Monday, September 16, 2013

Facebook Groups and Drama

I am in several Facebook groups about genealogy.   I won't mention all of the names but the drama is there especially on one of them.   People can comment or ask a question wanting help or try to start a discussion and it will move greatly down hill with sometimes mean, hateful, snide remarks.   Most of the time it has been dealing with proof , sources and professional versus amateur genealogy.   I will say I am not professional genealogist I still consider myself completely new to the field but come on is there really a reason to be this hateful and sometimes mean to people just for asking for help.
There was one post in particular that comes to mind.   I think it was someone stating there were related to so and so and the person posting didn't put on their post of how they reached that conclusion or the sources the information came from.  One person stated that without sources and proof its not true. Another posted that basically unless you have a lot of money to spend then don't even start researching your family tree.
Here is my take on it.   I started genealogy to learn more about the great family that I came from.  I am not rich and I know that  I need to get out and do field research at courthouses and libraries but really is there something wrong with getting the information off the internet now and doing field research later.   And no I am not rich and no I do not have a lot of money but I will continue this research and do it the best that I can.
Regarding sources, I know that you need to source your tree for various reasons.  One you know that you are on the right path, you know the information is correct and where you got the info, and others later on will be able to find the exact same information on your ancestors.   Is my tree completely sourced right now, No it's not. Am I working on that yes I am.   Should I be made to feel less because I am new to this, or I am not a professional or I might not know as much as others No I should not.
We have to remember we are all human, No matter who you are you are not perfect!!!!!!!!!!!   Sooner or later you are going to make a mistake or need to ask a question and people should not make you feel awful for asking that question  or making that mistake.

Frank Edward and Evie Lois (Rittenberry) Maddle

I have to say, when I think of my mother's parents, Frank Edward (1930-2004) and Evie Lois Rittenberry (1931-1997) Maddle, so many memories pop up.  My grandparents had 13 children - 8 boys  and 5 girls.   My grandparents had a hard life growing up.  I am lucky enough to have about  5 pages wrote by my granny detailing some of her early life.  In having this I know so much about my grandmother growing up that she never had the chance to tell me and I have so much respect for her and my grandfather.   Did they have a lot when it came to possessions, probably not but I can garauntee you that they were very rich in deed in love for each other and for their children.   My Papa Frank served in the Army and had numerous jobs one of which was a coal miner.  A lot of times they traveled back and forth between OH and TN for work.  He done what he could to provide for the family.
My grandmother lost her father John Monroe Rittenberry in 1936.  She was 5 years old.  He passed away from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.   My great grandmother later remarried but I couldn't imagine losing my daddy at that age.   They also had a sister that passed away at the age of 2.   
Both my grandparents suffered losses and grief and hardships.   But through it all, they had each other and they had their children and family.   I am very proud that I am the grand daughter of such wonderful and loving grandparents and I miss them each day.


Isn't it funny how when you are working on family history, especially on the generations of the family that you knew personally, how it brings back so many memories.  I was organizing notes this morning on mom's side of the family.   She has 12 brothers and sisters so lots of aunts and uncles and cousins.    As I was writing down what I remember and what I know of each one so many memories came back.   Unfortunately, for us and mom's side my aunt Miranda passed in 2010, she was the first of the siblings to pass away and she was always my favorite.   I spent so many summers with her and my uncle Kenny.   I have to say because I had heard them both say it so many times, they thought of me like their daughter not only their niece and I loved them both so much and miss them greatly.   My summers thru some of elementary school and high school were spent with them.   We would go and spend a lot of times with my grandparents and at my aunt Sheva's and at my uncles house.   Oh the times we had.   
I also spent a lot of time at my Aunt Faye's house and at my aunt Sheva's.   I have so many memories of weekends spent in middle and west TN with my aunts and uncles and cousins.   When we would go to my aunt Faye's or any of my other aunt's houses most of the time the rest of the family would gather there also.   I can now only wish I would of been interested in family history then because they would always tell stories and everything.   Unfortunately most of the time that is how it goes by the time we get interested in family research the ones that could of told us the best stories of our family such as our grandparents have already passed.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Starting Over...

Starting Over..

Since I am going to start over, I figured this time I would concentrate on one family line at a time.  All of you know what I speak of when I say that as we search we come across so many things that leads us into so many different directions that makes it  hard to stay on track of that one line.   I will probably go off the track a couple of times , I can't say that I won't but i am going to  concentrate on my paternal surname Lemons.   My mother is actively researching her own maternal surnames Rittenberry,  Mccloud, Rittenberry and Crook , so I will cocentrate on my father's side.

I will start out with my grandfather Johnny E. Lemons.  I know when he was born, married, and when he passed. I know the locations and who his parents are.   With my grandmother Imogene Cunningham, I also know the same information.  Luckily growing up we lived basically right next door to my grandparents and I miss them every day, but that is another story.  We have always lived in a small community so people know us and they knew my grandparents.  That is the good thing about small towns and the small communities that some of us live in.   We have grown up with these people, and they have shared our joys and our sorrows and they are a great wealth of information if we just stop and talk to them every once in a while.

I was also lucky enough to have boxes of information from my father's line.  I have old pictures, newspapers clippings, and  obits that his cousins had clipped from newspapers.  I have a family Bible from the same cousins, along with books on the  county and on the community of which we live.    I have all of this stuff but yet none of it is labeled or put in the right places on the computer or transcribed and the info extracted.    I do have a lot of work cut out in front of me, but I have to say, I  look forward to every bit of it.

