21 December 2010

Floor Plans - The Albea Family

     This is part of an on-going series about the homes of my family and ancestors. Today's house was owned by my maternal grandparents, Roy and Betty (Huyler) Albea.  Located on Larkspur Terrace in Decatur, DeKalb, Georgia, this is the house where I attended weekly Sunday dinners during my childhood.  I believe the family moved to this house in 1963. According to Zillow.com, the house sits on 43,560 feet and was built in 1957.

     The house wasn't quite big enough for a family of eight and, according to my mom, her parents slept on a fold-out couch in the living room for a while. In old photos I can see that the living room used to have plain white walls, but I always knew them to have wood paneling. There also used to be a door on the back wall of the living room that lead directly to the kitchen, but it was walled up at some point, well before I was born. My grandmother began to collect VHS movies for all the grandkids and had perhaps 200. My cousins and I would spend a lot of time in what used to be my mom's bedroom watching movies.  The backyard had a fence around it and we were allowed to play there with the two dogs, Putty and Caesar. My grandmother had a somewhat elaborate garden in the back, righthand side of her yard that included a banana tree; other flowers were arranged throughout the front and back yards. On Easter we had egg hunts in the front yard - adults vs kids. No hiding eggs in the sticky bush (yukka plant)!

     Here's the floor plan that I drew from memory, which mom assures me is very accurate:

Albea Family House

20 December 2010

Organizing with Thoughtboxes

     Yesterday, my sister sent me a link to a new site that she thought I might like: ThoughtBoxes (www.thoughtbox.es). This website describes itself as "a simple tool that helps to organize your thoughts so you can make things happen" where, "You can keep track of just about anything, and share your thoughts with friends." After only using this website for less than an hour, I really like it.

     I signed up for the free account, which allows you to create two "trains of thought" (the paid version cost $25 and is unlimited). Within your "trains of thought" you create "boxes" and within those you create "thoughts." Pretty much, you're creating bulleted lists. I've just started to create one about a genealogy research trip I'm planning for this spring. You can click here to see it, or view the screenshot bellow:

     All of the boxes and thoughts can be edited or moved at any time. So if I wanted my Things to Take box to be in the left hand column, I could move it there. If I wanted to move St Michael's Church to the top of the Lexington County box, I could.  And, when I've completed the item, I can simply click the checkmark by each thought to indicate that it's complete.

     A great feature on this site is the ability to share my trains of thought. If you click on the link above, you'll be able to see the list, though you cannot edit it. And I can privatize individual boxes, while still sharing the majority of the train of thought.

     Now, this website is very new; according to their facebook page they went live on Dec 16th. I hope that as the site matures more features will be added. This is a great idea, but it's very basic right now. As it is, I don't see any reason to pay $25 a year for this site. However, if they added some of the following features, I'd highly consider it:
  • Another Level of Thought. For example: above I have the Lexington County Library as a thought in my Places: Lexington County box. I would love to be able to add multiple thoughts under the library, such as an address and books I intend to look for. Maybe this level could be called details? I really think this is a necessary addition.
  • More Characters. Right now there is a limit to how many characters you can type for the title of a train of thought or a box. I'd love to see this expanded.
  • More Information. I'd love to be able to add a description or summery to each train of thought that wouldn't have to go into a box. This would sit right under the title of each train of thought.
  • More Creativity. I'd love to be able to choose from a wider variety of colors or images when designing each train of thought. Right now I can't even upload my own avatar, let alone individual avatars for each train of thought or box. And could I pick my own background color or fonts?
    • Updated: I discovered that I can add a photo to a thought using basic html code (img src="address"):
  • More Socializing. I'd like to see multiple levels of shared lists. It would be nice if I could co-create a list with others and have anther option where people could add comments to my list. Also, team up with facebook and twitter so that I can share my thoughts with friends. Can I add photos from Flickr or Picasa? Maps from Google?
     Even without these improvements, I think the folks behind Thoughtbox have a great idea. I'll continue to work on my trip itinerary and hope to see the site flourish in the future. 

Interviewing the Aunts, Pt 2

     A little bit ago, I talked with my aunts June and Charlotte and asked them questions about the family and their childhood. In the following video they talk about their family in Elbert County, their grandparent's home and my Aunt Charlotte recalls when the family survived a tornado.

18 December 2010

Replacement WWII Medals

     My grandfather, Thomas Craft, did not want to fight in World War Two. At 25 years old he was married with two children and a farm. He tried to avoid service because his crop was due to come in soon, but was drafted in the end. On 31 Jul 1945 he was enlisted into Cannon Company, 7th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division at FT McPherson, GA, and served as a Truck Driver Light in Germany. Lucky for my grandfather, he came late to the war and was quickly home again, not quite one year later. Unlucky for him and his family, his crops were stollen while he was away.

    When I first started researching my grandfather's WWII service, I requested his free service records from the National Archives. I received back his separation paperwork, which listed all sorts of information. Included in the document was the fact that his "decorations and citations"were "World War 2 Victory Medal, Occupation Ribbon (Germany)" and that he had a "Lapel Button Issued." I asked my dad and my aunts about these items, but no one knew anything about them.

