Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Time for Some More

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

A)  What is one of your most vivid childhood memories? Was it family, friends, places, events, or just plain fun?  Your first memory?  Your most fun memory?

Memories – are they memories of the event or memories of the family films and photographs? That’s a hard question for me to answer since we watched those family movies over and over.

My earliest memory that is not from one of those movies is of our home in Kansas City when I was 3-4 years old. These memories are just flashes and not backed up by any family photos. My father was a teacher at Washington High School in Wyandotte County, Kansas. My memory is of a small house on a property that had a corral where they broke horses. Other memories of this time period involve my brother (18 months younger) and I sharing a room and the walls being stucco or cement.

Another memory from a couple of years later is of my brother and I playing out in the snow with our neighbor in Dodge City. While playing, we watched a helicopter fly over with what was likely hay bales hanging from the copter. I also remember talking about the helicopter over the evening meal when my dad explained they were taking food to the cattle because their normal food was covered in snow.

Another memory from the same time period is of getting my tonsils out. I remember the ether mask coming down over my face and scaring me. The next day, mom served bierocks for supper. Since my throat was still sore, I couldn’t eat them. When I asked my mom about this, she said that she thought we could eat whatever since we had been jumping on the bed all day long. Unfortunately, my only memories of this time are of the mask and of not being able to eat. To this day, I don’t like bierocks.

When it comes to fun memories, I have a lot from my Dodge City days. There were five families with children about the age of me and my brothers in the neighborhood: Lee, Keeley, Edminston, Sayre and us. Summer time found us outside playing all over the neighborhood. Other fun memories involve going to the pool almost every day at 5 pm to swim.

And then there were the vacations. Living in Dodge City, we often went to the mountains for our vacation. One of those vacations was to the mountains around Taos, New Mexico. During that trip we went to a ‘fish farm’ where my brothers and I were allowed to ‘go fishing’ The trout were biting our lines so fast, that I had caught two fish in the time it took to get my brother’s poles in the water. Thus, my parents had 4 fish to pay for instead of 3.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

It’s Saturday Night

Time for More Genealogy Fun

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

A)  Do you have a favorite photograph of your father?

I’m going to share a couple of my favorite photos of my dad, Eugene David Crawford. My favorite photo was taken in my dad’s classroom at Dodge City Junior College.

Another favorite was taken during one of the saddest times in my dad’s life while he was making sure I wasn’t aware of all of the sadness. On Dec. 23, 1953, my mother went into early labor and delivered twins. One of those twins, Duane Gail, died on Dec. 24. On Christmas morning, my dad was celebrating Christmas with me while mom was still hospitalized.

See the post, Eugene David Crawford, for more details about his life.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

It’s Saturday Night

Time for Some More Genealogy Fun

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

A)  This is a fun meme from 2016, thanks to Suzanne McClendon on the P.S. Annie blog for the links.

B)  Fill in the blanks for these four statements:

1. One Thanksgiving tradition I have is __________________________.

2. Black Friday ______________________________________________.

3. The best part about Thanksgiving Day is _______________________.

4. One Thanksgiving, _________________________________________.

One Thanksgiving tradition I have is baking pies. I’m not sure when I took over the task of baking the pies from my grandmother, but that is usually my contribution to large family dinners such as Thanksgiving. When I first started baking the pies, the ‘menu’ included pumpkin, pecan and cherry since these were the flavors my grandmother always prepared. Over time, the size of the Thanksgiving gathering has decreased. Since I don’t wish to have a lot of left over pie in my house, I now only prepare a pumpkin pie. In addition to the pie I prepare for my family, I also bake pies for the Thanksgiving dinner our local church hosts. Thus, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is spent preparing and baking pies.

I’ve never been an ‘early morning’ shopper on Black Friday. However, my husband and I have been known to go shopping on Black Friday. This is primarily because we are typically in a larger town for Thanksgiving dinner and thus around the larger stores on Friday to do our Christmas shopping. However, our willingness to be in crowded situations changed when my husband had a serious case of pneumonia. Since that time, we have been content to avoid Black Friday shopping.

For the past several years, Black Friday has turned into a day for baking. Our local church has a cookie sale the first weekend of December to raise funds to send children to church camp. Thus, Black Friday has become an ideal day to do some of this baking.

