Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Why Do I Pursue Genealogy?

Another fabulous Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Think about the question: "Why do I pursue genealogy and family history research?"

2) Tell us about it on your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.

I do genealogy because I can’t not do it; after five short years, it has become a part of who I am.

It is intellectually stimulating and emotionally satisfying. You get to be a cross between a detective and a scholarly researcher. Sometimes you are pursuing the thinnest of clues (detective), and other times you are amassing, comparing and cross-checking, and filtering out many different pieces of information from sources of widely varying thoroughness and reliability (researcher). Depending on your mood on any given day, you can assume one role or the other, or both.

And, as many puzzles as you solve, there is no end of them. There will always be another ancestor to find, another distant cousin or uncle who has mysteriously disappeared, another strange fact that doesn’t fit in but has to fit in. You are always learning something new in genealogy.

Got some OCD tendencies? Filling in those little boxes can be very satisfying. Have some unfulfilled artistic leanings? Artful storytelling or visually beautiful presentation of photographs, family trees, or old documents can be a major part of your family research. Love history? You will never feel so connected to history as you do when you learn that one of your ancestors was actually present at some historical event. Have a philosophical bent? Family research allows you to see life in both macrocosm and microcosm: it provides perspective while filling in little details. Your own life doesn’t seem so difficult after you compare it to the hardships and heartbreaks your ancestors had to endure.

Genealogy can be a solitary pursuit if you wish, but it is one of those passionately pursued pastimes that is a natural social activity: connecting with family, connecting with other researchers, connecting with an audience or classroom, and, if the results of your research are preserved, connecting with future generations. Collaboration actually produces better results.

Genealogical research can be adapted to your circumstances and mood. Like to travel? There are road trips for research, strolls through cemeteries, attendance at conferences and conventions, and visits to interview family members. Like to get “goodies” in the mail? There is nothing like getting a big, fat envelope from the archives. Prefer to be a Super Surfer of the Internet and a master operator of your genealogy program from the comfort of your home office? There are genea-gizmos and whizbang gadgets for genealogists galore. Don’t have much to spend on genealogy? There is an entire world of free genealogy programs, free online databases, and RAOGK.

And that’s just skimming the surface.

Thanks, Randy. This is one of my favorite subjects.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Surname Saturday: Newton Leonard Norman and Rebecca Dulcenia Weston

Newton Leonard Norman
b. 15 Jan 1871, Alabama
d. 4 Jan 1959
& Rebecca Dulcenia Weston
b. 22 Aug 1870
d. 30 Jul 1899
m. 28 Sep 1890, Garland County, Arkansas
|--Dissie D. Norman
|----b. 5 Aug 1891
|----d. 9 Oct 1908
|---& Jackson “Jack” W. Norman (b. Mar 1891 Arkansas)
|----m. 30 Dec 1906, Montgomery Co., Arkansas
|--Mary Viola “Ola” Norman
|----b. 16 Nov 1893, Peak, Garland Co., Arkansas
|----d. 23 Dec 1969, Oden, Arkansas
|---& William Levi Powell
|----b. 1 May 1885, Peak, Garland Co., Arkansas
|----d. 8 Jan 1977, Benton, Bossier, LA
|----m. 5 Nov 1911, Garland Co., Arkansas
|--Henry Elijah Norman
|----b. 29 Apr 1896
|----d. 26 Sep 1945
|--Nellie Anne Norman
|----b. 24 Nov 1898, Arkansas
|----d. 10 Mar 1988, Mount Ida, Montgomery, Arkansas
|---& John Joe Powell
|----b. 5 Aug 1891, Myers, Montgomery, Arkansas
|----d. 2 May 1970
|----m. 25 Jun 1914, Garland Co., Arkansas

This is the family of Newton Leonard Norman, half-brother of my great-grandfather William Henry “Jack” Norman, and Newton’s first wife, Rebecca Dulcenia Weston. Newton was the son of Joseph Madison Carroll Norman and his second wife, Mary Patterson. Newton and Rebecca's oldest daughter, Dissie, and her husband Jackson Norman are part of the "Mystery Normans" about whom I have written in previous posts - was Jackson a distant relative or not?

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, June 25, 2010

Family and Friends Newsletter Friday 25 June 2010

A somewhat lean week for research and blogging due to the onset of a winter-sized cold in our 90-degree plus summer weather here.



The Moores took over my research this week, so nothing really new on Brinlees or Smith. I am working on more descendants of Samuel Moore. This includes some additional descendants of his grandson William Brewster Moore that I found on an Ancestry Public Member Tree (including pictures!).

Davi and Terzo

Very exciting news this week for some of my husband’s lines.

In your genealogical research, have you ever had an experience with something I’d call “the Zen of searching”? That is, you see a mention of a database somewhere, perhaps with a link, and think, “Oh, what the heck, I probably won’t find anything, but why don’t I just pop this name in there and see what comes up?” and you get major results? You know, in contrast to those earnest, thorough searches you make that turn up nothing? Well, that’s what happened to me.

It’s why I pay attention to the weekly Ancestry newsletters that I receive each week by e-mail. I clicked on the “Search Passenger Lists” and tried a few names on my husband’s side that I had found through SSDI records for whom no immigration records have yet turned up. “Josephine Lochner” didn’t turn up a Josephine of the right age. But “Maria Terzo” gave 11 hits, and one of them was my husband's great-great grandmother. The year 1903 matched the year of immigration that had appeared on the 1910 census for her daughter, Giovanna "Jennie" Davi, my husband’s great-grandmother. Listed were Maria (under her maiden name, Terzo) and her three children (Rosa – 13, Giovanna – 10, and Michele Davi – 4). The record indicated that they were going to meet husband and father Benedetto Davi, residing at 40 Union Street, in Brooklyn. All the previous information I had on this family was confirmed, and new information was also provided – Maria’s approximate year of birth (1903-49 = 1854) and the names and ages of two siblings for Jennie Davi.

