Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Lost Weekend

My eyes are bleary, my mouth dry, and there is a throbbing in my head. I’ve lost track of time. I resisted all of yesterday evening, and even into the afternoon today, but then I lost it and made the plunge. And since then it has just been one after another, with no letup.  And tomorrow will be the same – I won’t stop.

The last time it was this bad (and it was worse then, actually) was back in September 2008.

That was when Family Search made the Texas Death Certificates available.

Hello. My name is Greta, and I’m a geneaholic.

This is the weekend that FindMyPast searches are free.

I thought I’d just put in a few terms, check out the website, maybe find a few things.  Didn’t really need the censuses; thought I’d try newspapers.  Some names yielded hits; others gave bupkus.

Then I discovered filters.  So I filtered for the state of Texas and input “Brinlee.”

Bingo.

3030 articles.

OK, so 85% of them are on Rex Garland Brinlee, aka the notorious “Bristow Bomber.”  (Google it – not a pretty story.)

But when you get to the Bonham Daily Favorite and the McKinney Daily Courier Gazette – that’s MY family’s part of the state.  And Genealogy Bank does not have those papers.

And those papers contain my geneaholic’s liquor of choice.  So far:

- Obituaries for most of my father’s family members.
- A story about a Brinlee family reunion (be still my heart!).
- A story about the Norman and Brinlee families in and around Fannin County throwing a big Christmas party for my grandmother and her sister.
- A long article on my father’s eccentric cousins, Bun and Square Brinlee.
- An article on a Brinlee who is an artist.
- Miscellaneous other Brinlee obituaries.
- And an article on my brickwall great-grandmother Elizabeth Brinlee celebrating her 98th birthday (it was actually probably closer to her 90th birthday).  It does not mention parents or even siblings, but at least it’s something.

So I’ll binge on as long as I can last.  And then Monday will come.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Featured Family: Family of Freeman Manson Moore and Clarissa Abbott

Freeman Manson Moore
-b. ca 1809, Greenville District, South Carolina
-d. aft 1864
& Clarissa Abbott
-b. 1803, Georgia
-d.
-m. 5 Oct 1826, Newton County, Georgia
---William S. Moore
-----b. ca 1828, Georgia
-----d. aft 1870
---& Nancy A. Dulin
-----b. ca 1833, Georgia
-----d.
-----m. 14 Aug 1850, Henry County, Georgia
---J. A. E. Moore
-----b. ca 1835, Georgia
-----d.
---Sarah Clarissa Moore
-----b. 7 Jan 1832, Georgia
-----d. 8 Oct 1912, New Salem, Rusk County, Texas
---& Houston J. Skinner
-----b. 12 Sep 1829, Newton County, Georgia
-----d. 20 Oct 1904, New Salem, Rusk County, Texas
-----m. 4 Dec 1853, DeKalb County, Georgia

This is the family of one of the older brothers of my great-great grandfather, William Spencer Moore.  The gaps in my knowledge of this family are so big that you could drive a truck through them. With the exception of the youngest daughter and her husband, I know no dates of death and only approximate dates of birth.  Most of my information is based on the 1850 census, when this family was in Henry County, Georgia.  I know absolutely nothing about the subsequent history of J.A.E. Moore, a daughter.  F.M. Moore appears in Henry County on an 1864 Census for Re-Organizing the Georgia Militia; he may also appear on an 1865 tax list and in an 1867 voter and reconstruction oath book, but I cannot be certain that he is the F.M. Moore in question in either case.


If you are a descendant of this family or know anything about them, please contact me!  Just click on the link “View my complete profile” in the “About Me” section on the left side of this blog.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Temptation Is Great, But

… resist it, anyway. The lure of the Ancestry hint.  The hint you have to shoehorn in to fit the established data.  You find “confirmation” elsewhere for the veracity of the hint, and if you just make a couple of "minor" assumptions (or maybe three or four … or seven) about the (lack of) accuracy of census-takers, then…

I have been doing some basic research on the children of Wiley Franklin Moore and Mary Hood Busby, or actually filling in some missing pieces in previous research on this collateral line (the line of Freeman Manson Moore, a brother of my great-great grandfather William Spencer Moore).  This has included filling out one of my Ancestry trees with data on this family.

I was working on Arthur Elton Moore, the sixth known child of Wiley Franklin Moore and Mary Hood Busby.  I examined the various hints suggested by Ancestry.  According to my previous research, Arthur appears with his siblings on the 1910 US Federal Census, then next on the 1930 census, plus there was SSDI information and a World War I Draft Registration Card.  He was missing from the 1920 census, as were some other Moores from this line. 

But Ancestry gave me a hint for the 1920 census:

1920 US Federal Census, Justice Precinct 1, Hopkins County, Texas, ED 65, p. 7A, 7 Jan 1920

Line 25 232 Infirmary Street 138 161

Moore, Elton A. Head R M W 30 M Yes Yes TX TX TX Yes Mail carrier Rural
            Neeley Wife F W 24 M Yes Yes TX TN TX Yes Shoe making At home W
            Hoyal Son M W 6 S No TX TX TX None
            Alleen Dau F W 3-3/12 S TX TX TX None

However, I didn’t trust it, so I decided to review the other hints first.  The hints included a couple of links to Findagrave.  There I found two children listed for Arthur Elton and Ruby McClain Moore:  Harley E. Moore and Vida Aleen Moore Handley.

This looked pretty good.  But there were discrepancies:

1. Instead of Arthur E. Moore (according the 1900 and 1940 censuses, and on the 1910 and 1930 censuses he is Arthur and Arthur L.), the name given is Elton A.

