©2009-2016 Becky Higgins

Monday, November 26, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Elizabeth Montgomery Leisure Trust

I love this instrument because it shows the business sense of a woman in 1842. It is probably as close to a prenuptial agreement as one could get in that time period. "Betsy", as she was known within the family, had no intention of letting her soon-to-be new husband have any control over the estate let to her by her first husband. Way to go, Betsy!! 

Garrard County, Kentucky
Deed Book O; page 200/201: No. 1796:  Elizabeth Leisure to Abraham Adams: 01 Jan 1842

No. 1796                                              Mrs Elizabeth Leisure to Abraham Dawes Adams
Deed of Trust
This Indenture made and entered into this 1st day of January 1842 between Elizabeth Leisure, widow and relict of Joseph Leisure dec’d of the county of Garrard and state of Kentucky of one part and Abraham Adams of the same County and state of the other part witnesseth That whereas by the last Will and Testament of the said Joseph Leisure decd a tract of land of 48 acres and appurtenances and 3 negro slaves named Tom, John and Milley were devised to the said Elizabeth during her natural life, together with various other species of property (ie) farming utensils, household and kitchen furniture, stock of horses, Cattle, sheep, Hogs, and other things therein specified with latter named property has increased to some extent and whereas the said Elizabeth Leisure contemplates a marriage with a certain John Johnson of Garrard County and is desirous to secure to herself all the aforesaid property and that which she has or may hereafter acquire, does by these presents convey to the afo@ Abraham Adams her interest in the tract of 48 acres of land aforesaid with all its appurtenances, the three negroes above mentioned trust, Tom John and Milley, together with one sorrel mare, 1 Rhone mare, 1 Black mare 2 colts, all the farming utensils 3 Beds, Bedstead and furniture, 1 Bureau 1 clock 1 cupboard furniture, chairs and every variety of household and kitchen furniture, corn in hand, hay, oats, fodder, stock of cattle and other stock, hogs sheep and in fine every species in articles of hereinafter, new property of the said Elizabeth and the increase of the land stock and negroes and property aforesaid and a note on I. H. Hopper for about $200 interest for the uses and purposes hereinafter expressed.
The said Adams is to hold the aforesaid property and the increase for the sole use and benefit of the said Elizabeth during her life and at her death, that portion of the same devised to her during life, is to vest as specified by the will of said Leisure and the same is not in any events to be under the control of any person who may be her future husband and if she the said Elizabeth shall by industry and economy accumulate an Estate, growing out of the property devised her, and conveyed by this deed, other than her support, the same is to be held by the aforesaid Adams during her life in trust for her use and benefit and to be disposed of as she may elect at her death, provided such disposition be in accordance with the last will and testament of Joseph Leisure decd- and the said Adams is at liberty to dispose of the aforesaid Estate in any manner best calculated to promote the Interest of the said Elizabeth, lesening only the power of approval and ratification of such disposition, which shall be in ?nting to be entered of record, in the clerk office of the Garrard County Court.
The object, intent and meaning of this ?nting being to secure to the said Elizabeth all the rights now pertaining to her, provided she should hereafter become the wife of any person – and to prevent such person from exercising any ownership or control over any of the afo@ property or its increase, or to derive any benefit therefrom, other than that which the said Elizabeth chooses to bestow.
The testimony whereof the said Elizabeth has herein to set her hand and seal to date aforesaid.

Witness                                                                                              Elizabeth^ Leisure                                                                                               
Alex R McKee                                                                                       her mark                                                                                                                                                  
W. N. Fishback
James Stewart

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How My Hopes Were Dashed

I had for many years hoped against hope that my ancestors had never been slave owners. I say “against hope” because many of my lines migrated from the Eastern coast – New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland – to Virginia and into Kentucky before finally entering the Indiana, a free State. But, I told myself, none of my lines had significant wealth which might have been prohibitive. In fact, I family lore in the Buchannan/Benefiel family stated the reason they moved to Indiana was to “get away from slavery.”

However, I’ve known for a while now that my Joseph Leisure owned at least one slave. He wrote in his will written in 1835 that “Item. My negro man John at the death of myself and wife I hereby emancipate and set free.” Joseph died in 1838 but his wife didn’t die until 1853. I thought at least Joseph was planning to free John which made me feel a bit better; that is until my recent trip to Garrard County, Kentucky for further research into this family. All I had previously was a copy of the will but there was more. Included on the second page of the Joseph Leasure Estate Inventory (Will Book 1; pages 401/402) is listed: “Negroes: One negro man named Tom - $150; One negro woman named Milly - $200; One negro man named John - $700.”

