Just Call Me Confused

My Mystery Monday to do list just keeps getting longer and longer. I’m currently scanning documents that pertain to my Great-Grandfather, William Lawrence Moore. Some I’d scanned before but could use a fresh scan. Others, I never scanned before so I’m getting my first look at them.

Perpetual Care

Cemetery Diagram

I know you guys must be getting sick of me saying what good record keepers my Great-Grandparents were. It bears repeating though since I just spent 20 minutes scanning correspondence between multiple family members about the family lot at Evergreen Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. The above diagram was sent to William when he inquired in 1970 about keeping up the graves. From what I can tell Robert J. Moore Jr and his wife Gertrude were taking care of the graves until Gertrude’s death in 1970. Then Gertrude’s family and the Moores split the costs of perpetual care for the lot.

I had known the names of the people in the grave, but not in this detail. We called the cemetery back when we originally got the deed from my Grandfather. We just had the names, not the dates or anything like the detailed diagram above.

Figuring It Out

The List

Once again, I’m blessed that William wanted to make a list of the family members buried in the plot. He left it in the paperwork and correspondence for the perpetual care. The only one not on William’s list is “Baby Moore.”

Based on the burial date of 1909 and that the baby is in the same plot as Robert J. Moore Sr. and his wife, I would say the child would have been my Great-Grandfather’s sibling. I’ll have to look at birth and death records for Brooklyn to make sure.

The other interesting thing is that M. Moore or William’s mother, wasn’t buried until 1945. She last showed on census records with the family in 1910. In the 1915 State Census she is missing and in the 1920 United States Census, her husband is still listed as married. So where was Mary Johnson-Moore from 1910 to 1945?

Oops Moment

Looking at the paperwork from the cemetery, I know why New Jersey didn’t find a death record for my William H. Moore even after numerous attempts. He died in 1923, not 1928! Well that makes a big difference!

My Genealogy Do-Over is working already!!

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I have a Category Problem

When I sat down to write a blog post for today, I was completely un-inspired. I couldn’t think of anything to write about. The great thing is I have an Excel spreadsheet for that problem. I opened my spreadsheet and was looking around, then I came to my website and decided to look through old posts to find one to update. That’s where I found true inspiration for today’s blog post.

Misadventures of a Genealogist has 81 categories on the blog

I never think about my categories except when I’m scrolling through them. I tell myself that it’s a lot of stuff to scroll through and that I need to remedy that. Then I go about my business and ignore it. The only problem I find myself in now is that 2017 seems to be the year I can no longer just walk away from things.

I want to fix it, and this is the week it’s happening. What I thought was funny when I started blogging in March of 2010 is no longer funny. I want to make things user friendly here on the website.

My inspiration comes from a genea-friend from when I started blogging.

Tonia Kendrick runs her blog Solopreneur Diaries and I’ve been following it since it’s launch. She has some great posts that have made me rethink my blog management. Two posts are of particular interest to me today. Using a Spreadsheet for your Content Ideas and When You Feel That Nagging Feeling. What I got from that page is that she has main categories and sub-categories for each one. It keeps the blog focused and on topic.

One issue can be solved right away. I don’t need “All Posts” or “Misadventures of a Genealogist” categories. This blog is Misadventures of a Genealogist, I don’t need a category to state that. With just a quick thought process, this is what I came up with.

Not every subcategory is shown

With 81 categories, I wasn’t going to add everything to a graphic. I really just wanted to have some basic categories to start with. Between my Index pages and these categories, I think it will really cover things I’ve posted on the blog. Anything that doesn’t fit into the four categories can fall into uncategorized.

Actually now that I’m studying it, I don’t even think Genealogy Do-Over needs its own category since I have an Index page for that. This will allow me to categorize those posts into Research, Identification, and Organization when it applies to those posts.

Do you have any ideas about categories that I am missing? Be sure to let me know!

Does this mean all your links are going to break?

They shouldn’t! My blog structure is set up to use the date in the URL. It’s not great for my SEO score for sure, but it also means changing categories isn’t going to effect my URL links.

