27 July 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

This gave does not belong to a member of my family (that I'm aware of) but was located in the Pine Grove United Methodist Church Cemetery that I visited in Lincoln County, GA on Friday. It's sad to see stones slipping away like this. Based on the stone and on cemetery transcriptions, this stone reads:

In Memory
Thomas Steven Fortson
Born August 19th 1851
Died May 1st 1886

Email Annoyance

   Before I begin this post, I should say two things: 1. I'm annoyed right now and might come off a little snippy and 2. This post does not pertain to anyone that I've had full, complete or meaningful communication with, are on a first name basis with, or anyone in the geneablogging community. Really, I just want to vent.

   In the course of online genealogy research, I've contacted many people by email that I have never met before. Because of this, I try and maintain a professional style of writing that is polite and well-written. I state my interest in their research and why I've contacted them. Without getting too long, I state my connection and a source or two. Then inform them of where they can find more of my research. Finally, I ask if they would be willing to share their information or to answer a particular question.  I want to present myself in the best way possible in order to encourage a response.

    Now, I'm not saying that I'm perfect by any means! I've communicated with many folks who are much better at writing and communication than I am and I'm sure I've made a few email bloopers myself. And I don't expect perfection from everyone either! I just expect people to express themselves in a polite way that facilitates mutual benefit for both individuals, and in a way that maintains genealogical standards (what's your source?).

   I posted at the beginning that I was annoyed while posting this. That's due to some emails I've been receiving that don't meet any sort of expected standards. Most of these emails have come via ancestry.com's message service and findagrave.com emails.  For example, this email that I received via ancestry.com:

Nina. my son in law's mother is the daughter . can you email *** at ***.

  In this case, I had to email back and apologize for having no idea what this email was about and ask which Nina the email was in reference to. I almost ignored this email entirely and wouldn't have blamed anyone else for doing so.  This is a great example to remind me to be clear and concise in all of my genealogy communications.

   Another example that I received via FindAGrave.com for a listing correction:

Plz add: b. 1898

   Sorry, but I don't think so. Now, I can kind of forgive composition of the email, considering that the sender is filling out a form. In the end though, why should I add this information? Where did it come from and what is the source? It wasn't on the headstone, or I would already have listed the information. If you tell me, "This was my Great-Grandfather and my research shows that he died in 1898, can you please add this to the listing?" I will gladly add the information. I can even transfer ownership of the listing to you.

   On their own, an email or two like this just makes me shake my head, but they seem to be increasing in frequency, which annoys me. At the same time, every email I receive like this reminds me of what not to do - so maybe I should appreciate these!

   Regardless, thanks for reading this and I hope it didn't come off preachy or mean. I'm just annoyed.

26 July 2010

Amanuensis Monday - James Wilson's photo

     Among the photos that my Aunt Ree gave me during our visit were two photos that belonged to her step-father, James L Wilson. James married my Great-Grandmother, Auline Witt around 1945 and they were together until his death in 1971. From what I understand, he became a welcome member of the family - aside from declaring his wife's name to be Arlene, not Auline because "that wasn't a real name."

     Aunt Ree had some of his family photos, one of which had a little writing on the back. Here's the photo:

wilson family - 1912

     Written on the back:
Taken 1912 at
Miller Place.
Pa & Ma were 52
yrs old.
Harry 9
Blanch 13
JLW 21
Bob 16

     From these names, I was able to find this family in census records. Pa & Ma were Frances "Frank" M Wilson and Alice Cook. Other children in the family were Noah, Oliver, Susie, Jessie, and Vernie. The family lived in Clinton County, Illinois, in 1900 and in Mayers County, Oklahoma in 1910.

     I'm only related to this family by marriage and I never met James. I'm sure that there must be blood family out there who would like the original of this and other family photos. I know that James had a son from his first marriage and at least one of his many siblings was sure to have had children. Please contact me if you are a family member interested in these photos.

