Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Witness to History 79 Years Ago ~ 52 Ancestors

This week's theme is Witness to History.

Sunday, December 7, 1941, 79 years ago, was the "date which will live in infamy," a phrase President Roosevelt used in the speech he gave to Congress on December 8, 1941.

The New York Times front page had a large headline and was full of stories about what had happened in Pearl Harbor the prior morning.


Page 27 of that newspaper was the social page with several wedding and engagement announcements. At the bottom of the page are listings of additional "social activities," including the notation that:

"Mr. and Mrs. Edgar C. Rust of Boston are expected today at the St. Regis."

"Social Activities in New York and Elsewhere," The New York Times (New York, New York, 8 December 1941), p. 27, cols. 3-6; digital images, New York Times TimesMachine (https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1941/12/08/issue.html: accessed 24 November 2020).

It's interesting to discover that the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, my grandmother (Elizabeth Adsit) and her husband were traveling to New York City. It makes me wonder where they were when they heard the news and what they thought of that news.

(Just for fun, search for the St. Regis Hotel; it's quite luxurious and has quite a history!) 

As I've written before, FDR was a Harvard classmate of my step-grandfather and hosted his class of 1904 classmates at the White House in 1934.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: 7 Generations in 1 Chart

From this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings

1. DNAsleuth (Ann Raymont) created a 7-in-1 chart showing 7 generations of ancestors on one page several weeks ago - see her blog post at https://dnasleuth.wordpress.com/2020/09/01/7-gen-1-sheet/. In her post, there is a link to her Word document if you wish to use it.

2. Linda Stufflebean's husband, Dave, took the concept a step further, and created an Excel template of the 7-in-1 chart. You can download Dave's file from my [Randy's] Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s7rTacxacWVCWxUEWq5pAArJCv8mCZWT/view?usp=sharing. Linda's chart is in https://emptybranchesonthefamilytree.com/2020/09/using-excel-to-display-7-family-generations-on-1-sheet/ (I [Randy] opened it to "Editor" so you can download it and work with it).

As you can see below, the left column is the Generation number, and the other columns are for ancestors of Gen. 1 listed in columns for each grandparent. So the chart covers Ancestors #1 through 127 in an ahnentafel list or a large pedigree chart.

3. The challenge tonight is to fill out your 7-in-1 chart and show it to us.  I [Randy] used the spreadsheet, added the ancestor numbers while adding the names (starting with 1 = me, 2=father, 3= mother, etc.). I [Randy] added the names and birth-death years (if known) for the first 7 generations.  Then I [Randy] colored the boxes by birth place by countries, and saved my chart as an XLS file. I [Randy] then saved my chart as a JPG by using the Windows Snipping Tool to create the image. This task took me an hour to complete, so plan ahead!

4. Show us your 7-in-1 chart in your own blog post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a link to your creation in a comment on this post.

I had already set up my chart using Ann Raymont's Word document and mine is a little bit different than how Randy set his up. (I didn't have enough room to add birth and death years.) This prompt reminded me that I had wanted to set it up with color-coding for birthplaces. This was fun:

By using color coding that is somewhat geographical, I can see how each grandparents' ancestors came from certain regions.

Thank you to Ann Raymont for sharing this form.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

AncestryDNA Updates Ethnicity (on a Regular Basis)

 I have written about AncestryDNA several times since I first received test results in 2012. As Ancestry notes: "Your DNA doesn't change but our science does."

My ethnicity has changed again, but I'm not too worked up about it; in fact, it's probably more accurate than it's ever been.

As of November 2019, my ethnicity estimate showed the following, with 16,000 reference samples:

England, Wales & Northwestern Europe58%57%-72%
Ireland & Scotland36%0%-36%
Germanic Europe6%0%-29%

Within the past couple of months, Ancestry updated my ethnicity estimate (again). AncestryDNA has written that it now has 44,703 reference samples. See What is a Reference Panel for an explanation. My ethnicity estimate now looks like this:

England & Northwestern Europe51%45%-51%

Graphically, you can see how it looks today:

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Third Great-Grandmother's Photo in a Museum

The blog reader who shared the original daguerreotype of my second great-grandmother, Eliza May Wells, recently notified me that he had discovered a daguerreotype of Eliza's mother, in a book he owns, and he found that the original is in the Nelson-Atkins Museum, which has one of the world's most significant collections of photography.

According to the museum, there is a note taped to the back of the daguerreotype case, in pen:

"I herewith bequeath to the Louisa May
Alcott memorial association at Orchard
House, Concord, Massachusetts, this
daguerreotype of my Grandmother,
Elizabeth Sewall Willis Wells (the daugh-
ter of Elizabeth Sewall May Willis) play
ing chess with her sister-in-law, Mrs.
Phineas Wells. The left hand figure is my

Elizabeth Sewall (Willis) Wells (1820-1900) married Thomas Goodwin Wells (1804-1873). His brother, Phineas Parkhurst Wells (1808-1891) was married to Catherine (French) Wells (1810-1873).

I descend from Elizabeth and Thomas as follows:

Elizabeth Sewall Willis (1820-1900) married Thomas Goodwin Wells
Eliza May Wells (1839-1880) married Samuel Sewall Greeley
Samuel Sewall Greeley (1824-1916) married Eliza May Wells
Ethel May Greeley (1875-1931) married Lowell Copeland
Lowell Townsend Copeland (1900-1974) married Helen Lysle Hunter
My mother

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Pyles and McAlpins

Last week, I shared photographs of Sara Carter (Pyle) McAlpin and an abbreviated family tree showing how a Pyle brother and sister were married to a McAlpin sister and brother. 

All four are all buried next to each other in Evergreen Cemetery in Morristown, New Jersey.

Sara's stone:

Sara Pyle McAlpin
February 9, 1863
May 14, 1949
"Gentle Unto All....
Apt to Teach, Patient, in
Meekness Instructing."