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Explanations for my individual biography pages

     The menu bar at the top leads to biography pages for parents (if available), tree charts and a way to return to the home page.
Links to children in Doug's direct line are toward the bottom of the page.

     The term "modern equivalent" refers to the Gregorian Calendar ("New Style"), which is currently used. Before September 1752 the Julian Calendar was used ("Old Style"), putting dates 11 days earler. It was common practice in the 17th and early 18th centuries to double date the year when the calendars overlapped in January, February and in March up to the 24th.

Some thoughts about what I have or try to have at my site

     I've been picking away at genealogical research decades, and have developed my biography pages accordingly. I try to find as much as possible about my ancestors in hopes of getting an idea of what they and their lives were like. I do it partly because I love the research process - making discoveries, solving mysteries, and satisfying my curiosity. Many of the people I research have been largely forgotten since they lived. They may not have cared, but I don't like the idea, so I shed at least a partial light back on them. Another thing I find interesting is that in most cases our lives are significantly influenced by our natural families, for better or worse, or both. Alcoholism and other medical problems, artistic talents (a controversial point in terms of what that actually is and where it comes from, but I think it can be genetic), senses of humor, physical abilities and disabilities can be genetic. If you're fortunate to have heirlooms and family artifacts, interesting things can be said about them just based on circumstantial evidence. My great aunt had a little table-top ringer that she said a certain ancestral couple on her mother's side had on their dinner table to summon the servants. It was in awful condition and looked pretty utilitarian. They were Friends (Quakers) who I now know lived relatively modestly, and they had an apothecary shop for many years. This surely was the bell on the counter in the shop the customers used and was saved for sentimental reasons. Another bell, this one hand-held, was also among my aunt's belongings. Her father's father, who came from Ireland, certainly had servants and the style of the bell is Irish - I think she confused the two heirlooms.
     I've also been able to confirm and dispel some oral history. If I believed everything my father's mother told me, I'd still be thinking, for instance, that I'm descended from Declaration-signer John Hancock's brother, even though it turns out my Hancocks lived in England during the Revolution and Uncle John was a generation or two younger than the American statesman. I want a genealogy that's based in fact, not fantasy. I have plenty of interesting forebears without any of them being famous. My subsistance farmer ancestors impress me a lot. The idea of climbing into a wagon with your family and all your belongings, moving into a wilderness and creating a life there is incredible - more so than inheriting money and making a name for yourself with the aid of your pedigree. In the world of genealogy and biography there are usually far more records available for the wealthy than the poor, which helped make genealogy a realm dominated by the elite until the later 20th century. The accessibility of censuses, town records, court records and a community of researchers who can find each other on the internet and share information not available in books or in public records (such as oral history and diaries) helps us find things about our so-called ordinary ancestors.
     Another sad fact of recorded history is that men are represented, so please forgive how that's manifested here. I've found some interesting information on Jonas Bartlett and Luther Jenney Briggs, for instance, but know next to nothing about their wives, Harriet Smith Holbrook and Mary Brown Thornton, aside from some bare facts. Forming some idea of their lives has to come from context, which I am working on as well. Having a genealogy where the women remain marginalized is obsolete. I think researchers need to at least try to find something.
     There's very little information here about European ancestors before the Great Migration in New England and the comparable wave of settlement in New Netherlands, both in the early to mid 1600s. This is mainly because there aren't many records from this period to trace back through. You'd hardly believe it given how many old publications you'll find on library shelves that proudly proclaim an ancestral line back to the Middle Ages (usually Charlemagne or at least William the Conqueror). A majority of them aren't based on reliable research, but represent wishful thinking and in a few cases, outright fakery. I got excited early on whenever I would come across these books for my families and was fascinated at the idea of being descended from King Henry the whatever. That was until I realized that the line going back was only provable to Great Migration ancestors or, if able to jump the Atlantic, back until church records ran out. In England, for instance, there are very few records for "commoners" that predate the late 1500s. Some genealogists, generations ago, faked pedigrees to please their clients, who had enough money to publish impressive books full of earls and knights and coats-of-arms that had nothing to do with them. But unwary genealogists today still copy and paste this information and put it on the internet. Researcher beware.
     My research continues, but this website allows me to show what I've found so far. Some of it I've confirmed or found myself and have tried to provide source citations. Some of it remains heresay. If you don't see a citation, regard the information accordingly.

I hope you enjoy what I have here. Thanks for visiting!

Doug Sinclair

all text and photographs © 1998-2021 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted