Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Saturday Challenge- Badly Behaving Relatives

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

1)  Who is one of your relatives (ancestor or not) who behaved poorly during his or her life?   It can be any time period.

This took a little contemplation as I could think of a few candidates depending on how you define behaving poorly. However, I decided probably the most notorious ancestor and the one I wonder what he was actually guilty of, would be my ninth great-uncle, Joshua Tefft (1646-1676).

Who else can claim a person hung for High Treason in New England during the Colonial era? Knowing nothing else, but the fact that you raised your hand, I know we are related. That’s because Joshua is the ONLY person.

How and why did this happen? We will never really know.
Coggeshall Farm as Joshua's farm might have looked

What we do know is that Joshua fell in love and married a woman named Sarah. Who was Sarah’s father? He likely was Major John Greene, a prominent citizen of Rhode Island. That was the rumor, but the only truth of her parentage known is that she was Indian. Wampanoag Indian. The Tefft family had lived on the frontier of Rhode Island for 14 years in peace with their neighbors, so it is not all that surprising that Joshua knew and fell in love with an Indian woman.

Sarah gave birth to a son, Peter, in March of 1671/2 and died two days later.

Joshua was a man with a baby and no wife caught between two cultures. It was during this time period that he got in trouble. He did not attend the Baptist church services near his home. He was associating with Indians. It was said that he fought with the Indians (this was during King Phillip’s War) against the colonists. Any of these things would put others at odds with him. Combined, they meant trouble, deep trouble.

During the Great Swamp Fight he was with the Indians, having stayed behind to defend his land and livestock while others fled. He apparently fought along side them. He claims he was a slave of the Indians and was not even armed. Others testified that he was a marksman that willingly shot and killed several people. Which side was right? In the end it didn’t matter. The colonists were believed over Joshua.

A 1647 Rhode Island statute reads: "For High Treason (if a man) he being accused by two lawfull witnesses or accusers, shall be drawn upon a Hurdell unto the place of Execution, and there shall be hanged by the neck, cutt down alive, his entrails and privie members cutt from him and burned in his view; then shall his head be cutt off and his body quartered; his lands and goods all forfeited."

And so Joshua made history, gory history in Rhode Island. But what was he guilty of? We will never know for sure. Treason? Love? Not attending church? Being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Stubbornness in not fleeing with the rest? All of the above?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Saturday Challenge- School Days

From GeneaMusing’s Randy Seaver here is this week’s Saturday challenge.
For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I want you to:

1)  Michael John Neill started an interesting Facebook meme - when and where did you go to school?  

1-    Did this count as school? (1969-1970) Mother’s Day Out Nursery School Program at Auburn United Methodist Church, 99 South Street Auburn, NY.
2-    (1970-1977) Moravia Elementary- changed to Millard Fillmore Elementary School. 24 South Main Street, Moravia, NY.
a.     Kindergarten Miss Hyatt
b.     First Grade Mrs. Abbott
c.      Second Grade Miss Tierney
d.     Third Grade Mrs. Head
e.     Fourth Grade Miss Walsh
f.      Fifth Grade Mrs. Dyer
g.     Sixth Grade Mr. Ward

3-    (1977-1983) Moravia High School 68 South Main Street, Moravia, NY.

4-    (1983-1985) Cayuga Community College, Auburn, NY.
a.     I got an AAS in Business Administration
5-    (1987-1989) SUNY College at Oswego, Oswego, NY
a.     I got a BS in Business Administration/Marketing
6-    (1990-1992) SUNY College at Oswego, Oswego, NY
a.     I got a MSEd in Business and Distributive Education
7-    (2001-2008) Syracuse Universtiy, Syracuse, NY
a.     I got a MS-LIS in Library Science

Friday, February 17, 2017

Gen-Fed Registration Details

And another conference is getting ready for registration. Visit:

...or see the announcement below. Gen-Fed, if you haven't heard of it is a week long festival of federal records. Held in Washington, D.C., you will be immersed in presentations about various federal records and be right there to dive into them! I understand there are field trips to not only the repositories in D.C., but also NARA in Maryland during the week.

