Thursday, November 19, 2015

An Isolated Empire: A History of Northwest Colorado

Athearn, Frederic J. An Isolated Empire: A History of Northwest Colorado. Denver: Colorado State Office, Bureau of Land Management, 1976.

This useful government publication contains the following chapters:

  1. Northwestern Colorado Prior to Exploration
  2. The Fur Trade
  3. Exploration in Northwestern Colorado
  4. Mining and Transportation in Early Western Colorado
  5. Confrontations: Settlement Versus the Ute Indians
  6. Settlement in Middle Park and the Yampa Valley
  7. Development of the Cattle and Sheep Industry
  8. Mining and Transportation 1890-1920
  9. The "Moffat Road" and Northwestern Colorado, 1903-1948
  10. Development of Northwestern Colorado 1890-1940

It can be found online in the HathiTrust Digital Library or in many Federal Depository Library Program libraries.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Learning from Facebook: Camp Crossville

A former professor at the university where I worked is now employed by a larger state university. He recently shared the following Q & A as his status:

Q: Why are there so many German and Italian surnames in Crossville, TN?

A: Because during WWII, captured German and Italian officers were held at the POW camp there. Some "trusties" were released to work on local farms. Locals came to the fence and bartered with them. The folks of Crossville were so kind that when the war was over, many of the prisoners went back to Europe, got their families, and moved to Crossville.

I found this interesting from a genealogical standpoint.

I learned through comments on the blog post that the camp is now a 4-H camp.

The professor also linked to an interesting and well-documented article entitled "'To Win Our War with Butter and Beefsteaks': Camp Crossville and the Treatment of Axis Prisoners of War" written by Gregory Kupsky.

The most interesting comment of all was by the daughter of one of the Germans held there who returned to Germany and moved to the United States after taking five years to convince his wife about how kind Americans were.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Falling Behind

Sometimes life just sort of catches up with you. I'd been trying to keep posting ahead with the blog so I wouldn't fall behind, but now I'm behind because my life has outpaced the scheduled posts.

I spent Thursday and Friday of last week in Nashville. I spent Saturday in Winston-Salem. Sunday was spent at church. Yesterday, I spent time with the kittens, then participated in a song service at a retirement home, then worked until late.

Hopefully I will get this blog back on track, but the posts may be sporadic until I can build up a few posts!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Did the Ridings family live in Smith County, Tennessee?

Did the Ridings family who moved to Monroe County, Mississippi live in Smith County, Tennessee prior to their arrival? Plenty of online genealogies say that they did. Most say their children were born there from about 1816 to 1826. I only got to spend about 3.5 hours yesterday afternoon in the State Library and Archives. I mostly used abstracts for the county which are plentiful due to hard work of the Works Progress Administration employees involved in the Historical Records Survey Project for Tennessee. (I am sure many researching other states wish their state librarian at that time had been Mrs. John Trotwood Moore. I know when I work in another state's records I become even more appreciative of her foresight to have so many records abstracted for use.) I utilized not only the WPA records but other published abstracts for the county. My main focus was on court records, land records, and wills/probate records. I knew I needed to get to the tax records, but I put those off. I kept my focus on the years 1800 to 1840, even though I knew the family was probably only there a few years on the other side of the range of the children's births. I was also looking for two other allied families as I was researching the records.

What were my findings? I did not discover a single Ridings family in all the abstracts. I suspected one of the allied families (Anglin) might not be present in that county. I thought it possible that another might show up in an occasional record since they were allegedly in a nearby county in the early years of that same period. I did find records with this surname (Sheppard/Shepherd) in the county, but I am unable to link these persons with my ancestral family at the present time.

It does not currently meet the standards for a reasonably exhaustive search. I need to look at those tax records, and I may need to eventually go back through the records themselves for this period to see if names were omitted in the abstracts. Legislative petitions also need to be checked.

So did they live in Smith County? Yes. How do I know? Because he appears in the 1830 census for Smith County. [1830 U.S. Federal Census, Smith County, Tennessee, p. 112 (written), line 22, James Ridings; digital image, ( : accessed 13 Nov 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication M19, roll 181.] The maiden name of James Ridings wife is sometimes seen as Tubb or Tubbs, but most records place a question mark at the end of it. If this is her surname, I did spot references to persons with the Tubbs and Tibb or Tibbs surnames (which could be typographical errors because of the proximity of the i and u on a keyboard). Several Tubbs families are enumerated on the same page. I need to do a more exhaustive search of that name in the county as well. In my rush to create a research plan at the last minute after discovering a few hours would be available to research, I neglected to include that surname on my list. So many records, so little time!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Pony Express

Fike, Richard E. and Headley, John W. The Pony Express Stations of Utah in Historical Perspective. Salt Lake City: Bureau of Land Management, Utah, 1979.