The best part about Thanksgiving is family. While my family goes in different directions for Thanksgiving, we do spend a weekend together at the lake in October. This fall was the tenth year in which we have gathered around a campfire and we have reservations for again next year.

One Thanksgiving, my husband and I planned to go to Dodge City to my grandparents for Thanksgiving. This was a six hour drive that could not begin until Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately, a large snow storm hit that week causing us to remain in Seneca. Thankfully, another teacher invited us to spend the day with her and her family.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fund

It’s Saturday Night

Time for More Genealogy Fun

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Which family surname line (of identified ancestors) of yours stayed the longest in one U.S. state or other country province/shire since, say, 1600?  For example, in the USA, my Seaver line was in Massachusetts from 1634 to 1940.  For England, my Vaux line was in Somerset from the late 1500s to 1840.  For Canada, my Kemp line was there from 1785 to 1902.

*  List the generations for one or two of your long-staying-in-one-locality surname lines.  (Yes, I know that some countries used patronymics – follow the father’s line back in time).

While one of Randy Seaver’s lines stayed in Massachusetts, my ancestors did not stay in the East but were on the move westward — until they settled in Kansas. All of my 2nd great grandparents migrated to Kansas where I still live.

Unfortunately, there are ‘breaks’ in the timeline.

  • My father attended graduate school in Lincoln, Nebraska which means that my parents and I were not in Kansas for those two years.
  • When my great-grandmother, Winnie Hutchinson died in 1913, her husband and children lived in Kansas City, Missouri for a short time.
  • While Alexander Briles moved his family, including his son, Noah Briles, to Kansas around 1858, Noah was in Iowa working as a farm hand before returning to Kansas.

So, eliminating myself and my parents, below are my various lines and their ‘length of stay in Kansas

  • Crawford — arrived in 1884 thru the death of my grandfather in 1976 – for a total of 92 years
  • Hammond — arrived in Kansas around 1884 thru the death of my grandfather in 1976 — BUT — Richmond Fisk Hammond moved on to California after his daughter, Josie was married. Josie remained in Kansas. – (Again – 92 years)
  • Currey — arrived in Kansas around 1858 thru the death of my grandmother in 1992 — BUT — my grandmother was in Kansas City, Missouri for about 2 years as a teen – for a total of 134 years
  • Hutchinson — arrived in Kansas around 1895 thru the death of my grandmother in 1992 — BUT — again my grandmother was in Kansas City Missouri for about a year – for a total of 97 years
  • Briles — arrived in Kansas in 1858 thru death of my grandfather in 1956 — BUT Noah Briles lived in Iowa for about 9 years – for a total of 98 years minus the 9 years when Noah was in Iowa
  • Ricketts — arrived in Kansas about 1879 thru the death of my grandfather in 1956 – for a a total of 77 years
  • Mentzer — arrived in Kansas about 1873 thru the death of my grandmother in 1984 – for a total of 111 years
  • Wells — arrived in Kansas in 1857 but moved to Michigan and Iowa before moving back to Kansas about 1870 thru the death of my grandmother in 1984 – for a total of 114 years

Even though my grandmother lived in Missouri for a brief time, I’m going with my CURREY line

  • Hiram M. Currey (1835-1901) arrived in Leavenworth County, Kansas around 1858 and served in the Kansas Militia during the civil war
  • Hiram Miles Currey (1866-1943) lived in Leavenworth County, Rooks County, Olathe and Dodge City (and Kansas City, MO)
  • Winnie Letha Currey (1903-1992) – lived in Leavenworth County and Dodge City (and Kansas City, MO for about 2 years

Since the BRILES homestead is still owned by descendants of Alexander Briles, I consider it the line that has been in Kansas the longest. Alexander Briles and his children arrived in Kansas around 1858 and purchased land in Coffey County, Kansas.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

It’s Saturday Night

Time for More Genealogy Fun

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1) What genealogy fun have you had this past month?  What is your genealogy highlight of the past month.  It could be attending or watching a webinar or local genealogy society meeting,  it could be finding a new ancestor, or it could be reading a new genealogy book, or anything else that you have enjoyed.