25 July 2010

Visiting Aunt Ree

Continuing our genealogy filled weekend, yesterday my mom and I went to visit Aunt Ree (my mom's dad's sister). We hadn't seen her in quite a while and wanted to visit and share our research. We were able to share the information that we'd been collecting over the years, as well as the new information we collected in Lincoln County on Friday.  In return, Aunt Ree shared her information and some photos, some of which she gave to us!

There were a few things that I was especially excited about. First: my Great-Grandfather, C Vernon Albea's, wallet. My aunt still had her father's wallet, complete with it's contents, which were something of a goldmine. Aside from photos of his children, my Great-Grandfather carried his 1942 WWII Draft Card, his 1944 Voter Registration Card, his 1946 unemployment card, and an odd piece of asian/US military currency. You can see everything here, all of which will be returned to Aunt Ree soon.

Another great item in my Great-Aunt's possession were photos of her grandparents, my Great-Great Grandparents. I'd never seen a photo of my GG-Grandmother Frances Iola "Ola" Quattlebaum Witt.  Well, now I've seen two! She also had two photos of other GG-Grandparents, as well as an assortment of cousins.

Lastly, I was very excited to see photos of 400 Whitehall, which is what the family called The Frederick Hotel. The hotel was owned by my Great-Grandmother, Auline Witt, and her second husband, James Wilson. It seems that all of Auline's children, my maternal grandfather and his family included, stayed at this hotel at one time. There are a number of stories told about the family living at the hotel, such as when my Grandfather would climb the columns outside to sneak in after a night of fun - his mother wouldn't have approved.

I'd very much wanted to see this building, which they ran in the 1940s and '50s. However the building is no longer in existence - now it's a parking lot for MARTA bus commuters. It's exciting to finally see the building and be able to put a face on my ancestor's home. This photo shows the front of the hotel, and I believe that the man is James Wilson's brother.

In addition to these items, I received a number of obituaries and photos of my mom as a child, heard family stories, and learned about some distant relatives. I'm looking forward to going back to visit again soon!

24 July 2010

The Lincoln County Trip

     Yesterday, my mom and I went out to Lincoln County, Georgia to walk some cemeteries where my Albea family ancestors are buried. This family was a brick-wall up until a month ago, when I finally had enough proof to make connections to older generations. Having made the connections, I wanted photographs of their graves. Luckily, I had access to cemetery transcripts, and didn't have to hunt around for their graves - I just had to make the two hour trip.

View Larger Map

     Most of my ancestors are buried in two church cemeteries: Bethany United Methodist and Pine Grove United Methodist, which are very close to each other. Both cemeteries are relatively small, and I hoped to fully photograph every stone in each. However, the temperatures were around 99 degrees, with a heat index over 100. Given that I didn't want to get heat stroke, I ended up photographing Bethany (abt 230 stones), but only got my ancestors and a few other graves at Pine Grove. I'll upload all of these to FindAGrave.com

     Before heading out on this trip, my mom had suggested visiting the local library. I'd researched this library, but was having trouble finding an address, phone number or contact information. On the drive through Lincolnton, however, we noticed a sign directing us toward a library. So, after visiting the cemeteries, we went to the library.

Located at the corner of North Peachtree and Humphreys Streets in Lincolnton, the Lincoln County Library has a great genealogy collection. Mrs. Dianne Poteat is the head Genealogist, with Mr. Cullers being a benefactor. Both were in the genealogy room when we arrived, and were extremely eager to help us. Mrs. Poteat is working on a Lincoln County genealogy index, having started with the 1850 census. If your ancestors lived in Lincoln County, she's heard of them!

    Ok, well, she actually hadn't heard of some of ours. She had the same problem that I had in researching my Albea family branch: second wives, families living in divided households in census records, etc. Also, our Albea ancestors moved out of Lincoln County.

    To get us started, Mrs. Poteat handed us the "Albea file." Inside were descendent reports for my ancestor, Joseph Albea of Maryland to his son Thomas and his son Tilman. That's where the library's research lost mine. They were unaware of Tilman's son, William, who was my GG-Grandfather. So our line was missing... except for a single scrap of paper with a list of William, his wife, Nina Sprouse, and their children. Apparently someone had come in while Mrs. Poteat was out and left this note, but no contact information. My mom and I were able to identify everyone on that paper for her, and she'll be able to add this family to her database. Once I got home, emailed her more of my research for her records.

