Wednesday, March 2, 2011 | By: Sherlock

Texas Independence Day, 02 Mar 2011: The Father of Texas

Today is Texas Independence Day, the day Texas adopted the Texas Declaration of Independence one hundred and seventy-five years ago, on 02 Mar 1836. In honor of today, we will be featuring Stephen Austin, the claimed "Father of Texas".

Much of Stephen Austin's maternal family helped mold the formation of early Colonial America. They held political positions, financed important industries and eventually played the key-role in the settlement of Texas.

Stephen Fuller Austin was born on 03 Nov 1793 in what is now called Austinville, which lies in Wythe County, Virginia. He was the child of Moses Austin and Mary Brown. Moses Austin was a key figure in the development of the American lead industry. He was most importantly the first to obtain permission to settle in Spanish Texas and also established the first Anglo settlement West of the Mississippi River.

Mary Brown was the daughter of Abia Brown and Margaret Sharp, natives of New Jersey. Abia was appointed deputy of the New Jersey Provincial Congress in 1775 and also 1776. He held vast estate holdings in the iron mining and smelting industries. He at one point in time, appointed as Justice of the Peace by the Governor of New Jersey.
Margaret Sharp was the daughter and granddaughter of two extremely influential and powerful men. Her father was Isaac Sharp, originally from Ireland and later settling in New Jersey. He was a member of the Council of Proprietors, a judge of Salem County, New Jersey and finally a member of the New Jersey General Assembly. Isaac's father, Anthony Sharp, was an exceptionally successful wool merchant in Ireland and also a key member of the Dublin Quaker Community. He later became one of the original shareholders of West New Jersey in 1677, which lead to his son Isaac Sharp settling in Colonial America.
Monday, February 28, 2011 | By: Sherlock

National Science Day: A Confederate General, A Millionaire & The Author Of The National Anthem

With a title like that, I bet you're aching to know who this blog entry is about! Do you know who Thomas Hunt Morgan is? Not many people do.. but you should! Thomas Hunt Morgan's discoveries in science later formed the basis of modern genetics. Because of much of his research and teachings, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Thomas Hunt Morgan comes from very notable roots, which we're going to focus on. He was born on 25 Sep 1866 in Lexington, Fayette County, Tennessee. He was the son of Charlton Hunt Morgan and his wife Ellen Key Howard.

Charlton Hunt Morgan was the son of Calvin Cogswell Morgan and his wife Henrietta Hunt. Other than Charlton, Calvin and Henrietta gave birth to a son named John Hunt Morgan, who would eventually become a General during the American Civil War. It appears that the Morgan family seemed to be on "hard times" for quite a while. Calvin Morgan lost his home in 1831, from failing to pay property taxes on his pharmacy. Calvin's father Luther Morgan, had experienced a downward fall in the economy for cotton which resulted in him mortgaging his estate.

Charlton Hunt Morgan's wife, Henrietta Hunt, seems to have come from money, though. Her father was John Wesley Hunt, a very well-known businessman and early leader in Lexington, Kentucky. He was actually one of the founders of Lexington. During his lifetime, he became a successful businessman in hemp manufacturing, banking and also in horsebreeding. He was also known for introducing the 'Messenger' strain in horses, during the winter months of 1839 and 1840. John Wesley Hunt was one of the first self-made millionaires, living west of the Allegheny Mountains.

As mentioned above, Thomas Hunt Morgan's mother was Ellen Key Howard. She herself was the daughter of Charles Howard and his wife Elizabeth Phoebe Key. Charles Howard was a native of Maryland and the son of John Eagar Howard. Not many know the name, but John Eager Howard was once Governor and also Senator of Maryland. He had also served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, achieving the rank of captain and eventually colonel. He earned himself a silver medal from Congress because of his leadership skills at the Battle of Cowpens.

Elizabeth Phoebe Key is the daughter of an extremely famous man, known in every household in America. He was Francis Scott Key, author of The Star-Spangled Banner, the national anthem on the the United States of America. A lesser-known fact about Francis Scott Key, was that he was an accomplished lawyer. The father of Francis was John Ross Key, another Officer in the Continental Army, during the Revolutionary War.

Friday, February 25, 2011 | By: Watson

Kim Cattrall - Looking For A Man Without A Face

Ok so tonight's episode of WDYTYA was more of a human interest story than it was about genealogy and yet I still found it interesting.  Sometimes we find when researching our roots that these types of deviation from genealogy do happen.
I found it interesting that no one mentioned the Australia Archives Records Search to look up his passenger list info and so I decided to have a look and this is what I found.

