Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
The Mysterious Franky Davidson
Franky Davidson, the second wife of Andrew Capus Thornton, has always been somewhat of a mystery to Cape's family. They married late in 1880, and he married Berniece Estelle "Bennie" Duke in 1887. Our best guess is that the mysterious Franky died in childbirth. The above document is our only clue as to who Franky was. A. J. Warnick (or Warnix) appears to be the Andrew Warnic enumerated in the 1880 census for Cotton Gin Port, Monroe County, Mississippi, along with his wife Nancy and a sister-in-law Francis Davis whom we assume to be Franky Davidson. There is an 1886 marriage in Monroe County, Mississippi for A. J. Warnick to a Mary E. Finley. If this is the same person, did Nancy die? There is an 1879 marriage in Blount County, Alabama for an Andrew Warnick to Nanna Davidson. This couple does not appear in the 1880 Blount County census. It is possible that this is the family in question, especially since both Nancy and Francis are said to have been born in Alabama.
There is a Francis L. Davis in the 1870 Sanford County, Alabama Census living near Detroit which is not very far from Monroe County with presumed parents of J. H. and Elizabeth Davis. Is this the mysterious Franky? If so, where is Nancy? If the marriage in Blount County is correct, why would a person from western Alabama go to eastern Alabama to marry?
So . . . the search continues for the elusive Franky Davidson.
1880 U.S. Census, population schedule, Monroe County, Mississippi, Cotton Gin Port, Andrew Warnic household, S.D. 1, E.D. 125, p. 34, dwelling 92, family 92; NARA micropublication T9, roll 658; Ancestry.com, accessed 28 Jun 2007.
1870 U.S. Census, population schedule, Sanford County, Alabama, Twp. 12, Range 15, J. H. Davis household, p. 344, dwelling 18, family 18; NARA micropublication M593, roll 39; Ancestry.com, accessed 28 Jun 2007.
Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969, online database available from Ancestry.com, accessed 28 Jun 2007.
Mississippi Marriages, 1776-1935, online database available from Ancestry.com, accessed 28 Jun 2007.
My apologies to Elizabeth Shown Mills if I haven't quite got the above citations up-to-par. My cat is sitting atop your wonderful citation style manual called Evidence: Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian and the quick card too. I know better than to disturb him!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
American Baptist Register of 1852 Obituaries
In Search of the Missing Gravestones
Comments on "The Family Tree, Pruned"
Genealogical research to me is not meaningless or bunk. I'd like to make one other observation from the article. Conniff commented on a study by scientists which came to the conclusion that there is a common ancestor for all persons between 2000 and 3500 years ago. BINGO! This is an argument for creation and the great flood of Genesis. Noah is that common ancestor because the only persons aboard were Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives.
Update - Michael John Neill on the topic.
Update 2 - Randy Seaver on the topic.
Update 3 - Genealogy Gifts has created a new T-shirt line in response to Conniff's article.
Update 4 - Bill West on the topic.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Amy . . . on Libraries
One Hot Summer Day
Monday, June 25, 2007
Knoxville & Electro-Turkish Baths
Sunday, June 24, 2007
DNA & the Amish
Thinking Blogger - Tag, You're It
Labels: thinking blogger
Interesting Article in Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Steamer Found in Lake Erie
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
ACL 2007 Workshops
One of my colleagues and myself have talked several times about the workshop that showed how one library is using Facebook to reach its students where they are. I believe that we'll all be talking about how we can utilize Web 2.0 technologies to reach students in the coming academic year.
Another very interesting workshop was the one on customized toolbars which allow one to search things such as the library's online catalog, databases, and citation style guides. I'm already trying to figure out what we would need to include on one for our students. The presenters did tell us that it took time to develop them because of the code involved, but it is so useful that it will be worth the time.
I went to two cataloging workshops--one on authority control and one on metadata. I was very pleased with the direction the authority control presenter took. She approached it from the how it is changing and is likely to change perspective rather than it being a "how to" workshop. I know there were some in attendance who were looking for something a bit more hands-on, but having experience in the area, I was grateful for a more futuristic approach. The metadata was a good review for me of some of the skills that I'd been taught at a workshop back in about 2000. I really had not utilized this except in one digitization project since that time, and it was helpful to see the core elements of metadata for libraries once again.