    For anyone researching in this area, the library is a great resource. The genealogy section is only five years old, but the Library and the folks there are passionate about it. There are tons of books, as well as a photograph collection and extremely knowledgable staff.

21 July 2010

Thanks Frank

Before there was FindaGrave.com, Atlanta had Franklin Garrett. In the early 1930s, Garrett traveled throughout Atlanta and recorded the headstones, mainly of white males, in over 750 cemeteries. In the 80 years since his survey, many of these graves have weathered away, been overgrown, or destroyed, making his work a priceless piece of Atlanta's History.

Today, his database is referred to as Garrett's Necrology. It can be viewed on microfilm or searched online, both at the Atlanta History Center. Although I haven't found family in this database yet, I have used it to find grave that are not my ancestors. For anyone researching ancestors in Atlanta, this database is a must.

And of course, Garrett's burial listing can be found online at FindAGrave.com.

20 July 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Craft

My Uncle Wayne's grave in the Shadowlawn Cemetery, Lawrenceville, GA. Being a Navy vet, Uncle Wayne is buried in the military section and is surrounded by other vets. I wasn't sure what an ETR2 rate signified, so I looked it up here. It looks like he was a electronics technician. 

19 July 2010

Planning a Cemetery Exploration

I'm going to be on vacation from this Wednesday until Monday (I work weekends, so this is a full 6 days off). I'm not really going anywhere, I just want to not be at work! I am going to try and use my vacation time to work on some genealogy.  

I actually started yesterday by visiting my Uncle's grave for the first time. He was buried in the Shadowlawn Cemetery just across town, so it wasn't exactly hard work.  On the other hand, there are a few cemeteries I'm planning to visit are about 2.5 hours away. I'm planning to visit two cemeteries in Lincoln County, GA where my Albea family ancestors are buried. Time permitting, I might drive up the GA/SC border to Elbert and Hart Counties, GA and visit cemeteries where my Craft family ancestors are buried. I've been to some of the Elbert County Cemeteries before, but haven't been to the others, so they would be priority.

I've visited a number of church cemeteries before and have learned a few things. Most importantly, given the small size of many of these cemeteries, my goal is to photograph every headstone. In good conditions, it takes less than five seconds to photograph a headstone (without pausing to read or otherwise record the stone). Assuming around 200 - 300 graves, it wouldn't take nearly an hour to photograph the entire cemetery, though delays should be expected for old, illegible or damaged stones.  

Ok, but why photograph the entire cemetery? Because in such a small, rural community, I usually find that stones that I didn't photograph turn out to be some sort of relatives. I learned this lesson the hard way with a cemetery a few years ago. I didn't photograph a number of graves with distant family surnames, only to later learn that these folks were actually more closely related. 

My pre-planning includes updating my new netbook with Google Earth and mapping out all of the cemeteries that I might possibly visit. I'll be able to use the program without internet access and will be able to navigate routs from place to place (and if my sister's reading this maybe I can borrow her GPS?). Other steps in my planning include researching the churches to make sure that I'm not going to interrupt any meetings or services; prepping my two cameras to make sure that my batteries are fully charged and are set to the take the correct size/type of photo; finding my extra memory cards, as well as a usb cable to load the photos on my computer if I really need to; buy yummy car trip snacks. I'm also wondering about the safest way to decipher hard to read headstones. I've heard that aluminum foil is currently considered the safest and gives great results. I'll have to look into this...

16 July 2010

Frank's Estate Sale, Pt 3

This is page three of my GGG-Grandfather, Frank E Leaphart, consisting of a wide range of household items. I find the sword to be rather interesting - I wonder what it looked like?


