Thursday, December 31, 2009

Why Isn't It Free?

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com.

"One topic that surprises me has appeared several times recently in comments from this newsletter's readers. Some people have questioned the idea of placing public domain data online and charging for access to that information, as is done by Ancestry.com, Footnote.com, FindMyPast, WorldVital Records, and others. One person claimed that it is illegal to charge for access to public domain data, and another reader stated that the online sites are "violating my constitutional rights to view the census."

Sorry, folks, but that simply isn't true.

Indeed, in the U.S. and Canada, governmental records are public domain, available free of charge to those who can travel to the repositories where the original records are stored. Many private records, such as church records, may not be public domain, but they are also often available at no charge if one can travel to view them. When travel is not an option, a trip to a local library may suffice if that library has microfilms of the original records that patrons can view for free. (For this article, I will ignore the costs of sending a filming crew to a repository to make the microfilms and the expenses of reproducing and distributing microfilms. However, those expenses are not trivial.)

Given the fact that the records are already available "free of charge," one might question the need to pay $50 or $100 or more per year to access the same records on a subscription service such as Footnote.com, Ancestry.com, Origins.net, NewEnglandAncestors.org, and other genealogy web sites.

First of all, the idea that the records are available "free" is only true for those who live near the repository that houses the original records or photocopies of the records and can walk to that repository. If you have to travel some distance to a library that houses the records you seek, you will incur travel expenses. Even a trip to a library a few miles away will incur costs for gasoline and perhaps for parking. Such records are not truly "free."

While perhaps the visitor doesn't pay anything to view records in books or in microfilms, that library had to pay someone for the books, the microfilm, the microfilm reader, the building, the employees, heat, electricity, etc. The library may not charge the patron to look at the microfilms, but the process certainly is not free. Information in a library is never really free. Someone always pays, usually the taxpayers.

A longer trip will incur airfare or automobile expenses, along with hotel rooms and meals. I can go to Salt Lake City to view the “free” records available at the Family History Library. The last time I made that trip, it certainly was not “free.”

A three-day trip to a distant repository can easily cost $500 or more. If I want to go back to the "old country" to look at records, expenses will be much higher, of course. For many who do not live near major genealogy libraries, this quickly changes the concept of "free."

From the genealogist's viewpoint, accessing records published on the Internet greatly increases convenience and reduces travel expenses. From the publisher's viewpoint, the financial realities of publishing on the web add up rather quickly when one looks at the expenses involved with acquiring, digitizing, and electronically publishing records of interest to genealogists. Such an effort is not cheap.

To be sure, there are hundreds of web pages available today at no charge that contain transcribed records from a variety of sources. RootsWeb has many such pages, as do freebmd.org.uk, genuki.org.uk, Find-A-Grave, hundreds of local society web sites, and many others. These web sites contain records transcribed by volunteers, and someone pays for the web servers, often without passing those expenses on to users. In most cases, the expenses are not huge, and advertising can help pay the bills. A few of these web sites may even contain images of the original records. Most of these sites have databases that contain hundreds or even thousands of records. In contrast, commercial services typically provide millions of records, usually many millions. With larger databases come larger expenses.

Let's assume that a company or even a genealogy society, such as the New England Historic Genealogical Society, decides to make state vital records available on the World Wide Web. Once an agreement has been negotiated with the state, the company or society starts work. I will make some rough estimates of the expenses involved.

In our example, let's say that the project entails 25 million handwritten records that were recorded over a 50-year period. (This would be for a state with a rather small population; many states will have more records than that in a 50-year period.) Digitizing these records will require thousands of manhours. It is doubtful if anyone can find that number of unpaid volunteers to travel to the repository, run the scanners, and enter the data. In fact, the repository may not even have room for a crew of that size.

If you own a scanner, calculate how many pages you can scan in one hour. Then calculate how long it would take you to scan twenty-five million pages. Using a scanner purchased at a local computer store, I can scan one page every 2 minutes. Assuming a 40-hour work week, I will need 20,833 weeks for this project. Clearly, hobbyist-grade scanners will never get the job done. Expensive, high-speed scanners need to be purchased. Five thousand dollars is a typical price for high-volume scanners, and this project will probably require two or more of them. Next, operators need to be hired to sit at the scanners 40 hours a week to create the digitized images. Those operators need to be paid.

This process only makes scanned images of the records, probably the simplest and least-expensive part of the project. Somebody else then needs to make indexes as well. The process will vary, depending upon what is already available. In many cases, someone sitting at a computer will need to index each and every one of the millions of entries. Add in many more thousands of dollars in labor charges.

Now we have created images, plus indexes to those images. We need some skilled programmers to combine all the data into one huge database. Skilled database administrators' labor also is not cheap.

Once the records have been digitized and a database has been created, the real expenses begin. This database with twenty-five million high-quality images requires several terabytes of disk storage. (A terabyte equals one thousand gigabytes, the same as one million megabytes.) The purchase of a high-uptime, high-throughput disk array of that size, along with built-in backup capabilities, easily costs $25,000 or more per terabyte. Add in the expense of a web server, a database, and the required software, and the cost soon exceeds $100,000 for the required hardware and software to make these records available online to genealogists. This figure does not include the labor charges mentioned earlier. All this is for a small web site. High activity web sites such as Ancestry.com will cost much, much more.

Next, we need very high-speed connections to connect the hardware to the Internet so that we can serve 100 or more simultaneous users who wish to view these large graphics files. A single T-1 line is the minimum requirement for 20 or 30 simultaneous users, but most commercial web servers today are connected by multiple OC-3 connections. (I'll skip the technical discussion of T-1 and OC-3 connections. Let's just say that they are very high-speed lines, capable of handling many simultaneous users. They also cost a lot of money.)

In most cases, it is cheaper to install the disk array, database server, and web server at a commercial web hosting service than to build one's own data center. Hosting fees for a high-usage database start at $1,000 a month and quickly go up. Way up. Commercial genealogy companies with lots of users typically pay $10,000 or more per month in hosting fees. This may seem high, but it is still much less expensive than building your own data center.

The bottom line is clear to anyone with a calculator: more than a quarter million dollars is easily expended to make high-quality original source records available to genealogists. Following that cost are monthly fees to keep this data available.

The result is a database in which one can search for a name, find it, double-click on the entry, and then see an image of the original record. In other words, primary source records are visible to anyone in Virginia or California or Australia or anywhere else in the world with no travel expenses required.

Of course, I have ignored many other expenses. When a popular database of this sort is placed online, users will have questions. Someone needs to answer those questions; so, we must create a customer service department. In the case of a society, a few members might step forward to answer questions. In the case of Ancestry.com, it means several hundred employees and a large building with telephones, computers, and high-speed data connections. Again, you can guess at the expenses.

Where did this money come from?

Yes, it would be nice to provide genealogy information online at no cost. However, if you are the person who wishes to provide that information, a few minutes with a calculator will quickly bring you back to reality.

I like to use the analogy of water. Water is free. If I wish, I can obtain all the water I want at no charge. All I have to do is go to where the water is located. I can leave buckets on the lawn when it rains to obtain free water. If that is insufficient to meet my needs, I can walk to the nearest river or lake with buckets, scoop up all the water I want, and carry it home at no charge. Our ancestors did that centuries ago, and we can still do that today if we want. Nothing has changed. Water is still free.

However, if we want the convenience of having water delivered to our homes, we will incur expenses. Our ancestors did not have this option.

Someone paid to purchase large pumps, and they paid for the pipes to be buried underground to connect our house to the water mains. The entire construction effort cost many thousands of dollars. In addition, employees were hired to maintain the pumps and the pipes to make sure everything continues to work correctly. As a result, those who consume the water must pay a fee. Yes, the water is free; but, the pipes, the pumps, and the employees are not. Most all urban home owners today pay a water bill. We pay for the convenience of home delivery. Those who do not want to pay the delivery fee could elect to have the water shut off and then obtain free water in the same manner that our ancestors did.

In my mind, public domain information is the same. The information is free, always has been free, and probably always will be free. I can still obtain information today at no charge in the same manner I always have: by going to the source records and looking at them in person. If I want to go to the location where the information is located, I can do so at no charge, assuming I am willing to walk. If the information is located hundreds or thousands of miles away, I may encounter significant travel expenses, but the information itself remains free of charge.

HOWEVER, if I want someone to conveniently deliver the information to my home at any hour of the day or night that I might want it, I have to pay for "the pipes" and for the labor of those who provide that convenient access. We might consider the information to still be free, but the "pipes" (the servers, the high-speed data connections, the data centers, and the air conditioning to keep the equipment cooled, etc.) are not free, nor is all the labor of the hundreds of people who are involved in delivering that information to me. Those who invest millions of dollars in high-speed data "pipes" and all the associated labor certainly do deserve fair compensation for their investments.

