About Me

I’m Linda Stufflebean and I have been a family history researcher since 1979. Most of my friends would agree that I’m a genealogy addict. In addition to doing some professional work, I have been a volunteer teacher here in Tucson for ten years. Through the years, I have visited numerous repositories, court houses and cemeteries in the quest for details about the lives of my ancestors. Of course, there have been brick walls along the way. I have been fortunate to find ways to knock down – or march around – many of them and decided to focus this blog on some of my methods and how I’ve had to think outside the box to find success.  I’ll also share great (mostly free) resources I come across and, last but not least, hope to connect with many distant cousins.

75 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Hello Linda, when doing Google search for William Williams and Judith Saunders, it brought me to your website. I am working on a book on Matthew Pryor and his descendants (5 generations) and believe you (or your husband) is from son William. I am from another son Philip. I also saw the Rector article you listed and I am a Rector descendant, too, as Philip’s wife was Elizabeth Rector. I plan to do a short chapter on William Williams because of his several daughters who married Pryors and would love to have your help with this if you have done a good amount of work on them or can refer me to a good source. Thank you.

  2. Hi Linda, I have read with great pleasure your blog containing the Astle family history. For many years, I have searched for the family origin of Elizabeth Astle of Derby, who married Thomas Porter of Fredericton on 1 September 1874 at Chatham, NB.
    This couple lived on the Miramichi, Fredericton & finally in Everett, Victoria County, NB on the Tobique River.
    Elizabeth (Astles) Porter’s death certificate (2 August 1927 at Everett, Victoria Co., NB) gives John Astle & __Sturgen as her parents, info provided by her son Sylvanus Porter. It states that Elizabeth was born 10 April 1854 in Miramichi. I have found one Elizabeth Astle, age 8, in the 1861 census of Derby, NB who could possibly be the correct age, d/o John & Elizabeth. In 1871 Lizzie Astle, 17y, is a servant living in Derby with Ann Parker, age 59 (perhaps a daughter of Christopher & Ann). In the 1861 census, Ann Parker, 37y, “Sickly-Blind” ,was living with mother Ann, 56y-Inn Keeper. I would be grateful for any info you may have concerning Elizabeth Astle wife of Thomas Porter which could link her to previous generations of the Astle family. Elizabeth was my husband’s paternal great grandmother.

  3. The family had always said that we have Holland Dutch ancestry. Years ago some one my father met at work (I believe he was from or lived in Germany) told dad that meant or probably meant Holland Deutsch. When I first got a PC and the internet (back in the mid to late ’90’s) I was able to find something on “Holland Deutsch”, but several (or little more) computers and moves later I can’t find the information. When I try to look up the term how, I can’t find anything on the net. Have you heard this term before and if so, do you know what area of Germany it would be referring to? All I remember is it was in the area where France, Germany and Switzerland are now. I have found some of my Paternal grandmother’s (Hacker) in records on Ancestry that indicate that they came from Rußheim, Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Would this area be what is meant by Holland Deutsch?

  4. You wrote a piece about Processioners records and I see those records were from Washington County, Kentucky. Could you tell me where you found these please. This is exactly what I have been looking for.
    Thank you in Advance.

  5. My comments about Passaic General Hospital seemed to disappear because I rambled on a bit. Hope that is because you look them over before they are posted.
    I wanted to add that the German interpreting by my teenage self at Passaic General Hospital die did meander around slowly in the direction of becoming a certified German > English translator and teaching legal translation at the U of Chicago’s Graham School. And I am in the process of ferreting out relatives who have been in Staten Island since Dutch & Huegenot times, so I am looking forward to reading your postings on geneaogical research. Cheers & thanks again,

    1. Hey Linda!

      I believe we are distantly related. I’m a descendant of Jedediah Fairweather. I really enjoyed that land grant you posted about Benedict Arnold!

  6. Hi, I am a descendant of John Stufflebean. I am trying to find a document that shows the relationship of John to his son Michael “Charles”. I have read and reread this beautiful document of the Stufflebean family, and I just cant find the connection on paper. Any help would be appreciated.

  7. Hi Linda! I have recently become interested in researching my family genealogy, and it took me to your blog. I am a descendant of Joseph Ketchum. He was my gggg grandfather. I found your research so interesting and enlightening. I had had no idea about Elsee Larrison and would love to find out more about her and her family. Have you found anything new about them since your post, or maybe the name of her first husband? If you encounter any new research concerning them, I’d be really excited to know. Thank you so much!

  8. Hi Linda
    I just discovered your blog and enjoyed it very much. I will visit you more. I started serious research in 1965 when my 2 sons started school giving me some day-time hours for myself. I dedicated every Tuesday for years as MY day and I spent the full day at the Fort Worth Public library. I was sort of an anomaly as a young woman in my 20s and all of the DAR ladies took me under their wings and I had some really great teachers.

    I studied the Claunch family and others and at the time the only published material I found was the sources you listed about Virginia. A limited amount of microfilm was available, and I searched it all. I purchased my first Tandy home computer about 1985 to get a better handle on organizing. When the internet became available for home use I put my Claunch research, already about 25 years’ worth, online. My data was on the first CD produced by Ancestry and has been available since. I enjoy sharing and have kept my database online since about 1993 including a home page, that I no longer have.

