Friday, May 22, 2015

Vacation - Dora Spalding Faulkner Mowbray (1898-1960)


Vacation


It has been a few weeks since I’ve had a chance to blog. I’ve been in Minnesota visiting friends and relatives. During my trip, I visited a relative with Alzheimer's disease. I had hoped to be able to interview the individual and gain some more family stories. Sadly, to say, I wasn’t able to do so. The individual’s memory was just not reliable and I’m afraid that the stories I was hoping to get just aren’t available any longer. Certainly, there were times she was lucid, like when she remembered going to her grandmother’s cabin on Walled Lake, MI and going to the amusement park there when she was a child. But, my heart broke when she asked who her oldest child was. Other memories confused individuals and places; even the name of her brother was lost in her memory.

There is probably nothing that impedes our learning important genealogical information than Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. If you can support Alzheimer’s research please do so, our family histories depend upon it. For more information on how you can help, please see the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) or the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (www.alzfdn.org).

Bio - Dora Spalding Faulkner Mowbray (1898-1960) - Ancestor MM-05

By – Don Taylor


Dora Spalding Faulkner was the born on 3 August 1898 in Keene, Cheshire County, New Hampshire. She was the 4th child of Francis Child and Martha Barrett (Ripley) Faulkner.

The 1900 Census finds one-year-old Dora living with her father, mother, two older brothers, and an older sister, Katherine in a beautiful home at 61 Summer Street, in Keene[i]. Her father was an attorney and her mother was keeping house. Her brothers, 17-year-old Phillip & 13-year-old Francis, as well as her eleven-year-old sister, Katherine, were all attending school. There is a gap of ten years between the birth of Katherine and of Dora, so I bet that Dora was a bit of a surprise.

In 1903, when Dora was only four years old, her father died.

We know the family stayed in Keene through the 1910 Census, which shows the widow Martha still living at 61 Summer Street with her four children plus Martha’s mother, Mary C Ripley, and two sisters, Mary and Harriett Ripley[ii]. The census also indicates that Martha only had four children, all of whom were still alive.

We know that Martha, Katherine, and Dora returned from Europe aboard the SS Rotterdam, which departed Rotterdam, Holland, and arrived at Ellis Island, NY, on 18 May 1914. The manifest indicates they were still living on Summer Street.

The 1920 Census finds Martha and Dora as lodgers at 138 Newbury St, Boston. It was in a lovely location about a block from Copley Square and a Trinity Church[iii].

Dora married Boston resident, George Siddons Mowbray on 4 November 1922, in Dora’s hometown of Keene[iv]. They would go on to have three children.

newspapers.com
Dora was somewhat conservative as is evidenced by her supporting the Mayor of Boston’s banning of Eugene O’Neill‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Strange Interlude.”[v] Productions which may have been suitable in New York were not suitable in many other parts of the country, including Boston in 1929.

49 Elm Street Today
Courtesy: Google Maps
The 1930 Census finds Dora, her husband (a treasurer in the insurance industry), their three children, and two servants, living at 49 Elm Street, Wellesley, MA[vi]. The family continued living there through the 1940 Census.[vii] The home, built in 1919, still stands and is valued at 1.3 million today.[viii] 

One researcher suggests that Dora died on 17 November 1960, although I have been unable to confirm that.

Further Actions:
  • Confirm death date, death location, and burial location for Dora. 
  • Find a Photo of Dora
List of Greats

1.    
Francis Child Faulkner

Endnotes


[i] 1900 Census (FS), Family Search, Francis C Faulkner - Keene city, Ward 4-5, Cheshire, New Hampshire, United States - District:           36. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M3YS-BF6.
[ii] 1910 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, Year: 1910; Census Place: Keene Ward 4, Cheshire, New Hampshire; Roll: T624_860; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0040; FHL microfilm: 1374873.
[iii] 1920 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data - Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Reco), Year: 1920; Census Place: Boston Ward 8, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T625_742; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 232; Image: 573.
[iv] New Hampshire, Marriage Records, 1637-1947, Family Search, George Siddous Mowbray & Dora Spalding Faulkner. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FLZC-ZV8.
[v] Boston Herald (Boston, MA), Genealogy Bank, 1929-09-24 - Boston Herald (Boston, MA) - Page- 2 - Dora Mowbray.
[vi] 1930 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1930; Census Place: Wellesley, Norfolk, Massachusetts; Roll: ; Page: ; Enumeration District: ; Image:.
[vii] Ancestry.com, 1940 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627), Database online.
[viii] See http://www.trulia.com/homes/Massachusetts/Wellesley/sold/21947744-49-Elm-St-Wellesley-MA-02481  


