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Google Earth Adventures

How I found William Moore in 1875

After looking over my timeline of William H Moore, I became determined to check Brooklyn in the 1875 New York State Census. For me, finding William in 1875 would be a big help. This way I would be able to tell whether he had made it back from Chicago yet. I didn’t like having that huge gap between 1871 and 1880.

The first thing I did was check the Brooklyn city directory for 1875. I figured if I could find William at one of his usual addresses, then my job would be that much easier!


  1. There are two William H Moores in the directory. One is a basketmaker and the other a carpenter. The carpenter makes me happy, but I don’t recognize the address, so it’s going down as my first possibility.
  2. There are 3 other carpenters that are just listed as William Moore. I’ve added them to the list under the other William H Moores. If I find the other two, and still haven’t found my William, then I’ll check them.

My next step was to plot the first William H Moore into Google Earth to see where exactly he was located in 1875. From there I can see how far he was from the later addresses I’ve documented for William’s family.

It might be a little hard to tell in the scaled down version, but Stockton Street is not far at all from William H Moore‘s 1880-1886 address.

My next step was to find out where to start. FamilySearch has the 1875 New York State Census, but not an index. There is a website that has a great list of the 1876 Election Districts of Brooklyn.

Now the hard part comes. I have a little clue in the fact that I have never found William H Moore in a Ward under 20. So I decided to start at the highest ward numbers and work my way backwards.

Ward 25, District 4, doesn’t exactly work. I used the polygon tool in Google Earth to see the area covered by each district. The red thumb tack is where the William H Moore in the city directory is located. With this, I know I can probably jump to another ward, and check to see if that’s a little closer to where I need to be.

So I looked around where I want to find William in the census, and tried to find a boundary street in the district listings that matched. I hit pay dirt in the 21st ward. All the districts in the 21st ward have boundary street combinations of Lafayette Avenue, Nostrand Ave, and Myrtle Avenue.

Jackpot! This is the 21st Ward, District 6. While it took a little while to plot the different districts. I was able to keep them plotted and turned off in Google Earth in case I needed to check them for the other William Moores.

As it turns out, I won’t need to because this is in fact my William on Stockton Street. So I’m now able to confirm another address for William between 1870 and 1880. I also know that his family made the trek between Chicago and Brooklyn sometime between 1871 and 1875. Despite what it says on the census, the three boys were all born in Illinois.

So this is how I found my William H Moore in 1875 without an index to search!

GEA: Prospect Hill Cemetery

Two weeks ago, I visited Prospect Hill Cemetery in Caldwell, New Jersey. This cemetery is most likely overflowing with ancestors of mine. Until I research more, I think I’ve hit the limit of my knowledge of them.

Prospect Hill plot layouts

This is the closest I can come to laying out where my family plots are. They could be slightly off though. We weren’t exactly in the cemetery hunting mode. We were in wedding mode!

Overall I really loved going to this cemetery. The graves were layed out in a very easy to navigate manner. Every grave is actually facing one of the access roads. So there wasn’t a real need to get out of the car unless you wanted to. I walked the whole back half of the cemetery in a very short period and I saw LOTS of names that are familiar to me after so many years of researching Caldwell. I can’t wait to go back when I have more connections to find, or even just to take more pictures for Find a Grave. I will definitely take the advice of Russ from My Tombstone Collection (Thanks for the comment Russ!) and take more pictures of the surrounding areas so I can better determine where the plots were. I did that for some of them, but not all!

Leonard family plot
Lindsley Family marker

For example, I was able to pinpoint exactly where I found the Leonard family and Lindsley plots from this photo. I knew I had spotted the Leonard plot from the Lindsley plot and the Lindsley plot was right along the road.

GEA: Thornhill, Scotland

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Google Earth Adventure. They’re fun, I need to make more time for them! I’m still in the process of collecting my data for the Menzies family. Just when I thought I was at a stopping point, I found another lead this morning. Never ending! I just have to say I love the FamilySearch indexes. Sure I can’t confirm until I set eyes on the record myself, but since I knew the maiden name of Jennie Menzies-Love’s mother I’m pretty positive about what I’ve found. So thank heaven for the California Death Index listing the mother’s maiden name! Since most of my Dad’s family stayed in New Jersey, I fretted over ever getting my hands on more records. Little did I know a bunch of New Jersey people headed west to California in the 40’s!

