase filled with clothes. Case closed, pun intended! I never asked my paternal grandparents that question, though, because my grandmother died when I was a child and my grandfather remarried, moved away and we never had contact again. My father then became the oldest relative and his reply was, “You’ll get the book when I die.” Huh? I questioned further and he meant there was a family history book that had been written in the 1970’s and he intended for me to have it. Except that didn’t happen. Since my step-mother would not give it to me, my second step became casting a wider net. I had two aunts but neither responded to a letter I wrote (this was before wide use of email) so I posted on a genealogy website that I was looking for a copy. Two people responded that they had copies and provided me a look up. One even reached out to the author who was living in Europe and he sent me an electronic database of his book. Today, you can easily accomplish this by messaging distant family members who have online trees that contain the ancestor whose information you’re seeking or you can check worldcat, Google Books, Hathi Trust, Internet Archives and Archive Grid to see if the whereabouts of what you’re hunting is listed there. Facebooks’ Family Treasures Found would be another site to check. One of my aunts eventually responded and sent me her copy. Patience is key here for lots of reasons; perhaps the site you messaged isn’t used much by the recipient or life just happened to get in the way. In my case, my Aunt wanted to check with her two daughters to make sure they had no interest in the book. They didn’t so that’s how I ended up with a copy. Actually, I ended up with two copies because my step-mother took pity on me after my mother died and gave me the book. So now, I have two – one for each of my kids or for another family member that may sometime in the future contact me with the same request. Getting the information through look up was wonderful, however, if what you’re seeking is a one of a kind item then this approach may get you closer but not really fill your need. Step 3 will save you time and it’s quite simple – just go online and research if what you’re seeking is documented to have existed and if so, when and where was it’s last location. If you’re following me, you know that I’ve been working all summer on my Hollingshead line. In my research to verify the identify of Daniel Hollingshead in three locations (England, Barbados, New Jersey Colony) I looked everywhere online and emailed numerous archives to check for information that hasn’t been digitized. It was during the online portion of the research that I discovered Daniel had brought a Bible with him from England as it was noted in old biographical books highlighting descendants in the late 1800’s. To aid in keeping the whereabouts of the Bible’s locations known, I went to Step 4, I created a timeline. For simplicity here, I’m not including the source citations but my timeline in Excel notes exactly where the information came from so I can analyze it later: 1683 Leicestershire, England – Daniel’s birth as reported in 5 books (1965, 1911, 1900, 1886, 1882) Lancashire, England – Daniel’s birth place as reported in 2 books (1870 & 1857)1686 Leicestershire, England – Christening record for the 2nd Daniel born (1st Daniel 1679-1685)1688 Bible printed in Oxford, England You can clearly see the problem with the conflicting place and dates. Further research shows no Daniels born in Lancashire during this period. Only two Daniels were born in Leicestershire during this time, both to the same parents. Probably every book is wrong with the birth year as there would be no reason for the family to name a 2nd child Daniel until the first one was deceased. Yes, some families do that but this line hasn’t shown that to be the case although they often reuse names when a child dies. More likely, Daniel 2 was born between 1685 (1st Daniel’s death) and 1686 (christening record). Typically infants are baptized soon after birth but that might not have been the case. A family member may have seen the 1683 recorded but was really written was a sloppy last digit that should have been a 5. Here’s another problem the timeline unveils – the published date of the Bible would be AFTER Daniel’s birth, no matter what year is correct. Still, I want to locate it as it would hopefully confirm the birth location and would have been the next closest document made to Daniel’s real date of birth. Here’s the next problem – The Bible mentioned in some of the books state that Daniel brought the Bible with him when he came to New Jersey. I need more info to further develop the timeline. If you’re wondering why I would need to know where the Bible was kept that long ago it’s simply because if it is found, I need to understand how it was passed along. Since I don’t know if the Bible contains any genealogical information as many Bibles exist and families don’t record vitals in them, I need to know where it’s been so I can validate the information it contains, if any. Ship manifests haven’t been found for him so it’s not known exactly when Daniel emigrated. The books mention he, along with several brothers, were in the Battle of Blenheim. So, did Daniel take the Bible with him in battle (August 1704)? No clues there. Did Daniel return to England after the battle? Don’t know! At the time of the battle Daniel was not the oldest son so the Bible would have likely been in the possession