My name is Kathleen, and I have been researching my family history since I was a child. I love to go into county courthouses and smell the old books and paper... or is it dust? This blog will focus on the stories I've heard over the years and the research methods I follow. I am particularly interested in data management and cloud genealogy.

Some of my personal areas of interest include Southern Maryland and DC (Robie, Rhodes, Grimes, Lindsey), NY state (Hill, Cookingham, Flynn, Rhodes, Skinner, Wheeler, Mead, Havens, Trotter), NJ (Parcell), North Carolina and Eastern TN (Lynch, Seabolt, Spears), MO (Wilcox, Kiddell), and CA (Simi, Grady)

I am always happy to compare notes or share my experiences, so please leave a comment!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

There will be a change of help in the Tilden household....

I came across an interesting article in the San Francisco Call the other day while searching for my husband's great-grandfather.  Theodore Grady generated quite a lot of mentions in the newspapers during his lifetime because of his unusual status as a well-educated man with special needs.  He was the first deaf-mute in the state of California to graduate from a college for the hearing (UC Berkeley), and the first deaf man to pass the California bar and work as an attorney.

This particular article really struck home because it highlights how far our society has come in dealing with people with special needs.  Theodore Grady was only a side note in the story, which centered on his friend, the sculptor Douglas Tilden.  Tilden came home late one evening, realized he had forgotten his key and let himself in by a window.  A servant thought he had gone mad and called the police, who hauled him off.  Justly incensed, Tilden was agitated, but because he was mute he couldn't explain himself.   He was given a "quieting potion," and slept it off until his family came to get him the next day.  The story ends with the dry comment: "There will be a change of help in the Tilden household."

 You've just got to read it for yourself in all its glorious wordiness (here's the link if you want to see the original page):


  1. Hello Kathleen,
    I just put two and two together [:-)] by seeing the twin story below. It takes a while before I can marry bloggers and their stories in my head. I love what you are doing with this research. So interesting. Roughly at what time did the thread lead back to Europe? If at all.
    BTW, well done with the mouse-over. You did it the hard way. No credit to me: I could never do it with that formula.

    I researched the deeds of our cottage some time ago, going back to the sixteenth century, on vellum parchment and very hard to read. I was put in a room of the place where they hold these, and virtually locked in, so that I wouldn't run off with them :-)

  2. Ha ha -- I know, it always throws me for a loop when people have two blogs: which one are they? Genealogy and art are so different that I'd end up boring somebody all the time! As for this particular family (Grady), they came to America from Ireland in the 1840s and landed in California before the gold rush. Most of my side of the family were in the US (origins mostly in the UK, but also France & Germany) before the Revolution, with the exception of one latecomer -- my great grandfather, who came from England in 1892, and ironically he's the one guy I can't trace.

    How fun to do the genealogy of your cottage! I've done that for our house, too, but ours only goes back to 1870.... not nearly as cool as yours!!