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Blog 2023 05 08 Today is VE Day

Again, I have gotten behind with blogs trying to get caught up with society & client work.  I am sorry about that.

Today is 8 May 2023, marking the 78th Anniversary of Germany’s surrender to the Allied Forces, under the command of General of the Army and Supreme Allied Commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower. [i] Do you have ancestors of interest who served in the military?  Whether a General Officer or Private, many records exist that can be helpful.

Over the past year, I have been asked by several people to put together a presentation on using military records.  Recently, I listened to a presentation by Annette Burke Little to the Genealogical Speakers Guild and she said never develop a presentation until you are going to be paid for it.  While that is an excellent rule of thumb, I was asked to do this for a small genealogical society I recently joined for Memorial Day.  I will not get paid for this one but it will give me a chance to put together one I have been meaning to do for a while and see how it goes.

I have heard many boring presenters who take a long time telling you which National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Record Group and Roll you need to use for each situation.  I was always taught in the Army that it is more important to tell people where to go to get that information.  NARA does have a great website to give us that information but how many will actually travel to a place list NARA Washington to get these records?  NARA published a book, “Military Service Records,” a select catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications in 1985.  It may not still be in print but look at libraries or try to purchase from a reseller as I did.

So what do you need to know?  First, decide whether your ancestor served in the U. S. Military at the Federal level or did they serve during a war.  Then look at what types of service they may have served in, Army, Marines, Navy, etc.  This will help you know where to look.

Fold3.com is still the main go-to site for research but it is not free.  Many public libraries offer it for patrons, you need to check.  That said, do not ask someone who has a paid membership to download anything for you as that violates their Terms of Service with Fold3.  However, you can ask them to look to see if anything is there.  Sometimes, the site has the entire pension packet if one was filed and this might give you the information you require.

I do have a paid subscription to Ancestry.com’s full suite of tools which includes Fold3.  Therefore, I can download the documents and packets and I can put what these documents say in my report to the client, but I cannot give them the copies. I have found a Revolutionary War Pension Application which listed every child of the patriot and when they were born.  Do not count on that working for you, I have never seen another like that one.  Oftentimes, you see the pension card with the file numbers for the pensioner and possibly the widow.

So then what is your next step?  You want to request that packet from NARA.  But where?

The National Archives holds Federal military service records from the Revolutionary War to 1912 in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.  Military records from WWI – present are held in the National Military Personnel Records Center (NPRC), in St. Louis, Missouri.  The National Archives does not hold state militia records.  For these records, you will need to contact the appropriate State Archives. [ii]

There are several ways to get these records.  For free?  Go there yourself.  If that is not practical, then you need to request through a friend or a service.  The service I have recently used and like is GopherRecords.com.  They are a bit cheaper than another company I used but what I liked most is they stay in contact with you.  I requested a Civil War pension and a widow’s pension for two men I believed to be brothers.  One I knew was the son of an immigrant I am researching but the other one I was not so sure.  Several family trees claim their person is that son and served then moved to Kentucky, Iowa, Minnesota, and other places.  The packet I requested proved to be the correct one.  How do I know, their father was a butcher in St Louis, MO and so were they.  None of the other packets made this claim.  These men served in the Civil War for the Union and their records were at NARA.

Even though the above direct quote came from NARA, the widow’s pension packet was in the STL branch, not Washington.  That one took longer to obtain but the company stayed in contact with updates.

Where do you find Confederate Records?  At the state Archives.  All eleven of the Confederate States paid pensions as did Missouri.  So look at their records for pension packets.  So far, in all of the states I have actually looked for pensions for the CW, I have been able to download directly from that state for free.

What is the benefit of finding these records?  It often will name names, places, and dates.  Widows often had to give their maiden name, state when and where they were married, and provide proof in the form of a marriage license or sword affidavit.  There can be other information provided such as statements made by locals claiming the application is a fraud.  In the case of my scoundrel ancestor, it showed that even though he received a medical discharge during the CW and might be entitled to a pension, he also reenlisted and deserted meaning he was no longer entitled.  On top of that, it showed he abandoned his first wife while she was pregnant with child #4, went to Toronto, Canada and married my 2nd great grandmother.  That marriage was not legit.  He then abandoned them in Toronto, went to Chicago, IL, and eventually made his way to Yakima, WA where he was never heard from again.  The War Department (precursor to the Department of Defense) tried to locate him but was unsuccessful.

