Episode 404 - The How And Why Of A Family Legend / Crista Cowan On Ancestry Changes And New Assets

podcast episode Dec 20, 2021

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 this last show of 2021 with a heartwarming story. Adopted siblings have found each other using DNA and are spending their first Christmas season together in over 50 years. Then, David talks about 68 Acadian families who were in Maine in 1790, but were passed over by the census taker. Those families have now been reconstructed through other records and published in a new book. Next, hear about the remarkable flight of a photo from the disastrous tornados in Kentucky to a window in Indiana, and BACK to its owner! Also hear about new finds including children playing with old human bones that led to a historic discovery and a billionaire turning in his ill gotten bounty from the black market.

Next, Fisher visits with Barbara Clements from Lombard, Illinois. Barbara’s family had a longstanding family legend about their Native American ancestry.  She has learned now how that story came to be and the “why” behind it.

Then, Crista Cowan from sponsor Ancestry.com comes on to talk about changes coming to the super-site and new assets coming our way soon!

David then returns for two more listener questions on Ask Us Anything.

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

Transcript of Episode 404

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 404

Fisher: And welcome America to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree, and watch the nuts fall out. Well, it’s our last show for the old year. We’re going to take a couple of weeks off coming up here and play some classic rewinds for you that you’re going to love. Hey, on the show today some great guests as always. I’m going to be talking with Barbara Clement. She’s from Lombard, Illinois. And Barbara had a long standing family legend about her Native American ancestry. And she recently learned how that story came down through the family and the why will absolutely amaze you. It’s incredible. Then later in the show, Crista Cowan is here back from our sponsors over at Ancestry.com. There’s going to be some changes there, yeah, and some new deals and some great databases coming along. You’re going to want to hear what she has. Hey, if you haven’t signed up for our Weekly Genie Newsletter yet, you can do that at ExtremeGenes.com or on our Facebook page and signup for our courses too. You can get basic genealogy and using matches to make breakthroughs in your genealogy. You can find it at ExtremeGenes.com. But right now it is time to head out to Boston, Massachusetts because David Allen Lambert is standing by feeling very merry, very jolly. And David, welcome back. It’s great to have you.   

David: It’s good to be here. Hey listen, a break from wrapping presents is always a welcome thing.

Fisher: [Laughs] Absolutely. All right, what have you got for us today in Family Histoire news?

David: Well, a really jolly family story brought to you by Ancestry.com’s DNA kits. Three female siblings reunited after more than 50 years.

Fisher: Wow!

David: They’re now spending Christmas together. Beth Johnson had been separated from her siblings for more than 50 years because they were all adopted into different families. And she took an Ancestry DNA test and voila! The DNA results resulted in her now having her sisters back for the first time in half a century. So, what a wonderful Christmas story that is.

Fisher: That has got to be like the best Christmas for these guys ever, right? I mean, who needs a gift.

David: That’s very true because you have one another for the first time. And I think that this time they’re not going to lose touch.

Fisher: No. [Laughs]

David: Well, a great story about families north of Beantown at Prescal, Maine where the Acadian heritage families, which are French-Canadian families that were left out of the 1790 US census. And this book called Families of the Upper Saint John Valley in 1790 has put together these 60 families from a variety of records including deeds. Why they were omitted? May have been a reason of a language barrier or maybe the enumerator just didn’t go that far north.

Fisher: Is it possible that maybe the boarder changed?

David: No. This was actually part of Aroostook County at the time because otherwise it would be part of New Brunswick. So, this is just families that were there that were just absolutely just forgotten about. They’ve already sold 400 copies of the book so this little genealogical group has a bumper crop of research that has now probably wrapped gifts under many trees in Maine. 

Fisher: That’s a great story.

David: Well, I tell you the devastating news of the tornados that have recently gone through the middle of our country, just devastating. But a little glimmer of hope for one family that got a photo back that travelled 130 miles from their Kentucky home to New Albany, Indiana. This is when Katie Poston went out to her car in her home in New Albany, Indiana and thought somebody left a note on her window. No, the dated photograph from 1942 stuck there from the wind. And sure enough, she put it on social media, it went viral, and now the family has its photo back once again.

Fisher: Wow! [Laughs]

David: It gives a new meaning to air mail.

Fisher: Yes it does. [Laughs]

David: I wonder if the post office will charge because no stamps were used.

Fisher: Stop it.

