Notes from the past…


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1940 Census Saturday: Bettie Brewer

Prior to the release of the 1940 U S Census, I created a list of everyone in my database who should be in that census. Each Saturday I hope to be able to introduce an ancestor and his/her enumeration sheet from my 1940 Census “Wish List”:

(William Drury Bennett was next on the list… can’t find him… yet…)

Bettie Brewer (1850-1941) was the wife of my second great-granduncle Daniel Brevard Vance.


(click to enlarge)


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The Ancestors’ Geneameme

This one sounds really fun, as well as a great way to assess your research progress. Thanks, Geniaus and Randy!

The Ancestors’ Geneameme

Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item

Which of these apply to you?
  1.  Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents- 14 out of 16 documented
  2.  Can name over 50 direct ancestors- Yup!
  3.  Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents- 5 (possibly 7) out of 8
  4.  Have an ancestor who was married more than three times- Oh, yeah! My great-grandmother Dovie McBurnett had 6 (and counting)!
  5.  Have an ancestor who was a bigamist- Not that I know of
  6.  Met all four of my grandparents- Yup
  7.  Met one or more of my great-grandparents- My 2 great-grandmothers, Mary Tennessee Turner and Marie Mistrot Carrico
  8.  Named a child after an ancestor- Not exactly…my oldest daughter is Sarah, because I like the name…later found out that there are several Sarah’s in the family tree, the closest is my 2nd GGM Sarah Sharpe Vance
  9.  Bear an ancestor’s given name/s- I am named after my great aunt Ruth Ann Starr
  10.  Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland- Suspicions….
  11.  Have an ancestor from Asia- Not yet
  12.  Have an ancestor from Continental Europe- More suspicions…
  13.  Have an ancestor from Africa- Not yet
  14.  Have an ancestor who was an agricultural labourer- Most of my 19th century ancestors where farmers in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and Texas
  15.  Have an ancestor who had large land holdings- My Turner ancestors from DeKalb County, TN were prominent land-holders pre-Civil War
  16.  Have an ancestor who was a holy man – minister, priest, rabbi- My 2nd great-granduncle Daniel Brevard Vance was an ordained Baptist minister
  17.  Have an ancestor who was a midwife-?
  18.  Have an ancestor who was an author-Yes, my 3rd GGF Nathan Blunt Kennedy was a published poet!
  19.  Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones- Several Smiths
  20.  Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng- Nope
  21.  Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X-Nope
  22.  Have an ancestor with a forename beginnining with Z- My great-grandaunt Zora Belle Turner!
  23.  Have an ancestor born on 25th December- I actually have 4 ancestors born on Christmas Day!
  24. Have an ancestor born on New Year’s Day- None…
  25.  Have blue blood in your family lines- A couple of folks who seemed to think they were royalty… :)
  26.  Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth- Nope
  27.  Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth- Nope
  28.  Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century- Yup, my earliest documented is 4th GGF Miles Chappell, born in 1790 in Amelia County, VA
  29.  Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier- Working on that…
  30.  Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents- Yup, from GGF Charles Arthur Rogers and GGM Dovie McBurnett
  31.  Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X- Nope
  32.  Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university- Several physicians in the family, including 3 GGF Nathan Blunt Kennedy (Tulane University School of Medicine, Class of 1860) and 2GGU Thomas Joshua Bennett (Tulane University School of Medicine, Class of 1883)
  33.  Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offense- If they ever caught him! My 2GGU James Bennett, Jr (brother of Thomas Joshua) was a documented murderer, horse thief and bank robber in 1880′s San Saba, TX and Wyoming and Montana.
  34.  Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime- My 2GGU Benjamin Bennett (James’ brother!) was murdered in Hobbs, New Mexico in 1930 and another 2GGU, Pat Carroll, was murdered in March, 1906 in San Saba, TX.
  35.  Have shared an ancestor’s story online or in a magazine (Tell us where)- Not yet…
  36.  Have published a family history online or in print (Details please)-Does this blog count?
  37.  Have visited an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries- No
  38.  Still have an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family- No
  39.  Have a  family bible from the 19th Century- I wish!
  40.  Have a pre-19th century family bible- I really wish!

 


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The WOW! Category

My blog is organized on two levels, first by category, which describes what I am currently researching/blogging about, and then by tags, which are the specific surnames I am working with. Things run pretty smoothly this way, and I can usually find what I am looking for pretty quickly through the Search Box.

This morning, I found myself in need of a new category to describe my research activities: the WOW! category.

The WOW! category will be used to document the type of genealogical item that I stumble onto totally by accident, or when I find what I am looking for, but the actual find causes me to gasp, stare, or stop breathing altogether! This morning’s item certainly fits this category…

Isaac T (“Ike”) Turner was the 7th of 14 children of my great-great-grandparents, Isaac Turner and Sarah Sharpe Vance. Eleven of the children were born in Tennessee and the last 3, including my great-grandmother Mary Tennessee, were born in Hill County, Texas. Thanks to what’s left of the Turner family Bible, I have names and BMD dates on all 14. Pretty neat!

But like most Bibles I have seen, there are no details. Birthdates, marriages, dates of death, all faithfully recorded in the Bible.

But why did William Turner die at age 17? An accident, or maybe the Typhoid that killed his father? Or how about little Sallie Turner, who died just 1 month and 1 day after she was born? I can’t imagine losing a month-old child! Why did these people die so young?

Isaac T Turner died on Christmas Day, Dec 25, 1900. Amidst all the joy of the holiday, suddenly unfathomable loss. 32 years old and in what should be the prime of life…

This morning, I was searching for a cause of death for Isaac and decided to check out GenealogyBank. They have a wonderful collection of old newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News going back over 100 years. Hill County, Texas is very close to Dallas.

I put his name into the search box and look what popped up:

I just stopped and stared and read those few lines over and over and over. OMG! What a horrible death!

For years I have wondered what happened to Ike, enumerated in the 1900 Federal Census as a merchant dealing in confections. A man with a sweet tooth! Only a few months after that census was completed, Ike was dead. But how?

Now I know… and WOW!