Follow Friday: 25 June 2010

This week

Splogging is the subject of the week:

“Splog Alert – Violating Copyright” and “Rootsfeed Update” at Geneabloggers

“Splog Happens” at footnoteMaven

“Real GeneaBloggers don’t SPLOG” at Dear Myrtle

“A Genealogy Splog” at Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

“Really Simple Syndication – or Stealing?” at TransylvanianDutch

“RSS Feeds and Splogs – a legal view” at Genealogy’s Star

and probably some others that I have missed.

The past year has been one during which many of our fellow GeneaBloggers have lost close family members. Cindy at Everything’s Relative has written an extraordinary tribute to her father in “The First Father’s Day.”

Leah at The Internet Genealogist provides some helpful hints for genealogy searches at in “Follow Friday: Genealogy Sub-Categories.”

Valerie at Begin with Craft provides an informative table on terms and prices for obtaining vital records in the southern states in “The Price of Research in the South.”

There has been excellent coverage of the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. This week Miriam at AnceStories wrote a post reviewing her experience there and outlining how she would approach her next convention in “Southern California Genealogical Society’s 2010 Jamboree: The Conclusion.” This post really hit home for me as I look forward to attending the FGS Conference.

At GeneaBloggers Thomas MacEntee has inaugurated a great new “theme” – “Open Thread Thursday” - with a timely topic in “Open Thread Thursday: Virtual Presentations.”

Denise Levenick at The Family Curator has some great advice for her fellow genealogy bloggers in “Summer Survival Guide for Genealogy Bloggers – What is your Blog Doing for Summer Vacation?”

A fascinating online database is featured by Diane Haddad, the Genealogy Insider, in “Historical Photo Database Shows NYC’s Lower East Side Tenements.”

Bill West of West in New England has started a new blog of reflections on non-genealogy topics: East of the Sun, West of the Moon.

This week I started following these blogs:

Ancestors Connect

Branches of My Family Tree

The Brickwall Society

Daily Tombstone Photo

Jirene’s Genealogy Treasures

Pawprints Guiding Me to the Past

Reflections on Genealogy Research

Sassy Jane Genealogy

Touching Family History

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: A Prolific Dad

Randy at Genea-Musings has assigned the following SNGF assignment for this Father’s Day weekend:

Your mission for Father's Day, if you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Determine who is one of the most prolific fathers in your genealogy database or in your ancestry. By prolific, I mean the one who fathered the most children.

2) Tell us about him in your own blog post, in comments to this blog post, or in comments on Facebook.

This is an easy one; I don’t even have to think about it. It would be Joseph Madison Carroll Norman, my great-great grandfather (father’s mother’s father’s father). By three wives he had at least 26 children (possibly 27, but there is uncertainty as to one of the children who died very young). You can see from the list below why I have been whining so much for the past few months over getting the basic information entered for this family; it has been a labor of love, but sticking with it was sometimes a real pain. Here are the 23 whose names are known plus three infants, names unknown, that family historians are pretty certain about:

Joseph Madison Carroll Norman
b. 8 Jun 1833, Alabama
d. 1 Apr 1901, Arkansas
& Rebecca Monk
b. 1837, Alabama
m. 4 Dec 1851, Talladega, Alabama
|--Cyntha Ann Norman
|----b. 1856, Alabama
|--William Henry “Jack” Norman
|----b. 15 Mar 1858, Alabama
|----d. 19 Dec 1939, Leonard, Fannin County, Texas
|---& Sarah Jane Sisson
|----b. 14 Feb 1855, Alabama
|----d. 25 Apr 1937, Fannin County, Texas
|----m. 1879
|--Leatha L. Norman
|----b. 3 Sep 1859, Alabama
|----d. 27 Sep 1909
|---& Thomas Wiley Huff
|----b. 29 Mar 1861, Alabama
|----d. 21 May 1931
|----m. 12 May 1879, Cave Springs, GA
|--Josephus James “J. J.”/”Joe”/”Jode” Norman
|----b. 1 May 1861, Alabama
|----d. 12 Jun 1924, Lamasco, Fannin, Texas
|---& Martha King
|----b. 5 Sep 1865, Arkansas
|----d. 3 Jun 1949, Bonham, Fannin Co., TX
|--Thomas Frank Norman
|----b. 1862, Alabama
|----d. ca 1912, Texas
|---& Letha/Lillie Brown
|----b. Oct 1873, Texas
|----d. ca 1906, Texas
|--Betsy Norman
|--Infant Norman

