Organize your Genealogy from the beginning.

“For many genealogical researhers the task of organizing years of records from file cabinets to computer based programs is an overwhelming task.  The age of computers and digitization is upon us and the years of file folders and big cabinets are gone. So instead of doing research many of us are busy making a huge transition from the old to the new.  The problem is the new changes each day and keeping up can be a little tricky. For those of you who are just beginning may I suggest that you begin with a plan in mind.  Organize from day one.  It will make your life so much easier and your work much more appealing to your tech savvy decendants.

 There is no right way to organize your records.  The important thing is to organize them in a way in which you and those coming after you will be able to quickly set down and evaluate what you have already accomplished and then pick up the research where you ended.   Whether you use  the computer, 3 ring binders or file folders for those important can’t dispose of documents matters not.  The important thing is that you are organized and have a systematic system easy to understand by others.There are several items to consider when setting up your system 1.  Do you have an archival copy either in the form of a  3 ring binder, a CD, or published as a book. 2..  Do you have your original documents filed by name,  by locality, or alphabetically 3.  Do you have an index to your original documents.  I use my research log as my index. 4.  Do you have a systematic working copy which you will take to the Library with you which needs to include a research log, possibly a family group sheet, a pedigree chart, a notebook system for your notes with a defined way in which you will make your documentation which is easy for you to use. 5   Do you file your families by Surname or a group of surnames using a system or the surname, given name then by locality, or just the surname and locality  6. Do you have an easy to understand easy to read system by which your notes can be read and understood. 7.  Did you make a transcription of your original documents if so do they refer to the location of the original document in your filing system? 8. Do you have your correspondence organized in a manner that can be understood by others?  I keep a correspondence log, abstract the pertinant data, and special stories, even digitizing the really important letters. 9.  Is your system set up that if you leave a surname for awhile can you quickly return to it with  very little evaluation?

Keep a working Notebook or File.  It is important to try and keep everything uniform and in some kind of systematic order.  It is too easy and tempting to write down information on little scraps of paper and then forget to add it to your documentation at home.  Use a documentation notebook or some other form of filing system when working at the Library. These little steps can make a world of difference later in your research. Always keep good research logs.  Use forms to help keep information together and  Keep paper the same size or if its small attach it to a bigger piece of paper.   Take the time to properly file the information when you get home.  After a research trip don’t move on until  you have taken the time to evaluate and file  the information you gleaned from the previous trip Remember: You will have to spend almost as much time if not more at home imputing the information you find and properly organizing it as you will at a Library.

Computerized Documentation should follow rules you can use and understand.  My mom’s way of organizing her records is not my way and so it is important to figure out your own system. One you are comfortable with. It can be as complicated or simple as you would like to make it. In my word processor program I have set up files for different functions.  I use Word Perfect although any word program will work. In my program I have the following files. 1.  File titled Genealogy in which are sub files under various surnames in which I keep my documentation, time lines, histories.  2.  File titled Correspondence Logs= Surname Index to correspondence data 3.  File titled Correspondence Data in which are sub files under various surnames for the data extracted from letters and email.  This may also refer to a PAF File on a Floppy disc with data on it. 4.  File titled Research Logs = Surname  Index to my documentation files and work completed.   I file complete Transcriptions under my documentation referring to the place where the original is kept. In my PAF documentation I put an abstract of that same information.

Remember: It may take awhile to transfer all of your information to the computer but you will find it much easier to work with in the future. Do a little bit each day and the task won’t seem so hard. This is also a good way to take a second look at your information and you will find new areas to research in. Finally create X-Files in your database. This is an excellent place to keep all those people in the area who you can’t connect to yourself. It also makes it   Easy to refer to when corresponding with others and you can easily transfer to your own data base when you make the connecting link.

When doing research in a particular area you always find names that don’t quite fit into your pedigree but they must be related. After all they have the same last name and live in the same locality. Don’t just ignore them. Create a file just for them as well following the same rules you set up for your family; create a X-file by surname, glean the important information and add it to the documentation of your data base.  This way you will always have the information for future use. 

Organization can be the key to a successful genealogical database and make it much easier for you to do your research.  Remember the rules are up to you. You need to be able to use and understand it.   So get organized, and happy hunting.”

