Notes from the past…


If you could have dinner with four of your ancestors…

I have been so busy at work that I missed the last Carnival of Genealogy, so I figured I’d better get something going right now for the next Carnival! The topic will be: If you could have dinner with four of your ancestors who would they be and why? What a great question! I have “met” some really fascinating people in my research and it would be so neat to actually be able to talk to them.
The first ancestor I would love to meet would have to be my second great-grandfather Crist Hayes Carrico. I have written about him in previous blog entries, but I would so like to know what happened in his life that changed him from an intelligent, educated and distinguished-looking engineer into a drunken old man who died a gruesome death?
The next person on my most-wanna-meet list is my great-grandmother Dovie McBurnett. This lady is one of the reasons that I got interested in genealogy. She is known by my dad as his “Cherokee Grammaw”. He tells stories from his childhood of Dovie dressing in full Indian garb and living the Indian way of life, although by the 1930′s when my dad was a child, the Indian way of life was pretty-much gone in north Texas. When I began to seriously research her, I discovered she was indeed of American Indian descent, albeit Chickasaw and not Cherokee. She also outlived at least 5 husbands! In looking for Dovie, I met the first “cousin” in my genealogy journey, this lady being another of Dovie’s grandchildren by another of Dovie’s husbands.
James Bennett, Jr was my second great-granduncle. He apparently was an outlaw of the “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and the “Hole-In-The-Wall Gang” variety, although more violent, having killed at least one man in 1880′s San Saba, Texas, and probably more during his bank-robbing career. He was eventually killed while attempting his final robbery in Glendive, Montana, and is believed to buried nearby in Miles City, Montana. I hope he wasn’t too trigger-happy towards relatives!
There are a lot more relatives I’d truly want to meet, but for this list, I guess I’d also like to meet my oldest confirmed and documented ancestor, Miles Chappell. Born about 1790 in Virgina, Miles is the oldest member of my mother’s line, the Stanleys. The last official documentation I have of Miles is living in Walker County, Alabama in June, 1880 for that year’s census. He is apparently in at least fair health at age 90. I believe he died on 24 March 1887 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, at the ripe old age of 97! This man was born shortly after the birth of our nation, survived its most critical period of the Civil War and Reconstruction and witnessed almost a century of its growth. What would be the topic of conversation at his supper table?

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I am happy to be back!

I have had computer problems (Trojan Horse!) for about 2 weeks, so I haven’t been online much. Very frustrating! I have been lucky, as the little critters haven’t done any damage to my system, although I am still monitoring everything very closely. I think they are finally gone, though. Oh happy day!
A special thanks to everyone from The Carnival of Genealogy! I was kinda nervous about adding my 2-cents-worth, but everyone has been wonderful! This has been a lot of fun and very exciting, too! And I already have an idea for the next carnival’s topic: Living-relative connections made during your research processes and/or blog. I have met several “new cousins” in the past 4 years, but one in particular has been pretty special. Watch for an upcoming post for more…

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Something new

There have been a lot of posts from my favorite genealogy blogs about a new version of The Master Genealogist recently being released. I have always heard that the TMG is the best genealogy program available for the serious genealogist. Well, I consider myself pretty serious. Over the past 4 years I have spent countless hours researching using the Internet and my local library, I have acquired 3 flash drives full of data, I have a website and this blog dedicated to my family history, and have even dragged my young granddaughter through a cemetery or two!
I have been using Family Tree Maker for about 3 years, but have never been satisfied with the reports and graphs it produces, and I really dislike the way it documents sources. I had hoped that the new version of FTM would be an improvement and I had planned to upgrade, but I have read some not good stuff about it, so I have decided not to upgrade, at least not now.
To make a long story short, I am in the process of downloading a 30-day free trial of The Master Genealogist, Version 7. It is more expensive than most other programs I have looked at, but if I like what I see, I may change over to it.