Genealogy standards and repositories (Priority Reset, Part 2)

The article that I submitted for consideration to a genealogic journal was not accepted. The editor gave lots of feedback with clear directions on how to proceed. In my last post, I reported how and why my genealogy goals for this year have changed. In this post, I outline specific ways in which I plan to revise this article. 

Here’s my new goal: Using the editor’s suggestions as base, revise article about Maurer family. If I follow her suggestions, I will better meet Genealogical Standards[1]. To review, genealogical standards include five criteria:

  1. Reasonably exhaustive research-“emphasizing original records. . . . “[2]
  2. Complete, accurate citation of sources
  3. Tests of evidence by analyzing and correlating data
  4. Resolution of conflicts among evidence
  5. Written conclusion that is reasonable and coherent

Specifically, I did not completely meet the first criteria about original records. I possess, and cited, many  original certificates and/or copies of the originals.  I purchased certificates directly from state, county and local offices. Relatives sent me photo or digital copies. Some records were available online. However, I frequently cited online indexes as sources.

Indexes are not original records!  As the editor pointed out, indexes should primarily be used as a finding aid for the original document. Indexes are transcriptions of original material and, therefore, subject to error. How many times have you found an ancestor’s name misspelled on an index?   Contact the agency or group that holds the original record, i.e. the repository.  Often, you pay a fee for a copy of the record from an agency or group.  Citation of only an index does not meet the genealogical standard.

The original record may be available online. One example is a link to a newspaper article. The article has been indexed on a database; clicking on the link sends you to a digital image of the newspaper. In the example below, the newspaper (Tyler Morning Telegraph, published in Tyler, Texas) is the repository. The obituary was accessed through two database indexes-  Ancestry and Newspapers.com.  Citation of either index without actually finding the article is not enough.  

Is an index ever appropriate as a primary source? I’m not sure and will leave that debate to the genealogy professionals. When you find an index entry for your ancestor, you are definitely one step closer to that missing puzzle piece. Keep good notes and cite the index appropriately in your research log.

For more information: Genealogy 101: Indexes, an Important Part of Genealogy Research

You may not be able to obtain a copy of more recent records. Agencies set criteria for what records are public domain and what records have restricted access. I have seen 75-100- year limits on birth certificates becoming public domain and 25, 50 or even 75- year limits for death certificates. In one jurisdiction, only parents and the actual person can obtain a copy of an original birth certificate, unless the person has been dead for at least 50 years. You may still be able to get a transcript of the certificate. Proof of direct descent sometimes eases restrictions. This can be frustrating for genealogists. However, I respect these agencies for making an effort to limit identity theft.

Remember that online databases such as Ancestry, Find My Past, My Heritage and Family Search are NOT the repositories of most records. These online services are the intermediary between repositories and the public. Example – the repository for most U.S. census records is the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C. State health departments are often the repositories for birth and death certificates issued since about 1910.

Back to my original goal of revising my article.  Related to the first genealogical standard, my specific objectives are:

  1. Identify all citations with the word “index.”
  2. Detect indexes that may have a digital copy of the original records. When found, go to the original source. Cite the original source including URL.
  3. If original record is not available online, contact agency that holds the original record. Submit request forms and fees as needed. Wait for responses.
  4. Recognize that this process may take months and be costly.

Ultimately, I will produce a better, more complete, family history. What if none of these efforts work? That’s a question I will pose to the editor after I have exhausted all other resources.

The editor also suggested that I consult a broader range of sources such as land records and court proceedings. That will be a topic for another post! 

My article is a work in progress. I have to consider possible copyright issues and, therefore, cannot reveal more to you at this time. I have multiple stories about how I discovered information. I hope to share some of those research notes with you later.   

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021


SOURCES:

[1] Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, 2ND edition (Washington, D.C.: Turner Publishing Co., 2019).

[2] Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, page 1.

One goal met; reset other goals

I did it! I finally submitted an article for consideration to a genealogic journal. My article was not accepted, but I am OK with that. The editor gave lots of great feedback with clear directions on how to proceed. I plan to work on revisions for that article. Over the last few months, priorities have changed for my genealogy work. In this post, I describe reasons for these changes.

In March 2021, I was diagnosed with a chronic, progressive disease and a life expectancy of two to five years. The disease eventually will disrupt my ability to write or use the computer. I already have limited use of my right arm and hand. This totally changes my genealogy goals. Article submission has been a goal for the last several years. Please note that I didn’t say “published,” although that would be nice! Now that the article has been submitted and reviewed, I can seriously reconsider my other goals. What is most important to finish? What is OK to leave for others?

My broad goals, i.e., to completely redo four different family lines, now seem unachievable. Some things will be left for future generations to do! Writing this blog has helped with cleaning up parts of every family line. I will do my best to continue my blog on a regular basis.

One specific project comes to mind. I haven’t specifically addressed this in my annual goals because I thought I had lots of time. But, with my current diagnosis, this project (actually a series of projects) becomes more urgent. The project involves scrapbooking.

Beginning in 2013, I created six genealogical scrapbooks– four in a traditional paper format and two in a digital format. Two paper scrapbooks were for father-in-law (Ellerbee and Simmons families). After Papa died, I made copies for Papa’s sister.  One paper scrapbook was for mother-in-law (Johnson-Reed families combined).  Last Christmas, Nana and I collaborated on a copy of that book for my sister-in-law. Fourth paper book was for my brother-in-law. One digital book was for my dad’s youngest sister about the Posten family. The second digital book was for my brother about our maternal grandmother’s family (Maurer).

As part of my legacy, I want to leave more than one copy of these scrapbooks, especially the paper scrapbooks. I already have two copies of the Posten narrative history that I wrote in 2014, with all of its flaws. But, the framework is there.  So, I change focus and reset my goals for the rest of this year.

New goals for the rest of this year: 

  1. Make two copies of the Ellerbee- Simmons scrapbooks. One copy for sister- in- law and one copy for son. Original scrapbook goes to my other son.
  2. Make one copy of the Johnson -Reed scrapbook for son. Original scrapbook goes to my other son. My sister-in-law received a copy of that scrapbook last Christmas.
  3. Create scrapbook/ memory book of Tucker-Maurer family including photos and documents.   Four to six copies – one for each son, one for my brother, one for nephew;  possibly copies for two cousins. Use blog posts as base.
  4. Contact lawyer and write will, including a specific genealogy will. My oldest son agrees to be caretaker of my genealogy work.
  5. Using editor’s suggestions as base, revise article about Maurer family. I will address specifics in another post.
  6. Resume work on other goals as time and energy permit.
  7. Tentative: Send copy of Posten-Richards book to Internet Archive for digital archiving. Note: I have two print copies of the Posten-Richards book that I wrote in 2014. I began a much-needed revision but seem to get easily distracted. I have new information to add. The citations, especially, need re-doing. I may have to leave the clean-up to someone else!