Though my heart sank a bit when I found this information, I know I need to take this knowledge in context of the times. I’m sure Joseph was a good man in many ways but I have to admit my impression of him is now a bit tainted. He wasn’t a large land owner, only purchasing some 46½  acres  on Sugar Creek in Garrard County, Kentucky (Deed Book G, page 124), yet he held three people in bondage.
So far, happily, there is no evidence that Joseph’s son, Nathan, my 3rd great-grandfather ever owned any slaves prior to his move to Indiana in 1834. At least there’s that.

Now the question is how do I objectively write Joseph's biography for the Leisure Publication? Guess I'll have to take some time before I start that.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Illinois State Genealogical Society Conference 2012

John Colletta Speaks at ISGS Conference Dinner
  After an afternoon of sessions, vendor visits, and networking, ISGS conference attendees enjoyed a delicious meal at the Clock Tower Resort in Rockford, Illinois, Friday, October 19, 2012. Following dinner, the day was capped with an entertaining talk by John Colletta. All the laughs he created ensured not a single person nodded off even though full from dinner.

Saturday's full day of sessions, including a youth workshop for the younger soon-to-be genealogists, brought even more enthusiasts to the conference.

I spent most of my time in a volunteer capacity which allowed me to meet and greet members - new, longtime, and maybe-sometime-soon. Though I didn't get to attend many sessions, I feel my time was well spent and I'm happy I could be part of making such an event happen.

The one session I did attend was at the end of the day. Thomas MacEntee presented "They're Alive -- Searching for Living People". It was most interesting and informative. I came away with much to think about and try. He even informed us of volunteer opportunities which would help hone our skills at finding the living.

My kudos to the ISGS Conference committee and to the Winnebago-Boone Genealogy Society for a job well done. As I was heading for my car to journey home, I overhead one lady telling someone how "wonderful all her sessions were" and how happy she was to have been there. I'm sure that sentiment was voiced many times over

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Finding the Hagstrom Connection

I really need to focus on my current project but for some reason or other little mysteries have sidetracked me lately. First it was the Uncle Angus Miller and Granny Kennedy Walker marriage issues resolved by the return to the newly-updated Indiana records on FamilySearch.org mentioned in a previous post. More recently, it has been the “who are the Hagstroms?” question.
Over the years, my mother-in-law, Alice Davey Higgins, mentioned the Hagstrom family in passing. She would tell me she remembered her mother taking her to Elmhurst, Illinois to visit some relatives named Hagstrom. How they were related she had no idea but she knew the older lady as Auntie Hagstrom.
Back in the day, Alice sent Christmas cards to just about everyone she had ever met so she had a pretty extensive address book. In the book were listed Mr. & Mrs. Axel Hagstrom. With what little information I had and, I must admit, the little time I allotted to these questionable relatives, I pretty much eliminated Axel as a relative even though he was from Sweden and lived in Marquette County, Michigan. He just didn’t seem to connect with Alice’s Mom’s Ellstrom family.
So I put the Hagstroms out of my mind and went on to more pressing issues. Until last week that is when I starting working with some scans I’d made with my FlipPal a while ago. I was renaming, adding captions and, generally, organizing them. Among these scans were three of the Hagstrom women. They consisted of Olga, Teckla, and Auntie! BAH!! However, on the back of one photo was the address in Elmhurst.
Olga, Hannah, and Teckla Hagstrom

Olga Hagstrom

Hannah (Christiansen) Hagstrom

Why this got me going again I don’t know but, for one thing, I wanted to find out: who was “Auntie” and what was her given name? Armed with the other names and the address, I went first to the census records and there with her girls was Hannah or Hanne depending on the census year. Axel had died in 1917 in Chicago so I easily found his death record but it wasn’t much help in my quest.
Because I now knew that Teckla (by the way Teckla is also the given name of Alice’s Mom’s sister) was born in Michigan in 1878, I went to the Michigan records on FamilySearch.org and found the marriage of Abel [sic] A. Hagstrom and Hannah Christiansen. He was born in Sweden and she was born in Denmark.
This, my dear friends, is the AHA moment!!  You see, Alice’s grandfather was Hans Christiansen from Denmark. This is looking good.
I went to the folder I have of research done by my husband’s cousin, Kay Davey*, to see if a connection could be made there. It turns out, based on Kay’s work, Hanne was most likely Hans’ half-sister. They had different fathers; however, both men were named Christian. How’s that for coincidence? Hanne’s birthdate in the Danish records is the same as what is recorded on her death record.
I know there’s a lot more work to be done to be absolutely sure about this connection but, for now, it will suffice for me as I really must get back to my Leisure project!
*Kay Davey died 09 Mar 2012 and boy do I miss her! We shared an interest in family history and she was a wonderful researcher.

