28 May 2008

Monday Memories

The Pink Easter Dress (circa. 1963)
When I was a little girl, there weren't a lot of place to go shopping, as far a clothes goes. There was Rich's, which is now Macy's, and then we had a new mall... they built a new mall - it was Columbia mall and they had a Sears there. So... and Sears had also what was called a Davidson's - I mean the Columbia Mall had a Davidson's too. But, Sears is where my mom took me shoppin for my Easter dress.

So, this particular year, the one that she found she really liked. And it was on sale and it was a good price and everything. And I thought it was really pretty too. And it was a pink dress and it had layers to it, so it had the.... the different layers. And it had this pretty little white jacket that went with it and it just looked adorable. But they didn't have it in my size. And mom and the sales rep... lady looked all over tryin' to find one in our size, but they just didn't have one. And then, all the sudden, Momma asked her about the one on the mannequin - what size that was. And the mannequin was up on top of the rack, so it wasn't like they could get to it real easy, but she found out it was a size 10, which is the size that they needed for me. So they undressed the mannequin and I got to try it on and it fit perfect. And it just looked... I just looked... Momma thought I just looked so pretty in it and it was just perfect for me. So she got the dress, and so she... of course we take it home and put it up and everything.

So then, unfortunately, I had a growing spurt and I kept growing. And I was just growing and growing and growing. Momma got upset with me on day and she said, "You're gonna have to stop growing you're gonna outgrow your easter dress."

So, sure enough come Easter, I didn't actually outgrow, but it was a little sho... a little shorter than what normally I was allowed to wear, during that time period. But we've got a picture of me in the pink dress, but I'm not wearing the jacket. So, I don't know if maybe I outgrew the jacket part, or if I just got somethin' spilt on it or if it was just really hot and I just wasn't wearin' my jacket whenever the picture was taken.

But that was always a big thing for us, was to have a new outfit to wear for easter.

26 May 2008

Memorial Day

In honor of memorial day, I remember my 4x great grandfather, Wiley Powell.

Private Powell enlisted July 29, 1862 as a private in the Confederate Army. A year and a half later, on January 24, 1864, he died in the hospital at Lynchburg, VA of “Phthisis Pulmonalis” or, Consumption of the lungs. He was buried at The Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg. He left behind a wife and ten children, the youngest less than a year old when he went to war.

Wiley Powell

24 May 2008

my take on the whole LDS/Catholic Records thing

So, a few weeks ago there was a big announcement by the Catholic Church, in which they stated that they would not make their records available to the LDS Church. This is due to the LDS tradition of baptizing the dead. I have to assume that some sort of talks took place but no resolution could be settled for the Catholic church to make such an extreme decision. 

Looking at forum posts and other feedback about this online, I'm very surprised about the downright selfishness of genealogists. Almost every comment I've seen attacks the Catholic Church's decision and calls them selfish. I just don't get it. This is about LDS church members refusing to respect another religion's practices & traditions. Because they continued to baptize Catholics after death, the Catholic Church did what it felt they needed to do to protect their church members. These records belong to the Catholic Church and they have the right to do with them what they will.

22 May 2008


These past few days I've been volunteering, and reaping the benefits of other volunteers. 

I've had great success using the website, Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness. I submitted a few requests and that very day received a response. A very helpful individual obtained cemetery photos for me from Rock Branch Baptist Church in Elbert County, Georgia.

I decided to return the favor, however indirectly, but signing up to volunteer myself. With a microfilm copy of the Atlanta (Journal) Constitution only minutes away, I thought I would volunteer to do lookups for obits.
I also saw an article in About.com's Genealogy Blog. The blogger talked about a volunteer project from FamilySearch.org and their FamilySearch Labs in which they sign up volunteers to index documents. So far I've indexed three pages of the 1870 Mass. Census and a page of Philadelphia 1885-1951 Marriage Indexes. It's actually very easy with the software you download from them. It takes less than 30 minutes to do each page (which is downloaded at random) and will be provided to genealogists for free.