I might change that setup one day but thankfully Tonia also has a post showing how to deal with that! You might be worried that this will distract me from my Do-Over. It won’t! I’m going to be doing this on the days that I’m not working on my Do-Over.

Disclaimer: I made no profit for mentioning Tonia’s post. There are no affiliate links on the post. Once you click over to her website, her disclosures about links and profit apply to her website. 

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Google Earth Adventure: Dillsboro

It is a snowy Saturday here in Southern Maryland. What better way to spend it then going on a Google Earth Adventure! Since I’ve been in a nostalgic mood, I thought I would take a trip to my Grandma’s house. I haven’t made the full journey there since September 2005. I’ve made the partial journey to different destinations, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen her house.

Let’s see our route!

The Map

Wow, I didn’t realize that we spent 11 hours, probably longer, going to Grandma’s house. I don’t remember it, but my parents tell me that before it took longer because the Interstate didn’t go through where it does now. They had to go into Pennsylvania and come back down from Columbus.

We also split our trip into two days. My Aunt Melinda lives in Southern Ohio and it takes about 8 hours to get to her house. We would usually stop and spend the night with her and then head out in the morning. Of course a trip to Ohio isn’t a trip to Ohio without visiting two more Aunts in New Richmond, Ohio. After that, it is a short trip to Indiana.

I’m cheating and starting in Indiana!

The Lawrenceburg Exit
The Lawrenceburg Exit

There is something about that first exit off the Interstate. To get to Grandma’s we’d have to exit I-275. We are heading toward Lawrenceburg and Aurora, then onto Dillsboro. Even though it’s been over 10 years since I’ve taken it, this exit is as familiar as the trip I take to go grocery shopping today. There’s the relief of almost being to Grandma’s, and then the exhaustion when you realize you still have a half hour to go!

The Parking Lot
The Parking Lot

Is it cliche to say that this parking lot used to look so much bigger when I was younger! From the overhead view, there is a lot less visible from the street then there used to be. The parking lot was used for the customers on the Riverboat Casinos. From the looks of the street view, this parking lot is no longer in use.

Walmart – Oh the times I had in Walmart

Walmart

You can’t tell from the street, but up that hill and around those trees is a Walmart. It’s a pretty big one. It’s also full of so many funny memories for our family. There were times we had to stop and stretch, so we walked around Walmart. There were times that as a cranky, teenage girl I couldn’t take those jeans one more second. That meant a stop at Walmart for some sweatpants.

Most times this Walmart was our last stop to pick up things to take to Grandma’s house. It could be soda/pop, food, or books. Whatever you think you might have needed in the days before the internet and smartphones. Grandma lived pretty far out in the woods, and even the small town of Dillsboro was a bit of a hike to get things. The fun part about Walmart was it was Grandma’s favorite place. More than once when we were stopping to pick things up, we’d run right in to her and Wayne! 🙂

The last familiar sight before our turn!

Walmart

Nine miles from Walmart, you come across this! It’s that last familiar sight before you know you are almost there. I don’t know if anyone else does this, but we have a tradition in our family. On road trips, we designate landmarks to break up the trip. It’s not fun saying you will get there in 638 miles. Instead we’d say, oh Walmart is coming right up. Another favorite is, I know you’re tired but we’re almost to the silos! The silos meant we were about to make our turn into Dillsboro, Indiana!

Dillsboro!

Dillsboro

Oh boy, we finally made it to the Dillsboro turn! Just don’t blink because you will miss the turn. That happened to us more than once after a long trip. Actually, that’s not the turn we take. This is the one that SAYS Dillsboro, but this isn’t the one we take. We take the next, super secret unmarked turn!

The Secret Entrance

This is the entrance we always took into Dillsboro. This way we didn’t have to drive the whole length of the town. It’s a more straight forward route to Grandma’s house.

Genealogy Break: Since I’m a genealogist, I have to point out a few things before we turn into Dillsboro. You might be wondering how Grandma and Grandpa Wayne ended up all the way in Dillsboro (and you haven’t seen the trek to the house yet). Well, Wayne actually grew up in Dillsboro. It’s where his children grew up and live and probably where his parents grew up also. When he retired, he bought a house in his hometown. Dillsboro is also where Wayne is buried with his first wife. If you take a right turn instead of the left into Dillsboro, you’ll head straight into Oakdale Cemetery where Wayne is buried.

