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Old 07-19-2013, 02:31 PM
527 posts, read 390,261 times
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I received, from a museum, a photocopy of a ~100-page diary written over several years in 1780s-1790s Massachusetts by a distant relative of my son's. I was hoping it was his direct ancestor, but it turned out only to be a first cousin, 10x removed (the author is my son's direct ancestor's nephew). Still a very interesting item.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:12 PM
bjh bjh started this thread
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,105 posts, read 22,790,774 times
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Have a new close cousin on 23 and me who is, unfortunately, anonymous. Who could it be now?
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:57 PM
Location: too far from the sea
17,999 posts, read 17,159,915 times
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Got contacted on Ancestry by a "cousin" in England who has just retired and will be moving back to the village she was born in. WHICH IS THE SAME village my family came from!!!!!!!!!!!

She said she'll be back in touch--maybe she could look something up for me if I am very nice and MAYBE if I can afford to go to England again I could meet up with her.
my posts as moderator will be in red. Moderator: Health&Wellness~Genealogy. The Rules--read here>>> TOS. If someone attacks you, do not reply. Hit REPORT.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:11 AM
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,222 posts, read 12,814,791 times
Reputation: 10451
Just discovered a newspaper article which confirms my 3rd great grand uncle never married or had kids but also, that he came from a large family. I've always suspected this since his parents (my 4th great grandparents) only had three children known to me but born quite late in their lives. Plus, an 1820 census suggested they had at least two other sons. Though I still don't know their names, at least now I know they did indeed have more than the three children I know of and I can start a more aggressive search for their names.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:28 PM
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My (grand) uncle murdered two men very publicly. He was charged with two murders, but in each case the jury found him guilty but changed the crime to manslaughter. I presumed it was because of his WW I war record. He was in two of the big battles and "blown up" several times.

But there may have been an even juicier reason. He killed a young man, whom he maintained was having an affair with his wife by shooting in straight through the heart at close range. The other death was that of a friend of the first man who tried to disarm my uncle, and it really does seem from the description to not have been an intention killing, but the gun firing in the scuffle.

The judge was adamant at the trial that there was no such allowable defence that depended upon defending your marriage rights. His wife in two newspaper articles denied having any idea why he would have done what he did. Her father said he was unstable and abusive.

Now having received a large bundle of photocopies of the newspaper coverage, it becomes clearer how the jury may have been swayed despite the judge's vehement ruling. On the last day of the trail for the killing of the alleged lover my uncle's defence attorney unexpectedly recalled the coroner. He asked again what the evidence was that had been taken from the dead man's body. It was the usual, shirt, pants, shoes, pen, etc.......except for "some letters." The defence asked to see the letters as they had not been detailed in the evidence. He then showed the envelopes to my uncle and asked if he recognized the writing.

"My wife's," he replied. And then, evidently leaning heavily on the argument that these were unexamined forensic evidence, he asked permission to read them aloud. He was allowed to read two and maybe a third, that is not clear. The courtroom evidently had the proverbial "you could hear a pin drop" silence during the reading. The contents were never published in any newspaper that I seen yet, but they were characterized as "pathetic," "unseemly" and so on. Thus, her infidelity was firmly established in her own hand, and was no longer a matter of her husband alleging various meetings and incidents.

And the verdict returned was a reduced one of manslaughter. I suspect that either the defence lawyer at some point just took it upon himself to see what the correspondence was that the deceased had on him, or was perhaps even tipped off by the coroner himself as to the contents.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:55 AM
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I just learned that my great-great-grandfather (about whom I'd already found some shocking things) got a teenage girl pregnant when he was already married with children.

For the longest time, I couldn't figure out what the family up and moved in 1882 from Bridgeton in South Jersey to Conshohocken PA, just outside of Philly. Charles (my g-g-grandfather) even took up the exact same job (puddler) in an iron works in PA that he'd held in Bridgeton. So it wasn't a vertical career move. And the iron works in Bridgeton didn't close until 1899. So why did this very large family move, and bring the in-laws along with them?

Now I found a birth record of a baby boy born December 1881 to an unmarried 16 year old girl, a neighbor of Charles' family, naming Charles, age 27, as the father. To double check, I checked all the census records from 1880 of Bridgeton and the surrounding towns, to make sure there were no other Charles F. W____s who were that same age or approximate age who could have been the father. But no, it seems to be my Charles.

