Family History Research
I have long been interested in learning about my ancestors. For years, all I knew were some names. Some accurate, some nick names, some myths mixed in. When I had the time and the means, I dove headlong into ancestry research. It's been a wild ride! I have solved many of the questions I had, and found more questions to answer. Such as, why did we live in Canada for 300 years after leaving France, 50+ French sir names intermarried, but we have zero French DNA?
The photo above is my Great, Great, Grandfather, Thomas Longstaff, from Durham, England. His story is fascinating. He was brought here with his sister, Harriet, by his parents, John and Elizabeth. They came to America through Boston, and lived in Roxbury, then its own village, eventually swallowed by Boston. They lived at the corner of Tremont and Columbus, although the intersection is quite different now. John is listed as a grocer, but there is evidence they lived briefly in nearby Wrentham, and probably worked in the carpet factory there, as he did later.
In Roxbury, his parents had another child, Lincoln. Then, another, Elizabeth, was born in 1867. During childbirth, Elizabeth the mother died. A month later, Elizabeth also died. They are both buried in Roxbury's Forest Hills Cemetery in an unmarked grave. I visited there. It's a tranquil spot. Someday I would like to add a tombstone to the two Elizabeths.
After losing his wife and daughter, John brought Harriet, Thomas, and Lincoln to Philadelphia, to take advantage of the growing carpet industry. There, he remarried, but lost his second wife two years later. Thomas, who also worked at the carpet factory, met his wife, Catherine Knouse, who worked there with her sister.
Now the two simple names I once knew, Longstaff and Knouse, are a complete story, rich with details, and a photo from a box in the home of my 93 year old aunt! She is the granddaughter of Thomas, who remembers her mischievous Uncle 'Linc, her mother Anne's brother, named for his Uncle Lincoln- the first American-born Longstaff in our line.
I hope you enjoyed this story. If you have any questions about ancestry research, let me know! I have a lot of experience and love to help others explore their stories.