Friday, May 13, 2016

Constitutions of Clarendon ~ 1164

Constitutions of Clarendon 


From the year of our Lord's incarnation 1164, the fourth year of the papacy of Alexander, the tenth of the most illustrious Henry, king of the English, in the presence of the same king, was made this remembrance or recognition of a certain part of the customs, liberties, and dignities of his predecessors, that is to say of King Henry his grandfather and others, which ought to be observed and held in the kingdom. And because of dissension and discords which had arisen between the clergy and the lord king's justices and the barons of the kingdom concerning the customs and dignities, this recognition has been made before the archbishops and bishops and clergy, and the earls and barons and great men of the kingdom. And these same customs declared by the archbishops, bishops, earls, and barons, and by the nobler and older men of the kingdom, Thomas archbishop of Canterbury and Roger archbishop of York and Gilbert bishop of London and Henry bishop of Winchester and Nigel bishop of Ely and William bishop of Norwich and Robert bishop of Lincoln and Hilary bishop of Chichester and Jocelin bishop of Salisbury and Richard bishop of Chester and Bartholomew bishop of Exeter and Robert bishop of Hereford and David bishop of St. David's and Roger elect of Worcester conceded and on the word of truth firmly promised by word of mouth should be held and observed for the lord king and his heirs in good faith and without subtlety, these being present: Robert earl of Leicester, Reginald earl of Cornwall, Conan earl of Brittany, John earl of Eu, Roger earl of Clare, earl Geoffrey de Mandeville, Hugh earl of Chester, William earl of Arundel, earl Patrick, William earl of Ferrers, Richard de Luci, Reginald de Mowbray, Simon de Beauchamp, Humphrey de Bohun, Matthew de Hereford, Walter de Mayenne, Manser Biset the steard, William Malet, William de Courcy, Robert de Dunstaville, Jocelin de Baillol, William de Lanvallei, William de Caisnet, Geoffrey de Vere, William de Hastings, Hugh de Moreville, Alan de Neville, Simon Fitz Peter, William Maudit the chamberlain, John Maudit, John Marshall, Peter de Mara, and many other great men and nobles of the kingdom both clergy and laymen.

A certain part of the customs and dignities which were recognized is contained in the present writing.  Of which part these are the articles:

1. If a controversy arise between laymen, or between laymen and clerks, or between clerks concerning patronage and presentation of churches, it shall be treated or concluded in the court of the lord king.

2. Churches of the lord king's fee cannot be permanently bestowed without his consent and grant.

3. Clerks charged and accused of any matter, summoned by the king's justice, shall come into his court to answer there to whatever it shall seem to the king's court should be answered there; and in the church court to what it seems should be answered there; however the king's justice shall send into the court of holy Church for the purpose of seeing how the matter shall be treated there. And if the clerk be convicted or confess, the church ought not to protect him further.

4. It is not permitted the archbishops, bishops, and priests of the kingdom to leave the kingdom without the lord king's permission. And if they do leave they are to give security, if the lord king please, that they will seek no evil or damage to king or kingdom in going, in making their stay, or in returning.

5. Excommunicate persons ought not to give security for an indefinite time, or give an oath, but only security and pledge for submitting to the judgment of the church in order that they may be absolved.

6. Laymen ought not to be accused save by dependable and lawful accusers and witnesses in the presence of the bishop, yet so that the archdeacon lose not his right or anything which he ought to have thence. And if there should be those who are deemed culpable, but whom no one wishes or dares to accuse, the sheriff, upon the bishop's request, shall cause twelve lawful men of the neighborhood or the vill to take oath before the bishop that they will show the truth of the matter according to their conscience.

7. No one who holds of the king in chief or any of the officials of his demesne is to be excommunicated or his lands placed under interdict unless the lord king, if he be in the land, or his justiciar, if he be outside the kingdom, first gives his consent, that he may do for him what is right: yet so that what pertains to the royal court be concluded there, and what looks to the church court be sent thither to be concluded there.

