Category Archives: Family File Cleanup Project

Another Agnes Post

Man, that Agnes Hamilton is sure becoming a hot topic here on the blog. Unfortunately for me the latest was unfolding in the middle of my road trip to Minnesota and then the Hurricane known as Sandy. Now that the dust has settled and the laundry is kinda caught up, I can really sink my teeth into this new Agnes development and it’s a doozy.

I was probably wrong in this post I made back in August. While on the road to Minnesota, I received notification of new comments on my blog. So naturally, I read them right away. Then I panicked, because I had no way of digging in right away. Note to self, just leave email alone until you get home next time.

Here are David’s comments from my earlier Agnes posts:

Comment #1

Re. Agnes Hamilton.
Sorry but if i have taken in the info contained in this thread correctly than i believe you are in error.
The Rev. Andrew Hamilton (m. Janet Bachop) is my GGG Grandfather. My relation is through their only son William (later also a Reverend, emigrated to Australia in 1836).

Agnes did die young.I have records to confirm this. Happy to forward same if you are interested – need a little time as i will have to scan them.

Regards, David

Comment #2

This excerpt re. Agnes from a document (c.1839) in my possession it is titled:

“Family Register
of the Revd Aw Hamilton
of the High Church Kilmarnock
transcribed by the Revd Robt. Weir.”

The entry for Agnes:

“Agnes Hamilton was born on the 5th day of Feby.1805, and died on the 5th Feby.1806, at twelve O’clock Mid-day, the hour at which she was born.”

Hope this helps.

David Hamilton.

First of all, David if you’re reading this, I’d love to see the scans when you have the time! Email me privately at; Secondly, oops.

That’s right, I didn’t look any farther into the records on Agnes other than the birth records on Scotlands People. What a newbie that makes me look like! This morning I did do a few searches through Scotlands People for death records, but found none for the Agnes in question. However, I’m definitely not one to shoot down a family record of something. That’s probably the reason why I have a lot of Taylors and Mays’ in my file.

It definitely appears as if I need to spend a lot more time familiarizing myself with the Hamilton side of my family. I even searched through the Love/Hamilton Ancestry member trees and it’s a tossup on all of them. A lot of people give the Reverend and Janet Bachop as Agnes’ parents and the others actually use Agnes #3 from my original Agnes post.

click for full size
click for full size

For some reason, when I need to really get a look at something, I have to pull out pen and paper. I’ve tried digital stuff, but nothing feels as thorough as a piece of paper that’s color coded with highlighters and gel pens. I’m just weird like that I guess! So I decided to see how much Agnes #3 fit into a naming pattern. I haven’t gotten out my naming pattern paper yet. That’s for another day! However, Agnes #3 is just as feesible as the last Agnes was.

This genealogy stuff isn’t for the proud that’s for sure! You just have to remember, you could always be wrong… unless of course you’re right.

I’ll be visiting Agnes again soon. I have to get back on schedule around here, and then I’m hoping to get a little more organized in my research. Webinars have definitely gotten me inspired!

Update on the Carter Girls!

This entry is going to show you just how far behind I am on following leads, but oh well! Such is life I guess. Anyway, months ago, I wrote an entry about how I loved being a mystery detective when it comes to my family tree. That entry highlighted Emma Carter and my search for her mother among a group of sisters. I discovered her mother was Sina Carter and that Emma married Charles Hurdle.

Thanks to a wonderful friend/reader, Magda!, I have a few more leads after this entry to get me started. Unfortunately or fortunately, it could be both, I am only left with more questions. Ha! Magda commented on the entry to say my Carters sparked a few thoughts about her own Carters in that area, so she decided to dig a little deeper to see if there was a connection. Sadly, there wasn’t, but she did find some great records on FamilySearch for me to look at and analyze!

The first record she linked was the death record of Lewis Carter, the other mystery Carter from my previous entry. The death record gives his mother’s maiden name as Sina Carter and doesn’t list a father except for the last name of Carter. So that’s still an unknown at this point. The other record Magda found was a marriage record for Emma Hurdle and Elmer Fite! The best part is it actually gives Emma’s father’s name as John Jennings. I do wonder if maybe Lewis had the same father but without any record to back up that thought, it stays a thought. So I’ll leave Lewis for another day this week and take on Emma’s clues.

