As the New Year rolls in~


I look back at all I did this year and I’ve realized I’ve gained a lot of new family members and connected to several long-lost relatives thru my genealogy research this year – It was an amazing year for me in my research – (See Genealogy Trip Notes) I was able to travel to New York and walk the lands & burial grounds of Reuben & Hannah (Chagam) Barber (See my Photo’s) , I was able to visit Barkhamsted Connecticut and meet/listen to Kenny Feder (See video’s ) and walk the lands & burial grounds of James and Molly (Barber) Chagam and the Barkhamsted Lighthouse Village , I was able to go to Massachusetts and see the place/attractions of the Salem Witch Trials and Plymouth Rock and Mayflower,  I visited Block Island and drove a moped all over the Island (See my Photo’s)- Seen most of the attractions and lands of my Ancestor’s while there – I started working with 3 Archaeologist, several Historical Societies, Historians, Authors and other researchers this year – It has been a very productive year for my research and I – Can’t wait to see what the next year holds – I know that I have a lot of exciting things happening this year – we are planning another trip to Block Island some time around end of June – will post future dates when I get them~ I’m also planning a trip to Long Island – going around the same time end of June~ Looking forward to the New Year~

Using Social Networks for research~


Facebook has become one of my #1 genealogy tools – As I find family member’s I add all the photo’s and info to their files on my genealogy software ( I use Ancestry’s Family Tree Maker 2011 – One of the main things I recommend is have a Genealogy Software on your computer (many free ones online) reason for this is that online is just that online – having the documents and info on your computer gives you more control over what you’re researching and benefits of having an actual copy or document of your Ancestors.)  The minute I connect to family on Facebook – I update all I can for them (births, marriages, deaths and such) I then add their children to my friends list (if they are on Facebook) – As special event’s happens I post it to their profiles on my FTM 2011 – I’ve been doing this thru the years (didn’t have Facebook back then but used other social groups, emails, things sent, etc) this has helped me add many details to family members and I’m able to share old photo’s I’ve collected for others  (had someone who had a fire and lost everything I was able to give back some memories for her ) All and all Facebook has been my #1 family connection – I’ve tried most of the others but I like that I can truly control who see’s what and when – I love that even thou I’m thousands of miles from many of my family member’s I still can “visit” with them on a daily basis if I want -I love being in contact with my kin and facebook has helped me also with – not being so homesick  (I’m from Indiana & live in Louisiana)

We are a family that loves to play games and Facebook has become our main gaming area also!

Being one of the main genealogist of my line I’m able to make & post events that I host (family reunions and such) on facebook also – on top of making groups for family lines – it is helping me keep everything and everyone in one spot and being from a HUGE family that is truly hard to do lol~

I’m starting at the basic’s with you – and giving you the tools I used – to start your genealogy research~

Sometimes you have to take a break~


Doing research can become an obsession – You get onto something and you just can’t stop til you “find” that one thing~

I’ve found when I’ve got stuck on something – or something just wasn’t coming together – I’d move on to another family for a few days to give myself a break from the problem and when I always come back to it – I’ve figure it out or found what I was looking for~

You also have to give yourself a break from researching – Mine is when my husband comes home from Offshore (Electrician for Oil Company) He works 14 days offshore and is home 14 days – so those days home I give myself a break from doing any researching to give my fingers and my eyes a rest~

A Milestone for me~


Today I’m not writing about research – this is personal~

Today my youngest daughter finished High School –  3 daughters – they all graduated – All grown up~

I sit at this computer for the 1st time in my life wondering – what now?

As Bobbie (my youngest) heads out into this big world and starts her life, what’s next for me?

This is a milestone for me – 18 years ago I became a single Mother with no help from the Father – Bobbie wasn’t but 2 weeks old when I left all I knew – My husband, My state, but most importantly my family – Long story shortened: I was married to an alcoholic whom had mental problems to boot and I was in fear of my life and that of my children so I left all I knew at the age of 25 with a 3 yr old, 1 yr old and a 2 week old…I knew I was gonna have to raise them alone…. And I did~

So today when I woke up I realized even thou the journey has been tough it was worth it to see her walk in the door on her last day of High School with a 3.85 GPA her whole life and high honors and a BIG SMILE on her face! I’m saddened that my baby girl is leaving and moving on with her life as it did for my other 2 daughters but I believe I’ve raised them to be independent & strong women and I know that no matter what happens in their lives they will succeed in all they do no matter the obstacles ahead~

Now what am I gonna do with myself?

This is the 1st time in my life that I’ve not had to worry about anyone but myself so with that said I’m excited for what lays ahead for me – can’t wait to see what new doors open and what things I can explore~

Christmas Past


Today I sit at this computer and I think about the holiday’s approaching –

I was raised in Indiana in a small community in the country by a HUGE family –

We all knew each other, it was safe to leave the doors unlocked, neighbors stopped by to see if you need anything in town…

Today I live in Louisiana – along ways away from that small town… I miss those Thanksgiving dinners & Christmas Eve parties, I miss the huge family and many cousins…but most of all I miss the love that was shown by my Elders, the gentle words of wisdom and the loving hand they always extended to me… I would sit with them for hours and listen about stories of Christmas past for them…

These holidays are about family and gathering together to enjoy each other to share in the love.

