Posts Tagged With: biography

The Case of the Lost and Found Grandma

A WOMAN OF MYSTERY

Years ago, when I first began documenting my maternal family, I reached out to our matriarch at the time, my Great-Aunt Doris. She spoke for hours, naming the ancestors she knew then sharing stories of their lives.

Although she knew a lot about her mother’s family, my great-aunt was less certain about her father’s family, especially his mother, Alice (Manley) Cole.

What little Aunt Doris knew about her grandma was her name and the fact that she disappeared from her father’s life when he was a child.

Alice was an enigma, a woman of mystery. As a family historian/genealogist, I LOVE following clues and solving puzzles, so off to the records I raced.

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Categories: Brickwall Ancestors, Cole-Marriner Line, Everyday People | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Allen Layton

On this day, 20 June 1876, Allen Layton (my 4th great-grandfather) passed away.

Born on 29 September 1806, in Jerseyville, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Allen Layton was the eldest of eight known children of Allen Layton and Annay Foster.

Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Everyday People, On This Day | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Let’s Go Crazy

Every family tree has them. Those eccentric kin who march to their own beat. However, there is a point where eccentric becomes something more. For some, this is a temporary condition; for others, it is long-term reality. Either way, for these family members, people euphemistically say that they are not all there, are off their rocker, have a screw loose, are out to lunch, or are just not right in the head.

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Categories: Miscellaneous Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Llywelyn ap Iorwerth

On this day, 11 April 1240, Llywelyn “Fawr” ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great), the longest reigning ruler of Welsh principalities, died in Aberconwy, Gwynedd, Wales. (He was my 23rd and 24th great-grandfather.)

Born circa 1173, Llywelyn ap Iorwerth was the only child of Iorwerth “Drwyndwn” ap Owain and Marared ferch Madog. Llywelyn’s father was the eldest surviving son of Owain Gwynedd, prince of Gwynedd. In 1174, Iorwerth ap Owain died in at the Battle at Pennant Melangell. His mother was the daughter of Madog ap Maredudd, Prince of Powys. Through her, Llywelyn is descended from Rhodri Mawr, king of Wales.

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Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Famous Faces and Places, On This Day, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Joan of Valois

My genealogical researches have uncovered dozens of devout ancestors. This is the ninth 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 Marie of Brabant (my 23rd great-grandmother), who entered monastic life after the death of her husband. In this post, I will discuss the life of my ancestress, Joan of Valois, who became a nun after her husband’s death.


On this day, 7 March 1342, Joan of Valois, Countess of Hainault, passed away. She was my 22nd great-grandmother through her grandson Thomas of Woodstock, my 23rd great-grandmother through her grandson Lionel of Antwerp, three-times 20th and three-times 21st great-grandmother through her grandson John of Gaunt, and my 21st great-grandmother through her grandson Edmund of Langley.

Born circa 1294, Joan of Valois was the second eldest daughter of Charles of Valois and Margaret of Anjou.

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Categories: On This Day, Our Families' Faithful, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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