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When Good Things Go Bad

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My intentions were good today. I’ve gotten a lot done and I’ve even watched my football team fail miserably. I was making progress in my huge project of a more organized family file, when I came across the image above. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. Just the first time it was so blatant. For example, on certain censuses, the whole last 5 lines of Elliott County, Kentucky are missing. I’m not talking on the last page. I’m talking the the last five lines on each page of a whole enumeration district.

The real question is this, if the image looks like that, How did they index it? Oliver Quesenberry and his wife Mahala are in the index, but obviously not on the image above.

If they are using something else, is there any way for someone to get their grubby hands on it. Since this isn’t an isolated problem, I was just wondering the work around. I know the most obvious is to go to my local historical society or library and check out the microfilm. However, my library doesn’t carry the census or microfilm that I’m aware of, and I’m not in Kentucky. I’m in Maryland… which isn’t anywhere near Kentucky. Well, closer then California is to Maryland but you get my point. The historical society would be an option but I doubt they carry the Kentucky districts but I’m not opposed to trying.

When I came across the missing lines in Elliott County, I checked on FamilySearch, and they were also missing the lines. I just assumed that they were all using the same images of the census. Am I right in thinking this? I was going to look through on FamilySearch this time, but I am unable to view the images. This isn’t vital to my research obviously because research doesn’t hinge on the census. My thoughts are just to turn this into a learning experience for myself.

So that’s how my Sunday has gone and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Margaret Slusher, you might have been found!

As anyone who researches their genealogy knows, the women can be hard to track down once they leave the house. It gets doubly hard in very rural areas where records might not have been kept. I run into this problem a lot in my Kentucky/Ohio research. One of my more recent “brick walls” is Margaret Slusher. I say “brick wall” because technically it isn’t. I know who her parents are and I know who her husband is. I even know the year she married. However, in 1860, she’s not living with her new husband or her parents. I’m a stickler for the details, so it bugs me when I can’t find people in certain censuses. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but most times it’s just you’re not looking in the right place. The key to the problem is Margaret’s marriage to James Mays happened in September of 1860.

What a lot of people forget is that most censuses take a few months to complete, however, the enumerator is supposed to record the data as it reflects the household on a certain day. In 1860, that day was June 1, 1860.

I was transcribing the surrounding households of Joseph and Nancy Slusher, Margaret’s parents, when I came across William Jenkins household. At the very end, it shows a 20 year old Margaret Slusher. Since I don’t know my Margaret’s exact birth date yet, this one definitely fits with her estimated birth. The birthplace of Virginia fits. It’s the little tick that the blue arrow points to that interests me now. That tick is to show that the person was married within the year. I’d say this is my Margaret. I got very lucky that she didn’t get missed in the census all together since her marriage fell at such an awkward time of the year for the census. 🙂 I also got lucky that the Jenkins household gave Margaret’s maiden name. If they hadn’t I might have just had to live with not locating Margaret on the census.

SNGF on Sunday: My Matrilineal Line

This week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun assignment is to list my matrilineal line.

  1. List your matrilineal line – your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!
  2. Tell us if you have had your mitochondrial DNA tested, and if so, which Haplogroup you are in.
  3. Post your responses on your own blog post, in Comments to this blog post, or in a Status line on Facebook or in your Stream at Google Plus.
  4. If you have done this before, please do your father’s matrilineal line, or your grandfather’s matrilineal line, or your spouse’s matriliuneal line.
  5. Does this list spur you to find distant cousins that might share one of your matrilineal lines?
MY MATRILINEAL LINE
  • Me
  • Mom
  • Emogene Taylor (1929-2005) married to (1) Stanley Lee Mays (2) Harley Wayne Utter
  • Lula Applegate (1901-1978) married to Marshall Howard Taylor
  • Elizabeth West (1868-1938) married to (1) Unknown (2) James William Applegate
  • Zeroah Black (1837-?) married to Isaiah West

There is actually a bit of a controversy for Elizabeth West’s mother. There are a lot of online trees that show Isaiah West marrying Zerelda Jane McClanahan. There is even a Kentucky marriage record for this fact. However, all of Isaiah’s children list Zeroah Black as their mother on the death certificates. Also, the marriage record shows the marriage as happening 10 years before I estimated it from different sources. So for now I’m on hold with the West family until I can sit down and timeline the family so I can find out where I can attack it from next.

