Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Learning History, One Ancestor at a Time

embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree

The above tree shows Colonial immigrants of the 1600s in the top row. None of these ancestors were known to our family at the time I began to search out our roots. We didn't know our Quaker ancestors came from England in 1682 to settle New Jersey, or that our Foxwell ancestors settled Barnstable, Massachusetts at its founding in 1639.


embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree

We didn't know that our Denne ancestors, Quaker settlers of New Jersey in 1682, have a lineage that goes all the way back to Sir Roger Bigod, an English baron who was a Magna Carta surety in 1215. Learning history through the lives of our ancestors has been fascinating and amazing.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A New Focus with Old Roots

My hernia surgery and too-lengthy recovery last summer convinced me that I cannot depend on having years left to complete the books on our ancestors for my descendants and relatives. I resigned leadership of the Magna Carta project, and WikiTree leadership, about two weeks ago, to focus on getting the book done.

It has been a very productive two weeks. Here are a couple of the profiles I worked on which will be in the first section of the book. They are part of a group in my tree who are all Quakers of New Jersey, beginning with several pioneer immigrants who were among the first settlers there.

Samuel Bacon

John Pancoast

Saturday, October 24, 2015

anachronism - - an object misplaced in time,

My favorite reading is science fiction and fiction set in the early 1800s. Reading a novel set just after Waterloo (1811), I found an anachronism. A character postulates wearing 'asbestos underwear', which led me on a hunt for the invention of asbestos.

Asbestos turned out to be a natural mineral which has been known for thousands of years for its fire-retardant qualities. But the wide-spread use of asbestos in clothing did not begin until about 1850, when it was spun with wool yarn in mills. A person would not have benn using the term for clothing in 1812, thus it was an anachronism.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WikiTree Brings Down My Brick Wall

For many years, Lois Webster has been listed as my husband's 8th great-grandmother, due to an error in "John Stoddard of Wethersfield, Conn., and his descendants, 1642-1872 : a genealogy", by Patterson, D. Williams (David Williams), 1824-1892. (Published 1873).
Surprise! She was William Peck second wife, and GoldiBear's 8th great grandmother is "name unknown".  However, the wonderful collaborators at WikiTree left clues for me in William's father's profile, and those sources extend the five generations of William's ancestors already online at WikiTree, an additional generation. By adding my tree to WikiTree, and paying careful attention to the sources in the related profiles there, my tree has grown in many branches, this being only the latest of them.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Greatest Knight

William Marshal was a legend in his own lifetime, known as simply "The Marshal", the greatest knight.

Blazon for William Marshal:
Per pale Or and vert, lion rampant gules.

William Marshal is the 24th great-grandfather of April Dauenhauer by his daughters Isabel and Maud.  William Marshal is the 23 great-grandfather of April Dauenhauer by his daughter Eva. 

William Marshal is the 23 great-grandfather of Leo Dauenhauer by William's daughter, Sybil Marshal.  William Marshal is the 24th great-grandfather of Leo Dauenhauer by William's daughter Joan Marshal.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

WikiTree Forum - the Power of Sharing Knowledge

A current discussion on William Marshal's grandfather at the WikiTree Forum shines light on how WikiTree works and a reason the ratings keep going up.

"Proposed changes for a Domesday generation figure" 

shows how collaboration on our mutual ancestors works at WikiTree, and shows how sources are vital to genealogy.  Take a look at the WikiTree process in action.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

WikiTree Rated #4

Genealogy In time Magazine is rating WikiTree at #4 of all free genealogy websites this year. In 2013, WikiTree was rated #33 overall, and in 2014 rose to #21. This year WikiTree is rated #15 overall. {{happy dance}} The magazine describes describes WikiTree as:

a free family tree website whose mission is to create a single worldwide family tree. It works on a system that encourages collaboration among members.

The article points to an alarming trend about the future of free genealogy on the Internet.

There are still several significant free genealogy websites, but there are fewer  of them with each passing year.

