Thursday, April 26, 2012

      Sorry for being gone so long. My only excuse for this most recent hiatus is that, "ahv bin ah diggin' a dietch."  Not just a ditch, but one 200' long across the front of the house and back along the west side for  a water line to water the plants and trees I very unwisely planted. We live at just over 5200' in the high desert, perched on a small interior ridge, in a small valley surrounded by 7000' to 8000' foot mountains. The line needs to be at least 15" deep to prevent the winter freezing from breaking the plastic pipe I'm using. And since I'll be 86 this coming June 6th, it's proven to be a mite more of a job than I bargained for.
     Speaking of age, I got to wondering about how well we Holt folks fared in this department so I took a look at my genealogy collection. On average, Holt females lived the longest, many well into their eighties.  The longest lived Holt female that I could find was Amanda (Holt) Carse, daughter of William Humphry Holt and Rachael Caroline (Hamilton), who lived to be 104.
     Males didn't fare as well, most cashing in in their mid-fifties to early seventies with just a very limited few reaching eighty. My grandfather, Franklin Raymond Holt, born in 1875, lived to be 96 years, 6 months and 2 days, and up until a few years back, was the longest lived Holt male I could find. As of today I have found that a new star has risen, Donald Leroy Holt, born in 1910, the oldest son of  my grandfather's youngest brother, Clyde and Bertha Matilda (Brenner) Holt, is 102, and whom, as far as I know, is still living, thus making him the longest lived Holt male in the entire line going back to C1400.  Update: Donald died 8 June 2012.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Treasures in the 1940's Census

Ahh, spring is finally here. I, like the posies, am tentatively peeping around to see if I can again begin to produce. I don't want to wilt and go away as I did last fall; indeed, as I did earlier this spring. My roots percieved some new fertilizer being sprinkled around today, the 1940 census was released for researching for the first time this morning. It's not indexed yet, but if you know where to go, its treasures are ready and waiting to be found. Good Hunting.
By 1940, the Nazis and Russia had Europe ablaze, and the Japanese were very effectively torching Asia.  Our leaders here in the U.S. were still twittling their thumbs and hoping for a miracle that never came; indeed, never had a chance of coming. In that 1940 census you will be able to find the next to last enumeration for millions of young, male relatives of yours and mine who gave that last, great measure of love, so that we, their descendants and loved ones, could live in peace. Find them and honor them in your family records and with adornments on their graves. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I keep telling you that I'm back and then disappear for weeks on end: Not good. The problem, as I see it, is I've been suffering through a period of depression. Why am I depressed? I haven't a clue. But depressed I have been and still am. I've decided to fight it every way I know how and preparing and writing this blog is one of the avenues I intend to pursue in that fight.
     To me, knowledge of, and about, our ancestral families helps us understand, not only where we came from, but why we are as we are. It provides clues to the sources of our various strengths and weaknesses. It isn't easy to discover what their individual accompolishments were, but as we trace the succeeding families over time and place them in their historical context, we begin to get clues as to why we, and they, as individuals, are what we are. I find these discoveries about  my ancestors and myself fascinating.
     Now that I've got the gobble de goop out of my system, I'll get my next blog addition written and published here within the next few days. I hope you stay with me.
   

Monday, October 3, 2011

***Gr Grandfather Davis is a Boyd!!!!***

                                                    IMPORTANT  DAVIS FAMILY UPDATE

     As many of you know, especially any of you who have been doing Joseph Davis family genealogical research, no one, up to now, has had any luck determining whom Great Grandfather, Joseph's father was. It was known that his mother, Irish immigrant, Agnus (Agnes) Leman?), was born in Ireland in 1820 and arrived in America before 1841 because that is the year her son, Joseph, was born in Pennsylvania.
     The very earliest record I have been able to find for Agnus  Leman, 30 years old, an Irish immigrant, is in the 1850 Middlesex Twp., Butler County, Pennsylvania census living with  a Samuel Davis 50, Head of household, born in Pennsylvania. Also living with Samuel but not shown as his wife, was a Marguetta Davis 64, born in Ireland. Joseph, Agnus ' son, who would have been 9 or 10 years old, was living with an aunt. Samuel and Agnus were married in 1850. They had children  who were enumerated in the1860 and 1870 censuses. Interestingly, during those two censuses her name is shown as Nancy and Joseph is never shown living with them.
     By the time of the 1880 census they had moved and were living in East Deer Twp. Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and she is again listed as Agnus. Living next door during that census is Joseph Davis, an invalid, with his wife and children which included my grandfather, Herbert, and several of his sisters. In 1884, a two year old child named Rebeca Leman is buried in Samuel Davis's cemetery plot.Two weeks later, a J. L. Leman is buried along side of her. There are no other citing's of either a Joseph Davis or Joseph Leman in the records there. And to complicate matters a bit more, neither my Grandfather or Grandmother  Davis ever mentioned the child Rebeca.
     No researcher, that I'm aware of, ever knew what Joseph's true surname was, up until now. In 2009, my first cousin, Frank Davis, a direct, male, lineal descendant of Joseph's had his DNA done and the name Boyd was a 37 marker exact match to Frank's DNA. And just within the last month or so the niece of the Boyd donner, who is the family researcher, contacted me. Her ancestor was a James Boyd, b15 Aug. 1815, in County Antrim, Ireland. He arrived at the Port of New York in 1840. James and his pregnant wife immediately migrated to Nebraska where there son was born in 1840. This implies that either Agnes immigrated at the same time as James and his pregnant wife did and she and James got together on board a very small, crowded with immigrants, ship. Or, she had a relationship with a very close Boyd relative of James who would have arrived in America earlier. That seems more logical to me. My problem is, I don't know when  or what port Agnes arrived in when she came to America. If any of you out there know when she arrived, I would really appreciate that information. We're getting close. But this is a big step forward.

