Thursday, May 14, 2015

Running behind for good reasons

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **

I'm two weeks behind in the #52Ancestors challenge; but I will catch up.  I have been working on the archiving project and had Mom in town over Mother's Day.

So...the archiving project. I've been working with a friend to set up a program called Collective Access. It's free, open-source software for "describing all manner of things."1 That process isn't as easy as we had hoped. In the meantime, I created a free account at " is web-publishing platform that allows anyone with an account to create or collaborate on a website to display collections and build digital exhibitions."2 is crazy easy to use. It takes very little effort. I'm still figuring out the the quirks and limitations. I have one test record with a photo. There are other records loaded, but no images. I'm not thrilled with the page appearance for items. I'm also not enamored with the image handling. I would like to host all my photos on Flickr and either add linked thumbnails to Omeka or choose a field for adding the linked image. If I don't load images to Omeka, it won't display images on the main pages.

I'm pretty sure I'm rambling by now.

p.s. I'm going to cross post a few of the #52 Ancestors posts from Lass Chronicles.

1.,. 2015. 'Welcome To Collectiveaccess.Org | Collectiveaccess.Org'.

2. Center for History and New Media, George Mason University. 2015. 'Omeka.Net'. Info.Omeka.Net.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 17: WALKER, Elsie Lee

** cross posted from Lass Chronicles **
Granny and Patricia Gayle, c1937
Elsie Lee WALKER was born 03 Jul 1880 in Atascosa, Texas.1 She was born the fourth child (of six) to James Henry and Margaret Jane (MOSELEY) Walker.2 Elsie spent her entire life in three Texas counties: Atascosa, Bexar and Dimmit.3-7 In 1902, she married James Wheeler MOORE. They had eight children: Gracie (1904 - 1916), Elliot Elice or Elias (c1905 - 1989), Elmer Earl (1906 - 1907), Franklin Wheeler (1908 - 1909), Bertha Beatrice (1909 - 1999), Bertia Mae (1912 - 1990), Dorothy Nadine (1919 - 1974), and Winifred Lee (1924 - 2013).

I know Elsie and James as Granny and Jim Papa. Unfortunately for me, they died in 1959 and 1961, respectively. My father tells stories of Granny and Jim Papa. I've asked him to write about Granny for this post.

Elsie Lee Walker Moore, Granny as we all affectionately called her, was bigger than life as we were growing up as children in late 1940s and 50s.  Granny gave all of her grandchildren a compass to guide us through life.  Your bond was your word and you treated everyone equally.  I said she was “bigger than life” -- that is what she seemed but by the time I was 16, the year of her death (1959), I could hold out my arm, slightly elevated, so she could stand under my arm.

Sunday lunch was always at Granny’s house.  She prepared food from her yard and animals she kept such as chickens.  One of her “tricks” to entertain her grandchildren was to “wring” the chicken’s neck.  One Sunday I recall she did two at once.  Everything was prepared in her kitchen.  I recall she prepared shortbread cookies (my sister says they were tea cakes), pressing the dough in the palm of her hand just before baking.  I can still see the imprint of Granny’s hand on each cookie.

The stories she told us at night when we stayed with her were scary.  She would tell us how the Indians and Comancheros would come at night to steal the cattle and chickens.  To small children, the stories seemed real and we were frightened.  We were expected to behave in a manner that always brought honor to us including our families.

I recall Granny made all of her clothes from flour sacks and other materials she gathered for clothes.  Her “uniform of the day” was a long shirt, to her ankles, an apron, and a handmade bonnet.

I do not know if she ever cut her hair because she always had a braid down her back to below her waist.  Granny married James Wheeler Moore, son of Franklin Wheeler and Martha Deborah Moore.

I could go forever, but I will save more for later. -- James MOORE, 26 Apr 2015

1. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

2. The Walker children were: Elmer (dates unknown), Evie (dates unknown), Cora (1878 - ?), Elsie Lee (1880 - 1959), William E. (1885 - ?), and Emily A (1897 - ?)

3. Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 1, Atascosa, Texas; Roll: 1608; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0003; FHL microfilm: 1241608

4. Year: 1910; Census Place: Justice Precinct 1, Dimmit, Texas; Roll: T624_1547; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 1375560

5. Year: 1920; Census Place: Justice Precinct 5, Dimmit, Texas; Roll: T625_1796; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 43; Image: 587

6. Year: 1930; Census Place: San Antonio, Bexar, Texas; Roll: 2292; Page: 26A; Enumeration District: 0012; Image: 122.0; FHL microfilm: 2342026

7. Year: 1940; Census Place: San Antonio, Bexar, Texas; Roll: T627_4204; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 259-119

Friday, April 24, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 16: ADAMS, Benjamin Franklin

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
Jen from Jenealogy likes to tease me that I have a lot of "presidents" in the family. I have three.

