Monday, August 30, 2010

Memory Monday: Unsupervised

I was a latchkey child. Only I didn’t know it. Because back in the Stone Age, when I was a child, most of us were “free-range” kids. That didn’t necessarily mean that our moms weren’t at home when we got out of school, but we certainly did spend a lot of time … unsupervised.

My parents certainly wouldn’t leave me alone for long periods of time, at least until I was 9 or 10. An evening out for them usually meant that my brother would be called upon for duty (see “Memory Monday: My Brother the Babysitter”).

But there were shorter periods of time I spent by myself while my mother went on a quick errand. And there was this matter of roaming the neighborhood on my own….

We all did it. If you had already joined up with a friend for play or you just wanted to spend some imagination-game time on your own, you might play in your back yard. If you wanted to advertise for playmates, however, you played in your front yard. And once you had paired off, if backyard entertainments didn't suffice, the neighborhood became your playground.

On Pico Street, there were no playmates on either side of our house. To the left, in the corner house, lived the Marquioli family. Margaret was older than I and her older brother was a bully. To the right was the Donaldson family. The three children were all junior high and high school age, but this house was a sort of Mecca for Children Who Love Toys, Gifts, Candy, and Lots of Attention. The mother, Kathleen Donaldson, was a generous soul who adored children and loved to give things away. Her daughter Arlene occasionally babysat for me; it was she who taught me how to make paper doll clothes. Another reason I loved this family was that they all had red hair and freckles, so I didn’t feel self-conscious about my own looks. I managed to find various excuses to invite myself over to visit the Donaldsons.

Janie lived across the street and down a house. Janie’s mother always had a disapproving look on her face and was forever worried that we would break something in the house. So we always ended up playing outside. But that didn’t seem to ward off disaster. Janie and I would do experiments. One day we got carried away harvesting marigold seeds and decimated Janie’s mother’s perfect circle of marigolds in her front yard. Then there was Janie’s disastrous encounter with the rock salt we used with our ice-cream maker. Six-year-old child, salt = food, that’s all I’m gonna say.

Debbie’s family lived kitty corner across from the Marquioli family, at the very “edge of civilization” before the desert started. Her family was large and loud. It seemed that everyone over the age of 12 smoked. There was a brother named Arky who looked and acted like a fusion of James Dean, the Fonz, and Elvis Presley. Debbie and I also had a gift for getting into trouble. Once when we were playing “jump across the ditch” I fell onto a cactus in the ditch. Not the kind with a few large needles, but the kind with thousands of very fine needles.

Kathy lived across the street and around the corner. Her parents were schoolteachers and were into health food before it was really fashionable. Kathy and I never did anything risky. We never roamed the neighborhood and usually never even played outside. I usually got bored and left early.

The Pattersons were the last to move in; they bought the house on the other side of the Donaldsons. Pam Patterson and I would often go on our own made-up treasure hunts around the neighborhood, but usually we could not go very far. This was because her younger sister, who was deaf and was not allowed to go more than a couple of houses away without an adult, often wanted to tag along with us. So instead we would plan camping trips. Trips without parents. And without siblings. Just us.

And what was there in our neighborhood that attracted us kids? Sometimes it was the desert, which was filled with road construction debris and an assortment of desert animals. Sometimes we would sneak across the lawn of Old Man Smith’s house. He was a recluse who was known to shout obscenities through the door at Halloween trick-or-treaters or other trespassers.

And our parents? They were around, sort of. If there was a real emergency, we could run home to them. But they didn’t stand around in the front yard watching us. Well, sometimes Janie’s mother did. But mostly we were left on our own to engage in not-quite-dangerous-but-not-totally-safe minor acts of dare-deviltry.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Smith Family Sunday: Littleton Smith of Putnam and Jackson Counties, Tennessee

This is the fourth family in Group Number 1 (best fits) of “candidate families,” who could be the families of my great-grandmother Susan Elizabeth Smith (m. 1st Bonner, m. 2nd Hiram Carroll Brinlee, Jr.).

If you are researching this family and found this blog through a search, please contact me - I would like to know more about this family and whether or not it is actually the family of my great-grandmother. Even if all you know are a few details, they might help. You can contact me at my e-mail address, which can be found by going to my profile page (there is a link to that page in the About Me section to the left).


Littleton Smith, b. ca 1820-1825 in Tennessee
Mariah, b. ca 1830 in North Carolina (Littleton was married previously to a woman named Mary whose last name may have been Bennett).


By wife Mary:

Ellander Jane, b. 4 July 1845
James C., b. ca 20 Dec 1847
Thomas, b. 11 May 1850
Ella, b. ca 1854
William Calvin, b. 1 March 1856

By wife Mariah:

Jacob Jack, b. 14 November 1859
John, b. 13 November 1861
Elizabeth, b. 15 July 1869 (this does not match the claimed month and date of birth of my great-grandmother – 4 April).

Here is the family in the 1850 through 1880 censuses:

1850 US Federal Census, District 5, Overton Co., Tennessee, 19 September 1850

Line 24 419 420

Littleton Smith 30 M Farmer $200 TN
Mary 29 F Ala.
Nelly J. 15 F TN
James 2 M TN
Thomas 4/12 M TN

1860 US Federal Census, Double Springs, District No. 7, Putnam Co., Tennessee, p. 99, 17 July1860

Line 9 658 658

Littleton Smith 45 M Farmer $200 TN Over 20 cannot read or write
Mariah 30 F NC
James C. 11 M TN
Thos. 9 M TN
Ella 6 M [sic] TN
William C. 4 M TN
Jacob 5/12 M TN

1870 US Federal Census, Gainesboro, District No. 10, Jackson County, Tennessee, p. 2, August 1870

Line 1 7 7

Smith, Littleton 53 M W Farmer $100 $300 TN Cannot read or write
Mariah 37 F W Keeping house TN Cannot write
Jack 12 M W TN Cannot read or write
John 7 M W TN Cannot read or write
Elizabeth 1 F W TN Cannot read or write

1880 US Federal Census, Tenth Civil District, Jackson County, Tennessee, ED 56, p. 13, 8 June 1880

Line 16 3 3

Smith, Littleton W M 65 Married Farmer Cannot read or write TN TN TN
Mariah W F 55 Wife Married Keeping house Cannot write NC NC NC
Jack W M 20 Son Single Farming TN TN NC
John W M 18 Son Single Farming TN TN NC
Elisabeth W F 10 Daughter Single TN TN NC

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Make Your Own Poster

In response to Randy Seaver's latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge, I created a milk carton "Missing" ad for one of my unidentified photos.

The instructions were as follows:

1) Go to the website and explore their FREE offerings. Click on the "Create" button, or choose to make a slideshow or posters from their main page (there are more than one screen of poster backgrounds).

2) Make one or more posters or other creation - perhaps they relate to genealogy or your own family history.

Thanks Randy (and Sheri!). These are addictive!

Surname Saturday: Family of Benedetto Davi and Maria Terzo

Benedetto “Benedict” Davi
& Maria Terzo
b. ca 1854
|--Rosa Davi
|----b. ca 1890, Sicily
|--Giovanna “Jennie” Mary Davi
|----b. 22 Dec 1893, Sicily, Italy
|----d. Oct 1985, Flushing, Queens, New York
|--& Vincenzo Vincent “Jimmie” Terrana
|----b. 26 May 1883, Sette Cannolli, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
|----d. Jun 1956, Brooklyn, Kings, New York
|----m. 1909
|--Michele Davi
|----b. ca 1899, Sicily

This is the family of my husband’s great-great-grandparents, Benedetto Davi and Maria Terzo. I know very little about this family, and most of what I know comes from: the Social Security application of Jennie Mary Davi Terrana, the New York Passenger Lists 1820-1947 on Ancestry, and a Terrana family history by Joseph F. de Rienzo (for the initial information on Jennie Davi). I also have the Naturalization Petition Certificate of Michael Davi, dated 11 February 1930. I believe this is Michele Davi, whose age was listed as 4 on the passenger list, since this Michael Davi was said to be 31 years old, so both point to a year of birth of 1898 or 1899.

Benedetto Davi came over some time before wife Maria Terzo (listed on the passenger record under her maiden name) and children Rosa, Giovanna, and Michele, who arrived in New York on 8 September 1903. Benedetto is listed as the relative whom they are to join upon arrival. Based on Maria’s age and that of her children, there were very likely other, older children.

