Pausing the Blog

When I first decided to start a blog, I had 2 goals – to begin a conversation with people researching family in Russell County, Kentucky and specifically, to connect with “cousins” to collaborate with on research.

As I look at the amount of time I spend working on the blog, I find that I am spending less and less time working on my own research and more time writing for the blog, without a lot of feedback.

While I love being able to provide resources and “how to” information, that just wasn’t my original goal, so I’m going to hit the “pause” button for a bit and think about what I want to accomplish in my research and how much time I want to invest in the blog to accomplish that goal.

I don’t plan to ever take down the blog. I find myself using the links I’ve included for Russell County far more often than I thought I would. That may be the most organized part of my research process and I don’t want it to go away!

Continue to enjoy the free downloads and links to Russell County resources. And THANK YOU to those who stop by on a regular basis!

~Lisa

Advertisements

120 Years Ago Today – Mar. 30, 1898

A continuing feature on the blog for 2018 is be a series called “120 Years Ago Today”. I’m collecting newspaper clippings relevant to Russell County from The Adair County News in the year 1898. I hope you find some surprises to add to your family tree!

I’ll be doing a bit of digital cleanup on the files to remove streaks and scratches, but you can download the original file from the link. Right-click on my image to save the cleaned-up version. I also plan to include a list of names mentioned in the articles at the end of the blog post to make it possible to find with an internet search.

This week’s paper was pretty “splotchy” and difficult to clean up.

Here’s the link to this edition of the newspaper. Link

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-30, Creelsboro 1

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-30, Creelsboro 2

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-30, Font Hill

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-30, Jamestown

Abner Jones, Dr. A.M. Jackman, Dr. W.B. Armstrong, Pem Allen, Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. M.C. Barger, Chas. S. Harris, W.L. Bradshaw, Lewis Wilkerson, S.A. Simpson, Tiny Haynes, Dr. Baugh, Margaret Tucker, J. Shelby Rowe, A.H. Baugh, W.C. Adams, Mrs. Texas Rowe, Effie Falkenburg, W.E. Falkenburg, Mrs. Ollie Stone, James Clayton, Mrs. M. Scholl, N.H.W. Aaron, Dr. R.A. Jones, Creelsboro, Font Hill, Jamestown

Spring Gardening – Genealogy Style

March in Indiana is notorious to weather swings. Sunny and beautiful one day and snow storms the next. Today, for a few hours, I had the sunny and beautiful weather in front of 5 days of forecasted rain. So I took the opportunity to get outside for an hour to do a little garden clean-up and I couldn’t help but think about how my goals for that hour were analogous to my genealogy work.

#1 – Take a look at what’s popping up below the surface. 

The bed I chose to work in today is one of several iris beds. Two years ago, I dug up, split and transplanted hundred of iris bulbs. The bed I worked on today seemed to struggle last year and was very behind all of the other beds. So last fall, I decided to leave all of the foliage alone over the winter to allow the dying leaves to feed the bulbs to give them a little extra strength. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, I took a peek under these leaves and sure enough, lots of new plants popping up underneath!

iris

This made me think about how often I open a page in Ancestry for an ancestor who I haven’t looked at in quite awhile and been pleasantly surprised to see new records available for that person. Haven’t worked on a specific line for awhile? It might be worth going back for a “peek underneath”.

#2 – Take care of issues early rather than waiting for a better time.

My neighbor has a large maple tree in their front yard. It is beautiful. But the seeds of a maple tree have wings and I’m pretty sure that ALL of the seeds from that tree land in my flower beds! As I cut out the old, dead leaves of my irises, I found dozens and dozens of those seeds in the dirt.

maple-seed

I know what would happen to those seeds if they were exposed to 5 days of rain plus warming temperatures. I needed to make sure that I was removing every single seed or I would be looking at a major headache this summer!

What is the seed that you need to remove from your research before it gets out of control? About a year ago, I noticed that someone on Ancestry had an image of my grandfather’s family in their tree. I have the same image and I may very well have shared the image with the person, but I couldn’t recall for sure. The only problem was that the image description had the wrong name for the parents. Instead of my great-grandparents names, the description listed my great-great-grandparents. Oops! But I didn’t say anything. I was amazed at how quickly (and how often) that image started popping up as a “hint” for my great-great-grandparents – and from more than one account. The mis-labeled image had been incorrectly attached to trees over and over and over. And some of those people had cropped the image to have individual headshots – which is fine – except that they were incorrectly labeled because of the first image description. I’ve commented on several of the images to try to spread the word, but I have a feeling that this image has already spread too far and that the comments won’t reach everyone. Perhaps if I had made my comment sooner?

Do you have a record in your online account that is mis-attributed? I’d say this happens most often when 2 different people have the same name. Take a closer look to “weed” these sources out of your research as quickly as you can.

#3 – Slow and steady makes the process much more enjoyable

It happens every spring. The weather turns nice and I go out to work in my beds. But there’s so much to do! I push myself to get as much done as possible. And the next day, the aches and pains remind me that I can’t do as much as I used to and still do a great job.

It’s the same way when I don’t work on my research for awhile. Or if I don’t work on a specific LINE for awhile. How painful is it to go back and figure out where I was? How much time do I waste finding the same things over and over because I didn’t stick to my organization system? Why didn’t I label that digital file with the date or the location or even the ancestor it applied to? Because I was rushed and figured I’d fix it later. We’ve got to know exactly where our files will be stored and what our naming template will be. We’ve got to have a plan in mind and stick with it!

#4 – You’ve got to do the prep work before you’ll see the flowers.

If I don’t start early to clean the dead stuff out of my beds, the flowers that come up later will be sickly and pale. And part of my “prep work” in my gardens has got to be making a plan so that everything gets done when it needs to be done.

Prep work in genealogy not only means having my supplies gathered and having a goal in mind for that research session, but it also means doing the “boring” stuff at the end of the session so that I can get a quicker start on my next research session.

It’s much easier when I make good use of my Research Plan and keep good notes to remember which record sets I’ve already looked for. But updating that plan is so BORING! I can be spending that time to RESEARCH, right? I need to remind myself that I don’t have to find every record in one setting. Much better to take my time, really analyse the record in front of me and to take good notes in my Research Plan so that my next steps won’t be painful.

#5 – All the work will be worth it when the results are blooming!

I think this one’s pretty self explanatory!

I hope you’re enjoying the spring season!

iris2

 

 

Genealogy Snack #11

Have you gone to a genealogy conference in the last year? Or watched a great genealogy webinar? Did you get excited about the information you were hearing? If you took notes, did you put your notes into practice when you got back to the “real world”?

I went to the Rootstech conference a few weeks ago and I took TONS of notes. I was most excited about the information I was collecting on doing German genealogy research for my husband’s line. But since I’ve come home, I have only gone back to look at 1 set of notes. (Couldn’t attend? You can still watch 38 presentations here!)

Maybe you can’t go to genealogy conferences. Have you ever searched for “Genealogy” on YouTube? How about watching the free webinars on  Legacy Family Tree Webinars?  They consistently put out 2-3 webinars every week and they are always free to watch for the first 7 days after they have been published. I have a subscription so that I can go back and binge watch whenever I like – and I have lots of notes on what I’m hearing!

But I don’t often go back to my notes to see what my action items were. So if you’ve ever taken notes at a conference or during a webinar, this week’s “Snack” is to find your notes and see what it was that made you so excited as you were taking those notes.

And here we are at the end of another month! Let’s take a look at the “Snacks” so far:

Snack #1 – Make a plan for Christmas Gifts 2018
Snack #2 – Download or Create a Research Plan
Snack #3 – Make an outline of your ideal Digital File System
Snack #4 – Create a “template” for naming your digital files
Snack #5 – Complete this PERSI search
Snack #6 – Fill out group sheets based on Find-a-grave
Snack #7 – Write an obituary
Snack #8 – What would you research if you could take a genealogy road trip?
Snack #9 – Create a name variation list
Snack #10 – Contribute to the Shared cM project
Snack #11 – Review your notes from a conference or webinar

120 Years Ago Today – Mar. 23, 1898

A continuing feature on the blog for 2018 is be a series called “120 Years Ago Today”. I’m collecting newspaper clippings relevant to Russell County from The Adair County News in the year 1898. I hope you find some surprises to add to your family tree!

I’ll be doing a bit of digital cleanup on the files to remove streaks and scratches, but you can download the original file from the link. Right-click on my image to save the cleaned-up version. I also plan to include a list of names mentioned in the articles at the end of the blog post to make it possible to find with an internet search.

Here’s the link to this edition of the newspaper. Link

Additional note: Kimble was the official name of Russell Springs between 1888 and 1901.

Adair County News, Page1, 1898-03-23, Creelsboro 1

Adair County News, Page1, 1898-03-23, Creelsboro 2

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-23, Creelsboro

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-23, Font Hill

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-23, Jamestown 1

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-23, Jamestown 2

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-23, Kimble 1

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-23, Kimble 2

Rev. Flat, Viola Snow, Sallie Cheatham, Mis Bettie, R.A. Jones, Cameron Dunbar, Viola Carr, Syrena Cape, Claude Cape, Pink Campbell, J.W. Lapsley, Rev. Bell, Carlos Coffey, Maggie Jones, E. Campbell, J.D. Irvine, Bill Denney, C. Snow, C.H. Campbell, Bessie Baker, Mollie Coffey, W.B. Armstrong, William Kimbler, M. Sloan, C. Snow, Maggie Jones, Berry Buster, Ben F. Leach, Ella Payne, Willie Warren, Josie Bledsoe, W.L. Bradshaw, J.W. Humble, W.C. Shephard, E.D. Tartar, W.A. Wilson, Squire Shephard, C.H. Murrell, G.F. Jones, Allene Marcum, Olga Gann, W.S. Knight, W.F. Rowe, Mrs. Texas Rowe, J.E. Hays, Mrs. Barnes, O.B. Vaughan, Sallie Barnes, W.E. Frazer, Creelsboro, Font Hill, Jamestown, Kimble

 

Genealogy Snack #10

Blaine Bettinger is a well-know genetic genealogist. He has done a fantastic job of collecting data to help us understand our DNA matches better. Yesterday, I posted about the Shared cM project in which Blaine has collected DNA information from thousands of participants in order to create a chart showing the range of shared cM numbers for each relationship.

Shared_cM_Project

One of the ways that he collects this data is through a Google form that is open to anyone who has completed dna testing. You can help further this project by adding your own data for KNOWN RELATIONSHIP MATCHES to the project. Blaine updates this chart whenever he has a significant amount of new data.

Today’s snack: look up the number of shared cMs you have for at least 1 known ancestor and contribute that number to the project. You can fill in the form for as many known matches as you have.

Before you go to the form, you’ll need the following information:

  • The relationship between the two matched individuals (brother/sister, aunt/nephew, 1C1R, etc.)
  • Total shared cM
  • Number of shared segments
  • Any known endogamy or known cousin marriages? (yes/no)
  • Source of the dna test

Optional information includes:

  • Number of cM in the longest block (this data is not available through AncestryDNA)
  • Any notes you’d like to include about a special relationship
  • Your email so that he can contact you if you have questions.

Click on the link below to contribute to the project!

Shared cM Project

Shared cM Project

Are you using DNA testing in your genealogy research? If so, you have probably seen this chart from the Shared cM Project.

Shared_cM_Project

You take a look at the number of cMs you share with your match and then you can use the chart from the Shared cM Project to find the most likely relationship between you and your match.

The way to find the number of cMs you share with a match is different for each DNA site. I currently have DNA kits on 3 different sites, so I can show you how to find the cMs on those 3.

To see the number of cMs you share with a match on Ancestry:

Click the “View Match” button. Note: your match does not have to have a tree in order to see how much DNA you share.

View_Match

Once you are on their page, click on the small letter I below the Predicted relationship. A pop-up box will tell you how much DNA you share.

Amount_of_Shared_-_Ancestry

To see the number of cMs you share with a match on FTDNA:

Navigate to your list of matches and look in the column that says “Shared Centimorgans”.

Amount_of_Shared_-_FTDNA

To see the number of cMs you share with a match on MyHeritage:

Amount_of_Shared_-_MyHeritage

 

The number is included along with the information for each match.

 

 

Once you have this number, you can use the chart to see all of the possible relationships you might have with your match.

If you find the chart confusing, there is another tool that will help you out. Jonny Perl has a fantastic web tool if you like the idea of “mapping” each segment of a dna kit to the ancestor(s) who passed it along. I am slowly using this tool to get a better idea of how I am connected to some of my DNA matches. But he also has an interactive version of the Shared cM Project chart that I love.

Go to dnapainter.com and click on “Tools” at the top of the screen.  (You do not have to be registered to use the tool.)

Tools

Click on the option for the most recent version of the tool. The creator of the chart, Blaine Bettinger, continues to collect data and updates the chart on a regular basis, so you will always want to look for the most recent version.

Most_recent

In the box at the top of the page, enter the number of cMs you share with your match.

Shared_cM_Tool

Notice that the chart at the bottom has changed to show you the most likely relationships you and your match might have based on the number of cMs. But just below where you entered your number, he also gives a table showing you the probability for every possible relationship based on the number of cMs. If you know the age of your match, you can use a little common sense to eliminate some of those highlight boxes in the chart. For example, a 40 year old person is pretty certainly NOT your great-great aunt or uncle!

I love working with my DNA matches, but I do find that once I get going with it, I can’t tear myself away! I have to drag myself away to get back to my “traditional” research, but I’m hoping that it won’t be long till I’m breaking through my brick walls by using my DNA info! And PLEASE, if you discover one of my kits in your list of matches, let me know!!!

(And just to be thorough – here are my GEDmatch numbers)

My mother: A326218
Her sister #1: A961251
Her sister #2: A569139
Her brother: T850404
Her 1st cousin: A476875

All of the above have deep Russell County roots!

My husband: A045548
My MIL: A660940

My husband and mother-in-law have deep GERMAN roots!

 

120 Years Ago Today – March 16, 1898

A continuing feature on the blog for 2018 is be a series called “120 Years Ago Today”. I’m collecting newspaper clippings relevant to Russell County from The Adair County News in the year 1898. I hope you find some surprises to add to your family tree!

I’ll be doing a bit of digital cleanup on the files to remove streaks and scratches, but you can download the original file from the link. Right-click on my image to save the cleaned-up version. I also plan to include a list of names mentioned in the articles at the end of the blog post to make it possible to find with an internet search.

There were no mentions from Russell County this week, so I thought you’d enjoy looking at the Store Ad that appeared on the front page of just about every edition of the paper. There will be quite an increase in the number of Russell County related items beginning next week!

Here’s the link to this edition of the newspaper. Link

Adair County News, Page1, 1898-03-16

Genealogy Snack #9

Here’s a challenge for you. How many different formats for an ancestor’s name can you list? Think Google Searching. I seem to get fixated on a name and rarely consider searching for different formats of a name. As I’ve been working through the weekly newspaper clippings for Russell County, I notice that 90% of the names are given with initials – something I would rarely look for in a Google search. A book index might have your ancestor’s name listed with the last name first.

Think about possible nick-names. You can use Google to find a list of nicknames for a specific name. Another great site for this would be Wolframalpha.com. If you enter a name, you’ll get lots of information about the name. Popularity ranking, estimates for the current US population, etc. But if you scroll down, you’ll see a box labeled “Alternate versions”. That box will give you a list of variations for the name you’ve entered. Here’s the list of alternates for the name “Mary”. Alternates_for_Mary

Family tree magazine also has a list of female nicknames. Link

Think also about common misspellings of the name. For example: Stephens vs. Stevens

If your ancestor was from another country, or THEIR parents were from another country, don’t forget to consider foreign versions of the name as well. For example – Andrew vs. Andreas.