Yes, the data was free once, and it is still free today. As always, I still may go to the location where the information is stored and, in most cases, I can look at that information free of charge. Nothing has changed. The only significant change is that we all now have another option: we can still do things the old way at no charge, or we may use new, convenient delivery options if we are willing to pay for that convenience.

Personally, I cannot afford to travel to Maine or Texas or England or Sweden to look at every single bit of information about my ancestors that I want to see. I find it much cheaper to sit at home and pay $10 or $30 a month to look at that information. Heck, ten bucks won't even pay for the shuttle bus to the airport, much less airline tickets, hotels, restaurant meals, and other required expenses to look at the "free" records.

The only practical method of placing large amounts of genealogy information on the web is to have someone pay the expenses of acquiring, digitizing, and providing the data. In most cases, this means that the customers who benefit will pay. If the genealogy public does not wish to pay the expenses of "piping" the information to our homes, we can always do what all the genealogists of yesteryear used to do: travel to the repositories where the documents are kept.

As for me, I will choose the cheaper option and pay a modest fee for someone to "pipe" the information directly to my home."

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year! Enjoy the very unusual Blue Moon that ushers in our New Year tonight!

Treasure Chest Thursday - December 31, 2009


The Texican

Okay, so this is the last prompted post for 2009. And since it is Treasure Chest Thursday, how could I possibly close this post off for the year without showing you my greatest treasure of all?

Okay, so he's not worth a fortune. There is no intrinsic financial value attached to him. He's not the most handsome fellow in the world. He's no longer young.

He looks just what he is. A Texican of the old school.

Yes, folks, this is my other half. And yes, this is my better half. [By the way, the snapshot above was his self-portrait taken Christmas day this year!]

Born in 1949 in San Antonio, Texas to Betty Louise Rotge and Joseph Wright Henry, he was given the distinguishing name of Johnnie Lee [yes, Johnnie with an "ie", and not a "y" - he forever compares himself with the Johnny Cash tune "A Boy Named Sue". Pairing him up with John anything for a surname of Henry - well you can imagine the teasing and taunting involved with that as a kid growing up! And it continues to this very day! And yes, Johnnie is his given name. Not John, or Juan. Johnnie.]

This bit of treasure came into my life back in 1997. And in order to tell you the whole story, I'll have to take you on a trip in the "way-back" machine.

Whoosh! Zing! Pow!

In the earlier part of my life, I had married a man who was anything but a gentleman. He fathered my five children during the 15 years we were married. And in that time, I spent many a day recovering from the physical abuse he poured over me. [I even wrote about that abuse in my very first book "One Wing In The Fire".] It took me until 1990 to break away from that. And at that time, I swore I would never go looking for another man. That if God intended for me to have another man in my life, He would have to send the man to me. I figured that I was safe in saying that. What man in his right mind would come looking for a woman with five kids in tow??? [I learned that you shouldn't set limitations on God.... He'll prove Himself every time you try to do that!]

In the fall of 1997, I had five children, ranging from 12 to 17. I had been diagnosed in 1993 with a condition called sarcoidosis [it's a lung condition, and in my case, chronic]. That fall [1997] I had a cough that wouldn't go away. Even with the prescribed steroids used to treat the sarcoidosis. Nothing was working. A chest x-ray showed an anomaly. And before I knew what was happening, I was in surgery having a lung biopsy performed. Diagnoses wasn't good. I had lung cancer [and no, I've never smoked in my life...but had been around second-hand smoke my entire life]. Prognosis? Six months at best.

My first concern was in making sure my children would be cared for. No problem. My sister would take them and finish the job I had started with them.

A friend decided to be sneaky, and introduce me to a man who was also a cancer survivor. She told me she thought we could talk, and be friends, and he might be a little emotional support during this time. He lived in Salem, VA, while I lived in Gap Mills, WV. [About 90 minutes away.]

The distance was first breached with long letters. And then phone calls. It was as if this man was reading my mind!

Then the end of November we met face to face. And by the 10th of December, he moved in. He said to help take care of me. [You can imagine, treatments made me very sick. I dropped 25 pounds in a single week!]

During the month of December, he asked me to marry him on two different occasions. I said no both times. [How could I say yes, knowing he was going to have to face my death so shortly afterward?]

We had our first Christmas together that year. And my gift from him was a little red box. I remember shaking from head to toe as I opened it, because I could tell it was a ring box.

It was a beautiful plain gold band with a half-carat diamond. Very simple. Very organic. Very me. When he got down on his knee, and proposed the old fashioned way, told me he'd love me for the rest of my life, no matter how short - or how long - that might be... I was lost forever!

We were married on February 27th of 1998, in a tiny chapel in Covington, VA. [It was the Lone Star Baptist Church. How appropriate, don't you think???] The marriage is a funny story unto itself. I had called and made the appointment for the ceremony with the minister a full 6 weeks ahead of time. When asked what our names were, "Johnnie Henry and Cynthia Beane", I could tell the minister thought it was a joke. I assured him, or so I thought, I was not a crank call, and we were very serious!

Came the day for the ceremony, and the kids, my parents, my sister and her family, and the friend who introduced us, were all at the church with us. In the parking lot. The doors were locked. And no minister. He really had thought it was a prank call! The Texican had to call him up and assure him were all there waiting for the ceremony! [True story!!! We were there, the minister was not! Ha ha]

Well, I was head over heels in love with this guy. And headed to the hospital for another round of radiation treatment. Each treatment was preceded with a chest x-ray. When suddenly the radiologist informed me when needed to do a whole series of x-rays. Something was wrong. Something was definitely wrong!

I will NEVER forget that day! It scared me to death!!! I was certain they were going to tell me that the cells had spread more rapidly than we had anticipated, and that my time was going to be even shorter than we had thought!

When they were done with the x-rays, they shooed me over to see my oncologist, and told me I must go "Right now! Don't stop for anything!"

When I arrived at her office, I was ushered immediately into her private office. I sat down across from her desk. She came into the room, and knelt in front of me, and took my hands in hers. I started to cry.

"No! No! No!" she cried out. "Cyndi, it's good news!!!"

Okay folks, I tell everyone that love cured me. You got it!!! There was no sign of an infiltration of ANY KIND! No cancer cells. No anomalies of any kind!!!

For the first 5 years, I had to have a biopsy every 6 months. Then for five more years, we did a biopsy once a year. Now, we just do a chest x-ray every six months.

I still occasionally have bouts of the sarcoidosis acting up. But I haven't even been hospitalized with that since 1999. We usually catch it in enough time that oral steroids clears it right up.

And the Texican?

He's been there for me every step of the way. Proving to me that there are still gentlemen in the world. Proving to me that good ol' boys from Texas can't be overshadowed by even the most refined of gentlemen from New York or California. [Or England, or France, etc.]

You see, the Texican is my greatest treasure. There through the good and the bad. Through lean times and plenty. Through sickness and in health.

When the doctors had told me there was no hope, the Texican gave me hope.

And that made all the difference in the world.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday - December 30, 2009

Richard "Dick" and Audrey [Beane] Harriff
12 Aug 1984

Growing up, my Uncle Dick and Aunt Audrey would visit on occasion, and each time that they did, they were encouraging to my creative side. Always encouraging me to write my poetry. Always pressing me on to the next story I would write. Uncle Dick, especially, enjoyed discussing the dialogue's in my stories. "How'd you come up with that?", he'd ask. Or, "Why did you make them pretty people, instead of ordinary folks?"

Aunt Audrey was one of my Dad's sisters. [You will recall, I have written several times of my Dad's rather large - 15 children - family.] She and Uncle Dick traveled the world. He was an engineer for the General Electric [GE] Corporation. They once spent several years helping to establish GE in Korea. When they came back, I can remember Aunt Audrey's relief over "regular food!" being served in restaurants and homes they visited! [She was definitely a pork and potatoes kind of country woman!]


Richard Calvin "Dick" Harriff was born 04 Feb 1913 in Sharon, Mercer Co., PA. He met Blanche Audrey "Audrey" Beane, who was born 12 June 1912, in Waiteville, Monroe Co., WV and the two were married 14 Aug 1934 in Sharon, Mercer Co., PA.


As I said, Uncle Dick was an engineer with GE for many years. While Aunt Audrey was active in her church, and a loving housewife, of the old school. They had 3 children: Richard, Judy and William "Bill".