     I started doing some more research and discovered that these (lost?) awards could be replaced. I followed the instructions on the National Archives website and very easily ordered the awards (again, for free). They arrived in the mail yesterday.

     My grandfather's medals include: World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal & Germany Clasp, Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII, and Marksman Badge & Rifle Bar.

14 December 2010

Family Tree Magazine Top 40 Blogs

     Yesterday, Family Tree Magazine announced nominations for their Top 40 best Genealogy Blogs awards. I was honestly quite surprised to see this blog nominated in the "My Family History" category. To whoever it was that nominated me: thanks so much! I personally nominated a few other blogs and am happy to see them listed as well.

     Voting is now open and runs through December 20th, with no limits. Before voting, check out the list at Geneabloggers, which provides a link to each blog. There are a number of blogs listed that I had not heard of, but which will probably end up in my blog reader by the end of the day.

13 December 2010

Ollie's Baby

     Dad's favorite aunt was his mother's sister, Ollie Britt. She married Joe Funston, a veteran, and is buried next to her father at the Melwood Cemetery in Stone Mountain, DeKalb, Georgia. Ollie spent a lot of time with her sister's children and died when she was 42.

Ollie Britt     When I found her mother's obituary, I soon had some questions about Ollie. The obit listed Ollie as "Mrs. Borowiski," a name I had never heard of.  I asked Dad if he knew anything about other marriages, but he didn't. Then, I asked my Aunts. To my surprise, I learned that Ollie had been married not once, but three times and had once had a child! Not much was known about the child and I became very interested in finding out who he had been. My Aunt June said,

"Ollie was married to a McGee when she had Bobby... I think he is buried in the same cemetery as Grandma Ledora" and in a different conversation, "She was married and had the baby. And then she married that guy that was in the service, I think. And then she married Joe. She never remarried after Joe."
     And Aunt Charlotte said,
"Yes. We found the obituary. Because we didn't know the name either. But he was, I think, a little bit older than me, maybe a year or less older than me. And he died soon after birth. And I remember Mama sayin' in later years, she thought he had leukemia... or somethin'. There was somethin' wrong with his blood."
     From these statements I was able to piece together that a baby boy named Bobby had been born about 1940 with a surname of McGee. But I hadn't been able to uncover more. And today when I checked my email I found that Aunt Charlotte had found the obituary and sent it to me.

Britt / McGee Baby - Obituary

     From this obituary, I now have a full name for the baby, a name for his father and paternal grandfather, as well as a place of death. Part of the reason that I had not been able to find a death record was that I was looking in the wrong place! Ollie and her family lived in Emanuel County, but the baby died in nearby Chatham County (probably the closest hospital). 

    With all of the information I now have, I have been able to locate a death record, that I believe is correct, for two month old Bobbie McGee that died on 24 May 1939 in Chatham. Unfortunately, I have not located a burial record for the baby in Hawhammock, which has been well indexed online. But considering Ollie would have been only 15 when her baby died, I find it very likely that she was not able to purchase a headstone for him. 

     Now I really want to send off for a death certificate for the baby. For some reason, I am very interested in this young baby's life and want to know as much as I can. 

09 December 2010

He Got it From the Catalogue

     About a week ago, Ancestry.com released their Sears Catalogue collection. This collection consists of mailers and catalogues from 1896-1993. Honestly, I haven't been too excited about this collection. It doesn't really offer any genealogical information and can't help me with my research. My initial thought upon seeing this collection announced was, 'I hope they didn't pass up another collection to add this!'

     After thinking about it a little more though, I can see that while this collection doesn't fall into the Genealogist category, it does fit into the Family Historian category. How many times have I heard my dad talk about ordering items out of this catalogue? He started working for his dad's sanitation company when he was 13. With his paychecks, he would order items from the Sears catalogue. So I had him describe some of the things he bought and I found them in this collection.

     The radio (1969):

     The camera (1968):

A Photo Taken with the Camera:
craft: greg - 4 jul 1971

04 December 2010

Betsy, In Memoriam

     All children want a pet, usually a dog. They beg their parents and promise to always walk, feed, and otherwise take care of the hoped for animal. My siblings and I were no different, and, eventually, we succeeded in convincing our parents to let us have a dog. A friend of my mom's from work found a puppy in her flowerbed one day. After a short while she decided that she couldn't keep her, and started to try and find her a home.

     Our mom brought home an adorable black and white puppy with floppy ears named Betsy.  She was a mix of beagle and spaniel and, aside from a problem with chewing on things, was extremely well behaved. When she was very young she was crated at night and I remember our mom letting her into our room in the morning to jump on us to wake us up. She was full of energy and would treat the house like a race trace, running in circles through the living and dining rooms. About a year later Betsy adjusted to a new puppy being brought into the family, Trixie. However, Betsy would still often be referred to as the "best dog in the world" (Trixie being resistant to training).

