Friday, October 21, 2016

Edgar Cayce

For many years I have been a fan of Edgar Cayce. Cayce was poor and tormented about the validity of his spiritual gifts and the ethical implications of earning a living from his gifts.  (Here's a link where you can learn about who Edgar Cayce was https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Cayce)

Cayce's strong belief that his gifts should be used to help others has been the North Star for me, as I have encountered many far less ethical spiritual leaders throughout my own spiritual journeys.

A short time ago I had the idea to look up Mr. Cayce's genealogy.  He grew up in Hopkinsville, Kentucky not far from where I was from, so I had my suspicions. Yep....I'm related to him through my maternal great grandmother's father's paternal grandmother (a weaving path!  Have I lost you yet?).  Ha, ha!  Ok...my maternal grandmother was a Caldwell, her mother a Blackard, her father's mother was Catherine Garrett (see previous article on her and Spivey Blackard) http://historicalgenealogy.blogspot.com/2008/06/good-stuff-bad-stuff.html

Edgar Cayce's paternal great grandmothers were sisters, making his grandmothers first cousins!  Whoa!  Oddly, I have a similar scenario in my genealogy.  My paternal great great grandparents were first cousins, one generation further back than Cayce and not the family line that we share.

More on the practice of first cousin marriages:

Another oddity, my link to Cayce is through this intermarriage making me his distant cousin twice over.

Read the article above and see that this is more common than most of us ever knew and still in practice in many countries.  There seems to be much less evidence of genetic deformities than we have been led to believe.  I always thought it was the product of time and long past traditions. Also, everyone assumes it's just "a hillbilly thing".  For me it was through my Canadian Irish ancestry, not my hillbilly line😳.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The hidden genealogical findings in past life regression Part 1

Bear with me people!  This is where synchronicity goes farther than you ever imagined.  So.....if some one is hypnotized and experiences a past life, can genealogy be used to verify that remembered life?

The thought really never crossed my mind as a possibility until I first met my wife over 10 years ago.  After being together for a short time she felt comfortable enough to share an experience she'd had several years earlier.  She told me about experiencing another life, under hypnosis, that had some specific information that led her to believe I might be able to help her find out if this person really lived.  She thought it was a long shot.

She described a woman living in probably the 1800's, based on her feelings of the time and clothing.  My wife lived in New York City and had just moved to Boston shortly before we were married.  Boston seemed to have a similar feel to the area that she remembered.  She had a name, Rebecca Brown.  Her husband, Charles, was a merchant of some type.  She had two children, a boy and a girl, and was pregnant with another child when she died suddenly.
She relived a death by something suddenly hitting her in a field or park when she was with her children.  They lived in a rural area, but her husband was always traveling to an area where he was conducting business, a big town (she surmised), possibly a nearby seaport.  Her husband, Charles, was not a nice man.

That's not a lot to go on, BUT I was living in Boston with access to great vital records and I had just left my full time job as a researcher at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  So, off I went to the Society after some preliminary searching on-line that gave me some leads, to start.  When I have a bone like this, I become obsessed!  I spent the whole day finding every possible Rebecca Brown who lived in the New England area that possibly had a husband named Charles.  I found a strong possibility, but hit a dead end when trying to find her death record.  Everything else really fell into place.  I just could not find a death record to verify her short life to seal the deal.

Going over my possible Rebecca deaths I had only one unanswered death record with a husband named Otis in the online database.  I had already left the Society for the day after a long day finding great information that led me to conclude who my Rebecca Brown(e) was and that she indeed married a man named Charles A. Brown(e).  With my suspected Rebecca Browne I was able to prove her lineage to Salem, MA, her maiden name being Andrews, and her middle name being Putnam.  But, without a death record things could be challenged.  So, I searched the online database at the NEHGS (Boston Genealogical Society)again.  I blew up the death record of a Rebecca Brown with a husband named Otis.  AHA!  Someone had transcribed the name Otis when I could clearly see it was Chas, a common abbreviation for CHARLES!  I notified the Society via email and they changed the transcription.  The unknown death of this Rebecca Browne was not only found by me, but solved for generations of this families lineage.

Her ancestry:
Now that I had found a Rebecca Browne who was married to a Charles Browne I set out to verify any other facts that might prove this was the Rebecca Browne from my wife's past life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


My favorite part of my family quest has been something that has led me to many discoveries.  These have been more important than probate, deeds, vital records, etc..  What I'm talking about is "synchronicity"!  I have found some of the most profound information and spiritual connections through...yes...the guidance of something unexplainable.  What you want to call it is up to you.  Whether to believe me is also up to you.  I know many of my colleagues in the field have had similar experiences.  Have you?

