Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Goals for 2015

Happy New Year! I can still say that right? It's not April yet. The temperature outside says I can say that until the temperature reaches my age. So it's time to set some goals for 2015, and try to have them measurable and realistic. There is some SMART acronym for goals, specific, measurable, assignable or achievable (well I'll go with achievable because they are all assigned to me), relevant or realistic and time related. Well these are all to be achieved within a calendar year, but some of them I chop up into smaller goals so I can better achieve them.
I like to divide my genealogy goals up in 3 categories: Personal, Professional and Volunteer

Professional:
1. Attend at least 20 sessions of #genchat this year on Twitter
     So do you #genchat? It's a chat session of genealogists usually on Friday evenings at 9 pm central. Find the schedule here: http://www.genealogygenchat.com/schedule.html

2. Do 2 webinars or videos for genealogy education

3. Plan a spectacular state conference, attend it and one other genealogy conference

4. Blog twice a month or 24 times a year
   Included in this is blogging about 1 ancestor per month or 12 per year, I put my list of ancestors in an Excel spreadsheet for easy reference. This year I intend to include a few of my husband's ancestors as well as mine.

5. Continue with a research project (for a client)

6. Continue scanning land records (for another client)

Volunteer:
1. Update the cemetery directory in May before Memorial day

2. Continue adding photos on Findagrave and taking more

3. Continue indexing marriage records and put online, do 3 surname letters

4. Continue regular (quarterly?) updates of my GenWeb site

Personal:
1. Do timelines for 12 ancestors

2. Continue regular (quarterly?) backups of data to external hard drive and cloud

3. Finish husband's Mayflower application

4. Do my DAR application and state pioneer award

5. Continue working on research as on Ancestry to do list (mark off two?)

What are your goals? Do you set them? Stay tuned to see how I do. I try to make quarterly goals to help me attain them, or monthly. Whew! Got it done within the first week of the new year. Happy 2015!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review of 2014, did I meet my goals

Well it's the end of the year, time for goal reviewing and setting.

My professional goals:
1. Attend 20 sessions of #genchat
        I attended 22
2. Do 2 webinars or videos for genealogy education
        I can't remember that I did any so need to do better at this
3. Go to 2 genealogy conferences
        Done
4. Blog twice a month or 24 times a year, and blog about 12 ancestors this year
     I think this makes blog #25, and I did blog about 12 ancestors, done

My volunteer goals:
1. Finish cemetery directory by Memorial day
        Done on the Tuesday before Memorial day
2. Finish photographing one cemetery and add photos to another on Findagrave
        Done taking the photos in one, and made progress on the other
3. Start indexing marriage licenses and put online
         Done with surnames A, and they are online
4. Update my US GenWeb site
         I did some of this, so made progress

My personal goals:
1. Finish husband's Mayflower application
        Made progress, sent an email asking how I'm doing, and ready to order another record
2. Go to Family History Center to research
         No, didn't do this one, so maybe next year
3. Continue working on research
          Yes, did some so progress made
4. Continue regular backups
          Did some so progress made, not sure about the "regular" part
5. Do timelines for all my ancestors
            I did 2 in the year, so progress made, and I probably bit off more than I could chew in saying "all" my ancestors, I probably should've limited it to 12

So overall not too bad, especially considering I have 2 young children (one school age and a toddler), a husband, and a part time job. So I have to keep the house running too, maybe when I'm retirement age and my kids are adults I will be able to take on more.

With my goal setting, I feel it helps to separate them like this, put them in an Excel file where I can regularly look it up and keep track. Stay tuned in the next few days when I hope to blog about my 2015 goals. Happy New Year's Eve!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December Ancestor: William F. Foster

My ancestor for this month is from my dad's side, William F. Foster. From me, he is my third great grandfather: me, my father, my grandmother, my great grandfather, my 2nd great grandfather, then my 3rd great grandfather William F. Foster.

I have William F. Foster was born in Fleming county, Kentucky 27 Jun 1813 to Samuel Foster and Mary Powell. I don't know much about his early life.
He married Jane Kirkpatrick in Ohio (likely Adams county or the next county over) in 1847. William and Jane become the parents of a number of children (3 sons and 4 daughters), namely Hiram Irving (born 1848), Nathan Miller (born 1850), Mary Margaret (born 1853), Elizabeth Louisa (born 1857), Alexander Douglas (born 1860), Martha Ann (born 1862) and Sarah E. (born 1864). From 1850 to 1880 I find William and Jane living in Liberty Township, Adams county, Ohio.
William F. Foster dies in Adams county, Ohio 17 Aug 1893, and he is buried 2 days later in Hopewell Cemetery. My efforts to request a gravestone photo have not yielded one, so I assume he has an unmarked grave.

