The Ancestry We’re Related APP

October 25, 2016

Facebook is on fire about this new APP, We’re Related. Lots of Genealogist and Bloggers are “talking” about it on that social media platform.

Since I have seen another website, with similar features, I had to jump in and see what it was all about. I would put is in the category of “cousin bait” or a very “Bright Shiny Object” (BSO).

My GeneaBlogger friend, Randy Seaver, has a number of blog posts on this topic:

In watching his blog posts, I found a number of common people showing up on my list as well.

From my experience with the other BSO, I thought I would check into some of the folks that have appeared on my list. Knowing that there may be some truth in these relationships, but also may be some more work involved, I thought I would see what I was dealing with and IF there were any folks on this list who might be of interest to me, and / or my family and the Next Generation.

What If: one of the next generation was a fan of Carrie Fisher or Johnny Depp. That might get them interested in the research that I have done. BUT, how much work would I have to do, to make that connection.

So, I created a spreadsheet:


I entered the names and relationships, according to the APP, created a Category, as provided in the APP and determined who the common Ancestor “might” be.

In reality, of the 11 famous people, I actually had 2 of the 11 common ancestors in my database and in my Ancestry Member Tree. I have 3 more people, where I was 1 generation from that common ancestor.

Looking at the details of what is on the APP, if have determined that all 4 of my Grandparents have been represented in these relationships. Of the 11, 3 are on my Dads side of my tree, 8 on my Mother’s side of the tree. I really thought that was interesting.

In the above list, blurred out, are 3 Facebook Friends. All Genealogists. This may be a really cool collaboration opportunity. In fact, just last week I had a new DNA connection for my Mother’s great grandfather’s line. That same line is a line of one of these Facebook friends.

At least I know what I have to work with, IF I want to follow any of these BSOs.

I then created a tab in my spreadsheet for each of these famous people.


I chose, for this example, Winston Churchill. my “reported” 7th cousin, 1x removed. This is one of the common ancestors that I already have in my database.

This spreadsheet is giving me an idea as to how much work I might want to undertake to prove or disprove my relationship back to the common ancestor. And / Or do I want to actually follow the other line down to that famous person. I haven’t done this yet, but I may already have information on that other line in my database, just looking at the surnames involved.

I will probably post some additional information on this activity, as I would really like to get back a little further on this Canadian / DNA Connection with my Facebook friend and Genealogist to see if this APP might lead to some Collaboration in the future.

Spelling Doesn’t Count–Mystery solved

October 12, 2016

Guess I shouldn’t have made that the title of the post, so you get that answer, before how I got there.

The problem, genealogical question, is Where is the 120 Acre Farm, owned by this Civil War Soldier?

Before I get there, what I learned is, not only have another set of eyes look at the problem and where you are, but another discipline set of eyes. What I learned is that a person at a Historical Society might approach a problem (or Genealogical Question) from a different angle.

I had been emailing two members of the Washington Township Historical Society and their approach was certainly different. One program that they offer, at least once a year, is a Historical House Tour. So, they might use Deeds far more than I would or have. They know where to look. Very helpful hints.

Today, I knew that some one was going to be at the Museum so I stopped by to see what else I might find. I had mentioned that the father of my soldier “rented the Dufford farm”, from a reference book they had in their collection.

I was presented with a 2” wide box for that surname, as there is a local family organization in the area, as the family has been around for a very long time.

While I was looking through that collection, another person went to look at maps. A similar map from want I had been looking at. Much clearer, but know knows the historic area better than I, but I heard “I found something”. There is was … all I can say …. “spelling doesn’t count”.


Who would have looked at Woertz, when I was looking for Ort, on the map. I had seen that on the map, but had not oriented by mind to where that was in reality.

Now, I had found my Civil War Soldier’s family with a street name, so I knew where the property was from the Census Record. The Map showed the same location.

I had done the Census, back a page or two, forward a page or two, so I knew the neighbors. The bad part of that is, the combination of names are very similar around the township.

The 1880 Census was my next stop (again).


Then I remembered, no “next page”. But, the answer is on the previous page


Across the street on the map, very nicely shows D. Dufford, as does the Census.

A different set of eyes, different way to research, AND “Spelling doesn’t count”, helped me identify the 120 Farm that was talked about in that Pension File.

Thanks to the Washington Township Historical Society for helping resolve this Genealogical Question.

More on the Post Office

October 11, 2016

Over the weekend, I listened to the Board of Certified Genealogists / Legacy Family Tree Webinar series. Great job to the presenters and a Thank you to Legacy Family Tree Webinar for making these recording available.

