Saturday Night Genealogy Fun~What Were You Doing in 1985?

For more information, check here!

Technically, on 24 October 1985, I was 14 years, 4 months, and 3 days old.  Just about the same age as my youngest son is now.  I don’t recall being such a handful at that age as he is.  I was the oldest of 2 girls.  I would’ve been in the ninth grade, and, at that time, it was considered junior high school, not high school.  I recall trudging through classes and homework.  Michael Jackson and Duran Duran were popular bands, but I still liked groups like the Eagles and ELO and Meatloaf.  I was on the school newspaper.  And I attended my first prom that school year (but that was 1986 so forget I mentioned it). Not really interested in my family history, though that would’ve given me something to do! No internet then.  We had gigantic computers at school where the hard drive and monitor were all one piece.  No home PCs yet.  I was the rare kid, I guess, who actually went to the library and read every Stephen King novel I could get my hands on.

image Okay, picture from first prom, April 1986, taken by my late aunt

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun-Your Ancestors or Cousins Born on Your Birthdate

For all the details, see Mr. Randy Seaver’s post!

My birthday is 21 June 19–. The first day of summer. The longest day of the year. Am I a Gemini or Cancer? I’ve always identified with Gemini.

So, I used my RootsMagic7 program and came up with a list of birthdays. Eight were in June, none share 21 June. The closest to my birthday is my maternal grandfather’s sister, Beatrice Elizabeth Ballard, who was born on 17 June. My mother has her name as a middle name; Beatrice died as a young child. We named our stillborn daughter Isabella Bea. The others who share June birthdays with me include both my mom and dad, John Ford, Peyton Pearson (son of Thomas), and William Maxwell (my paternal grandmother’s father).

I’ll be keeping an eye out for an ancestor or collateral relative who shares my birthday!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun~(BSGO) Bright Shiny Genealogy Objects

Check here for more information!

BSGO are items you happen upon in your research, somewhat serendipitously, and you must follow that lead, sometimes falling into a genealogy black hole!  Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.

1.  I do stumble upon BSGO every once in awhile.

2.  My most recent BSGO was while looking through unindexed record sets on FamilySearch dot org.  I was looking at land records for Genesee County, NY, for the early 1800s as John Ford said his father bought land in the Holland Purchase about the time he was 7 (1815).  Lo and behold, I found land sold to Nathaniel Ford by an Archibald Bennett in 1816. !!! Since I had yet to connect Prudence Bennett, Nathaniel’s wife, to anyone at all, seeing these two names together in a land transaction gave me hope!  I took Archibald Bennett’s name and ran with it.  I found out Archibald Bennett had applied for a Revolutionary War pension from Decatur County, IN, in 1837, one of the witnesses being John Ford (I’ve established that John Ford was in Indiana in the late 1830s).  Archibald Bennett’s Rev War pension application gave his date and place of birth as being Antietam, Maryland, in 1762, and that he was recruited as a Frontier Ranger while living in Washington County, PA, during the Rev War.  The year of birth, 1762, made him too young to be Prudence’s father, so I’m guessing a brother or uncle.  At any rate, just finding that land record opened a lot of doors for me!  I imagine I spent a good hour chasing leads.

3.  If I find something promising, I go after it then and there if at all possible.  If not possible, I make a note of it in Evernote or jot it down.  It depends on the situation how disciplined I am about being mesmerized by BSGO. 🙂

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun~What’s Your Ancestor Score?

This is going back, well, a year (!), but I wanted to give it a try!  Here is the info over at Randy Seaver’s awesome blog,

In a nutshell, going back to your 11th generation (8th-great-GPs), you should have 1024 ancestors, or a total of 2047 people including yourself. I’ve went through my tree to see how many of those 2047 I can claim right now. And let’s just say, I’ve got my work cut out for me!

SNGF~Ancestor Score

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun~Do/Did Your Children Know Their Great-Grandparents?

I’ve been buried this week! My DAR application is getting involved now, as are my 2 Civil War lineage society apps! Plus, I need to get on the ball with scanning into the computer the documents I’ve found.

But, onto this week’s challenge!

1) My kids were born in 1997 and 2000. They met their paternal maternal grandfather, Harold C. Ford, and actually knew their maternal paternal grandmother, Florence W. Walker. We have pictures of the kids with both of them.

2) I was born in 1971, the first child of the last child on my mother’s side so my maternal maternal and paternal great-grandparents had passed quite some time before my birth, like in the 1950s. My paternal paternal great-grandparents had also been deceased for some time. My maternal paternal great-grandmother, Ida Cole Maxwell, was still alive at the time of my birth, but I never got to meet her unfortunately.

