Thursday, June 30, 2016

PATRIOT WEEK! Elijah Twining (1741 ~ 1802)

Why my grandmother never used Elijah Twining for one of her supplemental patriots, I will never know. The Twining family was her passion. Her middle name was Twining. Her mother was a Twining. By far her biggest genealogy file was the Twining research file. But, Elijah was never added to her roster of DAR patriots.

Elijah Twining had roots in America long before the Revolutionary War. His 3rd great grandfather, Stephen Hopkins, became enamored with the New World since his first arrival at Jamestown in 1610. The rest is, very much, history.

Elijah Twining was born November 4th, 1741 in Eastham, Massachusetts Colony, to William Twining and Apphia Lewis. He married Lois Rogers in October of 1762. The couple had 10 children, 7 grew to adulthood.

Elijah's official part in the war was a small one, but he remained very much in service to his community and his country. He enlisted as a private in Lieutenant Samuel Knowles's Co. of Maj. Zenas Winslow's regiment of the Massachusetts Militia from September 6th to September 13th, 1778 where he was on alarms at Bedford and Falmouth. He was actively the Eastham town constable during this time and was put into special service as a commissioned officer of the State treasurer to collect a wartime tax from the town "for defraying the public charge".

Elijah Twining is a registered patriot with both the DAR and the SAR. DAR #A117523, SAR #P-332783

I am descended from Elijah and Lois's son Lewis. My lineage is as follows:

Elijah Twining (1741 - 1802) m. Lois Rogers (1744 - 1815)
i. Lewis Twining Sr (1777 - 1821) m. Jennett Smith (1780 - 1827)
i. Edward Wolcott Twining (1814 - 1897) m. Priscilla Bickford Ashby (1817 - 1911)
i. Jesse Louis Twining (1850 - 1933) m. Flora Dell Rowley (1857 - 1932)
i. Carrie Elizabeth Twining (1881 - 1969) m. Irving Augustus Potwin (1878 - 1938)
i. Elizabeth Twining Potwin (1904 - 1985) - my grandmother

Elijah Twining died October 2nd, 1802. He is buried in the Twining Cemetery in Tolland, Massachusetts.

©2016 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

PATRIOT WEEK! Joseph Rowley (1750 ~ 1837)

Joseph Rowley. Joseph L. Rowley? Joseph Langrill Rowley? My grandmother's supplemental patriot. There seems to be a bit of confusion, however. The DAR had two Joseph Rowley's, the SAR has four. My grandmother's paperwork lists this particular patriot Joseph Langrill Rowley, but the official DAR record lists him as just Joseph Rowley. There is another patriot listed as Joseph Langrill Rowley, a seaman, not the same as the subject of this sketch, or my ancestor. The SAR list makes even less sense. They have three Joseph Rowley's with similar birth years and death dates. And, Joseph Langrill Rowley, the seaman.

Are you confused? I sure am!

Here's what I know. Joseph Rowley was born in Colchester, Connecticut May 13th, 1750. He married Hannah Loveland, his second wife, maybe, between 1779 and 1785. He died in Victor, Ontario Co, New York December 23rd, 1835.

Private Joseph Rowley enlisted October 1st, 1775 in Col Simon's regiment, Capt Amos Rathburn's company, Major Jacob Hyde's detachment, of the Massachusetts Militia. He marched to Lake George than on to Ticonderoga. In 1776 he was in the same service under Col Ashley. Between 1778 and 1780 he frequently volunteered to go out on scouting service after Indians and Tories. Joseph Rowley was injured in an undisclosed accident.

DAR #A099328 and SAR #P-282473 seem to make the most sense. That is the patriot my grandmother is associated with. (And me too, actually)

The Fold3 memorial page for Joseph Rowley clearly has the two men combined. Not helping. The SAR applications available on Ancestry are also a variety of misinformation.

Looks like I've got myself  a project!!** But for now, here is what I have:

I am descended from Joseph Rowley and Hannah Loveland through their son Joseph. My lineage is as follows:

Joseph Rowley (1750 - 1837) m. Hannah Loveland (1760 - UNK)
i. Joseph Rowley (1788 - 1853) m. Anna Beach (1790 - 1863)
i. Rossiter Clark Rowley (1818 -1912) m. Rhoda Ann Vredenburg (1818 -1890)
i. Flora Dell Rowley (1857 - 1932) m. Jesse Louis Twining (1850 - 1933)
i. Carrie Elizabeth Twining (1881 - 1969) m. Irving Augustus Potwin (1878 - 1938)
i. Elizabeth Twining Potwin (1904 - 1985) - my grandmother

I have reason to suspect that Joseph is descended from Edward Fuller, the Mayflower Compact signer. The research on this man will continue!