When those projects are done, I will look at my overall goals again and set priorities. No matter how much or how little I get done, genealogy paper and digital files are certainly in better shape than they were four years ago when I started the Genealogy Do- Over!

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots  blog, 2021

A namesake for Nana – Part 2

I am not the first to report that Barbary Reed’s maiden name could be Friddle. My last post described how Barbary (Friddle) Reed’ s marital identity emerged.  She was the wife of John A. Reed and mother of William Wylie Reed, Nana’s great grandfather. In this post, I report how I built on the work of others to confirm Barbary’s maiden name.

Back to my mother-in-law’s family tree. Nana’s first name was Barbara although she was known by her middle name.  Not unusual.  When Nana looked at a revised family scrapbook last year, she commented about the possible origin of her first name.  Did Nana’s mother hear from her father, Virgil, that his grandmother’s name was Barbara?

Review of census records from last blog post:

1880 census, Overton, Rusk county, Texas: Household of Jno [John] A Reid, 62, born in Tennessee with William Reid, 32, son, born in Tennessee; Josie Reid, 24, daughter, born in Texas and grandson, Willie E. Reid, age 3, born in Texas. [1] John is presumed to be a widower since there is not an older woman in the household.  Josie is presumed to be William’s wife, based on 1876 marriage record for Josephine Reed and W.W. Reed.[2]

1870 census, Rusk County, Texas. [3]  John, age 52; Barbary, age 48; William, age 21; Mary, age 18, born Texas; Sarah, age 12, born Texas. John, Barbary and William were born in Tennessee. Suggests move from Tennessee to Texas between 1849 and 1858. Barbary alive in 1870 and presumed dead before 1880. Both Mary and Sarah possibly married between 1870 and 1880.

1860 census: Rusk County, Texas. [4] John Read, age 41, born in Tennessee. Married to B.A., age 37, with 3 children: Wm. W, age 14, born Tennessee; Mary A, age 10, born Tennessee and Sarah, age 1, born Texas. Family includes William Faddle, 30, a farm laborer, born in Tennessee.  Family lived next to Andrew Read whose family includes 3-year-old Josephine Read, believed to be first wife of William W. Reed (and the same Josie Reid reported in 1880 census). ‘William Faddle’ could be Barbary’’s brother.

1850 census: McCracken county, Kentucky. [5] John A Reed, age 31, carpenter, born Tennessee; Barbara A. Reed, age 27, born Tennessee; Wm w reed, age 2. born Tennessee. Ages, place of birth consistent with later census records. (NOTE: In Bedford county, Tennessee-[6]-John Read, 32, Narcissa Read, 35, Lavitha Read, 18, Mary Read, 4; possibly a different John Reed).

Online family trees show Barbara/ Barbary as daughter of Martin Turley Friddle. Unfortunately, none provided specific documentation to support their assertion.  However, those same online trees showed indexes suggesting that a will existed for Martin Friddle who died 1895 in Shelbyville, Bedford county, Tennessee.[7], [8]  I followed those hints to an actual copy of the will, dated 23 February 1895. [9] One bequest, among others, is to “heirs of . . . Barbary Reid [sic].”

On to Barbary’s mother, Dianna.  Her maiden name of Hudlow is from the death certificate for Emaline.  [Friddle] Russell, another of Martin and Dianna’s daughters.  [10] The mounting evidence now makes the assertions more probable.

ASSERTIONS:

Barbary Friddle, born about 1822 in or near Bedford county, Tennessee to Martin Turley Friddle (1797 – 1895) and Dianna Hudlow (abt 1799, Virginia – 1880).  One of 12 children.

Married John Reid/ Reed, also born Tennessee, about 1845. Family moved to McCracken county, Kentucky by 1850, then to Rusk county, Texas before 1858. Barbary died between 1870 and 1880. John died after 1880.

REFLECTION:

This post is shorter than others but more focused.   Last week, I submitted an article about mom’s family for publication. Will let you know when I hear from the journal.  I added specific information about Barbary, her parents and siblings, to personal and online trees. Online trees can still provide clues even if no source is cited or if source is only an index. Writing this post helped to update Nana’s family tree including citations.

What I learned:  Look beyond indexes and lists of documents. A copy of the original document may be available online! Remember to not discount online trees with minimal or no sources attached.

What helped: Many links and clues already attached to online tree. Updated Nana’s family scrapbook in December 2020. So glad that was done before she died!!

What didn’t help: incomplete citations and notes on my RootsMagic Tree.

To-Do:  BSO item – Barbary (Friddle) Reed’s siblings. John Reed’s parents and siblings. Continue search for John and Barbary’s death information. Write thank-you notes to online tree owners.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021


SOURCES:

[1] 1880 U.S. Census, Rusk Co., Texas, population schedule, Overton, enumeration district (ED) 074, p. 58A, dwelling 140, family 142, William Reid age 32; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 1 July 2021); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C., T9, roll 1325.

[2] “Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837-1977,” database, Family Search (http://www.familysearch.org  : viewed 1 July 2021), entry for Josephine Reed & W.W. Reed; citingTexas county records.

[3] 1870 U.S. Census, Rusk county, Texas, population schedule, Precinct No. 1, p. 345 (ink pen); p. 301 (stamp), dwelling 128, family 131, John A. Reid [Reed] 52; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed & downloaded 11 November 2020); citing Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, microfilm publication M593_1603.

[4] 1860 U.S. Census, Rusk county, Texas, population schedule, Beat 11, Bellevue Post Office, p. 108 (ink pen), dwelling 691, family 709, John Read age 41; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed & downloaded 11 November 2020); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M653.

[5] 1850 U.S. Census, McCracken Co., Kentucky, population schedule,  p. 190B, dwelling 399, family 400, John A Reed 31; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 2 July 2021); citing National Archives, Washington, D.C., M432, roll 211.

[6] 1850 U.S. Census, Bedford Co., Tennessee, population schedule,  p. 241, dwelling 27, family 27, John  Reed 32; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 2 July 2021); citing National Archives, Washington, D.C., M432, roll 869.

[7] Lisa Davidson, ‘Reed Family Tree,”, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/14272512/person/92321948/facts   ;  accessed 1 August 2021); “Martin Friddle,” cited Martin Friddle on list of Wills, Bedford county, Tennessee, Wills, Vols. 1-2, 1861-1922, F, page 766; no information recorded about content of the will.