     Over the years Betsy has had a few health problems, from allergies that caused her to chew on her feet to problems with her ears. About six months ago, she began to have problems with her back legs and difficulty walking. The vet said that she had rather severe arthritis in her back and hips. She was placed on some pain medication but otherwise was doing ok. Over the past week however, her condition worsened. She spent most of her days laying around the house, often yelping for attention. She was constantly agitated and I would sit and pet her until she fell asleep. She developed a sore on her side that was somewhat severe and that the vet felt would not fully heal without surgery, which wasn't an option for an almost 14 year old dog. Yesterday we made the heartbreaking decision to free her from her pain and say goodbye.  I spent much of the day crying and find myself crying again as a right this. I know we did what was right for Betsy, but it's been a very painful experience. Despite the pain, we know that Betsy had a very happy life and brought joy to us all.

27 November 2010

A Witness to History (CoG: There's One in Every Family)

Written for the 100th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy for the topic, 
"There's One in Every Family."

     Today, thanks to technology such as radio, television, the internet, cell phones and more, we witness history every day. We instantly know about a new discovery or advancement, a tragic event or one to be celebrated. But in the past the only witnesses to such an event were the people who were actually there. Everyone else would have to wait days, weeks or even months to learn what had happened. Looking back through the family tree, everyone can find someone who was witness to some historical event or movement. In my family tree it's my Great-Great-Great Grandfather, William A Craft, who was in Appomattox, Virginia for surrender of the Confederate Army and the end of the Civil War.

    William joined the Confederate Army in Elbert County, Georgia as a private in the 15th Georgia Infantry Regiment, Company C. He was joined by his brothers, John F and Willis M Craft. According to the National Park Services Civil War Soldier and Sailor System, the 15th was part of the Patomic District and later was part of Benning's Brigade with the Army of Northern Virginia.  This regiment fought in battles such as Chickamauga, Knoxville, Petersburg, Gettysburg and Manassus. According to a short news piece published in the Augusta Chronicle in 1938, William picked up a bible off the battle field at Malvern Hill (Henrico County, VA). The bible has been passed down through the family for generations as a family heirloom (not my line, unfortunately).

     Many families have multiple ancestors who fought in the Civil War, but what stands out about William is how he ended the war. Not only did he make it home after the surrender - but he was at the surrender. Now, I highly doubt that a lowly private was actually anywhere near the big-wig generals or the actual surrender, but he was in Appomattox, Virginia as part of the Army of Northern Virginia. He was among the first to learn of the end of the war. He would have received rations from the union army. He would have received a parole that allowed him to return home to his family. He might have been the first to tell others of the end of the war. William was a witness to history.

22 November 2010

Elizabeth Meetze Hyler Obituary - Amanuensis Monday

   The following is the obituary of Elizabeth Meetze Hyler, the wife of Nathan Washington Hyler of Lexington County, South Carolina.  It was published in The State newspaper on 7 June 1910.

Mrs. Elizabeth Hyler
Special to The State.
    Lexington, June 6 - Mrs. Elizabeth
Hyler, widow of Wash Hyler, and one
of the oldest residents of this county,
died at her home on Hollow Creek
this morning at 3 o'clock, having
reached the ripe old age of 84 years.
    Mrs. Hyler was one of the most
loved women of her community and
her death has caused much sorrow,
she having been widely known
throughout her section.
     The deceased is survived by three
sons, Rufus, John and Henry Hyler,
all well known men of the county.
She was a member of the Lutheran
church and was active in religious af-
     She will be buried tomorrow morn-
ing at 10 o'clock in Mt. Pleasant
churchyard, with funeral services by
her pastor, the Rev. O. C. Peter-

     It's interesting to note that she, and many of her family, are actually buried in the Beulah United Methodist Church Cemetery in Gilbert. According to their website, they have been in place since 1896. I've also been unable to verify if the Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church in Saluda even has a cemetery. So I'm not entirely sure what happened between the obituary and the burial or after, that provided the incorrect information. 

21 November 2010

Family History is a Coloring Book

     As I wrote yesterday, I had recently been sent scans from a family history book that detailed the Swiss-German origins of the Huyler / Heiler family. At the beginning of the section is a note that anyone wanting more information should contact the Whitaker Family Association. I've been busy working non-stop since Wednesday and hadn't had a chance to look for this group. However, my mom had free time yesterday to start searching.

     She found the website of Wilford Whitaker, the great-grandson of Priscilla Heiler, the daughter of Hans Conrad Heyler, who was the brother of Bernhard Heyler, Sr., my eight-times great-grandfather. My mom had done a search on GoodSearch.com for the name of the book, Broad Bay Pioneers, the author and the name Hyler. This returned the following result:

     Mom was very excited to see this book, which is written from the perspective of Priscilla Hyler Robinson and tells the story of her family's journey from Switzerland to Germany and then to Maine (then Massachusetts) in America. Priscilla's grandson, John Robinson, converted to the Mormon church and moved west with them. It is thanks to this family, their memories and research, that I'm now finding all of this information on my ancestors.
     I have sent an email to the address on the website, and hope to hear back soon from these very distant cousins.

20 November 2010

Surname Saturday - Huyler, Revisited

     I've wrote about the Huyler family on a previous Saturday. I wrote that the family was said to be German and different spellings include Hyler, Heyler, Heiler, Hoyler, Hoiler, Hiler, etc. Recently, I decided to focus my research on this family and broaden my research net.

