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 Compiègne, 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.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 15: PEAL, Parina Permelia

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
This will be a short entry for two reasons: I'm behind in posting and I don't know much about this woman. Still, I love the name of my fourth great grandmother. Did her parents love alliteration? Is this really her name? I have seen Panina as an alternate spelling.

Parina was born about 1817 in Georgia.1 In Aug 1832, a license was issued to Wilson Adams and Parina Peal.2 In Dec 1832, she married Wilson ADAMS in Georgia.3

Parina and Wilson had at least ten children: John W., Mary M., Josiah W., Eliza Jane, Mahala A., Frances C., and Zachary Taylor (my third great grandfather), [Joanna Elizabeth]4, [Marcelles Trautmann]5, and [Kadie Ellen].6

There is no recorded and confirmed death date for Parina, although there are at least two trees on that mention 1896.

1. Source number: 1156.124; Source type: Family group sheet, FGSE, listed as parents; Number of Pages: 1

2. Georgia, Marriage Records From Select Counties, 1828-1978 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. (Indexed as Brina Peal)

3. Georgia, Marriage Records From Select Counties, 1828-1978 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. (Indexed as Parena Peal)

4. Year: 1860; Census Place: Wards 2 and 3, Claiborne, Louisiana; Roll: M653_410; Page: 663; Image: 239; Family History Library Film: 803410

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

Friday, April 3, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 14: Photos of the lost

** cross posted from Lass Chronicles **
I have photos. A lot of photos. Photos that range from tintypes to present day snapshots and digital files. While at RootsTech, I caught about 15 minutes of the end of a session talking about organizing files. Naming and tagging and filing anything digital in a way that anyone will recognize what the files are, who might be part of those files (especially photos), and where those files came from.

Sadly, a lot of my photos are unlabeled and the people that could have told me anything about those photos have died. In particular, I have a box of card photographs. I know the photos range, at least, from the mid-1800s to the early 1930s. I'm also fairly confident that the photos are mostly from my GARRETT and GUTTERY branches.

Here are ten from my collection.

Back says: Miss Fanie G...
Photo 1: Miss Fanie G...
The back of this card photo has written in faded pencil Miss Fanie G; but the G is mostly rubbed off. I'm inclined to think her full name was written there at one time.

You can see the damage to the card. Possibly mice or roaches. The card is embossed with JNO CARTER LULING, TEX.

I don't know anything about how to date photographs, but a few things stand out. The woman's outfit looks to be one dress, with a high collar and lace. Her belt has a leaf pattern on it with a (possibly silver) buckle. The man's suit is pinstriped. The jacket has two buttons and a button on the breast pocket. His shoes are worn and unpolished. They are posed in front of what looks like a painted backdrop. The couple is posed on an animal rug.

At the moment, I can only confirm one female named Fannie/Fanny in the maternal line of my tree: Fannie C. GILMORE (1891-1961). Her sister, Drusilla, married James David GARRETT. James David Garrett is the brother of my great grandfather, John Moore GARRETT, Sr. Fannie married John ZAPALAC.

unknown 2
Photo 2: Two photos, young men
There are no markings on this card or the photographs.  The card is embossed. The men in the left photograph are probably brothers (rather than cousins). The suits look similar; but the left suit is actually made of checked fabric and the right is solid (although, maybe finely striped). The suits look lightweight. There are three buttons on each suit. Both men are wearing the same hairstyle.

The photo on the right yields very little. The background looks painted.

unknown 3
Photo 3: Schoolgirls in uniform
This photograph fascinates me. Also lacking in any markings, it does have some embossing around the photo itself. The girls are dressed in uniform -- pleated pantaloons, I think. The buildings look institutional. The ground appears to be brick. Are the girls dancing? Playing? Performing? Is this a boarding school or an orphanage? Neither?

unknown 4
Photo 4: Baby in gown
This baby looks grumpy! Is it the sunlight or the yards of lacy gown? Absolutely no clues as to place; but the gown is probably a Christening gown.

unknown 5
Photo 5: Toddler in lace
More lace! Probably a girl. This card photograph is clearly embossed with CARTER and LULING, TEX. The backdrop looks painted. I'm wondering if the baby's mother is hiding behind the blanket draped over the chair. The black pin on the baby's dress says PET.

Back says: Feb 1911
Photo 6: Family home
The back of this photo says Feb 1911. You can see there is handwriting on the photo that says "Dad" and "Mother." I'm fairly sure this is the Garrett clan. Although, it could be the Guttery clan. "Dad" is probably John Moore Garrett, Sr. and "Mother" is probably Sidney Carrie Guttery. There are several fancy ladies hats. The women are either in dresses or shirtwaists and skirts.

unknown 7
Photo 7: Unknown couple
Married? Siblings? Cousins? It's hard to tell from this photo. The woman's outfit is spectacular. Look at the pleating in the bodice! The leg-o-mutton sleeves. The oversized buttons on the bodice look either Mother of Pearl or metal. It looks like she is wearing a ring on the fore-finger of her left hand. His suit is solid in probably black or dark brown. The tie has a button or pin. He is wearing a wing tip collar. It looks like he might have a pocket watch in his vest. His shoes are clean, but scuffed at the tips. They seem to be standing on a rug. There doesn't look to be a backdrop. Like several other photographs, this card photograph is clearly embossed with CARTER and LULING, TEX.

unknown 8
Photo 8: Kids with horse
Again, no markings. Some embossing on the card around the photo. I'm pretty sure this is my great grandmother and two of her siblings. They are outside...other than that, I can't really pick up details about the background. The children are all wearing white outfits with dark stockings.

unknown 9
Photo 9: Family portrait
This photo haunts me. The woman seems to have the sweetest smile one her face. The man's suit is striped. I think he is wearing a tab collar. His shoes are worn and not polished. His pants look rolled rather than cuffed.