[8] Tygorsnan, “Weems Family Tree,” Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/18173545/person/112034568478/facts  :  accessed 1 August 2021); “Martin Turley Friddle,” citing Bedford county, Tennessee, Administrator and Executor Bonds, Letters and Settlements, Vol 3, 1894-1917, pg. 88, appointment of A.J. Womack as administrator; no information provided about content of will.

[9] Martin Friddle will, Bedford county, Tennessee, Wills and Inventories; “Tennessee, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008,” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed & downloaded 1 August 2021); citing Bedford County Court Clerk and Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee.

[10] Logan county, Arkansas, Death certificates, certificate no. 554, Emaline Russell, 19 June 1920; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry,com  : viewed & downloaded 5 August 2021); citing Arkansas State Board of Health.

A namesake for Nana

Families hand down names through generations. In Nana’s case, the family tradition may have been all but forgotten but still lies deep within memory. This post describes how Barbara (Friddle) Reed’ s marital identity emerged. In my next post, I will report how I determined Barbara’s maiden name of Friddle.

Back to my mother-in-law’s family tree. Nana’s first name was Barbara although she was known by her middle name.  Not unusual.  When Nana looked at a revised family scrapbook last year, she commented about the possible origin of her first name.  Had Nana’s mother heard from her father, Virgil, that his grandmother’s name was Barbara?

Barbara and her husband, John Reed, were not immediately apparent when I began researching Nana’s family tree. Their identity emerged when I asked: who are the parents of William Wylie Reed, Nana’s great-grandfather on her mother’s side? A summary of the evidence follows. Conflicting evidence about William’s birthdate muddied the waters.

According to his obituary, William W. Reed died on Sunday, 29 April 1928 at the age of 71 in Cold Springs, Texas. [1]  Although the family lived in both Cherokee and Rusk counties, Cold Springs is located in San Jacinto county. The front page obituary stated: “Mr. Reed was born in Tennessee, near Nashville in October of the year 1857, but immigrated to East Texas with his parents when he was about 3 years old.”  Neither his parents nor siblings were named in William’s obituary.  Next step: request William’s death certificate. 

What information is on William’s death certificate?  I haven’t found the certificate. Search of Texas Death Index for 1928 produced no results. I looked under surname variations (Reed, Read and Reid) and given name variations (W.W., William, William W., William Wiley, William Wylie and Wiley). Similarly, letters to Texas Department of Health and Cherokee County produced negative results. Go to census records, beginning with 1920 and move back in time.

1920 Census, William W. Reed, 64, b. Tennessee, with wife, Sammie, age 51, (maiden name Williamson) and six of their children living close by. [2]  Estimated birth year 1856, consistent with obituary. If true, parents moved to east Texas about 1869-1870. The ‘m2’ designation for William suggests that this was his 2nd marriage.

1910 Census, William W. Reed, head, 62, m2, years married: 27, birthplace: Tennessee, father born: Tennessee, mother born Tennessee. [3]  Wife, Sammie, age 42, with seven of their 8 children. William’s estimated birth year 1848 is inconsistent with obituary and 1920 census. Why the change? Because of the age difference between William and Sammie?

1900 census:  Wm W Reed, age 52, birthdate October 1847, birthplace Tennessee, married 17 years. [4]  Wife, Sammie, age 32, born June 1867 in Texas; mother of 6 children. Ages consistent with 1910 census; birthplaces consistent with 1910 and 1920 census records. William and Sammie married 4 April 1883 in Rusk county, Texas.[5]

1880 census: Name: William Reid, age 32, son, born about 1848 in Tennessee, living with Jno [John] A Reid, head, age 62, born about 1818 in Tennessee; Josie Reid, 24, daughter, born about 1856 in Texas and grandson, Willie E. Reid, age 3, born in Texas. [6] William’s age consistent with 1900 & 1910 census. Was Josie his first wife? Is John father of William or Josie? John is presumed to be a widower since there is not an older woman in the household.  

Marriage record for W.W. Reed and Josephine Reid:  married 2 December 1876 in Rusk county, Texas.[7] Josie is a derivative of Josephine. Conclusion: Josie in 1880 census is William’s wife.  Josie probably died after 9 June 1880 (census date) and before 4 April 1883 (William and Sammie’s marriage date).

1870 census: Rusk County, Texas. [8]  John, age 52; Barbary, age 48; William, age 21, born Tennessee; Mary, age 18, born Texas; Sarah, age 12, born Texas. John, Barbary, William born Tennessee. Suggests move from Tennessee to Texas between 1849 and 1852. William’s age consistent with 1880 (age 32), 1900 (age 52) and 1910 (age 62) census records. Barbary alive in 1870 and presumed dead before 1880.

1860 census: Rusk County, Texas. [9] John Read, age 41, born in Tennessee. Married to B.A., age 37, with 3 children: Wm. W, age 14, born Tennessee; Mary A, age 10, born Tennessee and Sarah, age 1, born Texas. Family includes William Faddle, 30, a farm laborer, born in Tennessee.  Family lived next to Andrew Read whose family includes 3-year-old Josephine Read. Analysis: suggests William’s birth year circa 1845-1847, within 2 years of birth as suggested by other census records. Suggests move to Texas between 1850 and 1859. Combined with 1870 census data, move to Texas by 1852. Suggests that Andrew Read was Josephine’s father. Similar surnames imply a relationship between John and Andrew.  

1850 census: McCracken, Kentucky. [10]  John A Reed, age 31; Barbara A. Reed, age 27 and Wm W Reed, age 2, all born in Tennessee. Ages consistent with census records for 1860 through 1910.  

CONCLUSION:   John and Barbara Reed are the parents of William W Reed (census records-1850, 1860, 1870, 1880). William was born in Tennessee (all census records, 1850 to 1920, obituary).  William was born in October 1847 (1900 census; suggested by 1850 to 1880, 1910 census records). Why was his age reported differently on the 1920 census? The later birth year of 1857 was obviously believed by family members as reflected in William’s obituary and on his gravestone.  Other information, i.e. “immigrated to East Texas with his parents when he was about 3 years old”, appears probable.

REFLECTION

I reported these findings in chronological order. However, I probably didn’t find the records in that order. I am still searching 1870 census for Andrew Reed family. Writing this post, and the next one, are one way of remembering my mother- in- law. Her comments about the scrapbook led me to delve deeper into this specific family. Post is longer than I intended.

