My name is Karen McPherson and I live in Williamsburg, Virginia. This blog is a compilation of writing I do about genealogy. I developed an interest in genealogy after I retired from teaching in 2012, and in the intervening years I have discovered a wealth of information about my ancestors in America.
My ancestors were in 11 of the 13 colonies before the American Revolution. Three of my ancestors were on the Mayflower, and 3 were among the earliest settlers at Jamestown. My ancestors were part of the Puritan Great Migration, and other ancestors were Dutch settlers of New Amsterday in the 1640s.
Fifteen of my direct ancestors served in the American Revolution (from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina.) Two died in service to the Northen Army (one from Illinois and one from Ohio) during the Civil War.
They all had wandering feet. By 1750, all of the families of my immigrant ancestors had moved from their original homes (in the east coast colonies) to settle in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma,Texas, and Arizona. Some of them made as many as five dramatic moves over the course of their lives. As one example — my great-great grandfather Thomas Calvin Workman, Jr., was born in Tennessee, grew up and married in Illinois, lived and had several children in Nebraska, participated in the Oklahoma Land Run in 1889 and lived there for 25 years, and then moved to Texas, where he died in 1926.
This blog has several categories of entries.
“Ancestor Birthdays” is a compilation of commemorations of the birthdays of as many of my direct ancestors as I could find birthdays for. It covers a year.
“Women’s History Month” is a compilation of 31 entries I wrote in March of 2018, to mark the lives of 31 women in my ancestry.
“1900” is a compilation of entries about a writing project I’ve been working on, about where my great-grandparents were in 1900. Four of them were in western Illinois, two were in central Oklahoma, and two were in southeast Texas.
“Over The Hill: My Family in Antebellum America” is the story of the generation of my ancestors who moved from the east coast to inland America — from Ohio and Kentucky and Tennessee through Illiois, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arizona before ending up back in Virginia after World War II.
“52 Locations in 52 Weeks” is my take on Lisa Louise’s Cooke’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge. As I began to work on my “Over the Hill” essays, I realized I didn’t know enough about the locations that these people migrated between to make sense of their migration patterns. So in January of 2020 I began to write about 52 locations — one county each week, in alphabetical order, from August County, Virginia, in Week One, to York County, Virginia, in Week 52, with counties from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Arizona in between. When I finish with this series, I’m going to go back to the “Over the Hill” series and complete it with much more information and insight.