Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Mystery Woman Discovered!

Previously, I created a Throwback Thursday post called "Who Are You?"  I was determined to find out who this woman was that looks just like my great aunt.  Lucky me, over the July 4th weekend, I found out names to faces!  I am excited to announce that we have discovered who this mystery woman is!

Her name is Algie Hopper.
Miss Algie Hopper

Algie Hopper is my great grandmother's sister.  She was born November 11, 1868 in Wayne, Kentucky.  Algie never married or had any children.  Instead, she lived with her fellow sisters, Lola and Dolly MacFarland.  Lula Hopper is my great-grandmother who is Algie's sister.  Now this opens up more questions for me, as I do not know if Lula and Lola are the same person....  I will have to open up my books, check my dates, and talk to some people I know to check on that.

Miss Algie Hopper - sister of my great-grandmother Lula Hopper.
Ironically, what I thought were the same people were actually two sisters.  The third picture is of my great-grandmother's sister, Pearl Hopper.

Miss Pearl Hopper - sister of my great-grandmother Lula Hopper

The most fascinating thing about genealogy is that when you open your research to include aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings, you can open the door for so much more information.  While looking up information on and about Algie Hopper & Pearl Hopper, I was able to find the 1940 Census Record showing that she lived with her sister and another sister and her spouse.  I was also able to locate on the full name of my great-great-grandfather:  John Nathan Hopper (21 March 1846 - 30 October 1925) born in Russell County, Kentucky.  Which, in turn, lead me to my great-great-grandmother:  Sarah Norfleet (approx. 1831 - 14 May 1926) born in North Carolina.

Finding the name to this one mystery women opened the doors for me to find more information about my ancestors.  I will say, I knew John Hopper's first and last names, and I knew his wife was Sarah.  But after that, I did not know.  This has given me dates and full names.  It gave me concrete proof of their existence.

This is why I love genealogy.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Filling out the Family Tree

Today, I am focusing on filling out my family tree.  Today I begin showcasing my Family History Binder.  In order for me to go into the Allen County Genealogical Library and seek professional help to find the missing pieces, I need to have my family tree organized in a way that they can help me.

What I have with me are:

First, I have downloaded the Family Tree Fan Template.  You can also find this under Free Printables.

Next, I begin filling out the names.

This gives me a good starting point.  Of course, there are members of the family whose maiden names are unknown.  For these people, I have just included their first name only.  I will have to research further to find their maiden name (which could be a challenge).

Some of the branches on my tree stop.  I will have to do some research to find this ancestor's parents.  

Now, I have a few branches that continue!

I add numbers around the fan.  This is will give me a reference.  You should end up with 64.

Just to add for reference, I assign this Fan Template the letter A.

On a new Family Tree Fan Template, I assign it a corresponding number.  For example, on my Fan Template A, #49 - James A. Whiteside continues on his family tree.  The Fan Template for his extending lineage is assigned A49.  I start with James A. Whiteside as the First Generation and continue on from there.  I highlight the assigned letter and number to make it stand out more.

James A. Whiteside's family line continues past my fan template. He is assigned #49, and I create a new fan template.

For James A. Whiteside, I make sure to put him down as the First Generation on my fan template.
Then I continue with his line.

Because James A. Whiteside is #49 on my Family Fan Template A,
the newly added Family Fan Template is assigned A49.
You might be asking, "Why not make it the letter B?"  Because there are 64 other ancestors that could potentially move on past the 7 generations available on the fan template.  We only have 24 letters in our alphabet.  Secondly, when I move on past Fan Template A49, I can add A49-# for the next 7 generations if I am lucky enough to get there.

Also, Family Fan Template A is based off of my lineage.  I am also researching my husband's family genealogy.  His Family Fan Template is B.

For special research, such as Native American records or adoption, I mark beside the person's name some type of symbol. This reminds me that when I get to this person, my research is going to be done in a very different way from the norm.

Rebecca is a very curious person.  She was a Native American.  So I have put a * by her name, because locating her documents will be different than everyone else.

I have written beside the * what it symbolizes.  An A with a circle around it indicates Adoption.
You can use any symbol you would like to distinguish where in your family tree are individuals whose information will be more difficult to find.

