Shrubbing & DNA & a Rabbit Hole

Yes shrubbing out that tree and a DNA cousin have lead to a huge Rabbit Hole and it isn’t even a direct ancestor but when a good juicy story gets you hooked you follow.

I love a mystery and think I may of been a detective in a previous life. So I am working on shrubbing out the descendants of Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge and Olive Daby. Though I should also shrub out Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge and Betsey Black also since this family has some pedigree collapse going on and I discovered a triple cousin.

I am also working on creating a tree for my DNA cousin’s great great grandparents because I discovered a case of sisters marrying brothers, so we have a bit more pedigree collapse going on. Thankfully I have a couple of odd markers making the research go a bit easier with a somewhat common last name.

So one of my goals in the coming days is to actually work on some of my own research and scope out the Family History Center’s local to me. It will be nice to be able to access the records fairly easily. I have a list of records I need in my source box and my wonderful daughter said she wouldn’t mind going either. She likes doing research. I am thinking of doing a little 14-day mini-challenge, I did one last year with Nicole and Diana from Family Locket and Research Like a Pro and it helped me. I was able to find some great information and have a nice little report for it. The best part is it kept me focussed on one question.

So I am sitting here going down a rabbit hole and shrubbing along this tree, what are you working on in your tree.

2020 One Little Word – Harmony


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Back in the day, I was a scrapbooker. Actually it is something I am going to start doing again for me and not about creating the perfect layout, but I digress. When I was a scrapbooker I took part in choosing a word every year. I have found that by choosing this word I am more focused on things. You can find out more about One Little Word on Ali Edwards website.

For 2020, I am planning to work on life and balance. For this I have chosen the word Harmony. This is perfect for my Libra tendencies. I am going to strive to be more present, do things I enjoy and not stress as much. I am hoping that by finding the Harmony in my life I will find a bit more of myself.

Do you choose a word to live by each year?

One Little Word 2019

I have been choosing a word for many years now. It is something that came about from scrapbooking. The idea is credited to Ali Edwards and you can read about One Little Word here.

I have been thinking about my word for several weeks. In the past I have had believe, hope, embrace, learn, journey. This year I am on a journey of self-discovery and I have a lot I want to accomplish and let go of so it was important for me to choose a word that embraces all these things and I really do not like to reuse a word.

This year’s word is CULTIVATE.

I feel with this word I can learn the new things I want to. Let go of the things that have been weighing me down and move forward in this journey of life and be a better person.

Do you have a WORD that you commit too or will you choose a word for the year?

Post your word below and what it means to you.

Reflections & an offer.

So 2018 has been a year to remember good and bad. As I get older I try more and more to roll with it.

The good

  • Gerard retired.
  • Chiara was accepted into her dream college for her dream program.
  • Jimmy made the transition to middle school seamlessly.
  • I attended the Genealogical Research Institute in Pittsburgh. (would love to attend in 2019 but don’t think that will happen.
  • Attended my 2nd DAR state conference.
  • worked on organizing a Children of the American Revolution Society
  • Lots of good times with friends and family.
  • After a lot of hard work we finally were able to get Samantha settled in a Kindergarten and she is thriving.

The bad:

  • Jimmy having to have 8 teeth removed which resulted in a rather large bill but he seems happier.
  • Sami’s fiasco experience in the first kindergarten she was placed in.

Thankfully my parents are healthy and still moving and grooving in life and I am blessed by that.

I have lots of goals for 2019 and I am working on putting them together and making them concrete realities which leads me to my next thought. I know I am not a prolific writer I think it has to do with being a special needs mom and not having a huge amount of time on my hands and that I am a fairly direct person. So I am going to work on this blog more in the coming year.

I want to try my hand at 30 minute ancestor profiles. I will research your ancestor for 30 minutes and provide you with a written ancestor profile on the ancestor. I am still working on the pricing for this as I want it to be fair and playing with the price of $45.00  for this. The turn around will be 2-3 weeks.

So I need your help to try my hand on this. I am offering a limited trial run at the discounted price of $23.00 limited to 10 people.

If interested please e-mail me at, the first person to email me will receive their ancestor profile for free.

Thanks in advance if you are one of my trial ancestor profile guinea pigs.

Day 1 of the 30 x 30 challenge

Today starts the day of my 30 x 30 genealogy challenge of researching 30 minutes a day for 30 days. This concept belongs to Jane Adams of Organize Your Family History.

