Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking Back and Thinking Ahead

While 2011 was a fairly quiet year on the genealogy front, I did break through one brick wall, and that was exciting.  :)

Most of the year, I have focused on putting my new husband's genealogy together based on various sources, and then verifying names, dates and places with the census and vital records.  As with any new project, it's in its infancy and not very impressive at the moment.

However it was exciting to learn that Callahan cousins still reside in Annagolgan, Roslea, County Fermanagh, Ireland!  Visiting them is a priority for 2012.

Since most of the year was dedicated to writing (and it is going very well), I would like to spend more time exploring England in 2012.  While my son is here for the next 6 months, I want to spend a weekend seeing Stonehenge, Glastonbury and Salisbury Plain. 

My main intention for the year is to get a map of England and mark the places I need to visit for research purposes.  Once I have this in front of me, it will be much easier to plan trips, learn what facilities (libraries, historical societies, etc.) are in those areas, and get organized for my research.

We live here for two more years and I want to make the most of it.

Happy New Year!  May 2012 be a year of breaking down brick walls and finding elusive ancestors!

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Solstice & Merry Yule!

Many thanks to everybody who is reading or has read The Gossamer Gate.  It will remain free until January 1, and you are more than welcome to share the link with anybody you know who loves faerie fantasy with a bit of romance.  Every time someone tells me they got so lost in the story that they couldn't put it down, I feel warm fuzzies.  ^.^

I'm trying to wrap up what I can before the year ends.  Mostly, it's just a look back at some genealogical brick walls and I'm performing some searches to see if there are any new results.

This was not the most exciting year for discoveries on my part, only because I was busy moving around the world *again* (ah, the military life!) and then my focus was on my work.  However, I have two definite genealogy goals for 2012:

1.  Visit Manchester, where my great-great grandfather, John William Wood, was born on 15 March 1874.  There is so much research I want to do there!

2.  Visit Ireland, where my husband's Callahan cousins still live in Annagolgan (and the general are), Roslea, County Fermanagh.

What are you genealogical goals for 2012?  And, by the way, did you back-up your files?  If not, this is the perfect time to ensure that your hard work is not lost in an unforeseen accident!

Since we are Pagan and celebrate the Solstice, also known as Yule, this night marks the end of the dark half of the year.  As tomorrow marks the start of the light half of the year, I feel that it is only appropriate to spend tonight doing a bit of light organizing and research.  I would like to get a good night's rest, spend tomorrow celebrating quietly at home with a ritual and opening gifts, then take a walk later in the day.

All in all, I think Monday would be a good day for a fresh start and continuation of projects (be they literary or genealogical) currently in progress. 

I would like to pass on my good wishes to all of you: Happy Solstice and a Merry Yule, and may you enjoy success in all your endeavors in the light half of the year.  ^.^

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our Ancestors, Part 19: Ford

As I research my husband's ancestry, I keep saying, "You must, must, must have somebody who goes back to New England!"  This line certainly offers possibilities, but I have not found any connection to New England yet.

The Ford line is yet another midwestern one, though most of the people in this line seem to have started in Pennsylvania and made their way westward.

Generation 1:

1.  Alvah W. Ford (abt. 1907-1959)

Generation 2:

2.  Herbert Philip Ford (1881-1958)

3.  Winifred Innis Laughlin (1881-1959)

Generation 3:

4.  Jacob Wesley Ford (1841-1920)

5.  Rebecca Emily Short (1850-1912)

6.  William M. Laughlin (1839-1915)

7.  Hettie Ellen Dial (1845-1900)

Generation 4:

8.  Michael Ford (1805-1862, he and his wife, Rebecca Van Houten, are first cousins)

9.  Rebecca Van Houten (1808-1874)

10.  William R. Short (1807-1875)

11.  Jemima Dillavou (1812-1854)

12.  Harrison Laughlin (? - bet. 1840-1850)

13.  Susannah Roderick (? - bet. 1840-1850)

14.  James Dial (abt. 1806-1877)

15.  Sarah Jane Thomas (abt. 1810-1880)

Generation 5:

16.  William Ford (bet. 1771-1774 - bet. 1846-1848, son of Henry Ford of Pennsylvania?)

17.  Catherine Van Houten (abt. 1783-1853, daughter of John Van Houten and Mary)

18.  John Van Houten (no dates, son of John Van Houten and Mary)

19.  Unknown

20.  Unknown Mr. Short

21.  Unknown

22.  John Dillavou (July 1790 in Salem County, NJ - 1867 in Senaca, Kansas)

23.  Rebecca Roberts (abt. 1785-1843)

24.  Unknown Mr. Laughlin

25.  Unknown

26.  Unknown Mr. Roderick

27.  Unknown

28.  George Washington Dial (1772, Westmoreland County, PA - 1848, son of William Edward Dial and Elizabeth Welker, the ahnentafel I found at Rootsweb shows this family as going back through Maryland and to Wales before that)

