31 December 2008

My New Year's Resolution

My Genealogy New Year's Resolution for 2009 is to get organized! There are a few things involved with this:

1. Find all my stuff. I have a lot of books, magazines, documents, and photos that are scattered all over the house. So I need to collect it all into one spot.

2. File/Box it. I have a filing drawer for my papers and photo albums for old documents and pictures. I need to sort of of my stuff into these in an organized manner.

3. Make copies / print documents. A lot of documents, such as census records, are only on my computer. I want to print out all of my digital files so that I'll have hard copies - incase my computer crashes like it did a few months ago (luckily most documents were backed up!).

4. Keep it all together. I've cleared a bookshelf and have started putting my books, magazines, etc there. I want to keep this up so that I won't have any trouble finding my records.

22 December 2008

finally, a response

I posted on October 24th about an issue I was having with Ancestry.com Magazine and my subscription. I had contacted them to find out when my subscription started, because I wasn't sure if I had missed any issues. I was contacted over a month later (honestly, I'd forgotten I'd emailed them) and entered into a somewhat confusing and all together unhelpful email conversation with the subscriptions department.

The last email that I received from them stated that "it sounds like you have missed some issues." That's it, just that statement, no solution. So I emailed back, asking what they would do about it. I received no response. That was at the end of October.

I've been sending emails, probably bi-weekly since then, trying to get an answer. Yes, I could have called them, but this started in email and could be finished in the same format. About a month ago, I received an Ancestry.com magazine for February in the mail. It didn't contain a letter or any information, but I assume that this was their way of making up the "missed issues." Great customer service guys!

So, I kept emailing. After a while I was just sending emails such as "Hello, anyone there?" and "I just want a response." Finally, today, I received an email stating:

"You have been issued a refund for the missing subs and have been giving one year free for the magazines.

Ancestry Publishing Sales & Support
ancestry publishing"

I'm glad that someone finally responded - but where is the customer service (and spell checker)? An apology or explanation for why it took six months to get this finished.... oh, wait! It's not actually finish. My question was: when does my subscription expire. I still don't have a date.

13 December 2008

new photos

My Grandmama at Stone Mountain Park

My Mom and her siblings at Christmas in 1964

Mom mom graduating from Elementary School

A party to welcome my uncle home from Vietnam

12 December 2008

more photos

I've found another two photo albums full of photos from my mom's family. I actually think we've had these two photo albums in the house for a while and I just never went through them. They have a lot of photos from my mom's pre-teen and teen years. I'm looking forward to going through them and scanning the photos.

09 December 2008

record the new too

I've been bugging my parents recently to see some of the "artifacts" from my childhood. My mom has my first baby tooth. My Dad has some of our baby shoes and our Christmas lists from kindergarden.

I want to record these items, much as if they belonged to a long ago ancestor. This is my history - and it's in danger!

The Christmas lists were written on adhesive paper, with little squares of sticker paper on it. The adhesive is gone and it's holding to its backing by habit. I'd like to see about what I can do to preserve it. For now, I've scanned the Christmas lists and posted them online.

I also found the photos from that Christmas. I was really shocked to find that we had the photos to match. We don't always have photos of special occasions - I think there's a large gap of Christmas morning shots after the third year. I'm really pleased to be able to have both, and they help to date each other. The photos are dated Apr '91, which means that it's Christmas 1990, when we were in kindergarden.

Letter to Santa - 1990

christmas 1990

07 December 2008

SC Department of Archives and History

I found the South Carolina Department of Archives and History's website today. I found a few gems already!

It's a relatively easy site to use, especially since there aren't a whole lot of resources, but what
they do have is pretty valuable.

I found the wills of John Dorn Jr. and Peter Ouzts.


02 December 2008

DNA test received

I just got an email stating that my mtDNA test has been received by FamilyTreeDNA. The email says that it will be between three to five weeks before I receive my results. This is less time than they quoted to receive my Dad's results - however I got his DNA test results back about two weeks early. I'm really looking forward to receiving my test results back.

In anticipation, I've been working my my direct maternal line ancestry. The line follows backwards:


GRRR! Yet more errors on my website. It seems that my sources don't match as they should and random sources are attached to the wrong individuals. I'm having to re-upload all of my files... again. That's 1,203 files!

24 November 2008

DNA again

I've sent off for another DNA test - this time for myself. I saw on Family Tree Magazine's Insider Blog, that FamilyTreeDNA & MyHeritage had hooked up and were offering discounted DNA tests. I was able to get a mtDNAplus test for $50 off. It arrived in the mail today.

present for myself

10 November 2008

who cares about Mac users?

