Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tech – Remember this?

Personal Ancestral File

Ten years ago I had a couple big binders and assorted color coded folders for my genealogy research. Then I learned about a computer program that could organize it all and it would allow me to print out family group sheets and outlines. It was made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter – day Saints. They were the famous genealogy people so it had to be good.

In January 1993 I ordered the 2.2 version of Personal Ancestral File. I was recently cleaning out the drawers of an old desk and discovered I still had the box, complete with 2 floppy discs, the ‘Get Started’ manual and the dated receipt. The manual included basic instructions you’d never see today including, ‘How Does the Computer Keyboard Work?’ which explained the differences between a typewriter & a keyboard. Now that seems funny but it was useful then.
How Does the Keyboard Work?

I remember how excited I was when it arrived and how nervous I felt as I slid the first floppy disc into our desktop computer. Once installed, the Main Menu popped up. Options: add, modify or delete records, pedigree search, notes, prints forms & reports, focus/design reports, match/merge, facts and fun, system utilities. Just type the number of the appropriate command and hit enter. It was all new and the possibilities seemed endless. I saw myself as a true genealogist now; not just a collector of bits of paper and notes.
Main Menu

Starting with myself, I carefully typed in family names, places of birth, Christening, death and burial. Each person was automatically assigned a RIN (record identification number). I was proud of myself as the numbers increased. I gained confidence and typed faster, watching my family grow. Adding source information didn’t seem like a priority at the time. Later, of course, I wished I had. Soon I was proudly printing things out to share with my family.
Now all of it looks embarrassingly simple. Years ago I was able to move my information into Family Tree Maker, which I update every couple years. I can print charts, trees & many different reports. Next decision: do I toss it all away or save it for the future?

Saturday, October 20, 2012


What could be more difficult in genealogical research than having a common surname like Brown? The name pops up everywhere and I have to check it each time, just in case it is one of my Brown relations. Well, to make it a little more challenging, imagine your Brown family married into the Smith family. I am not kidding. My father’s family has both Browns and Smiths. My 2nd great grandfather, Allen Moses Brown, married Emmaline Smith in 1858. Maybe there is a touch of cosmic humor involved here. At least the names are easy to spell. 

These Smiths could be found in: 
South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Smiths in my Direct Line:
·         JeremiahSmith, Sr. b 1755. He married Jemimah Hollis; 4 children
·         JeremiahSmith, Jr. 1773 – 1843; married Joanna Dillon; 13 children
o   Two of their children are my direct ancestors.
o   See my blog about my 4th Double Great Grandparents for more information.
·         MarthaP Smith 1802 – 1861; married Edwin Barksdale Alford; 13 children
·         WyattSmith 1809 – 1894; married Euseba Foretnberry; 9 children
·         EmmalineSmith 1831 – 1920; married Allen Moses Brown; 3 children

A few Smith Resources:

·         Adrianne Fortenberry Criminger, THE FORTENBERRY FAMILIES OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI; 1677-1984; South Carolina, Southern Historical Press, Inc, 1984
·    The Jeremiah Smith, Sr. Bible, c. 1800 - 1917, Bible in possession of Mrs. W. C. Uhlman, Rte. 6, Tylertown, Mississippi. Copy given to me by Pat (Brock) Smith.
·         Luke Ward Conerly, SOURCE RECORDS FROM PIKE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI 1798-1910; 1798-1910; South Carolina, Southern Historical Press, 1989
·      Parish, Ray & June Sartin, 'Cemetery Inscriptions Pike County, Mississippi 1750 - 1978'
·         Williams, Jr., Ernest Russ. A Potpourri of Historical Data concerning the Founding Families and Individuals of Washington Parish, Louisiana, 1798 - 1860. Monroe, LA: Northeast Louisiana University, 1990. 976.311
·         Williams, Jr., E. Russ. History of Washington Parish, Louisiana 1798 - 1992. I. 1994. 976.311

Check my website for more Smith details: Our Leaves & Branches.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ancestor Anniversaries, October 16 - 31

16 October 1905       Waylan Waldo [son of C Prentice Waldo & Emma Wolf] & Jessie Hurd. They were married in Medina Co., OH.

16 October 1906       Arthur Dunham & Mary B Wolf [daughter of John W S Wolf & Elizabeth Jane Anderson]. They were married in Medina Co., OH.

18 October 1812       Daniel Ritter [son of Martin Ritter & Anna Margaret Steininger] & Lydia Knauss. They were married in Lehigh Co., PA. They had eight children. They were married for 61 years!

19 October 1899       William M Mark [son of William Mark & Elidia Rebecca Ritter] & Alice Leota Heacock. They were married in Wayne Co., OH. William was a farmer and a house carpenter. In 1910 & 1920 they lived in Spokane, Washington.