Pages 198-199     I started by taking my mom's suggestion and contacting the authors of other online family trees that cover this family. Of the six researchers I contacted, I've heard back from three. Two said they couldn't help me, but another's response prove very useful. He stated that he had been researching the family for a number of years and has/had documents from visiting archives. He didn't appear to be able to send me these documents, but he did scan some pages from a book he owned and sent them to me. They consisted of a compiled family history of the Hoyler, Hoiler family of Wossingen, Baden, Germany, originally of Neftenback, Zurich, Switzerland. The book is Broad Bay Pioneers by Wilford W Whitaker.

     As with many of these compiled genealogies, there are very few sources given. I really never know how accurate these genealogies are, but at the very minimum, this book will act as a guide for my future research. At the very best, I now have a complete genealogy of this family line back to the mid 1600s. Here's the information from the book, as well as my personal research:

1. Ulrich Heiler
b. Switzerland
& Magdalena GrĂ¼ter

2. Bernhard Heyler Sr
b. Switzerland
d. 1707, Wossingen, Baden, Germany
& Barbara Honyssen
d. 19 Aug 1707, Wossingen, Baden, Germany
m. 27 Jul 1680, Andelfingen, Zurich, Switzerland

3. Berndard Heyler Jr
b. 1688, Switzerland
d. aft 1753, Dutch Fork, Lexington SC
& Anna Barbara Vogel
m. 28 Apr 1716, Wossingen, Baden, Germany

4. Johann Michael Heyler
b. 4 May 1723, Wossingen, Baden, Germany
d. 30 Nov 1772, , Lexington, SC
& Hannah Catherine Morlokin
b. abt 1725, Baden, Germany
d. aft 1773, South Carolina
m. abt 1751

5. Bernard Barnet Hoyler
b. abt 1761, Irmo, Lexington, SC
d. 25 Aug 1825, Irmo, Lexington, SC

6. Gabriel Hoyler
b. abt 1794, Irmo, Lexington, SC
d. aft 1860
& Abigail Gartman
b. abt 1805, South Carolina
d. bef 1860
m. 27 Jan 1825, , Lexington, SC

7. Nathan Washington Hyler
b. 9 Aug 1835, , Lexington, SC
d. 30 Nov 1903, , Lexington, SC
& Elizabeth Rachel Meetze
b. 4 Jan 1826, South Carolina
d. 6 Jun 1910, , Lexington, SC
m. abt 1855

8. John Willis Hyler
b. 23 Jun 1861, , Lexington, SC
d. 11 Apr 1949, , Richland, SC
& Ida Leaphart
b. 30 May 1863, , Lexington, SC
d. 26 Jul 1952, Eau Claire, Richland, SC
m. abt 1883

9. Vary Americus Mack Huyler
b. 2 Apr 1903, Columbia, Richland, SC
d. 23 Nov 1976, High Point, Guilford, NC
& Ruby Lee Waters
b. 20 Dec 1911, Shawmut, AL
d. 26 Sep 1953, Georgia
m. 2 Jan 1931, 394 Cameron St SE, Atlanta, GA

10. Betty Dolores Huyler
b. 7 Nov 1931, Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, Fulton, GA
d. 1 Oct 2005, Decatur, DeKalb, GA
& Roy Vernon Albea Sr.
b. 20 Aug 1926, Greenwood, Greenwood, SC
d. 13 Sep 2005, Eastside Heritage Center, Snellville, Gwinnett, GA
m. 1 Feb 1947, Greenville, Greenville, SC

15 November 2010

100 Batches Indexed

    Yesterday I indexed a few batches with FamilySearch Indexing. A little later I was checking my email and noticed that I had received a message from them. Apparently, I had indexed my 100th batch! Here's part of the email I received:

Dear Valerie,
    You have reached a significant and rare milestone: the completion of your 100th batch with FamilySearch indexing. The completion of your 100th batch places you into an exclusive group of top indexing volunteers. We want to thank you for your ongoing efforts and recognize this significant achievement.
    Your efforts, combined with the efforts of other volunteers, have now made more than one billion records available online at FamilySearch.org, where they are accessed by people around the world who are searching for their ancestors. Each week dozens of these people send us messages of appreciation for your efforts.
    We join these people in expressing our sincere appreciation for your efforts in reaching 100 completed indexing batches and recognize the significant contribution you are making to FamilySearch indexing.

     It's exciting to realize how much indexing I've done, though at the same time it doesn't seem like nearly as much as I could have done. I am, unfortunately, inconsistent in my indexing habits. I'll have to try a bit harder and see if I get an email at 200 batches!

14 November 2010

Great Time at the Atlanta Family History Expo [Guest Blogger]

     I had a lot of fun at the Family History Expo over the weekend. Although I am not a genealogist I still found out a lot of interesting things, many of which will help me understand exactly what Valerie is talking about regarding her research.

The most informative lecture I went to was Traditional DNA Testing and Beyond – The Next Revolution in Genetic Genealogy by Elise Friedman. I went to this one alone, as Valerie has done DNA testing and explained it to me however, I can't say I really understood her. This was an info packed lecture that was a good overview of the information. I couldn't explain DNA testing to others but, I "get it" better now. Especially the differences between the different types of testing.

