Whippee!! I went to WorldVitalRecords today to remind myself how much the membership was and noticed that they had an option that I did not remember seeing before – a monthly payment option – only $5.95/month. I am ecstatic! I’ve had my eye on WVR for a few months and have been wanting to subscribe, but did not want to shell out the whole fee at once. So, I’m quite happy they now offer this and I just signed up! I’ll post any interesting finds I come across.
Over the past several weeks I’ve been in touch with the coordinator of the McClellan Family Tree DNA Project about our interest in testing some of Kalonji’s DNA lineage. During the course of our exchanges, I learned that he had the McClellan’s of Alabama and Arkansas book done by Bobbie Jones McLane, who is a great-grandchild of William Blount McClellan.
This book is absolutely wonderful! It is full of the research she compiled from family documents, records, etc. and I can’t wait to really delve into it. She put it together in 1962. On the front cover is a picture of the Idlewilde Plantation in Talladega. I still need to find out where this was located. So.. I’ve got enough McClellan information to keep me busy for the next year!
Cora Cox Lawhorn, my great-great grandmother was born approximately March 3, 1876 and died November 23, 1949. As yesterday was the anniversary of her death, I thought I would write a post about her.
I do not know any personal details about Cora in regards to her personality, however, my paternal grandmother, and a first cousin of my grandmother’s, were both named after their grandmother Cora.
Cora was born in North Carolina, likely right in Craven County where she lived, to Robert and Amanda Cox. From census records, I know that she had at least 4 siblings – Moses, Robert Jr., Joseph, and Edward. Cora’s first husband was Samuel Becton Lawhorn whom I am guessing she married around May 28, 1899. Their marriage date is listed in the Lawhorn Family Bible as the last sunday in May of 1899 and that was the date of the last Sunday. Furthermore, this matches very closely to their number of years married in the 1910 census.
Cora and Samuel would have five children that I know of – Samuel Jr., Ida, William, Phelton and George. Family information states that Samuel sr. died around 1916 and in the 1920 census, Cora is in fact widowed. Living next door to her is a man named Will Morton, whom she would eventually go on to marry on December 24, 1924. Cora outlived two of her children (Sam Jr. & Phelton) and upon her death would have known about 13 or so of her grandchildren.
Cora is buried in the family church cemetery, Alum Springs Church, in Dover, Craven County, North Carolina.
As I write this post and review my records, I see that I have not yet located Cora & Sam in the 1900 census, so off I go to look for that.
Lori, at Smoky Mountain Family Historian tagged me, however, I’m not currently reading anything! too busy steeped in my genealogy research
So, I’ll graciously pass on this one. Thanks Lori though, maybe next time!
I read on Eastman’s blog today that the Newberry Library announced a new website, ChicagoAncestors.org. I went to take a look and I am very excited by this new site! Do I have any families I’m working on from Chicago? No. So, why am I so psyched?
The reason I like this site so much is because of the integration of a map with family history, genealogy and historical information. You can look at the map and see where relevant items are based on geographic location. I think this is excellent! While not all sources would lend themselves to such discreet mapping (i.e. specific street location), I think this idea has great potential. If you haven’t taken a look at the site, I highly suggest it.
I write this blog post from the Talladega College Library. This was not my intention. We came to Talladega this weekend to visit Kalonji’s grandmother and I thought, great! I can go to the public library when we get to town and do some genealogy research on the McClellans! However, upon getting to the library, I saw that they were closed for the holiday weekend. Should have known.
So, I came down the road to Talladega College, a historically black college here in town, and ventured into their library. Luckily, they are open and allow public visitors. Unfortunately, all of their Talladega specific history information is in the Archives, which is closed on the weekends.
So, I’m in the computer lab and since I have a couple of hours to kill, I will do some random genealogy tasks. I wish I had thought to double check, but oh well,
at least I can get a few things accomplished over the internet. Change of plans — the cemetery where some of the white McClellans are buried is only about a mile away. I am going to go walk the cemetery. Perhaps I can get some pictures of tombstones that may not already be online and potentially help someone out.
Update @ 10pm — This afternoon turned out well after all! I made my way to the cemetery. Oak Hill Cemetery, in Talladega, Alabama is a HUGE cemetery! I asked a couple of people where I may find out who had a burial plot location and of course being a Saturday, City Hall was not open. I even tried a local funeral home, but could find no one present. So, I decided to park near the section of the cemetery that looked like the oldest part and walk around.
After walking around for about 30 minutes, I found most of the graves I was looking for – the Willam Blount McClellan family section and the Plowman family section. Go back to a few of my recent posts and you’ll see who William Blount McClellan is and why I’m interested in him. Since my digital camera is currently out of commission (a little three year old I know inserted something into the slot where the memory card goes and thus I cannot put a memory card in it) so I bought a few throwaway cameras and had the pictures developed on CD. They came out for the most part okay, but there were some where I was not close enough to the tombstone to read the transcription in the photo.
