Monday, December 23, 2013

The Virgin Islands at War

Painting of the Bombardment of Copenhagen
As regular readers probably know, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately going through the latest St Croix collection (St Croix Death Records).  There a dozens of collections of records, comprising hundreds of documents.  One of these is a 32-image collection entitled “Free Male Inhabitants 1807”.  This sounds useful (who can’t use a list of Inhabitants from any particular year), but while it isn’t exactly what it seems, the document is actually much more interesting than that.

While Ancestry’s name of the collection certainly appears to be an accurate description (the people listed are free, male, live on St Croix, and it was for the year 1807), this isn’t a document of a census or a complete listing of free people.  The list is only adult males, children aren’t recorded.  Also it doesn’t appear to be comprehensive.  It appears that there are names missing from this document.  As a quick check, I looked at some burgherbriefs issued in 1806 and early 1807, figuring that those people would likely still be on island.  A Charles Ferdinand Wass, born in London, received his brief in December 1806 yet does not appear in the “List of Inhabitants” a year later.  Neither does an Alexander Instant, born in Scotland.  I also couldn't find Stephen Wheeler, born in North America, yet he received his brief in July 1807.

How useful is a “List of Inhabitants” that doesn’t show all the “Inhabitants”?   Well, not very, until you notice what the list really is.  To do that, I need to digress and discuss a bit of Virgin Island history that isn’t as well known as it should be.  It is a time when world events reached across the Atlantic to the little Danish islands and brought significant changes, affecting our families and their lives forever.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

St Croix Death Records on

imageWhen I began searching for my family there were very few records available online for St Croix. 

The best online collection was the St Croix census.  There were indexes at the Danish Demographic Database ( and VISHA ( and images on 

There were a few church records on FamilySearch ( and the copy of NARA’s Colored People records M-1883 on Fold3 (which has since been posted to 

That was about it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

St Croix Records Back on Ancestry After a Year

SCAN0170cLong time readers will remember that back in May 2012 Ancestry posted a large collection of records from the Virgin Islands (see my post, New Virgin Islands Records on and then, a week later, yanked them down. (See Virgin Islands Records Vanished from  Well, mostly, they’re back.  Hopefully to stay.

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Book-“Island Boy” by Arnold van Beverhoudt Jr



Genealogists tend to live in the past.  A very distant past.  Few of them take the time, or have the interest, to document their own lives.  After all, our lives are recent.  There is no mystery.  Besides, our lives aren’t interesting unless we are movers and shakers, captains of industry or politicians. Somehow we feel that the life of anyone from the 18th century, no matter how dull,  is far more interesting than our own. 

Well, one day, the 2013 will be “long ago” and our descendants (avid genealogists, of course) will be building their family history.  Of course, they will have all of our wonderful research to build on, but it will suddenly end with us.  How will they find out about us?  Can you think of a better gift to leave them than a detailed account of our lives?  About when and where we lived? What we liked and disliked, our hopes and dreams?  About how we were affected by the events of our times?  What would you give to find such an account of one of your ancestors?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Blogging Milestone: 100th Post from 200 Years

100_sculptureThis post is a big milestone. This is the 100th blog post on 200 Years in Paradise.  Who would have thought I’d have that much to say?

I was trying to figure out what would be a good topic for my 100th post.  Should I discuss something from general genealogy?  Island history?  An article on an ancestor?  A house? Records?  DNA? Nothing seemed right for such a momentous occasion.

Then this past week I got an email from a reader, Rolf Klausen, who read one of my posts, Pulling a Thread to Unravel Genealogical Tangles, where I discuss the family of my 3rd great grandmother, Mary Aletta Quickly.  In the article I mention that I had not seen the image of the 1846 census, just the extracted information on by VISHA.  Rolf kindly sent me a photo of the census page in the Danish Archive showing my family at 27 Hospital St in Christiansted, along with some other pages of interest.  How kind of him to look this up for me and send it along.

This made me think of all of the people who have helped me in researching my family that I have met through this blog.  The people who have left helpful hints, suggestions, and information through comments and email.  People have found records of my family, in the islands and in Denmark.  They have pointed me in directions where I could find information about the society where my ancestors lived. 

