31 October 2008

Halloween Trivia

I have always been fascinated with the origins of Halloween and witches, such as the Salem Witches. It is a study of mankind to see how mass hysteria develops and takes place. And aren't we morbidly curious about things like this?

Here is a link to a nice little article about Historic Haunts. Make sure to see all the Historic Haunts articles that are listed on the left side. While you are there check out the rest of the offerings: The History of the Jack O' Lantern, The Real Story of Halloween, and more.

And if you would like, go to Salem Witch Trials to read a little about that. It is very interesting.

Just for fun or maybe to see a little bit about how mass hysteria might have been helped along check out Superstitions: old wives tales, folklore, bizarre beliefs, taboos, omens, lucky & unlucky things.

23 October 2008

My Free Trial Subscription

I signed up again to Ancestry.com. I just have their 14 day free trial so far. I have been using this online service for many years and really like it. But I let my membership go a few months ago because I just didn't have the time to use their services. Now that I have more time I am seriously considering subscribing again. If you are interested in checking them out go to Ancestry.com Free Trial
How long can one not work on genealogy? For me, it isn't very long. I am addicted. So, now I will see if I can stick with the 14 day free trial or will I buy a subscription. I might check out some other online subscriptions as well. Maybe I can find some other free trials.

I have heard of another service called, Footnote. I haven't checked them out yet, but I think I might. There's also genealogy.com, which I think used to be owned by the people who put out the Family Tree Maker software. I think they may be owned by Ancestry now. I'll have to check into that. I use the Family Tree Maker program on my computer and I like it, it is very user friendly.

And there are tons of free sites out there. I will have to write up a little critique of some of them when I can afford the time.

But for now I am going to use up my 14 day free trial and get as much as I can from it. And, I know in the long run I will be back to Ancestry, they really do offer a lot for the price.

17 October 2008

Spotlight on "My Heritage" Website

A friend of mine recently made me aware of this website. It is called My Heritage. It is a free, private, and secure. It is a place where you can share your photos and family tree with whom you choose. It has a search engine that searches the web for you and shows you online databases that have your ancestor's name or similar names. That is very convenient, it will provide websites that you probably didn't even know existed. It also shows other members who are interested in the same surnames.

You can build your own family tree online, create a family website, search for ancestors, and read and leave messages in the message boards. There are lots of tips and advice on doing family research and what to do with what you find, how to organize it.

It has a fun feature, that is rather addicting. You should try this. You can upload a photo, say of yourself, your spouse and your child. Then the program will analyze the photos and tell you which parent the child looks more like. You can upload your ancestors' photos as well. It is fun and interesting. Another feature is the celebrity look-alike, where your photo is matched with a closely resembling celebrity and you can even watch as they morph your photo with the celebrity photo. Pretty neat!

I will be spending more time here to get a better feel for this website, I encourage you to check it out. Here is the address: http://www.myheritage.com/

Have fun and be sure to let me know what you think of the site. I'd like to get your feedback on it.

09 October 2008

William Sisco & Millie Haynes

A few posts back I talked about finding my great grandparents, Bill and Millie Sisco, and I'd like to introduce them to you properly.

William A. Sisco, son of John (1804-1877) and Rachel Sisco, was born sometime between ca. 1834-1837 in TN. They were a large family of 10 children: James, Thomas, Claiborn, John, Julia, William, Joanah, Granville, Mary, and Aaron.

The family lived in TN for the first few years of Bill's life, then they moved on to KY where it seems brother Granville was born ca. 1847. But they didn't stay in KY for long, sister Mary was born in MO in 1849 and then to AR for Aaron's birth in 1851. These dates are approximated and my only source is the federal census. The family was in Stoddard Co. MO in 1850.

Sometime between 1850 and 1860 Bill married his first wife, Matilda Jarrell, daughter of Morgan Jarrell and Sarah Leah Marvell. I don't know much about her, born ca 1835 in MO. They had 5 children: Sarah, Andrew, Mary, NC, and James.

