Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tech: Long Lived Ancestors or Computer Confusion?

 I use Family Tree Maker 2012. Every couple years I buy the newer version and in general, I like the program. Even though I've had it for years I still learn new things the program can do.

I was looking at the Publish/Collection/Calendar Report recently. The calendars generated show birthdays and anniversaries. When I looked closely at the calendars I saw many very long lived family members!

Mary Morris, 137; John Ritter, 126; Philip Heffelfinger, 136; Wilhelm Keck, 262; Sarah Brown Fortenberry, 130; Maria Ritter, 215; Emma Flory Mark, 136

What happens is this: There are many people whose death dates are unknown to me. There are also people who I just don’t know if they are living or not.  Family Tree Maker assumes they are living and keeps counting their birthdays. I must remember to type ‘Unknown’ in the field for date of death or the years keep adding up. Do you have another way to deal with this?

In more ways than one, Genealogy keeps people alive!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Family Treasure: Bible

I am fortunate to have a Bible that belonged to my second great grandmother, Esther Barbara (Wolf) Gruissy. It was not treated kindly over the years and is in very poor condition.

This Bible was printed in 1856 by the American Bible Company in New York.

Three Generations of Signatures

This Bible does not have a listing of family births and deaths but it has special signatures:

Esther (Wolf) Gruissy's signature,
The signature of her daughter, N. Regina (Gruissy) Mark,
The signature of her daughter, my paternal grandmother, Ivy Regina (Mark) Brown

Despite the poor condition this Bible is precious to me because of those signatures.

Related Posts:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Family Treasure: World's Fair Teapot

1939 - 1940 Worlds' Fair Teapot

This teapot belonged to my great aunt, Kathleen G. Coyle. She lived in New York City and visited the 1939 - 1940 World's Fair several times. Sometimes she went with her sisters and once she took my mother along. Kathleen had other souvenirs: silver spoons, a glass bank and salt & pepper shakers. The teapot is my favorite because of the bright cobalt blue color. I looks like it was purchased recently, rather than over 70 years ago.

The design on the teapot shows the Perisphere & Trylon, symbols of the Fair. The Trylon was 610 feet tall and the Perisphere was 180 feet in diameter. They were the symbols of the Fair and appeared on many of the souvenirs. 

This teapot has a place of honor in my china cabinet today and it makes me smile when I see it. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Jones County, North Carolina Records

During my recent visit to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library I discovered a wonderful book:

Gwynn, Zae Hargett. 
Abstracts of the Records of Jones County, North Carolina, 1779 - 1868. Volume I. 
Kingsport, Tennessee: Kingsport Press, Inc., 1963.

This book has almost two dozen references to my Brown ancestors! I have limited information on my straight Brown line. The progenitor of our Browns is EdwardBrown, Sr. b c 1730 & d c 1797 in NC. This book shows me Edward on the tax list in 1779 “Brown, Edward. 100 acres, 100 acres, 100 acres, 50 acres in Jones Co., 25 cattle, 4 horses.” This is the earliest information I have on him. That’s just the first of several references to Edward and his sons.

1779. “15 - Mar. 26, 1779. John Bryan. 640 acres on north side of Trent, on west dies of Black swamp joining John Lavendar and Edward Brown.”

1783. Edward Brown witness to wills.

1785. “May 14, 1785. Edward Brown and wife, Jemimiah, to Vinson Branson for 25 pds. 15 acres on S. side of Trent river being part of tract granted, May 15, 1780 to Tucker Mauldin at Harrison’s line.”

1788. “143 - July 14, 1788. Edward Brown. 25 acres on north side of Trent river joining his own land.”
1789.  Jan. 14, 1789. Edward Brown. 100 acres on north side of Trent joining his own land.”

1789. “Sept. 28, 1789. John Bryan to Edward Brown for 20 pds. 400 acres on N. side of Trent river at lower back corner of Edward Brown’s land being part of patent granted to John Bryan, Oct. 22, 1783. Wts: John Harrison, James Harrison.”

1791. “431 - Feb. 10, 1791. Benjamin Stanton. 500 acres joining Hugh Bratcher on Juniper Pocoson that is vacant and to reach that whereon Wm. Busick lives, Adams’, Edward Brown’s,…”

1792. "Dec. 27, 1792. Aaron Brown. 50 acres on north side of Trent joining Rice Dulin and Edwd. Brown and to the river.

