Category Archives: Family File Hijinks

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: William Mays

This is my first Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post! This is a prompt put forth by Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings. I thought this one would be particularly fun since a lot of my Mays relatives had a great many children.

  1. Determine who is one of the most prolific fathers in your genealogy database or in your ancestry. By prolific, I mean the one who fathered the most children.
  2. Tell us about him in your own blog post.

I didn’t need to go far to find one of the most prolific fathers in my tree. There may be one with more children, but they aren’t confirmed by me yet.

The children count for William’s children may be subject to change. I haven’t finished researching them all yet.

William Mays married Anna Click

born: About 1813, Kentucky

  1. James Mays; born Oct 1836, married Margaret Slusher; had 8 children.
  2. Frances Susan Mays; born May 1837, never married (not sure); had 5 illegitimate children.
  3. Nancy L Mays; born about 1839, married William Flannery; not sure of children yet.
  4. Rebecca Mays; born about 1841, not married; had 1 illegitimate child.
  5. John Harmon Mays (my 2nd great grandfather); born Sep 1842, married Celia Slusher; had 4 children (1 was stillborn).
  6. William D Mays; born about 1843, married Lilly; had 4 children.
  7. Elizabeth J Mays; born about 1847, married ? Gray; not sure of children yet.
  8. Thomas Lindsey Mays; born about 1849, married Sarah Elizabeth Whitt; had 6 children.
  9. Anna Z Mays; born about 1852, not married; had 1 illegitimate child.
  10. Arminda Mays; born about 1853, one illegitimate child. married James Shelton, had 2 children. married Joseph Slusher, had 3 children.
  11. Jane Mays, born May 1853, no known spouse or children. (Shoot, she could be Arminda for all I know right now. This family confuses me.)
  12. Jurena Mays, born Mar 1855, married ? Adkins. No known children.
  13. Green Mays, born Jun 1857, married Susannah Gillium; had 11 children.
  14. Sarah Mays, born Jun 1860, no known spouse or children.
  15. Nancy Ellen Mays, born about 1862, married Hansford Conn; had 5 children.

As I stated by Jane’s information this family confuses me too much on the census. The children’s information is always fluctuating. Rebecca has been known to jump around in age by 10 years. I really don’t like to base anything for the Mays’ on any census information if I don’t have to. As you can see they were VERY prolific. It wasn’t just William. His brother Nathan also had 16 or so children. I can’t be sure of Nathan’s though because he was taking care of grandchildren by time the 1880 census came along, so I got very confused about who were children and who were grandchildren. Eventually I’ll sort it all out. They really could have helped out by varying the names of their children but all the Mays’ rotated the same 20 names or so. With each one having children numbering in the teens, well you can see how it would get confusing!

William and Anna Mays household, 1860.

To Do List

There are two things I’m trying to focus on right now:

  1. Getting the website back up to what it was before it was hacked and I deleted all those un-verified people. I feel like the site is empty now, so I really need to get things back up and sourced properly there.
  2. Preparing a to do list (a list within a list, that could get weird) for going to the LDS Family History Center in town. I can probably spend a ton of time there over the summer if I play my cards right. I just want to try and spend my time efficiently.

So that’s what I’m up to right now. Hopefully I don’t overwhelm myself. :)

Follow Friday: Family Search

I am in love with this website. I love this website so much, I’m pretty sure I’d take the drastic step of marrying it if I could. I’m not experienced or smart enough to get lost in the technical jargon about the website, so you’ll have to go elsewhere for that.

I have been using the FamilySearch “Pilot” site for many years now. Mostly in past years for their wonderful collection of Ohio Death Certificates. Recently they’ve made a drastic change. That change is adding so many names to the database I’ll probably never come out on the other side.

I’ve always been hampered in my research in the fact that I have practically no means of travel. If it isn’t in my own town, most likely I can’t get there. Washington D.C. is a day trip that doesn’t happen often, maybe more now, but we’ll see. With these new website updates though, I may not have to stress too bad about that any longer.

A lot of the records they’ve recently put online are just indexes. So they aren’t the most helpful (mostly because of transcription interpreting I think). That doesn’t even hint on the way that they source the indexes and how valid the actual index information is.

