View Full Version : Behind an Ancestry Leaf

08-10-2018, 07:22 PM
Sometimes I get tired of paying my monthly subscription fee to Ancestry, but every now and then I am reminded that it's worth it. This morning I got one of those reminders. I had one of those hint leaves on my Grandpa Stevens' profile. When I clicked on it, I discovered that Ancestry had found his application for a seaman's protection certificate, complete with a photo of him at 20 years old and a left thumb print. Apparently my grandfather, Clifton LeViers Stevens, served as a messman (he worked in the galley) on board the old merchant ship Saramacca in 1919. I couldn't find a photo of the ship itself, but I did find a photo of a model of it.

Kind of cool! B)

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08-11-2018, 01:49 PM
Last year Ancestry turned up the same kind of application for a seaman's protection certificate for my grandfather's older brother, Miles Gordon Stevens, with a photo, etc., but I still cannot decipher the name of the ship he was on. It wasn't the Saramacca, and the application was from 1918 (my grandfather's was a year later).

I cropped Miles' photo from the application and sent it to my second cousin, who is Miles' grandson. He was very happy to get it. That second cousin and I are an exact 111-marker y-dna str match for one another at Family Tree DNA.

Anyway, I put the photos of the two brothers together.


They don't look much alike, but their grandsons are y-dna matches anyhow.

08-11-2018, 02:47 PM
They may not look alike, but they have the same ears.

I have completely forgotten about Ancestry and their hints and the fact that I haven't had a paid membership in several years. I wonder what I've missed...

08-11-2018, 03:22 PM
My husband and I keep Ancestry for documents--at times lots and lots of documents, at least for some ancestors. My favorite is finding the court documents for the brother of a 2x great grandfather. He had disappeared into the wilds of Wisconsin (1850's :)). I had a DNA match in what they call the DNA circles I couldn't account for; surnames didn't match anywhere, even religion didn't match, and the other person couldn't figure it out either. Then I found his will, a whole bunch of stuff on Ancestry. Turns out his first wife died, he remarried and had more children, then he died and she remarried. Her new husband LEGALLY adopted the children and changed their name. There were no other records I could find, not even death record for him--that collection of court documents explained it all.

08-11-2018, 05:41 PM
My grandfather and his older brother, Miles (post #2 above), are buried in the same plot in Metairie, Louisiana, along with their father, James Holmes Stevens Jr., and a number of other relatives.

Here's a photo of their monument:


The Mary Stevens Finney on the right is Miles' daughter and my grandfather's niece. I have a Family Finder match of 160 cM's to one of her grandsons.

08-11-2018, 07:12 PM
They may not look alike, but they have the same ears.

I have completely forgotten about Ancestry and their hints and the fact that I haven't had a paid membership in several years. I wonder what I've missed...

I find these resources are always worth going back to occasionally.
But then I get swamped by 50 hints on exactly the same thing.
And hints that are not valid at all.
And the massive gaps that Ancestry has in the areas most of my interesting ancestors came from.
And the whole shebang of false trees. Aaaaaaaagh!
And then mercifully, the subscription ends and I can get back to resources that work properly for me.
But it's good occasionally.

08-11-2018, 08:56 PM
There are long, dry periods on Ancestry, but then something really good comes along.

I don't trust the pedigrees there, but I do check them out for documentation, if they have something interesting. Now and then a serious, well-documented tree comes along.

But Lord knows there are some doozies there.

08-13-2018, 03:12 PM
I trust nothing, but also check, since sometimes they actually have sources. But it's so common (and annoying) to just see tree after tree that's just sourced by "Ancestry Trees."

I do have a cousin (she's descended from my great-grandfather's brother) who is a serious researcher and has worked on my dad's dad's side much more than I have. She has some blogs, and I only discovered the Ancestry tree later, so it didn't add anything, but I've checked her work and it's good (I haven't checked all of it, since she's done research trips to England and Wales that I haven't done yet). She also has photos of that side of the family, and houses relatives lived in and such, which is great.