Category Archives: Misadventures of a Genealogist

The Website

My website was down for about a week while it was moved to another server. I am fixing the broken images on the last few blog posts now. They should all work by tonight!

William, Father of William

Even though my main focus is to clean up my source citations, every once and a while you just need to put in a little research time. So that’s what I do when I just need to do something fun with my genealogy.

Manchester Cathedral records

This strategy has paid off for me because I managed to find William Travis and Sarah Booth‘s marriage record! That means I’m back one more generation since it gives the father’s names.

1841 census of England; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com); entry for William Travis (age 60), citing HO107/111/14 folio 00, p. 13; Hyde township, ED 0; accessed 6 Apr 2014. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=uki1841&h=116379&indiv=try.
1841 census of England; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com); entry for William Travis (age 60), citing HO107/111/14 folio 00, p. 13; Hyde township, ED 0; accessed 14 May 2014. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=uki1841&h=116379&indiv=try.

I was also able to confirm that this 1841 England Census entry was in fact William, Sarah, and their 4 month old daughter Frances. I was about 95% already but confirming that William’s father was named William gave me the last 5%. Now I have to figure out who David and Alice are. I’m assuming siblings of William, Jr. Or maybe David is a son of Alice. They are 20 years apart so anything is possible at this point.

I love figuring things out a small step at a time because I’m able to really take in the info! What’s your latest exciting find?

Mystery Monday: Belle Brodie Returns!

bellbrodie-00

Before my unintentional hiatus from the blog and genealogy, I was working on a little mystery. It was actually quite fun and I’m eager to pick up where I left off.

This weekend, I received a discount in my e-mail to come back to Ancestry.com and I decided to go ahead and use the discount to upgrade to the World Membership for at least the 6 month term of that discount. With my World Membership I can see the Canadian census images now which really excites me.

If your memory is as fuzzy as mine, I posted previously that Ancestry hinted at some exciting news before my membership expired and my computer went nuts. Now is my first chance since August (WOW!) to look through those records except for trying to use indexes.

I’m going to show you a timeline of my Belle Brodie  info so we can all finally know who she was!

Abt. 1835 – Isabella Farris is born to John and Janet Farris in New Brunswick, Canada

1851 – Isabella Farris is enumerated with her parents and six siblings in Westminster, Ontario, Canada

Note: I should mention that Westminster is basically a neighborhood in the outlying part of London, Ontario. 

1861 – Isabella Brodie is still living in Westminster but now with her husband, a daughter and a son.

1866 – Bell Brodie writes a letter from London, Ontario to her dear cousin detailing a visit that her cousin’s mother is currently on.

1871 – Isabella’s family which includes her husband and daughter Jessie are enumerated as living in London, Ontario, Canada.

1881 – Hugh, Isabella and Jessie are still living in London, Ontario.

April 1882 – Jessie Brodie is married to Detroit resident Francis William John Peel.

Around 1886 – Hugh, Isabella and family including Jessie move across the border into Detroit.

1900 – Hugh, Isabella and their grand daughter Isobel Peel are now living in Detroit, Michigan.  Per this census, Isabella had 3 children with only one still living. I assume that is Jessie who is living in Springswells, Michigan with her husband and 3 other living children (Laura, Hugh, Margareth/Marjorie).  They live minutes away from each other.

1906 – Isabella’s husband Hugh dies in Detroit, Michigan.

1910 – A now widowed Isabella Brodie is living in Detroit with her two grand daughters, Isobel and Marjorie Peel. Also widowed, Jessie is living with her daughter Laura’s family.

1920 – Isabella is still living with grand daughter Isobel Peel. No sign so far of Jessie or Marjorie.

There are still tons of holes to fill in this timeline. I basically followed Isabella (Belle) down through her lifetime as I could find the records. Even knowing that she was born to John and Janet Farris, I haven’t quite linked her to my Ferris/Farris/Farish family. I just know that John Farris is about 4 years older than my Jane Ferris-Menzies and that they were both from Dumfries, Scotland. I’m going to try and track down some more records but I can’t even believe how far I’ve come so far when I started knowing so little!

My new goals with Belle Brodie are probably going to be low priority ones now that the information is getting harder to find. There is still plenty to find but it will take more effort. So I’m probably going to go ahead and make my research notes on this and pick it up less often until I can at least link John and Jane.

Even More Source Cleanups

Well, I did it. I got through all my census citations. They’re all back to what they were before the computer switcheroo. Now I’m onto the other 80 sources that duplicated themselves in the merge.

My Clean Sources as of May 1st.
My Clean Sources as of May 1st.