On 12 Apr 1988 in Ashland, Oregon, Uncle Dick passed away at the age of 75. Since I began writing more proficiently, and professionally, I have missed his gentle criticisms, and the strong and loving wit he shared so openly with me.


On 27 Jan 2002, also in Ashland, Aunt Audrey left this life, too. Because it was the dead of winter, her many family members here in West Virginia were unable to make the long trek to Oregon to attend her funeral. And so, we held our own Memorial Service here, led by her nephew, Jeff Beane, an ordained deacon.
,

Whenever I think of my Uncle Dick and Aunt Audrey, it is like the photo at the top. They were always a bit older than my parents. [Aunt Audrey was 25 years older than my Dad!] But, as I speak with other family members, those few siblings that remain [only Margaret, Bill, Jack, Walter and Edsel are still living of the 15 children!], they recall the couple as you see them below. This photo was taken about 1937, when their eldest son, "Dickie", was about a year [or so he looks in the photo]. This was taken back in West Virginia as the couple visited family friends there. Aren't they a handsome family?







Dick and Audrey Harriff with son Dickie
About 1937.
We certainly miss you Uncle Dick and Aunt Audrey! But your memory lives on forever.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Photo of Annie Moore Found



For more than a century, she was lost to history. Three years ago, she was rediscovered. As it turned out, the first immigrant to set foot on Ellis Island when it opened on Jan. 1, 1892, an Irish girl named Annie Moore, did not go west and die in Texas, as had long been believed, but spent her days as a poor immigrant on the Lower East Side, dying in 1924.

Now, relatives have found two photographs of the woman they believe is the real Annie Moore.

Read more of this fascinating story here.

Tombstone Tuesday - December 29, 2009


Catherine Parkin Shepherd
26 Dec 1826 - 02 Aug 1902

Catherine Parkin was born to Rev. Samuel Parkin and his wife Elizabeth Tuckwiller. She was the 9th born of 9 children. [Cathy 1813-1813; Joseph 1814-1817; Nancy 1815-1892; Elizabeth 1817-1905; John 1819-1887; Ballard b. 1819; Rachel 1823-1857; Margaret 1826-1891; Catherine 1826-1902].

On 10 Jun 1852, in Fort Spring, Greenbrier County, [W]Virginia, Catherine wed William George Shepherd, son of John Shepherd and Elizabeth Taylor. William was a farmer, and the couple lived in the Irish Corner District of Greenbrier County [near present day Organ Cave community]. They went on to have 8 children: Virginia 1853-1944; James b. 1854; Barbara 1854-1948; Martha 1861-1947; Nancy 1863-1942; Anna 1866-1947; Almirinda 1867-1946; and Ernest 1878-1949.

Little is known about "Aunt Cathy", as my grandpa Bean called her. [Catherine's sister, Margaret, was my great-grandmother.] Although it is known she was a wonderful cook, and made preserves like no one else! They were considered prize preserves!

When Aunt Cathy died in 1902, she was laid to rest in the old part of the Mount Vernon Cemtery. She is buried near her mother and father. Each year I visit her grave, along with that of her parents, my great-great-grandparents .

It seems at times, I known these individuals as well, if not better than, those who live among me today! And at times, I long for that reunion that will take place on the shores of our heavenly home, where I can sit down and talk with each of them of the many aspects of their lives that have been overlooked in my humble, and feeble attempts to document their histories!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Madness Monday - December 28, 2009

This Madness Monday, I would like to discuss my Wickline ancestors.

Again, this is another line of family I have had very little time to research, and am hoping the New Year affords me the time I need to research more of my own ancestry properly.

I begin with my what information I have regarding the Wickline's.

1 Cynthia Ann Beane - b. 1959

2 Walter Maxwell Beane - b. 1937 M: Lois Velleda Dreher

5 Mary Elizabeth Faudree - b. 03 Jun 1897 - d. 01 Jan 1975 M: John Monroe Bean

10 Stephen Ledford Faudree - b. 08 Jul 1857 - d. 16 Jan 1929 M: Elizabeth Carnefix

21 Mary Margaret Wickline - b.1831 - Monroe County, [W]VA - d. Unk M: Richard C. Faudree

42 Elijah Wickline - b.1799 Monroe Co., [W]VA - d.27 Jun 1879 Sweet Springs, Monroe Co., WV M: Elizabeth Lewis

84 Jacob W. Wickline - b. 25 May 1750 Berks Co., PA - d. 26 Dec 1821 Sweet Springs, Monroe Co., [W]VA; M: Catharine Sparr

168 Johan Georg Wickline - b. 1717 Pfaltz, Germany - d. 31 Oct 1754 Robeson Twp., Berks Co., PA - M: Anna Christiana Roth

It drives me mad that so very little information has been located on these persons! An occasional death record, and an occasional Census record. Nothing more. I am trusting 2010 to be a more fruitful year!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Black Sheep Sunday - December 27, 2009

I have taken my Black Sheep Sunday's to a different level than most bloggers use. I realize the term, "Black Sheep", is meant to describe than more "unsavory" of characters. But, to be honest, I have only found a very few of those in my ancestry. [Oh, I am certain there are more than I have found, but I just have not uncovered those persons!] And so, I have been utilizing my Black Sheep Sunday posts to uncover those brick walls I have.

Today, I would like to discuss my Carnefix ancestry. This elusive branch has been added mostly from the greater research of others, as I have found very little on it. Part of the problem is in the variations of the spelling of the name. I have found the more recent spelling of Carnefix to be the rarest of the spellings. But I have also unearthed the following: Carnafix, Carnefax, Carnafax, Carnifix, Carnifex, Carnifax, Carnafex, Cornfix, Cornafax, Cornefax, and I can keep going on here.

My maternal grandmother's mother was Elizabeth Carnefix.

Elizabeth "Eliza" Carnefix

1851 - 1929

The odd shape of the photo above is because it was cut to fit a locket, more than 100 years ago. My grandmother kept the portrait in a tiny frame, with another, that of her father, Stephen Ledford Faudree.

Eliza was born 08 Jul 1851, in the tiny community of Sweet Springs, Monroe County, [W]Va. This tiny little hamlet today is easily missed if you but blink when driving through. There isn't even a post-office. No stores. The houses are set wide apart, having once been a farming community. There are still many farms, mostly cattle or grain. But when Eliza was born here, this area was bustling. At that time, there were at least 6 churches, 4 stores, a post-office, and even a regular mercantile! There was a stage line that ran directly through the community, with a proper stage stop and rest. And there was the world reknown Sweet Springs Resort, as well as two smaller hotels. It wasn't until after World War I that the community began to dwindle, and the economy to crumble.

Eliza was born the eldest of at least 4 children born to George Carnefix and Mary Susan Daugherty. The other children were Nancy [b. 1854]; James [b. 1856], and Charles [b. 1858].

On 17 Dec. 1878, Eliza wed Stephen Ledford Faudree [1857-1929] in a ceremony at her father's home that was officiated by the Rev. Alfred M. Clelland, a Methodist minister of the gospel.

Eliza went on to have 10 children with Stephen: Ida [1880-1953]; Bervie [1881-1909]; Pearl [1883-1959]; Gordon [1885-1958]; Spurge [1888-1962]; Roy [1891-1952]; Faye [1895-1904]; Mary [1897-1975; Mary was my grandmother]; Zenna ane [1900-1971]; and Veda [1903-1993].

I suppose if there were a Black Sheep to this particular part of the Carnefix family, it would be in Eliza's father, George.

George was born about 1831 in Virginia. And he died in the 1860's, we believe, although a death record has yet have been found. It is believed he may have been killed in the Civil War. He married Mary Susan Daugherty [b. 1834 in Monroe Co., VA] on 01 May 1860. [You will note from the above list of four children from the family, that they were all born between 1851-1858, thus having been born illegitimate.] Grandma once told me that her grandparents were married when talk of a Civil War begn to break out. It is unknown why George and Mary did not marry sooner. They resided, according to Census records, in well populated areas, with readily available ministers to perform the ceremony if it should have been desired. Although, in many parts of the county, there were many couples who assumed the roles of husband and wife without benefit of marriage, until a minister became available to "sanctify" the marriage. And a common-law marriage was considered the norm in many areas until the 1940's, and the advent of nearly every household owning a motor vehicle.

The ancestry beyond George is not something I have proven yet. [Sad to say that much of this I have had so little time to research! Seems I am always busy with clients, and have so little time for my own ancestry!] But this is what I have gleaned from the work of Ralph Faudree, my cousin, who passed from this life in 2002:

Beginning with George:

George Carnefix: b. 1831; m. Mary Susan Daughtery; son of William Carnefix and Nancy Holsapple.

