17 May 2013

Happy Dances Lead To Head Wounds

     I didn't have to work today, so I slept in a little and then decided to go to the Georgia Archive.  It was an interesting and somewhat fruitful trip.

     First off, I left my flash drive at home.  This is not the first time I've done this!  Since I realized this 45 minutes after leaving the house, I had to stop at CVS to get a new one.  Then, when I got to the Archive, all of the "good" (aka, electronic) microfilm readers were taken.  But it was close to noon by then, when the archive clears out a little as people break for lunch.

     Indeed, this is what happened and I soon found myself at one of the good readers with a bunch of microfilm.  I had a few records to find that I had already researched using online indexes, so I was quickly doing a happy dance.  I then set about to research my McCurley and Shiflet lines.... and came up empty.

     After a while of feeling like I wasn't getting anywhere I decided to switch over to my Alexander line.  I've traced this line back to my 4x Great Grandfather, George Alexander, but had gotten stuck.  I decided to look up all the wills in Elbert County, Georgia, for men named Alexander who died in a time period before my 4x Great Grandfather was 50 years old.  This resulted in only four men.  I then checked the listed children in the wills for sons named George.  This isn't full-proof (in fact there are numerous ways that this might not work at all), but it was my best strategy and it gave me one result: William Alexander.  He died in 1854 and his will mentioned a son named George.  After doing some at-home research, I think that this could be my guy.  More on that in a later post.

     By this point it was about 1pm.  One of the employees made an announcement that, due to demand, they were setting up sign-in sheets for the good microfilm readers and asked that anyone who had been at one for more than an hour make room for other patrons.  I'd been at mine for an hour and a half, so I gathered up my things and moved to a hand crank machine.  I was the only person who moved. Guy next to me and ladies across from me who'd been there before me? They didn't even pause.  Good folks all around...

     Standing at my downgraded machine, I went looking for a variety of records for ancestors who decided to up and move house in their later years.  Mostly, these are men who I can't find death records for, but online trees list as died in some random seeming location.  I had luck with one record: the will of John Cash, my 6x Great Grandfather.   As I was happily adjusting my machine to get photos of the record: THWAP!  I slammed (yes, slammed) the side of my head into the microfilm reader. Ouch! But yay...

     A short time later  was able to get back on an electronic reader and I did a little more research before heading home.  All together it was a pretty good trip, even if a little painful.

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