3) No grandchildren yet!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun~Your Best Genea-Prize in August 2014

This week’s challenge:

This one was easy for me! I found an answer to a question I’ve had for some time regarding my 3rd-great-GF. Before he married my 3rd-great-GM, he was married before and the story was the first wife died early into that marriage. I found out that the first had not died and had actually remarried. So, I did some digging this August in the county where this took place and got my answer. See this post for more info!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun~How Many Sarah LNU’s Are in Your Genealogy Database?

Mr. Randy Seaver’s challenge this week is a good one! I don’t have nearly the number of people in my database that Mr. Seaver does, but I still have some with LNU (last name unknown). No Sarah’s though!

I have a Mary and an Eleanor.

1) Mary was the wife of Ezra James Carpenter, one of my 3rd-great-grandmothers. They had a daughter named Elizabeth, who went by Lizzie, who married William T. Abbott; they had a daughter named Nora Belle who married Harvey Ballard; they had a son named Donald Guy, my grandfather. I haven’t revisited this research in some time, so I did a little snooping on and found Mary’s maiden name…Devore! A new avenue to explore!

2) Eleanor was the mother of the second wife of my 4th-great-GF, Amos Ballard, Jane Kenney. Amos & Jane were married during the first decade of the 19th century, so Eleanor was probably born mid 1700s. Since this marriage is not a direct line to me I haven’t given it too much of my time. I need to, though, to try to complete that line as best possible.

Thank you, Mr. Seaver, for pushing me to do a bit of extra research this weekend! 🙂

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun~Two Degrees of Separation!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):
1)  Using your ancestral lines, how far back in time can you go with two degrees of separation?  That means “you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor.”  When was that second ancestor born?

2)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, in a status line on Facebook or a stream post on Google Plus.

I need to think about this for a bit…okay…

On my Ford line, I knew both my paternal grandfather and grandmother. I had to go by death dates to see which ancestors were alive when they were born as I’m not 100% sure on whom they actually knew. My paternal grandfather, Harold Chester Ford (b: 1917), most likely knew his mother’s parents, Jonathan (b: 1850) and Susannah Criss (b: 1854) as they died when he was 6-7 years old. My paternal grandmother, Gladys Maxwell (b: 1927), might’ve known her father’s mother, Martha Maxwell (b: 1859, d: 1935) and her mother’s father, Hiram Washington Cole (b: 1870, d: 1935). That would make Jonathan Criss (b: 1850) the earliest born ancestor that one of my paternal ancestors knew, that paternal ancestor being known by me.

On my Ballard line, I knew both my maternal grandfather and grandmother. I know that my maternal grandfather knew his paternal grandmother well, Hannah Katherine Hanby (b: 1856). The others’ grandparents were deceased by the time they were born.

As far as I’m aware, none of my grandparents knew any of their great-grandparents.

With two degrees of separation, I can go back as far as 1850, 121 years before I was born. This was an interesting task and pushed me to do some more research that hasn’t been on my radar of late.

BONUS: I happened upon a picture of my 3rd-great-grandfather! John T. Pendergrass:

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun…Genea-Bucket List!

Here is the link to the mission:

Where to begin?!

1.  Ancestral places to visit:

a.     In the US, several different counties in Virginia, including Grayson, Franklin, Henry, Bedford, Orange; Logan County, KY; Putnam County, TN; Cincinnati, OH; Sullivan County, IN; Verona, NY; Muscatine, IA. To be more specific, I’d like to try to pinpoint where my ancestors lived in these places and visit those sites.

b.     Ireland, once I figure out where my Doyle, Fitzgerald, and Hanlon ancestors came from!

c.     Germany, once I figure out where my Lichtenfels and Mayer ancestors came from!

d.     England, once I figure out where my Ballard ancestors came from!

2.  My own office at home! I have many records to store, plus books and other reference materials. I need more space!

3.  Pictures of the ancestors! I have very few pictures of people going back to the great generation and beyond. I’d give nearly anything to be able to see these people.

4.  I’d love to win the Flip Pal scanner here: What a wonderful tool!

5.  Have access to certain repositories, i.e., Catholic records in Cincinnati (once the Archdiocese archives reopen, I hope they decide to continue taking genealogical requests).

6.  Like Mr. Seaver’s list, I’d also like to attend all the national conferences of a year, plus any others I could squeeze in. I attended FGS in 2013, my first major conference, then a Germanic genealogy conference in Minnesota earlier this year, the NGS in Richmond, VA, this year, and Midwestern Roots 2014 recently. I’m getting ready to go to KY for a 1-day symposium and have a couple other 1-day events lined up this year. I’m already mapping out 2015 and 2016!

7.  I tend to forget about the New England Historic Genealogical  Society folks, but I need to pay more attention to what they have to offer. I have ancestors that I can trace back to northern New York in the early 19th century and the NEHGS might be the place to turn for more help with them.

That’s a lot of wishes but fun to think about. 🙂