Category Archives: Misadventures of a Genealogist

Today is Easter

I will probably spend it on the computer or in front of the TV. It’s a tradition you know. Not to mention we recorded the Ten Commandments in HD last night. Who can beat that?

Another tradition we have is decorating our kitchen table for the changing of seasons and holidays. It’s one of those traditions I count on even in sad times. We were living in a hotel one Easter, our house was being built. That Easter wasn’t our normal Easter but we managed to still make it our own. We need that kind of normalcy to get through tough times.

This is our Easter table. It’s simple and cute, and I love it.

Enjoy your Easter folks. Whether it be with your family, or if you don’t even celebrate it. Just remember what today stands for in America. It’s not just the Easter bunny. ;) Oh and Happy Birthday to my big brother.

Surname Saturday: Oy Vey

Today, is Surname Saturday over at GeneaBloggers. I wasn’t even going to post again until Monday or Tuesday. Then I watched the newest episode of Who Do You Think You Are? That show is so great to give me motivation to get off my duff and get back to work on my family file. I really do want to clean it up and get it in order. The right way this time. So here I am, spending my Saturday going through census records on Ancestry.com and citing my sources correctly on my website and in my programs. Yes I said programs. I’m a long time Family Tree Maker user but I’m checking out RootsMagic Essentials.

Five out of seven families on this page alone are in my family file. This is what happens when I research my mother’s family. The Whitt, Mays, Adkins, Click, Rowe families of Kentucky all belong to me in some way. They all inter-married at different sections of the tree too. So if I am adding new information in from a record and spy a maiden name of Adkins or Whitt, I know it’s only a matter of time before the tree winds around again. It’s quite interesting and I can’t help but wish I knew the stories behind all these marriages!

Mays

The Mays family that I currently have documented originate from Virginia. There is some talk about a connection to Mays’ that ended up in Texas or other points west, but I haven’t been able to find any proof of that yet. It’s hard enough finding information for what I currently have! The first know Mays relative I have is William Mays, he was born around 1777 in Pittsylvania County, VA. As the family grew, they also moved around. I have Mays family members being born in Floyd County, VA. The family that I have found eventually made their way to Kentucky. I have them living all over, Mason County, Elliott County, Bracken County, Pendleton County, Morgan County. Just about everywhere.

Adkins

The Adkins family first entered my tree when Frances Adkins married my first Mays member, William Mays. I have noted her father’s name as maybe being Moses Adkins, but I have no solid evidence of that yet. Hopefully as I work up my chain, I will finally be able to find a birth or death record for Frances. That isn’t the only place the Adkins turn up in my tree. In fact I have 39 people in my file with the surname of Adkins. All of them are spouses or children of people in my main line. That is without me even trying to research the Adkins family yet. Most of my Adkins people are from Virginia and Kentucky. Where the Mays family is, the Adkins family follows… or vice versa.

Whitt/Rowe/Click

The other families I mentioned are really along the same lines of the Adkins family. They turn up often as spouses of my main families, or each other. I have 12 Rowes, 27 Whitts, and 15 Clicks in my family file. All originating from the same places as the other families.

In Conclusion

Sometimes I think maybe these families came over to America together and just stayed together. I don’t know if that’s the truth as I haven’t found the exact origins of these families yet. It’s comforting that I have a big pool of these families brought together, but it can be so exhausting trying to determine where everyone fits in together. It’s mainly why I let my mother handle this side of the family for so long. So that’s why I say Oy Vey!

Surname Saturday is a Daily Blogging Topic that I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Surname Saturday, simply create a post in which you discuss a surname and mention its origins, its geographical location(s) and how it fits into your genealogy research.

2010 Cenus, have you filled out yours?

Mine has been filled out for over a week now, but I will be sending it out today (Now that it’s after April 1).

Treasure Chest Thursday and My Favorite Things

Today’s blog can double for a GeneaBlogger topic and a My Favorite Things post! The “treasure” I’ll tell you about is my Great Grandmother Llewellyn’s journal. I’ve tried transcribing to the site a few times but nothing that has stuck. I’ll get that worked out soon.

As you can see the journal is quite old. It’s dated 1923, and I think she used it to cover a three year period.

It’s not exactly in the greatest shape on the outside but it’s definitely in great condition otherwise!

Every month has little birthday reminders at the beginning. Not only family birthdays but also friends. There is even a list of visited places written on one of the pages. What a diverse list it was too! I’m guessing that list would be the places I see in the many pictures I have of her traveling. My Aunt Lori says it’s most likely she was traveling with the church. I definitely concur with that!

In honor of Easter coming up, I turned to Easter. As you can see, she drew a line and added further down the page. Some pages have three sections. This is why I think the journal was used for a three year period. Not to mention the only way it makes sense is if you read it like they are separate years.

After reading Llewellyn’s journal and feeling closer to her, I couldn’t help but start my own. One day I hope my great-grandchildren will be able to get a glimpse of my life from my journal. I hope they treasure it as much as I treasure Llewellyn’s.

Treasure Chest Thursday is a Daily Blogging Topic that I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Treasure Chest Thursday simply create a post with the main focus being a family treasure, an heirloom or even an every-day item important to your family.

