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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Packing List for NGS 2014

Jen Baldwin has gotten me thinking about what I should pack for my upcoming trip to the NGS 2014 Conference in Richmond, Virginia in May.  I thought I should make a list so I don't forget anything important.

  • Crystal Light Energy - Several of the scheduled speakers have that soothing "Southern Drawl" that lulls me to sleep like a baby.  I'm going there to LEARN, darn it!  I have to stay awake!
  • Bottles of water so I don't have to pay $3.00 a bottle for the bottled water in the hotel room.
  • A sweater for those chilly conference rooms.
  • My cell phone and camera for photographing my genealogy idols.
  • Address labels for entering all those vendor drawings.
  • My cell phone my charger.
  • Business cards to exchange with fellow genealogists.
  • Comfortable shoes.
  • My laptop so I can blog about all the fun I am having at the conference.
  • Ear plugs for my roommate.
  • Mastering Genealogical Proof for reading at the airport, on the airplane and anywhere else I want to appear intelligent.
  • Clothes, makeup, blah, blah, blah.
What's on your list?  See you next month!

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Philip Collier and Amanda Judd Marriage Certificate...A Long and Winding Road

Marriage Certificate of Philip Collier and Amanda Judd. 
Deena Lucas Loyd, my friend and mother of my niece Abbi, recently posted on Facebook that she had in her possession three really old books and a marriage certificate. The book in which the certificate was hiding was entitled Physical Geography, published in 1901 and bore the name of Miss Margaret Sells. Deena had been hoping to pass the certificate on to a descendant of the couple. She believed her deceased husband, Mike Loyd, came across the books and certificate in an old, abandoned house while mushroom hunting in the Madison County, Indiana some 30 years ago.

The marriage certificate, despite being stained and creased, was in good shape for being 166 years old.  The top section of the certificate was the actual marriage license, issued by James Hazlitt, clerk of the Madison County Circuit Court, to Philip Collier and Amanda Judd in Madison County, Indiana on 04 January 1848. The lower portion of the certificate, stated that Stephen Norman, Minister of the Gospel, performed the ceremony and dated the certificate 04 January 1847, a mistake many of us make when writing the date at the beginning of a new year.

I am familiar with the Collier family of Madison County.  Margaret (Surber) Blake Collier was my 4th great grandmother.  She married married James Foster Collier after the death of her first husband, Abraham Blake.  After a little research, I discovered that Philip Collier was the son of James Foster Collier and his first wife.

I think it is amazing that Philip Collier was the step-son of Abbi's 5th great grandmother.  I believe Mike would be happy to know that the marriage certificate he rescued that day and kept in his house for the last 30 years had a connection to the daughter of his future wife.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Henry Family Bible...Reunited and it Feels So Good!

Teri Wheeler presents Henry Family Bible to Sandy Kinnaman.
Just before Thanksgiving 2013, I was determined to find a family for the old Bible I had rescued from my mother’s garage.  My mother, Mary Ellen (Davisson) Roberts had passed away on 03 September 2009.  She had a small prefab house in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana which she had purchased from her brother-in-law and sister, Calvin Chlorice “Joe” and Sophia Mae (Davisson) Gourley in the 1970’s, in which my brother, Ronald Stephen Roberts, lived.  After my brother passed away on 13 June 2010, my sister, niece and I had the daunting task of cleaning the house to get it ready to sell.

In a dark, dusty corner of the non-attached garage, I discovered an old cardboard box containing an even older, dilapidated and heavy family Bible.  My sister wanted to add it to the pile of items destined for the local landfill, but as a genealogist, I knew that family Bibles can hold a wealth of information not found anywhere else…and I have a great respect for Bibles.  I don’t know how the Bible came to be in my mother’s garage or how long it had been there, but I won my battle that day and the Bible was put with the “keep” items to be relocated to my sister’s garage since my own garage was located in Florida at that time.