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RootsTech Goes Online February 10-12

“Is this great or what.  It seems like there are always conflicts in life and this weekend hasn’t been much different.  How I would love to be in Salt Lake learning all the latest and greatest in the field of Genealogy. What a wonderful conference it always is and I always come home with so much information and such a long to do list.  But when a wonderful you can’t miss Family Event coincides with any event the family wins out. So though my heart may be in Salt Lake my spirit will be California with my family.  Then to my great delight I recieved an email informing me that parts of the conference were going to be shown online. So with the schedule in Hand I am ready to catch at least a few of the classes.   Thanks to the wonderful people in charge of the Seminar I may not be there in Body but I will be attending at least some of it at home. For more information on the classes being shown online. Go To:  Just remember the times listed are MST which means an hour earlier for the West Coast. What a wonderful world we live where we can recieve so much information so easily.”

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William Hubbs of Laurens County South Carolina Patriot or Loyalist ?

“The first colony established on the Ashley river in the present state of south Carolina was in the year 1671.  These early settlers were a group of English people direct from the Old World, and another group, the members of which had been living on the Barbados Island, the southeastern most island in the west Indies.  They called their settlement Charles town.  A few months later some Dutch families, who had left New York after the English had taken over there, had established themselves along the Ashley river.  They were later joined by many families direct from Holland. In 1675 a group of Quakers came into the Territory.  In 1680 about 45 families of Huguenots also established homes there.  In 1684 ten families of Scotch Presbyterians established themselves at Port Royal.  In 1713 the southern Carolina region separated from North Carolina and was recognized as a royal colony in 1723. Immigrants continued to come in large streams until by 1730 there were gathered “on the banks of the Santee, some of the best elements of the European nations.  The Huguenot, the Scotch Presbyterian, the English Dissenter, the Loyalist, and High Churchman, the Irish adventurer and the Dutch mechanic composed the powerful material out of which soon grew the beauty and renown of the Palmetto State

 South Carolina was the eighth state to enter the Union in 1788.  More than a hundred years before in 1683, the first three counties Berkeley, Collation, and Craven were established.  All were discontinued.  By an act ratified in 1769 the province of South Carolina was divided into seven judicial districts; Charleston, Georgetown, Beaufort, Orangeburg, Ninety-six and Caraways.  In 1798 the nine districts then existing were divided again into twenty-four.  From Ninety Six district, Abbeville, Edgefield, Newberry, Spartanburg and Laurens were formed.  It is in this area of south Carolina that we turn our interest.

 Just how early our Hobbs family arrived in South Carolina I do not know but I do know they were among some of the early arrivals. Several family traditions have been passed down from different family historians.  The most popular suggests that William Hubbs the first known ancestor in Laurens County South Carolina was of Scotch-Irish Descent.  One tradition states that he was stolen off the shores of Ireland and brought to America as an indentured servant.  Another tradition suggests that the family originated somewhere near Orange County Virginia and immigrated to South Carolina from there.  This tradition has some merit as there is a William Hubbs in Frederick County Virginia who died in the early 1750’s unfortunately no will can be found and no descendants are listed in any of the known records.  However many of the families who intermarried with the children of William Hubbs also immigrated to Laurens County about the same time that our William appeared there from the same area.

  As early as December 1, 1786 William Hubbs witnessed a land deed between Haisten Doyall ( Haystin Dial) and wife Rebecca to John Todd.[1]The identification of William’s wife comes from a deed dated 11 Dec 1789 in which William Hubbs sells to George Fuller for L20 100 acres on Sm Branch on the North Side of Reaburns Creek originally granted to Margaret Todd. Conveyed to Frederick Little and in 1787 to Wm. Hubbs..  His wife Elizabeth signs her release of Dower rights.[2]  In  Pendleton County the following deed dated 27 Apr 1789 pages 160-161 appears dated 30 May 1789.  Nimrod Williams of Pendleton County, S.C. conveys to Thomas Foster, for L.30. Sterling, a tract of land containing 190 acres in Pendleton County, on the waters of Brushy Creek, bounding south and west by land surveyed for Thomas Hallum, E.  By land surveyed for William Hobbs and William McWilliams’ land. And No. by land surveyed for Watson Allison, and all other sides by vacant land.  S/=Nimrod Williams-Ann (x) Williams .  Wit. William Allison and William McWilliams.[3]

 The 1790 census of the Heads of Household of the United States  in the State of South Carolina does not show the following Hubbs/Hobbs families: William Hubbs living in the  Pendleton District of South Carolina. John Hubbs in the 96th District with a family William Hubbs 96th District Greenville County 1 male 16 and up, 2 m under 16 and 3 f

 The 1800 census of the Heads of Household of the United States in the State of South Carolina list the following information about these two William Hubbs. William Hubbs living in Laurens District with a m 0-9 ,1 m 10-15, 1 m 26-45,one f under 10 and 1 f 26-45.He has no slaves.[4] William Hobbs living in  Pendleton District 2 m 5-10, 1 m 10-16, 1 m over 45, 3 f under 10, 1 f 10-16, 1 f 26-45[5](Note: This could very possibly father and son as there is probably less 25 miles between the two properties discussed in the two counties. Especially since the McWilliams are listed as one of the bordering properties.)

