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Discovering Your Past

With Autumn weather now firmly settled in here in Southern Ontario - we had our fist significant snowfall of the season on Thursday night - I have been spending more time indoors and working on my family research.

I continue to discover more American ancestors and my new discoveries continue to amaze me. My family is tied in to the growth and development of the United States of America and Canada in more ways than I ever thought possible. In the past week I discovered yet another cousin who was not only a Patriot, Jabez Bichard (later spelled Burchard) at the tender age of 15, but he was hand-picked by none other than General George Washington to be his personal orderly. General Washington had spotted Jabez in a line of recruits, asked that he come speak with him, and when Washington heard why he was there at such a young age, requested Jabez work directly for him. Jabez was to survive the Revolutionary War, no doubt in large part due to General George Washington's benevolence toward him.

I have also spent a great deal of time researching the Cleveland family, from whom my cousin President Grover Cleveland came. The Cleveland family history is quite interesting and during the course of my research I discovered both tragedy and triumph. I hope to be able to tell some of these fascinating stories on my website soon.

The biggest surprise of the week came when I was contacted by a long-lost relative from my Great-Grandmother Marguerite Tinsdill's family. I have long searched for information on the Tinsdill family and have had little luck in finding any descendants. This particular cousin found me through my public family tree which is posted on where she recognized the names of my Great-Great Grandparents as well as her own Great-Grandfather. After a short investigation into names, dates and locations, the key to our family relation came from an old handwritten address book I have from my Great-Grandmother. I found an entry under the surname "Tinsdill" in my Great-Grandmother's old book, and it turned out to be the names and address of my "new" cousin's grandparents.

It has been a week of rewarding family discoveries, one which I have found more interesting and exciting than any TV program or movie I have seen. Maybe it is just me, but researching my family history has proven to be the most interesting mystery I have ever tried to solve.

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