Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Monday, December 30, 2019

#111 Who Are You?

Native New Yorker … Relocated to the Midwest ..College professor…volunteer at Greenfield Village …traveler…researcher…dog lover…reader…chocolate lover…genealogist

Thursday, December 26, 2019

#110 --Challenges to Solve

Challenges are all around us.  Rather than blog about an ancestor who faced a challenge, I decided to write about a genealogy challenge that I am working on.  As I worked on my genealogy, I noticed that I had a group of ancestors that seemed to have lot of ties to each other.  They sold each other land, married brothers and sisters, and moved to similar locations.  For want of a better name, I call them the Tribe.  Then learned about a doing a cluster analysis of a group of ancestors, and decided that that is what I would do with my tribe. 

The idea of a cluster analysis is that people do not live in isolation.  They often lived near relatives, friends and neighbor.  They were involved in each other’s lives.  Anyone can be included in a cluster, but it typically involves siblings, extended family, and those living close by.  Thus, your research is expanded in the hope that you will learn more about your direct ancestors. 

So to do this, I first needed to define my cluster or tribe.  The main tribe is the sons and daughters of David and Elizabeth Mears and the sons and daughters of John M. Hannah and Charity Mears, who moved from Brown County, Ohio to Edgar County, Illinois. 

Inspecting what I have already learned, the Mears cluster would include the sons and daughters of David and Elizabeth Mears:

Mary Mears
Samuel David Mears
Elizabeth Mears
Catherine Mears
William Mears
Nancy Mears
Jane Mears
Charity Mears
Sarah Jane Mears.

This is the part of the cluster that I plan to explore first.  My first task would be to find out who each one of these individuals married.    Just dealing with this group should keep me busy for quite a while.  I want to know about their children, where they lived, who they sold land to, etc. as well as what I can learn from census data. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

#109 Christmas Traditions--Santa Claus

When I was about five years old, my mother bought a center piece for our Christmas table.  It was a Santa in a sleigh with a music box in it that played Jingle Bells.  It has been on our Christmas table for as long as I can remember.  My father really liked to wind up the music box and hear Jingle Bells, even if we were not seated around the table.

When I cleaned out my parents' house after they died,  there was Santa, right in the closet where he spent the rest of the year.  I brought him to Michigan and now it drives his sleight in my family room on the side board.

Here is a picture of the Santa in his sleigh with the reindeer, who seemed to have lost their antlers along the way.

Now for a close up.

And lastly a real closeup.  I did not realize until I took this picture, how sweet Santa's face is.

He still plays Jingle Bells and if he could talk I know he would wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  

Thursday, December 5, 2019

#108 Needlepointing

I do not think of my ancestors as being particularly talented in terms of crafts.  However, when I look around my house, I see several things that my mother made. 

My mother was an avid needlepointer.  I can see her sitting on the sofa, with her needle point in her lap.   I have two footstools that she made.  

Here is the red one 

and here is the gold one. 

She also taught me to needlepoint.  Several years ago, I found a needlepoint canvas that I did years ago, and turned it into a pillow.

She also made a number of kneelers for the altar at our church.

I would like to ask my mother more about her needlepointing>  When she started?  Who taught her? Which piece did she like the most?