16 November 2013

Surname Saturday: A

     I've stollen this idea from Colleen Pasquale of the blog "Leaves & Branches."

     There are 4,356 people in my family tree, though only 244 of them are my direct ancestors.  Each Saturday, I will post the surnames of my ancestors, organized alphabetically.

  • Adkins
    • My 4th Great Grandmother, Mariah, wife of Wiley Powell, was said to have the maiden name Adkins.  She was born on 15 Aug 1821 in South Carolina and died on 6 Feb 1912 in Elbert County, Georgia.
  • Albea / Alby
    • My Albea line is traced back to my 6th Great Grandfather, Joseph Alby, born about 1746 in Maryland.  He lived in Frederick and Montgomery Counties and then moved with his children to Iredell, North Carolina.  His grandson, Tillman Albea, moved the family to Lincoln County, Georgia.
  • Alexander
    • George Alexander was born in about 1807 in Georgia and lived in Elbert County.  He was possibly the son of William and Anna Alexander.
  • Allgood
    • Susan Allgood was my 5th Great Grandmother and the wife of Allen Decker. Their daughter Susanna Pheriby Decker (born about 1806) married Jesse Taylor and they lived in Elbert County, Georgia.
  • Armstrong
    • Samuel Armstrong was my 5th Great Grandfather.  He was born in 1742 and traveled from Belfast, Northern Ireland to Charleston, South Carolina in 1767.  He raised his family there and his son John Armstrong, lived in Abbeville County, South Carolina.

15 November 2013

Can You Draw the US?

     First, if you haven't seen it yet, check out this post over at BuzzFeed where people attempt to draw the United States from memory.  It's pretty funny.  No seriously, check it out 'cause it'll make my attempt look a little better.

     I decided to give it a try and this is what I came up with:

     So I started with what I know: the South East.  However, when I started to draw North Carolina, it turned into Virginia and NC got left out.  That's really the only thing that I'm confused about why I got it wrong.  From there, I moved west, where I ran out of paper.  Then did the North East and Mid-West separately, but wasn't quite able to connect them to the rest of the country (which lead to a couple of "states" named "oops."  I completely forgot Wyoming, Nebraska and Wisconsin.  I couldn't figure out where Indiana went and I knew I was putting Iowa in the wrong place, but couldn't figure out where it actually went.  I got some other stuff in the wrong places, but in their general vicinity. Honestly though, I'm kinda happy with how well I did and that I didn't cheat!

     So my challenge to you is to try this on your own.  How well can you do?

14 November 2013

Index Frustrations

     I know good and well that not all genealogy records are online.  But there's just something about FamilySearch.org that makes me forget that.  They just have so many records online that I expect to find the microfilm image I'm looking for every time I log in.  Unfortunately, that's not always the case.

     I've been looking at my Quattlebaum line, trying to flesh out the original records that I have on file.  This is a family that has been researched and written about by many people over the years.  Thanks to this, it was one of the first family lines that I was able to add to my database and trace overseas.  But instead of citing books and websites, I'd like to be citing the actual records.

     Tonight, I went on FamilySearch and found the "Index to estates, 1785-1949" for Newberry County, South Carolina.  I found a listing in the index for my 6th Great-Grandfather, Peter Quattlebaum's, estate administration.  The index listed the package, book, and estate number, so I clicked back through my browser tabs to find the actual record.  Which wasn't there!  The only probate records for Newberry county were wills, which my ancestor apparently did not have.  I about died!  This close!

     I don't know why I expect FamilySearch to have everything online.  There are tons of databases online that provide only an index to records.  And the index itself can be very helpful, providing you with a location in which to look for the actual record.  But I just have this expectation that if FamilySearch has an index, they will also have the microfilm of the actual record.

     Regardless of my unfulfilled and somewhat hyped expectations, sometimes things just don't go your way.  But there's always an alternative.  I now know exactly where the records are, and there are multiple ways to find it.  I can visit the Newberry County Courthouse, the South Carolina State Archive, or send a research request to the SC Archive (these records do not appear to be held on microfilm by FamilySearch).  I'll have this and other records soon and will continue to document my ancestors.