29.  Elizabeth (abt. 1774-1819)

30.  Unknown Mr. Thomas

31.  Mary Elizabeth Powell (abt. 1783, Maryland - 1860, Fayette County, IL)

As you can see, I don't have much yet on my husband's family.  Thus far I've covered most of the internet basics - seeing what other people have put together, and verifying names and dates with the census.  I explained to my husband that this is a step-by-step process, and that I don't like to fill my Legacy file with name after name, that cannot be confirmed.

I see quite a bit of research on vital records in my future.  ;)

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December: A Back-up Reminder

What a busy month!  With my son's birthday, my birthday (today - funny to open my Legacy file to see my age changed), the Winter Solstice (our holiday, also known as Yule), our wedding anniversary, Christmas, New Year's, and a few birthdays for friends and family scattered through the month, it can be a bit overwhelming.

One thing I really want to say is this: Back up your files.

I keep several important files on my laptop.  Well, they're important to me!  My writing, genealogy documents and database, and homeschooling documents are things I would hate to lose.

There really is no better time than the end of the year to schedule a back-up.  You've worked hard all year.  Maybe, like me, you've been a good doobie and backed up every few months (the last time I did was September).  Perhaps you're even more conscientious about that than I could ever hope to be, and you do it monthly.  Maybe you think about it, only to have it slip your mind month after month.

So I'm reminding you to either back-up your files or to mark a date in red on your calendar to do it.

Personally, I have two novels I wrote between September and now.  One has undergone a rigorous process - through alpha readers who gave feedback on the initial draft, through an amazing beta reader who critiqued the revised second draft, and then through gamma readers who found nothing problematic in the way of plot or character-development, and who basically helped perfect the manuscript by finding small proofreading errors.

That manuscript is as polished as can be after an intense few months and currently on query to literary agents.  It would destroy me to lose it because of something bad happening to my laptop.

Genealogically, I have added a significant amount of source citations to my database, mostly on my husband's ancestors.  It would be terrible to lose that and have to retrace my steps.

Think about everything you have put into your computer and then back it up.  Consider it one of the best ways to make sure your new year really is happy!

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan

Monday, December 5, 2011

Our Ancestors, Part 18: Dillon

My husband's great-grandfather, John James Callahan (covered in the previous post) was married to Agnes Bertilla Dillon on 9 Jun 1925 in Galena, Jo Daviess County, Illinois. 

Once again, my husband has far, far more recent immigrant ancestors than I do.  This makes research a bit difficult, as it tends to stop at the Atlantic ocean.  ;)

Generation 1

1.  Agnes Bertilla Dillon (1905-1983, she married a second time to John Aloysius Donovan in 1939)

Generation 2

2.  Francis Dillon (1879-1924)

3.  Anna Heitkamp (1884-1938)

Generation 3

4.  Lawrence Dillon (1842 in Ireland-1907)

5.  Bridget Corcoran (1848 in Ireland-1912)

6.  Henry Heitkamp (1855-1933)

7.  Ellen Petronella Snyder (1856-1941; every time I see her name, all I can think of is Snyder's of Hanover pretzels...)

Generation 4

5.  Martin Dillon (1805 in Ireland-1859 in Galena, IL)

6.  Margaret Furlong (1805 in Ireland-1884 in Galena, IL)

7.  ? Corcoran

8.  ?

It appears that my husband's Irish ancestors from Callahan to Corcoran are all Potato Famine, or just slightly later, immigrants.

9.  Johann  Heinrich Henry Heitkamp (1808 in Germany-1885 in Menominee, IL)

10.  Anna Margaretha Margaret Kopel (1823 in Germany-aft. 1900)

11.  Peter Snyder (1823-1905 in the Netherlands)

12.  Anna Wolfhagen (1821-1902)

I have a few more generations going back here and there from the Heitkamp and Kopel families, but I do not want to post them without obtaining more proof.  All of these names are easily verified in U.S. censuses or with vital records, particularly marriage records in which the bride and groom named their parents.

However, I'm quite new to research in Germany and the Netherlands, and I would not want to post any inaccurate information.  :)

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan