Saturday, December 22, 2018

Using Amazon a Different Way

I just realized there's another way to use Amazon as a perennially cash-strapped researcher.  I can compile a bibliography of books I want to read and then borrow them through inter-library loan.  In addition, if the authors are still alive, I am also able to contact them to ask for suggestions on resources. 

It is not easy trying to research ancestors when I live hundreds of miles from here they did.  There is no web site that has all the information you could ever need from any area.  Research is even more difficult when your ancestors were sociopolitical minorities in the area. 

I've been trying to find where my great-great-grandfather Albert Galatine Gatton came from for years.  He was born about 1819 in Ohio and Native American.  He died of pneumonia in Corinth, MS, while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, so there is no death certificate.  His marriage record to my great-great-grandmother lists no parents.  I was able to find a record for his first marriage to Hannah Wyckoff on 15 March 1838 in Muskingum County, Ohio, still with no parental information.  It still doesn't mean he was born there, either. 

James Gatton and his wife Rosannah Canner lived in the area with their family.  Tantalizingly one of their sons was named Galen.  I don't know if they were related or not. Even if they were, I would still have a Native American ancestor to find.  I think it's most likely it was a Native wife. 

Fortunately in this time period there weren't that many people in Ohio to research.  There is one core Gatton family. It has a son named Greenberry Gatton whose history goes unrecorded.  I don't know if that's because he died young or if the family lost touch after he became an adult.  The only way I can think of proceeding is to read about the early histories of Native Americans and Europeans in Ohio.  I think it's possible that Albert's father was trading with Native people and met his Native wife that way.  With any luck there might be an early record with Greenberry's name on it.

I have another mystery ancestry in the same area, Solomon Hise.  He is my mother's ancestor.  He was Native American.  He belonged to the United Brethren church.  That sect was the only one that Native people in Ohio trusted.  I don't believe the parents that people have documented for him because it shows no Native ancestry.  I really haven't worked on his background very much yet.  I hope to.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

New DAR Member

Friday after work I was absolutely amazed to find I'd been sent in the mail a certificate of membership to the Daughters of the American Revolution, with my member number.  I had given up hope completely that I would be able to get my Mohican-Wappinger-German ancestor Eliakim Winchell recognized as a patriot soldier during the American Revolution.  I thought the facts that the town records burned, he didn't go to church, didn't need to pay taxes and was illiterate were ones that the DAR couldn't accept.  I was wrong.  I was given no explanation, though.

I think I am still a little too radical for the DAR.  My main goal was to have Eliakim recognized.  I'll have to wait and see.  I may want to apply under a maternal ancestor in memory of my mother, though.  It would only be fair.

Maternal American  Revolutionary War Ancestors

Berryman Brown
Richard Brown
Samuel Brown
Noah Hayden
William Hayden
Edward Houchins
Christopher Peavler
Cornelius Vanderveer
Richard Wells
Sampson Wickersham
Nathaniel Wilson

It's possible a Daniel ancestor served, too.  I have my choice, don't I?  I think it should be under Nathaniel Wilson or Cornelius Vanderveer.  It's difficult to document Wilson's service because he signed so many applications as a judge for other men! 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

New Thatcher Information

For years I've been stuck on the parents of my great-grandfather Alexander M. Thatcher. It appears he was born in 1818 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. I've been researching for 24 years. Today I've finally found something useful on Ancestry. It's a census of Chester County in 1779 listing all the Thatcher men. It also has wills of Thatcher men in Pennsylvania. I'm sure not all the men had wills. I can use this information to research these men to see what sons they may have had in the county later on, who would be potential fathers or grandfathers of Alexander Thatcher. I wonder what I will find.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Still Here

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've written.  I was concentrating on my mother's side of the family.  A while ago I created Wabash Valley Families for her side of the family.

On 4 March 2017 my elderly mother broke her lower right leg in two places.  She was sent to a very poor rehabilitation center where first she was neglected and then she contracted the antibacteria-resistant gastrointestinal infection clostridium difficile that took her life a year and a month later. She also contracted a skin infection that the staff completely ignored. Even before breaking her leg, Mom was experiencing serious side effects from the cholesterol and high blood pressure medicines she was taking. I tried to get her out of the nursing home, but I couldn't.  The only way my mother got out of the center was through a septic episode that sent her to the hospital.  She didn't go back.  The second place was so much better it was like night and day, but it was already too late.

My mother wanted me to continue with my research and publish the books I intended to.  I'm hoping sometime soon I'll have the energy and desire to do so.  I hadn't realized how stressed out and tired I'd become, as the only adult child.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Winchell Family Reunion!

I have almost achieved another goal of my family research, attending a family reunion, and I didn't even have to put it together.

My Aunt Kate has told me more than once that her father always wondered what happened to everyone else in the family.  I won't say that's what compelled me to research my family, but it was probably a contributing factor.

It wasn't until I was fully adult that I met someone outside my immediate family with the same last name.  I started researching my family in earnest in 1994, finding out where the family came from and what happened to its members. It was only a few years ago, after 2009, that I came into contact with someone from another branch of the family.  That led to my invitation to the family reunion.