**'project' update: you can read about how I sorted this all out here.

©2016 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Monday, June 27, 2016

PATRIOT WEEK! Thomas Wilson Jr. (1740 ~ 1824)

Thomas Wilson Jr started it all. At least for my family. My grandmother's mother dabbled in genealogy and family history, so I assume my grandmother grew up fed on family stories. I'm unclear as to when my grandmother became a serious enthusiast, but I believe it was her quest to join the DAR that turned her hobby into an obsession.

Thomas Wilson Jr was her gateway ancestor.

My grandmother was granted acceptance into the DAR October 13th, 1954. Thomas Wilson Jr. was her entry into what would become her quest, passion, and purpose for the remainder of her life.

Thomas Wilson Jr. (DAR #A127842 - SAR #P-322192) was a Private in the American Revolution under the command of Captain George Richard Byrd. He enlisted in the 4th Company, Frederick Detachment, of the 4th Maryland Battalion on May 5th, 1782.

Born April 5th, 1740 in what was then Maryland Colony, to Scotch-Irish parents, Thomas spent his early years farming the family's land.

On June 17th, 1776 Thomas married Elizabeth Hays (or Hayes) a woman 15 years his junior. He then spent several more years on the farm before heeding the call to pick up a rifle and fight. Thomas left behind his young bride and two small sons.

I am descended from Thomas and Elizabeth's daughter Elizabeth. My lineage is as follows:

Thomas Wilson (1740 - 1824) m. Elizabeth Hays (1755 - 1824)
i. Elizabeth Wilson (1791 - 1850) m. Jesse Ashby (1789 - 1879)
i. Priscilla Bickford Ashby (1817 - 1911) m. Edward Wolcott Twining (1814 - 1897)
i. Jesse Louis Twining (1850 - 1933) m. Flora Dell Rowley (1857 - 1932)
i. Carrie Elizabeth Twining (1881 - 1969) m. Irving Augustus Potwin (1878 - 1938)
i. Elizabeth Twining Potwin (1904 - 1985) - my grandmother

In 1792 Thomas again felt the call to duty and re-joined the army commanding a company under General "Mad Anthony" Wayne. Ultimately attaining the rank of captain, and becoming somewhat of a local war hero due to his skirmishes with the Indians.

Thomas is buried in Wilson Cemetery in Altamont, Maryland near his homestead, Wilson Farm, which is catalogued in the Maryland Historical Trust - State Historic Sites inventory.

©2016 Anne Faulkner ~, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, June 26, 2016

the Sunday Soapbox | Because Sometimes You've Just Got To Get It Off Your Chest

Friends and followers, I feel the need to vent. Beats running around the Cave yelling and banging my head against the wall .... 
Disclaimer: the views expressed here are entirely my own. 
Read at your discretion.

On Thursday of this past week, I successfully completed my tree merge, bringing all my branches together into one master tree. I easily used Family Tree Maker to complete the task. I saved a bunch of back-ups along the way, and after the initial, brief moment of panic, (I'm creating a monster!) felt  pretty darned good. Time to upload to!

Easy, right?

Think again. (Is anything ever really easy with

The actual uploading went quite smoothly. Took about 6 minutes, with an additional 15 to sync all the media. Excited to feast my eyes on my creation, I began to take a look around. Almost immediately I noticed something was amiss. My 3rd great grandparent's entire family was duplicated. 

What. The. Heck?!

I quickly checked the FTM tree. All good there. Checking the list of all people in my Ancestry tree showed no duplicates. Curious. I attempted to delete the second set of the same family, only to have it delete in BOTH sets! Dang it!! I opened up the quick edit and made sure everybody was linked correctly. Looked good. So, what? 

Taking a deep breath, I visited the Facebook page and posted my dilemma on their timelime. I included the screenshot of the issue. I wrote: "Are we having issues again? Tried to update a piece of my tree from Family Tree Maker - this is what happened! It's correct on FTM, they are NOT duplicate people - same family added twice. If I delete one they both get wiped out. Can't merge either, because there is only one of each in my list of people - but somehow they have replicated on this family. ??? How do I fix this? Seems like a coding issue .... (your help is down, of course ...)

It has long been my experience that the use of Social Media brings a response faster than any other avenue of communication.

I did get a response. Within the hour! "Hi Anne, we'd like to take a closer look at this. Can you please send us a private message with your Ancestry username?"

So I did. You can probably guess the outcome of this already if you've ever had any contact with's "help", but I'll see it through ....

The suggestion was to send a more detailed email (yeah, I know) including the screenshot.

