Identifying Locations

Last time I posted, I mentioned I’m working on identifying some slides left to me by my Grandpa Moore. I’m going to share some of my identifications today. This has been a challenge for but also very fun. The challenge being that most of these slides are from the 1960s and not all of these locations exist anymore or look even close to the same. I’ll share how I identified them as I go.

1. Ca’ d’Zan

Photo 1. Llewellyn Thorward-Moore at Ca’ d’Zan in Sarasota, Florida, 1962. Photo 2. From the Ca’ d’Zan website, photo credit to their website.

The first photo is of my Great-Grandma, Llewellyn Thorward-Moore at Ca’ d’Zan in Sarasota, Florida. From my inspections of the slides, they are seem to be taken around 1962. Though I can’t be sure if this was separate trips. This image has fascinated me because of the architecture since the first time I viewed the slides. I initially thought it would be the hardest to identify and it turned out to be the first one. I used a Google Reverse Image search and there it was.

As for why William and Llewellyn visited this place, it’s actually not at all surprising and you will notice this as we progress in this series. They loved botanical gardens. When I say loved. I mean LOVED. Lots and lots of flowers. 😂 There are some more pictures they took from this location I’d love to share.

2. First Presbyterian Church of Pompano Beach

1st image from 1962 time frame. 2nd image from Google Street View. Image Credit to Google

The Pink Church as I called it for many years was another that I always loved for it’s uniqueness. This also only required a Google Reverse Image Search to find. I don’t think results came right up. I believe it was a historical post card that got me to the right church. That’s an interesting part of reverse image search. While looking at the results, you think oh it must have come right up, but that’s not the case at all a lot of the time. Many times you have to wade through many similar looking images before you find the correct one.

That’s all for now

I have more to share in future posts. While we go along on this adventure. Lets map where we’ve been and keep track.

The Story of Lillian Redford

Hello world, I am back again. Today I was watching a webinar given by Amy Johnson Crow on The webinar was very informative and a great refresher of somethings that I was already doing. While I was watching, it reminded me of something that happened about a year and a half ago. I was talking with my Aunt Lori over Thanksgiving, and it always turns to genealogy with us. My favorite thing to do is hand her records and let her look at them. About 90% of the time she notices something that I didn’t.

This particular Thanksgiving, we were talking about the progress I was making on the Redford/Travis section of the family tree. It had been a long time since I had anything new to report for them, so I was excited to share, even though it was more Travis than Redford.

We were discussing all the different Redfords that migrated to Los Angeles, and when they were there. I had mentioned that there was one Redford girl that had just plain disappeared on me and I couldn’t find information for her anywhere. I assumed that I would eventually find a death record for her in New Jersey from before the bulk of the family left for California.

The totality of my information as of that day.
The totality of my information as of that day.

To prove my point I plugged the surname Redford into a search box, and hit enter. Then I went through all the records showing her them, to see if she saw something I didn’t.

Then it happened.

Lillian's Marriage Record
Lillian’s Marriage Record

All of a sudden, Lillian’s timeline exploded with information. I was able to add not just the one marriage but a second one. I was able to add a child and that child’s marriage. I filled Lillian’s census information in up to 1940, and I thought to myself, man, what a ride that was! I couldn’t even believe that all this information popped up, just by doing a new search.

Here comes the Kathleen twist though. It’s what always seems to happen to me, just when you think you’re done or that you’ve gotten the information, something else happens.

As I was entering Lillian’s information, I thought I might as well check her father’s death certificate to double check how long he had been living in Los Angeles. It was then I realized I needed to be more thorough in my examining of documents.

Herbert Redford's death certificate
Herbert Redford’s death certificate

It was there, right on her father’s death certificate the whole time. Informant: Mrs. Ralph Swiggart. If I had researched the informant’s name way back when I first got this record by mail, Lillian wouldn’t have been lost to me for so long!

Just chalk that one up to another misadventure in my genealogy. Here I am just proving that my personal motto should be Oops! 🙂

Lillian Redford, you’ve been found!

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a surprising brick wall breakthrough. One of the biggest ones was Lillian Redford. It was a little bit harder because her brother named one of his daughters after her. So things always got a little confusing. Until 30 minutes ago. I was just going through some California City Directories, clicking the green leaf reluctantly in Family Tree Maker.