Peter Quattlebaum listed in a Newberry County Estate Index

13 November 2013

Book of Me: Time Capsule

     Week 8 of the Book of Me, Written by You blog prompt series.  I've fallen behind, but I'm getting caught up!
     In a way, I've created time capsules pretty often, without really setting out to do so.  Take for example the contents of a shoe box I put together in the 6th grade.  I remember collecting the items that seemed important to me at the time; items that I wanted to keep for the future.  In doing so, I created a time capsule that says a lot about my 12 year old self.

     Inside the box: a 6th grade Olympics/Field Day shirt, a program from a play with did in 5th grade art class, the last Calvin and Hobbs comic, a post card from my mom's trip to Puerto Rico, a map of Six Flags, a luggage tag from a 5th grade class trip, a card from a 4-H project, Christmas gift pencils from my 5th grade teacher, two keychains, a ticket and earplugs from the drag races.

     Over the years I've made scrapbooks, many of which contained not just photos, but also mementos.  Those are a form of time capsules as well.

     At the beginning of the year, I created a "2013 Memory Jar" and have been putting mementos inside all year.  I have ticket stubs, a concert pass, buttons, paint chips, note cards, 5K bibs, and more.  If I did something fun or memorable, I put something in the jar.

     I make these time capsules for myself and doubt that anyone else will be interested in them.  It's just fun to be able to look back at my life and have a reminder of what was important to me at a specific time.

12 November 2013

Book of Me: Grandparents

Week 7 of the Book of Me, Written by You blog prompt series.  I've fallen behind!

     Maternal Grandparents
     As a child, I spent a good amount of time at the home of my maternal grandparents, Roy and Betty (Huyler) Albea.  Roy was born in Greenwood, South Carolina, moved to Greenville as a young teen and then to Atlanta after his parents' divorce.  Betty grew up in Atlanta, but moved back and forth between there and Greenville, where she and Roy met.  They were married in 1947 when Betty was only 15 years old!
     After moving around for a few years, they finally settled down in Atlanta.  Roy worked as a truck driver for Overnite and Betty was a housewife.
     Together they had six children, which they raised in a few different neighborhoods around Atlanta before settling in Decatur.  As their grandchildren arrived, they kept the family close by hosting Sunday dinners and major holidays. Roy and Betty were very proud of their grandchildren and I cherish the hand-made present that my Grandmother made for me throughout my childhood.

Paternal Grandparents

     I didn't see my paternal grandparents, Thomas and Sarah (Britt) Craft, as often as I saw my maternal grandparents.  Both of them grew up in farming families; Thomas' family in Elbert County, Georgia and Sarah's in Emanuel County, GA.  Sarah moved with her father and brother to Elbert County as a teenager and met Thomas when he drove her school bus.  They got married in 1940 when Sarah was only 14 years old!

     They lived on a farm in Elbert County for a number of years and moved to Tucker/Lilburn, Georgia after World War II.  Thomas got a job at Atlantic Steel in Atlanta and ran his own sanitation company, while Sarah worked at a Package Store.

     Together they had seven children, the youngest born 22 years after the oldest.  When we visited, we always knew that we could find canned Cokes in the fridge and candy bars in the kitchen drawer.  The entire family would get together each Christmas Eve, which was always a full house.  When I remember my Granny, I think about her paining my fingernails; when I remember my PawPaw, I think about him giving us rides on his John Deer.

In the Kitchen: Christmas Eve Cake

     When I was young, we always spent Christmas Eve with my dad's side of the family.  The evening revolved around the potluck supper which, of course, ended in delicious dessert.  I recently had a craving for the chocolate cake we had, and asked my aunts for the recipe.  Turns out it was a basic Texas Sheet Cake with homemade frosting.  Here's the recipe:

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
4 tbs cocoa
1 cup water
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shortening

Cake Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 400°.  Mix sugar and flour together.  In a pan, heat cocoa, water and shortening and bring to a boil.  Mix in sugar/flour, then add buttermilk, vanilla and eggs.  Bake in a 13x9 pan for 20-25 minutes.

