Tell me Bout The Good Old Days

We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted.  Each of us contains within us this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promises.  by Edward Sellner

A few Hints on Researching Your Ancestors

Put a date of birth even if it is a guess, you can type in abt. say your g grandfather was b 1840, his mother may have been married at age 20, so she may have been b abt 1820. His father may be abt the same age or a yr or 2 older.  Also,  at least put in a state (abbreviations ok eg: MA). You will most likely get more hints and you may hit the jackpot.

Read those images in census records you may discover your g grandmothers maiden name because her widowed mother or an unmarried sister/brother is living with her. I found 4 generations  in a census living together under one roof. NY State census 1855,1865 etc not only has the people, but what county or state they were born in, what their house was built from (log, wood stone etc) and how much it was worth, if they owned the land and how long they had lived in that town, what they did for a living. In the back of those census it lists them and how much land they owned, the value, what they grew, how many horses, cows, sheep or chickens they owned, & how much was harvested.

Cemeteries, all States have their own genealogy sites, most of which have cemetery listings. Find-a-grave is a good source and free, you will have to sign in with a password. If you type in just the last name, pick country, state and counties pop up automatically in USA. Every person with that last name will come up. If a woman’s maiden name is listed her married name will be listed first (say you are looking for Jones, and an aunt’s first name was Rachel b 1842, you may find White, Rachel Jones b 1842 d 1915.). Oh ! they had a child who died at 4 yrs10 mnths. 3 days that you didn’t know about.  While your researching how about adding your own ancestors if you have that information? Be sure to connect married folks and their children.

When using Ancestry, you can use “wild cards” when searching, the * and ? for first and last names, at least 3 letters must be used, eg: Johnson John* or *son,  or Jo*n. You cannot use these if you are using soundex.

Stumped by some information about your grandfather? Most towns have Historians call them on the phone or e-mail them, some will charge,  others will go out of their way and be happy to help free of charge. Do you have information that they don’t have? Pay it forward and give it to them.

Deborah Read Forgotten Founding Mother

Between Wikipedia and Wiki Tree I found this extraordinary lady.

Deborah Read b 14 Feb 1708 Philadelphia, daughter of John Read and Sarah White. Proposed to in 1724 by Benjamin Franklin, her mother refused to let them marry, citing his pending trip to England and his financial instability. As it turned out he became stranded there by Sir William Keith’s failure to follow through with support.  In 1725 Deborah married John Rogers, who soo after their marriage, using their marriage to further his schemes, spending Deborah’s dowry and incurring huge debts he disappeared (rumored to have gone to the West Indies). Because of this Deborah was not free to marry. About 1830 she and Benjamin entered into a common-law marriage. They had a son Francis Folger 1732-1736, he died of smallpox at age 4, a daughter Sarah 1743-1808. They also raised his illegitimate son William -1730-1813.

Deborah did not travel with her husband because of her fear of a sea voyage. She operated their Print Shop and General Store doing so quite successfully. Plus she ran their home and raised their children. She was a loyal wife to Benjamin and many letters passed between them. Even when she was ill he did not return home, in Dec 1774 she passed away from a stroke. She and Benjamin had been together for 43 years. They are buried side by side in Philadelphia.

new wrinkle, researchers will ADD to the cemetery database

Most burial societies guard their proprietary data strictly. This allows them to charge $ 30 + per hour for genealogical research or access to their records. Here is a new wrinkle (wave of the future ?) where at least one cemetery is inviting family members and possibly others to ADD input into the cemetery database. Seems like sort of like a Facebook of the deceased?

Adelaide Hunter Hoodless

Adelaide Hunter was born on a farm in St. George, Ontario Canada 27 Feb 1857 to David Hunter and Jane Hamilton. The youngest of 13 children, her father died a few months after her birth. Known as a fine speaker, teacher and Educational Reformer. She was the 2nd president of the YWCA in Toronto.

She attended “Ladies College”, while there she met John Hoodless, whom she married they settled in Hamilton, Ontario in a fine house with servants and reared 4 children.  Personal tragedy struck the family when her beloved infant son John Harold “Jack” at 14 moths old died of “summer complaint” cause from contaminated milk. Thus her public life began. She wanted to ensure that woman had the knowledge to prevent deaths like that of her son Jack. Now concerned about families living in isolated surroundings with little or no access to medical care she taught classes in domestic science (home Economics).

She met Lady Aberdeen and worked with her to found the National Council of Women of Canada, the Victorian Order of Nurses and the National Association of the YWCA. Adelaide wrote a book called ” Little Red Book” a textbook stressing the importance of Hygiene, Cleanliness and Frugality. She died 26 Feb 1910 while on a speaking engagement in Toronto, Canada.

You can read more about Adelaide Hunter Hoodless at Wikipedia and elsewhere on the internet. Her Homestead is a National Historical Site in Canada.

Monthly Calendar Feature

Hi Folks,

I thought I would add a new feature for our blog, a monthly calendar, not with the usual dates, but a new photo for each month/and or a photo for a special holiday a day or two before the holiday. It will include the month and year plus Happy Birthday for members whose Birthday falls during the month.

Your feedback on this is welcome, it will feature a person, place or anything historical with a story about the photo to follow. If anyone would like to add a photo of interest just e-mail the photo to me and I will be happy to include it.


September 2014 Happy Birthday Members

Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Calendar

Thought For The Day

Enjoy your life, this is not a rehearsal

Genealogy success story. Possibly one of our members ??

Originally posted on johnzboston:

Recent article from the Jamaica Plain/Boston Gazette newspaper.          Is this the lady who came to some of our meetings a year or two ago ?

Recent article from the Jamaica Plain/Boston Gazette newspaper.
Is this the lady who came to some of our meetings a year or two ago ?

View original

The Bravery of Madeleine Jarret de Vercheres

Madeleine  de Vercheres

Madeleine Jarret de Vercheres    3 Mar 1678 –  8 Aug 1747

When Madeleine was but 14 years old her ingenuity is credited with saving Fort Vercheres in New France (now Montreal) from an attack and raid by the Iroquois Indians.
October 1692 Madeleine’s parents left her in charge of her siblings while they left the fort on business and to get supplies for the winter.
One morning some settlers, along with eight soldiers left the fort to tend to fields and gardens. Madeleine was working in her families garden, which was quite close to the fort, when suddenly the Iroquois descended on the settlers. The men tried to make a run for it but were caught off guard and the Indians caught them and carried them off. Madeleine was close enough that she made it to the fort shouting “aux armes, aux armes” (to arms to arms), she made it to the bastion and fired a rifle, then encouraging the people to make as much noise as possible so that the Iroquois would think there were too many soldiers still defending the fort. Then Madeleine fired the cannon to warn other forts of the attack and to call for reinforcements. When a canoe was spotted with another family the soldiers refused to go to their aid, so Madeleine ran to the dock and quickly led the family to safety pretending they were reinforcements.
Late in the evening the settlers cattle returned to the fort, she knew the Indians might be hidden amongst the cattle. She and her brother ascertained that no Indians were among them and proceeded to bring the cattle into the fort. Reinforcements did arrive, caught the Iroquois and returned the settlers, at about the same time her parents returned to the news of Madeleine’s bravery.
You can read more fully about Madeleine at

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