29 December 2016

Newcomb Updates

From time to time, I upload my most current database to the WorldConnect project at RootsWeb. This is a free resource!

You can find my file here.

22 August 2016

Philetus/Miletus Newcomb, born 1798

The old Newcomb genealogies list Capt. Philetus Newcomb, the son of Doctor Luther Newcomb and Anna Salisbury (out of wedlock). He married Rhoda Hayes in 1820, and they had several children prior to his death in 1837.

I now believe his correct name was Miletus, not Philetus.

The headstone in Gaffield Cemetery says Miletus.

He had a son named Miletus, and that son also had a son named Miletus.

There is a military service card from the "Register of officers terminated prior to Jan. 1858" listing a Capt. Miletus Newcomb.

The 1830 U.S. Census for Wilmington NY lists a Miletus Newcomb with five young children and an adult female in his houshold.

There is a birth record in for Miletus Salisbury, born December 28, 1798, in Brattleboro VT, mother's name Anna, father's name Newcomb Salisbury, father's occupation doctor.

My conclusion is that his name was Miletus. The confusion seems to have come about because Miletus and Philetus rhyme, and because there was a Philetus Newcomb of about the same age who also married a woman named Rhoda. All those similar names can be confusing.

07 May 2016

Why I Didn't Reply to Your Email

I recently got an email from someone who thinks she might be related to me. I wanted to reply to her, but unfortunately she had somehow sent me a message without including her return email address.

This happens all too often.

If you contacted me and I didn't answer, it's probably because your contact information was missing. It's always a good idea to add your email address to your signature to make sure I will have it even if it is somehow missing from the "reply to" field.

08 March 2015

How to Begin Researching Your Family History

By guest blogger Suzie Kolber

Studying one’s past can be an exciting adventure. You never know what stories and facts you will learn about your family genealogy during the process. One of the ways that you can make this task easier is by creating a visual “map” that you can follow during your research phase.

Collect the Information That You Know

Begin by writing down everything you know about your family history. Start with your parents and grandparents and work your way back. See how far back into your ancestry you can go just based on the information you have. If you are lucky enough to still have great-grandparents living, you may already have basic data about four or five generations. The most important information and often the easiest to collect are the names of your ancestors. Even if this is all you have to go on, you have a good start. Once you have listed all of the information that you have currently available, now is the time to organize it into a visual format.

Creating a Family Tree

As you delve deeper into your family history, it will be easy to get confused. This is especially true if you have people with the same names. Take the time to write your basic information down into a format that is easy to read and visually pleasing. You may wonder why it is important to include this step. The reason is that it helps you keep the information straight in your mind. While it is easy in the beginning to remember who you are researching because you either know the person or have heard stories about him or her, as you move farther back into your past, it becomes more difficult. These people become just names on a page and it can get confusing. A family tree allows you to stay organized.

Choosing a Family Tree

Numerous templates are available to help you organize your information. Each one is designed a different way to appeal to various styles of researchers. Some are extremely simple and only include names while others provide room for more elaborate details. The first decision is how many generations you want on your family tree. To begin your research, you may want to start with a four or five generation family tree. Many of these templates give you room to write birth and death dates, dates of marriage and even locations. Since you probably know more information about recent ancestors, this is a good option for storing that data. As you move farther back into your family history, you may want to use an eight- or nine-generation template. This allows you to see more members at a glance without including a lot of information. These templates come in various styles to fit your needs. Some common options include circular, hourglass and bowtie shapes. The one you choose depends on what is most visually pleasing to you. Researching your family history can be challenging and a lengthy process. Begin by organizing your information into a family tree and it will make the task much easier.

Suzie Kolber created http://obituarieshelp.org/free_printable_blank_family_tree.html to be the complete online resource for “do it yourself” genealogy projects.  The site offers the largest offering of family tree charts online. The site is a not for profit website dedicated to offering free resources for those that are trying to trace their family history.

17 September 2014

Your Family Photos

A recent post on "For Better -- Or What?" reminds us of the importance of labeling family photos. Without labels, future generations will not know who is who. Even if you took the picture, the day is likely to come when you can't quite remember when this was taken or exactly where you were. Photos should be labeled with the names of all the people in the picture, the date the picture was taken, and the location. If you have room, include additional details about what made the event special. Your descendants are much more likely to appreciate and keep family photos if they include meaningful information.

18 August 2014

Lost in a Sea of Names

I have over 26,000 people named Newcomb or some variation on Newcomb in my database. With the spouses, ancestors, and descendants, the total number is over 120,000.

Here are some statistics from my collection:
  • Approximately 860 men were named John (or Johnathan, Johnnie, etc.) Newcomb
  • Around 660 men were named Charles Newcomb
  • 326 women were named Sarah Newcomb
  • Over 600 Newcomb men had a wife named Mary
  • 151 Newcombs married someone named Smith
  • Close to 3,000 individuals have unknown parents

I enjoy helping people find information on their ancestors. But I am sometimes overwhelmed by the numbers.

Keep in mind that if you write to me and say, "My great-grandparents were John and Mary Newcomb," I won't be able to find them. Inquiries should contain as much specific information as possible. Include whatever you know, such as dates of birth, death, and marriage, names of children or siblings, names of parents, etc.

03 August 2014

John Newcomb's Cane

According to the old Newcomb genealogy, written in 1874, Jonathan Newcomb (b. 29 Jun 1796) of Braintree/Quincy had in his possession a cane which had been given to his 3-g-grandfather, John Newcomb, in 1712. The cane was described as "of mangrove wood with an ivory head and a band of silver 3/4 inch wide, upon which is the inscription, 'John Newcomb March 1712.'" John Newcomb (1634-1722) was a member of the Francis Newcomb line.

It appears that Jonathan Newcomb had no descendants. Upon his death the cane may have been passed to one of his brothers (William, Benjamin and George) or to a nephew or some other relative.

I have received an inquiry from a member of the Francis Newcomb line who wonders what happened to the cane. It would certainly be interesting to find this item still in possession of a Newcomb descendant.

If you know anything about what happened to the cane, please respond in the comments or send me an email. Thanks!