Interlibrary Loan

ILL is so cool. I should know, I’m a librarian :-)

Today, our branch library received the book that I’d requested through Interlibrary Loan – The History and Genealogy of Jones County, North Carolina. I’d ordered this book as the Koonce family I’m researching is of Jones County. This book is so cool! The way the family information is presented is in the same format as the Heritage books series. Then, following the family profiles, Ms. Harriett has created an index of people and clarifies the family relationships – we’re talking thousands of people. In the Introduction of the book, she mentions that she gathered all this data in the course of doing her own personal research.

I am about to really look more closely at it, but I know I’ll be making many photocopies this weekend from it – there is just so much information in it. If not for immediate use now, for future reference later.

More on the Holloways

In today’s mail I received another Social Security Administration Form OAC-790 that I’d ordered. This was for the sister of my great-grandmother Josephine, as I’ve been trying to fully verify their parents. I have posted before how I found early census records that led me to further confirm Josephine’s parents, but I’d like to take this post to fully document my sources so far for her parents.

I am a fairly certain the Hargett above is a mistake, and yes, the form did have the Tom crosse out just as it’s shown. With this information(minus Dizzer’s OAC-790 which I just received), when I searched in the 1880 census, I looked in Wayne County, North Carolina (see previous post) for a family that had a 20 something year old Polly and a man named Thomas/Tom or David or James. The only family that I found that matched was one that had a Thomas as a head. Perhaps Thomas’ middle name was James? In any case, this does lead me to believe that he went by Thomas(Tom) and Polly Hood was definitely her mom’s maiden name and I feel more comfortable having the 1880 census information as part of my tree.

Is Priscilla a nickname for Polly? Josephine had a sister named Priscilla, so I’m also thinking their mother must have been a Priscilla “Polly” Hood?

Josephine had two other sisters that I know reached adulthood – Louise and Lilla Mae. I plan to follow-up by looking for these additional resources:

– Lilla Mae’s Death Certificate
– Lilla Mae’s SS-5/OAC-790
– Louise’s Death Certificate
– Louise’s SS-5/OAC-790

The problem is, I have to find out when they died!

Audio @ Ancestry

I have just read over on the Ancestry Blog that Ancestry has added the ability to add audio to your family tree. I tried it out and it is the coolest thing! Maybe I can convince some of my family members to do it and record some audio clips! You have to go try it out. :-)

In other genealogy news, I have two new acquisitions to my genealogy book collection.

I got Mills’ book because I need to learn how to standardize my citations, and I got the BCG book b/c I do want to learn how to write good family histories and I like the examples it provides. I’ve added them to my LibraryThing catalog. I see that 228 people in LibraryThing have the Mills book and 112 have the BCG book. Cool.

Ta ta for now… I’m off to do more research on this McNair family.

The Search Continues

I have been completely obsessed the past few days! But, I have to say, I am rather happy with where I stand with my searches thus far and I have more information to help me build up the family trees of the Wimberly and McNair families.

On Saturday night, I discovered the existence of a book written by a cousin to Robert Diggs Wimberly. The book is called Recollections of a Lifetime, and it was written in 1902 by Mary Katherine Killebrew. The book was republished in the 70’s by a person from this area of TN, so there was a copy of it at the Nashville Public Library. Mary Katherine’s father was Robert Diggs Wimberly’s brother. Robert was born in TN, so, their father had moved here in the late 1700’s and Robert moved to NC (where his father was from). Mary Katherine’s father stayed here, thus, she grew up in TN. The information in the book confirmed relationships for me, so I was very pleased to find them. I know now Robert’s family tree fairly well on his father’s side. I now need to start working in earnest on his mother’s side. I have put up the tree so far (I still have a lot of people to add) on my site.

Then, two nights ago, as I was searching for more information about the McNair’s, I found a book online in Ancestry.com written in 1928 called McNair, McNear, and McNeir Genealogies. It has 5 generations worth of the McNair family I’m researching! This book confirmed the grandfather of the McNair I was most interested in, Augustus Harvey McNair, and it had a ton of additional information about the family. Fascinating!

So, I do believe thoroughly understanding each one’s tree will help me once I get back into the county records. For example, I had a false lead earlier this week but now that I know the family tree, things are more clear.

