Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Dear Genea-Santa

I have been a real good genealogy boy this year, diligently tracing my ancestors, learning their stories, citing my sources, and sharing the information with my family and the world.

What would I would like for Christmas? Here's ten ideas - I have more if you want to hear them:

1) Just one measly lead as to the parentage of Thomas J. Newton (born in ME ca 1800, married to Sophia (Buck) Brigham about 1833, had two children in Cambridge VT in the 1834-1837 period, and disappeared).

2) A piece of direct evidence that my Elizabeth Horton Dill (born ca 1794, died 1869, married to Alpheus Smith in 1826) was the daughter of Thomas and Hannah (Horton) Dill of Eastham MA.

3) Some hints as to the parents of Hannah Smith (born ca 1768, married 1789 to Josiah Sawtell, died 1827, resided in Brookline NH) - was she the daughter of Joshua and Hannah (Baldwin) Smith of Brookline NH?

4) An insight into the parentage of William Knapp (born ca 1775 Dutchess County NY, died 1857 Sussex County NJ, married Sarah Cutter).

5) More patience to search the land and probate records of all my ancestors - especially in New England where the records overwhelm me, and in NY/PA/NJ/WI where the records hide from me.

6) More time to do my genealogy work - researching, transcribing, reading, blogging, speaking, working in my society - while meeting my husband, father and grandfather responsibilities, and having lots of fun.

7) Continued skills growth and research success for my colleagues in the Chula Vista Genealogical Society, and sustained member growth and quality programs for the society itself.

8) Wisdom, insight and prolific postings for my fellow genea-bloggers.

9) A younger family member willing and able to participate in the family genealogy research who could eventually grasp the reins and spur our ancestry to new heights.

10) Lots more free data (especially primary information, original source and direct evidence) in online databases - like the planned LDS microfilm digitization and indexing project - and soon, please!

Genea-Santa, I hope that you can grant me at least some of those wishes. They don't have to be wrapped up in a box, or put in my stocking, hung in the Genea-Cave with care. Just whisper in my ear on Christmas Eve while I'm dreaming of library stacks, musty courthouses, or overgrown cemeteries. Or give me a passing thought as I toil in Ancestry databases, FHC microfilms, esoteric web sites or FTM genealogy reports far into the midnight gloom.

By the way, can we genea-bloggers do anything for you? Would you or Mrs. Claus like to know more about your ancestry? What about the elves and the reindeer - do they have pedigree charts? If you want help, just ask! And provide enough information (names, dates, places) to get us started (I'm counting on Megan Smolenyak to help here).

One more question - is Genea-Santa really a fellow named Hugh Watkins, an English genea-blogger at with glasses, a happy face and long white beard?? Inquiring minds want to know! Hugh, are you moonlighting as Genea-Santa?

Thanks to Jasia for the great post idea!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm a relatively new reader of Randy's Blog, but have enjoyed many of his postings. As I find myself digging back into his old posts, I noticed this list and his offer. I too will be happy to help as time allows, so Randy - please don't hesitate to add me to your "nice" list to help for 2007. I'm very proficient with a wide range of sources, but especially census records and NY Arrivals.
Regards - Dan Lynch