Episode 355: Classic Rewind - Hank Jones On Those Weird Things That Happen When Doing Family History / Texas Genie Finds Herd Of Black Sheep

podcast episode Feb 07, 2022

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. The guys begin by talking about a remarkable string of luck in their own research. Hear how Fisher discovered his late father-in-law’s unique place in the historical record. David kicks off Family Histoire News with a story about how modern genomics is rewriting history. Then, law enforcement in Tennessee is seeking public financial support to solve a four decade old cold case. Fisher notes that in Idaho, a grant has been awarded to a law enforcement agency there to cover DNA analysis on a cold case. He also points to a group of wealthy businessmen in Utah called the “Honorary Colonels” who financially support law enforcement in such matters. David then shares the story of Daniel Smith. He’s one of America’s last living children of a slave! Then, a man in eastern Europe has stumbled upon a 3,000 year old sword.

Next, Fisher shares one of his favorite “visits from the vault.” Actor, singer, and renowned genealogist Hank Jones talks about his collection of stories of strange things that have happened when doing genealogy and family history work.

Then, Fort Worth genie Sharon Manson discusses her journey that helped her learn why her parents would tell her never to ask about her paternal grandmother!

Finally, David returns for Ask Us Anything, discussing Revolutionary soldier lineage societies (there are more than you think) and Canadian emigration to the United States.

That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!

Transcript for Episode 355 Classic Rewind

Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 355 Classic Rewind

Fisher: And it’s time once again for another round of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Hello, America. It is Fisher at this end. Great to have you aboard! I am your Radio Roots Sleuth. This is the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. Boy, we’ve got some great guests today. In fact, I’m going to dig into the vault of shows to bring you one that you probably have never heard or maybe never heard in a long, long time. It’s my old friend Hank Jones. He’s a Hollywood actor that you may know of and he shares a lot of stories about serendipity in family history. You know when you do your family history research and strange things happen? He actually wrote books about this and we’re going to share one of our visits with Hank coming up in about ten minutes. Later in the show, we’re going to talk to a lady from Fort Worth, Texas who has, shall we say, virtually a flock of black sheep that she’s dug up in her research. Sharon Manson’s going to be on the show so we’re looking forward to that. Hey, if you haven’t signed up for our Weekly Genie Newsletter, yet, of course you can do so on our Facebook page or at ExtremeGenes.com. You get a blog from me each week, a couple of links to past and present shows, and of course links to stories that you will find fascinating as a genealogist. And right now, it’s time to head out to Boston, Massachusetts David Allen Lambert is standing by, the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and American Ancestors.org. Hello, David.

David: And hello Canada! I have to give a shout out to half of my ethnicity, you know. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] Stick to the script, will you, Lambert.

David: Oh, sorry.

Fisher: Let’s get on with it, shall we.

David: Yes, sir.

Fisher: First of all, what kind of week have you had? Make any great discoveries?

David: Well, I was writing two lectures on Revolutionary War research, kind of redoing them, if you will. And while looking for an example I said, oh, I wonder if he served? And I found another fifth great grandfather who qualifies as a Revolutionary War soldier up in New Hampshire. So, there’s just one more application fee that I’m going to have to pay with the SAR. [Laughs]

Fisher: Very nice, congratulations! We’ve been going nuts here and here’s the big problem I’ve got, Dave. My wife Julie now is starting to get into this and she wants to write the story of her father who was a newspaper photographer. She also got some material from her brother recently. These were various little items he had pulled out from an old family bible and sent them on. One was a small picture. It was one and a quarter by one and three eights inches, really, really tiny. We blew it up and it was my wife’s great grandmother on a telephone like around 1915. It’s a really cool picture.

David: I like that.

Fisher: Yeah. I like that a lot too. And then there was a social security card in there of her great grandmother and I looked at it, hadn’t really thought much about it, but she noticed, well, wait a minute, there’s an address on there that I’m not familiar with my great grandmother and there’s a name of a business on it. So, she started researching it and we figured out that her great grandmother in her 70s was working at an ammunitions factory in Northern Indiana during World War II. [Laughs]

David: Well, apparently she survived that job.

Fisher: Yes, yes. Nothing went boom which is very good.

David: Wow.

