Goodbye Old (Not My) Ancestors, Hello New Ancestors!

It’s that time of year where I go through my genealogy filing system and do some house cleaning.  Once a year I print new labels for the folders to hold research for the ancestors I have added during the year.  I also remove the files for people that I have determined are not my ancestors.  I don’t throw those non-ancestor folders away, just in case I made a mistake, but before demoting them to non-relative status, I review the material that lead to their demotion.  This year I say goodbye to:

  1. Jacob Guth/Good & Elizabeth Garber
  2. Casper Bernhardt & Anna Maria Wilhelm
  3. Johann Andreas Erdman & Anna Dorothea Siegfried

To be fair, I am hanging onto Andreas Erdman and his wife Dorothea.  I read the wrong name of a son-in-law in a will, and it even had his middle name.   Mistake rectified, goodbye.

Now let me introduce you to my newly discovered ancestors.  Beginning with my fourth great grandparents, this year I welcome:

  1. James McGranahan & Frances “Fanny” Kenley
  2. John Kenley (Fanny’s brother) &  Mary Cunningham
  3. Daniel Clawson & Margaret Catherine Hollis
  4. John McGranahan (5th)
  5. Samuel Kenley & Jean Wilson
  6. Josiah Clawson & Jane Miller
  7. Daniel Kenley & Frances Wells (6th)
  8. John Wilson & Jean Wright
  9. Richard Kenly & Elizabeth Harmer (7th)
  10. Johann Peter Kocher & Elizabeth Eveles
  11. Balthasar Rokel & Elizabetha

Welcome to the family, I have started getting to know a little bit about each of you this past year.   Josiah and Jane, your daughter Mary/Polly Clawson has led me on a merry chase over the past couple of years.  During her lifetime, she was appears to have been an easy catch, raising several illegitimate children, each a child of different married men.  However, thanks to a lawsuit filed on her behalf, suing her illegitimate sons for support, and my oh my weren’t the laws funny about bastards and their obligation to their parents (none), I welcome you to the family.  Your presence is bringing color to a rather staid family tree.

Samuel Kenley, you and Jean/Jane have an equally interesting family.  To be honest, I had a bit of trouble with the whole first cousins marrying, your grand children, William McGranahan and his wife Sarah Kenley.  That they were 1st cousins was a new discovery this year.  After I got past the ick factor, I discovered your brother William was a very important cog in Colonial Pennsylvania, and that you, Samuel, were a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War.  Another DAR line to prove, what a great addition to the family!

Samuel Kenley & Bacholor

Samuel Kenley & Bacholor

Just when I’m really starting to adore you, I discover you, Samuel, were a slave owner.  You did free your only slave, Bacholor, but to be honest, I am still having a bit of an issue with the whole owning people thing.  I didn’t know that Pennsylvania, had slaves (gradual freeing out starting in 1780), not just indentured servants. You introduced me to a bit of a historical education about the state where your descendants have lived since before the Revolutionary war.

Many of the rest of you are still very new but I do look forward to getting to know you in the coming year.  During the coming year I promise I will continue to work on my issue of judging your actions, not by todays standards, but by the standards of your lifetime.

Good luck with your genealogy research in 2015,






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6 Responses to Goodbye Old (Not My) Ancestors, Hello New Ancestors!

  1. Elisa Ellis says:

    I have have done quite a bit of research on the Kenly’s. I was actually the one who hand traced the Samuel Kenly will (due to it being too difficult to read), that you have posted here. I would be interested in comparing and sharing info. If you are also interested, feel free to contact me.

    • GenDetective says:

      Nice to meet you. Are we cousins? I’m not sure what you mean about the Samuel Kenly will. That is a digital copy of a photocopy I made in the Westmoreland County courthouse between Christmas and New Years. I’ve found quite a bit about the Kenly’s in Greensburg and have made a trip to Bel Air, Md to pull records at the Harford County courthouse.

      I will email you to follow up. I’m excited, I’m working on the Kenly’s for DAR for several aunts cousins on my dad’s side and for an additional patriot for me, as well as SAR for the guys.

  2. Kathy Myers says:

    Sandy – I ran across your page today. I appreciate the humor! I am also a descendant of Samuel Kenley and Jean/Jane (was she a Wilson, daughter of John Wilson and Jean Wright??). My line is through their son, John Kenley who married Mary Cunningham; Sarah Kenley who married William McGranahan; Sarah Isabella McGranahan who married Luther A. Hayes; Sarah Jane Hayes who married William Williams, and my mother, Isabel Williams who married Bruce Winslow Smith. I have been following the line back to Richard Wells, father of Col. George Wells. He may be the same Richard Wells listed by the Jamestowne Society. I have done mtDNA and got stuck at Mary Cunningham. I match with a woman in Australia who has a Christy line. There were Christys in Harford County, MD, where I trace the Kenleys. There must be a connection there somewhere. I look forward to hearing from you. Best regards, Kathy Myers

    • GenDetective says:

      Hi Kathy, it’s nice to meet you. If I recall from childhood, wasn’t Bruce know as “Windy”? I’ll send you an email at the email address you used for your post. You’re the 2nd Kenly relative to contact me, but you’re a lot close relationship than cousin Elisa. Her 5th great grandfather was Samuel Kenly’s brother William!

  3. Jeff Meyer says:

    Hello. I’m researching the Kenleys also. My Mother was a Kenley and is a descendent of Samuel Kenly, who married Emily Normor in Union Parish, Louisiana in 1851. Finding out who Samuels ancestors has me struggling. Is anyone here familiar with this line? I just need a little help. Thank you!
    Jeff in Texas

    • GenDetective says:

      Hi Jeff,

      Pleased to meet you. I’m descended from Lt Samuel Kenly (Rev War), and his children John and Fanny (their children married). My Kenly’s stayed in Western Pa. Do you know who Samuel’s parents are? There were tons of Kenly’s who went from Maryland into the south and west. I’m also doing a lot of research with our cousin Elisa who is descended from Samuel’s brother William. Her branch of the family left PA after the Civil War and moved west, eventually to California.

      If you reply to this comment with your email address, I will email you separately (I won’t approve your comment so your email address will stay private).

      Sandy in Pennsylvania

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