Thursday, April 1, 2010

What I and my twenty-eight cousins found

A good amount of time has been spent on looking for (and finding) land records for the SPECK and TOWNSEND families. These are my people and are introduced in "Two Quaker Cemeteries." I pretty much know where to look for the SPECK land from southeast Ohio, to Illinois, to Iowa and Kansas, until a few generations later, some of them moved on to Washington, Oregon and California.

I've documented some of our SPECK properties from southeast Ohio and Kansas with my own map-making, some of which you can see in "Maps for Two Quaker Cemeteries."

Tracking was a little different with the Townsends. There are so many of them, and they were always everywhere, but the ones I wanted to track were the ones in Virginia, Maryland and into Pennsylvania, the latter state being where thousands of early pioneers traveled into and around Washington County, Pennsylvania to await the signing of the treaties which would permit settlement in Ohio. And there they were, most of them with names that matched who we thought were brothers of Sarah Townsend. We still haven't found Sarah's families.

I had not realized that people were not waiting just a few weeks to get into Ohio. Many of them purchased property and waited years - to get the best opportunity when the time came to cross the Ohio River from western Pennsylvania.

Are you a Townsend descendant from Virginia and/or Maryland in the mid 1700's? That's where our families were when we first found them. God Bless old Uncle Isaac Speck - my second great uncle. He left a family history published in 1901 that contains literally the first four and part of the fifth generations of our first immigrant Speck who arrived in America in 1774. Through searching the internet, I finally collected about 28 cousins who were building their own lines from this first immigrant, just as I was doing. Needless to say, We have found practically all of them.

So it's an interesting study. I leave you with these paragraphs until next time. Please leave comments.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Bit of England...

The initial flurry of responses to putting "Two Quaker Cemeteries" on the World Wide Web has dininished somewhat.

Some old and some new friends have requested we start fresh in our search for the parents, or family line, of fourth-great grandmother, Sarah Townsend, who is buried at the first Quaker site in Freeport, Harrison County, Ohio. The cemetery finally ended up on private property and is now referred to as the Boone-Sears Cemetery.

Some time ago, I, and new cousins I had met on the Internet, spent a few good years searching for her. These days, there is much more material available to draw from, so it will be interesting. For example, last night I checked out an old Virginia history I was able to download from Google Books, and there are more to come.

One thing we'll be taking a look at is a bit of England, since there is strong evidence that many of the Townsends immigrated from there. Two areas that have come up quickly are Shropshire and Berkshire. From Berkshire we hear about the "Bucklebury Townsends" which I'd not heard about before.

Shall I wish for good hunting? Here is the URL for the web where I've laid out the background for our "search for Sarah."

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm a newbie with Google Sites...

and did not know how long it would take for the robots to pick up "Two Quaker Cemeteries" once I registered the site. It's like waiting with the clock ticking. Will it be right away? two weeks? a couple of months?

I got a little shock a couple of days ago. I'm following up some research that had to do with Quakers - using Google Search - I don't even remember what keywords I typed in. All of a sudden I saw a topic that looked awfully familiar and when I looked at it the third time, I realized it was the "Two Quaker Cemeteries" web site. The robot has picked up the web!

The mail has been coming in and it's nice to see that folks are really interested in the story...also a few compliments sprinkled around.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Behind the scenes

Now that this blog is 'up' and the two web sites are up, I have been working on some promotion of the sites.

So far, I've submitted my sitemaps to Googlebot, so when they get indexed, it will be easier for you to search for items there. I will also submit my sitemaps to Microsoft BING and Yahoo! search engines. And there are others.

I've posted information on my site at Facebook, the USGenWeb Archives, and at Rootsweb/ This is a good start, but I still have more to take care of. One of the first things to pick up on would be a notice to the libraries that hold copies of the original paper book published in 2005. Their readers will want to know they can see it all in color.

I have made a list of more places to get the word out, but it all takes time. It seemed that putting the web sites together would be a lot faster and easier than preparation and follow up for a regularly-published book, but I'm not so sure. I had no problem getting the webs up and ready, but since different procedures are involved, there is a learning curve while one goes through all the help files.

I have to say, though, it is a rewarding project. And it is out there for the world.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Today's Haiku

These cemeteries
Where my great grandparents are
Covered o'er with corn

The Research Document Is Finished!

The research document is finished! (September post) Two webs in One. Web 1 holds the story and Web 2 contains the maps, charts, diagrams and details. Read my September post to find out what it's all about - the mysteries surrounding the cemetery where my fourth great grandparents were buried in the early 1800s. An idea is to let this be sort of an "armchair visit" where you can amble on to the next part at your convenience.

This is the URL for the main website

The introduction page shows the URLs for both websites. You should Bookmark them or add them to your Favorites, since I have not yet been picked up by the Google robot.

Please read, "How To Use This Web" so you can get comfortable viewing two websites at a time. There are two webs because (1) I wanted to give you pleasing pages for the story. However, when it was time for me to add the maps and charts, I needed a template that was wide enough to make the pictures large enough for you to see them well.

Throughout the story on the main website, when it is time to view a map or page on the second website, there is a link for you to click.

The Introduction to the story immediately follows on that page. Please feel free to add comments when you visit this blog.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Web Site: Two Quaker Cemeteries ~ Old Facts In a New Light

Why? would non-Quakers bury their dead in a Quaker cemetery?

would a Quaker group abandon its place of worship and school to build a new meeting house, school and cemetery just a 1/2 mile away only 8 years later than the first one?

would a Quaker cemetery, with its first burial in 1804 not have an organizational date until 1830?

is there not an official list of names for those buried there?

Answers were found for questions not even asked in this extremely interesting community study.

The final reference reveals a local-township-county-state-national event that forever altered the physical structure of this community.

It is often surprising to find how your families were related to the people and events of a bygone era, but these days there is ample material for a determined researcher to find the kernels of long-ago family and community history.

This research study written in 2005 with a limited circulation will soon be published on the web. It is an interesting story about two related cemeteries, perhaps related to the history of your own families.

With both of these Quaker cemeteries no longer active, indeed, one of them now covered with a cornfield, a written report like this one will provide the reader with a connection to the history of their forbears and events in which they were involved.

Others with an interest in the community’s history will appreciate the local and county maps, records, sketches and historical references that provided the burial lists, the land deed records, and even an insight of the traveler through Freeport Township who left a diary to describe who he met and what he thought as he passed through town. The analyzed comments with graphics, and photos have been included in this report in order that the reader could see a greater picture than just the printed word. Sources have been documented with Footnotes.

The web publication is composed of two websites - one tells the story, and provides links to another web which holds the maps, charts, and sketches which will give you a larger view of this Ohio community in Harrison County, Ohio. Enjoy this "armchair visit" to southeast Ohio.