Fisher: And then, we were looking for more pictures her newspaper photographer father had taken back in the day and we found that one of them was actually clipped by somebody and placed in a dossier, the FBI dossier of Martin Luther King.

David: [Gasp] Well, you’ve had a more interesting week than I have. I’m just kicking up dead people from 250 years ago that had begun.

Fisher: Right. Oh, I think you had a great week, but this has been insane! We just keep going over these things and finding more and more stuff and it’s like, you know, I’ve been doing this a long time, you’d think you’d have it all by now, but it’s never hat way. So let’s get on with our family histoire news. What do you have for us, Dave?

David: Well, I want to start off with a nice article by Molly Campbell who’s a science writer for a site called TechnologyNetworks.com. Ad she talks about a variety of different things, how DNA and discoveries and genomics have really opened up and changed history or confirms history. Part of the article is really great. It talks about the discovery of over 400 Viking skeletons that were found a number of years ago, and they’ve done DNA analysis. Did you realize that some of the Vikings were actually not blonde? Most of them were brunettes according to the cemeter’s dig.

Fisher: Wow.

David: Viking raving parties are an activity for local individuals. Kind of like when you went to go see a football game. It’s a great story. You’re going to read it, lots of components to it. Of course, DNA has been a great part of crime solving. And now we have a case in 1978 in Rutherford County Tennessee where they’re looking for the help of local individuals to give their DNA, also looking for people to help fundraise so that they can raise some money to solve a cold case from over 40 years ago.

Fisher: And you know Dave, this is really true all over the place. There is a case up in Idaho where there was a grant, I guess, issued for dealing with cold cases to do the testing and there’s a group in my area called “The Honorary Colonels” and it’s a group of pretty wealthy business people who support local law enforcement and when a case comes up that requires expensive DNA testing and processing, they help fund it. So, there’s really a need right now for individuals to contribute to help solve these cases. But I’m thinking at some point we’re going to start seeing governments actually budget some funds for this kind of work.

David: It’s amazing. Stop and think about the timeframe. The Civil War was over 150 years ago now, okay, how about an 88 year old man in Washington D.C. Daniel Smith, a veteran himself, talked about his dad who was born in 1863 born as an enslaved individual. How many people alive today can say that?

Fisher: You know what? You consider that we only recently started losing all the children of the Civil War Vets. The youngest would have had to have been born in the 1840s, but an enslaved individual could have been born anywhere in the early 1860s and still have somebody living today if they fathered a child late, right?

David: That’s very true. You know, when you’re out hunting for mushrooms, you never know what you’re going to find. Mushrooms are yummy, but I’d like to find what this guy found in the Czech Republic. How about a 3300 year old bronze sword?

Fisher: Wow! That’s amazing.

David: Yeah. I go and I find pull tabs on the ground.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah right.

David: Maybe I should start hunting for mushrooms, I’ll find swords. Well, as the holidays progress, you’re looking for that gift for your favorite genealogist, think about American Ancestors. You can save $20 on your membership using the coupon code EXTREME on AmericanAncestores.org. Talk to you soon.

Fisher: All right David. Yeah, at the backend show as we do Ask Us Anything. Coming up next, I’m going to talk to Hank Z. Jones the former actor. He’s a genealogist and he talks about serendipity in genealogy. There’s weird stuff that happens out there. You’re going to enjoy it coming up in minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.  

Segment 2 Episode 355 Classic Rewind

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Hank Jones

Fisher: Welcome back to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes, and ExtremeGenes.com. I wanted to share with you today one of my favorite all time segments. It’s with Hank Jones. He’s a former actor. He’s a fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, a fellow with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, a lecturer. He’s written books on the Palatine Families of New York, and a couple of books called Psychic Roots: Serendipity and Intuition in Genealogy. And what a conversation we had on that. I was amazed he even had time to talk to me.

Hank: [Laughs] Keeps you off the street.

Fisher: I guess so. Well, let’s talk about this serendipity thing because we hear about it all the time. And for people who may not have gotten into genealogy yet, or family history research, you might be surprised at some of the stories that happened. And it certainly happened to me early on. How about you Hank, did you ever have an experience right at the beginning? 

