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.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

 A few Easter pictures I found
Carolyn, Ryan, David
 Ryan is on the left and his son, Ethan, is on the right.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mystery Monday - The Lindbergh Family Photograph

Imagine my surprise when I was going through a photo album in a box of pictures my husband's cousin, Frances, brought me to go through and found this picture labeled "Lindberg Family" on a page.  The other pictures in the album were of family and friends, so was this a photo of THE Lindbergh family and if so, what was it doing here?  It has the same border and curved edges found on many of the photos in the album.  Was it taken with a camera belonging to a family member or was it mass produced and sold?

The first thing I did was a Google search for "Lindberg Family" and clicked on Images.  The fourth picture on the second row was identical to this one, minus the border.  Clicking on the picture took me to an entry for Evangeline Lindbergh on wikitree.com.  It said the photo was taken in Washington, D. C. on June 12, 1927.

In order to send a private message to Carolyn Murphy, the profile manager, to ask if she had more information about the photo, I had to register for an account, so I did, and then continued searching.

A website about Charles Lindbergh also has this picture of the Lindberghs with a caption stating it was taken "When Col. Charles Lindbergh was in town to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross from President Coolidge, the president and first lady entertained the Lindbergh family at Patterson House, where they were living while the White House was being renovated. "  When I sent an email to the webmaster, I got an automated reply with a suggestion to post questions on the discussion area of the website.

Before seeing the automated response, I had done a Google search on Charles Lindbergh +Louisiana and found the discussion area.  To my surprise someone had posted the following: "From CAL autobiography 'WE': "The next morning I was again heading toward Texas against a strong westerly wind which retarded the speed of the Jenny so greatly that even with my double fuel capacity it was necessary to land at Farmerville, Louisiana, to replenish my supply. From there I flew to Texarkana..."

"I am looking for details concerning the landing at Farmerville by CAL. Last weekend a relative told me that my grandfather gave CAL a ride to get his fuel and all my grandfather asked for was to do an interview with CAL (my grandfather worked for the local newspaper). Even though CAL wasn't famous at this point in time I suppose having a airplane make an unxpected landing in a pasture was a rare enough event in 1923 to be newsworthy!"

FARMERVILLE?  Wait a minute!  Joe Cecil Fowler and Johnny Strother lived in Farmerville at one time!  I have emailed the person who left the post in Nov 2007 and received a reply.  He too thinks it would be great to find a newspaper with that interview.  

From the CharlesLindbergh.com website I also learned that Lindbergh made a victory tour of 48 states and 82 cities after receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1927.  Where did he stop in Louisiana?  "In 147 speeches and 192 messages dropped from the air he promoted the still nascent aeronautical industry."  Was the picture dropped from the air? That's doubtful because it's in good condition.

Any ideas on how to solve this mystery?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy Birthday to Robin

On this day in 1979 our daughter was born at 10:45 PM in Odessa, Texas.  Since her due date wasn't until at least May 3rd, she weighed in at 3 lbs, 3 ozs and dropped down to 2 lbs 12 ozs.  She stayed in the Nursery ICU the first 30 days, then was moved to an isolette for 2 weeks before being moved to an open crib two weeks before coming home after a 60-day stay in the hospital.  That day was May 6th and her maternal grandfather, Richard Robbins' birthday.  He and my mother were waiting for us at our house to celebrate.  On that day she weighed a whopping 5 lbs, 4 ozs.  We had to buy premie diapers from the hospital and doll clothes for her to wear until she was big enough to wear the standard newborn size.  Of course her Grandma Robbins made her a couple of things to wear as well.

This is one of my favorite pictures; it was taken on March 28th.  I'll never forget the love in her daddy's eyes and him saying, "Won't it be a glorious day when we get to take her home."  The nurses told us she recognized her daddy's voice when he came in to visit.  She could hear us talking while we washed our hands and put on the hospital gowns and would turn her head and start kicking.

I know it sounds corny, but "you've come a long way baby" definitely applies.  We're so proud of her and all she has overcome to be the young woman she is today.

