Too Many Directions, Too Little Time, Too Many Bright Shiny Objects

I have been trying to keep up my research into the validity of Ancestry’s Thru lines app, but it has taken many different directions and many lines to explore. On the upside, I have been successful in identifying a few of my DNA matches and placing them properly in my database. Some I am close to but they have made one or two generations above them private and each of those could be one of many siblings on each level. So, messages have been sent and hope will rise if anyone responds.

I have also been working on a manuscript I found in the Farmington, Oakland County Michigan library titled Hotchkiss, Lee, Munn, Tilden and Other Related Families. There is no author named. It does include the one-line notation: A project of The Farmington Genealogical Society of which I am a member. I have asked the longest serving members if they have any recollection of the manuscript. Nope, none. They referred me on to the Librarian who came up with the same response. The manuscript has entries going back to the 1600s. So, I have created a new tree in Ancestry and am building each noted person and relationships into that tree and use Ancestry to look up documents that either support or refute the assertions. This is very interesting as I am getting into ship passenger lists from the 1620s, and 1630s to verify those claims. More to come later.

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New Project — Research Based on Ancestry Thru-Lines

OK, first, it the THRU Lines not TRUE lines. The connections may be real or not. There needs to be an investigation as to whether the descendants of a known forbearer are documented with citations, not just a guess by a potential cousin.

I have followed a number of suggestions on how to break out the various lineages in Excel and to be able to then see a picture of what is known and what needs to be proven.

Today, I started with one of my maternal lines — lineage for my grandmother’s uncle’s descendants. I had previously tried to contact one of my distant cousins and there was no reply (unfortunately this is the norm for DNA inquiries). Well, today I sent a note to what appears to be her sister. Within an hour, I got a reply with information that meshed with my citation documentation. This may have been a third cousin, twice removed, but I chalk it up as a success! Just the incentive needed to keep working the project.

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1 January 2023

It appears that the first day of the year was a big day for my ancestors to get married – 26 couples appeared on my app that screens my genealogy database for events for the specific date. The first couple listed were Nicholas Bonham and Hannah Fuller in 1658. Hannah was my 10th great aunt, the daughter of Samuel Fuller and Jane Lothrop, my 10th great grandparents. It also appears on that date that my great-great grandparents wed – Wilhelm Gotthardt Gaertner [aka William G Gardner] and Mary Ann Cummings in Hartford, Connecticut on this date in 1862. Mary Ann was William’s second wife; his first wife died in 1861. He went on to marry another Mary (divorced her} and a Margaret (she outlived him and collected his Civil War Pension). Yes, he wed 4 times.

A number of my relatives (16) ruined the New Year’s Eve partying be their parents by being born on the 1st. I wonder if any of them were the first born in their city/town/village. The first on the list was Elizabeth Jenks, my first cousin, 8 times removed, who was born in 1697. Second on the list was my 6th great grandfather, Thomas Morey, who arrived 314 years ago in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Eleven of my database inhabitants apparently decided the year was not that promising and departed this mortal coil.

I am planning on exploring the next 364 days of 2023 and see what it can provide.

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BSO = Down the Rabbit Hole.

This week, I got into the current issue of the New England Historic and Genealogical Register. I had planned on scanning the Table of Contents, realizing there was nothing of immediate interest and putting it aside. Well there was a Bright Shiny Object in that issue (and since I had not a very good job of scanning the prior issue, there was part 1 in that issue). The article was Samuel and Abigail (Sprague) Call of Charlestown, Massachusetts, and Nova Scotia. My 11 times great grandfather was Trisram Sprague of Dorset, England. I jumped down the Rabbit Hole to see if and how I was related to Abigail Sprague. Well 3 days later I have amassed all kinds of new Sprague family information and have determined that Cousin Abigail is my 3C8R! But, the Rabbit Hole has turned into a giant sink hole as I am now fully occupied with the Sprague Lineage.

My 9th great grandfather arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1629 and married Millicent Eames in 1635. And so it will continue as long as I can see some daylight above the rim of the hole and more Bright Shiny Objects calling to be dug out of the mine.

The Sprague Line marries into my Jenks Line and that becomes a whole other Rabbit Hole.

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September was a busy month …

And now I am thinking I had come up with a theme for the rest of the year and that I really do not need one either. There has been a lot of updates to the house which has taken all my energy. Then I built a database for my library with a number of search queries. I also converted my Address Book, Christmas Card list, genealogy correspondence log, DNA matches to databases.

So, now I am getting back in the research saddle. I have recreated my AutoCluster reports for my DNA Matches on MyHeritage, 23andMe, and FamilyTreeDNA. Since I cannot run an AutoCluster on Ancestry, I ran a Collins-Leeds Method chart on Ancestry. Then, I pulled the most significant groups from each and created a genealogy database for each of those, trying to tie the persons in those groups to my most common ancestor couple. The persons that appear without links are now my research project.

