Friday, July 1, 2011

Getting Centered

Went to the San Diego Family History Center in Mission Valley yesterday and it was very much worth it! They could not have been nicer. I was super in luck because their expert on UK records is there on Thursdays. After a brief tour of the resources, she and I sat by a computer in a cozy nook while she surfed various web sites in search of Nehemiah Newan or his father, Thomas. It was a learning experience for this newbie to watch a pro do it.

Could see right away that it was worth that half-hour spent before arrival at the FHC getting my records organized and ready to be grabbed out of the file. I told her what I knew, in a nut shell, and what I wanted to find out. She went right to work.

First stop was the Bureau of Land Management looking for the land grant made to Nehemiah Newans. I sure would love to know exactly where his land was in Canandaigue, Ontario County, New York. We checked Pennsylvania and New York, then Ohio just for fun. Nothing came up on the BLM site but it was instructive for me to see how it works.

Next stop was Unfortunately it was down for maintenance. Oh, well. Try again later:)

Then we surfed on over to the National Archives UK. I thought it was a pay site so I wasn't using it... rookie mistake;) Here's the link.

There we found four possible matches for Nehemiah's father, Thomas. My guide looked at one location name and said, "That's not right." She knows her place names! Then she got a gazetteer for Britian and flipped through the pages to find Stoke Orchard, not Stoah Oarchrd as listed. Whatta pro! The three other listings for a Thomas Newan came from Essex.

We spent some time on Family Search, which I have not been using as much as I could. She searched around on it, as I watched her go and took notes. Lovely!

Finally she showed me In Search of The "Forlorn Hope", A Comprehensive Guide to Locating British Regiments and Their Records." It comes in two volumes and my guide took the first off the shelf (1640 - WWI). We browsed it a bit until I could browse on my own and then I thanked her profusely for her time. I didn't want to keep her forever figuring that she probably had a life:) Best guess is the we spent a bit more than an hour together.

She steered me to the Forlorn Hope because it will be important to know what regiment Braddock commanded when he landed at Alexandria VA in 1755... if I was going to find Nehemiah Newans in the roster under Braddock's command.

After a short break, I flipped open the Forlorn Hope and it opened right to the section page for the French and Indian Wars! I considered that a break... and then figured that I wasn't the first seeker looking for that era. It took just a moment to find the regiment that landed at Alexandria VA in 1754-55. Now I had a regiment number and name plus the place from which the regiment was recruited: Essex!

I came home exhausted, but in the best way:) It's so very nice to be working on an ancestor who served in the Revolutionary War over this 4th of July weekend. Nehemiah, as I think about the broad expanse of your life and times I like you better and better!

Uncle Harold and Aunt Dotty, May 1943.
Uncle Harold served in WWII.
Happy 4th of July to everyone and especially our veterans!

Look! Olive Tree Genealogy just posted that it's free UK access through July 8th. I'm gonna snag that deal! Thanks for the info:)

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