Sunday, January 23, 2011

Searching For Family

I know I've been pretty silent for the last 3 weeks, as I've found myself tied up with various projects. Yes, I have been doing some writing on the Fantasy Western, though most of my time has actually been focused on an entirely new line of research. I've been digging into my heritage, seeking to build a family tree and uncover more about my extended family, as scattered as it seems to be.

It all started with a bunch of old photographs my mother left me before she died. Among them were notes and notations, which allowed me to piece together much of her side of the family, into the mid-1800's. Shortly thereafter, I was able to find a few online trees other people had made, which let me go well beyond that on some fronts.

On my father's side, I knew enough to get me to his mother's father, George Sylvester Counts. From there, it was pretty easy to find several other family trees which took me far into the past. I've only scratched the surface on how far back I can trace certain branches of the family tree, and there is still a lot of data I've yet to confirm, but from the looks of it, there are some lines that lead back to the middle ages.

Quite a bit of the core tree I'm building is based on other people's research, however I'm piecing together quite a bit on my own. The Ingham line, in particular, was virtually untraced, so I had to build it from scratch, using census data, marriage certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, and other vital statistics posted online. I have thus far been able to link back to Albert Ingham, born circa 1830, though that seems to be as far as I can reach at the moment. His wife's name was Cynthia, and I suspect her maiden name may have been Van Wie. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to confirm that, or get further back on this line of my heritage, but I'll keep trying.

I'm not sure why I've suddenly become so obsessed with uncovering my roots, but it's always bothered me to be so isolated from family. I've had virtually no contact with any of them on either side for various reasons, so I'm naturally curious to see who's out there. Who knows, maybe this is a big mistake, and I'd be better off to remain cut off from my various cousins, though I might as well find out. If I don't at least try, I'll be stuck wondering if I'm missing something.

Known Relations:
Here's a short list of some of my closer relatives. If you are related to any of these people (or know anyone who is), let me know:

Father's Side:
George Sylvester Counts (Great Grandfather; Son of James Wilson Counts and Mertie Gamble)
Lois Hazel Bailey (Great Grandmother; Wife of George S. Counts, daughter of Charles W. Bailey and Mary Stark)
Raymond W. Ingham (Grandfather; Son of Edward "Ned" Ingham & Effie K. Robinson)

Mother's Side:
William E. Forthman (Great Grandfather; Father of Ethel, Anabell, Ruth, Kathryn, William Jr., and Mary Nadine).
Anna Littlefield (Great Grandmother; Wife of William Forthman, daughter of Anne Carney Littlefield)
Julius John Kirton (Great Grandfather; Son of Newton Kirton)
Mary Alice Nelson (Great Grandmother; Wife of Julius Kirton, daughter of I.R. Nelson and Ada Urech)


  1. Geneology is kinda fun, I was lucky when I started doing mine, someone online had the family tree traced back to the early 1700s

  2. I was lucky that way, as well. Some people have traced the Counts line back into Prussia in the 1500s, and I am still going back further on some other lines.

    It is pretty hard to find living descendants of my closer ancestors. The Counts/Bailey side has been scattering for a hundred years, though I have found a few cousins.

    I'd really like to find some of my Forthman-descendant cousins. I know Aunt Ethel married a Rassmusson and had at least 1 daughter, and William Junior was married. Kathryn had at least 2 children with Frank Porlick, though my knowledge ends sometime in the 1930s, so I have no idea what happened to them. It'll be an ongoing quest, that's for certain.

  3. Ok it is official. We are 2nd cousins once removed. Michele Counts Karmeier