Saturday, December 31, 2011

Finding Grandma

I found one of my long lost grandmothers. Actually she is step great great grandmother.

Sarah Winiford Strickland Green was the 2nd wife of my ancestor John Green. He died young, sometime about 1865 but she remained in the Taylor County Florida area up until at least 1900. She was on the census that year but until recently I never knew what happened to her after 1900.

I have her photo as it was in my great grandparents bible. I knew her grandson John Evans had moved to Suwanee County Florida and I found him on the 1910 census. One of his great grandsons contacted me recently and gave me some more information about the family in Suwanee County. I started looking at public records and found a death listing for a Mrs. Green in 1918. No first name is shown.

I decided to request the death certificate from the State of Florida so see if it had any other information that could tell me if it was Sarah. It took the State a couple tries to send me the correct record but finally I received a death certificate showing this Mrs. Green died on October 10, 1918. It also listed her date of birth as being January 2, 1838 in Alabama. That didn't match Sarah Green as she had listed her birth month as November 1838 on the 1900 census. I noticed the death certificate listed her age as 80 years, 1 month, 1 day. If they were off by one year, and she was 79 instead of 80, subtracting it from her death date her day of birth would be November 15, 1838. So I am satisfied this is Sarah. Either way the birth date on the certificate does not match the age.

She was buried in Siloam Methodist Church Cemetery in Columbia County near the Suwanee County border. The cousin went out to the cemetery but couldn't find a marker. At least we know what happened to her. Her husband, John Green is still a mystery but maybe one day he will turn up also.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

All's well that ends well

I have to change my MO about using real names for this story. Not sure they would appreciate it, even though for now it looks like it has ended well.

I "met" via email a 2nd cousin a while ago who lives in Florida. She is the granddaughter of my grandmother Fulford's first cousin. After exchanging emails about the family history and other things for two years, she asked if I could help her find her mother.

It turns out she was adopted as a baby by our cousin and didn't know it until she was grown. Her birth mother was an 18 year old , unmarried girl who was working at a hotel in St. Petersburg when she got pregnant. She did the right thing at the time and put the baby up for adoption.

Fast forward 50 years and the daughter wants to find out about her birth family. She had actually paid $2,000 to the adoption agency to get very limited records that had a name and nothing else. She was able to locate a subsequent husband of her mother in St. Petersburg but they had divorced after a couple years and he had no idea what happened to her. She was a free spirit who was only known to be somewhere else.

So with just a name and approximate date of birth I started looking for her, using the same tools I use to do genealogy research. Online marriage & divorce records, death notices, city directories, newspaper articles, family trees posted at etc. I soon found out who the grandparents were but they had both died within the last few years.

I couldn't locate an obituary for either of them but after a while found a online family tree that had them listed. It didn't show any children but I knew the missing mom was a twin with at least one sister because it said this in the family notes. I contacted the person who posted the family tree on ancestry and had no response for almost two months. Then after several short, one line emails with no information that spread out over several more months I received two emails in one day.

The writer, who never gave me more than a first name said she had been in touch with the missing mom and they wanted to contact my cousin. I sent the email on to her, and she followed up and quickly talked by phone to her first cousin, aunt and was told how to contact her birth mother.

So wow, this search for dead relatives can take you to some interesting places.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

William Gannon Fulford

When you do family history research sometimes you find more questions than answers.

I was looking at family records in Craven County North Carolina recently and found the death certificate for William Gannon Fulford. If you just record the day of birth and death you would have put these in your records and gone on. I like to look at the original documents because I have often found facts that connected with some other person I was researching.

In this case, I noticed an unusual cause of death. It is listed as being the result of a stab wound in the abdomen and a homicide.

William Gannon Fulford was the son of Denard Roberts Fulford and Sarah Elizabeth Edwards. Denard was born in the North Carolina and probably a relative. William was just shy of his 30th birthday when he died in 1914.

He had never married and I don't really know much about him except for his unusual demise. He was buried in Cedar Grove cemetery in New Bern, North Carolina. I have just started to look for his story but haven't found anything yet. It may take a while but I am sure the record is out there somewhere.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Power of Mistletoe

I wrote a while back about the Steamboat Mistletoe and family connections to the ship's captain.

This past summer while visiting family in Cortez, Florida we spent some time at the Florida Maritime Museum and since I had my dog on one of the days I was relegated to walking the grounds. As I did I came across a new exhibit they have installed.

The propeller from the Mistletoe!

In 1917 the ship's job of carrying passengers and freight was past. It was sold for scrap to Ed Pillsbury of the Snead's Island Boatworks.

He planned to convert in into a seagoing barge. Pillsbury wasn't able to make the conversion work so apparently out of frustration, he hauled the ship out of the water and burned it.

The only thing salvaged from the ship was the propeller. It has now found it's way to Cortez along with the remains of the Snead's Island Boatworks.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Three Sisters

This is not about three mountain peaks, food groups, islands or a trendy restaurant. Three Sisters seems to be a popular name or destination. I only had two so don't know what it was like. I guess if there are three in a family they might be closer together than if only two.

This is just a short story about three sisters who I found buried together in a very rural cemetery. This past summer my wife and I took a long detour to find a cemetery where my great grandmother was buried. On the way to Sandhill Cemetery in Taylor County Florida we drove past Sealey Cemetery.

I had received directions from a cousin to Sandhill Cemetery but they mistakenly told me how to get to Sealey Cemetery. Thankfully I had my GPS and the coordinates so was able to make my way to the correct place. It was another 4-5 miles down dirt roads surrounded by land that had all the trees removed by local lumber companies.

Sealey Cemetery is 7 1/2 miles from the nearest paved road, on Jody Morgan Road south of Hwy 19 in Taylor County. It would be a long walk if you had car trouble on the way. Since my directions took me to this place I decided to look into who was buried in this small plot. I found four Civil War veteran's graves and several people I'm related to via the Ezell and Strickland family.

I also found the three sisters. In fact their graves are some of the newest ones in the place. Three sisters who were born within a mile or two of this location who ended up buried there sixty years later. I found the three sisters listed on this 1945 Florida State census.

I don't know if their parents are there. There was no marker for them in the list I found online. The parents were divorced in 1950 so maybe they moved away.

The three daughters of Tom J. Lee and Sallie Russell Lee all married, at least once but their husbands were not on the list of burials either. Just the three sisters.

Martha Lee Denmark was born May 21, 1932 and died July 15, 1969. She married Henry Denmark.

Annie Mae Lee Cruce was born April 17, 1930 and died May 10, 1990. She married Penny Parker and later Willie Joe Cruce.

Sallie Lee Ayers was born May 30, 1938 and died November 9, 1988. She married a Grantham and later James Ray Ayers.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Priscilla and Aquila

I don't know about other folks but we had a difficult time naming our children. We had all the name your baby books and got advise from friends and family but they didn't help much. I think we came up with good names, reflecting both our southern heritage and wanting our girls to be independent of encumbrances.

You have to admit, it would take a preacher to name his kids Priscilla and Aquila. But that is what James Hamilton Wentworth did on January 11, 1889. Wentworth was married to Elizabeth Green the sister of my great grandfather when they had twins in Bilowry, now part of the Eglin Air Force base in present day Santa Rosa County Florida.

Wentworth was working as a Baptist preacher and missionary in this remote area after a diverse career as an Lieutenant in the CSA, school teacher, Superintendent of Taylor County Florida Schools, Judge, Census Taker and Lawyer. There isn't much there in Bilowry now other than mosquitoes and sand gnats so you can only imagine what it was like in 1889.

Priscilla and Aquila were first century missionaries who went with the Apostle Paul on his travels and risked their lives for him. James and Elizabeth Wentworth were probably thinking of their remote home and difficult life in 1889 when they decided on the names.

Elizabeth apparently had a hard pregnancy and subsequent delivery. The twins, Aquilla Edgar Wentworth and Priscilla Elizabeth Wentworth lived only two and three days. Elizabeth never fully recovered and died herself in September of that year.

I wouldn't know anything about the twins except for two letters that were found in my great grandfather's bible. He kept the letter James Wentworth wrote on February 7, 1889 telling about the birth and death of the twins and another one on September 28, 1889 telling about Elizabeth's death.

The first letter says the twins were born two months early and he thought they were well but Elizabeth was too sick to nurse or care for them and they did not survive.

I think they were buried with their mother, in the Holley Point Cemetery in Santa Rosa County but there is not a marker for any of them. There are a couple graves there that would fit the time period, with only a concrete cover. One is an adult and the other a child size grave.

My great grandparents named their next son after Aquilla but spelled it with an E. Marian Equilla Green was born on February 22, 1891.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The stars fell on

I've never understood the Alabama license tag slogan. Is it something about a UFO sighting? This has nothing to do with those folks anyway.

I have been looking for a book written by W. T. Cash because I heard he included information about my Green family history. I think I first heard of it from one of my great aunts or maybe my father.

William Thomas Cash (1878-1951) grew up in Taylor County Florida and after working as a school teacher and then a short political career moved to Tallahassee, Florida where he got a job as the first State Librarian of Florida. When my wife worked at the State Library in 1981 she had a coworker, Dorothy Dodd, who had known and worked with him. Somewhere along the way I heard he had written about my family and so I have looked for his book for almost 30 years now.

The problem is that W. T. Cash was a prolific writer. He undoubtedly was the first blogger of Florida. He regularly wrote for several newspapers and also wrote many articles in the Florida Historical Quarterly. There are hundreds of his writings around. Many of his newspaper articles were short histories or remembrances of people he knew growing up. He also wrote several books, some in multiple volumes dealing with Florida history.

He was a childhood friend and contemporary of my grandfather, Millard Fillmore Green and later became close friends and a colleague of three of my grandfather's siblings who also worked as school teachers in Taylor County. One of them, Sylvester Green worked with Cash in Taylor County and later moved to Gainesville, Florida where he became a history professor at the University of Florida. Sylvester died in 1938 so I never knew anything about him until long after he was gone. I had been told that he researched the family history himself and was hoping he may have shared some of his findings with his friend W T Cash.

When my oldest daughter attended Florida State University I had her search the school library for W. T. Cash's books and I've bought a couple of them myself over the years when I found them available at used book stores. Unfortunately none of the books I could locate had any mention of my family.

Several months ago I received an email about a new book that put together many of his newspaper articles by the Taylor County Historical Society. I wrote to them and arranged to have a copy mailed to me.

The book does not have any comprehensive story of my family but does mention many of my relatives. It also tells of the stars falling in the late 1890s and a funny story about my grandfather.

In the article Cash called "The Old Time Religion" he said that he and Fillmore had been to the Bethpage community prayer meeting, to hear the circuit preacher in the 1890s.

He says as they were walking back to Fillmore's family home, "A meteor flashed across the sky making a dazzling light. Soon after we saw the light, there was a report like distant thunder and so far as we were concerned that ended that."

"On Friday night following there was a prayer meeting at a Mr. Jenkins' and during the testimony meeting following, a county Baptist preacher arose and testified that the Sunday night before he was overshadowed by a light so bright he could have read from his New Testament. In a low tone Fillmore remarked to me: "That d--d fool doesn't know that that was a star fell."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Got a pair?

Is the chance of having twins inherited? Most people say fraternal twins can be inherited from the X Chromosome which means it comes from only the mother. If that's the case then it doesn't explain so many twins in my Fulford family. They happen when the Fulford connection is on the male or female side.

I did some research on twins in the family after a cousin, Pat in Florida asked me if there were other cases of twins. She had a daughter who had twins and she knew her grandmother also had twins.

I checked back a couple generations and found enough cases that it does seem to ask the question.

My grandfather's brother William Fulford was married to Julia Etta Quinn who had two sets of twins. One set died at birth and the other, Donald and Dorothy were born in Cortez, Florida in 1927.

William's daughter, Betty had twins Mark and Richard born in Charleston, SC in 1966.

One of William's great granddaughters had a set of twins Adam and

Audrey who were born in 2003.

Now that I think of it all three of these generations could have been passed on from the X chromosome they received from Julia Quinn Fulford. That would not explain these other cases.

My grandfather's sister, Dora Jane Fulford Adams had twins, Mabel and Barbara born in Cortez, Florida in 1926.

My grandfather's first cousin John David Fulford was married to Beatrice Elizabeth Roberts who had twins, Laura and Lula born in St Petersburg, Florida in 1933.

John's sister, Thelma Martha Fulford had twins Lorraine and Elaine born in Tampa, Florida in 1933

My uncle Gary's wife Pamela had twins, Jared and Julie born in Bradenton, Florida in 1979.

Friday, November 4, 2011

What's in a name?

Doing family history research you often resort to google searches to find new information about a family line. An interesting part of google searches is using the image search page

I think it would be a good research project for some grad student to see how many mug shots turn up in the first 100 hits for various surnames and what that means.

If you search for my own name Green, adding a location like Florida you wouldn't see any because it gives so few photos of people in the results.

Search for a more unusual name like Ezell, the maiden name of my great great grandmother on my Dad's side and two out of the first 10 are offender photos.

Try it with some of the names in your family.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Romance on the Range

I don't remember John Wayne having romantic scenes on any of his wagon train movies. Maybe they were there but we didn't notice.

My wife has a wagon train romance in her family history. Her great great grandparents met and fell in love on a wagon train from Saline County Missouri to Austin Texas in 1859.

Louisiana English Pennington was only 17 years old, riding in a wagon with her parents Simeon Dudley Pennington and Mary Jane Lynch Pennington when she met William Smith Telford. He had just finished a tour of duty in the US Army and was riding along with the wagon train on horseback.

He was five years older than Lou and according to a November 23, 1929 newspaper article in the Dallas Morning news he fell in love with her on the trip. They weren't married for another six years because he left to join the 4th (Bates) Regiment Texas Volunteers during the Civil War. After the war he came back to Austin and found Lou had waited for him.

They had twelve children and the second oldest was my wife's great grandmother Kate Augusta Telford Longacare.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Metric System

Probably like most of you, I never bought in to the metric system. I still use my 1965 -25th Anniversary Fulford Fish Company ruler when I need to measure something.

On I noticed they have a new feature that finds people on other records for you automatically. They list them as 'suggested records" on the right side of the screen.

When you search for someone and then click on the record you found, they run a program in the background they call Ancestry Metrics. It looks for that same person, based on the name and date of birth and then automatically gives you a list of the other records.

This is a really wonderful addition to their service as you can literally find sometimes a half dozen records that are probably the person you are researching.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bits n' Pieces

Sometimes it can take years to find an answer to a simple question. My great great grandmother's second husband was Elijah Meadows Garner. Hope Foreman Adams married him on January 12, 1882 in Cartetet County after her first husband died. I have wondered what happened to them.

Hope was at least the 4th wife of Elijah. They moved to Manateee County Florida sometime in the late 1880s. Both their children were born in North Carolina and the family story is they both came down with TB after moving to Florida and died within weeks of each other. They said Hope died first and then her husband. Afterwards the children were adopted by Captain John Fogarty in Manatee County.

The problem is that there isn't anyone alive who would know the truth or who had even heard it 2nd hand. I had been trying to find some documentation of their death without any success for 10 years.

Then last week I received an email from the Manatee County Historical Records Librarian with the attached 3x5 card attached. It is an article from the Manatee River Journal dated August 11, 1892 and tells of the death of Elijah Garner the week before. I know it is him as his was the only Garner family in the Palma Sola area, and it only mentions his children surviving him.

So now that I know Hope and Elijah Garner died in the summer of 1892 maybe I can locate where they were buried.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Glenn Tartan

My wife's mother was a Glenn before she married. A distant cousin was planning a trip to Scotland and asked if we wanted her to pick up some Glenn Tartan for us on her visit.

Frankly I didn't know what she was talking about and had to look it up to see if it was something to eat or wear. Apparently this is a big business in Scotland because there are a number of web pages you can use to look up your Tartan. I guess there are then any number of places to buy some of it on a roll or made into clothing.

With a name like Glenn you would assume the family came from Scotland. I looked back at the last known ancestor in the family and only have references to him coming from Ireland.

David Glenn 1745-1784 is found in many sources but they all say he came to the Colonies in the 1770s from Ireland. He settled in Newberry, South Carolina and served briefly during the Revolutionary War. He was given the rank of Colonel, and I'm not sure how. The Annals of Newberry, published in 1892 has a long account of his life and death.

I don't know much about the Scot - Irish history so it is possible the family had lived in Scotland before and moved to Ireland. Maybe some of you can explain it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

True Southern Greens

I have a good friend who talks seriously of being buried in his backyard. Apparently it is perfectly legal in Tennessee and being a true southerner he feels it is his right.

While visiting relatives in Alabama recently I made a detour to find the graves of several distant relatives.

Judith Anthony married William Green in 1797 in Warren County North Carolina. They moved to Wilkes County Georgia where he died in 1805 leaving her a widow with several young children.

Two years later she married Robert Ware and moved to Montgomery, Alabama. They owned a large tract of land and operated a ferry over the Alabama river.

A couple blocks off Wares Ferry Road in Montgomery I found the Ware - Green family cemetery where Judith and several of her children and grandchildren are buried. The large monument is for Robert Ware, who was a Revolutionary War veteran.

The cemetery is in the back yard of some folks who didn't even know it was there when they bought the house. The cemetery had a lot of tall brush and it had been years since anyone tried to maintain it. I guess the realtor, if they knew it was there didn't consider a family cemetery as a selling feature so the buyers didn't know until they cleared the brush it was there.

To their credit they have taken over maintenance and it is now in very good condition.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Death comes quickly

Lucretia Stokes was born in North Carolina and lived a long life. She was 72 yrs, 9 mos, and 11 days old when she died in 1814 in Lincoln County Georgia.

The last couple of those years must have been difficult. Her daughter, two sons and husband all died in less than two years.

Daughter Jane Stokes Ware, wife of Robert Ware died May 19, 1808. Husband William Stokes died December 12, 1810. Sons Richard Henry Stokes died June 03, 1812 and Thomas Stokes died on May 21, 1813.

They were all buried in the Stokes Family Cemetery off Jones Chapel Rd in rural Lincoln County.

I came across Jane Stokes doing research on my Green family. She was married to Robert Ware who later moved to Montgomery County AL. After Jane died he married Judith Anthony, the widow of William Green. I have matched a couple of her descendants on dna testing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A nice find

I was researching the Charles D. Jones family from Cortez, Florida recently and found they are related in a couple ways. Capt. Charles D Jones who was born in 1856 in Carteret County NC was married to Alice Adele Bishop who was the daughter of my 3rd cousin Asa Bishop from Alabama.

Charles Jone's brother, David Reid Jones was married to Sophronia Pigott Fulford who was the half sister of my great grandfather William Thomas Fulford.

Both of those finds were interesting but one that was better was finding a photo of James Gilbert Jones, the son of Charles and Alice taken in 1919. just put old passport applications online and one that James completed as a new Merchant Marine in 1919 was there. It included his application and statements from his parents and grandmother, Martha Ann Andress Bishop to document where and when he was born. On the back of the application was this photo. I doubt there are many if any photos of him from this period.

I don't know much about him. He was listed as a Merchant Marine on the 1930 census and a Cook on the Florida 1945 census. He died in 1976 and as far as I know he never married or had children. So this photo, from 90 years ago, may be the only one of him still around.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cypress Lawn

I have written several times about Captain William Hawkins Fulford, a distant cousin who settled what is now North Miami Beach, Florida just before the end of the 19th Century. I had researched him and his family for several years before proving the family connection. After Capt. Fulford died his wife moved to California to live with their son but she soon died herself.

Their only son was a glass salesman and as far as I know never had any children. He was married in 1888 to Mina Louise Norman in New York, NY but I don't know what happened to his wife. She disappeared after the 1910 census in California.

William Gilbert Fulford died on May 5, 1919 in San Francisco, CA just a couple years after his parents. I suspect he was interested in family history himself since he joined the Sons of the American Revolution.

I located the record of his death several years ago but only recently found a funeral home record that was put online as part of the collection at the Mormon Church web page Family Search.

According to the Halsted Funeral Home record he died of a heart attack in route to Harbor Hospital and was buried at Cypress Lawn Cemetery, in what is now San Mateo County CA. I wanted to close the loop on this family and also find out if his wife was buried next to him so I asked a Findagrave volunteer to take a photo of the grave marker. Unfortunately they couldn't find it.

The cemetery can't find a record of his burial and they say he was cremated and returned to the funeral home. The funeral home said he was buried in the cemetery. At that time, if his wife had already died and he had no children or relatives in the area then being cremated would make sense. If she was still alive then I would think he would have been buried. Of course, maybe he just wanted his ashes scattered in the Ocean. He grew up around the water and his family for several generations made their living on it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

John Green, where are you?

My great great grandfather was named John Green. He was born about 1820 in South Carolina or was it North Carolina? The only record I have found of him was the 1860 census in Taylor County Florida.

It said he was born in South Carolina but his children on occasion said he was born in North. He didn't appear on the 1870 census and his wife, Sarah Strickland Green was shown as a widow.

He lived for a while in Georgia as his two older children were born there, but since the births were between the 1850-60 census I don't know if he was there in 1850 or not. I haven't found any John Green on the 1850 census that matched him.

Since he died between 1860 and 70 you would suspect it was connected to that widow maker we call the War Between the States. I found several John Greens who enlisted in either the CSA or Union Army from Florida but have slowly ruled them out.

The latest was one John Green who enlisted in the 2nd Florida Calvary of the Union Army. Several Taylor County men enlisted in the 2nd, including one of my other ancestors.

The record showed this John Green enlisted on April 16, 1864 at Fort Myers, Florida but died of disease on June 6, 1865. There was a record of a pension being claimed by his children but none of the records I found listed their names.

I hate having to pay for genealogy research. Some of my family would say it is because I am cheap. I would say it is because I hate to pay to obtain my history. If it is ours, I think we should have access.

In any event, after wondering about this for several years I decided to pay the money for a copy of the pension file. The National Archives charges a flat $25 for the basic file, which is just the application. The fee is higher for the complete correspondence file.

I requested this one online several months ago and just received it. It shows that John Green died of "chronic diarrhea" at the Cedar Keys, Florida hospital on June 6th. That would have to be a terrible death but probably no more than most of the other diseases that took many of the casualties of this war.

The pension application listed the name of his daughter, Florida Green and her date of birth as January 1, 1860. Her mother's maiden name is shown as Jane Houston. This is not my family but at least it answered the question and I can look elsewhere.

I looked for Jane and Florida Green on subsequent census records but didn't find them. I've put copies of the pension application here in case it helps someone else.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Killed in his prime

My grandfather lost two brothers at a young age. His 25 year old brother Clyde Augustine Fulford died on October 26, 1918 after catching the flu during the infamous influenza epidemic of 1918. He was checking on his sister Dora's family in Tampa who were all sick when he caught it himself.

Their 21 year old brother Clayton Clarke Fulford died eleven moths later on September 29, 1919 in Cortez, Florida as a result of a gunshot wound. He and his wife Imogene were home alone and he was shot to death. Clayton had just made it through an overseas tour of duty in the Army during WWI.

The family story that has survived for 90 years is that his wife shot him. As far as I could find no charges were ever filed against her.

Imogene married another Cortez fisherman, Herman Sidney Guthrie ten years later. She and Sidney lived out their lives in Cortez for another 50 years.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Mother's Wish

I had a chance to look at the family bible of my great aunt, Freida King Wilson's grandparents recently.

Benjamin Franklin Olliff and his wife Mary Frances Wills Olliff lived in central Florida most of their life. They were married September 27, 1886 in Montclair, Florida and had an Orange grove in Citrus County.

They died in 1936 and 1937 in Hogan, Florida, now part of Jacksonville after moving there to be near their daughter Bessie Pauline Olliff King.

One page of the family bible listed the religious affiliations of their children. It shows the three surviving daughters were baptized into the Methodist Episcopal Church at Red Level, Florida on November 24, 1908.

Their son, John Benjamin Olliff joined the Baptist Church at Red Level, Florida on September 2, 1910. He was older than his sisters and I guess he made his own choice of church at age 22. The bible page showed his parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The last sentence on the page really says it all. "May our names all appear in the Lamb's Book of Life is the wish and prayer of Mother. Red Level, Florida September 5, 1911."

Monday, August 15, 2011

FTM 2011

I've been using Family Tree Maker software for at least 10 years maybe more.

I installed the 2011 version about a month ago because I was having problems with my data file in the old version of FTM 16 I had used for several years. The data file was becoming corrupted every week or so which meant I was losing data and was constantly having to reinstall a backup file.

The new version has the ability to upload your data file to Ancestry and then download it direct from within the software. This is supposed to compact the file and fix errors. Well I can say the new version works and is worth the trouble to upgrade. My old data file was large, 142 mb but the new file is only 95 mb.

It makes everything run faster and I haven't had any data crashes since the first week.

The software also has a feature that automatically searches or the Internet via google for anyone in your file that you highlight. So you get a list of census records or whatever that list that person without having to search. This will definitely speed up entering data and finding documented sources.

The menu is more complicated than the old one but all in all it is a worthwhile update.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Della, Emma and Mary

I recently located information on three of the sisters of my wife's great grandfather. Della, Emma and Mary Glenn were all born in Clay County Alabama along with their brother John William Glenn.

They moved to Texas with their parents in 1888. I know the exact year because the records of the Mt. Moriah United Methodist Church in Bluff Springs, AL recorded when they were removed from the roll.

There was no one on this side of her family to ask about the three sisters. I wasn't sure what happened to them and only found them by accident, searching Texas death certificates. The online index had a feature to allow you to search by the parent's name. I knew their father was David Glenn and their mother was Mary Ann Wiley. I put both last names in the search box and all three daughters showed up under their married names.

Della Izola Glenn married John William Pike and lived in Dial, Hutchinson County Texas.

Emma Katherine Glenn married John York and lived in Jayton, Kent County Texas.

Mary Emma Glenn married William F. Watters and also lived in Jayton, Kent County Texas.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Under the Mistletoe

This is not about romance but a boat, more to the point a steamboat and what was under her deck.The steamboat Mistletoe was the first regular transport from Sarasota bay to Tampa, Florida. The Captain of the ship was Charles D. Jones, the brother in law of my great aunt, Sophronia Pigott Fulford Jones

Charles Jones moved from Cartetet County North Carolina to Palma Sola in Manatee County Florida in the the early 1890s and was fishing with several of his North Carolina cousins, my ancestors in Cortez, Florida when he first moved down. He must have decided against a career as a fisherman because he soon landed the job as Captain of the Mistletoe.

He had been on the water his whole life so this job although as far as I know was his first as a commercial Captain was not a stretch. His brother, David Reid Jones, the husband of Sophronia was a seaman also.

After Charles got the job on the Mistletoe all three of his sons followed his profession. Cleveland Edward Jones, James Gilbert Jones and Joseph W. Jones who were all born in Palma Sola, Florida were all Merchant Marines. I was looking at the Jones family because I was recently contacted by Tombo Jones from Alabama who is a descendant. One interesting fact is that both Tombo and his brother both followed the career path as mariners.

The Mistletoe started making runs from Tampa to Sarasota bay in October 1895. The ship had a cargo hold that could keep ice cold so this allowed the Cortez fishermen to ship their catches to Tampa without having to preserve them in salt. So even though Charles Jones wasn't working in the fishing business he helped his Cortez cousins create the commercial fishing village that became the largest on the Florida coast.

Ann A. Shank, former Sarasota County Historian wrote an article called "Mistletoe Steamship gave Sarasota a Connection to the World" with the following:

"The beginning of regular shipping to Tampa led to a shift in the fishing industry in Sarasota. Previously, fish for export were dried and salted. The Mistletoe carried ice, enabling it to take on fresh fish for northern markets via Tampa trains. A number of wholesale fish houses opened along the bay in the following years, including one by John Savarese, the Tampa wholesale fish dealer who owned the Mistletoe."

Charles Jones died on May 11, 1930 and was buried in Palm View Cemetery in Manatee County Florida.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The last one standing

They say if you dream that you see your name on a tombstone, you will soon die. Maybe that is why some folks don't engrave their family marker.

The problem is the last one standing is often the last one around. My wife's great great grandparents were William and Elizabeth Jones who lived near Chattanooga, TN.

Elizabeth died May 5, 1913 and a nice double marker was put on her grave at the Welsh Rogers Cemetery near Sale Creek, TN.

When William died on October 24, 1918 most of his children had moved away to Texas. He was buried in the same plot but his name was never engraved on the marker.

I discovered the omission recently when a volunteer from went out to take photos for me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Mormon Hunter

It looks like we will have two Mormons running for President this year for the first time. That reminded me of a story about my wife's great great grandfather. In the middle of the 19th century most of the men who went into the western states looking for renegades were called Indian Hunters. His was a different mission.

William Smith Telford was born October 7, 1837 in Ray County Missouri. Like many folks in that area he didn't stay long and moved west. Before he ended up in Abilene, Texas though he did a tour of duty as a Mormon Hunter for the US Army.

He was part of the 1857 US Army expedition headed by General Albert Johnson, sent to Utah to hunt down the Mormons who had tried to set up their own government. There wasn't a lot of actual fighting between the US troops and the Mormon army over the next two years and the Mormons eventually accepted the Governor of the territory sent by the President.

The Mormons massacred 120 people on a California bound wagon train in September 1857 and that is what most people would know of the war, if anything at all. I don't recall it being taught in any of my history classes.

A newspaper article about William Telford, written in the 1930s when he was over 90 years old says:

"Mr. Telford when but 17 went with the Albert Sidney Johnston expedition in 1857 to quell the Mormon rebellion. Returning, he was in the winter of '58-59 in the Black Hills grazing Government oxen. This was the habitat of Sitting Bull and his braves, who frequently visited the camp. White Eagle, one of the principal chieftains, often hunted game with the white men."

Friday, July 15, 2011

Old Photos

The Texas History web page has scanned a bunch of old college yearbooks. They did it in a format that allows you to search the text, which is very convenient.

I found a picture of my mother in law, Gwendolyn Glenn from her junior year at Abilene Christian College. This was in the 1950 yearbook.

As you can see, she was pretty good looking. Her third daughter was fortunate to inherit those genes from her.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Time is short

Sometimes when you are researching family history you come across something that is of a more current time.

My father's first cousin was Orrie Rebecca Green. She died in 1982 in Sarasota, Florida but I really don't remember meeting her. I probably did but since I never lived near her it would have only been at a funeral or possibly in passing on a visit to the area. Other members of my immediate family knew her and her children much better because they lived close by.

When I heard that her daughter Joanne had died this year I decided to look up her brother, Adrian. I didn't know anything about him other than his name and age. Unfortunately by checking public records, I quickly found that he died last year in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

His obituary is below:
Adrian Lee Hart, 69, of Chattanooga, passed away Friday, April 24, 2009, in a local hospital.

Mr. Hart was a truck driver, a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces during the Korean Conflict, and was preceded in death by his wife, Deborah Ann Hart in July 2008.

Survivors include his son, Michael (Kimberly) Hart; daughter, Taleisa (Lucas) Dooley; grandchildren, Gabriel Dooley and Liam Hart; sister-in-law, Leisa (Grady) Massingill; brothers-in-law, Terry and Jim Farmer; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Lois and Wes Farmer; nieces, Ashley and Amber Farmer; beloved dog, Scooby.

Private services and interment will be held at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dropping the bomb

This term is sometimes used when giving bad news. Men have used it when they were told they were a father, or about to be one, usually from a relationship other than marriage.

I was contacted recently by a woman who said she was the daughter of my wife's uncle, Reginald Eugene Glenn. The fact that she was 63 years old and the uncle had been dead for 50 years qualified the news as dropping a bomb. She found me via a Google search that turned up a story I did about the uncle.

We didn't know where to start with the information. Neither my wife or I had ever met the uncle much less this woman and no other family members had ever heard about her or her mother.

As I looked into it I found her mother had died in 2009 in Washington state. The woman sent me a copy of her April 5, 1947 birth certificate from Blanchard, Washington and sure enough, there was the uncle's name and identification, listed as the father.

This brought more questions on why no one ever knew about her or why she had never known anything about her father or his family. She sent other personal information and I sent her the one photo I had of the uncle.

My wife obtained a box of old photos and letters from the uncle to his mother, from 1944 to 1949. I also wrote to the National Archives and obtained a copy of his Navy service record. The letters and service record showed he was stationed in San Diego, Vallejo and San Francisco California during his years in the Navy. It also showed the names of the ships he was on. The faithful letters he sent to his mother over those years talked about where the ship was located. He was on the USS Pennsylvania during WWII and moved from Island to Island.

After the war the letters showed he came back to California but they also indicated the Pennsylvania was sent to mothballs in Washington State. In fact there are letters either postmarked or mentioning his being in Washington both in the spring and fall of 1946.

To be the father, according to my math would mean he was in Washington 9 months before the birth or July 1946.

This is where the bomb comes in. In the letters was one dated July 1, 1946 (64 years ago today) that I have scanned and attached. It says he was part of Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll in the pacific. The US government started dropping atomic bombs on the small island to see what would happen, as if the two in Japan didn't tell them enough.

The first one was on July 1, 1946 and they dropped a second one on July 25th.

He was aboard the USS George Clymer, twenty miles from the island when the bomb hit. A subsequent letter talked about watching the second bomb. Since he was about five thousand miles from Blanchard, Washington I think it is safe to say he is not the father. Based on the personal information about him on the birth certificate I think he knew the mother and maybe she thought he was the father, but the math is off.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fulford house

I was researching some distant Fulford relatives in New Bern, NC this year and came across a listing for Fulford House as a boarding house in the late 1800s.

I decided to google the name, just to see what it would turn up. I was surprised to find two listings for Fulford House, not in New Bern but in Wilmington, NC.

The Westbrook-Ardmore Historic District of Wilmington has a document online that lists the historic structures in the district. It shows two houses called Fulford House. Neither were connected to the Fulfords in New Bern, but actually were the homes of the younger brother of my great grandfather Capt. Billy Fulford.

Samuel Harker Fulford was born in Carteret County in 1875. He moved to Cortez, Florida with his brothers and sisters in the early 1900s, He fished in Cortez for a while but soon moved back to North Carolina. He ended up in Wilmington and became a policeman for the City of Wilmington.

He married twice but never had any children. As it turns out he must have either had good taste in homes or if he built them himself, good carpentry skill. Several in his family line were boat builders so he may have inherited the skill. Two of his former houses are now included in the historic district.

One house is located at 1504 Orange Street and was built in 1918. The other is just around the corner at 209 South 15th Street and was built in 1929. He was living in the latter one when he died in 1962.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I wrote an article several years ago about trying to figure out if I was related to Don Miller from Georgia. For almost 10 years now I've corresponded with him about it. We have run down any number of leads without any success.

This was also researched by several genealogists who are now deceased, over twenty years ago. They couldn't figure it out either.

My great great grandfather had Don's grandfather living with him when the 1880 census was taken and reported that the young boy was his nephew. Several of his siblings were raised by my family members and a photo of one of his sisters as an adult was even found in the 120 year old Green family bible.

We explored many ways his grandfather could have been related, looking at different families going back to the late 1700s. We couldn't find anything to document a connection.

Now finally we have some proof!

I did a dna test at about a year ago and Don did one last month. The results are in and show that we share a common section of Chromosome which means we share a common ancestor. We still don't know who that ancestor was but we are closer. There are three other people in the 23andme database who match us in the same place so we have some real leads which may finally give us the answer.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Still looking...

Several months ago I wrote about having to start over in a search for the family of Thomas Jefferson Longacre. He was the brother of my wife's great grandfather.

I have since corresponded with a family member of Thomas Jefferson Clark several times and he also sent me some papers and photos of Thomas Jefferson Clark. The question; is Thomas Jefferson Clark the same person as Thomas Jefferson Longacre?

I know Thomas Jefferson Longacre was born and died in Texas. I have proof of both his birth and death and information that he worked as a police officer in Texas in the 1920-30s.

I even found this newspaper story that he tried to shoot the San Angelo Texas Police Chief in 1937!

The question is did he move away for 15-20 years, change his name or use an alias and then move back. The descendant of Thomas Jefferson Clark sent me some papers and photos of his grandfather. One document, a job application dated December 13, 1918 has his signature and he answered questions about his parents and place of birth. So far, I don't have any photos of Thomas Jefferson Longacre.

Thomas Clark says on this form that his mother was Lou Caraway Longacre McDermott. She was the mother of Thomas Jefferson Longacare, so that is pretty strong evidence although the date of birth does not match TJ Longacare's and is 3 years after the death of his father, John Longacre.

Lou Caraway did remarry after John Longacre died and she had other children but the descendant of T J Clark has done a Y Chromosome dna test and he matches other Longacares!

I wrote to the Social Security Administration and obtained a copy of his Social Security application, dated July 19, 1937. I knew it would have the same questions and answers.

What do you think, is is the same handwriting?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Don't trust the government

The census and death records that many folks use for family history research are indexes or transcripts that were done by government WPA workers during the depression.

It used to be the only alternative was looking thru microfilm records at the library so the census indexes that were published in books or online could save time. Although they are helpful they are only as good as the person who did them.

Consider the death record of Denard Roberts Fulford. It shows he was born in the Dakota Territories. I've seen this fact copied into a number of online family trees.

But when I looked at this and the other members of his family, it just didn't make any sense. His father and mother were born in North Carolina as were all his siblings.

How did his folks travel all the way to the Dakotas for his birth and then back to North Carolina for the others? Every census record I found for him and his father was in North Carolina.

When I finally got an opportunity to see the original, instead of the Dakota Territories, what I found was DK or "don't know."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Social Security Card

For anyone who has lost their wallet, getting ID cards replaced is a lot of trouble. I had mine stolen from my car a couple years ago and my daughter lost her wallet on a trolley car in San Francisco last year.

One of the worst things to replace is the Social Security card. There is no way to do it without going to the Social Security office in person and standing in line. It can be an all day process.

I was surprised to find the Social Security Administration was so efficient in sending copies of original Social Security applications. Most of us can't even remember filing such an application because we did it in grade school or our parents did it for us.

For my Grandparent's generation, it was done when they were adults. This is the application from my Grandpa Green. He filled it out seventy three years ago today, June 1, 1938.

These applications, completed by adults, do have some interesting information about their life.

I never knew he worked at a Billiards Parlor, but there it is! He was 58 years old at the time.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Marker

A new marker was installed on my great uncle's grave in Jacksonville, Florida this week.

William Burgess Fulford died on Christmas day in 1924 and was buried in the Old Jacksonville City Cemetery but the marker had his name spelled wrong. I don't think he had any children so it is unlikely any relative ever saw the marker over the last 75 years.

The Kirby Smith Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans assisted in putting the new marker in place for me. I appreciate their help and interest in marking the graves of veterans who in many cases have been long forgotten.