Category Archives: Family File Hijinks

Struggling for Blog Topics

I’m sure we’ve all had that feeling. The feeling where you just can’t seem to focus on one topic enough to form coherent sentences about said topic. I’ve been jumping around a lot this week, so I haven’t been able to think of a specific blog topic this week. I’m trying to keep myself reasonably active here. I’m doing that not only because of course I’d love for people to read what I write, but because I also use this blog as a research log of sorts. I don’t go into the specifics, I do that elsewhere. However, I do use this blog to really think out topics sometimes, in addition to cousin bait of course.

So here’s what I’ve been jumping around with this week:

Bartholomew Taylor's family
Bartholomew Taylor’s family

1. I’ve finally finished the Joseph Taylor section of my cleanup and I’m moving on to Solomon Taylor.  Joseph and William were the major lines that I had researched already, so now I’m getting into the leaner lines. I should start moving a bit quicker on the adding in and sourcing now. Only, I’m just realizing now I didn’t “prefer” the birthdate of William’s with a state in it. Oops! I always forget to do that. It’s always when I’m looking at a screenshot as I write blogs that I realize my errors. Sheesh.

Kentucky Birth Index source citations
Kentucky Birth Index source citations

2. All 278 of my Kentucky Birth Index citations are uniform. Before this week, these citations were in 3 different forms. Now they all have the same format.

Yes, still working on the redesign
Yes, still working on the redesign

3. Very sporadically, I’ll get in the mood to work on this design. I get quite a bit of motivation that this May 39th will be 10 years since I started this domain! I only started blogging 3 years ago, but the website has been around for 10! I can’t even believe it! I’ve come a long way and I’ve learned so much. I can only hope I can get this redesign finished once and for all. I’m not going to stress about it though. It’ll get done when it gets done.

My Block of the Month quilt
My Block of the Month quilt

4. Quilting. Oh how I love quilting. My cousin in Ohio pointed me in the direction of Craftsy’s Block of the Month online classes. Every single block you see, I learned for the first time while making it! While I had already had experience with half square triangles, I hadn’t made those particular designs yet. Now I’m 5 blocks from finishing the 2012 quilt (behind I know!). Then I plan on doing the 2013 one too! Like genealogy, quilting allows me to challenge myself and keep learning at the same time.

I hope everyone else is enjoying their week so far. I know I sure am getting a bunch accomplished!

Oh nice, it’s Friday!

For the last few weeks I’ve planned to have genealogy weekends. I would spend as much time as I could working on my blogiversary goal. Of course that means that each weekend I made those plans, other things came up and required my attention.

I’m going to try again this weekend. Even if I’m only able to get a few hours in, I’ll call it a success! I’m being really casual about this goal, because I know that even if I don’t finish the exact goal I’ll have made a huge amount of progress. The goal of entering and verifying the next two of my 3rd Great Grandparents isn’t an especially hard one. I’m not going to the lengths of fully researching these individuals. I’m adding them in, based on our passed down family tree, and then I’m verifying the sources I’d already had in my old file for them. In the case of my Kentucky family, I’m even able to use Ancestry.com’s Kentucky indexes to add in birth dates and marriage dates for couples I didn’t previously have them for. This is presenting me with a much cleaner, more accurate file. With the way I’m doing this, I’m able to find small errors and correct them very easily. When I think that this tree was compiled without the help of the internet, it blows my mind! To imagine the hard work and amount of correspondence that had to have gone into it.

2013 Pedigree
2013 Pedigree

So essentially, even though that next set of 3rd great grandparents doesn’t look like much in the view above.

2 weeks left, yikes!
2 weeks left, yikes!

This is what I’m actually filling in. It feels like an insurmountable task right now. I’m still filling in Bartholomew Taylor’s descendants! That’s why I’m being so casual. We’ll see how far I get, and then I’ll make a new goal once this one expires! I’ve also made the decision that might seal my fate. I originally didn’t plan to go any further back than Bartholomew. He’s the one who moved from Maryland to Kentucky. I thought that would be a good stopping point. The more I thought about it though, the more it feel like an excuse not to to a harder section of the tree.

