County Records on Family Search February 1st, 2012
It’s finally happened. I’m finally out of the Kentucky section of the family file cleanup. Not that I don’t love the Kentucky section. It just has a way of going on and on without end. I did make some decisions to not follow some leads on the siblings of my ancestors. I’ll get back around to them. I just needed to take a break. I’m now onto the Clermont County, Ohio section of my family tree. The main surname there is the Moyer surname. I’m in much more comfortable territory on this section because I’m very familiar with Clermont County and two of my Aunts still live there. It’s so easy to call Aunt Molly and ask her any questions about the area or even some of the family history.
The one thing I find difficult in my long distance research is trying to see the records myself. I love nothing more then to scan down the pages of a birth or marriage register. I find it a lot of fun. The only problem is I don’t have any of those records for my family in the immediate area. Even worse, the Family History Center by me is within a half hour drive, and I still haven’t been able to find the time when it’s open twice a week. So I make to do lists, and hope that one day I’ll be able to visit these repositories in an area my family once lived.
Back when I first found FamilySearch.org, they didn’t even have an Ohio Birth Index. Now they have a huge one. As I switched over to my Moyer ancestors, I went back to Family Search to see if there had been any new entries I could add to my family tree. Boy did I get a pleasant surprise!
The very first record for “Ina Bell Moyer” is from the old index. The bottom record was a big surprise for me! I know I had seen some marriage register images had been added, but I had no idea there were birth registers! I think that there were Clermont County registers was a surprise too. I don’t know why, I guess I’m just used to not having anything come up online that I was expecting more of the same!
Now all I have to do is find Great Grandma Iva‘s siblings!
My Most Interesting Finds January 29th, 2012
I recently updated my “About Kathleen” page here on the blog. Reading my previous page got me thinking a lot about my views on genealogy. While writing the new page, I was trying to think of what I’m usually asked the first time I tell someone I research my family history. Which I never refer to as genealogy, because then that leads to the blank stare most times.
If you’ve ever had a genealogy discussion with the non-initiated, or even the initiated, the first question always seems to be: “Oh, what’s the most interesting thing you’ve found?”
That question makes me chuckle a little bit. It’s kind of like my sister coming home from a day at the bank and me asking her, “Who was your most interesting customer? No, I don’t want to hear about your day or the mechanics of it. Just your most interesting part.”
Am I dissing someone who asks that question? Of course not! I would never do that. Any reason to talk genealogy is a good enough reason to me. I’m definitely not saying that I want to go on a 45 minute discussion on how I dissect which records are important and which ones aren’t.
I guess my point is, that question is impossible for me to answer. I was born, raised, and still live in Southern Maryland. In this tri-county area, I’ve had zero extended family most of my life. Most of my relatives are a half day drive away. So when I started to research my genealogy, everything I found was just so fascinating. I couldn’t believe that this five person family I grew up with could branch out so far. I knew I had cousins on each side of my family, and I knew that I had two sets of grandparents. I think I saw my maternal grandma once every five years until we were old enough to travel better. Not to mention the cost of traveling for a young family who didn’t have a lot to spare.
For someone who had her siblings, their friends, her own friends and that was it; Family is something that it took me awhile to grasp. I’ve read a lot of articles where people don’t understand why people research their family history. It’s in the past they say. It has no bearing on who you are. I don’t need to know about them to live a perfectly normal life.
I can say most of that is true. Except for saying it has no bearing on who you are. I am by no means a psychologist. However, I am a people watcher. I love to observe and analyze. It’s why I enjoyed jury duty so much. I actually think I have a very good perspective on how learning your family history can change your views of the world. Not having any idea where I came from, not having close relationships with my extended family until we were grown, all those factors help me to differentiate how I felt before and after genealogy.
I’ve never walked my ancestral grounds, I’ve never gone farther then the distance it takes to visit family, and I’ve never spent more money on genealogy in a year then I wouldn’t have spent on quilting fabric at the store. What I can say about learning my family history can’t really be put into words, but that’s what I’m going to try to do anyway.
I could have gone through my life never knowing anything about my family history. What you learn in your family history isn’t something thats measurable in money or fame. A lot of people think everyone who researches their family history is in it for some kind of fame seeking reasons. That isn’t so. You actually learn compassion for how hard it was to get to the point where you are today. A lot of people take for granted that the majority of American’s are educated from the kindergarten level, all the way up to high school. As early as the 1930 census, it was common for people not to be able to sign their own name. In fact, their are still people out there not able to read or write. When you think back on ancestors, who left Ireland with nothing but the clothes on their back and a skill they’d learned, you can’t help but feel proud of them. They conquered life when the odds were against them. Their only hope was in themselves and their faith. Yet these people in the past, who you’ll never know but through genealogy put you where you are today. If they had gone left instead of right, would you be the same person you are today? If they hadn’t come to America, would they or their children have survived for you to even be born?
So when I’m asked what my most interesting find is, I say “All of them”. I find William H Moore’s immigration interesting. I find the vast numbers of Mays ancestors interesting. I come from a world of living in the same place for all my life, so I find the Redford family’s migration to Los Angeles, CA interesting. I find the farmers just as interesting as the plumbers. The plumbers are just as interesting as the tailors. The tailors are just as interesting as the people who ended up signing their WWI Draft Card from the county jail.
The fascination isn’t in the notoriety or out of the ordinary for me. It’s the family unit and how it survives over time. I know because of my relatives that rough patches iron out. You lose your loved ones, but you can in fact carry on and survive. I know that those friends I made during school and am still friends with are as much a part of my family history as my cousin Patty is. They all make up my story.
