Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Friends Are Important

I love this letter dated 31 Oct 1913 and written by Nannie Lee Farson to my great grandmother Esther Lee Richardson.  The young women were best friends and corresponded regularly. I learned from the traditional records that Esther's father Daniel T Richardson died in Nov 1912.  Shortly after his death, Esther's mother Hattie moved the family from Pittsylvania County, VA closer to her Elliott family in Halifax County, VA.  Nannnie and Esther continued their friendship through  letters such as the one above. Esther appears to have saved all of them!

Through their letters I have been able to learn things about my great grandmother and her friends that  no official records would ever  record. First I have learned who Esther's friends were. Knowing who an ancestor's friends and associates were is crucial when researching.

From this letter I learned that Esther enjoyed embroidering - and Nannie did NOT.   I have a feeling Nannie would not be happy if she knew people were reading about her "under ware".  Nannie referred to Lucie who was actually her sister and friend of Esther's, too.  Howard M who is referenced is another friend of theirs.  Later letters tell of the girls' sadness at his early death from the measles.

I think what I love about these letters between Esther and her friend is their chattiness.  Nannie and Esther were not trying to solve big problems.  They were simply young women growing up and recording their daily lives and their thoughts.  They were staying in touch.  They were staying connected.

Esther, Hattie Richardson, Nannie L Farson

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ancestors or Friends?

This is another unidentified photograph from my collection. This photograph was among my great grandmother Esther Lee (Richardson) Talbott's things and likely was taken in the early 1900's in the Pittsylvania County or Halifax County, Va area. (Don't you just love the women's dresses!) The woman on the left has been identified in other photographs as "Nannie".  The only problem is that I have another Nannie in my database.

Is this Nannie Lee Farson, best friend of Esther Lee's or Nannie Womack who becomes the sister-in-law of Esther Lee?  Who are the other two people? The eyes of the young man look so familiar. Could he be one of my Richardson family members?

As you can see, I need your help in identifying these individuals.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Cute Baby

This is one of my unknown photographs that I believe the cousins can help me identify.  I think I know who the child is, but I am not quite sure.  I also do not want to say quite yet, so I do not bias anyone with the answer.  The writing on the back of the photograph says: This was made at the age of one year and 18 days.  Nov 19, 1909  Further down written in pen (yikes!) and in a different handwriting: Not any of Silas and Winnie children.   That tells me this is a Haley child and not one of my grandmother's siblings.

Any one know the identity of this child?

Oops!  Again, I cannot seem to be "wordless" on Wordless Wednesdays.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Am So Excited!

I just listened to the newest episode of Genealogy Gems podcast by Lisa Louise Cooke.  I posted here about meeting Lisa recently at the NGS conference in Cincinnati.  Listening to the Genealogy Gems podcast really inspired me to start my blog.

When I met Lisa, she interviewed me about my blogging experience.  Guess what!  That interview is on the latest episode of the podcast.  How exciting is that?! Just in case you are wondering, that is my Haley family line that I was referring to in the interview.

So, click on over to Genealogy Gems and listen to Lisa's podcast.  There is a great interview with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  Also, pick up a few gems on using apps for the ipad.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Searching For One Thing Turned Up Another

When I first started researching genealogy, I was the fortunate recipient of boxes of family history material.  The bulk of the items were from my Talbott and Richardson family lines and in these boxes I found photographs, postcards, deeds, WWII ration cards, dried flowers, etc.  These boxes held the genealogical version of a jackpot. I'm still finding things I didn't know I had.

I pulled the boxes out again last week.  I was looking for one thing and found Reuben Richardson's  math assignment for correspondence school.  The  7 page assignment is dated Sep 1916.

Reuben Richardson's Math Assignment

Reuben Richardson was the brother of Esther Lee Richardson Talbott and the oldest son of Daniel and Harriet (Elliott) Richardson of Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties, VA.  He was born in 27 Dec 1827 and died in WWI 19 Apr 1918 at the age of 20 - about a year and a half after he completed this assignment.

Reuben Richardson
Not much is know about Reuben and his short life.  From the address on the envelope, Reuben was living  at 1401 N. Charles in Baltimore, Maryland in 1916. He appears to have been a good student of math.  No answer is marked wrong and on the last page, "very good" is written in red.  Apparently his spelling wasn't so good.  Notice the red correction in his spelling of "Arithmetic"? A bonus find is Reuben's signature at the top of each page. I learned another thin about Reuben.  He had great handwriting!  That is certainly not a trait that got passed down to me.

