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Wordless Wednesday: Basketball

My father in 1970 Рpoint guard for the Newbold High School basketball team in Dover, North Carolina. Picture taken from his yearbook. 

daddy_bball

Research tip for me: consult newspapers from the time period to see if his performance was mentioned ūüôā

Latest Addition to my Genealogy Bookshelf

Last weekend, I picked up the new book from Henry Louis Gates, In Search of Our Roots. This is the companion book to the African-American Lives 2 special from last year.

I just started reading the book yesterday and I am enjoying it ¬†There are profiles in the book for the highlights of the research Gates and his collaborators did to learn more about each person’s family tree. ¬†Some of the people featured are Morgan Freeman, Don Cheadle, Quincy Jones and Maya Angelou.

As I began to read the book, I wondered how much of their tree information was available online? ¬†Wouldn’t it be interesting to have a supplemental online tree to go along with the book where a reader could interactively navigate? ¬†Also, it would be useful to have the information online to faciliate discovery by other researchers (perhaps distant cousins) to connect to the research conducted.

On the African-American Lives site, there is an interactive timeline that includes major milestones in black history as well as major milestones in each of the participants history, but it is an image based representation, thus not indexable or searcheable.

I’ve been thinking about this concept lately as I read another book, The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White. This book details the family history of white and black Hairstons of Virginia & North Carolina and is full of genealogical details. ¬†One thing that was quite noticeable for me is that the author has a tree structure for the white Hairstons, but so far, I’ve not seen a tree structure for the black Hairston’s he discusses. ¬†I have searched online for tree information for some of those families and not been able to find anything online in a consistent manner.

Here is my wish and desire — for both these books, and any others that chroncile family history having an companion online tree (perhaps at Ancestry Family Trees, WeRelate, or FamilyHistoryLink would be an interesting way to share some of the work online in a way that is more easily discovered by others. ¬†Alternatively, at the site they could use my favorite genealogy software, TNG: The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding to provide an online view to the trees. ¬†At the minimum, the Gates book could have been made searcheable at Google Books (update 8/15/09¬†– it is now searcheable); ¬†the Hairstons book is searcheable. ¬†In the age of web 2.0/ Genealogy 2.0, this would be a wonderful means for establishing more connections!

Search Enhancements At GenealogyBank

I really need to go to bed, but I just had to post this!

I was sneaking a peek in GenealogyBank.com tonight and noticed that they have made some enhancements to their search interface for the Historical Newspapers Collection. ¬† When you go to the search screen, you are shown several new search options that were not there last time I searched about a month ago. ¬†I don’t see an announcement on the GenealogyBank blog though. (update 2/18/09 — today, they made a blog post about it)

The first new item on the search screen is the option to search the *updated content* that is added to the database. ¬†GB often adds new pages and I’d written to them several months ago that it would be nice to be able to search the new additions only. ¬†I was told that it was coming, and now it’s here. ¬†At the time of this post, the options for searching just the updated content allow you to select things added since Feb 2009, since Jan 2009, or since Dec 2008.

genealogybank

They have also added a graphic map of the United States with blue dots to represent locations where they have newspaper content. ¬† While it’s not my dream vision of seeing a Google Maps ultra-mashup of all the online digitized newspapers online, it is a nice view to get a sense for where they have coverage and where they don’t. ¬†I wish all providers of historical newspapers would do something similar. ¬† Beneath the graphic is a list of all the states and you can select which states to limit your search to. ¬†Previously, you could only select one state at at time; now you can select multiple states.

If you haven’t searched GenealogyBank in awhile, you should revisit it. ¬†If you are not a subscriber, ¬†try out the one-month trial. ¬†(No affiliation, just a very happy customer).

To add to my excitement about the new search options, I also found something of great interest to me. ¬†In my last post, I shared how this week has been all about my Koonce research. ¬† A lot has happened this past week with that. ¬†Well, as I often do, I did a keyword search for a city of interest for blog fodder, and one of my results was a slave runaway advertisement that I’d seen before and blogged about previously. ¬†I’d selected to search new content only, so even though this was something I’d seen before, I knew that often ads were run in multiple issues. ¬†I decided to take a look at this particular issue of ¬†the New Bern Sentinel and as I was browsing the pages, I came across this marriage announcement

kooncedavid_marriage

Source: “Marriage: David Nunn & Alice Koonce.” New Bern Sentinel 6 Sept. 1823. GenealogyBank. 16 Feb. 2009 <http://www.genealogybank.com>.

