Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's Saturday Night!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Open your genealogy software or family tree program of choice and make yourself the highlighted person.

2) Find out how to create a Calendar to show birthdays and/or anniversaries of yourself and all of your ancestors (or all relatives, or all persons - your choice!). The "Help" button is your friend here!!! It can be done in all of the current software programs.

3) Create your calendar. Pretty it up if you want. Save it. Can you show us a page from your calendar - say January 2010?

4) Which of your ancestors (or relatives, or descendants - your choice!), if any, were born on 30 January?

Have fun with this. How can you use this information during the coming year?

Here's a SNGF activity I get to participate in. Why? Because I already have it done. Yeah! Welllll, I did have to make a screen shot but the calendar was done. I noticed that Legacy did not have a way to include the death dates. It's OK, there are only about twenty of them already done out of 112. About 25 are still living. The other 67? About fifteen are death dates that I know but don't have entered and the other fifty or so still have to be researched. But of course, that is the reason for my focus on ancestors day. I decided to call it Celebrating Ancestors. Again, I got the idea from Michael Neill Use their Birthdays and decided to take it a step farther.

You can see here that I have two birthdays and one anniversary. Not showing are two death dates in January. I penned them in and they show up here in red text for visibility. That completes January except for Elizabeth's death in January. I don't know the date of her death. It's on my list of research to do next time I go back to OGS.

How can you use this information during the coming year?
To sum it up, I have those fifty or so death dates to do, about twenty birth dates that I have no clue and about 85 marriage dates I don't know. WOW! When you look at those numbers like that, maybe I'm being too ambitious to complete this birthday thing this year. I already wrote when I realized in my last post that I couldn't do more filing until I rearranged a little bit and I couldn't do the Celebrating Ancestors thing until I did more filing. OK. I'll just do the best I can. Filing, is after all, the priority for this year along with identifying brick walls. See? This stuff is in my head but not documented.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What's this Colored Roots thing about?

To put it simply, I color my genealogy and it helps keep me sane. I have been following the Mary Hill Family Roots Organizer system with a few personal modifications. On her Family Roots Organizer video, Mary advises to use four colors to file documents and to color code those documents for your four grandparents. Each grandparent gets a color; blue, green, red and yellow. So I follow that system pretty much except I use the four colors blue, green, red and purple. I decided early on that as my eyesight deteriorates, that yellow highlighting will be harder to see on white paper than other colors. One issue with a color coded system like this is that you would include all of your tools, whatever they are, in all of those four colors. Early on, knowing that I was going to use the color coded system but unsure, in the beginning if I were going to use file folders or binders, I inexpensively planned for eventually going either way. I bought four half inch binders in my four colors as well as got a box of the multicolored file folders. I could have less expensively used view binders with colored paper as shown here. I was able to envision early on that it really would not matter what four colors you used and it wouldn't matter in what sequence you choose to match which grandparent to which color as long as you consistently do it. That said, I have started to notice that almost everybody who uses the four color system appears to use the same four colors Mary uses in the same sequence.

Enter Legacy Family Tree software. Legacy Family Tree Deluxe genealogy software edition 4.0 was to my knowledge the first of the software applications (after PAF Companion) that would allow color coding of the folks. And it allowed for flexibility in choosing your own colors in what sequence. So that was my reason for purchasing Legacy rather than any other genealogy database application. Now, just about all of the software databases use colors including PAF if you get the PAF Companion addon.

Near the beginning when I started doing my color codes, I also color coded my location stuff. In Mary's Family Roots Organizer video, she shows you to use regular green hanging file folders for the subject and location files. I use subject and location files in color also, partly because I already had some hanging file folders in other colors. And partly because I want my files to be attractive, not because other people may see them but to make it more appealing for me to look at. Olive drab is not appealing to look at. So my African American stuff and other subject files are burgundy and my location stuff is orange.

Over the last several months after finding Simon in James HARGROVE's will, I also included James' family files as red because Smith's family is red and Simon being suspected as Smith's grandfather is red. Just about that time, I started running out of burgundy files because of the amount of African American stuff I was collecting. Just when I decided that maybe I need to buy some more file folders and thinking I may change (add a color) for African American stuff, knowing I needed to do something quick because I was out of burgundy. About that time another epiphany! I realized that I was also going to need more red but had plenty of blue and green for now. HEY, why don't you switch them? For my quick solution of the burgundy situation, I got six kiwi (green) ones from the container store because I don't need a whole box for the African American stuff. I will still soon need a box of the multicolored for the families, but the James HARGROVE families are now green instead of red. Let me throw in another tip. You don't have to buy file folder labels in color. I bought mine in all white and I use my colored markers to make the stripe at the top of the file folder label. Or you could use the standard green hanging files and use markers or colored paper to color code the tabs.

Even though when I wrote my goals I said I was filing ten documents per day, I discovered a couple of things that I had to do; things that had to be done in sequence. Before I could do much filing, I had to redo some of my colors as outlined above. And before I could do the birthday and anniversary thing for very many people, I had to get a lot of filing done. The week of January 4th, I didn't do any filing because of this. I was setting up my files as described here. Here is an image of my filing colors after doing a little rearranging. The Slave owners' Families vs My Families don't have as much to do with it as it is more like last year vs how I color code now. If I continued color coding James' family the same colors as my family, I will certainly mix them up pretty soon.

This post has not been as much about "you should do yours this way because I do". It is more about me documenting for myself this is how I do it as well as an explanation of "What's this Colored Roots thing about?" and why I do it. But if you find yourself some tips in here that you can use, go for it. If there are others here that you have no desire to use, it's OK for you to leave them right here.

Here are a couple more references to organizing files especially by color:

So now that I'm ready to get on with it. I also upped the number of documents to file each week to thirty instead of ten.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Did I say I color code everything?

Monday, January 18, 2010

James' Will

Here's a better shot, zoomed in and readable, of James' will.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oh My Darling, Clementine

I had three ultimate geneamoments last year. I Think 2009 has been my best genealogy year ever. Finally responding to Randy Seavers' SNGF from January 2.

1. Going to the IBGS. Again, it was a great conference!

2. Finding my Simon (P. HARGROVE) as a slave in his owner's will. A couple of years ago, I ordered the Georgia will index FHLC film 1036842. Last April, I was fortunate to chose the Jackson County, Georgia, Will Abstracts FHLC 6038344 among the many will abstracts to chose from. James HARGROVE's will is listed there on pages 179-181. Seeing as how this is an abstract, I may want to send for the original. I figure I can wait until I am fortunate to go to Georgia which should be in September.

Sidenote: Here's a trick I learned a few years ago. One of the senior volunteers at the FHC told me that if you have a choice between ordering a microfilm or microfiche, order the fiche. They are less expensive and would stay in the FHC permanently without additional cost. Microfiche #s always start with 6.

3. I didn't conclude until November that Smith's mother may also be in that will even though Smith is not in it. Listed also in James' will was Clementine. I am actually still investigating if Clementine is my great great grandmother. But even if she is not Smith's mother, she surely is Simon's daughter. I previously showed you the 1870 with Smith and Simon in the same household. I found Clementine in the 1870 census in Hall county, next county northwest of Jackson County. I call Simon, My Simon because I have not been able to specifically put a relationship of him to me, so to keep from calling him "the old man who I think is my great great great grandfather", I call him My Simon.

So in November I had a great epiphany! I don't specifically remember what started it, but I was able to put 2 and 2 together and find Clementine in 1870 HALL county, found her again next door to Simon in 1880 and find Clementine's marriage record to Alexander ORR. I also noted that there is an Alexander in that will. James' slave holdings in Jackson county 1850 slave census does not show any that are close enough to be Alexander and Clementine but he does have four slaves in Talbot County that could be Clementine (14 years) and Alexander (30 years). btw, look also at the 1880 census down the street from Clementine and Simon is McNeese CHRISTLER. Note that in 1880 Simon is living with Jonas CHRISTLER. My thought is that Jonas is Simon's son, probably via another mother.

All that said, I have also already started on my great geneamoments for 2010. Two weeks ago when I found Alexander and Clementine's marriage record, guess who performed the ceremony? You won't guess in a million years, so I'll tell you. John W. HARGROVE. That would be James' son John, who is a Methodist minister. So I can add a county to my Georgia state map. I can add another surname ORR, to my list of surnames. Anyway, like I said, I'm still investigating. I have a death certificate for Albert (Clementine's son), marriage license for Cynthia GROBER (James daughter that Clementine was willed to) and marriage records for Mary and Martha (Clementine's daughters).

