Family Tree Puzzle: Where Did That Relative Come From???

So as I have mentioned previously, I am working on my family tree, using the free online website of Family Search to track all my ancestors.  I have thoroughly enjoyed myself as I have learned so much about family members that I never knew existed, both near and far in my lineage.

The bad part of using a public forum for this is because you sometimes find people suddenly on your family tree that don’t belong there.  And I find it really aggravating.

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Case in point, I have 3 ancestors with the same name… Andrew Jackson Blair. And with the Andrew Jackson Blair who is my great grandfather – someone has added another Andrew into the mix – an Andrew Sloan Blair – which I know is incorrect.  Why?  I doubt my great great grandfather (also an Andrew Jackson Blair) and great great grandmother would name 2 sons within 4 years of each other, Andrew.  Secondly, Andrew Sloan Blair was born within 4 months of another relative. I don’t see that being possible, do you?

What’s worse is that I even took the time to figure out who Andrew Sloan Blair’s ancestors were and messaged the person who has attached their person to my relatives.  I received a reply a week or so later telling me that they appreciated my work and that they would clean up their tree.

But Andrew Sloan is still there.

I honestly don’t think there is a way for me to remove him from my family tree, so for the time being live with him I must.

However, that hasn’t stopped me from looking into software so I can do my own family tree and slowly build it with what I have found.

I’ll still use Family Search and Ancestry to research, but I prefer to double and triple check to make sure an ancestor is truly mine.  I latched onto an ancestor that was already listed in Family Search the other day and was really excited because somehow when clicking back to see what country my family members began in – it had me related to Charlemagne (he is my great x 39 grandfather).  I’ll admit, I was blown away – until when I began looking through the various people who were between me and Charlemagne, ended up having mothers that gave birth at age 4. So close to royalty.

So if you work on your family history – is there a software that you recommend?  Share with me as I begin my research!  Thank you in advance!

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Getting My Geek On

One of the best parts of working on my family history has been trying to find out if any of my relatives fought in the Revolutionary War.  You see, I share my birthday with George Washington and he has become my big hero in life.  I love George.  He had his flaws but he had the hardest job of all presidents, trying to run the country without seeming like a king.  I always imagined that this had to be extremely difficult.

So this has been my thing, searching on various sides of my family, I found I had relatives from the French & Indian War, but then seemed to be too old or too young to have fought during the Revolution.  And then I started on my Grandma’s side of the family and low and behold my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather joined the Patriot cause and was stationed in Virginia.  He apparently saw no action outside of Virginia – but did partake in the Battle of Yorktown.  He was apparently there when Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington. (As a history geek – this had me on Cloud 9).

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http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/revolut/jb_revolut_yorktown_1_e.html

So that is what has been keeping my busy.  Trips to the library using Ancestry Library Edition and just trying to keep all the families and their members organized.

I’ve learned that not all finds have happy endings.  My Great Grandmother’s youngest brother had 13 children, and it appears that 4 of them died in a house fire back in 1939.  So sad.  Apparently, they were trying to build a fire in a stove and the coal oil exploded.  I found 2 of the death certificates online and it just breaks your heart.  One was 10, the other 2, and so far I’ve not found any information to figure out if the 2 that I have no information on were in the fire or not.  Hoping that I find their information elsewhere, and making the casualties be just two.

Here is to continued searches and a hope of finding more happy endings than sad ones.

 

Happy 2017!

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I am so looking forward to this new year.  I’m focusing on becoming a healthier me as I’ve gained a few more pounds and discovered with most foods I eat, I just feel plain lousy.  So this seems to be the day.  It’s a Sunday and the beginning of a new journey.

So as part of my journey of health – I’m going to be focusing on eating fruit and veggies every day and to try to eliminate processed foods from my diet.  As much as my taste buds love Cheez-It’s Classic Snack Mix – about an hour later I feel just icky.  I’m trying to follow the advice my body is giving me and maybe we’ll feel better.

I’m going to continue to focus on my family history.  My long lost family members I found here in the same town I grew up in I will be meeting with this new year to get stories about family.  So excited!

Contemplating a reading challenge. A few years back I read 60 books, contemplated 75, but sometimes that takes up so much time and energy.  We’ll see.  But I do want to read more.

