My Reflection

person sitting on rock on body of water

Photo by Keegan Houser on

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, MyHeritage, and even on 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: (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

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;

Both marriages conveniently on the same page: Connecticut, Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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):

John Clark’s Will: Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Connecticut County, District and Probate Courts. View with paid subscription:

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: Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection)[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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:

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

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;]
  2.  [ Connecticut, Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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 ( : 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 ( : 30 December 2015), Phebe J Curtis in entry for Thos C Curtis, 1860.]
  5.  [United States Census, 1870, database with images, FamilySearch ( : 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 ( : 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 ( : 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 ( : 3 December 2014), Phebe J. Curtis, 1908; citing , reference 78; FHL microfilm 3,319.]
  9.  [Connecticut Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934, database, FamilySearch ( : 3 December 2014), Phebe J. Curtis, 1908; citing , reference ; FHL microfilm 3,112.]
  10.  [Find A Grave Index, database, FamilySearch ( : 13 December 2015), Phebe J Curtis, ; Burial, Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, United States of America, Westford Hill Cemetery; citing record ID 52894664, Find a Grave,]
  11.  [if you have a paid subscription you can find the probate record here: Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Connecticut County, District and Probate Courts. (

Additional References

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Family Trees-How Is Yours Growing?/ vs.

Wiki Tree Family Tree Image

My family tree on WikiTree (@WikiTreeOfficial)

Part 1: Family Trees-How Is Yours Growing?

Note: This was originally posted on by me on my Review Blog, known as From The Adventures of T Counce, before I decided to change this dedication of this blog to my Family Research and that blog to just reviews. This has been slightly edited for this Blog site.

If you are interested in learning more please visit WikiTree: Where Genealogists Collaborate

Part 2: vs.

Note: This was originally posted on  by me on my Review Blog, known as From The Adventures of T Counce, before I decided to change this dedication of this blog to my Family Research and that blog to just reviews.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I’ve become obsessed with my family tree. I jokingly refer to it as spending time with dead family members who can’t complain about the way I speak, do or don’t do things, etc. I have been spending more time writing biographies for family members, and in as much as I never met them, I’m having to tell their stories through documentation that I find along the way. Some are easy to find through, or free books available through and Google’s Then there are those that you either have to pay for the site or you have to pay for vital records to the State involved (and you may or may not get what you want and lose your money if you don’t get what you want…this is particularly true with the State of Nebraska.)

In my last blog, I failed to mention the free site you can work on your family tree for free. It’s Wiki Tree at My intent was to put their widget into that blog, however, there have been some changes to how Word Press let’s us do things and I just haven’t taken the time to figure them all out. I’m a write and move on to the next thing kind of person. The widget ended up way down at the bottom of my Word Press Page, which made me realize, I need to change my background to something more user friendly, but that is a project for a day when I don’t have other things pressing (it’ll happen, eventually).

Which brings me to my point (the title of this blog). I started my genealogical adventure through with the basic membership, then found I had to upgrade to the medium level membership, and I still need to upgrade to the maximum level, but this can really get expensive and being on a VERY SMALL budget, going the least expensive way I can is a benefit. I stumbled upon completely by accident, while searching for documentation for a family member on Ancestry. The premise of WikiTree is this (copied and pasted from my Navigational Home Page on the site):

WikiTree is for genealogy collaboration. This happens at two levels.

At the modern level, the collaboration can be private and tightly-controlled. Use WikiTree to collect and organize your personal family history and privately collaborate with family members. If you invite non-genealogist family members they might not move beyond this level.

At a deeper level, we are connecting our personal family histories with a growing worldwide family tree. As we go back in time our collaborations become wider and more public. To keep order, we trust each other to abide by a Wiki Genealogy Honor Code.

It’s possible for all this to happen on one single, shared family tree because every profile has its own Trusted List and privacy setting.

On Wiki Tree, as I entered family members and was working my way back I found some family members were already there and all I had to do was connect them. Then my whole genealogical adventure exploded in a way I never thought possible while working through the same adventure on!

Don’t get me wrong, is great. The LDS Church has developed a humongous repository and the fact that we get to use it for whichever membership level we are on, is worth the price. The DIFFERENCE is: on Ancestry I’ve observed some members of the same family have different information, and no sources to back up anyone (in some cases, not all), and each member has their own tree, so there could reasonably be hundreds of profiles for this one person…only only a few of them actually be correct. These files can be uploaded to WikiTree and merged and fixed, etc. so that there is only one profile with accurate information and sources.

On Ancestry we all work separately, on our own, (or with some help from other family members…but if you’ve never talked to or met them, it can feel daunting to ask them for help. On WikiTree there are a lot of people that I’ve never met, that help each other, in ways I’ve not seen on Ancestry at all. While the family working together on Ancestry is an implied thing, on WikiTree it’s the only thing. The leaders are awesome.

And another thing I like about WikiTree…you can run into family members you never knew you had that are currently alive, and working in the same place. I’ve found two 9th Cousins that way in the last couple of months (well one I found because I made a mistake), but the other we were working on a common profile together. If it’s happened on Ancestry…I don’t know anything about it.

More information about Wiki Tree can be found at About Wiki Tree

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

There Are Times I Wish I Could Talk To The Family Historians…

Is Elizabeth or Hannah married to Hinckley

Now would definitely be one of those times…

According to the Wheeler Family Historians Richard and Albert Elizabeth Wheeler, daughter of Charles Wheeler and Martha (Williams) Wheeler, married Abel Hinckley. Unfortunately Richard failed to include who Abel married in “The History of Stonington“, which would have helped, though only a little to give some clarity to the situation.

Then comes along the Avery Family Historian that says “Betsey” married Russel Avery. Which makes one look at where Russel Avery appears in the lists above. Hmmm…the Wheeler Family Historians say Russel Avery married Hannah Wheeler, daughter of Charles and Martha, Elizabeth’s sister.

So then you pull out the nickname thing…”Betsey” is the nickname of Elizabeth, not Hannah. But is it? Hence my reason for desperately wanting to sit down with Family Historians and discuss this.

Yes, all marriage records have Betsey married to Russell…the joys of Genealogy!

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