Friday, January 1, 2016

A New Year means really thinking about my research

January 1, 2016

In October, through my FACEBOOK connections, I discovered the Genealogy Do-Over group, run by Thomas MacEntee.  I attempted to follow along, but with work and teaching 3 courses this past fall, I realized that there was just too much for me to do in 13 weeks. Then I realized he was creating a new book (The Genealogy Do-Over Workbook) designed to be done over one full year.  Yes - more my timeline.  So, let's begin the New Year!!

After reading the first couple of chapters, I realized that really what I need to do is a Genealogy Go-Over - not starting from scratch, but instead truly reviewing what I have, and where I need to go. For those that don't know my story, it is thanks to my mother
that I became passionate about genealogy.  I grew up at her side as she was working on family discoveries, often visiting relatives, cemeteries, court houses and historical societies helping to do some of the work.  The earliest records (letters) date from 1954, the year after I was born.

When she passed in 2006, she left me 4 filing cabinets and 40 boxes of genealogy stuff!  I was honored, but also taken aback with the amount of paper.  And please remember she did the majority of her research without the internet, and was scared she would lose something - so filed things in multiple places!  One of the things I have (that I've yet to decide what to do with) are the 1000+ letters - she made copies of everything she wrote and originals of the responses.

As a result of two moves in the past 3 years, I've already done the following.  The 4 filing cabinets of folders on family members were all scanned - however, these scans need to get organized.  I kept all original documents in folders called "birth certificates, death certificates, etc.)  As I scanned a file, I also set up the person on my tree in Ancestry and also synced that with FTM (more on that story later).  I did the files in order of the tree - checking citations and information on each.  This process took almost three years, to where I know have 1 filing drawer (yes ONE) of files that I'm still working on.

These files are ones where there is little documentation; or confusing documentation - and thus they are for people not listed on my public tree. I just refuse to put something up that doesn't have the right documentation.

The 40 boxes were a different story.  Among those boxes were 10 boxes of family pictures and bibles.  These have been scanned an attached to the appropriate person; however, I still have a one box of photos - unknown and/or not yet scanned.

The boxes also contained binders and more binders of information.  From these, I've started in 2015 to create my own binders, that now have the key documents in archival sheets with each individual.  However, I've only done 3 generations - so I have a long way to go.  Through this process, I've also discovered additional documentation that I need to obtain.

With the end of FTM, I made the decision to go to RootsMagic, and fortunately the import was reasonably easy.  However, one thing will be to double check Ancestry to RootsMagic to FTM to the binders to make sure that I have everything saying the same thing. Plus I'm learning RootsMagic as I go, so trying to find how to do something new is never easy.

Thus the Go-Over - versus the Do-Over. My goals for January?
l.  Review the last 2 boxes of paper I have yet to tackle. Scan what I can and know that later I'll have time to chase those leads.
2. Structure my work space so that the research I'm doing on my husbands tree can still continue, while I Go-Over my tree.  I started his tree search from scratch and know that the work I've done there has the sources and documentation I need.
3.  As requested, think about my current research habits, and how they can be improved.  I know that I have not used a to-do list; and that is something I will need to start to use, especially since I'm working on multiple trees.  In addition, most of my research now is pre-1850 and it just gets harder to do, thus more thought into what and where to research is necessary.
4.  Finally, I need to realize that the time I'm using to better organize will benefit me.

My hope is through this Go-Over project, the organization of genealogy will be easier for anyone else who picks it up in the future.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Going to start again

Although it has been awhile since I've written; it has not stopped the work on genealogy.  But I moved again - this time to North Carolina (from Florida) and so it has taken time to find the time with a new house, and a new job, in a new location to find time to do anything relating to genealogy.

In August, I got to drive to Fayette County, PA and visit my cousin who is currently living there.  He took me on a grand tour of everything KING (related through my grandmother, who was Virginia King).  During the trip we stopped at the Cramer-King Cemetery, which is actually in Somerset County.  There I got to touch, and take a picture of the gravestone of Hannah Messimore (Missimer) King, the wife of Samuel King. They had 12 children, one of which is Charles Frederick King my third great grandfather.

The cemetery was out in the middle of a farm - surrounded by a fence.  Some of the stones were impossible to read, others like this one, you could actually understand. The usgwarchives has a complete listing for the cemetery at:  

This single stone makes me realize how much more there is to learn! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lycurgus S. Lee (1827-1918)

       Lycurgus (Curt) S. Lee (1827 - 1918), an early settler of Cass County, was born in Montgomery County, Maryland.  He was a farmer near Bluff Springs.  His parents were Caleb and Matilda (Higgins) Lee.  Caleb sold his share of the family plantation in Maryland and, with his wife and children, came to Illinois in 1831.  Caleb bought land one mile south of Bluff Springs, Cass County ( then part of Morgan County ), in 1832. 
     Lycurgus was raised on his father’s farm.  He attended what was known as the corner schoolhouse and worked on the farm.  He later served as school director and road commissioner.  Lycurgus had several brothers and sisters:  John; William; Thomas (moved to Nebraska); Margaret (married Franklin Hammer of Beardstown); Amanda (married Ossian Ross and they moved to Missouri); Martin (moved to Atchison County, MO, where he was county clerk), and Charles.  Apparently, John and William died young.  Lycurgus was baptized at Rock Creek Episcopal Church in Montgomery County, MD.  The Lees went to the Methodist church near Bluff Springs. 

