Category Archives: Misadventures of a Genealogist

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.

click for full size
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! 😉


Duckworth, Redford or Both?

The original post
The original post

9 years after I posted a message on an 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.

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 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…

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.

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!

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’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

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:

My death records folder

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

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