Others have shared their family stories, often giving me hints where I might look next on my own journey.  Others have found me through my posts and have turned out to be relatives.  They have provided much information that has grown my family well beyond anything I could have imagined.

So this post, the 100th post, is a Thank You.  A thank you to those who have helped me, to those who have allowed me to be part of their journey, and a thank you to you, my readers, for supporting me and accompanying me on my own journey to learn and understand where I’m from, who my people are, and what they were like.  It’s very true, no man is an island (even an island man).  I thank you all and look forward to 100 more.

Now, what to say in the next 100?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ancilla and Elizabeth: Who were they?

Probably one of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging genealogy is helping other people research their Virgin Islands roots.  The complete lack of helpful information for VI researchers makes it very easy to get frustrated and quit.  Hopefully, I help fill in a little there.  Apart from the sheer enjoyment of sharing my passion, working on someone else’s family allows me to work with records and locations that don’t pertain to my family. It helps me learn about the other people on the islands which gives me a better understanding of the culture and society that shaped my family.
Since it’s summer, most of my free time is devoted to the old “honey-do” list and I have been lax in both blogging and genealogy. I haven’t been as energized as I would like, so I was thrilled to receive this email from a blog reader:
I have been looking into Genealogy recently in St Croix and stumbled across your blog that is probably the most informative thing I have found. 

I have been looking into a little bit a family mystery.  We have not known much about my Great grandfathers Brother (I guess my great -great uncle).  Only that he left Denmark and died in the Caribbean.  Since I last looked into it a few years back there was not much available on the internet.  A couple of seeks ago, I tried again and found quite a bit.  His Gravestone on find a grave (his name is Jacob Sorensen).  He died a shoemaker in 1874 after at least 25 years on the island.  I am not sure how common it was for soldiers to stay on during the Danish period   
What I have been able to find through census records, Visha and Ancestry, is that he was married (something that we did not know).   I would like to find the marriage license.  I would also like to find any christening records (to see if there are any distant cousins out there).

What I also find intriguing is that I believe his wife (Elizabeth Block)would have been descended from Slaves because her mother's name was Ancilla Benners.  I have read that Ancilla means Slave girl in Latin.  I would love to find out more about them.

The reason I am writing is that I will be going to St Croix for a few days in a couple of weeks.  It is a family trip but I am hoping I will have a little time to do some research.  I live in Salt Lake City so I do have access to resources but I am wondering if you might have any suggestions on where I might be able to visit in St Croix to find a little bit more about my relatives.

Sorry for the long e-mail.  thanks  James
Well James, I wanted to give you something to help for your trip. While I certainly didn’t do an exhaustive research job since time is short, I think I found some things that will help your search in St Croix considerably.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Law & Order: Research vs. Proof in Genealogy

Lawandorder01.jpgAs I mentioned in my last blog entry Book/Study Group: Mastering Genealogical Proof, I have been participating in a Google Plus study group for Dr. Thomas Jones’ Mastering Genealogical Proof.  We have been having interesting discussions and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts with you here.

In chapter 1, Dr. Jones lays out what he calls a “Research and Reasoning Cycle” for genealogy.  In this cycle, he states that research and proof are distinct elements and that analysis and proof is something that is done after the research is completed.  This caused a bit of discussion as most people feel that they do the analysis and proof while they are doing the research.  In fact, it is this very analysis that helps guide the research (where should I look next?). 

I don’t think Dr. Jones’ means to dissuade anyone from thinking through their hypotheses while they research. I don’t think he was referring to that type of analysis.  I think his approach is more like an episode of Law & Order.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book/Study Group: Mastering Genealogical Proof

imageThe National Genealogical Society (NGS) has published a new book on the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS).  It is entitled Mastering Genealogical Proof, by Dr. Thomas Jones.  I ordered a copy as soon as it was published and gave it a quick read through.  I have to say that I’m impressed.  Dr. Jones’ style is very approachable and he does a nice job of explaining items that cause no end of confusion to genealogists, amateur and professional alike.  If you want to get a copy (and I do recommend that you do), you can order it at the NGS website.