     In 1854, Lycurgus married Luvina Ream.  She was born in Morgan County, IL, the daughter of John and Catherine (Purvine) Ream.  The Reams came from Pennsylvania, and originally from Germany.  Catherine (Purvine) was born in Miami County, OH.  Lycurgus and Luvina’s children were:  Charles, Dora, Mary, Anna, Solon, and Ada.  
Information comes from Dale Robertson, a cousin in Illinois. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Teaching Genealogy Again

The past year has seen me accept a new position and make a move to a new university setting - Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.  One of the things I knew I would miss from Widener University (Chester, PA) was my work with their Osher LifeLong Learning Institute in Exton, PA. There I had the wonderful privilege of teaching beginning genealogy to a group of individuals who were learning for the "love of learning!" Each week they asked questions and tested me, but together we were able to create new family history's for them, and work to find their missing relatives.  This work kept me connected with my heritage of family genealogy - and resulted in my work on this blog.

When I moved, I feared I would lose this connection. But now, just a year later, two lifelong learning institutes have opened at Stetson - one in Celebration and one at the historic campus in DeLand. And once again I'm working with lifelong learners to learn more about genealogy.  Today I'm getting ready to teach this week about writing the family history - and how there are a multiplicity of ways it can be done today. Blogs included!  I then realized that I had gotten away from blogging during this past year of moving - and thus this entry!

I love that we can now easily share - on a blog - all about the family. Pictures and stories that can be easily accessible to the rest of the family.  Although publishing can be done much easier today than before, blogging  seems to work for me. I can write in short spurts - and immediately publish what I've discovered.

So what genealogy finds have occurred since I've been in Florida? The largest has been an ancestral chart drawing produced by my grandmother and her sister (Fern Daisy Fox Yoder and Margaret Fox Glass) in 1923 of their memories of their family history.  A photo won't do it justice - so you will just have to believe by description.  It is in the shape of a circle - hand drawn - with 5 generations of names (that they knew of) on the wheel. What is fascinating is that the wheel, whenever possible focuses on the women in genealogy - not the men! I can't help but wonder if this was their message that they believed in the Equal Rights Amendment, giving rights to women, proposed in 1923! Fern, would have been 26, married for 4 years, with a 2 year old daughter in 1923. So I went hunting for a picture of her, and found this one. This had to be taken when mom was just about 1 year old in 1921.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thinking of Dad today

Thinking of my Dad today. It would have been his 93 birthday - here we are celebrating his 90th birthday, just 3 years ago. And it does seem like yesterday.

He taught me so much, things I'm just now getting to understand. His legacy becomes the care he afforded to everyone. The smile, the kind words, the caring hand-written notes. These are things that in the technology world today, still mean so much. His memory will live on in so many ways. In the words of the following poem, by Michael Josephson - he lived a life that matters. I know he is in the thoughts of many today.

How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built;
Not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you know, but how many people will feel a lasting loss when your're gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is not how long you will be remembered, but when, and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.

Monday, January 9, 2012

H.A. Coleman is the great-grandfather of my husband. We are privileged to have not just this picture, but two trophy's of his that he won playing billiards on the amateur level in the early 1900's. Here is a piece from the New York Herald, on Saturday, February 4th, 1905, after he won the Class B Tourney.

H.A. Coleman wins Class B Tourney

Defeats Albert Lewenberg by 300 to 268 in Final Amateur Match at Daly's Academy.

H.A. Coleman defeated Albert Lewenberg in the class B amateur 14.2 balk line billiard tournament, at Maurice Daly's Academy, last night, by a score of 300 to 368. By his victory Mr. Coleman becomes champion of his class, as he has not been beaten since the tournament began.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Story of Jacob Roller

Found this story about Jacob Roller Jr. the son of Jacob Roller, Sr., who lived in Juniata County, PA after migrating from Germany. He is related in the following way:

Jacob Roller, Sr had a son John Roller (the brother of Jacob Roller, Jr.); who had a daughter Sarah (married Johann Fox) who had a son Henry. Henry then had a son George who had a daughter Eva (married Walter Fox) who had a daughter Fern - my grandmother.

Most importantly - enjoy the story! (from History of Juniata County, page 225, written by Israel Daniel Rupp) in 1847. A very different time and place.