More in next week’s blog.

[i] https://www.nps.gov/articles/general-eisenhower.htm

[ii] https://www.archives.gov/research/military/genealogy

2023 04 01 Backing up Your Data

This blog goes beyond the constant harping we all hear about backing up our data we hear that so often it tends to go in one ear and out the other.

Well, guess who failed miserably at this simple task?  Yep, me.

Here is the scenario.

My mother’s maiden name was Akers.  Her 4th great grandparents, John Akers, and Sarah Brown Akers were first families of Gwinnett County, GA. [i] John died in September 1849 (not 1850). [ii]  I have previously written about how to read these schedules, for 1850 it was 1 June.  So the Mortality Schedule covered deaths from 1 June 1849 – 31 May 1850.  Sarah died on 28 Jul 1861. [iii]  They were buried in a family cemetery on their property.  The other marked grave is their daughter, Sarah Akers ( 1815 – 1886).  The fourth grave marker which had no visible inscription when Garrett surveyed the cemetery is believed to be a son named John Akers who died in the Civil War.

The original deed from the Akers estate to a Mr. J. H. McKinney was most likely lost in the courthouse fire of 1871.  However, Mr. McKinney sold the land, “less the ½ acre family cemetery” in 1886 to M. A. Minor. [iv]  Then in 1909, the Minors sold the land to Mr. E. L. Britt with the same clause. [v]

And so it goes for several decades until the developer starts buying up all the land to put in houses in the late 1960s.  Then the clause disappears and about 1968 a house is built on that ½ acre with the four gravestones a short distance behind the house.

In 1999, shortly after moving to the Atlanta area I, along with my oldest son, went on a journey to find the cemetery and was surprised to find them behind the house.  I took a lot of pictures and checked with the county as the executrix at the time threatened to move the cemetery.  The man at the county assured me this will not happen due to cost.  And she did not.     Fast forward to 2011 and I find the cemetery was missing.  After investigating what happened, it seems the house had been a rental for several years and the owner in 2008/2009 brought in truckloads of dirt to wipe out the cemetery.

I had a lot of files from my research, including a deed by deed list showing the ½ acre exclusion.  After reporting the crime to the authorities, they decided that unless I could prove the markers were removed, they could take no action.  Shortly thereafter, I got a new job that kept me very busy.

Now, we are finally getting some traction to maybe get this situation resolved in some manner.

So what does this have to do with backing up our data?  I had (or so I thought), all of my work to include some notes, in a compressed file on my computer at that time.  Four computers later and the zip file getting bounced around, I find that almost all of my investigation work was not in the compressed file.

You must not only make sure you have backed up all of your data but that you took the time to write a report of what you found and how you found it (that dreaded source citations) and take an inventory of what you backed up.  If you are like me, I hated driving 1.5 hours to Lawrenceville to try and redo my original investigation and not refind everything, then driving 2.5 hours back on a Friday afternoon going from the east side of Atlanta to the west side.

Put a copy of that inventor and the write-up somewhere other than in the compressed file just in case.  Maybe in Evernote ®.

[i] Gwinnett County, Georgia, families, 1818-2005, Alice Lillian Smythe McCabe (Editor), Publisher:Gwinnett Historical Society, Lawrenceville, 1988.

[ii] 1850 U. S. Census, Mortality Schedule, Gwinnett County, GA, 36th Division, p 265 (inked), line 32, John Akers, age 77, born in VA, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com: accessed 4 Apr 2023), citing NARA Publication T 655, roll 7.

[iii] Sarah’s grave marker I personnaly viewed and was recorded by Franklin Garrett in his Necrology Series.  The Garrett Necrology is on file at the Atlanta History Center.

[iv] Gwinnett County, GA, Deed Book 1, p. 275, McKinney to Minor, Gwinnett County Superior Court, Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, GA.

[v] Gwinnett County, GA, Deed Book 20, p. 179, Minor to Britt, Gwinnett County Superior Court, Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, GA.

 

Blog 2023 03 14 FamilySearch Relations

I just received an email from FamilySearch.org that is telling me I am related to Pocohantas.  I will tell you that I am not even going to look at how they perceive this connection.  Why?  Because it is based on their One-World-Tree and we know that tree is not worth anything.

