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Showing posts from 2016

What's in a name?

Long time, no write!  

As the year draws to a close, I have been thinking a lot about the discoveries I have made during the course of the year and the brick walls I have been able to poke some holes in.  
Work and real life have gotten in the way and I haven't been able to write very much over this year, but I have been making some progress in my research.  
I was spending some of my research time today thinking about where I need and want to go from here.  Is 2017 the year of my do-over?  I have been reading about different ways of recording and organizing my information.I learned a lot reading and rereading Kerry Scott's book How to Use Evernote for Genealogy.It is revolutionizing my organizing! 

I have been reviewing notes and research, sorting through filled notebooks in the hope of creating a  game plan for next year and I was pleased and surprised by the amount of surnames I now consider mine. I counted 45!  
45 names! I want to learn the origin of these last names, I want t…

Mary Jones Blake

Mary Jones Blake, my maternal great-great grandmother was born on this day-January 12th in 1861.  One hundred and fifty five years ago.  I grew up hearing the occasional anecdote about her, but never really learning the facts of her life. 
Mary's life was an ordinary one, but at the same time extraordinary. She was born four months before the United States Civil War and died after the conclusion of the second World War.  The 1865 New York Census lists her parents as basket makers and they lived in Johnsontown, NY a rural hamlet forty miles and a lifetime North of Manhattan. Mary's parents were born in Johnsontown, and I suspect their parents were as well. So was her daughter and all five of her grandchildren including, in 1906 my grandfather.
In the 1920's and 1930's when Mary was a grandmother, Johnsontown and several surrounding towns were demolished by NY and NJ Pallisades Interstate Park Commission to make room for Lake Welch, a swimming area, park and picnic area fo…