Arches at Glendalough 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Genealogy Roadshow on PBS is back. I watched the first episode on demand and still have that the feeling that I had when I first saw it last year. "More, please!" I loved the first episode of the year and can't wait until Tuesday night to see "more" of the show.

The stories from the first show were fabulous. I enjoyed each and everyone of them. My favorite was the Mardi Gras queen seeking out her family history and her involvement with the Mardi Gras parade. I felt and understood her anger and wanted to hug and cry with her. But I also want her to know that her ancestor would be proud of the fact that she would remember and honor him and was loved by her family today. I hope they will do a "follow-up" showing her costume honoring his life.

 I loved the story of the couple with the Italian ancestors from the same town. When host Mary Tedesco told the couple that their families probably knew each, the ornery side of me shouted, "More!" I know that with just a little more research they probably would be related to each other. And after having the pleasure to hearing Mary speak last March, I'm certain she knew that too.

I am looking forward to seeing the Philadelphia show. I am certain that I will be shouting, "More, please!" before this episode is over.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Buttolphs of New England

Happy 2015! 2014 slipped by me too quickly. A wedding and many talks later I finally have had a few minutes to blog.

My genealogy focus of 2014 was to further and enrich my research. Years ago I had a cousin send me notes from her grandmother's Bible. The best part was that my second and third great-grandmothers were included in these notes. They showed information about our common ancestors including our other third great-grandmother and her parents' names: Richard Brown and Zeruiah Buttolph. I attempted a search for Richard Brown...especially in New England. And the genealogy goddess was hysterical.

For years I cringed whenever I thought about trying to search the Brown name and will gladly admit that I was a genealogy ostrich-I put my head in the sand and pushed it off.

In my mind I  could hear my second  great-grandmother answering my question: What was your mother's mother's maiden name? Brown.
What was your father's mother's maiden name? Brown

Where they related? No answer because I couldn't find a connection. And that was the reason I put my head in the sand.

In some ways it was probably better that I waited. I gained knowledge and skills for my genealogy repertoire and finally felt I was genealogically strong to attempt to find my Browns. It wasn't easy because we have three Browns married into our Caswells/Wilkinsons families- two at the same generation.

But I did have a juicy, awesome clue on the one line...Richard Brown married Zeruiah Buttolph. Buttolph-now that was a name to sink my genealogy choppers into. And it wasn't long before I was yearning to stick my head in the sand again.

Through research done by previous generations I was able to trace the name from John Buttolph of Boston through Wethersfield and down into eastern CT. But added to the confusion was that there was a string of George Buttolphs. And misinformation galore.

First, the name had numerous spellings-Buttolph, Buttolf, Buttles, Bertles to name a few. Then there were all those Georges. Someone had connected them but with no source documents. The knot  seemed to become tighter with George, the Revolutionary soldier. Unless there was a father and son who served, the George I found died and was buried in Preston, CT. Even his pension records show his residence in eastern CT. But some sources have Chester, MA. I looked and didn't find him there.

A check of genealogies and histories found Revolutionary George listed in the Ancient Families of Wethersfield and in the Cleveland Genealogy. But no references to actual sources...very frustrating! I looked at NEHGS and CT State Library and found Revolutionary George's burial in Preston church records. Finally- a real source!

What perplexes me is why would people continue mistakes when there are great articles in TAG that have addressed mistakes others have made. Even the late Dr. George McCracken attempted to sort the Buttolphs and used the Cleveland  Genealogy and  Ancient Families of Wethersfield as sources.