Over the past 5 years or so since they first produced the Relatives Around Me app I have attended numerous conferences and used the web version while attending virtual conferences and in all this time I have had only one confirmed connection.  That was to Pamela Boyer Sayre, Certified Genealogist ®.

Is this a fluke?  Do I simply not have close relatives who attend such conferences?  The answer is no, that is not why.  The reason is, I know my 4th great grandfather, Thomas Newbern who married Kizzie Collins [i] Now there is some dispute about whether his daughter Nancy, who married Littleberry Walker, Jr. around circa 1820.  Well, Ms. Sayre shares the same Thomas Newbern and Kizzie Collins.  She has confirmed that line and I have confirmed my line.  So this one we can trust, we are 4th cousins.

All of the other connections come in around 7th to 15th cousins and unless each party has proven via documentation for their line to the Most Common Ancestor (MCA), don’t believe it.  You may treat the information as clues, but you must do your own work.

That brings up a dangerous path that some research may be directed to achieve the results we want and not take a truly objective view.  Right now, I have set aside working on my Thomas line for a Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) packet and decided to take up my paternal great-grandmother’s line, which is the Carter line.  Not the Carter line that might lead to the 98-year-old cousin Jimmy but my other Carter line.  Now, that patriot is already approved in both the DAR and SAR however, like my Thomas line, the entrance was decades ago and the research is a bit sketchy.  I could do my research such that it aligns with the existing evidence but I won’t.  There were at least two William Carters who could be the father to my g-grandmother’s father, Isham Carter, and I want sufficient proof it was the grandson of the patriot.

This is the same approach you need to take in all of your research.  Sometimes, the only conclusion we can arrive at is, ‘based on family lore.’  That is the case for one of my clients looking for DAR supplementals where we have a known patriot.  In one particular case, there is absolutely no known document existing to show that a woman named, Phaeda, was ever a Yates.  It has been told by family members and is in numerous authored books.  But without source citation to substantiate the claim.

One possible method for my Carter research is a book, basically, a memoir, written by someone who knew William Carter.  Once I get to see that book, I could use it since it would be a first-hand account of the facts and would suffice for proof.  Even when written 50 years after the fact.

All of this is to remind you what I have said many times, DO NOT TRUST OTHER PEOPLE’S TREES!

[i] 1820 U. S. Census, Appling County, GA, page 5, line 29, hhld of Thos. Newburn, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com: accessed 13 Mar 2023), citing NARA publication M33, roll 6.

Blog 2023 03 05 This That and the Other

This week’s blog will run down several little paths.  Enjoy the ride.

DNA Testing

If you, or someone you know, have been waiting to take a DNA test because of the cost, the cost will continue to rise.  What you need to do is look for the times the tests go on sale like now until St. Patrick’s Day.  Several times a year all of the DNA testing sites will have sales in conjunction with holidays throughout the year.

Ancestry DNA Sale, $40 off https://tinyurl.com/ymu2r8dv

FamilyTreeDNA  https://www.dnaweekly.com/reviews/family-tree-dna/coupons/

Do you research colonial North Carolina?

The North Carolina Historical Research Online (NCHRO) recently announced they have completed their multi-year-long project to digitize all 1.2 million images of original land grants (initial land issued by the King, proprietor, or other government agency), and cataloged them.  All for free!  I have been using this site to help in much of my client research and you can find them also at https://nclandgrants.com/.  These cover the years 1663 – 1960.

They will now concentrate on other documents not currently available online, these will be available at https://ncscans.com/.   These will include documents at the State Archives of North Carolina (SANC) but also smaller repositories around the state.  They have a sample of some documents on their site such as; from Beaufort County Jacob Swindell Busines Ledger, Jail records, and Private Collections.  From Orange County; Treasurer & Comptroller County Settlements, etc.

I wish more groups of dedicated researchers would do the same!!

 

Historic Newspapers

While we have websites dedicated to searching newspaper clippings like Newspapers.com© and GenealogyBank.com©.  They typically do not have truly historic newspapers.  Here in Georgia, we have the Digital Library of Georgia, which is a GALILEO initiative of the University of Georgia.

