Family Data




The object of this effort is to try to trace the Crossett, Connors, Philley and Harrison families, back to the generation who came to this country and as far before that as is known without going overseas. In following these families as they pass through the periods of their lives and our histories, I will try to shine some light on those times. Most emphasis will be on the direct lines but they are not continuous. Information is lacking in many respects. For this reason stories are presented as vignettes rather than as a continuous history. Of course, you can go as deeply into the families as you want. There is plenty of stuff for others to study, and, of course, my own study is on-going and subject to update. That is the main reason why this is on-line.

Before studying this site you may want to know about the standards I have used in composing it. I have gathered together information on these four families from hundreds of places a description of which will be seen attached to the information they present. There will be links which will lead to other locations.  This kind of page you are now reading will be given to general family information, some more specific stories or information. In the left margin is a link to the Family Data (names, dates, places, and some notes). Within each of the family pages will appear links to people and incidents related to them. Coats-of-arms will sometimes appear in the margin and will link to the family name they represent and its history. (These coats of arms are presented as a point of interest and decoration and no claim is made that the persons mentioned in these pages are officially entitled to display them.) Getting around should be fairly easy with the links and the back button. 

Gathering information in genealogy is a kind of effort among family historians that sometimes rises to the level of a blood sport. There are those who will take as fact any piece of printed material and will graft it on to their own"family histories"without question. There are private genealogies on line that count hundreds of thousands of subjects. Others are intent upon proving their "noble" heritage whether or not it is true. The majority are folks like me who enjoy the search and want to experience how their people  got to where they are today. As everyone knows information can be used or abused depending on the motives of the user, therefore caution is always wise.

Available information is of two main types: namely, sources and references. Sources run the gamut from official government or church records to family bibles and very carefully checked  scholarly works done by Historical Societies such as the databases developed by the New England Historical and Genealogical Society and many others. The best of these is subject to error and the errors are by no means few. One of my first sources was an original government death certificate which had information so incorrect that it blocked me for a year. "Official" documents are only as accurate as the official who composed them.

References to facts are a different thing altogether. Compiled family histories available in libraries and on-line number in the hundreds of thousands. Some are excellently done and some few are a complete fraud. trying to decide which is which is what makes genealogy both fun and frustrating. I have tried to get more than one reference for each data if possible. I rate information in a hierarchy which refers more to the chance of data being inaccurate than correct. Those most accurate come from vital records, church registers, family Bibles, and diaries and archives. Less reliable are census records which are notorious for their errors, and those composed genealogies which frequently rely on other genealogies in a never ending loop of untested data. Data gathered for reasons other than history need to be closely checked. Unless these documents have reliable references of their own they are a minefield of possible trouble. On the other hand there are those composed genealogies that have been done to the highest standards and I have used their data freely after assuring myself of their worth. I have no time or desire to do excellent work over again. Newspaper obituaries and stories are to be taken with a large dose of salt. Unsubstantiated anecdotes and statements are questionable but sometimes valuable as directional clues. Some of these are used but only with great restraint and selectivity and if I have been able to get a second more reliable source for the same fact, I have. I have not consciously included a completely unreliable source.  I only mention it because it's not that simple, of course. Most documents have many levels of reliability in them and it is hard to tell which is which. The bottom line is that this work is as accurate as I can make it.

Lets get on with it.