Saturday, June 17, 2017

Lemuel's FAN club

As a researcher you should be familiar with Cluster Genealogy as a method for finding out more about your ancestors.  You may also be familiar with the term Fan Club or Fan Club principle which was coined by Elizabeth Shown Mills to describe the group of individuals who were Family, Associates, and Neighbors of  an ancestor.  By examining the relationship of these persons to your ancestor,  you will gain a better insight into their lives and find more of their paper trail.  If you aren't familiar with this term please check out Mill's Historic Pathways site for more information on her excellent articles, books,  and presentations.

FAN club from Lemuel Manier's Probate Packet
  1. Susan E A. Manier (widow)
  2. John W. Manier(son)
  3. Stephen J. Manier(son)
  4. Eliza J. Manier King(daughter)
  5. Wm. B King(son-in-law)
  6. Minerva O. or A Hays(daughter--Widow of Robert Ralston)
  7. Ann Manier Floyd(daughter)
  8. John H. Floyd(son-in-law)
  9. Lemuel Manier(son)
  10. Leanne Manier Hill(daughter)
  11. William T. Hill(son-in-law)
  12. David C Manier(son)
  13. Anna W Manier(daughter)
  14. Amasa Manier(son)
  15. Drury Bennet(neighboring land owner married to Elizabeth Manier)
  16. James Carson(neighboring land owner)
  17. John Loney?(neighboring land owner)
  18. Wm. R. Nunn(neighboring land owner)
  19. Wm McKay(sold Lemuel land in R'ford Co Tn 16 Jan 1835)
  20. Solomon(negro)
  21. Mary(negro)
  22. Harriet(negro --child of Mary)
  23. Edmond(negro)
  24. Hardy(negro)
  25. Balam(negro)
  26. Chelsey William(executor)
  27. James D. Gillespie(witness)
  28. Christopher M Brooks(witness)
  29. Noah Scales(witness)
  30. Thomas Bullock(Deputy Court Clk)
  31. R. D. Morrison(witness)
  32. J P Calhoun(witness)
  33. John Bittle(witness)
  34. Robert Taylor(witness)
  35. R.C. Owen(witness)
  36. Stephen Bennett(witness)
  37. W.W. Floyd(witness)
  38. James T. Shurman(witness)
  39. Jacob(negro)
  40. Andy(negro)
  41. George(negro)
  42. James A. Hayes(son-in-law---2nd husband & eventually ex  husband of Minerva)
  43. Permelia Russell(widow of Daniel Russell)
  44. Daniel Russell(deceased trustee for Minerva)
  45. James S. Hamlett(Sheriff)
  46. William Ralston(son of Minerva who is her trustee)
  47. Wm S Fleming(Chancellor of Court 1874)
From the information in the Probate Pkt of 
David Lemuel Manier(Manire) 1792-1837  Williamson Co. TN

Image 2867-2984 of 2992

Source Citation
Probate, Divorce and Original Wills Records, 1800-1899; Author: Tennessee County Court (Williamson County); Probate Place: Williamson, Tennessee

Source Information Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Tennessee County, District and Probate Courts.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Info found in Probate File of my 3rd Great Grandfather

Things I found in a 118 image probate file(At of my 3rd Great Grandfather, Lemuel Manier(Manire) who died in the year 1837 in Williamson County, Tennessee.  You really have to take it in the context of the times--before emancipation and women's rights.  Not that that justifies not giving folks rights or limiting them based on the color of their skin, their gender ...or both.  Some of the pages were poorly written.  Thankfully, there were 2 or 3 copes for a number of the documents and at least one was legible.

Information in the probate packet:
  • Date on which will was written & residence
  • Date on which will was proven
  • Listing of children complete with married names of daughters
  • Name of widow
  • Death info of widow
  • Land description(residence)
  • Additional land description & who it was purchased from
  • Names of neighbors from land description
  • Relationship status of daughters(marriage/divorce/widowed)
  • Location/Proof of relationship status of daughters or widow
  • Name of County Sheriff
  • Subpoenas executed.
  • Proof of death of estate trustee 
  • Estate sale items
  • Slave names and ages
  • record of slave death including the cost of coffin
  • Hiring out of slaves
  • 47 persons to add to Lemuel Manire's Genealogy FAN club(term coined by Elisabeth Shown Mills which describes a research method of studying an ancestor's Family, Associates, and Neighbors--also called cluster research)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Crumbs from a Probate Packet and the makings of a citing nightmare...

My original intent in this post was to a small bit of information from the Lemuel Manier & heirs probate packet(ie. info on his daughter, Minerva's divorce).  Trying to cite it has me pulling my hair out as there are so many contradictions in the source listing.  The key, I feel, is to give directions on how to find that source again.

