29 November 2009

In The Kitchen - Carrot Cake

ingrediantsFor the three major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter) there were certain dishes that each family member was responsible for. For my mom, one of those was Carrot Cake. This recipe comes from a bag of Colonial Sugar. My grandmama found it after trying many recipes. She said that it was the cake closest to what she was looking for.

For me, the making of this cake is required for the holidays - even though I don't hardly eat it. If we didn't have this cake on the table, it wouldn't be the holidays.

Here's the recipe, on the cards my Grandmama originally wrote them on:

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

SNGF - Look-a-likes

For this week's fun, Randy has given us a mission to use myheritage.com's facial recognition tools to see what famous folks we look like. I decided to use what is possibly my most very favorite of all my family photos, one of my Grandmama, Betty Huyler Albea.

Betty Huyler
I'm not sure why I love this photo so much. I never though of my grandmama as she appears in this photo. Here she is absolutely gorgeous in a very classic way. As a child, I never thought of her in terms of "pretty" - she was just grandmama. But now I can see her when she was young and see that she was beautiful.

She's also rather young in this photo, but is dressed up with makeup and stylish hair. I assume that this photo was taken after she was married (age 15). I know she once got in trouble with her grandmother Lou for wearing nail polish, so I don't think the lipstick would have gone over well either.

Also, I'm drawn in by the expression on her face. It's an expression that seems older than she is. She didn't have it easy as a child and was always a very practical, tell it like it is, don't ignore it because it's not happy, sort of person.

Also, she didn't like having her photo taken, so this is the only real portrait (non-snapshot) of her as an adult.

But I digress, the mission was to find famous folks who look like our photo. So, here she is (I think these are pretty good picks).

28 November 2009

Surname Saturday - Smith

Like many others, I have a troublesome Smith family in my lineage. And, like others, the popularity of the name makes the family hard to trace.

Richard T. Smith Death CertMy Smith family can be traced to Richard T. Smith, who was born on either 2 Jan 18291 or 11 Feb 18302, depending on the document you're looking at. He died on 24 Oct 1920 in Rockdale County, Georgia1.

Based on Census records, he married Eliza UNKNOWN around 1848, and then Rachel Garman on 18 Aug 18703. His children from his first marriage were Paulina or Priscilla, Lucresy, Delmus, Amanda, Richard and Sarah. From his second marriage, his children were William, Mary J, James Henry, Aaron M, Louise, Louisa, Albert H, and Clarence. I descend through Louisa Smith, who married Leverett Waters. Bible ChaptersThese names are based on census and Bible records. I find it curious that Louise recorded only her full-blooded siblings and not her half siblings in her Bible. It's made me wonder if I have the correct families, but at least some of the siblings from different marriages are listed together on census records.

I have a good amount of information on Richard, but not enough to find his parents. According to his death certificate, his parents were George Smith and Mary Lane, both of Virginia. I haven't been able to locate this couple. I also have not been able to find a listing for Richard in the 1850 census. At that time, he should have still been single and, hopefully, living with his parents. He was likely in Fulton, Cobb, Milton or in the surrounding Georgia counties.

Right now I'm working on tracing the lines of his children to try and make a connection with other family members. Also, I'm continuing to search the 1850 census for him. If you're connected to this Smith family, I'd love to hear from you.

1. “Certificate of Death for Richard T. Smith,” 24 Oct 1920, File No. 29598, Georgia Bureau of Vital Statistics, http://www.flickr.com/photos/genealogyphotos/137928528/.
2. “Georgia, Confederate Pension Applications, 1879-1960 about Richard T Smith,” Rockdale County, 1906, GCP-406, Confederate Pension Applications, Georgia Confederate Pension Office, RG 58-1-1, Georgia Archives.

3. Edna Strickland [ednab@mindspring.com]. “MILTON COUNTY, GA - VITALS MARRIAGES Alphabetical Groom.” [http://files.usgwarchives.net/ga/milton/vitals/marriages/groom.txt].

25 November 2009

Google Wave Invites

Any genealogists need a google wave invite? I've got 8. I'm only inviting family history researchers, so show me you're a genealogist and I'll send you an invite.

Writing to Hawhammock

In an effort to expand my genealogy research strategies, I'm challenging myself to try a new, non-internet, avenue of research each month. This month, I'm going to contact the church of my Boatright ancestors. Hawhammock Missionary Baptist Church is located in Swainsboro, Emanuel, Georgia.

