Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

William S Dean's Blog (28)

New link - New information access

Have you heard of yet? This is an interesting resource in several ways. For one thing, you can access the latest genealogy magazines at Issuu. As we all know slick magazines abound for all types of subjects, including genealogy and history. But why pay the huge cover prices when you can access them free on-line and (if you register for free) even download the magazines as PDFs. Issuu is what digital publishing is all about. If you register, you can even create and upload your own… Continue

Added by William S Dean on September 27, 2010 at 9:48am — No Comments

Maybe the Pinta..yes, THAT Pinta...

It's funny. Sometimes we neglect tracing back one of our ancestors because...well, because there's so much material about other ancestor lines or we think a particular line is so exciting and interesting. Lately, I've been re-tracing my footsteps to my great great grandmother, Maria Josefa Bermudez (1826-1880). She married into the Yorba family in 1842 in San Juan Capistrano. I had done sketchy research into the Bermudez line in California, but wanted to start seeing where and who they were… Continue

Added by William S Dean on September 18, 2010 at 10:55am — 3 Comments

Musings Before and After "the facts" Part One - Before...

All things considered, many genealogists never get to visit significant geological "roots". Imagine going to the place where some of your ancestors first set foot on "the new homeland". That's what awaits me September 20-21 in San Diego, California. In 1769, California was still "terra incognito" to the Spanish who "owned" it. Isolated points along the coastline had been roughly mapped, but nothing was known. There were no settlements, no waiting stockpiles of supplies, no allies. That is the… Continue

Added by William S Dean on September 16, 2010 at 11:24am — 1 Comment

History Street Cred

My historical "street cred" is strong in California. My ancestors were among the first Spanish/Mexican settlers in my home state of California, so you may be able to understand both my interest and my quest to always "know more" since my "roots" are so deep in California history. Many of the following ancestors' sons also served at California Presidios, gained grants to rancho lands; many of their daughters married into the same or other Spanish/Californio families.

Many of these men… Continue

Added by William S Dean on September 10, 2010 at 2:10pm — No Comments

Generations of "the girls"

Sometimes it's interesting to put the photographs together and see the resemblances and differences. These are photos of "the girls" of my family.

Great niece, Victoria (2010):

Her grandmother, my baby sister, Maggie (about 1956):…


Added by William S Dean on September 9, 2010 at 1:43pm — 1 Comment

Lies, Damned Lies, and Genealogy

While it's rarely a challenge outside of old Spanish/Mexican genealogy, the idea of social caste strongly rears its "old school" head when dealing with the complexities of European (Spanish), mestizo, creole, mulatto, indio, and the numerous variations of how much percentage you are of one or another.

I was reminded of the challenge recently when contacted by a possible relative for more information. She had traced her ancestry to the second… Continue

Added by William S Dean on September 2, 2010 at 1:11pm — 1 Comment

Eat, Pray, Geneaology

Last night in the chat room, our GenWise hostess, Gena Philibert Ortega, passed along the information that the Summer, 2010 issue of Gastronomica magazine contained an article about one of my Yorba ancestors and that she'd make a copy for me. The article features my 2nd cousin, Piedad Yorba Sowl who owned and operated the Casa Verdugo restaurant in Glendale, California, in the early 1900s.…


Added by William S Dean on August 27, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

Treasure Finding...

Genealogy is what the academicians call a "multi-discipline" pursuit. That means you use multiple skill sets and wide-ranging knowledge toward an end result. Other buzz words that apply to genealogy are the macro- and micro-. Through the micro- or narrow scope, we connect the family member "dots" of personal dates, places, and events; the macro- scope gives us perspective of how the specific fits in to the general sense of history.

You can hardly escape this "new" sense of what is… Continue

Added by William S Dean on August 19, 2010 at 10:20am — 1 Comment

Genealogy - Reunions and Reenactments

As a genealogist, a historian, and a historical re-enactor, I'm especially keen to see these three elements of my life merge in other events. Two events recently were brought to my attention. While searching for ancestors' final resting places at Find-A-Grave, I discovered those of one of my sets of gr-gr-great grandparents, Abraham Harmon (1802-1869) and Ann Pillers (1810-1888), buried in the New Palestine cemetery, in Illinois. I contacted the original poster with information about their… Continue

Added by William S Dean on August 8, 2010 at 10:49am — No Comments

George Washington's Whiskey

A 15 year long project of research and archaeology has now revealed George Washington's recipe for making rye whiskey. In 1797, following his role as a general in the Revolutionary War, Founding Father and the first president of the United States, Washington became a successful distiller.

