Friday, December 16, 2011

I.L.L. and L.O.C., Chautauqua, NY

My goodness, time has flown. It is December and Christmas is a little over a week away. I am getting a present for myself! I have an ancestor who was quite long lived and because of that he has an obituary! rah! rah!
I have been working in the time period of about 1790 to 1850 in New York State, It is quite difficult to get information from that time frame as there were no vital records kept by the state except for a few isolated areas. Newspapers were usually weekly or biweekly, but there are few places that have them and those that do, have them microfilmed and stored. If you are not in NY it is difficult to find them. I googled for him and found a lot of information in "The History of Chatauqua County, New York and its people" which fortunately is on-line. I read various items that pertained to him and there was a line that caught my eye. His death was in the Town of Carroll, but his obituary was in the Mayville Sentinel in 1843. Yay, a clue.

I googled for the "Mayville Sentinel", there were microfilm copies and the Library of Congress (LOC) had some issues in their possession. I dug a little deeper on-line and got a volume number, an issue number and a date. Looking good. I emailed the LOC, who replied that they did not have that issue, but the NY State Library in Albany did. They suggested I get an ILL (interlibrary loan). I tried to get the ILL, but due to budget cuts there was only one librarian who knew how and she wasn't there. : (  I left my name and number and went home to wait. 4 days later I got the call, if I could come in she would help me : )

I gathered my information and hopes and went to the library, I gave her the information including the fact that the LOC did not have that particular issue, but NYSL did, paid my $5 and left. 3 weeks later I received The Call, if I would come to the library I could pick up the packet of information they had for me, I was thrilled.
The first thing I did after I got the packet was, naturally, open it so I could see that obituary. There was a note attached, The information in the packet had been downloaded and printed through Ancestry as the LOC did not have that edition, well, neither does Ancestry, I had received my original information from their site. Now I had the same in printed form. $5 wasted.

The LOC has a nifty little site called ask a librarian -   I figured I had nothing to lose at this point so I outlined my information and sent it. I am now waiting for the obituary copy information to arrive at which time I will send the NYSL $10 for their work. It involved some effort on my part, but it is a heckuva lot cheaper than going to NY and I have an authentic source for my database. I will add it to my site for others who need that particular source. I won't know if it is a primary or a secondary source, but it is a source and I am satisfied. I just wish I could find something as solid on my William Wright, Daniel Miller and Thomas Graves. Back to the search.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

When I titled this blog Every so Often and put the web site as Anow and Again I wasn't far from the truth, I seemed to have left October in the dust. I was busy, but not in my genealogy research - I did a little online work, but mostly the family stuff kept me occupied.
For those who know, the grand daughter who was in the coma is recovering although still in hospital, I wish to thank you for your many prayers and ask you to keep praying. She is in Sacramento and I am not able to be there with her which does hurt.
I ask also that you pray for another granddaughter who has complications with her pregnancy, We need a full term baby so they can operate successfully after his birth. She is due the beginning of January, and so far is doing OK.
I have a big family with lots of descendants I am trying to keep track of, so if any of them research the family line they will have a head start.

Speaking of research I have put out some more queries in different areas, Chenango County in New York for my hard to find William Wright, I am looking for the one born probably around 1800. I have tried locating siblings, parents, or even a neighbor with no success as yet. I have looked for a descendant of Johnson Wright born 1828, found two of his great great grandchildren and got DNA tests and still no luck. Johnson is William's son and his descendants have no information on William either. I am now trying to trace descendants of Henry W. b 1834 who would be the second son of William. I have been in touch with that line, again no information on our elusive William. I am hoping to find a male descendant to get a DNA test from him. There is no use looking for the third son as that is my great grandfather and he had only the one son, my grandfather. Very frustrating.

I have been researching in the town of Minden, Montgomery County, New York for John Graves who is possibly the father of my Thomas Graves, hopefully after the first of the year I will be able to send for his pension records from 1812 and get more information. I have tried (I think that is correct), but there are a lot of John Graves and I haven't had the time to go in depth.

