52 Ancestors – Week 6 – Same Name

In my family there is no clear cut naming patterns except on my paternal side. They are Italian and the oldest son tends to be named after the paternal grandfather, hence why my dad has a slew of cousins named Dominic.

I myself am named after both my grandmothers and I named my oldest daughter after myself and my dad and my son is name after both his grandfathers. Going through my tree for this prompt I didn’t see a clearcut naming pattern for any other branch but I did see a few interesting names.

  •  Dorcas Winchell Coolidge Weatherwax – where is Winchell from?
  • Leslie Winchester Beardsley and in turn Leslie Winchester Witherwax – Winchester is the last name of Leslie Winchester Beardsley’s mother Minerva Winchester if her tombstone is to be believed.
  • My 2nd Great Grandmother  Sarah Larkin Beardsley and her sister Lucy Larkin Thompson both have infants named Myra who died early. Where did the name Myra come from?

I guess I am lucky that not many branches used the same names over and over but there are a few that in one generation there a 3 Jacobs and they are all born about 1792 or the several men named Jehiel Beardsley and I also have the tale of 2 Beverly Beardsleys that can muddy the waters a bit.


52 Ancestors – Week 2 – Favorite Photo

This week we were prompted to post about our favorite photo. I have 2 currently one old and one new.


I love this photo of my husband and our 3 kiddos from October 2018. It is a favorite because Jimmy our now 12 year old is actually looking at the camera. He has autism and is non–verbal so this this a big deal for us.

The second photo is of my 2X-Great Grandmother Sarah Larkin Beardsley, MD. It was the photo she used for her graduation from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1884. Sarah is something of an obsession of mine.

Dr. Sarah larkin Beardsley


52 Ancestors in 2020 – Week 1 – Fresh Start

It is a brand new year and a new decade. As the new year dawns it is full of amazing possibilities and opportunities, a new beginning and a fresh start, which brings us to our topic for week one of the edition of 52 Ancestors.

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My Fresh Start is not chucking everything and starting over, my idea for a Fresh Start is to move beyond the low lying fruit of databases and heading into the catalogs and being more delibrerate with my research, including contacting historical societies, libraries and research trips, even if it is only a day trip by doing this I am hoping to breakdown some brick walls and open up the tree a bit.

My other goal is to branch the tree out and work more on the outliers and not necessarily my direct ancestors as by shrubbing the tree I think I will get more use out of my DNA matches and further breakdown some brick walls.

I hope you will follow along again on this journey with me.

52 Ancestors – Week 52 – You

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”
― Judy Garland

I did it. I completed all 52 Weeks of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestor Challenge. I stuck with it. This weeks prompt is about you. So I figured I would tell you a bit about me.

I am a married mom of 3. I am married to Gerard for almost 23 years. We have Chiara, Jimmy and Sami. Both of my parents are still living and I have an older brother and younger sister. I live in New York and have all my life.

As you know if you read this blog I found my love of genealogy through my maternal Grandma. I started going on trips to the cemetery with her and my mom back when I was 12. I completed the Boston University Certificate Program in 2017 and am almost done with the ProGen Study Group. I enjoy learning when I am super interested in a topic, if I am not I drift.

I also enjoy reading and crafting. I am an avid Peloton rider and working on my health. I am also an officer in my DAR chapter and enjoy volunteering.

Things I don’t enjoy are cooking and cleaning. Oh and I probably mentioned it here but my family and I are huge Disney fans. Our love for them has grown through the years with how well they treat people with disabilities as my son has autism and is non-verbal. He has challenges and every day is a journey.

I am looking forward to 2020 and taking part in 52 Ancestors again as well as adding some new things to the blog.

See you all in 2020.

52 Ancestors – Week 51 – Future

So looking forward to 2020, I have all sorts of projects and goals in mind. It is going to require me to be a bit more organized with my time and with my research.

Genealogy Projects for 2020

  1. File a DAR supplemental application for my daughter through her paternal grandma’s line.
  2. Clear the DAR Additional Information Requested to connect Sarah Knowlton Coolidge to Benjamin Knowlton.
  3. Highlight an ancestor once a month on the blog.
  4. Submit an application to Associated Daughters of Early American Witches.
  5. Submit an application to Daughters of Union Veterans.
  6. Submit a supplemental application for a new patriot David Weatherwax.
  7. Break through a few brick walls including finding a death date for Henry Bass.
  8. Plan a few local day research trips to Brooklyn (Holy Cross Cemetery, Canarsie Cemetery, trips to the municipal archives and family history centers.)
  9. Work on detangling the Preston line.
  10. Try to take a class on Jewish Research, Italian or Irish Research.
  11. Listen to 2 genealogy podcasts per week.
  12. Work on finishing RLP ECourse and DNA course.