The  1810 census in Laurens County list a William Hubbs with 2 males 10-16, 2 males 16-26 1 males 26-45 and 1 male over 45.  He also shows a female over 45.  

Family Historians have listed the following children for William Hubbs

                1. John Hubbs born 1783 married Isabella Madden both of Laurens Co.

                2. William Hubbs born 18 Feb 1787 in Laurens CS married 28 Nov 1809 to Frances McWilliams and died 17 Sep 1837 in Talladega Alabama.  His was married 2 more times to Mary Sweeney and Mary Posey.

                3.  Nancy Hubbs born 1789 married John bolt Esq.  She died 22 Sep 1854 and is buried in the John Bolt Cemetery Laurens Co. SC.

4.  Lewis Harrison Hubbs born 1791 and married to Nancy Whittington 7 Mar 1821.  He died in Alabama

                5. Charles Hubbs married Mary Taylor and died 29 Sep 1817 in Laurens SC.          

 In the1830 Census John Hubbs Laurens County with 3 boys 0-4, 2 boys 5-9 and he is between 30-39.  He also lists one female 20-29.  He is living in close proximity to several Ellison Families including his father in law Robert Ellison. His sister in law Mary Hubbs is also listed.  William no longer appears in the census records.

A deed recorded on January 10, 1818 states that “Charles Hubbs, late of this County who intermarried with Mary Taylor, daughter of John Taylor, who departed this life on 29 Sep 1817″……And is the son of William Hobbs, A second deed is also recorded as the widow Mary and his father William divide the estate.  Mary taking a Negro  girl as her portion and William taking the land as his portion.  Charles died without issue.  It is interesting to me to note that a single Negro girl was of more value than the 75 acres of land by $25.00. On  9 March 1824 a deed can be found which shows that William was a man of some substance for he held a mortgage on the property of Jonathon and James Motes, which was situated on the waters of Rabourns Creek known as Dirty Creek[6].   A deed dated 18 January 1830 shows  John selling land connected to his brother and father. This is the instrument that lends credence to the relationship between John and Charles for he is selling land, 79 acres which was conveyed by Robert Bryson to Charles Hobbs in the year 1812 and later to William Hubbs.  This appears to be the land inherited by William at the death of his son Charles. The relinquishment of Dower rights substantiates the fact that we are indeed looking at the right John Hubbs for it is signed by his wife Ibby which is a nickname for Isabella Hubbs.  A note here that although William and Elizabeth signed with a mark when they settled the estate , John and Ibby did not.  On  January 14, 1832 John Hubbs sells his plantation  which was deeded to William Hubbs by John and William Martin on September 12, 1796.  Again the relinquishment of Dower rights is signed by John’s wife, Ibby Hobbs and is dated 5 December5 1833. This is the last time this family appears in the Laurens County Documents.

Family historians have been unable to find a record that documents the service of William Hubbs on the American side in the Revolutionary war. There  is however listed in the book Loyalists in the Southern Campaign the following information showing a William Hubbs as a loyalist as late as 1782 Page 229    Pay Abstract No. 1 Colonel Daniel Clary’s Regiment, Dutch Fork Militia (between the Fork of the Broad and Saludy Rivers), Ninety six Brigade, Captain Vachel Clary’s company of men who cane to Orangeburgh with Lieut. Colonel John H. Cruger, 183 days pay, 14 Jun – 13 Dec 1780  No. 3 Private Hubbs, William  Page 273 Pay Abstract No. 161 Major William Cunningham’s Troop of Mili Dragoons, ninety Six Brigade, Charlestown SC 93 days pay.  9 Jul – 9 Oct 1782, 1 Oct 1782    Nr. 11 Private William Hubbs   Mustered at the Shipyard on cooper River 23 Sept  You will also find that at one time John Madden ( grandfather of his sons wife) and other of his neighbors and friends were also a Loyalists as were many of his neighbors.  Bloody Bill Cunningham not only would have been a neighbor but had strong family ties in Frederick County Virginia as well.