1792. "Dec. 27, 1792. Aaron Brown. 16 acres of Trent river joining Edward Brown’s line and Jno. Harrison.”

1793. “Mar. 16, 1793. Edward Brown. 400 acres on north side of Trent river Joining his own and William Adams.”

1793. “Oct. 2, 1793. Edwd. Brown. 80 acres on north side of Trent joining his own line.”

It has been wonderful to add to my limited information about my Browns!

Related Posts:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Book Report: Map Guide to American Migration Routes, 1735 – 1815

I recently received William Dollarhide’s book, Map Guide to American Migration Routes, 1735 – 1815. It was a Mothers’ Day gift from our daughter & son in law. Published by HeritageQuest in 2000, it is not a new book but it is new to me and I am enjoying it.

           Map Guide to American Migration Routes, 1735 - 1815

This book includes maps and interesting details about our country’s oldest roads. The Table of Contents includes: Colonial Roads to 1750, Colonial Roads, 1750 – 1775, Roads to the Ohio Country & Roads to the Old Southwest.

The intent of the Map Guide is to show the routes over which migrating families could travel overland in America before the industrial revolution.

I know some of my early families packed up their children and moved from one part of our country to another. I wanted to learn more about what that move was like. What route did they take? What were the dangers? How long did it take? This book made its way onto my wish list in hopes of answering some of these questions. I started by using the book to discover more about John Brumfield.

My 4th great grandfather was John Brumfield [c1768 – 1834 LA] who married Margaret Kelly [1772 NC –LA]. They were married 23 October 1788 in Wake, NC. Eleven of their children were born in York, SC between the years 1790 – 1811. Then, according to Luke Ward Conerly’s Source Records from Pike County, Mississippi, John moved his family to Washington Parish, Louisiana.[1] With further research I found the family in Dorothy Williams Potter’s Passports of Southeastern Pioneers.[2]

On 8 November 1811 Georgia issued a passport for John Brumfield, his wife and 11 children to travel through the Indian Nations to the Western Country.[3]

William Dollarhide’s book tells me:
In 1805, the United States Government signed a treaty with the Creek Indians which redefined their boundaries and, incidentally, gave the U. S. the right to build and maintain a “horse path” through the Creek lands. The treaty recognized the tribe’s autonomy and provided for “passports” to be issued by any of the governors of the U. S. states which would allow whites to travel through this “foreign nation”.

The book paints a picture of the Upper Road & the Federal Horse Path which John and family would have traveled on. The horse path crossed many wetlands where raised causeways had to be built. The Creeks operated inns and waystations for travelers. I’ve learned a little more about what it was like for John, Margaret and their 11 children to relocate. Once they settled in Washington Parish, LA they had two more sons.

Additionally this book tells the readers how to follow our ancestor’s routes today, which highways follow the general path of those early paths. I can retrace the Brumfield’s footsteps by driving the routes mapped out in the book. Sounds like fun!

Related Posts:

[1] Luke Ward Conerly, SOURCE RECORDS FROM PIKE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI 1798-1910; 1798-1910; South Carolina, Southern Historical Press, 1989.
[2] Potter, Dorothy Williams. Passports of Southeastern Pioneers 1770 - 1823. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2002.
[3] Ibid.


At the top of this blog, click on My Library for many more books that I have found useful for genealogical & historical research.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Genealogy Travel: A North Carolina Treasure

310 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC

Do you have North Carolina roots? If you do a trip to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
would be beneficial. It is a beautiful library with many resources for genealogists. Take the elevator to the third floor, turn left and step into the spacious Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room. Be sure you have set aside lots of time to explore the many materials inside. Their booklet boasts, “The Robinson – Spangler Carolina Room holds the largest local history & genealogy collection in a public library in North Carolina.”

I wanted to uncover more about these surnames, all linked to my father’s Brown roots.

Ashley, Brown, Dillon, Kelly & Lawrence

Before my recent visit I checked out their website to investigate their holdings. There is a long list including:
·         Biographical & Surname Files
·         Books & Archival Materials
·         Federal Census & County Records
·         Local Government Documents
·         Historic Photographic Collection
·         Maps
·         Manuscripts
·         Newspapers & Periodicals

The list of resources looked very promising so during my recent visit to my son & his wife, my son & I spent an afternoon in the Carolina Room. We were greeted with a smile from the librarian and I asked her about the Surname Files. I had checked the list of surnames online and discovered they had files for Brown, Brumfield, Dillon & Lawrence. The librarian gave me a tour of the room, showing me the location of the books and microfilm resources and then went off to get the Surname Files for us.

