Between preparing for the holidays, my husband's upcoming surgery, and other family obligations, I've had no time to write. But don't worry. I'll be back soon. In the meantime, may your holidays be merry and bright!
So often, we do a lot of research and write about our Revolutionary and Civil War ancestors. We thank those currently serving. Let us not forget those living relatives who have previously served. Give them a hug and thank them. When you meet a vet whose not a member of your family, shake his or her hand and say, "Thank you." These people have laid their lives on the line to preserve your freedom and keep our country free. The least we can do is recognize this and say 'Thanks."
Thanks, Jr. (my husband, U. S. Army, Special Forces, Green Berets). To my first cousins, thanks, Barry (U. S. Marine Corps, Vietnam), Mike (U. S. Army, Korea), and Dwight (U. S. Air Force. Germany).
Wilbur Silas Carder and Erma Jeannette Alford Poole 20 March 1945
For years, I was not able to find my grandpa, Wilbur Silas Carder and step-grandma, Erma Jeanette Alford Poole's marriage records. Grandpa had taken a job in Tucson, Arizona shortly before they married. When I asked my dad where they got married, all he knew was that they got married "on the way to Arizona". That's a lot of territory to research between Ohio and Arizona! When Familysearch began digitalizing Indiana marriages, I immediately found their marriage after years of searching. Needless to say, I was elated. I immediately wrote to the courthouse in Decatur, Adams County, Indiana and obtained copies. I found several other family members married in Decatur and assume that Decatur was a Gretna Green for people who lived in West Central Ohio. Mystery solved!
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Something else I did with my double trouble direct line list was that next to the names, I wrote whether the ancestor was a veteran and what war he served in and I marked any of the ancestors who were immigrant ancestors and where they immigrated from.
The ancestors who were veterans did not surprise me. I always check every ancestor for military service and find their records if they had served. The number of immigrant ancestors I have found did surprise me, though. I did not realize that I had found as many of my immigrant ancestors as I have until I did this little exercise.
I've been seeing a lot of blog posts and articles about the number of ancestors doubling with each generation. You have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, and so forth.
My curiosity was raised. I wondered how any of my direct ancestors I really have found in my own research. Just looking at pedigree charts didn't sink in. I made a list by generation. I thought I was doing pretty good. I had myself and my parents, of course. I had all of my grandparents, great grandparents, great, great grandparents, 29 of my 32 3rd great grandparents, and 37 of my 64 4th great grandparents. From there, it started dwindling a little more with each generation. Still, I was pretty proud that I had been able to find some from each generation, including one 12th great grandfather.
The double whammy hit me when I checked the chart and saw that you have 19, 384 sets of grandparents by the time you've reached the 15th generation.
Sometimes, it's good to do things differently than you normally do. Most of us just look at a few ancestors at a time or at our family group sheets and pedigree charts. Making a list of all of them I had found until I reached the generation where I hadn't found any yet made me made me realize a few things.
For one, I have favorite ancestors who I work on a lot and have all of their vital statistics and fairly complete life stories for them. I have other favorites who I have very little on or I'm stuck trying to find out who their parents were. These I spend too much time on because it bugs me that I can't get past them.
This little exercise pointed out to me that I have a large number of direct ancestors who I rarely ever research and only have bare bones on and numerous ancestors who I haven't even found yet. I didn't even recognize some of their names! I'm aware now that I need to spend more time on these ancestors and less time on those brick walls that I'm obsessed with.
So, how many of your 19, 384 ancestors have you found?
September 15, 2012 will be the 200th Anniversary of the Copus Massacre. This Sunday will the annual Copus reunion at Charles Mill State Park, Mifflin, Ohio. The Copus Massacre was probably the biggest historical event to take place in Ashland County. Although, the tragic event seems small in the larger scope of history, it made a significant impact on what was occurring at the time in Ohio.
I am honored to have been asked to tell the story of the massacre and the events of the War of 1812 that led up to it at the massacre site or nearby, in the park where the reunion will be held. I've been telling the story at various genealogical society meetings for the past year. I tell the story in costume as Sarah Copus Vail, last living child of Reverend James Copus who was killed in the massacre. Reverend Copus was my 4th great grandfather. His son, Nelson, Sarah's brother, was my third great grandfather.
Sarah was the honored guest at the original dedication of the Copus Monument 72 years after the massacre and told the story there that day. I've had so much fun in the past year portraying Sarah and telling the story and am so excited that I will be telling it to other Copus descendants at Copus Hill.
I haven't decided yet what this blog will be about or whether it will be about a particular genealogical topic. There are already so many good genealogy blogs, some topic-specific, some general.
I could blog about Allen County, Ohio genealogy and history, writing genealogical newsletters, society management, my speaking experiences, my experiences from a beginner to a more advanced genealogist, or tips and "how to" posts. Please post your suggestions on what you think this blog should be about or whether to keep it general with a variety of topics.
For now, it will be my ramblings along the ancestral trail.
Rambling Along the Ancestral Trail
Deborah A. Carder Mayes is a genealogist and speaker in Northwestern and West Central Ohio. She has been researching her family history and actively involved in the genealogy community for over 19 years.
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