Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Brainstorming Session

I've decided to put down some results of my brainstorming session to unveil the identity of my Taylor family. Here's what is known:

Stephen Taylor, Jr. was born in 1814 to Stephen Taylor, Sr. and Lovica Rathbone. Stephen married Lovica in Washington County, Ohio 21 Jun 1804. Other children of Stephen and Lovica are Sylvanus, Daniel, and Elizabeth. Lovica married William Davis 17 Sep 1815 in Athens Co., Ohio after Stephen, Sr. died in the War of 1812 in the Detroit, Michigan area. No record of Stephen's service has been found to my knowledge; however, there are a variety of secondary sources as well as family traditions which state that he enlisted at the "last call for volunteers" and died. Stephen, Sr. is said to have been born about 1780 in New York. Stephen, Sr.'s father has been identified (at least by secondary sources) Isaac Taylor, believed to have been born about 1750. His wife's name is said to be Elizabeth. Isaac's other known children are Debora and Cornelius.

Several sources have stated that it is believed that the Taylors and the Rathbones (and probably the Davis family as well) travelled together from Berkshire Co., Mass. to New York (no county given), to Ohio County, Virginia (now West Virginia), and then to Ohio. [At least one researcher believes that Isaac Taylor is the one found in the 1790 Luzerne County, Pennsylvania census. I have not seen this person's discussion of the evidence for his conclusion.] Other researchers try to identify Isaac as belonging to the Orange Co., Virginia Taylors. If the Taylors and Rathbones migrated together, there are some problems to resolve. How did Isaac come to be in New York in 1780 when Edmund Rathbone is in Massachusetts in 1790?

I believe that the ones who are trying to take the line to Orange County, Virginia are trying to be related to Pres. Zachary Taylor. I know we should leave no stone uncovered, but I did make some attempts in my early research to link the family to the president's family without success and eventually concluded that the only Zachary to whom we were related was Laura's brother who was named in honor of the president.

I realized as I was looking through the materials for this line that I'd failed to follow up on the all-important clue of checking out the neighbors and associates of the Taylors and had completely overlooked the hints that the Taylors and Rathbones had migrated together. Using this clue, I decided to take a look at the 1790 census of Berkshire Co., Mass. where Lovica's father Edmund Rathbone is found. There are Taylors in the very same town (Tyringham)--even one named Stephen. I need to follow up with the Taylors of Tyringham to see if I can find a link to Isaac and his descent.

I also discovered that Ostego Co., N.Y. has quite a few former residents of Berkshire Co., Mass. One of the settlers is a Rev. Stephen Taylor (of Rhode Island) born about 1770 who died in 1841 at age 71. I can't tie him in with the other Taylors yet, but his name makes him interesting. One thing is that he cannot be Isaac's son Stephen, so the best I could hope for is that he is a brother or cousin. However, it is worth following up. Isaac should have been in New York there before this Stephen was said there around 1790 or so if Stephen was really born in New York around 1780. I'm less hopeful about this one, but in the spirit of leaving no stone unturned, I'll pursue it. Finding negative evidence is still a good find if that's what I turn up.

I also need to re-establish contact with the male descendants of Isaac with whom I have lost contact to determine if they have participated in the Taylor DNA study, and if none have, if one would be willing to participate to try to see if we link up with Taylors of New England or Virginia. Most present evidence would tend to support a New England to Ohio migration path; however, it would be great to have something scientific that points to this conclusion.

This is a line where I need to go back and enter source citations in my current database. Most of the research was from back in the days when I had a program that only gave me 10 lines to put any notes or sources. Most of the time, I just filed my sources in folders. If I put anything in that database, it was very abbreviated.

I will have my work cut out for me for awhile investigating the Berkshire County, Mass. Taylors. However, the fact that this family is in the exact same area in which the Rathbones lived presents me with great hope of finding some answers to my Taylor family's origin.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

When Jasia first announced the topic for this edition’s Carnival of Genealogy, I thought, “that will be easy.” The more I thought about the topic (inviting 4 ancestors for dinner), the more challenging it was to decide which four to invite. As I’ve read all the responses from other bloggers, I’ve realized that a lot of their thoughts are along the same lines as mine . . . “which 4 will be able to get me past that brick wall?” However, I also have some very interesting and colorful characters that I’d just like to ask a few questions.


I think that I’m going to choose Abraham Lantz, my great-great grandfather, as the first ancestor, and we’ll dine at his house because I’ve heard he always insisted on seven courses at each meal. I suspect his wife Laura was an excellent cook, having grown up on a farm in Illinois. I’d like to know what it was like for him when he, being an Amish man, chose to marry Laura, a Methodist woman. I’d like to hear him tell stories of moving around in his childhood, his days as postmaster, his store in Carlock, Illinois, and about his move to Monroe County, Mississippi. I’ve always been intrigued that he moved down with some of his Amish friends when they established the failed settlement at Gibson even though he was no longer one of them. While I realize that his Amish group was one of the more progressive ones of that faith, it just goes against everything you hear about shunning.


Next, I’d like to invite Rev. Stephen Bachiler (or Batchelder). If you don’t know about this colorful character, read a few of these articles at Lane Memorial Library in Hampton, New Hampshire. You will immediately know that our conversation will not be lacking that evening. I want to know all about his struggles with the church, about his time in Holland, about his trip to America, about his troubles in Lynn (and elsewhere) and his establishing the church in Hampton, about his return to England, and, for lack of a better way to state this, about his women, especially his third wife who appears to have been the inspiration for The Scarlet Letter. I’d also like to know whether or not he married the woman in England that Mary (wife #3) claimed he had.


As much as I’d like to invite a few of my other colonial New England ancestors who all have such fascinating stories, I think I’ll head south and pick up a few “loose ends” for the rest of my dinner party. My next dining companion will be Gabriel Fowlkes, the immigrant. He is supposed to have been born in Wales about 1696. However, no one can find a record over there, so I want to know if he was born in Wales or not, and where it was. I’d also like to hear why he chose to migrate to Virginia. I’d like to know about his life in the British Isles and then about his trip to America. I’d like for him to tell me what he knows about his family history.


My final invitation is issued to Richard Thornton. I know that will make my cousin Terry very happy! I want to know the exact date (instead of my present range of 1790-1795) for when he was born and exactly where he was born, who his parents were, what he knows about his family’s history, his moves, and why his family liked to hide from record takers or burn courthouses so much! I want him to tell me all about his wife Agnes and her family. There seems to be a gap between the date for their marriage and the first known child so I’d like to know if I’m missing some of his kids and who they are. I’d like to have him talk about all his children and what they were like growing up, especially his sons who died in the Civil War. I’d like to ask him if he’s related to the David Thornton in Fayette County, Alabama and if so, how.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Family Life

Miriam over at AnceStories2 has given us our prompts for this week on family life:

Did your family have a regularly scheduled family time?