This government publication focuses on the Pony Express in the state of Utah. It is filled with maps and photographs to help readers understand the location of each station in the state.

Today, the Pony Express has a national museum in St. Joseph, Missouri. The website offers short biographies in its historical notes, a timeline, and a list of riders which may be of interest to genealogists.

The Pony Express National Historic Trail spans eight states--California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. The website contains information on the history and culture of the trail and a bibliography for those seeking additional information on the Pony Express.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is one of the holidays I remember from childhood. I was always confused because most of my family members still referred to it as Armistice Day.

An armistice was signed November 11, 1918 which put a stop to action in World War I until the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year. The first celebration of Armistice Day was held in 1919. Congress adopted a resolution in 1926 to make it annual, but it did not become a federal holiday until 1938. Its name was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954. (As I pointed out earlier, many in my family still referred to it as Armistice Day more than a decade later.)

In the early 1970s, they tried to observe it the 4th Sunday of October. I lived in Mississippi which continued to observe it on November 11. Many other states followed suit and soon Congress was forced to return the holiday to the day on which the Armistice was signed.

"Pappaw," my paternal grandfather, was a World War I veteran, fighting in France, where he earned a purple heart.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Super Genes

Chopra, Deepak and Tanzi, Rudolph E. Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being. New York: Harmony Books, 2015.

Genetics is a rapidly evolving field of study with so many discoveries that one must be dilligent to keep up. The authors have shown that they are well-versed in recent discoveries, even reporting on the recent epigenetics discovery that one's ancestors memories may be etched in our DNA. The first section with its focus on the science behind DNA and epigenetics is by far the most interesting. The authors attempt to apply the research to lifestyle choices in the second part. Unfortunately the authors seemed to be guided by and promoting New Age philosophies in this section and in the third section which focused on evolution. I would prefer to read a book on genetics that was a bit more neutral and did not promote Eastern religions and philosophies. The appendices were more interesting than the last two parts of the book. This review is based on on Advanced Review e-galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Levi & Barbara

Levi Lance }
to }
Barbara Yoder }
I solemnized the marriage of Levi Lance and Barbara Yoder I vow the 9th day of Nov 1837. Jacob Bowman J.P.

Wayne County, Ohio marriage records, volume 4A, p. 167, Levi Lance-Barbara Yoder marriage, 9 Nov 1837; Wayne County, Ohio courthouse, photocopy in possession of Lori Thornton.

The above marriage record and transcription belongs to my great-great grandparents, Levi Lantz and Barbara Yoder. They were married on this day 178 years ago.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Report on Sevier County Public Library System's Genealogy Conference

I did not have time to write a more researched post so I decided to report on the conference where I presented this weekend. Sevier County Public Library system holds a genealogy conference each fall. This year Mark Lowe was the scheduled speaker but last minute changes were made when Mark was unable to attend. Ann Blomquist and I did many of the sessions and Art Bohanan (aka "Milo") who is a forensic investigator and works with Dr. Bass at UT Knoxville's famed "Body Farm"did one of Mark's sessions. Three ladies were already scheduled to do a session on growing up in the Smokies as Preacher's Kids. Their time slot was altered slightly but they shared some interesting memories. Conference attendees seemed to love the presentations. Many said they learned a great deal. My extended DNA talk was the most advanced topic presented. After talking with several of them the day before I gave it, I knew my talk was perfect for the audience. I did go home and put a few extra slides in, mainly because a few things were not mentioned on Friday. Some were beginners with DNA, just deciding where to test or if it was for them. Some tested with all three companies. No one admitted to understanding the results or what to do with them. Before the end of the day, several downloaded GenomeMate Pro or were going to upload to GEDmatch. One even uploaded data to Promethease to secure a health report. In all it was an interesting day. One person came up to me after the conference and asked if I ever slept. I just kind of laughed. As I was chatting with a genealogist later that evening, the person told me I was in danger of being in a league with a prominent genealogist when people started asking me that question. I laughed, knowing that I'll never be in a league with that genealogist. If the condition is genetic, however, I do know on which segment of which chromosome it originated.

