Taking a Blog Holiday (Obviously)

If the lack of posting this week hasn’t given it away, I’m taking a holiday off from the blog, probably until Monday there won’t be much on here. It’s not so much a break from the blog, but a break from having to follow everything, which is really most of the work. Sometimes it’s just relaxing to take leave of the RSS reader and bathe in the blissful ignorance.

Christmas time was down in Nashville with Bitter’s family, but we took a route through Southern Virginia to do some genealogical research. Then on the way back from Nashville we spent two days in D.C., one day at the National Archives, and the second at the Daughters of the American Revolution Library. I have most of my family back to the boat. My mom’s side was easy to research, because they are all recent immigrants, except two lines. One line are technically recent immigrants from Canada, but they ended up in the land of snow and beavers because they were Quaker loyalists on Long Island who were kicked out after the Revolution for supporting the crown. The other is possibly tied to a Colonial Delaware family, but I’m not making any headway on proving that.

My dad’s side, on the other hand, has four Revolutionary War Veterans, and one additional patriot who paid supply taxes. There are also four Civil War veterans, one with the 71st Pennsylvania Vols., two with the 29th Pennsylvania Vols., and one with the 1st West Virginia Vols. All were Army of the Potomac, though the 29th was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland later in the war and participated in Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign and March to the Sea (sorry about that, to any of my Georgia readers).

Researching colonial lines is difficult, requiring old fashioned research in libraries, and careful examination of historical documents. Ancestry.com isn’t of much help for people prior to 1800. Fortunately for me, my entire family stayed in Philadelphia, which makes it easier than it is for Bitter, whose family moved every few generations. I managed to gather quite a lot of clues at the DAR Library from a compiled index of Philadelphia church records from 1644-1780. I feel I don’t have very long to get back to the boat, since I’m starting to get back to the time period where the only people in the Delaware Valley were Indians, Swedes, and Dutchmen. William Penn didn’t arrive in the New World with his charter for the Province of Pennsylvania until 1682. Whether I have ancestors who were original settlers of Pennsylvania will be difficult to prove or disprove, since Penn’s passenger manifest from his first voyage did not survive.

5 thoughts on “Taking a Blog Holiday (Obviously)”

  1. When I saw the post title, for a terrible moment I was afraid that you would be taking a long-term “holiday” from blogging. Glad you’ll be back next week – enjoy your time off!

  2. Cool stuff about genealogy. My dad’s mom was in the DAR, she was a bit of a social climber – and/but as kids of Lefties we were already lead to believe membership in the DAR was some kind of Fascist Rightwing Nuttery. The genealogical link is to one Gen. Wm. Lee Davidson after whom Davidson College is named, sooo… the College is “celebrated” as a beloved Academic Feat, while the actual relations and linkage is denigrated as Warmongering-something. It’s tough growing up with suck cognitive dissonance built-in!

  3. I know the blogging is tough sometimes but I appreciate the effort you put into it. Your site is a daily read (or at least daily check for stuff to read) for me.

  4. I hear where you are coming from with Ancestry.com. It has proven useful in getting some documentation (census records and passenger manifests), but once I started dealing with ancestors that were born, lived, and died in Italy, pretty much everything here is a dead end. At this point I would have to head over there and dig through church records, since from what I’ve been told, in rural southern Italy there was very little in the way of government record-keeping and a lot of what was documented in your life were religious events.

    One neat thing I found out were the names of two of my great-great-great grandparents. What’s interesting is back when they were born (1850s) there wasn’t even a unified Italy yet, so technically their birthplace would have been the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

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