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Finding relatives

When I really started reading genealogy sites online, I would often see stories and accounts of people finding cousins through their online searching. Well, in the past couple of months, I’ve located some too! Just yesterday a second cousin of mine found my family site and emailed me. A few weeks ago, I found a post on Ancestry from a woman who has turned out to be like a fourth cousin of mine and I’ve posted before of another lady I’ve met online who is possibly a fifth cousin. I am so moved by this and I really am glad that I am doing my family research. It goes to show just how connected we really are to each other!

No other major things to post about. I received the death certificate for one of Kalonji’s great-great grandmothers yesterday, but it had little revealing info. She’s proven elusive to find in any census records so one day I will have to do some serious handsearching. It did have her exact birth date though! Whereas all I had was abt. 1871, the death certificate reported her birth as March 10, 1871. Tomorrow, we are taking a trip to Evansville, so I will go to the public library and copy her obituary.

Burst Bubbles

Yesterday in the mail I received some microfilmed newspaper from Talledga, AL that I ordered from the Alabama Dept of Archives. I was so excited! I ordered this particular time period in hopes of finding an obituary for Kalonji’s great-grandfather, Champ McClellan. He was a well-known preacher in Talladega and I just “knew” there would be a great write-up about him.

Well, my bubble got burst. He died in 1961. Talledaga is definitely “the south” and given the time period, I should not have been surprised. The newspaper only reported on the African-Americans in town on Wed & Thursdays. The paper had a column called “The Activities of the Colored Citizens of Talladega” specifically for that purpose. Champ’s information was there but it was all of three lines. I do learn from this however that Champ seems to have a middle name that I had not seen previously – started with the letter C. hmm…..

However, this has sparked my desire to begin indexing this newspaper as well — if only I didn’t have a full-time job!

Nothing Major

I don’t think I’ve had any major discoveries in my own family genealogy as of late. I just continue to request certificates to add to my files. The other day, I received my paternal grandfather’s death certificate. He died 1/1/76 in a car crash and all the information on there was info I already knew. His death resulted in a court proceeding, to which I have the transcript, that I hope to be able to find more records on if I can. But, that is a post for another day…

Recently, I have been working on a friend’s genealogy and that has been fun! Her family is steeped in Madison County, AL, so I’ve been fortunate to be able to find most of them pretty well in the census records. And, Madison County has an excellent website of indexes to their marriage records that has been wonderful for verifying some dates! Our next step is to start requesting certificates from there for her to add. She is just beginning her genealogy and within a matter of a couple of days I was able to find one of her 4th-Great Grandparents! She loved that!

In my indexing project of the newspaper from Plymouth, NC where my maternal grandmother is from, I just came across the news blurb of the opening of Plymouth High School. My grandmother graduated from there in 1944 and the school opened in 1889. That’s kinda cool.

An Interesting Census Find

Tonite, I was doing some searching and came across an interesting census record. So far, I have not been able to locate my ancestors, Anthony Walker & wife Martha in the 1880 census. But, I had been limiting my searching to the Washington County, NC area, where I know they lived most of their life. Well, tonite, I found an entry for what might be the family – but living in Louisiana!

This is what is in the census record

1880 Morehouse County Louisiana, 10th Ward
Anthony – Head, age 30, farm laborer, born in NC, parents born in NC
Martha – Wife, age 25, born in Ark?, parents born in NC
Martha – daughter, age 6, born in Louisia, parents born in NC/Ark
Mary – daughter, age 4, born in Louisiana, parents born in NC/Ark
Bertha – daughter, age 1, born in Louisiana, parents born in NC/Ark

This is what matches what I already know:
1) That both Anthony & Martha report being born in NC
2) Anthony’s age in this census record matches what I already knew – that he was born in 1850
3) Martha’s age (the wife) in this record matches what I already know – that she was born somewhere around 1853 or so..
4) Two of the kids names matches two names I already had – Martha & Mary

What doesn’t match
1) the daughter Martha is not our direct relative, but Mattie was born in 1897. On the 1900 census she is 3, so I know that the Martha above is not the same as our Martha. However, given the high rate of infant mortality and the apparent penchant in our family for them to reuse names of kids that previously died, maybe this was an older sister of Mattie’s that died before Mattie was born?
2) the Mary above seems to be around 10 years older than the Mary I already have for Anthony & Martha. Again, from the 1900 census, they list a daughter Mary that is 14 years old. She would not have been born in 1880. But again… possible older sister that died?
3) And, I don’t have a daughter for them named Bertha – but that too may be a child that died?

Hmm.. are these my ancestors? Off to do more research! But, if this is them – it then makes one ponder – what were they doing in Louisiana???

Update – nope, this wasn’t them

Where are they all at?

I received some goodies in the mail today – more certificates and obituaries that I’d ordered. I was looking at the newspaper obituary for my paternal great-grandmother and it says that she had 47 grandchildren. In looking at my files, I see that I only have 28 listed. Who are these other grandchildren?? I know I have huge gaps where I don’t have information filled in, but part of this whole process makes me wonder if I’ll ever get the family groups completely accurate? Most likely not – I guess that’s the fun in the hunt huh?