This topic is so fundamental and important for genealogy that several study groups have been organized to work through the book in a course-like fashion.  They vary from live online sessions to asynchronous discussion forums. You can get into one of these, for free, and do a thorough study and discussion of the book. Details on on how to get in to the groups are posted on  Angela Packer McGhie’s blog, Adventures in Genealogy Education back in April.  In early June, I registered for one of the groups and we have just started meeting online in Google+.  We will be doing a chapter every two weeks throughout the summer.

Some of the topics we will be covering are fairly confusing and contentious, so I’ll no doubt hop on my soapbox from time to time to either voice an opinion or share my epiphanies.

Hopefully I’ll also find some time to get back to my research!

Sunday, June 23, 2013 Source Citations for VI Census

imageOne of the most troublesome aspects of genealogy, and a cause for much discussion, is formatting source citations for all those records. This is perhaps one of the most frustrating and intimidating aspects of genealogy for beginners and intermediate level genealogists, so many people give up and just use whatever websites like suggest.  Unfortunately, this really doesn’t work very well for the St Croix census on Ancestry.  Since I’d like to do my genealogy right, I have been spending considerable time to try to figure out what’s the best, and most useful, way to format my citations in my database. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

VI Passenger Lists - And a Tempting Clue

imageSome of the most useful records for US genealogy are the Passenger Lists that show when the first immigrants came to Ellis Island, Castle Garden, or some other US port city.  These same records show VI researchers when their ancestors left the islands and came to the US (probably New York).  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were similar records showing movement to and from the Virgin Islands?

Turns out, there are.  Many people don’t realize that the Danish Archives in Copenhagen hold some very similar records.  These records were microfilmed and eventually imaged to DVD on to a set of 34 discs and several copies were given in 2011 as a gift to libraries on the Virgin islands, Puerto Rico, and Tortola. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

FTDNA Results–A bit Disappointing

About six weeks ago I posted my experience transferring my DNA test from 23andMe to Family Tree DNA.  I bought the Family Finder transfer for $89, about half the price of the full test.  As I understood the process, I could double my databases by first purchasing a test from 23andMe for $99 and then uploading to FTDNA.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I learned after I purchased it that it was going to be a long wait.  I also eventually learned that what I bought was not what I thought I bought.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Did I Just Find My 4th Great Grandfather? Too Soon to Tell

1824 Burgherbrief of Joseph Robson, Planter
I have written before about my 3rd great grandmother, Hester Franklin, in a previous post (Hester Franklin - A Freed Slave in 1832). My 3rd great grandfather was Joseph Robson, estate manager at Estate Fountain and previously employed at Estate Hermitage.  According to St Croix census documents, Joseph was born about 1797 in England, but little more is known.  However, I recently found a link to a person who may be Joseph's father and, if so, can connect me to not only a few earlier generations but also to living cousins.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

2nd Annual AAGG Conference Report

IMG_0147 (Medium)
From Left: Dean Henry (AAGG), Michael Hait, David Lynch
Yesterday I presented a talk on Virgin Islands Genealogy at the AAGG Conference “Researching African American Genealogy: Building Bridges to the Past” in Philadelphia, PA.  This was my first conference (either as a speaker or as an attendee), and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

AAGG president, Carlean Mullen, told me that she really had wanted a session on Caribbean genealogy because speakers on that area are hard to find and many people are interested. 

As I mentioned before, in Preparing my Presentation for the AAGG, I had quite a tall order.  I knew it would be impossible to cover anything in depth, but I wanted to give my audience something new, tell them something beyond “here are the birth records, here are the death records”.  50 minutes just isn’t enough time to discuss techniques or resources in depth.  So, I decided on a different approach.  I put together a presentation that introduced the West Indies, commented on the types of genealogical problems, and then used my experience with the Virgin Islands as an example of the wonderful records that exist and the rich history that few people know.  I was looking to excite interest and fascination. I think I accomplished that goal.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Preparing my Presentation for the AAGG Conference

Slides (Medium)I have been quite busy preparing my presentation for This Saturday’s AAGG Conference in Philadelphia on April 27. If you missed it, the announcement is on the AAGG website.

Although I write for a living, I was amazed at the difficulty in preparing a 50-minute talk on my research.  To make matters worse, the conference organizer, Carlean Mullen, asked me to start with the whole Caribbean and then my focus area, the Virgin Islands.  While I’m not what I would call an expert on the whole Caribbean, it was quite a task to squeeze it all in.

