Published December 17, 2017

Ice hockey is believed to have common roots with the sport of golf: they may both descend from an old Dutch game called “kolf” or “colf”. The summer version of kolf was played outdoors on the grass or streets, with players competing to hit a distant target (a stick or…

Read More Ice hockey in the new world

Published November 28, 2017

My husband’s ancestors from St Kitts include his 3rd great-grandparents originally from Madeira, Francisco Ricardo de Meneses Cabral and Libania Joaquina Vieira da Silva. Their daughter Eliza was his 2nd great-grandmother, while another daughter Ascenia Augusta was the grandmother of Edgar Oscar Challenger (1905-2000), a labor leader and historian of St…

Read More Edgar Challenger in the FDR presidential library

Published October 9, 2017

My husband’s great grandfather Maurice John Macauley was an Irish physician who lived much of his life in England. Maurice’s older sister was Mary Elizabeth Macauley, born in 1868 in Belfast. Mary Elizabeth was married, for a very brief time, to another physician (both her husband and Maurice John attended…

Read More The wonderful jabberwocky animals

Published August 21, 2017

My paternal grandmother’s father was called Christopher Scaife Betterton. A carriage striper by profession, he came with his family to the US from England at age five. His father William Frank Betterton was a shoemaker in Sheffield who brought his young family to Rhinebeck NY in 1841. Christopher’s middle name was…

Read More Nice digs!

Published June 21, 2017

  The Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania holds a wealth of period documents from their missionary efforts in St Kitts. Examination of the death records from 1854 shows a heartbreaking number – page after page – of parishioner deaths from cholera. Unfortunately, a combination of poor sanitary conditions and ignorance about…

Read More A fog of ignorance in the cholera epidemic of 1854

Published April 29, 2017

What did my husband’s Scottish ancestors have to do with protecting the expensive clothing, shoes, and powdered wigs of the wealthy? The Scottish branch of his family goes back in time from the surnames Dickson, to Garlick, to Balleny, and finally to Yule. His 5th great-grandfather Thomas Yule was born…

Read More Coming through!

Published April 4, 2017

In the civil marriage and birth records of St Kitts, my husband’s 2nd great grandfather Richard Johnson Marshall is listed as a school master, with race recorded as “colored”. It is known that he was born about 1845 on the nearby British West Indian island of Antigua, only a few…

Read More Mico – A path to education after slavery

Published March 5, 2017

Nicholas Cresswell was a young British man who traveled to the American colonies in 1774, stayed for about three years, and recorded his experiences in a diary. In April of 1775, he had made his way to what is now western Pennsylvania. On April 15th, he wrote “Crossed Jacob’s Creek…

Read More A grisly sight on the banks of the Monongahela

Published January 30, 2017

In the early 20th century, men were often in the majority in co-ed colleges. In my grandfather’s graduating class of 1919 however, he was the only man. This unusual situation was due to world events of the time. Frank F. Jordan was a young man from Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. His…

Read More The male minority

Published September 3, 2016

Finding genealogical information for families enslaved in the western hemisphere is always a challenge. Information on enslaved people was sparsely recorded (if at all). Slave registers were created in British colonies like St Kitts in the early nineteenth century, after the slave trade was abolished by Great Britain in 1807.…

Read More Genealogy of the enslaved of St Kitts