06 June 2016

Okay. I'm reduced to begging now.

Are you a Russell or a Tirrell/Terrell/Terrill? Does your family hail from Connecticut in the late 1600s? Do you have a Ransom R. Russell or a Loly Terrell in your family tree? IF you do, would you please contact me - I am trying to find my 3x grandparents.

Thanks to Ancestry.com I have been combing through the probate packets, and so far have not found the Russell connection. Haven't gotten to Terrill, Terrell/ Tirrell yet.

You would make me one happy camper if we were related.


p.s. Yes I have poured through census data and B, D, M vital records of Waterbury, Prospect, New Haven County, Cheshire and Naugatuck. I only have one record that ties them together. Their marriage on 27 November 1820 in Waterbury, Litchfield, CT USA. And Ransom's probate records.

17 April 2016

Well, this is interesting.

I had a few minutes to wait for the coffee pot to finish perking before starting my morning reading ritual, so I went to ancestry.com on my ipad, because, sometimes it is nice to cut out all the page clutter, right? I started with my tree, and began to review the information - a kind of refresher on the lesser knowns. I got as far as the Dikemans, reading through nodding to myself, checking sources, eliminating those annoying factoids that ancestry likes to add to fill in the gaps, and came upon this.

My great uncle Russell Stanley Dikeman was born in Afghanistan?

What? Ancestry.com you've got some explaining to do. I'm 99.9% certain he was born in New Haven, CT, where his parents were living at the time of his birth. (Although it would conveniently explain a certain ethnicity that keeps showing up in my dna mix).

This is a new development.

Well, let me put it this way - I would have noticed it before now, had I put Afghanistan in the record of Russell S. Dikeman.  Russell was born in 1875.

I have always felt a little sad about him. He died at the age of two in 1877. In New Haven. He is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery with his parents Oscar and Lillian Russell Dikeman.

Oddly, when I went to my computer to look into this, I found that Russell Stanley Dikeman was not listed as being born in Afghanistan. And he was also listed as Infant son Dikeman. Ooops time to clean up his record. I think everything is as it should be now.

I wonder if there are any more jewels in my ipad family tree?

21 March 2016

Ever check out your own birth certificate?

I was sorting through papers the other day, as one does in an effort to clear a workspace, or try to fit just one more piece of paper onto an overstuffed pile of to be filed papers.

Ah, that's where I put my birth certificate! 

For some unknown reason I read it through again - though, honestly, I do remember the particulars of my birth day. What I had not registered in my brain before, is what my father's occupation was at the time.

My father was a sales engineer with Revere Corporation of America. Huh, that I did not know. The Revere Corporation of America was based in Wallingford, CT. Not too far from where my family lived at the time in Woodbridge. According to the Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections, the corporation designed and manufactured "electronic weighing and force measurement systems for industry; load cells for industrial and aerospace electrical engineering applications; readout and control instrumentation; inventory control systems." Later, my father went to work for Northeast Engineering Co., also based in Wallingford. By the 1960's, my father had gone off on his own to build a small company manufacturing fluid dynamic control switches - some of which I actually assembled on school vacations. He later sold the patent he had and moved on to other interests. 

Ah, the things we learn when we really read our documents!

15 March 2016

Kiss me I'm 32% Irish!

Or so says Ancestry.com. 

So I start thinking about how this came about. 

My parents are both US born.
My grandparents are 3 US born and 1 NS, Canada born.
My great grandparents are 4 NS, Canada born and 4 US born.
My 2x great grandparents are 8 NS, Canada born and 8 US born.
My 3x great grandparents are 16 NS, Canada born and 16 US born.

Then it gets a little messy. Some of the older Canadian ancestors came from Scotland, Ireland,  Germany and the US. Most of the US ancestors are old New England ancestors, and therefore English generally speaking, except the Dutch and French ancestors.

So why is about 1/3 of my ethnic makeup Irish? My guess is that the "Scottish" family ancestors could be as much Irish as Scottish. Same for the English I suppose, but to a lessor degree.

It's a mystery. But one that I will embrace as I continue to learn how to play my celtic harp, drink Guinness and sing lovely ballads.

Sláinte na bhfear agus go maire na mná go deo!

12 February 2016

Hi. My name is Sally and I am a procrastinator...

Actually, I tend to procrastinate, but I also get right on things when it behooves me to. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference because I do this all in my head first, then decide to act, or not.

So, I was in the basement recently, looking for my cheapo rock tumbler, that is filled with not so cheap stainless steel rods and shot. (Otherwise I would go out and buy another one so I can move forward with a jewelry project I started in November). Well, I did find a lot of stuff that wasn't a rock tumbler.

But I did find a Cool Thing. Amongst my mother's treasures there was a portfolio that I realized I had not even peeked into. Good thing I did.

In Memory of 
Mr. Israel Stoddard
who died August 8th AD
1794 in the 63 year of 
his age.

I wondered if he was a relative. It would make sense, but my mother has been know to record gravestones, just because she liked them. So, I spent a little time looking through my family tree, and yes, he is my 6th great grand uncle, according to Ancestry.com.

In the same packet was this interesting rubbing:

DEC. MAY Y 9 1736

This gravestone rubbing is from Old Deerfield, Massachusetts. Not a relative, I'm pretty sure, but here is a peculiar thing. Three days after the discovery of these gravestone rubbings, I received an email from my cousin relating the experiences of our 8th great-aunt Eunice Mather Williams. The email contained a document from the Deerfield History Museum - it is a harrowing account of the capture and death of Eunice and a number of their children. If you are interested, the link is:

It still gives me the shivers when I think about it. Not only the story, but the timing of finding the rubbings and hearing from my cousin.

It also reminded me of the family factoid that someone in the family was Indian. This may very well be the link to that fact. Eunice's daughter Eunice survived the capture and journey to Canada, married a man from the Kanienkehaka tribe, and had three children.

Maybe I should spend a little more time in the basement.