    Matt Claunch, his wife and I became very good friends since our lines connect through Grainger County, Tennessee, and St. Clair County, Alabama. Matt was a wonderful researcher. I am 80 years old now and am so happy to see others carrying on the research and discovering new data as more information is made available on the internet. Genealogy Is A Labor Of Love.

  9. I just discovered your blog, and noticed you have no “brick walls.” I would be more than happy to give you a few if you get bored! Thanks for all the interesting information, which I receive through Randy Seaver’s blog.

  10. Yours is the first hopeful source of information I have reached in looking for my grandmother’s birth parents. We know only that her father was William Larrison from New Jersey, very likely, Burlington. We do not know her mother’s name, but her full name was Emma May Larrison. Family lore tells us that she was raised by another family, the Creamers, also from Burlington, and we lately discovered that she is buried in the Creamer family plot in Arlington cemetery, Camden County, New Jersey. Can you direct me to any other sources that might help us identify my great-grandfather? MANY THANKS! Carolyn Lembeck, State College, Pa.

  11. This message is significantly delayed, but it is sincere–just as sincere as it would have been if I had written it earlier. I want you to know how much I appreciate your thorough and thoughtful review of the 4th edition of “The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy.” It is nice to know that my work on this project is appreciated. The update from the 3rd edition was full-time job for three years. I am pleased that there are people out there who think my effort was worthwhile.

  12. Linda,
    Many thanks for your mention of my erstwhile posts on Vita Brevis – I appreciate someone of your high standards and experience reading my work and thoughts!
    Kind regards,
    Jeff Record

  13. A post from 2015 has 2 funeral cards One from Michael Wancho & one from his son Henry.

    Michael was my uncle. Henry my cousin. They were much beloved in life, & not forgotten in death.

    I am in contact w. Michael’s grandchildren & henry’s nieces & nephew.

    If there is a way to obtain these original cqrds, please let me know. It would mean the world to us.

    Thank you,

  14. Hi Linda,
    I am a descendant of Samuel Robertson and wife Elizabeth Harris. I also have been doing family research and have much on Samuel’s sons and daughters. My great great grandfather was his son James. James was married first to Nancy Wheeler and they had 7 children. His second wife was Susan and they had no children. Samuel’s son William married Nancy and they went to Indiana about the same time as James and Nancy. They had about 8 children and they are my brick wall although I have the names of 2 daughters, Ann and Margaret. I possibly have more children but have been unable to “prove” about them. I have the 3 daughters of James and Nancy about whom you evidently didn’t know. They all married and had children and I have court documents naming James’ children.
    Regarding James’ sister Henrietta– I was never certain whether to put Caroline Matilda as her daughter or the daughter of her husband’s second wife.
    I don’t know if you would be interested in my research. I am 87 years old and none of my immediate family is interested but I have a great deal of information on the Robertsons.
    Samuel was born in Virginia and his father was Jacob Robertson and mother Martha possibly Headon or Heaton. I have copies of documents when Samuel sold his property in Caswell County NC and went to KY.

  15. Hi Linda
    I saw your digitized picture of an old gem-sized tintype photo. It is very clear and well done. I have several dozen gem-sized tintypes, and I would like to digitize them. Can you indicate the method you used?

  16. Hi Linda (lovely name BTW),

    Thanks for the link to my article “How to tackle your first big scanning project.” Now I’m over here, I’ve been pleasurably exploring your site for the past hour. What a collection of resources you have here!

    Linda 🙂

  17. Hello Linda,
    I’m interested in the Lewis Family as one of my cousins is David Lewis Field, so far we have not found the connection. I suspect I’m close as Sueanne Field listed a David Lewis as a boundry neighbor to Joseph Field , Roberts son. That puts him back 7 generations from our common ancestor, William. b1698.

    Kim Fields

  18. Linda: I want to thank you for listing my recent post, “Revisiting The Issue of Tense in Writing About Ancestors,” among your Friday Finds this week. I am honored to be mentioned and appreciate it very much. Thank you.


  19. Hi Linda,

    I am a decendant of William Lawrence who sailed with his mother Joanna on the Planter 1635.

    Prior to reading your article I had wondered if there was a connection with John Tuttle of the Tuttle farm in New Hapshire. Thanks for clearing that up.

    The oldest item I have of the Lawrence family is from the grt grandson of William. A duel letter presented to John Lawrence in 1780. John Lawrence was part of the 1st militia formed that joined the British when they arrived in New York 1776.

    My wife and I spent our 25th anniversary in the UK. We didnt make it to St Albans but had lunch at Ashton Hall near Lancaster which has Lawrence history.

    I wish I had also know about the Northern Ireland connection to Joanna you wrote of as we also visited there.

    Thanks for the extra research information.

  20. Linda … I am a family researcher also (not as diligent as you, however) and found your blog while researching Mary Butterworth. Your name rang a bell and I found it among the the list of “possible relatives” from my Ancestry DNA (we are ‘umpti-ump’ cousins at some level – still haven’t figured out those relationships!). You blogs are priceless, I have been reading for the past couple of weeks and filling in blanks left and right. We share about 8 or so great-grandparents (all in the 9th and 10th generation back – I am of your generation) but our families go in separate paths with a generation or two. These include Sampson Mason and Mary Butterworth (thank you!), Francis Dane and Elizabeth Ingalls, Thomas Gardner (of Cape Ann – my 9th ggf William Allen was there also), Joseph Grafton and Mary Moore, William Haskell and Mary Tybott, Ira Hicks and Sarah Thornton, Phillip Torrey and Alice ?, and William Warren and Abigail Baker?. I started this about 20 some odd years ago and have enjoyed every minute – have met ‘family’ and friends along the way. Again, I thank you for ll the work you have put in ‘cousin’.