Add to that the challenge that few people in attendance will likely have any real understanding of the Virgin Islands beyond the fact that it’s a nice vacation destination.  Hundreds of years of history, social commentary, and my research methods and case studies smashed into a mere 50 minutes (oh, and the whole Caribbean too). To top it off, I never really learned PowerPoint.

After a good week of hard work (and learning PowerPoint), I think I have something that will be interesting for the novice and veteran alike.  During my research for the presentation I made some interesting discoveries about West Indian history that I will write about afterwards.

So, keep your fingers crossed for me so that I can represent our islands well.  I’ll be sure to post a report of how the day went.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Uploading DNA to FTDNA from 23andMe

When I decided to get my DNA tested, I had to decide where to send it. offers a $99 full DNA test, but their service is geared toward medical testing and offers relative finding as a secondary offering. Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) charges $289 for their full test but their database is better suited for genealogy. Ancestry DNA charges $99 as well.

Both 23andMe and FTDNA allow you to download your raw DNA results for upload at other sites.  It turns out that you can get a good deal by using both. Since 23andMe data is compatible with FTDNA, you can get tested at 23andMe and uploaded the raw data to FTDNA for only $89.  So, for only $188 you can actually get both 23andMe and FTDNA. That’s less than the cost of a full test at FTDNA alone.  So, that’s what I did.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Immigrant Workers–19th Century St Croix Population-Part 2

image_thumb12In my last post, All Bahn Ya! - 19th Century St Croix Population, I showed this graph of the percentage of Crucians as compared to those born in other places throughout much of the 19th century.  I discussed the steady decrease in the numbers of residents from Africa in that post. 

As I explained, this was a direct result of the abolition of the slave trade in 1803 and the aging of those original slaves only to be replaced by a generation of native born Crucians.  This time I want to explore that other interesting feature: the rising “Other Caribbean” line. 

Understanding this feature sheds some light on not only the history of St Croix, but also gives some insight into the history and conditions on the other islands in the Caribbean.

Monday, March 25, 2013

All Bahn Ya! - 19th Century St Croix Population

Section of 1846 census at Estate Fountain on St Croix
One thing I noticed when I started going through the St Croix census from the 1800s and early 1900s: most of the population said that they were from St Croix.  There didn’t seem to be a lot of immigration from Europe, the US, or even neighboring islands.  Since this seemed so prevalent, I wanted to know just how many of them were from St Croix, and how that number changed over time. 
So, I conducted a study of the birthplaces indicated on the Danish censuses from 1841-1911.  I discovered a couple of interesting features about the population profile so I figured I’d share. 

This post is about the composition of the St Croix population from pre-emancipation to right before the US purchase.  In particular, the overwhelming tendency to be Bahn Ya (Born here).

Friday, March 22, 2013

AAGG Conference in Philadelphia, April 27

imageI’m very excited to announce that I have been invited to speak about my Virgin Islands research at a family history conference in Philadelphia on April 27.  It sounds like it will be great fun!

This is from the AAGG website

Saturday, April 27th, 2013
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Researching African American Genealogy
Family History Center
3913 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A Conference presented by the African American Genealogy Group and Hosted by the Family History Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Noted genealogists and specialists including Char McCargo Bah, Shamele Jordon, Michael Hait, Fallon Nicole Green, David Lynch, Allen McClain, Reginald Washington (National Archives) and Troy Messick will present timely topics including Family History Center, Native American Ancestry, Caribbean Ancestry, Reunions, DNA Research and Medical Genealogy.

To register for this event, click here to purchase ticket(s) via EventBrite.

Space is limited and only ticket holders who purchase tickets will be admitted to the event. Please feel free check out local establishments for breakfast or lunch, buy an available boxed lunch here, or feel free to bring your own food. No food or drinks are permitted in the chapel and community rooms.

There is limited parking on the premises.

For a copy of the Conference flyer, click here ==>2013 AAGG Conference Poster.

Here is a link to the conference poster

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hester Franklin–Record of a Freed Slave in 1832

1831-32 Register of Free Black Women p163-4-Hester Franklin (Medium)My grandfather’s mother was named Hester Franklin van Beverhoudt.She was the last of the van Beverhoudts in my family line.  I always thought her middle name, Franklin, was rather odd for a girl until I discovered that it was a critical link to another woman, her grandmother, Hester Franklin.  In fact, it was the name that offers the best evidence that Hester van  Beverhoudt’s mother, Adelaide Robson, was actually the daughter of Hester Franklin.

