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Looking back to 2021, forward to 2022

The very best part of falling headlong into family history research is the stories.

Stories in The Legal Genealogist’s family take us back a long way in America on the maternal side and in Germany on the paternal side.

Stories that begin, in this country, in the late 1600s. Stories in Germany that we can take all the way back to the late 1500s.

Some of them, astoundingly, given my family’s tendency never to let the truth get in the way of a good story, that may even possibly be true.


And some of the possibly-true ones — that is, the ones that I’ve managed to document with something other than a marginal note that one of the family storytellers told me so — had very big milestones in 2021 or will have big milestones here in 2022.

These “big milestones” are events that were exactly 50 or 100 or 150 or 200 or 250 years ago — or more! — during the year.1

And they’re the kinds of milestones that we shouldn’t allow to pass without pausing to reflect.

Looking back

In 2021, for example, in the 250-year milestone category, we had the recorded militia service of a sixth great grandfather, John Pettypool, in Granville County, North Carolina, in Captain James Yancey’s company of foot.2

In the 200-year milestone category, sigh, the reported birth of my nemesis second great grandfather George Washington Cottrell.3 I say “reported” because it doesn’t square with other facts which, to George, were just details, right? Love ya, George.

In the 150-year milestone category, we had the birthday of my mother’s maternal grandfather, Jasper Carlton Robertson,4 and in the 100-year milestone category, the birth of my father, Hugo Hermann Geissler, in Bremen, Germany, on 5 July 1921.5

Looking forward

And in 2022, there are a lot of milestones coming up as well. And because this is not only a look at milestones, but a look at milestones on the first DNA Sunday of 2022, I’m looking mostly at milestones that are — or could be — important to the genetic history of the family as well.

In the 250-year milestone category, we have the reported birth, on 11 April 1772, of Eve Anna Shew, oldest known daughter of my fifth great grandfather Philip Shew of Guilford and Wilkes Counties, North Carolina. The exact birthdate is family lore, though there is some support for it. Eve Anna married (John) Henry Lenderman in Wilkes County in November 1805.6 The Lendermans were enumerated in Wilkes County in 1810, with both adults being over age 26 (so born before 1784),7 and can’t be located for certain in 1820, but were in Indiana with many of the Shews by 1830, when the adults in the household were recorded as between 50-59 years of age, or born between 1770 and 1780.8 By 1850, Eve Anna was widowed, living with her son Leonard, in Indiana, shown as age 74, or born in 1776.9 She was recorded as age 88, or born 1772, in the 1860 census in the household of her daughter Dorothy Boatman’s family,10 and as an astounding age 99 — or born 1771 — in 1870, still living with her daughter’s family.11 So 1772 is a serious possibility. Her DNA connection? We don’t know who her mama was. Philip named his wife as Susannah in his 1832 will,12 and there was an 1814 marriage bond for a Philip Shew and a Salley York13 — but that was Eve Anna’s brother and wife, not her father and wife. So I’d love to connect with Eve Anna’s descendants, and particularly her direct female line descendants, for an mtDNA test to try to find her mother and Philip’s wife.

In the 200-year milestone category, the delight of a marriage on 3 January 1822 between William M. Robertson and Deliah Moore14 — my third great grandparents. Linking these two together was easy; linking them as mine, not so much — but now pretty well established. The documentary evidence is strong,15 The DNA connection here? A blissful 80 matches between the older members of my family and descendants of William M. Robertson on Ancestry alone — and 70 to Deliah Moore’s parents. Talk about confirming the documentary evidence…

In the 150-year milestone category, I’m going with a batch of cousins in Iowa, all born in or around 1872. Nellie Moore was the daughter of Louisa C. Baker and William K. Moore, granddaughter of William Baker, and great granddaughter of my third great grandparents Martin and Elizabeth (Buchanan) Baker, which makes her my second cousin twice removed. Louise Katherine Heindel was the daughter of Lydia Dulcina Baker and Jacob Heindel, and also the granddaughter of William and great granddaughter of Martin and Elizabeth — another second cousin twice removed. And Maud Marsden was the daughter of Julia E. Baker and William P. Marsden, and also the granddaughter of William and great granddaughter of Martin and Elizabeth — yet another second cousin twice removed. Now, in candor, the 1872 birthdates are probably off for two of the three. Maud’s is recorded in the California death index as 11 December 1872,16 but while Louise’s birth date looks like it should be 1872 from census records, the Society Security Death Index says it was 25 July 1871,17 and Nellie’s tombstone says 1871 as well.18 Hey close enough. And the DNA connection, of course, is to try to find descendants in my match list or those of my older relatives to confirm the links.