She shares her birthday with her cousin, Katrina.  I've posted birthday wishes to her on my other blog, A Nested Family of Robbins.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Calcote Family Portrait

When we visited Aunt Cile in October 2011 and I was scanning family pictures, she brought out this treasure and gave it to us. (I teared up when she gave it to me and held it in my lap most of our trip.) I plan to have copies made when I can find the right place to do it. It looks more like a painting than a photograph. The back is attached with what looks like upholstery tacks and the cardboard arm for standing it up is broken off.

On the left, Myrtis Calcote is holding a doll and her brother, Adron Calcote is beside her.  Bertha Calcote is standing in the middle.  The name of the boy next to her was not known by Aunt Cile, but he is not one of the siblings.  The adults are William Harrison Calcote, Jr. and wife, Virginia Buckles Calcote.  Standing beside her mother is Alma Calcote with Ollie in front holding a teddy bear.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Alvie French and Ollie Calcote

Alvie French and Ollie Mae Calcote were married 12 November 1921 in Franklin County, Mississippi.  Their granddaughter, Carolyn, has the original marriage certificate.  Carolyn remembers her grandmother telling her about when her granddaddy courted her grandmother. He would ride up on his white horse and tie it up in front of the house. One day he showed up unexpectedly.  Grandmama, and her sisters, Aunt Alma and Aunt Myrtis, were barefooted. They were mortified and had to pull their dresses over their feet so he couldn't see them because you didn't let men see your naked feet.

These are scanned copies of pictures and a newspaper article about their 50th wedding anniversary celebration in November 1962.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Ollie Mae Calcote French

Ollie Mae Calcote French is buried in the Natchez City Cemetery in Hospital Lot 98, Space 2 between her husband, Alvie French, and their youngest daughter, Helen French Campbell.   
The Hospital Addition of the cemetery was named for the old Charity Hospital that burned on Sunday, August 5, 1984, but there are graves older than that in the Hospital Addition.  The lighting wasn't right for taking a photograph of the framed picture hanging in the cemetery office and I'm no photographer, so that's my reflection, not that of a ghost.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Matrilineal Monday - Ollie Mae Calcote French

My husband's maternal grandmother was born on the 5th of July in 1905 in Mississippi, the youngest child of William Harrison Calcote, Jr. and Virginia F. Buckles.  She is listed with her parents on the 1910 and 1920 Franklin County, Mississippi Census records.
In 1930 she, her husband, Alvie French, and their three daughters, Myrtice, Voncile, and Helen, were living in Roxie, Mississippi. This photo of Ollie holding Voncile was taken some time in 1924 in Hamburg, Mississippi.  It was scanned in October 2011 when we visited Aunt Cile.
The dates the following pictures were taken of Alvie and Ollie are unknown.
This photo of Alvie and Ollie with their first grandchild, Everett, was taken in the late 1940s. I do not know when the studio picture of Ollie was taken, but it is the only portrait I have seen of her.
Robin with her great grandparents in Roxie, Mississippi in October 1983.  One of my favorite memories of the trip is the unbelievably delicious lemon icebox pie she made.  When told how much I liked it, she made another one.  She used to make a pecan pie for each grandchild when they came to visit and there are none that compare to how good they were.
Four Generations
Daughter Myrtice, granddaughter Carolyn and great grandson Ryan with Ollie
Hobbs, New Mexico about 1986

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Abundant Genealogy - Or Why I've Neglected My Blogs

Has it really been this long since I've posted on this blog?  I'm surprised because I've been so happily busy working on my genealogy I didn't realize it had been at least a six-week lapse.

Excuse number 1:  On January 19 I spoke to our local genealogy group about getting ready for the 1940 census and needed time to prepare my slide presentation and handout.  I recommend the following websites for information:
  1. NARA
  2. 1940census.net
  3. stevemorse.org 
Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter has had lots of information as I am certain Thomas MacEntee's  webinar on March 7 will.  I certainly plan to watch it.

