Category Archives: Misadventures of a Genealogist

Mystery Monday: Samuel Redford

It’s been a long time since I had something to post on Mystery Monday, but this one is a doozy! Before my vacation, I wrote about ordering Samuel Redford and Frances Travis’ marriage record. Now on top of the Duckworth/Redford mystery, I have a tale of two marriage records apparently.

Before I realized I could see a copy of the marriage certificate online, I ordered a copy from the General Records Office. I didn’t receive it until Saturday, which I think is pretty speedy for a record from another country! Anyway, I was cooking when the mail was brought in, so I asked my father to open the record for me. It’s always fun seeing records through a non-genealogist eyes. He immediately zeroed in on the fact that Samuel Redford was listed as a widower. Which prompted a variety of discussions, the biggest one being my shock at his widower status.

I thought it was funny that this was the first time I was hearing this, especially since I had viewed the record on FindmyPast.co.uk after I ordered it. Sunday morning when I had a little more time to investigate, I brought up the computer record and the certificate to compare. That’s where the mystery comes in! To respect the copyrights of the records offices, I’m going to just show you a transcription. You’ll just have to trust me on the differences for now!

click for full size

click for full size

 

I changed the text color on the most significant differences on the records. You can see that on the transcription from Find my Past, it says Samuel is a bachelor and that Frances resides in Werneth. Frances’ residence makes much more sense in the FMP record since I’ve found her family’s census data for 1861, 1871, and 1881 all in Werneth. What I think might have happened when they copied the record down in the GRO (who knows when?) is that the record above Samuel and Frances’ got mixed up with theirs. You can’t tell from the GRO certificate since it only gives the one record, however on FMP I can see the full page. The other record lists the husband as a Widower and both spouses living in Hyde. So most likely a mixup happened somewhere, but it’s not a good thing when you’re researching your family tree from across the pond!

This does show that mistakes happen all the time in records and you should always double check things even from the most trusted of sources.

Ten Years of Moore-Mays.org!

My website has been around since May of 2003. That means this May, the website will be 10 years old! I was feeling a little nostalgic about it all, so I decided to visit the Internet Wayback Machine the other night.

click for full size

click for full size

My brother registered the domain for me in at the end of May 2003. By July the Wayback Machine had archived my site! Awesome.

2003 - click for full size

2003 – click for full size

The first incarnation of the site had a Regency-era man drawn by me, telling everyone to enter the website. Sadly, he no longer exists, so this is the page you ended up on after clicking on him.

2003 - click for full size

2003 – click for full size

There he is a little bit! The colors a little off because I used to change the colors of my website all the time. This is the page that you landed on after picking a line of the family tree. I’m not 100% positive but I think I actually made pedigrees for each surname.

2004 - click for full size

2004 – click for full size

In 2004, I was obsessed with image mapping. So this design was a combination of an image map and frames. I can’t believe how much I used to use frames! Sorry for the non-HTML inclined, I’m dating my website knowledge definitely though!

2004 - click for full size

2004 – click for full size

None of the pages except the Index of Surnames were archived. Each person had their own page where I listed all their facts, and familial connections. Whew, I remember how much time I used to spend on the website.

early 2005 - click for full size

early 2005 – click for full size

In early 2005, I had switched out the pink color for blue. I remember using the same picture and instead of an image map I made individual buttons. Same basic setup, just new color.

late 2005 - click for full size

late 2005 – click for full size

By the end of 2005, I had installed The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding. I probably hadn’t installed a theme by the time the website was archived.

2006 - click for full size

2006 – click for full size

In 2006 I used one of the themes and I never looked back from using Darrin Lythgoe’s software!

2007 - click for full size

2007 – click for full size

A different theme for 2007. I really enjoyed this theme and I changed the “Featured Articles” and text on the front page often. It was here where I started to feel like a blog would be fun to have.

2008 - click for full size

2008 – click for full size

In 2008 I made the decision to split up my tree into my mother’s side and my father’s.

2009 - click for full size

2009 – click for full size

I must have changed my theme in 2009, but it didn’t archive well. I was definitely still using TNG. I had also just started using twitter and that black box is where the twitter feed was.

2010 - click for full size

2010 – click for full size

2010 was the year I took the training wheels off and created my own TNG theme. I also started the blog.

2011 - click for full size

2011 – click for full size

2011 – same design.

2012 - click for full size

2012 – click for full size

2012 – still no change.

So that brings us to 2013! I’ve pretty much been working on a new design since 2011, but just haven’t made it work. After seeing how much the site has changed over the years, I’m definitely more motivated to make a new design happen. So hopefully when I get back from vacation, I can sketch out something fresh that will be a new start for the website!

 

 

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.

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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!

My Smaller Goal Didn’t Work so Well Either

In a completely unrelated note, I’ve got to revisit the rules on capitalizing letters in a title. This fly by the seat of my pants approach doesn’t work well for me anymore. haha!