Word Wednesday - Alice & Clifford Davey

Alice and Clifford Davey about 1916, probably, in Ishpeming, Michigan

Monday, August 27, 2012

Records Hidden; Now They're Not!!

For years, and I do mean years, I’ve been looking for two specific marriage records to no avail. For one thing, I wasn’t completely sure these marriages ever took place but felt my mother knew the facts. The facts she knew but not precise details.

Mom said her Uncle Angus Miller (1883-1950) had been married and his wife, Irene Stevens, had died of cancer. Unfortunately, she never mentions exactly when he was married and until she told me about this, in the around 2000, I thought he had been a confirmed bachelor. From all indications – birth record, census records, real estate, etc. – Angus remained in Rush County, Indiana his entire life but a thorough examination of Rush County records came up dry for any marriage.

Mom also said her mother, Sylvia (Walker) Miller, told her that Granny, Mom’s great-grandmother, Rosa Belle (Kennedy) Walker, had remarried after the death of Daniel Jackson Walker. Apparently, however, the new husband was abusive and the marriage was short lived. Granny’s was a sad story anyway as she lost her first child in 1891 at only one year and two other children and her husband between December of 1895 and March of 1896. Sylvia, the only child left was only four years old. But I digress. Though I’ve looked many times at the marriage indexes at the Rush County, Indiana court house, I’ve never found this second marriage.

Yesterday as I was trying to catch up on some blog reading, I happened onto Harold Henderson's post on his Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog that mentioned the indexing work being done by the Indiana State Genealogical Society for Family Search. One of the projects is indexing marriage records for some of the Indiana counties not previously indexed. I noticed Rush County and some surrounding counties had been added to the index. I thought what the heck, I’ll give it another try.

So first I entered Angus Miller in the search field, hit enter and the long sought record appeared. He wasn’t married in Rush County; he was married in Fayette County.  He didn’t marry Irene Stevens; he married Irene Stanton. He was 50 years old when his first and only marriage took place on 04 Feb 1933; that’s just three years before my Mom married my Dad.

Next I tried for Granny’s second marriage. Rosa Belle Walker didn’t bring the desired result but Belle Walker did. Just nine months after the death of first husband, Daniel Jackson Walker, she married John M Larimore on 12 Jan 1897; this being his 3rd marriage and her 2nd.

Wow, I cannot thank Indiana State Genealogical Society and Family Search enough for making these finds available to me. Two mysteries solved in a matter of ten minutes! Now, I know I have more research ahead of me to get a better understanding of the impact of these events on the lives of my family but for now I’ll just bask in the joy of the find!!

