Sunday, April 30, 2017

Never ignore childless siblings!

One of my immigrant ancestors had six children between 1795 and 1815, one of whom apparently died young. Two of the six were daughters who married but had no children. Their husbands both left wills.

One husband's will left everything to his wife if she survived him. If she did not, he divided his estate in half -- one half to be divided among his surviving siblings, and the other half to be divided among his wife's siblings . . . He named them all, including the one we thought had died as a baby, with her married name. Both had common names, there was no other way to find her.

When I started reading his will, I thought, well, this is pretty far out on a limb. But in genealogy, "out on a limb" is a wise place to be.

Friday, April 28, 2017

After a fifteen-month nap (er, hiatus) I will try restarting this blog on a weekly basis.

* The big genealogy news is Karen Jones's planned retirement as editor of one of the top five US scholarly genealogy journals. Those who have worked with and for her at the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record wish her the best (and longest!) retirement, with many delayed ancestors found and published.

* Speaking of the Record, I have a short article in the January issue: “‘A continual claim and struggle’: DeGrove Gleanings from the Appellate Court,” New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 148 (January 2017): 61-64. It's a brief addendum to William DeGrove's ongoing saga of this New York family in the 19th century.

* It's never a mistake to draw up a timeline! I prepared one just to cut out a lot of boring text in a family history. It showed some interesting connections and unexpectedly provoked more city directory research, leading to some original records that may shed light on a Pennsylvania-Ohio family that is visible in only one census between 1860 and 1900. With luck this could be a publishable article in itself.

* GRIP may be the only genealogy institute capable of bilocation, with Deb Deal representing it at this weekend's Ohio conference and Elissa Powell doing the same in New England.