When do you stop? November 18th, 2011
I have a situation that has recently come up. You see, when I was rebuilding my father’s side of the family tree, I didn’t have the problem I’m about to explain.
I’ve finally made my way past the Mays line of my family tree, and now I’m onto the Slusher line. Funny thing is that 3 Slusher siblings married into the Mays family, so technically I’m still researching Mays’. Of the 10 Slusher children you see above, I’ve already researched 3 of them. Well technically two, because I couldn’t find the paper trail for the third. I’ve probably spent the past month going on down the Quesinberry line of the Slusher family. Technically I’m not related to the Quesinberrys. Oliver Quesinberry married Mahala Slusher, but I’m not descended through Mahala. I am descended through her sister Celia.
For some all this work on the Quesinberrys could be a waste of valuable research time. However, in rural Kentucky, it’s actually not. A lot of the times families in rural Kentucky had 10-15+ children. However, this is rural territory. A lot of times you have siblings of your ancestors marrying the siblings of their in-laws. I hope that made sense. It’s why I have 3 Slushers marrying 3 Mays‘. For me, anytime I run across Slusher, Mays, Click, Adkins, Whitt, or Crisp, I just go ahead and document everything I can about the siblings. Sometimes, when you’re in the midst of all these people, it’s hard to resist just adding everyone.
In my original family file, which was a combination of my Grandma’s copy of the family tree and online trees, I made the mistake of getting TOO carried away when it came to documenting the in-laws of my family tree. I haven’t done that this time yet. So far, I document the parent names of the person marrying into the family and most times I will also go ahead and add their siblings into the tree, it depends on how I’m feeling. I however, do not research the siblings in that case. I’m only researching the siblings of my blood relations. This rule gets thrown out for me if I run across a lot of people with the same surname marrying in. Then that surname gets bumped up on my priority list.
Of course, sometimes this gets me into trouble. Like today. I’ll admit to getting a little bored with the Quesinberry family. Not because they weren’t interesting, just that there were so many of them! Lawson Quesinberry‘s first wife gave birth to 16 children! Oy!
However, searching through newspapers has been an eye opener. A lot of the Quesinberry’s were LDS Church members. So when they were in the paper, they were IN the paper with full histories. It was glorious! Today I ran across the above article about Alfred Quesinberry. At first I wasn’t sure if it was Alfred, but after putting a few different clues together, I’m pretty sure it is. Most especially the Hunnewell, Greenup County, Kentucky reference. Alfred’s brother, Farris, spent a lot of years in that area at the same time. Farris‘s first marriage didn’t work out as well either.
After trying to find out the outcome of the bigamy debacle, I decided to do something a little more productive for the moment. I looked up the young son that is mentioned in the article. I found him in the Kentucky Birth Index and then was able to find another interesting bit on him.
Despite all the other wonderful information, I notice that it mention his parents Mr. and Mrs. Frank Newman. Yes, Pearl Griffith Quesinberry Sharp decided to give marriage another go, this time with Frank Newman. I found the couple in the 1930 census in Ashland, Kentucky. I even found another marriage record for Alfred Quesinberry in West Virginia.
What I did not find however, is Charles or Alfred in 1930! Where on earth are they? Do you see the wonderful mysteries and adventures you can find when you go on down the side branches of your family tree?
When Good Things Go Bad October 16th, 2011
My intentions were good today. I’ve gotten a lot done and I’ve even watched my football team fail miserably. I was making progress in my huge project of a more organized family file, when I came across the image above. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. Just the first time it was so blatant. For example, on certain censuses, the whole last 5 lines of Elliott County, Kentucky are missing. I’m not talking on the last page. I’m talking the the last five lines on each page of a whole enumeration district.
The real question is this, if the image looks like that, How did they index it? Oliver Quesenberry and his wife Mahala are in the index, but obviously not on the image above.
If they are using something else, is there any way for someone to get their grubby hands on it. Since this isn’t an isolated problem, I was just wondering the work around. I know the most obvious is to go to my local historical society or library and check out the microfilm. However, my library doesn’t carry the census or microfilm that I’m aware of, and I’m not in Kentucky. I’m in Maryland… which isn’t anywhere near Kentucky. Well, closer then California is to Maryland but you get my point. The historical society would be an option but I doubt they carry the Kentucky districts but I’m not opposed to trying.
When I came across the missing lines in Elliott County, I checked on FamilySearch, and they were also missing the lines. I just assumed that they were all using the same images of the census. Am I right in thinking this? I was going to look through on FamilySearch this time, but I am unable to view the images. This isn’t vital to my research obviously because research doesn’t hinge on the census. My thoughts are just to turn this into a learning experience for myself.
So that’s how my Sunday has gone and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Margaret Slusher, you might have been found! October 5th, 2011
As anyone who researches their genealogy knows, the women can be hard to track down once they leave the house. It gets doubly hard in very rural areas where records might not have been kept. I run into this problem a lot in my Kentucky/Ohio research. One of my more recent “brick walls” is Margaret Slusher. I say “brick wall” because technically it isn’t. I know who her parents are and I know who her husband is. I even know the year she married. However, in 1860, she’s not living with her new husband or her parents. I’m a stickler for the details, so it bugs me when I can’t find people in certain censuses. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but most times it’s just you’re not looking in the right place. The key to the problem is Margaret’s marriage to James Mays happened in September of 1860.