David: Okay. Anyways, moving along, when you go outside and you see kids playing with odd toys you want to check them out especially if it’s in Crimea. Kids were playing with some really strange looking toys. It turned out to be ancient human bones. Apparently grave robbers had been caught hunting along a cemetery that had been used for over 500 years dating from the last century BC and the first century AD, and these kids had been playing with the bones. Well, it’s now accidently led to reveal an ancient culture and cemetery in Crimea that they didn’t know about before.  

Fisher: Isn’t that crazy? You know it’s amazing what the historian continue to dig up. And here it is the 21st century and we’re still finding stuff like this. It’s amazing.

David: We are, including one over in the UK. In Cambridgeshire Village, they found a human burial that dated back from the third of fourth century. And in the man’s ankle bone was a Roman nail. They strongly believe this is the first found crucifixion from the Roman occupation of England that’s ever been verified. 

Fisher: Unbelievable.

David: And you just never know what you’re going to get at the Christmas holiday grab from a billionaire. It may be one of the 171 stolen artifacts that he has bought through the black market. Yes, that is true. This hedge fund manager in New York has decided that he will turn over the $70 million worth of stolen goods from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Greece, Bulgaria, Israel, Italy and Turkey.

Fisher: And it’s worth a lot of money.

David: It is. Like I say, it is worth $70 million or more.

Fisher: And included in all this is a chest for human remains. Were there any remains in it?

David: It doesn’t say. It just says that there is a chest for human remains including also stone death masks, there is a silver drinking cup that dates back to 400 BC that was looted out of Miletus, Turkey. It’s some amazing things. I’d actually love to see a display of everything that was recovered. But the question is… were they taken from archeology sites, were they stolen from homes, or were they ever in a museum to begin with? Now it’s a process of putting them all back to where they belong. 

Fisher: Yeah, exactly.

David: Well, that’s all I have this week from Beantown. And don’t forget that last minute holiday gift may include an American Ancestors membership and you can save a little on your shopping with the coupon code EXTREME and save $20 on a membership from AmericanAncestors.org.

Fisher: All right David. Thank you so much and we’ll catch you at the backend of the show when we return for Ask Us Anything. And coming up next, we’re going to talk to a genie from Lombard, Illinois. Her name is Barbara Clement. And Barbara has had this long standing family legend about her Native American ancestry, and she found out how that story came down through the family and the why, is absolutely amazing. Check it out when we return in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. 

Segment 2 Episode 404

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Barbara Clement

Fisher: And we are back. It’s America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org. And as you may know, I was recently at the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana as a keynote speaker. And while I was there, I met a lovely lady named Barbara Clement from Lombard, Illinois who had a great story for us and I thought we’d get into that today because it’s pretty unique. Hi Barbara! Welcome to Extreme Genes. It was great meeting you at FGS.

Barbara: It was exciting to be there. What a great event.

Fisher: Yeah it really was and there was a lot to learn and a lot of stories being exchanged, and the amazing thing I think is often the tale of discovery itself is often even more incredible than the story we find, you know? And you certainly had a story kind of like that. Take us through your background a little bit.

Barbara: So, I’m the story-keeper in my family. My mom, my grandma, we’re always telling stories and one of the stories that both of them told me was that our ancestor John Drew was a Native American. My mom concluded that was true because she smoked corn cob pipe. 

Fisher: Oh wait a minute, so this of the corn cob pipe, this was the symbol of Native Americanism, right?

Barbara: I guess so.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Barbara: To people in Kentucky. [Laughs]

Fisher: To people in Kentucky, all right.

Barbara: So, the Kentucky Historical Society, which is in Frankfort, amazing place if you want to do Kentucky research is in Frankfort. They host every summer an event called The Town Hall Meeting and they have a contest. So, last November I entered this contest and I said I wanted to know about my ancestor John Drew to find out if he was Native American, which was the family story, or which tribe, you know, there was this speculation.

Fisher: Sure.

Barbara: And kind of to find his story because we had heard that he was a minister and Eastern Kentucky is a rough place. It’s the Appalachian Mountains so lots of hills for people to hide in. Was he hiding there because he was a Native American, or what was his story? So, the Kentucky Historical Society asked me for my GEDcom file, my DNA, and in May I found out that I had won and that I was going to be on a TV program that they were sponsoring that was going to be on PBS in Kentucky about Kentucky ancestors.

Fisher: Sweet!

