30 January 2010

SNGF - Birthday Calendar

This week's SNGF is to make a calendar showing all of our ancestor's birthdays using our genealogy software.

In reunion, you can create a calendar list of certain events. Simply select "List" from the file menu, and then chose "Calendar..." From here, decide which event you'd like to list: births, deaths, marriages, emigrations, censuses, etc. It does not appear that all events can me made into one calendar list. Next, designate the time span the the folks that you want showing up (all, marked, living). Once the list is created, columns can be added or removed. For example, I can add an age column. Finally, decide the output of the file: text or web file. The file will be a list only and is not available in a "wall calendar" format.

To the left I have an image of the birthday calendar list as it appears in reunion, before being sent to a file. Those with January birthdays with no specific date are listed first, followed by a chronological list of everyone else.

I see that today there are four birthdays in my family tree. The "closest" relative is my half-brother's Great-Grandmother, Evie Williams Belk. Yesterday was my Great-Grandmother's birthday.

More Confusion with FamilySearch Indexing

A little while ago I wrote a post about some issues I was having with FamilySearch Indexing. Most of those issues seems to have been fixed. Today, however, I came across a new issue.

I finished indexing a batch of census images and wanted to try something new. When picking a new batch to index, I generally sort by language and pick from the english projects. I decided to try South Africa, Cape Province - Church Records 1660-1970. They were listed as English, Advanced. Much to my surprise however, the record I was presented with was in Dutch!

I thought that I must have missed something when I selected the record - but no. I went back to the selection screen and this collection is listed as english. But if I check the FamilySearch Indexing website, the project details state that the records are in Afrikaans, Dutch and English. Hmmm... now why couldn't they list this information in the indexing program?

I have absolutely no knowledge of Dutch, but it seems to be very much like German. I was able to guess at the meanings of the words, but in the end decided to find a translator. Google's translator is very good. It translated what I typed as I typed and the results were grammatically correct.

I hope that FamilySearch Indexing will correct this error. If they don't, they may find that a lot of batches may be returned. However, having been able to successfully complete this Dutch record, I may try my hand at other foreign language documents.

29 January 2010

Name Your Kids Already!

This is the 1880s Census enumeration of my Sprouse Ancestors. The family of William Washington and Nancy K (Armstrong) Sprouse were living in Abbeville, Abbeville, South Carolina in 1880. This page shows only their children, with the couple listed on the previous page. And the names of two of their children? Babe. As in, unnamed babies. I know that it's not that unusual to have not named a child immediately, but I personally find it unusual to have two unnamed daughters of different ages, neither of which are infants.

The eldest of the unnamed girls was my Great-Great Grandmother, Nina Frances Spouse. I'm curious as to how she made it to the age of two without a name. Could the couple not pick a name? Was she was named after someone? The name Nina (Nine-uh) doesn't appear previously in the family that I can find, though there were tons of Franceses. What was the general length of time that children went without names during this time period?

I'll probably never know specifically why Nina wasn't "Nina" for over two years, but it's an interesting mystery to ponder.

25 January 2010

Floor Plans - My Home as a Baby

This post is part of an on-going series about the homes of my family. Today's house is the one that I lived in at the very beginning of my life.

This house was on Allen Wood's Drive in Norcross, Georgia. Although I do not remember the house at all, I easily remember the street name, as it is the same as my brother's. My mom drew this floor plan. The house was a two story duplex. That's all the information I have now.

23 January 2010

Surname Saturday - Huyler

My maternal Grandmother's maiden name was Betty Huyler. Her father was born Vary Americus Hyler, but changed his name to Mack Huyler. My grandmother did not know her father as a child and never knew about, nor met, any of his family. It was one of those great moments in my John & Ida Hylergenealogy research to be able to provide her with the names of her grandparents: John Willis Hyler and Ida Leaphart.

My Huyler / Hyler ancestors are mainly from Lexington County, South Carolina. Other spellings of this name include Hiler, Heyler and Hoyler. I can trace this line back to Gabriel Hoyler / Hyler, born abt 1794 in South Carolina. He lived in Lexington County with his wife, Abigail Gartman. According to census records, their children were Almenia, Reuhama, Nathan Washington, William, and Frances E. I descend through Nathan Washington Hyler, who served as a confederate soldier during the Civil War.

Other researchers have Gabriel's father as Barnet Bernard Hoyler / Hyler, whose parents are said to be Johann Michael Heyler and Hannah Catherine Morlokin. They are said to have been born in Baden, Germany. I have not seen documentation to prove these two generations.

If anyone else is researching this family line, I'd love to hear from you.