Joseph Madison Carroll Norman
b. 8 Jun 1833, Alabama
d. 1 Apr 1901, Arkansas
& Mary Patterson
m. 9 Mar 1864, Talladega, Alabama
|--Susan A. “Sudie” Norman*
|----b. 18 Dec 1864, Alabama
|----d. 20 Jul 1908, Peak, Garland Co., Arkansas
|---& William A. Cannon
|----b. 7 Jan 1862
|----d. 4 Mar 1890
|----m. 3 Oct 1882
|--Susan A. “Sudie” Norman*
|----b. 18 Dec 1864, Alabama
|----d. 20 Jul 1908, Peak, Garland Co., Arkansas
|---& Mitchell C. Blackburn
|----b. 25 Apr 1851, Missouri
|----d. 8 Jan 1916
|----m. 11 Jul 1892, Garland Co., Arkansas
|--John Norman
|----b. 1867, Alabama
|--Martha Rebecca Norman
|----b. 21 Sep 1871, Alabama
|----d. 18 Jun 1962, Albuquerque, New Mexico
|---& Enoch R. Fuller
|----b. Mar 1859, Arkansas
|----d. bef 1920
|----m. 6 Feb 1887, Pineland, Pike Co., Arkansas
|--Loney Norman
|--Voney Norman
|--Newton Leonard Norman*
|----b. 15 Jan 1871, Alabama
|----d. 4 Jan 1959
|---& Rebecca Dulcenia Weston
|----b. 22 Aug 1870
|----d. 30 Jul 1899
|----m. 28 Sep 1890, Garland County, Arkansas
|--Newton Leonard Norman*
|----b. 15 Jan 1871, Alabama
|----d. 4 Jan 1959
|---& Lillie Catherine Kinsey
|----b. 22 Jun 1882, Arkansas
|----d. 20 Mar 1915, Arkansas
|--Newton Leonard Norman*
|----b. 15 Jan 1871, Alabama
|----d. 4 Jan 1959
|---& Elsie Camilla Jones
|--Elijah “Lige” Norman*
|----b. 11 Jan 1874, Alabama
|----d. 15 Feb 1953
|---& Margaret Agnes Kinsey
|----b. 26 Jan 1874
|----d. 28 Sep 1918
|----m. 18 Oct 1894
|--Elijah “Lige” Norman*
|----b. 11 Jan 1874, Alabama
|----d. 15 Feb 1953
|---& Pellie Barthena Moore
|----b. 1 Oct 1877
|----d. 8 Jul 1970
|----m. 20 Aug 1919, Garland County, Arkansas
|--Mary Norman
|----b. 1876, Alabama

Joseph Madison Carroll Norman
b. 8 Jun 1833, Alabama
d. 1 Apr 1901, Arkansas
& Mary Frances Karr
b. 22 Oct 1854
d. 17 Mar 1931, Arkansas
m. 1 Jun 1880
|--Sallie Norman
|----b. ca 1881
|--Joseph David “Wiley” Norman
|----b. 4 Jul 1881, Arkansas
|----d. 25 Jan 1957
|--& Fanny Gertrude “Gertie” Helms
|----b. 18 Aug 1886, Arkansas
|----d. 23 Feb 1971
|----m. 17 Dec 1905, Meyers, Garland, Arkansas
|--Jessie “Judge Spivey” Norman*
|----b. 5 Dec 1883, Arkansas
|----d. 26 Feb 1969
|---& Caldonia Emiline “Callie” Tallent
|----b. 3 Nov 1883, Arkansas
|----d. 4 Jun 1926
|--Jessie “Judge Spivey” Norman*
|----b. 5 Dec 1883, Arkansas
|----d. 26 Feb 1969
|---& Annie Butram
|----b. ca 1909
|----m. 5 Nov 1937, Garland Co., Arkansas
|--Margaret D. “Maggie” Norman
|----b. 11 Jun 1887, Arkansas
|----d. 24 Mar 1973, Hot Springs National Park, Garland, Arkansas
|---& Joel Boston “Boss” Weston
|----b. 28 Dec 1885, Arkansas
|----d. 9 Nov 1965
|----m. 21 Jul 1903, Montgomery Co., Arkansas
|--Sanford “Sam” Norman
|----b. 3 Mar 1888, Arkansas
|----d. 1 Nov 1960
|---& Isabelle “Belle” Hickman
|----b. 4 Sep 1891, Arkansas
|----d. 20 Mar 1966
|----m. 19 Mar 1911, Garland County, Arkansas
|--Benjamin Norman
|----b. 1891, Arkansas
|----d. 15 Aug 1916, Garland Co., Arkansas
|---& Jeanette “Nettie” Cearley
|----b. 12 Aug 1891, Arkansas
|----d. 1 Jun 1968, Vacaville, Solano, California
|----m. 25 Aug 1912, Garland Co., Arkansas
|--Abraham Norman
|----b. 10 Sep 1893, Meyer, Garland, Arkansas
|----d. 14 Jul 1965
|--Dora Belle Norman
|----b. Apr 1897, Arkansas
|---& Henry Alexander Patterson
|----b. 23 Mar 1883, Springtown, Texas
|----d. 2 Aug 1959, Vera, Knox County, Texas
|----m. 4 Mar 1923, Meyer, Garland Co., Arkansas
|--Reuben E. Norman
|----b. 14 Aug 1898, Arkansas
|----d. 19 Nov 1911

Did I mention that I tried to track down as many descendants of JMC Norman as I could? I have concluded that I must be related to at least half the people in the United States with Southern family connections. No, really.