Hank: Yes. And it just kind of built from then on. Things just started happening right and left, and at first I thought I was the only one getting a little too close to the butterfly net.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Hank: I didn’t know what was going on. What happened was, I wanted to find out if really this was just me that this was happening to. So, I sent out 200 letters oh, probably about 15 years ago to some of the leading genealogists around the world and I said, now, I’m not knocking the scientific approach genealogy because my fellow fellows in the ASG and all of the great scholars in genealogy over the years, you know, make the point that this is really a scientific thing we do, when it’s done right.

Fisher: Right.

Hank: But I wanted to know, once in a while that something happened that you just couldn’t explain that somehow led you to success in climbing the family tree that you weren’t expecting. And I’m up to 1300 experiences shared from our fellow genealogists around the world now.

Fisher: Wow.

Hank: And so, it does happen. I started very young. I’ve been writing books since my days at Stanford in the 1960s on the Palatine families of New York. These are German immigrants that came in the 18th century to colonial America.

Fisher: Right.

Hank: Well, the wild thing was, to my knowledge, I didn’t descend from any of them yet I almost felt compelled to write about them. And the main center of the thing is I wanted to find as many of the ancestral homes of these 847 families that came to New York, overseas, and Germany. And so, I found a little lady over there who would literally go village to village from where I would theorize these places would be, because this was before a lot of microfilm was available and certainly before the internet. Anyway, I had no business or interest in any family. I didn’t descend from any of them that came to America. So, she said to me, “Well, where will I begin?” I gave her all these names and I said, “I don’t care. I want to find them all.” She said, “No, we have to start somewhere.” So, I said, “Okay.” I had always been interested in a guy named Dietrich Snyder, one of the 847 for some reason. I said, “We know he came from Hackenberg, Germany. Okay Carla, go there first. We’ve got to start somewhere.” So, she did. So, that’s all, as we say in the movies, to about 15 or 20 years later.

Fisher: Right. [Laughs]

Hank: Since that time I found over 600 of the 847 families. 1500 later arrivals had come to America in the 18th century. And the only family that I am directly related to of that group is the Dietrich Snyder family of Hackenberg.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Hank: My first choice selected totally off the wall out at random for Carla to look for in her searches for me in Germany.

Fisher: Unbelievable. And how many generations back are we talking? 

Hank: A long, long time back, about eight, somewhere around there. And another thing started happening but I had to do lectures about the Palatines around the country. I’ve lived in the West Coast all my life and been a few trips to the East Coast but never a lot. But when I would go back sometimes to speak in a place where the Palatines lived on the East Coast in New York or New Jersey, in a couple of instances the local historian would be taking me around to show me the sights. And I would tell the local historian what was going to be around the bend in the road before we got to it. And I’d never been there before.

Fisher: Oh, boy. [Laughs]

Hank: And it’s really spooky stuff like that.

Fisher: And how could you explain that? What do you think it was about?

Hank: I don’t know. And that really is the success I think of the Psychic Roots book. We’re on our ninth printing now. And I have no agenda. I don’t know why it happened. I just know this stuff happens. So, what I basically say is, it happens. Enjoy it and use it. Because if there’s a feeling that is common to a genealogist who is at least open to this, is that if you allow yourself to be led in your searches, it’s amazing what you’re going to find. I would say follow your hunches and see if the facts back them up. And you have nothing to lose. It’s just more added information that might for you, and so often it does. Tell me about your serendipitous experience.

Fisher: A couple of them actually. When I first started, I was 26 years old, living in Florida, went to New York to the archives there, and happened to pick a week where it was the worst weather they had had in years. And so, we’re the only people in the archives, my wife and I. I mean, the snow is hitting us sideways as we got off the train to go into the city. And of course, nobody else was dumb enough to be in the New York Archives in weather like this. It was just us and the poor sucker who had to actually operate the office there, and he was not happy to be there. And so, we started going about our business and again, this is before the internet, going through some microfilm. And halfway through the day one other person showed up out of the 13 million in the New York metropolitan area, sat next to me because that’s where one of the only other microfilm readers that actually worked, was sitting. And she overheard me say, “Oh, Katherine Ann Spake.” She says, “Excuse me, did you say Ann Spake?” I said yes. She says, “Well, that’s a very rare name in early New York. I have a friend on Long Island by that name. Maybe he’s tied to you.” And I had no idea. I was just getting going. Anyway, we exchanged information and in time we figured out we were fourth cousins and he became a resource for me. We’re still in touch after 33 years. 

