1787 Seth Babb Homestead featured in Early American Life Magazine

I was thrilled to learn that Early American Life Magazine has an article on Seth’s place in their May/June issue. Since newsstands aren’t exactly common these days, I’m re-posting the article here for you to read. It’s a short piece, but they worked with the museum to obtain background and pictures from the Log Raising we did in 2011.

Click on the thumbnails below for the full sized pages.

No More Money Panic: How to Prepare for Baby on a Budget

Prologue: Alex discovered our blog while helping a friend research their family tree. She wanted to share her specialty with us and wrote this article to help prospective parents align their finances to their new lifestyle. It’s a little different than our usual content, but well worth a read for our younger audiences.

by Alex Hall, guest writer

Preparing for a new baby can trigger serious financial anxiety. Between buying everything you need for the baby to shopping for health insurance and child care, there’s a lot of money going out. If you have maternity leave on the horizon or plan to leave work after having your child, there might be a lot less money coming in too. It’s enough to cause any new parent to worry, but there are lots of ways to save money when preparing for parenthood.

Why Are Finances so Important?

Financial responsibility isn’t just about keeping your bank account in the black. Living according to your means is also important to your mental health. Constantly worrying about money is stressful. While it might not feel like a big deal in the day-to-day, over time, that chronic stress takes a serious toll on your mental well-being, including increasing your risk of postpartum depression.

Budget-Friendly Tips for New Parents

These money-smart tips will help you get ready for parenthood without the financial stress.

Practice living on a smaller budget

No matter how frugal you are, babies cost money. Make a budget reflecting your finances after your child is born, including additional expenses and lost income due to unpaid leave or a stay-at-home parent. Then, practice living on your new budget. Doing this as early as possible gives you time to make adjustments if you realize the budget is unsustainable.

Pad your savings account

Living on a smaller budget has another benefit: It forces you to save money. Even with a meticulous budget, you’ll be glad to have a healthy emergency fund when unexpected expenses inevitably arise.

Buy some things secondhand

Babies grow at breakneck speed, so it doesn’t make sense to buy dozens of brand new outfits and toys your baby will only use for a short time. Don’t stop there; you can also buy changing tables, baby baths, and other baby gear from friends, yard sales, or thrift stores. Just don’t buy breast pumps or car seats second-hand, and think twice before buying a used crib.

When you have to buy new, shop smart

Trips to the mall are fun and a great way to try before you buy, but when it comes time to make a purchase, you’re better off doing it online. When you shop online, you can do product research and hunt for sales, promo codes, and third-party discounts that you’d never find in stores. Check department stores like Macy’s first, as that’s typically where you’ll find the steepest discounts. When you’re in the third trimester, doesn’t shopping from your couch sound way more fun than dealing with mall parking anyway?

Outsource what you can

When you’re a new parent, you discover that you suddenly don’t have time to do all of the things you used to. So, if you can find ways to outsource some of the chores that once consumed a large portion of your day, don’t hesitate to do so! For example, if you’re having trouble keeping the house in great shape after your baby arrives, set aside a little money to hire a maid service to do the job for you. However, keep in mind that in The Colony, you’ll pay between $128 and $200 on a house cleaning, though this number will vary depending on the size of your home. Also, if a friend or relative offers to make you dinner, don’t be shy — take them up on the offer!

Don’t overdo the nursery

It’s tempting to go overboard decorating your child’s bedroom, especially if it’s your first baby. But kids outgrow their tastes quickly and designing with pastels and baby animals will have you redecorating in a few years. A budget-friendly approach is painting in neutral colors and relying on temporary fixtures like pictures and stuffed animals to add a theme. If you’re concerned about replacing furniture as your baby turns into a preschooler, look for multifunctional furniture like convertible cribs (you can find these on buybuyBABY starting at $129).

Think twice before upsizing

Bigger family, bigger home — right? Not so fast: Unless your budget supports a larger house, you’re better off staying put. It’s a risky move to spend more than 30 percent of your income on a house, and bigger homes not only come with bigger mortgages but also higher utilities and property tax bills. On top of it all, that’s more square footage to clean when you’re sleep deprived caring for a newborn. Young children don’t mind living in tight quarters, so skip the upsize and save that extra money instead.

