Saturday, December 19, 2009

National Archives 75th Anniversary

If you haven't seen the National Archives 75th Anniversary presentation on Roots Television, you oughta go check that out. It's hosted by Cokie Roberts. There was mention of Lyndon Johnson's secretary being Mrs. Roberts. Would that be Cokie's mother in law?

I went to Roots Television this morning to verify the title and Guess What I Saw??? Our very own, My Geneablogger Mentor, Professor Dru of Find Your Folks!!!

I didn't watch again right now, Dru. Our vanpool is leaving for OGS in about 20 minutes. But you all better get on over there!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stay at Home if you have the flu!

I will confess that I woke up this past Sunday with a head cold. I might should have stayed at home but it was only a head cold; coughing, sneezing and runny nose. I did take precautions to pretty much stay away from people and had my tissues and hand sanitizer with me. I took a handful of used tissues to the counter at the bookstore where I spent most of the afternoon at a table by myself. When I got to the counter, I asked the gentleman about an absence of trashcans throughout the facility. He reached out his hand to take my tissues from me. I advised him, "you don't want to do that." So he grabbed the trash can and offered it to me to make my deposit.

I will also say that I am a staunch believer in echinacea. So on Sunday and Monday I took power doses of it. Monday afternoon, my cold was nearly diminished and this morning, my nose was dry, no more coughing or sneezing. I will also say that not counting this current cold & flu season, I have not had a cold in several (3?) years. I did get my regular flu shot this year as I normally do and will be getting my H1N1 shot on Thursday. Starting today, I am taking normal doses of echinacea as I do not always do but this year will do for sure.

Last, I will say that I am not a health care professional. Check with your own health provider referencing any claims I have made here. Images and links at the right will remain on my blog probably until the end of the current cold and flu season.

This has been a public service announcement from My Colored Roots at We will now return to normal programming.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

State-County Tables & my Location Binder (Part 2)

To continue on with the State - County Tables and to explain columns F & G. Column F is a column referring to being a 1st generation parent county of one of the counties listed in Column A. Then Column G is a 2nd generation parent county of one of the counties listed in Column A. The easiest example to use is Mitchell County. Mitchell County was created in 1857. Before 1857, Mitchell was part of Baker County and Baker was part of Early County before Baker was created in 1825. So Baker gets a mark in Column F for Mitchell and Early County gets a mark in Column G for Mitchell County as 1st and 2nd generation parent counties of Mitchell. Columns H-J and K-M are for my 1850 and 1860 slave schedules respectively. I set them up to know in advance how many pages I'm looking at should I decide to search through them page by page. You notice the comment triangle there and the comment text. The text shows me what surnames I'm looking for should I decide to search those census. You might also notice that I greyed out those 1850 or 1860 columns for the counties that did not exist at that time.

On to columns N & O. I happened to hear somewhere that there was a surge of county history documentation at the time of the bicentennial and there was another surge at the turn of the century. Well I'm more interested in the county histories that were written for the turn of the century 1899 to 1900 or soon before of after. That's what I'm calling the old ones. The new ones, bicentennial and turn to the 21st century, I am lumping together as new. The only county history that I can specifically say I have is Jackson County GA. One day soon, I'll be making a concerted effort to find some county histories. My favorite place to look is on Google Books. I will confess that the old Jackson County history came from rootsweb.

Courthouse disasters? Fire, flood and other disasters. If I at least document the year, I can know that I may have challenges finding info before that year. Columns beginning at R for the 1940 census and below are for the purpose of my refiling when I get aroundtiut. My census pages hard copies are currently filed with the family files but I'll soon be moving them to their state and county file folders. I happened to find for example one of my great grandmother's brothers on the same census page as she. Rather than make a duplicate copy, I made a note on the brother's family group sheet for the short term. When I do get my census pages refiling done, I'll be making a note on both their FGSs where I'll find the census page is in the county file folder. In addition to that, the 1940 column for the short term is for the purpose of identifying to myself that I have all the appropriate addresses in preparation for the 1940 census that shows up in 840 days. Whoooooooooo hoooooooooooo! I'm looking forward to that! It will be here before you know it. For the 1940, I have all of Mahoning County (Youngstown) Ohio done. That's my largest concentration outside of Georgia for that year. The others? Some are on my agenda for my next trip back to Fort Wayne.

As I looked back to the State - County Tables in my Location Binder (Part 1), I realized that even though I mentioned grids for the maps, I may not have explained enough. The grids were created in MS Paint (believe it or not, I use MS Paint a LOT). They are a full page of broken horizontal and vertical lines that create approximately a one inch square. Numbers are horizontal across the top from 1 to 8 and letters vertically down the side from A to J so that the intersection about 4E or 5E is approximately center of the page. After I got them just the way I wanted, I re-saved it as grid.jpg. Then as I mentioned earlier, I printed them on transparency paper. I also bought these as single sheets from Staples or Office Depot. My last visit to Staples for these, the copy center tech told me they may as well print them for me too because I was paying for that whether they printed them or not. I let them do that. The margins were off a little bit from where I had them but that's OK. You might have noticed quite a few mistakes from the explanations I provided. I decided that is probably another good reason to blog, is that we find mistakes in our research. Actually column G for Early County did not have a purple mark until today as I wrote this article. Columns F & G need to be totally reworked.

OK, that's it for the State - County Tables. Let me tell you what else is in the Location Binder. I started out with one 1 1/2 inch binder and later added a one inch one. They are both orange durable; orange is the color for my location files. I don't use tabs in these binders, I use Cosmic (bright) Orange 24 lb paper as dividers. I bought about 10 orange single sheets. I simply print the state name on both sides of the page, stick them in a page protector and that is my divider. I can just thumb through the pages and look for the color orange and I know that is a divider for another state. Is this too much detail???