Since I don’t keep a ‘calendar’ of what I accomplish each day, I’m not really certain what all I’ve done during the past month. While I post about my research, many of those posts are posted a week or more into the future versus on the day I did the research. Thus, my October blog posts may have actually been researched in September or earlier in the year.

Looking thru my October blog posts, I would have to say there are two ‘categories’ of highlights: records found in my files and county history finds.

Working thru the records I have collected for Hiram Currey of Peoria County, Illinois was definitely a highlight. Not only did I learn a lot about the time period and the Peoria community by transcribing those records, but I was also able to locate some of the documents referred to in the indexes.

And then there’s the information I’m finding in books for the SELLERS family. Interestingly, these county histories not only have information on the SELLERS surname, but they often contain mentions of CRAWFORD families. My current research project is for the family of James Sellers and Mary Crawford. While I would love to find information about Mary’s family, these county histories have mentioned two other CRAWFORD lines. While these lines may connect with the SELLERS family, they do not appear to connect with Mary Crawford’s family. These lines include

  • English Crawford of Knox County, Tennessee
  • James and Catherine Crawford of Rockbridge County, Virginia

Two of my posts this past week discuss my findings from one of these county histories.

Several upcoming posts also discuss my findings in various books for the Sellers family.

Another highlight for the month of October has nothing to do with research, but with DNA. I have tested both of my brothers and we are in our own ‘branch’: R-FT99108. Descendants of the other James Crawford lines with Garrard County, Kentucky roots are in the R-Y88686 branch.

While the paper trail suggests a close relationship between these Garrard County KY Crawford Lines, DNA suggests that our connection goes further back. Working on the theory that my 2nd great-grandfather’s imprisonment in Andersonville may have caused a mutation in the yDNA he passed to his son, I have located a descendant of my 3rd great grandparent thru a different son. He has agreed to do a yDNA test! This development on the DNA front trumps my research and thus is my highlight for October.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

It’s Saturday Night

and Time for Some Genealogy Fun

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1)  What is the day, month and year was your Grandfather born (either one)? [Use a grandmother if you want!]What was the day of the week for this event?  Tell us how you found out.

2) What has happened in recorded history on your Grandfather’s birth date (day and month)? Tell us how you found out, and list five events.

3)  What famous people have been born on your Grandfather’s birth date?  Tell us how you found out, and list five of them.

My Grandfather Crawford was born 6 February 1894 in Newton, Kansas. While I knew I could use Google to figure out what day of the week this was, I also knew there was a birth announcement in the Newton, Kansas newspaper.

This birth announcement was published on FRIDAY 9 February 1894 in the Newton Daily Republican (on Thus the 6th would have been Tuesday.

A Google search for “what day of week was February 6 1894” turned up several useful sites for this blog post. The site,, identifies the day of the week and what day in the year it was. Scrolling down on this site one finds a list of two people born on this same day: Eric Partridge, New Zealand lexicographer and Kirpal Singh, Indian religious figure.

Another site found via my Google search was On This Day, which provides some additional information about the day.

To find the events that have happened on February 6th, I did another Google search. This time, I searched for “events that happened on February 6th”. This search led me to ‘The People History

For my list of five events, I’m choosing events that I can relate to or that relate to my research.

  • 1943 – Lt. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the commander-in-chief of all allied forces in North Africa (I had to choose this one since I’m a Kansan!)
  • 1952 – King George dies making Elizabeth Queen of England
  • 1971 – Alan Shepard hits a golf ball on the moon
  • 2007 – Denial of service attacks on the Internet
  • 2007 – Genealogist finds that Barack Obama is related to George Washington, James Madison, Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter thru his mother’s side

To identify famous people born on February 6th, I did another Google search. This time, I searched for “who was born on February 6”. This led me to the Famous Birthdays site.

For my list of famous people born on February 6th, I’m going with names I recognize.

  • Babe Ruth
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Aaron Burr
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • Eva Braun

Since I don’t pay much attention to singers and actors, I only recognized the five people I listed. Thus, I checked the site The Famous People and found some more names I actually recognized:

  • Tom Brokaw
  • J.E.B. Stuart
  • Thomas Durant
  • Olena Zelenska
  • Fabian Forte

Thanks Randy for the challenge!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Well, it is not Saturday night, but Sunday afternoon. However, Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge this week was too good to pass up.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1)  Determine who is one of the most prolific fathers in your genealogy database or in your ancestry. By prolific, I mean the one who fathered the most children.