For what is is worth, Here is what Ancestry puts on the Record file as the source information & citation.

Source Citation
Probate, Divorce and Original Wills Records, 1800-1899; Author: Tennessee County Court (Williamson County); Probate Place: Williamson, Tennessee

Source Information Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Tennessee County, District and Probate Courts.

When viewing the images themselves below is the header you see if you view from the TN Wills & Probate search results.

Image  2976 of 2992  contains the following information giving clues about divorce of Minerva O Hays.

This case was on the 20th day of Dec 1875 heard on the petition of Minerva O Hays and the proof in the case from which it appears to the satisfaction of the court that since the making of the decree in this cause and the appointment of William Ralston as Trustee for Minerva O Hays she has been divorced from her husband and is now a feme sole and there is no longer any necessity of retaining Wm Ralston in the office of Trustee and her estate in his hands as such trustee.  Thereupon the court decrees that William Ralston as trustee deliver up and surrender to Minerva O Hays all of her effects in his hands take her receipt therefore and produce a file of such receipt in this court and upon his so doing that he be discharged from the office of trustee and be relieved from all liability as such.  The court decrees that she pay the cost of this.

Proof of divorce is given under oath by statement from Chelsey Williams(18th Dec 1875)
Who answers that her family of sons stated that she was divorced from him in Columbia, Maury Co TN in 1874 or the first part of 1875. (Image 2951 of 2992)

Monday, June 05, 2017

In Praise of City Directories

This week got off to a great start with me finding the 118 page probate/estate packet of my 3rd Great Grandfather.  I began reading over it last night and there is just so much information included.  I haven't even gotten half way thru and I'm seeing the names of all of his children, land descriptions and as this was before emancipation I've also found information pertaining to slaves which were hired out.  It lists their names and ages.  One in particular was a rather odd given name.  Consulting a directory at for the family I was able to find a gentleman by the same name with the last name of our family. Not sure that it is the one listed in the probate info but is likely a nephew or son.  I found additional census listings also that contained the names mentioned in the probate file. I had worked with directories in my research on another case which I blogged about this past year.  Each time I use them I find even more information or uses. These tidbits are things that you might not expect to find.  If you want to know how the Country, State, County or City was run--just look in the directory for the city in question.  Below is a listing in no particular order of the things that I have found in a city directory.

  • Tax Laws specific to the publication year and area covered.
  • Occupation--sometimes it also lists place of employment
  • Females listed as "widow of.."
  • Maps--a variety
  • Election schedules & Elected officials
  • Business Directory--gives you an idea of what is booming in that area at the time.
  • Index to Advertisers--businesses that paid to have an ad listed.  The earlier ones can be really interesting. (One advertisement for a Sanitarium located in Nashville said that they could cure any addition but that they only took refined patients.)
  • Streetcar/Railway schedules.
  • Any number of stats for larger cities as well as a history of the area
  • Religious & other Societies and Associations
  • Listing of Local Churches

Friend and fellow genealogist, Miriam Robbins has been addressing this point for a number of years.  In addition to her Online Historical Directories site and blog she has also started a Facebook group on the topic.  More information about all of these can be found in her post at her AnceStories blog.  In my opinion city directories are just as valuable to a researcher today as they were to area residents at their time of publication. Their value is illustrated in this warning printed inside the cover of one of the Nashville Directories.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Will of William D Powell--July 1934-proved in Lee Co AL

"Tennessee Probate Court Books, 1795-1927," images, FamilySearch ( : 22 May 2014), Rutherford > image 293 of 327; county courthouses, Tennessee.

Reading thru the Probate Records of Rutherford Co TN and I happen to find a will that was written by a resident of Louisville KY, William D. Powell.   Looks like it was proved in Lee Co AL in July 1934.  It provides a full listing of the living children including the areas where they live.  I was not able to figure out why the copy was included in the Rutherford Co TN records.  I did look for the location of Henning, Tennessee but it is in Lauderdale County which is not near Rutherford County.  I love the detail found in this will too.  Mr. Powell instructs that there is to be enough money put aside from his estate to make a $100 contribution to the Southern Baptist for 3 years.  He also in Item 6 makes a statement of faith.

A check at Ancestry shows that the Probate Papers in Lee County Alabama are extensive
The Ancestry "packet" contains 52 images.  