And of course – trying to get myself (and by extension my husband) out of debt.  We can do this.  Our willpower just has to be so much better than it is.

Organization is another on-going goal for me.  But lately even I’ve been feeling claustrophobic from some of the stock piled junk.  January – look out!

My last goal is to blog once or twice a week.  I really do enjoy sharing my thoughts and finds with the world.

What are your goals for 2017 – share in the comments below!!!  Good luck!

Day 2 – 30 Days of Gratitude

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For Day 2 of my 30 Days of Gratitude I’m thankful for all my ancestors before me.  As a person who has begun seriously working on my Family Tree in August while I was on vacation, I have found it interesting finding the interesting tidbits of information I didn’t know.  Like having relatives right where I live that I never knew existed (I really need to contact them too).

But in learning about people – such as how my Great Grandmother was married 3 times in 6 years (just so you know, she was married to her third husband until he passed in the 1970’s), but while searching for the information on where my Great Grandmother lived while married and single, I saw that she lived with her own mother most of the time.  While doing this I am assigning demeanors to my ancestors, finding that my Great Great Grandmother Mazie must have been compassionate, because she took in her daughter and her daughter (my grandmother) despite the failed marriages, and my Great Grandmother and her final husband lived with Mazie and her 2nd Husband, Samuel, the first year of their marriage.

On the flip side, I hear stories of my Grandfather, from snippets I remember my Grandmother told me, and now stories that my dad has told me, and I realize how what some have described as “stubborn” now has me realizing that I just don’t think he was a very nice man.  I hear that he loved me to pieces and whenever he came over it wasn’t long before he found a way to sneak into my room and wake me up as he couldn’t wait to see me, but there’s a line between being stubborn and being kind – and I just think he wasn’t kind.  Getting into a snit with your sister and never even seeing her before she passed away from cancer in my world is a horrible thing.

So I’m grateful for my ancestors – and if I’m right, I want to be a little more like Mazie and a little less Leroy (sadly, my own temperament has been compared to his in the past – where this once made me proud, now I’m not so sure).

I’m also grateful to the libraries and the many ways available to allow a girl from Northeast Ohio to be able to dig into her Family Tree as years ago information I find in a matter of minutes could have taken me weeks to obtain back in the day.  How others did it I have no idea – as I know I’m not always the most patient of people.

So today I’m happy for the past – as I wouldn’t be here otherwise – what are you grateful for?

 

 

Getting Crafty

Evening Peeps!

The temperatures here in Northeast Ohio are finally getting cooler and it has given me the opportunity to start picking up in my attic a bit so I can once again scrapbook.  I began this hobby a handful of years ago when I went to a crop at my Aunt Barb’s house.  I had never done any sort of scrapbooking before but I went to her house with a kit my mother had purchased for me a few years before, and there my creativity sprung to life and I was hooked.

Until about 2 years ago when life seemed to take over and I just stopped.  Sadly it also coincided with when my mother purchased herself a spiffier Silhouette cutting tool and gave me her old one.  This was bad.  My mother has been unhappy that I haven’t jumped at the chance to use the machine.  The few times I have tried it’s been a disaster. But as with everything else in life, I have a Pinterest board I’ve started that will hopefully teach me the basics and allow me to use the Silhouette along with my other scrapbooking tools.

I’m still quite interested in working on my Family Tree.  Here I discovered I had relatives living right here in town that I had never ever met.  When I discovered this last week I couldn’t wait to get to my parents house the next morning (I take the kids over there in the morning and hang out until it’s time to take my son to school) and tell my dad that I had found his cousin.  I was like bursting.

And then he shocked me.  “Yes, I knew Viola lived here.  I bumped into her when I was doing an inspection in the mid-90’s, she was an executive secretary.”

Really?  The only relatives I knew of on my dad’s side of the family were in Johnstown, PA and Flagstaff, AZ.  He went on to clear up some of the mystery surrounding his Aunt.  Like my Great-Great Grandmother Mazie on my mother’s side of the family, my dad’s Aunt Genevieve seemed to elude me on his side.  I saw where she got married just day’s before my Great-Grandfather passed away (he worked in the mines and he was crushed), moved to Akron, had 2 girls, her first husband passed, I knew from her mother’s obituary she had re-married, and that she lived in Akron until her death in 1964 at the age of 54.  But I couldn’t find why she died so young.

