Thursday, August 30, 2007
Related to President Zachary Taylor or Not?
I had developed more genealogy prowess and discrimination by the time I revisited this line. My first break on the line came through a query I placed online. I don't remember at this point if I had already discovered that Laura's father was Stephen Taylor of McLean County, Illinois at that point or not, but the gentleman who answered my query was able to tell me about Stephen and his brothers. As I began to explore Laura's immediate family, I discovered that one of Laura's brothers was named Zachary Taylor. So - we were related to Zachary Taylor, but it wasn't President Zachary Taylor.
Now . . . there is also a mystery regarding Stephen Taylor's father Stephen Taylor. This southeastern Ohio resident is said to have died in Detroit in 1814 during the War of 1812. I've found nothing to support this claim YET. (I haven't even found him on a list of troups.) There is a letter that was written by a lady in a historical society in that area to a relative from an earlier generation who was researching this. She claims that there was also a creek named after him in southeastern Ohio. I really need to take the time to work on that part of the legend because I'd certainly love to locate the creek. It's just been lower priority for me. I need to do further research on this line, but I need to make a trip to a repository with better southeastern Ohio records to do so. The counties of Washington, Athens, and Morgan are the ones that seem to bear the most significance for the family. They were in Ohio County, Virginia (now West Virginia) prior to this.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
. . . and to reward my efforts, my very first batch gave me a chuckle on the very first record. In the city of Portland, Maine, there is a James Butler who is a butler by occupation!
. . . and in the next batch, I had my first person of Syrian descent!
Update: I was so motivated that I did 200 records in 1 hour 15 minutes!
Update again: AnceStories has a great post about Ancestry.com's two-faced approach in the light of recent actions.
Update (8/29): They've removed the collection for now. Dear Myrtle also has a good post. I still don't like Ancestry's statement which said it is removed "for now." To me, that implies that they plan to put it back up later. If they are an ethical company, they won't put it back up. If they aren't an ethical company, I don't want to do business with them.
Update (8/30): Let me try to make it clear that I do not have a problem with paying for database access to collections although I think there are some that are overpriced when you compare these to what their competitors are charging. My objection is that they were stealing intellectual property.
Someone else was also more motivated to do FamilySearchIndexing!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Watching the Eagles
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Alton Brown Feasts on the Mississippi Asphalt - Part II
His first stop was at Doe's Eat Place in Greenville where he had their famous tamales. The restaurant even has a copy of the Delta Democrat Times article about Alton's visit on their site. This restaurant has earned all sorts of recognition in food circles recently.
His next stop on the "Tamale Trail" was Joe's White Front Cafe in Rosedale. The restaurant is famous for its tamales, but he tried one of the koolickles (kool-aid pickles). He said the sweetness was not overwhelming. The rest of his crew seemed to like it. Then he tried one of the corn husk tamales there. (The Greenville tamales used parchment instead of corn husks and double-tied them instead of single tying them.) There's also a very interesting oral history of how Joe's sister Barbara is carrying on the family tradition.
He crossed the Helena bridge and went into Arkansas. He'll be finishing up in Memphis, so I guess this is it for the Mississippi foods.
This episode will air multiple times this week.
Carnival of Genealogy #30
NARA Fee Increases . . .
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Chair for Booklovers
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
An Odd Marriage . . .
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Would You Want Christmas to Always Be on a Monday?
I just hope that it isn't adopted. I love picking out new calendars. I'd get tired of the same pictures year after year. Under this proposal, my birthday would always be on a Saturday. How boring! Can you imagine the amount of computer programming that it would take to accommodate such a proposal? I don't think it will be implemented by 2012 for that very reason alone. I hope it's never implemented.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Martin V. Thornton - Mother's Pension
She had two sons who was married in the Union army and they died while in the service. She lost three sons in the Union army and one was killed by the rebels trying to get to the Union army and he left a helpless family . . .
I know that I will need to gather additional evidence to prove James M.'s relationship as son to Richard and Agnes because this file greatly weakens support for this statement, but I still believe it to be true. Maybe it is only because I want to believe that I haven't been barking up the wrong tree all these years, but I believe that she (and her neighbors) lied to get a pension. Why? Because there are no additional Thorntons in the 1st Alabama Cavalry (or its preceding Tennessee regiment) that could be the 3rd deceased Thornton. There is also no mention made of Adaline, wife of Martin Aldridge, believed to be James M.'s older sister who was also living. Elizabeth, who was born about 1830 is also not mentioned. It is possible that she died between 1850 and 1860 or that she married and moved away.
The only living children of Richard and Agnes listed in the pension (from an 1873 document) are:
Daughter Catherine, age 48, who married Isaac Johnson. She is said to be poor and residing in Fayette County. [This is the one we know as Cassy who was born about 1828 according to census records.]