Excuse number 2:  On Thursday, January 27 my husband asked if I still wanted to go back to Natchez, MS.  The answer was an enthusiastic "YES!"  He then asked if I wanted to go on Sunday.  Was I going to say no because I had other things to do?  Ha!  He told me this trip was for me, so plan where I wanted to go and we would do it.  I took care of things like laundry and packing and we headed to Shreveport on Sunday for a "free" night's stay at the El Dorado where I enjoyed free reflexology foot massage at La Spa.

Monday we went through Jonesboro, Louisiana and stopped at the cemetery to locate his paternal grandparents' graves.  We took pictures of their grave markers and found one for his grandmother's brother as well.  (I really like findagrave.com so I took several more pictures I've since added to that site.)

From there we went to Vidalia, Louisiana and stayed at the Comfort Suites on the banks of the Mississippi River.  We had a large window in the room with an awesome view of the River, bridge, and Natchez.  We took photos at Greenlawn Memorial Park of the markers for Virginia Hunter Andrews Fisher, her first husband, Wilson, and her mother, Myrtis Calcote Hunter, and fulfilled a few photo requests for others.
 The map they have made it difficult to find the graves we wanted to locate.  They do have a beautiful pond with ducks swimming on it behind the office that Find A Grave declined to include and a cage with several peacocks.
We took photos of family graves at the Natchez City Cemetery  we couldn't locate on our last visit and filled some photo requests with the help of Danny Brown, the Cemetery Director.  Our visit there was so enjoyable.  I wish we lived closer so I could spend more time there.  It's a 100 acre cemetery with some amazing monuments and stories.  We took many photos in the Fields section and some in the Hospital section that I still need to finish uploading to Find A Grave.
 Unfortunately we did not have time to visit Aunt Cile again or go to the Roxie Cemetery so I could finish photographing it.  Last week I finished adding the pictures I took on our trip there in October.

On our way back to Shreveport, we detoured to find the Buckner Cemetery where I had hoped to find the grave of some of the Strother and Farley names I've been researching.  Unfortunatley the Strother grave was unmarked, but I took photos of all the markers in the cemetery that I added to Find a Grave along with the coordinates for a map of the cemetery to be displayed.  We spent another night at the El Dorado where I had an awesome free facial by Jennifer at La Spa the next morning before heading home.  I won't assign excuse numbers to things like doing laundry, getting groceries, watching the Super Bowl, and having our new microwave and oven delivered and installed (that's a long story) after we returned.  Did I mention one of the book clubs I'm in met at my house in February?

Excuse number 3 is working on proofs through my Taylor family line to become a member of DAR.  I'm so excited!  I'll be blogging about this on my other genealogy blog, A Nested Family of Robbins.

Excuse number 4: This is not genealogy related, but I just had to add it.  On January 10 we headed to Oklahoma to the Winstar Casino for a 3-day weekend.  The trip was to see Alabama perform.  In spite of Randy having problems with his throat, he sounded great to us.  "Play me some mountain music, like grandma and grandpa used to play..."

Excuse number 5:  I'll only use one excuse to describe going to a genealogy meeting, assisting with a DRT workshop helping people with genealogy, getting to see my great niece, the Marine, who stopped in Texas while on her way to California, helping a neighbor learn how to burn CDs, helping a friend get her pictures to show up in Legacy and figuring out her problems with backups and her Find A Grave account, attending a local meeting about DNA for genealogy, and learning about Google Earth for Genealogy by watching a DVD by Lise Louise Cooke with a friend.

Enough with the excuses, but you now know I've been spending a lot of time on genealogy related activities - just not my two genealogy blogs and I have really missed that.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Ollie Mae Calcote French

These two newspaper clippings do not include the name of the paper or the date they were published.  They were scanned while visiting Voncile French Whitehead, her daughter.  The one on the right is covered with plastic wrap, as many of her items are, in an effort to preserve it. Both articles have the name Myrtice misspelled.
It was the week of Spring Break, so my husband and daughter decided to make the trip from Texas to attend the funeral.  Since I had started a new job only a few days earlier, I did not go with them.