Things to Accomplish

I am sitting here reading genealogy blogs and thinking to myself when it comes to my own research what is it that I wish to accomplish?  I have made so many of the classic mistakes that one starts out doing when they start on their pursuit of  family history.   I was one of the folks that would click and add to my tree without paying attention to the details of the records in order to get my family tree done as quickly as possible.  I didn't pay attention to records or to insight and the thoughtful words of those that tried to help.

Thankfully I know better now and I know that there is so much more to researching and adding people to your family history than being on a website click, click, clicking away with no regard to what you are doing.  I want to know as much as possible  about each person that is in my family.  These are our ancestors, they faced wars, plagues, things that we can't imagine, or  maybe we could and that is why we want to try to find them.   I want to take each person that is in my family tree and find each and every thing that I can find out about them.

The great discoveries, the accomplishments, even the failures, whatever it is I want to know.   I have started my tree over and I have went thru my notes and I have gotten rid of anything that might no be right and that I had no proof for in order to start over right and in the correct way.   It's so easy to get exicted along the way and mess up but luckily I have a mother and father that shares my interest and pursuing this great feat and I have 3 or 4 more cousins that are actively researching their family trees also that share mine.  
I so enjoy reading everyone's blogs so please keep them coming, your discoveries and techniques are a great asset to anyone reading.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Wiki tree, family search trees and more

I have not wrote in quite a while.   Right now sick at home, is one reason that i am writing.    Anyway, the past couple of days I have looking into Wikitree and the now accessible family trees on familysearch.    I already had a tree on wikitree but hadn't really fooled with it til Saturday night.  Then today I started one on family search.   I think that both of these are great ideas.  I love the idea of being able to put the information out there so that others who might have the same ancestors can contact me.   I started genealogy to find out about my ancestors.  Whatever that I find I would willingly share with someone else.   Here is the thing, I found it on the internet on or on family search, if I found it someone else can too so this is why I have no problem putting it back out there.   Also if you are not going to share information with others why put a tree on the internet at all to begin with.

Also here lately there has been a lot of fussing about going on on some of the genealogy facebook pages.  I seen a couple of replies the other day that upset me greatly.  I still consider myself a newbie at researching my family.  We all make mistakes that is what makes us human, no matter what no one is perfect.  To down someone or to fuss at someone because they might not be at the same calibur that you think you are is disgraceful or to say you more or less have to be rich to research your family tree, is not right either.   I don't have the money to go to every courthouse in every county of the US that my family lived in, but I can get on the internet and try to find what I can there and maybe be able to visit a lot of these towns later on.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Who do you think you are is back

I am so happy to hear that TLC is bringing back Who Do You Think You Are.  I loved watching this show.
I would always watch and DVR the episodes and my husband would even watch them with me.   Probably one of my favorite episodes was the one with Sarah Jessica Parker.  

article on who do you think you are.

The list of who is going to be on it looks pretty good also.   I was just so very happy to hear that it was going to be coming back on.
Thank you TLC

Items that came from our ancestors...

I have been catching up on reading some blogs today.   I have a great interest in reading other people's blogs on their own personal family history researching quest.    I enjoy with them every little find and drop of new information that they might find.
I have had so many ideas today.   I have so many newspaper clippings, obits clipped from newspapers, letters, photos, recipes, etc that came from my ancestors.   These things need to be added to the family tree for others to enjoy.  I know that a lot of family history research is based upon records, but let us not forget that their is more than records that tie us to our ancestors.  It could be a quilt that you great great grandmother made, or a picture of a man in uniform that turned out to be a grandfather or uncle that fought maybe during the Civil War, or a recipe that is barely legible that belonged to one of your ancestors.
I have the certificate of graduation for one of my grandfather's cousins from a school that does not even exist anymore.  I have the funeral books, from the same ancestors parents  from the 1950's that are so different than what you may get today from the funeral home.   We need to preserve every piece of history that comes from our ancestors, no matter what it may be.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Immigrants and Brickwalls

I have read so many books on starting genealogy and researching your own family tree.    I have went several generations back on each line however, I am nowhere close to discovering an ancestor that came by boat from another country to this country.   I am excited to find one though, because it will be interesting to find  where they come from and why they came to this country.
I do have a couple of brick walls.   I sometimes think that I am not exhausting the search to see what else I could possibly find on each ancestor.   I think some of my "brick walls" would not be brick walls, if I would just take the time to research in greater depths.
Here are some of my problems...
On the Lemons side of the family - my line goes from Theodore to Samuel to William (1799) to his father who was also William.  After that William can find his father.   Its a theory that the surname Lemons, might have undergone a change in spelling to get to Lemons, maybe from Lyming or Lemmons.   I'm not sure to how to go back any further which is another
reason why I decided to take the DNA test.
Another problem.   My maternal grandfather is Frank Edward Maddle (1930-2004).  His mother Dora L Mccloud was not married when she got pregnant with my grandfather.   All we know is that his last name was Whittaker he died in the 1960's in possibly the White, Sparta, or Putnam county areas.   His mother then married Noah Madewell and that is how my grandfather got his last name.  This again was another reason why I decided to take the DNA test.

I need to start organizing my information better and start utilizing the forms that people have provided for free on the internet.   I am going to reread some of my books on genealogy and see where I might be messing up and not doing something right in researching.   I need to start making use of things specifically like research plans and calanders.   I have always loved organizing paperwork and using forms.  I just need to apply that to my family history research.

Why I started Genealogy...

