Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Documentation and Sourcing

After the long break I took from my blog, I realize that I should not have. I should have kept you in the loop on all things Genealogy; like offering their records for free, for a limited time, of course. They always have the 14 day trial but this was for ALL records, not just what they choose to give you access to.

I have an account and it is free. I have not ever had an account that is paid because as a member of the Church, I am given access for free. I do not know if the records that they give me access to are any different than a paid account so I cannot judge that. Maybe of I make any money I will get a paid account and find out if the source materials offered are any more in-depth than they are now. Interesting thoughts, but enough...

I am here to talk about sources and documentation of a family tree. This is a very important step. It is proof positive that your ancestor lived and they were where they were supposed to be, or they moved all over and you need to find them all across the country to prove that.

Census records and birth certificates and many death certificates are offered online now. offers them for free many times, as the indexers are making it possible that these records are released every day. Attaching a Census record from California, to your family line that came from Alabama, allows you to show where that family was over the many years.

My grandfather was in California and New Mexico, and was born in Alabama, and without the census records, and the stories he told about his times, we would not have been able to document this vast life of 95 years. The census records are a great source of information, and not just for the line you are working on, but maybe the sibling line as well.

Family members were known to live near each other, sons moved just down the road and the sister moved on the back street, but without these priceless papers, we would not be able to document and trace the lives that lived these stories.

Census records are not the only records that our faithful indexers are indexing though, they do any record that can be used to trace a person, up to and including birth and death certificates. Lunacy papers are also something to think about. TB and many other diseases were rampant and many died in these types of places.

My point is, do not forget to attach these records to your family tree, and do not forget to get copies for your paper trail. Copies and more copies and records and more records...there is no such thing as too much documentation.

Next time I will tell you how to find ways to search these records because I will try to do this research so I can help you as it will be fresh in my memory.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Memories and Rememberence

I hope you all remember to ask your families to give you one of the best gifts ever, their life stories. They are so priceless to those if us that put together genealogical family stories. These stories can be voices from the past, which will give to the future. It is the best way I know to bring to life those that have passed away.

Asking for those stories, at first, may be somewhat difficult, but the stories that will be remembered, when the brain gets jogged, will be amazing. Make sure that you record them if you can, and then you will be able to connect after they are gone.

This time of year brings to memory those that have passed on. As the stories are told and the memories are shared, the missing persons will not be missing. The past can become alive again for a moment in time.

It is beautiful, but it is also painful. The great thing about that is that the pain goes away, and the joy returns as we remember. This is the best we can do and the best we should do. Do this for your posterity so they will have your voice long after they have given you back.

It is hard to let go of our loved ones, but as we remember the pain lessens, and the stories flow. Mark them, they are like time in a bottle. Captured for all eternity.

Enjoy this holiday season and remember the family that is there but gone, for they deserve that just as much as you do.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Old but New Lines

There are times that we must go back to the very beginning of our journey on a family line and say...I am lost. So I did this because there were too many people and not the right people in the right areas.

I am not sure how I made such a mess of m line on here, but I am so very glad it is so easy to take them out o a line.

There were no parents listed for a family mine, but I had many (24) children under one line. The parents were wrong, because I know of no parents, and so I had to delete the whole line. This is why it is so important to do the research before you put it down for all to see.

I was able to correct the mistake relatively easily, because there was no connecting lineage past the point I was working on. 

As we get together during the holidays, may we remember to ask the questions of family while they are her.

May they have the answers you are looking for.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


I apologize for not posting this with my story....this is my grandfather on my father's side. He was a card and taped his voice for all of us to hear. He recorded his stories for us and his posterity. It is one of the best gifts that a genealogist can get. That and pictures. Keeping records of your exploits for your posterity can be fun and exciting. Remembering these times through pen or recording device, either way it is a great boon to family and genealogists alike.

Keeping a journal is very important to your posterity. Knowing what was going on and what was happening in the day to day lives of family members brings them to life for us. It is so fun to imagine the times and the antics that were happening. Like with my grandfather. He was about 15 years old and he had a bunch of boys that he hung out with,

Well, they lived in Florida and played in the swamps. The ponds that set up in swamps can be a great place for boys to hang out. My grandfather thought it was a great pace on a hot day. He went running through the water full speed, making sure there was not anything in the water. Why did he do it and not someone else you ask? Well, he was the oldest of the boys and he felt responsible for them.

SO, he barrels through the water wide open and trips over a log. He gets up and goes again. This time he runs the other way. He does not find any logs. So he goes back to the log he tripped over and straddles it. He bends over and starts pulling the log up so he can move it, so the boys can play. All of a sudden my grandfather heard the boys screaming and shouting.

Now the boys were watching and saw that what granddaddy was picking up was not a log but an alligator. So they started hollering ALLIGATOR and granddaddy drooped the log and said where? He did not see one so he picked up the log again only to realize, it was the alligator! He ran like he was on fire out of that water. Proof positive that God watches over fools and children.

This might only be stories, but I can see him and it helps me to remember who he was. It brings him back to life, but these stories also bring other people back to life for a moment in time. That is what it is all about. Bringing the dead to life through memories.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Family Memories

When you are looking for your family line on, you can really find yourself in an awful mess or a great treasure find. The problem is, maybe that person did not do the proper research and added family because others had them on their family tree. This is how you can make a mistake in your line, or you can add to your line and find a name that will help you find your line, not theirs. Make sure the family line is yours.

