2019 Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 2: Challenge

edwin allen (1811-1891)

Edwin Allen (1811-1891)

This week I have chosen Edwin Allen (1811-1891), as my ancestor to write about, because he and his family have definitely presented me with some interesting challenges, and this is where the Allen Family enters into my family tree.

Allen Family Origins

There are many Allen Family lines and honestly, they are proving to be difficult for most Genealogists to separate/connect. Edwin Allen proved to be an extreme challenge in the beginning because, I adopted this WikiTree profile back in October 2018, when the only clues it had were his name and his wife, Ruth Babcock Noyes (1809-1861), who is my 4th Cousin, 4 times removed. Because I’m living on an extremely limited budget, I have to use the one resource I pay for (Ancestry) and all the free resources that I can get my hands on. Finding free books on the Allen Family, and this particular Allen Line proved to be extremely difficult, at least in the beginning. Honestly, I still haven’t found a free one on this line specifically, but I did find family members in other genealogical books. I did also join the ALLEN Genealogy Of New England group on Facebook, which proved to be very helpful.

Tackling This Challenge

Because I had virtually no information on Edwin Allen, I had to no clues coming up in Ancestry, so I tried starting with his wife, Ruth Babcock Noyes, Daughter of Joseph Noyes (1758-1847) and Elizabeth Babcock (1775-1846). Ancestry gave me the hint “Babcock gen. by Stephan Babcock. New York, 1903. (30,640p.): 448”, so I went to Archive.org and plugged in “Babcock Genealogy. I was able to find “Babcock Genealogy” by Stephen Baldwin (1903). This turned out to be my springboard into this Allen Line. Now I had one of the children of Edwin and Ruth and he turned out to be a Rhode Island Notable, Former Lt Governor, Edwin Robinson Allen, who’s WikiTree profile I had the privilege of creating from scratch.

In finding out information on Edwin Robinson Allen, I found information on his father, Edwin, though not much. I learned that Edwin was an inventor through ”Men of Progress: Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Leaders in Business & Professional Life in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations”. I also found the names of his brothers, Edward Tracy Allen and Charles Noyes Allen, so now I had Edwin’s children. (Note: I’m still researching Charles).

With Edwin being an inventor of a particular wood work that had to do with a particular font, I thought perhaps he might be included in ”Men of Progress: Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Leaders in Business & Professional Life in & of the State of Connecticut”, but, alas, he was not included in that. So I was still thinking, the fact that he was an inventor and it was worth mentioning in one book, he should be mentioned somewhere else. I decided then to see if I could find a history on Windham Connecticut, that might give me a better clue about this man of mystery. I did find more in ”History of Windam County, Connecticut, with Illustrations”, though not necessarily genealogically significant, and really not too much more than I already knew, I did find something. That was encouraging. I did learn that Edwin was the son of Amos Denison Allen (1774-1855).

I also found a hint on Ancestry that Edwin married a Sarah R Chilcoat as his second wife, and they had two children, Frank C. Allen and Addie Allen. I haven’t been able to find a marriage date, but this information was gleaned from US Census Records.

I finally found a couple of books today that were really helpful, but almost every reference had to be found through the Allen wives lines. Something is better than nothing.

Challenge Complete.

Edwin and his family and the challenge of finding him and information on him proved to be very challenging. But, I love investigating and looking for clues, and today, I completed the rest of Edwin’s biography on WikiTree, and my search was rewarded, even though it took me a couple of weeks (with the holidays in between) to finally get it done.

Which family member has been your challenge?

Posted in #WikiTree, 52 Ancestors for 52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Ancestry, Blog, Connections, Family, Family Roots, Family Tree Searches, Free Stuff, Genealogy, Interests, Life's Adventures, Overcoming Obstacles, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks in 2019 Challenge-Week 1: Firsts

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday Meme

Didn’t Do as Well on the 2018 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge As I Had Hoped or Planned to.

I hope to do better with this years challenge. Onward we go:

Kicking Off Week 1: Firsts, going with born on the first day of the year.

