Now I Remember April 19th, 2010
I remember now why I allowed my Mom to have control over the Mays Line of our tree for so long. It gets very confusing. With that many different people I guess it’s only a matter of time. Since I’m determined to do things right this time, I found that I was trying to ignore big discrepancies between Census years.
In the 1850 and 1860 census years, the children of William and Anna Mays were very easy to match up. The birth years weren’t off by more than a year or so. I was able to figure out who everyone was by name and age. It was glorious… Then I went to 1870. Things just got complicated.
At first I couldn’t find them in Morgan County, KY where they had been in 1860 and 1870. Then I found William and Anna in Elliott County, KY. After a quick peek at the history of Elliott County, I found that it was formed in 1869 from parts of Morgan, Lawrence, and Carter counties. So that little mystery was solved. They most likely didn’t move, the county border did!
Things didn’t improve after that little nugget of information though. It’s when I started to try and match up the kids that I ran into more troubles. Thomas Lindsey Mays wasn’t an issue. He matched up perfectly. Besides that weird stuff at the end of her name Anna Mays lined up pretty well also. I think I was almost too confident at this point. I had to be, because what else could I have done to deserve this.
Rebecca Mays threw me for the big loop. The problem she threw at me started because I can’t decide what to believe about her. You can see in the image her age is shown as 18. However, I know she is older than that. In fact, my dates put her at 10 years older than that. What on earth went wrong here! I certainly can’t take the age of 18 as fact, because she was in both the 1850 and 1860 censuses as 8 and 18 respectively. So I just scratch my head and put a little note in the file about this discrepancy.
I then moved on to Arminda, age 17 from the image. I’m going to assume that she is Amanda Mays, (born. about 1854). I’m finding that Arminda and Amanda were basically the same name back in those days. It’s like Sally and Sarah. They are a bit interchangeable.
Jane, age 15 is my big frustration here. Her age shows that she should have been in the last census. I promise you there wasn’t a Jane. There was an Elizabeth J though. Jane was a very common middle name for Elizabeths in my family. Very very common. It wouldn’t be an issue if my Elizabeth wasn’t supposed to be 23 in this census. Of course they were off by 10 years on Rebecca, so could this be another case? Or is this a niece/cousin/relation staying with the family. It wasn’t until 1880 that they even started adding relationships onto the census.
I had to look at the 1880 census before I made any decision about who Jane was. Maybe I’d get lucky and she’d be there. So I looked. Luckily Rebecca was back to her rightful age. My Jane from the last census is now in the form of Jurena I think… This is all really confusing to me. If Jurena is another daughter. She should have been on the 1860 census, aged 5 years old. There was no Jurena, just Amanda/Arminda who was close enough in age, but she’s accounted for in the 1870 census.
So my final conclusion is I have to add Jurena as a separate child, but I have no idea where she could have been in 1860 census, but maybe when I check in with all the other families, I will find her. I’ll just have to make note of her special circumstances.
What does this mean? Anyone know. April 15th, 2010
I’ve been going through person by person, census by census. I’m trying to do this all correctly which means if something comes up, then I have to ask questions. I’m currently trying to cite all the census information for William Harmon Mays and his family. He and his young daughter moved to Ohio after his first wife died. In Ohio, he then met and married my Grandfather’s mother, Iva Belle Moyer, when she was hired to look after his daughter. This is all per my Grandma.
So now I’m left with getting all the factual evidence. I may never get “evidence” for the nanny part, but I can at least document the marriages and death of the first wife, right? Maybe not. We’ll see.
There are some trees out there that give the marriage date of William and Sarah Elizabeth McDaniels. Until I find the documentation, I’m going to leave that off, but the date sounds right. So at least I have a place to look. The not promising part of the picture is that Kentucky didn’t regulate recording marriages until 1958. So I may be out of luck, but hopefully there will be something on a local level.
My next step was trying to actually confirm with the census records the places William would have been at anyway. That’s when I ran into this.
Hard to read, I know. Maybe a local visit will turn up a better copy too. Basically what I’m seeing is that Elizabeth is marked as William H’s wife, with daughter Mary J. All the ages fit perfectly. William’s parents are living next door. So this is the right family. However Elizabeth is crossed out. So I’ve always assumed this means that she died before the census day. However, I want an official answer on why she would be crossed off. This could be a clue as to what happened.
So I went to Ancestry’s 1910 census main page and started reading everything they give about the census.
What I gather from this instruction is that the enumerators were to still count people who died between April 15, 1910 and when the enumerator showed up. This is the most logical explanation I could find for why Elizabeth would be crossed out. This family was counted by the enumerator on May 3, 1910. It’s a little sad knowing that Elizabeth would have died within the month, heck it could have been that week!
If there is anyone out there reading this that knows for sure this is why Elizabeth would have been crossed out, please let me know! I will make a note of it so I can try and search death records for her.
That is if it was recorded. Hopefully a trip to Kentucky can solve this problem.
