29 May 2012

Robbing the Cradle

TWO trees today.
Comments after the jump.

 Born in 1720

 Married WILLIAM SHANNON (b. 1845) in ????
   One child
   William, b. 1772

 Married JAMES SHANNON (b. 1773) in 1778
   Three children
   Elizabeth, b. 1780
   Jane, b. 1782
   Nancy, b. 1783


 Born in 1720

 Married THOMAS SHANNON (b. 1760) in ????
   One child
   Layne, b. 1784

 Married JAMES SHANNON (b. 1773) in 1778
   Nine children
   Nancy, b. 1747
   William, b. 1773
   Elizabeth, b. 1779
   Jane, b. 1782
   Nancy, b. 1783
   James, b. 1787
   Layne, b. 1789
   John, b. 1792
   Cornelius, b. 1799

25 May 2012

R U Calling My Nana a Liar?

Why waste your money looking up your family tree? 
Just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. 
Mark Twain

Those of us that help on a popular Facebook page find ourselves cautioning others about believing their family stories. We tell them that those stories are not fact until we have the records to back them up. Looks like someone should have given Elizabeth Warren's family that same warning. It's only natural that we believe what our mother, father, or any other family elder for that matter, tells us about our family history. Unfortunately some of their stories get distorted over time. Doing genealogy research gives us an opportunity to get to the truth.

Did you ever play the "telephone" game when you were a kid? What starts out as "They inherited the earth and then the army came and scorched it" can end up as "Mayfield College." Now imagine that game of telephone is happening, not over an hour but, over decades. Oh, and someone in the "telephone" line was 8 years old when it was their turn and they only heard the story the one time. Your Nana may have had the best of intentions in passing the story along to you. She probably believed every word of it but if you base your research on that and toss aside any records that don't fit the family legend your real family history will never be found.
More on myths and legends after the jump.

22 May 2012

They Do More Before They're Born Than Most People Do...

Comments after the jump.

 Nicholas Pickard, b. 1752
 Anna Pickard, b. 1754
 Maria Margaret Pickard, b. 1756
 John Pickard, b. 1766

 Nicholas Pickard, b. 1752
 Anna Pickard, b. 1754
 Maria Margaret Pickard, b. 1756
 John Pickard, b. 1766
 Maria Madgelena Pickard, b. 1784
 Charity Gertrude Pickard, b. 1785
 Adam Pickard, b. 1786
 Catherine Pickard, b. 1789
 Charity Gertrude Pickard, b. 1789
 Peter Pickard, b. 1791
 James Pickard, b. 1793
 Bartholomew Pickard, b. 1797
 Nancy Pickard, b. 1798
 Nicholas Pickard, b. 1799
 Sylvanus Pickard, b. 1800
 Abraham J. Pickard, b. 1801
 Henry Pickard, b. 1803
 Albert Pickard, b. 1807
 Porter Pickard, b. 1832

18 May 2012

A Stranger's Impact

The comments for a previous post brought up more interesting facts about names. Today being named after someone means sharing a first or middle name. You can even be named after two people, i.e. first name Floyd for one grandfather and middle name William for the other. But in the past, being named after someone could mean you had their full name with your father's surname: George Washington + surname, Benjamin Franklin + surname, etc..
So you noticed that you have a couple Lorenzo Dows (first and middle name) in your family tree on completely unconnected branches. You start wondering if those branches might be connected in some way. First, do a quick Google search of that name. You may find a popular culture figure from their day. Lorenzo Dow was a popular preacher but you may find a politician or a character from a book.
So before you go on a hunt to find out how the other 10 people in your ancestor's town are related because they have the same distinct first and middle names, do a search. You may find that a pop culture connection is all there is. And definitely don't make assumptions that your tree will connect to that famous person!   ;-)
Here are some examples. If you don't recognize the name do a quick Google search to find out who they are.

Just about every American President
Henry Clay
Lorenzo Dow
Francis Marion
Daniel Webster
Waldo Emerson
Elmer Ellsworth
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Franklin
Napoleon Bonaparte

Some people named after an icon ended up with two middle names:

John Jordan Crittenden
Horatio Nelson Trafalgar
William Tecumseh Sherman

Female names:

Helen Keller
Clara Barton
Dottie Dimple
Martha Custis
Dolly Madison
Susan Anthony
Eleanor Roosevelt
Martha Washington

NEXT POST: They Do More Before They're Born Than Most People Do...

15 May 2012

Time Turner

Comments after the jump.

