Monday, October 15, 2018

Saturday Challenge: Playing 20 Questions

Gotta love the Catamount!
From Randy Seaver's GeneaMusings: Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1)  Ellen Thompson-Jennings wrote 
20 More Questions About Your Ancestors and Maybe A Few About You this week and Linda Stufflebean thought it would be a great SNGF challenge.  I agree!

2)  Copy the questions from Ellen's post or from my post below, and insert your own replies.  Be sure to comment on Ellen's blog so she knows you wrote about it.

3)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or on Facebook or Google+.  Please leave a comment on this post with a link to your post.

Thank you to Ellen for her post and to to Linda Sufflebean for suggesting this topic.  If you have an idea for an SNGF topic, please let me know.  

Q1:   Why do you love doing genealogy/family history?

A1:  It is like a giant jigsaw puzzle with interesting people as the pieces.

Q2:  How far have you traveled to research an ancestor?
A2:  Salt Lake City and Fort Wayne for libraries. The northeastern corner of Indiana for on-site research.

Q3:  What do you think your favorite ancestor would think of our lives today?
A3:  I don’t have a particular favorite. I think any of our ancestors would be amazed at the technology of today and think that our lifestyle is too fast-paced.

Q4:  What do you think that your ancestor would like/dislike?
A4:  They would like the easier life brought on by health care, heated/air conditioned homes, easier transportation etc. However, they would dislike all the craziness of the world today.

Q5:  What was the most unusual cause of death that you’ve found?
A5:  Of my direct line, a 3-great-grandfather, Daniel Titus was killed by crossing the tracks too close to the train and being hit. More distantly, a 9-great uncle, Joshua Tefft, was executed for treason during King Philip’s War. But perhaps the weirdest was a 6-cousin, 4 times-removed, Mary (Arnold) Brown. Although I believe she actually died of tuberculosis, the rumor of the time was that a vampire, her daughter, Mercy Brown killed her!

Q6:  Which ancestor had the most unusual occupation?
A6:  I can’t think of any that had that unusual of an occupation. Most men were farmers or did jobs related such as blacksmithing, millwork etc. There were some store keepers and at least one tailor. A great-aunt was a milliner.

Q7:  Have you ever gone to where your ancestor lived and it felt like home even if you’ve never been there before?
A7:  Of course. The house I grew up in had been my father’s home as a child as well. Once while traveling in Dutchess County, I visited a Quaker Meeting House where there was nobody around, but I felt a welcoming presence there. Later I found out that some of my Titus ancestors were instrumental in building this church.

Q8:  Do you have a distant ancestor  (several generations back) that looks like someone in the family?
A8:  I don’t have many pictures of distant ancestors, but there are definite family resemblances amongst closer relatives.

Q9:  What is the oldest ancestral photo that you have?
A9:  I have a few pictures of my g-grandfather’s sisters when they were teenagers/young adults. They were born in the 1860s. I have a couple that are siblings of their parents apparently, but we haven’t quite identified yet.

Q10:  Did you have an ancestor that had an arranged marriage?
A10:  None that I know of.

Q11:  If you could live in the time period of one of your ancestors what year would it be? Where would it be?
A11:  I don’t think I could handle going back in time. I need my modern conveniences and health care!

Q12:  Which ancestor was married the most times?
A12:   ?? I have multiple people married twice, but can’t think of a direct ancestor that was married more than that. Great-Aunt Adelle was married three times.

Q13:  If you’ve tested your DNA what was the biggest ethnicity surprise?
A13:  My results were about what I expected. Perhaps a little higher percentage of Dutch and not as much French or German as I might have expected as I have not so distant ancestors from those areas.

Q14:  Did you have a female ancestor that was different or unusual from other females from that time period?
A14:  Would being granted a divorce—in 1643 count? If anybody has read the book Rebel Puritan by Jo Ann Butler, you’ve met one of my 10-great-grandmothers, Herodias Long.

