Monday, February 27, 2012

Who's Waiting For You In The 1940 Census? My Parents

The Parents - Gene & Virginia Allen  - Newlyweds in 1950
 I thought I'd start first with the low-hanging fruit (or nuts depending how you look at it)- my parents.  At the time of the 1930 census, my maternal grandmother was pregnant with my mother who was born in November of that year.  They owned their home which gives me hope they were in the same place in 1940.  We'll see.  Their enumeration district in Prague, Oklahoma was 41-33.

As for my dad's family, they lived in Neosho, Missouri.  In the 1930 census, my then 2 yr old father was living with his mother and stepfather. For some inexplicable reason, he was listed as Gene Wilson instead of Gene Allen.  This mistake by the enumerator caused me no end of  grief trying to find him until it occurred to me to look for my grandmother instead.  Bingo.  By 1940 Dad was living with his maternal grandparents who later adopted him.  Since Dad is thankfully still with us at age almost 84, I took a chance and asked him if he remembered the address.  He did. 316 Wheeler St.  Easy peasy.  Except Dad's grandparents were living on Jefferson St. in 1930.  The ED for that address was 73-13.  Hopefully that will get me in the ball park.

Who's waiting for you?

Who's Waiting For You In The 1940 US Census?

One of the things I've been doing to prepare for the upcoming census release is to find as many relatives as possible in the 1930 census.  Having an idea of their enumeration district in 1930 should be helpful in finding them in the un-indexed (at least at're all volunteering to index right?) 1940 census.  Fingers crossed, they all pretty much stayed put between 1930 and 1940!  Anyway, I thought it might be fun to do a series of posts about this leading up to April 2. 
So who is waiting for you in the 1940 census?

Helpful Links:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Downton Abbey Meets Grandpa Moses

Season 2 - Downton Abbey

WW I Draft Registration
I've been a fan of British period dramas since the 1970's when 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII' and 'Upstairs Downstairs' made an indelible mark on my impressionable adolescent brain.  So its no surprise that I fell in love with Downton Abbey.  The second season, which just ended here in the US, dealt with the effects of WW I on the family and their household.  There were several episodes with scenes set in the trenches of that war and it got me thinking about how little I know of my grandfather Moses Lee Easley's experience there.  I know that he was a WW I veteran ( in spite of the fact that the 1930 census says he wasn't) and that he fought in France.  Beyond that it's a complete mystery.  I would love to see his military records but I imagine they all went up in that horrible fire in St. Louis that consumed most US military records from WW I through the Korean war.  On the other hand, I have never inquired about the records either so I should probably put that on my genealogy 'to do' list.  I did find his draft record on Ancestry and was surprised to see that he was already in Oklahoma at the time he registered for the draft.  I had always assumed he had lived in Tennessee and didn't move to Oklahoma until after the war.  And why Oklahoma?  I've found records that show some members of his extended family moving here about the same time.  Were he and my grandmother sweethearts already when he left?  Did he serve with an Oklahoma military unit since he registered here?  The only Oklahoma WW I records I've found are casualty lists and he obviously survived the war.  I've looked at some Tennessee records and haven't found him there either.
Moses Lee Easley abt 1920

And the trenches weren't all my grandfather had in common with the fictional inhabitants of Downton Abbey.  His family also experienced the devastation wrought by the "Spanish" flu. be continued.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quaker Research

Lately I have been doing some more research on my Haworth line.  Fortunately for me, the Haworths were Quakers (Society of Friends) which means they left many interesting records behind.  One of the first places to look for those records would be the Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy by William W. Hinshaw.  This is a multi-volume work and each volume is quite large.  Not something you would probably want to purchase unless you have unlimited shelf space in your house and a money tree in your backyard.  But thankfully, it is widely available at libraries which is where I found it. The surnames are indexed (yea!) but since I knew Richard and Ann Haworth were founding members of the Lost Creek Meeting in New Market, Jefferson, TN, I went to the section in Vol 1 on Lost Creek.  Each family is listed with names and birth dates.  There is an indexed section of meeting minutes that records things like movement of memberships between meetings (churches), which are very helpful in tracking a family's migration.   Disciplinary actions are also recorded.  For example, my 3rd great grandfather William Haworth, was apparently disowned by the meeting for fighting!  Member could be reinstated by going before the church and admitting their wrong but there is no record that William did this.  This might explain why four of his sons volunteered to serve in the Civil War (Friends were usually pacificists) and why none of them seemed to be practicing Friends in the years after the war.
The meeting minutes are full of rather cryptic abbreviations.  For example, the entry about William fighting was this:
                1824, 5, 29. William, Jr. dis fighting
Not too hard to figure out once you know 'dis' means 'disowned'.

But what about this entry?
                1793, 8,24. William, of Nolechucky, rpd mou.
followed by-
                1798, 10,20. William con his mou.

