Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Chipping Away at My End-of-Line Ancestors

I received an email today from the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) noting that the Summer 2016 issue if The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (NEHGR) was available to read online and to download on their American Ancestors website..  I have been a member of NEHGS for over 20 years, and use their excellent website regularly.

I clicked on the link, and was able to read, and download, the Summer 2016 issue to my hard drive.  I have a file folder for this periodical on my computer hard drive, so I saved it to that file folder.  In the file folder, I noted that I had all of the available issues from 2007 to 2015, but not the 2016 issues published to date.  So I downloaded the two earlier issues also.

Then I read them cover to cover.  From the tables of contents, I saw two articles in those three issues that directly applied to my ancestral families in New England and England.

The first article, from the Spring 2016 issue of the NEHGR, was "English Origins and First Wife of Samuel1 Winsley of Salisbury, Massachusetts" by Sandra M. Hewlett.

This article provides another wife for Samuel Winsley who was the mother of my ancestor, Deborah Winsley (1629-1695) who married John Weed, based on parish records.  Samuel Winsley is my 10th great-grandfather.  It also provides likely parents for Samuel Winsley, based on English parish records.

The second article was "Religious and Political Radicalism in London: The Family of Thomas Howse, with Massachusetts Connections, 1642-1665," by Craig L. Dalley in the Winter issue of the NEHGR.  This article provided a father and nine siblings for Hannah Howse (1594-1634), the first wife of Rev. John Lothrop (1584-1653) of Barnstable, Massachusetts, and my 12th great-grandmother.  Thomas Howse was a brother of Hannah.

I added the information from these two articles to my RootsMagic database today, with source citations for the articles.  These are authored works that usually use original sources to construct families.  They are what I have available, so I source the authored work and not the original source material because I have not seen the original source.

Like many genealogists, I am not able to travel extensively to research throughout the United States, Canada, England and other European countries.  I go to Salt Lake City almost every year for one day in the Family History Library, and  have access to the local LDS Family History Centers and can order microfilms there (but only rarely do I do that).

I have used published books and periodicals, like the NEHGR, to add content to my family tree because, in most cases, the books and periodicals are sourced and peer reviewed.

There are other benefits to reading periodicals like NEHGR on a regular basis; one benefit is to observe and note the methodology used by professional and veteran researchers in ancestral locations - the records found and used, the historical background, etc.  Another benefit is that I occasionally find information for a sibling of one of my ancestors that adds to my knowledge about that person in my family tree database.

While these two families are distant ancestors of mine, I feel like I made progress today by chipping away at my end-of-line ancestors.


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Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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Mary Kircher Roddy said...

Nice post, Randy. I like that you explain not only what you found, but why using that kind of material is beneficial.

Louis Kessler said...

I don't know if the term you should use is "chipping away". That sounds like you're finishing something off. Conversely, you are adding to what you have, replacing the one end-of-line ancestor with their father, mother, siblings, uncles, aunts, etc. Maybe "Opening up" or "Digging into" your end-of-line ancestors would be more appropriate.