I have been doing genealogy for well over 15 years. These days I will do research obsessively for a few days then not come back to it for a few months. There rarely are exciting breakthroughs anymore, I seem to be doing more cleaning up of things than finding new relatives and the new relatives I do find are so far removed that it almost isn’t worth writing them down.
Recently I decided to do the family tree of Fort Pelham Farm since Olive had written down so much about her family history. All of what I had has to be considered oral history until it could be tied to public record so I started with Olive and worked my way back. I now use Ancestry.com for most of my research because I can sit at my desk and pop in the information. Through the miracle of the internet there are records from our ancient past available at the click of a mouse, truly amazing.
I’ve been working on the Wright/Gould/Haynes tree for a while and today a name and place from the distant past popped up on the Gould side – Sarah Baker from Ipswich, MA born in 1640. When I saw that she was from Ipswich in the mid 1600’s I wondered if my family and hers knew each other because so many of my mother’s relatives landed there at about the same time, so I opened my tree alongside of Olive’s. My tree has an Elizabeth Baker born in Ipswich in 1645, they were sisters. Our distant Ipswich relatives not only knew each other, they lived under the same roof. John Baker (1598-1678) was Olive’s 5th great grandfather and my 9th.
I have known for a long time that if you trace someone’s lineage back far enough we are all related, this was just one of those happy little coincidences that make studying your family tree so much fun. (That and sometimes I feel like I work for CSI). It also makes Fort Pelham Farm feel even more like a family home.