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French’s Chapel – Methodist Church

French’s Chapel – Methodist Church

For 81 years French’s Chapel served the residents of a rural area in Logan County. It was located on the south side of Salt Creek and just west of the Primm Road, a little over seven miles northwest of Mt. Pulaski, five miles east of Broadwell, seven miles south of Lincoln.

The church was built in 1870 on land originally owned by Asa and Hannah Clark French. Hannah was the daughter of John Winans Clark. Her uncle David Clark and her brother-in-law Richard Clark were Methodist Ministers and her cousin Dr. John Clark had been instrumental in the founding of the Mt. Pulaski Methodist Church.

Asa and Hannah had been holding services for the Methodist Episcopal Church in their home since about 1840. Caroline Alexander, the wife of Asa and Hannah’s son Ezekiel, had been converted at a meeting and was a devout member for the rest of her life. At her death they found a sugar bowl full of coins she had been saving to build a church.

The surviving French sons Daniel, John and Ezekiel were among the leaders in building the chapel. Ezekiel kept a record of expenses — the largest sum paid was $800 to G. Downing, presumed to be the contractor on the project. George Downing was a brother of Hannah Downing who married Daniel French, another son of Asa and Hannah. The total cost of the church was $1,650. The church was dedicated September 11, 1870.

The final service was held June 3, 1951. For many years a foundation remained but that is now gone. The French family no longer owns the land. No trace remains of French’s Chapel.

Humphrey Scroggin, Revolutionary War Veteran

Humphrey Scroggin, Revolutionary War Veteran

Humphrey Scroggin has been discussed before. His burial place is almost certainly in Carlyle Cemetery but his DAR marker is in Steenbergen. See Who is Buried in Humphrey Scroggin’s Grave?

Humphrey Scroggin was born in 1763 in Culpeper, Virginia. He served in Capt. S. Tarrant’s Company of Colonel Abram Penn’s Regiment. His application for a pension was more detailed as to his service record.

“On this seventeenth day of November, Eighteen hundred and Thirty four, personally appeared before the Circuit Court, in and for the county and state aforesaid, Humphrey Scroggins, a resident of said county and state, age Sixty Eight years, who being first duly sworn, according to law, doth on his oath, make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the act of Congress, passed June 7th, 1832 – That he was drafted into the service, in the State troops of the State of Virginia, in the year 1781, in the early part of the month of March, and served in the following manner and under the following named officers –

“That he was drafted into the Company commanded by Capt. George Hastern, but does not recollect the names of the Lieut. and Ensign – the Company belonged to Col. Richardson’s Regiment, Lieut. Col. Halcom – Recollects no other field officers – Said Regiment was immediately marched to guilford Court House in North Carolina and joined the Army commanded by Genl. Nathaniel Greene, the day after the Battle at that place, and was placed in Lawson’s Brigade –

“That the Army then marched in pursuit of the British, Down to Deep River, at Ramsay’s Mills – This took them 7 or 8 days by forced march – at Ramsay’s Mills, Lawson’s Brigade were all discharged, with the Exception of Capt. Hastern’s Company, and the Company commanded by Capt. Shaw – Our Company was then marched alone down to the lower part of North Carolina across Cape Fear River – The Company remained at Cape Fear River 2 or 3 weeks – Then marched back by the way of Hillsborough to Henry County, Virginia and were then discharged in the Latter part of May – He received a written discharge for three months service from Capt. Hastern.

“That he was drafted again in the year 1781, in the month of July – in Capt. Hamon Crite’s Company, Lieut. John Torrence – Regiment was Commanded by Col. Halcom – Recollects no other officers – Our Company was marched to Mobbins Hill, at Woodson’s ferry, on James River, where we joined our Regiment, then the army commanded (as he thinks) by the Marquis LaFayette – The Army marched across Pomunky River, and he with four others of his company, were placed in a reconoitering party, Commanded by Col. Matthews and marched to within 8 miles of Williamsburgh and Encamped at a place called Ruff Creek Church, and there remained 4 days – Then Fell back 4 miles and staid there 3 or 4 days – We 5 were then discharge from Col. Matthews for 3 months service – in Sept. as he thinks