No.

What sorts of things did your family do together most often?

Eat, watch TV, and go camping (but not too primitive).

Where did you spend your family times? At home or elsewhere?

Watching TV was at home. Camping was away. Eating was both!

How important were family meal times?

We ate together, but I'm not sure that they were really that important except at holidays.

Did you ever go for "Sunday drives"? Where did you go?

We went for Sunday drives for awhile. I guess we probably stopped in the early 1970s. We just drove around in the county and took back roads.

Did your family have a favorite place at which to eat out together? What made it a favorite?

To be honest, when I was little we didn't really have a lot of choice in our small town. Pickle's was the restaurant of choice. Later, the original Pickle's became Stanford's and Pickle's built a new restaurant up on a hill. I guess Pickle's on the Hill was usually the choice after this although we went to both from time to time.

Was there a favorite television show you liked to watch together (or a radio show to listen to together)? Did you ever read together?

The only time I really remember reading together was when I was tiny for bedtime stories. However, my sister-in-law and I traded books when I was in high school. As far as television shows, we watched all sorts of things. When I was small, we only got two stations--NBC and CBS. Up until I was in late middle school, if it was on ABC, I didn't see it until my neighbor at the other end of the block finally got cable at her house. Most of us kids in the neighborhood would conveniently try to be at her house when The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family were on. Before we got cable, I remember watching Lucy, Green Acres, Mary Tyler Moore, Dragnet, and shows of that era. I liked Medical Center, Emergency, McMillen and Wife, Columbo, and so on. The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie were shows we watched. Later on Charlie's Angels, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Trapper John M.D. were on our watch list. My nephew loved The Dukes of Hazzard. The men always "watched" football (which meant that they often watched with their eyes closed). I didn't pick up the sports viewing habit until later in life.

What kinds of things did your family talk about when they got together?

I don't remember.

Were there certain kinds of sports or activities that you participated in as a family?

Going to church and camping were our activities, I suppose.

Did you ever have a family portrait done by a professional photographer? Was this done on a regular basis, or just occasionally?

The last one I've seen that had my brothers, my parents, and myself was taken by Olan Mills when I was about one.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Death & Dying in the Civil War

The New York Times reviews Drew Gilpin Faust's This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War. You can even read the first chapter online. I found it interesting that the tag line that tells about the reviewer Geoffrey C. Ward mentions that he is writing a book about his "nefarious ancestor, the swindler Ferdinand Ward."

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cornbread

Maggie over at Maggie Reads asks the rhetorical question about whether or not a true Southerner eats the sweet concoction in the box labeled Jiffy Corn Bread Mix? (My answer for this is only in a casserole of some sort.) Maggie searched through a number of cookbooks looking for a Southern cornbread recipe. She came up with a couple of recipes, but even one of those has too much sugar in it for many a true Southerner. The other recipe works for those times you want a little spicier fare!

I actually have a true recipe for real Southern cornbread, but you'll have to suffer through the story of how I came to have such a recipe first! Many years ago (and I won't say how many) when I went to graduate school in Ohio, I was not going to be able to make it back to Mississippi for Thanksgiving. After suffering through white bread dressing with oysters at the home of some friends one year, I decided that I was making Thanksgiving dinner for a bunch of my other grad school friends who couldn't make it home. The only problem was that I didn't have a clue how Mom had made our traditional Thanksgiving dressing. I did what any girl would do. I called Mom and asked her to send me the recipe. (I called her in plenty of time that she could write the recipe out and send it by mail.) She, of course, did not have a written out recipe for the dressing but she told me what she put in it without amounts. My next question was "How do you make the cornbread?" I knew that it was in a cast iron skillet with cornmeal, but I had no clue of what else went in it besides buttermilk. Mom humored me though and she actually made it for a Sunday dinner when some of her family came so that she could try to measure her ingredients and get them all written out for me so that I would not have to endure another year of that inedible white bread oyster dressing concoction those "Yankees" served. Here is her recipe for cornbread:

2 cups yellow self-rising corn meal
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Mix all ingredients. Pour into a hot greased cast iron skillet (or if you are not making it for dressing you can use those wonderful corn stick pans that Maggie shows in her post). Bake at 450 degrees until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Now I should say that my Mom prefers the yellow self-rising corn meal from the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge or the kind they sell at the mill at Dollywood. Yes, this means that I take corn meal to Mississippi on a regular basis!

I also found a second time she sent me the cornbread recipe. In it, she'd changed her measurements slightly and added flour:

1 3/4 cup yellow self-rising corn meal
1/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Mix dry ingredients. Break eggs into dry ingredients. Add part of milk and beat well. Add enough milk to make a medium thin batter. Pour into a hot greased cast iron sksillet. Bake until done at 450 degrees.

Note: If your corn meal is not self-rising, add one more tsp. of baking powder and 1 tsp. salt. Some people do not use any baking powder with self-rising corn meal.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Atlantic

. . . has dropped its subscription wall.

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How Cool Is This?

My brother preached at this church (after it was in a new building) back in the 1970s.

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Games & Puzzles

Miriam over at AnceStories2 has provided us with a set of prompts for telling our family's involvement with games and puzzles. Since it's a nice icy day here in East Tennessee, I thought I'd take time to answer at least some of the questions.

Did you have a regular game night or family night?

Not really. However, we played games more often when I was younger than later, and we'd almost always play games when the whole family got together.

What games (board, card, dice, or acting out) did your family enjoy? Was there a favorite you played time after time?

The one game I associate most with the Thornton family is Rook. Yes, that little bird was always haunting us. I remember one year when I was playing, and my niece climbed in my lap. We told her that she couldn't tell if someone had the Rooker. Well, wouldn't you know I got it? And guess what my niece said? "Birdy" All four of us laughed. I don't think anyone bid against me on that hand.

My paternal grandfather was a big domino player. He had friends who came over to his house (or he went to theirs) almost every day to play dominoes. Later on, Mom and Dad liked playing the Mexican Train and Chicken Foot varieties of the game, but my earliest recollections of playing dominoes were with Pappaw!

I remember that we had a Tripoley board that we played with poker chips. We never collected cash, just the chips. Of course, the chips represented the real amounts. My brothers and their friends used to play this, and I remember running across the game one time. I insisted that I had to learn to play it. Mom & Dad remembered and taught me. I taught all my friends, and I remember that we literally played all night one night. We started at my house and finished up at the Bakers across the street.

