I was a genealogist from a young age as I grew up with a large extended family with many complex relationships. About 35 years ago, when I was in grad school working on a mathematics degree, I wandered into the tiny Family History Center in the basement of the university library and was hooked. As a native of south Louisiana, I discovered that I had a huge number of Acadian ancestors. I'm still discovering new ones.
Current Projects and Interests
Francis Elliott has been my obsession for the past ten years. It required cranking a lot of microfilm to discover him and I am now working on a project to trace all descendants of his father, Joseph Elliott, who died when Francis was an infant. I am also tracing all allied lines because I find the families so interesting. See The Elliott Project for more information. Francis is descended from the Quakers of North Carolina and his wife, Lydia Ogburn, is descended from the New Jersey Quakers. This was yet another culture that I have been introduced to.
Thomas Phelps is another ancestor who caught my fancy years ago. He was born in Pennsylvania, though I have never found any records for him there (though not for lack of trying.) He appeared in Zanesville, Ohio, in the early 1850s and moved his family to Louisiana in 1881. His two surviving sons moved on and so there are no longer any descendants of this family with the name Phelps in Louisiana.
My biggest "brick wall" involves the Taylor family. Common surnames are hard to trace in frontier areas. I have succeeded in getting back to John Taylor, who married Rosanna Powell, and who died in Woodford County, Kentucky, in 1822. There were only two Taylor families in early Woodford County: Gen. Zachary Taylor’s family and the family of the Rev. John Taylor who was a fiery Baptist preacher. If you have any information that either family has an undocumented nephew John, please let me know! Rev. John lived adjacent to the Powells for a while, and thus I am tracing his relatives hoping for a hit.
William Powell, father of Rosanna, is another interesting character. I have followed him back to the West Virginia area south of Pennsylvania in 1775 thanks to a clue provided by a mention in Rev. John Taylor’s book Baptists on the American Frontier.
Pedigrees of my Great-GrandParents
Descendants of Joseph Elliott and Gulielma Lamb From North Carolina to Indiana and beyond.
Descendants of Nora Ann Kain Phelps, McCall and Crowley lines
James Cary Descendants and Allied Families James Cary (d. 1694) of London has descendants in England and America
McLuen in America Descendants of the McLuens of Roscommon County, Ireland
MySource:Mksmith/Parish, James J. - Probate File, 1880 (formatting in progress)