Musings on family history, regional history, book reviews, and miscellaneous observations and comments by a genealogist and librarian living near the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
Friday, December 31, 2010
The Best Laid Plans . . .
Now - what are my plans for this year which will likely alter over the course of the year?
In the next few weeks I'll be updating the handout for my NGS presentation about Mississippi research. This is a fairly recent handout so it probably won't change drastically, but I like to update them from time to time.
I'm planning to carve out a little more time to work on FamilySearch Indexing projects. This is likely to take place by making myself indexing at least one census image which usually requires about 15-20 minutes before beginning another project.
I want better access to the articles in the journals and magazines in my personal collection, so I'm going to continue to gradually add these to LibraryThing as titles owned, tag them, give the remaining bibliographic citation (journal title, volume, issue, publication date, pages) in the publication field, etc.
I'm planning to take on more client work this year so this will slow down my own research even more. However, I am planning to focus my research on about three of my families. The first of these is my Mosely/Mosley/Moseley family which ended up in middle Tennessee. They are quite challenging because they spent most of their time in a burned county (Giles). I've found records in several surrounding counties. One of the interesting things is that there is another Moseley family in the same area which is usually connected to a completely different line. I want better evidence than has been published by other researchers that the families are not connected and that ours comes from a different line. The other two families are some that landed in Southeastern Ohio -- the Dearborns and the Taylors. I am speaking at a library conference that will be held at Cedarville University in Cedarville, near Springfield, Ohio, in June. I'm hoping that I can spend some time before or after the conference researching these families who lived in Washington, Morgan, and Athens Counties in the early to mid 19th century. (My Rathbone line was also in the area so I may get a little more information on that one although I have a bit more documentation on this family than the others. Also Lovica Rathbone Taylor married Capt. William Davis later, so I may need to spend a little time with that surname as well.)
I have a couple of lectures that I'm extremely interested in developing. I've had them on paper for awhile and need to get them "ready to go." I suspect that finding examples that I can use to illustrate my slides and getting permissions to use the images will be the time-consuming part.
I have one goal which I don't wish to share publicly at this time. I will spend time working on this goal off and on throughout the year. It's actually one that is already in progress. With a full-time job and other commitments, it will likely take longer than this year to achieve.
Will all this be achieved? I don't know, but God does.
This post was composed for the 101st edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
The Roots of Elvis Presley
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Push & Shove
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Now, for a little look at a Christmas past. This was my very first White Christmas at the age of 10 months.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Mom's Cranberry Fudge
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chopped cranberries
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped walnuts
Combine sugar, cranberries, evaporated milk, butter, and salt in heavy pan. Bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows and nuts. Stir vigorously until marshmallows melt. Beat until thick. Add 2 to 3 drops of red food color, if desired, for a darker color. Pour in greased square-shaped pan and cool.
Mom used her Kitchen Aid stand mixer to beat the mixture after removed from the heat. It takes quite awhile to get it to a thick enough consistency that it will set. If you don't have a stand mixer, you will want to take turns beating it because you'll get tired pretty quickly! Dad says she sometimes left it for a couple of days before cutting it into pieces.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
I honestly do not know who is pictured in this photo other than the notes on the back. There is a resemblance between some of the men and some of the men on the Thornton side of the family. I do plan to ask my dad about the photo when I see him at Christmas.
Let's just say this is one place I was surprised to see a donkey!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Blog Caroling: O Holy Night
One of my favorite singers is Gerald Wolfe who sings lead with the group Greater Vision. There are two Christmas songs that he sings that are among my favorites. One of these is the song written by Lanny Wolfe called "Cherish That Name." I couldn't find a YouTube recording sung by Gerald of it so I opted to go with the other one, "O Holy Night."
According to Wikipedia, "O Holy Night" was composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847, but the version we know came to be in 1855 when John Sullivan Dwight, a Unitarian minister, created a version for singing based upon the French song.
O HOLY NIGHT
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
A Simple Christmas by Mike Huckabee
Huckabee, Mike. A Simple Christmas: Twelve Stories That Celebrate the True Holiday Spirit. New York: Sentinel, 2009.