Anyway, back onto the Google Earth part. I found that John Menzies and Jane Ferris’ first five children were born in Scotland before the family went south to Liverpool, England. I plugged some search terms into FamilySearch’s Scotland Birth and Christening Records. Voila! I have a place! Morton by Thornhill, Dumfries, Scotland, UK. All five children born in Scotland have Christening records there and John and Jane have a marriage record there. In fact I think I found John’s birth record there too 😉 The only problem I had was that there was no Morton on any maps I looked at. I’ve run across this in the United States though, so I don’t fret too bad.

I started with Thornhill. That still exists. It just so happens there is a Morton Street that runs through the center of Thornhill. So this is where I tried my luck with a Google Earth Adventure. I figured the worst that could happen is I spend another pleasant morning touring Scotland from the comfort of my home… Too bad I was already dressed, pajamas would have made it better! Best case scenario is I’d find a church along the street.

My first thoughts were, “What a quaint little street!” Then as a long time user of Google Earth, I knew I should probably do a 360 view and see what’s around.

Oh. Well, that’s a little anti-climatic. The sad thing is the church had a For Sale sign on it. I wonder how much an old church in Scotland costs? Probably more than I could afford.

For those keeping track of my previous GEA, the very first one was a tour by Castle Menzies. I’m positive I can link my Menzies there eventually.

I’m certainly closer than I used to be! Thornhill is about 2 and a half hours south of Castle Menzies location. Not exactly a day trip in the 1800’s but it’s a lot closer than New Jersey, which is where I was before today.

Well, since my goal was accomplished I might as well keep looking around more, right?

I really do long to visit quaint little towns like this. I just love the buildings.

Full Disclosure: Starting with this picture I switched to For some reason my Google Earth is messing up so I have to re-install it and see if that will help. I’d rather not talk about it though, I’d rather look at the Scotland buildings.

There much better! I think what I love about looking around Scotland and other countries is how much older the buildings are. I’ve got a million houseplan books that show me what these old houses look like on the outside and the floor plans on the inside, but there’s nothing like seeing a real version of it.

Back to Morton Street. I love how green Scotland is. I know everywhere else is green too. It’s just that everytime I open a random street view in Scotland, it’s just so green!

I really do wonder how old these buildings are.

Then I came across this. I was curious as to what all the busses were there for. A quick Google Search told me this is Wallace Hall Academy. Well not the bus activity, but the building I couldn’t really get a look at. The original Wallace Hall Academy was established in 1723. In 1972 Wallace Hall Academy merged with Morton Academy at Thornhill (!) and they moved to the building they are in now. The revelation got me to thinking about Morton parish again. It’s got to be here somewhere!

When I looked up Closeburn, the original site of the Wallace Hall Academy, I found a little nugget of information.

The hamlet of Gatelawbridge, 2+12 miles (4 km) east of Thornhill, is on the boundary of Closeburn and Morton parishes near Crichope Linn.1

It’s still not on the map, but looking through the street views between all three places (Closeburn, Gatelawbridge, Thornhill) I found a few more churches. So I don’t know which one my ancestors were christened in. I guess I’ll just have to take a real trip to Scotland some day and check them all. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it!

Disclaimer: Google owns the images I used in the entry. I am making no profit from these images. Please don’t sue me Google, I own nothing of value except for the Mini-Oreos I ate on this trip.


GEA: Brooklyn Cemetery

It’s been quite awhile since my last Google Earth Adventure. I really love playing in Google Earth so I really need to make the effort for more of these!

Today’s adventure came about because I am in the midst of trying to plan a Genealogy trip. My first ever. I did make a trip to the Ohio Historical Society once, but technically my Mom has planned all those trips and I’m never quite prepared for being at these very helpful places. So I’m going to try my best to prepare. If anyone wants to leave tips for me, they would be most welcome! I’m probably going to spend a lot of time Googling.

One of my biggest “wants” is to visit the cemetery in Brooklyn where William H Moore is buried. I’m hoping that will verify some dates for me at the very least. Not to mention, I think it’s been awhile since they’ve been visited. So they’re do for some attention from family.

First thing I have to do is take my cemetery deed and locate where the graves are located. The cemetery in Brooklyn is HUGE to say the very least.

