Same Name – But Are They the Same Person

After my experience with my James Crawford line, I’m a little hesitant to conclude that two people of the same name are the same person. Proving that I was looking at multiple James Crawford families in Kentucky was relatively easy — most had wills and my ancestor wasn’t in them. Unfortunately, the same is not true for my Hiram Currey line. Not only are there several Hiram Currey’s of the same appropriate age but the name, Hiram, was used across multiple generations.

According to the family bible, my ancestor, Hiram M. Currey was born in Peoria, Illinois in 1835. In the 1840 U.S. Census, there is a Hiram Currey with a male child under 5 (indexed as Hiram Caisy on Ancestry)

Curry1

The Hiram Currey of Peoria Illinois was fairly active politically between 1825 and 1840. (from my Master Genealogy file)

Curry1

This Hiram Currey seems to disappear around 1850. Locating his wife and children in the 1850 census has also been a challenge. So when I find that other researchers have him dying in Miami County, Ohio in 1874, I have to wonder if it is indeed the same person OR if they are two separate individuals. The Hiram Currey who died in 1874 in Ohio is probably the Hiram Currey listed in the 1870 Census for Champaign County, Ohio.

Curry1

Even though this 1870 census is for someone of the same name, the name is the only commonality between the family in Ohio in 1870 and the family in Peoria, Illinois prior to 1850. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to locate the Ohio family in the 1860 U.S. Census or this Hiram Currey in the 1850 U.S. Census.

The age of the Ohio Hiram Currey also bothers me. At age 52, this Hiram Currey seems like he would have been too young to be commissioned as justice of the peace in 1827.

Until I have more proof that these are the same men, I’m going to stick with my original conclusion that they are two separate families and that the Hiram Currey of Peoria (my potential ancestor) disappeared before the 1850 census.

 

Sources:

Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. (NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.Minnesota census schedules for 1870. NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

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Genealogy Software – Genealogy Do-Over Week 7

Picking genealogy software is NOT an easy task!

My initial purchase of genealogy software was probably the easiest! I purchased PAF at the LDS Library in Salt Lake City. My husband and I were on a family vacation with my parents. Somehow, I talked them into spending a few days in Salt Lake City doing research and they not only agreed but helped do research! If my memory is correct, I attended a training session on PAF at the library. After the session, I obtained permission to purchase the software. Thus, I not only came home with lots of copies but with genealogy software.

My use of PAF evolved from entering family group sheet information to documenting many life events and adding citations. Many of those events were added as ‘Notes’. I tried Family Tree Maker but found entering events beyond birth, marriage and death cumbersome at that time. I also tried Master Genealogist – I think at version 4. I found that Master Genealogist was a very robust software package that could handle the events. Thus, I transferred my PAF data into Master Genealogist and began the process of turning my ‘NOTES’ events into the specific event (such as military enlistment). Thanks to the very active mailing list, I learned how to utilize the sentences and to create narrative reports. Armed with Second Site software, I was able to quickly and easily publish my work on a website.

Thus, it was with great sadness that I learned of the end of support for Master Genealogist. I’ve followed the work of the TMG-Refugees community and appreciate all of the work they did in evaluating the transition from TMG to other software packages. I have experimented with both Legacy and RootsMagic. Both packages have strong user’s groups and support from previous TMG users. I prefer RootsMagic, primarily because it is built on newer code.

Because I can’t use RootsMagic to produce a narrative type of web site, I haven’t made a firm commitment to RootsMagic. I am waiting to see whether the new version of Second Site will work with RootsMagic. I’m also experimenting with TNG (but I haven’t tackled its learning curve yet).

Since I had uploaded a gedcom file to Ancestry, I had a tree on Ancestry with some images tied to it. When I experimented with the Shoebox app, the images created by the app were added to that tree. In order to pull down those images and the associated tree, I have a current version of Family Tree Maker.

As you can see, I’m very fickle right now and am hoping that by the time week 13 of the Do-Over process arrives, I will have settled on a software solution. In the meantime, these are the features I’m looking for:

  • Narrative
    • Reports
    • Web Site
  • Portability- Potentially cloud based
    • between desktop and laptop and tablet
    • Able to use on iPad
    • Windows and MAC compatible — just in case I decide to purchase a MAC laptop
  • Underlying code is not deprecated
  • Sources — Evidence Explained support
  • Events — wide variety allowed

#WK7GenealogyDoOver

Educational Plan – Genealogy Do-Over Week 6

One of the things I’m really enjoying about my participation in these 13 weeks on Genealogy Do-Over is the push to develop new skill sets. Unfortunately, I have not been active in the genealogy world for quite a few years and thus, my skill set needs improved. Finding the various Facebook groups related to genealogy has helped me connect with learning opportunities. In developing my ‘learning plan’ for genealogy I simply created check-lists of opportunities.

learningThese checklists will serve as a reminder of what is available. Since many of these occur during my work day, I won’t be able to participate in the ‘live’ event. However, many are archived or posted on YouTube which will make it possible for me to view them as my schedule permits.

Since I am a continuous learner for my job in public education, I’m hoping that I can find the time to watch at least some of these presentations this fall and winter.

#Wk6GenealogyDoOver

Citing Sources Generates EE Questions- Do-Over Week 5

As I’ve been starting my go-over (as part of Genealogy Do-Over Cycle 3), I’ve been digging thru my copy of Evidence Explained. Most of my data is documented, just not according to the current standards of Evidence Explained.

This week, I wrote a #52Ancestors post, Counting Horses, on the agriculture census data for one of my ancestors. I tried to document my references according to EE standards. Most of these sources are census records from Ancestry but are state and non-population census records. As I looked at the source data provided by Ancestry and compared it to the format for “Digital Images Online Commercial Site” in EE, I noticed that the Ancestry information did not provide the actual NARA publication number and roll number. For the Kansas census, Ancestry provided a roll number. When I checked the Kansas State Historical Society site, the roll number provided by Ancestry is different than the roll number assigned by Kansas.

Thus, my questions:

  • Should I be looking up the NARA microfilm numbers for my citations from Ancestry?
  • Should I change the citation for the Ancestry images of the 1875 Kansas census to reflect the correct roll number?
  • I have the 2nd edition of Evidence Explained. Should I be updating this?

Even though I won’t be able to participate in the live sessions, I’m looking forward to Dear Myrtle’s upcoming study group, What Does She Say? Hopefully, I can learn more about properly citing genealogical sources and how to handle quandries like those I encountered today.

Although my progress on my do-over is slow, I am learning a lot and really appreciate the chance to improve my genealogical research skills.

Below are the citations I used:

  • 1875 Kansas state census, Coffey County, populations schedule, Neosho township, p. 13, dwelling 97, family 97, for Alexander Briles; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 August 2015); citing 1875 Kansas State Census. Microfilm ks1875_4.
  • 1875 Kansas state census, Coffey County, agriculture schedule, Neosho township, p. 3, line 24, for Alexander Briles; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 August 2015); citing 1875 Kansas State Census. Microfilm ks1875_4.
  • 1870 U.S. census, Coffey County, Kansas, agriculture schedule, p. 2, line 18, Alexander Briles; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 August 2015); citing 1870; Census Place: Neosho, Coffey, Kansas from Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880.
  • Corbin, Joyce, “Agriculture in KansasKansapedia : Kansas Historical Society, November 2012, https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/agriculture-in-kansas/14188 : accessed 8 August 2015).

Counting Horses

Today is actually the first time that I’ve searched any of the federal non-population census records.

heartlandThis census is actually an agricultural census showing the acres of improved land along with the acres of unimporoved land owned. Besides identifying the land owners (and thus leading to land records), the census gives an idea of the type of farm by counting the cows, horses, sheep, etc and indicating the types of crops raised.

I found my ancestor, Alexander Briles, in the 1870 U.S. Federal Non-Population Schedule. This census happened to list four Briles households together: Sarah Briles, Alexander Briles, Noah Briles, John Briles

1870 US Federal NonPopulation Neosho Coffey Kansas - Briles

This census shows that these Briles families planted mostly spring wheat and sorghum corn. An interesting tidbit from this census is the fact that Sarah Briles had sheep and cattle.

When I first started doing genealogy, my primary access to census records was at the Kansas State Historical Society library. I’m not sure they had the non-population schedules in their collection at that time and I’m fairly certain there weren’t any indexes for them. However, this information (and more) was available on the Kansas Census for 1865, 1875 and 1885. Since almost all of my lines were in Kansas in 1875, I used the Kansas Census to learn about the family farms. By having to ‘roll thru’ other other counties or townships to find my family, I quickly learned that there were agricultural pages after the census enumeration pages for each township. In fact, there are two pages of agricultural data. The names are listed on the first page with the data continuing onto the second page.

1875 Kansas Census Headings Agriculture1875Kansas AgricultureCensusHeadings 2nd page

The Kansas census is more descriptive of the agricultural operation since it indicates how many acres are fenced and has a broader listing of crops and farm animals. The Kansas census records the amount of butter the family made, the number of bees and even counts the dogs.

1875 Kansas Census Neosho Coffey Kansas p11 Alexander Briles Agriculture

By carefully following the columns to the top of the screen to see the headings, one can learn the following about Alexander Briles.

  • 88 acres fenced — with most of it being rail fence
  • 240 acres unfenced
  • planted mostly winter wheat (37 acres) and corn (40 acres)
  • planted both Irish and seed potatoes
  • produced 100 pounds of butter
  • 4 horses
  • 2 mules
  • 7 milk cows
  • 25 other cows
  • 15 sheep
  • 3 hogs
  • 2 dogs
  • 1 acre of orchard
  • 1 acre of vineyard
  • 1 school of bees

Since Alexander Briles arrived in Kansas around 1858, this census record indicates that he was able to establish and improve his homestead over the 17 years elapsing between 1858 and 1875. It wouldn’t have been easy building split rail fence around 88 acres of land but that fence allowed him to raise both cattle and sheep.

