This blog will reflect the progress of my genealogy project(s). I will describe any major changes that I make on my website and I will document how I solved some brick walls.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A busy day and a question

WOW - the information was pouring in today!  I guess that's what happens when I remind people that my website is out there. :)  So there were lots of changes today, none of them major but . . .
  • added two children to James and Christianah (Folk) Jones and updated some dates on other children (the majority of the changes were in this family)
  • added tombstone photos for Rufus, Mary and Ranslaer Dodge
  • moved  Hortonia from Michigan to Wisconsin on some Cuffe records
Then there was the "case" of Byron Dodge.   I show him as the son of Rufus and Mary (Jones) Dodge; however, others say he was the son of Leonard and Mary (Coleman) Dodge. There is little evidence for either premise.  My assumption was based on the fact that he is buried beside their other children and his birth date fits nicely with those of their other children.  None of the online trees that place him with Leonard and Mary show any sources.   Does anyone out there have an answer to this?

Friday, January 29, 2010

More minor changes and a puzzle

Thanks to some messages in response to my email about this blog, I have added a few tidbits to James Jones and his daughter Mary Jones Hodgkinson.

I also had a discussion with Robert Coleman about whether Byron Dodge (1854-1857) is the son of Rufus and Mary Ann (Jones) Dodge or of Leonard and Mary (Coleman) Dodge.  Neither one of us has much to go on. I'm saying it's Rufus and Mary based on the location of Byron's tombstone next to those of their other children.   Anybody have any evidence?

Update to John Kitchen Jones

Today I came across a photo and a brief bio of John Kitchen Jones in a book published for the 1912 Rockton World's Fair.  I've added that info to his page.

Finding James Doyle ...

Why was I looking for James Doyle?  I already had at least 7 of them on my tree. Surely that was enough!  But I also had suspicions that there were at least 2 more.  Why?
  • There was a James Doyle living with Michael & Elizabeth Doyle on the 1861 census of South Crosby Township  (Michael and Elizabeth are my gr-gr-grandparents)
  • Gertrude Phelan, Michael & Elizabeth's granddaughter, has a postcard sent to Elizabeth by "Jim" which calls her "Aunt" and mentions Gertrude and Gerald. 
  • She also has 2 postcards addressed to Elizabeth Doyle and signed by Gertrude (not the Gertrude who now has the postcards).  One is postmarked Portsmouth, Ontario 1920 and says that she is Jim Doyle's daughter and that she is visiting there. The other is postmarked Toledo, Ohio 1920 and says she has returned home safely.
  • Gertrude had travelled alone from Toledo to Ontario, so she was probably born in the late 1890s or early 1900s.
With these clues, I searched the Toledo, Ohio censuses for 1910 and 1920 where I found a James Doyle with a wife, Margaret, and children including Gertrude (b. 1904) and Gerald (Joseph G). On the 1900 census I found them living with another James Doyle - James and Margaret are shown as his son and daughter-in-law.  Ah-ha!  Two James Doyles!  

The Ohio census reords indicated that James Doyle Sr and his family had immigrated from Canada in 1892. A search of the 1881 and 1891 census of Ontario found the family in Portsmouth, Frontenac County. On those censuses, the elder James is married to Margaret. The 1871 census of Portsmouth shows James Doyle, single, and working as a guard at the Kingston Penitentiary.

From there it was easy to find the marriage of James Doyle and Margaret Fitzgerald which confirmed that James is the son of James Doyle and Ellen (Helen) Burns.  The same parents as Michael!  My original theory was true - my gr-gr-grandfather Michael had a brother named James who also came to Canada from Ireland during the potato famine.

There are now 9 James Doyles on my tree (and at least 4 more with a middle name of James).  The two "newest" ones are here: James (1837-c.1901) and James (1872-1941)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A whole new line - Coleman/Jones

For the past couple of days I've been working on a file that was sent to me last summer by Robert Coleman. I had forgotten about it until a query from another distant cousin reminded me that I had it.  So, after some tweaking, and with Robert's approval, it's now available for the world to see.

This line documents the descendants of Catherine Jones ("my" James Jones' sister) and her husband William Coleman.  You can link to it off my main page, or get there directly:

Someday I hope to get all my Jones families into a single site, but that's a LOT of work and I'd rather be researching.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Welcome to my genealogy blog.  I'm hoping this will be a good way to keep family and other interested people informed about my website   I spend a lot of time researching and updating that site. Sometimes the updates are trivial, like a new source for existing information; sometimes they are significant, like a whole new branch of a family; most often they are minor additions for a person, like a new photo or a new bit of information.   In any case, it is difficult to know which, if any, family members would be interested in a particular change, so although I try to notify the people I think would be interested, I could be "spamming" people who don't care and missing those who do care.  By following this blog (or catching up to it occasionally) you'll be able to quickly see whether there have been changes to the site that you might be interested in.

The other thing I will record here occasionally is information on how I solved a brick wall problem, or how I stumbled across new information, or why I have made an assumption about something or someone on my website.  Perhaps I'll describe a challenge that I'm working on, or stuck on, in hopes that one of you has a suggestion or solution.

Please feel free to add comments to any of the entries or to contact me directly if you have any information or ideas to share.