• A Trip to Old Swedes Historical Site

    Sometimes genealogical research helps us discover places we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Such was the case with a recent trip to Old Swedes Historical Site in Wilmington, Delaware. A few years ago, I learned that I was descended from the colonial Swedes and Finns who arrived on the Delaware River spanning from the late 1630s through the 1650s. I was living in Colorado at the time of my discovery, and a trip to Wilmington was not possible. My family moved to Delaware this past summer and visiting Old Swedes Historical Site was on my list of things to do in our new home state. We visited on a Saturday afternoon and received a tour of the Hendrickson House, Holy Trinity Church and the burial yard. Our tour guide was wonderful, and he managed to keep my young kids engaged throughout. I was especially excited about this tour since I am descended from the founder of Holy Trinity Church, Charles Springer. After our tour, we walked down the street to see the Kalmar Nyckel, a replica of the ship that brought the Swedes and Finns to America. Sailing tours are available in warmer months, and we are looking forward to sailing the Kalmar Nyckel replica this coming summer. Intested in sailing the Kalmar Nyckel as well? You can view the schedule here: https://www.kalmarnyckel.org/. I also highly recommed a trip to Old Swedes Historical Site: https://oldswedes.org/

    Has your genealogical research taken you on any adventures either close to home or abroad? Let me know in the comments.


  • AI Time Machine

    I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season. My kids are excited for Christmas and we still have some shopping, baking and wrapping left to do. I did manage to find a few minutes to use the new AI Time Machine feature on My Heritage - and it is a lot of fun! My kids especially liked seeing the numerous photos of their mom in different eras ranging from biblical times to Civil War to the 1950s. The system generated over 100 images, but not every image turned out and some looked nothing like me at all. I mean, I just don't like the same with a Roman nose. Overall, My Heritage has done a great job with tools such as AI Time Machine, photo colorization and photo restoration. If you haven't had a chance, I recommed visiting myheritage.com and trying some of the tools. I believe that the AI Time Machine feature is free to non-members for a few weeks. Here are my AI Time Machine Results. Have fun and Happy Holidays! Next blog post will be in January, I promise.

    #AITimeMachine #MyHeritage #genealogy #dawnharvey #actress

  • Blog Update August 2022

    Wow! It has been awhile since I last updated this blog. Lots of things have come up over the past year such as a cross-country move to Sussex County, Delaware, getting a new puppy, commercial acting work, getting kids settled into their new home and writing my family history book.

    I wondered what I should write about in this blog post today then it hit me that it is almost September. This is a good time to determine if you will be sending out genealogy gifts to family members for the holiday season. Last year I sent out family tree charts to my family and my husband's family as Christmas gifts. The gifts were well-received and it gave me an opportunity to do some research on some branches of our family tree that I hadn't looked at in awhile. A combination of new dna matches and recently posted records resulted in adding some new surnames and places of origin to our combined family trees. 

    This year I am thinking of making a family cookbook to send to our families. We have some favorite recipes that we have acquired over the years, but we really don't have many recipes that have been passed down. I would especially like to include some dishes that reflect my Irish, Scottish, English, German, Cornish, Swedish and Finnish heritage. Any suggestions out there? I've got a great soda bread recipe, but that is about all. We are looking for some Polish recipes to represent my husband's side of the family tree as well. I look forward to receiving feedback from readers.

    Also, feel free to send me any questions. 

    Until next time,




  • Joseph Applegate, Revolutionary War Soldier

    Joseph Applegate (1760-1836) was my 5th great granduncle. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary War (2nd Battaltion, New Jersey), and gave an account of his experience to a local court in Ohio in the early 1830s in an effort to gain a pension. Joseph had no documentation of his service, so the court in Ohio had to determine if his story was true. The court believed that Joseph was truthful and, as a result, was granted his pension.

    The document was handwritten and was very difficult to read. I transcribed that document and I am posting it here because I believe it gives the reader an idea of what it was like to be a soldier of the American Revolution.

    The following account was taken during Joseph’s declaration to obtain a pension on November 12, 1833 by the Court in Columbiana County, Ohio:

    “He [Joseph Applegate] entered the service the first time in the year 1776, about the month of June in said year and continued one month, when we were ­relieved by the other company and we went home – the Commandment of our regiment (number not known) was Colonel Robert Nixon, the Lieutenant Colonel’s name was Seuddard, the Captain of our company was Isaac Koons – that he resided when he entered the service in New Windsor Township in the county of Middlesex County and the State of New Jersey – we marched from there to Hattenfield [Haddonfield] from thence to Elizabethtown from thence to Fox Pond, from thence to Elizabethtown Port, where the enemy were near being on Staten Island, so near that we could hear them hail their country and at which place the enemy killed two of our picket guards, and at which time there were sixteen of us (of whom I was one) attempted to take a Privateer, but we failed. Captain Smock commanded us. 

    That he entered the service the second time three months after the exposition of the first month and continued one month when we were again relieved by another Company that Captain Chambers, commander of our company, during said month and Colonel Scudder commanded the Plymouth. That he resided in the same county and state as aforesaid that we marched from thence to Hidestown [Heightstown] from thence to head quarterly at Newark, the enemy were then on Lory Island and Staten Island. There were some erofs firing or skirmishes.

    That he entered the service the third time immediately before the Battle of Monmouth and continued one month when we were again relieved by another company, it being usual for militia companies to relieve one another that we marched to Monmouth and got there upon the day of the Battle – that General Washington commanded the troops there. That Captain Koons or Conley was our Commander and Colonel Nixon commandment of the regiment. That he resided in the county and state aforesaid. 

    That he entered the service the fourth time in the Winter of the year 1777 and continued for the space for four months – that he was engaged during that time in driving “baggage wagons” that he loaded at Trenton and drove to Kings Ferry on the North River where we unloaded - that Jonathan Akard was our wagon master during the three first months and during the last month William Hale was our wagon master, when we drove from Trenton to Philadelphia and part of us were engaged in “carting wood” and others “providing for the soldiers”. 

    That drove wagon one month more under Samuel Abbott in the year 1778 – that were engaged in hauling provisions and loaded at Morristown and Trenton and drove to Kings Ferry on the North River where we unloaded. 

    That he was engaged in the service for one month or more in scouting parties along “Toms River” sometimes two weeks at a time and sometimes three weeks at a time – we were these “minute men” and were compelled to go wherever warned”.



  • February 2021 Blog Post

    February 2021 Blog Post

    I have been away from my blog for a while due to homeschooling my two kids, work commitments, etc. Finally, I am back!

    I have started a weekly genealogy tip on my twitter @dawnharvey.com. Tip #1 is about using the Latin variants of first names in an effort to find your Irish Catholic ancestors in birth, marriage and death records. Some of the Latin variants are too different for search engines to recognize. For example, my third great grandfather was William Walshe. I was having trouble finding him in the New York Catholic Parish records then I decided to search for the Latin variant which was “Gulielmus”. As soon as I listed “Guilelmus Walshe” in the search field his records appeared. Here is another example: My husband’s third great grandfather was Dennis King. I couldn’t locate Dennis’ Philadelphia Catholic Parish Marriage record until I searched for “Dionysius King”. Sure enough, I found his 1847 church marriage record to Mary Sweeney. 

    A twitter follower noted that sometimes priests would make up a Latin variant if none existed – and this is true!  Here is a hint: if you cannot find the Latin variant to a name then simply search using the first letter of the first name. 

    What brick walls have you encountered in your search for ancestors?  Let me know what questions you would like to have answered at mail@dawnharvey.com.

    Happy Searching!



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