Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Google Announces “Shared Spaces”

Yes, my friends, Google has done it again and opened their beta version of Shared Spaces.  So, when I heard about it I went to check it out to see what it can do to help with genealogy, of course!

I have been using Google Wave to collaborate with a couple of cousins about our research together on common ancestral lines and I think the general consensus has been that it’s a MARVELOUS tool for doing just that!  But Google announced in August that it would no longer be developing Wave as a stand-alone product, but that they would carry that technology to another product – Shared Spaces.  It is still in Google Labs and not fully developed yet.

If you have a Google, Twitter or Yahoo account, then you don’t need to sign up for this new service – you’re all ready to start a Shared Space.  Once you start one, then you copy the link to share with friends, colleagues, or in our case, fellow researchers!  There is even a real-time chat area to have discussions while you’re collaborating.

I could see how this would be a great tool for planning a trip – like for research or a conference.  First you could create a Yes/No/Maybe gadget to determine who’s attending with you.  Use the Travel With Me or Trippy gadget to plan it all out together. Add the AccuWeather.com gadget to tell you what the weather will be like while visiting your destination.  There’s even a carpool gadget and people can pick their seats!  SHOTGUN!  Set up the Waffle gadget to create the itinerary. And finally the Remaining Time gadget to countdown to the big event!

I’m still usin’ Google Wave!  I only wish more people used it in conjunction with email because it would be easier to add a contact to a Wave if I didn’t have to invite them first!  Please try Google Wave to collaborate with other genealogists!  You won’t regret that you tried it and if you don’t like it you can come tell me so because I feel so strongly that if you're not using Wave to collaborate, you're missing out!  

I have not used the new Shared Spaces because I just learned of it tonight, but I don’t think it will replace me makin’ Waves.  Maybe I’ll go play cards there.  Let me know if you try it and what you think about it too, k? 

P.S. Speaking of Spaces, still can't figure out the double spaces between paragraphs problem here.  Sorry about that!

©2010 Joanne Schleier - All Rights Reserved.

Can You Help Fix Double Spacing?

My blog adds a double space between paragraphs and I've tried everything to fix it.  Does anyone know how to keep a hard return to a single line?  My guess is that it's some part of the HTML code within my theme and not individual posts.  Help!
©2010 Joanne Schleier - All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Personal Genealogy Update – First One!

 I have been so busy preparing for the holidays and have neglected my genealogy hobby.  It’s hard to find the time to write a blog post, let alone work on the family tree!  I decided to at least post about what I’m thinking genealogy-wise because just because I don’t have time to work on it, doesn’t mean I’m not thinkin’ about workin’ on it!

I’ve been asked to speak at our Genealogical Society of Cobb County’s Beginner’s Course in February – 2 lectures, and the handouts for those are due on the 8th of January.  I’ve had months to put them together, but there was always something pressing that needed to be done and, after all, I had plenty of time!  So, now they’re due soon and the holidays are here.  Conundrum!  I’ve been working on them in my brain and have it all mapped out, so it shouldn’t take me long to plunk it onto a presentation format, get the handouts done and create the bibliographies.  I will also be the president of said society beginning 2011 and have to create the agenda for the January 4th board meeting. 

I was given a poster-size blank pedigree chart from a fellow genealogist and last month got a copy made so I can keep one as my master.  I plan to fill it all in with pencil so I can eyeball the 8 or so generations and see the gaps.  This will help me to focus my research.
In addition, I can hear the research that I did in North Carolina back in November screaming at me from my office “come look at all of these wonderful photos of original land and probate records and add us to your database with transcriptions”!  I can hear you, you don’t have to scream. It’s fun to see relationships stated right there within a Will and be able to add folks to the tree!

I also plan to do a research plan for my Virginia ancestors as my husband has another meeting in January in Colonial Williamsburg for a week and I plan to hit the John D. Rockefeller library running!  Weeee!

I have two chapters to read for the ProGen study group this month as well.
I’ve prepared for the IGHR registration at Samford University.  Printed all relevant materials and put them in a packet, wrote to a veteran and asked questions about courses and accommodations, marked my 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices for courses and put that January 18th registration date reminder on my calendar!

I’ve mulled over the idea of pre-writing some posts in January for some of the carnival of genealogy ideas.  Not having time during the year to write as frequently as I’d like is a common problem, but if I could carve out a chunk of time to write say 5 posts for one carnival and add them to the cue, maybe that will make for more frequent posts for my readers in January.

I finally got a copy of my original DAR application back from my chapter.  Somehow I never got my copy when I was installed, but I have it now.  I need it to work on my supplemental applications.  Last I checked, I have 11 or so more patriots and found a father and son during my NC trip to add in.  WOW.  I never even thought I would have ONE patriot!  I am still trying to absorb the idea.  As an adoptee, I had convinced myself I would never know my ancestors and now this! 

I did add a couple of pages to my blog.  The “About Me” page and the “Surnames” page.  Been meaning to do this for a long time.  The assignments we’ve been given for ProGen has given me a lot of ideas for blog pages.  Perhaps I’ll add a page for organizations and societies I belong to and another page for my Bookshelf.  I haven’t decided yet. 

So, that’s what’s happening!  See how busy I am working on genealogy even though I am not doing the fun part of my personal tree!  Sheesh!  I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday and keeping those screaming genealogy criers from your office quiet until you can play!

