Saturday, January 11, 2014

Week 1 of 52 weeks Ancestor Challenge

This is my very first blog post and I'm a bit nervous about it.  I've never had a blog before, nor had I any reason to create one.  I saw this challenge on my Facebook page, from, and since I'm having so much fun figuring out my ancestors I wanted to share it with others and hopefully I can get some help along the way or meet some family members.

The first ancestor I am going to highlight is the one that is giving me the most trouble.  This would be my great-grandfather (gg for short) on my mother's side. The reason why I have so much trouble is that the rumor in the family is that the father of my gg, might actually be his grandfather making my gg illegitimate.

Samuel Robert Oates was born in 1903 in Penzance, Cornwall, England. He migrated to the Massachusetts in 1913 with who my family believes is his grandfather and grandmother.  The records of his travel state that he traveled with his father, mother and possibly either a sister or a servant. The part that makes me believe that the rumors are true is that before 1903, his "father", James Oates, was living in Massachusetts, right up until at least 1900 with his wife Honor Chellew. Watching a previous episode of "Who do you think you are" it was mentioned that it was not uncommon for foreigners to travel back home for a few years at a time to fight in wars or take care of families, so I'm not sure if this happened and during that time James and Honor had a child?

I will put more effort into this, including signing up for international to see if I can get birth records or perhaps more information as to why James and Honor would go back to England.  But that will have to wait until March when I'm done with my last semester at school and can devote more time to it.


  1. Welcome to blogging and to the challenge! Have fun with it!

  2. Welcome to the wonderful world of genealogy blogging! You're off to a great start.

  3. Hi, Michelle, and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging. I've been blogging for 8 years, though I currently write only a classic film blog. My parents are very wary of the lack of privacy on the internet, so I didn't have a green light to continue a genealogy blog. Instead, I write my family stories in my Word files. However, I love reading others' genealogy blogs.

    I got into genealogy almost 3 years ago, and I have discovered so much. Like you, though, I have my challenging ancestors. Sometimes, it seems like the brick wall will never come down.

    Happy blogging to you,

  4. Michelle,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  5. I know how frustrating it is to want/need those international records and not be able to sign up right away. I am fortunate that I am able to subscribe to it now though, and I looked up your Samuel Robert Oates. found him in the England & Wales Free BMD Birth Index, 1837-1915. He is listed with his full name Samuel Robert Oates, date of registration is Oct-Nov-Dec 1903, in Penzance, Cornall. Volumn 5c, page 221. There is a link there for ordering the record: javascript:goGRO('Oct-Nov-Dec','recordType=b&yearReg=1903&surname=Oates&given=Samuel Robert&volume=5c&page=221&bp=Cornwall&district=Penzance&country=0', false)
    It looks like it's expensive though. If I'm reading it right, it's $38.

    1. Thank you Cathy! I have found his birth records before, I am just unable to find the parents name listed on a birth certificate. I just have to be patient though, I know I will find it sooner or later