When a county courthouse has suffered a tragic loss of records we can sometimes find the information in the local newspaper.  It has been a law since the first newspapers were published here in the US that anytime an estate was heading into probate that an announcement must be placed in the local newspaper informing any debtors or creditors to the estate were to contact the person named as administering the estate.

 

Blog 2023 02 25 Some Unknown Heroes

Like Morgan Freeman, I am not a fan of <Whatever> History Month.  Why should the selected groups’ history be relegated to a single month?  American History is every group’s history.

That said, I had the opportunity to visit a neighboring county’s Genealogical Society meeting the other night and the presenter discussed two men who made an impact in Alabama in the 1800s.  While I may have forgotten the name of the first person, I remembered much of his story.  His name was Horace King and he was known as The Bridge Builder.

Horace was born into slavery in 1807 near Cheraw, SC, and was later sold to a John Godwin who was a builder.  He saw Horace’s intelligence and taught him to read and write, something illegal at the time. Godwin also taught him how to build bridges and buildings.  Together, they built many bridges and buildings.  Godwin was so impressed by Horace’s innate abilities that he sent Horace off to Oberlin College in Ohio to study engineering.  Upon returning, he and Godwin built the courthouses of Muscogee County, Georgia, and Russel County, Alabama.

After building the bridge connecting Columbus, GA to Phenix City, AL across the Chattahoochee, Godwin, and his family moved to Phenix City, taking Horace with them.  Horace married a free woman of color in 1839 which was highly unusual at the time.  The legal status of the mother determined whether the children were born free or slaves.  In 1844, Robert Jemison Jr., an Alabama state legislator invested with several others to have bridges built near Steens, MS which was completely designed and supervised by Horace.  As a result, Jemison successfully pushed through legislation to purchase Horace’s freedom.  There are disputes over whether Godwin took the money or not and later, Horace claimed to have purchased his own freedom.  In the 1850s, Horace bought a slave named J. Sella Martin and allegedly sold him after flogging Martin which did not help subdue Martin.  By 1860, Horace was one of the wealthiest men in Alabama.  He is credited with building what was rare at the time, a floating-spiral staircase that is still in use at the Alabama State Capital.

Another dispute in his history revolves around his Civil War participation.  Either way, he was pressed into service as a confederate and forced to aid the southern cause by destroying bridges to prevent the Union from using them.  He also designed and built at least one ironclad ship, the CSS Muscogee.  King later served two terms as a Republican in the Alabama State Legislature.  He died in LaGrange, GA where a large monument was erected in dedication to his great work.  His five children learned the trade and had a very successful business. [i] [ii]

The other person she discussed was Reverend Shandy Wesley Jones, a quadroon (1/4 Black) as his father was likely either Llewellyn Jones or one of Llewellyn’s sons.  He was born on 20 Dec 1816.  Shandy’s mother was a Mulatto (1/2 Black).  It was said that Shandy could pass for white his whole life.  Shandy, his mother, Elizabeth, and two sisters, Ann and Evalina, were freed when Shandy was only four.  How Shandy became educated is unknown but he was literate.  In the 1820s there were only about 500 free persons of color out of a population of about 127,000.  Shandy went on to marry Evalina Love, the daughter of a Choctaw Indian and one of his slaves.  When they married, it is the only recorded non-white marriage in Tuscaloosa, AL for that era.

Shandy became a barber and set up shop directly across the street from the upscale Washington Hotel in Tuscaloosa, charging white customers, $0.25 per haircut and shave.  He was also involved in getting churches built for slaves and free persons of color.  He supported the idea of setting up a colony in Africa for former slaves called Liberia.  He was known for buying slaves and later granting them their freedom.  He most likely worked them to cover the cost of buying another slave before letting the first go.  He too became extremely wealthy.

One of his sons, William H. Jones, served for three years in the Confederate Navy.  Meanwhile, Shandy was helping to start Hunter’s Chapel, AME Zion Church, formerly known as the Freedman Methodist Society Chapter.  After the war, he also served as a Republican Representative.  Life became difficult for him and all the recently freed people and he was forced to flee in the middle of the night to catch a train for Mobile, AL.  There, his wife dies and he remarries, this time to a white woman.

