Pilgrims and Thanksgiving

The genealogy Gods struck again thanks to the 1893 Boston Evening Transcript newspaper and Sherry.

In a previous blog posting “Break the Pope’s Neck” I wrote about the interesting information one could find in the old newspaper “Boston Evening Transcript” and gave you a link to a history of it [Access The Boston Transcript]

In today’s blog posting you will read about how the 1893 Boston Evening Transcript item about David Alden lead me to a 1936 Wisconsin obituary for a Miss Caroline Louisa Alden and connected nine Caroline family trees to their Mayflower ancestors.

I was reviewing some old files and came across a “Note” written in the 1893 Boston Evening Transcript’s Genealogy section. The writer was giving some family history of the David Alden family. David Alden was the son of John Alden and Priscilla (Mullins) Alden one of the early pilgrim families. I had the item in my two year old files and had never transcribed it so I thought it would be a nice little thing to do. Little did I know that I would be making a big contribution to nine family tree owners?


I transcribed the long narrative:

David Alden Family Bio Sep 1893

Then using that information, I created a tree for David Alden and sent out a message to ten family tree owners who had David Alden on their branches.

I was in the process of closing out the file and moving on to some other family tree, when I got a message from Sherry one of the tree owners I had just contacted. It was not a very long message just a “Thank You” note for sending her the David Alden information. If I had not received Sherry’s message I might have moved on to some other tree and would not be writing this blog posting. But like I said at the beginning, the genealogy gods interceded.

After receiving Sherry’s message I decided to search one more time for David Alden information since in the 1893 item the writer was answering a previous reader’s query. So I did a Google search for “David Alden” using the command “David Alden site:news.google.com/newspapers”. I got quite a number of hits and some were items from the Boston Evening Transcript; one from 1906 and another from 1912. They were not very informative items so I paged through the list of hits and on page nine of the Google hit list I saw an item which read “Alden Descendant, .Caroline Louisa, Dies Here At 83”. I went on to the next page because I was looking for “Boston Evening Transcript” in the title and the item did not fit the bill but I changed my mind and went back to the Caroline Louisa item and brought it up.


Obit - Caroline Louisa Alden 1936 - Wis

The item as you can see has some good information for a family tree, so I took a screen print and then went looking for family tree owners.

The first tree file that I brought up did not have her death date and no reference to pilgrim families so I looked at another tree and it too lacked mention of pilgrim families. Caroline’s obituary was all about her connection to John and Priscilla and yet these tree owners did not show that on the trees. Could it be that they don’t know they are related to the pilgrims?

I decided to put Caroline on the David Alden tree to see if indeed she was a descendant of John and Priscilla as her obit stated. Three of my previous blog posts have the instructions on how to put a person on a tree file but not connect the person to the tree. (See Below)

In this case I would put Caroline on the tree by herself and then add her parents, grandparents and so on until I found a link to David Alden and then to John and Priscilla. I already had David’s information on the tree with a screen print of the 1893 newspaper item so if there was a connection I should be able to find it. I added the information from Caroline’s Obit, picked up the hints along the way and checked other family trees for clues. When I found a mention of a marriage or birth on a tree I would look for verification and once I had it I would add the record to the Caroline branch. I followed her line up one generation after the other and sure enough I made the connection.


Alden Family Tree

I immediately sent out a message to the family tree owners that had come up as hints for Caroline. There were nine of these and none of them had her death date or any mention of pilgrims.

As I said at the beginning of this posting the genealogy gods had a hand in this because the timing couldn’t have been more perfect; Thanksgiving is next Thursday. Nine tree owners will sit at the dinner table and be able to talk about their newly found pilgrim ancestors. They now have the records and a tree to confirm the connection. And it all happened because Sherry sent me a prompt Thank You message.

So I guess the lesson in all this is don’t put it off, read the messages in your in-box and reply promptly.

Thank you.

Jose from Clarkston, Michigan

Here are the three old blog posting which deal with putting a person on the tree file but not on the tree:

[Eureka Moment – Joseph Banks 1930]

[Pets on a family tree?]

[1959 Yellowstone earthquake – Revisited]


The following link is for Ancestry.com users only. It will not open to the tree if you are not signed up.

David Alden 1646-1719 Boston – 02 Sep 1893


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