Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Book Review: The Moravians in Labrador
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Is recently-deceased poet Ruth Stone related?
I found Ruth in the Roger M. Perkins household, living at 507 18th Street in Roanoke, Virginia. [Roger M. Perkins household, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, population schedule, Roanoke Jefferson Ward 2, Roanoke (Independent City), Virginia, ED 23, dwelling 316, family 376, p. 18A; NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1912; digital image, Ancestry.com, accessed 25 November 2011] Other family members present were her mother Ruth, a brother named Edgar A., and a sister named Elsie J. This census confirmed that her father had been a printer. This dwelling was a rental property and another family lived there as well. (Family 375 of dwelling 316 was the Vona S. and Mable Carmel family.)
Armed with the information that her father Roger was born about 1892, I turned to the 1910 census. I located Roger in his father Edgar A. Perkins' household in Indianapolis, Indiana at 307 Olive Avenue. [Edgar A. Perkins household, 1910 U.S. Federal Census, population schedule, Indianapolis, Ward 9, Marion Co., Indiana, ED 169, dwelling 214, family 217, p. 9B; NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 368; digital image, Ancestry.com, accessed 25 November 2011] The name of the street is a bit illegible, so I might discover that it is something else if I took the time to locate a map of Indianapolis from that time period. However, this is quick and dirty work, so I decided to just give it my best guess. Roger was the oldest child of Edgar A. and Hattie Perkins. (It was recorded as a first marriage for both parents.) Three brothers (Harry, Edgar A., and Rodney), two sisters (Dorothy and Jennie W.), and one servant (Glenn Arend) are also enumerated in the household.
The family was living at 1906 Broadway in Center Township, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana in 1900. [Edgar A. Perkins household, 1900 U.S. Federal Census, population schedule, Indianapolis, Marion Co., Indiana, ED 38, dwelling 278, family 300, pp. 13A, 13B; NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 387; digital image, Ancestry.com, accessed 25 November 2011] By the way, you may be interested to know that Roger probably picked up his printing trade from his father as Edgar's occupation is listed as printer.
It was now time to find Edgar's parents in the 1880 census. I found Edgar living in the Ellsbury Perkins household at 104 English Avenue in Indianapolis. [Ellsbury Perkins household, 1880 U.S. Federal Census, population schedule, Indianapolis, Marion Co., Indiana, ED 126, p. 622B; NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 296; digital image, Ancestry.com, accessed 25 November 2011]. Interestingly enough, Ellsbury was also listed as a printer. It appears that Roger was the third generation printer in the family. Ellsbury's wife is Emily. Other children besides Edgar in the household include sisters Olla, Bessie, and Norma and brothers Arthur and Harry.
The family was enumerated twice in the 1870 census, both times in Ward 8 of Indianapolis. This time Elsbury was called Asbury in one and "A." in the other. A nice name discrepancy to clear up! [Asbury Perkins household, 1870 U.S. Federal Census, population schedule, Indianapolis Ward 8, Marion Co., Indiana, ED 2, dwelling 25, family 26, p. 480A; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 339; digital image, Ancestry.com, accessed 25 November 2011] and [A. Perkins household, 1870 U.S. Federal Census, population schedule, Indianapolis Ward 8, Marion Co., Indiana, dwelling 70, family 70, p. 407A; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 341; digital image, Ancestry.com, accessed 25 November 2011]. The expected children were present, although Olla is called "Ollie" in these censuses.
Hoping to locate Elsbury's parents, I went back to 1860. I only located his presumed mother in this one (since relationships are not specified on this census) in Rushville, Rush County, Indiana. [Nancy Perkins household, 1860 U.S. Federal Census, population schedule, Rushville, Rush Co., Indiana, dwelling 122, family 122, p. 507; NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 294; digital image, Ancestry.com, accessed 25 November 2011] "Elsberry" was the oldest child in the household and had already taken up the printing trade. Two sisters are listed, Laura and Mary E. Mary E. was age 9, so I can presume that I might be able to locate Elsbury's father in the 1850 census.
I discovered Elsbury in the Levi Perkins household in Rush County, Indiana in 1850. [Levi Perkins household, 1850 U.S. Federal Census, population schedule, District 97, Rush Co., Indiana, dwelling 471, family 471, p. 406B; NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 170; digital image, Ancestry.com, accessed 25 November 2011] Levi, Nancy, Elsbury, and Laura are all present. Levi is listed as a laborer.
Since I had exhausted the censuses where every household member was listed and knew that it would take extensive digging to make progress on my quest to discover whether or not I was related to the recently deceased poet, I decided to take the shortcut that all of us criticize when we see it on "Who Do You Think You Are?" I decided to see if I could go back several generations all at once with an online tree. I used WorldConnect's trees for this project and hit "pay dirt" with the Sheehan Clan tree that I found at http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:3306581&id=I895. I will just give a quick summary of my findings from this point onwards. You may click through to the tree and see the complete information. I am listing the information as it appears on this tree. All locations should be verified to make sure that they exist as stated at that time in history.