  21. Hi Linda!
    We obviously are related, as my mother was a Stufflebeam. I’ve enjoyed reading your emptybranhesonthe familytree! I’ve learned some things I didn’t know, so thank you for that information. I continue doing genealogy on the Stufflebeams. My great grandfather and grandfather Stufflebeam are from the Waverly, Iowa area. Thanks for filling in some of my brick walls!

  22. Linda, Several years ago you sent me “Loyalist John Adams” which contained my family history; James Adams, Deer Island, Charlotte, New Bruswick, Canada. I’m just starting to work on that family branch and I’m trying to find out what happen to James’ daughter Elizabeth J Adams Gray. I’m finding that Ancestery. Com is not reliable and has many errors in it. It states that she died in Medina, Ohio in 1916 even though she lived her whole life in Brewer, Maine and another record shows her living at 148 Main Street, Brewer, Maine in 1899. I can’t find anything else. I was just wondering if you had found anything else on her to get me started. She married Stillman Gray in 15 June, 1864. Thank You

  23. Hello Linda! My sister stumbled on your blog while doing research on our Thompson and forwarded it to me as I do most of the deep diving. That said we have been researching out Thompson tree since about 1990. And while we have found a tremendous amount of “crumbs” and other information, our Stone Wall is ca. 1800. That is the year our ggg-grandfather, John, and ggg-grandmother, Christiana, had their first child, Robert. About ten years ago, I became aware of John & Precille Thompson living in then Lincoln County , Virginia. And the relationship of Laurence Thompson to this John. And that this Laurence Thompson’s daughter, Margaret, married Amor Stalcop (Stalcup) in 1792. in Mercer County, KY. The connection?? John and Christiana had a son, my direct ancestor, named John “Stalcup” Thompson! I have several instances, documents, where he signed his full name and demonstrates he was literate. Recently I have been putting as much of my pieces of information into a timeline/migration route outline. It has opened more areas to search than closed! Fun. Do you know when Laurence Thompson, his parents and siblings migrated to Kentucky? I have found information that they were there as early as 1783, possibly 1781. John & Precille’s daughter married John Robison20 Dec 1783 in Lincoln Cty, Virginia. And I can link Laurence to Ann, Evan and John (Jr I assume) Thompson. In addition, a Laurence, Evan and a John (father or son?) signed the petition to the Virginia Legislature in 1784 for a town charter for Harrodsburg. THere is more. Are you aware of all this information? Does it have meaning for you?? Do you have any leads information that might help me? And I do have more but this is a limited space. I hope you will contact me, directly is very fine. I am retired, 73 and live in Seattle.

  24. Hello! My grandma was Eula Nettie Stufflebeem Ross (23 September 1892 – March 1974). She was of the Tulare Judicial Township, Tulare, California branch. Her parents were John Wesley and Laura Robertson. Uncle Jolly and Laura were two of my most favorite people when I was little! I recognize so many of the surnames you list due to my own tree building. All the photos on Family Search and various websites were posted by me. The oldest being my moms ggrandmother Minerva Herd Matthews. It’s too bad we can’t post photos here. I am pretty sure I have a few of me as a toddler with Jolly and Laura either in Bonsall CA or in Orange County CA in their trailer park.-
    John Wesley Stufflebeem
    1854–1927 • MF6Y-T9Q​​
    Marriage: 1885
    California, United States
    Laura B. Robertson
    1866–1949 • KH5P-VCB​​

    Children of Laura B. Robertson and John Wesley Stufflebeem
    Jolly Wesley Stufflebeem
    1887–1983 • KCXZ-2S6​​
    Eulah Nettie Ross STUFFLEBEEM
    1892–1974 • LB23-5HN​​
    William Melvin Stufflebeem
    1899–1979 • K816-4KY

    William Jacob Robertson
    1831–1899 • KFY2-57W​​
    Marriage: 7 AUG 1853
    Minerva Herd Mathews
    1833–1923 • KFR4-JB4​​
    Children of Minerva Herd Mathews and William Jacob Robertson (9)
    Frances Ellen Hill (This was not a photo I posted nor a child I attached to the tree personally)
    1849–1881 • LHFW-GVF​​
    Step –
    William Jacob Robertson

    Matilda Jane Hill
    1852–1890 • LHFW-5MK​​
    Step –
    William Jacob Robertson
    Franklin Pearce Robertson
    1855–1928 • LBZL-M5Y​​
    Janettie Ore Robertson
    1857–1950 • KCF4-QGX​​
    George Nelson Robertson
    1860–1953 • LHF4-MQW​​
    William Marion Robertson
    1860–1950 • K8BZ-BWV​​
    Mary Irene ROBERTSON
    1862–1862 • LHFW-RFG​​
    Laura B. Robertson
    1866–1949 • KH5P-VCB​​
    1870–Deceased • LHFW-R2

  25. Hi. Thank you for the Parker info. Curious if you have done a DNA. Elizabeth Parker is my relation. 1776.

  26. I have been looking into Samuel Tarbox of New Gloucester. His name came up while researching an individual named James Elwell in my husband’s line. James would be my husband’s 3rd g-grandfather.