Picher standP. H. Craps1.05
sundreesMariah Taylor
swordJ. W. Jumper.55
shot gunW. T. Jumper4.25
H. L. Price1.00
CandlestickMariah Taylor.25
Pair scissorsJ. E. Taylor.15
Piggin, +c
Sarah Je*fair.30
Copper ware, +cJohn Shill.20
seiveJohn Shill.30
ChurnA. D. J. Hays.45
wool & basketJohn Shill.10
A. D. J. Hayes10.25
A. D. J. Hayes8.50
BlanketA Wingard resold
quiltA. D. J. Hayes1.50
CardsJ. E. Leapheart1.00
Bed & BedsteadJ. W. Jumper14.50
LoomRebecca Seay3.25
Bed & BedsteadMariah Taylor6.00
Bed & BedsteadLeonard Keisler10.00
 " " " " 
W. T. Jumper7.00
CradleJ. E. Leapheart.25
Table ClothJohn Craps.30
Desk & ClothLemule Keisler1.10
TableSarah Jumper.50
Capt Griffith.50
spinning wheelMariah Taylor4.00
ClockJ. W. Jumper2.00
Coffee MillJ. E. Leapheart.10
2JarrsJ. E. Leapheart1.90
" "Mariah Taylor1.25
" " 
J. E. Leapheart1.50
5JugsJ. E. Leapheart1.00
5ChairsP. H. Craps2.00
" "
L. Craut2.50
John *2.05
15Woolpr * 32 AR. H. Leapheart5.76

See an image of this page here, reproduced from microfilm in South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, S. C. Lexington County Estate, Box 17, Pg 3, FR 273-368. Estate File of F. E. Leaphart, E1965.

12 July 2010

Frank's Estate Sale, Pt 2

Here's the second page of inventory from my GGG-Grandfather Frank E Leaphart's estate sale. This page contained a lot of kitchen ware, as well as the contents of the family library. It looks like the family owned multiple bibles, as well as some educational book. These inventories really are providing great insight into the Leaphart family. 


Inventory of the sale of the goods and chattles of F. E. Leaphart Deceased

Bereleon Price
Plates crochery ware

Chesly Price
6" " "
P. H. Crapes
 " " " 
Lemuel Keisler
 " " " 
P. H. Crapes
Tin plates
John Sheall
 " " 
Sarah Jumper
J. E. Taylor

A. D. J. Hayes
cups & saucerP. H. Craps
 " " P. H. Craps
 " " Lemuel Keisler
Bowl & Marg.Sarah Jumper
P. H. Craps
Coffee pot & pitcherMariah Taylor
Tin BritchetSarah Jumper
Knives & forksIsaac Alawine
 " " 
P. H. Craps
spoonsP. H. Craps
Knife & fork
Lemul Keiser
Family BibleJ. W. Jumper
Bible & HistoryCalvin Price
Geography & atlasCalvin Price
Bible Reader
H. L. Price
John Price
FlaskGodfrey Keeley
Mugs stone wareP. H. Craps
small BottlesW. F. Wingard
 " " Sarah Jumper
Bottles & flashMariah Taylor
BottlesJ. W. Jumper
GlazesH. L. Price
Bottle & salceJasper Taylor
 BottlesJohn Hull
Looking glassP. H. Craps
Bottle & pitcherH. L. Price
RazorP. H. Craps

See an image of this page here, reproduced from microfilm in South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, S. C. Lexington County Estate, Box 17, Pg 3, FR 273-368. Estate File of F. E. Leaphart, E1965.

11 July 2010

I'm a Mac... and now a PC too

My family has always been a little techy. My mom worked with computers at her job and was always interested in bringing some of that technology home. I remember having word processors to type on, as well as our first computer.  We got some sort of Apple Computer in 1993. I remember Mom bringing it home and not really caring about it because we were going to skate night at school and we never got to go to those sorts of things. However, I quickly learned to appreciate the computer and what it could do and have been a Mac person ever since. But as of yesterday, I'm also a PC.