~ Becky

Monday, August 20, 2012

Military Monday - A Brothers Meeting

Only about four years apart, brothers Peter and Eliphalet “EB” Miller spent their childhood in Rush County, Indiana with their parents, Archibald and Ann (Barber) Miller and their siblings: Charles, Martha, Sarah, Permelia, and Susannah. Peter was born in March of 1836 and EB in Jan of 1840. They knew the joys of wandering through wilderness lands still prevalent in the area and the responsibility of helping their father tame that wilderness into fertile and profitable farm land.
In 1859, when Peter was only 23 years old, his father purchased land in Douglas County, Illinois and Peter left home to tend that land. According to Rush County records, Peter was married with one son at the time; however, this family never joined him in Illinois. The 1860 US census lists him with the Lemuel Githens family (Lemuel was Permelia’s husband); Peter is listed as having $1000 in real estate and $600 personal estate.
Enter the firing on Fort Sumter and the beginning of the Civil War in April of 1861. Unlike many young men at the time, neither Peter nor EB rushed in enlist. EB had his father and family to consider; there was much to be done and Archibald, though still strong, would find working the farm alone difficult. Peter was just getting his land in order and probably felt drawn to stay with it. However, at almost the same time, both brothers enlisted. EB became part of the 68th Regiment, Company C, of the Indiana Volunteer Infantry in August of 1862. He was age 22, 5’ 11 ½” tall with brown eyes and black hair. In that same month, Peter joined the 79th Regiment, Company E, of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Peter was age 27, 5’ 8” tall, with blue eyes and dark hair.
Taking different but similar paths the two regiments came near each other in January of 1863. I’ll let Peter tell the rest of the story as transcribed from his original letter, (Note: Eliphalet aka EB aka Dick):
Rutherford County, Tenisee near Murfreesboro at the hospitle.Dear father and Mother and sisters, this leaves me well and hope it will find you all well. I received your letter Dated Feb. the 4 and was glad to here from you. I received your letter that had the dolar in it and those two are all I got from you since the battle and I have fiften more besides this one.Dick and I rote one two weeks ago or about that. I heard that he was at Nashville and I that by telling the surgeon that he was sick that he would let me go to see him and I tole the surgeon that he was very low with the fever and had sent word for me to come and see him and he would not tell me to go. He said that if I went he would not make any interruption hereafter but he gave me no pass and I got with a train of teams that were going after ammunition and provisions. This train were six or seven miles long. No more of this.I slept with Nathan Lewis some two weeks ago. His is well, I go and see him soon again. He is in camp within two miles of my Reg.I were with Dick two nites and one day. He was well. It were after nite when I went on picket to find him. I went in the old house which a part of his Company was in and looking over the house to see if I could see him in he came to my back with some wood and I stood with my back almost to him and said , you burn your wood tolerable long here. Yes, said he without pausing, how are you, Peter and how did you get here. It always done me good to meet friends at home but it does me more good here than you can imagine to meet relation and old acquaintance. I have acquaintance in the 21 Ills, 25 Ills, 123 Ills, 37 Ind, and I have seen them all since the first of October and 67 Ind…
Peter Miller To: Archibald Miller, Ann Miller, Susan Miller, Sarah Miller, P Miller
I am fortunate to have 6 letters written by Peter to his family in Indiana ranging from 1863 through 1865 just prior to his discharge.
Both Peter and Eliphalet lived through the war and had families of their own. Peter died in 1911 in Oklahoma living to see his children grow to adulthood. Eliphalet died in 1887, one year after the passing of his wife, leaving seven orphaned children ranging in age from eighteen to one year.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Illusive Fresh Girls

For several years now two young women – well they’re not really young having been born and died in the 1800s – have been slipping in and out of my genealogy consciousness. They are not in my direct line but just the fact I’ve had so much trouble learning their lineage keeps me coming back.

Lucinda Fresh was born in Kentucky 26 Jan 1809 (according to her tombstone). She married William R Leisure 14 Nov 1827 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. The couple had three children: Benjamin, Francis, and Sarah E. This Leisure family had lived many years (census records 1850 and 1860) in Rush County, Indiana. Lucinda died 09 Mar 1869 in Howard County, Indiana and is buried in Jerome cemetery in Howard County, Indiana
Dorinda T. Fresh was born in February 1811 (according to census information). She married Joseph P. Leisure 08 Nov 1836 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. The couple had five children: Elizabeth, Lucinda, William, Sarah M., and John Franklin. Dorinda died 09 Feb 1875 in Rush County, Indiana and is buried in Hannegan cemetery in Rush County, Indiana.

William R. and Joseph P. are brothers of my 3rd great-grandfather, George Washington Leisure. Are Lucinda and Dorinda sisters? Cousins?

The Fresh surname is apparently very uncommon. A search on Ancestry.com shows only two Fresh families in all of Kentucky in 1820. There is a Benjamin Fresh listed in the Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky 1820 census. Listed with him are one female under 10 and one female between 10 and 15 – could that be Lucinda age 9 and Dorinda age 11?

I would love to learn more about these ladies, their parentage, and their early lives. Any help out there?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Antique or Not?

Many years ago when I had a brief interest in collecting antiques, someone told me “anything at least 50 years old is considered an antique.” Well, by that definition I reached said title some years ago and now so has my marriage. Today, my husband and I are celebrating our golden anniversary cruising with our girls and their families. How fortunate we are to have our whole crew with us for this occasion.

June and July of 1962 held significant events for me. I graduated from North Park Academy in Chicago in June and married my longtime friend in July.  I was extremely happy to put high school behind me and overjoyed to move towards building a life together with my new husband.

Jim and I met at Second Baptist Church in Chicago when he was 12 and I was 10. My family had recently moved from small town Indiana to Chicago; Jim’s family had been in Chicago for several  generations. We spent most weekends attending the various activities offered by our Church. As time went on we were on-again off-again dating, then Jim graduated and joined the Air Force. After his first leave, we were on-again for good
Although not exactly thrilled about our upcoming union, (they thought we were too young) Jim’s parents came through with flying colors. They, with my soon-to-be sister-in-law drove me up the then unpaved Alcan highway to Anchorage, Alaska where Jim was serving at Elmendorf  Air Force base. What an adventure that was!!