In a different certificate, I learned of another generation back. In my last post, I related how I learned of my one of my paternal gg-grandmother’s father’s name. Well, I received his death certificate and it lists his parents. More names to search for in the census records! Though, given that Clayton himself was born in 1830, I am not sure I will find his parents as late as 1870.

New Family Info

I meant to put this in my post from yesterday, but I’ll just make it a separate post for now.. Earlier this week, I talked to a great-great uncle of mine and he shared with me some family history. His mother was essentially orphaned as a child. This much I knew. But what I did not know was how her last name was known (Harvey) if that was the case. It turns out, she was raised by her natural father and his wife. His wife was not her mother. Her mother was also married and when she was three, her mother left her at her father’s doorstep to be raised by him and his family. Drama stays the same doesn’t it?

But, while telling me this story, my uncle also told me the father’s name, so now I have yet another person to start tracking down :-) As yet, I still have not found him in the census that I expect him to be in, so I’ll keep looking!

Have I found a 5th Great Grandparent?

I have a census entry that puzzles me. One of my ancestors, Robert Cox is listed in the 1880 census with his family. In his household it lists an Affie named as his mother and a woman named Phoebee Benders, age 90 listed as his grandmother. However, I don’t know if this is Robert’s mother’s mother (I guess so as his mother also lives with him) or his father’s mother. Yet, if she is his paternal grandmother why is the last name different? I wonder if I have a case here where after slavery ended parts of the family took on different last names. I may never really know, but it sure will keep me looking for awhile!

Compounded to this is that there is also two young nieces living with him whose last name is also Benders. So, that makes me wonder if Phoebee is Robert’s wife’s grandmother. Who knows? But, for now, I have placed Phoebee is Robert’s maternal grandmother. Maybe I’ll get to find her real position one day. But in any case, she is either Robert or his wife’s grandmother, so that makes her my furthest back ancestor! (born abt. 1790).


This past week still sees me doing more organization of my genealogy files. I have requested a few more certificates and they are starting to trickle in. Also, my mother found some of her papers, so I now have her parent’s marriage certificate! I’m quite happy about that. :-)

I am also learning how to do digital scrapbooking, so I of course had to do a couple of family-related ones as I experiment. This first one is of one set of my great-grandparents -William and Pearlie Mae Kilpatrick.

And this one is for my maternal grandmother. I love looking at her older pictures. I believe all of these are from around the 40’s.

I Love Public Libraries

In my last post, I talked about my trip to the Evansville Public Library. This weekend, I visited my public library for my newest project :-)

I received the first three rolls of microfilm that I ordered for the Roanoke Beacon. This is a newspaper for Washington County, NC where my maternal grandmother and her family/ancestors are from. On Sunday, I went to my public library to start looking at the microfilm and the information I’ve learned so far has been extremely interesting. I am creating an online index to the items in the paper that I think have the most local and genealogical import, so it will be a selective index. I created the database last month and have used another genealogist’s transcription to help finalize the fields. I have entered three issues worth of information and I already can tie certain individuals to the more prominent history makers in Plymouth. I have found news items on black people, marriage notices that were not listed in the county’s official records, and so many other cool things. Fascinating indeed!

A Day In the Library

Over Memorial Day Weekend, I was in Evansville and had a chance to visit the public library there! My husband has a lot of family from that area and I was able to find quite a bit of information about his various family members by using an online database that the library has that provides information/clippings from the local area newspapers from the last 50 years or so. My mission while there was to photocopy obituaries that I had located using this online database.

And, mission was successful! I got a photocopy of the original obituaries and they held a trove of wonderful information! The public library there is only a couple years old and is quite nice. The staff were very helpful and I found my information in no time at all. It was great! And now, since being back home, I’ve identified several more obits that I’ll go back and get next time we go back.

On my family – I have not been doing much these past few weeks. I continue to write off for birth/death certificates. One of the counties I have been writing too has really annoyed me. They told me that they don’t do genealogy work as they don’t have the time and that if I send requests in the future it may take them weeks and weeks to pull the certificates. Now, true I have requested approximately 40 certificates from them over the past four months or so, but I usually send one request for about 5-10 certificates at a time. I provide exact death dates and follow all the instructions on their site, send the appropriate fees and send SASEs. So all they have to do is pull the book and photocopy the page. They don’t have to do any verification of the information I send — so how is that “genealogy” work. Is it not their job to pull certificates and make copies? I’m just really annoyed by that. If they are going to provide a service, they need to provide a service. And, what is most frustrating is that this is the county where I have a LOT of relatives and extended family from, so there are many certificates that I’d like to request. Whereas in the past they’d been sending them back to me within a couple of weeks, my latest request they have held for a month now and that only requested 4 certificates. So frustrating.