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Family File Hijinks

When to Change the Spelling on a Name?

One of the problems I still struggle with is when to change a spelling for one of my families. Usually it’s not an issue. 90% of my families stay pretty consistent. There is that other 10% though. My latest example being the Featherson/Featherston family.

I first became aware of the Feathersons on my great-grandparents marriage certificate.

0284-CliffordHerbertRedford-MR
New Jersey Office of Vital Statistics & Registry, marriage certificate 4422 (1923), Redford-Parkin; New Jersey Department of Health, Trenton

My 2x great-grandmother’s maiden name on this record shows Jennie Featherson. Now in indexes, it usually comes up as Peatherson just like Sutcliffe usually comes up as Putcliffe. I really believe that is an F on this record.

Once I had her maiden name, I tried searching for her in a census. I knew then that Jane Parkin was born in 1896 and since the 1890 census is gone I have to go father back than I would normally like. I tried searching in the 1885 New Jersey State Census and came up with nothing after trying many spellings.  That leaves the 1880 Census. I should also note that I found John Walter Parkin, his wife Jennie, and their 4 children in the 1900 census. That means I have an estimated birth date of Jan/June 1875 in Pennsylvania.

William Featherston, 1880 Census
1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Baltimore County, Maryland. Baltimore city, enumeration district (ED) 33, p. 546-A, dwelling 94, family 106, William Featherston; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Apr 2016); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 498.

I was a little surprised to find my closest match living in Baltimore, Maryland in 1880. It might seem like a jump, but putting together the evidence, maybe not so much. Jennie Featherston is about 5 years old and born in Pennsylvania. Her mother was born in New Jersey as were her parents. This is a nice fit, but how can I prove this is my Jennie? Featherston and Featherson are close enough. Then I got an idea to check a city directory. I thought maybe if I found William Featherston/Featherson in the city directory and his name was spelled without the T, then that would help my case.

William Featherston, 1882
John W. Woods, Baltimore City Directory, 1882: 289; digital images, Ancestry http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 Apr 2016.

Strange enough, I couldn’t find him in 1880, but kept checking and finally found him in an 1882 Baltimore City Directory. It looks like the T is still sticking to his name though. This means I need more records, and more instances to compare. So I sent away for the marriage certificate of Jennie Featherson and John Walter Parkin.

0310-JohnWParkin-MR
New Jersey State Archives, marriage certificate (1891), Parkin-Featherson; New Jersey Division of Archives & Records Management.

Well, this 1891 marriage certificate just confuses me more. Here I have Jennie Featherson, born in Philadelphia, USA (NEW CLUE!), her father is listed as William Featherson and her mother as Jennie with no maiden name. That doesn’t exactly help my case either, since the 1880 Census of William Featherston has a wife named Anna. I just have more questions. Are these the same families? Are they different families? Is Anna a second wife and Jennie a first wife? There is a gap between William Featherston’s second and third child, plus a change in location. That could be a gap where his wife died. It was about this time where I remembered that I had Jennie and John Parkin in 1900 with their four children and it should list the birthplaces of her parents.

John Parkin, 1900
1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Essex County, New Jersey. Newark Ward 11, enumeration district (ED) 113, sheet 12-A, p. 12-A, dwelling 172, family 248, John Walter; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Apr 2016); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 966.

Please forgive the surname on this record, the family is listed as having a surname of Walter, which is John’s middle name. If I pay attention to just Jennie though, I notice her father was born in England and her mother in New Jersey. Okay, so my 1880 Census couple the Featherston’s might still be a fit. Also notice that Jennie named her first-born daughter Anna.

It’s at this point that I realized I’m going to need more records than what I now have. Really, I could always use more records. Before I could decide to add this couple into my tree as Jennie’s parents, I just needed a little more. I went to FamilySearch.org and checked their catalog. They’ve had so much added recently, I thought I might try to see what they have.

Anne Featherston, 1875It turns out they have a Philadelphia City Births collection! Just what I needed… I guess. There is a perfect fit for Featherston, if my 2x great grandmother’s name was Anne. However, if you look over my previous records, they could use Anne or Jennie as a nickname of the other name. Or maybe they are still 2 different families.

It also doesn’t help that between 1900 and the 1905 New Jersey State Census, I lose my 2x great grandmother Jennie. I am assuming she died because John is living with his mother and their children are living in what looks like a children’s home. By 1910, John is also gone and the kids bounce around a lot. The Featherstons and Feathersons both disappear as well. It is obvious more research is needed.

If this turns out to be the right family it is surely enough evidence to change the name in my database from Featherson to Featherston. The question I have though, is how much evidence do you wait for before changing the spelling of a name in your database? Except for the two marriage records, all other spellings of the family name is Featherston. Yet, the more solid resources, vital records, give the name as Featherson.

