A Sketchy Assignment

I’ve been busy transcribing a long treatise on the life and family of John Keating† of Philadelphia, a “Wild Goose” whose family left Ireland after the failed Jacobite / Williamite War and settled in France. He proceeded to serve in the Irish Brigade of the French Army, and eventually settled in Philadelphia after the French Revolution.

I had the obvious thought while typing it up that I should try my hand at writing brief biographical sketches of my own ancestors. They wouldn’t need to be too long – the goal would be to create something more colorful than a simple list of BMD dates for each ancestor. Obviously, each would be a work in progress, updated as more details and anecdotes are found. I envision adding these sketches to the family history that I publish for my yearly family reunion.

I should have my first family member’s biographical sketch up after I finish transcribing my Philadelphian “cousin”. (I have another thirty pages or so to go, so it might take another week or so…) Perhaps I’ll even make this a semi—weekly regular article on the site.

I challenge readers to write their own biographies‡. Start with one of your emmigrant ancestors. Tell of their immediate family and the story of their immigration. Who were their wives? Children? What job or jobs did they have? Did they die at home? In the darkness of a coal mine? In a foxhole? If you want to share, I’ll be glad to host their story here.


† As far as I’ve been able to determine, John is unrelated, despite our families sharing common Irish names. More study is needed. I wonder if any descendants of that line have done a genealogical DNA study?

‡ Heck, write your own autobiography. You know your own life best, so it is a good way to get started, and your own descendants may thank you one day. Alternatively, Father’s Day is coming up – write your dad’s biography!

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