For my 30 x 30 challenge to be successful, I had to come up with some goals and ideas of lines I wanted to research.

Here are a couple of my goals:

  • submit my application to the Daughters of Union Veterans.
  • submit my application to National Society Daughters of the Union.
  • gather the proof for my Associated Daughters of Early American Witches
  • Work on my additional information required request for a supplemental patriot.

Some of my research questions I would like to answer:

  1. When and where did Benjamin Nurse (father of Elizabeth Nurse who was married to Joseph Da(r)by) die?
  2. When did Neils Osborne arrive in the United States? Where in Norway was he from?
  3. When did the wife of Neils Osborne, Bergetti Netland arrive in the United States? Where in Norway was she from?
  4. When and where did Sarah Knowlton marry Obadiah Coolidge?
  5. Where might I find the will for Benjamin Knowlton who died in 1808 be?

So there is just the tip of the iceberg. It ought to be an interesting month. Working on lineage applications gives me a tangible goal and I feel like I should know how to fill out each one out there.

I am going to try to report in on progress as I make some. These are all pressing questions and involve different lines for me and they may even involve me taking this tree sideways in some points.

Here is to a profitable November in finding information.

A 30 x 30 Challenge…

Life has been insane lately with family and kids. We have been doing the whole college application process with the almost 17 year old. The 10 year old transitioned seamlessly from elementary to middle school in his special needs class and the 5 year old had a rough time going from pre-school into kindergarten but after 6 weeks we finally have her settled and I feel the need to dive back into some me projects to relieve some stress.

As you know I am an avid podcast listener and while listening to Journey through the Generations I learned about the 30 x 30 challenge. The 30 x 30 challenge is where you research or organize your research for 30 days. It was originally introduced by Jane Adams who writes Organize Your Family History. So I am starting November 1, 2018 and for the rest of October I will be developing a research plan of what I would like to accomplish and will be posting about them here.

I am also hoping to try and blog once a week at a minimum for the rest of the year. Wish me luck.

New Podcasts..

I want to post about a couple of new podcasts I have stumbled upon as they have made a huge impact on me.

Number 1 has to be Spit from I Heart Radio and 23 and me. It explores identity with experts and celebrities.

Number 2 is from Amy Johnson Crow called Generations Cafe there are 3 episodes out there. I love Amy’s 52 Ancestors project even though I am woefully behind but I love what she is trying to do.

Number 3 is A Journey Through the Generations, I stumbled upon this one and it is a husband and wife team sharing tips and tricks.

I am a huge proponent of personal development so a lot of my car time is listening to podcasts. I believe we should always keep learning.

Hope to post here a little more often than I have now that school is back in session.



Some of my Favorite Podcasts

I love podcasts. I find them a great source of personal development. It fills the time when I am driving back and forth to work or while waiting for the kids to get out of activities. I became addicted to podcasts when I first started as a Beachbody Coach and my tastes have evolved over the years.

Here are some of my favorites.

Extreme Genes – This is a fun one. Scott Fisher is the host and I have learned a lot. It is broken into segments. – News from David Allen Lambert from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and I also throughly enjoy the Preservation Authority segment with Tom Perry.

The Genealogy Guys – This is a great one for all the ins and outs. I have learned so much from the listener emails and the guys tips. I also enjoy the Genealogy Connection they put out with professionals in the field.

Genealogy Gems  – hosted by Lisa Louise Cook is another great informational segment with stories, tips and dna feature is another go too.

Research at the National Archives and Beyond – this is another go to. This one has a lot of tips for African American Research. I have learned so much with this one. It is so informative. I think one of my favorite shows on this one was about publishing your work.

The Forget-Me-Not Hour – I have listened to every episode of this podcast from Jane E. Wilcox. Her segment with Henry Z. Jones on the Palentines is one of my favorites. I am so sad that she is no longer producing it, I suggest you listen to it as it is such a wealth of knowledge.

These are my go to podcasts. There are others that I have recently started listening too but I haven’t gone through enough episodes to finalize an opinion. If you are into family history these are great listens. Let me know if you listen or if you have a favorite podcast. I would love to add to my rotation.