Monopoly was always a big hit with us.

I had Game of the States, Concentration, Wheel of Fortune, The Price Is Right, and all sorts of other games in my own collection.

I got on a Backgammon kick in college.

Later, we enjoyed Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, some Bible Trivia game that was similar to Trivial Pursuit but in which you climbed a rainbow 3 times and then answered a final question, Scattergories, and several other games.

Did your family have a family or game room? What was it like? What kind of game equipment did it have (foosball, pool table, etc.)?

No game room.

Do you have any funny stories or a particular memory (good or bad) that stands out of game-playing time?

I think I've already related the Rook game and the Tripoley game.

What's the first game you remember playing?

Hmmm. I would say that it would probably be The Game of the States. I know that I got that one at a pretty early age.

Were there any games you disliked? Why?

My neighbors had Hi-Ho Cheerio. I always thought that was a stupid game. I usually avoided playing it at their house if I could. I'd suggest something else, and they'd go for it.

Were there any games that were not allowed to be played? Why?

Well, I'm sure I wasn't allowed to play with a Ouija Board for obvious reasons, but I don't think I ever wanted to play with one. I really don't remember anything else although I'm sure there was something. We even played penny ante poker once or twice. Of course, we just raided the penny jar for that and no one really lost any money.

Did your parents have a regular night when they would play games or cards with friends or extended family?

I don't think it was a regular night, but they did play cards, especially Rook, often.

Did you ever have game nights with groups, clubs, or neighbors on a regular basis?

Only with the neighbor kids for me!

Was game playing associated with certain annual events, like holidays, birthdays, or vacation times?

We always played on holidays with the family.

What kinds of snacks and beverages were enjoyed during game playing?

When my brothers were still in the house, they'd have their friends over to play games. I vividly remember that we usually had Bagles and a Blue Cheese dip that I called "Stinky Cheese." However, I really liked "Stinky Cheese" and later Mom couldn't remember how she made it. I really hate that she can't remember it, because I loved it. By the way, we had our drinks in those wonderful aluminum tumblers that kept your drinks really cold. I loved those old tumblers. I want a set now, but they cost over $30 for the reproduction sets. If I have to pay that much for a reproduction, I am going to haunt some antique stores for some of the originals!

Later, we just had whatever we had at the house at the time.

Were there prizes awarded to game winners or even to losers? What kinds? Did everyone chip in towards purchasing the prizes?

Not that I recall.

Did your family or you ever do jigsaw puzzles?

We used to have them up quite a bit. Later it was mostly around the holidays. Sometimes there would be one at Pappaw's and one at our house.

What's the largest--in terms of number of puzzle pieces--jigsaw puzzle you've completed?

I know I've done at 2000 piece, but I seem to remember one with more pieces than that. The last few we put together were 1000 piecers because my parents couldn't see the ones much smaller than that.

What did you do with completed puzzles? Did you display them or simply put them away?

We put them back in the box. Then, we'd usually take them to the nursing home for their recreation room.

What about puzzles such as crosswords, cryptograms, or others found in puzzle books?

Dad was the crossword fan. I liked them pretty well too. My favorite ones were the logic puzzles. I still work these on occasion. I liked word search puzzles at one time, but I don't enjoy them much now. By the way, you'll appreciate this . . . editorial cartoonist Jim Borgman who cartoons for the Cincinnati Enquirer, mentions his career highlight (which involves a crossword clue).

Are you a Sudoku fiend?

I like Sudoku and taught my dad. He's hooked now.

Did you ever go to an arcade and play pinball machines or other arcade-style games?

Arcade games weren't my favorite. I played sometimes, but I wasn't good so I didn't really keep at it.

Or did you ever shoot pool?

I used to play pool when I'd visit my brother and his wife. We'd go to the Agnews house in Pratts, and I'd play pool with Little Frank. I've played a few more times over the years.

I actually was quite good at ping-pong or table tennis back in my college days!

Do you remember seeing your first video game, either in an arcade or on a television (Pong, Atari or early Nintendo games)? What kinds of video games did you like to play, if any? Do you play any now (gaming station or handheld)?

I've never been a big fan.

What was your first computer game?

I remember playing Hunt the Wumpus. [Just a hint - be sure to read the instructions first!] I don't remember if it or PacMan was first, but I'd guess the Wumpus was.

Do you ever play computer games now, either on your computer or online?

Not much. I occasionally do the puzzle at JigZone. I like the CD version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. I'll occasionally play one of the card games on the computer.

What about the present? Does your family or do you personally play games or do puzzles? Do you participate in game nights with others, such as poker or Bunco?

The family doesn't play as much as we used to play. We occasionally have game nights for various groups at church or work, but it's really rare. My cat allows me to play games with him if that counts!

Here are some other game ideas to write about: lawn games (horseshoes, croquet, badminton); kid games (marbles, jacks); betting, casino games, and bingo; party games (pinata, pin the tail on the donkey), etc.

Horseshoes - We used to play this at a family camp I attended. The Godfreys or Smiths brought a set each year, I think.

Croquet - I remember playing this when I was little. I loved it.

Badminton - We had a set at one point, but those shuttlecocks sure didn't last long.

Hand Golf - This was a game that was very popular at the family camp we attended. There was an 18 hole course, and EVERYONE played in the afternoon free time.

Marbles - I had a lot. I probably never played the right way.

Jacks - This was one of Mom's favorite games. She must have played a lot as a child from what I gathered. I, of course, learned to play, but I was never the enthusiast she was.

Bingo - It was mostly a birthday party game. Of course, later, it was entertainment at the campgrounds where we camped.

Pinata - I remember being blindfolded once when I was a kid at school for this, but it wasn't a big thing for us.

Pin the Tail on the Donkey - Essential game for birthday parties as a child. No party was complete without it.

What do you know about your parents', grandparents', or perhaps even great-grandparents' game playing? Do you remember them saying anything about games they played when they were young?

I've mostly covered this.

Do you have any photos of either your present or your childhood families playing games? What about ancestral photos?

There may be a few at Mom's house, but I don't think I have any here. At least I can't remember any!

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Discovery: Yelp.com

Some of you may already be familiar with Yelp.com, but I just learned of its existence tonight. I loved reading the comments on the Boston cemeteries. Yelp reviews all sorts of things--restaurants, hotels, libraries, cemeteries, bookstores, newspapers, shops, etc. The best part is that anyone can submit a review. I'm going to use this site to plan some of the things surrounding my vacations and genealogical research trips.