©2010 Joanne Schleier - All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Marriage Bond For Young Ryal [Royal] & Edee [Edith] Blackman, Duplin County, NC

2010 Nov 23_0776_edited-3
Transcribed by Joanne Schleier
State of No. Carolina
Duplin County
Know all men by these presents that we Young Ryal and Frances Hill both of the County aforesaid are held and firmly bound unto his Excellency Richard Caswell Esquire Governor of the Said State in the full and just Sum of five Hundred Pounds Currency of the said State to be Paid to the Said Governor or his [missing] in office to which payment Will and Truly be made to we bind our Selves Each of his own heirs Executors and administrators Fondly and Severally firmly by these presents Sealed with our Seals and Dated this 20th day of July- anno Dominic 1779.
The Condition of the above Obligation is Such that whereas the said Young Ryal - above bounded hath the Day of the Date here of Made application for and obtained herein License of Marriage between him and the said Young Ryal and Edee Blackman of the [said County] (Singlewoman) and hath obtained [license], Know if it shall not happen at any time hereafter that there is any lawful Cause or Impediment to obstruct the said Marriage, Then the above obligation shall be Void and of no power  other wise to stand and remains in full force Power and Virtue,
Signed Sealed + Delivered in the Presence of
Wm Dixon, C. C.
Young Ryal {sealed}
Frances Hill {sealed}

Source: Duplin County, North Carolina, Probate Records, Marriage Bonds, Rhodes-Young, Box 5, For Young Ryal & Edee Blackman, 1779; State Library & Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh. Digital Photo of Original: Copyright 2010 Joanne Schleier. Photo taken with permission on November, 23, 2010.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Have You Cleaned Out Your Shoebox on Ancestry.com?

Be honest with yourself.  When is that last time you logged in to your Ancestry.com account for the sole purpose of working on those records you’ve saved to your shoebox?

Your shoebox is a holding bin for those items you find, but don’t have the time at that moment to scrutinize or figure out where to put it.  A nice touch, I think, because I use it A LOT.  But, if you’re not self-disciplined enough to come back to them regularly for clean-up, you’ll find your shoebox may be overwhelming!  Not to mention, you may be missing a key piece of information which could help you with your research.

Here’s a page from my shoebox:
Generally, these are not my direct-line ancestors or I would tackle them right away and not save them here for later because I like to stay on task and not be distracted by another find, though there are some exceptions. 
Once in a while, I set aside time to go to my shoebox and work exclusively for a specific period of time.  I usually set a timer for an hour, for example.  Otherwise, it’s never getting done.  After an hour, the timer goes off, and I can come back another day.  But at least I’ve given an hours time to working on something that I would otherwise put off entirely because I don’t think about it! 

Practice self-discipline to tackle those things that you don’t want to have to do – some people call it “eat your frog”.  I keep a list of long term or ongoing projects like this called “Current Initiatives”, inspired by the book by Mark Forster called Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management.   I address these projects a little at a time knowing that I am making progress on all of them.  That gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I am not neglecting them or forgetting to work on them at all.

Did you know you can also go here to find items you’ve downloaded or printed? Look at the image above  at the tab behind the “saved records” tab.  I really like this feature for going back to a history of what I was working on last.

So, have you worked on your shoebox items lately?  How do remember to go back to it?  Maybe this post was just the reminder you needed!
Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Portrayal of Ann Calhoun Matthews

The Long Cane Indian Massacre - February 1, 1760

This is a post I've been considering for a long time, as my Baskin ancestors were involved. Though not present at this massacre, they were a part of this community and recovering those lost.  I decided to finally write this because I was recruited to act out a skit as part of the ghost tour at The Living History Park which my husband is involved in in North Augusta, South Carolina at their recent "Spirits of Hallowed Eve" event.  It was to be set in the 18th century, 3 to 4 minutes long and repeated as many times as there were groups to come through.

I wanted to portray someone relevant to the area of North Augusta.  Also knowing that I had ancestors from the area, I thought I could tie the two together and make it personally of interest and challenging.  See, the Baskin’s, Calhoun's, Picken’s and other families of Scots-Irish descent immigrated together and migrated throughout the colonies together until finally settling in the Long Canes Settlement.  Almost a year ago I researched the massacre by traveling to different sites relevant to its history (I'll add those in a separate post or this will be waaaay too long!).

With but two days left to prepare, (yes, I procrastinated) and through my study of the massacre, I honed in on Ann Calhoun Matthews because her story would be intriguing portrayed in first person - and she actually lived to tell it.  About three weeks prior I had gotten poison ivy, oak, or sumac on my forearm.  The blisters were gone but what remained looked like a burn scar which would fit perfectly into my act. (I tried to take a picture of it myself in the mirror once we returned -for this post).

2010 Oct 25_0766_edited-1

Everything you're about to read is true - except for the part about her shoes.  Ann was known to have "worn shoes made from the bark of the special tree" which I assume to be birch bark?  I didn't have any so I borrowed some 18th-century moccasins made from deerskin and changed the wording a bit.

