Last year I came across a photograph of the gravestone of George Albert Craft, my husband’s second great-grandfather. He is buried in the Chico cemetery, in Chico, Butte County, California. 1 As I studied the gravestone I realized that I really didn’t know much about him. What I discovered was a hardworking, family oriented man … Continue reading The Story Behind the Headstone of George A. Craft
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
by Kirsten McNelly Bibbes Orphan. I was an “orphan” in Lansing, Michigan for many years. Don’t get me wrong—my parents were alive and pretty perky—but lived in Arizona. Not knowing a soul, I moved to Lansing in 1996. I started my legal career based in Lansing, practicing in Ingham, Clinton, and the surrounding counties. I … Continue reading Guest Post – Full Circle: A Transplant Michigander’s Surprise Homecoming
Many years ago I received the birth certificate for my great-grandfather James Thomas, born in Medomsley, County Durham, England in 1862. I knew his parents to be William and Susan Thomas, but I had not been able to find Susan’s maiden name. I eagerly opened the envelope anticipating the beautifully written maiden name of my … Continue reading What’s in a (Maiden) Name?
I have always been fascinated by the life of my great-grandfather John Bellas. Born into a coal mining family originally from Flintshire, Wales, he spent his entire life working down the mines. John was born in 1859 in St Giles, County Durham, England. He was the third child and first son for David Bellis and … Continue reading The Life of a Miner: from County Durham, England to Kimberley, South Africa.
City Directories and Voter Registration indexes can supplement our research and help track individuals over time and place. They are both often overlooked as a source of genealogical information. To illustrate the use of City Directories and Voter Registration records let’s use the McNelly family of San Francisco, California. At first glance, the information I … Continue reading Tracking a Family with City Directories and Voter Registration Indexes
You’re excited to start researching one of your ancestors. You jump in but soon find yourself following those BSOs (Bright Shiny Objects) down many different paths. At the end of 2 hours you have little to show for your effort. This is where a Research Plan can come in handy. What is a Research Plan? … Continue reading Research Plans, Mind Maps and a Case Study