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Comic with a Family History Twist

Unshelved is a comic that is set at the Mallville Public Library. On Sundays, the author does a comic based on a book. The January 20 strip is one in which a boy wants to learn more about his heritage.

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Finding Unmarked Graves

This article was in last week's Amory Advertiser. It tells of Emory Morgan and his success in finding unmarked graves. He can even determine the sex of the deceased. [Apparently the article ran in the sister paper The Aberdeen Examiner since that's the byline.]

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The Great Awakening

One of the things that has happened as a result of researching my own family history is that I've gained a greater appreciation for events I studied in history classes of the past. One such event is The Great Awakening. I learned that one of my ancestors was converted under George Whitefield and then went on to preach in churches in upper New England himself. PhiloBiblos has a review of a new book published by Yale University Press on this significant event. The Book is entitled The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America. Its author is Thomas Dodd.

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Genealogy Parade

Bill West has challenged geneabloggers to claim their float in the genealogy parade. I've decided that my float will show the heritage of my Perkins Family of Ipswich who came to the United States in 1630/1631 (although it is sometimes said to be 1629/1630) aboard the Lyon. The float will have a replica of the ship on it. There's a photo of a replica of the ship on the Deacon Stephen Hart page. I think I'd also have a few of the ship's other passengers aboard this ship as Roger Williams, the Baptist minister who founded Rhode Island, was also aboard the same ship at the same time. Why did I choose this? I just think a ship would make a nice float!

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My Mouth Is Watering . . .

I've always been a lover of Do-Si-Dos (the peanut butter sandwich cookie sold by the Girl Scouts). Nicole over at Baking Bites is tempting me with this homemade version. Since I almost used all my peanut butter last night, I'll have to run to the store before I can make these. I'll probably stop on my way home tomorrow night!

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Regional Blogs

Denise challenged bloggers to spotlight some local history blogs. Most of the folks who have been responding have offered lists. I decided to go through my blog feeds and see which ones fit this label but which do not regularly participate in the Carnival of Genealogy.

Southern Byways - The focus is more or less on travel in the South but this blog occasionally does comment on the history of the region. My cousin Terry has already mentioned Deep Fried Kudzu which is more or less a Southern culture blog. Most of you have heard Terry or myself mention Dave Tabler's Applachian History several times.

Taneya is a librarian in Nashville. I first became acquainted with Taneya through her stitching blog and cross stitch magazine database. She developed an interest in genealogy and began a blog to chronicle her research called Taneya's Genealogy Blog. While I was searching Technorati, I discovered that she also has another blog called African-American History & Genealogy in Nashville, Tennessee. The wonderful thing about this blog is that it is full of transcriptions of interesting old newspaper articles.

The Indiana Genealogical Society has a blog. It often features queries. It also provides updates to those participating in their Family Search Indexing project.

If you are interested in Sandusky or Erie County, Ohio history, you might want to try the Sandusky History blog. I stumbled across this one once and keep it among the feeds I read regularly even though I have no ancestors in those counties.

The State Library of Ohio puts out Ohio's Genealogy World. While it is updated less frequently than I would wish, it's a worthwhile blog to add to one's feeds.

I have Amish ancestry so Amish America is on my must-read list. This blog gives insight into this religious group's life and culture.

I'm pretty sure I've seen someone else mention Boston 1775, but it's a great blog that focuses on the Boston area at the beginning of the American Revolution. I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention Mass Moments while I'm talking about Massachusetts. You can have this emailed to your inbox daily or you can subscribe to a brief podcast of it daily. They basically feature something that happened that day in history in Massachusetts for every day of the year. The City Record and Boston Newsletter is one that I read regularly. It's become less active over the last few months. I hope Charles gets settled in his new job so he can resume blogging.

I know my cousin Terry has already mentioned the Itawamba History Review which is written by Bob Franks of the Itawamba Historical Society in Mississippi, but it's worth mentioning again. Bob does a great job with all of the society's publications and the blog is no exception. You'll be wishing that you have Itawamba County ancestors too when you see the great online offerings at the society's website too.

I've also located a Texas History & Genealogy Blog.

The Birmingham Genealogical Society has a great blog for those with Alabama roots.

For those with Louisiana ancestry, try the Baton Rouge Genealogical and Historical Society's blog or Louisiana Lineage Legacies.

I've also stumbled across California Genealogical Society and Library's blog.

Mainelife is not necessarily a genealogy blog but it is a regional blog with some great material. All Things Maine is another Maine blog worth reading.

Smokey Mountain Breakdown is another blog from my area worth reading. I will warn you that Friday posts at this blog will make you hungry! I'm a fan of the photos at Blue Ridge Blog. Marie is fortunate to live in the Boone/Valle Crucis area where some of the greatest landscapes in the country are. Blue Ridge Dreaming also has some great photos from the North Carolina side of the mountains. From These Hills is another great photo blog from the area.

I'm going to wrap up this post for now.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

1808: Residences of My Families

Donna has asked us all to answer the question: Where was your family 200 years ago?



The Thornton Family - They were most likely either in South Carolina or Georgia. Richard Thornton was born in South Carolina sometime between 1790-1795, depending on which record you believe. He was in definitely in Georgia by the mid to late 1810s.



The Fowlkes Family - Some of the family was still in Virginia in the Lunenburg/Mecklenburg County areas. Thompson B. Fowlkes died in Mecklenburg County in 1817. We have records proving this. What is interesting is that some people try to place his "widow" in Tennessee before it became a state when she wasn't a widow yet. They try to say that he died in 1791. We do know that some of his children did go to Tennessee as early as 1806 when we have marriage records for two of them in what was then Williamson County. The son of Thompson who is my direct ancestor was still in Virginia in 1808.



The Duke Family - Presumably they were in Virginia. Thomas Duke was born in Virginia in 1829. His father whose name I know only because the family knows that Berniece Estelle Duke (my great grandmother) was called "Bennie" in honor of Thomas' father was Benjamin Duke. His mother was a Parker. I know her surname only because it is known that Thomas named his son James Parker Duke in her honor. Thomas was an orphan when he came to Mississippi. We really don't know much about where he came from in Virginia. I really haven't tried to get them back past Monroe County, Mississippi except briefly when I was first beginning my research. I remember finding Dukes and Parkers living in the same area around Nansemond County, Virginia which was a burned county; however, it would have been unusual for someone from that area to come to Mississippi, so I really have no clue about this family's residence except a state!

