Saturday, January 7, 2017

Cleaning up the Past

When I started the blog in 2012, I made a list of goals for the year.  For continuity's sake, I want to report what has been accomplished from that list.
  • photograph local family headstones
  • visit Wheatland
    • DONE
  • find burial info for Kate Lucy Waters Moran and her father, Michael!
    • PARTIALLY DONE (Kate found, not Michael)
  • find out what county in Ireland Patrick J. Moran is from
    • DONE pending further documents (niece reported that her father, Patrick's brother, is from Dingle, Kerry)
  • create a spreadsheet for all the people in the tree, cross-referencing all of their in an index
    • NOT DONE
  • create "profiles" for all the people in the tree using the index and spreadsheet
    • NOT DONE
  • scan ALL the images from family members that I can
    • NOT DONE
  • get photos of headstones for the family where location is known (via
  • get tracingtheivy headstone cards made (via Hector)
    • NOT DONE, may choose to not do this
  • take at least two volunteer photos per month for
    • NOT DONE
In terms of photographing local relatives' headstones and scanning all the family photos I can, that will just have to be an ongoing project.

When I visited Wheatland, I only managed to go to the cemetery, but I was able to photograph all my known relatives there.  My grandmother mentioned that even in the worst heat there, she would always feel a breeze by our family's plot (or her son's headstone, I can't remember).  I felt it, too.  I didn't make it to the family ranch, but someday I'll get there.  It's rented out I believe, but I still want to see it.

I did finally find Kate Lucy Waters Moran's burial plot.  A very nice volunteer braved the snow in Massachusetts and with the map I provided, she found her.  Unfortunately there's a blank spot where her headstone should be.  Her husband is buried with his second wife and some other people, children if I recall.  

I still want to create some kind of spreadsheet and profiles for everyone, but soon I'm going to look into organizing my research with Evernote, so that goal may actually turn out differently.

As for two volunteer photographs  per month for, I wasn't able to do that, but I may have time now.  I'll think about doing this, but I don't know if I'm going to leave personal cards.  I'm thinking they might blow away in the wind and become trash, and I don't want to anchor them into the ground.  Maybe I'll just leave a flower.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Weekend Wrap-up: What I Accomplished

Ah the sins of my youth...I spent New Year's Eve day finally cleaning up my first tree.  I had so many duplicates and triplicates and even some quadruplicates.  That tree is 11 years old, and I have my DNA results attached to it.  I guess you could say I'm sentimentally attached to it.  I didn't set out to clean it up.  I meant to fill out a simple seven generation family chart for one of my second cousins, showing how far back I've gotten so far on a particular line (Moran) that we share.  Then I ran into a problem.  David John Kirkpatrick had two wives and a mess of children, and I couldn't tell from that old tree who their mother was:  Margaret Miller or Flora McLeod.  I managed to find a marriage record for David and Flora from 1886, and the children were all born before that date.  I even found another daughter, Rowena, on someone else's tree that needed confirmation.  It all snowballed with the first church record of one son's baptism which had his brother on the next page.  Then I noticed that his brother had the same birthday.  Twins!  I checked the other pages next to the brothers and discovered that all the children were baptized on the same day and confirmed that Rowena was a daughter.

Hoping to ride yesterday's wave of success and productivity, I tried hammering at my Manley brick wall.  Then I used a sledge hammer.  Still nothing.  So for fun I clicked on a tree that I started years ago for my best friend and saw that her mysterious grandfather had a leaf hint.  At first I was a little disappointed that the hint was only for being on some other members' trees.  Then I noticed that he had a different wife and children on two of the trees, so I cautiously texted my friend about it.  Chalk it up to a bad memory; this was known information that I forgot.  She reminded me that he's the mysterious grandfather with the unknown roots.  Challenge:  Accepted!  I found him in the 1930 census with the first wife, first two sons, and a BROTHER.  That also included their immigration year (1913).  I found a death record with a really promising birth year for the brother that lists the mother's maiden name.  I haven't confirmed that it's the same person with another document yet, but it looks good for now.  Their last name had a different spelling when they came to the U.S., but it's very close.  I found them in the 1920 census in Colorado and then the parents in 1930 in Nebraska with a new daughter.  The daughter's birth state says Colorado.  Then I found the parents and brothers on the Ivernia, arriving in Boston in 1913 heading for Brush, CO which is close to the town in which they were living in 1920.  Bingo.  I'd really like to find obituaries on the parents and children to try to confirm the mother's maiden name and any of their background information, but I pulled down a lot of bricks this afternoon.