What a lot of people forget is that most censuses take a few months to complete, however, the enumerator is supposed to record the data as it reflects the household on a certain day. In 1860, that day was June 1, 1860.
I was transcribing the surrounding households of Joseph and Nancy Slusher, Margaret’s parents, when I came across William Jenkins household. At the very end, it shows a 20 year old Margaret Slusher. Since I don’t know my Margaret’s exact birth date yet, this one definitely fits with her estimated birth. The birthplace of Virginia fits. It’s the little tick that the blue arrow points to that interests me now. That tick is to show that the person was married within the year. I’d say this is my Margaret. I got very lucky that she didn’t get missed in the census all together since her marriage fell at such an awkward time of the year for the census. I also got lucky that the Jenkins household gave Margaret’s maiden name. If they hadn’t I might have just had to live with not locating Margaret on the census.
Tombstone Tuesday: The Mays Family December 21st, 2010
There are a few reasons that I chose to highlight this tombstone. In all my hijinks into my family history, I have stumbled onto learning how to do certain things. One of the first things I realized is that even official records can be wrong. I’ve also learned that spelling doesn’t matter in the early and late 1800s.
An important thing to remember about tombstones is that they aren’t always accurate. Take the example above. The names are mostly right, spelling mistakes aside. I also need to state that the death years are all correct (hard to get that wrong, right?)
- Ralph (1924-1952): Everything here is correct.
- John (1853-1927): His death certificate states his birth year as 1842. Since John is living in the 1850 census and listed as age 5, either date could be wrong but 1853 is more wrong then 1842.
- Cecilia (1842-1914): I’ve only seen her referred to as Celia or Cela. That could be a shortened nickname but I might never know unless I find her birth record. Her death record also lists her birth date differently. I have 1840 and her age in censuses always matches that.
- Harmon (1872-1952): Everything here is correct too!
- Ivah (1897-1949): Iva’s name has been spelled a million different ways and that’s not including her maiden name (Moyer/Meyer/Myers). Once again I have her death certificate and her birth date is listed as 1894 and not 1897. The 1900 census actually gives her birth date as Sep 1894 too, which is spot on with her death certificate!
So basically what I’m saying is don’t always trust the tombstone. You never know who was giving the information at the time of your ancestor’s burial. In fact, it’s usually the same person giving the information for the death certificate. That’s why I’m so surprised the death certificates and tombstone varies so much here.
In fact, even newer tombstones can be a bit wrong. This is my grandmother’s tombstone inscription. Everything is spot on except the fact that she was actually born on April 13 and not April 15. Oops! Be sure your family knows that they can come to you for correct dates!
Tombstone Tuesday is a blogging theme used by many GeneaBloggers.
Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: William Mays June 19th, 2010
This is my first Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post! This is a prompt put forth by Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings. I thought this one would be particularly fun since a lot of my Mays relatives had a great many children.
- Determine who is one of the most prolific fathers in your genealogy database or in your ancestry. By prolific, I mean the one who fathered the most children.
- Tell us about him in your own blog post.
I didn’t need to go far to find one of the most prolific fathers in my tree. There may be one with more children, but they aren’t confirmed by me yet.
The children count for William’s children may be subject to change. I haven’t finished researching them all yet.
William Mays married Anna Click
born: About 1813, Kentucky
- James Mays; born Oct 1836, married Margaret Slusher; had 8 children.
- Frances Susan Mays; born May 1837, never married (not sure); had 5 illegitimate children.
- Nancy L Mays; born about 1839, married William Flannery; not sure of children yet.
- Rebecca Mays; born about 1841, not married; had 1 illegitimate child.
- John Harmon Mays (my 2nd great grandfather); born Sep 1842, married Celia Slusher; had 4 children (1 was stillborn).
- William D Mays; born about 1843, married Lilly; had 4 children.
- Elizabeth J Mays; born about 1847, married ? Gray; not sure of children yet.
- Thomas Lindsey Mays; born about 1849, married Sarah Elizabeth Whitt; had 6 children.
- Anna Z Mays; born about 1852, not married; had 1 illegitimate child.
- Arminda Mays; born about 1853, one illegitimate child. married James Shelton, had 2 children. married Joseph Slusher, had 3 children.
- Jane Mays, born May 1853, no known spouse or children. (Shoot, she could be Arminda for all I know right now. This family confuses me.)
- Jurena Mays, born Mar 1855, married ? Adkins. No known children.
- Green Mays, born Jun 1857, married Susannah Gillium; had 11 children.
- Sarah Mays, born Jun 1860, no known spouse or children.
- Nancy Ellen Mays, born about 1862, married Hansford Conn; had 5 children.
As I stated by Jane’s information this family confuses me too much on the census. The children’s information is always fluctuating. Rebecca has been known to jump around in age by 10 years. I really don’t like to base anything for the Mays’ on any census information if I don’t have to. As you can see they were VERY prolific. It wasn’t just William. His brother Nathan also had 16 or so children. I can’t be sure of Nathan’s though because he was taking care of grandchildren by time the 1880 census came along, so I got very confused about who were children and who were grandchildren. Eventually I’ll sort it all out. They really could have helped out by varying the names of their children but all the Mays’ rotated the same 20 names or so. With each one having children numbering in the teens, well you can see how it would get confusing!