Monday, July 17, 2017

AncestryDNA match category spread for my family's tests.

Mom's AncestryDNA matches include
2 children
1 granddaughter

2nd Cousin AncestryDNA category
(which includes some projected 1st-2nd cousins & 2nd-3rd cousins)
11 cousins--3 of which have uploaded to
AncestryDNA estimated shared cMs ranges from 623 cMs over 21 segments --235 cM over 9 segments
All are Paternal cousins except one--a known maternal 1C1R of the Acuff/Hale variety

3rd Cousin AncestryDNA category
39 cousins--6 of which have uploaded to
AncestryDNA estimated shared cMs ranges from 188 cMs over 9 segments-- 91 cMs over 5 segments

Subtracting those 50 matches and the 3 immediate family from her total shown 4th Cousins or closer match total and she has 2,266 4th cousins.  For the record all of Mom's 3rd cousins or closer have been asked if they would consider uploading their results to GEDmatch.  Looking at Mom's matches made me curious how the numbers compared to my results as well as those of my daughter, and my sister.

Mom is very fortunate to have many of  her closer cousins who have tested.  I wish more of the closer cousins would upload to GEDmatch.  It certainly would make sorting the matches easier.  In the end though it is their choice and more times than not, it is just not a priority for them.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Looking at the Head of Households for 1820 Elbert Co Georgia --Capt Oliver's Dist

Wanted to read through the Census for the area where my Upshaw/Patton lines had lived.  They would have been gone from the area for likely at least 15 yrs by the time this census was taken.  I see a lot of Cooks and also some familiar names like William King and Leroy Upshaw.  The Upshaw may be a cousin as the age was too young to be my direct Leroy Upshaw.  I'm sure there are errors in this listing as it is my attempt at reading the handwriting from the scanned images.  That said, the writing is worlds better than some I've tried to decipher.

John Y Allgood
William Nolan
Issachar Cook
John F Cook
Thomas Bell Sr
David Matten?
James Morrison
John Nunley
Peter Allgood
James Bell
Thomas Elliott
Abraham Cook
John Cook
Joshua Cook
Smith Cook
Thomas Cook
Samuel Cook
Thomas Thurlkill
Isaac Mobley
Aaron Brown
Mary Cook
Nathaniel Cook
William Stone
John B Cook
Nicholas Goode
Thomas Childers
David Hudson Jr
Becker Hudson
William Allgood Jr
Mchenry Irons
George Cook
Saml Snellings
William Allgood Sr
Patrick Jack

James Ragan
Edmond Lowrey
Parish Smith
Thomas Oliver
William King
Leroy Upshaw
Valentine Smith
Jesse Hendrick Sr
William Woods
William S Burch
Thomas Forstson
D??er Jeter
Walker Richardson
Thomas Laninham
Ralph Blackwell
Lewis Wilhight
John Winfield
Peter David
Gideon Hamm
Leonard Smith
William Hendrick
James A Depriest
William Burns

These are listed after the totals on the 2nd pg. (no explanation is offered by the census taker as to why they are listed separately)
Dyonesus Oliver
Isaac O Edwards
David Hudson Sr
William B Key
Andrew Woodley
Chole T Kee
George Perrin
William C Davis

Friday, July 14, 2017

A letter for Ellis P Cook--Nashville--April 1841

Searching for Cooks in the middle Tennessee area I found a List of Letters Advertisement.

The Tennessean Nashville, Tennessee United States of America
Tuesday, April 20, 1841 pg 4  (

List of Letters
Remaining in the Post Office at Nashville on the 15th day of April.
Persons applying for the letter to the following list, will please say "ADVERTISED"

Among those listed was
Cook, Ellis P

Not in my line that I know of but I was curious as to why he hadn't gotten the letter.

1839 Oct Robertson Co TN married to Louisa Y? Strother₁
1840 Davidson Co., TN₂
1850 Newton Co., MO₃ (Kitty Cortney b. in TN living in household)
1860 Newton Co., MO₄ (Louisa no longer in household youngest child age 7)
1870 Newton Co., MO₅ (Kitty still living in household
1870 Dec Newton Co., MO₆ married Catherine  "Kitty" Cortney
1880 Carroll Co., AR ₇

Looking at a timeline of events from records I found it appears he had moved from the Nashville area to Newton Co MO where he remained until sometime between 1870 and 1880 when he moved to Carroll Co., Arkansas.  After the death of his first wife it appears he married Kitty who had been living in his household since 1850.  Was Kitty kin to his first wife who was also born in TN.  Did he ever receive the letter?  Rabbit holes for another day.

