Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Search for Books Online First

Let me begin by saying today marks one year since I published my first item on this (and any) blog.  Although I haven't posted regularly, I intend to keep adding entries as I have time and ideas. 

What I want to post today is a tip that's really an obvious thing to do, but something I didn't do before purchasing some books in the past.  If you're looking for a book on a certain topic or if you come across a book on a certain topic that's for sale, first you might want to check to see if it has been scanned and available in a digital format for free.  This gives you a chance to view it and then decide if you want to purchase it or not.  If you know the title of the book, you can "Google it" or do a search by typing the title in quotes.  You don't have to know the title of the book; you can search for a surname or word.

Here are a few FREE sites I've used to search for books online.  No doubt there are some free sites I have overlooked and there are some that require a fee.

  1. Family Search
  2. Google Books
  3. Heritage Quest
  4. Hathi Trust
  5. Internet Archive
You might also want to look for books you already own online.  Since they are in digital format they are much easier to search.  One example is a two volume set I own, William T. Hearne's Brief History and Genealogy of the Hearne Family.  It was written in 1907 and revised in 1912, but although it has lots of information, it is not indexed.  Finding information about the line I was researching was tedious since the information isn't exactly in chronological order.  Luckily I found Brian Cragun has it all online and it's indexed.  He also has a Hearne Research Blog and a wealth of information posted.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Memories

This first picture is of Robin in 1981.  I'm not sure she knew what Halloween was all about, but she had lots of fun playing with her pumpkin.  She put different things in it, carried it around the house, swung it around, and kept it with her.
Granddaddy always had a big garden. One year he grew pumpkins and told Robin she could pick one to take home.  She was so excited and could hardly wait to carve it. She had specific directions about how it was supposed to look, but I haven't found a picture of it when it was finished.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Funny Friday Finding Family

"It's a Small World After All" keeps going through my mind today, as does "We Are Family."

My husband was going through the online sign up list for tee times and spotted the name "Byron Calcote."  The only slot open Saturday morning was in that group, so he signed up for it.  Since we don't see the surname Calcote very often he told me about it, adding "wonder if we're related."  He also said he had played in the group behind Byron's group the other before, but didn't know Byron's last name at the time.

Naturally I pulled out my copy of Calcote Family Journey by Frances Calcote Brite and looked in the index.  There was a Byron Calcote on page 116 of the book who was interviewed in 1985 or 1986 in Sweetwater, Texas and was the grandson of Levi Garrett Calcote.

We looked up Byron's phone number in our resident phone book and called.  Yes, he was the same Byron Calcote!  After a few minutes, Joe handed the phone to me so I could find out a little more and take it from there.  I learned Byron also has a copy of the book and has attended the Calcote reunion in Brookhaven.  He told me his group came to Texas, but when I looked in the book and saw Levi Garrett Calcote was born in 1862 in Milam County, where my Robbins line had settled, I was really surprised. 

Other coincidences are that I grew up in Abilene, near Sweetwater where Byron lived.  My grandfather and Byron's grandfather both died in Abilene, Texas.  Now Byron and I have both retired not far from where our ancestors lived over 150 years ago.  I've teased my husband that some day I just might find that our families knew each other "way back", so these coincidences were fun to find.

Byron's father was James Ed Calcote, son of Levi Garrett Calcote, son of Levi Gibson Calcote and his second wife Hellena Mathis.  Joe's line goes through his mother, Myrtice French, daughter of Ollie Mae Calcote, daughter of William Harrison Calcote, Jr., son of William Harrison Calcote, Sr., who was the eldest son of Levi Gibson Calcote and his first wife, Mary Rounsavale.

They decided the easiest way to describe how they're related is "distant cousins". 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Workday Wednesday - Offshore Drilling for Oil

This is one of my favorite pictures of my father-in-law, aka Ed.  It's about an 11 x 14 that I've had reduced so I could scan it to have an image to place with this blog entry.  The photographer's stamp on the back is Paul Dorsey from Houston, Texas.

The story, as my father-in-law told it to me, is that J. Paul Getty sent a photographer out to take pictures for the company magazine.  Notice my father-in-law is wearing a straw hat.  When the photographer submitted the pictures, Ed received a call and was told, "I've got the pictures here and can't use them.  I've got to send the photographer out again, and this time make SURE you're wearing your hard hat." 
 Both pictures were taken in 1958 in the Texas Gulf where my father-in-law was the drilling foreman on this rig.  The family was living in Anahuac, Texas at the time.  He had a boat assigned to him and a driver that took him to and from the rig.  He has this picture labeled "State Track #74 #1, Triple Completion, Spudded 7-12-58, Completed 9-4-58"  I learned that the date a well is "spudded" is the very start of drilling on a new well.  He's very proud it was the first triple completion of its kind, which means it was pumping oil from three zones or depths.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Leslie French, Sr.

Leslie French's obituary was in some things my mother-in-law gave me.  He was her father's brother.

"Nov 18" is hand written in blue ink at the top.

French Rites To Be Today Near Oldenburg
Funeral services for Leslie French of Oldenburg, Miss., who died unexpectedly on Monday will be conducted from the Greendale Methodist Church in Franklin County at 11 a. m. Wednesday.

French, 70, a retired timber man, was a member of Greendale Methodist Church.  He was born July 23, 1893.

Survivors include his widow, the former Rosa Lee Lehmann; one son, Leslie French Jr.; one daughter, Mrs. Royce Luke, Starkville; two grandchildren; one sister, Mrs. C. H. Seab, Roxie; and three brothers, Clyde and Alvi [sic] French, both of Hamburg, and H. O. French, Raymond.

Pallbearers will be Odie Lee Bonds, Gary Grainger, Willard Smith, J. C. Price, Frank Priest, and Edward Harrigill.

First I checked findagrave.com, but did not find an entry for him.  I created a page for him and left the place of burial as "unknown" for now.  

I used my subscription to Ancestry.com and familysearch.org to find more information.  Unfortunately, digital images of the Mississippi death records are not on the family search site; they often have the place of burial.  I did find his Social Security Death Index records which gave me the year of his death: 1963.  Another subscriber to Ancestry posted the obituary of  Rosa Lee Lehmann, Leslie's wife.  It stated she was buried in the church cemetery, so I would assume he was as well since his funeral was at the same church.  However, I try to always document what I enter, so I will try to find proof of his burial there.

I found Leslie French listed in Franklin, Mississippi each census year 1900 through 1930 with the exception of 1920.  I found a Leslie French who was born in Mississippi, age 25, with parents born in Mississippi, who was listed as a lodger in Akron, Ohio with many others whose occupation was a "rubber worker".  It is very possibly him, but I have no proof.   He is listed as living with his parents up until 1910; in 1930 he is listed with his mother, since his father died in 1925.  Another researcher states he married Rosa in October 1930.

His World War I Draft Registration Card from 1917 was also found on Ancestry.  On it he is described as tall and stout with brown hair and eyes.  He listed his occupation as a farmer at that time.

As is so often the case, I have found a few facts about him, but have no stories to add that would tell more about his life.