of a brother who died in battle. If the Bible had been brought to Blenheim, Daniel would have assumed ownership of it at that time. It’s probable he did return to England after the battle and took the Bible with him when he decided he was permanently leaving England so that would have been between 1705-1711. The last date is when his first child was born in Barbados; since he met his wife in Barbados he probably arrived between 1705-1710. So my timeline continues: 1705 Battle of Blenheim (now Germany)1711 Daughter born in Barbados1714 Wife dies in Barbados1715 Daniel listed in Barbados census1716 Daniel remarries in Barbados1717 Daniel purchases land in New Jersey Colony1717-1718 Two children born to second union in Barbados1721 Beginning of numerous land sales in New Jersey Colony1730 Daniel dies intestate in Somerset, New Jersey Colony Step 5: To determine where the Bible went after Daniel’s death is to expand the tree to include all of Daniel’s children from both of his marriages. You also must keep in mind customs from the time period. Understanding how the family thinks is key to finding the current location of the item. My line follows Daniel’s first child, Mary. She would not have inherited the Bible for several reasons – she was from the first union and she was a female. Clearly she was not a favored child by her step mother as she was not named in the will. Daniel had older sisters in England so if the family was unconventional for the times, an older sister and not Daniel would have kept the Bible after the oldest sibling died. I know that Mary did not have the Bible as there was no documentation found in her line to ever note she had it. There is no documentation that any of the female children ever had it. Daniel’s eldest son, the second child, would seem the person to have inherited it but that does not seem to be the case. Numerous books and documents show that Francis did, as the oldest male, manage the assets after Daniel died intestate and quickly lost them. From the will of Thomasin, Daniel’s second wife, she acknowledges his ineptitude by naming one of her youngest daughter’s as administrator to her estate and gives each of her adult children only a shilling. Her manumitted slaves receive most of the proceeds from the remaining estate. You may think that the administrator would have received the Bible, since she was given the responsible task of handling the final paperwork, however, she had married late in life and had no children so she did not get the Bible. Two of Daniel’s male sons had died before his second wife. They had no children so we can eliminate them from the hunt. That leaves one line – 6th child, 3rd son William. Oh joy, William had 9 children. This may seem overwhelming but following what we know – most likely to be passed to a MALE with CHILDREN, we can quickly eliminate who got it. It appears that son James inherited it as books from 1882 & 1886 state his son, Stroud Jacob’s wife, had the Bible in her possession after Stroud died, along with “old family papers.” So now I want to find both the Bible and the papers. First, I want to understand why Stroud had the Bible. He was the third son and fourth child. The eldest died with no children, we can skip the female (sigh) and the next son left to go out west and never married. Makes sense why Stroud would have it. Fast forward to 1900 when the Bible was known to be in the possession of one of Stroud’s grandchildren, a Jeannette Jackson. WOW! How did a female get so lucky? Times were a changing and it seems everyone of the now fewer children got something. Harriet, the oldest, had died but her oldest daughter was Jeannette who got the Bible. Stroud’s second child had died childless. The third child, James’ son received a breast pin that was passed down to Edgar Pinchot Hollingshead. The eldest, a daughter, received a painting on ivory of one of Daniel’s sons, William (same line). Now this should be easy, right?! 1900 wasn’t that long ago and so we just need to track Jeannette and we’ve found the Bible. Not so fast…Jeannette died unmarried and childless in 1923. Two brothers predeceased her. Her sister married but had no children. Now we’re at a dead end. Not! STEP 6 is to research further in new areas. Since we’re looking for a record from less than the last 100 years newspapers are the way to go. Thanks to a “cousin” helping me with the search, a record was found in a Pennsylvania paper (and the Bible came to New Jersey first, remember!) that said an Elizabeth Malvern Hollingshead was going to “loan” the Bible to a local historical society in 1924 for an event that was to be held. Loan is the key word here but still, I reached out to the historical society to see if a) they still have it on loan or b) they reborrowed it sometime since and know where it is. Alas, they do not but they do have the “old family papers.” Bingo! I’ve at least traced part of the missing items. I’m awaiting their lookup for confirmation of vitals. Now it’s time to go back to Step 5 and trace Elizabeth’s line to the present. That was done and the most likely candidate was emailed at his work email. He hasn’t responded. I know he’s reading his work email because it was an interesting system – it notified me that he had been on the site the previous day to my email. Finding a long lost heirloom is a matter of patience and persistence. Keep notes, enlist others to lighten the load and you will hopefully find what you seek. Happy Hunting!