8. As to appeals which may arise, they should pass from the archdeacon to the bishop, and from the bishop to the archbishop. And if the archbishop fail in furnishing justice, the matter should come to the lord king at the last, that at his command the litigation be concluded in the archbishop's court; and so because it should not pass further without the lord king's consent.

9. If litigation arise between a clerk concerning any holding which the clerk would bring to charitable tenure but the layman to lay fee, it shall be determined on the decision of the king's chief justice by the recognition of twelve lawful men in the presence of the king's justice himself whether the holding pertain to charitable tenure or to lay fee. And if the recognition declare it to be charitable tenure, it shall be litigated in the church court, but if lay fee, unless both plead under the same bishop or baron, the litigation shall be in the royal court. But if both plead concerning that fief under the same bishop or baron, it shall be litigated in his court; yet so that he who was first seised lose not his seisin on account of the recognition that was made, until the matter be determined by the plea.

10. If any one who is of a city, castle, borough, or demesne manor of the king shall be cited by archdeacon or bishop for any offense for which he ought to beheld answerable to them and despite their summonses he refuse to do what is right, it is fully permissible to place him under interdict, but he ought not to be excommunicated before the king's chief official of that vill shall agree, in order that he may authoritatively constrain him to come to his trial. But if the king's official fail in this, he himself shall be in the lord king's mercy; and then the bishop shall be able to coerce the accused man by ecclesiastical authority.

11. Archbishops, bishops, and all ecclesiastics of the kingdom who hold of the king in chief have their possessions of the lord king as barony and answer for them to the king's justices and ministers and follow and do all royal rights and customs; and they ought, just like other barons, to be present at the judgments of the lord king's court along with the barons, until it come in judgment to loss of limbs or death.

12. When an archbishopric or bishopric, or an abbey or priory of the king's demesne shall be vacant, it ought to be in his hands, and he shall assume its revenues and expenses as pertaining to his demesne. And when the time comes to provide fro the church, the lord king should notify the more important clergy of the church, and the election should be held in the lord king's own chapel with the assent of the lord king and on the advice of the clergy of the realm whom he has summoned for the purpose. And there, before he be consecrated, let the elect perform homage and fealty to the lord king as his liege lord for life, limbs, and earthly honor, saving his order.

13. If any of the great men of the kingdom should forcibly prevent archbishop, bishop, or archdeacon from administering justice in which he or his men were concerned, then the lord king ought to bring such an one to justice. And if it should happen that any one deforce the lord king of his right, archbishops, bishops, and archdeacons ought to constrain him to make  satisfaction to the lord king.

14. Chattels which have been forfeited to the king are not to be held in churches or cemeteries against the king's justice, because they belong to the king whether they be found inside churches or outside.

15. Pleas concerning debts, which are owed on the basis of an oath or in connection with which no oath has been taken, are in the king's justice.

16. Sons of villeins should not be ordained without the consent of the lord on whose land it is ascertained they were born.

The declaration of the above-mentioned royal customs and dignities has been made by the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, and the nobler and older men of the kingdom, at Clarendon on the fourth day before the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, lord Henry being present there with the lord king his father. There are, indeed, many other great customs and dignities of holy mother church and of the lord king and barons of the kingdom, which are not included in this writing, but which are to be preserved to holy church and to the lord king and his heirs and the barons of the kingdom, and are to be kept inviolate for ever.

Posted 13 May 2016 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Sunday, May 8, 2016

My Great Grandaunt ~ Emma Louisa Burger Drew

There are times in genealogy research when you encounter information about a long deceased family member that causes you to immediately like them.

Such was the case when I found the records for my great grandaunt, Emma Louisa Burger Drew Mead.  Emma married my great granduncle, Charles Henry Drew, the younger brother of my ancestor, David Lewis Drew.

Emma was born on 4 Sep 1852 in Iowa, the daughter of the Reverend James Burger and his wife Nancy Middleton.  Like my ancestors, David Lewis and Helen Marr Farrar Drew, both Emma and Charles migrated to California shortly after the gold rush.

Emma was the oldest child in her family.  She married Charles on 22 May 1867 in Copperopolis, California at the tender age of 14.  Charles was a relatively old man compared to Emma with his age of 22.