I started my inquiry by trying to research the best ways to contact churches. I didn't find much. From Family Tree Magazine, I found a list of Church Record Resources, including the American Baptist Historical Society (though FTM has the wrong link, I was able to find their site via google). From their website, I found that they, "have found that Baptist church records are generally not helpful for genealogical research." This is mainly due to adult baptism that is not recorded, the fact that marriage is not regarded as a sacrament and records are not often kept, and because there is no regulated administrative policy. They do, however, keep records of those who served the church as pastors or missionaries.

Well, regardless of this, I'm still going to attempt to contact the church to see if they have information. I read in someone else's research that my ancestor, Reubin Boatright, was a deacon of the church. Also, many of his family members are buried there, so the church might have some burial or death information.

Here's the letter I'm sending via the contact form on their website:

I'm contacting you to inquire about your church's history. I'm an avid genealogist and my ancestors were members of your church, many of whom are buried there.
I was wondering if your church kept records of your members? My ancestors include Reubin Boatright (1794-1878) and his wife, Demaris Boatright (1829-1900) and their son, Stephen Boatright (1863-1950) and his wife Dora Logue (1863-1935).
I apologize for making this such a broad request, but I'm not sure what information you might have, if any. I would be grateful for information that your records may contain and would be more than willing to compensate your for your time.
Thank you for any assistance."

I'm not sure how good this letter is, but I guess I'll find out when (if?) I receive a response.

Kindle 2.3 Upgrade Helps Genealogy Research

Kindle PDF support Yesterday I upgraded my Kindle from firmware version 2.0.3 to version 2.3. This upgrade offers quite a few new useful updates for me in regards to my Genealogy research.

First, my Kindle now support PDF documents, a format regularly used in genealogy publication. Previously, a PDF document appeared jumbled and messy, often missing parts of the document. If there were photos and charts, they would appear sporadically or as blank shapes. Now, PDFs appear just as they do on a computer screen.

Second, my Kindle now supports landscape view. This is handy in viewing PDFs, as there is no zoom and the text cannot be resized. This will also come in handy with viewing websites, or as simply another way to read books. Button placement is a bit awkward in landscape mode though.

So, now I'll load my genealogy PDFs onto my Kindle, such as The Best of the Photo Detective by Maureen A. Taylor and Citations Quick Reference from geneabloggers.com. I can now use these documents, whereas before they were illegible. I hope Amazon keeps on sending out helpful upgrades like these.

Wordless Wednesday - Lookalikes

Sarah Britt Craft craft_tricia3

24 November 2009

Supporting Documents (Hello DAR series)

So, I've sent off for a record copy of a previously submitted DAR application for my patriot ancestor, Daniel Boatwright. I'd like to be able to use this application to submit my own application. I can see that this lineage follows through at least the three oldest generations of my own lineage. I'll be able to use this previous research to aid my application because my lineage "has already been proven by the DAR."

In general, I need to be able to prove every fact that I record for my application. So, if I say 'A' is the father of 'B,' I need a document to prove that. Here's the documentation that I have for individuals in the direct line:
  • Me: Birth Certificate
  • My Dad: Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate
    • My Mom: Birth Certificate
  • Sarah F. Britt: Birth Affidavit, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate, Census
    • Thomas S. Craft: Birth Affidavit & Amended Birth Certificate, Death Certificate, Census
  • S. Ledora Barfield: Death Certificate, Marriage Record, Census
    • Nathan Britt: Death Certificate, Census
  • S. Frances Boatright: Death Certificate, Marriage Record, Census
    • William Barfield: none
Stephen & Dora Logue Boatright - marriage
  • Stephen T. Boatright: Death Certificate, Marriage Record, Census, Record Copy
    • M. Dora Logue: Census
  • Reubin Boatright: Census, Record Copy
    • Demaris Rich: Census
  • Daniel Boatright: Record Copy
    • Margaret Brasswell: Book information, Land lottery
So, I think that I'm set for the most part (?). You can see many of the documents here. Anything in the last thee generations that I don't have a record for will be proven by the pre-existing application. I'm not sure exactly how that works, but I've been told that I can use it as proof.

The only person that I do not have documentation for is William Barfield, who married into the family. I have documentation for him from his marriage on, but nothing to show who his parents were - because I really don't know who they were. But, I don't think that will effect my application. I'd also like to send for Dora Logue Boatright's death certificate. I don't believe it's necessary, but I should have it for my records anyway.

