Friday, December 31, 2004

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Congratulations, Peyton!

He did it!

I Love Dark Chocolate

Mom always said that chocolate didn't get dark enough for me. Later I discovered that I had Swiss ancestry so that was a good excuse for my chocolate affection (and it really did seem to come through that ancestral line). However, a new study shows that dark chocolate is good for the heart. Now I have another excuse for indulging!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Missing Cincinnati

I love snow! We don't get enough of it in East Tennessee. I do remember a 14-16 inch snow in the area northwest of Cincinnati where I lived. Looks like this one is going to be 13-20 inches when all is said and done. Maybe they'd like to share some with me?

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Monday, December 20, 2004

Wonderful to Know that the Democrats are "Out of Business" in the South

The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) offers some encouraging news--the headline reads "Democrats 'Out of Business in the South'." Now - if we could only put them out of business in the "blue states."

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Ole Miss Forgot to Do a Background Check

Seems the new Ole Miss coach has been arrested not once, but twice for domestic violence. What kind of example is that for football players who are already prone to violence? I keep telling them, they made a mistake in firing Coach Cutcliffe! By the way, I hope that LSU hires Coach Cutcliffe if Nick Saban leaves LSU.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

ROFL - Cat Creation

Cat's version of creation.

I'm Crying . . .

This is so sad! I don't even want to contemplate losing Brumley. My heart goes out to northstar.

Ed Orgeron Heads to Ole Miss from Southern Cal

I'm actually shocked that ANY coach would actually consider going to work for Pete Boone at Ole Miss. I hope he can be successful and have a winning season each year, because if he has one bad year, he'll be out the way that Coach Cutcliffe is. (Can you tell I'm still upset?)

Monday, December 13, 2004

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Carnival of the Recipes #17

This week's installment is up at Mary Beth's.

Custody of Cats?

I was reading something online that talked about some couple fighting over custody of their cats. Since when does a human have "custody" of a cat? Anyone who has cats knows that the cat owns them, not the other way around.

More About Ole Miss

My sentiments exactly - who would want to work with Pete Boone?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Key Lime Pie History

A rather interesting blog entry on key lime pie and its history.

The South Carolina Situation

Well said.

I'm in Trouble Now

Late this afternoon, I went to the mailbox to retrieve the mail. A kitten (and a dog) followed me down the driveway. I needed to get something out of the car, and the kitten started climbing my legs. It was obvious that the kitten was scared of something. It was so tense. I picked it up and began petting it. It followed me to the door. I picked it up and petted it again and put it down. Brumley was watching me out the window. When I opened the door, the kitten followed me into the house. I could see Brumley did not like this one bit. I picked the kitten up, tried to console it, debated calling the vet listed on the rabies tag (which happens to the one we use) and inquire about the owner but decided that it was the kitten who had followed kids trick or treating on Halloween and figured it was close to home, then I put it back out. Brumley was keeping his distance. A few minutes later, the dog was barking outside. I went to see what was going on, and the kitten came into the house again. I put her back out. Brumley was not happen. Ever since the incident, he has been keeping his distance or hissing at me. I have a feeling I'll be sleeping alone tonight! (No furry friend to sleep with me!)

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Gift Ideas for the Men on Your List

Barking Moonbat has some great suggestions.

Top 25 Christmas Songs

Over at Random Thoughts from MaryBeth is a listing of ASCAP's Top 25 Holiday Songs.


This brings back memories. We used to always have a puzzle up at Christmas on the card table. I usually purchase a puzzle or two that we work when I'm at Mom and Dad's over the holidays now, because it's just "what you are supposed to do."

Crescent Rolls - and not the Pillsbury Variety

BamaBlog has some yummy looking crescent rolls pictured on her site (and the

More on Ole Miss Situation

This is a great article! They should listen to that national sports writer at Washington Post. Sansing miscounted the seats at TN though; he's about 17,000 under.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

A Downsized Christmas?

Here's an interesting post.

Attorney's Night Before Christmas

This was kind of funny.