After the marriage record, I immediately did a search on the Ohio Death Records to see if I’d get a hit on Emma Fite, since I hadn’t gotten one on Emma Hurdle previously.

click for full size
click for full size

There was indeed a record. The name, birth date and place of death all fit my criteria. Also, this Emmie Fite being buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery also is in the positive column. I have yet to come across any of this family of Carters NOT buried in this cemetery. The only thing that was disappointing was that the mother is listed as Ellie Carter, not Sina and there is no father listed. So it’s an up in the air record. I’ll go ahead and use it and see where I go, knowing I might have to remove it later.

Since the death date was listed as 1931, I went ahead and jumped to the 1930 census to see if I could find Emma and Elmer in Clark township, Brown County, Ohio.

1930 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1753. Brown County, Ohio. Clark township, ED 003, sheet 04-A, dwelling 96, family 97, Elmer E Fite; digital image, (

1930 found them exactly where I expected them to be, so I moved on to 1920… where the intrigue got started again.

1920 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1351. Brown County, Ohio. Clark township, ED 026, sheet 10-B, dwelling 240, family 240, Elmer Fite; digital image, (

On the 1920 census, it lists a Meredith Hurdle as Elmer’s stepson. There are a few problems with this. I have record of Emma’s children with Charles Hurdle and Meredith wasn’t one of them. I found a death record that fit Charles for 1897. So if Meredith was born about 1902… well, then Charles isn’t the father of Meredith. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the family in the 1910 census yet, I have to go page by page in Clark township yet. So I set off for more information on Meredith. I came across a marriage record for him and that’s when things got more interesting!

click for full size image
click for full size image

On Meredith’s marriage license, it gives an exact date of birth. Doing my calculations, that means he was born 16 Dec 1901. Definitely too far from 1897 to be Charles Hurdle’s son. Even more interesting is he’s going by the last name Fite and lists his father as Elmer. My first thought was that maybe he was Elmer’s son. Then I realized he was born 6 and a half years before Elmer and Emma’s marriage. Which doesn’t mean Elmer isn’t his father, just that it’s not a given fact.

Then I started thinking about it, and really I ended up happy. Happy that a boy without a father at his birth might have found a father figure by the time he married at the age of 22. Really Elmer might have been there his whole life, I don’t know. Just another one of those mysteries that keeps growing.

So thanks again Magda for all the great leads you gave me, and next I’ll have to ferret out Lewis!

Finding hints on a record

Yesterday I wrote about my first productive day back from an unexpected break from technology. As with all research, one thing can always lead to many more avenues of information. Yesterday was no different for me. I talked about my marriage possibility list and how I was going to use the list to see if I could find out the spouses of my 5th great grandfather‘s siblings. Often when I’m coming back from a break, and I’m looking for something specific, I re-examine the records I’ve already found. So yesterday, I decided to go back through the death records I had for all of the children of James Love and Janet Fleming.

click for full size
click for full size

On the death record of Margaret Love, the informant is listed as Andrew Ritchie, nephew. I’ll take that clue! When I looked at my information for Margaret’s sisters (since the nephew did not share the Love surname), I saw that her oldest sister Elizabeth married James Wylie and died 2 years later with that surname. That means she was out as Andrew’s mother. The second eldest sister, Janet, was unaccounted for, which left her as an option. The youngest sister, Jean, was also unaccounted for at that time. That left me with two sisters and one nephew. That seems to be my story a lot! Trying to find out which sister a niece/nephew belongs with.

So I went to my trusty “possible spouses” list, and you can even see in my photo from yesterday who the obvious answer was:

Yesterday's post
Yesterday’s post

With that hint, I verified that Jean Love and James Ritchie had a son named, Andrew.

They did.
They did.

My next step (for now) was to search out a death record for Jean Ritchie. I wanted to verify that her maiden name was Love and that her parents were James Love and Janet Fleming. They were.

click for full size
click for full size

So with that, I’ve tracked another sibling of my 5th great grandfather, and I’ve added another will to my to do list. Those are 5 and 10 credits a piece sometimes, so they come when I’m really blocked or feeling like I want to spend some money. What a rebel I am!

James Love and Janet Fleming's family
James Love and Janet Fleming’s family

All that yesterday on top of surgery on my great grandmother Llewellyn’s sewing machine (according to Grandpa Moore it was hers)! Today I think I’ll stick to some office work for the rest of the day and make sure all my logs and lists are up to date. I also have to add James and Janet’s family to my database on the website so that when I talk about them, you can find out who I’m talking about.

