Little Clues

Do you ever go back to a source you’ve likely used before and discover a very tiny tidbit of information that changes one of your assumptions about an ancestor. Well, I did last night. I was browsing the Internet for Madison County, Kentucky resources while watching the webinar, Trails of Daniel Boone and Other Western Travelers by J. Mark Lowe.

I came across the book, Glimpses of Historic Madison County, Kentucky on Internet Archive. When I searched the contents of the book for Crawford, I found a paragraph about Rev. James Crawford.


The Presbyterian Church

The first Presbyterian Church in the county was organized by
Rev. James Crawford about 1790 at Round Top, six miles from
Richmond, and was known as the Silver Creek Presbyterian Church.
Seven years later this group united with the Paint Lick Church and
one minister served both congregations. There was a schism in the
Presbyterian as well as practically all other local churches in the
early 1800’s as a result of the great religious revival sweeping Ken-
tucky at that time. Many new doctrines were being preached, and
large numbers of those who were once thought to be dependable
followers of the Calvinistic faith, succumbed to the new teachings.
Even the pastor of the above church departed from the Presbyterian
doctrines, became a strong advocate of the bodily exercises often
experienced during the revival and finally became a devout mem-
ber of the Shaker colony, which established itself in a neighboring county
during that period.

At this time, I don’t know which James Crawford in the Lincoln-Madison-Garrard area of Kentucky in the 1790s this is referring to. However, this short piece contains several hints that may prove useful.

  • This isn’t referring to the Rev. James Crawford of the Lexington area since he didn’t leave the Presbyterian church.
  • About 1790, Rev. James Crawford served at Silver Creek Presbyterian Church at Round Top in Madison County, KY
  • About 1797, Rev. James Crawford also served the Paint Lick Church in Garrard County, KY
  • Sometime after 1800, Rev. James Crawford left the Presbyterian church and joined a Shaker colony [in a neighboring county]

So, could this Rev. James Crawford be one of the James Crawfords I have been researching? Yes, but it could also be another James Crawford. I will have to follow up on these clues to try and figure out who he is.

Photo Lineage

287f3-genealogyfunThis week’s #SaturdayNightGenealogyFun Challenge involves family photos.

How many generations do you have photographs or portraits of your ancestors and descendants? It can be any line…it just can’t be broken!

When thinking about this, I realized that I have several generations of photos on my Crawford line.

Nelson G. Crawford (1808-1864)



Washington Marion Crawford (1838-1889)



Judson Foster Crawford (1866-1949)



Leon Russel Crawford (1894-1976)



Eugene David Crawford (1927-2006)


David Crawford


Mathew Crawford



That’s seven generations of Crawford line photos.




Facebook Group Changes

Do you belong to a Facebook group? Perhaps you’ve seen a post (or two or more) about getting ‘removed’ from the group if you don’t participate? I started seeing these posts yesterday and was concerned, not only about all the genealogy groups I belong to, but also about the family groups I administer.

Since I was unsure what this meant as a group administrator, I did some research. The following articles helped me understand what is happening.

I then turned to Facebook to see if I could figure out how this is affecting the family groups I administer. The first thing I saw when I went to one of those groups was an announcement from Facebook, “Changes to Your Members List.”


Curious as to how this is working with one of my family groups, using my phone, I clicked on the number of members in the group. This took me to an ‘About’ screen with the members at the bottom of the screen.

At the bottom of the screen, there was a ‘SEE ALL’ prompt. When I clicked that, it took me to a full list of the members. One of the tabs across the top is for ‘INVITED’ members.


When I clicked on INVITED, I discovered four people on the list. According to the instructions, I should send them a message re-inviting them to the group. If they don’t accept the invitation, then they will eventually be removed from my list.

Since this is all new to me, I wondered how someone ‘accepts the invitation’. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure this out from my phone. However, it was obvious from my computer. When I clicked on GROUPS on the left side of my home screen, PENDING INVITES appeared at the top of my list of groups. This PENDING INVITE included the option to JOIN or to DECLINE.


