Welcome to the Genealogical Web Site - HOMEPAGE



Click on the Topics Listed Below to Go to an Area of Interest

WELCOME -- (Home)

This is our explanation of who we are and what this site is about. It introduces us to you, and gives you the basic information about what is available to you on this site.

WHO WE ARE -- (About Us and Our Emerging Cousins)

Here you will find information about us (Don and Shian) and various members of our family. You will also meet some of the many "Cousins" we have been connected with during our genealogical research. [The number of Cousins grows as they discover this site.]

WHO WE WERE -- (Searchable SURNAME Data)

Here you will find the Family Lines that we are researching. Some of the names listed are: GORDON, HART, PARSONS, McFADDEN, LOEHNE, CLOSSON, COOKE, WARREN, ROSSITER, TABER, MAHIEU, PETTRY, McSURLEY, ROSS, KELLY, WHITTINGTON. There are also some others, but these are the primary lines on which we have information.

UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS -- (Interesting Biographies)

When completed, this section will include relevant biographies on major "players" in our families' stories. Among those to be included will be biographies of FREDERICK CLOSSON HART, GEORGE C. GORDON, JOSEPH PARSONS, and JAMES PETTRY. Over time the stories of other men and women of special interest or accomplishment will be added.


This is a specialized area of interest for us, since we have connections to the Great Lakes shipping industry that go back several generations. Because of that interest, we intend to include information about certain individuals, places, and vessels that have played a part in our families' past.

TIME TRAVELER -- (Journey to Historic Places and Events)

People do not live out their lives in isolation. They are always part of a social, political, religious, and cultural context that defines the time and the events that surround and affect their lives. We have sometimes found it necessary to research time periods and historical events in order to understand our ancestors' lives. Because the information we found is sometimes complex and obscure, we thought it would be helpful to other researchers if we included some capsules of historical information, put together in a way that would help all of us understand important periods. Eventually we would like to include: CELTIC ROOTS IN EUROPE AND ENGLAND; THE WALOON PEOPLE OF THE LOW COUNTRIES AND ENGLAND; THE VOYAGE OF THE MAYFLOWER; EARLY COLONIZATION OF MASSACHUSETTS AND RHODE ISLAND; CONSCRIPTION DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION; SCOTCH-IRISH INFLUENCE IN WEST VIRGINIA; THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WELLAND CANNAL; EARLY DETROIT; THE HISTORY OF NEWFOUNDLAND, and other topics. Ambitious? Yes, but ultimately "doable" down the road!

Welcome to the Genealogical Web Site


Donald Hart Gordon


Ramona Shian Pettry Gordon

Family Gathering, July 1999

Don and Shian are in the back row, right.

Moving left from Shi, is Steve, Barbara and Henry Edwards (Don's first wife and her husband), Marcy and Jeff Soukup.

Then, left to right across the front row, Karen, Nitro (Marcy and Jeff's dog), Phil and his daughter Dakota, and Gail.


Like many people today, we are interested in our family history. Don has dabbled in his genealogical roots off and on for a long time. Led by a love of history and the lessons we can learn from it, he has come to believe that human relationships (of all kinds) are really the "stuff of life", and that each passing generation lays the foundation for the cultural and personal value systems of the next generation. Don's family is comprised of these primary family lines: GORDON, HART, PARSONS. Some of them can be traced back to times prior to American colonization and beyond, with an emphasis on roots in New England, New York, Ontario, and Newfoundland.

Shian has begun her exploration more recently, tracing the PETTRY, and McSURLEY, family origins in Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio. She has discovered, for instance that the Pettrys were involved (sometimes deliberately and other times by conscription) in the Revolutionary War. She has also connected with her Cherokee heritage through the ROSS line.

Both of us share an avid interest in the Great Lakes, particularly in matters that relate to travel and shipping on the Lakes. Two of Don's great grandfathers were schooner captains during the transition from sail to steam, and his grandfather and three of his great uncles held their Master's Papers, and were involved in the evolution of the early steamboats on the Lakes. Shian is convinced that there is a link between her McSurley roots and the family of Captain Edward J. McSorley, skipper of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Because we know that others are probably searching for some of the same roots we have discovered, these pages are our effort to be helpful to them by sharing what we have learned. Along the way we have also met "cousins by the dozens" -- most of whom we had never known before.

The longrange plan for our site is that it will include the following: 1) Family Surname Information, including charts for each surname; 2) Biographies of some of the most interesting people; 3) Great Lakes Shipping connections within the family and information on particular boats and places; 4) Roots and History section, dealing with historic background and information for some of our family. -- Our vision is ambitious, but with persistence we believe we will eventually reach our goal. Feel free to e-mail us at dongor@toolcity.net or shigor@toolcity.net. We would love to hear from you!



It may take a while to get everything up and running the way we want to,

so we urge you to stop back frequently to catch what's new.