Monday, September 7, 2009

We Can Do It

We can do it. That is my family's motto for the year. It doesn't feel like it now, but we can do it. We've sent my husband off to war. The road ahead feels daunting. My heart is broken and I miss him so much it hurts. I can't explain the agony of saying goodbye to him, and honestly, I don't think you can begin to imagine it. I can't explain the pain our children feel knowing that Daddy isn't coming home tonight. We can do it though. He will come home, and we will make it through.

The pain that I'm feeling has caused me to reflect on our ancestors and their military service. What I take as a fruitful search, more sources to verify the information I have, is so much more than black and white letters on a page. Behind those words you find the story of a family who had to say goodbye to a loved one. Who didn't know when they would see them again or what lay ahead. Who had to live their day to day life without him and do their best to cope in his absence. How grateful I am to these families and their sacrifices. In today's modern world, my road is not nearly as bumpy.

As I'm sure our ancestors did, we find ourselves praying for our soldier's protection -- missing him and loving him and hoping the time passes quickly until we are reunited. I couldn't be prouder of my husband for his courage, valor, bravery and his willingness to serve our country. He is my hero. We're in this together, and we can do it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Family Tree Magazine Cover

I found this in my inbox this morning. I'm sure most (all) of you have already seen it, but I'm posting it anyway. Your ancestral photo could be on the cover of Family Tree Magazine. Details here.

I love this. Whenever I see photos in genealogical material, I always wonder who they were and where they came from. The various Family Search websites always have interesting photos. There is something so amazing about actually seeing these people that we work so hard to find.

So send in your photos, and if you're picked, please tell me. I'd love to hear about who they were.

Surnames & Places

So, as usual, life seems crazy, and there are so many great genealogy-related finds to share. It's frustrating. I'm literally forcing myself to walk away from the computer because I have so many other things to do. So, in the future I'll be sharing some exciting connections I've been making, but for now it'll have to wait. I have something like over 150 posts waiting to be read in my google reader. So much fun, so little time!

For now, I'll have to be content with something new I decided to start. I keep finding myself scanning through my tree to remind myself which surnames were in which places. To make it easier, I'm going to be posting my surnames with the counties and states where I've found them. Hopefully it will help me organize and possibly help me find some connections.

So when you see Surnames & Places in the title, it's just me trying to keep all these great branches, twigs and leaves straight.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday-Sarah Lafield

This week's edition of Tombstone Tuesday is Sarah Lafield (Layfield), my third great grandmother.

Sarah Elizabeth Williams
b. abt. 1848 in Louisiana
d. 15 Apr 1930 Bastrop Co, Texas
buried in Oliver-Powell Cemetery in Allum Creek, Bastrop Co, Texas

She was the wife of Ferryall (Feriol) Layfield. Married on 26 Apr 1879 in Point Coupee Parish, Louisiana.

Their children were:

Daisy Alice (my direct line)

What I would love to find now is where her husband is buried.

Thank you to Tammy Owen for posting the picture.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

22 Aug Saturday Night Fun

It's Saturday, so Randy Seaver has posted another great Saturday Night Genealogy Fun assignment. This time he's sent us on a scavenger hunt.

"1) Is there someone on your list of 16-great-great-grandparents that you don't have a census record for, and for which one should be available? If you have all of your great-great-grands (or they are not on the census records), what about your great-grands, your grands, or your parents? What about siblings of your great-grands? What about your spouse's family lines? Go find at least one!

2) Tell us about it in your blog, comments to this post, or comments in Facebook. While you're at it, give us a source citation for your census finding too (you do make source citations, don't you?)."

Looking through my great grands, I found that my great, great grandfather's family had the 1900 Federal Census and the 1920 Federal Census listed, but no 1910.