19 May 2008

Monday Memory

As told by my mother:
Grandaddy Mack
When I was a little girl, my Grandaddy would come to visit, and his name, uh... his name was... Mack. And he would come to visit and he would bring Ruth, who was his wife. So we always called 'em Grandaddy and Ruth. And we would just have a wonderful time.
And my Grandaddy loved to tell stories and he would tell all kinda stories and some stories my brothers later told to me that he would tell about when he was a hobo. And so that would have been during the depression. He had left my Grandmother and my mom when she was a little girl... and lookin' for work and didn't come back until she was like, 14.
But, uh... one of the stories that he told 'em was about when he was a hobo and they said that he useta, um, ride the trains and everything. And he was tellin' 'em one day 'bout how they used to smoke this ol' wacky weed that they would find on the tracks. But, he uh... Anyway, they tried to tell me it was marijuana, but I said they were just tellin'... pullin' my leg. But, that's what they would say, but...
I was talkin' to my mom one time, long, long after that. And she said that, yeah, my grandfather was a great story teller and that he loved telling stories. And that as he would tell a story, he would get very involved in it 'cause people would enjoy it so much, and that, uh, he liked to embellish the stories. So, she said that you couldn't always believe everything that he told you, 'cause he just like to tell stories.
So... and that was my Grandfather, and his... born... he was born Vary Americus Huyler and, uh, had his name legally changed to Mack. So, that was my Grandaddy.

more movie clips

Also from the Albea Family Reunion - 1989 video 

18 May 2008

Home Movies

Part of the Albea Family Reunion 1989 was a recording of some old home movies from the 1950s (ish?). They feature my great-great grandmother, Nina Sprouse Albea and her daughter Martha Albea Faulkner and her husband, John Hoyt Faulkner. There's also another person in the video - maybe a grandson of Nina?

It was pretty neat to see such old home movies and to have recognized individuals in the movie. There's another set of folks in the movie that I don't recognize. They're Albea family members - the men all bear a resemblance to my granddady, who looked amazingly like his father, Charles Vernon Albea. But who they are specifically? Who knows. If you think you might recognize anyone on this family line, let me know and I can upload the other part of the home movie.

spending money

Genealogy is one expensive hobby. So far this year I've spent: 

$200 - Ancestry.com World Subscription
$271 - DNA Test
$8 - Footnote one month subscription
$10 - GenealogyBank one month subscription
$58 - Ancestry.com Family History Book
$12 - South Carolina Death Certificate
$505 - feeding the hobby

So, that's lots of money.... I took the hit on the ancestry subscription, but I used my economic stimulus check to buy the DNA test - there's no way I would have spent that money otherwise.

I just ordered the Family History Book today. I've been working on it for months now and I've just finished it. Although I don't know if it would ever be finished. I meant to order it back in April, when they had a coupon for mother's day. They now have a coupon for father's day (free leather cover with code: 'DAD2008' . I figured if I didn't buy the book now, I might never. I've got my fingers crossed that it turns out awesome.

16 May 2008

magic of video

My mom recently showed me a video the other day of the Albea Family Reunion in Greenwood, SC on 24 June 1989. Although the video was made by someone who didn't know much about filming and I don't know most of the folks in the video it's still great to have. My grandparents, Roy & Betty (huyler) Albea are in the video. It was a bit shocking to hear my grandaddy's voice - a voice I haven't heard since his death in 2005. 

One of the best parts of the video is when the 'first cousins' get together for a photo. These are the grandchildren of William and Nina (sprouse) Albea. I'm not sure who everyone is, but I can see my grandaddy and my aunts (say it the south carolina way: "aint")

Here's the photo and some of the video of the photo session:
Family Reunion

interviewing Mom

For years I've always asked mom to tell me stories about our family. Even when we were kids, my siblings and I (especially my sister), loved to hear stories about when we were "little." But we often got upset, as kids do, that my mom had more stories about my brother than about my twin sister and I. Although really, it was just that he got into more trouble than we did... a lot more trouble.

