Sunday, June 13, 2010

Family History Book -- Smith-Cleary Line

Doing genealogy is probably my number one favorite hobby - right up there with reading!

In March I got a letter from my mother's first cousin to let me know they were having a Smith family reunion in July. Unfortunately, it falls during the time we will be on vacation in Florida, so I won't be able to go. But, I really wanted to make the family connection. So I decided to put together the genealogy I have done on that line. This is my maternal grandmother's family. She was a Smith and her mother was a Cleary.

I have been working since March to get everything ready. I did additional research to make sure I had everything I could get online. I made sure all the notes in the PAF file were clear and accurate and that they were organized in the same way for each person. I made sure the Family Tree on was accurate and matched what I had in the PAF file. When everything looked good, I wrote a short biography of each person on the direct line, using the information from the documents I had found. Then I made copies of all the documents themselves. And I put it all together into a book.

The book turned out pretty good. I designed it so the pages are in a loose-leaf binder, making it easy to make corrections or additions and then replace the edited pages. I have a sharp looking title page. I wrote a preface to explain my feelings about family history and to give contact information for anyone who had additional information or to make corrections. Next comes a Table of Contents. That is followed by an Introduction about the Smith and Cleary families. The Smiths were in the colonies prior to the Revolutionary War and I do not yet have a link to where they came from, although it is probably England. The Cleary line came from Ireland, probably in the 1830's, by way of Canada.

The Smith line starts with a pedigree chart, beginning with my great-grandfather Walter Hamilton Smith. I have four generations back on that line - Walter Hamilton Smith ; Henry Andrew Smith and his wife Dorcas Abigail Ash; William Hamilton Smith and his wife Esther Jane Dill; and Henry Smith and his wife Mary Irish. For each generation, I have the biography I wrote, a family group sheet which shows all the children and all the notes I have made in my PAF file, and copies of all documents I have found.

The Cleary line follows the same pattern. First comes the pedigree chart beginning with my great-grandmother Grace Cleary. I have five generations on that line - Grace Cleary, Henry Cleary and his wife Hester Ann Valentine Deverall; William Cleary and his wife Fanny Large; Joseph Warren Cleary and his wife Annie Craig; and William Pool Cleary and his wife Margaret Warren.

I only added one maternal line, as most do not have enough verified information. The line I did add was from Dorcas Abigail Ash (married to Henry Andrew Smith). I was able to add two additional generations - David Ash and his wife Abigail Freeman; and Peter Ash and his wife Catherine Merrihew. This line goes back to Germany. Peter's father was the immigrant, but I have not done any research on him.

I put the book together and prepared to have it copied. That was more work than I had thought! I wanted to have it printed on two sides, so I had to make sure everything was going to come out just right. I took it to Staples yesterday and they copied it for me and had it three-hole punched. I bought some notebooks and dividers and put it all together last night.

I am so excited! My book is finished! I am going to send one copy to my Aunt Patty, my mom's sister. A second copy is going to Glenn Smith, the cousin who wrote me about the reunion. He is in his mid-80's and may remember things that I do not know. The third copy will go to Lisa. I will have the original.

I would like to do something similar for all of the family lines. It is a lot of work, but it is so nice to have a book organized with all the information. I think one of Bill's lines will be the next project!