Hank: Oh my gosh.

Fisher: And what are the odds? You know?

Hank: The odds are formidable. And that happens a lot. Even my own book Psychic Roots took a life of its own. I was in Salt Lake City at the big library, the family history library, at my own table doing a lot of intensive research, not even looking up, and all of a sudden I did look up because here comes this lady leading about 20 people behind her. She was guide of the library and was telling the newcomers to the library where the stacks were, where the microfilm readers were, all that stuff. And she happened to walk by my table, and just as she’s walking by my table, she says to her 20 people, “Why yes, there’s even a book out about Psychic Roots and about intuition and serendipity in genealogy.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Hank: To which I stood up immediately and said, “I know. I wrote it.” And I sat down.

Fisher: [Laughs] Well, that had to be pleasing.

Hank: It was pleasing. It was fun. Who would have thought that would happen at that particular time. The timing and stuff can be weird. One of my favorite stories was sent to me by Reverend Schuster. He was a minister in the Midwest. And for years he’d wanted to go back east to the east coast to go to the gravestone of his Schuster ancestors where they’re buried on the east coast. And for 25 years he’d wanted to do this but he had a very big congregation. He could never get away from the pulpit to do it. So, finally, it was sort of like put up or shut up time, he said, “I got to do this.” So, he went back to the town in New York where his ancestors lived, the Shuster family, and he went to the cemetery. And as he walked in the cemetery, he gulped he told me because it wasn’t just a village cemetery, this was a cemetery that had lots and lots almost a thousand graves just over Hillandale that particular area of Upstate New York. And he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know how he’d ever find his Shuster ancestors’ graves. So, he found the sexton of the cemetery, who happened to be walking near the entrance and he said, “Would you happen to know where my Shuster ancestors would be buried?” And immediately the sexton of the cemetery took him to the graves he’d been looking for, for 25 years. And Reverend Shuster said to the sexton, “How did you ever know out of all these gravestones where the Shuster family is buried without looking it up in your files?” And the sexton told him that he was the fifth person that day to ask for that particular grave. And with that, the sexton pointed to a hollow on the hill overlooking the whole cemetery where the 25th annual Shuster family reunion was taking place.     

Fisher: [Laughs]

Hank: And as Reverend Shuster said, “I walked up the hill and I met my family.”

Fisher: Unbelievable. And how long ago was this?

Hank: Well, he told me the story about 20 years ago.

Fisher: Isn’t that something.

Hank: You know, just the timing of these things can be very weird. It just happens over and over again. I had a bit of a think about you, you doing your radio show there was a guy whose deceased now named Nick Von Hall who was sort of like the Larry King of Australian genealogy. And he had a radio show once a week all throughout Australia and New Zealand about genealogy. And Nick came to America and was telling me some stories that had been told to him on the air. And Nick said the most common story I’m told on the air is this, and it had variations of basically the same story as this. “I was looking for my ancestor. I went to the cemetery where my ancestor was buried but I’d never been there before. I got out of the car and I walked straight to my ancestor’s grave.

Fisher: Yes. I have heard that story too.

Hank: Yeah. Isn’t that something? It’s like they’re calling to you. In the forward to the first Psychic Roots volume, Helen Hinchliff, one of our fellow fellows put it nicely too. She said, you know Hank, she said, feeling about one’s ancestors as well as thinking about them, usually results in a far more successful search. And that’s really true. I’m a big champion of genealogies that are not just names and dates. I mean, you ever read a genealogy with just names and dates? You know, spare me.

Fisher: Right. [Laughs]

Hank: But it’s our job to put flesh and blood on the skeleton of names and dates and make them come alive again. And it’s great to honor your Mayflower ancestor and your Revolutionary War soldier, but don’t forget to honor the horse thief, too, because they too have their stories and sometimes they are a heck a lot more fun.

Fisher: [Laughs] I can’t argue with you on that point. My favorite ancestors are some of the biggest scoundrels. 

Hank: Oh yeah. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] There’s no doubt.

Hank: I don’t know how it works. I just think that our ancestors want to be found. And it’s sort of our soul’s task to do it. This is what we do. We’re genealogists. I mean, trying to explain our excitement to a civilian is beyond us because they don’t get it.