"In 1781, Jacob Roller, Jr. and a man named Bebault (Mathias Beebout) were massacred by Indians in Sinking Valley. Few particulars’ of this massacre are known, and many contradictory stories still exist in regard to it. We give Mr. Maguire's version of it, but would at the same time state that he did not vouch for the authenticity of it, as he gathered it from the exaggerated rumors that in those days followed the recital of current events.

Roller, it appears was an active and energetic frontier-man, bold, fearless, and daring; and the common belief was that his unerring rifle had ended the days of many a red-skin, Be that as it may, however, it is certain that the Indians knew him, and marked him out for a victim long before they succeeded in dispatching him. Several small roving bands were in the habit of coming down into the valley after the mines were abandoned; but no favorable opportunity offered for a long time to kill Roller.

On one occasion, four of the settlers had met at Roller's house for the purpose of going on a hunt for deer. Early in the morning, when just ready to start, Roller heard the breaking of a twig near his cabin. He peered out into the deep gloom of the misty morning, and discovered three Indians crouching near an oak tree. It was very evident that the Indians had not been close enough to the house to ascertain the number within and the inmates were in a state of doubt as to the number of savages. Profound silence was observed and it was resolved to shoot from the window as soon as the light was sufficiently strong to render their aim certain. The Indians were evidently waiting for Roller to come out of his house. At length, when they thought the proper time had come, the settlers gathered at the window and thrust out their rifles as silently as possible. The quick eyes of the savages saw, even by the hazy light, that there were too many muzzles to belong to one man, and they took to the woods with all the speed they could command, leaving behind them a quantity of venison and dried corn, and a British rifle.

On another occasion, Roller had an encounter with a single Indian in the woods, which probably stands unparalleled in the history of personal encounters between a savage and a white man. Roller left home about seven o'clock in the morning, in search of deer. He had ranged along the edge of the mountain an hour or two when he heard a rifle-shot but a short distance from him, and a minute had scarcely elapsed before a wounded doe came in the direction where he stood. To shoot it was but the work of an instant, because he supposed that one of his neighbors had wounded it; for the thought of the presence of Indians never entered his head. Yet it appears that it was an Indian who fired. The Indian mistook the crack of Roller's rifle for that of a companion left at the base of the mountain. Under this impression, the Indian, anxious to secure the doe, and Roller, intent on bleeding her, both neglected one of the first precautions of the day, - via: to reload their rifles. Roller was leaning over the doe, when he heard the crust of snow breaking in a thicket near him. He jumped to this feet, and was confronted by the Indian, - a tall, muscular fellow, who was quite as large as Roller. The savage, well aware of the fact that neither of the rifles were loaded, and probably satisfied in meeting, "a foeman worthy of this tale, " deliberately placed his gun against a tree by the side of Roller's and drawing his tomahawk, he cast a glance of savage delight at the white man before him, which seemed to imply that he would soon show him who was the better man of the two. Roller, anticipating his intentions, drew his tomahawk and stood on the defensive. The savage made a spring, when Roller jumped aside, and the Indian passed. The latter suddenly wheeled, when Roller struck him upon the elbow of the uplifted hand, and the hatchet fell. Fearing to stoop to regain it, the savage drew his knife and turned upon Roller. They clinched, and a fearful struggle ensued. Roller held his hatchet, and in this manner they struggled until they both were tripped by the carcass of the doe; still both retained their hold Roller, fortunately grasped his knife lying beside the doe, with his left hand, and thrust it into the side of the Indian. The struggle now became terrible and by one powerful effort the savage loosened himself and attempting to close again, the savage stabbed Roller in the shoulder and in the arm. Roller had dropped his hatchet in regaining his feet, and the combat was now a deadly one with knives. They cut and thrust at each other until their buckskin hunting-shirts were literally cut into ribbons and the crusted snow was dyed with their blood. At length, faint with the loss of blood, the combat ceased, by mutual consent as it were, and the Indian, loosening himself from Roller's grasp, took his rifle and disappeared. Roller stanched with frozen snow and some tow, the only dangerous wound he had and managed to reach his home. He was stabbed in four or five places, and it was some weeks before he fully recovered from his wounds. The skeleton of the savage with his rifle by his side, was found the succeeding summer on the top of Warrier Ridge.

The time of Roller's death is not positively known. Mr. Maguire thought it was in the fall of 1781.From subsequent evidences three Indians came down from the mountain avoiding the fort of Jacob Roller, Sr. which was located at the head of Sinking Valley and passed on down through he valley to the house of Bebault whom they tomahawked and scalped.

From thence they went to the hours of Jacob Roller, Jr. who was alone at the time, his family being at this father's fort. He was murdered and scalped while at work in his corn-field. His absence from the fort at night created alarm, and early next morning a party went down to his house to see if anything had befallen him. While searching for him, one of the men discovered blood on the bars, which soon led to the discovery of his body in the field."