Who 'owns' your ancestor's data? The trend is towards a pay-for-access monopoly. As quoted on another page from the same Genealogy In time Magazine:

 As the genealogy industry matures, it is becoming more dominated by large firms. Ancestry, MyHeritage and brightsolid combined now control 51% of the genealogy marketplace.
For a breakdown of ownership for familiar genealogy websites see this table on this page.
I have seen a revolution in genealogy since beginning with letters to cousins and trips to cemeteries archives in 1989. Scattered records in inaccessible in repositories around the world are now digitized and searchable from my computer.

Sharing my discoveries at WikiTree has extended my tree and increased my understanding, working with far flung cousins interested in our mutual ancestors.

"Are you my cousin?" (with thanks to AJ Jacobs). Come join the fun at WikiTree.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Congratulations Mei Xiang

Mei Xiang's new panda cub born August 22 at the National Zoo, weighs about ten ounces now.  The 200 pound panda mother is amazingly gentle with her tiny baby panda. They may seen on the Panda Cam.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Watch Dog

Wednesday Ranger team now has a mascot - we are the Wednesday Watch Dog Rangers.

Here are the January and February Club 1,000 badges -
Magna Carta project is going like a wild fire. We have just over 90 days before the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and project members are going all out to complete as many of the surety baron lineages as possible. Visit the Base Camp to see our progress.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What's New at WikiTree and other news

For an overview of happenings at WikiTree, see Eowyn's February News from the Tree.  Eowyn introduces four new WikiTree Leaders, two of which, Lisa Franklin and Cheryl Hammond, have joined Magna Carta project.

See the above link for pictures from WikiTree's booth at RootsTech 2015, attended by 22,000 people in Salt Lake city this month.

The Ranger project has expanded to seven teams, one for each day of the week. I'm on the teams for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The teams are encouraged to adopt a symbol for their team, and here are the badges for Thursday and Friday teams. Wednesday still needs to come up with a symbol (as does Monday but that is not my worry). All the team badges match with the Ranger badge and are very attractive. WikiTree has an outstanding graphic artist.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Happy Birthday Rudyard Kipling!

Rudyard Kipling wrote What Say the Reeds at Runnymede? in 1911.  For more on the life of Rudyard Kipling, his ancestors and descendants, see Rudyard Kipling at WikiTree.

    At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
    What say the reeds at Runnymede?
    The lissom reeds that give and take,
    That bend so far, but never break.
    They keep the sleepy Thames awake
    With tales of John at Runnymede.

    At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
    Oh, hear the reeds at Runnymede: -
    “You mustn’t sell, delay, deny,
    A freeman’s right or liberty.
    It wakes the stubborn Englishry,
    We saw ‘em roused at Runnymede!

   When through our ranks the Barons came,
    With little thought of praise or blame,
    But resolute to play the game,
    They lumbered up to Runnymede,
    And there they launched in solid line
    The first attack on Right Divine -
    The curt, uncompromising ‘Sign’
    That settled John at Runnymede.

    At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
    Your rights were won at Runnymede!
    No freeman shall be fined or bound,
    Or dispossessed of freehold ground,
    Except by lawful judgment found
    And passed upon him by his peers
    Forget not, after all these years,
    The Charter signed at Runnymede.”

    And still when Mob or Monarch lays
    Too rude a hand on English ways,
    The whisper wakes, the shudder plays,
    Across the reeds at Runnymede.
    And Thames, that knows the moods of kings,
    And the crowds and priests and suchlike things,
    Rolls deep and dreadful as he brings
    Their warning down from Runnymede!

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Benjamin Franklin

Born 309 years ago today, Benjamin Franklin is famous for his inventions and achievements, and also for his witty sayings.  One of his aphorisms which is still popular today is:

"Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see."

For more about Ben, visit his profile on WikiTree.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy New Year!

WikiTree added a new badge for the New Year: Generous Genealogist. Three different people awarded me the badge! Wow. I'm surprised, humbled, grateful and happy.

The Magna Carta project has a new co-Leader, Peter Eyestone, who is focusing, organizing and extending the project, and recruiting new members.

With renewed energy we are working towards completing our goals by the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in June 2015. Come see what's new and join us in creating access to Magna Carta Ancestors for millions of people.