Thursday, January 30, 2014

Genealogy Mystery Novels

For all of you genealogists out there in need of a good read, might I suggest one of Steve Robinson's genealogy mystery books. I've been reading In the Blood. Robinson's central character is Jefferson Tayte, an American genealogist, who must go to Cornwall, England to resolve his current project. Murder, mayhem, kidnapping and plenty of twists are involved. Tayte is trying to find the missing details on a Loyalist family that returned to England after the Revolutionary War, but certain elements don't wish that too happen. It is a fun read. Robinson has a couple of other books out on Tayte's adventures and another in the works. In the Blood is the first book, so if you want to start at the beginning, that's your title.

I'm not quite finished with the novel,  so can't tell you how it ends! [I did just get through the chapter where the murderer is identified. The killer is .........................................


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SLIG Report & other genealogy stuff

I sent off my SLIG report to the consultants today. I'm hoping to get a little evaluative feedback before sharing with others. When you rattle off twelve pages, you want to make sure it makes sense!

I'll be teaching a beginning genealogy class at the Genealogical Society of Marion Co. library at Memorial Park Cemetery on East Washington St. on Saturday at 10:00. All welcome! It's a freebie!

My next project is working on my girlfriend's maternal line. I've found some really interesting stuff so far. I need to get the material organized and down on paper.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

SLIG Report

I have been working on summing up my findings from the Institute. So far 11 pages. Another 3-4 should do it! Sigh!

Monday, January 27, 2014

First post-SLIG Post

It's been a hectic week plus since I got back from the SLIG. Some really lousy weather, shoveling snow and recuperating have occupied the time. I'm in the process of writing up my post-institute research report.

I try avoiding non-genealogical issues on the blog. Today I will stray! Here are a few grumbles and observations that need venting!

1) Why do gyms allow cell phones? People sit on the equipment texting away or chatting. They can't go an hour without visiting?

2)  What happened to network TV? Back in the 20th century, I could line up shows during prime time that were interesting, entertaining and watchable. Now there are 4-5 shows that fit those three concepts during the entire week! They are all on CBS.

3) What happened to A&E and the History Channels? They used to produce really interesting movies and programs. Now History Channel 1 & 2 will runs a few of those old programs and show some interesting new stuff, but mostly it's 'reality shows' that are supposed to have some relevance. A&E? Reruns of network shows and reality shows. What happened? 

4) A plea to Encore Westerns: Drop the spaghetti westerns, the weird stuff from the late 60s -70s and anything not set roughly before WWI. Rodeo movies and modern-days cowboys aren't Westerns! Get back to John Wayne, Audie Murphy, Glenn Ford, Randolph Scott, Gary Cooper and Company! Go easy on the singing cowboys too!

OK, I'm done! Back to genealogy tomorrow!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday after SLIG

The morning after the Institute turned out to be interesting. I was chatting with another consultant about my Dutch vs. Welsh St. John problem. He clearly stated that no Welshman would be a member of the Dutch Church. That adds to the pro-Dutch argument!

I spent the day working on my girlfriend's maternal line and came up with some really neat info to share!

Back to central Indiana tomorrow bright and early.

Friday, January 17, 2014

SLIG Friday

A slow research day. Belgian records were a dead-end and the English/Welsh records were spent. The banquet offered good food, company and entertainment. John Colletta was our dinner speaker.
UGA's big news was that the Institute has outgrown the facilities at the Radisson and we will be at the Hilton next year.

Although I encourage everyone to take Problem Solving, there are 12 classes being offered January 12-16, 2015:

US Research
Advanced New England Research
Advanced German Research
Finding Immigrant Origins
Post War Military Records
Genealogy Law Library
Researching in Original Resource Repositories
Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum
Advanced Genealogical Methods
Genetic Genealogy
Writing Proof Arguments



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday from SLIG

Another day wading through new records and rechecking others. Copied William St. John's 1563 will, abstracting is another story. I went back and rechecked some books found an item on Lijnken Santken's 2nd husband and an entry for a "Widowe Senchon" in St. Olave, Southward for 1600. Both of Lijnken's marriages took place in London and 3 of her children's baptisms were located.

I attended John Colletta's presentation on using Federal Court Records. Informative and entertaining as usual!

One day to go!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Report for SLIG on Wednesday

Interesting day! I was directed to a book that contained the records for the London Dutch Church [Austin Friars] and copied the records for Thomas Santken and his sister Lijnken. I then decided to see if there were any books on their spouses' families. There were - one in French and two in Dutch. My HS German might get me through some of the Dutch, but the French is a lost cause! Look for the surnames and hope for the best?

I also battled through the St. Olave, Silver Street records. What a mess! Numerous pages were faded, torn and water-marked and the individual who wrote the records failed handwriting. Had I not had the dates from Jerome Santkens' NEHGS Register article to work from, I'd never have found half of the entries. [Thanks Jerome!] The pages for 1597-1600 marriages were severely damaged. If Christopher married at St. Olave, the record is all but lost.

