Ten Brick Wall–Homework Assignment

February 15, 2012

Why listen to Webinars?

I have been following the Legacy Family Tree Webinars for a while. Each is rewarding as I learn something from each one. I have heard some of the presenters speak online, and in person. Today was no exception.

I have had the honor of speaking with and hearing Marian Pierre-Louis a number of times, and again, learn from her each time. Today that topic was Ten Brick Wall Tips for Beginners. It’s currently available to listen to on the Legacy Family Tree website.

She has a number of Blogs, that I’ll mention here. Each are worth taking a look at:

However, this one was different for me. If you have been following this blog, I have spent some time talking about a Brick Wall for another Genea-Blogger, Randy Seaver. His brick was is to find the parents of William Knapp (1776-1857). I was hoping that I had missed one or more of her Ten Brick Wall Tips. After reading the research of Randy for William, he certainly covered them. And he did. But his brick wall, for me, is a teaching experience. Give me some experience is researching a Brick Wall.

For me, this webinar was a test. Marian mentioned a couple of times to Review Your Documentation. What I have been doing on this project is reviewing research that has already been done, then to create my own research to see if there was anything, any record, any document that hadn’t been looked at. Randy had great documentation. But, I had to find something new, or at least try to find something.

Marian talked about Verbally Discussing your Research and to Blog Your Brick Wall. Although Randy and I didn’t physically talk, until early February, email and his family file is how this step was accomplished.

But, let me step back a moment. I was looking to see how I really got started with this brick wall. I posted this Blog post in August, 2008 and the first comment was from Randy.

http://ftmuser.blogspot.com/2008/09/family-tree-maker-2009-new-tree.html

He mentioned that his was researching the Knapp and Auble surnames in Sussex County, New Jersey. Two things struck me, Sussex County is the next county to the north of what I live AND my wife has Knapp’s in her family. We have visited Cemeteries in North Jersey and at least one County Historical Society along the way.

I did a series of about 25 Blog posts on how I use the Family Tree Maker program with this Brick Wall.

For example: Marian suggested we use a Map. There is the Blog Post I did using a Map for this Brick Wall

http://ftmuser.blogspot.com/2011/12/file-sharing-and-brick-walls-part-14.html

The blog will give more details, but the Red Box in the upper Right is where William Knapp was born (Dutchess County) and he died in Newton, NJ. The red arrow showed his movement to Middlesex County NJ, where he met and married Sarah Cutter, then in 1823 moved to Newton.

2012-Places-Knapp

The Blue Line is the Direct route between the two places. (Birth and Death). Having done some research with my wife, her Knapp’s followed that Blue Line and State Route 94 connects those two places.

One of the Question, thus far unanswered, WHY Dutchess County to Middlesex County, then Sussex County?

Marian shared several ways that she tracks what she has and hasn’t looked at. I did that with my To Do or Task List.

http://ftmuser.blogspot.com/2011/11/file-sharing-and-brick-walls-part-5.html

In her talk, Marian suggested to create a Time Line. In fact, this was very helpful. One of the issues with this brick wall, was that William and Sarah Knapp weren’t showing up in Census Records. What we did have was Birth Dates and Places for the children.

KnappTimeLine1

We can see that William Knapp (son) was born in Woodbridge, New Jersey, then Manning was born in Newton, New Jersey.

Why NOT in Census Records was a question?

A review of the Timeline for Sarah Cutter Knapp (Williams wife) didn’t show much, but still thinking Census, a look at Sarah’s father’s Timeline may show us something.

KnappTimeLine2

So, he died in 1823, within a month after William, the son was born. Were they living with Sarah’s parents between 1804, when William and Sarah were married and when they moved to Newton?

One of the reasons, besides the challenge, is that I AM familiar with the Geography where William Knapp lived and died. The question about Why did he move from NY to NJ is one of them. We’re talking about 1777 – 1804. What means of transportation, beside the Why move question. By road, not very easy. BUT, as Marian pointed out, the River, Hudson in this case might have been the most direct route between NY and NJ at that time.