Remember to spend the extra time this holiday season with your Elder’s – listen to their stories – I take a recorder with me and record all I can of the events – be it voice recording, video or photo’s then I take those moments and add them to each person in the event to my files – many a time I have gone back to those cherished moments to “visit” with those lost~

Moving forward


I’m gonna jump ahead to my 7th Great Grandfather James Chagam &  the Barkhamsted Lighthouse Village in Barkhamsted Connecticut. This is where my story will begin for you – I have complete documentation for every generation starting with my Grandchild to Chagam’s in the 1637 Tribal Member’s list of Major Mason and the Pequot War but will start here for the time being~

This is where my research got crazy – After working my way back in time and several years later I come to Barkhamsted Connecticut and the “Lighthouse Native American Tribe” – I’m gonna share a little of my research with you for them in the next few blogs so you can read the beautiful story of James Chagam and Molly Barber –

Genealogy Poems that I love~


We Are The Chosen
My feelings are in each family we are called to find the ancestors.To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, To tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve. To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, Breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the story tellers of the tribe. We have been called as it were by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell our story. So, we do. In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors you have a wonderful family, you would be proud of us? How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say. It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who I am and why I do the things I do? It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying I can’t let this happen. The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up. Their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family. It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do.With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, Because we are them and they are us. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation, To answer the call and take their place in the long line of family storytellers. That is why I do my family genealogy, And that is what calls those young and old to step up and put flesh on the bones. [Author: Della M. Cumming ca 1943.]
DEAR ANCESTOR:
~YOUR TOMBSTONE STANDS AMONG THE REST -NEGLECTED AND ALONE- THE NAME AND DATE HAVE WORN OFF THE WEATHERED MARBLE STONE IT REACHES OUT TO ALL WHO CARE. IT’S NOW TOO LATE TO MOURN  YOU DID NOT KNOW THAT I’D EXIST YOU DIED….AND I WAS BORN YET EACH OF US ARE CELLS OF YOU IN FLESH, IN BLOOD, IN BONE. OUR HEARTS CONTRACT AND BEAT A PULSE ENTIRELY NOT OUR OWN DEAR ANCESTOR, THE PLACE YOU FILLED SOME HUNDRED YEARS AGO SPREADS OUT AMONG THE ONES YOU LEFT WHO WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU SO I WONDER HOW YOU LIVED AND LOVED. I WONDER IF YOU KNEW THAT SOMEDAY I WOULD FIND THIS PLACE AND COME TO VISIT YOU~  {Author Unknown]
A Genealogist’s Prayer
Lord, help me dig into the past And sift the sands of time That I might find the roots that made This family tree of mine. Lord, help me trace the ancient roads On which my fathers trod, And led them through so many lands To find our present sod. Lord, help me find an ancient book Or dusty manuscript, That’s safely hidden now away In some forgotten crypt. Lord, let it bridge the gap that haunts My soul when I can’t find, The missing link between some name That ends the same as mine.  [Author Unknown]

What do I do now?


Once you’ve got all your immediate family as done as you can – then you start working your way back into history.

I started with Census – Ancestry.com is a wonderful data base and wealth of information – it’s has changed over the past 18 years but for the better – I couldn’t of done all I’ve done without them ~

Ancestry.com is free to use and has a online Tree Maker you can use  but it starts charging a fee monthly subscription to look at the documents (Census, records, etc) – If you are this point then I recommend the U.S .Collection monthly subscription  it is I believe around $20.00/month but gives you full access to all United States Documents it has in it’s library – you are able to copy, save and attach them to anyone in your files unlimited~ Once you start going further back into history and foreign countries then you can subscribe to the World Deluxe Membership which is of course a lil more a month but this saves more time and money but doing it monthly thur them~

After Census I started looking for graves, obituaries and such – wealth of information. I used Find A Grave the most in my research.

One of my biggest helps was the local Historical Societies in the area’s I was researching – many will gladly help in anything you are looking up – sometimes there is a fee and sometimes they send it for free – it depends on how nice you talk to them.

Another help was local books published about the area – older books were of great help – I used Internet Archives Library – I was able to find 85% of old, old books thru them and download them and save them to my files.

Another wonderful site was thur Joyce Tice and her Tri-Counties Genealogy & History Site

Start at the beginning


1st off I’d recommend buying some kind of genealogy software
( I use Ancestry.com’s Family Tree Maker 2011 )
Then I started with other family member’s doing genealogy
(Thank You Aunt Pam & Cousin Penny)
Then I started calling immediate family and worked my way backwards in time
(take your time recording all you can find for each family member – will save time in the end)
One thing I’ve learned thru this whole experience thou is back up, back up and back up~

What started me on my quest?


Alvin & Marion Allen – My father’s Parents~

Over 20 years ago my father Rex Allen Sr. asked me trace our Native American Roots – I’ve always been interested in my Ancestor’s and decided to give it a go – so 20 years later what was a simple request from my father become a lifetime passion & love for genealogy – I think it was the best thing my father could have asked of me ~

All his life he’d known he had Native American blood running thru his veins – Knew it was on all sides of his Ancestor’s – but growing up it was a voodoo to talk about it or to be of “Indian Blood” but my father was proud if it and he wanted to know so he turned over all he and other family member’s had collected thru the years and we sat and talked for hours about what he knew – It was one of the most memorable moments with my Father I had~ He Past away this past September the 15th – was critical ill for several years – but I was able to finally show him his Native American Roots – My last moments with my father were of us talking genealogy~

I will be posting my journey here – to help others doing research on the Native American – it isn’t an easy task and takes hours and hours of research with no help from the Tribes or Government – follow the paths of my Ancestor’s thru my eyes & words~