The woman is wearing, I think, a shirtwaist and skirt. The skirt looks to have a small train on it. She looks to be wearing a loose overjacket with short sleeves. Her shoes are shiny and round toed.

The detail in the children's clothing is blown out from the exposure. The older of the two is barefoot, for sure. Both outfits are dresses, but that's no indication of gender.

The backdrop is painted. I can't tell if the floor is carpet, tile, or linoleum.

unknown 10
Photo 10: Wedding Portrait
The first time I saw this photo, I thought the woman was wearing a tiara. She is, sort of. It's tiara of flowers rather than jewels. Her dress (one piece tied with a sash, I think) is very lacy at the bodice and bottom. The veil is very sheer and looks to run to the ground. There might be embroidery in the veil, I can't tell.

The groom is wearing a borrowed suit, I'm pretty sure. The pants are rolleded at least four inches. Not to mention the suit hangs on him. The jacket has three buttons with narrow, notched lapels. The breast pocket is slanted. His tie has a pin in it. His shoes look to be polished

Looking at this photos makes me want to pull all the photos out and spend time studying the details. Slowly, but surely, I am loading all my genealogy photo scans to Flickr. I'm hoping that maybe Guttery or Garrett family members will see these photos and get in touch.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 13: Different

** cross posted from Lass Chronicles **
Last week, I wrote about the most common names in my tree. This week, let me highlight a few of the unique names:

Eppie Allefair Guttery
I've never known the family way to spell "Allefair." I've seen it Alliefair, Allefaire, Alafare, and Alafair. Behind The Name covers it under Alafare. If you Google search it, there are about 167 hits for Allefair, 157 for Alliefair, 63 for Allefaire, 186 for Alafare, and 307 for Alafair (mostly because of the author Alafair Burke and the character Alafair Robicheaux from James Lee Burke).

Eulaliah Louise Adams
My grandmother disliked her name. Intensely. I never understood why. I think it's pretty. Hard to spell, though! Variant forms include: Eulália, Eulàlia, Eulalia, Eulalie.1

Argent Johanna Moore
I've never understood "Argent." I guess it could be a family name. Johanna and Thomas named one of their daughters Argent Johanna, as well.

Welcome Calfy Adams
The "Calfy" part still frustrates me. Family lore says he is Welcome Corbin or Corbit. His draft card states Calfy. Calfy is a known surname. That might be an area to research.

Earle Wayne Bradberry
One might ask why I would list this name. Looks entirely common, until you realize this was my grandfather's sister-in-law. Her father's name was Earl.

Ellie Hugh Garrett
Again, this name looks fairly common. Again, there is a gender switch. This is my great grandfather's brother. Behind The Name suggests that the name Ellie was used for boys/men between 1880 and 1910 with varying popularity.

Sadie Pinkie Keene
There are two Sadies in my tree, but only one Pinkie (so far)! Where did the Pinkie come from? Is it a family name? Was there a friend with that name? Was she really Sadie Patricia, perhaps?

Younger Moore
Ah, family lore. Supposedly, Younger was named after cousins: the Younger Brothers. Yes, those Younger Brothers. The one that rode with Jesse James. I might believe Younger was named after the Younger Brothers. I don't believe the Youngers are related to us.

1. Campbell, Mike. 2015. 'Behind The Name: Name Search'. Behindthename.Com.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 12: John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

** cross posted from Lass Chronicles **
His name is my name, toooooooo!

You can thank me later for the earworm. This week's theme is "same" and rather than try to shoehorn a relation into resembling me or (my life), I thought I'd look at names.

The top 5 male names from 1914 to 20131 are:
  1. John
  2. James
  3. Robert
  4. Michael
  5. William
The top 5 female names for the same time period1 are:
  1. Mary
  2. Patricia
  3. Jennifer
  4. Elizabeth
  5. Linda
My tree, as of Jan 2015, has 1007 people. Comparing the national list to my tree:

  • John (40)
  • James (31)
  • Robert (16)
  • Michael (10)
  • William (35)
  • Mary (23)
  • Patricia (3)
  • Jennifer (2)
  • Elizabeth (13)
  • Linda (2)
I'm inclined to think that the people before me bucked the trends when naming their children. I'd actually like to look at this more. The Social Security Admin site even has a breakdown of top names by decade. I'm a nut for reports and playing with numbers. It would be interesting to compare my tree to each decade.

1.,. 2015. 'Top Names Over The Last 100 Years'.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 11: The Irish Connection

** cross posted from Lass Chronicles **
Kiss me, I'm Irish!

Based on the AncestryDNA test, I am 38% Irish. I could have told you I had Irish roots before I took the test. My 2nd great grandfather was born in County Limerick, Ireland. Michael Henry ROACH (also spelled ROCH, ROCHE or ROACHE) presents some problems for me. Most of the problems have to do with documentation.

Let's start with his headstone and the only census I have found him in, the 1900 U.S. Census.

