Inferential Genealogy – Written in Stone

November 29, 2011

One of the places that I search is the Find-A-Grave website. There is a wide range of information that can be found or not found there. Depending on who posted the Memorial or added a photo of a headstone you could find families, several generations all linked on Find-A-Grave. Of course, you may find only a Name and a couple of dates, or not find anything at all. An entry not being there may only indicate that no one posted the information.

Just because it’s written is “stone” doesn’t mean that is is right either and I have a couple of those examples.

Today was a trip to help a colleague and Genea-Blogger with a brick wall. I did my research on Find-A-Grave as I normally would do, but suggested to my wife that she bring some of her research with her. This was a last minute trip. Probably an hour notice. But, I knew she has been looking for a couple of specific ancestors. This year, I think we have found 2 of her top 5.

It might be noted that the Same Surname was my excuse to make the trip.

I had her review what I was looking for, on the trip North and East, then asked her what she wanted to find. It was a cemetery, of course, so I told (ooops, asked) her to do her least favorite thing, read a Map. The GPS will get me there, but where was that in relationship to where she wanted to go.

Oh, that was easy, we were going in the same part of New York, which is always a good thing, and wasn’t too far from where our first stop was. I found what I was looking for, plugged in a town name into the GPS, and it took us right to the town hall. (how lucky are we). The nice person at the desk gave us directions to the cemetery.

“should be in the old part of the cemetery” was the words to follow and the cemetery was in two parts, we wanted the second part. No problem. Drove on the roads, to get a good idea what the “old part” meant, stopped and Patti went one way and I went another. The stones where I was going were too old. So I moved to newer stones.

This was not a large cemetery, so I could see her, and knew she was tiring out as she headed for the car. I had to walk down one more path, she can sit in the car, but only one more path.

There “it was” the headstone of her Great Grandfather.


Here is where the fun began. Across the cemetery, I asked if he was a Civil War vet? Don’t know, but could be was the answer. (I’ll let the excuse be that she was tired, as it had been a long day).

There before us was her Great Grandfather William F Applebee.

Two things were wrong about that. 1) bee vs bey, and 2) the middle initial.

She has his name recorded as William without any middle name or initial. She didn’t know for sure. That’s OK. But, she had seen H for a middle name, usually expanded to Henry. Other folks have found that middle name “online” or in someone else’s tree. But, most of that traced back to someone she knows.

This other researcher has been researching for years and because some of the work had ended up in someone’s tree, this researcher stopped sharing completely.

Have you ever looked at a Flat File and seen on a piece of paper a note that didn’t make any sense? Here is one, found in the Goshen Genealogy Library. “Why didn’t “ (this person) “sign up through the Applebee line for the DAR”?

Don’t know the answer to that question, but now Patti can apply, if she wishes, through William F Applebee.

So, what’s with the H and the F. Can’t explain the H, but William Applebee’s first son was Franklin. Somewhere along the line, looking back, she’ll run into a Franklin.

Off to look at Civil War Records and probably Pension files, as William was married in 1867, right after the civil war.

At the moment, what is written in stone, may be correct, but still needs to be verified.

One of the two earlier finds, was his wife in Norwalk Connecticut.


Lesson Learned: Just because “It’s” Written in stone, doesn’t make it right.


but sometimes it is

Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life – Where Else ?

July 11, 2011

In one of the items I looked at today, I ran across the location of a burial. Since I contribute to Find-A-Grave, I thought I would check out this cemetery. Also, I have visited a number of cemeteries in Baltimore County and surrounding counties in Maryland.

Low and behold, there was my ‘Revolutionary’ War person. Still working on a firm connection between David Ridgely Howard and General John Eager Howard I think this may be the link between the two pieces of this branch of my tree.


General John Eager Howard (1752 – 1827). Former Governor of Maryland. Even ran for Vice President of the United States.

Will probably post more information about this gentleman if I am able to prove that there is a connection between him and David Ridgely Howard.

Find-A-Grave has been or is a good resource of information. I was certainly not disappointed when I looked at Find-A-Grave. There was a lot of text on the page for the general. Right there was a hint for other places to look.

One of the nice things about Find-A-Grave, especially if a genealogist has posted information with the memorial, is to provide links to other family members. Looking at this one page, gave me hints for 3 generations.

More names to put into the puzzle, more common surnames with some of the females, all early Maryland surnames.

I am hoping for another visit to Baltimore to visit the cemetery and probably another visit to the Maryland Historical Society and Library. Really would like to translate the Census locations to the real, current, world locations.

It was a good reminder to look at websites like Find-A-Grave for information. Some times, like this one, had dates and relationships in the data that might be on a headstone. I know that as a contributor to Find-A-Grave, I have helped others and this time someone really helped me.


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