P.S. Just because I was away, doesn’t mean I didn’t notice that nifty new feature on FTM2012!

Web links? Yes please!
Web links? Yes please!

You have no idea how much easier it will be to update my website manually when I’m researching now!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to work on the next RMC update tomorrow and Friday! I’m really ready for the redesign to be moving forward again!

Note: As part of the redesign I’ll be making a disclaimer page. Until I get all that sorted out, just to be clear, I have no affiliation with anyone for any perks. I just really love the tools that I use and I like to get excited about new finds. I do not currently make any money for this website, so please don’t sue me for any reason. I’m really wanting to save up for an iPhone 5 come December. ^.^ <– That’s my giggly face.

Is the computer on or is it just me?

Whew, who knew a break from technology would be that long. I sure didn’t! Yesterday I ended my unexpected hiatus by booting up my desktop and opening every genealogy program I own. I guess I had decided enough was enough and it was time to do something tech related again.

My focus yesterday was the Love family. (Of course I chose them, I always start with them after a hiatus.) One of the first things I did was break out my printout of all Love surname marriages for Beith parish. I made the list months ago using credits from Scotlands People. Since I knew I was going to be dealing with a lot of Loves eventually, I spent the credits at the time and figured it couldn’t hurt.

Once I had the list out, I made lists of my ancestors siblings. Using the list I was able to list possible spouses. I say possible because I wasn’t prepared to make any commitments to a spouse until I was sure of them. So armed with my new lists of possible spouses for the siblings, I bit the bullet and got myself some more credits. However, I like to make my credits go as far as I can. Knowing what I know about the Love migration pattern, I went ahead and just did a general LOVE search for deaths in the Statutory Registers. Note: The Statutory Registers began in 1855, before that they used OPR (old parochial registers), however Scotlands People warns that the OPR’s were infrequently used, so aren’t as accurate. I decided to use the Statutory records because I had already found Robert and Elizabeth Love’s deaths in them, so I thought their five siblings might be as well.

6 pages or 6 credits is worth it for me, because that’s 150 LOVE deaths between 1855 and 1930 in Beith parish. Since the age is also listed, I can narrow down quickly if any of these are my ancestors or their siblings.

I quickly was able to find an Andrew Love that fit the parameters for the brother of my 5th Great Grandfather. The record confirms that this Andrew was the son of James Love and Janet Fleming. It also shows that he was also a Grocer (which definitely runs in the family) and the widower of Margaret Jack. Now that I have a spouse name, I can look on my marriage list and find out when they were married. If I wanted to spend another credit, which of course I did, I could do a search for their children’s names. I held off on looking at the actual records of their children’s births for now. They aren’t in my direct line, so I can hold off on verifying them for a little while longer. I did add the marriage and children into my database with placeholder source citations so that I would know I need to still look at the originals.

I’m making some definite progress on the children of James and Janet. I still have more death records to check to see if I can narrow down the other three children. Then it’s onto the Wills & Testaments database on SP for more records if I can find them. Not to mention the census records, I’ve barely touched the Scotland census yet, since I’m trying to get lists of spouses and children to differentiate between all the same names.

That was actually a pretty productive day for being a day back after an extended break. The only thing left is to transfer my hand written notes into Microsoft OneNote and to finish making the printout for Beith death records. Oh and of course I have to update the database on my website. Sheesh, that stuff sure piles up quick doesn’t it!

The Original Taylor Tree

The Original Taylor Tree
The Original Taylor Tree

I’ve come to the point in my Family File Cleanup where I have to make a decision. Whether or not to enter the descendant report for John Taylor into my family file. I have two Taylor descendant reports, the other being the one for Bartholomew Taylor (pictured above). It was easy to use the Bartholomew report because it was easily backed up with record proof. Not entirely but for the most part. Now that I’ve come to adding John and the earlier Taylors in, it gets more difficult.

The reason there is a decision at all is it gets harder to verify the families are correct because I’m venturing past the 1850 census now and into the 1700’s. So I’ll only have a number count for the children in the census and birth records are less frequent and less accessible. I have to decide whether to add these next few generations in or to leave them off. The pros to leaving them off would mean a complete fresh start with the early Taylor generations. The downside is that I’ve seen enough of the parish records over in Salisbury, Maryland to know that having a guideline would be a tremendous asset. You see, there are a lot of John, William and James Taylors in those records. I’m also finding in this cleanup that my original trees were a bit more accurate then I originally thought. Which is a good thing. There are inaccuracies but they are quickly rooted out.