A thorough  examination of  the records suggest that  many men in South Carolina began the war fighting for the King and then as truth began to come forth and as the war progressed they switched sides to fight for the Patriots against their friends and brothers  in order to protect their families and feed them during this time of war. To say that William was not a Patriot is to due dishonor to the family name.   Did he fight on both sides? Probably so and it may be that his service on the American side will never be found since it may simply never have been recorded. To have survived in those times would have been difficult enough and many fought for what they believed in without worry of whether or not record of their service was being recorded for posterity.   Thus family tradition states as  passed down through Williams daughter Nancy :

“ In those times any man 16 years or older could be called into service.  Often in emergency there were no written lists or even orders.  William Hubbs may have served without papers too. His encounter with “Bloody Bill Cunningham was once written up in a newspaper although no one seems to have a copy of it.  William was working at his farm when Cunningham was headed his way with other British.  Charles Allen, on his way to the mill, saw them, rushed to the Hubbs.  William just had time to get into the middle of a hay stack. The British knew he had been warned, so they hung Charles till he was almost dead.  They then cut him down and tried to make him talk.  He would not so they hung him again and left him for dead.  Mrs. Hubbs and one child were there si they quickly cut him down and revived him.  Charles lived to be a leading citizen of Laurens.  Oh, the men stuck a pitchfork all over the hay stack.  Either they missed William or he was not much hurt.  William was said to have had another fight with others and Bloody Bill Cunningham.  He had his sword raised and was close to Cunningham when he stumbled and fell over a log.  The British got away.”  Many years later Joseph Bolt one Nancy’s descendant’ took the time to honor this great Family Hero by placing a marker honoring   William Hubbs as a Patriot.  He was assisted by the Sons of the Revolution.  [7]

 Years later the  following story was found on the Allen family website which has helped to add proof to the service of William Hubbs. This information was  published in a obituary at the death of Charles Allen  a Prominent citizen of Laurens County South Carolina .[8] That the story is about an unrelated party to the Hubbs would make family traditions  seem very plausible.


When Charles Allen III, born in Charlotte Virginia, in 1764, was just a young boy, his father Charles Allen II, was killed by the Tories. The Allen family had moved to what is now Laurens County, South Carolina, and were farming there when the death occurred. Mrs. Allen and her son, with the help of a few slaves, were trying to carry on with the farm as the heat of the Revolutionary War built around them in 1778.It was cotton-picking time that summer. Because everyone else was busy with the cotton and they were in need of cornmeal, Charles was sent to the grist mill about two miles by a narrow lane through a dense wood. Mrs. Allen was reluctant to send the boy carrying a twenty-five pound bag of corn over his shoulder, but he assured his mother that he was man enough to take care of the job.

It was dark and scary deep in the wood when he had followed the crooked path through a few turns so that neither end of the lane was visible. When Charles heard horses thundering around a bend, he quickly hid his sack in the brush and climbed up a big tree which had limbs that stretched out over the lane. He flattened himself out on a limb, like butter on a roasting ear, completely hidden by the leaves.  Charles froze as the horses and riders, led by Tory General William “Bloody Bill” Cunningham, stopped right underneath the limb on which he lay. He scarcely dared to breath. The men talked over their plans to kill Patriot Officer William Hubbs, at his farm on the other side of the wood. Because they could not ride through the dense wood where no path had been cleared, they would have to go on to the junction near the mill and then around the wood. As soon as the Tories rode on to complete their bloody task, Charles climbed down from his hiding place and set off through the wood to warn Mr. Hubbs. He fought his way through the brush, finding some animal trails to speed the way, praying with each breath that he would be in time. That was the same bunch of Tories that had killed his own father.

Finally, scratched, torn, panting and shouting to the Hubbs family, he broke into the clearing of the farm. “Hide, Mr. Hubbs! Quick! Hide. The Tories are coming. Bloody Bill Cunningham is coming.” Mr. Hubbs knew they would search the house and barn. Where could he hide. His son and wife were too scared to think. Hubbs quickly lay down in the barnyard and told the boys to cover him with hay. He told his wife to get her egg bucket and go to the hen house.  Soon they could hear the horses, but the haystack was pretty big by then. The boys tossed some hay over the fence to the two cows to make it look like they had just been feeding as the Tories rode into the yard.

First, the general questioned Mrs. Hubbs. “Woman, where is your husband?”

