My Rooted Technology

December 6, 2011

From an official Genea-Blogger at Roots-Tech2012:

My Rooted Technology

from Geniaus by Jill Ball

By attending RootsTech 2012 you’ll have the opportunity not only to network with other genealogists, vendors and developers and share the knowledge you currently have, but you’ll also get the chance to learn even more about the latest in technology for family history.

As an Official RootsTech 2012 Blogger, here’s a look at the technology I currently use and what keeps me rooted in my genealogy research. I also explain why I am using or not using certain technologies and gadgets as well as what skills and knowledge I’m hoping to gain at RootsTech this year. If you want to join in the fun and show off your own tech cred, here are the rules for the My Rooted Technology meme:

I am NOT an official RootsTech 2012 Blogger, but plan on being there. Here are my responses:

  • Technology you already use: bold face type
  • Technology you would like to use or learn more about: italicize (color optional)
  • Technology you don’t use, have no interest in using or no longer use: plain type
  • Explain or give opinions in brackets [ ] at the end of each bullet point
  1. I have a tablet computer such as an iPad that I use for genealogy
  2. I have downloaded one or more apps to a Smart Phone or similar device [ cemetery / headstone aps ]
  3. I belong to a genealogy society that uses social media [ member APG-SL ]
  4. I use GEDCOM files and understand the various compatibility issues involved [ IF I have to ]
  5. I have added metadata to some of my files and digital photos [ some but need to do more ]
  6. I have utilized an API from a genealogy-related application or website
  7. I have taken a DNA test related to my genealogy research
  8. I have used the FamilySearch Research Wiki
  9. I have a Facebook account and use it regularly for genealogy
  10. I use tech tools to help me cite my sources in genealogy research
  11. I have developed a genealogy-related app for a Smart Phone or similar device [ not in my job description ]
  12. I use a genealogy database program (Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic etc.) (The Master Genealogist (TMG) and The Next Generation of Genealogy Software (TNG))
  13. I use cloud computer resources to store my genealogy data
  14. I have made one or more contributions to the FamilySearch Research Wiki
  15. I have attended a genealogy webinar
  16. I have organized and administered a DNA testing group related to my genealogy
  17. I use apps involving GPS and Geo-caching for my genealogy research
  18. I have a Google+ account and use it regularly for genealogy
  19. I have created and published a family history e-book
  20. I have created a wiki related to my genealogy research
  21. I have conducted a genealogy webinar as a presenter [ co-presenter – twice in SL ]
  22. I read genealogy-related blogs to help improve my own research
  23. I have one or more genealogy-related blogs to help improve my own research
  24. I have a Twitter account and use it regularly for genealogy
  25.  I have one or more genealogy-related websites which I run and administer
  26. I have created a screencast or video related to genealogy and posted it at a video sharing site
  27. I use one or more digital tools to capture and record my family history

Inferential Genealogy – Written in Stone

November 29, 2011

One of the places that I search is the Find-A-Grave website. There is a wide range of information that can be found or not found there. Depending on who posted the Memorial or added a photo of a headstone you could find families, several generations all linked on Find-A-Grave. Of course, you may find only a Name and a couple of dates, or not find anything at all. An entry not being there may only indicate that no one posted the information.

Just because it’s written is “stone” doesn’t mean that is is right either and I have a couple of those examples.

Today was a trip to help a colleague and Genea-Blogger with a brick wall. I did my research on Find-A-Grave as I normally would do, but suggested to my wife that she bring some of her research with her. This was a last minute trip. Probably an hour notice. But, I knew she has been looking for a couple of specific ancestors. This year, I think we have found 2 of her top 5.

It might be noted that the Same Surname was my excuse to make the trip.

I had her review what I was looking for, on the trip North and East, then asked her what she wanted to find. It was a cemetery, of course, so I told (ooops, asked) her to do her least favorite thing, read a Map. The GPS will get me there, but where was that in relationship to where she wanted to go.

Oh, that was easy, we were going in the same part of New York, which is always a good thing, and wasn’t too far from where our first stop was. I found what I was looking for, plugged in a town name into the GPS, and it took us right to the town hall. (how lucky are we). The nice person at the desk gave us directions to the cemetery.

“should be in the old part of the cemetery” was the words to follow and the cemetery was in two parts, we wanted the second part. No problem. Drove on the roads, to get a good idea what the “old part” meant, stopped and Patti went one way and I went another. The stones where I was going were too old. So I moved to newer stones.

This was not a large cemetery, so I could see her, and knew she was tiring out as she headed for the car. I had to walk down one more path, she can sit in the car, but only one more path.

There “it was” the headstone of her Great Grandfather.

WilliamApplebey

Here is where the fun began. Across the cemetery, I asked if he was a Civil War vet? Don’t know, but could be was the answer. (I’ll let the excuse be that she was tired, as it had been a long day).

There before us was her Great Grandfather William F Applebee.

Two things were wrong about that. 1) bee vs bey, and 2) the middle initial.

She has his name recorded as William without any middle name or initial. She didn’t know for sure. That’s OK. But, she had seen H for a middle name, usually expanded to Henry. Other folks have found that middle name “online” or in someone else’s tree. But, most of that traced back to someone she knows.

This other researcher has been researching for years and because some of the work had ended up in someone’s tree, this researcher stopped sharing completely.

Have you ever looked at a Flat File and seen on a piece of paper a note that didn’t make any sense? Here is one, found in the Goshen Genealogy Library. “Why didn’t “ (this person) “sign up through the Applebee line for the DAR”?

Don’t know the answer to that question, but now Patti can apply, if she wishes, through William F Applebee.

So, what’s with the H and the F. Can’t explain the H, but William Applebee’s first son was Franklin. Somewhere along the line, looking back, she’ll run into a Franklin.

Off to look at Civil War Records and probably Pension files, as William was married in 1867, right after the civil war.

At the moment, what is written in stone, may be correct, but still needs to be verified.

One of the two earlier finds, was his wife in Norwalk Connecticut.

 

Lesson Learned: Just because “It’s” Written in stone, doesn’t make it right.

 

but sometimes it is


Inferential Genealogy – Research Broadly

November 28, 2011

Its been a while since I updated this project. Haven’t stopped, but have taken a break.

In the mean time, I have been working on a Brick Wall for a Genea-Blogger, Randy Seaver. His “Brick Wall” came about the two of us using our favorite genealogy software. I have blogged about that on my Family Tree Maker blog.

This blog post is not about software, but a Road Trip I just returned from to address this brick wall.

Basically, Randy is looking for the Parents of Willam Knapp (1775 – 1856).

So, why am I interested? Easy, my wife has Knapp’s in her ancestry, and we have visited more than one cemetery looking for and at Knapp headstones.

To put this into perspective, I mapped out the Birth, Marriage, and Death Location on a Map.

William Knapp (1775-1856)

 

Consider: Birth 1775, Dutchess County, NY; 1804, Woodbridge, New Jersey; 1856, Newton, New Jersey.

I do NOT challenge or question any of Randy’s research. It is awesome. I have learned a couple of things from his research. My advantage, maybe, that I know these places. By car, mostly interstate, between Dutchess County and Newton is over 2 hours today. But to through in a 3 hour “detour” to Woodbridge, in the 1800’s, leaves me with some questions.

We have tracked my wife’s ancestors between the two end point a couple of time, no detours, didn’t pass go to collect our $200.00 and it’s on one road Route 94, in both New York and New Jersey. The cemetery visits were along that road. Goshen, mid-way is full of Knapp’s. More questions.

In reviewing Randy’s notes, included a comment about Dutchess County. I had one perspective of Dutchess County based on today’s maps. Not questioning the “starting” point for William, but to make sure I was looking at the Right Starting point. The pin-point on the map is close enough (for government work).

Consider this (from wikipedia)

Putnam County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, in the lower Hudson River Valley. Putnam county formed in 1812, when it detached from Dutchess County.

OK, so now the “starting point” just grew a bunch. The good news, more places were we have found Knapps, the Bad News, more Knapps.

I need a (K) nap (p).

From my earlier experience with Baltimore, I had to get into my head the territory. (there’s a song in there somewhere). I bribed my wife into taking a road trip to see if we could find any of her Ancestors. She agreed and she took some research notes with her. That’s another story.

I did some looking at Find-A-Grave before we left. I knew that the Dutchess Genealogy Society / Library was closed today, but that was OK. I wasn’t sure where to start in Dutchess County (current county) but figured that where ever that library was, would be a good start. Find-A-Grave gave me a bunch of Cemeteries. Searched for Dutchess County for Knapp, found over a hundred possibilities, looked closer at a couple of “big hitters”. That is, a bunch of Knapps, but with 1700 headstones. Not looking for William, but perhaps a sibling, if there are any, or some other names to look for, trying to back into William’s family. Perhaps a book store or historical society looking for clues.

The clue there was to find out why William might have left Dutchess County, to head south to meet his wife. Have read some of the history of her family trying to find out if she had been somewhere before she ended up in Woodbridge. That wasn’t the case, in fact she had pretty heavy times to that area and Hackensack, New Jersey where she returned to after her husband died. So, at this point, William went south, but why.

More questions. Found an old book store, Nothing, zip, zero, Oh well. On the way to the first cemetery, we ended up on a road “New Hackensack Road” in New York. Not too far down that road was NY State Route 94. OK, what’s going on here?

Came to the first cemetery, Bethel Baptist Church of Shenandoah Cemetery. Small and very nice. My Find-A-Grave printout said there were 42 interments there, most that have been posted were, in fact, Knapps. From the parking lot in two directions, you could see Knapp headstones.

