Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Belle Howell Bohn Injured in Runaway

It was a typical January day for Arabella Emelia "Belle" Howell Bohn that morning in 1914.  Bundling up, she took the reins of her buggy to run a few errands.  Unfortunately, the day didn't end well.

Just a few hours later, something spooked her horse causing it to run away.  Belle was thrown from the buggy and fractured her skull.

The daughter of the famous Rear Admiral John Adams Howell, Belle survived her injuries.  She was born on 31 December 1869, the second child to her mother Arabella Emelia Krause Howell.

Belle married John Valentine Bohn on 19 June 1895 in Washington, D.C., at the age of 27.  

The accident is similar to a busy wife chasing to complete the many tasks on her agenda and through no fault of her own being involved in an automobile accident today.  I've read the report of the accident and no, Belle wasn't wearing her seat belt.  In his case, her carriage didn't flip and thus if they had worn seat belts in that day, it would have saved her from her  serious injuries.

Howell Belle Bohn

Posted 8 December 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Friday, December 4, 2015

Digital Newspapers Provide Genealogy Surprises

I've spent a lot of hours looking for ancestral information in old newspapers overnewspaper_icon the past few weeks.  Some of the articles brought Joy.  Others made me Sad.  Thank goodness that these treasures weren't lost when the newspapers were discarded years ago.

I knew that one of my great grandfathers had experienced a nervous breakdown after spending years in a particularly nasty work environment, but didn't realize how badly he was affected.  Reading article after article about his problems made me ache over the impact his problems had on his wife, children, parents and extended family.  The articles provided answers to many questions I've entertained for decades about his life.  The situation was worse than I'd imagined.

Bless great-grandma and her family including my grandmother.  Now, the articles and the notes my mother recorded about the details she'd heard as a child provide windows into scenes that I wouldn't have imagined.

Today, when I think of great grandma, the song Amazing Grace comes to my mind alongside her photo.

My continued newspaper research quest revealed articles about the sad story surrounding the death of my great uncle, Hyrum.  My mother told me that her father's brother was killed in an accident in Idaho.  She'd said that grandpa and his brother were very close and that he had grieved over the loss of his brother for years.  Other than the knowing the date and place of Hyrum's death, I didn't have any other knowledge about the accident.  Thanks to the digital newspapers that the University of Utah has posted online, I now have at least part of the story.

Hyrum was the oldest son of Hyrum and Anne.  Born in 1883, in American Fork, Utah, hed decided that there was little future on the family farm and went to Sugar City, Idaho to work in the sugar mill when he was age twenty.  Less than a year later, he was dead.

The news articles describe the accident.  A steel beam fell from an upper floor in the plant "severing half of his ear and cutting a very ugly hole in his head."  He survived the train tip to Salt Lake City but died shortly after arriving in St. Mark's Hospital.

His body was brought home to American Fork for burial and after the service he was laid to rest in a plot that his parents purchased.  Later, his parents, several siblings, their spouses and their children would be buried surrounding his grave.

I'm now several days into another research foray in the old newspapers.  I've found copies of numerous obituaries, military draft notices, articles about life and work events of my ancestors and their families.  Without the digital images, all of this information would be lost to time.

Are you using the Internet to search for similar articles and notes about your family?  If not, you are missing a treasure trove that literally resides at your finger tips.  To access them,   you can  pay for subscriptions sites or you can search the free sites that many universities have established using funding that is awarded by the federal government every year.

Check out the U.S. Newspaper Program site to see if there are digitized newspapers that cover your area of interest.  If not, review subscription sites like Newsbank and others like it.  You'll also want to talk to your local libraries and see if they have login credentials for digital libraries and newspapers.  In most cases, they will provide login information at no cost to residents in their city and those who hold their library cards.

Late evening hours seem to produce the best results in my own ancestral news article quest.  Maybe it is because by then, the noise of the day has settled to a rippling layer on the floor.  Find your own 'sweet spot' slice of time and give these resources a try.  You'll be well rewarded for your effort.

Posted 4 December 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pilgrim Anniversaries and Important Dates


Pilgrim Anniversaries

MD: 1:89

The following table sets out the important first events for the Pilgrims. Dates are in "new style."

1620Mayflower silhouette

15 Aug 1620
Sailed from Southampton, England. 

16 Aug 1620
Sailed from Plymouth, England. 

16 Nov 1620
William Butten died at sea. 

19 Nov 1620
First sighted Cape Cod. 

21 Nov 1620
Signed "The Compact." Anchored in Cape Cod Harbor and went ashore.

23 Nov 1620
Took the shallop ashore for repairs.

25 Nov 1620
First exploring party set out by land.

26 Nov 1620
Discovered Truro Springs, Pamet River, Cornhill

7 Dec 1620
Second exploring party set out with the shallop.

12 Dec 1620
Found the wigwams, graves, etc.

14 Dec 1620
Edward Thomson died. The first death after reaching Cape Cod.

16 Dec 1620
Third exploring party set out with the shallop. Jasper More died.

17 Dec 1620
Dorothy (May) Bradford died.

18 Dec 1620
James Chilton died. First encounter with the Indians. Reached Clark's Island at night.

19 Dec 1620
Spent on Clark's Island

20 Dec 1620
Third exploring party spent the Sabbath on Clark's Island.

21 Dec 1620
FOREFATHERS DAY. Third exploring party landed on Plymouth Rock, and explored the coast.

25 Dec 1620
The Mayflower set sail from Cape Cod for Plymouth, but was driven back by a change in the wind.

26 Dec 1620
The Mayflower arrived at Plymouth Harbor.

27 Dec 1620
First Sabbath passed by the whole company in Plymouth Harbor.

28 Dec 1620
A party landed and explored by land.

29 Dec 1620
One party explored by land, and another in the shallop. Discovered Jones River.

30 Dec 1620
Decided to settle near what is now Burial Hill.

31 Dec 1620
Richard Britteridge died. The first death after reaching Plymouth.


2 Jan 1621
Began to gather materials for building.

3 Jan 1621
Solomon Prower died. 1621

7 Jan 1621
Divided the company into nineteen families and laid out lots.

11 Jan 1621
Degory Priest died.

14 Jan 1621
Myles Standish with a party discovered wigwams, but saw no Indians.

18 Jan 1621
Christopher Martin died.

22 Jan 1621
Peter Brown and John Goodman lost themselves in the woods.

24 Jan 1621
The thatch on the commonhouse burned.

29 Jan 1621
Began to build their storehouse.

31 Jan 1621
Kept their meeting on land.

8 Feb 1621
Rose Standish died.

19 Feb 1621
The house for the sick people caught fire.

26 Feb 1621
Indians carried off tools left in the woods by Myles Standish and Francis Cooke.

27 Feb 1621
Had a meeting to establish military orders, and chose Myles Standish Captain.

3 Mar 1621
Got the great guns mounted on the hill. William White, William Mullins, and two others died.

7 Mar 1621
Mary (Norris) Allerton died.

17 Mar 1621
Sowed some garden seeds.

26 Mar 1621
Had another meeting about military orders, but were interrupted by the coming of Samoset.

28 Mar 1621
Samoset came again, with five others.

31 Mar 1621
Another meeting about laws and orders, interrupted by coming of Indians. The carpenter fitted the shallop "to fetch all from aboord."

