Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Gatlinburg Ogles

I've been reading The Story of Gatlinburg by Jeanette S. Greve (Nashville: Premium Press America, 2003) which was first published in 1931 as the National Park was under development. Here in East Tennessee, particularly in Sevier County, the surname Ogle is quite common. I've often wondered about the origin of the name, and this little book gave an account that actually brought a little amused smile to my face. The family's surname apparently was originally Oglesby and of English origin. After they began attending school, according to one old-timer of the Gatlinburg area, they decided Ogle was easier to spell so they shortened the surname.

Maybe we Thorntons should shorten our name to Thorn. It would be easier to spell, and people would be less likely to forget the "n" they leave out when they so often misspell it. It makes me wonder if those Oglesbys got tired of folks spelling their surname "Oglsby" so they decided to force them to put in the "e" by shortening the surname. Perhaps we'll never know the truth of the matter, but it does lend itself to some interesting speculation.

Amazon Partners with NARA

Amazon.com has begun to reproduce films in the National Archives and sell them in its online superstore. This makes some historic footage formerly available only at the National Archives now available to the general public. I can see this as a great teaching resource in high schools and universities across America as well as an interesting addition to many personal collections. Amazon's agreement with NARA is non-exclusive.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Moral & Ethical Dilemnas in Genealogy

As genealogists, we all face an occasional moral or ethical dilemna. I try to omit living individuals from anything published online or in a file sent to another researcher. This is harmonious with NGS' Standards for Sharing Information with Others which states we should:
require some evidence of consent before assuming that living people are agreeable to further sharing of information about themselves.

I use the private notes feature in my genealogical software for information on recently deceased generations that their children may wish to be withheld. This information is available for my own research; however, it will not export to reports unless I specifically state it may be. I always double-check the setting on this before creating any report to be sent to others. I don't have private notes on most individuals, but for the few which do have them, this is a great way of making sure sensitive information is protected.

I have not participated in blogging carnivals which would require me to share information on living individuals. I'm just not comfortable with situations of that nature.

I've become more cautious about sharing information beyond the scope of a limited request in recent years. Once I had a researcher take my work and that of another person and publish it as his own. It's very disturbing to see all the work you labored to get and have another take the credit for it. If I do receive one of those "send me everything you have" requests, I usually give the person one piece of information and suggest several sources where he may find further information. In other words, I provide genealogical education rather than the actual information.

I'm one of those persons who is nit-picky about citing sources which is a good thing. I hate it when someone sends me a scan of a page without a proper citation. (Now don't get me wrong. I love those wonderful records. I just want to know what I'm examining.) What source did it come from? How do I know it is a reliable source without knowing what the source is and where that source got its data? Furthermore, how do I properly cite it? For now, I merely have to cite it as a miscellaneous document received from the person who sent it. (This gives credit to my source of the document.) I will eventually have to try to recreate the search at the repository from which the materials came to determine the reliability and source of the document if the person who sent such a document cannot supply a full citation. However, even when I do obtain the document's full citation information, I should make sure that I give credit to the person who sent me the document. (See #8 of the APG Code of Ethics.)

At one time, I was a Rootsweb message board administrator. At that time, an individual posted copyrighted information (from newspapers and society publications) to the board which was removed upon the request of the copyright owners.

There are many other moral and ethical dilemnas, but this post is long enough. I've tried to stay generic so that no specific situation can easily be identified.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter & the "1" Ratings at Amazon.com

Disclaimer: I have not read any of the Harry Potter books so I have no interest in whether the book is liked or not. I just want to see the ratings accurate.