My favorite class was Family Roots Travel: How to Connect With Your Heritage Through Travel by Adam Glenn. Valerie, my mom, and I have done a little genealogy traveling, so this wasn't all brand new information. The presentation was really well put together and even when I already knew something this lecture put a new spin on it or emphasized a new aspect. I got some great tips that I will definitely be able to use! This class was straight to the point and easy to understand and also went at a good pace. Unlike some of the other classes, I did not feel that this one was trying to fit too much information into the time allotted.

Another class that I really enjoyed was An Introduction to AncestralHunt.com by Bernie Gracy. This one is about a new site/product called AncestralHunt.com. It's not a database platform, data source, or ancestral mapping service. It seems like it is more of a community where people can place their family trees and compare them geographically to help break down their brick walls. It is a community based collaborative place for people to share and help each other. Sounds really neat, and they are looking for beta testers. I signed Valerie up :)
Me. Valerie, our Mom.

Overall Thoughts
One thing I would suggest for future expos is to have more info/products geared towards Georgia research. I attended one class on the South which did not mention Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi or other obvious "southern states" but did talk about Delaware. It was a little frustrating. The Expo may want to focus more on Georgia or other local states more in the future.

Overall I was impressed by the Expo. Everything was very well organized and there were plenty of offerings. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I had lots of fun.

13 November 2010

Finding A Focus

     When I look at my family tree, I find that many of my families don't go back further than ancestors born around the late 1700s and early 1800s. Only three of my family lines cross the ocean and go overseas in the late 1600s and early/mid 1700s. Why? Because I've concentrated on the "easy" ancestors - the ones who appeared on the 1850 census or left behind common vital records. I've only spent a little bit of time in libraries, I've never researched in an archive and I've never requested film from a Family History Center. But, I think it's time for a change.

     I learned a lot from the recent Atlanta Family History Expo, and was really inspired to push myself and make some new discoveries. I have come to the conclusion that in order to do this, I should concentrate on one family line and stick with it for the majority of my research time.  This way, if I don't find a record right away, I'll look for something else for this family line, instead of jumping around all over my tree for something "easy."

Me and my Grandmama, Easter 2005
     So I asked my mom, what family should we concentrate on? Her response was immediate: the Huyler family. Her reasoning was that this was the first family that we had ever "broken down."

     My grandmama, Betty Huyler Albea, never knew her paternal grandparents. She didn't even know their names and always wished that she did. One of the first records that I ever requested was her father's social security application. This document provided the names of his father: John Willis Hyler and Ida Leaphart. My Grandmama didn't believe in crying, but she was very emotional upon seeing this document and finally learning her grandparent's names. It's one of those moments that you think back on and that make my research worthwhile.

     I'm going to start researching they Huyler family by creating profiles for each individual: what I know and what I don't. For example, every other generation seems to change the spelling of the name. Is it Huyler, Hyler, Hiler, Hoyler, Heyler, etc? What documents am I missing? Which resources have I failed to utilize? I want to challenge myself and accomplish something new. I'm confident that I can do so.

12 November 2010

Atlanta Family History Expo: Day 1

     I just got home from day one of the very first Atlanta Family History Expo. I'm dead tired and have a pounding headache, but I'm looking forward to ending tomorrow in the exact same condition!

Keynote Introduction by Holly Hansen

     I spent most of the day in classes, including ones on topics such as writing, vital records, southern land records, and church records. The classes were each an hour long, but felt like only half an hour. They were all jam-packed with information and I wish they'd been longer to fit more info. However, each class provided a syllabus with extra information and links. My mom and sister took some of the same classes as well as different ones. They also made an effort to visit all of the vendors - and so far I've only visited four.

     Tomorrow, I have two "must attend" classes (DAR & NARA), but will otherwise try to fulfill my "Blogger of Honor" duties, which I didn't do much of today. I'll be on the 9:30am Social Media Q&A panel, along with the other bloggers. Also, I will remember to bring my computer charger so that my computer won't die like it did today. I also had issues sending photos from my phone today. I tried to send two but they never arrived.... maybe tomorrow!

Above, me, in a class
Below, my mom and sister in the expo hall

Welcome to Gwinnett

     Just a quick 'Hello!' to everyone who plans to attend the Atlanta Family History Expo today and tomorrow in my home county of Gwinnett. I think this is going to be a great event, both fun and educational. I'll be attending with my mom and sister, both of whom follow my research and will help me on occation. I'm also looking for a few of my co-workers to swing by. For any new folks I meet, I appologize in advance for immediately forgetting your name and which blog you write... sorry, I've got a terrible memory!

     For those of you interested in following the expo via the internet, I recommend that you follow the twitter hashtag #FHExpo. Also, check out the Lanyrd event here (I'm not too familiar with this site, but it already looks awesome). Depending on how my day goes, I will be tweeting (@ValerieC84) and I might be doing some quick live blogging. I will more likely do a post a the end of the day.

    See you soon!

10 November 2010

Visiting the Kenan Library

     Today, I visited the Kenan Research Center in Buckhead (Atlanta), which is part of the Atlanta History Center.  I'd never been to the library before, though I've been to the History Center Museum and historic houses a number of times. From searching WorldCat and Google Books, I had found a number of books that I wanted to see that are located at the Kenan library. Before going in, I also searched their online catalogue to look for additional books and resources. One of those is Garrett's Necrology, which I had been meaning to view for some time.


