Notes from the past…


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52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Week 42: Biggest Genealogy Accomplishment

What do you feel is your biggest genealogy accomplishment? What were the steps you took to get there, and what was the end result?

When I first started researching my ancestors, my late Aunt Jan showed me the Stanley Family Bible. It contained parts of the Stanley pedigree doing back several generations. As I studied these page, a name (added to the Bible by my Aunt Jan) that caught my eye was that of Major John Isler:

“a gallant revolutionary soldier”! Wow, how exciting! Gotta find this guy..

I didn’t look very hard for Major John Isler at that time because I really didn’t know even where to begin! I was a very green, ignorant and inexperienced family historian.

But over time, as I began to learn how to search, to document and to decide what was legitimate data and what was hogwash, Major John Isler was always there, in the back of my dusty brain, patiently waiting…

Years later, I was finally able to trace back to Harriet A (Isler) Kennedy, my fourth great-grandmother. Major John Isler was the next generation above Harriet. Harriet was born in Jones County, North Carolina in about 1805, so that’s were I went in search of John.

As I can’t travel to Jones County, North Carolina at this time to personally search courthouse and other historical records, most of my research was done online. Using Ancestry, Fold3, FamilySearch, GenealogyBank, Google Books, USGenWeb and other such sites, I came upon the handwritten Revolutionary War Pension statement of another North Carolina soldier, census and estate records and Jones County, North Carolina historical records. I located Major John Isler and was finally able to link him to my fourth great-grandmother Harriet Kennedy and establish his Revolutionary War service.

Was he “gallant”? Well, I couldn’t find anything indicating that he had been shot or hung by his own men, therefore… ;)

(To view the documentation for John Isler, Sr, click the menu at the top of this page: Photos/Documents>Isler>John Isler, Sr)

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52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your thoughts on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.


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1940 Census Saturday: Bettie Brewer

Prior to the release of the 1940 U S Census, I created a list of everyone in my database who should be in that census. Each Saturday I hope to be able to introduce an ancestor and his/her enumeration sheet from my 1940 Census “Wish List”:

(William Drury Bennett was next on the list… can’t find him… yet…)

Bettie Brewer (1850-1941) was the wife of my second great-granduncle Daniel Brevard Vance.


(click to enlarge)