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 Alexis.

Alexis Nelson became a WikiTreer in March of 2017.  She is one of our Adoption Angels and also very active in our US Civil War and 1776 projects.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Hutton, Miller, Bratcher, and a recent interest in Long and their connection to the Forepaugh Circus. I would love to find my Lovelace family in England; they sent me a doll about 1952.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Grayson Co., Kentucky

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

I was raised by my two grandmothers and they both told me stories that were very interesting. I wish I had asked more questions. When I got married I realized that my father-in-law had written to court houses and had records on my mother-in-law’s family back to the American Revolution. He died forty-five years ago, and I certainly have missed him. He and I would have had great fun doing research together. In 2013 I cleared out a deceased lady’s home. Her brother had done a great deal of genealogy, and I mailed 125 lbs. of genealogy records and photos to their second cousins’ family. Another lady asked me to find that lady’s Daughters of the American Revolution pin and mementos, so they would be returned  to the chapter.

In 2014 I was watching “Turn”, the television show about the American Revolution, and I decided to join DAR. This was the beginning of my getting paternal family records together. Then three years ago I went to visit my only living first cousin, and found that she had been doing genealogy for years, and one wall of her family room was lined with file cabinets of records. She has been a wealth of knowledge on maternal family records. I could not help but get hooked, as I had so much to work with.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My favorite ancestor is Captain Andrew Sharp, as without him I would have never been able to join DAR. I am certainly proud to wear his name on my pin that I wear to meetings. Andrew Sharp served as a Pennsylvania militia officer during the American Revolutionary War. He participated in the Battle of Long Island and the Battle of Brandywine and was appointed to the rank of captain by George Washington. At the Battle of Trenton Ferry he was cited for heroism. His life after the war is very interesting, and there is a great deal of material about him and his family. Because of him I am able to belong to Muskogee Indian Territory Chapter of DAR, which is the oldest chapter in Oklahoma. We have the Eastern Oklahoma Federal Court House here in Muskogee, and because of DAR we attend the Naturalization Ceremonies and put on a reception afterwards each month, and we put out flags and wreaths at the Ft. Gibson National Cemetery, and we do service projects at the VA Hospital.

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

The brick wall I was able to break down is my great great grandmother Adaline Hutton McIntire. I realized that she was completely wrong on four trees on one site, and not on any other internet sites. My grandmother had saved her newspaper obituary, but old obituaries often did not include parents, so I went on a search to find her family. A will and death certificates helped, but I had an 1845 Pennsylvania signature quilt in a cedar chest that I have been able to photograph and enlarge the pictures to read most of her family members names. The quilt made me able to confirm a great deal of my previous research, and it was here all along.

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

Norman Rockwell would be the person I would like to be related to. We subscribed to the Saturday Evening Post, and I would get really excited every time he had done one of the covers. I would sit and look at the details. I feel he did a wonderful job of telling our American story through his art. His painting “Family Tree” that starts at the bottom with the Pirate and the Spanish lady, and after only a few generations at the top is a little red haired boy is wonderful.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Art has always been a major interest, and I majored in art in college. I have loved traveling and visiting museums and seeing different architecture. I have done some painting, but I enjoy seeing other people’s work more than my own. I am involved in church and community projects. I am a board member of Eastern Oklahoma Spelling Bee, and head of the art contest that is connected with it and involves over a hundred schools. My work career was working in my husband’s optometry office and teaching GED in the community for 28 years. Both of these ended ten years ago, but seven years ago our municipal judge suggested that I volunteer as the GED teacher at our county jail. Every Wednesday I teach Adult Education-GED to the inmates. I tell them about what kind of genealogy research I am doing, and I feel that this has certainly made me a better history teacher. I talk to them about listening to stories about their grandparents and learning about their family heritage. They love learning history from this perspective.

How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing? If you’re  involved in a project(s), tell us about how you participate in it.

I joined WikiTree March 2017. The first project I joined was Adoption Angels, as I have a dear friend who would like to find her son. I later joined United States, Military and War, 1776, and US Civil War. I spend a good deal of my time lately on Military and War. I really like the way WikiTree gives the tools to put on stickers with when and how the veterans have served. I am very visual and I enjoy putting on the flags and medals. My husband is a Vietnam combat veteran, and my father was killed in WWII. I have recently done profiles on the three other men killed with him, and one of them I have connected to the main tree. I am still working on the other two. I will attend a WWII convention in July, and I will be able to get more information then. I have also done trees on four women that did not have descendants, and I was able to connect all four to the main  tree.

I like to write biographies, and I mainly started out with that being my goal—to write about the people I knew and knew about. I still edit things as I find new information. I just joined the Quakers Project, and that is where I plan to work on the Huttons and Millers in Lancaster Co., PA. My husband also has some Quaker ancestors, so I may find more.

What brought you to WikiTree? (In other words, how did you find us?)

I found WikiTree on my own by searching the Internet for genealogy sites, and I was instantly impressed. I saw where a distant cousin had put my grandfather’s photo on, and I am his nearest descendant, so I thought I had the only photo like it of him. I have gone from knowing no one on WikiTree to getting to know several cousins, and making some good friends. I have got to know one cousin just a few months ago, and she has become a good friend. She and I are both doing 52 Photos and 52 Ancestors, and we are having the best time ever.

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree, or which feature(s) do you like the most?

I like the connections the members make with each other. I think the “thank you” is a wonderful way to let others know that they are appreciated. We can also let another member know that their work has really been helpful to you by awarding them a badge. The G2G questions are great, and people are so kind about giving nice comments, but first with me and my favorite thing is the way we are able to honor our veterans.

If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?

I think WikiTree is fabulous the way it is. Nothing in life is absolutely perfect. If I absolutely have to pick something, it would be to be able to arrange photos and documents on profiles as you would like them.

What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy or how you’ve helped genealogy with WikiTree?

I started here two years ago with very little knowledge about genealogy. I have been able to look at other people’s work to figure out most of what I know. I do look at the G2G questions, and sometimes I even read the directions. My first cousin and I were very close as children, but our bond is even deeper now that we are getting older, and genealogy has certainly helped to make us closer. I am always asking her questions and showing her what I put on WikiTree. I think every time we put information about people’s lives we are helping genealogy, and I am on other sites, and WikiTree is just the best.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

WikiTree is what you make it. You can have a great time and learn all kinds of new things about your family and the world outside of it; it all depends on you to make it a wonderful experience in friendship, kindness, and genealogy.

 


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  3 Responses to “Meet our Members: Alexis Nelson”

  1. Hello Alexis! What a nice Meet Out Members profile!

    We are 14th cousins – uncertain!

    🙂

  2. Do you have Quaker records stating that Nancy wilcoxson is daughter of Sarah Boone and John wilcoxson? Boone society stated that they have no records of such. Thanks

  3. Ruben Morley was my paternal grandfather. Just wanted to know who was doing this search and why?

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