Monday, June 24, 2013

My Arnold Line = Big OOPS!

As a researcher, I try to strive for accuracy. Every once in awhile I make errors or later research proves that I drew incorrect conclusions early on. Errors . must then be corrected!

The old fraudulent genealogy dodge got me on the Arnold ancestry that I recently revisited. I have been aware of Gustave Anjou's "made-up" genealogies for years, but Horatio Gates Somerby somehow escaped my attention.

Somerby was noted for fraudulent genealogies back in the 1800s. He traced the Arnolds' Welsh ancestry from Ynyr of Gwent to Arnold immigration to America. As I was trying to sort things out & get Ynyr to my Arnolds, things weren't matching up. I got suspicious & googled my Arnolds & Somerby. Ol' Horatio had gotten creative in making the lines connect.

So, now I get to trim 3-4 generations from my Arnold tree. I hadn't worked on the Arnolds for several years. Something "back in the day" must have alerted me as I did not include the family back to Ynyr at that time.

One of my very distant Arnold cousins is General Benedict Arnold [9th cousin, several times removed, I think]. Yes, the hero of the Continental Army in the early years of the Rev. War! Canada, Saratoga & other campaigns. He saved the day at Saratoga, although his commanding officer took & received the credit. Of course Benedict had a lapse in character & turned traitor.

Who was it that helped taint the Arnold legacy? General Horatio Gates, who later left his defeated army on the field at Camden.

Interesting. Horatio Gates messed up Arnold's legacy. Horatio Gates Somerby messed up his ancestry!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Welsh Genealogy

My recent trip to the Newberry Library in Chicago redirected me to my Arnold ancestry. According to numerous sources the family is of Welsh origin.

I try to avoid the "Noble European Lineages" as much as possible since there's too much room for error. Besides, the stories of the noblility's common descendants tend to be more interesting. However, this one hooked me.

The Welsh dealt in patronymics [John's son Thomas = Thomas ap John. Thomas' son Arthur = Arthur ap Thomas, etc.] Figuring out the pronunciation of Welch names is also an adventure. has a neat feature called "Community Trees." Sources are given and conflicting information is noted on the page of the individual concerned.

This should lead to a few hours of fun research!

By the way, "Move-in Day" is approaching for the Genealogy Society of Marion County's Research Center at Memorial Park Cemetery on East Washington St./US 40. Keep checking in for updates!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chicago & Genealogy

Returning after another long layoff!

My maternal grandfather, Charles McHugh, moved to Chicago from Shullsburg, WI in 1904. His mother, Louisa, died there in 1906. My grandparents were married in Chicago in 1910 & one of my uncles were born there. The McHughs & Crails moved to Indy in 1911.

I finally made it to Chicago last week. My girlfriend was attending a conference & I tagged along. We attended the Wednesday Reds - Cubs game at Wrigley Field [Reds, 2-1], went to the top of the Sears [Willis] Tower, Michigan Ave., the Museum of Science & Industry & the Medieval Times [Schomburg]. On my own, I took in the Field Museum & the Newberry Library.

The people we met in Chicago were great! CTA workers for the Els & subway were extremely helpful & courteous, as were the folks at Wrigley. Cub fans? They are a special breed - numerous fans lamented that "at least we won one of four vs. the Reds." Still, really nice folks. Museum staffers were nice as well. We ate at several deli shops & met more nice folks working there.

I did a little research at the Newberry Library & was a bit disappointed. CLOSED STACKS! As a researcher, I like to browse the collections at libraries. You never know when a gem will appear on a shelf. With closed stacks, you have no chance to find the "accidental gem." The Newberry was a beautiful facility & the staff was helpful. I did make a couple of finds!

The one downer was a tour at the Museum of S&I. The guide was terrific, but there was a family with a overly inquisitive youngster, who also wanted to touch nearly everything he wasn't supposed to. He was constantly asking an assortment of questions. At some point the parents should have reeled him in out of respect for the rest of the group. The older brother was a delight, asking questions politely as we moved from stop to stop. The sister was too young to know what was going on.

This is the 2nd tour that has been hampered by families with children too young to be on the tour. We did a tour of Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati & a couple had infants in a stroller. They had to pull aside from time to time to quell crying & the tour group couldn't make a scheduled stop because of the stroller.

Parents: Use some common sense. Don't take your little ones on tours that they are too young for! Make sure that they can behave appropriately if you do.

Places that offer tours: I realize that you need to turn a profit, but please put an age limit on kids [5-7 maybe] & instruct guides to pull aside parents to politely request that they keep the kids in line.

OK, I am stepping down from my soapbox & getting back to genealogy.

By the way, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealgy has opened registration for 2014!

Chicago - you were great!!