Now, I told you that I was going to tell  you a story about my grandfather. He was born In 1910 in the sand hills of Alabama. When he was born, doctors cost a lot of money. so his father had to find the midwife that would deliver my grandfather. My great-grandparents were not mush for money, but had many chickens. My grandfather's birth cost them 10 chickens. My grandfather always thought that it really cost a lot for him to be born. Chickens lay everyday and 10 chickens meant 10 eggs a day for as many years  as the chickens would lay. That was either for a very big family, or a midwife was making money from her eggs . Either way, that was money in barter form.

A few years later, my grandfather went with my great-grandmother and great-grandfather on a train to Texas. This train ride too them to fellow family members that were already in Texas. They stayed with them for about six months and then they moved to Arizona. The land was given to families to homestead. It was 250 acres in the middle of nowhere with no one to help. My great-grandfather worked for the railroad so the trip was free for them. They settled near a place that he remembers as Shoemaker, Arizona.

Now this was done with three young children and with a baby born in Texas. That is no means the end of the story, but you must come back to read the rest of the story and to find out if I fix that pesky family line, and how I did it. Thanks. Also, remind me to tell you how I know these things...he did not TELL me until he died...

Friday, December 11, 2015

Maiden Names

I have to say that I have been very lax. I have been so busy that I have not been able to get past the family line that was accidently added to my family tree in I have been doing many things, but working on my family line is not one of them. So, I will instead discuss how to find a maiden name for female family lines that seem to have been delivered by the stork.

You find a name in your line but that person seems to come from nowhere, yet it has to come from somewhere doesn't it? So, you see her name in the census records but it is her married name, not her maiden name. She has no other papers on her, but yet there must be something. Have you tried to find the marriage license? Have you tried to find her on under her married name?

There are times that a female can be found under her husband's name and yet you can find out her maiden name by finding her on odd records. There are also things like death records from the funeral home or the mortuary. You may be able to find out the maiden name through her siblings, if they are known, or if there are any. Family names can be found also through middle names from siblings.  A grandmother's name may be found by finding a sibling with the maiden name as the middle name.

There are times that finding names can be frustrating, but it is well worth investigating the name as much as you can. It is important to try to keep a family line going as much  as we can but sometimes we have to let a line go because we have exhausted our resources. Do not quit forever, but instead put her on a back burner. One day she will show up again and you will find her name. Crazier things have happened.

Tune in tomorrow and I will tell you a story that my grandfather told me about him when he was a young boy. This was back in the early 1900's. I hope you join me. I look forward to sharing a story with you.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Past Endeavors in Families

I have been lax in tracing the line. I got frustrated very early because the family line on added a family to mine that is not my family. I now have to take out people that do not belong there and figure out how they even got added to begin with. I believe I must have been click happy when I added the family line of the paternal side.

It happens to the best of us; we click the wrong button and now we have a family in our family that is not our family. Then we become even more confused about the family line so we quit.  Well DO NOT QUIT! As long as you keep working at it, you can overcome the confusion and take control of your family once again.

Now, about Rachel, I went to the Hermitage in Tennessee and realized how much she and my mother look alike. Rachel was a little heavier than my mother, but the build and the manner in which she held herself is the same. I know my mother and there is no way she would go over river to help settle new land. Rachel did just this with her father.

I cannot imagine how scary it would have been to be on the river and have the Native Americans shooting at you from the bank when you try to land the boats. There are stories about the people that died while helping Captain John Donalson settle the western side of the Cumberland River in Tennessee.

It really is quite interesting when you start finding the history of the people that helped settle the land that you have seen and the places where you have been. I really do enjoy understanding more about the people that are responsible for me or my family members.

Come back tomorrow and I will tell you about how to find a maiden name or at least cry trying. I will also talk about how the War of 1812 in Louisiana was won by Andrew and how Rachel actually lived in the swamps of Louisiana.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Today I am back and telling of my famous ancestors (or the one's I know about). My famous ancestor is Rachel Donalson. She was the wife of Andrew Jackson, the President of the United States. Isn't that amazing? I think so too. Finding out that your gggggreat aunt was married to the President is something else, but then to find out that even though the were married when he was elected, she never saw the inside of the White House.

She was a woman that did not like conflict. She was not delicate, as her she traveled with her father to settle the other side of Tennessee on the Cumberland, but she never wanted the attention that Andrew's presidency would bring. Rachel and Andrew never agreed about the White House and his being President.

There was the tragedy of no posterity in Rachel and Andrew's life. The only children they ever had were adopted. They adopted the twins from her brother, and they also raised a young Native American boy. There was also a slave child that they raised as their own. To know that your only posterity is not your own had to be hard, but Andrew loved Rachel unconditionally. Her picture hung in the White House and still hangs in the Hermitage today.

Rachel's niece moved to the White House and helped with all of the domesticated areas of being in the White House that the wife would have taken care of. Rachel told Andrew she did to want him to be president but he felt he had to try. She told him that would die if we was elected president. She died in December, before he moved to Washington, D.C.

I will talk more about it tomorrow. I will also tell you if I am having any luck following a new family line.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Starting the Journey

I started this journey six years ago and I am going to continue this journey for years to come. It is unfortunate that there are times that we have to stop and let life take over and keep us away from our ancestors, It is wonderful to know we can always come back, because they are always waiting.

This has been an insightful rode that has led me to know some famous and not so famous people. I have concentrated on one family line for so long that my other lines feel that they are dead to me. This is not true and I will investigate the family lines that I have neglected for so long.

As I start these new family lines, I want you to start yours as well. Start with yourself and then choose a name that you want to follow. If you are just starting, go to and start a free family tree today. They have many resources that you can use to find family members.

The day to start is now because the day is ever shorter and the work is ever longer. Check back soon because I am going to tell you who my famous family member is and which line I will be looking at now. Thank you for your time.