Specifically to Judy G. Russell‘s BCG/Legacy Family Tree Webinar “When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records” you can now catch it for FREE for a limited time!

The point that I picked up on, was that we can, at some point in time, put one of our time consuming, reasonably exhaustive research (or search) aside. That was important because I have been spending a lot of time trying to determine how this Post Office indication, in this 1870 Census record played a role in locating this farm. Was it an important “issue” to walk away from.

Not willing to just walk away from it, I took one more try. I went to another website, in this case to see what I could find there. Went to their Wiki and located their Census Records.

I wanted to look at the same data, but from a different angle. It was easy to locate the Township Census Records, found what I was looking for and went to the First Page for the township. Sure enough the same Post Office. Went to the last page, same Post Office. Because of the way this website presented the data, I thought about the notion of a page or two before you entry, and a page or two after your entry. Just did that for my township. What about the neighboring township? Sure enough, I finally found my “permission” to put this “issue aside. The next township also had the SAME Post Office on all of it’s pages.

But, did the township borders change? Earlier I had located a Google Book entry for the History of the County, so I located a hint about that:


No impact there. So, the Post Office issue, for the 1870 Census is off of my plate. Thanks Judy.

Before “this chapter” is closed, I am in the process of going page by page (image by image) through that 1870 Census, to locate all of the households for the family I am searching for. The earlier Map I share before clearly showed that at least two farms had the right names associated to the property. Now can I find them on the image. So far, using the usual search hasn’t found them, but if I browse the images, I may find what I am looking for.

My current thinking is that if the Civil War widow is asking for an increase in her Pension, specifically mentioned 120 acres of land, in 1907, I should be able to find that farm.

One more bit of information. I found another map that had the farm owners name AND the acreage and year of purchase of that property. Not, the farm wasn’t listed there either.

Back to the Historical Society, but with new questions.

Follow Up on the Post Office, Pension Challenge

October 10, 2016

As a follow up you my earlier post

1870 Census and Post Offices–A Challenge

I decided to put some data into a time line so see what that might show me.

Here is a time line of what I found about the Post Offices that appeared in the Pension file.


(remember, spelling doesn’t count)

I have started a spreadsheet to help be catalog the 126 pages of pension files. For this pass, the only concern that I had was to capture dates and Post Office names. I have a few notes to go back to, but trying to see of the Date and Post Office would tell me anything.



From the Pension file, Schooleys Mountain was the Post Office in the file from 1870 until 1907. That would indicate that they were living “on the mountain”. As you can see, 1907 and 1908 the Post Office changed to German Valley (the post office in “the valley”). Then, in 1910 returned to Schooleys Mountain.

So, something happened in 1907, right? Well, the Civil War Soldier, died 21 Oct 1907, so it appears that the Widow relocated to “the valley” with family. Several of the documents in 1908 talked specifically about 120 Acres that she had.

The 1900 Census shows that my Civil War Soldier was on “the mountain” with his wife and 4 children. I know where that property is located. The youngest son, would purchase a farm “in the valley” in 1916 (our 100th anniversary farm). But, the widow, returned to “the mountain”.

Why did she go back up “the mountain”? Could it be that a grandson still owned the farm on “the mountain” after he purchased the farm “in the valley” ? There was still family about where I think the farm is located today in the 1940 Census. Could that be the 120 Acre Farm?

But, why the 1870 Census Post Office being 22 miles away, with other Post Offices still active at the time.

Back to the Historical Society, for another look at their information on the Post Office and to see if they have any other Maps. I have already reviews the Online Maps, but before the 1900’s. They may also have access to or  can point me to, Deeds for the Property that I know about, and to the size of that Farm.

1870 Census and Post Offices–A Challenge

October 10, 2016

I recently received a Civil War Pension file, indicating that the Soldier and his wife (after his death) owned 100+ acres of land. The letters in the file had the suspected post offices mentioned. I know, from census records, that the family had property as early at 1860 in Washington Township, Morris County, New Jersey. It wasn’t really a question of the township, but where in the township. Later census records were very clear where the farms were, including the current farm, celebrating 100 years at the current location.

I can also go back to the next previous farm, also in the township. In this area, one my say “in the valley” and “on the mountain”.

A visit to a local Archive was in order. The Archivist very nicely pointed me to where some old County Maps were located, and found an 1868 Map, that had the Civil War soldier’s father and sibling mentioned on the map.