Town Square

Technically this isn’t a town square. It’s more of the intersection at the heart of Dillsboro. It’s important to know the other ways into to Dillsboro because when they have their carnival, this intersection is closed off and you can’t drive through at all! Now you know why I mentioned the other entrance. You always have to know these kinds of things, because this was before GPS and Google Maps!

Through the intersection, to the intersection? Huh?

Another Intersection
Another Intersection

When we come to this intersection, we have another choice to make. We can go right, or we can go left. If we go right, we can go to the IGA which is your closest source of groceries once you get to Grandma’s house. If you go left, we’re heading to Grandma’s but we still have a bit of a journey to go. Since this is my Google Earth Adventure and since there are no gas tanks to fill, I’m going to take a peak at the IGA!

The IGA
The IGA

Oh man, that used to feel a lot bigger to me! That seems to be a running theme as I get older. Everything used to be so much bigger. I didn’t think it was possible to miss a grocery store, but I sure do miss that IGA. There are so many memories of it. Probably not as many as Walmart, but plenty of them all the same.

Over the river and through the Woods, To Grandmother’s House we Go!

It was always a running joke in our family that we literally had to go over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house. Once you finally got to Dillsboro, you thought your journey was over. It wasn’t though, it was just getting started! You still had 5 miles of twisting, turning road to go! This is because technically, Grandma and Wayne lived in a little borough called Farmer’s Retreat. It doesn’t have a post office that I’m aware of, just a Lutheran church and a small park that was our last “landmark” on the trip to Grandma’s house.

I finally made it to Grandma’s house! There it is! Except the trees are blocking the front of the house. Lucky for me, Street View has some older photos of the house.

Here’s the little house I remember from my childhood. It didn’t have internet, cable TV or video games. Grandpa Wayne would wake up with the sun, and then wake you up right along with it. There would be blackberry picking if you were there at the right time of year. There was a back porch that everyone loved and remembers. I don’t just remember my Grandma and Grandpa Wayne here, I remember our whole family here. Cousins, Uncles, Aunts, and Great Aunts. To this day I can remember the exact layout of the house. I can remember the furniture. I also remember the Grandfather Clock that Wayne made for my Mom that sat in the family room. Well, it did until Wayne told Mom she was to take it or he was selling it!

It sure has been bittersweet visiting Grandma and Grandpa Wayne’s house after all these years. I wonder if a house will ever make me feel the same way again. Or will this house always be that house from my childhood, the one I remember with nostalgic fondness.

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Wedding Wednesday: Wayne and Emogene

Today’s Wedding Wednesday comes with a reminder for myself! It is ALWAYS better to search out the original document that an index is referencing. Today’s wedding is my Grandma and Grandpa Wayne. My mother’s father died when she was just 17 years old, so I never got to meet him. From the time I was born to 2005, I had my Grandpa Wayne though. He was my Grandma’s second husband. They were married in 1982.

Grandma and Grandpa Wayne
Grandma and Grandpa Wayne in New Richmond, Ohio.

The Index

I’ve been working on my Genealogy Do-Over a lot this week. I was adding in the Ohio Marriage Index entry for Grandma and Grandpa Wayne when I had a thought. The Clermont County, Ohio marriage records are browse-able on FamilySearch.org! I could get an image copy of their marriage certificate. I went about adding the marriage index because I’m a better researcher now and that BSO couldn’t distract me from finishing my current task! I’m so proud of myself. 🙂

Ohio Marriage Index
Ohio Department of Health, “Ohio Marriage Index, 1970 and 1972-2007,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Jan 2017), entry for Emogene Mays and Harley W. Utter marriage (1982); citing Clermont County, vol. 11158, 24244.

Everything, looks great there! Now that I’d finished adding in the index, let me track down that marriage certificate on the other website.

