Tag Archives: First Church in Ludlow

Intro to Genealogy and Family Research: Classes, Lectures and More!


Plenty of classes, lectures and series coming up:

1) Tonight I’m beginning another 5-week course at First Church in Ludlow with up to 12 participants. We’ll meet once a week for 5 weeks. That’s a good number so that I can dig into any interesting cases that come up.

2) I’m halfway through a lecture series at Hitchcock Free Academy.

3) The Western Mass Genealogical Society is sponsoring an open house in April celebrating the 40th anniversary of their founding. I’m been a member to a few years there but I’ll also be speaking at the event.

4) The first series of classes are now over at the Yellow House Center for Community Learning in Palmer. Apparently it was well received as they’ve booked me for 2 more series’. One will start in early June and the other in late July.

5) The weekly meetings at Chicopee Public Library will continue. March will bring an open house on the subject of genealogy with a number of speakers, myself including!

Please get in touch with me if you’re interested in attending any of these genealogical events! Comment here on the blog, call me at (413) 233-4866, or you can always check the web site: Old Bones Genealogy and Family Research. I’ll try to get everything updated on the site in the next day or so!

Genealogy Research Made Simple

There was a cartoon in the paper a while ago that I had to save: “Shoe” by Chris Cassatt & Gary Brookins. The character “The Senator” was being interviewed by the reporter who asks, “What initially inspired you to run for president?” The Senator goes on to explain his interest in tracing his family’s roots, searching through old records, etc. only to discover that it took too much of his time. So he decided to get into politics. “What does all that have to do with a presidential bid” asked the reporter. Holding up the newspaper, the Senator replies, “Now, you boys in the press are doing it for me!”

So the real answer is that there’s nothing simple about genealogy and the research it demands. Armed with the mantra that “Genealogy without research is Mythology”, we delve into areas that we really had no idea ever existed! I’m going to blog about what got me started (it wasn’t a presidential bid!) where its taken me and the challenges I face for my own background and that of the many people who have been attending my classes and asking for my assistance.

Suffice it to say for now that I’ve found many surprises, a few “lost inheritances” (NOT MINE!!!) and many new friends around the country who to whom I just happen to be related. The Moore’s in Alabama, the Robison’s in Missouri, the Robinson’s in Indiana, the Blodgett’s and the Lillie’s in New York and Massachusetts, the Casey’s in California, the Bassett’s in ….well… all over! Michigan, Ohio, Colorado, Massachusetts, Texas, Hawaii… the list goes on. These aren’t just names I found in old records; these are people with whom I’ve communicated, listened to their stories and discovered what a small world this really is.

I’m can legitimately count a couple of presidents in my “collateral” lines. William Howard Taft and I share a common ancestor, Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of the founders of the city where I was born, Springfield, Massachusetts. The deacon was also the progenitor of Harry Chapin and Marion Morrison who you would all know as John Wayne. Yes, they’re cousins, albeit distant! I can count pilgrims and Puritans (there’s a difference) from Plymouth Colony including a great grandfather who fell off the Mayflower and had to be rescued, John Howland. Look up his story! And I have no less than 12 direct ancestors who are Revolutionary War Patriots. My 4th Great Grandfather, Hezekiah Robion, was a veteran of the East Tennessee Volunteers in the War of 1812. I have direct ancestors who were Confederates and others who were Yankees.

And the list goes on and on. Stay tuned…

February 2, 1913—Do They “Celebrate” Groundhogs Day in Canada???

Here’s the last page that I’ve transcribed ahead of time. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be transcribing directly from Clem Dickson’s diary, “Lest We Forget”. It’s getting pretty fragile so I hope I can work with it without causing any additional wear and tear.

Sunday, February 2, 1913

We did not get up till 830 this morning. Our morning to sleep. We had breakfast in Jenkins. Then the day’s work starts.

By the way, Karen and I went to a fundraiser at First Church in Ludlow this morning called “Ice Cream for Breakfast.” This a “really?” moment: Ice cream for breakfast? REALLY?!?!? The place was MOBBED!!! I think this will catch on….go figure!

And yes, “First Church in Ludlow” was the first church in Ludlow, MA. It was established in 1774 and the first minister was a guy named Pelatiah Chapin. By an outrageous coincidence, Rev Pelatiah turns out to be an early cousin of mine, a few times removed, of course! More on that in another post…it gets sorta interesting!

Old Bones on YouTube!

Great news…I think!  I’ve finally figured out how to get my debut performance on Ludlow Community TV uploaded to YouTube.  Click here http://youtu.be/3GqKT2WEov4 to view. This one is about basics. But I just recorded the second session where we talked about interviewing relatives as a part of your family research.  I’ll be uploading that one later this week.  Comments are welcome!!  And don’t forget to visit www.oldbones.co where I try to keep up with all upcoming programs.

Introduction to Genealogy Sessions will continue at First Church in Ludlow

The fundraiser for the First Church in Ludlow that just completed was a very successful program. I believe that all the participants learned at least something and most picked up a lot of information regarding doing their own family research.  In some cases, the participants have asked me to help them along, which is, of course, my business!!

We covered a great many topics from simply getting started.  How?  Just write what you know.  The easiest tool to keep track of that data is a pedigree chart.  You start with yourself and build generations back as far as you know.  Names, dates, births, marriages, deaths, locations….whatever you can remember.

Then the verification process begins.  Did Uncle Fred come to the United States in 1893 or 1898?  Was great grandma married once, twice…or three times!!

In a nutshell, we filled 5 weeks with an enormous amount of information.  Everyone took notes and everyone left with more than they expected, I believe, because I tried my best to give everyone their own packets consisting of their own family’s census records, draft registration cards, birth, marriage and death records…whatever relevant documents I could find pertaining to each person.

So, now we begin again.  I’ve requested the opportunity to conduct another series of classes and the Church has given me the green light.

Who do you know that would be interested in spending about an hour and a half on Monday nights to learn about becoming a genealogical detective?

Contact me directly at dave@oldbones.co or check out the web site at www.oldbones.co.