Davis Headstone, Magnolia Cemetery1

Michael H. Roach, 1900 US Census
Michael H. Roach and family, 1900 US Census2

Close up of M.H. Roach, 1900 US Census

His headstone states he was born 24 Dec 1863. The 1900 US Census states he was born Dec 1859. That is a significant difference in years. Next, is a transcribed portion of a Baptism register from the Roman Catholic Parish of Rathkeale in County Limerick. The transcription sates that Michael Henry Roach was baptized 29 April 1857.3

Baptism record: Name - Date of Baptism - Sponsors/Godparents

Finally, I have a passenger list record for one Michael Roach, born about 1856, arriving 29 Oct 1874 in New York.4

Transcription of passenger list: Michael Roach (age 18)

Here are my current problems:

I have no idea who provided the info for the headstone or when. You will notice the headstone is marked DAVIS. The most recent death date is 1974. The oldest is 1913. I'm inclined to believe that the stone was not placed until 1971 or 1974. It could have been placed in 1916, but unlikely.

I do not have a copy of Michael Henry's death certificate. I can get it. I just keep putting it off.

The census is notoriously full of errors. There's no indication of who provided the information. How much trust do I put into this document?

I have no provenance for the register transcription. That alone should make the transcription suspect. Gee, I guess I will have to go to Ireland myself. Shucks.

I do not have Michael Henry's naturalization records. In the 1900 US Census, he is enumerated as being naturalized.

He does not show up in the New York Emigrant Savings Bank, 1850-1883.5

He doesn't show up in the U.S., Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1795-1972 (Louisiana isn't covered).6

He doesn't show up in the U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995 (Louisiana isn't covered).7

I can't browse for him in the Louisiana, Naturalization Records, 1831-1906 because the digitizing project is only to surname "Jury." 8

I have more places to search. I have more records to sort through. Today, though, I'm celebrating my Irish heritage.


1. 2015. 'Michael Henry "Mike" Roache, Sr (1863 - 1919) - Find A Grave Memorial'.
2. Year: 1900; Census Place: Lake Charles, Calcasieu, Louisiana; Roll: 560; Page: 27A; Enumeration District: 0016; FHL microfilm: 1240560.

3. Catholic Parish Transcript. Attached to other trees controlled by cousins.

4. Year: 1874; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 394; Line: 1; List Number: 1160.

5.,. 2015. 'New York Emigrant Savings Bank, 1850-1883'.

6.,. 2015. 'U.S., Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1795-1972 (World Archives Project)'.

7.,. 2015. 'U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995'.

8.,. 2015. 'Louisiana, Naturalization Records, 1831-1906 — Familysearch.Org'.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 10: Grace, wife of Isaac

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
While looking at information on David Edwin GREEN, I found his brother: John William Bartow Green.

I have always found the naming of children fascinating. Generally, there is a U.S. trend to name at least one child with the mother's or grandmother's maiden name.1

John and David are the sons of David Green and Elizabeth REYNOLDS.  David Edward Green is the son of Isaac Green and Grace B __.

Funny fact I've been tracking. A lot of my female ancestors used the first letter of their maiden names as their middle initial.

Enter my most recent research on the Green family.

In 1850, Isaac and his wife Grace B. Green are enumerated in Georgia with four children.2

Grace B. Green 1850
Family Detail - Isaac and Grace Green, 1850 U.S. Census
In 1860, Mrs. Green and son James are enumerated in Georgia.3

Grace B. Green 1860
Family Detail - Mrs. Green, 1860 U.S. Census

She is missing in 1870 (so far).

In 1880, Gracy Green, her daughter, and two grandchildren are enumerated in Georgia.4

Grace B. Green 1880
Family Detail - Gracy Green, 1880 U.S. Census
I have looked for hours this week for a marriage record for Isaac Green.  I'm currently running on the assumption that Grace's maiden name is Bartow.

Now, this is a wild guess. It's one I'm willing to run with for now. Maybe "Bartow" is misspelled? Maybe Bartow isn't even her name. Whatever the case, I need to pick a starting place on learning more about Grace, the wife of Isaac -- my 4th great grandmother.

1. Maybe this is dying out? Is this common other countries? Sometimes I yearn for the Spanish and Mexican convention of adding the mother's maiden name to the child's name.

2. Grace B Green in the 1850 United States Federal Census. Year: 1850; Census Place: Division 90, Warren, Georgia; Roll: M432_86; Page: 150B; Image: 308

3. Grace Green in the 1860 United States Federal Census. Year: 1860; Census Place: Goose Ponds District, Warren, Georgia; Roll: M653_140; Page: 17; Image: 17; Family History Library Film: 803140

4. Gracy Green in the 1880 United States Federal Census. Year: 1880; Census Place: Goose Pond, Warren, Georgia; Roll: 170; Family History Film: 1254170; Page: 104C; Enumeration District: 120; Image: 0409

Optional Theme: Week 10 (March 5-11) – Stormy Weather. This is the time of year that the northern hemisphere starts to see severe storms. (As if the blizzards in New England this winter haven’t been bad enough!) What ancestor endured a particularly severe storm? It could be something like a tornado or blizzard or it could be a “storm” of bad things.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 9: CORNSTUBLE, Mary Francis

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
This week, I'm thinking out loud about my research for Mary Francis CORNSTUBLE. First, a little background.

Mary Francis Cornstuble was born about 1881 in Missouri.  She was the middle child (and second daughter) of Dora Bell (GINGER) and John E. Cornstuble.1 On 3 Dec 1896, 15 year old Mary Francis married Welcome ADAMS.

Marriage Record: Mary Francis Cornstuble & Welcome C. Adams2

A little less than a year later, my great-grandfather (Benjamin Franklin Adams) was born. Five more children followed (Robert, Daisy, John, David, and Opal). Sometime after 1918 (Opal's birth year) and before 1930 (when Welcome is enumerated as divorced), Mary Francis and Welcome divorced. She remarried a man named Alec or Alex Smith. Alec/Alex died in 1930. Mary Francis is enumerated in the 1940 U.S. Census with her daughter and son, Opal and Robert. Sadly, on 7 Jan 1950, Mary Francis died in a house fire.