Who cares about Mac users? Not Ancestry.com!


Them: "Valerie, Lonnye, and Terri, we love our mac users. The “why” for each case is different, and complicated, and probably not something we’re willing to share. Rest assured there is no anti-mac conspiracy raging or even simmering here. These are practical business decisions, and we’re honestly trying to do our best for all customers."

Me: "I don’t think that there’s a conspiracy - I just think you don’t care about us and you’re not hiding it. None of your responses have done anything to reassure me that you are working to do the best for *all* customers. It’s in your wording - “not willing to share.” Not that you *can’t* explain yourselves, but that you *won’t*. Ignoring your mac users will save you money in development costs and you just don’t get enough flack to make it worth your while. I can’t think any better of this company unless they are willing to give a valid explanation. And I’m not about to download an application to my computer that isn’t supported and might bug out other programs - aside from the basic fact that I don’t use firefox. Well, my subscription is up in February - I think I’ll take my $300 a year elsewhere unless you can learn to better respect your customers. (this decision also based on new search and a lack of new records in areas of personal interest)"

24 October 2008

This is Ancestry.com's idea of customer service.

This is a series of emails between Ancestry.com and myself. All I want to know is when my subscription to Ancestry Magazine started, so that I'll know if I missed any issues. I'm a little rude, yes, but this is how I get after having dealt with their customer service a few times in the past. I honestly don't know what to think at this point. Their Customer Service isn't worth anything.

1) ------

“a form has been submitted on July 28, 2008, via:

> > http://www.ancestrymagazine.com/talk-to-us/ [IP

> >]

SECOND REQUEST - I subscribed to your magazine at the beginning of June. I did not receive the July issue that is now available. I wanted to make sure that my subscription was processed so that I get all issues that I paid for. Can you let me know when my subscription began”

2) ------

From: "Ancestry Magazine - Subscriptions" <amsubscriptions@tgn.com>

Monday, October 13, 2008 6:51 PM


Will you confirm your address? Is it the same as the one listed below? We just wanted to double check to see if our records are correct and if so, we’ll move on from there.



Ancestry Publishing Sales & Support

ancestry publishing

3) ------

From: Valerie

Sent: Monday, October 13, 2008 5:39 PM

To: Ancestry Magazine - Subscriptions

Subject: RE: A comment from a site visitor

Umm... I email this question Two And A Half months ago - Two Weeks after the first questions wasn't answered either.

But yes, this is the correct address and, btw, I am now receiving my magazines. Can you tell me when my subscription started so that I know if I missed any issues?

Thanks for finally getting around to responding...


4) -----


Your subscription started 02-28-2009.



Ancestry Publishing Sales & Support

ancestry publishing

5) -------

From: Valerie

Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 8:53 AM

To: Ancestry Magazine - Subscriptions

Subject: RE: A comment from a site visitor

I was asking about my Ancestry Magazine subscription, not my ancestry.com subscription. I subscribed to the magazine sometime in the summer.

Again, "I am now receiving my magazines. Can you tell me when my subscription started so that I know if I missed any [magazine] issues?"


6) -------


All my system tells me is that your active Ancestry Magazine subscription started Feb 2, 2009. So it sounds like you have missed some issues. They come ever 2 months, so there is only 6 issues a year.

Thank you

Ancestry Publishing Sales & Support

ancestry publishing

14 October 2008

PawPaw & the CCC Camp

I have a copy of a photo of my PawPaw, Thomas S. Craft, at a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp. According to the back of the photo, the camp was in North Carolina. I don't know anything about his time in the CCC Camp, so I'm sending off a form to find out more.

I hope to find out
  • Where exactly was he
  • What time he was there
  • What he did while he was there
Hopefully, sending off the form will do the trick. I seem to have bad luck with these things lately - from having sent it to the wrong address, to not providing enough info (I don't have any more!) to lazy staff that doesn't call me back... talk about customer service

07 October 2008

Monday Memories - Elections

Written by Mom

Who is the first president that you have memories of?
The first president I have memories of was John F. Kennedy. I think it was 1st grade, but I'm not sure. The teacher had a big picture of him on the bulletin board with some kind of red white and blue decorations. She was very excited because he was going to be our "new" president. I thought he was very handsome and she made him sound so wonderful and very important.

What is the first election that you have memories of?
When Barry Goldwater was running for president, your grandfather really wanted him to win. It was the first presidential election I remember him watching the news and following the campaign.