Might his trade, Shoemaker, play a role in this? Don’t know the answer to that yet, but not far from where William was married is Perth Amboy, then a seaport. To ships need folks involved with leather work?

The Place Names haven’t changed much, BUT what did change was that Dutchess County was the Place where William was born. However, later Dutchess County spun off what is now Putnam County. So WHERE, exactly he was born now doubled in size and where the records might be found.

In one of Randy’s blog posts brought up the Naming Patterns that Marian talked about. Randy and I both have reviewed that several times. We do have one unique name of Williams children. Not luck there either.

Marian talked about “Get Local”. That is where I come in. I can get to the Historical Society in Newton in about 20 minutes, and have done that a couple of times.

They have a large library of documentation that is NOT online. That was just confirming what Marian told us. The Knapp Lateral file had 3 or 4 pieces of paper in it.

On my first visit to the Historical Society, I was asked what I was looking for, and I told the gentleman. Sitting at the table, with his laptop computer, a few minutes later, a voice said “you won’t find that information on his death record”. I was looking for Williams parents. Huh? On this laptop, within a minute or two, he noted what records were in the New Jersey Archives.

Needless to say, I did take a day trip to the NJ Archives in Trenton, NJ and found the records “laptop man” had said. The column for the Parents Name was blank. The record I was looking at, was the only record about William that we have been able to find. Sure enough that box was blank. Did William even know who his parents were?

Looked for Probate Records, while at the Archives. No such luck. I did look for several other records, with very little luck. The unlucky records were NOT required by the state at the time, but might be held at the County.

Wasted trip to the Archives, No. But more negative evidence.

Returning to the Historical Society, laptop man, specialized in Deeds. The one thing that hadn’t shown up. So, my question were several. Why weren’t his parents listed, maybe the provider of the information didn’t know. OK, I’ll take that.

There were records of where William and his family lived. In fact, it was just down the street from the Historical Society. But no Deeds. However, there was a transaction that said “Where William Knapp currently resides”. So, no probate, no deeds, may indicate that he never owned property.

While listening to the webinar I am pretty sure, we (between Randy and I) used all 10 Tips for Brick Walls. Looking forward to the Intermediate Class which will come later in the year. Can’t wait.

Lesson Learned: Review, Review, Review and Don’t Stop your research Short.

For me, doing this blog post was one of those reviews to go back and see what else I missed.

Finally, Thank you Marian !!!!


52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy – Life Experiences

February 8, 2012

From Genea-Bloggers:

Week 5 – Life Experiences: Sometimes the challenges in life provide the best learning experiences. Can you find an example of this in your own family tree? Which brick wall ancestor are you most thankful for, and how did that person shape your family history experience?

This challenge runs from Sunday, January 29, 2012 through Saturday, February 3, 2012.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your thoughts on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

52-Weeks-Abundant

Sorry for running late on this, but it’s been a long, busy couple of days. Am finally catching up.

Being a RootsTech 2012, in Salt Lake City, was a real boost for me. The best part of the trip was to be able to spend time with Genea-Bloggers. I didn’t try to keep count as to how many of the 90+ Genea-Bloggers who were there that I met, but I think I met most of them. What an awesome group.

I have never been a writer, so this blogging “stuff” is out of my league. However, there are a couple of folks in my family tree who were writers, perhaps not by trade, but did a lot of writing.

My Great-Grandfather, Samuel Worthington, was one of them. I have copies of letters that he wrote “home” during the Civil War. Apparently, he also was a writer for his unit in the Civil War and was published in Ohio.

The second writer, was McHenry Howard. A little distant relative, but his writings provided a lot of detail for the 2nd Maryland Regiment (CSA), again for the Civil War. His writings gave detailed information on that regiment that put in perspective what a soldier’s life was like during that conflict.