As genealogists, we are used to spending our days looking at old documents, reading up on events that happened long ago and trying to put our “head” into the times that were so we can better understand when we analyze our findings. We don’t dwell much on the fact that every day we are all making our own history. I haven’t read anywhere a recent personal finding I discovered so I’m putting it out here now… As a blogger I get A LOT of spam, I’m not talking the pork based product – I don’t do sales pitches! I’m referring to the internet type. You don’t see it because of the filters I constantly update to insure that the junk doesn’t get through to impact your experience or worse, infect your device. In a typical pre-pandemic week, I got over a thousand spam hits easily, often closer to two thousand on each of my sites (my website and Blogger). Since the pandemic, the amount has fluctuated over the months. When various countries reopened the spam increased; as they shut down again it decreased. The majority in the past was from China and Eastern Europe. How do I know that? Because it wasn’t in English. I suppose someone who speaks English could have been using Google Translate to fake a hit but I’m not sure how likely that would have been. Since May, my spam has been two-thirds in English based on my unscientific analysis. I’m basing the one third on the incorrect English word choices that are being used. (Hint to Russia and China Spammers: We really don’t say ‘that cool’ much anymore). In the past, the spam consisted about half regarding dating, a quarter for obtaining cheap medicines and a quarter claiming my blog was the best ever and directing readers to a link for purchase of a product that had nothing to do with genealogy. Interestingly, the medical links are now scant. The dating has turned hardcore and blunt. The majority is product links. My take is spammers are focusing on frustrated people and are trying to make a fast buck. Just like elective medical procedures taking a back seat, so are sales of pharmaceuticals. Last night I got a late email selling Halloween costumes. I was flummoxed! My first thought, was this couldn’t be serious – who is thinking of Halloween when nearly each day of 2020 has been a horror and we’re stuck in a perpetual Ground Hog’s Day. Then I thought, maybe it’s a message of hope to return to what we used to take for granted – normal times. I don’t know what the motivation was to send an email late on a Friday evening for a holiday that may or maybe not be celebrated in three months but it did give me pause. Based on my spam and email type and amount, we’re a long way from “normal.” What does this have to do with genealogy? Everything! Our times are historical and the stresses we humans are under right now impact the choices and decisions we make. This data analysis shows insight on the conditions of our times. IMHO, with the utter chaos that greets us daily, what should become a priority is responsibility and obligations to community to insure the well being of all. I’m seeing so much of that in the genealogy community and not so much in other groups in which we belong. History will be the judge of how we, as a society, have handled the numerous crises that have befallen us in the first half of 2020. I’m looking forward, not to Halloween or Thanksgiving or Christmas, but for a turn around of hearts so that we can move forward together for a better future. Today, I’m going back to my tree to work on my long dead people who have faced their own tragedies and rose to the occasion. I want to follow in those footstep. Perhaps your ancestors will help guide you in dealing with these troubling times. All the best!
I am pleased to announce that I have linked my Daniel Hollingshead to the Hollinshead family in the New Jersey Colony! If you’re a Genealogy At Heart follower, you’ve experienced (remotely) the twists and turns of this family saga, along with the intermarriages with the Duers, who have their own family drama. Upfront, I want to apologize for the length of this blog, please bear with me!
I’ve written frequently about the odd happenings that occur when I research these lines that I can’t explain. As blog follower Linda Shufflebean commented on Synchronocity and my Roots “I love Hank Jones’s Psychic Roots series – I’m even mentioned with my own weird experiences. I think the ancestors are up there pointing the way for us at times.” I so agree, Linda!
If you’re a new reader and have no idea what I’m talking about or you need a refresh, you can read some of the backstory here, here and here. The ancestors may be giving us a nudge from beyond but it’s up to us to take that tidbit and go with it. It’s also about connections in the here and now. Today, I want to give a shout out to some very special people who went above and beyond to answer my questions, give me suggestions or furnish a copy of a paper document that hasn’t been digitized. None of them had to do this, especially not during these difficult times.
