Sunday, November 29, 2009

Contributions of Single Women in Your Tree

The Family History Director of the Center I work at sent this out. I do not know where she obtained the information from or if it is personal experience. I do, however have personal testimony of the number four. My case was not a maiden aunt though it could have been. It was a childless aunt. In her will she named all her brothers and sisters and their children. Interestingly, she and my great-great grandfather were brother and sister and her husband was the brother of my great-great grandmother. The picture above is a tribute to Sarah Hankins Martin. Click on it and you can see it clearer.
There are some religious aspects I did not know. Thought I would pass them along.

The single women in your family tree over the age of 35 are one of the most awesome genealogy assets you have:

1. One daughter in the family, often the youngest, was expected to remain unmarried, live at home, and care for aging parents. Some times the father’s will acknowledge this “sacrifice” by allotting her extra income or property from his estate. This ensured that she was named in the will. Or her upkeep was provided for through the oldest son in the family from his legacy.
2. Quakers and Roman Catholics are two religious backgrounds that encouraged at least one daughter in the family to remain unmarried. These daughters became teachers and nurses or missionaries giving their lives to service of others, through the church.
3. Maiden aunts are often responsible for the traditions and folklore of the family. They gather the information from family members and share it with the next generations. Cultural values and beliefs, myths and superstitions are learned at their knees by young children–usually girls. And family members often expect these maiden ladies to record and pass the lore along.
4. Old maids, especially those who pursue a career or spend their lives in the workplace, write wills that name many relatives. Family members and in-laws, even close friends of the family, are named. With legacies and relationships spelled out in detail, from their personal knowledge, that you would not otherwise know.

Some genealogists carefully account for the males–for family and ethnic naming patterns, for identification of land-holdings, and to ensure that the family unit is complete.

It is recommended that you expend the same effort to identify all the daughters in the family. And track each one to their deaths–searching cemeteries and probate files as well as obituaries for the genealogy gems these ladies leave behind. Break your losing streak!

Be sure you collect all the family evidence your old maids left behind.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun : Celebrity Look Alikes

This was a second try, guys. My prettiest present time picture was a match for Henry Fonda, sorry, that just won't do. Okay, I am vain, but something seems wrong here. How about, that you can choose if it is male or female. If I did a collage of my daughter for Christmas and it had some pretty male face as a celebrity look alike she would not be pleased. Nope. Just won't do.
Forgive me, it is okay, but to me seems a bit of a glitch in the collage program.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Follow Friday

I like Cindy's blog Everything's Relative - Researching Your Family History. I love her format, the appearance of her blog and her methods of presenting her family history. My editor is not letting me post a link to her. So here is her address:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Present Day Treasure Chest.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Mine was just about as Ideal as one could be. I spent the first three hours of the day helping with Family History Support. We then put the food together and while it was cooking, we made a memory for the future. We went outside and my granddaughter had her first experience of playing in the leaves. Can you remember your first belly whop into a pile of leaves, or the crunching of leaves under your feet while walking through the woods? It was joyous watching my granddaughter and her dad play in the leaves not worrying about the task, rather focusing on each other. Hope you enjoy the video.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Post

I will be busy with my Family History Mission and helping with the new granddaughter as well as "The Dinner".  Thus, I decided to post my blog today.  See you on Friday.  Hope your Thanksgiving with Family and Friends is a special one.
As I told you, I am filled with awe at the knowledge that I have and ancestor that participated in the First Thanksgiving in Plymouth, and loved reading what he had to say about it in "Of Plymouth Plantation"
I was fascinated to learn as I thought my children about the Holiday to learn it wasn't until much later that it became an official day of thanksgiving.  I had just grown up with the wonderful family gatherings thinking it was always there.  I am posting the original Massachusetts Centinel Oct.14 1789 published Proclamation.

I have the Thanksgiving Proclamation framed on my wall next to the painting of George Washington praying at Valley Forge by Art Friberg.
I love the profession of faith, the humbleness of the Proclamation and admonitions for the Nation.  You can get this at the website called Archiving America. Just Click on the yellow lettering.  It is a great site for Colonial periods to the Civil War.  Haven't explored further than that.