Daniel Miller has yielded a little more information, but I need more if I am going to get his parents names. There are at least three and possibly four Daniels in the same time period and area. I have had several people write and give me information, but when I track it down it's not my Daniel. I am grateful that this happens because it goes a long way toward eliminating the extra Daniels.

I have added additional information on a few others, but I have also added some questions as to the accuracy of past information. I will continue working on the 1790 - 1850 time period until I have found those facts that are out there. If after a few more years I find nothing to add, I will write the details of my search and leave for a descendant to decipher or locate more facts.

This does not mean I am giving up, just shifting to another ancestor  to continue my search.

Just in case I don't get back before then, everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Seminar news

Last Saturday, the 24th, I attended my genealogy society's seminar. I am a member of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society and we have a pretty good record on speakers for our members monthly. About twice a year we plan a seminar and hope it is a success. Lots of work involved for the committee.

This past Saturday we answered some requests by our members who wanted to know more about Indians, American that is, and how the Irish and Scots-Irish immigrations affected them.

Our speakers were:
 Donna Bradley, a professional genealogist for 17 years. She specializes in Native American ancestry, but is competent in all areas of international genealogical research. She now has over 67,000 members in her database. She is of Native American ancestry and her family has been in the Northern California area for thousands of years.

Anne Bowman has lived and worked in the San Diego area for over 25 years, she was born and raised in Chicago where she obtained her dental degree and then went to LSU in New Orleans where she received a Specialty Certificate in Periodontics. She became interested in genealogy when her niece was born and what began as a casual hobby evolved into a new career. Her goal is to earn Certification from the Board of Genealogical Certification. Anne is a member of the National Genealogical Society, The Association of Professional Genealogists, The Polish Genealogical Society of America and The Southern California Genealogical Society

Our two speakers knew their topics and gave informative and interesting talks.

The first for the day was given by Donna Bradley, our keynote speaker and the topic was "Ways of Getting Over, Around or Under Your Brick Walls". She emphasised working with court records or as she called them 'Plaintiff vs Defendant' records. Many times the defendants whole family is listed and sometimes so is the plaintiffs. If at all possible the original records should be searched on site even though a trip may be necessary. Donna also covered checking books and magazines especially historical articles. she even found a person she was searching for in an architectural magazine. Donna emphasized that history books often enabled your research to progress because you had a better idea of what and why your ancestor did what he did.  As usual I picked up some new hints on where to search.

Anne Bowman was up next with an excellent talk on "Scots-Irish Research Clues". Anne cautioned that you should not expect to find success 'over the pond' until you were finished with every resource you could find here in the states. She gave us a list of websites and explained what you might find at those sites; she then started us in Ireland with a list she called "from the greatest to the smallest."
There was a list of all the different entities that must be dealt with including both civil and religious parishes, counties, and districts. I am glad I am not ready yet, because I intend to listen to more talks by Anne and get many more details on the search.

Donna  gave the third talk of the day titled "American Indian Research" which covered many of the reasons why finding your Indian ancestor is so difficult. Indians had no concept of owning land, therefore no land deeds, only that they were the caretakers of this gift on which they lived. Indians had been resident here thousands of years before the land was 'discovered' by the Europeans and so were unable to cope with the idea that the land was  personal property.
Since there were very few white women that traveled into the interior or down the mountain trails, indian women were taken as partners and thus many families have the legend that Grandma was an indian, usually the tale goes that she was an "Indian Princess'.
In the 1800's children were taken from their parents and placed in indian schools which did their best to eradicate any memories that the children had that they were Indian. The children were given anglicised or Spanish names depending on the area of the country they lived and their parents or tribes were moved back further and further from the area where the children had been born. This created a problem for the children when they were released from the school, usually in their 20's as most could not remember their Indian name, their language or their parents. Consequently this now causes you a problem in going back any further in your ancestry.
Your first step is to get a DNA test of your ethnicity, make sure there really is Indian in your ancestry and then be prepared to search diligently to find a clue.
Donna's talk was distinctive, informative and gave history, especially that of the American Indian an entirely unfamiliar perspective than what we were taught in school.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

