Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Introducing the Ackley Family Genealogy Blog

I know I’m being Captain Obvious here, but as you may have guessed from the name, this blog will be devoted (mostly) to discussions of Ackley family history. I say mostly because I can’t promise that I won’t digress occasionally to other genealogy topics when inspiration strikes. Since I am a descendant of Nicholas Ackley, considered to be the first known Ackley in America, the information I present will concentrate on him and his descendants, but I encourage descendants of other lines to participate as well. And I certainly don’t want to leave out our Ackley cousins from other parts of the world – I would love to hear from Ackleys who live in countries other than the United States. It would be great to know how we are all connected (or not).

So Why Am I Doing This?

  • I need someone to talk to about this stuff. My family is only mildly interested in genealogy; my wife will watch “Who Do You Think You Are?” with me occasionally and listen when I try to explain my excitement in finding some obscure record that I’ve been searching for over the last three weeks, but she can only take so much before her eyes begin to glaze over (probably the same look I give her when she’s telling me about her card making/scrapbooking stuff). My kids are busy raising their own kids, and although my siblings are happy enough to get my occasional e-mails about my latest discovery, they don’t necessarily share my enthusiasm. So I’m looking for an audience.
  • More importantly, I need someone to collaborate with. Genealogy is much more fun when there is someone to share in the discovery process. We could all use a little help with our research – what better way than to create a forum for sharing what we know about our Ackley family history with each other so we can all benefit. Based on comments I’ve seen on “The Ackley Clan” Facebook page and the Ackley surname message board on, there are people that would be interested in collaborating with other Ackley researchers.
  • I’ve wanted to write my family history (not for publication, just for my family) for a while – I’m hoping writing a blog will help me organize all the stuff I have and eventually lead to a written genealogy.

What Can You Expect If You Read This Blog?

As the name implies, I’ll be sharing what I know about Ackley genealogy, starting with Nicholas Ackley. But as mentioned above, I’m hoping this will be a two-way street. The depth of my knowledge about Ackley lines outside my own is somewhat limited, so I’m depending on readers to use the comments section to share their knowledge with the rest of us. I don’t expect to post every day, or even on any kind of regular schedule, but I do hope to post something at least every week.
A few more things about the way I approach genealogy that I’m hoping will guide some of the discussion on this blog:
  • I’m big on having sources for the information that I’m putting into my tree, and I hope others feel that way too. As much as possible I will include references in my posts, and I encourage readers who post information in their comments to include information on where they got the information. I don’t necessarily expect formal, formatted citations, but at least mention where you got your information so others can check it out for themselves. 
  • I’m not a name collector. Don’t get me wrong, I want to grow my tree like everyone else does, but I am just as interested in knowing as much as I can about each person I put into my tree. I’m hoping that when readers add comments about their Ackley ancestors that they will include details that will help all of us get to know their ancestors. 
  • I still have a lot to learn about it, but I am becoming a big fan of DNA testing and genetic genealogy. I have tested at Ancestry and have also coaxed seven other family members into testing as well. I plan on discussing DNA testing in some of my posts, and hope to encourage others to test and share results with the rest of us.

Some Ground Rules Going Forward

The internet can be an anonymous place, and sometimes that gives people the feeling that they can say things they wouldn’t normally say to someone in person. As such, I ask that readers keep things civil when commenting on the blog. If you disagree with someone, please do it nicely! To help keep things under control, all comments will be moderated by me before they are posted online; if I find anything inappropriate I will simply not allow it to be posted.

Link of the Day

The database on this website hasn’t been updated for quite some time, but nonetheless Allen C. Ackley’s site has lots of good information on Ackley genealogy:

Quote of the Day

"It takes less time to do a thing right than explain why you did it wrong. "
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Next Post Topic

Nicholas Ackley


  1. This is awesome - great work!

  2. Mike, again, your meticulous work on our common genealogy is greatly appreciated. Beautifully presented. John P Ackley, Tacoma, WA

    1. Thanks John! I'm hoping this becomes a forum for anyone researching the Ackley family to share ideas and reserach.