Mrs. Hubbs managed, in spite of her fear, to say, “He’s back at camp with the men.”

“I know he’s home on leave. Tell me were he is,” demanded Cunningham.

“He was home last week, but he went back.”

Bloody Bill demanded answers from the son, too. But he gave the same answers his mother did.

Seeing how scratched and torn Charles was, he turned his questions to him.  “Did you warn them we were coming? Where is Hubbs?” 

“I wouldn’t tell you. You are the one that killed my dad!”

“You had better tell me or I’ll string you to yon tree!”


The general ordered his men to put a noose around Charles’ neck and hang him to the big tree in the yard. The did so. They hanged Charles and immediately rode off. The Hubbs family quickly ran to the tree. Mrs. Hubbs grabbed the end of the limb that was bending under the weight of the boy and swung with all of her weight. The Hubbs boy got his knife, but couldn’t reach high enough. Mr. Hubbs plunged out of the hay and ran to cut Charles down. He was still alive and soon revived.

Later in life, Charles Allen III became a well known judge. He helped survey and establish Laurens County and the town of Laurens. Judge Allen lived to be 92 years of age and died January 5, 1856. Daughters of the American Revolution erected a marker at his grave in 1974. The story of his bravery and other deeds was published in the papers and celebrated at his funeral.

Was William Hubbs an American Patriot and hero.  Bill Cunningham was probably  his neighbor and acquaintance.  He obviously wanted to hang William for some reason.  That he had switched sides, was a spy or a patriot all along matters not.  That he was obviously supporting the United States of America at the time of this incidence is.   

Note: Oct 1, 1999 I have recently found a notation to a William Hubbs, Soldier 1394 Newbern dist.  In Pierce’s Register p. 313 Vouchers pg 385 Roster of Soldiers from North Carolina in the American Revolution    This William Hubbs lived in Tennessee much of his life and moved to Kentucky before his death and is of no apparent relation to our William Hubbs.

[1] Laurens County Deeds, Deed Book B page 166 12/2/1786

[2]Book B pf 276 Deed Laurens Co South Carolina

[3]Pendleton County Conveyance Book A pages 159-160 dated 27 Apr 1789 pages 160-161

[4]1800 United States Federal Census, Laurens District South Carolina. Image service.

[5]1800 United States Federal Census, Pendleton District South Carolina. Image Service

[6]Book k pg 198 Laurens Co South Carolina Deeds

[7]Mrs. Margaret Bolt


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Sarah Elizabeth Ellis Carter


      Elizabeth was the youngest daughter of Hezekiah Ellis and Sarah/Sallie Gunnel Hurst.  She was born on the 10 April probably in the year 1824 in Fayette Co. Kentucky.  Her father died within the year that she was born and she was raised on the family plantation along with her 6 brothers and sisters by their mother and close family relatives.  She was born on the same plantation where her fathers family had lived as early as 1796 when her grand father Thomas Ellis came over with his brothers from the state of Virginia. 

                Elizabeth was raised to be a lady as is shown in the 1860 census when she listed her occupation as that of a lady. Elizabeth came from a background of gentle rearing with the help no doubt of a black nanny and slaves to help with the everyday chores.  Sarah was granted a part of her fathers estate when he died and  her mother was granted guardianship of the children. 

                On the 30th of Jan, 1843 at the age of 19 she married a long time neighbor and family friend Jasper Carter.  The Carters owned land nearby and we know from the various Court Records that they had been close acquaintances since as early as 1810. Sarah and Jasper had no doubt grown up as neighbors and friends.

                Shortly after their marriage Elizabeth and Jasper along with at least 1 if not 2 of her brothers families moved to Missouri. There at least 3 of 5 children were born. The family apparently moved back to Kentucky about the time her mother died as the youngest son Kial was born in 1851 in Kentucky.

By 1856 the family had once again moved to a new territory and settled in Dalby Springs Bowie Texas.   In 1851 Elizabeth lost her mother who also left her a small inheritance.  This left very few ties in Kentucky as most of her family with the exception of a brother Peter Hurst Ellis had moved either to different areas of Kentucky or onto new frontiers.

                Elizabeth and her husband were  belonged to the Methodist Church in Dalby Springs. The church was established in 1839 and in 1889 a building with Cemetery were finally built.  Elizabeth and her children were all buried in the Cemetery just outside of the Church.   