The picture book update was great! This is the workshop where we get to pass around a lot of picture books which came out in the previous year. It's always interesting.
Networking Night at ACL
Thoughts on Indexing
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Stories of the Secret City
Genealogical Discussion at ACL
Must-Have Books for Identifying Records
The Handybook for Genealogists, 11th ed. (Everton, 2005)
Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Ancestry, 2004)
For Native American Research
Lennon, Rachel Mills. Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes: Southeastern Indians Prior to Removal. (Genealogical, 2002)
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
Ordering Pension Files from National Archives
Christian Publishers Just Don't Get It
Love This Idea
What to Keep, What to Pitch
Eating in Boston - ACL 2008
Friday, June 15, 2007
Quincy - ACL 2008!
More Previews of ACL Boston 2008
Looking Forward to ACL 2008 in Boston
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Association of Christian Librarians
Friday, June 08, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Worthless Message Boards and Mailing Lists
If that isn't enough, there is one guy who posts current obituaries all the time to the message boards. The bad thing here is that the privacy of living individuals is being compromised. Some would argue that they are already online at the papers; however, most newspapers only keep that info available online for a short period of time after which it is either removed or after which it is moved to the paid archives. There's a reason for this. If I am really interested in an obituary, I'll pay the $3 to get it if I missed it during it's free period. I've done that very thing. Furthermore, there is a potential copyright issue here. Some newspapers claim copyright to obituaries; others don't. The reason some don't is because the info in them comes from family members so they actually say that the family owns the copyright or that it is based on facts which can't be copyrighted. The problem here is that there are some things which are more creative in an obituary which are not necessarily common knowledge so it's not necessarily free of copyright. There is widespread copyright infringement on this message board. Genforum was contacted a few years ago about the problem but refused to do anything about it. Now their message board is totally useless. All that is there are undocumented family group sheets and current obituaries. People who are truly looking for real help will not find it through those channels because all they'll receive is poor research. The true researchers quit visiting years ago. In fact, when the true researchers visit the county, they often comment on the worthlessness of Genforum for that county. It's truly a sad state of affairs.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Fighting on Both Sides in the Civil War
The brothers were the sons of Richard Thornton and his wife Agga (although sometimes it is seen as Agnes). We do not know her surname, but the family was closely allied with the Aldridge and Johnson families of the area, and it is possible that she belonged to one of those. It is unfortunate that the Thorntons lived in an area which suffered so many courthouse fires. I've often joked and said that they personally set those courthouses afire to make it difficult for their descendants to find out anything about them.
Three sons of Richard served with the 43rd Alabama Regiment, Company H, CSA. These were Henry Marshall Thornton, Martin V. Thornton, and David Franklin Thornton. All the brothers were mustered in on May 10, 1862 in Walker County by W. H. Lawrence and were to serve for 3 years. Less than one month later, on June 6, 1862, David F. and Martin V. are reported to have deserted at "Tusk, Ala." which I interpret to be an abbreviation for Tuscaloosa. Henry was left at Lexington, Ky. on October 5, 1862. He is listed as a prisoner who was arrested Oct. or Nov. 17, 1862 and shipped Nov. 18, 1862 to Louisville, Kentucky. The confusion over his arrest date is because two documents differ on the date. He was sent from Louisville aboard the Steamboat Mary Crane on November 29, 1862 via Cairo, Illinois to Vicksburg, Mississippi as part of an exchange of prisoners. He is said to be 5 ft. 10 in. and 27 years of age. He was given furlough from Jackson, Mississippi on Christmas Day 1862 and presumably never returned to his post as he joined the 1st Alabama Cavalry USA in March 1863.