Augustus’s brother, Hugh, reports having 7 slaves in the 1860 census. On the slave schedule, slaves numbers 5,6 and 7 had names next to them. One of the names was R Tannahill and there is a note that this person is from Virginia. I was beginning to get excited when I saw this b/c my ancestor is Rufus Tannahill! and, the age of the slave was about ten years off, but I was willing to accept it as him anyway. However, as I reflected more on the list, I realized that R Tannahill was indeed the slaveowner – it just happens that this slave was with Hugh McNair during the census. Slaves #6 and 7 on that list also have other slaveowner names other than Hugh. Each slavowner listed R Tannahill of Virginia, EB McNair of NC and another McNair of Virginia, are all family members of Hugh’s – R Tannahill is his nephew, Robert Tannahill (who in 1860 lived in Petersburg, Virginia), E B McNair is Hugh’s mother. I’m not sure who the third one is.
Alas, of course it was not going to be that easy!

But, as I look at the 1860 slave schedule for Robert Wimberly, I notice right away that he is enumerated right after Augustus’ brother, E.D. McNair and their brother, Ralph McNair. So, I plan to really focus more on these two McNair brothers as I move forward. If Rufus was with one of them, and if Mariah was with Robert Wimberly, the proximity of the white McNair/Wimberly’s might be meaningful!

More to come as I find it.

Further support for my suspicion

As I am building the tree for Robert Diggs Wimberly (the person whom I suspect owned my ancestor Maria), I am coming across a few more clues that I think lend support to my theory.

Before starting his tree, I had the following items to lead me to believe he may have been her slave owner:

  • Maria and her husband Rufus live right next to him in the 1870 census, which indicates that Robert had a real estate value of $17,000. One of the things I learned in Beth Wilson’s lecture was that with this amount of real estate value, it tended to indicate the person owned slaves.
  • There are only two other white Wimberly’s families in Edgecombe County, NC from 1850-1870 and they are the families of Robert’s sons, George & Joseph. His son George also has a large real estate value ($15,000).
  • The 1850 and 1860 slave schedules show that between them, Robert and his son George owned around 80 slaves. They were the only Wimberly slaveholders in the county.
  • I have a hypothesis that Maria’s father’s was Allen Wimberly (I could do a separate list for that, which I probably should), but Allen was married to a Della Battle as demonstrated by county cohabitation records and the Battle Plantation was near the Wimberly lands. I still have to do research of land and property to better understand this.

I think this is itself is already compelling, but I wanted to find out if I could actually find more information to support my hypothesis. Over the weekend, I’ve learned:

  • Rufus & Mariah had sons named Barnes and Sterling. Sterling is a Wimberly family name – Robert’s brother was named George Sterling Wimberly, and their mother had a brother named Sterling. Barnes appears to also be a family name as I now know that a relative of Robert’s mother married a Barnes who later would live on the Wimberly property in Edgecombe County. I do not yet know this exact relationship.

I can’t wait to see what else I discover and I know I’ve only scratched the surface of the available county records (another tip from Beth – scour all the available county records you can get your hands on.)

Genealogy & Web 2.0

Dick Eastman has a WONDERFUL post about the changes we are witnessing in the Internet and how it can apply to genealogy – the web 2.0 revolution. I personally have adopted a philosophy of transforming as much as possible to web-based platforms for the past couple of years and his post resonated deeply with me. On my main blog, I have previously posted my bias towards web 2.0, and on my genealogy blog, I’ve posted how I can see it having such a tremendous impact in this realm. Eastman’s post is much more in-depth now and I’m glad to read that it is being reflected in national venues. Wonderful post! Go read it!

Results from my State Archives Visit

Okay – here is a summary of what I retrieved today at the TN State Archives. Today I focused on Edgecombe County, NC where I am most heavily researching my McNair, Wimberly and Tannahill surnames as I look for possible slave owners.

1. I have a few counties photocopied from Somebody Knows My Name, but went today to look for the records of cohabitation for Jones County, North Carolina. I need to order the CD so that I can have my own copy. Unfortunately, Jones County is not included. However, I did go ahead and photocopy Nash County. I learned yesterday that Rocky Mount,NC is split in the middle of town, between Edgecombe County and Nash County. I have had family in Rocky Mount, and so I decided I should have this county as well. Good thing too – I found another Wimberly!

2. From the book, Heritage of Lenoir County, I photocopied the entry for Richard H. Koonce & Eliza King. Richard is the son of Wiley Benjamen Koonce. I still am not sure how Wiley fits into the family tree for the white Koonce family I am specifically tracking, but I figure I will get there eventually. Good to have it for later reference.

3. Abstracts 0f Wills, Edgecombe County by David B. Gammon – This was wonderful! It is a four-volume set that covers wills from 1732-1910. I photocopied almost every will that had a mention of any McNair, Wimberly, or Tannahill person. I see now that there were two I missed, so I’m making a note to get those when I go back. I also photocopied the indexes of volumes 3 & 4. I plan to make them PDFs and put them online so that others will know if the person of interest is at least mentioned. I’ll go back another time to get the indexes for Volumes 1-2.

4. Marriages of Early Edgecombe County 1733-1868 – Another great book. The authors have compiled early marriage bans, marriages as proved by county wills, as published in newspapers, and other various sources. I photocopied every page that had a reference to a Wimberly, McNair or Tannahill. I also copied the indexes from this book as well.

5. Tombstone & Census Records of Early Edgecombe County - This is a compilation of cemeteries throughout Edgecombe County. Again – I photocopied every reference to a McNair, Tannahill or Wimberly that I could find. I do see that I skipped one, so I’ll have to go back to get it.

Overall, a wonderful morning. I think however, that I am going to now have to create formal trees to track everyone I want!

Another Trip to the State Archives

Putting theory into practice, last night, I sat down and wrote a Research Plan for tracking possible slave-owners for my 3rd great-grandmother, Mariah Wimberly McNair. I have suspicions, but I’m now trying to follow-up on those suspicions. It starts with listing all the Wimberly’s that I could locate in 1870 in Edgecombe County (and I have found one so far in the neighboring Nash County). In that list, I have only three white Wimberly families and fortunately, they are the only ones in the area and held between them, close to 100 slaves.

After documenting several aspects, I then selected a few books that I wanted to look at more closely at the State Archives. While the TN archives does not have nearly as much NC info as I’d like, they do have a substantial collection and I am home this afternoon with a whole stack of photocopies to go through more extensively! I’ll post specifics later.

And, while I was there, I met a lady (and her mother) who had emailed me just two days ago in response to some information she found about an ancestor that I had posted in my Nashville Globe Blog. Must have been predestined for us to meet!

Roots TV

Roots TV is just awesome! Today, after reading Megan’s post of the changes to the site, I decided to take a look again and see what new videos have been posted. There are several videos that I had not yet had the opportunity to view, including lectures from the AAHGS Conference this past October in Salt Lake City. Last month I saw notice of the 2007 conference that will be in Boston and I am going to try and attend, so this is neat to be able to see some of the lectures online.

The lecture that I watched was Beth Wilson’s talk on “Trails Back, Tracing Ancestors in Slavery through Census, Probate and Land Records”and it was very enjoyable. I have to say though, the librarian in me is well suited to genealogy, b/c throughout the lecture she was giving hips/tips/advice for proper methods of genealogy research, the importance of documentation, etc, which all come very natural to me. I was happy to see that I at least knew a little bit of what I was doing.

What I found most helpful about her presentation were her techniques for tracking slaves in records. As I am about to get into original county records for my own slave owner searching, I know have ideas for helping me trace people. One comment she made also had to do with the importance of sharing information with other genealogists. In her case, she had occasion to go through the records of Howard County, Missouri and realized she could help in providing access to others, so she’s transcribed and made databases of the information she’s gathered. This is exactly what I aim to do in my own genealogy research, hence the focus I have right now on newspapers. It is SO important to share.

I hope to be able to watch more videos throughout the rest of the weekend.

My Digitized Microfilm

My digitized microfilm arrived today and I am ecstatic! This is going to be so much more convenient than making trips to the public library to scan the microfilm. My first batch that I had digitized were issues of newspapers from Kinston, NC and from Plymouth, NC. In fact, in the issue I just finished, I found my first reference to Ft. Barnwell (where my father is from). And, I also found a reference to the Koonce family I mentioned in a previous post.