I picked an easy one for kicking this off because I’m hoping that in by not trying to do so much, I will get myself off to a better start this year. For this weeks Challenge I picked one of my five ancestors born on the first day of the year, Thankful Wheeler.

About Thankful Wheeler:

Thankful was born on a Monday, New Years Day, 01 Jan 1741/2, the third daughter, 5th child of Jonathan Wheeler and Esther Denison. She was born in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.[1][2][3]. She was baptized on 14 Mar 1741/2, in the First Congregational Church of Stonington, by Reverend Ebenezer Rossiter.[4]

Thankful is the Great Great Granddaughter of the Thomas Wheeler who came from England, ended up in Lynn, Massachusetts then migrated to Stonington, Connecticut and helped in the building up of the town.

For reasons unknown at this time Thankful did not marry and died at the age of 31 on 23 Oct 1773, and is buried in Jonathan Wheeler Cemetery #24, in Stonington.[5][6][7]

It Should Be Noted:

Both ”History of the Town of Stonington, County of New London, Connecticut, from its first settlement in 1649 to 1900” and “The Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler Family in America” have her year of death listed as 1775, but there is no evidence to support this, but there is evidence to support 1773 as the year that Thankful died.

  1.  Connecticut Vital Records to 1850: New Horizons Genealogy (Online Database); From original typescripts, Lucius Barnes Barbour Collection, 1928. Retrieved from: http://dunhamwilcox.net/barbour/stonington_barbour_w1.htm
  2. ↑ 2.0 2.1 Wheeler, Richard Anson; (1900); History of the Town of Stonington, County of New London, Connecticut, from its first settlement in 1649 to 1900; Press of the Day Publishing Company, New London, Conn.; PG 650 #345; Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/historyoftownofs00whee_1#page/n671/mode/2up
  3. ↑ 3.0 3.1 Wheeler, Albert Gallatin : American College of Genealogy (1914). The Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler Family in America; PG 304, #3942; Retrieved from: https://archive.org/details/genealogicalency00amer/page/304
  4.  Wheeler, Richard A. (1875); History of the First Congregational Church, Stonington, Connecticut, 1674-1874; With The Report of Bi-Centennial Proceedings, 03 Jun 1874; With Appendix Containing Statistics of the Church.; T.H. Davis and Company, Norwich, Connecticut; PG 225; Retrieved from: https://archive.org/stream/historyoffirstco00whee#page/224/mode/2up
  5.  Find A Grave, database and images (findagrave.com : accessed 02 January 2019), memorial page for Thankful Wheeler (1 Jan 1742–23 Oct 1773), Find A Grave: Memorial #10081855, citing Jonathan Wheeler Cemetery, Stonington, New London County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8).
  6.  Connecticut Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F7VD-C52 : 9 February 2018), Thankful Wheeler, 23 Oct 1773; citing , reference p 336; FHL microfilm 3,364.
  7.  Hale Collection of Cemetery Records: New Horizons Genealogy (Online Database); From original typescripts via: http://www.rays-place.com/cemeteries/stoington-24.htm
Posted in 52 Ancestors for 52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Ancestry, Blog, Connections, Family, Family Roots, Family Tree Searches, Free Stuff, Genealogy, Interests, Life's Adventures, Overcoming Obstacles, Uncategorized, WikiTree | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Reflection

person sitting on rock on body of water

Photo by Keegan Houser on Pexels.com

Looking Back On 42 Years

For the last 42 years I have spent from Oct 1 to Oct 31, reflecting on the year before. During the years that end with an “8”, since I was 18, I have reflected on the previous decade. 0-18 was full of conflict and trying to be someone I wasn’t. 18 to 28 was full of trying to figure out who I was, and adding to my heart love I didn’t know was possible through my gifts from God: my children, but it was also a decade of a lot of loss. It was also the decade I came to really know the Lord. 28 to 38 came a decade of change of directions in many areas, such as: education (went for my degree), changed locations (not really a new thing but it added to the decade), change in careers, changes in relationships, but most importantly finally finding ME. 38 to 48 was a decade of experimentation, mostly failures, that I managed to turn into positive experiences, though those experiences had nothing to do with the original experiment.

