Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

John Howland's grave

John Howland’s grave (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Page from William Bradford's Of Plimoth Planta...

Page from William Bradford’s Of Plimoth Plantation containing the text of the Mayflower Compact (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today nearly got away from me without my recognition of a very special birthday.  I’ll give you a hint: He was born 342 years ago today (Julian Calendar!).  John Howland was a Mayflower passenger who nearly didn’t make it!  There’s a well-documented, elaborate story detailing the events.  Suffice it to say that he had had enough of the “unpleasant” atmosphere below deck toward the end of a grueling journey.  John went to get a breath of fresh air and…oops! He fell overboard.  Thankfully, the crew spotted him and were able to fish him out of the churning sea and back on board.

Yes, thankfully!  If they had lost him, you wouldn’t be reading this post!

English: Photograph of the John Howland House ...

English: Photograph of the John Howland House built in 1666 in Plymouth, Mass. Photographed circa 1921 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Kunkle Koincidence

English: Photo of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

English: Photo of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Genealogy Road Show has a lot going for it.  They are able to cover many more family stories in a single episode than WDYTYA (either US or UK) and Finding Your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  Not that the others aren’t worth watching.  Quite the contrary.  I enjoy the stories and I enjoy hearing how the deep family stories are uncovered.

Tonight, I wanted to mention an odd “koincidence” that I noticed in last night’s show.

Dream a Little Dream (Cass Elliot album)

Dream a Little Dream (Cass Elliot album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First I should mention that although the surname “Kunkle” isn’t on any list of the most popular. It’s far down the list after all the “Smith” and “Jones” families.  But “Kunkle” jumps out at me simply because I know of an individual named Kunkle who lives and works here in Massachusetts.  This particular Kunkle is also related to a very famous personality from the 60’s, Mama Cass Elliot! As most of us from that generation already know, Mama Cass was a spectacular talent (IMHO) who died tragically over 40 years ago.  I can still hear her singing “Dream a Little Dream of Me.”

OK, back to genealogy.  Last night’s show featured an elderly woman, Emma Musgrove Dasenbrock, who was accompanied by her son, Timothy.  She knew literally nothing about her mother’s side of her family as her mother had died about a year after Emma’s birth. Mary Tedesco did a marvelous job with Mrs. Dasenbrock making her and her son feel quite comfortable as she rolled out the unknown family mysteries.  As it turns out, her mother was a descendant of the immigrant Phillip Kunkle who arrived around 1840.  Phillip and his wife Margaret had a son named Edward who married Anna.  Their daughter and Emma’s mother was Barbara Kunkle.  Kunkle…an seemingly rare if not odd name.  But a Kunkle nonetheless.

Now here’s the part I believe most people missed.  Later in the show,  as Josh Taylor was working with Julie Bryar, he displayed a 1933 Canadian Immigration document which, on line 5, showed Julie’s great grandfather, Julius Marsalko.  Who noticed the name on line 4?  It just happens to be “James KUNKLE”!!

It’s a small world after all!

FYI Both Julius Marsalko and James Kunkle were stamped “REJECTED” for admission!!

Related articles

Judy G Russell, JD, CG, CGL “Visits” Western Mass Genealogical Society

If I’ve ever prepared for a monthly meeting of WMGS, it’s this month’s meeting. It will be our 4th virtual meeting, each with an increasing level of technology and the resultant learning curve.

English: British genealogist and heraldist Sir...

English: British genealogist and heraldist Sir Arthur Vicars (1862–1921), Ulster King of Arms and Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ve has some high profile guests in virtual environments over the past year interspersed with local genealogists.  For example, Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, was our guest late in our 2013-2014 season.  Big success!  Great program!  We’d love to have her again!

A few months later, our next virtual guest was Dick Eastman, genealogist and publisher of the monthly Eastman’s Online Genealogical Newsletter. You can subscribe to the basic account at no charge with a small fee for the “Plus Edition.” He spent the evening helping our members understand how far MyHeritage has grown and the ins and outs of using it as a research resource.  Very informative and helpful. And he’s right…MyHeritage has grown by leaps and bounds and through that growth is challenges the “big guns” such as Ancestry.com.

Last November, we were challenged to organize our research in 12 months with one project per month by “DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy.”  She had 12 challenges with 3 bonus challenges that were handed out at random to 15 WMGS members.  They each took the “hot seat” to be personally challenged by DearMYRTLE to tackle the project they had been handed when they walked in the door.  in addition to her genealogical community, you can visit her public Facebook page.

Keep in mind that these guest presenters were nowhere near our meetings which take place at the Agawam Senior Center in Agawam Massachusetts.  They were each sitting comfy at home while they talked to us in real time and we were able to interact with them.  What a world!

