About Me

My Grandmother, Vesper Bennett Smith

My Grandmother, Vesper Bennett Smith

My name is Lisa and I’m a high school math teacher.  I have 4 children, 3 cats and 1 husband and I love puzzles!  For me, genealogy is the ultimate puzzle and I’m searching for clues to find various “pieces” to fill in my tree.  My confession is that I belong to no societies and I’ve never been to a courthouse or archive to do research.  I’ve always been shy and I have a dream of finding a “genealogy buddy” to help me make it over the hurdles of my own personality!

The majority of my research centers around Russell Co, Kentucky, but I also research my husband’s line from Kankakee Co, Illinois.

This photo is a picture of my grandmother, who my mother says I look just like and who was shy, like me.

73 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Until recently I belonged to no Societies, either, and I’ve never been to a courthouse, even though there is one, in Owensboro, that plays an important role in the aftermath of the death of a Grandfather.

    I’ve been only once to the SoCal branch of the National Archives, and hope to go again since we are in the same county. ;-D

  2. Lisa,
    Being shy must run in the Bennett blood line, so is my wife. I have been researching my wife’s Bennett line for about 10 years. Glad to help you if I can. I am still trying to find anything I can. We went back in June 2008 and photographed a lot of headstones and did research at the county courthouse. I have back to Charles Bennett m. Mary Flanagan.

  3. TheShyGenealogist said:

    Hi Don!
    We must have corresponded at some point because I have some of your notes in my database! I would love to “reconnect” to talk about our common ancestors!

    • Jackie Gerard said:

      Hi, My name is Jackie Gerard, and I have been perusing all Russell Co resources lately and ” keep popping into you”! Yesterday. I was at the Thomas D Clark History Center, to no avail. My 2nd great grandmother is Sarah Ann (Sallie) Warriner Patterson. ( around 1820—around 1904). I have found lots of documentation and even a lovely photo which I would be glad to share. My brick wall is her parents. Was it William Warriner ? Any hints or references to Russell Co resources would be greatly appreciated Jackie

      • Hi Jackie! Thanks for “popping into” the blog! Right now, I have no information on William Warriner, but I will certainly keep that name in mind! I happen to be looking at a Russell County petition from 1827 that has the name Iverson Warriner in it. Would that be any help to you?

  4. You are the recipient of the Ancestor Approved Award!

  5. Hi Lisa,
    I have enjoying following your blog. I have give your blog a Beautiful Blog Award. Go to this link http://mequilter.blogspot.com/2011/06/beautiful-blog-award.html
    and take the award, add it to your blog and share it with five other blogs. Have fun!

  6. Jenny Ward said:

    What a great blog! We have 2 big family reunions coming up and was wanting to put together a infomation sheet for each personal to fill out so I can hopfully gather more information for the family history. I love your excel spreadsheets but do not know what I’m doing or even know where to being.
    Do you have any suggestions on how I should appoarch this at the reunion, I’m also very shy and of course both reinions are for my husband side which makes it more uncomforable.

  7. Congratulations on your new technology assignment at your school! I hope your summer continues to go well and you are able to squeeze some genealogy time in.

  8. Patty Mitchell said:

    Hi Iam related to George Washington Stephens. He was my g, g, grandfather. I’m interrested in any infornmative that you had on him and his family.

  9. Patty Mitchell said:

    Hi I’m related to George Washington Stephens. He was my g, g, grandfather. I’m interested in any information that you had on him and his family.

  10. Patty Mitchell said:

    Hi
    My George W. was born in 1836 in Florence,Al. We think his father was William Stephens born born in 1813 in North Carolina.

    Patty

  11. I am searching for Smiths from the same area. Wonder if you have seen a very old John Smith (105 yrs in the 1860 Scott Co.TN census)?
    His family seems to be Henry & Lucretia Smith who moved to Wayne Co., KY for the 1870 census? I have another Smith connection in 1860 Wayne co to a Benjamin and Mahala.

    • Hi Teresa,
      I’m sorry, I don’t have any information on your Smith line. There are soooo many Smith’s, I tend to concentrate on Russell County only. Wayne County before 1825 because that’s the same part of Russell County after its formation, but I don’t even have much on those Smiths. Good luck in your search! Lisa

      • Hi Lisa,
        I ran across your post about Henry Smith the Longhunter. Have you had any success locating him?
        I am still searching this Henry (from VA) and Lucretia Smith The name Henry is quite common in this group. DNA test have established we are related to Anderson Smith of Scott Co., TN , and William and Augustine all from VA.
        Teresa

      • Hi Teresa. Sad to say, I do not have any information on Henry Smith. At this point, I’m just collecting information to see if something jumps out at me. And as you know – there are Smiths EVERYWHERE!!!