The Last 11 Years

48 to 59 has been 11 years of drastic everything. Bringing the decade before to a completion of experiments to a close and finally accepting that I am better off single, struggling with trying to let my children be the strong, wonderful adults that they are and not being the momma lion ready to jump in at a moments notice and being Mommy (we never stop being a parent, but letting your children be their own adult is not an easy thing to do when they have been all you have lived for for over 20 years. It’s a serious struggle to hold yourself behind a barrier that you would really rather just bust through, burn, destroy…get rid of).

It’s been a decade of frustration, having to let dreams go, and finding other ways to achieve some dreams earlier than was planned (such as taking a job that takes me to all of the states I wanted to visit after I retired, instead of waiting to do it when I retired). It’s been a decade of adventure. It’s been a decade of seriousness with two on death’s door experiences, 3 disabilities changing the complete course I had laid out for the rest of my life. It’s been a decade of major adjustments. Adjustments to life plans, adjustments to my attitude about those changes (it’s really hard for a go go go workaholic to suddenly have to stop and learn moderation). It’s been a decade of learning that there really are seasons to friendships, and even the longest of friendships will sometimes come to an end, though I would have preferred them to end differently than they had. In going through all of these adjustments it has also been a decade of finding what was hidden from me my entire life.

Saying Good-bye To My 50s

The start to my 2nd half century has been as full as my first half century of life, just in very different ways than what was planned or even expected. And now, as I begin the last 7 days of my 50s, preparing to say good-bye to 59 and hello to 60. I am thankful for the blessings in my life, including the disappointments (which turned out to be blessings in disguise). I’m thankful that even though I have given up on myself so many times throughout my life that God remained faithful to me and NEVER gave up on me. I’m thankful that He blessed me with the gift of my children and my awesome grandchildren. I’m thankful that He blessed me with the gift of a mother’s love that I had never known in my life before this last decade. I’m thankful for the friendships that I have gained in this last decade, even the ones that didn’t last. I’m thankful that He has blessed me with the ability to bless others and that I am still blessed to be able to continue to do that.

Saying Hello To My 60s

As I move forward into 60, I am going with no expectations. I’m just going to let happen whatever happens, and embrace every moment as the gift that it is, something I think I should have done all along.

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“The Which Hannah Billings Is It Triangle”

Genealogy Without Sources Is Mythology

Edit Update: I am way behind on the #52Ancestors Challenge, and I’ve been blogging without looking to see if what I’ve been writing about is on the list of this year’s challenges. In looking at the list tonight, I realized that this blog fits the “Same Name” Challenge of Week 25 (Jun 18-24). Since we are not on an actual time frame to get these done, I dedicate this blog to the #52Ancestors Week 25 Challenge.

This blog is probably going to be more of a rant, but it’s going to also have some important information in it.

Online Family Trees

I am constantly amazed that so many people copy information from one family tree to another without checking the documentation. So many trees on Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, and even on FamilySearch.org have so much unsupported misinformation that it boggles my mind. It’s like everyone that has these trees sees it in someone else’s tree so it must be true…copy copy copy…ugh!!!!!

Then there’s those of us that check the sources attached to those that have sources. Documentation for the wrong person is attached. As is the case in the Hannah Billings Triangle (my name for the research nightmare I just completed).

Research Nightmare

One of the most difficult things to do when researching someone with the same name, which was extremely common back in the 16 and 1700s, is when records are missing, for whatever reason. (There are many…records burned by Benedict Arnold, or some other fire, didn’t attend a church (never baptized, married by a Justice of the Peace before records were required), baby didn’t survive a day after birth, or died young and only has a field marker to remember them by. The list is really long.) In the case of the Hannah Billings Triangle, two don’t have birth records, two don’t have death records, one had a child and mommy died when the baby would have been about 9 months old and daddy died 4 years later…no other record for the baby to be found, who by the way was also named Hannah Billings, but even if she lived she wouldn’t have been able to get married at the age of three, so that totally rules her out, and keeps this from becoming a four-way nightmare.

