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.