The 1792 entry means that William Haworth of the Nolechucky area was reported to have married out of unity i.e. married a non-Quaker.  But in 1798 William "condemned his marriage out of unity" which basically meant he went before the church and admitted his wrong.  Presumably, he was reinstated in the church at that time.  Sometimes the record will report the reinstatement, sometimes not.  It is interesting that the very next entry, on the same date, says that his wife Jane also "condemned her marriage out of unity".   I'm not totally sure what all this means since I know that William was from a Quaker family and I'm pretty sure his wife Jane Brazelton was as well.
At any rate, you get the idea.  Hinshaw has a key in the front of each volume of his encyclopedia but I found this book, Our Quaker Ancestors : Finding Them in Quaker Records, to be very helpful.  It also contains  a key to the abbreviations but gives you some background on Quaker theology and customs. There is also a good chapter on the various migration routes taken by Quakers.  Did you know that by 1850, half of Indiana's populations was Quaker?  I didn't.
Always something new to learn.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Indexing the 1940 Census

One of the things I did at Rootstech was sign up to be an indexer for the 1940 census. Now mind you, I have never indexed anything in my life.  But I'm pretty excited about participating in this project.  Familysearch has also just come out with a mobile indexing app for both Apple and Android.  You know me...always up for a shiny new app.  I'll let you know what I think.

So let's all jump on the 1940 Census bandwagon.  Many hands make light work etc.

Monday, February 13, 2012


So the last few weeks its been all Rootstech, all the time in the blogosphere.  I imagine that those of you who were not able to (or didn't want to?)  attend are probably pretty sick of it.  (That being said I still have a few Rootstech posts in the queue...just sayin'.)  But for anyone who is feeling un-cool and left-out because they couldn't go, I have some encouragement for you.  While there were many awesome things about Rootstech the classes were mostly not among them.  First there was the scheduling.  So many great classes in competing time slots.  Oh well, that's what happens when you only have a weekend to do everything.  There was little balance between beginner classes and more advanced sessions and some classes advertised as intermediate, clearly were not.  Again, that would be difficult to do when you have 4.000 attendees all at different skill levels.  Then there was the overcrowding..many classes were standing room only and in at least one class, security had to come ask people to leave because the number of people in the room violated fire codes! Bottom line...if you wanted to go to Rootstech for the educational experience alone, you just saved yourself the cost of the air fare and a hotel bill.

Let me make a suggestion:  enroll in Family Tree University's  virtual conference.  There are several advantages:
  • You never have to choose between two great classes.  All the classes are pre-recorded and downloadable.  For you to keep. Forever.
  • Your only overcrowding issue might be in disk space for storing the video files.
  • You get many of the same instructors that taught at Rootstech...Lisa Alzo, Thomas MacEntee and Lisa Louise Cook for example.
  • You can 'take" the same class mutiple times.  But then I'm sure none of you have memory or attention issues like yours truly. ;)
  • Cost-  The conference costs $199.  That's less than $15 per class. Hello?

In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that although currently I have no relationship with Family Tree Magazine or Family Tree University, I was their Family Tree Firsts blogger in 2011.  I received no monetary compensation from them but was given the opportunity to take FTU classes at no charge, including last year's first Virtual Conference.
All that being said, I am recommending the conference because I was impressed by it last year as a student not because I was in any way prompted to do so.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

WDYTYA- Lisa Kudrow Answers Fan Questions

So what did you think of the latest Who Do You Think You Are? episode?  Frankly, I felt the first episode of this season with Martin Sheen fell a little flat but they redeemed themselves with last night's show with Marisa Tomei.  I loved meeting her family whereas Martin's family....well Emilio seemed pretty stable.  'Nuff said?
Here's a video of Lisa Kudrow answering viewer questions about the show.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rootstech Session: Telling Stories

This video was used in a Rootstech session titled Telling Stories: Transforming the Bare Facts of Genealogy Into the Astonishing Tale of You and Your Family. It was presented by Ian Tester of Brightsolid and was probably my favorite class in the conference.  I love the way the timeline helps flesh out the story.
The syllabus for the class is here:   Telling Stories syllabus

Stories Through Data from Ross Forrest on Vimeo.

Six Lessons from Rootstech 2012

I have stopped over in Phoenix on my way home from Salt Lake City to spend a couple of days with my sister. I'll write more about my experiences at Rootstech when I get home.  For now though here are a few of the things I learned from attending my very first genea-conference.

6.  Pack an extra bag to bring home all the fun stuff you'll accumulate.
5.  Laptops are HEAVY.  One more reason to get an iPad. Like I needed another reason.
4.  Upgrade your camera before the conference.
3.  Remember to bring the cord and batteries for said camera so that you aren't forced to take pictures with your iPod Touch and them email them to yourself.
2. An iPod Touch takes crappy pictures.

and the number one thing I learned:

1.  Don't mess up your ankle the week before the conference!  The boot and cane will really slow you down!

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