Member Spotlight

Get to know our members – Peter Scarborough

Peter Scarborough’s wedding photo in Scottish attire.

Name/Location and any other credentials/background that you would like to provide:

I am Peter Scarborough, member and past Board Member of NCGS.  I am formerly from Middleport and Lockport, now living in Idaho City, Idaho. I have no formal training or credentials other than a deep interest and passion for my family history.

How long have you been researching your family tree?

I have been actively researching since 2004.

Who is your favorite ancestor?

This is an easy one, my great grandfather, Daniel Dewitt Saxton, though not the greatest role model, he was one of the most interesting characters. He was undoubtedly our ‘Black Sheep’.  You can read of his exploits in my book, “Embrace Your Black Sheep”, copy available at the NCGS Library when it reopens.

Describe one of your brick walls.

My biggest brick wall is the third wife of the aforementioned Daniel. We know that he had a wife and daughter, but have been unable to find either of their names.

What are some of the surnames in your family tree that lived in our Western New York area?

Some of the surnames in Western New York are, Scarborough, Saxton, Landers, Wiles and many more.

What was something surprising that you discovered while researching your family tree?

I was surprised to find connection to two Scottish Clans; Hannay and MacDonald of the Isles, both on my Mother’s side.

What are some of your favorite online resources?

My favorite online resources are,, GENUKI, and Old Fulton, NY Postcards.

What are some of your favorite local resources?

In NY, I frequented NCGS Library, County Historian’s Office, Lockport Public Library and Amherst LDS Family Center.  Here in Idaho, it is more difficult to find pertinent information on my family, but there is an LDS Church in town and a small but well stocked Library.

What are some of your favorite ways to educate yourself to become a better genealogist?

I subscribe to several Genealogy Newsletters, and I constantly look at previously reviewed information for new clues.

Have you had you DNA tested?  If yes, which websites?

I have not, but my wife has with Ancestry.  It was very exciting for her and for me to find and meet her birth father, who before last year was unknown to her. She (we) have gained some great family and experiences through it.

What is some advice that you would share with a beginning genealogist?

I would say to any beginner, “Always find all possible members of any family group, you never know when a distant cousin may provide a piece of information that will break a brick wall.” I have over 17000 people in my FTM database. This may seem excessive, but it has proven its worth several times. I would also say “Think outside the box.” Never be reluctant to search a new way, or with a variation of spelling.


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