What I learned: repeat database searches. new information and documents are constantly being added. Review sources for previously overlooked information.

What helped: previous work done on Nana’s family tree.

What didn’t help: incomplete records and citations.

To-Do: write letter to funeral home requesting copy of William W. Reed’s death certificate. Continue search for Andrew Reed family in 1870 starting with Rusk county Texas.


SOURCES:

[1] ‘William W. Reed died Sunday’, Alto Herald, Alto, Cherokee County, TX, 3 May 1928, p. 1, column 4. Portal to Texas History (https://texashistory.unt.edu/  : accessed & printed 9 October 2020.

[2] 1920 U.S. Census, Cherokee County, Texas, pop. sch., Justice Precinct 2, enumeration district (ED) 20, p. 12A, Family #260, William W. Reed; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, printed, downloaded 30 March 2017); National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. Microfilm publication T625_1786..

[3] 1910 U.S. Census, Cherokee County, Texas, population schedule, Alto, enumeration district (ED) 0014, p. 17A, dwelling 319, family 3232, William W Reed 62; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 1 July 2021); citing National Archives & Record Administration, Washington, D.C., Roll: T624_1538.

[4] 1900 U.S. Census, Rusk county, Texas, population schedule, , enumeration district (ED) 0082, p. 9, dwelling 166, family 168, Wm W Reed age 52; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 1 July 2021); citing Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623.

[5] “Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837-1977,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org  : viewed 7 July 2021), Sammie Williamson & W.W.Reed; citing Rusk, Texas, United States, county courthouses, Texas; FHL microfilm 1,020,948.

[6] 1880 U.S. Census, Rusk Co., Texas, population schedule, Overton, enumeration district (ED) 074, p. 58A, dwelling 140, family 142, William Reid age 32; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 1 July 2021); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C., T9, roll 1325.

[7] “Texas, U.S., Select County Marriage Index, 1837-1965,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed ); citing Family Search and Texas county records.

[8] 1870 U.S. Census, Rusk county, Texas, population schedule, Precinct No. 1, p. 345 (ink pen); p. 301 (stamp), dwelling 128, family 131, John A. Reid [Reed] 52; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed & downloaded 11 November 2020); citing Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, microfilm publication M593_1603.

[9] 1860 U.S. Census, Rusk county, Texas, population schedule, Beat 11, Bellevue Post Office, p. 108 (ink pen), dwelling 691, family 709, John Read age 41; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed & downloaded 11 November 2020); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M653.

[10] 1850 U.S. Census, McCracken Co., Kentucky, population schedule, , p. 190B, dwelling 399, family 400, John A Reed 31; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 2 July 2021); citing National Archives, Washington, D.C., M432, roll 211.

Reflection on Independence Day: 2021 and an Update

Disclaimer: Parts of this post originally published 5 July 2019

This year (2021), the country feels more divided than united. All of us need to step back and reflect on the sacrifice made by those who fought for our Independence from England. Those persons were labelled rebels. Because of those rebels, we can argue about the meaning of words in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. Because of those rebels, we can disagree about the date of our country’s founding.  Remember, too, that we would not enjoy these freedoms if not for those rebels. Like them or not, those rebels deserve to be remembered and celebrated by Americans on this Fourth of July.  

In this post, I update a list of persons from our (my husband’s and mine) family trees who are known or believed to be Revolutionary War patriots. Many of our personal ancestral families lived in the United States in late 1700s and early 1800s.  At least one family may have been Tories (a.k.a. supported the British). 

The roots of my family and my husband’s family run deep in America.  Neither of us have any nationally famous persons in our family trees.  Family stories told of Native American ancestry, but our DNA shows no genetic links there.  Both of us hail primarily from British Isles, Scandinavia, and western Europe. We are descended from immigrants to the United States.  Some of our ancestors influenced events locally or within their home state. Some of my husband’s ancestors owned slaves.  

Should a holiday recognize when the first African slaves were brought to America? Enslaved peoples, primarily of African descent, are definitely part of our American history.  We cannot change American history. Our interpretation of that history changes as we apply current values and beliefs to the values and beliefs held by those who lived in another time. I believe that we can teach differing views of events without belittling either side.

Acknowledge the societal norms of the times and locations that influenced our ancestors’ choices.  We cannot change our family’s history. I diligently record our family’s history and share that information with others.  I try to not pass judgment. Without all of our ancestors and those who believed in America, we would not be here!!  

Revolutionary War Patriots (known, presumed and speculative)

From my family tree:

Samuel Jones (ca 1759 – 1827); recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution

Thomas Ostrander (1745 – 1816); recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution

Richard Posten (1750 – after 1825); signed Articles of Association in Monmouth county, New Jersey.

Nathaniel Richards I (1759 -1831); ? New Jersey militia, family tradition.

Joseph Traver (abt 1732 – after 1790); recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution

Cornelius Van Sickle (abt 1741 – 1820); served New Jersey militia; Revolutionary War pension file W6374.

From my husband’s family tree:

George Valentine Creager (1734 – 1808); recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution

Thomas Ellerbee (abt 1743 – 1802); “Captain Ellerbee” mentioned in several South Carolina Revolutionary War pension files; possible distant cousin.

George Hans Friddle (1731-1805); service from family tradition.

Jonathan Roach (abt 1737 – after 1802); recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2019-2021. The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author.  

Obituaries and death notices

Another death in our family this past week. I was given the privilege of writing my mother-in-law’s obituary. This task of love let me to reflect on obituaries and death notices as sources of information. In this post, I share my reflection with you.

Genealogists cull information about individuals and their families from these notices, usually published in local newspapers. What’s the difference between a death notice and an obituary? The answer is simple. A death notice usually gives only basic information about the person and their death. An obituary typically provides more information about the person and their family.

Death notices can still provide clues for follow up. Here is one example from my dad’s family. [1]

Other documents and her gravestone[2] show her name as Esther, maiden name Brown. The notice was published on Friday, February 14, 1840; her date of death- ‘Tuesday last’- means Tuesday, February 11, 1840.  The family should be found in or near Stroudsburg on 1840 census. Burial at Friends Graveyard means that Esther and Thomas were Quakers. My question is:  if she died and was buried in Monroe County, why was her death notice in a Pike County newspaper? Pike County and Monroe County are geographically close to each other. This led me to explore how county lines changed and to search for more information about a Brown family in Pike County. Age at death is sometimes listed. This example shows how even limited information can be used to discover information about a person and their family.