The Aldridge Family - This is a family where I'm descended from cousins who married. It's hard to pin down exactly where they lived at this time, but I believe that they were residing in Tennessee about this time. Most of the children's birth locations for this period that I've documented through census research show the location as Tennessee. There is one son born in 1809 whose birth location sometimes says South Carolina; however, I believe they were in Tennessee at the time.

The Allred Family - Again, this is one of those presumable locations. James H. M. Allred was born in Tennessee between 1799 and 1812. (Let's just say that they got quite creative on the censuses concerning his age.)

The Phillips Family - I don't have this line back that far. They were in Alabama in the mid-1830s. I would guess that they would be in the Carolinas.

The Parish Family - Virginia.

The Lantz Family - In Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, having recently moved there from Lancaster County.

The Hertzler Family - In Mifflin County, Pennsylvania.

The Yoder Family - In Mifflin County, Pennsylvania.

The Taylor Family - In Southeastern Ohio, probably either Washington or Athens County. One person states that son Daniel was born in Muskingum County in 1809. All of the records I've examined place the family in either Washington or Athens County in this period.

The Rathbone Family - Ohio. Actually Lovica's father died in Ohio County, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1802, but her brother Edmund was in Ohio by 1808.

The Dearborn Family - Plymouth, Grafton County, New Hampshire.

The Perkins Family - Hebron, Grafton County, New Hampshire.

The Andrews Family - Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts. Joseph died in 1806, but his wife Rachel Burnham was still living until 1809.

The Hester Family - Probably North Carolina but possibly South Carolina.

The Cockrell Family - Nash County, North Carolina.

The Pridgen Family - Nash County, North Carolina.

The Harris Family - Wayne County, Kentucky.

The Mosely (or Mozley) Family - Georgia.

The Murry Family - Georgia.

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Carnival #40 is Up

Creative Gene has posted the 40th Carnival of Genealogy. It's all about living relative connections. The guidelines for the next carnival are there. We are supposed to decide with which 4 ancestors we want to dine. She gave us some great question prompts to really get our creativity flowing!

If that's not enough reading for you, check out Janice's listing of Links to Warm Your Heart on a Cold Day over at Cow Hampshire. By the way, Prince is calling for no snow or an insignificant amount. I think he's right. I've been watching the weather radar, and although some of the meteorologists are still saying we could get snow, it really looks to me like most of it is going to stay on the North Carolina side of the Smokies.

And, I'll mention that I received the January 2008 issue of The Septs with the article I wrote in it today.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Horse Forecast

I'm really sorry that I missed the horse forecast yesterday because it would have saved me a lot of wishful thinking. Here in East Tennessee, we have the good fortune of having a weather predictor who is more accurate than all the meteorologists on television and at the National Weather Service. This predictor is named Prince and is a horse belonging to the afternoon drive DJ (Gunner) on WIVK (country station).

When I left work yesterday, the National Weather Service was calling for very little snow because there was going to rain coming in right behind the little bit we'd get which would wash it away. I drove to church and stayed until after choir practice. When I got in the car, I immediately heard the weather forecast (provided by one of the television station meteorologists) which was now calling for 1 to 3 inches of snow. They were saying the rain wouldn't come until after I was at work the next morning. I liked this forecast! I might actually get to see some of the white stuff! When I got home, I went online and checked the National Weather Service forecast and checked the National Weather Service forecast for our zip code. It was very much in line with what I'd just heard. I was getting very hopeful.

I did look out the window at one point in the night and see a small amount of snow on the lawn. However, I heard rain at two different points in the night. It basically washed away all our snow so we had no winter wonderland.

When I got in the car this morning, the morning drive DJs were talking to the traffic guy about how the horse had gotten it right. I immediately knew that I should have listened to the "horse forecast" the day before. The horse ALWAYS gets it right. (I think it's a 98 or 99% accuracy rating.) Prince must have been calm because that's the call for no snow. If Prince had been a little jittery, it would have been a small snow. For more snow, Prince has to be acting more nervous.

Update (1/18): I need to listen to the "Horse Forecast" this afternoon. The TV meteorologists are calling for 1-2 inches tomorrow.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another Quilt Hanging - January 21

On Monday January 21 at noon, they will be hanging the quilt at Strawberry Plains Presbyterian Church. They will be smoking Boston butts for this event, and you may purchase one for $30 by calling 865-932-7080 in advance. The pork must be picked up between noon and 1 p.m. at the church.

Update (1/17): The wooden quilt will be placed on a barn NEAR The First Presbyterian Church in Strawberry Plains. It will be placed on the Parrott family barn which is the white barn on the opposite side of old AJ Highway from the church. This will occur at around 2 P.M. after a short program which will be presented by Rush Strong students in honor of MLK holiday and the history of the tradition of quilting.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

DVDSpot

Just curious. Have any of you tried DVDSpot for cataloging your videos and DVDs? I use LibraryThing for my books, but I'd like something for my DVDs and videos. I'd love to hear your reviews of this program. If you don't want to post a reply to this post, please feel free to email me at lorithor AT yahoo.com (replacing the AT with the symbol and removing the spaces, of course). This review of it sounds as though it is pretty promising but I'd like to hear from folks who actually use it!

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Blog Roundup 1/15/08

Any flood is bad and devastating, but the Great Molasses Flood is one of those that I'm especially glad that I didn't have to experience. Can you imagine that sticky liquid rushing toward you?

Terry shares tales of walking in the very rare winter wonderlands of the South.

Janice shares the story of Lizzie Bourne's death on Mt. Washington.

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Carson-Newman's School Quilt Square

Here is the Carson-Newman College Appalachian Center's Heritage Quilt Square. This is the first square to be hung in Jefferson County as was described in yesterday's post. You can see photos of many other trail photos here.


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Sevier County Genealogy Conference

SEVIER COUNTY, TN – The Sevier County Public Library System Genealogy & History Center will host the 2008 Genealogy Conference: Collecting and Preserving Our Mountain Heritage on March 7 & 8, 2008 at the Fort Sanders Sevier County Senior Center at 120 West Main Street (Chapman Highway) in Sevierville.

Presenters include:

  • J. Mark Lowe, Certified Genealogist
  • Cherel Henderson, Director of the East Tennessee Historical Society
  • Steve Cotham, Manager of the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection in Knoxville, TN
  • Lendell D. Abbott, Author of “Born Too Late” – a narrative of his family’s life in Cades Cove
  • Tim D. Fisher, Assistant Genealogist for the Sevier County Public Library System
  • Bob Brittle, Entertainer for evening meal


Early bird registration fee for the two-day conference, including evening meal on March 7, is $40.00 until March 1, 2008. After March 1, the fee for the two-day conference will be $45.00. The Sevier County Genealogy & History Center is located next to the Sevier County Main Library at 321 Court Avenue in Sevierville. For more information regarding the Sevier County Genealogy & History Center Genealogy Conference, please contact Theresa Williams at (865)908-7988 or view and print registration from the SCPLS website at http://www.sevierlibrary.org/ .