20 January 2010

Image Oddities

I've been browsing through Ancestry.com's new City Directory listings (yes browsing only - the search doesn't seem to find folks half the time) and have found some image oddities. Check out the screenshot below:

See they gray spots and textured areas? It can make it just about impossible to read some of the images on this page. But what if you ancestors are on this page? Never fear intrepid researchers! Just click to save the image to your computer and...

The new image is perfect! I'm not sure what's causing the error in the original image, but this is an easy way to get around the problem.

Wordless Wednesday

Evoid James Britt of Emanuel County, Georgia - school photo

18 January 2010

On the Up Side

Yesterday I wrote about my disappointment with Ancestry.com's census substitutes. They provide limited information about an even more limited segment of the population. But my criticism does not mean that I don't appreciate the database for what it does provide.

Although most of my relatives are not covered in these census substitutes, others are. For example, Greenville, South Carolina is well represented in the city directories. Many of my SC ancestors moved here to work in the mills.

In the 1948 Greenville City directory I found my grandparents, Roy & Betty Huyler Albea. They had been married in Greenville in February of 1947. This directory shows my grandparents during their first year of marriage. Roy was working as a spooler at Brandon Mills. The couple was listed as "r10 Woodward," which indicates that they roomed at this location.

According to my mom, her parents first lived with Roy's sister and her husband, Tootsie and Doyle Clary. A quick look at the back of the book's address listing confirms that Doyle Clary was registered as the head of the household at 10 Woodward.

This information is for 1948 - a year when no national census took place. Without this directory, I would not know the couple's address for this time period. Based on library visits to view Atlanta city directories, I know that by 1950 Roy & Betty had settled in Atlanta at a Hotel owned by Roy's mother and step-father. Using Ancestry's collection, I see that the Clary's remained at 10 Woodward.

I hope that Ancestry.com continues to expand their city directory information so that other researchers will be able use these census substitutes. They really are a valuable resource.

16 January 2010

Surname Saturday - Craft

My Craft family line spends most of its time in Elbert and Hart Counties of Georgia and makes an occasional appearance in Anderson County, South Carolina. I've traced this line back to Willis Craft, born 1809 in Elbert County. Other researcher's information suggest that his parents may have been John Craft and Mary Moss. I have not seen the documentation that suggests this.

Willis Craft married Martha T. Franklin on 26 Nov 1832 in Morgan County, Georgia. They had a number of children, including Mary, John Franklin, William Anderson, Willis Moss, Martha A, James D, Terrah A, and Richard P.

Willis was a merchant and a farmer and represented Elbert County in the Georgia State House from 1857 - 1858. He died on 21 March 1874 in Elbert County.

My line follows his son William, who married Rossie Alexander. Their son, George Robert "Bob" Craft, was my Great-Great Grandfather. He married Effie Verona Powell and moved to Birmingham, Alabama in their later years. Their son, Bennie Craft, married Sally Ruth Evans and they were the parent's of my Grandfather, Thomas S. Craft.

As a Substitute, you get a C

Ancestry.com recently announced its 1950 Census Substitute collection. As they put it,
"The 1950 Census Substitute searches across more than 2,500 U.S. city directories from the mid 1940s through the 1950s. City directories were precursors to modern-day phonebooks and contain the names of each adult resident in the town along with their occupation and home and work addresses. Until the 1950 U.S. Federal Census becomes available, these records serve as a great resource for finding any adult family members who would have been alive during the 1950s."

While I give kudos to Ancestry for providing these documents, I would hardly call it a census substitute. A US census covers the entirety of the population of the country - this collection covers 2,500 cities and maybe their suburbs. This is a great resource for those ancestors lived in the areas that are covered, but the title of this collection may be very misleading for others.

Here are a few states for example:
  • Alabama: 7 Cities
  • Colorado: 7 Cities
  • Georgia: 11 Cities
  • Hawaii: 1 City
  • New Mexico: 5 Cities
  • South Carolina: 6 Cities
As you can see, there are many area that are not covered by this "census substitute." To be fair, there are other areas that have better coverage, but it's hit and miss. And to make matters a bit worse, from what I can tell, most of these city directories cover the same cities that have already been covered in the past. Few new cities appear in these directories, at least for the states that I research. I'd have loved to be able to access a larger geographical area.

So, while this collection is a substitute by dictionary definition, I look at it more like the type of substitutes that we have in schools today. The teacher's out and some random person comes in to watch the class for the day. They give out a reading assignment with a worksheet or play a video. While you might learn a few random facts that apply to the area of study, you have to wait for the teacher's return to really learn anything significant.


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