Positive Post Fridays

Started by Private User on Friday, April 26, 2013
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On a recent trip home to North Carolina I stopped by my sister's brother-in-law's store to fill the gas tank for my return to Delaware. As he and I were talking he told me that he'd heard about my family tree research .As we talked I mentioned that I had been having trouble on one particular line. "Well" he said, "Let me introduce you this gentleman standing here. He's a member of that family and maybe he can help."

That elderly gentleman is my third cousin-I had never even heard of him-and one with an unbelievable memory. I grabbed a notebook and started taking notes as fast as I could! I got dozens of cousins, their spouses, uncles, aunts and a couple of great-grandparents. Those notes greatly assisted me when I started working on that side.

Arthur McKoy was a gold mine, but the best part of that experience was the instant rapport he and I had. It was if we had known each other all of our lives, and there is a 20+ age difference. He is a man with real Southern manners and charm, and a keen intellect. It was a humbling and uplifting time with a previously unknown relative.

I hope to see him on my next trip down.

I hope you got info to keep in touch with him...

He sounds like a true 'living' treasure.....

Ain't life funny....just when you think you are at a deadend....you almost literally BUMP into a well of information...

Super news on a dreary day (the weather, not the news).


I recently visited Greenfield, MA and Keene, NH. My great great grandfather, Henry Spencer was a printer there for the Keene Sentinel, a newspaper, and another printing company in Greefield between 1900 and 1950. I would describe both of these two towns as podunk New England towns with a very historical feel. When I visited my GG grandfathers house in Greenfield the owner came and out and was none too friendly or helpful so I snapped a photo and went on my way. I was also able to visit the Sentinel newspaper building in Keene and two of his houses in Keene. Interesting, but the trip did not produce any new information on this particular line.

Matthew, I admit that your description of Greenfield and Keene as "podunk" made me laugh. Those are two of the larger, most important towns regionally. Guess it depends on what you're used to.

My brother lives in Keene, NH...thanks...he enjoys the 'podunk' city....and it was good enough to film "Jumanji' in.........

It is also an Historic town....as is Greenfield....

On the other hand I visited East Washington, New Hampshire and got an invite into the house, a tour, and access to the Marvin family genealogy...since HE is a Marvin and that family was also from Lyme, Connecticut (where my grandmother's family was from).

I guess you don't have 'podunk' magic..

However, the Keene Sentinel is still going strong.....so your GG grandfather worked for a well-established organization.....where I am sure he enjoyed his time....

Is it still Friday anywhere?
I just had a EUREKA moment!

I've been looking at my great grandmother's profile a lot in the last two days:
Pavica Jakić (Sisarić)

I've always known that one of my mother's nicknames (within the family at least) was "Pavica".

My realisation this evening is that my mother's name "Paula" must have been an Anglicisation of her grandmother's name! So rather than being just some random English name that my grandparents had chosen she actually had a traditional family name that she shared with her grandmother and great-great-grandmother.

It's Friday everyday in EUREKA Alex. Can't wait to hear where that leads you!

GO, Alex! I had a similar moment when I realized that the references I've been seeing for David Hamel Beck were actually referring to my grgrgrandfather, David Hauer Beck - someone mis-read his name once upon a time and the error propagated. I found a whole bunch of info on him once I put the two together - so good luck to you, I hope this leads to a huge breakthrough for you!

A lot of names are mis-spelled....I found a Charlotte under Sharlet....sometimes you have to search by a known child to find the parent...the person writing the census only puts down what they think they heard and uses only their own knowledge on the spelling...

Imagine where I found Orceneth or Zorababble...it is indeed a conundrum at times....or finding Deo....under George..

The AHA moments are sometimes how messed up our ancestors names were presented...

Hey Jen, my Uncle Adam from the General Cornwallis story was married to a Beck. Do you think we're related all over again?

Fay, they obviously were not thinking of us when they waited 'til the 20th Century to invent phonics. Makes my Ph(o)ebes seem tame.

