Category Archives: Saturday’s Dilemma

Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Down The Rabbit Hole

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One thing I have realized is there is never a shortage of dilemmas when you are working on Genealogy. Sometimes a person doesn’t quite fit into your tree, but you are sure they do. Other times, no matter how hard you search you can’t find a birth or death certificate. I am amazed that I still have hair!

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I believe part of my problem with finding the information I need is I am a shotgun researcher. I decide to work on one Ancestor, then I start searching for the documents I am missing. I do good for a while, going to as many different sites to find or verify documentation. My downfall is when a name comes up from one of my other Ancestors. “Oh look, there may be some information I can use on them too!” Down the rabbit hole, I plunge! The next thing I know is I have strayed far from my original goal and more often than not, I have forgotten what I started researching. It is like I shot the gun and the pellets go in all directions. It gets so frustrating.

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Believe it or not, I am a very organized person. I can sit in my recliner and tell someone where anything is in the house. Not just the general area but the cupboard and shelf and which side it is on. My husband is always amazed because he is the disorganized one. So why, why, why, can’t I figure out a doable way of organizing my research approach? I have tried many methods but nothing clicks with me.

So, maybe one of you can help me? What works best for you when it comes to keeping track of your research? How do you organize it so you can go back to the original Ancestor you began with? I am open to all suggestions. Thanks in advance.

 

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I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Dilemma, Documentation, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Hints, Organization, Research, Saturday's Dilemma, Uncategorized

Saturday’s Dilemma ~ John Pleasant Smith’s Death

shockedThis dilemma is a little different from the previous ones I have written about. With this one, I would really appreciate your advice or input into what to do. Let me start at the beginning.

 

John Pleasant Smith was born on September 8, 1882, in Hazel Hill, Missouri. He first married my Grandmother Ella McGowan on September 17, 1904. They had 6 children, 2 of them died at a young age. My mother was their youngest child. Ella died 2 years after my mother was born from heart disease.  He then married a widow named Nellie Jane Barrett on May 26, 1926. They never had children and Nellie raised his children. She passed away on February 4, 1948. Grandpa then married another widow, Nellie Robinson on February 15, 1949.

Dad and Grandpa colorized

1962

My parents moved us from Missouri to Arizona when I was 11 months old. My mother and sister had asthma and was told we should move to a drier climate. John was the only Grandparent that I ever met. All the rest had died long before I was born. He came to visit us in Arizona once in about 1962. In 1967 my family moved back to Missouri and we first lived in the same small town that Grandpa did. I was able to get to spend time with him and got to know him pretty well. After a few months, we moved into Independence, Missouri.

About a year later my Grandpa died at the age of 85. Now here is where my dilemma begins. The day he died he was out in his large yard with a push mower, mowing the lawn. This was nothing new. Although he was older, he still stood straight and tall. He dug graves at the local cemetery, and he managed a small farm on his own. He was in exceptional health for his age. He had gone to the doctor a couple of months earlier and he was given a prescription. I don’t know what it was for, but he hated the way the medicine made him feel. On this day, Nellie brought his pill out to him as he was mowing, insisting that he take it. He stumbled and fell backward over the mower. He broke his neck but lived for 6 days before dying.

Grandpas HSAfter the funeral, my Aunt Mae who was married to my mother’s brother Gene told us this story. Nellie and Grandpa had been having marital problems for years. On the day of the accident, she was at the house helping Nellie with some baking. When she went out to give Grandpa the pill she was irritated because she knew he wouldn’t want to take it. Aunt Mae heard loud voices, so she went to the back door and saw Nellie trying to force Grandpa to take the medicine. When he refused Nellie pushed him, HARD, and that caused him to stumble back over the push mower. Nellie told Aunt Mae if she tells what she saw the same could happen to her.

As far as I know, Aunt Mae never told anyone except my mother, dad, sister, and I. By the next year we moved away and never saw Nellie again. Because I wasn’t raised around family it has been easy to keep this secret. Over the last 10 plus years, I have “found” a lot of my mother’s family online. So, here is my dilemma.  The cousins have enjoyed reading my blogs about the Smith family and I have told them how I like to be as factual as possible, etc. What I am wondering is should I ask them what they have heard about Grandpas’ death? If they don’t know what really happened should I mention it to them? I do know that once Grandpa died no one in the family saw Nellie again as she sold the farm and left. What would you do?

 

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I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

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Filed under Ancestry, Dilemma, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Missouri, Murder, Saturday's Dilemma, Smith, Uncategorized

Saturday Dilemma ~ Francis McGowan

Searching McGowanFrancis McGowan is my 3x Great Grandfather and he is also one of my solid brick walls. He was born in Dublin County, Ireland sometime around 1794. He came to America in 1810 and he filed a Common Plea for naturalization on March 3, 1811, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. After this, he is found living in Monroe County, Tennessee. He eventually married Margaret “Peggy” Divine sometime before 1829 and they had 9 children between 1830 and 1844. He died in April 1871 in Monroe County, Tennessee.