Barbara: So, I was so excited and we went down to their big historical museum and they’d set up this art gallery to be like a TV studio. And ironically it was filled with photos of unknown black people throughout Kentucky, which was kind of cool to be there. And it was just like Henry Gates - Finding Your Roots programs. They had a moderator and they had a big reveal, and they had cards that I looked at. And then they had these little short clips the librarians had done on locations outside throughout Kentucky like the Berea College, so it was very exciting and I learned about John Drew my ancestor. It was the big reveal. I had no idea what they were going to say. I mean, I sat down and there were these 15 by 15 inch cards with a white one on top and that said “don’t peek.” [Laughs]

Fisher: Don’t peek. [Laughs]

Barbara: Don’t peek [Laughs] and I had invited other descendents of John Drew. I invited them and another John Drew descendent and we had like fifteen of John Drew’s descendents sitting in the front row, which was very cool. They drove in from Indiana and they had come to be there to learn about our mutual ancestor. So it was quite exciting. So, she started to tell me a little bit about John Drew.

Fisher: Now was this a research team then that was on it?

Barbara: They had four research librarians from the Kentucky Historical Society do all the research and at the end of it they gave me like a two-inch binder with all the documents and a thumb drive with more documents that were too big to print off. So it was kind of cool.

Fisher: Wow.

Barbara: And they told me after, they kept coming after the program and saying, “We loved this guy. He was so cool. And he was such a great man.” They were grateful to me for sharing his story.

Fisher: Now what years did he live?

Barbara: So, he was born in 1832 in North Carolina, which at that time could have been in Kentucky as you know boundaries changed.

Fisher: Yes.

Barbara:  But he starts showing up about 1840 in Eastern Kentucky, which is kind of the migration path for many people out of Virginia and North Carolina.

Fisher: Okay.

Barbara: And in the first census where his name is actually shown, he shows up as being Mulatto. And Mulatto is a term for being half black, half white. He shows up as Mulatto from 1850 to 1870 in all the census.

Fisher: Now was he a free black?

Barbara: He was a free black, but he was a farmer, but he was also a minister. So there’s this church organization called the American Missionary Association, it’s huge in the South, which was dedicated to helping educate black and Indian children. That was their goal, to have education for everybody, for all children. That was the future. And he, John Drew, was really well educated. They actually gave me letters that he had written, which was super cool to pick up the same letters and say, “Oh, he wrote these letters!”

Fisher: Wow!

Barbara: I mean, letters he wrote about his work in the church and his work to teach, his work to build schools.

Fisher: And they had these originals in the archives?

Barbara: They had found the originals through the American Missionary Association and they had some of them in the archives.

Fisher: Unbelievable.     

Barbara: It was unbelievable. I was like, wow! And then they had clips from various books because John Drew was an Abolitionist so he fought against slavery. And to do that in Kentucky during the Civil War was a very dangerous thing.

Fisher: Right, risky.

Barbara: Very risky. He really fought against slavery and many of these abolitionists were taken out and they were shaved and tarred for preaching against slaver, so a very violent time in our history. And then he and his wife were considered to be, they showed me several clips from books, that they were radical. And I thought that was kind of funny because I was considered a hippie, you know? [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

Barbara: And I thought, “My ancestor was a radical too!” [Laughs]

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] Well now, when you use the term radical, it is because they were anti slavery?

Barbara: Because they were anti slavery.

Fisher: Okay.

Barbara: And to be anti slavery before entering the Civil War in Kentucky was a pretty dangerous thing to be.

Fisher: Sure.

Barbara: So, he was in the drafted in the Civil War. He was with the Union but he never served it. He became a minister. And he was sent over to Camp Nelson which all the colored troops were sent to Camp Nelson South of Lexington to be trained, and John Drew was sent over there to be their minister.

Fisher: Now, they weren’t former slaves at that point, they were slaves at that point, were they not?

Barbara: They were slaves or they were freed or they were runaway. But Camp Nelson was quite a moving experience to see this huge camp that was set up. And John Drew would be their minister, and at night he would set up tent and bring them in to teach them how to read and write their name.

Fisher: Wow!

Barbara: When you think about that. That was his goal. To teach them so that they could write their name and they could sign documents. So, quite a story.

Fisher: And which state was this in now? He was with the Union side?

Barbara: Yes he was with the Union. Kentucky was spilt. The majority was with the Union and the Union had a huge camp South of Lexington, Kentucky where they trained all their soldiers. And ironically I had two other great grandfathers who went through Camp Nelson, so that was kind of cool.

