28 March 2011

The Will of Moses Cash - Amanuensis Monday

     Moses Cash was my 5x-Great Grandfather, said to have been born around 1785 in Amherst County, Virginia. His will was recorded in Elbert County, Georgia in 1856. I located this will on microfilm at the Georgia Archive and I've transcribed his will below as best I can. My 4x-Great Grandmother Elizabeth Cash Alexander is mentioned in Item 4.

Moses Cash's will 1856

State of Georia \
Elberty County /            In the name of God Amen.
I, Moses Cash of the state and county aforesaid being of sound mind and disposing memory and calling to mind the uncertainty of mortal existence and that it is appointed once for all men to die have thought proper to make and ordain this my last will and testament and First as touching my futural state in a world beyond this I resign my mortal body to its mother earth from whence it came and my immortal soul to God who gave it trusting in the metros of my redeemer for the remission of all my sins and on touching my temporal estate which it hath pleased God in his great goodness to bless me with in this world I gave and bequeath in the manner following, to wit.

Item 1st. It is my will and desire that all my just debts be paid funeral and burial expences.

Item 2nd. It is my will and intention that my beloved wife Nancy Cash have all my estate both real and personal to have and to hold the same during her natural life or widowhood and upon the happening of either her death or intermarriage that it is my will and desire for my three owns to wit James G Cash, Moses R. Cash, and Seborn J. Cash to have the tract of land whereon I now live to be equally divided between them by the said James G. Moses R. and Seborn J. Cash paing to my two daughters to with Nancy F. Cash and Lucy J. Cash the sum of one Hundred and fifty dollars in cash which amount is to be equally divided between them.

Item 3rd. It is my will and destire that at the death of my said wife that all of my slaves or negro property to be loted off into five lots as equal as that situation of the property will admit of and to be drawn for by my five children, to wit, James G Cash, Moses R. Cash, Seborn J. Cash, Nancy F. Cash and Lucy J. Cash all to shear and sheare alike.

Item 4th. It is my will also at the death of my said wife that all of my said estate not otherwise disposed of to be sold and the proceeds to be disposed of as follows, to wit, Permealey McMullan wife of Thomas McMullan, Elizabeth Alexander, wife of George Alexander, Sarah Craft wife of William Craft, Mary Daniel wife of Allen Daniel and Reuban Cash all to have the sum of one dollar each it being their share together with what they have had heretofore, and the balance to be Equally divided among my five first named children to wit, James G. Cash, Moses R. Cash, Seborn J. Cash, Nancy F. Cash and Lucy J. Cash all to share alike.

Item the 5th. It is my will that my three sons to wit James G. Moses R. & Seborn J. Cash have a good Horse saddle and bridle each when they arrive to the age of twenty one years.

Item 6th. It is my will that my two daughters Nancy F. Cash and Lucy J. Cash each to have a good Bed and Beding when they become of age.

Item 7th. It is my will that my said wife Nancy Cash have full power and authority during her widowhood to sell and dispose of any ?? stock of any kind crops of cotton, corn or any thing she except land or engross or she may ?? for her own use and benefit.

Item 8th. I do hereby constitute and appoint my son James G. Cash and Anderston Craft my Executors to this my last will and Testament hereby Ratifying and confirming this and this ?? and renouncing all or any others In Testimony ?? have hereunto set my hand and seal this thirtieth day of March Eighteen Hundred and Forty Six.

  Signed. Sealed and acknowledged
  In presents of us and attested at                               Moses Cash (Seal)
  the request of the Testator
  James M. Cleveland
  Lewis R. Shiftlet
  Anderson Craft

will_cash_moses_1 will_cash_moses_2 will_cash_moses_3

26 March 2011

How Many Surnames (SNGF)

     From Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings: How many surnames are in your family tree?

     This is an easy number to find in Reunion. On the file menu select "List" and click on "Last Names," choosing "All People." This will pop up a new window that details your surnames.

     I have 555 unique surnames in my family tree of 3148 people (an average of 5.6 people per surname). Of course, it's counting surname variations as different names 
(ex. Utz / Ouzts). My top surname is actually "Unknown," with 194 instances. Everyone in my tree has a surname, so if I don't know it, they are "Unknown."  Ignoring that, here are my surname stats:

Albea 99
Ouzts 87
White 80
Smith 56
Hyler 55
Belk 54
Taylor 52
Boatright 52
Quattlebaum 51

21 March 2011

Queen Waters - is she the Key?

