Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Panhandler needs money for DNA test

This was too funny to pass up. My grandfather sent this to me this morning. I cannot locate the source but it has been posted in several blogs all over the internet.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Follow-up Friday 17 Feb 2012

Here's a list of goals I set two weeks ago in my Motivation Monday post of February 6, 2012:
1.     Process the Thomas Hume papers I photographed from UNC’s Southern Historical Collection.
2.     Process the O’Neal family papers I received from my new O’Neal cousin (determined by DNA test)
3.     Enter information on the William Godwin family of Escambia County, Alabama (whose descendant was determined to be a match to our line of Godwins from NC)
4.     Process the Barton family Find-A-Grave photos from Center Point Cemetery in Howard County, Arkansas that a volunteer uploaded for me

And here is my progress so far:
1.     No progress
2.     No progress
3.     I believe I have all of the information on William’s descendants entered into my RootsMagic database. We got sidetracked by trying to find information about a John Godwin from North Carolina who was found on a Revolutionary War Roll. Evidently he fought with a bunch of people who moved with William Godwin from North Carolina to Georgia and then eventually they all settled in Escambia County, Alabama together. It also seems that Zilla Godwin who married Jesse Baggett (one of the men who was on the Revolutionary War Roll and who moved to GA and then to AL with the others) might have been the same woman who was the daughter of Richard Godwin and Zillah Thomas who moved from Sampson County, North Carolina to Hancock County, Georgia about the same time my Nathan Godwin moved to Indiana. We have always believed this Richard was related to our line of Godwins, but  have been unable to determine how.
4.    Several Find A Grave memorials had already been created for my Barton ancestors in Center Point Cemetery in Howard County, Arkansas back in 2008 by FAG volunteers. I requested that photos be taken of the headstones and was notified this week that my request had been fulfilled and the photos uploaded by a volunteer. I compared the information in the memorial biography to what was on the headstones from the photographs that the FAG volunteer took. However, the resolution on many of the photos rendered them unreadable, even if I downloaded them and tried to zoom. So I emailed the volunteer and asked her to email me copies of the originals. I thought that the ones that were uploaded to FAG somehow lost resolution when they were uploaded. Unfortunately the ones she emailed me were just too low quality of resolution that I could not zoom to read them. They were 50-150kb in size. Maybe if she had set her camera to a little higher setting I would have been able to zoom in better? Oh well. Also, I’ve been struggling with creating a citation for my FAG entries in my RootsMagic database and although I finally settled upon some standard text, there was only one field in my RootsMagic source template that I could squeeze all of this text into. So I created a custom source template in my RM software in which I could enter the deceased person's name, memorial number, memorial creator's name and date, etc as separate fields. This made me much less stressful about creating my FAG source citations!
5.     My Mother’s Family  Finder DNA results came back, so of course I got distracted with those. She had 214 matches! Which for Family Finder is a LOT! Of those 214 matches about 90 of them were matches she and I had in common. She has a lot of 3rd cousins as well and suprisingly, I have already received emails from 2 of her matches requesting information! (usually you have to beg and plead with people to get them to respond to YOUR emails). Unfortunately I have not been able to find a connection to them yet.
6.     Learned more about my JONES family. My 2nd great-grandmother was Emily Jones and she married John Riley Lasiter. Jones was a possible common surname with one of my Mother’s DNA matches, so I did some research to see if I could find more information about Emily Jones. I found Emily and John Lasiter living in Madison Co., AR on the 1870 census report and then I found the family of Thomas and Saphronia Jones also living in Madison Co., AR in 1870. Going back to 1860, I found Thomas and Saphronia Jones with a daughter Emily C Jones who matched up to my Emily Lasiter. Based on the places of birth listed for the children of Thomas and Saphronia Jones on the 1860 census, I was able to determine that the family moved from TN to AR about 1851 and that Thomas and Saphronia Jones were probably married between 1840 and 1847 when Sally Ann Jones, the first child listed on the 1860 census, was born. I did a search on in the Tennessee Marriage records for Thomas J Jones and found it right away: Thomas J Jones to Safrona Phelps, 18 Dec 1844, Davidson Co., TN. I followed it up with an 1850 Davidson Co., TN census record for Thos J Jones, 30 years old, Sophrona Jones, 26 years old, Sarah Jones, 4 years old, and Tennessee Jones, 1 year old. I have now taken my tree back another generation and learned of a new family name and location from which to start searching in!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday: Death Certificate of James Franklin Lasiter

James Franklin Lasiter was my 2nd great-grandfather on my Mother’s Mother’s side. He was born April 16th 1876 in Ione, Arkansas. He married Rosalie Putman on June 27, 1906 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He died October 8, 1968 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He was a barber and he lived with my great-grandparents in their family home on Park Avenue in Fort Smith, Arkansas until he died.

In July of 2011 I requested a copy of his death certificate from the Arkansas Department of Health. I had to fill out a form and include as much information that I knew. I knew when and where he died from his obituary.  It cost me $10.00. It arrived within 2 weeks. Here is the information I learned from this document:

[Click on the photo to make it bigger.]

James died at St. Edward's Hospital in Fort Smith, Sebastian Co., Arkansas. Fort Smith only has two hospitals, one on each side of town, either the North side or the South side. I believe this is on the South Side. Sparks Hospital, where I was born, is on the other side of town.

He resided at 3720 Park Ave, Fort Smith, Sebastian Co., AR at the time of death. He was living with his son, James Putman Lasiter and daughter-in-law, Thelma Benson Lasiter in the house where he himself grew up - A small two-bedroom on a corner lot. The enclosed porch acted as a third bedroom at times. My grandmother, the youngest child, had moved out a few years earlier.

He died at 5:30 pm, on October 8th, 1968. He was 92 years old. His wife, Rosalie, had preceded him in 1961.

He was born Apr 16, 1876 in Ione, AR.

He was a Barber in a barber shop.

His father was John R. Lasiter and mother was Emily Jones. – Bingo! This is my treasure. I had suspected his Father was John Riley Lasiter as that was written on the back of a photo; however his mother’s name – Emily Jones – is news to me.

The informant was J. P. Lasiter of 3720 Park Ave, Ft. Smith, AR, 72901. This was his son, my great-grandfather, James Putman Lasiter, Sr.

He died of Uremia due to Nephrosclerosis from generalized arterio sclerosis, colitis, acute with bleeding; no autopsy was performed. He was attended by physician from Mar 65 to Oct 68. I’d say not bad for 92 years old!

He was buried at Forest Park Cemetery, Fort Smith, AR, on October 10th, 1968 by Jesse G. Putman of 815 No. B Street, Fort Smith, AR, 72901. Jesse Putman owned the Putman Funeral Home. He was one of two big Funeral homes in the area. I do not believe there is any relation to James’ wife, Rosalie Putman, at least not that I ever heard from the family, but who knows.

Here is a photo of the Putman funeral home taken in 1977 at 815 No. B Street: 

Photo courtesy of Dr. Mo
And this is what it looks like today, converted to apartments:

Courtesy of Google Maps

The Putmans and Lasiters are all buried together in a huge family plot in Forest Park Cemetery. James Franklin Lasiter and his wife, Rosalie Putman Lasiter each have their own flat in-the-ground marker side by side next to Rosalie’s parents, Thomas and Martha (Ward) Putman.

Here is a photo of James Franklin Lasiter’s marker:

Forest Park Cemetery, Fort Smith, AR, taken by Ginger R Smith,
5 May 2006. "James F Lasiter, Apr 16, 1876 - Oct 8, 1968" 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Mystery of William Herbert Peters’ Birth

Today a mystery was solved.

It all started when a woman that I have been exchanging information with for several years now emailed me to say she would be visiting Oregon County, Missouri and wanted to know if there was anything I wanted her to look for while she was there. She said she would be looking for more documents on our Peters and King families.

It just so happens that I had updated my Peters research report back in January and she said she would look it over for me to see if she could find any gaps or offer any suggestions on my next research steps. My Peters line is my dead end or what some might call my “brick wall.” As I was creating an updated narrative report to send to her, I checked the WorldConnect online family tree of my great-grandmother’s half brother, William Herbert Peters to verify some information I had. I noticed the database had been updated in January of 2012, so I re-read his entry. It is always a good idea to re-check information, especially family tree files on the internet because if the owners are anything like me, they are updating their information all the time.

I was originally told by this family tree owner that William Herbert Peters was the son of William Edward Peters (my 2nd great-grandfather) and Matilda Judd. He was born out of wedlock and Matilda was only 16 years old when he was born in March of 1900. In November of 1900, William Edward Peters married my 2nd great-grandmother, Dora King who took in the baby as her own. Matilda Judd married Posey Woodside Willard in 1901. Matilda’s family knew about the baby. My family knew about the baby, however, it was believed that he was NOT the son of William Peters, in other words, he had a different father than my great-grandmother and her siblings. I put this contradiction between the two families' stories aside for a while. 

Six years later, I read in this updated family tree file that William Herbert Peters was the son of Posey Woodside Willard and Dora King and that an affair had ensued and a child had been produced and said child had been adopted by William Edward Peters. Does that name sound familiar – Posey Woodside Willard? – it should because he is the man that Matilda Judd, the woman originally thought to be William Herbert Peters' mother, married in 1901!

Usually the owner of this tree emails me when he finds new information, but I haven’t heard from him in years. So I sent him an email asking how did he learn about this new information and I CC’d the researcher I had been exchanging emails with today. I asked him had he obtained William Herbert Peters’ death certificate?

Well wouldn’t you know it but two seconds after I asked, I decided to look on to see if they had uploaded any new databases recently from Texas. Sure enough, I found “Texasdeaths, 1977-1986” which filled the gap they had previously. The previous database of Texas Death Certificates only went up to the year 1976. This one went a little further. It is not yet indexed, but it didn’t take me long to find the one I was looking for by browsing through the images. I knew that he had died 20 Apr 1979 in Bowie County, Texas. 

Sure enough, his death certificate says his parents were Dora Watson and Posey Willard. His mother’s name was Dora King; however after her father died when she was just 2 years old, her step-father, Samuel Watson, adopted her.

Here is a look at the death certificate (click to make it bigger):

So the mystery of William Herbert Peters has been solved.

Discovering divergences like this and documenting them is essential to building successful connections to your ftDNA Family Finder (or 23andMe) matches. Trying to prove connections is often difficult and discouraging because events like this happen and it appears as if even 2nd or 3rd cousin matches are not possible. So make sure to look for any and all kinds of diverging branches of your tree and document them well!

Citation as provided by webstie:
"Texas, Deaths, 1977-1986." ''FamilySearch'' ([]). Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics. Digital images of originals housed at the State Registrar Office in Austin, Texas. FHL microfilm and digital images. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. William Herbert Peters. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Motivation Monday - 6 Feb 2012

I am falling really behind in my genealogy and blogging these past couple of weeks. I haven't had much focus either. I think I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. That's normal for February, right?

Ok, so let's get back on track. Here's what I have on my plate these days:

  1. Process the 60 pages of genealogy papers I copied from the Thomas Hume papers at UNC's Southern Historical Collection last week. In order to make heads or tails of it, I need to reconstruct Thomas Hume's genealogy and find the connection to the Godwin family of Nansemond Co., VA and then try to understand the connection with Mildred Holliday who wrote a LOT about the Godwin family. Oh yeah and then I have to determine if my line of Godwins descend from this line!!!
  2. Process the O'Neal family wills, photos and genealogies that one of my Family Finder matches sent to me. (Yes, a confirmed "cousin!") My match is in her 80s so if I want to learn more information about the O'Neal family I better ask sooner rather than later!
  3. Finish entering information on the William Godwin who married Pheriby who moved to Georgia and then settled in Alabama in the 1800s. One of his descendants took the 12-marker Y-DNA test and came back as a 100% match to the group of Godwins that my line descends from. A 12-marker match is not enough to prove we have a common ancestor, however, this tester does not match any other Godwin/Goodwin in the project. We hope a higher marker test will be performed in the near future. I have also been entering data about a similar William who is often confused with this one. He married Winnefred (maiden name thought to be Farabee). You can see why there might be confusion. Although this William lived and died in Johnston Co., NC in 1845, his heirs settled in Dale Co., Alabama. 
  4. Process the new Find-A-Grave photos for the Barton Family that someone took and posted for me from Center Point Cemetery in Howard County, Arkansas. 
I really need to stop starting new projects until I finish existing projects. And I need to process items that I obtain from libraries, archives and from other researchers or family members. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this problem though!