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My Pilgrim Ancestors

My son Peter gave me a book for Christmas that I really enjoyed - They Knew They Were Pilgrims: Plymouth Colony and the Contest for American Liberty.  It's a new history of Plymouth Colony by John G. Turner, a professor of religion at George…

Origin of Hildeburn Name

In 1831, Robert McMullin Jr. (1787-1862) and wife Mary Tabele (1795-1869) of Philadelphia named their eldest son Samuel Hildeburn McMullin (1831-1892).  Samuel achieved some renown in the late 19th century as a Presbyterian clergyman and theologian. …

Discovery: Wesley Blalock had Two Wives

Just not at the same time! In 2012, I obtained the Civil War pension file for 2GG Wesley Blalock (1825-1895) from the National Archives.((Wesley Blalock (Pvt., Co. K, 31st Ill. Inf., Civil War), pension no. Inv. 58388, Case Files of Approved…

Ten Years of Discoveries

I feel like it's time to step back and reassess.  I began building a family tree over a decade ago.  In January 2011, I joined Ancestry.com at the suggestion of a buddy at work, Ray Thomas - a fellow Ohioan like my father.  I was immediately…

Nelson Jonnes Died a Decade Ago Today

My father, Nelson Jonnes (1926-2011), passed away on 7 November 2011.  He was 85 and would have been 95 today. On the occasion of Dad's 80th birthday bash in 2006, I created a certificate in PowerPoint detailing many of his life accomplishments. …

The Lost Township of Northampton

Every genealogist encounters past jurisdictions that no longer exist.  Empires rise, empires fall, boundaries shift, names change.  Only 150 odd years ago, Germany was a patchwork of 39 kingdoms, duchies, and principalities.  As a result,…

Distant Cousins with Familiar Names, Part II

I had the good fortune of connecting this summer with two distant cousins who share very rare surnames from my family tree: Tabele Wührlin A previous post told the story of my new Tabele cousin.((See it here.))  This post discusses…
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My Vermilyea Cousin in Fairbanks, Alaska

Lucia and I flew to Alaska last month! It was an amazing trip and we hope to return.  We encourage anyone who has not been to consider it.  It is as advertised - majestically beautiful and naturally wilder than any place in the lower 48. …

Distant Cousins with Familiar Names, Part I

This summer, I fortuitously connected with two distant cousins who share unusual surnames from my family tree: Tabele Wührlin The Tabele family is a branch in my father's tree; the Wührlin family is a branch in my mother's.  This…

Probate Discovery: Mrs. Caroline S. King (1860-1932)

Now that Shuping and I summer in Minnesota, I was hoping to take advantage of our proximity to local genealogical records. Last week was my first chance to do so.  We made a day trip north to Grand Rapids, Minnesota and obtained the probate…