I would love to share information with anyone related to/researching this family; you can contact me at my e-mail address, which can be found by going to my profile page (there is a link to that page in the About Me section to the left).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Newsletter - FGS Conference Wrap-Up

Follow Friday will return next week; I am still recovering from the FGS Conference. Meanwhile, I direct you to Randy Seaver’s “Best of the Genea-blogs” at Genea-Musings and John Newmark’s “Weekly Picks” at TransylvanianDutch.

FGS Conference

Best: The people – both the people of Tennessee and the Genea-Bloggers I met. Also breakfasts at Pete’s Coffee Shop, the Museum of Appalachia, and the East Tennessee Historical Center.

Worst: Probably the drive through the pouring rain in the way to Tennessee.

So-So: The bookstore situation in Knoxville, at least the part within walking distance of the Convention Center. The bookstore at the University of Tennessee was OK for a college bookstore, but there wasn’t much else.

OK: Our hotel (the Holiday Inn). The staff were very pleasant. WiFi is unreliable there. The chain scrimps on certain things that would make life easier (like having enough luggage carts).

Outstanding: The majority of presentations at the conference. A couple were only OK or so-so, but considering the fact that a novice at doing a large convention like me was able to attend so many excellent lectures, still awfully good.

Very Good: The Exhibit Hall. Probably a good thing that it didn’t have more wares and vendors, or I would have spent even more money.

My Research Week

I am printing out downloaded pages from indices of deed and probate file documents on the Greenville County website for use on my research trip. This will be followed by putting together all the other hard-copy information I have on the Moores such as binders, printouts of hard-copy reports from Reunion, and deed abstract books.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Last Day of the FGS Conference

The last day was another “not together enough to get to the 8:00 presentation” day. Instead we had our last breakfast at Pete’s (which is closed on Sundays). We bid a fond farewell to our fabulous waitress and told her that we’d be back to visit some day. I’m missing my Texas toast already.

For the 9:30 presentation I decided to go to J. Mark Lowe’s “The Land Grand Processes of North Carolina and Tennessee.” This time I was alert to look for other GeneaBloggers and, sure enough, found “our row.” We compared our evolving strategies for selecting lectures to attend. In addition to delivering a great presentation, Mr. Lowe recommended a number of publications of the North Carolina Genealogical Society for reference. This group has some great publications, and I always like to see what new books Bruce Pruitt has put out.

Next came Christine Rose’s “The Anatomy of a Will and the Records It Spawns.” Ms. Rose explained various aspects of wills and what we should look for to indicate the existence of additional documents. I am taking her book on courthouse research with me to Greenville.

Afterwards we all went to Market Square (Amy, Missy, Jennifer, Tonia, Linda, Tina, her husband, me, and my husband) for lunch. It is so much fun to talk with other genealogy people! We all have some “wild and crazy” ancestor stories; Linda and I compared stories of her relative who was hanged and the guy connected to one of my lines who was the first man to be executed by electric chair in Oklahoma. We also talked about relatives and other people interested in our ancestors who will not accept the less-than-glamorous truth about those ancestors. The two “genealogy widowers” (Tina’s husband and my husband) were able to talk about non-genealogy subjects. My husband thinks that the big genealogy conferences should include a “genealogy widow/widower” track for spouses who don’t do genealogy. I told him there is enough history in these conferences to keep him happy, but he isn’t convinced, yet.

During lunch my husband and I were outed as thorough Mac-a-holics, and after lunch I went to Donna Moughty’s presentation on “Tools for Macintosh Users.” Donna is such a power user! I am inspired to actually take advantage of some of the neat applications. This was a very enjoyable presentation and the level of enthusiasm was very high in the audience.

My next two presentations involved the Scots-Irish: David Rencher spoke on “From Ulster to the Carolinas: The Scots-Irish” and George Schweitzer delivered a smashing performance/presentation on “Scots-Irish (Ulster) Genealogy.” There must be something about Scots-Irish and humor. Mr. Rencher’s presentation was fast-paced and informative, yet he managed to sneak in some very dry humor from time to time. And Dr. Schweitzer? He is just amazing. If you ever have a chance to see him speak, do. I confess that I decided to attend this last presentation of the last day when I was attending a presentation in the room next to the room where he was speaking on the preceding day; quite frequently we could hear the audience breaking into laughter. You feel as though you are “raht thar” hearing an old Scots-Irish backwoodsman delivering his version of the history of the Scots Irish in Ulster and this country.

My husband and I ended the day with dinner at The Butcher Shop, which is right behind the hotel. Below are pictures of the fountain in the World’s Fair Park on the way to the restaurant and the old train station right next to the restaurant.

Instead of Highway 81, we decided to take Route 11 and other less traveled routes home. Below is a picture I took at a gas station up in the mountains. (I think “American Pickers” is starting to have an influence on me.)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

FGS Conference – Day 2 Presentations

When I woke up Friday morning, I did not really feel like rushing off to the early (8:00) presentation, but then I remembered that I had planned to attend Russell P. Baker’s presentation, “The Five Civilized Tribes of the South and Their Genealogical Records,” so I rushed through breakfast at Pete’s Coffee Shop and headed off to the lecture. I was glad I made it, because there was a lot of information that might apply if my brick wall Lizzie Smith does actually turn out to have had a background from one of these tribes. Mr. Baker described the matriarchal nature of their society and how many of the records would actually center around the women.

Next I went to “Alabama Ancestral Records” presented by Lori Thornton. I have not yet dug deeply into Alabama resources, so this was a good introduction.

The half hour in between presentations turned out to be insufficient to really be able to do the kind of browsing among the booths in the Exhibition Hall that I (and most other people I spoke to) needed/wanted to do, so I took the next presentation block off and went to lunch with my husband, then returned at noon, when the hall was scheduled to open again. This was a more satisfactory approach, and I was able to peruse the books and other wares to my heart’s content and shmooze with the people at the booths.

After lunch I settled in at Pamela Sayer’s presentation, “Murder at the Sawmill,” which is both a mystery story and a genealogical case study (and illustrates the idea that the interrelationships in many of these backwoods communities is too complex to be represented by anything as straightforward as a plain ole tree).

While I was waiting in the same room for the next presentation to begin, Tina Lyons came over and asked me if I wanted to come sit on “GeneaBloggers Row” – I certainly did and I wondered how nearsighted I actually am that I didn’t see them before. It was a lot of fun to be able to share stories and discuss the Convention. Meeting up with the other Genea-Bloggers made me realize a couple of things: 1. I am way behind everyone else in terms of technology. The disparity in our cell phones (that’s all mine is) alone illustrates how backward I am. 2. I may have to give in to Twitter and at least become a “Conference Tweeter” (one who only tweets during conferences so as to maintain contact and plan get-togethers with fellow attendees).

We were all enthralled by Elizabeth Shown Mills’ presentation on “The Genealogical Proof Standard. I had never seen any of her presentations before, and was truly inspired and energized by her lecture. (And I am not prejudiced just because she is a Southern girl.)

Most of us stayed in the same room for the next presentation, which I cannot describe here because the presenter did not want people to blog about it or Tweet it.

Afterward we all headed down to the Exhibition Hall to visit the booths and be present during the drawings for door prizes. None of us won the iPad – sob! But one of us won a prize – I did! It was Megan Smolenyak’s Who Do You Think You Are? Which I just happened to have bought right before this trip! So I passed it to another deserving Genea-Blogger. Missy, if you ever win anything … like an iPad … I hope you will be inspired to return the favor.

FGS Conference – Days 1 Presentations

The first and second days of the conference (actually the second and third, but I did not attend any of the events on Wednesday) were busy ones. On Thursday I started out with Thomas Jones’ presentation “Solving the Mystery of the Disappearing Ancestor.” As usual, Mr. Jones gave an eye-opening presentation; he outlined the various ways that we might “overlook” an ancestor and categorized the reasons we might miss them. Even for the category we might think of first – wrong name – he had some intriguing alternations in names and listed some nicknames that I hadn’t known about before.

The next presentation I attended was J. Stephen Cotham’s “The Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection: How to Make the Most of Your Research Time.” I paid close attention to this one, because when I can better pinpoint the location of my brickwall ancestor from Tennessee (Susan Elizabeth Smith), I would like to return and take advantage of the outstanding resources of the McClung Collection.