Fisher: Amazing. But it got passed down now. Where did this Native American tradition come from in your family?

Barbara: So, after the war in 1874 there was a law passed that mandated segregation of schools. That the black children could not be educated with white children and that became the law. And John Drew having fourteen children was a little distressed over this so he gathered his large family together, this is what the librarians at the Kentucky Historical Society kind of presumed happened, and he said, “I want you educated. From this point forward we are all going to be Indian. And I’m an Indian, and you’re an Indian, and you’re and Indian. And if anybody asks you, on every document you are now an Indian.”

Fisher: Did that show up in census records through the years?

Barbara: It certainly did. Because in 1880 John Drew is no longer a Mulatto, he’s an Indian.

Fisher: Okay. [Laughs]

Barbara: And all of his children are half Indian. And from that point on they are Indian. And they carry this story with them, and their children and grandchildren all carry the story that we’re Indian. We’re not black, we’re Indian.

Fisher: And so was passed on down the line. And this was because of the fact that his kids weren’t going to be educated?

Barbara: The thing was his kids were not going to be educated unless he made the Indian. And that was so cool because he was such an educated man and he I guess saw the writing on the wall that he himself would at this point on take advantage of having his kids educated.

Fisher: And he is your second great?

Barbara: He is my grandfather’s grandfather, so I guess he is my second great?

Fisher: Yeah, second great grandfather. One sixteenth.  

Barbara: Yeah.

Fisher: Fascinating. So, was this a common thing then amongst blacks in this area at the time to get an education to say no I’m not going to be black, I’m going to be Native American?

Barbara: You know, I don’t know another’s story, but I know this is what he did. This is a very hilly region of Kentucky and the blacks and Native Americans they lived together in harmony.

Fisher: Um hmm.

Barbara: They kind of said this is a rough we have here and we’re going to be harmonious and live together. And our feeling is, with other descendents who I’ve met, that they did co-exist with the Native Americans on a great level.

Fisher: Sure. And probably had children with each other, right?

Barbara: I think they did. They certainly were educating the kids together.

Fisher: Sure.

Barbara: They were certainly focused on bringing their kids together to be educated and building schools. John Drew built the largest school in Eastern Kentucky at that time, which is ironic because then the state comes in and said, “Oh but your kids can’t go there. But thanks for building it.”

Fisher: Wow!

Barbara: So that’s why he said well, my kids and Indian actually so. The Kentucky Historical Society did a fabulous job of researching his life and his story and how brave he was. I mean, seeing his bravery to stand up against slavery, seeing his bravery to stand up so all children can be educated and blacks can be educated, was quite an amazing event, and learning about his life, that life was hard during the Civil War.

Fisher: Amazing.

Barbara: He’s just a really cool guy, so. [Laughs]

Fisher: You’re happy to have him on your tree. Well I don’t blame you. She’s Barbara Clement. She’s from Lombard, Illinois. Barbara thanks for coming on and telling us all about this.

Barbara: Well, thanks for sharing the story of John Drew the courageous Abolitionist slavery fighting minister. [Laughs]

Fisher: You are so welcome. And coming up next from our sponsors at Ancestry.com, Crista Cowan is going to be telling you about some changes happening over there, and of course some great opportunities for the holidays and great things coming up for 2022, when we return in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. 

Segment 3 Episode 404

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Crista Cowan

Fisher: And welcome back, it is Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. And it is time once again for my monthly visit with my good friend Crista Cowan from over at Ancestry.com, our great sponsors. And, [Sighs] I get a little nervous Crista, when you start talking about change over there, but I know you’ve got a lot of them coming up and it’s happening right now.

Crista: [Laughs] We do. We actually have a couple of pretty obvious changes that people are going to notice when they log on to Ancestry. The first one is that we have completely done a visual redesign of the website. Primarily to improve accessibility and set the stage for further customer requested updates. So, we focused on accessibility improvements first of all, for the website, so it will improve things like legibility of words on pages for users who use assisted technologies, like screen readers. This is going to improve the readability of the page for those who use that kind of technology. And then, this sets the foundation for other planned enhancements. It will set the stage for us to deliver more improvements you’ve asked for as users, even faster. So, you’ll notice things like color changes, fonts have changed, some icons have changed, avatars and buttons have changed. The functionality of the website is the same, but we’ve kind of redesigned all of that. And we then tried to make some things more consistent from page to page as you navigate your way through the website. So, that’s the first big change this month.