I haven’t had my DNA tested but I plan to once I finish the family file cleanup. I’m fascinated by the process and would love to see what kind of results I would get.

I’m always on the lookout for distant cousins! No extra spurring needed!

The 1940 Census – Part 2

Last time I posted about my 1940 Census search list, I only did two of the surnames in my family tree. This time I’ll be writing about two more. In fact, these are the last two big names on my Dad’s side of the family tree.

REDFORD FAMILY

Harry William Redford: Harry was living in Los Angeles, California in 1930. I wish I could have found him in city directories to be sure of where he is, but I don’t have that. All I know is from 1910 through to 1930, he was living in the Los Angeles area. I have addresses for him for those years, but we’ll just have to see if he’s at the last one in 1940 too.

Herbert Redford: My 2nd Great Grandfather died September 11, 1940. He was most likely counted in the 1940 census. He was living in Los Angeles at the time also.

Herbert Redford Death Certificate

Clifford Herbert Redford: I’m unsure when my Great Grandfather died. I am sure he was alive in 1942 to register for the WWII Draft and his wife, Jane Parkin, didn’t pass away until 1957. So they should be found in West Orange at 166 Watson Avenue.

Howard J Redford: Clifford’s brother was last seen in the 1930 census, living in Maplewood, New Jersey. Even if he’s not there, he’ll most likely be somewhere in Essex County, New Jersey.

Edith Redford-McKane: Edith and her husband Thomas were living in Linden, New Jersey from at least 1930 through their deaths in the 1980s. So I think it’s a safe bet to look for them there.

Lillian Redford-McClane: I’ve only JUST found Lillian’s married name. I haven’t been able to locate her in the 1930 census yet either. I do know she passed away in 1988 in Inyo County, California. So my guess is she’s somewhere in California in 1930 and 1940. Now to find her!

Sarah Redford-Tinston: Sarah was one of the first to make the move to California with her husband. I first located them in Los Angeles in the 1910 census. Unfortunately I haven’t located them in 1930 yet, so I’m going to have to try and locate them in a directory at least to figure out their 1930 and 1940 locations.

Lillian Redford-Stemmle: This is where I was having problems before. Since there are two Lillian Redfords. Luckily they are far apart enough in age to distinguish them from each other. This Lillian and her husband were living in Los Angeles in 1930 and they both passed away there in the 1950s. So I’m pretty sure they’ll be in the Los Angeles area in 1940.

PARKIN FAMILY

Hazel Parkin-Geldhauser: Hazel and her husband will most definitely be living in Newark, New Jersey in 1940.

Walter Parkin: It will be interesting to see Walter in this census. He will most likely be living in Newark, New Jersey. However, I’d like to see if he started a family or if he is still living with one of his sisters.

Anna M Parkin: Sister to Hazel, Walter and Jane. Anna disappeared on me after 1900. However the year 1910 would put her at 19 years old. She’s most likely married and I haven’t found the marriage record yet. So her status in 1940 is unknown. I will keep a look out in the family households though, for clues.

Mary Ann Parkin-Spencer: Mary Ann is the aunt of the Hazel, Walter, Anna, and Jane. In almost every census, Mary Ann has taken in multiple members of her family. Whether it be nieces, nephews, brothers or mothers, there is always at least one. Her family was last recorded in Monmouth, New Jersey so that’s where I’ll be looking next.

William M Parkin: William’s family disappears from the radar after 1910. I don’t know if they moved or if something happened to them. The Parkin family doesn’t seem to be lucky in life. They had a lot of early deaths in the family. I’m hoping that maybe I’ll find a spark of him in a city directory or in 1940.

Joseph Parkin: Joseph was unmarried throughout his life, from what I can tell. The last I saw of him was in 1930. He was living with his niece and her family in East Orange, New Jersey. That’s a good place to start. If I don’t find him there, he will most likely be living with another member of his family. It was his habit.

This concludes my Dad’s side of the family tree! I haven’t even finished entering Mom’s side back into my database so it’ll be interesting to take notes on that as I go through my facts and sources. I already feel very prepared for my first peak at the 1940 census.

Robert Love, You’ve been Verified!