In the next post, I'll talk abut the information I have on my patriot ancestor and his wife.

I'm Guilty! A Challenge

I must admit that I'm guilty. I know it and I've done little to change my ways. I've been neglecting all but the tip of the genealogical iceberg. In other words, I'm basically an internet genealogist.

OK, so I'm not 100% glued to the internet. There are a few non-internet research methods I've used: mailing off for death certificates and a few social security apps, walking cemeteries, researching in the books at the local library, looking up obits on microfilm at the local library, driving down to the Atlanta library to look at City Directories.... and that's about it. I haven't visited an archive (30 miles & 60 miles), I haven't visited the local Family History Center (2 miles), I haven't written or visited any of the Churches of my ancestors, I haven't requested any of the many different types of records available from the national archives, I haven't interviewed any relatives outside my immediate family, etc.

There are a great many resources that I've been ignoring - partly because there are so many records available online. My main areas of research are Georgia and South Carolina. Both have a decent amount of records online. For Georgia, the Georgia Virtual Vault is an amazing resource. I've found tons of marriage records, death certificates, land records, war records and photos from the Georgia Archive. For South Carolina, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History has supplied me with wills, war records and land records. On top of that, both states have a good amount of records online at Ancestry.com - a site that I've been subscribing to as long as I've been researching my family history.

So, I'd like to try and expand my research strategy. I want to challenge myself to pursue at least one new non-internet research strategy each month. I might mail off for a record, I might right a letter to a relative or an organization, I might visit an archive or a Family History Center, I might interview a relative.

I have a few goals in mind while pursuing these avenues of research.
  • I'd like to find more information about my relatives. That is the purpose of genealogy research in general and, by ignoring these resources, I'm ignoring a lot of information.
  • I'd like to expand my knowledge of these different research tactics in general. Part of the reason that I haven't try these research methods is because I don't quite know how they work. Once I try them, I'll have more knowledge of research strategies.
  • I'd like to challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone. This applies to my entire life, not just to my genealogy research.
To start with, I'd like to contact my Boatright ancestor's church (Hawhammock Missionary Baptist Church near Swainsboro, GA) and find his revolutionary war records. Does anyone have any advice for these avenues of research?

23 November 2009

Floor Plans - Mom's First Remembered Home

When Mom was born, her family lived on Moreland Ave in Atlanta. By the next year, when her brother Lloyd was born, the family was living in College Park, just south of Atlanta. About two years later, the family moved to an unfinished house on Thompson Circle in Decatur, Georgia. This is the first house that Mom has memories of.

According to the real estate website, Zillow, the house was built in 1959 and is 1,426 square feet with three bedrooms and one bath.

Here's a floor plan that she drew of the house:

Here's the house on Google Maps:

22 November 2009

A Weekend Link - Orphaned Photos

While browsing the Genealogy group on Flickr today, I saw an account name that I recognized: DeadFred.com. It turns out that the man behind DeadFred.com also has an active flickr account where he posts "OOGP's" (aka old orphan genealogy photos).

Take a few minutes to review his set of orphan photos and see if you can identify anyone. There are 1550 photos posted to this collection. Some of them have names and places listed, so try searching for names and places to narrow down the photos you're looking at.

21 November 2009

Surname Saturday - Boatright

My Boatright / Boatwright ancestors lived mostly in Emanuel County, Georgia. This is the family line that I'd like to use to apply to the Daughter of the American Revolution.

The furthest back I have in my tree is Daniel Boatright. He was born in 1762 in SC and died in 1818 Emanuel Co, GA, according to a memorial marker at Hawhammock Cemetery near Swainsboro, GA. He also spent time in Burke County, GA.

This is a bounty plat of his land in Burke County in 1792. (courtesy of Georgia Archive [http://content.sos.state.ga.us/u?/looseplats,4882]).

His wife was Margaret Braswell and their children included Betsy, Mary, Permelia, Charles, Nancy and, my ancestor, Reubin.

Following my ancestral line, from Reubin to his son, Stephen, and to his daughter, Frances, my Boatright ancestors stayed in Emanuel County. A great many of them are buried at the Hawhammock Church Cemetery. According to information at the websites, Boat(w)right Family History in America, Reubin Boatright was a founder of that church.