The Marriage Certificate

Clermont County Certificate
Clermont County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1910-2013, 81: 355, Utter-Mays, 11 May 1982; digital images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 1 Jan 2017).

For the sake of full disclosure, the above record is cropped to just show the Marriage Certificate. The application and license are all shown on the same page. Though that probably comes into play in a minute, just bare with me! If you look at the Index, it states they were married on May 13th. The certificate says that they were married on May 11th and the record was filed and recorded on May 13th. I’m looking at a certificate, so to me, that holds more weight than an index that I can’t see where the information was even generated from.

I’m not one to just let it stand there though, so I brought up some marriage index entries and certificates for a few cousins and Aunts. They all show the same date on the index and certificate. That leads me to the conclusion that this was a typing/transcription error on the index.

One last observation

As I was entering the Marriage Certificate into Evidentia and my Genealogy program, I noticed that I have a page number, but no certificate number. That’s not some crazy thing though because these Clermont County certificates were bound from loose papers. I can tell from the full digital image.

Clermont County Marriage Book, v. 81
Clermont County Marriage Book, v. 81

The index however cites a volume number and certificate number. None of those numbers are visible in this digital collection. In fact the volume on the index is 11158 and the Clermont County book is volume 81. This shows me that the index was most likely created by a derivative copy sent to the state from the county. When you think about the further removed from an event a record gets, it really makes you think of all the ways it can go wrong!

From my thrown together graphic, I can see that I would be better getting the word of the officiant or someone at the wedding to know what date is right. (Yes, I’m still thinking it over even though I know they were married on May 11th. I like to think something over enough to get sick of it! haha)

Taylor-Webb Family Tree
p. 7-B, Taylor-Webb Family Tree, Nov 1980; privately held by Kathleen Moore, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lexington Park, Maryland. 2001. This tree passed to me from Grandma Emogene Taylor.
Going back to the family tree Grandma carried around for over 30 years, and we have May 11, 1982! Man, this Genealogy Do-Over, Genealogy Proof Standards, and Evidentia are sure making me scrape together every bit of information!

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Happy New Year!

I’m wishing all of you out there in blog land a very Happy New Year! I’ve never been one to make resolutions, but I’m going to make some right now.

Blogging Resolution

I want to make at least one blog entry a month! That doesn’t seem like a lot until I realized how spacey my blogging has been over the last few years. Once a week seemed a little too much to promise, so we’ll go with one a month. 🙂

Genealogy Resolution

Purchase one document a month. My success in genealogy started picking up speed when I put down the indexes. I bit the bullet and just started ordering records instead of saying I’d go on site some day. The reality is that it may be a long time before I’m able to make a genealogy trip and that’s okay. With my Genealogy Do-Over, I’m making a detailed list of records I need, how much they cost, and where they are in my priority list.

Personal Resolution

To finally conquer the corner where my desk sits. The top of my desk isn’t too bad on the clutter scale but underneath is another story! Those piles need to find homes and this is the year it’s going to happen.

Those are my resolutions for the year! I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how I do. 🙂

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Treasure Chest Thursday: The Bibles Part 3

Happy Thursday everyone! I’ve made some time to make sure we get another bible put up on the blog today! It’s been a few months, but I haven’t forgotten about these bibles sitting on my dresser! For those who want to catch up: Bibles Part 1 and Bibles Part 2!

The Bible for Today

This is a New Testament Bible, and it is in fairly good condition. The copyright page shows that it was published in 1946. There are only two loose pages in it. The rest are unblemished and secure. The two loose pages happen to be the only ones with writing in them, so I am left wondering if they were pressed in from another book at some point. One page is decidedly smaller than the book, and the other looks like it might be the protective page at the beginning of the Bible. The “protective page” is black on one side and tan on the other. The only thing I can’t tell is if the size is right to fit with this Bible.

The Protective Page (Less Mysterious)

This image shows that written on the tan side of the page are death dates for “Mother” and “Father.” I am very familiar with Great-Grandma Llewellyn’s handwriting after transcribing her diary. I’m assuming this is her but a quick check of her parents headstones confirms that it is them. I find it particularly emotional that she noted down the time of death as well. I have to say, I never thought I would ever know the time of death for my great-great Grandparents. That just shows you never know what you will find in Genealogy.

