Posts Tagged ‘genealogy’

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – My Happy Dances!

Sherry Stocking Kline
February 20, 2010

It’s Saturday night!   Time for some more Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Randy Seaver!  He wants us to tell him about our genealogy “Happy Dances!”

Sounds like Happy Dance Party fun to me!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Happy Dance, Ah-ha Moments or Genea-gasms!

Hey, it’s Saturday Night (again), time for some Genealogy Fun! Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is to: 1) Think of any number of genealogy events or moments that make you have a genealogy happy dance, an ah-ha moment, or a genea-gasm. 2) Tell us about them in a blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.

I didn’t even know there was a Corson book!

Here we go! I just did  a Happy Dance this past week.  When I was doing a few minutes research on my own father, I found he was listed in the  Corson Family Book!

I didn’t even know there was a Corson book!  I love family history books, especially the kind that adds in some tidbits about the people, like what their occupation was, and if they served in the Civil, Revolutionary, War of 1812, Spanish-American War, etc, etc..

I love a ‘peek through the window’ of their lives…

And while I just love filling in the blanks on ancestral charts, I love it even more when I find a newspaper clipping, story, or a family history that gives me a peek ‘though the window’ into their lives.

Corson was the maiden name of my Dad’s grandmother, Margaret “Maggie” Corson McGinnis. And this is a line I’ve just simply not researched much at all, so this may be a fantastic springboard for further research.

Most of my “Happy Dances” haven’t been posted about yet, but that sounds like a fun course of future action!

More Happy Dances…

The Day the Genealogy Serendipity Angels Smiled… is one of those moments when you really believe in Genealogy Angels.  The day I called the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center, hoping to learn a bit about our family history, and connected with a real, live, living cousin.  It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Wordless Wednesday – Kenneth Jones

by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 17, 2010

Kenneth Jones, son of Evan & May Breneman Jones, Kingman (KS) H. S.

Here is a photograph of my mom’s cousin, Kenneth Jones, son of Evan and May Breneman Jones, in front of the high school at Kingman, Kansas.

Kenneth and his wife Lois had five children and lived in Duluth, Minnesota on Morris Thomas Road.

Kenneth’s mother, May Breneman Jones Willey lived with them for awhile, and then went into a nursing home called Nopemming (sp?).

Kenneth, Lois, and my great-aunt May have all passed away, and sad to say, we have lost touch with their children, and though I’ve tried to locate them, the last name of Jones is making that difficult.

We visited them several times when I was growing up, and I have very fond memories of horse-back riding at the neighbors, picking wild strawberries, and going agate hunting along one of the many lakes with Kenneth and his family.

Kenneth’s father, Evan Jones, is buried in the Osborne Cemetery, Sumner County, Kansas, near Mayfield.

Old Valentine’s May Hold Clues to Family History!

Sherry Stocking Kline
first published in Wichita Eagle’s “Active Life” magazine – February 2005

This Valentine’s Day after you stuff, lick, and stamp your Valentine’s cards and drop them in the mail, don’t forget to rummage through your drawers, boxes, and attics for those old Valentines you’ve saved.

If you are a packrat (or lucky enough to have a packrat ancestor) you may find several old Valentine’s with hidden clues to your family’s history.

Old Valentine’s may contain clues…

One of Virginia Downing’s favorite genealogy classes to teach is Valentine and old letter research.

According to Downing, Education Chairman for Wichita Genealogical Society,old Valentine’s may contain clues to births, deaths, marriages, and more.

“You can find addresses of where people lived,” said Downing, “and dates on the envelopes.”

Downing bought a collection of postcards at an antique shop and said she was able to connect the dots between several members of a family even though she did not personally know them.  Downing read the postcards, checked addresses of senders and recipients and paid particular attention to the notes written inside and the way the cards were signed.

Checking addresses may yield surprising results…

Knowing where your ancestor lived at a given time allows you to do further research in area newspapers, libraries, and other town records, so checking those addresses may yield important clues for further research.

