Friday, January 5, 2018

How My Interest in Genealogy Got Started ~ 52 Ancestors #1

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. (I also participated in 2015.) Each week has an optional writing prompt and I may not necessarily write about a direct ancestor, as there are so many interesting people in my extended family tree!

This week's writing prompt is "Start," and as some readers may know, my interest in genealogy started with finding the copy of Orange Chapin's The Chapin Genealogy: Containing a Very Large Proportion of the Descendants of Dea. Samuel Chapin (Northampton, Massachusetts: Metcalf & Company, 1862) in my parents' library. My father was an only child and inherited lots of great family history material from his mother.

Now this is an 1862 genealogy - a secondary source (with many errors). However, there are several "Family Record" pages at the end and they include birth, marriage, and death dates for my grandmother's family.

This is one of those end pages:

The left-hand page includes births for the following:
James M. Adsit
Spencertown, Columbia Co.
New York, Feb. 5, 1809
  [my second great-grandfather]

Arville S. Chapin
Ludlow, Massachusetts,
June 9, 1820
  [my second great-grandmother]

Florence Wheeler 1878-1883
  [my grandmother's cousin]

Charles Chapin Adsit Jr.
Chicago July 3rd, 1892
  [my great-uncle]

Elizabeth Adsit
Chicago, June 18th, 1897
  [my grandmother]

Charles McAlpin Pyle Jr.
New York, June 16, 1924
  [my father in my grandmother's handwriting]

The right-hand page includes marriages for the following:
James M. Adsit
Arville S. Chapin
Chicago, Ill. Jan 21,
  [my second great-grandparents]

Ezra I. Wheeler
Belle F. Adsit
Chicago Jan 7, 1868
  [she is a second great-aunt of mine]

Charles C. Adsit
Mary B. Ashby
Louisville. Married Oct 30, 1890
  [my great-grandparents]

Charles McAlpin Pyle
Elizabeth Adsit
Chicago, March 1, 1919
  [my paternal grandparents in my grandmother's handwriting]

I have written a Surname Saturday post showing my four lines of descent from Deacon Samuel Chapin.


  1. Oh, joy, to see handwritten entries and be able to identify who wrote them! This was a great "start."

    1. Marian, I only know my grandmother's handwriting for sure. However, I can probably guess on some of the others and look for other mementoes / photos in my possession that have the same handwriting. Thanks for the comment!

  2. I can see how that book would have "hooked" you! What a great way to start the year - by sharing how we got started in genealogy. :)

    1. Dana, yes, this book, with its handwritten entries and other slips of paper in it did pique my curiosity. And Amy Johnson Crow gets credit for the great theme for this first week of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Thanks for commenting.