I started this blog in April, 2010 to share the results of research into my family history.  I also wanted to get experience with WordPress and writing online.  I like to write, and I’m hooked on genealogy, so why not combine the two?

My journey into the world of genealogy began with my grandmother, Barbara Bowker Browne Messer.  She instilled in me the importance of knowing one’s roots… and hers were plenty deep.  She shared with me and my siblings many stories about her own life and that of her family history.  She was a very interesting person from a long line of interesting folks.

My cousin has done extensive work on our shared paternal lines.  My sister also does family research and is the keeper of most family photos, documents and keepsakes.

I never really had an urge to do extensive family research myself until my mother-in-law, Bonnie Jarvis, asked me to help her find out about her own mother’s family.  Her mother died when she was quite young, and she never really knew much about her own roots.  Since I’m a “computer person” with internet access, I was glad to do some poking around on her behalf.

I soon found out that online genealogy research is a bottomless pit… and it sucked me right in.  I’m not complaining, though.  I’m not able to do extensive travel or spend large sums of money on sending off for every book of transcriptions or chase vital record certificates unless they will provide answers not available elsewhere.  The internet is a wonderful research tool, even with its pitfalls.  I soon decided that paid genealogy sites are budget busters in the long haul.  So I get by with what I can find out on-line for free and from resources at my local library’s genealogy department.

It is my intention to provide logical presentation of facts along with a little of my own analysis and warped sense of humor.  Where possible I will quote sources directly and/or provide links to where the reader can verify information.  Over time I hope the volume of work will provide a knowledge base of genealogy research in general and these family lines in particular.

Initially I’m only presenting my maternal line, which is extensive all by itself.  Eventually I will get to paternal research and also that of my husband’s family.

I’d love to have feedback from you.  If I ever quote a disreputable source or just “get it wrong,” please tell me politely why you think so.  Of course additional, verifiable data is always welcome.

Are we related?  If my research touches your lines, I may have additional information to help you and vice versa.

Thanks for stopping by.
Barbara Neal

here’s my public profile 🙂



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  1. Hello Barbara
    I am trying to contact you because we have a common ancestor – Christopher Beer. Christopher Jacob Beer was my greatgrandfather and Walter Treleaven Beer was my grandfather. I am going to the Strathroy area of Ontario next month and hope to make contact with someone in the Beer family if possible. My name is Liz but I use the name Hope Rodgers too. My email address is liz.sibthorpe01@btinternet.com. I would love to have contact with you. I was fascinated by your account of Christopher Beer and I will be able to tell my half brother some more of our history.

    • Thanks, Liz for the comment and emails. I look forward to hearing all about your trip.

  2. me i’m a descendant of joel whitney and mary (weston) whitney thru son josiah and grandson josiah and great-grandson dewey, who was my mother’s father. is there anyplace there aren’t whitneys?

    • Many thanks, Grace, for the comment and contact email. Yes, the woods (especially the Maine woods) are full of Whitneys! I did a little research on Dewey’s line back to Joel Whitney and Hannah Stetson. I think I have it figured that we are 5th cousins once removed. Hi, Cuz!

      I also checked out YOUR blog. Quilting! I’m a quilter wannabe, but right now too busy being a Granny to a toddler. I have a small stack of blocks that if you squint at them just right resemble squares. Ah! One day…

  3. Very nice to meet you. I got into blogging pretty much the same way. I always wanted to chronicle my father’s WWII service and it kept growing!!

  4. Barbara,
    I found this article interesting. We through our ancestors are related. My Grandfather was Roswell Watts. I have traced my line back to
    Samuel Watts. Your maiden name is Booker. It would be nice to touch base on line and get to know each other.

    Tks S. Watts

    • Hi, Stephen.
      Thanks again for the comment and emails. To recap for others, we are third cousins twice removed, through our most recent common ancestors, David Watts and Abigail Noyes.

      BTW, my grandmother’s maiden name was Bowker. 🙂

      Regards, -Barb

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