Obituaries give us a glimpse into the person’s life and family.  Often, you will read about the person’s occupation, hobbies, military service, religious affiliation, professional and social organizations, honors and awards as well as birth and death information. Names of parents, siblings and children are usually included. You may learn how long the person was married and whether the named relatives are dead or alive. Cause of death is sometimes included. “A sudden death” may suggest an accident or acute illness. “A long (or lingering) death” suggests one or more chronic illnesses. Photos are a more recent inclusion.  Today, funeral homes post obituaries online.

Siblings’ names can be used to uncover a woman’s maiden name.  One woman’s brothers had two different surnames, suggesting that one was her step-brother. The married name of a sister led to more records about the sister and, eventually, the names of their parents.

Also of interest is what information is not included. I found a marriage record for a person[3] on my mom’s family tree. His obituary[4] did not mention his wife. My best guess is that the marriage did not last long and that there were no children.

For more information about death notices and obituaries: https://newspaperlinks.com/obituaries/death-notices/

Writing obituaries: https://www.powershow.com/view/405446-OTJiN/Writing_Obituaries_powerpoint_ppt_presentation

To summarize, published death notices and obituaries are important sources of information for the genealogist. Glean what you can and offer thanks to those who provided the information.

REFLECTION

Another long week for our family, actually a long month as mother-in-law went from hospital to rehab, back to hospital and then to hospice care.   Family members asked me to write my mother-in-law’s obituary. This was a labor of love as well as an awesome responsibility. I had previously written obituaries for both of my parents and my father-in-law. As a genealogist, I am acutely aware of how much can be learned and/or surmised from these sources.

I may have posted something similar earlier but am too emotionally exhausted to look for it.

What I Learned (again):  the difficulty of capturing the essence of a person in just a few words.

What helped: I am a fairly skilled writer with a large vocabulary. Online and print thesaurus to help me choose just the right words. Getting to know my mother-in-law better during last few months that she has lived with us.

What didn’t help:  sleepless nights. Need to get it right quickly in only 1 or 2 drafts.

To-do: Save copies of print and online obituary with appropriate citations.


SOURCES

[1] Hester Postens death notice.  Published in The Jeffersonian Republican, Milford, Pike County, Pennsylvania on 14 February 1840.  Page number not included with photocopy obtained from Monroe County Historical Association, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

[2] Grave marker for Esther Postens, Friends Burial Ground (Stroudsburg, Monroe, Pennsylvania); photo by Jerry L. Ellerbee; information read by Susan Posten Ellerbee, 15 August 2017.

[3] New York, Episcopal Diocese of New York Church Records,” database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 August 2018 ), entry for Arthur H. Smetts & Claudia J. Mertens; citing The Episcopal Diocese of New York Church Records, New York, NY; names Arthur’s parents as Jacob Smets, Rose Maurer of New Brunswick,NJ and Claudia’s parents as Charles H. Mertens & Johanna Hack, 1433 Glover Street; marriage date 2 June 1926.

[4] “ARTHUR H. SMETTS,” obituary, Central New Jersey Home News, 19 November 1936, deceased; online images, Newspapers.com (http:///newspapers.com :  accessed 6 January 2021).

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021

Memorial Day 2021- Honoring those who fell in battle

Memorial Day- a day to honor those who have fallen in battle. We also place flags on the graves of veterans. Four years ago, I reported on Herman E. Maurer, cousin on mom’s side, who died in World War II. Last year, I posted about William Posten, killed during the Revolutionary War and who might be related to my dad’s family. This year, I turn to my husband’s family and tell you about Lewis Garrett Holcomb who died during the Civil War.

In 1861, Lewis enlisted in the Army of the Confederacy and served in Company I, 10th Texas Cavalry Regiment.  Five of his brothers–George Creager Holcomb (my husband’s ancestor), John Wesley Holcom, Henderson H Holcomb, Thomas Harrison Holcomb and Joel M. Holcomb–also fought in the Confederate Army.

For more information about the 10th Texas Cavalry and the battles in which they engaged:  https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/tenth-texas-cavalry

Lewis died of “phlg [phlegmonous] erysipelas”,  a skin infection with abscesses, in Lee Hospital, Lauderdale County, Mississippi, on 28 May 1864. [5]  He had been in the hospital since March 1864.  Did he have an infected battle wound or was the infection caused by something else?  He is listed on Find A Grave as being buried in the Lauderdale Springs CSA Cemetery, near Meridian, Mississippi.[6]  However, he may or may not be buried there.  According to William Burdette, Jr., who lives about five miles from the cemetery:

Lewis died fighting for a cause that he and his family believed in. Some may say that Confederate soldiers are not worthy of being honored for their sacrifice. I disagree. My sons carry the blood of both Union and Confederate soldiers in their veins. I tell them repeatedly to be proud of all their ancestors.

REFLECTION:

Memorial Day is a good time to reflect on the many lives sacrificed for our country. Many have persons in their family tree who died while serving in the military. We need to remember these whether they died during a time of war or during a time of peace.  As I look deeper into my family trees, I plan to identify those who died while serving in the military for future posts.

Am I glorifying the Confederacy? My answer to that charge is “No.” I am reporting on individuals and families in our (my husband’s and mine) collective family tree. These persons are also members in the family trees of others alive today. Many Americans have ancestors who fought for the British during the American Revolution. Does that make the current generation any less American? No. Should they still embrace those ancestors? Yes. Without direct line ancestors, my sons would not exist. Remember, too, families often divide in their loyalties. Even today, families face political, religious and/or ideological differences.

With every post, I do more digital file clean-up. I review paper and digital files, adding information to fill gaps. My Genealogy Do-over doesn’t seem as tedious when I do it this way.

What I learned: Lauderdale Springs CSA Cemetery in Lauderdale county, Mississippi. More pictures of the cemetery can be found on Find A Grave website (https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/60360/lauderdale-springs-csa-cemetery )

What helped: extensive family trees with many records already found. Online resources.

What didn’t help: incomplete citations. Not having anyone particular in mind when I considered a topic for this post.

To do: make a list of those who died while serving in the military. Choose one to honor on Memorial Day next year.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021. 


SOURCES:

[1] 1840 U.S. Census, Mountain, Washington, Arkansas, population schedule, Mountain, p. 261, line 27, Joseph Hanleen; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 25 May 2021); citing Washington, D.C.: National Archives & Records Administration, microfilm publication M704, roll 20.

[2] 1850 U.S. Census, Cherokee county, Texas, population schedule, , p. 882, dwelling 527, family 527, J Holcomb 49; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 25 May 2021); citing Washington, D.C.: National Archives & Records Administration, Microfilm Publication M432, roll 909. Son, Harman Henderson, born 1843 in Texas; older children born in Arkansas.