Henry Marshall Thornton, Martin V. Thornton, and their brother James M. Thornton all enlisted in the 1st Alabama Cavalry USA. Martin V. actually joined in Decatur, Alabama on July 8, 1862. (It was actually a Tennessee unit comprised of Alabama members at the time it was organized and when Martin joined. It later became the 1st Alabama.) He died on November 10, 1862 and is buried in the Nashville National Cemetery. Henry M. and brother James M. travelled to Glendale, Mississippi where they joined the 1st Alabama on March 23, 1863. Henry was promoted to Sergeant on July 1, 1863 and died 3 December 1863 in Corinth, Mississippi. His effects were sent home with his brother which would have been James M. James M. (my great great grandfather) was mustered out on December 22, 1863 in Memphis, Tennessee. He served as a teamster during his enlistment.
It is interesting that Henry M. did not desert the Confederate ranks when Martin and David did. He is the only one who was married and had children, so he may have feared for their safety if he were to leave. It is also possible that he did not have the same opportunity for escape that his brothers had. It is interesting that David managed to avoid arrest by the Confederates without joining the Union. James M. was probably not around when the others were forced into service with the Confederates or managed to escape to some of the hiding places in the area.
Henry's widow married a gentleman named Moses L. Johnson who was the son of Price M. Johnson and Nancy Kizziah Aldridge in 1869. Moses filed a claim (for a mule for which he received $140) with the Southern Claims Commission that indicates he was arrested by the Confederates in October 1862 and imprisoned in Columbus, Mississippi. After 5 months, he escaped and made his way home by cutting through the floor of the prison. He joined the 1st Alabama Cavalry USA around September 1863 when he and others from the area made their way to Glendale, Mississippi to join. He served until 1867 where he received an honorable discharge from the Union Army.
David F. Thornton, compiled military record (private, company H, 43rd Alabama Regiment, Infantry), Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Alabama, available online by subscription at Footnote.com, accessed 31 May 2007.
Henry M. Thornton, compiled military record (sergeant, company A, 1st Alabama, Cavalry), Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of Alabama, micropublication M276. (Washington, DC: National Archives.) [photocopy ordered from National Archives and in my personal files]
Henry Marshall Thornton, compiled military record (private, company H, 43rd Alabama Regiment, Infantry), Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Alabama, available online by subscription at Footnote.com, accessed 31 May 2007.
James M. Thornton, compiled military record (private, company A, 1st Alabama, Cavalry), Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of Alabama, micropublication M276. (Washington, DC: National Archives.) [photocopy ordered from National Archives and in my personal files]
James M. Thornton file, no. 606.498, pension file. (Washington, DC: National Archives). [photocopy ordered from National Archives and in my personal files]
Martin V. Thornton, compiled military record (private, company A, 1st Alabama, Cavalry), Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of Alabama, micropublication M276. (Washington, DC: National Archives.) [photocopy ordered from National Archives and in my personal files]
Morton V. Thornton, compiled military record (private, company H, 43rd Alabama Regiment, Infantry), Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Alabama, available online by subscription at Footnote.com, accessed 31 May 2007.
Moses L. Johnson, Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims, 1871-1880: Alabama, micropublication M2062. (Washington, DC: National Archives), roll 9. Available online via subscription at Footnote.com, accessed 31 May 2007.
Nancy J. Thornton file, no. 774214, widow's pension file, (Washington, DC: National Archives). [Photocopy ordered from National Archives and in my personal files]
Todd, Glenda McWhirter. First Alabama Cavalry, U.S.A: Homage to Patriotism. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1999.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Why Do They Make Packages So Hard to Open?
However, I really didn't waste my time because if I hadn't gone through those criminal dockets I might have never known that my 2 great-grandfather and great grand-uncle were such scandalous criminals. Okay, that's not exactly the truth. I'd expect just about anything from this family back in the 19th century or even part of the early 20th century. However, I'd never have known about this specific incident. (It's also possible that it is my 3rd great grand-uncle and first cousin 4 times removed; however, it is more likely to be the ones who are closer kin based on what I know about the two families.) What was the charge? They were caught "hunting on the Sabbath." I'll go back when it's cooler to examine the case more closely because the records are in the attic of the courthouse, and I learned a long time ago that I don't do Mississippi attics in the summertime! Not even for a charge this juicy!