The second Thanksgiving Proclamation came from Abraham Lincoln.  Here is his speech as available at the Abraham Lincoln Association
"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

    "No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

    "It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."
    Abraham Lincoln, October 3, 1863

Sorry this was long, but I feel the words deep within myself and wanted to share with whomever would like to read.
May you have a blessed day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday Thanksgiving Style

My ancestor and a Thanksgiving reminder of the beginning of American Thanksgiving for blessings.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Genealogical Delima for Some

My sweet daughter married a young man of the last name.  There were many raised eyebrows and titterings about cousins and such.  The funny thing is they may be back in Ireland or England in the 17th century.  The Aylwards of my son-in-law came over to the United States in the 1700's.  The Aylward of our line came to Prince Edward Island in the early 1800's.  Before my daughter even met her future husband, I had researched his line because I had read they were from Prince Edward.  Research revealed that yes, they did but it was Prince Edward Province in Quebec Canada, not the Island.  Our family had immigrated straight to Prince Edward Island and stayed.  It was in 1891, that Edward Aylward immigrated to Chicago.  That is a naturalization I still have not found.  Both family changed their names to Ellsworth when they came to the United States to further complicate things, and no reason for either family.

Well, this is my way of introducing my newest granddaughter EmShe is beautiful as you can tell in the picture with her mom and dad.  They were of a pioneer spirit and had Em at home.  She was born at 6am this morning. I will say I always get excited and teary eyed when a baby is born, but watching the home birth brings home to me the precariousness of the moment of birth.   I have had a ball caring for them this day.

Hope your day was a joyful as mine.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Wonder Who You Are

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer

As I work through my family tree, I pause sometimes to wonder what their life was like personally.  I see some of the women were really dig the boots in and survivors. Many of the men were either looking for something better or were adventurers.  How does one go about, without personal testimony of a person, figure out the motivations and inspirations of that person?  I know in my life there have been several who by their service and caring of myself have uplifted me to try to move to higher planes of thought and life.  My late husband introduced me to many different areas of life and encouraged me always to be better.  He was an example to future generations.  He wrote notes, journals, a personal history that gives you a wonderful image of the man himself. 
My grandmothers examples have always given me the "back bone" to never give up, to reach for a spiritual plane.  I just wish I knew who had been for them the encourager and angel to lift them up.  Neither ever talked about their feelings or experiences, and never wrote about themselves. 

Ah, the mysteries that go with learning about who you are and where you came from.

I Am Excited.

 I am excited. I just received my first newsletter of  'Society of Genealogists'.  I know many of you are already reading the magazine, but I have just found it.  I am loving following and Twitter following others more knowledgeable bloggers, because I am finding so many new resources.  This is just a short blog to say "Thank You" to all the bloggers that share as they find out new information. I offer you an Angel Face Rose in gratitude for you angel offerings.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday My New Porter Family Addition

As you all know from my previous posts, I found in probate records the name of the son of John G Porter that has been totally missed all these years.  I know he was living in 1850 to 1860 because many of the documents had to do with his guardianship.  Sadly I have not been able to find him on a census.  I have looked at the first guardian's census returns in 1850 where he should have been but his does not show.  I have looked at those who became his guardian later and he is not there either.  I am perplexed where to go from here but I have to find him before I move backwards.  George W Porter is my treasure hunt now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Surname Saturday.... Porter

Are we surprised that I would choose 'Porter' to study as a Surname?... Not even a  little bit.
Many years ago as I was searching the Aylward line, looking in land records of the 1600's in Ireland, I found Porters instead.   At the time I was, and still am, clueless as to the ancestor who came to the United States in the early 1700's.  On the other hand, I know where I can look if it begins to look like we are Irish. 

The House of Names, which researches Coats of Arms, says the name is Irish, English, or Scottish in origin.  Oh, Saxon you say.  Since I do not have rights to a Coat of Arms for this name, I went looking further for more information.  The Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, says it is a common English name that has origins back to Old French names that represents the person's occupation.  In this case, it stood for porter, doorkeeper, gatekeeper.  Thus, my John G Porter becomes John G Gatekeeper.  Not bad and fascinatingly, it is so appropriate.  John G Gatekeeper is the keeper of the secrets that need to be revealed as to his family's origins.  I am following his clues to unlock the gate. (smile and wink)

"The keyhole is from The Vintage Moth .  I love her antique stuff.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Porter-Vance Lines Continued

Microfilms, Oh yeah, in the world of the internet, it is easy to forget, the myriad methods of research.  I had not ordered microfilms in an age; going to the library or internet surfing seemed to prevail in my methods.  For 5 years I have, I guess, avoided ordering films.  When I focused on finding out about the Porter Family, I finally decided to order all the probate films of the time period of Carroll County, Mississippi I was researching.
Lo and Behold, mercy sakes, (what elsed could I put here) Hallujah!  I was fed a feast of information.  Not only did I find Elizabeth Angeline Porter Vance, but I found out a sad story of family strife for her extended family, and that there was a brother that has never been known, simply because everyone went with the abstracts of wills just as I had.  This is another lesson to remember.  As I transcribe the documents I was able to print from the microfilm (40 so far), I will share the information.  I am so excited..

