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Thursday, February 16, 2017

The families in newspapers


Republic Watchman - Montecello, Friday, April 3, 1931 - [My brackets] - "Mrs. Silas Beasmer, [Eliza Vandermark Beismer] of Grooville, celebrated her eighty-second birthday Tuesday, March 24, at the home of her brother, Lafayette Vandermark.  A family party with a few friends gathered to honor the occasion and all enjoyed the affair very much."


Otsego Farmer - Cooperstown, Saturday, March 27, 1886 - "James Ingraham of Unadilla, who was recently stabbed by a drunken man, has recovered."


Hancock Herald - Hancock, date unclear but certainly 1879 - [In Married notices] - "ODELL-OLIVER - Meredith, April 6, [1879] by J. M. Graham, Esq., Joseph Odell, of Rockland, to Minerva Oliver."

My Native Ancestry

After some reflecting about my and my father's DNA test results, both of which show no Native ethnic markers, but which fact doesn't necessarily mean there were no Native ancestors, I have decided to stop thinking about this.  It was the original impetus for my family history research and the lack of evidence has briefly hurt my feelings as has the careless spread of the "family legends" by my grandparents.  However, I have spent a lot of time and expense and have enjoyed the work and I will continue but with changes in my goals.

Surname Variants

Many of my families' surnames have multiple variants, some a great many.  It makes the research more time consuming but doesn't stop it.  Fortunately, many of my surnames are not common like Smith or White.

It occurred to me recently that most of the records that I find have been filled out by someone other than the individual him/herself.  Clearly, especially as evidenced by census records, the recorder rarely, if ever, asked for the spelling.  Sometimes, in a single record, a surname can be seen spelled in more than one way.  It's unfortunate but common human carelessness and laziness.  I finally realized that, unless and until, I find records written by the person themselves, I will not be sure how they spelled their name.

Also, over time, individuals choose to spell their surname, not quite as often as they do their given name, differently to distinguish themselves from other family members.  My paternal grandfather, apparently, introduced the capital D and apostrophe into our surname which was originally just Odell.  He did so to differentiate himself from a younger uncle with the same name.

Since I have traced only a few family lines back to European origins, I have little evidence of original spellings, pronunciations or national origins.

It remains interesting.

Until next time.

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