     I've written before about my Waters family brick wall. I know my Great-Great Grandfather was Leverett Waters, that he had a brother named Millard, a mother named Mary, and a father possibly named John or James. Recently, I uncovered a sister, Queen Elizabeth Waters.

     I found Queen by searching the FamilySearch database for Georgia Death records (which has more search options than the death certificates at the GA Virtual Vault). I filled in only the father's last name and mother's first name, and Queen's record was the second one. Unfortunately, her father is given as "J B Waters," which doesn't help me much. I have been able to find other records since then linking her to her brother, Leverett.

     I thought that this might be a rather unique name that would help me bust down the wall. Queen was born in 1885 in Georgia, probably in (present day) Cobb/Cherokee/Fulton area. In the 1900 census there is only one match, in Marietta, Cobb, GA:

     I think that this is probably the family I'm looking for, but I don't have any proof of it. Where are Leverett and Millard? I haven't been able to find them in 1900. And who is John T? Is that Queen's brother or a cousin? 

     I'll have to do more research on "Grandmother" Elizabeth Waters to see if I can find a John or James as her son.

William Britt's Homestead Exemption - Amanuensis Monday

     I located the homestead exemption for William Britt on microfilm at the GA archive. The following is a transcript, which lists him, his wife, daughter and stepson.

Emanuel County
Schedule of property
belonging to William Britt as head of his family consisting your wife Permillia Brit and two minor children both under the age of sixteen years of age to wit Jesse & Rosa and claimed to be exempt from levy and sale under section 2040 of 1882 and the amendments thereto.

William X Brit
E. L. Green

Schedule of property
one soral mare about 15 years old, head of Hogs and seventy dollars worth of provisions Beds and bedding and ??? bedstand s?? for use of family one spinning wheel one pair cotton ???, one hundred pounds lint cotton one cooking stove and fixture and lot of table crockery Wearing appairel of family one family bible and religious works and school books. Fifty bushels of corn one thousand pounds of fodder one table and set of chairs and one hundred dollars worth of household and kitchen furniture one family sewing machine one one horse waggon of the value of ten dollars. Two trunks two water buckets one looking glass one side Board all of less value than fifteen dollars and one clock
Filed in the office a??? and recorded this 12 day of September 1893
John Bell

William Britt - Homestead pg 1 William Britt - Homestead pg 2

17 March 2011

Using Prezi.com for Genealogy

     Yesterday I posted a genealogy timeline that I created using Prezi.com. My sister, who is a student teacher, showed me an awesome US History presentation she had created for her class and I immediately wanted to create something of my own.

     As stated on their website:

"At Prezi, we're all about helping people understand each other better. Presentations have not evolved much in the 50 years since the slide was invented, but Prezi is changing that. Prezi lets you bring your ideas into one space and see how they relate, helping you and your audience connect. Zoom out to see the big picture and zoom in to see details — a bit like web-based maps that have changed how we navigate through map books."
     Pretty much, this is an online program that takes a powerpoint style presentation to a whole new level. Instead of simple, individual slides, prezi allows users to create dynamic, twisting presentations that can do things that made me say "wow."

     I signed up for the free student/teacher edition using my college email address. Otherwise there are both free and paid accounts. The differences in the accounts are mainly based on storage and privacy.

     Prezi is pretty easy to use, but does take some experimenting to get used to using. Mainly you create an element using the control panel on the top left and then edit it using the control curser, called a "zebra" (it's got lots of "stripes"). Here's a screenshot of the "canvas" where you create your prezi:

     You can place text, photos, videos, etc onto a canvas space however you want: upside down, sideways, etc, then determine what size you want it to be. You then create a path between each element that will be followed when you present the presentation. You can create your own color scheme or use a pre-created one. When you're done, you can download the prezi or embed it in a blog or website.

     I would like to see some additional features. You can add 'shapes', but all you have are circles, shaded squares, arrows and brackets of one basic design. When you choose a color scheme, it applies to all of that type of element in your prezi. You can print to PDF, but it automatically sizes to fit on a 8x10 page with no apparent option for larger sizes.

     Overall, I think this is a great tool for creating family history slideshows. Think of how you could use this to explain the family tree at a reunion. Or perhaps a presentation to your local genealogical society?

     Here's the presentation that my sister created for her class:

16 March 2011

Creating Genealogy Timelines with Prezi

     My sister introduced me to this great website, Prezi.com, today. I created this interactive timeline about my Albea family. Click the play button to load the slideshow and then continue to click the play button to move through the presentation.