Cover Page 1
Order Papers 2–8
Will Papers 9–10
Petition Papers 11–14
Account Papers 15–34
Petition Papers 35–43
Order Papers 44–45
Petition Papers 46–49
Administration Papers 50–52

This makes me wonder about his descendants and if they stayed in contact given that he had children who were living in 8 different US states at the time of his death.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Shared Ancestor Hint thrown off by tree discrepancies

Overwhelmed with the amount of matches lately but today I took the time to work the Shared Ancestor Hints and noticed this.  

The match in question is genealogically a 5th cousin which this should show.  It's really not thru any fault of Ancestry that it isn't showing correctly.  I believe that it's actually caused by the match's entry for the husband of Annie Rice.  We both have the husband as James Hatfield but the middle initials are different for each of us and the other tree has him living over 40 yrs more than what I have in my tree.  That difference likely caused the comparison tool to think it was comparing two different Annie Rices.  I did check the shared matches and they are my Pittman/Hatfield cousins.  I think the DNA may actually be thru the Hatfield line on this one or there may be different shared segments of DNA among all of us and part may be Rice...some Hatfield and maybe some Pittman.  Be prepared to investigate and see what is causing things of this nature.  Triangulation is necessary if I want to be able to mark the matching segment and assign it to a specific ancestor or ancestor group.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

An example of why we must ALWAYS check the image.

Digging thru Riddles in the Warren Co TN area I was reminded of why you should always click thru to the image for further examination.

Reading the index would make you think this household is made up of 2 Males.  That really doesn't make sense given that the head of household is female.  Even if she were a person of color she would be listed in Total All column.

I pasted the column headers in just above the snippet of Mary's entry so you could see how many in each age group and gender were enumerated. (Click image to enlarge)

The index did not include the 3 white females in the household.  
1 ------- 30-under 40
1 ------- 50-under 60
1 ------- 70-under 80

I left a comment on this entry to make others aware of the omission.  

When you think about how many people this information has passed thru it's amazing that we still have any of it.

This particular entry was from the Ancestry Database of the 1830 United States Federal Census.  That database was made using images digitized by FamilySearch of the census pages which were microfilmed  by the NARA.  I do not know who indexed the census. Those pages of census data were collected by the census taker from someone in that household(and in some cases probably a neighbor).  From what I understand it was not uncommon for the census taker to collect the data and then write it on the census form later in his best...or sometimes worst handwriting.  I checked to see if the 1830 census pages still exist but from what I can gather the NARA only has the negative photostatic copies for the year 1830. [1]

Ancestry Database: 1830 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.1830; Image 141 of 158.

Family History Library Film:
Census Place: Warren, Tennessee; Series: M19; Roll: 181; Page: 367; Family History Library Film: 0024539

Original data: 
Fifth Census of the United States, 1830. (NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

It's a Blogiversary!! MarieB's Genealogy Blog turns 13!!

It is hard to believe that it has been 13 years since I started blogging about my genealogy. There have been times when I rarely posted and others in which I posted a great deal.  I am thankful I have an outlet to share my excitement about my family history research and things that I've found that have been helpful and maybe at times--things to avoid.  Thanks to my readers past, present and future for being part of the journey.  I love my research and I love sharing tips and genealogy "happy dance" moments with you.  In celebration of the BlogiversaryI thought it might be a good idea to review the top 13 most popular posts of the 13 years!  Hope you enjoy and I look forward to sharing many more posts with you!

13 Most Popular Posts
at MarieB's Genealogy Blog

  1. Arrival in America of my Putman/Putnam and Shropshire Ancestors--Oct 3, 2009
  2. Elisha Miller Robinson(1825-1896)--Jul 10, 2009
  3. How the houses my Grandparents lived in look today(Part 1 Part 2)--Oct 26, 2013
  4. My Grandmother's Post Cards--Tennessee Buildings--Oct 9, 2009
  5. My 32 Great Great Great Grandparents( 30 known, 2 unknown)--Sep 5, 2009
  6. Skill builders from the Board for Certification of Genealogists--Jul 19, 2004
  7. Examining a Maternal DNA Circle--Mason Combs(1746-1802) --Mar 21, 2017
  8. Dear Cousins: If you have taken an atDNA test--Nov 18, 2016
  9. Researching Confederate Records of the Civil War.--Aug 30, 2016
  10. 1840 Williamson Co. TN Census Head of Households Dist 25--Apr  19, 2016
  11. AncestryDNA Circles Spreadsheet strategy--Aug 9, 2016
  12. March 21, 1891--Birthday of Pearl Gray Jakes Cooke--Mar 31, 2017
  13. A plan for helping to identify my 3rd and 4th cousins DNA matches--Aug 27, 2016

Friday, April 21, 2017

AncestryDNA results--a 3 generation comparison of DNA Match

I have an example of  a DNA match across 3 generations and also a very good illustration of why the ability to compare in a chromosome browser is the only way to know with more certainty how we match someone.  Below you see the match, Joy compared to my Mom,Beatrice.  They share 10.1 cM across 1 DNA segment

Next let's look at my sister, Rebecca compared to Joy.(You can only do the comparison with tests for which you have admin or editor rights.)  Looks like she didn't get that segment from Mom.