Following this I went to D. Joshua Taylor’s presentation on “Clustering and More: Successful Internet Searching.” Most of the Google tricks I already knew, but Josh’s methods for keeping records of searches and systematically broadening/narrowing and alternating search terms are a good example to follow. The new information I hoped to gain from this lecture did not disappoint, either: how to use Clusty in searches. This is a site that I will have to start incorporating in my research. I especially like the search result categorization function.

I had originally intended to attend the presentation on the Tennessee State Library and Archives, since that is another resource I plan to use, but realized that we also had a long evening ahead of us and that I should probably rest some before we headed out to the Museum of Appalachia.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 1 at FGS Continued: An Evening in Old Appalachia

We had a lovely evening at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tennessee. It couldn’t have been more perfect. We had a great time talking with Kimberly Powell of Genealogy and several other attendees on the bus ride to the Museum and at dinner. And Paula Stuart-Warren of Paula's Genealogical Eclectica made a wonderful “Bus Leader”! The Appalachian Hall of Fame was a total delight; below you’ll see that my pictures there heavily favored musical instruments. There were also several dulcimer players performing, and it was especially touching when they played “Amazing Grace” and the audience joined in the singing.

Next we went out to the Jail Cells and the Display Barn (the next set of pictures), but since it was starting to get dark, we opted to leave the rest of the other buildings to another visit (we will definitely come back to see everything – it’s worth it) and listen to the bluegrass concert from the stage on the lawn, which was where most of the FGS group had clustered. To bring the entire evening to a touching conclusion, John Rice Irwin himself joined the musicians with his mandolin and voice and also told a few stories (see the bottom picture). He is an amazing man, still active, who spent a good part of his life traveling around Southern Appalachia, collecting artifacts and interviewing the residents. He put the results together in this fascinating indoor/outdoor museum. While he made no effort for the displays to be “slick and shiny,” they are very informative and make a strong impact.

Toilet-seat banjo and gourd banjo




Fiddles of various shapes, sizes, and woods/colors

A "hubcap banjo"

A "ham can banjo"

A wandering peacock helps to entertain the audience

The Jail Cells

Some items in the Display Barn

John Rice Irwin joins the bluegrass players on the stage

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Scenes from Day 1 at the FGS Convention

Here are a few scenes from the Exhibit Hall at the FGS Convention in Knoxville. At the top is a collection of a dozen GeneaBloggers who met near the booth of the Illinois State Genealogical Society. Notice how we all magically lined up on either wide of Mr. Genea-Hospitality himself, Mr. Thomas MacEntee. It was wonderful to meet fellow genealogy bloggers! Today I attended three presentations, all outstanding, that I'll write about later, but now it's almost time to board the bus for the FGS banquet, "An Evening in Old Appalachia."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Knoxville Sights

We decided to spend Wednesday in casual exploration.

First thing’s first: The Candy Factory. After breakfast at Pete’s Coffee Shop, I bought some healthy dark chocolate bark at the Candy Factory to keep my energy up throughout the day.

We then walked through the World’s Fair Park over toward the campus of the University of Tennessee.

My favorite statue so far in Knoxville is the statue of Sergey Rachmaninoff in the World’s Fair Park. It was created by the sculptor Victor Bokarov to commemorate Rachmaninoff’s last concert, which was given on the campus of the University of Tennessee on February 17, 1943. The statue was erected in July 2003.

Turns out that today is the first day of classes at the University of Tennessee. When we hit the UT bookstore and I saw all the spirit wear in bright orange, I finally realized why there are so many planters with orange flowers around town.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In Knoxville

I am reporting tonight as a booster for Tennessee tourism. Seriously, the people in Tennessee have been so nice, from the waitress who offered to fill up our car mugs with iced tea “for the road” – but unfortunately we didn’t bring any car mugs, so we couldn’t take her up on her offer – to the people at the East Tennessee History Center, who let my husband into the exhibits for free today when I tried to pay for him because he is not attending the FGS conference, and all the people we have talked to on the streets of Knoxville, in the stores, and in the hotel and Convention Center. It’s a good thing our daughters are not little and are not with us, because we have done a lot of that thing that they used to hate so much – stop and talk to people.

History Husband is in Hog’s Heaven; he enjoyed the East Tennessee History Center and got a 60% discount on the books he bought in the gift store and was able to order one of his favorite beers at the restaurant where we ate tonight. Tomorrow I may go back to the East Tennessee History Center and get some pointers on researching my brick wall (I brought my Smith binder with me, just in case).

Below are some pictures taken in Knoxville.

This landmark makes it easy to find our way back to the hotel from anywhere in Knoxville.

This is the view from our hotel window (the eyes are painted on the front of the Knoxville Museum of Art); however, I took this from the Convention Center side, and when we look out our window, the eyes are actually looking straight at us. Just a little bit creepy.

East Tennessee History Center

Views in downtown Knoxville

Two scenes from Market Square

A T-shirt in Mast General Store

Monday, August 16, 2010

On the Way to Knoxville

(Copyright (c) 2010 Greta Koehl) We were on our way almost on time; I had to kiss both daughters, make sure they understood the instructions correctly for taking care of the cats and feeding the birds, and of course, run back into the house one last time to get something I had forgotten.

Our driving instructions were simple for this first day. Take Route 66 to 81. Take Route 81 to Exit 80 at Fort Chiswell/Max Meadows. Hotel is there.

We drove through a torrential downpour from Staunton to Christiansburg and later passed a tractor-trailer that had flipped over about 200 degrees (upside down and tilting against the hillside).

At Lexington we stopped to walk around a bit. We stopped at a bookstore, bought a book about wooden houses, and petted the bookstore cat (whose picture I unfortunately forgot to take). Here are some pictures we took at Washington and Lee University.

Lee-Jackson House

Morris House

Newcomb Hall

Lee Chapel

Washington Hall

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Smith Family Sunday: William C. Smith and Mary Brandon

This is the third family in Group Number 1 (best fits) of “candidate families,” who could be the families of my great-grandmother Susan Elizabeth Smith (m. 1st Bonner, m. 2nd Hiram Carroll Brinlee, Jr.).

If you are researching this family and found this blog through a search, please contact me - I would like to know more about this family and whether or not it is actually the family of my great-grandmother. Even if all you know are a few details, they might help. You can contact me at my e-mail address, which can be found by going to my profile page (there is a link to that page in the About Me section to the left).


William C. Smith, b. ca 1829 Greene County, Tennessee, d. 1895
Mary Brandon, b. ca 1835 Greene County, Tennessee, d. 1890

Online trees give Mary Brandon’s parents as William Brandon and Rhoda Tunnel and William C. Smith’s parents as Cornelius Smith and Drucilla Craddock.


Liddie, b. 1858 in Tennessee
Amos, b. 3 Aug 1858 in Tennessee, d. 1922, m. Margaret Lenore Barkley
Drusilla, b. 1859 in Tennessee
Rhoda Isabella, b. 1861 in Tennessee, m. Andrew Johnson Kilday
Reubin, b. 1862 in Tennessee
Emily Jane, b. 1864 in Tennessee
Malinda, b. 1866-7 in Tennessee, d. 1934
Elizabeth, b. 23 Aug 1868 in Tennessee(if this is true, this may not be my Lizzie, whose birthday was always given as 4 April 1868).
Nancy, b. 1870 in Tennessee
John Cornelius, b. 1872 in Tennessee
Josephine, b. 1877 in Tennessee
David A., b. 1877 in Tennessee

Here are some censuses on which members of this family appear (in some case other Smiths living nearby are also shown):

1860 US Federal Census, Graysburgh, Civil District No. 17, Greene Co., TN, 29 June 1860

Line 18 401 284

Jacob Smith 22 M $1000 $200
Nancy J. 22 F TN
James F. 11/12 M TN
Line 21 402 385
Wm. C. Smith 29 M Far. $200 $800 TN
Marry 34 F Domes. TN
Lydia 3 F TN
Amos 2 M TN
Ducila 2/12 F TN