I really enjoyed this collection of stories from Governor Huckabee's life that remind us that sometimes simple is better. They also show us the depth of his faith in Jesus Christ. They challenge us to remember the true meaning of Christmas. One of my favorite portions of the book was the introduction. I would have enjoyed hearing him preach that message! Throughout the book, the Governor made reference to many members of his family. As a genealogist, I wanted to go hunting for his ancestors as most of his information on the distant generations appears to have been passed down through oral tradition rather than having been properly documented. I still loved the stories of his family and of himself. One of the most touching stories involved the last days of a family member who died to cancer. Having lost my mother to cancer in the last year, I found myself in tears in that section. While I doubt liberal Democrats would enjoy the book, I do think there are many other classes of persons to whom this book would appeal. The stories are touching. It's a great Christmas read! (4 stars)
Monday, December 13, 2010
The Piano Teacher by Lynn York
Miss Wilma is a small town piano teacher in North Carolina. Her daughter Sarah and granddaughter Starling arrive for an unexpected visit. Her son-in-law Harper and Jonah Branch turn up just as the body of an officer is found -- just in time for Jonah to be accused of the murder. Sarah, her mother, and her mother's friend are convinced of Jonah's innocence and must work to prove it before Jonah lands behind bars for good. I really wanted to like this book, but it just didn't grip me. I liked Miss Wilma's character well enough, but the story line just didn't hold me. There was also a thread early in the novel about a piano student auditioning that just kind of fizzled out in the midst of the book with absolutely no resolution. I was more interested in this thread about the promising piano student than about the murder investigation so it left me unsatisfied. (3 stars)
Reflections on Genealogy Blogs & This Blog
I haven't been blogging as much lately. There are a variety of reasons contributing to my lack of blogging . . . other priorities, illness in the family, blogging burnout, and working on client research rather than my own. I have good intentions, and I know I need to get back to it, but I haven't. I also noticed signs of this same problem among some of the blogs that were nominated. One blog (which used to be a favorite) had not been updated in the last calendar year. I've at least written a handful of posts in that time. Others were infrequent, having only a handful of posts as well. Other blogs seem to be suffering a little "fatigue." They aren't quite as engaging as they once were. It's as though they were writing out of a sense of obligation rather than having something about which they are excited to share. I'll also confess a little secret to you. I hate the word "geneablog." I prefer to use the phrase "genealogy blog" or "family history blog," a term which is much more likely to be utilized by those looking for genealogy-related blogs than an invented term. I know that the English language is evolving, but that's one term that I'd rather have omitted from dictionaries. It's so prevalent that its use will be continued in genealogy blogging circles regardless of my thoughts on the matter. I think the one thing that bugs me about the use of the term is that I feel "trapped" by it. When I began Smoky Mountain Family Historian back in June of 2004, my intent was never to blog exclusively about genealogy. My intent was to blog about anything that interested me or caught my attention. It was to be a reflection of my whole person. I often shared reviews of books that I read. I shared things about my cat. I shared other things. In order to recapture my enthusiasm, I'm going back to my original intent for this blog. You are going to see many aspects of my life as well as glimpses into my genealogical research. I hope that this change back to the original direction of my blog does not cause you to leave. I just need to recapture my enthusiasm for blogging!
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
The Picky Eater
Saturday, October 16, 2010
SNGF: Where the Blame Lies
1) Read Brenda Joyce Jerome's post Who or What Do You Blame? on the Western Kentucky Genealogy blog. She asks these questions:Now, I can honestly say that I'm the only one to blame for my own genealogy addiction.
* Can you identify person or event that started you on this search for family information?
* Did you pick up researching where a relative had left off?
* Did your interest stem from your child's school project on genealogy?
* If you have been researching many years, it may be hard to pinpoint one reason for this journey.
2) Write your responses on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a note or comment on Facebook.
When I began researching genealogy that I knew of no other relatives who had researched a single thing about our family. We had no school projects on genealogy. The only thing I knew is that my Mom had always wanted to know something more about her great grandfather Walton Harris. At the time I began researching, I was living in Cincinnati. I knew that it was one of the top genealogical libraries in the country. I just decided to try my hand at it -- a surprise for Mom. It didn't take me long to move to other branches of my family. I found more interesting lines and pursued those. I was shocked when I discovered New England ancestry. I'd grown up in Mississippi and never imagined that I'd discover ancestors in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. However, my New England ancestors are by far my most interesting ones. In those early years, when I got discouraged on a Southern brick wall, I'd always turn to my interesting New England ancestors which would put me back in the discovery phase and get me past the feeling of being defeated by a particularly difficult brick wall challenge.
I mentioned that when I started that I knew of no one else in the family who had researched the family. I did learn about some who had after I started. I learned that Mom and Nanny (Mom's mom) had gone to the courthouse in Pulaski, Tennessee (Giles County) only to be told that all the records had perished in a fire. I'm really not sure who they talked to, but there are quite a few records which did survive. They just found an unhelpful clerk on that date.
I also learned that Mom's Aunt Marie had researched the Lantz and Taylor lines fairly extensively. However, by the time I discovered this, I already had these lines well under way with much of the same documentation she had. I've never actually seen Aunt Marie's research, but her granddaughter has much of it, and I've corresponded with her.