They will both remember their trip because they went through rain, hail, snow, sleet, and ice.  They were able to cross the Mississippi Bridge into Natchez before it was closed to traffic and wondered if my husband's sister and family would be allowed to cross.  They remember how cold it was the day of the funeral. They also have some happier memories of sharing a 20-piece box of McDonald's Chicken McNuggets on the way there and visiting Indian burial mounds with family.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Workday Wednesday - Franklin County, Mississippi

Alvie French, my husband's maternal grandfather, is seated second on the left.  It is one of the pictures belonging to my husband's Aunt Voncile has that I scanned in October when we visited her.  Fortunately, this picture was labeled on the back so we know which one is him and the year it was taken. .

back of above picture

In Monday's blog entry, I included a "snip" of the 1930 Roxie, Franklin County, Mississippi Census showing he worked for the railroad as an assistant foreman at that time.  Until I chose this picture to post in connection with today's prompt, I had not made that connection.   After a brief search and reading an article on a website called Mississippi Rails, it seems the railroad may have been called the Mississippi Central Railroad, originally built by the lumber companies, but that is only supposition at this time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - City Cemetery - Natchez, Mississippi

Ok, I confess I do not have pictures of these tombstones, but decided to post this entry using the Tombstone Tuesday blog prompt on Geneabloggers anyway because of a phone call I received today.

In October 2011, we visited Aunt Cile, who lives near Natchez.  She told me there were six other family members buried in the family plot where her Granny, Virginia Buckles Calcote, was buried and the eighth plot was unused.
  1. William Harrison Calcote, Jr. - Granddaddy Calcote / Virginia's husband
  2. Alma Calcote Stevens - Grandmama French's sister
  3. Jimmy Stevens
  4. Bertha Calcote Smith - Grandmama French's sister
  5. Bill Smith - Bertha's husband
  6. Uncle Wright - his first name may have been Willie and he was "Granny's sister, Ella's, husband"
While in Natchez, we went to the City Cemetery a couple of times, but weren't there when the office was open and we didn't have Aunt Cile with us.  It's a huge place so we weren't able to locate the graves of anyone but my husband's maternal grandparents since we remembered the approximate location.

At home in November, I went to the cemetery's website and filled out a form requesting information.  The webmaster sent a reply saying the email was being forwarded to the cemetery director.  That was shortly before Thanksgiving and in the blur holiday activities, I had forgotten about my request until the cemetery director called me today and apologized for not replying sooner.  He said if I had time he would look up the information while we were on the phone.  Of course I had time!

The records are still being digitized and he had to do several different searches.  It wasn't as simple as typing in a surname to see if it would pop up.  He gave me the locations of the graves and some dates that he found, cautioning me that they might be the dates of interment rather than the death dates.  Sexton's records often only record the burial date.  I now have confirmation that William Harrison Calcote, Jr. and wife, Virginia Buckles Calcote, Alma Calcote Stevens and husband, James W. Stevens, and Alma Calcote Smith are buried in the Fields Section, Plot 103.  During the phone call we accidentally overlooked Bill Smith, Bertha's husband, but I found the Adams County, Mississippi Genealogical and Historical Research website at www.natchezbelle.org that had him listed. 

The cemetery director did not find "Uncle Wright", but mentioned a Sarah Robinson Buckels who died in 1903.  I'll have to email him to see if she is in the same plot as the others or if he just saw that name and mentioned it.  At this time I do not recognize that name.

While I'm excited to have this information, I'm hoping to visit Natchez, Mississippi again before too many more months go by and visit the cemetery to take pictures.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Matrilineal Monday - Myrtice Aline French Fowler

Myrtice, the daughter of Alvie French and Ollie Mae Calcote French, was born in Hamburg, Franklin County, Mississippi on July 14, 1922.  She told me this picture was of her and her Aunt Myrtis Calcote Hunter.

The photo below is of her Aunt Bertha Calcote Smith holding her in Hamburg in front of the train depot.

And this is one of her playing with her dog, Spot.

The 1930 Roxie, Franklin County, Mississippi census shows Myrtice, her two younger sisters, and parents lived in a rented house on West Street. This picture is of Myrtice, Edith Harrigill, Helen, and Voncile French.