General Comments

Perhaps I should have named it the once a month blog, that seems to be the average for posting for me.
I have been busy with family problems and not doing research, at least, hardly any.
I did buy a book "The Genealogist's Guide to researching Tax Records" by Carol Cooke Darrow CG and Susan Winchester, Ph.D, C.P.A. and if it had been any state except New York it would have been invaluable. It is well written and very informative on how to find tax records almost anywhere, it gives instruction on using the FHL catalog to look for areas in states and counties, but when you try New York areas there are no tax records listed, at least not in my counties.
That means that the individual Villages, Cities, Towns and Counties may have them, but you have to check each one individually. Of course, they are not online so that means going there or paying someone to look for them, rather difficult on a pension.
A few years ago I did manage a trip and was able to find the tax records for Unadilla, Otsego Co., in a book written by the late Shirley Goerlich at the Sidney library. This gave me the tax records for my Thomas Graves, unfortunately I could not find the tax records for Sidney itself which I need to prove my William Wright was there in the 1820's through the 1840's. and I was unable to get to Delhi to try to find them. Delhi is where the county records are kept for Delaware while Cooperstown is where the Otsego county records are kept. I happened to be there during the Baseball Hall of Fame event and couldn't get near the records building.
This seems to be a rather rambling narrative this month, but if I have given anyone information on research in New York I hope they can use it.
Just remember that the census for New York is not usually taken except by Town which is an area of perhaps 26 miles +, therefore you have to find out which Hamlet or village your ancestor lived in or around in order to make sure you have the correct ancestor or to find their records.
Enough rambling this month, I will try to get back to my research now that the family seems to be settling down.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thomas Graves again

I have been researching Minden on line. There is an 1800 census for the Town of Minden on the website, I immediately checked it out as Thomas would have been the youngest category of that census. I found John Graves, the only Graves listed. That made the search rather fast and easy.  He had a son in the correct age category, I then went researching the 1810 census for Minden and again found John. The son had moved into the next category which would have been correct for my Thomas. At this point I am using Ancestry.

I decided since Thomas had definitely been in the war, enlisting in 1812 for two months from Minden and then reenlisting in 1813 in the area of Deerfield I would see what John was doing in 1812. He enlisted in the same unit that Thomas did! I now have to write for John's pension papers (as soon as I save the money) and see what they say. Did he take Thomas with him because he was so young? Interesting question, I wonder what his papers will say.

I went on to check the 1820 census, but neither John or Thomas show up in Minden again, I now have  two Graves to look for as the next information I have on Thomas is his marriage in Unadilla in 1843, whether the Town of Unadilla or the Village of Unadilla is the question at that time. His pension papers don't clarify the place.

Meanwhile I am trying to get better acquainted with Google and its facets. My friend Susi is trying to get me into one of their group thingees, She says they are fun and informative, so I may try it a time or two to see for myself. There are many sides to Google and I have only looked at a few, I need to take more time and explore, but as a babysitter it is not always easy to find that time. I have a few other obligations that take time away from the computer also including housework although you wouldn't think it when you look at my house.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Thomas Graves still not moving