I've been checking every so often to see how quickly reviews are added to the new Harry Potter book at Amazon.com. I've been amazed to see how many "1" ratings there are. I clicked on the link to limit it to just 1-rated reviews of Harry Potter & the Deathly Gallows. Most of the reviews have nothing to do with the content of the book. It's a bunch of people who never stopped to think that the book was being released at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday and that delivery might be delayed a few days if ordered online. Why should the book's rating be lowered because of a bunch of folks who are whining because they didn't get their book when they wanted it? There's even a review or two in there where the person never even bothered to read it. The reviews simply state that they wouldn't spend money on a book like that and would not read it. Why rate it? They've not read the book. Their review is not valid. I have read on some blogs that people were getting their books today because UPS delivered them to USPS to be delivered. A book's rating should not suffer because of a delivery issue. If they wanted it that badly, they could have stood in line at their local bookstore with everyone else. Grow up folks! Stop whining!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Father Tim Books

Those of us who have delighted in Jan Karon's Mitford series will be happy to know that she is writing a new series featuring Father Tim. The first book is called Home to Holly Springs and is scheduled to be released in October (although it will be the end of October according to Amazon.com). I'm looking forward to renewing my friendship with Father Tim!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Are You in a Rut?

I enjoyed Jeff Cornwall's comments on a book he saw reviewed in his local newspaper. The book is entitled RUT Management: Discovering Adventure in the Routine of Life. It sounds like a very interesting book. Sometimes there are pleasures in ruts!


Dave has a great post on Elkmont, a former town in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Peyton Manning wins . . .

. . . a subscription to Ancestry.com (among other things) in his ESPY award package. Peyton is my favorite football player!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

On Lighthouses . . .

I've always been fascinated by lighthouses . . . probably because I never grew up by the water. Amy has a great post about a lighthouse that is up for grabs. It sparked a lot of reminscences.

One of my favorite gospel songs of all time is Ronny Hinson's The Lighthouse. I first heard the song sometime around 1971, probably on the Gospel Singing Jubilee. I loved that show and would get up every Sunday morning just to watch Howard & Vestal and the other Happy Goodmans, the Florida Boys, and whoever else might happen to be on the program that week. I really got to know the song when The Gospel Lads performed it. They were originally based out of California but moved to Joplin, Missouri at some point to work out of the Revival Fires television ministry. I'd also watch Revival Fires on television just so I'd see the Gospel Lads perform.

Oh . . . back to lighthouses . . . The first one that I saw in person was the Biloxi lighthouse in Mississippi. It sits in the middle of the highway (or at least it did before Katrina). I saw it several months before Camille struck the coast the first time. I've seen many lighthouses since then.

The Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego

There is a lighthouse that I really want to see. It sits on land that my ancestors once owned on Block Island. It's the Southeast Light.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mourning a Loss

I was driving around East Tennessee today and was very sad. I see new subdivisions going up where there was once farmland. I miss seeing the pastures and the cows. I miss the rural rustic beauty that once was in this area. I feel hypocritical when I actually look forward to the development of "Dumplin Creek" which will be built on what was once a wooded area in the heart of Dumplin Valley. (It will be nice to have decent shopping on this end of Knoxville, but is it really worth the price of losing our scenery?)

This area is becoming a retirement haven. I have spoken with several realtors lately who have said that you'd think business would be bad here when you look at the national numbers, but that it isn't. We have lots of folks moving up from Florida to flee the insurance and taxes. One I spoke to said he is also seeing a lot of New Englanders moving to East Tennessee. I just hate that we're losing the farmland and the trees because of the area's growth. I suppose that everyone has said that when it happens to their area. I'm just grateful that we do have protected areas such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Panther Creek State Park, and other areas where some of the area's natural beauty will remain intact.

Nathan Bedford Forrest Day

I guess I missed it. It depends on whether the "Sunday" or the "July 13" part of the proclamation is in error. I think I enjoyed the comments on this news piece as much as the proclamation itself.

What's in a Name?

A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. Proverbs 22:1 (King James Version)

For this surname installment of the Carnival of Genealogy, I thought it would be fun to look at a few of the surnames in my family. My cousin Terry has already posted on the Thornton surname so I'll omit that one.

Lantz - Lantz is a Germanic form of a word meaning "Land." My Lantz family was an Amish family which fled persecution in Switzerland, residing in the French portion of the Palatinate before coming to America in 1749. The documents found in France for the family have the name Landis which is a French version of the name. The most famous Lantz is Walter Lantz who created Woody Woodpecker. Apparently, Woody was based on a real woodpecker that was quite a pest on Walter's honeymoon with his new bride. (Source: Robb, H. Amanda and Chesler, Andrew. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.)