Grien (Green) Thomas Hatley
b. 23 Jan 1866
d. 5 July 1947

married 23 Aug 1887 to

Louisa Clementine Guinaty
b. 31 Dec 1869
d. 20 Jan 1971

To start my hunt, I went to and did a search in the 1910 Federal Census. I only typed in Hatley for the surname and 1866 as the birth year. I left all other info blank. Boom! First name listed is a match.

Green T Halley [Hatley] b. abt 1866
Lue (wife) b. abt 1870
Alie (daughter)
Ohie (daughter)


Now, for the citation . . .I'm really not sure, still learning all of that fun stuff., 1910 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006.) Justice Precinct 1, Stonewall, Texas; Roll T624_1590; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 255; Image: 16.

Whew, thanks, Randy. Now I have one more source for my family tree.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Member Connect

I enjoyed this post by Randy Seaver on's new Member Connect service. Unlike Randy, I do find that the recent activity has been updated each time I return.

My question regarding this service is trying to understand its usefulness. At first I was frustrated because it wasn't indicated whether or not a record had already been added to my own tree. For example, if I see that Mrs. Genealogy added a particular Millennium File Record for John Genealogy II, I wanted an indication that I too had already added that record to my tree. Now I'm realizing that if it shows in my Member Connect list, then that item has already been added to my tree. In other words, if it's in the list, it's already in my tree. Am I wrong on that assumption?

What would be nice is to see such a list relating to the members in my tree, but with a notation that this item is not already an attached source document for that person. Is this there and I'm missing it? I don't really understand how a huge list of things I already have in my tree is helpful for me. I do understand the member connect part, as in finding people who are also researching the same names.

What would be even more helpful is the listing of pieces I am missing. As I write this, I'm realizing that's basically what the little leaves are for. That brings me back to my original thought. . . what purpose is the list of recent activity for things I already have? I'd much rather just see a list of members who are also researching my names.

Is it just me? Do you find this service helpful? Please enlighten me!

(Due apologies for the excessive use of italics, but hey, I only used one exclamation point.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday-Silas & Electa Beckwith

Sticking with the memes and trying out Tombstone Tuesday.

Almost all of my tombstone pictures come from What a wonderful site. I am so appreciative of all the volunteers who take the time to contribute.

This is the tombstone of my third great grandparents, Silas Beckwith and Electa Reed Beckwith. Electa has always been one of my "favorite" ancestors, so I literally cried when I saw this picture for the first time. At first I wondered why I hadn't seen this photo before, but then I realized that it had recently been posted. Another reminder to continue to check back for un-found (is that a word?) relatives.

Another reason for the excitement (or "high" according to this post by Dick Eastman) was that I found it by accident. I was actually searching the cemetery for another ancestor and clicked to view all interments. Lo and behold . . .Silas and Electa. Score!!

Silas Beckwith
b: 11 Apr 1816 Lempster, Sullivan Co, New Hampshire
d: 8 Jan 1890 Dodge Co, Minnesota

Electa Reed
b: 8 Jul 1816 Langdon, Sullivan Co, New Hampshire
d: 18 Nov 1896 Dodge Co, Minnesota

Thank you to Jill G. and Wally Smith who were the contributors to this page on

Monday, August 17, 2009

Madness Monday-Katherine McCorkel

My first Madness Monday (or is it Monday Madness?). Either way, I'm here to vent some frustration. One of the twigs on my tree which has been driving me "mad" is my second-great grandmother. (I'll admit, I did a relationship calculator search on Roots Magic 4 to make sure I worded that correctly.)

Katherine McCorkel (McCorkle)
b: unknown possibly in Georgia
d: unknown

spouse: James Lewis Holloman
b: 11 Feb 1859 in Benton Co, Arkansas
d: 22 Apr 1939 in Stonewall Co, Texas

possible children:


Their daughter, Ellie Beatrice Holloman (1894-1972), was my great-grandmother. She is listed on the 1920 census with her husband, John William Hatley. This census lists her mother's birthplace as Georgia.