20 October 1946       Anthony Joseph Quagliano [son of Rosario & Gaetanna Quagliano] & Grace Agnes Pasquale [daughter of Frank & Giovanna Pascale]. They were married in Westchester Co., NY. They had one daughter.

23 October 1788       John Brumfield [son of Charles & Lucy Brumfield] & Margaret Kelly [daughter of William S Kelly & Mary Durham]. They were married in North Carolina. They had 13 children.

23 October 1849       Christian Gruissy [son of Christian Gruissy & Barbara Straum] & Mary Wise. They were married in Stark Co., OH. They had seven children. Christian and Mary were born in Switzerland.

24 October 1880       Seth Benner Morrison [son of William Hiram Morrison & Emily Benner] & Margaret Jane Gruissy [daughter of Augustus Ceaser Gruissy & Mary Ann Everett]. They were married in Medina Co., OH. They had eight children. Seth worked on the railroad, as a farmer and for the Ohio Boxboard Company.

24 October 1932       Ray Luther Fortenberry & Zelda Marie Alford [daughter of Dewitt William Alford & Ina Lucille Brown]. They were married in MS. They had three children. They were married for 57 years.

25 October 1925       Herman Claude Dykes & Velma Amanda Blades [daughter of Walter Lee Blades & Addie A Cutrer]. Velma was married twice.

31 October 1797       John Philip Keck [son of Georg & Elanora Keck]& Anna Catherine Klingensmith

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy Birthday to Twins born 1807

Born 11 October 1807, John Seaborn ALFORD & Seaborn John ALFORD were twin brothers born in North Carolina, sons of Julius & Lucy (Newton) Alford. John Seaborn Alford stayed in Washington Parish, LA where he married Margaret Brumfield. They were the parents of 16 children. Seaborn John Alford moved to Pike County, MS. He married twice and fathered 13 children, the last when he was almost 70 years old.

I love the names of these twins, my third great grand uncles, but it makes it a bit harder to research them without confusing them!

John Seaborn Alford 

1834 married: Margaret Brumfield #24, b. Feb 9 1819, Pike Co., MS, (daughter of Willis Brumfield & Virginia Nancy Holmes) d. Sep 8 1885, Washington Pa., LA, buried: Alford Cemetery, Washington Pa., LA
1840. He was enumerated in 1840 Washington Parish with two sons and a daughter. 
1850. In 1850 Washington Parish he was enumerated as John Olford 40 LA with wife M. 35 LA.  Children were: Madison 13, Marshall 12 and Jane 11 who were probably those in 1840.  Other children were Emily 10, Sarah 9, Seaborn 8, S. (f) 7, Willis 5, Isaac 4 and John 1.  He was a farmer with $1500 property.
In the 1850 agricultural census John Alford was listed with 40 acres improved land and 600 unimproved- $300 cash value of the farm.  His farming implements and machinery were worth $100.  He had 3 horses, 4 working oxen, 30 other cattle, 50 swine with total value of livestock being $450.  He had 250 bushels of Indian corn, 50 bushels of oats, 800 pounds of rice, 3 bales of ginned cotton weighing 400 pounds each, and 100 bushels of sweet potatoes.
1860. John was a farmer in Pallestine, Washington, LA. He and Margaret with children ranging from 21 to 1 year old.
1870. John, age 62, a farmer in Washington, LA. Margaret was 50. 12 children at home. 3 sons helping on the farm.
1880. John Alford, 73 and Margaret, 61 living with 4 of their children in Washington, LA.
Land. June 1, 1858 he purchased 118 acres, section 7, township 1S, range 7E, from the federal land office in Greensburg.  On June 6 of that year he purchased 57 acres section 17, township 1S, range 10E and 37 acres section 18, township 1S, range10E .  May 10 1861 he purchased 22 more acres in section 17.  December 20, 1884 he purchased 81 acres, from the New Orleans land office, in sections 18 & 19, township 1S, range 10E.
Death. John died Nov 15 1891, Washington Pa., LA, buried: Alford Cemetery, Washington Pa., LA. John Seaborn Alford is buried on property that was his farm. 

1. Madison Alford               b. 1837 LA
2. Frances Jane Alford         b. Aug 20 1838 LA
3. Thomas Marshall Alford   b 29 Sept 1839 LA      
4. Emily S Alford                b 27 August 1841 LA
5. Sarah E Alford                b 11 October 1842 LA
6. Seaborn Lochran Alford   b 19 May 1844 LA    
7. Martha Alford                 b 1845 LA
8. Willis Jacob Alford          b 30 May 1847
9. Isaac E Alford                b. September 1848 LA
10. John Griffin                 b 20 March 1850 LA
11. Mary Alford                  b 25 March 1852 LA
12. Lavesta Alford              b 1854 LA
13. Jesse B  Alford              b 29 December 1855 LA
14. Hugh Ginn Alford           b4 May 1857 LA
15. Cynthia Elizabeth Alford b 20 December 1858 LA
16. Jeptha Martin Alford     b 22 July 1862

