Monday, April 28, 2014

Ask a Librarian

I have been working on a brick wall of mine lately.  I have not been able to find the parents of my fourth great-grandmother.  In the new addition of Family Tree Magazine there is an article on Solving Cold Cases.  One suggestion is to ask a librarian.  Of course a librarian is not going to do the research for you but might be able to lead in a direction you were not aware of. That is what happen to me.

I sent a request to see if the library at the Family Research Center in Elizabeth City, NC might know where I should look next for my missing ancestors.  I gave all the information I had and what a surprise when I got an email back today with all kinds of ideas to try.  One thing I never heard of were Estate files.  She said there is an 85 page file on my third great grand father that might have a clue.  Even if it doesn't it will be interesting to see what his file has in it.

So don't give up on those brick walls.  Keep chipping away at them.  Be sure to read the latest genealogy journals and research magazines.  There is a lot of information out there and the more you know the better researcher you will be.

Is there a brick wall you are working on.  What are some of your strategies?  Has a brick wall come down for you?  We would love to hear your story.  Just add it to the comments box below.

Untill next time, happy hunting.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Using a Microfilm Reader

Searching for ancestors on the internet is easy and convenient however not every historical document  has been digitized and put out on the world wide web.  Before the internet genealogists depended on published sources, microfilm and microfiche that they could only search through in a library.

The current project I am working on is documenting a Revolutionary War ancestor from Virginia for the Daughters of the American Revolution.  I live in Texas and cannot just go to Virginia and look up these documents.  However some documents can come to me via interlibrary loans.  Last week I got a notice from my library that the microfilm I requested was in.  I was so excited to see what I would find.

I had requested the church records from the First Presbyterian Church in Portsmouth, VA.  They were available on a microfilm reel which I had to view on a Microfilm reader.

A microfilm can have up to 600 images which usually is not indexed.  You basically have to start with the first image and look at each image one by one.  It took me three hours to go through the whole thing but it paid off.  I found the baptism record for my 3rd great grandfather and the death record for his mother.  The librarian told me I could save the images I wanted straight to my flash drive or make hard copies for 10 cents a page.

Hope all your days are successful too!
Until next time, happy hunting!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Friends and New Cousins

I got a call a few days ago from a friend who asked if I like to join her tonight at the local book store and talk genealogy.  Well how could a genealogist say no to an evening of talking about genealogy!  I said yes.  I am so glad I did.  There were four of us there tonight.  We all go to the same church and had a fun evening talking and sharing how we all got into genealogy and what some of our goals for our own research were.  We've decided to make this a regular group and meet once a month.  We haven't come up with a name yet or what our groups mission might be but those things will come about in time.  Tonight  was the beginning.  We have set a date to meet again and one of our members who by the way is also a descendant of John Holland of the Mayflower like me, is even going to prepare a little something to share with us.  How exciting to be in on the beginning of such a great group.  I look forward to seeing us grow and flourish.

Until next time, happy hunting!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Gen Israel Putnam, Col Edmund Phinney and My Patriot David McIntire 1775-1776

As recorded in the Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors Book Vol 10 p 505 David McIntire of Falmouth served as a private in Capt. Samuel Noyes's company under Col. Edmund Phinney's (31st) regiment from when he enlisted June 23, 1775, until October 1775.  He then reenlisted as Corporal Jan 1, 1776 but this time in Capt. Hart Williams's company under Col. Edmund Phinney's 18th regiment.  During this time he was promoted to Sergeant Aug. 3, 1776.

In researching Col. Edmund Phinney’s Regiments I found two publications, History of Col Edmund Phinney’s 31st Regiment of Foot and History of Col Edmund Phinney’s 18th Continental Regiment both written by Nathan Goold which shed quite a bit of light on my 5th Great Grandfather’s experience in the Revolutionary War.  This is my summary of these two books.

The shot that was heard round the world on April 19, 1775 was heard two days later in Falmouth Massachusetts today Portland Maine.  War had finally come.  However there was not an organized or outfitted army to fight it.  Continental Congress immediately set about the task to resolve this problem and over thirty thousand men enlisted.  So many some had to be turned away.  Our ancestor David McIntire was one of those to heed the call.  There were ten companies in Col Edmund Phinney’s 31st Regiment.  It was the first regiment raised in Cumberland County and David had enlisted under Capt. Samuel Noyes.

Unlike the Americans the British were organized and outfitted and it showed when they won the battle of Bunker Hill June 17th.  Congress was none too happy that the organizing of Phinney’s Regiment was taking so long and on June 22nd they sent orders that 400 men of this regiment be sent to Cambridge at once.  Phinney and his captains finally set out around the first of July.  But still it would take time to march the regiment 130 miles from Falmouth to Cambridge.   With stops at local taverns along the way to eat and rest it took seven days to complete the march.

Col Phinney’s Regiment was assigned to Gen. Israel Putnam’s brigade and encamped near Fort #2 which was on the easterly side of Putnam Ave at Franklin St in Cambridge.  Today it is a busy residential neighborhood with a historical marker.