I have no source information for Katherine. Some of the possibilities I have came from information passed down from my Mom. Other pieces came from an unsourced tree on Ancestry with no contact info.

I've mostly tried searches on Ancestry and Google. I have James Lewis Holloman on two census records. The first is the 1920 Federal Census in Quay, New Mexico. He is listed as a widow and Edna is listed as his daughter.

I would love to find birth, marriage, and death information for Katherine, which would aid me in finding her parents. I would love to find this family on census records prior to 1920.

Honestly, any information I could find for her would thrill me. She is the only great-grandmother for whom I don't have at least some info on the parents. One little twig and a source of "madness".

One Lovely Blog

I returned back to the geneablogging world to a wonderful surprise. I was hesitant to post since it was so long ago, but I wanted Linda to know how much I appreciated it.

Linda from Flipside awarded me the One Lovely Blog award.

I was so touched and honored. I appreciate the patience and kindness of the genealogy community as I try to get my blog going. My 'across the ocean' move kind of put a monkey wrench into what I had going, but I was welcomed back with open arms. You all are the best, and thank you again, Linda!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

15 Aug Saturday Night Fun

After reading Randy Seaver's excellent questions for tonight's version of Saturday Night Fun, I couldn't wait to jump in.

After my genealogical hiatus (say that fast 10 times) I'm finding myself faced with some issues. I call myself an intermediate beginner. I'm not a total newbie, but I still feel very much a beginner. One problem I'm facing right now is trying to follow too many lines at one time. So tonight's SNGF came along at just the right time. I needed to evaluate what I was doing and where I was going.

So. . . here goes.

* What is your UGG - your "Ultimate Genealogy Goal" for the genealogy research that you wish to leave to your heirs, descendants and the genealogy community?

I think my UGG is to trace as much as my (and my husband's) family tree as I can. Since I'm trying to learn how to do things "right", that would mean having as much supporting documentation as possible.

* How long do you think you have have left to fulfill this ultimate goal?

Well, since I'm only in my early 30s, I hope I have decades left to enjoy this work.

* Are you prioritizing your time adequately in order to achieve this goal?

Um, . . . no. I homeschool our four children, and my husband is preparing to deploy. Things can be busy around here. The problem isn't as much a lack of time, but what I do with that time. After reading Randy's answers, I understand what he's saying about the time spent online, but I appreciate his conclusion. For me, the time I spend on blogs and Twitter and other online sites are part of my genealogical education. I'm here to learn.

Well, actually, I'm here to share too. It's fun to share with people who understand how absolutely THRILLED I can be at finding a death record. Or why I get tears in my eyes when I see a picture of the tombstone of one of my "favorite" ancestors for the first time.

* If not, what should you do to achieve the goal?

I need to prioritize my research. I can't just totally abandon other lines while I research a specific line, but prioritizing would go a long way towards my progress.

* Will you do what you need to do?

I hope so! What a wonderful problem to have that I have such a surplus of findings that I'm overwhelmed with where to start. It's a problem I'll take :)

Thanks, Randy for some great questions. I've missed SNGF. It's great to jump in.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Whew! I forgot how much fun AND addicting genealogy is. I'm trying to jump back into this genea-blogging thing, and what better way than a Wordless Wednesday? Since it's supposed to be wordless I thought I'd post a picture of a family I had already written about.

This is my grandfather, Wallace Beautrow, his older brother, Frank Sidney, and their parents, William Beautrow and Winnie Chapman Beautrow (Yakima, Washington).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'm Back!!

I'm finally finding time to get back to my genealogy. I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed it. The move was stressful, but now we are loving Hawai'i. I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things, and I'm anxious to jump back into the geneabloggers' community.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Unique Names Day

Continuing with the theme of the week, today is Unique Names Day.

My name is pretty common, but I think my daughter's middle name is unique.