Q15:  Did your ancestor go through a hardship that you don’t know how they managed?
A15:  All the time. Primitive conditions of the frontier, the early immigrants that crossed the ocean… how did any of them survive? We’ve all heard the tale of John Howland falling overboard mid-Atlantic during a storm on the Mayflower. He survived that or many of us wouldn’t be here!

Q16:  How often do you research? Are you a genealogy addict?
A16: As often as I can. It might be a record or two from the internet, some data entry to my genealogy program from papers I’ve accumulated or such, but I usually do something every day. Yes, I’d say I’m addicted.

Q17:  Do you have someone in your family that will take over the family history?
A17:  ?? Any volunteers? I’m hoping some of my younger nieces or nephews become interested enough to want to take over.

Q18:  Have you had a genealogy surprise? What was it?
A18:  Many. Most recently I found out about the inn that my Revolutionary War ancestor owned and that the house on the property is probably the original building!

Q19:  Are you a storyteller? What’s your favorite family story?
A19:  Many people would say too much. I love to ramble on and on about family stories and have to make myself stop when I realize that people’s eyes are glazing over. Of course, that could be hours after they actually have! My favorite story is the one I’m telling at the moment.

Q20:  What was your greatest genealogy discovery?
A20:  Any discovery that gains the interest of the people around me, especially my family.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

New FamilySearch Records

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of October 8, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY, UTFamilySearch expands its free online archives this week with millions of new searchable names from France, Ireland, and Native American Census Rolls, 1885-1940. New indexed records are also available from Belgium, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States (Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New York, and the Mexican War Pension Index). New indexed records are also on the BillionGraves Index and the Find a Grave Index. (Find and share this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.)
Research these free new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.
Indexed Records
Digital Images
Belgium, East Flanders, Civil Registration, 1541-1914
Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
France, Calvados, Civil Registration, 1792-1942
New indexed records collection
Ireland Civil Registration, 1845-1913
Added indexed records to an existing collection
South Africa
South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Marriage, 1870-1930
New indexed records collection
Switzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1880
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ukraine, Kiev Confession Lists, 1799-1911
Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States
Georgia, World War I statement of service summary card files, ca. 1920-1929
New indexed records collection
United States
Hawaii, Kauai County, Obituaries, 1982-2010
New indexed records collection
United States
Iowa, Birth Records, 1921-1942
New indexed records collection
United States
Iowa, Death Records, 1904-1951
Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States
Mississippi, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919
New indexed records collection
United States
Montana, Sanders County Records, 1866-2010
Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States
New York, County Naturalization Records, 1791-1980
Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States
United States Mexican War Pension Index, 1887-1926
Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States
United States, Native American, Census Rolls, 1885-1940
Added indexed records to an existing collection
BillionGraves Index
Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Find A Grave Index
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Searchable historic records are made available on through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world's historic genealogical records online at
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at or through more than 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Jefferson County's Next Meeting: Loyalists!




SATURDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2018 @ 1:00 PM

Saturday at 1:00PM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Watertown. The St. Lawrence Branch United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada will present the program. The St. Lawrence Branch is in Eastern Ontario and extends from the Quebec/Ontario border along the St. Lawrence River and includes the three United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry (SD&G). If you have Loyalist in your Ancestry, this meeting is intended for you!

This meeting will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ives Street, Watertown, New York. Driving directions to the church are: From Route 81, take exit 44 to Route 232 toward Watertown. Drive 1.1 miles and take the second left turn on to Ives Street Road. Continue straight into the city. The church is the second building on the right; across from Immaculate Heart Central School (IHCS). From Watertown, it is on Ives Street, across from IHCS. Take Washington Street to Barben Avenue. Turn onto Barben Avenue and take it until it ends in a T. Turn left and the church building will be 300 yards on the left, just past IHCS. Or from Watertown, take Massey Street South; veer right onto South Massey and left onto Ives Street. The church building will be on your left, just past IHCS.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Saturday Challenge: The Summer I Was 12

Another older GeneaMusing Challenge I finally got around to writing:

1) Remember when you were 12 years old? On a summer day out of school? What memory do you have of fun activities?