Daughter Martha, age 40. She is said to have never married, crippled, residing in Walker County, and "begging." [Census records say she was born about 1833.]
Daughter Eppy, age 38. She is said to have married an old man Rutledge, having not lived with Agnes for 23 years. She is very poor and residing in Walker County. [Census records indicate Eppy as born about 1838.]
We are still left to wonder about the Susan Thornton (age 16) and the Richard Thornton (age 8 months) living in Agnes' household in 1870. (She is listed as Susannah in 1860.) Neither of these individuals is addressed in the pension.
Agnes' poverty was emphasized in all the statements from acquaintances. Her son Martin is said to have been the only source of income for the family from 1857 up to the time of his death. His main employers were said to be Moses L. Johnson and David Studdard. It was stated that Richard Thornton became disabled with palsy around 1 April 1857, that after Martin enlisted in the army that Richard also developed chronic diarrhea, and that he died 2 November 1862. [This date varies slightly in some documents, but this seems to be the most prominent date for his death.] Multiple persons stated that Richard and Agnes never owned their own land. In his sworn statement, Moses L. Johnson states that "since the soldier's death, the claimant has subsisted mostly by begging." Richard's physician, who was deceased by the time of the claim, was Jeremiah Manasco.
The big breakthough is that we learn Agnes' maiden name and the location of her marriage to Richard. Agnes was a Barnum. One document states that they were married in the house of John Barnum in Franklin County, Georgia 16 May 1817 by John Waumack, Justice of the Peace. In another place, Agnes says she thinks the year was 1820.
We also learn what the "V" in Martin V. Thornton was. His full name was Martin Van Buren Thornton, and he had always been called "Van."
Something that was interesting was a statement that Agnes had resided within one mile of her present residence for 25 years. She was presently living 8 miles south of Kansas (in Walker County) near the Fayette County line. Other documents state that the little house in which she resided was owned by Moses L. Johnson. In 1868 her address was Dublin P.O. in Fayette County; in 1873 it was Kansas P.O. in Walker County.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Louisa May Alcott
Now I offer some Advice for Conference Attendees:
If at all possible, stay in the hotel attached to the convention center. [In Pittsburgh, the distance between the hotel where I stayed at the convention center certainly seemed much further than advertised.]
Update: This looks like something I'd enjoy doing.
Do your research on food ahead of time or ask the locals. [I ate best in Nashville where I was most familiar with the location having lived there at one time and having attended many conferences at that convention center. I also ate well in Boston where I'd spent a lot of time ahead of the conference researching what was available and good.]
Take breaks when you need them. [Just because there is a session offered five or six times a day doesn't mean you have to attend them all. I usually pick a session to attend each time slot but if I am getting tired, I try to decide which upcoming session I'm least excited about attending and skip it.]
If you plan to spend a lot of time in the exhibit hall, take an extra suitcase with you. [You'll need it to lug back all of those purchases you just can't live without.]
Volunteer. [It's a great way to meet others. I usually volunteer for the Association of Professional Genealogists' booth. It also keeps me away (at least for an hour or two) from the exhibits where I spend more money than I need to spend!]
Meet your neighbors. [When you go into a session, strike up a conversation with the person next to you. You might just find you are cousins. I've actually done this a couple of times. I've also met persons with whom I've corresponded and persons who reside near me.]
Plan your day the night before. [You'll be less stressed if you make some decisions about what you intend to attend the night before. If you are attending with friends and are both having trouble deciding which sessions to attend, plan together. You may be able to cover two sessions that you are both interested in attending at the same time slot. You can then compare notes that evening.]
The BCG Skillbuilding Track is always good. [If you are having trouble making a selection from the choices at a time slot, you'll never go wrong by selecting this one.]
If you plan to do research at a local facility, remember everyone else is doing the same thing. [In Richmond, the Library of Virginia limited microfilm machine use to one hour at a time. If the facility is open evening hours during the week, it will be crowded. You won't get nearly as much research done as you plan with a packed house. You'll get more accomplished at a research facility a little more distant from the conference site before or after conference than you will at one near the location.]
Be a tourist. [Find what the city has to offer and visit some interesting things. I just touched a tip of what's available in Boston last fall, but I certainly have a much better idea of some things I want to see when I head back to Boston for a library conference next summer. I plan to spend part of each day researching and part of each day sightseeing.]
