About a month ago, I ran across another Thompson tree on Ancestry.com that had an article from the Belleville newspaper attached to Ulysses Grant Thompson.


Curious as to what was in the newspaper, I decided to do a search for Grant Thompson in the Belleville, Kansas newspapers on Newspapers.com.


Instead of backing up a step and doing a more focused search, I opened many of the articles in new tabs. Thus, I had a browser open with who knows how many tabs.


I not only found an obituary for Ulysses Grant Thompson, but also for his wives.


In addition, I found news items related  Grant Thompson’s siblings and his children.


This newspaper search took quite a few hours (days) to complete. However, the information contained in all of these articles was genealogy GOLD.

I hit the JACKPOT!

Bearded – Not!


A recent #52Ancestors prompt was bearded. In thinking about that prompt, my first thought was I don’t have anyone to right about since the majority of pictures I have are of men without beards. So instead of writing about someone who was bearded, I’m going to show my unbearded family tree.

My Family Tree


Eugene David Crawford and Roberta Adell Briles


Leon Russel Crawford (1894-1976) and Winnie Letha Currey (1903-1992)

Edward Osmond Briles (1891-1956) and Pauline Edith Mentzer (1896-1984)

Great Grand Parents

Judson Foster Crawford (1894-1949) and Josie Winifred Hammond (1874-1954)

Hiram Miles Currey (1866-1943) and Winnie Mae Hutchinson (1871-1913)

Edward Grant Briles (1869-1951) and Frances Artlissa ‘Artie’ Ricketts (1868-1947)

Charles Oliver Mentzer  (1869-1955) and Nettie Addell Wells (1873-1939)





















Issues Searching Trees

Do you wish that everyone who took a DNA test had a tree attached going back to at least their grandparents? Do you ever search public member trees hoping to find a cousin with the family Bible or family photographs? I have a lot of family photographs, documents and even a Bible that I want to share with family members. I have a public member tree and I want others to be able to find my tree.

As I discovered yesterday, the vast majority of my tree may now be found. However, there are parts of my tree that still aren’t indexed. Randy Seaver reminded me of this possibility in his reply to my comment on his blog, Has Ancestry.com Indexed Ancestry Member Trees Yet. It appears that the entire tree isn’t indexed. Instead only individuals with Ancestry.com sources are indexed.

In order to verify this, I had to go to a section of my tree where I had not worked the Ancestry hints. I selected the John Minnick family to test this theory. My Heartland Genealogy tree contains Ancestry sources for John Minnick.

When I did a search of public member trees for John Minnick with a death date of 1903, my Heartland Genealogy tree appeared in the results.

I then looked at one of John Minnick’s children, Wilson Minnick. Even though I have sources attached to Wilson Minnick, they are all OTHER sources and not Ancestry sources.

I then tried a search for Willson Minnick with a death date of 1914. My tree did not appear in the list of results. This supports Randy Searver’s finding, ‘an individual must have an Ancestry.com source attached to be indexed‘. (Until a person is indexed, the tree they are in won’t appear in the results of a search for them in a public member tree.)

Having found some issues with searching public member trees, I wanted to see if I could use a different search to find the trees containing my CRAWFORD family. Thus, I tried a search for my grandfather, Leon Crawford who died in Dodge City, Kansas.

This search returned a total of 3 trees, including my Heartland Genealogy tree. Even though the other 2 trees contain my CRAWFORD family, they are not close cousins. The trees for my close cousins are not listed in these search results.

I then searched for Leon’s father, Judson Crawford who also died in Dodge City, Kansas.

Again, three trees are listed including my tree, Heartland Genealogy. Missing from these search results are the other two trees that appeared in the search results for Leon Crawford: McNeil Family Tree and McCutcheon Murray Family Tree. Thus, the question, why does a search for the son show different trees than a search for the father.  When I looked at Leon Crawford in the Wells Family Tree and Michael Borck’s Family Tree, they both had Ancestry sources attached to Leon.

Thus, the question, why did the Wells and Brock trees show in a search for the father, but not in a search for the son?

Even though most of my tree can now be found in a search of Ancestry’s Public Member Trees, I believe the inconsistencies in the search results hamper my ability to connect with other’s researching the same lines.


Finally Indexed! But ?

Due to my husband’s fight with pneumonia, I have been away from genealogy for a couple of weeks. This evening, I decided to see if my tree would show up in a search of public member trees. (See Ancestry Indexing Update from Aug 2018)

To my surprise, my tree, Heartland Genealogy, appeared in the results.

Since I’ve been waiting over a year for my tree to be indexed and thus show up in a search of public member trees, I should be celebrating. Unfortunately, I’m not sure the search mechanism is working correctly. For the past year, I have been using this same search (for Judson Foster Crawford EXACT all fields) and getting 24 results. Thus, I believe there are at least 25 public member trees with Judson Foster Crawford in them. Thus when the same search provided me with 104 results, I was very excited – until I scrolled down a bit and realized that the EXACT part of the search did not work.