1870 US Federal Census, Locust Grove, Lost Mountain, Graysburg, Civil District 16, Greene County, Tennessee, p. 15-18, 16 July 1870

p. 15, Locust Grove, Line 34 105 109

Smith, John 44 M W Farmer $1500 $800 TN
Presilla 47 F W Keeping house TN Cannot read or write
David 19 M W TN
Elbert 18 M W TN Cannot read or write
Col 15 M W TN Cannot read or write
Andrew 12 M W TN Cannot read or write

p.16, Lost Mountain, Line 14 111 114

Smith, John 51 M W Farm labor TN Cannot read or write
Mary 50 F W Keeping house TN Cannot read or write
Williams, Susan 25 F W TN Cannot read or write

Line 17 112 115

Smith, William 44 M W Farmer $500 TN Cannot read or write
Sallie 46 F W Keeping house TN Cannot read or write
Rebecka 39 F W TN Cannot read or write

Line 20 113 116

Smith, Jane 56 F W Keeping house TN Cannot read or write
Sarah 18 F W TN Cannot read or write
Vancy 16 F W TN Cannot read or write
Mary 14 F W TN Cannot read or write
Martha 13 F W TN Cannot read or write

Line 30 115 118

Smith, Aron 41 M W Farmer $800 $300 TN Cannot read or write
Sarah 40 F W Keeping house TN Cannot read or write
John A. 19 M W TN Cannot read or write
Angeline 17 F W TN Cannot read or write
Rebecka 15 F W TN Cannot read or write
Roda 13 F W TN Cannot read or write
Betsy 11 F W TN Cannot read or write
Sarah 9 F W TN
James 5 M W TN
Mahaly 2 F W TN

p. 17, Line 6 117 120

Smith, William C. 30 M W Farmer $300 TN
Mary 34 F W Keeping house TN
Liddie 12 F W TN
Amos 10 M W TN
Drusilia 10 F W TN
Rhoda 8 F W TN
Rubin 8 M W TN
Emily 5 F W TN
Malinda 4 F W TN
Elizabeth 2 F W TN
Vancy 6/12 F W TN
Brandon, Rhoda 70 F W TN [This would be Mary’s mother.]

Line 18 188 121

Smith, Elizabeth 57 F W Keeping house $800 $400 TN
Jackson 19 M W Farm labor TN Cannot write
Marion 19 M W Farm labor TN
Murell, Seal 30 F B Domestic servant TN Cannot read or write
John 3/12 M B TN May

Line 23 119 122

Smith, Joseph 37 M W Farmer $300 TN Cannot write
Mary A. 36 F W Keeping house TN Cannot read or write
Martha 16 F W TN Cannot read or write
Elizabeth 14 F W TN Cannot read or write
Vancy A. 12 F W TN Cannot read or write
George 10 M W TN Cannot read or write
Peter 8 M W TN
Liddie 4 F W TN
Noah 1 M W TN

Line 33 120 123

Smith, Alexander 35 M W Farmer $400 $200 TN
Margaret 30 F W Keeping house TN Cannot read or write
Calvin 10 M W TN Attended school
Alexander 8 M W TN Attended school
Delia 6 F W TN Attended school
Margaret 5 F W TN
John 3 M W TN
Aron 4/12 M W
Melvina 1 F W TN

Graysburg, p. 18, Line 2 121 124

Smith, Hiram 31 M W Farmer $1000 $200 TN
Drusilla 25 F W Keeping house TN Cannot read or write
Vancy 50 F W TN Cannot read or write
Melvina 29 F W TN Cannot write
Melvina 13 F W TN Attended school
Franklin 7 M W TN Attended school

1880 US Federal Census, Civil District No. 17, Greene County, Tennessee, ED 56, p. 21, 11-12 June 1880

Line 25 193 198

Smith, William C. W M 51 Widowed Farmer TN TN TN
Drusiller W F 19 Dau Single Keeping house TN TN TN
Amos W M 21 Son Single Works on farm TN TN TN
Rhoda E. W F 18 Dau Single At home TN TN TN
Emily J. W F 15 Dau Single At home TN TN TN
Malinda W F 13 Dau Single At home Attended school TN TN TN
Elizabeth 12 Dau Single At home Attended school TN TN TN
Nancy W F 9 Dau Single Attended school TN TN TN
Reubin W M 17 Son Single Works on farm Attended school TN TN TN
John C. W M 8 Son Single Attended school TN TN TN
Josephine W F 3 Dau Single TN TN TN
[Ninnia C.] W F 3 Dau Single TN TN TN

Line 46 195 200

Smith, Isreal W M 56 Married Farmer Crippled [illeg.] TN TN TN
Sarah W F 48 Wife Married Keeping house TN TN TN
Florance S. W F 12 Dau Single At home Attended school TN TN TN
Emily F. W F 10 Dau single At home Attended school TN TN TN

1910 US Federal Census, Civil District 16, Greene Co., TN, ED 89, p. 8B, 5 May 1910

Line 91 171 174

Smith, Amos H. Head M W 51 M1 24 TN TN TN Eng Carpenter House W No 0 Yes Yes
O F F 192
Maggie L. Wife F W 42 M1 24 6 6 TN TN TN Eng None Yes Yes
Sara E. Dau F W 18 S TN TN TN Eng None Yes Yes
John B. Son M W 15 S TN TN TN Eng Laborer Farm W No 0 Yes Yes Yes
Annie C. Dau f W 6 S TN TN TN None
Dezel R. Dau F W 3 S TN TN TN None

1920 US Federal Census, 16th Civil District, Greene Co., TN, ED 85, p. 8B, 3-4 Feb 1920

Line 82 Fm 169 171

Smith, Amos Head O F M M W 61 Wd Yes Yes TN TN TN Yes Carpenter W 169
Annalee E. Dau F W 15 S Yes Yes Yes TN TN TN Yes Helper Home farm OA
Densil R. Dau F W 13 S Yes Yes TN TN TN Yes Helper Home farm OA
Bowlin, Belle House keeper F W 46 S No No TN TN TN Yes Private family W

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Surname Saturday: William Leon “Hoss” Brinlee and Myrtie Short Wilson

William Leon “Hoss” Brinlee
b. 27 Oct 1873, Blue Ridge, Collin Co., Texas
d. 5 Jan 1952, Collin County, Texas
& Myrtie Short Wilson
b. 23 Sep 1879, Texas
d. 27 Apr 1961, Wolfe City, Hunt County, Texas
m. 10 Jun 1897
|--Guy Leon “Square” Brinlee
|----b. 17 Oct 1899, Collin County, Texas
|----d. 30 Nov 1978, Greenville, Collin Co., Texas
|--Vernon Argos “Bun” Brinlee
|----b. 9 Nov 1903, Blue Ridge, Collin, Texas
|----d. 3 Apr 1985, Grand Prairie, Dallas, Texas

William Leon Brinlee was the son of Hiram Carroll Brinlee, Jr. and Diza Caroline Boone. Myrtie Wilson was the daughter of W. A. Wilson and Lydia Short.

There are rumors that Vernon “Bun” Brinlee actually got married at one point while his parents were out of town but was too afraid to tell them, so he came home and lived with them as though he was still single. He is listed as single on the 1930 census and is living with his parents. There is at least one family tree that shows him married to a Mary Josephine McDonald on 17 September 1928, and I found a birth record on Ancestry in which a Mary Argos Brinlee is listed as the mother.

Bun and Square Brinlee continued to live on the family homestead after their parents died. Square acquired his nickname from being a square-dance caller, and Bun was apparently short for “Bunnen” (?=Vernon). They led an exciting life and worked in many different jobs: shoeing horses, farming, rodeo circuit rider, gunsmith, barber, and others. The story went that they themselves owned no guns and would allow no hunting on their farm (which did not have any electricity or other modern conveniences), but this was apparently a fiction they allowed people to believe; people who visited them as kids (their place was a favorite hangout to hear stories of the old days) said that they were allowed to hunt and fish. A book was written about them by Dr. Joseph Faulds called Conversations with Kid Cougar and Lim Hang High.

I would love to share information with anyone related to/researching this family; you can contact me at my e-mail address, which can be found by going to my profile page (there is a link to that page in the About Me section to the left).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Follow Friday: 13 August 2010

Many of us in the Genea-Blogging community were very saddened to hear of the passing of William Terrance “Terry” Thornton on August 9, 2010. Founder of the Graveyard Rabbits, outstanding writer, and source of encouragement to many – we will miss you, Terry.