Did I say "I AM SO EXCITED!"     Well, I am.  When I got into the car with my son and began telling him about the discovery, he was like...'Who are you researching for?  Are we going to inherit something?'  Imagine my glee over this.  He thought I was talking about present events.  When he found out it was information about 100+ years ago, he was amused.  That was when he said..."You genealogist should be undercover agents. You can find out anything!"

And the saga continues.......

The new Kreativ Blogger Award: Thanks Linda

I have never had this experience.  Thank you Linda of Flipside for giving me the honor. You and Lori are really great people and wonderful examples of how to encourage others.
According to Linda, the winner of the award has to list seven things about themselves and then pass the award along to seven other bloggers. My best try:
1. I love genealogy with a passion.
2. My goal is to organize my family history files...then I find more information and oops.
3. My other passion is my family, all six children and 13 soon (any day) 14 grandchildren.
4. I love plants all aspects of them(except fire ants...they are a plague)
5. I am fascinated with blogging and hope to increase my skills and knowledge.
6. The best time I have is searching the "detective trail" (as my son calls it) of my or    others families.  My son thinks genealogists should be undercover agents.  lol.
7. I love sewing.  Creating.  Life is good.

I understand I am to pass the Kreativ Blogger along. I try to read as many blogs as my internet connection holding up will allow me to.  Since I am part of geneabloggers, that is were I read the most, occasionally I venture out as you can tell.  I could make this hard and sneak it back to Linda, but I won't this time.

1. Barbara at Life from the Roots
2. Joan at Root's N Leaves
3. Muddy Boot Dreams at Muddy Boots Dreams
4. Dr Bill at Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories
5. Texasblu at Haven
6. Cindi at Everythings Relative
7. Travis at TJLGenes

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday

When I started my family history research, libraries were my treasure chest.  They still are to a certain extent.  I love packing up my notebooks, and driving into the Genealogy library of Montgomery or Clayton Library of Houston.  I know that there are so many pages of books that I haven't even scraped the edges of.  My favorite thing to do is to walk down the aisle of the State I am interested in and let a book reach out an grab my attention.  So many times, in an obscure place of the book, will be a clue or even an answer about my ancestor.

Today, I have a new treasure chest that I love and have to watch out that it doesn't become instead a Pandora's box and overcome my senses and time.  It is the internet, twitter, Google search, Ancestry,
and Family Search to name a few.   Tonight, I received a treasure from The Olive Tree Genealogy .  Well technically it was Twitter, Lorine had twittered a piece about finding ships lists.  When I went to look, I was brought to remeberance of Stephen P Morse's One-Step-Webpages for searching the ship arrivals and lists.  I love that site! It had been bookmarked on my computer that crashed (a good reason for back up [Wiggling of eyebrows and a big smile]) and I had forgotten it because my focus has not been on immigration.  I have been caught up in the Mexican War.  Thanks Lorine! And a great big thanks to those that have developed such a wealth on information links for genealogy.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday Family Group Sheet

How would you like to run across the Family Group Sheet of your family when searching a cemetery?

I was out helping with Find a Grave picture taking when I came across a tombstone that had a name of Gunter, a presumed ancestor of mine.  I went to look at it closer and what a find this would have been had it been my line.  Look at how this family did their tombstone! Most children are buried close by. A blooming family group sheet on the front and back.  I just had to take the pictures to show you all.  I love it!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Vance Family Research Online

I spent years writing back and forth to a wonderful lady named Kathleen Corley Mason who finally stopped writing because she lost her sight.  She authored a book on Vance Family History, 'The Vance and Taylor Families'.  She and a few others authored a news letter and held regular meetings and trips through the Vance Family Association.  You can order films of archived news letters which are informative through Family 

I was privileged to work with a few of them in determining the McAnulty line that married into the Vance Family in South Carolina.   I loved pouring through books, censuses, and periodicals to find the information.  It is amazing how much research has grown in the last 5 years. 
The Vance line has an archive now on   This is a link to one of them. 
There is also the beginning of a new Vance Association Online.
This is not the same people that I wrote back and forth with.  I imagine some of the older researchers are still working diligently, but many had not made the transition to computers, they still wrote letters.  I still write, if the need is there.
Ruth, I hope this helps some on the Vance lines you are working on. If you would like give me some dates, I will look in my book for you.

Trying My Hand at Backing Up My Blog

I first went to Resources for backing up your blog and looked for what appeared to be the easiest method for a technical illiterate such as I used tips from:  Little Bytes of Life.  I have added feedburn and now have it coming to my igoogle page and I guess I can print it from there.  It is a new experience and one that I hope is going to work for me until I can buy one of those 1T hard drive back ups.
Thanks Geneabloggers for caring about your community.