        Sorry I can’t help!

  12. Donovan Derr said:

    Group Sheets using Excel – would you be willing to share a copy of your exel and word templates with me.

  13. Lisa, I just found your blog via another blog while blog-hopping. You had left a comment…and I found your blog name so intriguing, I just had to take a look :)

    You may claim shyness, but any math teacher of high school students, in my book, cannot possibly be shy. Intrepid is more like it!

    Hopefully, by now, you have found a “genealogy buddy” to help you over your hurdles, and you can now waltz through the front doors of any courthouse clerk’s office unfazed!

    • Hi Jacqi! I’m so glad you “stopped by” the blog! My teaching journey has been funny. I started as an elementary teacher because “I could NEVER teach high school kids!”. When my kids became jr. high kids, a jr. high science job opened up and the school was desperate enough to take me. Soon that job included jr. high math and now I’m teaching high school math. I really think having kids of my own that are the same age as the kids I teach just makes it easier – almost like the students are my own kids! Believe me, grown ups are MUCH scarier! And no, I’m not quite to the point of walking into a courthouse unafraid… maybe soon!

  14. Lisa, I COMPLETELY understand your fear…I *used* to be the same way! Just the thought of going into a public place without someone else terrified me. Even walking to the rest room in a restaurant mortified me. Tina Lyons posted that you’re coming to the Midwest Geneabloggers meet up, and I’ll really look forward to meeting you and talking with you about the ways I finally overcame my fear. Oh, and we can talk genealogy too! ;-)

  15. Brenda Leyndyke said:

    Lisa, it sounds like you are not alone in your shyness. When I first started researching my family, I was intimidated by some of the repositories. But, as time goes on I am becoming more comfortable. I look forward to meeting you in Fort Wayne. See you there.

  16. tim chapman said:

    i am looking for the parents of moses chapman from halifax va married to sarah tuck, “sally”. they had a son, joseph who moved to russell co ky from halifax with his son, anthony who is buried in chapman cemetery in terry ky. he was in the umion army in yhe 8th ky cav. anthony had a son, james who is my great grandfather who lived and died in casey co ky. i cant find who the parents of mosses chapman. if you run across amy information about mosses please email me at tchapman@miamiherald.com
    my mother was a smith from lincoln co ky and she is in the line of jom smith who sailed from ireland, her mother was a fletcher. i have almost a complete line on my moms side. my sister near danville ky, has all of that. we are stuck though mosses chapman of halifax co va. also, his son joseph is buried in a cemetery under lake cumberland, russell co ky but i dont know which one thanks, tim chapman

    • Hi Tim,
      I don’t have any information on Chapmans, but if you have something specific you’d like for me to look up the next time I go to the library, I’d be happy to do that! I tried to do some quick research and I found that someone has John Chapman and Nancy Whitehead as parents for your Moses Chapman, but I found further information on the web on that family and didn’t see a Moses listed for their children. Don’t know if that helps you or not…
      I’d love to hear more about your Smith line. Any chance we connect somewhere in early Danville days?

    • Lucy Chapman Sweigart said:

      I was wondering if you ever found anything on Moses Chapman. I have run into the same problem. If you have any info I would really appreciate if you would contact me at johnandlucy@localnet.com Thanks Lucy Chapman sWEIGART

  17. tim chapman said:

    my grandfathers name was herman smith who lived in my salem ky, about 20 miles south of danville. tim chapman tchapman@miamiherald.com

  18. tim chapman said:

    thanks, i will look up the info you gave me on the poss parents of moses chapman and get with my sister who is working on our smiths. my mothers mom who was married to our herman smith, was a fletcher but i will try to get more info fr her to give you. i have to wade through a tree she sent me the other day also. thank you, tim chapman

  19. tim chapman said:

    thanks, this is the wrong moses, i had seen this and the dates dont match and my mosses married sarah “sally” tuck. the tucks are well documented. we called my grandmother, granny mae. she was the fletcher. thank you so much for your help. tim chapman

    • Scott Chapman said:

      There have been many who have incorectly linked Moses Chapman of Halifax, VA, born 1758, married to Sally (Sara) Tuck to John and Samuel Chapman of Amelia county. Here is what I have found to disprove that link and possibe ideas for other connections:

      Why John Chapman of Amelia County is NOT the father of Moses.

      John Chapman was born in Amelia County, VA in 1737. He was the ONLY son of Samuel Chapman who was also born in Amelia County, VA circa 1700

      John Chapman had six sons John (Jack), James, Stephen, Benjamin, William, and Jonathan.

      John (Jack) was born in Amelia County, VA in 1758 the same year as Moses Chapman who was born in Halifax, VA. Therefore, John (Jack) and Moses could not be the same person.

      Why Moses is NOT a nephew of John Chapman

      John Chapman is the son of Samuel Chapman. John was his ONLY son.

      Could Moses be a nephew via a brother of Samuel?

      There is mention of the name Moses three times with respect to Samuel and/or his son John.

      1. A court document dated 8/13/1836, whereby “Moses Chapman acknowledges his deeds of lease and release of land to Samuel Chapman” (Given the date, the aforementioned Moses could not be Moses Chapman of Halifax born 1758, because Russell county, KYcensus records show that Moses was living with son Joseph in 1830. )
      2. John Chapman Sr. will dated 1816 whereby a slave child named Moses was bequeathed to his wife Oney.
      3. John (Jack) Chapman whereby his daughter Elizabeth was mentioned to have married a Moses Richardson.

      Based on the three references to Moses listed above, a possibility exist that “a” Moses Chapman could have been Samuel’s brother, or the son of an unnamed brother. If true, Moses Chapman of Halifax could be the son or grandson of either, thereby making him a nephew of Samuel. Unfortunately there is no information indicating Samuel had siblings, however the presence of Moses listed in a document dated 1836 suggest some familial connection.

  20. Dennis Nagel said:

    Lisa, I am trying to help my brother, Bradley Eugene Gilpin. His Great Grandfather was George Washington Gilpin from KY. Born 2 Jan 1857 and was married to Martha Henderson & Elizabeth Pitman. Do you have any information concerning Gilpin family connection with George Washington family? If so would you share with me that connection?

    Sincerely,

    Dennis Nagel
    dennis.nagel@mchsi.com
    417 205-0308
    Mount Vernon, MO

  21. nicky tucker said:

    i am the great grand son of john g stephens and sara moles my grandmother is cora stephens married hugh jepsey tucker my name is nicky tucker russell springs ky phone 2705664860

  22. nicky tucker said:

    my great grand mother is sara stephens buried in miller cem shelbyville ind if enbody has a picture of sara stephens call me nicky tucker 2705664860

  23. Donny Stevens said:

    Hi Lisa
    I read your post about Andrew Stephens an Polly and I might be able to help some. They were my g-g-g-grandparents. Andrew b1829 Polly born b1837. Andrew was the son of John Black Stephens. William was Andrews brother b1826. Andrew did have a son Andy V born 1871. My family populated most of KY, VA, and TN it seems like so I’m sure the neighbors were relatives. :)
    Thanks
    Donny Stevens

  24. Carol Hicks said:

    Hi Lisa,

    Do you happen to have Revolutionary Soldiers buried in Russell Co., KY? I am looking for William Fields Blakey.
    Thanks

  25. Carol Hicks said:

    Thanks for looking.
    Carol

    • Tim Chapman said:

      To carol hicks, have you tried Blakey/Chapman cemetery
      In Creelsboro ky. It is on the lawless farm. I have some of my chapman line at that cemetery. Tim chapman

  26. Carol Hicks said:

    Thanks, I did look on findagrave.com in that cemetery but only found one Blakey listed. They must not all be in findagrave yet.

    • Tim Chapman said:

      Hi carol, you might try the lawless cemetery on lawless cemetery road. If you google Blakey Branch, just sw on that road you will see lawless cemetery rd, follow it to the cemetery. From the sat. View ,must be 300 graves. It is a very old cemetery and might have been called something else 100 yrs ago. I a going to look for some Chapman’s myself soon. The lawless cemetery is 3.6
      Miles west of Jamestown in Russell co, ky. Gd luck, tim chapman

  27. Hi Carol. I am glad I found your site. I am looking for my Grandfather and his siblings in Russell County, Sherman Holt father John Holt and mom Nancy Jane Carol Born about 1883 I am getting nowhere and am considering a trip there. Where is a good place to start? Keep up the good work

  28. Carol Hicks said:

    Hi Tim,
    A good place to start would be the library to see what they have, might have old newspapers, and they can advise you where else that might be available, like a genealogy library, in the area, then the county clerk’s office and probate office if there was a will. There might also be a genealogy or historical society around. The library would know that. Good luck in your search.