So they were so ashamed that they had to get out of dodge, and Charles' wife's parents went with them. Charles and his wife went on to have 5 more children.

The other shocking things I learned about Charles were: in Conshohocken in 1893, he committed some crimes (burglaries of hams, which he was evidently re-selling) and was shot in the act, but survived. Then the whole family moved to Philly. So the pattern is: Charles does something terrible, the whole family has to move. Later in 1911, Charles moved back to Bridgeton with 2 of his daughters (I guess the dust had blown over, or he did something awful in Philly that I haven't found yet), and a few months later he accidentally shot himself in the stomach under mysterious circumstances, walked to the hospital himself saying he was fine, and died the next morning. Now I'm wondering about that "accidental" shooting....
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:22 PM
Location: NW Philly Burbs
2,431 posts, read 4,390,084 times
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Originally Posted by susankate View Post
Here in Australia, we have a digitised newspaper system called Trove. Up until last year, it was mainly the capital city and national papers up to the mid 1950s. Last week, I just went look something up unrelated to genealogy and noticed that they have vastly increased their digitised newspaper selections, including a newspaper very close to the very small town where ancestors have resided for over 150 years. By filtering just this newspaper and also the surname of ancestors and the name of the very small town, I've managed to find a lot of obituaries and articles about grandparents/great grandparents etc. This newspaper also had a correspondent from the town so I could read about what events are on and when. Some of the gems found are an article about my greatgrandparents wedding and an article about my greatgrandmother's early death.
Originally Posted by Sally_Sparrow View Post
That's been my most recent discovery as well. I came across a digitized version of a small town Texas paper where my ancestors on my father's side lived for a long time, and I was able to read about my Grandmother's wedding with all the the details, see my G-Grandfather's advertisements in the paper (he was a dentist), see little stories about who visited them and read about when my Grandmother came home from college and her sorority activities, and read about my father's birth announcement, etc. Gotta love small town papers for detailing the most mundane everyday happenings!
I'm addicted to these local papers!! I find myself reading about people not even connected to my family. I love the little one-line snippets, and the big, juicy scandals. But I especially love a huge obituary, naming all the names and places. I'm still getting used to "funeral coverage", though, where they talk about what the "corpse" was wearing. Gives me the heebee-geebees (sp?).
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:13 PM
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Just found out about an ancestor who enlisted in the Confederate Army, served 12 months as was required, then some more. Got shot in the hand and was taken to hospital in Virginia, then furloughed, which he later had extended. Then I found papers that declared him "absent without leave" in 1864 -- hence, a deserter.

After he burdened his wife with 13 children, he finally died at 82, leaving her a widow. She then applied for a pension (in vain, for obvious reasons), but I could almost feel how much hope she must have had. Then, looking into her original family, I found out her parents deserted her when she was a baby. They were "passing through" and stayed at an inn an elderly couple ran and just took off the next morning without her, before everyone woke up. The old couple ended up raising her as well as they could, but she left at 16 to marry this creep ancestor. Found her death certificate, and under "parents' names and place of birth," it is notated "N.K." (not known). Poor woman had a tough life.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:46 PM
Status: "happy again, no longer catless! t...." (set 6 days ago)
Location: Cushing OK
14,422 posts, read 16,691,770 times
Reputation: 16430
Years ago, my dad's family records drawn from old bibles and family sources was published in a book my mom had seen but it had only enough copies made for the family. I have found a lot of records and names on public trees on Ancestry, with citations and the rest, but not much further back. I'm currently laboriously entering my own tree, details of one person at a time, and checked the leafs. This led to the record I'd seen about my grandmother's father, a naturalized Irishman who is said to be scots irish, married and settled and had kids and one day didn't come home. My g grandmother is believed to have known why but never said. Very very curious... But this had her line back enough generations that it was pre revolution. They were concentrated in Tennessee and Georgia, and the first birth in in NC. So mom and dad's families followed at the start the same pathway.

I shall have fun doing further research. But it looks like I have many cousins in Georgia and Tennessee.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:07 PM
bjh bjh started this thread
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,105 posts, read 22,790,774 times
Reputation: 119716
I was contacted this week by a cousin about some findagrave memorials I manage. Now I'm learning about some long lost cousins.
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