Monday, January 2, 2017

My Year In Genealogy and What I Hope For The Coming Year

This was a year of travel for me. The travel began in December 2015 with a research trip to Nicaragua where I added a couple generations to my family tree.

I watched the taping of Genealogy Roadshow at Union Station in Los Angeles last January, where I met a fellow member of Genealogists in Second Life for the first time in person.

I spent a couple days in Edinburgh, Scotland in April, where I didn't do any research, but did set foot on the ancestral soil of many of my ancestors for the first time. I loved Edinburgh and the Scottish countryside. My trip also took me through England and Wales. I would love to find an ancestral connection to England. I likely could if I was able to trace all of my early American lines back to their origins, which I have not been able to do.

A trip to the ancestral area of Eastern Tennessee was also very memorable and enjoyable. I enjoyed meeting and spending time with  distant cousins on my Forgey line. Cousin Ken took me to many ancestral locations. It was a very moving experience to finally see these locations in person. I also had a nice dinner with Ken and his father. I also visited Greene County, Tennessee as a part of the "First Families of Tennessee Reunion & Jubilee" gathering I  attended on the same trip. I participated in their bus tour of historic areas. The genealogy lectures at the "First Families of Tennessee Reunion & Jubilee" were excellent too. This gathering included some great entertainment, and exhibits on the streets of Knoxville.

A month after my August visit to Tennessee I visited Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania for the first time. I have several ancestral lines which settled in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. An ancestral couple of mine married at Christ Church in Philadelphia. It was great to see that beautiful church in person. Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg were other sites which brought the ancestors to mind.

Island Fort Nicaragua
Sadly this has been somewhat of a disappointing year on the autosomal DNA front. What I would like to do is map chromosomes using segment data. AncestryDNA still will not provide the information needed to make progress with this, and GEDmatch only has data for a small percentage of those who have tested at Ancestry.

The Forgey DNA Project does have one person in the BigY and YFull, as of this year. We have a new haplogroup based on this testing,  I-BY3819.
I did learn more about genetic genealogy by hosting DNA discussions in Second Life.

I ended 2016, like I ended 2015, with another trip to Nicaragua. I found a person who had heard of my Great-Grandfather Nicascio Del Castillo. He said he had heard he was a great man. He was excited when I mentioned Nicasio's name, and I was just as excited to hear from someone who had knowledge of him.

Me on top of Island Fort


My to do list for 2014 (I didn't make a list in 2015?) I did check off one task

  1. I think my number one priority this year is going to be trying to find out more about the mysterious Alexander Forgey of Washington County, Virginia. We don't know who his children are, and we don't know where or when he died? We lose all track of him in 1807. Still looking
  2. While researching the Brower family I saw Brenneman given as Susannah Brower's mother Eve's maiden name. I can't confirm this. I would like some documentation for this? Still looking
  3. I've been doing some Browning family research this year. I would like to find more documentation linking the Tennessee Brownings with Maryland. Also need to find documentation that Elizabeth Drane was Edward's wife. I visited Greene County, TN. I've collected up more deeds for the Browning Family in Tennessee. Still only have circumstantial evidence for the Maryland connection
  4. I still don't have any photos of Frank Kappel and Mary Kurta, my great-grand parents, so I will be continuing to search for those. Still no photos
  5. Another carry over from previous years is finding the death information for Patrick Mullen and Mary Huvane who died in Ireland. I was able to find the death information for both Patrick Mullen. He died 13 Aug 1930 in Pollaturick Co. Galway Ireland. I even found the name of his mother, a detail I never even thought was possible. I was also able to identify the breed of dogs my family owned in Ireland, and what color they were, by using the Dog License register at Findmypast. 
    Found Patrick Mullen on death register finally
  6. The partnership of and Familysearch will produced more records to search, and I plan on using them as soon as they are available. When I don't know? Still no Virginia Wills or Probate records at Ancestry
  7. Another resolution from years past is learning more about my Nicaraguan ancestors. I did look into getting more information about them, but was disappointed to find out that the vital records office for Granada, Nicaragua doesn't respond to mailed in requests. You must request records in person. So finding out more on this line may mean a trip to Granada, Nicaragua? I made a great deal of progress along these lines. Visiting Nicaragua twice has added names to the family tree. I've also learned much more about the culture of Nicaragua, and how they Celebrate the Christmas Holidays. 
  8. I'll continue searching War of 1812 records as they come available. Still waiting for the O's to be indexed and uploaded
  9. I've upgraded my cousin Darryl Kapple's Y DNA test, and should get the results in a few weeks.
    We'll see if there as any matches at 37 markers? No 37 marker matches two years later.
I didn't include my Owens research on the above list? I was able to turn a circumstantial lineage into one supported by documentation in 2015.
In 2017 I will continue to research the Nicaraguan lines. I will also try to find the elusive ancestral connection or connections with England. The surname Thurman may lead to England? In any case I would love to find out how my Thurman line is related to some close Y DNA matches. A connection to England, or just discovering my earliest line to arrive in what is now the United States, would be nice.

My goals for the New Year:

  1. After collecting information on my William McPike ancestor this year I was left wondering if there was more than one man by that name in Tennessee? I will see if I can confirm that all of the deeds I found belong to my ancestor William.
  2. I'll keep trying to find documentation for my Tennessee Browning family, and their connection with the Maryland Brownings.
  3. I'm hoping to find John Thurman's parents and his relationship to close DNA matches. Court records might be key to this?
  4. I need to add documents and documentation at trees.
  5. I was able to get the original copy of Christian Brower's will a couple months ago. I discovered all of his children aren't mentioned so I need the settlement documents, which do contain names.
  6. As for continuing my Nicaraguan research I hope to make another, shorter, trip to Nicaragua for research purposes. Some places for additional research A) I have not inquired at the civil registration office in Granada, Nicaragua. Someone else did ask about a marriage record for my Great-Grandparents Nicasio Del Castillo and Elena Garcia. They couldn't find one. These records begin in 1879. It's possible they may have my Grandmother's birth record? B) More records are being indexed at the Municipal Archives Granada, more info may surface there? C) My family attended La Merced church and they have records going back go 1844. I need to press for more info from them. They may have a marriage records for Francisco Del Castillo and Alejandra Granizo, and Nicasio Del Castillo and Elena Garcia. They may have a baptismal record for my Great Grandfather Nicasio Del Castillo? I'm inquiring about a Baptismal record for my mother right now. D) A legal archive may contain my Great-Great-Great Grandfather's legal books. He may have recorded his own will in his law books? E) Leon Cathedral Archives has marriage records for  Granada, Nicaragua dating from 1783 to 1850. Those records could provide the name of the elder Nicasio Del Castillo's wife. There is a marriage record for Nicasio Del Castillo dated 1848. That would not be a marriage to an ancestor of mine since his son, my ancestor, was born in 1842. It is possible this is a second marriage for my ancestor? I would be looking for a first marriage based on his birth year of about 1816, and the birth of  his son Francisco in 1842. F) If nothing surfaces at La Merced church I will try Our Lady Of Guadalupe and San Francisco Churches in Granada.
Happy New Year! Wishing everyone ancestral breakthroughs in the New Year!
Me at the Active Volcano in Masaya Nicaragua (very windy lol)

View of my Ancestral City of Granada Nicaragua 

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