Here is their announcement:

Registration Details for Gen-Fed 2017 Released

National Archives Archives, Constitution Avenue
The Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed) has announced details on registration, scheduled to open on Saturday, February 25, at 3:00 PM EST. Reservations will be taken online, via 123SignUp, and tuition payment will be due by check within 15 days of making a reservation. Complete instructions are posted here. Read them over and mark your calendars!
If you are wondering if Gen-Fed is a good choice for you, check out last year’s post entitled “Are You Ready for Gen-Fed?”  For other perspectives on how this institute fits in a genealogical education plan, read blog posts by Dave McDonald and DearMyrtle.
To learn more about this year’s program, visit Gen-Fed-2017.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Marriage Records from find my past

Find my past has quite a collection of marriage records. In honor of Valentine's Day today, they are featuring some of their records as well as search tips. As a reminder when you're looking at those marriage records, don't forget to check out the other participants as well.
Who performed the marriage? Might this person have been a relative or be a clue to what religion/denomination they belonged to? Who are the witnesses? Could these be siblings or cousins or another close relative? Often in our excitement of finding a record, we forget to look at these subtle clues that could lead us to even more information.

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tree Family tree Tree Search
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With Valentine’s Day upon us, take some time to delve into our most romantic collection – world marriage records. These emotive memoirs are much more than family heirlooms, they are vital genealogy resources. What’s more, Findmypast has over 379 million marriage records just waiting to be explored.

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When complete, our landmark collection of United States marriage records will be the largest of its kind anywhere online. The record set currently holds over 167 million records (with more to come) and covers 360 years of history. This short video takes you inside the marriages that made America.
  Where available, our MarriageFinder™ provides potential matches for people found on the same page of a marriage register. This is extremely useful when you only know a spouse’s first name, or where the precise year or location is not known.
  Be sure to check our historical newspapers for marriage information. Wedding announcements were common in the local press and often very detailed.
  When searching our United States Marriages, make sure you view available images as well as transcripts, as they’ll provide additional facts.
The definitive guide
26 million new records
  Findmypast's records have illuminated the story behind this love letter from Samuel William Franklin to his sweetheart Sarah Nelson in 1861. The letter, and an official request for permission to marry, written by Samuel to his commanding officer, has been passed down by many generations of my family. Happily, Samuel was successful in his suit, and his marriage to Sarah took place in Corfu on the 20th January 1862.
Paul Nixon
Marital mishaps
Expert search tips

Thursday, February 9, 2017

New England Regional Genealogical Conference

And yet another news release arrived in my inbox. The early registration ends this month, so if you're planning on going and haven't registered yet- why not? The little countdown on my computer says 2 months and 17 days until we leave for the conference!

“Using the Tools of Today & Tomorrow to Understand the Past,” the 14th biennial NERGC Conference, will bring together 75 leading genealogy speakers and over 900 genealogists from around New England and the US at the MassMutual Conference Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Additionally, approximately 70 vendors of genealogy related products, services, software and books will be in the Exhibit Hall. The program includes not only the individual presentations but workshops covering DNA, Italian research, paleography, Portuguese genealogy, photo identification, and more.

Featured speakers are Thomas MacEntee, F. Warren Bittner and Kenyatta Berry, a co-host of the PBS series, Genealogy Road Show.  The remaining schedule of speakers will cover genealogy at all levels, from beginner to expert.

NERGC is a regional, volunteer organization supported by 23 genealogy societies, all of which will be represented by their members. The program begins on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 with a schedule of specialties in 5 main areas: Librarians, DNA, Society Management, Professional Genealogy, and Technology as well as four stand-alone workshops on Getting Started, Family History Books, Military Records, and Deeds. 

The main conference begins on Thursday, 27 April with a presentation by Mary Tedesco, another co-host of the PBS series, Genealogy Road Show, and continues through Saturday, 29 April 2017.  During the conference, registrants can choose to spend time with a professional genealogist at the Ancestor Road show, walk through the Society Fair, participate in a Special Interest Group discussion, or enjoy the sites of and resources of Springfield, MA.

Early bird registration ends on 28 February 2017. Visit www.nergc.org to register, select the programs you’d like to attend, and, optionally, the lunches and dinners, most of which are sponsored. Luncheon speakers are Thomas MacEntee, NEAPG Table Topics, and Jane Wilcox while the banquets include presentations by Kenyatta Berry on Friday and Thomas MacEntee on Saturday.