The couple had four children before Charles' untimely death from pneumonia in 1890 at the early age of 45 leaving Emma a widow at age 38.

Within the space of a few years she had lost two of  her children and her husband to illness.  All would be hard blows for anyone to handle, but this plucky little lady, didn't embrace life that way.

Within a year, she married Willard Clinton Mead, a 32-year-old miner from Illinois.  He had migrated to the gold country of California to seek his fortune.  The couple never had any children of their own but true to the stories I had found about Emma, they brought ten homeless children who needed a safe harbor and stable environment into their lives.

Both of Emma's two daughters by Charles married prominent men in the community while their mother focused on people from the other end of the social spectrum by spending  the currency of her life, time and effort, assisting those less fortunate than herself.

Her obituary noted her love of those less fortunate individuals that she'd brought into her life.

"Mrs. Mead, Covered Wagon Pioneer, Dies At An Advanced Age."

Coming to California as a six month old baby by ox team, Mrs. Emma Louise Mead, one of the pioneers who made early California history, died here Thursday after a long illness.

Deceased was 82 years of age, a native of Iowa, but practically her entire life was spent in California.  The family settled originally near Copperopolis where they were engaged in farming.  When but fifteen years of age deceased was married to Charles Drew, and the young people moved at once to Red Bluff where Drew engaged in mining for many years.  The two surviving children are both residents of Oakdale, Mrs. Ed Rodden and Mrs. Maude Gray.

Following Mr. Drew's death forty years ago, deceased came to Oakland to make her home and her married Willard Mead.  They removed to Stockton where Mrs. Mead became prominent in social work and for her love of children.  In all she brought up ten homeless children.  Nine years ago, following the death of her husband, Mrs. Mead moved to Yosemite Valley where she made her home until six years ago, at which time she came to Oakdale, residing with her two daughters.

Funeral services for deceased were held at the Oakdale Undertaking Parlors Saturday afternoon, with Rev. H. H. Allen in charge.  Interment was made in Copperopolis."

Emma was small of stature but enormous in heart.  Thanks for putting the important things first in your life Aunt Emma.  A smile always come to my face when I think of you.

Posted 8 May 2016 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Monday, April 18, 2016

It Wasn't Mrs. O'Leary's Cow

In 1893, Michael Ahern, a reporter for the Chicago Republican, admitted that he had fabricated the story of Mrs. O'Leary''s Cow kicking over a lantern that started the Great Chicago Fire.

Chicago, Illinois - 4 October 1871

2,000 Acres of Buildings Destroyed

On 11 October 1871, the Chicago Tribune reported that 2,000 acres of buildings had been destroyed by the fire.  Eight thousand people were homeless and two hundred bodies had been found by searchers to date.

Mrs. Kate O'Leary's Interview

Q. What do you know about this fire?
A. I was in bed myself and my husband and five children when this fire commenced. I was the owner of them five cows that was burnt, and the horse wagon and harness. I had two tons of coal and two tons of hay. I had everything that I wanted in for the winter. I could not save five cents worth of anything out of the barn. Only that Mr. Sullivan got out a little calf. The calf was worth eleven dollars on Saturday morning. Saturday morning I refused even eleven dollars for the calf, and it was sold afterwards for eight dollars. I didn't save one five cents out of the fire.

Q. Do you know how the fire caught?
A. I could not tell anything of the fire only that two men came by the door. I guess it was my husband got outside the door and he ran back to the bedroom and said "Kate the barn is afire." I ran out and the whole barn was on fire. Well I went out to the barn and upon my word I could not tell anyone about the fire. I got just the way I could not tell anything about the fire.

Q. You got frightened.
A. I got frightened. I got the way I did not know when I saw everything burn up in the barn--I got so excited that I could not tell anything about the fire from that time.

Q. You thought your house was going to burn then.
A. Yes sir. Then the men went and fixed two washtubs at both hydrants. There is a hydrant in front of our place and a hydrant in front of Mrs. Murray's. They set two washtubs and then began to put water on the little house, and everything was gone only the little house, and they made for that and kept it wet all through until the fire was gone.