Seaborn John Alford 
1 married Dec 29 1831, in Pike Co., MS, Mary Catherine Felder  b. Sep 23 1813, Pike Co., MS, (daughter of Peter John Felder & Elizabeth Sandell d. Nov 23 1860, Pike Co., MS, buried: John Felder Mem., Pike Co., MS
2 married  Dec  8 1864, in Amite Co., MS, Mary Sessions Kirk, b. Jan 29 1836, Tennessee, d. Sep  1 1887, Pike Co., MS, buried: John Felder Mem., Pike Co., MS.  Mary Kirk: Mary had one daughter by a previous marriage to Rev Daniel M. Wadsworth. She and Seaborn John had their last child when he was 69 years of age.
1840. Moved to Pike Co MS
1850. Seaborn Alford was a farmer in Pike, MS with wife Mary and five children.
1860. Seaborn Alford, 53, a farmer in Holmesville, Pike, MS. Wife, Mary, 46. One son at home.
1870. Seaborn Alford, 64, a farmer in Summitt, Pike, MS. With wife Mary, 30 & her daughter.
1880. Seaborn Alford, 73 in Summitt, Pike, MS. With wife, Mary and 6 children.
Death. Seaborn died Feb 7 1884, Pike Co., MS, buried: John Felder Mem., Pike Co., MS.

Children by Mary Catherine Felder:
1 Leander Raiford Alford [male]     b 17 December 1832 MS     
2 Martha Ann Alford                      b 23 February 1834 MS       
3 John Wesley Alford                    b25 June 1836 MS    
4 Sophia E Alford                         b20 April 1842 MS
5 Barnabas Seaborn Alford             b 24 December 1845 MS
6 Simon B Alford                         b 1846
7 Charles C Alford                        b 1850
Children with Mary Sessions Kirk:
1 Emma B Alford                         b 1865 MS
2 Thomas      Seaborn Alford        b 1867 MS
3 Samuel       Neaman Alford         b 6 May 1870 MS
4 Needham Nugent Alford              b2 March 1872 MS
5 William Emmett Alford               b 1874 MS
6 Mary D Alford                           b 1877 MS

Thanks to The Alford American Family Association for their extensive Alford resources.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Report: Family Maps of Pike County, MS

I recently uncovered the children of Hollis H Fortenberry, my 2nd great grand uncle. I discovered that Hollis and his wife, Louise were living in Pike County, MS with seven children. I had previously only known about one child for this couple. I was able to find them because I found them on a map which led me to a census report for the family.
I’ve uncovered a wonderful series of books published by Arphax Publishing. The book I have is--

Family Maps of Pike County, Mississippi, Deluxe Edition
With Homesteads, Roads, Waterways, Towns, Cemeteries, Railroads and More

By Gregory A. Boyd, Jr.; 
published by Arphax Publishing Co., 
Norman Oklahoma, 2005

I first saw these books in March when I did research at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was delighted to find many members of my family in the pages. I made photocopies of a couple pages. After I returned home I decided I wanted to own a copy and ordered the Pike County volume through Amazon.

Part 1. This part of the book includes: Where Pike County lies within the state; Counties that surround Pike County; Congressional Townships; Cities & Towns; Cemeteries in the county; Surnames in Pike County Patents & a Surname Index.

Part 2. Pike County is divided into 12 sections. For each section there is: a land patent index, a land Patent Map, a Road Map & an Historical Map.

For example, I went to map 12 and found Hollis H Fortenberry in the land patent index with an 1853 land patent. I knew Hollis Horton Fortenberry lived 1825 – 1867 & had been born in Pike, MS. I turned to the land patent map and found him in section 31.On the same map I easily found two of his brothers, Gasua C & Burrell T Fortenberry, and several other family members. Turning the page I came to the second map of the same area. This road map shows the nearby towns of Progress, Smithburg and Simmonsville and two Fortenberry Cemeteries. Turning yet another page is the third map of the same area. This shows that Hollis lived on a stream. The third map would also show lakes and railroads if they are in the area. I love it. I have three maps of the place my ancestor lived, each map giving me more information, like where to search for town and cemetery records.

ArphaxPublishing also has map books for;
Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Utah and other counties in Mississippi
Check their website for even more states. Each book comes in paperback, spiral bound or hardcover editions.