I have also enrolled in a 6 week course on Sons of the American Revolution certification process. I have 4 supplemental applications pending and I hope to use the procedures to get them moving and submitted. Once that is done, I will see about reviewing applications by others.

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Wow, life has gone on ..

What have I been up to?

It has really been a long time since I booked and entry in this blog. So, now sitting at my computer on 31 August, I think I have lost interest in explaining why I have the books that I have in my personal library. Actually, what caught my interest was that I needed to have a easy way to determine what was in my library. I have 259 actual books and 452 digital books. So, it is really getting difficult to remember titles and authors. And these are just the items in the library that deal with Genealogy!

I decided that it was time to take action on getting this under control (i.e. reduce the possiblity to purchase another copy of the same tome that I already one either on paper or in disk). The result is the database that I have created that contains all of the above plus more:

My Library Application

I have also been keeping track of the books I have been reading for entertainment for a number of years. And added that to my list — it covers actual books, Kindle Books, and Nook Books. Then, because I tend to add important / interesting / research items to notebooks, I have added the inventory of those notebooks and what is in each (still a work in progress. I have a few more shelves of notebooks to add.

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Reschedule original plan to add comments on the one above / below.

I had planned to go ahead with the next book on my list of why each is taking up bookshelf space in my den when I got sucked into looking at the just prior book and digging deeper into what the references were telling me.

First of the references that caught my eye was The Great Migration, Immigration to New England 1634-1635 by Robert Charles Anderson. I got gob-smacked since I own the entire seven volume set – I used to buy one volume at a time with the birthday money my father used to give me (ya, they were that expensive and Pop wasn’t chintzy on his gifting). I dove into a number of ancestors.

My next moment of enlightenment was when I realized there were references to a number of publication s that I did not have but were available to me through my membership in the New England Historical and Genealogical Society membership: This gave me access to:

The American Genealogist – article on Samuel Botsford of Milford, CT

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register – article on Henry Botsford — actually on identifying his wife.

The Great Migration Begins – article on Mayflower Passenger, Edward Fuller (my direct ancestor).

Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries – grave stone of Joseph Jenks of Pawtucket.

Early New England Families Study Project – Joseph Jenks and Esther Ballard Jenks daughter Sarah.

The Great Migration Begins – article on John Howland, Mayflower Passenger,

I also pulled my copy of Mayflower Families Through Five Generations – Vol 23, parts 1, 2, 3) out of storage and put it back so I can connect John Howland to my tree.

The one book referenced but not digitized at NEHGS was The Pilgrim Migration, Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633. by Robert Charles Anderson. It arrives next week!

Once I go through all of these and dictate pertinent extracts into my database, I will need to make another pass through New Englanders in the 1600s.

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New Englanders in the 1600s

The Guide to Genealogical Research by Martin E Hollick was published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society. I bought it because I knew I should be able to find a number of my ancestors listed.

P 17 – Botsford, Henry, b1608, of Connecticut. Samuel(3), Elnathan (2)

p 90 – Fuller, Samuel, Mayflower Passenger, b 1580, d Plymouth, Mass., between 9 August and 26 September 1633

p 134 – Jenks, Joseph, B 1599, d Lynn, Mass., March 1683.

Now, the import part of these citations is not the information that they have, but each one supplied a reference to a major Genealogical publication that would help in the research of these ancestors.

I only listed 3, there are lots more — the big thing about New England in the 1600s was that the population was small and there was a lot of intermarriage between the families.

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History of Seymour, Connecticut with Biographies and Genealogies – W. C. Sharpe

History of Seymour, Connecticut with Biographies and Genealogies by W. C. Sharpe was published by Record Print, Seymour, Connecticut in 1879.

I must admit that what first caught my eye about this volume was that Seymour was one of the surnames in my extended family and that my direct line was in Connecticut. Then I started to go through the book. It is full of information about the Botsford, Holbrook and Lee families (all part of my direct line). In reviewing this tome for today’s post, I realized I need to go back though its pages and glean more information. Since I first reviewed the contents, my research has expanded my knowledge of persons who just might be hiding between these two covers.

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Rolls and Lists of Connecticut Men in the Revolution 1775 – 1783

This is Volume VII, published by the Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut, 1901.

I knew I had a number of ancestors that either came from or stopped for a bit in Connecticut. I was aware that my line of the Lee, Botsford, Munn, had been in North America prior to the American Revolution. This seemed like an obvious book to purchase.

The book references a number of my ancestors, many of whom I will spend a winter time putting together a supplemental application to the Sons of the American Revolution. If nothing else, when a finally crack it open to really use the volume, I will have a number of projects.

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