Death Notice: Mary Francis (Cornstuble) Adams Smith3

Myths vs. Reality and the beginnings of a One-Name Study

When I was about ten...maybe a little older, I was told by my grandmother, Eulaliah, that we had several "Indian" names in the family. Cornstubble, Cornsilk, and Rainwater. I was told that we are descendants of either the Choctaw or Cherokee nations because of where our family was from, Southeast Oklahoma, Southwest Arkansas, Northeast Texas -- an area some will know as Arklatex or Arklatexoma.

First, I've never found a Cornsilk or Rainwater in the family tree. Cornsilk and Rainwater are in my general search area. Those names (as well as Cornfield, Corntassel, and Cornshucker) show up in the Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Dawes Census Cards for Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914.4 However, Cornstuble is the name that I have to follow; and it, so far, has never appeared in any Indian Census record I have searched.

Second, I have been told Cornstuble is not "Indian" -- although, that's up for debate beyond the scope of this post. I can say MY Cornstuble family traces to Illinois. Does that help or hurt the family mythology?

At RootsTech, there was at least one session on One-Name Studies. I didn't attend (hello, conflict!), but I am now wishing I had. Cornstuble presents an interesting topic for study.

The US Census Bureau says that Cornstubble appears 145 times in the 2000 Census.5 That is 145 potential cousins! The US Census Bureau does not include Cornstubble in the 1990 Census data.6 The methodology for the 1990 summary explains why some names don't end up in the list.

There are variations and/or misspellings for the Cornstuble name in Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas between 1850 and 1940: Barnstable, Comstuble, Connstuble, Constable, Cornstable, Cornstble, Cornstoble, Cornstubble, Cornstufle, Cornstusle, Coustablle, Scorstubble...

Based on my brief searching and spot checking, the name Cornstuble pops up in Illinois, Kentucky, and Maryland; and for at least one individual has a German origin.

All of this makes me think I need to consider a one-name study for Cornstuble. As a bonus, just today, I found a website that seems to cover an entire branch of the Cornstuble family: Descendants of Stephen Cornstub(b)le. I'm about 90% sure this is my Cornstuble family. How 'bout them apples? #52Ancestors turns up all kinds of interesting things!

1. The Cornstuble children are:
Sarah Jane Cornstuble (1876 – 1922)
Henry Douglas Cornstuble (1879 – 1900)
Mary Francis Cornstuble (1881 – 1950)
Charley Cornstuble (1883 – 1920)
Sherman Cornstuble (1887 - ?)

2.,. 'Frances Cornstuble and Welcome Adams, "Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957" — Familysearch.Org'. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

3.,. 'Obit: Mary Francis Cornstuble Adams Smith - On Newspapers.Com'. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015. (Joplin Globe, 8 January 1950, Page 4).

4.,. 'Oklahoma And Indian Territory, Dawes Census Cards For Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914'. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

5. U.S. Census Bureau. 'Frequently Occurring Surnames From The Census 2000'. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

6. U.S. Census Bureau. 'Frequently Occurring Surnames From The Census 1990'. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Optional Theme: Week 9 (Feb 26-Mar 4) – Close to Home. Which ancestor is the closest to where you live? Who has a story that hits “close to home”?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 8: MOORE, Franklin Wheeler

While this blog is Adams family, I'm extending my 52 Ancestors Challenge to include my paternal line. Which means I'm crossing the branches this week!  From my paternal line: Franklin Wheeler Moore.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 7: ADAMS, Eulaliah Louise

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
Week 7 (Feb 12-18) – Love. Which ancestor do you love to research? Which ancestor do you feel especially close to? Which ancestor seemed to have a lot of love?

When I decided to try the 52 Ancestors challenge, I didn't plan on writing about any family closer than my great grandparents. Though all of my grandparents are dead, it seemed...too write about them. However, I don't think there is any couple more deserving of a spotlight about love.

Eulaliah Louise ADAMS was born 15 June 1922 in Mt. Vernon, Texas. She was the first of four children for her parents, Benjamin Franklin and Sallie Lou [possibly Lue] (GREEN) Adams.

Polly, as she preferred to be called, was a no nonsense lady that loved her children and her husband. There are a few family stories about my grandparents that always make the rounds at holidays and birthdays.

First, let me introduce my grandfather: John Moore GARRETT, Jr. He was born  07 Aug 1919. He also, was the first child (of two) to John Moore (Sr.) and Sidney Carrie (GUTTERY) Garrett.

JM, as he was called, and Polly met at a dance. This is what my grandmother says on 17 Sep 1940:

17 Sep 1940 - Diary Excerpt - Eulaliah Louise Adams
The tiniest entry in her day: "Met J.M. Garrett, Jr. tonite."

Here's the version I have heard:

My grandfather met Polly at a dance.  At the end of the night, he came home, woke his mother, and told her he had found to girl he was going to marry.

Either way, they did marry just a few months later on 23 Feb 1941. I even have their marriage license. Still sealed in an envelope. I refuse to open the envelope.  I'll just have to get a copy of the record from microfilm.

Funny thing though, I have always heard my grandparents ran off to get married. They didn't tell anyone, keeping it a secret for several days and/or weeks.  However, my grandmother's diary debunks that story.

Saturday, 22 Feb 1941

Sunday, 23 Feb 1941
Her diary does go on to say they didn't tell his parents until March 1.  She tells her parents (via letter) on March 8.  They are not pleased. Still, Polly and J.M. are completely in love.  J.M. is serving in the national guard in Lockhart, Texas.  Polly is still attending college at what was Southwest Texas State Teachers College.

