Thursday, September 27, 2007

I think I figured out the origin of my dad's name - Francis Smith Dane (in his case, the third). There were no Francis Smith's on our family tree, so I had originally thought that it was a combination of a longstanding Dane first name Francis with one of our ancestral last names, which was Smith. This is not in keeping with family naming tradition, though. For every Marcia Winter Anderson, there was always a Marcia Winter. (this tradition carried on to Marcia Winter Anderson Dane, my great aunt). So, there must have been a Francis Smith, and sure enough, there was. Francis Smith was a congressman from Maine in the 1830's and 1840's, and a very well-respected one. He would have been a contemporary of Joseph Dane, who was also in congress, though a bit earlier. Joseph was the great grandfather of Francis Smith Dane I. I don't have any anecdotal evidence to support this, but it seems highly plausible given the naming conventions in our family.

By the same token, I discovered that Peter Thacher Smith, who is on my Dane side, was in fact named after Reverend Peter Thacher, who is an ancestor on my paternal grandmother's side. Peter Thacher was influential in the training of Reverend Thomas Smith, Peter Thacher Smith's father. As Grandma Edie (Thacher) used to say "we're all cousins."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A little more progress

Haven't heard back from the guy with the Dane stuff yet.

Found out some additional information about the following family names on my tree: Sargent (turns out the painter Thomas Sargent was the brother of my ancestor), Goodwin (quite a bit of information here, actually), Waite (which I had as Waight), Jameson, Wendell.

The Wendell one was cool, because it appears that the same source material was used by Annie Edmands when she put together the written family tree book that I have. She clearly used information that is directly out of the diary of Reverend Thomas Smith (who is also a direct ancestor). But she missed or ignored the Wendell information. Elizabeth Wendell married Peter Thacher Smith, Thomas Smith's son. The Wendell information goes back four generations from Elizabeth's father to Evart Jansen Wendell who came from East Friesland to Albany, NY in about 1645.

By the way, have I mentioned that I LOVE Google Books! I am getting so much great stuff from these old Genealogy and History texts that they have scanned. Keep it up, Google. Coincidentally, my wife's cousin Maria is an employee at Google and has been doing some of the scanning.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Here's the location for the Cushing/Cusyn/Limisi/Toescini stuff:

Here's something that helps, I hope: de Limisi derives from Limesy, France. Toescini (among various other spellings like Toeini, Toenini, Toesini, etc.), derives from a place now known as Tosny. These are both near Rouen in France which matches up with the fact that one of the early folks with the Toescini name was the brother of the archbishop of Rouen.

Dane and Cushing updates

I don't think the Cushing information that I found will be news to those families, since it is all over the internet. But it was new to me, which makes it cool. I found a genealogy that was apparently produced in the 1600's tracing one of the early American immigrants, Matthew Cushing (who is a direct ancestor of mine) back to a Galfridus Cusyn, and through him back through a family referred to as the de Limisi's and back through the Norman times to a Scandinavian leader called Hrolf Nefja. It's pretty cool stuff, though I found little else about these folks in poking around the rest of the internet. Anyway, I've added it to my family tree file.

The other cool info was a set of research done by someone on the Dane line that goes back several generations into England. Based on the detail of the research, I am pretty sure it's based on parish records and primary sources in England. I found it at the World Connect project on Rootsweb under a family tree titled "Lost and Found" by user davilia1. I've emailed him to find out where he got his information from.
It lays out the Dane line going back from John Dane the early American colonist as follows:

1. John Dane (b. 1614 Andover, Berkhampstead, ENG, d. 9/26/1683 in Ipswich, MA)

2. John Dane (b. Berkhampstead, d. 9/14/1658 in Roxbury, MA)
3. Fransisca Lone or Bowyer b. 1580 d. 1636-43 in Colchester, ENG

4. William Dane (b. 1538 in Bayford by Little Berkhampstead, Herts, ENG)
5. Alicia Penifather
(These two have 11 children listed)

8. Richard Dane (b. 1510)
(He has six children listed)

16. John Dane (b. 1480)
17. Alice Peppercorn
(Also listed is a William Dane b. 1517)

This was all new information to me and unique on all the free internet family tree boards. Anyway, I'll post again when I hear back from the guy.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The purpose of this blog

Every few years, I pick up my genealogy research projects and try to do some work. I figured this time, I would keep a diary of sorts of the project that I hope will be useful to my family and other family history researchers.

The families I have done the most research on are: (from New England): Dane, Edmands, Thacher, Sherman, Cushing, Smith, (from the Midwest): Conrad, Murray, (from the Virginias): Sutton, Ashworth, Henry. My wife's families include Montoya and Rojas (Mexico), Robertson, Pond (New England), and MacDonald (Nova Scotia). Of course, I have many other branches that I work on intermittently, mostly gathering information from research I find on the internet, and there's a lot to be found.

If you don't know, I wrote a short book on my family histories, which is available through my website:, but it's no best-seller. In fact I've never sold a copy, I've only given them away to my immediate family. But I wouldn't mind, so let me know if you want one.

I'll enjoy posting this for all to read, and I hope to hear back from anyone who finds the information useful or entertaining.