William Carnefix: [1770-09 Sep 1856, Campbell Co., VA]. M: Nancy Holsapple; 11 children. Son of William E. Carnefix and Esther Maxey.

William E. Carnefix [1730-Nov 1812]; M: Esther Maxey; son of John Carnefix and Unknown Chesley.

John Carnefix [1711-1752]; M: Unknown Chesley; son of John Carnefix.

John Carnefix - no known data.

The Carnefix branch of my family tree is on my "to do" list for 2010.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What Did You Get

Randy's challenge for this week is:


"Your mission, if you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music) is to:

1) What gift that you received for Christmas is your favorite for genealogy purposes? Book, magazine, hardware, software, website subscription, research time - what was it, and how will it affect your genealogy research?

2) Tell us about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook in response to this post."

Oh, this is gonna be easy! I gave my dh strict instructions.... leave Santa a note for me, because I want plenty of new clipboards and legal pads! [I go through them like crazy! And I usually have 6 or 7 clipboards holding various degrees of research at my elbows at any one given moment.]

Santa was so good to me! I got 4 new clipboards, and 6 new legal pads in my goodies!!!!

Ain't I the luckiest????

Surname Saturday - December 26, 2009

I should like to use one of the surnames I am associated with for this Surname Saturday, WISEMAN.

The Wiseman's, are indeed, an old family in the area in which I am from. And with an even older heritage, from England.

My ahnentafel to our oldest link reads as follows:

1 Cynthia Ann Beane [yep, that's my maiden name!] Daughter of Walter Beane and Lois Dreher. Married

2 Walter Maxwell Beane b. 1937 M: Lois Velleda Dreher. Son of John Monroe Beane and Mary Elizabeth Faudree.

4 John Monroe Bean - b. 15 Dec 1866 - d. 10 Apr 1954, Waiteville, Monroe, WV. M; [1] Blanche Uremia Crosier; M[2] Ada Burdette; M[3] Mary Elizabeth Faudree. Son of William McHarvey Bean and Margaret Smith Perkins.

8 William McHarvey Bean - b. 26 Aug 1832, Dropping Lick, Monroe, [W]VA - d. 14 May 1890 M: Margaret Smith Perkins. Son of William Bean and Rachel Wiseman.

17 Rachel Wiseman - b. 23 Apr 1790, Rockbridge Co., VA - d. 07 Nov 1856, Potts Creek, near Waiteville, Monroe, [W]VA. M: William Bean. Daughter of Joseph Wiseman and Elizabeth Bateman.

34 Joseph Wiseman - b.29 Mar 1759, Berks Co., PA - 27 Dec 1836, Monroe Co., [W]VA M: Elizabeth Bateman. Son of Isaac Wiseman and Elizabeth Davis.

68 Isaac Wiseman [Jr] - b. 18 Aug 1738, Amity Twp., Lancaster, PA - 03 May 1818, Monroe Co., [W]VA. M: Elizabeth Davis. Son of Isaac Wiseman [Sr] and Mary Marshall.

136 Isaac Wiseman [Sr.] b. 1700 aboard ship from England to America - d. 03 Feb 1779, Jersey Settlement, Rowan, North Carolina. M: Mary Marshall. Son of Thomas Wiseman and Elizabeth Renberg.

272 Thomas Wiseman - b.1680, West Penne, Wales, England - d. 14 Jul 1716, Germantown, Pennsylvanaia. M: Elizabeth Renberg. Son of Thomas Wiseman [Sr] and Mary Murlon.

544 Thomas Wiseman [Sr] - b. 1645, Wyndeham, Norfolk, England. M: Mary Murlon. Son of Edmond Wiseman.

1088 Edmond Wiseman - b. 1622, Wyndeham, Norfolk, England. M: Unknown. Son of Robert Wiseman and Jane Cooker [or Cooper].

2176 Robert Wiseman - b. 1595, Wyndeham, Norfolk, England. M: Jane Cooker [or Cooper]. Parents Unknown.

Of common stock/ ancestry, this is likely as far as we will ever get with this line.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

International Christmas Overview

What did your ancestors do on Christmas Eve?

Family Tree Magazine has a great article online that will give you a quick overview of what different nationalities did on Christmas Eve in days gone by!

You can read that article here.

Treasure Chest Thursday - December 24, 2009

Barbara
1973
It's Christmas Eve. And so this Treasure Chest Thursday, I went digging for this picture. I am hoping to combine it with my Christmas Wish list.

This is a picture of my very best friend from the way back years [this was taken in 1973 -when we were both just very young teenagers!]. About 1988 I lost touch with her, and this Christmas, I would like to be able to find her and touch base with her once more!

My post for Treasure Chest Thursday are my friends.

I have few and far between "best" friends. In all the years of my life there have been but 3 who have stood out so strongly. Debbie, whom I met when I was but 7 years of age. And whom is still a dear, cherished friend. Barbara [above], whom I met at 11; and lost touch with in 1988. And Lynda, whom I met in 1979, and am still absolute best friends with!

Barbara was my first real confidante. She was the one I told my first heartbreak to. The one who knew of my first kiss. The one whom I shared my engagement and marriage with. The one who shared my first baby's birth story with.

In 1979 I had my first baby. So did Barbara. [I lived in WV and Barabara in VA at the time.]Only, Barbara's first baby was twin girls!!! We were 19! [Just babies ourselves!] And then in late 1980 I had another baby. Only, this time, I was the one having twins! It was Barbara's calm and experience that got me through the initial shock of finding out I was having twins! "Why, of course you can do it!", she wrote to me in Germany where I was living at the time. "If I can do it, then you know you can do it!" She introduced me to the LaLeche League and Mothers of Twins. [Both groups which supplied me with enough information that I did make it through those difficult times!]

Barbara went on later to have a son. And I went on to have 2 more babies after that.

In 1987, I was back in WV, and Barbara lived in VA, still. We decided to go to nursing school. It wasn't a joint decision. It was just something we both hit upon, and it would seem our decision was made at the same moment!

In the winter of 1987-1988, during the height of our studies, we somehow lost track of one another. Our final letter promised that once we graduated in 1988 we would get all caught up again.

I never wrote. Neither did she. And the years have slowly slipped away.

I was divorced from my first husband. Married to a wonderful man now. And I don't know about Barbara.

Now, of course, I am a Grandma. And I would suspect she is, too.

This last year, I have spent many hours pouring over materials, directories and registries, attempting to locate Barbara. But to no avail. There are just too many individuals with her same maiden and married surname, and that match her age range. I've written to several [probably to about 40] in the last year alone, in hopes I might find her. But I have not received a positive reply. Although, one woman did write me back and said she would attempt to help me locate Barbara on her end.

I'd like to combine Treasure Chest Thursday, with my Wish List for Santa today. And maybe, just maybe, Santa would leave me Barbaa's email address in my own Inbox tonight! How I'd love to hear from her! To touch base with her! Just to find out how her life has turned out. Know that she is happy.

Barbara's maiden name was Sanderlin. And she married Charles "Chuck" Young in 1978. They were still married in 1987. They had 3 childen: Amy, Kimberly [born 1979 - twins] and a few years later, a son, Chuck Jr.

I miss my old friend! So vey much!!! So, Santa, if you're listening... perhaps you could help me out.... just this once.

And Barbara, if by chance you are reading this..... Merry Christmas dear friend! I still keep you in my prayers! And cherish every memory with you!

Advent Calendar - December 24 - Christmas Eve



How did you, your family or your ancestors spend Christmas Eve?
These are the memories that I treasure most!

As I’ve written before, Daddy was gone all but for a very few Christmas’ as I was growing up, so Mama tended to treat my sister and I all the more grown up. I think to partly ease her own loneliness with him gone, and partly to make us feel that we weren’t missing out what other children had growing up; their Daddy at home all the time.

And so, on Christmas Eve, Mama, my sister and I would gather together in the living room [which was considered off-limits the except on special occasions]. There, when we were very small, Mama would take up the family Bible, which she always had opened during the Christmas season to Luke chapter 2 [take a moment and read that if you are not familiar with it!], and there she would read us the very first Christmas story. As we grew older, she would us read it to her. Reading Luke chapter 2 on Christmas Eve has become a tradition for me.

Afterwards, we would sit and sing Christmas carols. Singing every one we knew at least once, and most twice or even three times! Mama used to say she couldn’t carry a tune, but how I loved to hear her sing!

After the carols, we would drink eggnog and eat fruitcake. To me, Christmas isn’t Christmas until I’ve had my eggnog and fruitcake!

