Wednesday, May 8, 2019

2019 #52Ancestors: Week 4 - "I'd Like to Meet"

I fell off the wagon with these #52Ancestors posts mostly because I have a very demanding and draining job (middle school chorus teacher), but to be honest a small part of it was that I had such a difficult time with Week 4's prompt that I just never wrote it, and got behind from there. But Summer break is almost upon us, so I plan to catch up on them over the next few weeks and eventually get current.

Week 4's prompt was so overwhelming for me. How on Earth could I choose only one ancestor to write about!? I would have loved to meet each and every one of them. So eventually I buckled down and got creative - in order to narrow it down, I decided to write about an ancestor who's birthday occurred during Week 4 (January 22-28). After looking at my anniversary report (created by Gramps Portable, an open source family tree maker that I highly recommend), I saw that I had two options: my 12th great-grandfather, John Winthrop, 3rd Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and my 10th-great-grandmother, named Jeanne Guillemin. I decided to go with Jeanne because John Winthrop is such a well-known figure in American history. Although I have to admit: at first glance, I didn't even recognize the name of Jeanne Guillemin, and had to look up my line of descent from her. 

Jeanne Guillemin was born on January 25, 1615 in the city of Chalons-en-Champagne in northern France. Her parents were Jean dit-l'Esprit Guillemin (a tailleur d'habits, or "tailor of clothes") and Jeanne Delahaute. She married Jacob Brion (1619-1695) before 1637 and had at least three children: Anna Elisabetha Brion (b. March 12, 1637), Jacob Brion (b. January 25, 1644) and my 9th-great-grandfather, Abraham Brion (b. July 1648). Jeanne passed away on May 5, 1662.

I could only find the cut-and-dry vital information for Jeanne - no interesting stories about her or her life have been recorded. So I decided to get a sense of what her life was like by researching the city where she was born and grew up: Chalons-en-Champagne. I found that the city was a very ancient one, having been the location of the Battle of Chalons in 274 A.D. It was also the setting of a Strauss opera called The Goddess of Reason, which premiered in 1897. Today it is a medium-sized city of about 45,000 people, which is about the size of my own home town of Charleston, WV. 

Chalons-en-Champagne in 1623

I was fortunate enough to find the above city plan of Chalons-en-Champagne as it was in 1623, when Jeanne would have been 8 years old. Even then it was a bustling little city, featuring two beautiful cathedrals and a cloister that was actually a pilgrimage site in the 17th century. Jeanne probably would have helped her father in his tailoring business; perhaps she was a talented seamstress herself. She might have met interesting people from all over France and perhaps from all over Europe while they made their pilgrimages to the cloister of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux, and I'm sure she went to weekly or even daily mass at the Chalons Cathedral or the Church of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux.

I studied French for several years in high school and college, so it makes me smile to think that if I truly did have a chance to meet and speak with Jeanne, I could speak to her in her own language. I would ask her hundreds of questions about what her life was like, and I would make sure to say "Je t'aime, Arriere-Grand-Mere Jeanne."


My line of descent from Jeanne Guillemin is as follows:

Jeanne Guillemin (1615 - 1662)
10th great-grandmother

Abraham Brion (1660 - 1724)
Son of Jeanne Guillemin

Hans Jacob Brion (1677 - 1746)
Son of Abraham Brion

Anna Maria Brion (1724 - 1804)
Daughter of Hans Jacob Brion

Johann Jacob OLINGER Sr. (1746 - 1813)
Son of Anna Maria Brion

Johannes Olinger (1773 - 1823)
Son of Johann Jacob OLINGER Sr.

Elizabeth Olinger (1799 - 1869)
Daughter of Johannes Olinger

George E. Schofield (1837 - 1920)
Son of Elizabeth Olinger

Joseph Elliot Schofield (1887 - 1951)
Son of George E. Schofield

Clara May Schofield (1906 - 1989)
Daughter of Joseph Elliot Schofield

Arthur Ray "Jack" Quinn (1939 - 1986)
Son of Clara May Schofield

Lora Marlene Quinn (1961 - )
Daughter of Arthur Ray "Jack" Quinn

Allison Quinn Kessinger
You are the daughter of Lora Marlene Quinn

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Genetic Genealogy: Confirming Connections with DNA

I prepared this presentation for a local DNA conference, so I thought I would share! This presentation focuses on how traditional genealogy research and DNA research complement each other. The presentation includes two case studies, each focusing on different methodologies: confirming a suspected ancestor connection with DNA, and supporting the findings of DNA research with documentation.

Conference Information:
Saturday, May 4, 2019
West Virginia Capitol Complex
Culture Center
Archives and History Library

More information about the conference and the presenters can be found in this article from the Charleston Gazette-Mail.


Download the slides alone here, and the slides with space for note-taking here.


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