While driving home, I was pondering this challenge and how to figure out who this might be in my RootsMagic file of over 21,700 people. Thus, I was hoping that there was an easy way to identify such a person in my tree.

And I think there is.

My first ‘attempt’ to identify prolific fathers was limited to my direct ancestors. To do this, I used the GROUP feature of RootsMagic. This function can be found under the PALETTE icon in the upper right corner of the program.

After selecting Groups – Add, Delete or Modify from the Command Palette, I selected NEW which opened a window to ‘Enter name for the group’.

Since I wanted to limit it to my direct ancestors, I first highlighted myself and then clicked on MARK to select ‘Ancestors of highlighted person’.

On the ‘ANCESTOR OPTIONS’ window, I set it at 10 generations and selected ‘Direct Ancestors Only’

For the next step, I wanted to get rid of everyone who had small families. Thus, I wanted to UNMARK my ancestors who had less than a specific number of children. Thus, I clicked on UNMARK and selected ‘By data Field’

Since I was after FATHERS, I also unmarked the females to narrow the list down to fathers.

Then I made sure I clicked on SELECT to save the results and OK to close the window.

Once the group was created, I then switched the INDEX in the left side of my people screen from EVERYONE to my new group.

Once the group was selected, I could see the members of the group. Since I was unsure of the family sizes, I started with the ‘Number of children’ less than 11. I kept changing that number until I got a fairly short list of results.

From my list of results, I could click on each one see their information in the window above the index. By clicking on SPOUSES, I could see their spouses and how many children they had by each spouse.

By clicking thru each person in the group, I found that Hendrick Banta had 22 children, 14 by his first wife and 8 by his second wife.

Since Randy’s challenge was for the most prolific father in my database, my next question was whether Hendrick Banta was the most prolific or whether a descendant or someone in one of my many ‘bushes’ was the most prolific.

To figure this out, I created another group. This time, my first step was to select individuals with over 20 children.

That group resulted in 3 individuals, including one female with 23 children. Thinking it HIGHLY UNLIKELY that a female could be the mother of 23 children, I checked her data and found that I had somehow linked her to two spouses with one set of children being born after her death. Thus, I unlinked her from that family, which reduced her number of children to 14.

This left TWO men in my tree with 22 children. Having just discovered one error, I compared the families of these two men with FamilySearch and discovered, that again I had put two John Crawford families together that the FamilySearch tree has as two separate families. Thus, I need to separate these two families until I find sources indicating that the John Crawford in both families is the same person.

That left me with my ancestor, Hendrick Banta. When I checked his profile on FamilySearch, I found that FamilySearch shows 21 children: 14 thru his wife Antjin Demarest and 7 thru his wife, Rachel Brouwer. My eighth child, Leah, has the sane name as another Leah in the list of 7 children but a different birth date. Thus, further research may indicate these two individuals in my tree are the same person.

Even when I subtract the second Leah from the count of children, Hendrick Banta is still the most prolific father in my tree.

Children of Hendrick Banta and Antjin Demarest

  • Rachael Banta
  • Cornelius Banta
  • Samuel Banta
  • Pieter “Petrus” Bnta
  • John “Shaker John” Banta
  • Daniel Banta
  • Captain Jacob H Banta
  • Mary Polly Banta
  • Antje Banta
  • David Hendricksen Banta
  • Isaac William Banta
  • Angenitie Banta
  • Hendrick “Vestus” Banta
  • Garret Banta

Children of Hendrick Banta and Rachel Brower

  • Hendrick Hendricksen Banta IV
  • Lea Banta
  • Abraham Banta
  • Private Abraham Banta
  • Mary Banta
  • Albert Banta
  • Geertruid Henrickse “Gertrude” Banta

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

It’s Saturday Night – 

time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1) Think of any number of genealogy events or moments that make you have a genealogy happy dance, an ah-ha moment.

As I’ve been working on my genealogy for over 40 years, there have been many ‘ah-ha’ moments over the years.