Someone on the Thornton line had done a little bit of research too because the reunion booklet shows signs that some research was done, even though it was not documented. I'm still not sure who compiled the information in that older booklet, but I do know that Dad's first cousin took it and researched some more -- as did I.
I later found another Hester researcher who had more information on descendants of other branches than I did. (Of course, I was able to help her get forward on some of the ones she didn't have as well fleshed-out.)
However, I was addicted before I made the discoveries of other researchers -- and I have no one to blame for myself!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
An Interesting Family
I decided to see if I could find anyone researching this couple in an effort to discover how these families might or might not be related to my Harris and Davis families. As I inserted the couple in a search in WorldConnect (http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/), I came up with something quite interesting just from the locations mentioned for Samuel's birth and death. Samuel was said to have been born 20 Nov 1763 in Bechman Twp., Dutchess Co., N.Y. I recognized that immediately as the area where the Beekman Patent was. At least one tree stated that he was born in neighboring Nine Partners rather than Bechman Twp., but it was still in the area. There is a note in one tree that states he was a member of the Reformed Dutch Church. His death location was listed as Pleasant Hill, Mercer Co., Ky. I immediately recognized this as what we call "Shakertown." In fact, some of the trees elaborated a bit more on this connection. It appears that Samuel and his wife Elizabeth, said to have been a North Carolina native, became Shakers in 1806. Seven children were listed in one of the trees, and it was noted that all of their sons eventually left the Shakers, but that the daughters remained. Samuel and his wife Elizabeth are said to be buried in unmarked graves at Shakertown.
I found this connection between the Beekman Patent and Shakertown to be very interesting. I'd love to do further research on this family to try to prove or disprove the claims made in the online trees.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Things That Make You Go Hmmm . . .
I had handwritten notes on notebooks in 3 ring binders without reinforcements. I've discovered a page of notes with the bibliographic information missing on one of the items. What I do know about the source is that on pages 143-147 (at the very minimum) is a list of early marriages of Cumberland County, Kentucky. My notes indicate that the source stated that the county was formed in 1798 and included large parts of several counties, one of which was Wayne County. I also have a note that the list that follows was made by Mrs. Nora C. McGee before the courthouse fire of 1933. (I've summarized for you here, but I had the actual wording in my notes.) Then I included the marriages for two surnames that I was researching in Wayne County. Oh, how I wish I'd known then to make sure that the source information appeared on each page that I wrote by hand. I sent an e-mail to a couple of friends who do a great deal of research in Kentucky. I mentioned to them that I'd probably gotten it from the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County. I also mentioned that if they couldn't identify the source that I'd have to hope that either the McClung Collection or Tennessee State Library & Archives had it. One of them quickly replied that it was not one source and that it was probably another which was available at TSLA. To look at that source is now on my "to do" list for my October visit to TSLA.
Since I'm trying to identify the parents of Dicey Davis who married Charles Harris in Wayne County in 1811, I thought it might be helpful if I looked at some online family trees to see if any of them could shed some light on some of the marriages that I had collected. We all know how entertaining some of those trees can be, especially the undocumented ones. For example, I found the same marriage attributed to one husband who was said to have belonged to different sets of parents. I was attempting to locate a Marice Carter who married a Betsey Harris 10 Dec 1806 in Cumberland Co., Ky. I found a Morris Veale Carter, who married a Nancy Brown in 1813 in Nelson Co., Ky., whose parents were listed by one researcher as Edward Carter and Margaret Mason, but by most researchers (including ones with a greater degree of documentation) as Peter Carter and Amelia Veale. None of these trees identify an earlier marriage to a Betsey/Elizabeth Harris, but at least I have an annotation about it which might help in unpuzzling something in the future.
Then you have the cases of the underage marriages. Did an 18-year-old man marry a 10-11 year old girl as one tree seemed to indicate in the marriage of Robert Davis to Sally Smith in Lincoln County, Kentucky in 1796? The tree, which lacks documentation, states that Robert was born in 1778 and was the son of Robert Davis and Jane Jopling. It states that Sally was born in 1785/86 to Martin Smith and Hannah/Joannah Stephens. Do we have incorrect birth dates? Or is this a case of misidentifying the wife? Or did an 18 year old really marry and underage girl? Once again, I have an annotation with plenty of questions for further research attached to this one for further investigation.
