Category Archives: Misadventures of a Genealogist

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.

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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.

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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



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!



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.

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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 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?


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 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.


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.

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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
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.


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.

An Apology and an Answer



I’m pretty sure back on October 31st, I didn’t realize that I’d be taken an almost three month genealogy hiatus. I have no idea what made that happen, it just did. So I apologize for only posting diary entries for the last three months and hopefully, I’ll be getting back in the swing of genealogy here soon. Some of my plans include, updating you on the never-ending site re-design, the tragedy the befell my organization system, and get some thoughts out about finally getting around to communicating with my DNA matches on I may have only glanced at things in the last few months, but I still have a ton of thoughts running through my head!



One of the things that I want to change with the next site design, is making conversations easier to follow. I get a lot of random questions on older entries and sometimes I worry that my replies get lost in the shuffle. So I’m going to be thinking about ways to resolve this in the future. One of my more recent questions came from Kathy, who wanted to know what fonts I used on my Genealogy Binder. I previously wrote twice about my ever evolving genealogy binder. Post #1, Post #2.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I most likely change fonts almost everytime I print a new page out. So it’s always changing, but I’m definitely happy to share what fonts I’ve used and liked!

Front Cover of Genealogy Binder

On the front page of the genealogy binder, I used the main fonts that I also used in my website banner. These are probably my two favorite fonts. The cursive one is called Aquarelle and the other is called Pupcat. Aquarelle is actually a free replica of a commercial font I once had but lost in a computer failure.

One of the reasons I always seem to change my fonts, is that I need for them to be easy to read at a glance. Or maybe sometimes I just want a simple font instead of a fancy one. Most of my the fonts I use are available for free somewhere on the web.

Original Repository List page

For my original Repository List, I think (sorry!) I used another favorite Desigers. This font is also being used on the Diary of Llewellyn buttons in my sidebar.

Contacts List
Contacts List

For my contacts list, I’m still using the font Callie Hand. It’s a very nice, easy to read handwriting font.

Repository List
Repository List

A newer download for me was A Song for Jennifer. I’m really liking this font a lot. Right now it’s taking up space on my new Repository List.

Records Ordered List
Records Ordered List

Other than using basic fonts like Times New Roman, Georgia, and Century Gothic, the other font I use regularly is called Aubrey.

Really though, the best advice is to just look around free font download websites and find what you like! I once had a huge addiction to fonts, though now I like to keep it a little more simple. If I missed a font that anyone specifically wanted to see, then please don’t hesitate to ask!

RMC: The Navigation Part 2

Here’s the part of the design I’m most sketchy about. You see, I usually just reuse an old version of my first image sprite navigation. To learn image sprites, I used this tutorial originally. I’ll try my best to explain it here though.  To start with, we have to lay the foundation for the whole shebang.

click for full size image
click for full size image

Here’s where we left off as far as the website goes.

click for full size image
click for full size image

This is where we left our navigation buttons. Now it’s time to put the two together. Trust me, once this part is done, you’ll be so happy with the results!

click for full size image
click for full size image

Okay, here’s our index.php file that we’ve been working on. Added to the file is now the coding for an unordered list. This is basically the nuts and bolts for a bulleted list. The tag < li > is actually a “list item”. I’ve named them all with id selectors because we’re only using these particular ones once and we’re going to need them declared for the image sprite coding.

click for full size image
click for full size image

This is what that coding will do to your website. Do you see the blank bullets? Look at the bottom of the page where the default TNG coding is still present. I don’t have words next to mine because I have no text between my < a > and < /a >. We’re going to do something a little cooler for our links.

already full size image
already full size image

Here is the mytngstyle.css file. I collapsed my other coding section so they won’t get confused with what I’m working on now. Notice how I’ve added a note for myself about beginning and ending image sprite navigation. I do this so I know that this is my navigation buttons. Sometimes when you go back to alter things months or even years later, you forget what things are. So I don’t mess with something as important as my navigation, I make sure I know this is a don’t touch unless you mean to area.

click for full size image
click for full size image

Usually I like to break up my CSS coding like you saw in the previous tutorial, but because of the number of lines of code I’d have for the image sprite, I go ahead and keep this one a little more compact.

We start out with the position:relative tag. We’re doing this to establish a base for the more exact coding coming up in the next two lines.

navbuttons; margin and padding. If you’ve ever used tables before the padding section will be a little familiar. Basically what these two things are saying is that we don’t want any margin or padding added to our list. We want them to be right up against the edge of our container div.

