The goal of this project is to trace each branch of the family tree back to the ancestor that immigrated to America. I go back another generation to capture multiple immigrant siblings on their parent’s page. There are also special jaunts back in time to Marcus Antonius, Charlemagne, Edward I and a few other knights and kings of note.
It’s fun to find a missing relative and fill in pieces of a puzzle. Ancestors from the early 1800’s are some of the hardest ones to find. My grandparent’s information about their grandparents was pretty complete, so that takes us to births 1817- 1849. Once you get to the mid 1700’s, there are lots of online records available. Ten kids per family will create a lot of potential researchers 200 years later.
The puzzle is part of the fun, but it’s most rewarding to get a glimpse of how we lived in the past. I’m particularly interested in the lives of those that left their country for a new life and pioneers who established new towns or farms in wilderness.
I like the stories rather than the scholarship and feel that fact by fact footnotes break up the narrative. I try to hyper-link to the source and include a list of links at the bottom in “Sources” I link to our ancestor’s findagrave memorial through their date-of-death. Many thanks to the researchers who have gone out into the field, found these headstones and footstones, taken pictures and shared what they found with their (very) extended family.
My primary goal is sharing interesting stories about our forebearers. I don’t footnote each biographical fact, though I try to include links to the original sources. I usually try to attribute, indent and italicize extended quotations, but I must admit I’m more consistent at this now than I was at the beginning. If you find a section that’s leaning to much towards plagairism, let me know and I will fix it.
There’s a lot of religious drama in these lives. One famous and shocking story is of Mary Towne ESTEY (wife ofIssac ESTEY) who was burned at the stake at the Salem witch trials and portrayed in stage and screen. See my series Puritans v. Quakers and Witch Trials. There are other important stories too, like Elder William BREWSTER who as the only university graduate, served as the Mayflower colonists first religious leader, Rev. Stephen BACHILER (c. 1561 – 1656) who was an early proponent of the separation of church and state in America, Rene REZEAU, a Huguenot who fled France in 1685, and Deacon Benjamin COLEMAN who fought against his slave-owning minister on the slavery issue and was suspended from his church in 1780 over slavery. For a more complete list of our more illustrious ancestors see my page Wikipedia Famous To qualify for this hall of fame, the ancestor or their child has to have a wikipedia page of their own.
It’s interesting to think about past, present and future. I can find family members, marriages, removals, lawsuits and wills. I wonder if anyone will be looking into our lives 100 (or even 200, 300 or 400) years in the future. I guess that all depends on Alex (lol). How permanent a record this will this WordPress site be? Will it last at least as long as my grandmother’s mimeographed sheets?
Each web page is titled by the dad and covers a family. It includes vital statistics of the couple, links to the grandparents and a table of the children’s birth, marriage(s) and departures with dates and locations. This record includes aunts and uncles, but not cousins. The names of direct ancestors are BOLD. This project is halfway between a strict pedigree and an entire history of a particular family name. Most of these immigrants were working people: butchers, bakers, wheelwrights and mostly yeoman farmers. While we have a few gentry in our lines, the Family coats of arms on these pages are used to identify the original immigrants. Most of these families did not really have a coat of arms in their time. The pictures and the stories are the fun parts to find.
For navigation, use “search”, click on BOLD Fathers, Sons or Sons-in-law to get to the next family. Use the categories on the right to search by generation or by special topic.
Check out the “Fun Stuff” Category. Silly fun pages include: College Graduates, 17th Century Premarital Sex, Famous Cousins, Twins and Unusual Names. Historical fun pages include: Crimes and Misdemeanors, Untimely Deaths, Public Office, and Great Migration.
I’ve started to document historical events where several of our ancestors came together in the “History” Category. Examples include: First Comers, Esopus Wars, Siege of Brookfield – Aug 1675 , The Great Swamp Fight, and Minutemen – April 19, 1775
The gravestone page headers are of the first Miners in America. Thomas and Grace MINER died three months apart in 1690 and are buried together in Stonington Connecticut’s Wequetequock Cemetery. Their grave covered by a “wolfstone”, consisting of a large granite slab which it is said Thomas selected for the purpose from his own field. On one side of the stone an inscription reads: “Here lyeth the body of Lieutenant Thomas Minor, aged 83 years. Departed 1690”. His wife, Grace is buried beside Thomas, the opposite side of the stone being inscribed for her .