Archives for March 2009

Genealogy 101



Genealogy 101

Many people know very little of their origins.  You may know the name of your parents or grandparents and that is the extent.  If you find yourself desirous of tracing your roots I would like to give you a few pointers to get you up and running in the right direction.  If you simply find the task too overwhelming visit my website – for assistance.

Step One

Interview all of your living relatives.  Listen carefully to the stories and take copious notes.  You may be amazed how the smallest detail can open up many research avenues.  Use the family data tracking sheet on my website to record the generations.  Visit my website at for FREE research sheets.  Look through family photo albums and that old box of pictures.  Their may be clues on the photographs such as dates, location, and names.

Step Two

Research the United States Federal Census reports.  Census reports are filled with facts that can help you trace the geographic location, age, nationality, occupation, parents, siblings and other family members.  Census reports become available to the public after 72 years.  Census reports are available from 1790 to 1930 are available on several on line websites at the United States National Archives in Washington, DC.  Visit their website for more information at:  The records are also available on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) visit their website at  The LDS also have local family History Centers where you can access the records.  Please note that many states also had their own census records.   

Step Three

Use the Internet.  Simply type the name of the ancestors that you are researching into a search portal and see what results appear.  You may just be surprised to find that a long lost relative is researching your family tree. 
There are many wonderful companies that also have records and family trees available on line. and happen to be two of my favorites.

Step Four

Search the State Archives and local courthouses in the area where your ancestors resided.  Many states have or are in the process of digitizing their records and making them available on line. However I would strongly recommend making a trip in person so you can have an orientation of all of the resources that are available to you.  I visited the Maryland State Archives and found an absolute treasure.  The treasure that I found was a series of handwritten letters by my gggg-grandmother to the Governor of Maryland in the year 1865.  What a find! Be sure to search all avenues; land deed, wills, birth, marriage, immigration and death records.

Step Five

Each state has a Vital Records division.  The National Center for Health Statistics has a wonderful reference guide on their website with state-by-state instructions. the link is HTTP://
Please note that most states started recording vital statistics in the 1900’s. 

Step Six

Immigration and Naturalization records are also a great way to trace your origin.  The Immigration and Naturalization Service records start in 1906.  If you are looking for records prior to that time frame you may want to check the municipal court’s records.  Other on line sources that are free include and

Step Seven

Research newspapers and periodicals where your ancestors lived.  There are several on line companies that have a large collection of publications that are searchable on line.  My favorite site is


Well Hello Governor…


 mdflag You never know what you will find when you start tracing your origin.  Through research I discovered that I am related to Thomas Greene.  

 Thomas Greene was the 2nd Provincial Governor of the colony of Maryland from 1647 to 1648 or 1649. He was appointed by the royally chartered Proprietor of Maryland, Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, to replace Leonard Calvert, who had been the first Governor of the Province. He was succeeded by William Stone.

 Maryland began as a proprietary colony of the Catholic Calvert family, the Lords Baltimore under a royal charter, and its first eight governors were appointed by them. When the Catholic King of England, James II, was overthrown in the Glorious Revolution, the Calverts lost their charter and Maryland became a royal colony. It was governed briefly by local Protestants before the arrival of the first of 12 governors appointed directly by the English crown. The royal charter was restored to the Calverts in 1715 and Governors were again appointed by the Calverts through the American Revolution.

Thomas Greene came to America in the mid 1600’s from England with Leonard Calvert.  He was born at Bobbington, Kent, England in 1610 he first married Ann Cox in 1634 and they built their home,
known as “St Anne’s” on Green’s Freehold. Their home was located near St. Mary’s City. While by Leonard Calvert’s death bed Calvert named Greene as the next Governor upon his demise.  Margaret Brent witnessed this as well as acting as the executrix of Calvert’s will.  Brent is perhaps best know for her request to vote.  She on January 21, 1648, she went before the all-male Assembly and asked for two votes — one for herself as a landowner and one as Lord Baltimore’s attorney. Ironically Governor Greene would be the one to decline her request to vote. The statement made by Margaret Brent when she appeared before the Assembly was not, “Women should vote,” but “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”


Greene originally came from England on the Ark and the Dove with the first adventurers in the year 1634.  It has also been said that Thomas Green and Ann Cox (his first wife) was the first Christian marrigage on Maryland soil. Greene was one of the most prominent and influential men in public affairs until
his death in 1651.

Maryland’s “first families” are traditionally the descendants of Sir George Calvert (Lord Baltimore) and of those passengers who came on the Ark and the Dove in 1634.

certain facts of this article are from an Article from Wikipedia. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

The Day I Found my Grandmother

central-cemetery-gate2New Market, Maryland is an area rich with lore and history.  In the late 1700’s it emerged as a popular trade route.  It is estimated that over three million people traveled through New Market from 1820-1850.  Today it has been deemed the Antiques Capital of Maryland. Charming Main Street is lined with homes from the Federal period, many of them are antique stores filled with treasures. As you meander the back alley’s and narrow cobble walk ways you almost transcend in time. 


Four years ago, I was fortunate enough to move to New Market.  On moving day – we drove past  the Central Church Cemetery –  about a mile from my home.  Dad reminded me that we had relatives buried there one of which included my G-G-G-G Grandmother.    


 After driving by the cemetery on a daily basis for two months, I decided to take advantage of the sunny winter day and go grave hunting. 

 My quest was to find Henrietta Gardiner my G-G-G-G Grandmother.  I had my teenage girls in tow, who were already complaining…mind you were were just entering the cemetery gate.  Caitlin said, “How are we going to find her?”  I turned to her, placed my index finger to my lips asking her to shh. 


Always looking for humor I said… “Be quiet, they are sleeping.”


I methodically worked my way through the cemetery row by row.  My girls opted a more “free-style” search which was more or less just random running.  Caitlin was the first to spot it and called me over…there she was… my G-G-G-G Grandmother. 


 Henrietta Simpson Gardiner born 1790 in Maryland.  The daughter of Basil Simpson and Sarah Worthington.  In 1823 Henrietta married William Gardiner in Rockville, Maryland.  William Gardiner according to family lore stowed away on ship setting sail from Ireland arriving in America @1819.  Henrietta Simpson Gardiner is buried beneath the same monument of her brother Francis Simpson, and her sister, Elizabeth Simpson  Clarke.  As we made our way around the monument our mouths dropped open as we read the words on the front of the monument. 

 it reads:

“Open the Gate gently they are not dead but sleeping.” 

Open the Gate

Total coincidence, divine intervention or a clue from my dear Grandmother.  You be the judge. What it was I don’t know or really care. I was thankful to find the grave and think of her everyday as I drive by my heritage, right here in New Market, MD.