Q. Is that your house?
A. Yes sir. They kept water on it until the fire went out. We had plenty of water until the fire was done.

Q. Was there any other family living in your house?
A. Yes sir. There was Mrs. Laughlin.

Q. How many rooms did they occupy?
A. Two rooms.

Q. Front rooms?
A. Yes sir.

Q. Do you know whether they were in bed?
A. I know they were not in bed.

Q. How do you know that?
A. Because I could hear from my own bedroom. Could hear them going on. There was a little music there.

Q. They had a little party there?
A. Yes sir. Her husband was a fiddler.

Q. They had dancing there?
A. They had.

Q. Some company?
A. Some company. I could not tell how many were there.

Q. That was going on at the time the fire broke out, that dance, was it?
A. I could not tell you sir.

Q. Did you hear any of these people from the front part of the house passing to the back end of the dwelling, pass back and forth in the alley between the two houses?
A. I didn't indeed.

Q. About what time did this fire break out?
A. As near as I can guess it was a little after nine o'clock.

Q. Had any of the people who were at the party been in your part of the house?
A. No sir. There was not any of them there.

Q. You could simply hear the music and they were having a jolly time.
A. I could hear anything from our own bed to their rooms. Because they pretty near joined together.

Q. Have you heard from any person who was there anything in relation to anybody's going out to the barn with a light?
A. Yes sir. I have heard of it. I have heard from other folks.

Q. Who did you hear anything in regard to it from?
A. I heard from other folks. I could not tell whether it is true or not. There was one out of the party went in for to milk my cows.

Q. Who did you hear say that?
A. Mrs. White.

Q. Where does Mrs. White live?
A. Across the way from us.

Q. There is two two-story houses there right together?
A. Yes sir.

Q. She lives in the east one?
A. Yes sir. She said--the first she told me she mentioned a man was in my barn milking my cows. I could not tell for I didn't see it. The next morning I went over there she told me it was too bad for Leary to have all what he was worth lost. We did not know who done it. Said she and one of the neighbors there was someone from the party went and milked the cows.

Q. Did they state who the person was?
A. No sir. They did not.

Q. What did they want to milk for?
A. Some said it was for oysters. I could not tell anything only what I heard from the outside.

Q. Had these persons in your house been in the habit of getting milk there before if they wanted it.
A. No sir. I never saw them in my barn to milk my cows.

Q. Did you have any talk with Mrs. Laughlin about it?
A. I did.

Q. What did she say about it?
A. She said she never was in the stable.

Q. Did she deny that anybody went from her house?
A. She did sir. She said she had no supper that night. She said her man had supper to a relation and to her brother.

Q. Had no coffee or oysters.
A. Had no coffee or oysters.

Q. Was there any other party in the neighborhood that you know of?
A. No sir. Well there as always music in saloons there Saturday night. I do not know of any other.

Q. This was Sunday night.
A. This was Sunday night.

Q. Is Mrs. Laughlin living in the house now?
A. No sir. She moved out of it.

Q. Do you know whether the tenants of the houses about there were in the habit of getting shavings from the planing mills to burn?
A. There was shavings in every house there.

Q. Put them in the house?
A. Yes sir.

Q. Almost every house?
A. Yes sir.

Q. They got them because they were cheaper fuel than they could get anywhere else?
A. Yes there were shavings in every house. That I can say.

Q. In some houses larger quantities of them?
A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you have any packed in your barn?
A. Yes sir. I had some packed in my barn.

Q. How many do you think?
A. When I used to clean out the barn I used to throw in a little shavings.

Q. Did you use them for bedding?
A. Yes sir. Not so much for bedding. I used to clean out the places and take a dish full and throw it in along with the cows.

Q. After you discovered the fire can you state whether there was any engine on the ground, or how soon after did you discover one?
A. The first engine I seen playing it was on Turner's block.

Q. Can you give us an idea about how great a length of time passed from your first hearing of the fire until you saw the engine?
A. I could not, sir. The engine might be there unknown to me--I got so excited. All I had was there in that barn. I did not know the fire was down until the next day.

