Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Very Nicely Documented Web Site

I was surfing the web last night and came across a very nicely documented web site which contained information on my Ward family from New England. It was created by Robert Roy and is called The Roy Genealogical File. It is nice to stumble across a site such as this one. I came to be surfing for my Ward family because I had been cataloging a book entitled "The Life, Ministry, and Journals of Hezekiah Smith: Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Haverhill, Massachusetts, 1765 to 1805 and Chaplain in the American Revolution 1775 to 1780." The book was written by John David Broome (with the exception of the actual journals which were written by Smith himself and transcribed by Broome). It has been published by Particular Baptist Press in Springfield, Missouri this year (2004). In the journals, Smith writes about having attended the second ordination of my ancestor Rev. Nathan Ward, a Congregational minister who later became affiliated with the Separatists, most of whom later merged with the Baptists. I was delighted to find this first-hand account of contact with my ancestor and was quite motivated to find new information on this line that I really had not worked on. I really enjoy working on my New England lines even though many of them are more distantly related because of the plethora of records available for the researcher. With my Southern lines I frequently run up against brick walls because of the paucity of records because of a combination of poorer record keeping and the "burned county syndrome." Sometimes I think some of my ancestors are the ones who set fire to those courthouses so that I couldn't find them. Ever feel that way? Every once in awhile you'll find one more evidence of their existence and pursue that lead until the well runs dry there and you have to find a new one to get another burst to the research, all the while hoping that you are chipping away at that wall.

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