Ancestor Approved

I am thrilled and humbled that  Wading in the Gene Pool Ancestor Approved me. I am also mortified that it’s taken so long for me to thank her, and complete my list of ten amazing, enlightening or edifying things I’ve learned through my research. (I know — so many adjectives  so little time.)

Here’s my list of what I learned:

1. That the “somewhere upstate” where my grandfather Haigney was born was West Troy, NY,  just north of Albany, and that today it’s known as Watervliet. Changing town names can really confuse a person in the early stages.

2. That my great-grandfather had a brother whom none of us had ever known about, my great-great-uncle William.

3. That William had a daughter who died a violent and mysterious (but apparently not criminal) death. I found this out in the New York City Municipal Archives when reading her death certificate, and regret to say I exclaimed, “Holy @#$!” out loud, shocking the researcher next to me. I am eagerly awaiting a coroner’s report on this one.

4. That two of my Haigney relatives served in the regular U.S. Army, thus making me one of the people who benefits from the Ancestry.com military enlistment record database. (Great-great-grandfather Martin was in the Ordnance Department as a Watervliet Arsenal worker, and his son, another Martin, was in a cavalry detachment at West Point. He did not attend West Point, I hasten to add.)

5. That I am not necessarily related to people who share my surname, Haigney, even though it’s a very strange Irish name. (It’s actually a very strange transliteration from the Gaelic –so we might only share spelling preferences.)

6. That tombstones don’t always contain the names of all the people who are in the grave.

7. That ancestors can make really jaw-dropping mistakes in giving information for death certificates.

8. That the marvelous Albany novels of William Kennedy (Ironweed, Roscoe, Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game) hit a lot closer to home than I’d imagined.

9. That my Kelleher/McKenna cousins (descendants of my great-grandma Kate Carney McKenna Kelleher) are a large, friendly and incredibly energetic clan. They graciously welcomed me to one of their huge reunions, sharing wonderful stories about our ancestors, including my grandma Margaret and her parents. One of the nicest things that’s happened to me in the course of my research.

10. That although I am a Jersey girl by upbringing, I come from a family that has called Brooklyn home for more than a century, which, considering how much the borough continues to be gentrified, yuppified and re-developified, is really something to be proud of.

And now, I list ten blogs that make my day in various ways. I am sure some of them have been Approved many times over, but who’s counting. Here goes:  Apple’s Tree,  John at TransylvanianDutch, Thomas McEntee and Geneabloggers, Luckie Daniels’  Our Georgia Roots, Jasia’s Creative Gene, Greta and her Genealogy Bog, Evelyn at A Canadian Family, Katrina McQuarrie at KickAss Genealogy, Dick Hillenbrand’s Upstate New York Genealogy Blog, and Chris Dunham, a k a  The Genealogue.


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