Q. Had you any insurance upon your barn and stock?
A. Never had five cents insurance--I had those cows one of them was not in the barn that night. It was out in the alley. That one went away. I could not get that one. My husband spent two weeks looking for it and could not find it anywhere in the world. I could not get five cents. I had six cows there. A good horse there. I had a wagon and harness and everything I was worth. I couldn't save that much out of it (snapping her finger) and upon my word I worked so hard for them.

Posted 18 April 2016 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Serendipity and a Genealogical Society

Fifteen years ago, Christmas arrived in July, or at least it did in my life.  A decades-long search for the keystone on one of my ancestral brick walls was found causing the wall to tumble.  An obscure article in a rarely read city history book identified the location where my 3rd great grandmother, Mary Ardith Tirrill Farrar, died and was buried.

The discovery happened in the Harold B. Lee Library at the Brigham Young University in Provo,Utah and was a total fluke.  My wife and I had gone to dinner on a warm Saturday night in early July and as usual, the dessert tray proved to be my undoing.  The carrot cake they make is the best in the area.  I had to have a piece.  The cake was great but I knew that I'd still be awake by sunrise on Sunday morning if I didn't do something to burn off at least part of our evening meal.

A walk on a beautiful summer evening under the red, gold and purple sky with its feathered clouds would do the trick and better yet, I'd get points for taking a romantic stroll across the south end of the BYU Campus.

When we walked by the library, we decided to take advantage of our location and spend an hour browsing through books looking for information about our respective ancestors.

My wife was rewarded almost immediately when she found a history of her 3rd great grandfather that she hadn't seen before.  I wasn't as successful, until I started dragging my finger over the spines of the books wondering if one of them would 'feel' right.  Not only did one feel right, it literally fell into my hands when I touched it.

Retreating to a comfortable chair, I settled down to scan through its pages on the off-chance that there actually was something in it of worth in my ancestral quest.

I remember saying to my wife, "Watch this!"  "This book fell into my hands."  "I wonder if it will also fall open to a page that talks about my ancestors."  With her typical wry smile at my antics, my wife indicated the table in front of our feet and said, "Give it a try."

I did and the rest of the story is the basis for a lot of genealogy serendipity stories that have spun off my fingers since that summer night. 

Mary Tirrill Farrar's family was listed in the town history saying she had died in Walworth County, Wisconsin!  Wisconsin?  She lived in New Hampshire and South Carolina or so I thought.  How, when and why had the family moved to to Wisconsin?  That is another story but the clue opened the door to finding the lineage of her husband, Thomas Farrar.

So what does all of this have to do with the Walworth County Genealogical Society?  

Here is the rest of the story:

After two consecutive days in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City looking for the Farrar's in Walworth, I'd found grandpa's naturalization document and little else.  I was out of time and out of energy after two opening to closing days of research.  I abhorred walking out of the doors defeated, so I decided to pull out the old "finger drag" method once again.

Tick, tick, tick.  My fingers slipped across the spines of the books in the Wisconsin section on the main floor.  No Joy.  No Joy.  No Joy.  What was I thinking?  Did I think that the finger drag method would work again?  Well, why not?  I hadn't touched the bottom row of books, so I went to my knees and started dragging my fingers over that row of books.  The method had to work.  The library closing call was coming from the speakers.

Drag, drag, SNAG!  A new paperbound book stopped my progress because of its size, it couldn't be pushed further back on the shelf.  I pulled it out and chills ran up my back because it was titled, "Brick Church Cemetery: Walworth Township, Walworth County, Wisconsin" by the Walworth County Genealogical Society.

You know how the story goes from this point on.  Grandma Mary's namee was listed on the pages.  She had died there along with her young son and her mother-in-law.  Mother-in-law??  Wow!!  Her name was on the other side of my "Brick Wall"

Elizabeth Shaw was born in Yorkshire, England where she grew up, met and married grandpa Eli Farrar and eventually migrated to America where the couple joined with their two sons, John and my ancestor, Thomas, who had migrated a few years earlier.