    I think it is possible that Samuel Tarbox may have have taken in James Elwell as a “bonded out/apprentice” child when James was quite young (maybe as young as three) because his father and maybe also his mother were dead by January 1769.

    I wonder if you’ve ever come across information that may support such a claim in your research? I haven’t yet been able to go to the Gloucester, MA archives and look at the papers myself because of COVID (they aren’t digitized so far as I know) but my primary reason for wanting to do so is a note in an archive source that has been digitized on their site–see page page 30 of this link: http://gloucester-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4579/Apprentices?bidId=

    I believe Samuel Tarbox has a connection to the Stevens family by marriage. I also believe that the mother of “my” James was Elizabeth Stevens. Do you happen to know if your Stevens ancestors might have a connection as a wife, daughter, aunt, etc to Elizabeth Stevens of Gloucester MA who marries Jacob Elwell also of Gloucester in 1751?

    1. PS. Early census records also show that Samuel Tarbox (and/or his son Samuel) lived nearby James Elwell in 1800, 1820, 1830, 1840 Federal Census in Pejepscot/Danville, ME.

  27. Hi! I was excited to stumble across your blog. I have recently taken up the mantle of family historian. A stumbling block in the oral history my mother tried to get regarding her father’s side of the family was his mother’s refusal to discuss her family. Her name was Della Stufflebeam Richards of Arkansas. Thanks to you, I now have filled in a lot of blank spaces on the family tree!

  28. Hello, I am a direct descendant of Joseph Riddle and his wife, Rhoda Monk Riddle through their daughter, Rhoda. Pleased to meet you.

  29. Hello! Delighted to find your blog! Hoping you can help me. Can you tell me what document or documents identify the children of William Crabtree and Hannah Whitaker? The reason I am asking is DNA suggests overwhelmingly that I am in some way related to them. I have dozens and dozens of DNA matches who descend from Abraham Whitaker and Ann Poteet. The closest matches descend from William and Hannah. My 5th great grandfather was Valentine Choate, who was enumerated in Washington County, VA in 1782, along with William Crabtree and Thomas Byrd. There is some family connection between them. I have 17 DNA matches who descend from Thomas Byrd. They also share DNA with descendants of William and Hannah. His grandson, Alfred Byrd, was the marriage bondsman for my 3rd great grandparents. Valentine’s daughter, Naomi Choate, is my 4th great grandmother. I noticed your husband descends from a Naomi Crabtree. I am wondering if Naomi was a family named passed down. Sorry for the long message! Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  30. Hello Linda!
    I was wondering if you had the court document for Lydia Perkins-Peabody? I am a descendant, and have been trying to access this record – no luck yet. I have document from 1647 that only references Eunice Cole. Thank you in advance,

  31. Linda, my 6th grandfather was James Adams, born 1668 Middlesex MA. Wife was d Hall. Just wondering if we are distantly related.

  32. Hi Linda, Researching one of my other Campobello lines, I stumbled upon your 2017 articles on the confusing Parkers of early Campobello. I have two lines of descent from Parkers of Campobello, and one from a probably not closely related Parker line of Lubec ME, which all merge in the marriage of my last Campobello born ancestor and her husband. Have you gotten any farther with them?

    My two Campobello lines are
    A) Margaret “Penny” Parker b. abt 1794-6 who married Alexander Calder, and
    B) Sarah May Parker b. 16 Sep 1812 in Hall’s Harbour, Kings, Nova Scotia, d. 18 Jun 1886 Campobello and married 30 May 1832 in Lubec ME to Nehemiah Mitchell. They lived on Campobello. Sarah is believed to be a daughter by Ann of the Thomas Parker you mention who married first Ann Mears. Barto gives this Thomas as a son of Jonathan Parker, but I’m inclined to believe him to be a son of the Benjamin Parker of the Camel.

    In my Lubec Parker line, roughly contemporaneous with Sarah May Parker, is a James Madison Parker. His father is believed to be Isaac Parker about whom almost nothing is known, but I doubt a loyalist or first generation descendant of a loyalist would name their son after the current American president.

    What might be of most interest is a hint I have that Sarah May Parker Mitchell’s “letters are preserved at the St. John Museum” in St. John, New Brunswick. I have not seen those myself, and the rudimentary search for the New Brunswick Museum’s archives available online doesn’t give any results that look to me like they would be her letters. (I did see some early Campobello records though.)

  33. Hi Linda-
    I’m thrilled to find your blog. What a resource. I found you from your recent post on Flemstead Ransone’s estate, on which my 4th Gr-Grandfather, Zadock Lackland, was an arbiter. I’m following my Lackland lineage and I’ve reached Richmond City and Buckingham County, Virginia; also Jefferson County (before it was West Virginia). I’ve got solid documentation up to Zadock Lackland but the trail stops there for now. Most of my Lacklands lived in severely burned counties. I’ve found useful source material from newspaper Chancery docs, but I know there are other researchers like me trying to build trees from burned counties, and I would love to connect. I live in Seattle and won’t be traveling to Virginia until next summer to do in-person research. Do you know of any genealogical societies that would help me with my research in Buckingham, Henrico, and Jackson counties? I’m hoping to connect with folks who might point me to sources for my Virginia Lackland family and their neighbors, such as the Ransones. Thank you!

