- Posts for 52Ancestors tag
52 Ancestors - Check it Out | Our Prairie Nest
52 Ancestors, Week 14: Check it Out

We’re already 14 weeks into 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, and I’m late on this one because I was at ConStellation last weekend. Hooray for sci-fi/fantasy conventions and presenting a panel! But boo for catching up on everyday life again; it’s certainly a chore. 🙂

For my post, I’d like to talk about one of my favorite genealogical resources:

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan is such a wonderful service. If not for the ability to borrow books from across the country, I wouldn’t have read Almost Out of the World: Scenes from Washington Territory by James G. Swan to learn more about my third-great grandfather, William W. Winsor. If you’ve never tried it, but know there are books out there you want to check out, talk to one of the librarians at your local public library. They can help you find the titles you want.

The nice thing about interlibrary loan is that you can check out a book for a fraction of the price of buying it, especially if you aren’t entirely sure it will contain the information you seek. At my library, we pay for the postage on the loan. Depending on the originating library, we might be restricted to viewing the book in our public library or we might be permitted to take it home for 30 days. When I receive restricted books, I bring enough money to the library to take copies of the pages I need, instead.

Other Library Materials

Of course, you might already know how wonderful it is to borrow books from other libraries that you couldn’t otherwise visit. However, did you know you can also borrow other materials, not just from libraries, but also archives? The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, for example, participates in interlibrary loan with their microfilms!

Once again, you will probably have to pay postage for the microfilm, but it is well worth it if you can’t drop everything to take a trip to Canada for genealogical research. Their archivists and librarians simply need your librarian to reach out to them with your specific request and call number. Naturally, you should check the PANB website (or other archive) first to ensure that they still participate in interlibrary loan and learn what caveats there are, if any. However, I have had the great pleasure of borrowing a microfilm from PANB to review at my local public library, and it was well worth the price of postage.

So if you haven’t tried interlibrary loan for books, microfilms, or other library or archive materials, I suggest you check it out. You might be surprised at what is available to you!

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Sisters | Our Prairie Nest
52 Ancestors, Week 13: Sisters

This week’s topic for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is Sisters. Let’s take a look at the relationship between my great-great grandmother, Ernesta Maddalena Pedemonte Bergamasco, and her sister, Angela Spiazzi.

In the family history my great-grandmother and her sisters wrote about their parents, they said that once Ernesta emigrated from Italy to the United States, she never saw her sister again. To me, that implies that Ernesta and Angela had a strong and loving relationship, and not seeing her sister was hard on Ernesta.

Actually, Ernesta had four sisters: Angela Spiazzi, Emilia Spiazzi, Theresa Adelaide Armenia Bergamasco, and Adele Bergamasco.

I’ll start with Ernesta’s younger two sisters. Adele was the youngest, born 9 November 1886 in Moneglia, Genova, Liguria, Italy. I haven’t found a marriage or death record for her.

Theresa Adelaide Armenia was born 2 December 1878 in Moneglia and died 8 October 1881, not quite 3-years-old.

Ernesta’s oldest sisters are from their mother’s first marriage to Giacomo Spiazzi. I think the reason Angela, the second sister is mentioned in the family history, is because Emilia probably passed away before Ernesta. Emilia was born about 1866, perhaps in Sanremo. She married Alessandro Zanetti before 1887, and they had 4 children: Alfredo (abt 1887-1944), Ida Luigia (1889-1969), Arturo Giovanni (1891-????), and Adelina Giulia Maria (1895-????).

Alfredo emigrated to Santiago, Chile where he married Rosa ZĂșñiga Gonzalez in 1919 and had at least one child, Arturo Alfredo. Adelina married Luogo Giovanni Del Pio in 1924 in Milan. Ida married Bartolomeo Angelo Carlo Bado in 1918 in Genova, and it is her marriage record that specifies that her parents are deceased.

Angela was the only sister to out-live my great-great grandmother. She was born 23 June 1868 in Cogoleto, Genova, Liguria, Italy. She married Natale Giuseppe Chiapponi in 1889 in Moneglia. They had a son, Natale, in 1908. She died 9 January 1936 in Moneglia. I don’t know if Ernesta and her sister ever exchanged letters after Ernesta left Italy, but I sure would love to know if any of the sisters have living grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Italy and Chile!

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Joined Together | Our Prairie Nest
52 Ancestors, Week 12: Joined Together

Oh gosh, this week’s topic gave me so many ideas, but making it genealogically relevant was hard! So I thought I would go for a how-to and why sort of post. Let’s talk about merging duplicates on WikiTree!

First of all, when I joined WikiTree, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting into there. A collaborative tree is not for everyone, but once you get into the teamwork aspect and the idea of making the profiles the best they can be, it can get addictive. Of course, the goal of WikiTree is one connected family tree, which means one entry per person, be they descendant or ancestor. I feel that WikiTree works well when people embrace it in the intended spirit – working together to provide the best and most complete profiles possible for our ancestors!

Naturally, duplicate profiles happen. Many exist and go unnoticed, unless members are working on a particular person, or a new member uploads a GEDCOM and receives notifications of duplicates. How should you manage a merge on WikiTree?