Gen. George Washington arrived July 3 to take command and he set up headquarters at Longfellow’s home not far from Fort #2

Our ancestor along with the rest of Phinney’s Regiment might have been too late for Bunker Hill but they were ready to fight.  The first important event after the arrival of the regiment at Cambridge was the burning of Boston lighthouse to prevent British warships from coming into the harbor.  Later the British tried to march out to Roxbury but we drove them back to Boston and when they rebuilt Boston Light the regiment destroyed it again.  By August Capt. Daniel Morgan’s Riflemen had arrived from Virginia.  And in September Gen Benedict Arnold and Col Henry Knox were given order to leave for Ticonderoga.   David McIntire along with his comrades in arms participated in skirmishes and picket firing and saw many killed and wounded about them while stationed outside of Boston during the Siege.

On October 18 the town of Falmouth was attacked and burned by a fleet of Royal Navy vessels commanded by Henry Mowart.   It was the same Capt. Mowart who Capt. Samuel Noyes and Col. Phinney had had trouble with before they marched to Boston four months earlier.  The record doesn’t say that is the reason Capt. Noyes’ men went back to Falmouth in October but they did none the less.

Col Phinney’s regiment remained in Cambridge.   The Colonial Army was in trouble.  The British ministry had hired over seventeen thousand German troops known as the Hessians and the colonies were not united. The southern colonies were not giving their all to the cause.  Also there was no money and very little ammunition.  It seemed hopeless but we would not give up we just needed to be reorganized!  So on December 31 the old regiments were disbanded and on January 1, 1776 a new organized and renamed army was born.  It was now called the Continental Army and the 31 regiment became the 18th.   It is at this time David McIntire reenlisted as a corporal under Capt. Hart Williams and he went back to Boston to continue with the siege.

All through February the army was being prepared to attack Boston.  It was during this time that Henry Knox’s “Noble Train” arrived from New York with the cannons and ammunition they need for the attack.

On March 4 Col Phinney’s regiment was stationed at Lechmere Point and Cobble Hill with the intention of distracting the British of the goings on at Dorchester Heights.  Washington was sure the British would order an assault when they discovered the works at Dorchester and so the next day Gen Putnam’s regiment was marched to Cambridge Commons and readied for an attack on Boston but the order never came due to a torrential rain storm that kept the British from their attack.

By March 10 British conceded to evacuate Boston and were all gone along with Tory sympathizers by March 17.  Gen Putnam left March 28 for New York and Washington left April 5.  However even though the British were no longer in Boston it didn’t mean the American troops could just leave the town and harbor unprotected.  Col Phinney’s  and Col Hutchinson’s regiments stayed on through the summer of 1776. On July 4 independence was declared and on the eighteenth the declaration was read aloud from the State House in Boston.

A few weeks later in August, our ancestor David McIntire was promoted to Sargent just as orders to march to Fort Ticonderoga came through.  Col Phinney’s regiment marched out of Boston August 8 heading north.  The terrain was rough, the weather awful and most nights they could not find a place to stay so camped in the woods to sleep.  In all it took them over three weeks to reach the Fort.  They were assigned to Mount Independence, across the lake from Fort Ticonderoga, where fortifications were being built in preparations for an attack from the British out of Canada.

October 11 there was a naval battle off Valcour Island that lasted all day.  The Americans were out gunned and though they narrowly escaped that day most vessels were destroyed the next two days.  The British now occupied Fort Crown Point.  The next few days the troops on Independence worked nonstop to finish the fortification.  And on October 28th when the British approached the forts they were met by an army of over 13,000 men that were well armed on both sides of the lake.  The British boats retreated by sunset and all forces at Fort Crown Point left and returned to Canada.

On November 20 Col Phinney’s regiment marched from Mount Independence and arrived at Fort George at the south end of Lake George where Phinney took command of the Fort from Col John Stark.  The duty of the regiment was to transport flour over the lake to the other forts.  And at the end of December the regiment was discharged where upon many started for home including David McIntire.

There are no other records I have found that suggest David reenlisted again throughout the rest of the war.  However his brother, Benjamin is recorded to have been a part of the Penobscot Expedition with Paul Revere in 1779.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DAR Lineage Research Committee

I have been a member of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution since 1997.  I've served on many committees over the years but this year I am on the lineage research committee and I LOVE it!!!  It is so fun helping others find their connection to a patriot in the American Revolution.

Sometimes I go a little above and beyond when I mentor an older lady who does not know how to use a computer.  As was the case today.  I took everything this lady knew and plugged it into my computer on and then began to do a search on some of her ancestors she didn't have any documentation for.  Oh what fun when I found not only a Find A Grave hit but on the memorial page someone had listed the very information and source we were looking for!!!  I was easily able to print the documents and now her application is complete!  Oh what a wonderful feeling to be able to help and serve others in this very wonderful organization.  And oh how I love all the genealogical social medias out there.

Are you a member of DAR? or have a "great find" story?  I'd love to hear from you.  Let me know in the comments box below.

