Sunday, February 26, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 9

Week 9 – Cemeteries: Genealogists understand the full value of cemeteries and appreciate them in ways most others can’t see. Share a cemetery or cemetery experience for which you are most thankful. What makes this place special? What does it mean to you and your family history?

All of my mother's family is buried in Crawford County, Arkansas - I cannot single out a cemetery because there are at least five with several graves of my family members.

My best remembered cemetery experience took place on a hot July day when my husband and I took my then 84-year-old mother back to Crawford County with plans to visit those five cemeteries.  Although Mom had at sometime during her life visited those graves, if she had not actually attended the funerals, she was no longer sure she could find the cemeteries, or the graves once we found the cemetery.

Our first stop of the day was the funeral home which had been in charge of nearly every burial in that county for many years - they have their records back to 1917.  We received maps and driving directions to all the cemeteries in question - even to the one in the back of personal property where we would have to wade a creek to reach.

We located cemeteries, located graves, stopped and had lunch at a country store.  The day had grown warmer.  We arrived at a cemetery where Mom recognized almost every surname as family or friend and she was almost running from grave to grave calling out the names.  I realized she looked very, very warm and suggested she go rest in the shade awhile and let my husband and me locate the graves we were specifically looking for, and then we'd call her to come see them.  She'd go stand under a tree for about sixty seconds, and dart off again to read the name on another stone.  

Finally, I took Mom by the arm and said, "You are getting too hot.  What am I going to tell my sisters if you drop dead out here?"

She looked me straight in the eye and replied, "Just lay me out and cover me over. I'll be among friends."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 8

Week 8 – Genealogy Libraries:
Genealogy libraries (and dedicated departments in regular libraries) are true treasures in the family history community.
Tell us about your favorite genealogy library. What or who makes it special?

Of course there is the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  But since I live in Florida I've only been able to visit there twice, so even though it is fabulous, access prevents it from being my favorite.

I would have to say that the Birmingham [Alabama] Public Library is my very favorite research library.  The Linn-Henley Research Library where the genealogy collection is housed is in their older library building and can be accessed by walkway over the street from the newer building.  It is a lovely building and the ambiance adds to the pleasure of the research. Government documents and the microfilm are housed in the same building - very convenient. The librarians have always been gracious and helpful. Their quite large collection emphasizes Alabama, but also the states where so many early settlers came from - Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia.

I use to live about 90 miles from the Birmingham library and visited every couple of months for several years and would stay the entire day - only going to my car to eat a quick lunch I brought with me.  Unfortunately I don't have that easy journey now.  I have had reason to order copies and the response is always rapid.   

I'm really looking forward to FGS, Aug 29-Sept 1, and have made hotel reservations for extra days which will be spent right there in that Library!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ancestral Name Roulette

It's Saturday Night again - time for some more Genealogy Fun!!
Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):
1) What year was your paternal grandfather born?  Divide this number by 100 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

My paternal grandfather was Ray Weymouth Adamson, born in 1884.  Divided by 100 and rounded off that would be roulette number 19.

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an "ahnentafel"). Who is that person?

Emma Elizabeth Miller, a second great grandmother is 19 in my ahnentaful report.  She was born 1825, Indiana, and died 1871.  

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the "roulette number."

Elizabeth, as she appears in most records, was a June bride, married in Boone County, Indiana, 17 Jun 1847, to William Alexander Harmon.  Indiana State Library Genealogy Database: Marriages through 1850.

Her parents were William and Nancy (Meek) Miller.  A biography of William Miller listed Elizabeth as one of his daughters and stated she was deceased.   Early life and times in Boone County, Indiana, Harden & Spahr, Lebanon,  Indiana. May, 1887, p. 455.

Elizabeth and her husband William Harmon are buried Salem Cemetery, Eagle Township, Boone County, Indiana.  Cemeteries of Boone County, Indiana, Vol. 1 , Rosemany Peterman and Marilyn Walker, compilers,  p.217-218 

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.

I just did!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 7

Week 7 - Historical Documents: 
Which historical document in your possession are you happy to have? How did you acquire this item? What does it reveal about your ancestors?

I don't have this document, but I found it at NEGHS in Boston in 2008.  I still have trouble believing it was there.  It was in a manuscript collection in the papers of William Augustus Mowry dated from 1644-1909, Mss 290, Box III, "Comstock" folder.   And this document was indeed the original - to be handled with white gloves only and could not be copied, but I was allowed to photograph it.

This note was written and signed by my Eighth Great Grandfather in 1710 at Providence, Rhode Island, as he was impressing soldiers to go to Port Royal during Queen Anne's War. 
The recipient of the note is Henry Mowry, a neighbor. This document proves without doubt he could read and write and held a position of importance in his community over 400 hundred years ago.  Incredible!

Here is my transcription:

To you Henery Mory of the Second Company of the Town of
Providence you are hereby Required in her majesties
name Anne Queen of Grate Britans &c
to go forth with to Impress one or mor Able Solder to go against
her majesties enemies to Port Ryall that are under my Comand
and make return of your Doing same and for your Acting in
the premeses this warrant Shall be your Discharge given
under my hand this 9th August 1710 -
                                   Samuell Comstock, Capt

Samuel Comstock was born about 1654 in Providence and died there 27 May 1727 as recorded in the Vital Records of Rhode Island, Vol 2, Providence Deaths, p.264, compiled by James N. Arnold.   

Simply Incredible!

Monday, February 6, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 6

Week 6 – Family Heirlooms: 
For which family heirloom are you most thankful? How did you acquire this treasure and what does it mean to you and your family?

First of all - I'm a bit late with this post - I had intended to post on Sundays. However, I was returning from RootsTech in Salt Lake City. Every genealogical researcher should try to attend! What an experience it was ...but I digress.

Family Heirlooms.  I'm sure I have more than my share, even thought no family heirlooms survived the Civil War.  I have the buffet that was my great-grandmother's.  I sleep in the bed that my father-in-law and his three brothers were born in.  I have the nativity that graced my grandmother's mantel every Christmas. I have a few pieces of china that came from Germany with my step-grandmother.  I have needlework, I have quilts.  I could go on and on and on.  I am exceedingly thankful to have so many remembrances of my family.

My mother and I lived with her parents from just before my second birthday, through her remarriage, until the summer I was eight - you could say during my "formative years".  My mom was a working mom so I spent many hours with my grandmother.  After we moved out of their home, we continued to live relatively near them for the remainder of their lives.  

My grandmother and I have the only January birthdays in the family.  My granddad gave her a lovely birthstone ring - garnet is our birthstone - some years before I was born.  It was always on her finger and she lived to be 86.  Just a year or so before she died, she gave me the ring ...she wanted to be sure it would be mine and would not descend to anyone else.  

It is not the oldest heirloom I have, nor is it the most valuable - but it is the most precious to me.

The ring represents the love I witnessed between my grandparents and the tender loving care she gave to me. When it's on my finger, I feel her presence still.