In 2010 I took my first autosomal DNA test through FTDNA. I quickly discovered the frustration of autosomal DNA testing.
1) Autosomal DNA provides no hints as to what part of your family tree your match comes from. Given that we each have 64 fourth great grandparents, 128 fifth great grandparents and so on, it can be quite challenging to determine which person is our common ancestor when a DNA match occurs.
2) Not everyone who does DNA testing is interested in sharing. That was quite a surprise! I had always assumed that people who are willing to expend the funds for DNA testing would be similarly interested in collaboration. WRONG!
3) Not everyone who does DNA testing posts their family tree for self-exploration by those with whom they have genetic matches. Continue reading
As Veteran’s Day is approaching, I thought it appropriate to share the Annual Return of the Company of Foot, commanded by Daniel Beale, in the War of 1812. Included is my ancestor, Lemuel Bursley, whose father Benjamin Bursley served in the American Revolution. The original document is held by the Farmington (Maine) Historical Society.
Daniel Beale’s Company of Foot, serving in the War of 1812.
My grandmother was captivated with the photo album she inherited from her own grandmother, Lavina (Bursley) Stanwood. Many of the pictures had relatives known to her; however, there were quite a few whose identities remain a mystery. It is my hope that by posting these pictures here, someone will stumble upon these pages and be able to provide names for these unknown faces.
Photograph of male in Anoka, Minnesota, presumed relative of Lavina (Bursley) Stanwood
The portrait above was taken at Nelson studio in Anoka, Minnesota. Here is what is known:
Left, Clara (Sine) Bodine, Carrie (Niece) Cooper (back), Mary (Bodine) Niece Loudenberry (right), and Dorothy (Cooper) Dundas (front)
Like most genealogists, I love old photographs. When visiting antique stores, the shelves of old photos always captivate me, and I’ve been known to “adopt” a “homeless person” (i.e., a photographed person!) or two when there’s sufficient information on the photo to provide clues to the identify of those captured on film. On one such occasion I was rewarded to learn my “adoptees” were the grandchildren of President Rutherford B. Hayes, and was able to donate the photos to the museum in Ohio. What was rather curious was how the pictures of the two little boys made their way from Cincinnati, Ohio, to a small antique store in Temecula, California!
Two weeks ago while antiquing I came upon the photo shown above. The owner of the photo not only documented names of the individuals on the photos, but included their relationships on the back: Continue reading
Everyone has them – old photos you’d love to frame and display, but which require restoration or touch up due to spots, water damage or simply wear from age and handling. I’ve been busy sifting through many such pictures, trying to find just the right ones to add to my heritage wall, the focus of my living room. We’ve hung our huge, antique map of Penobscot County, Maine, and now need other photos to surround it.
Our living room – a work in progress. It needs an area rug, coffee table, and most importantly, family photos to surround our precious, 1859 map!
Now that I’ve identified the pics I want to duplicate and frame, the dilemma has been finding someone reliable and dependable, preferably local, whom I can entrust with these priceless family treasures. Since moving to Delaware, I didn’t have anyone that fit that bill, so I decided to find online solutions. OnlinePhotoFix.com got good reviews, so I gave them a whirl with the two photos shown below: Continue reading
I’ve posted about some of my successes using land records previously, and how I was able to piece together the 18th century business relationships of my Wasgatt and Stanwood families who intermarried frequently on Mount Desert Island, Maine, by using Hancock county’s digitized land records. (You can read my post here.) Having dabbled in land records, I felt like I had a basic understanding of the info contained and how it could benefit my research. However, I was still a bit intimidated by the terminology utilized in the records, so when I saw Legacy Family Tree’s webinar by Mary Hill entitled, “Land Records Solve Research Problems” earlier this summer, I decided to listen in. (Actually, I ended up subscribing – their series of webinars is excellent!)
Mary did a superb job of explaining the various terms used in land records, the differences in assorted types of mortgage transactions, and how this info can help you in your family history. Probably the most important tidbit I picked up was how records pertaining to multiple individuals (i.e., “et al”) are some of the most important records, as they may contain clues about relationships of the people listed and are often the most helpful in our research. Armed with this knowledge, this past July while visiting the Penobscot County (Maine) Registry of Deeds I spent the bulk of the day happily researching the transfer of Benjamin Stanwood’s three lots located in Northern Woodville as they passed from hand to hand. That evening, back at the hotel, I drew a diagram showing the names and dates of grantors/grantees, trying to see a pattern. Benjamin often mortgaged the property, and the mortgages were frequently sold. The property always ended up back in family hands (you can read here about finding my fourth cousin who currently resides on the property), but I wanted to try and connect each sale through the land records. Some may have considered it a waste of time (why does it matter that that property was mortgaged with a sale to Hayford but mysteriously purchased back from Swett?) but I was determined to trace it’s passing from hand to hand whenever possible and headed back to the Registry of Deeds the next morning to try and find the missing link. THANK GOODNESS I DID!!!
Deed referencing the late Benjamin Stanwood, dated 12 October 1860.
That one missing deed, showing the land was sold by Timothy Hayford to C.T. Bragg and William Hayford, includes a very important statement:
…being the same lots deeded to me by Benjamin Stanwood, late of said township, deceased… Continue reading