If there’s any certainty in genealogy and family history, it’s that people will make mistakes. People often make “mistakes” about the year they were born. But when someone makes a mistake about the day they were born, all sorts of havoc can ensue. Such was the case of two of my ancestors, brothers Daniel and Isaac Leonard.
For as long as I could remember, I firmly believed my great-great-grandfather’s birthday was June 24th, 1930. That’s what it said in a county history, three obituaries, and his death certificate.[continue reading...]
For your enjoyment and edification... here are seven previous posts.
About this Site
This site grew out of my life-long curiosity about my great-great-grandfather Daniel "Uncle Dan" Leonard. To hear the family tell it, he was a legend in his own time, an Iowa pioneer, a bear of a man who arrived by covered wagon and rose to fame and fortune. He told tales of his encounter with Frank and Jesse James, of the Indians who used to hunt these very lands, of the men and women who built communities where there were none before.
For a young man raised on black-and-white westerns, John Wayne movies, and Little House on the Prairie... the stories were irresistible. But were they true? Surely there must be some exaggeration? Initially, decent documentation was a little hard to come by. Then, little by little, bits and scraps of information began to turn up.
First, it was an 1881 county history. Then, the original land grant, dated 1855 and signed by President James Buchanan. Buchanan preceded Abraham Lincoln, which raised questions about the Civil War. And what of the rest of Uncle Dan's family? Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents... little did I realize it would take me all the way back to the Mayflower...
Those of us who've been doing this family history thing for a while have come to realize the rest of the world thinks we're just a little, uh, "off." Their eyes glaze over as we launch into what we think is a fascinating family story about someone long dead a buried.
So it's especially exciting when a new cousin steps forward and admits their interest. There aren't enough of us and we need new recruits to keep the memories alive, to dig and scratch and uncover the truths about our common past.
So, if any of this sounds like something more than incoherent rambling, drop me a line and I'll see if we don't have something in common. ;-)
Nothing says "trust" quite like an IOU. And trust me when I say nothing pleases me more than being able ...
How many times have you stumbled across an old box of pictures, letters, or documents only to find them too ...
Taking a break from our regularly scheduled program (Letters from Leonard, Iowa) to bring you snippets of some other blogs ...
And welcome, again, my friends… to the show that never ends. If you’re new here, feel free to poke around. If you’re an old friend, uh, feel free to poke around….
What kind of Mayflower descendant would I be if I let a Thanksgiving holiday pass without a few notes on our Pilgrim progenitors?
Let’s face it, most of us are in this genealogy game for the intrigue. Why did so-and-so disappear? Why did he/she change his/her name? And who did Solomon Leonard really marry?
In all the years I’ve been doing family history, I can honestly say that I’ve never come across that truly deranged ancestor that everyone seems to think we all have…. until now.