Which Country Are You?

This was kind of Cool!

You're Egypt

Curator of ancient mystical secrets, your life on the surface is fairly typical these days. Though you are in denial about more things than most people. Nevertheless, you're trying to convince people that you're safe despite your more volatile and unstable times that seem to be behind you. You like cats a whole lot. You'd probably really appreciate The Blue Pyramid. Take the CountryQuiz at the Blue Pyramid

Now - how did they know I was a cat person?


It seems like there are more and more people who are trying to do away with Christmas. Years ago, I remember a song on an album (remember those LPs?) we had at our house sung by George Beverly Shea, I believe, called "Put Christ Back Into Christmas." It seems like Christmas has become more and more secularized over the years. Religious displays aren't allowed in so many places nowadays. That's a shame. Yesterday, I heard someone on the O'Reilly Factor talking about the Denver Christmas Parade that is sponsored by a private organization. They are not allowing any parade entries with religious themes or religious songs. They are taking things too far. [I just checked FoxNews Web site to find a link to the story, and it looks like they got a lot of complaints and are letting Christmas stay for now.]

The first amendment says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of
the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
government for a redress of grievances.

Note: We're supposed to be able to freely exercise our religion. Why can't celebrate the real reason for Christmas?

Read Laurel's post over at The Purple Needle entitled "Christmas Is Not a Dirty Word."

Cape May Street

Taneya is working on a gorgeous cross-stitch picture of Cape May Street. How does she get that much done in three weeks?

The Friday Five (on Saturday)

1) Do you enjoy letter writing [as in snail mail]? When's the last time that you wrote someone a letter or a note? When's the last time that you received something in the mail from someone [not including regular stuff like bills, junk mail, etc.]?

I actually do. I prefer to type the letters nowadays though. I sent notes to a few folks this past month. I actually received something in yesterday's mail that was real mail. (Family historians like myself do tend to write and send letters more often. Even though we do send a lot of email, there's still plenty of cause for use of the US Postal Service.

2) Do you plan to send out holiday cards this year? Why/why not? Do you spend a lot of time on them? About how many holiday cards do you usually send each year?

Yes. I love receiving them myself. It's also the only contact I have each year with some people. I used to spend more time than I do now. I write a newsletter to insert in each one now and write personal notes on a few. I sent about 75 last year.

3) Have you ever had a penpal? Where and when? How long did you write to them, or are you still in contact with them? What kinds of things did/do you talk about with them? How did your penpal relationship come about?

I had several back when I was in junior high/high school. Most of them were folks I met when I was at church camp of some sort. We used to attend a family camp in Oklahoma each year. I wrote to friends in Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, and Texas from that. From my church camp in Mississippi, I had a couple of good pen pals. However, the most enduring pen pal relationship was with a friend I met while camping. I don't even remember exactly where we were camping when we met. It may have been in Alabama, but I'm not positive. However, we kept writing. She lived in South Carolina. We kept writing through college. (She attended Air Force Academy in Colorado.) We even wrote a bit after that. Now we are down to exchanging cards.

4) Do you feel that you have good penmanship? Did you ever have to take a handwriting class in school? Do you prefer typing letters or writing them by hand? Have you ever had yourhandwriting analyzed?

My penmanship varies in quality. I can write neatly, but I can write sloppily. No handwriting classes besides the usual teaching kids to write in elementary school. I love handwritten letters, but I prefer to type them. My cousin's wife analyzed it once years ago.

5) If you could receive a personal, hand-written letter from anyone in the world right now, who would you choose and why? Why would you want a letter from him/her?

Wow - that's a tough one, but it would be someone in the family or a friend. How about all my friends and family send me a letter, and then I'll decide which one I liked best? LOL

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Fire the Ole Miss Athletic Director

Okay, they fired Coach Cutcliffe when he had one bad season. He still has a winning overall record and brought some class to the team. I think we need to fire the A.D. who got rid of Colonel Reb and then Coach Cutcliffe. He's made a big mistake!

