Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Ancestry Public Trees - NOT!

I've been using, as a guest, lately. Ancestry allows members to make their trees "public", which I would guess means to make visible to anyone who is a registered user, subscribers or guests.

The good news is that I can search these trees. Beyond that, they're barely usable for guests.

Specifically, I can click on a search result which connects me to something like a family group sheet for the individual search result. This can be helpful, but I am not allowed to view a tree that might allow me to quickly navigate back or forth generations and quickly scan surnames. To see marriages, I can click on a parent or sibling in the family group sheet, which sometimes takes me to a new family group sheet. Mostly, a click takes me to a subscription page and tells me to become a paid member. Whether or not I get sent to the next family group sheet (but never a tree) seemed to be arbitrary, but much more likely to be the subscription page. I doubt that is what members expect when they make their trees "public".

As a family genealogist, I've been given access to family members' dna test results, including some on For any of you who have tried to identify "dna relatives", you know how difficult this can be. It helps immensely to explore family trees and search for surnames in common. Although many of the trees are "public", I am not allowed to view any of them, nor the family group sheets sporadically available through the search function. Making it difficult to research dna.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Daniel Hawes & Charlotte Chappell, Monroe co., NY 1840-1912

Daniel Hawes was born in Westchester county, just north of New York City, in about 1815. Charlotte Chappel was born in "Rochesterville" (now Rochester) in about 1816. They married, probably in the Rochester area, probably in the mid 1830s. They had nine children: one unknown daughter (b. late '30s), Mary, George, Jennie, Frank, Mattie, Nettie, William, and Hattie (b. 1863). Prior to the Civil War, Daniel was a day laborer. Afterward, he was a farmer and a cooper. I know that he served in Company D of the 89th Volunteer Regiment beginning in 1861, but not how long he served or where he may have fought. He suffered an injury for which he, then Charlotte after his death, received a pension. He died in 1885 and is buried in Bushman cemetery in Henrietta. Only 19 year old William was still living at home in 1880, so the kids were pretty much grown and living elsewhere by time of Daniel's death.

I have not found much information on Daniel's Hawes family or Charlotte's Chapell family. I've tracked down some of the kids. (1) George was an out-of-work carpenter living at mom's in 1900. He may have been in the county "Alms Home" in 1910. (2) Jennie married William Weeks, a farmer, in about 1880 and raised two step-children. After William's death in 1892, she lived with Edith, who married in 1901, probably until her death in the 1930s. (3) Frank began waiting tables, then acquired or opened a series of hotels that he operated with his wife, Elizabeth. They married in about 1879, lived and worked in Rochester until the 1890s, then moved to nearby Buffalo, where Frank worked as a real estate dealer in 1900. By 1910, he was retired, and by 1920 he and Elizabeth had moved to Los Angeles. She passed away there in 1926. I lost track of Frank. (4) Mattie married Charlie Hinman, a carpenter, in 1873 in Michigan. (5) Nettie married John Pyne, a mason from adjacent Orleans county, in about 1885. John (Jack?) went to San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake where there was plenty of work for a mason. Nettie followed with the kids a few years later and opened a boarding house. She passed away in there 1937. Nettie is our ancestor (6) Hattie stayed with her mom until Charlotte's death in 1912, then allegedly moved to San Francisco. She passed away there in 1939 and is buried next to Nettie.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Michael & Ellen Connery, Lindsay, Ontario, Canada

Ellen Roche and Michael Connery were born in the early 1800s in Ireland. They married in about 1830, had at least two children then emigrated, sometime around 1840, to Lindsay, Canada, where at least four more Connerys were born. The oldest, Nora, married John Pyne in Lindsay in 1856, then moved to the Buffalo area where they raised their family. One account states that other Connerys moved from Lindsay to Iowa.

Ellen and Michael's children were:
  • Nora (b. 1834-42, Ireland)
    married John Pyne in 1856,last found in Buffalo, NY in 1900
  • Mary (b. 1838, Ireland)
  • James (b. 1845, Ontario)
  • Michael (b. 1848, Lindsay - d. bef 1861)
  • Richard (b. 1849)
  • Margaret Ann (b. 1852)

Ancestry Message Boards

I suppose 20 years after purchasing the great Rootsweb free genealogy site, Ancestry would like all of it's users to be paying Ancestry users and is slowly throttling Rootsweb. My supposition. In recent years, there has been a huge decline in Rootsweb use. Perhaps this is because serious genealogists are now all subscribing to different services - Ancestry, MyHeritage, etc. - and are now using their member-only message boards, essentially fencing themselves off from the greater genealogy community. I just posted a message to Rootsweb and received an almost immediate comprehensive response. Now I see that my post to Rootsweb is automatically posted on Ancestry's version of the same message board, but the helpful very informative reply was posted only to Ancestry's version, though shared with me, the author of the original post. In other words, others researching this family will not see the information unless they are Ancestry members, so will need to post their own queries. This makes the public Rootsweb message boards much less useful. Intentionally, by Ancestry, I would guess. I think this is unfortunate for what used to be an open genealogy community. Sigh.