According to Ancestry.com, return addresses that don’t match the postmark location may mean the town was too small to have its own post office or your ancestor may have been on vacation or visiting relatives.

Besides learning the location of family residences, Downing said the notes or letters included often contain clues about family relationships, occupations, and daily life.  “A lot of times they may sign the card “‘Aunt Vita’ or ‘your cousin,’” Downing said. “If Aunt Vita mentions in the letter that ‘Uncle John is out feeding the cattle’ you have clues to the family’s occupation as well.”

Downing said some collectors can tell the date of a Valentine without seeing a postmark. “Some people can look and say that was an early 1900 or that was a 1930’s Valentine.” Downing said, adding that if you aren’t one of those people a little research at your library may help you narrow down the dates.

Take one more trip through your keepsake boxes…

According to Ancestry Daily News, even though you may think you have all the family information out of your own cards, one more trip through those keepsake boxes may reveal facts you forgot, photographs you missed, and memories worth preserving for future generations.

The popularity of e-mail may mean your descendants won’t have as many letters to find when they go searching through your old boxes and files according to Ancestry Daily News, so after you check out those old Valentines, be sure and save them for your genealogist descendants to find.

Tombstone Tuesday – Ruby L. Smith – Barren Co. Kentucky

by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 2, 2010

My Tombstone Tuesday is Ruby L. Smith, buried in a small Smith Family Cemetery, Barren County, Kentucky, near the Temple Hill area.

Ruby L. Smith - buried in the Smith Cemetery - Temple Hill, Barren County, KY

On the Stone:

Ruby L. Smith
Mar 15, 1901
Jan 15, 1919

According to the Kentucky Death Record information I found online, Ruby was the daughter of L. H. and Sabina Smith.

What Did Ruby Die of?

She was so young that I had to wonder, what did Ruby die of at the age of not quite eighteen?  It was shortly after Christmas and the New Year?  Did she have flu?  Pneumonia? An Accident?

To get to this small cemetery, we crossed a bridge over a shallow but fast-moving creek that was rushing down the hill, then drove up a long, shady lane where the trees met overhead in places.  This seemed like a road, but it was narrow and may actually have been the home’s private driveway. It led past a home, past the small cemetery, and back to a field.

The home and the cemetery were on a hill that sloped away to a rolling little valley on the west (I think it was west, but I could have been turned around!) The cemetery was located past this home along the lane.

My first thought was that the home was deserted, as neither the yard  nor the cemetery had been mowed for some time.  But looking again at the photograph of the home that I took that day it’s obvious that there are flowers on the porch along with outdoor furniture.

I Kept Thinking About Snakes…

We parked our cars and hiked through the grass to the stones, (I kept thinking about snakes…) and all the time I was hoping to find names that I knew were “ours” but that day, it wasn’t to be.  That day, none of the names were familiar, so we went on down the road where we did find my mother’s great-grandfather’s farm, and then on to the Caney Fork Cemetery where we found numerous family members.

This cemetery’s proximity to other Smith’s that were our family leads me to believe that these Smith’s are related, and I was able to carve out some time today to do more research on this family.

From the death records that I’ve located today, Ruby is the daughter of last week’s Tombstone Tuesday, Lute H. and Sabina Smith.

Drat! The Name Fits But the Dates Do Not…

According to Lute’s Death Record, he was the son of William Basie Smith. (I’ve not done any fact-checking on these facts yet.)    There is a William in my Charles Smith family, but the dates are simply wrong for Lute’s father to be my family’s William.

I’m disappointed, but this small cemetery is very near to my great-grandparent’s farm, Charles and Virginia Hawley Smith, in the Temple Hill area of Barren County, Kentucky, and while they may not have been related, there is a good chance, too, that they were.

Another puzzle to solve, for another day, but as of today I have more clues to work with!

Other Related Posts:

Tombstone Tuesday: Lute and Sabina Smith Ruby’s parents.

The tombstone of  J. Thomas and Nancy A. (Smith) Harrison is just down the road a few miles in the Caney Fork Baptist Church cemetery. They may (or may not) be related to each other.