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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Finding John Vinson’s Father & John Vinson (c. 1817 – c.1865)

By – Don Taylor

Finding John Vinson/Vincent’s Father

It is my goal to find ancestors in all of the census records that were taken during their lifetime. Based upon the 1870 Census, I’m fairly certain that John died between 1860 and 1870. I would guess most likely during the Civil War. So, I have a lot more research to do there. But, I really wanted to track him back earlier, see where he was in the 1840 Census. Hopefully, that would tell me his father’s name, something I did not have. I knew John’s mother’s name was Elizabeth. She was a widow in the 1850 Census.

Information I had:
Mother: Born abt 1786
Father: Unknown
John: Born abt 1817 in Halifax County, NC
Nancy: Born abt 1825 in Halifax County, NC
Using Ancestry.Com, I used the Card Catalog to select only the 1840 Census.

Knowing that John was born in Halifax County and lived his entire life in Halifax County, I searched for anyone with the surname Vincent in Halifax County, NC and had no hits. Then, I searched for people with the surname Vinson in Halifax County, NC and had 4 hits. I then compared my known information about the family to see if any of them fit the things I thought I knew.

Three of the family units had few to no similarities whatsoever, but the fourth one fit it what I think I knew about John exactly.
1840 Census - Halifax County, North Carolina - Source: Ancestry.Com
Burket Vinson’s household consisted of five individuals:[1]
  • A male 60-70 years old – Presumed to be Berket
  • A male 20-30 years old – Fits John who was 23 then.
  • A male 15-20 years old – Unknown (possibly a brother?)
  • A female 50 to 60 years old – Fits Elizabeth who would be 54 at the time.
  • A female 15-20 years old – Fits Nancy who would be 15 at the time. 

So, everything in the Burket Vinson household matches up.

Additionally, John named one of his sons, Joseph Burkett, which kept the Burkett name in the family for another generation.

So based upon the 1840 Census record for Burket Vinson, the known birth location for John, the continuation of the given name Burket, I tentatively associate Burket Vinson as John’s father. I will continue researching to see if anything contradicts this assumption. But I’m pretty sure I’ve puzzled through this wall.

John Vinson/Vincent (c. 1817 – 1860-1870)

John Vinson was born about 1817 (Between 2 Jun 1816 and 1 June 1817) in Near Weldon, Halifax County, North Carolina.

In 1840, he appears to be living with his parents, Burket and Elizabeth Vinson, a sister, Nancy, and possibly a brother.[2]

He married Lenora Busbee about 1843, because their first child, Virginia was born between June of 1844 and June of 1845.

A second daughter, Elizabeth, was born between June 1846 and June 1847.

Their third daughter, Susan R Vinson, Mary-Alice’s Great Grandmother, was born 22 August 1848.

The 1850 Census finds the young farmer with a farm worth about $50. Living with John and Lenora was Eliza Beasley, age 30.[3]

Finally, their first son, James W., was born between June 1851 and 1852.

Another son, Benjamin I., was born 1855-1856.

Another son, Joseph Burkett, was born 1857-1858.

In the 1860 Census, the family is still living near Weldon in Halifax county. John is a farmer whose real estate value is $800 (a 1600% increase in value over 10 years) and whose personal estate value is $538.[4] This was a fairly valuable at the time for a farm being worked without slaves, as the Vinsons had no slaves.

As a quick aside -- the 1860 Census indicates one of John’s children is “Barkhead.” I thought that was one of the funniest names I had ever encountered. Now, I sure it was Joseph Burkett. But is still interesting to think that maybe he went be “Barkhead” when he was young.

Living with John is Ellenior, a 35 year-old seamstress. The change in name from Lenora to Ellenior and the 7 year change in age made me originally think that Lenora and Ellenior might be two different people and that John remarried between 1850 and 1860. However, finding Lenora in the 1870 census with all the children put that consideration to rest (for now at least), but, it is still an area of concern.

Finally, another daughter, Ellen B. was born 1861-1862.