Compared with Joy she and I share 25.3 cMs across 2 segments.  Wait--Mom only had 10.1 cM.  Where did I pick up the other 15.2 cMs?  Was it a no-call on Mom's test and actually from her side?  Did I get it from my Dad?  Dad passed before he could test but I have a phased kit of the DNA which I got from him.  I could compare my paternal phased DNA  if Joy were at GEDmatch.   Hopefully she will upload her results there.

Now let's take a look at my daughter, Brittany compared to Joy. Looks like she got both segments and would have the potential for passing these segments on to any children she may have.

Thoughts:  We can't know for sure that the 15.2 cM segment that I have and that I passed on is from my Dad without comparison of the tests results in a Chromosome Browser. Then we can draw some conclusions.  Think about it though--Rebecca's two children will not have these segments because she did not have them to pass on to them.  That is how sometimes we have different matches than our siblings  DNA Randomness. It's no wonder that on average we only match about half of our 4th cousins.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Perfect Example of why you should always check the image

Never in my research has there been a better example which illustrates the importance of always clicking thru to view the linked images.  If you check the image you will see this is the page on which the census taker, Lula S. Berry is adding all the people that were left out of earlier households. She has the words "Out Of Order" written at the top of the page.  It looks like the information to find the households which they were a part of is included in the Location & Household Column along with a note on one of the earlier entries before this grouping that says Information furnished by Ms? Irvine.   It is difficult to tell what her system may have been for referencing those households.  The snippet I included is of the Record which is linked to Stamped page 261 Sheet 61A.  The people ABOVE the blue line are included on the page which is linked to the record.   It looks like it was in question whether some infants should have been included or not and the census taker waited til the last to add them.  Also the persons who are shown on the record snippet BELOW the blue line and  located Two images ahead are guests at the Imperial Hotel in Monterey TN.  Always check the image and never blindly add from the record.  Additionally, It's a good idea to check at the end of a district to see if there are any persons of interest which were left out of the initial entry and are included at the end of that district.  Browsing thru this district which is in order by the stamped page number, you will see that sometimes the sheet number doesn't follow the pattern you would expect it to follow.  Always check the image and browse a few pages before and after the entry of interest especially if it doesn't appear to be a standard enumeration.  We could blame this on the census taker or the indexer.  In my opinion the blame is on us as researchers for not checking more closely.

1940 U.S. census, Putnam County, Tennessee, population schedule, Monterey Town, Enum. Dist: 71-18, p. 261 (stamped), digital image(45 of 48), ( : accessed 20 April 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 3928.

Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.

Enumeration District : 71-18; Description: CIVIL DISTRICT 14, MONTEREY TOWN, DR. W. C. OFFICER´S SANITARIUM

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Trello Board for organizing my DNA Brainstorming

Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend a Legacy Family Tree Webinar by Lisa Alzo
entitled "Your Whiteboard in the Cloud: Trello for Genealogists."  You can find this recorded webinar along with others by Lisa in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar library.
I'm just getting started using Trello. At this point I am using the Free version.    I started by making a Board for my DNA matches. I'm not listing the matches but rather the reoccurring surnames and locations.  I think of Lists like the columns for the board and the Cards as the building blocks for that column. You can attach images and links to the Cards you add to the lists.  See my first board below.

My board has 4 lists--PGF(Paternal Grandfather), PGM(Paternal Grandmother), MGF(Maternal Grandfather) and MGM(Maternal Grandmother).  I have also put color labels which are the same color(or as close as I could get) to what I use in my DNA segment mapping for those Grandparents.  Clicking in the PGM lists brings up these options(below)

Trello boards also work for collaborating as you can share the boards or if you are more like me you might want them to help you focus on a research task.  It reminds me a bit of Bullet Journaling.  They are very customizable and there is no wrong way.  You decide what works for you and do that.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Use Word Clouds in your Family History Research

Word clouds are great for bringing together surnames and locations from your research.  I use them to pull together groups of people and locations especially when I am working on a DNA segment. You could also do this when researching families that migrated together.

A variety of free word cloud generators can be found by using your preferred search engine. For this word cloud I used the word cloud generator at