Celebrating Ancestors

Today is 17 January and is the wedding anniversary of my great grandparents Smith HARGROVE and Pinkey Ann HOPE. They were married 46 years until Pinkey died in 1928. They had eight children according to the 1900 census but only three lived to be adults. Smith and Pinkey are blessed to have about 200-250 living descendants spread from Connecticut to Florida and I don't know how far west; at least as far as Mississippi.

Their marriage license is available at the Georgia Virtual Vault. Looking at their marriage entry in the book, looks almost like January 14 to me, but the IGI Index says 17.

They are my favorites! When I first saw their photograph almost eight years ago, I said "Who are these people? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?" And wondered why I had never seen this picture before. That was the beginning for me. Almost eight years of finding more about my folks and finding more about myself that I didn't know before.

Ah hem. There goes my folks getting equal time.

Monday, January 11, 2010


According to his WWI draft registration, Joseph F. GRIFFIN was born 1 Jan 1879. I have noted discrepancies of his birth being 1876 but for some reason, I believe the 1879 to be the correct one. This was an uncle by marriage of my maternal great grandmother's sister. He with his wife and three children are who my grandmother lived with after her parents died. His WWI draft reg card is shown here. Notice how the corner is not snipped off like it is supposed to be for black people. Both his and his son Rufus' draft registrations are not snipped. I thought that was interesting.

I also have Joe's marriage record to my Aunt Ida J. BUTLER in Jackson County GA in December (can't read the date) 1897, which I found when I went to Salt Lake City in 2006. I need to find info on his death, probably also in Georgia but could possibly be in Pennsylvania. In that case, I may never get it. When I get to the Pennsylvania City Directories within the next year, I should be able to closer confirm at least where he died. Finding his death information may help me to determine who followed who when my maternal grandparents left Georgia, moved to Pennsylvania before moving to Ohio. Joe GRIFFIN's wife Ida J. BUTLER died in Pittsburgh in 1967. I think I am supposed to remember her but I don't. I do remember their oldest two children, Louvenia and Rufus. I don't know what happened to either of the three children or where they lived.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

State-County Tables & my Location Binder

Back in December I posted State-County Tables & my Location Binder (Part 1) and State-County Tables & my Location Binder (Part 2). You may be wondering what happened to the State-County Tables & my Location Binder (Part 3). I have not forgotten. I am having memory lapses, epiphanies and brain farts about how to finish that up. ie I mentioned that so far, I did not have any family lines competing or repeating in Georgia. Well I do now and Alabama is even worse. And now that I am concentrating more than before on the slave owner families, that further complicates issues. There went another epiphany or ah ha moment before I knew epiphany was a word. Thank you Steven.

So, this post is not State-County Tables & my Location Binder (Part 3). I just wanted to advise you that it's still coming.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Lines 12-14 HARGROVE family found in the 1870 census
Danielsville, Madison County Georgia, page 22

Simon P. HARGROVE       &thinsp 84     M     B
Nancy HARGROVE         &thinsp &thinsp 56     F &thinsp     B
Smith J. HARGROVE       &thinsp 17     M &thinsp &thinsp &thinsp B

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 goals

I noticed this time last year that some bloggers, including Professor Dru and Randy Seaver wrote their genealogical goals for the year. I noticed that some have even already published goals for 2010. I want to publish my goals as well as give myself a grade this time next year, assuming that I'm still blogging.

So here are my genealogical goals for 2010.

Blog at least four times each month. As I mentioned before, I really don't have time to blog. Worse than not having time, I don't always have great ideas to blog about. Amy Coffin, MLIS provided some great ideas for the blogging clueless like myself on her We Tree Adventures in Genealogy blog. Jump Start Your Genealogy Blog. 52 ideas. 52 weeks. Part 1 and Jump Start Your Genealogy Blog. 52 ideas. 52 weeks. Part 2. I am not committing to always use these but to use them if I run out of thoughts to blog about. What do I blog about? Mostly about my research.

Identify and focus on my brickwalls;

To identify and focus on my brickwalls, the next two goals apply.