Monday, January 14, 2008

Connecting Online

When the topic (living-relative connections) was announced for the mid-January Carnival of Genealogy, my mind immediately wondered back to all the cousins I've found over the years. I remember posting queries on various mailing lists, hoping for a cousin to say that they'd gotten past the brick wall I was at. Frequently at that early stage, my brick walls were from lack of experience in researching or lack of knowledge about resources that were available. I had some basic research skills just because of my training as a librarian; however, I still did not know enough about the resources for genealogical research that were available for different areas at that time. Sometimes I just didn't know about the tricks of soundex searching and the weird spellings and indexing that enumerators used on censuses. I didn't know the trick of reading through censuses. I didn't expect my ancestors to travel "back east" after moving west. There were just a lot of things I didn't know when I first got started. [When I first started researching, I was researching my maternal line because I really started to explore Mom's family because she'd kept saying she was interested in finding out more. She was especially interested in the Walton Harris family. His wife was Margaret Mosley. She'd known that he came from Kentucky. The family story was that he'd met Margaret when he was on a cattle drive, and they had stopped to water the cattle at her family's house. She was supposed to have been lying on a table in her petticoat. He'd fallen in love and after taking the cattle to their destination somewhere in the Starkville, Mississippi area, he'd returned to her home in Tennessee and married her.]

I remember finding a cousin who was researching the Mosley surname and who matched my line. She had done quite a bit of research on the line and had a copy of one ancestor's Revolutionary War pension file. As luck would have it, we were able to meet shortly after we connected online, and she brought me two spiral-bound books. One was a copy of the Revolutionary War records; the other was her research on the family. For a relative newby, this was a wonderful acquisition. However, it showed me how wonderful records beyond the census were in research.

The Harris line proved to be a difficult one to research. While I can build a case that meets the genealogical proof standard (and have found no contradictory evidence), I don't have the type of evidence I would truly love to have for Walton Harris' father. However, as a newbie, I didn't have the type of focus that I would have liked to have had, and in reviewing my records on this family in the last few days, I've seen all kinds of gaps that were left in my research because of my inexperience. I'm beginning to work on some of those gaps (while trying to keep most of my focus on preparation for my upcoming New England research trip). I've met cousins of this line online. In fact, I blogged about one such connection here. Another cousin I've met on this line has proven to be a good research friend with whom I correspond regularly about local history.

After I was meeting such a dead end on the Harris line, I decided to try my hand at the Taylor line. I've blogged previously about my initial interest in this line. I had very little information to go on with this line, and I had somehow overlooked something in my process. I got back to Laura's father being Stephen Taylor, but I had no idea where to go from there. I received an email from a Taylor researcher in Pittsburgh who immediately recognized my family but he was brickwalled not far beyond where I was. He gave me enough clues that I was able to take my family back to the point he was brickwalled, but he didn't really share his research with me. I've lost touch with this gentleman over the years. (We all know about email addresses that fail.)
I was able to take my research back to the point where he was brickwalled. I know he believed that the family would eventually have New Hampshire roots. I've wondered if he or another cousin to whom he introduced me has tried to move past that brickwall through DNA testing in the last few years. This other cousin was able to provide me with all sorts of photographs and letters he'd scanned. Another cousin I met on this line had one of my great aunt's photographs and sent them to me, making copies for himself.

These are just some of my earliest connections. I'm far less dependent on connections than I once was, but when you find someone with whom you can corroborate to resolve a problem, then you've made a wonderful discovery.

This post is submitted for the 40th Carnival of Genealogy which will be hosted as Creative Gene.

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Jefferson County Heritage Quilt

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 3:00 will be the hanging of the first heritage quilt square on the south side of the Appalachian Center at Carson-Newman College. This will be the first large representative quilt square being mounted in Jefferson County as part of the Quilts in the Smokies project under the leadership of Brenda Sloan and Annette Loy. The idea is to preserve and celebrate the history and culture of our area as preserved in quilt-square patterns from our region and to celebrate our Appalachian heritage and traditions. The Jefferson City Fire Department will be here with their truck to help mount the quilt square, and Aramark will be on hand with cake and cider for all. Please drop by (bring the kids and others) for some good fellowship and celebration.

The quilt square being mounted on the Appalachian Center is based on a “School House” quilt made by Sarah Moore, a noted East Tennessee quilt maker from slave ancestry. The square celebrates the talents and contributions of local quilt makers and our educational heritage.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Twins Story in the News

This morning I heard a most interesting "genealogy" story on the news. They were telling about the twins separated at birth who had married and now had to have their marriage annulled. The judge had said that there need to be more rights for children to know about their biological families. My favorite blog headline for this story is Marshall Ramsay's.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Abolition & The Underground Railroad in East Tennessee

On the Freedom Train in Jefferson County:Stories of the Tennessee Manumission Society & Underground Railroad



WHAT: An evening of meal-sharing, fellowship, worship, song, and learning. We'll share a pot-luck supper; have a ceremony of remembrance for those faithful souls who founded the South's first abolitionist society in New Market and the brave black and white people who ran our local system of hiding places and transportation for slaves escaping to freedom; take time to worship together; and enjoy musical and panel presentations to learn about the abolitionist movement and Underground Railroad in our our region.

WHEN: 6:00 - 9:00 pm. Friday, Feb. 8, 2008

WHERE: Lost Creek Friends Church, Friends Station Road, New Market, Tennessee http://www.geocities.com/lostcreekfriends/

DIRECTIONS:

Coming from the east (Jefferson City, Morristown)--Proceed west out of Jefferson City on HWY 11E towards Knoxville; pass through New Market; look for Biddle Auto Parts on right; turn right onto Friends Stations Road; Church is white frame structure on left.


Coming from the west (Knoxville vicinity)--Proceed east from Knoxville vicinity on HWY 11E; stay on 11E in east Knox County where 25/70 split off to right; proceed through Strawberry Plains; pass John Coker Antiques and brick Church on right; approaching New Market, turn left onto Friends Station Road just before Biddle Auto Parts; Church is white frame structure on left.

COST: There is no charge to attend this program. If possible please bring some food to share.