  34. Hello,

    I was happy to find your pages on Thomas Gardner and his son, John. What got me to your site, as well, was the Coleman reference.

    For those who may be interested, research continues with respect to his wives. Some details have been discussed at his WikiTree Profile. The Profile for Margaret Fryer has more information provided by Gardner Research.


    Both of these Profiles are managed by the Puritan Great Migration Project at WikiTree. Given analysis of additional information, it was determined that we could set Margaret as the mother of the children. The work continues.

    With respect to Coleman, I have been studying the western movement that occurred over the frontier century and, in doing so, try to make attempts at tying individuals back to New England. Take Kansas. It was almost a project of Massachusetts. There are many blog posts with this theme. That is, the long reach of New England is a never-ending story.

    An example. Every Boy Scout and outdoors person knows this name.

    His father’s middle name was Russell. His mother was a Coffin. My thought was Nantucket, but there are other areas, such as Maine. Even Essex county of MA comes to mind.

    A query, have you run into this family who moved from western Massachusetts to New York?

  35. Hi.
    I found your subject of the Philip Crouse Enigma a very informative topic. Very well written and what most impressed me was the clarity of the issues surrounding Philip’s identity. I have written a paper submitted to the New Brunswick archives in Fredericton NB and Geo Toponyms and Place names of Canada. that may shed some additional light onto the Philip Crouse Enigma status. I am as you are a semi veteran genealogist that relies on facts. Some 45 years now. If you are interested. I would be pleased to forward to you the two papers of which I speak. They address Philips status in the now and current climate and do shed further light on how he ended up coming to New Brunswick. Hope to hear from you. Sincerely Pear

    PS. Phillip Crouse is my GGGGG Grandfather. As one of your respondents replied they expressed an interest in the Dutch Bible that was reported via other sources. I have seen, touched and examined the bible which still exists and is in Private hands. Interestingly enough. It is actually a 1780 German Bible. Unmistakably.

  36. Dear Linda.
    I found you today, googling the Meserve/Meservey family. I saw your posts on the Joseph’s living in Hope, Maine . I worked on two of the Josephs for quite some time and finally figured out mine was the son of Benjamin (1744-1822). This Joseph married Lettice “Letty” Martin. He was born about 1767 and died after 1850. In that census they were paupers. Your Joseph if I am correct was a Hannah Vickery. They had a daughter Lavinia. Is this the same family? If so , he was my 1st C 6XR.
    I was actually looking to find any information or proof of Benjamins wife’s name. To date I have found nothing even though FAG keeps insisting she was Sarah Decker (his mother).
    Best Regards
    Very informative site.

  37. Hello.

    I appear to be a descendant of Joseph Williams, the likely younger brother of Richard Williams (1780-1860s).

    I believe Joseph Williams was married to a Mary _____. Joseph died or they divorced and Mary remarried to Levin Killman by 1820. The Joseph Williams 1813 land and the 1840s Levin & Mary Killman land have the same border descriptions. It appears Joseph and Mary had Nancy Williams Hopper (c. 1809), John Williams (1811) and Sarah Williams Jennings (1815-18) and another daughter. John Williams (my ancestor) moved to Jasper County, Missouri 1841-42 and then to Collin County, Texas in 1851. A few of his Williams cousins (Richard’s daughters) also moved to Collin County but 40 years later.

    The interesting bit is that in my DNA matches and many of my cousins matches we all match to people with Speer ancestors in Cumberland County, KY and even Surry County, NC which I did not expect. It makes me wonder if Joseph’s wife Mary was ALSO a Speer OR Richard and Joseph Williams are in fact Speer descendants themselves…

    Lance Hall
    Fort Worth, Texas

  38. Hello cousin!
    Started search last year because I wanted my Grandson to have knowledge of his ancestors. Filled in the blanks at Ancestry and then found you here.
    Johan Casper
    William Charley
    Michael Isom
    William M
    James Ervin
    James Donald sr
    James Donald jr (me)
    and my sons John Wilson & Jesse Neil
    Grandson James Richard

    Jim Roland, Plano Tx

  39. The mystery of my great-grandfather’s past is what drove his daughter, my grandmother, to study genealogy. My mother and then I inherited her records.

    My great-grandfather, George Washington Ray, has a listed birthday of August 25, 1864, in Ironton, Ohio. He claimed to have been an orphan who was fostered by a man he only ever called “Bandy,” presumably in Ohio, until he ran away at age 14, ending up in Colorado, where he died in 1941.

    He believed he was a war orphan sent by train to the north to be fostered. But whatever happened, it happened before he was old enough to have clear memories.

    He also claims that he named himself, inspired by what (beyond the obvious) he either never stated or was not recorded.

    Wondering if you have any knowledge of the Bandy family in Ohio taking in foster children around the end of the Civil War? It’s a very long shot, of course. But the coincidence of name and place made me curious.

  40. Hello Linda. I found my way to your blog while researching my Witmer ancestors, thanks to the assistance of another researcher for that family. I read with interest and a smile your account of attempting to debunk erroneous information on your Witmer lineage and the obnoxious practice of many “genealogists” in simply adopting other peoples’ family trees, especially on Ancestry. Early on in my use of Ancestry I naively attempted to reach out to Ancestry tree owners to ask about their sources, but soon realized that I was mostly wasting my time. Few even bothered to reply, and the handful who did actually admitted to just accepting what they found in others’ trees. Only one showed a bit of contrition.