Keep Reading

GEA: Kentucky Cemeteries

The first Google Earth Adventure was so much fun, I’m back to do it again! This time it will be taking you on one of my first Genealogy trips. It took place around 2003 or 2004? I’m not exactly sure. It was this trip when I got the majority of my Tombstone pictures. We were in Ohio for a reunion and I convinced Grandma to take us to Kentucky to visit the cemetery. Actually, it might have been her idea. Like I said, who can remember. This was when I was just getting into putting all my gathered information together. It was right before Grandma insisted on putting herself in the nursing home and the dementia set in. I even recorded her telling me a story from her childhood. I might have to attach that to the end of this post!

So here’s where we began our adventure. Let me be up front with you. This was our first time visiting Kentucky. Grandma grew up in this area, but it had been awhile since she last visited. This was before GPS navigators also. So we were taking all our directions from Grandma…. That was foreshadowing if you didn’t recognize it. So to the left is where Grandma said her old “homestead” was located, and to the right was the cemetery we were planning to visit. So we headed left first.

This is what we saw for the majority of the trip to left. It was a long windy road that eventually lead back to the river, and when I say river I mean the Ohio River. The big one.

To once again practice full disclosure, I can’t quite remember where the old homestead was located. It’s possible it’s no longer there. The Google Earth photos aren’t really great. Then again, it’s a very tree lined road, so I doubt that better pictures would help anyway.

As you can see the road goes through that heavily forested area. So somewhere in those trees is where my Grandma lived as a girl.

So now we backtrack and cross the road. This side had many more houses and not as many trees. It’s known as Johnsville, KY.

Just under a mile down the road we ran across this small cemetery. This is where Grandma told us “the babies are buried.” Her Grandmother, Mollie Jane Webb-Taylor had three sets of twins, many of which never made it past infancy. This little cemetery is where they were buried, most likely in unmarked graves.

Here is the family listing in my family file. The “babies” aren’t the only ones buried in this cemetery. One of my ancestors buried his first wife here, and I even feel a little guilty that the first wife is resting here, while he rests over in the big cemetery with his second wife. It doesn’t seem fair to the wife who died so young. If I had a time machine, I’d really love to look back at some of the hidden stories in my family’s history.

Here is the two cemeteries in relation to each other on the map. Unfortunately the big cemetery doesn’t have street view. So I can’t show you how big that cemetery really is. Trust me it’s bigger than it looks.

I have many relatives in this cemetery. Many of those relatives I’ve yet to identify. Sometimes I wonder if bigger cemeteries can actually be “family” cemeteries. I mean if you think about it in these rural areas, most everyone ended up related anyway right? So it almost gives it a family feel.

It is after we left Johnsville Cemetery that day that things got… dicey. There was a cousin of my Mom’s that lives right past the cemetery, so we tried to stop by and see him. He’s got a bunch of Webb family photos that I’m dying to see! Unfortunately, he wasn’t at home that day. He got called into work. After we left the cemetery, I imagine we spent the next hour or so driving around aimlessly. Somehow we got turned around. Or maybe we went right instead of going left, the way we’d come. We’ll never know now. Needless to say, we were lost. Lost in Kentucky without a GPS unit to tell us it was “recalculating” to get us the heck home!

We were all getting quite cranky. We were tired, hungry, and just plain ready to be done. We’d been gone most of the day and it was still a long drive back to Dillsboro, IN where Grandma lived. Just when I was about to throw myself on the ground and start kicking my feet around, we drove up to this.

In the interest of once again practicing full disclosure; When we pulled up to this cemetery, we pulled up from the road on the right you see now. I couldn’t show you that though, because it doesn’t have street view. We were really excited to see the yellow lines on the road when we pulled up too. Nothing like good old yellow lines to show that you’re actually on a road that goes somewhere!

This cemetery took us by complete surprise. We weren’t looking for it, we just found it. In fact it would be many years until I could find it again on a map.  There were two sections. The one by the church, and then this older section across the street. This section is my “family cemetery.” I can’t even list the amount of Taylors and Webbs I found in this cemetery. I was completely taken by surprise.

Once I found a certain Webb family, I knew where I was. I had no idea how to get back to Indiana, but I knew where we were. We had somehow found Lenoxburg Cemetery. The cemetery I most wanted to visit. In fact, it’s still on the top of my list. Now that I’m more aware of how many relatives are buried there, I’ve got to go back and document a lot more tombstones. Next time I’m taking my GPS with me though.

Download Google Earth

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

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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