This is the marriage notice of David Nunn and Alice Koonce who married in Jones County, North Carolina in 1823.¬† I am quite happy to see this! I have Alice Koonce & David Nunn in my “other” Koonce gedcom collection. ¬†I added David & Alice after *meeting* Jennifer, another African-American Koonce researcher who is descended from a slave David sold to his brother-in-law Isaac, named Solomon. ¬† Isaac, as part of some of the pioneer families migrating from North Carolina, moved to Tennessee, bringing Solomon with him and that is where Jennifer’s family is from. ¬†She’s got a wonderful website and blog with more details. ¬†In any case, I just happened to browse the pages and I see a notice of David & Alice’s wedding. ¬† Up until now, I’d only had secondary sources for their marriage. ¬† I can’t believe I have yet another Koonce-related discovery and I wasn’t even searching for it!

I Proclaim This My Koonce Week

This past week or so has been especially rewarding for me – asI’ve had a cluster of activity around my Koonce surname.

In these past several days I’ve spoken to the daughter of my great-aunt that recently passed away, spoken to two Koonce descendants who also have ties to Lenoir & Craven counties in NC; and gotten permission from a third Koonce researcher to post the issues of the Koonce to Koonce newsletter online.

To top it off, today after doing some searching at Newspaper Archive.com, my mother found mention of my grandfather’s (William Koonce Sr.) ¬†fatal car accident in a story that was picked up by the Associated Press on New Year’s fatalities from the new year of 1976. ¬†I’ve blogged before about my experience reading court records involving his accident, and to read his name in the newspaper brought those same feelings back again- it truly feels like going back in time. ¬†It is just one sentence, but it is a powerful sentence for me. ¬†I’ve not yet found a newspaper obituary for my grandfather, so this is the closest I’ve come yet.

In the Syracuse Herald-Journal newspaper of Syracuse, New York, there is an article that was published January 2, 1976 titled “Hoodlums, Accidents, Fire Mar Holiday Spirit” and here is my grandfather listed among the fatalities

kooncewilliam_apstory

My Own Valentine

In honor of Valentine’s day, let me share my own Valentine, my ancestor and 2nd-great-grandfather, Valentine Lawhorn.¬†

Valentine Lawhorn was born about 1830 in North Carolina, and by the 1870 census, lived in Craven County, North Carolina. ¬†I have not yet uncovered any information about who his parents may have been, and even trying to figure out potential slaveowners has been to date a challenge in my research. ¬†I’ve not been able to locate any white Lawhorn families in the area, though I have seen a few McLawhorns.¬†

Valentine was married to Harriet (born about 1843) and as far as I can tell, they had 5 children.   For this side of my family, we do have an early Bible with listings of births, deaths, and marriages and there is one reference to Valentine in the bible Рfor his son Wright who was a preacher

lawhornbible

Valentine’s son Samuel Becton Lawhorn is my direct ancestor, the father of my grandfather, William Hew Lawhorn.¬†

Valentine passed away some time before 1900 as by then, his wife Harriet is listed as a widow and lives with her son Wright. I have no information about where Valentine may be buried either, but one day I hope to learn more about this family. 

Valentine’s name continues to be passed along in the family; his son Samuel named a son Valentine and my great-uncle named gave one of his sons the middle name of Valentine.

In Memory of Aunt Hazel

On Monday, February 2, 2009, my great-aunt, Mrs. Hazel Koonce Harper, of Kinston, North Carolina passed away.  She was 94 years old.  I only have vague memories of meeting her, but I did have a chance to speak with her a couple of years ago about her family and she provided me with valuable information that I had not previously known. 

Hazel was born August 24th, 1914 in Craven County, North Carolina, the daughter of my great-grandparents, Barfield Koonce and Josephine Holloway Koonce. ¬†Hazel’s youngest brother William was my paternal grandfather. ¬†Here is Hazel and the family in the 1920 census (Township 3, Craven County) where she was at the time the youngest enumerated

barfield_census1920

Hazel was the mother of 10 children and her online obituary at the Kinston Free Press newspaper indicates that she had 52 grandchildren.  

My thoughts are with the family today as she is interred at St. John’s AME Zion Church in Fort Barnwell, the final resting place of her maternal grandmother, Polly Hood Holloway¬†and aunt Priscilla Holloway Smith.

Update 2/14/09– Aunt Hazel was not interred at St. John’s AME, but instead at Oak Hill Cemetery.

