Saturday, April 27, 2019



2012 Photo taken in Ireland

My family has worshipped in many different ways over the years & the generations. There are many whose religious beliefs are unknown to me. These are a few that I do know. I’m sure our family encompasses even more beliefs than those listed.

Follow the links to learn more about these family members.


·     William M. Fortenberry, 1799 SC – 1867
·     Jasper Pascal Brown, 1865 MS – 1950 MS
·     Jessie Alexander Brumfield, 1838 LA – 1914 MS


·     Patrick Coyle, 1841 Ireland – 1925 CT
·     Margaret (Brady) Coyle, c 1855 Ireland – 1934 CT
·     Helen (Coyle) Gardner, 1897 NY – 1965 NY
·     Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown, 1928 NY – 1992 NY
·     Daniel Mullane, 1838 Ireland – 1930 Ireland
·     Brigid (English) Mullane, 1848 Ireland – 1920 Ireland


·     Adolph Edelstein, b c 1830
·     Leopold Gartner, 1860 Poland – 1948 NY
·     Nathaniel Gardner, 1882 NY – 1944 NY


·     Needham Judge Alford, 1789 NC – 1869 TX
·     Seaborn John Alford, 1807 LA – 1884 MS
·     Edwin Barksdale Alford, 1792 NC – 1878 MS
·     Rev. Joseph Martin Alford, 1870 LA – 1962
·     Rev. Jason Abraham Alford, 1877 MS - 1974
·     Thomas K. Mark, 1879 OH – 1975 OH


·    Edward Brown, c 1730 – c 1797 NC

·     Moses Brown, 1777 NC – 1838 OH

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I completed ’52 Ancestors’ in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is At WORSHIP.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Estate of Reuben Lawrence, 1843 NC

Finding an estate of a family member is always interesting. I like to see the list of items they used in their lives. This estate is especially interesting because it tells us which family member purchased each item and how much they paid.

If you are interested look at all the estate papers on Ancestry. There are many pages.

Reuben Lawrence 
Reuben Lawrence, son of Humphrey Lawrence , b c 1748 NC
My 6th Great Uncle

The Estate of Reuben Lawrence
Bertie County, North Carolina

Estate settled 1843

Mrs. Frances Lawrence was the widow of Reuben Lawrence.
Frederick & Alphus (?) were his sons.
James R. Ryent was his son-in-law & husband of Frances.

doz. Windsor Chairs                            Mrs. Frances Lawrence              $1.00
set dining tables                                   ditto                                        1.00
desk                                                     ditto                                         .25
Lot Books                                            ditto                                        1.00
Brass clock                                           ditto                                        1.00
2 tables                                                ditto                                         .25
safe + contents                                     ditto                                         .25
small bed                                             ditto                                         .25
3 chests                                                ditto                                        .50
Lot water + pitchers                            ditto                                          .05
Set crockery + spoons                          ditto                                          .50
Lot old chairs                                      ditto                                          .25
Bed + furniture                                   ditto                                        1.00
Bed + two pillows                                ditto                                        1.00
Table + Trunk                                     ditto                                          .50
Wash bowl                                          ditto                                          .05
Saddle + Bridle                                   Nathaniel F. F. Lawrence           .05
Grain fan                                             Alphus Lawrence                     5.00
Set Black Smith Tools                         James R. Ryent                         5.00
Ox cart                                              Mrs. Frances Lawrence              1.00
Double Gig                                          ditto                                        1.00
Single Gig                                            ditto                                        1.00
Work ox                                              ditto                                        1.00
Lot ploughs (plow)                              ditto                                        1.00
Spade                                                   ditto                                         .25
2 Grub hors (horse)                             ditto                                           .25
Lot working hors (horse)                     ditto                                           .50
Gray mare                                            ditto                                        10.00
Black horse                                          N. F. F. Lawrence                    10.00
7 Sheep                                                Mrs. Frances Lawrence               1.75
cow + calf                                            ditto                                          1.00
Yoke young Oxen                                A. Lawrence                               6.50
Spotted Hefr (heifer)                           R. T. F.                                      2.00
Black spotted hefr (heifer)                   James Ryent                               2.00
Red crumpled horn hefr (heifer)          ditto                                          2.05
Hifer (heifer)                                       ditto                                          2.55
Lot Hollow ware                                 Mrs. Frances Lawrence               1.00
Table + 3 Trays                                   ditto                                            .50
Sow + 5 Shoats                                   ditto                                          2.50
Sow + 2 Shoats                                    ditto                                          2.00
7 hogs                                                  ditto                                          7.00
10 hogs                                                A. Lawrence                               4.75
Gig + Plough (plow)                            Mrs. Frances Lawrence                 1.00


Source: North Carolina Wills and Probate records, 1665 – 1998; Estate Inventory of Reuben Lawrence; digital image, Ancestry ( accessed January 2019). 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Keep Your Research in Place

This week’s prompt is difficult. I tried to think of a family member who turned up in an unlikely location but if I have folks in unlikely locations, they are still there, waiting to be discovered. 

