Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thoughts on July 1 and July 4

As July 1st (Canadian Independence Day) and July 4th (US Independence Day) approaches, I once again find myself thinking about my Colonial ancestry.

I have several maternal ancestors who arrived on this continent prior to the American Revolution.

[I indicate my web-based sources for the information below, though for most I am relying on the poorly cited research of others.]

1) The Betts and the Stoughtons

My eighth great grandparents, Richard Betts and Joanna Chamberlain were married in Ipswich, Massachusetts Bay Colony - in 1648. It is thought Joanna arrived by 1635, and Richard mid-1640s. [source source]. Joanna Chamberlain was the daughter of Elizabeth Stoughton and Richard Chamberlain, and the granddaughter of Rev Thomas and Katherine Stoughton.

2) Hortons and Langtons

9th great grandparents, Barnabas Horton and Mary Langton are said to have immigrated c. 1630 on the ship "Swallow." [source] - Living in Massachusetts and Connecticut prior to settling in Southold, Long Island.

3) Hallocks

Barnabas Horton's son, Caleb, married Abigail Hallock. Abigail's father, William Hallock, likely arrived in Southold, Long Island ca. 1640. [source]

4) Van Everys

Brothers Myndert and Carsten Frederickse (sons of Frederick Van Iveren) likely immigrated to New Amsterdam in the 1640s or 1650s, with Myndert marrying Catharina Burger (Burghart) in New Amsterdam in 1656. [source]. Most of the descendants of Myndert and Carsten took the surname of either Van Every or Van Avery. Myndert was my 8th great grandfather.

5) Swayzes and Kinges

John Sweezey [Swayze], another eighth great grandfather, immigrated prior to 1650. [source]. He married Catherine Kinge in 1650 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. He settled in Suffolk, Long Island.

Catherine emigrated with her father, William, prior to 1635
They settled at Salem, Massachusetts. He was admitted a freeman there May 25, 1636. He had grants of land of forty acres on Jeffrey's Creek, now Manchester-by-the-Sea; thirty acres at Royal-side at the head of Bass river, now Beverly, and he located his homestead there. He was a grand juror in 1637. He was a member of the First church at Salem, but in 1637 joined the Antinomians and came under the ban of the Salem authorities. He was requested to sever his connection with the new church or have his arms taken away from him. He remained with the new faith and gave up his gun to Lieutenant Danforth. Later he was banished for a time for sheltering the persecuted Quakers. [source]
6) Rosenbergers and Fretzes

Henry Rosenberger (1685-1745) left Germany and arrived in Franconia, Pennsylvania prior to 1729.

Hans (Weaver John) Fretz (1704-1772) left Alsace, Germany and arrived in Bucks County, Pennsylvania approximately 1720.

Their children, Mark Fretz and Elizabeth Rosenberger, were married on May 11, 1773. [source]

[The above list revised from a post I wrote last year]


As for ancestors alive between 1775-1789, the Swayzes and Van Everys ended up Loyalists, and fled to Canada afterwards. The Fretzes and Rosenbergers were Pennsylvania Mennonites, and I've found no evidence that they violated their commitment to peace and took either side.

I still had some Denyer ancestors living in England at the time, though I'm unsure if any were Redcoats.

My paternal ancestors, and half my maternal ancestors were all situated in Eastern and Central Europe (Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Transylvania) and were likely mostly oblivious to the war. Of course, the Polish general, Casimir Pulaski, 'Father of the American Cavalry,' came from Warka, Poland, as did my Newmark ancestors.

I have one branch I haven't yet researched far enough to ascertain where they were in the 18th century, and that is the ancestors of my maternal great great granmother, Sarah (Hartley) Denyer.  So there is still some hope I may someday find a truly Patriotic ancestor.


Poem: A Toast to the First and the Fourth of July

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gamer's Guide to Genealogy (repeat)

A repeat of a post from 2009
You may be familiar with just the traditional 6-sided die. And when someone says "dice" that is the image that comes to mind. However, those who play Role Playing Games (RPGs) such as Dungeons and Dragons are familiar with a number of other variations:

The common shorthand for each is dX where X is the number of sides, so the traditional 6-sided die becomes known as a d6.