                In 1870 we find that Elizabeth is a widow with small children to raise.  What happened to Jasper we can only speculate.  Both Jasper and Elizabeth were from the South and had a background of owning Slaves and working the land.  We can only guess as to whether or not Jasper was killed defending the Southern Cause or met an untimely death at home.

                Elizabeth died in her home in  Dalby Springs in 1902. She was proceeded in death by her son Joseph Thomas Carter and survived by her children Kial E.  and Sallie W. Jones.  She was buried next to her son Uncle Kye Carter and her daughter in law Mollie Adcock the wife of Joseph Thomas Carter. Elizabeth Ellis Carter was the great grandmother of Marie Evelyn Hollenbeck Burrow.

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Searching the Census

      “When doing genealogy research one of the best places to start is with a census.  The census can reveal many things depending on the year you are looking for. A census can help you establish the Composition of the Family, Successive places of residence, Approximate Dates of Birth, State or Country of Birth, Approximate Marriage Dates , The Number of Children Born to a Mother and how many are already deceased, the year of Immigration and  information concerning Naturalization. You can discover Names of Military Veterans, Birthplaces of Parents, Family Relationships, Whether a person can read or write, who the Neighbors are, if a person owns or rents their land, their Occupations and the value of Real and Personal Property.

      Of course you need to remember that the census is just a clue and should never be used as primary documetation because you never know who actually gave the information.  Just 10 years ago I was asked to give the information on my neighbor who I barely even knew.  I could have said anything and it would have been written down as fact.  I have always like the old addage that the most uneducated person in town was made the census taker and if your ancestors were couldn’t read or write the census taker could write down anything he wanted. So don’t assume that because it is spelled differently or the information doesn’t match what you already know it couldn’t be your ancestor.

      With the world of internet it pretty easy to get a copy of a census The following websites offer either indexes, links or actual images of the Census from 1790 – 1930. 

  1.   (free)
  2.  (Subscription based)
  3. Heritagequest  (available in some Libraries, Schools, FHC)
  5. (Subscription based)
  6. USGenweb.

            When looking for your ancestor in a census don’t forget there are several different types of census besides the Population Census. Look for federal mortality schedules, slave schedules, Indian Schedules, Agriculture and manufacturers schedules, as well as the State and territorial population schedules.  And of course there is the 1890 schedule of Union Veterans and Widows.

            When working with a census there are a long list of do’s and don’ts that have been published by numerous people over the years.  I have my own list that goes something like this:

a)     Always begin with the most recent Census and work backwards

b)     Always use census information to confirm things found elsewhere or as a guide to further research

c)      Always  search the originia census/microfilm

d)     Never just rely on the work of a transcriber

e)     Always  consider the very real possibility of errors and variations in given names

f)     Always keep a log of census searched and site your sources so you can find it again

h)     Always record the information exactly as it appears don’t make it right according to you.

i)       Always  use the proper form to record the data.  Various forms are available on line

j)       Always  Record everyone with the same surname in the same county or at least the same township if the name is Brown or Smith

k)     Always Check for Boundary  Changes in the area

l)       Always Search 2- 3 pages on each side of your ancestors.  (Neighbors are often related)

m)   Never  be fooled by names in reverse order

o)     Never ever take all information as gospel truth

p)     Never take ages on a census as always correct

q)    Never  use census information as proof of any fact or event

r)     Never limit your search to direct ancestors.  Search for siblings and extended family members

s)      Never  think census information contains all the answers.

Remember: When citing census records use both the stamped and handwritten page numbers and always compile and compare all the census data for each family before make any conclusions.  Keep in mind that all census records are important even the earliest ones where only the head of the house listed. There is much to be gleaned even from the pre 1850 census.  Always keep in mind that real and personal property listings can be a clue to other records. “

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Genealogy Webinars

I am one who likes to sit in a class, soak in the environment, and learn from the experts in the room. I’ve been a little skeptical about whether or not a webinar would be as good as a live Speaker or whether I would learn as much. So this past week I listened to a webinar in the privacy of my office with just my husband at my side.  Granted there wasn’t any environment to soak up but the class was informative and well presented.  Thanks to Rootsmagic I now understand the software a little better. I love the new features just added and found that being able to go back and listen to it again was even greater.  Not only that I could download the webinar to share with my friends at the Family History Center. And the best part I didn’t have to go anyplace and it was free.  I can see that I am going to have to take a stand in favor of webinars.  I have discovered one more way to improve my skills and learn something new.  There is so much to learn on the internet today that we could spend all our time learning how to do genealogy and never get to the task of doing our genealogy. So if you find yourself with a problem, not knowing quite where to look find a free webinar, or check on you tube you will be surprised what you can learn.”