    So this morning I went over to the Library. The traffic in Buckhead is evil - pure evil - just like always. Once at the Altanta History Center, I parked in the deck that's used for the museum. The building for the library is just to the right of the museum, with multiple signs point the way. Once inside the building, I asked for further directions at the desk and headed into the library. I signed up for a research card at the front desk and verified that I'd read the policies. Then stored my purse and "banned items" in a free locker. I took my computer and cell phone with me. 

    Inside the library there are (at least) three areas: the Reading Room, the Microfilm Room, and the Genealogy Room. Thanks to the dewey decimal system, this library was set up just like any other, aside from the fact that all books of genealogical importance have been placed in a separate room (as shown in the photo).  I browsed the books for Georgia and South Carolina that I had been looking for, as well as others that I found along the way. I didn't make any great discoveries, though I did find some interesting facts on a few relatives and made copies of some of the information.

     I also browsed the microfilm selection. They had the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as well as some other small Atlanta papers. There were also Fulton County marriage licenses and random  records from other counties. I finally got to browse the Garrett Necrology, which has an index online. Although I was disappointed to learn that the records I was interested in were not for my relatives, it was nice know that I could now disregard those.

    So overall not an earth-shattering day of research. However, it's nice to have been able to look at some books and records that I've wanted to look at for a while now. Personally, it was something of a good thing for me - I dread doing new things and going new places on my own. But, that's what I did today and it wasn't the end of the world. :) 

08 November 2010

Thomas Craft in the CCC (Pt 2) - Amanuensis Monday

    I previously posted the first two pages of my Grandfather, Thomas Craft's, Civilian Conservation Camp documents. Below is the next page.

(see how to request this information for your ancestor at http://www.ccclegacy.org/research.htm)


Company 1499     Camp NC SP-3, Albemarle, N.C.     Date April 26, 1938
I accept reenrollment in the Civilian Conservation Corps for the period ending at the discretion of the United States between For a period of not less than six months under the same conditions as my previous enrollment.
Thomas S. Craft [signature]
(Enrollee's signature)
Reenrolled this 26th day of April, 1938
Signature Paul Hannah
Paul D. Hannah, Capt. 39th. Inf. Res.
(Name, grade and organization, typed or stamped) Company Commander.

___[next section, same page]___

Company 1499 Camp NC SP 3 Date Apr 1 1999 [stamp]
 accept reenrollment in the Civilian Conservation Corps for the period ending at the discretion of the United States between illegible under the same conditions as my previous enrollment.

Thomas S. Craft [signature]
(Enrollee's signature)
Reenrolled this [illegible] day of [illegible]
Alan M Eldridge [signature]
Alan M. Eldridge
1st Le. 323d Inf.
(Name, grade and organization, typed or stamped) Company Commander.

___[next section]___

From 12/18/36 to [??/1?/3?] under [illegible]. Department 1499th Company at Albemarle, N.C.
Type of work cook Manner of performance Very satisfactory. [scribble]
[marked out] xxx [illegible] per paragraph 2 S.C. 184 Left Company 1499
Sept. 10, 3[?] Last paid [illegble] [illegible] No. F/S, 193[?]
accounts of L. [illegible] for clothing and equipment $1.[??] [scribble] for AWOL on [blank]
$[blank] ; for AWOL on [blank] , $[blank] ; per R H dated [blank] ; [blank] ; due CCC store [blank]
Company, $[blank] Due Company fund [blank] ; Company $[blank] [illegible] , $[blank] I have not
[illegible signature] [illegible] Co. [illegible]

Thomas Craft - CCC Camp

01 November 2010

Interviewing the Aunts, Pt 1 - Amanuensis Monday

     This is short video from last Friday's interview with my paternal Aunts, June and Charlotte. In this segment, they talk about where the family lived when they were children, as well as some of the amenities they did - and did not - have. If you have any trouble understanding what they're saying, I've posted a transcript below the video.

