Monday, March 23, 2009
It's a genealogical gold-mine!
A gold-mine of requests, that is!
I am still in the midst of transferring my family tree file from Family Tree Maker to Legacy. I finally completed my husband's side a week ago, and am working on mine, which is (at this point) far more extensive. We are talking thousands of people from very well-documented New England families, for the most part.
Of course, there are variations - my Italian great-great grandparents, who came to Massachusetts in the 1890's, my British great-great grandfather, whom came to Connecticut in the 1870's, and the odd and unexpected Southern side (originally from Perquimmans and Tyrrell Counties in North Carolina, and from Norfolk County, Virgnia before that), that creeped in through marriage to one of the many sailors in the Winsor family from Duxbury, Massachusetts!
Meanwhile, the past week has also brought me many genealogy-related emails. One asked me about my Westgate ancestors, one about my husband's Blackden (Blagdon, Blagden) ancestors, and my sister asked me to research her fiancee's paternal name.
My sister's request is the most difficult to fulfill. "Daviage" is a rare name and I can not find it anywhere! I can find her fiancee's mother and uncle in the Social Security Death Index. I can find another uncle all over the internet. But if you look in the 1920 or 1930 censuses, I can not find his grandfather.
I told my sister that I need more information, of course.
Her fiancee's maternal lineage is easy-peasy. They are old New Englanders. We end up being cousins, of course!
But his father's side? I'm not sure. His mother was caucasian, but his father is African-American. This would be my first foray into "black" ancestry and, honestly, it has been something I have wanted to research for a long time now! I've always been curious about the challenges of documenting African-American ancestors.
The funny thing is, despite the way the "Daviage" name sounds, it does not appear to be French. Or, at least, not French-Canadian. It shows up predominantly in English records! So I don't know what to make of his ancestry just yet... A Caucasian ancestor back there? Adaptation of the name from the family who "owned" them during slave times?
We honestly don't know.
This will certainly be a one-step-at-time process, unlike New England genealogy where you can often hit upon a connection (say, the Alden name comes up), and when you've proven that this particular Alden daughter is your ancestress, immediately go to Mayflower silver books, volume 16, parts 1, 2 and 3, and put together a family tree for that particular branch in 60 seconds flat.
Nuh-uh. This one is going to take some serious genealogical Nancy Drew-ing on my part, and I am looking forward to it!