Thursday, January 30, 2014

Great Great Great Grandparents!

When I first started learning about my family's history, I didn't know much about my ancestors. My baby book had a brief family tree in it, much of it nicely filled in by my mother, but it didn't go very far back. You can imagine, I hope, my very great pleasure in discovering generation after generation of relatives and sometimes even finding their photos!

Did you know that you have 32 great great great grandparents? It's true. By the time you get back to generation 12, you have 2,048 ancestors in that generation alone! You can see a pyramid that illustrates the theory of your doubling ancestral generations here. This post is about only two of my great great great (also called "ggg") grandparents. 

The following photos are used with the kind permission of Bill Jonas, who has posted on and on Find a Grave, two websites that have made life easier for family historians. 

Meet Mary Giggey, who was born in 1788 in New Brunswick, Canada. On December 25, 1808 she married ...

... my great great great grandfather, Richard Arnold Crabb, who had also been born in New Brunswick, in 1789. They eventually moved to Illinois, where I'm sure they found the farming easier than in the rocky soil of New Brunswick. 

I don't know much about their lives, yet, but I plan to find out.

Mary died in 1863 and Richard died in 1867, both in Illinois. They are thought to have been buried in the Van Vlack Cemetery, Kane County, Illinois. Their names appear on a list for the cemetery, but their actual headstones have not been located. There is apparently a pile of broken and/or unreadable headstones at the back of the cemetery, which could include theirs. All of this information comes from the Find a Grave entries for Richard and Mary.

I think they look pretty stern. Sure, I know it wasn't the fashion to smile for the photographer back then, but still--these two look like they wouldn't stand for any nonsense. 

WikiTree has a nifty relationship finder that will figure out how you are related to members of your family. The trail from me back to my ggg grandfather Richard looks like this: 

The relationship trail:

Clair is the daughter of Elva M. Rodriguez.
Elva is the daughter of David J. Crabtree, Sr.
David is the son of Sarah A. Kinney.
Sarah Kinney is the daughter of Sarah Crabtree.
Sarah Crabtree is the daughter of Richard A. Crabb.*
 Therefore, Richard is the third great grandfather of Clair.

*Just a note on our family names. Some generations of my mother's ancestors called themselves Crabb, while others called themselves Crabtree. Our branch's name was officially changed to Crabtree in 1910, at the request of large group of family members and by order of a probate court in Maine. 

But wait, the Kinneys were also called Kenney or Kenny, and even Kinne. The Giggeys were sometimes called Guiggeys. Now, do you see why genealogy is so much fun?


  1. Wow, what amazing photos! Looks like serious times.

  2. From my half-sister, Joan:
    Warren has an ancestor with the name of Kenney as well --also from Canada - Nova Scotia I think. Also Lennon/ Lannon --in Ireland I was told spelling of names was not priority--spelling in general was not priority --think Foynes/Faynes ect.

    All so interesting --the photos are not very flattering tho --mostly for identity most likely--alive or dead you look the same?


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