Frosting Ingredients:
1 stick butter
4 tbs cocoa
5 tbs buttermilk
1 box powdered sugar

Frosting Ingredients:
Melt butter in a pan then add cocoa.  Sift in powdered sugar gradually and mix until smooth then add 1 tbs vanilla.  Pour the frosting over the still-warm cake.

I made the cake for the first time today and couldn't resist licking the frosting spoon when I was done.  Yum!

11 November 2013

They're In the Army Now

Week 11 of the Book of Me, Written by You blog prompt series.

     This article, and others like it, appeared in The Hartwell Sun newspaper, of Hart County, Georgia.  Published on 3 Aug 1945, this article lists 57 men, "the largest group of men to leave Hart County in months," who had just been drafted into the army.  Included in this list is my Grandfather, Thomas Craft.  He served in Germany as a truck driver and, thankfully, return home a year later.

     The largest group of men to leave Hart County in months went to Ft. McPherson, Atlanta, Monday, where they are being inducted into the armed services.

     Names of the 57 white men are reported by the Local Draft Board as follows:
William C. Stowe,
Cleo Harris Sanders,
Dorsey Partain,
Pelzer H. Herring,
George Harper,
Charlie H. Sanders,
Inman E. Reed,
Lucius B. Alewine,
Thomas S. Craft,
James H. Estes,
Bernice T. McCurley,
Fay H. Cleveland,
Charles S. White,
George E. Hilley,
Charlie T. Pilgrim,
Joe G. Hailey,
Fred Y. Norton,
D. C. Phillips, Jr.,
Artis D. Ertzberger,
Frank H. Thrasher,
James M. Wicker,
Jack Cordell,
James V. Cantrell,
Thomas J. Bailey, Jr.,
Charles M. Cobb,
Robert A. Floyd,
Billy J. Floyd,
Howard W. Earwood,
Fletcher Dove,
Billy E. Clark,
Clifton Floyd, Jr.,
Herbert W. Maret,
Luther Thompson, Jr.,
J. B. Weaver, Jr.,
Beverly J. Bailey,
Charles L. Whitaker, Jr.,
Frank D. Pulliam,
Asa L. Childs,
Dwain E. Gurley,
Owen M. Teasley,
Dewey H. Beggs,
Kyle J. Crook,
James M. Brown, Jr.,
Early B. Sanders,
Edward D. Kesler,
Edgar W. Kay,
C. B. Alewine,
C. L. Brown, Jr.,
Hansel D. Cole,
Prue M. Banister, Jr.,
T. J. Carnes,
Leonard M. Seymour,
John E. Kelly,
Larry E. Senkbeil,
Herschel B. Sayer,
Harold R. Bailey,
Thomas H. Bowers.

John Cash: Private in the Virginia Militia

signature of John Cash
     I have a few ancestors who were known to have fought in the Revolutionary War, but I probably know the most about the service of John Cash.  Thanks to Fold3, I have a copy of his pension application, in which he details his service.  It seems fitting today to write about him and honor his service in helping to found this country.

     Based on his pension application, John Cash was born on 5 April 1757 in Amherst County, Virginia.  In September of 1776 he joined up under Captain Sale (Sayle) of the Virginia Militia as part of a mission called the Cherokee Expedition.  The Cherokee had joined forces with the British and were waging war on settlers on the Tennessee frontier.  John Cash and his fellow militiamen marched in a scouting party, mostly following the path of a larger army that had gone before them.  They did experience a "small skirmish" at Fort Chiswell in Virginia, but John was home a short three months later.

     John served two more times: for one month in Charlottesville, VA, guarding the barracks, and again as a minuteman under Captain Lawson, in which he saw battle near Jamestown, VA at the Battle of Green Springs Plantation in 1781.

     Finally, John was called up for an extra three months of service, during which he was involved in "driving hogs, Cattle & sheep" and "gathering and storing grain for the army."  Hey, whatever you can do for your country, right?  Armies have to eat too!