A few months back, my long lost cousin Grace sent me a copy of her Love family outline. In it, I found Martha Love and Robert Love, who were not in my records of the Love family. Martha was quite easy to track down with the Walker family. I didn’t find any evidence on Robert though. I’m being very discriminatory about who I put in my family file, so Robert wasn’t put in yet, but he was in my notations. Until last night.

I was sitting around last night, feeling sorry for myself because my family file got corrupted. It was no major deal because I did have backups. The only problem is my most recent backups were also corrupted. So I ended up using the gedcom backups I have as a secondary backup. Have I said backup enough for you?

Back on subject, I decided I might as well spend a tiny bit of money and buy some credits from Scotlands People. I’ve seen a lot about the site but I’ve never actually used it because of the credits issue. Well, I didn’t let that hold me back last night!

I found Andrew Love and his family in the 1841 Scotland census! As far as I know, this is the first and only census record that Robert Love appears with the family. Granted, the census does not say he is Andrew and Agnes’s son, but I don’t need them too. I am just trying to verify old family lore. Therefore, now I know there should be a birth/baptismal record for Robert and I finally have a year to look in!

Welcome to the family file Robert Love! The water is nice and freshly un-corrupted!

In slightly related news, I had a major genealogy moment while watching the Robin Gibb episode of Who Do You Think You Are. Not only did he visit Paisley, Scotland, the homeland of the Loves, I also spotted John Love, teacher in the book about the school he was researching! I haven’t connected John to my tree yet, but I think he’s Andrew’s brother. They lived down the street from each other for many years. I probably should have saved some of my credits to look up John. Oh well, there’s always next time!

Lillian Redford, you’ve been found!

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a surprising brick wall breakthrough. One of the biggest ones was Lillian Redford. It was a little bit harder because her brother named one of his daughters after her. So things always got a little confusing. Until 30 minutes ago. I was just going through some California City Directories, clicking the green leaf reluctantly in Family Tree Maker.

California Death Index, 1940-1997 via Ancestry.com

My only question is, “Why now?” I have searched for Lillian a million times over the years and it’s never yielded a result. They must have done an update of some kind that added new records or maybe a refined search algorithm. I don’t quite care though, because I finally have something on Lillian after 1920!

I’ll Never Do That Again

I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m in the middle of rehabbing my whole family tree and website. How on earth did I think I could keep going at this pace without my since-2003 Ancestry.com membership? I know what I thought. The problem was I splurged last year on the World Membership and the only way to downgrade this year was to cancel and then re-subscribe. I thought that maybe now was the time to try a genealogy life without an Ancestry.com membership.

I was fooling myself. I understand it’s a big expense even for the US Membership. However, there is no website with as complete access to the census than Ancestry.com. Feel free to prove me wrong! I’m also very attached to the Kentucky Death Records for 1852-1952. I mean, hello! My Mom’s whole family was in Kentucky for those years! They have an Ohio Death Index for more recent years. They have Ohio Marriage and Divorce records for my cousins who are super hard to pin down.

By the way, this is no way an advertisement for Ancestry. It might seem like it, but it’s not. It’s just that Ancestry is one of the tools I use on a daily basis. I lasted 2 days without my Ancestry membership, and I’m never doing that again!

To add insult to injury I was smack dab in the middle of adding the Duncan Walker-Martha Love family into my program! The very family that was a source for my Mystery Monday series, twice!

I don’t think I ever stood a chance. So my advice is, when trying to decide if a website is worth your money, be sure to look at the databases that you USE, not might use, but actually USE on a regular basis. The convenience of the access has to be taken into account also. My local libraries and societies have very limited hours, so I can’t rely on them to be my main source of information.

P.S. I am still working on the new website design. I took a few months off because I thought my head would explode. However, my head is still here, therefore work has resumed… from scratch. Which isn’t going as well as I would have liked but it’s coming along.

This is not an endorsement for Ancestry.com. It is merely a peek into my daily use of the website. I was not compensated for this blog entry. I don’t expect to be compensated for this blog entry. I am just a paying member of the website who has come to rely on said website for my genealogy adventures. I’m not recommending that you go out and pay for a membership, because it might not be the same degree of success or convenience for you that it is for me. I like writing these disclaimers, it’s turning into a problem.

Clifford and Jane Redford’s Wedding

This scan was sent to me from my Aunt a few years back. It was one of my first and only clues about the Parkin family. Their name has constantly changed through all my years of researching them.

