Let’s talk libraries and databases!

After a wonderful genealogy/ DNA friend helped me refind something again, I thought it might be wise to share some things I learned from this whole scenario!

#1  Save your work!  Document what you find.  Email it to yourself.  Print it out.  Don’t depend on being able to remember that you found and where you found it.  (And keep track of where you look for items – make a list/ log.)

This is the big mistake I made!  I thought I’d be able to find it again.  Ooops!  Nope.  I think the database subscription from whichever access I was using didn’t renew its subscription?  Either way, I had to have help re-finding it and the database it was in!

#2  Use the library!  Your public library has FREE access to LOTS of stuff!  Books, databases, computers (to access said databases among other things).  Library cards are free as best I know and you’re likely not far from one whether you drive or not.  And if you have a computer/ internet access at home or work, you can use that card to access the card catalog, databases, and your library account (put books on hold, renew checkouts) from places outside the actual library walls.

I live in Cobb County.  I already had a library card from the Cobb County Public Library System (http://www.cobbcat.org/) and knew about accessing the databases in GALILEO from home since I work at a college and have access via work as well.  GALILEO (http://www.galileo.usg.edu/library/cobbcat/search/) is Cobb County Libraries database access system.  It’s like an online reference room of sorts and makes a great companion to the online card catalog.  Most libraries are going to have this type of access whether they’re county, regional, or state libraries.  I think librarians realize how much we like to access data and information digitally and work to make that happen and to add to the availability as much as possible.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve been underestimating the public library system here in Georgia?!  It turns out there’s ANOTHER library that’s just as close as my usual branch that’s on my way home from work!  And it might actually be close!  So check for other branches or library systems, especially if you live near a county line.  I’m not far from this library system – http://www.wgrl.net/.  You might have to ask about this or do some ingenious Googling, but there might be options available!  It wouldn’t hurt to ask a librarian if there’s anything cool you should know about their branch, system, neighboring branches or systems, or just libraries in the state in general.

Part of what makes this a cool option and find is something my grandmother actually told me about years ago.  Both of them are retired from working at the library, but it’s my dad’s mom that I used to go to work at the library with and mentioned PINES from (http://pines.georgialibraries.org/about).  For me and others like me, getting a PINES library card works IN ADDITION to my regular library card.  It’s another option with more access as far as I can tell.  (WHY am I just now looking into this?!)  This at least gives me easy access to a whole nother library system as if it were my home one – as well as on the road across the state!

So those are my finds and tips from yesterday.  What’s your big find from your library?  Any cool programs?  What about neat databases or access?  Or is yours just gorgeous and phenomenal?

I’ll be back later to talk about the Georgia Room at the main branch for Cobb County, the Switzer Branch!  (http://www.cobbcat.org/research/local-history/)

 

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Larkin Waters

Larkin Waters was born in 1802 to John Jackson Watters and Mary Cleveland.  (For now, I go with the assumption that he was born in Franklin county, GA.)

1826 appears to find Larkin on the Georgia Property Tax Digest.  This one is difficult to decipher but it appears to sell property to Cleveland Payne?  It’s difficult to say because there’s another document that seems to discuss a different land transaction Larkin and Ruth had with Kenneth and Elizabeth McKenzie.  Elizabeth McKenzie was Ruth’s mother who’d married Kenneth after her father Cleveland Payne had passed away in 1808.

His children are Harriett Nancy, Katherine, Margaret, Mary, John, Elizabeth, John Larkin Cleveland Payne, Tolerst, Catherina, Hortenst, Mary Elizabeth, and John Larkin.  It would be a fair assumption to make that Larkin and Ruth got married before Harriett Nancy was born in 1825.  The 1830 Census indicates that Larkin had two female children under 5 (if we have in fact found the correct person).  This also has them living in Franklin county, Georgia.  By 1840, they are listed in the Federal Census as living in Randolph county, Alabama.  I found and “Alabama, Homestead and Cash Entry Patent” dated October 1, 1845.  I’d have to research it more but this seems to indicate the acquiring of more land for the family.  The 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 Census records still find them living in Randolph county, Alabama.  1850 lists the specific location as Beat 5.  1860 says Northern Division.  1870 says Rockdale and 1880 says Morrisons.  These are probably all the same place/ area, just with different names at the different time with it being a rural area.

Larkin passed away January 28, 1895.  There’s the monument at the Waters Family Cemetery that lists him and several family members, but I’m still unsure as to the exactly location of his buriual (whether it’s there or elsewhere, I’m guessing there).  The U.S. Veterans Gravesites, circa 1775-2006 database lists him as “PVT US ARMY INDIAN WARS” with his burial being in the Waters Cemetery in Wedowee, AL 36278.  That probably refers to the Creek War of 1836 as best I can tell.

I think that at least the death date for John Robert Larkin is mistaken for who I believe is an uncle that lived next door to them at one point.

