In 2011, I went to Salt Lake for a research trip with the Ancestor Seekers. With the help from one of the professional genealogists hired to work with attendees, I was able to find the ancestral village (Milow, Germany) and additional generations on my Stange line. I have a couple of weeks off in June, so I decided to take the train to Salt Lake to join the Ancestor Seekers again. I'm hoping to extend my Cleff line. I haven't had too much success searching for my Cleff ancestors on my own, so I'm hoping the professional genealogist working with us on the German floor can help me out. My second goal for my trip is to document my Oakley line so I can apply for membership in the Daughters of the American
In order to find more about Miles Oakley and his Revolutionary War involvement, I searched for information on the Fold3 website. I found 40+ pages of documents pertaining to Miles Revolutionary War service. From the documents, I found Miles had enlisted three times during the course of the war; his first enlistment was at the age of 18 in 1775. He was captured in 1778 by the British army, held at the Sugar House in New York for five months; then on the British prison ship, the Jersey for three months. Miles escaped on Christmas Eve in 1778 and made his way to Valley Forge where General Washington signed his discharge papers.
During the Revolutionary War, 2,600 prisoners were held at the sugar houses in New York. Of those 2,600 prisoners, 1,900 (73%) died in captivity. Approximately 12,400 patriots were held on prison ships, with a death toll of 11,000 prisoners and only 1,400 survivors. Looking at these horrific numbers, I wondered, how was it that Miles survived and had the strength to escape and make his way to Valley Forge? One reason I can think of for his survival is his youth, as he was only 20 or 21 when he was taken captive.
MAYBE I'll be up to doing a little research this weekend. I just haven't had the energy to tackle even the smallest part of research lately. Tonight I think I'm going to think about what I want to get accomplished this weekend, maybe just one thing, and see if I can accomplish that small goal.
My husband bought me an Ancestry.com DNA kit for Christmas. I did do 23 and me DNA testing a couple of years ago, but I was thinking that with the push Ancestry has made with their testing over the last few months and their extensive family trees, the Ancestry.com might be helpful.
It is good to analyze and verify your data from time to time. On Ancestry.com, I had found a family tree posted by another researcher and there were birth, marriage, and death records provided for Joshua to support their research. The birth date provided was in 1723 (which was correct), the marriage date was 1782 and the death date was given as 1756. Joshua and Lydia had one son, Reuben, born in 1775. See the problem? There is no way Joshua could have a child nearly 20 years after his death (maybe today with the advances in science, but not in the mid-1700s). Learning a considerable amount about naming patterns, I set out looking for another Joshua in Farmington. I knew there had to be a reason for the existence of the 1756 death date. I found there were two Joshua Roots (cousins). I have to do a little more research to link the Revolutionary War records to my Joshua.
It has taken many years of research but I finally found a Revolutionary War Patriot. Most of my ancestral lines are recent immigrants (arriving in the 1800s). On my paternal grandmother side however, all of her ancestors arrived during the 1600s (not as far back as the Mayflower, but not too long after). After exhausting my Stanley and Root ancestors, I went to the spouses. The last ancestor on the Oakley line that I had identified was Hawley Oakley. Through a generic search on Ancestry, I found the name of a potential father for Hawley - Miles Oakley. Miles was listed as in the Revolutionary War in a Son of the American Revolution. Using that information, I searched on the DAR website, and there he was! Once I had confirmed Miles was my ancestor, I was able to do a search of the web and found a documented website for the Oakeys that got me back five additional generations beyond Miles. So exciting!!!
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Author - Dr. Kathryn M. Watts
I live in Orange, California with my husband Bill, and my service dog Timber. Genealogy is one of my favorite past times.