A genealogy blog about the migration generation of my McKee Family line, including bios, transcribed obituaries, photographs, and research notes.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010


I finally managed to get into Garry's office yesterday and scanned a lot of the documents that I've been collecting for years. I've spent this morning getting them into files and backing them up onto an external drive. Of course, I also have them stored in my Hotmail account so that if I lose them, I have another source. Now when someone contacts me, I'll be able to send them docs electronically...a great convenience for everybody concerned. So here's a list of what I have scanned:

Harvey Campbell Will
James E. Campbell Will
George Leemon Will
William Leming Will
Alexander McKee Will
George McKee Will
George McKee Civil War Record
Joseph Alexander McKee Civil War Record
Robert McKee Will (This will lists the entire McKee family in 1882.)
Susana Gilmore McKee Will
William McKee Will
Robert McKinley Will
Joseph Edward Thompson Guardian Bond
Joseph Thompson Will
Joseph Thompson Civil War Record

I've also scanned a flock of birth, marriage, and death certificates. If you find something of interest in this list, email me and I'll send you the scanned copy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Anderson Family Spurt

Since Vivian contacted me about the Dodd family in the UK, I thought I'd revisit the Alexander McKee Anderson line, which is my other UK line. I'm not sure if people have started posting more or if I'm just getting better a hunting for it, but I hit a bonaza. I had always assumed that nobody in the Alexander McKee Anderson line came to the US. Jeeze was I ever wrong. It turns out that after Alexander died his widow Esther Ann (Pollard) Anderson emmigrated to the US with her son Joseph Anderson.

Esther arrived at Boston, MA aboard the Cephalonia on 2 Sep 1893. In her party are her son Joseph's wife, Julia (Pierce) Anderson, and their children Mary Hannah, Esther, Henry Pierce, and Sarah Jane. The family settles in Biddeford, York County, ME. So far, it appears most of the family stays in the area. Joseph uses his cotton industry experience to work in the mills. While in ME, the Anderson's have additional children: Richard Charles, Frank A (Alexander?), Jessie H, and Elizabeth G. Sometime before the 1920 census Joseph dies. Esther also dies before the 1920 census. Julia (Pierce) Anderson lives until 9 Nov 1956 (Find a Grave Memorial 63368182). I've requested photos to see what the gravesite reveals. Julia was buried in a family plot. I've requested additional pictures. With the weather, I'm sure I won't hear a thing until the spring.

Esther's youngest son, John James Anderson, and his family also come to the USA. They arrive in 1904. The traveling party include John, his wife Anna Ellen (Doran) Anderson, and one son Edward Michael. The family settles in the Saco/Biddeford area. John dies before the 1930 census, probably in Maine. Eventually, the family relocate to Springfield, Hampden County, MA. Anna (Annie) dies in Springfield 21 Aug 1972. Their two sons appear to stay in the area and probably have children that I've yet to discover.

I've also been able to find Samuel Smith (s/o Agnes Elenor Anderson and William Smith). Agnes is another of Esther's children. Samuel is the only one I've found of the Smith's in the US so far. However, after a two-day marathon tracking Andersons, I'm learning never to jump to conclusions.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cheshire Ancestor Article Bears Fruit...or in this case a cousin

I've been contacted by a Dodd cousin! Seems Vivian (from Scotland) found me thru the 2007 article that was published in the Cheshire Ancestor, which proves that writing about your research pays off. Sometimes it takes time but it does work at some point.

I've been sending Vivian gedcoms (Dodd and Anderson so far). I'll be able to tell Vivian so much about what happened to her family in the U.S. She should be able to fill in so much that I'm missing from the U.K. I'm looking forward to lots of fun exchanges with this lady.

Friday, December 24, 2010

New Toshiba

Since my trusty old friend the HP died, Garry decided I needed a new friend. So I am now the proud owner of a Toshiba notebook with a 17" screen that is wide as opposed to tall like my old laptop. Width means that I can run two programs side by side on the same screen. Trawling the net for obituaries just got a whole lot nicer.

I had to call Verizon (my provider) because I couldn't get the wireless to hook up. Seems there's something a miss with our router. They are sending a new one. In the meantime, I'm tethered to a wire. However, I have lots and lots of stuff to do since I have this new toy.

One nice item is a full size keyboard. I'm going to have to get accustomed to not bunching my fingers together to type.

It also has a web cam...I'm not so sure about the web cam...