1 Apr 1621
Another meeting for public business, interrupted by the coming of Samoset and Squanto to announce Massasoit, with whom a treaty was made.

2 Apr 1621
The laws and orders concluded. John Carver chosen Governor for the ensuing year.

3 Apr 1621
Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow, wife of Edward Winslow, died.

12 Apr 1621
Governor Carver certified a copy of the will of William Mullins, which was carried back to England on the Mayflower.

22 May 1621
Edward Winslow and Susanna (Fuller) White married. The first marriage in the colony.

12 Jul 1621
Stephen Hopkins and Edward Winslow set out to visit Massasoit.

13 Jul 1621
They reached Sowams, and were welcomed by Massasoit.

24 Aug 1621
Captain Standish set out for Namasket, with a party of armed men, to revenge the supposed death of Squanto.

28 Sep 1621
Captain Standish set out with nine men, and Squanto and three other Indians, to visit the Massachusetts.

30 Sep 1621
Landed at Squantum, in Quincy.

20 Nov 1621
The Fortune arrived. 1621

23 Dec 1621
The Fortune set sail on her return to England.

Posted 22 October 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Monday, October 19, 2015

Diseases Found on Death Certificates

  • Ablepsy - Blindnessbabymortherdeath

  • Ague - Malarial Fever

  • American plague - Yellow fever.

  • Anasarca - Generalized massive edema.

  • Aphonia - Laryngitis.

  • Aphtha - The infant disease "thrush".

  • Apoplexy - Paralysis due to stroke.

  • Asphycsia/Asphicsia - Cyanotic and lack of oxygen.

  • Atrophy - Wasting away or diminishing in size.

  • Bad Blood - Syphilis

  • Bilious fever - Typhoid, malaria, hepatitis or elevated temperature and bile emesis.

  • Biliousness - Jaundice associated with liver disease.

  • Black plague or death - Bubonic plague.

  • Black fever - Acute infection with high temperature and dark red skin lesions and high mortality rate.

  • Black pox - Black Small pox

  • Black vomit - Vomiting old black blood due to ulcers or yellow fever

  • Blackwater Fever - Dark urine associated with high temperature.

  • Bladder in Throat - Diphtheria (Seen on death certificates)

  • Blood poisoning - Bacterial infection; septicemia

  • Bloody flux - Bloody stools

  • Bloody sweat - Sweating sickness

  • Bone shave - Sciatica

  • Brain fever - Meningitis

  • Breakbone - Dengue fever

  • Bright's disease - Chronic inflammatory disease of kidneys

  • Bronze John - Yellow fever

  • Bule Boil - tumor or swelling.

  • Cachexy - Malnutrition

  • Cacogastric - Upset stomach

  • Cacospysy - Irregular pulse.

  • Caduceus - Subject to falling sickness or epilepsy.

  • Camp Fever - Typhus; aka Camp diarrhea

  • Canine Madness - Rabies, hydrophobia.

  • Canker - Ulceration of mouth or lips or herpes simplex.

  • Catalepsy - Seizures / trances.

  • Catarrhal - Nose and throat discharge from cold or allergy.

  • Cerebritis - Inflammation of cerebrum or lead poisoning

  • Chilblain - Swelling of extremities caused by exposure to cold

  • Child Bed Fever - Infection following birth of a child.

  • Chin Cough - Whooping cough.

  • Chlorosis - Iron deficiency anemia.

  • Cholera - Acute severe contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing.

  • Cholera mrbus - Characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated temperature, etc. Could be appendicitis.

  • Cholecystitus - nflammation of the gall bladder

  • Cholelithiasis - Gall stones

  • Chorea - Disease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing.

  • Cold Plague - Ague which is characterized by chills

  • Colic - An abdominal pain and cramping

  • Congestive Chills - Malaria

  • Consumption - Tuberculosis.

  • Congestion - Any collection of fluid in an organ, like the lungs.

  • Congestive Chills - Malaria with diarrhea.

  • Congestive Fever - Malaria.

  • Corruption - Infection

  • Coryza - A cold

  • Costiveness - Constipation

  • Cramp Colic - Appendicitis

  • Crop Sickness - Overextended Stomach

  • Croup Laryngitis - diphtheria, or strep throat

  • Cyanosis - Dark skin color from lack of oxygen in blood

  • Cynanche - Diseases of throat

  • Cystitis - Inflammation of the bladder

  • Day Fever - Fever lasting one day; sweating sickness

  • Debility - Lack of movement or staying in bed

  • Decrepitude - Feebleness due to old age

  • Delirium tremens - Hallucinations due to alcoholism

  • Dengue - Infectious fever endemic to East Africa

  • Dentition - Cutting of teeth

  • Deplumation - Tumor of the eyelids which causes hair loss

  • Diary Fever - A fever that lasts one day

  • Diptheria - Contagious disease of the throat

  • Distemper - Usually animal disease with malaise, discharge from nose and throat, anorexia

  • Dock Fever - Yellow fever

  • Dropsy - Edema (swelling), often caused by kidney disease (Glomeruleonephsitis) or heart disease

  • Dropsy of the Brain - Encephalitis

  • Dry Bellyache - Lead poisoning

  • Dyscrasy - An abnormal body condition

  • Dysentery - Inflammation of colon with frequent passage

  • Dysorexy - Reduced appetite of mucous and blood.

  • Dyspepsia - Indigestion and heartburn. Heart attack symptoms.

  • Dysury - Difficulty in urination

  • Eclampsy - Symptoms of epilepsy, convulsions during labor

  • Ecstasy - A form of catalepsy characterized by loss of reason

  • Edema Nephrosis - swelling of tissues

  • Edema of lungs - Congestive heart failure, a form of dropsy

  • Eel thing - Erysipelas

  • Elephantiasis - A form of leprosy

  • Encephalitis - Swelling of brain; aka sleeping sickness

  • Enteric Fever - Typhoid fever

  • Enterocolitis - Inflammation of the intestines

  • Enteritis - Inflations of the bowels

  • Epitaxis - Nose bleed

  • Erysipelas - Contagious skin disease, due to Streptococci with vesicular and bulbous lesions.

  • Extravasted Blood - Rupture of a blood vessel.

  • Falling sickness - Epilepsy

  • Fatty Liver - Cirrhosis of liver

  • Fits - Sudden attack or seizure of muscle activity.

  • Flux - An excessive flow or discharge of fluid like hemorrhage or diarrhea.

  • Flux of Humour - Circulation.

  • French Pox - Syphilis

  • Gathering - A collection of pus

  • Glandular Fever - Mononucleosis

  • Great Pox - Syphilis

  • Green Fever / Sickness - Anemia

  • Grippe / Grip - Influenza like symptoms

  • Grocer's Itch - Skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour

  • Heart Sickness - Condition caused by loss of salt from body

  • Heat Stroke - Body temperature elevates because of surrounding environment temperature and body does not perspire to reduce temperature. Coma and death result if not reversed

  • Hectical Complaint - Recurrent fever

  • Hematemesis - Vomiting blood

  • Hematuria - Bloody urine

  • Hemiplegy - Paralysis of one side of body

  • Hip Gout - Osteomylitis

  • Horrors - Delirium tremens

  • Hydrocephalus - Enlarged head, water on the brain

  • Hydropericardium - Heart dropsy

  • Hydrophobia - Rabies

  • Hydrothroax - Dropsy in chest

  • Hypertrophic - Enlargement of organ, like the heart

  • Impetigo - Contagious skin disease characterized by pustules

  • Inanition - Physical condition resulting from lack of food

  • Infantile Paralysis - Polio Intestinal colic Abdominal pain due to improper diet

  • Jail Fever - Typhus

  • Jaundice - Condition caused by blockage of intestines

  • King's Evil - Tuberculosis of neck and lymph glands

  • Kruchhusten - Whooping cough

  • Lagrippe - Influenza.