Decoding those leaves…



We all know about those shaky leaves on ancestry. See these leaves here they sit for a long time. These in particular because they deal with Irish Ancestry. I you look you will see a lot of Peter, Marys and Bridgets. They give me a headache after a while. Decoding a leaf for me is a long process.  If the hint is another tree, I hit the ignore button. While trees are great hints for a starting point the facts have to be verified so I would rather not have any preconceived notions.

The following trees I am trying to set up research questions for and concentrate on finding answers. Having a research plan will hopefully keep me more organized and help finish some lines.

This is the Maxwell tree. This one has so many fabulous names. I am going to start with who was Byrd C. Maxwell and some basic facts of his life.maxwell

Another thing that hints from Ancestry that I love and do spend time perusing is photos. I stumbled across this one of Byrd Maxwell.


Byrd is seated in the front row and he looks like a character. I wonder the stories he could tell.

Below is what I have termed the Hoffman family tree.  Charles Hoffman is actually a Robinson. HE was adopted. I am in search of his actual obituary and not the copy I found online.


I also love the fabulous names in this tree including George Wesley Collison and Cornelius Collison. These families came from the East and moved west.  I am trying to piece together Cornelius Collision and am having a hard time as their is either another Cornelius or it is possible the had 2 families (not unheard of).  I recently bought some poster board to see what I could find out. Sometimes I have to revert back to old-fashioned paper and pen research to figure things out.

Here is another tree I am loving. This one has some fabulous names. I am trying to flesh out some Revolutionary War Ancestors for someone. I am also trying to find the immigrant ancestor on the deeply Irish side. This tree currently has over 200 hints I need to review. I timed myself one day. Each hint takes me around 5 minutes to decide if it is correct.


This last tree I am loving. I showed you a portion of this family in my last post about Israel and Golde Angert. This is a different branch but equally as interesting. Number one, what a fabulous name Monteville is.


Also that Sylvanus Judson is a twin. This tree has so many names on both sides speaking to me that I am deriving several questions including the first one of who is Rose Gross. We know she was adopted but we need to find out more. This is where the release of the Birth and Death Records that Reclaim The Records is pursuing is so important.

I am thinking of offering a history of one ancestor snapshot – 30 minutes of research for the fee. If interested email me at and we can chat.

Off to work on writing those research questions.




Post 1850 Immigration

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This is  a list of the trees I am actively researching. This summer it has been an ebb and flow of research as there has a been a lot going on here on the home front. This afternoon I had every intention of taking the kids to the pool but it is a rainy cool day and that isn’t happening. I decided to choose one of the trees and do some research.

The luck winner is the Angert Tree. I am very intrigued by post 1850 immigration as it is not my forte. Actually researching passenger lists tends to make me nervous and realize how much experience I do not have at it.

I generally let the ancestors speak to me and guide me on this journey, especially when I am researching family that is not mine. These ancestors seem to want their stories told. Today I concentrated on Golde “Jennie” Wasserman and Israel “Joseph” Angert.

I went with what I had already found from the information provided to me. I found the couple on the 1910 census.

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The Angert Family lived at 129 Bruce Street, Newark, New Jersey. They have been married for 28 years and it is the first marriage for both. Additionally, we learn that Jennie has given birth to 9 children and 9 children are living. They are Russian/Yiddish (I need to do a bit more into this but we can discern they are Jewish immigrants). We also learn that they arrived in 1882 and are naturalized citizens. I need to research the immigration laws of the time to see how it worked. If memory serves me right from my own familial research if Joseph became a citizen his wife and minor children became citizens.

Another point of interest is Joseph and the children spoke English but Jennie is listed as speaking Yiddish. We also see that Joseph and the children can read and write but again Jennie does not.

The Angerts also rent their home. So much can be gleaned from a census record. From this information I now knew the date of the Angert’s arrival so I headed over to Family Search (I have a lot better luck their searching passenger lists for some reason) and searched for their arrival. I checked a few records and found it. Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 3.49.34 PM

Israel Hangert and his wife Golde came to New York in 1886 on the Alaska and both were born in Russia. This is pre-Ellis Island so they most likely were processed at Castle Garden.

Unfortunately, we can not check the 1890 Census so we will check the 1900 census for NY and check the births of their children to see what else we can glean. I did find a death record in 1916 but am not sure it is actually the correct family (as the burial is in Connecticut) so I don’t want share it until I can verify it.

Thankfully with the wonderful work Reclaim the Records is doing I can check the index to see if any of the names match with the census records to further track the journey of Golde and Israel.