Even though the search produced 104 trees, it did NOT find all of the 24 trees that had been showing up in my search results for the past year. Thus, I tried another search to try and find these 24 trees: Judson Crawford with a death year of 1949 (EXACT). This time, the report indicated 1 result but showed 3 trees (including my tree).

One of the 24 trees that isn’t showing up in the results list is the tree maintained by my dad’s first cousin. I found that tree and verified that it contained Judson Foster Crawford with a death date of 1949.

So, Ancestry, thank you for indexing my tree.

BUT, could you fix the issues with searches pulling trees that don’t match as well as not pulling trees that do match the search criteria.

1869 Briles Deed

Coffey County Kansas
Deed Book O
Page 603

Warranty Deed
This indenture made this twentieth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand sixty nine between Alexander Briles and Sarah his wife of Neosho Township in the County of Coffey and State of Kansas of the first part and Noah W Briles of Neosho Township in the county of Coffey and State of Kansas of the second part witnesseth that the said party of the first part in consideration of the sum of four hundred dollars to them duly paid have sold and by these presents do grant and convey to the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns all that tract or parcel of land situated in Coffey County and State of Kansas and described as follows to wit: The West Half of the North East Quarter of Section Twelve in Township Twenty Three of Range Fifteen (15) East containing eighty acres more or less with its appurtenances and all the estate titles and interest of the said parties of the first part therein and the said Alexander Briles and Sarah his wife do hereby covenant and agree that at the delivery hereof they are the lawful owners of the premises above granted and seized of a good and indefeasible estate of inheritance therein free and clear of all encumbrances and that they will warrant and defend the said in the quiet and peaceable possession of said party of the second part his heirs and assigns forever. In Witness whereof the said parties of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals this day and year above written.
Alexander Briles (seal)
Sarah Briles (seal)
State of Kansas
County of Coffey
On this twentieth day of September AD 1869 before me a justice of the peace in and for said county came Alexander Briles and Sarah Briles his wife to me personally known to be the identical persons describe in and whose names are affixed to the above conveyance as grantor and acknowledged the same to be their own voluntary act and deed. In testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my official seal on the day and year last above written.
W F Thornberry
Filed for record Nov 19 1872
At 11 am Stumped 50C
Wm H Bear
Register of Deeds


Still Not Indexed

Do you search public member trees for hints?

Do you search public member trees to try and connect with others researching your ancestor?

If so, did you realize that only trees with Ancestry sources attached to the tree will appear in the list of results? It doesn’t matter how many other sources are attached, the tree won’t appear in the search results.

Did you also realize that any trees created since October 10, 2017 won’t appear in the list of results. That means that the search results won’t contain trees created by DNA testers in the last year.

I have no idea how many public trees are hidden because of the lack of an updated index. However, I do know that my Heartland Genealogy tree is one of those that is hidden.


I would love for others to be able to find my tree.

I called Ancestry support (again) about this issue. The support technician was very sympathetic. She verified that it has been a year since indexing occurred. She also stated that Ancestry is ‘overdue for indexing’ of the public member trees.

For those that haven’t been following this issue, my blog post, Ancestry Indexing Update, summarizes the issue.

Hopefully, trees will be indexed soon and my wait will be over.



Two Julias

Have you ever looked at your genealogy and wondered, ‘How did I get that?’

That happened to me recently as I was researching the descendants of William Taylor Thompson of Wapello County, Iowa. William had a daughter, Julia. I had found a Wapello County, Iowa marriage record for Julia S Thompson to Edward Bates in 1868. Thus, I was following shaky leaf hints for Julia Thompson Bates.

In the process, I found the Find a Grave memorial for Julia A. Thompson Bates – who died in 1922. But wait, I have Julia Thompson dying before 1887.

So, where did I get the death information? And, is it correct? If so, does this mean I’ve mixed up two different Julia Thompsons?

I got the death date from the biography of W. T. Thompson in the Portrait and Biographical Album of Wapello County, Iowa. That biography lists the nine children of Mr. and Mrs. Thompson. This list of children includes ‘Julia is deceased’. Since the book was published in 1887, I concluded that Julia died before 1887. What also is telling from the biography is what it didn’t say about Julia. The name of the spouse is listed for the other daughters – but not for Julia.

After reviewing the biography in relation to the marriage record and Find a Grave record, I concluded that there were TWO Julia Thompsons of approximately the same age living in Wapello County at the same time.

Assuming I did mix-up two Julia Thompsons, I looked for a second Julia Thompson in the 1860 census for Wapello County, Iowa. I found a Juliann Thompson. age 8, in the household of Samuel and Eliza Thompson.

In other words, I likely had mixed up two different people!

Thus, I unlinked Julia Thompson, wife of Edward Bates, from the family of William and Polly (Evans) Thompson. I then added a daughter Julia to the family of William and Polly (Evans) Thompson with a death date prior to 1887. I also added an Identity fact linking the two Julia Thompsons. I use this fact when I have two individuals of the same name that could be the same person – but also might not be.