The Family Tree Fans will be my go-to.  These are my master copies, so they go into page protectors since I will be referring to it frequently and updating it.  All of these master copies are organized based on their assigned letter then number.

At the back of my binder, I add in paper.  This will allow me to take notes as I'm doing any research.

Scrap paper or notebook paper is your friend. :)

This is the start.  The reference numbers will come in handy on a later day.  Right now, my binder looks pitiful and empty.  However, it will fill up quickly!  Until then, I will see you next chapter!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Where Am I Today? - Jacksonville, Illinois

Currently, I am updating information following the Hopper family line.  These are relatives through my maternal grandfather's side.  I have this amazing photo with address of one of the many Hopper family businesses.  This one is located on 458 S. Main Street, Jacksonville, Illinois.  The address was listed on the back of the photo.

The Hopper family owned quite a few businesses.
One includes the Hopper Wheel Alignment shop located in Jacksonville, Illinois.
The photo was taken on the date written:  June 16, 1947.  I decided to have some fun and see if I could find it on Google maps!  Sure enough, there it is!  I honestly cannot tell if this is the same building when I pull up the street view.  But I do sense a road trip in my near future to check this place out as I do more digging!  If the Hopper family owed a business in Jacksonville, Illinois, that means there must be some information - or people that KNEW them personally - out in Jacksonville!

I love these hidden gems.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Using a Powerpoint for Quick Reference

Sorry for the delay!  I spent this July 4th weekend visiting my family in Kentucky.  I got preoccupied and totally didn't make time for this Monday's blog post - and I am sorry.

However, during my stay, I was able to get names to faces!  I have a ton of pictures where we had now idea who these people were.  I visited my cousin who has the actual pictures, and on the back of the photographs were names, stories, and tons of information!  It was like I struck gold.  It was wonderful.  I couldn't stay long, so I didn't get as much down as I had wanted.  I plan on going back to visit and hopefully get some more answers!

For this Monday's blog post, I want to show you how I started getting information organized.  I keep a lot of stuff digital, but I also keep a hard copy, too, just in case.  I have created a file just for Ancestry & Genealogy.
I have on my desktop a file for Organization.  This is where I keep my Ancestry file.

Ancestry has a file folder for Genealogy, where I keep all of my genealogical finds.  I have them organized by surnames.

Within a surname file, for example Lyons, I have a powerpoint, a file folder for pictures, and a file folder for legal documents.  Within this surname file, I have miscellaneous documents that can help with my research: such as obituaries or memorandum programs at funerals.

I found it was easy for me to quickly input information into Powerpoint.  This allows me to add slides as needed and be flexible with basic research.  At a later time, I can then transfer the information onto paper.  Following family trees isn't linear, so I find that having generations upon generations on a family tree can get overwhelming and there isn't much information to put into those trees.  This also helps me gather information for my Family Albums.

First slide of all family powerpoints include the surname, crest (if available), and family motto.
On the first slide, I have the Surname and potentially a family crest and/or motto.  Each slide is a family member's record.  It includes:

  • Full name
  • Birth date and location
  • Parents' names
  • Spouse's name and date with location that they married 
  • Children's names and birth dates
  • Death date and location and location of where they are buried

Some information is missing for a few members, and that's ok.  I just fill in what I have, and as I discover more, I add it as needed.

This is an example of an ancestor's slide record.  It includes name, birthdate and location, parents, spouse, children, and death date.  Some information is missing, but I fill it in later as I find those documents.

I organize the next slides to follow the paternal side.  So for example, I switched to a longer line to help follow this pattern.  James Foster's parents are John Foster & Zilpha Adair.  So after his slide (I included a slide of a picture of his homestead with address, so excuse that) I made a new slide for John Foster.

The slide after that is John's father, James "Andy" Foster.  Then the slide after that is "Andy" Foster's dad, James Whiteside.

Yes, Andy did not carry his father's last name, but we are still following the paternal line.  From there, I continue on with the men.

Once I reach the end of the paternal line, I go back to the maternal lines.  For this transition, I go back to the first James Foster's wife, Ester.  From there, I follow her paternal line until it ends.

In this case, it doesn't go far, so I go back to her mother.  That doesn't last long either.