Backing away from the ledge…

I am having an issue. As I jump into Genealogy blogging with both feet, I also need to remember my responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to correctly show and identify where my information comes from. So far, I haven’t posted anything that I would consider super factual or important. I take a very tongue in cheek, fluffy pajamas method of life. Trust me when I say that I do actually cite all my sources, and anything in my tree that isn’t cited, is not actual information to me. I do joke about things I haven’t “proven” yet, but I don’t actual dwell on those things.

I was reading some blogs today and it struck me that I might not actually come across as a serious person. I do take my family history very seriously, fluffy pajamas aside of course. My problem is that when I began to really delve into my research, I was 18 years old. So even though I have my sources cited, they aren’t cited correctly. So that’s what I’m doing now. I’m going through one person at a time, and I’m fixing my family tree. I do have the whole tree up on moore-mays.org and I’m fixing it as I go. If I were putting my tree up for the first time, I’d only put verified information in. The problem is when I was 18, I published it out there in the Ancestry.com world. It was a horrible thing to do but it is what it is. The reason I haven’t taken it down is that many people have emailed me over the years about that tree. Even if I were to delete it, it’s still in Ancestry.com’s database. I can’t get it deleted for the life of me. It was almost 8 years ago that I uploaded it there and they’ve changed formats so much that it’s a complicated process to remove it. This is the main reason I’m so hesitant to put another tree on Ancestry.com. I don’t like that people can just merge the trees and then that’s it. Your information is on someone else’s tree and they take it as 100% proven fact.

I’m hoping that when people cite my website address, it turns that accountability back to me. So this is the place people will always have to come to verify that information. I’m sure that won’t always happen. It makes me feel better to know that in case someone gets the information through another person, they can come to me and I can speak with them personally.

This is an example of something I cite as a source. My mother found this online and printed it out for me. However I have no idea where these people got their information. In fact, I don’t even list these in my family file because I don’t know if they are family.

Need I say anything? Sometimes it’s not good keeping these things around, but I do because of my previous bad experience. So now I have it in case a question ever comes up. It shouldn’t but just in case.

This however I will cite. I have an old cemetery deed for the Moore family plot in Brooklyn. We called the cemetery and verified who was buried there. So I will cite it, and then when I go to Brooklyn I will add the proper official citation. They could only verify who was there and not anything else, so I definitely need to get to Brooklyn!

This is murky ground. This along with my Webb-Taylor tree ARE cited in my tree. They are cited as Undocumented Family Records. These are the original “trees” my grandmother gave me. You can even see where she wrote in that Bartholomew Taylor was her great grandfather. These are the trees I’m currently going through and verifying with census and vital records. My problem is that now that I know more about citing sources, I see how badly I did it in the past. It makes me want to just delete all those horrible citations and start again! That’s why I need to back away from the ledge. Even if they are badly cited sources, they are still my only link to my sources. This is where my patience comes in. I don’t usually have patience, but for genealogy I have an unlimited supply. Who knew!

Theme Troubles

I have been having a bit of trouble getting the right theme to work and customize for the site. Please be patient while I find something that displays correctly. I don’t plan to have an all pink blog for long. ;)

Castle Menzies, how I wish to visit you…

I’m going to make it clear before I even get started. I’m not in the habit of assuming things about genealogy. I promise. Okay, I don’t officially assume things. Just because I haven’t proven it yet, doesn’t mean that I won’t eventually right? Well in any case, I don’t make a habit of it. Sometimes though, in the case of things that involve my other passions, I can’t help but keep the door open. Those passions I speak of are Ireland, Scotland, Brooklyn, and architecture. You don’t know this because you don’t know me, but I actually took Computer Aided Drafting and Design in high school. I always loved looking through house plan books and passing through small towns where the buildings are old and a mixed variety from different eras.

I completely understand if you immediately shrug this off as one of “those” things young genealogists do. They take everything for truth and don’t bother documenting and verifying. Trust me, I will verify this when I begin taking genealogy trips. Being the first generation of Southern Maryland Moores, it’s difficult that all the history surrounding me does nothing for my family research. Though trust me there are some Maryland “coincidences” that make me feel what a small world it is.

This is what i spent hours doing last night. It was a quiet, cool night here. So I was just relaxing in my fluffy pajamas tooling through Scotland on Google Earth‘s Street View. If you aren’t using this for genealogy purposes, please do it now!

It was as I was pining for a trip to Scotland that a thought struck me. It’s been years since I looked up Castle Menzies on Google Earth. The last time I looked, it was a blurry overhead view that didn’t rate a second glance really. Americans are mighty spoiled with the high resolution abundance.

When I got the area that Castle Menzies is supposed to be, I found the same blurry low resolution picture from before. The wonderful surprise was that Street View was available for the road that the castle is on.

Thanks to Street View I feel like I was able to quench my thirst to visit for just a little longer.

It’s on the top 5 lists of places I want to go. I will connect my Menzies from Scotland to these Menzies. It just hasn’t happened yet. Trust me, when it’s supposed to happen, it will.

Visit the Castle Menzies website

Download Google Earth


Credit: All credit for these images goes to Google Earth. I did not take any of these pictures. I only visited Scotland from the comfort of my home, in my fluffy pajamas, while eating pizza. Please do not sue me, I have nothing except for my fluffy pajamas and cold pizza.
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