In "My Computer is a Ticking Time Bomb," I talked about my concerns regarding my Mac laptop. It's pretty much a desktop that could die any day, or years from now.  I really felt like I needed more mobile access to my computer in regards to my genealogy research and was thinking about getting a netbook (mini laptop). Having my bills payed up early this month, I saw that I had the money I needed to afford an inexpensive one and started shopping.  Well, turns out they cost a little more than I thought they did. I was shopping online at Best Buy, Amazon, etc and was seeing prices for about $350, whereas I was looking for about $250. Another problem with looking online was that I couldn't really see the differences between my options. I decided to do a little in person shopping and decided to check out Micro Center. I'm glad I did. They had a variety of options in my price range, as well as a selection of refurbished netbooks that were below my price range. And now, I'm typing this from my new Acer AspireOne netbook. And, because it was refurbished, I saved about $90.

Now, I'm just trying to figure out Windows 7. I've used PCs at work so I know the basics, but it's something else to start from scratch. I need to load some programs and software, and already started by adding TweetDeck and DropBox. Now, I need to add some genealogy software. I'm not necessarily looking for anything fancy. I plan on maintaining my Mac as my main computer, so I just want something that I can use to view my gedcom on this laptop. I'm also not looking to spend any money... I've spent enough at this point! So, does anyone have any recomendations for free genealogy software for Windows 7?

08 July 2010

Frank's Estate Sale, Pt 1

One of the most interesting parts of the estate records I received for my GGG-Grandfather, Frank E Leaphart, are the records from the sale of his estate in 1856. I'm really starting to get a picture for what life was like for this family by looking at these records. On the first page, we have mostly farm animals and crops (a male cow?), which is a good indication of how this family made a living. I'll continue to transcribe these pages - it only gets more interesting!


Inventory of the sale of the goods and chattles of F. E. Leaphart Deceased

WagonGeorge Hallman15.50
Red cow & calfEml Shealy33.75
Black cow & calfH. L. Price15.00
old Red cow & calfM. L. Kyzer12.50
Red *** & calfEml Shealy20.00
Male cowM. L. Kyzer15.00
no horn yearlingH. L. Price8.00
cow & yearling in woodsM. L. Kyzer18.50
HelferR. H. Leaphart12.00
Hog 1st choiceJ. E. Leaphart12.00
" 2nd " M. L. Kyzer12.00
" 3rd " J. E. Leaphart12.00
sow & guineaM. L. Kyzer18.00
spotted shoats 5 pr. Hd.Daniel Jackson10.00
White shoat pigJ. E. Leaphart4.00
Black pigs 2.50 per HdM. L. Kyger5.50
goats1.50 " "G M. Caugh*4.50
2 "1.00 " "J. E. Leaphart2.00
1 "1.25A. D. J. Hayes1.25
1st  2choice sheep1.75 per. Hd.M. L. Kyzer3.50
2nd  2" "2.05M. L. Kyzer4.10
3rd 3" "1.75M. L. Kyzer5.25
4th 3" "1.00M. L. Kyzer3.00
5th 2" ".80R. H. Leaphart1.40
6th 3" "1.55J. E. Leaphart4.65
Wheat straw
W. T. Jumper1.70
Fodder by BulkJ. E. Leapart3.25
Fouls per Hed 28*J. E. Leaphart1.61
cropEast fieldAbalam Jackson19.00
field by HouseAbalam Jackson8.50
Wheat per Bu 2.45A. D. J. Hays12.25
"" " 2.45A. D. J. Hayes12.25
"" " 2.50J. E. Leaphart12.50
Ballance"" " 2.50J. E. Drafts18.75
WatchCalvin Price17.75

See an image of this page here, reproduced from microfilm in South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, S. C. Lexington County Estate, Box 17, Pg 3, FR 273-368. Estate File of F. E. Leaphart, E1965.