I think that at least the death date for John Robert Larkin is mistaken for who I believe is an uncle that lived next door to them at one point.

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John Larkin Cleveland Payne Waters

Let me just preface this by saying that the surname is likely going to be found as either Waters or Watters or both when it comes to a lot of things around this generation.  And likely many before and maybe a couple since!  So there’s your genealogy PSA for the day!  🙂  Don’t be TOO adamant about spelling when it comes to names.  There really are all kinds of reasons why names might not be spelled the way “you’ve always spelled it”… and probably even a bunch I haven’t thought about or run across yet!

John Larkin Cleveland Payne… okay, we’ll call him JL… was born sometime in 1844 to Larkin and Rutha (Ruth)(nee Payne) Waters.  You’ll see from the records that it’s not crystal clear if he was born in Franklin, Georgia or Randolph county, Alabama.  The 1850 Federal Census finds him living with his parents in Beat 5, Randolph county, Alabama, and lists his birthplace as Alabama.  While this census does list siblings, it’s all girls: Elizabeth (18), Catharine (16), Margaret (15), and Hariet (12).  The 1860 Federal Census, however, lists his birthplace as Georgia, bringing us back to Franklin as the birthplace.  In 1860 he is living with his parents and older sister, “Margarett”, and a baby named “E.W.”.  A couple of interesting things…  based on the age of Margarett and the baby, as well as the gap between JL and E.W., my guess would be that the baby is Margarett’s.  Also, the location it lists for their home is “Northern Division, Randolph, Alabama” and the post office is listed as Rockdale.  My guess is that they must have lived in the northern part of Randolph county pretty close to Rockdale.

Sometime before 1870 and most likely between 1860 and 1864, JL married Mary Elizabeth “Shug” Lashley.  Their oldest child I found listed in a record was Mary Ellen who was about 6 years old at the time of the 1870 Federal Census.  His son, John Robert Larkin, was 4 years old at that time and the middle child.  Listed is Ruth P. or “Ruthy” who was about one year old.  They are listed as living in Rockdale, Randolph county, Alabama with their post office being in Milner.  (Interesting since Rockdale was the post office of record for his family in the 1860 Federal Census.)  By 1880, the Federal Census has them living in Morrisons, Randolph county, Alabama.  The household consisted of JL, Shug, Mary Ellen, John Robert Larkin, Ruthy, and had added Catherine, Joseph P., Hammet M., and George L. to the family.  I’m sorry to say that at this point Granpa JL has been bedridden for two years and can not work.  Mary Ellen is also listed as “diseased” which could mean any number of things in that day and age but obviously indicates something was wrong and had impacted her health/ abilities in some way.  With the records from the 1890 Federal Census having been destroyed by fired and JL passing away in 1892, there are no further Federal Census records for him.

Information regarding his passing and bits of his life are recorded in what appears to be an obituary for Shug.

MEL Watters obit

 

There is also a little bit recorded on a monument that was erected for the family in 1996.  I’ve posted it before, but I’ll add it here again.

I think that at least the death date for John Robert Larkin is mistaken for who I believe is an uncle that lived next door to them at one point.

I think that at least the death date for John Robert Larkin is mistaken for who I believe is an uncle that lived next door to them at one point.

The obit and the monument are both a bit fascinating with all the details they seem to uncover.  One of the things I have not added to the tree on Ancestry.com is JL’s Civil War history… should get on that! 🙂

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Thankful Thursday… Liz talks friends…

So, I think I’ve introduced you to my friend Liz.  Another genealogy enthusiast and blogger.  She posted a very sweet blog that I heartily agree with… since I’m one of the other members of that group.  So, I thought I’d “repost” and echo her sentiments.

It really is an amazing group that I have truly enjoyed getting to know since we got it off the ground.  Liz mentions the escapades researching to solve mysteries.  (We even came up with a new term… forensic genealogy!)  One of the other things this group is great about is the enthusiasm and supportive personality it’s taken on.  The support, encouragement, and inspiration among the members is exactly what you want to see in a group.

So as I raise a proverbial glass to this astounding group, know that this group is willing and able to make a run at any brick wall or mystery you have.  I say that to also say that when it comes to questions asking me is as good as asking them!  They are my secret arsenal!!

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“Who Do You Think You Are?”

I am TOTALLY excited about the new season of “Who Do You Think You Are?” starting tomorrow night on TLC!  It’s airing at 9PM Eastern and I’d really encourage you to tune in and see what they find out.  Tomorrow night starts with Kelly Clarkson.  (Psst, I notice the last name Rose and Ohio Civil War record in her preview…  🙂  )  It looks like Christina Applegate is up next.  Check out this article for more names.