  • Lockjaw - Tetanus or infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw. Untreated, it is fatal in 8 days.

  • Long Sickness - Tuberculosis.

  • Lues Disease - Syphilis.

  • Lues Venera - Venereal disease.

  • Lumbago - Back pain.

  • Lung Fever - Pneumonia

  • Lung Sickness - Tuberculosis

  • Lying in - Time of delivery of infant.

  • Malignant Sore Throat - Diphtheria.

  • Mania - Insanity.

  • Marasmus - Progressive wasting away of body, like malnutrition.

  • Membranous - Croup Diphtheria

  • Meningitis - Inflations of brain or spinal cord

  • Metritis - Inflammation of uterus or purulent vaginal discharge

  • Miasma - Poisonous vapors thought to infect the air

  • Milk Fever - Disease from drinking contaminated milk, like undulant fever or brucellosis

  • Milk Leg - Post partum thrombophlebitis

  • Milk Sickness - Disease from milk of cattle which had eaten poisonous weeds

  • Mormal - Gangrene

  • Morphew - Scurvy blisters on the body

  • Mortification - Gangrene of necrotic tissue

  • Myelitis - Inflammation of the spine

  • Myocarditis - Inflammation of heart muscles

  • Necrosis - Mortification of bones or tissue

  • Nephrosis - Kidney degeneration

  • Nepritis - Inflammation of kidneys

  • Nervous Prostration - Extreme exhaustion from inability to control physical and mental activities

  • Neuralgia - Described as discomfort, such as "Headache" was neuralgia in head

  • Nostalgia - Homesickness.

  • Palsy - Paralysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles. It was listed as "Cause of death"

  • Paroxysm - Convulsion

  • Pemphigus - Skin disease of watery blisters

  • Pericarditis - Inflammation of heart

  • Peripneumonia - Inflammation of lungs

  • Peritonotis - Inflammation of abdominal area

  • Petechial Fever - Fever characterized by skin spotting Puerperal exhaustion Death due to child birth

  • Phthiriasis - Lice infestation Phthisis Chronic wasting away or a name for tuberculosis

  • Plague - An acute febrile highly infectious disease with a high fatality rate

  • Pleurisy - Any pain in the chest area with each breath

  • Podagra - Gout

  • Poliomyelitis - Polio

  • Potter's Asthma - Fibroid pthisis

  • Pott's Disease - Tuberculosis of spine

  • Puerperal Exhaustion - Death due to childbirth

  • Puerperal Fever - Elevated temperature after giving birth to an infant

  • Puking Fever - Milk sickness

  • Putrid Fever - Diphtheria.

  • Quinsy - Tonsillitis.

  • Remitting Fever - Malaria

  • Rheumatism - Any disorder associated with pain in joints Rickets Disease of skeletal system

  • Rose Cold - Hay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergy.

  • Rotanny Fever - (Child's disease) ???

  • Rubeola - German measles

  • Sanguineous Crust - Scab

  • Scarlatina - Scarlet fever

  • Scarlet Fever - A disease characterized by red rash

  • Scarlet Rash - Roseola

  • Sciatica Rheumatism in the hips

  • Scirrhus - Cancerous tumors

  • Scotomy - Dizziness, nausea and dimness of sight

  • Scrivener's palsy - Writer's cramp

  • Screws - Rheumatism

  • Scrofula - Tuberculosis of neck lymph glands. Progresses slowly with abscesses and fistulas develop. Young person's disease

  • Scrumpox - Skin disease, impetigo

  • Scurvy - Lack of vitamin C. Symptoms of weakness, spongy gums and hemorrhages under skin

  • Septicemia - Blood poisoning

  • Shakes - Delirium tremens

  • Shaking - Chills, ague

  • Shingles - Viral disease with skin blisters

  • Ship Fever - Typhus

  • Siriasis - Inflammation of the brain due to sun exposure

  • Sloes - Milk sickness Small pox Contagious disease with fever and blisters Softening of brain Result of stroke or hemorrhage in the brain, with an end result of the tissue softening in that area

  • Sore Throat Distemper - Diphtheria or quinsy

  • Spanish Influenza - Epidemic influenza

  • Spasms - Sudden involuntary contraction of muscle or group of muscles, like a convulsion

  • Spina Bifida - Deformity of spine

  • Spotted Fever - Either typhus or meningitis

  • Sprue - Tropical disease characterized by intestinal disorders and sore throat

  • St. Anthony's Fire - Also erysipelas, but named so because of affected skin areas are bright red in appearance

  • St. Vitas Dance - Ceaseless occurrence of rapid complex jerking movements performed involuntary

  • Stomatitis - Inflammation of the mouth

  • Stranger's Fever - Yellow fever

  • Strangery - Rupture

  • Sudor Anglicus - Sweating sickness

  • Summer Complaint - Diarrhea, usually in infants caused by spoiled milk.

  • Sunstroke - Uncontrolled elevation of body temperature due to environment heat. Lack of sodium in the body is a predisposing cause.

  • Swamp Sickness - Could be malaria, typhoid or encephalitis

  • Sweating Sickness - Infectious and fatal disease common to UK in 15th century

  • Tetanus - Infectious fever characterized by high fever, headache and dizziness

  • Thrombosis - Blood clot inside blood vessel

  • Thrush - Childhood disease characterized by spots on mouth, lips and throat

  • Tick Fever - Rocky mountain spotted fever

  • Toxemia of Pregnancy - Eclampsia

  • Trench Mouth - Painful ulcers found along gum line, Caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene

  • Tussis Convulsiva - Whooping cough

  • Typhus - Infectious fever characterized high fever, headache, and dizziness

  • Variola - Smallpox

  • Venesection - Bleeding

  • Viper's Dance - St. Vitus Dance

  • Water on Brain - Enlarged head

  • White Swelling - Tuberculosis of the bone

  • Winter Fever - Pneumonia

  • Womb Fever - Infection of the uterus.

  • Worm Fit - Convulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temperature or diarrhea.

  • Yellowjacket - Yellow fever.

Posted 19 October 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Using ZenWriter for Blog Posts

If you are like me, the weekend arrives and you need to create a series of posts for your blog and other writing tasks.  You settle in planning to write up a storm and then something catches your eye and off your mind goes down the rabbit hole.

Does this happen to you too?  It often happens to me.  Those of us with multiple monitors are exposed to even more distractions than folks without the wrap around eye candy.  However, we all have distractions with email notifications, messaging, Skype and Google Hangout calls and many other popup distractions.

There are days when it is hard to concentrate long enough to finish a single post, let alone seven or more.

Is there a solution?  Yes.  There is.  I'd heard others mention ZenWriter noting that it is an almost extreme productivity tool.   I thought they may have been just waxing eloquent until I tried using it and now here I am waxing eloquent myself.

