Saturday, December 30, 2017

Accentuate the Positive Geneameme for 2017

Geneablogger Jill Ball, of GeniAus, suggests that genealogists celebrate the positives for the past year. My 2017 successes are listed below:

1. An elusive ancestor I found was 5th great grandfather, Oliver Davenport. See Surname Saturday ~ Davenport of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

2. A great newspaper article I found was in the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal which mentioned my paternal grandparents before they were married.

3. A geneajourney I took was visiting Pittsburgh at the end of August for the FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) Conference, where I visited a couple of cemeteries, finding many of my maternal ancestors, as well as visiting the house my mother grew up in.

4. An important record I found was a marriage record for my 7th great-grandparents (John Davenport and Hannah Warren) from the Massachusetts Town and Vital Records. As I noted in this blog post, it's very important to look at the original record, especially in this database.

5. A newly found family member shared information about her branch of the Pyle family. She descends from William Scott Pyle, the brother of my second great-grandfather, James Pyle.

6. A geneasurprise I received was the death certificates for my great-grandparents, Lowell Copeland and Ethel May (Greeley) Copeland. They died in Princeton, New Jersey, and a friend in a local genealogical society happened to be researching in New Jersey and obtained digital images of these for me.

7. My 2017 blog post that I was particularly proud of was this one where I had to share that the daguerreotype I received last year from my second cousin was not an Alcott.

8. I made many new genimates who participated over the summer in the Boston University Certificate Program in Genealogical Research (OL24) with me.

9. A new piece of technology I mastered was the new color-coding feature in the new version of Family Tree Maker. I will be blogging about the discovery it helped me make soon.

10. I joined the APG (Association of Professional Genealogists) and the NEAPG (New England Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists) after I completed the B.U. Certificate Program in Genealogical Research.

11. A genealogy event from which I learned something new was the FGS Conference in Pittsburgh in late August. (See #3.) I attended a few sessions with a Pennsylvania focus where I learned about resources specific to Pennsylvania.

12. Blog posts that taught me something new were posts about DNA. A new-to-me blog is The DNA Geek. My other favorite DNA blogs can be found at my DNA Resources page.

13. A DNA discovery I made was the amount of DNA each of my sons inherited from their four grandparents. Again, another blog post that needs to be written!
Lowell Copeland

14. A brick wall I demolished was confirming the parents of my 4th great-grandfather, Noah Davenport. (See #1.)

15. A great site I visited was Dead Fred, where I found a photograph of my great-grandfather, Lowell Copeland (at right).

16. A new genealogy/history book I will enjoy is Val Greenwood's The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. 4th Edition, which I received for Christmas and have yet to explore.

17. It was exciting to finally meet the many professional genealogists at the FGS conference (see #3) this summer.

18. I am excited for 2018 because I hope to have more time to research and blog about my more recent findings.

Thank you, Jill, for this wonderful idea and...

Happy New Year to all!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Daguerreotype ~ Not an Alcott

In August 2016, I shared images of this daguerreotype that my second cousin sent to me. I wrote two posts about it: Tuesday's Tip ~ Analyzing a Daguerreotype and (Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ Is This Eliza May Wells?

The photographer's imprint in the lower left-hand side of the case: A. H. Knapp, 123 Wash. St., indicates that this was produced in Boston in the 1850s.

Even though I theorized that this was an image of our common second great-grandmother, Eliza May Wells, my cousin was convinced that it was an image of Louisa May Alcott's sister, Anna (Alcott) Pratt. (You can see an image of Anna here.)

It should be noted that Eliza and Anna and Louisa were related. Eliza's grandmother, Elizabeth Sewall May, and Anna's and Louisa's mother, Abigail May, were sisters: daughters of Joseph May and Dorothy Sewall. I explained the maze of relationships in my post: Cousin Louisa May Alcott.

On December 1, there was a newspaper article in the Boston Globe about another image of Anna Alcott Pratt that had come to light entitled: Never-before-seen photo of Louisa May Alcott’s sister found in old album. The article mentioned the name of the executive director of Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House, Jan Turnquist. I contacted her through the website and she kindly replied with a phone call to let me know that no, this woman is not a member of the Alcott or Pratt families.

Therefore, until another images comes along to help us out, I'm returning to my original theory of who this is: my second great-grandmother, Eliza May Wells (20 Aug 1839 - 18 Sep 1880) who would have been 16 years old in 1855. She is the only woman in my database born between 1830 and 1840 who was likely to have been in Boston in the 1850s for a photograph.

Of course, she could be a collateral relative who may not be in my database.