The smaller (Mysterious) page

Let’s just all admit what we’re asking ourselves after reading that page. Who the heck are Charlotte and Augustus Fowler? Not that I can justify research time for this in the middle of a Genealogy Do-Over. A little harmless search won’t hurt, right?

An Ancestry.com 1860 US Census search for Charlotte Fowler, living in New York City brings up ONE New York City result. The icing on my New Years cake is that she is living with what looks like a family of Doremus’. That happens to be the maiden name of Llewellyn’s Grandmother, Josephine Doremus! Oh Charlotte, I don’t know who you are, but you are going on the list for a Mystery Monday search once my Do-Over is more stable!

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Format Changes

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season! Time seems to be moving so quickly, I’m sure that in no time it will be New Year’s Eve.

You are probably wondering what I mean by format changes. Though my blogging has been sporadic over the last couple of years, you might have noticed recently I started to make a small change to my posts.

Oh, just say what you mean Kathleen!

There! Did you see it? My bolded funny phrase above this sentence. Okay, so sometimes I think I’m funny when no one else does. That little phrase did something behind the scenes that really helps me to keep on track with my posts.

That’s right, I’m trying to improve my readability after all these years! Breaking my paragraphs up with headings turns that red “Needs Improvement” to a very pretty shade of green!

You know that I don’t show up without picture evidence!

I’ve tried to get the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to also go green, but I found myself getting really frustrated with it. Deciding not to be discouraged, I put it down for awhile. I promised myself that I would come back to it once I’d gotten back into the groove of my blogging life. Don’t worry, I will tell you how it goes.

How do you know what turns it green?

I’m so glad you asked because I have a picture for that!

This box is right below the one I write my entries in. I also like to call this box the “Yells at me for Passive Voice Box.” That’s right, I am in constant battle with a plugin/app about passive voice. The battle even sent me to YouTube to try and improve my writing style. That didn’t go as well as I’d like, but I think we’re still doing okay over here!

Now you know why those funny(?) subheadings started showing up in my posts! If you’d like to try out the Yoast plugin on a WordPress installation, you can find it in the directory: Yoast SEO.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Yoast or WordPress except that I use their free products. No one has asked me to write this post. I certainly didn’t ask to be yelled at for passive voice in my blog entries. That’s just where we all ended up, at the same place, at the same time, wondering if I’ll every understand the laws of literature.

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Genealogy Do-Over: It’s not a Relapse, it’s Prep Work!

This series of posts are based on the Genealogy Do-Over Workbook by Thomas MacEntee. I highly recommend it. 🙂 I just want to say there are parts of this workbook that I am not posting about, so if you would like the full set of tasks, then visit Thomas’ page or purchase the workbook.

Oh No! What did you do?

I can only blame today’s events on the craze of holiday preparations. There has been so much going on that I haven’t been thinking straight. This doesn’t mean that I regret what I just did, because you’re going to be excited for me too. In the interest of full disclosure though, I just did something that probably should have waited longer in my Do-Over.

Just Tell Us!

What you see above is a screen shot of my unfinished shopping basket at the UK General Register Office website. That’s right, I ordered records! You didn’t hear me wrong, I got more than two!

You might be asking yourself why this could be considered a bad thing. First things first, I did this after 9pm at night. That means I’m doing it when my mind isn’t at its best. I’m pretty tired and I’m probably not thinking my best right now. Secondly, I probably should have waited until I reached this point in my Do-Over to spend any more money on records. I mean, what if I’m wrong and these aren’t my people?

To be fair to myself, I have been steadily working my way up the family tree and ordering records along my main line of descent. There’s no way to work up the family tree but to order records, go to the repositories to get the records, find the records online, or hire someone to find them for me. I’ve chosen the first option for now!

Well, since you did it, you might as well show us the rest!