Warner LaRue Jones Tombstone. Warner was born in Kentucky to Willis and Martha Ellen Smith Jones.

George W. Smith & wife Lucy’s Tombstone

The Day the Serendipity Genealogy Angels Smiled

Tombstone Tuesday – Lute & Sabina Smith

by Sherry Stocking Kline
January 26, 2010

This tombstone is located in a Smith Family Cemetery in or near the Temple Hill area in Barren County, Kentucky.  (there are several Smith Family cemeteries in Barren County.) It is a small family cemetery, but I would guess there might be as many as 20 or 30 burials there.

The cemetery was located behind a farmhouse, and the whole area was overgrown with tall grass.  One clue to note is that someone (probably on Memorial Day given the plastic flowers are only slightly faded) had placed flowers on their grave. So most likely they have living children or grandchildren in the area.

Lute & Sabina Smith - Barren County, KY - Smith Cemetery

Lute & Sabina Smith - Barren County, KY - Smith Cemetery

Smith
Lute H.
1857 – 1936

Sabina
1860 – 1940

While I suspect Lute and Sabina Smith may be family, I haven’t verified it yet, and I hope that can be part of this year’s adventures.  I think Sabina is a very pretty name, one that I’d never heard before, and if it truly is unusual, that should make sorting her out of the other Smith’s easier. The name Lute doesn’t seem that common, either.

My next steps when I start working on this couple will be to check on the census for them, get a copy of their obituaries, will(s), and perhaps even give the local funeral homes a call as that has worked well in the past.  Those are my first steps.

If it looks like there is a family connection, I will also contact the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center, as they have several family histories there, along with miscellaneous family information, and see if perhaps they have a family history for the family there that I can use as a springboard to use to locate the documents that would verify relationships.

We were at this cemetery  5  July 2005, looking for our own family burials, but we did not find any names in the cemetery that we knew to be our kin.  We had my mother with us and were trying to locate her grandfather’s homestead.

We did not find my mother’s grandfather’s homestead, but were able to locate her great-great grandfather’s homestead about three miles on past this farmstead.  Unfortunately, my ancestor’s Smith cemetery had already been returned to farm ground.

Related Posts:

The tombstone of  J. Thomas and Nancy A. (Smith) Harrison is just down the road a few miles in the Caney Fork Baptist Church cemetery. They may (or may not) be related to each other.

Warner LaRue Jones Tombstone. Warner was born in Kentucky to Willis and Martha Ellen Smith Jones.

George W. Smith & wife Lucy’s Tombstone

The Day the Serendipity Genealogy Angels Smiled

Tombstone Tuesday – J. Thomas and Nancy A. (Smith) Harrison

by Sherry Stocking Kline
January 19, 2009

The following stone is the final resting place of my great-grandmother’s sister and her husband.

J. Thomas and Nancy A. (Smith) Harrison

J. Thomas and Nancy A. (Smith) Harrison

The Stone Reads:

HARRISON

J. Tom.
May 13, 1844
July 10, 1911

Nancy A.
November 9, 1846
October 13, 1927

Caney Fork Baptist Church - Temple Hill, Barren County, Kentucky

Caney Fork Baptist Church - Temple Hill, Barren County, Kentucky

This Stone is located in the cemetery of the  Caney Fork Baptist Church, Temple Hill, Barren County, Kentucky.

Nancy A. (Smith) Harrison was the sister of my great-grandmother, my great-aunt.  And until I began doing genealogy and doing research,I didn’t even know she existed.

Somehow, that feels strange to me, that I have fairly close extended family all over the United States that I don’t even know.  That the person I hand money to in the store, even here in town, might be a cousin that I don’t know exists.

My husband and I experienced a situation very much like that in 2006, and probably I should blog about that soon.  It was one of those serendipitous moments that we’ve had at least three times, meeting people that we were related to, and never knew about.  But I digress.

Nancy A (Smith) Harrison was the daughter of Charles and Virginia (Hawley) Smith, and the sister of my great-grandmother, Martha Ellen Smith Jones.  Now I know where my great-aunt was buried, but to this day, so far, I haven’t a clue where Martha Ellen was buried.

