The Homestead Act of 1862 opened up the American West to settlement. Any person (a citizen or someone who intended to become a citizen) could apply for a section of land (160 acres) in any one of the "public domain states". "Public domain states" were all the states except for the 13 original states and … Continue reading The Goodman family of St. David, Arizona
I have written before about my great-grandfather, John Bellas and his frequent journeys from County Durham, England to Kimberley, South Africa to work in the mines. His wife, my great-grandmother, Ann Wilson, married at age 20, becoming an instant mother to John’s small child from his first marriage. She was a woman who, for many … Continue reading Ann Wilson Bellas – a Strong Woman
Well known as one of the first settlers in Massena, St. Lawrence county, New York, Thomas Lantry died at the age of 98 in August 1887. 1 He left an estate of some $35 000.00, equivalent to approximately $890 000.00 today. For the thirty years previous to Thomas’ death, he had been living with his … Continue reading ‘Where there’s a (contested) will …Thomas Lantry of St. Lawrence Co., New York
The family bible is one of the most precious heirlooms a genealogist can have. A few years ago, my father was visiting his brother in England, and the subject of the family bible came up. My uncle was kind enough to pass the bible on to me, knowing of my passion for genealogy. It is … Continue reading Family Heirloom: The Thomas family bible.
The moment I saw photographs of my husband’s great grandparents I wished that I had been fortunate enough to have met them. They seemed to radiate happiness and love for each other, for their family and for life. They are the perfect choice for a post on Valentine’s Day. Charles & Ella Charles Stephen Zimmerman … Continue reading Charles and Ella Zimmerman – an Enduring Love Story.
Silence and her granddaughter, Experience. We probably all have them in our family trees. Those Puritan virtue names popular in the 17th century. Mercy, Thankful, Liberty, Faith, Prudence, and in my case …. Silence, and her granddaughter, Experience. Silence Potter was born in Exeter, Washington county, Rhode Island on 22 January 1753 1. Her parents … Continue reading Silence and her granddaughter, Experience.
In the Census: Understanding what the census enumerator was instructed to write. The census is one of the first places we go to when researching our ancestors. We pour over those images, trying to interpret what is on the page in front of us. For the 1880 U.S. census, the Superintendent of the Census offered … Continue reading Understanding what the Census Enumerator was meant to write (and how that helps you understand your ancestor).
At my dinner table… Out of all your ancestors who would you most like to share a meal with? I would like to sit down with my 16 great great grandparents as they seem to be a fascinating lot. All 8 couples were born in different parts of the U.K. and the world. There is … Continue reading Sharing a Meal with my 16 Great Great Grandparents.
Longevity (or in my coal mining ancestors, the lack thereof) Coal mining was not an occupation that promoted longevity in those who worked from before daybreak to after dark, six out of seven days a week, month after month and year after year. Most miners began work down the mines as young as age 8. … Continue reading Longevity (or the lack thereof) in County Durham Coal Miners.
Amy Johnson Crow has a new challenge for us called 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. You can learn more about it here and sign up if you think you would be interested. It’s a great way to share some of our data and as I looked through my photographs for the Week 2 prompt “Favorite … Continue reading A Favorite Photo : The men of the Thomas/Bellas/Stables family of County Durham, England.