When we turn our hearts to our ancestors, something changes inside of us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves~Russell M. Nelson

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday's Tip~Gettin' By With Help From Our Friends-Magda Miller

This week's Tuesday's Tips come from our friend Magda Miller of GenealogyWorks.com

How I solved my JONES family Brick Wall
Do you have a very common ancestral surname like Jones? This is a portrait of my great- grandmother, Annie Jones.  She was buried under the name of Ann Mahony in the cemetery records. Her marriage record in Buffalo in 1883 listed her parents’ names as Michael Jones and Helen Sullivan. Thirty years ago, I was able to locate this family in Spring Creek, Pennsylvania in the 1870 census with six years old “Hannah Jones”. They were all born in Ireland. Down the road from them was a Lopus family that caught my eye. I knew that the Mahony side had a fireman cousin named James Lopus. Inquiries with my great Aunt Mae in Buffalo revealed that they were cousins but she did not know specifics.
How do I find Annie Jones’s roots in Ireland? With a surname like Jones, it seemed daunting, almost hopeless.
TIP no. 1 – What genealogists promote heavily in family studies is the FAN principal[1], otherwise known as cluster genealogy.  Yes, it is not a quick solution to the problem but years of focus with this technique is sometimes the only way to break a brick wall.
TIP no. 2 - I only wish I had done this more with my elderly relatives but ask them if they have newspaper clippings, memorial cards, obituaries, pictures with dates, old letters.  Annie Jones was my Aunt Mae’s mother and she died when Aunt Mae was nine years old.  Aunt Mae recalled that she was sent with her siblings the summer after her mother died to an Aunt “Bessie” and “Aunt Nora” in Corry who had a farm for a long visit. She was able to reveal some great stories with names of cousins. It was my job to draw a “conjectural” family tree based on her stories.
TIP no. 3 - I began to uncover all the evidence I could locate about Annie Jones, her parents, and her brothers. I amassed a huge JONES folder with lots of paper trails. After collecting everything I could find in Buffalo, I snail mailed every church in the Corry, Pennsylvania region as well as their local library and cemetery office until I found results. All negative and positive conclusions were logged into a research sheet in the JONES folder. Evidence started pouring in with records on the Lopus family so eventually I proved their tie to the Jones family[2].
TIP no. 4 – I accessed all copies of everyone’s obituary. In this same Tuesday Tips blog series, Dawn Williams-Kogutkiewicz wrote about how to find newspapers in her “Newspaper Research Tips “.[3] I also wrote to local libraries or viewed newspapers on microfilm for obituaries. You never know when that birthplace location is mentioned!
TIP No. 5 – Notice that all my research started thirty years ago. There was very little online. In the case of my Jones family, most of the conclusive information I have is still not online.  However, the first goldmine tip that first pointed to their place of origin was from Google Books in an obituary published by a Railroad Journal. That score was followed by wildcard searches in the Ireland Government Genealogy website where I finally found my Jones family in church records in Ireland. I found Annie’s baptismal record as well as many of her siblings that died before the family immigrated in famine times. There was one great HAPPY DANCE for my Jones research when I saw that she was born on the same day as one of my children.
What’s next?  I am doing a heavy JONES One Name Study in Listowel to go back another generation of my Jones family by researching records there[4]. I even joined a JONES DNA[5] study group.

[1] Highly recommend her pamphlet “The Historical Biographer’s Guide to Cluster Research (The FAN Principle): Quicksheet (Evidence)” by Elizabeth Shown Mill.
[2] They were related from Helen Sullivan Jones sister, Elizabeth Sullivan Hannon and a niece named Norah Lopus.
[3] I would like to add to her splendid article the free newspaper website Fulton History, especially for Pennsylvania and New York State.
[4] I am using online resources entirely for this step of the study. My resources are listed here at http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:County_Kerry

I started genealogy while a photography student rambling through old cemeteries in Vermont and rural New York. My children grew up having picnics in graveyards and scrolling through microfilm readers with me in libraries. I am a WikiTree leader and I co-admin at the Hungary Exchange genealogy group with Nick Gombash. I also conduct a registered One Name Study, plus a One Place Study of an extinct village in Hungary. The fun never ends.  
Magda Miller of GenealogyWorks

Thanks for the tips, Magna! Congratulations on solving your brick wall!

What has helped you break through a problem area in your research? Share your tips in the comments below.

Are we kin? Need help with your research? Please contact me.
Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Blogger Tricks

Sunday, September 25, 2016

This Week On My Family History Calendar~

September 15-October 1

September. 27~
  Matilda C. Martin (?-1876), my paternal 3rd Great Grandmother died 140 years ago in Iredell County, North Carolina. She is buried in the Bethesda Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Statesville, Iredell, North Carolina.

Matilda C. Martin
Bethesda Presbyterian Cemetery
Statesville, Iredell, North Carolina
 September 29~
 My maternal Grandfather, Gilbert Ernest Roberts, Sr. died 71 years ago. He was killed in action on the island of Peleliu while serving in the Marines during WWII.  He is buried in Quaker Cemetery, Kershaw, Camden, South Carolina. 

Gilbert Ernest Roberts (1920-1944)
  Are we kin? Need help with your research? Please contact me.
 Together we can find our people.

 Thanks so much for stopping by!



Celebration Sunday~Genealogy Happy Dance!

You know the dance. You know you've done it. The one every researcher does after finding something new. The one where you want to jump up and down and shout to everyone around that you found the document, contacted a cousin who has the family Bible, made a DNA connection or found a whole new branch to your tree. The one that is met with glazed stares and eye rolls.
                                                          Celebration Sunday is a place to share your discoveries. 
This is a weekly series to enable everyone to tell about their Genealogy Happy Dance moment. This can be done by scrolling down and adding your story to the comments section. You may also put a link to a blog post.

My Happy Dance This Week: The genealogy community never ceases to amaze me. They love and support one another and rally when one of our own needs help. This past week genfriend Robin Foster from the blogs Saving Stories and Genealogy is a Trip and one of the administrators of the facebook group Genealogy! Just Ask! was hospitalized due to a sudden stroke that left her paralyzed on her right side and unable to speak. Hundreds of fellow genealogists when hearing about Robin sent love, thoughts, and prayers through social media and in person to her family. They wanted to give back to someone who has lovingly done so much for them.  The response was so huge that it has been hard keeping up with the enormous outpouring of likes and comments as I have tried to keep everyone up to date with her progress. As of today, she has been moved out of ICU and transferred to a Rehab Center. She has movement in her right leg. My Happy Dance this week? In a world increasingly violent, with bad news reported almost every day, this week has shown that there is still love for one another. People still come together and help out in times of need. Thank you for your loving words, offers of prayers and positive thoughts. My heart has been touched and Robin and her family have been uplifted and strengthened by each of you. What's more? Robin is recovering. I am jumping for joy.

                                                                                           Share your discovery!
                                                                                   Let the dancing commence!

Looking forward to reading about your Happy Dance moment!
Thanks so much for stopping by!