*My Own Genealogy

From an early age, these were things I loved to do: read nonfiction history, historical fiction, and mysteries, solve crossword and jigsaw puzzles, and spend time with my family. I didn’t realize then that I would discover a life-long hobby that included all of these things. (Some family trees on the Internet definitely have fiction.)

When I was growing up, we always had a small bookshelf in the living room with my mom’s copy of Charles Ross Shultz’s The Descendants of Michael Shultz. Mom remembered that when the book was published, her parents received a post card offering the book for sale; since she expressed interest, they bought it for her.

Then, when I was in sixth grade, I received my class’s American History award from a DAR chapter. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Daughters of the American Revolution. The very idea of knowing that someone could tell what her ancestors have done generations previously was thrilling to me.

I always was a little jealous of my classmates who would say with authority, “I’m Irish,” or “I’m half French,” or “I’m 3/4 Choctaw.” I knew two things only about my ancestry: Gramps’s family was probably part Native American, and my dad’s grandfather was a first cousin of Abraham Lincoln’s. So my interest was there; I just didn’t know how to go about finding my own ancestry. (By the way, no evidence of either tradition ever showed up until 2017, when Greenberry Parker was discovered to be more than one fourth Native American. The relationship to Abraham Lincoln was non-existent.)

When we were living in Buffalo, New York, in the summer of 1966, I found a library book on genealogy. I read it, followed the directions, wrote letters, starting with my own four grandparents and my great-grandmother Pedigo. They gave me names and addresses to write more letters. At the end of that summer, as my parents were moving to Kansas City, we went to Oklahoma and drove around visiting aunts, cousins, and graveyards. Gramps answered with the famous-in-the-family letter about me being descended from a monkey. But by the start of college that fall, I had my five-generations chart full.

One memory in particular that stands out is Gramps saying, “You know, my grandparents are buried at Clinton.” My mom didn’t even know that.

It’s now over 50 years later, and this hobby has been a continuing challenge through all these years. I packed my genealogy away when we went to South America as Evangelical missionaries and didn’t do much for 15 years or so. This is the time when my aunt, Ramona Duff, and my parents found a great deal on their own. Mom especially made a great collection of family photos. In 1985 I had a bout with the Mexico City earthquake, typhoid fever, and hepatitis A, and then I spent most of my recovery time for two or three years writing genealogy letters.

And of course, after we bought our first Macintosh computer in 1988 and the Internet came along soon after, genealogy will never be the same.

Key dates, 1970: Using my patriot ancestor Michael Shultz, I joined the DAR, Okamanpedo Chapter in Iowa, where I served as Chapter Regent. As of January 2023, I have 25 accepted patriot ancestors. at least one for each of my eight great-grandparents.

1980: On a trip back to Iowa Lakes Community College, I spent some time with the National Dictionary of Biography, tracing the families in the Middle Ages that Ramona had identified. I soon realized this meant Eleanor of Aquitaine was my own ancestor. That was amazing for someone who had read the Thomas B. Costain books on the Plantagenets more than once and thoroughly enjoyed them.

1987: My mom and I went to the DAR Library in Washington DC; finds included Gilbert, Joy, Atwell (still not sure about this one), and James Alvis in Pike Co MO.

1989: On the same day, although residing in different countries and using different sources, Ramona and I found the identity of Nancy (Morris) Armstrong’s parents. I’m still looking for a paper trail to accompany the DNA evidence I have for both sets of Nancy’s grandparents though.

1992: On my only trip to Salt Lake City, with my mom and dad, I found my link to Ashley Alvis and Asa Brooks’s birth in Buffalo. Too bad I didn’t know that in 1966! We must have driven several times right past several ancestors’ graves near I-90 and other places in western New York.

1993: I discovered Pilgrim ancestry and helped my Dad join the Society of Mayflower Descendants through Richard Warren. He was later the Oklahoma Governor of the Mayflower Society. That’s also the year I moved back to the United States after 17 years in Colombia and Mexico, specifically Mexico City. And I joined the Mayflower Society myself soon after. I also located Mayflower ancestry for my husband, who also joined. I have been State Historian since 2004. I rejoined the Lucy Meriwether DAR chapter  in Laredo, Texas. I was Regent-Elect when we decided to move back to Oklahoma.

1997: My mother and I joined the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches through Lydia Gilbert, second wife of my ancestor, Thomas Gilbert, Jr. My third DAR chapter was Oklahoma Prairies, where I was Regent, 2004-2006 and 2012-2014, as well as chapter registrar, chapter treasurer, and chaplain.

2004: After six weeks of study of all the Dickinsons of New England, I deduced David Dickinson’s most likely ancestry; several DNA matches to descendants support this. I was elected Oklahoma State Historian of the Mayflower Society, a position I still hold.

2007: I finally found two more generations back of Armstrongs; I’d been hunting since 1966 in the right town, but 2007 was when an index to land records became available on the Internet.

2008: I set up several web sites, including this blog.

2009: I researched Revolutionary War details for my patriot ancestors.

2010: I joined the Society of Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge, honoring Edward Pedigo. I also started working with Wikitree.com, where I became a Leader.