I realize my requests were not important to anyone but me and a few descendants of the Hollingsheads. When the world is falling apart, finding a source in a locked archive is definitely a low priority. Regardless, the following folks stepped up and helped me and I am so very grateful for their positive character, work ethic and dedication. What I’ve learned from them can help every genealogist be better! The list is in alpha order by first name as they all are equally important:
BARB WALKER TERRONES, Ancestry.com Tree Owner Have you ever messaged someone about more info on Ancestry and never gotten a response? Duh, every genealogist has! Barb is not one of those people who never respond. In fact, Barb, who has a private tree, not only quickly responded she volunteered to help me find the missing Hollingshead Bible that Daniel brought with him when he left England about 1704. Barb would be my 7 times removed step cousin. Regardless of being that distant, Barb stopped her own research to help me and shared what she found. Barb, I thank you for your quick replies and I know we’re going to find that Bible someday. Please continue to keep me in the loop of what you discover as I’ll do the same.
BRYAN MULCAHY, Reference Librarian Ft. Myers Regional Library Nothing like needing to find a 300 year old will transcription that’s not online and was made out of the country. Even in normal times it’s a feat. The volume I needed was 140 miles from my home. Back in the day, I would have requested it be sent to my local library or perhaps I would have even made the drive because I love Ft. Myers but now, those options weren’t possible. I completed the form filler request Ask a Librarian and Bryan responded within two hours with a scan of what I needed. Bryan, you are awesome! Your information helped me trace extended family and led me to further documents that I would no way have known existed if I hadn’t uncovered the relationships that were mentioned in the will you provided. My deepest appreciation to you!
ELIZABETH PEARSON, British Genealogist I’ve attended lectures Liz has given locally a few times and have always been impressed with her wealth of knowledge. The area and locations I was researching are not in my comfort zone so I contacted Liz for direction. Liz gave me insight into British world view from the time period, reminded me of boundary changes, and provided me recommendations and direction. Liz, I cannot thank you enough for your help. Your insights helped me understand what I was discovering and your recommended methodology was what cracked the case! Tracking Daniel’s relatives was definitely the direction to go.
GAYLE MARTINSON, Reference Librarian, Wisconsin Historical Society Nothing like needing to review a collection of family information (circa 1800) from South Carolina that was donated to a historical society in Wisconsin when I could not possibly travel from Florida to review the information. Add that the organization was closed and that the automatic reply I received when I inquired about availability said it would be at least 12 weeks before I could get a response. I told myself, what’s 3 more months as the man I’m researching has been dead for nearly 300 years so patience, Lori, patience. I was so pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Gayle the next day asking for more information about my request. She placed me in the queue and was responsible for someone to go into a locked archive to look for a manuscript last cited in 1853. Unbelievable to me, not only was this accomplished, a scan of what I needed was emailed to me at 5:11 PM a few days after my request was made. In these difficult times, I am in awe of this librarian taking my request seriously and getting me answers to my questions so expediently. Gayle is a tremendous asset to her organization and I hope they realize how fortunate they are to have her on staff. Thanks, Gayle!
GUY GRANNUR, Archivist with the National Archives of Great Britain I have zero experience with the record sets in Guy’s archive. Guy was the presenter of the online class last month called Caribbean Connections and I couldn’t have been happier with his presentation that I needed. After his conclusion, he responded to questions via the chat box and he was most helpful. His expertise enabled me to find a connection on another site mentioned to show that a close relative of Daniel had gone to Barbados in 1690. Who knew?! Well, those that did know are all dead but because of that record I had my “Caribbean Connection.” Thanks, Guy, for your interesting and informative presentation.
HULYA TASCI-HART, Translator What can I say about a multi lingual educator who is so dedicated that she’ll stop what she’s doing to translate from English to German for me in seconds?! This smart workaholic took the time to clarify what I meant so that she could be as accurate as possible with the translation. Now I know you’re wondering, why would I need a German translation when I was researching England, Barbados and New Jersey. It appears that my Daniel served in the Battle of Blenheim in August 1704, along with his unnamed brothers. No records exist in the British Archives so I decided to see if there were any records left near Blenheim aka Blindheim, a Bavarian village where the battle was fought. I reached out to Hulya to translate my request and she came through as always. I so greatly appreciate Hulya, not only as a genealogist but as an educator.