Monday, November 29, 2004

GIS Helps Communicate

As a family historian, I'm very enthusiastic about maps. Today's Knoxville News-Sentinel has a great article about Geographic Information Systems and their ability to communicate data effectively. [You'll probably have to register to see the article.] However, I want to mention a few of the Web sites they mentioned in the article and describe their use to genealogists. One was the Knox County (Tennessee) GIS site. They had ward maps which would show those voting districts which roughly parallel enumeration districts on the census. Another neat site was the Geography Network which allows users to search for an area they'd like to explore and find all sorts of maps for it. I also really liked the Appalachian Trail Conference Mapping site which gives great explanations of the uses of GIS.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Mincemeat Pie, Anyone?

I'll have to admit that Mincemeat Pie is not my favorite dessert. However, this article by a columnist is very interesting. I'd rather have pumpkin, pecan, apple, or that truest of Southern pies - Sweet Potato Pie!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Sunday Musings

We had a very interesting discussion in Sunday School this morning. We were discussing how people's abilities to resolve conflict so often turn to violence now. The point was illustrated by the Pacers-Pistons brawl, the Clemson-South Carolina field fight, and even an instance from a local high school. Then we also talked about the unsportsmanlike conduct such at the taunting on the field and how some coaches don't do anything about it - and how times have changed in that respect. We also talked about how kids are no longer in trouble at home if they get in trouble at school and how the parents blame the educators and believe everything their darlings say now even when the child's behavior is well-documented. We actually did manage to tie it into our regular lesson. However, as I was thinking about this, I also thought about something I learned this week. Our teachers can no longer teach about Thanksgiving the way it should be taught because it "doesn't meet a standard." I think it is time to change a few of the standards and get a little bit of religion back in them. Surely all religions offer some sort of Thanks. The Pilgrims were thankful for the harvest. What is wrong with teaching this? I'll probably continue this theme later.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Vols Over the Commodores

Well, my Vols certainly know how to give people cardiacs this year! They've had so many squeakers, that it isn't funny. The defense just needs a lot of help this year. We did manage to pull off a win over Vandy with our #3 quarterback at the helm. However, the game was a lot closer than it should have been. The Vols network named Parys Harrelson as player of the game, and he was one of the defensive players who did well. We get to go to the SEC championship game in Atlanta now to play Auburn in a rematch, I guess. I hope we do better than we did last time against them. I also hope we get some players healed before the big game. I'm watching the Alabama-Auburn game right now. Bama was leading at half time, but it's 3rd quarter now and Tuberville seems to have motivated his team at the half. They are leading right now 14-6.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Ban Smoking in Restaurants

I wish they would ban smoking in restaurants. There's nothing worse than having to breathe the unhealthy second-hand smoke when you are trying to eat -- not to mention the fact that I'm highly allergic to the smoke. I went to Florida back in the spring. It was so nice to be able to eat in smoke-free environments. Smoking vs. non-smoking areas in restaurants are such a joke. Ventilation is so poor in most of them that you can smell (and choke) on the smoke in the non-smoking section (not to mention the fact that in some of them the areas are adjacent and if you happen to be at the next table . . .) The harmful effects of second hand smoke are well-documented. I don't care how strong the tobacco lobby is! It's unhealthy.

Eli Gets to Play

Eli Manning is finally getting to start for the Giants this weekend! All I can say is . . . it's about time. The Mannings are great!

Spurrier & Cocky?

ESPN is verifying a report in the Tennesseean that Steve Spurrier may be headed to Columbia, SC to head up the Gamecocks after Holtz retires. Guess that means all of us Vols will now have a new team to dislike! Somehow that Florida rivalry kinda fizzled out when Spurrier was gone. It's still nice to beat those Gators, but some of the emotion of the rivalry departed when Spurrier headed to the Redskins. Of course, Holtz hasn't officially announced his retirement, but it seems he's been hinting that if they could nab Spurrier as coach that he'd call it quits.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Great Smoky Mountain Photos