I'd like to find more information on Daniel and, hopefully, his ancestors. I plan to request information on his service during the American Revolution.

19 November 2009

Hello DAR - I'd like to make your acquaintance

So, about a year ago I faxed off a request for a record copy of my ancestor, Daniel Boatwright, to the DAR. I was using the fax machine at work and it's not the most reliable of machines. I suspect they never received it - because I never received a response. Then I never got around to sending my request again.

Yesterday, I saw on blogs and on twitter that the DAR had made an online search form available. I was able to look up my ancestor and see his information. I also saw that someone else has already submitted an application through the next two generations of Daniel's descendants that follow my line. I think this will make things easier for me (?).

So, I decided once again to send off for the record copy. This time, I mailed it. I tried to specify which of Daniel's descendants I wanted and, specifically, with his second wife.

I'm curious as to what I will receive back. There's a lot of information on the DAR's website, and with the unfamiliar terminology, I'm getting a little confused. According to their site, the "previously verified DAR membership and supplemental applications can be used as genealogical research tools as well as documentation for new applications." But, "record copies only consist of the application, and not copies of the supporting documentation that originally accompanied it." I seems that the supporting documents must be requested separately.

I'm not sure if I'm going to get any information from my request besides statements of descent. Will this be helpful? Should I go ahead and request the supporting documents?

I suppose that what I should really do is contact a local DAR chapter (Philadelphia Winn Chapter of GA who's website was on Geocities and is now gone). I'm sure they'd be able to help me.... but I'm going to shoot myself in the foot and go it alone for now. I'm just not a people person. I'm probably going to put off contacting anyone for a while. I know it'll slow me down, but what can I say...

Anyway, this is the lineage I'm following:
  1. Me
  2. My Father (m. my mom)
  3. Sarah F. Britt (m. Thomas S Craft)
  4. S. Ledora Barfield (m. Nathan Britt)
  5. S. Frances Boatright (m. William Barfield)
  6. Stephen T. Boatright (m. Dora Logue)
  7. Reubin Boatright (m. Demaris Rich)
  8. Daniel Boatwright (m. Margaret Braswell)
I have death or birth certificates and copies of marriage certificates or licenses for every generation but the last two. I'm wondering: What other documents should I collect? Do I need multiple documents for each generation? Do I need the documents of Daniel's service? Do the documents need to be originals, or will copies do?

Well, I guess I'm off for more research on how this works.

14 November 2009

Surfing Google Wave

So, I received an invite to Google Wave. I'm very curious to see what can be done in Genealogy with Google Wave. Well, I'm still not 100% sure how this might affect Genealogy, but I do know that it's pretty confusing to start with. I've been exploring for a little over an hour.

Although there are a number of "introduction to Google Wave" waves that newbies are automatically added to, I still had a lot of questions. So, I googled Google Wave. Here are a few helpful things I've learned so far:
  • To find a wave, type "with:public" and your search term. For example, "with:public Genealogy" will find the genealogy waves.
  • When you create a wave, add 'easypublic@appspot.com' to the wave. Google recommends adding 'public@a.gwave.com,' but I couldn't get that to work.
  • Waves show up in your "inbox" just like email messages. When there's a new post, a number is added next to the wave's title. You'll have to click on every post (AKA blip) in a wave to get this number to go away, or click "read" at the top of the wave. Easily navigate each blip in a wave by utilizing your up and down arrow keys.
  • You can expand a wave to take up the whole screen by hitting the maximize button on the top right of the wave's box.
  • Also, you can click the minimize button to send the entire box up to the top of the screen onto a toolbar like area. It'll work like a pull-down menu now.
  • You can add maps, photos and gadgets to blips. Start a new blip and then utilize the options on the toolbar that appears.
These are just a few things that I've noticed so far. I'm sure there are a lot of other features that I've yet to discover.

11 November 2009

Waters Men in the Navy

Waters Family With a name like 'Waters,' when it's time to join the military, you'd go with the obvious: the Navy. And that's what my Great-Uncles did. Milton, Lewis (LC), and Jack Waters all enlisted in the Navy and, I believe, served throughout World War II.

I don't have much to go on aside from family stories, photographs, and grave markers. Unlike army records, which seem to abound on sites such as Footnote and Ancestry, Navy records are relatively scarce. Ancestry has been working to expand its collection of Navy Cruise Books, but so far I haven't found my Great-Uncles. Also, information seems a little hard to request without information on the sailor's service details. Because of this, and because these men aren't on my direct line, I haven't been able to find much information on them.

