Sunday, August 30, 2009

Getting my surnames out there

I've been seriously hooked on family history since January 2009. I had a mild interest in it before, since I've always enjoyed history. I love historical fiction, where I can read and learn about history through fictional characters being in the context of a larger historical event. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that researching my own family history personalizes this long-enjoyed genre for me. Rather than fictional characters, it is my ancestors and family members who lived through historical events!

Two straws broke the camel's back during Christmas 2008. One was a book my mom got for all us kids: "Born Fighting. How the Scots-Irish Shaped America" by Jim Webb. As I was reading, I recalled a document my Grandma had given me about 25 years ago about the history of the family. I pulled it out and compared it with the book....and it was parallel! From Scotland, to Northern Ireland, to Southwest Virginia and then moving out to the Missouri Graham's had very similar experiences to the rest of the Scots-Irish described in the book. For the first time, I can say I really felt an ethnic identity. Having been in America for so long, its nice to know we are something other than "White" or "Caucasian." We are Scots-Irish, and boy do we have the traits to prove it! (Maybe that will be a post later, subject to the permission from the clan.)

The other straw was courtesy of an aunt on my mom's side of the family. She had done some research and found some letters written by my great-great grandfather, Jesse Clark Osgood, during the Civil War. She found out he had enlisted in the 26th Massachusetts infantry. Four of his letters home are held in the Louisiana State Library. She managed to get copies from the library and transcribed them for the family. What a treasure! I've always been particularly interested in the Civil War, so to have an ancestor put there was a thrill.

Then I realized....Jesse was not the only one! Anyone alive during those years was touched by the conflict. I wonder how? It was over. I became a family historian.

In my never-ending quest to learn about the methods of genealogy research, I subscribed to a few podcasts for ideas and inspiration. In one of them, Family History: Geneaology Made Easy, the pocaster (Lisa Louise Cooke) has been encouraging her audience to get into the blogosphere. So here I am! I don't know if I have that much that is of interest to others, but I would love to get the surnames out there that I am researching so I can break down some brick walls and connect with some other researchers looking
into the same family lines that I am. Perhaps we each hold the piece of the puzzle for one another! I'm very happy to share research and collaborate on this fascinating subject! get my surnames out there and as an introduction to everyone out there, I'm on the constant hunt for the following:

  • Jamois (my husband's family in France)
  • Graham (Idaho, Missouri, Wythe County, Virginia, County Down, Ireland)
  • Osgood (Kansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire)
  • Partridge (Kansas, Illinois, New York)
  • Palmer (Kansas, England)
  • Hamilton (Illinois, Massachusetts)
  • Clark (Massachusetts)
  • Shipp (Missouri, Tennesee)
  • Dutton (Idaho, N. Dakota, Wisconsin, New York)
  • Floyd (W. Virginia)
  • Shelton (Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky)
  • Deen (Missouri, Iowa, Virginia)
  • Freeman (not sure where yet)
  • Roop (Missouri, Maryland, Germany)
  • Royer
  • Fox (Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky)
  • Sampson (Kansas, Indiana, Virginia)
  • Kline/Klein (Kansas, Ohio, Germany/Prussia)
  • Fordyce (Kansas, Ohio, New Jersey)
  • Collins (Kansas, Virginia)
  • Speir (Kansas and beyond)

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