How old were you when you registered to vote and what made you register?
I registered the first year I was old enough to vote. I was very excited at the time because Richard Nixon was president and there were quite a few things he did that led me to believe he was doing a great job as president. Ending the Vietnam war and visiting China stands out the most. I was excited about being able to vote. Most of the people I knew were for Nixon. I was very disillusioned when I found out about Watergate and his involvement.

Did you have a political party affiliation or did you vote like your parents?
I did not have a political affiliation. I did not feel that parties were a deciding factor in who would make a good candidate. It was more important what the individual candidate represented.

What do you remember about your first time voting? Other than what I said about Nixon earlier, I don't remember much about voting the first time.

Do you have any strong memories of voting after that first time?
I have not been very politically active. I vote sometimes but not always. I voted against Jimmy Carter because I did not think he would be a good president, but he turned out to be pretty good after all. He has continued to go great things since leaving office.

I feel some of the great presidents history has given us are of course George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. John F. Kennedy has been my favorite president and the president I remember the most about during my lifetime He was strong during the Cuban missal crisis, made our space program what it is today and was a strong supporter of Civil Rights and desegregation. I feel these were all important historical events that have shaped our nation. I was very young when Kennedy was assassinated. I remember the funeral procession was on TV for what seemed like all day long because it seemed like Daddy watched it all day. It was a very sad occasion. I feel there was a lot more Kennedy would have done for our country.

22 September 2008

My Great-Aunt Ollie

funston_ollie_joeMy Aunt Ollie was the adventurer in the family. Most of our family, having been born in Georgia and the Carolinas, stayed put. At most, they would move from one state to another - but never leaving the southeast. My Aunt Ollie was a different matter.

Ollie was my paternal grandmother's sister. She was born in 1924 in Swainsboro, GA. She married Joe Funston, from Philadelphia. He was in the army and traveled a great deal - taking Ollie with him. But she didn't just travel with him, she also worked - also something that the women in my family didn't do much (outside of the mill workers).

In April of 1952, Ollie graduated from the San Diego Vocational School, certified in Aircraft Construction and Assembly. From August '52 to September '54, Ollie worked for Convair as a riveter. Our family's very own Rosie the Riveter!

Ollie Britt Funston - Vocational School Ollie Britt Funston Job Description/Reference

21 September 2008

Thomas "Wayne" Craft, 1947-2008

"Wayne Craft
(CRAFTYDOG) Thomas “Wayne” (Craftydog) Craft, age 60 of Lawrenceville passed away, Friday, September 19, 2008. Funeral Services will be held 2:30 PM, Sunday, September 21, 2008 in the Lawrenceville Chapel of Tim Stewart Funeral Home with Martha Guest and Joey Craft officiating. Burial East Shadowlawn Memorial Gardens, Lawrenceville. A U.S. Navy Veteran serving on the USS Francis Marion for 7 years, Mr. Craft was of the Christian faith and former Secretary & Treasury of Duluth Bass Club. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Spurgeon and Sarah Frances Britt Craft, brother, Gary Craft, and is survived by: Wife: Willie Brown Herman, Lawrenceville; Children: David Craft, Orlando; Nathan Craft; Tyler Craft, Lawrenceville; Joey Craft, NC; Tracy Morgan, Danielsville; Teresa Garland, Auburn; Brothers; Kenny Craft, John Craft, Greg Craft; Sisters: Charlotte Dryman, June Partain, Grandchildren: Stefanie and Tiffanie Morgan. Family will receive friends form 6-9 PM, Saturday, September 20, 2008 at the Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 300 Simonton Road, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045. 770-962-3100. Please sign online guest registry at www.stewartfh.com. In lieu of flowers - Go Fishing"

14 September 2008

SMGF results are in!

I found our SMGF results last night. Dad & I took SMGF's free DNA test last November and our results have only just appeared. Since the test was free, we really don't get much out of it. You can search your results if you found your marker via another test, otherwise you search by surname. I had to search back to my Great-Great Grandmother because some of the individuals are protected for privacy.

Once you find the results, you can compare them to others that pop up. For my mtDNA results, there don't seem to be any close matches for 'Garman' (my GGG-Grandmother):

my mtdna

Dad's yDNA was found by searching for his markers. There are a few close matches:

Dad's y-chrom dna

Then, there's his mtDNA results:

dad's mtdna

So, I'm not sure that I really got anything out of this - but it's nice to see something finally posted.

26 August 2008


My hard drive self destructed. I had most of my genealogy research backed up, but I made a mistake when I backed up my gedcom file. I saved an extra copy that was a privacy version. I lost about 100 people who were marked private. I'm hoping that my information can be retrieved. Until then, my research is on pause.

