image from pixabay user rab4y

image from pixabay user rab4y


This is my favorite time of the year! I have always loved fall – tree colors, sweatshirts, pumpkin EVERYTHING, warm drinks, warm soups, campfires, hay-rides, Halloween… I could go on. 🙂

Along with all of those favorite things, it is also Family History Month! And what better way to celebrate than with Amy Johnson Crow’s 31 Days to Better Genealogy? It is a free daily email with tips, tricks, resources, or methods to help your genealogy get better. You can start anytime but what better day than today?

I got my first email today and it’s a simple one really but one that is probably overlooked the most – what are you trying to find?

Really great question. Sometimes I just like to play around and see what I can find, no target in mind. The problem with that is that I can get lost and get nothing accomplished. I would have fun chasing down several genealogy rabbit holes, true, but having a goal in mind keeps me focused and that gets results.

So what is my goal? My long-term goal is one I’ve mentioned before – find out where the Witherell’s come from. I started this journey with that question in mind but I’ve been stuck in New York (figuratively) for the last few years with that question. Mostly because I’ve let myself get distracted by other questions and ancestors, but I would really like to focus on that one and get further back on that line.

Now I’ll need to break that rather large (and general) goal in to smaller, simpler steps.

I have a few people I want to focus on:

  • Ostrom Witherell (born 1885 in Saginaw, Michigan; died 1968 in Vancouver, Canada) – Although it isn’t going to answer my ultimate goal question, I also want to know more about the Witherell’s in my line – it’s more than just putting the name on the tree. I want to know his story and he’s one mystery I would like to have more information on.
  • David Witherell (born about 1813 in New York and died about 1862 in Genesee County, Michigan) – he’s the furthest back I can get with documentation. His possible parents are briefly mentioned in a book that focuses on his wife’s family, and there’s no documentation for that statement. I need more information on him!
  • John Witherell (born ???? and died about 1823 in New York) – This is the possible father of David. His wife was Judith (Bullard) and it was her father’s will that led to the death date of John but I still need a LOT more information on them. They existed, but are they the parents of David?

Obviously those three are rather large questions in themselves and will need to be broken up into smaller parts as well. I’m working on research plans for the three of them and I’ll begin working my way through them this month. I look forward to sharing my findings with you all!


I encourage all of you to sign up for the 31 Days to Better Genealogy – you have nothing to lose and so much to gain!

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