Why is it so useful?  Why is it better than just shutting down all other applications and launching just your favorite writing tool?


ZenWriter is well named.  It presents a writing environment that is conducive to productivity without distraction.


zenwrtrer 1


How is that accomplished?

There are few editing tools to worry about.  The backgrounds are peaceful scenes and ZenWriter even includes its own music player and music library.


zenwriter 2


The background can be changed from dark to light with a single click.


zenwriter 3


zenwriter 4


I've added some of my own music to the music library.  I find that background music keeps my mind quietly active while it churns over the topics and subsequent text of future posts.  You can also add your own images to the image library.

I’m not getting any compensation tor writing about Zen Writer.  Read more about them on their blog.

Give ZenWriter a try if you'd like  to enjoy an environment where you can 'Zen out' and create  masterful blog posts.

Posted 18 October 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Friday, September 18, 2015

Library Treasure - Forgotten Ancestors - Forgotten Research

A cousin walked through the basement level of an obscure library in London a few years ago randomly looking for titles that were of interest.banffshire_field_club_journal

An old black tome with the word Banffshire visible on the spine caught her eye.  Opening the book, the pages spilled out across the table.  The binding had failed due to age and the readily apparent years of hard use.

Picking up the page bundles, the name Gordon stood out on one of them.  A quick scan of the page resulted in a shout of joy.  The article covered our Gordon ancestry.  The information in the article came from private genealogical study paid for by our 5th great granduncle, Cosmo Gordon.

Although his name was Cosmo, like the famous Cosmo Gordon's of Scotland, he wasn't famous.  He did work for the British Government in relatively high level positions and was paid enough money to satisfy his desire to know his Gordon lineage.

A copy of the genealogy research report ended up in the possession of a family who allowed an author to copy it and include the data in an article he wrote for the Banffshire Field Club Journal.

Another genealogy legend was created.

Due to the condition of the book, my cousin wasn't allowed to copy it.  She quickly jotted down the facts in the article and sent them to me.

I looked for a copy of the article in the library catalogs across the States but found nothing.  I needed to see that article to completely mine all of the genealogy data and hints in it.

Eventually I found a listing for the Field Club online.  The didn't have a web presence as that time so the contact information came from one of the hundreds of search queries I sent out using every term I could think of that might result in a 'hit'.

After a few tries, I found a telephone number that rang in the Field Club offices when the historian was present.

I asked her if she knew of any publications in the States that may include the article I wanted to see.  Of course the answer was negative but just before we were going to ring off, she remembered that there may be a copy of the article on a shelf in the basement where the few extra copies were stored.

A week later, I received an email from her saying that she'd found one surviving copy of the 100 year old article and there were a few other articles that might mention the Gordon family.   I found a way to transfer funds to purchase the articles and send them to me.

When they arrived, they were just what you'd expect to see in a bundle that had set in the humid conditions of a basement by the ocean for a century.  The old metal staples in the fold were rust covered.  The paper was yellowed and stiff.  The contents of the article were pure gold.

Cosmo's report gave me clues that I never would have found here in my area 5,000 miles away from where they happened hundreds of years ago.

Anyone who has engaged in genealogy research in Scotland that involves members of clans knows that surnames often changed from the birth surname to the name of the clan.  Members of these families often did not baptize their children in the Church or England or in the more prominent Protestant churches, thus birth, marriage and death records aren't easy to find.   Cosmo's report included the names that have proven to be difficult to prove with sources.  I probably wouldn't have found them without the content in the report.

My Gordon ancestors were brewers and property owners.  Some of them didn't have sterling characters as witnessed in the actions of great uncle Alexander Duff, but most were honest people living their lives for their families and country.

The old Field Club Journal articles continue to yield clues as time goes on.  My research uncovers topics and snippets of information that resonate in my mind because of the information I've read in the articles.  The collective information frequently gels into clues that result in more proven ancestors and facts that support their existence.

The success in this story all derive from browsing through the aisles of an obscure library and the faded letters in the title of an old worn book catching the eye of my cousin.  She wasn't looking for nor expected to find information about our ancestors, but like all good genealogy stores, this story follows their common theme.....  Being in the right place at the right time and taking a few minutes to let the genealogy 'magic' happen.

Posted 18 September 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Memorial Day Thoughts ~ May 2012

Visiting cemeteries on Memorial Day are typically celebrations of the lives of our deceased ancestors.Grave_of_young_husband_2012

The fragrances of many flowers fill our vehicle as we travel from cemetery to cemetery and grave to grave as we decorate family graves.  Their scent evokes dozens of long-term memories of similar pilgrimages on other Memorial Days.

The Memorial Day experience in 2012 was different.  After visiting several cemeteries, we concluded our pilgrimage with a stop at a cemetery with many ancestral graves.  Just across from them, a young widow sat on a large rock in deep despair next to the week-old grave of her husband.

My mood changed immediately from celebration of my ancestors lives to deep concern.  Fathers and grandfathers will do about anything to protect their wives, daughters and granddaughters from pain.  The body language of despair coupled with gulps of air told her story.  Her beloved was gone.

As much as I wanted to comfort her, I could not intrude on her privacy.  I was an unknown.  A well-meaning unknown but whose intrusion was undoubtedly not wanted or sought.

I grieved over her pain and over my lack of the ability to assuage it in any way.

Within a few minutes, she recognized that she was no longer alone in her cone of grief.  With a final gesture of her hand toward her husbands grave, she entered her vehicle and drove away.

Deep in thought, I stood watching her vehicle disappear into the distance.

Had any of my ancestors felt pain like hers over an untimely death?  I only had to look up to see the headstones of two sets of my 2nd great grandparents to get the answer.

Yes.  They had.

One of the couples, James and Emily Blacknall Hoggard, lost a baby daughter without her father ever seeing or holding her.  He left England to come to America to establish a new life for his family.  I don’t think he even knew his wife was pregnant when he left.

He worked hard, saved every penny possible and was finally able to send for his sweetheart and their seven children.  Partway through the voyage, the new baby, Emma Dorothy Hoggard died and was buried at sea.

Yes, they knew the pain of an untimely death.

Turning a few degrees, I gazed upon the headstone of another set of great grandparents, Charles Joseph Gordon and Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie.  Had they experienced similar pain?

Unfortunately, yes, they had.

Their third child was born small in size.  Silas was called a midget by society of that day.  A group of seemingly good men from the area had approached the family.  They asked if it would be possible for young Silas to join them for the summer as they toured their little circus from town to town.

Silas would be the main attraction in the center ring.  His joyful personality and laughter would bring cheers from the audience.

“We’ll take good care of him.”  “We promise.”  “He’ll earn more money than his father over the summer months.”

Things went well until 3 September 1869 when the troop was returning back to their homes.  One of the rough circus crew had become increasingly jealous of little Silas during the summer.  His popularity far exceeded the attention created by the clown paint on the face of the ruffian in their circus performances.

Seeing his opportunity to destroy his supposed enemy on the narrow cliff-side road ahead, he maneuvered his horse between Silas and the high side of the road.  A simple jab in the ribs of his horse caused it so shy into the horse carrying Silas.

Both Silas and his horse went over the cliff and were killed.