As the group approaches led by lantern light, they hear the sound of a woman singing a Native American song just inside the tree line behind a fire.  She stops when she sees the group and addresses them…

What are you doing here?  You shouldn't be in these woods in the middle of the night?  Oh... I suppose you're wondering the same thing about me, a woman all alone in these woods and where is my party?  Perhaps I can explain myself by making my introduction.  (she curtsies) I am Ann Matthews.  (still curtsying - eyes glancing upwards to read their faces) Ann CALHOUN Matthews?...  I can see from the expression on your faces that you are not aware of my story.  I shall tell it, lest it be forgotten.

Photo by Larry Gleason

This land we are now standing upon once belonged to the Cherokee Indians. When the white settlers came in they tried to claim it as their own. The years between 1759 and 1761 were known as the years of The Cherokee Wars. Not far from here lived the Scots-Irish in a place known as the Long Canes Settlement. 

On February 1st, 1760, under the leadership of my uncle, Patrick Calhoun, many families joined together to seek refuge across the river in Augusta, Georgia where there was a larger white settlement and more provisions. We had 13 wagons and carts, 150 or so of us, mostly women and children were making our way when we got stuck in a boggy place. The 40 to 50 men left their wagons to free us from this place when all of a sudden 100 Cherokee Indians on horseback attacked. Panic ensued and women and children could be heard screaming and seen fleeing in all directions into the woods.The men where not at the ready, for their rifles where in the wagons. My older sister, Catherine, who was nine, was tomahawked in the back of the head almost immediately. Others were taken by the Indians, including my sister Mary and me. I was only five years old at the time.

web2954 Photo by Larry Gleason

Two days later Patrick Calhoun returned with some Rangers to seek those who had run off when he came upon a bloody field. Twenty-three women and children had been brutally murdered including his mother, my grandmother, and the matriarch of the Calhoun clan, Catherine Calhoun, who tried to flee for her life at age 76. He buried them all in a mass grave.

Twelve years later, Andrew Pickens negotiated the release of the captives from the Cherokee Indians. A group such as this (pointing to the group) was there to see the spectacle and retrieve loved ones they believed have been taken. Among them was my father, William Calhoun. I stood before him at age 17. But he did not recognize me, for I was an Indian maiden and could not speak English. Were it not for the burn scar (shows them the “scar”) he would not have known that I was his Ann. 

It was on the same day, however, that he learned the fate of my little sister Mary.  For she was but two when we were taken into captivity and could not walk fast enough to keep up with her captors, so they scalped her and threw her little body into the Long Cane Creek.

I was not so accepted upon my return to the Calhoun family, for I had cultivated the ways of the Natives, and they found me strange. I was taught to never show excitement or emotions… among other things, under threat of punishment.  I was often seen before the sunrise fleeing into the woods and there spending the whole day into the night talking to the spirits of those we cannot see and hearing them glide from tree to tree.  I was once observed eating lizards and frogs uncooked.  I still cannot wear the shoes of the white men (she lifts her skirt to show her shoes) for I am most comfortable wearing the hides of the four-leggeds upon my feet.

This land, the earth-people taught me, cannot be claimed by any man. We are here to keep and protect our Earth Mother. For we are merely borrowing her from our grandchildren.

Did you hear that? I do not think you should tarry long in these woods!  Go now and be gone, for there are spirits who lurk about in the shadows! (She returns into the tree line and begins singing again).

The end!
Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier

Monday, November 1, 2010

Young Royal of Sampson County, NC - Part 2

After looking at the Will of Young Royal (Here and updated here), we continue with more documents within the folder of probate records.  Here is one from the Supreme Court on February 15, 1894. The source information is on the image.
Young Royal 1894 - Doc RE: Carver
As Transcribed by Joanne Schleier
North Carolina
Sampson County
In Supreme Court
February 15, 1894
Before the Clerk

Alexander R. Carver being duly sworn says: That there is now in file in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court the last will and Testament of Young Royal made and executed on the 12th day of July A.D. 1818: That the subscribing and entrustees hereto are H. Royal and Robert Butler: that the said Young Royal the maker of said will and the said H. Royal and Robert Butler, the said subscribing witnesses are all dead.: but he is not acquainted with the handwriting of the said Young Royal and H. Royal and Robert Butler and he is unable to prove the hand writing of the said Young Royal maker and H. Royal and Robert Butler witnesses.

He therefore asks that said will be admitted to probate and magistration without proof.

Subscribed herein and before me Feby 15, 1894
[Signature] A. R. Carvey
[Signature] J. S. Bizzell CSC

Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier

Will of Young Royal – Another Page

In continuing to analyze photos that I’ve taken during a research trip, I wrote this post Will of Young Royal: July 12, 1818 Sampson Co., NC.  However, I discovered another page, sort of…  It is the back cover of his will.  So, here is is for you. Source info is on the image.

Young Royal 1894

Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Updates… LOTS of Them!!!

Forewarned: Long Post Ahead...


In continuing with updating my blog theme, I spent some time today looking at other improvements.  I’ve changed all of my labels to cluster them together into categories by hyphenating them.  I wish there was a way that Blogger would create a hierarchy for them.  Then a reader could go to Surnames and then see all of the names under that.  Instead, I changed them, one-at-a-time no less, to Surname – Name.  I also thought this would help designate these names as such.  For example, my Royal surname could be mistaken for Royal as in imperial or sovereign.  I also did that for Places and eliminated counties and towns, keeping just the state.

Also, because the new theme is wider in the posts section, I went back and enlarged many of the pictures and fonts.  That way, viewers may not have to click on them to see them large enough.

Then I started to go through old posts and see if there were any “dangling” items I said I would bring up in a later post and never addressed.  Or updates to posts.  Here goes…
  1. In 2010 Has Arrived! I mention that I’d like to start a hand-written diary.  Didn’t happen.  Other priorities.  My around-the-house improvements are in full swing!  I am pulling things out of storage, clearing out, cleaning up and de-cluttering continuously and with fervor!  {It helps that hubby and I became empty-nester’s in July… and no one has moved back home yet:-)  I’m plugging away at that cross-stitch and, after attending a Sampler’s Guild meeting by happenstance (you know I believe there are no accidents) I picked up some tips, a better frame, and magnification clip-on glasses, which all help immensely.  I go on to say that writing down my goals for that post helped to put it all in perspective.  My latest ProGen assignment was to write an education plan, in which I included some other goals and unfinished items “to-do list” style.  Once again, I emphasize how that helped me keep my goals on the forefront of my mind and keep them there until they’re addressed.  MAKE A LIST OF YOUR GOALS!!!  In: life in general, related to your research, or anything else!  It really does help.
  2. In My Genealogical Superpower I talked about how I like to help others and teach.  Since then, I have signed up to be a contributor at Find-A-Grave, done look-ups for two people at the GA Archives for friends across the country on GenealogyWise and agreed to repeat my “Internet Tools for Genealogy” at my county society’s upcoming Beginner’s Course 2011 in addition to another one about logging your research and citing sources (details have not been discussed further).
  3. In the Land Records for Female Ancestor? post I talked about how I’m cleaning up records in my Ancestry.com family tree to show actual records instead of text.  I am STILL doing this as I work on any family line.  What a pain!  Can’t we get the Software people to work with Ancestry so that GedCom files can be synchronized instead of merely uploaded or downloaded?  (I think Family Tree Maker does this, but I don’t use that one). Also, I’ve learned a whole lot more about researching land records since then and it makes me smile at my naiveté’ back then! ;-) 
  4. I have not worked on my pockets mentioned in Threads of Time.  I put that away to focus on my unfinished cross-stitch project mentioned above.  However, I did make a unembroidered pair of pockets for their practical use out of plain linen and an 18th century women’s wool cloak with the hood lined in silk.  I finished a new polonaise style dress and coordinating petticoat.
  5. More of Tee's Crewel: I have continued to work on cleaning out my storage room and found yet another of Tee’s pieces of crewel work!  But you’ll have to wait to see that in another post!  I still need to hang it and take a photo.
  6. Keeping up with my goals, see Progress for Goals in 2010, I am still archiving photos and VHS tapes at home – a long-term project.  I’ve pulled another of my grandfather’s trophy’s from a yacht race and polished it (silver), I’ve printed a couple of retouched photos to frame, and decided I don’t like all the clocks together on one wall and plan to move them around the house into places where I’d like them better and separate from each other.
  7. Organizing Photos: Manage Folders on Your Computer: I finished making a new folder structure.  However, I have many subfolders in my Dump_From_Camera folder that need to be named, tagged, edited and moved.  Will it ever end?
  8. From FGS Conference 2010: Recovering Back Home: I still have not gone through my FGS materials.  They are on my desk in one of  my To-Do project pockets.  Oh, and those same friends that “hate me for winning all the time” were at our genealogy meeting the other night when our speaker announced that she had 2 door prizes.  Her lecture was on the Georgia Land Lotteries.  She asked us to identify the date of a particular year’s land lottery when they started issuing grants (referring to her handout). I was the first to see the dates from July 22 to August something. Then the speaker clarified asking “what was the starting date?”  “July 22nd”, someone else answered.  We all thought the person with the answer would be the winner when she said,  “Who has a birthday around July 22nd”?  My hand went up… “July 28th”.  Followed by someone else.  Speaker asks “is is less than 6 days from the date”?  “Nope”.  I felt daggers in my back from my friends eyes and glanced over my shoulder to see them looking at me with “that look” and big smirks on their faces!  They told me later that they “were going to make me buy the chicken wings at dinner because of this”!  Geez, I can’t help when I was born!!!… and, oh, by the way, we all thought it was the first to answer who got the prize, not a birthday thing!  Maybe I just should keep my mouth shut!  HAHA!  But I won a CD entitled “Georgia Colonial and Headright Plat Index, 1735-1866” by Mary H. Abbe published by the R.J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation and Georgia Archives in 2005.  I can use this for my McVicker/Royal/Brown ancestors of Henry and Dooly Counties, Georgia!  How exciting!!! 
(They love to tease me, but they still love me too).

Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier
Photo credit: called REBOOT! by  http://www.flickr.com/photos/mark-magnusson/.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Will of Young Royal: July 12, 1818 Sampson Co., NC

Sampson County, North Carolina, Probate Records
Wills, 1778-1953 Rachels-Ryall
Young Royal, 1894 (3 pages)
State Library & Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh 

Photo taken with permission
Digital photo of original: Copyright 2009 Joanne Schleier

As Transcribed by Joanne Schleier:

[Page 1]
Young Royal, 1894 Will Page 1 of 3
In the Name of God Amen 

I Young Royal of Sampson County & State of North Carolina being of perfect mind and memory (blessed be God) and Calling to mind the mortality of man knowing that ' Tis allotted for all men Once to die do make this my last Will and Testament; But first of all I Recommend my Soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it to me and my Body to be decently Buried at the discretion of my Executors but Touching of Such Worldly Estate as it has pleased God to bestow me I give and bequeath in the following manner and form (to wit) 

First I Give and bequeath unto my Beloved Son Rezin [Reason] Royal the land that I Bought of John Major Known by the name of the Phillips place and all the property which I have Given him heretofore. 

Secondly I Give and bequeath unto my beloved Daughter Sally Butler wife of Travis Butler one Negro Girl named Lynder [Linda] and the property which I have here to for given her. 

Thirdly I Give and bequeath unto my beloved Daughter Sabra Brown wife of Robert Brown One Negro Girl Named Hannah and the property which I have here to for given her. 

Fourthly I Give and bequeath unto my beloved Son William Royal One Negro Boy Named Harry Also One Bed and Furniture. 

[Page 2]
Young Royal, 1894 Will Page 2 of 3
Fifthly I Give and bequeath unto my beloved Wilson Royal One Negro Boy Named Jorden [Jordan] also one bed & furniture; and if Either William or Wilson Royal should die and never return to receive said property that the one who Shall Return to have both their parts; and if it Should so happen that Neither of them Returns the property that I have left to them to be Equally divided amongst the rest of my Children. 

Sixthly I bequeath and Give unto my beloved Daughter Betsey [Betsy] Westbrook One Negro Girl named Clarrender [Clarinda] also the property which I have heretofore Given her. 

Seventhly I Give and bequeath unto my beloved Daughter Polly Royal wife of Hardy Royal One Negro Girl named Hazel also the property which I have heretofore Given her. 

Eighthly I Give and bequeath unto my beloved Daughter Mary Butler wife of Robert Butler One Negro Girl named Phillis [Phyllis] also the property which I have heretofore Given her. 

Ninthly I Give and bequeath unto my Beloved Daughter Rebekah [Rebecca] Royal Two Negro Girls by the names of Ciller [Cilla, possibly short for Priscilla] & Cherry one bed and Furniture. 

Tenthly I Give and bequeath unto my beloved Raiford Royal All the Lands That I Now Possess Except the piece that I bequeath to my Rezin [Reason] Royal to belong to the said Raiford after 

[Page 3]

Young Royal, 1894 Will Page 3 of 3
his mother death also I Give and bequeath unto my beloved son Raiford Royal Two Negro boys by the Names of Simmon [Simon] and Jonas also one bed and Furniture and all the Plantation Tools of Every Description Except the Blacksmith the Tools. 

Also I Give and bequeath my beloved Wife Edith Royal the Remainder of my property which I have not mentioned or Given to my Children after paying my Just Debts During her natural life time and after her death to be Equally Divided among my Children heretofore mentioned. 

P.S. William and Wilson Royal are to Receive their part of my property when Called for by them which I have above stated. 

I hereby make and appoint my son Rezin [Reason] Royal and my son in law Travis Butler Executors to This My Last Will and Testament this annulling all other Wills or bequeaths by me hereuntofore made this 12th Day of July One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighteen. 

Signed Sealed and Acknowledged before
"H." Royal and Robert (his "x" mark) Butler
Young (his "x" mark) Royal


Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier

Friday, October 15, 2010

Time for Changes

The season is changing. It feels like fall.  The weather is cooling, the wind is picking up.  It looks like fall.  Leaves are changing colors or falling from their branches.  Mums, pansies and other fall flowers are in bloom.
I feel like changing too.  My blog design that is.  You may have noticed the small changes I’ve already made.  I’ve added my personalized signature to each post and removed the generic “Posted by: Joanne”.  I wanted a wider area for the posts to allow BIGGER photos!  The sidebar is smaller and I’m thinking about adding some pages instead of some of the information in the sidebar.  I’ll leave that just for the archives, labels, subscribe, etc…, you know, that standard stuff.

I’ve become an affiliate for Paper Tiger software.  I got mine in July 2007 and LURRRRVE IT!  I has saved me so much time and effort and I just had to find a way to tell people about this amazing product.  I purchased it for use with my custom window treatment business way before genealogy was even on my radar.  Back then they only had the desktop version and becoming an affiliate cost major bucks and lots of training.  Now, you can be an affiliate for for free and they have an online version now too.  Where do I sign up!?!?  So, at the bottom of the page you’ll see a new banner.  I’m going to talk more about Paper Tiger in later posts.  If  you do genealogy, I can’t imagine a better system to keep your papers, materials, books and other junk stuff organized.

When I decided to change the column width, I had no choice but to change my header.  I “don’t do HTML” and have no desire to waste my time learning it!  So, out with the old and in with the new!  I really liked the simplified look of my other blog so, I just copied all the settings!  The only problem I have is the background color of the header on the other is a solid mustard color and I don’t remember can’t figure out how to change that.  Maybe you can help?  I literally opened the other blogs design options and copied and pasted the settings into this one.  But that darn mustard didn’t want to come over!

I think it’d be neat to have a page of the surnames I’m searching and perhaps a better “about me” page. 

For now, this is OK.  I just wanted to let you know it IS the same blog & author, just a new look!

Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Insomnia Does an Archivist Good!

OK so first, I do not recommend this to all of you genealogists working on your archiving projects (little disclaimer there), but I can’t tell you how happy I am that I was able to plow through a ton of negatives last night this morning!  