Overlaying that map with Google Maps, I knew where the farm would have been. I drove to where I thought it was, and in fact, it is still a farm. All of the bends in the road were as they should be, the stream was where it should be, present day and that 1868 map. BUT, where was my Civil War Soldier. Certainly a 100 acre map would have some indication on that map.


I went back to the Census Records, reread my citation, and noticed something really weird. The 1870 Census has a Post Office name listed.


The Post Office in Succasunna, NJ, and the Census says Township of Washington. Clearly, there is a problem here. Succasunna is NOT in Washington Township.

Back to the maps


Succasunna is in the next township. Also, that was also one of the post office names in the Pension File.

Next stop, the Washington Township Historical Society. As it turns out, the person I spoke with knew exactly what I was talking about. The 1870 Census. She ready knew my question, where did Succassunna come from for that census record.

She had some information on the Post Offices in the township over time. Someone had already done research on them showing that they opened and closed over the years as the township grew.

I went back to verify my Census Records (image above) to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I did my usual back a couple of pages in the Census, forward a couple of pages. Many familiar and sometimes family names were listed, as expected in Washington Township, not in Roxbury Township, where Succasunna is located.

Well, if Post Offices opened and closed, there has to be a history of that. In fact I had looked for this before, but for Post Masters, not Post Offices. The notion in my mind was that the Washington Township Post Offices had closed or that the family was closer to this post office then ones on the other side / end of the township.

I did find a listing for Post Offices in New Jersey, and had dates that they were in “business”. Well, the Succasunna Post Office, didn’t open until 1888. BUT, in looking at that map again, besides Succasunna there was also “Suckasunny” (1808-1888).  OK, my usual “spelling doesn’t count” clicked in.

So, I am confused, as well as the folk at the historical society, about the 1870 Census with a Post Office listed in the next township. and trying to see which of the 8 or 9 Post Offices that have existed in Washington Township might have been closed in 1870 to have the Census bureau use the neighboring township. Oh, and it’s not that close.

The other problem here, is that Enumeration Districts had not been established, from what I can tell for the 1870 Census.

I know that I am missing something here, but am not sure what that is. With a 100 acre farm, I should be able to find it on one of these historic maps. I have seen the 1868 map and a 1878 map and have located the father Jacob but not my Civil War soldier.


Am heading back to read the Civil War Pension file to see if there is a hint that I missed. I’ll pay closer attention to the Date and Post Office mentioned in the 125+ pages in that file, to see where this farm is.

Ellwood Palmer Strode (1891-1984)–Happy Birthday

August 5, 2016

Thinking of my maternal grandfather on his 125th birthday.


Ellwood Palmer Strode was most commonly called Palmer, another person who went by his middle name.

This picture was taken in 1948, most likely in Maine. As a kid, I remember my grandparents going up to Southwest Harbor, Maine for some part of the summer. About every 5 years, we would go to Maine to spend a week at Echo Lake, not to far from where this picture was taken.

It wasn’t until I started to so family history research that I learned WHY Maine, to this specific part of Maine. My grandmothers family has a, now, Historic House in the Acadia National Park. Still standing today. Our Revolutionary War soldier is buried “just up the street” from where my grandparents stayed and very close to the homestead.

A walk into the past (story about that house)

A little more about this family

A funny thing happened at #RootsTech 2014

1940 Census – Ellwood Palmer Strode


Happy Birthday Grandfather Strode.

p.s. that’s how I remember us kids, calling our maternal grandparents, very formal for little kids.

Frances Darlington Strode Lamberti (1925–2016)

August 3, 2016

Today, we lost Frances Darlington Strode Lamberti. She and I always had contact on OUR Birthdays, hers the day before mine, like my Brother and our grandmother.

A week or so ago, she had fallen and broken her hip. She was back for Rehab before she returned home. We later learned that she had other medical issues, so today was “almost” a relief. I am only sorry that I wasn’t able to get to see her one more time.

She was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. She loved San Antonio and her time in England.


This picture was taken in August 1952, San Antonio, Texas.

A couple of years earlier, she is with her two nephews in West Chester, Pennsylvania.


That is in the back yard at her parents home.


In 1953 (same place), “The Lieutenant and her Boy Friends”


And for my Mother, her sister, and Father’s 60th Wedding Anniversary 17 Jul 1999.


Very sad, that I didn’t have a better picture of her, by herself.

Anniversary-Worthington_HenryRussell Strode_Louise-1999

Louise and Henry Worthington’s 60th Wedding Anniversary
July 17, 1999

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