My son & I settled ourselves at one of the large tables in the sunny room & got started to look through those files, one surname at a time. Unfortunately, none of the materials inside those folders matched what we now know about those branches. I hesitate to say they are not ‘our people’ because, when we learn more we may discover that they are. Next, we went to the shelves of printed family histories, looking for the same surnames. Once again we were disappointed.

Our next step was to search the shelves for information on the North Carolina counties where our families had lived. This is where we started finding our people!

I had prepared a quick ‘cheat sheet’ for the people we were looking for & their locations. This came in handy because there was no place to plug in my laptop & my battery does not have a long life. It was also helpful for my son who doesn’t deal with genealogy often. It looked like this:

BROWN         Hardy, c 1771 – c 1799        Jones Co., NC
                   Edward, 1730 – 1797            Jones Co., NC
DILLON         Richard, 1745 – 1833           no specific county
                   Theophilious, b 1796          Bertie Co., NC
                   Willis D., b 1787                Bertie Co., NC
KELLY           William S., m 1776            no specific county
LAWRENCE    Humphrey, c 1726 – 1772    Bertie Co., NC
                   Peter, c 1780 – 1852           Bertie & Edgecombe Cos., NC

We started pulling books for Bertie, Edgecombe & Jones counties. We pulled anything that covered the years our people lived in those locations. Soon we had piles of books on our table & we were telling each other that we had found information on our families! My son went out & added more money to our parking meter twice. Zae H. Gwynn’s book on Jones County had two dozen references to our Brown ancestors.

Almasy, Sandra L. Bertie County, North Carolina Wills 1761 - 1780. Joliet, Illinois: Kensington Glen Publishing, 1990.
· Bell, Mary Best. Colonial Bertie County North Carolina 1744 - 1753. Volume V; Abstracts of Deed Book G. Windsor, North Carolina: Colonial Bertie, 1965. We used Volumes IV, V & VI.
· Dunstan, Edythe Smith. The Bertie Index for Courthouse Records of North Carolina, 1720 - 1875. 1966.
· Gammon, David B. Abstracts of Wills; Bertie County, North Carolina; 1722 - 1774. Raleigh, North Carolina: 1990. His books covered 1774 – 1797 &1781 – 1797.
· Gwynn, Zae Hargett. Abstracts of the Records of Jones County, North Carolina, 1779 - 1868. Volume I. Kingsport, Tennessee: Kingsport Press, Inc., 1963.
· Haun, Weynette Parks. Bertie County North Carolina County Court Minutes 1781 thru 1787. Book V, Durham, North Carolina: 1982. We used Books I – VI, covering the years 1724 – 1792.
· Holcombe, Brent Howard. Bute County, North Carolina Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions 1767 - 1779. Columbia, SC: 1988.
· Watson, Joseph W. Kinfolks of Edgecombe County, North Carolina, 1788 - 1855. Rocky Mount, North Carolina: 1969.

We only left the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library when closing time was rapidly approaching and we needed to start our drive before the traffic got too heavy. It is definitely a place I will return to when I can!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Census Sunday – ‘Mike’ Coyle

State & National Census Reports are filled with information for genealogists. Both the 
Michael Coyle
population & nonpopulation schedules give us insights into the lives of our ancestors. What have you found that is Surprising? Reassuring? Bewildering? Write your own Census Sunday post.

Recently I had a moment when I wanted to slap myself and say, ‘Why didn’t I do that sooner?’ Guess I just never thought about my great grandfather, Michael Coyle, as Mike. When I did I was able to find him in the 1915 New York State Census!

1915 NYS Census, New York City, ED 9, AD 28, block 1, pages 2 - 3; Michael Coyle family at 2033 Third Avenue.

Mike Coyle, head, 44 b Ireland; citizen, in US 28 years; Baker
Mary, wife, 44 b Ireland; citizen; housework

Helen, daughter, 18 b US; high school
Marion, daughter, 15 b US, school
Margaret, daughter, 13 b US, school
Tom, son, 11 b US; school
Lillian, daughter, 3 b US
[At this time one son had died & one more daughter was not yet born.]

