Monday, January 30, 2012

Motivation Monday - February Goals

January worked out pretty well so let's give February a try.

  • During 2011, I made several research trips but the majority of those records and cemetery photos are still waiting to be processed. In addition to all that, there are 112 records in my Ancestry Shoebox and another 46 in my Fold3 gallery. Oh yeah, there's also all those records I'm going to copy next week at the Family History Library. Obviously, I need to stop searching and start looking at what I've accumulated before things get completely out of control. (Maybe they are already out of control.) The goal for February is to process everything that I find at FHL while it's fresh on my mind. (The other stuff is already cold anyway so it can wait a little longer.)
  • Attend RootsTech! 
  • Attend 2nd Saturday Family History Workshop sponsored by Kentucky Genealogical Society and Kentucky Historical Society.
  • Complete and submit lesson 4 of NGS Home Study Course (rolled over from last month).
  • Write 8 blog posts.
  • Eventually I'm going to put something in this category but it's not going to be this month. The source and database clean-up work can wait until I get caught up with processing all that research mentioned earlier.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Reviewing January Goals

Even though it's not quite the end of the month, I'm ready to review my January goals as I head out the door for Salt Lake City. 

Prepare for the ultimate research trip - a visit to the Family History Library. 
    • I think I'm pretty well prepared. 
Attend 2nd Saturday Family History Workshop sponsored by Kentucky Genealogical Society and Kentucky Historical Society.
    • The topic was "Preserving Your Family Treasures" presented by Jennifer Spence and Louise Jones, both curators for KHS. They discussed handling, storing and preserving artifacts and paper materials. 
Complete and submit lesson 4 of the NGS Home Study Course. 
    • This one fell through the cracks. Lesson 4 requires a visit to a local library to evaluate their genealogy holdings. I just never got around to it with all the prep work for FHL so this rolls over to February.
Write 8 blog posts.
    • This is #8, #9 is scheduled for Monday and there might even be one more from Salt Lake City before the end of the month. 
Determine if I can get by in Salt Lake for a week without a laptop. 
    • I've tested my Android tablet for everything I can think of that I might want or need to do next week. This process has actually made me start liking my tablet a little more. Maybe I'll love it by the time I get back.

Not too bad. I halfway expected from the start that I wouldn't get the NGS-HSC lesson done. February's goals are coming up Monday. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ready or Not, Here I Come!


I have researched in many courthouses, several state archives and lots of libraries but next week will be my first visit to THE Library. Getting prepared for the Family History Library has been a little bit overwhelming but I think I'm ready. I've been seriously thinking about this trip since RootTech started last year. (I was at home at the time.) I knew I wanted to go this time but I didn't want to travel from Kentucky to Utah without having some extra time for research. That's why I'm arriving in Salt Lake City on Sunday. 

For the past few weeks, I've concentrated on preparing for FHL. Getting focused was really the hardest part. When the possibilities of who/what/where to research are practically endless, it's hard to decided where to start. It finally occurred to me to work on places that are not within easy driving distance of home and books that aren't available anywhere nearby.

My final research plan is a combination of 2 spreadsheets (listing 42 books and 103 rolls of microfilm), 42 Legacy Family Tree To Do Reports and a text doc that ties them together. The spreadsheets are sorted by microfilm and catalog numbers to make it easier to pull things and they are also color coded for three levels of priorities. I don't anticipate getting through everything.

Those files have all been loaded to my tablet and my phone. (I also printed them, just in case.) I've updated my genealogy database on both devices. The RootsTech app is loaded to my phone with the sessions I'm planning to attend on the schedule. Camera batteries are charged. Cameras, flash drives, extra SD cards, power cords, chargers and my GeneaBlogger button are all packed.  

Now if I can just get all my clothes for a week into one suitcase . .  .    

Image © nathanm via Flickr under Creative Commons License

I have no affiliation with Legacy Family Tree, except that I bought it, use it and love it - especially the To Do Reports.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Uncle Joe's Birthday

Joseph Lee McCauley and his mother, Verda Hankins McCauley
Joe's graduation from Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky

Joe was born 99 years ago today.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Thomas Ewing

The will of Thomas Ewing was proven in Laurens County, South Carolina on 22 Oct 1800. 

In the Name of God amen I Thomas Ewing of Dunkins Creek in Laurens County and State of South Carolina being weak in body but of perfect mind and memory calling to mind the mortality of my Body and knowing it's apointed for all men once to die Do make and ordain this my Last will and testament - hereby unterly revokeing all former wills testements and Executors and Ratifying this and this only as my Last will and testement and first I give and bequeath to my Daughter Jane five shillings I give and bequeath to my Daughter serah five shillings I give and bequeath to my sone John five shillings I give and bequeath to my sone William five shillings I give and bequeath to my sone David five shillings I give and bequeath to my Daughter Margret five shillings I give and bequeath to my sone James a Brown Bay horse Colt one year old past one Bed and furniture with his sadle and Bridle I give and Bequeath to my Beloved wife Serah all the Rest of my Goods and Chattles of what kind and Nature so ever with all my Debts and to Enjoy all my Lands and tenements During her Life and after my said wife Deceases my will is that my sone James should have and enjoy all the said Goods and Chattles she should be posest of together with all my Lands and tenements after my said wifes Death and not Before and in case my sone James should Die without issue then my other three sones shall eaquealey enjoy all my said Lands and tenements my will is my said wife Serah should pay all the foresaid Legusies and I appoint and ordain my wife and sone John Ewing the Executor of this my Last will and testement In witnesswhere of I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 23d Day of July in the year of our Lord 1800

Thomas Ewing

Signed and sealed in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our name
Roger Brown
John finney
Manasseh finney

An easier to read PDF copy of the will is here

I have a really hard time not inserting punctuation marks in transcriptions.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Henry Lewis Goodloe

The will of Henry Lewis Goodloe was proven in Hopkins County, Kentucky court on 11 August 1856. 

I Henry Goodloe being of Sound Mind in the Name of Almighty God do make this my last will and Testament (in the presence of witness towit)

First I give and bequeath to my Beloved wife Elizabeth Goodloe Four hundred dollars to be hers during her natural Life and after her death to go to my son Henry L. Goodloe I also give and bequeath to my Said wife all my household and kitchen Furniture of Every description to be used by her as She may think proper

Second I give and bequeath to my Son Henry L Goodloe my Late farm and all the land I own to be for his use and benefit and to his heirs or assigns forever the Same having been deeded to him heretofore

third It is my will and desire that my Executors herein after named after my decease do Sell either privately or publickly as they may deem best all the residue of my property of every description and the proceeds arising from the Sale then of to be divided Equally between my Seven children not mentioned above Towit Thomas K. Goodloe Nancy Yates heirs Lucy Pritchett Polly Yates John E Goodloe Eliza Ann Hall and Jane Davis Said Funds to be for their use and benefit during their Natural Lives and after their death to their children forever

Fourth it is my will and desire that my Son Thomas K Goodloe act as agent for my wife in the investment of the money Left to her

Fifth and Last I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my Two sons Thomas K and Henry L Goodloe Executors to this my Last will and Testament and request them to carry the Same into effect according to the Spirit and intention of the Same

In Testimony where of I have here unto Subscribed my name and affixed my Seal in the presence of witnesses the 2nd day of July A D 1856

[Signed by mark]

Signed and Sealed in presence of
W C Dimmett
J A Nisbet

An easier to read PDF copy of the Will is here

Several years ago, I copied this will from microfilm at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives but parts of that copy were unreadable. Yesterday I checked the images of Kentucky Probate Records that FamilySearch added last year and was happy to find that their image was much better than what I had.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Spotlight: Jesse Thomas and Rebecca

Very little is known about my 3rd great-grandparents, Jesse Thomas and Rebecca (maiden name unknown). At least, I don’t know much about them and haven’t found anyone else who does either. The only records I have found for them to date are the 1840, 1850, 1860 and 1870 censuses. They were in Murray County, Georgia in 1840, Lumpkin County, Georgia in 1850 and back in Murray County in 1860. By 1870, Rebecca was in Logan County, Kentucky living near two of their daughters but Jesse was not with her.

Jesse was born about 1802 in either Georgia or South Carolina and Rebecca was born about 1807 in Georgia. The 1840 census indicates six possible children – 2 males under 5, 1 female under 5, 1 female 5-10 and 2 females 10-15.