Many people often ask why do you work on your family history, or what got you started into your search into your family history?   For me, I don't think that it was any specific thing that happened.   Probably back in 2008 I was bored one day and I think I seen either a commercial or an ad on TV for  I was bored and sitting at home by myself and thought I will do the free trial ( I think it was for 2 weeks) and then I would cancel it if I didn't like it.   Needless to say, I never canceled it, and have renewed it several times over.   I remember first starting looking on and finding trees that others had done on my family and thinking WOW, this is the greatest thing.  Then the bug struck!!!   I had been doing it on and off til
sometime last year when I started doing it all of the time.  
I remember when I first started calling my family with each new thing no matter how significant I would be
on the phone with my mother or father one talking to them about it.   Luckily, I live in a small town, so even though all of my grandparents have already passed there is still quite a few around that remember them and those before them, plus I still have aunts and one uncles on my paternal grandmother's side that I have asked
quite a few questions to and that haved helped me a lot.  
My first child was born in 2010 and my second in 2011.  It was somewhere between those births that I
really wanted to know where I had come from in order to leave it for my children and their children.   I have
to admit its been hard and I have hit and am still hitting roadblocks but it is still completely worth it to me.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Getting rid of a little paper

Thanks to the following group on facebook
I am trying to get my research that I have done so far a  little more organized.   I have been entering all the info that I have on paper into FTM2012 so that it can sync with the online tree.  I have hopes of getting it all in there once and for all so that I can pack up all the paper and store it somewhere else instead of having it laying around everywhere.
I have also been trying to sort through my matches on the DNA page.  I uploaded the raw DNA data to and I have been trying to contact people from those matches also.   With the matches on I have been downloading the matches onto the computer so that I can look at them later.

Yarnell Hill Fire , AZ

June 30th of this year, will be a date that many in AZ will never forget.   On this day, 19 firefighters lost their lives at the Yarnell Hill wildfire.   This has affected the nation greatly.   One of the 19, his father lives in the same county I do.  With me, it affects me on a different level.  Did I know any of the 19, no I did not.  However, i connect with them in the way of knowing what it is like to see your father or grandfather go off to a fire, knowing what could happen to them.   My father, My grandfather, and My great-grandfather were all members of the Tn Div of Forestry.

My heart goes out to the families of these men.  I pray for them daily and hope that they find peace in their grief.  I watched the memorial service yesterday live on an abc station from Phoenix.  Here is the link, if anyone wants to watch it.
Yarnell Hill 19 Memorial Service
It is heart wrenching.  I cried the whole way through it.  It brought up so many memories for me, of my own grandfather's funeral and the support from the fire departments and rescue and community we had, and remembering Papa going to CA and other states to fight wild land fires.  I was so little when he would go and I don't think I knew the danger he was in but was so happy when he would come home.
Please take the time to remember of the families of these men in your prayers and to know that as these men and women go out to protect us and our homes from fire, that they might make the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives to save ours.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

FTM 2012

I have to say for some reason I want my family tree to be perfect like I'm sure everyone else does.  The reality is its not going to be perfect.   There is always gonna be some little imperfection.   I have been actively working on getting the people in my tree that for a fact are supposed to be there and adding the sources for those people.  I am doing this so that I can share what I already have with some of my family.  I'm hoping if I share it with them then they will see how much work I have done with it and maybe some more of them will volunteer information for it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Burn Out and Other Things

I think I have found a way to beat the genealogy slump that I am in.  I am still going to stay off of for a little while, but I have stuff that I have downloaded to my computer that I am going to work on.  I have all of my mother's files where she started working on her side of the family a while back plus I have quite a bit that I downloaded off of USGENWEB archives site.  I love to read and learn about the history of places along with family research in the middleof it this is the perfect opportunity for me to get out of this burn out I am in while still working on the family history a little.    I downloaded everything that they had on counties in TN and then looked through all of the stuff I had on other ancestors and downloaded the stuff from counties I needed from different states.  I had a lot of ancestors to go through and live in the states of TN, TX, and MO.  I highly suggest that people take a few minutes and take a look around the USGENWEB archives site.   I have copied and pasted the files to a thumb drive so that I can look through them.   
 I think that we are taking a trrip to the Chickamauga Battlefields tomorrow with the babies.   I love going to the battlefields and to the old plantations.   There is so much history in these places and I am so happy that they are historic and federal landmarks.   Some places I am sure are forgotten and they shouldn't be.  Adults and children both need to learn about these places and what they mean to us.   We need to learn about and study the history around us.   I want my children to know about these places and the events and sacrifices that took place there.  
Sorry i seem to be rambling, sometimes when I start writing or in this case start typing I can't really stop.  Which is good because i have not had that many posts on here lately which saddens me because I love to write. 
I still have some goals for this blog. Along with documenting my research on here I would still like to do a little profile on some of my ancestors.   I am going to look through the obits and pictures that I have tonight and start making some posts on them.   I have tried to get my blog address and my info out to the family so that they know that this site is here.  I am still learning so much about dong genealogy and about blogging about it.   I had started out doing the genealogy prompts on the geneablogger  website and I really need to go back to doing them they are great!!!   They make you think about your ancestors and when you start thinking about your ancestors, you may start going back over the info that you already have for that ancestor and might find something that you have missed.

Genealogy and all things that go along with it has become an addiction for me.  I love learning about my family history and about each and every ancestor along the way.   I love getting to know family members now that I never knew that I was related to in the first place and I have found several.  