So I did.

Two days later I get a response: "Thank you for contacting Ancestry through one of our social media channels. Sorry to hear you're having issues with a family being duplicated in your family tree. That is very odd, there is likely a relationship mistake which has taken place which has caused this to happen. We've included a link below that will show you how to correct any relationship mistakes in your family tree. If the error does not show on Ancestry please focus on the steps in the second article relating to family tree maker.

Answer Link: Fixing Relationship mistakes in Ancestry Member Trees
Answer Link: Fixing relationship mistakes in Family Tree Maker

Thanks again for your email, we wish you a lovely day today! 
 If you need additional assistance, please feel free to reply to this message."

Nope. NOT a relationship mistake. That was one of the first things I checked. Plus, it's all fine on FTM. Additionally, the links that were supplied did not work ......

I responded that their links did not work, however, I knew it was not a relationship mistake - I'd already checked that. On both ends. response: "Thank you for your response. In this case, please follow this link first and follow the instructions in full to optimize your browser to function properly with our site: Optimizing your Ancestry Experience"

Well, that link didn't work either, but I already knew where it would send me.

Steam boiling out of my ears, I wanted to punch someone. It is NOT my cache and cookies!!! No!!! No, it's not!! Why, Ancestry, is that always your solution? If only it were that easy, we could solve all the world's problems by simply clearing the cache and cookies!! And not taking any responsibility ....

By this time, I had already solved my own problem. How? EASY!

I deleted the tree and re-uploaded it.

Works great.

Silly me for thinking just might want to know about this glitch. Or care.

Incidentally, I noticed today that others are experiencing similar issues ..... this time on already existing trees ...... oh boy.

Thanks for letting me vent. ♥

Friday, June 17, 2016

Field Notes: Learning The Hard Way, My Enlightenment

I have always been stubborn. Sometimes that tenacity works in my favor, sometimes it's just bull-headed nonsense. Like beating a dead horse. (What an awful visual that is, by the way) Long ago when I first embarked on this adventure of discovery I just sort of bumbled along. Learning as I went. Making sometimes enormous mistakes in my ignorance. When I first discovered I felt like I had truly discovered the Holy Grail. As I have confessed previously, I had "successfully" managed to click myself half-way to Jesus. When I got to about 800 AD I felt that maybe something wasn't quite right. I had on my hands a COLOSSAL family tree. So large it intimidated me. I knew I needed to fix it. To pare it down. To make it right. But a little voice inside my head whined, "what about all that work!" "maybe we are related to all those people!" "let's not get ahead of ourselves here!"

So I opted for ignorance. Clearly the better choice! I continued to work on the branches I could document. (Oh, I came to documentation a little late - after all if it's on the internet it must be true!) Blessedly, my father's side was more obscure and I had not been as "fortunate", in that there were not Trees, or Millenium Files, or Family Data collections to click and add. I actually had to learn genealogy the correct way to make any discoveries on my dad's line. (At this point that little voice started to whine, "Genealogy is HARD!")

And on that shaky, ill built foundation I began to add my first solid research.

A decade or more passed and I had a rock solid, impressive body of work. Hard earned and something I could be proud of. I also had appendages of appallingly bad, sophomoric "data" that made my head spin. There were upwards of 30,000 names on my tree. Not huge - huge, but realistically only 3,000 or so of them I could actually be confident of.

I tiptoed around the knowledge that a massive culling was in order. (I know now why there are so many abandoned trees out there!)  I circled the beast, circled and circled. I could not do it. I'd walk away, talk myself back into it, look at it and walk away again. My savior came in the name of the Genealogy Do-Over. Brilliantly crafted by Thomas MacEntee. Although his suggestion was to put aside previous work, I eventually opted for the culling. I did save a full copy of the horrendous tree before I started the killing ...... then I just dove in. Boy did it feel good! (Think Katniss a la Hunger Games)

Somewhere along the way I had created several different study trees for researching different branches, doing collateral research and following very far removed cousins. The original behemoth was already messy enough, I didn't want, or think I'd ever need, a 5th great aunt or a 7th cousin, twice removed.

I thought wrong.

But it has taken me quite a while to reach this conclusion.

For several years, I was quite happy working on this tree or that tree. Building nice family structures, branching out with children, and children of children. All separate. All neat. All organized. Until one day, when I was stuck on a seeming brick wall and trolling the chat groups for answers. I posed my query to a group on Facebook and immediately received a piece of the missing puzzle. The name I was given sounded familiar. Too familiar. Like, in one of my trees familiar. D'Oh!  Turns out, the mystery brick wall woman's 5th great grandfather was the brother of the 6th great grandmother of an ancestor on one of my other family branches! Breaking down my maternal and paternal trees had severed the possibility of me discovering this connection. Eliminating collateral "fluff from so far back" wiped away any connections I was likely to discover. I spent the rest of the day building the tree, referencing the other tree until I reached the common ancestor. (I know, wait for it...)