I was sharing with my class today about blogging. I was using Instapundit as an example of a political blog, thinking that many of them may have seen him on the local TV station on election night as the returns were coming in. When I got to his site, he had a link to a blog with some great photos of Mt. LeConte area. We definitely have gorgeous views in this area!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Interesting Article

I was reading the Clarion Ledger online today and ran across an article by columnist Orley Hood called "The Lesson: Our Present Is Filled with Our Past . . ." It's an interesting article where he reminiscisces about things as he sees them today.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Long Time, No Post

I haven't posted here in awhile because my life has been really busy lately. Hopefully things are returning to a somewhat normal state, and I'll be able to get the blog updated. I'm really tired of this year's election. As I have been reflecting on the presidential election this year, I remembered the words of one of my great aunts that she penned to her grandmother in Illinois after moving to Mississippi in 1896. She was speaking of the election and reported that "After 4 years of Democratic hard times, it looks like we are in for a season of Republican prosperity." Of course the president elected then was William McKinley. Of course, we haven't been in 4 years of Democratic hard times, nor do I really think we've had 4 years of Republican ones either (as some Democrats would have you believe). I think the thing that surprised me most about the letter of my great aunt was her report on how the vote in the county of Monroe in the state of Mississippi went. From her comments, it apparently went Republican, although I did not verify that fact. I had always believed that the "Solid South" pretty much voted Democratic all the way until recent times when it has had Republican leanings (since about Nixon). Interesting!

I'll try to post more in a day or two. I'm looking forward to the end of the political ads and media coverage of the election. If you haven't voted yet, please consider my choice!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Reflections of a County Coordinator

As a USGenWeb county coordinator, I get to see a wide variety of expectations from those who visit the Web sites. There are those who realize that the sites are hosted by volunteers who are doing what they can go make resources available for each county they maintain. There are those who are upset with the volunteers because there is something "missing" from data submitted by someone or from an out of copyright source that has been posted (or one for which permission has been granted to post although still protected by copyright). Then there are those who think that the county coordinators conduct on site genealogical research without charge.

In my years of working on my family history, I've learned that genealogy is NOT an inexpensive pasttime. I have made lots of on site visits to libraries, courthouses, and other local sites to conduct research. A good researcher knows that s/he must budget for these--gas, hotel rooms, copies, admission, food, etc. I've also spent a lot of money in postage and for copies of documents from the National Archives and state and county sources.

I am not bothered when it is a new researcher who just does not know where to begin their reserach. I try to offer advice on places to begin their research and offer tips for researching on location when I've done extensive research in a county myself. What bothers me are those researchers who want people to do their work for them.

There is so much stuff out on the Internet that is inaccurate when it pertains to family history research. I would much rather spend my time finding good sources like land deeds, probate records, and newspaper articles, etc. than relying on an undocumented GEDCOM that is probably so full of errors that it will literally lead you up the wrong family tree. If I use a GEDCOM, I do not merge it into my database. I won't put any of the information in my database until I can verify it in some manner. I sometimes add an "unattached" line if I see a line that based on my own research becomes interesting because of similarities in naming patterns, etc. that make me suspect a connection that I'll later be able to document.

So many of the message boards in one area where I research have become totally worthless because two or three people started collecting every family group sheet and GEDCOM for the county (undocumented, of course) they could and began to post information to the message boards any time they saw the name. Guess what? Members of the historical society who have documented these lines have estimated that about 50% of the information that these data collectors post to the message boards (and mailing lists) is erroneous. Besides that, these people have no regard for copyright laws or for privacy of living individuals. All of these are big no-nos in my book.

As family historians, we need to strive for excellence in our research. We need to make sure that what we publish is true. If something is not proven, we need to identify it as probable or possible or in some way indicate that the true conclusion may differ.

'Nuff said for now.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Sunday Thoughts

We had a fascinating discussion in Sunday school this morning. We were discussing Revelation 14 and got to the part of the mark of the beast. Discussion veered to some of the things going on with today's youth that closely resembles this. It's really quite scary.

