Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America

Established in 1898, this is one of the older all female lineage groups.  Also one of the harder to get into.  Simply because their lineage requirement is that you descend from a "Founder" who arrived in the colonies before 1687 and a "Patriot" who aided the colonial cause during the American Revolution.  The catch is, it has to be all in the male line (no female lines allowed) with the exception that you can trace through your mother's line, then all male.  In other words, your Founder/Patriot combination must be either in your surname or your mother's maiden surname.
The group itself meets every April in DC during lineage week for a banquet, daytime meeting, and luncheon as well as a tour of a local site.  This year the tour was to "Dumbarton House" in Georgetown, but I wasn't able to attend due to other commitments.  National President Donna Derrick presided over the meeting, called General Court, and everyone had a good time.
My Founder is Richard Ormesby, born at Lincolnshire, England ca 1604, traveled to Massachusetts.  He settled first near Saco, Maine in 1640 then migrated through NH, Haverhill, MA and Salisbury, MA.  He ended up in Rehoboth, MA where he died in 1664.  His wife was Sarah Upham, who survived him.
My Patriot is Nathaniel Ormsby, born at Norwich, CT in 1734.  In 1759 he married Elizabeth Perkins.   He served briefly during the French and Indian War.  In 1777 he joined the 6th Regiment of the Continental Army.  He was captured at Albany and died 25 October 1777.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Associated Daughters of Early American Witches

One of the most fun lineage groups that I belong to is the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches.  These are ladies who can trace their roots back to someone who was accused, tried, or convicted of witchcraft in the colonies before 1700.  They have a breakfast meeting every year and are planning their 25th Anniversary meeting for 2012.
Everyone knows about the witchcraft hysteria in Salem in 1692 but there were actually accused witches before and after that time.  There are more than 300 ancestors who are acceptable for membership.  Most were in New England (not just Massachusetts, but New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island) but others can be found in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
My own "witch" was Mary (Bliss) Parsons (ca1620-1711/2).  She was first accused of witchcraft in 1656 in Northampton, MA.  Her husband filed a slander lawsuit against her accuser Sarah Bridgman and the accuser was fined.  She was accused again in 1674 by the same family.  She spent time in the Boston jail and was acquitted at trial in May 1675.  Accounts of the slander trial are in existence and are fascintating to read - giving a glimpse into the superstitious beliefs of the time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Children of the American Revolution

I'm going to tell a little about each of the meetings I attended last week.  In no particular order, I'm starting with the last one I was at.  This was the National Convention of the Children of the American Revolution.  The C.A.R. is the oldest patriotic organization for youth, having been started in 1895.  Members are aged birth to 22 and hold office, run meetings, have chairmanships, etc.  They are assisted by Senior Leaders, who are members of the 3 parent organizations: Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons of the Revolution. 
Membership requires proving descent from a patriot who rendered aid (military, civil or patriotic) to the American Revolution.
National President Benjamin Hinckley presided over the 2011 convention.  His project over the past year was to raise funds to buy a new display case for the "Great Essentials" documents - these are originals of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution that are housed in Independance Hall in Philadelphia.  During the year, members (and Seniors) learned about these documents.  His project was a success, and his National Convention was a success.  Did I mention that the National President is only 20 years old?
This was the most tiring part of the week - starting with a Senior Board meeting all day on Thursday, a tour of Washington's monuments by moonlight that evening, then meetings, banquets and parties and dances until the wee hours of the morning.  My daughter was involved in all of it - I went to bed earlier than she did.  The convention concluded with a Pilgrimage on Sunday for wreath layings, installations of new Officers and a memorial service (we had to fly home Sunday so we missed that part).
Our local Society won some awards and our State was honored for having the most C.A.R. members join DAR (many of them are in my own local Society).  It was a successful meeting.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Home from Lineage Week

Well, last week was great!  I saw lots of old friends, made some new friends, ate too much, and didn't get enough sleep.  I got home yesterday afternoon, and am now back at my "real job".  I will try to post some highlights from each of the groups over the next few days.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lineage Week is Coming!

Every year, members of many national lineage groups meet in Washington DC for Lineage Week.  It is actually 11 or so days of meetings, including breakfasts, luncheons, teas and banquets.  We meet many of our dear friends from across the US (and Canada) and talk about all the wonderful things the various societies do over the year.  And, we start planning for the next year.  My schedule is fairly non-stop from when I arrive Monday afternoon until I leave Sunday morning.  This year, I will be attending events for:
  • Women Descendants of Ancient & Honorable Artillery Company (banquet) 
  • National Society Children of the American Colonists (breakfast)
  • National Society Daughters of the American Colonists (meeting and banquet)
  • Order of the First Families of New Hampshire (tea)
  • Order of the First Families of Maine (tea)
  • National Society Daughters of Founders and Patriots (meeting, luncheons and banquet)
  • Descendants of Sheriffs and Constables (tea)
  • National Society Children of the American Revolution (meetings)
  • Guild of Colonial Artisans and Tradesmen (tea)
  • National Society New England Women (breakfast)
  • Sons and Daughters of Colonial and Antebellum Bench and Bar (banquet)
  • Sons and Daughters of Antebellum Planters (banquet)
  • Associated Daughters of Early American Witches (breakfast)
  • Descendants of Colonial Clergy (banquet)
Luckily, some of these are joint meetings, but I will still be eating all week!  And this is only about half of all lineage groups that meet - many overlap and we have to pick and choose which ones to attend.  I am a member of all the groups listed above and an officer or chairman of most of them, so those are the ones I attend.
I will try to update the blog during the week with all of our festivities.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Ohio Genealogical Society

I have just sat through 2 days of lectures on all aspects of genealogy here in Columbus, OH. I have learned a lot of new techniques and places to search.  I have also been reminded of some old techniques to try.  Now I just want to go home and bury myself in my genealogy.  There are 2 problems with that plan:
1. My real job!
2. Lineage week in DC is coming up and I have 9 reports to write, 1 luncheon meeting to plan, 1 convention activity to prepare for, and flyers to make for a National Conference in June.
And, I almost forgot, I need to synthesize the information I obtained on my little research trip.
So, I'll just look forward to the end of April when I can spend a little of my "free" time on genealogy.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Lots of looking, not so much finding.

For the past 3 days, I have been in 2 courthouses, 2 libraries and one state archives.  Not to mention wandering in 3 cemeteries and driving on gravel roads to my ancestor's homesteads.
Unfortunately, Matilda remains as elusive as ever.  I found more information about the women I believe to be her sisters, along with their families.  But none of them had an obituary that I can find, and Matilda's suspected father did not leave a will, nor any probate records that I can find.  I even searched in the county next door.  To top it off, I found an index entry for John Shuey - Matilda's father-in-law, but when we looked in box #42 where the probate record was supposed to be it was empty!
I have nearly exhausted the resources in Clay and Vigo County, IN but I'm not totally giving up on Matilda.  She was born and (probably) married in Augusta Co, VA so I guess I need to plan a trip there next.
On the plus side, I spent most of yesterday at the Ohio Historic Society working on some other lines.  I was able to find a bible record that helps solidify my theory that Reuben Hill came from Wicomico and Somerset Counties in MD.