Family History Day with Ancestry.com – Exton PA

November 6, 2011

Just returned from the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania’s Family History Day with Ancestry.com in Exton, PA. More can be found on their website http://genpa.org/.

This was certainly a very special “weekend away” to spend some time listening to talks about genealogy. Perhaps another blog will be about what I learned, but this one is about the Luncheon Talk by Dear MYRTLE. Her talk was “Let them eat Jam”.

I won’t go into her talk, as I hope that if you get a chance to hear her speak, you will take that opportunity to do so. But her point, for me at least, was to remember that not everyone thinks about what we do as family history researchers, is interesting, at least the way we do. It’s not about the names, dates, locations, and events that we find, but others remember family history through stories or returning to a place where an event took place, or going to a place that we have heard about and the story that went along with that place.

Earlier I have spoken about the Flight 93 Memorial, about returning to Gettysburg, where I had a “cousin” shot in the battle at Culps Hill. Heard about those stories, read about the people, but then to physically go there to experience the place and let the stories flash before our eyes.

Exton, was a miss-named place for this conference. I know where Exton is, I grew up a couple of miles from Exton.

What a surprise when my GPS landed me about a mile from where I really grew up. It was Lionville, PA, not Exton. The hotel was 1/4 of a mile from the bus stop that took my to High School. I walked to and from that bus stop for a number of years. (Not quite up hill both ways), but I could see the bus stop from the hotel.

Over the past number of years, through email, I kept in touch with the current owners of the house that my Grand-Parents lived in and my Dad and his brothers and sisters grew up in. Patti and I had made arrangements to meet with them Friday night, just to “see the place”. He was very interested in hearing about the family who lived in the house. His wife wasn’t there when I first met him, but he relayed to me that she was sorry that she hadn’t met the family who stopped by a number of years ago to take pictures of the house.

I created a small family history for the family, complete with some pictures of the family, including pictures of the kitchen wood burning stove, the wood barrel where wood for the stove was kept, and a few other pictures of the house.

It was a small token of thanks for allowing us to visit.

Dear MYRTLE reminded us, that not everyone one thinks about Family History the way that we do.

For me, it’s like sending Family Group Sheets, with some data, lots of missing data, request to help fill in the blanks, a self addressed, stamped envelope, repeatedly, and getting nothing in return.

But, from this experience, I  was greeted with “you’re holding out on me” because I didn’t have enough of the stories for our host and hostess. They wanted more.

Dear MYRTLE talked about the ‘next’ generation’s reaction to Family Group Sheets, but the young adults of this family were very interested in the stories. In fact the son, a high school senior, listened to all of the stories. Didn’t have the glazed over eyes that Dear MYRTLE talked about. Oh, I know those looks from young adults.

I was prepared for the reaction the Dear MYRTLE talked about, but was greeted with a completely different response. I had put some of my genealogy information in the back of my car. Why, I am not sure, but I did. That still wasn’t enough.

Clearly, the family who currently lives in my Grandparents home, wanted to hear the story about the family. They had experienced some of that when my Dad and his cousins visited the house just after the current owners bought the house. We’re talking days after they bought the house. My Dad told the stories about the house, and they still remembered them and wanted more.

We’ll make a return trip soon, but I am posting this as a reminder that we may find folks interesting, not in the Names, Dates, Places, Events, but the Stories about the People. In this specific case, the Jam for this family was the stories of those who lived in that house at an earlier time.

Learning: Be ready to tell the Story, not the facts.


Conrad Weiser Homestead

June 25, 2011

So, we are driving to The National Civil War Museum this morning and see a sign for the Conrad Weiser Homestead. Where do I know that name from. Though I have driven this road (I-78) many times, the sign was different this time. “I know that sign”, it’s referring to something I read or heard from Genealogist “Dear MYRTLE”. I hope I am remembering this correctly. But, just kept driving for my own search.

Having spent some time at the National Civil War Museum, it wasn’t the Museum I was interested in. It was a Re-Enactment / Encampment that got me there. I was looking for D. Ridgely Howard. But that’s another story.

The museum was great, short and sweet, but that lead to two book stores. Nothing (yet) at the book stores, so we were on our way home quicker then expected. There was that sign again. My car just HAD to follow the signs. We ended up here:

The homestead was not open, but there also was no one around. So, I just walked around. The story about this place and Conrad Weiser is not mine to tell. However here are a couple of photos from the walk-about.