“In November 1781 he volunteered in Capt. Peter Hasterns Company – the Company was placed in a Battalion or Regiment Commanded by Major Fearn consisting of 300 men and marched as a guard, having in charge 500 British and 40 tories taken as prisoners at the battle of Cowpens, at Tarletons Defeat – through Spittsylvania, Halifax, across Staunton River at (Chisholm’s?) Ford – a new guard then relieved us commanded by Col. Callaway, and we marched back to Henry County where we were discharged in December or January -Received a written discharge from Capt. Hastern for two months Service –

“In February 1781 (1782?) he volunteered in the Company commanded by Capt. Samuel Torrence, Lieut. Jno. Torrence – in the Regiment Commanded by Col. Matthews – marched to Spittsylvania, then Returned & were discharged – were gone 2 weeks – Received a written discharge from Capt. Torrence for 2 weeks Service.

“That in all, his service was 8 1/2 months – that the said 4 written discharges were all burned together with his papers, in his sons house, which burned down in this County, about four years since – That when he Entered the service at the Several periods above stated, he resided in the county of Henry in the State of Virginia, and removed after the war to South Carolina, from there to Kentucky, from there to Tennessee and from that State, to Sangamon County, in the State of Illinois where he has resided for (last or just?) seven years.”

On October 15, 1784, he bought 351 in District 96 in South Carolina. Shortly thereafter he married Sarah Ann Kirby, a daughter of David Kirby and Elizabeth Tarrant, and a sister to James Turley’s wife Agnes. Were they related to Capt. S. Tarrant? I don’t know.

By 1800 the Scroggin family was in Warren County, Kentucky, according to the reconstructed census. The census was taken from the tax lists so it seems likely he owned land there.

On September 10, 1814, he bought 160 acres in Gallatin County, Illinois. By the 1830 census he was living in Sangamon now Logan County, Illinois. From his pension application it would seem he arrived in the area about 1827.

On March 15, 1835, Humphrey Scroggin’s pension application was denied for having less than six month service.

He died in July of 1845.

 

 

 

 

 

James Turley, Revolutionary War Veteran

James Turley, Revolutionary War Veteran

James Turley was born January 8, 1761, in Fairfax County, Virginia. We know a great deal about James Turley because he wrote about his life in detail his application for a Revolutionary War pension.

“I was born in the year 1761 at my residence in this County, I have a record of my [birth] copied from my Father’s family Bible.” It was in Virginia in 1781 that he married Agnes Kirby. Agnes was one of the daughters of David Kirby and Elizabeth Tarrant. (They will come up again.)

Turley wrote “the first time I entered service I was a resident of Fairfax County, Virginia.” In his letter for his application for a pension he said he was only 16 when he enlisted in August of 1777. He was a private in Captains Thomas Pollard’s and John Seal’s companies of Colonel Rumney’s Virginia regiment.  He served at the Battle of Germantown and was discharged about December 1, 1777.

“I moved to Henry County in 1778 and resided there fourteen years.” In the spring or summer of 1781, he enlisted and served three months as a private in Captain Hill’s company of Colonel Richardson’s Virgina regiment. Immediately after completing that service he enlisted and served four weeks as a private in Captain Torrence’s company of Colonel Lyon’s Virginia regiment.

“I moved thence to South Carolina where I resided four years, thence to Montgomery County Kentucky and lived twenty years…” In 1807 he was the Sheriff of Montgomery County, Kentucky.

“…then to Union and lived five years…” I haven’t looked into this. It is likely Union County, Kentucky, on the southeast border of Illinois. Union County, Illinois, would be out of the way for his journey from Kentucky to central Illinois.

“…and thence to this County in which I have resided thirteen years…” According to his account, made in 1831, he arrived Sangamon now Logan County, Illinois, in 1818.

His chronology makes his arrival in Sangamon County to be 1821. He is recorded as being one of the first settlers in the area, probably arriving a bit earlier. His granddaugher Martha, born in 1822, was the first white child born in what became Logan County. He voted in Sangamon County on June 23, 1821, in the Militia election, and on August 2, 1824, when he was Clerk of the election.

On June 7, 1832, he was awarded a pension effective March 4, 1831, in amount of $23.33 (and a third) per year, payable semi annually. How they divided that one third cent is not stated.

He died on June 4, 1836, and was buried in the Turley Graveyard, now Carlyle Cemetery. The exact location is unknown.

