Thursday, January 03, 2008

Tangled Past

For those not in the know, I've been digging around my family tree for years. I enjoy doing it; but, I find I have to really pace myself. You know, people say that online games can be me, they aren't nearly as addicting as genealogical research.

Right now, I am combing the Philadelphia Harbor records trying desperately to find my so many times great grandfather's family. See, when they came over from Wales, his parents died. Either en route or in quarantine afterward. The kids (a twin brother - questionable, another brother and two sisters) were split off to various foster homes and lost track of each other.

I know he was fostered to the Baptist minister in Uniontown, PA in the early 1820s; but, of his siblings, parents or life before America there is this void. I don't even know the name of the Baptist minister at the time. However, I have a call in to the local historical society in Uniontown and I hope to verify the number of Baptist churches that were present in that time frame. If it was only one - I have their historical pamphlet of ministers and will be able to pinpoint who the minister was who took my ancestor in. Anecdotal information, but information worth adding to the family records, I reckon.

I think I've found his brother Samuel in Iowa in the 1880 and the 1885 census. It may or may not be him, since family stories have him potentially winding up in Tennessee before the civil war. If it is the one in Iowa, then he met and married his (much younger) wife in Wisconsin. Only reason I'm fairly certain of that is because the youngsters listed in the 1880 census show Wisconsin being their place of birth - and the birth place of their mother as WI, and their father as Wales. We'll see.

I'm trying to crawl down that side of the tree and see if I can find any living cousins who might have a bent for maintaining the family archives. Maybe they will have information about the Richards family that I cannot locate. Even if they don''s always a great thing to find new relatives.