(you might not be able to view this in a blog reader)

Georgia Archives threatened by House Budget

     I know the economy is hurting, but are we really to this point?

Georgia Archives threatened by House Budget URGENT ACTION REQUIRED!

An open letter from FOGAH Chair, Virginia Shadron:

The Fiscal Year 2012 budget that passed the Georgia House of Representatives on March 11 as HB 78 includes budget reductions that could result in the State Archives closing its doors to the public.

The budget contains two items that together would reduce the Archives’ budget by at least $300,000.

The Archives’ base budget, after preceding budget cuts, is $4,643,588. Over 65% of that goes to pay fixed costs (such as rent) that cannot be reduced. The current bill proposes an additional cut in “personal services and … savings from reduced hours …” in the amount of $260,458. The second way in which the Archives’ budget is eroded is that the House budget does not fund the annual increase in the Archives’ rent, an amount of more than $40,000 for FY12.

Altogether, the additional cuts to personal services and the failure to fund the rent increase means that the Archives’ sustains a critical $300,000 in cuts. You might wonder, “What is the fuss about?” That shortfall can come from one place only—and that is staff.

Without intervention the Archives will almost certainly be forced to close its doors to the public, reduce scanning operations and preservation activities, and eliminate most transfers of records from state agencies—the records that protect Georgia financially and legally.

The House version of the budget now goes to the Senate for adjustment and passage. Call and write your state senator immediately and ask that a minimum of $300,000 be restored to the Archives budget! Go to http://www.legis.ga.gov and click on "Find Your Legislator" to find your senator.

- Virginia Shadron

     I wrote a letter to my Senator and to Governor Deal. I implore everyone else to do the same.

I'm writing you to express my concerns regarding the 2012 budget and the Georgia Archive. It seems that the 2012 budget will cut spending in a way that will create a $300,000 shortfall that would require “personal services and … savings from reduced hours …”

As a patron of the GA Archive, I cannot fully express how much the closure or reduction of hours upsets me and other genealogists and family historians. Already, the operating hours have been reduced to three days a week. I drive over an hour each time I visit the Archive. I spend money on gas and food during these visits, helping the local economy. When walking in the parking lot, I notice that there are a great deal of out of state visitors, which can only help the economy as well. This money will be lost if the Archive hours are reduced or eliminated. Genealogy is a very popular hobby, with big business companies helping to drive its popularity with TV Commercials and a show on NBC.

I implore you to restore a minimum of $300,000 to the Archive's budget to ensure that it remains open to the public.

Valerie Craft

15 March 2011

DNA & Tangled Trees: The Craft and Cash Families of Elbert County, GA

     I recently contacted one of my Family Finder DNA matches to see if we could find our family connection. They responded that the Cash family line looked like the most likely match. I hadn't done much research on my 4x-Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Cash or her husband, George Alexander once I'd added them to my tree, but decided to take a look. Most online trees at ancestry.com agreed that Elizabeth's parents were Moses and Nancy (Hudson) Cash. Of course, none of these trees gave any sources for this information!

     Finally, I found a tree on Rootsweb that provided tons of sources, including wills, deeds, and tax records. I'll look to find originals of the records at the GA Archive during my next visit, but because of the numerous records, I am confidant that the tree is accurate and I believe that my DNA match is through the Cash family. (And it doesn't hurt that Moses Cash is an ancestor of Johnny Cash, so it's been very well researched)

     Also in the will extract provided for Moses Cash was a mention of another daughter, Sara, wife of William Craft. This sounded familiar - and it should: this couple was also in my family tree. I had a listing for Sarah F Cash, wife of William Jasper Craft. After more research, I'm confidant that Sara and Elizabeth are sisters, the daughters of Moses and Nancy Cash.

     This connection creates yet another instance of Pedigree Collapse in my tree. I now have two sets couples who are my 5x Great-Grandparents twice over. In order to see these connections, I like to sketch out the tree, which you can see below:

13 March 2011

Thinking DNA: 23andMe?

     I've previously tested my mtDNA and Autosomal DNA (Family Finder) with Family Tree DNA. I've also tested my Dad's y-DNA and have an order in for a y-DNA test for my maternal uncle. I have to confess that I haven't really had any real results with these tests, though I have enjoyed the experience and very much like the company. I have a few leads with my Family Finder results, but no confirmed connection yet.