Nothing could be proven to bring justice to Silas’ murderer.  He claimed the incident was an accident,yet almost everyone in the circus company knew of his hatred of the diminutive youngster.

Pain.  There was deep pain in the hearts of his parents.  The guaranteed safety and good treatment of their son was invalid.

He was dead.

His father acted as the town undertaker in addition to his carpentering jobs.

Great grandpa, Charles Joseph Gordon Logie, had to build the casket for his little son, Silas – the son he had allowed to travel with ‘safe’ men for the summer.

He had to dress and clean his little body before putting in the coffin.

He had to dig the grave.

Pain.  Real pain in the hearts of my great grandparents.

Today, far removed from the immediacy of the incidents, view of ancestors lives in celebration when we visit their graves on Memorial Day, and rightly so.  Their lives should be celebrated.

Because of them, we are here, enjoying our lives and growth opportunities that sometimes include pain.  Without them we would not be here to gain those experiences.

I am grateful every day for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the knowledge and promises it brings to us.  You see, I now that families can be together forever.

Posted 17 September 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Accidental Shooting Death of Andrew Bennett

Andrew J. Bennett, seventeen-year-old son of the prominent Obadiah Miller and Hannah Margaret Graham Bennett was accidentally killed by his close friend Russell Igo at the Igo residence while looking at a new shotgun.

Russell said he accidentally pulled the trigger causing the shotgun to fire and strike Andrew in the neck.  Andrew was killed almost instantly.. 

Andrew’s death was a tragedy for his family and for Russell and the Igo family.  The shock of it almost killed Russell as he went into violent convulsions in his grief.

Andrew was born on 3 Feb 1888 in Fairfield, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.  He was the seventh of twelve children in Obadiah and Hannah’s family.  His father was a well-known cabinet maker, furniture store owner and undertaker. 


Andrew J. Bennett Death Articles


Posted 10 September 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Epitaphs from Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts

I’ve enjoyed many visits to Burial Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts seeking the burial locations of my ancestors.  The trips always leaves me wishing I couldepitaphs_from_burial_hill spend more time there taking photos and obtaining the exact latitude and longitude coordinates of my ancestors graves.

When I return home from these visits, I always spend time looking through my trip notes comparing them to the information in books like Bradford Kingman’s “Epitaphs from Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts, from 1657 to 1892:, or Benjamin Drew’s “Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts: its Monuments and Gravestones Numbered and Briefly Described, and the Inscriptions and Epitaphs Thereon Carefully Copied” and my favorite, the more recently published work by the Robinson family, Barbara, Howard and Cynthia titled “Burial Hill in the 1990’s, Plymouth, Massachusetts": a six –year mapping project with descriptions, conditions and some photographs.”

The Robinson family did it right.  They spent summer after summer in the cemetery documenting its burials and tombstones.

I own copies of all of the books about burials in Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Sometimes I just need a quick reference lookup though and am too lazy to pull the books from the shelves of my library, so I launch Google Books and read Kingman’s tome online.

The book may be of equal use in your own laziness.   Thanks Google Books!!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Power of Technology in Education Today

The world is filled with stories of terror, war and stupidity of mankind, yet there never has been a better time to be alive from the perspective of freely available knowledge and easy access to it.teacher_old

While researching the lives of several of my second and third great grandparents, I noted a common theme in their lives and the lives of their families.  A higher level education would have dramatically improved the living conditions of themselves and their families.  The records surrounding their lives shows neighbors who had received more education than the majority of the public and their homes and annual income reflected that fact.   That some of them added the title Dr. to their names did not mean that they attended advanced medical schools like we require today to acquire such monikers but it did indicate that they’d had some training in the fields said that they represented.   However, many of the neighbors were leaders in finance and some were doctors in well-known hospitals in large cities which indicates that they did indeed have specialized higher educational degrees.

My ancestors who really had to struggle to feed and house their families had little free time to attend any additional schooling and even if they had the time, they wouldn’t have had the money to pay for it nor the contiguous blocks of time required to travel to the location of the schools that offered the education they wanted.

Today, we see educational opportunities online everywhere.  College or specialized training courses are readily available online with just a few clicks of the mouse.  The courses are offered by entities ranging from the most prodigious colleges on the planet to small applied skills training companies.   A surprisingly large number of the courses are free if you don’t want to attached educational credits to the course.  I’ve taken many of the courses myself and never cease to be amazed at the knowledge I gain from them with little effort on my part other than sitting down and going to the lessons online.  Gaining education this way is certainly different than it was when I was in college early in my life.  I don’t have to stand in the long lines to get a card that will allow me to register for a class.  I don’t have to wait for my turn to be early in the process based on the first letter of my surname and where it is in rotation to the first of the list this year.   I don’t have to miss courses because the prerequisite class is filled because my surname letter had rotated to the end this year and all of the available seats were already taken.

Our children and grandchildren face a litany of problems that didn’t exist when we were their age but gaining an education, if they want it, isn’t one of them beyond the normal financial and available time considerations.

Like many of you, I sit in on free genealogy webinars that are sponsored or presented by FamilySearch, Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic and other companies that give me both new skills that I need to be a better researcher as well as new research ideas, methods and knowledge of venues of which I was totally unaware and probably wouldn’t have found left to my own devices.

Like some of you, I take specialized courses online of a technical nature that give me the tools and skills needed to write some programming code, tweak software skins and write little apps of my own that fit my particular needs on my handheld devices.  Many of these courses are free.  Folks who have mastered the skills in the lessons, happily present them for the consumption of folks who have similar interests in an almost pay-it-forward environment of sharing.

Today, many workers take short specialized training courses online to sharpen their job skills either in their current position or for a position they hope to secure.   Their bachelors and masters degrees often act as the requisite key that allows them open the job seeking door.  The specialized courses give them the code to the last tumbler in the lock to open the slot that will accept their application in that refined environment of qualified and highly skilled applicants.

Business Insider magazine recently published a list of what they consider to be the best 37 websites for learning new skills.  If you are reading this post, you’ll find one or more of these sites to have the exact training courses that you’d hoped to find one day.  We all wish we knew how to do something using skills that we don’t current posses.  If that skill requires reading, writing and using your mind, the training course you need is probably in this group of 37.  If not, it probably does exist online if you search for it. 

In September 2014, I wrote a post about the effectiveness of online courses and included a short list of links to online educational facilities that offer excellent educational courses.  My view of the value of online education has only increased in appreciation and perceived value since then.

I wish my parents were still alive so I could dazzle them with the educational opportunities online that we can access with such ease.  I probably don’t have a good enough imagination to appreciate how excited my 5th great grandparents would be to see the online courses.  They would probably appreciate them so much that they’d liken them to handouts of gold and silver.  Training and education that was simply impossible for them to obtain is ours for the taking, requiring little more effort on our part than doing a quick search, registering and clicking to start the course.

I marvel at the difference in perspective from which I see the world and how my grandchildren see it.   The recent article, “The Class of 2019 has never licked a postage stamp” brought that discussion into clear focus in my mind.  Their perception of the world around them is so wildly different than mine due to time and the environment surrounding their society and the one I’ve  known from my youth in a tiny western town, it is almost incomprehensible.  While I’m still the guy that teaches them how to use and tame technology, our societal reference points are radically different.  Hopefully, they’ll take advantage of skills based training for subjects that don’t exist entirely within the mind but have in fact a physical factor in survivability skills should the lights go out.