It appears that Levi Perkins died about 1852. The tree's author claims that Levi was serving as the Rush County jailor at the time of his death and that his wife Nancy continued in that role for the next 9 years. It is interesting that no occupation was listed for Nancy in the 1860 census, so I'm unable to verify this without checking records in Indiana.
Levi's father was Newton "Ute" Perkins who was born February 1792 in Lincoln Co., N.C. Newton's father was Augustus Perkins who was born in 1763 in Lincoln Co., N.C. and died 5 September 1834 in Rushville, Rush Co., Indiana. Augustus' father was Robert Biggen Perkins who was born 16 Mar 1734/35 in St. George Parish, Baltimore Co., Maryland and died 6 April 1823 in Lincoln Co., N.C. Robert's father was Richard Perkins who was born 18 Dec 1713 in St. George Parish, Baltimore Co., Maryland and died 9 July 1789 in Lincoln Co., N.C. Richard's father was Richard Perkins who was born 9 July 1689 in Mosquito Creek, Baltimore Co., Maryland and died 5 August 1772 in Rowan Co., N.C. Richard's father was Richard Perkins who was born 1663 in Mosquito Creek, Baltimore Co., Maryland and died 2 May 1706 in Swan Creek, Baltimore Co., Maryland. Richard's father was the immigrant, Chauncey Perkins, born 1645 in England.
The minute the research started going into the Carolinas, I was fairly certain that this was not going to be a line that went back to John Perkins and Judith Gater of New England. This, however, was a fun way to spend a couple of hours avoiding the Black Friday madness!
Friday, November 25, 2011
Book Review: Black-Eyed Susan by Jennifer Armstrong
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Thanksgivings of My Younger Years
My maternal grandfather always had to have his ambrosia at the holidays. Ambrosia, as I remember it, consisted of oranges and coconut flakes, with each serving topped by a maraschino cherry. We always had turkey and ham. Of course, we had southern cornbread dressing. There was some form of sweet potato, either a casserole or candied sweet potatoes. (I preferred the casserole.) Later, we often had a butternut squash casserole instead of or in addition to the sweet potatoes. There would be green beans and/or English peas. There would be a relish tray that had pickles, olives, and things like that. (I usually skipped that one.) We would have cranberry sauce. It was usually the canned variety. There would often be some sort of sweet salad such as a cranberry salad, "Tops" salad (which had pistachio pudding, cottage cheese, pineapples, and cool whip, I think), or maybe one that had an orange jello base to it. There might even be another vegetable or savory salad. There would be deviled eggs for those who wanted them. We all looked forward to Mom's homemade rolls at Thanksgiving. For dessert, there would be pecan pies and either pumpkin or sweet potato pies (sometimes both). There would usually be some sort of cake also.
We try to incorporate some of those traditional items in our holiday celebrations while adding a few things that my nieces and nephews will eat nowadays. It's almost impossible to find foods that everyone will eat so we have to offer more variety in many cases. This year we'll be having the turkey, ham, dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, green beans, rolls, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie from the traditional meal. We'll be substituting my sister-in-law's fruit salad for the ambrosia. We'll add a hash brown casserole to the mix. I haven't decided whether or not to add some English peas or not yet. It probably depends on how many actually show up and whether some would prefer them to the green beans.
Let me wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are celebrating with family.
Book Review: The Brass Dolphin by Caroline Harvey
Monday, November 21, 2011
Book Review: A Light In the Storm by Karen Hesse
Author: Karen Hesse
Series: Dear America
Publication Information: New York: Scholastic, 1999.
***SPOILER ALERT: This review will contain spoilers.*** Amelia Martin is the 15-year-old daughter of the assistant lighthouse keeper off the coast of Delaware as this diary begins in late 1860 and continues through 1861. She turns 16 in the book She keeps the first watch at the lighthouse.Delaware is a border state in the issue over slavery. Much of the Southern part of the state is aligned with the South, while the north tends to be more aligned with the Union. A group of runaway slaves makes Amelia realize the magnitude of the differences in her parents. Her mother believes the slaves should be sent back to their owners. Her father believes they should be helped to freedom. While Amelia has agreed with her mother in the past, something about her encounter with them makes her realize that her father is correct. It isn't long before South Carolina secedes from the Union--something that Amelia considers completely unacceptable. Other Southern States follow South Carolina's lead gradually. The tension at home begins to mount. Her mother becomes more withdrawn over time and has physical and medical problems. Her mother eventually moves in with Amelia's ailing grandmother. Her father serves divorce papers on her mother. I really enjoyed this look at the tensions in a divided community due to the war. In several places, Amelia referred to what was happening in Tennessee to Union supporters during this time. Since I live a section of Tennessee that had strong Union sympathies, these mentions were interesting. However, there was some unevenness to the writing. I felt that the author used a 20th century solution to the marriage problem. Divorce was not as commonplace in the 19th century as it is in 21st century America, and while it was not unheard of, they were more difficult to obtain. I felt the author made it too easy, even in the strained relations due to ideologies. I also felt that the diary ended rather abruptly and that its conclusion was in an awkward place and that it should have continued until one of the major events in 1862. I also felt that the Epilogue wrapped things up a little too tidily and left little room for the reader's imagination of what the future might have been for those persons mentioned in the diary. It's a good, but not a great, work of fiction.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Google Reader Sharing
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Book Review: Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger
Friday, November 18, 2011
Jonathan Edwards: Model Father?