     John Cash was rewarded for his service when he received extra draws in the 1832 Land Lottery and won land in Henry County, Georgia.  He applied for a pension after his house burned down in 1831 when he was 75 years old.

10 November 2013

My Limited Travels

     There's a meme going around Facebook right now featuring this map.  You can customize it to reflect your travels.  Many of the maps I've seen shared amongst fellow genealogists are much more colorful than my own!  Hopefully one day my map will be more colorful.

Color Key:

  • Red means I've just passed through, maybe seen a thing or two.
  • Amber means I've at least slept there and seen a few things. I have a first-hand idea of what the state is like.
  • Blue means I've spent a good amount of time in that state.
  • Green means I've spent a lot of time in that state, weeks at at time on multiple visits – or lived there.

09 November 2013


Also, was this photo taken in a cemetery?
     I've had this photo for years.  I know, based on a similar photo, that the girl in the middle is Ethel Waters, my Great-Great Aunt.  But I didn't know who the other two girls were... until now.

     I was just looking through photos when it occurred to me, the girl on the left is Aunt Alma, Ethel's sister.  I don't know why I hadn't seen it before, but now it's so obvious.

     So if this is a photo of sisters, it stands to reason that the third girl would be the third sister, my Great Grandmother, Ruby Waters.

     I had to pull up some photos of Ruby to compare them, because I just didn't see it off the bat.  But after reviewing the photo below, I've decided that the girl on the right is indeed my Great-Grandmother! Yay!

     Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the girl on the right is my Great-Grandmother. A cousin says that it's a friend or maybe a cousin, and she's likely older than my Great-Grandmother would have been. I still think a lot of the features for the girl and my grandmother are similar, so I'm betting on a cousin. But, I did identify my GG-Aunt Alma, so there's still a plus side!

08 November 2013

Family Recipe Friday: Recipe Request

     I'm putting out a call for family recipes.  If you have a recipe that has been passed down from our ancestors - Craft side, Albea side, whatever - I'd love to see it.  I'm looking for cakes, casseroles, sandwiches, sides... whatever!  I've previously posted a few recipes here on my blog, mostly ones from my dad; feel free to take a look and then share yours.

07 November 2013

A Surfeit of Juniors

     I descend from two different Craft lines: my direct paternal surname is Craft, and my paternal Grandfather's maternal Grandmother was also a Craft.  Got that?  Both lines lived in Elbert County, Georgia for many generations, and are commonly believed to connect at the 4th Great-Grandfather level.  I waver back and forth on whether or not I believe that my Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfathers, Willis Craft and William J Craft were brothers (marked with stars in the diagram), the sons of John Craft and Mary Moss.

     I only recently found a document that that connects Willis Craft to his father, John Craft.  This record was found in Estate Records, and lists Willis Craft and John Craft Jr as the minor children of John Craft Sr.  I'm lucky that there are no other Willis Crafts in the area at this time, so when I see the name, I know it is my 4th Great Grandfather.

     What struck me when I found this record was the mention of John Craft Jr.  Note that John is listed before Willis, which can indicate (but is not a guarantee) of the childrens' birth order.   However, it does fit the birth order of my William (1803) and Willis (1809).

     So, I have likely proven that Willis Craft is the son of John Craft Sr. - but what about William J Craft?  Could the J be for John? (And I should note that only the 1850 census gives Williams' middle initial as 'J'; no other document supplies a name or initial.)

     Doesn't look like it.  Next, I found this 1840 census record from Elbert County, Georgia.
     This record proves that that there was a William Craft and there was a John Craft Jr.  This William is younger than mine, but his children and wife's ages are correct - maybe his age was just recorded wrong?

     Let's jump to another record, the marriage bond of William Craft and Sarah Cash that I just found yesterday:

     Did you notice? William is given the suffix Junior.  I know that this is my William J Craft, but this is the first time I've seen him listed as a Junior.   Is one little suffix the bit of evidence that proves William and Willis were not brothers?

