Reviewing 2017 & Planning 2018: Genealogy Resolutions

It’s time to take a look at the old resolutions list that I prepared this time last year for 2017 and plan out 2018 goals. How did I do?

I actually had two lists for 2017. The first was short and simple, consisting of “to dos.”

  1. Attend RootsTech 2017
  2. Make a research-only trip to the Family History Library since RootsTech wasn’t going to leave enough free time open.
  3. Giving back to the genealogical community in some way.
  4. Continue with daily blog posts.
  5. Continue cleaning up my family trees by renaming photos and images in a set pattern.

I am pleased to say I succeeded with four out of the five items on my list.

1. I attended RootsTech 2017 and am registered for RootsTech 2018. This year, I am proud to say that I was invited to serve as an official RootsTech ambassador. 🙂

2. Dave wanted to view the solar eclipse last August so we planned a driving vacation that took us through Salt Lake City (with a stop at the Family History Library) on the way to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, where we viewed an almost total eclipse. I knocked the “to do” items way down. Of course, they’ve been replaced by new “to dos.” That’s okay, though!

3. I have continued to teach my Anquestors group once a month. We have lost a couple of members, but we’ve also gained so we remain at the healthy size of 12 ladies. We have a good time and I hope they are learning a lot. I’ve also helped my Swedish cousin (through our common Molin line) find some of his American cousins as his great grandmother’s siblings emigrated to the U.S. about 1880.

4. I am also very proud of the fact that I have had daily posts up on this blog now since September of 2014! I plan to continue through 2018. Empty Branches is coming up on its 4th blogiversary this month.

That leaves the mind-numbingly boring task #5. I made a couple of attempts at renaming, but decided that it just isn’t worth it. I can find all of my images, they are sorted into surname folders and having them named in the same pattern just isn’t going to get done. It’s way too boring (I have over 10,000 images) and I would much rather spend my time cracking brick walls open.

Four out of five successes is quite good.

My brick wall challenges haven’t been quite as successful. I’ll accentuate the positive and say I need to try again!

Here is the 2017 list:

  1. Anna Christina Estermann, born c1684; married Benedict Wittmer. This family lived in Barbelroth, Germany. Benedict’s parents are Johannes Jacob Wittmer and Christina (MNU). I’ve wondered if the Wittmers and Estermanns first came from the German area of Switzerland before living in Barbelroth.
  2. Eva Dingman, mother of Revolutionary War soldier John Stufflebean, and wife of Johannes Stoppelbeen, was born before 13 December 1730 in Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York. She is said to be the daughter of Johannes Dingman and Gertrude (Geesje) Elsie Janzen, but I have never directly researched this family myself. It’s not so much of a brick wall as just a family I’d like to investigate and prove myself.
  3. Wife of Zaddock Jarvis, who was probably born c1760-1770. His wife’s name has been reported as Cynthia Valinda Frey, but I don’t think I believe that. Cynthia wasn’t a name given by Germans (or anyone else in the colonies) in the 1700s. The Jarvis family lived in Rowan County, North Carolina.
  4. Elizabeth Krieger, first wife of Frederick Alberty, born c1750. It took many years to follow clues to figure out her maiden name. Her father was Nicholas Krieger. This group were Moravians living in North Carolina.
  5. Wife of John Bandy, who was born c1752, probably in Botetourt County, Virginia. John died between 1816-1820, but I have never seen even a hint about her first name, never mind a maiden name.

The first five names are all in my husband’s tree. My tree is all colonial New England, some of whom became Loyalists.

  1. Benjamin Brawn, a Pre-Loyalist living in Maugerville, New Brunswick, Canada. I recently was contacted by a Brawn descendant and it looks like some new clues have turned up. Benjamin was born c1739 and died about 7 December 1798 in Maugerville. His wife, Mary (MNU) survived him.
  2. Parents of Ruth Hill, born 25 February 1743/44 in North Kingstown, Washington County, Rhode Island. She married William Boone on 21 May 1761 in North Kingstown. This family removed to Burtts Corner, York County, New Brunswick, Canada, but I am not sure if they were Pre-Loyalists, who like many others were tempted by open inexpensive land in Canada, or if they left after the Revolution. They had 11 children and I have exact dates of birth for all, but the only place of birth mentioned is for Mary, born in 1770 in North Kingstown. There might be a lot waiting to be found about this family!
  3. Parents of Richard Jones, born c1758 and died 1842 in New Brunswick, Canada. He married Mary Boone, mentioned in #2 above. They married about 1786, probably in Canada. It is believed he was also from Rhode Island.
  4. Finding parents or siblings for  Walter Stewart and Elizabeth Briggs, Loyalists, in property or probate files in Dutchess County, New York. It is said that Walter Stewart farmed in the area with his brothers. Walter and Elizabeth married on 3 March 1774 in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York, but I have not found parents for either of them.
  5. Finding an estate accounting for Joseph Coleman in 1791. The Nantucket court ordered his widow, Eunice Coffin Coleman, to provide one, but she had the choice of presenting it in Nantucket or to the Orange County, New York Court, where she was living with her family. I don’t know why no administration was begun until 1791 when Joseph died in 1775, unless it was because the youngest children were coming of age. The court minutes make it appear that Eunice still owned property in Nantucket, so I need to take a look at those files again.

With the exception of #2 on my family list – the family of Ruth Hill and Richard Boone, my Rhode Island to New Brunswick lines, I haven’t made much headway on any of these people. Even when I’ve found a few clues – like a male Briggs living in the area where Walter and Elizabeth (Briggs) Stewart lived, nothing has come of the leads.

Oh, well. I think this list will stand for 2018. New resources keep appearing so it is way too early to give up. These are my official “brick wall” projects once again.




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