My great-grandmother is not buried next to her husband, and I don’t believe she was alive when he lived in the area he is buried in. Nancy Harrison’s other sibling, children of Charles and Virginia Hawley Smith (the ones that I know about) are: Calvin, George W., Sarah A., Mary E., Martha Ellen, Jones (my great-grandmother), William,  and I believe there was one more child, but I don’t have that child’s name.

Nancy’s brother, George, married Miss Julia Harrison, but I’ve not yet tried to learn if Julia and J. Tom are siblings.  That would be a great addition to my Genealogical Goals for 2010! And a goal that should be fairly straightforward.

For more information about the Smith family, see the following posts:

George W. Smith Tombstone

The Day the Genealogy Serendipity Angels Smiled…

And if you are reading this, and you’re my kin, please leave a note so we can say “hello, nice to meet you!”

Volunteering – Carnival of Genealogy

by Sherry Stocking Kline
January 14th, 2009

Yes, I’d be glad to…?

When someone asks for my help I tend to say “yes, I’d be glad to…” though frankly in the last couple of years I’ve had to learn how to say “I’d love to, but I just can’t.”  With only 24 hours in a day, no matter how I try to stretch it there needs to be time to sleep in there somewhere.

Possibly the most important ‘job’ I volunteer to do as Vice President of the Sumner County (Kansas) Historical and Genealogical Society is to find speakers that are interesting, informative, and that reflect county, state, national, and sometimes international history. And an important part of that is to try to find speakers that will attract new people into our group so that it will grow.

The Lord provides…

Finding fascinating people who will ‘speak for their dinner,’ even at a steak house, isn’t always easy but when our members ask me how I do it I usually answer “The Lord provides…”  Once, during a casual conversation standing in line at Wal-mart I met a talented woman who just happened to be a Native American speaker. Several months later she brought us a very interesting informative program.

In November 2009, Tuskegee Airman Major George Boyd shared his fascinating story with us, and this week I will connect with our speaker, Jim Baumgardner, author of the historical children’s fiction “Sarah” books, interview him, write a press release, and send it out to eight newspapers, two cable television stations, one radio station, and so many people by e-mail that my internet provider threatens to shut me down for spamming.

This summer, on June 19th in Wellington, Kansas, our county will host the Kansas Council of Genealogical Society meeting, (you’re invited!) and we’re working to prepare and promote that already.

Video-Tape the Gen Society meetings….

About a year ago, I started video-taping the SCHGS programs with my camcorder and our city’s cable station re-plays most of our programs on the local channel in the months following.  My goal is to have a library of DVD’s that members can check out and re-watch, and that we can share with elderly members who can no longer attend meetings.  (this is something that I think other societies might be interested in trying to do!)

Transcribed Cemetery Information…

In 2003, my husband and I walked a (small?) cemetery of several hundred people, transcribed the stone information, entered it into a database, and shared the information locally with the SCHGS Center as well as published it in “Mayfield: Then & Now” a small-town history book that I co-authored with Elaine Clark. I plan to re-walk the cemetery this year to make new additions, and take photographs of some or all of the stones while there. And I try (but fail miserably) to share all the tombstone photographs that I take with www.deadFred.com.

Because my name is in the paper often, and because I like to help others research and preserve their family history I get phone calls out of the blue asking for help.

I get to meet fascinating people…

How many hours do I volunteer each month?  It varies, but more than I have time for and less than I’d like to. But when we get photographs and memorabilia back where it belongs, locate tombstone(s), farmsteads, historic bridges, or the reporter finds info about the old one-room schoolhouse that he needs to polish up an article, it’s all worthwhile.

The most rewarding part for me is that I get to meet, interview, and get acquainted with some very interesting people and hear some fascinating and little-known family and historical stories. I get a sense of satisfaction knowing that I’ve helped preserve (and possibly share) another small piece of history.

