Doing genealogy research is definitely like playing detective. You have a lot of clues, and you’re not always sure how all the pieces fit together. And there maybe tantalizing clues that turn out to be irrelevant.
I’m descended from Morris (or Maurice) Kirby, who was born in Ireland and settled in the Berkshires in Massachusetts in the 1860s. This was a period where there were a lot of Irish settlers in the area, including a number of people with the last name of Kirby. I’ve been talking with others researching various Berkshire Kirbys, and it is plausible, but not proven that some of the Kirbys are related.
So I created a Kirby tree that I know I can’t prove. Which makes me uneasy, but seeing all the information in one place actually helps me see if my assumptions could work. It makes be uneasy because others may take it as truth, and there’s already enough bad genealogy out there.
I also created a tree for a family named Kirby from a neighboring town. Kirbys of Stockbridge Ma. They clearly aren’t in my direct line, as they have duplicate names to my tree, and ages don’t line up properly. But! I’ve recently discovered that I have a DNA match with someone who descends from the “other” tree. So maybe they have an ancestor in common with my tree.
Have you ever done speculative genealogy?
I was just involved in a discussion about whether there was a family coat of arms. One of the people in the discussion was kind enough to supply us with his source: Burke’s General Armory.
This book, published in England in 1884, by Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms. He’s the same person who created Burke’s Peerage.
A quick search, and I was able to find a copy of the book on the fabulous archive.org, which has copies many old books in multiple formats (text, pdf, e-pub, etc.). You can read them online or download them.
I was delighted to find the original reference so quickly, and it reminded me that I’ve also found obscure county histories on the the Internet. These county histories, often written in the late 1800s, can be a great resource, as local enthusiasts transcribed early records, and captured the stories of the elderly founders of the ares.
Two examples for Stout in WV researchers:
So thanks to all those who participate in digitizing old works and making them available to us.
Having just mentioned the new Descendants of Job Stout genealogy I’ve created, I though it would be good to share how I fit into the picture.
Here’s how I am related to Richard and Penelope:
- Richard Stout
- David Stout 1667-1732
- Joseph Stout 1698-1770
- Job Stout 1733-1796
- Job Stout 1755-1834
- Job Stout <- book-> 1794-?1860s
- Joseph Abner Stout 1823-1893
- Calvin Lafayette Stout 1863-1935
- Jesse Richard Stout 1898-1971
- Leo Ray Stout 1935-
- Kate Stout (ME!) 1958-
Richard and Penelope are my 8 great grandparents.
I’ve just created this blog to hold family tree information.
The first document focuses on the Job Stout family of West Virginia. Descendants of Job Stout gives 6 generations of his descendants in a pdf document. Most of those descendants also lived in West Virginia.
Job Stout was born in about 1794 in Western Virginia, which was at the time still part of Virginia. It was definitely still frontier country. Job is descended from Richard and Penelope Stout, early settlers in Hopewell, NJ. There are many Stouts who are direct descendants of this couple
Job’s father and grandfather were also name Job Stout. They settled in West Virginia sometime before the early 1790s. Job’s father married in 1795 in Harrison County, and Job’s grandfather died there in 1796.