    That said, I have a couple of questions for you. First, I am trying to identify the parents of my 4th great grandmother Maria Witmer Habecker of Manor Township, Lancaster County, Penn. Maria is believed to have been born in 1760 and died in 1801. She married Joseph Habecker Jr. (1754-1800) of Manor Township. I have found no record for her birth/baptism and little about her at all. The Whitmer Family Genealogy (Dallis and Sarah Whitmer, 1976), shows a daughter Maria (no further information) for Michael Witmer, d. 1763, who, of course, is the same Michael Witmer whom you debunked as your ancestor! I note that a number of Ancestry trees picked up on this possible connection, but without meaningful citation. So far, this is the only possible parental link I’ve found for “my” Maria Witmer. I know this is not your line, but I’m hoping that in your diligent research on these people you might have found some additional information on Michael’s daughter Maria—or perhaps some other link to possible parents.

    I also noted that you had done work on the Miller families of Botetourt County, Virginia, where my 3rd great-grandparents Frederick Miller (1760-1822) and Mary Elizabeth Peery (1769-1844) lived from sometime in the latter 1780s until 1818 when they migrated, with a number of related German families, to Clark County, Ohio. While I know Mary Elizabeth’s Peery/Bieri ancestry back to the Rhineland, I have not been able to find a birth record for Frederick or any other evidence of his parentage. Frederick was born in Pennsylvania and married there before migrating to Virginia where Mary Elizabeth’s father was already settled north of the James River. Her family had lived in Berks County, Penn., so it is highly possible that Frederick was born there. I have found a couple of promising baptismal records there, but none that match exactly and no way of determining which, if any, of them are “my” Frederick. So, as with the Witmers, I am hoping that in your research on the Botetourt Millers you might have found something useful that I missed, despite spending an entire day in Fincastle some years ago with a delightful lady who was a full-time paid genealogist working for the county court—plus lots of online searching since.

    I hope I haven’t exhausted my welcome with too many questions, but I’ve pretty much hit the wall on both of these families. Any help you can provide will be very much appreciated. And thank you for your very nice blog and sharing so much information with all of us.

    David Davis
    Arlington, Virginia

  41. Hi Linda,
    I was reading your history on a Little Sebago Lake history page.
    From your ancestry, it looks as if we would be distant cousins. I am descended from John and Amy Eddy.
    I would like to correspond with you. I also live in Tucson, and have cousins in Portland who have a camp on LSL.

  42. Hi Linda! I found your site today and am enjoying reading your posts. I’m related to the Stufflebeams and have been working on a blog post about Priscilla Estes Miller’s capture by Indians. I will certainly be following your stories!

    1. Hello Linda
      I recently discovered that I am a descendant of William Potter through his daughter Mary and Joseph Mansfield. I discovered the story about him on your blog. I am curious to see any documentation of the bestiality charge against him and his subsequent execution.
      Thank you.

  43. If I am reading this correctly, we are (distant) cousins.
    I am descended off the Mayflower through Edward Doty and we have a lot of Hatch (Hatche) members in the tree.
    I would love to compare notes to validate that the Walter Hatch-(Elder) William Hatch-Jane Young of my tree are the same William Hatch-Jane Young of your tree.

  44. My grandmother was Rhoda Catherine Riddle (sanders) born in 1907 in North Carolina.

    I started research on Ancestry.com . It seems both her father and grandfather had children with ‘several’ women.

    I canty wait to get my DNA test back and piece it toether.
    If anyone wants to contact me, feel free, Just look for NFTeve or Eve Hennessa. I amm easy to find

  45. Hi Linda,

    I found you by googling my LARRISON surname. My branch migrated to Guernsey County, Ohio (specifically Kimbolton). Most are still there in the general area. I was born in Cambridge, OH. My brick wall has been Daniel V. Larrison born about 1810 perhaps in Monroe County, OH. Unlikely, due to Monroe not being formed until 1813. It was made up of Washington, Belmont, and Guernsey counties.

    Daniel married a Sarah Koon born about 1813. They married in Belmont county 1/6/1828. They settled in the Kimbolton area of Guernsey county. At one point the family owned a private coal mine. They had 10 children! Can you imagine? I stem off his 7th child, William R. LARRISON born 1/26/1841. Finding information om my Great Grand Father and his other siblings that served in the Civil War as interesting.

    The story I heard growing up was that we were Indian. My father was dark. I, too, get dark if outdoors most of the time. I did the Ancestry DNA test. Not one drop of native American here, Most, about 77%, came from England and northwestern Europe. My mother had hers done too and she was just 38% from this same region.

    Do you have any clues in your research or from others that might help me dig my LARRISON’s out of Ohio?