Bill took a Southern stand during the Civil War and fought with Kitchen's Regiment 7th MO Cavalry, Co. B. During this time he was taken prisoner and transferred from Cape Girardeau MO to St. Louis MO 7 Nov 1864. Then was involved in prisoner exchange 25 May 1865 in Wittsburg AR, where he "left sick with his family-small pox".

Between 1871 and 1880, Matilda either died or was divorced from Bill. I believe she probably died as divorce was rare and all the children are living with him in 1880. By 1880 Bill had married my great grandmother, Millie Haynes.

Millie was born ca 1845 in TN, the daughter of Miles Haynes and Sarah (possibly Fryar). She is the 4th of 10 children. They lived in Hamilton Co. TN in 1850 but had moved to Greene Co Ar by 1852.

Bill and Millie lived in AR with their children, around Lawrence and Randolph Co. They had 5 children: Martha, Parthena, Sam, Birdie and my grandmother, Pearle Mae.

The family stayed around this area and then 28 Feb 1903, Bill died. Millie applied for his military pension in 1908 from Wiley Randolph Co AR. I don't know when or where Millie died, but I have nothing more for her after 1908.

Seems such a shame to chronicle 2 people's lives in just a few lines. I'm sure I can and should embellish this story and I probably will as time allows, but this is a rough outline. It certainly does not give the depth that Bill and Millie deserve. And for that I am sorry. I am so truly grateful to my Aunt Jerri for the portrait of my great grandparents, what a treasure it is.

I am always open to new or corrected information about the Siscos and all my family members, please feel free to contact me.

07 October 2008

Missouri Digital Heritage

Here is a website to let you know about. I think it is pretty fantastic.

It is all about Missouri Heritage. It has lots of information including photographs, exhibits, educational pieces, history lessons, vital records information and images, and much more.

It has images of records such as death certificates, birth records, judicial records, searchable naturalization database, and probate records.

There is information about Lewis and Clark, the Missouri Mormon War, the Dred Scott case, and Jesse James.

There is so much here. If you like history, whether Missouri history or not, you'll like this site.


05 October 2008

Finally Breaking Through the Brick Wall...I Think.

I was researching Millie Haynes. She was born around 1845 in TN. I found a 5 yr old Milla in Hamilton Co TN and a 15 yr Milley in Greene Co AR in 1860, in both cases her father's name is Miles. These were obviously the same family, all family members' names and ages matched up. But this did not prove she was my Millie. I was having trouble proving her parentage.

I knew she married Bill Sisco before 1880 and that they lived in AR. I found them on the 1880 census for Randolph Co AR. They are listed with some people named Littler. I did not know these people and wondered who they were for quite some time. I still was no closer to her parents.

When I thought I had exhausted all avenues, I decided to go back to the Milla and Milley I found in 1850 and 1860. I went through and searched all her brothers, trying to find them as adults. One brother in particular was Alexander. I found an Alexander Haynes in 1880 in Lawrence Co AR, same age and birthplace as Milla's brother. I discovered that he is also listed with people named Littler. And that was it, my connection.

So, I concluded that all these Alexanders are the same person based on location, family members, date and place of birth. I concluded that my Millie and these other "Millies" are also the same person, based on date and place of birth and the fact that both she (after her marriage to Bill) and Alexander had these Littler people living with them. This means that my Millie's father is Miles Haynes. While not 100%, it would be very coincidental to find that these were actually different people.

After making that connection, I have since found other names that connect these people on marriage records and census records. I consider it a success.

But I still don't know who the Littlers are.

The importance of searching collateral lines was very apparent in this case, it was the key to finding the information I needed. So don't ever discount collateral lines.

04 October 2008

A Glimpse of the Past

I am using this media to tell a story through photographs, historical records, and oral histories from those who were there.

As good as these resources are, they are not complete, and in some cases, they are not quite accurate. You may find some contradictions, but overall the gist of the story comes through so I can show you a glimpse of the past.

I have been studying genealogy and researching my family's history as well as other family histories for over 15 years. I have worked transcribing historical records for Ancestry, I have also worked as a proof reader/editor for a newspaper, both of which helped trained my eye to look for and spot details. I will also be giving tips and advice, highlighting articles and information that I find to help you in your search, and also the good and bad in my own research.