Sunday, August 4, 2013


very week I discover another distant cousin who has information on one of the many surnames I am exploring. Recently I received my DNA results from FamilyTreeDNA ( In corresponding with one of my matches, I learned more about my Scripture line. Another match is from my Brashear line. Piece by piece, we are helping each other reconstruct the lives of people long gone.

Some of the people I have communicated with have written books. I buy these books, every one of them, and they have been fantastic. They contain photographs and tidbits that I would never find online or even at an archive or courthouse.

Here are a few I have discovered:

For my Cutler and Spaulding lines:

Away amongst strangers : the Civil War letters and family histories of Aaron M. Cutler, Battery A, First New York Light Artillery and Stephen Tillinghast Spaulding, Company G, 140th New York Volunteer Infantry, Army of the Potomac by Richard W. Roth

For my Brashear line:

Granny Bess by Moses M. Coleman, Jr.

It is so important to reach out to others. Ask questions. Share. When you think you have exhausted your resources, don’t give up your search. There is information out there. It’s hiding in places all over the country and world.

E-mail makes it so easy. No envelopes, no postage, just type up a few lines and press the button. If you have had your DNA tested, be sure to contact the people who have similar DNA. You just never know what you will discover.  As I suggested in an earlier post (, plant a flower on FindAGrave.

While researching my Myers’ line, I discovered a book entitled Pownal—A Town’s Two Hundred Years and More by Joseph Parks. I e-mailed the Solomon Wright Public Library in Pownal, Vermont, where the book was being sold, and a few weeks later I had the book. The book contains several references to the Myers family.   

Bit by bit, your tree will grow. Sure, you will have setbacks, a mix-up here and there. Sometimes you have to kill off a few incorrect ancestors, but slowly your tree will flourish.

Your tree will never be perfect, but eventually you need to document your efforts so others can carry on your research. Here are some ideas:
  • Write a book.
  • Publish a blog.
  • Create scrapbooks.
  • Do an oral history.
  • Mail newsletters to relatives.
  • Offer your research to a relevant historical society.

Piece by piece, you will recreate your personal history and then pass it along for others so the ball will keep moving.


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Old-Fashioned Silhouettes, 2001.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Trees & Leaves, 2004.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Elegant Floral Designs, 2003.

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