My Lyme family's spelled it Phebe.....other families preferred Phoebe (I guess it seemed more high-faluting)....

But the names themselves...what were they thinking...I cannot in good conscience blame the census takers for some of the errors...if I didn't know old style cursive, I would have had problems myself...

Send me a link, Drolli! I have two different Beck connections in two different sides of the tree. They're unrelated. It would be fun to find out of one of them connects with you!

Fay, I have an ancestor whose name is variously spelled Phebe, Phoebe, and Phebee! ;-)

As I said, depends on the person who hears it and their prior knowledge of the name...(I dont think the last one had a clue and went by sound).

Theresa and Alex! Awesome and motivating Tales!

Fay, very True that with the spelling in Public records... in numerous cases.
Even in family circles, habits become the "norm" somehow.
I had an Aunt who everyone wrote as- "Lillie", but as it Turns out, Grandma named her After a silent Film Star and it was written Lily. ;-)

Drolli & Jennifer, I have a beck somewhere, as well. I'll see if I can recall, where exactly and forward it on.

<3 Renée <3

How fun, we're going on a Beck-hunt! /grin

There are two more in the tree near her if she proves a little too difficult. We couldn't find her father's name.

I have another Beck in my past. The last time I saw him was in the booking room at the police station. He was a minor so got a private cell.

Margaretha Valencia Trollinger

Found her father's name and a bit more, but there's no apparent connection between her Beck branch and mine, which is through John Christian Beck, Jr - Patriot . Would love to find out more about your jailbird Beck. It's an ongoing disappointment that there don't seem to be any petty criminals (horsethieves, forgers, highwaymen) in my tree... ;-)

I had a very modest success on Friday. Was busy working, so didn't post on the day.

One of the Norwegian curators expressed some disappointment that I had never traced the ancestry of a Norwegian man my sister was married to briefly 35 years ago.

I gave it some thought. I knew the man's name, and when and where he was born. I met his parents once, but I don't speak Norwegian so I wasn't really sure how to spell their names. And, I knew that his middle name was his mother's maiden name. He claimed to be a great nephew of a famous Norwegian skier, for whom he was named, although I doubted it. Probably just "bar talk". He also claimed to be the heir of the Norse jarls of Orkney through his mother. Also probably just bar talk.

I tried to think how to start on something like this, without speaking Norwegian and without access to any of the excellent Norwegian databases.

To make a long story short, I did ultimately find him. After several hours of searching the databases I know and googling every spelling I could imagine, I found a little genealogy site. The three names were right, but no birth name for his mother and I didn't have any dates to compare.

But, I was sure. What I did have was a picture of his father, which matched the picture on the website. Amazing. In fact, the picture on the website is so close to the one I have that it might have been taken on the same day when I met him.

So, in the end, I was able to get three or four generations for a man about whom I knew almost nothing. I found enough information to show he wasn't really a great nephew of the famous skier. (Ha. I didn't think so.) However, I didn't find anything on his mother, so I still don't know if she was really the heir of jarls of Orkney ;)

That's cool Justin.

Justin, your story perfectly illustrates what's so incredible about doing genealogy today! My great-aunt started trying to document the extended family tree in the Thirties. She wrote letters to far-flung cousins around the world for the next fifty years. Her dedication was amazing and without her I would have had to start from scratch, but I am so lucky to be living in a time when I can access so very much information in just a few hours. If I had to do it the way she did, the sad truth is I wouldn't get much done.

I'm pretty stoked to discover my (likely) 7th great uncle was a pre patriot patriot

Capt. Christopher Nation

The likely is on me - the Hankins connection is not firm; meaning I'm not sure which Hankins my 3rd great grandmother comes from.

Forgot to say in my post on 8/30....the house I visited in East Washington, NH was my grandparents house.....as it turns out the new owner, Mr. Marvin, was also a member of the Hillsborough Historical Society and works at the Society, which also houses the photo collection of my great uncle Will Manahan....whose studio (under the name Manahan/Phelps/McCullock collection) represents over 500,000 photos from the late 1800's to near present from the photography studio).....he was known thruout all of New England...and then some.