As someone I interviewed a few years back about photograph preservation told me:

“The best you can do is to preserve it so the next generation can preserve it again…”

Tombstone Tuesday – Burchfiel Cemetery

by Sherry Stocking Kline
January 12, 2010

Burchfiel Church & Cemetery – Harper County, Kansas

Burchfield Cemetery Signpost

Burchfiel Cemetery - 1884 - Harper County, Kansas

Burchfiel Cemetery

Burchfiel Cemetery - Spring Township

Burchfiel Cemetery - looking North into the cemetery

Burchfiel Cemetery - looking North into the cemetery

21 - Burchfiel Family Stone & family plot - Daisy Lee - 1901 to 1932 & J. A. Burchfiel - 1886 to 1972

21 - Burchfiel Family Plot - Daisy Lee - 1901 to 1932 & J. A. Burchfiel - 1886 to 1972

In the early 1960′s, my brother pastored at the Burchfiel Church…

Once again, I’m posting information about a cemetery in which I have no family members, although there are family ties to this cemetery and the church near it.

In the late 1950′s and early 1960′s, my brother Harold F. “Fred” Stocking Jr. and his wife Nancy served the Burchfiel Methodist Church as pastor and family.  The Burchfiel church is located  just a little over six miles south of Anthony, Kansas in Harper County on Highway 179.

They lived in the same parsonage on the church grounds that you will see here in the photograph.  My brother was a student minister at the time, and attended Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas.

Burchfiel Church Parsonage

Burchfiel Church Parsonage

My brother and his wife had three boys and a baby daughter then, and I was just a couple of years older than their oldest boy.  Though they had a large yard, we were used to having a quarter section of ground (160 acres) to play on, so it was fairly common for us older children to run up the road that ran on the south side of the church to the old cemetery and play hide and seek among the stones.  (would children be safe doing such a thing today?)

While playing among the stones, I noticed many baby and child burials…

Life on the prairie for the early settlers was certainly hard, and from other research and reading that I’ve done since I would guess very few families escaped losing a child to diseases we now cure so easily, so the one thing I noticed while hiding among the tombstones was how many babies and children were buried there in the early days of the cemetery.

This past year, the Burchfiel Church celebrated its 125th anniversary and my brother enjoyed going back for the celebration, and according to information from the article “Rural Churches Provided a Cornerstone for this Area,” by Ruth Jean Anderson, Conway Springs Star, Thurs, Sept 10, 2009 their minister last year and for the previous nine years was Rev. Laurence Hastings and his wife Aletha.

Burchfiel Church south of Anthony, KS, Harper County

Burchfiel Church south of Anthony, KS, Harper County


The facts and information following about the early days of the Burchfiel church were excerpted from “Rural Churches Provided a Cornerstone for this Area,” by Ruth Jean Anderson, Conway Springs Star, Thurs, Sept 10, 2009.

William H. and Sarah Denton Burchfiel traveled from Tennessee…

According to Anderson’s article, in 1878 William H. and Sarah Denton Burchfiel traveled from Dandridge, TN to their new home in Harper County, Kansas in a covered wagon and lived in a dugout home, located 9 and one half miles southeast of Anthony, and it was in their dugout home that the Burchfiel church had its beginning.

The Early Church Family met in a dugout…

According to Anderson’s article, Sarah Burchfiel swept out one of the rooms in their dugout home and invited the few neighbors to Sunday School. Later, in 1882, the Burchfield School was organized and Rev Wood, Anthony Methodist Church, held meetings in the school house.
Anderson’s article states that Bill Burchfiel wrote about his new home to his brother, the Rev. Joseph R. “Parson” Burchfiel who was a circuit-riding Methodist preacher in Tennessee, invited him to come to Kansas, and so in January of 1884 Parson Burchfield and forty members of his congregation came to Kansas, first on a flat boat up the French Broad River, then by railroad coach.
Parson Burchfield preached at the church until 1888, stated Anderson’s article, and several other Tennessee families joined them: Sharp, Croft, Frazier, Henderson, Moore, Bettis, Reneau, Willson, Walker, Denton.
“Only two families in the early days did not come from Tennessee. Both the William Geitgey family and the Fred and Steve Rife families came from Ohio. Sometimes the community was known as “Little Tennessee”.
On August 29, 1892 a charter for the Burchfiel Methodist Episcopal Church was obtained for the land and its present location six and one-half miles south of Anthony, and the first Burchfield church was in 1902 “after one of the best wheat crops ever.”
On the 10th day of April 1936 a heater at the church caught fire and the church burned to the ground.  The next week a meeting of the official board was held to decide what was to be done. William Geitgey said that he would give $500 right then and more later to rebuild the church.