So the next one is John Foster's wife, Zilpha.  Her family is unknown.  So I go down the list for spouses, and I follow their family line.
Once a line ends, you go back down to the fill in the spouses and their family line.

Basically, each family powerpoint starts with the surname and follows the paternal male lineage.  So the first few slides are only the men.  Then following the men, you go back to the first paternal male in the powerpoint and add his spouse.  It's as if you are following the numbers in order of the slides.

If you get lost at all, you can also type beside names of spouses and children their slide number to easily jump to their slide record (just remember to update them if you add a slide in the middle!).

This powerpoint is only used to contain basic information so that I can fill in details to add to my Family Albums, pedigree charts, family records, and so forth.  All of this information is easily backed up, and I can bring it with me to use on the computers at the genealogical library to update information as I find it.  The best part is that it's free if you have powerpoint on your computer and easy to share!

 If you have any questions, feel free to email me or comment below!  If you need help organizing your powerpoint, let me know and I'll gladly help.  Or, if you have a method for a quick reference and organization of your family lineage that is different than this powerpoint version, share your tips in the comments!  There's no "right" way to do it, so as long as it is right for you!

*** UPDATE ***
I have created a visual powerpoint.  Unfortunately, my notes didn't get copied over.  :(  But I hope that this visual helps.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Who Are You?

I started this blog in hopes to learn more about how to appropriately do genealogy.  Because I have inherited a lot of stuff about my ancestors including stories and pictures, I find that many things I have are unknown still.  I have found this woman, whom I have no idea who she is.  She's a relative, but I don't know her name or how I am related to her.  My mother doesn't even have a clue.  All that we know is she is related from the Lyons/Guffey family.  I obtained these pictures from my mother, who in turn received these pictures from a cousin, who received these pictures from an elderly woman that knew our ancestors.  This woman had a multitude of pictures of aunts, uncles, grandparents... How she obtained them, I will never know.  She was a close family friend and she let my cousin scan these and have some of these pictures.  I honestly do not know if that woman is still alive today for me to ask who these people are in the pictures.

This most intriguing thing is that she looks just like my Great-Aunt Barbara.  It's so crazy to me that this mystery woman and my Great-Aunt have never met, but yet they look identical.  I cannot post a picture of my Great-Aunt due to my promise, but I want to share these pictures with you.  It is my goal to figure out who this beautiful, mysterious woman is.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Beginning a Journey

Today, I have decided to create a blog dedicated to my main passion:  genealogy.  I'm absolutely in love with my family history.  I have been involved in genealogy for a very long time.  I knew about my ancestors thanks to my amazing parents and great aunts who always made sure I never forgot where I came from.  I went on trips with my mother to discover new leads.  My dad has everything saved for his family since they kept up with it for years.  It's something I was immersed in at a very young age.

I personally think my ancestors are the coolest.  I may be biased.  I did at one time think that I knew everything about my family, but boy, was I wrong!  There are so many missing pieces.  Parts of the puzzle were missing or not equalling out with the stories I heard.  I have learned quickly that THAT is why you must cite your sources.  Stories and information can be so misconstrued or incorrect.  Who knew that one of my great grandmothers' name was Zelpha - not Sylvia!  But, as I tried to pick up and do my own research, I was a mess.  I wasn't organized.  I was overwhelmed.  I had no idea what I was doing.

I've learned a bit here and there about how genealogy research is done correctly - but there's a lot to learn.  It's like going to school and figuring out your study habits all over again.  There's different citations to learn.  I think organizing it is probably the hardest part.  So I figured, what the hey, I'll just pretend to start from scratch.  I know I have the documents and photographs and names.  But I need to get it organized appropriately so that I don't go barking up the wrong tree.  I always wanted to blog, but never really figured out what to write about.  Everyone told me to write about something you enjoy.

So here I am.  I'm starting from scratch.  I figured why not share this process with others.  It's crazy confusing - and maybe I can help someone get their stuff organized, or help someone start on their own journey into the past.  If I can start over, surely others can too!  I invite you to join me as I re-learn how to do genealogy the right way - and how to make it fun.  Feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions or concerns.  I'm considering myself a rookie in the appropriate way of managing genealogy, so I may not have the most advanced advice to offer.  But I'll gladly share your questions or concerns with the professionals that I am visiting to help me!

Until next chapter!