Monday, June 3, 2013

In a Slump

I don't know what has been going on lately...   I guess you can say that I have been in a slump.   I guess that I am suffering from burn out from genealogy.   I am backing away a little to try and see if that helps.   Usually when this happens I either stop for a couple of days or work on someone else's tree or something.  I believe that we all go through it every once in a while.  
I have some correspondence to do with some other family members that i have gotten to know that I am going to still continue to do and then I'll go from there.   I am the type that when I get started on something like that I go full force on and that causes burn out quickly.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Haven't been around

I haven't wrote in several days...   We have been busy around here and around the area with babies, work, and family reunion..    We had I guess you could say our 2nd annual family reunion for my father's side of the family which includes the Lemons and Cunningham side of the family.    We had such a good time.   I had made posters with the family trees going as far back as I had done.   I also made posters that list the children of what would be my great great grandparents on the Cunningham and Lemons side.   A lot of the family showed up and my posters were a hit....   I was happy to share and listen to the stories of some of my ancestors.    We have to enjoy our time together and laugh, and be happy.   I love my family and I was very happy to see the day a success.   I have posted pictures of face book from that day and my cousin Monica also posted some pictures.   There at the end I spend a lot of time talking with a relative on the Lemons side and a relative from the Cunningham side.  It was great, both of these people gave me a lot of insight into the family tree.

I have been avidly working on the family tree trying to enter everything that I have notes on and that has sources of where I had got that information.   I am so obsessed when it comes to trying to get this information into the tree.   I swear its almost like an obsession working on the family tree.
I also took advantage of's offer on their business cards.   I wanted something to hand out at the reunion to the members of the family that I do not see very often but of course I ordered them too late and didn't get them back til today and the reunion was on Sunday.   But all is good, I have them to give out to other family members and I can give them at mom's family reunion.

Friday, May 24, 2013


I have not wrote for a couple of days because like everyone else I have been glued to the Tv watching the footage from the tornado that hit Oklahoma.   The families that have lost children, loved ones, and entire residences and towns.   Such devastation and loss.   As a mother, this is a parent's worst fear realized that here your children are at school and suddenly disaster has struck.  Its a parents worst nightmare.  I will not even begin to think I know what these people are feeling in such a loss.
As a 911 dispatcher and having family that has been involved and still involved in volunteer fire departments and rescue squads I can only imagine what these people are feeling.   Our first instinct is to help others and that is what we do.   The 911 dispatchers working and answering the many 911 calls and listening to their officers and first responders on the radio were doing their job and doing it well, while not knowing if they had loved ones that might be hurt or worse or not knowing if they have a home to go back to.   Then you have the first responders that have been called out to help and sorting through the rubble looking for survivors and those that might not have survived.   
The only thing we can do is keep all of these people that have been affected by the tornado in our prayers and help as much as we can..

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunday's Obituary ( A little late)

I had this post done yesterday, but I just didn't get around to post it.

Lucy Crook Smith Madewell was my Great Great Grandmother.    She was the daughter of Shady and Mary Lisa Whitehead Crook.   She married first William Loyd Smith, among their children was Sarah and she was my great grandmother.
Her second husband was Dee Madewell.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Motivation Monday

Oh goodness, Motivation Monday!!!   I need motivation badly.    I am slacking so badly in my research.   I am trying to get all of my information in one place, well two places really, in notebooks and binders and on the computer.    I keep trying to redo my trees instead of keeping to one so I have made one tree now and I am going to keep to it.   I was going to split it off into two trees but that is going to be way to hard right now for me to add stuff to out of my notebooks  I have about 15 to 20 spiral bound notebooks filled with notes that are not organized at all by surname or anything.   So as I go through the notebooks I add the information to family tree maker that is sourced or I have first hand knowledge of being correct.   

So that would be my motivation to get the notebooks out of the way and onto the computer because that is where it needs to be instead of lying around everything.  I need to be motivated to be organized and to have more research plans and know where I want to go with my research and what I want to find out.  I would love to know where my ancestors immigrated from but on some it stops before where they would have immigrated to the United States and I have no idea where to go and what to do to find out more information. 

I need to research more and read more into it and find out what I need to know.   I have many resources to look at and read. I have so many books on my Kindle and of course the internet at my disposal.  I just don't know where to begin.  I have started reading through the genealogy books on my Kindle again.  I got to keep in mind what I read in one this morning and that was One Ancestor, One Question, and One Record at a time.   I have so much I want to do with all of this information that it's hard to stay on track with just researching one at a time.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Matches and Family Trees

I spent my days off taking care of my babies , cleaning house and managing to look at some of the matches from the DNA test.   I was very excited by the matches.  I think i ended up with 93 pages which equaled out to like almost 5000 matches to go through. I know that somewhere in my family that these people are related some way and some how, its just doing the research and talking to the people to figure out where.    I mean the matches are from your own DNA results so that match must be there somewhere.    On some of them it also lists the surnames you have in common, and of course I do have a Smith surname as an ancestor so nearly all of my matches has the last name.    I found several that I knew for a fact was family also.    There is no way right now to search the results but you can leave notes on them and it will sort those that you have viewed, that has hints, or those that have been starrred.   So i have been just putting notes and clicking on the star when I have sent the person a message on ancestry or when I have spoken with them.   
I have also been working on my family tree.    I have split the family tree into maternal and paternal family trees to try to make it easier on myself.   I am going to leave the one up on for a while that has both because right now it has the DNA results linked to it.   I think I will stay more focused by splitting the trees instead of having one extra large tree.  I have spent a lot of time on family tree maker the past several days getting reaquainted with the forms also.