This year, on Christmas Eve, I don’t know if anyone will be here with me or not. My dh is a truck driver, and I have no idea when he will be coming in, but you can bet that I will be sitting here, and I will read aloud Luke’s rendition of our Savior’s birth. Then I’ll sing my heart out! And afterward I will pour myself a cup of eggnog and have a slice of fruitcake.

And so, I raise my cup to you, dear ones who are reading this!

To this Christmas and to many more
With yuletide cheer and bright d├ęcor
I raise my cup with Christmas toast
Because it’s you I cherish the most
May your Christmas be filled with cheer
And may it last through the whole coming year!

Merry Christmas!
from
Cyndi Beane Henry
The Texicanwife

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why Are the Genealogies of Jesus So Different?

Few aspects of the Bible seem less relevant to daily life than genealogies. Yet for Gospel writers Matthew and Luke, they were absolutely essential for understanding Jesus.

Genealogies fulfilled multiple purposes in the ancient world. Society was organized around kinship patterns, so every family needed lists that described their ancestral pedigree. Such family trees determined a person's social relationships. For instance, two families planning the marriage of their children would compare family lines to check kinship ties to ensure the two were "compatible." And rulers used genealogies to justify their power, rank, and status.

So why are the genealogical trees in Matthew and Luke so different?

You can read the rest of this very interesting article at Christianity Today.

IE8 Has a Bug

The following is reprinted from Eastman's Online Genealogical Newsletter [EOGN] from December 22, 2009. You may want to keep this one handy for a bit!

"Internet Explorer 8 Bug

A half dozen or so newsletter readers have reported that they cannot read this newsletter online. I suspect there are more readers with the same problem. In every case, those who reported the problem were using Internet Explorer 8. I have a bit of advice for those readers: "Don't use Internet Explorer 8!"

In fact, Microsoft won't call it a bug but the company does admit that many sites that work perfectly in Internet Explorer 7 will not display properly in Internet Explorer 8, unless you use Microsoft's "workaround." When Microsoft upgraded to Internet Explorer 8, they broke something that used to work properly in Internet Explorer 7. The same sites also will display properly in Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and other web browsers. If that's not a bug, I don't know what is.

ZDnet has compiled a list of 2,400 major web sites that cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer 8. You can see the list at http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=2072 (and that list is growing as more web sites are discovered). Yet, every one of those sites displays properly in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and even in Internet Explorer 7.

Luckily, Microsoft has produced an easy fix.

Any time you find a web page that does not display properly in Internet Explorer 8, click on the "Compatibility Mode" icon. That is the icon just to the right of the address (URL) bar, just to the left of the refresh icon. The Compatibility Mode icon looks a bit like a page that has been torn in half. You can see an image of it to the right.

You can learn more on Microsoft's web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/features/easier.aspx (click on "Compatibility View".)

You can also find a few thousand more reports of Internet Explorer 8's compatibility problems at http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&channel=s&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=dwQ&num=100&q=ie8+compatibility+problem&btnG=Search&aq=f&aql=&aqi=g1&oq=.

Problems like this help explain why Internet Explorer's market share has slowly eroded from over 90% to approximately 67%. I suggest you do what I did: switch to Firefox and get rid of the bugs.

Actually, Firefox isn't perfect but it is a lot better than Internet Explorer 8. It works faster (and Chrome is even faster than Firefox), has fewer bugs and fewer security issues. You can obtain the free Firefox web browser at http://www.mozilla.com.

Some people prefer the new Chrome web browser produced by Google. It has fewer features but is very secure and runs much faster than Internet Explorer and somewhat faster than Firefox. You can download the free Chrome web browser at http://www.google.com/chrome."

Wordless Wednesday - December 23, 2009


L -> R: Pauline, Emmette and John Bean [about 1911]

Advent Calendar - December 23 - Christmas Sweetheart Memories



Do you have a special memory of a first Christmas present from a sweetheart? How did you spend your first Christmas together? Any Christmas engagements or weddings among your ancestors?
I have a couple of very fond memories of a first Christmas with a sweetheart. When I was very young [too young really], I married my first husband. We were married on December 12th, [my parents, and my maternal grandparents anniversary]. We were married for 15 years, and from that marriage we had five wonderful children. Our very first Christmas together, we were broke. We had absolutely no money to purchase each other a gift with. [We were both only teenagers!] So, my mother gave us money to buy one another a gift. I purchased him a Bible. But I will never forget what he gave me that year. A set of five miniature oil lamps. [I was enamored with all things old or antique – still am – so oil lamps were precious to me.] But it wasn’t necessarily the gift, as the thought he had to put behind it, to get something he knew would be just right for me. [It was probably the only Christmas he actually gave me something I treasured! One year he even gave me a piece of paper that said “I O U” on it, because he had wasted all of his money on other things!]

Then there is one other first Christmas together that I will treasure for all my life. I met my dh, Johnnie, in October of 1997. I had just been diagnosed with lung cancer, and my prognosis wasn’t good. As a matter of fact, they gave me six months to get everything in order. By December, Johnnie had moved in with my five children and me. I can’t remember us discussing it, just realizing one day that he had moved in, leaving his house in Salem to come help take care of me.

Johnnie asked me to marry him the first of December. I couldn’t say yes. How could I marry this man, knowing he would have to face my death so soon afterward? It wasn’t fair!

So I said no.

About ten days later, he asked again. And again, I said no.

Each time I said no, he would regale me with all of the reasons I should yes!




On Christmas Day of 1997, Johnnie’s gift to me was a little box. I can remember shaking as I opened it up; knowing what was inside. It is a beautiful half-carat diamond ring on a plain gold band. Simple, but elegant. It was me.

Well, needless to say, I said yes.

The cancer went into remission, and I’ve been free of any markers of the disease ever since. [I tell everyone that love cured me!]

So, it was a very emotional, and touching Christmas, that we first spent together in 1997.

Incidentally, we married the following February 27th, but that is another story unto itself!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Man Finds Birth Parents Secrets: He Was Sold!

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Charles Evans learned he was adopted when he needed a copy of his birth certificate when he wanted to join the Air Force. Only later did he learn he was sold as an infant.


Evans, born in 1934, was out of high school in the early 1950s and was ready to try the military.


He had to get the birth certificate from California. When it arrived, it listed his father as Theodore Evans and his mother as Helen Crow.


“I never heard of any such people,” Evans told the Tulsa World. “Not in all my life.”


For most of the first 13 years of his life, Evans grew up in California and Colorado with his adoptive mother, Julia Abrams.


After she died, Evans moved to Oklahoma to live with his adoptive father, Paul Evans.


“OK, so I’m adopted,” Evans said, shrugging it off. “I didn’t really care. Back then, I didn’t see any reason to care.”


Evans grew to care, and what he found out surprised him: He was sold as a baby. The price was a typewriter and enough money to pay his mother’s hospital bill. He learned those details in 1971; his biological sister gave him a letter his mother had written for him to read as an adult.


You can read the rest of the story on the San Mateo Daily Journal.

Christmas Decorating - 2010

The wonderful Advent Calendar, which most of us have been participating in, this year has really inspired me to achieve some new heights in honoring my ancestors at Christmas.

I am going to do my very best to have a genealogy Christmas tree next year!

I have literally thousands of family photos in my files. Some going back to the 1850's. So...

...next year [2010] it is my sincere hope to take those photos, and decoupage [yes, I am one of those decoupager from the '70's!!!] my family photos onto Christmas bulbs! Tied onto the tree with scraps of authentic antique prints [calico's, plaids, etc] I think they would make wonderful ornaments!

I found a great site that actually spells out step-by-step instructions for making these ornaments here. I can't wait to get started!

I've Google'd "clear Christmas ornaments craft", and the sources for the clear bulb ornaments are pretty much endless!

I've enjoyeddoing a decorator-style tree for several years now. And I can envision this new tree, with my homemade crocheted snowflakes, and the family's facing peering from the branches! A beautiful star on the top of the tree!

My only problem???

Why didn't I think of this sooner and do it this year????

25 Percent of Aussies Descended from Royalty

The following is reprinted with permission from Dick Eastman's EOGN:

25 Percent of Aussies Descended from Royalty

Australians might be known for having a convict past but almost a quarter were descended from English aristocracy or a famous historical figure, a survey has found.

The new research, commissioned by family history website Ancestry.com.au, surveyed more than 1000 Australians who researched their family history. It found that 23 per cent were descended from convicts; 17 per cent from soldiers or military men; 13 per cent from a famous historical figure; 12.5 per cent from someone rich and 11 per cent from English aristocracy.

You can read more at http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26517140-5003402,00.html.

