A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Family Madness

A week of poor planning fun.

Normally when I plan lessons for my students, I also plan work for myself while they are engaged in what they are doing. Or are supposed to be doing. (I refuse to walk around and goose 13-year-olds to get them to put pencil to paper.) Usually I'm working my way through stacks of papers to be graded (1 assignment per day times 5 days times 170 students = insanity).

But I seem to have blown it this month. Grades were due last week for progress reports so I made sure I was all caught up. Students are working on a collection of stuff that they will turn in all at once in a "Civil War Journal." This past week they were reading articles in a reader I put together on interesting things like drummer boys and the siege of Vicksburg (the citizens had to live in caves and eat rats which is way cool stuff to eighth graders) and camp food ("They ate the dishrags?!?!?" They can be so dense!) Next week they have to do written responses to each day's viewing of Glory!

So, what's the problem? Well, while they are humming away on their assignments, I have nothing to do. My desk is cleaned off. Lessons are planned for weeks. Grading is caught up.

So, last week I ended up spending time browsing the internet, plugging in family names from the family history I've been working on for the last 27 years. I'm stuck on a few lines and didn't really get unstuck, but folks have posted some new stuff (since the last time I had time to look) that was fun. I made notes and spent yesterday following up on some of it.

And got into a bit of a mess.

The backstory on the mess is that my dad was born in Ohio and his parents were born in Pennsylvania. Granddaddy's immigrant ancestors came in the 1850s and Grandmother's were pioneers to the western frontier (Cambria County) in the late 1700s. My mom's mother was born in Texas (from Missouri after Tennessee after Virginia) and her father was born in Arkansas (third generation after Tennessee).

So, for the last few years as I've gotten further back I've started to notice that the place names started to sound familiar. For example, Dad's Carruthers ancestors and Mom's Stewart ancestors seem to all be hanging around the court of Scotland. A couple of years ago the most amazing thing I noticed was that one of Dad's female ancestors was sister to one of Mom's male ancestors.

This is way cool, but makes for kind of complicated entering into the computer because they all have to be attached to each other so that the reports come out right.

Then yesterday I was following up on the notes I'd taken during the week, I'm popping around, printing stuff up and reading through it and danged if it doesn't all sound familiar again. To make a long story just a little bit shorter, it turns out that I'm related to THREE siblings from one family back in Colonial America. George BROWN married Mary STEVENSON and they had eleven children. Three of them - Rachel, Edward and Nancy - are ancestors of mine.

Until I prove differently. Still lots of documentation to do before it's "real." But the speculation is sure fun.

I totally messed up my database trying to enter these folks since they all name each other after each other so there is at least one James, Richard, Edward, Patience, Mary, Nancy and Rachel in each family per generation. It took me a couple of hours of deleting, detaching and reattaching to straighten it all out but I think I'm there. It's funny to look at the finished poster as three lines are the same.

déjà vu.

BTW, it appears that I may be part of the "Little Wells" group.

Which will only mean something to you if you are, too.

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