SP1122/1 N1962/13148 BAUGH George [British migrant; naturalisation file] [box 6806]
Access status: Open with exception
Location: Sydney
1962 - 1962 12441406

Item details for: SP1122/1, N1962/13148
    Request copy
BAUGH George [British migrant; naturalisation file] [box 6806]
Contents date range
1962 - 1962
Series number
Click to see which government agency or person created this item.
Control symbol
Item barcode
Access status
Open with exception
Reason for restriction
Date of decision
24 Nov 2008
Physical format
PAPER FILES AND DOCUMENTS (allocated at series level)
Records authority class number
Date registered
19 Nov 2008
  When you click on the Reason for restriction links above it gives some very enlightening info -

33(1)(a) Information or matter the disclosure of which under this Act could reasonably be expected to cause damage to the security, defence or international relations of the Commonwealth.
33(1)(d) Information or matter the disclosure of which under this Act would constitute a breach of confidence.
33(1)(g) Information or matter the disclosure of which under this Act would involve the unreasonable disclosure of information relating to the personal affairs of any person (including a deceased person).

Item details for: A1877, 17/03/1961 STRATHMORE BAUGH G
    Request copy
BAUGH George born 16 September 1908; Isabella (nee Oliver) born 5 June 1918; Irene Ann born 21 July 1940; Penelope Isabel born 17 July 1949; John Oliver born 16 April 1952; George William born 1 September 1959; travelled per STRATHMORE departing Tilbury on 17 March 1961 under the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme
Contents date range
1960 - 1961
Series number
Click to see which government agency or person created this item.
Control symbol
Item barcode
Access status
Date of decision
13 Nov 2008
Physical format
PAPER FILES AND DOCUMENTS (allocated at series level)
Records authority class number
Date registered
03 Aug 2004

Sounds to me that perhaps he didn't keep this information totally secret as we previously were led to believe on the show.
Saturday, February 19, 2011 | By: Watson

Rosie O'Donnell - WDYTYA? Episode 3

Tonight's episode of Who Do You Think You Are will feature Rosie O'Donnell.   She was born born March 21, 1962 and raised as an Irish Roman Catholic.

When she was very young  her mother passed away of breast cancer.  No one ever talked about her mother again and so Rosie hadn't any clues about that side of her family until she did the show.  This chart shows her family tree.

                                                      Andrew                         Anne
                                                                         Murtagh                       Doyle
                                                                   (1811 Ire. - 1876)  (1829 Ire. - 1896)
                                                                                             Michael         < ------ >         Ann
                                                                                             Murtagh       m.  1878     Diamond
                                                                                 Anna   < ----- >  Daniel Andrew    < -----> Katherine
                                                                       (1881 – Canada)              Murtha                          McKenna
                                                                                                                (1894 -
                                      Edward Joseph                                                                           Rosann
                                         O'Donnell                              <-------- >                                     Murtha
                                                                                           m. 1959                                (1934 - 1973)
                                                         | _________________________________________|
                                                                 |             |             |                |                |
                                                             Rosie    Daniel   Edward   Timothy   Maureen

Tracing her maternal line she finds what happens to a mystery woman in a picture (who happens to be her Grandfather's first wife and who tragically dies from in a freak accident), re - unites with unknown family, learns of her French - Canadian roots and finally travels to Ireland where she learns of the hardships her ancestors endured in the workhouses during the famine.  Famous line (and most real) is when she visited the workhouses and overwhelmed with her ancestors past she comments, "Get me the hell out of here."

By far one of my favourite episodes.

For a complete summary of this episode visit the ProGenealogists Website who participated in helping trace Rosie's family.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 | By: Sherlock

Stockard Channing

Stockard Channing

Stockard Channing was born Susan Antonia Williams Stockard on 13 February 1944 in New York city. She is the daughter of the late Lester Napier Stockard and Mary Alice English.  She is best remembered for her role as Betty Rizzo in the 1978 hit movie Grease.  Her father passed away when she was 16 she leaving her and her sister, Lesly (a former Palm Beach Mayor) an impressive estate.  She studied in Virginia and  took up acting.  A few years later she married her first husband, Walter Channing whose name she still  uses today.  Since then she has married three more times but has no children.

Stockard's mother Mary Alice (1910-2007) was an Irish Catholic whose  Grandfather James (1852) immigrated to the US about 1870.

World War 1
Mary Alice married Lester Napier Stockard (1893) a divorced Protestant whose family's roots can be traced back to the early 1700 in the Tennessee - North Carolina border.
World War 2 Registration Card

Lester, born in Florida,  served
 in the Navy in both World Wars and was a  self made shipping magnate. He eventually moved to Park Ave where he lived until his death about 1960.