Fisher: [Laughs] No, you’re absolutely right.

Hank: I’m weird cousin Hank who likes dead people. That’s fine. I am definitely weird.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Hank: It’s kind of what we’re supposed to do. And that was another thing that came to in all these 1300 letters shared by genealogists that this is what we do. It’s what we’re supposed to do. And so we do it. And it’s just part of our deal here.

Fisher: He’s Hank Jones. He’s the author of Psychic Roots: Serendipity and Intuition in Genealogy. Hank, your book’s still in print. How can I get it?

Hank: Actually, you can get it through my website www.hankjones.com.

Fisher: Excellent. Will you come back and we’ll do some more?

Hank: I’d love to Scott. Thank you for asking me.

Fisher: And coming up next, it’s one of those listeners who were always told as a kid, “Don’t ask about that relative.” Well, of course she did. She looked into it. She found a lot of stuff and you’re going to hear all about it coming up next on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show in five minutes.

Segment 3 Episode 355 Classic Rewind

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Sharon Manson

Fisher: Well, we’re always looking for ordinary people with extraordinary finds and sometimes those finds include a lot of black sheep. Hey, it’s Fisher and welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. I’ve got a lot of black sheep in my family but I don’t know that I’ve got quite as many as my next guest Sharon Manson from Fort Worth, Texas. Sharon, welcome to Extreme Genes, it’s great to have you.

Sharon: [Laughs] Thanks. Thanks for having me on.

Fisher: I appreciate you agreeing to come on because I mean, your list of black sheep is rather lengthy.

Sharon: [Laughs] And it’s longer than that.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] First of all, when did you begin researching your family?

Sharon: Two, maybe two and a half years ago.

Fisher: Okay.

Sharon: We’d always heard about my dad’s mother but we were not allowed to talk about her.

Fisher: Oh. [Laughs]

Sharon: It was one of those things that I remember as a kid we had our grammy which is our mother’s mother and I remember as a kid going, why don’t we have a grammy for dad? And my mom’s like, don’t talk about it. [Laughs]

Fisher: Don’t even go there.

Sharon: Don’t go there. So we never knew her.

Fisher: Yeah.

Sharon: We just assumed that she had died when she was young. We knew that my dad and his brother were sent to live with his aunt. His aunt adopted his brother but didn’t adopt my father. He graduated high school and joined the service and he was in the service when he met my mom and the ball went rolling from there.

Fisher: Sure.

Sharon: We really never knew my dad’s father either because he didn’t really live with him, but we didn’t know anything about my dad’s mother. So, I was visiting and they were giving us back our baby stuff because they’ve moved into an independent living facility. So, they’re giving us our stuff and lo and behold in the baby book is my grandmother’s name is Gertrude on my mother’s side but my grandmother’s name on my father’s side is also Gertrude.

Fisher: Oh.

Sharon: So, there’s Gertrude Manson listed there. So, that started me looking. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah, I guess so and off you went.

Sharon: I did a trial of Ancestry and then just started going and plugging things in of what I knew, what I could figure out. I called my sister, I sent her a message I think at 6:00 AM. And I called her at 10:00 AM, saying, I found everything! [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

Sharon: And I had started the night before like at 9 ‘o clock and I had just gone straight. I was on this crazy adrenaline high of just finding stuff.

Fisher: Wait a minute, you went all through the night 3:00 AM, 4:00 AM, 5:00 AM?

Sharon: Yes.

Fisher: Wow!

Sharon: That’s why I sent her a message on Facebook so I wouldn’t wake her up and I said, “I found some stuff! [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] I guess you did. Wow.

Sharon: And the tree just kept going, and going, and going, and it was just crazy how things just started falling in line and then of course it hit some roadblocks but I found her. I found her name. I found her family and kind of hit some dead-ends there. Turns out, she lived in Lowell, Massachusetts her whole life. She died in 1978.

Fisher: Okay. A lot later than you thought. Did you ever figure out why the parents were like, don’t talk about this. This is something we don’t discuss?

Sharon: Well, I hit this roadblock for a while and then I stumbled on someone else’s tree that had her listed and it had the name of a son. So, I started looking through the city directories and going back and piecing those city directories where she was a Manson and then she disappeared. And I found a marriage index where it had a Patrick Henry Smith and Gertrude Estelle Wright.