{Doing happy dance… oh yeah}!

Every once in a while I get these bouts of insomnia.  For me, that means that I can’t sleep and don’t feel tired until sometime way after midnight.  Going to bed would just mean tossing and turning, so I stay up and do something relaxing until I feel sleepy (while my husband is catching up on some major zzz’s and REM sleep including the occasional snore… {jealous}).  I don’t think that this happens often enough to interfere with my daily life and I don’t like allopathic doctors or medications.  So, I just deal with it take advantage of it when it happens.  My mom and grandmother were night owls too.  We get our creative bursts of energy after the sun goes down.  “No I’m not a witch, I am you.”  (Sorry, I just had to).
Well, last night I went to bed at 3:30am!  I tossed and turned until 4:00am which was the last time I looked at the clock.  WHAT!?!?  WOW, that was HIGHLY unusual.  The thought occurred to me that I might not sleep at all!  Which would be fine with me until it catches up with me later!

Fortunately, I have several projects in the works and the one I chose to work on allowed me to sit on the couch with the TV on.  I had already compiled all of my negatives, sorting them by type, 35mm, 110 and disc camera films.  My focus was on the 110 size negatives stashed in an old can opener box.  (For Shame!)  WELL!!!  At least I saved them all!  The biggest mistake I made was separating them from the prints in the first place and not noting the date, subject, location or anything! ~I can’t tell you how much I’m learning!

I set up my little area, brought in the films and supplies and got to work.  I went through each image on each film and found the corresponding print which wasn’t to hard ‘cuz I already” sorted” in the previous phase of the project.  On the back of the each print in the corner I wrote (using my archival safe pen) “110” for the type of negative and then “N#”, “N” for “negative” and the number on the strip that correlates to the image. 

To see the itty-bitty image, I used both my floor lamp and desktop Ott-Lites.  I wore some reading glasses (I don’t wear  prescription glasses) and added some clip on Magna-Clips magnifiers in a +3.00 for when I couldn’t see anything without them.  I love these things for my hand sewing because they flip up and down.  Figured they’d work for this too – BOY HOWDY – they sure helped a lot! 

Some of the prints were collected already by subject in folders and I made a spreadsheet to help me locate each set.  I better save how I set that up for another post.  Just know that this is NOT  the initial stage of my project, or the last.  Still other prints were in an album – not chronological, but all mixed together (what was I thinking?).  And best of all (just because I like sarcasm) they were in one of those albums with the sticky glue behind the images – I think they call it a magnetic album.  YIKES!  I only have one of that kind of album and now it’s half empty {grin}.  Mostly “Germany” and “Spain” are out of it.  

I put each set of negatives in it’s own archival sheet protector, temporarily, with the prints I could find and a note with how many prints on the strip, the size of the prints (this helps to find missing ones because I can look at the size of the  prints) and subject or anything that might suggest a possible match for one missing like “Kera (my daughter) wearing yellow sunglasses”.  

I put all the sheet protectors in a 3” binder, temporarily again, and labeled the binder “WIP Germany” for “Work in Progress”.  That sets it apart from sets where all the prints are found and ready to put into archival page protectors for the particular print size.  Which is the next phase…

For now, all the 110 negatives are accounted for!  Thanks to a sleepless night (I think?)!!!  Now the negatives for the disc film is going to be worse because they’re even smaller!  Fortunately, their aren’t a whole lot of those – because those cameras were crap, cheap, worthless poor quality.  But good, I guess, if you’re in the sandy desert fighting in a war…

I hope I’ve given you some help if you’re struggling with what to do with all of your images and negatives.  I’m no expert, but I have learned a lot and want to do the best I can to have it all make sense to the poor soul lucky person who inherits all my neatly organized, indexed and labeled photos!   

NOW GO TO BED!  {Just kidding}.

*I have no affiliation and I am not being compensated for or by any of the products or companies I’ve linked to.  I just wanted to answer the questions before they were asked.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Brown Family: Henry County, GA Deeds

Here are some extracts of deeds pertaining to the Brown family in Henry County, Georgia. I first found them indexed in a book and later got copies of the originals from the Georgia Archives. There were more entries within this book (see bibliography at the end of the post), but these are the ones I had time to make note of during a trip to The Brown House in Henry County.

Also of note, in one of them, the justice of the peace is my fourth great-grandfather Duncan McVicker - signed "D. McVicker, J.P." His eldest son, John McVicker, married Mary Brown, thereby linking the two families. 

Unfortunately, the hard copies I printed from microfilm are so bad that I won't bother scanning them to post here. Perhaps I'll be able to get a digital copy with my thumb drive next visit to the state archives.
These records proved, among other things, that John McVicker's wife's father's name was Robert Brown and that Robert Brown had once lived in Dooly County, Georgia.

From Deed Book H., page 575 & 576:
Mar. 31, 1838
Francis Adams sold to Sabry Brown both of said County on Mar 31, 1838 for the sum of $400 Lot #186 in Dist. 2, 202.5 acres.
Wit. Wm. Kimball
Wm. Adair

Rec.d October 4, 1838

From Deed Book J., page 189:
Dec. 20, 1838
Jordin R. Richardson sold to Balus Brown, both of said county, for the sum of $300, 101 & 1/4 acres of land lying in Lot #199, Dist. 2.
Wit. Wm. Kimbell
Geo. W. Thurston

Rec. Dec. 14, 1839

From Deed Book J. , page 189:
Feb. 3, 1839
Geo. W. Thurston to Baylous Brown, both of said county, for the sum of $160, 101 & 1/4 acres of land lying in the east half of Lot #199, Dist. 2.
Wit. T. Dixon
D. McVicker, J.P.