    Despite/Because of this, I'm tempted to try testing with another company, 23andMe. Their website is being buggy, but it looks like they offer one all inclusive test for $199. I think this test would cover both mtDNA and Autosomal DNA (Relative Finder), but I'm having trouble navigating the website and their FAQ page is somewhat vague (when compared to Family Tree DNA).

     I have seen others genealogists have recently taken the 23andMe test. Can anyone confirm what the test includes and if they are happy with their results so far?

05 March 2011

Sure It's Online - But Is It Awesome?

     As many genealogists like to point out, not all resources are online, though a lot of them are. And once you find that online resource you might think that was it. But is it? If you had the chance to look at that record in person, would you? I'd recommend that you do.

     If you seek out the original record, or even the "original" microfilm the record was copied from, you might find additional documentation and records. Or you might simply be able to obtain a copy superior to the one available online. When records are put online they are usually done in very large quantities at a very fast rate, which almost always seems to lead to errors. Who hasn't tried to read a washed out census page and wondered how it got past quality control?

     Take for example the Georgia Archive's Virtual Vault. They have a ton of great information online, including land records, death certificates, and marriage records. I've found so many original documents through their site, such as this marriage record for my GGG-Grandfather, Thomas T Albea:

     But last time I went down to the archive, I went ahead and pulled up the marriage records on microfilm. Here's the same record:

     A huge difference huh? The image online is faded and light, whereas the second is nice and dark. Also, the original image is low resolution that doesn't get much bigger than what you see here, whereas the second image is of much higher resolution and can be viewed at a much larger scale. When I pulled up the record in person, I was able to adjust the brightness and contrast how I wanted and then save a very high resolution copy to my flash drive. I'll be able to do a lot more with the second copy than the original.

02 March 2011

Albea DNA

     Thanks to a recent FamilyTreeDNA.com sale, I was able to purchase a 36 marker Y-DNA test for my Uncle Roy. I've wanted to do this for a while so that I could trace my mother's side of the family. It's been difficult to trace the Albea family and I wonder if DNA might help.

     When I purchased the DNA test I also searched for a Surname Project to join. Not surprisingly, there was no group for the Albea name (or Alby, as the oldest known ancestor spelled it). So, I started one!

     If there is anyone else with the Albea (Alby, Albey, Albee, Allbee, Aulby, etc) surname who would like to join, please do! If you are a female, you will need to have a male Albea relative take the test, as I've done with my Uncle.  Please visit the the group order form page to purchase a test: http://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=Albea or join the group if you've already been tested.  If you order a test through the group, you will receive a discount (I strongly suggest order a test larger than the 12 marker test, which provides very minimal results).

01 March 2011

First FHC Microfilm

     I received a voicemail yesterday, informing me that I had microfilm available. This would be the first microfilm I received through the local Family History Center (I initially ordered three reels four weeks ago).  The process to retrieve my film was simple: the new films are in one drawer and films ready to be sent back are in another. They also had numerous other drawers filled with "indefinite" microfilm reels with names of patrons on them.

     The film I received was Minutes and Membership Lists, 1842-1859 for Hawhammock Missionary Baptist Church in Swainsboro, Emanuel, Georgia. I know that multiple generations of my paternal grandmother's family attended this church. I was hoping to find mention of deaths, baptisms and perhaps births and weddings in this film.

     I didn't end up finding everything I was looking for, in part because the title of the film is misleading. It should be "partial" or "fragmented" Minutes and Membership Lists - because that's exactly what they are. At times 10 to 20 years were missing from the minutes. This was unfortunate, because the minutes did in fact include obituaries and baptisms, as well as other religious events. Of course, most of the years I needed were the ones that were missing.

hawhammock membership - B     I did find a few things of interest however, including a membership list from 1938 which listed my Great-Grandmother (click the image on the right to see a bigger image). Her name, Ledora Britt, is crossed out and marked "dead," though no date is given.

     And you'll notice that the image has been stitched together from multiple images. I don't know if it was the older machines (hand crank) or the film, but I couldn't zoom out far enough to see the entire width of the image. I ended up taking multiple pictures of the screen and stitching them together.

     And while I was waiting on this film to arrive, I discovered that the Georgia Archive has a copy (c'mon GA-A, index your film on something more hi-tech than a physical card catalogue!). I'll be back there again on Thursday, so I'll take a look at this film on a newer machine and see if I can get a better view. Also, I'll be able to save to flash drive there.

     I have two more films coming in soon, so I'll see how that experience goes before deciding to order any more film.

Hawhammock Church Plat


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