Likely no birth records exist back that far, so a baptism or church record is probably what I need to look for. I have not located a marriage record either as I am not sure what county they were married in, but I could try Adams county. I have found him in the US Federal census from 1850 to 1880. I don't have a death record either, as I have just not put as much money into records for this line.

I do not have any photos of him. There is a Foster reunion held in Eastern Illinois held and attended by many of his descendants in Ford county. I had the pleasure of attending that reunion one time many years ago with my parents before my father passed away. I really would like to go back and see if anyone has any photos or documents that I don't.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Dear Genea-Santa

Well tonight is Saturday night so Randy Seaver proposed we write our letter to Genea-Santa. Well we don't teach our kids to believe in Santa. When the clerk in a store told my kids and I that Santa was there, my son responded that he's not real. But in case anyone wants to know what's on a genealogist's list, this is mine.

Dear Genea-Santa:

I tried very hard to be a good genealogy girl this year. I have worked hard doing a few presentations: two at Family History Expos and one for the Northeast Library group. I met with my local genealogy friends, attended many sessions of #genchat on Twitter, attended 2 genealogy conferences, am planning a genealogy conference, tried to write 24 blog posts, indexed marriage records and put online, took many cemetery photos and put online, and worked some on my own family as well as my husband's and a few clients'.

Thank you (and my husband) for last year's gifts. I liked all the genealogy books I received but I haven't had time to look at and read them all. You know that job I have now and my 2 kids and life makes it hard to get much reading done.

Well you know everyone always asks for WAY too much, like my son wants all the toys in the catalogs, so here goes.

1. Genealogy books from my Amazon wish list, I would say "Mapping and Documenting Cemeteries" would be near the top, and "Digging for Ancestors: In-Depth Guide to Land Records"

2. Organization of my genea-piles, so send an organization fairy please

3. Break throughs on my brick walls: Williams Lindsey's parents and my Irish ancestors, more on my Dacy family

4. More digitized records everywhere! And not just so we have easier access but to preserve them in case another courthouse burns down (or floods, or tornado, or some natural disaster).

That's pretty much it. Yes I'd like Windows to get a decent operating system figured out so I could get a new laptop, and while my camera is fine, now they have cameras with GPS.

Oh, and world peace.
Merry Christmas all!

Friday, November 28, 2014

November Ancestor: George Sickmon

Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday! Well November should mean I focus on a war veteran ancestor because of Veteran's day this month, right? Or perhaps focus on a Mayflower ancestor because of Thanksgiving? Well this is what happens when you make up your blogging schedule in January. Neither of those is my focus ancestor for November. Maybe next year....stay tuned

George Sickmon is my ancestor for November. George was born in Erie county, New York on January 11, 1819, the son of Henry Sickmon and Susan Francis. According to Roy Regnier (George's grandson, and my great-grandfather), Roy thinks George's father (Henry) died when George was young and the responsibility of raising the children fell to him. I have that George was the oldest of 5 boys born to Henry and Susan, so that could possibly be true. I also have that his father died in 1835 in New York, and I believe it was some sort of work accident. So if he died in 1835, that would leave George as being about 15 or 16 years old. Other people have he died as the result of drowing in a creek in Erie county, New York while building a dam. They also have he died in 1852 which seems too late to follow was Roy has about him. George's obituary has that he was the 4th of 12 children so I am missing some of his siblings. George's obituary also has that his father died when he was quite young, although it was the age of 11.

In September 1842 George Sickmon married Sarah Greene at her home in New York. Two years later, they moved to Warren county, Illinois. They settled on a farm 2 miles southeast of Monmouth. George and Sarah had 6 children, 4 girls and 2 boys, namely Sallie M, Susan E, Winfield S, Anna E, Eliza J. and Charles. The Sickmons raised their family on the farm for some time, then moved into town for a short while, back out to the farm, and then retired in town. Dates are a little fuzzy here.

He served several roles while in Warren county, Illinois including city alderman, on the board of supervisors, church deacon, and church elder. He was a member of the Christian church.

George passed away at the age of 89 on May 28, 1908 in Warren county, Illinois. He is buried in the Monmouth city cemetery in the Sickmon plot. I have visited his grave in person several years ago.

I have the photo above labeled as Sickmon family, but I don't think it is George and Sarah and their children as they had 4 girls and 2 boys, not 4 boys and 2 girls. So I am thinking this is Henry and Susan (seated) and some of the children standing. If anyone knows more about this photo, please let me know. I can't remember where I got this photo, probably from the internet unless it was from my great-aunt's stash.

Meanwhile I found this photo on my drive while looking for his gravestone photo. Here it is:
Sickmon gravestone, Monmouth cemetery

So the documents I have for George include the following: US Federal census for 1850, 1880 and 1900, a cemetery photo and his obituary. So I could look for his marriage license and earlier documents. Thanks for reading. 


