Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Kirtland Puzzle is Coming Together

In the diagram above you can see my name in the box at the bottom left: M. Rebecca Margheim, married to Larry C. Jamison. Along the line of ancestry represented there you'll see that my 3rd great grandparents are Betsy Bartlett and Arva Phelps. Betsy (1811-bef 1850) and Arva (1797-aft 1870) were both born in New Hampshire, but by 1830, according to the Federal Census, had moved to Kirtland, Geauga, Ohio. I've often wondered what prompted them to make the 600 mile move from Groton, NH to Kirtland, OH, and with whom they might have made that journey. 

Last night I wanted to do more exploring using the new genealogy search engine Mocavo, so I entered "Arva Phelps + Kirtland" as search terms. Things often unfold so quickly for me that I can't recall which link led to which information in proper sequence, but the resulting articles and documents that I discovered gave me some important clues. 

The first link I clicked on led me to Internet Archive, to the publication "History of Ashburnham, Massachusetts, from the grant of Dorchester Canada to the present time, 1734-1886; with a genealogical register of Ashburnham families". The page that opened showed me the Samuel Metcalf family and told me that several of his children "removed" to Kirtland, Ohio from Groton, New Hampshire! In researching those family members I found connections to my 3rd great grandparents, Arva and Betsy Phelps, who also "removed" from Groton to Kirtland. I found so much information that I drew up the diagram above so I could keep it all straight.

The result was that I determined how some of the family members connected and who Betsy and Arva must have traveled and settled with in Kirtland. Page 1 of the 1830 Federal Census for Kirtland, shows the Metcalfs and Phelps families as neighbors. 

Now I'm going to read more of that History of Ashburnham, MA and explore the ancestries of some of these other connected families in the hopes that I can learn more about Arva and Betsy Phelps. If I learn anything, I'll be back with another post on the subject.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Relationship to Jonathan Harriman Holmes

Last night when I read about the debut of Mocavo, the world's largest free genealogy search engine, I had to try it out. I entered the name of my great grandfather Lewis C. Flanders and started on a late night journey that extended for 2 hours with a very interesting discovery. 

In the diagram above you can see that I'm the 6th cousin, 5 times removed of Jonathan Harriman Holmes. Until last night I was not even acquainted with that name. But when I figured out his connection to me, I became very interested in learning more about him. My Google search revealed his prominence in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the mid 1800s, which was of particular interest to me. 

I love the thrill and excitement of finding new connections and I enjoy diagramming them so I can visually absorb the relationships.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Connections: Tanner to Margheim

Tonight my husband and I were watching a documentary on BYU TV that reviewed the life of N. Eldon Tanner (1898-1902) who served in many leadership capacities in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of the recent research I’ve done for my son Matt, I knew he had Tanner ancestors. I opened my RootsMagic file to see if Matt was perhaps related to N. Eldon Tanner, but ten minutes of searching there and on revealed that Matt is not related to N. Eldon Tanner, but in fact, I am “connected” to him through marriage. I prepared the diagram below to illustrate that connection.
N Eldon Tanner to M Rebecca Margheim
It shows that Nathan “Eldon” Tanner’s 3rd cousin 5 times removed, Cyrus Hatch was married to my 3rd cousin 5 times removed, Betsey Flanders.
All this has absolutely NO significance to anyone but me. I love figuring out and illustrating remote connections like this.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"The Changing Face of Genealogy" by Curt Witcher

I was not able to attend RootsTech in Salt Lake City last month, but I was fortunate to watch the sessions that were streamed live online. The highlight of those sessions for me was this keynote address by Curt Witcher, Department Manger for the Historical Genealogy Department of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. By posting the link to it here on my blog I can share it with any of my readers, but more importantly, I'll have it readily available when I want to share it with my friends. And I WILL be sharing it to anyone who can still still long enough to watch it. It's powerful and the message is long overdue. Here is the link: