Monday, July 17, 2017

Martha "Blind Granny" Mashburn: Identifying Siblings

One goal of my recent trip to Alabama was to identify the birth family of my great-great-grandmother, Martha Golden Mashburn, also known as "Blind Granny Mashburn." In 1910 she is living with her brother, Griffin Grainwater Golden.1 Although Martha died in 1914 and Griffin in 1923, no death certificate has been found for either of them.2  Their father died (or deserted) when the children were young, but court records in Saint Clair County and Talladega County have been searched, and no probate or guardianship records name the children.3 Re-examining census records helped me identify other siblings and new members of the FAN club.


Martha Golden "Blind Granny" Mashburn

The earliest census record that can positively identify Griffin is the 1860 census of St. Clair County.4 He is 21 years old and enumerated as the head of house. With him is Eliza Golden, age 24, and William, age 17. Griffin married Peggy Alverson in 1862, so Eliza and William are likely his sister and brother.5 There are other Golden children living with Alverson and Warren families in the same neighborhood in 1850 and 1860:
  • In 1860, Robert Golden, age 18, is living with Elijah & Nancy (nee Golden) Alverson.6 This family lived two houses away from Griffin Golden.
  • In 1850, Nancy Golden, age 22, is living with John Alverson7. Included in the household is Newton Alverson, most likely John's son, who married Caroline Golden in 1854.8
  • In 1850, Jane Golden, age 18, is enumerated in the Zachariah Warren household, next door to John Alverson9

Nancy Golden married Elijah Alverson in 1852, and by 1860 Robert is living with them.10 Within the next two years, Caroline (Eliza)Golden married Newton Alverson and Jane Golden married Marshall Savage.11 In the 1900 census, Martha Golden Mashburn is living with her nephew, William Alverson, the son of Jasper Newton & Caroline Elizabeth Alverson.12

The older generations of the Alverson, Warren, and Savage families reported South Carolina as their place of birth. Nancy Golden was said to have been born there about 1828. The Golden children lived with and married into these families in the 1850's and 60's, suggesting strong ties before this time, perhaps back in South Carolina. From these records, I believe the following sibling group can be constructed:

  1. Nancy, b. 1828-29 in South Carolina (m. Elijah Alverson, 1852)
  2. Jane, b. 1832 in Alabama (m. Marshall Savage, 1854)
  3. Martha, b. 1834 in Alabama (m. Lawson Mashburn, 1852)
  4. Carolina (Eliza), b. 1835 in Alabama (m. Jasper Newton Alverson, 1854)
  5. Griffin, b. 1839 in Alabama (m. Peggy Alverson, 1863)
  6. Robert, b. 1842 in Alabama
  7. William, b. 1843 in Alabama




  1. 1910 U.S census, St. Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, Riverside, Enumeration District [ED] 130, p. 8A (penned), dwelling 156, family 156, G. G. Galden; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 June 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 32.

  2. Griffin G. Golden and Martha J. Mashburn tombstones, Harkey’s Chapel cemetery, Wattsville, Alabama. Personally observed by Marceline Beem on July 5, 2017. Martha’s tombstone was erected several decades after her death. Her middle initial is incorrect, but no conflicting information with the death date on her tombstone has been found to date.

  3. “Alabama, Census of Confederate Soldiers, 1907, 1921,” entry for G. G. Golden (1921); digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed June 30, 2017); citing Alabama Department of Archives & History, Montgomery, Alabama, Census or Enumeration of Confederate Soldiers Residing in Alabama, 1921. Griffin reported he "was raised an orphan," indicating his father died when he was young.

  4. 1860 U.S census, St. Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, Townships 16, 17 and 18, p. 22 (penned), dwelling 147, family 147, Griffin Golding; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.comb: accessed 30 June 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication M653, roll 23.

  5. “St. Clair County Marriage Records, vol. I, II, and III, 1818-1894,” database with images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed June 30, 2017), images 953-954 of 977, entry for Griffin G. Golden and Peggy Alverson, 1862; citing Saint Clair County courthouse records.