But the real hero, for me, was my grandfather’s brother, Josiah Wistar Worthington, Col. V.C., U.S.A. His stories and letters are now in book format Hell and Beyond, a Diary of War and Captivity, Compiled and Edited by Frances Worthington Lipe.

This book is full of Uncle Wistar’s letters “home” telling his story of his captivity during the 2nd World War. He had been captured twice, and the poems, in the letters, helped communicate his experience without those letters being destroyed because of the content of them.

These three writers, brought home, their experience of their war to those their families. My experience of “war” was sent home in the form of audio tapes that I had sent home while I was in Vietnam. One of these days, I’ll have to get them put into digital format.


52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy–Free Offline Genealogy Tools

January 29, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your thoughts on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files. Week #4 – Free Offline Genealogy Tools

Week 4 – Free Offline Genealogy Tools: For which free offline genealogy tool are you most grateful? How did you find this tool and how has it benefitted your genealogy? Describe to others how to access this tool and spread the genealogy love.

52-Weeks-Abundant

Got caught up in a small project for one of my “Free Offline Genealogy Tools”.

I am a member of a group of genealogists that meet monthly at a local (not so local for me) Library. What is great about this group is the Name of the Group. Family History Interest Group.  They have been meeting for a little over 10 years at the Bernards Township Library, in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

The name of this group, to me, is key. It’s not just about genealogy, but the gathering of Family History. The group meets monthly, except for December, and has a wide range of speakers. Dan Lynch of Google Your Family Tree, Daniel Horowitz of My Heritage, to mention two national presenters. Book authors, TV program producers and many non-members have sharing with the group.

This group has it’s own long list of presenters, each sharing their own experience. Several times a year, a “Round Table” discussion is scheduled, where each person becomes a “presenter” either by asking questions or answering questions that are asked.

The former resource librarian and now the current Library Director has been gathering the speakers and the group for over 10 years. It’s a wonderful, FREE, Offline Resource.

The second Off Line Resource, for me, is the New Jersey State Archives. What I like about it, is that you can prepare for your visit by checking out that they have available before you go, then visit the most helpful group of staff around. They are always willing to show you where to find what you are looking for and some times help you find what you haven’t expected to find.

Lesson Learned: Visit your Local Library and your State Archives.


Open Thread Thursday: RootsTech 2012 Strategy

January 26, 2012

Genea-Blogger, Thomas MacEntee, today asked What our RootsTech Strategy will be for 2012. Please see his blog: Open Thread Thursday: What’s Is Your RootsTech Strategy?

Actually, I have thought about this in preparation for this awesome experience. Having attended several “regional” events, including the New England Regional Genealogy Society event last spring, I know that I don’t want to get overwhelmed with this event.

Trying to be involved with the Conference, as a participant, spending time in the Exhibit Hall, and networking with the 80+ Genea-Bloggers, I am sure that it can be too much to handle.

My plan, follow as much of the planned schedule that I have already planned on, BUT be flexible enough to make changes “on the spot”. There is a lot of opportunities to learn. I want to take advantage of that.

I like Thomas’ term micro blogging. I will have my iPad with me and will try that. I am going to use that to take notes, as I did at the NERGS last spring, but do the note taking in Evernote, which I have been using for Webinar Notes. Now to learn how to Copy and Paste, quickly, between Evernote and Twitter on the RootsTech 2012 AP on the iPad. But, I have a couple of days to learn that.

I hope you will bear with me on this Great Genealogy Adventure.


The Bucket List GeneaMeme

January 25, 2012

Genea-Blogger Jill Ball of Geniaus has started a Genealogy Bucket List GeneaMeme.

Since I am going to RootsTech 2012, I guess I should “get with the program”. So, here it goes:

The Bucket List GeneaMeme


The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you would like to do or find: Bold Type
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments after each item 

 

  1. The genealogy conference I would most like to attend is… RootsTech 2012. After sitting home, participating in what was being streamed, there was no way that I would miss this year. Lots to learn, but want to catch up with some Genea-Bloggers that I already have met, but want to meet those whose blogs I follow.
  2. The genealogy speaker I would most like to hear and see is… That’s not an easy question to answer. Through PodCasts, Blogs, Webinars, I have heard some of the speakers already. Having been to the FGS conference in Philadelphia a couple of years ago, and the NERGS conference in Springfield, MA this past spring, the Genealogy Society of Pennsylvania Ancestry Day, and a couple of other conferences all add to the list of speakers that I had wanted to hear. But, I am looking forward to hearing the speakers talk about upcoming technical capabilities that are coming our way. A couple of online resources that I don’t quit understand (yet) but want to. I have been through the schedule a couple of times and have picked the ones I want to see / hear, but also think that a couple of them will change.
  3. The geneablogger I would most like to meet in person is… Wow, this is a tough one. As of this time, there are 88 Genea-Bloggers going to be there. The number keeps going up. The short answer, all of the Genea-Bloggers that I haven’t met before. But two Genea-Bloggers who I will catch up with, because I have met them, but Thomas MacEntee, to thank him for ALL that he does for the Genea-Blogging community; Randy Seaver, to have a chat about his Brick Wall; and I can’t forget my Cousin Dear MYRTLE. (just to name a few)
  4. The genealogy writer I would most like to have dinner with is…Most like to …. Too many to mention, too little time.
  5. The genealogy lecture I would most like to present is…. Me, present? I don’t think so.
  6. I would like to go on a genealogy cruise that visits….Missed the Legacy Family Tree cruise this fall, mostly because the port visits would have only made me (us) go back to spend more time. But, keeping an eye on England, Ireland, and Scotland.
  7. The photo I would most like to find is… A photo that was published in a Philadelphia (and area) newspaper, that was reported to have been about my Grandfather, and two of his siblings, on their train ride from Kansas to Pennsylvania, when no one picked them up. The police were trying to locate the family.
  8. The repository in a foreign land I would most like to visit is…When I am able to confirm where my Ancestor came from in England, the repository where I might find more details about his ancestors
  9. The place of worship I would most like to visit is…England, near Worthington Hall.
  10. The cemetery I would most like to visit is …… The family burial ground in Kansas, where my great grandparents are buried.
  11. The ancestral town or village I would most like to visit is…… Capt John’s “home town”, where ever that might be.
  12. The brick wall I most want to smash is… Actually, this one maybe on it’s way down. Capt John’s parents. Close, really close.
  13. The piece of software I most want to buy is….I’m Good.
  14. The tech toy I want to purchase next is …..I’m Good, unless it’s a handheld Cemetery GPS unit.
  15. The expensive book I would most like to buy is…I’m good, or I haven’t found it yet.
  16. The library I would most like to visit is…..Godfrey and the Allen County Library.
  17. The genealogy related book I would most like to write is….Not a writer, so I’ll pass.
  18. The genealogy blog I would most like to start would be about….I’m good. Never thought that I would have one, let alone three.
  19. The journal article I would most like to write would be about… I think I ramble enough
  20. The ancestor I most want to meet in the afterlife is…. My parents, and their parents. Too many stories that I missed while growing up.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy – Free Online Genealogy Tools

January 15, 2012

Week 3 – Free Online Genealogy Tools: Free online genealogy tools are like gifts from above. Which one are you most thankful for? How has it helped your family history experience?

This challenge runs from Sunday, January 15, 2012 through Saturday, January 21, 2012.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy (http://www.geneabloggers.com/tag/52-weeks-of-abundant-genealogy/) by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your thoughts on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

Free Online Genealogy Tools:

I have to say that my first Online Genealogy Tool if the Find-A-Grave website. In reality, it’s a tool in two ways. 1) gives me a chance to get out and about, to help others (give back to the community) and 2) for my own research.

I was able to put a genealogy together, for a friend of mine by visiting ONE Cemetery, look at ONE Monument and put together a 3 generation genealogy for him. I went to another cemetery and went back two more generations. All of the pictures were on both Find-A-Grave and on my Headstone Blog.

