Tuesday, October 29, 2013

While using the collateral genealogical research method, I looked at census records, church records, death records, cemetery records, obituaries, marriage records, and land records.  Besides my grandmother and her parents, the collateral relatives included Grandma’s brother and his children, Grandma’s sister and her children, and Grandma’s aunt and her children.   In the past, this method has proved to be productive, however, in this case, there was little information to be found.
.....To be continued.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


We all experience “brick walls” when doing our genealogical research.  I reached a dead end almost immediately when searching for my grandmother’s year and place of birth.  She never knew where she was born and could only guess at her age.  Her parents were natives of Germany and that is all she knew.   After searching all of her known collateral lines—that is, searching for information about her siblings, parents, and aunt on her father’s side, I still came up with little more than I started with.  The only new clue is that they came from West Posen area of Germany, which is now in Poland.  Her Aunt Minnie was the first of the family to arrive and she married a man from Gross Jestin, Pommern.  That is not too far from West Posen and also now in Poland.......More to come.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Witches in your Family Tree

Genealogical research can be bewitching. It’s nearing two of my husband’s ancestor’s favorite time of year. They were witches and he can claim them in his family tree. I am referring to Colonial America when the fear of witchcraft prevailed. These “witches” were the subject of an overriding fear of things that the colonists did not understand. In the case of Lydia Gilbert, she was accused of killing Henry Stiles. She never held the weapon or was anywhere near the place of death. Thomas Allen, a militiaman, cocked his musket during a training exercise and inadvertently knocked it against a tree. The weapon fired killing Henry Stiles. Mr. Stiles lived in the household of Lydia Gilbert. It is not known if there was trouble between them, but subsequently she was accused of witchcraft, because “by the devil’s help”, she caused the musket to fire. Collecting names and dates is part of genealogical research, but the interesting part is when there is a good story to be told. There were many books and articles written about the witches in Colonial America, many concerning Salem, and Massachusetts. But many men and women were accused and indicted in Connecticut as well as other less known courts. There is a lineage society of the descendants of witches, called Associated Daughters of Early American Witches. Membership is by invitation only. I can check their list of approved ancestors. Contact me at www.rootspursuits.com