In Memory

On Tuesday, the 7th of this month, a great lady passed away, Linda Doyle.   I got to talking to her on message boards and email a year or so ago.   She done EXTENSIVE research on the Dye family.   One of my great great great aunts married into this family and that was her line.    I was able to meet her last year at the Dye family reunion that she had invited all of us too.   I have to say a very great, generous and kind woman.    She was so helpful and helping the cousins like myself with our own research so that we were able to stay on the right line and on the right track with our research.   She always helped and answered any question that I might have.   I am fortunate in knowing her and only wish that I could of met her earlier so that I could of spend more time with her.   My thoughts are with her family during this time.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

DNA Results are BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am thrilled to report that my DNA results are back!!!!!!!!!!   Woke up this morning and logged onto, as I usually do to check and see if they were in yet and they are.  I have spent about the past hour or so going through some of the matches.   Some of the names i recognize, and some I have no idea where in our tree we would match.  The following are some screen shots of my results.
Regarding the ethnicity results here is what ancestry says.  when it says uncertain in the results thats probably because you have traces to a specific genetic population and it was too low to pinpoint to one exact ethnicity.    
The link to Ancestry's FAQ that answers most of the questions regarding the results FAQ

My ethnicity screen shot:

screen shot of some matches

i think i had 4 or 5 pages of 4th cousins then it goes further back.  the great thing is as more people take the new test it will match against those in the future.  I have said in a previous posts I am reading books on DNA for genealogy and trying to learn all I can on this new tool for research.
I do know two things.  One is I need to work on getting all of those I know for a fact that are supposed to be in my tree in my tree.  Second, I need to go back further in my lines with documented research to prove it.   Alot of these matches, I do not recognize any of the names on their trees.  I know we matched through DNA, but on some I have found no matching names on their trees..  Alot of them have done major research and have traced 10 generations back or sometimes more.   THIS IS AN ONGOING PURSUIT!!!  It's a time consuming passion of mine, and I have said previously family research is not something that you are ever quite done with, their will always be that elusive ancestor you cant find anything on , or a new arrival to the family to add, or a marriage.  
I will write more on my DNA results as I learn more and as I look through more of the research.

Monday, May 6, 2013

favorite books

I am sorry, I said that I would put family history research books on the list , but honestly I have read so many that I probably couldn't list them all.   I probably have around 30 on my Kindle, that I keep on there to read and re read.  I read all I can on beginning genealogy.  I have learned so much through these books.   I will try to do a post on all of the genealogy books I have soon though.

Favorite Books 2

Murder in Dealey Plaza by James H Fetzer - This book will analyze the infamous Zapruder film and it also goes into the controversy of the assasination  of President Kennedy.  This was one of my favorites when I was reading on the Kennedy Family.
Jackie, Ethel, Joan Women of Camelot by J Randy Taraborrelli.   This is another of my favorites.   I was hooked when I started reading the first page.
Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K Massie - I enjoyed the love story of Nicholas and Alexandra from the start.  I wanted to know more about them.  This book gives you details on their lives of which I am sure that anyone would enjoy.
The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Claire Ridgway -  I do not know much about Anne Boleyn but I am so interested to know more about her and the period of history that she once lived.   It's an interesting story in itself of how she became Queen and then executed.
The Six Wives of Henry VIII  by Allison Weir - I do have this book on my Kindle but I have not read it yet. I bought it to know more of the King and his wives.   I bought it after I read The Fall of Anne Boleyn.
Two more great books on the Kennedy families are After Camelot - A personal history of the Kennedy family by J Randy Taraborrelli and Mrs Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill and Lisa Mccubbin.    Both are great books.   The second one by Clint Hill is wonderful.  He was the head of her security for the Secret Service.

Favorite Books

I figured that i would write a post about some of my favorite books.    These books are books about periods of history, fiction, and family history research.

The first and what I would consider to be my favorite book of all time, and also one of the best books of all time is Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.   I love this book.  Its a sad thing that everything in the book could not make it into the movie because I know that most of the people I know might have seen the movie but never read the book. To know the history of the book, that she wrote it from the end to the beginning or that Scarlett was originally going to be named Pansy.  The book is a treasure in itself.

Then you have Scarlett, the sequel to Gone with the Wind wrote by Alexandra Ripley.   I also love this book.  It's a shame that Margaret Mitchell herself couldn't write the sequel to her book.

I also have a book basically a biography of Margaret Mitchell that details her life and her love with John Marsh, but couldn't find it on Amazon.

You also have Rhett Butler's People wrote by Donald Mccaig.  This is a great book also.  This book delves into the lives of the people that knew and loved Rhett Butler as a friend or family member.

I have read and have both paperback and kindle copies of John Jake's series North and South.  It includes North and South, Love and War, and Heaven and Hell.   North and South is about the Main and Hazard families before the the Civil war, Love and War details the families during the Civil War and Heaven and Hell is about the families during Reconstruction.   I love these books and can read this series over and over.   I had read the books long before I ever knew that there had been a tv miniseries about them.  Once I learned that i had to have the miniseries.  I got the first copy for Christmas one year and as with the books, I spent one whole weekend watching probably 12 or 13 hours of the miniseries.    I have watched it so many times I had to buy a second copy.

The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks.  I bought this book after I had went and visited Carnton plantation in Franklin,TN.   Carnton plantation was used as a field hospital during the Battle of Franklin.   After it was over the lady of the house Carrie McGavock, after seeing what had become of the gravesites of the Confederate dead, she and her husband donated acreage next to their own family cemetery, to have the Confederate dead, reinterred there.    Almost two thousand are buried there.  

