Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Touvell

1826 - 1908
1827 - 1893

This tombstone caught my eye for the simplicity and elegance of the carving. The top of the stone has a draped flying cross, likely showing the ascent from the earth.

William and Mary came to Braidwood, Will County, Illinois from Maryland. After Mary died, William married again in 1897. He is shown on the 1900 census as a horse doctor, after always being listed as a farmer. William and Mary Touvell are buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Braidwood.

© 2013 Sally Knudsen

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lost Cousins

We all have 'lost cousins' or we wouldn't likely be pursuing our genealogy.

There is a free website called Lost Cousins. Are you familiar with it? Lost Cousins is a United Kingdom-based website that operates a little differently. Instead of offering data, it helps create cousin connections.

After a simple registration, Lost Cousins wants you to enter your family members by census. For example, if you have a family that appeared on the 1881 England and Wales census, you would enter each person in the household. They are primarily labelled:

  • Direct ancestors
  • Blood relatives
  • Related by marriage

There are many other options for deciding the person's relationship to you or to the household, if you need other choices.

You also need to be aware of the source details of your census page. The English censuses are on short pages divided by county, parish or other similar community, and identified by piece number, folio number, and page number. These identifiers are listed on whatever website you used to view your census page.

For example, one of my English ancestors is Bernard McAleer who resided in Consett, County Durham, England in 1881. His census page is sourced as Piece RG11 / 4945, Folio 41, Page 75. Once the page data is entered, you can enter each person and their relationship to you. Bernard is my 3rd great-grandfather, so I entered him as a Direct Ancestor. His second wife, Margaret, is not my ancestor, so she is listed as a Marriage Relation. Some of Bernard's children from his first marriage (my line) are still in the household, so they are listed as Blood Relatives.

The difference in using Lost Cousins is that it doesn't "show" you any more than the families you entered. But if you click on the "Search" button on the left, it will show you a match to any other person who entered the same ancestral name. It is a pretty neat idea!

I have been a member of Lost Cousins since 2007. Unfortunately, I have not yet found any cousins. My lines in England are pretty sparse, so the simple lack of numbers may prevent many connections. But for a little bit of data entry on a free site...it's worth it just for the possibility!

Got English or Scottish ancestors? Get entering and find those lost cousins!

© 2013 Sally Knudsen

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Augustus Barnett

As I was wandering in Oakwood Cemetery, I noticed one military gravestone well off to the edge of the property. Oakwood Cemetery in Braidwood, Will County, Illinois, is an older cemetery and there are clearly many empty lots and unused space.

This stone marks the resting place of Augustus Lee Barnett. He registered for both World War I and World War II. He appeared to have served as a corporal in Company D, 365th Infantry. He was honorably discharged on 10 June 1919 at Camp Pike, Arkansas. Brief research shows his unit may be connected with the famous "Buffalo Soldier" African-American units of World War I.

NOVEMBER 6, 1887
MARCH 22, 1956

Thank you for your service.

© 2013 Sally Knudsen

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Valentines of 1894

In honor of Valentine's Day, I looked through my database for people whose birthdates were February 14.  I found two young ladies who were not only born on February 14, they were born on exactly the same day in 1894. And check out their names!

  • Mildred Valentine GODFREY
  • Julia Valentine ROBINSON

They come from different branches of my tree, but I love that they are both "valentines."

Mildred Valentine Godfrey is a daughter of Clarence Sanford Godfrey, born 1860, and Jenette Grosvenor Robson, born 1858, both in Wyoming County, New York. They are related to me by marriage into my Spencer line. Spencer, Godfrey, and Robson are all old families of Wyoming County.

Julia Valentine Robinson is a daughter of Oscar David Robinson, originally of New York, and Katharine W. Richards, born 1862, of Saugatuck, Allegan, Michigan. This is a marriage into my Blanchet family, first of Baie-du-Febvre, Quebec, with lines that tracked into Michigan and Wisconsin.

Happy Valentine's Day, ladies!

© 2013 Sally Knudsen

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Children's Heart

This tombstone honors two young children who died in the 1870's. Agnes and Thomas are probably brother and sister, but their last name is unknown. They are buried in the oldest section of Oakwood Cemetery in Braidwood, Will County, Illinois.

Here are links to the transcription record and a photo of the stone taken several years ago. My photo is only a couple of months old. While it is sad to see the stone sink and become less visible, I appreciated the heart shape it has become.

Rest in peace, Agnes and Thomas.

© 2013 Sally Knudsen

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Shaking My Own Leaves

Earlier this year, I posited the question Where is your GEDCOM? I received a couple of suggestions (thank you!) but ended up making a new decision.

My original purpose in asking the question of GEDCOM location was to try to find a place where I had control, was accessible to potential cousins, of little or no cost, and wasn't going to be made part of the Ancestry family. I'll try to shake my own leaves, thankyouverymuch.

Several years ago, I purchased the services of The Next Generation genealogy templates*. I'd seen several trees using this, and thought, let's do it. I transferred the files, uploaded my family tree data, and then just sort of... left it. I never gave it the attention it needed and my webpages floundered.

I couldn't expect to find cousins without a tree, so once again, I purchased (for about $35, not bad) the newest TNG templates and started tree-ing away. This time I have tried to learn more about the backend of the website. I've made minor edits to the template, decided what information to have viewable, and uploaded several dozen photos so far. TNG offers online help forums and a wiki. The templates are as customizable as you want them to be, as long as you have a grasp of PHP coding or are not afraid to try, like me.

I will still keep learning about the program. I have internal debates about privacy and access. For now, I am leaving the site open and have not loaded any living person data. That's my happy medium. I attributed the photos to the owners (and have been pretty good about asking if I can use them - answers are always 'yes!').

Here is my website: SallySearches. Have a look around and check your surnames. Maybe we are related!

*Disclaimer: I purchased the templates with my own personal funds. I have no connection to the website or owner.

© 2013 Sally Knudsen