Tombstone Tuesday - December 22, 2009



Fred F. Smith

1936-1994


Fred Smith was born 14 Dec 1936 to Harry Smith [1899-1957] and Daisy Bell [1906-1992]. He was the middle child of five [Marcine, William, Fred, Miriam and Barry].


Fred was married at the time of his death, having been married 23 years at the time.


Fred was viciously shot, while eating his morning breakfast. The shooter believed voices told her to do it.


Fred was a truck-driver, and hauled dynamite and other explosives for mining companies.


Fred did not have any children.

Fred is buried at New Zion Union Church Cemetery, Waiteville, Monroe , WV.

Fred & his wife

March 1971

Advent Calendar - December 22 - Christmas and Deceased Relatives



Did your family visit the cemetery at Christmas? How did your family honor deceased members at Christmas?
Actually, no. My family did not visit the cemetery at Christmas. And I cannot ever recall doing anything to honor one or all deceased family members at Christmas time.

However, after being given this blogging prompt, I believe that beginning next year I am going to change that. I think it’s high time we did do something to honor our deceased at this time of year!

We make a yearly trip to cemetery on Memorial Weekend, at which time we clean tombstones, place a wreath of flowers, and take a few snapshots, then exit. Just to return a year later. I’d like to bring a little Christmas to the memory of our relatives. I’ve seen some lovely silk poinsettias that I think will make a nice little something to take to set on their graves as a memorial. [Way to cold in the mountains here for live plants!]

But, whether we go to the cemetery or not, I believe we should make a concentrated effort to remember those we have loved, and lost, during this season.

So, Merry Christmas my dear family, until we spend Christmas together once more!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Advent Calendar - December 21 - Christmas Music, Madness Monday

This post is a joint post for the Genea Advent Calendar, and Madness Monday [see the end of this post for what drives me "Mad"!]




What songs did your family listen to during Christmas? Did you ever go caroling? Did you have a favorite song?
(Note: perhaps there is a particular Christmas song that drives you mad?)



We mainly listened to traditional Christmas carols during the season. Although the family, in general, listened to a lot of Country singers performing the songs. Back then we didn’t have cassette tapes, or 8-tracks, or CD’s. We listened either to the radio, or to record albums. [I am still intrigued when I pass a music shop and see them listing vinyl – not the old 78’s even – as antique recordings! And yes, I owned both!!!]

Oh, my yes, we went caroling nearly every year when I was growing up, until I was married! Sometimes just 3 or 4 of us from the neighborhood. But for the most part, we went as a rather large group. Sometimes from house to house. And sometimes from nursing facility to nursing facility [nursing homes, retirement homes, even the hospital]. And almost always, following an evening singing in the cold, we would end up back at someone’s house where we would be treated to hot-chocolate and Christmas cookies. We would be exhausted, but we were always jubilant!

My favorite Christmas song has always been, as far back as I can remember, “Stille Nacht”, the German rendition of “Silent Night”. [Many people forget that it was written in this language, and so accommodates the language even better than English!] My Grandpa Dreher used to sing it to me in his deep baritone voice. It didn’t have to be Christmas for me to request him to sing it to me, either! He’d take me upon his knee, and hold me close as he sang the beautiful words! I suppose it will be my favorite Christmas carol all my life!

Is there a particular Christmas song that drives me MAD? You betcha!

I don’t know why, because everyone else just cracks up over it, but I despise “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”. Maybe because the very thought of a drunken Grandma, falling down in the snow and being run over by one of Santa’s little magical sleigh-bearers is somehow sacrilegious to my Christmas being! Besides, everyone knows that all eight of those little reindeer [Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen] and even the old Rudolph himself, would stop to render any Grandma aid if they found her on the ground! I’ve often wondered why they haven’t filed a slander suit against the writer of that particular piece of yuletide song!

Police Find Stolen Auschwitz Sign

WARSAW, Poland — Police said early Monday that they have found the "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign that was stolen on Friday from the gate of the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz.

Police spokeswoman Katarzyna Padlo told reporters that the sign was found in northern Poland. She said that they have also detained five men aged between 25 and 39 who are being transported to Krakow for questioning.

Another spokesman, Dariusz Nowak, said the sign was cut into three pieces, each containing one of the words.

He said the police were planning a news conference in Krakow at 0800 GMT (3 a.m. EST) Monday.

The police refused to release any details of the circumstances in which the sign was found or to begin to hypothesize on the motive of the perpetrators.

Krakow police are in charge of the investigation because they are the regional command for the area including the Auschwitz museum.

The sign that topped a main gate at the Auschwitz memorial site was stolen before dawn on Friday. State authorities made finding it a priority and appealed to all Poles for assistance.

More than 1 million people, mostly Jews, but also Gypsies,Poles and others, died in the gas chambers or from starvation and disease while performing forced labor at Auschwitz which Nazi Germany built in occupied Poland during World War II.

The camp, which became the world's largest Jewish cemetery, was liberated by the Soviet troops on Jan.27, 1945.

The museum is preparing for very solemn observance of the 65th anniversary of liberation.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Come Sunday Morning

Per my usual self, I did not get on the computer last night. [We are snowed in with an official 36-inches of the white stuff. So last night, the dh and I settled on the sofa with some homemade sugar cookies, a mug of hot cocoa, and watched old Christmas movies!]

Randy issued the following challenge:

1) Pick out a genealogy-oriented gift for someone you know, admire, appreciate or love. It could be for a family member, someone in the genealogy community, or a friend or colleague. What would be your genealogy gift to them? [Note: you don't have to actually gift them, although it would be a nice thing to do!]

2) Tell us about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook to this post or a tweet.

Well, I can think of several persons I would like to give a genealogy-oriented gift to this year! But there is one in particular that stands out above all others.

She is my cousin, in Georgia. Well, actually, she is the granddaughter of my cousin!!! My aunts, great-granddaughter!!!

Mandy wasn't doing any genealogy just a few short years ago. Then she became enthusiastic about it, and I have helped to mentor her at times. Unfortunately, [for me - ha ha], she was, and is, a natural at research! She enthusiastically tackles any genealogical task, and accomplishes what seems to be the impossible when faced with a challenge!

Mandy works in real-estate, and does not have the time to perform genealogy as she really would like to. She has mentioned that she would like to become certified, and study more.

If I were able to gift Mandy with a special genealogical gift this year, I would make it a magical one! I would gift her with enough hours in each day to not only care for her family [which she does to perfection!], and perform her regular business, but to also have enough to perform the genealogy research she so loves! [She is much like me, in the respect that most of the fun in genealogy is in the research! The more challenging, the more fun it is! And the more rewarding it is to uncover that little speck of information you are searching for!]

So, my genealogy gift would be TIME!

And Mandy, I wish you the Merriest Christmas ever! And may all of your genealogy dreams come true!!!

Black Sheep Sunday - December 20, 2009

While I could not for the life of me come up with someone to write about today, I did come up with this old newspaper clipping, regarding the death of my Great-Grandfather, William M. Bean [1832-1890].

The family, hush-hush, lore, is that William was actually involved with a married woman. [He was a married man, as well!] And Eggleston was some how involved with the married woman [his wife? his sister? his daughter? I really don't know how]

Here is the clipping of the account as told in the Monroe Watchman:


"" A TERRIBLE TRAGEDY"

Taken From "THE MONROE WATCHMAN", 22 May 1890; Page 3, Col 2

"The most startling tragedy which has taken place in Monroe County for many years occurred at Gap Mills on Thursday afternoon last, May 15th, 1890 when Mr. Henry EGGLESTO, Constable of Sweet Springs District, shot and killed Deputy U.S. Marshall, Wm. M. BEANE. The circumstances leading up to the bloody finals were these:

Lewis BALLARD of this county, who is a U.S. Commissioner, had recently sured BEANE before Justice J. M. REED of Sweet Springs District and had obtained judgement. Execution was issued accordingly, which was placed in EGGLESTON's hands, and an indemnifying bond for BEANE's buggy and horse furnished. Last Thursday afternoon EGGLESTON met BEANE at Keenan P.O. pm the turnpike between Union and Gap Mills, and told him he would have to levy on the buggy and horse, which BEANE was then using. BEANE replied that he was on business for the federal government, and that he would not give them up. EGGLESTON asked him to go onto the Gap Mills and talk the matter over with Justice REED. BEANE drove off in that direction, and EGGLESTON followed on horseback. He overtook BEANE and they rode on together for several miles, talking of this and other matters in a friendly way. BEANE several times took occasion, so EGGLESTON says, to say that he would die before he would give up the buggy and horse. When they reached REED's mill at Gap Mills, they met the Justice and several other men, and some further conversation ensued. EGGLESTON insisting that his duty required him to take the buggy and horse. Finally BEANE started off when EGLLESTON summoned Mr. R.C. APPLING who standing near to assist him, and was about to attempt to take possessio of the horse and vehicle, when BEANE again remarking that he would die before he would give them up - drew his pistol. EGGLESTON was standing close by the side of the buggy and when BEANE presented his weapon in a threatening manner, he drew his own revolver quickly and fired at BEANE. The ball, which was of 32 calibre, struck BEANE just above the ear and penetrated the brain. He fell forwardfrom the buggy into the road, his pistol slipping from his hands and falling beside hi,. He was taken up by bystanders, of whom there were several, his wound bleeding profusely the while, and carried into the house of Mr. N.B. CARPENTER. Dr. D.C.PHARR was summoned, but he soon ascertained that the wound was mortal. The shooting occurred about 4 o'clock. BEANE lingered for two hours in an unconscious state, and died about 6 o'clock. Dr. PHARR called in Dr. B.F. IRONS, to act with him in making examination of the body.