Zachary Taylor ADAMS.
John Quincy Adams WARREN.
Andrew Jackson GUTHRIE

That's it. That is all the presidential names I have in my tree. Then I have four Benjamin Franklins (actually, I have five -- that 5th married into the family). Today, I'm talking about my great-grandfather: Benjamin Franklin ADAMS, Sr.

Benjamin Franklin, Sr (or Grandpa Adams, as I knew him) was born 11 Nov 1897 -- what would eventually be known as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, and Veterans Day.1 He died 27 Nov 1989.1 His funeral was held on a miserably cold day. I'll come back to that.

Benjamin was the oldest of six children born to Welcome Adams and Mary Francis CORNSTUBLE.2 I can find him in the 1900 and 1910 censuses living with his family in Arkansas.3, 4 On 1 Jan 1917, at 19 years old, Benjamin enlists in the Army.5 I cannot imagine the horror of World War I. I do know that Benjamin was injured -- family lore says mustard gas.

On 11 November 1918, the armistice [was] signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compi├Ęgne, France.6

On 30 Nov 1918, Benjamin was released from the Army.5 At this point, I lose him in the public record. I have searched every permutation of his name, age, race, and gender in an effort to find him in the 1920 United States Census. If he is there, I don't know how he is enumerated.

On 22 Feb 1921, Benjamin married Sally Lou GREEN in Paris, Texas.7

Ben and Sally settled in Kerr County Texas where they had four children: Eulaliah Louise (1922 - 2009), Zona May (1924 - 1995), Jack Charles (1929 -2000), and Benjamin Franklin, Jr. (1934 - 1998).

Adams Family, 1936: Benjamin, Sally, Eulaliah, Zona, Jack, and Ben, Jr.

From 1925 until 1954, Benjamin worked for the Veterans Administration.8 Sally died (cod: Tuberculosis) in 1944.9 Benjamin remarried in 1945 and again in 1980. In 1958, he moved with his second wife (Bessie) to Austin, Texas.

31 July 1958, The Kerrville Times

I have a vague memory of the last house Benjamin lived in. It was on Avenue H. When I remember it, I think it's on a corner or not far from the corner. In searching the Ancestry City Directories Collection, I've found my memory to be not too shabby.10 The streetview only confuses me. I don't recognize the house or the lot at all.

House on Avenue H
As I mention above, Benjamin Franklin Adams, Sr died 27 Nov 1989. His funeral might be my clearest memory of attending a funeral. I was 14. I'd already been to my father's parents' funerals in Aug 1981 and Aug 1989. There are possibly 13 other funerals between 1975 and 1989 I might have attended.

Grandpa Adams' funeral was miserably cold. I wore a bright red wool coat with a hood. My hair was in a French Braid; and I didn't want to use my hood because it might pull my hair loose. I can remember being worried that fussing with my hood would be disrespectful; but at the same time, my ears were going numb.

I never spent much time with my great-grandfather. My family lived nearly four hours away from Austin. Looking at his obituary, I feel like I've lost some history.11Benjamin was awarded a Purple Heart, he worked as a civil servant for the VA, he was active in the American Legion and his church.

Obit: Austin American-Statesman, Nov 1989

A couple weeks ago, I asked my family for memories or stories about Grandpa Adams. Over the weekend, my Aunt mentioned she remembered Grandpa Adams as meticulous. She has a clear memory of him rolling his cigarettes. I should have recorded the story; but I was distracted. Here is a paraphrasing of her story:

Grandpa Adams rolled his own cigarettes. I can remember he would get his papers out. Lay one paper down. Then he would get his tobacco and make a neat line on the paper. Then he'd roll the tobacco into the paper. He'd lick it and inevitably get a piece of tobacco stuck to his tongue. Then he'd pick off the little bit of tobacco [Here she demonstrates carefully picking the tobacco off her tongue] before checking the cigarette and smoking it. --Patricia GARRETT Fielder, 20 Apr 2015

1. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

2. Benjamin's siblings were: Robert Edward (1900 - 1967), Daisy Bell (1903 - 1990), John Porter (1908 - 1939), David Welcome (1910 - 2003), and Opal Dora (1918 - 1992).

3. Year: 1900; Census Place: Benedict, Faulkner, Arkansas; Roll: 58; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0017; FHL microfilm: 1240058

4. Year: 1910; Census Place: Monroe, Sevier, Arkansas; Roll: T624_66; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0173; FHL microfilm: 1374079

5. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

6. Wikipedia,. 2015. 'World War I'.

7. Lamar County Genealogical Society (Lamar County, Tex.). 2008. Lamar County, Texas, marriage records, 1841-1937. Paris, Tex: Lamar County Genealogical Society.

8. 31 July 1958. The Kerrville Times (Kerrville, Texas) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

9. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

10. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

11. Austin American-Statesman, 28 Nov 1989.