Here is a picture of the McClellan family plot. Buried here are William Blount McClellan, his wife Martha T. Roby McClellan, sons Francis McClellan and W.W. McClellan, and a few others – maybe 2 infant graves, and then 2 other tombstones that I can’t remember and can’t make out in my pictures. I’m definitely going back with my digital camera next time we are here.
This is the family plot of Thomas Scales Plowman. His wife was a daughter of William Blount McClellan, Magnolia Vinton McClellan. Thomas was a congressman.
And, there were so many interesting headstones, like this one in the McMillan plot.
And, I took some other random photos, so I’ll be uploading images to FindaGrave pretty soon.
I’ve never participated in a Carnival of Genealogy before, but I could not pass up the topic of this next round because it was extremely apropos.
The question: Do you have a family mystery that might be solved by DNA
The answer: yes, i think so! but, I’m not sure. I have some theories to test.
My husband want his Sons of the Confederacy membership. He is a McClellan from Talladega, Alabama. Here are the facts:
The Black McClellans
- There is an oral history that his black McClellan family bears resemblance to the white McClellan families in the area. I need to double-check this with his paternal grandmother Frances, but that is what he tells me.
- His great-grandfather is named Champ McClellan and was born about 1887 or so in Talladega, Alabama. Champ is Frances’ father.
- Champ’s mother’s name was Fannie McClellan. Though the 1930 census says she is widowed, her death certificate shows that her mother’s name was Rebecca McClellan. Fannie married later in life after having two children, but the last names of both her children, Champ and his brother, was also McClellan, so this leads me to believe she either married an unknown McClellan, or she had her children out of wed-lock.
- Champ was very light-skinned and his death certificate does not list his father. Census records list him as mulatto. Mama Frances says he was “bright” and very near white. She said her older sisters, his first two children, were also very “bright.” She said he never talked about his father, but she too wondered if his father was white.
- I cannot say CONCLUSIVELY that I’ve found Fannie in any census prior to 1900, but my best guess based on Champ’s age is that she was born somewhere around 1860-1865. Her death certificate when she passed in 1953 says she was 77, but that would make her only 11 years older than Champ (who’s age is more accounted for than hers).
- I did find a Fanny McClellan in the 1870 census, mulatto, listed as being 25 years old, thus born around 1855. Her age is not quite on par with what I think is Champ’s mother age, but I can’t rule her out either.
- I have not found a Rebecca McClellan that even looks like a close match to be Champ’s grandmother. Update on 11/3 – see the last bullet point in the White McClellan’s section.
The White McClellans
- The white McClellan family in the area are the family and descendants of General William Blount McClellan.
- General McClellan was a large slaveholder – in 1860 he had 15 slave houses and real estate value of $15,000.
- General McClellan served during the Civil War and was a Confederate soldier.
- General William Blount McClellan had sixteen children, including a son named Augustus R. McClellan, born in 1842, did in 1875.
- Augustus R. McClellan lives next to the above mentioned Fanny from the 1870 census – she lives right next door.
- Augusts McClellan’s census record for 1870 shows a 2 year old son named Champness (thus born about 1868). I have so far found no further information about Champness McClellan.
- With the assistance of a lady whose husband is also a McClellan descendant, she pointed me towards this 1880 census of the General William B. McClellan household in which there is a 45 year old black woman named Rebecca with a 14 year old daughter named Fanny. Also, in the house is an 8 year old black boy named Chap (could be a mistake for Champ). Could this be Kalonji’s Fanny & Rebecca? Is that Chap a brother of Fanny’s?
All this combined really leads me to believe that I have a plausible theory, that Kalonji’s great-grandfather Champ was fathered by one of these white McClellan men. Kalonji occasionally grows red hairs (as does his father) and the white McClellan’s are of Scottish descent. Of course, this may not be the case, but our first set of DNA tests that we will do will be to try and solve this.
With help from above-mentioned researcher, I am constructing the white McClellan family tree. If I can find a son of a son of a son, etc. on down the line to test (or two), it would help me either way. If a yDNA lineage test shows a match, then we know it to be true! If the test does not show a match, at this point, my next plausible suspect is a member of the Plowman family. Three of Willam B.’s daughters married three Plowman brothers – so with Plowman’s in the household… Of course, that may not yield a match either. But, we are certainly going to try!
I’m confident I can track down someone, the challenge will be to see if any of them have done a yDNA test or would be willing to do one. Some may not be willing to do it as they may not want the association, but really – we know this kind of situation happened all the time! I hope I can find someone who is willing.So, that is my objective. I look forward to taking this on over the next year and seeing what we can find out!
I’ve been meaning to blog about this for awhile, but I wanted to share how I manage a problem that I was encountering. Towards the beginning of the year, I began to realize I needed a way to keep track of the published resources (mostly books), that I was using in my research. I didn’t want to lose track of them just in case I needed to refer back to them. Fortunately, I live near the Tennessee State Library & Archives, but even researching their catalog began to be cumbersome as I was needing to do this each time I prepared to visit.
So, I turned to DabbleDB. I first came across DabbleD about 18 months ago I think, and given my preference for web 2.0 tools, the idea of an online database management system was highly appealing to me. At first, I felt limited, but then they opened it up so that you could have a free database as long as you had your information in the public domain. Fine by me.
So, I began to create my database and the current result is a database of all the books I consult, or want to make sure I consult, as I do my genealogy research. The fields I created are for tracking the county a resource covers, what topics it covers, which libraries hold it (not an exhaustive list, but some of my usual suspects), and a citation field so I can create bibliographies.
Then, I have an online link to my reports and then the list can be exported to PDF. Some examples:
- Let’s say I am about to go to the Tennessee State Library& Archives – I can use my database to create a list of books that they hold so I can have quick referral.
- Or, what if I get an email from a fellow researcher that wants to know what resources I’m familiar with for Washington County, North Carolina. I can provide them a link to my bibliography. The PDF version is quite nice too.
So far, this is working out very well! Anytime I make a trip to a library, I document the books I’ve consulted in my database. Anytime I’m doing a web search and I find a book that I am interested in, I put it in my database.
What you don’t see in those lists either is my link to Worldcat.org. Having a link in the database directly to the record helps me quickly check for other places to look. Also, Worldcat has an easy link to grab a properly formatted citation for any resource in the catalog so I capture that citation in case I need a formal printed list. Excellent resources and I highly recommend them for keeping track of your materials. If you’re interested in seeing my other reports, I have a link to my overall database in my blogroll list on the side of this blog – “Taneya’s Genealogy Books Database.”
I next need to create a way to track journal articles as I’m starting to use more of these as well. Look for that enhancement in a later post.
I was browsing TNGenWeb one day, and decided to look and see which counties were up for adoption. Since I live in Nashville and so close to the state archives, I thought being a county coordinator and further relying on the resources of the archives, would be an excellent way for me to give back to the genealogical community of Tennessee.
So, I chose Blount County and sent an email asking to be the new county coordinator. I heard back yesterday and I am now the one! I will spend the next few weeks familiarizing myself with the content of the site and the rules and regs of being a county coordinator, but I am so excited! My first task? Redesign the site.
Though the USGenWeb sites are EXCELLENT repositories of information, I have been on so many that I think could have a site update. Blount County, TN is no exception. So, I have done a mock-up for a new design that will rely less heavily on the traditional vertical presentation of information that is commonly used. Here is what I have come up with and it is based in large part on the design of Warren County, North Carolina.
I love historical newspapers and I find that you can learn a tremendous amount about the cultural context of a given community by reading through their newspapers. I have ordered old newspapers for a few communities of personal interest and some of my side projects involve indexing them (see links on sidebar).
I was pleased to get a message in my email inbox this past week about an online conference call this weekend that Sharon Seargeant is hosting about the use of newspapers as sources of information. I’ve not yet participated in any genealogy related conference calls/webcasts, so this should be an interesting experience. I very much look forward to any tips that may be offered. More information about the call can be found here.
In related newspaper news, I read on Eastman’s blog today that Genealogy Bank has added new content. I’ve kept my eye on Genealogy Bank for awhile now, but never subscribed. Today however, I decided to go ahead and do a one month subscription. I can’t wait to delve into all the offerings, but something immediately jumped out at me and I am going to email Genealogy Bank.
I do however have a recommendation for them (and any other site that indexes newspapers, Ancestry included) that I think would make these sources immediately more useful. Google Map the location of the newspapers! While there may be times that I am familiar enough with a region to know the nearest major town that I could possibly check for information, I do not know this all the time. A list of paper titles even if it includes the town name does not always make it easy for me to pick a paper. If I could type in the town name in Google Maps and see little red balloons for each paper that is geographically close, that approach would be MUCH more useful to me!
That said, I still cannot wait to get in and play around with Genealogy Bank! Just now I was doing some searching and located this ad from the October 17, 1829 issue of the North Carolina Sentinel. This is an advertisement for a runaway slave named Tom Whitfield from a man named Henry B. Mitchell. The ad states that Tom used to belong to Warre Kilpatrick – a man whom I suspect my own ancestor, Silas Kilpatrick, may have belonged to (or at the least, I suspect Warre to be part of that family). They could have known each other….