(There are many wonderful tributes to Terry this week, and I suggest you read them all, and especially that you read Terry’s discussion of “The Graveyard Rabbit” at, where else, The Graveyard Rabbit.)

This Week

Genealogy and science fiction – what a great combination! Karen Packard Rhodes at Karen About Genealogy has written about “My Favorite Star Trek Episode,” which happens to be one about genealogy. It’s one I missed, so I’ll have to keep my eye out for that one…. “Fascinating, Captain.” Oops, wrong version of Star Trek….

Jennifer at Rainy Day Genealogy Readings does some very astute categorizing in “Anatomy of an Internet Genealogist.” Just FYI, Jennifer, I almost never swear. Except when someone forgets to use his turn signal. Just sayin’….

And a second outstanding article at the same blog is Jennifer’s post “In Defense of Google Books,” which is a response to Martin Hollick’s criticism of same at The Slovak Yankee, “Why Google Books Still Stinks.”

Sharon at Genealogy contrasts fiction with fact in “Endearing Family Stories – Fun Even if They’re not True.”

I always love a good story. And a simple and touching story, artfully told, is best of all: the author of Sharing Our Family’s Memories writes about the time when her mother felt “Like a Kid in a Candy Store.”

At Moultrie Creek Gazette, Denise Olson describes how to “Build a Table of Contents for Your Blog.”

What is your channel noise? An interesting question, one covered by James Tanner at Genealogy’s Star in “Is technology really a help or just more noise in the channel?”

Hmmm, intriguing question. In my case, not too much TV watching – I agree with those who say most of it is abysmal (and most of the good stuff is reruns). I mainly watch when I am too tired to do anything else, or when I just want to be near my family for awhile (if they are actually watching TV), but then I almost always have my laptop open (as do they). But, hey, at least we talk about what we are watching or reading. (We’re an “It’s OK to read at the table” family, provided it does not keep you in your own little cloud.)

Computer would be the big distraction – e-mail mostly, plus blog reading and commenting.

Other than those two things, the main “noise in the channel” is real life, and of course when our priorities are properly ordered, “real life” comes first (= taking care of family, home, and work).

Lynn Palermo at The Armchair Genealogist wrote on a very thought-provoking theme: “If I Was Starting All Over Again – My Best Advice for a Beginner Genealogist.” Lynn asks, “What’s the best advice you would give a beginner family historian?” She inspired me to write my own suggestions.

Astrid continues to narrate her adventures visiting Norway, one of the countries of her ancestors in “Norway, Day 4 and 5” at Of Trolls and Lemons. Check out the pictures of the beautifully set coffee and dinner tables!

Cooperative genealogy at its best: “Amanuensis Monday – A Letter to John Owen Dominis” at Heather Rojo’s Nutfield Genealogy and “Amanuensis Monday: Essie’s Step-Daughter” at Leah’s The Internet Genealogist (in a regular feature establish by a third genealogy blogger, John Newmark at TransylvanianDutch).

Words to make a translator’s heart beat faster: “…these people were our ancestors and somehow their culture was one of the ancestors of our own. So we get lulled into a false sense of security and believe we understand them. Then there is a danger that though we might understand the words they wrote, we won’t understand what they actually meant.” This is from “Geneanthropology” at Daniel Hubbard’s Personal Past Meditations – A Genealogical Blog. An art museum plays a role, and the subject is how not understanding the culture leads us to mistakes.

(Oops, forgot to include this:)

For more suggested genealogy blog reading, check out John Newmark’s “Weekly Genealogy Picks” at TransylvanianDutch and Randy Seaver’s Best of the Genea-Blogs at Genea-Musings.

Happy 2nd Blogoversary to Sheri Fenley at The Educated Genealogist!

Happy 1st Blogoversary to GreatGreats!

This week I started following these blogs:

Blogging from the Branches

Deb’s Delvings in Genealogy

Digging Down East


Memory Hook (and added it to the Texas Team)

My Webb Family

Tiff’s Genealogy Adventure

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Armchair Genealogist on Advice for Beginners

At The Armchair Genealogist, Lynn Palermo deals with a topic I can’t resist: “If I Was Starting All Over Again – My Best Advice for a Beginner Genealogist.” Lynn asks, “What’s the best advice you would give a beginner family historian?”

Next September 1 will be my fifth anniversary in genealogy. Yes, I know the exact date. I googled the name “Brinlee” to illustrate to a coworker that everyone with that spelling of the last name was related to me. And to my surprise, the hits included some indications that some of those Brinlee family myths that I thought were bunk might actually be true (almost all of them were, an exception to the rule about family myths).

That first year was when I got my feet wet in genealogical research, and I learned a lot. I think most of what I learned and did was a positive experience (my cousins Eunice and Jo Ann were excellent role models), though there were some missteps. So, as a response to Lynn’s question and excellent advice, I would offer a few additional comments and suggestions.

Once you know that your interest in genealogy is passionate and not passing, do invest in a good genealogy program (one that is reported to work well on your computer and fits with your way of organizing things and your approach to research) as well as in some guides on evidence and sources (such as Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained). This actually repeats one of Lynn’s points, but this was the main thing I would have changed in my first year. Six months into my genealogy adventure, my husband bought me the Reunion program, and I should have started using it then instead of waiting another six months. And instead of wildly scribbled notes, I would have developed a better system for organizing my data (almost) from the get-go.

If you can, do wait about a year to subscribe to commercial online database services such as Ancestry. Yeah, I know this contradicts those alluring shaky leaf commercials, but your knowledge of resources – both online and in hard copy at repositories – will be much greater. I waited a year to subscribe to Ancestry, and discovered the wonderful world of Cyndi’s List, Rootsweb, Genweb, the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, Family Search (with its research guides), library resources, writing off to state archives and county courthouses for copies of documents, and several excellent name-based websites.

Do be skeptical about the information you find – not just the sloppy stuff in many online family trees, but also information from books. However, don’t carry that skepticism so far that you dismiss something without first having solid evidence to disprove it. As noted above, my skepticism about many Brinlee family stories turned out to be wrong. On the other hand, some of the stuff that I first found online was absolutely false, and it is strange to go back to my early notes and realize that I actually believed some of this once upon a time. Also be ready to completely reverse your previous thinking. I’ve had to do this so many times, if I had a dollar for every flip-flop I could use the money to take a world cruise.

Do learn to be stubborn in your research. You will need to learn many different techniques and tricks, where to look for information, and how to use the different and sometimes contradictory clues you find. But “smart” or “efficient” research is not enough. You have to just keep at it and never give up. That attitude has generated more happy dances for me than so-called “brilliant ideas.”

Do start sending off letters and e-mail to as many known relatives as you can, as well as to every researcher for your family lines that you encounter online or elsewhere. Do it now, do it often, and don’t be timid. In my “previous life” I never would have had the courage to write an e-mail to someone I had never met before. I do it all the time now. Call up relatives, and not just to ask them those interview questions. Chat them up. Find out what they’re doing now, how all their family members are, and every now and again, steer the conversation into the past. In the context of “the usual family chit-chat and gossip” you can find out a lot of valuable family history. I learned so much from my cousins and from my Uncle Bill, and much of what Uncle Bill told me might have died with him had I not been in telephone contact with him over the past couple of years.

Advertise/Publish/Post what you do know about your ancestors, what you learn about them, and what questions you have about them. Start early with this and keep doing it. Make it a regular part of your research routine for each family line. Post on message boards, write articles for county heritage books or local genealogical society newsletters, and if you can, start blogging or create websites. You may not want to put every last tidbit out there; some people just scoop up what you publish and never acknowledge your work or share information, but many will, and if only a fraction of those who do have information, pictures, etc. to share, it is all worth it.

A final piece of advice to the beginning family historian would be: Treat genealogy as a quest for information, not as a collectors’ hobby. You are a detective-researcher, not someone who collects ancestors, only to get bored with them and let them collect dust on a shelf. If you dig for that information to learn who your ancestors really were, there will always mysteries that won’t let you abandon the quest. You will learn so much about history, culture, sociology, demographics, and many other subjects that might never have been the of the least interest to you in school. It’s like getting another degree, only more fun and you have control of the curriculum.