Once you’ve created your list, consider adding it to your Research Plan for that ancestor.

To get you started:
First Middle Last
First Middle Initial Last
Last, First
Last, First Middle
Last, First Middle Initial
First Initial Last
First and Middle Initials Last
Nickname Last
Abbreviation Last

If you are brainstorming for a female ancestor, don’t forget that often, females were referred to with their husband’s name. For example, Mrs. A.J. Stephens. Think of ways that “Mrs.” could be included in your list.

Here’s my list for one ancestor:

Andrew Jackson Stephens
Andrew Stephens
Andrew J. Stephens
A.J. Stephens
A. Jackson Stephens
Jackson Stephens
Jack Stephens
Andy Stephens
Stephens, Andrew Jackson
Stephens, Andrew J.
Stephens, Andrew
Stephens, A.J.
Stephens, A. Jackson
Stephens, Jackson
Stephens, Jack
Stephens, Andy
Andrew Jackson Stevens
Andrew Stevens
Andrew J. Stevens
A.J. Stevens
A. Jackson Stevens
Jackson Stevens
Jack Stevens
Andy Stevens
Stevens, Andrew Jackson
Stevens, Andrew J.
Stevens, Andrew
Stevens, A.J.
Stevens, A. Jackson
Stevens, Jackson
Stevens, Jack
Stevens, Andy

In a future “snack”, we’ll be using these variations for another quick exercise.

120 Years Ago Today – Mar. 9, 1898

A continuing feature on the blog for 2018 is be a series called “120 Years Ago Today”. I’m collecting newspaper clippings relevant to Russell County from The Adair County News in the year 1898. I hope you find some surprises to add to your family tree!

I’ll be doing a bit of digital cleanup on the files to remove streaks and scratches, but you can download the original file from the link. Right-click on my image to save the cleaned-up version. I also plan to include a list of names mentioned in the articles at the end of the blog post to make it possible to find with an internet search.

Here’s the link to this edition of the newspaper. Link

Adair County News, Page1, 1898-03-09, Creelsboro

Adair County News, Page1, 1898-03-09, Font Hill

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-09, Esto 1

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-09, Esto 2

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-09, Jamestown

Adair County News, Page2, 1898-03-09, Russell Springs

Dr. A Jones, Emma Campbell, Ben Ham, Mrs. Ramsey, J.W. Coffey, J.M. Snow, B.F. Buster, W.H. Hudson, J.L. Mann, Manuel Sloan, Lula Scheidler, Verta Lester, Ella Lester, Josie Wooldridge, Dr. Ollie Taylor, Maggie Jones, Maggie Smith, L.C. Smith, Logan Ham, Frank Grider, L.G. Holt, Maggie Deaton, W.S. Rexroot, Zach Potts, M.E. Tarter, Squire Shephard, E.O. Stone, F.L. Wilson, E.Y. Kilgore, Z.T. Williams, Mattie Gaar, Paschal Phelps, Oliver McElroy, Lizzie Price, Maggie McElroy, Blanche McElroy, Mary Stearman, Tom Selby, Bascum Grider, Loren McKinley, Boyard Grider, J. Popplewell, Sallie Miller, Albert Miller, Ed Stone, Mr. Higginbottom, Mr. Pace, A.H. Holt, Lillie Williams, Emma Burdhette, Myrta Smith, Maggie Jones, Wm Vaughan, Tinnie Wells, Ella Payne, O.B. Vaughan, Lilburn Phelps, A.L. Meldrum, W.S. Stone, J.E. Hays, Mrs. Barnes, Otha Garner, Antoinette Popplewell, Joseph Dunbar, Miss Piercy, Rachel Dowell, Allene Marcum, Lucy Gann, W.L. Dowell, Z.T. Williams, F.W. Wade, A.R. Humble, A.R. Foley, John A. Webb, Chas. Hymen, Luther Williams, J.H. Payne, Bud Cain, James Ford, Creelsboro, Font Hill, Esto, Jamestown, Russell Springs