Surname Saturday: Enoch R. Fuller and Martha Rebecca Norman Family

Enoch R. Fuller
b. Mar 1859, Arkansas
d. bef 1920
& Martha Rebecca Norman
b. 21 Sep 1871, Alabama
d. 18 Jun 1962, Albuquerque, New Mexico
m. 6 Feb 1887, Pineland, Pike Co., Arkansas
|--Manuel Fuller
|----b. Feb 1888, Arkansas
|----d. 24 Apr 1926, Wichita, Texas
|---& Lorena Talton
|----b. ca 1890, Lousiana
|--Dallas Demeld Fuller*
|----b. 11 Jun 1900, Arkansas
|----d. 6 May 1955
|---& Cecilia Cooper
|--Dallas Demeld Fuller*
|----b. 11 Jun 1900, Arkansas
|----d. 6 May 1955
|---& Annie
|----b. ca 1898, Texas
|----m. ca 1924
|--Hattie Pearl Fuller
|----b. 11 Sep 1903, Hill Co., Texas
|----d. Dec 1975, Albuquerque, Bernalilo, New Mexico
|---& Henry Russell Robertson

This is the family of Martha Rebecca Norman, half-sister of my great-grandfather William Henry Norman. She was the daughter of Joseph Madison Carroll Norman and Mary Patterson. Since Enoch and Martha Rebecca married in 1887 and Enoch died after 1910 (but before 1920), I am guessing that they may have had a number of additional children who died young.

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, June 18, 2010

Family and Friends Newsletter Friday 18 June 2010

Since we spent last weekend taking B to Middlebury, time and energy have been a bit short this week. I did not do any real research, but I did play around a bit with Ancestry Public Member Trees and did do some “cousin correspondence.” This may be a full genealogy year, after all!


I was contacted by a Norman-connected cousin, who had apparently seen my posts on the Norman family on this blog. Add another hurrah! for blogging as a way to get in touch with other researchers. We talked about our connections and he was familiar with Normans who had moved to Baylor County. One of his cousins in Garland County does genealogy research, and I have seen her name connected with a lot of Norman family research. Maybe someday I can visit Arkansas….


It appears that a research trip to Greenville, South Carolina may be in my near future (maybe September?)! More on this later.

Brinlee and Smith

I have not yet gotten started on my next round of Brinlee research, but I mean to start soon. I also have to do some additional “brick wall” work on Susan Elizabeth Smith (Brinlee) before the Knoxville conference. And finally, I’d like to take a look into the Tennessee line with whom a DNA connection has been found to exist for our Brinlees.

Ancestry Public Member Trees and Footnote

As I mentioned in the article below, I have started to put up a little bit of information in a couple of trees I started on Ancestry. I’ll probably go ahead and add information on my father’s family tree, but I may not do as much on my mother’s side as yet. I’m very curious to see who, if anyone, contacts me based on these trees. I’ll probably go ahead and contact some of the people who have some of “my people” in their trees. I should also do some more work on my pages on Footnote and perhaps add a couple of pages, since that seems to have turned up a major contact for me.

Follow Friday 18 June 2010

This week

Another rather abbreviated week; I think I got caught up on my blog reading after our trip to Middlebury, but probably missed some good things.

This week there have been many excellent posts on the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree; “Jamboree: Day 1 & Early Morning of Day 2” by Elyse Doerflinger of Elyse’s Genealogy Blog was especially touching. Congratulations, Elyse! Wish I could have been there to meet you and the other GeneaBloggers.

Renate at Into the Light has just completed her three-part series on “My Grandmother’s Loss”:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
It’s a wonderful series with many touching twists.

Another great Hero story from hummer at Branching Out Through the Years“The Hero and Two Gun Pete” (this one is a real “laugh out loud” story).

A thoughtful and funny post on how we feel about our ancestors, “It Doesn’t Matter,” from Caroline Pointer at Family Stories.

Read about an experience that must be familiar to most of us in “Mistakes are the portals of discovery” by Leah Kleylein at Random Notes. Humorous, educational, and oh-so-familiar!

Good news about Tennessee newspapers going online in Chronicling America project – covered at Taneya’s Genealogy Blog in “Historic Tennessee Newspapers Going Sigital & Online!” And Taneya is going to be a member of the Advisory Board - congratulations!

Daniel Hubbard’s post “A Memory Trip Down Any Lane” at Personal Past Meditations: A Genealogical Blog examines a fascinating resource: Sanborn insurance maps.

This week I started following these blogs:

Ancestor Seekers by the Root Bound

Arkansas Genealogical Events

Family History Research Tips

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ancestry’s Public Member Trees: An Addictive New Game

All over America, Facebook users are eagerly racking up points on Farmville, Mafia Wars, and other games. I know; I see them on my Facebook page.

But not me. I don’t dare. Knowing how little time I have for research, blogging, and other pursuits as it is, I avoid these addictive pastimes. Because I would get addicted.

Until now. You see, I thought I’d give Ancestry’s Public Member Trees (PMTs) a whirl. You know, just to see what all the fuss over “shaky leaves” is about.

Little did I suspect. I was just going to input a few names, places, and dates and see what happened; if I liked what I saw, then I might gradually – very gradually – add information.

I started two family trees, one each for my mother and father. The shaky leaves started to appear. Nothing exciting at first, just interesting. These were my closest relatives, the people who had been added to my genealogy program first, and I knew most of them well (parents and grandparents, a couple of aunts and uncles), so at first I hadn’t always bothered to put a source (shame!). To rectify this, I checked out the hints and added sources – SSDI, census, maybe a World War I Draft Registration Card or two. All the sources were familiar to me; I had already transcribed them, even if I hadn’t bothered to cite them for each and every close relative.

As I progressed to aunts, uncles, and their spouses, I had already put source citations, and I started to note that I had more than Ancestry did. “Humph!” I thought. “I’ve got more than you do.” “You” being Ancestry. After going through the sources, I decided to see which PMTs were listed in the hints and what they had. For my father’s close family, there was only one such tree, and the second cousin in question had received the information from me.