JIM LYNCH, Caribbeanavenue.com I always seem to find what I need in a place my ancestor never lived and it has happened again! Jim Webster had used a resource he owns, the 1715 Barbados census, to help me pinpoint where my family was living on the island. I have been in search of that information for YEARS! I’ve reached out to many and no one ever told me that the information was published in a 1980 book. I had to have a copy! Jim Webster linked me to Jim Lynch who responded to a form filler I completed almost instantly. It was a Saturday and Jim mailed the book early Monday morning when the post office reopened. It’s probably stuck in customs but I’m eagerly anticipating its arrival. If you are doing Barbados research you must have this important work. All it takes is contacting Jim for a copy – he uses PayPal. Jim, thanks so much for answering my questions on a weekend and being so prompt in responding to my request. I’m impressed with your business ethics!
JIM WEBSTER of BajanThings.com If you’re researching Barbados this is a site you need to explore. I was confused when I found a sugar planter listed in 1680 and 1715 with a similar name to what I was researching and questioned if it had been mistranscribed. Jim responded in minutes to a contact form I filled out on the website. Seriously, who does that?! I’m so glad Jim does because he shared his knowledge and pointed me to where I could find a 1615 census of the island (none online!). Jim, because of you, I discovered that my Mary was being cared for by her aunt after her mother’s death and my Daniel was living separately with an 18 year old youth. I’m still trying to determine who that might be. Thank you so much for your dedication to Barbados history.
KAREN STOKES, South Carolina Historical Society What to do when you need to check a reference and it’s no where?! Beating your head on the desk is not the answer. Turning to Worldcat, I located a copy of Richard Yeardon’s History of the Circular Church in South Carolina. Why would I need that when my Daniel was never in South Carolina? Yeardon was a source for a bio on Daniel’s grandson, William, who was a Presbyterian minister in South Carolina after the Revolution, according to a William B. Sprague (1857). Sprague cited Yeardon so I needed to find where Yeardon got his info. A day after my request, Karen responded that she had looked through the book and no reference was given. In fact, there was no information about the family at all in the book. Karen, I greatly appreciate your checking the source and recommending that I look at another work by a different author, David Ramsay, who Yeardon extensively quoted. You were unaware that I had already reached out to another archive to check Ramsay’s notes. This speaks volumes about your knowledge of research process as you would have no way known what the other obscure sources were pointing toward. Kudos to you!
PAUL DAVIS, Collections and Research Assistant, Historical Society of Princeton I was looking for a reference made to confirm my Daniel was a pioneer in Princeton, New Jersey. Everything I had found at that point was for other areas. Although Paul couldn’t enter the locked society, he made great suggestions and provided links for me to check out. Thanks, Paul, I appreciate the direction you provided; you were very helpful.
TOM DREYER, NEHGS genealogist In Boston, during a pandemic, Tom found a book on a shelf in a closed archive and provided me the information I was seeking. Seriously, I am overwhelmed by this man’s dedication to a fellow genealogist. We discovered that I’m distantly related to his wife who is from the New York Duer family while I’m from the New Jersey Duer line. I love the reminder that we are all connected – we’re all family. Tom, next month when I get my first paycheck, I’m making a donation to your organization of which I am a member in your name. The document you supplied was vital as it was the missing link to connecting a newer and older source. Thank you!
TODD THULL, Ancestry.com Tree Owner Like Barb, Todd responded to a message I sent him about a document he had posted about his Hollinshead line. I was trying to locate a copy that I couldn’t find online. Todd responded quickly and lo and behold! it was online although the copy was incomplete. As could only happen with this family, the paragraph I needed was the last paragraph showing on the scanned book. I don’t even know how that’s possible! Thanks, Todd, for helping me link my line to yours. I will be sending you a copy of my paper so you can see how the Quaker Hollinsheads are related to the Church of England Hollingsheads. I couldn’t have made the connection without your wonderfully sourced online tree.
VICKIE URBAN, Ancestry.com Tree Owner I have consulted with Vickie over the years as we are Duer cousins and I greatly appreciate that she ALWAYS uses sources on her tree. She shares her findings and always responds to messages. Thanks, Cuz, you are most appreciated!
Last but not least, my wonderful family who puts up with my obsession. None of them have been bitten by the genealogy bug, yet they put up with me and in their own way, try to relate to my interest. My husband, bless him, even attempted to do some online research for me and help me decipher handwriting from the 1600s as I was transcribing. My son suggested I watch an episode of the Sarah Connor Chronicles that might help me with a research path. My daughter who listened attentively while I drone on about my findings. Both my kids risk their lives daily trying to put an end to this awful disease and make the world a better place. For them to care about my finding a christening record from 1686 is touching to me. Thanks guys, all my love!