This is my favorite part though. I found this marriage record for Mary J Webb. I don’t know who Mary J Webb is quite honestly. I know who her parents are though. Enoch Webb and Jane Lindsey. I’m actually pretty sure of Webb research, so it did surprise me to find a daughter for these two. She was born around 1884 and didn’t marry until 1915. So by all intents and purposes she should be living at home with her parents in 1900 and 1910. That isn’t so though. In fact, it wasn’t until I found this record that I remembered something that always stumped me before. Enoch had an older brother Amos. In 1900 and 1910 Amos had a niece living with him named Minnie/Mammie. I was always stumped by who this girl could belong to. She popped up in 1900 out of nowhere. If I had the 1890 census, things would have been clearer. Once I found this record though, I got excited. I’d finally identified her! The birthday fits and everything.

Is this a 100% identification? Maybe not, but it’s the closest I might ever get! What can I do to verify this information? Well I’m going to have to see where Family Search got their information.

So I took the Film Number and plugged it into the Family History Library Catalog Search.

This is the microfilm that gives me the above information. Straight from the Brown County Courthouse! That’s without a 10+ hour trip to Ohio with people who aren’t exactly into going through old records and cemeteries.

What exactly do I plan to do with this?

I plan to see it for myself, in person if at all possible.

The Genealogy Gods are smiling down on me today folks. They do have a Family History Center in my town! This is great news, and I plan to get a to do list together and head in there in the very near future!

FamilySearch Record Search

Follow Friday is a daily blogging theme I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Follow Friday, simply create a post in which you recommend another genealogy blogger, a specific blog post, a genealogy website or a genealogy resource. Tell us why they are important to the genealogy community and why we should follow.

Good Ol’ Days

Since we’re all friends here, we won’t discuss what I did last night. Just know that I deeply am sorry for the constant changing of my mind. The Random Relative Project™ is still happening, but in a different way. I just couldn’t get it out of my mind last night. Here I was doing all this work on sourcing these random people in my tree and adding them to my website. Then the thought showed up, the one that clung on for dear life and wouldn’t go away. In fact, it won’t go away now, when I’m desperately hungry for a sandwich. So I need to get this out quick so I can make a date with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

So the thought was, “What if these people turn out to be the wrong people?” “What if I spend all this time adding them and sourcing them, and they don’t even belong in my tree?” Yikes. That’s a scary one. One I’m sure I thought of before, but said I’d come to that when I got there. Then more thoughts came, “You assigned them numbers. If you assign them numbers and they aren’t part of the family what will happen to that number?” “Will you keep a list of numbers to recycle?” Oy oy oy with the poodles!

So yes, I will keep on with my Random Relative Project™ in a very unofficial just looking through the census manner. I’d like to at least verify where these folks are in case they are family, and then in case they aren’t maybe they live nearby the real family. The official numbers will have to come from my “Official Family File” though. The one where nothing enters it without a source attached. Of course,  there isn’t much movement on that one except adding in my cousin’s information right now.

I came across this gem today. Poor Nathan Ellis is only 60 years old (Well he was in 1850), and he’s already being considered put out to pasture.  I am positive that sooner, rather than later I am pushing myself to this end. Of course it’ll be another 10 years before anyone can embarrass me on a census. So there’s still hope. Don’t ask me who belongs where in that household. I couldn’t tell ya. I only had Jeremiah, a wife Anna (not Nancy) and a son Washington (he’s next door). So everyone else is up in the air.  Who said genealogy was relaxing anyway? Oh that was me. ^.^

Google Searching

Since I spent so much time transcribing and adding Bartholomew Taylor things into my family file, I’ve decided to go ahead and research him for fun. One of the things I do randomly when I research is I plug the ancestors name into Google and see what comes up. It’s pretty interesting to see what comes up.

I make sure to put the name in quotes. That just helps to cut out a lot of the wrong things. I added Maryland for good measure, since the Taylors are most often associated with Maryland.

Once the search is done, I check out the main results but then I go into my favorite part of Google searches… Books! This will search through a database of books that Google has online. These are all with the cooperation of the publishers so no need to feel like you’re sneaking something.

This is what was in the Marylanders to Kentucky book. I just wanted to show you what type of things are in here. That is definitely my Bartholomew Taylor, and you can see that it gives a whole bunch of Reference numbers. You can line those up with the sources. I actually found this exact book in my local library a few months back. So I’ve already been through it. :) I have photocopies around here somewhere, including what all those numbers mean. I’m pretty sure it’s easy to figure out though, like KPR:1835 is the 1835 Kentucky Pension Roll. I think all the things listed as reference to him have to do with the Revolutionary War, which I believe all those sources were created from his pension request.

