Notes from the past…

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Last week’s research activities

Not much research this past week:

1. Completed entering data, sources for 3GGM Serena Jane Brown into RootsMagic database, uploaded images to Picasa Web Albums
2. Deleted several distant ancestors from my database*

*I don’t view genealogy as a collection of names. In order to maintain a manageable and accurate (as much as possible) database, I have to draw the line somewhere. To this end, I normally only research 2-3 generations laterally from my direct-line ancestors. Occasionally, I will find a more distant ancestor who has a really interesting story to tell. Maybe that person connects to a never-before-used resource (Dr F B Appling and the Southern Claims Commission) or perhaps I find someone who was involved in a particular historic event (Dr E T Easley and the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878).

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A birthday party notice… and the names of over 30 relatives!!!

My 3rd great-grandmother Serena Jane Brown died at age 99 1/2 in San Saba, Texas. She had moved there with her parents in the 1850′s and was actually the first child baptized at the newly created Baptist Church in 1857. When she died in 1942, she held the record for the longest continuous church membership in Texas. In short, Serena was a “big-wig”, a prominent citizen of San Saba.

So when her 99th birthday arrived, naturally it made the front page of the local newspaper.

This article (click on the image for larger view), from the 25 Dec 1941 edition of the San Saba News, contains the usual bio details, and it also contains names and locations of relatives. A lot of names of relatives: kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, even a half-sister! And also many long-time friends and neighbors who could also be of genealogical value.

I found this newspaper article at the Library of Congress Chronicling America website:

Search America’s historic newspapers pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.