Our lives are extremely busy today.  Doing what meaningful activity, I’m not always sure, but we certainly are busy aren’t we?   Do you take advantage of a few hours of your time each week to improve your education and skills thanks to online education courses?  If you haven’t taken skills based training online yet, don’t hesitate to give it an honest try. 

If you are interested in genealogy and improving your research skills and successes thanks to it, be sure to visit the FamilySearch Learning Center and revel in the excellent selection of free courses found there.

We live in a magical time in the timeline of this world.  Take advantage of the educational opportunities it offers us.  None of us are too old or too ‘dumb’ to learn new skills to better ourselves and our interface with family, friends and even our hobbies.

Posted 23 August 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Monday, August 17, 2015

Find Unique Ancestral Records on FamilySearch

FamilySearch offers so many records on its site, it is easy for users to quickly35 develop a research ‘rut’ in their minds and never fully address the wealth of information it offers.

I hadn’t considered the fact that students in my classes and support groups were using all the search tools on FamilySearch until FamilySearch included a simple “Find” tab on their site.   The word “Find” in this case is deceptively simple when compared to the search power it brings into play.


The power of Find is so great is because FamilySearch applies the “Find” search on the “Find photos and stories” to all of the user submitted images, documents and stories in FamilySearch Tree.  

When I’ve explained this to people, they respond by saying, “So?”  “Why is that such a big deal?”    The answer is that it’s an immense “deal” because users of Tree are now submitting a significant number of these types of attachments to the records of their family in Tree and the level of participation is growing almost exponentially. 

When we make these attachments of our photos, stories and documents, we are almost exclusively adding information about the related person that we have personally vetted, meaning that no matter how good the search algorithm is written and used by any company, the human mind is still significantly better in identifying and validating the data in its relationship to a specific person.   

It doesn’t matter what the “Find” search results contain, because in almost every case the results belong to the person for whom you have searched or a person with the exact same name if you have wrapped your search terms in the Boolean operator of quote marks (“ “).

I won’t dwell on the “I wish great grandma had a more distinctive name than “Elizabeth Smith” argument because I’d get more refined search results, but at least we are getting results in this case from person records on Tree which have attachments that actually belong to an “Elizabeth Smith” and her record includes details that identify her specifically.   Users of Tree have already filtered the attachments to the correct Elizabeth Smith.  She may not be our Elizabeth but she is one of the significantly fewer Elizabeth Smiths in Tree because users have filtered the rest out of our results by not attaching anything to their respective records. 

That will change over time as more images, documents and stories are added to Tree by users but even then the results are linked to the “exact” person they claim to represent.

Let’s look at a search query on FamilySearch “Find photos and stories” for one of my ancestors without using the Boolean operators of quote marks.   Her name is Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie.  The unfiltered search term told the search engine to include each name as a unique term and to bring back the results for each of her names.   Thus, the results show 16,538 items in Tree that match at least one of those names.




Now, let’s add quotes around grandma’s name:  “Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie” and do the search again.   I’m lucky in that grandma’s name is quite unique, so all 6 of the results belong to her.  But even if there were dozens of Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie’s in Tree, it wouldn’t take me long to click on the results to determine which of them is my Rosa and once I have identified her record on Tree, I only have to click on the memories tab to see all of the other attachments.   Which as I noted earlier, have already been vetted by someone else (or maybe myself and I’ve forgotten about it) as being correct and attached to the correct person record in Tree.




I love this search tool because of the high value results it can contain.  It will also include any recordings that may be attached to our ancestors record as well.  If the recording includes the actual voice of an ancestor, few of us can be restrained from pumping our fist in the air and exclaiming, “Score!”

When we add these often very unique records to the huge number of church, government, website and other records that are found on FamilySearch, our chances of ancestral quest success is very high.

The main page of FamilySearch contains a tab called “Search”.  Mouse over it for a drop down list of the main types of collections on FamilySearch that are available from that position on the site.




While you are exploring, be sure to visit the FamilySearch Obituaries page.  The number of obituaries being added to the obituaries collection on FamilySearch is already immense and will continue to grow almost unabatedly for the foreseeable future.


We all know that obituaries often contain genealogy “gold” because of the amount of genealogy related data that are included in them.  Perhaps we’ll hear you exclaim “Score” too when you find the obituary of someone in your own extended family in the collection.

If you haven’t taken time to explore the depth of the FamilySearch and FamilySearch Tree sites in the past few months, do so now.   It’s already the most resource rich site in existence and its growth continues seemingly unabated thanks to resources dedicated to supporting it by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the hosts of volunteers who index, add their own records and generally support the subscription free FamilySearch site for the benefit of all users worldwide.

Posted 17 August 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Good Morning. Who Died?

I may be unique, but I doubt it.  Every morning I arise, mumble something like "goo morgan" to my wife and then stumble off to glance at the front page of the newspaper.  My real goal in reading the paper is to read the obituary page.  Have any of my extended cousins or their spouses died since yesterday?

Unfortunately, too many of them seem to by passing on now and equally sad are the obituaries I've read about many younger folks and acquaintances passing in the last few months.  Frequently, the names on the obituary page are familiar but I can't remember exactly how I know their name.  I dutifully read dozens of obituaries every month for people that I don't know.  Sometimes though, the listing is about a cousin that I've only met through the research of my lineage and related families.

Genealogy.  It's the reason I read so many obituaries every month.  I would read them to find information about friends and extended family anyway but not with such focused searches.  I work very hard to find the genealogy 'gold' hidden in the obits.

Obituaries are invaluable resources to genealogists.  The facts in them are often wrong or "off" a little because of the stress on the family at the time of the passing but the names and places in them are generally accurate.

Some obituaries are sparsely populated while others are rich with details about the person or their life.  Obituaries from the turn of the century are often lengthy stories about the deceased individual.

The obituary for one of my great grandmothers is almost a half page long, complete with her photo and comments by friends and religious leaders.  When I found it, I didn't even try to obey the "Silence" signs in the library.  "Hah!"  "Look at that!!"  My exclamations gained the attention of everyone on that floor.  I could only manage a grin and a finger point at the page before finally telling them that "I found my 2nd great grandmother!"   Shaking their heads at the eccentric behavior of one of "those genealogists", the other patrons went back to their studies and research.

The smile on my face stayed in place all day.  I greeted everyone with a little more cheer during the visit and had extreme patience with the young desk attendant who repeatedly tried and failed to restock copy machine with paper.

Frequently, I find obituaries or death articles in digital newspapers online.  Sometimes, I can't imagine why they are in a newspaper from a distant town, but am grateful because the local newspaper of the time was destroyed by uncaring corporations who purchased then name and subscriber list of the local publication, but had no interest in the years of published content.

Absent the indexing and hosting of online digital images of newspapers, I wouldn't have found the majority of the obituaries now safely stored in my sources folder and in the Memories section of their respective records on FamilySearch Tree.

Are you enjoying similar success with ancestral finds in your own research?  If you haven't, don your Sherlock cap and enter into the fray.  Today is a good day to put a smile on our face too.

When you have thoroughly mined the Internet and need to physically visit a library, take the stairs and not the elevator.  If you visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, expect to have a lot of fun and research success.