Yep, it’s all about love and connections. In these crazy times I think it’s more important than ever to share some love so this week, thank someone who helped you with your research. They deserve the recognition and appreciation. Stay safe and happy hunting!
It’s Independence Day here in the U.S. and this one will be like none I’ve previously spent. Got a 3 part text from the Surgeon General of our state notifying us to “Avoid the 3 Cs Closed Spaces, Crowded Places & Close-Contact Settings.” Kind of catchy! Later that day, the bureaucrats came out stating the typical spin that this will poof be gone so no worries. The disconnect would be funny if it wasn’t so sad for the millions who are suffering because of the disease or its side effects, such as unemployment, eviction, food shortage, and so on. We plan on staying home and hubby has ventured out to the grocery store WITH HIS MASK to get our traditional picnic dinner that we usually have with family in the park right before the fireworks display. This year, we’re eating it for lunch in our backyard on a quilt our daughter made to commemorate the times. We’ll use the quilt every year from now on and perhaps next year will be different, perhaps not. Like the immortal lyrics sung by Janis Joplin, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” My family and I realize how privileged we are and this temporary loss of our freedoms to go where we want with no restrictions is a small price to pay to insure our community stays safe. Others aren’t so fortunate now or in the past. The past week I have been heavily into researching my Daniel Hollin[g]shead to prove or disprove he was the only Daniel from Leicestershire, England that went to Barbados and became a real estate mogul in the Eastern New Jersey colonies. I’m at the point I can say I have strong evidence but I want to make sure I haven’t made an error somewhere so I await a few more documents to examine. Those records – the Bible he brought with him from England, a manuscript donated by family of a Presbyterian minister in South Carolina to an archive in Wisconsin, and a list of military men who died in the Battle of Blenheim in August 1704 would add further support or not. The “or not” is key to the previous sentence and it’s what I love most about genealogy. We think we know, we think we’ve found everything, we think we understand until a new document is discovered that throws us for a loop. In the past three weeks I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster ride with my findings. I’ve had to face the facts and process that my gateway ancestor wasn’t the pious Quaker that I always thought of him. Family legend stated that he was indentured to Barbados, possibly as a tailor, since he was the oldest son and his father, a tax collector, had died. There was the issue that some of the money collected didn’t get turned in to the King’s treasury. I guess my interpretation of that information says a lot about my personality. I was fine with the religion – I’m pretty much a nonconformist myself. His “career” choice was okay, too. I love to sew and once had my own costume business so maybe that was how my skill came about. The missing tax money I attributed to an error or the sudden death of Daniel’s father but it all got resolved at the end so life was good. I never realized that I tend to make excuses for my ancestors actions and try to rationalize their behavior turning it into a positive explanation. Until now. In early June, I took every document I had on Daniel and his purported father, Francis and reviewed them. I then asked a member of my local genealogy society who is a Brit and experienced with the time period I was working with to examine them for her suggestions. She pointed out that the son of a tax collector at the time would not have been indentured as a tailor so that story, with no documents, was probably untrue. Britain had a rigid class system I hadn’t considered. There was a Daniel who was a tailor in London but he was of an older generation than the Leicestershire Daniel. There was also an indenture record for a different Hollingshead line but it was also for a much later time period than Leicestershire Daniel. Perhaps, she suggested, that the family story got muddled over the past 300 years. Heck, if we can’t even have our government officials in the same day have the same story, a 300 year time span certainly would have some errors. She suggested I search for more records and then reanalyze the findings. Great advice! Now I’ve looked for documents on this family for years and years and I can’t explain why I happened to find so much in just 3 weeks. What I discovered is disturbing to me and altered my perspective of Daniel’s life and my own. I still am working through it. I discovered some conflicting evidence based on bios in old books. One source stated he was born in Lancashire; the others all stated Leicestershire. That was the first of my sick to my stomach feelings – I had put out the wrong info and so many other’s trees blindly accepted it as fact. If that turned out to be correct, I didn’t even know how I could fix the problem. I took a break, cleared my head and then began to research Hollin[g]sheads in Lancashire and found two families in two different parishes but he wasn’t there. I examined the citations for the Lancashire book and hunted down the first source, another old book. That book provided a different source so I searched for it and surprise, the initial source