2011: I scanned and posted my parents’ remarkable photo collection on the Internet.

2013: After reading five or six books about DNA, I was tested at 23andme.com. My mtDNA is H1n, and my father’s was H1a (I know this from a second cousin whose grandmother was my grandmother’s sister). I immediately was matched with a second cousin from the Pedigo family, a third cousin from the Eysters, a double third cousin descended from both the Armstrongs and the Turners, and a fifth cousin who is descended from Samuel Harper, Jr., of Hart County, Kentucky, a first cousin of my Frances (Harper) (Meredith) Pedigo’s father James. I am working at more matching and an entirely new angle of genealogy research.

(By 2019, using 23andme, FTDNA, Ancestry.com, and gedmatch.com, I have identified several more ancestral families, corrected my George Morris’s parentage, and verified my research at least through my 4th and 5th great-grandparents. By July 2020, I had completely filled in seven generations of well-documented ancestors.)

2014: My 22nd DAR supplemental was approved, for Ashley Alvis, my 23rd approved Patriot Ancestor.

2015: I joined the National Society of Daughters of Founders and Patriots through George Alvis and his grandson, Ashley. I joined in Maine, since the long-time President of the Oklahoma Society refuses to call a meeting.

2017: I joined the Women Descendants of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company through Thomas Joy. On 16 Dec 2017, DNA testing allowed me to discover, after nearly 50 years of searching, the parents of Greenberry Parker. And those parents each had Native American roots; William Parker was half Cherokee and his wife Candace Austin was a fourth or more Saponi!

2018: I joined the National Society United States Daughters of 1812 through Asa Brooks. And my Craighead ancestry was linked to Robert Stewart, illegitimate son of James V of Scotland, son of James IV and Margaret Tudor. So it appears I am descended from Henry VII, Edward IV, and several more Kings of France, Denmark, Spain, and Scotland. I continued making connections via DNA, adding names like Woosley and Burd, plus discovering unanswered questions about the Kittle family, Huguenots, and many others. I share good sized DNA segments with several descendants of Rev. Thomas and Margaret (Wallace) Craighead, presumed parents of my Robert Craighead.

2019: retirement! I can join lineage societies and attend meetings. I now belong to the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War (Lorenzo Dow Huff), the Society of Descendants of Lady Godiva (Thomas Bressey), the Magna Charta Dames (James Veatch/Vietch), and Dames of the Court of Honor (Oliver P. Light). I also took on the role of Mentor in Wikitree’s Magna Carta Project, as well as Gateway Guardian for Thomas Bressey. Plus I’m an Associate Member of Washita Chapter, NSDAR.

2020: calamity! The year started spectacularly when I obtained from eBay a muster roll from Asa Brooks’s unit in the War of 1812. His name is near the top. Imagine an actual piece of paper which was held and signed by an ancestor over 200 years ago! Then, suddenly, the conferences, seminars, and meetings I had planned to attend were all canceled. I had been elected Chaplain of Oklahoma Prairies Chapter, NSDAR; Treasurer of Oklahoma City Chapter USD1812; Secretary of Sally Peacheater Tent, DUV; and Recording Secretary of Magna Charta Dames in Oklahoma; plus Oklahoma State Registrar of the DAR. At this writing, I don’t know if any of these will actually turn into events and meetings. At least I can look at my framed muster roll, admire my certificates, and “shelter in place.”

I have 18 unidentified ancestors in the eighth generation, so the search goes on.

Published on August 3, 2008 at 4:49 pm  Comments (21)  

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  1. Hi,
    I am Harvey Frank Hulse. My great grand mother was Fatima Copas, she married my grandfather James P Hulse. Her mother was Rose Ann Alvis, Daughter of Henry Harris Alvis and Morning. Thacker. I have traced a lot of this genealogy but anything you have would be greatly appreciated.Anything on Morning thacker would be greatly appreciated since I was always told My Great Grandmother Fatima was a descendent of the cherokee nation through the Thacker line and that Morning was a full blood Cherokee? I traced the line all the way back to King Edward the 3rd through the Stanley line, an off shoot from Alvis.. I am the official recorder for the Hulse Clan V
    Frank Hulse

    • Do you have access to copies of the old Alvis Exchange newsletter? It was published from the later 1980s through about 2004. Several articles were published about Henry Harris Alvis. Email me at alvispat@htswireless.com if you would like to order copies.

  2. I happen to come upon your website and was thrilled to see that you had found Nathaniel Webster, a Patriot. I have been trying to get into the DAR and he was on my list to look up and nothing was found in any way on him. That was a few years ago. I again thought I would hunt for him and that’s when I came upon you website. I have sent for anything and everything on the Webster family to get some facts that would show Patriotism. Thanks so much for your findings.

    • I’d be happy to help you fill out the application for DAR. Where do you live? Which child of Nathaniel’s is your ancestor? Do you have documents for every generation? I love doing applications and lineage research, so don’t consider it an imposition.