President Grant appoints him to a position at the Mobile Custom House where he is quickly promoted to Inspector.  He held that position for 13 years.  He also pastored Little Zion AME Zion Church.  He dies in 1886 just after attending a long night of singing, praying, and gospel reading. [iii]  [iv]

[i] http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1245

[ii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_King_%28architect%29#cite_ref-18

[iii] https://www.tuscaloosanews.com/story/news/local/2017/01/29/freedmans-life-after-liberty-shandy-jones-timeline/22585014007/

[iv] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shandy_W._Jones

2023 02 11 Any Famous Family Members?

Like most Americans (and some internationals) I am sitting here with my favorite lady watching the Super Bowl.  How many of you with distinct surnames see that name on a sports figure or TV personality and wonder if you are related to them somehow?  It is more difficult with the surname Thomas, but my mother was an Akers, we also have Mannings, Mixons, and some others.

No, I have not tried to determine if I am related to Peyton Manning, but I would not be surprised if he does not also descend from Simon Manning of the 1696 Manning Manse in North Billerica, Massachusettes. [i]

I have done a lot of research for clients whose ancestors lived in and near Spartanburg, NC and I have seen many Waltrips, making me wonder if they are related to the famous Waltrips of NASCAR fame.  Owensboro, KY is over 400 miles from Spartanburg but they are still in the southeastern US.  I have not done the research but you get the point.

I did find out I had some distant cousins 2x removed, one played for the Boston Braves and his daughter was in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), and if you watch the movie, A League of their own, she is one of the old ladies at the very end.   My girlfriend’s surname is Maher and I believe there was a Maher in a pro football game we watched.

After I retired from the Army but worked as a defense contractor for the US Army Reserve Command, I worked with a Major Sorbo  When his boss transferred out of state, he gave him an autographed picture of Kevin Sorbo.  I was like, really?  He told me, well, his boss like Kevin, and since Kevin is his brother, why not?

We never know.  But as I always say, do not trust someone else’s research and tree without doing your own verification.  I get a kick out of people who tap into someone else’s research and start declaring they descend from King So-and-So of some European country.  Speaking of which, one of the stories my girlfriend’s family has passed down is that their Laurenborg family immigrant ancestors were the 2nd and 3rd sons of a royal family which meant they inherited nothing and therefore immigrated to the US around the time of the Civil War.  She has now found the baptism record of her ancestor Yens, and his brother, Nis.  So her next step is to research their father and his line in Germany/Denmark (depending on the year and which country controlled the area).  Maybe the story is true and maybe not.  Only doing your own research and verifying what you find can prove or disprove it.

I often teach if you cannot prove something, see if you can disprove it.  If you disprove it then you actually proved it is not true.

Keep searching!

[i] https://www.manningassociation.org/

2023 02 05 Interesting Finds at Courthouses

If you are a frequent researcher of courthouses or digitized court records you might have seen some oops!  What I mean by oops, are records in a ledger designated for a specific topic but has a page or pages that has nothing to do with the book’s title.

For instance, this past week I am looking for any document that puts a Simon Bailey McElroy in Paulding County.  The goal is to prove he is the son of a John McElroy.  I was researching on FamilySearch.org and looking at marriage books.  Often, the roll will have more than one digitized microfilm book on the roll.  So I set it to grid view and then shrink it all the way down so I can see if other books show up.  As I started to do this, I saw several pages that stood out as ‘different.’

When you do enough research, you see patterns inside these old ledgers and when something looks off, it catches your attention.  When I zoomed in, I saw numerous pages that do not contain marriage information but County Treasury reports.  Since I live within a 20-minute drive of the courthouse and because I can scan a real book quicker than I can the online microfilm, I drove to the courthouse.  About 20 pages of Paulding County Marriage Book 1 contain lists of money coming into the county and money going out in 1840.  While I did not find my Simon Bailey McElroy, I find it interesting that this type of error occurred and it leaves me baffled as to how it could have happened unless their treasurer ledger was missing and this was the easiest book to grab.

This was not the first time I have seen this.  Though rare, it has occurred and is one reason I often open a FamilySearch.org roll and do the same to see if there are any anomalies that might reveal the information I want in a place that is not indexed and where you would not expect to find it.  Had this error been in the book’s latter half, I might not have seen it.  I don’t spend a lot of time looking for these occurrences but they are fun to look at and I think some should be indexed and annotated in published index books.