For now, I think I have this change in FB groups figured out. Hopefully, FB will continue to allow ‘consumers’ of information from FB groups and not require every member to be a ‘producer’ of content (either thru posting or commenting).

Indexing and DNA

Over the past year, I’ve blogged several times about issues regarding the indexing of my Ancestry tree. That is just one of several Ancestry issues discussed by Randy Seaver in his blog post, Dear Are You Fixing These Problems?

In addition to the problems mentioned in his blog post, I have been encountering an issue with my DNA matches that I believe is related to the tree indexing issues.

I have known cousins who have an Ancestry tree and appear on my DNA match list. When I look at their match in my list, I do not see a shaky leaf. When I view our match, it shows the tree for this cousin.


This cousin descends from Alexander Briles and Sarah Rush, thru their son Robert A Briles. I descend from Alexander Briles and Sarah Rush thru their son Noah Briles.


One might argue that our two trees must have a difference since Ancestry isn’t matching up our common ancestor. However, I manage my mother’s DNA test. When I look at the match for my mother, the trees are matched up.


I have reported this issue to Ancestry twice. The first time was with a different cousin and somehow now displays the comparison of our trees. The second time, I reported this match and it still isn’t displaying correctly. Since I have a large tree and a large number of DNA matches, I have no idea how many 4th or distant cousins aren’t showing up as having ‘hints’.

Note: I just tried searching for my tree and the expected 24 trees are back — but my tree is now missing from the results. I tried the following search on my account and on a free account.


This search results in 24 trees — all containing my great-grandfather, Judson Foster Crawford. Missing from the list is my Heartland Genealogy tree.


I have worked hard over the past year to accept Ancestry hints so my tree would be indexed. I currently  have 7,074 records attached to individuals in my Ancestry tree.


I use RootsMagic’s TreeShare to upload data from my database to Ancestry. I currently have 50,832 citations attached to individuals in my RootsMagic database. Those citations are copied to Ancestry and appear as ‘Other’ sources.


Thus, it looks like the indexing of the trees is broken again.

So, I join with Randy Seaver in asking When are you fixing these issues?

Research Logs

Do you have one task that ‘genealogy experts’ recommend that you just don’t seem to be able to tackle? For me, that tends to be a research log.

Even though I have a ‘research log’ from my early days of research, I haven’t been consistent with keeping that log — especially with Internet searching. And, I really could use a comprehensive research log now!

I have the opportunity to apply for a ‘brick wall’ consultation at the upcoming Topeka Genealogical Society conference in April. As part of that application, I need to submit a list of sources already checked. With forty years of research and a lot of same name issues, I could really use a complete research log!

For this application, I am going to submit James Crawford (1772-1854) of Preble County, Ohio as my brick wall ancestor. James married Sally Duggins in 1799 in Garrard County, Kentucky before migrating to Ohio by the early 1800s. The research question I would like assistance with is “Who is James Crawford’s father?

Seems simple enough, right. Unfortunately, there are a lot of same name issues with researching this ancestor.

  1. Next door neighbor in Preble County, Ohio was James Crawford (1770-1833) who married Martha Knight in 1793 in Lincoln County, KY. This James Crawford migrated from Preble County, OH to Warren County, IN where he died. Also migrating to Warren County, IN from Preble County, OH at about the same time was Nelson G. Crawford, the son of James and Sally (Smith Duggins) Crawford.
  2. There is a third James Crawford (1758-1836) living in Madison and Garrard counties in Kentucky prior to 1800. This James Crawford was married to Rebecca Anderson and migrated to Jennings County, IN and then to Jefferson County, IN.
  3. Garrard County KY histories refer to a Rev. James Crawford. There was a Rev. James Crawford (1752/3 – 1803) at Walnut Hill Presbyterian Church in Fayette County, KY. Rev. James Crawford was married to Rebecca McPheeters.
  4. DAR applications by descendants of James Crawford and Rebecca Anderson appear to have records mixed up with a James Crawford (1757-1836) who resided in Fleming County, KY. This James Crawford was married to Sarah Vansant.