I usually try to find the history of a Church if there is one. There was a car in the parking lot, but nobody was home. Ran down my first set of batteries, had to go back to the car for the back up, and on my way back for more pictures. the Pastor of the Church walked to his car, and wanted to know if he could help. History? nope, BUT … like that word … but “I know someone who does”. Actually he gave me two names. He pointed me to a Headstone, which is where I was headed back to, and one of the names used to be the Historian for East Fishkill, which is not far from where we were. AND (more good news I hope) he is a genealogist. Quick Email to Randy for “future reference” and posted a picture to Facebook.

Isaac Knapp - Founder of this Cemetery

 

OK, so he died in 1859. I wonder.

Although that is where we are right now, but I just found a couple of other bits and pieces to look for.

On the trip to Poughkeepsie, I was expecting to find a Negative Source. Some hint as to why Randy hasn’t been able to find any information. But, I know have a contact who might be able to shed some light on why can’t we find William Knapp, any historical event (like a burnt court house) that causes us not to be able to find any records, why would young Knapp go down to New Jersey?

The term “I know a guy” has been running through my mind on the return home from this trip.

Lesson Learned: Keep looking. Look sideways (look for siblings or descendents of siblings), Ask a local Historian; Keep asking questions. I have the questions, but may have found someone with an answer or two.


Inferential Genealogy–Genealogy Software

November 14, 2011

As you may have guessed by now, most of what I have been doing is inputting all of this collected information into a Genealogy software package. There are many choices, but I have been using the Family Tree Maker program for a number of years. I have shared a couple of outputs from that program for this project, and here is a link to another feature I used.

Civil War Map

What was demonstrated in that Blog, was how I created a Map of the various battles that the 2nd Infantry Regiment, Maryland fought in.

2012-Place-Person-Map

Each of the squares is a battle location. In the database is details on each of the battles, but this gives me an idea of how far they traveled.


Inferential Genealogy–Another Record set

November 13, 2011

I just posted the results of looking at another Record Set (Exhausted Research) for this project. This time, it was on the military unit the David Ridgely Howard Served in.

Instead of duplicating the blog, here is a link to the blog post.

Military History in FTM2012

I ended the post with this:

The point of this, for me, was to have a view in the Ancestry Member Tree, and in FTM2012, an overview of this Civil War Regiment. When reviewing my Civil War hero, and his dates,  I have a good idea what battles he fought in.

He enlist on August 21, 1862, but into the 1st Regiment Maryland, so would have been in the initial organization of the 2nd Regiment. He was wounded on July 3, 1963 at the Battle of Culp’s Hill. This would have put him at the battle of Centreville and Winchester, Virginia and the first day’s battle in Gettysburg for this unit on July 2.

He missed the Battle at Martinsburg, but returned to the battle at Cold Harbor, Virginia.

He was wounded on the 2nd date’s battle at Weldon Railroad, Virginia and would be out of the rest of the war, as he lost his leg in Weldon Railroad battle.


Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life–Side Story

October 30, 2011

In continuing research on this family, My Relatives, I found a ‘timely’ hero. Timely in our history, as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

Keeping any eye on Surnames that show up as middle names, Key was one of those names. Francis Scott Key is now included in this file.

But, did you know, that a son of Francis Scott Key was murdered?

Philip Barton Key II (1818 – 1859) was shot and killed by a congressman, Daniel E. Sickles in Lafayette Square in Washington, DC. Sickles would later be a General in the Union army.

There is more to that story, but I thought I would share that story here now.

You just never know what you might find during your research.


Initial Summary of David Ridgely Howard

October 14, 2011

In the mail today, I received a book “Marylanders in the Confederacy” by Daniel D. Hartzler, Willow Bend Books, Westminster, Maryland, 2001. In it, in one sentence confirmed by findings on Page 3.

“The 1st Marland under Kenley was the only Maryland regiment on the Union side. The Confederate Marylanders on the other hand, embodied faith and pride of the state. Not a historic family of Maryland was not represented in the Maryland Line. Five grandsons of John Eager Howard, of Cowpens carried sword or muskets in the 1st Maryland Regiment.”

Cowpens was a battle in the Revolutionary War with General George Washington. So, John Eager Howard is the “grandfather” that was talked about in the PBS series Gettysburg.

IMG_6822

IMG_6820

John Eager Howard (1752 – 1827) and his wife Margaret Oswald Chew (1760 – 1827) had 10 children. Two of their sons were James Howard (1797 – 1732) and Charles Howard (1802 – 1869) had the “5 grandsons”

Charles Howard and son Francis (Frank) Key Howard (Key from Francis Scott Key) were captured in Baltimore by the Union Army.

Sons Edward Lloyd Howard and McHenry Howard served in the 1st Maryland.

James Howard had three sons that served, John Eager Howard (1797 – 1870), James McHenry Howard (1839 – 1916), and David Ridgely Howard (1844 – 1927).

The best that I can tell, at this point, is the all 5 of John Eager Howards grandsons were at Gettysburg in 1863.

My calculations would make David Ridgely Howard my 5th Cousin, 4 times removed. I now have a Confederate Civil War Hero. Not to mention that my Great-Grandfather, Samuel Worthington, was a Union Civil War Hero.


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