Fisher: Yeah.

Sharon: So, I wrote off to Massachusetts to get a copy of that marriage certificate and it came back and it said, this marriage was annulled, no further information can be provided.

Fisher: Okay. So, basically, she gets married a lot.

Sharon: I guess she left my dad, his brother, and her husband my grandfather, for another man and had a child with him.

Fisher: Yeah.

Sharon: And then he found out she wasn’t divorced yet so the marriage was annulled.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Sharon: [Laughs] And it’s all in that same little area that she’s living. I found that she lived with her son for a while. My dad has no clue. My dad is 88, so this guy would be 81. So, they’ve obviously never met. And I finally find her obituary which lists all of these things that confirm that she was married and that she has a son and the name of the son, and all of that.

Fisher: Wow!

Sharon: Yeah, so it’s all there.

Fisher: [Laughs] It’s all mapped out in one big sloppy mess.

Sharon: Oh, yeah.

Fisher: So, what are some of the other black sheep you’ve run across?

Sharon: Well, when my dad was sent to live with his aunt Beatrice. Beatrice at one point she was in the Navy and she was sent to Illinois to the Navy base there and she was in the steno pool or something there even though she got all the Navy training. Funny because back in the ‘20s you know, they put all your business in the newspaper.

Fisher: Yep.

Sharon: But I ran across an article that said, “Wife claims husband is married to another.” Or something like that. [Laughs]

Fisher: Ah ha! Here we go again.

Sharon: She ended up marry Henry Drake but I guess she didn’t because he was already married and not divorced.

Fisher: [Laughs] she didn’t know she wasn’t married even though she was married.

Sharon: [Laughs] Right, yeah. So, she came back home to Boston and was married off to Wyman Allen. So, that’s who my dad ended up living with this Wyman and his aunt B.

Fisher: Okay.

Sharon: So, he lived with them and they adopted his brother but did not adopt my father for whatever reason, I’m not sure.

Fisher: Right, complication, complications.

Sharon: Yes. [Laughs]

Fisher: So, tell me about some of the other black sheep.

Sharon: Well, Beatrice’s daughter Ruth, she married and they had four children, and then when she passed away he dropped all the children off at an orphanage and took off.

Fisher: Wow!

Sharon: Yeah. The granddaughter contacted me and asked for some information. We got that through the DNA, through 23andMe. So, she reached out and said, somehow we’re related and I think it’s because my father was adopted. We’re trying to find his full parents. We think its Ruth West.

Fisher: Wow.

Sharon: So, I sent her pictures.

Fisher: Such devotion in your family I’m noticing.

Sharon: Yeah, because if we go on my mother’s side we’ve got some good things going on there. [Laughs]

Fisher: Okay.

Sharon: Because my grandmother, her husband Thomas Atkinson he apparently was married before he married my grandmother. And we did find last summer, I was with my mother scanning some pictures and found this picture of someone named Dorothy and I said, who’s Dorothy? And she said I have no clue. I started doing some searching for some Dorothy Atkinson and I find a marriage certificate for Thomas Marie Atkinson and another woman, not my grandmother. And sure enough they have a daughter Dorothy Atkinson and he left her for whatever reason and then he married my grandmother Gertrude Marie De Bruin. Now, her father... [Laughs]

Fisher: Uh, oh.

Sharon: Was kind of known as the Cad in the De Bruin family. So, he left them early on and he ended up with another woman he left.

Fisher: So, you found any criminals, Sharon?

Sharon: No, thankfully. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] None of that yet, good.

Sharon: My sister did 23andMe and then gifted it to everybody. So, we have these names that pop up that if it’s only my mother and her brother that are from her mother and my grandfather, I can’t figure out how on earth to fit them in there. So, I think there’s something more with my grandfather.

Fisher: Well, it sounds like it. It sounds like they were always happy to meet someone and always happy to meet someone new.

Sharon: [Laughs]

Fisher: Isn’t it amazing how we all get here, you know? It’s just from certain moments in time that couldn’t happen any other way.

Sharon: Yeah.

Fisher: Well, thank you so much Sharon for sharing your stories here. This has been quite a run for you. Congratulations and good luck with finding all these half cousins, step cousins, and adopted cousins, and all the people that come from this.