Charlotte: The reason is, we lived on the line, the county line. 
Valerie: Ok
Charlotte: And I think the house was half and half. And the bedroom half was in Hart County [Georgia]. Somethin' about - like that. So my birth had to be registered in Hart County. 
Valerie: Ok
Charlotte: But we actually lived in the Rock Branch Community down in Elberton. And, always, we lived several different places. Like, we lived - uh, like when I was born it was only a two room house. We lived in several little two room houses that Daddy [Thomas Craft] rented. And then Daddy started renting the farm from Uncle Claude, and then eventually bought it. 
Valerie: Oh, ok.
Charlotte: But he didn't own it long before he sold it and he - we moved to Stone Mountain [Georgia]. When I was seven [1948] And - and it was me and June and Wayne then. And uh, uh... So I remember when we lived in the house with Aunt Frances [Craft Adams].
Valerie: Ok
Charlotte: It was a big house and she - they lived in half and we lived in half. 'Cause I gave everybody measles and chicken pox. 
Valerie: [laughing]
Charlotte: All the kids. And uh, uh... So, lets see, there was at that time - like I said there was three of us and Aunt Frances -  I think she had three at that time.  But yeah, it - you know - And I remember we lived in the house with them and then we moved to what you call a shotgun house. Just a little long house. It was a little bit bigger than two rooms. Um, then we moved from there - I don't remember what  - June won't probably remember what road that was on. We moved there to Huff - what was then Huff Road, which has since been renamed to somethin' else. 
Valerie: Oh, ok.
Charlotte: And, and we lived on Huff Road 'til I was in eighth grade. I was 13 I think. 12 or 13. 13. And we moved to Tucker [Georgia].
Valerie: Ok.
Charlotte: 'Cause Mama and Daddy promised - they - we knew what they were lookin' for a house. I mean, we lived in this house... uh, it... when we moved there we had no water. Daddy had - Daddy would take big trash cans - the big metal cans - and go up to the store and fill 'em up with water. Then Papi [maternal grandfather, Nathan Britt] built-dug a well in between us and the neighbors so we could both use it. And then eventually we got running cold water into the kitchen of the house. But we had no bathrooms.
Valerie: And this is on Huff Road?
Charlotte: Huff Road.
Valerie: Ok
Charlotte: June! What's Huff Road called now?
June: Spring Vally I think it is...
Valerie: Spring Vally?
June: Yeah
Charlotte: And all we had was...
June: Somethin' Vally
Charlotte: All we had was a path up the hill to the outhouse. 
June: Yeah
Charlotte: So I was 13 and June was 11 before we had a house with, with an inside bathroom when we moved to Tucker. 
June: Mama was pregnant with Kenny...
Valerie: Ok, ok.
June: ...when we moved to Tucker.  
Charlotte: Yeah, he was born in - when we lived in Tucker. I think she went back to Stone Mountain to have him though.
June: Yeah, she did.
Valerie: He, he said he was born in a hospital. 
June: Uh-hu
Charlotte: Yeah, the little white hospital up on the hill then. 
June: No, uh - the only time I remember me and Charlotte fussin' about who was goin' to wash dishes was the day we got runnin' water in the kitchen. You remember that? 

I'm Going Too! [Guest Blogger]

     Hello! My name is Sarah (Valerie's sister). I don't have any experience with genealogy besides watching Valerie research for the past seven plus years. However, I am going to go with her to the Atlanta Family History Expo. So, I thought I would write a little bit about my thoughts and expectations.

     Although I don't do any research of my own, I follow Valerie's genealogy research. I find any pictures, physical documents and artifacts especially interesting. 

     When I got married Valerie began documenting my husband’s family tree. Much of the information was there already, but she was able to fill out the information a little more with documents and records. Recently she made a family tree for me though Ancestry.com. You can also see some other pictures on the table below which include some pictures of my parents and grandparents.

     So, given my interest in history and genealogy (but not doing the research myself) I am attending the Atlanta Family History Expo with Valerie as a sort of assistant. I want to help her take notes and keep track of any information she obtains. When there is more than one class that she wants to go to, I will be able to go to those for her. Maybe help her live blog from the Expo. I also hope to help her mingle and network with other genealogists. 

30 October 2010

Initial Results

     Yesterday I sat down with my dad's sisters, my Aunts June and Charlotte, for a genealogy interview. Before meeting them, I made research notebooks full of family group sheets and copies of original documents for each of them. I also prepared a small list of questions that I wanted to ask about our family history, as well as memories of their childhood. In the end, I recorded over four hours of conversation. Over the next few weeks, I'll edit the audio together into more streamline information and turn it into little videos. For now, here are a few facts I learned:
Charlotte & June Craft
  • My paternal grandmother had a family bible, but it was destroyed in house fire in the 1960s along with all other family possessions.
  • My Great-Aunt Ollie was married three times, not two times. 
    • My Aunt Charlotte has the obituary of Ollie's only child that died as a baby and we don't know any details about.
  • My aunts recounted what they knew of the tornado the family survived when they were toddlers.
  • My grandparents house sat on the county line. The front door was in Elbert County, but the bedroom was in Hart County, so my Aunts birth certificates state "Hart County."
  • Viewing Google Maps, we saw my Great-Grandparents house and a small country store that my aunts visited as children.
  • My Great-Grandfather Nathan Britt could pick cotton faster than anyone else alive.
    • Also, he was married a second time that I didn't know about 
  • My grandfather farmed cotton, raised chickens and had a cow and a goat for milk.
  • My Aunt June was married in February of 1961 and graduated high school two months later.
     These are some of the things I can remember off the top of my head right now. I'll be going through my notes and the audio to organize everything I learned.

26 October 2010

My Genealogy Day

     My boss told me that I could take a day off today and use some sick time, which I never get to use and an about to hit my cap on. So, I thought I'd spend the day doing some genealogy. And I did kinda do that, but not the way I'd planned.

     So, my original plan was to visit the local Family History Center. I've never done this before, even though they are only about five minutes from my house. I spent yesterday evening browsing the online catalogue and finding resources that might be valuable to me. I was specifically looking at researching the Albea family of Lincoln County, GA and Iredell County, NC before that. I printed out some sources and a bit of family tree info and planned to go by the next morning.

