Category Archives: genealogical chronicles

4042 miles

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step; or, in this case, a journey of a little more than four thousand miles began with four simultaneous tire rotations (4WD!).

I recently returned from a three week exploration vacation qua business trip to the great, spring-filled north. Leaving behind the hazy and sinus-choking 95 degree weather of Savannah, GA, I ventured to the bright and pollen-sinus-choking north of Baltimore, MD and Syracuse, NY to participate in all the pomp and circumstance of this:

commencement

It was wonderful to reconnect with friends and classmates to see how the semester ended and what lies ahead for everyone. I was able to spend quality time with some of my favorite people and visit my favorite spots (namely, this place:)

Now, not knowing when I would again be in the great North, I took the opportunity to jaunt up to Canada for some destination family research. I think by now I should have my genealogist record card fully punched–on-site research at NARA, at a county record house, at a genealogical library, at a historical society, and at a remote location. Boy, and what a location!

Trenton View

Okay, okay, more accurately it was here:

Quinte Library

located in:

trenton sign

(but the bay was the view from the floor-to-ceiling rear windows of the library!)

Trenton, Ontario is a beautiful little city on the Bay of Quinte, located off of Lake Ontario. I came here specifically to look the 1800 – 1850 Newcastle District (Durham and Northumberland, Ontario) census records. These records have been microfilmed and are easily located at a number of Canadian archives sites. They are not, however, so easily accessed from Savannah, GA. So, while I could have ordered them from FHS, I think a 500+ mile side-roadtrip was obviously more practical.

I mean, just look at this place!

trenton sun dial

After a few peaceful days in Trenton in which I was able to look through some records and attend the Quinte branch meeting of the Ontario Genealogical Society (surprise bonus!), it was time to hit the road again. The next stop on the trip was Augusta, Maine by way of Hemmingford, Quebec, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. To be sure, Junior (my beloved Subaru) traversed more vertical miles in that one jaunt than Indy (my previous car) covered in the entire four years I’ve lived on the East coast! I sure have missed mountains.

But, that is a post for later.

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Happy 157th!

Will anyone remember to celebrate your 157th wedding anniversary? It may seem a silly thought, but if it wasn’t for this particular marriage, I wouldn’t be here. So I certainly take a moment to celebrate.

In yesterday’s mail I received an eagerly anticipated marriage record– it is a photocopy the County Register documenting that my great-great-grandfather Lorenzo Hennagin and Nancy King were joined in marriage in Carroll County, Illinois on April 15th, 1854.

(I sooo wanted to be writing this post a few days ago.)

As with many of these old register records, the captured information is minimal–in addition to the names and date, the only non-civil information is that the “Authority” given to wed was with the consent of the bride’s father, given that the bride was around 14 years old at the time (he was about 22).

(I’m pretty sure, although this is purely speculative, that she was the sister of a fellow that married one of Lorenzo’s cousins.)

So, in addition to receiving a nice piece of documentation for the genealogical collection, this paper is also a copy of the oldest vital record in my possession so far. I recognize that by most standards this record isn’t that old, but given the prohibitive costs typically involved in procuring such documents, I’m rather far behind on securing them.

Which is why I would like to take a moment to champion the Illinois Regional Archives Deposit System, or IRAD. In addition to the birth, marriage, and death certificates available in the state, it contains access information to many court, land, and probate records. While you won’t be able to search for a record directly, it will point you to the repository that holds them. And fortunately, those repositories (in my case, Northern Illinois University’s Regional History Center) are staffed by a nice group of volunteers (i.e., graduate students) willing to perform a short search for you for free on a particular record. They even sent me the copy above for free!

So, I close with another nod to my great(x2) grandparents and to IRAD, and if anyone out there has a John Rinewalt and Margaret Meiller from the same Carroll County in their tree, give IRAD a look, as your record shares a page with mine.

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inaugural

Hello, Blogosphere, and welcome to any who occasion upon this site.

I just returned from visiting my mother who lives one state down, and while there I had the pleasure of meeting one of my aunts who was also passing through visiting my mom. It was a wonderful weekend, and I enjoyed getting to know a relative who heretofore was a name, a loose collection of secondhand recollections, and a dated 80’s photograph.

I actually think that the timing was perfect, as the visit embodied, as a literal example, of several of my interests that I desire to reflect in this medium. For starters, genealogical research has been a hobby of mine for nearly 15 years; truthfully, longer than that if I count the spark generated by the standard “create your family tree” fifth-grade assignment. I hope to occasionally post stories, musings, and factoids as I climb the family tree, and, with any luck, meet a few “low-hanging” cousins as well.

Second, the affinity I have for genealogy largely stems from a passion for researching and exploring old documents, and consequently my chosen career path reflects this. I am a (very soon to be!) degreed Librarian with an additional certification in preserving cultural heritage (which is to doubly reinforce my joy in old things). So, I will also use this blog as a means of showing off the neater things I get to work with at work.

Third, as I believe cultural heritage is perhaps most poignantly conveyed and preserved in the folkways involving food (documentation! personal interaction! creation! and shared memories!), a recipe or foodie post is more than likely to appear.

Or just a goofy dinner video.



Where the dinner specialty was southern fried beige something.

Dinner

(They’re Hushpuppies)

Ultimately, I wish to use this as a venue to keep me writing, as now with the conclusion of school and they types of jobs I work, writing has become a secondary skill. And frankly, it’s just not a skill set that I want to lose. On that note, however, I do reserve the right to change and edit posts at any time for, er, artistic (reading “spelling”) purposes.

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