Ours was a small wedding in the chapel on base. We had six in attendance, not counting Jim, me and the Chaplin. One additional friend was supposed to come and take pictures but he forgot. So we have very few pictures of the day; however, some is better than none. After a lunch at a pancake house, Jim’s parents headed home and Jim went to work (that was a prank and they sent him home almost immediately).

It was fifty years ago today but for me it seems like yesterday. Yes, we have two grown daughters who have four grown children but it has all passed so quickly.  If not for mirrors and the occasional aches and pains from an aging body, I’d swear I was still that young woman looking into the loving eyes of that dashing Airman.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Stewart, Leisure, Ging Gathering ca. 1930

It's been awhile but I've finally gotten around to scanning the second family gathering photo for the Stewart, Lesiure, Ging group. I'm sorry it's a bit fuzzy but I've done the best I can with the original.

The names were given to me by my mother. I had a record for everyone except Evelyn and Junior Ricker. If anyone out there recognizes them, I'd love to know how they fit in the family. Mom may have gotten the surname wrong or I may have heard it wrong, but I just don't know who they are.


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Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Wordle Cloud for Saturday Night Fun

Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Fun:
Here is your mission, if you decide to accept it (shouldn't this be mandatory for all Genea-Musings readers every Saturday night?):

1)  Find something that you have written (letter, report, book, website, blog post, etc.) and copy all or part of it  (you know, do an Edit > Copy or a Ctrl-C on it).  If it's a website with an RSS feed, then just copy the URL in the browser address bar.

2)  go to www.wordle.net and put the copied text into the text box at http://www.wordle.net/create or URL at the site.  Be creative - select a Font, a Layout, and a color scheme.

3)  Capture the image by doing a screen capture, or by doing an image snip.

4)  Show us your Wordle creation on your own blog, on a Facebook status, or on a Google Plus stream post.  

5)  What use to do see for a Wordle cloud that you created?

6)  Be sure to leave a Comment to this blog post telling us where to find it.

Here's my wordle. It's taken from a very short bio I did on my husband's half great uncle, Henry Weidemann.
I think it looks cool and something like this might peak the interest of my grandchildren. Picking through the words used in the image gives a hint to his life.

Where I've Been Lately

I know it's been quite awhile since I last posted; however, I have been busy with a myriad of other things.

First, my dear husband booked a cruise for over Easter so we had to quickly prepare for the voyage. There was shopping, laundry, cleaners, packing, and the many preparations needed when one is to be away for over a week.

Then, two days before our departure, our dog, Bessie, appeared to have an eye infection (which she did). While at the Vet, I mentioned she had a little sore on her leg in the area where in December she had TPLO surgery. The Vet was not pleased with what she saw and took x-rays which revealed a major problem with the plate and screws that had been implanted. "They have to come out", she said. So we went home with eye drops, antibiotics, and orders to call her surgeon to set up a new surgery.

Two days later, we left Bessie in the capable hands of Bark Avenue Day Camp (her home away from home) with all her meds and left for New Orleans and our ship. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable cruise. We met some wonderful people and had interesting conversations. Saturday, April 14, we made the 16 hour drive home losing most of the relaxed feeling we had gained during the week. ;-)

Bessie had her surgery on Tuesday and we have been playing nurse and rehab therapist ever since. From the icing of the leg and the 4 short walks daily to trying our best to keep track of her medication schedule, this has kept both me and my husband very busy. The good news is Bessie seems to be feeling better than she has in a long time; the bad news is when Bessie feels good she wants to run around and have fun. Running around is currently prohibited!

So, the little time I actually get on the computer is being spent catching up on blogs, facebook, twitter, and email. Any time left is being spent indexing or arbitrating batches of the 1940 Census Community Project for Illinois for the Illinois State Genealogy Society. Anyone out there who would like to help can get started at the link above. We can use all the help we can get!!

So, it's back to indexing for me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

1940 Census Error Found Already

I've spent just a little time finding "my people" on the 1940 census over the past few days. Since I'm indexing as well and feel more of my energy should be put on that task, I've only allowed a few minutes a day to look for myself. And, since I did my homework before the release and gathered the all important ED numbers, I was ready.

My Indiana relatives were easiest to find as they are mostly rural and tended to stay put over long periods. I found my direct line and a few collaterals were spotted along the way.