Family Record of Clifford and Jane Redford's marriage

Having this allowed me to send away to New Jersey for an official record of Clifford and Jane‘s marriage.

Official Record of Clifford and Jane Redford's marriage

This record had much more information for me to digest. I already knew Clifford and Jane‘s estimated birth years and residences. I had known from the 1930 census that Clifford was a plumber by trade. I also knew that his father’s name was Herbert and his mother’s was Sadie. However I did not know that his mother’s maiden name was Putcliff or is that Sutcliff? To this day I’m still not sure!

On Jane‘s side it was all knew information. This record actually broke down my Parkin/Parker/Perkins brick wall. It most definitely is Parkin now and I learned that her parents names were John Walter Parkin and Jennie Featherson. I have a lot more information on John Walter Parkin now, but before her marriage Jennie is still a mystery to me.

I’ve had this record for a number of years and still I come back to it for clues every once and awhile. It’s always good to look over things you’ve had awhile. You never know what you might have missed in the excitement.

I can pick my relative out of a lineup

Today is a great day. My sister is happy in her new car and my Grandpa Moore might be released from the hospital for a few days before his surgery. I’m hoping I can get the pictures for this entry scanned without many problems. My printer/scanner has been acting a little funny and I haven’t had a chance to troubleshoot it yet.

I received a few comments on my older entries this week, one was from Dana who writes the Just Folks blog. I jokingly told her in a followup comment that I may not know their names but I can pick my relatives out of a lineup! At first I meant that jokingly, then I realized how real that analogy was.

When I first ran across these class pictures, I didn’t know who I was looking for. Eventually I was able to distinguish Llewellyn in most of them. (You can click the class pictures to make them larger.)

Her brother George was in others.

When I first stated this website and blog, I was only able to pick out Llewellyn in the pink and her mother in the purple with the white hat. Now after being in contact with a distant cousin, Rick, I know his Grandmother is Belle Love-Leonard and she sits straight across from Llewellyn. I knew she had to be important because I can pick her out of a lineup too! She’s in quite a few of the pictures I remember so now I’m slowly identifying more of my family that I thought I would never identify!

The lesson I’ve learned is don’t be afraid of those photos you can’t identify. Get familiar with them. You never know when something will pop out of the woodwork or cyberspace in my case and your pile full of unidentified people become relatives!

My next project:

Matching names with faces on Llewellyn’s 8th Grade class picture. I noticed some familiar names like Helen Steinhoff (from Llewellyn’s diary) and Loren Leonard. Two of Llewellyn’s Aunts married into the Leonard family, so it’s be fun to see if she had a cousin in her class! Also there was a Fred Personette in her class. The Personette family married into the Lindsley family, who married into the Thorward family. However, that was Kate Lindsley and Frank Thorward and word on the street is that no one talked with Frank for some strange reason. I’m actually in contact with Frank’s Great-Great Grandson Brent. Funny how the universe works, we both ended up in the same Maryland town and didn’t know each other existed until we met on the internet!

I did the Genealogy today

Yes I put the Thorward Market picture in front of my sewing machine to head off temptation!

 

As if life wasn’t hectic enough, the universe threw us for another loop. It’s really amazing how your perspective changes when adversity strikes. It really made me see how important the people in my life are. I know you can’t tell through the computer, but I’ve mellowed out so much in the last few months. My perfectionism is limited to my quilting and I go days, sometimes even more then a week without sitting at the computer for more then a half hour.

Last night I was in need of a break from my current reality. My sister needed it too. So we got into our pajamas, booted up our laptops and we had “sister time”. For us that means watching a movie and futzing around on the internet. She was trying to “build” a new car after hers was totaled on Tuesday and I decided to pick up my genealogy. Thanks to a bookmark in Family Tree Maker, I knew exactly where I left off.

It was wonderful. It was relaxing. It was the Mays Family! How is that possible? In fact it was so much fun that I decided to carve a few hours out of today for a little more. I guess sometimes absence does make the heart grow fonder because I was pretty fed up with deciphering the Mays family!

Do you want to know the even better news? I might almost be DONE with getting the Mays family re-entered into my database. I can’t say for certain because I have to research the leads I have on the other children of William Mays and Frances Adkins. Currently, I’m not putting them in my file or onto my website without some kind of documentation. So I might have a lot more, or I might be almost done. This genealogy thing is always changing!

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