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Book Review: Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Are we headed toward a "Paperless Society"?
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Book Review: The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton
Monday, November 14, 2011
On County Heritage Books
Let me share a couple of examples of such problems. I had a brick wall on one family line. I had researched just about every person within several counties with the same surname in an attempt to resolve that brick wall. I had a promising lead in a county that was a little south of where my family lived, but then there were some things that cropped up as I was researching the family to the south that made me realize that I had some serious negative evidence that this family was not related to mine. I stumbled across a Heritage Book from the county and found a submission that tied that family to mine. I contacted the researcher for her evidence that she had connecting the two families. She sent me what she had, and I realized she had made a jump in her research without fully studying all the evidence. I explained my concerns to the other researcher. DNA has since proven that we could not be related in the manner in which she stated because the two lines have different markers. However, that particular erroneous connection is there in the Heritage Book, and I'm sure there will be others who take it to be the truth simply because it is in print, and they don't take the time to verify the information.
In another case, the wrong first name is attributed to my great great grandmother. I had tons of information stating that her first name was Nancy. The person who submitted the article said that her name was Nora. I have never seen one record of the time that shows her name as Nora. (Most of the records simply use an N. plus her middle name or her middle name alone; however, I do have several that list her first name as Nancy.) I attempted to contact the person at an e-mail address I found online, but I never received a response. To make matters even worse, someone (either her or another person who found the article in the heritage book) purchased a second grave marker to accompany the original marker which listed her only as "& wife." Now we have a marker that permanently identifies her by the wrong first name because someone did not look at all the evidence of what her name was. The person who submitted the article is a very distant cousin who was probably trying to remember some of the childhood stories of the family and remembered the name wrong or confused the name with another person. Most of the remainder of the article did seem to rely mostly on family tradition, so I'm fairly certain she didn't really research much and just wanted to have our ancestor honored. It would have been nice if this person had done an exhaustive search of resources before publishing erroneous information.
I have a third family included in another heritage book. The line is so garbled in the narrative that one is better off completely ignoring that contribution. Even a simple census search for any year will reveal some of the errors in that essay. There are gaps in generations as well in that submission.
Too often these sorts of mistakes are included in the heritage books by someone who means well but really does not perform the reasonable exhaustive search, misinterprets evidence, etc. Do I completely ignore the books? No. I simply use them for clues and hints as I would any secondary source. I have also found that the historical information on various communities in the county is often of better quality than the individual family essays. One still needs to verify that type of information to the best of his ability.
I don't really get excited when I stumble across a heritage book. I recognize it for what it is. I do get excited when I research in original records or when I'm able to build a case using a combination of records. It's a shame that the motivation behind these was to "sell books" rather than to produce well-documented family histories. Maybe one of these days someone will insist that submissions meet genealogical standards. Until then, I'll probably continue to do most of my research before looking at the heritage books.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Book Review: Eggs Benedict Arnold by Laura Childs
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Book Review: I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
Friday, November 11, 2011
Book Review: The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brain
Publication Information: New York: W.W. Norton, 2010.
Nicholas Carr, like many others, noted that attention spans are on the decrease. He notes changes in the print media brought about by the age of the Internet. Many newspapers have gone under; others have declared bankruptcy. Formats have changed for both newspapers and magazines to make the experience more Web-like. He acknowledges that sometimes it is even difficult to remain focused on a blog post which is more than a few paragraphs long. He notes the presence of e-readers, but at the time he wrote the book, they had not gained the full audience they have now so he didn't feel that they were influencing reading that differently. There is much to think about in this book because Carr also analyzes the experiences of previous generations and the changes they experienced. One of the most thought-provoking sections is one which shares the results of research on multitasking. I think this title would create great discussion among faculty members. I'm not sure that I agree with all conclusions he makes. I find that I am able to stay concentrated and focused while readings books and e-books on my Kindle reader. I am sometimes overwhelmed by information coming to me by way of the Internet through Facebook or my RSS reader for blogs, newspapers, etc. I find that I'm able to often read a headline and pass up an item. I do have trouble staying focused on longer blog posts because I am usually more pressed for time when I'm reading these online items. I realize the need to be offline, so I've prioritized reading and find other ways to keep myself from staring at a screen (both computer and television). I think that the author alludes to the Internet's ability to be addictive, but he probably doesn't address it forcefully enough. This is an important book that is certain to be discussed for years to come.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Book Review: K.C.: A History of Kansas City, Missouri
Publication Information: Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Pub. Co., 1978.
This is a rather dry and tedious read. It focuses on the political history of the city and very little on its settlement, progress, and other things that would have made it a more engaging read. It is also flawed by its lack of footnotes/endnotes. The authors do have a list of sources used for each chapter at the end of the book, but the failure to tie these references to specific points is a major failure.