Today, when I saw that MyHeritage.com had posted Illinois, I made the effort to find my husband's Chicago family. To my surprise, I found his grandmother listed with her four married sons but no daughters-in-law. Hmm, did they all have fights and run home to Mommy? I doubted that
Since I had a address for where hubby's Dad should have been and since I was still looking for my mother-in-law, I went to that ED and guess what I found. There they were, both of them, living happily in their own apartment.

Now, in my opinion, the odds are I'll find the other boys living with their wives too. How this error occurred, I don't know. Maybe grandma didn't understand a question about her children - yes, she was the informant-, maybe the census taker didn't ask the questions properly, however it happened my husband's father and, most likely his three brothers, are listed twice in the census.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

So Little Time - Passing On Your Research

Two weeks ago my husband’s cousin, Kay, passed away. Kay had been diligently researching her mother’s side of the family for several years and had accumulated lots of wonderful information. Unfortunately, no other family members from that side are currently interested in continuing her work. It is believed in the future a nephew or niece may take up the research but, for now, we can only try to retain important data for later use, perhaps much later.

To that end, as the family historian on the Dad’s side of the family, I was called in to determine what to keep and what not to keep. What an ominous project and I only had one morning, this morning, in which to do it! Fortunately, Kay was wonderfully organized, making decisions much easier than they might have been.

Kay maintained binders - there must have been forty of them - containing descendant’s charts, family group sheets and important documents, as well as separate binders for census records and such. These I suggested should be retained for future reference. Being familiar with Kay’s ability to research and document, I feel secure the most important information for a future genealogist will be found in those binders. Because storage space will be limited, I was far more discriminating with the various folders contained in the filing cabinet.

Now, for the real point of this blog! I backed-up Kay’s Family Tree Maker File to an external device and gave both the file and the software version she was using and the manual for that version to the family. However, technology being what it is that file and the software will be obsolete before we know it. I can guarantee nothing will be updated after today.

Now, I love technology but I am convinced we still need to get our genealogy on paper. I came to that conclusion a couple of years ago when I decided to start creating family history books to be sent to family members and libraries. Whether it’s in book form or printed out and organized in binders or family folders, please, make sure your work is in print form. If you’re still researching, be sure to keep your print records updated as well as your computer files.

I’m wearing a shirt that says, “So many ancestors; so little time.” The truth of that statement was made very clear to me today. We have no way of knowing how long we have on this earth. To have any hope of our work carrying forth to the next generation of genealogists, we need to put it into a stable form. The most stable form, even today, is print.

Yes, I am posting this on my blog and will mention it on Twitter and Facebook but, if I really want my g-g-grandchild to read this, I will print it, put it in an archival safe sheet protector, and put it in a binder marked DO NOT DESTROY – FOR THE NEXT FAMILY HISTORIAN!! There’s no guarantee that will work either, but at least I will have given it my best shot.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Surname count

I don't have too much time this afternoon so I'll have to be brief with my answer to Randy Seaver's

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - How Many Surnames?

It's Saturday Night - time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Go into your Genealogy Management Program (GMP; either software on your computer, or an online family tree) and figure out how to Count how many surnames you have in your family tree database.

2)  Tell us which GMP you're using and how you did this task.

3)  Tell us how many surnames are in your database and, if possible, which Surname has the most entries.  If this excites you, tell us which surnames are in the top 5!  Or 10!

4)  Write about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a status or comment on Facebook, or in Google Plus Stream post.

However, I did take a minute to check out a few statistics. I am using Family Tree Maker 2012 and this is what the file statistics gave me:

As you can see, from my 4,534 people in the file, I have 925 surnames (among those is the all too common UNKNOWN). I was surprised to see I had 816 Media items since I only started adding media a couple of years ago.

This is my main file where I keep both my sides and my husband's sides of the family. I've often considered dividing the two but so far I've kept us together:-)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dream vs Reality

To begin with I'll admit I am retired and prior to retirement I had a vision of what my tranquil, easy life would be like.