Inferrential Genealogy Process – Finding D. Ridgely Howard

June 24, 2011

So, where have I been lately?

Working on a Cemetery Project for a local Historical Society. I’ll use that excuse for now. But, back to the quest for finding D. Ridgely Howard as part of the Inferrential Genealogy Process.

While reading Face Book, Dear MYRTLE mentioned a book store that she couldn’t get away from on a recent trip to central Pennsylvania.

Since this Civil War veteran may be a distant relative, I have been watching the Civil War activity, also on Face Book. Of interest has been the The National Civil War Museum. Checking out the websites from Face Book, I realized that they both were in Harrisburg, PA.

On the Calendar of Events was this entry:

Living History Encampment – 1st Maryland Battalion, Company A, CSA

Now, who could miss this event.

Think its time to pay a visit to Harrisburg stopping in both places. We’ll see if there is more information on D. Ridgely Howard at the Encampment and/or Book Store.

Thank you Dear MYRTLE !!!


Worthington Descendants – Vol 1, No 4, Page 7 Fall 1983 – Query 19

August 1, 2010

Has anyone lost ISAAC WORTHINGTON ? In 1850, he ran a ferry over Big Muddy River near the new town of Murphysboro, Jackson County, Illinois. He owned real estate worth $100 and had been born In Ohio about 1820. ISAAC’s wife was CLARISSA J. WORTHINGTON, about twenty-four years old and a native of Pennsylvania. They had three year old twins, Jefferson J. and SARAH V. WORTHINGTON. The new baby was named LEWIS. All the children were born to Ill. The Jackson County Historical Soc. would like to know where he went from Murphysboro. Write to: Box 7, Murphysboro, Ill 62966.


Worthington Descendants – Vol 1, No 4, Page 4 Fall 1983 – Hughesville, Pennsylvania

July 31, 2010

Burials at Hughesville, Pa.

- AMOS R. WORTHINGTON 1856-1924

- AGNES ANNA (BOATMAN) WORTHINGTON W/o AMOS 1855-1932

W.BRUCE WORTHINGTON 5 NOV. 1854

- EDITH EVA WORTHINGTON D/O Bruce (dates worn off)

Mother – BEATRICE C. WORTHINGTON 1882-1937

Father – JOSEPH H. WORTHINGTON 1881-1865

- ROBERT R. WORTHINGTON 1833-1910

- CHRISTIAN, his wife 1834-1918

same tombstones–opposite side

- Father – GEORGE BUCH

- MOTHER MARTHA his wife I866-1952

Submitted By: Mrs. Helen Della-Volpe, Millbrook, N.Y.


Genealogy Connections

July 5, 2010

Within minutes, after my last post here, I made two ‘cousin’ connections.

I usually have Twitter and Facebook running on my laptop computer while working on my Desktop computer.

I saw a Blog post, looked at it, and my grandparents names and their family was used an example on a How To Do type of Genealogy website.

I couldn’t post directly to the Twitter(er) because the person wasn’t following me. So, I posted a message on the Blog.

That blog post, was posted within minutes of mine and within minutes we were connected.

Within minutes of that, another Twitter went by and it caught my eye. I do read that Blog all of the time. While reading it, I looked at the bottom of the blog which listed a some “other” surnames being researched.

So, within 10 minutes, Based on Twitter, Facebook, and Blogging, I made 2 new Worthington / Cheyney connections.

Happy Dances all around.

Emails are flying all around. I even have homework for my next trip to Chester County, PA to take photos.

If anyone wants to know “Why Facebook”, “Why Twitter”, “Why Blog” …. This is an example.

It all started because of an Answered Phone Call.


The Cheyney House

July 5, 2010

The Cheyney House:

Great Grandparents Home

The current owners were most welcoming to open their home for 4 strangers who pulled into their driveway, last Friday afternoon.

Here is what I was looking for:

It was here ...

Who knows what it looked like in 1916, but I can’t imagine that it was too different.

I now have a copy of a letter that two of the daughters, who lived in this house at some point in their lives, took the baby from here to Brewster, NY when the baby was 5 weeks old.

Thank you, Nancy and Rob


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