2.  His age is somewhat off.

3.  His occupation is listed as mail carrier rather than farmer (as it is in the other censuses).

4.  His wife’s name was Ruby, not Neeley.

5.  His son’s name was Harley, not Hoyal.

6.  According to the 1930 census, his second child’s name is Jewel B. Moore, not Alleen Moore.

7. There is no mention of third child Berney Elbert Moore who, according to the 1930 census, was born around 1919.

Here were my explanations:

1.  I have often seen ancestors’ first and middle names used alternately, especially in this family line.  Besides – Arthur E. vs. Elton A. – still basically the same initials.

2.  Census-taker or information provider error.

3.  The census did say “Rural” after mail carrier, so the change in occupation was possible.

4.  Ruby’s middle initial was given as “N” in the 1930 and 1940 censuses – that could be Neeley.

5.  Census-taker error – and the approximate year of birth – 1914 – did match.

6.  Hm, this one was a head-scratcher.  But the approximate year of birth – 1916 – did match.

7.  This one was also a head-scratcher, and I actually forgot it in my excitement at seeing Aleen Moore listed as one of Arthur Elton’s children on Findagrave.

OK, so I blew it. 

But I didn’t let things stand at that.  After changing “Jewel B. Moore” to “Vida Aleen Moore” on my Ancestry tree, I started to examine the hints for her.  One was the California Death Index.  One item on it gave rise to a gnawing unease:  her mother’s maiden name – Blunt.

So my next step was to see what I could come up with for a search on Neeley Blunt.

And then my little house of straw started to collapse.

Among the items for Neely Blunt Moore were a picture of her with her children, Vida Aleen Moore and Hoyal Moore. 

And a picture of Aleen’s father, Elton Alexander Moore.

Oopsie.

Though one interesting item was that Aleen’s mother’s name was actually Ruby Neely Blunt (or Blount).  No wonder people are so confused about these two families.

On my Ancestry tree, the damage was already done.  Now I had to figure out how to remove the 1920 census from the list of sources (it took me a while).  And even then, the “fact” – residence in Hopkins, Texas in 1920 – had to be removed separately. 

And I should have known to be more skeptical, because I had just gone through something like this with Arthur’s brother, Wiley A(u)gustus Moore, and with his uncle, Samuel Alexander Napoleon Moore. 

A lot of people want Wiley to be Wiley William Moore.  After all, as one researcher has pointed out, his name on the 1900 census is “clearly” given as Wiley W. Moore.  I guess you just never know when to be skeptical of census-takers.  And this is another case where Findagrave duplicates the assumptions made by some readers:  He is listed as Wiley W. Moore and is linked to the Wiley Franklin Moore family. 

The two census hints given by Ancestry are the right guy:  even if he is Wiley W. on the 1900 census, he is with the right family, and since he is listed as being in the Kansas State Reformatory in 1910, I’m pretty sure that’s right, too.

But the next two hints are not so hot.  The World War I Draft registration card for Wiley William Moore lists his mother and father as dependents (Mary Hood Busby Moore died in 1905) and the California Death Index information for this same Wiley William Moore (the date of birth for both is 20 April 1889) lists his mother’s maiden name as Smith.

Then there is Samuel Alexander Napoleon Moore.  I have 11 rejected Findagrave hints for him, starting with the Findagrave hint for an Alexander Nepolin Moore.  It lists his father as Israel Moore (my guy’s father was William S. Moore), although it does have Nancy “Dublin” (= Dulin) Moore as his mother.  The death certificate for this guy also indicates that Isrial Moore was his father.  But on the 1860 census there is an Alex N.B. Moore of about the right age – and his father is Israel Moore. The woman who appears to be his mother/his father’s wife is named Caroline, however.   And this Alexander Moore eventually married a Mary Delaney Cheeves.  And a lot of other Ancestry family trees, probably following the lead of Findagrave and ignoring that inconvenient bit about Israel Moore being the father, have Mary Delaney Cheeves as “our” Wiley Moore’s wife.

In other words, these families are totally confused with one another.


So even when Ancestry hints “seem” to be confirmed by information found elsewhere, when there any sort of conflicting information, it pays to be super-cautious.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Research Week: 25 Jan 2015

Despite some Short Attention Span Theater – flitting from one family to another – in my research, I can call this a productive and interesting research week. 

Though I am not participating in the Geneabloggers’ “Do Over,” I did go back to revisit my research (hence the flitting) on closer generations (grandparents, aunts, and uncles) and found quite a few “new to me” things:

- One of my aunts by marriage committed suicide
- I finally learned the maiden name of the second wife of one of my uncles
- I learned more about the German background of an uncle’s wife
- Discovered that my paternal grandfather had filled out a World War II registration form.
- Found a picture of an aunt for whom I had no pictures showing her as an adult; the picture also included her second husband and two sons.
- Entered a lot of 1940 census information.

Although I am continuing to build up my 23andMe family tree on My Heritage, I have decided not to subscribe to My Heritage, since at this point it does not look like there is a lot I can get out of the documents they have.  I have to admit I was tempted when I saw that one item was a death notice for my paternal grandfather (I do not have an obituary or death notice for him), but I suspect it was just a brief notice.

Two of my favorite blog posts this week are:

“Does this couple in Missouri own your relatives on Find aGrave, too?” on the Young and Savvy Genealogists blog (it includes a hilarious and alarming story about David Tennant in the shower – knew that would get your attention!).

Also this one on the Personal Past Meditations blog on “link rot” and “citation rot”:  “Going,Going…Saved.”


And here is a new blog that I have been enjoying – this author definitely has some colorful ancestors! -  Leaves on my Family Tree.