 

Wordless Wednesday: I Loved This Dress

Another not so wordless post for Wordless Wednesday

taneya_bwdress

Who: ¬†Me ūüôā

What:  Showing off my favorite dress РI LOVED THIS DRESS!

Where:  Roswell suberb outside of Atlanta, Georgia where we were living at the time.

When: Late spring 1989, end of my 9th grade year

Why: ¬†Evening choir concert for my choir at school. I was at home waiting for a classmate to pick me up. My mother couldn’t take me becuase her car was acting up at the time, so I was going to be there by myself. ¬†Well, much to my joy, while performing, I looked in the audience and Mommy was there! I was so happy. ¬†On the way home though, the car did almost threaten to turn itself off. ūüôā

More info than you care about:  this same dress was worn by actress Malinda Williams in the 1999 movie, The Wood.  The kids were at a school dance and I tripped out when I saw they had this dress for her!

New Look for Genealogy Site

At the beginning of this year, I updated the theme on this blog. Now I have just finished updating the look for my main genealogy site as well. I use TNG: The Next Generation for my site and find it to be a perfect match for what I need in a genealogy program.

Up until this week, there were only 7 choices to select from for your site theme, unless you wanted to take that task on yourself. I don’t know CSS very well, and have not wanted to try and merge the site into a content management system just yet, so this was my old theme. This week, a new theme was offered and I just finished applying it to my site. I actually think it goes very well with my current blog theme.

gensite

You can click on the picture above to go to my site. 

With this new theme, there were only a few things I tweaked in order to customize it.¬†I changed the words across the top “Our Genealogy Site” to be hyperlink to the front page; ¬†I customized the image that runs across the top with pictures from our own family;¬†I like the Random Photo feature — the interesting thing is that I have so many genealogies (both family, non-family, and special projects), that a visitor may find themselves wonderign questions such as “What in the world does Commodore Vanderbilt have to do with Taneya? ¬†(explanation here);¬†¬†I put my same custom links on the front page. When I visit other TNG pages, I often find myself wanting to know explicitly, that person’s tree and many times I don’t see that. So, it was important to me to put my specific tree on the front page. ¬†Then, I use the other links as starting points whenever I’m working on some of the other genealogies. ¬†It’s much easier to have the direct link than use the search or surname browse and then go to their specific tree. ¬†And, I added a graphic to lead over here to the Genealogy Blog that I created at cooltext.com

 

This and a trip to the state archives yesterday is as much genealogy as I’ve done this weekend; too busy playing Dance Dance Revolution!

Does It Get Any Better Than This?

Does it get any better than discovering there is (well, in my case, was) a genalogical society for your surname?  

koonce2koonce

This is an excerpt from the front page of the Koonce To Koonce newsletter of the Koonce Genealogical Society. ¬†I learned of the newsletter last month I think from a random internet search, and then discovered that the Tennessee State Archives has several issues. ¬†At this point, I have not looked to see how many issues were done total, but I will find out. ¬†Koonce’s (from my slaveowners families in Eastern NC) were some of the early settlers in Tennessee and Nashville, so I’m not surprised that TSLA would have these. ¬†I spent quite a bit of time browsing through the issues and I photocopied two issues for beginners. Believe me, I’m going to photooopy them all eventually. ¬† While most of the information is for the white Koonce lines, I was still fascinated. ¬†

When I got home, I showed the newsletter to Kaleya to see if she would recognize the pattern of ¬†the name Koonce. ¬†I taught her that the words on my name badge for work say “Taneya Koonce”, so she looked at it and thought it also said Taneya Koonce. ¬†Well, close enough for me! I was just happy that she recognzied the word Koonce out of context of my name badge ūüôā

My First ScanFest

This weekend I participated in my first Scanfest. It was fun! Though, I did do things a little unconventionally. I did not scan anything during the actual time frame, but instead, earlier that day, I scanned in some pages I photocopied when I visited the Tennesse State Library & Archives on Saturday.  Here is an example of one of the things I scanned and posted online Рit is an index of a WPA tombstone transcription book from 1938. 

Index to Blount Cemetery Records from the WPA

 
I’ve decided I’m on a mission to provide as many indexes as I can. The TSLA has a great collection and I feel fortunate to live close to it. I learned this week for the first time of plans for GenSeek (see here and here); I think it would be very cool to be able to submit indexes to those resources that are not available full-text online.

I also scanned in several more that I will be gradually getting online and adding to my Special Projects page by the end of the week.