Author Archives: Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens, CG

A Genealogy Happy Dance

Video by Cyndi Ingle. I spent the past two weeks in Salt Lake City on my annual research trip in search of my ever-elusive ancestors. This year’s target was my mom’s Finlay line. My mother was born Phyllis Adele Finlay on 10 January 1928 in Long Branch, NJ. Here’s a snippet from her pedigree: I have previously written about my great-grandfather Richard Finlay. On this trip, I was looking for more information about Richard’s father Richard Finlay. I had previously […]

I Know This Face…

While viewing some cartes-de-visite (CDV) photo images that I have, I came across the image below. This woman is a relative of some sort, but I don’t know who she is or how she is related. And she haunts me because she has the facial features of women on my mother’s side of the family. I did a little research on the photographer listed on the back, G. W. Pach, and narrowed down the time frame to 1877-1881 in Long […]

Finding an Unexpected Sister

It has been nearly five years since I have added to this blog. Lots of excuses. Life gets in the way. I didn’t want to write. I was uninspired. Bla bla bla. Anyway, I want to write again so let’s get to it. I recently submitted my renewal application for Certified Genealogist® to the Board for Certification of Genealogists. This was the first time I had to prepare a work sample using the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS), as the requirement […]

Walter’s War

Reenacting took center stage for me this past weekend, so I didn’t take the time to reflect on my father’s military service. Walter Albert Kelley Jr. (12 December 1924-6 October 2003) served in the Army Air Corps from April 1943 to May 1946, spending the last year of his enlistment near Calcutta, India. He did not see any combat duty but rather spent the first two years in Signal Corps training. In his own words, “After basic training, I was […]

Funeral Card Friday: William Presley the Deceiver

William Presley is my great-grandfather, my mother’s maternal grandfather. He has been a research challenge from start to [not yet] finished. Thankfully, I absconded with the funeral card above early in my genealogy research career. William died 10 December 1893 possibly in Long Branch, Monmouth County, New Jersey. He was actually 48 when he died, not 47 as the funeral card indicates. I know this because, despite all of William’s attempts to deceive me, I have proven that he was […]

How Many Women, Richard?

Richard Finlay has been a challenge throughout my genealogical research career. He is my great-grandfather, my mother’s grandfather. Richard was born 14 January 1845 in Markham Township, York County, Ontario, Canada, to Richard Finlay and Mary Stewart, both allegedly from Scotland and/or Ireland. I’ve been pretty unsuccessful at finding Richard or his family in the 1851 or 1861 Ontario censuses, but do have a will for his father. Richard (Jr.) claims to have come to the U.S. in 1863 in […]