I cannot find John in the 1870 Census, but found Lenora and the children, which suggests John died before 1870, probably during the Civil War.[5] I need to research and determine if the 45 year-old John served.

Further Actions:

  • Follow Burket & John in the 1830 and 1820 Censuses.
  • Determine if John fought during the civil war.
  • Determine more about the life of Lenora Busbee

List of Greats

  1. Susan R Vinson
  2. John Vinson
  3. Burkett Vinson

Endnotes



[1] 1840 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, 1840; Census Place: Halifax, North Carolina; Roll: 362; Page: 2; Image: 674; Family History Library Film: 0018094.
[2] 1840 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, 1840; Census Place: Halifax, North Carolina; Roll: 362; Page: 2; Image: 674; Family History Library Film: 0018094.
[3] 1850 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, 1850;Census Place:  , Halifax, North Carolina; Roll: M432_633; Page: 34A; Image: 73. [Family 636\  - John Vincent.
[4] 1860 Census, 1860;Census Place: Western District, Halifax, North Carolina; Roll: M653_899; Page: 424; Image: 228; Family History Library Film: 803899. - John Vinson.
[5] 1870 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, Year: 1870; Census Place: Rapides, Halifax, North Carolina; Roll: M593_1141; Page: 545B; Image: 516; Family History Library Film: 552640 - Lines 26-31.

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Newspaper Searching

I attended the Bangor Family History Fair at the Bangor Family History Center last weekend. Overall, it was a good experience and worth the two-hour drive, each way. Probably, the talk I enjoyed most was by Penobscot County GenealogicalSociety president, Dale Mower who spoke about “The How and Why of Online Newspaper Research.” His talk got me to thinking more and more about my research using newspapers and my process for searching. I generally use Family Search and Ancestry to determine the who, when, and where of my ancestor’s lives, but it is newspapers that provide the what and why – the texture of their lives.

After returning, I was corresponding with someone regarding my “Angley Project.” He asked what on-line resources he could be checking, particularly newspapers. Being a process type of person, I thought about the process I use and how to explain it to others. Here are the steps I use.
· Know subject
· Know what is available
· Search my paid sites
· Search general sites
· Search for specific online site
· Search those specific online sites
· Search for Microfilm availability
· Add further research to trip list.

Know Subject

Brown Family 
I take what I do know about an individual, birth, marriage, death, and where they were during each of the censuses and any other key information I can find. I may print out Family Group Sheets for the individual I’m going to research in order to have it immediately available for comparison. I do so, particularly, if the individual has a dozen children or several wives.

I use that information to help focus my newspaper research. I know it is tempting to start searching right away, but I’ve found developing an understanding of what may be available first is more productive.

Know what is available

There are two broad categories and several subcategories of newspaper record availability.
  • Available on-line
  •      Free
  •      Through $ Service
  • Not Available on-line.
  •      Microfilm
  •      Physical
  •      Not available anywhere
In order to be thorough, I think it is imperative to know what is potentially available, so I start with determining that.

First, I begin with with the Chronicling America – Library of Congress (LoC) http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/

On upper right-hand part of the site is: [US Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present]

I select where and when a newspaper was published. For example: Pennsylvania | Luzerne. I often add English for the Language (because I don't read any other languages adequately) and a year range beginning with the decade of birth and the decade after death. That search provides a list of newspapers that are known to have existed. If there are more than a handful of newspapers, I will export what I find into a spreadsheet so I can keep track of them as I research with each of the potential sources.

Search the paid sites.

newspapers.comI currently have subscriptions with Genealogy Bank and Newspapers.Com, so I search them next. At this point, I keep my searches focused on the state and date range I’m looking for. I search using alternate spellings, initials, known addresses, the spouse’s name, and even siblings or children. Any papers I am able to search there I mark off from my “What’s Available” list, being sure to identify the site and years the site provides for that paper.

I also have a subscription with Ancestry.com. I search the card catalog there for “Newspaper” and the state I’m researching.

Search the free sites.

I use Elephind (https://www.elephind.com/) as my initial free site to search. It not only searches the LoC, but also searches several other systems including California Digital Library. At this point, I still keep my searches focused on the state and date range I’m looking for. I search using alternate spellings, initials, known addresses, the spouse’s name, and even siblings or children. Sometime even the community and surname along. For example, surname Angley and community Pringle, which is where Michael Angley, of my Angley Project lived.