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Childhood Memories

“I grew up in Idaho and I really did walk 5 miles in the snow uphill to get to school.  It seemed like whenever I would complain about the cold winters or the long bus rides or the walks to school I was reminded that I never had it as bad as they did and they realy did walk 5 miles to school uphill both ways.  Memories sometimes play tricks on us and I remember the oddest things, like the old truck that I fell out of when mom turned the corner and she ran over my foot, or the time my sister totally embarressed me in front of the nicest boy is school. Then there was the time my brothers told me to climb ontop of the barn and then jumped off leaving their poor frightened sister all alone with no hope of ever getting down.  Of course Iwill never forget the time the firemen were summoned because the house was full of smoke only to find that mom had forgotten to take the toast out of the toaster. There was also the frogs we used to catch in the ditch out behind the house then put in a pan to see how high they would jump when you turned the stove on.  And of course there was the time the boys were playing with the burn barrel and almost burned down the garage.  I don’t think I ever saw my dad jump so fast.  I remember as a little girl being told that the hill behind the farm was full of rattlesnakes and then having to walk by myself down a dirt road to play with the neighbor kids.  Now to a kindergartner the thought of snakes was pretty scary and we all knew the sound a rattlesnake made when they were ready to strike.  What nobody explained was that the telephone wires would make the same noise  so to a 5 year old that walk could sometimes be pretty frightening.  I look back now and can laugh at many tales of my childhood and when my kids woud complain about the walk from the bus stop across the meadow and over the occassional stream they would hear the story about the walk down rattlesnake alley or the 10 feet of snow we grew up in in Idaho or the house with the roof that caved in or numerous other scary tales of my own childhood.  However among all the stories we told the best was the one that concerned the snow.  It goes something like this.

“When I was a little girl we lived in a fairly new house in Heyburn Idaho.  In the winter it would snow alot and quite often we didn’t have to go to school because there was just to much snow for the bus to get to our house.  On those days we would have the grand opportunity of dressing up in our snow clothes and we would wobble outside because that was really all you could do with so much gear on. Our yard was a lot of fun to play in and we all new that there was a big hole in the yard for some reason which I now forget.  In the summer it was easy to avoid.  In the winter you couldn’t see it and therefore it didn’t exist or so we thought.  On one particular snow day my brothers and I along with a few other neighbors were having a gay time romping in the snow, building snowmen and making snow angels.  Until of course one of the boys found the hole.  He was just running along laughing and playing and then all of a sudden he was gone.  The snow was fresh, the hole was deep and he sank right into it.  It reminds me of a joke by Brian Regan only this time it was who is going to tell mom that one of the boys kind of disappeared in the snow.  I can only imagine the conversation in the house.  Mom you know Rocky, well if you decide to go outside to get some coal for the stove you might want to look for him because he kind of disappeared over by that hole we have in the summer.  You know the hole that doesn’t exist in the winter because it’s all covered up.  You can find him because we can still see his head but everything else has disappeared.  I’m not sure how fast mom ran outside but I do remember that getting him out of the hole was much more exciting than him disappearing into the hole.” 

  So today when my grandkids complain about how cold it is I remind them that we don’t have any bigs holes to fall into, the snow only stays or a short time and grandpa has a snow plow that I am sure will do a fine job of taking care of it when it does come.  Memories are an important part of life.  Granted they change and get clouded a little over the years. The stories become a little better each time they are told and over the generations the stories become almost myths. But there is always a seed of truth in each of them.

  Stories can become the foundation for a wealth of documentation if listened to with a grain of salt and not just completely ignored.   My husbands grandmother swore that her father was a merchant from Holland and had died when she was just a baby.  He had lived in Oklahoma and had sold merchandise to the the Indians.  He was buried somewhere on the road between Pittsburg Oklahoma and Fort Smith Arkansas.So we began looking for a merchant from Holland in Indian Territoryin the early 1900’s.  We found and documented instead the following.  Squire Hollenbeck was a pig farmer living in Indian Territory in the early 1880’s.  He married a Caroline V who had a stepson named Joseph.  He went by the name of Joseph Ainsworth until 1900 when he took the last name of his 2nd stepfather Squire Hollenbeck.  Caroline had been married to a Dime Ainsworth and they had raised an adopted son by the name of Joseph. He was born in Louisiana (not Holland) and was the orphan son of some relatives.  Dime had shot a man in Texas and together he and Caroline had moved (or escaped) to Indian Territory where he had picked up with another woman and disappeared. Rumor had it that Dime was eventually hung for his crimes.  Joseph lived with his mother after the death of her second husband Squire and had worked in the coal mines in Lattimer Co.  It was said he had a half brother Tom Hollenbeck.  This was found to be true and they are buried beside each other in a small graveyard outside of Wilbur Oklahoma just off the highway between Fort Smith and Pittsburg Oklahoma. In 1907 Joseph died from lung disease probably caused from working so long in the mines.  His young wife had been home visiting her family at the time of his death and because of hard feelings between Joseph’s stepmother and his wife she had never taken her daughter back to Oklahoma.