So today is the day my blog turns 3 years old, and I evaluate the goal I set for myself about six weeks ago. I knew it was a tough task but having goals to work towards really helps me. A lot of obstacles were thrown in my way. I spent a lot of weekend time helping out my neighbors who had a family emergency, and I spent a week sick as a dog. So all in all, my goal was really doomed from the beginning. Trust me, I’m laughing at myself as I wrote that. I have a weird sense of humor.

Anyway, I didn’t complete the goal. I wanted to finish my cleanup through Mollie Jane Webb’s parents. I want to fill in one more set of those 3rd Great Grandparents. It didn’t happen, I made a LOT of progress though.

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So I didn’t make a ton of visible progress on my goal. I did however make progress and really that was the main goal. I think I might have even met my goal without having the plague for a week and a half. For a solid 4 days all I could do was stare into space. So I’m wimpy enough to take that excuse and run with it!

I might not have finished everything I wanted to but I did move past the Taylors. I had originally wanted to go ahead and add past Bartholomew Taylor in but when I started looking at my “documentation”, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it just yet when I had a goal in mind. The purpose of the new cleaner file is so that I once again have a strong base to work from. My old file was such a mess from trying to combine numerous things, and switching software numerous times. I hadn’t taken proper precautions when doing those things and it made a mess of my file. So I’m in a much better place now! I might not have everyone added back in, but it’s been so much better researching, since I know that I’ve got everyone sourced in the new file. If someone asks me about anyone in the new file, I can tell them exactly where my information came from. It’s a good feeling!

I’m not setting a new goal yet because I have a lot going on here for the next few weeks, even a vacation! So when all that has settled down, I’ll set a new goal. Maybe it will be to finish this once and for all, or maybe it will be a smaller, more specific goal. Who knows!

3 Years Tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be 3 years since I first hit that publish button on an entry about the Thorward Meat Market. So much has happened in my life since then. It makes me both excited and scared about what’s to come in my life.

Three years ago, I wrote about the meat market, and a town that I felt a strong connection to. The crazy thing is I had only been there once, briefly. Since that first entry three years ago, I cared for my Grandpa Moore for a year before he passed away. I’ve learned to quilt. I’ve learned so much history of the world. I can’t even count the people I’ve met and learned from. I find myself incredibly grateful for how far I’ve come.

When I was growing up, it was basically us here in Southern Maryland. My Mom’s family was in Ohio and my Dad’s in New York and New Jersey. We couldn’t afford to travel often and with three small children, my mother didn’t particularly enjoy it. I don’t blame her! So to spend that year with a Grandfather I never knew was so important and exciting for me. I went into it with a certain expectation. That was my only mistake where he was concerned. As a genealogist, and lonely granddaughter, I had all these hopes and dreams of hearing family stories all day, every day. I thought we would have a regular grandchild/grandparent relationship. A daily one. Something I’d never had before!

That’s not at all what I got, what I got was better. Instead of what I was hoping for, I got a real person, with real feelings and flaws. I learned with Grandpa that people are who they are and that’s okay. You shouldn’t try to change people. You can help them, try to guide them if they need it, but it’s not up to you to change people. That’s not okay.

My Grandfather didn’t call me by my name in the whole year I cared for him. I brought him 2 meals a day, we watched TV together and we ate dinner at the kitchen table together every night. We were with each other almost every waking minute of the day and never once did he really acknowledge the fact that we were family. That’s not his fault. By the time he got here, he was very sick, he had been separated from the family for over 25 years, and quite frankly he wasn’t all there anymore. I suspect the aneurysms were already reeking havoc on his memories and motor functions.

It wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but it was the most rewarding. I cried sometimes. I’ll even admit to being down right hateful in my thoughts on the bad days when he would say non-polite things. I’m only human. I never let him know it though, because it wasn’t his fault that I was disappointed. It was my fault. By the time I was on my way into D.C. to the hospital to say goodbye, I had already felt so close to him. Closer then I probably ever even thought I was going to in the beginning. Not because we have all these funny memories together. Not because we did anything super special.

For the first time in my life, I stopped caring about myself or my wants and needs that year. I devoted everyday from the time I got up in the morning until I went to bed at night to someone else’s health and well being. It felt good. It felt rewarding. I might not have gotten family stories from him, but I was able to tell him more about his family. I was able to show him pictures and remind him of people who he didn’t recall.

I was even able to get him excited about genealogy and DNA testing through this website and Who Do You Think You Are? Imagine my surprise one day when he handed my father my website printed out. “Here, give this to the one who does genealogy. It’s got a lot of information on the Thorwards.”

That’s my favorite memory. I guess you can definitely say that this website took a backseat the last few years. It’s been almost a year since we lost Grandpa and I still miss him. I miss his company. I miss hearing The Price Is Right echo through the house because he had it on in two rooms. I miss a lot of things. Things that make me realize that I probably had a pretty normal grandparent/grandchild relationship after all. It’s still hard for me to find a definitive routine in my life since I didn’t have time to think about those things for a year.

