Always learning…

I had a genetic cousin contact me early Sunday morning, asking how we are related. I could tell immediately she was related through my Dad’s family but that is all. A little deeper digging and I could tell she was my Dad’s paternal line.

Unfortunately, that is as far as I could get. Unlike my mom’s family, I do not know much of the family history. My Grandpa, Tony, died when I was very little and most of his family stayed in the old country. What I do know has been pieced together from a document shared with my Dad from his cousin and what I have found.

Another reason I haven’t gotten to far is the Italian naming pattern of son’s. Oldest son gets named after the paternal grandfather. Today I made a minor break through.

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 6.02.45 PMI was able to find out when my great grandfather came to the United States in 1880 with his parents. I also love that European women traveled under their maiden names as it gives you one more piece of the puzzle. I also discovered a tiny hint of where my first name came from. My Great Great Grandmother’s name was Chiara (I need to discover what her maiden name was as I do not think the spelling I have is  correct). I am excited to have found some more connections.

I am trying to learn about the different naming traditions as I think once I do that I will be able to break a couple of walls especially as I get back into Ireland, Italy and Norway. Below is my husband’s Norwegian line.

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 6.03.25 PMI found a baptism record for Bergetti Netland, I think, but am not 100% sure as from what I have discovered the Scandinavian countries did not have set last names until the late 1800s and what I have read confused me so I put them off to the side until I found a rather high match for my genetic cousin on MyHeritage.

So everyday I am learning different things and moving out of my comfort zone.

52 Ancestors – Favorite Name

I think this is one of my favorite prompts so far in the 52 Ancestors challenge. I love the use of family names. When I named each of my children my husband and I spent hours pouring over names. We never did use Zachary Tobias or Rebecca Lynn, neither of which has a family connection. We did instead to choose to name our children after family though I never did get to stick grandpa’s name Earl in anything.

We have a Chiara Michelle after me and my grandmother, a James Michael after both grandfathers and then we have Samantha Dawn, who shares a middle name with my Mom, along with her first initial. Going through the family there are some cool names from Leslie Winchester Beardsley and Olive Virginia Witherwax, or Lorin Nehemiah Larkin and my personal favorite Bezaleel Wood.

I did not know about Bezaleel Wood until after I submitted my application to the Daughters of the American Revolution under Lorin Larkin. I was visiting a Facebook group in 2016 and they said to look for other patriots through spouses and children. Lo and behold I found Bezaleel Wood, my 5th great-grandfather.

Bezaleel Wood was born 10 September 1758 in Lunenburg, Massachusetts to Jonathan Wood and his second wife Sarah Gary. He is named after an older brother who died in 1756. (Let me just say that naming your kid after a child who died is creepy. Yeah, I know it was a common practice but I still find it creepy.)

Bezaleel married Mehetabel Darby in 1778. They had 2 daughters that I have proven Sarah, my 4th great-grandmother who married John Larkin and Mary, who married Thomas Haynes. There may have been 2 other children (Eleazer and Elizabeth but I have not proven them to date).

After the American Revolution where Bezaleel served under Captain Joseph Bellows, the family relocated to Plattsburgh, Clinton County, NY where he lived until he died on 25 February 1818.

Bezaleel and Mehetabel Wood are buried in the Baker Cemetery off of Route 3 in Clinton County. I am happy to have discovered this ancestor and will keep learning more about him.

bezaleel wood

(photo courtesy of Find A Grave)



It’s Official

It is finally official! I completed the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate Program. My final grade was an A-.


To be honest the class wasn’t what I thought it would be. I thought it would be more writing of reports and working towards professional certification. It was a wonderful way to get your feet wet after not being in school for 25 years. Also, as my background has very little experience in citations it was well worth it for that aspect. Even if I did kick and scream and pout all during that module of the course.

I am now working on practicing what I learned and asked my friends for some research projects to get the practice in writing reports I so desperately want, and it will help me turn towards the genealogy profession.

On my research list now is African American Research, finding the Native American great grandfather for a friend, following the Irish Immigrant of another and helping prove research that has been done but not sourced. This should give me a nice start as I begin seeing what is involved in becoming professionally certified and give me a little rest from some of my own brick wall ancestors.

I am now looking for another online course or my dream of going to GRIP in Pittsburgh this year. These research trips will be so much easier when the husband retires. I think I can rope him into a couple research trips to some archives and cemeteries in upstate New York in 2019.