It occurred to me that when I reach a point where I am not sure what to do next in my genealogy research, letting the dice decide might be appropriate, or at least fun. So I came up with a system using a d20, and two rolls. (A d6 doesn't have nearly enough choices.)

First Roll - Selecting an Individual

To come up with 20 options, I started with the 16 Great-Great Grandparents, numbers 16-31 ahnentafel. So if 1 through 16 are rolled I allow myself to choose the ancestor listed, collateral descendants, or one of their ancestors.

I've listed mine below, along with their Ahnentafel numbers (binary and decimal)

1 Samuel Newmark (10000 – 16)
2 Rose Cantkert Newmark (10001 – 17)
3 Moshe Leyb Cruvant (10010 – 18)
4 Minnie Mojsabovski Cruvant (10011 – 19)
5 Selig (Dudelsack) Feinstein (10100 – 20)
6 Annie Perlik Feinstein (10101 – 21)
7 Morris Blatt (10110 - 22)
8 Beila Wyman Blatt (10111 - 23)
9 Abraham Deutsch (11000 – 24)
10 Sarah Weiss Deutsch (11001 – 25)
11 Israel Lichtman (11010 – 26)
12 Betty Adler Lichtman (11011 – 27)
13 Samuel Van Every (11100 – 28)
14 Abigail Stuart Van Every (11101 - 29)
15 Ebenezer Denyer (11110 - 30)
16 Sarah Hartley Denyer (11111 – 31)

I rounded out the 20 with four remaining categories:

17 Paternal Grandparents
18 Maternal Grandparents
19 Parents
20 Myself

Roll 2: Action

(I came up with ten actions, so I repeated each one. But a d10 could be used. Or maybe you can come up with ten more.)

1. Google Search ( ;;;
2. Subscriber Site Search (e.g. Ancestry, Footnote, GenealogyBank)
3. Search for online databases in related locales that are new, or you may have missed.
4. Check Source Citations (Verify all data on individual in your database has a cited source.)
5. Interview someone about the individual (or write down your own recollections)
6. Write to a cousin descended from the individual
7. Transcribe a letter/document from, to, or about individual
8. Research the time/place the individual lived.
9. Scan photos/documents related to individual
10. Blog about the individual
11. Google Search ( ;;;
12. Subscriber Site Search (e.g. Ancestry, Footnote, GenealogyBank)
13. Search for online databases in related locales that are new, or you may have missed.
14. Check Source Citations (Verify all data on individual in your database has a cited source.)
15. Interview someone about the individual (or write down your own recollections)
16. Write to a cousin descended from the individual
17. Transcribe a letter/document from, to, or about individual
18. Research the time/place the individual lived.
19. Scan photos/documents related to individual
20. Blog about the individual

Naturally, if you roll a combination that results in an impossible task (e.g. You don't have any letters to transcribe relating to X) roll again.

If you don't know where the closest store is where you can find a set of dice, you can find them online. Gamer's dice are usually sold in sets of 7: a d4, d6, d8, 2 d10s, a d12 and a d20. (the 2 d10s are numbered 1-10 and 10-100). You may be able to find many uses for these die for things in your life you are willing to randomize a bit.

Example, with a d6:

1) Do laundry
2) Clean bathroom
3) Feed dog
4) Feed kids
5) Check Email
6) Hit the snooze bar

If you feel 20 choices isn't enough, they do sell d100s.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What to expect if... (repeat)

A repeated, and slightly revised post from 2007
What to expect when your favorite genealogical conference merges with a local SF convention.

1) Possible panel/seminar topics:
a. Homer Simpson’s Family Tree
b. Genealogy references in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: from Nature's Nobility to graveyard visits.
c. Did your great grandparents read science fiction? An introduction to First Fandom for Young Adults.
d. Did your ancestors get eaten by Grendel? Where would they be buried if they were?
e. Making whoopee in the 17th century, were there any differences? (midnight panel)
f. Podcasting for the Genea-blogger.
g. Heraldry – What your local branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism has to offer your local genealogy society – and vice versa. With a potentially lively discussion on their 'accuracy.'
h. The 1891 and 1901 England Census are online? Is HG Wells listed? (Yes -, image)
i. Which cancellation resulted in a greater loss to television: Who Do You Think You Are (US) or Firefly?