Now, as I've gotten into genealogy research, I try to have her tell me stories about her childhood and and other family stories that she might remember. But, I guess she a little shy and feels pressured if I just sit down next to her and ask her for a story. The result is usually that she won't give me a story and says that she can't think of something right then.

So, the solution: she will give me one story a week on Mondays. This gives her a chance to think up stories or memories about an individual in advance. I won't ask her for more than one story and I won't ask her on any day but Monday.

We record audio stories onto my family tree at Ancestry.com. I then transcribe them for my ged.com file. I'm hoping that this scheduled way of interviewing mom for stories will result in a goldmine of information about her childhood and her family.

Her's what I've heard so far:
"When I was a little girl, my cousin Sandra would come over and babysit us. And so, one summer we were all playing outside and Sandra was in the house and, so June and Charlie decided we were gunna to play barbershop. So I sat in the swing and they got a bucket of water, they went in and got a bowl and put water in it and soap and everything and brought it out and shampooed my hair. And then they said 'OK, you're threw." And I said, "no, it's a barbershop, you have to cut my hair." And they said, "no, we can't cut your hair." And I said, "yeah, you have to cut my hair, it's a barbershop." So, they went in the house and got the scissors, and came back and gave me a haircut. And they really gave me a good haircut!

And so we were all, by the time Mamma got home, we were all crying cause we just knew we were gonna get in trouble. And so, of course, Mamma was just... she was upset cause my hair was cut, but she was more upset that we were all cryin' and afraid and thought we were gunna get killed like Sandra said. So she started talkin' about how pretty my hair was and "oh, no, it look fine. It just needs to be trimmed up a little bit." and she trimmed it up and she made such a.... in trying to calm us down and get us to quit cryin', she made such a fuss over my hair that June had to have hers cut too.
So, Sandra would come to the door and she would say... she would look for us all and say "Where's Ruby?" And my sister June said... she would say, "Here she is, she's right here with us playing." And so finally after the third time coming to the door and not seeing me she said, "Where's Ruby?" and they said "she's right here," and they said "well, make her stand up so I can see her, cause I don't see her." And so, when I stood up she realized that I wasn't one of the little boys. And so she, she ran out there and she, she said "oh my gosh, your mom's going to kill us, you cut off all her hair."

The Chinaberry Tree:
I was too young to remember this but... when it happened, but mamma used to tell us sometimes about when we were little and June and Charlie and Lloyd were... I guess we were probably all out in the backyard and they were playin' Sheriff. And so, June or Charlie one was the Sheriff, and they had Uncle Lloyd and they had gotten him up on the tricycle and somehow they had gotten a rope around the chinaberry tree limb and they were gunna hang Uncle Lloyd.
Now, fortunately, mamma looked out the door... out the back door to check on us and saw Lloyd on the tricycle. And she was afraid to haller because she's afraid she'd scare us. So she had to go runnin' out the back door and she grabbed Uncle Lloyd so that she could get the noose off his neck before they kicked the tricycle out from under 'em. So, you never know what kinda crazy stuff that we were doin' when we were kids. but, anyway, it was just playin', fortunately mamma caught us in time.
The Sarah and Valerie Song:
Once upon a time there were two little babies
two little babies, yes there were
Once upon a time there were two little babies
two little babies, yes there were
There was Sarah and there was Valerie,
There was Sarah and there was Valerie.
Sarah and Valerie had a big brother,
had a big brother, yes they did
Sarah and Valerie had a big brother,
had a big brother, yes they did
His name was Allen,
and he was eight years old
His name was Allen,
and he was eight years old.....
And this is the song that I would sing to Valerie and Sarah over and over again, whenever I was trying to teach them what their names was, and what Allen's name was. Because I just felt that having two babies at the same time it would be hard to teach them their individual names. So they wouldn't think they were 'Sarahandvalerie'.