Three trees came up for my mother’s immediate family: one first cousin once removed, one first cousin twice removed, and a large group tree for my mother’s home county in Texas. I had much more information and many more sources. “Heh!” I muttered. “I’m ahead here, too.”

For a total of about a dozen relatives, Ancestry’s accuracy was pretty decent on the source hints – out of about 20 hints, only one census link was for the wrong Moore. (This made me think: I often examine the links to the PMTs to the right of the images of the censuses and other documents and I’ve seen incorrect or conflicting connections to a few – are these wrong connections made by the owners of the trees or have they simply accepted incorrect hints from Ancestry?)

For the PMT hints, however, I was not about to hit “Connect”; as I understand it, this is how you add the highlighted information to your own family tree and not how you get in touch with the owner of the tree. If I find anything, I will type it in myself. (A confession: in this process I have found one or two incorrectly entered dates in my genealogy program, such as a 25 Jan 1909 for a 26 Jan 1909; at least I think I made a typo….) But I don’t want to incorporate information without truly looking at it and thinking about it, and I don’t want to have to go back to correct sloppy capitalization and punctuation (which seem to be all over the place in these trees).

And the fact that anybody can just hit “Connect” and endlessly duplicate mistakes – whether minor or major – bothers me. As I saw the same information appearing in exactly the same form in tree after tree, it occurred to me that you cannot tell who originally contributed the information or who copied from whom (although that information is provided for photos that are downloaded and added to other PMTs). So how do I know whom I should contact? And once I put “new” information up, later, after it has been copied and recopied umpteen times, how is another researcher to know to get in touch with me and not just someone who clicked on “Connect”?

This could have put a damper on any further additions to my trees, but I had learned something else: it is interesting and it is fun to see what comes up; what does Ancestry have and what do other tree owners have? And this brought another question to mind: how far can someone go in building a tree by simply following hints (after a bit of initial data input, of course) and without doing much if any research on their own?

And what new things are added after I have reviewed the old hints? Already I could see that I had more ammunition in the bag: I started fumbling around, trying to use the clunky forms to add some non-Ancestry sources and I was also aware of a number of censuses that had not been included in the hints. What would happen if I added those?

At this point I realized that it was too late to stop. This was like a game, and I was addicted to it. Ancestry was “The System” – and it was fun to try to beat The System – even while using it to support my own research. Owners of the other PMTs were other (human) players. I could see and use their research, but they could see and use mine, too.

So when and how would I add new information and where would it lead? For my mother’s family in particular, I have quite a bit of information that neither Ancestry nor the PMTs have. I felt like a chess player considering her next move: should I go ahead and add the name of my mother’s paternal grandfather or should I just cite and link to the two censuses (1880 and 1900) that show her father living with his father? (OK, having just written this I realize that it sets off major geek alarms.) And will this – through my great-grandfather’s distinctive first name – then lead Ancestry to my great-grandfather’s family back in South Carolina? I suspect it will. (And it was no easy thing for me to find this family originally!)

It’s not that I resent sharing the information; if I did, I wouldn’t have put so much of it in Featured Family Friday and Surname Saturday posts. But at least from there people have to cut and paste and then enter the information in their programs.

But there is no question of whether I will make my Next Big Move, simply one of how and when I will make it.

Because I am the Tree Trampler, the Destroyer of the System. Show me what you’ve got, Ancestry – I laugh at the few puny censuses you throw at me, ‘cause I’ve got that many up my sleeve, and a Will-Bomb and a Land Deed-Grenade in reserve.

So how come I have this sneaky feeling that Ancestry has outmaneuvered me by luring me in, taking all the stuff I throw at it and … making that stuff its own content?

Maybe I’ll keep that Will-Bomb in reserve.

Questions that I have:

1. Is there any way to use the forms for additional sources on Ancestry’s PMTs to generate decent source citations?

2. Is it OK to upload an image to my PMT that I originally downloaded from a site such as FamilySearch Record Search?

3. My PMT shows up to the right of census images linked to citations, but not in the Search PMTs function. Is there a certain minimum number of individuals the tree has to contain before it will show up there? (I seem to remember seeing the figure “50” somewhere – Apple’s Tree or Genea-Musings? – but can’t seem to find it now.)

Wordless Wednesday: The Blues (and one White)

Still catching up....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Memory Monday: Housekeeping

I learned so much about housekeeping from my mother.

Most of it is useless today.

Mary Warren’s post “Remember the Basic Rules for Clothes Lines?” at Mary’s Musings reminded me of this.

Clotheslines and clothespins … yeah. And the “science of the sprinkler bottle.”

Clothes come in from clothes line. Clothes are sprinkled with water from sprinkler bottle (Classic Coke bottle with special sprinkler adapter in top). Clothes are divided into “starch” and “no starch” piles, carefully rolled or folded up, and put into plastic bags. Bags are placed in freezer until ready to iron.

Clothespins had their own rituals. Ours went into a red plastic bucket that formerly held a large quantity of vanilla ice cream. These were not the old single-piece clothespins but the spring-action ones. Both were perfect for various craft projects. Second and third grade were big craft years, and around that time a whole bunch of our clothes pins disappeared and became residents of Clothespin Town.

The day Mom and I brought home our first dryer was an occasion of tremendous joy for both of us. We no longer had to rig up an ineffective clothesline system inside the house to dry clothes in the dead of winter and ironing was reduced to a minimum.