This Wednesday, 4 February 2015, our guest will be Judy G Russell, the Legal Genealogist. I’ve

Judy G Russell, JD, CG, CGL

Judy G Russell, JD, CG, CGL

heard Judy speak many times and I’m always impressed.  She’s a trained attorney and a highly respected genealogist.  You can tell from her post-nominals: JD, CG and CGL.  JD is her law degree, “Doctor of Jurisprudence“.  CG is her designation as a Certified Genealogist, not a small feat!  CGL refers to Certified Genealogical Lecturer, another professional milestone.  I always have told my genealogy research classes that the easiest ancestor to research is a criminal.  Judy is here to prove that concept with “Rogues, Rascals and Rapscallions: The Family Black Sheep.”  Can’t wait for this one!

She’ll be visiting with us via Google+ Hangouts on Air.  Our membership is certainly invited to come to the meeting in person, of course.  But if anyone cannot make it for any reason whatsoever, they can sit at home and actually participate live!  Most of our members belong to our “WMGS Google+ Community” as well as having paid memberships in the Society.  Only paid members will have access to the program after it is archived at YouTube.

If you haven’t experienced a Google+ Hangout or joined a Google+ Community, it’s worth

thetime…there are thousands that cater to nearly every interest.  You should take a look at the technology and the different types of Hangouts: private, one-on-one hangouts, business meetings, applicant interviews, educational broadcasts…all with FREE technology!

If you can be with us Wednesday night, great!  We’d love to have you.

One more thought:  If your in or near New England, please consider attending the New England Regional Genealogical Conference, April 15 – 18 in Providence, Rhode Island.  Get the details here: NERGC.

 

Where’d They Go???

This is getting a little frustrating!  I’ve put up…or tried to put up…a few new posts.  Then POOF!

English: American genealogist Joseph Lemuel Ch...

English: American genealogist Joseph Lemuel Chester (a.k.a. Julian Cramer, 1821–1882). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They’re gone and I can’t find them.  And WordPress can’t find them!

But, I’m going to just soldier on and hope for the best.  Lots of interesting things are going on. That was the inspiration to post “Busy Year.”  But I have no idea if it’s out there somewhere.  So here goes.

First, I was nominated for and elected to be the president of NEAPG, the New England Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.  High regional profile and I’m getting to know some of the best known and most talented genealogists throughout New England.

But I also want to tell you this little story. In early January, I was invited to join a private Google+ Community, “NEAPG Lunch with Dave.”  It came from a highly credentialed and well known genealogist, Barbara Mathews.  Barbara is a Certified Genealogist, author of several genealogical books and articles,  and was recently named Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. I’ve known Barbara for about 2 years mostly through NEAPG.  I also participate in her NGSQ study group once a month.  So, in order to maintain good relationships, I accepted the invitation naively unaware of which “Dave” she was referencing.  I had to wait to see who else was invited.  Turns out, 3 other well respected and highly accomplished genealogists were also invited. I mean, to be invited to meet with this group was flattering to say the least.  As it turns out, the purpose of the lunch was to provide me with some background and working knowledge of the status of NEAPG and offer me their assistance in my new role.  I was not a complete stranger to NEAPG.  I had been a member for a little over a year before taking the Vice President’s role.  But the “top spot” carried with it quite a bit more in the way of responsibilities.

So on a Friday a couple of weeks ago, I met with Barbara, Kate Lowrie, Tim Firkowski and Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt, all past board members of NEAPG and equally accomplished professional genealogists in their own right.  Lunch, or more accurately, school was at Amici Trattoria in Shrewsbury, Mass.  I admitted to them that my visceral reaction to the invitation for “Lunch with Dave” left me wondering “Who’s Dave” but I was quick to figure that out!

The lunch was great and the help they collectively provided was priceless. Polly invited us all back to her house for some socializing so the day turned out to be quite an “event,” at least from my perspective!

Now all the pieces are coming together nicely.  I’m accompanied in this adventure by Michelle Fontaine our new Treasurer, Jennifer Shoer as Secretary and Brent Chadwick, Vice President.  We’ve already begun a good stream of communication, held a few “virtual” board meetings and our new Program Committee co-chaired by Polly and Cathi Wiest Desmarais has the year pretty much mapped out!  I’m determined that as a group, we’re going to put together an interesting, educational and mutually helpful year for all the membership!

More later, especially if I’ve fixed the phantom blog-post problem!!

One more comment: Go PATRIOTS!!

“If It’s Online…It’s True” — Abraham Lincoln

The whimsical quote above is something I found somewhere…probably online… and I thought I’d share it with you. I was hoping it would be a humourous segue into this subject.

It occurred to me as I was watching WDYTYA, that if anyone took a tally of what was discovered on line, specifically by the show’s sponsor, Ancestry.com , and what needed to be researched in libraries, archives, repositories, church records, town halls, private collections, et al, that it would clearly demonstrated that no, as a matter of fact, it’s NOT all online!

The amount of data that can be discovered at home by logging in to a variety of websites both free and subscription is quite definitely increasing, seemingly by leaps and bounds. We see numbers such as so-and-so “…has added 3,500,00 records…” with some more and some less. Without knowing how many more records there are to index and post, it almost seems as though we’re nearly done so who needs the libraries, archives, repositories, church records, town halls, private collections, et al?