06 November 2013

Evernote Prepping For My DAR Application

      I heard back from the local Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) regarding my membership questions.  They were able to provide me information regarding fees and dues, as well as on an upcoming meeting.  I hope to attend, but since I work weekends I might not be able to make it.  I sent a pedigree chart (using the DAR form) to the chapter's registrar, and she's going to look at my patriot ancestor and help me decide if I need to send off for any records held by the DAR.

     Until I can meet with the Registrar, I'm working on organizing my documentation.  Just like when writing out a biography or sketch of an ancestor, this process is helping me realize what documents I'm missing.  For example, I have my PawPaw's (paternal grandfather) death certificate, but I've never scanned it.  Well I have now!

     Having recently used Evernote to help plan my upcoming vacation, I decided to use the program to organize my DAR application documents.  I've created a Notebook called "DAR - John Cash" and individual Notes for each ancestor.  I'm numbering the generations, starting with myself as #1.  Couples get an "A" or "B," with "A" going to the ancestor directly descended from my patriot ancestor.

     In each Note, I'm attaching a copy of each document, as well as a summary of the information contained in that document.  Here's a screenshot of what this all looks like:

     I'm sure the DAR is going to want paper copies (although I don't know, maybe I can email all the documents?), and this is really for my own benefit and for meeting with the Registrar.  All images saved in the Note can be opened up using Preview (or any other image view application) and are saved elsewhere on my computer.

     I'm happy that my DAR application is moving forward and will post more when I know it.

05 November 2013

Travel Tuesday: Colonial Williamsburg

     A month from today I'll be setting out on vacation to Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia).  This trip will be my first time there and will be the furthest north I've ever been.  I've been planning the details of my trip and hope not to miss any must-see attractions.

     Although I didn't plan it purposefully, I'll be there during the weekend they call "Grand Illuminations," though I'll only be there for the morning of the big day (Sunday).  This is the beginning of their Christmas season, which seems like a great time to be there.

     If you've been to Colonial Williamsburg, especially during Christmas, I'd love any suggestions or tips, good or bad.  I'm very interested in learning about the everyday lives of people in the 18th century.  Here's what we've got planned so far:

  • Orientation Tour
  • Time for most of the "Trades," old fashioned Shops, Governors Palace and hopefully, but lastly, old homes
  • Attend, "A Christmas Tale," "A Public Audience with a Founding Father," "Order in the Court," "Fifes and Drums March," "A Revolutionary Holiday," "Ghost Tavern Walk," and "Christmastide at Home."
  • We have a reservation at Shields Tavern and will eat someplace cheaper the other nights
  • Grab lunch at The Cheese Shop and... ? two other days
  • Shop in the Market Square and Merchants Square 
    So please, please share some suggestions!

04 November 2013

Matrimonial Monday: Georgia Marriage Records

     From my experience with Georgia (state) genealogy research, the most readily available marriage records are the Marriage Books kept by the county clerk of the Superior Court.  These books record marriage licenses and go back to 1805 when they were required by law.  They are, for the most part, fully available on microfilm at the Georgia Archive and online at GeorgiaArchives.com and FamilySearch.org through the early 1900s.

     Unlike marriage records in some other states, Georgia's marriage records aren't exactly fonts of information.  The license contains only the bride and grooms' names, the date of the marriage, the county it was performed in, and who it was performed by.  There are no ages, parents or specific locations given.

     If you dig a little deeper, often visiting a local courthouse, you might find Marriage Bonds as well.  These are often "loose" records and are likely to have been microfilmed, however they don't provide information on the actual marriage and are thus not as likely to be found online.

     Marriage Bonds represent a groom's intent to marry and his promise to pay a penalty if he backs out or it's discovered that he is not eligible to marry.  The best thing about the marriage bond is that it is co-signed by another person, often a relative of the bride.  Their name might help uncover the bride's family.  These bonds are not proof that a marriage occurred however, so you should rely on the Marriage Books for real evidence.

