Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Dorothy.

Dorothy has been a WikiTreer since November of 2014 and has been very active. She has made over 1,000 contributions almost every month for years. She is currently a Greeter, RangerIntegrator, ModeratorVolunteer Coordinator, and Project Coordinator. She also coordinates six One Name Studies.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Barry, Fleming, TaftLaflamme and Cavanaugh.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Connecticut, Rhode Island, Canada, Ireland and France.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

Back in Sept 2014, I started out with contacting my known cousins, some which I haven’t talked to since high school. I made myself a flow chart and tried connecting the dots if you will. I also received a family bible (belonging to my father) with some photos that really helped with my father’s ancestry during that time. The bible had his cousins’ names in it as witnesses to his marriage to my mother back in 1940.  I had a friend who used Ancestry.com so I started searching there, but you had to be a paid member. I did get some hints but not for long. I did the 30 day trial membership and worked many hours that month collecting all I could. Then that ended. I did some more searching online and found WikiTree. What sold me on WikiTree was you could ask questions on the G2G forum and other members would help research and submit their findings.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why? 

A lady with the same name as my mother and myself: Dorothy (Dolly) Berry also known as Barry. She was born 1901, native of West Village, Manhattan, New York. Dorothy was committed to helping poor people, street people, and particularly addicts. She helped start a 12-Step NA group in New York City, with Daniel L. Carlsen. They also started it in the New York Federal Prison System and called it Narcotics Anonymous. She was ordained as a minister in the Salvation Army in 1927. In 1945 she was named director of the Salvation Army’s Eastern Territorial Correctional Service Bureau for Women, a post she held until she retired in 1964. In 1959, she received the New York State Welfare Conference Direct Service Award for her help to women who have been in trouble with the law. Dorothy had obtained the rank of Brigadier General with the Salvation Army. She was affectionately called “Brigadier Dolly”. Maybe that’s why I wanted to join the Women’s Army Corps a week after I graduated from High School. (I ended up serving 20 years).

 Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

When I first started I ran into problems connecting my father to his ancestors because I had limited information. When I got past his father and grandfather, I couldn’t find any more out so I posted on the g2g forum and gave what  information I had: Frank Barry was born in Canada in 1824. He was married to Margarett (Unknown) Barry. Frank is the Father of Frank BarryMary BarrySelina (Barry) LambertPeter Barry and Eliza Barry . The 1880 United States Federal Census Record Census & Voter Lists shows daughter Selina Barry (then 22) with her brother Frank Barry (then 26), and other siblings living with their parents.

Well that Frank Barry turned out to be Francois Baril with the same children and dates of birth on another census from Canada only their last names were Baril.   On 7 Sep 2016 at 18:01 GMT Bob Ladouceur wrote: Barry-1283 and Baril-148 appear to represent the same person because: They are the same person!! Needless to say we had a lot of conversations through emails about that, and finally I decided that it was possible, although it dashed my hopes of being connected to a Barry family in Ireland. Instead the Baril families came over from France to Canada.

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?  

Mary Ludwig Hays better known as “Molly Pitcher” because of her heroism & deeds during the Battle of Monmouth during the American Revolution. Molly’s job was to carry water to soldiers and artillerymen, often under heavy fire from British troops. During that time however, Molly’s husband was carried off the battlefield from heat exhaustion, so she took his place at the cannon, and for the rest of the day, continued to “swab and load” the cannon according to legend. She became known as “Sergeant Molly”!

 What are some of your interests outside of genealogy? 

Since I am retired military I am heavily involved with several veterans groups here in the area. They keep us busy especially helping other veterans in need, volunteering at food banks, fund raising for good causes like scholarships for children of active duty personal to go to college, memorial day, flag day veterans day and other activities in the community.  I also work with those who train service animals to help veterans with PTSD, and other medical needs. In addition I helped with missing persons organizations to search for or get the word out about a missing loved one.

 How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?  Are there any projects/challenges are you involved in? What do you enjoy doing? 

I have been on WikiTree since Nov 2014 and I have been very active obtaining over 1,000 contributions now almost every month for about 2 years. I am currently a GreeterRangerVolunteer Coordinator, and Project Coordinator. I have (6) One Name Studies and belong to the Integrator project and serve as moderator on the g2g forum to list a few. Oh and working on database errors!!  I enjoyed researching and building up the “Women’s Army Corps” Category to about 83 members now under the Military and War Project. Lately I enjoy working on the g2g forum as moderator and assisting with the “weekend chat“.

 What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much? 

I love the g2g forum as I mentioned. I like the way profiles are set up. I like the fact you can add pictures, memories, connect with freespace pages, have a watchlist, and that you can edit, revise, add to and fix up your profiles to tell the story of your heritage.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree? 

Try to get as much information you can before adding a new profile. Always start off with your immediate family then go to grandparents, great-grandparents etc. Look for sources like Find A Grave, Census reports, obituaries and other articles from newspapers, talk to other relatives to confirm what you already know and to brainstorm for new information. Google is your friend as well. Even if you just have a name and year of birth and death, put that in the search bar, you might be surprised what comes up. I have found articles of relatives military service, work experience, obituaries, business accomplishments etc. It works. You just have to play detective and work with the bits and pieces you get and build you a profile.


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  2 Responses to “Meet our Members: Dorothy Barry”

  1. Thanks for your hard work on the Barry family!

  2. Dorothy, I was so excited to see that they selected you! I don’t think of you as a newer member as you are so knowledgeable about everything. Your assistance, advice, and comments are always appreciated.

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