So How Does One Go About Sorting Out The Three Hannahs?

Let me start off by saying, when I first started this search there were only two Hannah Billings, about the same age (that’s a guesstimate on my part, as neither of them have birth records). One married John Clark, the other married Eleazer Putnam, and for about 12 hours it looked like they were the same Hannah and she had married twice it just wasn’t recorded either of the Genealogy Books that way.

In “The Billings Family of Connecticut” Hannah Billings married ________ Clarke. Found the marriage record so now ________ Clark is John Clark.

In “History of the Putnam Family” Mrs. Hannah (Williams) Billings married Eleazer Putnam.

Guess which Hannah Billings is married to Eleazer Putnam on almost every tree on Ancestry? To their credit, two of the trees also assumed that Hannah Billings was married to both men. But all of them are WRONG. And they have conflicting documentation that spells it all out, they just aren’t really examining it. This is why it’s important to do your own research (and I started off that way, and cannot for the life of me figure out why everyone doesn’t do it).

Once my brain registered that Hannah Williams married someone named Billings first (and no it didn’t register right away but I was running on sleep deprivation), I tried searching for the _____ Billings that she was married to. I could only find records for one Hannah Williams that married anyone named Billings in that time period (early 1700s) and she married the brother of the Hannah that married John Clark. (His will is signed by him as John Clark not Clarke, but either way can be considered correct for that time period). So that’s how the 3rd Hannah Billings came into play and then was eliminated.

Will the Real Hannah (Williams) Billings Please Stand Up?

Hopefully not. Better to rest in peace wherever you may be buried, which brings me to an interesting problem in the Hannah that married John Clark there is a birth, and marriage record there is a birth record, there is no record for her death, anywhere. Now there are Ancestry trees that do have this Hannah attached to the right spouse, but they show two different dates of death and one of those dates belongs to the Hannah (Williams) Billings that married Eleazer Putnam, the other date has NO documentation and is 2 months later in the same year.

For the Hannah Billings that married Eleazer Putnam, the only record for her is her marriage to Eleazer, then what is in the Putnam book in regards to her death and her age at the time of her death, which does give an approximation for her year of birth, but that wasn’t helpful in finding her birth record either.

So How Do You Differentiate Between The Two?

It came down to marriage dates and the birth of the children:

Hannah Billings married John Clark on 08 April 1725, and they had the following children:

  1. Timothy; b. 18 Jan 1726/27
  2. Thankful; b. 29 Mar 1728
  3. Ebenezer; b. 11 Aug 1731
  4. Jerusha; b. 24 Aug 1736
  5. Patience; b. 11 Oct 1738
  6. John; b. 11 Jan 1740/41
  7. Elijah; b. 11 May 1744
  8. Roger; b. 17 Nov 1747
  9. Mary; b. 23 Apr 1750

So she could not have married Eleazer Putnam on 07 Jan 1730/31.

Where I found the children? In John’s will dated 25 Dec 1759, probated 1760. Found their birth records in “The Barbour Collection” after that.

I’m still working on Mrs. Hannah (Williams) Billings that married Eleazer Putnam, but their children were, according to the Billings article (haven’t finished looking for these children’s records):

  1. Apphia; b. 09 Oct 1731; d. 1800 (so kind of ”Putnam Family History to furnish the year of death)
  2. John; b. 13 May 1734; d. 10 Aug 1786
  3. Charles; b. 13 Oct 1737 (no date of death)
  4. Eunice; b. 2 Nov 1740; d. young


Because the information on the last listed above, Hannah (Williams) Billings, is so limited I came at this from three different angles:

  • First Approach, Straightforward: Looked in all of the usual and unusual places for birth info, death info. Couldn’t find anything other than what is included in this blog.
  • Second Approach, What If?: I tried combining one or both together, because in a couple of situations the time line appeared, on the surface to fit. However, the more I used this approach the more I was able to eliminate any of the three of them as being the same person. They are definitely three distinct individuals. It was in using this approach that I discovered the Hannah (Williams) Billings that married Samuel Billings and how she came to be part of the process.
  • Third Approach, Process of Elimination: Demonstrated above.