My current “project” April 6th, 2010
I’m currently in the process of cleaning up my hard drives and my family file. While I do this, I’m also checking out RootsMagic Essentials. I kind of fell in love with it to be honest. It’s making my source citations so much easier to manage! I’ve been a long time Family Tree Maker user, there’s no doubt about that. Before Family Tree Maker, I used something called Ancestry Family Tree, I think… I don’t exactly remember the name, but I know it was free and it’s no longer available. So I’ve watched Family Tree Maker evolve. It’s a snazzy little program now.
I really enjoy the layout of the ‘People’ tab and the family section. It’s so easy to navigate.
Roots Magic isn’t as snazzy. It’s a little harder to navigate through the families. The main complaint from me is that the Pedigree and the Family listing are on two different tabs. It’s such a little thing, but it’s one of the things that bugs me the most. I’ve become so accustomed to it on Family Tree Maker. Not having it now, it’s kind of frustrating, but I realized it wasn’t as important as the big pro I’ve found with RootsMagic.
This is the source citation page. The yellow section is for the “Master Source.” I like that on this I can keep all 1860 Morgan County, KY census citations on one Master Source. Then I can go into more detail in the green section. This is what I mean by cleaning up my family file. I very much prefer this citation method.
This makes for a very clean Source List. There are probably even more bells and whistles but I can’t do those because I spent my extra money on upgrading my Family Tree Maker. It was before I knew about RootsMagic
In Family Tree Maker, it’s not as easy to do the same thing. Don’t get me wrong, I could be completely missing it.
There is this screen, but when I try to add the details on this screen, it stays attached to the Master Source. Which would mean I’d have to have a “Master Source” for each household. With 4000+ people, that can really add up and make for a very messy Source List.
This is the Source List of my current Family Tree Maker File. I’m sure that Source Citations screen in the middle is for something, but I’ll be darned if I can figure out how to do what I want in Family Tree Maker. I’m sure if I bought the Family Tree Maker manual they’d be happy to tell me, but I just can’t throw anymore money at this, especially when I figured out how to do it in RootsMagic within the first hour of using the program.
I’m still using both programs. I’m determined to figure out the source citation process in Family Tree Maker. It’s got to be easier than I’m making it.
Ancestry’s Family Tree option April 5th, 2010
I have a problem folks. I like to change my mind. Some will say it’s because of my gender, others will say it’s because I lack focus. I’m sure all these things are true. The one thing related to genealogy I can’t seem to make a decision on is Ancestry.com’s Family Tree section.
In the pro column, I love the look of it. I love the feel of it. I love the layout. I even love how having it on site helps you to search Ancestry.com better. It’s so easy to link to Ancestry.com sources and never again wonder if you’ll be able to find William Moore in 1880 again. It won’t matter how much they always seem to shift Brooklyn around, because you’ve linked that record to that guy. It’s a beautiful thing. In fact, I have to restrain myself from once again uploading a GEDCOM.
They make it so easy to be split on this decision. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve uploaded and deleted my GEDCOM from their site about 5 times, I would do it again. Unfortunately there are also things I don’t like about it. Some of the things I don’t like, I also like, so this is why I keep changing my mind.
The most I can really say is that I knew when uploading things to that site and my own, that I was putting it out there for everyone and their brothers. In fact, I love sharing my pictures and stories. It’s the greatest reward that comes from doing this. The only problem is that with that I have a responsibility to only put up things that I’m comfortable sharing. Sometimes I forget that in the heat of the moment. I love to try new things. One day though, I was wondering around the Ancestry.com Family Tree section. I was looking at the few trees that have the Thorward family in them. Then I noticed that a lot of those trees were using my pictures of the Thorwards. Which is totally fine, don’t get me wrong. The only thing I saw a problem with is that this completely cuts out the middle man between my fellow genealogists and those pictures, which is me.
I don’t mind them using the pictures, I gladly welcome it. The only problem I have with it, is that it made me think of that other side of my tree. The one I don’t have all the documentation and pictures for. Can someone just come along and take the information without even having to verify it with me? What happens if something I have is completely wrong and the next day I delete it. Then this person has merged my tree with theirs thinking that it’s proven fact, but it’s not! In fact, I have to hold myself back from deleting the information in my website right now. It really does freak me out that something I entered in error could be floating in someone’s tree for years because they haven’t taken the time to check my sources first.
This is why I’m so split on this subject. I could always make my tree “private”, there is that option. What I realized though is if I have the tree up on Ancestry, I immediately start working there exclusively. I stop working on this site that I’ve had and loved for so long.
It may not be as fancy and glamorous as the Ancestry site. It may not have all the convenience. It’s mine though. I use software called The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding. It gives you full control of your tree. I know a little about coding, someday I’ll learn more, but this program does the hard part. I can customize the layout or download one of the templates. In fact until my current layout I’ve always used one of those templates.
It certainly doesn’t lack anything that I would need. I guess what I’m saying is, I’d probably keep the Ancestry Family Tree section going if I didn’t have this wonderful site and tool at my disposal. Now I just have to work on optimizing why I opened this site in the first place. I’ve finally found the two mediums I want to use on the site. A great genealogy program and a great blogging platform. Now I have to bring them together. Once I do that, I doubt I’ll be flip flopping on the Ancestry Family Tree section anymore.
Surname Saturday: Oy Vey April 3rd, 2010
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.