I'm not a person who uses online family trees as a source for a final report. I'd much prefer to get as close to the original records as possible. These trees only provide clues for me. I want to see if I can build the families from the original records. I just need to know what other people are saying about the relationships and see if I come to the same conclusions from my own research. If there are disagreements between my conclusions and theirs, can I resolve the conflicts? This is a case where my annotated notes will prove more helpful than my genealogy software. I have not identified any of these families as my own, although they are in the same area as my families.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Another Book Has Arrived
I'm excited about this book because it's published by a press known for good literary works. This is definitely a history of the Hammill Family who came from Scotland. It is divided into five parts:
Part I: The Hammill Family in Scotland and Ireland
Part II: Charles County, Maryland, 1725-1778
Part III: Prince William County, Virginia, 1778-1845
Part IV: Prince William County, Virginia, 1845-1896
Part V: The Hammill Family in the Far Northwest, 1880-1928
I'm really looking forward to reading this book. The "blurb" on the dust jacket is a sentiment that many of us share about our own families that we have researched:
Matthews combines meticulous research and deft storytelling to show how the Scots-Irish Hammills--millers, wagon makers, and blacksmiths--lived out their lives against a backdrop of the American Revolution, the Civil War, and westward expansion. Readers will come away with a newfound respect for the ordinary families who helped shape this country and managed to hold their own through turbulent times.
Friday, September 17, 2010
The UPS Man Arriveth
Rohrer, S. Scott. Wandering Souls: Protestant Migrations in America, 1630-1865. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
The book addresses migrations of several religious groups over the period of time mentioned in the title. The first chapter deals with the Puritans. The second with the Anglicans of Virginia. The third with the Scots-Irish Presbyterians. [The author of the book called them Scotch-Irish. I remember being told that Scotch is something you drink or a brand of tape. People from Scotland are Scots. However, most of us realize that we have to live with both spellings for this ethnic group.] The fourth chapter deals with Pietists (such as the Moravians). The fifth chapter deals with Methodists, specifically in the area that became Ohio. The sixth chapter deals with Baptists and Congregationalists. The sixth chapter deals with the Amana Colony in Iowa. The seventh chapter deals with the Mormons. I'm really looking forward to using this volume as I research my ancestors and the ancestors of others. I'm really glad that I stumbled across a reference to it the other day in a book review that crossed my desk at work.
Monday, September 06, 2010
Update (9/7/2010): Bill and me are 10th cousins once removed. Bill & Polly are 11th cousins. Bill and Linda are 9th cousins twice removed. Other Perkins cousins found are Melinde Lutz Sanborn, Natalie Cottrill, and Randy Seaver. We don't have enough info at the moment to calculate the degree of relationship to the last three. Natalie and Bill do share a descent through John & Judith's daughter Mary.
Update (9/9/2010): Randy Seaver and Linda are 9th cousins twice removed. Randy, Bill, and Polly are 11th cousins. Randy and me are 10th cousins once removed.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
I stopped at O'Charleys on the way home to grab a bite to eat. I ordered the black and blue salad, but I kind of feel that I was cheated on the blue part. The blue cheese crumbles were so fine inside the dressing that you couldn't even see them. If I had not tasted the flavor, I would not have known they were there. The steak was cooked as ordered and was tasty, although it was definitely not the best grade of meat available. The bacon crumbles were almost overpowering. I think I would have preferred their omission. I guess that it just wasn't like the black and blue salad I would have made!
My feet are beginning to recover from those concrete floors at the FGS Conference in Knoxville. I think that they'll be fine by next weekend.
I spent yesterday scanning 297 pages of documents that I photocopied on a recent research trip. I will be using these documents along with some other materials already in my possession and some research yet to be done to create an account for future publication. I'm just not sure yet how far into the future it will be, but I will be writing, documenting, and looking for any gaps in the narrative as I go.
I think it's about time for the Sunday afternoon nap! My cat has already begun his.
Monday, August 23, 2010
FGS 2010 Recap
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Booking Through Thursday: Evolving Reading Tastes
Have your reading choices changed over the years? Or pretty much stayed the same?
They are not talking about differences between childhood and adulthood, but the reading choices that you make in adulthood. I do plan to comment a bit on my reading choices in my later elementary, middle, and high school years and how they evolved into some of my adult choices and then how my tastes have (or have not) changed.
In my later elementary years, I was hooked on the Hardy Boys series. I loved to follow Joe and Frank and all their sleuthing adventures. I basically loved any other book that involved a nice light mystery, although I never really read Nancy Drew. My brothers had owned some of the Hardy Boys series so I started with them and never really switched to Nancy. In fact, one of my classmates (who died earlier this week) was collecting the Hardy Boys books and often loaned his copies to me to read. As an adult, this love for the light mystery developed into a love of the cozy mystery. It's still one of my favorite genres -- but only if it is well-written. There are so many new cozy series that are developing right now that just are not that interesting or well-written. I guess that you could say that I'm more discriminating in series and know that I can't possibly read them all so I only read the ones which really appeal to me.