I haven't done a whole lot of genealogical research this weekend, but I've cross-stitched quite a bit. I'm working on a Dimensions kit that I picked up some time ago. At one time I think I was overwhelmed by how big the project was. I've now got the ability to stick with projects for a longer period of time and know the importance of rotation of projects so that if you get tired of something, you put it out of rotation for a time and then move it back in. The second time I picked up the project, I got frustrated because I'd miscounted and had to "frog" quite a few stitches. This time I'm really enjoying it and think I'll make it through it! I still haven't decided what I'm going to do with the section where I was supposed to be using 3 threads and only used 2 for the water, but I can deal with that later. That was one of the errors caused by picking it back up after awhile but forgetting the water used 3 threads.

Need to prepare my lectures for Monday's class. Need to see if I can locate "fresh" material for them.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Can DNA testing help crack brick wall?

Our Thornton line has been stuck for years at a brick wall. No one can seem to determine who the parents of Richard Thornton are. I've been reading about the Thornton Y-Chromosome DNA Project and wondering if it might help solve the mystery of which bunch of Thorntons our line is descended from. I wrote an article in the most recent issue of The Thornton News telling family members about the project and what I thought it might be able to do to assist in our research. Without actually soliciting funds, one family member has already spoken up saying he'll donate towards having one person participate in the project. I really think if we can get enough support to sponsor a participant that we might be able to focus our research in more productive manners so the brick wall gets chipped away.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Watching the Hurricane

I've been spending a lot of time watching the coverage of Hurricane Frances. My heart goes out to those affected by the storm.

I had corresponded with a lady regarding the Harris surname sometime back. At that time, neither of us had positively identified our John J. Harris. Now we have both found that ours is the same one - the one in Dime Box, Lee Co., Texas. She's actually a direct descendant, and he's only the brother of my great grandmother. It's exciting to find a new cousin.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Another Year Begins

Carson-Newman students began arriving over the weekend. Classes begin tomorrow morning. I've been busy preparing for classes and trying to get a few things done before school begins.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Brumley Tries Cross Stitch

This morning I was cross-stitching. The phone rang so I put my cross stich on the arm of the couch to answer it. It was my Mom. She was telling me about Dad having fallen and injured this week. All of a sudden, Brumley looked at the cross stitch with the needle and thread sticking out of it and started batting at it a couple of times. I just burst out laughing, right in the middle of her telling me all the serious stuff. I told her I wasn't laughing at her but at Brumley. She continued her story. When she finished, I told her what Brumley had done. She started laughing too (although she did ask if the needle had injured him). Glad she understood why I couldn't control myself.

Sunday, August 08, 2004


I haven't been blogging much this past week. Just busy with other things. I was contacted by another researcher regarding my Dearborn line and needed to get my stuff for that line off paper and into my database so I could really see what I had on it. I got at least the more immediate part of that line into the database since we were primarily concerned with Deacon Nathan Dearborn and his second wife Lucy Perkins. i even began searching some new census records to locate additional information and document it. I've got a lot to work on there.

I also worked a bit on my Harris line. This was prompted by a query from one of the descendants of one of my great grandmother's brothers. It happened to be a line that I hadn't gone back and fully researched so I decided it was time to work on that one! There are actually a few other lines with that one that I have unverified info that I need to verify and get into my database. File folders abound with to do stuff! LOL

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Visiting West Point

Today I went in search of some of my deceased Thornton relatives in the West Point area.  I made stops at the circuit & chancery offices where I gathered marriage records and obituaries from the old newspapers, the library where I verified the cemetery plot info on a map and browsed some local history items, and Greenwood Cemetery where I photographed some markers.  Then I went and met a "live" cousin I'd never met before!  All in all - it was a successful day!

Monday, July 26, 2004

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Last week I attended the Itawamba Historical Society's Meeting where Roy Turner did a presentation on preserving documents and photographs on Tuesday night.  Then on Thursday, I met with a group of members of Monroe County Historical Society and then with the entire society in the evening at a "reorganizational meeting."  I spoke to them on things that historical societies were doing in various locations.  The good news is that the society is collecting dues again and the 1997 issue of their publication is now at press.  I hope a lot of people get behind it and help get it back on track so that researchers of history and genealogy in the county will be assisted.