The following sources were consulted as I fell down the rabbit hole.

1.  Tennessee, State Marriages, 1780-2002 for Ellis P Cook  --Robertson Dec 1878 - Nov 1886: Marriages 5-8 Tennessee, State Marriages, 1780-2002   Oct 16 1839 (it was indexed as 1840 and in the 1878-1886 book [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008.
Original data: Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm.

2.  Year: 1840; Census Place: Davidson, Tennessee; Roll: 520; Page: 285; Family History Library Film: 0024543
Source Information 1840 United States Federal Census, Tennessee, Davidson Co. City of Nashville Ward 4  Image 41 of 257 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. 

3.  Year: 1850; Census Place: Van Buren, Newton, Missouri; Roll: M432_408; Page: 342A; Image: 246
Source Information 1850 United States Federal Census Missouri, Newton Co.  Van Buren Twp. Images 12 & 13 of 14[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. 

4.  Year: 1860; Census Place: Van Buren, Newton, Missouri; Roll: M653_636; Page: 983; Family History Library Film: 803636
Source Information 1860 United States Federal Census Missouri Newton Co. Van Buren Twp. Images 9 of 25. [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. 

5.  Year: 1870; Census Place: Van Buren, Newton, Missouri; Roll: M593_795; Page: 487B; Image: 386627; Family History Library Film: 552294
Source Information 1870 United States Federal Census Missouri Newton Co. Van Buren Twp. Newtonia P.O. Images 12 of 33[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009.

6. Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2007.
Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.

7.  Year: 1880; Census Place: Eureka Springs, Carroll, Arkansas; Roll: 39; Family History Film: 1254039; Page: 159C; Enumeration District: 025; Image 15 of 57 and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census Arkansas, Carroll Co., Eureka Springs Image 15 of 57  [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Genealogical details in an advertisement.

The Cincinnati Enquirer  Cincinnati, Ohio  Thu, Sep 5, 1901 – Page 12

My Daughter, Brittany's Folley line is her most recent immigrant line.  George Folley(her 3rd Great Grandfather) brought his family to the USA about 1887.  At the time, his family consisted of his wife and their two daughters.  His wife would die in 1888 of Yellow Fever. George was a tailor and remarried in New York to Barbara Klemme(from Franklin Co IN) about 3 years after his wife's death.  Franklin County, Indiana is where most of Brittany's Paternal Grandfather's German ancestors lived.  George and Barbara lived in Campbell Co Kentucky for awhile before moving on to Cincinnati Ohio.

I recently subscribed when I noticed a good deal on their Publisher Extra subscription which they were offering to subscribers.  Imagine my surprise at finding genealogical information in an advertisement.   The subscription price is well worth it.  I found the details of George's Death published in The Cincinnati Enquirer and also ran across an advertisement from about 25 yrs prior to that which gives a little background about George's employment.

March 25 1929 pg 12The Cincinnati Enquirer(Cincinnati, Ohio)

The Cincinnati Enquirer Cincinnati, Ohio Mon, Mar 25, 1929 – Page 12

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Reminder about Obituary information

Most researchers know that obituaries are often littered with errors. Names omitted---wrong info given because of the survivors' state of mind and countless other reasons.  I think my family takes the cake on it though.  My Great Grandmother Emma Frances Hale(Mrs. James Polk Acuff) is listed in her brother's obit in 1947[Sam Hale--Southern Standard (McMinnville, TN) ]despite the fact that she died in 1939.  My family really does need to stay in touch more. Today I found another example while checking the obits for my Aunts and Uncles.  This one I found today is likely to be a typo that no one caught.

My Dad's brother, Morris Bradford Cooke's obit list the year of death wrong.  It was 1994 when he died.  The obituary is in The Tennessean, (Nashville, TN) 12 Mar 1994, Sat, Page 16.  His Mother, my paternal grandmother died in July of 1993.  I know he was alive then as I was at her funeral and he was there.  We have the creepy picture by the casket to back that up also.  I have no idea why we do happens a lot in my family.  I think it is fairly obvious if you look at all the other obituaries on the page and the date of publication.  If there is any doubt,  I may have to find those pics.

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.