References Used (In No Particular Order):

The New England Historical And Genealogical Register For the Year 1927 Vol LXXXI; The Billings Family of Connecticut by Rev. Creighton Spencer-Mounsey. Published by the N.E. Historical /Genealogical at the Robert Henry Eddy Memorial Rooms, Boston; PG 163, #6. Available at the AmericanAncestors.

Republished version the reference above: Roberts, Gary Boyd, (Selected & Introduced by) (1983); Genealogies of Connecticut Families: From the New England HIstorical and Genealogical Register, Vol 1, Adams-Gates; Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, Maryland; Retrieved from: https://tinyurl.com/y9yhks8o (Note; what page is available for view is dependent on what Google lets you see)

Wheeler, Richard Anson; (1900); History of the Town of Stonington, County of New London, Connecticut, from its first settlement in 1649 to 1900; Press of the Day Publishing Company, New London, Conn.; PG 237, #14; Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/historyoftownofs00whee_1#page/n11

Putnam, Eben (1891). A History of the Putnam Family in England and America; The Salem Press Publishing and Printing Co., Salem, Massachusetts; PG 143-144, #156; https://archive.org/stream/ahistoryputnamf01putngoog#page/n242

Both marriages conveniently on the same page: Ancestry.com. Connecticut, Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: White, Lorraine Cook, ed. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital RecordsVol. 1-55. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002. View with paid subscription (and I’m still alive to pay for it): https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/1062/VBMDUSACT1634_0035-0037/61639

John Clark’s Will: Ancestry.com. Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Connecticut County, District and Probate Courts. View with paid subscription: https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/9049/007629722_00023/759765

Birth Records for the Clark children (Note: they are in alphabetical order with Ebenezer on the first page of the link, click to the next pages (4 total) to see the other children: Ancestry.com. Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection)[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.
Original data: White, Lorraine Cook, ed. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital RecordsVol. 1-55. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002. View with paid subscription: https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/1034/VBMDUSACT1634_0035-0068?pid=550140

If I missed a reference, please let me know. I will be happy to add it to the list.

Posted in Ancestry, Blog, Connections, Family, Family Roots, Family Tree Searches, Genealogy, Hobbies, Interests, Life's Adventures, Overcoming Obstacles, Uncategorized, WikiTree | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #3

I am way behind on these, but was busy with some non genealogical things, like making presents for a very special person in my life.

Left Side: Top: Front of Crocheted pillow cover, Middle: Back of pillow cover, Bottom Lapghan. Right Side: Cross Stitch Mother’s Day Gift.

Now it’s time to play catch up:

Week #3 of #52Ancestors52Weeks:

The third week of this challenge is: “This week is “Longevity.” One of the suggestions for this challenge was “You could explore the person that took you the longest to find”. I’m going with that one.

Charles Scott Burge (1844-1916) & May (Pringle) Burge (1840-1903)

Couples Need to be Done Together

I have found that it’s easier to find the person you are looking for if you look for their spouse as well, or someone that they are related to. This works because, while one record under one name may not yet have been transcribed, the other might have been. These (my 3rd Great Grandparents) I did together.

My cousin has been the family Genealogist for at least four decades, (might have been closer to five). When I first started working almost full time on our family tree, she’d had only their names, and information that she had gleaned off of a couple of US Census Records. That’s a really long time to be looking for where someone (or some people) have come from.

Then along I came. A fresh set of eyes, only using the internet to do my research. It took me almost a year, but with the help of some Facebook Groups where I connected with some awesome people, pieces of the puzzle started falling into place.

First Clue of Where to Look: 1880 US Census.