Next, I check Google News Archives (https://news.google.com/newspapers). I compare what they have with the titles I found in my LoC search of newspapers with what Google News has. Google News often have gaps in their coverage, but if you find something, it is awesome.

Search for specific online sites

Searching for other online records is more time consuming. I use Wikipedia's List of Online Newspaper Archives and see what is available and through whom.
I also go to The Ancestor Hunt (http://www.theancestorhunt.com/), use the search box on the right site to search for the state that I’m looking for newspapers for, and note them. By the way, Kenneth Marks does an awesome job with his site, providing links to newspapers and photograph collections as well as blog lessons on how to better use newspaper resources. I highly recommend subscribing to his blog if you are interested in newspaper research.

It is also well worth it to see what Cyndi’s List (http://www.cyndislist.com) has available. From the home page, the best thing is to select the state you are searching for under the United States then select Newspapers. Not only does Cyndi’s List provide links to many free collections but it also provides links to the paid sites list of newspapers that will then show what newspapers they have. For example, the Newspaper Archives link for Minnesota, and a drill down, shows me that Newspaper Archives have two Brainerd newspapers. 
o Brainerd Daily Dispatch (1901-1977)
o Brainerd Dispatch (1883-1932)

If they cover my search area, I'll consider a membership or see if my library, or a society that I am a member of, has access to that service.

Sometimes I do a Google search for “newspaper name” AND “city,” but I haven’t had much success with doing so if I’ve followed my search methodology up to this point. Again, every newspaper I find I mark off in my research spreadsheet.

Search those specific online sites

Going hand-in-hand with searching for those sites is searching those sites. As I find them, I search for my ancestor, using the multiple techniques to search that I’ve learned over the years. (Name, initials and surname, address, misspelled name, spouse, children, etc.)

By this time, I’ve pretty well exhausted the available on-line resources. 

Searching for availability off-line

Although, I may have completed my on-line searches, there are still many more things I can do to learn more about my ancestor’s life. 

Image of Microfilm Reels - Photo by C.E. Crane, From the Music and Performing Arts Library's Special Collections, University of Illinois, via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/illinoislibrary/13434414483/
Going back to my LoC listing of newspapers, I select the newspapers that I haven’t found online and see what libraries have it. I’ve been amazed to find a microfilm copies near me. If there is microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I have ordered a copy that to view at my local Family History Center. In addition, many libraries with both master and service copies will allow the service copy out on interlibrary loan; I’ve ordered microfilm that way, too.

Finally, I add newspaper information to my “Research Travel” wish list, which I keep in Evernote, to visit the library with that holding of that newspaper so I can peruse it when I travel or, possibly hire someone local to the archive to look for me.

Follow-up

As I do my on-line searches, I bookmark those sites with my browser. That helps provide a repeatable set of websites I can use to search if I need to search for other family members or otherwise extend my search parameters. I once found an article about the spinster daughter of an ancestor where she spoke about her childhood and described several things about her parents.

There are issues of newspapers that the Library of Congress doesn’t know exists. For example, I know that the Smyrna (GA) Historical and Genealogical Society has original copies of the Smyrna newspaper that don’t show up on a LoC search. Now, I’ll admit I haven’t done so yet, but I know I should also check with local historical societies and see if they might be holding old newspapers. Often times their holdings haven’t been cataloged and reported to the LoC.

My Key Newspaper Websites


A Note about Vaudeville Guides

Snapshot of the 1913-1914 Cahn-Lighton Theatrical Guide entry for Minneapolis, Minnesota's newspapers.
As a final note, another resource I’ve found to be very useful are old Vaudeville guides. During the vaudeville days, traveling shows needed to advertise at each location they played at. The vaudeville guides provided information regarding newspapers for the various vaudeville promoters for their advertising. For example, The 1913-1914 Cahn-Lighton Theatrical Guide (available on Google Books) tells me that there were three major newspapers in Minneapolis at the time, the “Journal,” the “News,” and the “Tribune.” The Guide also provides each paper’s circulation. That knowledge helps me focus on the larger papers that are more likely to have general interest stories about my ancestors.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Donna at the Metropolitan Opera House, Philadelphia, PA, August 9-21, 1920

Background

I have long been looking for when Donna made the shift from being in the “Chin Chin” production to being in the “California Bathing Beauties.” The last “Chin Chin” production that I know of was on May 21, 1920 in Geneva, NY at the - Smith Opera House. I knew that she appeared in the “California Bathing Beauties” at the Plaza Theater in Bridgeport, CT on December, 30, 1920. That is seven months and I could not believe that she went that long without other performances. I had poked around looking for later “Chin Chin” productions but hadn’t much luck finding anything. I thought I’d see if I could find other “California Bathing Beauties” productions in 1920.