I have not located a birth or baptismal record for Hester Franklin.  From later records, she was born about 1804-1805 in St Croix.  I have found no documents of her early life.  The first time she is mentioned in the records is in the 1832 Free Colored Register.  The Register was an accounting of all free colored people on the Danish West India islands.  These documents are extremely valuable as they predate the earliest surviving census by 10 years.  Hester is listed in the Register of Free Colored Women for St Croix, Christiansted Jurisdiction. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Where My People Went–The 1880 St Thomas Census

A couple of weeks ago I posted that the 1880 census of St Thomas and St John was available online from the Danish Archives (  I mentioned that the census was not indexed so it requires a page-by-page read.  Quite an undertaking. This weekend I finally got around to going through the set.  While I had a particular family I was looking for, I also managed to answer a number of genealogical questions regarding families that disappeared from St Croix.  It seems many of them moved to St Thomas and were enumerated there.

Monday, February 18, 2013

My Island Genes–Dabbling in Genetic Genealogy

23andme_logoSo far I have been a strictly paper genealogist.  I have diligently traced my family line, backward, from myself to my 7th great grandparents on St Thomas.  Throughout my journey I have uncovered a lot of history and learned that I really had no idea where I came from.  It seems that every new record brought a new revelation about my heritage.

Of course, all of this work is but a quarter of my family tree.  My Virgin Islands family is the family of my maternal grandfather, Ludvig Randolph Conrad.  His wife, Olga LaGonterie, was from St Lucia.  I have cousins who have been diligently researching this line of the family.  My paternal line is of European descent by way of St Louis, Missouri.  I’m researching them too, but it’s a much slower process (VI research is actually a lot easier than US research.  I doubt there is a better recorded area).

While there are still many records I need to find, I decided I wanted to get into the fascinating world of genetic genealogy.  DNA tests are somewhat expensive so I put it off for some time.  This past December, 23andme lowered their prices to $99 and I couldn’t resist any longer.  I took the test, sent it in, and just got my results this week.  All in all, pretty consistent with my paper research.  Guess none of us were adopted!
23andme does both health screening and ancestry analysis.  Due to the fact that they screen for genetic predisposition to certain illnesses, you can’t order tests from Maryland or New York.  I ordered it from my “Virginia address” and had no difficulties.  The process took about 7 weeks from my order to my results.
The 23andme offer is actually quite cost-effective.  From what I can tell, they do 3 tests (for men) for the same $99.  These are the Y-chromosome test (Y-DNA) for men only, women don’t have Y-chromosomes, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is passed mother to child, and the autosomal DNA.  Using the Y-DNA and mtDNA, geneticists have separated populations into distinct groups of common, or near common ancestry.  The groupings they find, called haplogroups, can be localized to certain geographic regions.  The understanding is that by knowing where a haplogroup is located one can tell where someone’s ancestors came from.  This can go back thousands of years.

Y-DNA Test

Men have two sex chromosomes, an X from their mother and a Y from their father. The Y chromosome typically passes down father to son along with the surname in Western cultures. The haplogroup found in Y-DNA tells only about the single string of male ancestors.  For me, this would be my father’s father’s father’s side.  Paper research says that my father’s father’s father was from Ireland.  The Y-DNA test bears this out. Although it can’t specifically trace to Ireland, it does trace to Western Europe.  The specific haplogroup is R1b1b2a1a1d*.  Given the migrations of people throughout Europe, I’m not surprised it can’t do better. 

Here is the map on the 23andme site showing concentrations of haplogroup R1b1b2:


From this map, you can see the high concentration throughout the UK and Ireland, Germany, France, and Spain.  For my specific group, 23andme says that it is most commonly found on the fringes of the North Sea.  Eupedia says that in Ireland, over 80% of the population are R1b.

mtDNA Test

Women don’t have Y-chromosomes, so they can’t pass them along.  Instead, women pass along mtDNA from mother to daughter.  Sons receive the mtDNA, but can’t pass it along.  For this reason, mtDNA can tell the same thing about the female ancestry line that Y-DNA can tell about the male.  It, too, is organized into haplogroups.  In my case, my mother’s mother was from St Lucia.  The mtDNA can tell me where her people came from long before they took up residence in Vieux Fort. 