Garrett & Bridget Kiernan (1st), Ann Gilchrist (2nd), Cranston, Rhode Island

Bridget Dunlavey & Garrett Kiernan were Irish immigrants, born in about 1821 and 1815, respectively. I don't know whether they married there or after coming to the United States. They settled in Cranston, Rhode Island (near Providence) where they had at least 5 children, beginning with Thomas in 1839, before Bridget passed away in the late 1840s. Garrett had 6 more children with his second wife, Ann Gilchrist, in the 1850s. (Ann was also born about 1815 in Ireland.) Garrett was a laborer. He served briefly as a private in Company D of the 2nd Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers (Oct 1864 to July 1865). They may have had a daughter born in the early 1830s. Garrett's mother, also Bridget, was living with them in 1850. Garrett and Ann passed away in the 1870s. Garrett's oldest son, Thomas, our branch of the family, was a musician in the Civil War, after which he came out to northern California with his daughter, Sarah.

Children of Garrett & Bridget were:
  • A daughter born in the early 1830s
  • Thomas (b. 1839)
    married Mary Ann Rogers in 1860, served as a musician in the Rhode Island 12th Infantry, then moved to northern California with his oldest daughter, Sarah. Died about 1912.
  • Bridget (b. 1841)
    married Thomas Russell in 1860, died 1927
  • Bernard Burns (b. 1844>
    married Emma Irons 1867, died 1922
  • Ann (1845-1913)
  • and Peter (b. 1847)
    married Mary Conerton 1863.
Children of Garrett & Ann were:
  • John (1852-1932)
  • James (1854-1911)
  • Mary Elizabeth (b. 1855)
    married Edward Brennan 1878, died 1928
  • Catherine (1857-1897)
  • Julia (1858, died before 1860)
  • and Ellen (b. 1859)
    married Charles Capron 1885, died 1902.

Thomas & Mary Cummings, Rhode Island

Mary Kane & Thomas Cummings were Irish immigrants, born in about 1838. Thomas immigrated in about 1853. They probably married near Blackstone, in western Massachusetts in about 1859. They soon moved to Cranston, Rhode Island where they started their family. Thomas was a stone mason. They had 8 children that I know of, though there may have been a few short-lived children that missed an accounting in the censuses. In the early 1880s, something happened that caused son Daniel to take charge of his remaining siblings. In 1890, Daniel married Sarah Kiernan and they came out to California to start their family. I could not track the remaining Cummings family. The last trace I found was Thomas and his youngest (surviving) son, William, living with a family in the Newport area in 1905. At least two of the kids passed away in the 1880s.

Their eight children were
  • Patrick F. (b. 1861)
  • Daniel Kane (b. 1864)
    married Sarah Kernan 1890, died near Oakland, Calif. in 1932
  • Mary Ann (1865-1882)
  • John (b. 1867)
  • Katie (b. 1870)
  • William (b. 1872)
  • Bridget (b. 1874)
  • and Joseph Henry (1878-1880).

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mayflower Ancestors

     I finally took some time to search for my Mayflower ancestors, and was surprised at how quickly I identified them.  So many people have researched their links to the Pilgrims that there are many well-researched biographies and genealogies published on line. So unlike my usual detailed search for birth, death, marriage, burial, census and other records, in this case I accepted biographies that show they were well-researched, some posted in recent years, some published over 100 years ago.
     I don't know an easy way to explain the path of the Mayflower ancestry line in words, so perhaps the following picture will help. [Click on the image to see a larger, more readable version.]

It shows the ancestors of Grandma (Harriet) Webber extending back to six Mayflower passengers:
  • William Bradford, originally from Austerfield, England, he was repeatedly elected Governor of Plymouth Colony. First elected when 31 years old, probably because so many of the colonists, including the first governor, passed away during their first few months, his leadership and relations with the native Americans were essential to the survival of Plymouth. He was the author of historically important documents describing life in the Colony.
  • Thomas Rogers, a fabric merchant, one of the many Puritans who passed away during the first Winter in Plymouth. (A son, John, left behind in Holland, who came to the Colony ten years later, is our ancestor.)
  • John Alden, a cooper crewman whose job was to maintain the all-important food storage barrels during the long voyage across the ocean.  John was given the option of staying in Plymouth or returning to England on the Mayflower, and chose to stay.  Alden was one of the founders of the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts.
  • Priscilla Mullens, only member of the Mullens family to survive the first Winter in Plymouth. She married John Alden. A famous fictional account of John and Priscilla's courtship is the subject of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "The Courtship of Miles Standish". The Aldens had at least 10 children and have more descendants than any of the other Mayflower passengers.
  • William Mullens, Priscilla's father, a shoemaker, and ...
  • Alice Mullens, his wife.  Their 15 year old son, Joseph, also perished during the first Winter. 
      Mayflower passengers have been extensively researched and I'll leave the biographical details to those who have recorded them so well.