It's a family name that my grandmother, Mabel Salmon Beautrow, created. It's my aunt's middle name also. I like it because I think it's pretty and it's special because it came from my grandmother. After she was named I realized that it's a combination of my sister's and my name. My name starts with "Laur" and my sister's name ends in "-ee".

Not the most outrageous name, but I've never seen it on a keychain.

As far as my family tree, I have a few unique names. Some of them, I'm assuming, weren't unusual in their day. My great, great grandmothers Aletta Roberts and Otelia Bell Via. My great, great, great grandmothers Ophelia Adeline Wolfe and Dee Ida Van Winkle. Who knows though, maybe they would think Laura was odd.

More Name Fun

Continuing with "Celebrate Your Name Week", today's topic is supposed to be Fun Facts Day. I decided to make this a little more personal and relevant to my family tree. I've selected a few names that I find interesting for one reason or another.

I've posted before about ABC Salmon. I've just always loved his name. I wonder, though, how he felt about it? Cutler was his mother's maiden name, but I'm not sure where the Barnes came from. I need to study that line more. What's interesting is that he has a great uncle named Cutler Salmon. I'm sure there are family ties from that area in New Jersey. I can't wait to uncover them!

Another fun name from my tree is my great, great, great grandfather John Chapman. The fabled Johnny Appleseed was also named John Chapman. My John was born around 1816 in New Hampshire and Johnny Appleseed was born in Massachusetts in 1774. My information on that line stops with John who married Sarah C. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the lines connected at some point. John and Sarah had a son named Edward Chapman who is my great, great grandfather. Johnny Appleseed also descends from an Edward Chapman. Another mystery I can't wait to solve!

The last name I chose is from my husband's line. His great grandfather was Forrest D. Brown from DeKalb County Alabama. When I first received information on this line, I was told that his name was Farce D. Brown. It took me a little while to figure out that his name was actually Forrest, but you had to say it with that Alabama Southern drawl!

It's been fun to look through my tree. Do you have any interesting or fun names in your tree?

Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2-Namesake Day

After reading Janet the Researcher's post and then Sheri's post at The Educated Genealogist, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to post about names.

According to "Celebrate your Name Week", today is Namesake Day. A day to think about where you got your name.

I love the story behind my name. My name is Laura, and I am the youngest of six kids. My sister, child number five, is about seven years older than me. Around the time that I was born my family was reading the Little House on the Prairie series. My sister was given the opportunity to name her new baby sister. Pretty cool when you're a seven-year-old little girl. With Laura Ingalls Wilder fresh on her mind, she named me Laura. I'm not sure she was always so thrilled to have a new baby sister, but I've always loved that she named me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Brothers & Sisters-11th Edition-Smile For the Camera

The word prompt for the 11th Edition of Smile For The Camera is brothers & sisters? Were they battling brothers, shy little sisters, or was it brother & sister against the world? Our ancestors often had only their siblings for company. Were they best friends or not? Show us that picture that you found with your family photographs or in your collection that shows your rendition of brothers & sisters. Bring them to the carnival and share. Admission is free with every photograph!

My first Smile for the Camera submission! For this edition I chose two pictures of my grandfather and his brother.

My maternal grandfather was Wallace Beautrow. He was born in 1908 in Yakima, Washington. He died before I was born, so I never had the privilege of meeting him. His brother was Frank Sidney Beautrow, born in 1906 in Yakima, Washington.

I've always enjoyed this picture simply because in today's world it's funny to see Wallace in a gown. Sidney's outfit isn't looking too masculine either. (I'm easily amused)

Here are Wallace and Sidney a few years later.

So cute! Wallace's hair amuses me in this picture. Poor kid!

I think that Wallace and Sidney got along well. Although, my mother does remember that each of them thought the other was their mother's favorite. Some things are timeless.

An award!

I was floored to return from our trip to find that Colleen from Orations of OMcHodoy awarded me a Kreativ Blogger Award. What an honor for a newbie. Thank you so much!

Collen, you made my day! I'm also thrilled to be introduced to your blog as well :)

Now it's my turn to nominate some fellow bloggers. This is tough because there are so many great genealogy blogs out there. It seems that so many have already received the award, but nonetheless I'd like to let the following know that I have enjoyed their blogs:

Olive Tree Genealogy Her ancestor cards alone would be enough to nominate her for this award, but her whole blog is a wonderful read. Full of great ideas and interesting reads.

We Tree Amy was one of the first genealogy bloggers I discovered. I love her down-to-earth writing and her ability to make it all seem so accessible. I love following her progress in courses she's taking and her success in her research.

Genea-Musings Randy Seaver's blog is the best of both worlds. It's chock-full of helpful information and advice, but it's also a lot of fun. I can't wait to join in on one of his Saturday Night Fun Challenges. I definitely learn a lot reading this blog.

Greta's Genealogy Blog I was initially thrilled to find Greta's blog because she's in my neck of the woods. It got even better though, because I've loved reading her stories and memories.

The genealogy blogging community is full of wonderful people. I appreciate each of you sharing your knowledge, success and memories.

I'm Back!

I've been gone for two weeks. We had to get our house we own in another state ready to sell, and we've been gone for a couple of weeks. We are in the middle of moving to Hawaii. It's frustrating because I just want to work on my genealogy! Thank goodness for the iPhone. I was able to do a lot of searching on my phone when I had a chance. I was also able to keep up with some blogs through Google Reader. Gotta love technology.

I was thrilled to come home to a suggestion for a family history program and an award. Thanks so much! More posts to follow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm #1

With each new hobby there's always the realization of a whole new world out there. Knitting, photography, running. Each has their own little world to navigate. Lingo to learn, tools to aquire, and knowledge to amass. Genealogy is no different.

I've been using not only as my primary research tool, but also as my family tree. I've realized that I need to find a program for helping me manage all of this information I've been finding.

Googling "genealogy software" seemed like a logical place to start. Wow! Definitely lots of choices. After a lot of research, I narrowed it down to a few choices. TMG seemed like the forerunner. I had seen the abbreviation before, but had no idea what it meant. Too Much Genealogy? I think not! Trace My Genes? Nope. Finally in my search for software, the mystery was solved. The Master Genealogist. Of course, why didn't I think of that?

I downloaded the demo video and was definitely intrigued. Downloading the 30-day trial came next. The bad part about having my tree on was that I had no option to use the technology that TMG has for importing data. I had to resort to a GEDCOM. The problem was that when it transferred I didn't like the way it was numbered. I was listed as #744 (or some other ridiculous number).

Now don't misunderstand, I'm really not an egotistical maniac, but in this case I need to be #1. I guess I've been spoiled by the ability to click "Home Person" on ancestry. I need to go back to me when I lose my bearings, or to be able to move on to another line. Since I didn't see any way around it, I've resorted to hand entering each person one by one into TMG. Once I'm past the first couple of generations, I really don't care much about the numbering system, but I need to be #1.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


One of my "favorite" ancestors has to be Albert Barnes Cutler Salmon. He has always stood out to me simply because of his name: ABC Salmon. Since I've delved seriously into genealogy in the last couple of years, it has been so intriguing to find more information about him.

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding him has to do with his death. At 67 years old he left California for Guatemala. We never understood why. I recently found three pages from his passport application. Evidently, Guatemala was only supposed to be the first stop. He listed Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Salvador, Mexico and Panama as the countries he was "indefinitely" planning on visiting. He lists "Land business" as his reason for visiting these countries. I wonder what he was planning on accomplishing? This application was from March 1923.

He is listed on the Passenger and Crew list for the SS Ecuador in December of 1923. I believe that this is actually his body returning to California from Guatemala, but I'm not certain. Did he go to Guatemala and get sick? Was he still alive and actually died in California? Is there more to the story than I realize? I'd love to find more details.

Saturday, February 7, 2009