It also led to the awareness of old family photos being held by some family member.  I am hoping somehow that the family reunion leads to my viewing of the photos.  I guess those have been my Holy Grail.

I'm hoping to put together a display for the reunion.  It hasn't seemed to me that the family knew much about its history.  It's going to be something of a challenge.  My elderly mother has to go into a rehab center to rehabilitate from the neglect she suffered from the awful rehab center that she was originally sent to March 10th.  While I am pretty sure that the new center will be a good place for her, it's also an hour's drive from home.  My personal life has suffered greatly in my efforts to support her, rescue her from the original center's grip, and find a better place for her. Normally I would greatly enjoy preparing from this.  I hope I can tap into that joy.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Musings on the Buckalews

I'm in the habit of working on my genealogy on Saturday mornings while listening to my favorite radio programs Car Talk and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. A while ago I determined that my ancestress Sarah Livingston was probably descended from Rev. John Livingston and a relative of the New York Patroon Robert Livingston that gave her husband George Winchell's family such grief in western Massachusetts. From the reading I've done, it seems like all the early Livingstons were descendants of Rev. Livingston.  Until I have the time and patience to visit the history room of the Troy Public Library to see if I can find the records that show just how Sarah is descended from him, I've been slowly adding ancestors to Rev. Livingston's tree from information on-line. 

I found some very good information on Electric Scotland and thought I'd look to see what the site had on the Scotts.  The Buckalews are descendants of Clan Scott, and my great-grandmother Margaret Gatton's ancestors.  The current chief, the Duke of Buccleuch, paid for genealogical research that proved the Buckalews were descendants of the Scotts. I just wish he'd publish the research. 

Here's another case where I need to build the path back to Scotland. One family story is that the ancestor was a soldier in the Netherlands. I believe I just found the origin of the story on Electric ScotlandWalter, second Lord Scott of Buccleuch, was created Earl of Buccleuch in 1619. 
"and entered the service of the States-General, as he did, at the head of a detachment of Scotsmen, though, strange to say, only half-a-dozen of them belonged to his own clan and bore his name. He was present at the sieges of Bergen-op-Zoom and Maestricht. As Sir Walter Scott says of him, ‘A braver ne’er to battle rode.’ He was recalled from the Netherlands, in 1631, by Charles I., who desired his presence in London, as his Majesty had occasion for his services, but he subsequently returned to his command in the Netherlands, and was in active service there six weeks before his death."
 Earl Walter enjoyed having people around him and entertaining. Novelist Sir Walter Scott wrote this verse about our social kinsman:

‘Nine-and-twenty knights of fame,
Hung their shields in Branksome Hall;
Nine-and-twenty squires of name,
Brought them their steeds to bower from stall;
Nine-and-twenty yeomen tall
Waited, duteous, on them all:
They were all knights of metal true,
Kinsmen to the bold Buccleuch.
‘Ten of them were sheathed in steel,
With hiked sword, and spur on heel:
They quitted not their harness bright,
Neither by day, nor yet by night:
They lay down to rest
With corslet laced,
Pillow’d on buckler cold and hard;
They carved at the meal
With gloves of steel,
And they drank the red wine through the helmet barr’d.
‘Ten squires, ten yeomen, mail-clad men,
Waited the beck of the warders ten;
Thirty steeds, both fleet and wight.
Stood saddled in stable day and night,
Barbed with frontlet of steel, I trow,
And with Jedwood-axe at saddlebow;
A hundred more fed free in stall:-
Such was the custom of Branksome Hall.’


Branxholme Castle
Major reasons Scottish people came to the British colonies of North America were because they were banished as border rievers (which the Scotts were at one time), they were Protestant Covenanters who opposed Catholic King James II or they were dispossessed by the Highland clearances. During the life of Earl Walter's successor, Francis, Second Earl of Buccleuch, the family's story changed from that of riever to Covenanter.  The page states that Francis also had a brother and six illegitimate half-siblings, but their histories aren't given. I'm not certain which family line Frederick Buckalew came from.

Did you know that castles were originally built by the Norman conquerors of Britain to maintain control of their new subjects?  They were square, stone structures of French origin. The Normans built at least 420 castles after conquering England. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Maple Sugaring

I felt compelled to change the blog background to what was the normal seasonal activity in my area, maple sugaring.  It was a food-gathering activity that Europeans learned from the resident Native Americans.  Before the Europeans came, this was the primary source for a sweetener for the Native people.  It was an activity that anyone could do.  It has become a big business in New York and New England, an important one in rocky areas. 

This past winter is about the mildest I remember. I've lived through 57.  There was only a week or two of bitter cold before the winter solstice.  After that the temperature didn't go below zero Fahrenheit.  The temperatures bounced back and forth from the twenties and the thirties.  We didn't have a snowstorm until February.  Maple trees need the normal cold winter night to produce the amount of sap we're used to.  I love the lovely, shady maple trees and the maple syrup we produce from their sap. I'm very worried for them.