Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Genealogy Wish List

This time of year, regardless of a person’s faith, everyone puts together a wish list of what they would like to receive or see happen during the holiday season. Sometimes it is as simple as Ralphie repeatedly pleading for a Red Rider BB Gun while others are more complex or impossible to fulfill. This list, my genealogy wish list, leans more toward the latter while I hope that some will turn out to be as simple as Ralphie’s request. So here it is:

  1. Redcross/Beverly Marriage License: This is the last remaining piece that we need to definitively prove our genealogy back to the Monacan records. While we know where it should be and have seen the document listed in the indexes of the local courthouse, the actual marriage license has disappeared and no one knows where it is. There are some theories however but it is going to take a lot of time and significant effort to either prove or disprove them.
  2. Monacan Nation Membership: We don’t know if this is going to be possible without the aforementioned document but we need to at least give it a try. Maybe the index will be enough as it is still a state document but we just don’t know. Everything else is in place we just need to pull all the documentation together, pay the application fee, and see how things pan out.
  3. John Uttley’s Service Record: While I have been able to track down when he was sworn into the Philadelphia Police Department and I have found his badge number and highest rank achieved (that was a long couple weeks of calls), there is little else that I can find regarding his service. During this research process, I found out that all the old police records were destroyed and that nothing is left but a basic database of names, badge numbers, and ranks. Maybe there is a copy somewhere… let’s hope that is the case.
  4. McKannan Arrival Date: The original surname was McKenna. First name was William. Arrival was during the potato famine. This shouldn’t be challenging at all. This is going to take more luck (maybe luck of the Irish) than anything else as all existing leads have proven very little and, if anything, have created more possible links than verifying any. It’s a long shot but I am going to keep pushing and sorting through records.
  5. Percy Teaford’s Service Record: While I have been able to find a good amount of information regarding my grandfather’s service in the Navy during World War II, I haven’t been able to get any additional information on his service in the Narberth Fire Department. This is one of those things that is just going to take time and me driving over there to see if they have any information. It would be interesting to read about this.
  6. Autocar: Both my great grandfather and my grandfather worked at Autocar in Ardmore. While the factory is long gone I am curious to know if the records are still floating around (if they survived the fires just before the plants closed). I have reached out to the current incarnation of the company but have yet to hear anything. It would be nice to have an answer as to whether or not the employment records even exist.
  7. Jacob Teaford’s Story: The second first generation to be born on this continent (before the founding of the United States). We know very little about him. We have more details about his father, the immigrant, and the generations since but he has remained a mystery for years. Heck, we can’t even figure out who was the mother of his son Jacob from which I am a descendant. He is the reason why we are green dot bastards and it would be nice to fix that.
  8. Nicolas Love’s Parents: We have the names from his recently discovered death certificate but we no little else about them. We can’t find a record of their marriage and we can’t find any census records. While there are theories, like many other areas of the tree, we have yet to prove any of them no matter how probable one seems.
  9. Maiden Names: This is always an issue in anyone’s tree as even death certificates of siblings can differ from one to another about their mother’s maiden name. This is just going to take more digging, marriage record research, and looking at census records for possible clues.
  10. Revolutionary War Ancestry: There seem to be more and more connections found whenever I spend some time working on the tree. Many of them are confirmed but some connections remain tenuous at best. Even today I made the interesting discovery that my 6x great uncle was the inspiration for the movie “The Patriot”. It would be nice to confirm them all and have those findings verified by the Sons of the American Revolution. Shocker, more paperwork!
  11. The Yeagle Connection: I reached out to that side of the family before but the connection didn’t last beyond the scope of our brief conversation over the phone. While I don’t know what thoughts may have been going through her mind, it would be nice to reconnect and find out a little bit more about this line that has been largely forgotten about by my family.
  12. Organization (Not Just Lists): All of these things need to be organized both physically and digitally. Right now there is a mix of physical and digital records spread across a couple of computers, ancestry.com, shelves of binders, and books tabbed for the relevant passages. Eventually, they will all be pulled together, organized in binders, and uploaded to the tree so that everyone can benefit from the work that has been put into this continuous search for answers.
Some of the records are nearly impossible to find as they are either confirmed as missing or destroyed. Some of the things on my wish list are just a matter of me finding the time to commit to the various projects. In all reality, I would be happy just to fill in a couple of these pieces of information and have everything available so that the entire family can learn and appreciate where we come from. So, let’s see if I can be good this year and at least get a few of these things checked off!