This one has become long so I will do a part two.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Carrie McGavock and Carnton Plantation

If you ever get a chance i do highly advise you to go to Franklin, TN to the Carnton plantation house.   It's wonderful.  I have been there myself.  You can tour the inside of the house, the grounds, and the cemetery.  When I went it was in December and it was a great place to visit.   We were the only ones at that time there, so we had the tour guide to ourselves and then they let us walk around by ourselves outside the house and the cemetery.  

The Carnton plantation was used as a field hospital during the Battle of Franklin.  After the war was over, Carrie and her husband donated two acres of land at their residence at Carnton for the Confederate dead to be buried.  Almost 1500 Confederate soldiers are buried at Carnton.

On the Civil War Women blog, they wrote a wonderful article on Carrie McGavock and Carnton plantation.

carrie mcgavock and carnton

There has been a great and wonderful book wrote on the family it's The Widow of the South.

I would suggest reading it its a great book.

A Love of History!!!

I consider myself as always having a love of history.  When I was in school, I enjoyed and loved all the history classes I had to take.  My favorite was probably 8th grade history taught by Mr. Chattin.  He taught us so much I think.  Then a history class in high school taught my Ms. Rowden.  Such great teachers.    

I think that I also discovered my love of history from movies.  One of my favorite movies of all time is Gone With the Wind.  For anyone that has seen the movie and you haven't read the book, please please go and find the book and read it, the book is so much better than the actual movie.  I have many copies of both, the movie and the books, I also have many books wrote on the author Margaret Mitchell along with the book and sequel movie by Alexandra Ripley.  Another set of books if you love the movies like these are John Jakes North and South, Love and War, and Heaven and Hell.  Of course they were made into a tv miniseries starring the great Patrick Swayze as Orry Main but once again if you have seen these movies and not read the books please go and get the books.

I go through spells where I will read about different times in history. First came Gone With the Wind, then I went through a spell where I only read on NIcholas and Alexandria.  Nicholas was the last Tsar of Russia, the father of several children including Anastasia.  After that I went and bought everything I could find on the Kennedy family,  ranging from Joseph to JFK"s assasination.  Next came just history in general.  RIght now I seem to be buying a lot of books for my kindle on England's history.    Which is one of the reasons for this post today.

I stumbled upon a great blog this morning on that subject especially the Tudors and the Stuarts.   She blogs on historical events and does book reviews also.   If you have any interest on stuff like this or just curious.  Please take a look at her blog:
The History Lady - A Great Blog!!!!!!

Some other blogs I like to look at and read are:

Victorian Times
Boston 1775
Victorian Peeper
Civil War History
Old Virginia Blog
Women of History
Women of History blog
Scandalous Woman
Civil War Women
the history blog
civil war memory
Civil War History
Ancient History

Friday, May 3, 2013

New Programs....

Well today has been productive.   I have been downloading programs for my laptop.   Well since I am unable to get FTM12 back on the laptop from the disc, i went ahead and purchased Legacy 7.   So far i have to say I really like the program.  Probably bad but I didn't even try the free version I just went ahead and bought the whole version.   So far like I said, I like the program, I didn't have any problems downloading it to the lap top or installing it to the laptop.   It seems easy to use and navigate.  I haven't really looked at anything on it yet, besides just the regular data entry of the people.  I have to  say I really like that part.

here is another view of the screen

The next thing I have done today is upgraded to Office 2013.   I am going to start using One Note.  I am totally new to the process, but here is a screen shot of it.    ( of course the screen shot software is new too)

Of course, you can tell i am new to One Note because there's nothing there yet.  

AncestryDNA Celebrates DNA Day. Wait, What’s DNA Day?

AncestryDNA Celebrates DNA Day. Wait, What’s DNA Day?

AncestryDNA and Katie Couric bring birth mother and son together – 41 years later

AncestryDNA and Katie Couric bring birth mother and son together – 41 years later

George Jones

You might have noticed all of the you tube videos that I put on here yesterday of George Jones.  His memorial service was yesterday in Nashville and then they laid him to rest.  He was probably my grandmother's favorite singer ever.  I grew up listening to George Jones because of her.   She loved him and I did too because of her. He was a legend.   To answer the question of  "Whose gonna fill their shoes?", well noone is because George could never be replaced or replicated.  His voice and music was one of a kind the same as the man.
RIP George Jones


Here lately I have been utilizing TNGENWEB and USGENWEB a lot.  

I have been for the most part taking advantage of the USGENWEB archives pagem and all that it has to offer.  I tried to go through all the notes I had already and made me a list of the place names that went along with each ancestor.    I then got on the archives page and downloaded what ever information that they had for each county of each state that I was looking for.  If you are not familiar please go and check out this page.   You have to go by state, then once you choose a state you then go to the county that you are wanting.   They have a wide variety of information such as: bible records, census records, marriage, death , birth, newspapers, biographies, and more that has been transcribed by great and wonderful volunteers.

I am on TNGENWEB a lot also.   Ill get on that page and will also pick the county I want to look at and see what they have on their home page for that county.   You usually find out a lot about the history of the county, where to go if you visit, and what records they might have online.   You can also most of the time submit your surname and post queries.    Both of these pages have great resources that need to be utilizied.

I have an account thru Family Search which I have not used a lot lately.   I am still trying to figure out the best way to use the search form on Family Search but I do have to say I do love the new layout of the page.  It looks great.   A lot of people say that when they can't find it on they will then try Family Search of vice versa.   I just have to figure out the best way to use the search form for what I am looking for.