SNGF: My 2nd Great Grandparents

Randy Seaver has a new Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post up! Since all my housework is done for the day and the house is settling down, I decided to jump in on this one and see how it went.

The mission is to list my 16 great-great grandparents with their birth year, their death year, and their lifespan. It should be interesting to see how they vary or if they vary at all. I’m going to list them as they go right down my pedigree, in fact, for fun here is my pedigree. 🙂

Kathleen's Pedigree

You can see their dates up there but I am going to type them anyway.

  1. Robert James Moore Sr. (1871-1925) 54 years old.
  2. Mary E. Johnson (1873-?) She died between 1910 and 1915, so between 37 and 42 years old.
  3. Lewis Thorward (1875-1946) 71 years old.
  4. Jennie Viola Love (1876-1960) 84 years old.
  5. Herbert Redford (1872-1940) 67 years old.
  6. Sarah Ann Sutcliffe (1873-1924) 51 years old. I found her headstone but not her death certificate.
  7. John Walter Parkin (1863-?) I think he died between 1905 and 1910, so between 42 and 47 years old.
  8. Jennie Featherson (1875-?) I think she died between 1900 and 1905, so between 25 and 30 years old.
  9. John Harmon Mays (1842-1927) 84 years old.
  10. Celia Slusher (1844-1914) 70 years old.
  11. Charles Moyer (1861-1940) 78 years old.
  12. Ada May Evans (1873-1925) 52 years old.
  13. George Thomas Taylor (1863-1913) 50 years old.
  14. Mollie Jane Webb (1867-1931) 64 years old.
  15. James William Applegate (1862-1951) 88 years old.
  16. Elizabeth West (1870-1938) 68 years old.

The average lifespan is 62 years. The average birth year is 1866 and the average death year is 1933. Very interesting and I see where I need to do a little more work at too!

 

Isaiah West and the Z-ladies

For years, there has been a mystery surrounding my 3x great grandparents, Isaiah West and Zemiah/Zerurah/Zeniah/Rura Black. Thanks to a new 5th cousin connection, I have a much clearer timeline in my head for what really happened. Not to mention I want to get my greedy hands on the Barton papers in Pendleton County! My brand new 5th cousin Christy wrote up a timeline that I think makes perfect sense. That inspired me dig up some of the records to back up that theory. Great teamwork if you ask me! I want her to have the credit for the theory, because once I started reading what she wrote it made a lot of sense to me! Christy is descended through Isaiah’s sister Sallie Ann West-McClanahan, who will come into play later in the timeline. 😉

April 30, 1853

Isaiah West and Samuel McClanahan swear out a marriage bond for Isaiah and Samuel’s daughter, Zerelda Jane McClanahan.

May 4, 1853

Isaiah West and Zerelda Jane McClanahan were married in Pendleton County, Kentucky. Marriage Certificate, Marriage Register

March 5, 1856

Isaiah West and Zerelda McClanahan have a son named Henry A. West in Pendleton County, Kentucky. Birth Record

Sometime after Henry’s birth Zerelda dies (allegedly). I haven’t found her death record yet.

August 11, 1860

In Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky, the US Federal census is taken. Samuel McClanahan is recorded first. Sallie West-McClanahan is recorded right after. Living with her is a Zacariah West, age 35 and Henry West, age 5.  Right after that, John Black is recorded with his family, which includes Rachael Black, age 23.

October 30, 1861

Izah West and John F. Black swear out a marriage bond between Izah and Zemiah Black. The marriage is to take place on November 4, 1861 at John F. Black‘s residence. The marriage bond lists Izah as 30 years old, but lists this is his second marriage. Zemiah is listed as 24 years old and this is her first marriage.

November 4, 1861

Izah West and Zemiah Black are married at “her father’s house” in the presence of J. Willson, F. McClanahan and Walter Macketee. Marriage License and Certificate.

August 6, 1870

In Berlin, Bracken County, Kentucky, the US Federal census is taken. Isiah West and his wife Zeruah are counted with two children Jackson and Susan. Another child, Lafayette West seems to not be there. Also living in the household is 14 year old Henry West.

September 1, 1877

Henry A. West and Martha (McClanahan) Thornberry are selling off a piece of Samuel P. McClanahan’s land to a James B. McClanahan. Further cementing Henry A. West as Samuel McClanahan’s grandson. This is the final reference I have to Henry.

June 1880

Isaiah West and Zernie West are counted in the 1880 United States Census with 5 children. None of them are Henry. The sad part about this being that if Henry was still in their household, it might have said son listed as his relationship.