  • My dream morning: I wake up on my own volition, sun streaming in the window, song birds twittering sweetly to each other. I brew a cup of coffee, log on to my laptop (or I-phone or tablet) to leisurely catch up on my facebook and twitter and google+ friends and family. I might post a thing or two about what I've been up to or what I'm planning for the day. I might need a second cup of coffee to get it all done but who cares, I've got all day! Then, I'll take the dog for a walk, grab some lunch, and get going on my projects - writing blogs posts, writing my current family book, or researching online. I'll break for dinner when I get hungry, then if there's not a meeting to attend, I'll get back to work or catch a webinar or a web radio show on genealogy.
  • My reality: I wake up between 5:30 and 6:30 to the sound of my dog giving herself a "bath" or chewing on her paws. I'm up and showered by 7; While my husband takes his shower, I  brush the dog's coat and teeth and send her out to potty, prepare breakfast - no biggie mind you , just cereal or English muffins -, and brew some coffee. No time to log on now, we have to head out to a State park or bike trail or somewhere like that for our walk with the dog. Hurry up 'cause it's almost time for lunch; we're on a schedule you know!! Finally, about noon, I'm allowed about four hours to do whatever I want which means I usually rush through fb, twitter, and google+ so I can get to my projects. I've only got until about 4pm before my time and attention are required elsewhere once again.
  • Truth: I'm oh so grateful to have a husband who after all these years (50 this year) still wants me by his side for almost everything. I'm happy to have the privilege to sit next to him and watch tv in the evening; even if it means I miss a webinar or two. There's no way to know how long we'll have together and I would hate to regret not spending these precious hours with him.

Come to think of it, my dream morning could get to be pretty lonely. I'd rather share my retirement with all its give and take than have complete control without the love of my life.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday Almost - Eliza Jane Hinton Leisure

All that's missing from the photo of Eliza Jane (Hinton) Leisure is her corn cob pipe. No joke; she did enjoy her pipe upon occasion. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Leisure, Ging, Stewart, Emay Family Picture

I'm not sure just when this photo was taken. It was obviously in the late fall, winter, or very early spring as the trees are completely bare. The temperature must have been mild because there are only a couple of coats or sweaters visible and most of the children are in long sleeves. I'm sure it was taken in Rush County, Indiana but exactly where, I don't know. The year is about 1921; the youngest child in the picture, Eloise, was born in June of 1921 and the youngest boy, Charles Wayne Stewart, was born in April of 1920.

The Leisure, Ging, Stewart, Emay Gang ca. 1922
Left to Right, Front Row: Evie (Powell) Leisure, Eloise Ging, Glen Ging, Earl Stewart, Charles Wayne Stewart, Gail Ging
Back Rows: First person is cut off and unknown, Fanny (Leisure) Emay, Luva May (Reeves) Emay, Irene Stewart,
Hugh Leisure, Lizzie (Emay) Stewart, Charles Stewart, Hypatia (Birt) Leisure Turner, Unknown, Oliver Carr Leisure,
Ruby Stewart, Joseph Emay, Jenny Leisure

I'll be posting a few other photos of the same or similar group in later years. Seems they got together around the same time of year. The trees are always bare:)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Back To My Old Tricks

I'll admit it. I have a very bad habit of becoming super enthusiastic about something only to let my vitality drain quietly away. However, in my defense it usually takes about ten years to completely turn to other endeavors.

I've been working on the family history now for about seventeen years; a milestone of hanging in there! Of course, within that time I've changed my direction many times and there are so many lines to discover it's hard to get bored.

I spent many years devoted to my great-grandfather, William Sidney Emay, the orphan train rider. Taking the time to learn all I could about the era, organizations, social mores, etc. causing and facilitating such programs. I joined the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America serving on the board and as president the last few years of its existence until merging with the National Orphan Train Complex in Concordia, Kansas. During those years I gave lectures/presentations which allowed me to meet many wonderful genealogists and historians.

During all this time, I was also researching other lines of my and my husband's family. I attended conferences, joined societies, took courses such as American Genealogy from NGS, and read everything I could get my hands on about my newest addiction.

A couple of years ago, I decided it was time to write about the family lines I'd been researching. To help me with the task, I began this blog hoping it would keep me on track. I do think it's helped and I did publish my husband's Rush line in 2010.

Last year I was supposed to publish my Leisure line but I didn't get that done. I let too many things get in the way of my writing. My resolution for 2012 was to "write" 5 out of seven days during the year; well, that resolve went by the wayside quickly! However, I am determined not to let my oh so familiar lagging interest get the better of me this time.

In an effort to jump start my enthusiasm I've joined The Family History Writing Challenge issued by Lynn Palermo, The Armchair Genealogist. I've committed to 250 words a day during the month of February. That's 7,250 words in 29 days (darn leap year!) Now, I'm sure I'm allowed to do more than that but not less:)

Can I do it? Can I stay focused and excited enough to stick with it? I'm going to give it my wholehearted best! So if you don't see many posted to this blog or the Leisure blog or the EGS blog, remember that probably means I'm sticking to my guns and writing about my Leisures. Unfortunately, words written for the blogs won't count in the challenge.