I went to one of my favorite newspaper sites, Elephind.Com. Elephind is particularly good because they not only search the Library of Congress’ six million items, but also millions of additional items including the California Digital Newspaper Collection, Pennsylvania State University, and many more.

My search criteria was narrow but simple: Search all Text for “California Bathing Beauties” and the year of “1920.” The results, 6 matches in the (Philadelphia) Evening Public Ledger, two of which were in August 1920. I was then directed to the Library of Congress site where I could broaden my search a little bit. I searched just the Evening Public Ledger for “Metropolitan AND Bathing” and found 26 instances. A few of them weren’t what I was looking for, but the vast majority were helpful.

I like to use a narrow search criterion, find something relevant, and then broaden the search in a tightly defined environment.

The Bill – August 9th through August 21st

Advertising began on August 2nd with a small ad that indicated “Up in Mary’s Attic” was opening August 9. Appearing with the silent movie was the “Original California Bathing Girls” who were to be in person. This pairing showed a great match. “Up in Mary’s Attic” was the story of a young woman who would inherit a fortune if she remained single until she was twenty-one. However, she actually not only married her gym teacher she had a child and hid the child from the conniving son of the principal in the attic of her dormitory. One of the scenes in the movie includes Mary, played by Eva Novak, in a bathing suit. Eva began show business as a Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty before her first movie in 1917.[1] It is very likely that Donna knew Eva as they were both Mack Sennett bathing beauties about 1915. I wonder how she felt following the film star as a vaudeville show. I wonder even more how Donna felt as she saw Eva’s career skyrocket as Tom Mix’s love interest in 10 of his western movies and 130 credits, from 1917 to 1966, to her career.

Up in Mary's Attic (1920) - Ad 1 Advertising on August 3rd let the readers know that there were three showings daily. A matinee at 2:30 that only cost 25¢ and evening shows at 7:00 and 9:00 PM with 25¢ and 50¢ seats.[2] Advertising on the 4th and 5th continued the same information.

The first articles about the show begin on August 7th where the Evening Public Ledger reports:


A BATHING girl revue, “The California Bathing Girls,” in person will be given in conjunction with the showing of “Up in Mary’s Attic.” A photoplay at the Metropolitan Opera House. The girls present a revue entitled “A Beach Promenade.”

“Up in Mary’s Attic” is said to be free from slapstick and grotesque antics. The picture tells a comic story of a romance in a boarding school.

The Charming Eva Novak will be seen in the leading feminine role and Harry Gribbon in that of the instructor who marries in secret.


While While the “Original California Bathing Girls” was at the Metropolitan, another show, “Rube Bernstein’s Bathing Beauties,” a burlesque show, was competing playing at the Bijou. The paper on the 7th included a photo of Louise Mersereau, one of the “Bathing Beauties” at the Bijou.

Clearly to compete for theatergoers, the Metropolitan Opera House had two promotions. First, “Six Navy aeroplanes, obtained through the courtesy of Lt. Com. C. Gulbranson, will fly over the city Monday and Tuesday and distribute 100 passes.”[3] I wonder of Donna had anything to do with promoting that idea. Remember, she distributed passes for Birth of a Nation from an aeroplane in 1915.

In addition, as a promotion, sailor Jim White, “the strong man of the Navy” pulled a heavy truck before the 7 and 9 PM shows in front of the Metropolitan. [4]

The show began on the 9th and the paper on the 10th reported that “hundreds were turned away.” 

Advertising on August 14th indicates that the movie, and the show, are held over for another week. Also, very interesting is that the ads begin to show one of the bathing beauties.[5]  It kind of looks like Donna, but I don’t think so. If it is not her, then, who is it? Also, if it is not she, when did Donna become the headliner for the show.
    