Here's what I do know:

Milton Waters (1916, GA -1966, FL) served in both the Marines and the Navy (this based on photos). I believe that he enlisted before the war. His grave lists his rank as AOM3 in the Navy for WWII (I don't know what that means and I'm having trouble finding information on Navy Ranks and Rates).

In the Navy milton waters
In the Service

Lewis Cranford (LC) Waters (1920 - 1978, GA) served in the Navy. I can't find his tombstone and don't have any information on his rate. I do have photos of him from his ship. It seems that he served on the USS Barney, which at one time was docked in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. There, the crew took a bunch of photos. An arm patch in one photo, indicates that he was a Petty Officer 3rd Class.

LC Waters Milton & LC Waters
USS Barney The Crew

Jack Franklin Waters (1924 - 1961, GA) also served in the Navy for WWII. According to his gravestone, he was a S2 in the Navy Reserves for South Carolina. Aside from his grave, I only have one photo to give hint to his service.

Navy Jack Waters

I'd like to find more information on my Great-Uncles and their, but I don't have information such as service numbers and dates of service, which appear to be required to obtain information from the National Archives. I'm hoping that as online databases expand their records, they will put more emphasis on military branches besides the army.

If anyone has advice on researching Navy veterans, I'd love to hear it.

Wordless Wednesday

Pvt. Thomas Craft, USA army soldier

Pvt. Thomas Craft (left) in the USA Army

07 November 2009

Surname Saturday - Barfield

One of my brickwall families is the Barfield family of Glascock County and Emanuel County, Georgia.

Sara BarfieldThe family line can be traced to Sarah, the mother of my Great-Great Grandfather, William L. Barfield. According to her death certificate, Sarah was born 27 Aug 1851 in Glascock County, GA and died on 22 Dec 1936 in Emanuel County, Georgia. On census records, her name is often spelled as Barefield. Through 1900 to 1930, she is found living with her daughter, Susan Emma Barfield Wells. In 1900, she is also living with another daughter, Amanda.

I cannot find reference to Sarah before 1900. I do not know her parents' names and her death certificate lists her parents as "unknown." I do not know her husband's name.

This photo of Sarah was sent to me by a distant cousin, Mitch Keown, who is also a descendent of William L. Barfield.


In summery:

Sarah Barfield

- Birth: 27 Aug 1851 , Glascock, GA

- Census: 1900 Sheet 24, District 9, Militia District 1168, Glascock, GA

- Census: 1910 Sheet 14 B, District 10, Militia District 1168, Glascock, Georgia

- Census: 1920 Sheet 3 A, District 23, Militia District 1168, Glascock, GA

- Census: 1930 District 8, Militia District 57, Emanuel, GA

- Death: 22 Dec 1936 , Emanuel, GA

- Children: William "Bill" L (1872-1924)

Emma Susen (~1876-)

Amanda C. (~1888-)

01 November 2009

More Music in the Family

In a previous post, I wrote about the musical instruments on my ancestors, which are in the possession of my cousins. In the post, I mentioned that the family was related by marriage to two early country music recording artists.

The Bouchillons One of those musicians was Christopher Allen Bouchillon. Chris was born in Oconee County, SC on 21 Aug 1893 and is credited with originating the "talking blues" style. He recorded a number of songs with his brothers as "The Bouchillon Trio" and as a solo artist. Chris married my Great-Great Aunt Ethel Waters, sometime after 1920. It was the second marriage for both of them.

I had no idea until I started researching Chris, but it turned out that Ethel's entire family was musical. Her father's and siblings sang and played musical instruments. The cousins who have their instruments say that the family played at barn dances. It's probably how Ethel and Chris met: mingling in local Atlanta musical circles.

In 1928, "Mr. and Mrs. Bouchillon" recorded a series of comedic talking songs.1 You can hear a 30 second clip here. Ethel was about 25 years old when this album was recorded. It's very strange to hear a recording this old and knowing that you are listening to the voices of your ancestors!

It is interesting to note, however, that music was not Chris' main profession. In the 1930 census he's listed as a sewing machine salesman.

1. Tony Russell and Bob Pinson, Country Music Records: A Discography, 1921-1942 (Oxford University Press, 2004), 119-120.


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