2) Genealogy Guest of Honor: (live via time machine) Alex Haley. Huge line for autographs, but a smaller subset of attendees will turn their nose up, claim the writer was a hack, and refuse to get in line, even if they’ve read all his books.
3) Media Guest of Honor: LeVar Burton - (Geordie LaForge on ST:TNG; Kunta Kinte on Alex Haley's Roots)
4) There will be a masquerade. A chance to dress up like your ancestors – or your future descendents! Prizes will be awarded.
5) Art Show will have new categories for Coats of Arms and family photographs.
6) Free alcohol in the room parties after hours will lead to genealogists logging on to OneWorldTree and adding entries to prove they are descended from Isaac Newton or Beowulf.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Surname Saturday: Cantkert

Discuss a surname and mention its origins, its geographical location(s) and how it fits into your genealogy research.
Cantkert is a surname for which I am uncertain of its origin. I believe it to be the maiden name of my great-great grandmother, Rose.  She married Samuel Newmark in Poland in the late 19th century. The last Polish town of record I have for the Newmark family is Warka, Poland, and JewishGen lists Cantkert in their Warka Surname List.  However, my great great grandmother's surname has appeared differently in several documents. The names of her parents are known only through her death certificate.

I am uncertain if there is any relationship to Ida Cantkert, or her siblings, memorialized in Serge Klarsfeld's French Children of the Holocaust.

The numbering below follows the d'Aboville system. The first digit represents the order surnames make their first appearance on my ahnentafel.  The information in the first two generations is based on some records I have found online and some assumptions noted below.

I've emboldened my direct ancestors.

9. Szmul Cantkert (? - 1894)

9.1 Hirsch Cantkert (?-?) married Bryn __
9.2 Manas Cantkert
9.3 Szmerek Cantkert

9.1.1 Rose Cantkert (1865-1943) married Samuel Newmark (1862-1940)

Follow the descent of Rose and Samuel at 1.1.

My number is

Research Notes

In the 1907 Warka voter lists (available on both JewishGen and Ancestry) there were three apparent Cantkert brothers: Hersz, Manas, and Szmerek - all listed with the father Szmul.  The first two generations above are based on the good possibility that Hersz was the father of my great great grandmother, though it is not certain.  It appears to be an uncommon surname, and a small village, so the matching given name is a good indicator.

Records in the JewishGen databases for which I have recently contacted the Polish State Archives seeking copies:
  • 1894 death record from Warka for a Szmul Josek Cantkert
  • 1893 marriage record for a Manas Cantkert to a Brandla Siniawer
  • 1860 birth record for a Szmerek Cantkert
  • 1887 marriage record for a Szmerka Cantkert to an Ajdla Wortman

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A New Surname List

Below are the ancestral surnames for my wife, Jen, alphabetized, and organized by generational distance.  Similar to how I organized my ancestral surnames in a 2008 post.

1-4 Generations

Baldwin, Bauer, Blackman, Dexheimer, Fulkerson, Gober, Harrison, Mouldon, Olson, Schrock, Sheer, Taylor, Volk, Wallace

5-8 Generations

Abernathy, Armstead, Boyd, Bradley, Campbell, Cowsert, Davenport, Findley, Floyd, Hargrave, Jackson, Jernigan, Langenstein, McGinnis, Matheny, Meekin, Miller, Rolliston, Ruffert, Volckertson, Wentz, Whittmer, Wilkinson

9-12 Generations

DeWitt, Goode, Van Lieuvin, Massingale, Norgraves, Routt, Sharp, Shuttleworth, Wentworth


If you share one of these surnames, especially some of the rarer ones, we'd be interested in hearing from you.  The more surnames you share, naturally, the closer you are likely to be related.