Fowlkes - Fowlkes is a Welsh name meaning people. You will also found it written as Foulkes. It was originally pronounced something like "fooltz" with the "oo" sound being the shorter sound rather than the longer sounding "oo." Today, it is pronounced "folks" with a fairly long sounding "o", at least in Mississippi. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is descended from the Fowlkes family. There is a Tremaine Fowlkes who was an NBA player. I do know that the Fowlkes in Monroe County, Mississippi were slave owners. Several Fowlkes in middle Tennessee served in various public offices throughout the years. My line in Monroe County, Mississippi (and the ones in Middle Tennessee and Haley Barbour's line) all share Gabriel Fowlkes (b. abt. 1696, allegedly in Denbighshire, Wales although efforts to locate him in records there have not been successful) as a common ancestor.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Apologies for Lack of Posting

Wow . . . I just realized that it's been over a week since I posted. I've been busy. Can you tell? I was having headaches over last weekend and earlier this week. I think those have settled down. I've also been extremely busy at work and at church this week. I probably worked with over 1000 cataloging records for government documents this week in addition to teaching several students to repair books and other miscellaneous things that technical services librarians do. When I had the headaches, I just didn't feel like getting on the computer at night. I did index a few census records this week. Last night I came across one family where the mother was born in the summer of the year, and it said that the person born in the fall of that year was her son! That has to be a record. I think she was 3 months old when she gave birth if that was true. I believe that one was in Adams County, Mississippi, but it could have been an Arkansas record. Needless to say, I had a little chuckle as I keyed that information.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Mystery Series Discovered

I went to McKays, a great used bookstore in Knoxville, yesterday. As I was browsing through the mysteries, the cemetery on a cover caught my eye. Now, we all know that no genealogist can resist a cemetery. I decided to pick up the book and read the "blurb". I discovered that the series was set in New England and features an expert in "funerary art" which basically means that the main character loves graveyards and gravestones as much as a genealogist. This book was the 2nd in the series. I browsed the shelves and located the 3rd in the series. I had to go home and order the 1st in the series from Amazon.com. I also discovered there is a 4th book in the series, but I decided to wait on purchasing it. If I'm lucky, McKays will get the paperback in by the time I'm ready to read it. The author of the series is Sarah Stewart Taylor.

O'Artful Death is the first book in the series and has a Vermont setting.

This is the one that caught my eye. The featured cemetery is Boston's Mount Auburn Cemetery.

The 3rd book in the series has a Concord, Massachusetts setting.

This one is supposed to have a Boston setting as well.

I'm looking forward to trying out this series, and I hope that I'm right about how good it looks, especially since I've already invested in the first three books. The reviews look good!

Robbing the Cradle

I've been indexing the 1900 Jefferson County, Mississippi today for FamilySearchIndexing.org. I have to say that I found some rather interesting data on the census. My first shocker was finding a 21-year-old man married to a 26-year-old woman who claimed to have been married 10 years with an 8-year-old child. Now, either they lied so the enumerator would think they were married when that baby was born, or there was some cradle-robbing going on. The bad thing is that was not the worst. There is a 50-year-old man married to a 37-year-old woman who claims to have been married 30 years. She married at age 7? Perhaps he'd been married for a total of 30 years between two marriages, but we either have a big error here or a definite case of robbing the cradle.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Favorite Televised Fireworks Show for 2007

. . . and the winner goes to Boston's show complete with the Boston Pops. They are so pretty over the Charles River. Besides, Boston definitely had the best orchestra!

Actually, it's not quite fair to New York because I didn't get to see their show because our Knoxville station thought it was more important to broadcast the Knoxville show. When I lived in Cincinnati, I always thought New York had the best because they were so pretty out there in the harbor.

I also saw portions of the Washington DC show while watching the Knoxville one. It's called channel surfing! Of course, weather put a damper on DC show.

4th of July Foods

Today's menu included barbecued ribs, freshly sliced Grainger County tomatoes, corn on the cob, and . . .

this very tasty homemade cherry pie! There's still a watermelon to be cut!

