Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who's Number 1000?

Randy's Saturday night fun is my Sunday morning fun. I decided to take a look to see who person #1000 is in my database. I'm fortunate that I'm one of those lucky Legacy 7 users.

Person #1000 is Indiana J. Moseley, daughter of Samuel C. Moseley and his wife Missiniah Coffee. The family lived in Giles County, Tennessee. She was 11 years old in the 1850 census, making her likely born in 1838-39. She is not a direct line ancestor. She is my 1st cousin 4 times removed according to the Legacy relationship calculator.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

An Early East Tennessee Flyer

The Citizen Tribune (Morristown, Tennessee) has an interesting story about Melville Murrell. It seems Mr. Murrell tried out his flying machine before the Wright Brothers. His flight was a little less successful, but it seems to have created a sensation in the area.

He appears to be the five-year-old M. M. Murrell in the home of M. R. and R. Murrell in Jefferson County, Tennessee in the 1860 census. Interestingly, all the children in the household are listed as M. M. Murrell. [1860 U.S. Federal Census, population schedule, Jefferson County, Tennessee, p. 164 (written), dwelling 1150, family 1189, M. R. Murrell household, page 164 (written); digital image, ( : accessed 27 November 2008); citing National Archives microfilm publication M653, roll 1258.] His father is listed as a merchant in the census. (The article states he was a grocer.)

In the 1870 census, the family is enumerated in Civil District 11 of Jefferson County, Tennessee with the Witts Foundry post office listed. His presumed father Mark R. Murrell is listed as a farmer in this census. His presumptive mother's name is given as Rebecca M. His older presumed brother is Mabry M. [1870 U.S. Federal census, population schedule, Jefferson County, Tennessee, Civil District No. 11, Witts Foundry post office, p. 20 (written), dwelling 155, household 155, Mark R. Murrell household; digital image, ( : accessed 27 November 2008); citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 1540.]

Hamblen County was formed from Jefferson in 1870.

Melville is still residing with his parents in the 1880 census in the Panther Springs area of Hamblen County. [1880 U.S. Federal Census, Population Schedules, Hamblen County, Tennessee, s.d. 1, e.d. 69, p. 321 (stamped), dwelling 104, family 104, Mark R. Murrell household; digital image, ( : accessed 27 November 2008); citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 1258.] Both he and his father are listed as farmers. His presumed brother Mabry M. is residing next door with a new wife Louisa and son Raymond and is listed as a sewing machine agent. [1880 U.S. Federal Census, Population Schedules, Hamblen County, Tennessee, s.d. 1, e.d. 69, p. 321 (stamped), dwelling 105, family 105, Mabry M. Murrell household; digital image, ( : accessed 27 November 2008); citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 1258.]

By 1900, Melville is married to Matilda F. and has four sons and one daughter residing with him. His mother Rebecca, now a widow, is also living with him. [1900 U.S. Federal Census, population schedule, Hamblen County, Tennessee, s.d. 1, e.d. 54, sheet 2B, dwelling 39, family 40, Melville M. Murrell household; digital image, ( : accessed 27 November 2008); citing National Archives microfilm publication T 623, roll 1575.] The 1900 census says that Melville was born in November 1854, rather than 1855 as the newspaper article states. He had been married 15 years at the time of the census.

I have been unable to locate the patent at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office database. I tried several combinations of dates, names, terms, etc. but still could not find it. If anyone has better luck, please post the link!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Knox County Libraries to Reduce Hours

Knox County (Tennessee) Public Libraries will be cutting back hours to avoid laying off staff. (They do have a hiring freeze.) Most of us researching genealogy use the McClung Collection the most often of the various branches, so I briefly want to outline how these changes will affect us. Basically, the library will open at 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. as in the past. On Tuesday evenings, the library will close at 5:30 p.m. instead of giving us evening hours until 8:30 p.m. (The library will still be open Monday evenings until 5:30 p.m.) The library will not open until 1 p.m. on Saturday, giving researchers who work all week only 4 hours to research on that day. In light of the fact that I've just read about increased library usage in light of the economy, I think that the government officials have made a terrible mistake in cutting library hours. This cut in hours is primarily affecting those who are working. It gives them even less time to use the library. The cut in Saturday hours is the worst thing for me. I live about an hour from the McClung Collection, and it is the best genealogical collection in the East Tennessee area. I usually work Monday nights during the academic year. I rarely used the library on Tuesday evenings because I'd only have a couple of hours to use it by the time I ate and got there after work. Saturday was my prime time to use McClung. Because of church activities, the Sunday hours don't work for me. I'm now reduced to 4 hours of research at the most when I do go. I enjoyed getting there early, going for lunch on Market Square and returning to research until near closing time. As bad as this is for genealogical research, I think the cut in hours will even be worse for potential users of the various branches of the library. You hear the government officials talking about how literacy and other educational measures need to be improved, but when it comes to putting their money where their mouth is, it isn't happening! I hope the public outcry will be great. Libraries in Tennessee are already underfunded. I was so disappointed in the selection of materials when I moved here from Ohio. I was a heavy user of the Cincinnati Public Library system when I lived in Cincinnati. When I moved to Tennessee, I ended up becoming a heavier purchaser of reading materials. East Tennessee libraries are inadequate in good fiction, but they are even worse when it comes to the types of non-fiction materials I enjoy (such as history which can be checked out).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

8 Things About Me-Me

I've been tagged by Thomas over at Destination: Austin Family who is probably tired of my lack of posting lately and decided to give me some inspiration in the form of this meme.

