Evidence dilemma; what do you do?

Recently, I found another branch in my tree.  Now all of us know how exciting that can be!  However, also like most of us we need records of proof.  So here is my dilemma; this branch is entirely circumstantial.  I have not one exact record.  The closest I get is the 1820 census.  Where it lists the heads of household only and everyone one else is a tick mark in an age group.  My remaining evidence is this:
1. Death certificate listing birthplace as Vermont.

2.  Finding 1790 census listing head of household in Vermont.

3.  Last name is not that common especially for early America.

4. My direct descendant marries her husband in the same town where her children are born and kids names match the typical naming convention of first born son has middle maiden name of the wife.  Also his first name is that of her brother (potentially). Second son bares name of the head of household in the 1820 census, her Father and other Brother. Names are unique Seymour and Rufus.

5. Able to track her brother to same town as her son in later census records. They live very close to each other as well.

Now based off this for me it is hard to deny that this is the correct family.  But nowhere do I have a record that specifically states her parents.   My question to you is do you record it as an official branch of the family or do you record it as a possibility?

I welcome your thoughts on this one.

© Melissa Woodard, 2017


Genealogy; its historical importance.

This Ad is a great example of why Genealogy is important.

This is my favorite commercial ever created in the genealogy industry. I love the concept and the execution. In less than a minute, Ancestry.com managed to remind us of the importance of unity and freedom. This great experiment that is America, survives and thrives by our willingness to be united in supporting the freedom and […]

via Happy Birthday America — thegenealogygirl


The Yellow Folder of Destiny

Here it is folks, the bright yellow folder of life changing destiny!  A bunch of you have been asking about this folder since my first post.  Remember, this folder may look ordinary but it has captured my interest and imagination since 2010.  

The contents of this folder has changed my life in so many ways.  It has fed my eternal flame of curiosity and to be honest I am grateful.  Inside there are a few different aspects of genealogy research, represented here, that has kept me busy ever since.  

From the first page, I had questions.  The contents of which seem pretty basic.  It states, my Great Aunt Karen and her Husband put this together in 1981.  This page goes on to list all the records they obtained to verify their information.

The next few pages lists our Brasington / Miller line for a few generations back to around the 1830’s.    This is where things got real.  I vaguely knew the Miller name but I never had heard of Brasington before.  (This family line to this day affects me on a routine basis.)  At this point, I started asking; Who are these people?  Have I met any of them?  

The pages that followed frankly sealed the deal on my budding curiosity.  (Pictures are listed below.)  There is a plat map from 1872, a copy of a land deed signed by Martin Van Buren, a collection of family stories that had been passed down (at the time of my discovery, I had never heard them before), a copied newspaper clipping, highlighting the 50th Wedding Anniversary of my 4x Great Grandparents and the most exciting of all was the pictures.  (Granted they are just photo copies of the originals but I love them anyway. )

The plat map of our family homestead from 1872 in Waterford, Michigan.

A Land deed issued in 1837.

One of the family list pages.

50th Wedding Anniversary, so cool!

My 2x Great Grandparents.

Family photo!  ( Taken in about 1886 or so.)

Another relatives family photo.

All together this folder still keeps me motivated and I am eternally grateful to My Great Aunt Karen! 

So tell me, what has been the most exciting discovery for you?  What got you motivated to research your family? Feel free to comment.

© Melissa Woodard, 2017


Waterford Historical Society’s, Annual Log Cabin Day

The Waterford Historical Society is putting on their Annual Log Cabin Day on June 25, 2017 this year.  If you are going to be in the area, we encourage you to join in the fun.  There is free admission & parking.  You can view the event’s flyer here:  http://www.waterfordhistoricalsociety.org/pdf/LCD%20large%20flyer%202017.pdf

whs sign

For more information on the Society itself and all the wonderful things they have you can click on the link here:  http://www.waterfordhistoricalsociety.org/


© Melissa Woodard, 2017



Genealogy Guardian Angels; They Do Exist.

Family Grave MarkerDuring my research adventures, I have met many awesome people like Nick who are always there to help us on our journey.   They seem to appear out of nowhere to nudge us on like our own personal Guardian Angels.  So here is how I met, my Moment in time Guardian Angel, Nick.

Earlier this week, I went to a local cemetery to track down a family members grave marker.  Now, I have been working on tracking down this particular headstone for a while and after three trips, I am happy to report it has been located.

It was during this latest attempt, that I encountered a nice man paying his respects to his parents (Nick).  He apparently had been observing me for a few minutes walking down the rows methodically.  Okay…okay maybe a little erratically.  🙂

Either way, he could tell I was in distress, so he approached and introduced himself.  I explained to him my dilemma and he offered up some assistance.  I gladly accepted his help and gave him the little bit of information I had.   He started in one direction and I the other.  After about 30 minutes, I decided I was not going to be successful today and I was about to throw in the towel.

But then, I looked up to find my new acquaintance and wouldn’t you know directly in front me was the head stone I was looking for!  I did a little happy dance and ran up to inform my new acquaintance of our success.

He shared in my joy at locating the correct grave.  From there we discussed the importance of paying our respects and maintaining our ancestors grave markers.  We continued to chit-chat and he stated he would be sure to greet my Ancestors the next time he visits the cemetery to pay his respects. I informed him, I would do the same.  I thanked him for his assistance and wished him well before parting ways.

You see if it wasn’t for Nick, I probably would have gotten increasingly frustrated and given up for the day.  It is out of respect for his offer of help, that I kept searching as long as I did.  If he wasn’t going to give up then neither should I.

I believe it is important to remain open to those who can help us along on our journey of discovery.  My question to you is, has this ever happened to you?  How did your Genealogical Guardian Angel help you?

© Melissa Woodard, 2017


Michigan Naturalization Records – Archive Help Needed

The Archives of Michigan is looking for volunteers to help transcribe Naturalization Records.  If you ever wanted to learn more about transcribing or take part in a Genealogical project, then now is your chance!  This is a great opportunity to learn more about the very important need for record transcription.  Volunteers will need to download some software and join FamilySearch in order to assist in the project. After enrolling, you will be able to take part in the project to further enhance what’s available online for our Michigan Ancestors.

Once the records are completely transcribed,  it will be made available to the public on the Archives website at http://seekingmichigan.org/

If interested then please go to the Seeking Michigan website; http://seekingmichigan.org/naturalization

© Melissa Woodard, 2017