SPONSORS SO FAR: Lost Creek Friends Meeting, Appalachian Center and the Bonner Center for Service Learning & Civic Engagement at Carson-Newman College

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Deserting the Confederacy

One of the fun parts of my job is getting to see all the new books when they arrive. Today, I cataloged a new book that looks like it will provide a great deal of insights into the reasons people deserted the Confederate army. It's entitled More Damning than Slaughter: Desertion in the Confederate Army and is written by Mark A. Weitz. I suppose that some of my great-great grandfather's brothers were among those who would be considered deserters. They were some of those who were forced to join and looked for their first opportunity to escape. They then went and joined the Union Army. The index does not include the Thornton surname; however, it does include Alabama which is where they lived. It appears to be a very interesting book. It appears to be fairly even in its coverage of all geographic areas, focusing more on fitting desertion into the context of life in the South at that time. The author quotes from many letters and has definitely done a thorough job on this topic. I just may have to be the first person to check this one out!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Joe Needs Your Help

Can you help him identify these instruments from his grandfather's farm?

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Indian Trails Project

Today, I became aware of a "fledgling" map project that looks like a tremendous asset for those of us researching in the Southeast. It's called the Indian Trails Project, and its focus at the moment is primarily on the Cherokee Nation. They have maps dating back to 1748 and maps of the Georgia lotteries and surveys.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

LibraryThing vs. GoodReads

DearMYRTLE has a post discussing LibraryThing and GoodReads. I am a LibraryThing enthusiast. Part of my enthusiasm comes from the librarian in me. I have only recently begun to play with GoodReads. It's okay, but it seems to serve a slightly different niche than LibraryThing. I wish I could be more enthusiastic about GoodReads, but I want more information on my book. I've been using LibraryThing long enough that I'm much more comfortable with it than GoodReads. I do wish that the genealogy groups were more active. However, the ability to browse similar libraries is extremely helpful (and fun). I've asked several of my real-life or blogging friends to be their LibraryThing friend, but some of them appear to have entered a portion of their library and then forgotten about LibraryThing (even some of those who paid the $25 to become lifetime members). I was thrilled a few months ago when there were genealogical titles for early reviewing. I'm just sad that I didn't get the title I really, really, really wanted and that has been on my wish list for awhile. I hope more genealogical publishers will send review copies to LibraryThing. I'm just now beginning to explore the reviewing options. I've added reviews of the last few titles I have read. My focus for awhile was on entering my library. I know that I've still got some titles to add, but I've got to figure out which titles were not in my prior book database. I like LibraryThing because it is online. This means that I don't have to be on the computer that has the database to search it; I just have to have Internet access. I do wish there were some private fields available to us (other than a comment field) so that we could track loans or suppression fields so that we can keep books which we have withdrawn from our libraries in the database so that we don't "repurchase" them but so that it doesn't display as a part of our library. About all you can presently do is tag it as "withdrawn." This would also enable you to add books that you have ordered but not received. I would also like a price field to record the value of the book for insurance purposes. I, like many other librarians, have adopted LibraryThing, and while I may continue to play with GoodReads, I doubt it will ever become my program of choice.

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Lisa's Genealogy Personality Quiz

I just received my March 2008 issue of Family Tree Magazine in the mail. If you don't subscribe, you need to RUN out to the newstand and purchase a copy. Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist has an excellent quiz/article entitled "What's Your Type?" that begins on page 30. I think I'm a combination of about three of the types. I love the traditional sources, but I also am enthusiastic about some of the online technologies. Online is not, however, my favorite way to research, and that option never made my top choice even though I love reading blogs and using online resources. My job forces me to be more of a weekend genealogist than I'd like for about 9 months of the year. However, I will confess that my cat is the first to know of almost all my genealogical discoveries! (see 7e - if you wondered why I made that true confession) I smiled when I read 6e because I usually take a spare suitcase just for what I purchase if I'm driving to a conference and ship stuff home if I'm flying. Overall, I chose "c" five times and "e" five times. Thanks, Lisa, for an interesting quiz!

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Blog Roundup: January 7, 2007

Over at Walking the Berkshires is the 10th Military History Carnival.

I'm positive that some of my ancestors followed some of these resolutions on this list on David Lambert's blog.

Terry predicts the weather for 2008. I hope he's wrong. I want snow!

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I love cookery. Mass Moments has a great post about Fannie Farmer, the Boston Cooking School, and her famed cookbook.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Last Night's Reading

Last night I began reading South Boston: My Home Town by Thomas H. O'Connor (New ed. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1994). I got distracted when I got to page 13 because I spotted a familiar surname. The author was describing Fort Independence which was built on what had formerly been known as Castle Island out in the Boston Harbor. He was telling that the bastions had been named for several men. One of those men was Henry Dearborn of New Hampshire, secretary of war under Thomas Jefferson. I knew that there was a very strong chance that this man was related to me as most of us are descended from Godfrey Dearborn; however, I wasn't sure how closely related we were. When I went into my genealogical database, I discovered that I had only entered and documented my research on direct line ancestors and their children on this family. I went back and looked at some sources that, while not documented, are generally regarded as accurate and discovered that this Henry Dearborn is my third cousin six times removed. You just never know what you are going to find. Now, I want to go visit the Dearborn bastion at Fort Independence on Castle Island in Boston.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

39th Carnival of Genealogy

Creative Gene has posted the 39th Carnival of Genealogy. It's all about resolutions. There is at least one new-to-me blog among those that submitted posts. The call for the 40th carnival is there as well. Deadline for submissions is January 15.

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Genetic Genealogist Offers Contest

Blaine Bettinger is celebrating his one year blog-iversary with a contest. The recipient will receive a free genetic genealogy testing kit. Blaine blogs about all sorts of stories that touch on the theme of DNA testing and genealogy. His blog is a great way for persons interested in genetic testing and how it pertains to genealogy to learn more about the subject. I have to confess that there is a "family story" that makes me want to have my mtDNA tested. It is quite possible that this legend can be proven or disproven by testing because the story concerns my mother's mother's mother's mother's mother. Even if it can't really be proven, we might know if there is any possibility of truth to the legend. Complete contest rules can be found at this post.

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Monroe & Itawamba County Mississippi 1908

Lisa, over at 100 Years in America, has challenged Genea-Bloggers to answer the question "Where was your family in 1908?" This is an easy question to answer as they were all in Monroe County, Mississippi except one to the best of my knowledge.



The Cape Thornton family lived out on "the old home place" in Becker. Cape's father James M. was in the Parham Community by that time, having recently moved from Alabama.