Fisher: Wow! It’s a lot to get your head around. I’m wondering, okay, are the things going to be in the same places as they’ve been?

Crista: Yeah, almost universally with just a few minor situations. All the buttons are going to be in the same place. The biggest difference people are going to notice is going to be the colors that have been enhanced for the saturation level, and again part of that has to do with readability of the website by various technologies. And then some of the avatars, the profile picture avatar in your tree, the shapes of that have changed but the positions are all the same.

Fisher: This is exciting. And then you’ve got a new logged in homepage.

Crista: We do. So, when you log into Ancestry, right now every user has got a little bit of a difference experience.

Fisher: Really?

Crista: We have this, what we call the “the legacy homepage” that users like you and I are probably still on where we used to be able to customize where all the little widgets on the page went, but some of those widgets don’t even exist anymore. They’re old technologies that Ancestry has retired. So, we went through a period of time a couple of years ago where we tried to move people to a new homepage and that’s what some users may know as the two tile homepage where you’ve got your tree and your DNA right there, kind of front and center above the fold or above the scroll as you work. We heard some pretty passionate customer feedback as we started migrating people to that, so we just hit pause. And for the last several months we’ve been doing user testing and combing through all of that customer feedback. So, the new logged in homepage we’re releasing is updated, it’s got a lot of the feedback incorporated and all users are going to be migrated to this new homepage over the course of the next several weeks. We expect it will take us through January to get everybody onto that. But the rollout started this month.

Fisher: Wow. And I know you’ve got a lot of things coming up next month as well, but right now the holiday specials are going on including DNA.

Crista: Of course. [Laughs] So yeah, from now through December 31st you can save $40 on Ancestry DNA. It makes a fantastic gift. You can also gift Ancestry subscription memberships from up to 30% off, so those are good through the 31st but if you want them for the holidays you can act on that now.

Fisher: You can still get it right now. And then there’s this whole matter of this new hashtag on social media.

Crista: Yeah. So, Ancestry, and a lot of people don’t know this, we have very active Facebook accounts and Instagram accounts. I do Facebook lives every other Tuesday where I talk about some of the updates and do live Q&A. And our Instagram is a place where we share our tips and tricks and try to connect users with each other, and really connect people with the idea of family story. And it was so successful on Instagram that we’ve launched into TikTok, which you would think isn’t our demographic and yet people seem to be responding really well. So, we launched this new hashtag it’s #My Ancestry Story. And what we’ve done is we’ve asked people to go through their old family photo albums or family boxes and find photographs that they haven’t yet digitized, and just create a little 30 second or one minute video telling the story of that photograph. So, I’m getting ready to do mine, super excited about #My Ancestry Story. And then once I’ve done that video I’ll be sure to upload the photo to my tree as well. 

Fisher: Yeah. I would think that a lot of people at this time of year especially, would be very excited about doing that and maybe even getting some stories from family members as we gather.

Crista: Yeah. Yeah when families are together for the holidays it’s a perfect time. That’s when my nana used to pull out the shoe boxes. She had three giant shoe boxes of photos and just sit and go through them with us and tell us those stories. And yeah, you don’t have to create an Instagram reel or a TikTok video. You can ask your teenager to do it after you’ve told them the story, right?

Fisher: Yeah, absolutely. Or get the teenager to actually get nana to tell the story on video and share that with the photos. I mean what a great way to go. You know, I was just blogging about that in my newsletter too. When I started doing this in my 20s with my wife, we would interview people on cassette tapes. And of course we don’t have cassette players around the house anymore, but we got the stories all transcribed and written in histories but now those tapes are more important to us because we never could imagine back in those days that there would come a time in our lives where all of those older people would all be gone.

Crista: Yeah.

Fisher: So, now we have those tapes that kind of brings them all back to life, and we have video that we didn’t have 30-40 years ago. Maybe you had a home movie if you were lucky and maybe you still have some of those. But what we have today is really an astonishing thing to keep people’s memories alive and remember what they were like, and hear their voices and bring those memories back. It’s a great time to capture all that especially for those who are on their last few spins around the sun.

Crista: Yeah. I’m certainly not going to tell nana that, but yeah. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] She wouldn’t want to hear that would she. So, let’s talk about any new databases that you may have coming up.