While I was over in Aberdeen, I visited the Evans Memorial Library and stumbled across a resource that gave me a much needed clue on a Thornton collateral line.  Earlier this summer I had found a book of transcriptions of Clay County cemeteries in the Amory library and had found my great grandfather's half-brother's burial location in McPherson Cemetery.  Upon a visit to this cemetery, I discovered that there was an empty grave next to his.  I assumed that his wife Ida was buried in the unmarked grave although I could find no indication there was a footmarker such as the one Jim had.  I knew that one of his sons was buried in Memorial Gardens in West Point but when I visited that site there did not appear to be any family markers there except that one family plot with 3 graves.  I knew that the Greenwood Cemetery was not included in the cemetery book, but I didn't realize that it had been previously surveyed and published.  In that book, I looked in the index thinking that perhaps some of Jim's children or grandchildren might be buried there.  I discovered that his son Cliff and Cliff's second wife were buried there, daughter (or more likely step-daughter) Alice was there also in a grave next to Jim's wife Ida!  I'm not really sure why Ida was not buried next to Jim but now I need to make a trip to West Point to get obituaries (now that I have dates) and to photograph these additional markers.  You just never know what you'll find!  I would have probably never noticed this book if the tables of books that had accumulated had been shelved.  I guess this is one of those serendipitous finds!

Friday, July 16, 2004

Mississippi History & Genealogy Notes

I've been kind of neglecting this blog because I started a new one specifically for folks researching historical and genealogical stuff in Mississippi.  It is called Mississippi History & Genealogy Notes.  I think it will serve a great need for Mississippi researchers.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Everton's Bites the Dust

Everton's has gone out of business. They are the publishers of the Handy Book for Genealogists which has gone through numerous revisions over the years as well as Everton's Family History Magazine, formerly known as Genealogical Helper. It's kind of sad to see such an old standby cease to exist. I read the alert on Genealogy Blog today. I wonder how subscriptions will be filled or refunded. I hope news is forthcoming soon! I should have known when they were selling the latest edition of Handy Book dirt cheap from their web site recently that something was amiss!

Very Nicely Documented Web Site

I was surfing the web last night and came across a very nicely documented web site which contained information on my Ward family from New England. It was created by Robert Roy and is called The Roy Genealogical File. It is nice to stumble across a site such as this one. I came to be surfing for my Ward family because I had been cataloging a book entitled "The Life, Ministry, and Journals of Hezekiah Smith: Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Haverhill, Massachusetts, 1765 to 1805 and Chaplain in the American Revolution 1775 to 1780." The book was written by John David Broome (with the exception of the actual journals which were written by Smith himself and transcribed by Broome). It has been published by Particular Baptist Press in Springfield, Missouri this year (2004). In the journals, Smith writes about having attended the second ordination of my ancestor Rev. Nathan Ward, a Congregational minister who later became affiliated with the Separatists, most of whom later merged with the Baptists. I was delighted to find this first-hand account of contact with my ancestor and was quite motivated to find new information on this line that I really had not worked on. I really enjoy working on my New England lines even though many of them are more distantly related because of the plethora of records available for the researcher. With my Southern lines I frequently run up against brick walls because of the paucity of records because of a combination of poorer record keeping and the "burned county syndrome." Sometimes I think some of my ancestors are the ones who set fire to those courthouses so that I couldn't find them. Ever feel that way? Every once in awhile you'll find one more evidence of their existence and pursue that lead until the well runs dry there and you have to find a new one to get another burst to the research, all the while hoping that you are chipping away at that wall.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

South Carolina Genealogical Society Summer Workshop

I was reading the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.)online edition and read about a workshop being held this next weekend in Columbia, SC hosted by the South Carolina Genealogical Society. This annual summer workshop will be held July 9 and 10, 2004 at the South Carolina Archives and History Center. Several of the sessions look very good. Persons doing African-American research in South Carolina should pay special attention to this event as the keynote address and several of the sessions are devoted to topics of interest for those doing so.