That means I have a lot more Taylors to add still. I’m going to need more Diet Dr. Pepper. Oy vey!

I Guess I Still Have a Numbering Problem

numberproblem-01
Sometimes I just like to write it down on paper

While taking a brief break from my new goal, I was organizing some of my Love family. I was also trying to get some of the database section updated. Unfortunately there were two problems with that.

1. The website be broke man!#@?

Yes, I actually leave notes like that for myself. Apparently, even when I don’t code on the website, I still break it. The only thing I can imagine is one of the core updates was incompatible with my custom template. If I had played closer attention after each update, I might have been able to pinpoint it. Now, I just know it won’t let me go into the Edit screen. That’s kind of a huge problem. So this week, I’ll probably work as much as I can on fixing that.

2. I still have a numbering system problem. Doh.

I’ve mentioned before that I was having a bit of an issue with my family files. For awhile, I thought it wouldn’t be that bad after all, and then I went to sync up the Alexanders you see listed above (linked to the Loves), and they weren’t in RootsMagic at all. Completely absent.

Yeah that’s a problem.

I realized that the backup I restored to was obviously a little out of date. This was the latest backup I had, so I guess that’s better than nothing! The only thing is I don’t understand the extent of my issue. The only missing people that I can tell are the ones you see listed above.  I searched in FTM 2012 for the Person IDs preceding the Alexanders and no one was assigned to them. It makes absolutely no sense. I kept track of who I had to re-add to RootsMagic and what their numbers were and what I changed them to. I don’t know what else I can do besides keep an eye on the issue. Most likely though, anyone who is missing is either in the Taylors or the Loves.

Now that I think of it, I better add the range of numbers I searched in FTM2012 so I don’t have to search those again later when I devote more time to that problem! In the mean time, I’ll just continue chugging along on the new goal!

P.S. This is the reason I need to make sure my numbers match:

numberproblem-02
My death records folder

It could get pretty confusing, pretty fast if the numbers stopped matching up!

Hard at Work or Hardly Working? You decide!

As I continue to work on my long enduring family file cleanup, I find small ways to amuse myself. Also, I rewrote that sentence three times. Once in my head, twice by typing. Anyway, today I was really amused as I was adding more census information into Family Tree Maker 2012. I’m making a really big effort to make all my sources Evidence Explained Style. Though I’m not exactly keeping a ruler around to slap my own knuckles. I’ve been basically looking up each source in my copy of the book, then emulating how I think the source will come out. I’ve also tried to make sure I use the pre-made templates in the software, so that my source citation will be as close as possible.

With the cryptic, rambling explanation out of the way, I’ll show you the source of my amusement today. P.S. I rewrote that sentence twice.

click for full size
click for full size

What you see above is a screenshot of my working file. I was working on the husband of one of my Taylor ancestors. I had added his 1940 census information and proceeded to the source screen to add his citation into the bunch. I doubt you can really see without looking at the full size picture, but the sheer amount of multiple entries had me laughing to myself! For some reason, seeing all those legitimate entries for the same census districts cracked me up! That is just the 1940 census. By 1940 my Taylors had already started to disband a little bit. However, every single Bracken County entry above is a Taylor connection. Then when you take a look at Johnsville specifically, there are 13 different families within the first 10 pages of that district.

On a somewhat similar note, I love the look of all those uniform source citations! It really helps my OCD calm down a little bit!

Checking In, Still Hard at Work

checkin-01

 

I’m not completely scrapping the website redesign. However, I’m not sure how I’m going to proceed. I feel like I might have overwhelmed myself by trying to write a tutorial for something that I didn’t feel comfortable “teaching”. So the design is going to happen, the only thing I’m not sure of is how I’m going to finish up my redesigning my chaos series. To be honest, the TNG portion of it is already just about done anyway. I think when people ask me about my custom design, they don’t realize how custom it actually is. While yes, I can just tweak a template to make it look like my own, I much prefer to start with the blank slate and really make it my own. Not everyone is comfortable doing that, which is fine, I just don’t know if I feel comfortable teaching my method anymore. If you hadn’t noticed, I have a bit of a confidence problem!

