Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (Almost)

Brothers and Sisters
The Moore Family of Madison County, Indiana

Seated, l-r: Lethia Moore Warner, Julia Moore Wright,
Jane Moore DeHority, Mat Moore.
Standing, l-r: Joseph Moore, Will Moore, Tom Moore


Monday, August 29, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Kentucky Trails, part 2

Perhaps this is unusual for the Tombstone Tuesday theme, but, in the end, it really is about a tombstone.

Day 3 of the Kentucky adventure (see: Kentucky Trails, part 1) was a day off from research. DH had spent 3 days driving and sitting (and driving and sitting), so we planned a visit to Mammoth Cave, about 2 hours south of where we were in Frankfort. Lots of hiking, impressive cave formations, truly a welcome change of pace.

The plan for our last day was to spend two or three hours at the Kentucky Historical Society library, and then drive two or three hours toward home. I was still hoping for something “special” to take home from this trip. I had collected documentation for several marriages, a couple of wills, sorted through the surname folders, and started on county histories. My plan was to make copies of some land records to take home and study later, and look through the online card catalogue for anything I might have missed.

At about 1:30, while waiting for my DH to return from a tour of the old capitol building, I began to browse through the Bourbon County shelf. One book caught my eye. It was produced by the Bourbon County Genealogy Society and was a record of old graves, many of which were on private land.

There was a listing for 4g-grandfather David Jameson, not a picture, but a transcription of who was with him, his wife Hannah, a previously unknown daughter Susanna, a John Jameson SR, and 3 infant children of his son Wesley that were also previously unknown to me. The grave was located on a farm in Paris, KY, and the address was also noted.

Here was a find! I wondered if I could locate the grave. Paris was (more or less) on the way home. We packed ourselves up and headed for the car and the GPS. An hour and a half later we were watching a threatening sky and making our way down one of those 2 lane, 55 mph, ditches on both sides country roads, looking for the farm.

We had no trouble finding the address, a lovely farmhouse surrounded by acres of pasture, some with cows grazing in the late afternoon. I knocked on the farmhouse door, but no one was home. In fact, it looked from the cobwebs as if no one really lived there. Maybe you could see the graves from the road? No luck here. I really didn’t want to trespass on someone’s land, besides there was just too much land there.

I was pretty disappointed, and not quite sure what to do next. DH pointed out that there was a little bobcat tractor on the property, and it was almost 5:00, maybe someone might come home from work. He tilted his seat back to take a nap, but I wasn’t very hopeful.

Not 10 minutes later, a truck turned into the driveway. Oh my goodness, maybe we would have some luck after all! A wonderful gentleman, Mr. Clemmons, with two kids in the back, rolled down his window. I told him why we were here and asked if he knew of any graves on the property. It turned out he did! It wasn’t his land, but he took care of it for the owner. Bless his heart, he offered to unhook the trailer from the back, let us pile in the truck and ride out where the tombstone was! It was a good thing he did…we went through several gates and fields before reaching the right one. We would never have found it without him.

And there they were, just as described. Behind a barbed wire fence,next to a stout young tree, amongst a lot of brush, the final resting place for David and Hannah Jameson. The inscriptions on the 4-sided obelisk were:

David Jameson,died Jun 23, 1833, Aged 76 yrs.
Hannah,wife of David,died Aug 19, 1814, Aged 52 yrs
John Jameson Sen.,died Jan 5, 1824, aged 72 years
Susannah Jameson,died Apr 1, 1820, aged 24 years; daughter of David and Hannah

At thy feet lieth these three children of Wesley and Mary Jameson
David T. Jameson,died May 30, 1831, aged 2 months
Azubah K. Jameson,died Aug 12, 1833, aged 5 months
Jonathan R. Jameson,died Oct 11, 1834, aged 2 days

This was the prize. This made the trip special, one of those moments when I am sure the ancestors are leading me. David and Hannah had been whispering this whole trip… in the records that I found….in the decision to spend half of the last day back at the library….in the last source checked that identified the grave….in Mr. Clemmons’ decision to bring the mower to the farm at exactly that moment.

Maybe it is all in my imagination. Then again, maybe it’s not….


Monday, August 22, 2011

Kentucky Trails, part 1

My wonderful DH made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Would I like to spend a week doing research in Kentucky? You betcha! A number of my families came through Kentucky during the 1780-1840 time period, as part of the westward migration. There was so much to be documented, hints from the Ancestry trees to be proven. What a treat!

But, my people were stubbornly hiding. All that I know about my ggg-grandmother Susannah Huffman came from her obituary in 1899. She was “born near Kingsport, TN, in Hawkins County” and came with her brother to Indiana about 1836. A brief stop at the Kingsport Public Library provided few clues. I learned that Sullivan and Hawkins counties lost records to burning during “the late Unpleasantness”. I did find a few Huffmans in tax records that I hadn’t seen on census records, so they are saved for future reference.

Luck was better in Kentucky. The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives sits atop a hill on the outskirts of Frankfort, looking very much like a fortress. Their microfilm collection yielded a few marriage records, but there weren’t many wills for my Walker, Carr, and Mauzy families. Probate records are my favorites when they appear. I didn’t find a likely candidate for Sallie Gooding’s father, nor Mary Reed. But, gggg-grandfather David Jameson left a lovely will naming his children. A lovely find! And also, there was a will left by a previously unknown (to me) brother Samuel 20 years earlier. So there was more family in Kentucky with him.

The next day took us to the beautiful Martin F. Schmidt Library at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, home to the resources of the Kentucky Historical Society. On their shelves was a volume of Mauzy research by Ben Mozee, someone I had communicated with many years ago. The early pages describing research into the Huguenot ancestor were definitely worth copying. Most of this day was spent combing the extensive surname files that include research contributions collected over years. Fairly common names like Carr and Walker certainly accumulated a lot of requests for research over the years, but nothing new on my folks. But here in the Jameson file is a copy of what appears to have been a Jameson family group newsletter, with a new clue! “Besides Andrew in Rockingham County records have shown the following: David, Samuel, and James Jamison. David and Samuel Jamison were the sons of Robert and Sarah (McKee) Jameson (see JN, June issue, 1992, page 630)…These two men along with a brother John resided for a short time in Augusta county, then later in Greenbrier co. now West Virginia before moving on to Kentucky.” This is my David! Well, you know I looked madly for “JN, June issue, 1992” in the Jameson file. Not there. Well, at least I have some more breadcrumbs to follow. The Jamesons were certainly speaking to me this trip!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Message from Aunt Minerva

I will always remember yesterday as one of the golden days of my family research. I had decided to begin to look at one of my families who came through Kentucky as it was being settled. After learning the names of my 3rd great-grandparents, Harvey Werley Carr (1800-1870) and Elizabeth Wilson Walker (1798-1857), I had been able to find little else. I knew Grandfather Harvey’s father was a William Carr, who served in the Revolutionary War, but, since there was more than one, I couldn’t find anything else. And I knew nothing about Grandmother Elizabeth.

So, not having checked Google books yet, I crossed my fingers and entered “Harvey Werley Carr” + “Elizabeth Wilson Walker” (this rarely ever works). Lo, and behold! Top of the list is a free, full view, pdf book titled History of Walker Family, 1775-1916, by Minerva A. Carr Muir, published in 1916. Well, what have we here? The link takes me to an early page of the book that is largely blank, except, centered in the middle, is the following:


Quickly, I downloaded the file before it disappeared, and settled down to read. Who is this Minerva? She is the youngest child of Grandfather Harvey and Grandmother Elizabeth, baby sister to my Grandfather Hueston. The first thing she taught me is that I have been spelling Grandfather’s name wrong! It isn’t Houston, like the city, it is Hueston, his grandmother’s maiden name. The book was “Began in December, 1892, finished in March, 1899, in her 60th year”.

What followed was a chronicle written by a woman intensely proud of her family. Her narrative gave me a view of the kind of people I can claim as ancestors.

Amelia (Forsythe) Walker: “After Mr. Walker died, in Ireland, his widow, Amelia Forsythe, with her three sons and two daughters, emigrated from the north of Dublin, Ireland, bordering on Scotland, to America, in 1775…Being of enterprising Protestant parentage, she purchased a farm on the Juniatta River, in Mifflin County, Pa….They were accompanied thither by their cousins, Henry Buchanan … Henry and his wife became the grandparents of President James Buchanan.”

William Walker and Margaret Elliott: “This good old grandmother, Margaret Elliott Walker, was known as the ‘Lady Bountiful’…She was a loving friend to the poor and needy…Every corner expected to break bread at her board and she never questioned whether he had come from palace or prison….It is no fiction to say they lived happily together, and are now treading the golden streets hand in hand.”

Harvey Werley Carr and Elizabeth Wilson Walker: “The names of Uncle Harvey and Aunt Betsey Carr…were widely known … Possessed of simple and frugal habits, coupled with a long life of industry, they acquired, solely by their own exertions, a large amount of this world’s goods. What others wasted in luxury and pride they husbanded and with sound and discriminating judgment invested in property. The world knew much of their public career and generous hearts.”

Minerva Carr Muir: “Minerva Muir was known to her nieces and nephews by the name of Aunt Ninnie. Every one of them knew they would always find a warm welcome when they came to see Aunt Ninnie, and there was scarcely a meal she did not set an extra plate at the table so that if one of them came the place (w)ould be ready.” (I wonder who wrote this?)

