February 14, 2013
A few years ago, I came across a January 1864 list of indigent families who “drew factory yarn” in Rabun County. That list has been stuck in the back of my mind ever since as I ponder the idea of factory yarn.
Here lately, I’ve been spending some quality time with my knitting needles making Christmas gifts and finishing up a few projects. I discovered quite by chance that knitting for even half an hour before bedtime helps me sleep better than spending the entire evening on work. (Imagine that!)
After spending so much time from Halloween to Christmas knitting for others, I decided to do something nice for myself. My Christmas stocking this past year contained a skein of some beautiful sock yarn. Coincidentally, I’ve always wanted a pair of hand knit socks.
A while back, I read Sharon DeBartolo Carmack’s A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors : Special Strategies for Uncovering Hard-To-Find Information About Your Female Lineage, in which she discusses using social history to fill in the blanks of a woman’s life.1 One of her case studies, toward the back of the book, discussed the day-to-day responsibilities of a woman living in the 19th century, one of which was knitting stockings for all her household’s residents.
April 28, 2012
Oh, the dreaded brick wall ancestor, the bane of every genealogist’s life! We all have them, those ancestors who refuse to cooperate and instead prefer to lurk just out of reach of our inquisitive minds. Luckily for us (not so much for the lurking ancestors), there are plenty of tricks to help researchers break down those brick walls. Here are four useful techniques:
October 24, 2011
My grandmother told me a story many moons ago about her grandparents. She never mentioned them by name, so I had no clue who she was talking about, but it was the kind of story that tends to stick with you.
If you thought I was going to talk about an ancestor who was a bandit, sorry, but no, I have none that I’m aware of. Same thing for ancestors who were cowboys or bank robbers; nor any who had an overwhelmingly large collection of Halloween costumes. My Uncle Steve worked in a nuclear plant for several years, but I don’t think that’s the same thing at all.
October 22, 2011
I’ve been exploring the land records of Rabun County here lately, a difficult undertaking at times because the land records vault is small and is rather popular with attorneys and title searchers. It was relatively uncrowded the day I went, so I was able to snag a couple of records, including the following from Thomas I. Ledbetter to Amos Curtis, and the deeds of gift from Hiram Dillingham to three of his grandchildren.
February 20, 2010
In August, I will be attending the Federation of Genealogical Societies‘ annual conference, held this year in Knoxville, TN. While I am looking forward to this event in general, I am especially excited about visiting the East Tennessee Historical Society, home to the McClung Historical Collection, a virtual cornucopia of manuscript collections, rare books, city directories, newspapers, and microfilm. The primary focus of the collection is, of course, the eastern Tennessee counties, but other areas of Tennessee and other states are also represented.
I am currently compiling a list of my eastern Tennessee families so that I can plan my on-site research. Included will be:
- Mansfield and Harriet (Black) Anderson, who moved from Blount and Sevier Counties (TN) into Macon Co., NC
- Miranda (Fletcher) Curtis and several of her children, who moved from Macon Co., NC, to Monroe Co., TN
- Samuel Hopper, who possibly lived for a short time in Claiborne and Giles Counties, TN
- Various children of William Morgan, who died in 1809 in Jackson Co., GA
The FGS 2010 Conference theme is “Rediscovering America’s First Frontier.” The conference runs from August 18 to August 21. For more information, see the FGS conference web site.
April 12, 2009
I recently bought several back issues of the NGS NewsMagazine from a fellow researcher, and have been diligently combing through them for research and record tips. I’ve run across some really good finds, too, but the topic of today’s post comes from the article “Charting Your Priorities” by Susan Zacharias (January/February/March 2007, pp. 54 – 56). In short, Zacharias offers a method of prioritizing research by listing end-of-lines (that is, the earliest known generation in every direct line) in various fonts according to their place on the pedigree chart. Your largest font size (Zacharias recommends 18 point) would correspond to your most recent (chronologically) dead end, with each step down in fonts corresponding to one generation further back in time.