David Coon: A Civil War story… and tragedy.

David Coon and Mary Ann (Adams)

I spent a great deal of time transcribing the typewritten copies of handwritten letters of David Coon to his wife and children from Confederate prison, marking the days until his subsequent death from disease. The original transcriptions were completed by his son, Dr. William B. Coon in 1913, one for each family member. My father-in-law …

Some skeletons in the closet are worse than others.

Jamestown teen girl found to have been a victim of cannibalism.

During my years of genealogical research, I’ve discovered numerous ‘ skeletons in the closet ‘ and scandals that at a shorter distance in time would be hard to deal with.   Separated by decades and even centuries, however, a lot of these misdeeds become more titillating and not quite as scandalous. I’ve found polygamy, traitorous …

Researching Welsh Quakers in Pennsylvania.

Welsh Quakers. Bryn Mawr, near Dolgelly. Built by Rees Lews. The birthplace of Rowland Ellis, 1650.

Welsh Quaker ancestors are the cultural group from which the majority of the ancestors of my children originate (on my husband’s side).   One of the benefits of researching this culture is that the people were religious, often educated (could read and write) and were very good at documenting vital statistics and events. As a …

Researching paternal or maternal lines: Is one better than the other?

Emery maternal ancestors.

When researching paternal or maternal lines, the tendency seems to be to place more value – and therefore time and effort – into the paternal lines. Is it true that following paternal lines is better than following maternal lines?   In my mind, no. The other side of this question is: “Should genealogy research concentrate …

Transcription: Civil War Letters of Private David Coon (1824-1864)

David Coon and Mary Ann (Adams)

Transcription of the final pages of this extensive project of the Civil War Letters of Private David Coon was completed April 10, 2013.   Page 1… FOREWORD. The following letters, written by David Coon to his wife and children, are here collected, carefully copied from the originals. Many of the letters were written on such …

Transcription: Deposition of Abigail Williams regarding Mr. Jacobs, his son George, granddaughter Margaret and Mr. and Mrs. English.

Abigail Williaposition of Abigail Williamsms' deposition.

Deposition of Abigail Williams regarding Mr. Jacobs, his son George Jacobs, granddaughter Margaret Jacobs, Mr. and Mrs. English and Sarah Churchwell.   Abigail Williams verifyeth & saith that an old man that goes with two sticks hath appeared to & hurt her many times by pinching & bringing the book for her to get her …

An ancestral doppelganger is discovered!

Portrait of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky.

My biggest fascination with my genealogy research is finding old photos of the people – especially any rare ancestral doppelganger to current family members.   These images bring some life to the profile created by the fact finding of my research and brings these characters closer and makes them more relatable and understandable. A while …