I have rechecked my Thomas Graves; I started from the little I have on his birth - a date in the family bible page, so I had written, and found it isn't so, now where did I get the date?- and went on from there. I rechecked the pension files, again no new information.
I have the warrant number for 160 acres he was awarded, but have not as yet tried to follow through, basically because I am not sure what to do with it.
I have the statement Thomas gave when he applied for his pension in 1850. He declared that he had lost or mislain (sic) his discharge at that time.
I have the affidavit of the Squire who married them giving the date of marriage, plus sworn statements of two of her neighbors, when his widow Olive applied for the pension for herself.
Unfortunately in all of these papers there is no reference to where he lived except he enlisted at Minden, NY. This is an item I had not read or noticed before so I will now see what I can find there in 1812 and 1813. There were no parental consent forms although he was very clearly not an adult when he enlisted. I was actually asked if it were possible that he was a drummer boy because of his age. The pension papers give no indication that he was anything but a private in the service of his country.
I rechecked the 1820 and 1830 census for Thomas  and had no result,  I do not have enough information to isolate Thomas and there were to many probables in the area to even make a guesstimate.
I will check on the Minden lead and if I find nothing I will move on  to my next brick wall.

This will be William Wright, he is most blank of all my walls, not even a smidgen of a brick protruding on which to get a foothold. I am not sure if William is his name, I got the name from his son Alpheus's death certificate, his son Johnson's certificate had unk on the space for father, This was later crossed  off and Wm substituted. I have traced a third son and need to get his death certificate to see what is on it.
There is a problem there also, as the date of birth for Henry on one census is 1834, but William or Henry (may be two sons) also has a birthdate of abt 1840. William named his son William also. One died in 1904 and the other in 1912, both are buried in Prospect cemetery in Sidney, Delaware Co., New York. but even his descendant is not sure which is which. I will have to save a little more and get both certificates if it is possible, NY is difficult to get information from.
I do know that the brother of Alpheus, be he William or Henry had four boys and I have traced them a ways as I want to get DNA samples from them.  If I can get a cross reference I may be able to bypass my William and get back further, then come forward on the line to get William that way.
Of the 4 boys I know that Charles and Frank each had two daughters, I know of no sons. William died either 1904 or 1912 and I haven't found if he were married or not. The last boy Dexter died about 1936, but I have found nothing else about him, except that he died in Cooperstown, NY. If I can't find a male descendant then my hope of a DNA trace is gone.

Speaking of DNA I sent for the final mtDNA step for myself, I hope that perhaps some cousins other than the ones I know will appear magically from thin air through FTDNA and their tests. I know that this form of testing can find links on all sides of the family, whether they are close in terms of years is another subject entirely. I just hope that something pops up. Meanwhile if somebody reads this post in the neighborhood of Bainbridge or Cooperstown, NY and any of these names rings a bell contact me!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Time to move on in my search

I have been busy with life and not feeling particularly talkative, so I am glad I named this an
every so often blog!
I feel I have done a reasonably exhaustive search on my Daniel Miller, so am moving on to my next brick wall in the same era of around 1800 - 1825. Thomas Graves born abt 1797 according to a note in my bible pages, I know a lot about Thomas after 1812, I have his pension papers and the information is good. He was married twice:
Mariah S (from her gravestone) born abt 1812 and died 1 Jun 1842. She is buried beside Thomas in Saint Matthews cemetery in Unadilla Village, Otsego county, New York. Thomas and Mariah had at least two children, John H who was born in 1839 and died 28 Oct 1841 and Sarah Jane born 7 Nov 1840 in Unadilla.
Sarah Jane married William Edgar Hubbell b abt 1835 in 1859, They lived in Corning, Steuben Co., in 1860, lived in Susquehanna Depot, Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania where some of their children were born. I have not gone farther with that line as yet, because I want to find Thomas's parents.
Thomas's second wife Olive Owens was born 5 Oct 1823 in Cannonsville, Delaware Co., she married Thomas 10 June 1843 in Unadilla and they lived there until he died 24 January 1865. Olive and Thomas are buried in Saint Matthews in Unadilla.
Now I have a lot of information, but none of it has helped me find his parents. So this is where I will be working for the next few weeks. I will be checking the 1800, and 1810 census for Graves with a child of under 5 years and 15 years. I know none of his siblings so can't check that way. I will check the 1820 for Thomas by himself and again 1830 when he is presumably married to Mariah, but not necessarily as the first child I have listed wasn't born until 1839. 3ish me luck on this one.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

More about Daniel Miller journal

I still am not sure about titling my blog, I finally decided it matters, but since I am in a learning curve I'll read other bloggers and see what they do. Meanwhile if the label isn't apt forgive me. My last post I stated that I was looking for the 1870 census with my gggrandfather and his family on it.