Lester's father was Samuel R. Stockard (circa 1838 - 1907 Tennessee) and his grandfather, W.W. Stockard (circa 1811-1882)  His grandmother was Susanah Emaline Reese (circa 1811-1880), daughter of Joel Brevard REESE, son of James Polk REESE ans Elizabeth BREVARD and Sarah RAMSEY. Much of the family is buried in the Reeses Chapel Cemetery McCains, Maury County, Tennessee, USA.

1860 United States Federal Census
about Samuel R Stockard

Name: Samuel R Stockard
Age in 1860: 20
Birth Year: abt 1840
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1860: District 7, Maury, Tennessee
Gender: Male
Post Office: Bigbyville

Household Members:
Name Age
W W Stockard 48
Susanah Stockard 48
Joseph B Stockard 25
Lucinda J Stockard 23
D Franklin Stockard 22
Samuel R Stockard 20
Mary Stockard 17
Martha Stockard 15
Leroy W Stockard 12
William Stockard 9
Neil R Stockard 7
Andrew N Stockard 5
  Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: District 7, Maury, Tennessee; Roll: M653_1264; Page: 348; Image: 108; Family History Library Film: 805264.

William Stockard's father was James, (unknown - 1828 - Tennesse) son of James  and Ellen Trousdale (1757 - 1810) his mother Susanah Polk REESE (1739 - 1839) daughter of James REESE (circa 1740 Maryland - 1828 Tennesse) and Elizabeth BREVARD (1748 North Carolina - 1841).  James' father is David REESE (circa 1709 Wales - 1787 North Carolina).  His father was Reverend David REESE (1680 Wales) and his mother Maud Owens (1685 Wales). Reverand REESE's father was Sir Thomas REES (Abt. 1630) and his mother Maud DE BREWYS (Abt 1635). Sir Thomas was the son of Sir Davydd RHYS and Gwendolyn Gwellion KONAN.

A Simplified Look...

Sir Davyd      Gwendolyn Gwellion
   RHYS                KONAN
           Sir Thomas REES    Maud DEBREWYS
                           Reverend David       Maud
                                 REESE            OWENS
                                                     David                         Unknown
   James                         Ellen                 James                                        Elizabeth
  STOCKARD          TROUSDALE       Folk REESE                                   BREVARD
      |_________________|                           |_________________________|
          James                                         Susannah         <Siblings>             Joel                                 Sarah             
  STOCKARD                                     Polk REESE                          Brevard REESE                        RAMSEY
        |___________________________|                                               |_____________________|
                  William STOCKARD                                                                      Susannah E. REESE
                      (1811-1882 TN)                                                                               (1811-1880 TN)
                                                     | ________________________________________|
                                        Samuel R STOCKARD                                                          Sarah
                                          (1838-1907 TN)                                                                         ?
                                                                                       Lester Napier STOCKARD
                                                                                                   (1893 – 1960)

What will you find?
Saturday, February 12, 2011 | By: Watson

Happy Birthday Mr. President - Abraham Lincoln

"Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865." He was born in Kentucky,  son of Thomas and of Nancy Hanks and died in Washington D.C.

On 4 Nov 1842  he married Mary Ann Todd (December 13,1818  - July 16, 1882 ), in Springfield, Illinois, USA who was the daughter of banker Robert Smith Todd (1791) and  Elizabeth Parker (1794). Mary eventually suffered depression after the deaths of sons and assassination of her husband.

He is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield Illinois along with his wife and children, Edward, (10 Mar 1846 - 1 Feb. 1850), William (21 Dec 1850 - 20 Feb 1862), and Thomas (4 Apr. 1853 - 15 Jul 1851).  Robert (1 Aug 1843 - 26 Jul 1926), the oldest and the only son to live to see adulthood is buried in Arlington National Cemetery along with his wife and son.

Donald Greyfield wrote a wonderful piece on Find a Grave that summaries the life of President Lincoln and is worth a read.  

Sources: Wikipedia , Ancestry, Find a Grave

What Will You Find?

Friday, February 11, 2011 | By: Sherlock

Did You Know Today Was National Inventors' Day?

Not many do! In honor of National Inventors' Day, I thought I'd discuss a fun fact about a very well-known inventor!

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison most known for his invention of the long-lasting electric light bulb. If it were not for Thomas Edison, we still might be a few decades behind in technological research. Not many people know about the past of Thomas Edison and his parents, either.. except maybe all the other nerdy genealogists like us!

Thomas Edison was born on 11 Feb 1847 in Milan, Ohio, to Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr. and his wife Nancy Matthews Elliott. Thomas' father Samuel was an immigrant to America from Canada. He had to leave Canada because he had taken part in the extremely unsuccessful Mackenzie Rebellion in 1837 and 1838. If it were not for this rebellion, Thomas Edison may not have been born!

What's your secret?