 

 

 

Lake Fork Predestinarian Baptist Church

Lake Fork Predestinarian Baptist Church

I originally placed a version of this on the Logan County ILGenWeb site, of which I am the County Coordinator. It remains there. Since that time there have been many changes. I no longer know the location of one copy of the records. The one I know of is too fragile to scan further. I understand the Primitive Baptist Library in Carthage, Illinois, has an old photocopy of one set. I am posting the information here using the theory that the more places it is posted the more likely the records will survive.

The Lake Fork Church of the Predestinarian Baptists was the first organized religion in south Logan County and perhaps in Logan County itself. Amazingly, two copies of the contemporaneous records of this denomination have survived. They appear to be identical and are in extremely fragile condition. Many years ago the late Dalen Shellhammer, a genealogist in this area for more than 50 years, read one copy and made some notes. I read pages of the other copy and made additional notes, including some history and genealogy related to the group and its members.

The Lake Fork Church of the Predestinarian Baptists, a strict, fundamentalist group, was organized January 20, 1827, at the house of James Turley by William Kenner, Hiram Bowman and Phillip Stephens. Hiram Bowman was chosen as moderator and James Turley as Clerk. James Turley and his wife were the first white settlers in south Logan County, arriving from Kentucky and locating in section 30 of what is now Mt. Pulaski Township.

The seven original members of the Lake Fork Church of the Predestinarian Baptists were: James L. Turley, Charles Barney, James Scot (sic), Carter Scroggin, Agness Turley, Margaret P. Turley and Phebe Scroggin.

Meanwhile, in Greene County, Ohio, the Regular Baptist Church of Indian Run, for reasons unclear, decided to migrate en masse to Illinois. Most of those who did not migrate in the first wave came within a couple years. The original members of that church were: (men) Abraham Lucas, Michael Mann, Philip Stevens, Solomon Wood, Lewis Chance, John Turner, Ebenezer Perry, James William Wilson, Peter P. Lucas, Joseph Lucas, Thomas Lucas, Samuel Nives, and William Copeland; (women) Sarah Copeland, Elizabeth Chance, Massy/Marcy Kelsey Lucas [wife of Abraham], Sarah Price Lucas [wife of Joseph], Rachel Perry, Mary Lee, Elizabeth Mann, Margaret Smith, Mary Lucas Turner, Sarah Hoblit Lucas [wife of Thomas], Sarah Lucas Copeland, Phebe Lucas Wood, and Elizabeth Stanberry. Most of them ended up in south Logan County and became part of the Lake Fork Predestinarian Baptist Church, soon to become the Regular Baptist Church of Lake Fork (1833).

Religious services were held at the home of James Turley until March 1828 when the home of Boston Finders was purchased. This served as the meeting house until June 1831 when, according to the minutes, Brother Collins and Turner were appointed to choose a spot for a new church building.  “Selected a spot on William Copeland’s land at or near a spring and Brother Copeland agrees to give one acre of land to bild (sic) said meeting house on and to make a deed to the same.”  The trustees were authorized to sell the old meeting house and “convert the money toward bilding (sic) a new meeting house”  (November 1831) [Several researchers believe this spot was north of the Lake Fork ditch a little over a mile south of Steenbergen Cemetery on the east side of the road. Nothing remains.]

In 1836 William Copeland was made Clerk and Michael Mann, Moderator.  The meetings were held on Saturday, before the first Sunday each month.  Many families would come great distances, bringing baskets of food and prepared to stay over night. Michael Mann and Stephen Hukill both preached, as a rule.

In April of 1841 John Turner succeeded Robert Burns, who later joined the church at Buffalo Hart, as trustee.  John R. Burns, who also transferred to the Buffalo Hart church, served as Clerk of the Lake Fork church, succeeding William Copeland in April 1856.

The discomforts caused by cold weather were apparent in the church minutes when in 1856 and 1857 they voted to hold their meetings in Copeland Schoolhouse.  In February of 1857 the minutes show that $618.00 was “in the hands of the building committee” and the church instructed the committee “to go on and enclose the house with windows and doors and the church will be responsible for what is lacking.” This apparently solved their problem as the winter of 1857 they used the “old meeting house as usual.”