Enjoy a glimpse into the life of Reuben!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Why I Am Researching William Cardwell

I am very fortunate to have been able to attend three NGS conferences in the past few years.  These have been great opportunities to improve my research skills.  As I have listened to the experts lecture, one theme that repeatedly comes to mind. When you hit a brick wall, research your ancestor's associates.  ALL the associates - neighbors, collateral ancestors, anyone who appears as a witness in a record, etc. Our ancestors did not live in a vacuum.  They worked and lived in a community. They interacted with people other than just their immediate family.

William Cardwell was just such an associate of Jesse Haley (1803-1869).  Remember Jesse - my GGGG grandfather?  His parentage is  one of my "brick walls".  I have exhausted the search of the records for Jesse Haley. (Sometimes I think space aliens just dropped him off.)

William Cardwell is listed as a witness on the marriage registration of Jesse Haley and Temperance Owen in 1826 in Halifax County, VA.  Three other men are listed: Brackett Owen (father of Temperance), Staple Owen (uncle of Temperance), and Armistead Owen (brother of Temperance).  What was William's relationship to the couple. Was William a relative or just a friend of the bride and/or groom?

The initial phase of my research did not turn up the nature of the relationship of William Cardwell to Jesse and/or Temperance.  I do believe this William may be the William Cardwell born about 1800 and lived in Charlotte County, VA for much, if not all, of his life.  There is also evidence that Cardwells lived in Halifax County along Terrible Creek and Difficult Creek.  This is not that far from where the Sterling Haley family lived on Buckskin Creek.  This area is also not far from the Halifax/Charlotte County line where both Haley and Cardwell families lived.

So, it turns out I am researching a community.  I'm learning who interacted with whom and where they lived. Already I know more about the family names and the geography of the area than I knew when I was researching the single name of Haley.

Breaking through Jesse Haley's brick wall will be a long search.  The search into William Cardwell may not provide the answers I want.  But that's okay.  Jesse had other associates.  If William doesn't provide the answers, I will move to the next associate on the list.

Monday, May 14, 2012

NGS Wrap Up

Today I thought I would share some of the things I learned this week at the NGS conference.  I confess the list is a bit random, but after four days of intensive genealogy.... I think you get the picture.
  • Pack light.
  • Come with a plan and objectives.  
  • Attend sessions about geographic areas that are new to you.  I attended a session on Kentucky research.  Many families from VA and NC migrated to Kentucky.  I never know when I might end up tracing a line to Kentucky. (This was one of my favorite sessions.)
  • Kentucky had a star on both the confederate flag and the union flag.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Talk to the people sitting next to you.  I met great people and made new genealogy friends this week.
  • Practice what you learn while the information is fresh on your mind.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions. Genealogists are very approachable and love to share their knowledge.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

NGS - Day Four

The final day.

I started the day with an early session on using creative non-fiction to enhance genealogic writing.  I picked up techniques and tips to make my genealogy write-ups more interesting to the reader.  In other words, I picked up tips on writing so my family actually reads about our ancestors.

Another session on evaluating genealogy sources and their value rounded out my morning.  I took time for some research and then prepared to head home.  I confess sleeping in my own bed sounded very good.  Fortunately no fire works (after the Reds' baseball game) to wake me up.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

NGS - Day Three

I started off my morning attending Angela McGhie's session on newspaper research.  Angela did a fantastic job  of presenting how to use newspapers in your research and how to find those newspapers.  I confess I do not use the newspapers as a resource nearly as much as I should.  I have a recent subscription to GenealogyBank.com and plan to spend some focused research time there in the near future.

Next up, I attended Barbara Vines Little's session on chancery records. As with her lecture on Tuesday, I came away with renewed confidence in being able to search out my ancestors in the chancery records of Virginia and understand what the documents are telling me. (Actually, I skipped an afternoon session in order to be able to do a little research in this area while things were still fresh on my mind.)

A session on proving/disproving family myths, lunch with a new genealogy friend and research kept me busy during the early afternoon.  Then back to the conference for another session and browsing time in the exhibit hall.  While I was there, I did some indexing of the 1940 census.  I then enjoyed catching up with my ProGen mentor Claire Bettag. At last it was back to my room for more research time.

Another great day at NGS!