I also tracked down the source for Thomas St. John's burial record. A trip to the International Records floor was less than productive, but one of the staffers copied the film list for early Belgian's records. Mathias was from Antwerp.

More to do tomorrow!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday SLIG Report

Both consultants were on hand today, plus the back-up consultant. A lot of knowledge in the room! The consensus today was that I'm working on two different families. The $64,000 question? Which one does immigrant Mathias St. John belong to? Also the thought was that Mathias Saintian must have been a tailor of some means. A son was born in Antwerp after the family settled in England. That would suggest that Mathias made at least one trip back to his homeland.

Not a lot of progress on the research. I copied all of the Santken/Sansom/etc. records from the Huguenot Society of London books. I also waded through some of the Merchant Taylor Co. records to see if any of the pertinent St. Johns or Santkens were listed. They weren't. The rest of the day was spent online trying to find connections between various St. Johns.

My presentation went pretty well. A dozen or so folks attended and were very attentive and asked good questions. On the downside, I sounded like Froggy from the "Little Rascals." [That reference is for all of you senior readers out there!]

Monday, January 13, 2014

SLIG Monday Report

The day started off with our group short a consultant for medical reasons, but a replacement has been lined up. I happened to meet him at the Family History Library. Very impressed!

I was able to track down Returns of Strangers in the Metropolis 1593, 1627, 1639 1635 by Irene Scouloudi. I knew there was a crucial entry on "Mathias Saintians"in the book for 1593. Details? Wife, Katheren, householder, born in Antwerp, Brabant, tailor, son born in Antwerp of 5 years, no stranger servant, dwelt in England 12 years, no denizen, of the English Church, keeps and sets no English person to work, no denizen. Unfortunately, there were no additional entries on Mathias.

The dwelt in England 12 years entry is very important. That places Mathias in England about 1581, the same year that Christian/Christopher Santkens/ St. John was first there!

I checked probate files for wills for Thomas St. John. Two death dates [1611 & 1625] have been proposed. No wills located.

I was given a handful of leads to follow and need to get at it! More tomorrow.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Salt Lake Institute [SLIG] Sunday Edition

The flight from Indy was uneventful. :)- The SLIG Registration and Get-together went well. We had the Problem Solving orientation this evening instead of tomorrow. We have some newbies, which is good.

Hopefully, the parentage of Christian/Christopher Santken/St.John/Sension will be put to rest [to f the my satisfaction] by the end of the day on Friday.

Tomorrow: Monday's research update!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Weather Delays

The blog has been delayed by weather. Central Indiana was clobbered with 11 inches or so of snow over the weekend. I was just too pooped to write after helping shovel my girlfriend's driveway three times in -20 to -40 degree temperatures. Searching for data on her maternal line and watching movies took precedence. I finally got home driving on fair to miserable road conditions.

Final preparations are underway for the Salt Lake trip. Our Problem Solving group assignments came over the weekend. I get to work with  two consultants that I haven't worked with yet. That should be fun.

Friday, January 3, 2014


Sometimes persistence is the name of the game in genealogy. I mentioned in yesterday's post that I had done a little extra work on a couple of families in my girlfriend's maternal family history. One of the families lacking info was her mother's Bays/Bayse family. Multiple searches were turning up dead ends. The info was there, but I lacked a connection to that info. Finally, RootsWeb World Connect gave me the connection. My girlfriend's great-grandfather was called Byrd. RootsWeb gave me his birth name of Hubbard. That opened the flood gates! Now I can backtrack to, FamilySearch, World Vital Records, etc. and fill out the story. If the scattering of documents that I skimmed on the initial search after locating Hubbard could make for a fun lineage!

Anxiously awaiting the consultant evaluations from the SLIG. Departure is in nine days!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Well, the last 2/3 of December zipped by without a post. Hopefully, 2014 will see more consistency.
Genealogy accomplishments for December:
(1) I helped my girlfriend's cousin connect with his half-brother, nearly 20 years his senior. The half-brother had been adopted by his step-father and the birth certificate was doctored.
(2) I also assembled my girlfriend's maternal genealogy and added some new information to it. The genealogy was a Christmas gift for her mother.

On tap for January:
(1) Attend the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy [Jan. 13-18].
(2)  Resolve the "Was Mathias St. John of Dutch or Norman-Welsh heritage?" issue. [see #1] I was thrilled to find out about the Dutch lineage, then was just about sold on the Welsh ancestry and now I'm leaning back toward the Dutch. Aaargh!
(3) Make sure I add posts nightly from Salt Lake on how the research is going.
(4) Keep the posts coming.
(5) Organize my genealogy files.
(6) Clean up my research room.