July 12, 1859 – James Cheatham was appointed deacon to replace late Carter Scroggin
August 1860 – A. L. Clayton replaced Stephen Hukill as trustee
April 1862 – James Cheatham replaced J. L. Mann as Clerk
May 31, 1866 – Michael Mann, pastor for 30 years, died

In July 1868 the members voted to move the building from “where it now stands to a place near Brother J. L. Mann’s residence.” J. L. Mann and G. N. Simpson were to be superintendents of the moving.  In Nov 1869 they voted to “fense house known as Lake Fork Baptist meeting house with a good plank fense”. The moving committee was discharged and the deed received for the land from J. L. Mann and his wife.

Brothers and Sisters from Buffalo Hart Grove who requested letters of dismissal to form their own church (December 1871) were: Robert and Patsy Burns, John and Lucy Burns, Benjamin and Ellen Luckett, W. A. and Emily Burns and James Elder.

The records for the Lake Fork Baptist Church end in August 1894. There was no mention of the church closing but it is believed that the church closed its doors about this time. No one has located any pictures of any of the church buildings.

To view the records click on the links below. The scans were done by Pamela Erlenbush, a triple descendant of Abraham Lucas.

Lake Fork Church 1

Lake Fork Church 2

Lake Fork Church 3

 

 

Fact v. Family Stories

Fact v. Family Stories

We have been drilled to stick to the facts in genealogy. Family stories are just that, stories. “Three brothers came to America” and “my ancestor was an Indian princess” probably are without more than a grain of truth, if that. Find the record. Get the facts. And, of course, document the facts.

Now we are told to “flesh out” the family. Ask the old folks for stories. Ask those who remember the prior generations what they can tell you. Genealogists are told to record these stories, write about them, add them to their records.

Ancestry is pushing this big time. It’s very annoying. You have to push those promotions aside to get to the records. I assume the other sellers of genealogy related items aren’t far behind.

Does anyone else see a contradiction here? First we are to ignore the stories and get the facts. Now we are to record the stories and perpetuate the myths. Is that to make it more interesting to the masses so more people get involved in genealogy (and buy subscriptions to, say, Ancestry)?

Mystery of Berryman B. Wood Becomes Less Mysterious

Mystery of Berryman B. Wood Becomes Less Mysterious

The mystery of Berryman B. Wood has become less mysterious thanks to a discovery by his descendant Tessa Rasnick. One of the big mysteries has been when did Berryman B. Wood die?

When he died no marker was set. Perhaps they couldn’t afford one. They buried him by his wife, Sarah Catherine Lucas Wood, and she had a stone. Perhaps they meant to add his name. Whatever, it never happened.

At some point Wilford Ryan, a grandson, poured a concrete stone and, using a stick, wrote his name and date of death. Various cemetery walkers have said the now worn stone said 1911 and 1914.

No death certificate has ever been found. They weren’t mandatory in Illinois until 1916.

Someone pointed me to a note that indicated he died February 8, 1908. There was no source but I liked it because it fit my theory that if one was born or died in the winter there was less likely to be a record prior to 1916. (Yes, I know of many exceptions to my theory.)

Tessa was hunting for obits in old newspapers when she looked up John Allen Wood, a son of Berryman. John Allen is her third great uncle. This is what she found in The Decatur Herald for May 20, 1909.

“John Allen Wood Dies
“John Allen Wood, living eight miles southwest of Mt. Pulaski, died at his home at 9:30 o’clock Tuesday night from heart trouble, having been a sufferer for many months. He was born south of Mt. Pulaski, and was the son of the late Berryman Wood. His age was 43 years, 11 months and 30 days. Mr. Wood married Isabelle Jones, daughter of Mrs. M. M. Howard, of this city, July 10, 1890, and he is survived by his wife and three children, Emery, Herman and Stella, also five sisters and four brothers. Funeral services will be held at the Copeland church, six miles southwest of Mt. Pulaski, at 11 o’clock, Friday morning conducted by Rev. Gilbert Jones, pastor of the Christian church of Mt. Pulaski. The remain (sic) will be buried in Mt. Pulaski cemetery.”

“Son of the late Berryman Wood.” (emphasis added) That pretty much eliminates 1911 and 1914 as death dates. It also explains why he cannot be found in the 1910 census.

We still don’t know for sure exactly when he died but the 1908 date looks a lot more likely.

Who Is Buried in Humphrey Scroggin’s Grave?

