I've been fascinated with antiquity since I can remember. I wanted to be an archaeologist, before I could pronounce the word, (Indian Jones had a profound effect on me.) Though later in life I abandoned such adventurous dreams, my love for history and culture remains. A number of years ago, I inherited a family bible stuffed full of old photos, obituary clippings, and letters from people long forgotten. It was my passion for everything old, I guess, that kept me sifting through and pouring over those old family documents. It was thrilling to connect the random pieces together, putting names to ancestral faces. But, the more of the story I put together, the more questions I had; one clue led to the next, and to the next. The yellowed and faded bible tidbits teased and taunted me to learn more about the originators themselves, my ancestors, and my interest in genealogy was sparked forever.
As I learn more about my family tree in general, I find there are certain ancestors that stand out from the crowd. The ones whose stories, touch me, or just simply are more accessible than others. Rather than try to trace back as far in my lineage as possible, I tend to focus on learning as much as I can about specific ancestors. For instance, one of my ancestors, Richard Stout, was among some of the very first people to settle in New Amsterdam, so I spend a lot of time researching what life was like during that time period and in that part of the world. Because I'm not an historian, nor Indiana Jones, I stumble across information that doesn't make sense to me sometimes. Why did Richard Stout fight for the Dutch, when he was British? Why was my ancestors' land taken from them after the Revolutionary war? Why did another of my ancestors fight for the confederacy, if he lived in Ohio? These are the kind of questions I look for answers to. This blog is intended to provide historical information and pose questions that may be useful for amateur genealogists like myself. I will pick random topics in history and explore them with a genealogist's eye.
I will do my best to provide accurate information by utilizing material available to me, but I can't guarantee I will always get it right. I'm not a professional genealogist either, and I probably can't answer specific questions about your ancestors, but if you've got a question about a certain place or time period, to which an answer would unlock clues to your ancestors life, by all means, please post a comment, and I'll do my best to research it for you.