    Carol

  29. Carol Hicks said:

    Tim, I found some information for you. I would like to send it to you. E-mail me at hckschicks@aol.com.
    Carol

  30. Lynnea Dickinson said:

    I descend from the Mercer Co., KY Smith family. John Smith, brother to Adam & Zachariah, is my 5th great-grandfather. Will gladly exchange info with you. I’ve been working on these Smiths for over 25 years.
    Lynnea Dickinson
    LDickin628@aol.com

  31. Hello…bored and doing some research on my own genealogy. I am a descendant of Welcome Stephens. He is my g-g-g-g-g grandfather. The lineage to me starts with Welcome/Thomas/William/Bryant/Hebrotis/James/Gerald/Me (Brian). I want to know from Welcome further back in time…do you know of anything?

    • Hi Brain! I do have information on Welcome’s ancestors. If you’d like to email me directly, I think that would be the easiest way to communicate.

      lvonlanken at msn dot com
      Thanks!
      Lisa

  32. Glenda (Dunbar) Hall said:

    Hi Lisa. I don’t visit often but recognize many family names when I do. I noticed some conversation on here about Bennetts. Three Bennett death certificates, all children of Green and Emily Dunbar, Charley C., Betsy J., and James, state they were buried in Bennett Cemetery, with the undertaker in each case having an address of Ono. I find no info anywhere on a Bennett Cemetery; have you ever heard of one?

    • Hi Glenda. Thanks for checking out my blog! Unfortunately, I have never been able to find Bennett Cemetery either. It makes me wonder if it was a family plot on a farm that has since been overgrown? I will keep my eyes open!
      Lisa

      • Glenda (Dunbar) Hall said:

        Thanks for responding! I will definitely be checking back in on your blog. All of my family is rooted in Russell Co., so I’m sure I will find lots here to keep me coming back.

      • Glenda! I DO have an answer for this! Believe it or not, today I had a snow day from school and I was looking through some old photos that I have on my phone and I found a group of pictures I had taken from a book listing cemeteries that had been found under Lake Cumberland. They were supposed to be moved in the 1940s before the dam was built, but they weren’t. In 1980, a crack was discovered in the dam and the water level had to be lowered to make repairs. At least 5 cemeteries were revealed that had not been moved as required.
        One of the cemeteries was the Bennett Cemetery and among those listed as being moved were James Harlan Bennett, Charlie Bennett, and 2 listings for Elizabeth Bennett. The book indicates that all of the graves were moved to Square Oak Cemetery, but I do not see those markers on Find-a-grave. If you want to email me, I can send you the photos that I took. lvonlanken@msn.com

  33. Oh my gosh! I have that book, too, and yes, there they are!! You are beautiful…thanks so much. I didn’t even think about looking there. A learning experience, yea!

  34. Glenda (Dunbar) Hall said:

    Sorry, hit the enter key before I was done. So.. if you want lookups, I can send you shots of the index pages.

  35. carla short (chapman) duffy said:

    I am looking for ANYTHING on a John Chapman of Amelia Co., born say, 1725. I believe he married Eliza or Elizabeth, say 1740, and they had a son named Samuel. They removed to Granville Co. NC about 1757. I also believe that John had a brother named Moses Chapman. My guess is that these folks were related to the other Samuel, John, Moses, etc. of Amelia Co. Va, but I have never been able to make a likely connection. ANY help would be greatly appreciated.

  36. John Peters said:

    Hi Lisa, I ran across a James. H. Smith and a George Smith of Russell County, KY who signed an 1827 petition on behalf of John Adams, Jr. There were 99 petitioners and their names were side by side. Here is a partial list of the petitioners:
    Ambrose Brockman
    William Hatfield
    James H. Smith
    George Smith
    Joseph Stapp (husband of Susannah Adams, John Jr sister)
    Reuben Payne (husband of Elizabeth Pigg;dau. of William and Mary Pigg of Casey County, KY)

    I am curious about the Smiths connection to this John Adams, Jr.
    I am interested in John Adams, Jr as he had a sister Sarah Adams who married a William Davidson Quinton. I believe John Adams Sr was also in Casey County, Ky in 1810.

