Of course, my research is for me; but I am really researching the ancestry of my only son, Jonathan David Aykroyd, for his benefit. When the rest of us are all dead and gone, and there is no one else left to tell the story, I want him to have a link to his past.
I guess it all started when my brother came across an unknown relative in Buffalo, NY, who had an old Aykroyd family Bible. The information in that Bible included hand written family tree data, some old newspaper Obituary columns, and some other newspaper clippings. At a later time, my mom came across some information on another family link through a distant aunt by way of some old magazine clippings about a plantation museum which was once in the family. And on yet another occasion, while visiting my dad's aunt in Pennsylvania, I was given a copy of an [older] issue of "Who's Who in Pennsylvania", which included one of our clan.
And so, the search was on.
I have spent several birthdays gathering data at the National Archives in Washington DC, and I've recorded additional information by word of mouth from family members. Adding the information from these source to all of the previous information "gifted" to me, I was on my way to becoming "the Family Historian". Who knew?
Not really knowing what I was doing, I used a CAD drafting program I owned to draw my first family tree. The company draftswoman where I worked printed it out for me on 24"x36" paper. Seeing that I was interested in my family tree, she showed me the family tree program she was using (name long since forgotten). I used it for a while, but since converting to Family Tree Maker (Version 10 then), I've been an FTM user since.
I was born on Long Island. My paternall roots are in NY and VA, while my materal roots are in Europe.
I've made several attempts at searching Jonathan's Aykroyd roots, which so far trace back to his G-G-G-G-Grandfather Hiram Aykroyd (1860 Census, Buffalo, NY), a laborer originally from Canada. I have yet to break through the Canadian connection. However, the family Bible has good newspaper obits and a family record leading to that Aykroyd. So I at least know the guy is real. I'll get there.
On my mother's side, I've traced back to Jonathan's G-G- & G-G-G-Grandparents who came over on "the boat" from Europe (Germany & Scottland). I see a lot of Ellis Island requests coming here
Since my research is for my son, it is very important to discuss Jonathan's mother's connection. Unlike many genealogy researchers, I am actually researching two families.
My wife's family is from the Boston area, and as it turns out she is related to the Peobody family, who founded the town of Peabody, MA. Unfortunately, so far the information I have on my wife's ancestry is mostly word of mouth data from family. I have made several [unsuccessful] attempts at researching my wife's family, but I think I'm not looking in the right areas. My wife's heritage includes some immigrants from Europe (Ireland & Scottland) as well. I'm very interested that her heritage also includes Native American ancestry (Crow Tribe). I expect this will be a quite interesting link to follow as I dig into it.
So, to date I've been most heavily involved (engrossed?) in researching Jonathan's Knight ancestry in Virginia . There seem's to be a significant amount of information available here.
On my father's maternal side, Jonathan's Knight roots trace back to Nottoway, VA. Although the links still require further confirmation, I believe I've traced back to pre-American Revolution Virginia. But I have uncovered information recorded in the VA Military Institute (VMI) archives which includes two Civil War Colonels and one Captain in the Confederate Army, and 1 WWI Brigadere General in the US Army.
If you ever pass through Richmond, VA, look up the Wilton Plantation. Originally built in circa 1753 for William Randolph III and owned by the Randolph family