Sometimes I get caught up in the fact that my Grandpa Moore’s mother and father were great record keepers. It’s easy to forget that there are plenty more great-grandparents to go around, they just didn’t leave as much extra documentation. They didn’t leave me empty handed though!
I was able to order an “official” marriage certificate for Clifford and Jane because of this family heirloom. It lets me know that Clifford and Jane were married in Newark on December 1, 1923. Edith McKane and Walter Parkin were serving as witnesses. They were the siblings of the couple.
There were also a small, but important group of guests at the wedding. I recognize most of these names as family members. The great thing is that this family heirloom backs up the official record. This family record was passed down in the family, and the official record also has Edith McKane and Walter Parkin listed with addresses. It shows Herbert Redford as the father of Clifford.
The sad part of this record is that it does not show Clifford’s mother Sadie or Jane’s parents John and Jennie Parkin. I still have to find their death certificates but Sadie died in 1922. Jennie Featherson-Parkin died between 1900 and 1905. John Walter Parkin died between 1905 and 1910. The last two I only know because their children were living in what looks to be a children’s home in the 1905 New Jersey Census.
The Official Record
Here’s the original certificate that I was able to order. I was able to get tons of information from this record, all because I started with that family record.
Okay, so lets just get down to it. There were a few things I made sure to do before leaving for Florida in February. I knew I was going to be staying for 2 months and that I wouldn’t have any paper records with me.
The first thing I did was scan all the remaining documents in my “Binder Indexes” file. I wanted to make sure that I had a digital copy of everything that was listed on that index. Who knows what could happen while I was gone? I might need them for information. There might be a fire and I lose everything. Someone could breaking into my house and steal all my genealogy documents. You never know!
Next was the question of how do I access what I need from 1000 miles from home. One option was to move all my digital files over to my laptop, but I didn’t want to go that route. Another option was to move things onto a flash drive. Those are so vulnerable to damage and loss, especially with traveling, so I nixed that idea. The best option for me ended up being my cloud storage through Microsoft. Our family shares a 365 subscription, this gives me 1 TB of storage included in our subscription. This involved moving my family file to the cloud and then copying all my document files and pictures over.
My Work Flow
You might be wondering how my workflow functioned not only in a travel setting, but in a laptop setting. I can report back to you that it worked WONDERFULLY. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how functional it was. When I had the time to sit down and work on something, I knew exactly where I was, and I had the flexibility that I didn’t have to completely finish working with a record in one sitting. Obviously that would be ideal, but in a household with newborn twins it just wasn’t practical!
If you look at my Binder Index file, the basis of my workflow starts there. My first column is Downloaded/Scanned. When I’m working with digital files, I start by saving a copy of the record or picture to the folder of everyone involved. If it’s a physical record, I scan it first and then save it to the corresponding folder(s).
The second step is really important for me in my Do-Over, that is to enter my information into Evidentia. I am not analyzing data as I go through it, I am just entering it. I only analyze evidence after I have completely entered all documents for a person and their parents. It didn’t make much sense to be constantly going back over things when I’m entering so much information right now. This allows me to see a more complete picture at one time.
It was very common during my Florida trip for me to have to get up either in the middle of entering information or after finishing. It might be hours before I could get back to it. Once I finish entering information into Evidentia then I enter ‘Yes’ in the Excel box under the Evidentia column.
After Evidentia is when I enter the information into my family tree program. There was a time when I had Evidentia later in my workflow. Moving Evidentia up in my workflow allows me to fully look at the record and see all the different claims before I put it in my program. This helps me to make sure I’m attaching the citations to all the things I’m entering into my program.
Once I enter everything into my program, I move onto my Genealogy Log.
Genealogy Research Log
Now all my boxes have been changed to ‘Yes’ in my Binder Index file, but I have more tabs to use in my Research Log. Once I’ve entered the information into my log, the record I just entered is listed on the Records Used tab. This tab isn’t 100% necessary, but it helps me to double check that I’ve entered things into Evidentia, my log, and my program.
The Plan tab is probably the most changed tab in any of my files. There are conditional formatting rules set up on this tab and it’s basically a To Do List that I use to keep myself straight.
Before I put the color code in the top row, I was relying on my memory of what each symbol meant. That wasn’t efficient at all, more time was spent messing with those boxes than actual work. When a proof point is entered into my Research Log, I go ahead and put an ‘X’ in the box. If I’m unhappy with the quality of my evidence for that proof point, then I put the ‘?’ which means more search is needed. If a proof point doesn’t currently apply to someone (marriage or death), then I put the not applicable symbol, ‘!’. I do have columns for Ancestry Tree, FamilySearch tree, and Find a Grave. If I’ve synced my information with either of the tree sites, then I put the ‘X’.