 

Monday, September 12, 2011

DNA Importance in Genealogical Research

                                                   DNA IN GENEALOGY 
     It would be difficult to over estimate the importance of DNA in confirming and or assisting in one's genealogical research. I make this statement from a positive experience in two of my four primary descendant lines, Holt, my father, and Davis, my mother.
     Ten or twelve years ago,  Mott Holt, from Hawaii, a direct lineal descendant of John Holt, son of Thomas Holt, the only proven direct lineal descendant of the immigrant, Henry Holt, and I compared our  Holt line records research. I descended from Thomas, the youngest son of Thomas Sr. He descended through John, the oldest son of Thomas Holt Sr. We had both, unbeknownst to each other, worked our way back along our individual lines and ended up with Thomas, Henry's son as our common ancestor.
     Five or six years later, we each, again,  unbeknownst to the other, had gotten our individual DNA done. When we again got in contact and compared results, it was a perfect 37 marker match, absolutely confirming our individual record's research.
     For at least 35 years I have been researching my Davis ancestry and for 35 years I have had an absolutely, impregnable stone wall. My great Grandfather, Joseph Davis, seemed to have appeared out of the mist. I knew his mother's name, Agnes Leman, but that is all I knew. I knew she was born in 1820 in Ireland and that Joseph was born in 1840 in Pennsylvania. Who was his father? I had absolutely no clue.
     My cousin, Frank Davis, is a direct line male descendant of Joseph so we had his DNA done. The result floored us both. Joseph's true biological father's surname was Boyd and it was a perfect 37 marker match. No ifs, ands or buts, Joseph's father's surname was Boyd. What Boyd family? We don't know yet but we think he was a member of one of the three or four Boyd families living in Middlesex Twp., Butler Co. Pa. in 1840. We believe Agnes was living there in 1840. Unfortunately, women were only counted and listed in age groups in a family and not named in the 1840 census. We are in touch with the Boyd match person but have not completed our research on his family's whereabouts in 1840.
    

  

Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm back----I think

Finally, for the first time in over a week, I am  able to get back on my blog--I think.  Who the heck ever runs the show on blogs has made changes that an old bird like me has found difficult to impossible to cope with. Why in the h--- they don't just leave things alone is beyond me.  This won't be a long one, I'm just trying to find out how to use this new format.
    
Everything is familiar to me, its just as though I were working on my memoirs in Word which, incidentally, was a big change from my preferred Word Perfect. Why did I change? After fifteen years of using WordPerfect, my last version was the 2005 one, it crashed and I almost lost the 200 page memoir that I've been working on for ten or more years. Aha, now you know, I'm a mite slow in getting things done.  Hmmm, everything looks OK and could make a little difference, maybe. So, I'll give it a try and see if I can publish this thing. I may have to wait until my wife, Genie, gets home so she can lead me through the how to's.
What would we guys do without our women folk?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Very Tough Assignment---Keep the Blog Interesting---Really Tough to do!

I've been blowing it big time lately on keeping the blog interesting and moving along.  At first I published articles on various, older families. Then I awakened to the fact that even if I went back only three generations---in some families I have them back eight to as many as twelve generations---and picked a family to write about, only 1/16th of the visitors to my site would be interested in that particular family. Not a good way to keep readers interested in visiting the blog. As to my genealogy, it is already public and there is a link in this blog to take you to it.
What will I write about? Well, because I have found interesting things about certain individuals in my genealogical lines their stories will be told. But mostly I intend to write about topics other  than family that I find of interest to me that I hope will be of  interest to you. Also, and I want to emphasize this, I would really appreciate in-put from my readers.