The facts about my ancestors may not be Hollywood worthy and they may not have done super extraordinary things that made them rich or famous. What they did do was give me inspiration to do what I love and keep living my life for today and not yesterday. Yesterday is already written. It’s my decision on how to write today and tomorrow. I only hope that I’m half as much inspiration to my descendants as my ancestors are to me.
Making some Observations January 27th, 2012
I worked quite a bit yesterday on my maternal lines. The only drawback is it burned me out a little bit on researching. So I decided to switch to my paternal line, and just kind of observe it in pedigree format in FTM2012.
Here are some things I’ve noticed:
- Josephine Doremus is the only one of my 3rd great grandparents that wasn’t an immigrant. All others that are listed were born in other countries
- The missing spots in my 3rd great grandparents aren’t immigrants… at least I don’t think. I have possible parents for both Jennie Featherson and Sarah/Sadie Sutcliffe, just no paper trail yet.
- My Moore line is completely Irish.
- My Thorward line is a quarter German, a quarter ?, and half Scottish.
- My Redford line is half English and half ?.
- My Parkin line is half English and half ?.
- All the known immigrant ancestors on my paternal line were all here before 1875.
- This entry has been sitting idle for 45 minutes because I’m watching Ugly Betty on Netflix Streaming.
- I probably shouldn’t “work” in a room with a TV, much less one with Instant Streaming capabilities.
- Featherson and Sutcliffe don’t sound like normal names. They’re not exactly Thorward, if you get my drift, but they aren’t Moore or Johnson either.
What I Learned Today January 23rd, 2012
Okay it’s time for another lesson learned by me! Actually I think it’s two lessons learned in the grand scheme of learning.
I started off on The Evergreens Cemetery website. I wanted to see if their database was updated enough to include some of my Moores.
I’m using the information that was handwritten on the back of this cemetery deed. I actually have two deeds to this cemetery lot. One is the original from 1896 when William H Moore‘s wife passed away. The next is when ownership of the deed transferred to Mary J Moore, William’s daughter in 1928. The handwritten notes are on Mary’s copy of the deed.
It was when I finally found Mary’s record, that I came to my first lesson learned. I had assumed that whoever wrote the notes on the back of the deed, had written the dates down as death dates. That was where I went wrong. What I think is that whoever wrote the notes (my great grandparents most likely), went to the cemetery, and got the information from them. Now I know, that the cemetery lists Mary Jane Moore‘s (first mention of her middle name too!) burial date as May 21, 1940. This happens to be the same date written on the back of the deed.
Lesson 1: Don’t assume anything about dates written down by another person.
Lesson 2: Cemeteries are in the market of knowing BURIAL dates, not death dates.
Okay, so I learned three lessons. After realizing my mistake today, I had an epiphany. I was always blessed when other localities would look for my records in the whole month. Obviously, they knew subconsciously that I’m not good with dates.
Lesson 3: Repositories are not required (rightly so), to do your research for you. Therefore, if you give them an exact date. They’re only going to look for that exact date. If they are nice enough to search the whole month, then you’re very lucky. If you’re not sure about the date your are requesting for your record and you’re not doing the searching yourself; then I would say it’s okay to go ahead and be vague about the date of the record. Not every place requires an exact date. Most just require a month and year.
If I had learned these lessons when sending away to New Jersey for my vital records, I might have actually gotten records in return for my money. Instead, my William H Moore request came back to me, unfound, because unbeknownst to me, I sent away for the date of his burial, and not his death. Oops!
Evidence Explained! January 19th, 2012
I bought myself a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills shortly after Christmas. I had wanted a copy for a long time, but finally made the leap and purchased it with my genealogy funds. I haven’t been able to dig in as much as I’d like, but I’ve been able to use it to source a blog post and to help with my genealogy file cleanup. I’ve been using my own method for recording census citations in my FTM2012 file since I began the new file, now I’m going back and adding structure to those citations.
Before cleaning it up:
Post Office: Caldwell, Essex, New Jersey
FHL Film: 803690
John Doremus, 31
Sarah Doremus, 26
Josephine Doremus, 5
Adaline Doremus, 3
Mariann Bush, 22
George H Vanness, 5/12
After cleaning it up:
roll 690. Essex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Caldwell township, p. 8 (penned), dwelling 60, family 60, John Doremus
line 22, John Doremus, 31, male, blank, tailor, blank, blank, New York, blank, blank, blank, blank
line 23, Sarah Doremus, 26, female, blank, blank, blank, blank, New Jersey, blank, blank, over age 20 who can’t read or write, blank
line 24, Josephine Doremus, 5, female, blank, blank, blank, blank, New Jersey, blank, attended school, blank, blank
line 25, Adaline Doremus, 3, female, blank, blank, blank, blank, New Jersey, blank, blank, blank, blank
line 26, MariAnn Bush, 22, female, blank, seamstress, blank, blank, New Jersey, blank, blank, blank, blank
line 27, George H Vanness, 5/12, male, blank, blank, blank, blank, New Jersey, blank, blank, blank, blank
Using the cleaned up citation detail makes my reference note turn into this:
1860 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 690. Essex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Caldwell township, p. 8 (penned), dwelling 60, family 60, John Doremus; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).
So that’s the new standard for me. The detail will be a little more report printing friendly, and the text has all the information I might need later without having to open the image again.
Disclaimer: I’m not an expert at citations. This could be a completely horrible way to document the census records. I just wanted something that would look better on reports. I also have no affiliation with the above book or websites. I don’t know Elizabeth Shown Mills or anybody at Ancestry. Nobody profits from this website, not even me. I am completely aware I’m almost done adding everyone back into a clean family file, only to change the way I record census citations. Don’t blame me, I am a cheapskate who hadn’t purchased this book until a few weeks ago.