They spend a large part of their first 18 months of marriage apart, seeing each other on weekends and holidays.  On 25 Sep 1942, Polly boarded a bus that took her from Texas to Oklahoma to Missouri to Ohio to Pennsylvania to Massachusetts. She was reunited with J.M. on 29 Sep 1942.  On 24 Mar 1943, Polly left Massachusetts to return to Texas.  J.M. left with is unit on 31 Mar.  They would not see each other again until World War II ended in 1944.  During that time, my mother was born.

My grandmother lived with her in-laws during the war.  She sent weekly pictures of my mother to my grandfather.

At the end of the war, J.M. and Polly settled in San Antonio, Texas. They bought a house. They had a second daughter in 1946. They lived a happy life until sometime between 1969 and 1970 when J.M. was diagnosed with cancer.  He died 22 Sep 1971.

My grandmother never remarried. I asked her once why she never remarried. Her answer still brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat.  "Why? I married the perfect man the first time around."

My grandmother died 11 Dec 2009 in the house she bought with her husband. In the house she raised her two daughters. In the house that held both joy and sorrow and love. Lots and lots of love.

J.M. and Eulaliah Louise (Adams) Garrett - circa 1941

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 6: GREEN, David Edwin

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
This week, I grudgingly write a short entry about my second great grandfather.

David Edwin GREEN was born 07 Oct 1864[1] in Georgia[2]. He is the younger of two boys. His parents are David Edward and Elizabeth Ann (REYNOLDS) Green. Sadly, David Edward (the father) died just before the end of the American Civil War. His mother never remarried. His wife, Bessie, was the subject of Week Three. He and Bessie had thirteen children. He died 23 Sep 1943.
Obit: David Edwin Green
Panama City News-Herald, 28 September 1943, Page 3
I write this week so briefly because David seems like a solved mystery. I feel no connection to him at all. Most of the people I research, I want to know more. There's usually a spark of interest. In David Edwin Green, there's just a gulf of disinterest. My goal for David Edwin Green is to reevaluate the records I have on him. Did he own property? If so, he should be in tax rolls. Did he service in a military unit? Is there more to him that I should know?

[1] Based on his headstone
[2] Based on multiple U.S. Census records

Optional Theme: Week 6 (Feb 5-11) – So Far Away. Which ancestor is the farthest from you, either in distance or in time/generations? Which ancestor have you had to go the farthest away to research?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 5: CALLAWAY, Dora

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
Like most of my 2nd+ great grandparents, I just know the basics (the average of 5) about Dora CALLAWAY. She was born about Jul 1849 in Georgia to John and Lavicy[1] (GERMON) Callaway. She is the youngest of eight. She spent most of her life in Arkansas. She married two men (outliving them both): Zachary Taylor ADAMS and George K. CROW. She had nine children (all with Z. Adams), two did not survive to adulthood. Her son, Welcome Adams, was my Week Two ancestor.

If it wasn't for a small selection of public records, I wouldn't know anything about Dora Callaway.

  • The 1900 U.S. Census revealed she is a farmer that owns her own property and has a mortgage.  This census also alerted me to the fact that two of her children have died.
  • Her son's (Taylor Noah) WWI draft card revealed she remarried.  Without that bit of information, I'm not sure I would have ever found her after the 1900 U.S. Census.

Callaway, Dora
Profile View on Ancestry: Callaway, Dora

Funny thing, though. A few weeks ago, someone on Ancestry contacted me about being a DNA Match. The only person we share in our trees is John Callaway, Dora's father.

I should explain a couple things before I go on:

  • I'm obsessive about data...bad data is worse than no data at all.
  • Until recently, my tree has been private because, well, genealogy vultures.

Now, let's talk DNA matches. I love AncestryDNA. Until I hate it. There are some big failures in the AncestryDNA tool. The absolute failure, in my opinion, is triangulation -- though "circles" is trying to help there.

Back to the person that contacted me. This person seemed excited and knowledgeable. Then I looked at the referred tree and noticed there's a big, glaring, ugly sign: no sources. Lots of dates for births, deaths, and sources.

I don't understand this. If a person has worked on a tree for years (I've dabbled in my genealogy for 20+ years), doesn't it make sense to have sources?

I replied and asked about sources -- I was thinking maybe this person had a family bible. Oh, Holy Grail! Instead, I was told the sources were available, but all the info had been vetted via a family association.

Hit the brakes, buster! A family association? What is this? Where has this been? How have I never heard of this group?

I did a little Google searching. I did a little hunting on the group website. I'm not overly impressed. At least, not from a genealogical standard point of view. Again, the tree information I am looking at doesn't seem to have sources. There's nothing on the site that points to who runs the site or the group. The blog is years out of date. And, ok, I'm going to be a tech-snob but...they are using COMIC SANS for the site font.

There is a FamilyTree DNA Project. There seems to be a journal/newsletter. This group is been in existence since 1975, from what it says.  Still, I hesitate to integrate any of the information into my tree. How do I know the John Callaway in their tree is my John Callaway?

I will most likely contact someone at the FTDNA Project -- they may be the group admins, as well; but I'm reserving most of my judgement for now.

[1] Her marriage license lists her as "Lavicy Germon."

Optional Theme: Week 5, Plowing through — We will likely be plowing through a lot of snow by this time. What ancestor had a lot of struggles to plow through? Or take it more literally… It’s up to you.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 4: GINGER, Dora Bell

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
Dora Bell Ginger
Dora Bell (Ginger) Cornstuble Langley Summerhill [1]

Family lore[2] says that Dora Bell GINGER (born 29 Dec 1860 in Illinois) was part of a wagon train with her parents John Ginger and Sarah (JOHNSON) Ginger. They came from Illinois through Missouri and intended to travel through Arkansas. The family stopped in a small town in Arkansas that had a sawmill. While there, they sought rest and work.