So, I not only need to identify sources I’ve checked for James and Sally (Duggins) Crawford, but also sources I’ve checked for all of these other James Crawfords.

To start re-creating such a research log, I used RootsMagic to print an individual summary report, complete with bibliography for each of these James Crawfords. I then copied the bibliography entries into Notepad where I could remove the leading punctuation and clean up any other errors.


From Notepad, I copied the entries into Excel. Since there were blank lines between each bibliography entry, those blank lines copied over to Excel. To eliminate the blank lines, I sorted by the bibliography column. This pushed all of the blank lines to the bottom of the list.


Unfortunately, that only gets sources that I’ve cited in RootsMagic. I had drawers full of research that would need to be added to this list of sources used. Fortunately, I have scanned most of that research. Unfortunately, I named the scanned files with the Dollarhide code I used to file the paperwork.


Since the code was part of my citations in Master Genealogist, I can find the paperwork when working from a source in my program. However, these file names don’t tell me where I got the information in each of those files. When I open the file, it is usually a handwritten document (remember my research is up to 40 years old).


Unfortunately, I don’t have a full citation on these old notes. However, I usually have a fairly accurate title. When I started working my way thru my Ohio notes, I was just Googling the title. Part way thru, I realized that I could probably find the information faster using WorldCat.


In some cases, I didn’t have enough of the title to find it via WorldCat. In those situations, I used the FamilySearch catalog and searched for the place associated with the resource. Then I drilled down to the type of information (history, tax, deeds, probate, etc.).

familysearchbibSo far, I’ve been able to find the bibliographic information thru either WorldCat or FamilySearch. This bibliography information was added to my Excel spreadsheet along with the filing code.


In the process, I also took the opportunity to change the file name so that it included an abbreviated version of the title of the resource.


In some cases, these files were actual copies of records. In those cases, I changed the file name to indicate the type and source of the record.


Yesterday, I managed to make it thru the process of identifying and renaming my Ohio files for Crawford. However, I still need to do my Kentucky files and my Virginia files. Since I have done some FAN club research, I should also add the files for Duggins and Sellers along with the bibliographies for the females appearing on the early Kentucky tax lists: Rebecca Crawford and Mary Crawford.

Lesson learned:

Use better file names

Keep a research log!




Pauline E. Briles

Emporia Gazette
Wednesday, July 18, 1984
page 2 column 4-5

Film E1506

KS State Historical Society

Pauline E. Briles
Funeral services for Mrs. E. O.
Briles, who died Tuesday at her
apartment in Horizon Plaza, will
be held in the chapel of Roberts-
Blue-Barnett Funeral Home. Ser-
vices will be Friday at 10:30 A.M.
conducted by the Rev. William Im-
hoff of the Christian Church.
Burial will be in Memorial Lawn
Memorial contributions may be
made to the First Christian
Church, to which Mrs. Briles be-
longed, and may be sent in care of
the funeral home.
Pauline Edith Mentzer was born
March 28, 1896 at Yates Center,
the daughter of Charles O. and Net-
tie Wells Mentzer. She married
E. O. Briles on Oct. 29, 1915, at
Yates Center, and he died May 28,
1956. Mrs. Briles had lived in
Emporia since 1930.
She is survived by two daugh-
ters, Roberta Crawford, 2314 West
21st Ave., and Letha Doolittle of
San Bernadino, Calif.; a brother
Leslie Mentzer of Neosho Falls,
and 12 grandchildren and eight
Mrs. Briles was a member
of the Whittier Extension Home
Unite and the Birthday Club.
She was preceded in death by a
daughter, Barbara Thompson;
two sons, Walter Briles and Ken-
neth Briles; her parents and sever-
al brothers and sisters.