Beginning in middle school and lasting throughout high school, I developed a strong love for the "romantic suspense" genre. Some were marketed as "Gothic" novels, but the ones I really liked did not have (or at least I didn't notice) connections to the Occult. Most involved a woman who ended up at a country estate (or larger somewhat historic home). There would be something strange and life-endangering and the heroine would be both attracted to and frightened of a man whom she thought might be the one behind the problem. The first book I read in this genre was Phyllis Whitney's Window on the Square. I believe I was in about the fifth grade when I stumbled upon this book. I began reading other books by Whitney. Then I discovered Victoria Holt and others who wrote similar books. I checked them all out of our public library. This was back in the days when you signed the book cards. I used to looks for certain names on the cards to know if I might like the book. This genre has almost disappeared (or at least I only see a handful of books in the review sources). In my adulthood, I think this particular taste evolved into books (especially mysteries) that were set in English country estates and even into books that evoked English village life. (I think I enjoyed the setting the most about the romantic suspense books.)
During high school, especially during the summer months, I received huge quantities of Harlequin and Silhouette romances that had their covers removed. I know now that these had been reported as being destroyed, but I was a voracious reader, and it kept me occupied. I would often read two a day. I never was a huge fan of the romance, but I loved the settings -- Greek Islands, coastal locations in the U.S., Hawaii, etc. As an adult, I rarely read the romance. I'm not even a huge fan of "chick lit." What I do enjoy is a good travel narrative! I also enjoy reading books set in a variety of places.
Now, let's take a look at some of my reading tastes as an adult. In my early adult years, I read a vast amount of Christian fiction. It was a fairly new genre at the time, because prior to that most Christian fiction was a somewhat fictionalized biography of some Biblical character. I guess that I had read Eugenia Price books in high school, but I really think the birth of Christian fiction as a genre occurred with the publishing of Janette Oke's books. I used to read lots of Christian fiction books, but I got tired of them. It was the same formula over and over, and for many of them, the incorporation of the plan of salvation at the end of the book seemed rather forced. I won't say that I've entirely given up the genre, because there is an occasional Christian writer who writes well. If a plot sounds like something I would enjoy, I might give the author a try, but I'm not likely to give them a second chance if the writing does not measure up. It's just not a genre that I frequently read.
As far as mysteries go, I am much more diverse in my reading. I still don't really like hard-boiled novels, but I do like police procedurals as much as the cozy featuring the amateur sleuth. In recent years, I've begun to really enjoy some of the Scandinavian mysteries that are increasing in popularity with American readers. British ones are among my favorites.
I've always had a love for history. As an adult that love has increased. I read far more true histories now than historical novels as I did several years ago. I guess I'd rather make sure that the facts are there and properly documented!
I've also become more adventurous in my reading. Part of this is because a friend and I regularly exchange books. She has introduced me to some wonderful authors, and I've introduced her to some as well. The two of us decided to participate in some of the LibraryThing challenges. To complete some of the challenges, we are stretching our boundaries and discovering books that we otherwise would never have discovered. We both discovered a wonderful Canadian book called Mrs. Mike that is reminiscent of some of the prairie romances that are set in America. We've discovered other Canadian authors that we would not have discovered otherwise. The Europe Endless challenge encourages us to find a book set in every European country. We're really stretching in the boundaries here! Do you know how difficult it is to find books set in some of the smaller countries? The 1010 challenge encouraged us to read 10 books in 10 different categories for 2010. I have enjoyed this challenge and the discoveries of new authors. One of my categories is "Caribbean." I've read or will read books by authors such as Michelle Cliff, Jamaica Kincaid, and Andrea Levy that I otherwise might not have discovered.
I've discovered that I like diversity in my reading. I've got a huge to be read pile of to-be-read books with Asian (including some of the Asian Middle Eastern countries). I'm making Asia one of my categories in 2011. I had gotten turned off by mysteries featuring archaeologists a few years ago. (It was probably the presence of one snake too many. I really don't even remember now.) However, I've rediscovered these, and I have a lot of catching up to do. Many of these are some of the better-written mysteries out there.
So, yes, my reading has evolved over the years, but it has also stayed the same. I just have a more mature reading pattern that involves books written at more mature levels as well as those that are more "fluff."