Dennis Pogue, vice president for preservation at Mount Vernon, says the venture was all about the money.

"Washington came back from the presidency in 1797 and he was looking frankly for an…


Added by William S Dean on July 19, 2010 at 12:30am — No Comments

New Resources for Genealogists

When you get buried in old documents and the criss-crossing lines of generational charts, it's sometimes difficult to keep up with the new resources for genealogical work. At least once a week, if not more frequently, I try to do searches for genealogical news. Here are some findings, you may find helpful:

Directory of Genealogical Libraries in the United States:

Two Free Online Genealogy Books… Continue

Added by William S Dean on May 8, 2010 at 12:01pm — No Comments

Chesapeake Bay Colonists Map

If like me you keep discovering ancestors who lived in the colonies around the Chesapeake Bay area (Virginia, Maryland, Delaware), you may run across names like Nansemond, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Anne Arundel county, Isle of Wight county, and so forth and wonder where these places were/are.

The attached map can help pinpoint where your ancestors were born, lived, and died easily. For a larger copy, contact me.…


Added by William S Dean on May 7, 2010 at 7:27pm — No Comments

The Mayflower - Some New Insights in a New Book

Making Haste from Babylon by Nick Bunker is a new history of the Mayflower Pilgrims with in-depth research from apparently hitherto untapped archives. Author Bunker also went to the places prominent in Mayflower history. It's a "non-standard, non-linear" history with promising trivia and anecdotes which shed new insight into the character and actions of the usually lauded and glossed-over reality of these men and women. It's true that "heritage"… Continue

Added by William S Dean on April 26, 2010 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

Why Irish Genealogy is So Difficult And Some Links to Help

Lately in the chat room here, we've been discussing how difficult it is doing Irish genealogical research. For those who are seeking their Irish roots and hitting brick walls, I thought I'd mention here some of the problems in Irish genealogy.

Census Reports Destroyed

According to the National Archives of Ireland's website, "The…

Added by William S Dean on April 25, 2010 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Another Ancestor Whipped

One of my direct ancestors, William Buckland, came from Branscombe, Devonshire, England, to The Plymouth Colony aboard one of the ships in John Winthrop's fleet of 1630. The records appear to mark him at the time as a servant of Josiah Plaistrow.

According to The Pilgrim Republic: an historical review of the colony by John Abbot Goodwin, (1888):

"The justice of the Bay Colony was curiously shown in 1631. 'Mr. Josiah Plaistow,' for stealing four… Continue

Added by William S Dean on April 18, 2010 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Open Library and Google Books for Geneaology Research

For many, our brick walls can come tumbling down by using online sources separate from "the usual suspects", i.e., Family Search, etc. Obscure, hard-to-find, and out-of-print books covering a wide variety of genealogy, history, and specific family histories can be found at online sources. Here are a few that I have found very useful. Perhaps you will, too.

Open Library. Link: www.

Open Library is both an… Continue

Added by William S Dean on April 17, 2010 at 1:39pm — No Comments

Why Seperate Church and State? Combine!

Before you get upset, this post is not about politics and faith, but about genealogical clues to ancestors' lives. In my research, I have found the records kept by various church groups to be of immense help in learning about my ancestors' lives and travels. Such records combined with "state" documents, incl. census reports, official land deeds, wills, and court cases are often all we have to go on -- evidence-wise -- apart from word-of-mouth family stories (which may or may not be… Continue

Added by William S Dean on April 13, 2010 at 10:16am — No Comments

Affinities: Genetics, Coincidence, or What?

A recent blogger here mentioned something about research findings that make your hair stand on end. I'm wondering how many people have a particular affinity for something, especially historically-speaking, and then later discover in genealogical research that their ancestor was involved in what you show an affinity for. I don't mean talent, like in music or art or something.

Here's an example. Since I was kid, I always liked and felt strongly about the events in the book and movies… Continue

Added by William S Dean on April 7, 2010 at 10:21am — 1 Comment

Genealogy gets television H-O-T!

"Who Do You Think You Are?" on NBC. You can also watch it currently on Yes, genealogy is hot topic!

Added by William S Dean on March 6, 2010 at 6:59pm — No Comments

Got UK Ancestors? You may find something here...

A very nice online source for checking up on UK ancestors and their "official" documents is located here:

The UK National Archives. Handy to have!

Happy New Year to all!

Added by William S Dean on January 1, 2010 at 6:31pm — 1 Comment


© 2022   Created by Nat Ins for Genealogical Studies.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service