Sunday, July 1, 2007

July 1, 2007

I've been happily tracking down new family history and websites on the Akin line, thanks to my contact with cousin Terry Akin through cousin Larry Akin. Terry has carefully put much Akin information on the website It is a free website where people can enter information about people and which cemetery they are buried in. Since Terry is my 3rd cousin once removed we share many relations that lived in Chautauqua Co., New York near Jamestown in the southwest corner of the state. I've spent many days, over three different years, driving around the area and researching my ancestors in that county, which also includes the Stevens, and the Blandings up in the Silver Creek area. Terry is my closest Akin relation that is doing genealogy and we are very happy to have found each other. Anyway, I was able to send him the tombstones photographs that I took at the Stillwater Cemetery and the Busti Cemetery. The oldest tombstone pictures are of Joseph Akin (1761 - 1847) (pictured) and wife Elsey Holloway (1760-1833) who were among the very first settlers in the Jamestown area. The photo on the right is of the original Akin homestead area at the Stillwater, Kiantone Twp, Chautauqua County, NY. Joseph traveled from near Albany along trails to purchase land from the Holland Land Co. near Erie. Then he probably sailed down the coast of Lake Erie to Westfield area and then followed Indian or trapper trails back eastward to claim his land in 1807, on the east end of Lake Chautauqua. He tried to establish a village called "Akinville" - but wanted to lease the lots instead of sell them fee simple. So eventually Jamestown became established and more popular. But Joseph had the first house in the township.

My great-great grandfather, David Akin moved west from Chautauqua County New York, to Wisconsin to teach, but became ill with tuberculosis. Terry's great-great grandfather, John Howard Akin, Jr. asked his younger 25 yr old brother, David, to come back to New York and stay with him and sit in the sun in his apple orchard, so he could get well. David did return to his brother's farm and he was identified as staying with him in the 1860 census. Luckily for me, David did recover, and went back to Wisconsin to marry Sarah Minerva Ells. Together David & Minerva and their Squier cousins then moved west on to new land in Goodhue County, Minnesota, to farm and establish the town of Skyberg. David Akin had dairy cows and built a school house on his property for the community. Good thing too, as he had 12 children. On the left is a picture of apple blossoms I took around Busti near John Howard Akin, Jr's land. The lower left picture is David & Minerva Akins in Minnesota about 1927. The picture on the right is David's brother, John Howard Akin, Jr. in New York in earlier years.

It's really fascinating history around there. Guess what Westfield, NY is famous for??? Two things - Welchs Grape Juice and the place where President Lincoln got off a train and a little girl said he'd look better with a beard -- and the rest was history.

I finally had to stop doing the fun things and settle down to getting my stuff together for my big trip to the Mainland. I courageously and cautiously approached my old Vaio laptop computer - which was such a faithful friend on my two-year Vagabond roots-finding journey - and attempted to start it. I bought it in 2000. After a few coughs, it started right up when plugged in. I don't think the batteries are any good anymore. Anyway the next challenge was to find the external CD player that connects to the laptop and see if I could download the latest version of my Family Tree Maker program. Amazingly it worked. The next challenge was to move my present 432 megabyte Family Tree file onto a flash drive, from my PC, and that went surprisingly well. Then with that flash drive stuck into the Vaio laptop I hoped beyond hope it would work, so I could transfer the family file to the laptop. But no, the laptop couldn't find the driver for the flash drive - of course. The Vaio laptop has Windows 98 still on it and the modem no longer works, but if I find the CD that came with my other the little flash drive and load the driver, it would work.... But the little flash drive is only 128 megabytes, so it wouldn't work. Anyway, I decided to burn the family file from my PC to a CD and copy it to the laptop. This worked!!! But then the copied file in the laptop is a read-only, so I had to re-copy it in the laptop and rename the file in order to be able to edit it. At last all systems are go, and I can pack up the laptop in hopes it will work when I attend the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Indiana in August.

Now I have to collect all the stuff I'll need for my iPod and iPod microphone, for my Sony VideoCamera, my Sony digital still camera, and who knows what other crazy gadgets I must have. The worst thing is that I have to carry it all onto the airplane. So let's see: Laptop computer, two cameras, iPod, cell phone, all the cords for recharging the items, food, ear plugs, empty water bottle to fill up after security, a book, chapstick, medications - what else needs to be in the carry on? I'll be flying the ATA red-eye, an all-night delight from Hawaii to Las Vegas, then on to Tucson.... Oh yes, I need to carry-on my noise canceling headphones. Of course I'll have to remember to print out my e-ticket boarding passes before I leave.

I don't know if I'll be able to add to this blog while I'm gone, but maybe I'll be able to use my daughter's computer to do it. So until then, I'll say aloha. Don't forget to add comments to any of the pages.

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