I’ve seen estimates that the internet contains 5% or less of the available data. Others estimate upwards of 15%. But the fact remains that even the sponsor of a very popular program dealing with genealogical research which is itself an internet based research resource still employs dozens of professionals to get the job done. If Ancestry.com needs professionals to put their program together, how can any hobbyists or private family researcher or professional genealogist hope to do better?

I’m just sayin’!

Hezekiah’s Farm

This link is to an aerial view of what was my 4th great grandfather’s farm in Alabama. http://www.findaspring.com/locations/north-america/usa/robinson-hollow-spring-elkmont-alabama/. It’s located on Robinson

HESAKIAH ROBRSON: Yet another way to spell Hezekiah Robinson or is it Robison or maybe Robertson!!

HESAKIAH ROBRSON: Yet another way to spell Hezekiah Robinson or is it Robison or maybe Robertson!!

Hollow along Robinson Road near Elkmont, Limestone Co, Alabama where you’ll find Robinson Family Cemetery.

After marrying Anne Grantham who died young and then his sister-in-law Tabitha Grantham, Hezekiah Robinson (or Robison or Robertson or Robson) settled here after his service in the War of 1812.  The Robinson Family Cemetery is here but hidden by the trees in this view.  He was born sometime between 1777 and 1784 in Virginia and died in 1852 in Elkmont on his farm. His gravestone reads “HESAKIAH ROBRSON”!  Another case of “speeling duzn’t cownt”!!

Hezekiah’s widow, Tabitha spent almost 30 years trying to claim her widow’s pension. Government bureaucracy and the confusion as to how to spell his last name, letters went back and forth from Elkmont, Alabama to Washington for years!  She finally won out but died about 2 years later.

Can I fix it?

Granted, this is a genealogy blog.  And I rarely post non-genealogy subjects.  However, I’ve been working on this for 3 days and it’s a bit frustrating!

bluehost

bluehost (Photo credit: msandy)

The goal was to put my website and my blog “under one roof” so to speak.  The web host I used for my website was GoDaddy with whom I had become increasingly dissatisfied.  Many of my friends an collaborators had recommended BlueHost.  OK!  They know  better, so here I go and begin the transition.

Without boring you with the phone calls, chats and slogging through the menus and learning the new terminology, I can tell you that I now know that my blog was with WordPress.COM!  BlueHost can only deal with WordPress.NET.  Hmmmmm.  Should that make a difference?  Apparently the answer is a resounding “YES!”

English: The logo of the blogging software Wor...

English: The logo of the blogging software WordPress. Deutsch: WordPress Logo 中文: WordPress Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fix for this was allegedly easy.  My question is, “Easy for whom?”  Some allegedly easy steps: 1) Go to the original blog’s dashboard; 2) Export “ALL” into an XML file which, for the sake of ease, I put on my desktop; and 3) Import the file to my new WordPress blog at BlueHost.  Only the posts from July 2012 to March 2013 showed up! After 4 attempts guiding by 4 different support Techs, I let it go for another day!

“Someday” I’ll get to it.  In the meantime, I believe I’ve lost all of the followers who have gathered over the past 2 years.  Maybe it’s a good thing…..I don’t think so!

Dark, cloudie and cold…Tuesday, March 11, 1913

Today was dark and cloudie

Today was dark and cloudie

Today was dark cloudie and cold with a little snow fall. Cullerne and I in the car all alone. We did nothing all morning
In the afternoon I copied a few notes. After supper Arthur came over too the car to fix his album
staz till 9:30 then I went to bed.

I don’t know about you, but it seems that there are a lot of days when they “stay in the car all day”. How did they ever build the Grand Truck Pacific Railway? I imagine that things will pick up as we move into the spring.

Boston University

Let me take a short break from “Lest We Forget” to talk a little about the BU course in Genealogical research. I’ll admit the course is a little tougher than I expected. Especially when I submitted an assignment and anxiously awaited the results. Well, the grade cam back at an abysmal number: “You seem to grasp all of the concepts in this module and all of the information is well presented. However […dontcha just love “however’s”…] you missed the central goal. You’ve written a report that….

And on and on… The grade, as I said, was abysmal and I figured I’d have to ace every single element for the balance of the course to keep my head above the line. I sent a “private message” to the grader in a feeble attempt at reconsideration. HA! Reconsideration…. That was out of the question. I know that because I got a response that didn’t even address the points that I made in my plea. Instead, the TA sent a note to all the students to explain that this module has 3 assignments: 1 is graded on a scale based on 30 points, then another 30 and finally 40 for a total of 100. Well, that puts my “junk” score back in the running so I felt much better. Can’t wait to submit this week’s work!

All in all, this course seems to run from really easy “stuff” that I’ve been doing for a while to really hard “stuff” that I never even considered… Well, that why we take these courses.

Wish me luck!