Blog 2023 01 18 Finding Proof of Strange Moves

Two recent research projects for the same client showed moves that simply did not make sense.  At least not at first and I almost dismissed both.  Let’s take a closer look.

The first one involved a widow moving to Louisiana and the other, parents leaving small children with the maternal grandparents in Jones County, GA, and moving to Mississippi without them.  Starting with the widow, Nancy Jane Sanders, nee Williams.  She and Tilman Sanders were married on 7 August 1851 in Bibb County, GA, by Rev D. H. Moore. [i] They are found on both the 1860 and she is on the 1870 censuses living in Bibb County, GA. [ii] In 1871, Nancy’s father, Reuben Williams, is listed as “Agent for Mrs. Tilman Sanders” on the tax digest for Bibb County. [iii]

Tilman apparently died before the 1870 federal census but after registering in the 1864 Census for Reorganizing the Georgia Militia. [iv] So what does this have to do with moving to Louisiana?  Many, many family trees online say she died around 1897 in Louisiana but they had no proof.  The hunt for proof was on!

Tilman Sanders pops up out of nowhere in 1850 as a 24-year-old man living with William Rufus Mosely and William’s wife, Mary.  Many believed that she was Tilman’s sister but the Mosely daughter, Sarah Angeline Mosely Parker’s death certificate in 1936 lists Mary’s maiden name as Bickley. [v] Additionally, the obituary of their son, Johnnie E. Mosely, that ran in The Macon Telegraph, lists him as 90 in 1954 putting his birth as 1864 and his mother is again listed with the maiden name of Bickley. [vi]

William Rufus Mosely is 32 in the 1850 census and becomes a prominent citizen in the area and is often referred to as Reverend.  He had several children, including a  son, William, who is listed as 8 on this census.  William grows up and marries Nancy Jane’s sister, Maggie Margaret C. Williams in 1877 in Bibb. County [vii]  Their eldest was Thomas H. Mosely, who wrote several books, one named Humorous Travels From Ridiculous to Sublime: From Laughter to Weeping in which, he tells many family stories he recalls as a child and shares some that were sent to him by family members. [viii] He remembered his aunts and uncles.  According to his writing, his Aunt Nancy died in Louisiana where her sister, Mary Addie Williams Moseley, and her husband, Bill Moseley along with the Williams sister’s brother, John H. Williams, were living.  Nancy reportedly died in 1897.  No official record has been located at this time to support her living there or her death.

Is this conclusive?  I would say it is because it is a firsthand account of where she was and seeing the evidence of two siblings living there gives credence to the fact.

Now, what about a William Parker and his wife, Elizabeth Jourdan Parker leaving some of their children in Georgia and moving to Mississippi?

In researching the parentage of Tabitha Ann Parker who married Michael Hartley in Crawford County, GA circa 1858. [ix] We know she was Tabitha Ann Parker based on the death certificate of their son, Walter Lee Hartley which lists his parents as Michael Hartley and Tabitha Ann Parker. [x] So who were Tabitha’s parents?

We first see her name as a 15-year-old living with an apparent grandmother, Tabitha Jordan in 1850 Crawford County, GA. [xi] Assuming that Tabitha Jordan is her grandmother, then who might her parents be?  Making the normal assumption that Tabitha Parker’s father was a Parker and her mother a Jordan, we find there is only one record of a Jordan(Jourdan) girl marrying a man named Parker and that is Elizabeth Jourdan marrying William Parker on 27 March 1832 in Jones County, GA. [xii]

How can we further support our position?  Let’s see who C. E. Odom, a 40-year-old woman listed in he same household on the above 1850 census is.  In a newspaper clipping from one of Tad Evans’ Jones County, GA Abstracts, we learn her name was Cynthia E. Odom.  A look for the marriage of a Cynthia Jordan to a Mr. Odom we find a marriage recorded to a Richard T. Odom on 31 January 1833 in Jones County. [xiii]

Numerous family trees show William and Elizabeth dying in Hancock County, MS.  Many documents, including newspapers, sometimes spelled Jordan as Jourdan.