I have a cousin, who is a McGowan, who has researched this line and she found a lot of court documents that didn’t shed a good light on our ancestor. Apparently, he had bought 80 acres of land from a gentleman and never paid him. Sometime between the purchase of the land and the lawsuit Francis transferred the title to his son James. There were more suits brought against him over non- payment of bills.

This makes me wonder if Francis had been one of the Irishmen that were sent over here to fight in one of the ongoing skirmishes with the Native Americans. There is a large gap between his naturalization and when he is found in 1830 Tennessee. I am currently looking for any information about this but have found nothing yet.

My Dilemma is: His name is a common one in County Dublin. I can’t determine which one would be him. As you can see, my “proof” concerning this ancestor is very slim. What I need is to find alternate websites to try to discover where he came from etc.

 

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I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Brick Wall, Dilemma, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Ireland, McGowan, McGowan Family, Saturday's Dilemma, Uncategorized

Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Should a Christian do Genealogy?

Family_TreeA few years ago, a Pastor friend of ours told me I shouldn’t be working on my genealogy because the Bible speaks against it. He quoted a few scriptures that “proved” his statement. At this point in my life, I had been a Christian for 42 years and I had been a Genealogist for over 20 years. I never felt the two were in conflict with each other. Even so, his words bothered me.

I went home and got out my Bible and sure enough, that is basically what those scriptures stated. They inferred that taking on Genealogy endeavors were “unprofitable and vain”. Being a researcher at heart and having been misguided by others in the past because they pulled one verse out of an entire book in the Bible to prove their point, I did my own research on what those scriptures meant.

Here is what I discovered. Throughout the Old Testament being able to “prove” your lineage is what gave you a position in society and/or in the Temple. If you were from, let’s say, the line of Aaron who was the high priest of the wilderness tabernacle, then each high priest that came after him had to be from his line. This line assured their importance and position. Fast forward to the New Testament. Things had not changed. Each group of people fits into society according to their lineage. When Jesus began His ministry, He did not follow the “rules”.  He called some fishermen, a tax collector, a doctor, a zealot, and several tradesmen to be His disciples.

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When the 2 verses (see verse references below) that had been quoted to me made the statement about “vain genealogies” it was referring to those who use their ancestors to put themself above others or who believes this makes them better than others. The bottom line is…..God created us all and we are equally valuable. I can comfortably reconcile my love of genealogy with my faith in Jesus!

SIDE NOTE: I have found through my research that there is a rich Religious Heritage that has been passed down through the generations to me. This comes from many different faiths and beliefs and I am thankful for this foundation.

 

Scriptures: 1 Timothy 1:4; Titus 3:9

 

cropped-blog-pic.jpgI am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Lewisa Bean

question markThis is the ancestor that I have the least amount of information about. There has been a lot of debates on Ancestry.com concerning her name, year of birth, and marriage. Let’s take a look at what I do know about her.

 

My 3 x Great Grandmother, Lewisa Bean as born in 1860 in Shenandoah County, Virginia. She married John Parrott, the founder of Parrotsville, Cocke Co, Tennessee, on June 27, 1881. Reverend Jacob Snyder performed the ceremony. She was John’s second wife.

Over the next 17 years, the had 5 children. The 3 sons were Joseph, Larue, and Jacob. The 2 daughters were Rachel and Catherine. Catherine is my 2x Great Grandmother.

She apparently died in Parrotsville, TN. Date unknown.

There is great controversy as to her name. First the spelling. In most of the Ancestry John Parrott Lewisa Bean MLtrees, I find it listed as Louise or Louisa.  Some of them have the name, Louisa Lucy. I understand that there are different ways to spell names and Louise or Louisa could be another way of writing Lewisa. However, as of this writing, I only have one document pertaining to her and her name is Lewisa on it. I have never found anything with either of the other 2 spellings or with the middle name of Lucy. That brings us to the year of birth and the year she got married.

Lewisa Bean John Parrott ML.I found one “record” of their marriage in the publication “A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia”. It states that they got married at the date listed above. It has her name spelled as “Lewisa”. However, there is a “U.S. and International Marriage Record” that has a Louise Bean marrying a John Parrett in 1861. If this was Lewisa she would have gotten married when she was 1 year old!  Also, her last child was born in 1899 so calculating this she would have been anywhere between 55 to 60 years old when Catherine was born. One thing that people keep pointing out to me is the marriage month and day are the same on both “records”, just the year is different.

So, as you can see, until I find more concrete documentation I am at a standstill. I have turned off the comments on Lewisa’s page so I don’t continue to get harassed because of these discrepancies.

Does anyone have any suggestions of where I may look for more information on her?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Ancestry, Brick Walls, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, History, John Parrott, Names, Parrottsville TN, Research, Saturday's Dilemma, Tennessee, Uncategorized