Jane Menzies-Love
Jane Menzies-Love

What I think I’ll end up doing is adding them into the tree but not adding them to the website until I’ve got more than just my descendant report as a source. I definitely don’t want my website information to get out of hand or inaccurate. I’ve noticed while getting my tree synced on that a lot of my pictures are being added to people’s family trees. I guess I hit the genealogy jackpot with that picture of Jane Menzies-Love because it is a popular one in member trees. The only problem is that no one is contacting me to compare information or trees. Since I know that my tree is being used as a resource, I don’t want to lead anyone in the wrong direction. There’s no reason that adding them to the website can’t wait until I’ve got more information in hand. I don’t like to take family lore completely out of the loop, but I’m definitely learning more about what can happen with internet genealogy.

So for now, I add the descendant reports as unsourced family records and then try and find the proof in the actual records next time I’m over on the Eastern Shore. I know I say I’m going to these places a lot and then never go, but it’s just the way it goes. I’ll get there someday and I just want to be ready for it when I do. My biggest flaw is getting flustered and overwhelmed when I walk into the libraries. Not anymore, I’ll have a clear, concise list and plan in hand the next time!

What I meant about syncing my FTM file

On July 2nd, I posted an entry titled, What I’ve Been Working On. In the entry I wrote:

 If I had synced my FTM file with, then my source citations would have been a little weird. For example, it would have shown everything on the Ancestry tree, however, the census images and death records wouldn’t be linkable to the databases on Ancestry.

After posting this entry, Russ Worthington, who writes the ever helpful Family Tree Maker User blog, posted a comment wondering if what I was saying was true. It’s tough to get points across through blog comments, so I’m going to show an example of what I actually meant. However, Russ is technically right, there are ways to sync the files so that the citations are linked and how I want, it just takes a little work.

Thinking about it now I should have just realized what the complete and utter truth was… I didn’t want to spend too much time messing around with the syncing issue when I’m still working on my Family File Cleanup (which I still need to make a category for and organize). Not to mention the website re-design.

William H Moore example (click for full size)
William H Moore example (click for full size)

Let’s use William H Moore as our example. This is how William’s person screen comes up in FTM 2012. As you can see I use Census to track the census and Address to track when an individual address is given. I do that because I also use city directories, draft cards, and vital records to track when someone is listed as living at a certain address. I’m still trying to figure out how I would like those addresses listed, but as I’m now on the Kentucky side of my family, addresses aren’t given at all most times, so it’s not a pressing issue anymore.

1920 Census Citation (click for full size)
1920 Census Citation (click for full size)

Above, you can see my census source citation for the 1920 Census fact of William. I love how this citation is set up, it makes for easy to read reference notes and finding citations quickly in the source screen.

Source Screen (click for full size)
Source Screen (click for full size)

Here’s my Source screen to show how easy it is to navigate with my citation method. member tree file example (click for full size) member tree file example (click for full size)

Okay, here is my work in progress member tree file. This is the same example as  the other file, the 1920 census citation. As you can see, Ancestry uses the Residence fact instead of census. Which I don’t have a problem with, it’s just not how I want to organize my file. This isn’t impossible to work with though. What I like is I can click directly on ‘View Source Online’ and I can go right to’s 1920 Census page for William H Moore. In fact, I don’t just like that I LOVE that.

The other thing I don't like (click for full size)
The other thing I don’t like (click for full size)

The other thing I don’t particularly like is for some reason, on some records, Ancestry doesn’t pick up the whole household. So this citation for William H Moore is only attached to him. On my working file, I have it linked to him and his daughter, who is living with him at the time. Again though, this is not impossible to work with. I can just link her to the citation later. No big deal there.

Ancestry Member Tree (click for full size)
Ancestry Member Tree (click for full size)

Here’s my Ancestry Member Tree page for William H Moore. As you can see, all the information is there. The point is that I wanted my files to be linked by those database links there on the right. However, if I were to just upload and sync my tree, that wouldn’t be the case. They’d be listed there, but it wouldn’t be as links to the database for the census. In fact, I wouldn’t even be able to link them manually at that point because doesn’t support linking the census information to a fact named Census. If you try to manually link something, your only option is for birth, marriage, death, and residence.

