Happy new year, everybody. As I write this it's already January in most of the world. So this is going to be a relatively short newsletter.
We actually had lots of entries for our prize draw for the 4-day pass to RootsTech at the end of next month. As promised, a week ago my wife picked one of the entries at random. Our winner was David T from El Paso in Texas. I hope to meet him in Salt Lake City. Indeed, if you are going, do let me know. I like to meet correspondents at conferences - it helps bring our study to life.
Someone else I'm hoping to meet in Salt Lake City is Emmitt Smith, the latest keynote speaker announced for the conference. For those who are not familiar with American Football, he was a major star for the Dallas Cowboys for many years, winning three Superbowls with them before ending his career with the Arizona Cardinals. You can read more about him here: https://www.rootstech.org/salt-lake/why ... mitt-smith. For sure, if I do manage to meet him, I will do my best to shoot some video and put it on show in March's newsletter.
We finished December with 162,361 people in our database, having added nearly 1,600 people in the last month, and over 20,000 people in the past year! You can't see everyone, of course, because of our confidentiality guarantee, which is hiding well over 40,000 people these days. As you read the figures below, just bear that in mind because you aren't looking at quite the same volume.
Do you ever use some of the menu items on the left hand column on our home page to learn more? For example:
- from the SURNAME button you can see that we have over 1,000 people named Smith in our database!
- from the PLACES button you can see that there aren't many places in the work that we haven't touched! Type Gibraltar into the search box and hit the enter key. You'll find 8 places from elsewhere in the world, but 18 different locations on the Rock itself. We've added a few this last month, as it happens because we have made contact with the Howes family there. Gibraltar has had a long-term British presence, of course. So one might not be surprised to find 62 people born there in our database. (You can see that using the ADVANCED SEARCH button and just putting Gibraltar in the birthplace field and hitting Enter.) You might be surprised, though, to see that no fewer than 17 people were born in China!
These buttons can show you a lot about the social history of our name and I encourage everyone to use them.
In November's newsletter, I mentioned that we've been given permission to use the information in the book of this name, published by the Dennis Historical Society, reflecting the lineages of the family of Thomas Howes and Mary Burr, who arrived on Cape Cod in 1637.
I made a start this month and have worked through the first 52 pages so far. What I've found so far is an almost unbelievably complex family structure. Go back to that picture in the email I sent. Zenas Howes was one of 9 children of Elisha Howes and Abigail Howes. Seven of those children married someone named Howes. Two of Zenas's wives were born Howes and one of them had two Howes parents!
Go back to the last paragraph and use the ADVANCED SEARCH feature to find the number of Howes men marrying Howes women. So far, we have 196 (!) most of which are marriages of people on the Cape. Actually, that number understates the number somewhat since it's only a measure of Howes men marrying women named Howes at birth. There are several instances of men marrying widows named Howes ,too.
Now, that's just information from the Howes book. It's a magnificent achievement, but it has a couple of limitations: it focuses very much on the name and thus the male line. At HowesFamilies we try to follow children and grandchildren of Howes women. So we are adding in information from Findagrave.com as we go along. It's providing us a quick source of information beyond the Howes book, like names of spouses' parents, children of Howes women, much more information on burial places, intermarriages of families beyond what is already mentioned in the Howes book.
There are some points of difference between the two sources. As we have done elsewhere, we note both pieces of information, note which we believe to be the more likely (often with an explanation) and leave them as matters to be resolved as we do further work. It's worth noting too that findagrave does not pretend to be an exhaustive genealogy. It does not list every child of every person, but for those whom it does list, it is frequently a good extra source to use.
So, IF you are descended from the Cape Cod Howes family, I do recommend that you find a Howes ancestor in your line in our database, and then use the Ancestor tab at the top of their record. You may find that you are descended from Thomas and Mary multiple ways! Note too that it will be a while before we are finished with this process. So check again in a few months.
With this being the end of the year I'd like to offer my thanks to everyone who helped us over the past year, whether you sent some information, a picture, or a certificate, or even a donation! When I give presentations on this study I tell people that we have gone out of our way to be collaborative and enlist the help of others because even at the beginning, I could see that this study was waaay too big for one or two people to do on our own. Your help not only gets us closer to our dream but it's evidence that there are other people out there who want to affiliate with what we are doing and that we were right to take the approach we did.
In particular, I thank Ian, Mike, Mike, Chris, Judith, Brian and Sue, who have put in many hours of their own time to help with our research. Can't tell you how much I appreciate your being there, folks.
All the best
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