According to 23and me, my maternal haplogroup is L3e2a.  Here is the concentrations of that haplogroup:

As a reference, 23andme says the a typical Nigerian person is group L3e2b2.  Very close.  Wikipedia’s article on Haplogroup L3 (mtDNA) says that L3e is the most common L3 group in the Caribbean.  Since the Atlantic slave trade drew most heavily from the western sub Saharan region (the slave coast), this isn’t surprising.

Other Tests

imageIn addition, 23andme does family matching, which is probably autosomal DNA.  They look through their database and tell you the closest matches to your DNA, looking for cousins.  Sadly, I don’t have very many matches.  Of the matches they found (3rd to 6th cousins), the closest are from the paternal line.  This is probably because few Caribbean descendants have had their DNA tested.

23andme lowered their prices to encourage more testing to grow their database.  Eventually, when more people take advantage of the testing, I hope to find some closer relatives.

Next Steps

The most popular site for genetic genealogy is Family Tree DNA (FTDNA).  They supposedly have the largest database and are geared more toward genealogy rather than health issues.  Their Family Finder test, which is similar to the 23andme costs $289.  However, I can upload my test results from 23and me and for only $89 I can get the analysis and database of FTDNA (they use the same detection tools).  By doing the 23andme and uploading it to FTDNA, I can get in both systems for only $189.  Much better deal than $289 for just one!

There’s a lot more to learn about genetic genealogy, I’m just beginning.

Another step I need to take is to talk some of my new-found cousins into getting tested.  Since my VI ancestry passes through both men and women, neither the Y-DNA nor the mtDNA takes me back to the VI.  I do, however, have a distant cousin on St Thomas (you know who you are), who carries on the family name that first appeared in St Thomas in 1690.  Perhaps I can talk him into getting a 23andme test so we can see where the van Beverhoudts came from!  I would be very interested in that!

If you’re from the VI, get tested and get into the databases.  Since we all seem to be related and I can’t seem to find a relative, you must not be in there yet.  Or at least, not in 23andme.

Monday, February 11, 2013

New Online Records: St Croix and St Thomas

This week I ran across three new resources for VI research that should be of considerable help to island researchers. These include an indexed collection, a new entry to Ancestry’s offerings, and a secret back-door entry into some census records from the Danish Archives.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ancestral Homes: 45 Fisher St

Map Of C'sted Town old limits - CopyIf there’s one home that I can consider the “Ancestral Home”, it has to be the home of Johannes van Beverhoudt and Amey McNobney.  According to the St Croix Matricals, my family held that home from 1803 until 1924.  That is a total of 121 years.

During my trip to St Croix, one of the things I wanted to do was to see if I could locate the houses (or house sites) of as many ancestral homes as I could.  I believe I located not only the site, but also remnants of what may be the actual house my ancestors occupied for so long.

Using an old Public Works map, I located the approximate area of the homestead. Of course, there are very few house numbers listed in Christiansted, so the map is the best tool for finding addresses. The map is very old and the numbers are hard to read, so I had to estimate the locations.

When I walked to the location on the map, I didn’t see a 200-year old house.  I saw a brand new building. With a sign out front.  The site is the new location of the Women’s Coalition of St Croix. This was actually a stroke of luck, because looking at their page on LinkedIn, I found the address for the Coalition listed as 45 Fisher St.  They moved to this location in late 2011. It seems I found the correct location.  Only the house was gone. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pulling a Thread to Unravel Genealogical Tangles

Sometimes pulling a single thread can unravel a multitude of genealogical problems. I had the fortune of finding such a thread in my own research recently. By finding a record of a family member, I was able to answer nagging questions I have had for some time about mystery persons in census returns, add needed strength to the identification of my 4th great grandmother, and connect with a new line of cousins from St Croix. To tell the story, I’ll begin with each of the questions I had uncovered and then show how, by researching non-family members in censuses over an 80 year period and 3 generations led to adding branches I didn’t know existed in my own tree.