Tag Rules

1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. A the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their name.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.

8 Things About Me

1. I enjoy singing. I sing mostly Christian music, and I've even recorded an album! I even have several boxes of leftover cassettes to prove it! The problem is that no one has equipment to play those on anymore!

2. I enjoy travelling. I don't get to do as much as I would like. I really want to do some more international travel. There are quite a few places in Europe I would like to visit. A large group from our church just returned from a trip to the Holy Land, and I just wish that I'd been able to join them. It sounded like they had an incredible time touring with our pastor who is an experienced guide. I hope to be able to go on a future trip to see the place our Savior walked.

3. I enjoy reading. I haven't had as much time lately to do this as I would like. I enjoy a good mystery. I also enjoy history books. I'm currently reading Tatiana de Rosnay's Sarah's Key as my fiction selection, and Helen F. M. Leary's second edition of North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History. I decided that I probably ought to spend a little more time with the latter book since I'm working on several North Carolina projects at the moment.

4. I enjoy cooking. As a single person who works all the time, I don't spend as much time in the kitchen as I would like. When I do start cooking, I enjoy experimenting and trying out new recipes. I like my food full of flavor. I prefer fresh ingredients when they are available. I still have garlic on my breath from that Tortellini Alfredo I made for lunch.

5. I am owned by a cat. Enough said! (For all you editor types out there, I believe that I should get rid of that passive voice and say "The cat owns me." Please feel free to edit this sentence as you wish.)

6. I have a hard time saying "no" but I'm learning!

7. I enjoy watching football and basketball. I prefer college sports. My favorite team is the Tennessee Volunteers. I'm also cheering for Duke when they aren't playing Tennessee! In pro ball, I tend to cheer more for the players than the teams. I love the Manning brothers. I grew up watching their Dad Archie play football for Ole Miss and then the Saints. I tend to cheer for the Colts because Peyton has been there longer. I also enjoy cheering for former Lady Vols in the WNBA.

8. I hate talking about me. I'd rather talk about something else.

Tagging Folks

8 people is a lot to tag, but I"ll try to find a few.

1. Sheri at The Educated Genealogist
2. Bill at West in New England (It's payback for all that early morning Facebook kidnapping!)
3. Becky at Kinnexions
4. Lisa at A Light That Shines Again
5. Denise at Family Matters
6. Ruth at Bluebonnet Country Genealogy
7. Holly at Genealogy Musings
8. Janet at Janet the Researcher

Now, it's time to go leave comments so they know that they are "it."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Top 10 Newspaper Web Sites

I thought it was interesting that Tennessee had two newspapers that made it on the list of the top ten newspaper Web sites. Both the Knoxville News-Sentinel and the Tennessean made the list. Congratulations to both papers!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Family History Sources

While I was cataloging government documents today, I ran across Family History Sources. It's a publication of NARA's Southeast Region. You will be able to locate print copies of this brochure in many libraries participating in the Federal Depository Library Program. The brochure provides a good overview of what is available in Morrow, Georgia for genealogists and family historians!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dear Mr. 1830 Census Enumerator:

I see that they did not teach you how to do your sums in Alabama. 1+1+1+1+1+1 under the free whites category is equal to 6 persons. 2+1+2+2 under slaves is equal to 7 persons. 6+7=13 not 18 as you somehow calculated.

You obviously need this wonderful invention that we have invented since you first enumerated the persons in your area to calculate your totals. It is called a spreadsheet program. You can choose from several. There is Microsoft Excel, Corel Quattro Pro, Open Office Calc, Lotus 1-2-3, and even Google Docs. If you put in the correct formula, it is very easy to calculate the totals so that you are not off by 5 persons!

Sincerely yours,

Someone in the 21st century who is using your data

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Reorganizing the Files

I decided that my former filing system was no longer working for me. I originally had folders that were mostly sorted by surname, with occasional folders for individual families or geographic locations as subdivisions of the surname. I also had some folders that were strictly sorted geographically, but these were few and far between.

The problem is that records within geographic regions often contain multiple families of interest to me. I tend to research a family and all of their associates. After talking with another genealogist, I'm going to try to slowly reorganize my old records mostly by geographic area with record type underneath.

I think that I'll still end up with a few surname files and correspondence files because I've already run across a few things that don't necessarily fit will in a geographic arrangement scheme. I will also end up with some files that address methodology that are more generalized.

Now I have a question for my readers: Do you have a filing system that works for you? Is your filing system "broken" as mine was? I'd love to have comments that talk about what has worked and what hasn't!