Posts Tagged ‘sharing information’


I am my own cousin

   Posted by: HystoryByts    in Education, Genealogy, History, Research

No, it’s not some sort of kinky inbreeding – at least, not deliberately. We don’t think!

Pedigree collapse happens when there are shared ancestors in a pedigree. In some locations, cousins would marry as there were not many people to choose from. The days when families had 8 or 10 or more children meant that lots of the Jones family was available to marry the Smith family, and if the Brown family had plenty, that was all you needed! Bobby Jones married Susan Smith, and Bobby’s brother John Johns married Susan’s sister Sally. Parallel families who eventually re-intermarried cause some pedigrees to show the same ancestors two, three or more times.

You end up being descended from the same person or parents multiple times. Royal families do it all the time, and it turns out that “commoners” do it as well. Some people find it outrageous, while others are fascinated.

Isn’t genealogy fun?

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Society Saturday: Why Bother To Join?

   Posted by: HystoryByts    in Geneabloggers, Genealogy, Research

Proven information! In a nutshell, there’s a TON of information out there in the societies.

Now, you still need to verify the information, especially if it’s fairly old. Organizations 100 years ago didn’t ask for documents to prove you were descended from somebody – normally you only had a letter from someone saying that Joe’s cousin Sally was your grandmother’s sister.. or something along those lines. So, you have to use a good dose of skepticism when you look.

My paternal grandmother is a line I know little to nothing about. In 1928, her DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) application was hand-written and while it does have her address on it, and it does state that she’s married to my grandfather, it does NOT tell us when she was born or married! The DAR at that time only asked where you were born: “I was born in _______, County of ________, State of ________.” That’s all. Her “proof” for her information consisted of “Family Bible” “Heitman’s Historical Register, page 299″ and “See National Number #145919″ After the application was verified, it was stamped, “Verified By National Number 145918″ Not a lot of information to help us out!

But I had two new applications to look at: numbers 145919 and 145918. 145918 – the ‘earlier’ application – was Rebecca Moore Darden Snow, whose grandmother was Rebecca Moore. Since the patriot for this line is Peter Moore, you can see there may be a naming pattern going on. But, this application does the same thing that my grandmother’s does: it only gives us names and years of birth, death, and marriage – no dates, no places. But certainly not a dead end!

On the later pages of the application, it tells me that Peter Moore was married twice: to Sarah Littleton at Franklin, VA in 1775 and to Mary Ellis at Franklin VA, in 1795. So searching on Sarah Littleton online, I found this information:

Peter Moore. b @1750; d 1820 Southampton County, VA
Married Sarah Littleton: children by her
  Elijah (no wife known)
  Littleton m Margaret Daughtery
Mary Ellis about 1795 in Southampton County, VA
  Sarah, m. Jason Gardner
  Mary, (never married)
  Nancy, (m Joseph Buxton)b @1798; d 1870
  John, (Delilah Edwards)
  James, (no information)

Nancy Moore m Joseph Buxton: children
  Elmina Cephus Buxton m Allen Hardy Cotton (1826; d 1894)
  Lydia Marian Buxton
  Margaret Buxton
  George Edward Buxton
  Joanna Buxton
He has two other wives and 4 more children

So by using the resources available to you through lineage societies, you can often find good leads to help you fill in your own genealogy. I’m off to follow up on this information and see what I can learn about this branch of the family tree.

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Keeping It Simple

   Posted by: HystoryByts    in Genealogy, Research

 “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”

How very true that message from Albert Einstein is! And it applies to genealogy and technology doubly so! Especially if you’re asking someone else or offering to help them. Some very simple rules to follow if you’re asking for help:

First, you need to be very specific about what you’re looking for. “The Adams family went from Connecticut to Virginia and I want to know all about them” is not very specific. Break it down to the important details: “We’ve heard our great-great-great-grandfather John Adams is related to the President of the same name and would like to know if they are, and how.” Better!

Second, share the information you already have. Nothing is more frustrating to a volunteer than to uncover something they believe is new, just to have you person say, “Oh, we already know that!” They are sharing their time and effort with you, so please be considerate of it. Include in your shared information the proof you already have, if any. Is it just family folklore, or do you have some documents that back the story up? (A second benefit of sharing your information is that it requires you to organize it. After years of looking, many times our documentation gets fragmented and we don’t even realize it. Reorganization might just show you a clue that’s been there all along!)

Some people would add the question, “Where have you researched already?” And if you have that information, that’s great. Knowing where the research has already been done can keep duplication of effort to a minimum – BUT – it can also miss important clues that a fresh set of eyes can give. While one person might read a name as “Sharrock” another set of eyes might see “Shadrock” instead. So sometimes a fresh look is in order.

The flip side is approaching someone with an entire box of documents and saying, “Here’s what we have, and we want you to figure it out.” That’s going to take longer, and be much more likely to miss important clues. So try to focus on the goal and use the KISS system – Keep It Simple Silly!

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