While not conclusive in itself, the 1840 census for William Parker in Jones County, which is on the other side of Macon, GA from Crawford County, shows one female aged 5-9, and one female aged 10-14.  Either of these could be Tabitha. [xiv] Is there any proof they moved to MS?  An 1850 census for Hancock County, MS shows an Elizabeth Parker, aged 63 and born in NC, living with a son or grandson named Jourdan Parker, aged 14. [xv] Two households before her is a Henry Jourdan from SC.  Based on the grandson’s name being spelled Jourdan, the same as Elizabeth’s maiden name, and assuming the enumerator got the place of birth wrong for one or both, it is logical to believe she is the same Elizabeth Jourdan who married William Parker and that they moved to MS.

For the purpose of keeping this short, I found other evidence that provides sufficient proof that shows the relationship of Cynthia Jordan Odom, the Jourdans in MS, and the Jourdans in GA to call this proved.

[i] Overby, Mary McKeown, Marriages published in the Christian index, 1828-1855; abstracts, Shady Dale, GA, 1971, Georgia Baptist Historical Society.

[ii] 1860 U. S. Census, Bibb County, Warrior District, Macon Post Office, p. 197 (inked), dwelling 1486, family 1526, hhld of Tilman Sanders, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com, accessed 28 September 2022), citing NARA publication M 653, roll 111. AND 1870 U. S. Census, Bibb County, GA Subdivision 8, Macon PO, p 78, Dwelling 716, family 681, hhld of Nancy J. Sanders, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com, accessed 28 September 2022), citing NARA publication M 593, roll 136.

[iii] Bibb County, Georgia, Tax Digest for 1871, Militia District 482 (Warrior), image 394/582, FamilySearch.org (www.familysearch.org: accessed 15 January 2023).

[iv] Cornell, Nancy J. 1864 Census for Re-Organizing the Georgia Militia, Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2000.

[v] Lamar County, GA, Certificate of Death, Georgia Department of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, registered no, 1442, stamped 4608, death certificate of Sarah Angeline Parker, date of death 23 February 1936, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com, accessed 28 September 2022).

[vi] “Johnnie E. Mosely, (Macon, GA) , The Macon Telegraph, 27 February 1954, p. 8, c. 1, Newspapers.com (www.Newspapers.com: accessed 17 November 2022).

[vii] Bibb County, Marriage Book F, p 153 (middle), (W. J. Mosely – Maggie C. Williams, 22 Nov 1877), Bibb County Probate Court, Macon, Bibb County, GA.

[viii] Mosely, T. H. Humorous Travels From Ridiculous to Sublime: From Laughter to Weeping, Macon, GA 1961.

[ix] 1900 U. S. Census, Crawford County, GA, Militia District 577, SD 3, ED 4, heet 21 A (inked), dwelling and family 376, hhld of Michael Hartley, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com, accessed 28 September 2022), citing NARA publication T 623, roll 190.

[x] Taylor County, GA, Reynolds Township, Georgia Certificate of Death, GA Department of Public Health, Registered # 3-8092, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com, accessed15 January 2023).

[xi] 1850 U. S. Census, Crawford County, Division 20, p. 73 & 74, dwelling and family 533, hhld of Tabitha Jordan, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com, accessed 28 September 2022), citing NARA publication M 432, roll 67.

[xii] Jones County, Georgia, Marriage Book B, p 76, (Parker-Jourdan 1832), Jones County Probate Court, Gray, Georgia, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com, accessed 28 September 2022).

[xiii] Jones County, GA, Marriage Book B (1821 – 1936)m p. 138 (bottom), (Odom – Jordan, 31 January 1833), Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com, accessed 28 September 2022).

[xiv] 1840 U. S. Census, Jones County, p. 132 (stamped), line 23, William Parker, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com, accessed 28 September 2022), citing NARA publication M 704 and roll 44.

[xv] 1850 U. S. Census, Hancock County, Beat 2 Police Jurisdiction, p 118, dwelling 213, family 219, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com, accessed 28 September 2022), citing NARA publication M 432 and roll 372.

Blog 2023 01 11 A New Year means New Goals

I have been remiss in getting my blogs out since returning from my younger cousin’s funeral.  I took it rather hard that a younger cousin died from cancer, possibly brought on by his heavy tobacco use when he was younger.  We did have the opportunity over the many trips I made in 2021 & 2022 to get reacquainted and share some good memories.