In the 100-year milestone category, the birth on 29 December 1922 of Mary Leila (Rudolph) Scott in Hall County, Texas. A second cousin once removed in my Robertson line, she died in her home state of Texas early in 2020.19 The critical importance of this cousin’s DNA to my family history research was told just days ago in the post “Those first DNA testers…,”20 and I will be forever grateful for her help in disproving silly stories about Native American ancestry.21

And in the 50-year milestone category, in keeping with my longstanding tradition of remembering those who didn’t live long enough to leave stories of their own… the birth on 11 January 1972, and death just three days later, of my little cousin Ned Aaron Pilcher, a second cousin once removed in my Cottrell line.22 His mama, my second cousin, has been a joy to collaborate with in our family history — and, yes, has DNA-tested; she is not alone in mourning what the 50 years of this child’s life might have added.

Each of these, a story of its own, to find and to tell. And these are the stories we all have in our families, aren’t they? And they are, in truth, one of the real reasons why we do genealogy at all.

Why I have to write this blog.

Why I have to tell the stories.

To make sure that those I remember aren’t forgotten… that these milestones continue to be remembered down through the generations.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Milestones, 2022,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 2 Jan 2022).


  1. Okay, okay, so close enough to exactly, okay?
  2. Roster of the Granville County Militia, in Waler Clark, ed., State Records of North Carolina, vol. 22 (Goldsboro, NC: Nash Bros., printers, 1907), 163; digital images, HathiTrust Digital Library ( : accessed 4 Jan 2021).
  3. Survivor’s Brief, 17 February 1890, pension application no. 7890 (Rejected), for service of George W. Cotrell of Texas; Mexican War Pension Files; Records of the Bureau of Pensions and its Predecessors 1805-1935; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  4. Oklahoma State Board of Health, death certificate 3065 (1912), Jasper C. Robertson; Bureau of Vital Statistics, Oklahoma City. And see interview with Opal Robertson Cottrell (Kents Store, VA), by Bobette Richardson, 1980s; copy of notes privately held by the author. Opal Cottrell was the grandmother of Bobette Richardson and the author.
  5. Bremen Standesamt (City Register), Geburten (Births), Nr. 2888, 1921, Hugo Hermann Geissler. Also, Evangelische Zionskirche, Bremen, Kirchenbuch, Taufregister Nr. 3 aus 1922, Baptismal Record of Hugo Hermann Geissler, 12 Feb 1922.
  6. Wilkes County, NC, marriage bond, Henry Lenderman and Eve Shew, 2 Nov 1805; digital images, DGS 004364153, image 519, ( : accessed 2 Jan 2022); imaged from North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.
  7. 1810 U.S. census, Wilkes County, North Carolina, p. 858 (penned), line 22, Henry Leanderman household; digital image, ( : accessed 2 Jan 2022); imaged from NARA microfilm M252, roll 43.
  8. 1830 U.S. census, Vigo County, Indiana, p. 92 (penned and stamped), Henry Lenderman household; digital image, ( : accessed 2 Jan 2022); imaged from NARA microfilm M19, roll 30.
  9. 1850 U.S. census, Vigo County, Indiana, population schedule, p. 182 (stamped), dwelling 96, family 97, Eveanna Lenderman; digital image, ( : accessed 2 Jan 2022); imaged from NARA microfilm M432, roll 177.
  10. 1860 U.S. census, Parke County, Indiana, population schedule, Florida, p. 185 (penned), dwelling 1267, family 1246, Eveanna Lenderman; digital image, ( : accessed 2 Jan 2022); imaged from NARA microfilm M653, roll 287.
  11. 1870 U.S. census, Parke County, Indiana, population schedule, Florida, p. 65(A) (stamped), dwelling 334, family 326, Evana Lenderman; digital image, ( : accessed 2 Jan 2022); imaged from NARA microfilm M593, roll 349.
  12. Wilkes County, North Carolina, Will Book 4:159; North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.
  13. Wilkes County, North Carolina, Marriage Bond, 1814, Philip Shew to Salley York; North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.
  14. Monroe County, Mississippi, Marriage records 1821-1825, Robertson-Moore, 3 Jan 1822; DGS 7600989, image 170 (digital image provided via lookup service, not yet online), Family ( : accessed 2 Jan 2022); imaged from Monroe County Circuit Clerk, Monroe County Courthouse, Aberdeen.
  15. See Judy G. Russell, “Landing the fourths,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 22 Dec 2020 ( : accessed 2 Jan 2022).
  16. “California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997,” database, entry for Maude M Anwyl ( : accessed 2 Jan 2022).
  17. “U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014,” database, entry for Louise D. Kinkaid ( : accessed 2 Jan 2022).
  18. Columbus City Cemetery, Louisa County, Iowa, Nellie K. Hull marker; digital image, Find A Grave ( : accessed 2 Jan 2022).
  19. See Fairview Cemetery North Section, Memphis, Hall County, Texas, Mary Leila “Pug” Rudolph Scott memorial; database, Find A Grave ( : accessed 2 Jan 2022).
  20. Those first DNA testers…,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 26 Dec 2021).
  21. I really don’t care about cheekbones or straight dark hair. We don’t have Native American ancestry. Really. Get over it.
  22. Texas State Department of Health, death certificate no. 01839, Ned Aaron Pilcher, 14 Jan 1972; Bureau of Vital Statistics, Austin.
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