Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Yoder connector is born


So it has been 18 months since I last posted, and the answer to your question is yes, I've been busy. Part of that includes the birth of my first grandchild, Charlotte Paige Richardson, the daughter of my youngest son, Zachary James Richardson and his wonderful wife, Bethany Paige Wright.  The photo above is very special.  Both Bethany's mother, Robin Wright and myself are descendants of Yoders. In fact if you trace both of our lines back we connect to the same person Nicholas Joder, Sr.

Bethany and Zachary are 8th cousins, and Charlotte brings the family back in a full circle. Take a look at the diagram below.



What makes this even more fun, and I only realized this when I was creating a pedigree chart for Charlotte, is that she has a third Yoder connection to Nicholas, Sr. Look below at just her mothers line, still moving upward to Conrad and then Nicholas Joder Sr.


Okay, she won't be able to deny this relationship at all. And someone in the future will wonder about how this happened! Well it takes a Pennsylvania boy meeting a girl with parents originally from    North Carolina at college, and then research that connects Conrad and Nicholas together. We are thrilled to have her as part of our family.

Note: I've chosen not to give birth dates for every individual listed because some are still living, so please excuse this decision.



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:  http://files.usgwarchives.net/pa/somerset/cemeteries/wpa/milford/cramer-king-bg.txt.  

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.