Throughout all those census citations, I frequently took “breaks” to do something different. Different like parish records and newspaper records instead of turning 900+ census citations into 200… for each census.

Naturally when you’re looking at all these sources, it makes you want to research. Unfortunately, my sources were in such a state that it confused me more so I held off on that.

One thing I did do though was make myself a 1940 census lookup list.

I started by creating a custom report that filtered in anyone born before 1941 and after 1830 (you never know). Then I filtered out anyone who had a death date before 1940. Lastly, I filtered out anyone who had a census event containing 1940.

1940 Census Lookup List
1940 Census Lookup List

I then printed out the 48 pages (24 double sided) and saved it to PDF also for later. I like to have a paper list beside me but I’ll probably make a section in OneNote for each census to keep notes on why I couldn’t find someone or if I find something I want to look at again later. I sure can’t wait until I can get back to blogging about actual research again!

All these are the things that will occupy my Genealogy Friday, including answering more emails. I’m just about caught up. I hope everyone out there in cyberspace is able to do a little genealogy this weekend.

Vacation

You might have noticed that my new trend of posting on Fridays broke last week. That was because I had a tiny secret… I was on vacation! Well, not exactly yet but first thing last Saturday morning my mother, my sister and I all loaded up and headed to Ohio for some “family fun time”. Seriously that was our official term that my cousin Patty came up with.

It was technically a girls weekend and it was so much fun. We rented a cabin around Hocking Hills State Park. There was no internet, no cell phone service and it was heaven!

Old Mans Cave, Hocking Hills, Ohio
Old Mans Cave, Hocking Hills, Ohio

So there aren’t any blog posts this week again, but I have made progress and I’m still on target!

Source Cleanups and Using OneNote

Last Friday, my goal was to cleanup the 1880 US Census source citations in my family file. I accomplished that and more! I ended up cleaning up 1880 US, 1881 England and Scotland, 1892 New York and 1895 Kansas and New Jersey. Granted those other ones are smaller amounts in my file but progress to me is progress.

Unlike last week, I think this week’s goal will have to be done bits at a time throughout the week. This week’s goal is the 1900 census.

The 1900 US Census
The 1900 US Census

In my original file I only had 148 citations and in the new merged file there were over 600.

The other thing I’m exploring this week is using Microsoft OneNote as my main note-taking software. I’ve been wishy washy (technical term :p) on whether to use OneNote or Evernote. When my family decided to go in together on purchasing the subscription to Microsoft Office 365, my mind was finally made up. I have not only my Dropbox account now but also my Microsoft SkyDrive for backup purposes.

The biggest curve is just learning all that it can do. It’s really quite a powerful tool. I’ll try and get a more in depth entry up. My sister has completely mastered it and I’m trying to get her help in adapting her college notebooks for genealogy use. Basically I’m trying to pin her down for a tutorial!

My Moore Family OneNote Notebook
My Moore Family OneNote Notebook

So far, I have one notebook for my mother’s side and one for my father’s side. I’m still trying to work out exactly how I’m going to organize it but I’ve already learned about attaching links to files and creating checklists and things of that nature.

William H Moore's Page in OneNote
William H Moore’s Page in OneNote

This is the first thought pattern I had on how to organize my notebook. It drills down from the Moore Line main notebook to the Moore surname. Then from there I have pages setup for individuals. From there I’ve added sub-pages for each section that I might need.

I don’t know if this is going to be effective yet because I’ve just started. We’ll see what my sister thinks when I finally sit her down!

Do you use OneNote? How do you organize your research? I’d sure love to hear!

Genealogy Fridays

Fridays are my new Genealogy time. For some reason today I realized that when I watch the Ancient Aliens marathon on History 2, it makes me want to do genealogy. I might as well take advantage of the boost in inspiration!

Most of my week is starting to fill up with sewing projects, so by the time Friday rolls around I’m ready to be stationary for awhile. Anything that doesn’t involve wrestling quilts is ideal really.

So today, I’ve already started to answer some of those emails that have built up and I’m going to be working in Family Tree Maker also.

Cleaning Up my Sources
Cleaning Up my Sources

The main goal is to get my sources all cleaned up. When I downloaded my tree from Ancestry, they had created a separate source for each event on each person. I usually link all facts/people to the one source citation. It goes quicker than you might imagine but I can’t do it too much at once. Today my goal will be to just get the 1880 census fixed up.

When I get tired of this for the day I will start cleaning up my paper files. Even though I’m trying to go as paperless as possible, my paper has piled up. Mostly because I’ve needed to print something for someone or because I needed to see it not on a computer screen. My documents have gotten a bit messy. Not after today, today they all go back to where they belong!

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