  6. 1860 U.S census, St. Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, Townships 16, 17 and 18, p. 22 (penned), dwelling 149, family 149, Elija Alverson; digital images,Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 June 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication M653, roll 23. For the marriage record, see “St. Clair County marriage records, vol. I, II, and III, 1818-1894,” database with images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed June 30, 2017), image 676 of 977, entry for Elijah Alverson and Nancy Golden, 1852; citing Saint Clair County courthouse records.

  7. 1850 U.S census, Saint Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, District 40, p. 233 (penned), p. 116 (stamped), dwelling 202, family 202, John Alberson; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 June 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 14.

  8. “St. Clair County Marriage Records, vol. I, II, and III, 1818-1894,” database with images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed June 30, 2017), image 694 of 977, entry for Newton Alverson and Caroline Goldin, 1854; citing Saint Clair County courthouse records.

  9. 1850 U.S census, Saint Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, District 40, p. 233 (penned), p. 116 (stamped), dwelling 203, family 203, Zacariah Warren; digital images,Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 June 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 14.

  10. "St. Clair County Marriage Records," entry for Elijah Alverson and Nancy Golden.

  11. “St. Clair County Marriage Records," entry for Newton Alverson and Caroline Goldin; also image 681 of 977, entry for Marshall Savage and Narcissa Jane Golden, 1853.

  12. 1900 U.S census, St. Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, Coal City, enumeration district (ED) 107, p. 9B  (penned), house 149, family 158, William Alverson; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 June 2017); citing FHL microfilm 1,240,038. In 1900 other members of the household are Analiza, aged 38 and Margret, age 40, both identified as William’s sister. In 1880, William is enumerated with Nute and Carolin Alverson and identified as their son. In 1870, Margaret, Analiza and William are enumerated with Jasper and Elizabeth Alverson. The age of the mother is the same across the census years (24 in 1860, 24 in 1870, 34 in 1880), indicating Caroline and Elizabeth are the same person. 1880 U.S census, St. Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, Broken Arrow and Cropwell, enumeration district (ED) 121, p. 24D  (penned), house 200, family 201, Nute Alverson; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 31. See also 1870 U.S census, St. Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, Broken Arrow, p. 12 (penned), dwelling 78, family 87, Jasper Alverson; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 June 2017); citing FHL microfilm 545,539.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Vertical Files: Ignore Them at Your Own Risk!

Vertical files are often overlooked when researching in county archives and other local repositories. These files contain documents related to a specific surname, location, or other subject. The document types vary, but may include obituaries and other news clippings, photos, family group sheets, and correspondence. On my research trip this past week, studying the contents of vertical files helped me make two major breakthroughs.

At the Saint Clair County, Alabama Archives, the vertical file on Griffin Golden, my third great-grandmother’s brother, contained a newspaper clipping that named his place of birth and related a family story about their journey from South Carolina to Alabama. Other documents give his birth place as Talladega County, but this is the only document to give a specific location within the county. Using this news clipping, census records, and maps, I was able to re-create Griffin’s family and identified who I think is his father.

In Knoxville, I had already made a little bit of progress on my Horton clan, proving that the Joseph Horton in Knox and Roane Counties is the same Joseph Horton that previously lived in Dandridge (Jefferson County). Examining the vertical file of an allied family, I discovered a marriage record for one of Joseph’s daughters. It was just a hand-written reference, but it was sourced, and I easily located the original bond -dated October 22, 1789 from Lincoln County, North Carolina - at FamilySearch. It stands to reason that if his daughter married in Lincoln County, Joseph was there – or very close to that location. It was all I could do to not scream in excitement when I made this discovery! Of course, I need to do a lot more research, but at least I have a place to start looking now – all thanks to a vertical file at the McClung Collection in Knoxville!


Are you planning any research trips soon? Make a mental note to check the vertical files. You never know what nugget – that very thing you need to break down a brick wall (or two) - might be hiding in those files. Ignore them at your own risk!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Using TextExpander to Speed up Source Citations

I’ve recently started creating source templates for source types that I use quite often, such as census records and cemetery markers, to save time when I’m writing research plans and reports. I’ve been placing them in Evernote, creating a linked table of contents so I can quickly find the correct source template. Here’s my Table of Contents and template for the 1930 U.S. census:

Table of Contents for Source Templates in Evernote


Template for the 1930 U.S. census in Evernote


While these templates did save me time on the research report I wrote last week, I couldn't help wondering if there was an even better way to automate the process. I’ve been using TextExpander at work, but not using it to its full potential. TextExpander is a great time-saver for those things you type over and over again. To use it, you set up a “snippet” for your text, and create an abbreviation that expands to the text when typed. The snippet can be used in Word, a web browser, genealogy software – basically anywhere you type information. For example, I can type “;name” and the abbreviation expands to my first and last name - Marceline Beem.