Images: Top: Marriage License of George Craft and Effie Powell, recorded in "Elbert County Marriage Book, 1882 - 1893."  Bottom: Marriage Bond of Moses Craft and Nancy Hudson, stored in Elbert County, "Marriages box M1 1802-1808."

03 November 2013

Flu Season & Two Month Checkups

     It's that time of year where we are all encouraged to get our flu shots; meanwhile, my baby nephew recently got his two month vaccines.  In line with this, I'm reminded of the interview I recently did with my Great Aunt Ree at Story Corps.

     While talking about her father's death from Tuberculosis in the 1940s, we ended up on the topic of general illness.  When she was a child (the 1930s), they didn't have vaccines like we do today.  Because of this, she came down with just about every "childhood disease," as she called them.  It's a foreign concept to me to consider measles and mumps as diseases a child would be expected to catch.  When a member of the family came down with a serious illness, the home was quarantined.  My Great-Aunt said that one year, she caught so many diseases that she missed most of the school year and was held back.  I had to wonder: her parents were mill workers who depended on each day's wage; how did the family suffer financially due to the quarantine? (My aunt couldn't give specifics due to her young age.)

     My mom remembers getting the polio vaccine as a school girl in the late 1960s.  The entire family (six kids), went up to the high school together for the polio vaccine on a sugar cube, as well as a TB test.  My dad still has a scar on his arm from his childhood vaccinations.

     My history with vaccines is more like that of my nephew: got 'em young.  I recently found my immunization card, which lists the shots I got and when I got them.  How times change!

02 November 2013

Surname Saturday: Cash

     My Cash family line starts with two sister: Elizabeth and Sarah Cash.  Both were my Fourth Great Grandmothers, as their descendants would eventually marry and bring the line back together.  Thus, I am twice over a Cash descendant.

     Elizabeth and Sarah Cash's parents were Moses Cash (abt 1785, VA - 1846, GA) and Nancy Hudson (abt 1790-1823, GA), who were married on 6 Sep 1808 in Elbert County, Georgia.  The couple had many children, among them Moses Reuben Cash, the ancestor of singer Johnny Cash (making him my 3rd cousin, 3x removed).  Moses had come south from Virginia with his parents, John Cash (1757, VA - 1836, GA) and Lucy Campbell (1760, VA - 1848, GA).  

     John Cash was born in Amherst County, Virginia and enlisted there in 1776 to become part of the Cherokee Expedition (against Cherokee who were allied with the British) during the Revolution.  I'm currently trying to join the DAR through this ancestor.

     I can trace back one more generation on this line, to Stephen Cash and Jemima Grinning, also of Virginia.

     A map of modern day surname distribution shows that the Cash name is still popular in Amherst County (http://publicprofiler.org).  My direct ancestors might have moved on, but many of their descendants stayed put.

     One thing thats' great about this line is that it is backed up by DNA!  I have four different DNA matches on my Cash line.  In the chart here, you can see three of those matches (from ftDNA) and the DNA that they share with my dad, though none of them are on the same segment.  Yay!


01 November 2013


     I haven't been doing much genealogy lately.  I've let my Ancestry.com subscription lapse and haven't made any trips to archives or libraries.  But I did receive a death certificate in the mail today, which has given me a bit of jump start.

     I ordered the death certificate of my Great-Great-Great Grandmother recently, when reviewing my documents for a potential DAR application.  I realized that I was missing her death certificate, as well as that of her son, so I sent off for it.  Yesterday I received her DC in the mail and... sigh... not helpful.

     Rossie Alexander Craft was 98 years old when she died and her death certificate was filled out by her daughter in law.  Apparently Mrs JW Craft didn't have the best information.  Rossie's father was Georgia Alexander, not George Craft; Rossie's mother is listed simply as "Miss Cash," no first name given.   So for the sake of paternity, this death certificate is practically useless.

     At the same time, it's been almost a month since I emailed my local DAR chapter (the only form of contact seemingly available).  Aside from a "I'll forward this to the right person," I haven't heard back from them.  I'm only moderately interested in joining, so I don't have a ton of patience to wait for information.  I've sent them a followup email and we'll see what happens.


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