Category Archives: Misadventures of a Genealogist

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!

Bill worked late for Sharkey

Just that small sentence shouldn’t mean much to anyone other than a genealogist. To a genealogist it’s a clue into the life of an ancestor. For me, it wouldn’t have meant much without the document I am about to share with you. Before this document, I would have noted that my great-grandpa William L Moore once worked for a Mr. Sharkey but that would have been it. With the document I have though, I know that Mr. Sharkey must have been more than an employer. He was most likely a very supportive mentor and friend.

I first shared this resume in 2010, but now that I’ve spent this long transcribing Llewellyn’s diary, this document has a much richer meaning. It might be hard to see in the gallery format, so feel free to click over to the original shared images here.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What the resume shows is that in July of 1922, when William was just 20 years old, he started working for H.W. Sharkey, C.P.A. as an Assistant Stenographer. This is a big deal because what we know without looking at the resume is that my Great-Grandpa spent over 30 years working for AT&T as an accountant. Unfortunately, the resume also shows that there just wasn’t enough work to keep my Great-Grandpa on and in December of 1923 he left. Great-Grandpa spent about two weeks working as a bookkeeper for the British International Corporation before he went back to work for H.W. Sharkey & Co. This time as a Semi-Senior Accountant or Assitant, I can’t tell. What I do know is he got himself a $5 raise! He must have proven by leaving that he was vital to the business!

The resume says that my Great-Grandpa was only with H.W. Sharkey & Co. for four months before leaving in April of 1924. You and I know differently though because on February 16, 1925, he worked late for Sharkey. I would say that it was an error on the resume, but I know my Great-Grandpa’s record keeping skills. That just wouldn’t happen. So I choose to believe he worked for Sharkey while he went to the Excelsior Business School (see what I did there using the resume!). Then on May 15, 1925 he finally went to work where he would stay for the rest of his professional career, AT&T. Which is where I am 100% positive he was when this series of pictures was taken.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

 

Smaller goals work better for me

One of the things I constantly beat myself up about is that I don’t really keep up with my genealogy resolutions each year. I’m going to try something a little new, a little smaller. I tend to take on too much and then get overwhelmed. It’s time to change my patterns and see if I can’t find a more productive way of getting things done. The way I’m going to try and do this is to think outside the box. I’m no longer going to think in terms of multiple monthly or yearly goals. I’ve got to start focusing on just one thing at a time.

The first goal I’m going to work to complete, is actually a month long goal but there is a reason! My 3rd blogiversary is coming up on March 13th. So that’s my deadline date.

Feb 2012 Pedigree

Feb 2012 Pedigree – done through Hannah Carter.

 

In the year since I last showed my pedigree (I think), I’ve added a ton of information into my tree. I’ve gone from 1031 sourced individuals to 2276! Though some of those might not be sourced yet. I learned with the large Taylor families, it was more productive to add in all the children of a couple and proceed from there. So there are probably a few un-sourced children in there… No I won’t say un-sourced, they all have the source citation for my Taylor Family Tree Outline where I’ve gotten the names. Luckily for me Ancestry.com has a ton of Kentucky Vital Records online. So it’s really easy to make sure that I’ve got good names and dates.

2013 Pedigree

2013 Pedigree

Onto the blogiversary goal. While I want to promise I’ll have a brand spankin’ new site design, I’m not stupid enough to promise that! Learned my lesson! Between February 2012 and February 2013, I finished work through 4 more of my 3rd Great Grandparents. Hopefully, if I work hard I will get the final two that will finish up the Taylor line of my tree. Not that there’s much information on that Applegate line to enter, but I’ve done that one all by myself without the aid of a big written out tree like some of the rest!

Once I’ve gotten this goal finished, I’ll focus on a new one!

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...