Tag Archives: genealogy

Why The Squire Resembles My Father

29 May

weddingPeople have often remarked, not without good reason, that The Squire and my dad looked enough alike to pass for father and son.  My dad used to have great fun taking The Squire places and confusing the daylights out of folks who knew he only had two daughters. We went to a viewing for one of my uncles and my cousin came over to me and admitted that he and his sister had spent five minutes trying to figure out “where  he fits into the family. I finally remembered he’s your husband.”

Even my mother-in-law greeted my dad by exclaiming, “Fr. Parker, you could ruin my reputation!” And somebody else jokingly told my dad “I’ll bet I know which side of the family you’re from.”

Both of us have been doing a lot of genealogy work over the last few years (well, The Squire’s been working on it for about thirty years, actually.) and a name came up in my DNA circle that looked vaguely familiar.

Turns out that about five generations back, we are fifth cousins, or some such thing. This line is on my dad’s father’s side. My mother’s people are all from Germany, and my dad’s mum’s family is from Oz, via Scotland. The Squire’s mother was a McKenzie, and my father’s grandfather was a McLellan; I suppose if we looked hard enough, we’d find something there, but oddly enough, this particular line is Cherokee.

Ya just never can tell about these things.


Another Theory Shot Down

21 Oct

The Squire and I went down to the Maryland Historical Society today to do some research on both of our family trees. Unfortunately, neither of us had much luck. He was looking for graves in Frederick County and I was looking for information on immigrant ships that sailed into Baltimore.

I have a copy of my great-great-grandfather’s passport application, so I know when he arrived, but my mother had told me he sailed on a ship called The Ohm, which burned and sank in Baltimore’s harbour. She had a half dozen beautiful Bavarian china cups and saucers which she said came from the ship. (I wonder what ever became of them, as a matter of fact.) The research librarian helped me look for the manifest from that ship, with no success and then went into the microfilm to see if he could find some record of it. The Baltimore Sun made no mention such a ship; even in the days of steam ships, you’d think an event of that sort would have warranted at least a line or two.

I should have known better.

This is the same woman who told me one of my great-grandfathers had checked himself into a local mental hospital because the Jehovah’s Witnesses had driven him crazy. (Which, when you stop to think about it, is pretty crazy all by itself.) One of my cousins, also descended from this same man, told me that the hospital in question had at one time housed both a tuberculosis ward and a mental ward. And guess where dear Julius was?

So I am completely back to Square One. The manifests are there, and I have the year – maybe – but the passengers are not listed in alphabetical order, so I will have to sit down with a magnifying glass and have at it. Maybe they arrived in January.

One can hope.

Something We Don’t Know?

30 Jul

The Squire has been doing a lot of genealogy work recently, and finding out all sorts of unusual bits.  He has some very interesting ancestors!

One thing he has known for years is that he is descended from the only male survivor of what is known as “the Sodom Laurel Massacre”. Sodom Laurel (No, he doesn’t know why they named it that.) was a hamlet in North Carolina. During the Civil War, a group of Confederate soldiers came through (reports vary as to whether they were Mosby’s men or McKeithley’s), rounded up every male in town and shot them, on the off chance there might be a Yankee sympathizer in the group. The Squire’s ancestor was William Bell Shelton, a then eight-year old boy who was gathering eggs, and had the good sense to climb into the hayloft and stay put. Just to see if the place still existed, he put it into Google Earth. The map spun around, and landed in Washington, D.C. At the Capitol Building.

We have since discovered that the Post Office renamed the place “Revere”.

Dragging Home

4 Mar

We visited several grave yards over the past week, looking for old tombstones. At one point I discovered I’d lost my cell phone, and The Squire had to keep calling it while I wandered around the cemetery with one ear to the ground. Fortunately, I had a pretty good idea where I’d dropped it; I’d bent over to take several close-up photos of one particular marker and I figured that was where it had fallen out. Ironically, I almost never carry my cell, much to my husband’s annoyance.

We’d lost some time due to the bad weather, so The Squire decided to leave Newport a day early to visit the library at Johnson City. I wasn’t very happy with this arrangement, but he has driven miles out of the way to take me to doll museums and waited while I’ve read every single label plenty of times, so off we went. Actually, the Johnson City genealogy section was just fabulous, and we both had a grand time, finding lots of information, so it was worth the trip.

The motel in Salem last night was not very nice – no heat in the bathroom or extra blankets – and The Squire decided to watch one of his science fiction shows. Agents of Shield, I think. I wasn’t very nice about it, I’m afraid. I don’t like science fiction, and I don’t enjoy violence, and I don’t like the volume turned as loud as it will go. My hearing is very sharp for someone my age, but The Squire’s CMT has caused the small bones in his ears to stop working properly, so he is very hard of hearing. At home, he uses the closed caption option, which is a live-safer ( and a marriage saver!) for both of us, but the TV at the motel didn’t have it.

We arrived at youngest daughter’s home before lunch, and will leave right after dinner. The weather reports are all different, but the general consensus is that we will have snow before morning, and we want to get ahead of it, if possible.