First and foremost, make sure you’re actually looking at the same people. I had a merge proposed for the Pardon Simmons profile when I managed it (I cleaned my watchlist recently, because it was far beyond what I am actively researching and willing to manage at this time):

The other Pardon Simmons that was proposed as a match/the same person was this one:

The first step when someone proposes a merge on WikiTree is to compare the profiles side by side. It is obvious in this instance that the two men of the same name and same place of birth were not the same person, simply by the birth and death dates. I rejected the merge, however I did find a duplicate of the Pardon Simmons born in 1768 that I was able to merge into one tidy profile.

Then again, sometimes you will find not just one duplicate, but many. I recently took on an unsourced bio with no dates and no locations for an Ephraim Burrell. I did that because I have Burrells in my family, the Burrells are well-documented in Weymouth and Braintree, Massachusetts, so I thought it would be easy to find information on him, and I just wanted to improve a profile to help improve the tree.

Once I started digging and compiling sources on him, I found that there was not one profile for him, but 3 on WikiTree. None of the information was consistent. One had a birth date. One had a birth and death date. One had two of his children. Neither had his wives, however the profile I had adopted had one wife.

It was a bit of a task to merge all 3 mostly blank profiles into one…

I had to adopt all 3 profiles, merge one into another, and then merge that merged profile into yet another. But the end result of my work was that we went from 3 profiles for the same person with varying and minimal amounts of information to this profile encompassing as many details as I could find about Ephraim’s life:

So if you are a fellow WikiTreer and would like to do something for the overall “health” of the tree, why not search out potential duplicates to join together and improve by merging, followed by sourcing and bio improvement? Of course, be sure to confirm that the profiles you’re merging are definitely the same person! If the profiles are managed by other people, they will have to approve the merge, and that’s where communication becomes important. Personally, I like to look for orphaned profiles that need some TLC and go from there.

Regardless, this helps everyone who comes to WikiTree, whether as a registered user or someone who happens to find it in a search for an ancestor.

52 Ancestors - Flowers | Our Prairie Nest
52 Ancestors, Week 11: Flowers

The prompt for 52 Ancestors, Week 11 is Flowers, and I don’t have any flower-centric family stories to share. I thought that, instead, I would talk about my Mayflower lines. When DNA testing revealed my maternal grandfather’s paternity, I “lost” some Mayflower ancestors, but 56 lines remain. My Mayflower ancestors are:

  • John Alden
  • Isaac Allerton 
  • Mary (Norris) Allerton
  • John Billington
  • William Brewster
  • Peter Brown
  • Francis Cooke
  • Stephen Hopkins
  • John Howland
  • William Mullins
  • Joan (Hurst) (Rogers) Tilley
  • John Tilley
  • Henry Samson
  • George Soule
  • Myles Standish
  • Richard Warren

Maternal Mayflower Lines

When I first started digging into my family history, making connections through old New England ancestors was pretty easy to do. The first Mayflower lines I found were through my Nana, whose mother is Italian, but whose father is a Bartlett. I soon discovered multiple connections through my maternal grandfather, as well. His father was Italian, but his mother had only Massachusetts ancestors.

We have several lines to John Alden, and those lines are doubled because his father-in-law, William Mullin, was also a passenger. The majority of my lines through my mother, however, are through Richard Warren. There are several cousin marriages that made this possible, especially through my Bartletts. We also have a William Brewster line. My only Peter Brown and Francis Cooke lines come through my mother.

There are more potential branches back to the Mayflower here, if my theories about certain brick walls in Plymouth are correct. They would add another 6 or so Richard Warren lines. Of all the Mayflower passengers from whom I descend, the majority of my lines of descent come from Richard Warren, with John Alden as a close second.

My mother’s Mayflower ancestors all remained in Massachusetts, mostly in Plymouth and Norfolk Counties.

Paternal Mayflower Lines

On my father’s side, about half the lines come through his mother and half through his father. My Henry Samson, Myles Standish, Stephen Hopkins, John Billington, Isaac Allerton, and Mary (Norris) Allerton lines are only through my dad. I have several lines through John Alden and Richard Warren through my father, just as I do through my mother. I share William Brewster through my father, as well.

We go back to John Howland through his daughter Hope. All John Howland lines area doubled because his in-laws, John Tilley and Joan Hurst, were also passengers. I also have quite a bit of George Soule here.

Many of my father’s Mayflower lines migrated from Plymouth, Massachusetts to Hancock County, Maine. It wasn’t a surprise to find them through my paternal grandmother, who was a Shaw and whose family mostly stayed in the Middleborough and Carver, Massachusetts areas. It was, however, a surprise when I was working on my grandfather’s side. Our Wood family is from Blue Hill, Maine and we descend from one of the two first settlers, Joseph Wood. However, many descendants of John Howland ended up in Maine, as did descendants of Henry Samson and Myles Standish.

And there you have it. Not the most exciting post, but a little bit about my Mayflower ancestry for 52 Ancestors this week!