Crista: Yeah. So, Ancestry, I know we’ve talked about this before but I just want to reiterate again that we’re continuing with the probate project. That’s probably the most exciting thing that we’ve got going on where we are going back through those probate records and we are indexing every name instead of just the name of the person that the will was for. And so keep an eye out for those. You can always check in the card catalogue. It’s my favorite resource on the entire Ancestry website. [Laughs]

Fisher: Yes. [Laughs] In fact, after our last conversation about that I went in and looked and started finding things I hadn’t seen before in various states. And I can see also they’re bubbling up in your list of new databases so you can really see that they’re among the most common of your new database announcements.

Crista: Yes, absolutely. And then we’re also continuing our project with naturalization records. Ancestry years ago digitized the naturalization records from the federal courts that we got from the National Archives. We’re now reaching out to state archives to obtain the naturalization records from both state and local courts.

Fisher: Wow and we’ve got so much coming up in the New Year also with the release of the 1950 census. 2022 is going to be an amazing year.

Crista: It is. Super excited for it.

Fisher: I know we’re looking at like April for that. How long do you anticipate it will take to index the entire 1950 census?

Crista: The thing is that nobody has access to it until the government releases it on April 1st. So, we’ll receive digital images because the government has already digitized the images so we won’t have to go through that process but we will have to go through the indexing process.

Fisher: Well, Crista, thank you as always for coming on and keeping us up to speed on what’s going on over at Ancestry.com. Have a great holiday season, and we look forward to talking to you again next month.

Crista: Thanks so much you too.

Fisher: David Allen Lambert returns for another round of Ask Us Anything coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 4 Episode 404

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Fisher: All right, back at it on Ask Us Anything on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. David Allen Lambert over there in Boston from NEHGS. And David, our first question comes from Betty Ann in Salem, Oregon and she says, "Fisher and David, I had some ancestors from Guilford County, North Carolina, and I suspect that they were Quakers." That's probably a good guess. "Are there good Quaker records out there?" I'll give the quick answer, Betty Ann, you bet!

David: Oh it definitely is. One of those places you definitely want to look, the family history library catalogue on FamilySearch.org, because so many of those early Quaker meeting records are great. They're not like typical church records.

Fisher: Right.

David: They have a meeting, and the meeting goes into all sorts of detail, the comings and goings of the congregation, the reprimanding of the congregation, the illegitimacy of your ancestor. Oops, wait a second, was that really in the record? Yes, in full detail.

Fisher: Yep.

David: The accusation of someone who would be called out for the paternity. Fascinating records. And a lot of places that you can find them are either still in the Quaker meeting itself or a lot of colleges and universities tend to seem to have them, especially if they have an ecclesiastical collection.

Fisher: Birth dates, marriage dates, death dates, I would say that Quaker records are probably some of the best early American church records you could possibly find. They really are. The one thing that it falls short of is cemeteries, because they have very simple, plain markers that don't go to any great detail who the person is. So, a lot of times, Quaker cemeteries can be very difficult, because you might be looking for a gravestone and it may not even be a gravestone at all.

Fisher: Sure. And a lot of these Quaker families from North Carolina came down from Nantucket, Massachusetts and they settled not only in Guilford County, but also in Pasquotank in Perquimans County, North Carolina. And you'll find that many of these families, most of them are interrelated and go quite a ways back. So, if you have Quaker ancestry and you run into somebody else with Quaker ancestry, you are more than likely to be related to that person.

David: That's true. And then of course in the early days and sure in Boston, the Quaker’s not welcome, so a lot of times you find them fleeing to places later on like Nantucket. A very interesting history and I have a little myself in New Hampshire. I haven't delved a lot of time into researching them, but what I have found is pretty spectacular.

Fisher: The other thing about it is, too, if you had ancestors in Guilford County that was the site of the battle of Guilford County court house during the Revolution. And obviously the devout Quaker were pacifists, so they wouldn't participate in the battle, but many of them were in there helping out the American troops or helping with the wounded, burying the dead, all kinds of things, and there are records of that. So, sometimes you can find patriotic service for the Revolutionary War from these same people.

David: That's right. So you can join the DAR or the SAR based upon confirmed patriotic service, which is just as good as lifting the gun and going to battle, because it helped the cause.

Fisher: My wife's Quaker ancestry includes somebody who did just that, helped nurse the wounded and bury the dead, and then somebody else in another family who was one of the combatants and then wounded in the thigh with a bullet, so her Quaker ancestor may have taken care of her other ancestor who was the combatant. Quaker ancestry is absolutely outstanding.