15 May 2008

Archival Preservation

Thanks to a few websites, I have a bit of a better idea of some archival products to use on my documents. Brodart - Library Supplies and Furnishing has some 'how to's':
  • Use cotton gloves to handle documents and then handle them as little as possible. (Although in the Archives class I took, the prof mentioned that cottons gloves are not always the best choice. Sometimes bare hands are better on paper documents, since the gloves can make, for example, book pages hard to handle.)
  • Test documents with a pH pen to determine whether or not the document is acidic or alkaline, which will help determine what products to use. (In my Archives class they said that no documents are ever free of this scale, but are always one or the other).
  • Keep documents out of the light when possible, and in dry areas.
  • Put all documents in plastic sleeves (mylar) with no more than 10 documents per sleeve. Place archival paper or tissue between documents.
  • Buffered tissue is for cotton, flax, lenin and jute, as well as color photos. This neutralizes acids.
  • Non-Buffered tissue is for wool, silk and textiles, as well as b&w photos. This has a 'neutral' pH.
  • De-acidify newspapers, which are very acidic.  There are sprays for this.
So, that's a start. Now I just need to see about reviewing my documents to see what I need specifically.

14 May 2008

finding obits

I'm lucky enough to live near a library that has the Atlanta Journal Constitution on microfilm. The AJC, in it's many forms, goes back to 1868 and the entire publication is available on microfilm, while only sections are available online (for a fee). Every now and them I'm able to go down to the library and find obituaries. Today's findings:


I have some old documents in my possession that I want to preserve. I have two old marriage licenses/certificates from the 30s & 40s, death certificates as old as 20 years and a family Bible from the 1910s(?) that's literally falling apart at the seams.
I've looked at products that are available, but it's confusing on what to buy. Everything is being stored in archival safe boxes, but beyond that... Should I use acid-free tissue or paper? Buffered or non-buffered? Is it safe to use a de-acidification (is that a word?) product on these old documents?
So, it's off to do a little research...

More to Louise's Bible than we thought

I've been meaning to purchase some archival safe products for a while now (gloves, boxes, tissue, etc). I have some boxes and envelopes for old photos, but I'd like to also protect my documents as well. One of the documents that's most important is my great-great grandmother (straight maternal line), Louise Smith Waters, family bible

     We have the Bible in an archival safe box, but I'd like to protect the pages with genealogy information by placing acid-free tissue or paper between them (that choice is another topic entirely). So, Mom & I got out the Bible to measure it. The Bible is old and delicate. The bindings are all gone, except for a few strings and a memory of more solid bindings. Heck, all of Genesis is missing. Anyway... tangent - back on topic.

     We were turning some pages, trying to remember where the Family pages belonged before they were moved to the front of the Bible, when I found writing on a page that stated,
" Alma Water + Edward T. Underwood were married Dec_15_1948."

     I was very surprised to find this. We had no idea that there were family dates in the Bible except for what had been recorded on the pages included for this purchase. So, we started at the beginning and flipped through the entire book. In the end we found four pages where extra info had been recorded on blank pages. Now, none of this information is going to break down a brick wall, but it was very surprising and exciting.
My favorite page is probably the one that records dates that relate to World War II. Check the pages out:
Huyler, Smith, PooleWorld War IIAlma & TobyLeverett Waters

12 May 2008

looking for the death of William L. Barfield

I visited the Hawhammock cemetery down in Swainsboro a few years ago, in search of some Barfield and Boatright ancestors. I found quite a lot of them, including many of the folks in this photo:
Barfield Family William Barfield
Susan Frances Boatright Barfield

Sallie Ledora Barfield Britt
J. B. Barfield

So, I have the birth and death dates for these individuals, as stated on their head stones. I'm particularly interested in William L. Barfield (the father in the photo). I have little information on his parents and would love to be able to extend the line.

• William L. "Bill" Barfield was born on 5 Jun 1872 and died on 22 Jul 1924 according to his headstone.
• The 1880 Census of District 52 (aka District 1208, Emanuel Co., GA lists him as living in the Logue household, (which is his wife's family) before his wife was born. It appears that he and his sister Susen were raised by his to-be grandfather-in-law.
• He is listed as "Bill" on the 1920 Census of Emanuel Co., GA (District 37, page 27A). The entire family is listed.
• In 1930, after his death, his mother, Sarah, was living with his wife, Frances and their children. This is the only information I have on his parents. Sarah Barfield is listed as a widow, although other researchers have suggested that she was never married and that Barfield is her maiden name.

So, in search of more information, I've been looking for his death certificate. I've searched Georgia's Virtual Vault, where death certificates from 1919-1927 are posted, but I can't find William's certificate. He died in 1924 - so it should be there. I've also searched Ancestry.com's Georgia Death Certificates and can't find anything that looks right there either. I don't know if he didn't have a death certificate issued, or if it's filed under a different name... This is the shortest brach on my tree, and I'd love to be able to grow it more.

07 May 2008

family tree DNA testing

We received the Family Tree DNA test on Monday. It took exactly seven days to arrive, just as advertised. The test came with three cheek "scrapers" and three vials. The instructions said that the tester should wait three to four hours between taking each test. Because Dad wanted me to help him take the test and because I only see him for a few hours each afternoon, we did one test a day for the past three days. 

Aside from having to wait so long between test, I only had two other gripes about the process. First, the cheek "scrapers" are little pieces of felt(?) on the end of a stick that's inside a tube. Once you're done getting your cell samples, you push the end of the stick through the tube, which releases the felt (or whatever it was). This is actually a tiny bit difficult and I almost thought I'd destroyed one test when I bent the stick while trying to push it through. I got it in the end though.

The second gripe - the return envelope for the test samples is NOT pre-paid. I had to pay $1.13 in postage to send the test back ($1.48 actually because I didn't have the exact amount in stamps). I've already given them $371, the least they could do is pay return postage. The free SMGF test did...!

We'll have the test back in the mail tomorrow and should receive our results in seven weeks.

returning the test

using footnote.com

After using footnote.com for a few days, I'm considering continuing on after the seven day trial. Although the available documents are somewhat spotty and random, are are quite interesting and valuable. The only hard part is finding the document you're looking for. 

The basic search is a Boolean search. You can type in keywords that you're looking for in a document and use NOT to keep out what you're not looking for. For example, whenever I search for 'Georgia' I always add 'NOT constitution,' otherwise I'd get thousands of results back from newspapers.

The Beta search is pretty good. It's an advanced sort of search, where you can search for keywords inside of an already exhisting search. For example, after searching for 'Georgia NOT constitution,' I can then search for 'Emanuel county.'
What's difficult is that not all documents have good keywords attached. It's nice when users have added annotations to documents, which is like adding searchable keywords. This will be what makes this site great - interactions from users.

05 May 2008


I signed up for a free seven day trial for footnote.com today. They have tons of historical scanned documents, but they're a little hard to explore. The search is a basic Boolean search of either all documents on the site, or specific categories, such as Revolutionary War Service Records, Naturalization Records for certain states, Newspapers, Confederate Papers, etc.

So far, I've only found records for one ancestor, Wiley Powell. Wiley died during the civil war from illness. I was able to find records of his service, illness and death.

Wiley Powell DiedWiley Powell DiedWiley Powell Sick
There are a few more that you can check out on flickr.

04 May 2008

Ashley's Family

I'v been working on my friend Ashley's family tree lately. Her family includes surnames such as: Short, Melvin, Mocaby, Murry, and Tallent. It's a nice brake from research my own family, because hers is very different. Her family lived mainly in Illinois, unlike mine (GA/SC) or my sister's husbands (PA/NY). 

Today I'm trying to back up my sources. I did the same thing with Ashley's family tree as I did with mine - I didn't record a lot of my sources. I've found two WWI Draft card registrations, that have really helped. I'm also waiting on more information from her mom to help flesh out the tree and help my research.


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