Myrtice's father's occupation was listed as an assistant foreman for a steam railroad.

The writing is difficult to read, but a Google search lead me to a website that translates the occupational codes used on the 1930 census.  In the code 7477, the 74 is the occupational level of "foremen and overseers" and the 77 was for the industry "steam railroad".  That was helpful since it kept me from trying to look for the name of a specific railroad beginning with the letters "St".

In the coming weeks, I plan to have more information about the females in this line.

Since my blog entry for yesterday, the third anniversary of Myrtice's death, was about her obituary and a little about her life, today I'd like to add that she married on 25 September 1942 in Natchez, Mississippi and close with one of my favorite photographs of my in-laws.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Myrtice Aline French Fowler

This blog was started to share information about my family genealogy.  Until now it has mainly focused on my husband's paternal lines.  Today marks the third anniversary of the day my mother-in-law passed from this life, so I thought it fitting that I post her obituary today.  As of the time of this posting, her obituary is still posted on the Chapel of Hope website.  She also has a memorial page on findagrave.com.

She fought a brave battle against breast cancer for about 5 years.  She was such an example to me of how well one could live while fighting cancer.  At one of her treatments she made a comment to me, that maybe her going through this in some way would help others.

Most of her years were spent as a homemaker, but she worked in the office of the Armstrong Rubber Plant in Natchez, Mississippi where she met her future husband.  She enjoyed playing golf and her name appeared in the Hobbs News-Sun many times in connection with that.  After her children had all left home, she became a realtor.

Although it goes without saying, I feel the need to say how very much her family misses and loves her.  Most of all I miss seeing her, talking to her, and hearing her laugh.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Paid Genealogy Tools

Week 2 – Paid Genealogy Tools: Which paid genealogy tool do you appreciate the most? What special features put it at the top of your list? How can it help others with their genealogy research?

I'm going to go with one of the obvious choices here and say Ancestry.com is the paid genealogy tool I appreciate the most.  I don't even remember how many years I've used it, but I have used it a lot and I like knowing it's there at my fingertips when I want it.

One of the special features on Ancestry is being able to post your family tree so that others can see it and being able to see information on other people's trees.  I have made many connections and filled in many blanks this way.  It's especially rewarding when someone posts a picture that I don't have of an ancestor or a document I haven't located.  My philosophy is, the more people who are interested in what I have gathered that can access it, the better.  Not everyone feels that way, and I respect that.  Ancestry provides a way for them to keep their information private and only supply it to those who request it if they want.

Along with the benefits of a paid service such as Ancestry, comes the downside of much undocumented and erroneous information and the repetitive duplication of it.  However, it is usually very easy to contact the original contributor and ask where the information was obtained.

Ancestry also emails subscribers suggestions for possible documents that match what they have entered about your family members.  The suggestions aren't always applicable, but it's definitely worth checking to see if they apply or eliminate them.  After all, genealogy requires going through a lot of information to find the items that further our research and eliminating the rest.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Another Piece of the Puzzle and More Puzzle Pieces

This find in a family photo album was one more little piece to add to the story we're trying to put together to learn more about our ancestors.
The names are hand written in pencil on the black paper of a small photo album that was in a box of things my husband's cousin, Frances, brought me to go through.  The pictures are also labeled in blue ink and they are Ralph Strother and Edwin Strother, sons of John William (my father-in-law's "Uncle Johnny") and Linnie Bell Patterson Strother.  I wish there had been a picture of their older brother, William Patterson "Pat" Strother as well!
When my father-in-law saw these pictures, he told me he remember Ralph was red headed.  He laughed and said, "Uncle Johnny's boys could grab a rattlesnake by its tail, whip it and snap its neck.  They'd string them up in the loft of the barn.  One was so long it almost touched the floor." 
Many pictures have been pulled off the pages of the photo album, but it contains pictures of family and friends.  Most are labeled. The one below is labeled "The Gang" in blue ink but the only name Ralph is written in pencil above the boy standing on the left.  I'm adding it in case someone viewing the blog can identify those in the picture.  I cannot tell if the Ralph in this picture is Ralph Strother or not.