The more I follow these experiences and trust them the greater the reward.  For instance, I have been an avid used bookstore follower for years.  One day I was in a used bookstore looking for ancestors that crossed histories paths as I always do.  I browse the indexes of any book that may be of the right time and place and see if my ancestors are mentioned.  One in particular that I have always identified with is Jean (John) Louis Badollet 1757-1837.  He was the land registrar for the Indiana territory and later for the state of Indiana, being on all the committees that decided the constitution for the state in 1816.  He was also the closest friend of Albert Gallatin (both Swiss and college friends in Geneva).
Long story short, I was unsuccessful in this bookstore in finding anything of interest for Badollet or any other interesting ancestor.  As I was walking out the door something told me to look down.  Weird...below the bottom shelves were curtains.  I slide one curtain down and there before me was the book "Tecumseh A Life" by John Sugden a British author.  I knew that Badollet had been very involved in witnessing Tecumseh speak in Vincennes, IN in the early 1800's.  I also knew Badollet had written about how impressed he was with Tecumseh and how William Henry Harrison was trying to do everything in his power to cheat the "Indians" out of their lands.  When I opened the index I found gold.  No more information that I really already knew, but more validation of his progressive beliefs and attitudes.
Several years later, this synchronetic event led me to search even more for the connection between Badollet and Tecumseh.  In searching for Badollet and Tecumseh's names in old newspapers I was able to find an article in the Indianapolis News dated Tuesday Oct 27, 1874.

     "The 'pipe of peace' used by General Harrison and Tecumseh at Vincennes, is now in the possession of Mr. Badollet in that city.  It is a beautiful red color, mottled with dark and lighter colored spots.  The bowl is about three inches long, and the stem six, both about the same size.  It is probably a mound builder's pipe, and was first smoked thousands of years ago."

I cried.....

Ok...who has that pipe!

Friday, September 16, 2016

My Journey

I have the great pleasure of having an extremely diverse ancestry.  World's collided that should not have and that created me.  What I have been struck by most is I'm the one left at the end of a branch of my family tree.  This happened because I was the only child of my parents, my mother was the only child of her parents, her father was the only child of his parents.  Not all branches are a dead end, but enough to leave this leaf with a lot of responsibility that I take very seriously.
I also have a wife who's genealogy is even more diverse in many respects.  Also, world's colliding.

This all has led me to my calling.  Unfortunately, I have had to take many diversions to get here as I am pretty good at many things, all of which vie for my undying attention.  But, that which connects us all to history is the deepest root of my soul.  I have been swimming upstream and it's now time to follow my bliss!

In this blog my intention is to share my story, hear your stories, connect to the spirit chain of our shared DNA and experiences.  I promise this will be fascinating if you are interested in knowing more about yourself and how we are all connected.

I will begin by sharing the big picture for myself and my wife.
My lineage is deeply rooted in the US all the way back to the 1600's and before (early VA native american), Swiss, French, German, English, Scottish, Irish, covering the states of IN, KY, IA, NE, OK, IL, CT, MA, PA, VA, GA, OH, NC, MD, TN, KS, and also Canada.
My wife's is Vietnamese, French, German, Hungarian, Irish, Norwegian, English.
We have a lot covered.

This leads to why what I do is different.  Most people in the field call themselves experts in certain areas of research.  Most the time this is because that is where their ancestors where from, so they have spend a lot of time researching in those areas, thus where their expertise by default lies.  This always was a dilemma for me when I worked as a full time researcher for the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  My realization was that my dilemma was my strength in offering a wide net of knowledge through many states.  I took on cases from all over the states, cases no other genealogist wanted to tackle.  I learned a tremendous amount about genealogy findings and trends throughout the US.  My life long love of early American history up to 1850 (you got to stop somewhere!) really helped mold my passion.

I have 12 ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War, two that fought directly under George Washington, one that qualifies my membership in the Cincinnati Society as he was an Virginia officer under George Washington.  I descend from 2 of the last Werworances (Chiefs) of the Wicocomino tribe (of the Powhatan Empire) proven through DNA testing.  I have two family descendants that went to West Point, one graduating in 1815 the other 1840 who become a colonel, I descend from several founders of Stratford, CT with my descendants from this line migrating throughout territories in OH, IA, NE, and OK all before becoming states, real trail blazers.

All of this is important to me as I grew up knowing nothing about any of the above, but was strongly drawn to American History from a young age.  I still devour and keep up with all the new non fiction biography and history books coming out.  There has never been a more historically prolific time for actual truth seeking.

This is where my strength and offering lie.  To go even more in depth with my passions, I believe there is a spiritual connection to our biology as well as the physical one.  I follow a path that is guided by not only my knowledge of sources, but my inner guides who have found treasure troves of information that I would not have found otherwise.  Synchronicity!

I will share many crazy stories of how my path has been guided by what I should find, even when I'm looking for something else.

Curious?  Keep following....