Fast forward to 03October 2013…  As fate would have it, my husband and I had relocated to Kosciusko County, Indiana.  My sister, lived a mere two hours away in Muncie.  I was determined to get my items from the “keep” pile from my sister’s garage to giver here more space, so my husband I visited her, took her to dinner for her birthday and proceeded to load up our great grandmother’s antique dresser, the Bible and a few other keepsakes into my husband’s truck.  We returned to our home in Leesburg and unloaded the truck.  Now the Bible sat in my garage!

Shortly after obtaining the crumbling Bible, I carefully took it out of the box for a closer examination and began photographing it with our Sony Bloggie.  The binding and intricately engraved covers were held together with masking tape.  I turned to the title page.  The Bible was printed in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1881 by the Bowen Merrill Company.  No wonder the Bible was disintegrating …it was 132 years old! 

Now for the exciting part…I located the page certifying the marriage of Joseph Milton Henry and Mary Mahala Hunt.  They were married on 07 October 1880 in Eden, Hancock County, Indiana.  Other pages in the Bible listed the births, marriage and deaths of their children and grandchildren.  The Bible also contained a report card, a tithing card, and an obituary.  Even though there appeared to be no connection to my Davisson family in Henry and Hancock Counties, I photographed each page.

After photographing  and scanning the pages and documents the Bible contained, I started a new family tree on just for the Henry Family Bible.  I made it public so the information will be accessible to anyone researching this family.  It can be viewed here:  I also posted the pictures of the Bible to the tree. 

Not long after creating the family tree, I noticed someone else researching the same family on  I emailed Judy Parker Walker from Panama City, Florida and asked if she was related to the Henry family.  She told me it could be her daughter-in-law’s family and she would get me in contact with them.  The next day I received an email from Sandy Kinnaman from Eden.  Her husband was a descendant of the Henry and Hunt families.  We made arrangements to meet.

Just before Thanksgiving 2013, I was standing in the Sandy’s dining room in Eden, returning the Henry Family Bible to the family.  As we were leaving Sandy’s house that day, I felt as if I was forgetting something.  I looked back and saw the Bible sitting on her dining room table.  With sadness and joy, I knew my job there was done.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

NGS Home Study Course - Lesson 1

I knew this wouldn't be easy.  That was the whole point of taking the course.  I wanted to see what I was doing wrong before I do my BCG certification.  Lesson 1 of the NGS Home Study Course has two assignments.  Assignment #1 - Pedigree Chart and Assignment #2 - Family Group Sheet with Citations. 

Assignment #1 seemed simple enough.  I started with myself and added my parents, grand parents and great grandparents.  Then I filled in their dates and places of birth and death.  Done!  Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy!

Assignment #2 - a little more complicated.  I used my grandfather, William Smith Roberts and his wife, Mary Alvira McCormick, and listed their eight children and their spouses.  Here is where it started getting complicated.  Three of the eight children had been married multiple times.  I knew the names of the spouses, but finding the where and when was difficult. 

Boy, was I surprised when I found my aunt Charlene's marriage to her first husband, Lou Palfy!  I thought his last name was Palfry all this time!  Family legend has it that Lou was a "bit player" in the movies.  This is why I think I must have A.D.D.  I stopped what I was doing and went to which stands for internet movie data base.  I put in Louis Palfy and bingo!  Lou was in such films as "Gilda" and "Wanderer of the Wasteland"!  Here's the link:

O.k....back to Assignment #2.  I dug around for information to fill in the blanks on my family group sheet.  Then I worked on the citations.  I would like to mention here that I DO own a copy of Elizabeth Shown Mills "Evidence Explained". 

I attached the cover sheet and emailed NGS - Lesson 1

~ a couple days pass ~

I received an email with the results of Lesson 1

Assignment #1 results - Apparently I was used to the way I do things on  When listing a place of birth or death, I always list it as City, County, State.  Here's an example:  Anderson, Madison, Indiana the person who graded Lesson 1 said I did good, but I should use Co. or County after the county and resubmit it.  O.k., I can do that.  Here's an example Anderson, Madison Co., Indiana.  So I added Co. to all my counties.