Dora Bell married John E. CORNSTUBLE (date unknown).  The newlyweds stayed in Arkansas while her parents went on. Her parents crossed a river (via ferry) never to be seen or heard from again. The wagon team that John and Sarah Ginger drove were spotted "going across a bridge" arousing the suspicion that John and Sarah were robbed and murdered for their wagon and team.

I haven't ever investigated this story. Where do I start? None of Dora Bell's children are still alive. All of this would have happened in the mid- to late-1870s.

Let's do a little digging...

I have a probable confirmation of Dora Bell Ginger and her family in Salem, Greene Co, AR in the 1870 census.

Detail John P. Ginger Family in 1870
Detail of John P. Ginger family in 1870 U.S. Census
In 1880, John P. Ginger et familia are in Clay, Dunklin Co, Missouri [3].

Detail John P. Ginger Family in 1880
Detail of John P. Ginger family in 1880 U.S. Census

In 1880, Dora and her husband John are also in Dunklin Co, Missouri -- specifically Buffalo.

Detail for John E. Cornstuble family in 1880
Detail of John E. Cornstable family in 1880 U.S. Census

In 1900 (I curse you fire of 1890!!), John P. Ginger, his wife, youngest son, and a boarder are enumerated in Lester, Craighead Co, Arkansas.

Detail John P. Ginger Family in 1900
Detail of John P. Ginger family in 1900 U.S. Census

In 1900, Dora and her new husband Bolivar SUMMERHILL, are enumerated in Bear Creek, Sevier Co, AR.

Detail for Bolivar Summerhill family in 1900
Detail of Bolivar Summerhill family in 1900 U.S. Census

Analyzing the data so far...

In comparing family lore to the census record, assuming I am looking at the right family, it's clear to me that John and Sarah were not robbed and murdered.  They also kept close to Dora Bell, at least for a short time. Or, perhaps, Dora Bell stayed close to them.

Also, tracing the movement of John and Sarah Ginger from Warren Co, IL (1850) to Greene Co, AR (1870) to Dunklin Co, MO (1880) to Craighead Co, AR (1900) then...

tracing the movement of Dora Bell and her three consecutive husbands (Cornstuble, Langley, and Summerhill) from IL (1860) to Greene Co, AR (1870) to Dunklin Co, MO to to Ouachita Co, AR (1894) to Sevier Co, AR (1900) to McCurtain Co, OK (1940)...

I notice that I really should hunt down Dora Bell's siblings.  I have a lot more research to do to confirm what I think.  Maybe in a few months, I can do a post on John P. Ginger.

The rest of Dora Bell's life...

Dora Bell and John Cornstuble have five children[3], including my second great grandmother: Mary Francis. John E. Cornstuble dies (date unknown). Dora Bell Ginger marries a man named LANGLEY and has another child, Curtis LANGLEY (born in Louisiana in Oct 1890). Sadly, the loss of the 1890 census has made finding this mysterious Langley nearly impossible.

Langley (the husband) dies. Dora Bell marries again to Henry Bolivar SUMMERHILL (in Nevada County, Arkansas on 11 Mar 1894).

Marriage License Summerhill-Cornstuble
Marriage License - H.B. Summerhill and D.B. Cornstuble

I find it interesting in the bond and license there was an effort made to change Dora Bell's name from Miss Dora B. Langley to Mrs. Dora B. Cornstuble. Why?

Detail of Summerhill-Cornstuble Marriage Bond
Detail of Bond of Marriage - Summerhill & Cornstuble

Henry and Dora Bell have five children[4]. I have been unable to find Henry and Dora Bell in the 1920 U.S. Census. Henry dies in 1929. In the 1930 U.S. Census, I find something odd.

Detail of Dora Summerall family in 1930
Detail of Dora Summerall family - 1930 U.S. Census

Is this my Dora? There is a Bessie (age 21) on the next page. If this is my Dora, who is Frank? I've searched repeatedly through every census, every letter, every scrap of information I have. There's no "Frank" in my records. No brother, son, nephew, son in law, etc. Is this really Ella Pahanie? Is this Curtis with the wrong age? Is this just a boy Dora "adopted" along the way and raised as her own? That's reaching, I know.

Dora Bell reappears in the 1940 census living with her son Harse, daughter Ella, and grandson Huston (maybe Houston) James. They are living in McCurtain Co, OK.  She dies 23 Aug 1957 in Glover, McCurtain Co, OK.

I still have questions. A lot of questions. Like all of my ancestors beyond my great grandparents, there's so much I don't know. I'm hoping to find that mysterious Langley. I'm hoping to find Dora Bell in the 1920 U.S. Census and confirm her in the 1930 U.S. Census.

[1] This photo is the only one I know of for Dora Bell Ginger. I found this via a defunct website once run by Aletha Summerhill Rogers.
[2] I have handwritten letters from Aletha McDonald to K. Brown and B. Summerhill. Also, I have an excerpt of a story from Aletha Summerhill Rogers' website that is now defunct.
[3] The Cornstuble children are:
Sarah Jane (25 Sep 1876  - 9 Jun 1922)
Henry Douglas (1879 - abt 1900)
Mary Francis (16 Mar 1881 - 5 Jun 1950)
Charles ( Aug 1883 - ? )
Sherman ( Oct 1887 - ? )
[4] The Summerhill children are:
Harse Lee ( 21 Oct 1895 -  )
Annie Pharilee ( 2 Sep 1898 - 6 Jan 1940 )
Ella Pahanie ( 18 Sep 1901 - 18 Apr 1982 )
Bessie ( 5 Nov 1904 - 18 Jun 1990 )
Willie Joanna ( 21 Nov 1907 - 21 Dec 1948 )

Optional Theme: Week 4, Closest to your birthday — Not too much to think about here. What ancestor has the birthday closest to yours? (I mean in terms of month and day, not the year)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 3: STEVENS, Elizabeth Lou

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
Theme: Tough woman — Who is a tough, strong woman in your family tree? Or what woman has been tough to research?