I was watching a lot of webinars at the time and kept hearing the same thing over and over from some of the best in the field. ONE BIG TREE. Keep only one big tree. But my previous experience with my original wildly out-of-control tree kept me from buying into it. My smaller, separate trees were working, um, reasonably well. I could focus more specifically on one branch or another. Sure, I was duplicating some of my work as I got farther back in time, but it was OK. I didn't mind reinventing the wheel every time I made another discovery.

The arguments were sound, logical. The trees these gurus were successfully maintaining were huge! Bigger than my original 30,000+ disaster. I had most emphatically learned my lesson the first time around (I know!) but I was scared of it getting out of control again. I blundered onward, two steps forward, one step back with my "safe" and "organized" methodology.

Until the day I decided to begin my Finding Faulkner series.

I actually have three working Faulkner trees with many of the same cast of characters, all with varying degrees of information. My main tree has direct ancestry only. The two others? One has all the descendants of my 4th great grandfather, the other contains all the Faulkners that were recorded in the William Bull/Sarah Wells Genealogy book.

At first, I was fine with flipping back and forth between trees as I reconstructed the tale. As I got farther back in time, however, it became more and more burdensome. The story was taking longer to tell. The documents I had used as sources for one tree needed to be added to the others. I even made a few additional discoveries! Things that by themselves seemed irrelevant once added to a more robust collateral family tree became obvious missing pieces. The story became infinitely richer, patterns emerged that I had not previously observed.

I finally understood. Bigger IS better. But only, and I stress, only when it is a correct well-sourced tree. Not only will you see patterns and relationships you would otherwise have missed, linking your DNA to this large tree will bring more kin, and more opportunities to collaborate.

Today is the day I begin the merge. It should be fairly easy in my FTM program. I'm a little nervous, but also excited to see my own Yggdrasil emerge from a bunch of separate yet related shoots.

Wish me luck! I'll let you know how it turns out ......

©2016 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Field Notes: The Cart Tipped Over, The Horse Ran Away

Or at least that's what it felt like.

These last few weeks have been a turmoil of urgent family issues that have harshly and abruptly brought me out of the Cave, squinting like a mole, confused and momentarily dazed.

Life happens.

When it does, our focus and responsibilities must shift accordingly.

That focus brought me away from everything but the most urgent, immediate demands in my life.

To put it gently, my mother has begun to enter her second childhood. I read that term recently and it really resonated with me - it is exactly what is happening to our family. The children have become the adults; the parent, the child.

It has been a difficult and emotionally straining few weeks as our family has scrambled to determine what the best course of action is, now knowing fully the severity of our mother's condition.

As is usually the case, she had been hiding it most brilliantly for quite a long time. And, as is also usually the case, we all went on believing, on some level, (perhaps out of fear) that she was perfectly fine.

Until she wasn't.

In the coming weeks, I hope to find my way back to the Cave; genealogy and family history being my comfort and solace. I also sense a new urgency to record my mother's memories before it is too late. I have begun writing down every little funny question I wonder about, I missed the opportunity with my father, a deep regret.

I have returned to my grandmother's research box, my mother's mother, and am assembling a folder with letters, photos, etc that need answers only my mother can give. Her long term memory is spot-on and I am looking forward to some rich family stories that I might never have thought to inquire about.

Time is short. Memories die.

Carpe diem.

©2016 Anne Faulkner ~, All Right Reserved

Friday, June 10, 2016

Frasers of Fife: Generation Three | Agnes Fraser and Charles Stewart

1880 John Fraser Family Tree
15. Agnes Fraser (William - 3, Duncan - 1) born February 25th 1814

married at Markinch March 11th 1840

Charles Stewart birth unknown - farmer in Tasmania

Emigrated to Tasmania 1841

children of this union, all Tasmanian:

i. William Stewart born August 26th 1842

ii. Fergus Stewart born August 2nd 1844

. Charles Stewart born September 11th 1846

iv. John Stewart born August 26th 1848

v. James Stewart born August 10th 1850

vi. Duncan Stewart born October 25th 1852

vii. George Stewart born September 10th 1854

viii. Agnes Stewart born August 29th 1856

ix. Isaac Wright Stewart born April 17th 1859

Agnes died in Tasmania May 1st 1880 aged 66
Charles death unknown

~ all information provided here has been taken directly from the John Fraser family tree compiled in 1880 and as such is the only source for these writings - the objective being to record his work for further study and documentation ~ 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Finding Faulkner: Part Eight | The Patience Hat

It started, as good quests always do, with a family tale. 