So visiting my grandparents house (which is actually ON the boundry of Hillsboro and East Washington NH)....got me the visit, the genealogical history of the Marvin\'s of Lyme, Connecticut....where my grandmothers Brockway family was from....AND got me introduced to an inner member of the Historical Society...and my uncle's photo collection (a lot still being catelogued....from old plates)..

You never know, like Theresa Miller's gas-station stop, WHAT the trip will lead to.....

I counted my happenstance as a major find...

Forgot to say also that Keene, New Hampshire was created from a number of communities that surrounded it, including Sullivan, New Hampshire....where David Nims, son of Ebenezer Nims (of the Deerfield Massacre of 1704)....settled...he was one of the early settlers of that portion of Sullivan which later became Keene, New Hampshire. A great number of the Nims family are represented in that area of New Hampshire.

Thanks for the info on Keene, NH. I plan on going back there sometime to visit another cemetery that I missed because I was in a rush to get to some other sites in the northeast also. I also have ancestors in Caledonia, Weare, Deerings, Hillsborough, NH so I may try to visit some of those sites as well. Perhaps if you are nearby we can meet up next time.

Matthew...Keene is kind of a trek for me....as you know, there is NO easy East-West road to anywhere in New Hampshire so Keene is 1 1/4 hour from me....but Weare, Deering, Hillsboro are close...I have a lot of knowledge of the cemeteries in Hillsboro, East Washington...and have a lot of profiles with data in them regarding the burial...

I will send you the link, if you want, on the History of the Town of Sullivan, or just ask me for any Nims...or other name in any of the locales you mentioned..

However, Caledonia is not in New Hampshire.

Wow. Geography not being my strong suit, I'm so glad you corrected that, Fay! I have ancestors from Caledonia County, NH, and I don't know how long it might have taken me to realize that there's no longer such a place! /grin Your statement made me go "huh?" - after a quick Google search, here's what I found:

"Prior to the American Revolution, the part of the country now known as "Vermont" was claimed by New York and New Hampshire, and was known as "The New Hampshire Grants". New York divided the area into four counties: Bennington and Charlotte counties on the west, and Cumberland and Gloucester counties of the east side of the Green Mountains. (See era maps)

In 1791, Vermont joined the original 13 as a state in the union.

On November 5, 1792, Caledonia County was incorporated from Orange County, including all that part of Vermont north of that county, and extending so far west as to include Montpelier and adjacent towns, however, the Caledonia County was not fully organized until November 8, 1796, when Danville was made the shire town. In 1811, the state of Vermont was divided into eleven counties and the counties of Orleans and Essex were incorporated from Caledonia County. In addition, in 1811, four towns from Caledonia County were incorporated into Washington County, to which Woodbury was also annexed, in 1836, and Cabot, in 1855. In 1856, the county seat was removed from Danville to St. Johnsbury where new county buildings were erected.

The county was called "Caledonia" -the ancient Roman name of Scotland, out of regard for the emigrants from that country who had purchased large tracts of land in the county, and had large and flourishing settlements in Barnet and Ryegate..."

Just like cape Cod is not in Maine but they keep trying to put it there! I think they get confused because there is a Plymouth , Mass. and a Plymouth, Me. and also at one time Maine was part of Mass.

There is also a Plymouth NH.

Jennifer....I was on 'now' time....cause if Matthew expected to come to NH and go to Caledonia...it wouldn't work....

Those changing borders do make a bit of a muddle at times...some towns don't even exist anymore and it isn't always easy finding out WHERE they were...much less what they were last called..

But now-a-days, you would go to Vermont...


Well it's a good thing you two can keep track because I get lost trying to find my car in the supermarket parking lot! /grin

Thank you very much for the geography lesson this morning! As I said, I don't know when, if ever, I would have figured out that Caledonia County, New Hampshire, was no longer in existence. It's amazing how many different fields of study come into play when you're working on genealogy!

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