Biblical Studies Carnival

The 19th Biblical Studies Carnival is online at Biblische Ausbildung. Don't worry -- the carnival is in English instead of German! I'll have to admit that the entry about Shakespeare's presence in the Psalms makes for an interesting post.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

27th Carnival of Genealogy at Kinnexions

You'll find the 27th Carnival of Genealogy over at Kinnexions. There are some great entries this month. The theme is What America and/or Independence Day Means to One's Family.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Fireworks at Harrell Park

Each year on the Sunday before the 4th of July, our church has a fireworks show out at Harrell Park, a park the church owns on Cherokee Lake. Here are a few sights from tonight's show.

What Do America & Independence Day Mean to My Family?

That's the question for this week's Carnival of Genealogy. There are many things that it has meant over the years to my family. I'd love to quiz my 17th century ancestors who migrated to this continent about their reasons for coming to this continent. I can only imagine them at this point. Some of these same ancestors must have shared the frustrations that those who instigated the Boston Tea Party felt. Many fought for this country's freedom. One of my families did not fight for the country's freedom. They were Amish and as such were pacifists by nature. I came across a reference to a document that showed that my ancestor Johannes Lantz supported King George. However, since the family had come here to escape religious persecution, they remained in what became the United States. Many of my Southern ancestors also fought in the Revolutionary War.

Throughout the years my ancestors have fought in various wars including the War of 1812, the Civil War (both sides), World War I, and World War II. The picture below is that of my grandfather James Thomas Thornton in his World War I uniform. He was awarded a Purple Heart.

My grandfather was a carpenter by trade, but he always had a fairly large garden at his home in Becker, Monroe County, Mississippi. As a child, my favorite thing in his garden was the watermelon patch. In Mississippi they used to say that you couldn't get a decent watermelon until the 4th of July. We would always have watermelons from Pappaw's on the 4th of July. We had a picnic table in the back yard of the house in which I grew up. We'd take the watermelon or watermelons out to the table (after we'd eaten ribs or grilled burgers and hot dogs). One of the men would slice it up and serve a piece to every family member present and often half of the neighbors as well. We'd get the salt shaker and put some on our slice and then begin to savor the ripened fruit. Sometimes we'd see who could spit a seed the greatest distance. That person was never me. I never really mastered seed spitting. A little later in the day, someone would get out the ice cream freezer and we'd take turns cranking it until it was "set." Then we'd all enjoy a bowl of delicious homemade ice cream. It used to always be vanilla until my Dad returned from one of his "school trips" to Texas with a recipe for a homemade butter pecan variety that he'd tried when he went to Oklahoma for the weekend to the home of one of the other "students". (Dad sometimes had to go for three-week training classes at an Air Force Base in Wichita Falls.) After we were introduced to this wonderful variety of homemade ice cream, we rarely settled for "plain vanilla." At the end of the day, most of us kids on the street would shoot off a few firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles, and sparklers. That's about all most of our parents would let us have. I refused to do firecrackers, but I did shoot some bottle rockets. Compared to the elaborate displays of fireworks we see nowadays on the 4th, our stuff was boring, but it was fun because we only got to do them on the 4th of July and around New Year's Day, and we'd never seen anything better.

Years later, when I was on my own and living 9 to 10 hours away from my family, I decided that it was time to have a traditional 4th of July. I called several of my other single friends over, and we had a 4th of July cookout--complete with watermelon (although it obviously wasn't from my Pappaw's garden). I didn't have an ice cream freezer, but I think we made a Graeter's run instead. Of course, all of us had long ago graduated from doing our own fireworks, so we made our way to the front of the television and watched all of the wonderful fireworks shows--the local and national ones.

Of course, no 4th of July would be complete without all the wonderful patriotic programs in the churches, honoring those who have served this country. Ours was this morning! Beth Greene did an incredible job on an outstanding arrangement of the national anthem. We did the "Procession of the Patriots" honoring our veterans. Don Connell sang the solo on "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb" with the choir backing him up. It was great! Dr. Price's sermon was "America with One Foot on the Wrong Fork in the Road." He used illustrations of how modern interpretations have changed the intentions of our country's forefathers concerning some of our basic constitutional freedoms.

Independence Day is a day for family and friends to share their freedom. It's a day for us to celebrate that we are "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."