Old Research

Have you been researching your family for several years? Do you happen to have old handwritten notes. I have to admit that I have such records and sometimes even run across source citations that are likely from my PAF days.

As I was researching the descendants of William and Polly (Evans) Thompson, I ran across some of those old notes. One was a note was for a marriage source for three of William’s children.

Even though this was an OLD note, it did give me information to locate my notes:

Instead of having this separate NOTE fact, I want to attach this source to the marriage fact. Since I didn’t do a good job of recording the information about this book, I need more information to create the citation. Fortunately, I do have enough information to locate the book in World Cat.

This allowed me to create a citation and attach it to the marriage fact for the three couples.

Daughters of the American Revolution Iowa Society, Elizabeth Ross Chapter (Ottumwa, Iowa), Marriage Records of Wapello County, Ottumwa, Iowa (Iowa: Iowa DAR, maybe 194), pages 35, 103, 104.

And, I can now delete the NOTE fact found attached to each of the people mentioned in the source.

In the past, I’ve just corrected these NOTE facts as I’ve encountered them. However, RootsMagic provides a report that would allow me to find those notes and thus update them. That report is the FACT LIST report. In the settings for this report, I simply need to select the NOTE Fact Type.

If I leave the ‘Include’ set to EVERYONE, I get a report over 25 pages in length. However, I can use my marked groups to create a report for a section of my file. For example, the image above shows the settings to create the report using the group that contains the descendants of William and Polly Thompson. Thus, I get a more manageable list of notes to update.

Getting all of these notes cleaned up will take quite a bit of time. Perhaps this needs to be one of my goals for 2022.

Source Mystery

Do you like to dig into old deeds and court records to figure out family ties? If so, has the closure of libraries and Family History Centers impacted your ability to access those records? My answer to both questions is YES. Of course, I could be using Ancestry databases to research other branches of my tree, but the pull to research my Crawford line is very strong — and that means accessing Virginia records.

Even if the Family History Centers were open, I’m under a county ‘Stay at Home’ order. Thus, I’m digging thru my files from previous Virginia research to see if I can make pull any new information from that research.

Out of curiosity, I searched my Crawford files to see if I had any records mentioning Overton, Tennessee. (One of my brother’s BigY matches is to a Crawford family from Overton County, Tennessee.) Since I’ve never done any Tennessee research, I didn’t expect to find much. Thus, I was surprised when I found a document titled: Crawford Families of Virginia and Overton County Tennessee.

What I have is a scanned image of a photocopy.

Based on the third page of the scanned image, this document was found by my mother and came from

Johnson, Frank W. A History of Texas and Texans  Vol. V. Chicago: The American Historical Society, 1914.

scanned image of this book is on the Internet. The book is also available on Ancestry. However, I have not found anything in the book that matches the photocopy. Unfortunately, I’ve found that the research my parents helped me with is not always well sourced. This must be one of those ‘unfortunate’ times.

Not only does this document connect a Crawford family in Botetourt County, Virginia to a Crawford family in Overton County, Tennessee, but it identifies three generations of this family and cites a will and deeds to support the family.

Crawford Families of Virginia and Overton County Tennessee
by George and Lydia Fetzer, 1624 Rio Vista, Dallas, Texas 75208
The Crawford Family is of Scottish ancestry. They were among the earliest settlers of Augusta County, Virginia. The Crawfords first arrived in Pennsylvania and came from Pennsylvania to Orange County and Augusta County, Virginia about 1740. Two brothers, said to be sons of Colonel William Crawford and Mary Douglas who were married in Scotland and migrated to the north of Ireland were: Alexander Crawford and Patrick Crawford.
Patrick Crawford (1) died in 1787; married Sally Wilson. He came to Orange County, Virginia and proved his importation on July 24, 1749, bringing with him Ann, James, George, Margaret and Mary Crawford (Order Book II, page 211, Orange County, VA). His will was dated December 4, 1786 and recorded December 18, 1787 in Will Book VII, page 31, Augusta County, VA. It mentions sons, George, John, James and William (twins); daughters Martha and Mary; grandson George McChensey; and other children have received their part.” Executors: sons, George and John
—— Early Western Augusta Pioneers, by Geo. W. Cleek, Staunton, VA 1957 (DPL)
John Crawford, the Elder (2) born about 1726 (estimated by GIF) Probably born in Ireland. Children: John Crawford, Sr. (3) and William Crawford, Sr. (3)  and others.
John Crawford, Sr. (3) William Crawford, Sr. (3)
 ba 1748 Est d 1796   ba 1750 Est d after 1813
Wife: Margaret Wife Margaret (Dean?)
   James (4) ba 1770    William Crawford, Jr. (4) b1787 d 1860
   Samuel (4) ba 1772    Joseph Crawford (4)
   John, Jr (4) ba 1774
   Andrew (4) ba 1776
   William (4) ba 1778
   Margaret (4) ba 1780-?
Last Will of John Crawford, Sr. (3) of Botetourt County VA
John Crawford of Botetourt County VA, being weak in body, made a will 9-24-1796. His wife, Margaret, was to live on his plantation until it was sold. If land was sold, then she shall live with one of my three youngest sons, John, Andrew or William; She shall chose which; the other two to share her expense. 
My father, John Crawford, dec’d (2 – the elder) did will that the land I and my brother William Crawford now lives on shall be equally divided between me and my brother William. John Crawford Sr. authorized his son James to divide the land equally and to make a deed to my brother William for his half of said land.
John Crawford left personal properties to each of the six children named above. To daughter Margaret he left a mare, a saddle, some cows and her bedroom furniture. 
Further: my daughter Margaret shall be maintained by John, Andrew and William until she marries.
My negro woman, Kate, to my wife. My rifle gun to James. My family bible to John. 
My youngest sons, John, Andrew and William to live on my plantation until William is 21 years of age; then, all my land to be divided between John, Andrew and William, who are to pay James fifteen pounds current money as soon as they can procure it on the land.
Executors: James and John. Will proved December court 1796. signed by mark
James Crawford carried out the wishes of John Crawford, the elder, (his grandfather) and the wishes of John Crawford, Sr. (his father). On June 11, 1797, James deed to William Crawford, Sr. (the brother of John (3)) 95 acres of land, which was one-half of 190 acres. This tract had been purchased by John the elder from John Craig on the north side of Craig’s Creek. Deed Book 6, page 313

The remaining 95 acres out of the 190 acre tract became the property of John, Andrew and William, under the terms of the will of John Crawford, Sr. who died 1796.
John Crawford (4) on April 9, 1799 sold to Thomas Allen his land on the north side of Craig’s Creek, which land was devised to him by the last will of his father, John Crawford, Dec’d. DB6-730. Proved September Court 1799. Deed signed by mark.
Andrew Crawford (4) on April 9, 1799 sold to Thomas Allen one-third part of land owned by Andrew by virtue of last will of John Crawford, dec’d, being 93 acres of an old grant formerly occupied by John Crawford, dec’d adjoining the land of William Crawford. Signed by Andrew. Proved April Court 1799. DB6-662
William Crawford (4) apparently signed a deed to his interest in the land, but the deed can not be found of record. Perhaps he was under 21 years of age, and the court would not approve the deed for recording. The following deed will clear this point four our purpose: Thomas Allen and wife, Polly, On Oct 20, 1807, sold to Malcom Allen a tract of land which was conveyed to Thomas Allen from Andrew and William Crawford, heirs of John Crawford, dec’d on the north bank of Craig’s Creek, adjoining the land of William Crawford. DB? page 384.
Margaret Crawford (4) is to be maintained by her brothers John, Andrew and William, under the terms of the will of her father, until she marries. She has the right to choose which brother she will live with, and the other two are to share in her expense. Her name is not among the names on the marriage records of Botetourt County. We have no further record of her until Census 1820 of Overton County, TN. On this date, we are almost certain that she is the Peggy Fetzer who is listed next to William Crawford on the census report. Margaret was a first cousin of William K. Crawford (4), son of Williams Crawford, SR. (3). These two families lived side by side nearly all of their lives. Proof of her relationship with William K. Crawford of Overton County TN follows:
William Crawford, Sr. (3) and his wife Margaret on June 2, 1813 in consideration of $1.00 and love and affection deeded to their sons William Crawford, Jr. and Joseph Crawford a tract of land on the south side of Craig’s Creek, a branch of the James River, containing 44 acres of land. This land had been granted to William Crawford, Sr. by patent August 3, 1771. Note that this land is on the south side of Craig’s Creek, while all land previously discussed was on the north side of the creek. Deed Book 11, page 165.
William K. Crawford (4) of Overton County TN for $250. sold to his brother, Joseph Crawford his one-half interest in 44 acres which had been given to them by their father, William Crawford in 1813. Deed Book 16, page 262. Deed signed by Wm K. Crawford in Overton County TN on 11/16/1824
William K. Crawford (4) and Elizabeth his wife, both of Overton County TN signed another deed conveying 44 acres on the south side of Craig’s Creek to Joseph Crawford. Deed dated October 4, 1841. Deed Book 25, page 335.

I would love to connect with anyone researching this John Crawford (the elder) family or anyone that can help identify the actual source of this information.

Cleaning Up Bad Citations

Do you ever have to do a ‘clean-up’ in your genealogy database? Whether you do or not, I know I do. I recently figured out that some of my citations did not ‘convert’ well when I moved my data from The Master Genealogist to Roots Magic. Thus, I have some ‘bad’ citations to clean up.

Even though I knew these bad citations existed in my database, I had no clue how to go about finding all of them. Thus, I posted a query in the RootsMagic Users Group on Facebook.

Although, it isn’t possible to create a report listing these citations, a kind user posted some steps to try and locate those hints.

You could enter the Source template a source is made from in the Master source Comments section. Enter the source template name or part of the source template name in Find everywhere as a search criteria. This report will give you the Master sources. It will not give you the people or facts the Master source is linked to.

Save the Find everywhere report. It saves as a .hmt file. Open the .hmt in a browser. Copy the file into the Windows clipboard and paste it into a text file.

The Source list report prints all Master sources or a selected Master source. The report doesn’t print the source template the Master source uses. If you check Citation details, the report prints the person’s name and where the Master Source is linked.

Create a Group of the people that have Master sources made from a Source template that is entered in the Master source comments.

Any fact, source, comment contains,

or Source (General), comment contains

or Source (Family), comment contains.

You can put the main view on Timeline and select each person in turn in the Group in the Sidebar. Click on the check mark in source column to open the Citation Manager for a Person, Spouse, or fact.

You can also click on the source icon above Spouses, Parents in the upper left of the main screen to see where a person has linked sources. Click on an item in the list to open that Citation manager.

I changed my Master source names to add the source type to the beginning of the name and standardize the way I entered the rest of the source name. It makes it easier to find a Master source of a certain type or create a Group. It took me awhile to finish it, but it was worth doing.

Birth – AR – Sebastian – 1877-1963 – Birth and Death – FamilySearch

Birth – CA – 1905-1995 – Birth Index – Ancestry

Birth – CA – 1905-1995 – Birth Index – FamilySearch

Funeral home – OK – Oklahoma – Oklahoma City – Bill Eisenhour Funeral Home, Web

Funeral home – TX – McLennan – Fall and Puckett Funeral Home

Marriage – IL – All – 1763-1900 – Statewide Marriage Index – Web

I divided elements of rhe source name with – to make it easier for me to read.

Where and how you enter information in RootsMagic determines what RootsMagic feature you can use to get that information back out of Rootsmagic.

Unfortunately, my bad citations are not based on one or two (or even a few number of) master sources, but individual sources. Thus, I can’t retrieve all of the erroneous citations without knowing who they are attached to.

So, I’m experimenting. I’ve identified two source templates with bad citations. One of those is _TMG_E-Mail Message. Using the hint above, I edited the source template to add the word ‘CITATION’ to the footnote template.

I then pulled down the SEARCH menu and selected FIND EVERYWHERE.

I put the word, ‘CITATION’ in the top line of the FIND EVERYWHERE box and clicked OK.

The resulting report shows the people and events with citations using this Source Template

This search identifies the sources and should help me find the people.
I tried creating a ‘marked group’ for anyone with a source footnote containing the word ‘CITATION’. That pulled up the sources using the _TMG_Ship Passenger Lists but NOT those sources using the _TMG_E-mail message template.

After some more help via Facebook, I modified my template to add TMG

I then used the mark group feature to ‘Select people by data fields’ and followed the suggestions received via FB.

Any fact – source – footnote contains – TMG

and any fact – source footnote contains – e-mail

That search produced a list of individuals that should have these badly formatted citations. Now, I can work thru this list of people and correct the citations.

As a work-around until I can get all of these citations corrected, I modified the Source Template. The original _TMG_E-Mail Message template used the following format:

[Author], TMG e-mail message from [AuthorE-Mail] ([Address]) to [Recipient]<, [Date]><, [CD]>.

Thus, it implied that all of these sources were based on an email message when they were actually county records. Therefore, I modified the template to the following:

<[Address]. ><[Cd].>

Below is an example of the resulting footnote:

Footnote: Leavenworth County Kansas. Vol. 33, page 633 (Curry.Notebook).

Even though this footnote is still incomplete, it is much better than how the template originally formatted it.

If it wasn’t for other users in the RootsMagic Users Group on Facebook, I wouldn’t have figured out how to begin resolving this citation issue.

Bad Citations

Do you have older source citations in your tree that your high school English teacher would yell at you about? Do you have source citations in your tree that even you can’t use to locate the information?

I don’t know about you, but I have such sources in my tree. As I’m reviewing my Crawford research, I’m finding those source citations.

Most of these HORRIBLE citations came from my early days of research when citation standards were just being developed. 

If I look at one of those ’email message’ citations, I find it attached to a residence fact.

If I go back to my genealogy file from The Master Genealogist and look at the event, I find that, although incomplete, I had a source that was NOT based on an email message.

My only explanation is that the source was somehow corrupted in the transfer to RootsMagic.

Unfortunately, I’ve deleted those ‘bad’ sources from events in the  James Crawford (1758-1836) timeline on RootsMagic. Thankfully, I haven’t deleted those bad sources from everyone in my database. I can use the RootsMagic and the event to which it is attached to find my way back to the same source in The Master Genealogist.

Roots Magic Source
Same Source in The Master Genealogist

Since those sources were in my Roots Magic database when I used TreeShare to upload my data to Ancestry, those BAD sources are in my Heartland Genealogy tree on Ancestry.

Unfortunately, at this time, I don’t know how to find all of those sources. Basically, I need a report in RootsMagic that will print all sources using a specific source template and the person and event to which that source is attached.

I’ve learned my lesson! My poorly cited data hinders my own research as well as keeping others from following my line of thinking.

Wish me luck as I try to clean up this mess!

Marriage Bond Mystery

Do you have documents in your genealogy files with incomplete citations. Congratulations if your answer was no!

Unfortunately, I have documents with partial citations. One set of those documents is four marriage bonds involving Crawford family members from Kentucky in the 1790s.

  • Mary Crawford consent to marry James Sellers given by Rebekah Crawford on 19 Dec 1791 in Lincoln County, Kentucky witnessed by James Crawford and Wm Sellers
  • Bond of James Crawford and Nathan Douglas for the marriage of James Crawford to Martha Night on 12 Mar 1793 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. Consent for the marriage was given by John Goodpastor and witnessed by James Sellers and Samuel Sellers
  • Consent of Rebekah Crawford for Sarah Crawford to marry William Sellers on 2 Feb 1796 in Lincoln County, KY witnessed by James Crawford and James Sellers
  • Bond by James Crawford and James Sellers for the marriage of James Crawford and Sally Duggins on 12 Sept 1799 in Garrard County, Kentucky

I was able to locate the two Crawford-Sellers bonds thru Family Search. They are found in the Loose papers, files 1-6 1781-1809 (film #102262) in the Marriage Records, 1781-1961 collection for Lincoln County, Kentucky on Family Search thru a search of the index for Crawford.


On the off chance that the bond for James and Martha was missed, I scanned thru the entire roll of loose papers — and still didn’t find it. I was able to find verification that the record existed at one time in the set of records titled, “Extract” in the Marriage Records, 1781-1961 collection for Lincoln County, Kentucky.


I had a similar experience trying to locate the bond for James Crawford and Sally Duggins. I located the following in the Index 1797-1853 (DGS 004260348) set of records in the Marriages, 1797-1954 collection for Garrard County, KY.


Thus, I have two marriage bonds and little evidence of where they came from.

Bond for James Crawford and Martha Night



Bond for James Crawford and Sally Duggins



So, the question of the day: Where did I get copies of these two marriage bonds?

Lesson of the day: Create a solid citation for each and every source!