Catching Up with 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Ok, so I am off to a bad start by missing two weeks.

The second week was Favorite Photo. That was a tough one. I don’t have one favorite photo, and I am not a fan of posting family photos. But I love finding pictures of relatives, especially ancestors. So, I would have to say that any picture I have never seen before is a “favorite photo.” Here is a summary of photo’s I have come across:

  1. A distant DeJean cousin (descended from Stephen’s daughter, Harriet) made contact with another descendant who inherited paintings of Stephen and Cornelia DeJean. The paintings had been stored in a barn in Iowa, and she took photos of them. The paintings have since re-disappeared; at least she’s not sure what happened to them. But she had the photos of the paintings digitized and graciously shared them with me. The paintings were made when Stephen and Cornelia were very young, possibly wedding portraits.
  2. Photo’s of Ed and Luella (DeJean) Gage’s family have surfaced on by one of Myrle’s descendants. I downloaded the images and showed them to Grandma, who independently confirmed they are Ed, Luella, and their children, one of who is Grandma’s mother, Mary Gage. There are about four photos in the collection that may have been taken on the same day or at least the same year.
  3. Early in my genealogical adventures, I made contact with the children of Dee Jay, Ken Sr.’s nieces and nephews. One of them shared two photos of Daniel and Rosetta in their twilight years posing in front of a house; one is serious, and one is light-hearted with Daniel and Rosetta looking at each other in amusement. I think the house must be in Fort Wayne (Daniel’s homestead) that passed to his oldest son, Clarence (by second wife Mary Meiser nee Fellows). They were taken about the same time as the studio photo of Daniel, Rosetta, Ken Sr., Dee Jay, and Sada (Rosetta’s daughter).

The third week was Long Line. I think of three things when I hear “long line.”

  1. Our Gage family is the longest American line in our family (so far). The Gage’s ended with great-grandma, Mary Gage, but I can trace her lineage to John Gage of Ipswich, MA who arrived with the Winthrop Fleet of 1633, though I have a teeny tiny gap between James Gage and his father, Moses. I am fairly certain of the line through indirect evidence, so I am still working on finding direct evidence. I may have to concede to the fact that direct evidence might not exist.
  2. Our Rhoades’ have a long line of military service and have participated consecutively for five straight generations. Daniel Rhoads served in the Union Army during the last year of the Civil War. His son, Ken Sr., served in the U.S. Navy at the end of World War I clearing mines in the North Sea aboard the U.S.S. Kingfisher (Family in the Great War). Ken Jr., whose letters I post periodically, served in the U.S. Navy before and during World War II. He returned to duty during the Korean War. My father is a veteran of the Vietnam conflict with the U.S. Army. A cousin and I served as well; I in the U.S. Army and him in the U.S. Navy.
  3. Aunt Eileen recorded the longest line of our family. She and Vivetta Aleck Jorgensen published The Smart Aleck that traces the Aleck line to the late 17th century in Reigel, Baden, Germany. The earliest ancestor of this line kept a journal in which he recorded the family tradition that their family came from Trun, Switzerland, where the surname was initially spelled Alig. This Alig line can be further traced to the 15th century in the Canton of Graubunden, Switzerland. While there is no known evidence recording the family lineage to these Aligs, based on the family tradition from the 17th century linking the Alecks to Trun, it is plausible that the Aligs and Alecks are related. Aunt Eileen and Vivetta accepted this as highly likely. The addition of D.N.A. matches to the Switzerland region would also support this, though it is difficult to say that our Switerland D.N.A. is specific to the Aleck family. We do have a lot of German’s in are ancestry from several independent families.

This week’s topic is Close to Home. I have mentioned before lost “serendipity” in my genealogical adventure. After living in Geary County, Kansas for three years, I moved to Ohio and then discovered ancestors who resided in Geary County. I have stumbled across a new occurrence of this. While pulling the stings some more on our DeJean family, I discovered a branch that moved to Champaign County, Ohio, where I was living a mere three years ago! Some even lived in Mechanicsburg. Oh well.

These days “close to home” relates more to the Coomer line. In Gypsies and Community Pillars, I talked about how the Coomers are community pillars through five generations living in the same town where we live today. The Coomer line has afforded me the opportunity to practice researching at courthouses and cemeteries. As a member of the gypsy family type, I rarely live in any place where local repositories would have anything of interest in my research. And, my gypsy family didn’t live anyplace long enough to leave many records at a courthouse. To use brick and mortar resources on my gypsies requires me to travel all over the east and central states, and I just don’t have the time right now. But when I do, the Coomer research is giving me the skill and confidence to navigate my way around any courthouse or clerks office.

And now I am all caught up.