Finding Samuel in the census records was easy. He was the only Samuel Faulkner in Wallkill. Determining who his household members were? Challenging. In 1790 His household contained two males over 16, three males under 16 and five females of any age. So, there could potentially have been 8 children, four sons (which had now been determined) and four daughters. In 1800 the household contained one female under 16, three males & two females under 26, one male under 45 and one male & one female over 46. All males still accounted for, but one daughter either died or had gotten married. And by 1810 the household contained one male and one female over 46 years old. Samuel and Elinor presumably.

That is the last census Samuel appears on.

Time to move laterally!

David, I already knew, was a dead end. The one and only time he ever appeared in the census was in 1850 in the household of James. I still have found no other records for him.

John M Faulkner took me on a bit of an adventure, but his trail stopped cold in Tioga County. I have not yet pursued it further.

Moving on to Robert, Ancestry rewarded me with a plethora of hints! I decided to follow that trail and see where it led. After filling in some facts with census records and adding Robert's wife Sally, I decided to take a look at Public member trees on Ancestry. There were well over 2,000 trees listing Robert! (Seems Robert and Sally were very fruitful.) Picking out a few that had actual sources (and not just copied Ancestry Family Tree info) I noticed several things. First, not one tree had Samuel as Robert's father, actually not one tree had any father for Robert. Second, all but a few did not have any record of Robert prior to 1850 when he removed to Indiana. New York state was listed as his birthplace on the 1850 and 60 census records, and most other Robert Faulkner researchers did have him born there. None of them showed any siblings for him, or any other particularly helpful information.

Of course not! Why should it get easy now?

But, there was one tree that had Wallkill as a possible residence! With Samuel as possibly his father! This was clearly the winner, this tree owner had done some digging and could maybe collaborate!

I immediately contacted the author of this tree to share my discovery, and find out if she had any further information.

Disappointingly, she has good research notes but no more information than I had. In fact she had less, as she had not discovered the land sales and could not confirm Wallkill as a birthplace. Her speculation on Samuel being Robert's father was based on the fact that there was a Samuel Faulkner and a Robert Faulkner listed next to each other on the 1810 Federal census, living in Wallkill. But she was never sure this was her man. We traded what we knew, but it was clear I was still on my own in this quest.

Back to Samuel. And the little town of Wallkill. And that will abstract that had proved so infuriating several years ago. On one hand I was excited that I had finally worked my way back far enough, in both place and time, to potentially connect the William Faulkender of 1784 to me. On the other hand, there were just no records to be found to prove this suspicion. Even with the confirmation of Samuel as my ancestor, I was turning up nothing else to prove that my Samuel was the Samuel in the Blue Book or the abstract. (See post HERE)

Drilling down, I looked next at Wilkin genealogy. If the Blue Book was correct then Elizabeth Wilkin was Samuel's wife. Was Elinor a nickname for Elizabeth? Not really. And amid all the marriage records I could find, there was nothing for a Samuel Faulkner. Or an Elizabeth Wilkin. The Blue Book author had cited "Agricola Wilkin's Bible" as the source for this information, but the current location of this bible remains a mystery. I posed my dilemma to the OCGSNY yahoo group to see if anyone there knew anything.

Seems we all had the same questions and no one had answers. I met a few Wilkin researchers who had been trying to solve the mystery for years. And these people were actually located in New York! They could go search the archives! Granted, none of them were following my specific line, I still seemed to be the only serious Faulkner researcher everywhere I went. Elizabeth was just a collateral curiosity.

The group did not fail to point me to interesting sources however, and I was able to learn a few more facts about Samuel; but no one could shed any light on Elizabeth Wilkin or her marriage to Samuel. I started anew my now all too familiar campaign of scouring WorldCat, armed with new leads from the group.

History books, biographies, published church records, I borrowed them all!

And, in the time since I begun this quest some of the material I had borrowed previously had been digitized! While waiting I dug into what I could now access online.

As the books began to trickle in I rushed to the library in the hope that my answers lay in the newest arrival. Although fascinating, fun, and by now familiar, as my "old friends" appeared, first in one book, then another, I was not making any helpful discoveries. There were plenty of Faulkners and Wilkins, but I was not finding the Faulkner or Wilkin I was looking for.

Disappointed, it became very clear following Elizabeth, or any of the Wilkins really, would get me no further.

Time to put on my patience hat and circle back to Samuel,  still hiding in plain sight.

To be continued.......................