Based on that experience, I have given a number of genealogy talks, in the local area, on how I used the Find-A-Grave website to do my research. Two of the talks were to local Historical Societies. Initially, I thought that wasn’t right, what do I know about a Historical Society. Then it dawned on me that they were trying to document and preserve the history of the Local Area, and I was doing the same for my Family.

The first of those talks, as off shoots, the Historical Society and I went to two cemeteries, to help record and/or update a listing that they had, and I was adding photographs for Find-A-Grave at the same time.

The second cemetery we visited was an old Family Burial Ground, where there was only ONE stone, and it certainly was not in the right place, because the property owner didn’t want the “kids” to get hurt with that stone. A group of 6 of us, and 2 divining rods located what is believed to be the burial ground with, it appeared to be, 15 burials. It was in the “back yard” and neighbor, of where the headstone was. The house was the home for that family who was reported to be buried there.

Two adventures based on the Find-A-Grave website.

For my own research, the Inferential Genealogy series I posted here, also included Find-A-Grave. Both in what I found and didn’t find. But that was also taken care of with a visit to the Cemetery and taking photographs.

But sometimes, Find-A-Grave and visiting Cemeteries lead to other questions about families. Like, why are some members of the family in one cemetery, while others in another cemetery, or even another Plot within the same cemetery.

Another cemetery visit I made, was for a friend, and Genea-Blogger, where I took pictures of the Surname I was looking for, to see if we could put families together to help know down a brick wall. I have to say that this one is still a work in progress.

But between Census Records and Cemetery Plots, without other documentation, families can be put together, or at least that is my experience.

Other Free Online Tools: FamilySearch.org would be my next tool. I haven’t used that site as much as I should, but I do hope to learn more about that website at RootsTech 2012. There are a couple of other Online Tools that I learn more about at RootsTech 2012. I am expecting that after that trip, I will have more to say.

I should mention that having your genealogy research posted online is very helpful. I am in the process of cleaning up my main Genealogy Management file, and realized just how many Onlilne Tree’s I have Source and Citations from. In turn, I have some of my research online as well.

Don’t forget about Blogs. I have received many tips from this Blog. For example, I posted one post, and within an hour I had two “new” cousins. Blogs, as they say, are Cousin Bait.

Social Media is also in the mix. Having a Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter account have helped as well.

Another Tombstone Tuesday Blogger has posted some photographs on her Blog of a number of my ancestors in Kansas. I’ll never get to Kansas, but I have pictures of where they are buried. After I had thanked her, she went out of her way to go back as see if she could find anyone else.

I am sure that I missed some, but these are a couple of my Free Online Tools.


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Your Very Best 2011 Research Adventure

January 7, 2012

Genea-Blogger, Randy Seaver, each and every week, posts a blog about Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

His challenge for today is:

It’s Saturday Night again — time for some Genealogy Fun (what else is there to do on Saturday Night?)!!
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Decide which of your (many?) genealogy research adventures in 2011 was your “very best” (your definition).

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, in a Status report or comment on Facebook, or in a Stream note on Google Plus.

Well, I can do this one.

My very best was the study I did on Inferential Genealogy, a method of study by Dr. Thomas Jones.

Using this link, you can follow that journey (backwards)

http://worthy2be.wordpress.com/tag/2nd-life/

This was the outcome of studying Inferential Genealogy in Second Life, with that awesome group of people.

Besides the trip to the Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, several trips to Gettysburg, several other trips to Baltimore, I was able take a Name, mentioned in a PBS TV show, and find out how I was related to that Civil War Hero (David Ridgely Howard).

Along the way, found another connection to DearMYRTLE, a couple of days spending time with she and her husband, only to find that he and I had Revolutionary War gentlemen in the same unit at Valley Forge.

There is a PS: to this story. Over Christmas, the Gettysburg show on PBS was reshown. The kicker is, that at the very end of the discussion of Ridgely Howard (as they called him and where I started), was mention that his house was haunted.


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