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Cite Your Sources
I also just noticed a post by another genealogist who wishes that she had not shared information with another genealogical researcher. Why? Because that person had posted the information and photos shared without proper attribution. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard this sentiment echoed. I'd be a rich person. CITE YOUR SOURCES, people, CITE YOUR SOURCES.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
William Terrance “Terry” Thornton (1939-2010)
Terry was a born storyteller. He loved to relate stories of the family. Several years ago, he started a newsletter for family members called “The Thornton News.” It was sent to all descendants of Richard Thornton and his elusive wife Agnes. [We’ve since determined that Agnes’ surname was Branum or Barnum.] In one of the earlier issues of that newsletter, he related why Monk Thornton had to move to Georgia. It was very entertaining. He also related the story of the “worm” (a moonshining term) that he later shared on his blog. We all looked forward to his contributions.
After the demise of the newsletter, he eventually turned to blogging to share his stories – not just with his own family, but with others as well. His gift of relating a story made his blog a favorite of many. He had a following, not only in the blogging community, but also in the “Hill Country” area. He was asked to share his stories with the readers of the Monroe Journal (a merger of the Amory Advertiser and Aberdeen Examiner). He did so in a biweekly column as long as he was able to continue.
Visitation will be Wednesday, 11 August 2010 from 5-7 p.m. (CDT) at E. E. Pickle Funeral Home in Amory, Mississippi. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, 12 August 2010 at the funeral home with burial in Lann Cemetery following. [Terry shared a photo of his pre-need marker on his blog (complete with a bagpiper).]
Memorial gifts may be made to the Itawamba Historical Society of which he was a member. Address is P.O. Box 7, Mantachie, MS 38855.
His obituary and online guest book for those wishing to express condlences to the family are available here: http://www.legacy.com/funerals/eepicklefuneralhome-amory-smithville/obituary.aspx?n=william-terrance-thornton-terry&pid=144608502.
One more quick memory: Terry loved his catfish from Pickles on the Hill in Amory! He would have to stop there every chance he got!
Quick Update on Terry
Friday, August 06, 2010
Pray for Terry
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Cooling Off in East Tennessee
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Books Featuring Genealogy
I think that seeing this blurb really made me miss the Rett MacPherson cozy mystery series featuring Torie O'Shea. It's been a couple of years since Rett came out with a new novel in the series. I always eagerly awaited the next installment. When I noticed there were no forthcoming installments of the series on either the publisher's site or the author's site, I emailed the author awhile back. Her response indicated that she was spending her time on other things and not writing a novel at the present time. I was very sad. I keep hoping that she'll resume the series, but as the time passes so does the likelihood of that happening.
Over the years, there have been a number of short series featuring genealogists and several stand-alone or individual novels in a series featuring persons on a quest for their family's story. There are a number of sites online which list many of these titles although some are becoming slightly dated. I just wish that we had a current cozy mystery series that provided some escapist reading for those of us who enjoy family history. I hope someone will undertake the challenge of writing such a series. In the meantime, I will just have to enjoy books such as Danielle Steel's upcoming mystery (which I hope is well-done) to get my "fix" on genealogical escapism!
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Two Weeks Until FGS
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Is Your Organization at Risk of Losing Its Tax-Exempt Status?
Monday, July 19, 2010
A Hot Summer
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Introduction to Genealogy
Here's a more comprehensive description of the course:
LIB 1001: Introduction to Genealogy. Students in this in-depth course will become familiar with many online and print sources, will interact with one another and the instructor in discussion forums and email, and will complete lessons to learn interesting genealogical skills.
Students will learn
* why people are given certain names at birth
* what family stories and traditions have been passed down
* how to chart what they already know about their ancestry
* how to use free software to organize and manipulate family data
* how to use the records common to genealogists, like the U.S. Federal Census, vital records, and military records
* how to locate and use court records, immigrations, and land records
Class participants will also have access to Ancestry Library edition through ProQuest.
Those interested in taking LIB 1001 in the fall semester at Jackson State Community College will need to apply for admission to the College online at http://www.jscc.edu/admissions. There, find the online admission form, and enroll as a non-degree-seeking student to avoid needing to send transcripts and taking placement testing. The campus ID you are sent upon admission will allow you to register for the course online.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Another Hotel Option for FGS Knoxville
The Hilton and Holiday Inns are full. There is still space at the Crowne Plaza at the FGS rate of $108. See http://www.fgsconferenceblog.org/2010/06/update-additional-hotel-has-been-added.html for more information on the Crowne Plaza option.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
3rd FGS Hotel
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
FGS & PMC Early Registration Deadlines Extended
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
The main reason I wanted to look at the letter was to determine where Ohio Historical Society had gotten the information in the letter. I remember that it basically stated that the ancestor had gone to fight and never come back and that a small stream was named in his honor. I discovered it also stated that he'd lived where a cemetery was now located, and that they'd suffered a house fire. Those were things I really didn't remember from previous research. However, I was extremely disappointed in the letter. No sources were cited. I have no idea where the correspondent from OHS had obtained the information. (If only they'd written a nice research report that met BCG standards!) I've never been able to locate proof that he served in the War of 1812 even though it is family tradition that he did and that he died in 1814 in a Detroit hospital of illness and never returned from the war. He's not listed on any of the rosters I've found for Ohio soldiers. (Although in revisiting this, I discovered that another ancestor of mine did serve so now I have a little more research to perform on this ancestor. I think what surprised me about this ancestor's service was that he was widowed with a small child. He also travelled back to New Hampshire to wed his second wife--the one from whom I'm descended--during the years of the war. I just had never looked for him in the war records for those reasons.)