Without the stories and traditions given by Grandma about her childhood we would have never found her parents in Oklahoma. So listen to the stories, write them down and remember that each story weaves a new color into the life of your ancestors.”

Posted in Beginner Advice, Journaling, Personal Family History, Ranting and Raving, Storytelling | Leave a comment

Where Do I start?

 If you ever wondered how to start beginning to gather your Family History these classes are for you.  A 6 – 8 week course over a two month period will cover basic genealogy skills.  Learn how to use a Family History Center, How to organize your information, what to gather, who to contact for more information, how to use the internet to do your genealogy and many other basic skills will be discussed.  Homework will be assigned and at the end of the course you will be able to do a basic research project on your own. It has often said that Genealogy is addictive and I personally will vouch for the fact that once you start you may find yourself visiting graveyards around the country, checking out musty courthouses and staying up till all hours of the night working on your computer. They say Genealogy is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the World.  Try  it and you will find out why. The class will be taught by Kathy Burrow Training Director for the Oakhurst Family History Center.  For information on the class contact Kathy at the contact button on the left of the screen.

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Basic Computer Class

Title: Basic Computer Class
Location: Oakhurst FHC
Description: 6 to 8 week series of Basic Computing Classes. Taught by Ron Firestine. For the Beginner and intermediate Computer User. Great introduction for people wanting to begin putting their Family History on a Computer but just aren’t sure how the Computer works.
Start Time: 10:00 A.M.
Date: 2011-01-19
End Time: 11:00 A.M.

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Starting the New Year out Right.

When our kids were smaller we would often start out the New Year at home banging pots and pans, yelling and screaming to everyones delight and then putting the kids to bed at 9:00. Yes in California you can celebrate the New Year with Fireworks straight from Times Square in New York at 9:00 P.M.  Then the kids can go to bed and Mom and Dad can enjoy a nice quiet New Years Evening with a bottle of Sparkling Applecider and a good movie.  The next day was often spent rounding up Teenagers from Safe Parties that lastest all night and a quick trip to the Fabric Store for those great buys.

However as time goes The Kids began to grow  up and had their own friends and families to share the evening with and we would often wile the night away with a  few close friends, a good dinner and some games.  The next day was still usually spent shopping or just resting at home.

This year however was a little different.  After a good meal at Crab Cakes the single girls of the family decided with their father that a dance was in order for everyone who wanted to go.  So off we went to a Dance in Fresno by a band we listened to as young kids some 40 odd years ago.  Now everyone needs to understand that I don’t dance and Dan hasn’t really danced much since we met.  However when you put two pretty daughters up against poor old dad. What else could he do?  And so for the first time in the girls memory Dad danced.  Not to shabbily either I might add.  Of course he didn’t do much the next day.  But it was fun to see that he could still shake it and the girls learned something new about their dear old dad.  The fact that Dad wasn’t the only one dancing but so was the sister they didn’t know knew how to dance and even mom showed that she too could participate added even more excitement to the evening.

That evening I was reminded that its never to late to learn something new about a loved family member.  It may not always be an important something.  But it adds flavor and color to the texture of someones life.  The girls of course recorded it with pictures on facebook and little notes to the rest of the kids.  Look what Dad can still do. But did they write it in their journals to ever remember?  That remains to be seen.   So much of a persons life goes unrecorded.  The fun and silly things often get lost behind facts, documents and figures.  And yet its those silly little times that are remembered when the family gets together around the kitchen table.  Its the stories and little events in  a persons life that shows their character and demeaner.  That’s what makes the difference in the world around them.  Not who they are but what they have done and how they have affected the lives of others.”

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Posted in Journaling, Ranting and Raving, Uncategorized | Leave a comment