Invite to Dinner ~ Week 4

This week is “Invite to Dinner.” Which ancestor would you most want to invite to dinner?

I believe I would like to sit down with Margaret Moorhead. At one point my mother asked her father to help label the old pics we have and she was listed as “Aunt” Margaret Moorhead. I have searched for years to figure out exactly how she can be an aunt or was that a sign of respect to an older lady and she really had no connection? There was a story about her being very young and her only memory of the trip to America was a younger sister dying and the burial at sea. She was from Ireland according to all records so somehow connected to the Smiths.

Margaret Moorhead2.jpg

In my tree she is the mother-in-law of sister-in-law of 1st cousin 3x removed, her son having married a descendant of my great-great grandmother, Adaline Kent’s sister, Alvira Kent Hobbs.

I kept adding a bit to my knowledge by finding her or her son mentioned in old newspapers. For a while they moved to Connecticut but eventually moved back to Ellenburg. Her husband had been a soldier during the Civil War and died in 1867. She is listed as the manager of the farm with a value of $1500 in the 1870 census.  I eventually found her in probate records showing she was living with her daughter in Chazy at the time of her death in 1894.

  • Why did they move?
  • Why did they return?
  • How did it feel to be a businesswoman during that era?
  • What do you remember about life in Ireland?
  • What is your relationship to these other people?

This week’s prompt has led me to quite a revelation! In going back to to see what relationship there was in my tree from Margaret to me, I found that she had a couple hints. Following them, I discovered a marriage record for her son James Moorhead’s second marriage to Maud Peryea. His mother is listed as Margaret SMITH.

I am overwhelmed by this discovery. Where will it lead me from here?

Longevity ~ Week 3

The prompt for this week is “longevity.” “You might write something about the oldest person in your family tree. You could explore the person that took you the longest to find. Maybe it’s longevity in a job or career.

I wasn’t sure which person in my tree lived the longest. There are about 3000 people listed. Using “Family Tree Maker,” I was able to print a list. It could have been 64 pages, but I filtered it to include only “immediate” and “extended” family. That means the second cousin of the husband of the great-grandmother’s niece is not on this list but there are siblings of direct ancestors.

I went through the 11-page list checking for names that I have researched and noted their lifespan:

  • Josephine Ayer 87
  • Damase Barcomb 93
  • Nelson Barcomb 86
  • Salley Beaman 90
  • Nathan Beaman 91
  • Caroline Daignault 80
  • Ira S Davis 80
  • Hopeful Finch 94
  • Felicite Jodoin 87
  • Eva Lastraw 91
  • Isadore Lastraw 80
  • Naomi Lewis 94
  • Mary Jane Smith 80
  • Minnie Smith 81
  • William Smith 87
  • Peter Tourville 87

Originally, Ira A Davis was on this list having lived for 96 years. I went to his profile page on and looked through the facts. I saw that I had found him in census records through 1880 but I had his date of death listed as 1911. Where was he between those years? It turns out that a different Ira Davis lived in western NY and actually did live until 1911. MY Ira stayed in Clinton County and died in 1888, aged 71 years. I confirmed this through Clyde Rabideau’s cemetery book and .


Lesson learned: check the facts, check the facts again and find sources to establish the correctness of those facts.



52 Ancestors ~ Week 2


The prompt is “Favorite Photo.” Tell the story of the people, place, and event in a favorite photo.

I decided this was my favorite photo because it took all those ancestors I have been investigating to get to this point.

This was taken at the “Barcomb Bash” family reunion in July 2017. It was a wonderful celebration of family complete with a huge feast, games, a bounce house, and photo albums, then more food. My nephew hired a photographer to get candid shots and family groups. There are three generations here. The oldest is behind the rail. In some cases, it is hard to tell the middle and younger apart because some of these kids are nearly as tall as their parents.


Start ~ Week 1

My goal is to share some of the research I have been doing into family history. I signed up for 52 ancestors in 52 weeks The premise: write about one ancestor each week this year. It could be a story, a photograph, a document, a pesky research problem — anything, as long as it involves one ancestor.

The challenge for week one is to start. So I created this blog to share my fantastic discoveries.

In the coming weeks. I will share photos, documents, and stories about my family.