If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you have seen my post about my 11th great-grandmother and her daughter from the seventeenth century. March was Women’s History Month, and how fitting for me to stumble across a great article in the New England Ancestors Fall 2008 issue.
As I read the whole article and dug a little deeper, it’s amazing the education the daughter, Mary Coffin (Coffyn) Starbuck, had. She was born in 1645 in Massachusetts and had a Puritan work ethic. What is amazing is that she not only knew how to read and write, but she also mastered Latin and Greek! A woman in the 1600s! Mary was very knowledgeable of the scriptures too. Her ability to read and write the classical languages was mostly only a skill obtained by young men studying the ministry at Harvard College.
At the age of sixteen, she was betrothed to her father’s business partner Nathaniel Starbuck. The marriage was probably arranged marriage by her parents. Mary’s brother had already married Nathaniel’s sister, so she knew Nathaniel as a family friend. Their marriage in 1661 was the first New England wedding on the island of Nantucket. Their daughter was the first white child born on Nantucket.
With her education, Mary was confident in portraying her knowledge of the world around her. She was unafraid to speak in town meetings, saying, “My husband and I….” They held many town meetings in their home, which locally became known as the “Parliament House.” Mary started a trading post or “country store” attached to the house shortly after their marriage. One of their best customers was the Algonquian Indians. The Nantucket Historical Association owns Mary’s account books! The books date between 1683 to 1757. They traded goods and labor in the store. Mary’s accounting books show as many as 200 Indians, primarily engaged in cod-fishing and fowling, performing routine manual work, and later whaling. They received necessary tools, cloth, and supplies in return for their efforts.
Mary found her religious freedom and was allowed to sell items as she pleased. She was truly a free woman. Mary became a leader in introducing Quaker practices in Nantucket. She became a minister in the “Society,” as were several of her children. She was consulted upon all matters of public importance because her judgment was superior, and well-acknowledged as a great woman.
Although the first Meeting House on Nantucket was built in 1711, Mary did not live to see the official Nantucket Monthly Meeting be established. Mary Coffin Starbuck died on Nantucket Island on November 13, 1717, at the age of seventy-two. Fittingly, her body was laid to rest in the Friends’ burial ground next to the new meetinghouse built on land donated by her son and the Nantucket proprietors.
~ All my information is from the “Fall 2008 New England Ancestors” magazine and the “History of American Women.”
Spring has sprung, and soon the yard will start bursting with new growth and the flowers with new buds. My other passion is gardening, or ‘yardening’ as I call it. I love getting out in the fresh air and enjoying what nature offers. It is excellent for my mental health, tending to plants, bees, pollinators, and birds.
FamilySearch has this “Are We Related?” feature where you can see if you are related to famous people or others you follow in social media groups, etc. One thing they don’t really explain to the novices of the genealogy world is that the accuracy is only as good as the tree it is based on. When you place your tree on FamilySearch, anyone can change it anytime. This is because the premise behind FamilySearch’s trees is to have one shared tree.
This is not meant to be your private working tree. It is one public tree where anyone can provide input and collaborate. But, because not everyone understands this, things get changed and deleted without information. In other words, when you click on the “Are We Related?” feature, beware! You may not be related at all. I spent several weekends digging into several of these so-called relations. Most were untrue because of the wrong information in the tree, but a couple of them were correct, which was pretty exciting.
Do not get me wrong, I love FamilySearch for its immense repository of free information compiled and maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Their records are second to none! I highly recommend using their records for your genealogy research.
Several years ago, I wrote about my 9th great grandfather, a Scottish POW, John MacBean – Scottish POW (Logan Family). A few weeks ago, as I was dabbling in my tree, I discovered that his daughter married his POW friend, John Sinclair, making them my 8th great-grandparents. Sinclair evidently comes from the noble St. Clair family of Roslin, Scotland. And, as intermarriage goes, John MacBean’s grandson married John Sinclair’s granddaughter.
Things have also been changing in my personal life, giving me more time for gardening and family history. In a couple of months, I will be going part-time. I’ve been working towards this goal for a while now. It is exciting and scary at the same time. This means you’ll be hearing more from me, I hope.
Until then, keep researching your own family tree. As always, let me know if I can help.
Have you ever looked at the 1800 or 1810 census and thought, “well, this does not give me much information.” No, it doesn’t give you the specific details as in later census records, but it can tell you other things.
The 1800 census was the second census in America and was taken as of 04 August 1800. It tallied free white males and females in several age categories: under 10, 10 but under 15, 16 but under 25, 25 but under 45, and over 45. Indians, slaves, and free blacks were listed in single categories undivided into age groups.