For living individuals, I don’t add their information to my online trees. I have been adding a picture and their names, but I mark them as living so only I should see that information. I mark that in the file with the ‘@’ symbol. That shows me I’ve entered them into all my databases but I’m keeping the information private. The last symbol is the ‘E’. This isn’t to mark that it’s entered in Evidentia, but that I’ve analyzed that proof point in Evidentia.
Having this workflow ensured that when I was traveling my progress wasn’t lost or stalled. I was able to keep moving forward in the same way I was working at home. I might not have made a lot of progress, but the progress I made was quality progress. Who knew I’d be excited to move so slowly through my family tree!
Prospect Hill Cemetery, Caldwell, Essex County, New Jersey
My great-grandparents, William and Llewellyn Moore, are the topic of this Tombstone Tuesday. Their tombstone looked like the top picture when it was placed there in 1980. When Grandpa Moore passed away in 2012, we buried him in the family plot and added Llewellyn’s death date to her stone.
On their stones are symbols for the Freemasons and the Order of the Eastern Star, both of which were a big part of their lives.
Tombstone Tuesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers.com. For a full list of topics, visit the website for details.
I’m moving up a generation in my Genealogy Do-Over, so it’s time for my Great-Grandparents to get their turn! We’re starting with William Lawrence Moore and Llewellyn Josephine Thorward. For an extra treat, you can always go back and read the Diary of Llewellyn.
June 12, 1926
One of my favorite finds from Llewellyn’s boxes is this wedding invitation from 1926. It’s almost 100 years old now, but in great condition. I have a few more items that pertain to their wedding day. A cool thing with this record is that to date, this is one of two mentions of Lewis’ middle name. There is clearly a G. after his name and I’ll have an eagle eye on all the other records I go through to see if I’ll finally learn what his middle name is. Probably George after his father, but you never know!
I love this picture, it’s definitely on the list of favorites. It’s even on my wall as I type this entry. I don’t know when I made the decision to re-scan most of my older documents and pictures but I sure did. Unfortunately, this one isn’t coming off the wall right now. I used those picture hanger strips from a well known name brand and I don’t have anymore to put it back up when I’m done. That means Llewellyn stays on the wall for now!
The Wedding Article
The wedding article is a favorite of mine because it helps to verify a lot of my other “evidence.” For example, it describes Llewellyn’s wedding dress, that helps me to confirm that the writing on the back of the above photo is correct. It also helps me to verify the wedding invitation is for the same couple as the newspaper article. It also parallels what I learned from Llewellyn’s diary by bringing in all the cast of characters I read about for the 3 year period before her wedding.
There is one thing that the article got wrong. The couple didn’t move into their home at 42 Park Avenue, it was 84 Park Avenue. I know that because I have all the mortgage and legal documents to prove it! Some time between when they moved into the house in 1926 and when Llewellyn died in 1986, the house address changed to 86 Park Avenue.
The last picture on the top right is a current view of the home from Google Street View. The rest are from a collection of photos found in Llewellyn’s house.
I know it’s an old complaint. Everyone has it. I just don’t know why people can’t just get last names right! I’m not even just talking about record keepers. I’m talking about people too. I don’t have the problem on my Dad’s family, or on the Taylors. I have the misspelling problem with the Mays family. That I can deal with.
The Moyer family has been a whole new frustration though. For some reason the family goes by both Moyer and Myers/Meyers/Moyer. I thought at first it was a miscommunication with the census. However, when I looked again at the Moyer tree that was sent to me a few years ago, some of the Moyer children chose to go by Myers/Meyers eventually.
The beauty of starting your family file over is that you know everything in there will be correct. The dilemma I have is I would never delete my old file. It’s been the file I’ve edited for many years now. I could never throw it away like a used shopping bag. (Actually I use the reusable bags now so that was a bad metaphor.) The problem I’ve come across is how much of my old file and the original (not entirely trustworthy) family tree to use.
It’s easy to say I’ll just use it as a guideline and I’ll back it up with documents as I go. Sure that’s the obvious choice. What about that first time I come across something that isn’t documented though? Kentucky was pretty sporadic in their death records before 1911. So what do I do about all those infant children that passed away in the Taylor family? I can’t immediately back them up, but surely they existed. I can look up cemetery records, and newspapers when I’m in Kentucky but what about now? If I just say I’ll go back to it later, that’s the old me talking. I always say I’ll do it later, and then I forget and never go back. My family file will never be restored that way.
So my solution for now is to source it as the Undocumented Family Tree, and make myself a list of records I need to find. This list is a start, but that could become quite crowded quickly. So maybe an Excel file will be my better option. One for the documents I need, and one to keep track of cemeteries I need to visit.