Sharon: [Laughs] Yeah thanks. It’s really funny when I started going back on that tree, everything comes back through Gertrude Manson. So, I’ll call my sister and go, Hey, look, there might be a way that there’s someone that’s one of the culvert families in Connecticut but it looks like the tree goes through Gertrude Estelle Wright. And I’ll come back to something else and go it goes back through Gertrude Estelle Wright.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Sharon: Every one of the things you’re like, wow, that’s kind of cool. There might be like a Salem witch in there in Santa Martin.

Fisher: [Laughs] Okay. Yeah.

Sharon: I’m going through that and I’ve got to verify everything but initially it goes up to her but when it branches off it comes down through the Wright family.

Fisher: Through Gertrude, which makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? [Laughs]

Sharon: [Laughs]

Fisher: Well, thanks so much for coming on Sharon and sharing your tales and good luck in your pursuit.

Sharon: All right, thank you so much.

Fisher: Well, David’s coming back in just a couple of moments for another round of Ask Us Anything. We’re going to be taking on questions about Revolutionary Soldier Linage Societies, and immigration from Canada to the United States. Where are the records? Dave’s got some answers coming up when we return in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 4 Episode 355 Classic Rewind

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Fisher: All right, onto the questions! It’s Ask Us Anything on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth with David Allen Lambert over there in Boston. And David, our first question comes from Kelly in Jefferson City, Missouri and Kelly writes, "Guys, other than SAR and DAR, are there other Revolutionary lineage societies that I should look at?" Great question Kelly. David, you are in like all of them, aren't you?

David: [Laughs] I'm not in the DAR.

Fisher: Okay, all right.

David: Yeah, but I am in the SAR, in the SR and I'm in the Society of the Cincinnati. So, here's my real question, Kelly, are you a gal or guy? Because I can refer you to a couple of different ones. So, there is an organization called the Society of the Cincinnati. It’s actually the oldest hereditary organization from the Revolutionary War started by the officers in George Washington in 1783, still very active and there's a Daughters of the Society of the Cincinnati as well, so you can look into that organization. Now the catch on that, it’s different state by state. There's actually 14 Cincinnati organizations and you think there are 13 original colonies. The 14th you can probably guess is who helped us, France.

Fisher: Yes, that's right, I remember this.

David: So you have eligibility based upon representation. So, if somebody is already represented by a descendant. So, say if hypothetically there's a John Lambert who served from Maryland, hypothetically, and I already am in his lineage and I've joined as a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, nobody else can join and I actually pick a successor member. So, you may have an ancestor who qualifies as an officer, either on a continental army or was in the state troops for a number of years or was killed in action, but it has to be an officer, but it could already be represented. Now there are other instances, for instance the state of New Hampshire's Society of the Cincinnati allows you to go in under the brother of an officer. So, for me, my direct Society of the Cincinnati connection isn't an ancestor who was an officer, but his brother was. Now I joined for life, and I cannot pick a successor member, because the line's already represented, but because I'm going through a brother, I was able to get my membership. I really enjoy it. It’s a great organization, but there's also great work by two groups you may have heard a lot about, the Daughters of the American Revolution, which have done tremendous work for genealogists over the years in all their transcriptions and gravestone work and just their application is also a wealth of information. In the SAR who have also done the patriot indexes and the research that they've done on grave sites throughout the country are great for patriotic use. Now, the SAR doesn't have as many members as the DAR, so I always tell the DAR ladies, "Get your husbands involved or your brothers, but get them involved."

Fisher: Right.

David: And these are two organizations as we move forward to the 250th are very, very important. In fact, we've actually had the former national president of the SAR as a guest on the show a couple of times.

Fisher: Yes, absolutely, and we've had it from the DAR, too.

David: That's true, that's very true. There's another organization you may have not heard of and that's called the SR, not to be confused with the SAR, it’s the Sons of the Revolution, which started originally at the time of the first Centennial in the 1870s. And it was founded by men that basically couldn't join the Society of the Cincinnati, but wanted to be actively involved and it was a membership only by request organization. However, not everyone could join, so in 1889, they formed the SAR as a secondary group so anybody could join.

Fisher: Wow, so the Sons of the Revolution actually were there first and then the SAR followed along. When did the DAR start then?