4th of July

On holidays, I often wonder how some of our ancestors celebrated these in the past. This past week, I was typing up some pages from a book published in 1881 that described the first 4th of July celebration in the town of Ashland, Wisconsin. One of the highlights of the day was the reading of the Declaration of Independence. It made me wonder when the last time most Americans have heard the words to this important document of our history. I knew I had not read it in years -- probably since I had to read it for a history class in undergraduate days -- or possibly even high school. I decided that I'd better read it again myself to truly appreciate the freedoms we as Americans enjoy. I invite you to also read the Declaration of Independence of the United States. It gave me a renewed sense of what my ancestors lived through during the Colonial Period of the U. S.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


As a USGenWeb county coordinator, I see a lot of queries written by people who are new to genealogy and who make all sorts of errors when they are asking for assistance. I had one the other day where the person had erased the county name from the message line. On the hyperlinks on my pages, I always add the county name so that when a person sends an email I have an idea in which county they are asking for help since I have several counties in multiple states. On this particular one, the person was asking me for assistance in a place that I knew was not connected with any of my counties, and I had no idea which site the person had visited. It turns out - the person was researching in counties further south in that particular state and appeared to have no connection with any of my counties. The person also asked me if anyone was researching her ancestor. There were surname registries available on the site (of course, she was in the wrong county) and links to message boards and mailing lists (and their archives), but even the absence of a name in one of these online sources doesn't mean no one is researching that person. It just means that no one has registered the surname or written a query regarding him. Oh well, enough on the subject of bad queries. A good query will identify the person on which one is seeking information, dates or approximate dates, location, and other helpful facts which might produce a lead.

Monday, June 28, 2004

In Sheep's Clothing

Several years ago in the public library of a large metropolitan area where I lived, I stumbled upon the beginning of a mystery series where the sleuth was a genealogist named Torie O'Shea. Since that time, I've been devouring Rett MacPherson's series. Last night I finished reading her latest. I actually purchased it as soon as it came out but I had such a backlog of things to read that I didn't get around to it until this past weekend. It did not disappoint me. O'Shea visits her aunt in Minnesota in this installment. She investigates a mysterious diary from the past that was found in her aunt's home. Of course, there is a murder in the present which Torie is able to solve. I don't want to give anything away so I won't go into further detail. If you haven't discovered the series, it is worth a trip to your local library or bookstore!

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Ashland County, Wisconsin

I've been typing up an historical sketch of Ashland County that was published in 1881. While I'm far from done with it, the parts I have been able to post thus far detail some of the missionary work of the Jesuits and the early formation of the county. It is interesting to see that there was settlement in that area in the 17th century when most people only think of the Eastern seaboard having Europeans there.

Zachariah Butler Autobiography

Jerry L. Butler contributed an autobiographical sketch written by one of his ancestors to the Lee County MSGenWeb site. It is a very interesting description of how Zachariah Butler was orphaned at an early age, apprenticed for a time, worked for his brothers for awhile, and how he struck out on his own with a blind horse (and a wife). It makes for some rather interesting reading.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Genealogists and Vacations

I'll admit it - a vacation isn't complete without a trip to a cemetery, courthouse, and/or library. The longer I work on genealogy, the more i find myself trying to figure out how I can squeeze in a trip to a certain county to find a record in a courthouse or go by and take a photo of someone's grave or even see what resources the local library might have that I don't have available on a regular basis. I'm really wanting to plan a trip to New England, but with gas prices as they are, I don't really know that's the best idea right now. Also, it would be hard to decide how long to stay in each location I want to visit. I know that there are lots of New England locations where I need to do research. In the state of New Hampshire, most of my ancestors were in Rockingham and Grafton counties. I would also need to visit the state capital for resources there. In Massachusetts, Ipswich and some nearby towns and villages would be my main focus although one ancestor spent about 3 years in Boston before moving to Ipswich. I would also need to plan to spend some time at NEHGS' library. In Rhode Island, one of my ancestors was one of the original 1660 settlers of Block Island. I've found evidence that he spent winter months in Newport so I'd need to visit both of those as well as Providence. Then there is Maine. I just want to go there! I want to see the coast and lighthouses and go to Bar Harbor as well. Now - when will I have a full year of vacation? LOL