Not only would the fence building have been difficult, the the plowing, planting and harvesting of the wheat and corn would have been significantly different than today. Instead of riding in a tractor cab, Alexander was likely walking behind a plow.

With technological advancements from 1850 to 1930, farming began to be big business in Kansas.

Horse-drawn sulky plows appeared and horses and mules powered the threshers that harvested the crops. Kansas farmers were able to work the large, open prairie with these cultivators, binders, and reapers that replaced manual operations. A single farmer could do the work of several men. With three workhorses pulling a one-bottom walking plow, he could break only about two acres in one day. With a two-bottom plow and a four or five horse-drawn sulky, he could plow five to seven acres.

Steam traction engines powered threshing machines in the 1870s and 1880s that enabled farmers to work and harvest larger areas of land.  The internal combustion engines that replaced steam engines in implements during the early 20th century increased efficiency and the number of acres that could be farmed. (Kansas State Historical Society)

These agricultural census records give us numbers, which in turn provide an idea of what our ancestor’s life was like. However, it was only by putting those numbers into historical perspective did I truly realize how dedicated and successful Alexander Briles really was.

#52Ancestors

Sources:

  • 1875 Kansas state census, Coffey County, populations schedule, Neosho township, p. 13, dwelling 97, family 97, for Alexander Briles; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 August 2015); citing 1875 Kansas State Census. Microfilm ks1875_4.
  • 1875 Kansas state census, Coffey County, agriculture schedule, Neosho township, p. 3, line 24, for Alexander Briles; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 August 2015); citing 1875 Kansas State Census. Microfilm ks1875_4.
  • 1870 U.S. census, Coffey County, Kansas, agriculture schedule, p. 2, line 18, Alexander Briles; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 August 2015); citing 1870; Census Place: Neosho, Coffey, Kansas from Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880.
  • Corbin, Joyce, “Agriculture in KansasKansapedia : Kansas Historical Society, November 2012, https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/agriculture-in-kansas/14188 : accessed 8 August 2015).

My Elusive ‘Easy Button’

This weeks #52Ancestors blog topic is ‘Easy’. In thinking over my past research, what I thought would be easy turned out to not be easy. When I first started working on my family history, I didn’t do much research on my Hammond line because I had my great-grandmother’s DAR (Daughters of American Revolution) application.

194001HammondJosieDARApplicationPg2Cropped

Based on that application, I thought my Hammond line was basically done. Add to that, I found a book, the History and Genealogies of the Hammond Family in America, that made it seem like my line was already ‘done’. However, when I finally gave up finding a revolutionary link on my Crawford line and started filling out my own DAR application based on my Hammond line, the ‘Easy’ button disappeared. Thus, I’ve concluded that there is no ‘Easy’ button when it comes researching my tree.

However, week 5 of Genealogy Do-Over has an ‘easy’ button. This week’s topic is about developing a ‘research tool box’. Thanks to the Thomas MacEntee’s willingness to share the video from his 2015 Roots Tech session on developing a Research Toolbox along with his own toolbox, I was able to quickly create my own toolbox. What I really liked about the video was the discussion about ‘containers’. As I listened, I considered using several of the suggested containers: Excel, Evernot, Website/blog. After considering the various options, I elected to go with Evernote. The second portion of the video discusses the various types of records and the organization of those tools. I elected to follow the same organizational pattern but added the following categories:

  • Software / Tools
  • My Web Presence
  • Webinars
  • YouTube
  • Facebook Groups / Hangouts

By using the Evernote web clipper, it was fairly simple to add sites to my toolbox.

#Wk5GenealogyDoOver

#52Ancestors

Do-Over Week 4

Well, it’s back to school time in Kansas which means less time for genealogy. Thus, my ‘paperless’ and ‘do-over’ projects have slowed tremendously. My hope is to have at least one evening to devote to genealogy. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen this week.

Since I was able to stop in Topeka for a few hours on my way home last week, I actually did some ‘original’ research. In the process, I utilized my new ‘research logs’. I even used a source that I hadn’t considered a ‘genealogy’ resource – the telephone book. My research log really paid off when I realized some of my images didn’t make it to Evernote. Thus, I had images on my phone without the citation information. Thanks to my ‘trusty’ research log, I was able to match the images up to the source. After this experience, I might add a ‘time’ column to my research log. Since the camera roll indicates the time the image was taken, this would help match an image to the research log. I also need to be more observant of the transfer status while sending the images to Evernote.

Since I’m back at school (work), I thought I would try out the suggested project management spreadsheet. Currently, I’m just tracking time but may have to re-visit the spreadsheet shared by Thomas MacEntee. We will see what next week brings.

#Wk4GenealogyDoOver