Rec. Dec. 13, 1839

From Deed Book J., page 166:
Sept. 13, 1839
Jasper M. Sansom sold to Balis Brown, both of said county, for the sum of $775, 101 & 1/4 acres, being of south half of Lot #247 in Dist. 2.
Wit: Lewis Tyrus
Abel Lemon J.J.C .

Rec'd. - Sept. 30, 1839

From Deed Book J., page 346:
Oct. 3, 1839
Bales Brown sold to Jasper M. Sansone, both of said county, for the sum of $775, 101 & 1/4 acres of land described as the south half of Lot #247, Dist. 2.
Wit. John P. Puckelow J.P.
John Kimbell
Timothy T. Parham

Rec. Oct. 2, 1840

From Deed Book J., page 576 :
Feb. 19, 1842
Baylous Brown to Sabra Brown, both of said county, promissory note in the sum of $100, Lot #199, Dist. 2.
[Signed] Baylous Brown
Wit. Archibald Brown
Wm C. Ferrell

Rec. May 29, 1842

From Deed Book M., page 407:
Jan. 25, 1843
Rec'd of Sabra Brown $198 in full in right of my wife for the balance of her legacy as her part from her deceased father Robert Brown.
[Signed] John McVicker
[Wit.: none]
Rec. May 17, 1851

From Deed Book M., page 407:
Feb. 17, 1844
Rec'd of Sabra Brown, administrator of the estate of Robert Brown, late of Duly [Dooly] County, Georgia, in full payment of my said estate.
[Signed] Archibald Brown
[Wit.: none]
Rec. May 17, 1851

From Deed Book M., page 407:
Jan. 29, 1846
Rec'd of Sabra Brown, administrator of the estate of Robert Brown, Dec'd, and Guardian of my wife, Atha Brown, $85.50 in full payment and right of my said wife as her part of the estate of her father, Robert Brown.
[Signed] Robert Sandifer
[Wit.: none]
Rec'd - May 17, 1851

Turner, Freda R., editor. Henry County, GA., Land Records, 1824-1838, Deed Books C/D, F, G, H. 2 Volumes. McDonough, Georgia: Genealogical Society of Henry and Clayton Counties, Inc., 1993.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Painting Goes Back to Artists Family

Exhilaration!!! That's an understatement of what I'm feeling right now! 

One of the long-term projects that I'm working on right now is to deal with all the the antiques my mother had in her home when she died in 1991 and her mother's belongings from when she died in 1994. I know many of you archivists will squirm a when I say they have been stored in cardboard boxes in my basement ever since. EEK!

I have already dealt with the furniture and most things which are sentimental to me or to my brother. What remains are the things I don't know what to do with which they had in their homes.
One of the items is a small painting, oil on canvas. The canvas is about 5 x 7 and it's in a gilded frame.

2010 Oct 04_0761

I don't know whether this was my mothers or grandmothers, though it looks more like my grandmother's style. I don’t know where it came from, though we were probably living in New England at the time they acquired it. I personally think it's charming, but between their stuff and mine, I really need to purge as much as I can! If it's of value I sell it. If it's not I donate it.
But this one was special because of this (click on it to see it larger):

2010 Oct 04_0760

The artist's signature included her maiden name and married name. Viola Files Dube’. So I did a search on Ancestry.com and only found one tree with her complete name. I contacted the owner who said the artist is his great grandfather's brother's wife. And that his mother would be thrilled to have it because "Uncle Herman" was her favorite uncle. 

So, it's boxed and ready to ship. THISisFUN!!! And I will be smiling all the way to the post office knowing that it was returned to the original family.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Marriage Record for Archibald Brown and Amelia Kimbell: January 23, 1853

Henry County Probate Records Office

Henry County, Georgia.

Marriage Record Book, 1851 - 1868
Page 32

Photo taken with permission at the Henry County
Records Office, McDonough, Georgia.
Digitized version of original - Copyright 2009 Joanne Schleier

Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Will of Sabra (Royal) Brown: February 17, 1844

Henry County Probate Records Office

Henry County, Georgia.

Will Book A, Page 339, Henry County

Photo taken with permission at the Henry County
Records Office, McDonough, Georgia.
Digitized version of original - Copyright 2009 Joanne Schleier


Georgia, Henry County
In the name of our God amen, I, Sabra Brown, being of sound mind yet frail in body knowing the uncertainty of life & the certainty of death wishing to settle all my worldly affairs agreeable to my desire do make this my last Will & Testament in manner & form following (viz,)

In the first place, I bequeath my soul to God who gave it & my body after death to the dust from which it came to be decently intered in some family or church burying ground.

Secondly) I wish all my lawful debts & funeral expenses punctually & promptly paid.

Thirdly) I give & bequeath unto my three eldest children (viz) Baylons Brown, Eliza Richardson, & John Brown each Five dollar's as their portion to them & their heirs forever.