DID NOT HAVE LANCASHIRE – it didn’t name a location. I’m still waiting to see what the second source states – that’s possibly the documents in Wisconsin. I’m seeking a manuscript written before 1800 in Charleston, South Carolina. Daniel never even visited South Carolina (or Wisconsin) so my theory of looking where they never lived seems to be supported again. I also wanted to find the Bible to see what was recorded there. Until I found the old bios from the 1800’s I didn’t know it even existed. The last record of it was October 1882 in Chicago. I’m grateful to a genealogist from the New England Genealogical and Historical Society who provided a look up for me this week. That immensely helped me move forward with finding the Bible. The person who owned the Bible never married and had no children. She predeceased her two brothers. A sister, ironically, moved to a few miles from where I currently live with her husband and died there in 1939. She had no children. I suspect the Bible was given to a cousin from a different line who had received some other family memorabilia. He was living in Manhattan at the time the Bible owner was and he had three children. My theory is it was passed down to one of his children. So I spent a day trying to locate the living of those lines. I emailed 4 individuals and received a response from one. Doesn’t say if she has it or not but that, to her knowledge, the Bible never contained genealogical information. I laughed, that would be my family! They never notate on photos, keep records, etc. I’m not giving up hope that the current owner comes forward to verify that. I also was trying to think of reasons why Daniel would leave Leicestershire. Several old books mention he, as did several of his brothers, served in the Battle of Blenheim which was in August 1704. My Brit friend stated that the brother who had died there as a Captain under the Duke of Marlborough (who Winston Churchill is descended from) would have been in the class of a tax collector so that further supports I have the correct Daniel. She suggested finding proof of their military experience. The National Archives of Great Britain doesn’t have it. I’ve reached out to a few military societies in England hoping someone somewhere has the info. I then theorized Daniel went to Barbados because he was in the military and I began to read up on the history of that island. The history is not pretty! I knew there sugar plantations; his second wife, Thomasine Hasel’s father was an owner of one. I knew there were slaves but I didn’t think much about them over the years. I now know a lot and it is relatable to our current times. I was astounded to learn that Lord Cromwell placed many Scotts and Irish men into slavery. How had I missed that? I never knew how far back slavery went. I do remember learning in school that the Romans had slaves but I thought they were prisoners of war. I didn’t know that Africans were taken as slaves because of their religious convictions. I never thought about the Spanish and Portuguese using and abusing African slaves before settling the “new world.” I was astounded to read an archaeological study that explored a former sugar plantation in Barbados and determined that economic power brokers in London had made the decision to exploit so they could become richer. The evidence was buried in the soil, untouched for 400 years. I’m still coming to terms with the picture posted at the top of this blog. Daniel died intestate in 1730 in Somerset County, New Jersey. You can see from the inventory that he owned slaves. I am sickened at the thought. My mantra has always been I identify with the underdog as I am one of them. I have been discriminated against because I was the only child in my parochial school whose parents were divorced at a time when divorce was frowned upon. I was repeatedly called a carpetbagger because I was a northerner who had relocated to the south. Some of my husband’s family would not accept me because my grandparents were immigrants. They made negative comments about my religion. I had a relationship severed by a friend because she hated my religion, too. Those experiences and my interpretation of my ancestry made me wrongly believe I was the great grand daughter of an indentured servant of Caribbean. I thought that made me linked in kinship and someone who understood the hardships of African Americans. Geez, I even grew up in Gary, Indiana so I certainly understood the black experience, right? WRONG! Growing up, even though I was at the lower rungs of the social economic ladder did not take away my white privilege. I never asked for it but I inherited it. As I reflect, I could have and should have done more. Coming out about my family’s involvement in slavery is not easy for me to accept but it is necessary. My blog today is my first step in this journey. Who were “Tippeo, an old negro-man, Jack, Lelia, Jack, a boy, Bellinda and Dido?” What became of them? Were they related? I don’t know but intend to try to find out. This Independence Day I am reflecting on the past and trying to make plans for the future. My people had freedom and took away others’ freedom so that they could prosper. I’m not sure how to make amends but I will work it out going forward. I hope you will join me if you are at the same point in your life that I am. Being embarrassed, sorry and ashamed isn’t enough. Black Lives Matter – always have and always will. It’s time for change and I will be a positive force in that.