I still think of myself as an advanced beginner to beginning intermediate family history researcher and still have tons to learn. Lynn is right, you have to take a break from time to time. But I always come back.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Second Blogoversary

Well, at least I didn’t forget my blogoversary this year as I did last year. (Thanks to Sheri Fenley for having a second blogoversary right before mine – it served as a reminder!)

I have written several times about why I blog and how important the Genea-Blogging community is to me in developing as a researcher, so I won’t repeat all of that, but I will say that the past year has confirmed what I learned the first year: I like to blog, I like to read other people’s genealogy blogs, and both of those activities yield benefits.

I cannot deny that blogging cuts into my research time a bit, but it also adds so much to my research. That part about contacting fellow researchers? It has paid off beyond my wildest dreams. During the past month alone I have been contacted by four people who found the blog and realized that we are researching common lines. In addition, Becky Jamison at Grace and Glory realized from reading one of my posts that someone she recently met, who is very interested in genealogy, may be related to me. I read similar stories of Genea-Bloggers helping others several times a week.

And at least some family members do follow the blog, so I don’t have to duplicate my research reports in e-mail; the blog is actually my central research sharing platform, though I still get hits from genealogy forums, Footnote pages, and even GenealogyWise.

So I would simply like to thank my readers, commenters, and fellow Genea-Bloggers who make every day an adventure in reading and learning.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Smith Family Sunday: William Smith and Susannah Kirby of Sevier, Knox, and Grainger Counties, Tennessee

This is the next family in Group Number 1 (best fits) of “candidate families,” who could be the families of my great-grandmother Susan Elizabeth Smith (m. 1st Bonner, m. 2nd Hiram Carroll Brinlee, Jr.).

The data on this family that puts it into the “plus” category for me are: Lived in the Knox County area around the time of my great-grandmother’s birth (1868 or 1869), appears to be poor, and Archey has a daughter named Susan E., which could be Susan Elizabeth.

If you are researching this family and found this blog through a search, please contact me - I would like to know more about this family and whether or not it is actually the family of my great-grandmother. Even if all you know are a few details, they might help. You can contact me at my e-mail address, which can be found by going to my profile page (there is a link to that page in the About Me section to the left).

In addition to the censuses, there are some Ancestry Public Member Trees containing this family. The members of this family are:

William Smith (his mother’s name may have been Mary Ann, b. 1790), b. ca 1819 in Tennessee, m. 1st “Unknown”; children:

Abe Smith (?)
James M. Smith, b. 1838 (d. 1933, m. Martha J. Hammond or Hubbard, 1857-1919, had children Henry Harrison Smith, 1898-1967 and Rose Smith 1888-1975).
Mary Ann Smith, b. 1844
Samuel Smith, b. 1846
Henry Smith, b. 1848

William Smith m. 2nd Susannah “Susan” S. Cerby, b. ca 1831 in Tennessee; children:

Archibald “Archey” Mansul Smith, 1854-1933
William Wesley Smith, b. 1857
Jane Smith, b. 1859
Dorcas E. Smith, b. 1861
Abraham L. Smith, b. 1863
Harrison Smith, b.1865
Elizabeth Smith, b. 1867
Rutha S. Smith, b. 1869
Luiza C. Smith, . 1872

Archibald Smith b. 4 Nov 1854 Knox, TN, m. 1st Nancy Jane Griffen 3 Feb. 1873; children:

Susan E. L. Smith, 1878-1936
William Mansul Smith, 1878-1936
Alice Smith, 1880-1970
Robert Henry Smith, 1883-1965
Charles H. Smith, 1884-1961
Archie Frank Smith, 1888
Rosy Smith, 1890
Joseph G. Smith, 1892
Bertha M. Smith 1899-1977

m. 2nd Eppie E. Payne, b. 1863

1860 US Federal Census, Henrys Roads, District No. 12, Sevier Co., Tennessee, p. 62, 29 June 1860

Line 33 425 424

Wm. Smith 40 M Farm hand $165 TN Over 20 cannot read or write
Susanah 29 F TN
Ann 16 F Spiner TN Attended school
Samuel 14 M TN Attended school
Henry 12 M TN Attended school
Archibald 6 M TN Attended school
William 3 M TN
Jane 1 F TN

1870 US Federal Census, Thorn Grove, 16 Civil District, Knox County, Tennessee, p.15-16, 11 August 1870

Line 38 118 113

Smith, William 50 M W Farmer TN Cannot read or write
Susan 30 F W Keeping house TN Cannot read or write
Mary A. 26 F W At home TN Cannot read or write
Archey 14 M W TN Cannot write
William W. 18 M W Farm Hand TN Cannot read or write
Dorcas E. 8 F W TN
Abraham L. 7 M W TN
Harrison 4 M W TN
Elizabeth 3 F W TN
Rutha 1 F W TN

1880 US Federal Census, Eighth Civil District, Grainger County, Tennessee, ED 99, p. 3, 4 June 1880

Line 7 18 20

Smith, William W M 61 Married Laborer Blind Cannot read or write TN TN TN
Susan S. W F 49 Wife Married Keeping house Cannot read or write TN TN TN
Elizabeth W F 12 Dau Single At home Cannot read or write TN TN TN
Rutha S. W F 11 Dau Single Cannot read or write TN TN TN
Luiza C. W F 8 Dau Single Cannot read or write TN TN TN
Harrison, Samuel W M 2 Grandson Single TN TN TN
Kirby, James W M 9 Orphan Cannot read or write TN TN TN

Eighth Civil District, Grainger County, Tennessee, ED 99, p. 2, 2 June 1880

Line 12 (in household of James A. McBee)

Smith, Nancy W F 37 Servant Widowed Servant TN TN TN
Aberham W M 18 Single Farm laborer Cannot write TN TN TN
Harrison W M 16 Single Farm laborer Cannot read or write TN TN TN
Belle W F 11 Servant Single Cannot read or write TN TN TN
Samuel W M 6 Single Cannot read or write TN TN TN
John H. W M 2 Single TN TN TN
Line 23 11 12
Kirby, Amanda J. W F 44 Widowed Keeping house Cannot read or write SC SC SC
James W M 19 Son Single Bookkeeper Disabled TN SC SC
William H. W M 17 Son Single Laborer Cannot write TN SC SC
Elizabeth W F 12 Dau Single At home TN SC SC
Mary C. W F 24 Sister Single At home Cannot read or write TN SC SC
Line 40 15 16
Smith, Arch. M. W M 25 Married Farmer TN TN TN
Nancy J. W F 24 Wife Married Keeping house Cannot write TN TN TN
Susan E. W F 4 Dau Single TN TN TN
William A. W M 2 Son Single TN TN TN
Wesly W M 21 Brother Single Farm laborer TN TN TN
Darcus W F 20 Sister Single At home Cannot write TN TN TN

1900 US Federal Census, 8th District, Grainger Co., TN, ED 23, p. 9B, 14 June 1900

Line 81 186 190

Smith, Arch Head W M Nov 1854 45 M 27 TN TN TN Farmer Yes Yes Yes R F F 87
Nancie Wife W F June 1855 44 M 27 12 11 TN TN TN Yes Yes Yes
Robert H. Son W M Sep 1883 16 S TN TN TN Farm laborer Yes Yes Yes
Charlie Son W M Oct 1885 14 S TN TN TN Farm laborer Yes Yes Yes
Archie F. Son W M Apr 1888 12 S TN TN TN Farm laborer Yes Yes Yes
Alice Dau W F Mar 1887 13 S TN TN TN No No Yes
Rosy Dau W F May 1890 10 TN TN TN No No Yes
Joe G. Son W M Oct 1892 7 TN TN TN Farm laborer No No Yes
Samuel F. Son W M Sep 1894 5 S TN TN TN No No Yes
Bertha M. Dau W F July 1899 10/12 S TN TN TN No No No
Wesley Bro W M Aug 1857 42 S TN TN TN Farm laborer Yes Yes Yes

Line 92 189 191
Smith, James Head W M June 1879 20 M 5/12 TN TN TN Yes Yes Yes
Minnie Wife W F July 1879 20 M 5/12 TN TN TN Yes Yes Yes
Mynatt, Theo D. Niece W F Apr 1900 2/12 S TN TN TN No No No