Sunday, November 2, 2014

October Ancestor: Jesse Fields

Okay yes October is over (yesterday if I get this done today) but I'm running slightly behind.
Time to blog about my October ancestor: Jesse Fields
Jesse comes from my paternal side of my tree.
He was born in England about December 16, 1828, the son of Isaac Fields and Jemima Porter. Some records have him born around 1830. I don't know much about his early life. Thanks to a distant cousin, I have a copy of his marriage license. Jesse married Caroline Sealey in England on February 16, 1852 at the Parish church in the parish of Lympsham in the county of Somerset. He is listed as a bachelor, and she a "spinster". His occupation is a miner and his father is listed as Isaac Fields who was a laborer. Emmanuel Field and Jemima Field are listed as witnesses. Jemima is his mother, not sure who Emmanuel is but I would guess a brother.
She was already the mother of one child, and I have presumed he was the father. However this could be wrong. It would be good to see a birth certificate from England, if one exists, or a baptism record. Perhaps this is why she is called a "spinster".
In June 1852 they immigrate to the United States from Bristol, England to New York. Their ship is called the Queen of the Ocean. They are in New York at least for a couple years as their next daughter is born there in December 1853.
Then by 1855 they move to Wisconsin. They are in Wisconsin for many years, at least until 1870 and maybe a few years more. Generally they are in the Beaver Dam area in Dodge county, 1870 census finds them in the town of Fountain Prairie which is in Columbia county, the next county to the east. Fountain Prairie is listed to have post office at Fall River, Wisconsin so it must be near there. While in Wisconsin on March 27, 1865 Jesse enlists for the Civil War as a private in Company A in the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry. He mustered out on July 29th of that same year.
By 1880, they have moved to Madison county, Wisconsin near the town of Tilden. Jesse and his wife live in the Tilden area, mostly on the Madison county side until their death.
In all, I have found 8 daughters were born to this union. Of course the first may not be his, as mentioned above. No sons were born. The daughters are Angeline "Annie", Martha E., Sarah J., Emeline, Mary A., Bertha Matilda, Hattie, and Clara.
Jesse's daughter Martha married Charles Hanks in Wisconsin in 1872. Emeline Fields married Walter Elley at her father (Jesse's) home on 25 December 1884 in Madison county, Nebraska. A few other daughters also got married in Madison county. I have a land deed describing land that Jesse bought in the fall of 1884 from the United States.
A few of Jesse's descendants live in the Tilden/Norfolk area for many years, up until this decade. I remember meeting one of them who was from Norfolk with my parents a few years ago.
Jesse Fields passes away on January 31, 1918 at the age of 89 in Tilden, Nebraska. He is buried in the IOOF Tilden city cemetery in Madison county, Nebraska. He has a military gravestone.
copyright Beth (Jorgensen) Sparrow

For records I have on Jesse, I have a copy of his marriage certificate, two land deeds, US Federal census from 1860 to 1910, death certificate and gravestone photo, and I found him on the passenger list for his immigration. So the part I am mostly missing is his early life in England. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Husband's DNA

Happy October to all of you! I can't believe it's 80 in the house and we have the windows open to cool it down. Ancestry.com had a DNA sale and my husband agreed to spit in the tube so I ordered one for him and the results came back a day or two ago. This weekend was busy with a genealogy society board meeting and a day of conference.

So did his DNA turn out as expected? And how does it compare to mine?

Here is his DNA:

47% Scandinavian
19% Great Britain
14% Italy/Greece
11% Ireland
5% Iberian Peninsula
3% Europe West
<1% Europe East

Is this what we expected? Well no.
The Scandinavian?? Where did that come from? And 47%?? Way too much. We have found Patterson and Thompson surnames on his mother's side and yes they are fairly close relatives to him, but I supposedly traced the Thompsons back to Scotland. So maybe that's not right??
Great Britain: Yes that seems right and probably about the right amount. The Sparrow surname is British (English).
Italy/Greece: Nope haven't found any of that in his lines.
Ireland: Yes this makes sense as certainly his McCash surname is probably Irish.
Iberian Peninsula: Nope haven't found any of this yet either.
And where is his German?? He should be quite a bit German, as I have traced one of his great-grandmothers' ancestry all back to Germany. Surely that's more than 1%!
So this was worth it and interesting to see what comes up. I do have some more work to do, but some of my husband's line have been in the United States for quite some time.
And yes, he is totally European (Caucasian/white). No Native American or African American for us.

And look how this compares to mine:
48% Scandinavian
22% Ireland
17% Europe West
5% Great Britain
6% Europe East
1% Iberian Peninsula
<1% Italy/Greece

Look at that! I'm totally European (Caucasian/white) too! And our top one is the same with almost exact percentage. So it will be interesting to see if the web site matches us up as cousins, which we are but you have to go back to colonial New England, at least 12 generations. So it's nothing for me to be concerned about.

DNA certainly is interesting to see where we've been. I have more work to do on my husband's side to trace some of his lines back to their originating country.