Obituary of Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie

American Fork Daily Citizen
Logie Rosa Clara Friedlander 2
21 Jun 1913

Death of Mrs. Rosa Logie.

She Passed Away Sunday Afternoon -- A Short Sketch of Her Life

Mrs. Rosa Clara Logie died on Sunday afternoon, June 15, at 3:40 p.m. after a lingering illness of nearly six months. The cause of her death was a general breakdown from old age. The last six weeks she suffered considerable, but the end was very peaceful.

The funeral services were held Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Second Ward chapel. W.S. Chipman taking charge. The choir sane, "I Need Thee Every Hour." Opening prayer was by Bishop W. B. Smith and the song, "Resting Now From Care and Sorrow."

The speakers were William R. Webb, Bishop James Garner and President S. L. Chipman. An appropriate solo was rendered by Mrs. Clifford E. Young. The choir sang "Adieu, All Earthly Honors." James H. Clarke offered the closing prayer and Stephen D. Chipman dedicated the grave. The floral offerings were numerous and beautiful.

Mrs. Logie was thoroughly good Christian woman and one who had a kind word for all and harsh words for none. She was a devoted wife and mother, a loyal friend and a good neighbor.
The following short sketch of her life was read by Brother Joseph B. Forbes:

Sister Rosa Clara Friedlander - Logie was born on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel, June 16, 1837 of English-French and German parentage. He father died while she was but a child and her mother married again, living in London. At the age of 12 she embarked with her mother and stepfather for Australia.

Mrs. Logie in her youth was left alone in Sidney, New South Wales, in charge of Mission President Brother Farnham, her parents living in Melbourne. At this time, in company with Sister Mary Ann Evans who is now living here, they walked twelve miles every Sunday to the church branch of the L.D. S. in that far off country. sister Evans testifies to the faithfulness of that young maid to the principles of the Gospel. At the age of 16 this young maiden met and married Brother Charles J. Logie, about 1853.

They left Australia in 1854 for California, taking passage in the ship Julia Ann in company with the missionaries, John S. Eldridge, James Graham, Brother Farnham and twenty- three others with hopeful hearts they souls buoyed up with anticipation of arriving in Zion in a few short months. But God ordered it otherwise, and severe trials and disasters came upon them; their ship was wrecked upon a coral reef, which was part of the Scilly Islands, one of the Society group in the great Archipelago of the Pacific; a lonesome barren isle, where they were imprisoned for seven long months, living upon turtle meat and turtle eggs and water obtained from the rain, which they caught in shells. We cannot picture the dreary, disconsolate life they led. Five of the heroic band lost their lives by shipwreck; the balance apparently doomed to death by starvation and exposure. They were finally taken off the island by French fruiting vessels and conveyed to Tahiti, which is in the main course of vessels to the Sandwich Islands.

President S. S. Smith of Colorado, now dead, told me of the arrival of Brother Charles Logie and his wife at Honolulu and of their sad experiences on this voyage. In due time they arrived in San Francisco. Leaving San Francisco they arrived in Carson City, Nevada, living there a short time; from thence moving to Lehi, going from Lehi to Provo Valley, living a short time in Midway; thence to American Fork, where meeting their old friends, Brother and Sister Evans and Brother John S. Eldridge, they felt that they would settle down in peace and make their lifetime home in this city.

How much could be said of such lives, vicissitudes, trials, poverty, everything to endure to discourage and dishearten and through it all, her hope and courage predominated, and now they have both gone to their eternal rest and reward. such lives are but lessons, faithful lessons to those who remain giving strength to the weak vicissitudes encouragement to all.

Sister Logie was the mother of twelve children, and this alone it seems to me, entitles her to a crown of glory. There are nine living children as follows:

Sister Annie L. Clark, Charles J. Logie, Mrs. Rosa L. Bennett, Mrs. Eliz L. Bennett, Mrs. Elizabeth Atkins, Walter Logie, Mrs Elenore Gaisford and the Misses Georgina and Beatrice Logie.

She leaves twenty- nine grandchildren and twenty- two great grandchildren.

Posted 16 August 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Friday, August 14, 2015

Maggie Bennett Killed By A Train

My 4th cousin, young Maggie Bennett and her friend Miss C. Donnell were playing on the Rock Island Railroad Tracks when the Rock Island Denver Limited came streaming down the line.  Miss Donnell got off the tracks in time.  Maggie did not.  She was struck by the pilot crossbar throwing her over 100 feet through the air.

Maggie was born in July 1890 in Arkansas, the daughter and oldest child of James Thomas and Mary E. Barker Bennett.  Her fatal accident occurred on 23 August 1902 in Four Mile, near Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa.

Bennett Maggie Accidental Death2



Maggie’s Death Record is found on FamilySearch in the Iowa, County Death Records, 1880-1992.

Source Citation:

"Iowa, County Death Records, 1880-1992," , FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVJP-NLGF : accessed 14 August 2015), Maggie Bennett, 23 Aug 1902; citing Death, United States, page , county archives, Iowa; FHL microfilm 1,749,701.

Maggie’s tombstone is shown on her memorial on Find-a-grave.  She was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Pleasant Hill, Polk County, Iowa, in plot 3-34-3

Maggie is shown in the 1900 Federal Census in Dallas, Dallas County, Iowa.

Loosing a child to an early death is a terrible experience for any parent.  Unfortunately, Maggie’s parents, James T. and Mary Bennett lost 4 children before their 10th birthdays.  Only five of their children survived to their 10th birthday.

Posted 14 August 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Sunday, August 2, 2015

All Of My Ancestors Have Been Found!

How many time shave you heard this or a similar comment from folks?  "All of1c2 my ancestors have been found."  "Aunt Julia or Uncle Tim have done our genealogy research for years."  "They said there is nothing left to find."

I hear this or similar comments constantly in my genealogy classes or from folks that write and ask me questions about genealogy.  Few things folks say to me elicit a faster response.  "Baloney!"  "I know they are your family member but do not believe their statement to be correct."  "Maybe you are just looking for an excuse to not enter into the wonderful world of genealogy yourself."

The research completed by your relative undoubtedly has one or more errors in it.  My own research does.  I find errors in it all of the time.  We all make mistakes in our research assumptions or place too much faith in the text written on Death, Birth or other Certificates.  Our "conclusive proof" from 1995 may not be so conclusive now in light of new records that have emerged in the ensuing years.

New records have undoubtedly exposed 'new' ancestors heretofore unknown in your family tree.  You get to engage in the very enjoyable ancestral quest of finding them.

Aunt Julia and Uncle Tim are probably great people, but they are just that.....people.  When you add your unique perspective to your family ancestral hunt, you'll search for information in ways and in places that they didn't as part of their quest.  You will find 'new' information.

How much information about your extended family is in their files?  I've found that even though I love my direct ancestors and their life stories, the stories and families of their siblings and the descendants of their siblings are often far more enjoyable and amazing than those of my direct ancestors.  Don't forget the perspective of your grandparents from the early 1700's.  If you were in their position, looking down through time at the generations of your descendants, you would love them all and have great pride in them.  Remember that just because a person is your 2nd cousins (maybe 2, 3 or 4 times removed), they are still family.

Have Julia and Tim added all of the current generations of your family to their records?  Yes, we have to be extremely careful with personal data today, but if you never publish or share information about living people and properly protect the data on your computer, adding the information about ALL of your current family should be in the family knowledgebase that you create.