[3] “Texas, U.S., Select County Marriage Index, 1837-1965,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 24 May 2021); citing Texas State Library and Archives Commission and various county clerk offices, Texas.

[4] 1860 U.S. Census, Cherokee county, Texas, population schedule, Beat 7, dwelling 1094, family 1094, LG Holcombe; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 25 May 2021); citing Washington, D.C. : National Archives and Records Administration, microfilm publication M653. Lewis reported his birthplace as Illinois; possible that family lived in Illinois for a short time.

[5] “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas,” digital images, Fold 3 (http://www.fold3.com  : viewed 25 May 2021), Holcomb, L.G. (18 pages); citing Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 109, roll 0063; Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Confederate Organizations , compiled 1903 – 1927, documenting the period 1861 – 1865.

[6] “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas,” digital images, Fold 3, Holcomb, L.G. (18 pages); page 12 of 18.

Is Chester E. Sherman of Kansas City, Missouri in your family tree?

Off on a different kind of search today. It started with a new (to us) piece of furniture, an antique display cabinet bought at an estate sale. This glass enclosed cabinet replaces another wood cabinet. When we cleaned out the wood cabinet, we found a pile of old stock certificates purchased at an auction years ago. Our original plan was to decoupage the certificates on old pieces of furniture. We looked through the certificates and made some interesting finds. One of those finds is an original issued patent, complete with the red seal from the US Patent Office. This post tells about my first foray into forensic genealogy with the goal of returning this heirloom to a rightful owner.

Is this person in your family tree?

The patent is for Rotary valve engines issued to Chester E. Sherman of Kansas City, Missouri in 1918. There are also 4 stock certificates in the Rotary Valve Manufacturing Company issued to L. A. Sherman in November 1914.

Who was Chester E. Sherman? I entered his basic information on Ancestry. First item uncovered was a 1920 census record for Chester E. Sherman in Kansas City , Missouri.[1] Following the information from that record, I found Chester’s death certificate. [2] He was born in Kansas in 1874 to Louie A Sherman and Alta Page. Chester died in Dallas, Texas in 1961. He married Izetta Peppard in 1916. [3] Izetta died in 1987, presumably also in Dallas.[4]

Chester and Izetta had two daughters.  Edith Pauline, born 21 December 1923 in Missouri, died 5 March 2002 in Dallas, Texas. [5] Edith’s name is on same mausoleum slab as her mother’s. Edith possibly never married.

Eleanor Lucille Sherman was born 16 April 1915 in Kansas City. She married C.W. Morris on 5 March 1933 in Dallas, Texas.  [6] Eleanor died in September 1996.[7] C.W. and Eleanor had at least one daughter, Bobette Eleanor, born 23 March 1937 in Dallas. [8] Bobette married possibly two times – 1st to Max Alford and 2nd to Everett W. Campbell.  Bobette may still be alive and could be Chester’s only direct descendant.  Other relatives of Chester may also be interested in having this piece of their family’s history.  

Three ancestry trees included Chester. I sent a message to the owner of one of those trees and wait for a response. If I don’t get a response, I will message the owners of the other two trees. Posting the information on my blog is another way of trying to contact a member of Chester’s family. I will hold on to this document for several months then seek an appropriate repository.

This line of inquiry is called forensic genealogy. Recently, there have been several TV shows about this type of search using DNA matches. All of us probably use similar methods to find cousins or other relatives. I admit that I am not as proficient in this as others. I do not expect any financial renumeration for returning this very important document to the family. I hope that someone someday will do a similar favor for me.

Reflection

This was an interesting journey. I used many skills learned through my Genealogy Do- Over to access information and evaluate the data. I amazed myself that I was able to find relevant information within a few hours.  My reward will be the return of this document to a family member.

 I needed a break from the intense work I’ve been doing on an article about my mom’s family.  I only need to track down a few more sources. I wasn’t sure what to write about this week. A topic always seems to surface!

What I learned: more about forensic genealogy and different ways in which it can be used.

What helped:  genealogy do over skills. Online database with search feature.

What didn’t help: having only a name and residence in 1918 for Chester E. Sherman.

To do: wait for someone to claim the documents.


SOURCES:

[1] 1920 U.S. Census, Jackson Co., Missouri, population schedule, Kansas City, enumeration district (ED) 117, p. 5A(ink pen), dwelling 80, family 113, Chester E Sherman, head, age 24; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 8 May 2021);  citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication T625_927.

[2]Texas, U.S., Death Certificates, 1903-1982,” database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 8 May 2021), entry for Chester Elisha Sherman; citing Texas Department of State Health Services. Austin, Texas.

[3] Missouri, U.S., Jackson County Marriage Records, 1840-1985,” database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 8 May 2021), entry for Chester E. Sherman and Izetta Peppard, certificate no. 1913K0058670; citing Marriage Records, Jackson County clerk, Kansas City, Missouri.

[4] Find A Grave, database and images (http://www.findagrave.com  :  viewed 8 May 2021 ), memorial page for Izetta P Sherman, Find A Grave Memorial no. 107692206 , citing Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park (Dallas, Dallas Co., Texas), memorial created by T, photograph by T.

[5] Social Security Administration, “U.S.  Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 , database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 9 May 2021);  entry for Edith Sherman, SS no. 449-24-6962.

[6] Texas, U.S. Select  County Marriage Records, 1837-1965,” database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 8 May 2021), entry for Ms Eleanor Sherman and C.W.Morris, certificate no. 16229; citing Dallas County Clerk’s Office, Dallas, Texas.

[7] Social Security Administration, “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, “ database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 9 May 2021);  entry for Eleanor Lucille Morris [Eleanor Lucille Sherman], SS no. 449-68-6967..

[8] Texas, U.S. Birth Index, 1903-1997,” database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed 10 May 2021), entry for Bobette Eleanor Morris, roll no. 1937_006;  citing Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, Texas; father: Charles William Morris, mother: Eleanor Lucille Sherman.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021

Horace Johnson and CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps)

1930s. The Great Depression. Dust Bowl. WPA (Works Projects Administration).  CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). Do any of these terms sound familiar to you? If your family tree includes young adults in the 1930s, then they may have found work through one of these programs. My husband’s maternal grandfather, Horace Clayton Johnson, was one such person. In this post, I share pictures and a document about his service.