The Abraham Lantz family lived in the Aberdeen area.



Jennie Phillips Fowlkes Howell lived with her second husband John Howell and some of the children of both marriages on her land off what is now Ritter Road close to where the Pickle Barrel is just outside of Amory as far as I know.



The one exception was Nancy Malinda Allred Duke Rogers who was living with her second husband John W. Rogers, sheriff of Itawamba County, in Fulton.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Curiosity

I found this item on an AP feed at another paper and had to find out more about it. Apparently there's a controversy brewing in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho over the proposed location of a new funeral home. They wish to locate across from the senior citizens center. So, what's your opinion, is it handy or too close for comfort?

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Police Reports Can Be Entertaining

Thanks to Smokey Mountain Breakdown for pointing us to the Cocke County Sheriff & Police Reports which have some of the most entertaining headlines around. I'm used to a boring list. There's an aspiring journalist writing these! Apparently the writer was on vacation the last part of December, but the early ones in December and the January ones will definitely bring a chuckle or two.

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Forerunner of the Bookmobile

. . . the pack-horse library. If you ever wanted to know how remote areas of Appalachia had access to reading materials before the bookmobile, this is a story you'll want to read. I remember hearing about these libraries in the History of Libraries course I took in graduate school.

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Herman Melville

Ever wonder why Herman Melville didn't write more books? It's because Moby Dick was such a failure in its own day. I found this to be a very interesting article. It gives a little of his family background.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Snow - If You Can Call It That

This is what little snow accumulated from last night's and this morning's snowfall. Would some of you with a better snow cover send some our way? As you can tell, we don't have enough.

All these leaves have fallen since the last time they were picked up in December. I had intended to pick them up again right before I left for Mississippi, but I'd had such a bad cold that I didn't think I needed to get out.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It's in the Genes . . .

Thanks to Leland for pointing out this article in the Salt Lake Tribune about a discovery in colorectal research. I have a family that arrive in American in February 1630 so I guess that I can now wonder if their descendants are the ones described in the article since the family preferred to remain anonymous.

Update: (1/3) According to Blaine, it is the Fry Family. It wasn't my 1630-arriving family.

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January is . . .

ResourceShelf lists some of the designations for the month of January 2008.

With genealogy in mind, I thought I'd comment on these designations.

National Mentoring Month - Have you mentored someone in genealogy? I know that I have, but I could probably do more here.

Get Organized Month - I need another filing cabinet, but this may have to wait unless I stumble upon a good buy on a used one in decent shape. I've got some shelves I'll be installing in my garage, probably this month to organize my journals and magazines that I don't need all the time but want to keep.

International Creativity Month - I'll probably need help from Jasia on this one! I've got a scrapbook or two that I've purchased, but I don't have the first clue about scrapbooking! LOL I have purchased a few papers, acid free corners and glue sticks, and a few "extras" for what I want to do with one of them, but I really don't know that I can do this in one month.

National Clean Up Your Computer Month - Does this mean I have to find all the stuff that was input in the first genealogy program I had and go back and cite it properly? My first genealogy program only had 10 lines of notes in which you were expected to put any narrative and any sources. Needless to say, I have all sorts of abbreviations, and sometimes I didn't source every entry on those early entries. I've gone back through some of my files and sourced some of the info, but it's a rather overwhelming task, and there's no way it can be done in a month. I do a pretty good job of keeping most of my computer files in meaningful folders and subfolders.

National Skating Month - I think I'll leave this one to Janice who controls snowball fights and other mischief.

UN: International Year of the Potato begins - I don't have Irish ancestry, but I do know that many immigrants came over during the Potato Famine. I think all Irish can consider this their year!

California Dried Plum Digestive Health Month - I don't live in California so I'm off the hook on this one! I'll leave it up to Randy how to celebrate.

National Glaucoma Awareness Month - I will have to watch out for this one. Some of my near direct-line ancestors have had glaucoma. This is one of those cases where knowing your family's health history comes in handy. In other words, it's a good reason to do genealogy!

National Poverty in America Awareness Month - Some of my ancestors were "dirt poor." I think they knew a thing or two about poverty. Mom always says that they were "dirt poor" and didn't know it.

UN: International Year of Sanitation begins - This is where I'm thankful to be living in a country where being sanitary is made easy. I know there are pockets even in America where sanitation is lacking, but even some of those areas have made progress.

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My Version - Greatest Genealogical Find

Craig Manson has challenged geneabloggers to follow his lead in naming their greatest genealogical find. For my greatest find, it would be what I discovered when I ordered the mother's pension file described in this August post and in subsequent research Georgia records. It didn't get me much further back, but it had taken me so many years to find a record which gave her maiden name that I was thrilled to find that much. I discovered that I haven't blogged my subsequent research on that line so I've got to do that one day soon. I will state that most of the research focuses on researching two families with similar names in the county to determine from which Agnes was descended. One was wealthier; that's not her family. I concluded that her surname was probably Branham or Branum rather than Barnum.

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Blog Roundup - 1/1/2008

Preservation efforts:

Leland Meitzler tells of efforts by one man to save cemeteries in Greenup County, Kentucky. I was very touched by the entire family that died in a 14-year-period that is reported in the article.

Rescuing glass plate negatives in Chicago. I'm glad Mr. Phillips cared!

A Carnival:

It's the second Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture hosted by Lisa over at Small-Leaved Shamrock. Carnivals are always a great way to become acquainted with new blogs and there are a few that I will be adding to my feeds. The topic for the 3rd Carnival will be Irish Places and entries are due by January 29. I must say that I'm intrigued by the LibraryThing collection of Irish genealogy sources in the sidebar of A Light That Shines Again. I ordered a couple of the Boston titles to read before my trip to Boston this summer.

Just for fun:

How does your library compare to that of Thomas Jefferson's? Someone has posted Thomas' library to LibraryThing so if you have your books cataloged there, you can compare your library to his. I'm sad to report that we share only one book in common; however, I don't have all my books entered. I don't think that I'd have very many more, but I do think there might be two or three more if I get the ones in storage at my Mom's house and added them.

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Happy 2008!

Hope everyone has a great 2008! I need to go check my black-eyed peas and get the rest of my lunch started, but how can a person do too much cooking when the Vols are playing football? That was a nice pass, Ainge!

Update: It is a nice year. Tennessee won their bowl game, and so far, the SEC is undefeated in bowl play.

Update 2: Okay, Florida has now let the SEC down. I just have a question. Does this mean that Appalachian State is the rightful winner of the Citrus Bowl?

Update 3: Arkansas let the SEC down too.

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