The clue came from the inscription on Elizabeth's tombstone, "Elizabeth, wife of Eli Farrar, Died July 18, 1857 aged 62 years."  In one moment, the inscription gave me the names I had search for during the previous 50 years.

Serendipity?  Was the publication of cemetery tombstone inscriptions by the Walworth County Genealogy Society the end of the story?  No.  Obviously not.

The book had arrived at the Family History Library as a new acquisition or donation the same week that I was there researching.  After photocopying the page about the Farrar burials, it easily slid back on the shelf with its spines flush with the books adjacent to it.  Other than its lighter colored cover, it didn't stand out at all.  In fact, being on the bottom shelf, I probably wouldn't have bent down to read the title if it hadn't stopped my finger dragging exercise.  Serendipity!

Farrar Family Burials - Brick Church Cemetery, Walworth, Wisconsin

Of course the story goes on from here.  When I got home, I couldn't put the photocopy down.  It meant too much to quickly tuck it away in one of my documents binders after I'd transcribed it into my genealogy database.  I kept wishing that I could see the tombstones.  I spend a lot of time taking photos of tombstones in my area and posting them on Find-a-Grave so they are available for the families of the 'names' on the markers.  Would anyone do something like that for me in Walworth County?

Enter the Walworth County Genealogical Society.  I found their website and their phone number.  The wonderful lady that answered my call that day said that she was just leaving BUT if I would send her a minimal check for the purchase of gas, she would take the time out of her very busy mom-of-youngsters life and drive to the Brick Church Cemetery and take photos of the tombstones for me.

They arrived via email several days later.  I only sent her three "Thank You" notes during the ensuing weeks.  The headstone inscriptions contained the information I sought for so long.

Genealogy societies, like the Walworth County Genealogical Society, provide services like this to researchers all of the time.  They are uniquely positioned to help folks like you and I.  They live where we are researching and have access to all of the records, histories, location knowledge and the community ties to help researchers like us.

If you haven't contacted or joined a genealogical societies like the one in Walworth County, do so.  You'll benefit more than you can imagine.  I certainly have.  Give it a try.  Prove it to yourself. 

Posted 3 March 2016 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ancestral Stories ~ You Can't Make This Stuff Up

There are times when you are a participant in a genealogy story so full of serendipity that the storyline is hard to believe even though it is happening to you.

Case in point.  Our family as known for over a hundred years that our grandmother, Eliza Sampson, was from France and that her husband Henry Friedlander, was from somewhere on the continent.  They married, had three children and lived in Saint Peter Port on Guernsey off the French coast where grandpa died.

After a series of voyages that literally took her around the world, Eliza’s daughter, Rosa Clara Friedlander, ended upon the coast of California with her husband and their baby.  They walked and rode in wagons over the course of the next two years to Utah.

From Rosa’s notes and stories, we had knowledge that even though her mother’s maiden name was Sampson, she was indeed born in France.

Finding an Eliza Sampson, yes, spelled with a “P”, in France in the early 1800’s proved to be the Brick Wall in our research.  None of the cumulative research until a year ago found a single useful clue about her parentage.

A cousin, Marsha, from England enjoyed one of the most serendipitous experiences in the research lives of anyone in our family.  Marsha and I have talked and shared research information for years about our common ancestry.  Between the two of us, we’ve knocked down many genealogy brick walls thanks to our respective locations, resources and skills.

The lineages of Grandpa Friedlander and his wife, Eliza Sampson, has always been like a thorn in our sides during our years of research successes.  While other seemingly impossible clues had been found, their respective brick walls proved to be made of the impenetrable SciFi metal Krell from the “Forbidden Planet”.  The wall seemed to even be covered with a frictionless surface, because nothing we threw at it would stick.  Everything slid off as fast as it touched.

And then ….  One evening not long after reviewing our research on Grandma Sampson, Marsha went to a lecture at a college in London where the lecturer talked about the records he’d uncovered about the English Navy and citizenry who lived or were in Port anywhere in France who were taken prisoner by Napoleon so they couldn’t fight against them when he declared war on England.  He said that he had microfilm copies of the French prisoner records if anyone wanted to look through them. 