Also, of particular note, beginning on the 16th there was a contest to enter the movies.[6]

EACH LADY ATTENDING THE ABOVE PERFORMANCE UP UNTIL THURSDAY EVENING, MAY LEAVE HER PHOTO, WITH NAME AND ADDRESS ON BACK THEREOF, AT BOX OFFICE.A REPRESENTATIVE COMMITTEE WILL SELECT MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNER WILL BE MADE ON SATURDAY, AUG 21.
A chance of a life-time to be starred in a Fine Arts Production.
The last three shows were on August 21st.[7]  I haven’t been able to find in the paper who won the contest. It would be interesting to find out.

Theater: Metropolitan Opera House (Philadelphia).

"Philly Met Broad St" by Smallbones Licensed under Public Domain
via Wikimedia Commons.

There is an article about the Metropolitan Opera House in
Philadelphia on Wikipedia.

However, the article does have an error. The Wikipedia article says, “In 1928, while still being used as a performing venue for operas, the house began presenting silent films to the public.” From my research presented here, we know that in 1920 the Metropolitan Opera House played the silent film ““Up in Mary’s Attic.”



[1] IMDB Database entry for Eva Novak – See: WWW.IMDB.COM -  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0636834/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm
[2] Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]), 03 Aug. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045211/1920-08-03/ed-1/seq-8/ 
[3] Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]), 07 Aug. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045211/1920-08-07/ed-1/seq-12/
[4] Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]), 07 Aug. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045211/1920-08-07/ed-1/seq-12/
[5] Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]), 14 Aug. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045211/1920-08-14/ed-1/seq-6/
[6] Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]), 16 Aug. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045211/1920-08-16/ed-1/seq-8/
[7] Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]), 21 Aug. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045211/1920-08-21/ed-1/seq-10/


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newspapers.com 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Another reason to use Genealogy Software

George Scoggins

Some time ago, Dec 2013, I mentioned a problem that I was having because there were two George Scoggins who lived in Cobb County at the same time. One was born in December 1878, the other Oct 6, 1877. They were both farmers who rented their farms and moved around Cobb and Milton counties of Georgia. Once I realized I had two George Scoggins, I knew I had to disentangle the data from each of them and ascribe the correct data to each of them.


I use Family Tree Maker 3 for Mac but the same technique can be used for any of the various products.

First, I created two new “unrelated” individuals, George Scoggins born Dec 1878 and George Scoggins born Oct 1877. Then I went to my data sources and found all of the sources ascribed to my original George Scoggins. If I could determine which of my “new” Georges a citation applied to I added those facts to the correct George and removed the citation from my old George. If I couldn’t clearly determine which source/citation applied to which George, I skipped it then and came back to it as I continued to build out my new facts in an iterative process. Once all of the facts I could glean out of each of my sources/citations were completed, I merged one of the new Georges to my old George and left the other George as an unrelated individual.

In my notes for each of the individuals, I place a short line or two that describes the distinguishing characteristics (Birth/death/spouse/children) for future reference.

Sylvanus Scoggins

The process worked really well. As I continued my research on George, I found his father was Sylvanis/Sylvanus/Sylvania Scoggins. He was also known as “Bud.” Nice, I always like finding the name of another ancestor. As I continued researching him, I realized that his father was also Sylvanis/Sylvanus/Sylvania but appears to have gone by Henry.

  • Sylvanus “Bud” Scoggins (1844-1923)
  • Sylvanus “Henry” Scoggins (1810-1882) (Bud’s Father)
Then in a 1909 Atlanta City Directory I encounter Annie Scoggins, the widow of Sylvania Scoggins. Oh my. Bud didn’t die until 1923 so it isn’t his widow. Henry Died in 1882 so it must be Henry’s widow. Oh-oh. His only known wife was Mary Polly and she died in 1887. So now, I have another Sylvanus/Sylvanis/Sylvania Scoggins in the area that is totally unknown. I’ll certainly unravel who each of them are and what their discriminating facts are. However, without the ability to ascribe each fact to a particular source/citation and to be able to look at a source/citation and determine all of the facts associated with it I don’t know how I’d keep it all straight and be able to untangle the individuals if I got anything wrong. 

Software to manage your genealogical information really helps when things go well, they can provide great reports and can keep you organized. Their greater value comes when something go awry. The tool can help you unravel the twists and incorrect associations when you need to correct the issues.

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