One thing was missing – the smell of clothes fresh from the clothesline and freshly starched and ironed clothes. Now we have to add those little scented sheet thingies to try to duplicate those fragrances.

Speaking of science, getting stains out of the carpet was an advanced science. First, there was the choice of cleaning solvent. Then – brush or rag? And finally, should the solvent be cold, warm, or hot and what kind of motion was best for what kind of rug?

These days there are no carpets in my house and only a few small rugs. Allergies run rampant in my family, and it’s bad enough that we have cats (yeah, I know, not smart for a family like ours, but I direct you to a previous article – The Language of Cats – which explains how and why we are Crazy Cat People). I’m more into the Science of Mopping these days.

Not all housecleaning is science. Some of it is art. Like stacking and drying dishes. That was one of the first chores I had to do as a child. The dishes had to be stacked in absolutely perfect, logical, artful order (my requirement, not my parents’). (I still do this in the dishwasher. Problem is, my concept of art is not my husband’s concept. When we’re not reversing the direction of the toilet paper on the roller after the other one has put on a new roll, we’re redoing the loading of the dishes in the dishwasher.) Terry-cloth towels were a no-no. It was bad form to leave little knots of cloth on the dishes. Linen towels – thick enough to last through a good-sized batch of dishes without getting sopping wet – were the thing. The real trick was to rinse the dishes in very hot water (the job of the dishwasher (= person washing the dishes, not the machine) – hopeless case when my brother filled that role) and then let them sit for about half an hour (a breeze is nice if possible). Then one towel will suffice.

Some years ago my in-laws bought us The World’s Greatest Dishwasher. It’s my baby. Stacking is still an art, but the rest is up to Modern Science.

Waxing the floor was also an art. I never mastered it. I like wooden floors better, anyway, and linoleum no longer needs to be waxed.

Then there was The Iron Arm. It was necessary to develop an Iron Arm for several regular and occasional chores: vacuuming (vacuums were hopelessly low-powered in those days, so a lot more movement of the wand was required, and they were also extremely heavy and difficult to lug around), fruit cake preparation (see Advent Calendar Day 14: Fruitcake), and window washing. These days I have a modern, lighter, and more effective vacuum; I enjoy eating my mother-in-law’s fruitcakes at Christmastime; and washing the windows – yeah, I’ll get around to that some time….

By my calculations, I had mastered about half the arts and sciences necessary for the degree of Domestic Goddess by the time I was 12 years old. But modern science has eliminated the need for those skills. However, there is one thing that modern science has not done: it has not resulted in the invention of a Fail-Proof Junk and Crud Picker-Upper. And that’s why, science or no science, art or no art, my house is still a mess.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Follow Friday: 11 June 2010

This will be a short Follow Friday; it actually goes only through Wednesday, as I will be busy on Thursday and Friday. I hope to include posts from those days in next week's Follow Friday.

In “Is there confidentiality if it’s not your family?” Sue at It’s a long, long journey asks for feedback on publishing the results of research on a family that is not hers (she wanted to pursue a story she had found), especially when the subject is very sensitive.

At Family Stories, Caroline Pointer draws parallels (or not…) between the work ethics of today’s teenagers and our ancestors in “Life’s Not Fair” – jk, the subject is actually about how account books can give a picture of our ancestors’ lives – very interesting!

Amy at We Tree has some great advice for genealogy conference attendees in “The Rock Star’s Guide to Genealogy Conferences.” Gotta get me some cards….

At a3 Genealogy, Kathleen Brandt uses a newspaper article to illustrate the difference “getting the facts” (and all the facts, ma’am) makes in getting the true story in “Don’t Be a Poor Reporter” – a good parallel for our genealogy research and story-telling.

The GeneaBlogger community shows the power of pulling together this week: check out Carol’s Reflections from the Fence and Jennifer’s On a flesh and bone foundation: An Irish History – and please add your prayers and good wishes.

Brett Payne at Photo Sleuth has hit another home run this week: “Dating photos with the aid of trade directories.” His study centers around cabinet portraits that were taken in Detroit studios in the late nineteenth century. As usual, fascinating photographs and outstanding detective work! (Also check out “Move-O-Graph, The Live Portrait.”)

Tina introduces an idea whose time has come – “handex” – at Gen Wish List in “Summer of Genealogy Wishes – Handwriting Search Algorithm.”

Have you ever lived in a house like this? Read “The House Rules” at Donna Pointkouski’s What’s Past Is Prologue. Discuss.

Jennifer at Rainy Day Genealogy Readings writes about a subject that has always fascinated me in “Topics in Research-The Great Grasshopper Plague of ’74.”

A good cause is brought up by Sarah at Geneapprentice: “Petition for Better Access to Pennsylvania Vital Records.”

Happy 4th Blogoversary to Midge Frazel at Granite in My Blood.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Memory Monday: My Brother's Music

Once again, Barbara at Life from the Roots has provided me with inspiration for a post. Thank you, Barbara!

She posted about the Beach Boys. I commented that the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean were the soundtrack to my childhood in Southern California.

But the Beach Boys were my brother’s music. That is not saying that I didn’t adore their music – I did – but I wasn’t the one in the family to “discover” or “own” their music the way I did with the Beatles or the Stones. My brother had the singles and some of the albums; there was no reason for me to ask for my own records. (Even though he would never let me play his music on my own.)

Even though I was a preteen when I discovered the Beatles and the rest of the British Invasion, all of that music was really part of my teenage life.

But my childhood was defined by My Brother’s Music.

