Wonderful Women of the Family

Genealogy - remembering the aunts

Don’t ask me why, but I really wanted to share a remembrance of all of my aunts.

Aunt Lu: My dad’s oldest sister. Was strong and fearless and driven. She became a doctor back in the 1930s and went on to help build a medical foundation.

Aunt Helen: Recently passed away at age 95. She was shy, opinionated, stubborn, and loved her family more than anything else. Dad’s middle sister.

Aunt Alice: I did a wonderful road trip with her from New Orleans up to Arkansas. We laughed til it hurt, played games every evening, and constantly drank iced tea. Dad’s youngest sister.

Aunt Mary Lou: Mom’s sister. She loved to have fun, and was an absolute wizard at making absolutely anything. We lost her far too soon.

Aunt Dorothy: I remember her visiting us in San Diego – working on her tan out on the back deck. She was a beauty. Not sure she ever recovered from losing one of her sons.

Aunt Mary Ann: The aunt I spent less time around than the others but my memories of her were of someone who was kind, loved my mom (her sister-in-law) and her kids.

I miss them all and wish I had had far more years with each of them.

Frances (Frankey) Easley 3rd Great-Grandmother

Ffrances Easley Genealogy

She was my third great-grandmother and I really want to know if she liked the nickname Frankey or if she just put up with it??

Born December 14, in Surry County, North Carolina, she married John Snow December 10, 1812. They had 10 children that I know of, Stephen Isaac being my direct ancestor.Frankey is buried in the Lone Jack Cemetery, Jackson County, Missouri. I’ve visited the cemetery many times and hope to get back again next year.

This beautiful iris is for her.

Monday Genealogy Tip: Timelines

Using a genealogy timeline

You don’t live in a void. Current events impact your everyday life, whether it’s the price of gasoline or searching for a new job. Although your far-back ancestors didn’t have to worry about buying gas, the events of their time impacted their lives just as much as yours do today. That’s why creating a genealogy timeline is a must if you want to understand more about the times in which your family lived.

Think about this. What do the think the difference might have been for your ancestor who lived during the presidency of George Washington versus your ancestor who lived during the Jefferson years? Do you know the events than spanned the beginning of Washington’s term (1789) and the close of Jefferson’s (1809)? Here are a few things to think about:

During the Washington years:

  • First Congress met in New York
  • James Fenimore Cooper was born
  • Louis Daguerre (pioneer of photography) was born
  • Mutineers of the H.M.S. Bounty settled on Pitcairn Islands
  • A German astronomer calculated the orbits of comets
  • First copper pennies minted in England
  • Washington, D.C. was founded
  • Jews in France were granted civil liberties
  • Benjamin Franklin died
  • Alexander Hamilton introduced his Funding Bill
  • Kentucky became a state
  • Louis XVI was executed
  • Denmark abolished the slave trade
  • Beethoven became a pupil of Hayden
  • Dollar coin was minted in the U.S.
  • Whiskey Rebellion took place in Pennsylvania

During the Jefferson years:

  • Federal offices are moved from Philadelphia to Washington D.C.
  • Sir Walter Scott wrote Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border
  • Goya painted The Two Majas
  • Paris had 550,000 inhabitants
  • Ohio became a state
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson was born
  • 12th Amendment added to the Constitution
  • Alexander Hamilton killed in a duel with Aaron Burr
  • Louisiana Purchase was completed
  • Meriwether Lewis and William Clark explore the new territory
  • U.S. prohibits importation of slaves from Africa
  • U.S. Embargo Act passed against Britain and France
  • Napoleon abolishes Inquisition in Spain and Italy
  • Robert Fulton’s paddle steamer navigates the Hudson River
  • Men’s pigtails go out of fashion
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born

Obviously tens of thousands of other events were happening, but for me, these reflect a growing country and expansion in all fields.  But don’t stop with national or international events, research local histories to discover what was going on in your ancestor’s neighborhood.

Timelines are critical when understanding an ancestor's lifeClick To Tweet

Links to Help in Your Genealogy Search

  1. Google Books (search for place histories or biographies)
  2. Newspaper Archive  (search historical newspapers)
  3. Your genealogy software probably has a timeline element that will show your ancestors lifespan
  4. Search Google, i.e. “history of england” or “what happened in 1857 Indiana”
  5. This Day in History

If you’re as much a history geek as I am, you may enjoy this lengthy article (PDF)

Presidential Difference in the Early Republic:
The Highly Disparate Leadership Styles of
Washington, Adams, and Jefferson
FRED I. GREENSTEIN
Princeton University