So, why do I watch this.  First, because I love following their journey and excited in finding out their own family history.  I know how it excites me to find that one more document or another piece of information.  Second, you learn a bit about our country’s history.  Part of their family history is U.S. history as well.  Why did someone’s grandfather up and move to California? (Was it the gold rush?)  Why did they move one state over?  (Was it a land grant or lottery?)  Part of it is the world history as well.  Not everyone’s family has been here for decades or centuries.  Why did they come?  (My husband’s family were French Huguenots as best we can tell who left and went to Germany and came from there to America.  Religious reasons?)  Another reason is the tricks of the trade.  It’s interesting to see the actual documents they find and to find out what else is out there that I haven’t even run across yet in my searching.  (Did you know about the Salt Lists from the Civil War?  Yep, found Georgia ones with family listed!)

You’d be surprised what they learn and where they go in search of information.  What would YOU like to learn?  Tune in and see if you can find out more from them, too!

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John Robert Larkin Waters

Is that long enough name for you?  Just wait… his father’s is longer!!  🙂

As best I can tell, he was born in 1866 in Randolph county, Alabama to John Larkin Cleveland Payne and Mary Elizabeth (nee Lashley) Watters.  In 1880, he’s 14 years old and living with his parents in Morrisons, Randolph county, Alabama.  His father is listed as having been bed ridden for two years and his mother is keeping house.  His older sister, Mary Ellen, 16, is “diseased,” what exactly that means is uncertain.  His younger sister Ruthy is 11 and works on the farm with him.  They have even younger siblings at home as well: Catherine, Joseph P., Hammet M., and George L.

By May of 1884, John Robert is living in Worth county, Georgia, and marries Miss Fanny L. Goodman.  He states on the 1900 Census that he can not read or write; however, Fanny can.  They’re living in Militia District 1121 of Worth county at the time.  They have six children living with them: William A., Cora L., James B., Lizzie I., Ella M., and Johnie L.

John Robert passes away sometime after this census but before the 1910 census.  In 1910, Fanny has married Elbert Youngblood and are listed as having been married for one year, this being her second marriage and his first.  There’s a daughter, Myrtle, who is listed as 8 years old.  With her last name listed as Waters, it stands to reason that John Robert must have died prior to 1909 but after 1902.

I think that at least the death date for John Robert Larkin is mistaken for who I believe is an uncle that lived next door to them at one point.

I think that at least the death date for John Robert Larkin is mistaken for who I believe is an uncle that lived next door to them at one point.

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James Benjamin Waters

“When James Benjamin Waters was born on October 14, 1891, in Georgia, his father, John, was 25 and his mother, Fanny, was 21. He married Willie Odessa Nipper in December 1915 in Turner, Georgia. They had 10 children in 17 years. He died on April 28, 1950, in Crisp, Georgia, at the age of 58, and was buried in Arabi, Georgia.” – from Ancestry.com, via Story View

One of the new features on Ancestry.com that I’m loving is the Story View.  Once you have a person’s name and everything else entered and linked, you can click on the “Story View” button and it will create a timeline utilizing the photos and documents that are there.  **NOTE**  I’ve been told that not everyone has this feature yet, but that it is coming soon!!  It’s located in the top box of your person’s profile right under the birth and death location and is green.  (It’s beside the “Edit this person” button.)

Records that I’ve seen don’t seem to indicate specifically where he was born; however, it’s pretty safe to assume it was Worth county, Georgia since records to indicate at least in Georgia.  A birth date of 1891 is a blessing in disguise with the Federal Census records from 1890 having been destroyed.  This means that the first one he would show up in would be the 1900 one.  In fact he does!  He’s listed as living with his parents (John and Fanny), two older siblings (William and Cora), and three younger (Lizzie, Ella, and Johnie) in Militia District 1121, Worth county, Georgia.  The 1910 Federal census finds something fascinating.  It appears that by that time Fanny was married to Elbert Youngblood.  The interesting part is that James is listed next door as “Ben”and living with his grandfather (Gus Youngblood).  This wouldn’t have been too uncommon, but is still interesting to note and reinforces the need to view all the names and information on a record page!

He married Willie Odessa in 1915 and had one child prior to June of 1917 when he registered for the draft (World War I).  His draft card lists “wife and 4 children”, which would be Willie Odessa, their son, and her three girls with Andy Pitts.  (Remember, one passed away at the age of two.)  The card says he lived in Ashburn and was a farmer.  The Registrar gives a glimpse at what he looked like by describing him as having medium height, medium build, blue eyes, and dark brown hair.

I haven’t located the 1920 census records for him, but did find him living in Vickers, Turner county, Georgia in 1930.  Those records list him and Willie (or “Millie” as it was transcribed) as having six children with them at the time, one being Nip.  In the 1940 Census, we find “J.B.” and “Odessa” living in Vickers still with 5 children and their grandchild.  I’m not sure who’s child since the last name is listed as Waters but is crossed out.  (I also haven’t investigated the matter as of yet… will update later!!)  James passed away April 28, 1950 in Crisp county, Georgia.  He’s buried amongst family at Zion Hope Cemetery.

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