Marsha was irresistibly drawn to them and within a short time found the name of William Sampson, a British Naval Lieutenant who was taken prisoner aboard his ship in a French port.

Knowing that these prisoners were held in France for many years, she decided to trace his life in France.  She found that he was among the prisoners who were taken to Verdun where they were basically under arrest and not allow to leave town.  The French government did not pay for any of their expenses, so they had to find employment to pay for their shelter and sustenance.

Many Engllish families lived in barns and other similar housing during their captivity.  Grandpa Sampson was fortunate because he found employment with a restaurant - pub owner by the name of Remy Thiery.

Apparently, his work was received well by Remy because it continued for a number of years.  Eventually, the young British office fell in love with Francoise Thiery, one of the young daughters in the family of Remy and Marie Claire Maloiseau Thiery.  Marsha found their marriage record and from that knowledge was able to find the birth of their daughter, Eliza Sampson!

The discovery turned the key in the door of our Brick Wall.  Does a tree make any sound as it falls in the forest and no one hears it?  Well, I know that the tumbling of Brick Walls makes a sound because the lucky researcher who fells it makes the sound in the form of a “Yahoo!” or “Wahoo!” or “Yeah!” or “Holy Cow!” string of sounds combined with many more incomprehensible sounds.  Many new dances are scored while the lucky wall-buster is dancing in joy as well.

Since that time, I’ve been able to push many of grandma Francoise Theiry Sampson’s ancestral lines back to 1600.  All we need was the clue to fell the wall.  We’ve also been able to trace Grandpa Sampson’s English ancestry back several more generations thanks to the knowledge of where he was born.

So let’s recap this story of serendipity and wall-felling success.

  • A cousin went to a lecture on a whim.
  • The lecturer was probably the only English born person who had personal knowledge of the records we needed and had a copy of them after having spent years examining them.
  • He invited my cousin to read his transcripts and view a copy of the original records about Englishmen captured by Napoleon without the declaration of war.
  • He had a copy of not only these prisoner records from Verdun, France but also a copy of French church records that related to the births, marriages and deaths of the prisoners.
  • The records proved that William Sampson  was our ancestor due to his marriage to Francoise Thiery and the birth record of their daughter, Eliza Sampson whose birth date matched the date that her daughter, Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie had in her records.
  • The journey of the ping involved in tracing this story started in the Isle of Guernsey in the early 1800’s, traveled to England, then to Australia, then surviving the sinking of a ship in the South Pacific, then to Tahiti, then to San Francisco, then to Utah where it simmered, stewed and generally acted as a thorn in the side of Rosa’s descendants for almost one hundred and fifty years.
  • Two of Rosa’s descendants of approximately the same ages were bitten by the “genealogy bug” early in their lives.  Both were born in the States, enjoyed genealogy research training and eventually lived in locations that are conducive to finding ancestral records that neither would have found on their own, yet thanks to collaborative research had just enough resources available to them to seize on the random threads of serendipity that float through their lives from time to time.
  • Both of these researchers have learned to listen and watch with something other than their natural senses.  Outsiders can argue all they want about the root causes, but as one of these blessed folks, I know the source of the ribbons of serendipital knowledge aren’t from physical prowess, yet are nonetheless real.

How many serendipital successes have you enjoyed in your own research?  What are your stories?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Plot your Ancestors With RootsMapper

If you've been watching the number of FamilySearch Partners grow over the past year, you know that the partner count has hit an impressive level.

One of the favorite partners to help researchers envision the migratory paths of their ancestor is RootsMapper.

Simply log in to your FamilySearch Account using the link on the RootsMapper site and it will query the FamilySearch Tree database for your ancestors records and plot their birth and death location on a world map.

Click on a location to see all of the records associated with that location.

Then click on a dot again to see the information about specific people.

Before you begin, be sure to visit FamilySearch Tree and create enough records to tie you to your closest ancestors in time (probably your grandparents).  Accounts on FamilySearch Tree are free.

Posted 4 January 2016 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog