We probably spent a little too long exploring Palestine A. M. E. Cemetery considering the heat and the bugs but so many names had a story. And my Aunt wanted to locate her Great Grandfather Mose Wheeler and his wife Josie’s headstone—It wasn’t where we expected, but we found it. And the whole trip just reinforced the strong ties to the community. I honestly believe almost every person buried in that cemetery is represented in my database because they are related by blood or marriage.

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Mose and Josie died four days apart in 1948.

Happy hunting,

Jess

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I’ve been running pretty solidly for the last few weeks but I have had a number of wonderful genealogy related experiences in that time.

In the forefront, I owe a large thank you to my aunts who took me back over home to see Johnsville, Arkansas the longtime home of my York, Trotter and allied families and then into Warren, the seat of Bradley County. The trip was two hours from our reunion hotel and the drive was filled with fascinating stories and asides most of which I had never heard before. It was an insightful trip for me and it was very generous of them to spend the day with me.

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I got to see what remains of my great grandmother’s home. It’s awkward because I don’t have the emotional attachment to it. But I found it moving as it currently appears that the woods are reclaiming the land.

Thank you to my Aunts–Linda, Brenda and Alfreda!

Happy hunting,

Jess

I’m being pulled  in a lot of different directions lately but I still want to keep this blog going so here’s me, yet again, saying I’ll try to be better about writing.

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Summer is a time of family gatherings—weddings, open houses, and reunions. Are you taking advantage of your family time to build on your genealogy research? Even just sitting around and sharing photographs can spark great family storytelling! That’s what Grandma Trotter, my aunts, and I were doing in this picture.

 

One of the projects I’ve been working on for the last few months is an update of my research on Grandma Trotter’s family (my paternal grandmother) accomplished through solo research and a big crowdsourcing project amongst my distant cousins. The sharing was an interesting experiment. I pulled together all of my notes in a register report from our earliest known York ancestors and then one of my cousins sent it out by email to family all over the country with orders to send corrections and additions to me.

Some of the corrections made total sense, some were confusing, some totally contradicted each other. We have step-children, illegitimate children who are still blood related, we even had the moment where I had to look at two people’s additions repeatedly before I understood that representatives from two different wings of the family had married—not uncommon, just confusing in the corrections. But it was a wholly rewarding experience… marred only by the fact that I can’t attend this particular reunion.

[Trotters and Yorks—I’ve been working on our genealogy for years so I know mine is not the only family effected by the reunions being in the same month.]

Happy hunting!

Jess

PieChartBeacuse it’s been a hot topic in my corner of genealogy, this is just a quick heads up for those interested in DNA testing.  Today is DNA Day and sales are running for at least Family Tree DNA and AncestryDNA. It’s about as low a price as they ever go.

Happy hunting!

Jess

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Hi all,

The South Lansing Library will be keeping the tradition alive this year (as Downtown Lansing Library is still closed for Renovations) by hosting CADL’s Family History Open House celebrating National Genealogy Day on March 11th from 10-4 pm.

Highlights include:

  • Breaking Down Brick Wall Using DNA presented by Bethany Waterbury
  • Crowdsourcing Your Genealogy presented by Dan Earl
  • One-on-one appointments with Librarians to help devise research plans to help break through on your own research–DEADLINE to reserve your appointment is February 18th.

Check out the flyer here: family-history-open-house-2017

I’ll remind you all again about the program, but don’t miss the opportunity to have our avid genies on staff take a pass on one of your problem areas in your  research… sometimes all we need is a fresh perspective to break through those brickwalls.

Happy hunting,

Jess

Stow-Davis Furniture Company Employees

Not to mention… the Johnsons, Packers, Sufflings, Holdens, Burroughs… The list goes on. I’m about 0% Native American. I’m a child of immigrants from Germany, the British Isles, West Africa (those last weren’t voluntary). They took the jobs no one wanted. They served our country in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. They helped make Grand Rapids the furniture capital of the world for a time. They were policeman, teachers, and ministers. They worked hard for a better life and to pursue the fundamental right of religious freedom. This country was built on the hard work and perseverance of immigrants and refugees. America’s historical dealings with immigrants and refugees are shoddy at best but I still expect infinitely better than I’m seeing today.

In the picture above there’s a grumpy looking individual dressed in black with his arms crossed, directly below the “w” in “Stow”. I believe this is my Great-Great Grandfather Cornelius Packer. He came to North America as a child from Rainham, Kent, England; grew up in Ontario, Canada; and came as an adult to Grand Rapids, Michigan to work during the lumber and furniture boom around the turn of the century.

What’s your immigrant story?

Jess

So, the blog has suffered greatly in the last few months (okay, really a couple of years now but work with me) for any number of reasons—new job, day-to-day life, me trying to overcomplicate things… etc. But it’s also happened because I’ve had so many neat opportunities recently—presenting, researching, and writing. Blog posts still may be hit and miss for a time while I work out my new reality but I’ll try to be better about posting.

In the mean time, I’ll be presenting:

  • Finding Non-Traditional Records at the Michigan Genealogical Council’s* Delegate Meeting on Thursday January 12th at 11 am. (rescheduled due to weather) Thursday, March 9th at 11 am.

*Don’t forget to check out their events list for Michigan (and national) genealogy events.

Happy hunting and happy New Year!

Jess