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Alphabetical Ancestors - M

M is for many different surnames.  If you share one of these names,
 let’s communicate. It is always good to learn more. 

M is for these Surnames…

Abraham Mark, 1812 PA – 1872 OH, was my 3rd great grandfather. He married Mary Isabella Heffelfinger in 1839 Wayne Co., OH. They had eight sons: Thomas Jefferson, John, William, Marion, Abraham M., Franklin P., David & Edwin. The four oldest sons served in the Civil War. Thomas Jefferson Mark & John Mark died during the war. William Mark, my 2nd great grandfather, was injured during the war but returned home, married and became the father of fourteen children. Abraham is in Reedsburg Cemetery. Abraham & Mary Isabella have many, many descendants.
George Patrick Maronge married Glenda Merrel Fortenberry, daughter of Duviox B & Gussie (Alford) Fortenberry. They had two sons and a daughter.
In 1934 Otis Charles Massie [b 1912 OH] married Ethel E Good [1912 OH – 1950 OH], daughter of Albert Edward & Elizabeth Lodema (Moore) Good. They had three children: Virginia, Edward & Caroline, all born in OH.
Elmer Maurer [b 1899 OH] married Pauline Morrison [1899 OH – 1979 OH], daughter of Seth Benner & Margaret Jane (Gruissy) Morrison. They had five children: Roy, Dale, Jack, Gerald & Joanne. Elmer was an electrician.
Daniel McCall [b 1860 NY] married Elizabeth Noye. They had six children: Margaret, Martha, Daniel, James, Mary & Patrick. James Joseph McCall [1898 NY – 1944 NY] married Marion Coyle [1900 NY – 1991 AZ], my grand aunt. They had no children. James was a New York City firefighter.
David Jackson McClendon [b 1838] married Eliza Jane Smith [1846 – 1919], daughter of Wyatt & Euseba (Fortenberry) Smith. They had two children: Annie and Eugene.
David J McMillan [1872 – 1950] married Ola Schilling [1880 – 1954]. They had twelve children: Wallie, Ethel, Ora, Mae, Lloyd, Archie, Velma, Mammie, Rhoda, David, Nadine & Evon.
In 1880 Allen G Messmore [b 1830 OH] married Barbary Ritter [1857 OH – 1928], daughter of Isaac & Isabell (Fisher) Ritter. They had six children: David, Ada, Bertha, Oliver, Clyd & Edward, all born in OH.
In 1836 Frederick Miller [bc 1803 MD] married Barbary Ritter [1810 PA – 1895], daughter of Johannes & Anna Mariah Ritter. They had five children: Elizabeth, Philip, Ari, Mary & Anna, all born in OH.
Henry C Miller [1847 OH – c 1910] married Mary Catherine Ritter [1853 OH – 1938] in 1870 OH. Mary Catherine was the daughter of Isaac & Isabell (Fisher) Ritter. Their nine children were born in OH: Charles, William, Dora, Harvey, Jonathan, Emma, Anna, James & Russel.
Peter Jonathan Moore [1857 OH – 1929 OH] married Caroline L Gruissy [1863 OH – 1936 OH]. Caroline was the daughter of Augustus Ceaser & Mary Ann (Everett) Gruissy. Peter was a farmer and brick layer. Their six children were born in OH: Amaline, Lillian Vera, Floyd, Frances, Elizabeth & Ralph.
George a Morris [1877 – 1943] married Mary Louise Fortenberry [1881 – 1963]. They had seven children: Willie, Boyce, Theodore, Delphin, George, Lank & Pershing.       
William Hiram Morrison [b 1830 NY] married Emily Benner [1839 OH – 1908 OH]. William was a shoe maker. They had six children: Thomas, Seth, Eldridge, Emily, Phoeby & Lolly. Their son, Seth Benner Morrison [1861 PA – 1952 OH] married Margaret Jane Gruissy in 1880 in OH. Seth was a farmer and later a paper finisher at Ohio Boxboard Co. They had eight children: Mona, Lena, Emily, Albert, Florence, Paul, Pauline & Peter.
Elizabeth Mowrey [1799 – 1871 OH] was my 4th great grandmother. She was the daughter of Michael & Eve Mowrey. Elizabeth married Philip Heffelfinger [1787 PA – 1877 OH]. I would love to learn more about the Mowrey family.
Daniel Mullane [c 1838 Ireland – 1930 Ireland] was the son of Thomas & Julia (Sullivan) Mullane. He married Brigid English. Their eleven children were bobrn in Ireland: Mary Josephine, Patrick, Thomas, Timothy, Ellen, Margaret, Frances Bridget, Margaret [a second Margaret], Daniel, Julia & Catherine. Daniel was a coach builder in County Tipperary.

