Well, I depart today for the DUVCW national meeting without having done one iota of genealogy work. Not having finished the research for my client at the College Park NARA I have another couple hours there but no chance to go to the DC NARA or LOC. Maybe next week.
I am here at the National Archives today. If you have never been here, change that. Because I'm working on a client's project (not genealogy) I am actually at the NARA in College Park, MD. Regional NARA centers are all over the country, including the Boston area, and some may have things relative to your family. If I get a chance I plan to visit the NARA in Washington, DC to look for a War of 1812 pension record. I found a pension card on fold3.com (which digitizes mostly military-related records, many from NARA in DC) and so know that something does exist on the ancestor of a woman who is trying to join my DAR chapter. She is missing a good link from her patriot to his son, who served in OH in 1812. Mayflower applicants might well be looking for the same sort of thing. War of 1812 pension records are not often consulted and not having anyone in my family who collected a pension for service in that war I have never bought an 1812 record online at NARA. (Putting in a plug for U.S. Daughters of 1812 and the General Society of the War of 1812, remember it is still the official "bicentennial" through the end of 2015, a great time to see if you have an ancestor who contributed during this important conflict.) This is a very short trip so I probably won't get to the Library of Congress. If you want to find out whether one of these agencies has anything at all on your ancestor of a nonmilitary nature, go to the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Sources (NUCMC) "nuck-muck" - there is also a link on the links page here - and do a search by name and by place (town, usually.) Some surprises may turn up - correspondence, church records, a family physician's records, storekeeper's records, minister's diaries, and more.
I have posted a photo of the first official gathering of the Alden Kindred in 1902, from a book written that year by one of their members. It's in the Mystery/Fun Photos section. Volume 1 of the Alden Silver Book has two photos of the group taken a few years later. See if you can pick out anyone you know and if you can, please let us know.
This one is being made with a lot of groaning on my part but I tell myself I am lucky to be doing it now, when I only have 299 index entries to change. The change is the addition of a tally page, just beneath the index button, on the home page. The reason is that by putting the tally number next to the Pilgrim name, that made the URL for that page "blah blah blah number of pilgrims." If I found more descendants and upped the number, the URL became "blah blah blah larger number of pilgrims." That would mean going back and changing every single URL for all the descendants already indexed every time I increased the headcount. I was willing to redo all those links ONCE only. So, that is why the index button now says "under reconstruction" temporarily. The very first one was "Alden-Mullins," which had 83 names that needed different URLs because I had added a descendant. From now on, if you want to see how many descendants I have found for that pilgrim, click on the tally page (much easier to update.) One more thing: weebly is not very good about the updating process. About half the time I had to redo the URL 2 or 3 times to get it to "stick." No good reason, just a pain in the ****. You will be able to tell which name buttons I have updated by looking for a tally number. If there is no number, it means I redid all those links. So, for example, "Alden-Mullins" has been completely relinked. "Brewster (51)" has not. Within the index, if the Pilgrim name next to a person is not blue, that means there is no active link yet connecting him/her with the correct page because I would have to redo everyone else who linked to that Pilgrim.
At the top of the world, courtesy of Colorado West Jeep Rentals & Tours, in Ouray (you-RAY), Colorado. This is just below Engineer Pass.
I did it the hard way, to show you that it CAN be done. He did not leave many descendants, just half a thin Silver Book, but the first surname that I found for which a descendant published a big family history, I used. This was the Knowltons. Someone published a big 2-volume illustrated set in 1897. Another Knowlton published a volume of errata & addenda plus index in 1903 (for the Knowlton Family Association) that corrected numerous errors and added descendants left out of the first work. All I have to do now is get a paper volume to scan because the online edition's images are useless. The descendants I found were two cousins killed in the Civil War, fighting for Massachusetts units.
Dr. Maura Mackowski is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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