I do, however, know something about records that are OUT OF PLACE. I am continually organizing and reorganizing my records and yet, there are times when I cannot find a particular book or map or document. I look everywhere and usually find it OUT OF PLACE, where it does not belong.

The more I research the more my records have expanded. Everything once fit in one large binder. Now I have a filing cabinet, a desk, two bookcases and a laptop full of data (not counting photos). My filing cabinet has four drawers & each drawer contains materials related to a surname of one of my four grandparents. Those materials include greeting cards, hand drawn family trees, documents, funeral cards, etc. On each side of my desk are bookcases. One bookcase is devoted to my mother’s family & the other to my father’s family. Their families came from different areas. My mother’s bookcase has many books mostly about Ireland and early New York City. My father’s bookcase has books from several states including: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana & Mississippi. I often wish those bookcases could hold more books and journals. 

Doesn’t that sound nicely organized? Did I mention I usually have a pile of papers and books that need to be sorted out? Did I mention the assorted boxes of mementos in the closet that need to be labeled? Maybe, just maybe, there are a couple things that are OUT OF PLACE. 

If I were to give tips to a new genealogist I would say select an organizational system & stick with it. Your research is not valuable if you cannot find it. And every piece of paper needs a full source citation for the facts to have any value. You worked hard to find your facts. Now don’t let them get OUT OF PLACE. 

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I completed ’52 Ancestors’ in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is OUT OF PLACE.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Forget Me Not: Andrew Jackson Alford, 1944 MS

Andrew Jackson Alford

22 Jul 1866 LA - 27 Jun 1944
Son of Jeptha Josephus Alford MD & Fanny Roberts
Husband of Euseba Jane Fortenberry

Photo from Find A Grave Memorial # 16343957

 Pike Man Dies in Chicago

Funeral Services for A. J. Alford Will Be Held at Silver Springs Church

Funeral Services for A. J. Alford, age 77, retired farmer of McComb, Route 2, will be held at 11 o’clock Saturday morning at the Silver Springs Baptist church and he will be laid to rest in the Silver Springs cemetery.

The Rev. W. F. Hudson will officiate at the final rites, assisted by the Rev. J. A. McCraw, and serving as pallbearers will be Fred Fortenberry, Claude Alford, Bernie Schilling, Talmadge Alford, Howard Alford and Kenneth Simmons.

Mr. Alford died Thursday in Chicago, Illinois, where he had gone for medical examination. His body was scheduled to arrive in McComb on Illinois Central Train No. 3 Friday afternoon and will lie at rest at his home until time for the funeral services.

Mr. Alford was born on July 2, 1866, and was married in December 1889 to Miss Janie E. Fortenberry. Alford was a prominent farmer in this section of Pike county for many years and was well liked by his neighbors and friends.

He leaves to mourn his passing his wife, Mrs. A> J. Alford, and a number of nieces and nephews.

Hartman Funeral Home is in charge.

Source: Pike Man Dies in Chicago. (McComb, MS: Enterprise-Journal, 1 July 1944) 1; digital image, accessed January 2019.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

DNA, Unique or Common?

DNA. What is it? I looked for a definition before responding to this topic for ‘52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks’. I found these definitions online:

·      DeoxyriboNucleic Acid

·     sometimes called "the molecule of life," as almost all organisms have their genetic material codified as DNA.

·     a self-replicating material which is present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information.

·     the fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of someone or something, especially when regarded as unchangeable.

·       contained in your body's cells. It is a double, long chain of molecules called nucleotides that tell each cell what proteins to make. The DNA itself makes up chromosomes.

I would define DNA as a tool for genealogists.

Unique. It is interesting that these definitions point out the uniqueness of every individual’s DNA. Despite the huge number of humans on our planet, each of us is distinctive, irreplaceable & exceptional. As genealogists, we celebrate all the individuals in our families, both the shining examples to the younger generations and the black sheep who teach us life lessons. 

As we research those ancestors a few pop out at us individuals we especially relate to. Their stories charm us and we put more effort into discovering all we can about them. We may even imagine sitting down with them and having a deep conversation. 

Common. However, it is the elements that make us the same that we seek. We want to find others whose similarities show us to be family members. We want to share & compare with those family members to learn more about our common ancestors. 

I have taken the Ancestry DNA test. There were no surprises there. My ‘DNA Story’ shows me to be 47% Great Britain, 27% European Jewish, 25% Ireland/Scotland/Wales & 1% Baltic States. This does reinforce that my research is on track.

I have pages of DNA matches. I do sometimes reach out to people who share common DNA with me. In most cases I never hear back from those people. A few have responded and we have shared information. It has advanced my research in small ways. I have no dramatic stories of discoveries. 

Ancestry’s DNA Circles, now ThruLines, is helpful. Even if people do not respond to my attempts to communicate, I look at shared trees and sources for the facts shown. This leads to taking more small steps in my research.

DNA, Both Unique & Common. I see DNA as another tool for genealogists/family historians but not an answer to all our questions. I use any tool I can to get me back to my unique ancestors.

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I completed ’52 Ancestors’ in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is DNA.