Author: Nora
•Thursday, September 18, 2014
Carrot and a Stick

Although it took twenty-five years plus to trace the generations after John Fitch Bishop, it took less than two years to follow the trail to John and to learn when and where he died.

Grandma B. (Lucy Jane Atteberry Bishop) kept a Family Bible, but she had only recorded births, etc. starting with her and Grandpa Bishop.  My dad told us names of our great grandparents, though; and that gave my quest a big boost.

Here’s the page in the Bible where Grandma began recording the births:

In later posts, I’ll be sharing with you readers how I linked each of the generations back to John, and then from him back to the immigrant ancestors in Salem, Massachusetts.  I had a great deal of help in this process, and I’d especially like to mention here the help of my second cousin, Janine Bishop Rittel.  She’d been diligently searching and acquiring documents years before I started my quest, and she generously shared everything she’d found with me.  I owe so much to her.

We all have that curiosity-bug that impels us to wonder about our family history, don’t we?  For me, the curiosity was partly driven by wanting to know where we came from, but it was also to see if I could prove or disprove a family story we kids had heard throughout our childhood.  We’d been told that Ulysses S Grant was our great-great-great something, perhaps an uncle.  That certainly piqued my interest.

I found that there was a grain of truth to the story.  On my father’s side, one of my ancestors was a distant cousin of Ulysses S Grant, making us fourth cousins three times removed.

The reward gained from following that carrot-and-a-stick was discovering a book called, “A Genealogical History of the Descendants of Matthew Grant of Windsor, Connecticut, 1601-1898”, by Arthur Hastings Grant.  In this book I found listed my great grandfather Julius C. Bishop, my great-great grandparents, DeWitt Clinton Bishop and his wife Elizabeth Grant AND DeWitt’s father’s name:  John Fitch Bishop.  DeWitt was born 2 March, 1818 in Crown Point, Essex County, New York.

In my next post, I’ll share more of what I’ve learned about John Fitch Bishop, my elusive third great-grandfather.
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