EGGLESTON gave himself up and had a preliminary trial before Judge J.O.MILLER and was taken to jail at this place on Thursday night by Messrs. J.N.LEACH and John L. BLANKENSHIP.

The body of Mr. BEANE was taken to his home near Waiteville on Fridaym and his funeral took place on Saturday. The deceased was about 60 years of age, and had been an aggressive republican ever since the war, and was appointed a deputy-Marshall of the U.S. in the spring of 1889. His conduct while int his office was not such as to render him popular, and he had qualitites which made for him many enemies. At home he is said to habe been hospitable and kind , and to his family affectionate. He was a prominent member of the M.E. Church.

Mr. EGGLESTON is a plain man, and by those who know huim is believed to be thoroughly well meaning. He was elected constable by the Democrats of his district in 1888, and has made a most efficient officer. He is a man about 37 years of age, and has a wife and _____ children. Mr. EGGLESTON says that he acted solely oin self-defese in shooting Mr. BEANE, that he felt his own life was in danger, and that he had to shoot BEANE in order to protect himself.

There is no ground for lugging politics into this case. The suit which led up to the killing was brought and was being pushed by a republican. The justice before whom it was tried is a republican. EGGLESTON had nothing further to do with it than to discharge his official duties in the premises.

A coroner's inquest (which is believed to have been unneccsary), was conducted on Friday, and the jury rendered a verdict that "Wm. M. BEANE came to his death by a shot from a pistol in the hands of Henry EGGLESTON."

Monroe County had been remarkably free from deeds of lawlessness and violence, and this tragedy therefore excites more than usual interest. The affair is of course most unfortunate, and every effort should be made by our people to keep down ill feeling and suppress the tendency to introduce political differences in the consideration and trial of this case.

A special grand jury will be empaneled for the June term of our Circuit Court. Mr. EGGLESTON has retained Messrs. John OSBORNE and John I. ROWAN to defend him."

[Excuse all of the grammatical errors, but this is the way the article was then printed!]

Now, after years of attempting to get a copy of a death report, last year I finally was able to get one, from both the Justice Department, and the State of West Virginia. And they did NOT confirm the story as told above in the Watchman!

Twelve days after his death, the Department of Justice [US Marshall's Division], stepped in to take over the case.

William Bean, it was determined, was actually shot in the BACK of the head, not from the side above the ear [as the article states]. The bullet actually penetrating the back of the skull, and not exiting.

A final judgement was that Eggleston had a personal argument against Bean, and in anger did draw his weapon, and actually shot through the back of the buggy window. Bean's weapon was still holstered when he was carried to the doctor's house, according to the physician's own report.

Eggleston was by trial found guilty of murder, and sentenced to life. His sentence was commutated, and he was released in 15 years, an old and broken man.

However, the "Black Sheep" Sunday tie in?

Uh... hmmm.... it appears the family tale, told quite hush-hush, was indeed true. A married woman was involved. And Bean was having an affair with said married woman. The name and relationship to Eggleston, was not recorded in the trial records. It was ordered to be stricken, to protect the children of her marriage, as well as her "esteemed spouse" [from which I presume we can eliminate Eggleston as being!]

But, this does mean, that dear, old Great-Grandpa, well... let's just say he liked the ladies!!!

Advent Calendar - December 20 - Religious Services


Did your family attend religious services during the Christmas season? What were the customs and traditions involved?

When I was growing up, we always had a special Christmas service at church. On occasion that even included a special Christmas Eve worship service.

Those services might include a children’s pageant, replete with Mary, Joseph, Wisemen, Shepherd’s [in bathrobe tunics, with towels upon their heads], and of course Angels. There were occasions when a live baby substituted for a doll in representing the baby Jesus. And of course, the precious singing of little children!

The church’s choir might also perform a special cantata or just a multitude of carols. The choir members, dressed in their elegant robes, reminded me of the angels in Heaven singing!

On occasion, a special communion sacrament would be held, but I think that was only once or twice on Christmas Eve, in honor of our troops in Vietnam. [Yes, I was a teenager during that tumultuous period in our history!]

Mostly, I recall the opportunity for the congregation of our Southern Baptist church to join in the singing. I used to love to sing, “Angels We Have Heard on High”, “Silent Night”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, and so many others!

I’ve moved away from the religious services these days, having met God One on one in my heart, rather than in the church’s building. [Another whole story unto itself!] But I go back to those days of childhood bliss, and remember the simple blessings of the church during the Christmas season!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Surname Saturday - December 19, 2009

And the name today is Adwell.

While this name does not fall into my family tree, it does affect my family tree. It is the name of my first husband, and thus the name of all of my children. So this post is dedicated to Chris, David, Debbie, Mike and Crystal; my precious five! [Who incidentally are all grown, and have given me grandchildren to adore as well!]

We will begin with my ex-husband:

Andy L. Adwell - b. 1956, WV. M[1]: Cynthia Beane; M[2]: Lynda Unk. Son of Elmer Adwell and Mary Jones.

Elmer Lewis Adwell - b. 31 Oct 1933, Greenbrier Co., WV; d: 18 Sep 1995, Greenbrier Co., WV . M: Mary Lillian Jones 24 May 1955, Union, Monroe, WV. Three children. Son of: Sylvester Adwell and Naomi Bennett.

Sylvester Adwell: b. 09 Nov 1878, Greenbrier Co., WV - d. 11 Dec 1961, Greenbrier Co., WV. M: Naomi Bennett 23 Dec 1914, Greenbrier Co., WV. Ten children. Son of Enoch H.M. Adwell and Elizabeth Ann Morgan.

Enoch H.M. Adwell: b. 1836, Monroe County, [W]VA - d. 12 Sep 1893, Monroe Co., WV. M: Elizabeth Ann Morgan 11 Aug 1870, Greenbrier Co., WV. Seven children. Son of Adam Adwell and Nancy Bennett.

Adam Adwell: b: 1800, Greenbrier County, [W]VA - d. 1870, Greenbrier County, WV. M: Nancy Bennett 16 Aug 1826, Greenbrier Co., [W]VA. Nine children. Son of John Adwell and Mary Comer.

John Adwell: b.1754, England - d. 1813, Ronceverte, Greenbrier Co., [W]VA. Immigrated: Aug 1763, aboard the ship "Beverly", in indenture bondage. M: Mary "Polly" Comer. Eight children.

John has the deistinction as being the very first Adwell buried in the Adwell Cemetery, located just east of Ronceverte, WV, slightly off Route 219, on Adwell Cemetery Road. He was a farmer.

Descendants still live on the grounds he owned, which the cemetery sits upon.

I have not yet photographed this cemetery, nor have I seen any photographs, other than John's, published. However, this spring, it is my hope to do just that. It is a small cemtery, that does, indeed, need to be documented.



John Adwell
1754 - 1813

It's Here!!! 18-Inches of the White Stuff And Still Falling!!!

It started at 4 p.m. yesterday. So light you could barely see it! But it continued to fall, steadily, for hours.

My dh, who is a long-haul truck driver was on his way home from picking up a load in Pennsylvania. And by 8 p.m. he was in near white-out conditions. Snow had piled up to about 6 inches on the highway. Accidents were happening left and right.

By 8:05 p.m. he was only about 6 miles from home. He was on I-64 west, heading into West Virginia, when a driver in a pickup in the lane beside him lost control of his pickup and slid into the lane toward my husband. To prevent running over the pickup, with his maxed out truck and load, coming in at exactly 80,000 pounds, my husband tried to swerve. When he did, he slid from the highway, and turned over.