Figured I would list my genealogy goals for myself:

1. I want to continue on the right path of researching the right way.   NO easy short cuts but make each and every discovery a new treasure and a new piece of the puzzle that is my family.
2. Get back my autosomnal DNA results and find out exactly what road that might lead me down.
3. Start tracing the collateral family members.   I want to know all the information that I can find on each and every person of my family, not just following the line back by grandparents.
4. Make sure all the information about the person is sourced.  Where did I get the info from?   Where did I find it?
5. Make more trips to visit with relatives before something happens to them.   Interview them, see what I may find out there on what they might remember.
6.   ORGANIZE all the paper files that I have now.
7. Study and research how to preserve some of the special items that we have located, such as funeral books from the 1950's  and stuff wrote on notebook paper.
8.   Continue to read articles and books on genealogy.
9. Follow a checklist and make sure that I can find the documents i need.   Such has for someone born in 1893.     Try to locate them in the 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 census.  Try to find birth records, death records, church records, military, just all the different types of records that could go with the era that they lived and died in.
10.   Learn more of the local history of the places that my ancestors came from.    Knowing their names is not enough.  I want to know what they did, how they lived, and what their community was like.

Trial and Error

I have had an account for many years.  Let's just say that when I first made the account that I started all about it the wrong way.  I was very click happy and didnt care I just wanted to see how far back I could go and didnt pay attention to anything that I was doing or even glance at the records.   I also printed out family registers that were not even close to being on the right track.   Needless to say I threw myself way way off track.

I then went and started reading everything that I possibly could on what would turn out to be more than a hobby.  I bought a couple of books and then since I have downloaded every book possible on my Kindle and I still do.   I have read so many books on genealogy.   Do I think I know everything about it from reading these books, well that answer is a definite and resounding NO!!!!
I love to work on everything involving my family history.  I carry bags of files just about every time I leave the house so that I can work on it when I can.   I have since long ago threw away the registers I had printed out on not even the right family , and gotten rid of anything else I had printed or had from that era of so many wrong turns and mistakes.

I started *researching the right way* a little over a year ago.  When I say the right way, this time I took my time, started with myself and worked backwards, the way you are supposed to do it.  I went in search of information at my mom and dad's and searched thru info I could find in my own house.   Found where when they cleaned out my paternal grandfather's cousins house they found a whole entire box of clipped obits.  I located every funeral card I could find, I searched for copies of vital records, basically I looked for whatever I might find that would help me in my search.

During that time of being "click-happy" I would also use the member trees and think of them as genealogical gold....  Now I know different.  While I do not altogether ignore them, I do at least look at them to see if i might find any info on them that might lead me in right direction or if I know for a fact that their info is wrong Ill try to send them a message.  I mean if family or someone that knew my family knew something was wrong on my tree I would love it if they sent me a message.

I do hope anyone out there reading this now, that is doing it the same way I did when I first started please stop, take a breath and look at what you are doing.     If you are just out there clicking away and not paying attention, please stop, trash all you had and start from scratch.   If you know for a FACT, that something is right, you may not want to trash it but at least start over.  I would rather have 100 of the right, verified people in my tree, than 3,000 that are there that are not right.

What I would like to do

I would love to be able to take the Lemons , Cunningham, Rittenberry and Crook lines one generation at a time, starting with myself and work on collateral relatives and document every cousin along with following the direct ancestor. The only thing is that I know that this is a huge undertaking. This is one of my main goals right now. I know how large of an undertaking this is going to be because my mother had 12 siblings and I can't even tell you all of my cousins from those 12 other sibllings. Sad but true, I know, but this is also how I know how large of an undertaking that this is going to be. ( I am working on gathering all of those cousins names right now). The more records i look at, or the more websites I look at, the more excited I get. I love finding a new relative or looking at info pertaining to that relative or any other relatives. Each new discovery brings me excitement and keeps me going on the hunt.

Great Books I have been reading

I have been reading some great books lately.  I have read DNA and Social Networking  by Debbie Kennett and Trace Your Roots With DNA by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Taylor.   I picked these two books since I have taken the Ancestry.Com new DNA test.   I have read both books and really like both.  They are both full of new information that I didn't know, well new info for me anyway.    I know hardly anything about DNA.
I have so many expectations for my genealogy research and things that I would like to accomplish, now its just time to see them through and try to make them happen.    Right now I am just so anxiously awaiting the results of the DNA test.  I am literally checking the website daily to see if the results have been added yet to my DNA page.   I will post about them as soon as I recieve them.  I have also been trying to get the tree ready that they are attached to, so maybe it will generate more matches.  A more complete tree apparently generates more matches, just depends on how far back you can take your line.  I can say on some of mine as of yet I can't go that far.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Amazing Grace- George Jones

 A legend has passed but his music will live on in the hearts of his fans through his music

Elvis Presley - How Great Thou Art (Best Quality)

RIP George Jones

George Jones - He Stopped Loving Her Today - (RIP Possum)

George Jones dies at 81 - Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes

George Jones/Tammy Wynette-We're Gonna Hold On

Remembering George Jones, 81, Country Music Giant

George Jones, Country Music Hall of Famer, dies at age 81

George Jones-She Thinks I Still Care

George Jones - Choices


Picture of me without you. Lorrie Morgan & George Jones

George Jones and Tammy Wynette- Golden ring

RIP George Jones... my grandmother's favorite singer

Motivation Monday - Things I need to do.....

Motivation Monday.....

I do really need to get motivated.   I have been putting relatives on FTM2012 that I know that have been verified and are supposed to be there.  As of right now I have 752 on there.   They are all sourced and verified.   One thing that i need to do is add the sources to them, because I am adding them from my notes and personal knowledge.  Luckily, when i was taking my notes I did right down most of the places that I had found the information.
Another thing that i need to do is continue adding verified ancestors and collateral family to the tree because I need to get it synced to before I get my test results. I think in order for the DNA test to show matches there at least have to be people in my tree.... lol   because right now its all on the program and not all on the internet.
I need to get motivated to work on my mom's side of the family more.  They are a confusing bunch.  Her surnames are Rittenberry/ Mccloud/ Smith /Crook,  all from the areas of Putnam, Smith, Jackson, and the surrounding counties to these in Middle Tennessee.   I have a great great grandfather that I need to find where he died and I believe it will be a trip to the courthouses in these counties to try to find out more.
The next thing I need to get motivated on is my maternal grandmother's family.  This will be the Cunningham branch of my family tree.  Some of them came from Meigs county, before they came to Rhea county TN.   (unless the counties are out of state they will all be in TN).  
I did get motivated and got on the USGENWEB archive site and downloaded info that they had for all of the counties in TN.  I also looked thru my notes and found other counties outside of TN , such as TX and MO and downloaded some of the information from there also.

Ancestry DNA Test

I am so excited.   I finally was able to order the new Ancestry DNA test that tests both my father's andmy mother's DNA.  I think that I ordered it on Apr. 19 and sent it back on the 20th. has it startedprocessing on 4-23-2013.  So it's lab processing right now.  I can't wait to get the results back.I had previously took the maternal DNA test and while it was interesting to get the results it didn't match me to people like this one will.According to their website it will map ethnicity going back multiple generations.   The results will include info about my genetic ethinicity predictions and provide me with DNA matches.   The DNA matches is what I am looking forward to so much,
and why I am trying to get all of the people in my tree that belong there and that have been verified to be there.Today I plan on buying
Trace Your Roots with DNA: Use Your DNA to Complete Your Family Tree
by Megan Smolenyak (Author), Ann Turner (Author)
I am going to buy this book to see what else I can learn on DNA and how it will help with my research.


The definition of overwhelmed
to surge over or submerge; engulf
to defeat completely and decisively
to affect deeply in mind or emotion
to present with an excessive amount
to turn over; upset.

My research on my family history I feel like it has become my passion. 
I know have people asking me you know what I have learned or how we are related and
I so love answering their questions and being able to tell them stories of our shared
ancestors.  I love it so much.

The reason that I am feeling overwhelmed is the massive amount of paper that I am going thru
now.  I have no idea how to organize it all and get it in one place or at least with the ancestor
that it's supposed to go with.  I have tried maybe putting a name on a piece of paper and just
going thru and adding on that specific person and that would be the best idea but dang that is
a lot of paper.... 

I have seen the work of someone that has been doing this for over twenty years on parts of my
family where hers connect with mine and she has put hers into three ring binders with families and
the people like i just described and it works so well.  My thing right now is just doing it.
It's crazy even thinking about it and ya I have not been doing this for long and people that have
been doing it for years and years have alot of paper files but the difference being most of those
people have figured out a system, i just have not yet figured out how to make my system and make
my system work for me.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Lige E. Cunningham

For Sunday's Obituary I picked Lige E. Cunningham (1890-1980).   He was my great grandfather on my paternal side.   His daughter from his second marriage to Grace East Flatt was Imogene.   She was my father's mother.  
Grandpa Cunningham was one of 19 children.  His father was married twice and total had 19 children.  Unfortunately he died in 1980 the year before I was born but from everything I was told he was a great man and i am unfortunate in not meeting him.   

New Book Im reading

I have been reading The Fastest Growing Religion On Earth by Doug Brenner, and so far this is a really good book.  It has information about his family history where he has wrote back and forth with people in emails and letters.   I am not even half way through it but so far I really like it.

Samuel and Rosa Lemons

We were sitting here watching a movie on tv, when daddy pulled up and came in.   He handed me an envelope and said that this should help at least with one person in the tree.  I opened it and it was the funeral books that you write stuff in, such as flowers, food , etc.  Rosa passed in the 1950s and so did Samuel so for it being over fifty years old every thing in the package was in such great shape.   Apparently they had stuck certain sympathy cards and the cards from flowers in the books also.  There was one from Theodore Lemons (my great grandfather) and his son Willie.  Also one from Barnett Lemons and his wife.  Barnett was my grandfather's brother.   Such a great package of information to get and look thru.   I am going to get the information I need out of it and then send it back to mom and dads so that daddy can put it up.

been busy

Sorry i havent been online for a while writing posts. I have been busy doing other things, plus lost internet service for a while. I am still actively doing research on the family tree. It has become my passion to do this. I have both sides (mom and dad's) in one large tree. I would separate them but then i forget to work on either side. It's a lot easier for me to have them all together that way I can switch back and forth. Right now I guess you could say that I am actively researching my mother's side of the tree.

On top of everything else I am also now having computer problems. I always use my laptop for my research so I have been using it. The other night I was cleaning out some of my programs on it and accidentally deleted FTM2012. Once I was able to locate the disc to re install the program on the laptop I could no longer get the program disc to work to reinstall the program.

Luckily i had the program already installed on the home computer which was in the bedroom that my stepdaughters used. So I brought that computer back into the living room and I am now working on getting all my information and stuff from the laptop back on it and downloading upgrades to the programs that was on it.

I am in the process of re downloading chrome because when i try to access blogger on google it tells me that the browswer is no longer supported so trying to re download it and keep getting knocked off of the internet, so that is being a slow process.

Also when i start FTM, it tells me it also needs updated so every time that I start that program it tells me it needs a update even with me pushing the update button every time it tells me. So i don't know what is going on there either.