Until next time.  Happy hunting.

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Ongoing Never Ending Family Tree Chart

Do you have a paper family tree chart hanging on the wall in your house?  I think seeing a beautiful family tree in a home really shows how important family history is in that home.  For all the genealogy research I have done I have to say I've always wanted a nice framed family tree in my living room. However my perfectionism has gotten in the way.  I do have a nice large family tree I've been working on but it is not finished.  I have not had it framed because I would have to take it out of the frame to add to it.  When people walk in my home I want them to know my family and its history is my passion.   So I am going to have it framed with an easy to remove frame.

My first introduction to genealogy was from a second grade school project.  Our class assignment was to fill out a family tree chart.  I still have that chart with my father's careful handwriting.  It is fun to look back at it and see how much I have learned since then.

If family history is a passion for you I want to encourage you to hang a nice chart on a wall in your home for all to see.

Here is a link to a company that I have used often and below that a picture of the tree I'm working on and the one my father filled out for me in the second grade.

Paper Tree at

I am not sure why this last photo loads upside down, I have tried to turn it but keeps uploading upside down.  Crazy.

Anyway until next time happy hunting.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Scanning Mom's Old Baby Book

As the family historian I was given all the old family photos.  I want my brothers and sister to have them as well so I am slowly but surely getting them all digitized with our scanner.

Today I took my mom's baby book and scanned all the pages.

Are you preserving your old family photos for future generations?  I hope so!

Until Next Time

Friday, April 11, 2014

Genealogy Humor

If we couldn't laugh we'd all go insane!

So funny because it's so true.  I got this little gem for Gene Toons.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Finding Genealogy Resources at Half Price Books

As I continually educate myself on genealogy research I find having my own personal genealogy library very helpful.  I have been to many genealogy lectures over the years and they always talk about their own personal libraries and how invaluable they are.  So I decided I needed to start a collection too.  However I can't buy them all at once so which ones should I buy first?  At Genealogy. com I found a great article that gave me the answer.  You can see the article here:  Top 10 Genealogy Books

Well today at Half Price Books I found the #1 book on the list!!!  and a couple others that looked interesting and at the right price.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Asking Mom About Her Side of the Family

If you are new to genealogy I hope you will take the advice of all those gene gurus and ask family members about the family members you don't know.  The little tidbits you pick up in their stories are great clues for further research.  Case in point: here is what happened to me today.

I was with mother and asked her a few questions about her side of the family.  I have been doing a lot of work on my tree and discovered some family members I didn't know much about.  We were talking about her father who died in 1958, ten years before I was born.  I new he had a brother "Palmer" and a nephew "LP" but I didn't know any stories about their lives.  So mom said Palmer was the head of the local paper in Portsmouth, VA called The Portsmouth Star and when she was little if her daddy didn't have his paper when he woke he would call his brother and ask "Lewis where is my paper?"  And Palmer would send a boy over to their house with the paper.  Mom said they always referred to each other by their formal names.  We talked about James Auther King too.  James A was another one of Palmer's son.  Now I knew Jimmy.  He was a priest and we would always visit him when we traveled to Virginia.  The last time I saw him was 2002 when mom and I went to visit her best friend Lynn at Virginia Beach, VA.  James' niece Nancy King Rinick sent mom a picture of the family that attended his funeral but she doesn't recognize any of the faces.  I would like to make contact with Nancy if I can to find some of the names.

This is Rev James Arthur King and the family.

Birth 11 Aug 1929 in Charlotte, NC
Death 27 April 2006 in Richmond, VA
Priest at St. Paul's Petersburg, VA

Until then, Happy Hunting

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Genealogy Blog

Hi my name is Kristina and I love genealogy.  I can be found at 2 in the morning chasing clues to find that ellusive long lost ancestor.  I can be heard saying corny sayings like “I brake for graveyards”, "Drinking wine and looking for dead people”, or "I suffer from ADGD (attention deficit genealogy disorder)”.  This last one inspired the name of my blog, Losing My Census.  I will start researching one ancestor, but get distracted by another ancestor, which causes me to bounce around to different ancestors only to end up doing a lot of work with very little to show for it!

In a word I am a genealogy junkie. As a result my father has officially designated me as family historian and I am taking my role very seriously.  I am a firm believer that if you don't know your past you will not have a future.

I am an active member in Mayflower Society, Colonial Dames, Daughters of the American Revolution and Daughters of the Confederacy.

I’m creating this blog to share not only who my ancestors are but what their stories in history are.  I am also hoping to find cousins that might have more stories to share and maybe even pictures or family heirlooms.  I want  to highlight what I am currently researching, new finds, stories and pictures of our extensive family.

Over the years genealogy research has been a hobby and relaxing pasttime.  Now I have so much family information, it seems to be time to start organizing it all thereby making it available to those who may take an interest.  I have a public family tree on that is fairly comprehensive.  I also have a Pinterest and Facebook Fan Page.  Thank you for stopping by and be sure to sign up with email so you don’t miss any posts here on my blog.

Until then, Happy Hunting!