The website has changed since May, when I last used it. You are now able to search the indexes. Well, that might have been there before and I didn’t notice. I usually just get the GRO Reference details from Ancestry or FindMyPast’s Indexes. This time, all I had to do was put in the information I knew off the top of my head and hit search! I got 1 result! The best part is that in this search, it is showing me that his mother’s maiden name is Beattie. The other indexes don’t tell me that!

Note from blog writer: I know that if I was doing a reasonably exhaustive search, I’d be doing more than an exact search. It was 9pm and not 9am though and I wanted to buy four records, not seventy. haha! Don’t worry, I won’t sully my new, beautiful, organized, sourced, exhaustively looked over file. 

That doesn’t mean that it is your guy though.

This is my family file before the Do-Over. I know, I’m not supposed to be looking at it but I am and we’re moving on from that. 😉 You might ask why I put the Richard part in the search since it’s a middle name. Well, in 98% of the records for William Richard Parkin, the Richard is shown. Even after his death, in city directories, Ann lists herself as “Richard Parkin’s widow”. You can also see in my old file that there was a big question mark for the maiden name of his mother. I have her birthplace from the England censuses but I had no clue about her maiden name.

I’m also ordering the birth record for Ann Maltis/Malthouse/Malthuse/Mattis/Whateveritis. What is wonderful for me is that in the marriage record I found for a William Malthouse, my guess on the name of his wife was Amelia Lilburn. It looks like the GRO office index agrees with me on that spelling but not the surname spelling of the father. Oh well, you can’t win them all!

Okay, but I’m still not getting why you are beating yourself up about the old file.

The short of it is, I would have loved to have been “good” and stay away from my old file completely. These lines have been dormant for a long time for me. To have any movement is so refreshing. I’m not “actively” researching this old file. I’m still chugging along on my Do-Over at a slow, wonderfully organized rate. Being able to order these records ahead of time is going to save me time later. If you’ve ordered records from another country, then you know why! It takes awhile to get them here, but it’s oh so worth it!

Besides, my file wasn’t that messed up along the main line, it’s the siblings where things started getting murky. Mainly because I have actually ordered records for the main line. Imagine that, it’s more accurate when you actually seek out the proper documents! Ha!

Note from the blog writer: I use the term actively loosely since technically ordering records is an activity and it has to do with my old tree. We’re moving on though, remember!! Besides, there’s no way to rule out records without actually looking at them. See, I’m thinking rationally even though it’s currently 10:37 pm.

Previous Posts in this Series:

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Genealogy Do-Over: My Reasons

This series of posts are based on the Genealogy Do-Over Workbook by Thomas MacEntee. I highly recommend it. 🙂 I just want to say there are parts of this workbook that I am not posting about, so if you would like the full set of tasks, then visit Thomas’ page or purchase the workbook.

Before I get back in the swing of things, I thought it would be nice to see a general overview of where my files stand now. I’d also like to show one of the main reasons that I decided to do this Do-Over. It might surprise you, but it wasn’t because I was shaky about my family tree! I’m actually pretty confident about it. Though, I’m enjoying the process of questioning every piece of information I find.

Before my Do-Over

Before my Do-Over

The one thing that was frustrating me the most in my genealogy research was that I could never find anything. It was all organized but I felt like I was constantly clicking around for things. The above screenshot was just my birth records. I could use my identification numbers and find things or I could look for the right number but it wasn’t very efficient. I felt like if I was trying to find something, I could never find it. It wasn’t until I was starting my Do-Over and I realized that when I was looking for people, I was thinking of them by their names. The numbers were just distracting me! Once I made the decision to throw out the numbering system, things seemed to start moving along a lot better for me!

After my Do-Over Started

After my Do-Over

From the screenshot above, you can see this is just one person! Everything for my Grandpa Moore is in the same place. If there is someone else involved in that record or in the picture, they’ve got a copy of the file in their own folder. I’ve named every file so that if I know the year, it’s right in the file name. It’s also easy to see at a glance where my blanks are in terms of the years. Just looking above, I can see I don’t have digital files for the years between 1935 and 1940. I also jump from 1958 to 1967! This gives me the motivation to say, “What was happening in these years?”

What else is different?

