Notes from the past…

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A gift for Nanny

My grandmother turned 91 years young on Thursday, October 4. Today is her birthday party. Although confined to a nursing home for the past 4 years due to mild dementia, her memory of long-ago events is still surprisingly clear. She has been a great help to me in my research, and loves to tell stories of her childhood and the people and events of those times. For her birthday, I have created a “newspaper article” for her, patterned after the old newspaper society columns I have found at

I found several articles dealing with my ancestors in the Dallas Morning News Archives at GenealogyBank. Most dealt with just routine events, but 3 in particular stood out. I used these three to create Nanny’s “society column”. Happy Birthday, Nanny!

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Take your computer out for lunch once in a while!

Sometime back I found a wonderful site that had the 1830 Federal Census for Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, where my Stanley ancestors once lived. The file was not searcheable, but could be downloaded free as a pdf file to browse. I had tried several times to download the file, but I have dial-up and apparently the file was just too large, as it never downloaded successfully.
One day about 3 weeks ago, I had to take my car to the dealership to have some routine maintenance done. I took my laptop with me to try to give some off-line work done, as I knew this would be a long wait. When I arrived at the dealership, I discovered that it had free wi-fi access available to its’ customers! I downloaded that pdf file in less than 5 minutes!
Now I have officially tracked my Stanley line back to 1830 and it has become one of my oldest documented surnames! Very exciting!
I started looking around for free wi-fi access a little closer to my home, and realized that a McDonalds and a BurgerKing are only a few blocks from my home and both advertise free wi-fi.
I came to realize that for those of us still relying on Dinosaur Dial-Up for our internet access, it makes since to celebrate our old companion the LapTop and take her out to lunch now and again. My dear friend prefers the aroma of McDonald’s french fries, and although she is not able to truly enjoy the actual taste, I do occasionally treat her to a quiet afternoon out for a little olfactory and online bliss!

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…I have started transcribing the transcription of the Limestone County marriage records. For the first week that I had the cd containing the records, I didn’t do anything with it. Allergy season is really bad this year!!! But, I finally started the job on Tuesday, and I am currently on page 5. I hope to do 2 pages per day, for the total of 33 pages. It is really very interesting. It’s a bit of a challenge to read Miss Mullins’ handwriting, although it is usually very clearly written. The problem is that she was taught (1920′s?) to make certain letters differently from how I was taught (1960′s). For example, her “G” looks almost like my “Y”. But after a couple of pages, I have gotten used to her style and the work is progressing at a comfortable pace.
Last week I ordered the Fort Worth Genealogical Society’s 1890 Census Reconstruction for Tarrant County, Texas on cd. I did this mainly because the price was going up from $15 to $20:

“The US Census of 1890 was heavily damaged during a fire in 1921. Thirteen years later, the Census Bureau ordered the destruction of the remaining records. This gap in census records creates a huge obstacle for genealogists. This CD contains more than 131,000 records taken from 15 sources dating from 1880 through 1900. With this information, you should be able to determine the likelihood that a person or family resided in Tarrant County in 1890, thus working as a replacement for this portion of the lost census. Source documents used: 1880 Tarrant County Census * 1890 Tarrant County Tax List * 1890 Special Veterans Census ** 1890 Fort Worth City Directory * 1892 Fort Worth City Directory ** 1900 Tarrant County Census * Obituaries and news from the Fort Worth Gazette ** Masonic Membership Records 1889 & 1890 ** The Texas State Gazetteer and Business Directory of 1890-1891 ** D.A.R. Burial Records of Tarrant County ** Pioneers Rest Cemetery Records ** S.E. Tarrant County Cemetery Inscriptions ** Cemeteries of Northeast Tarrant County ** Oakwood Cemetery Records ** Tarrant County Marriage Records, 1880-1900

Most of my family, from both sides, didn’t arrive in Tarrant County until the 1910-1920′s time period. So I didn’t think I had any ancestors to be found in this reconstruction, but bought it anyway. Who knows who might turn up sometime in future research!
So when the CD arrived a few days ago, I was wandering through the Surname Index, and there was my great-great grandfather Crist Carrico! I found him in the marriage records section. A bit more looking, and there was my great-great grandmother Hattie Kennedy, soon to be Crist Carrico’s wife. They were married in Tarrant County and no one in my family knew that until I bought that cd and started browsing through it!!!
What a lucky find this is! Now I need to make a trip to the downtown library to find said marriage book to learn the exact date of their wedding.
I’m so glad I bought that cd!