David: It is. And to keep your eyes open for more databases that pop up on places like FamilySearch.org as they uncover more records and digitize them as well as sites like Ancestry.com.

Fisher: Yeah, and be careful out there by the way. Sometimes they'll put the months after the day of the month. And so, things get kind of confusing. So, instead of September 4th, it might be actually the 9th of April. So, you're going to see a lot of messed up dates, confusing conflicting dates as a result of that. So it’s really important to get back to the original records, check them out and see if they got them right. All right, great question and thank you so much, Betty Ann, we appreciate it. We've got another one coming up for you next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 404

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Fisher: All right, here we go, final segment this week for Extreme Genes on Ask Us Anything. Fisher with David Allen Lambert. And David, this second question comes from Ronny Smith in Gainesville, Florida and he says, "Guys, my two times great grandfather was said to have been in a soldier's home after the Civil War. Do records from these places still exist?" David, it sounds like its right up your alley.

David: [Laughs] It definitely is. In fact, soldiers home records either for the north or the south survive in great numbers. And we're actually lucky that Family Search has digitized a great deal of them. Soldier’s homes, Fish actually were originally thought about over 200 years ago. Congress had approved a national soldier’s home for disabled navy veterans, and I'm talking about 15, 16 years before they constructed one. And then the one that was going to be proposed for the army in the1820s, well, that didn't happen until 1851, so Mexican War veterans took advantage. But by the Civil War, there were so many disabled soldiers on both sides, these state and national soldier’s homes dotted the landscape. In fact, 43 states operated over 55 homes between 1865 and 1933 for these military veterans or widows and even their orphans.

Fisher: Wow! You know, we've got a relative who had married one of my wife's great aunts from back in the Civil War era and then we found him in the soldier's home and he claimed to be a widower and she claimed to be a widow. So, it appears that as soon as the government said we're going to take care of these folks that she took off and she never married again. But it was kind of interesting that both of them claimed the other was dead.

David: You know, it’s amazing the detail that you find in these records, too.

Fisher: Yes.

David: These inmate registers are great. They give you dates of birth, places of birth that you could normally not find on a military record, especially with confederate records. It gives you the reason they're there, the next of kin, physical description, often times if they died there, it tells you that they died there and more importantly where they're buried, because most of these soldier’s homes, fish, have their own cemetery, like the National Eastern Soldier’s Home up in Togus, Maine has cemetery of many of our old veterans here in my hometown in Stoughton. Some of them went up there and were never buried back in Massachusetts, but are buried up there in Togus, Maine.

Fisher: Were they well marked?

David: Yeah, they've got military markers just like you would see a marker in a soldier's grave in any cemetery in the country, the white marble markers. And also the same type of thing for the confederates soldiers. They had their own markers that the states would usually allow them to get, because pensions of course for the confederacy were not given by the federal government for obvious reasons. They were given by the various states. And again, you can find some those records on FamilySearch.org, 2 if you're looking for confederate pensions. And of course, Civil War pensions incidentally are starting to be on Fold3. They are doing the oldest by the number of the applications from 1861 and '62 for widows of the Civil War veterans. So you might find a little bit about the ladies going into a soldier’s home for ladies in the pension.

Fisher: I did not know that. That's great. It is amazing there's still an endless amount of material that is being made available online now, and the Civil War stuff, I was just saying to my wife the other day, I said, " You know, the Civil War is just like the hinge that all of American history swings on." I mean, everything built up to it and everything from today goes back to it, you know.

David: There used to be a time when I would give one Civil War talk. I just actually completed a course this month for NEHGS on Civil War research for north and south, took three weeks to do.

Fisher: Wow! Wow, so much stuff! Well, great question, thank you so much, Ronny. I hope that helps you out. And of course if you have a question for Ask Us Anything, you just email us at [email protected] and you may hear your question answered on the air. Well, David, that's it, that's our last show for this year. We're going to take a couple of weeks of course and do another couple of classic rewinds, get through the holidays and I will catch you again in 2022, my friend.

David: Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to you and yours and to all of our listeners from Beantown and me.

Fisher: Thanks, Dave. Well, that is a wrap for this week. In fact, that's a wrap for this year! Thanks you so much for all the support this past year. By the way, if you missed any of today's show, catch it on Apple Media, iTunes, Spotify, ExtremeGenes.com and iHeart Radio. Talk to you again soon. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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