I also found some other helpful hints in some transcriptions of other letters that had been sent. One was a letter from a relative written in 1905 which included some interesting family information -- some of which appears to be more hearsay than truth based on previous research. However, I did find a few clues that I wish to examine more closely.
I'm discovering that I really need to revisit some of that early research and see what I missed when I was a less experienced researcher. Apparently I missed quite a bit.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Thanks, My Heritage
Monday, May 10, 2010
A Teachable Moment
Most of us realize that the standard is that we should cite the actual source used. If our source is a derivative, we need to indicate this. I do a lot of research in archival materials. Often researchers are requested to use a preservation photocopy or microfilm rather than the original if the pages are brittle. I try to remind myself to make that notation that what I used was the preservation photocopy. (I rarely have difficulty remembering to indicate the microfilm.) Recently I used the preservation photocopy in one repository and was able to use the original because of a "problem" I found on the photocopy and needed to clarify by examining the original. It turned out that there was no difference in the two, but I needed to make sure that something had not been omitted in photocopying. The rounded page edges seen on the photocopy seemed to indicate that nothing was omitted. The sentence structure between the two pages matched, but there was a numbering issue that made me realize that it was likely the clerk had either omitted something or lost track of his numbering. Without examining the original to see if there was something inserted or in a margin, I could not be sure that the entry was complete. It would have been wrong for me to have cited the original if I'd examined only the preservation photocopy. As it was, I could actually cite both the original and the preservation photocopy.
Cite only what you have actually used. When citing personal experience, make sure it is your own and not something that has been passed down through the family. Give credit to those ancestors who shared the story with you!
Monday, May 03, 2010
When Bull Mountain Broke Loose
As I watch the devastation in the Western and Middle parts of my state and listen to my friends telling their stories of cars submerged and floating in the raging waters of the Cumberland and Harpeth Rivers and all the many creeks and tributaries, I wonder how many of the descendants of the persons who survived this spring's devastating floods will hear stories of "when the Harpeth broke loose" or "when the Cumberland broke loose." The images I've seen on my television and computer screen are devastating. I've seen areas that I used to frequent when I lived in the Nashville area under water. My prayers go out to the people in the flooded areas of Tennessee and Kentucky.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Camera Found in Lamar Co., Ala.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Who or What Sparked Your Enthusiasm for Genealogy?
I'm not really sure what I thought when I first decided to see if I could find additional information for her, but I certainly didn't dream that I'd develop the passion and enthusiasm for genealogical research that I did. I was living in a city that had one of the top ten genealogical library collections in the country at the time. History had always been my favorite subject in school, even though I didn't major in it in college. I think I thought I'd find the answers for her and move on with my life. What happened is that I quickly became so engrossed in the study of my family that I moved from one line to another too quickly, a bad habit of many beginning genealogists.
I also made the mistake of beginning with poor genealogical software. This was back in the days of smaller hard drives and 5 1/4 inch floppy disks. I had a freeware program that allowed the input of basic information and 10 lines for notes. I was an academic and realized that I needed to cite my sources, but how could one do that properly in 10 fixed-width lines? I also had many other things I wished to include in the notes. I developed a short-hand for my sources, but the truth was that I had to go back to paper copies of notes for many of them. Even today I still come across old entries in my genealogical database that I have to fix as I discover them and as time permits.
I'm sure I also made other errors when I first began my genealogical research. I know that I jumped to a few conclusions about who an ancestor's parent might be before I had really performed that "reasonably exhaustive search" that standards require. In fact, there are probably things out on the Internet that I posted long ago (as recently as 9 or 10 years ago) that I would cringe to discover now. I've made the observation to other genealogists that I wish I had time to go back and review the data and conclusions on each of those lines. I never seem to have time to work on my own families any more. That's okay though, because I've discovered a lot of families that are much more interesting than my own in the process. I know one genealogist that sets aside a few hours each weekend to work on her own families. Maybe one of these days I can budget that time for myself but since I still have a regular job, the weekend is my only time to do a lot of things, and I'm very involved with church activities which takes most of Sunday.