For the first four generations, the geographical location is mostly Missouri.  Then it starts to disperse, ultimately arriving in French Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, and England.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Surname Saturday: Denyer

It's been a year since the last installment, but I return with the Surname Saturday blogging meme.
Discuss a surname and mention its origins, its geographical location(s) and how it fits into your genealogy research.
Denyer is considered by many a nickname for a poor or insignificant man, from the name of a very small medieval coin (Middle English/Old French: Denier).  My Denyer ancestors immigrated to America from England in the 1800s.

The numbering below follows the d'Aboville system, slightly modified to account for multiple spouses.
The first digit represents the order surnames make their first appearance on my ahnentafel.  With this installment, I conclude the 8 surnames of my great grandparents.

I've emboldened my direct ancestors, and __s indicate living, or potentially living, relatives. I've added some italicized geographical notes for my direct ancestors.

8. William DENYER (1770- ) Farlington, Hampshire, England married Jane GOLDFINCH (1770- ) Portsea, Hampshire, England

Marriage Allegation: Denyer, William, of Farlington, lime-burner, 21, b., & Jane Goldfinch, of Portsea, 21, sp., at P., 22 Oct., 1791.

8.1 Georgiana DENYER (1793- ) Hampshire, England
8.2 William DENYER (1794-1848) Hampshire England married Elizabeth SLIVER (1798-1840) New Britain Twp, Bucks Co., Pennsylvania
8.3 John Henry DENYER (1795- ) Hampshire England
8.4 James DENYER (1798- ) Hampshire England
8.5 Barnard Goldfinch DENYER (1800- ) Hampshire England
8.6 Charles DENYER (1802- ) Hampshire England
8.7 Jane DENYER (1804- ) Hampshire England
8.8 George DENYER (1807- ) Hampshire England

William Denyer was baptized July 15, 1795 in Farlington, Hampshire, England. Family histories say he was born in November of 1794. According to the same family histories, William and Elizabeth were married in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 31, 1821.

8.2.1 Samuel Jennings Sliver DENYER (1822-1861) Baltimore, Maryland married Zerelda Ann SINGLETON (-1867)
8.2.2 Elizabeth Ann Sliver DENYER (1825- ) Bucks, PA, married John PRATT (1806-1871)
8.2.3 Ebenezer Opham DENYER (1828-1872) Bucks, PA, married Sarah Ann HARTLEY (1836-1898)
8.2.4 Jane Goldfinch DENYER (1831- ) Bucks, PA, married Henry JOHNSON
8.2.5 William Sliver DENYER (1834- ) Bucks, PA, married (a) Dilly Susanna CORLEY (-1863) and (b)Nancy Emeline RHODES
8.2.6 Leonidas Ross DENYER (1837-1837) New Albany, Indiana

Ebenezer and Sarah were married in Gonzales County, Texas on May 14, 1854 Herminie Aurelia DENYER (1850-1866) Amanda Jane DENYER (1853-1936) married Walter Thomas BRANNON (1852-1930) Robert C.H. DENYER (1854-) married M. Jennie WILDMAN (1860-) Albert Sherwood DENYER, (1856-) Ida Elizabeth Sammie DENYER, (1859-1899) married Lewis Lamar GREEN Minerva PRATT (1846- ) married Joseph McAfee COULTER (1846- ) Emily PRAT (1848-1853) Maria Denyer PRATT (1852-) Mary Susan DENYER (1860-1860) Samuel Wiliam DENYER (1866-1928) married Alice C. GOLLIHAR Margaret Jane McAlpin Monteroy DENYER (1868-1923) married Melvin Elijah VAN EVERY (1863-1929) Ezekiel DENYER (1870-1870)
8.2.5b.1 Andre J DENYER, (1865-) married (a) Sophronia GARDNER and (b) Mary __

