Genealogy Jamboree

This weekend is Genealogy Jamboree in Southern California! I am a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society, host of the Jamboree. We are celebrating our 50th year of Jamboree!

I hope to see some of you there this weekend!

Jamboree is May 30-31 and June 1-2, 2019.

For more information, click on http://genealogyjamboree.com/

 

Genealogy Class in Antelope Valley August 14

I’m teaching a genealogy class at the Antelope Valley Genealogical Society!

Class is on August 14, 2019 starting at 7:00 PM.

Lecture subject is “Don’t Forget Your Home Sources” and will happen at the
Chimbole Cultural Center at 700 East Palmdale Blvd., Palmdale, CA 93550.

The website for the AVGS is here.

See you there!

Beginning Genealogy Class August 10

I will be teaching a Beginning Genealogy Class on Saturday, August 10, 2019. Class starts at 9:00 AM and will be 3 hours long.  Followed by the Lunch and Learn series.

This will be at the Southern California Genealogical Society, at 417 Irving Drive, Burbank, CA 91504.

I’ll teach some basics, standards, 6 Best Practices with Genealogy Research, and 6 Tools to Expand Your Research Skills, and more!

If you’re in SoCal at that time, drop by and say hello!

Their website is http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/ to learn about the other things we do at SCGS.

No Records in Two States

My great grandfather was Howard Reed. There is conflicting evidence in records, some records say he was born in Nebraska, while others say Oklahoma. Nebraska reported that no record was found when I requested a birth certificate. He was born in 1905, before either state kept birth records.

His death certificate has a Social Security Number. I have requested a copy of his SS-5, his application for a Social Security Number, to determine his birth location. I have not yet received any thing from SSA.

Some records say he was born in Oklahoma. I requested a birth certificate, including possibly a delayed birth certificate. This week I got a letter from Oklahoma, and they found no record.

Now, he was definitely born, as he married and had several children, and lived his life. But, there may not be a record of his birth. There is no record in Nebraska or in Oklahoma. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t born, just that there may be no written record of his birth.

Next step is to wait for the SSA to respond, they should report his date and location of birth. I can follow up once I receive that document.

Probate file helps but has little info

When I was in Salt Lake City in January, I found an index for probate files for Baca County, Colorado, which are available only directly from Baca County. Albert William Jones is my 3rd great grandfather. He was listed as having a probate file from the year 1946 when he died in Baca County.
Baca County emailed me the probate file today.
There is not much to it, he died intestate, or with no last will and testament. Sometimes a file with no will is called Probate or Letters of Administration.
His wife was Rebecca Jones. The estate was valued at less than $300, so she was entitled to receive it all. The estate was primarily an OAP warrant, which is an Old Age Pension with the State of Colorado. The document states he owned no other real estate or property. The document confirms his death date as 19 October 1946.
His widow was Rebecca Jones. I have her death date as 1951 but this is unconfirmed. We do know from this document that she was still living in 1946.
A photo of the tombstone is at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/27166206/jon with some other info.
Note it is a shared grave marker. Albert’s dates seem correct and confirmed with other sources, including the probate file. Her dates are a birth date only, no date of death is engraved on the stone. Which means I have doubts she is even buried there. I requested a death certificate from the State of Colorado, with a range of dates including the expected 1951, and they replied no record found. So, she may have died out of state, or the death is not recorded. If she died out of state, I currently have no other records that suggest where she may have resided after the death of her husband.
The probate file does not give us much more info, but it confirms his death date, and confirms his widow was still alive in 1946. It also confirms he owned no real estate.
Genealogy is one record at a time…

Three R’s in Genealogy

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic

I remember when my grade school teacher first told us about the Three R’s in school. Being smart-aleck kids, we made fun of the whole thing. Reading is the only word that actually starts with an R. Writing starts with a W, and the only way to get to R with Arithmetic is to skip an entire syllable. A short syllable, admittedly, but…I’m only hinting at how cruelly my grade school class tore apart the Three R’s model and basically insulted and mocked our teacher.

But, nonetheless, the idea has stuck around for many decades. It’s memorable. Technically, it is a mnemonic device.

In genealogy, we use the Three R’s with our research.

We read documents all the time. We must read documents, and analyze them, to understand our ancestors’ past lives and facts about their lives. We also read books, blogs, and syllabi from seminars to learn new skills, to better analyze and better research the documents we find.

We write documents. At the very least, we type in names, dates, and facts into a family tree, often one that is online so others can find it. This is form of a digital document. When we become more advanced, we also write other documents, digital or paper, such as research reports, sourced genealogies, and maybe even proof arguments. We leave a trail behind so that future generations can view and appreciate our work.

We also do arithmetic. Some examples include determining an unknown date. For example, we may research an ancestor and we discover there is no birth certificate, as those documents were not yet recorded. We may find a church baptism record. We do simple logical determinations; if they were baptized on that date, they were already born, so we may type in a date such as “born before 12 Jan 1848.” Before by how much time, we may not be able to determine. Sometimes just a day or two. Sometimes a week. Sometimes, if it was a traveling preacher who came to town every month or several weeks, much more time may have gone by between birth and baptism. And of course, some religions believe in baptizing only adults who have knowledge of what a baptism means, so the person may be 14years old, or even an adult of 70, before they are baptized. But “born before 12 Jan 1848” is sufficient in many cases.

We may discover a will that was written on June 29, 1834, but was not proved, or finished with court probate proceedings, until August 10, 1834. We determine that the person was alive on June 29 when they wrote the will, but a will is only proved after their death, so they must have been dead by August 10. When did they die, exactly? We often write a range, or died between two dates, such as “29 June 1834 — 10 Aug 1834.” Sometimes that’s the best we know for now, until we get other documents, and sometimes that’s the best we know…ever.

Many of us have come across a unique gravestone, which may give no birth date, but gives a death date “May 16, 1892” and provide the age of the deceased at death, such as “71 years, 5 months, 3 days” and then we must do math to determine a birth date. With this example, we would have both a birth date and a death date, but we must do math to figure it out.

Genealogy, in many ways, is just some basic skills that we all learned in grammar school. Including the Three R’s: Readin’ wRitin’, and ‘Rithmetic.

The hard part is finding the documents, and analyzing the documents.

 

Records of History Still Being Discovered

It is apparent that not all records of the past have been uncovered.

Just recently, medieval historians have found evidence that a nun in the 14th century faked her own death to escape the convent and to pursue “the way of carnal lust.”

This is the story of Joan of Leeds in England.

This story appears in several places online, including The Guardian, and the Yorkshire Evening Post, and Huffpost.

The ancient text, written in Latin, is part of a translation and digitization project for 16 registers of the archbishops of York, between the years 1304 and 1405.

Records are still being discovered!

As a genealogist, I find such news as this, and the original source, fascinating. She’s not in my family tree…that I know of!