Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Paper and more paper

Several years ago my grandmother was placed in an assisted living facility and I was lucky enough to receive 8 large boxes of her 40+ years of genealogy paper work and research. But not just her paper work, everyone on both her side and her husband's (my grandfather)side who ever picked up a pen and wrote down something about their family lines.  This is a blessing I know, but wow, my grandmother needed a filing system and a stapler.

I have these wonderful, typed genealogies filled with pen marks where she would update her info, or add a spouse for a distant cousin, change a death date, heck sometimes she changed names all together. Just one problem, there are very few pieces of supporting evidence, or leads as to where the new info came from. Just dates and names and nothing to tell me how she got most of this information. I can tell by some of the note paper that some of the information was achieved via a phone call (I recognize the note pads that used to sit by the telephone), but I don't know who she was talking to.  One thing about my grandmother, she never hesitated to pick up the phone and call a complete stranger who she thought may have some family information for her. Another problem with these typed trees: they were never stapled or clipped together. I'm sure they were in order at one point, but after the boxes were spilled by the movers, then moved several more times before they came to me all sense of order has been lost.

There is some great source information: old copies of deeds and wills. Some very old handwritten copies of my gggrandfather's sermons and his old recipes for ailments, yes he was a doctor and a preacher. I have lots of old photos: tintypes, cabinet cards, and early black and white film photos. Some are not labeled some are, but I have them none the less. My ggrandmother's hand written practice copy of her DAR application is a real gem. I also have wedding invitations from 1880, death announcements from 1870 and loads of old letters, that I'm trying to figure out how and why they are with all of my grandmother's stuff.

I was informed today that there are several more boxes at my aunt's house and she will be sending them to me in the next month or so. Yeah, I think. As much sorting, indexing and filing as I've done on the 1st ton of information I'm still not finished and I don't know when I'll be able to get to the next boxes, though I'm super glad to have that dilemma.  I'm starting to think I need a bigger house, mostly so I can have a special genealogy only room (hubby says I may have to cut back on the number of books I bring into the house with all the genealogy paper that is piling up, that is a whole other obsession).

So, if you all hear screams of frustration in the next month or so you will know it is me; finding one more list of children, and no idea who their parents may be, or another photo of a headstone and no clue as to what line that person is connected to. But, I would not give up any of these scraps of paper or misfiled genealogies for anything. My grandmother worked hard to gather all of this information and I will work just as hard keep it all together and find the link in all of it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I haven't forgotten this blog.

I know I'm new to this but I have not forgotten about this blog. The truth is the weather has been warm and sunny so I've been spending all my time outside playing with my son. I am working on a post about my great grandmother, Katie Compton Lloyd and hope to have it ready in the next few days.

I would like to say hello and thank you to my new followers. I swear I'll get a bit more organized in writing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Putting an ancestor on the shelf

After how many hours of research do you finally put an ancestor on the shelf for a while? I will get to do research on my Thomas Powers in May when I go to Marion Co, TN, but at the moment I seem to have hit the brick wall; though I still find myself typing in his name in hopes that something new has popped up somewhere. I've gone over microfilm, I've sifted through library books and he just isn't giving me any clues at the moment.  I know I should put him away for a while, but I keep thinking that one more search will yield me something.

I have plenty of other ancestors that I'm sure would love for me to find their stories, but Thomas just won't let go. I have 2 distant cousins I've met online and they are eager for me to join in our Jones research (talk about a needle in a haystack), but every time I sit down and start going through my info, I hear Thomas Powers calling to me.

I don't have the answer to my question, but I think this blog will serve as my statement of intent to put Thomas on a high shelf for a while. I'm sure he will not go quietly, but go he must. At least until my research trip or until the Jones' send me into a brick wall.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I had...

A post planned for yesterday and today, but the great spring weather led me outside to spring clean the yard.

I'm off to the Family Search Center tomorrow to go over some microfilm I ordered and hopefully that will lead me to a celebratory post tomorrow night

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Full Names Please

I have a request I'd like to make to my ancestors: could you please, please use a middle initial, or middle name on your documents.  No, really, something that lets me know I'm looking at the right person.  Now, I have plenty of ancestors who did use a middle name or initial on everything: deeds, census info, draft cards, etc and I thank them for this.  But when your name is Thomas Powers a middle initial would be a good thing, same as John Mason. Really guys, come on. Add to that Thomas Powers was born in Ireland, well gee, thanks for narrowing down the field to a few hundred for me.

I realize my ancestors didn't know I was going to come along and start digging in their business, if they had I'm sure they would have left a neatly written autobiography for me, but since I don't have the autobiography a middle name/initial would be great. I will keep digging away at Thomas and I will find something, someday, and the search will have paid off; but that doesn't mean I can't keep wishing that he would drop a clue or two my way.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Well, I am taking the blog plunge! No, I'm not a professional genealogist, I'm learning as I go. This learning has lead me to lots of wonderful blogs that have greatly helped me and maybe at some point I will be able to contribute something to someone else.