I didn’t intend for this to be an entry all about my Grandpa Moore but I’m glad it did. I like thinking about the things he taught me about who I am as a person and where I came from. He didn’t know that’s what he was doing, but he was teaching me everyday.  I hope that someday I am able to answer all the questions that our family has about our roots, but even if I don’t, I’ll know I tried my best. I know that someday, I’ll be able to tell a younger generation of our family that yes, this man shaped our family, and he had flaws, but that didn’t make him a bad person. It made him human. He was a Police Chief, and he was good at what he did. He was able to think about things without emotion clouding his judgment and he never held a grudge. Things I hope to someday be able to do myself. He liked gadgets, he liked technology and boy did he like to spend money. Now we know where we get that flaw from Moores! ;)

3yearstomorrow

Duckworth, Redford or Both?

The original post

The original post

9 years after I posted a message on an Ancestry.com message board I received a response! So never give up hope about some of your more silent lines. They can perk up at any moment.

http://www.cheshirebmd.org.uk/

http://www.cheshirebmd.org.uk/

Basically the message pointed me to this website, where he found my 3rd Great Grandparents in the Marriage Index!

Duckworth? Huh?

Duckworth? Huh?

The index doesn’t give too much information right away. Though it does give you enough to order if you so desire. My particular record wasn’t available for the order online option so I started trying to figure out how else I could find it. I thought about upgrading my Ancestry.com membership, but I didn’t see Chesire records in the databases. I didn’t want to commit that much money if I wasn’t going to have a big payoff.

Got to love FamilySearch

Got to love FamilySearch

I wasn’t sure what name to search for Samuel under, so I searched on FamilySearch for the bride instead. I found their entry in a Chesire Parish Register index! This opens a bit more information up for me. Samuel’s father is listed as William Duckworth, but Samuel uses the surname of Redford. Most likely his parents didn’t marry and Samuel used his mother’s surname. I also confirm that the Frances Wright Travis I got quick glimpses of in previous quick searches is in fact my girl. Her father’s name is also listed. I’ve watched enough of the British WDYTYA? by now to understand how their records are laid out. I still wish they had asked for the mother’s names though!

By the time I got to this point, to say my mood was good would be an understatement. I still wanted to see if there was anyway other then sending a SASE to England on getting a look at this record. It was then I made an inane comment to myself.

I wish that they had a ScotlandsPeople like site for England.

It was as I was finishing that thought out loud that I realized, wait a minute…

http://www.findmypast.co.uk/

http://www.findmypast.co.uk/

I read enough genealogy blogs to remember that the people behind the ScotlandsPeople website had also made a website for England. I was able to choose from a few options. There were a bunch of subscription options with full unlimited access to the site. I didn’t need that much access though, because I don’t have a ton of England searching to do. Just a few families so far. So I decided to purchase my 280 credits (good for a full year) and see how far that got me.

When I logged into Find My Past, I ended up opening a ton of tabs in my browser. I had a few different searches going. I was moving things from one computer screen to another. It was hectic, it was crazy and I realized I had to slow it down, and take it easy.

Forced calmness is sometimes needed

Forced calmness is sometimes needed

That’s right I moved to the kitchen table with my laptop. It forced me to do only what the computer could handle. I couldn’t open a million tabs, I couldn’t have Facebook going while I searched. I also couldn’t get distracted by the TV or other things around my computer. It was just me and the laptop at the table. I did miss being able to have Family Tree Maker open on one monitor and the records on the other, but sometimes you have to slow down so you don’t miss adding your citations in! That’s one of the things I’ve learned. Sometimes I devour records and then wonder where I saw things again.

http://www.gro.gov.uk

http://www.gro.gov.uk

From Find My Past, I was able to find the index entry again for Samuel and Frances. This time I was able to head over to the GRO website and actually order the certificate online! I can’t wait to get to see it. Maybe it will give me some hints as to William Duckworth’s occupation so I can narrow down my search a little more. You never know!

Travis Family - 1861 UK Census

Travis Family – 1861 UK Census

I was able to make a ton of progress on Frances’ family. I even found her siblings christening dates in another FamilySearch index. I followed her family through the 1881 census. She left for America in 1870/71, so it will be interesting to see how her family grew in her absence! Even after all the progress, I still have 210 credits left to use. I don’t want to waste them, so I’ll make a plan before I do anymore searching. It’s nice to know that I can send for birth and marriage records though, for a relatively cheap price after the conversion. What I paid for Samuel and Frances’ marriage record will still end up cheaper than all I’ve put into trying to find William H Moore’s death record in New Jersey!

Redford Pedigree

Redford Pedigree

I’ve filled in a little more of my family tree and it feels good! It a little strange to see the change of surname from Samuel to William Duckworth. It’s all I’ve got to go on for now though, so we’ll see where it goes!

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