California Death Index, 1940-1997 via

My only question is, “Why now?” I have searched for Lillian a million times over the years and it’s never yielded a result. They must have done an update of some kind that added new records or maybe a refined search algorithm. I don’t quite care though, because I finally have something on Lillian after 1920!

Tombstone Tuesday: Unknown West grave

When I was lost in Kentucky many moons ago, I found this gravesite. At first I was excited because I was just going to Johnsville Cemetery for my Taylor relatives. Little did I know I had really opened up a waterfall of relatives. I know better now. Any cemetery in Bracken County, Kentucky is littered with my kin.

This however, isn’t one of them. Let me give you a quick look at my line leading up to the West line.

Me > Mom > Grandma Taylor > Lula Applegate > Elizabeth Susan West > Isaiah West and Zeroah Rachael Black?

Why do I put the question mark at the end of Zeroah’s name. Well, that’s because her name is cause for debate among the few that are actually researching this line. I haven’t communicated with any of them, because quite frankly I don’t think they are part of my line. I’ll probably reach out more once I have all my ducks in a row so to speak. I’m pretty confident about this line though, because I researched it myself, it didn’t come from my copy of the family tree. I have the death records of everyone except for Elizabeth’s parents. In all of the children’s death records it shows their mother listed as a weird Z name and the surname Black. So that’s why I have that in my family file. A quick search on Ancestry will bring up a half dozen trees with Isaiah West married to Zerelda Jane McClanahan. They say this because there is a Kentucky Marriage Record on file for the two.

Needless to say that’s enough for some. I get that Zerelda or any Z name is uncommon so this is probably as close as you can get. This record is one of the only (if not the only) marriage records for a West in the database. I’m still hesitant though. My couple started having children in 1866 that I know of. I don’t know if there were any infant deaths yet. I also have their marriage as being estimated for 1862. Which makes sense to me. For their ages and the children start time. The marriage record however, lists the marriage date as May 2, 1852. That’s 10 years off  my target date. Is it still possible, yeah it is but I don’t think so. I’m going to err on the side of caution on this one.

Where does this tombstone come in then you ask? Well when I found this tombstone on that ill fated trip, I assumed at the time that it was my couple. Why I don’t know, I just did. The delight wore off once I uploaded my pictures and started attaching the pictures to my file. This was definitely not my couple. In the years leading up to this post though, I’ve run across this couple in census records. I’m pretty sure all these yahoos I mentioned will end up in my tree. It’s another case of the William Moores and William Mayses for me. Eventually I’ll prove they were cousins or something. It’s just the way my research becomes full circle. It’s why I never deleted this picture. I just have it sitting in my Tombstone folder marked as Unknown West.

Maybe later today I will research the West family again, now that I’ve typed this up I find I want to get my ducks in a row when it comes to this family. Hm.. 🙂

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily blogging theme I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Tombstone Tuesday simply create a post which includes an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors and it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor.

Another Mays Family Drama

I’ve posted twice already (01, 02) about trying to figure out about William and Anna Mays’ children. I’d link you to the main site, but I cleared it out so I could sync the ID numbers with my “Random Relative Project“. The last I researched this family, I was trying to figure out where some of the children came from and where the others went. I’m pretty sure the last I looked Anna Z Mays was up in the air because I couldn’t figure out who she married, and then I found someone matching her age, but with her younger sister’s  name (Ellen). So I was thoroughly confused.

Today, I was trying to log in one of my Random Relatives in the 1880 census and low and behold, I was back to Anna Mays’ household in 1880. They were living almost next door to my Random Relative. So I decided to let myself get distracted and I was finally going to track down those grandchildren living with Anna.

The first one, James, was fairly easy because I noticed that I had Rebecca listed as having a son. I have him listed as James H Mays, born Oct 1864. I have his death certificate so his birthdate and parents are correct. Well, as correct as they’ll ever get. So he fits. Easy as pie.

The next grandchild, Willis, aged 2 was a little bit trickier. My mistake was assuming that because because they are listed with the Mays surname that they were children of one of Anna’s sons. For some reason I forgot that the Mays girls had quite a few illegitimate children. My next step was going to the Kentucky Birth Records, 1852-1910. It was spacey record keeping and the records are even spacier, but it was worth a shot.