He had only singles (45s) until the very early sixties. And he had those little plastic thingies you had to put in the circular hole in the center to put it on the record player spindle. At some point it became possible to stack the records above the record that was playing, and after it had finished and the arm had retracted, the next record would slip down the spindle. I was fascinated by all these motions and by how the record player always knew what to do next.

I cannot remember the earliest music he would play, though one that has stuck in my mind is the song “Searchin’” by the Coasters. I also remember the yellow ATCO label. I must have been about three then. I also remember “Yakety Yak” by the Coasters, “Wake Up, Little Susie” by the Everly Brothers, “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry, “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino, “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley, “Peggy Sue” by Buddy Holly, and “Chantilly Lace” by the Big Bopper. I remember that my mother loved a lot of these songs, too. Dad was more a pure C&W guy.

But the music that defined my brother’s tastes for me was played by the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean. Perhaps that was because he looked like a surfer. He wasn’t one – we lived in San Bernardino and only got to the beach a few times when I was little – but he had the looks: blond hair, blue eyes, tanned easily. And in that Southern California sun I usually looked like a boiled tomato. More appropriate for a fan of the British Invasion.

My brother Don, who could pass for a surfer

But the music of the Beach Boys was so beautiful. Yes, beautiful. The harmonies of “Good Vibrations,” “Sloop John B,” “Help Me Rhonda,” and “California Girls” still give me chills. Other male groups made high-pitched/falsetto singing a part of their signature, but the Beach Boys made it work. It was a sound not to be spoofed but to be emulated.

And then there were the infectious rhythm and fun of “Surfin’ USA,” “Little Douce Coup,” “I Get Around,” and “Fun, Fun, Fun.” All this music makes me think not so much of the beach, but simply of the bright, glaring Southern California sun, long summer days with nothing to do but play and have fun, running through sprinklers, and that pathetic little blow-up wading pool we had. It makes me remember when we were glad to greet the dreaded 12-week TV rerun season, because who wanted to stay inside watching TV when you could be outside running around and acting goofy at 9:00 p.m. with your friends, music boppin’ in the background, while the sun was finally faded away for the day?

The Beach Boys singing "Surfin' USA"

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Surname Saturday: Mitchell Blackburn and Susan A. Norman Family

Mitchell C. Blackburn
b. 25 Apr 1851, Missouri
d. 8 Jan 1916
& Susan A. “Sudie” Norman
b. 18 Dec 1864, Alabama
d. 20 Jul 1908, Peak, Garland Co., Arkansas
m. 11 Jul 1892, Garland Co., Arkansas
|--Cynthia Lydia Blackburn
|----b. 1 Sep 1893, Arkansas
|----d. 1987
|---& Marcus Lawson Kinsey
|----b. 7 Nov 1887, Arkansas
|----d. 1972
|----m. 20 Dec 1908, Garland Co., Arkansas
|--Rena Blackburn
|----b. 20 Jan 1896, Arkansas
|---& Marshall M. Burden
|----b. 1874, Arkansas
|----d. 20 Jun 1933
|----m. 19 Jul 1916, Garland Co., Arkansas
|--Una Blackburn
|----b. Apr 1899, Arkansas
|---& Benjamin Franklin Powell
|----b. 29 Oct 1895, Arkansas
|----d. 22 Feb 1966
|----b. 24 Mar 1902
|----d. 1902
|--Evander Blackburn
|----b. 19 Oct 1903
|----d. 12 Jun 1904

This is the family of my great-grandfather William Henry Norman’s half-sister, Susan A. “Sudie” Norman and her second husband, Mitchell C. Blackburn. This was also Mitchell’s second marriage; his first wife was Josephine Johnson. Sudie was the oldest known child of Joseph Madison Carroll Norman and his second wife, Mary Patterson.

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, June 4, 2010

Family and Friends Newsletter Friday 4 June 2010

It has been a busy couple of weeks (I see it has been three weeks since I have written a newsletter – too busy and too tired).


As far as genealogy goes, busy in a good way.


I have finally finished up the current stage of Norman research (not that it’s complete, but I have a good framework for “Descendants of Joseph Madison Carroll Norman”). What a relief!

One interesting item that popped up in this last bit of research was that in addition to the two cousins that I attended high school with – a first and second cousin on my mother’s side (and, of course, I was aware that they were my cousins), I have found a second cousin once removed (on my father’s side) who also attended the same high school, a year before me. Joseph Madison Carroll Norman was her great-grandfather and my great-great grandfather; her grandmother was the youngest of JMC’s children to have descendants and my great-grandfather was the oldest one to have descendants and was about 40 years older than her grandmother.

Another item that turned up when I logged onto Ancestry was a note under “Recent Member Connect Activity” that someone had downloaded a document on Rhuea Mae Brown, my great-uncle Oby Norman’s second wife, whom I always knew as “Aunt Rhuea.” When I clicked on the connection, it took me to a Public Member Tree with lots of pictures of Aunt Rhuea when she was younger. What a treat!


Now it’s onto Brinlee research, and a number of things have been happening to tell me that it’s time to work on the Brinlee line!

I have been contacted by a gentleman who grew up near Bun and Square Brinlee, colorful cousins of my father about whom there are quite a few stories. They lived very interesting lives, and as they lived their later years on the family farm without electricity or other type of power, were viewed as being a bit eccentric. From this gentlemen’s memories, as well as those of another man who actually wrote a book based on the conversations he had with the brothers when he was growing up, they were apparently quite beloved figures in the area. I have really enjoyed the memories that the two men have shared about the brothers.