Sounds like a good plan for 2020.

52 Ancestors – Week 49 – Craft

This is a topic that is near and dear to me. Back in 2010, I taught myself to sew. My grandma was a master seamstress. She could also crochet and knit, but I never took her up on her offers to learn and it makes me sad.


This is a dress I made a couple of years ago that made me super proud and I wish I could show my grandmother.

52 Ancestors – Week 48 – Thief

I knew right away this entry would be about Henry M. Bass. I don’t actually know if he was a thief but he is indeed a scoundrel.

Henry M. Bass was born 24 June 1886 in Warsaw, Duplin County, North Carolina. The son of John William Rufus Bass and Emma Faison Best Bass. The only census he appears on with his family is at the age of 14 in the 1900 United States Census.

By 1909 he is in New York where he appears as the father on a birth certificate of an Edna Bass.

A Bass cousin shared this photo of Henry Bass probably taken around the 1900 census. hbass001.jpg

I see some familial resemblance to my husband and his brothers. While researching Henry, Ancestry.com kept hinting at this record for a William Kirk with an alias of Henry M. Bass and for the longest time I said it couldn’t possibly be him.


I am beginning to come round to the possibility that this may be the same person. As mentioned above Henry Bass appears on the Birth Record for an Edna Bass born in 1909.

In his father’s obituary of 1914 Henry is listed among the surviving children.The_Wilmington_Dispatch_Wed__Apr_15__1914_

When his mother died in 1915 he is not mentioned at all.


According to the NYC Marriage Index, Henry Bass married Mary Hartmann the mother of Edna Bass in December of 1914. Nowhere do I find Henry and Mary living together and their Daughter lived with a couple as a boarder and later foster daughter as early as 1910.

In 1917, Henry Bass and Marguerite Bruchs have a son Robert B. Bass in Chicago. So while I am not sure that Henry M. Bass and William A. Kirk are the same person I do have a reasonable assumption that Henry M. Bass is a scoundrel and something must of happened for him to be totally omitted from his mother’s obituary.

52 Ancestors – Week 46 – Poor Man

I am still playing catch-up and I am determined to finish all 52 weeks of this project. Though I am thinking for next year I want to do some ancestor profiles here on the blog. I have found this to be a rewarding experience.

This prompt was very hard for me. Poor Man. Most of the people in the tree were simple farmers in upstate NY or immigrants to the United states from places like Ireland, Germany or Italy. They came here for the promise of a better life.

If I was going to pick one person out of the whole tree who I think was Poor. I might choose my husbands 2X great-grandparents Neils Osborne and his wife Bergetti Netlander Osborne.

I have vital statistics for them but no real stories to share. One thing that leads me to believe they were poor as on the census records they are listed as living in a tenement. Bergetti and Neils never lived in a house and Neils worked as a grocery clerk and then as a longshoreman. They had one son who lived to adulthood though the census records show that she had 2 children and only 1 lived to adulthood. To me their existence just has such a tragic cast to it.

52 Ancestors – Week 45 – Rich Man

This was an interesting topic. Wealth comes in many forms. Land, money, knowledge. I will be honest the men in the family do not always speak to my soul. The women though I tend to have a strong affinity to several of them.

One of the lines I am often drawn to is my Larkin Line. I think it all stems from the time I spent researching Sarah Larkin Beardsley, MD. The Larkin line was quite prominent in Beekmantown, NY and they descend from my original DAR patriot Lorin Nehemiah Larkin.

My Line is Lorin Nehemiah Larking > John Larkin > Benjamin Wood Larkin > Sarah Larkin > Minerva Beardsley > Earl Witherwax > Mom and Me.

If I went through my tree I would have to say the Richest Man in it would have to be Sarah Larkin Beardsley’s brother-in-law James Thompson. James Thompson owned a mill in Valley Falls, NY and his second wife Lucy Elmora Larkin was Sarah’s sister. I don’t know much about James but he and Lucy had one son Leslie who was born in Jonesville, MI where Sarah was practicing medicine. James Thompson also put up a bond when Sarah Larkin Beardsley died in April of 1886.

I find Lucy Larkin Thompson to be much more interesting as she was a prominent woman involved with the Suffrage movement and I was so pleased to find this blog post.

I love learning about woman who make a difference. So while James Thompson was financially stable, I think Lucy’s wealth came from having convictions and not caring that she was stepping on toes.