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Random Thoughts

I'm getting a bit behind on my blogging! I began doing some reach over the weekend on my nephew's maternal lines. I took a look at some online census reports and also spent some time at the McClung Collection in Knoxville researching one branch who lived in Page County, Virginia. I found quite a bit of interesting material but I've got a lot of data entry ahead of me! I always make sure that I cite my stuff as I enter it. The first genealogy software program I owned lacked citing capabilities. I tried to do it as best I could in the 10 lines of notes I was allowed, but that just wasn't enough space and I often had to rely on my memory or on what I had in file folders or notebooks. I'm really glad that I have migrated to a newer piece of software which is more functional.

I spent Monday evening making a presentation to the Jefferson County Genealogical Society about using the Internet in genealogical research. Folks seemed to really enjoy my presentation. I shared tips about watching for the integrity of sources as well as a few of my favorite places for research as well some places to go to get a good start!

Friday, June 18, 2004

Rev. Stephen Bachiler

One of my more interesting ancestors is the Rev. Stephen Bachiler (sometimes spelled Batchedler or other variations). The Lane Public Library in Hampton, New Hampshire maintains a page of articles relating to him. At the bottom of that page, I discovered a link to a descendants site. While I normally hate geocities sites because of all the popups, I had to mention this one even if it is lacking in visual appeal and the data is presented awkwardly.

Mifflin County, PAGenWeb

It's been awhile since I had visited the Mifflin County PAGenWeb site, but I was thrilled to see some new data on there. Most of the Amish lines I'm researching lived in this county for awhile. It's always great to find more information online, and I plan to spend a little more time on this USGenWeb county page.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Publisher with County Pictorial Histories

While surfing the web, I stumbled across the site for Turner Publishing which has several county histories available for purchase. Most of the histories are pictorial histories. A few of the histories focus on cities or churches or families. I had a couple of families who lived in the three corner area of Monroe, Itawamba, and Lee counties in Mississippi. I noticed that they had a history for Lee county.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Telfair County GAGenWeb

I adopted Telfair County in the GAGenWeb project this week and posted it online today after receiving the account information. Although it is a work in progress, it is now available for researchers to use. My grandfather's sister Emma lived in that county as did another cousin.

Gateway Family Historian

St. Louis Public Library released the Spring issue of Gateway Family Historian online. They are the library which houses the National Genealogical Society's collection. The focus of the spring issue is Kentucky research.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Laura Ingalls Wilder Home & Museum, Mansfield, MO

This past week I had the opportunity to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri while en route to the Association of Christian Librarians' conference in Springfield, Missouri. As a genealogist, I was absolutely thrilled with the museum. It was full of items, articles, and other things that would truly help someone researching the Ingalls or Wilder families. A friend of mine and I decided that we needed a museum to store all of our family history research and artifacts! If you are ever in the area of the home, it is definitely worth a visit!

Summer Reading for Genealogists

George Morgan posted his annual list for summer reading for Genealogists on Ancestry Daily News this week. The first title on the list is the book I'm presently reading, Isle of Canes. It is written by one of my favorite genealogical writers, Elizabeth Shown Mills and is based upon her years of research of multiracial families residing in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. This is the same area that was the setting for Lalita Tademy's Cane River. I always enjoy Rett MacPherson's novels with fictional genealogist Torie O'Shea. Her newest book In Sheep's Clothing is also on my summer reading list.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Welcome to My Family History Page

Welcome to my family history blog. I intend to post discoveries relating to genealogical and family history research and to local history resources of interest to researchers.