February 28, 1899

Jack West marries Laura McClanahan in Bracken County, Kentucky. His father is listed as being born in Bracken County, Kentucky. His mother is listed as being born in Pendleton County, Kentucky. This is Jack’s first marriage and Laura’s second. Marriage Record Page 1, Marriage Record Page 2

June 1900

The 1900 United States Census is the last time I see Isaiah or Zemiah. Though I don’t know what to really call her because she is something different on every record. In this census Zemiah says she has given birth to 10 children, with only 5 living. Elizabeth, Michael, Edith are living with her. Jackson and Lafayette are married with families. A child, Isaiah M. West who was months old in 1880, is not listed in this census. I already have 5 children found, so I am assuming Isaiah M. West has died. That leaves 4 more children I need to see if there are birth and death records for.

Zemiah Black's Name Variations

June 1900

Jack and Laura West are living in Falmouth, Kentucky with her son Burg and their child together Ester. Also living in the house is Sallie McClanahan. She is listed as Jack’s Aunt. According to my new cousin, Sallie wills Jack her land as a repayment for him taking care of her in her later years. I really want to get my hand on these E. E. Barton papers. 😉

December 10, 1908

Edith West marries Anderson Curtis at the residence of James William Applegate (husband of Elizabeth West). Her father is listed as Isaiah West and mother as Ruie Black. Both are listed as being born in Bracken County, Kentucky. Marriage Record Page 1, Marriage Record Page 2

Aug 4, 1912

Isaiah and Zemiah’s son, Michael West passes away at the age of 35. His father is listed as Isaia West and his mother is listed as Rura Black. Both are listed as being born in Bracken County, Kentucky. The informant on the record is Elizabeth West‘s husband, James William Applegate. Death Record

July 30, 1938

On July 30, 1938, my 2nd great grandmother, Elizabeth West-Applegate passed away. On her death certificate her mother is listed as Zeroah Black and father as Isaiah West. Both are listed as being born in Bracken County, Kentucky. The informant for the record was Elizabeth’s husband, James William Applegate.

1930s and 1940s

The E. E. Barton papers. A very prominent lawyer in Pendleton County was very interested in Northern Kentucky genealogy. He spent over 50 years researching but in the 1930s and 1940s he interviewed residents and transcribed records from the courthouse. These family notes should be treated the same way family bibles are, as secondary sources, but they are still so valuable. Also, I don’t know the copyright on these papers so I’m not going to post them here. I know there are volunteer groups working to transcribe them to the web, and I believe the “originals” are in possession of the Pendleton County Historical and Genealogical Society in Frankfort. To find out more, read this great article by Cheri Daniels. I’m going to be looking more into that soon!

Christy sent me a couple of examples that back up her theory about Isaiah’s marriage. In the examples it mentioned that Henry West m. in Pendleton County, went west. It also says Lafayette went west with Henry. Now I’ve been looking and I found Lafayette out “west” but no sign of Henry yet. Lafayette was in Missouri in 1900 before reaching Colorado and settling. I haven’t entered all that into the website or my program yet, or this entry would never get finished! Maybe I will do a Lafayette entry on his own someday. 😉

My next step is to search out some more records. I have two goals I want to accomplish. This first one is to document the variations in Zemiah‘s name to try and have an idea of what her actual name is. The second goal is to have as much evidence as possible that there is one Isaiah West, who married two different Z-ladies, as I call them. 😉

These are the records I will be searching for in the future:

  1. Zerelda McClanahan‘s death record. It should be sometime between 1856 and 1861.
  2. Birth records, if they exist, for all of Zemiah and Isaiah’s children.
  3. Death records for all the other children of Zemiah and Isaiah.
  4. Find Edith West-Curtis‘ death certificate. I know where she is buried, so I just have to find out where she died.
  5. Lafayette West in the 1870 Census. Maybe he is living with a family member? Or maybe his estimated age was off in 1880.
  6. Marriage record for Henry West in Pendleton County, Kentucky.
  7. Marriage record for Lafayette West and Mattie O’Neal. I have them in the census until 1940, but haven’t found their marriage record yet.
  8. Marriage record for James William Applegate and Elizabeth Susan West.
  9. Death Record for Henry that will hopefully show his mother’s maiden name. He was young when she died so it could go either way on that one.

I really enjoyed making this timeline and I think I will do at least one a week! It really helped me have to gather all my records and re-examine them.

Isaiah West and Zemiah Black Marriage Record

I will be writing up a timeline post for Isaiah West, hopefully this week. Right now I am working on updating his section of my database website. That way I can point to the exact records I will be talking about. I am just so excited to finally see proof of this marriage.