That evening(Monday)I tried to find him on , I spent at least three hours trying various search techniques. I used initials, I used 3 letters and an *, I used first name and location, I restricted the search to just the 1870 census and decided that after 22 pages it would be next month before I was through! By then my eyes decided it was time to go to bed.

Tuesday after I got some things out of the way, I decided I would try the FHC site and found the 1900 census with my Daniel. He was in Oswego county as usual, but for some reason that census did not show up on ancestry when I searched for him. I took the info from family search back to ancestry and there it was! I saved it to my database and also to my tree on ancestry. I also located him and his family in the 1865 census for NY state while on family search and copied that page image to my home database and placed the page in my ancestry photo album.
I now have 1850 - 1865 and 1880 - 1900 so I have all the easy Federal censuses except 1870. Back to the search....

Wednesday, off to teach, the computer group is waiting to learn some new internet techniques, I think I might have a few now. At least one member found a relative, so I did accomplish something.

OK, back to Daniel, I try ancestry again, the non-population census might work? I find Daniel had 4 acres and two cows in Oswego worth $275 in 1850 in June, but in the September 1850 Federal Census he is in Harmony, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania with his wife Nancy and son James 5, why is he there? I still have not found a reason. I tried the family stories in ancestry all 15,395 of them. I found one that could possibly be his parents, but I have learned to stick to my goal and not go off on a tangent (hard lesson to learn), wrote down the information and continued my quest.

I tried military though I have no reason to believe my Daniel was in the war. I found a Civil War draft registration in 1863 that I think could be my Daniel, it is in the right place, and seems to be the right age. I will have to check further after I find the census for 1870.

Did I mention hat I am browsing the 1870 census for Oswego, NY on Heritage Quest as I find time? Bedtime at long last.

Thursday June 16, I am tired of Daniel, I think I will try his son Delavan, who was born about 1859 and was in the 1860, 1865 NY, and 1880 census with Daniel and wife Nancy. Unusual name, should be easy to find, Hah! Tried variations and still no luck, I am going to try Nancy now, Lots of Daniel and Nancy's in the 1870 census, but none of them are mine. I found a tax list for 1866 with Daniel Miller listed, but it is for Plainfield which is in Otsego county, I seriously doubt it is my Daniel as he has been in Oswego county all this time.

I have decided that after finishing the browsing of the Oswego and Otsego county 1870 census on Heritage Quest, if I still can't locate the census that has Daniel, Nancy, Delavan, and possibly Alice on it, I will leave this search for a while and go on to other things, probably trying to find Daniel's parents. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, June 13, 2011

beginning note

This blog will be an every so often note on my efforts in genealogy, when I have the time and energy to put it together. A sporadic journal of things I have done or not done that I now regret

When I first started in genealogy I had no idea of what needed to be done. As a consequence I am now faced with the task of going through my database and adding facts and sources to my early discoveries. I am also trying to bring place names up to standard, according to the new rules - which by the way seem to change every year or so. Actually you could even say the same for sourcing. what was good enough for the 1920's and 1930's is no longer adequate for today's standards.
I do not source according to standard and probably never will, my standard is if I found it and write down where and when in such a way that one of my descendants can actually find the same thing it is good enough, I will probably never publish anything and therefore need never meet the high or impossible standards of sourcing that are out there.

I do try now to do a reasonably exhaustive search, and I am working with my first four generations, giving each one a timeline of their life as I find it. My present task is to find the 1870 census for my Daniel C Miller. I have him in 1850, 1860, 1880, and 1900. I have his obituary in 1901 which is vague on his birth, so I am looking for documentation on that. I have my own site at if you would care to look at it