According to family records, Margaret was born in Kyle, Hays, Texas. She and Melvin were married in Buda, Hays, Texas, Aug 29, 1883. Geneva Ella BRANNON (1875-1962) married Howell PERKINS John Samuel BRANNON (1877-1970) married Carrie GIRLINGHOUSE George Rely BRANNON (1879-1888) Lauretta Ann BRANNON (1882- ) James Archibald BRANNON (1884-1983) married Henrietta CLIFTON (1888-1973) Walter Clifford BRANNON (1886-1906) Irving Cornelius BRANNON, (1889-1967) Henry Luther BRANNON, (1891-1941) married Irene Maude DROST (1889-1970) Lulu Lee DENYER (1882- ) married I. E. KNIGHT Minnie May DENYER (1884- ) Samuel Arthur DENYER (1886- ) Thomas Hilliard DENYER (1888- ) Elsie DENYER Myrtle DENYER Jessie DENYER, (1883-) Charles DENYER Ida GREEN (1884-) Lewis Lamar JR GREEN (1886-) Ola GREEN (1887-) Gussie Denyer GREEN (1894-1996) married Percival Clayton WOOD Emma COULTER (1869-1873) Mary Mazilla COULTER (1871-) Joseph McAfee COULTER (1874-) Morrison John Scott COULTER (1877-) Iola May COULTER (1880-) Minerva Ann COULTER (1883-) Arrena Elizabeth COULTER (1886-) William Ebenezer DENYER (1885-1889) Alfred DENYER (1886-1946) married Dollie CRAWL (1890-1922) Arthur Luther DENYER (1888-1946) Addie E DENYER (1890- ) Zenovie DENYER (1891- ) Lee C DENYER (1894-1943) married Ida Mae WANECK Samuel Drake DENYER (1896-1964) married Georgina ANDERSON William George DENYER (1898-1972) married Thresia Jane OLIVER (1909-2005) Melvin Edwin DENYER (1900-1956) married Inez HALLIBURTON (1907-1985) Minnie Ray VAN EVERY, (1884-1969) married August Albert BENOLD (1883-1942) Samuel Ophan VAN EVERY (1886-1933) married (a) Esther Othillia DAHLIN (1886-1968) and (b) Amy C Johnston (1898- ) Abigail VAN EVERY (1888-1888) Willa Ann VAN EVERY (1890-1916) married Lexington ROBERTS Delbert VAN EVERY (1890-1890) Evelyn Syvela VAN EVERY (1892-1982) married (a) William CAMPBELL ( -1925) and (b) I.T. HERRIN and (c) W.J. CRABTREE Melvin Theodore VAN EVERY (1898-1899) Myrtle Ethel VAN EVERY (1900-1951) married (a) Jack and (b) Alfred H. CONNEVEY and (c) Dale Bowlby RIDGELY and (d) Martin Joel DEUTSCH (1907-1991)
8.2.5b.1b.1 Floyd F DENYER (1899- )
8.2.5b.1b.2 Daisy DENYER, (1910- )
8.2.5b.1b.3 Pearl DENYER, (1912- )
8.2.5b.1b.4 Earl Thomas DENYER (1914-1984) married Helena Amoret NEBLOCK (1923- )
8.2.5b.1b.5 Silas DENYER (1917- )

According to family records, Myrtle was born in Maxwell, Caldwell, Texas. She and Martin were married in Springfield, Illinois, December 31, 1936.  They were living in St. Louis, Missouri. William Lee DENYER (1915-1967) Melvin Edwin JR DENYER (1927-1996) married Gladys Marion POHLER (1934-1995) Marguerite BENOLD (1906-1998) married Roswell SPEAR (1905-1974) and Robert E SPENCER Shirley Ruth BENOLD (1908-2000) married Virgil RIDDELL(1899-1969) and Leonard Lafay GRIFFITH (1907-1940) August Wilson BENOLD (1911-1977) married Eva Etta REILEY Charles BENOLD (1913-1913) Elsa Louise BENOLD (1913-2002) married Marcus Lester WALTERMIRE (1910-2006) Ruby BENOLD (1916-2006) married LEWIS Evelyn BENOLD (1918-1938) married John Ellis LANIER (1914-1938) Frances Lucille BENOLD (1922-1996) married Harley Hugh SEARCY (1917-1986) Everett Clarence VAN EVERY (1906-1924) Agnes Lee ROBERTS (1910-1987) married Phil GATES (1907-1986) Elizabeth Dribel CAMPBELL (1914-1996) William Venable CAMPBELL (1916-2004) married ______

My number is