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View Diary: Beware of Tyrants in Sheep's Clothing (215 comments)

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  •  I knew from pre-computer research... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead, leftreborn, Calamity Jean, Noddy

    ... that this particular ancestor had been in the Rev. War, but only recently when I was looking for a different person in the same line did Ancestry flag this pension application file with 29 papers in it - also contained his earlier records from when he was in the service, plus his discharge and leave papers did I know which battles he was in and where he served and under which companies.  So..., a bit more digging online, and one was a site from Valley forge with muster roll files, and that's when I found out he went through Dec '77-May '78 without any notes..., but in June '78 he's listed as 'sick in Yellow Springs hospital' (with what, it doesn't say, but it is generally known that dysentery, typhus, and pneumonia were common illnesses that winter/spring).  There's a bunch more trivia, but I compared where his company went with the PBS series Liberty on YouTube and Revolution, also on YouTube (had to look that up on Wikipedia for the chronological order), and when the locations mentioned in his pension application file were mentioned, I paid attention.  My jaw dropped in a few places (this isn't high school history class listening to dry info..., this is what my ancestor really went through along with the rest of the people in that unit...).

    So, I'm gathering quite a nice portfolio on my ancestor, along with an itemized timeline for part of his life.

    These last years since getting my first PC, I've gotten access to more copies of documents than I would have ever believed 50 years ago when I first got interested in genealogy research, and I've made leaps and bounds on lineages I never would have guessed I'd be researching, both in the US and three of the countries of origin (I've documented seven, but some are so far back not many documents are available).

    That's the fun of genealogy research....  :-)  I have a bunch of interesting ancestors from colonial New England, actually, starting with the Mayflower forward.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:05:28 PM PST

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    •  Isn't that amazing? I did similar research and (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, NonnyO, Calamity Jean, Noddy

      learned some things about my ancestors that no one alive today in our family knew before.  But nothing as interesting as what you were able to do.  

      "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

      by leftreborn on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:44:14 AM PST

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      •  Keep searching! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leftreborn, Calamity Jean, Noddy

        If you had ancestors in colonial America, something is bound to fall out of the tree when Serendipity is ready to drop the fruit on your head.  There's a lot of free books now online via Google Books (some even written in the 17th century) and Internet Archive, and all available for a free download because the copyrights expired long ago.  One book on one of my lineages I got a reprint of several years ago, even sprang for the hardcover reprint.  Fast forward a few years, that same book is now a free download on Google Books, as are several others from my family tree.

        It took 45 years and finding precisely one reference to the location in Sweden where my grandfather was born to get the info on him.  A couple of his daughters knew where he mailed letters to his sister and thought that's where he was from, but no.  That (adjoining parish) was where his sis and youngest bro moved to when they were adults, not where all four siblings were born and where the family had lived for a couple of generations before that.  The correct location was listed on my youngest paternal aunt's birth certificate once I got copies of all birth records on my parents and their siblings (and I found four babies - stillbirths and infant deaths - whose existence was never talked about), and it's the only American record I know of where the precise location is listed (only slightly misspelled).  Instead of the generic "Sweden" the full location was listed.  I wrote to the Sweden list.  As luck would have it, someone was still up there (they're seven hours ahead of my time zone), and within ten minutes I had my answer back.  Birth record for my grandfather, his siblings, their parents, and it got better from there because I figured out two of his mother's siblings lived near where he did here in the US and I don't recall anyone knowing that a relationship existed.  We knew his brother came to the US before him, but after the 1900 US census I lose him in IL, so I don't know his fate yet.  The names of kids I was told were his turn out to be first cousins of my grandfather because they were offspring of my Swedish gr-grandmother's brother and his wife.

        So, keep digging for info because it is there.  Keep systematically searching, doing Google searches on names of ancestors, develop a network of people to turn to for help to get documents [Genealogy without documentation is mythology.], but keep in mind sometimes official documents are wrong and proceed and keep on searching..., something will turn up sooner or later.  Serendipity plays a huge role in putting info in my hands, or coming across my computer screen, and it's quite marvelous when it happens.


        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:57:37 AM PST

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