A Handful of House History

My wife and I took our son on his first vacation this weekend.  It involved a flight, and when I did the math in my head I got: flight + teething = noisy baby.  But I’m proud to say our son did great! The trip involved lots of quality time with family, as well as a visit to some historic Revolutionary War sights.  We got to see part of the trail that Paul Revere road when he alerted the towns that the British were coming, and the bridge where the first bullets were fired.  Very cool to experience firsthand.  As of yet I haven’t found a family line that was in America during this time, but I’m hopeful one of my unexplored lines will surface.

My Klenzendorf momentum proved to be a little too much to maintain for long.  I figured the next logical step was to find the passenger list for when my Third-great-grandfather John came to the US.  I already had the specific date from the naturalization record, so how hard could this be? I searched Ancestry.com, SteveMorse and others, but to no avail.  I also tried using different spelling variations, but that didn’t work either.  I’ll continue searching over the next week.

Another Blake find was in the form of a message board response to something I had posted recently.  I was looking for any information I could find on a “Rosebank farm” in Canada, where my Blake ancestors apparently spent their summer.  A kind lady replied with a picture of the home, and some facts she had gathered from a book written about the area.  It looked like an amazing home, and may have housed General Custer at one point.

However, there doesn’t seem to be any record of the Blake’s owning this property, so perhaps they rented it?  But then I saw that the owner was G. Van Dyke.  Could this be a potential family member of the Rev. Van Dyke? Rev. Van Dyke was the pastor of my ancestors’ church from 1873 to sometime after 1910.  He baptized most of their children, officiated their weddings, and served with them in various associations and charitable organizations.  From the sound of it, they had a close relationship with him, and so if he was related to G. Van Dyke, then perhaps that’s how my ancestors were able to use the home during summers.  Yet another tree to climb.

Have a great week everyone!


Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Brian Parotto of Hampshire, Ill.


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