31 July 2008

Ancesty.com's New Search Webinar

Last night, ancestry.com held a webinar for their new search. They announced this webinar back on 18 July. Although skeptical, I signed up. In my opinion, which I commented on the blogged announcement, 

"Not *trying* to be negative here, but my initial thought is: why do I need a webinar to learn how to use a site that I’ve used for 5+ years? Although it’s always nice to learn new search hints, I’m concerned that perhaps this new search requires too much work.
I think the key problem here is that a transition from an old to new search should be relatively seamless - and this change is not.
But, I’ve signed up for the webinar to see what you guys have to say."

After participating in the hourlong webinar last night, I have a few thoughts.
  1. This was advertised as for "intermediate and advanced researchers." The actual webinar actually seemed to be geared more toward new researchers or, a least, those who had never used the new search (which based on a poll taken during the webinar was about 40% of participants). The webinar took participants through walkthroughs of the new search and explained such exciting things as how to change the font size (heavy sarcasm). They honestly did not go over anything that anyone might learn from a day or two of exploring.
  2. They didn't address any major issues. They noted two "myths" - that they new search and new home page were connected, and that ancestry isn't listening. That's it! They really didn't go much more in depth about the issues raised by their paying customers.
  3. During the web walkthrough, when we were shown example searches, the "most relevant" results that Hulet got seemed to be mainly from his own family tree. Then he had 500,000+ results. This is a major concern brought up by researchers that he really didn't address. Just, "ok, change up your search criteria."
  4. OK, why should I have to keep changing my search criteria. Why should I have to take out the death date in order to get results from databases that don't include the death date (ie census, births, military, etc). Why can't the search just ignore this data if it doesn't apply to that database? The "old" search didn't have this problem. And, though I submitted this question, it was not answered.
  5. And that brings us to the Q&A portion of the webinar. Very weak. Most of the questions were downright easy. Does the new search use soundex, can we still use wildcards, should I put 'born in USA'... The didn't answer any of the in depth questions that have people upset.
  6. One question that was asked, and that I think is very telling (going back to points 4 & 5) was when library editions would be able to access the new search. Hulet responded that, because librarians have to field so many questions about ancestry and how to use it, that ancestry wants to wait to roll out to libraries until they have the new search at a "good point." In other words, until people can use the new search successfully. So, why are they pushing the new search on us when it is not at a "good point?" Why do we have to suffer
So, all in all - the webinar was not effective or useful in any way. They had a survey at the end and I pretty much told them that. I also left a comment on their blog that I would love to see an extended Q&A answer report posted on the blog. Maybe then they could answer some more helpful questions.

ATL directories - pt 2

Mom & I went down to the Fulton County Library Central Branch Today. We once again looked through the Atlanta City Directories to find our city dwelling ancestors. I really love these city directories. They make it so easy to track ancestors, especially between censuses or after 1930.

We've actually found quite a lot. Here's the summation of our research to date:

