2016: The Year I Broke Thru 2 Genealogy Brick Walls!

At the end of each year, I look back at my research and celebrate my research progress, and what at fantastic year 2016 was. For the second year in a row, I did not disown anyone!  I broke through 2 brick walls this year resulting in 122 newly discovered great grandparents!

My Paper Files, 12 Drawers Worth

My Paper Files, 12 Drawers Worth

The first break-through was on a branch of my husband’s family.  For years research was stopped at 4th great grandparents, Henry Reeves and Mary Woolman.  We knew when they got married, but not when they died, or who their parents were and suspected they were dismissed Quakers but could not find proof.  We discovered death dates for both Henry & Mary, uncovered Mary’s parents, Charles Woolman and Mary A Merrit, who were dismissed for marrying too closely (they were first cousins).  Henry and Mary Reeves followed the tenants of the Quaker faith, attended Quaker services as “Friends of the Quakers” and are buried in a Quaker cemetery in Philadelphia.  Armed with Charles and Mary’s names, and using Quaker records, netted 66 new great grandparents!

The second break-through occurred on a branch in my father’s family.  Research has been stalled at immigrant Welsh ancestors John B Williams and his wife Sarah Davis.  On FindAGrave I found likely burial/death locations for both John B’s, and his wife Sarah.  Sarah is buried in Dubois, Pa with her son Benjamin and his wife Teresa in Rumbarger cemetery.  John is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Warren, Ohio!  He is buried in a plot with his oldest son, David and daughter-in-law Maggie.  John’s burial record in the cemetery office states that his father’s name was Benjamin.  Armed with that information, plus earlier research, I found a baptismal record for John, his marriage record, and his parents marriage record.  Following the church records, I have identified 55 new great grandparents!

Single file drawer

Single file drawer

How do I know how many new ancestors have been discovered in a year?  My physical files are numbered using ahnentafel numbers that begin with my daughters (our combined lines).  I print labels for each file and insert the file into the correct drawer.  Each year I print out a new ahnentafel report and identify the missing files.  The number of new labels I need to print is the number of new ancestors located during the prior year.

Today I printed 158 new labels, what a banner genealogy year it has been!

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2 Responses to 2016: The Year I Broke Thru 2 Genealogy Brick Walls!

  1. Great job, are you going to put it in a book for your children?

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