Friday, September 26, 2014

A Couple of Upcoming Events

Oct. 11 [Saturday]: The Genealogical Society of Marion County Annual Conference in conjunction with the Indiana Historical Society at the Eugene & Marilyn Glick History Center in Indianapolis Speakers: Juliana Szucs Smith & Lou Szucs. See for details.

Oct. 18 [Saturday]: Shelby Co. Genealogical Society [Shelbyville, IN] Conference: I will  be presenting "Using Online Resources to Help Solve Brickwall Research Problems.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ancient Wales Studies

If you are waging war with your pre-1500 Welsh ancestors, as I have been recently, may I suggest a really interesting website: Ancient Wales Studies. The site offers an extensive series of articles researched by Darrell Wolcott on the Welsh prior to 1500.It is based in Texas. Numerous articles are listed in the left-land column of the page. For others, you may need to search through the notes of an article to find additional articles on that subject -then Google it. Articles are well-documented. If you aren't familiar with ancient Welsh history, you may have to read through an article a couple of times to get a grasp on things. You see, the early Welsh had the habit of repeating given names, as well as having the stumbling block of patronymic surnames. Those were also repetitive. Of course none of us have ancestral families that fell victim to repetitive given names!*

If you are researching Welsh ancestors give this site a try!

*Humor! :)-

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Welsh Pedigrees

I've spent the last week or so trying to sort out the ancestry of my Welsh ancestor Evan Thomas [born: c1606-09 in Wales & died: 1661 in Boston]. That is part of the reason I haven't been posting.         
This little project is mind-boggling!

Each source gives a slightly different lineage for the Thomas family dating back to the 6th century or so. Two of the sources are family genealogies. Sources for the antiquated lineage are not given. My third source is the Community Trees Project  at, specifically the Wales Medieval Database Primarily of Nobility & Gentry. The lineage offered here offers the biggest discrepancy, about seven generations worth. My newest source is the Ancient Wales Studies web site. I'm still wading through the report on "Einon ap Llywarch of Carmarthenshire." This is a more recent examination of older Welsh genealogies.

So far my conclusion is ..... be happy tracing the family back three or four generations, don't get too ambitious! However, I'm giving it my best shot!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Baseball and Genealogy

I wrote an article a few years ago for Gen Weekly [Genealogy Today] about baseball crossing generations. I think it's online now, so try a Google search if you'd like to read it.

The baseball season is winding down and my Reds continue to fade this year. My first big league game ever was at old Crosley Field in Cincinnati. I think it was the last game of 1961. I was just getting interested in baseball at the time. We also attended Indianapolis Indians AAA games at old Victory Field/Bush Stadium.

I was a big Yankee fan from 1962-1968. As the Yankee greats were traded or retired [Berra, Mantle, Maris, Ford, etc.], my interest in the Reds increased. I got to see the Yankee greats, the Big Red Machine, Koufax, Drysdale, Musial, Mays and dozens of others.

My maternal grandfather was a big White Sox fan. My Dad was a Yankee fan until the late '60s. We sort of adopted the Reds at the same time.

Pop attended the 1939 World Series at Wrigley Field in Chicago. He saw Joe DiMaggio belt a home run. [That was also Lou Gehrig's last series.] In 1964, we went to see the Yankees play the White Sox. Mickey Mantle hit a home run that day. Mantle took over as Yankee super star from DiMaggio.

Pop and my grandmother took in Indians games at old Washington Park [about where the Indy Zoo is today.] He and Mom took my to old Victory Field many times.

My parents and I shared a lot of baseball memories - crazy ones, fun ones, weird ones. We detoured to Houston to see the Astrodome enroute to Florida. We nearly froze to death at Chavez Ravine [Dodger Stadium] in June.

I wish I could have talked baseball with Mom's father and with Pop's mother. The sport crisscrosses generations. I've even been able to get my girlfriend to attend games at Indy's new Victory Field. We've been to Wrigley and Great American as well. Trade off? She's a NASCAR fan. I go to the Brickyard 400!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Family Updates

It looks like I'll have time to address updating a few families - Thomas, Scott, Newcomb, Almy, Sumter, Holden, Turner, Gaymer, Jennison, Low, St. John and a couple of others.

Then comes the most dreaded of all tasks - organizing the files! The den is a jumble of folders and notebooks. Family data needs to be put in file folders. File folders need to be put in the filing cabinet.

Where are those elves that helped out that shoemaker? Do they do genealogical organizing on the side?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Five ups and downs of research: no particular order!

1) Finding the information that gave me the breakthrough on the fate of Captain Zachariah Rhodes at the NEHGS Library.
2) Seeing the court case that confirmed Cornelius Prall Sr. was the son of Aaron Prall.
3) Finding the letter written by Dolly Jennison Simmons to her sister [1860] in the Jennison Family History that confirmed that [James] Morris Simmons was her son.
4) Stumbling across a new genealogical find on any family.
5) Assisting others in locating info.

1) All of the misinformation accumulated in online family trees.
2) Discovering that I assigned the wrong person to a family. [Correcting that error is an UP!]
3) Finding the ages of the children in an ancestor's probate - the minor children, not the children over the age of majority, of which my ancestor's daughter is one.
4) Finding "unknown" listed for a parent on a death certificate.
5) People who won't let go of family data that has been proven to be incorrect.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Pitfalls of Researching the Welsh!

If you have Welsh ancestry, you should appreciate my comments. My first Welsh lines to be researched were those of the Pugh and Evans families and the Rogers family. All three were Quaker families. The Rogers clan was well-documented in Frederick Co., VA. The Evans-Pugh line was easy to follow after arrival in Pennsylvania.

Robert Pugh and Sarah Evans were married in Wales and their daughter Ellin married John Rogers in Pennsylvania.

Now, those of you unfamiliar with Welsh research need to stifle the yawn. Pugh, Evans, Rogers - two of the three common surnames, the third a bit rare - easy to tackle!

Nooooooooo! The Welsh, you see, used patronymics. The child took the given name of the father in each generation. [ap/ab were used for boys, ferch/verch for girls]

Sarah verch Evan, Robert ap Hugh [Pugh is a contraction], etc.

So, the Rogers immigrant was Roger ap Roberts. Roger's kids elected to use the Rogers surname. My John ap Roger became John Rogers.

Robert ap Hugh became Robert Pugh. Sarah verch Evan became Sarah Evans.

Here's an example of a five generation Welsh family: Evan ap Rhys = Rhys ab Evan = Thomas ap Rhys = Llewellyn ap Thomas = Robert ap Llewellyn. Robert's sister would be Sarah verch Llewellyn. Imagine tracking the family back 10-12 generations!

The Welsh kept good track of their "royal families." My Evans-Pugh line goes back to King John! The Welsh and English intermarried for the sake of political or military alliances and other reasons.

I'm currently working on my Thomas line in Massachusetts. Dorothy Thomas > George Thomas > Evan Thomas > Evan Thomas > John Phillip ap Thomas > Thomas ap Rhys > Rhys ap Gruffydd > Gryffudd ap Rhys, and so on. [Rhys = Rice; Gruffydd = Griffith]

May you discover a Welsh ancestral line and have fun with it!