The genealogy work also stimulates my interest in
I don't do a lot of research on far distant ancestors. My
there is that you get a point for each whole generation you know a
amount about. Thus you get a half-point for each parent, a
for each grandparent, an eighth-point for each great-grandparent, etc.
So it doesn't really say much about your ancestry if you can trace one
line back to the middle ages. Some 20 generations back each ancestor is
one-millionth of a point because you had so many of them (if there were
no cousins married) that each one made very little contribution to your
inheritance. You learn a lot more about your background if you can add
one more great-great grandparent. Scored this way, I have somewhere
4.5 points, or average generations of depth identified.
What I spend more time on is tabulating all the descendants of
grandparents. These are the people who I share something with, and
have a similar interest in pooling our information. But I don't work
on it to really catch up with the new marriages, divorces, and births.
Family names of interest:
- Hart........... Since 1848 in Wayne
County southern Iowa, and also northern Missouri. I like to claim they
were the first families who intended to settle in Wayne County, Iowa--
there were others there but they thought they were in Missouri until the
boundary was finally settled in 1852. One of those others even served in
the Mo. legislature and then the Iowa legislature without moving his
residence. My Harts came by way of several routes from Mason County,
Virginia (now West Virginia) beginning about 1837, and some cousins
through Michigan. It seems that their land in Virginia was in one of
those areas where several kings or governors had made vague land grants
that, when mapped, overlapped, and they lost in court. There were several
families from that county who wound up in the Iowa-Missouri border region.
The man who went to Virginia was Truman Hart, born 1781 in Connecticut,
married young and living in west-central New York state in 1810. I don't
know what induced him to go south to Virginia. He must have had quite a
life, moving every 10 or 20 years and living to about the age of 78 on
the frontier. Contact me for directions to his grave, and if you go
there be sure to sign the register in the jar at the base
of the stone. If you are related, I'd love to hear from you. I recently
discovered that Bev Zuerlein and some others have proven the connection
from Truman back to the immigrant ancestor,
Stephen Hart of Connecticut. Find out more at
- Reuter, Trumper.....were German
Lutheran families who came from the Darmstadt area by way of
Tazewell Co, Illinois to Wayne Co., Iowa..
- Brown.......That's a tough one, but
I had a great aunt Helen White Brown who did most of the work back in
the days when there wasn't anything published outside New England and
you had to drive to each courthouse to see records. The Browns came
from Rhode Island by way of several stops, including Buda, Bureau Co.,
Illinois to Ringgold County, Iowa. The furthest back she found was
Chad Brown, who worked with Rhode Island founder Roger Williams.
- Sheldon........was the main line Helen
was researching, and the Browns tied in in the 1800's. John Sheldon
came from England and lived in Rhode Island, where his children married
and other families who are well recorded. Helen thought that John
Sheldon was the same person who is mentioned as the nephew of Archbishop of
Canterbury Gilbert Sheldon. Gilbert's line is recorded back to the middle ages.
- Reffner .........is a line that ties
into the Browns. They were in Pennsylvania in the 1800's. Cousin Betty
is actively researching that line and I would be happy to forward any
correspondence on them to her.
updated 2010 Oct 11