10 December 2012

Another Generation

When my brother came to town right after Thanksgiving, I took my oldest two nephews (aged 13 and nearly 15) to the Family History Library to be my slaves. I had been making a list of things (mostly of quick record pulls) I wanted to do there, and at some point I realized that my nephews could be really helpful. (By "record pulls" I mean getting the microfilm from the drawer, finding the specific record on the film, and then taking it to the computers to make a digital copy. The records should have all been very easy to find because I'd used online indexes to know exactly where the records were supposed to be.) Frankly, I don't think my nephews had a great time, but I did! That day we added one generation each to two separate lines on our family tree.

And then today I added another generation to another family line. (Plus when I was on maternity leave from work and didn't have anything to do all day I worked on my Danish family history and added a few generations to those lines). So it's been a really productive few months for my genealogy research.

At work I make interesting finds all the time. Some are certainly more interesting than others. For the most part, though, I haven't gotten to work on my own family history much in the last few years. Getting back to it has been a lot of fun. (It's been less fun for the people who have to had to listen to me go on and on and on about my research.)

Today my mom's cousin sent me pictures of the family Bible. In starting my research I found that a lot of what our family had said about this particular line that went back to the 1600's was attributed to information in the family Bible, so I wanted copies of what was in that. As it turns out, the book only has the information going back to my second-great-grandparents (Henry and Sarah). So it most definitely doesn't prove the stuff going back to the early days of New Amsterdam. But, it did provide some great information.

I had been looking (not diligently) for my second-great-grandparents' marriage date and place for a while. I knew it probably happened in one of the five boroughs of New York City, but I hadn't been able to pinpoint which one, and I knew it happened around 1868/1869. I really wanted to find the marriage because it was my best bet for finding the names of Sarah's parents. (Her death record, sadly, was not of any use to me in this regard, although it did confirm the family story that she died due to injuries sustained in a house fire.) The family Bible proved to be the connection I'd been looking for.

It stated that this couple was married on 3 August 1868 in "Williamsburgh, Long Island." With a little digging I found that what was most likely meant was "Williamsburg" near Brooklyn. Still, the fact that we had a specific place, and a relatively small place (by large city standards) was the key I needed. From there I was able to find Sarah in the 1860 and 1850 censuses with her parents. (Due to how common her surname was, I hadn't felt confident about possible matches I'd found before.) Not only that, but in 1850, 1860 and 1880, Sarah's maternal grandmother lived with the family, so not only do I have the first name for Sarah's mother, I have her maiden name as well.)

(If you made it to the end of this post you deserve a virtual high five, and you can now count yourself as one of the people who listened to me drone on and on about my family history.)


Jenn said...

Excuse me, but you had nothing to do all day while you were on maternity leave? You must have some well-behaved children! :)

Ana said...

Just got back from the Temple with Chris on Saturday and the next day his Uncle Geoff gave me a large fat envelope full of family history that some family of mine from Auckland he'd met the week before had given him for me.
Please and thank you! :)

Packrat said...

Congratulations! So exciting to find "new" ancestors! It's great that you've had time to do more research.

trishtator said...

Most excellent! I've had some good finds myself lately, and yee-haw it feels good!

heidikins said...

This is so interesting! My maternal and paternal family history is done as far back as it can go (people always try and tell me that I'm making this up. I'm not. It's back to Adam on multiple lines and as far back as there are records either in the US or Europe on the other ones.)

However, I just married into a family that has never had that kind of family history tradition. J-Mo doesn't know the names of his great-grandparents. Lots of work to do. I'm kind of excited! :)