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:
- Jacob Guth/Good & Elizabeth Garber
- Casper Bernhardt & Anna Maria Wilhelm
- 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:
- James McGranahan & Frances “Fanny” Kenley
- John Kenley (Fanny’s brother) & Mary Cunningham
- Daniel Clawson & Margaret Catherine Hollis
- John McGranahan (5th)
- Samuel Kenley & Jean Wilson
- Josiah Clawson & Jane Miller
- Daniel Kenley & Frances Wells (6th)
- John Wilson & Jean Wright
- Richard Kenly & Elizabeth Harmer (7th)
- Johann Peter Kocher & Elizabeth Eveles
- 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!
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,