The pages are full of the children of each generation. There are stories of the good and the bad. Grandfather Harvey suffered beatings at the hands of his aunt and uncle after his mother died and he went to live with them. Uncle John Madison Carr was a brave Civil War soldier.

It is almost as if I can hear Aunt Minerva’s voice telling the pages, an intimate sharing of our history across time on a rainy Wednesday afternoon. I know it all needs research, but she has left quite a trail for me to follow. I’ve read about “miracles” in genealogy—help from beyond the veil, as the book says. I think this was one of them.

Thank you, Aunt Ninnie!

And thank you, Google books,


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Genealogy ADD

I’m usually a fairly focused person when I have a task to finish…except when Genealogy ADD sets in.

I have a trip coming up which might take me near the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort. My Carr, Mauzy and Jameson families came through Kentucky in the late 1700-early 1800’s. Yesterday, I found myself with a couple of hours that I could spend putting together a list of objectives, if I do get the chance to visit. Sounds simple, no?

I opened up my Family Tree Maker file, and did a location report for Kentucky. I’ve done this before and should have known better. Somehow, in generating the report, the program seems to change random entries to Kentucky. I noticed this when my Henry Mauzy, who I “know” died in Virginia in 1804 now is listed as dying in Kentucky. Rats!! Now I have to fix this! Better go online and check my tree at Ancestry to mend the other….oh, look! There’s someone else with an ancestry for Henry Mauzy’s wife! But, wait, that birthday can’t be right. I wonder what the source is? Of course, it’s the dreaded “Family Data Collection”, described as

“The Family Data Collection - Individual Records database was created while gathering genealogical data for use in the study of human genetics and disease.“

which sounds to me like someone collected data online without doing much to verify whether it was true. When is a source not a source?

You know, maybe I can find something about the Mauzys on FamilySearch. Heading over there it occurs to me that I haven’t checked their entries for France, since this family descends from a Huguenot refugee. Lots of Mauzy births, but no hits. They were supposed to have married in England at some point, to a Connyers, let’s try England. I had no idea there were so many Connyers in England!

You know, GeneaNet has a lot of European sources. Let’s see what a Mauzy search brings. Lots of listings. Too bad a lot of them are in French….oh look, there were Mauzy families in Illinois! I wonder who? None have new information. I think they all memorized the same information about the Huguenot ancestor. Why, here’s a copy of the Arbutis, a University of Indiana student publication from the early 1900’s, and it mentions my grandmother, Mary Louise Mauzy! How cute! I should download that!

You know, I don’t know much about the Huguenots. There is a book here listing the Huguenot settlement in Virginia. What if I Google that? Well, now, there are a few sites on this topic. Why, there’s even a Huguenot Society of Virginia! Here are some interesting links.

You know, I’ve never been able to identify the ship that the early Mauzy came over on. I wonder if there is anything here?

Wait! What? It’s time to make dinner?


Saturday, June 18, 2011


This is a special day. A few weeks ago, I decided to forge ahead and try to research my mother’s father, Adam Douglas (Dobrovolskis), born in Lithuania and arrived in the U.S. with his sister in 1914. I only had 2 documents that might be clues. But, they were in Lithuanian, or Russian, or something.

I joined the Lithuanian Rootsweb list many years ago, figuring that I might educate myself about Lithuanian history and research. Thanks to that list, there were a couple of consistent recommendations for researchers in Lithuania. Since traveling to Lithuania is not currently in my budget, I decided to try one of the researchers to see if there was any evidence that might be available. The remarkable Sigita agreed to undertake the research, and translated the papers, which were a birth record for one Casimir Dobrovolskis and a school record for my grandfather. It did give a starting point.

Tonight, a document arrived in my email box. It is a marriage record for Adam’s parents, which documents their marriage date, village AND THEIR PARENTS’ NAMES. I wish I could show you, but it is a .pdf and not a jpeg. But here is the translation:

Marriage Record of Jonas Dobrovolskis to
Petronele Urnikaite (Urnikas) on 1892 y .

On 16th of February, 1892 In Roman Catholic
church in Alsedžiai Rev.Juozas Dargužas, the
pastor of this church after triple announcements
blessed a matrimony of a peasant of Alsedžiai
vicinity 25 years old Jonas Dobrovolskis from
Šašaičiai village in Kalvarija parish ( he was a
son of Jonas Dobrovolskis and Pranciška
(Francis), nee Gintvainyte (Gintwojn) to a
peasant of the same vicinity 22 years old
Petronele Urnikaite from Platakiai village in
Alsedžiai parish (she was a daughter of
Kazimieras Urnikas and Ona, nee Labžintyte
(Labžintis). Witnesses were- Pranas Urbonas,
Julijonas Urnikas and others.
Translation from Russian language

Wow, indeed!