Who Is Buried in Humphrey Scroggin’s Grave?

Humphrey Scroggin Stone

This is a photo of the marker on the grave of one Humphrey Scroggin in Steenbergen Cemetery, Mt. Pulaski Township, Logan County, Illinois. But does it mark the grave of Humphry Scroggin, Revolutionary War veteran?

Humphrey Scroggin, the RW veteran, was born about 1763 in Culpepper County, Virginia. According to his pension application he was drafted twice to serve out of Henry County, Virginia. After the war he bought land in District 96, South Carolina, in 1784, is found in Warren County, Kentucky, in the 1800 census and in 1814 bought land in Gallatin County, Illinois. Before 1830 he was in Sangamon County, Illinois, which became Logan County in 1839. He died there in July 1845. But where was he buried?

Several genealogists have suggested that the stone in Steenbergen does not mark the grave of the veteran and that this Humphrey Scroggin was in fact buried at Carlyle Cemetery. One of those was the late Dalen Shellhammer who, with his genealogist wife Sandra, managed Steenbergen Cemetery for years and oversaw the restoration of the Scroggin stone. They had heard or found enough to question but had neither the time nor the inclination to pursue an investigation at that point.

In the southeast part of what is now Logan County there were five Revolutionary War veterans living in 1835: John Downing (1838), Abraham Lucas (1841), William Patterson (1840), Humphrey Scroggin (1845) and James Turley (1836). The date after their name indicates the year of death. They all died within a 10 year span.

In 1917 and subsequently, the DAR published a list of RW veterans buried in Illinois. They didn’t know about all of them. Of the above group they only knew about Scroggin and Turley. Turley is listed as buried in Carlyle Cemetery which was then known as Turley. Scroggin is listed as buried “near Mt. Pulaski.” Both Carlyle and Steenbergen are “near Mt. Pulaski.” In fact, they are only a few miles apart.

Stones exist for Downing (Bowers Templeman), Lucas (Steenbergen) and Patterson (Downing). There is no stone for Turley or Scroggin at Carlyle. Stones exist from the period.

The Scroggin stone at Steenbergen is very near the stone for Lucas. There is also an existing stone for Lucas’ wife. There is no stone for Scroggin’s wife although there have been some DAR markers added.

Who is the candidate for burial if not the RW veteran? Humphrey Scroggin did not have a son named Humphrey but he did have a grandson named Humphrey. Grandson Humphrey died in 1859, not so much after his grandfather. His wife Sarah Lucas survived him by more that 40 years, remarried and is buried in Macon County with her second husband. Sarah was the granddaughter of Abraham Lucas, buried oh so close to the Scroggin marker, and the daughter of James Lucas (1827) and Hannah Bowman Lucas (1843). James Lucas’ stone is gone but Hannah’s remains, also right there near the Scroggin stone. No other stone is known for the grandson.

Makes you go hmmm.

So Many Children He Had To Marry and Marry and Marry

So Many Children He Had To Marry and Marry and Marry

Thomas Lucas didn’t live in a shoe but he had a lot of children, 16 in fact, possibly 17.

He was born April 27, 1814, in Liberty Township, Clinton County, Ohio, to James Lucas and Hannah Bowman. He came to central Illinois with the rest of the Abraham Lucas clan – Abraham was his grandfather – and members of their Baptist Church from Greene County, Ohio, in the later 1820s. Within a short time after their arrival, James Lucas died. John Lucas and John Turner, uncles, were named guardians of Thomas, age 13. John Lucas was married Hannah Bowman’s sister Mary. John Turner was married to James Lucas’ sister Sarah.

On June 10, 1834, Thomas married one of John and Sarah Bowman Turner’s granddaughters, Mary Turner, a sister of the infamous Spencer Turner. Thomas and Sarah had 10 children. There is a long-held story that their first daughter was named Minerva. She apparently was born before they were married and she died. I have found no evidence of this child. Mary Turner Lucas died on October 4, 1855, leaving seven living children. Two months later their two oldest daughters married. Thomas was left with an adult son, a not so healthy teenage son who did not survive his mother long, a 9 year old son and two young daughters.