To see if any of my other cousins on the Brinlee side had any information to share on Bun and Square, I sent out an e-mail. So far no additional information on this account, but one of the cousins did have some fabulous Brinlee research news: a DNA match has been found for one of “our” Brinlees among the descendants of a line of Brinleys/Brindleys/Brindlees in Tennessee – there had been some interest in these families, but we could not prove any connection. This is a whole new avenue to research, quite a bit more than what we had before.


I have been contacted by two Moore researchers this week, one through Footnote (from the descendant of a heretofore unknown brother of my great-great-grandfather William Spencer Moore) and one through an old GenForum post. I guess this shows that it is a good idea to have “cast a wide net” for information on ancestors. So, along those lines…

Ancestry Public Member Trees

I have not made a definite decision, yet, but I may go ahead and start some PMTs on Ancestry, probably four – one for each of my parents and my husband’s parents. I will not upload any GEDCOMs, but instead will just gradually add information.

So, in short – this has been a great week for finding new contacts and adding information from them!

Follow Friday: Rainy Day Genealogy Readings

One of my “reliable reads” for web-savvy and originality is Rainy Day Genealogy Readings, written by Jennifer from the Bay Area in California. The blog has a strong focus on online research, including newspaper research (her “Extra! Extra! Rethinking Newspaper Research” is a must read), photos online, and particularly “how-to” and “how-to-do-even-better” posts for online tools; I have found the tips about making the most use of Google for research very helpful. And there is also occasional fun and silliness (“Pimp Your FB Status”) interspersed with the research reports, transcriptions (particularly “Transcription Tuesday,” featuring old Oakland Tribune articles), and tool tips.

Two of Jennifer’s most recent posts on specific research problems have been very intriguing: “Topics in Research – Was Iva Mae Insane?” and “Topics in Research – The Veteran Who Never Served.”

Jennifer is not a “saturation blogger,” but if you are passionate about making the most of the various research resources that are out there, you must definitely check out Rainy Day Genealogy Readings.

This Week

At a3Genealogy, Kathleen Brandt provides some useful information on “Native American Research and Resources” – these are some that I need to look into!

At Life From The Roots, Barbara writes of a special connection she helped to make that has special relevance on Memorial Day in “Sentimental Sunday – Two Soldiers Connect.”

There were many wonderful Memorial Day tributes this week; one that touched me in particular was “James Jay Huber 1952-1973” at Betty’s Boneyard Genealogy Blog.

The importance of having an accessible copy of all genealogy-related e-mail is addressed by Lorine McGinnis Schulze at Olive Tree Genealogy Blog in “Can You Teach an Old Genealogist new Tricks?” and followed up by Jasia at Creative Gene in “Email, Vulnerable Family Information.” Possible solutions are suggested by them and by readers in the comments.

In a meditative vein, Daniel Hubbard at Personal Past Meditations – A Genealogical Blog returns to a favorite theme among genealogists – the reasons we do genealogy – in “Not How-to but Why-do?” And Bart Brenner of Stardust’n’Roots responds and continues the meditation in “Why Do I Do Genealogical Research?”

Fact, faith, time (as in past, present, and future), and genealogy: how they intersect and interact are addressed by Chery Kinnick at Nordic Blue in “History by Fact, or by Faith?”

At Genea-Musings, Randy asks, “What is the Best Place to Leave ‘Cousin Bait’?” The results from various word combinations are interesting. I tried an experiment like this a couple of years ago, but will have to check again.

The May issue of Shades of the Departed Magazine is out at Shades of the Departed. It is simply amazing. Again.

Happy First Blogoversary to Hummer at Branching Out Through the Years!

Happy Third Blogoversary to Paula Stuart-Warren at Paula’s Genealogical Eclectica!

This week I started following these blogs:

Finding Eliza

Gen Briand

Illinois State Genealogical Society Blog

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (Almost): Catching Up

... with garden photos, that is. I'm behind, so today and for the next few weeks, the photos will be about two weeks behind (that is, these were taken a couple of weeks ago).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

About That Paragraph at the Bottom of This Page …

I mean it.

If you see your ancestors on this blog … contact me! I am always happy to share information. My e-mail address is in my profile (the link under the section entitled “About Me”).”

This is not just filler. There is a reason that same sentiment is expressed at the end of every one of my Surname Saturday/Featured Family Friday posts: “I would love to share information with anyone related to/researching this family.”

This blog has many purposes – some foreseen when I created it, some not – but the main purpose is to share information with fellow researchers.

I have seen the benefits to be derived from putting genealogical information out there on a blog many times and through it have already made many wonderful contacts with relatives and fellow researchers. And I have read about similar experiences described by my fellow geneabloggers. These contacts have added greatly to our research and enriched our genealogy experience.

So there is no reason to be shy: please do not hesitate to contact me! I post the information and you are free to copy it. But there is more where that came from; these are only the “bare bones”! If the feeling that you are a beginning researcher and don’t have much to contribute is holding you back, don’t let it! I still consider myself a beginning researcher, and once I was a real newbie. I basically knew my parents’ immediate families and little else. Yet I dared to write to a couple of experienced researchers who I was certain had information on my mysterious great-grandfather. I had one piece of information to trade: I knew his mother’s maiden name. And we continue to trade information.

But you do not need even that. I am simply happy to find out a little about you and your family connection, if that is all you know. You may have a piece of information I have been searching for. And I also believe that I should treat people searching for information with as much consideration as those first two contacts and many others have treated me.