150 Years Ago

287f3-genealogyfunThis weeks ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’ challenge is to determine which ancestors were living 150 years ago (Jan 1869).

In order to figure this out, I had to look at the data I had for each likely ancestor. Working from the pedigree view in Roots Magic, I clicked on each potential ancestor to open their data.


With that information on one side, I then worked with a spreadsheet on the opposite side and entered their information.


By using the spreadsheet, I was able to collect all of the information into one place. I tried to copy/paste the spreadsheet into my blog post but it reset the column widths making it difficult to read. So, I’ve resorted to screen shots of each generation.




4th great

By having this information in a spreadsheet, I was able to sort it by location.






The second part of the challenge asked whether I have a picture of their residence in 1869. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is mostly NO. However, I do have a picture of the Briles residence in Coffey County, Kansas.


This home was built on the original homestead. The land has been passed down thru the generations and is still owned by members of the BRILES family.

This was an interesting way to look at my data. Thank you Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings for this challenge!

Family Photographer

Do you have a family member who seems to be the one person who is always behind the camera?

Growing up, that person was my grandmother. She had an 8mm camera and filmed almost every family event. Later, we would have a family ‘movie’ night to watch the new movies and re-watch the older ones.

Well, my grandmother died over twenty years ago and the 8mm camera is ‘ancient’ technology. However, my brother has taken over the position as ‘family photographer’.

Not only does he set up the camera to capture our family group pictures but he captures ordinary moments.  One of my favorite pictures is one he took during our family weekend at the lake of his wife and their grandchildren.


Even though, I never saw the camera, my brother and his wife captured moving my mother from Emporia to Kansas City – in the snow.

Arrival of the truck


Loading in the SNOW


The drive to Kansas City.

Note: Conditions deteriorated when we reached Johnson County.


Arrival in KC — The park next to Sunrise at Lenexa


Christmas lights aglow – Beauty in the SNOW


I am thankful that my brother an his wife have captured these moments!

What’s It Worth

Have you ever watched a video of your local meteorologist giving a weather update? Or, have you watched a video of a news clip? What about a comedy monologue – have you ever watched any of those on YouTube? Or maybe, you’ve read a news article in your Facebook or Twitter feed? I know I have and I appreciate that I can.

Unfortunately, we have become accustomed to viewing and reading content for free when none of it is free to produce.

The same is true with local history and genealogy. We love locating free resources. But these free resources also have ‘production’ costs.  My local historical society recently discussed whether to continue paying to have images and other information from their collection hosted online by Past Perfect.


As with most issues, there are pros and cons. In this case, the pro is the ability to connect with people outside of our hours, even outside of the county, while the con is the cost.

Unfortunately, the web presence is not generating much revenue, especially when compared to the cost.  When the cost would cover about three months of electricity to keep the museum open, that is a difficult question.

Fortunately, my local society hasn’t had to make that choice. However, other societies have had to make similar choices. Some are closed in the winter, while some are facing permanent closure. Even my state archives has reduced hours for the winter.

As long as we as a society expect free access, we will continue to see smaller organizations, archives and societies reducing their hours or closing their doors.

So, what can we do? I don’t know about everyone else, but I wouldn’t be able to afford supporting the historical society in every county where my ancestors have lived. However, I can support my local historical society and a genealogical society thru my membership. I can volunteer at my local historical society to assist with research requests.

Is preserving the history of your community important? Do your neighbors feel it is important? Perhaps if we all contributed a little, our history could be preserved in archives and the doors of the archives and local museums could be open. Maybe we would even find those records showing up online.

Is It Worth It?

Ultimate Challenge

Have you ever found two men of the same name in the county records and tried to figure out which record is for which man. Most genealogists encounter this difficulty sometime in their research. I have several of those conflicts in my tree. However, my Hiram Currey same name challenge is an ‘ultimate challenge’.