According to the 1880 US Census, Charles was born in England and May was born in Scotland. Fortunately one of the groups I joined on Facebook had very helpful Genealogists across “The Pond” that were able to help me find the records I needed to find (online). They were NOT free, but they weren’t tremendously expensive either. The big thing was the US Dollar to English (UK) £. The £ is a higher value than the US Dollar, so while something might cost $10 here is the same amount of money, at the time (I don’t know how often this changes), £10 pounds was actually around $13 USD. I figured out really quick that I needed to be frugal in which records I chose to look at, and in some cases it was necessary to look at wrong records, if only to prove they were not the person I was looking for (as in the case of May’s father).

First We Started With Find My Past, (Not a Free Site).

I did a temporary subscription, just long enough to find what I was looking for and to get back out. Genealogy on a “I don’t have the money for this budget, but I’m going to do this one time”, if you really focus, can be done. (This one you can pay for in US dollars, but you have to upgrade to get records from England).

I Found Charles!!!!

I found him when he was 17, as a Hairdresser in St Bride, Middlesex! Woo Hoo! Then I couldn’t find anything for a couple of months, so I switched to May.

1861 England Census For Charles S Burge Hair Dresser Age 17

I Found May!!!!

According to the 1880 US Census, she was born in Scotland. So with the recommendation of the Pringle Association of America off I went to the Scotland’s People website. We knew that she was a Pringle from a marriage record that my cousin had seen (but didn’t have a copy of at the time), so it was a matter of finding the right one. She jotted down some quick notes and we knew from what she saw that her father’s name was David Pringle, her mother May Morrison. So I looked for them, found their marriage record, Census information and thereby found May.

To Make A Long Story Short (pun intended)

I was able to trace our Burge Line back to his mother and her mother. He has no father listed and as was the custom of poorer English families, he is listed as his grandmother’s visitor, so that line has gone back as far as it can. Our Pringle Line is now back as far as May’s father, because the records get sketchy from there (at least the last time I checked). And the Morrison Line is a story for another time.

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Too Many Pots and Pans on the Stove

Too Many Pots on the Stove

(photo borrowed from advertisement for cookware on http://www.thinkcook.com)

I’ve Been MIA For a Couple of Months

Obsession Is Not A Good Thing

I had to make myself step back and take a break. I had become seriously obsessed with finding something on Thomas Chandler Curtis (1824-1909) and the obsession became overwhelming. I was cranky, irritable, frustrated, and in general just not myself. I don’t like me very much when I get like that and when I stop liking myself…let’s just say it isn’t pretty. Solution: step away do something else.

Not Recognizing Burn Out is Not A Good Thing

After stepping away from all of it for a couple of weeks, I also realized that I’d hit a burn out point. I hit it hard, fast, and was totally blind-sided by it, to the point that I didn’t even realize I’d hit until I started feeling less obsessed. I did work on one of my hobbies, but then I hit a “I need to do nothing for a bit” phase, and I’m not use to those (I’ve got to always be doing something). I’ve been putzing around with Microsoft games for a little over two and a half months. Finally burned out on them this last week. Which means it’s time to get back to work on my tree……..except….

I’ve Got Way Too Many Pots and Pans on the Stove

Roots Magic 7

I downloaded the free version late last year. I started off copying one by one each person in my Ancestry account, but that was taking too long, so I downloaded the GED file of my Ancestry Account and uploaded it up to Roots Magic. I didn’t like the results. So…

I think it was around Thanksgiving I downloaded my family tree WikiTree, which I liked much more, BUT…it doesn’t download the biography, so I have to manually copy that, paste it in, clean out the codes (or adjust them). Don’t mind doing that but…

Ancestry Account

I get going on one family member and I get into my Ancestry account and there is a new hint on that person, so I stop the part of what I was doing to investigate the new hint, so something…there is always one thing that pulls me into something other than what I was originally working on. Then I find more hints on someone else that I’ve been looking for and I repeat the same process, over and over again…and then…

WikiTree Projects

I double check what’s on WikiTree for that person, and I get more distractions. I need to add this person to my One Place Study, I need to add this person to the Church, I need to do this, I need to do that, oh look, I need to do this too…and then…

Check My Email

I get an email that someone did something or other to one of the profiles I manage on WikiTree, so I set aside what I’m doing to see what was changed. Look for notes as to why it was changed, look for the reference they are suppose to add (sometimes they don’t) and if they didn’t I start hunting for the proof…and what I find gets piled on top of what I was working on. Then I repeat what I said above in the WikiTree Projects paragraph…and then….

