Friday, April 29, 2011

Research Requests

I've been alerted by a couple people that the contact form wasn't working well for them. I have tried it and it did work for me in that I got an email sent to me by using the form.

If you have tried to contact me for a research job and I have NOT replied to you within one day, please either comment on a post (preferably this one) or send me an email at branchesfamilyhistory at


Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Friday: Geneablogger's Radio

Friday, April 29, 2011
9 p.m.-11 p.m. CST
Topic: British Genealogy
Guests Include: Audrey Collins, Family History Specialist at the National Archives, Barbara Baker, A.G. and British Reference Consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

I'll be listening in and chatting with people about British genealogy during the program. As many of you know, I studied over there for my Archives Degree (and wish I could go back there to work!), and I'm hoping to get some great ideas for posts here!

Also: Geneabloggers has a post about Royal Genealogy. Looks like Prince William's 27th Great-Grandfather Charlemagne is my 39th great-grandfather. Link: Royal Genealogy

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

"5 Tips for a Successful Research Request"

I recently discovered the old issues of Ancestry Magazine that are posted on google and I wanted to share the link to my article "5 Tips for a Successful Research Request" that appeared in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue on page 14.

Ancestry Magazine, Nov/Dec 2009

Monday, April 18, 2011

St. Louis Genealogical Society Family History Conference

St. Louis Genealogical Society
41st Annual Family History Conference
April 30, 2011
Maryland Heights Centre
2344 McKelvey Road

7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

This will be my first genealogy conference/fair that I've ever been to and I'm looking forward to going. I picked it because a friend of mine is going, the sessions had a mix of online genealogy and offline records classes, I'm local to the area so I don't have to depend upon paying for lodging, and the fee ($50 for registration before April 21st.) was reasonable enough to be a birthday present. Anybody else planning on attending?

Resource: Internet Archive and Connected Histories

Though I tend to find it easier to search for books through Google for the internet archive, I want to highlight it here because I have found a few books through the site that have been very useful. You can view the book in a variety of formats, some easier to to text search than others.

Connected Histories has several databases, a mixture of free and subscription, that you can search in one go for British history sources, 1500-1900. It has quite a few resources that will help the researcher in the area of context when researching your own history.

I also wanted to thank all the people who have stopped by my blog in the past few days from geneabloggers. Thanks for the welcome!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: Dear Grandpa (Or the Power of Networking)

Let me tell you a story...

Roy Everett Atchley was born 29th January 1903 in Matthews, New Madrid, Missouri, USA to Noah Ellston Atchley and Carrie Fredonia Parthenia Ellen (Gipson) Atchley. He married Bessie Evans on the 15th September 1924 at Benton, Scott County, Missouri. Their children were Rosella, Lorella, Barbara, Betty, Daniel 'Bud', Jimmy, and Jantha. Bessie Evans Atchley passed away 26 Jan 1943 and is buried in Taylor Cemetery, Essex, Stoddard County, Missouri.

Roy Atchley then married Mary Edith Rodgers on 6th March 1946 in Clay, Arkansas, USA. Their union produced Sandra, my father Roger, and Sherry. Roy Everett Atchley died 14th February 1958, twenty-seven years before I was born. He is buried beside Mary Edith (Rodgers) Atchley in Bernie Cemetery, Bernie, Stoddard, Missouri, USA. My father wasn't yet seven at the time.

His obituary in the Sikeston Herald (27 February 1958) said he attended the Matthews School and left New Madrid County twenty years previous. He owned and operated the Atchley Store in Parma, Missouri, and five of his brothers survived him.

By the time I came to ask what my grandfather looked like, we had a box of unlabeled photographs and with the passage of time, less certainty on my Dad's part to identify any of the men in the pictures as his dad.

It felt weird, being so into genealogy and finding family connections yet I couldn't even produce a photo of my own grandfather. Mom had been told Dad looked a little like him.

I've visited his grave in Bernie, Missouri, where he is buried next to my grandmother Mary, who died when I was five. As much as I didn't remember much about her, I at least had a photograph to point to when I talked about my grandmother.

Fast-forward to this past March, when I gave a presentation on English and Welsh Records to the Jefferson County Genealogical Society. I was nervous, as this was my first non-academic presentation, and truth be told I wouldn't have put myself forward for it if my friend Ladonna Garner hadn't asked me.

Now, a couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a member that hadn't made it to that meeting but recognized my surname. Atchley is after all not very common at all. In fact, I'd wager a good majority of us all descend from the Atchleys of Middlesex County, New Jersey.

As it turns out, the woman who contacted me for information my family is my father's cousin. Her grandfather was the same as mine. I then asked if she had any pictures of Grandpa Roy and she replied in the affirmative.

Yesterday, just in time for my birthday today, I received in the mail two photographs:

Roy Everett Atchley (about 23), Bessie (Evans) Atchley (about 19) [His 1st Wife], and Rosella Atchley (infant).
(Note: This was taken sometime between 31 May 1926 and 1 Nov 1927 when Rosella died of bronchial pneumonia.)

Roy Everett Atchley (in his 50s) and Lorella Atchley, his daughter.

Needless to say, this has made my birthday today one of the better ones now that I finally know what he looked like, and I'm even more of a convert to the necessity of networking in every area of one's life!

I never got to know you, Grandpa. I hope you would have liked me and maybe even would have been proud of me, even if I'm still looking for a job. I like to think I would have liked you a lot. Finally getting to know what you looked like has been the best part of my birthday this year. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

This blog is now on Geneabloggers Blogroll!

I figured since I'll be mentioned on the new blog post today, I'd introduce myself to anyone coming through that link. I'll admit I was a bit nervous suggesting my blog, but my mother convinced me it was a good idea.

