Monday, March 28, 2016


I have the craziest problem. The family line I am searching has a brother's family line that is eerily similar. There are two John Allen's, both living in Alabama at one time, with some of their children names the same. With very close birthdates. I am slowly unraveling the line, but I have to peel information from other's trees, yet make sure that the person is the correct one. It is not easy doing this, as I said, birthdates are nearly the same.

I have found that I am bordering on OCD trying to find the correct family trees for information, I have found that people have amended the census with the opposing wife's name on the wrong census. It is frustrating, to say the least.

I wish people that were doing their genealog would be a little more OCD when it comes to these records. Having placed the wrong names in family lines before, I know how hard it is to fix the problem. If a little moe time was taken, maybe the records would not be so convoluted. 

Once again, I want to do my DNA so I can find my family line, but the problem with that is that not enough people have done DNA sampling to straighten out all of my family lines. I am sure that my family have not all rushed out to do this, and the information is not just sitting there waiting on me to link with it.

My information will have to come from good old work. Again, this is the best way to go, but, if I find out that there is a database on my family, I am there.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Another's Work

I have recently come into genealogy work done by someone else, and the pages are not correctly set up. There are names of grandchildren, not even of the same line, in with names of family that have been deceased for a hundred years or more. This is crazy, but now it has to be straightened out.

I really appreciate all the work that has been done in the family lines on my husband's side of the family by my father-in-law. Problem is, he just placed paperwork together, not necessarily of the same family. It is all family group records, so I can find the family names, I have some extremely great information.

I know sometimes we want to forego someone else's work because we know how much of a mess it can be, but do not do this. Appreciate the work that they have done and try to straighten it out. This work is still done and important. It may be a mess, it may be muddled, but it is still genealogy work and still necessary.

It is time-consuming, but so is regular genealogy work. It is still the names and dates and necessary information of family lines, but just not in order. Imagine the work that will be done once I get the 4-inch book in order. There will be so many new family names to investigate and learn.

All I can do is hope that the information is correct, but I do know he was an avid genealogist, so I am sure he has done the research. If not, at least, I have the names and dates to help out.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Still Searching

It is unbelievable how bad the lines are messed up for my family that is so generic. There are many people on that have him in their tree, but the problem is, there are at least three JA born around the same time and lived in the same area. They were family, but until I am sure where my J comes in, I cannot add him, because I am not sure which one I would be adding.

One married a Sarah, one married a Susan, and I am not sure about the third, but these two names have been intertwined so much that they seem to be the same person until you do research. Research is one of the biggest things we can do when it comes to things like this. I am now going to have to look in unusual places.

I am not sure how I ma going to fix the mess that is JA. His line is either intertwined like I said, or the names Sarah and Susan were interchanged, and the last name changed from one to another. It has become my nemesis and my nightmare. The family came from AL and moved to GA and SC.

Problem is, the name was used in each family line that is A. JA was a popular name and they did not always use middle names. Mine did not seem to, but then I find records that have his name as JCA. That is not what I know him to be, so I am still stuck.

I will still work on it and let you know the progress and how I find the truth.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Generic Names

I have a family line that I cannot find the true family line for. The name is John Allen. This name brings up names from all over the country. I know where he lived, or so I thought until I found a source stating that he was born in a completely different state and had a completely different wife, but all other information is the same.

Children are the same and the birth dates are right, but the source could be wrong, right? Right. It is unfortunate that the census records are not always the end all source of information. It is only as good as the person arbitrating and the person that originally took the information down. We are all fallible, I just hate that idea of not knowing, though. This gets e wanting to do my DNA.

If I did this, I would be able to find out who I am and where I actually came from. I would know without a doubt if I came from Charles Kilgore Family Line or Thomas Kilgore Family Line. I would know what Matheny Family I still had left, if any. I would be able to find out all of this and more, and only for around a hundred bucks.

I always thought I would not do this, but after doing research for a school project, I think I might. I would love to know if I have family out there beyond the one's I know. I understand they do not give me living family names, but I would still be able to find out if I had any once I knew what lines were mine.

I think about this more and more and the more I research these generic names, the more I want to do it,

Thursday, March 10, 2016

HMMM Pedigrees

Yes...pedigree like the dog. LOL We are looking for our pedigree line and that is what the charts are all about. We need them to keep our famil;y lines in order. Without them, we can become lost in the lines. They can be confusing when we have charts and forget who a person belongs to. The chart can keep you focused.
When you start filling an eighteen generation chart, you will feel the love that it has taken and the time that has been spent doing this. Having one of those beauties on the wall all filled in is a dream of mine. I would love to have one for each of my family members.

I know they are not doing the work, but I love sharing the work and the fun. It is so amazing to me when I link the names and I can fill in a place that was empty. I have used the Pedigree Charts for many years and I try to have one for each family member so I can give them away. I also have a Family Group Record for each member of a family line.

The Family Group Record is a way to keep up with a family line and not add it to the generational chart. You can start with these records and build up to the generational chart. Having a record gives you a reference point for each family member. You will know children, spouses and maiden names at a glance and I appreciate that. It makes for an easier way to find the information that you have and add the information you find.