God is good!!! Because he was at a crawl, the truck laid gently over onto its side, and pulled the trailer over with it. My dh walked away without a bump, scratch or bruise! The State Trooper at the scene announced : "The Highway is now officially closed!"

My dh, thankfully, made it home at 10 p.m. ; soaked through and nearly frozen. [A warm bathrobe, slippers, and hot cocoa soon had him warm again! His cocoa was gently laced with a little Black Velvet!]

I got him snuggly settled in bed, and soon was asleep myself, thanking God for his safe return!

We got up at 5A.M. this morning to the scenes below! And as you can see, the stuff is still falling!!! The snow on the back porch measure 18-inches. The Weather Channel announces the worst is still yet to arrive!!!

I will keep you updated, here from the mountains of Greenbrier County in West Virginia.





Here you can see the snow is still falling. You can the vehicle [which is a van] has all but disappeared. You can see the snow upon the roof's of the buildings behind us. [This was taken out our back door, toward our neighbors to the rear.]
Another view of the same scene.
More of the same.
More.
The cars have disappeared!
The dh measures the snow fall on our back porch! Yep, 18-inches of the stuff!
Cars, disappeared!
This is of the home in front of us. The silver underpinning beneath the home is 36-inches tall. You can see, it has almost disappeared!
My car [an '88 Lincoln] is buried. You can see the snow is above the tires!!!

Our little Chihuahua won't leave the porch to go do her potty business!!! Of course, if she did, she would disappear in the stuff too!!!

Advent Calendar - December 19 - CHristmas Shopping




When I was a child growing up in Norfolk, Virginia, we didn’t have shopping malls. At least not until I was a teenager!

I can remember our yearly Christmas shopping trip downtown. Oh yes, there really was a “downtown” in those days! With high rise department stores. And boutiques. And specialty stores.

Unless you live in a major city now, you probably don’t remember those things. For those of us who live more urban lifestyles everything has gone to the Mall. But back in those days, we would park our car in the city garage and begin walking from store to store. Sometimes making the trip back to the car two or three times in the course of the full day of shopping, just to deposit the many shopping bags!

I can remember riding the elevators up and down from the many floors in the large department stores. There were a few stores with escalators, but in Norfolk’s downtown at the time, there were more elevators than escalators.

For some reason, it seemed that the toy department, and therefore Santa, was almost always relegated to the basement level! We would walk through the many aisles and displays of Christmas toys, and make our way to the long line to visit with Santa. We usually got one actual Santa visit a year, so we had to make it good! Even though there were many “Santa’s” in nearly every store we went into! [Of course, now I know they were only Santa’s helpers and not the real fellow himself! Boy, how confusing that was for a kid of 5 or 6!]

I can remember taking a trip into the candy store and Mama getting us divinity or fudge. Both of these Mama tried her best to make at home, but she never quite mastered the technique for either. I love to tease her now with how simple either one is in reality to make! [Sorry Mama!]

I remember walking past each store window when they really decorated for the holiday! Oh, yes, even when the old Texicanwife was a kid they had animated decorations! And some were exceptional! My favorite were of Victorian era children preparing for bed on Christmas Eve, with the “visions of sugar plums” dancing above their neat little heads; or the beautifully bedecked Christmas carolers as they strolled through the very “London-ish” villages.

I remember being able to see our breath in the winters cold, as Mama would stop at each kettle, with a Santa ringing his bell, and deposit whatever change she had from her last purchase. I’ve even seen Mama give her very last dollar bill to a kettle. Mama never passed one without giving something. Maybe that’s where I garnered that tendency. I tend to drop a few dollars into the kettle, as I’m entering, as well as exiting, a store these days. My husband says, “They got you coming and going!” However, I like to think I’ve just given a little out of what for many may seem abundance. And if to them I have an abundance, how can I dare to walk past without sharing? Isn’t that what the season is truly all about? I won’t digress and expound on my religious theology here, but at least to me, it is a season of giving because of One who gave for us.

Part of the day’s fun was stopping for hot chocolate at one of the diners. What a wonderfully warming treat as we walked in the cold! The other was eating lunch out. And believe me, you haven’t tasted a grilled cheese sandwich, unless you’ve eaten one at a Woolworth’s lunch counter! No kidding! They made the absolute best!

When the day was ended, we’d make our way back home. Tired. But we were so happy! We’d carry all the many packages and parcels and bags into the house from the car, and then we’d go through each one, and remark how we thought this one or that one would react when they opened their gift come Christmas morning!

Several years later, the Mall arrived in Norfolk. With that, much of the intimacy and excitement went out of the annual trip for me. It seemed people were much too busy; rushing here and there, and not really enjoying the experience.

Now, as an adult, I absolutely hate going shopping during the four weeks prior to Christmas! Why?

Well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but people have lost their compassion, their integrity, and even their morals when it comes to this time of year! Last Friday when I went into our local mega-mart, [I won’t use the stores name, but you’ll know that familiar “mart”] I was run into with a shopping cart by not one, not two, but three individuals during the 45-minutes I was in the store. I want you to know that only one even apologized! One out of three! I saw people literally shoving into others, grabbing in front of people, cursing one another [total strangers to each other!], and I saw one man reach into a woman’s shopping cart when her head was turned and take a pair of pajamas out of her cart and put into his own then walked away.

Yes, shoppers appall me this time of year. So much so, that I cannot enjoy the shopping as I once did.

And that’s so sad!

Instead, today I rely on shopping on the Internet, where at least the ether-world attendant sends me an email “Thank-You”. And that’s a whole lot more than most cashier’s or clerk’s offer me in person.

BUT…I’ll always have the memories of those Christmas shopping excursions of long ago!

Friday, December 18, 2009

COG - New Year's Resolution[s]

Carnival of Genealogy – New Year’s Resolutions




As the New Year rapidly approaches, we pause and take the time to reflect on our past New Year’s resolution, and ask ourselves how close we came to fulfilling it. And then we begin to formulate our new New Year’s resolution.

Last year I’d such high hopes of getting so much personal research done on my own family tree! And I’d planned to perform an equal amount of research on my brother-in-law’s tree and gift him with the results.

Unfortunately, all of that fell by the wayside as I was inundated this year with client requests for their research on family trees. Not that I am totally complaining, mind you! But it did inhibit my ability, and time, to work on those previous goals.

Now, at my age, I am getting to the point that money isn’t the everything I used to believe it to be, so I propose to limit the amount of clients I take into hand this coming year.

I propose to allot myself at least 10-hours per week for personal research, while maintaining at least 30 hours of research time for my clients weekly.

How do I propose to stick to that plan?

Simple. A time sheet. Yep, a plain old simple time sheet. I already use one in keeping the hours of my client’s research. So, my plan is to also keep one for overall hours in each day.

My plan is to limit my business research to 6 hours a day, unless of course extensive travel has been involved in order to reach a repository, and in which case, I must utilize every second while there to be able to keep costs at a minimum. Now, should that be the case, I will offset with other days of the week, in which I will then increase my personal hours of research.

I set my goal for a 40-hour week of research. In reality, I usually perform 60 or more. [My dh is a long-haul truck driver, and so I spend most of my time alone and can work as late as I want to each evening… and yes… this means I AM addicted to genealogy! I am just waiting for a local support group to form! I can see it now… me standing before the group… “Hello, my name is Cyndi… and I’m a geneaholic.” Wonder how the 12-Step program works with that? Hmmmm] However, this New Year, I am planning to stick to that 40-hour work week, to allow me time for some of my other passions.

Reading! Right now I am relinquishing those moments before falling to sleep with a book. It sometimes takes me a month to read a book now! I’d like to allow myself a full hour each day to read.

Crocheting! I LOVE to crochet. And I probably have 6 or 7 projects started and lying about in various workbaskets. All of which need to be completed!

Writing! “A Mountain Gentleman” has been lying dormant on my computer for nearly 2 years now. I’d really like to get it completed, for my Dad’s sake, as well as my own. [Dad is 72 years young, and the book is about his great-grandfather. He asks me about it every now and then. However, I’ve noticed that it’s been quite a while since the last time he questioned how the book was going!]

Correspondence! And I mean the old fashioned kind, where you sit down with a fountain pen, and luxurious vellum and write in your own distinctive script, from the heart. Oh, it seems it’s been ages since I’ve done that!

And, of course, there’s the desire to continue the journey which I began 13-weeks ago, on my wellness program. [Yep, the old girl has lost an amazing 66 pounds in 13-weeks. But I still have a ways to go!]

So, my goals are definite. My desire is sincere.

Will I be voicing regrets this time next year?


….
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Why break a streak that’s nearly a half century old now???