My Pedigree View

Another thing I am doing different this time is smaller than everything else. I’m actually adding pictures! It isn’t that big of a deal, but I find that it makes me smile when I’m jumping around the tree and I’m seeing my cousins, my siblings, and their children’s faces staring back at me. It makes me remember the reason I’m doing all of this.

My Binder Indexes

You last saw my Binder Index Excel file in August in the post, Genealogy Do-Over: In the Thick of It. The only change I’ve made is the new tab for “Digital Records”. It seemed silly to me to be so detailed for my paper files and treat the digital files like they were just as important. The only change I made was in the first column, where I named it ‘Downloaded’ instead of ‘Scanned’. The one thing I am also doing but isn’t being shown is I’m slowly adding everything into Evidentia. I don’t know why, but for some reason I didn’t add some of my digital records into the program. Now that I am going to be generating proof reports for everyone, I really need to add those records in. It sure is a good thing I’ve actually been keeping track of my records or I would already be sunk in my Do-Over!

Thanks for hanging in there for this recap, hopefully we’ll start getting back into the fun part soon! 🙂

Previous Posts in this Series:

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Wedding Wednesday: Stanley and Emogene

Let me give you a small bit of background

There is a bit of a story behind this marriage record. This record has always been a bit of a dirty secret to me. Not because of the contents, or the events surrounding it. It was because it was a record so close to the current generations and I didn’t have it! It was this big blank spot in my documentation. I’ve always known the marriage date of my maternal grandparents. Not only do I have Grandma’s copy of the family tree from the 1980s, but it’s always been a known day since Grandma’s birthday was May 6th and her first wedding anniversary was May 3rd. We’d call up Grandma and say, “Happy Birthday and Anniversary!” Mostly because my Mom said she could never remember which was the day for either event! Oops! haha.

Taylor-Webb Family Tree
p. 7-B, Taylor-Webb Family Tree, Nov 1980; privately held by Kathleen Moore, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lexington Park, Maryland. 2001. This tree passed to me from Grandma Emogene Taylor.
Looking at the family tree, you can see that it says Grandma married Grandpa Stanley 3 May 1947 but it doesn’t give a location. For years, I’ve been on the lookout for the record of their marriage. I’d asked all my aunts and my uncle if they knew where their parents were married. By the end of those conversations I had numerous options: Brown County Ohio, Clermont County Ohio, and Kentucky. My Mom (the second youngest) and Aunt Vera (the eldest) said Newport, Kentucky. My Aunt Molly (middle child) who spent the most time with Grandma said Clermont County, Ohio. Those are my three top sources of family memories so I was sunk! Who did I believe? Where do I look?

Where did you look?

The short answer is trust none of them, search all of them. The long answer is that Campbell County, Kentucky marriage records were the first I found browsable at FamilySearch.org: Campbell County Courthouse Records, Alexandria, KY. After going through those records page by page and not finding it, I was starting to think that Ohio was the place.

Luckily for me Brown and Clermont Counties are also on FamilySearch. After finding dozens of my family members in those counties, I was disappointed to not find Grandma and Grandpa Stanley’s marriage record. I wasn’t sure where to look next until I realized that Mom and Aunt Vera had both told me that Grandma was married in Newport, KY and all those marriages I saw in Kentucky were from Alexandria, Kentucky.

That’s right, Campbell County has TWO courthouses, both with different records. This news made me excited because there was still somewhere reasonable to search! I even started wondering how I would bribe my Aunt Molly to find that record for me. Luckily for me and Aunt Molly, FamilySearch put the other courthouse records online too! So, over 15 years after starting my genealogy research, I was finally able to see my Grandma and Grandpa Stanley’s marriage record! Though, that 15 years would have probably been shortened had I gone to Kentucky to search. Someone there surely would have said, “Hey! Have you checked the Newport Courthouse records? These are for the Alexandria Courthouse!”

Stanley Mays - Emogene Taylor marriage
Campbell County, Kentucky, marriage certificate no. p. 244 (1947), Mays-Taylor; digital image, FamilySearch, “Marriage Book 194,” (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 30 Sep 2016)
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