Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Quaker's and I'm not talking Oats

I wanted to talk about what I learned this week. This is a starter blog on the topic of Quaker's and Religion in my Family Tree.  After getting a new Hint in my Ancestry DNA I got to looking at an older branch of the Stitt line.  The line was the Mills which joined the Stitt line back in the late 1800's. Something I had not really looked at in my family research before was their religious beliefs.  

The interesting thing wasn't the two families coming together it was how they eventually ran into each other.   From what I have researched so far was that the Stitt's came from PA to KY to OH and eventually to IA.  The Mills side came from PA to NC to TN to IA over the same approximate time frame.  Both of the families often traveled in groups when they made their big moves.  The Mills were Quakers and had a prominent impact in TN Quaker history.  Before I continue on and in case you are new to what Quakers are here was a useful piece for me.

Quakers are often confused with the Amish or with Shakers, two independent groups with whom there is no direct historical or theological connection. Despite a shared concern for peace and a historic emphasis on simplicity, Quakers are a unique body of Christians, formally called the Society of Friends.
Friends do not withdraw from the world into private celibate communities, as did the Shakers to the point of extinction. Nor do Quakers isolate themselves from the modern world, indicating their uniqueness by the wearing of unusual clothing and by rejecting technology as do the Amish. Instead, Quakers are a diverse group of Christian believers who seek to maintain a personal relationship with God while remaining active participants in the world around them.

Like I said earlier it looks like most of the family moves where with religiously like minded friends "no pun intended."  And after about a century of moving around they all showed up in IA.

I am going to leave you with that for now, however another thing I learned about the Quakers is they took good notes at their meetings keeping things like vital statistics (births, deaths, marriages, changes in membership.)  There are multiple volumes of meeting minutes from all the states involved  that I plan on checking out.  So look for future blogs with Quakers in the title and I will share new discoveries as I find them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Ok, let me get a few things out before I get you my main post.   Sorry for not writing last week, I was out of town and before I knew it I had forgot.  Last thing is this blog is Genealogy by Eric.  It's just my opinion of what I have seen, heard, and found.  If you see something I have misinterpreted please feel free to comment below or you can email me personally at

Now that I've got that out of the way lets get to my post.  My blog today is about accidentally finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it, Serendipity.  My most recent serendipity moment was with my wife Kathy.  I don't do much research on Kathy's side, not that I don't want to, I just want her involved with it.  I asked her a few weeks ago to help me with some of my tree organization.  Its always easiest to talk to someone about people they know so we were in the Thompson tree.  For those who don't know, Kathy's mother, Mary is a Thompson.

So now that you know which branch I am going down let me throw this one at you.  The Thompson's weren't always Thompson's, they use to be Lennox and that's where I am going to take you.   The Thompson name in this family is only about 5 generations old and starts with John David Thompson/Lennox, Kathy's Great Great Grandfather.

Here is the story as I know it.  Sometime between 1862-1870 John's parents William and Martha Lennox died. It is thought that a Dr Thompson was the last care giver of William and Martha and by the 1870 census a Bridget Thompson was the head of house for both John and Eliza Lennox.  Ten years later John had taken the last name of Thompson as his own.  Then sometime after 1900 John dies and from what I know was lost.  From what was left of family memory he died some where north of St Joseph, MO.

Serendipity you might ask.  Well while I was talking with Kathy about my tree organization I was checking one of my favorite sites. it's one of the thing I'm trying to get a hold of is collecting and linking each family member with their find a grave memorial.  Well on that day I got a hit for John David Thompson my serendipity moment.  Thanks to a Russ C who had built a memorial for John not only did I get a death date but a location of where John's last resting pace is.  However John David Thompson are all pretty common names so I wanted to did a little deeper to verify that I found the right guy.

So after one day of Serendipity on find a grave I was able to continue my luck with "The Holt County Sentinel" on the Library of Congress website.  I knew the approximate death date and location from the headstone and with help that the Library of Congress had each of the pages of the sentinel in PDF format.  This allowed me to name search each page, an hour later I found what I was looking for "A Sad Accident"  I'm not going to transcribe the accident, I want you to discover it like I did.  I will say its in the bottom right side of the paper.

Hope you enjoy my serendipity moment and I will talk to you all next week.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Picture is worth 1000 words.

They say a Picture is worth a thousand words so I thought I would wrap up this introduction of how I got into researching my family history with photos of the tombstones have found.  I have tried to add photos of oldest tombstones found out of the main lines I have researched.  There are a few others that I've included just because I like how they look.  

Robert Moore
oldest tombstone
 of the Moore Family
Frank Short
Woodmen of the World

Thomas Stitt
oldest tombstone
of the Stitt Family 

John Bailey
oldest tombstone
of the Bailey Family

David Hott
oldest tombstone
of the Hott Family
John Thompson
oldest tombstone of the
Thompson/Lennox Family

Sarg Nathaniel Sutlief
Oldest tombstone I have found period.
I haven't seen this one personally get but its on my list.

You can click on any of the photos to see a bigger copy of the images.