Welcome to my new blog!
(Insert spiel about how I hope I’ll keep it updated better than my previous attempts at blogs.)
I certainly have no shortage of things to talk about at this blog, which is a (bet you didn’t guess from the subtitle!) genealogy blog. If you know me, you might have heard me say recently something like “(such and such famous person) is my 8th cousin three times removed!” or read one of my 65473 posts on Facebook about how obsessed I am with this latest endeavor.
Indeed, I don’t even feel that guilty spending hours at a time at Ancestry dot com (or Find A Grave, or one of the other related sites) because — among other things — it helps inspire me and puts me in the mood to work on my book-in-progress. (See the “About Me” link above if you don’t yet know about my book.)
The book is what led me to finally begin “officially” exploring this stuff. However, I’ve always been proud of my maiden name (I like my married name, too; it even just happens to go well with my maiden name!) and intrigued by the history of the Tillinghasts. I just didn’t really know how to go about finding out more about my Tillinghast history until last year (or it’s more like, I just didn’t take the steps).
But I always knew that “most” of us dated back to this guy.
That “guy” just happens to be my 10th great grandfather, Pardon Tillinghast! (Okay, it’s been determined that this is not actually a photo of Pardon Tillinghast the Immigrant Ancestor, but since I don’t have another photo to represent him, I’ll just leave this one up for now– even if his look is wrong for the era…)
Though I just learned of my direct connection to him last summer, it seems like forever ago that I first heard about Pardon, the First Baptist Church (that I erroneously believed he “founded”), and the “mythical”, faraway town of Providence, Rhode Island.
Eventually, somehow or other over the years, I learned of the legend of Sarah Tillinghast, an alleged New England… vampire.
Then there was A.W. Tillinghast, a renowned golf course architect whose name I’d stumble across from time to time.
And, on a local note, there was the Tillinghast Seed Company up in La Conner, WA (sadly, now closed, but I got to visit it once in the early 90’s!). Most people in Washington state don’t even seem to know how to pronounce the name Tillinghast (much less recognize it), yet back when I was growing up, those that DID recognize the name would inevitably ask my family members and me if we were connected to the Seed Company (little did I know back then that it was founded by my 2nd great grand uncle… or run for many years by his daughter).
Besides relatives named Tillinghast, I recall VERY occasionally hearing about our “famous baseball ancestor”, Christy Mathewson, although I didn’t know how we were related to him. (Now I know he’s my 2nd cousin four times removed.)
(As for my mother, I didn’t think much about her ancestry, figuring — close-mindedishly –that her maiden name, Miller, was a lost cause in terms of tracing lineage.)
Like I said, I was intrigued enough just hearing of the few Tillinghasts that I knew about! But it was my work on the book that finally got me to join Ancestry dot com and set me on the path to learning more. Okay, I confess, I meant to just take advantage of the free 2-week trial — then cancel before it was done — but I let too much time pass and had to pay Ancestry the full yearly price.
But I didn’t even mind (much)…
because I’m now a genealogy ADDICT!
I won’t go into detail now as to why I enjoy this research so much — that’s what the blog is for. But it’s coming. Oh, it’s coming. By “it’s”, I mean names like “Stukeley”, “Deliverance”, and “Hazelelponi Willix” (yes, I have an ancestor named Hazelelponi Willix). And stories… stories of forgotten heroes, mean bad guys, soldiers, Pilgrims, common everyday folk, and — well, whatever I find.
This is my place to share. I hope it will be fun, and I hope you’ll stick with me.
Thanks for reading!