Friday, August 16, 2013

--Zooey Deschanel on WDYTYA; --Randy Seaver is the Speaker for Tomorrow's Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego Meeting; --Finding Your Civil War Ancestors

--Zooey Deschanel Traces her Abolitionist Ancestors on WDYTYA
--Randy Seaver is the Speaker for Tomorrow's Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego Meeting
--Finding Your Civil War Ancestors

Zooey Deschanel Traces her Abolitionist Ancestors on WDYTYA
Last Tuesday's program, featuring celebrity Zooey Deschanel, was an interesting exercise in learning more about her gggrandmother Sarah Henderson Pownall and others in her family who were abolitionist Quakers living in Pennsylvania.  They were involved in supporting the Underground Railroad, which assisted thousands of slaves escaping to the North.  I thought the most interesting revelation that came out of the program was the connection between John Wilkes Booth and Zooey's abolitionist ancestors.  Sarah and her husband, Levi, rented land in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to an escaped slave, William Parker, who used the property as a station on the underground railroad.  In fact, he was a Station Master and Conductor on the railroad; both housing them and leading them on to the next station.  When Edward Gorsuch, a Maryland slave owner learned that his runaways were suspected of being on Parker's property; he came after them and a battle ensued, resulting in Gorsuch being killed and his brother injured.  This is referred to as the Christiana Riot, Christiana being a borough outside Lancaster.

Being a friend of John Gorsuch, this event,supposedly, was a major factor in triggering John Wilkes Booth's assassination of Lincoln.

I enjoyed learning about the connection between the Quaker Abolitionists and the Underground Railroad and about the Quaker's surprising belief in equality for women in those early times.

Zooey, a strong feminist, was rightfully very proud of the leading roles her female ancestors had played during these critical periods of this country's development.  She did an excellent job as the celebrity subject of the program.
----------------------------------------------------------------   Randy Seaver is the Speaker for Tomorrow's Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego Meeting

The Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego meets on the 3rd Saturday of each month (except December) from 9:00 a.m. to noon on the campus of UCSD, University of California, San Diego. See our web page www.cgssd.org  for directions.


The next meeting will be held on 17 AUGUST 2013 from 9:00 am to noon. Here are the details:
9:00 - User Group: Family Tree Maker; SIG: Ancestry.com
10:00 - Break
10:20 - Announcements followed by program:
Speaker:  Randy Seaver
Topic: Searching Ancestry.com Effectively

I recently heard Randy give this presentation and it is an excellent overview of the use of Ancestry for your family history research.  Regardless of your familiarity with Ancestry, you will learn something new.

Strictly through a coincidence of scheduling, I am leading the Ancestry.com "Special Interest Group" discussion just prior to Randy's presentation.  It has been a challenge finding topics to discuss that won't conflict with what Randy will be presenting; but I think we have a couple good subjects.
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Finding Your Civil War Ancestors

Following my blog yesterday about a surprising and serendipitous revelation that my maternal gggrandfather fought for the South in the Civil War, I found it very interesting that today's Ancestry Blog was entitled  "Four Steps to Finding Your Civil War Ancestors".  Following was the lead paragraph:

Posted by Ancestry Anne on August 16, 2013 in Reference Desk.
Have you ever wondered who your Civil War ancestors were?  We have guidelines to help you find them.
Identify who you are looking for
  1. Gather the likely suspects.
  2. Pick someone to start researching and find his brothers and cousins.
  3. Which side did they probably fight for?
  4. Start searching for records.
The article, which can be accessed by clicking on the hyperlink "Reference Desk" above, goes into great detail on each of the four steps for finding your ancestors.  Had I followed their procedure sometime prior to yesterday, I would have learned earlier about Spear Dean having fought for the Confederacy.  I knew of three other ancestors who fought for the Union Army; but did not realize that I also had a confederate ancestor. 

If you think you might have ancestors who fought in the Civil War, or more importantly, aren't sure; I highly recommend you read today's Ancestry Blog.