I spent last night working with a most interesting church record from the 1820s. It was a case of church discipline. I hope to one day take the research plan I developed and turn this one into a full-fledged article for publication. This person definitely broke several of the ten commandments!
I'm glad that my mother was curious about her family. If she had not been, I may have never discovered the wonderful world of family history and genealogical research.
Who or what sparked your enthusiasm? Feel free to comment here or leave a link to your own blog post sharing the answer to that question.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Just Keeping Busy
I also went to North Carolina Genealogical Society's Spring Seminar on April 10 in Wilkesboro. Mark Lowe was the featured speaker. We all had a great time of learning and of visiting with genealogy friends that we don't get to see as often as we'd like.
This past week has been filled with extra rehearsals for our choir's spring musical, "Savior: Jesus Messiah." We presented it last night. I heard a lot of positive comments from people who had attended.
There is lots to do this week as well. I've got a book that I need to finish reading so that I can get the review written by the end of the month. I've got an indexing deadline for Christian Periodical Index that is also looming for May 1. I've got a self-imposed deadline for another project this week. I've got some other deadlines for mid-May. I'm working on five to six presentations that will be made at various conferences this summer. (The 6th one isn't confirmed yet but will probably take place in July.) One of those may be repeated at another venue.
I'm really looking forward to seeing Greater Vision in Knoxville this coming Saturday night. This will be Chris Allman's first weekend back with them. Chris was their original tenor. I can't wait to hear those guys together again!
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Odds & Ends
I've been reading on Facebook and on blogs about the UPS man visiting all my friends who pre-ordered the iPad. So far, most seem to be opting for WiFi but not WiFi + 3G. I will admit that I'm a little envious! As I read some of my newspaper feeds and saw photos of folks standing in line awaiting their iPad, I was certain the folks who pre-ordered theirs were smarter!
One of the blogs I read is entitled Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. Yesterday, they had the most marvelous family story and recipe for Easter Pie Palmiers. The story and recipe were shared by Cleo Coyle, author of a series of books set in coffee shops. I thought all my genealogy friends would appreciate the story!
Speaking of food, I love lemon. I love blueberries. I love scones. I may just have to try these.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Random Book Musing
Today I ran across one entitled How to Live 365 Days a Year. I had a couple of thoughts. First of all, I thought that it would be better to live than to not live. The second thought was "What about leap year? Do we only have to live 365 of the 366 days that year?"
I'll let you make the judgment call on my random thoughts.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
North Carolina Bible Records
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Heritage Quest Training for Tennessee Residents
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
All of U.S. History Will Be Taught in NC High Schools
Monday, February 15, 2010
U.S. History in High Schools
Saturday, February 13, 2010
2010 FGS Conference Registration is Open
The conference schedule includes 173 presentations by 73 noted speakers, including a large number of sponsored luncheons with speakers. There will be two exciting evening events: “Come Sit a Spell: Ballads, Mountain Stories, and Country Fare,” organized by the host societies; and the annual gala FGS banquet, “An Evening in Old Appalachia,” which will be held at the fascinating Museum of Appalachia.
The exciting program includes a completely redesigned “Focus on Societies” day that will present societies’ officers, as well as their members and volunteers, with all new programs and focus group sessions to help improve their operations and effectiveness.
ProQuest is sponsoring Librarians Day, a full day of free sessions for librarians and archivists that includes a tour of the outstanding McClung Historical Collection of the Knox County Public Library.
FamilySearch will present an extensive track of sessions about its resources and projects that you won’t want to miss. Ancestry.com will present a free day of classes for the public and conference attendees on Saturday, plus they will offer free document scanning sessions to attendees by appointment throughout the conference. The Genealogy Guys Podcast will also be there to record a “live” session at the conference.
The Exhibit Hall will be filled with a wide array of vendors and organizations, and a special Spotlight on Societies area will showcase local and regional genealogical and historical societies. There will be extended Exhibit Hall hours on Friday evening, followed by a gala reception, hosted by FamilySearch, to kick off the 1812 Pension Files Digitization Project.
There are more activities and research opportunities too numerous to list. However, you can learn all about the 2010 FGS Conference and register for this exciting four-day event at http://www.fgs.org/2010conference. Be sure to also visit or subscribe to the FGS Conference Blog at http://www.fgsconferenceblog.org for lots more information and travel advice.
We look forward to seeing you in Knoxville in August!
Cherel Henderson and Pat Oxley
National Conference Co-Chairs
2010 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference