Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Spotlight On Audio & Video Content for the Genealogy Researcher

Helping you break through the noise

To help you break through the noise of the large selection of audio and video content available, I'm spotlighting podcasts and video content that has a high educational and/or entertainment value.

Watch Look Listen Audio & Video Content for Genealogy Research

In the spotlight audio content:

Ben Franklin's World Episode 49 - How The English Became American
 Follow my Pinterest board For Podcast Junkies Like Me for more podcasting goodness.

In the spotlight video content:

Starting From Scratch: Twitter For Small Businesses Part 1 - Marian Pierre Louis
Genealogy Weekly with Amy Johnson Crow - Amy Johnson Crow
Virtual Genealogy Fair: Day 1 of 2 -  U.S. National Archives
Virtual Genealogy Fair: Day 2 of 2 - U.S. National Archives
Tuesday's Genealogy Tip: Be A Reporter - Lisa Lisson

See my previous post in this series here.

Audio & Video Highlights for the Genealogy Researcher

Sunday, October 25, 2015

31 Days To Better Genealogy: Days 4, 5 and 6

31 Days To Better Genealogy Days 4, 5 and 6

My next installment in my 31 Days To Better Genealogy adventure, lead by Amy Johnson Crow. You can read my previous installment here.

Day 4 Explore Your Ancestors Religion

With the information I currently have for Anna, her religion is not readily apparent. I do not have her original marriage license or marriage certificate, I have an online index entry. Requesting the original records is going on the to-do list.

I have clue!  Maybe two!

For this exercise I spent time reviewing documents I have for Anna, her husband and her children Charles and Ora which is always a good idea. I found a clue. Actually, I found two clues. The following letter states that my Grandfather Charles Allen, Anna's son, joined the First Baptist Church in Huntington, West Virginia in 1912.

31 Days To Better Genealogy Charles Allen

There is a strong possibility that Anna was also Baptist and I now have a solid connection to Huntington, West Virginia a year before Anna's death. More research to do (I'm seeing a pattern here) to flesh out what the tie to West Virginia was.

Day 5 Explore The Family Search Wiki

Oh my, the rabbit hole the Family Search Wiki lead me down! I found Anna's obituary in a newspaper that also listed her place of death as Huntington, West Virginia. All information in the obituary confirms what I knew about Anna, or thought I knew. The obituary listed her one son as John Allen, not Charles. Time to review all documents I have and see if a John is listed in any other documents. I do not believe he is, but I need to conclude if that reference is valid or a misprint. My money is on misprint.

Day 6 Interview A Relative

In speaking with my only living Aunt on the Allen side, I gained little information. While she had photos of Anna with her father Charles, there were no stories. Perhaps someday I can connect with the Scott relatives and find out details about Anna's life before she married. This lesson can not be taught enough, ask questions, ask questions, ask questions now!

On to even more focused research.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

31 Days To Better Genealogy: Getting Started

31 Days To Better Genealogy


Amy Johnson Crow has started a movement to help focus and fine-tune our family history research process to achieve results. The timing isn't random, October is Family History month in the United States and what better way to celebrate than by digging in and uncovering a few new pieces of information on a stubborn ancestor.
31 Days To Better Genealogy Getting Started

This challenge has some heavy lifting. This is not 31 Days to Dabble in Genealogy, Amy has tasked us with doing better by guiding us through a series of exercises that call for review, analysis and contemplation of our findings. Here is how I started. 

Day 1 Decide What You Want to Find

I will focus on one ancestor, Anna Pearl Scott Allen. Anna is my maternal great grandmother. I've blogged about Anna here previously, isn't she lovely? 

I am curious about the outliers I have in Anna's information. Clark County Kentucky seems to be her home base. However, I have a marriage in Indiana and her death in West Virginia. More verification to do and original records to be requested.  

Day 2 Timeline

Anna's timeline is reasonable and I am able to include several key events in her life.

-- 1878 Birth Kentucky
-- 1880 Residence Blue Ball, Clark County Kentucky, Age 3
-- 1896 Marriage Jeffersonville, Clark County Indiana
-- 1897 Daughters Birth Kentucky
-- 1899 Son's Birth Winchester, Clark County Kentucky
-- 1900 Residence Winchester, Clark County Kentucky, Age 23
-- 1910 Residence Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky, Age 30
-- 1913 Death Huntington, Wayne County West Virginia
-- 1913 Burial Winchester, Clark County Kentucky

Day 3 Review The Census

I have located Anna enumerated on three US Federal Census documents: 1880, 1900 and the 1910.

-- 1880 Blue Ball, Clark County Kentucky, Age 3 with parents and siblings
-- 1900 Winchester, Clark County Kentucky, Age 23 with husband, two children and 
-- 1910 Winchester, Clark County Kentucky, Age 30 with husband, two children, sister
    and a boarder

The census did not reveal any new information or clues. The husband and children listed were as I expected them to be. The fact that Anna's sister is living with them in 1910 makes sense as she is listed as a widow. 

After the first three days (that took me a lot longer than three days) I have two takeaways for my research surrounding Anna.
  1. Request her original marriage license from Indiana
  2. Request her death certificate from West Virginia
Why do I have a sneaking feeling this list is going to get a lot longer?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Surnames And The Families Behind Them

Surnames I Seek

Surnames I Seek at Desperately Seeking Surnames

This is my cousin bait post. To all of my unknown cousins with any of the surnames I have unearthed in my family tree, this is my plea to you.


Contact me! Comment on this post, connect with me on any of my social media channels (listed on the top right sidebar) or email me. Whatever works for you. Whatever is most comfortable to you, is ok with me. I would like us both to further our family history research.

What makes me think you are out there and reading my blog to begin with? Your search terms. I can see the search terms that you used that directed you to my site. Yes, big brother is watching.

How do I know my cousins are looking at my blog?

So, we may not be cousins but there is a reason for your specific search terms. I saw that you searched for my Dad's name and his WW II unit. YES, that is my Dad and that was his unit in WW II! Why didn't you contact me? I have much more information than what I've shared in blog posts. I have photos, I have letters, I have the units movement documents. I will share them, I want to share them, but you have to reach out to me.

I saw that you searched for my Aunt in the county that I live in right now. I can help you! I can make clear that the Ancestry trees that have her buried in Florida are wrong. I was at her funeral and I was not in Florida.

Surnames I Seek Page

I set up my Surnames I Seek page in hopes of generating engagement from my blog visitors. My thought was if you were to see my surname, location and a year which coincided with your information that might prompt more contact.

If you landed on my blog and were unsure where to go to find the post that might be of interest to you, using the search function may prove helpful to you. The search is located right below the contact me icons on the right sidebar.



Welcome, check out my surnames, search my blog and connect with me. I love meeting and talking to other family history buffs even when it turns our we are not cousins. Also, I have Autosomal DNA kits at Ancestry, FamilyTree DNA and GedMatch, let's compare.