In 1850, there were five children living with Jesse and Rebecca. William was 14 so he would have been one of the two males under 5 in 1840. Oliver and Daniel were 5 and 2 respectively so neither of them was the other male under 5 in 1840. One of the females 10-15 in 1840 was Mary. She wasn’t listed with the family in 1850 as she was already married but her headstone gives her birth year as 1828 so she was about twelve in 1840. Margaret’s estimated birth year varies in every census record so she could have been born in 1836 (1850), 1839 (1860) or 1841 (1870). The 1850 census shows her as 14 but that is also the age listed for William. Unless they were twins, one of them was slightly older or younger. Assuming Margaret was born in 1836, she would have been the female under 5 in 1840. If she was a little older than 14, she could have been the female 5-10. There is even the possibility that she wasn’t listed at all in 1840 if her age in the 1870 census was correct. Nancy was 10 in 1850 so she could have been the female under 5 in 1840 (and that would make Margaret the female 5-10). If both Nancy and Margaret were in the 1840 record then there was one other daughter born between 1825-1830. If only Margaret was included, then there was a second unknown daughter born between 1830-1835.

Based on all of that, Jesse and Rebecca’s children were: an unknown daughter born between 1825-1830; Mary born 14 Jun 1828; a possible unknown daughter born between 1830-1835; an unknown son born between 1835-1840; William born about 1836; Margaret born about 1836; Nancy born about 1840; Oliver born about 1845 and Daniel born about 1848.

By the 1860 census, Nancy, Oliver and Daniel were the only three children still living with Jesse and Rebecca. Mary married James M. Echols on 16 Jan 1845 in Forsyth County, Georgia. They were in Forsyth County in census records from 1850 to 1880. Margaret married John R. Petty on 20 Sep 1857 in Whitfield County, Georgia. They were in McMinn County, Tennessee in 1860 and Logan County, Kentucky in 1870. William’s whereabouts in 1860 and thereafter are unknown.

Nancy married Joseph Petty (John R.’s brother) on 20 Jun 1860 in Logan County, Kentucky. Rebecca, Nancy & Joseph and Margaret & John R. were all in the Keystone District in Logan County in 1870. Daniel and Mary’s son, John Echols, were living with Rebecca. Fifteen year-old James Thomas was also living with them. His relationship is undetermined. It is possible but unlikely that he was Jesse and Rebecca’s son since he wasn’t listed with them in 1860 and Rebecca would have been about 48 years old when he was born. He may have been a grandson (the son of either William or the unknown son).

Jesse’s occupation was miner in 1850 when they lived in Lumpkin County. Since there was no real estate value listed for him, it appears he did not own property in Lumpkin County but a review of the actual deed records is required to verify that. Jesse was a farm laborer in 1860 in Murray County. The term “laborer” indicates he was working for someone else and did not own his own farm. The census record shows he owned real estate valued at $200 but there are no property records for him in Murray County. 

Jesse and Rebecca have not been located in the 1830 census. They were apparently married with two children by that time but may have been living with one or the other's parents. The area that eventually became Lumpkin and Murray Counties was formerly Cherokee lands and became Cherokee County in 1831. 

Research to do:
  1. Search records in Lumpkin, Forsyth and Cherokee Counties. 
  2. Research John R. Thomas who lived near Mary in Forsyth County in 1860. Based on his age in 1860 he was about 5 years older than the unknown son but that's not enough to rule him out.
  3. Search 1840 census records for other Thomas households in the area. 
(Note: Murray and Whitfield County records have already been searched at the respective courthouses.)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Can I Survive . . .

.  .  .  for nine days of researching, conferencing and traveling with only a tablet and a smart phone?

The thought of that makes me just a little nervous.  

In three weeks, I'm going to Salt Lake City to research at the Family History Library and attend Rootstech 2012. All of my previous research and conference travels have been road trips so I've never had to limit what I take. My usual packing policy is "if there is the slightest possibility that I might need want it, take it." That doesn't work when a plane is involved so I'm hoping to get by with the tablet and phone.

I don't have any doubts about using the tablet at the library. I've successfully used it at other repositories but I also had the laptop to use back at the hotel so I've never depended on these smaller devices for absolutely everything. 

Here's the list of things I will need or want to do and the results of my testing. (Don't hesitate to let me know if you think of something I forgot.) 

  • Access my genealogy database and files. 
    • Check. My database is loaded to both devices using the Families app (purchased for $14.99). I'll load an up-to-date file right before I leave home. All of my genealogy files are in Dropbox so they are also accessible from both devices. 
  • Access To Do List and other files in PDF.
    • Check. Adobe Reader app takes care of that.
  • Load FHL copies from jump drive or camera and back them up.
    • Check. The tablet has a USB port and SD card slot. Files can be transferred to the tablet and then to Dropbox or loaded directly to Dropbox from either media.
  • Use Evernote.
    • Check. The Evernote app works even when there is no wi-fi connection. Changes will sync the next time a connection is available. 
  • Search Ancestry and FamilySearch.
    • Check. Both websites work in the tablet's browser including downloading copies of records. There is no opportunity to name the files or select a location. They go to the tablet's "Download" folder by default but can easily be renamed and copied to Dropbox or some other location from there.
  • Search the FHL Catalog.
    • Check. That works fine from the browser on the tablet.
  • Create, read and update Word and Excel docs.
    • Check. Quickoffice Pro app was purchased for $14.99. 
  • Post status updates, links and photos to social media.
    • Twitter - check. Hootsuite app covers that and can also be used for Facebook. 
    • Facebook - check (with a caveat). I think FB works better through the browser than the Android app. If you paste a link to a blog post (or anything else) through the app, it just shows that link - no blog title or picture like when you post from a computer. Using the browser, it works just like on the computer. 
    • Google+ - check (with a bigger caveat). G+ has the same issue with links posted through the app as FB does. However, the problem can't be skirted by using the browser for G+ because you can't paste a link (or anything else) in the browser version of G+ on the tablet. This is apparently a problem within G+ because things can be pasted other places using the tablet's browser including Google Search. Annoying but not a big enough problem to warrant taking a laptop.  
  • Write blog posts.
  • Read blogs.
    • Check. Google Reader app has that covered.
  • Upload photos to SmugMug.
    • Check. The SmugMug app handles uploads. (The app is free but you need a paid SmugMug account to use it.)
  • Minor photo editing.
    • Check. Photoshop Express app will crop and make some other minor adjustments. To edit a photo, it must be in the tablet's camera folder or the app will not find it. There is no way to browse other folders for photos. Changes are saved as a copy of the original photo, which is a good thing since it severely reduces the file size. That's OK for my purposes here because I'll only be editing something I want to upload to a social media site. The smaller file will be fine for that and will take less time to load. 
  • In flight entertainment. 
    • Check. I can read a book through Kindle or Nook apps, listen to a book through app, play games and listen to music. (These apps are free but most books and music aren't.) Or sleep. That is probably a better idea since it's going to be a very busy week. 

So. Unless I missed something big, it looks like I can survive. I guess we'll see what happens. 

*All apps listed are free unless otherwise noted. I have no affiliation with any of the companies involved with any of the apps. All opinions are my own and the results are from my own testing. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Motivation Monday: January Goals

About this time last year, I set a list of genealogy goals for the year. It seemed reasonable at the time but, in the end, I completed less than half of them and made only a little bit of progress on some others. In spite of that, I still think it's important to have an idea of what I'd like to accomplish in 2012 but I'm going to narrow the time frame. Having a a whole year to complete something leaves too much room for procrastination on my part so I'm narrowing the time frame to monthly.

I've considered posting monthly goals before - usually when reading posts by other bloggers (Tonia at Tonia's Roots and Tina at Gen Wish List are two that immediately come to mind). Now Stephanie at Corn and Cotton: My Family's Stories has started a new monthly meme called Motivation Monday which entails posting goals and accomplishments on the first Monday of each month. I'm going to give it a try. 

Here's my first installment.

  • Prepare for the ultimate research trip - a visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. I'll have three full days at The Library before Rootstech starts. I'm still figuring out what to work on but have started the process. With less than four weeks until I leave this task will take every minute I can find. (This is my first visit to FHL so any advice about how to prepare would be appreciated.) 
  • Attend 2nd Saturday Family History Workshop sponsored by Kentucky Genealogical Society and Kentucky Historical Society.
  • Complete and submit lesson 4 of the NGS Home Study Course.
  • Write 8 blog posts (this counts as one). 
  • None - focus this month will be devoted to prepping for FHL.
  • Determine if I can get by in Salt Lake for a week of research and conferencing with just my Android tablet and phone. I've made a list of every function I can think of that I might need or want to do and have started testing the tablet's ability to perform those tasks. So far, it looks promising but I'm not finished testing. I've already used the tablet in research facilities so I know it will do the job at the library but when I tried that I was also traveling with a laptop that I used at night in the hotels.