1910 US Federal Census, 6th Civil District, Jefferson Co., TN, ED 72, p. 11B

Line 57 186 194

Smith, William Head M 31 M1 13 TN TN TN Eng. Farmer Gen. farm Emp. No 0
Nora Wife F W 31 M1 13 5 5 TN TN GA Eng. None
Mansel Son W M 12 S TN TN TN Eng. Farm laborer Home farm W No 0
Yes Yes Yes
James Son M W 10 S TN TN TN Eng. Farm laborer Home farm W No 0
Yes Yes Yes
China L. Dau F W 8 S TN TN TN None
William Son M W 15 S TN TN TN None
Alexander Son M W 2 S TN TN TN None
Line 64 187 195
Smith, Arch M. Head M W 55 M2 0 TN TN TN Eng Farmer Gen farm Emp No 0
Yes Yes R F 128
Eppie Wife F W 47 M2 0 3 3 VA VA VA Eng None
Robert H. Son M W 25 S TN TN TN Eng Farm laborer Home farm TN TN TN W
No 0 Yes Yes
Joseph Son M W 16 S TN TN TN Eng Farm laborer Home farm TN TN TN
W No 0 Yes Yes Yes
Sam Son W M 13 S TN TN TN Eng Farm laborer Home farm TN TN TN
W No 0 Yes Yes Yes
Bertha Dau F W 10 S TN TN TN Eng None Yes Yes Yes
Payne, Georgia Stepdaughter F W 7 S TN TN VA None Yes

1920 US Federal Census, Second Civil District, Grainger Co., TN, 3&5 Jan 1920, ED 58, p. 1B

Line 59 13 14

Smith, Archey M. Head O F M W 65 M Yes Yes TN TN TN Salesman Gen. store Emp.
Eppie E. Wife F W 56 M Yes Yes VA VA VA Yes None
Georgie Dau F W 17 S Yes Yes Yes TN TN VA

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Surname Saturday: James Larkin Arrington and Laura Lee Brinlee

James Larkin “Jim” Arrington
b. 27 Feb 1866, Collin Co., Texas
d. 17 Sep 1962, Collin County, Texas
& Laura Lee Brinlee
b. 17 Jan 1871, Missouri
d. 10 Dec 1937, Anna, Collin County, Texas
m. 1890
|--William C. “Will” Arrington
|----b. Apr 1890, Collin County, Texas
|----d. bef 1920
|---& Dora H. Wren
|----b. 11 Sep 1892, Texas
|----d. 12 Dec 1976, Vernon, Wilbarger, Texas
|----m. 1909
|--Hannah Arrington
|----b. Aug 1891, Collin County, Texas
|--Lillie Marge Arrington
|----b. Oct 1893, Collin County, Texas
|---& Raymond Cooper
|--George Washington Arrington
|----b. 7 Oct 1895, Westminster, Collin County, Texas
|----d. Dec 1977, Brownwood, Brown Co., Texas
|---& Freddie Warren
|----b. 1897, Texas
|----m. 1918
|--Lonnie Bryan Arrington
|----b. 21 Mar 1898
|----d. 9 May 1899
|--Bernice “Bessie” Ann Arrington*
|----b. 9 Jul 1901, Collin County, Texas
|----d. 16 Apr 1952, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas
|--& Joseph Benjamin “Joe” Hemphill
|----b. 13 Oct 1898, Hall Co., Texas
|----d. Sep 1967, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas
|----m. 1920
|--Bernice “Bessie” Ann Arrington*
|----b. 9 Jul 1901, Collin County, Texas
|----d. 16 Apr 1952, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas
|---& Sterner
|--Eugene Grey Arrington
|----b. 12 May 1903, Collin County, Texas
|----d. 20 Dec 1980, Tarrant County, Texas
|---& Beatrice Duckworth
|----b. 1904, Texas
|----m. 1922
|--Margie Arrington
|----b. 1913, Texas
|--Modene Arrington
|----b. 5 Nov 1918, Collin County, Texas
|----d. 29 Jul 1919, Collin County, Texas

Laura Lee Brinlee was the daughter of Hiram Carroll Brinlee, Jr. and Diza Carolina Boone, and James Larkin was the son of George Washington Arrington and Hannah Hendrix. It appears that Laura was born in Missouri, though the sources are divided between Missouri and Texas: earlier censuses indicate Missouri, while later censuses and her death certificate indicate Texas. Her parents were living in Boone Township, Bates County, Missouri at the time of the 1870 census. (Her younger brother, William Leon “Hoss” Brinlee, was born in Texas in 1873.)

Jim and Laura’s daughter Bernice “Bessie” Ann Arrington was apparently killed in a homicide-robbery in 1952.

I would love to share information with anyone related to/researching this family; you can contact me at my e-mail address, which can be found by going to my profile page (there is a link to that page in the About Me section to the left).

Friday, August 6, 2010

Follow Friday: 6 August 2010

This Week

The buzz this week has been about the “coming genealogical Dark Ages,” with the original inspiration coming from a presentation given by Curt B. Witcher, manager of the genealogical center at the Allen County Public Library. There have been quite a few blog posts on this; John Newmark at TransylvanianDutch has the most complete list at the time I am writing this. Although I believe almost all of us are worried about certain types of records in certain locations that are vulnerable to loss/disposal/neglect/restricted access, there is not a consensus on the severity of the problem.

One article that was posted after John’s summary was Kerry Scott’s “How Can It Be the Dark Ages When My Screen Is All Lit Up?” at Clue Wagon. Kerry does a very perceptive “Then and Now” comparison and also coins a great expression: “abundance of dumb.” Yeah, that’s what actually scares me. For more on this subject, see the comments on Slovak Yankee below.

When I read the following post, the thought balloon immediately went up: “What she said! What she said!”: “These are my favorite things about research repositories,” by Paula Stuart-Warren at Paula’s Genealogical Eclectica.

Dear Myrtle addresses the question “Life in a cloud: You CAN do it, but SHOULD you?” She covers a number of different was to participate in cloud computing as well as different resources.

Linda at Passage to the Past’s Blog outlines “My Education Plan,” which includes a list of online and “brick and mortar” institution genealogy courses.

In “Wiki Thoughts,” Taneya of Taneya’s Genealogy Blog discusses the merits of various genealogy wikis, particularly the FamilySearch Research Wiki, Ancestry Wiki, Encyclopedia of Genealogy, and National Archives Research Wiki.

More on wikis: Randy Seaver writes about “Searching the Wiki – Post 1” at Genea-Musings. And more from Randy: he notes a curious discrepancy I have also seen: “Searching Collections on FamilySearch Beta and Record Search – they’re different!” I was as confused as Randy and the commenters were, but the final comment on the post brings some clarity (and hope for a single, simple, makes-everybody-happy search solution).

At Reflections from the Fence, Carol gives a very personal account as a “Reality Check – Why Death Certificates Tend to Have Errors.”

Over at The Slovak Yankee, Martin Hollick discusses some of the articles he read last week and shares his thoughts on these articles in “Odds and Ends and Reading Other People’s Genealogy Blogs.” A good bit of the discussion focuses on the centrality of the Internet to research for some people. I suppose you could say Martin takes a contrarian view (why does Word insist that contrarian is misspelled?), but it could be a counterbalance to an excess of enthusiasm. My thoughts on these things:

Internet for research. Right now I am very dependent on the Internet for research. I have one child in college and one at home; neither money nor free time is in abundant supply. I do send off for copies of documents when I can (but, of course, I do this through websites or through e-mail) and have also paid researchers to copy documents for me when I could afford it (but I knew which ones to ask for and where to find them because the library had an online look-up). I have finally scheduled a research trip for this fall. Even when I do have more time and money, however, I like being able to use the Internet to do as much as I can at home so that all my research trip time can be spent on finding and copying documents that I cannot get otherwise. Or, in some cases, complete copies of poorly scanned documents that are on the Internet. A couple of pages of the probate documents of one my ancestors are only about 7/8 visible online, and some of the “goodies” are in that other 1/8. But the courthouse’s website does give the location of the documents, and that will save time.