 William Sumner (b. 1531, England; d. 1570, England)
Mother of William
Grace Jones (b. 1505, Pennsylvania; d. ?, England)
Father of Grace
John S. Jones (no dates)
Father of John
Robert B. Jones (b. 1831, Pennsylvania; d. 1899, Pennsylvania)
Father of Robert
William James Jones (b. 1784, Canada; d. 1858, Pennsylvania)
Father of William
John A. Jones (b. 1729, England; d. 1840, Pennsylvania)

11 May 2012

The Sewing Machine

My mom wrote this a few years ago and I thought it would
be appropriate for Mother's Day weekend.

Mom did not have much time to do anything at home since she divorced when we were very young (I was six years old) and she had to work to support and raise us the best way she could. Anyway, every little chance she had, she would work on some fancy needlework. She loved to embroider and crochet but never had enough to buy supplies. Her dad, my grandpa, bought her a sewing machine so she could make us dresses. During those days street vendors would go around the neighborhood selling whatever. There was this man that would go by on a monthly basis selling his wares including material and sewing thread. Mom would buy scrap bundles (they were cheaper in price) to make us clothes. She made her own patterns. She didn't use instructions for her crocheting either! Back then flour came in a cloth sack (25 - 50 pounds). Most were "dirty looking" white sacks but we also had pretty prints. I think even my brother had flour sack underwear made by Mom. I still remember the very first bra she made for me. As a child I did not appreciate it and felt embarrassed to wear it. Of course now I feel so proud of my Mom and what she went through to make me what I am today. Back to the sewing machine. It was nice. It had a cabinet but most of all, Mama could really make the pedal go! She was proud of it. My baby sister, Lali, ended up with it. Don't know why but she dumped it! One day in the early 70's Floyd and I went to visit and saw it outside the house all rusty and the cabinet was rotted. Floyd figured he would try to make it work. No luck, it was too far gone. The only thing he could save was the iron legs. That's what we now use as an end table!

Mom, Grandma Luz, Tia Mary
Great-Grandpa Ysidro, Tia Lali, Tio Marcos

PREVIOUS POST: They told 2 friends and so on...
NEXT POST: Time Turner

08 May 2012

They told 2 friends and so on...

Comments after the jump.

Richard Theron Williams
1890 Apr 5      Born
1900 Dec 26    Married to Mary Jane Dawson
1902 Mar 23    Birth of son, Theron Frank Williams
1948 Apr 30    Death

Note: There are more children but I've only included the eldest.

04 May 2012

Hints Are NOT Facts

Fact = Truth
Hint = Clue

On Ancestry.com the shaky leaves are hints
but most of the problems that are featured on this blog
are the result of people
unquestioningly accepting that shaking leaf as fact.

"God grant me the serenity to accept only the hints I can prove,
ignore the tempting hints I can't,
and the wisdom to know the difference."
- Liz Rochefort

I think these two videos should be required watching for every Ancestry.com subscriber.
EVERY subscriber.

UPDATE: Thanks to reader Marilyn for pointing out that the hints are facts. They just might not be facts about YOUR ancestor.

PREVIOUS POST: Who's Your Mommy?
NEW POST: They told 2 friends and so on...

01 May 2012

Who's Your Mommy?

Comments after the jump.

WILLIAM GEORGE PALMER's spouses and children
All children have the Palmer surname.
All births are in Utah.

Maryetta Phillips             rachel crump loveless           Rachel Mahala Loveless
married 1885                  married 1903                         married 1903                   
William lewis                     William Lewis                          William Lewis
(1887-1943)                     (1887-1943)                            (1887-1943)
William Lewis
Mary Lozelphia                  Mary Lozelphia                        Mary Lozelphia
(1889-1927)                     (1889-1927)                           (1889-1927)
Emmett Acle (son)             Emmett Acle                           Emmett Acle
(1891-1919)                     (1891-1919)                           (1891-1919)
Emmett Acle (daug.)        
Ervin Ray                           Ervin Ray                               Ervin Ray
(1892-1961)                      (1892-1961)                          (1892-1961)
Emma Elvera                      Emma Elvera                         Emma Elvera
(1895-1971)                      (1895-1971)                          (1895-1971)
                                         emma jane                            Emma Jane
                                         (1904-1981)                          (1904-1981)
                                         joseph w                               Joseph Wesley
                                         (1907-1979)                          (1907-1979)

I have no idea why some names are capitalized and 
others are not but that's the way it is on this tree.