How well sourced is the information collected by Julia and Tim?  I've had to dump very large sections of my ancestral tree over time as I continue to add and evaluate sources.  In all but one case, the information I thought was correct still appears to be correct to most people, but when I aggressively evaluated the source that proves the information of a key person that links a branch to me, I found errors in assumptions made by town clerks and even religious documentation centuries ago.  Saying goodbye to 10 to 20 generations of 'your' family because they really aren't yours is gut-wrenching but it has to be done.  When the dust settles, you have an accurate family record AND you also have the fun of filling the empty charts for that branch of your family once again.

Did Julia and Tim get copies of the sources they reference (if any) in their data?  If any of the source images are missing, go get them.  It is your family.  Without real sources all you really have is a good story.  With vetted sources, you'll be able to prove your lineage to anyone who questions its accuracy and you'll have the 'warm fuzzy' of knowing the data is correct in your heart of hearts. 

If you are new to genealogy, don't be surprised at the reaction you'll receive from a seasoned genealogist if you accidently make the "My work is all done" statement in their presence.  They know the statement isn't correct and will tell you the same thing I've mentioned above.

Isn't that great!  The wonderful world of genealogy is not closed to you and once you start in your genealogical quest, you'll know why that statement is so wonderful.

Posted 2 Aug 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Genealogy ~ How Many Certificates Do You Need?

My wife calls me a pack rat when it comes to my genealogy records.  I call myselfmarried_couple a well-sourced researcher.  Which of us is right?

This morning, I mentioned that I needed to pick up several more Wilson-Jones 367-49 heavy 3-ring binders and a couple thousand sheet protectors for my ever increasing collection of genealogy source documents.  That comment started a discussion about "how large of a collection do I intend to keep at our house."

My position was that you can't have too many source documents to support your research data, especially if a large percentage of them are Birth, Marriage and Death certificates along with a liberal smattering of wills, deeds, journals and photographs.

Of course, my position on this is correct, as I'm sure you defend your similar position to your own spouse and family.  Undoubtedly, their eyebrows raise when you say something similar to them too.

"I don't have THAT much."  "Why are you concerned about it?"  That is a reasonable statement, isn't it?

"Let's take an inventory of what you have and measure it against what is Too Much"  Hmmmm...  This argument may not go in my favor.

An hour later, I totaled the columns of tick marks just to be sure they were 'fairly' counted.  It does seem that I have a 'little' larger collection than I realized.

Four Drawer File Cabinets 4
Horizontal Four Drawer File Cabinets 1
Book Shelves (6 ft wide to ceiling) 4
Wall Cabinets 10
3” Wilson-Jones Hard Cover Binders 42
Terabytes of Disk Storage 14
Computers dedicated to Genealogy 6
Grab Bags for Interviews 2
Photography Bags and Equipment 3
Flat Bed Scanners 3
Printers 4
Desks or Built in Work Surfaces 4
Storage Closets 2
Rooms to Store all this stuff 3

As you can imagine, my argument was weakened "a bit" by this revealing list.  I'm still not moving away from my initial position but I'm sure the discussion will not 'go away' over time.

My wife also loves genealogy, so we both have that bias in common.  Nonetheless, she asks "How Much Is Enough?" and made sure that I clearly understand that my genealogy space 'creep' will not be allowed into her quilting room / domain.

Our Tech Manager son tells me to 'Digitize Everything', meaning that I should toss the hard copies.  Of course he knows that I've always created digital copies of my documents, notes, etc., and have them backed up in multiple locations, but "Toss the Hardcopies""  That isn't going to happen for a number of reasons, including document survivability in scenarios such as loosing my digital copies to a hi-elevation EMF Pulse or some other cataclysmic event.  The news on television tells me to expect about anything these days.

Yes, I understand the ramifications of such a devastating event would impact my life so greatly that I probably won't care about doing or proving genealogical research for a long time, but I want to give the records as many chances to survive as I can.

I've talked to our children about taking over my somewhat large genealogy collection after my wife and I pass from this life.  Who can house it?  Who wants it?  Who will continue in our ancestral quest?  There is a lot of interest among them but no takers so far.

The answers to the longtime disposition of my records and data isn't settled yet.  Donating the collection to a library hasn't been as good of an idea as I initially thought.  Most libraries don't want it or if they did accept it would 'toss' the majority of it to save space.  The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah doesn't' want it.  They'll accept it in published book form but not all of the binders, files and digital files that I have.  The very large family history library at Brigham Young University doesn't want it, again unless it is in bound books, etc.

The decision about how to pass my research and associated records that were accumulated over tens of thousands of hours with a huge financial investment during my lifetime has yet to be resolved.

I'm currently uploading ancestral photos, source documents, histories and other records to my ancestral records on FamilySearch Tree, but the going is slow.  I know that the images and files that I save there will survive about anything short of the earth being vaporized.

I'm still exploring other solutions that I'll rely on in parallel to the FamilySearch Tree.  I'm not sure that most of them are workable solutions but I'll choose one or two of them before long and run with them.   You are probably in the same position to one varying degree or another. 

Let me know your plan.  However, please don't comment on the size of my genealogy collection as a cc: to my sweetheart though.  OK?  We've already had that discussion.

Posted 26 Jul 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Collaborating With Cousins

It seems like any difficult genealogy research problem can be resolved by teamsgoogle_docs of cousins if they actively engage in research.

I've seen it happen time after time over the years as I've organized cousins teams.  We each bring our unique skills, perspectives and resources to the table.  The cumulative effect always exceeds the research ability of any single member of the team.

Our cousins teams communicate in a number of ways.  We obviously use email but it is a poor vehicle to carry attachments and collaborative information.  Email is best used for brief announcements, clarifications, etc.
Scanned and other images and photos are typically uploaded to Drop Box or a similar cloud storage location.  Links to them are shared to all the team when they are uploaded.

We use Google Docs constantly.  A document, spreadsheet or presentation is easy to access and work on by all of the team when they reside in the Google cloud.  It isn't unusual to see others editing a document that you are working on.  Their edits show up in real time and typically evoke a conversation or series of messages on Google+, Google Hangouts or Skype.

Google Hangouts or a Skype conference call are used for group wide meetings andgoogle_plus brain storming sessions.  I wear a ball cap on bad hair days.  Sometimes the ladies in the group decline to activate their video feed if they are enjoying a similar wild or wet hair day.  I don't know why, they have to look at the men in the group in our 'rugged' and often 'unkempt' state, but apparently the ladies are better trained in appearance than us guys.

We used to use Springpad to assemble some of our research results and planningevernote before it was closed.  Now, almost all of us use Evernote to collect images, quotes and links that apply to our research.

Our collected data is frequently posted on our TNG powered genealogy sites or other genealogy sites, including FamilySearch Tree so we can see our data in pedigree, family and other formats.
All of these resources combined with the skills and resources of the team bring an almost irresistible force to bear.  I love being alive now and having so many real-time powerful tools at my finger tips.  If you haven't created cousins teams before, give one a try.

It may take you a little time to work out the tools and format skypethat work best in your situation but it is time well spent.  The results of your first team project will surprise you.  The feeling won't be a singular event.  Plan on experiencing it over and over as you collaborate with your teams from now on.

Posted 19 Jul 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog