Tuesday, August 31, 2010

what is it about 14 year olds in the 1800's.....

that make us current Americans seem like a joke??  I mean these "kids" came to this country (some alone) and just "put on their big girl panties(or big boy panties) " and stormed the beaches, so to speak.

I mean that is what my GGGF did.  He was 14 when he arrived in the US ( 1832) and after that just ruled his destiny.  I know the average life expectancy was shorter back then, but WOW he took the bull by the horns and just dug in.

Anyone else out there with shockingly "mature" young immigrants in your tree too.  I 'd love to hear the stories.  Let 'em fly.............

But I digress....Family Tree Maker 2011

Ok, OK.  Yes, I'm using FTM 2008.  AND I just loaded it on my laptop.  ME???? you ask!!!!  YOU--Gadget Girl....McGIRLver to the masses.  Yep......admitting is it the first step toward.........oops wrong group.

I am coming clean and showing my weaknesses right now.  BUT...and I say but, I have ordered the new FTM 2011.  I thought I might come into the modern era of genealogy this year.  Not sure what all it'll "buy" me, but I am willing to learn.

I took the second "step" of signing up for the Ancestry.com web class that'll tutor me about the new software.  Now sure if this is a good thing, or just another tangent to follow in my life of ADHD........but I digress.   Doesn't matter I usually need a challenge (periodically) to keep me on my toes.  So "Wish me luck" .

If anyone has any really wiz bang ( nifty, peachy-keen, groovy man) things that they do specifically with their FTM software; be sure to pass those little gems along to me here.  I like the abridged version of most things...but I digress.

Tombstone Tues----

Today I enclose a photo of my favorite cemetary plot(s).  Part of my family rests there.  It is a really pretty place with a beautiful cedar shade tree that my grandfather planted there.  He sure did love his cedar trees.  I remember playing underneath them as a child, on the farm.  I pretended they were indian teepees and I was a great indian scout.  They sheltered me rom the rain and the hot summer sun.

So I give you Henry Carl--PETE--Skinner, Sr. (my papaw) and his cedar shaded resting place.  I still miss him!

The rocks that are used around the lot are local rocks that are mortared together for a border.

It is a really nice, old, and peaceful place.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back on Track???? Madness Monday

Well I've been out for few days trying to deal with poison Ivy/oak/sumac...UGGHHH!!   This is where you ask me if I'd like a little cheese with my WHiiiiNE!!  OK 'nuff said....

What am I pulling my hair out over on this pleasant Mad Monday??  Lawrence, of course.  How could I not be.  Lawrence could you please visit me in a dream and give me a hint as to where you naturalized.  Maybe I need to hire a medium to get "the goods" on your arrival/naturalization/etc.  I'm not above that you know, Lawrence.

Why the big secret Lawrence?  I wonder who ended up with your naturalization records ( they can run, but they cannot hide). 

And what is it about you and no easy records in England??-- Not even a clue, about your family.  This story better be good, Lawrence.  I mean this story better be what novels are made of---seriously!!!

How could anyone with the name Lawrence Woodhead ( L. W.) Nuttall be so evasive in history???  What are the odds???  I bet they are lottery odds.  Too bad there isn't a big fat pile of $$$ waiting on me to find you--I mean pot-o-gold stuff here.  I guess I'll just have to settle for the satisfaction of "winning" and eventually finding your hidden details.

OK back on my meds.....for sure

Friday, August 20, 2010

It is amazing what an old box in a closet can hold

Not too long ago I had the great fortune to be looking for some old things of mine that i knew where at my parent's house.  I found an old box that was up in a closet.  I took it down and found all kinds of treasures.  After asking my Dad about the box, he said it was some old papers and things that he had gotten from his Aunt's things many years ago.  I asked him if I could take it and go through it for family facts and information.  he said "Yes, just take care of it".  I smiled and had to laugh inside because I have taken care of all the family treasures that I have been able to get my hands on.

What a treasure chest I found.  There were wonderful photos of my ancestors that I had never seen or dreamed to see.  I even found a picture of the man who started it all for me here in the US; my GGGF.  His name is Lawrence Woodhead Nuttall.  He came to America in 1832 as a "boy" of 14 years of age.  There was actually a picture of him in that box.  One really great photo of him as an older man-very distinguished.  My heart was racing when I finally got to put a face with a name. WOW!  I still marvel at it today.  There were many other treasures from my GGM's side of the family too.  WOW again !  Finding all this really gave me a boost of energy to get going .

I also found some not so happy things in there; like a letter from my GGF about some hurtful things that he experienced at the hands of some of his siblings.  Of course that explains a lot about the distance my side of the family had with the rest of his immediate family.  Interesting to find, really.

Now I have been able to located a really old relative from the estranged part of my tree who lives fairly close to me.  I called him and he has agreed to meet with me.  It should be interesting to hear all about his stories of their part of my family tree.

You never know what you are going to find in a old box up in a shelf of a closet........

Read the older/oldest posts--Follow Friday

Ok, still being new to the whole genealogy blogger thing, I'm taking time to get to know the offered routines by Geneabloggers.com.  I have something to add today.

I use Google search for my ancestors.  What I have found is that if you go through the higher number pages, you may find some obscure fact or entry for your name search.  I have had this happen several times to me.  Not sure why , but I always take time to go through the higher number pages of my Google searches.  I've found several treasures that way.

Not to long ago I searched for my G Aunt who was an ordained Methodist minister in the 1930's.  She was listed several times throughout cyberspace as well as being listed in Wikipedia for her early influence with Women in the Methodist faith.  I was able to add all this to my genealogy files for her.  So now I routinely search the names I am working on at present.

Also, remember keep a copy of what you find, because I have also lost the ability to locate some obscure pieces of information found on the internet,  as time has gone on.  Who knows where they go.  If you do find the location and the page has an error, using the cache feature with Google can at least allow you to view the information.

It does take a lot of time to read the outer listings on a Google search, but I usually get really focused on the job of finding obscurities.  This means means you probably couldn't "pull me away" if you wanted to at that time.  I love the hunt!!!  So today I recommend Google search--regularly, as entries change over time.  You never know what you might find........

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A not so "Wordless Wednesday"...food for thought. Royalties...YOU?

A more selfish reason to research and collect land grant and ownership documents would be "Mineral Rights".  YES, Virginia, your family may have some long lost mineral rights to previous land ownership.  Every state is different with their mineral laws.  But take Texas, for instance, when mineral reservation is declared, the mineral are held in perpetuity.  This means forever.  So, say Davy Crockett could have "reserved the minerals" of land he previously owned.   His present relatives could have legal rights to payment of oil/gas/wind/cell towers/and other mineral royalties being generated on that land today.  And folks there are lots of "plays" (term for a mineral generating formation) out there now.  You might have some ownership in some nice royalty checks.  Typically, if the mineral ownership cannot be traced to present day, most companies hold that $$ in escrow for the day they find the owners. 

Now, every state can have differences in their mineral code/law.  It might be worth checking it out.  My GGGF owned 3/4 of a section ( a section is 640 acres) in Iowa.  I'll be checking the mineral code and the ownership docs to see how the minerals are transferred or held by owners.

Just a thought.......

Here's a thought!

(oh no the crowd says...)  I have just recently been on the phone with the really nice and helpful staff at the Keokuk County (Iowa) Historical Society.  They informed me that they do research for people who request it, by mail, and only charge 25cents a copy of they find anything.  They are all volunteers and what a nice group of people.    Here's a link, if you so desire to check it out:


My GGGF Lawrence Woodhead Nuttall lived there in his later years; and he died there.  It's a long story.....so many things so little time...ha.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Ok so it is tombstone Tuesday and I'll start participating today.  I include a pic of my beloved grandmother's gravestone.  She was a HUGE influence on my life (and still is today).  I miss her so much, but I have great memories to draw on each time I think of her.  Mamaw--I love you!

Blessed- Ella Josephine Reed Skinner.....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Land records and Patents

I deal with this site all the time.  It is  fun to find ancestor's who obtained land grants, and from where the grants were located.  It can also help you follow their movements, and to get a hint about where they might have gone in their American adventure.  I have located documents for my ancestor's; and there are more names to research.  Here's the link:


OLD newspapers from NY State

While trying to locate my GGGF who lived in NY State sometime between 1932-1845, I ran across this really groovy web site that has digital copies of old newspapers from NY State.  Check it out -  it is really awesome to find records like these. Here's the link:


Naming Patterns In England, 1700-1800’s

Well since I am having a hard time finding my GGGF's parents and siblings I started to check the naming game for the 1800's.  Here's what I found and maybe it will give you some clues too.

Naming Patterns In England, 1700-1800’s

1st son — father’s father 2nd son — mother’s father 3rd son — father 4th son — father’s eldest brother 1st daughter — mother’s mother 2nd daughter — father’s mother 3rd daughter — mother 4th daughter — mother’s eldest sister Other children could be named after earlier ancestors, but there would be no particular pattern to them.

Variations on this:

1st son — mother’s father 1st daughter — father’s mother 2nd son — father’s father 2nd daughter — mother’s mother OR….
2nd son — father 2nd daughter — mother OR….
3rd daughter — after one of the great-grandmothers
4th daughter — mother \

"Who do I think I am" writing a genealogy blog.......?

Well that is a very good question. I caught the genealogy "bug" from my great aunt at the ripe old age of 16. Back then there was no Internet and only manual research options where available to me. I dove in though; hoping to find the missing pieces of the vast puzzle that intrigued me. Clearly my results must be obvious. I am STILL searching for those missing pieces to my puzzle-(this is where you look surprised)!
A couple of things I have learned in my years of genealogy research are: 1) you are NEVER completely through searching for clues and facts; and 2) this researcher rarely has enough time in a day to fulfill my research fix. The good news is I work in a field where I have to trace and piece together familial lines for businesses, so I do get to "enjoy the hunt" most days. This has only led me to a greater desire to piece my own family puzzle together. So I guess that makes me the family detective/historian. This I gladly accept as my challenge and fate.

One word of warning; I am not a great speller. I am a card carrying member of "the bad spellers of the world UNTIE" club, so I ask your tolerance with this matter.

Other than all that; I am a seeker- plan and simple. I know what I know and I'm eager to share with all of you. I am seeking additional wisdom and resources for my genealogy journey. I love to learn, so feel free to share with me too.