I grew up knowing all of my Aunts and Uncles and most of my cousins, although I never met any of the children of my Uncle Art who lived in Texas and I do not recall meeting Uncle Robert’s daughters.  I also had an Uncle who was an alcoholic and his wife took the kids from Cullman, AL to east Georgia when I was young. Therefore I have had a difficult time researching their children’s families.  Facebook has helped me get in contact with some of those uncle’s grandchildren not to mention many other newly discovered cousins.  I get a kick out of getting a FaceBook message or text telling me their name and that we are supposed to be related and can I tell them how.  My first response is always I don’t know.  Who are your parents and grandparents?

So a new year and new goals.  One of my goals this year is to finish two parts of my portfolio to submit a packet to get certified by the Board for the Certification of Genealogists.  There are three parts to what is required from an applicant. A KDP (Kinship Determination Project), that covers three or more generations proving their kinship, and at least one must be using a proof argument or proof statement.  Another is a Case-Study where we have to do an analysis because we have conflicting, negative, or must use only indirect evidence.  The third part is a research report done for someone else.

I am almost finished with the KDP but learned last year that the case study I was working on will not meet the criteria.

Another of my other genealogical goals for this year is to attend at least one institute and the National Genealogical Society’s national conference in Richmond.  Additionally, I want to attend some classes to improve my forensic research cases.

Have you sat down and written out your genealogical goals for the year?  If not, maybe you should.  I learned a long time ago, that if you do not set goals along with a realistic timeframe to accomplish them, they will not get done.

So let’s all get started.

Blog 2022 09 21 Family Thoughts

I will state right up front, this week’s blog may sound like I am rambling, my apologies.  Over the past year, I have made numerous trips to the area my mother grew up in Alabama to help take care of a younger cousin with cancer.  I was supposed to be there taking care of him this week but the Lord called him home early Saturday morning and I just returned home late last night from the funeral.

As the family genealogist, I have seen the number of people in each branch who have died young from repetitive diseases.  One of my branches saw several from 3-4 generations die from stomach cancer, the oldest about 70 and the youngest about 54.  My mother was one of ten children, eight died before their 66th birthday.  One was Leukemia, one was sclerosis/lung cancer, two were massive heart attacks (my mother was one), and the other four were from cancer of one sort or another.  My paternal grandfather suffered late in life with a pocket forming at the bottom of the esophagus resulting in all food being pureed like baby food.  His youngest half-sister suffered from the same ailment and one of my brothers and nephews has similar issues.

As we begin to see a pattern, do we encourage our family members to get tested early while the disease might be caught?  We do not want to violate their privacy or sound like we are using a bully pulpit, but I think we should encourage them.  My cousin who just passed away worked closely for the same small company and was close with the owner for over 35 years.  Paul, the owner, was almost in tears as he encouraged my deceased cousin’s youngest brother to give up smoking since we all watched Marvin die from cancer that may have been brought on by his decades of smoking.

Have you seen patterns while researching your family?  Have you shared your findings with them?

I warned you there will be some rambling.

Findagrave does not know the exact location of the small country cemetery where Marvin was buried.  I will be taking care of this since I dropped GPS pins at his grave and his wife’s grave.  Do you help with this sort of information?  I recently wrote about volunteering when visiting cemeteries.

Remember, my mother was one of ten kids meaning I have 45 cousins and 3 siblings.  I was surprised how many of the ones I have seen in recent months who have no idea that there were ten kids and much of anything about the family.  I do not bore them but I do try to answer their questions.  One of my 1st Cousins, once removed, who was not raised by her biological father and did not even know her dad was not her biological father, who I have gotten to know in recent years, kept asking me at the funeral who everyone was.  Problem was, the vast majority attending were not family but friends of Marvin’s and his family.  He was one of those unique people who lived his entire life in the small farming community he was born in so he had acquired a lot of friends in his 59 years of living.  Many of his friends he had known since High School and earlier.  It reminded me of when my Aunt Fran died of Leukemia and I had been away from this branch of the family due to my 30+ years with the Army.  I stood by my Uncle Tom doing the same thing my young cousin was doing to me.  “Who is that?”

I’ll finish with one positive note that we spotted at the little cemetery.  This person must be into genealogy.