1947 Albea June M r 400 Whitehall SW hsekpr The Frederick Hotel
1945 Albea Mama A Mrs. r 302 Glenwood av SE icer natl Biscuit Co
1947 Albea Pansy r 400 Whitehall SW hsekpr The Frederick Hotel
1950 Albea Pansy r 400 Whitehall SW
1945 Albea Roy V h 302 Glenwood av SE mech White Motor Co
1950 Albea Roy V (Betty D) r 400 Whitehall SW order filler Atl Economy drug
1953 Albea Roy V (Betty D) h 714 Shelton av SW driver D & D Trans p46
1955 Albea Roy V (Betty D) h 1177 Moreland av driver overnite transportation
1956 Albea Roy V (Betty) h 1177 Moreland av driver overnite trans.
1948 1949 Huyler Mack (Ruby W) r 127 Rawson SW emp Black & Munn p765
1936 Huyler Ruby L, Mrs. r 376 1/2 Decatur SE p689
1948 1949 Huyler Ruby W, Mrs. r 127 Rawson SW emp Exposition Mills p765
1928 Mitchum Edw M (Ethel) ??? h 1272 N Highland ave NE slsmn p887
1919 none
1954 none
1930 Price Alma r savannah se p925
1931 Price Alma r Fair SE p976
1932 Price Alma r savannah se p882
1938 Thompson Thomas A (Alma) h 397 Central av SW pntr p1368
1939 Thompson Thos A (Alma) h 397 Central av SW pntr p1231
1955 Turner Bobby E (Pansy) r 400 Whitehall SW chkr Overnite Trans
1956 Underwood Alma Mrs. r 258 Hendrix av SW cash Am Associated Co
1956 Underwood Betty J Mrs. h 833 Confederate ct SE apt b opr SBT&T
1956 Underwood Jack (Betty J) h 833 Confederate ct SE apt b radar tech state Natl Guard
1943 Waters Jack F r 182 1/2 Rawson SW lab
1931 Waters Leve E (Louise) h Fair SE barber T Pearl White p1217
1942 Waters Leveret (Louise) r 242 Memorial Dr textile wrkr Piedmont Cotton Mills
1928 Waters Leverett (Louise) r 148 Baker NE barber p1246
1937 Waters Leverett E (Louise) h 366a Fair SE barber T Pearl White
1929 Waters Leverette E (Louise) h 264 1/2 Decatur SE barber p1336
1930 Waters Leveritt (Louise) h savannah se barber p1146
1936 Waters Levert E (Louise) h 376 1/2 Decatur SE barber T Pearl White p1302
1938 Waters Levert E (Louise) h 264 1/2 Decatur SE barber p1437
1932 Waters Levi E (Louise) h savannah se barber Mark L Wages
1939 Waters Levrett E (Louise) h 372 Fair SE barber 286 Grant SE p1294
1943 Waters Levrett E (Louise) 182 1/2 Rawson SW barber
1942 Waters Lewis (Viola E) h 115 Fulton SW clk Big Star Store
1945 Waters Lewis (Viola) r 189 Rawson SW USN
1956 Waters Lewis C r 189 Rawson SW electn Cleveland Elect
1948 1949 Waters Lewis C (Viola E) h 189 Rawson SW electn Cleveland Elec p1535
1951 1952 Waters Lewis C (Viola E) h 445 Pryor SW electn Cleveland Elec p1577
1955 Waters Lewis C (Viola M) h 255 Richardson SW electrician
1947 Waters Lewis C (Viola) h 189 Rawson SW clk Big Star
1953 Waters Lewis C (Viola) h 535 Washn SW apt 4-D electn Dixie Elec p1309
1947 Waters Milton r 160 Rawson SW clk Colonial Stores
1943 Waters Milton (Augusta) ??? r 182 1/2 Rawson SW USN
1948 1949 Waters Milton (Kath) r 394 Washn SW clk Colonial Stores p1535
1950 Waters Milton (Kath) r 307 Crew SW clk Colonial Stores
1936 Waters Milton (Lyda M) r 362 Cooper SW clk GtA&PTeaCo
1937 Waters Milton (Lyda M) r 433 Crew SW clk GtA&PTeaCo
1931 Waters Ruby L r Fair SE p1218
1938 Whitfield Cecil (Ruby L) h 403 Central av SW clk p1470
1940 Whitfield Cecil (Ruby L) 405 Central av SE
1941 Whitfield Cecil (Ruby L) h 413 Central av SW hlpr p1542
1939 Whitfield Cecil (Ruby) h 403 CENTRAL AV SW lab p1325
1937 Whitfield Cecil M (Ruby) 229 Simpson NW clk p1467
1925 Whitlock John B (Martha) r 93 E Baker lab p1201
1927 Whitlock John B (Mary E) h 133 (95) Harris NE p1307
1927 Whitlock John M (Ema T) h 133 (95) Harris NE mgr Sou Gro Stores Inc p1307
1928 Whitlock John M (Emma) h 148 Baker NE br mgr Sou Gro Stores Inc p1273
1929 Whitlock John M (Emma) h 86 Harris NE br mgr Rogers Inc p1365
1939 Whitlock John M (Emma) h 287 Forest av NE wtchman p1326
1941 Whitlock John M (Emma) h 258 Hendrix av SW wtchman Rich's Inc p1543
1925 Whitlock John N (Emma) h 93 E Baker br mgr L W Rogers Co p1201
1928 Whitlock Mary E r 148 Baker NE p1273
1953 Wilson Jas L (Arlene W; Frederick Hotel) h 400 Whitehall SW p1368
1955 Wilson Jas L (Arlene W; Frederick Hotel) h 400 Whitehall SW
1951 1952 Wilson Jas L (Arline W; Frederick Hotel) h 400 Whitehall SW p1648
1956 Wilson Jas L (Arline W; Frederick Hotel) h 400 Whitehall SW
1947 Wilson Jas L (Arline) h 400 Whitehall SW mgr The Fredrick Hotel
1932 Frederick Hotel p1529


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