      • Kathy,
        I come from the Nathaniel Webster & Margaret Steele family. Their daughter Agnys married William Woodrum II and that travels down to me. Nathaniel is my 5th ggrandfather.I live in Stanford,Ky.Would you prefer I send the info that I have through the mail?

  3. Send me what you have, and I’ll look it over. We need birth, marriage, death information, all the way from Agnys and William’s marriage record to you. It is important that each link be clear–parent to child.

    I’ll start typing the application and let know what gaps if any I see. Look at this: http://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search_adb/default.cfm

    Do you have a local DAR chapter in Stanford, or shall I help you find one?

  4. Kathy,
    Nathaniel Webster Can’t be found as a Patriot by my local DAR.

  5. iam joyce gearhart, owen, joy cass co mi

  6. Hi,my name is Robert Shultz. Michael is my ancestor. My line is thru Conrad,his son David Shultz, (Teacher in Somerset co. Pa) His son Norton McCreary Shultz – Printer in st. Louis Mo; Paul J. Shultz Sr.-Policeman in St. Louis Mo; Paul J. Shultz Jr.-printing factory laborer in St. Louis Mo and Me-Robert Shultz- Retired Electrician-O’Fallon Mo. My question is -Where and how can we find ” The Family Bible” and where is Charles Ross Shultz-keeper of the Bible? Thanks for youe info.

    • Charles Ross Shultz died decades ago.

  7. Everything is very open with a very clear description of
    the issues. It was really informative. Your website is very helpful.

    Many thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi Kathy, I am also a Okie(was born there) but live in Mo. now.I see you are tracing Thomas Parkers. N.C. son-William, son-John Howard Parker, that went to Gaither Ark. Would love to hear from you. Joy Evans

  9. Hi Kathy, I have been tasked with the challenge to “clean up” the family history record on the Light side of the family. I found this blog to be most helpful. Laura Idella Light is my Great Great Grandmother, daughter of Charles H Light, son of Daniel Light Jr,, son of Daniel Light, son of John Light. Thank you for all your work.
    Gayle Reynolds

    • Thanks, Gayle. I have a genealogy friend descended from your Daniel Light Sr’s daughter Elizabeth, who married her cousin Jacob Light. She has tried for quite a while to find documentary evidence that names Elizabeth’s parents.
      Do you by any chance have anything about this?

      • Gayle, I don’t have Laura Idella Light in my files. Would you send more info please.

      • I have a record through Ancestry that reflects source information with Family Data Collection – Births – data base online…
        Name: Elizabeth Light Father Daniel Light Mother – Susannah Stuart Birth Date 25 April 1803 State Ohio I haven’t sent for a copy of the record.

        Also regarding , my 2nd great grandmother…Laura Idella Light…B – 15 Oct 1869 D- 29 Dec 1941 in Clermont Ohio…married John Wesley Wolf (Wolfe) 30 June 1889…her parents:
        Charles Henry Light and Emma Judith Stewart. Charles married his step sister. Elizabeth Doughty was married to Abel Stewart and are parents to Emma Judith Stewart. Abel dies and Elizabeth marries Daniel Light Jr. Daniel Jr was previously married to Nancy Flinn and they are parents to Charles Henry Light (B-27 Jul 1841 Clermont Ohio D- 5 Sep 1910 Headstones for both Charles and his wife Emma Judith are buried in Rantoul, Champaign Co Il.
        I have an 1850 Census showing Daniel Light and four of his children with Nancy Flinn and two of his children with Elizabeth Doughty Stewart.
        I am a new researcher and hope I have not made this too confusing. I do have a picture of Laura Idella Light on my Ancestry Family Tree…Kynast Family Tree Auto Backup

  10. Was woundering if the Andrew Allison Light that you have listed here had any children, I am trying to find information on my great-grandfather Robert Lee Light’s parents. The only information that I have on his parents are the names: Andrew Light (don’t know middle name) and Ella Long. This is all I have on his parents. Robert was born 31 Aug 1882 and there is a question on place of birth for him some say Ohio, and or Va and Wv. My great-grandfather Robert was married twice, 1st wife Ella Lee Gee she died in 1918 and he married Lura Ada Nolen in 1919. Just woundering if the Andrew had any children and to see if your Andrew is the Andrew that I’m looking for. Thanks

    • Andrew A Light lived in Clermont Co OH his whole life. In the 1900 census, his wife Maggie said she had one child, no longer living.

  11. Thanks, figured it would be a long shot.

  12. Kathy,
    I am researching the Turner ancestry of my wife. I have plenty of information regarding Gideon Turner (1809-1889) who was the son of Elijah Turner (1747-1820). Gideon was married to Ruth Dabney Fields (1812-1867). I have found that (according to 1870 and 1880 census) that he had a second wife Amanda. Both Census’ show some of his children by Ruth living with him. I am unable to find and data regarding her maiden name and when she married.

    • More than one family tree at Ancestry.com calls her Amanda Withers. There is a difference of opinion whether she was born in 1819 with one set of parents or 1827 with another set. Ten-year-old Arthur White who was living with Amanda and Gideon Turner in 1870 may have been a son of an earlier marriage.

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