Isaiah West, Zemiah Black
Isaiah West, Zemiah Black marriage bond

Pendleton County, Kentucky, Marriage Bonds, 1851-1864, v. 6: 139, West-Black, 1861; digital images, Family Search (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKJ9-SX8X : accessed 23 Apr 2016).

659 Days since my last blog

It has been 659 days since my last real blog post. I had no plans to abandon my blog. Life sort of just happened to me. Shortly after my last blog post, one of my Aunts suddenly passed away. I didn’t know it at the time, or even until recently, but I believe I fell into a depression. I wasn’t diagnosed, I didn’t talk to anyone but my family about it, but I completely lost my passion for life for a long time. It’s only now that I’m starting to get back to doing things I love like genealogy, and hopefully soon  quilting.

I have made a lot of changes over the time I’ve been away from the blog, including a switch over from Family Tree Maker to Legacy. This was long before the announcement recently about Family Tree Maker. My reason for switching was mainly because the program kept crashing and corrupting my file. I’d have to “clean” it up all over again after downloading the synced version from Ancestry. I haven’t regretted the change but as with all software changes this has come with a learning curve. Not to mention, again cleaning up the sources after the import process.

20160304_153636

I don’t have plans to regularly post on the blog yet. Only because now that my computer situation is finally stable, I am cleaning up and organizing. I haven’t felt much like devoting that kind of time to that process in a long time but I’m finding it very helpful in getting my motivation back.

I hope everyone who is reading this is doing well and I hope to write again soon!

lovekathleen

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.

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!

Moores in 1915, driving me crazy

One of the things I’m doing is trying to find my Moore families in the New York state censuses. It’s not easy because of their commonly used names, but it’s fun looking anyway. I had found William H Moore Jr in 1915 at his usual address in Queens. In 1920, he lives at the same address, but in Brooklyn not Queens. I checked the map at the time and when I did, I completely understood!

47 Crosby Avenue in Google Earth
47 Crosby Avenue in Google Earth

The green line you see is the county line. It separates Kings County (Brooklyn) from Queens County. No doubt that border moved itself a bit before finally settling where it is now. Fun fact: That big green area is  The Evergreens Cemetery where the Moore family is buried.

1915 census of New York State, Queens County, New York. Evergreen town, New York City AD 03, ED 36, p. 052 (penned), William H Moore; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).
1915 census of New York State, Queens County, New York. Evergreen town, New York City AD 03, ED 36, p. 052 (penned), William H Moore; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

The above image shows where I had found William Jr‘s family in Queens in 1915. Just where I knew they would be, living at 47 Crosby Avenue.

This week I was working in Family Tree Maker. Making everything neat and tidy. Really just working on what I can without all my files, since I’m still waiting on the new computer. Imagine my surprise when a little green leaf showed me something a little surprising and informative!

1915 census of New York State, Kings County, New York. Brooklyn AD 22, ED 23, p. 053 (penned), Wm Henry Moore; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).
1915 census of New York State, Kings County, New York. Brooklyn AD 22, ED 23, p. 053 (penned), Wm Henry Moore; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

William Jr‘s family was enumerated twice! This isn’t the first time this has happened to someone in my tree. It is the first time I’ve gotten extra information though, which is awesome. This one finally, finally, finally, suggests something I suspected, that the H in both William’s names stands for Henry. It also led me to William Jr‘s brother and business partner John. He is about 5 households up the street in this census.

Family Tree Maker 2012 Places Glitch

Or at least, what I’m calling a glitch. I have no idea if this is something I’ve done or if it’s a bonafide glitch. I just know I add my stuff the same way every time and I don’t have 8,345 instances of Johnsville, Bracken County, Kentucky in my file.

click for full size
click for full size

For some reason, I had a LOT of Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland this morning. It’s probably been there awhile since I don’t usually check the places tab. I was curious today though and wanted to try something new. I got to do something new alright!

click for full size
click for full size

I went through the process of merging all the instances of Beith together. Since they are all identical I didn’t think Resolving would do anything, but I wish I had tried now because that might have been quicker. Next time I’ll try. I feel like I was working on it for 8 years, but it really turned out to be a half hour. Okay 45 minutes, but I did get distracted and walked away from it a few times. It was pretty monotonous.

click for full size
click for full size

Eventually I was down to enough that they fit the screen! An end was in sight!

click for full size
click for full size

I have no idea how I ended up with at least 76 different listings for Beith but I hope it never happens again. That doesn’t seem to be my luck though. I’ll just keep an eye on it and maybe Google it.

Can you guys tell I’m procrastinating yet? Thank god it’s Friday! I hope everyone has a good one!

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