Item 4th) I give & bequeath unto my son, Archibald Brown, the Hundred acres of Land I now live on being the North half of Number One hundred & Eighty Six in Second District of Henry County also blue feather bed & furniture to him & his heirs forever.

Fifthly) I give & bequeath unto my two youngest daughters, Mary McVicker & Atha Brown, my negro boy, DemSe [Dempsy?] & all the residue or remainder of my property both real & personal not other wise dispostd of, the Nett amount after all expenses paid to be equally divided between my said two daughters, Mary McVicker & Atha Brown to them & their heirs forever.

Lastly, I do hereby constitute & appoint my worthy friends The Heart, William Kimball, William Adair & Richard B. Jones, Executors to this my last Will & Testament Given under my hand & seal

This 17th of Feby 1844. Signed, sealed, publish & declared, In the presence of us the undersigned
Sabra {her "+" mark} Brown

Wm. C. Farrell.
Wm. H. Kimball.
Benjamin F. Kimball.

Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Charlie Cole WILLIAMS and Rachel Jane (BASKIN, McPEAK) WILLIAMS

Charlie C. Williams July 24, 1871 - April 7, 1934 &
Rachel Jane (Baskin, McPeak) Williams November 8, 1865 - April 1, 1949.

Watson Cemetery
Arlington, Tarrant Co., Texas.


Ancestry.com. Selected U.S. Headstone Photos [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Photos provided by Allen Wheatley, teafor2.com.

Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier

Sunday, August 22, 2010

FGS Conference 2010: Recovering Back Home

My husband, Chris, and I just returned from the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Knoxville Tennessee. It ended yesterday and our drive home was only three hours. This is only the second genealogical conference I’ve ever attended, but I know from other conferences, including FGS last year in Little Rock, Arkansas, that there is a lot to absorb in a small amount of time. So I push myself to the limits, eat on the run, make sure my mornings include a cup of Java, and maximize every minute of each day.

Even though it’s only been a few days, there are sacrifices which we all have to make. When we arrived home my bird feeder was empty, my mailbox was full, my plant looks like this,

and my bananas look like this!

Oh and silly me... 

Ancestry.com had offered free scanning of old photos and documents. Since I’m already working on my own scanning project I thought I could take advantage of this big company's scanning capabilities. All you had to do was sign up ahead of time for a session, bring your items to scan, and they would do it for you and digitize them giving you a free thumb drive! Well, I thought they had those high-speed scanners that would scan your printed photographs at high speeds - like 100 per second. So I brought this:

Boy, was I wrong! 
The scanners they brought were for large or oversized photos and documents which were manually (meaning one at a time, by a human being) laid on the flatbed and a button was pressed which triggered the cameras button. They must’ve thought “this woman is crazy”! But they were kind enough to scan probably a couple hundred loose photos onto two thumb drives. I’m very grateful because it’s less work for me, but I sure learned my lesson not to do that again!

I couldn’t possibly tell you all of the neat tips and tricks that I learned at the conference. That’s why they have a conference after all. But I can give you at least one. When you travel anywhere for researching and your using your thumb drive, make sure you put an address label on it with your identifying information in the event you lose it.

I will usually attend a conference with a list of items I wish to purchase from the vendors in the exhibit hall. The only thing I had on my list was the Professional Genealogy book because I just signed up for the ProGen course and it begins September 1st. I spied another book which I had been told about and wanted, not for genealogy but for the Living History work that my husband and I do, called Woman’s Life in Colonial Days.

Most people know I love my Legacy Family Tree Software and in Little Rock I had purchased AniMap. I played around with it a little but I haven’t been utilizing it because I don’t know the software very well. I found this AniMap tutorial CD at the Legacy vendor. And my one and only impulsive buys was also a Legacy product Map My Family Tree - because I would love to start using more maps in my research.

Everyone who registered for the conference was given 30 tickets to drop into the boxes for drawings at the vendor tables. This year significant prizes were given away including an iPad, a cruise, a trip to Salt Lake for seven days and so many other goodies I can’t list them all here.

I don’t want y’all to hate me, but the truth is - I always win prizes from drawings - ALWAYS. Last year I won a year subscription to OneGreatFamily.com. My friends tease me about winning all the time and it’s a big joke! I had my eye on the iPad this year. Friday night they announced the big giveaways and one of my friends from our local society one the trip to Salt Lake! The names were all announced and I didn’t win a thing.

However, I never checked the bulletin board at the end of the conference which announced other drawings not part of the slew of grandiose announcements Friday night. While driving home my husband says to me rather nonchalantly “oh by the way, I checked the list on the bulletin board and you won a premium account with MyHeritage.com for a year!” Well I’ll be!!! I had picked up a free copy of their software on disk, but this!?!?

I’m not sure whether or not to tell my friends or they might un-befriend me!

As we get back into the swing of things, prepare grocery lists, answer e-mails, follow up on phone calls, nose-to-the-grindstone and all that kind of thing, here’s one last tip. Take all of your conference materials, handouts, CD’s, vendor materials, contact’s business cards, - the whole banana, and consolidate them so you can sort through it after the return-home rush of tasks. I have very little that I’ve kept, as I try to weed out things along the way, but everything I have has found its place in an expandable pocket which I’ll keep in my office by my computer to work on in small bites.

My next big event is the Atlanta family history Expo 2010,November 12 & 13th in Atlanta. My goal is to sort through all these conference materials before then. Wish me luck!

Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier
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