Other ‘M’ surnames in my tree: Maley, Mattingly, McCormick, McCraw, McDaniel, McEleveen, Minter, Minton, Mowrer, Mullen & Munoz.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Holidays, BBQs & Family Reunions

A Time to Share our Family’s History

Browns on the Move

For many years our family has gathered for the 4th of July. I remember being with my brothers and my cousins playing and looking forward to the fireworks as our fathers took charge of the grill and our mothers kept a close eye on the babies as they made salads. My father was the oldest of seven children and we were a large group when everyone gathered.

Sometimes we gathered at my Uncle Larry’s house on the lake. Fishing was included in the day’s activities. Sometimes we gathered at our house. We could see our town’s fireworks from the front lawn. In more recent years my husband & I have hosted the festivities: swimming in our pool, volleyball, games for the children, conversations, my husband & my brothers at the grill and lots of laughter.

This is the perfect time for me to share my recent findings on our shared family history. It is nice to reach out to people on the internet but even better to share in person. In the past I have displayed family photos, given out newsletters or distributed brief reports on recent discoveries. Sometimes I set up display boards. Last year’s boards including family trees & a tribute to our veterans over the years. My uncle brought along the rifle our great great grandfather had carried in the Civil War. That got lots of attention.

Six Generations of Browns Move From NC to NY; 
1779 to Present Day

I will put up the old boards again for anyone who was not able to come. I will also add a new display board. This year’s display board is “BROWNS on the MOVE.’ It tracks our family through six generation & six states, from 1779 to present day.

A Generation Chart

The six generations are:
1.    Edward Brown, Senior, c 1730 – 1797 NC
2.    Moses Brown, 1777 NC – 1838 MS
3.    Edward S. Brown, 1806 GA – 1856 MS
4.    Allen Moses Brown, 1836 MS – c 1870 MS
5.    Jasper Pascal Brown, 1865 MS – 1950 MS
6.    Roy Jesse Brown, 1902 MS – 1956 MS

My father and his siblings are the seventh generation. My brothers, my cousins and I are the eighth generation.

The six states are:
1.    North Carolina where Edward Brown can be found starting 1779.
2.    South Carolina where Moses Brown stayed briefly on his way to Georgia. c 1805
3.    Georgia where Moses Brown & family got passports to travel through the Creek Nation. c 1806 – 1810
4.    Mississippi where Moses, Edward S., Allen, Jasper and Roy lived. Many relatives are still there.
5.    Ohio where Roy J Brown traveled to c 1925, married & raised a family.
6.    New York where the Roy Browns moved c 1940 and where many of us live today.

I usually get lots of positive feedback from my displays. I have a young cousin from Minnesota who loved learning about our family’s veterans. One of my nephews is always interested in the history and studied family names before naming his children. Maybe one of these relatives will catch the genealogy addiction and will be the next to carry on the searching, the gathering & the sharing.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tranquil Tombstone: Edwin & Martha Alford

Edwin Barksdale Alford
Born Nov 25, 1792
Died Mar. 10, 1878

Son of Jacob & Elizabeth (Bryant) Alford
Cemetery: Edwin B Alford Cemetery, MS

Martha P (Smith) Alford
Born March 25, 1802
Died August 8, 1861

Daughter of: Jeremiah & Joanna (Dillon) Smith
Cemetery: Edwin B Alford Cemetery, MS

Edwin & Martha are my 3rd great grandparents.

Edwin B Alford Cemetery
According to 'Cemetery Inscriptions Pike County, Mississippi 1750 - 1978' by Ray & June Sartin Parish, page 1:  "Cemetery is on a gravel road, 1 and one-half miles SW Silver Springs Baptist Church and 3/4 mile N of La. line.  On a hill just north of a small branch.  It is fenced out of a cow pasture.  Grown up with weeds and small trees."   

We visited there in August 1997. We had to walk through a cow pasture to find it. There was a tangle of weeds & thorns. I sincerely hope the stones there are still in good shape.