You may not be able to see it because of the size but that shows Willis Maise born 22 Aug 1878. Parents are Jacson Conn and Anna Z Maise. Maise/Maize is a very common spelling for the Mays family of  Kentucky in the old records. If this was just an index I probably wouldn’t even have looked through this as I’m becoming very careful about my sources (My momma would be proud! I should tell her ^.^) This has images to back things up though, so I can confirm details instead of relying on a transcriber who sometimes gets things wrong. I know how tough that job is so you won’t see me complaining!

Wow, okay, that wasn’t so bad either. Though the Conn last name brought me up short because Anna’s little sister Ellen married Hansford Conn in 1878. That doesn’t surprise me though because the Mays clan married like that a lot. Several siblings ended up marrying siblings. If that makes sense.

My next step was trying to find a Jackson Conn in Elliott County in the 1870 and 1880 census. Just to see if there was one close. Another tip I had was that the father’s birthplace was given as Virginia.

There was exactly one Jackson Conn living anywhere in Elliott County in 1870… and he was married. Yikes. Let’s look at 1880.

Still married in 1880, but looks like a different wife. I’m starting to think there’s a scandal here. Of course it’s nothing I can prove and who says the name was written correctly. So we’ll have to see where that takes us, but I at least feel safe in listing Willis as the son of Anna Z Mays. Now I just have to figure out the other two grand children. I’m going to “assume” for now (because I’m not researching them today), that at least the 8 month baby girl’s mother is another of the girls who is living with their mother. We just have to figure out which one. I’ll have to see if that year’s birth pages made it online.

The Mystery of Henry

There is always one person in your family file who frustrates you. Sometimes it’s because they show up out of nowhere. Or maybe they disappeared. How these mysteries are ever solved I don’t know. I usually just walk away from it for awhile and try again later with a clear brain. Sometimes it works, most times I have to lather, rinse, and repeat a few times.

One of those people in my family is Mr. Henry C Mays. He showed up in the household of John and Celia Mays in 1900. He’s listed as their son. When my Mom was researching this family, she was always suspicious about him. She thought maybe he was actually Nancy’s son but her parents were raising him. Who knows what the real story is. There isn’t much to verify that available to me right now. Especially since Henry was born in or around 1885. Well before Kentucky started regulating birth records in 1911.

Henry is still there in 1910, still listed as John and Celia’s son. So I’m going to go for broke and assume that he is their son. The problem is that I can’t seem to find a death record for him to verify this. There is a Henry Mays living in Rowan County, Kentucky in 1920 but I can’t be sure that is him and the family is gone again in 1930. 1920 is when John, Celia, and William Harmon moved to Ohio. Nancy married and stayed in Kentucky though. So Henry could have ended up anywhere. Eventually I hope to find him. I’ll keep trying until I find out where he went.

The even crazier part is we asked my Grandmother about William Harmon Mays’ family before she passed away. No one was even aware that William had a sister, let alone another brother somewhere. Who knows what we could have found out if my mother’s father had lived longer, but we may never know what happened to the Mays family. They seemed to have scattered and not spoken of each other.


We have company this week. My cousin is in Maryland visiting us. I may not have the time to get updates in this week, but we’ll see! I have nothing to offer in way of tips or tricks today, so I’ll leave you with a picture!

Emogene Taylor-Mays-Utter (1929-2005)

She was one of my favorite people in the whole world and I still miss her. See you soon folks!

Surname Saturday: Oy Vey

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 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.

In Conclusion

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.

Kids by the Dozen: Nathan Mays edition

I have re-written this entry many times. I just can’t seem to grasp the scope of Nathan Mays and his big family without over complicating my narration. Usually when I decide to sit down and do genealogy research, I pick a random family and then I aggressively research that family through the census and any other documents that may be found online. Luckily for me there are a lot of Kentucky vital records on and then Family Search has Ohio Death Records at my disposable.

The problem that usually pops up is I become limited by not being on site. Soon I hope to be able to start to take genealogy trips over the summer but that doesn’t help me today. When I inherited the information I have on the Mays family from my mother, Nathan Mays was listed with 19 children. Then when I started searching for death records, I discovered 2 more bring the total to 21. Oy!

The problem I eventually ran into was trying to line up all the different census years and compare the children listed. So I went to old school methods. I printed out blank census forms and I transcribed the family for each census.

