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During a recent call at the Genealogy Center, a patron was attempting to locate an ancestor. She was unable to locate this person in several different documents.  A review of the documents found the ancestor’s name with various spellings.

Do not be overly concerned with spelling, especially prior to 1900 in the United States. I found one cousin and his wife in the mid-1800s through various books and records. Both names had various spellings

Breathitt County, Kentucky is a location of several branches of my Fugate line.

Here at the Genealogy Center we have several volumes from Breathitt County, Kentucky. One of the marriage volumes by Frances Ingmire[i], shows the marriage of HOUDLEY Fugate to PALLY Napier. I pulled out my Fugate family history[ii] and found HENLEY Fugate was married to MARY Napier.

As I compared the dates and locations of the marriage, both volumes noted 25 Mar 1852 in Breathitt County, Kentucky.

I located a second volume of Breathitt County marriages[iii] by Margaret Millar Hayes. Her volume shows the marriage as HENLY Fugate & POLLY Napier.

Knowing that Mary and Polly could refer to the same individual I sought other documents to prove the correct (or most used) names.

The 1860 Federal Census shows HENDLEY and POLLY Fugate with three children[iv].

The 1870 Federal Census shows HENLY and POLLY Fugate with four children, the oldest having married and moved out[v].

In five resources I found four spellings for Henley (Houdley, Henley, Hendley, Henly) and 3 for Polly (Pally, Mary, Polly).

Spelling or transcription of 1800’s American penmanship can result in a variety names for the same people.

Erase the thought “My name is only spelled this way..”, when dealing with genealogy research documents.  Only in very specific instances will spelling matter. You may find valuable family information (and connections) in documents where the spelling of your relative’s name was not what you expected.

Good Hunting!

 

[i] Breathitt County, Kentucky Marriages, Frances T. Ingmire, Mountain Press, Signal Mountain, TN, page 2.

[ii] The Fugate Family of Russell County Virginia, David Faris, Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD. 1986, pp 74-75

[iii] Reconstructed Marriage Records of Breathitt County Kentucky 1839-1873 Including Marriages from Breathitt County Marriage Book 1 – 1874-1877, Margaret Millar Hayes, Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, MD. 1994, pg 55.

[iv] 1860 Federal Census, Kentucky, Perry County, page 27, family #174.

[v] 1870 Federal Census, Kentucky, Perry County, Lost Creek District, page 2, family #9.

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A coworker Grace, (not her real name) stopped me all excited, and stated she had been in contact with a previously unknown cousin.

Grace took a DNA test and recently received the results. A relative showed up as a probable first cousin. Grace was a little apprehensive.

Grace grew up with one brother, an uncle with four children and another uncle who was married twice, but did not have any children. She is in contact with her brother and the four cousins. The uncles and aunts are deceased.

Grace contacted this unknown relative. The cousin (female) stated she was the daughter of the uncle who did not have any children.

Through email and voice communications, the whole story came out.

Grace’s uncle sired a child with his soon-to-be second wife while still married to his first wife. This is during the early 1950s. The soon-to-be second wife gave birth while Grace’s uncle was in the process of divorcing his first wife. The divorce proceedings went on for several months.

The second wife was about to be a “single-mother” with a child “born out of wedlock.” She placed the child up for adoption and had no contact with the child for 50 years.

Grace’s cousin never met her biological father. He died almost 30 years ago. She was able to meet her biological mother prior to the mother’s death in 2015.

Grace’s new cousin gave permission to pass her information on to others. One of Grace’s oldest cousins stated the uncle in question was “his favorite” uncle and will be able to pass on information about him to this new member of the family.

Not all DNA tests result in connections. Not all of the connections turn into positive / favorable associations. However, the majority of folks who test with DNA companies and share their family trees are looking to connect with other relatives.

Have you tested with a DNA company? Are you seeking other currently unknown cousins?
You may have success similar to my co-worker Grace.

Good Hunting!

You are invited to join the DNA Interest Group that meets monthly in the Genealogy Center in the W.O. Haggard, Jr. library. Our next meeting is 14 August at 7 p.m.
All are invited.

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18 Jun 1812 President James Madison signs the Declaration of War as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/war-of-1812-begins

The war would last almost three years. The most famous battle of the war will occur before word of the signed peace treaty reaches America.

Do you have ancestors who are veterans of the War of 1812?

The Mexican-American War?

The Indian Wars both before and after the Civil War?

The Philippine Insurrection?

This summer the Genealogy Center will have classes on locating military ancestors that tend to be a bit more difficult.

28 June – Locating Native American Soldiers

12 July – Locating African-American Soldiers

19 July – Locating Ancestors Who Fought in Lesser Known Conflicts

There are Genealogy Classes almost every week this summer.

There are classes on U.S. Census records, Fold3 and Archives, Obituaries and more.

Check out the Plano Library website – http://www.plano.gov/203/Library

Attend one of our classes and you may find a trick or two that allows you to identify that missing ancestor, military veteran or not, to break down that brick wall.

Good Hunting!

 

 

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Today is known as the anniversary of D-Day 1944 – The Allied Invasion of France during World War II.

6 June 1944 was also my grandmother’s 40th birthday.

Grace Smiley Coleman had a very emotional day.  Birthday celebration was overshadowed by invasion news. Her only son, Billy S. Coleman, was serving in the U.S. Army.  He was NOT part of the invasion forces, but would soon be joining the forces on the European continent.