I mentioned in my first post for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks that I have two brick walls: Sallie Lou Green and Mary Frances Cornstuble.

This week, I've picked Sallie's mother, Elizabeth Lou STEVENS as my focus for this week.  I have a feeling this is going to be a short post.

Bessie (as she preferred) is my 2nd great grandmother.  Family lore says Bessie was a redhead (as was her daughter Minnie), she and her husband (David Edwin GREEN) met in an orphanage, she had a passel of children, her daughter Anna Belle was lost in the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, David deafened his own son, Joseph Clyde, with a slap or punch to the side of his head, and one of the daughters suffered from Bright's Disease.

I won't kid you. Bessie may always be a mystery.  There's a lot of family lore and no one to confirm or deny the accuracy of that information.  Public records can debunk some of the lore.

Anna Belle was lost in the 1900 Galveston Hurricane

I found Anna Belle in the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census.  The 1900 census was enumerated in June of that year.  The hurricane hit Galveston on 8 Sep 1900.  Anna Belle's sister Ella was born Feb 1900.

Detail for David Green family in 1900
Detail of David Green family - 1900
The 1910 census clearly shows Anna Belle as 13 and living with her family in Juniper Creek, Calhoun, Florida.

Detail for David Green family in 1910
Detail of David Green family - 1910

Bessie had a passel of kids

If 13 kids makes a passel, this part of our family oral history is accurate.  Between 1897 and 1918, Bessie gave birth to eight daughters and five sons.  All of them lived to adulthood, as far as I have been able to confirm.

Clyde was deafened by his father

I have not found any proof that Joseph Clyde was deaf or partially deaf.  Even if I did, I doubt there would be evidence that his father was the cause.

Bessie and Minnie were redheads; one daughter had Bright's Disease

Sadly, there's no written record of what the women in the family looked like.  I can find some descriptions of men based on the WWI and WWII draft cards.

I have not had much luck tracking all of Bessie's children...the daughters in particular.  I can't confirm or debunk that one of the daughters suffered from Bright's Disease.

Love in an orphanage

Finally, the orphanage story.  It is possible Bessie was an orphan. It is possible David was given to an orphanage for a short time.  However, based on census records and the probable date that Bessie and David married, this orphanage story is probably just that...a story.

Bessie's story (or lack thereof) proves to me the importance of accurately and deliberately passing down family history.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 2: ADAMS, Welcome Calfy

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
Welcome Calfy (this is based on his WWI registration) Adams was born 20 Jun 1875 in Arkansas to Zachary Taylor Adams and Dora Adams, née Calloway.  He was the second of seven (possibly nine) children.

Some Context within American History
In 1875, Ulyssess S. Grant was President of the United States.  Henry Wilson was Vice President (although he would died 22 Nov 1875).

1 Mar 1875, Congress passed the Civil Right Act -- prohibiting racial discrimination in public accommodations and jury duty. In 1883, the Supreme Court rules the Act unconstitutional.

4 Jun 1875, Harvard and Tufts play the first game of college football (this is a disputed fact).

9 Nov 1875, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and the hundreds of Sioux and Cheyenne associated with them are deemed hostile to the United States by Indian Inspector E.C. Watkins. This is part of the what some call The Black Hills War.

He married Mary Frances Cornstuble in 1896 in Ouachita County Arkansas.

Detail of marriage record for W.C. Adams and M.F. Cornstuble

They had six children, their eldest being my great-grandfather: Benjamin Franklin ADAMS, Sr.  Their youngest, Opal Dora ADAMS was born in 1918.  In 1918, based on Welcome's WWI draft card, he and Mary Frances were living in Garvin, McCurtain Co, Oklahoma.
ADAMS, Welcome Calfy | WWI Draft Card
WWI Draft Card for Welcome Calfy Adams
This is where my research falls apart.  Or my level of patience drops into the basement.  Welcome, Mary Frances, and their six children disappear from the public record.  I can't find them in the 1920 census. I can't find them in city directories. I can't find marriage licenses, divorce decrees, land, probate, birth records, death records...not a single piece of public record.

I have three running theories.

Theory One: Timber Camps
While discussing my disappearing relatives with a fellow genealogy geek, Jen pasted a bit of McCurtain County History:

Between 1910 and 1921 the Choctaw Lumber Company laid tracks for the Texas, Oklahoma and Eastern Railroad from Valliant, Oklahoma to DeQueen, Arkansas. McCurtain County

You will notice in the screenshot of Welcome's WWI draft card, he worked for M.D. Morphew.  Welcome's son, Robert, also worked for M.D. Morphew.

I hunted down M.D. Morphew via his son's Texas Death Certificate (thank you State of Texas for having these records digitized!), the 1920 Census, and the WWI draft card collection on Ancestry.

Turns out, M.D. Morphew worked for the Pioneer Coal & Timber Co.  He also started his own timber company, The McCurtain Timber Co.  Neither of these discoveries leads me anywhere.  At least, I haven't had this information long enough (since last night) to develop a research strategy that produces more than Google Books results and a lot of dead ends.