  • Trips to Salt Lake City to research at the Family History Library – I was able to take two bus trips to Salt Lake to spend a week at the library. Later, a family trip to the Tetons had a ‘detour’ thru Salt Lake City where we spent a few days researching.
  • Trip to Kentucky and Ohio to research at The Filson Library, the Kentucky Historical Society, the University of Kentucky library, the Preble County (OH) courthouse and the Eaton Public library.
  • Trip to Oregon following the Oregon Trail and researching at Baker, LaGrande, and the Oregon Historical society.
  • Trip to Des Moines to research at the Iowa Archives and the Iowa Genealogical Society library.
  • Trip to Indiana to research in Warren, Montgomery and Tippecanoe counties.
  • Trip to Independence Missouri to read Oregon Trail diaries (even though I didn’t find my relative.)

Research Finds

  • Receiving copies of family Bible records in the mail — CRAWFORD and WELLS


  • Testing my own DNA
  • Testing my brothers’ and my mother’s DNA
  • Connecting with a DNA match who is a grand-daughter of a 1st cousin
  • Testing my brothers’ yDNA
  • yDNA results that show a potential connection with descendants of two other men named James Crawford from the area of Garrard County, Kentucky
  • DNA results that support my CURREY line of research

Favorite ‘Moments’

  • Digitization of Newspapers
  • Digitization of FamilySearch microfilm
  • Seneca Public Library agreeing to become an Affiliate Library
  • Any time I can connect with another researcher and exchange information!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

It’s Saturday Night – 

time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1) What is your favorite genealogy research resource?  Not a website, but a type of record, like census, cemetery, tax, etc. Why is it your favorite?  [Thank you to Linda Stufflebean for suggesting topics!]

My favorite record is


If I counted correctly, I have over 160 sources for land records. That’s close to 3 percent of my 5544 citations. The only record type that likely has more sources in my file would be census records.

So, why do I like land records so much?

  • Land records have helped me track the migration of an ancestor.
  • Land records have placed one of my James Crawford families in Barren County, KY — which means the family went SOUTH before going NORTH to Preble County, Ohio
  • Land records suggested a search of court records and also provided the first hint I uncovered for the death of an ancestor
  • Land records identify several of my ancestors as the first land owners in a county
  • Land records have helped establish family relationships

Thankfully, FamilySearch digitized much of the county records in their collection, including land records. Thus, it is much easier to locate these records than it was when I first started my genealogy research.

A search of my blog for the word ‘land‘ will show the various posts I have made about my research of land records.

While land records are my favorite, they are only one part of my toolbox.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

It’s Saturday Night – 

time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1) What are you reading this summer?  Does it help your genealogy research? [Thank you to Linda Stufflebean for suggesting topics!]

I wish I could be like Randy ( and list all of these great books that I read recently but I have to admit that my ‘pleasure’ reading isn’t related to my genealogy.

I’m a fan of C. J. Box and read his newest “Joe Pickett” book Shadow’s Reel. Joe Pickett is a game warden in the mountains of Wyoming who investigates a wide variety of crimes.

Another series of books that are on my “want to read” list is the FBI series by Catherine Coulter. Having just discovered that she had a new book come out the first of the month, I’ve placed a copy of the book, Reckoning, on hold at my local library. I look forward to getting a notification from the library when this book becomes available.

When the libraries closed in March 2022, I switched to reading a lot of eBooks. Thankfully, my library provides access to eBooks thru two apps: Hoopla and Libby. At the time, I started reading a new author, Lisa Kleypas, based on a recommendation from a friend. I have found that I enjoy reading these romance novels set in England and/or Scotland between 1800 and 1900. While one might argue that learning about the culture and life in England during this time would help my genealogy research. However, my lines are not in England or Scotland during that time period.

Even though I haven’t been reading books to help my genealogy, I did get caught up on the reading of the genealogy publications that I receive. My pile of reading had gotten pretty deep and is now down to ONE publication.

While I might create a “pile” of “to read” publications, I do use FEEDLY to read genealogy blogs on a daily basis. I also check my Twitter and Facebook feeds on a regular basis. This ‘digital’ reading keeps me up to date with what is happening in the genealogy world.