  46. Hello there, my ancestor Jane Orr first married James Carlisle in Halifax. Are they connected to you in some way?

    James Carlisle and Jane Orr

    Husband: James Carlisle
    Died: Abt 17 Apr 1761 – Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Buried: 17 Apr 1761 – St. Paul’s Anglican, Halifax, Halifax, Nova
    Scotia, Canada
    Marriage: 29 Jul 1754
    Place: St. Paul’s Anglican, Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Wife: Jane Orr
    Born: Abt 1734 – Ireland
    Died: Abt 11 Sep 1777 – Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Buried: 11 Sep 1777 – St. Paul’s Anglican, Halifax, Halifax, Nova
    Scotia, Canada
    Father: Orr ( – )
    Other Spouse: Dennis Heffernan (Abt 1732-Abt 1784)
    Date: 19 Dec 1761 – St. Paul’s Anglican, Halifax, Halifax,
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    1 M William Carlisle
    Born: Abt 30 Nov 1756 – Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Christened: 30 Nov 1756 – St. Paul’s Anglican, Halifax, Halifax, Nova
    Scotia, Canada
    2 M John Carlisle
    Born: Abt 23 Jun 1760 – Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Christened: 23 Jun 1760 – St. Paul’s Anglican, Halifax, Halifax, Nova
    Scotia, Canada
    Died: Abt 17 Sep 1761 – Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Buried: 17 Sep 1761 – St. Paul’s Anglican, Halifax, Halifax, Nova
    Scotia, Canada

    General Notes: Husband – James Carlisle

    17-04-1761 _____ CARLISLE

    General Notes: Wife – Jane Orr

    29-07-1754 CARLISLE James
    ORR Jane (L)

    Last Modified: 25 Feb 2023

  47. Hello,

    I hope this finds you well.

    I have a quick question: Did Peter/Pieter Dingman (3 AUG 1755- 8 FEB 1826), who married Margaret “Peggy” (Grietje) Gardenier (1754-1860), have an official birth record e.g. an entry in a church book, since 3 AUG 1755 is his baptismal date?

    Thank you for any help you may provide. It will be much appreciated!

  48. Hey Linda,
    I may be one of your long lost cousins! In less than a month, I am going to England to visit many of the locations associated with my ancestors. I found your blog researching the branch of my family that includes the Marche family in Devon. My trip will be 97 days long, and I will be blogging about it in much the same way that you have. I am hoping that my blogs outlive me, until they reach some long lost cousin or relative, who has the passion for their family history such as I have. Thanks for all the research you have done. I hope to learn and grow as I compare our family histories, and expand upon all of the work I have already done.

  49. I was born a Stufflebean my dad was Lawrence Stufflebean from Linn co. Mo. I was wondering if we are related. I would love to see your work on the Stufflebean clan

  50. Your website was recommended to me by Shawn Stufflebean. My Great Grandmother was Melissa Grace Stufflebean of Linn CO Missouri. I am simply amazed at the work you’ve done.

  51. Hi Linda!
    I keep hitting dead ends with my search for Mary Stufflebeam’s (born 1849 and married to James W Collins) mother. Im related to her through the Collins line (my grandma is Mildred Kinghorn(born Collins in 1923).
    Her mother is listed solely as “Jane” most places. In some places she is “Jane Stufflebeam (Roland)”. Born in1823.

    Internet sources and other family trees say in 1839, she married John S Stufflebeam/baum who was born in 1815. However, my grandma wrote on the back of a picture of Mary Stufflebeam “parents are George and Jane Stufflebeam”

    Im also confused because everything I can find says her father was also a Stufflebaum/beam (John E. Stufflebeam born 1794) and her mother is a Foster.(So where does the name Roland come from? and how do the husband and the father have the same first and last name with the difference of a middle initial?)
    I guess she could be adopted and married a cousin or something along those lines? I’m hoping you can help me find some more information on my 3rd great-grandmother because I cant let this go and I just keep coming back to it!! I also keep coming back to you website because all of the information is just fascinating!

  52. Linda,
    I have been working on the Thornton tree since about 1970. Its been a long road. I have run into the same roadblocks you have in the lack of records of certain branches of RI John the immigrant’s line. I just recently decided to pursue the Titus Thornton line based on someone attaching their line to my tree at Benjamin, except that there are several Benjamins and mine wasn’t hers. She still hasn’t answered my messages and the mistake propagates. Anyway, fortuitously it led me here. Love to know if you did any work on the pre-Titus Thorntons. My sticking point is a literal explosion of Remember Thorntons about 1772 and several lines use the name from Oneida County NY to Michigan to Wisconsin to Minnesota to Canada and from Canada to Florida. Everything stops at Remember (I).
    I joined the Thornton BigY FTDNA project about eight years ago and have made a bit of headway (found 8 reasonably close cousins) but still cannot establish a paper trail from NY back to Rhode Island even though all of us are purportedly descendants of John the immigrant.
    I have found individuals and done a dozen or more trees that have Thorntons arriving directly in NY State from England and Ireland. I am wondering if our DNA thread isn’t from an actual source in England and skips Rhode Island, even though that line is likely closely related.
    Has anyone else run into anything that can help? I am getting old and would like to sort this out before I become mere celestial protons and electrons. For the moment I have successfully battled stage four cancer for nine years but who knows what my new “best by” date is…
    What kind of an event in either Rhode Island or New York state around 1700 would precipitate a family’s need to mark the event by naming their various offspring Remember? This predates the revolution by a tad, so that’s not likely it. The only RI event I can find is the Indian war – King Philip but that was quite awhile before the NY dates. It does fit with the canals being built in upstate NY but I cannot see anything else.
    Oh well, hoping this catches someone’s eye that has some thoughts or even info to share.
    Joe Thornton

