Tom’s father, the youngest of 10 children, was orphaned when he was only 2 years old. We only knew about the family names going back a few generations, but thanks to the internet I’ve been able to trace back a few more generations.
When we named Stephen we thought that we were just “pulling the name out of a hat”. We didn’t know of any other Stephens on either side of our family. Can you imagine my shock to discover another Stephen Chester (born in 1809 in England) in Tom’s family? The “other” Stephen Chester is our son’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather. I think that is SO cool!!
I decided to join ancestry.com so I could get access to census, birth, marriage, death, etc. records. Next I entered the information I had for my mother’s family. I already had lots of information on them. It probably helps that her family has been in Virginia for nearly 400 years. (You may remember the story of Mrs. Waddleow.) It was particularly neat to see my grandfather’s draft registration card from WWI. (I never knew he had blue eyes.) The census records are also very interesting--it is fun to see where people were living and also a list of all family members who were there with them.
On my father’s side, a cousin and I are trying to piece together the Quigley background, but it is going slow because we don’t know much. It doesn’t help that there seem to have been a zillion Quigleys in Virginia, all with similar first names (John, James, William, Mary, etc.). I certainly wish that I could find a family Bible, or even better a sampler, showing somethign about the family history.
Until yesterday, I really hadn’t done anything with my father’s mother’s side of the family. My grandmother had been a member of the DAR, so she had done lots of research. I decided to start entering her information on a family tree. Chills ran down my spine when I ran across a photo on the internet of her father, his parents, and his siblings taken in about 1867—you see, I have the very same photo hanging on my wall. My grandmother was always very good about identifying people in photos; in fact, she had typed not only everyone’s names, but also their birth, marriage, and death dates. I have no idea who the person was who posted the photo, but am hoping that he will respond in my inquiry so that we can piece together more parts of the puzzle.
I think you can now see why I’ve been so distracted this week. Hopefully next week I’ll get back to work on some new designs and also stitching on the Deborah Walker sampler. Deborah was so good about recording her family history on her sampler. Her sampler is part of the Chester County, Pennsylvania Historical Society's collection.