I can also haul this one to work and let them load a communication package so that I can tap into my work desktop too. It will make a nice back up in case my home desktop decided to act up.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Houston Library

I had my first dealings with the Houston Library system. What a pleasure! You email them describing what you're looking for (in my case, obituaries) and a few days later they email you back with the results...and a price. In my case, $3 per obit. You call them up, give them a credit card number, and they email you a PDF of whatever you asked for. I snagged four obits in two days for a total of $12...all from my PC. What world we live in!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Enforced Break

My old laptop finally blew up on Friday night. So I'm on my desktop. I suppose I should be happy to be so computer rich. I have access to lots of them. However, not being able to snuggle down in the comfort of my sofa and watch TV while I troll for new or better info is a real drag. When I'm at my desktop, I'm in my home office, which is where I work...no real work...not fun genealogy.

So now the question is do I give up my old trusty (well maybe not so trusty) friend in favor of a spiffy new friend? Or do I get my old laptop fixed (again!) and see if I can milk it for yet a few more searches. Computers have become so cheap compared to what they used to cost that not buying a new one seems silly. But I get attached to things...you should see the keep sakes in my china cabinet.

In the meantime, the enforced break means I can read while the TV goes in the background or crochet. I owe two freezing sisters-in-law winter scarves.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fred Walter Nelson m. Cora Maude Burns

Fred has a World War I draft/registration record that says that he was born 12 Jul 1881. This record is only one on which I've seen an exact DOB for Fred. Since this is a federal record, I'm going to use this as his working DOB. In the 1917-1918 WWI record, the family is living in Tira, Hopkins County, Texas.

Based on the 1900 census entries (see below), proximity played a part in the marriage of Fred and Cora Maude Burns. They married 13 Nov 1901 in Franklin County, Texas.

I can track census entries:
1900 Cora: Texas, Franklin County, J. P. 2, District 41, SD 1, ED 41, Sheet 5 B
1900 Fred: Texas, Franklin County, Justice Precinct 41, SD 1, ED 41, Sheet 6 A (35)
1910: Oklahoma, Choctaw County, Hugo, SD 4, ED 59, Sheet 8 B (5501)
1920: Texas, Delta County, Cooper, District 48, SD 1, ED 48, Sheet 24 A (2651, 8337)
1930: Can't find the family!

The censuses show the following children:
Pearline Nelson b. 1906 Texas
Lawrence J. Nelson b. 1908 Texas
Olie L. Nelson b. 1913 Texas
Ina M. Nelson b. 1917 Texas
Jesse D. Nelson b. 1919 Texas...SSN 454-26-1694 might be a record of his death...

Alas, this family remains a mystery post 1920. I'll have to peck away at this one some more to see if I can make any headway.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Margaret Louise Allen

Mrs. Hoyt Oliver Smith's maiden name was Margaret Louise Allen.

After using Pipl to find out that Hoyt was related to Brandon Wayne Smith, I looked up Brandon in Ancestry to see if I could begin to figure out who each of the people mentioned in the Intelius file on Pipl were. Turns out that Brandon died in 2004 at age 23. He has an exuberant obituary on Ancestry and Find A Grave (9686229). Brandon's obituary lead me to the name of his father, James Hoyt Smith, who died in 1987. I could then pursue birth and marriage records for James to construct the family group. Using James' birth record, I found out that the Miss Allen that Hoyt married 4 Aug 1942 was Margaret Louise Allen.

At the moment, I'm waiting to hear from the Houston library. I've requested a search for obituaries for Hoyt and James.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ananias Jackson Booth

A date and place of birth for A.J. has been a brickwall for many a researcher. The few census entries that can be found for A.J. say he was born in 1833 in New York. However, Ancestry.com seems to have posted new millitary info and there's an entry of interest.

U. S. Army, register of Enlistments, 1798-1914
Booth, Ananias J., Hazel eyes, dark hair, fair complexion, b. 1829 Fishkill, (Duchess County) New York, Laborer, Registered 25 Nov 1850 (age 21) at Pokupsic (Poughkeepsie, NY) by Gibson, Infantry K, Deserted 12 Jul 1851, at camp in Fort ___________ (might be Fort Kaskaskia or Fort Washington).

Deserting the army would certainly be a good reason for A.J. to leave New York state.

I have A.J.'s military record from the Civil War. He deserted there too but returned in time for the Battle of Vicksburg. With the Civil War, getting away with deserting may not have been as easy as it would have beein in 1851.