checkin-02

 

I am exactly one month away from my three year blogiversary!  So most of my energy for genealogy is spent on working on my newest, short term goal! There are a ton of Taylors to get through yet, but I’m working steadily on them. Hopefully, when March 13th comes around I’ll be able to say I’ve been successful! Funny enough the Taylor family I’m currently working with actually lived right near where my Grandma’s second husband Wayne, was born and raised. After they got married, Wayne purchased his childhood home and they moved there. Actually I’m only 80% sure of the childhood home part. I’m sure that’s what someone told me though. It could just be the town, not the house.

I thought it was really crazy to find them here, but then when I looked at a map, it wasn’t that out of the sphere of possibility.

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When I actually looked at the wider picture, I realized that the huge city of Cincinnati was actually what spurred my family to spread out. What I’ve learned about the migration of my family was that as it got to be the 1920s and 1930s, the world was changing. Cars were being mass produced, which means people could go longer distances quicker and easier. No doubt a lot of the farm kids decided to try their hand at the big city. I’ve found a lot of the younger sons would move to the city and find jobs working for schools, electric companies, and other “city jobs”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still finding farmers, plenty of farmers. It is pretty interesting when I see how many farmers were in the family. It makes me want to take property records and color in all the farm land my family owned and see how colorful a map can get! That could be a fun project some day.

 

What went wrong with my Numbering System?

traumatic

It’s no coincidence that right before my genealogy hiatus, a traumatic event happened during my file cleanup project. The main objective of the cleanup project was to finally have an organized, sourced core family tree to work from. The project has been going on for three years now.

Well into the project, I finally got a nice pace going. I also finally had an organization method that was “synced” between Family Tree Maker 2012, RootsMagic, and my moore-mays.org database. Basically, I would enter a person into RootsMagic since the program automatically assigns a number to a person, and as far as I know, there is no way to change it. Then I would use that number as a Person ID in Family Tree Maker and the website. I would also label all my digital files with the same number. So that I could always refer to one number for each ancestor. It was a beautiful system that worked beautifully!

Then it happened.

traumatic-06

Basically, I was doing some ScotlandsPeople data entry, when I happened to notice that the numbers in my programs were… off. Now there is no doubt in my mind I did something here. The Roots Magic program didn’t do this without me doing  something. I was messing around with the file in the week or so before I noticed what had happened. Most likely I was playing around with the software and did something.

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If I’m being completely upfront, I most likely even …. merged a Gedcom into the file. Which kind of explains that. To put it into a timeline, this happened right before my “hiatus”. It was right before the holidays and I was also helping to plan a party at the time. Things were obviously the perfect storm of procrastination I needed at the time.

After the holidays, I took some time and decided it was time to get back to work. Broken resolutions be damned I was going to get back to it. About 5 minutes in, I had a genealogy diva fit and posted this to my twitter account.

So the numbered filing system I've used for 3 years... totally screwed. I have no idea when or where or how that happened. #epicfail
@leenygirl
Kathleen Moore

Again, I’ve never been more sure of my decision to name this blog the Misadventures of a Genealogist. Except maybe my sub-headline should be “If it ain’t broke, give me a minute.”

Now that I’m feeling more my age, I’m able to look at the “traumatic” issue with saner eyes.

traumatic-07

It wasn’t until I decided to take a deep breath and go through my backups that I found my salvation. I realized I had an “extra” Roots Magic file in my Family file directory. THANK YOU GENEALOGY KARMA.

"Extra" Genealogy file
“Extra” Genealogy file

It turns out that before I did whatever it was I did, I created a new file. Since I usually just close my program and not the file, it automatically brought up the “play file” the next time I opened it up.

I’m not completely out of the woods, it’s completely possible I lost some progress before I realized what was going on between the two files. The great news is that I wasted 3 months thinking I had a horrible, tragic, traumatic event happen and I actually didn’t have it.

I know, I’m weird, but you got to look on the bright side of life. It could have been true, and I could have not had an extra file to use.

Whew. That was close.

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, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

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, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

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!

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