Did I Find Lovey’s Family?

Yeah – Another potential family tree revelation from a 23andMe match! A few days ago, I was looking at one of my matches family trees and noticed he had the Boston surname on his tree. Boston is a surname in my family – one of my 3rd great-grandmothers was named Lovey Boston.  To date, I don’t have a lot of information about Lovey  — she was born around 1821,  started cohabitating with Prince Walker about 1836 and they lived in Plymouth, Washington County, NC.   Lovey and Prince would go on to have at least 8 children – their son Anthony being my direct ancestor.

From 23anMe, I learned that my match (we’ll call him EW), and I share DNA of African origin. He matches my mother, my maternal uncle, and myself at the same segment.  He has a 2nd segment in common with my uncle.

EW matches me where it’s dark blue, my mom where it’s green and my uncle where it’s light blue.

EWis a descendant of David Boston and wife Elizabeth of the Free Union “Piney Woods” community of Martin & Washington counties in NC.  In fact, of EW’s ancestry, 3 of his 3rd-great-grandparents were children of David & Elizabeth. At first, I was not sure how Lovey could connect, but a cousin of EW’s (we’ll call her ER) spotted people in my Lovey Boston descendancy chart that she recognized and by looking at her tree, I could see connections more clearly. One of Lovey’s daughters was the second wife to a man named Peter Moore.  Peter Moore’s first wife, was a sister of ER’s 3rd-great-grandmothers.

I’m still working on how Lovey may fit into his family tree, but right now, my current theory is that Lovey may have been another one of David & Elizabeth’s children.  Given her approximate birth date, it makes sense for her to be positioned there generationally, and it is at about the right number of generations back for our match prediction of the 4th cousin range. If Lovey was indeed one of their children, EW and I are 4th cousins exactly.  Of course, Lovey could be a niece of David’s too. Who knows?

In fact, I found a picture of one of David & Elizabeth’s documented daughters, Elizabeth Boston Brooks on the Piney Woods Project blog. Martha would have been a grand-niece of Elizabeth’s if I figured this out correctly.

Do you think Elizabeth looks like my great-grandmother Martha?

If indeed Lovey is part of David’s family then she has quite an interesting family background.  According to the book “Disciple Assemblies of Eastern North Carolina” by William James Barber (1966), David was the founder of the Piney Woods Community.

I have much more research ahead of me! But, I am so pleased to have connected with this Boston family and their many descendants!

Flurry of Activity

I hardly know where to even begin with this post – I have so much going on these days! In the past week, I’ve hardly kept up with all the geneablogsphere activity as I’ve been rather self-absorbed in my newest endeavors.  In the past three weeks or so, I’ve agreed to several genealogy activities.

#1) I will be named as a member of an committee  for a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for digitizing 100,000 pages of newspapers from 1823-1922.   If the grant is awarded then our work begins in Summer 2010 and the committee will help make the decisions on which papers will get digitized.  I have a strong interest and like for historical newspaper research, so when the call was put out, I sent my information in quickly!  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

#2) For this committe, I had to do a resume of my genealogy activities.  While I have a nice professional resume for my day job, I did not have anything that I felt reprsented my genealogy endeavors succinctly.  So, after some browsing and checking out my geneablogger-sphere,  I asked Thomas if he’d let me use his resume template.  He agreed and I created my own 1pg version of a Genealogy Resume.

Taneya’s Genealogy Resume

#3) But, my resume is going to have to be expanded beyond 1pg.  Also recently, I was asked by a local company to come and do a talk on beginning genealogy.  The focus is really to be an informal overview of how I set about my genealogy research and give an overview of some of the basic research approaches, record types etc.  They were willing to pay me, but I turned the money down for I have never done a genealogy-specific presentation before.  I’ve presented plenty for my career, but I also look at it as an opportunity to learn.  This presentation will occur next month.

#4) This week though has been busiest of all, for I agreed to become the new webmaster for the NCGenWeb project…

#5) and also take on site coordinator responsibilities for two additional NC counties- Jones & Onslow.  I already had Martin.  I chose Jones & Onslow because of my Koonce ancestry.   The white Koonce family to which my ancestors belonged to, originated from Jones county.  Additionally, the Koonce family was large, so there were cousins over in Onslow county.   Over the past few months, I’ve begin “collecting Koonces” and have begun the initial seeds of  Koonce surname genealogy study for Koonces everywhere, so  my interest in Jones & Onslow counties are deep-rooted.

I’ve written before about my experience with many of the USGenWeb sites; I applaud the efforts of all those that contribute data for without them, the USGenWeb project would not exist, however, I also would like to see the websites have better organization than many currently do.  So, if I’m going to be involved, I have to reoganize them.  I did this for Blount County, TN & Martin County, NC when I took them on.   Fortunately, the newly elected NCGenWeb Site Coordinator also wanted a revamp of the site, so our interests were well-aligned on this matter.

So, over the past few nights I’ve been busy redoing the NCGenWeb site.  I am rather pleased if I can say so myself – WordPress ABSOLUTELY ROCKS!  We even now have a blog, NCGenWeb News, to which I hope we can post something at least a few times each month.  Click on the picture to visit the site – and show us some love by leaving a comment!

I am very excited to have been able to work with the NCGenWeb board and get it online so quickly.

I also have figured out how I am going to restructure the Onslow County site; again, I’l be using WordPress.  After I get Onslow done,  Jones will probably be organized very similarly.  Here is a sneak peek of what I’m planning for Onslow.

This involvement has made me even more excited about USGenWeb projects in general – we should all make sure we do our part to help out by contributing data whenever we can!  These site coordinators do great jobs in helping us access genealogical information, but I do think it is time for more modern interfaces (generally speaking).  I’m doing my part to move this along as best as I can!

In Memoriam: Clifton E. Johnson Sr.

Tonight, my mother called me to inform me about the death of our cousin, Clifton E. Johnson Sr. Cousin Clif was my grandmother’s half-first cousin. Clifton represents my McNair family branch of Martin County, NC (which was one of the reasons I adopted that county for the NCGenWeb project). The closest ancestor that I share with Clifton is my 2nd great-grandfather Andrew D. McNair. Andrew was his grandfather. Clifton, born December 9, 1941, died yesterday, June 25, 2009 while on a trip to Asheville, NC.  He was the son of Charlie Mack Johnson & Wille Ann (McNair) Johnson. Clifton was an accomplished lawyer and held several “firsts” in North Carolina’s judicial system. He was the  1st black lawyer to be appointed assistant prosecutor in NC /  1st black judge to sit on the NC Court of Appeals / & the 1st black judge to attain the position of senior associate judge on the NC Court of Appeals  

Clif was once featured in Ebony magazine, and thanks to Google’s digitization efforts, I was able to quickly find the issue he was in after my mother told me that he was in it and the approximate time frame.  He was included in an article in the March 1971 issue on black judges in the South. I am next going to try and figure out how to order a back issue so we can have it in physical print.

When I was in the 6th grade, we lived about 1 mile from Clif and his family, and his daughter and I were in the same classroom.   I did not know him before that year, and only saw him once since that year (1986-1987).  However, in June of 2007 I did have an opportunity to speak with him briefly about the family history as I was working on it then.  He was a very nice man and my thoughts are with his family. 

When I called Cousin Clif, I’d called specifically to inquire if he was aware of a person whom at the time suspected was part of our family tree, Dred Wimberly.  I’d hypothesized that Dred was the brother of our shared ancestor, Mariah Wimberly McNair.  Dred too was in law, having served on the NC General Assembly and the NC Senate.  Dred was a former slave of Kemp Plummer Battle (see my recent post) and I only had circumstantial evidence to connect him to my tree, though strong evidence.   When I’d found a picture of Dred and showed it to my mother, her reaction was “He looks just like Cousin Clif! Just like him!”

Well, now that I have a few pictures of Clif, I have to say that I agree and I believe this solidifies my theory that Dred was part of our family.  Dred would be Clif’s 2nd great-uncle, but I find the resemblance striking.  Here is Dred juxtaposed with two different pictures of Clifton.

On another interesting note, Clif swore in my stepmother’s uncle, Henry E. Frye, when Henry became Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court.  Tonight my thoughts are with Clif’s family. May you rest in peace Cousin Clif with our ancestors.

Relevant news items:

True Inspiration!

A couple of days ago, I discovered a new genealogy blog – Robyn’s blog, Reclaiming Kin.  I found her through Randy’s “Best Of the Genea-Blogs” post from Sunday.  Well, yesterday she posted on using court records for research and her experience of looking at records in Edgecomebe County, NC inspired my Tombstone Tuesday post of the gravesite of Kemp Plummer Battle, a resident of Edgecombe County whom owned some of my ancestors.

Well, last night Robyn emailed me stating that she had information to share regarding Kemp.  We spoke on the phone last night and it turned out that she had a great discovery!  The name Kemp P. Battle sounded familiar to her, so she went through some of her files and sent me a wonderful document.

Last year, while visiting the North Carolina State Archives, she’d transcribed some labor contract records from the Freedmen’s Bureau (M1909, Roll #56) which included some records of former slaves of Kemp’s.  The labor contracts were for work in the two years following the Civil War and Robyn explained that some were very formal, others were very casual.  In some cases, family clusters were maintained.

Among the transcription was my 4th great-grandfather, Allen Wimberly! Here is the list she provided:

Joe Battle, Henderson Dorsey, Jason Spicer, Jim Lawrence, York Lawrence, Jim McNear, Allan Wimberly, Alfred Wimberly, Joe Wimberly, Haywood Battle, Lewis Battle, Redding Battle, Norfolk Battle, Isabella Battle, Hardy Battle, Orph Battle, Jason Battle, Sarah Battle, Jerry Battle, Norfleet Dancy, & Illiad Dancey.

In addition to my own Allen Wimberly, some of these names I have seen previously in census records and county cohabitation records. I am not sure how they may connect with my own family, but I certainly need to continue to put these pieces together.  I also note the name “Jim McNear” which may be a variant of my McNair surname — Allen’s daughter Mariah married Rufus McNair; and Rufus I suspect to be a slave of Dr. Augustus Harvey McNair.

I am very excited about this and during the course of our conversation, Robyn stressed the need to take advantage of local Family History Centers for access to records. While I’ve known I need to do this, I have not managed to follow-through with actually ordering any records.  There are two locations in my county and they both are about 45 minutes away from me, but I’m going to have to just go!  So, one of them is open the 3rd Saturday of each month, so I hereby resolve to take a field trip this Saturday to go and place an order for at least two films.

Here is my 1st list of film to work through.  It may take me several months since I will probably order only two at a time, but at least I have some identified right?

Wills, 1663-1978; estate papers, 1748-1917 (Edgecombe County): Original wills Ausley, Joseph – Bryan, Thoma Film #1548856
Wills, 1663-1978; estate papers, 1748-1917 (Edgecombe County): Original wills Killibrew, John I. – Middleton, S. O. Film #1571217
Wills, 1663-1978; estate papers, 1748-1917 (Edgecombe County): Estate records 1748-1917 Barnes, Archelaus – Battle, Joe Film #2069673
Wills, 1663-1978; estate papers, 1748-1917 (Edgecombe County):  Estate records 1748-1917 Battle, John – Bell, Bythel Film #2069674
Wills, 1663-1978; estate papers, 1748-1917 (Edgecombe County): Estate records 1748-1917 Law, William – Mayberry, Charles Film #2070395
Wills, 1663-1978; estate papers, 1748-1917 (Edgecombe County):  Estate records 1748-1917 Williams, Henry – Winstead, Richard Film #2070963
Will records and index, 1760-1964, with a few marriages (Jones County, NC): Index to wills 1779-1964 Film #386902
Will records and index, 1760-1964, with a few marriages (Jones County, NC): Wills 1760-1842 Film #19228
Will records and index, 1760-1964, with a few marriages (Jones County, NC): Wills 1778-1868 Film #19238 Items 1-3
Pre-1914 cemetery inscription survey, Columbus Co. (NC) Film #882937 Item 11
Pre-1914 cemetery inscription survey, Martin Co. (NC) Film #882938 Item 25
Civil actions concerning slaves and free persons of color (Craven County, North Carolina), 1775-1885 No Film # in record
Craven County, North Carolina, pre-Civil War slave related papers, including petitions for freedom, 1775-1861 Film 2299351 Item 2

This will be quite intersting. Thank you Robyn for an exciting discovery and for inspiration!

USGenWeb 2.0

With great help from the NC GenWeb state coordinators, I was able to convert the Martin County, NC site into a WordPress site today.  I became county coordinator in October and while I started with a blog, I knew I wanted to do more with the site. I love the power and flexibility of WordPress and using it will make it easier to administer the site.  I needed to do this because though I know HTML and well, working with it was becoming too much of a time consumer for me.  This way, I don’t have to worry about the HTML nearly as much and I can add content to the site more rapidly.

martinco

You can check out the site at http://www.ncgenweb.us/martin.  Please let me know what you think!  Personally, I woud love to see more USGenWeb sites use content management systems (CMS).  The common vertical display of links that I usually see is becoming more and more difficult for me to navigate.   This is my second USGenWeb site that I am coordinator for now and these sites are great resources and I would love to see them further enhanced.

Some other USGenWeb sites that are good examples of more “modern” formats include:

These are just some I’ve come across, do you have others?  In addition, there are a few counties that have corresponding blogs as I’ve done for my two counties.  Genealogue.com recently added a category for UsGenWeb blogs and I would love to see this category grow.  Currently, there are only three others listed in addition to my two.

I get a fair amount of communication from researchers through my blogs and try to help as much as I can. Partnerships between county coordinators and local genealogical socities would undoubtedlby even further increase user engagement.

I’m So Envious!

Over this weekend while catching up on some of my genealogy blog reading, I saw that a new group had been formed, the Association of Graveyard Rabbits. Oh! I’m so envious! If only I had time these days I’d have become a charter member myself; I love graveyards!

But alas, its’ not meant to be. Between my classes, work, family, and the itty little bit of genealogy time I do get these days, my time is pretty much taken. In fact, I stole a few hours this weekend when I shouldn’t have, to take on a new task – I have my 2nd USGenWeb county site to coordinate!

I am now the site coordinator for Martin County, North Carolina.  I applied for Edgecombe County, but someone beat me to the punch.  Martin County borders Edgecombe however and is actually between Edgecombe and one of my other favorites, Washington County. So, several of the family names are already familiar to me through what I’ve learned in my research and through indexing a newspaper of Washington County

My first task for the site was a redesign and a blog, both which I accomplished that pretty quickly. It’s a little rough around the edges, but next weekend I should be able to give it a some more tlc and add a few more features.