My great-grandfather, Hiram M. Currey (of Dodge City, Kansas) was the son of Hiram M Currey and Angelina Jane Burke of Leavenworth, Kansas. I believe this Hiram M. Currey was the son of Hiram M. Currey of Peoria, Illinois and the grandson of Hiram M. Currey of Champaign County, Ohio. Thus, I have a potential of four generations of Hiram M Currey’s with very little direct evidence tying them together.

My research on this line began with Hiram M. Currey of Leavenworth. Hiram M. Currey married Angelina Burke in 1856 in Weston, Missouri. By 1860, they were living on the Kansas side of the border. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any records in Platte County, Missouri or Leavenworth County, Kansas to directly tie Hiram Currey to his parents or siblings. The only information I have that might tie Hiram M. Currey of Leavenworth to parents is from the family Bible. According to the Bible, Hiram Currey was born in 1835 in Peoria, Illinois.


Armed with that one bit of information, I began my search with the census. I didn’t find a 15 year old Hiram Currey in Peoria Illinois — nor any Currey family with a male around 15 in Peoria. I did find a Hiram Currey in the 1840 census in Peoria who had a male child under 5. Thinking this could be the father of Hiram Currey of Leavenworth, I started researching Hiram Currey of Peoria.

According to the Atlas of Peoria County, Illinois, Hiram Currey was a lawyer. The History of Peoria County indicates that Hiram Currey was a member of the Peoria Company during the Black Hawk War in 1832. There are several other mentions of Hiram Currey between 1825 and 1844 in Peoria County. Unfortunately, these histories do not contain a biography, nor do they help in identifying parents or siblings for Hiram Currey, the lawyer. So far, I haven’t found any record that might indicate what happened to Hiram Currey after 1844.

I believe the Hiram Currey of Peoria is the same Hiram Currey that was admitted to the practice of law in Rush County, Indiana in 1822 (Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Indiana).

With no information on his family, I started looking for potential fathers and found Hiram Mirick Currey of Champaign County, Ohio. This Hiram Currey served as treasurer of Ohio in 1818. As treasurer, he was involved in the court case, Osborn v. Bank of the United States. Because of this court case, there are a lot of references to Hiram Currey in various newspapers of the time until about 1822. Sometime after 1820, Hiram Currey may have moved to Indiana. So far, I haven’t found any records that identify Hiram Currey of Peoria as the son of Hiram Currey of Ohio.

In the process of trying to learn more about these Hiram Currey families, I came across a biography for Dr. John Currie of Darlington, Montgomery County, Indiana in the History of Montgomery County, Indiana by Beckwith. This biography names Providence M. as John’s father and Thomas as his uncle.

Thus, I started researching several Curry/Currey/Currie families: Hiram of Ohio, Providence and Thomas of Indiana and Hiram of Peoria. It was by researching all of these men that I discovered a land transaction between Hiram Currey of Peoria and Thomas Currey of Carroll County, Indiana.


As I continued researching their families, I found Thomas’ widow, Jane in the 1850 census. Living in her household was a 15 year old male, named Hiram.


Since the probate record for Thomas does not include a child named Hiram, I believe this 15 year old Hiram Currey to be the Hiram Currey who married Angelena Burke in Weston in 1854.



Even though my paper research is based on a lot of pieces of indirect evidence, I do have DNA evidence to support my conclusions. I have a match with a descendant of Caroline Kelso, whom I believe to be a sister to Hiram Currey of Leavenworth. I also have a match with a descendant of Hiram Currey of Ohio thru Hiram’s daughter Jane Guttridge. These DNA matches are not enough to prove this lineage – but they do support it.

So my ultimate #52Ancestors challenge has been and continues to be collecting data to support (or disprove) a lineage of four Hiram M. Curreys:

  • Hiram of Dodge City
  • Hiram of Leavenworth
  • Hiram of Peoria
  • Hiram of Ohio