Showing posts from February, 2016

A Whaley at the Battle of Hastings? The Fun of Genealogy

As I explained in a prior blog post [“Goodbye to St. Paddy’s Day” at ] the legend in our family was that the Whaleys in this country came from Ireland in the 1800s during the potato famine which sent so many starving people here, and Noah Whaley, who fought for the Union Army in the Civil War, was one of these, a man who walked from Virginia to Indiana leading a horse on which his pregnant bride rode.  But my sister, Mary Beth Colpitts, became very interested in genealogy and began tracing back the Whaley line, and she promptly put an end to that legend.  “Yes, Douglas,” she told me on the phone, “there was a Noah Whaley, and he did fight in the Civil War, but he was born in Indiana, and as far as I can tell the entire Whaley line was either English or Scottish.”  That was a surprise, coming six years ago.  At that point she’d traced the Whaley line back to Nathaniel Whaley, born in 1760 in Maryland, a