All during the record hot summer the men gave their time and labor to help on the new brick building. And so it was on the sixth day of September 1936, without one penny of debt, Bishop Charles Meade dedicated the new church.

Today, the tiny church supports its young people with college scholarships, and also supports mission work here in the United States and in Africa.  The photographs are ones that I took while taking my mom for a ride in the country, and doing some reminiscing.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – My Super-Powers

by Sherry Stocking Kline
January 9th, 2010

It’s Saturday Night Live at the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Playhouse, and Randy Seaver wants to know what our Genealogy Super Powers are.

Check out Randy’s Challenge below or at Geneamusings.

It’s Saturday Night – time for more Genealogy Fun!

Dean Richardson posted What’s Your Genealogical Superpower? on his Genlighten Blog – Genealogy Documented blog last week, along with a nifty picture of a young lady with a big S on her shirt flying (is that Dean’s wife?). I thought Dean’s question was a great one for SNGF – so your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to…

1) Answer the question: Do you have a genealogical “superpower”? (i.e., a unique research ability or technique that helps you track down records or assemble conclusions that others can’t?) If so, what is it?

2) Tell us about it in a blog post, a comment to this post, a comment to Dean’s post, or a comment to this post on Facebook or Twitter.

3) If you have a picture of yourself in superpower mode, please show it to us!

What are my super powers?  What is it they say in the movies?  I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you?  Seriously, I’m just not sure that I have any “super” powers.

I do seem to have some good networking and investigative skills, and I’ve managed to run people (dead and live ones) down by making phone call after phone call to one entity or another.

I found a distant elderly living cousin in Barren County, Kentucky by doing the following:

1. We were at the Glasgow City cemetery and there were flowers on the grave of my great-great aunt.  That told me that someone living, and probably someone from that the area, put them there. She was of an age to still have living children, and definitely could have living grandchildren.

2. So, my next step could have been to find her obituary and that would have been a good next step, but I was hoping for a little quicker solution, so I called the local funeral home(s) with her name and date of death.

3.  I hit gold on my second funeral home. They had handled her funeral arrangements.  Because I had visited with this director on several occasions and he knew the cousins I’d already connected with in his town, he gave me the woman’s name and I was able to call her.

My new-found (and very elderly) cousin was very kind, but she knew very little about her ancestry and was very apologetic about “having had to throw away all the old photos due to moving into a smaller apartment.”

My first thought was “You Did WHAT?!”

But I didn’t say that and while I was broken hearted knowing that photos of my ancestors may have gone into the dumpster, at least I was able to learn that that particular avenue was closed to me for more information, and I connected with a nice sounding distant relative.

I guess what I’ve learned is that you can pick up the phone and make a few phone calls that can help you connect with distant family members and further your research, though you may not always get positive results.

Tombstone Tuesday – Cora Pauline Walters

Cora Pauline Walters - buried Osborne Cemetery, Sumner County, Kansas, near Mayfield.

Cora Pauline Walters - buried Osborne Cemetery, Sumner County, Kansas, near Mayfield.

Cora Pauline’s Tombstone is the first non-family member’s tombstone that I’ve posted here.

She is buried at the Osborne Township Cemetery, Sumner County, Mayfield, Kansas, and she is buried very near some of my family members.

Cora Pauline Walters
Born: May 5th, 1915
Died: June 6th, 2000

I’ve found her tombstone unique, heartwarming, and fascinating, but have yet to look up her obituary, or try to learn who she was.

I hope to do more research on her this winter in local newspapers.

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