A Huge Pile of Paperwork (OR More Like 4 or 5 Piles)

Then I end up with these huge piles of paperwork that is a few pages for this person, on top of a few pages for another person, on top of another person….and this goes on for weeks at a time. By the time I hit the end of where I got distracted to (imagine a labyrinth), I want to go back to where I was when I started, but what I need is buried under one of the piles, and then….

Real Life Happens

And then I got hit with I arranged my room wrong and couldn’t get to the A/C. I know this shouldn’t be a thing given that Winter seems to want to hang around longer this year, but the hot days just get to hot for me. So I have to clean up my work space to move the table. Solution, take all 5 piles and put them in a box.


So now I have this compressed pile of paperwork that I need to sort and file so that I know where the heck it is. I’ve needed to do this for about a month now. Since I’ve still been in burn out mode, I’ve been putting it off.

Somewhere in there I get hit with Jury Duty and had to report twice which took a major physical toll on my body.  And there have been other issues I’ve been dealing with as well.

I’ve been helping other people find stuff (or try to) off and on throughout the last couple of months, but I have done very little on my own tree. I’ve been avoiding the 52 week challenge as well, because it means looking at my tree more than just for a few minutes.

What To Expect From Me In The Coming Weeks

First I have to sort the paperwork and get it where I can find it easily. Because I’m so many weeks behind on the 52 week challenge I’m going to try to double them up each week, but I’m not promising anything. I’m going to redo my plan for what day I’m doing what, but this time I’m going to include a couple of days off from genealogy so that I don’t burn out so fast and as badly as I did this last time. And I’m going to schedule a week off from genealogy each month to work on my hobbies. I have a Christmas present I’m going to be starting in a couple of weeks.

The Key For Me: Teaching An Old Dog A New Trick

I have to NOT too much of any one thing at a time to avoid burn out. This means I have to learn to not be so concerned about finishing one thing that could take a day, a week, a month, or even longer to complete and move onto something else, knowing that I will be coming back to it in the cycle that I am going to put myself on. (Kind of like the way I worked on my homework assignments for College ages ago.) I need to file paperwork when I’m not using it, even though I know I will be coming back to it (eventually). It will be a whole lot easier to find. First thing I have to do, after I get the paperwork straight again is the plan on a calendar. Going to work on the filing and calendar now.

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge Week #1

Introduction to the Challenge:

I decided to participate in Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. You can find more information on the challenge at 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

What particularly piqued my interest was her opening paragraph:

“You’ve worked hard on your genealogy. You’ve made some fantastic discoveries. But what do you actually do with it? Those discoveries don’t do much good just sitting in your file cabinet or on your computer. That’s where 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks comes in.”

I don’t know about you, but I can only talk so much genealogy with family members, before their eyes gloss over and they are thinking about something else while I drone on and on, even though I do so very enthusiastically. This is a great way to share your family members with anyone who might be interested, without the droning on and on!

So here we go with week 1 of the challenge:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week #1

Phebe Jane Wheeler:

Phebe Jane Wheeler

When I first began working on my family tree, my paternal first cousin had already done a lot of work on the paternal side of the family, however she had not gone all the way back on the Wheeler line, so I started with my 2nd Great Grandmother Phebe Jane (Wheeler) Curtis. I used what my cousin had and worked my way back from there. Interestingly, she and her siblings are the last entries in History of the Town of Stonington, County of New London, Connecticut, from its first settlement in 1649 to 1900, by Richard W. Wheeler (PG 67), which was something my cousin had not found. With her as my START I was able to track that branch of the tree back to Thomas Wheeler, the first of my ancestors in the Colonies.

