Cole-Marriner Line

Sum Total of Our Ancestors

“[You] are the sum total of [your] ancestors. You are not limited by their limitations, but you have the potential of their accumulated sense of possibilities. And, you are a product of their stories even though you don’t know it.” ~Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Like every family everywhere, our combined families (mine, my spouse’s, our stepfamilies’, and extended) are a blend of ups and downs, highs and lows.

Throughout the branches of our family trees, I have discovered abolitionists alongside slaveholders and freemen next to slaves. I hope that by telling each and every tale, no matter how distasteful, that I might help shine a light on one of the darkest times in American history.

It is because of our families’ connections to the many sides of slavery that I found Ancestry.com’s Railroad Ties both poignant and hopeful. I hope you find this short film as moving as I have.

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Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Spangler-Kenney Line, Taylor-Thomas Line, This Is My Life, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rebecca Ann (Moore) Layton

On this day, 14 January 1926, Rebecca Ann (Moore) Layton passed away. She was my 3rd great-grandmother.

Born in 1841, in Waretown, Ocean County, New Jersey, Rebecca Ann Moore was the daughter of George Moore, an immigrant from Scotland, and Hannah Chamberlin. She joined a two-year-old brother, Elwood W. Moore, who was born in 1839.

Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Everyday People, On This Day | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

George Moore

On this day, 20 November 1864, George Moore, my 4th great-grandfather, passed away.

Born in Scotland circa 1811, nothing is known of George Moore’s childhood or his parentage, unfortunately.

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Categories: Brickwall Ancestors, Cole-Marriner Line, Everyday People, Immigrant Ancestors, On This Day | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bring Out Your Dead

The following post deals with some seriously sad times in humanity’s history.
To help lighten up an otherwise gloomy piece, I have included a bit of British humor for your viewing entertainment.

The Black Death, also known as the Great Plague, was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history.

In October 1347, about a dozen Italian merchant ships returning from the Black Sea, one of the key trade routes to China, docked at the port of Messina, Sicily. Many of sailors aboard these ships were either dead or seriously ill. Although the authorities ordered an immediate these ships to leave the harbor, it was already too late. Within days, the disease had spread throughout Sicily and onto the mainland. One eyewitness told this grim tale:

“Realizing what a deadly disaster had come to them, the people quickly drove the Italians from their city. But the disease remained, and soon death was everywhere. Fathers abandoned their sick sons. Lawyers refused to come and make out wills for the dying. Friars and nuns were left to care for the sick, and monasteries and convents were soon deserted, as they were stricken, too. Bodies were left in empty houses, and there was no one to give them a Christian burial.”

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Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Extended Families, Famous Faces and Places, Harwick-Bush Line, Noel-Ardinger Line, Spangler-Kenney Line, Taylor-Thomas Line, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Ela of Salisbury

My genealogical researches have uncovered dozens of devout ancestors. This is the sixth installment of a series of posts titled “Doing God’s Work: Our Families’ Faithful”, documenting the lives of those who served God.

In the previous post of this series, I discussed the life of Ebles I de Roucy, my 30th great-grandfather. Now I will focus on Ela of Salisbury (my 24th and my 25th great-grandmother), who died on this day 24 August 1261.


Ela of Salisbury was born in 1187, in Amesbury, Wiltshire, England. She was the only surviving child of William FitzPatrick, 2nd Earl of Salisbury, Sheriff of Wiltshire, and Eléonore de Vitré.

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Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Famous Faces and Places, On This Day, Our Families' Faithful | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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