Theory Two: Misspelled and/or Mistranscribed Names (a chronic problem for Welcome)
In 1880, he is enumerated as Welcome (zoom, is my friend!) but transcribed as William. I added Welcome (with the reason being transcription error).
Detail for Jack Adams Family
1880 Census - Welcome Adams
In 1900, he is enumerated as Welcome but transcribed as Welsome.
Detail for Welcome Adams Family
1900 Census - Welcome Adams
In 1930, he is enumerated as Welcome and transcribed as Welcome, but someone has added the variant: Weleom
Detail of Welcome Adams in 1930 Census
1930 Census - Welcome Adams
In 1940, he is enumerated as Welcom and transcribed as Welcom, but I added Welcome as a variant.
Detail for David Adams Family
1940 Census - Welcome Adams
If Welcome, his wife, and his children are misspelled and/or mistranscribe, none of my normal variations are working.  I do know that Ben F. ADAMS would probably have been in a military hospital or base recovering from his injuries during WWI.  I will be requesting his military records soon.

Theory Three: The Mothership. You think I kid.
This is my current reigning theory. I'm pretty sure Welcome, Mary Frances, and all of their children are aliens. In 1920, they decided they needed a little intergalactic vacation. Maybe they knew about the coming depression? The dust bowl? Sadly, they were ordered back to Earth...and they are back in the public record (mostly) from 1930 forward. Yep. I'm frustrated. Again.

What else do I know?  At some point between 1918 and 1930, Mary Frances and Welcome divorced (the 1930 census lists him as divorced). In 1940, he is listed as widowed. Did he remarry? Mary Frances died in 1950.  On 5 Mar 1955, Welcome, a retired carpenter, died in Tulare County California.

I know a little about Welcome's life.  I know where he lived during the censuses of 1880, 1900, 1910, 1930, and 1940.  I know where he lived and how he earned a living in 1918 via his World War I draft card.

When did Mary and Welcome divorce? Why?
Where is Welcome in 1920? Why can't I find him? Why can't I find ANY of this family in 1920?
Why was he named Welcome Calfy? Was "Welcome" a common name in the 1870s? What about Calfy? Was it a family name?

Other questions that can't ever be answered also plague me.  Questions about his personality, his opinions, his aspirations.  These are always the questions that plague me when I research my family tree.  So much is lost when each generation dies out without any personal record.

Optional Theme: Week 2, King — January 8 is Elvis’ birthday. January 15 is the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Do either of these “Kings” remind you of an ancestor? Or, taken another way, do you have a connection to royalty? Did you ancestor flee from an oppressive king?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cataloging the Family Archives

I've decided on a genealogy project for the year: cataloging the items in my very own family archive. I have been ignoring every scrap of paper, every photograph, every card, letter, and newspaper clipping.  See, I don't know where to start on the piles of possible information I have.  Not knowing has lead to pretending that information isn't just inches away.

This year, however, I have a plan.  I'm cataloging it.  See, I'm a librarian. I'm also just nerdy enough to get a kick out of cataloging a personal collection -- I do it for my books, why not the family archive?

Here's the stumper.  How much metadata is too much?  Is there such a thing? What is important metadata? Should I have a schema that I follow? If you haven't noticed, this is the librarian in me.

I've decided on the Dublin Core schema.  Wikipedia states, "The Dublin Core Schema is a small set of vocabulary terms that can be used to describe web resources (video, images, web pages, etc.), as well as physical resources such as books or CDs, and objects like artworks." Originally, Dublin Core had 15 elements -- it has since expanded for refinement.

Original 15 Dublin Core Elements

I picked Dublin Core because it's simple, there's a set vocabulary for some of the elements (e.g. Type or Format), and I'm willing to learn this for personal and professional reasons.  Next, I will be using LibraryThing for the actual cataloging.  This is what I already use for my books.  It's flexible enough to handle a family archive for genealogy.  The plan is to stick to the fields that LibraryThing already uses (e.g. Title, Creator, etc) and supplement the remaining elements in the Tags field.

Something I haven't decided on is scanning the items.  Ideally, I could skip the scanning until there was a need for a digital copy of an item.  Then again, some items may need scanning because they are fragile.  I think the scanning will probably be done on an "as needed" basis.

My goal for this project is to ultimately know what I have in my collection of items I pulled after my grandmother's death.  Hopefully, this cataloging can continue on to the rest of the genealogy items I have gotten from family.

Friday, January 2, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 1: Fresh Start: The Adams Family

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
Ok. I admit it. I snap my fingers when I research the Adams Family branch of my tree. Yes, I am adorkable.

I've decided to participate in the 52 Ancestors challenge by Amy Johnson Crow as a means of maybe moving forward in my genealogy research. If nothing else, this challenge will give me a fresh start on years and years of research that doesn't seem to go anywhere.  Impulsively, I decided to focus my attention on the Adams branch.  There are a grand total of 44 people with the surname "Adams" in my tree. Oops. That's ok, though. Really, I'm focusing on the people that my grandmother came from.

7 Gen Fan Chart

I'm glad I picked this branch. There are two very big brick walls in this branch:  Sallie Lou Green and Mary Frances Cornstubble. Maybe with a focused study, I can finally break through these walls.

It's funny. Just looking at the tree on Ancestry, to remind myself of the people in this branch, shows me there are a lot more hints (hello, little shaking leaves!) than there use to be. I have to rein in my tendency to start wherever looks the most interesting.  This is another fresh start.  I need to learn to be a little more methodical in my research.  Time will tell!  No matter what, I'm sure I'll have lots of geeky fun!