Friday, May 11, 2012

NGS - Day Two

I started off my Thursday morning attending a excellent session on Kentucky research presented by  Don Richmyer of the Kentucky Historical Society.  I know what you are thinking.  I do not do Kentucky research.  No, I do not have have direct ancestor lines in Kentucky, but I (we) do have collateral Talbott and Owen lines who migrated there. There are also many surnames that are found in  the border counties of southwestern Kentucky and northwestern Tennesee that are in Halifax County, Virginia as well.

Oral history in the Talbott family refers to Kentucky cousins.  One tradition reports that John B Talbott (my GGG grandfather) visited family there prior to the Civil War.  Supposedly John brought back the pistol that he would later use in the Civil War.

My great grandfather Bossy Talbott has some type of connection to Kentucky.  Among his papers I have discovered correspondence with a legal firm in Kentucky.

After attending Don's session, I am interested in re-visiting the family's oral history and Bossy's connection to Kentucky.

I attended lectures in the afternoon by Tom Jones on Inferential Genealogy and Barbara Vines Little on finding the law that pertained to your ancestor in a particular time.  Both were excellent lectures that gave me a lot to think about.  I need to re-visit a couple of those brick walls in my family tree.  I might just have a couple of fresh ideas.

I went to dinner with three new genealogy friends.  (Yes, we did talk genealogy the whole time and no one's eyes glazed over!)  After that we were off to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.  The NURFC deserves a post all its own.  This is a fabulous museum and one that is a must-see if you visit the Cincinnati area.  I'd love to go back and spend more time.

That's day two in a nutshell.  I'm looking forward to what day three brings.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

NGS - Day One

My first day actually started Tuesday night with a blogger dinner hosted by FamilySearch.org.  I met new blogger friends, and I encourage you to stop by their blogs:

Here are a few things I learned  about Family Search:
  • Family Search has 530 million + images online.
  • They have 1.7 billion indexed records.
  • 30% of the image indexing for the 1940 census has been completed in 37 days.
  • The 1940 census indexing project is just a small piece of the indexing projects that Family Search has ongoing.  VOLUNTEERS are needed.
On Wednesday morning, I attended the opening ceremony which included a presentation on the 1848 Cincinnati daguerreotype panorama by Patricia Moseley Van Skaik of the Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.  The discoveries in the details of the photograph are absolutely amazing.  This topic deserves a post of its own, so look for one in the future.

The exhibit hall opened and look who I met!

That's me with Lisa Louise Cooke of the Genealogy Gems Podcast.  I started blogging after listening to her podcasts series.  Lisa gave great advice and Are You My Cousin is now three years old.  Thanks, Lisa!

I'm off to a new session, but I'll report on more later.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane......

I will be attending the National Genealogy Conference in Cincinnati this week. I am so excited!  I will be posting this week about my experiences and the people I meet.

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Items in the Shop!

Two new items have been added to Esther's Place!  You can now order heritage inspired necklaces and key chains made with one inch glass tiles.  They make great gifts (even for yourself!).  Be sure and check out the other items in Esther's Place.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cousins To The Rescue!

Anita Talbott, Betty Compton, Kathleen Owen, Nancy Talbott, Edna Adams, Daisy Nichols, Dorothy Haley,Eunice Owen, Winnie Carr, Mattie Mason and Carrie Owen

My Haley cousins have come to the rescue to help identify all the women in this photograph taken at a Haley family reunion.  The date is estimated to be about 1946.  This date is based on other photographs that were take the same day and also, the age of the little girl in the picture.

Researchers and cousins, here is a list of how each woman fits into the William and Clara Haley family of Charlotte County, VA.
  • Anita Talbott - daughter of Winnie Haley Carr; granddaughter of Will and Clara Haley
  • Betty Compton - daughter of Mattie Mason; granddaughter of Will and Clara Haley
  • Kathleen Owen - Burton Owen's wife; daughter-in-law to Carrie Haley Owen
  • Edna Adams - mother of Dorothy Adams Haley
  • Nancy Talbott - daughter of Anita Talbott
  • Daisy Nichols - daughter of Will and Clara Haley
  • Dorothy Haley - wife of Clyde Haley
  • Eunice Owen - wife of Tollie Owen
  • Winnie Carr - daughter of Will and Clara Haley
  • Carrie Owen - daughter of Will and Clara Haley
It is great to have everyone identified!

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