Patricia Law Hatcher, FASG prefaces an article on the Learning Center "This is not about organizing what you've already found. It's about organizing what you are going to do." Take a look at the What's Your Problem? area of this article on Learning Center. I do have to at least identify them all, not just in my head but on paper. btw, my personal feeling is that it's about organizing both what you're going to do as well as what you already did. If you don't organize what you already did, you don't know which way to take the next fork in the road. The next fork in the road is of course what you are going to do.

Michael John Neill says in his Genealogy Tip of the Day blog to Use Their Birthdays. Great idea that will give me time to focus on an ancestor. I have a pocket calendar that is my Genealogy Calendar for my ancestors and collaterals. Instead of using just birthdays, I am using birth , marriage and death dates to try to make sure that I focus on each of my folks at least three times this year. One of the prime reasons I'm including collaterals as well as marriage and death dates is because knowing that I focus more of my research on my maternal grandfather and his folks, this will make sure others of my family members get closer to equal time. Equal time they are not going to get until I find Smith's parents and siblings as well as identify my relationship to Simon. I do not goal to always blog about these focus dates, but to at least do it. More than blogging about these dates, I want to be especially sure I have them documented and cited correctly as well as other events that involve those persons of focus.

Go to a local repository at least once a month. I have been meaning to get over to Wright State Dunbar Library and to the Greene County and Warren County Historical Societies for quite awhile. Put it on my calendar and go.

Find time to investigate the features of RootsMagic Essentials and decide if I like it much better than Legacy. I have decided that I have to like RootsMagic Essentials much better, not equally as well because I already own Legacy 7.

Backup, backup, backup. I'm sure most of you already do your regular backups and so do I do monthly backups. For those who don't backup at all or who don't backup more frequently than once a month, take this less from me and from Amy Coffin of We Tree blog. Backup More Frequently than once a month. Amy explains her catastrophe here and the end result here. Me and my almost catastrophic situation? Last week I spilled coffee on my computer desk. I got it wiped up pretty good, but enough of the coffee dripped down onto my desktop pc underneath that I had a burning smell when I last turned it on. Fortunately I do still have my laptop but anything on my desktop newer than Dec 12 is potentially lost. So for now, I'm not turning on my desktop until I am ready to back it up then disassemble it and clean it. I bought the cleaner yesterday so I should be OK to get on that today.

The hardest of all my goals to accomplish will be to get my filing done. I am one of those who enjoy the hunt much more than the cleanup after. So to try using the Mary Hill philosophy, I will make sure to file at least ten document pages each week. Rather than say I'm going to "file at least one document per day" as Mary mentions on her Family Roots Organizer video, I am committing to filing at least once per week. I don't want to over commit in this area. I do have an in-basket as Mary suggests. I have referenced my genealogy calendar several times in this post, I also keep it in my in-basket. Between my calendar and my research logs, I should be able to keep track of my filing very well. One thing I guess I can pat myself on the back for is that I do already keep reasonably up to date on my research log. But...

Streamline my monthly maintenance process. I think I do alright using my research logs but I need to streamline the process in some way. The problem is that in keeping my logs, there is my desktop pc, laptop and several flash drives. I have pieces and parts of my research logs potentially on all of them. Once a month, I do my cleanup and merge them together. I guess it would be easier if I used an online backup service, but for some reason referencing security, my gut doesn't trust them. I also realize that if I kept better track of my research logs, it will be much easier to blog. It would eliminate a lot of typing.

These next two won't be hard unless finances get in the way or maybe some family functions might take priority.
Get to some genealogy educational opportunity and go on some research road trip at least four times per year. I was going to say once per quarter but I already have two genealogy educational opportunities on my calendar. Depends what else is going on in my life, sometimes there is feast or famine.

Again, these will be really easy. I am already registered for the 14th annual Family History Jamboree on Feb 20 and in March at the ACPL they are having a March Madness week. I am planning to attend the Writing Your Family History: A Primer Seminar. There is no link to this event yet other than for you to go view their calendar of events. You can select genealogy events only, then next page until you get to March. I expect I will be able to get some research done while I'm there but if I plan well, I may stay overnight and get a lot done. Whether I stay overnight or not, that day is still a research day and an education day.

That's it. I think there is more than enough goals here. But I would rather overplan than underplan and accomplish everything.

Friday, January 1, 2010