Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Genealogical Christmas List

When I started this blog back in January, I had no idea the discoveries in my tree that this would help uncover. It's been a great year, and I look forward to the discoveries awaiting in 2013. I'll have a "year in review" post coming next week, but thought it might also be timely with the holidays to list my "genealogical Christmas" wish list.

1. Uncovering the parents of Mary Alice Cain. As I look through my tree, this is one of the biggest brick walls. My 2nd-great-grandmother, born in Barren County, Kentucky on 3 February 1878. She had 10 children, probably has many more grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. I'm hoping there's someone who may stumble onto posts like my Valentines Day wedding one about Mary Alice Cain and Charlie Read with the missing link that takes back her side of the tree in new directions.

2. I hope to find out what happened to my 2nd-great-grandfather Manuel Portillo from Mexican records. My 2nd-great-grandmother Teresa Diaz was a widow when she and my great-grandmother Manuela Portillo arrived in the US in November 1922. I know the family was in Hermosillo and am concentrating my research in the records there. It would be great to have the same breakthrough on the Portillo side as I've had on the Vasquez line.

3. Verification on the Jones family line for arrival in Tennessee prior to 1796. I'm still hoping for an end-of-year breakthrough, but it's looking like I need some more puzzle pieces (probably from North Carolina Land Grants in Tennessee or War of 1812 records).

4. Read more about Rice Carter Ballard, brother of my 4th-great-grandmother Emily A. Heslopp Ballard Read. He was a slave trader who was in Alexandria, Virginia in the 1820s-1830s. It would be great to uncover a letter from Ballard to his sister or parents in the extensive papers on file at the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina.

5. Uncover more information on my Virginia lines. Many branches of the family connect back to Virginia. There's more to be done on the Read, Ballard, Freeman, Heslopp, Carter, Wheatley, Grinstead, Thornhill, Lee lines. Perhaps in 2013 I can get to the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

It's just a start. There are other brick walls to overcome and more deep reading that I hope to do (like Jefferson County, Tennessee during the Civil War), but most of all I'm looking forward to the surprises that result. I hope your genealogical Holidays are healthy, happy and rewarding.

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