     However, in the morning I checked my email and saw that my associate degree diploma was ready to be picked up. Yay! This pretty much trumped any other plans for the day. By the time I drove halfway around Atlanta and back, got home and ate lunch, the FHC was closed. However, they open for a few hours in the evening, so I thought I'd go then.

     But then, I got a call from my Aunt June (my dad's sister, as opposed to my mom's sister, also named June). She had previously mentioned that her sister, my Aunt Charlotte, would be in town sometime soon and they wanted to get together and talk genealogy. Now she knew that my Aunt would be in town starting tomorrow, so we set up a time to meet this Friday. This was a bit earlier than I'd expected, so I wasn't prepared.  I have since spent the rest of the night creating reference notebooks for each Aunt.

     As I was printing out my records about their Dad (my grandfather), I started thinking about some comments that my dad had made earlier in the day. From my grandfather's WWII army separation notice, we know that he received a WWII victory medal and an Occupation Ribbon for Germany. My dad had asked my aunt about these, but she didn't have them and, logically, she's the only person that would have them.  Since she doesn't, it's assumed that they were destroyed in the house fire in the 1960s.  So I thought I'd look into possibly ordering replacements for these. After about 10 minutes on the National Archives website, I had finished doing so. I'm not 100% that we'll receive the medals - the form just seemed too easy! But, we'll see what happens.

     I'm now sidetracked with putting together genealogy information for my aunt's visit, so the FHC visit has been put on pause. Hopefully I'll get to it next week, when I legitimately have Tuesday off.  :) Does anyone have any advise for me or tips on what to expect?

25 October 2010

Thomas Craft in the CCC - Amanuensis Monday

     My Grandfather was in the Civilian Conservation Corps as a young man. We're lucky to know this because no one ever mentioned it or spoke of it. However, there's a photo of him dressed as a chef with at note about the CCC and North Carolina written on the back. With this information, I was able to send off for his records (see the photo and the from here). If you have an ancestor who participated in this program I recomed you send off for their records ASAP - they are full of info. Here's a transcription of the first two pages.

Certification in lieu of lost or destroyed
Certificate of Discharge
Civilian Conservation Corps
To all whom it may concern:
Know ye that Thomas S. Craft serial no. CC4-236405 a member of company 1499, Civilian Conservation Corps, at Albemarle, South Carolina [North Carolina] who was enrolled on the Twenty-Sixth day of October One Thousand Nine Hundred and Thirty-Seven at Athens, Georgia was Honorably discharged therefrom on the Tenth  day of September One Thousand Nine Hundred and Thirty-Nine by reason of Expiration of Term of Enrollment.

Given under my hand at St. Louis, Missouri this Twenty-Third day of October Two Thousand Eight

William D. Bassman [signature]
William D. Bassman
Chief, Reference Service branch

National Archives and Records Administration
National Personnel Records Center (CPR), St Louis, Missouri

Individual Record
Civilian Conservation Corps
I. General Information
Serial No. CC4-236405
Junior White Georgia
(Class) (State)
1. Name: Craft, Thomas Spurgeon
2. Address: Rt. 3, Elberton, Georgia
3. Date of birth: December 26, 1919
4. Birthplace: Elbert Co. Georgia
5. Nearest relative: Bennie Craft, Rt. 3, Elberton, Georgia
6. Citizenship: (Native born); naturalized
7. Color: White
8. Military or naval service: [blank]
9. Height: 70 Weight: 125 Complexion: [illegible] Color of hair: Red
     color of eyes: Blue Scars or identifying marks: [illegible]
10. Education (circle highest grade completed: Grammar school 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8; high school, 1 (2) 3 4
11. Occupational qualifications: Occupation: Farm Length of Experience: 8 Years
12. Were you previously a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps? No

II. Oath of Enrollment
I, Bennie [Thomas] Craft, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that the information given above as to my status is correct. I agree to remain in the Civilian Conservation Corps for the period terminating at the discretion of the United States between Oct 2? 1937 Apr 25 19?? unless [?] released by proper authority, and that I will obey those in authority and observe all the rules and regulations thereof to the best of my ability and will accept such allowances as may be provided pursuant to law and regulations promulgated pursuant therefore. I understand and agree that any injury received or disease contracted by me while a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps cannot be made the basis of any claim against the Government, except such as I may be entitled to under the act of September 7 1916 (39 Stat. 742 [illegible] provide compensation for employees of the United States suffering injuries while in the performance of their duties and for other purposes), and that I shall not be entitled to any allowance upon release from camp, except transportation in kind to the place at which I was accepted for enrollment. I understand further that any articles issued to me by the United States Government for use while a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps are, and remain, property of the United States Government and that willful destruction, loss, sale or disposal of such property renders me financially responsible for the cost thereof and liable to trial in the civil courts. I understand further that any infraction of the rules or regulations of the Civilian Conservation Corps renders me liable to expulsion therefrom. So help me God.

Place: Athens, Georgia
Signature: [too faint to see]
[Illegible] 26th day of October, nineteen hundred and thirty seven
Charles A. Hope,
1st L.T. Cavalry-Reserve
Enrolling Officer

Thomas Craft - CCC Camp Thomas Craft - CCC Camp


Related Posts with Thumbnails