Anxiety and self-doubt are common in new parents, especially when it comes to money. You worry about your ability to provide for your children, to save for college, to help them achieve their dreams. Before getting overwhelmed, take a deep breath: You don’t need to have it all figured out right now. But by getting your budget in order before your child arrives, you know you’re on the right track.

Image via Pexels

Naming Private Ryan

A co-worker took a flight recently and knowing my passion for all things genealogy (seriously, it’s pretty hard to miss) snapped a picture of this article in American Way Magazine.

The website has a very noble mission to bring the voices back to the millions of people in the photos from the Civil War. This technology, once perfected, stands the chance to help re-identify pictures of your ancestors that you have never seen.

Daniel Peter Babb

I have uploaded a picture of Daniel Peter Babb, whose photo stood out to me in our collection. Because I already know Daniel’s identity it is even more important to upload it to give the possibility to match to another photo someone else may upload.

Please upload any photos you have of your ancestors from the Civil War era to help that process out. If you aren’t able to do so yourself, please send me a copy of the photo and I’ll upload it for you.

Their website is located at: https://www.civilwarphotosleuth.com/


I came across this record tonight and it stood out to me. Ann Babb was convicted of Larceny in May of 1852 in Yorkshire “West Riding”. In my travails over the last few years I’ve discovered that there were three destinations in Yorkshire (not including the pudding). You either lived inside York, or you lived to the East or West of the city.

This is how this county in England was laid out. The exact story of Ann’s crime is unknown to me at this time, but what is sure is that she was sentenced to server 3 months for her crime (second from the last entry on the page).

But what is Larceny, I asked. I’ve heard of it in the terms of Grand Larceny, but didn’t know what it meant.

Bing to the rescue:

lar·ce·ny[ˈlärs(ə)nē] NOUN theft of personal property.See also grand larceny, petty larceny.synonyms:theft · stealing · robbery · pilfering · thieving · thievery · purloining · burglary · housebreaking · breaking and entering · appropriation · expropriation · misappropriation · [more]

After reading the above definition I realized that she stole something. I’m not sure what it was, but I hope it was worth 3 months in prison.

Regardless, we have this account of her life to live for all time.

Ann, it turns out is the daughter of John, Grand-daughter of John, Great Grand-daughter of John, 2nd Great Grand-daughter of Joseph Babb, 3rd Great Grand-daughter of John Babb who is the founder of Devon Pedigree 12.

This is one of the untested lineages of Devon, England. So if this story aligns to your family tree please contact me. We need your DNA to help us complete a profile of the Babbs of Devonshire.

A new DNA line…sort of

I always get excited when the results from a new DNA test come in. There is always the potential to shake things up. That is certainly the case with the latest results I received from a member who has a strong paper trail inside the Green Men of Maryland Babb lineage.

DNA has a way of constantly surprising me with new and ingenious ways to slap me down and ruin the plan I had so clearly laid out in my head. But life like DNA is complicated and this is no exception.

While the paper trail shows a connection to the Green Men of Maryland, the DNA trail instead shows a connection to the North Carolina / Eastern Virginia Babbs.

Now, the North Carolina Babbs have long been shrouded in mystery with a number of disjointed families that couldn’t be connected via the paper trail. But we had seemed to be past that and have a good number of test takers that show as 37 marker exact matches.

Not so in this case. Of the first 12 DNA Markers this candidate matches 11 of the first 12 Markers to the NC/Eastern VA line. The 12th Marker (known as DYS439) is a fast mover in DNA terms and changes more rapidly than most of the others and is more likely to mismatch than the others. This is exactly the case in this instance, so I wasn’t discouraged to find it was different and initially assumed that something must be wrong with the paper trail. I had some free time last night and began checking the paper trail for any hints of an error that could have caused this. I found that the paper trail is very solid so I was even more perplexed.

Click on me for a full sized image

Our Candidate only matches to 7 of the first 12 Markers on the Green Men of Maryland line, but with very few candidates from this branch it is too soon to say how this would shake out.

Here is what Family Tree DNA says about 12 Marker matches

Next I went back to the drawing board looking to see why it was I only had a 12 marker match when the person took a modern day advanced test that includes 111 Markers.

The plot thickens when I realize that of the first 37 Markers we only have a match to 20 of them. This is no Bueno. So, while the initial assessment looked like a match after we compared using additional markers this does not appear to be the case.