Oh and the word count above is 330. Just maybe I can do this!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Week 2

Week 2 – Paid Online Genealogy Tools: Which paid genealogy tool do you appreciate the most? What special features put it at the top of your list? How can it help others with their genealogy research?

I have to admit I'm very tight with my genealogy funds and I've whittled my paid site down to only a couple that I use most. I'd love to add more but tend to only subscribe to some on a monthly basis when and only when I need them.

That said, I've been a member of Ancestry.com for years now. Sometimes I'm concerned about the price (it is a bit pricey, isn't it?) but, for me, the benefits outweigh the cost. I'm not a great user of on-line trees, unless they are well sourced. However, I use "user" trees" as clues only and never assume they are correct.

My favorite feature is the ability to merge data into my tree. Although I usually have to refine the citation, I love having an image merge along with the source.

I'm sure Ancestry would be helpful to others in their genealogy research and the nice thing is there is the library addition which makes it available to so many without cost. I, however, would find it difficult to give up perusing its databases at home in my 'jammies.

Friday, January 6, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 1

Week 1 – Blogs: Blogging is a great way for genealogists to share information with family members, potential cousins and each other. For which blog are you most thankful? Is it one of the earliest blogs you read, or a current one? What is special about the blog and why should others read it?

I have so many blogs I'm thankful for and for many different reasons. Some I like best because of the light and playful voice I hear as I read, some because they instruct me on the best use of software I use, some for the great ideas and suggestions I glean, and some for leading me to information and data helpful in my personal research.

The one I'd like to highlight here is Dear Myrtle's Genealogy Blog. Her posts so often fill more than one of my reasons for reading. Her sense of humor shines and she instructs and directs her readers with excellent ideas and suggestions.

I recommend this blog to any and all of my fellow genealogists.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mary Frances Leisure Outline

In order to know what I need to fill in while writing Fannie's bio, I've created an outline with what I know. Please note the sources are listed for the same reason - what do I have and what do I need.

What I know about Mary Frances "Fannie" (Leisure) Emay

Ø  Born in Rush County Indiana 26 Oct 1861
Sources: Tombstone, Obituary, 1900 Census - Born before birth certificates were required.
Ø  2nd child of 6 and only daughter of Joseph & Eliza Jane (Hinton) Leisure
Sources: 1870 Census, obituary, family photo with parents & brothers
Ø  Born just after the start of the US Civil War
Ø  Married William Sidney Emay in Rush County, Indiana on 12 Sep 1878
Source: Rush County Marriage certificate and return
She was just turning 17 when she married.
Ø  Reference: William was an Orphan Train Rider having been brought to Rush County in February of 1862 at the age of 8. (Create appendix with his story.)
Ø  They had 5 children:
     Clara Elizabeth – 11 Sep 1879-14 Mar 1956
      Joseph Blount – 19 Jun 1881-24 Jun 1969
     Cleveland – 18 Sep 1884-24 Jul 1885
     Ola Blanche  - 31 Mar 1886-28 Dec 1970
Sources: Certificates for Cleveland and Ola, obituaries, tombstones, census records
Ø  Her father died 15 Sep 1896 in Rush County.
Sources: Death record and obituaries.
Ø  Husband William died 31 Oct 1901 of a sudden stomach ailment.
Sources: Death record, obituaries, tombstone (Note: he was originally buried in the Hannegan Cemetery but moved to Center Church Cemetery after Fanny died.)
Ø  Children’s marriages:
Clara “Lizzie” to Charles Sumner Stewart 10 Sep 1902 in Rush County, Indiana
Joseph to Luva May Reeves 12 Sep 1907 in Rush County, Indiana
Ola to Glen Ging 23 Oct 1913 in Rush County, Indiana
Sources: county records and misc. announcements
Ø  In the 1910 census, Fannie’s mother, Eliza Jane, is living with Fannie and Ola in Mays, Rush County, Indiana.
Ø  Eliza Jane died 21 Sep 1915 in Rush County, Indiana
Source: Rush County Death Records & memorial card
Ø  In the 1920 census, Fannie is living in the Charles Stewart household with daughter, Lizzie.
Ø  In the 1930 census, Fannie is living in Rush County in the household of Glen Ging with daughter Ola.
Ø  Fannie died 22 May 1951 in Hancock County, Indiana where daughter Ola Ging and family lived and is buried in Center Church cemetery in Rush County, Indiana.
Source: obituary, tombstone photo.