Before my journey into this family this weekend, I had only found Nathan’s family in 1860 and 1870. However, I was able to find them all the way to 1900 on Saturday! I was excited to see Nathan’s wife in 1900 because it showed me something that immediately helped me.

Rachel is listed of being the mother to 15 children, with 9 still living. Obviously there has been some misunderstandings in the record taking process. Not by the census, they didn’t add relationships until the 1880 census. By whoever had taken an accounting of the children. One thing that I should have taking into consideration was the age of Nathan and Rachel’s older children. Now that I’ve realized it, I can’t believe i missed it. As long as I’ve been doing this, I should have realized that even though Nathan and Rachel were still producing children, that didn’t mean that their children were not. That’s not even taking into account when family members take in children of their family.

This is the 1880 census. As you can see, some of the children are actually Grandchildren. Now I just have to figure out who they belong to. However, this is going to take me longer than a weekend. I know that because it’s Monday and I still haven’t managed to track all those kids down. I’ll get there, but it hasn’t happened yet.

So here’s what Nathan’s family looks like in Family Tree Maker for me right now. I’m hesitant to move Molly and William anywhere until I know where to put them. I was already able to verify that one of the children (Mary I) was actually the daughter of Nathan’s daughter Mary J Mays-McClanahan. Mary J died of a ‘cold’ just 2 weeks after her 4 month old daughter died of an inflammation of the stomach. An incredibly sad story.

Edit: 5 hours after I posted this blog I was able to combine Celia Ellen and Emaline together after scouring the Kentucky records on This family is constantly changing. 😉

Favorite Things: Thorward Photos

There are many things that I love. Some of those things have nothing to do with genealogy. However, many of them have everything to do with genealogy! I was going through some of my picture files today and I decided to post some of my favorite Thorward Family photos.

William Lawrence Moore – My great grandfather. I never got to meet him. He passed away before I was born. When I started researching my Dad’s side of the family, I immediately felt connected to this man. I know that if I had met him, I probably would have wanted to move to Jersey to live with him and my Great Grandmother. 🙂

Llewellyn Thorward-Moore – My great grandmother. This is William’s wife. I have a picture of them together that I also love, but I just love love love this picture. In fact I loved it so much I’ve used it in almost all the layouts for this website. I have to say I knew next to nothing about my father’s family before I started this genealogy journey. I also never got to meet Llewellyn. I was a baby the last time we went to Jersey and she passed away in 1986. I was just 3 years old. I feel as if I know her though. While going through all these pictures and documents, I always come across Llewellyn’s handwritten comments and notes. She even left behind a journal that I’ll eventually be able to transcribe to the website. William and Llewellyn have to be two of my favorite people in the world.

Clifford Herbert Redford and friends. Clifford is sitting at the bottom left. What strikes me about this picture is not only did my Aunt send me a copy of it, but my great Aunt also sent me a copy. On the back of my Great Aunt’s copy, Clifford’s name was written as well as William Herbert Moore! Now I don’t know which of the men is William and I don’t know if this William is even related to the Moore branch of my tree. For all our family knows the Redford’s and the Moore’s didn’t mix until my Grandpa Moore married my Grandma (Florence Redford-Moore). So this is just one of those mysteries I can’t wait to solve!

William Moore, Llewellyn Thorward-Moore, Grandpa Moore, George W Thorward. What I love about this picture is everything! We won’t mention who the other three people in the picture are. I just can’t spend anymore time tonight trying to identify people! I just can’t! I love the houses in the background, I love how happy everyone looks. I love that my Great Grandma’s brother is pointing a toy gun (I hope!) at his nephew! Even in the 1930’s our family were jokesters!

Llewellyn Thorward-Moore and friends. I have a bunch of photos of Llewellyn traveling. I don’t know what she was traveling for. Most likely with the church, but she sure had a ton of fun! What I love about this picture isn’t even Llewellyn! It’s the girl front and center! How great is she. I love the glasses, I love the hate, I just love her character. When I first saw this picture I didn’t even notice Llewellyn. This goes to show, you don’t need to always think about your relatives. Sometimes there’s a gem, just sitting there on the sidelines!

So that’s 5 of my favorite photos that are linked to my Dad’s side of the family! I can’t wait to see what other treasures I find as I scan these pictures.