When I discovered her daughter living so near, I was ecstatic thinking they could supply these answers.  And maybe they will supply photos so I can find out what Genevieve looked like (so curious as my Grandmother always spoke so fondly of her).  But here she passed from cancer. I am fairly certain my dad didn’t know what type of cancer, just that she had gotten sick a few months after she fell out of favor with my Grandfather, and he was very stubborn and he refused to speak to her.  They were close in age (she was born in 1910, he in 1911) and he apparently never went and saw her while she was sick.  My dad, who was in the Navy, took my Grandma to see her when he was on leave, and that was the last time my Grandma had the opportunity to see Genevieve.

As excited as I get learning about my distant family, it’s amazing how happy I am one minute about a find and how sad I can be the next when I find out more background information.

Tomorrow I’m taking a class at the library about the basics of working on a Family Tree, just in case there is some major thing I should be doing that I’m not.  Then my husband is planning on spending the afternoon at his Aunt’s and I may take my time and utilize some of the software that the library offers free of charge.  One is Ancestry Library Edition – as long as you are in the library it’s free to use.  I love it as it gets me what I need without having to spend a monthly fee!  And it’s nice for me as our local library is just about 9 blocks away so I drive down after dinner and try to find the information I need as Ancestry has access to some of the information that it’s a little vaguer when using the free FamilySearch.org.  I like using it though, as my cousin who does live in Flagstaff is a member of the Latter Day Saints so I hope that eventually I’ll find more information because she has worked on the family tree in the past herself!

So I will try to be a better blogger.  I often have thought about what I wanted to write – but then my children get on my computer and by the time they go to bed, I head their myself shortly afterwards because I’m so exhausted from waking up every day at 5:30 in the morning.

Wishing everyone a wonderful evening!

 

Happy Labor Day!

The 3-day weekend has gone super fast (a quote from my son).  I must admit, it has gone way too fast.  Back to the grind tomorrow, but I will do my best to enjoy today.

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For close to a month I have been working on my genealogy.  Discovered that the library has a free Ancestry Library Edition that anyone can use – it beats paying what I know I would need a month, so the library will be my new home away from home, at least for an hour or so a week.  I also went to a class this past Saturday that gave me the lowdown on how to use a specific database, Heritage Quest.  It was interesting, but yet I know a lot of this information comes up using the website I am presently using, but it’s interesting how one has more information than another.  Ancestry instantly gave me the date of death for my great-great-grandmother who’d I’d been seeking out since I began my family tree journey (my version hadn’t, I’m using FamilySearch.org – it’s free).  I was so sad.  I guess I knew she was gone – but there was still a part of me that wondered if Mazie was out there somewhere… wanting to be found, even if she would have been around 140 years old.

Anyhow, if I’d checked my email before I left for my class at the main library on Saturday morning, I’d have known she had been found as the cemetery that my mom thought she was buried got back to me, sending me pdf’s of the receipt of her burial plot purchase (a whole $60 for her and her late husband that included perpetual care) along with where in the cemetery she could be found.  I told my mom that I was going to go and check her out some day and she wanted to go too.  Since hubby and I were out, I asked him to stop by the cemetery to see if they had a map listing where the sections were.  They didn’t but we noticed they had numbers at the corner of the sections – so I looked up the email and lo and behold – she was right by the main entrance and so we got out and I found her.  She is actually not far from a famous inhabitant of the cemetery – Dr. Bob Smith – one of the founders of AA – is just a section away (since I had worked at Stan Hywet for several years where the first meeting of Bill W. with Dr. Bob Smith took place with an introduction by Henrietta Seiberling, it was cool to drive by and see the resting place this man who started a movement that has helped so many).

With September 1 comes the Hiking Spree our area Metroparks has each year.  Hubby and I went to a trail we’d never gone to before to get hike #1 done.  Just 7 left to go.

Today we head over to his aunt’s at 1pm for a family get together to celebrate the holiday.  I hope all of you enjoy your day off (if you get one – I know when I was in college I use to work every holiday I could simply for the time-and-a-half).

Happy Labor Day Everyone!