Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

The Willett Genealogy – Imperfect and Incomplete

I ran across the genealogies of the Willet families of England and America at It has been an attempt to discover the origins of the branches of the families with the surname of Willetts/Willet/Willits in America and if and how they are related, written a century ago.

It is not at all impossible that there are errors in this genealogy; and we will be pleased to have pointed out to us such as may be discovered. In the main, however, we believe it to be fairly perfect. There have been several attempts to compile the genealogy of a single branch of the Willett family, but this is the first time the entire family has been brought together in one grand reunion.

The author goes on to explain where he accumulated his information, with blank pages entered for the purpose of further information and corrections in the future. This is a unique book, both in it’s format and in the attitude that the researcher takes, that, although there may be some errors, he tried his best to make it as accurate as possible and admits that where there is conflicting information, he weighed it and though it may be circumstantial, he entered the likeliest information with notes about the conflicting information.

J.E. Bookstaver, the author and a descendant of the Willetts family doesn’t try to convince the reader that he is an expert and he makes no claims to royalty, as was the fashion of the time for genealogists. He just put his research out there, ready for anyone to add to it or correct as needed. I think he was way ahead of his time.

Filed under: Doane/Doan, Family Files, Genealogy, Research Resources, ,

I Remember When… The Science Fair

I remember when I entered my project in the Science Fair at Gosfield North Central School, it must have been about 1970. I did my project on “The Killing of the Great Lakes’. While the rest of the kids in the family were in swimming, I walked along the shoreline taking pictures of the dead fish and litter on the beach. It was disgusting! I wouldn’t go in the lake after that for years.
My dad helped me with my backboard, which was made of two pieces of plywood hinged together. I painted it and started to put pictures on it. I had a jar of lake water and even “captured” some air pollution in a mason jar by burning some “Black Snakes” a novelty item that looks like a black pellet and when lit, expanded really fast into an ash snake with a lot of black smoke.
As it turned out, I was the First Place winner for my grade and my prize was a model replica of the Apollo rocket and lunar module, I guess they didn’t expect any girls to win. I let my older brother build it and play with it.

Filed under: I Remember When, science fair

May 2009