Welcome to another installment of “Meet our Members”! It’s time to get to know another awesome person who is part of our outstanding community. Meet Doug:
Doug is the top poster in our G2G Forum and very helpful answering questions there. He also leads our Integrators Project as well as our One Name Study project.
I’m listed on WikiTree as Douglas Lockwood. I go by Doug. My Dad named me for his hero, General Douglas MacArthur. I feel very blessed to be able to participate in this interview. Over a year ago, I received a liver transplant due to a genetic disease. I’m told I only had several days to live at the time of the operation. Since then I have dedicated my life to helping others as I am able. Currently, the best I can do is help others by answering their questions on G2G. As I continue to heal I hope to do more.
Surnames you are researching:
I search all names related to my family tree and that of my beloved wife. The prominent names in my tree are Lockwood, Turse, Bowers, Granger. A little further back are the names Grinrod, Corn, Straut, Conklin, Rudlum, Federlichner, Lauth, Wood & Mellor. The prominent names in my wife’s tree are Schiffhauer, Woodruff, Barnes, Stokes, Wunder, Selby, Braddock, Trimble & Merritt.
Locations you are researching:
My Lockwood line has origins in and around Brighouse, Yorkshire, England. My mother’s Toers/Tuers/Turse line originates around Amsterdam, Netherlands. Both lines were immigrants to northern New Jersey and southern New York. My wife’s lines originated in the German/Swiss Alps and England/Ireland. They all immigrated to southern New York and southern New Jersey.
When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?
I guess I owe my interest in genealogy to being an incorrigible child. I’m told I “mouthed off” a lot to my Mom. After getting my mouth washed out with soap, or whatever the appropriate punishment was, I would normally get banished to my room for a few days. With nothing else to do, I started reading all the history books my parents had put in my room.
Considering my track record for banishment, it did not take long for me to develop an intense interest in history. It was not long after that I started asking my parents about our history. To my amazement, neither of them knew much at all about their family beyond their grandparents.
It wasn’t until the late 1990’s that I started my research. Eventually I ran across the Guild of One Name Studies which listed a Lockwood study. I checked it out and found people in it that I recognized. For me this was like finding the Holy Grail. From this study I have found cousins, lots of info to build on and the best is yet to come.
Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?
My Dad. He is my hero. He had a hard life growing up in the Great Depression. He served in WWII and was highly decorated while serving as a tail gunner in the B 29 bomber City of Trenton, named after his hometown of Trenton, NJ.
He went on to become a very successful aviation engineer working as a civilian employee of the U.S. Navy and retired with the equivalent civilian rank of rear admiral. He was a very intelligent, selfless, humble family man.
Tell us about the brick wall you most want to tear down.
I imagine most of us have more than one including me. However, if I have to pick one I would have to say finding the truth behind the parentage of my 3x great grandfather John Lockwood (1793-1868).
Apparently, records say he is the illegitimate son of Mary Lockwood. No father listed in birth record. I recently received an email from a cousin in England explaining that a persistent story in his family is that John was fathered by Sir Thomas Lister, 1st Lord of Ribblesdale. He went on to say that the Lister family paid the way for the Lockwoods (several dozen) to move to the states in the 1850’s.
I find that to be an interesting story, but how do I find out the truth? I have taken the appropriate DNA tests, but do not have any samples to compare. The last direct male Lister heirs died in war before 1920. I guess some things will have to be left to speculation.
If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?
Jesus …how cool is that???
What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?
I had a swimming scholarship in college and still love to be involved with competitive swimming, officiating, etc. Also, I have been a landscape designer for over thirty years and love gardening, especially with flowers and vegetables. Aside from that I am learning to play the guitar, although I doubt Eric Clapton(one of my favorites) has much to worry about; and I love history and science(I was born in Philadelphia, PA and live in Williamsburg, VA – two cradles of American history). Hopefully, soon I will have grandchildren to indulge.
How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?
I joined WikiTree on November 6, 2013. It took me a month or two to get the hang of it. Once that happened I became very active. Now the only time I’m not on-line several hours a day is when I don’t feel well or have appointments.
What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?
As I think most people would say, the friendly atmosphere and spirit of collaboration are quite infective. WikiTree has given me a way to pursue genealogy and communicate in a positive way with people around the world. I don’t know how much more I could ask for. I also love the free space profiles. Being able to create silly things like a page dedicated to my many cats is very meaningful to me, as well as, a page dedicated to my Dad’s military career.
The only thing I don’t like is the rare occasion that emotions run high….life is too short.
Oh, I almost forgot – I’m still having a heck of a time figuring out all the fancy coding you can do to make profiles really stand out.
Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?
It takes a little while to figure out all the neat things you can do, stay positive and no matter what….be polite, we’re all striving for the same goal..
If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?
Please don’t laugh at all the mistakes I made trying to piece our family tree together. Document your life because it comes and goes before you know it.