He is insane, of course.
I imagine that the family history has become a mania with him.
— Hercule Poirot, "The Lemeusier Inheritance"
Thoughtful family researchers, especially those who teach others, often discuss among themselves how they got into this particular mania and why they continue their pursuit of their family's past. Or even other people's families' pasts — it often doesn't matter. Why Do I Do Genealogy? is my own attempt to answer that question.
Modified Reverse Register Reports for the Lineages
of All Eight of My Great-Grandparents
The family research published on this site has been entirely reworked twice in the past ten years, and certain lineages have been extensively revised several more times. I've been making extended trips to Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana, and Iowa every couple of years, visiting courthouses and small town libraries and local historical societies, and on every occasion I've been able to add significant new data or correct old information.
Smith / Rowles lineage — also Clark & Branson
Baird / Sapp lineage — also Porter, Robinson, & Texter
Myers / Fuller lineage — also Ledford, Cunningham, & Hepler
Leathers / Mattox lineage — also Saunders, Smith, & Arbuckle
Gastineau / Hatfield lineage — also Morrow, Snyder, Carraway, Gibson, Young, Vance, & Smith
Cronin / Hayes lineage — also Hays
Frakes / Cockrell lineage — also Searles (Sirles), Lanman, Van Winkle, Dodson, Ashcraft, Coy, Unseld, Summers, Carr, Cross(?), Lewis(?), Burrows, Osborne, Pearce(?), Towers, & Hawley
Harrison / McAllister lineage — also Hedden & Hays
Please note: These reports include only an extended summary of the information I have in my files & census listings, deed records, military pension files, county court minutes, etc. I've included the text of some letters, wills, etc, just to put some meat on the bones.
Please note also: If some of the lineages described at this site seem a little "thin" compared to others you may have seen, that's because I only post what I can prove, based on my own research over many years, or what I can make a solid guess about, based on good evidence. You won't find wholesale imports from IGI or from World Family Tree at this site.
I've also begun adding scanned photos and other images to some of these files, when I can obtain them.
A couple of years ago, after several decades of struggling with it, I had a breakthrough on the Frakes line. Someone (not me) finally and correctly identified the parents of Alexander Van Winkle as Jacob Van Winkle and (drumroll, please) . . .
Dorothy turned out to be the gateway to a whole new clutch of ancestors, all of them early New Englanders . . . which, frankly, I never expected to discover among my people, who are mostly (originally) from Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina by way of Pennsylvania. So now I've been learning about the Puritans and the Great Migration and 17th century English genealogy.
This is not dissimilar to my wife's recent discovery of a bunch of early New Jersey Quakers among all her Acadian, German Coast, and Canary Island ancestors. . . !
Like every other researcher, I also have gathered a great deal of data on the siblings and cousins of my actual ancestors. The rule is always "Look to the neighbors"! Since much of that information is obviously of interest to others working on related family groups, I have recently begun putting together a selected series of indented-style reports of all the known descendants (known to me . . .) of the earliest-known ancestors in each of those lines which are reasonably well developed. (In the short lineages, such as my Cronin family, there's not much point since essentially everything I know is already presented above in the Reverse Register Reports.) Since my direct ancestors also are included in these reports, some material also will be repeated from the Reverse Register reports. Note that, as in the Reverse Register reports, I have NOT included living persons, or even those who might be still alive.
These are in chronological birth-order, for no particular reason.
Richard Ashcraft (c.1572–1628) [NOT YET AVAILABLE]
Jacob Walichs (1598?–1657) [NOT YET AVAILABLE]
John Landman (c.1600–c.1626) [NOT YET AVAILABLE]
Paulus Lederer (1607–1677) [NOT YET AVAILABLE]
Pierre Gastineau (bef. 1642–bef. 1692)
John George Meier (c.1700–c.1795) [NOT YET AVAILABLE]
Joseph Hatfield (c.1742–1832) [NOT YET AVAILABLE]
Thomas Rowles (1753?–1813) [NOT YET AVAILABLE]
George Gastineau (1774–1860/70)
Presley Cockrell (bef. 1794–1825/30) [NOT YET AVAILABLE]
Henry Sapp (1797?–1866) [NOT YET AVAILABLE]
For convenience, I've also uploaded a list of Names I'm Searching and Places I'm Searching for Them. I carry this printout around in my genealogy briefcase, as well as on my laptop, for quick reference on library visits.
Lineages of Historical Figures
Along with everything else, I have a long-standing interest in the lineages of a number of historical figures and, since I have the space, I'm also uploading register-type reports on some of them. Some of these I have written myself, some I have adapted from other sources. Please note that I do not claim to be related to any of these people. This is just for fun!
These are the ones I've completed so far:
The Descendants of Cristóbal Colón
(a/k/a Cristofero Colombo, a/k/a Christopher Columbus)
Ancestors of Prince Rodion Cantacuzene
i.e., "Count Dracula"
Note: The lineages in this section do not all follow the same style and format. They were developed and coded by a variety of methods (automated and manual) over a period of fifteen years. Making them conform to a standard format now would require a great deal of time that I would rather spend conducting additional research.
Similar files for the Boone, Crockett, Bowie, and Hornblower families are under way and will be added as I can get to them.
Genealogy Book Reviews
Booksmith's Genealogy Book Reviews: Opinions of a Professional Genealogist will be the home (I've only just started it) of several hundred of my lengthier genealogical book reviews published in various places over the past decade or so. New reviews are added here every week or so, as I pull them out of their hiding places (and sometimes revise them slightly for a more general audience).
Royalty & Peerage Annotated Bibliography
Finally, the following is a project I've worked on for a number of years. Earlier editions were available first as downloadable files on the old Genealogy Forum on CompuServe, and were subsequently sold in a home-published paper edition. But I decided that publishing on paper for something like this wasn't really worth it, so I've made this new enlarged and revised edition — technically the 4th edition — available only online (and it's still frequently being added to):
British and Continental Royal and Noble Lineages and Heraldry