From Phebe Jane (Wheeler) Curtis’s WikiTree Profile:



Phebe Jane Wheeler was born 24 May 1829 to Dudley Denison Wheeler, Sr. and Nancy Wheeler, (Note she was a Wheeler at birth and a distant relative), in Stonington, Connecticut. She was one of their twelve children.[1]


30 May 1849 Phebe married Thomas Chandler Curtis, who was living in Norwich, Connecticut at the time, in North Stonington. The officiant was M.N. Morris. Together they lived in Norwich though some point up to 1850 when they moved to Stonington, Connecticut. By 1870 they had moved to Windham, Connecticut. By 1880 they moved to Ashford, Connecticut, and at that time they had eleven children:[2][3][4][5][6][7]


Charles T. Curtis; b. 30 Mar 1850
Isabella (Curtis) Shippey; b. 4 Apr 1853
Ida Jennie Curtis, b. 3 Jun 1855
Daniel Henry Curtis, b. 20 May 1857
Frank Curtis, b. 20 May 1857
Elizabeth Curtis, b. 20 Nov 1861
Francis Fanny Curtis, b. 16 Sep 1863
Samuel Curtis; b. 1865-6
Arthur Fredric Curtis, b. 29 Jun 1869
George Dudley Curtis; b. 7 Jun 1871
Nelson Lawrence Curtis; b. 8 Sep 1874

Life , Death & Probate

Phebe and Thomas continued to live in Ashford until Phebe’s death on 15 Sep 1908 . After her death and the appropriate Probate period the house that they lived in and the 155 acres was sold for $2000.00 less inventory loss and expenses leaving $1300 that was divided by her living children and her husband. She is buried in Westford Hill Cemetery, in Ashford, Connecticut[8][9][10][11]


  1.  [Albert Gallatin Wheeler, American College of Genealogy (1914). The Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler Family in America; PG 335; https://archive.org/stream/genealogicaland00genegoog#page/n12/mode/2up]
  2.  [Ancestry.com. Connecticut, Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Connecticut, Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) for Phebe J Wheeler, North Stonington Vital Records 1807-1852; PG 371; Original data: White, Lorraine Cook, ed. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records. Vol. 1-55. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002.]
  3.  [United States Census, 1850, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M68R-8BN : 9 November 2014), Phebe Jane Curtis in household of Thomas Curtis, Norwich, New London, Connecticut, United States; citing family 2170, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.)]
  4.  [United States Census, 1860″, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHRW-NBH : 30 December 2015), Phebe J Curtis in entry for Thos C Curtis, 1860.]
  5.  [United States Census, 1870, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN7R-4MX : 17 October 2014), Phebe Curtis, Connecticut, United States; citing p. 21, family 209, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,616.]
  6.  [United States Census, 1880, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFZQ-V59 : 24 December 2015), Phebe Curtis in household of Thomas Curtis, Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, United States; citing enumeration district ED 134, sheet 503A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0110; FHL microfilm 1,254,110.]
  7.  [United States Census, 1900, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M97J-W6Z : 25 January 2015), Phoebe I Curtis in household of Thomas C Curtis, Ashford township, Windham, Connecticut, United States; citing sheet 2A, family 39, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,240,151.]
  8.  [Connecticut Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F7N7-GJ5 : 3 December 2014), Phebe J. Curtis, 1908; citing , reference 78; FHL microfilm 3,319.]
  9.  [Connecticut Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F7Z7-8PR : 3 December 2014), Phebe J. Curtis, 1908; citing , reference ; FHL microfilm 3,112.]
  10.  [Find A Grave Index, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVKY-QH93 : 13 December 2015), Phebe J Curtis, ; Burial, Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, United States of America, Westford Hill Cemetery; citing record ID 52894664, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com]
  11.  [if you have a paid subscription you can find the probate record here: Ancestry.com. Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Connecticut County, District and Probate Courts. (http://goo.gl/HquDfI)

Additional References

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