We can only speculate as to why this is the case. Perhaps two families in the same village in England adopted this name and came over together to the US? Perhaps there is a “Non-Paternal Event” on one or more sides? Perhaps one of the members of the family was abducted and impregnated by aliens? We may never know why this aberration in the numbers occurs, but if history is a guide the DNA will keep us guessing for a number of years before unveiling its real secrets. More candidates are needed from the Maryland Babb lines to DNA test so that we can help get to the bottom of this issue. In the meantime we have a whole new Puzzling Mystery of the North Carolina/Easter Virginia Babb Family.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to create a new sub-group of the Green Men of Maryland so as to preserve/honor the connection while we continue to research it. In the long run this is likely to become its own unique lineage be additional matches are needed to say for sure.

Women’s Liberation 2019

I have spent the last several weeks coming through 2500 photos of people in the Master Tree and trying to normalize the names presented in the photos.

I recently posted about how cumbersome that is, but something else has struck me that I’d like to share. On a recent trip to Lake Travis near Austin, TX a friend was sharing a story about his future son-in-law coming to his house to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. I thought this was sweet, but another person in the car had a different take.

He thought it was an outdated tradition that took women’s power from them and placed it into the hands of a man. He went on to say that two men shouldn’t decide if a woman should get married and that it made her feel more like property than an equal.

In my mind, these days, the woman still has the final say, but should the father say “NO” what happens next? Does the groom go forward and ask the potential bride? Or does he simply walk away?

This has haunted me as I stare at thousands of pictures of women that have no last name in history. Not because they didn’t have one, but because it wasn’t important enough to record it. So many women were just Mrs. Sew and Sew.

So, I’m working to reassemble both the Maiden and Married names of these women to record as much information about them as possible. History has not been kind to these women and I spent a good bit of time trying to figure out who Mrs. Graham was. She was the mother of the wife of Theodore “Dot” Adolphus Babb who was captured by the Comanche Indians as a child and went on to great fame and published a book about his experience that is still being reprinted today.

This fame is the only reason we know of a good bit of Dot’s family. In the book he includes this picture which is titled only as Mrs. Graham, Dot’s Mother.

I struggled to find her at first because Dot’s birth mother is Elizabeth Ann Jenkins, who of course married a Babb (or we wouldn’t be having this conversation). I went on to discover that Dot’s wife’s full name was Emma Patricia Graham. Even Emma Patricia’s Headstone shows this disregard for her identity and only lists her as Dot’s wife Pattie.

So, it seemed apparent that Mrs. Graham was Emma Patricia’s mother. But how do you find a record that proves her name when all you have is two names when neither of them is hers? This was the challenge I had.

Fortunately, I’m a crafty researcher and I managed to find a Death Certificate for Emma Patricia (Graham) Babb which lists her fathers full name of Robert H Graham and her mother’s as M. A. Hauks. This gave me a portion of the story with a last name to work from. It also gave me Emma’s first name which also wasn’t encapsulated in the book.

From there I was able to find an 1860 Census record which lists her as Minerva A. Babb. Combining the two I have reconstructed most of her full name as Minerva A Hauks.

This sequence has played itself out dozens of times over these last few weeks and made me more determined than ever to reclaim these women’s identities. After all they represent half of our collective ancestry and deserve equal time.

There isn’t a perfect solution to this as it is impossible to tell if the woman adopted her married name or not (which is quite common these days). But going forward I will endeavor to reference every woman by both her Maiden and Married names. This will be most evident in Photographs and will certainly help sort out the vast number of Mary and Sarah’s in our tree.

Thus it is taking me longer than expected to go through this exercise, but I believe it is well worth it to provide a voice to these women and to tell their stories properly. So, Mrs. Graham is now: Minerva A (Hauks) Babb.

I hope you enjoy the last 10 days of Women’s History Month. This is our history and I’m so glad that we are able to finally start telling the story of these amazing women!

Most American Adoptees Can’t Access Their Birth Certificates. That Could Be About to Change.

For anyone whose family has been touched by adoption, you likely already know how it is often almost impossible to understand your family history. Over the last few years I’ve spent an extraordinary amount of time trying to help adoptees locate information on their Ancestry. This often comes with mixed results and DNA research often unseals those family secrets anyway. So, I’m glad to see legislation start to move forward that will give options for the first time to many.

Here is a link to the article written today on MotherJones.com.

Most American Adoptees Can’t Access Their Birth Certificates. That Could Be About to Change