The next result was The Wright Ancestry. The Wright family married into the Taylors a few times so I wasn’t surprised that Bartholomew acted as a witness to this Wright family member’s will.

Looking further into the will, you can see that once again a Wright has married a Taylor. Immediately I set about seeing if I have these particular Wright/Taylor ancestors in my file already.

It turns out that the “Sary Wright” is actually the wife of Bartholomew’s first cousin. My Maryland ancestors are a mess in my file though, so I don’t want to leap before I check everything out. Everything here would have come from those descendant reports from my Grandma.  So we’ll see how this turns out!

Hijinks Indeed

This is the 1880 census image I’ve been working on for quite a bit. Not that I don’t know who everyone is or where they go. I do indeed know all of them. It’s just that because I am re-verifying information, I sometimes come back to this page.

As many times as I’ve looked at this image, and seen all the Mays families next to each other, there is something I’ve always missed. Family number 115 there. Morgan Carter. He’s right there smack dab in the middle of a Mays family sandwich. That sandwich includes the Gillam family at the top by the way. It just so happens that family contains Random Relative #1189, Dorothy/Dorthula? Gillium. So that’s why I’m once again back to this image. However, now I’m distracted by Mr. Carter there.

What are the odds that he’s just a random neighbor sandwiched between all those Mays folks. Sure since Anna is the patriarch of the family and the others are offshoots of her family, it’s possible that when they moved off Anna’s farm, they bought land nearby or from her even. (Kentucky, I need a genealogy trip to you like a need an Eggo Blueberry Waffle).  I checked the 1870 and 1860 censuses. He’s not next door to Anna in 1870 but he is in 1860. Weird that it would work out that way but I guess it just depends on which direction the enumerator was going.

I watched a free webinar on Ancestry that I’ll talk about in an upcoming entry. It was talking about cluster genealogy. It wasn’t until I watched that video that I realized I practice it all the time. I didn’t put it into practice because of a brick wall or unending mystery. I put it into practice because of families like this. In my Kentucky and Ohio families, it’s more often then not that I find whole pages of ancestors in the census instead of just one family in a town. It’s such a contrast to my Dad’s family where I look for one family in Brooklyn and I’m lucky if I find them.

So I imagine I’ll end up back here at Morgan Carter eventually. Carter is a surname in my tree in relation to this area. I just haven’t traced it this far back yet, or in some cases this far forward. It’s a surprise to me that I ever get anywhere in my research with how often I change directions!

I’m headed to Ohio for the weekend, a wedding, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to update Monday. I have tons to update though. Once I get on a roll I can’t seem to stop. ^.^

Madness Monday: Back Away…

Sometimes, you just need to back away from your family file. Well I do at least. I found myself this week re-thinking EVERYTHING that involved my research and my blog. I’ve already done the irreversible step of clearing out my Mom’s side of the tree on my website. Which I’ll never regret, because keeping it around was just wrong when I wasn’t sure of the validity of it all.

I’ve read enough on blogs in the last month or so to make me sweat about all things I think I know. It’s been a crazy, educational couple of months. In the end, I deleted everything but my Original Family File and then I made a copy of my Random Number RootsMagic file and plopped it into Family Tree Maker. No more files for me. These three are it. The Original file is now relegated to back up status, even though I back up the other two regularly.

So here I sit, with a clean start on both my website and my family file. Technically I’m not starting completely over though. I still have all those names in my file to contend with. I just won’t add them to the website unless I have them thoroughly and well sourced. Which brings me to my next decision.

I went through all the trouble of having to clean out my website database. This is so my Ref ID #’s on the website and in FTM/RootsMagic will be the same. I couldn’t change an already existing ID # in the website, which I understand completely. So I’m starting over with that in every since of the word. The decision I made though, is I’m going to go ahead and add my Random Relative Project relatives as I finish them. If I don’t feel comfortable adding them to the site yet on what I have, I won’t. Since I know so much more about things on the TNG software though, it doesn’t make sense to save them for later when it’s just as easy to add them now, and then link them in when I get there. It doesn’t harm anything really.

So that’s where I’m at. By the way, I put eighty million categories on this post because they all fit, and I’m obsessed with categories. Maybe I just need to put up a Kathleen is Category Crazy category for days like today… or maybe I just need to leave it as Family File Hijinks and Madness Monday. Here I go again. :)

Madness Monday is a daily blogging theme I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Madness Monday simply create a post with the main focus being an ancestor who may have suffered from some form of mental illness or an ancestor who drives you “mad” because you have trouble locating them or locating more information about them.

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