What I Do

Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers has created a new genealogy meme, intended to allow genealogists to share which technological tools we use for our research. I think this'll be a pretty neat meme and I'd love to see everyone else's lists.  Here's mine:
  • Hardware: 2008 MacBook, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Due, 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • External storage: 2, 8G Flash Drives; 1, 2G Flash Drive holding all of my digital genealogy files
  • Online storage: Flickr
  • Backup: Backupify
  • Firewall: n/a
  • Virus protection: n/a (I hang my hopes on having a mac)
  • Spyware: n/a (ditto)
  • File cleaner: n/a
  • Printer: Kodak ESP5 All in One
  • Phone: basic Samsung slider type
  • Mobile media: iPod nano
  • Music player: iPod; iTunes
  • Car audio: 6 Disc CD w/ AV adaptor
  • eBook Reader: Kindle 2US
  • Browser: Safari 5.0
  • Blog: Blogger
  • RSSreader: Google; burner: Feedburner
  • FTP: FileZilla 
  • Text editor: Word, TextEdit, AppleWorks, Stickies
  • Graphics: iPhoto, Gimp
  • Screen capture: Keyboard shortcut: Command-Shift-3
  • Social media: Twitter; Facebook
  • Social bookmarking: Diigo
  • Social profile: n/a
  • URL shortener: tiny.url
  • Office suite: 2004
  • E-mail: yahoo; gmail
  • Calendar: n/a
  • Accounting: n/a
  • PDF generator: File/Print/PDF
  • Genealogy database: Reunion 9.0b
  • Genealogy tools: Blurb.com (bookmaker), Google Maps
  • Other tech stuff
    • Scanner: Cannon CanoSan 5600F
    • Voice Recorder: Sony Digital Voice Recorder
    • Camera: Nikon D40x; Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5

    06 July 2010

    Tombstone Tuesday - Antioch Cemetery

    Just about every line of half-brother's family lived for generations in Fayette County, Alabama. Thanks to the Antioch Cemetery Association, my research is a bit more complete. This group has indexed and photographed the Antioch Cemetery in Belk, AL and uploaded the information to FindAGrave.com. Thanks to this group, I have tombstones for his direct paternal line back to Samuel Belk (1812-1877) and his wife, Elizabeth Plyer (1810-1891)

    05 July 2010

    Monday Memories - Notes from Aunt Ree

    My mom recently had a simi-interview with her father's sister, her Aunt Ree. I fed her a few questions during her conversation and we learned the answer to some questions that we had been wondering about for quite a while. All we had to do was ask and then listen.
    • Q: We recently came across a marriage record for your [Ree's] father, Vernon Albea, to an Alice Budell Hooper. We only knew about his marriage to your mom, Auline. Were you aware of this marriage?
      • A: Auline moved to Atlanta with Roy [her son] and Auline and Vernon got a divorce. He married "that Budell woman.". They had been seeing each other and that's why Auline left Vernon and divorced him.
    • Q: He died only six months later...
      • A: Vernon had galloping pneumonia. His sister, Evelina and her husband, called uncle "Dooby" Duvall and their daughter Sarah all had TB. Sarah was the only one to survive. They had come out with a medicine that would have cured Vernon's TB, but they came out with it too late. That's what cured Sarah.
    • Q: We visited the Edgwood Cemetery in Greenwood last year. We saw the graves of Vernon Albea and his parents. There was also a grave marked "Infant." Do you know who this baby was?
      • A: The grave was Coleman's son that was stillborn. [Q: from which marriage?] It was Shirley's brother [from Coleman's wife, Marie]
    • Q: Roy Albea [her brother, my grandaddy] didn't fight in WWII. He had told me something about having a broken nose keeping him out of the war. Is this true?
      • A: He was 4-F. They said that he had broken his nose as a child and he wouldn't be able to wear a gas mask. He wouldn't be able to breath with it on. If you couldn't wear the mask, they wouldn't let you go to war.
    • Q: How did Roy react to this? Did he want to go to war?
      • A: He wanted to go. He went down right after Pearl Harbor and tried to sign up. All the men did when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Vernon tried to sign up at the first of the war but they wouldn't take him because he had four children. At first they had so many people trying to sign up that they wouldn't take anyone with so many children. But he was 1-A.


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