Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015: Looking Back

When I agreed to join my daughter's blog on October 1, 2014, I decided on two ground rules: we had to post every day and each post had to have a picture. (I'm a visual person.) Looking back over the past year I'm proud of what we've done here and in the process we've both learned a lot.

[Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Best wishes for a happy New Year." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1909.]

Two of the most exciting names added to my paternal family tree in 2015 are Cheney Boyce (1591?-1643?), Ancient Planter of Jamestown, and John Whitney (1592-1673), member of the Company of Merchant Tailors of London before his departure for Massachusetts in 1635. Christine's recent discovery that Olive Baldwin (1778-1843) was the mother of my maternal third great grandmother Mary (Polly) Gates (1805-1883) has opened up new lines of research that will be covered next year.

Another fascinating discovery was that my paternal fifth great grandfather Abraham Heath (1740?-1807?) served with the Virginia line of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and was one of the cold and hungry soldiers at Valley Forge. In case you missed it, you can read about what the records said here: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six. (Parts Three through Five were posted on the 168th anniversary of the events described.)

My two most popular posts in 2015 were Sunday Drive: Train Travel in Victorian England which looked at the ubiquity of mid-19th century British train lines, and Fantastic Find: Catholic Parish Registers at the National Library of Ireland which passed on the news that the National Library had just made their microfilm collection of parish records available online (and for free).

Another fantastic find, The McAdory House, was particularly useful in helping me understand the kind of dwelling my early Alabama ancestors probably lived in. (Spoiler alert: No white pillars or oak allies in sight.) And for those of you who also have ties to Alabama, let me recommend again Letters from Alabama, written by the Englishman Philip Henry Gosse about his experience there in 1838.

Christine and I have been having fun posting photos of Christmases we have known (or have pictures of) for the past ten days as a way of slacking off but still maintaining our goal of daily posts. With the new year we'll be getting back to genealogy.

Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve!

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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