The age breakdown of household members is far more useful than the one in 1790 census, because it can help to separate parents from children (or grandparents living with their adult children and grandchildren) and it lets you match up the offspring more accurately.
But, what if you cannot find the names of all the children? Patience is key. For instance, because of the 1800 and 1810 census, I knew that my 4th great grandfather, Daniel Logan, had a couple more children. I just never could find them. Fast forward about a decade or two and AncestryDNA® ThruLines® helped me crack my case wide open!
Meet Polly Ann Logan.
AncestryDNA® ThruLines® needs to be used as a guide, not fact. But, in most cases, they can help you connect the dots so to speak. ThruLines® shows you how you may be related to your DNA matches. But, if your tree is incorrect or their tree is incorrect, the information may be wrong. Again, use it as a guide. You know you’re related because of the DNA, but make sure you find the paper trail accurately to connect those dots.
However, Orpha has been as allusive as her mother, Abigail Soper! Orpha is on a lot of other people’s trees, but I cannot find her anywhere else. Some say she married Stephen Morey, others have Samuel Morey. I can’t find much information on either men. Orpha is a popular name in this family line, but maybe she didn’t live long or maybe this wasn’t even the other daughter’s name. Time and research will tell.
But, Polly Ann was a different story. I was able to track her down with records and find many descendants. All thanks to TruLines®!
Happy hunting! Share their stories! Tell their stories!
He was the founder of Sonoco Products Company (not to be confused with Sunoco) and Coker University (which was Welsh Neck High School, then the Coker College for Women, now Coker University).
“He was able to hire so many people that were in desperate straits after the war that he just uplifted the progress of everybody, black and white, urban or rural. He also was a leader in racial and social progress,” Dr. Will Joslin (his great-grandson) said.
Click the video below (no sense in recreating the wheel, there are many websites and videos about him.)
Founded in 1899, Sonoco Products Company is a United States-based international provider of diversified consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging, and packaging supply chain services and the world’s largest producer of composite cans, tubes, and cores. Wikipedia Stock price: SON (NYSE) $60.71 +0.07 (+0.12%) Dec 30, 4:00 PM EST – Disclaimer Headquarters: Hartsville, SC Subsidiaries: Sonoco ThermoSafe, MORE CEO: R. Howard Coker (Feb 2020–) Number of employees: 21,000 (2017) Revenue: 5.237 billion USD (Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020) Founder: James Lide Coker Founded: May 10, 1899
Having a full-time job means I spend a lot of time away from my family tree. More time than I like. But, in a way, it is a good thing. When looking at your family tree day in and day out, it can be frustrating, making you feel stuck and getting nowhere.
I have also had people tell me that they do not like the subscriptions to the big databases because they have taken all records that they have to give. But, this is not true. Remember, the big databases add new records all the time, meaning new hints are bound to occur. For instance, Family Search added about 180 new records from different countries, including the U.S. just last month. Find My Past updated titles and added new titles. Ancestry also updates and adds records regularly, lately adding about 40-50 collections. Chronicling America, one of my favorite newspaper databases, does the same thing. They’ve added and updated 100s of records. MyHeritage is doing the same, adding billions of records each year.
The old adage, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is true for taking a break from your research or at least move it in a different direction. During my recent vacation, I hopped on Ancestry and learned that I had some new hints on one of my proverbial brick walls, my 7th great-grandmother. Low and behold, it was her will! That will listed her children and grandchildren! That hint led me to her father and his will! I have been able to add her mother and siblings, expanding that whole line.
You can also take a break by moving in a different direction. For instance, a lot of people tend to focus solely on their direct line. By not researching sideways; brothers, sisters, cousins, etc., you are missing out on a full picture of your direct ancestor. You can then develop a more detailed picture of their lives. When I first started out, I did this exact thing. I concentrated only on my direct lines. By adding their siblings and their children, I’ve been able to expand my tree so much.
You do not need to stop researching to take a break. I like to review some of the sources I have attached to an ancestor. With experience, I’ve learned more about reading records. I review older sources and often find some information I have overlooked or apply what I have learned to that older source.
Remember, not all family records are online. Archives, libraries, and local family history societies may be able to help. Write to a few and see what they have. They are very helpful and sometimes will assist you for free.
You can also look into an ancestor’s social history. The history around your ancestor can add context to the world your ancestors lived in. The internet, including YouTube is full of how-to videos with research tips you haven’t tried yet or a record collection you haven’t heard of.