Next I'll blog more about the rest of my Location Binder and I'll finish up with what I call my drag bag. Stay tuned for Part 3. There will be no Part 4, I promise.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

State-County Tables & My Location Binder (Part 1)

I don't think I have told you yet but I should preface this blog with a warning that I am a little OC. But who isn't in their own way? When it comes to organization, I am a lot OC. That does not mean I am organized, I'm just OC about getting there.

The image you see here is an excerpt of my original Georgia page in Excel from my Location Binder. I somehow brainstormed with myself to come up with the idea for my State - County Tables sometime in 2003. The oldest copy of my State - County Tables that I can find is timestamped October 2003. The Location Binder itself though came from Juliana Smith of Ancestry Archives. I LOVE her work and miss her blog on I think she still does publish but is not regularly every day or every week like she used to be. Actually what I think I found first was one of the Quick Tips then also found Juliana's article. I regress, back to my binder and the tables.

Georgia being my earliest state and still being my most frequented state, I decided early on that I would sooner or later be pretty confused if I continued on as I was. I think at that time, I had only eight counties of interest in Georgia out of 159 counties. I am now up to thirteen counties using columns A through E, I'm not even going to count how many counties I have of interest in columns F & G (I will explain those columns in a later blog).

So, I started out with these tables and was using only columns A through E at that time. Most of this info is self explanatory if you look at the image and it's column headings. Parent county is of course the name of that county as it was before this county was formed.

The Map Grid Coords in column E is specifically for the purpose of finding one of those 146 counties that are not one of my thirteen, I know exactly where they are. The other 146 are not frequently referenced and therefore I needed a grid or I'll be all day trying to find one county. I came to that conclusion after going back and forth from the upper left corner one too many times. I figure over the years, I'll have saved myself a day or two by using the grids. The grids themselves are printed on a separate sheet of transparency and layered on top of the map in a page protector. My state images with the county outlines I download from State & County QuickFacts. If you go to that site, you can either click on the US map to select a state or you can use the drop down on the left side to select a state. After selecting your specific state you can click the link in the upper left corner STATENAME ie Georgia counties - selection map. That's where you'll find the map image of counties for that state. One reason that I use their maps is that I won't have any issue with copyrights. Another reason is that the images are already about a full size page without resizing and last because that they are already pretty much to scale from each other. I will regress a little bit and quickly show you another way that I use the QuickFacts site. I recently found some new deceased HARGROVE family members born in Gainesville, Alabama. What county is Gainesville in? Go back to the QuickFacts homepage, select the State of Alabama, click the drop down for Select a City. Gainesville is not listed there because it is not one of the larger Alabama cities. So click place search right above that drop down and you will be able to type in Gainesville and the page will show you that Gainesville is in Sumter County. You can clearly see that there is a lot more information on the QuickFacts site than what I've just shown you but that is primarily what I use the site for.

Back to my tables. I gathered the facts for the table from various sources, including the Handy Book For Genealogists and the Red Book. I also used the site. Listing all of the Georgia counties in alpha order took four pages. I think I'm not going to do that again. I think it is a good idea that I did all of the Georgia counties, but the others, as I come to need them are very sporadic. ie I have found one of my slave owner families migrated through South Carolina. But I have them in only one SC county so far. I do also have one of my great grandfathers, Richard DUNCAN, born in SC. But in 1870 he was in Georgia, so I may never know where in SC he came from. That being said, I am using one line entry for SC so I'm not going to line by line add these to a table for 43 counties including the one county and six districts that no longer exist.

So having completed my four Georgia county pages, I decided to colorize them since I color code everything else. For my Georgia counties that was an easy task. I will explain later how when I worked on Alabama, that became much more difficult. Simple explanation for now is that none of my ancestor family lines repeated or competed in any county that I have found so far.

One day I took my completed and colored charts with me to the Family History Center where I volunteer once a week and showed them to one of the more experienced consultants. Patrick is an amazing guy! His knowledge of this and that would literally daze you. I took them to Pat to ask his opinion about turning my pages sideways in landscape vs right side up in portrait. I knew at sometime or another I would have more info to add to each line entry and wanted to be prepared and have room for whatever this other info might be. His suggestion was to leave them in portrait and that Kinko's, Office Depot and the like could print them for me in 11 X 17 size also called Ledger or Tabloid size. Turns out that Pat was right again. My tables are now three letter size pages wide. I did go to Kinko's, Office Depot and Staples to price their printing my tabloid pages. All of them are within five cents of the same price =<$1.79 single side in color. In the meantime, while I experimented with the add on pages that made the 2nd and 3rd width, I simply printed them in black and white, then used scrap booking tape to glue them together. After that I used highlighters to colorize. Again, I'm not sure I'm going to go through all this for states other than Georgia. I have since found an very inexpensive place to print tabloid pages. I first heard of Stevenson's Genealogy Center from another coworker at the Family History Center. This coworker was a student at Brigham Young University years ago and remembers that Stevenson's Genealogy Center is a staple around the BYU campus. Stevenson's has a copy center and their tabloid printing in color on 28 lb paper is 99 cents!

Next I'll blog more about the rest of my State - County Tables and finally will finish with what's in the rest of my Location Binder.
Stay tuned for Part 2. Heck, this baby may even get a Part 3.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Smith J. HARGROVE abt 1852-1935
Pinkey Ann HOPE abt 1856-1928

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

John Louis DRAPER
b. 4 Dec 1915
d. 4 Jun 1990