If I said I wanted a 4 pixel padding, then then the list would start at the edge of the grid (or container div), but it wouldn’t put any text or images within that 4 pixel padding. If I were to say I wanted a 4 pixel margin, then the container div wouldn’t start until the 4 pixel margin had been applied. So in order to make sure my stuff is starting right against the edge, I set both these options to 0 pixels.

position:absolute. Now I’m going to start position my buttons, so I want to put definitive coordinates onto my list items. So I set position to absolute. Setting it to absolute means I need to give the coding some kind of coordinate to navigate to. So I set my top coordinate as 180 pixels. This is the height of my header image. I want my buttons to be directly underneath that. The width of 140 pixels and height of 27 pixels are simply the size of an individual button.

You’ll notice that the next line is for li and li a. This means I’m setting specific instructions for list items and links within list items.

I’m the first to admit I don’t always know everything. So I’ll use the example below to show you my process on getting the buttons to display the way I wanted them to. Logically because I want my links to be side by side, I should have been able to use inline links. However, I have no text set for my links, so that doesn’t work. So I set my links to inline-block, and they display, but with too many spaces between them. Therefore I ended with just using the block and float actions together and voila.

click for full size image
click for full size image

I jumped ahead a bit, only because I had to have the images displaying to show you WHY I had to go with a block and float tag instead of just an inline tag.

It’s confusing, I know. Now you know why I just copy my already working version and change where needed.

click for full size image
click for full size image

Now we’re moving onto the actual buttons. Each line is setting something different. The 1st line saying that my left positioning is set to 0 pixels and a width of 140 pixels. The second line sets a background image (my button) also with positioning set to 0 and 0. This coding will tell the website to display a 140 by 27 pixel box starting at the 0,0 coordinates of the button image. The third line is doing the same thing as the second, except it’s using a hover command to tell the code that we want to do something a little different when the mouse hovers over the link. You’ll notice the difference being -27 pixels. This is what is telling the code that we’re now reading the bottom button instead of the top.

click for full size image
click for full size image

Ruh Roh. When I uploaded to make sure that we were moving along nicely, we hit a speed bump. The little buffer at the top of my page is making my 180 pixel top margin a little off. I apologize in advance to my childhood math teachers. I promise I do know how to do math, it’s just that it gives me a headache when I’m sewing, couponing, and designing websites… Oh. Anyway, instead of trying to figure out how I need to adjust my pixels, I just decide to modify a little code and my image a bit.

click for full size image
click for full size image

I added a margin-top command to the body tag. This tells the code that I want no buffer at the top. I want it to be right at the very top of the page.

The second thing I changed was I took all the white space out of my buttons. I thought this might make it easier to get the buttons lined up. You don’t have to do that, you just might have to mess with your numbers a wee bit. To take out my white space, all I did was create a new image that was just big enough for the buttons. Then I opened my .psd file and flattened it before I copied the buttons and pasted them in the new image. It just took a few extra minutes!

I did promise I would change things as I went didn’t I?!

click for full size image
click for full size image

Much better! Our stuff is running over the default TNG text a little bit, but since I’ll be changing that, we won’t worry about that for now! The next step is to plug in all the other buttons coding into the .css file.

click for full size image
click for full size image

So we move on down the code, changing the id selector and adding 140 pixels to the coordinates each time we add a new one. This is basically telling the code which button goes to which link.

click for full size image
click for full size image

Here is what we’ve created today! My mouse is hovering over the Mays button to show what the hover effect looks like against the default buttons. I love the effect. It’s adding a little bit of interactivity without a ton of code which will make the page load slower.

Once I got that done, I started wondering what it would look like adding more color to my buttons, so I tried out having the hover buttons be purple. Again, I opened my PSD file and changed the gradient overlay to a purple gradient, flattened the image and copied the new layer onto my buttons image.

click for full size image
click for full size image

Then I changed it back because I didn’t like it. Though now I can definitely see changing color schemes maybe for a holiday theme. Not this year though, I have to stay on topic! ha!

That’s enough for today. Next we’ll finally set up our content sections and start customizing TNG! It takes awhile to get the nuts and bolts set up but at least we’re moving along!

Previous Posts:

  1. RMC: Part 1 is the Planning Stage
  2. RMC: Creating a Database and Installing TNG
  3. RMC: My Design Inspiration Sketch
  4. RMC: Programs You Might Need
  5. RMC: The Site Design Images- Part 1
  6. RMC: A Note on Things to Come
  7. RMC: New Plan and New Background
  8. RMC: Creating the New Banner
  9. RMC: A Little CSS Tutorial
  10. RMC: Navigation Buttons
  11. The Test Website!

Disclaimer: Again I have to say that I’m not an expert. It’s possible I have no idea what I’m talking about. Everything I know about CSS and HTML I’ve taught myself over the years on an as needed basis. Feel free to ask me questions and I’ll try my best to answer them. This series is my attempt at helping people to fully customize their TNG installations.

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