Do not let that brick wall stop you! Take a break, go a different route and get a fresh outlook for when you return.
If you need someone to take a look at a brick wall you have, give me a shout. I am happy to dig around and give you a fresh angle to search.
On this date in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. However, before that, the Manumission Act was enacted in Virginia in 1782 allowing slaveholders to set slaves free in their wills.
My 1st cousin, 8x removed did just that.
Timothy Tynes was one of the richest men in the county of Isle of Wight, Virginia. His father, Robert Tynes, had accumulated a fortune in lands and business transactions. He built a plantation home in 1750 that still stands today. When Robert died in 1794, he left “all my whole Estate both real and Personal” to Timothy, his sole surviving son.
Timothy never married; he lived with some of his many slaves in the house that his father had built, just outside the town of Smithfield, from where he managed his many inherited plantations. His parents and his brothers and sisters pre-deceased him. When he died, his nieces and nephews expected Robert’s great wealth to be distributed among them.
Timothy, however, had other ideas. Upon his death in 1802, his will freed every one of his 81 slaves by name and gave most of the land to them. A niece, Sarah Tynes Purdie, received one plantation, and a cousin’s son was left some land; the rest of Robert’s descendants got nothing at all.
Photo taken by Hope Stanley (whose husband Charles is a descendant of Robert and Mary Tynes) in February 2000, at a time when the home was for sale and visitors allowed.
Timothy Tynes’s will gives special treatment to a slave named Beck (Rebecca) and her children, suggesting that these may have been Timothy’s own offspring. Beck’s son John inherits an entire river plantation. Timothy also singles out slaves named Sukey, Prince, Tim, Sam, Dick Unge, and Little Charles, for bequests of land or money. The rest of the freed slaves are to share a large tract of land of which Dick Unge has been given 100 acres.
These families flourished, building homesteads, farming, and working the water in the community. Today, there are many descendants of the Tynes families in Isle of Wight County.
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Last weekend, I wrote the blog, Hidden In A Letter, in which I was trying to connect the Ohio Stephanz’s to the Kansas Stephanz’s. Little did I know the mystery man was right in front of me the whole time.
I was confusing my generations a bit, but it was the same family nonetheless. I was also so focused on the fact that MY Stephanz was in Kansas that I was not seeing the facts staring me right in the face! It took two other people seeing my conundrum to help me put the puzzle pieces in the right place.
Back one generation of the Kansas family is my third great-grandfather, Matijas Štefanc married to Marija Fugina. I did not have much information on him except that he was born on 17 Sep 1845 in Stari Trg ob Kolpi, Slovenia, and that his son was also Matijas Štefanc who immigrated to Kansas. It turns out that my third great-grandfather was living a double life. Newspaper articles helped me figure out the secrets.
Matijas Štefanc married Marija Fugina in June 1866 at the Parish Church of St. Jozef in Stari Trg ob Kolpi, Slovenia. In 1867, their son Matijas was born at #10 in Dolenji Radenci, Slovenia. According to a newspaper article, the two separated around 1869 and Marija immigrated to Kansas to be with family.
Another article states that Matijas left his wife and son in Slovenia around 1865 (it was 1869) and came to America. In 1872, he met and married Clara Latour in Toledo, Ohio. They had three children together. They also had an adopted son who went back to his birth name sometime after 1911.
In 1892, the son, Matijas, travels from Slovenia and visits his father. This is when it became apparent that ‘ole Matijas had a second family and was still married! He makes it legal and divorces his first wife (I have not found a record of the divorce) and remarries Clara in October of 1892. Eight years later, Clara died. A month after her death, he remarried Marija on 15 October 1900 who immigrated here on 26 June 1900. She died in 1904 of tuberculosis.
Yes, he married both wives twice!
Now I have two more 2nd great-grand aunts and a 2nd great-grand uncle giving me numerous cousins! My 1st cousin 1x removed (my mom’s first cousin who is four years younger than me) will be meeting one of those descendants soon! They both have the same 2nd great-grandfather in Matijas (1845) but two different 2nd great-grandmothers.
In the letter, my great-grandfather, Matijas (1894), mentions he’s staying with Alice. I believe this Alice is his first cousin, Matija’s and Clara’s daughter’s daughter.
Look at all these cousins! And I haven’t even traced the bottom two lines!
And, I owe it all to a letter my great-grandfather wrote to his sister in 1916.
As always, there is more to the story, so I’ll keep digging.
Do you have ancestors you want to find out more about? Contact me. I’ll be running a holiday special soon. I also have gift certificates to purchase for that hard-to-buy person on your Christmas list.
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