First, a brief history lesson. The Works Projects Administration (WPA), established in 1935 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal program, employed millions who were unemployed after the stock market crash of 1929. Many projects involved construction of public buildings and roads. The WPA Graves Registration Project surveyed cemeteries and created indexes for the burials. Those tombstones have since aged another 90 years and may now be unreadable. Also, you may find grave markers not listed on other sites. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) planted trees and constructed trails and shelters in national and state parks.  

Now, about Horace. Horace Clayton Johnson was born 7 April 1915 in Ben Hur, Limestone county, Texas to Henry Louis Johnson and Nellie Black.[1]  Henry, a farmer in 1920[2], moved his family to Mexia City, Texas by 1930 and was listed there as a carpenter.[3] In 1935, twenty-year-old Horace, the third of 8 siblings and second of two boys, probably needed work to help support his family. So, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps.  

CCC work crew, 1935, near Trinity, Texas; Horace Johnson member of this crew. From personal photograph collection held by Horace’s daughter, 2021.

He was a member of Company 839, established 1.6 miles east of Trinity, Texas, on June 8, 1933. Trinity is about 100 miles southeast of Mexia. This was probably the furthest young Horace had ever traveled from home.  The men constructed and maintained fire lanes, fire break roads and telephone lines. [4] Membership in The Corps included an educational component. In March, 1935, Horace received a Certificate of Proficiency in Simple Arithmetic and Spelling.

We are not sure exactly how long Horace served in the CCC. In 1937, he married Mable Venette Reed, a native of Cherokee County, approximately 70 miles northeast of Trinity. Perhaps they met when Horace was in the CCC?

In summary, discovery of these items adds to Horace’s story. And, places him within a specific time period in American history. I wonder how many other treasures might be found in old suitcases and boxes!

For more information:

Wikipedia (Yes, I know this isn’t always the best source):https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_Progress_Administration

Civilian Conservation Corps: https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/civilian-conservation-corps

Example of WPA Graves Registration Project: https://iowawpagraves.org/index.php

Reflection

Mother-in-law and I found these pictures and document when going through a box of old family pictures. All items have now been placed in archival quality sleeves and the appropriate notebook. I was especially surprised to find the Certificate of Proficiency. This kind of document is all too often discarded by later generations. The fact of Horace’s residence for a time in Trinity County presents a clue about how he may have met Mable, a native of Cherokee County.

I discovered the Iowa WPA Graves Registration website about 10 years ago, when researching a possibly related branch of Dad’s family. I am not sure how many counties or states had similar projects. Also, I am not sure how many are readily available on public internet sites. If you can’t find cemetery records for a person who died before the 1930s, contact your local county or state historical society. You may be surprised at what you find!

What I learned: more about the Civilian Conservation Corps, which I vaguely remembered from American history classes. Specifics about what Horace’s group did.

What helped:  retrieving  pictures and document with my mother-in-law. Internet sites with information about WPA and CCC.  Less than 1000 words! I like these shorter blog posts!

What didn’t help: nothing specific.  


SOURCES:

[1] Texas, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Texas Department of Health, delayed birth certificate LL18432 (23 February 1942; copy issued 26 Oct 2011), Horace Clayton Johnson; Limestone County Texas County Clerk, Groesbeck, Texas.

[2] 1920 U.S. Census, Limestone county, Texas, population schedule, Pt Enterprise School District, enumeration district (ED) 81, p. 3A, dwelling 41, family 47, H.L. Johnson head, age 32; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed & downloaded 1 March 2020); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication T625_1829.

[3] 1930 U.S. Census, Limestone county, Texas, population schedule, Mexia, enumeration district (ED) 11, pg. 6B, dwelling 135, family 149, Johnson Henry L, head, age 46; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed & downloaded 1 March 2020); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication T626, roll 2371

[4] “History, Civilian Conservation Corps,” Trinity, Texas (https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Trinity,_Texas#/Civilian_Conservation_Corps  :  accessed 26 April 2021).

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021

Horace Johnson & his siblings

What topic for this blog post?  Thomas MacAntee reminded us that April 10 is Sibling Day. My mother-in-law and I have been going through old pictures, labeling as we go. I remembered that we found a picture of MIL’s aunts, her father’s sisters. Horace had one brother and six sisters.  So, this post honors Horace and his siblings.

PARENTSHenry Louis Johnson, born 9 February 1884 in Texas; died 16 September 1965 in Mexia, Limestone county, Texas[1]. Married 3 July 1910[2] to Nellie Kay Janet Black, born 16 January 1888 in Bowie, Montague county, Texas; died 2 May 1960 in Mexia, Texas.[3] They are buried in Point Enterprise Cemetery, Mexia, Texas.  All their children were born in Limestone county, Texas and all but one remained in Texas.  According to my mother-in-law, the siblings remained in close contact throughout their lives. Many of their descendants still live in or near Limestone county.

The siblings:

  1. Katie Jean Johnson (13 May 1911, Horn Hill, Limestone County, Texas [4] -7 January 1986, Mexia, Limestone county, Texas[5]). Married to David Henry Brannan (1906 – 1990).[6]
  2. Luther Clyde Johnson. (12 February 1912, Ben Hur, Limestone county, Texas -16 December 1938,  Mexia, Texas).[7] Married Lillie Robinson [8] (1909 – 1965).
  3. Horace Clayton Johnson (mother-in-law’s father). (4 April 1915, Ben Hur, Texas [9] – 30 June 1991,  Wells, Cherokee county, Texas). [10] Married 23 October 1937 in Alto, Cherokee county, Texas[11] to Mabel Venette Reed (1918-1997).[12], [13]
  4. Alice Pauline Johnson. (23 Aug 1917- 26 Apr 2016, Hewitt, McLennan county, Texas).[14] Married about 1937 to Homer Andrew Tarkington (1915-1994).[15], [16]
  5. Anna Ruth Johnson. (13 November 1919- 2 September 2003, Mexia, Texas)[17]. Married 19 September 1939 [18] to Richard Elbert Romain (1918 – 1989). Divorced 1969.
  6. Edith Nell Johnson. (3 March 1922 –  24 August 1998, Odessa, Ector county, Texas).[19] Married 22 June 1939 to Billy J Gray (1922 – 1976).[20]
  7. Mary Lois Johnson (28 June 1925, Mexia, Texas – 17 July 2001, Denver, Colorado).[21] Married Stanley Ewing Davis (1923 – 1982).[22]
  8. Marjorie Ann Johnson (7 October 1928, Mexia, Texas[23] –  1 May 2005, Stafford, Fort Bend, Texas[24]). Married Woody Burl Davis (1925 – 2001).[25]
From Personal Collection

Some facts:

  • 1937 – two weddings, Horace & Alice Pauline.
  • 1938- Luther Clyde died.
  • 1939 – two more weddings, Anna Ruth and Edith Nell.
  • Per oral family history, Horace was only mechanic in Cherokee County during WWII so wasn’t drafted because farmers in the area needed his expertise to keep their farm equipment running.
  • World War II service:
    • David Brannan, Navy, 19 April 1943 – 29 September 1945 [26]
    • Stanley E Bradford, Army, 25 Feb 1943 – 31 Jan 1946[27]
    • Woody Burl Davis, Marine Corps, 6 Jul 1942 – 14 June 1945[28]
  • 6 of the 8 siblings lived longer than their spouses.
  • 1944 or 1945- three more weddings -Katie Jean, Marjorie and Mary Lois.
  • Buried in Point Enterprise Cemetery, Mexia, Texas
    • Alice Pauline Johnson Tarkington
    • Anna Ruth Johnson Romain
    • Marjorie Ann Johnson Davis

REFLECTION

 I was undecided about what to write for this week. The recognition of a National Sibling Day provided inspiration. Writing helps with two genealogy goals –review and clean-up files for Johnson- Reed family and post a story about that family.  As often happens, I came across some previously unknown information. I need to verify before I can tell you more.  According to MIL, her dad (Horace) was spoiled by his sisters.

The number of source notes for this short piece looks overwhelming.  I considered posting without the sources. Recognize that most of the notes are from one of these repositories: Social Security Administration, Texas Department of State Health Services or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs with some personal copies and obituaries thrown in. Including sources is a  genealogical standard.  

What helped: RootsMagic family tree with names and dates, some completed citations and some document copies, access to online trees and databases. Recent look at old pictures.

What didn’t help: incomplete citations, copies of some documents missing. Duplicated some records unnecessarily.

What I learned: there are always new stories to be found.

To do: continue review and clean-up process for the Johnson-Reed family.  Remember to look closely at both digital and paper files before making extra copies.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2021


SOURCES

[1] “Texas, Death Certificates, 1903-1982,” digital images, Ancestry ( http://www.ancestry.com : accessed & printed ), certificate for Henry L. Johnson; citing Texas State Department of Health Services, Austin, Texas.

[2] Online family tree; no document or source attached.

[3] “Texas, Death Certificates, 1903-1982,” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed & downloaded 27 February 2020), entry for Nell Johnson; citing Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, Texas; certificate no. 37422.

[4] “Texas, U.S., Birth Certificates, 1903-1932,” digital images, Ancestry ( http://www.ancestry.com : viewed & downloaded 12 April 2021), entry for Johnson female; citing Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, Texas.

[5] Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch ((http://www.familysearch.org   : viewed 12 April 2021), Jean Brannan, death Jan 1986.

[6] Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 12 April 2021), David H. Brannan, 457-03-9640, before 1951.

[7] “Texas, U.S., Death Certificates, 1903-1982,” digital images, Ancestry ( http://www.ancestry.com : viewed & downloaded 12 July 2020), entry for Clyde L Johnson; citing Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, Texas.

[8] “Funeral services held Monday for Mexia High School Teacher,” obituary, Mexia (Texas) Daily News, 12 April 1965; Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : viewed & downloaded 11 April 2021).

[9] Texas, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Texas Department of Health, delayed birth certificate LL18432 (23 February 1942; copy issued 26 Oct 2011), Horace Clayton Johnson; Limestone County Texas County Clerk, Groesbeck, Texas; personal copy.

[10] Horace Clayton Johnson, death certificate no number (30 June 1991), Texas State Department of Health, County Clerk’s Office, Angelina county, Texas, Lufkin, Angelina county, Texas; personal copy.

[11] Cherokee county, Texas, marriage record no. 333 (23 October 1937), Horace C. Johnson and Mable Venette Reed; Cherokee county, Texas, Alto, Texas; personal copy.

[12] [No first name] Reed, birth certificate 46451 (15 February 1918), Alto, Cherokee Co., Texas Texas State Board of Health, Vital Statistics Unit, Austin, Texas; Photostatic copy issued 27 Sep 2011.

[13] Mable Venette Johnson, death certificate 8245 (12 July 1997), Texas State Department of Health Services, Austin, Texas, County Clerk’s office, Cherokee County, Texas, Alto, Cherokee Co., Texas.; photostatic copy issued 22 July 1997.

[14] Find A Grave, database and images (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed, viewed, downloaded 8 December 2016), memorial page for Alice Pauline Johnson Tarkington, Find A Grave Memorial # 161721169, citing Point Enterprise (Mexia, Limestone County, TX), memorial created by Ann Lewis Dickenson.

[15] “Texas, Birth Certificates, 1903-1932,” digital images, Ancestry ( http://www.ancestry.com : accessed & downloaded ), Amendment to Certificate of Birth for Homer Andrew Tarkington; citing Texas Department of Health, Austin,Texas; state file no. 26796

[16] Social Security Administration, “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 12 April 2021), entry for Homer Andrew Tarkington; citing Social Security Administration, Washington, D.C..

[17] Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 12 April 2021), Anna R. Romain, 462-03-0924, before 1951.

[18] “Texas Divorce Index, 1968-2002,” database, Ancestry ( http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 12 April 2021); citing Texas Department of State Health Service, Austin, Texas.

[19] “Edith Nell Gray,” obituary, The Odessa (Texas) American, 26 August 1998; digital image, Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : viewed & downloaded 12 April 2021). page 11, columns 1-2.

[20] “Texas, U.S., Death Certificates, 1903-1982,” digital images, Ancestry ( http://www.ancestry.com : viewed & downloaded 19 July 2020), Billy Gray; citing Texas Department of State Health Services. Austin, Texas.

[21] Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry ( http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 12 April 2021), Mary L. Bradford, 463-26-8036, before 1951.

[22] Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 13 April 2021), Stanley Edwin Bradford, 521227675.

[23] “Texas, U.S., Birth Certificates, 1903-1932,” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed, downloaded, printed 7 December 2020), entry for Margie Anne Johnson; citing Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, Texas.

[24] Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 13 April 2021), Marjorie A. Davis, 457-36-0447, before 1951.

[25] Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry ( http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 12 April 2021), Woody B. Davis, 449-42-1703, before 1951.

[26]  “U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010,” database, Ancestry ( http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 12 April 2021), entry for David H Brannan; citing Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs..

[27] “U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com     :    viewed 12 April 2021), entry for Stanley E Bradford; citing  Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs..

[28] Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 12 April 2021), Woody B. Davis, 449-42-1703, before 1951.