David: So, the SAR was founded in 1889 and on October 11th 1890, the DAR.

Fisher: All right, great question, Kelly. Thanks so much. We'll take on another one, coming up here in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 355 Classic Rewind

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Fisher: All right, back for our final segment on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show. It’s Ask Us Anything. David Allen Lambert is here. And we've got a question here from Stephen in San Francisco, David. He is asking about Canadian immigration in the late 19th century, "Guys, can you tell me what sources might be out there to help me find my people?" David, you are Canadian. This is perfect!

David: I know, but I didn't arrive in the late 19th century. I do feel like that some mornings though.

Fisher: Right. [Laughs]

David: Well, I could tell you that St. Albans border crossings are what you want to look at. So starting in 1895, so it’s really at the close of the 19th century, they became more concerned with the crossings of Canadians, but there's a lot of Canadians that would come down seasonal for work as they did with New England and the factories. In fact, they would come down with their spouses, they’d have the babies born in America and then they'd go up and have them, say, baptized in Atlanta, Canada or Quebec and then they would eventually come down and settle, so their children had American citizenship, which is a wonderful thing that they wanted to be back in their traditional church, but they have the jobs down here.

Fisher: Sure.

David: So, St. Albans border crossings cover 1895 to 1954 and its part of a national archives microfilm. You would normally have to look at those blue boxes and crank the rolls, but thanks to Family Search, you can search these online, including 4 million+ images of all of the border crossings.

Fisher: Wow!

David: I've used it to find my grandparents coming down in 1923 into Boston. My dad's folks came down from New Brunswick. Now they didn't cross the border in St. Albans, Vermont. That's where a lot of people think, oh, they all came through the filter of one door. [Laughs] No.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: The entire Canadian border crossing collection is called St. Albans Canadian border crossings. Mine didn't even come by land. They didn't go by train either. They came by a ferry out of Saint John, New Brunswick and came into Boston. But because they crossed the border and came from Canada, they're included. And this is great, because it gives you the names, the ages, the dates where they're from, how much money they had on them.

Fisher: Wow!

David: Just like, you know, passenger lists.

Fisher: Occupation?

David: Hmm, yes, occupation is occasionally listed too on the manifests or where you're going to go live. And these are good right through 1954, so I have a lot of my grandparent's cousins who would come down for visits in the 1930s and '40s and even later, and then you catch then just coming down for a visit. Doesn't mean they're coming to immigrate, but if they cross the border, they're recorded. It’s a good database, historic, you might find that your ancestor may have came over earlier, but it’s possible that they went back and forth, and this is where you might catch them on a later list. Before then, it’s a little hard. You will find the Atlantic ports where you’ll find vessels coming down from, say, Atlanta, Canada and you'll see that they're from Canada, but they may not give you all the family or it may not be every immigrant that's come down. So, this is a more complete collection and you'll also find this on Ancestry.com.

Fisher: Now does this ever cover, say, Europeans who go to Canada first and then come down?

David: Ooh, yeah. Well, if you're a two boarder, as we call the people that flew over from Europe, then over to Canada, then down to America, they definitely will catch them. But of course it won’t make any reference to their arrival from Europe, unless of course they just did it immediately. Sometimes people came, settled in Canada briefly and then immigrated down, but it will say their place of birth, which would of course be a clear indication that they came from Ireland or England or Scotland, etc.

Fisher: Wow! Would they ever give the specific towns?

David: Sometimes they do. Depends how deeds are oriented, the enumerator of that list actually was. I mean, I've seen for my grandfather, sometimes it says Canada and in some cases it says the French island that he was born, which is off the coast of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, which is tactically France.

Fisher: All right, David. Thanks so much. And thank you, Stephen for the question. And of course if have a question for Ask Us Anything, you can always email us at [email protected]. David, thank you much. We'll see you next week.

David: See you then.

Fisher: Let's put a wrap on the show for this week. Thanks for joining us and if you missed any of it or you want to catch it again, listen to the podcast, we're on iTunes, iHeart Radio, Spotify, ExtremeGenes.com, all the big places, we're right there. Talk to you next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

Subscribe now to find out why hundreds of thousands of family researchers listen to Extreme Genes every week!

Email me new episodes