One quick note: The Cumberland Gap Genealogy Jamboree is coming again this June. I will be speaking on Saturday.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Comparing Shared Centimorgans

Thursday Angie Bush posted on Facebook's ISOGG group that Ancestry DNA was now reporting the total shared centimorgans. Everyone was excited about this development, but people began to notice discrepancies which were being attributed to algorithms.

I decided to take a match for a known second cousin once removed and compare the totals reported for Ancestry and GEDmatch, using default settings. For privacy reasons, I'm not including the match's name or GEDmatch kit number.

Ancestry reported 96 cM across 6 segments. GEDmatch returned 6 segments. If you look at the bottom, it shows that the total of segments > 7 cm was 98.3 cM. This is pretty close. While I'd love to know which 2.3 cM Ancestry DNA did not find valid, it is not something over which I will lose sleep. Yes, I'd love for Ancestry to give me the segment data. I tell them I want a chromosome browser every chance I get.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Thoughts on DNA.LAND

I uploaded my raw data from Ancestry (only one of the three companies with which I've tested) to DNA.LAND. I knew that many people had no matches and that most only had a couple. I was lucky. I had 5 relative matches. Most of those were persons with whom I'm already in contact. At least one is someone who may be hiding under another name but that I did not immediately recognize as a match at any of the companies with which I've tested. As the database grows, the number of matches should increase.

I like the way the match is represented on the chromosome browser from the match screen. I like that we have segment information that is predicted to be recent or ancient in a table which can be unhidden. Most early adopters also comment about liking this.

I found the Ancestry report, predicting my ethnic or regional origins, to be very similar to the original ones produced by Ancestry before they introduced an algorithm which broke the report into more specific areas. The admixture tends to be the least reliable part of a DNA report, yet it is why many people test. I'm still seeking the alleged Ashkenazi/Levantine (or Eastern European Jewish) ancestor.

How useful is it? Not very useful at the present.

Does it have the potential to be useful? That depends on what features they introduce. (Part of an answer to a question in the "Help" section states, "We will be adding other features to the website that you don't get with other sites. This is just the beginning. Early adopters will help us to validate our approach and to continue our efforts.")

Thursday, November 05, 2015

John Jarvie of Brown's Park

Tennent, William L. John Jarvie of Brown's Park. Salt Lake City: Utah State Office, Bureau of Land Management, 1981.

What a fascinating biography provided to us all by the Bureau of Land Management's Utah office! The subject of the publication, John Jarvie, was born in Scotland in 1844. He was murdered at Bridgeport, Utah 6 July 1909. The narrative is full of cattle rustling, outlaws, and other things that bring the area to life. The researcher provides many photographs and maps that break up the well-documented text.

Fortunately, it is available to us through HathiTrust Digital Library. Hard copies are available in many libraries associated with the Federal Depository Library Program.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Sevier County Public Library System Genealogy Conference

Sevier County Public Library's Genealogy Conference begins tomorrow with tours and a dinner. While pre-registration was required for tomorrow's events, interested persons may register at the door for the sessions being offered on Friday and Saturday.

J. Mark Lowe is unable to come so a new lineup of speakers and sessions is now available. For further information, call the library's genealogy department at (865) 453-3532.

Friday, November 6, 2015
Ann Blomquist
Internet Genealogy: Free and Paid Sites and How to Use Them
Lunch on Your Own
Ann Blomquist
Maps in Genealogy: Printed and Book Maps
Ann Blomquist
Census Surprises: Things You Didn’t Know about the Census
Ann Blomquist
The Records of Our Quiet Ancestors: Legislative Petitions, GAR Records, Deeds, etc.
Ann Blomquist
Brick Wall Audience Question and Answer Session
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Arthur ‘Milo’ Bohanan
Reading Cemeteries
Lunch on Your Own
Theresa Williams, Ruth Matthews, Ruth Carr Miller
PK: Preacher’s Kids: Stories of Growing Up as the Child of a Preacher
Lori Thornton

Mr. & Mrs. J. F. Hilbert of Washington County, Tennessee

Working in an academic library, one sometimes encounters a genealogical treasure in a strange place. Such was the case when I opened The Life, Times, and Travels of St. Paul by J. S. Conybeare and J. S. Howson (Unabridged ed.; New York: E.B. Trent, 1869) which was missing its title page.

Pasted inside the front cover of the volume was an obituary from an unnamed newspaper, possibly the Herald and Tribune (Jonesborough, Tenn.), for Mrs. J. F. Hilbert.