Now that we are filling in our information, we can go back to discussing how to find and how to research your family lines.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Beginners First Step

I was realizing that this blog may not have a starting idea but then it definitely does not progress you forward. So, I thought I would start us out on the journey and keep us in the journey better than I have been. I will start over with this and give help to those that may have questions. If you do, please do not hesitate to ask. I would love to answer and it will be fodder for the blog. Thanks.

Now, we start, of course, with ourselves. We then add our children and their families. This means having a separate folder inside the master folder that has been set up for the family name. If you are female, it is the husband's name that is on the master file. As a female, use your maiden name in all your research and information.

Like My name is Jodie Kilgore Masteller. I would have a master file that said Masteller and it would have Robert's daughter's family. That folder would have her married name on  a folder. Then there would be a master folder that had Kilgore, and that would be a folder that I would use for my family. It would have all my brothers and sisters, as well as my dad. Then I would have a file that was for my mom's maiden name and her siblings.

This is a great way to keep up with all family names inside of a family line. Once this is done, you can arrange a similar filing system on your computer. You can create folders and subfolders that hold all of the information that you have found online. One thing I highly recommend is that you record the databases you have searched and do so in hardcopy and on the computer.

Trying to remember all of the places you have been and the areas that you did and did not find information can be overwhelming. So many people do this type of research and do not record where they have been, what they found, and when they were there. It might also be a good idea to record any other pertinent information. I know I have found out the hard way that I should do this.

I have found family information only to lose it because I did not record the website address. It is so frustrating to know that the information was at your fingertips only to know you let it go. You never know when you will need the information again. Or you did not find anything and do not need to waste your time on the website. Either way, recording information hardcopy is important.

So, now we know where to start, how to start, with ourselves and our folders, and what to do to start. Next, we will talk about adding family members to trees and family group records and pedigree charts.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Future, Present and Past

It is so hard to find what we are looking for, that at times, we have to resort to creative ways of finding who we are looking for.  How we do so maybe just a tweak here or there, or it could be drastic enough to be a whole new name, but indeed your ancestors.

I have found my ancestors in states I never knew they had been, and not found them when I know they are supposed to be there. I have names of towns that my grandfather lived in that no longer exist if they ever did. According to him they did, but according to geography, they never did. This can be frustrating, but it can also be a way to drive yourself crazy.

I cannot find him when he lived in New Mexico, but he remembered it plain as day. I can find him in California and in his home state of Alabama. I can find him in Florida as he grew older and joined the service. I can trace him reasonably well. My grandmother was in the South her whole life and is easily traceble. My husband's family is another story. They can be traced to a certain date and no more.

The German line is traced to a small town and the town's church records were lost in a fire and the town's public records were lost as well. There was no way to trace a certain line past this point because there is no way to know where they came from before the town was established. This is a sad part of reality at times. There is no way to link the past with the future.


Thursday, March 3, 2016


We often speak of our ancestors because they are why we do what we do. We do not often talk about our posterity, our descendants, those that fill our lives and our shoes. I am brought to mind about them because my granddaughter's birthday is tomorrow. I remember it like it was yesterday, racing down to Orangeburg to be there at my daughter's side while she had her baby.

It is for this reason that we keep records and the reason we journal, or keep a diary. We want them to know about us, who we are, what we like, and how we felt. I am a blogger, but I am not a journaler. I leave my footprint in a different way, by blogging about what is happening in my head, my life and my passion.

When I try to write, my hand starts cramping, and I cannot write. Then I cannot type or anything. So I forget the journal, and I remember the blog. It is important that we leave records for our family so they can remember us and help their children to learn about us.  I just hope there is a way to access my blog in the future. :}

I do not take pictures very well, so I shy away from the camera. They are another way our posterity can help remember us, but you must take the photograph. It is beautiful when I find pictures of ancestor's I have never seen or barely remember. Older pictures are rare, but rare does not mean not there.  It just means that it makes the pictures priceless.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Archives and Indexing

It is so important that we remember to index anytime we get a chance. If volunteers will not do this, then the price of these records will become monstrous. They will no longer be free to those of us who do genealogy on a shoestring budget. The records will become part of the paid only parts of the websites.

I am so grateful for websites such as that offer so many archived records for free. It is so nice to use that word in relation to genealogy and family history. FREE. Not much is free in this passion of mine, as you well know. If a person could go and look themselves, then the records are there.

This is why it is so important, I mean really, how many of us can afford to go and look at the records firsthand? I know many of you are wondering how do you possibly get involved in doing indexing anyway? Well, I had that same question. I had to find out for myself. There is only one way that I know of.

I know people who do this and I do it myself. Indexing is the opposite, because you do not trace your line, but the friend of genealogy. Indexing only happens through volunteers that download software from The website offers truly free family history records and ways to build family trees. They offer the only downloadable indexing programs that I know of.

I truly appreciate the idea behind this project and I celebrate those that do indexing on a regular basis.  I try but do not get to regularly index the records. I have to say that it is very interesting to read the older obituaries, though. I recommend to all genealogists that they become indexers. It will help others and will help you decipher census records better too. Perk!