This may seem like rambling to you, but if I don’t hash this out now, I’ll never come to a decision…
Oh, and for those that remember or read this blog post I made? Yeah I’m going to be making a private family tree on Ancestry.com for each of the lines, just like my website. I won’t be doing it right away though. Most likely when I hit the inevitable brick wall.
I never thought I’d have anything to contribute to Madness Monday at GeneaBloggers. Sure I have plenty of dementia in the family but I doubted I’d ever have any good stories about this subject. A while back (meaning I can’t remember when), I got the death certificate for my Great-Great Grandfather. I got quite a surprise when looking at his cause of death.
That’s right folks. It reads “Acute Insanity” as his cause of death. The Contributory causes seem to say: “Worry over sickness of the other 3 ??? family.” This certificate was the Ancestry.com copy, I’m going to order a certified copy and see if the writing is clearer. I have reason to believe it will be. 😉
Now looking into his family situation I can’t really blame him. By the time of his death, four of his eleven children had died as infants. 1913 is still a little early for the “Super Flu of 1918,” unless there was a very localized epidemic I’m not aware of. I will probably spend a day going through the newspaper archives on my first Kentucky genealogy trip. 🙂
I’m sure it wasn’t worry that was his downfall but maybe stress induced heart attack? Stroke? Brain Hemorrhage? Who knows, but I’ll always be able to say he died of Acute Insanity.
Madness Monday is Daily Blogging Topic I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Madness Monday simply create a post with the main focus being an ancestor who may have suffered from some form of mental illness or an ancestor who drives you “mad” because you have trouble locating them or locating more information about them.
For many many years (okay for 4 years), I have been trying to locate where the New Zion Cemetery in Pendleton County, Kentucky is located. I found the New Zion Cemetery listed on James William Applegate‘s death certificate. He is the second generation of Applegates and his father died fairly young, so information from that time is hard to find. So having a cemetery to go to and look around might solve some things for me. Maybe he’s in a family plot? I don’t know until I find it.
Unfortunately for me, all mentions of this cemetery are vague at best. My Google-fu obviously needs polishing. However, I was adding in James’ source information on my website last night and I was re-checking some websites. I got the most pleasant surprise!
James and his wife were added into the Find a Grave database! Not only that but there was a photo of the headstone to boot! This record was only added on March 25th of this year. So my checking back was a very good thing! To think if I had given up on New Zion Cemetery, I never would have gotten the extra gusto needed to keep on task. Now that I see there is proof, I could add that in to my file, but I am not adding photos unless they are taken by me. Just a little thing I want to do for myself. I want to visit all my ancestors eventually.
So that’s where I got the idea for this “Follow Friday”. Find a Grave is such a valuable source! Especially if you can’t get to the cemeteries yourself right away. I’m even signed up as a Contributor and Photo Volunteer. So if you need any pictures from cemeteries in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, just let me know!
In fact, something new to Find a Grave since my last visit is the ability to add Relationship Links and Transcriptions! I’m going to have to check that out!
Follow Friday is a Daily Blogging Topic I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Follow Friday, simply create a post in which you recommend another genealogy blogger, a specific blog post, a genealogy website or a genealogy resource. Tell us why they are important to the genealogy community and why we should follow.
After I made my Mays Family post yesterday, I went back through the Kentucky Death Records on Ancestry.com. I decided to just put random details in there and see what came up. You may not be able to tell from the size of that death certificate but that is Jurena Mays‘ death certificate. It shows her married name as Adkins. So that was a nice little hint. It also showed her parents as William Mays and Anna Click. That answered the questions about whose family she belonged to, but not my questions about why she showed up out of the blue in 1870.
Having the tip of the married name of Adkins, and the Informant name of Milburn Adkins, I set about finding Census records for Jurena. What happens next is why I took a two day break from the Mays family. I just couldn’t take it anymore.
1900 was the first census I tried to find. I couldn’t find Jurena anywhere. I tried all the combinations I could, but I couldn’t find her. So I jumped to Milburn Adkins. In all the remaining census years Milburn has a wife whose name varies. The birthday never various. The birthday matches up with Ellen Mays, but her name is mostly listed as Eliza, except for one year when she was known as Eliza Ellen. So my immediate next thought was that this must be Ellen’s husband and he acted as informant for his sister-in-law. Only when I started relaying this information to my Mom. She broke out her old notes, she had a complete different husband for Ellen.
It’s about that moment, I threw my hands in the air. Put on my fluffy pajamas, and grabbed myself a cold drink. I was done. So now I’m going to take a break from the Mays family and focus for a bit on the Taylor side. They are so much easier to locate!
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.