Dark Ages of Genealogy. Not quite, though maybe a brown-out in spots. I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but am a bit nervous. I agree with Kerry: “Some people are dumb, and some politicians are even dumber.” Preservation always seems to be a low priority, and the thought that some of the people in charge of making the decisions on what to preserve and how to preserve it just might be, well, dumb, doesn’t make me jump for joy. Kerry talks about the “abundance of dumb.” I always think about “cumulative stupidity,” which, I take it from accounts of the destruction of the 1890 census, was actually what happened to that census: a series of stupid decisions rather than a single catastrophic event destroyed the census, though the catastrophic event set the process in motion. And if the documents that might hold the answers to your greatest genealogy mysteries are among those that some numbskull thinks should be sacrificed (and “we don’t have the money to pay the staff to scan them”) to make room for his fancy new conference room, well, kajillions of other scanned documents on the Internet are no consolation.

Happy First Blogoversary to Daniel Hubbard at Personal Past Meditations – A Genealogical Blog. Which he celebrates, of course, with a thoughtful article: “1st Blogiversary and The Power of Negative Thinking.” Also, if you have not already read some of the past posts he recommends, do so! One of my favorites was “Grave Portents” – you might want to read this before heading out for cemetery research.

Happy First Blogoversary to Kim at Ancestors of mine from Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky & Beyond!

For more suggested genealogy blog reading, check out Randy Seaver’s “Best of the Genea-Blogs” at Genea-Musings and John Newmark’s “Weekly Genealogy Picks” at TransylvanianDutch.

This week I started following these blogs:

Every Man a Question

Jackie’s Genealogical Journey (and added it to the Texas Team)

Our Twigs and Branches

Monday, August 2, 2010

Memory Monday: The Mulberry Tree

When we lived on Lankershim Avenue in Highland, California, there were quite a few trees on our property, but they were mostly pretty scrubby. The locust trees were the tallest, but they were skinny and didn’t really give a lot of shade. Our very small front yard would have looked much better without the row of sickly junipers. There was a crepe myrtle tree, the much beloved pet of my mother (I inherited her love for these reliable brighteners of the dog days of summer).

And there were two trees that produced fruit: the apricot tree and the mulberry tree. The apricot produced fruit that my mother turned into delicious turnovers. The fresh fruit has never really caught on with me, but apricots cooked into desserts and dried apricots are high on my list of most delicious treats.

And mulberries – well, they are not really good for anything but making home-made wine. Sort of like weed strawberries. But I didn’t know that as a child. To a child, fruit = sweet = delicious. I tried them unripe, almost ripe, ripe, and overripe. No good.

It was some consolation that the leaves from the tree made excellent food for silkworms. That earned me the prestigious privilege of taking the class silkworms home for spring break in the third grade. As a result, I was the only child in my class who got to see the silkworms spin their cocoons.

But the main distinction of our mulberry tree was that it served as the centerpiece of the island paradise habitat of the Beach Bum Club.

The Beach Bum Club. Membership: 3. Rex and Doug, the two boys for whom my mother babysat, and me. We were castaways, sort of like Swiss Family Robinson, only with more of a laid-back, devil-may-care attitude. We didn’t really want to be rescued; we liked our carefree life the way it was.

Our wardrobe consisted the cast-off t-shirts from my mother’s of dust rag pile and our own shorts or pedal-pushers, and the look was sometimes enhanced with scraggly facial stubble drawn on using my mother’s eyebrow pencil.

The boys and I tried to put together something that would pass for an island shack, but our carpentry skills were not up to anything resembling Swiss Family Robinson standards. And a tree house – my dream – was out of the question. There was no tree in our yard remotely suitable; only the mulberry tree had anything approaching the right shape, and its lower branches would support only our 5-, 7-, and 8-year old bodies.

So, the mulberry tree became the focus of our very-well-ventilated beach house. Scrap lumber from my father’s garage workshop became sunken ship remnants that had washed ashore and were used for the walls. Branches and twigs provided additional detail. There was a firepit lined with rocks. The shape was something like an oval, with the tree slightly to the side of the center. And the tree? It made a great lookout post. We took turns climbing up and searching for ships with the aid of toy binoculars from the dime store.

I have pulled up images of our old house and yard on Google Maps, and the yard looks even barer now than it did many years ago. The mulberry tree, apricot tree, and maybe even the crepe myrtle are most likely long gone. The physical me lived in the house, but the dream me lived in that mulberry tree.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again – SNGF and Smith Family Sunday: Brickwalls and Maps and Worksheets, Oh My!

Okay, on top of mentioning Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and some sort of new-fangled day-of-the-week-related theme, I’ve combined a C&W song with a takeoff on a line from the Wizard of Oz – so sue me.

The thing its, having finally started to recover from summer-heat-induced doldrums in my research, I have been taking care of some of the items on my Brick wall To-Do List. And Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has challenged us in his latest SGNF to write about our brick walls. Well, I could have written about someone other than my “biggie” – Susan Elizabeth Smith Bonner Brinlee – so that I wouldn’t bore people with the same old information I have been posting, because I DO have plenty of other brick walls (aren’t all the end-of-lines-as-far-as-we-know-them brick walls?), but it would distract me from my main task right now. Instead of repeating this information, I’ll just link to all the related articles below.

- My Brick Wall: Susan Elizabeth Smith Bonner Brinlee
- Tearing My Hair Out Tuesday: More Information on my Brick Wall
- Family Newsletter Friday: Brick Wall Week!
- Featured Family Thursday: Hiram Brinlee and Susan Elizabeth Smith
- Smithquest
- Lizzie Smith Timeline
- Timeline Portrait of Lizzie Smith: Stitching the Gaps Together

And then I’ll tell you what I’m doing about this doozy-of-a-brick-wall.

My approach to the solution of Lizzie Smith has three main avenues:

1. Finding out everything I can about her during the “known” part of her life (= life with Hiram Brinlee, her second husband), to include trying to find newspaper items that might mention visits by relatives from Tennessee.

2. Investigating Bonner families in Tennessee to find candidates for Lizzie’s first husband. I actually already have a family in mind, based on a marriage certificate I found on Ancestry for a W.T. Banner (I believe it is W. T. Bonner) to a Lizzie Smith at the right time for Lizzie to have been 17 (the age she listed for her first marriage on the census). The marriage took place in McMinn County, Tennessee.

3. Preparing, categorizing, and researching candidate Smith families connected to Tennessee. These candidates were identified by a process of examining Smith families on the 1870 and 1880 censuses who had a daughter with the right name (Susan, Elizabeth, Lizzie, or even initials), born ca 1866-1870, correlating them between censuses (some could be matched, others could not), and sorting them into categories from 1 to 4 based on closeness of fit.

For #3, and keeping the location of McMinn County in #2 and Lizzie’s reported birth in Knoxville in mind, I am subjecting these Smith families to a two-pronged map attack:

1. Paper map (mediocre picture below). This is a 18” by 24” historic map reprint of A.J. Johnson’s 1865 map of Kentucky and Tennessee. For category 1 and 2 families (closest fits), I am using little red tags with the number assigned to the family to show their location on the 1870 census (or 1880 census if that is the only information I have on the family).

2. “My Maps” on Google Maps to show the location of each of the above families on both the 1870 and 1880 censuses (size can be increased by clicking on it).

I like the paper map because it gives me the best overview and the Google map because I can put the most detail on it. While I don’t know that Lizzie was actually born in Knox County or that she married a Bonner in McMinn County, locations near those counties are like “plus points” in my system of calculation.

Then I made two worksheets – one for category #1 families and one for category #2 – in table form to sum up what I knew about each family: number assigned family, parents, location in 1870, location in 1880, siblings, and other information. Below is the table for Category 1 (size can be increased by clicking on it).

Right now there are eight families in Category 1 and ten in category 2. Originally there were more, but a little bit of checking of some databases and online family trees eliminated several families when I learned that the Elizabeth/Susan/Lizzie Smith in question had: died young, never married, married someone not named Bonner or Brinlee. I would like to reduce the numbers even more. Inspired by the success I have had in getting other researchers to contact me on the families that I post for Surname Saturday, I am going to be posting these Smith families on Sundays in the hope that someone familiar with a particular family will contact me with information that will either rule out that family or will perhaps make it an more likely prospect. The first Smith Family Sunday has already been posted (see preceding post).

This may seem like a lot of trouble, but I think finding Lizzie Smith’s family is worth it. And it’s like chicken soup: it may not help, but it couldn’t hurt.

(Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering? - I think so, Brain, but don’t you think it’s significant that Genealogy, Geek, and Greta all start with “G”?)