Died at Her Home A Short Distance From Jonesboro Friday Morning

Mrs. J. F. Hilbert died at her home one mile south of Jonesboro Friday morning. Her death was due to a severe attack of pneumonia. She was sick just one week, having made her first complaint on Friday the 16th. The deceased was the widow of J. F. Hilbert who died Sept. 8th 1898. She was sixty two years old last August and was the mother of six children, four of which survive her. Mrs. Hilbert was a noble Christian and was loved by all with whom she was associated. Her death is greatly mourned by a large circle of friends both in Jonesboro and over the entire county. The funeral services were held Saturday, the interment being in the old family burying ground near Jonesboro. Mrs. Hilbert is the mother of J. L. Hilbert, who is well known throughout this section. Mr. Hilbert and the other members of the family have the sympathy of a large number of friends.

Being the curious genealogist that I am, I wondered who she was. I knew that Jonesboro was an old spelling of Jonesborough so I suspected this family was from Washington County, Tennessee. I first located them in the 1880 census1 which gave me given names for Mrs. Hilbert, her husband, and even the mentioned son.

Hilbert, Joel F.

--, Susannah
Keeping house
--, Elizabeth B.
At home
--, John A.
At home
--, Joseph L.
At home
--, Robert A.
At home

I discovered that their marriage record from 1861 contained a curious date of issue for the license, 31 September 1861.2 This was obviously a clerical error as most of us can recite, "Thirty days hath September, April, June and November . . . " The online 1861 calendar verifies September 1861 ended on September 30.

Joel F. Hilbert was born about 1839,3 probably in Rockingham County, Virginia,4 to William and Elizabeth F. Hilbert.5 The family moved from Virginia to Tennessee about 1846 to 1848.6 William (age 32), Elizabeth (age 32), Joel (age 11), John H. (age 9), Samuel D. (age 5), Adison P. (age 4), and Mary R. (age 1) are enumerated in Washington County's 4th subdivision in 1850 where William is occupied as a farmer.7 The family has grown to include three more children, Jacob K. (age 9), James W. (age 7), and Robert P. (age 3) by 1860 when the family is enumerated in Boones Creek in Washington County.8

Susannah Miller was born in August 1840,9 probably in Rockingham or Augusta County, Virginia,10 to Samuel and Elizabeth Wine Miller.11 The family moved from Virginia to Tennessee about 1852 to 1854.12 Samuel, his wife, here called Ann which may be a middle name, and children, William (age 17), David (age 14), Rebecca (age 13), Daniel (age 11), Susannah (age 9,), Ann M. (age 4), and Mary M. (age 2) are enumerated in the 4th subdivision of Washington County in 1850.13 The family is residing in Swinneys in Washington County in 1860. Children Daniel and Susannah are still present. Elizabeth is called Ann in this census, and Barbary, the same age as Elizabeth, is present. Mary M. is called Julia in this census. Peter (age 8), Joseph (age 6), Samuel D. (age 2), and Mary A. (age 3 months) have all been born since the 1850 census.14

As seen earlier, Joel and Susannah married 3 October 1861 in Washington County.15 They are enumerated in the 1870 census in District 14 in Washington County with children Elizabeth (age 6), John A. (age 3), and Joseph L. (age 3 months).16 In 1880, they are living in District 15 with the above listed children and one new son, Robert A. (age 5).17 Joel died 8 September 1898.18 Susannah is enumerated in Washington County's District 15 along with son Robert A. and his wife Lydda N. and a servant, Herbert T. Shipley in 1900.19 She died 23 January 1903 in Washington County and is buried in the family cemetery.20

1. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Washington County, Tennessee, population schedule, District 15, SD 1, ED 31, p. 495B (stamped), sheet 20 (written), dwelling 190, family 210, lines 26-31, Joel F. Hilbert household; digital image, ( : 3 Nov 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 1284.
2. "Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002," digital images, ( : 3 Nov 2015), Joel Hilbert-Susannah Miller, 3 Oct 1861, Washington County marriage register, citing p. 207 (written), record no. 1866.
3. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Washington County, Tennessee, population schedule, 4th subdivision, p. 247B (stamped), dwelling 1609, family 1644, lines 34-40, Wm Hilbert family; digital image, ( : 3 November 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 898; 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Washington County, Tennessee, population schedule, Boones Creek, Jonesboro post office, p. 36B (stamped), dwelling 310, family 310, lines 21-30, William Hilbert family; digital image, ( : 3 Nov 2015); 1880 U.S. census, Washington Co., Tenn., pop. sch., Dist. 15, p. 495B (stamped), dwell. 190, fam. 210, Joel F. Hilbert.
4. "Public Member Trees," database, ( : accessed 3 Nov 2015), "Saylor Family Tree" by sec3girls, profile for Joel Franklin Hilbert (2 Sep 1837-6 Sep 1897, d. Washington County, Tenn.) partially documented data.
5. 1850 U.S. Census, Washington Co., Tenn., pop. sch., 4th subdiv., p. 247B (stamped), dwell. 1609, fam. 1644, Joel F. Hilbert; 1860 U.S. Census, Washington Co., Tenn., pop. sch., Boones Creek, Jonesboro p.o., p. 36B (stamped), dwell, 310, fam. 310, Joel F. Hilbert.
6. 1850 U.S. Census, Washington Co., Tenn., pop. sch., 4th subdiv., p. 247B (stamped), dwell. 1609, fam. 1644, Wm. Hilbert family.
7. 1850 U.S. Census, Washington Co., Tenn., pop. sch., 4th subdiv., p. 247B (stamped), dwell. 1609, fam. 1644, Wm. Hilbert family.
8. 1860 U.S. Census, Washington Co., Tenn., pop. sch., Boones Creek, Jonesboro p.o., p. 36B (stamped), dwell, 310, fam. 310, William Hilbert family.
9. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Washington County, Tennessee, population schedule, 4th subdivision, p. 252B (stamped), dwelling 2101, family 2145, line 11, Susannah Miller; digital image, ( : 3 Nov 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 898; 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Washington County, Tennessee, Swinneys, Jonesboro post office, p. 127A (stamped), dwelling 774, family 774, line 18, Susannah Miller; digital image, ( : 3 Nov 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 1277; 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Washington County, Tennessee, Civil District 15, SD 250, ED 156, p. 211B (stamped), sheet 8B (written), dwelling 129, family 144, line 85, Susannah Hilbert; digital image, ( : 3 Nov 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1604.
10. Susannah's birth place is consistently listed as Virginia. Younger brother Peter's birth location is listed as Augusta County, Virginia in his death certificate with his father's birth location as Augusta County and his mother's as Rockingham. See "Tennessee, Death Records, 1908-1958," digital images, ( : 4 Nov 2015), Peter Miller, d. 6 Aug 1928, Washington County, Tennessee, citing file no. 25996.
11. While the 1850 and 1860 censuses link Susannah with the family, Elizabeth's maiden name comes from the death certificates of Peter, who is younger than Susannah, and Daniel, who is older than his sister Susannah. See "Tennessee, Death Records, 1908-1958," digital images,, entry for Peter Miller, 6 Aug 1928; also entry for Daniel Miller, d. 6 July 1914, Washington County, Tennessee, file no. 278.
12. 1860 U.S. Census, Washington Co., Tenn., pop. sch., Swinneys, Jonesboro p.o., p. 127A (stamped), dwell. 774, fam. 774, Samuel Miller family.
13. 1850 U.S. Census, Washington Co., Tenn., pop. sch., 4th suvdiv., p. 252B (stamped), dwell. 2101, fam. 2145, Saml Miller family.
1. 1860 U.S. Census, Washington Co., Tenn., pop. sch., Swinneys, Jonesboro p.o., p. 127A (stamped), dwell. 774, fam. 774, Samuel Miller family.
1. "Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002," digital images,, entry for Joel Hilbert-Susannah Miller, 3 Oct 1861.
1. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Washington County, Tennessee, population schedule, District 14, Jonesboro post office, p. 326A (stamped), dwelling 122, family 122, lines 31-35, Joel Hilbert family; digital image, ( : 3 Nov 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1568.
17. 1880 U.S. census, Washington Co., Tenn., pop. sch., Dist. 15, p. 495B (stamped), dwell. 190, fam. 210, Joel F. Hilbert family.
18. Mrs. J. F. Hilbert obituary, undated clipping from unidentified newspaper, in The Life, Times, and Travels of St. Paul by J.S. Conbeare and J. S. Howson (New York: E.B. Treat, 1869), front cover; Mildred C. Iddins Special Collections, Stephens-Burnett Memorial Library, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee, 2015.
19. 1900 U.S. Census, Washington Co., Tenn., pop. sch., Dist. 15, p. 211B (stamped), dwell. 129, fam. 144, Susannah Hilbert household.
20. Although the obituary does not give the month or year, Friday, January 23, is consistent with the information in the article, and she would have been 62 on this date. See Mrs. J. F. Hilbert obituary, The Life, Times, and Travels of St. Paul.