My name is Megan Atchley. I became involved in genealogy from almost the time I could read, when my mother would have me looking through indexes and books for surnames, but it wasn't until I was studying for my Bachelors in Historic Preservation at Southeast Missouri State University that I realized I could use my love of genealogical research in my future profession. 

I'm currently working on my dissertation about English, Welsh, and Virginian wills in the 17th century that will result in a Masters degree in Archives Administration from Aberystwyth University. I've done a little professional genealogy work and am still open to requests for freelance jobs. It helps me cover dissertation costs while I am looking for a full-time archivist or genealogist position. 

I started this blog for three reasons: 1) I needed something to occupy my time while I'm at home looking for a job. 2) It will give me some exposure for getting paid research jobs. 3) I love sharing what I've learned and want to get more people interested in researching their family.

My posts so far have been on origins of certain records, free online resources, my own family research, and reviews of Who Do You Think You Are. When I'm bored, I take a random record and try to research someone based on what the record tells me in my Records and Research Series. I have it on good authority that someone has gotten me the first season of the UK Who Do You Think You Are for my birthday this Sunday, which I will then review in detail for those who haven't seen themI'm still trying to figure out what I want to do in regards to posts, but I do hope at least some of it might be interesting to others!

So...welcome to the blog! Feel free to comment or contact me via the form after clicking the tab at the top of the page. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Descendants of Colonel Jonathan Latimer Family Reunion

Colonel Jonathan Latimer's appointment of his son Wetherell Latimer to Adjutant, 1783. (Via Footnote

Thomas Latimer, a descendant of Colonel Jonathan Latimer (1724-1806), contacted my family recently because he is organizing a reunion for our common ancestor. Anybody descended from any of Jonathan and Lucretia (Griswold) Latimer's children Hannah, Jonathan, Borodell, Wetherell, Charles, Robert, Griswold, Joseph, and Nathaniel are welcome.

The reunion will be held Saturday September 17, 2011 at the Ocana Community Center in Sumner County, Tennessee. This is approximately one mile from Colonel Jonathan Latimer's original property.

If you're interested in more details, feel free to contact me, and I can pass on Thomas Latimer's details.

Colonel Jonathan Latimer's Sword, currently in the possession of Thomas Latimer

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Free Resource for April 10th-April 24th: Gale Group Databases

In honor of National Library Week, the Gale Group is giving free access to their NewsVault Database for the period of April 10th-April 24th. This resource has both US and UK newspapers from the 17th century onwards. They also are giving free access to their Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transitional Archive as well. 

Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transitional Archive

News Vault

Thanks to Ladonna Garner for the link. 

Records and Research: Edith Elizabeth Eckard (No. 5-9)

This series began with a randomly selected document that contains genealogical information. I will then take that information and outline what we can learn from the document and what I would do next to find more information on the person involved.

Previous parts in this series can be found here: No. 1No. 2, and Part 3-4.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Civil War Soldier: George Washington Lyon

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, I thought I'd share the little I know of one of my soldier ancestors. The sesquicentennial brought him to my mind recently, and in honor of his service, I'm going to be ordering his full military record and pension from NARA soon.

(Source: Tim Crutchfield, via

Monday, April 11, 2011

Resource: Connecticut History Resources

Here are three Connecticut resources that I've used in the past that I thought I would share today.

Connecticut History Online (A lot of images of Connecticut, including the Latimer House in Chesterfield)

Connecticut Society of Genealogists (Several maps from different periods.)

University of Connecticut (Colonial Connecticut Records, 1636-1776)

Friday, April 8, 2011

William Brewster: My 12th great-grandfather

At least one person has asked my lineage down from him by this point so I thought I'd put it here from him down to my great-grandparents (for security purposes). This is on my maternal side.

William Brewster m. Mary
Jonathan Brewster m. Lucretia Oldham
Grace Brewster m. Daniel Wetherell
Mary Wetherell m. George Dennison
Borodell Dennison m. Jonathan Latimer
Jonathan Latimer m. Lucretia Griswold
Wetherell Latimer m. Margaret Anderson
Charles Latimer m. Letitia Thompson
John William "Mack" Latimer m. Tennessee Murphy
Letitia Ann Latimer m. Christopher Ervin Phillips
John Leonard Phillips m. Ella Marshbanks
Leonard Lee Phillips m. Nellie Maud Nicholas

On a related note, if any of you follow the Latimer line, there is supposed to be a reunion occurring in September in Tennessee somewhere near the area Col. Jonathan and his sons settled after the American Revolution. I can get some more details on it if anyone is interested!

Who Do You Think You Are, Season 2 Episode 8

Celebrity: Ashley Judd
Aired: 8 Apr 2011
" English I'm American."

To everyone that has wondered here due to William Brewster: HI COUSINS!!! I will post this weekend on how I'm specifically related. All I will say right now is that I am a descendant through his son Jonathan. Please feel free to visit this space often!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Kansas City Trip Postponed

It's been quiet on the blog for a few days due to the fact that my 2 1/2 year old HP laptop decided to go terminal  on me. It's working enough so that I can get my files and things off of it that I hadn't already backed up, so I'm thankful for that.

I had to take most of the money I had for moving when I got a full time job out of my savings in order to get a Toshiba that has gotten good reviews regarding reliability. I need to put back the money so any money I get will have to go back into the savings account for the time being.

Which is why I am postponing the trip to Kansas City for a month or two unless something changes this month in regards to financing.

I'm still open for researching projects. Feel free to contact me for any job and I can tell you whether or when I can do it. Thanks!