2) Tell us about that memory (just one - you can do more if you want to) in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook.  Please leave a link to your own post in comments on this post. 

I would have been 12 years old in the summer of 1978. I had just finished sixth grade, the last of elementary school, and would be entering junior high at the bigger high school in the fall. It would have been a typical summer vacation for me out in the country. Playing outside and riding my bicycle around the neighborhood would have kept me entertained for many an hour.

Mom would have gone to Auburn one day during the week and I almost always accompanied her. We would walk around various stores in the morning. I believe Nichols, Neisner’s and Ames were the popular discount stores about then that she liked to browse through. We’d have lunch, perhaps meeting Dad and going to one of the local fast food restaurants or one of a couple diners that they liked in Auburn. After lunch, it was time to get groceries and go home.

Another day we were likely to “go to camp.” My friends, Peggy and Billy May had a cottage on Owasco Lake that their parents would move them to as soon as school was out. While the three of us played and swam in the lake, Mom and Barb, would sit chatting and working on craft projects together. Other times, Barb would bring them to our house and we would hang out there playing together.

Friday was likely busy as we packed the camper and got ready to go camping somewhere for the weekend. This would have been the year that Mom and Dad had traded the travel trailer for a mini-motorhome. It was easier for Dad to manipulate than the trailer behind the car. Driving and such was a bit harder after he had been burned badly a couple years before.

Looking through pictures of that summer, I realize that our big trip that year was to ECHO in Canada. We belonged to a group called the National Campers and Hikers Association (NCHA). Many campouts were with either the local, district, or state level groups of NCHA. Across Lake Ontario was ECHO- Eastern Campers and Hikers of Ontario- I think it stood for. We attended their big summer campout and then drove through part of Ontario on an extended journey home. One of the places that we stopped at was Upper Canada Village, a restored village of about 1867. I actually got to revisit this place this summer!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Saturday Night Challenge: Family Pet

Last week's challenge from Randy Seaver's GeneaMusings. Hey! I'm only a week behind!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) What were your family pets?  What were their names?  How long did they live?  What stories do you have about them?

There have been a few cats over the years. However the one that stands out in my mind is the dog that I didn’t have.

Mikey was a mutt, a fox terrier and many other breeds mixed together. He was not my pet, but rather I was “his human.”

I know from other family members that he was adopted from the SPCA a couple years before I was born. The director told my Dad what a good dog he was, but that an overly strict man had raised him. When Mikey first came home, he would not so much as enter the living room without permission.

In my lifetime, he would never beg for scraps from the table. In fact, he had been so well trained as a puppy that if you accidentally dropped something on the floor during a meal, he wouldn’t take it. He would sit in his spot near the table, look at it and then look up at my Dad. The expression on his face seemed to say: “Can I have that, Dad please?” Dad would quickly give him permission and then he would go get the tasty morsel he so desperately wanted.

He was good with my two brothers, but they were teenagers and older. My parents worried before I was born how he would do with a baby in the house. This was answered the day I arrived home from the hospital as a newborn. Mikey met us at the back door and sniffed up at the bundle in Mom’s arms. He followed us into the living room where she placed me in the bassinet she had ready for me. Mikey lay down on the floor nearby and went to sleep.

A short time later, some of the neighbors stopped by to see the new baby. Up came Mikey wide-awake from his nap. Situated between the bassinet and them, he stood in a stance that said, do not pass and growled. Dad quickly told Mikey it was all right and to lay down, which he did.

That was the end of wondering if he would accept the baby. He had apparently thought something along the lines of: “Hmm, baby, she’s helpless. It’s my job to protect her.” My parents never needed to worry about me when Mikey was around. He was the watchdog of not only me, but the house as well.

In fact, my oldest brother would have a bit of trouble when he came home from college. He had a routine he would follow upon reaching the back door. He would open the door and thrust his suitcase in, telling the dog it was him before he would follow his suitcase inside. Otherwise, Mikey, not realizing who was coming in, was there growling and barking to defend the house.