Grace wrote a letter to her son every day  Thirty years later she remarked, “I don’t know how I was able to make each letter different.”

My uncle, PFC Billy Smiley Coleman, served in Europe and was injured in a vehicle crash, along with his lieutenant, heading to the Battle of the Bulge.

Another uncle, Sgt. Stanley Edwin Rush, served with the 2nd Armored Division in Italy.

Both uncles rarely talked of their time in the war.  In the early 1990s I wrote a note of thanks to each uncle.  Both uncles replied with letters that included a few memories of their wartime experience.  I treasure both letters.

Take time today to remember those in YOUR family tree that served – in the military or kept things going here at home. Share those memories.

Here in the Genealogy Center we have histories, yearbooks, and other records of several men and women who served from Plano, from Collin County, from several locations in Texas and several other states.

Let us assist you in seeking out your Military Heroes or those who supported them from on the home front.

Good Hunting!

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When I married in 1979, my wife knew that one of my hobbies was family history.

She provided me names and dates to help fill out her side of our family tree.

We came to a brick wall with her 2Great-grandfather – David Lucas.

Questions arose from the transcriptions of the Rockbridge County (Virginia) Marriage Record.

In all of the typed transcriptions, the record states:

Lucas, David   64   W   Cumberland, PA   Rockbridge   Farmer
Lucas, Danl.   Lucas, Edith   8/3/1869   Schreckhise, J.W.
Reece, Mary M.   28   S   Augusta   Rockbridge
Reece, C.   Reece, M.A.

This record states that David Lucas was a 64 year-old widower, born in Cumberland, Pennsylvania. He now lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He is a farmer. His father is Danl Lucas and his mother is Edith Lucas.
David Lucas and Mary M. Reece were married on 3 August 1869 by J.W. Schreckhise
Mary M. Reece is 28 years old, single and born in Augusta County, Virginia. She now lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Her parents are C. Reece and M.A. Reece.

Before I began my record search I questioned my in-laws for any information or stories they might have about David. Results were – NONE. Some did recall a grandmother Reece, but I determined these were all about the daughter Georgianna Reese (Mary’s daughter) who married their great-grandfather Daniel Campbell.

David and Mary were married in 1869 and I found them in the 1870 Federal Census in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Both David and Mary state their place of birth is Virginia.

David appears in the 1860 Federal Census in Rockbridge County, Virginia married to Elizabeth (Strine) with nine children ages 23 – 9. Here again David, Elizabeth and all nine children were born in Virginia. I found the marriage record of David Lucas to Elizabeth Strine in Augusta County, on 29 Nov 1832. From the transcribed record there was no indication of place of birth.

I found no record of David and Elizabeth in the 1850 Federal Census – in either Augusta or Rockbridge County, Virginia. I did find David listed in the 1840 Federal Census in Augusta County, Virginia.

The challenge was to find Daniel and Edith Lucas, David’s parents. Were they in Virginia or Pennsylvania?

I was successful in finding a Daniel and Elizabeth Lucas in Augusta County, Virginia. I was also successful in finding a Daniel and Eva Lucas in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. In neither case did I find a marriage record.

A trip to the Rockbridge County Courthouse to VIEW the original marriage document would allow me to determine if David’s birthplace was correctly transcribed. Was he born in PA or VA? I could also verify the mother’s name. Is she correctly recorded as Edith or is the entry an abbreviation of Elizabeth? Thus far I have not found a digitized copy of the marriage record to answer these questions.

Sometimes the answers are not so readily available. Transcribed books may be correct or in error. Images of documents may not be available. Images may be so poor that when viewing either online or in person, the information is not clearly discernible.

So my search continues.

Come visit our center. Peruse our materials. Our staff is always available to assist you in your research.

Perhaps our materials will assist you in answering one or more of your family history questions.

Good Hunting!

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Have you searched www.familysearch.org recently?  If not, perhaps today is a good time to check it out.

I checked familysearch.org to see if there were any updates to areas I am researching.

To say I was surprised is an understatement. From Monday 30 April thru Thursday 2 May, I counted 91 updates.

These updates include various databases from 36 different United States, 9 different countries, plus an update to the BillionGraves Index.

During my classes here at the Genealogy Center, I encourage my attendees to check www.familysearch.org as one of their resources.

I often state, “If you don’t find the database you are looking for, check back in a week or two.”

Here at the Genealogy Center our public computers can access Ancestry Library Edition, Fold3.com, and Heritage Quest as well as other links. Some of these sites are partner sites with Familysearch.org.

You may be able to access a few of these 91 databases through the partner sites.

I encourage you to check-out www.familysearch.org from time to time. You may discover information you are seeking.

Good Hunting!

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On April 18, 1942 – Lt. Col. Doolittle led his squadron on a raid over Tokyo, Japan.

A memorial in their honor stands at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The following Raiders were from North Texas:

1Lt. Edgar E. McElroy – Ennis, Texas
Sgt. Douglas V. Radney – Mineola, Texas
Lt. Nolan Anderson Herndon – Greenville, Texas
Lt. Kenneth E. Reddy – Bowie, Texas
Maj. John A. “Jack” Hilger – Sherman, Texas

You are invited to come in, browse our collection, and use our materials here in the Genealogy Center.

You may find information on YOUR military heroes.

Good Hunting!

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