Saturday, August 23, 2014

Planning a Cemetery Tour

I haven't gone anywhere out of my home area all summer.  And how did it get to be almost September already? My psyche can't stand it anymore.  I'm planning a cemetery tour of family graves in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. I will be looking for Winchell family members, as well as those with different surnames from the spouses they married:  Baily, Boyes, Brazee, Church, Elsden, Lee, Oaks, Schwab, Snyder, Strong, Suriner, Thatcher, Warner, and Wylie. Happily my cousin Susan plans to come with me.  I hoped it would appeal to the family archaeologist.  

I thought it would be good to have a list of who was buried where.  I discovered that I could download comma-delimited data from to create a spreadsheet.  It would be fairly complete since most of the information I had came from there originally.  As I started formatting the spreadsheet, I realized I kept missing family.  Every time I thought I had everyone, I found more, four times!  I think possibly I have all family members on Findagrave now included.

Grouping the information in an understandable manner is a challenge.  I have several generations and different branches of the family involved, too many to use color coding.  I decided to group people and use different types of lines and boxes.  

There are still relatives whose resting places are still unknown.  They may be missing from the transcriptions or, and I suspect it's more likely, they have no tombstones.  At some point I'll have to go to the two towns to ask about the cemetery records.  I know Henrietta Winchell Suriner has to be there somewhere!  

It is possible that I may find new information by consulting the records, a happy thought.  A couple relatives are listed in two different cemeteries as well.  I hope I'll be able to find out which are the correct ones.

I plan to take equipment along in case some of the stones need cleaning.  It looks like this one for my great-great-grandfather may need cleaning.

Photo by Brenda L. Struthers

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Revised Van Gilder Relationship Chart

Below is the newly revised edition of my John Van Gilder relationship chart.  It shows his relationship with the Catskill, Schodack, Copake, Salisbury and Stockbridge bands of Mohicans, as well as the Wappingers.  At one point in my research I was finding various bits of information and it helped tremendously to string them together to see the bigger picture.  I don't believe it was included in the paper that the New York State Museum published.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Van Gilder Relationship Chart

I'm in the midst of revising the Van Gilder social relationship chart I created over ten years ago.  I had to figure out how to use Open Office Drawing.  I've been able to modify it the way I wanted to and I have additional information to add.  I'm pondering whether I should add references to more deeds and the letters of chief Mohican sachem Benjamin Kokhekewenaunaunt to British Superintendent of Indian Affairs Sir William Johnson.  The trickiest part however will be putting certain lines and arrows exactly where I want them.  

The summer weather is giving me fidgety feet and it might be possible I'll be taking a trip to view family graves in Berkshire County.  A few I found by accident.  Some I've never seen.

Below is a video of the jazz classic "Fidgety Feet."