Saturday, January 3, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) -- Best Find of 2014, and Research Challenge for 2015

It's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  What was your best research achievement in 2014?  Tell us - show us a document, or tell us a story, or display a photograph.  Brag a bit!  You've earned it!

2)  We all have elusive ancestors.  What research problem do you want to work on in 2015?  Tell us where you want to research and what you hope to find.

3)  Put the answers in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.  

Here's mine:

1)  I think my best research achievement was tracking down the Elizabeth Dill birth record in the Eastham, Massachusetts town records.  This was a challenge, because it wasn't where the finding aid (the IGI Batch number) told me it was.  I blogged about the records and the problem in Searching for Elizabeth Dill's Birth Record in Eastham, Massachusetts Records (3 November 2014) and about the solution in Crowd-Sourcing Works Again! Finding Elizabeth Dill's Birth Record in Eastham, Massachusetts Records ((4 November 2014).

Here is the record I found (with help from my readers):

2)  In 2015, I want to work more on the Thomas J. Newton research challenge I have.  He was probably born in Maine, married Sophia (Buck) Brigham in eastern Massachusetts, fathered two children who say they were born in Vermont.  I have ONE record with his name on it - a town paupers list in 1832 in the Westborough, Mass. town records.  There must be another record somewhere in New England!!  You can read my "biography" of Thomas J. Newton in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 31: #38 Thomas J. Newton (ca 1800 - ????) (1 August 2014).

I need to do more research in Massachusetts probate, land records and town records, focusing on Worcester and Middlesex Counties.  I also need to focus on Lamoille County, Vermont, where the two children of Thomas J. Newton were probably born - again, probate, land and town records may hold some answers.  

This is important to me - he may be my 3rd great-grandfather, and he might not be.  I need to find proof of the father of my second great grandmother, Sophia (Newton) Hildreth (1834?-1923), and then flesh out his ancestry.  This is one of the biggest "blank spots" in my family tree.  It's not the only one in the 4th great-grandparents generation.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver


Chriss said...

My biggest breakthrough was getting my father-in-law's original birth certificate. I now have his biological parents' names, ages, and places of birth. I've already started up his tree which is exciting as half my husband's chart was blank until a week ago.

My most elusive ancestor is grandfather's parents. He was adopted before adoptions were a regulated thing in England. We know the man listed on his birth certificate is not his father, and we think we have it narrowed down to a few people, but I think this is where DNA is going to be the key. I'm still hoping my mum will do a DNA test, but failing that, I will.

Jacqueline said...

Thanks for the mission. My greatest discover was about my Finnish ancestry and I'm hoping to find out more in 2015. I posted on my blog.

GeneGinny said...

Thanks for the mission, Randy. Here's my post:

Amanda said...

Here's mine:

Thanks for the reminder that I did find some awesome stuff this year!

SearchShack said...

My best research achievement in 2014 was finding the manuscript of the SHACKFORD genealogy written by Samuel Shackford of Winnetka, Ill to include boxes of his source material. The achievement was made due to the gracious help of a library reference librarian and a volunteer genealogist at that library. I haven't actually been able to see this document yet but know that years of review await me when I can get to Chicago and review the material. Not only will it be wonderful to see Samuel's through research done in the 1880-1900 timeframe but apparently the boxes also contain diaries written by other family members after the Great Chicago Fire. What a treasure found due to help from others!

In 2015 I will continue to research SHACKFORD genealogy and blog at least weekly about my finds at sharing sourced material with references.

Dana Leeds said...

I just posted mine! Thanks for the challenges. I'm excited about another new year to research!

Mel said...

Here is my entry (and thank you Randy for providing these weekly prompts!)

Unknown said...

I only began researching in May, but my love affair with genealogy had flourished quickly! I will never forget the day I opened my laptop and thought to myself "My grandfather fought in WWII and I don't know anything about what he did. I bet I can find it online." Well, it took me a few weeks to find his enlistment records and months to find discharge records, but in the meantime I found tons of other information! The rest is history!

My hope for 2015 is to scan and preserve all our old family photos and documents, which my mother was very eager to pass on when I became interested in them.

Seeds to Tree said...

Great idea! I list my top six and how I found them on my blog at: