Day 1 – Genea-Blogger Games

Here at the end of Day 1, I have accomplished two tasks so far. This is actually my Day 1 since I am a late entrant, but since I just did my entry post a few hours ago, I think this is good enough progress.

I have:

  • Re-written what this blog is about and posted it to the blog
  • Commented on a genealogy blog that is new to me.  In order to keep up with what everyone was doing, I added all the Genea-Blogger participants to my Google Reader. In the process of doing so, I found many that were new to me, but I commented on Sheri’s blog, The Educated Genealogist.  Sheri is new to the blogging world, but not new to genealogy.  How does she decide to get started? By creating a blog and in her very first post, declare her intent to participate in the Games.  Talk about jumping in!

To see my progress list, check out my checklist page. I’m off to figure out the next task to do….

UPDATE 8/10/08 11:24pm — I realized that August 9th was the 1st day of competition, thus, I’ve renamed this post from Day 2, to Day 1.

About This Blog

GBG logo For the games, I have re-written my page about this blog.  Originally titled, About Taneya, I decided to rename the page, About this Blog. You can find it at the top of the blog just under the graphic header.  Here is the content from the revised page:

I am a medical librarian by profession and have been interested in my family genealogy since about 1997, but did not begin actively working on it until February 2006.  At that time, I was searching for a way to put the information I did have to date online, found my application of choice, put my family info online, and there was no looking back. I found that my skills as a librarian come heavily into play with the genealogy as both fields encompass a lot of detective work and the analysis and synthesis of information. Sweet!

On this blog, you’ll find that I cover my own family tree, and that of my husband’s. I am interested in capturing as much as I can for our daughter and my stepsons, so my branches go out in many different directions.  I also work on the trees of friends and extended family members, so from time to time, I’ll post about them.

In addition to this blog, I also maintain others:

  • My primary blog – where I post information about our family life, and my cross-stitch when I get to it!
  • African-American Nashville History & Genealogy – I was looking for a way to give back to the genealogy of Nashville and found a niche with this one.
  • Blount County Blog — In October 2007 I volunteered to be the site coordinator for the Blount County, TN usgenweb site. Again, another way for me to give back to Tennessee genealogy. I re-designed the site and started a blog to further engage with those interested in that county.
  • Cross Stitch Magazine Database Blog - my original hobby of choice, cross-stitching, drove me to collect a LOT of magazines. So that I did not have to hunt for designs, I decided to index them. Then, I put the index online. I started this blog to accompany the index and share updates to the database.
  • Roanoke Beacon Blog — information from an old newspaper of Washington County, North Carolina.
  • Kinston Free Press Blog – information from an old newspaper of Lenior County, North Carolina
  • Talladega Daily Home Blog – information from newspaper of Talladega County, Alabama. This one is not going so well as I still don’t have good digital access to the newspaper. No promises on when I’ll pick it back up.
  • Vanderbilt Family Genealogy – because I have this weird obsession with the Vanderbilt family (I do work at Vanderbilt after all!), I decided to study their genealogy and created this blog to share and connect with other Vanderbilt researchers.

Through these blogs, I have made connections with many other researchers with areas of common interests and that has been just as satisfying as what I discover with our own trees.  Please feel free to comment if anything inspires you!

My Entry Post for the 2008 GeneaBlogger Games

I have decided to join the Summer 2008 Genea-Blogger Group Games since they are taking late entrants.  I havebeen a member of Facebook for awhile now and am already a  member of the GeneaBloggers FaceBook group, so that is out of the way.

My Flag

For my flag made at WeAreMulticolored, includes elements of the flags from the US, Germany & Egypt. US because that is where I am from. I chose Germany because my surname, Koonce, is of German origin. Despite the fact that I got it from slave owners, I do still identify strongly with it and embrace it (at times to the chagrin of my husband when I don’t use his surname (lol!).  And, I chose Egypt because we hope to visit there soon; it is within our 5 year plan.

Competition Categories

These are the categories I plan to compete in and my goals:

  • [1] Cite Your Sources – this will be a little tricky, so I hope I can carry this out. I use TNG: The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding as my primary genealogy software, and sources are created using an online form template.  Up until now, I have been entering source information pretty much haphazardly, so my goal is to learn how to use it correctly, and in such a way that when the information is converted to narrative format, the sources come out according to how they should be.  I have the 1997 version of Evidence Explained, so I’ll use that as a guide, as well as the How to Cite Sources guide by John Wiley.   I am going for PLATINUM.
  • [3] Organize Your Research — As a librarian, I agree that one can always be more organized! So, I take this challenge on to continue the work with my own files.  I may have to see how subject to interpretation Task F is, I have a few questions. But, at minimum, I am going for DIAMOND.
  • [4] Write, Write, Write - I think I can do this one easily enough except for the carnival hosting. I am going for DIAMOND.
  • [5] Reach Out & Perform Genealogy Acts of Kindness — Going for PLATINUM here too.  I do a lot of this anyway, so I look forward to expanding.

Are 4 categories too ambitious? I’ll have to look and see how many people are competing in all 5 categories.  But, I figure this is a chance for me to get a good genealogy push in before September, when I will be starting classes as I go back to school to pursue another Master’s degree, this time in Public Health w/ a focus in Biomedical Informatics (see my main blog for more details on that).

But, to get started, I have added the Games Badge to my sidebar, and I am about to start a new Google Reader label for all the participants, so I can keep up! I also created a special blog page for keeping track all in one place of what I do. I may not get any work accomplished towards the games themselves here at the end of Day 1.

I’m Going to Join the Genea-Blogger Games

Since I’ve been rather busy this past week (as well as in a little pain), I am just now catching up on most of my genealogy blog reading. Last night I was reading about the Genea-Blogger games and thought it would be neat to participate, but I’d missed the deadline. Well, apparently not!

So, I am going to participate. I’m going to be a little late starting as we have plans today, but I will get started this evening. I’m looking forward to participating as I think it will help me with my files. Here’s to the genea-blogger games!  More to come later…

Ethel May Robinson Rose (1908-1988)

Today would have been the 100th birthday of my mother’s paternal aunt,  Ethel Robinson Rose.

Ethel was born August 8, 1908 in Wilmington, North Carolina to Lewis “Christopher Columbus” Robinson and Lucinda (Lennon) Robinson.  She was their first of what would be eventually 9 children.

As I review my records for Ethel, I see that I have not located the family in the 1910 census records – last time I searched I just could not find them. Now, Wilmington was not where the family was from, but on her Social Security Card application, she listed it as her place of birth.  The family was from the Whiteville area in Columbus County, NC and I do know for some time period after Ethel was born, they lived in Georgia as 4 of their children were born in Georgia.  But, finding them in 1910 has been tricky. By 1920, they moved up to Manhattan where my grandfather was born and where my mother was raised.

Ethel was married twice, but we only know of one husband, Edward Rose.  I do not yet know when they were married and I do not know her first husband’s name or what became of him.  We don’t have any pictures of Ethel, but we do have this picture of her husband Edward with her sister-in-law Iris, wife of her brother George.

From my mother’s descriptions of Ethel, she was always prim and proper. And, mommy says she had a “thing” about making sure the kids in the family’s teeth were clean.  Ethel never had children. I have a memory of being in Ethel’s house once around the time my grandfather died. I remember she had a town home that was one of many in a row on a cute block.

Ethel died May 31, 1988, her husband preceded her in death in January of 1978.  Both are buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, though her name was never put on the grave marker.  She is buried near her sister Lucinda and their mother Lucinda.

To follow-up on for the family records:

  • locate the Ethel in the 1910 census as a 2 year old with her family
  • locate Ethel in the 1930 census (but, i may need to find her 1st husband’s name before I can)
  • order her death certificate
  • look for her marriage records?
  • possibly search NYC directories?
  • and, since I’m looking at the family, I realize I need to order my grandfather’s (her brother) birth certificate

Watts Hospital – Durham, North Carolina

Over the past week or so, I’ve not felt particularly inspired to do much blog posting. I have been working on my family tree (and others) over this time, but nothing has really jumped out at me to blog about. But, I have been enjoying myself.

Just today, I found a connection that my stepfather has with one of the high schools I went to.  One of my stepfather’s ancestors was named Roosevelt Weaver (1905-1966). He was the son of Archie & Mary (Daye) Weaver.  Roosevelt was born in Durham and lived there his whole life (well, at least he was there in each census record throughout his lifetime).

I was searching the NC Death Certificate collection in Ancestry and found his death certificate. I was very surprised to see his place of death – Watts Hospital!

Watts Hospital operated in Durham from 1895-1976 and was the city’s first hospital. In 1980, the hospital became home to the North Carolina School of Science & Math – a school I attended during my 11th and 12th grade years!  It has been 15 years since I graduated high school, but I certainly remember walking the hallways  – we all knew it had been a hospital previously, and I can still  *see* the pictures of the wards that they had hanging around the school.

My mother tells me that she thinks her father-in-law may have also worked on the hospital grounds at some point – she is going to check.

What an interesting intersection I’ve had today.  :-)  Below is a picture of the Watts Hospital campus from the 1950s and in the yellow circle is the part of the campus that I lived in both years I was there – 1992 & 1993.  The picture is from a postcard collection I found online.

Connecting with Cuil

With all the fanfare around the launch of the Cuil.com search engine, I was planning to spend a little time exploring the site. In all of 5 minutes earlier today, I had formed my initial impressions of it – that I’m not sure I like it.  But, that could be me being hasty and not accepting something new, so I’ll spend some time later this week doing more investigations.

However, it has already done something for me. Today, I was contacted by a descendant of one of the family trees I am working on, that of James Carroll Napier.   We just spent an hour and half on the phone having the best conversation and just like other Napiers I’ve been contacted by, he’s declared me an honorary cousin!

His branch of the family has had a strong oral history and his uncle used to spend time at the house of JC & wife, Nettie. How cool!  DB (we’ll call him) found me as he was playing around with Cuil himself looking for any heretofore unknown JC Napier items and found the pictures I’d posted to Find A Grave of JC’s and family tombstones.

Here’s to Cuil for making me a new genealogy buddy!

Welcome to my new blog!

Welcome to the new blog location!

I decided to move my blog to my own web server so please update your links and bookmarks accordingly. Why the move?

  • I needed additional flexibility in the look of my blog. When hosted on WordPress’s site, I am limited to small selection of themes. Now, I have hundreds to choose from!
  • I also wanted to use my own web server. Since I am paying for the space, I might as well use it
  • Now that I’m self-hosted, I can incorporate all kinds of neat functions that I couldn’t do on wordpress.com

Apparently, I chose a perfect time to do this too.  WordPress just released a new version of the software, and they unveiled a directory to select themes. The installation was also very easy. I still have some work to do in updating links, but I plan to move some of my other blogs first and then do that.

Heritage of Edgecombe County

A few months ago, I read an announcement that a new Heritage book was coming out for one of the counties that I have roots in – Edgecombe County, North Carolina.  My McNair family line goes back (as far as I can trace it), to Rufus Tannahill McNair and his wife Mariah Wimberly McNair of Edgecombe County, NC.  So, when I learned of the book I was very excited and I plan to submit a story. I don’t have any pictures to go with the submission, but I’m excited nevertheless. I discovered these Heritage Books very early on in my genealogy quest and I’m excited to have a chance to actually contribute to one – especially with information on an African-American family, which I’ve noticed tend to be underrepresented in these books.

My deadline is October 15, 2008, so I have to get busy!

Footnote Findings & Feature Friday

I haven’t been working on my own family genealogy much this past two weeks or so – we’ve been rather busy and I’ve been devoting quite a bit of time to a few other genealogy projects; but, tonight I took a few minutes to play around on Footnote’s website.  I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I have developed some blogging memes – one of them was to take a database a month and search/browse for content relative to my genealogy blogs. I call it “Feature Friday”.

  • Last week, I found something in Footnote for my Kinston Free Press blog of deceased soldiers from Kinston on the Vietnam Memorial
  • Tonight I found a UFO sighting that was reported in Plymouth, NC for my Roanoke Beacon Blog
  • And, I just blogged about a descendant of Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt (namesake of my employing institution) who was approached to go in with a group of people to buy an island in France and make the American dollar the legal tender.

The time that I spend poking around gives me a better sense of the collections – as we know, much information continues to be frequently added.

For my own family tree however, back in May I found my grandmother’s brother listed on a crew list for the USS Neosho.  I already knew he was on this ship and let me tell you, that ship saw some crazy action – I leared a couple of years ago that about 80% of the crew was lost in action around the time of Pearl Harbor.  That is a story for another post – but my spotlight page is here.  I believe I have overcome my “battle with footnote”  :-)

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