Assignment #2 results - Simply owing a copy of Elizabeth Shown Mills' "Evidence Explained" is not enough.  You must take the book down off the bookshelf and use it!  The person who graded Assignment #2 (please let it not be Elizabeth Shown Mills or I will have to change my name) was kind enough not to ask if my brain fell out during the citation writing process.  After giving me an example of a proper citation, he or she asked that I rewrite my citations and resubmit my assignment.

I rewrote my citations...all 75 of them...proofread, spellchecked, re-proofread, and then resubmitted Lesson 1.

Now I'm waiting on the results...and thinking of a new name.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mystery Monday: Gottlieb Gerlinger

Today's mystery comes not from the attic, but the basement of the Kosciusko County Historical Society in Warsaw, Kosciusko County, Indiana. The recently discovered documents of Gottlieb Gerlinger had nothing to do with Kosciusko County or even Indiana. As a volunteer at the Kosciusko County Historical Society Library, I was asked to do research so that the documents could be given to his next of kin.

From his Declaration of Intent #11732, filed on 16 August 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, I leaned that Gottlieb Gerlinger was a wagon maker who was born in Orlawski, Russia on 07 January 1887.  He had a fair complexion, was 5’8” tall, 155 lbs., with blue eyes and brown hair.  He emigrated from Bremen, Germany aboard the George Washington which pulled into the port of  New York on 14 April 1913.  He was single and lived at 506 W 81 Place, Chicago, Illinois.

The enlistment record shows that Gottlieb Gerlinger enlisted in the U. S. Army on 07 Oct 1917 in Chicago.  He was promoted to Sargent on 20 June 1918 and served with the A.E.F. from 18 Sept 1918 to 25 Apr 1919.  He was single and of excellent character.

On 07 May 1919, Gottlieb Gerlinger, 20585-19, Sargent, Company A, 306 Infantry, received an Honorable Discharge from The United States Army at Camp Grant, Illinois.

Gottlieb’s Certificate of Naturalization was issued on 14 June 1918 in Chicago.  He was described as being 31 years old, 5’7”, white, complexion light, blue eyes and red hair.

The next document dated 08 July 1957 was from the Veterans Administration and addressed to Hart Funeral Home, 8608 Summit Avenue, Chicago, Illinois and CC to Mrs. Emma Runkel, 506 W 81st Place, Chicago, Illinois. It referenced 3028/215A, XC-20 444 068 George Gottlieb Gerlinger.  The letter stated that an allowance $150.00 had been approved covering the funeral and burial expenses of the veteran.

The final document was dated 14 May 1957.  It was from Wilbert Manufacturers Association and guaranteed the Wilbert Burial Vault purchased by Mrs. Emma Runkel for interment of the remains of George Gerlinger in St. Mary’s Cemetery located near Evergreen Park, Illinois.

And there you have it.  How did these documents from Illinois end up in Warsaw, Indiana? We may never know.  If you are a relative of Gottleib "George" Gerilinger or Emma Runkel and would like to have the documents, please contact me.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday's Faces From the Past: Mallie Miller Dye

Mallie Miller Dye (1886-1980)

This elegant young lady was my 1st cousin 1x removed, Mallie Miller Dye, daughter of Zealey Miller and Mary J. Stipe.  Mallie was born on 17 September 1886 in Sherman, Grayson County, Texas.  She married John Mack Dye about 1905 and became a minister's wife.  Mallie and John were the parents of Ruth, Ruby, Cora and Henry Loyd Dye.  Mallie died on 17 June 1980 in Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas at the age of 93 and was buried at Elmwood Memorial Park, Abilene, Taylor County, Texas.  Photo courtesy of Russell Van Hoose.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

NGS Home Study Course

After three long years of working on my genealogy certification, I have come to the conclusion that I need help.  I know you must be thinking to yourself that my family held an intervention.  No, although they must know by now that I am certifiable.  I just ordered CD #1 of the National Genealogical Society Home Study Course!  I have heard good things about the course and I am hoping it will help me stay on track.

I think my problem is that I would rather do research than work on my certification.  I just need to focus, complete the course, do my certification and then I can do all the research I want.  Maybe by then they will have released the 1950 census!

I will let you know how it goes.