  53. Hi Linda,
    Just curious, you wouldn’t happen to be from Oklahoma? I have an aunt Linda. I haven’t seen in decades. I don’t know what happened to her or even if she’s still alive. Anyhoo, just happened across this page while looking for parts of my tree,

  54. Hey Linda,
    So my great-grandma on my mom’s side was from Terre Haute, Indiana. Her name was Laura Ellis and then became Laura Stufflebean when she married. My grandma Wanda Stufflebean was the oldest of 3 girls ( Virginia 2nd and Norma 3rd). unfortunately my mom and grandma didn’t talk to much about my great – grandpa, who made my great g-ma a Stufflebean. He passed away when my mom was young. I probably should have asked more questions when I was younger. I found your blog when I Googled the origin of Stufflebean when my daughter asked…so Linda, do you know if we are related? Lol
    Thank You, -Sherry

  55. Linda,
    Having read blogs here about the Jonathan Hill family and the Sweet family I am intrigued about your thoughts about a note I found amongst the microfilmed records of Helen Sweet at Familysearch. First let me say you have great reasoning and deductive skills, as well as a thoroughness in your research!

    I have great certainty that I trace my lineage to William Hill, son of Robert Hill and Mary Pearce. William Hill married Mercy (MNU) likely by 1718. William Jr, who may have been his eldest son was born around 1719.

    Helen Sweet has referenced in the Hill section of her notes, following a note that Susannah Hill, dau of Robert and (Mary Pearce) md. Mr. Havens, citing Portsmouth records (“PO2:226-227), a note that says “Wm Hill and prob Miss Sweet of James 1718 (PO3:61). This has me wondering if Miss Sweet is Mercy, an unknown daughter of James Sweet and his first wife, Hannah. Ironically, James Sweet would marry as his second wife, bef 17 Sep 1711, Mary (Pearce) Hill, the widow of Robert Hill and mother of William Hill. Thus they (Mercy Sweet and William Hill) would have likely spent some of their childhood in the same household.

    Having just discovered this among the notes of Helen Sweet I have not verified this record, but having just read your blogs about both the Hill and Sweet families I thought I would share this and ask for your feedback.

  56. Hi Linda,

    Great work! My wife’s great grandparents were Steven and Anna Arendacs of Hajtovka, Slovakia area, then Passaic NJ. I was amazed to see your writings on the Murcko’s.
    My wife is Elynor Szczerban Breiding and has DNA on 23andme and Ancestry.com . My Breiding family tree includes a few of the Murcko’s but your records are so much better.

    We live in Seal Beach, CA. Born in early 1950s.

    There is also a Murcko family in Connecticut that must be related.

  57. Hi Linda,

    I am a Larison descendant and I live in Hunterdon County, NJ. I am delighted to find your research and would love to be able to nail down the original Larisons. All the court information from Newtown LI was really fascinating. As is your deduction that they could originally be from England, rather than Denmark. My grandmother was Anna Delia Larison, her father was Andrew Butterfoss Larison, his father was John Deremer Larison, his father was Benjamin Larison, his father was Andrew Larison, his father was Andrew Larison, his father was the James Larison who married Keziah Parke. Thank you for your work!

  58. Linda
    I have spent this lazy Saturday afternoon reading your wonderful blog. I had gone online to look up some information on ,my father’s sister,Edna Sturgell, and your blog popped up. I love reading history in any form and this was like reading a history book,but all about my father’s family. My mother , whom you were in contact with before her death had your same passion. I have a few stories about my father’s family, but not as many as I’m sure as Dave has. My father was not close to his father at all,but he adored his mother. I remember toward my father’s later years he said to me he would have liked to move close to his sisters? in Arizona,but my mother would not hear of it. Once again it was so much fun for me to read this and thank you for your hard work.
    Sharron LuAnn Sturgell (Jensen)

  59. Hello, My mother was a Dingman (daughter of Dr. Norman McLeod Dingman) and grew up in New Jersey,. She is descended from Adam Dingman.
    Her first cousin, Peter van Cleef Dingman, did an exhaustive amount of research into this family and we do have quite a bit of it. My sister, Ann Watson, is a genealogist (https://www.familypicturesgenealogy.com/about). I suggest you might want to contact her to get more details on the Dingmans.

  60. Hi Linda,
    I am a descendant of Joseph Ketchum through his daughter Eliza Jane. Thank you for the research and information about him in your articles. I can give you more information about Lewis and Eliza Jane Haddix’s family. Eliza was born in Boone County, Indiana. Her husband Lewis’s half brother Silas Haddix was born in Indiana too. Eliza Haddix lived in Breathitt County, Kentucky where she raised her family after Lewis Haddix’s death in 1862. Lewis Haddix’s sister Katherine Haddix married Benjamin Fugate. Benjamin also served in the Civil War and died in 1862. Benjamin and Katherine’s sons Samuel, Charles and Levi, were living in Eliza Jane’s household in 1870 Breathitt and the census taker listed their surname as Haddix by mistake. Eliza Jane died in 1917 in Breathitt County, Kentucky.

  61. Linda:
    I have a 4c2x Zelma Rhoda “Alma” Nickell Hatch who married Howard Wayne Stufflebean in 1930s he died in 1955 apparently no children; they are in the 1940 census of Duncan, Sullivan, Missouri.
    I live in Missouri and do research for people. I am also known as : Geniethegenealogist. Mary Ann Kincaid Murray

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