Wonderful Free Genealogy Research Site

At January’s MSOG Meeting we were given a link to a terrific Free genealogy research site.  It is called Genealogy Trails.  It is a research site for the United States, it has every State and County.  Records are transcribed by volunteers and they have done a terrific job.  There are no banner ads.  You can also host a state or county if you wish or just submit your own records.  This is an easy site to use and get around in.  

Remember the links are on the right side listed Alphabetically I have added Genealogy Trails


The Ships Lists

This is an amazing site I found a yr or 2 ago and did some research yesterday on Immigration from Ireland, Scotland and England to Canada. Some start from the 1700’s. They came into various ports Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Isle, and Quebec as their first stops before heading further to the USA, Upper Canada etc. Tells of ship wrecks and survivors, orphans, Catholic and Protestants. There are lots of links from this site to help further research. One link came up with an error code, I clicked on a subject and it opened anyway.  Scroll down to the links on our blog and you will find the link to this site called “The Ships Lists”  Also another site I added yesterday for New Brunswick.

Town Historians

This past month I have had a wonderful and successful research experience. While researching using NEHGS’s website, I came upon a probate record for a Chase ancestor, Isaac Chase, which listed all of his living children and 3 grandchildren. Low and behold  a daughter and 2 of the grandchildren were Pembleton’s on my maternal side. The daughter was Lucy, my 4th g grandfathers second wife who my cousin (now deceased) and I had been hunting for years. Who were her parents? Was she born in MA or CT. We had census records, her pension from my g grandfather, who her first husband was, then the research went cold. Who was she? She raised the 2 grandchildren after the death of their parents, why were they named in her fathers will? I proceeded to research feverishly and add Lucy’s family to my tree. They were all in Otsego County New York, and had been since 1805. Isaac was born in Windham Co. CT. His father Benjamin was born, not far from me, in Swansea, MA. but settled in Windham Co. CT. This branch of the Chases were Quakers.

Then of course I hit a brick wall…… I found the e-mail address of the town of Hartwick’s historian and e-mailed her. She wrote back to me that she did not have much on the Pembleton’s but did have lots of stuff on the Chase’s and connected families. This wonderful lady, Carol Goodrich,  sent me 2 huge packets of records and such on this family, I in return sent her a huge packet on my Pembleton’s. Included in her packets were all of the cemeteries in Otsego County along with a huge map of the cemeteries, it covers half of my kitchen table, included was a separate list of all of the Rev War veterans, when and where some of them were born, when they died and which cemetery they were buried in. Hartwick was called Chase back in the day and there still is a section in Hartwick called Chaseville.

Then I turned to Lucy’s mother, Jerusha (Bennett) Chase, her birth date and death date were listed in the records but on researching her, she was not Jerusha Bennett, but Jerusha Flint, born in Reading, MA. Where the Bennett name came from no one knows, but the error was on the county website and in find-a-grave. Jerusha and Isaac are buried in the same cemetery where my Pembleton’s are. Needing more confirmation, I went to rootsweb, found a researcher on the Flint family and e-mailed him, we have been in constant contact since as well as Carol Goodrich. Peter Flint. Peter sent me an e-read book on the Flint family,  which I treasure. Again, using americanancestors, I was able to verify the information. Peter also had information on the Chase family.

I discovered, with the help of these great people, the maiden name of my great grand Uncle’s wife. We knew she was Sarah, but not her maiden name, She was Sarah Chase, daughter of Isaac and sister to Lucy. Sarah was married to Jabez (called Jabish) Pembleton, namesake of my 4th g grandfather. Sarah and Jabish both died in April 1829 leaving behind 2 infants, one only a year old. Isaac’s will dated 31 Jan 1845 and probated 5 May 1846 can be found on familysearch.org. What a wealth of information I have found there, including the probate of Lucy’s first husband Abihu Mack. He died intestate, Lucy was named Executrix, Isaac Chase administrator. Jabish died intestate and Administrators of his estate were Jabez Pembleton and Isaac Chase. By the way, Lucy married Jabez 20 December 1829. Jabez died 10 Sep 1841. Lucy died 26 Apr 1878, it took Lucy 20 years to receive his pension.

What has this research cost me? $2.79 postage for the packet I mailed to Carol.

Researching Italian Ancestors

One of our Club members Peter Barbella has done a lot of Italian Research, and recently  had the good fortune of traveling to Italy to do research. You might like to follow his blog about the trip. http://peteandgay.blogspot.com/

I have twisted his arm and sometime in 2015 he will come to our meeting and give a lecture on researching Italian Genealogy.

He also has a website which when you are on our home page if you scroll down you will find a link to his website. It is a terrific website. Peter has written a book which can be purchased on amazon.com.

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.

Family Record Sample from the Library of Congress

Family Record Sample from the Library of Congress

One sample of family record


Searching Ships for Immigrant Ancestors 1800’s

For those of you who may not know about this site, it is truly a great site for the Ancestors who arrived in New York from 1818-1892, before Ellis Island. This includes the Port of New York and Castle Garden.

The ships and barks arriving in NY came from all over Europe, albeit from England and Ireland. I happened to be looking for an ancestor who came from Switzerland. Port of departure were places in Germany, although I have not finished checking out all of the ships,  they are listed by ship names and date. Just click on a ship name and it will open up  with the passenger list. At the top gives port of departure.

Be sure to scroll down the page to “Useful links” which are free. The Port of NY was before Castle Island. Castle Island opened in Aug 1855. Both were closed when Ellis Island opened in 1892. The ancestor I was searching had the first name of Joseph, his last name had a variety of spellings, Senrich, Isenrich, Senrick, I went to my toolbar, clicked edit, then “find on this page” and just put in the name Joseph, every Joseph on the page shows up including the female Josepha, Josephine etc., but it sure saves time in your search if your not sure of a spelling of the last name. I also started out with April, thinking they may not have left Switzerland until spring or summer. The immigrant names are not alphabetical.

Here is the link:  http://www.genesearch.com/newyork/

Struggling Immigrants to North America

For those folks interested in our ancestors and the hard times they had settling in North America, I researched a site recommended to me. I spent an entire day going through the records and reports of  the Irish and English Immigrant ships from 1846-1849 during the potato famine years (I have barely touched on all the information). Thousands of people perished during their ocean voyage to America.  These poor souls contracted Typhoid either before the voyage or during the voyage. Many of these ships were in quarantine for weeks, some of them being  turned away from American ports because of the sickness.

The research I have been doing is for  Grosse Isle near Quebec, also called the Isle of death. Here is the link for this informative site.   http://www.theshipslist.com/

I hope you will find this as interesting as I have.