Again, this situation is not impossible to work with. Now that I took the time to play with it, (which you should always do before saying something is “weird”), I can tell you how I would work around these limitations to make a fully synced file with

Download Member Tree Source Page (click for full size)
Download Member Tree Source Page (click for full size)

I manually go into the source citation for William H Moore and put my source information in and edit the Master Source title to something of my liking. Now this citation will come out as the footnote that I like to have. However, there’s one more issue I was working with.

Fact Data Options (click for full size)
Fact Data Options (click for full size)

To make those residence facts into census facts, I bring up the Fact Data Options menu and I change them from residence to census.

Sync Time
Sync Time

Once I’ve changed those facts to census, I go ahead and sync my tree to see if that’s what I wanted to achieve.

Final Product (click for full size)
Final Product (click for full size)

So in conclusion, yes I can achieve what I want, it just takes a little work to get there. :)

I know I’m being a pain about exactly how I wanted it to work. It’s just that I’ve been working for 2 years to get my source citations the uniform and clean way that they are in my file. In fact halfway through the project I finally got my hands on my own copy of Evidence Explained and saw that maybe I wasn’t doing it exactly as clean as I thought. So I’m still cleaning up a bit. My census citations are my pride and joy though. I worked hard to get them to the point they’re at and I didn’t know at the time what syncing would do to them. Now I know though.

Here are my conclusions:

  1. It wouldn’t matter if I were to sync my file. doesn’t recognize the census fact, so it wouldn’t change my citations. I could simply attach the record to my online tree, sync, copy my census source citation onto the residence source citation and then change the residence fact to a census fact. Then on my next sync, voila!
  2. I will think about this hard now because there’s no point in continuing to do a manual online tree, if I can have a fully synced one later.
  3. One huge project at  a time! I will focus primarily on re-adding people from my old “Original” file into the clean file and sourcing them.
  4. What I’m considering doing is going ahead and linking up my family tree and “syncing” as I go because hello, I’m already neck deep in census citations during this project and it would save me time later.
  5. I love learning new things.
  6. Why didn’t I just rehab my Original file?
  7. I’m lazy.
  8. Please let me know if there is an easier way. I won’t be offended I promise. I write this blog to show how I do things and to get feedback! It’s called “Misadventures of a Genealogist” for a reason folks.
  9. I’m kind of lazy.
  10. I’m indecisive too. If you haven’t noticed.

So there ya go. :) I’ve now explained my compulsive indecisive disorder for all. A big thank you to Russ for making me slow down and explain myself! I can really get ahead of myself sometimes.

One Year and Four Months Later

On March 16, 2011, I posted an entry that basically turned into a pep talk for myself. I can’t even believe it was that long ago that I made that pep talk to myself. In that year and four months, so much has happened. Grandpa Moore moved into our house from Seattle, Washington in May of 2011. In May of 2012, Grandpa passed away. We’ve added new additions to the tree and we lost a few too.

In the scope of my family file cleanup (I’m adding a category for that.), I was a year in already at the time. Or close to a year. I had finished up my Dad’s side of the tree and I was working on my Mom’s. In that year, I know I’ve expanded even my Dad’s side, but my Mom’s has grown a lot too.

March of 2011
March of 2011 (click for full size)
July of 2012
July of 2012 (click for full size)

Because my March picture only shows 5 generations, I don’t know exactly how far back on the Mays side I actually was at the time. In the entry though, I mentioned I was nearing the finish line on them. So since March I have finished the Mays line, Slusher line, Moyer line, Evans line, and I’m currently working on the Taylor line. It sounds like I’ve slowed down, and I’m sure I did while I was caring for Grandpa. However, the Mays and Taylor lines are the largest ones on my tree. All my lines except the Taylors only go a few generations past the ones shown above (if any). The Taylors go back many more then that, which is why I’m still working on them right now. If I remember correctly, I have at least five more generations of Taylors to add to my new tree. They are also one of those families that had quite a few children.

What I do have is the stats from when I last posted numerical statistics from my new file in February of 2011.

(click for full size)

I think this shows a better picture of how far my file has come. Since February of 2011 I have added (all sourced) 1075 people, 1 generation, 200 surnames, 203 places, and 74 sources. I have a new earliest birthday in Robert Love (thank you ScotlandsPeople!) and I’ve made a few additions of the newest family members. It’s so fun looking at these numbers because it shows me just how far I’ve come. :)

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