The upshot is there's circumstantial evidence that would lead one to believe that the 1850 Army record is a good lead on A.J.'s birth.

I've written to Delta County, Texas (where A.J. died) to see if it's possible to find a death record. According to Delta County, death records weren't kept until the early 1900's. If I'm lucky, I'll find a probate or cemetery records. My next stop is the Delta County library to see what they can find. They ask for a small research fee. Not a problem. Any genealogist will tell you that genealogy ain't a cheap hobby.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bomberg Turns out to be Broberg

I've been tracking down my D's; that is, dead people with no death date. I had an entry for Louise Marie Bomberg. I went looking for her husband Walter Roland McKinley. In a routine newspaper search, I found a Mrs. Walter McKinley as a survivor in the obituary of Mrs. Anna Josephine Broberg. The places were right--Loves Park and Cambridge, Illinois. So I started looking for the Broberg family. It turns out that my Louie Marie Bomberg was actually Marie Louise Broberg. I was able to locate census entries and a SSDI entry for Marie (327-40-2526). Now I'm on the hunt for obituaries for Marie and Walter to prove that I have the right person.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In a lull

I've exhaused every one of my pursuits for F (Find A Grave entry) and O (Obituary) combinations. Now I'm pursing Ds (deaths) info so that I can then look for Os and do Fs, and then ask for pictures.

I've got a small monument to the McKee family in the making on Find A Grave. The thing that is so nice about Find A Grave is that it's a free for users. Anyone who is looking for a family member will be able to follow all of the links (sometimes as many as four generations) back. I love Find A Grave...it's way beyond cool.

So wish me luck with chasing down all of my Ds...those death records are out there somewhere...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jane (McKee) Campbell

Over the summer, a very kind soul sent me additional information on Jane. This additional information is going to cause me to revise not only Jane's story but also Robert's story. Based on this information, Jane stayed in New York City until about 1849 and I'm thinking that she stayed with her brother Robert and his family. So I have them in Randolph County too early. I'm going to have to take a critical look at Robert's story too.

Over the summer, I also fully implimented the user defined field with codes (F,O,D,L,-). F = Find a Grave; O = Obituary; D = Dead; L = Lurk; - = living person. I've added 248 memorials to Find A Grave. I've tracked down lots of obituaries; however, not all of them have burial locations. I need to work on that problem. I've also found additional death dates that I've never had before. The next step is locating obituaries. I have all of my lurks marked so that I can sweep through the database twice a year starting next year. With the coding, I'll know exactly who I should be looking for obituaries for, which will make searching more efficient. It's kinda goulish but death is a natural part of life I suppose.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Working on Tech-Tamers Blog

While working rather extensively with Google doc's, I decided it might be worth setting up a blog for Technology Tamers. Pattie agreed. So my researching and writing tasks are temporarily sidelined while I set up that blog. The advantage is that Pattie and I will both be able to edit the blog and neither of us will have to try to break into my Verizon account to update the website. Breaking in to my Verizon account is a surprising pain in the buttcuss. Anyway, back to my other task...Oh, and I'm doing the laundry too...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Writing, writing, writing

I've been pecking at three articles--general genealogy articles--and I've finished first drafts and submitted all three pieces to the Florida State quarterly. It will be interesting to see what gets accepted and what gets rejected. I completed two of the articles using Google Docs and was able to share them with the quarterly editor. Working this way is way cool. Now I'm trying to think of more to write about and more presentations to put together. After all, Pattie (presentation partner) and I have to support our habit.

Playing with this blog is so much easier than dealing with the website on Rootsweb. Speaking of which, I still need to fix the Index page and see if I can move the footer to the end of the page where it belongs. I just hate trying to deal with it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Buried in Find A Grave

I've been doing a systematic search of Find A Grave for everyone in my database. So far, I've added 221 memorials...most with complete bios. If you want to see what I've been up to, my Find A Grave number is 47140371. You can look me up and see all of the memorials that I've added.

I've also been editing and writing. The June 2010 issue of the FSGS newsletter is finished and in the mail. I hope it's well received. And I've written a few articles to submit to various newsletters and quarterlies. We'll see how much of it gets published.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day Two

I've been fussing around with adding gadgets...and removing them! I did add a list of many of the surnames for which I'm searching. I'm hoping to add research info about each of them. The list isn't exhaustive but it's a start.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

This posting is the first to my blog. I intend to blog about my search for members of the McKee family and to post some of my results in this blog.