On May 1, 1856, less than seven months after the death of his wife, Thomas Lucas married Harriet Gambrel, widow of John Lanham. She was 38 and had no children of her own. However, she added two daughters to the Thomas Lucas family before she died on January 5, 1867. By then there were two of Mary’s daughters and two of Harriet’s daughters at home but one of Mary’s daughters married in April of that year. Thomas was down to three minor children.

On July 10, 1867, six months after the death of his second wife and on the 33rd anniversary of his first marriage, Thomas Lucas married Charlotte Bowman, the widow of Jacob East and a relative of Thomas’ mother. She was also the sister of the soon to be husband of her new stepdaughter Arminda Lucas. Probably it was Thomas’ marriage to Charlotte that introduced the young couple.

We know Charlotte had three children by her first marriage but not what happened to them. It does not appear they survived infancy. Thomas had three children at home and soon he and Charlotte had more, four more to be exact. Thomas’ last child was born posthumously and only lived about six weeks.

Thomas Lucas died August 18, 1874. Both of Harriet’s daughters were at home although one married within months. (Parent dies, child marries. Seems to be a pattern.)

Thomas Lucas was buried at Lake Bank Cemetery with two of his wives, several children and, later, other children and grandchildren.

Letters of Administration issued to Allen Lucas, eldest son, on August 22, 1874, same date as his Petition. The estate contained 918 acres of land. The widow received $234.88. The surviving children or their heirs each received $46.97.

Sometime after 1880 Charlotte and her surviving children moved to Oxford, Kansas, where there were other Lucases and Bowmans as well as others who had left central Illinois for the promise of land in Kansas. She did not remarry but is not buried in Lake Bank.

John Downing’s Elusive Service

John Downing’s Elusive Service

Originally, John got a Revolutionary War marker based upon his service in the company of Capt. James Scott, 3rd Battalion, Washington County Militia, Pennsylvania. He was a private 5th Class and can be found listed in the Pennsylvania Archives. DAR agreed. Later John and his extended family and friends traveled to Ohio and on to Sangamon now Logan County, Illinois. They even brought along James Scott. 
 
(When I looked into this I couldn’t find anything about the James Scott except he traveled with John Downing. About the same time a James Scott joined the Lake Fork Predestinarian Baptists before dying in neighboring Macon County, Illinois. I could not swear it is all one person but it seems likely. Not that it mattered.)
 
Then it was determined that was not the right service for this John Downing. Nope. His service was in Capt. Timothy Downing’s Company, Washington County, Pennsylvania, militia. At least the location was correct. And probably the two Johns are related. A new marker was added to the old on at Bowers Templeman Cemetery just north of Salt Creek. The DAR participated in the ceremonies. That was 1977. 
 

 
Then the DAR decided that wasn’t correct either. And the timing really was off. After the war John moved back east in Pennsylvania instead of continuing on west? That could not be explained.
Recently, DNA testing allowed Mary Lou Cole of Ohio to follow a theory. John Downing didn’t serve in Washington County, Pennsylvania, but Washington County, Maryland. Mary Lou is not a descendant of this particular Downing line but she was determined. There were naysayers, including me. She continued on.
On September 5, 2013, the DAR notified Mary Lou that they agree with her conclusions (and documentation of course) and John Downing is now officially recognized as having his Revolutionary War service in Maryland.
John Downing has three stones. He has his original, which goes with the stone of his wife Hannah, to go with the two in the photo. Will he get a fourth, this time with the correct service? 
Genealogist vs. Family Historian

Genealogist vs. Family Historian

There is an ongoing discussion about genealogy and family history.

Family Historian seems to be a title for those who collect all sorts of things that a family member once touched or might have touched or probably would have touched had it been placed in their hand. In other cases it is the process of collecting family stories.

Everyone, I hope, had one or two or three cherished items from ancestors. But 300?

People collect family stories to preserve them. It turns out that collecting family stories is also perceived as a way to draw young people into genealogy.

There are plenty of family stories. But, and here’s the rub, how many of your family stories are true? Three brothers came to America… My ancestress was an Indian Princess… You get the idea.

Genealogists deal in facts. Ok, not a lot of those whose family trees bloat Ancestry.com, but serious genealogists are into facts and proof. They want evidence. Heck, they want you to prove you were born and didn’t just appear full grown. (Superman is in big trouble.)

Isn’t being a “Family Historian” contradictory to being a “Genealogist”? What do you think?