Taking Back What Was Once Lost

Posts in category Census Records

Lie To Me

Lie To Me

Records lie to us. The very records we depend upon to reconstruct our families, lie all the time. This 1900 census for my gggrandmother Hannah Harbor stated that she was widowed: But her former husband was alive and well; he had just left her for another woman. I guess I wouldn’t want to say that […]

Hunting for John Smith’s Roots:...

Hunting for John Smith’s Roots: the Katie James Connection

John Smith named Tifton, GA as his birthplace on his Social Security SS5 Form. He also stated that his father’s name was Simon Smith, and that his mother’s name was unknown and died when he was an infant: I haven’t found any connection to Tifton in any records other than this SS5. Searches for Simon Smith […]

Untangling Matildas: Brick Wall Crash...

Untangling Matildas: Brick Wall Crashes Down

My great-grandfather John Smith was born in Georgia and migrated to Jacksonville, Florida sometime around the turn of the century. His roots in Georgia continue to be one of my greatest brick walls. I’ve been researching him in more depth recently, and I had a huge breakthrough on his wife’s family yesterday. I am so […]

One Step Closer in Alabama: the Fendr...

One Step Closer in Alabama: the Fendricks Family

I’m building a case that just got stronger. I have posted before on my long odyssey researching the Fendricks family, my maternal great-grandmother’s maiden name. I had a breakthrough in August 2009 and found a duplicate death certificate earlier this year. In this line, I encountered the common roadblocks of moves across state lines and […]

NGS Issue on Thomas Jefferson and Sal...

NGS Issue on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings

I read an article a few weeks ago that I think every single genealogist should read, and I was excited about sharing it with you all. It is a special issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly from September 2001 (Volume 89, No.3). This issue was completely devoted to discussion of the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings […]

Phillip Holt is Not Dead After All

Phillip Holt is Not Dead After All

It is amazing what can be discovered when you closely analyze and scrutinize your previous research. Sometimes it’s the fact that new records have become available that weren’t available before, and sometimes it’s that your skills are better than they were before. I am quite happy to be my own biggest guinea pig and continue […]

Harris Family Breakthrough! Big City,...

Harris Family Breakthrough! Big City, Here I Come…

Sometimes I just don’t take my own advice. Or, rather it just takes me longer these days to actually do it. My ggrandmother Georgia Harris’ line has always been problematic for me. Awhile ago, I made some headway in tracing her roots not in Jacksonville (Duval County) Florida, as oral history said, but in Madison […]

Black Newspapers Break a Brick Wall!

Black Newspapers Break a Brick Wall!

Recently, I solved a genealogical mystery that I’d had for many, many years. As fellow genealogists, you can imagine how immensely satisfying this was. The solution utilized many tools, but black newspapers and the ease with which we can now search some of them deserves the biggest praise for solving the puzzle. My friend Tim […]

New Finds and Acts of Kindness: Ada S...

New Finds and Acts of Kindness: Ada Seaman and Mattie Holt

I’ve got a few new discoveries to report. First, Familysearch.org has finally blessed us Tennessee researchers with a Tennessee death index (“Tennessee Deaths and Burials, 1874-1955“). I thought I’d lose my mind when I ran across it, and of course I stayed up until 2 in the morning with much success. I had watched for […]

Where Art Thou, John Smith?

Where Art Thou, John Smith?

My great-grandfather, John Smith, remains one of my most stubborn brick walls and one of my most elusive relatives. These are the factors that complicate this search: -Of course, his name, which is judged to be the most common name in the world -He eventually migrated to Jacksonville, FL (from Georgia) a huge city with […]

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About Me

I blog, teach, write and lecture about family history research and it's just as rewarding today as it was when I began 18 years ago. This lifelong quest has helped me to better know my past and I've taken back--reclaimed- my kin and some of that lost memory.  

Post History

What I Talk About

Locations and Surnames

Hardin, Chester and Lawrence Counties, TN
Holt, Barnes, Harbour, Bradley Springer and Fendricks
Lawrence County, AL
Springer and Fendricks
Montgomery County, MD
Prather, Simpson
Somerset County, MD
Waters, Fountain, Curtis
Duval and Madison County, FL
Smith, Harris, Garner

Favorite Family History Quotes

"The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past."
-William Faulkner

"Call it a clan, call it a network, all it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one"
- Jane Howard

"Friends are God's apologies for relations."
-Hugh Kingsmill

"No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?"
-Elbert Hubbard

"Families are like fudge; mostly sweet with a few nuts."
-Unknown

"If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you might as well make it dance!"
-Unknown

"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city;)"
-George Burns

"Where does the family start? It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl. No superior alternative has yet been found."
-Winston Churchill

"The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never ever introduce yourself to had life not done it for you."
-Kendall Hailey

"If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all the generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people."
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Geneabloggers