Find these books. There’s much more inside than I have mentioned here. They will lead you in new directions to uncover more about your family.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


My father’s Brumfield family starts with John Brumfield & his father, Charles, as the furthest back in this tree that I can document at this time. I have found, on Ancestry.com’s family trees, steps further back in the family history. Those trees show Charles’ father as Watson Brumfield, b. c. 1720 in Virginia and his father, Moses Brumfield, b. c. 1700 in Virginia. Wives and other children are given. The only source citation given is other people’s trees. One tree traces the family back to a Thomas Brumfield born 1613 in England. I would love to link those men with our family but would like to find reliable sources first: published histories, church records, a family Bible, original documents,… If you have knowledge of any of these sources please contact me. Until then my Brumfield family line begins c 1768. 

This family lived in the Virginia, the Carolinas, Louisiana and Mississippi area.

My direct line Brumfields:

  •  Charles Brumfield, dates unknown; married to Lucy 
  •  John Brumfield 1768 – 1834; married to Margaret Kelly; 13 children 
  •  Nathaniel Brumfield b. 1813; married to Charlotte Temple Ott; 5 children 
  • Jessie Alexander Brumfield 1838 – c. 1910; married to Martha Elizabeth Alford; 8 children 
  • Rose Ella (Brumfield) Brown 1867 – 1948; married to Jasper Pascal Brown, 9 children 

A few Brumfield Resources:

  • Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Pike County, Mississippi. Deluxe. Norman, Oklahoma: Arphax Publishing Co., 2005.
  • Clawson, Alma Dell Magee. Fields of Bloom. Privately printed. 1972. 
  • Conerly, Luke Ward and E. Russ Williams. Source Records From Pike County, Mississippi 1798 – 1910. South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1989. 
  • Criminger, Adrianne Fortenberry. The Fortenberry Families of Southern Mississippi. South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1984. 
  • Haymon, Serena Abbess. Pike County, Mississippi School Census, 1885. Greenwell Springs, LA. 
  •  Holcomb, Brent H. York County, South Carolina Will Abstracts 1787 – 1862 [1170 - 1862]. Columbia, SC: SCMAR, 2002. 975.743 
  • Holcomb, Brent H. York Co, South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1786 – 1801 [1772 - 1801]. I. Columbia, SC: SCMAR, 2008.FHL 975.743 
  • Potter, Dorothy Williams. Passports of Southeastern Pioneers 1770 - 1823. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2002. 
  • Williams, Jr., E. Russ. History of Washington Parish, Louisiana 1798 – 1992. I. 1994. 976.311 
  • Williams, Jr., Ernest Russ. A Potpourri of Historical Data concerning the Founding Families and Individuals of Washington Parish, Louisiana, 1798 – 1860. Monroe, LA: Northeast Louisiana University, 1990. FHL 976.311 
  • Wallis, Ruth Temple. Descendants of Jacob Ott of South Carolina and Louisiana. 1967. Bogalusa, Louisiana. Privately printed. 

Do you have Brumfield connections? I am always looking for new names & sources to add to my research. Just drop me a line or two. Check my website for more Brumfield details: Our Leaves & Branches.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ancestor Anniversaries, October 1 - 15

Here are a few October anniversaries.

1 October 1912        William Paul Coyle [son of Patrick Coyle & Margaret Brady] & Lauretta Niail. They were married in Waterbury, CT. They had a son and a daughter. William was a plumber and later an operator in the motion picture industry.

2 October 1937        Joe P Brown [son of Junius Earl Brown & Ametha] & Norma Rea McDaniel. They were married in Pike County, MS. They had three children.

3 October 1864        William Henry Harrison Wolf [son of John Jonas Wolf & Sarah Ann Chronister]& Sarah E Frost. William was born in PA and died in KS.

3 October 1878        Jarratt Cylmon Smith [son of Jeremiah& Pemecia Smith]& Eliza Jane Brock

5 October 1847        Tyra Jennings Tynes & Harriet Jane Alford [daughter of Edwin Barksdale Alford & Martha P Smith]. They were married in Pike County, MS.

7 October 1880        William Louis Rowell & Elnora Elizabeth Brumfield [daughter of Isaac Nelson Brumfield & Sarah J Smith]. Elnora died when she was only 45.

11 October 1832       Gasua Chapman Fortenberry [son of William Jasper Fortenberry & Violette Kennington] & Sarah Brown [daughter of Moses Brown & Sarah Robertson]. They were married in Marion, MS. They had nine children. Gasua was a farmer. He and Sarah were married for over 50 years.

12 October 1859       William J M Smith [son of Wyatt Smith & Euseba Fortenberry]& Rachel Ellzey [daughter of John Ellzey & Elizabeth Coney]. They were married only three years when William died.

14 October 1896       Aaron Gruissy [son of Christian Gruissy & Mary Wise] & Etta S Wetzel. They were married in Stark Co, Ohio. They had one son, Ernest S Gruissy. They were married for 48 years.

15 October 1899       Roy Hurd & Mona D Morrison [daughter of Seth Benner Morrison & Margaret Jane Gruissy]. They were married in New Haven, Michigan. They had six children. Roy was a farmer and later a merchant in a general store.