    John Peters

    • Hi John,
      I don’t have an answer off the top of my head, but I would love to try to find a connection here. Do you have more info on John? Dates of birth or death? If you’d like to email me directly, you can do that at lvonlanken@msn(dot)com.
      Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  37. Hi, my sister and I just came back from a 75th family reunion on our dad’s side, complete with visits to libraries along the path some of his ancestors had come, and found some great information. I haven’t done much with my research the last few years but am fired up again! As a heavy Excel user, I thought about creating a family group sheet, then found your wonderful template online. My only questio so far is this – do you use one workbook for each side of your family, with separate tabs for different family group sheets, or do you use separate workbooks for each? Thanks!

    • Hi Jan! I’m sure it’s a personal preference for everyone, but I have one workbook for each surname. That way, I can find all of the Smith groups sheets in the same place and all of the Stephens groups sheets in the same place, etc. I also use each workbook to keep a database of birth info, death info, etc for that surname. I try to include everything that I find for a certain surname as I’m looking at a new source, even if I don’t see a connection at that time, because I got so tired of saying “Where did I see that name before?”

      Thanks for stopping by the blog!
      Lisa

  38. I recently found your blog and am finding it very helpful. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and ideas.

    Strangely I can’t find the comment box to comment on the individual posts :(

    • Hi Zoya, thanks for spending time on my blog! After reading your comment, I took a look at my blog settings and the default setting is to close comments after 14 days – something I’d never even thought about! So I changed that and I believe that now, the opportunity to comment will never close. The button to comment is on the right side just under the title of the post. (But I wish I could change that as well! Makes more sense to me if it were at the end of the post…)

      Thanks for letting me know!
      Lisa

  39. Dale Quinton said:

    I descend from William Davidson Quinton who married Sarah Adams in Adair County, Kentucky in 1820. He was the son of William and Jane ? Quinton. Sarah Adams was the daughter of John Adams. Can anyone help with the identity of her mother or siblings?

    • Dale – You need to talk with John Peters who commented above on May 26! (If you haven’t already…) John and I have been working on potential connections since then. If you want to send me your email address to me at lvonlanken at msn dot com, we might be able to add some pieces to your puzzle.

      Lisa

      • Berniece Quinton said:

        Thank you for your response, John and I have been working together for two years trying to piece together the Quinton puzzle. I hope someone new will see our posts and will chime in with new information.

        Sent from Berniece,s iPad

        >

  40. Lisa,
    I just found your blog from a pin on Pinterest. I don’t think we share any ancestors, but I really appreciate you sharing your research forms and ideas. It’s VERY helpful. Thank you! Now I just need to find some time to try to digest your excel timeline tutorial so I can implement it for my family lines…

  41. Lisa A Leach said:

    Hi Lisa, I found your blog while looking for a timeline. Other than the shy part, we are eerily similar! I teach Geometry (use to teach Alg) in Campbell County Tn. My maternal grandmother is from Ky. I am 95% OCD (drops some as you get older I have found) and do much of my work on Excel as well. And my name is Lisa. I have enjoyed reading MANY of your older blogs. It is also strange how many things we do alike in our research, however, I have learned several new tricks from you. Thanks for the wonderful information. Please keep it coming!

  42. Hi Lisa; I found your blog while looking for Excel or Word documents that might help me organize my genealogy research clue notes. I love reading your suggestions, ideas and experience. While viewing the 1910 US Census I learned my grandfather had been married once before he married my grandmother. The typical family group sheets have few places to include this type of miscellaneous note. The census showed a first name, a birth year and state of birth. All these clues were important to remember somewhere for future research. Where do you suggest I keep track of this type of information? Any ideas?
    Liz

    • Hi Liz – thanks for stopping by my blog! Your Group Sheet can be a great way to keep track of hints, depending on it’s format. Is it a printed form, or something generated by your genealogy software or something in Word or Excel? I created by own group sheets in Word and in Excel and each have an advantage that the other doesn’t. With Word, I can keep track of citations using the end notes feature. But with Excel, I can have hidden rows to keep track of hints or clues that I want to follow up on later. With hidden rows, I can reveal information only when I want to see it. If a row or rows are NOT hidden and I tell the form to print, then the hints and clues show up as well – but the form doesn’t fit on a single sheet of paper. If I hide the row or rows, then the print out will look like a typical group sheet. I had a post on using hidden rows in Excel here: http://theshygenealogist.wordpress.com//?s=hidden&search=Go

      In both of my forms (Word and Excel), I have areas dedicated for notes and information like that could also be kept there. If you’d like to see (and download) either of these forms, you can find them here: http://theshygenealogist.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/new-group-sheets-word-and-excel/
      If you’d like to trade ideas or ask any questions, please feel free to stop by again!

      Good luck with your new hints!
      Lisa

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