If you didn't enjoy a speaker on one topic, you might still enjoy them on others. [At the very first national conference I attended, I heard one speaker that really seemed to know very little about her topic as far as I was concerned. I decided that I'd never attend another session by this person. Then at a conference a couple of years later, I heard some people talking about what a wonderful presentation they'd just attended. It turned out this was the same speaker on a different topic. I tried her session on that topic at another conference later and decided that I might try other presentations by her. I made three presentations at FGS in Boston. The first session went poorly by my estimation. My computer had overheated. I had to call a friend to bring her computer so I could do my session. I had a lot to cover. I was feeling rushed and was a little nervous (even though I teach classes five days a week). I sped through my presentation. The other two went much better in my estimation. I was more relaxed and was able to engage the listener more because I was relaxed. By the way, I don't recommend purchasing the recordings of these sessions from Lulu.com because two rely heavily on captured screen shots, and the other was more or less a demonstration of using a couple of software packages. This third one was one where I filled in at almost the last minute. The session had been advertised, and the presenter was unable to attend. I now wonder if my experience with the presenter who wasn't very knowledgeable on a topic might have been a result of having been called upon late to fill in for something that wasn't in her area of expertise.]
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Alton Brown Feasts on the Mississippi Asphalt
Arrival: Widow's and Children's Pension Files for Henry M. Thornton
I ordered the pension file on June 2, 2007. It arrived today. That's a little over 2 months from order to receipt. (Genealogists like to compare how quickly the National Archives fills requests.) Now, here's what I've learned from the file.
I now have another documented date of marriage for Henry M. Thornton and Mary Hocutt. This one actually provides the location of the marriage. It was 3 Jan 1861 at the home of Mary's father Robert in Walker County, Alabama by A. J. Files.
I also have documented dates of births for the children. There is one discrepancy on a date inside the file, but there is only one instance where the date differs in the file. That is on the date of daughter Roxanna's birth. The one instance of difference is where it is being reported by her brother at a much later date. He gives an 1862 date instead of 1861. Roxanna Thornton was born 26 Oct 1861 and John Henry Anderson Thornton was born 16 Oct 1863. Mahala Jeffreys was the midwife present at the births of both children. After the death of their mother, Elijah A. Jeffreys was appointed as their guardian. That document also mentions J. L. Roby and M. L. Johnson. [Moses L. Johnson is the second husband of Mary Hocutt Thornton, marrying on 12 Dec 1869. (Bynum, Don. Fayette County, Alabama, Marriage Book 1, 19 June 1866-20 August 1879) He is said to have had 3 wives, all named Mary. Mary Hocutt Thornton is supposed to be the 2nd of the three.] The pension states that the widow's last payment was 4 Sep 1869 which probably was the last payment before her remarriage.
I have a date of death for Henry's widow Mary. We knew that she died prior to 1874, but we did not have a date. She died 3 Feb 1872 according to most documents in the file and 1 Feb 1872 according to another.
James M. Thornton, my great-great grandfather, witnessed one of the documents in the file, along with Moses L. Johnson. The document was a change in local attorneys handling the pension.
Now, I'm just waiting on the pension file of Martin V. Thornton to arrive. Since it was given to his mother, I'm hoping it will resolve some of the mysteries surrounding her.
Various documents indicate that Henry's family resided in Winston County, at Holly Grove in Walker County, and at Dublin in Fayette County over the years.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Update: The telethon has been very educational. If you wish to donate to Friends of the Smokies, you can do so through their web site. The park does not have an admission fee so it relies on fund-raisers such as this and the little donation boxes throughout the park to make improvements. The last segment was just talking about how they have to airlift some of the materials to renovate the shelters on the trails. They've raised $178,161 as of 7:45 p.m. and want to raise $200,000 by 8:00 p.m. Of course, they'll take donations any time!
Update 2: They did it. The last total was over $203,000 before the telethon was over. They are still taking calls. This figure breaks last year's record of over $202,000.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Monkey At Large
Top 10 Country Songs
#10 - God Bless the USA as sung by Lee Greenwood
#9 - Country Roads as sung by John Denver
#8 - Coal Miner's Daughter as sung by Loretta Lynn
#7 - Chattahoochie as sung by Alan Jackson
#6 - Mountain Music as sung by Alabama
#5 - Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain as sung by Willie Nelson
#4 - Coat of Many Colors as sung by Dolly Parton
#3 - Smoky Mountain Rain as sung by Ronnie Millsap
#2 - Stand by Your Man as sung by Tammy Wynette
and the #1 Country song of all time: Rocky Top as sung (and picked) by the Osborne Brothers. Yes, folks, it's almost . . . FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE! GO VOLS!
Labels: country music
Thursday, August 02, 2007
29th Carnival of Genealogy
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Fred Thompson on Rebecca Nurse
You’ve probably never heard of Rebecca Nurse, but bear with me for a moment.
I, of course, knew Rebecca's story, as well as many of the other "Salem witches." (I use the quote marks because, as we all know, not all of those in the 1692 witch trials were from Salem.)
I agree with Fred's thoughts on Judge Southwick's nomination. It's time to put partisan politics behind us.