Today I decided to see if I could make a better source template in TextExpander, and it works beautifully! The program has the ability to use macros and variable fields in snippets, which make it ideal for source templates. After some experimenting, I came up with the following snippet for the same 1930 census shown above:


TextExpander snippet for the 1930 U.S. census


For reach variable, the left bracket was replaced with "%filltext:name=" and the right bracket was replaced with "%." TextExpander makes it easy to do this by pushing a button and typing in the name of the variable.  I use a semicolon to start each of my abbreviations, and my pattern for the federal census records is "fed" followed by the year. My abbreviation for the 1930 census is ";fed1930". 

Now when I type the abbreviation ";fed1930" into my Word document, I get a pop-up that allows me to input the variable data (Note: Be sure the cursor is where you want the text to appear when you type the abbreviation):

TextExpander form to fill in variable data for the 1930 U.S. census snippet



After completing the form, the text is inserted into my footnote:

 Completed form for the 1930 U.S. census snippet

 Footnote in Word, created from the TextExpander snippet


Of course, I would pick an example in which Ancestry.com used an FHL film, instead of a NARA publication, as its source, but that is easily fixed by editing the inserted footnote:

Corrected footnote, citing FHL microfilm instead of the NARA publication



From here, it was pretty easy to add templates for the remaining census years. To speed things up, I pasted each full reference note into Word (all remaining census years) and used the "search and replace" function to quickly edit the {brackets} with the correct syntax for TextExpander variables. I also changed the "accessed date" to record the current date, using TextExpander's native macros for date formatting. 

Do you use TextExpander or other software to automate your source citations outside of your genealogy management program? Which ones, and what do you like best about your system? Tell us about it in the comments!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

GPS Study Group Week 5: Who was the father of Benjamin F. Horton?


Genealogical Proof Standard Study Group
Homework
Chapter Five – Writing It Up
Marceline Beem


Reference:
Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, 4th Edition Revised. San Jose, California: CR Publications, 2014.

This week’s chapter, the final one, focuses on writing up your research findings in one of three formats: proof statement, proof summary, and proof argument. Our assignment is to take one event in one ancestor’s life and write our conclusion. The format of the written report (summary, argument, or statement) depends on the complexity of the evidence.


Content
Use when…
Format
Proof Summary
Evidence used & how we arrived at conclusion
Evidence contains no conflicts
Bulleted/numbered list
Narrative (multiple sources)
Proof Argument
Narrative of analysis, evaluation, and conclusion
Evidence is complex (combination of direct and indirect) and/or has conflicting information
Written, documented narrative (footnotes or endnotes)
Proof Statement
An assertion of the fact with citations
Evidence contains no conflicts
1-2 sentences with citations

My topic for this week’s study is Benjamin F. Horton, my 2nd-great-grandfather. He was born in Coal Creek, Anderson County, Tennessee in March 1854. Determining the identities of his parents relied on both direct and indirect evidence, so according to our text, a proof argument is needed to show that his parents were Richard D. Horton and Rhoda Frost of Anderson County, Tennessee.

Research question: Who was the father of Benjamin F. Horton?

In 1860 and 1870, Benjamin F. Horton and his twin brother, Elijah, are enumerated in a household headed by Rhoda Horton (Figure 1).1,2 No adult male is listed in the household in either census. In examining marriage records for the Anderson County area, two Horton men married a woman named Rhoda:

  • B.F. Horton married Rhoda Hendrix on September 22, 1847 in Anderson County3
  • R.D. Horton married Rhoda Frost on October 14, 1852 in Anderson County4

Neither men were found in the state of Tennessee in 1860. Broadening the search, B.F. and Rhoda Horton were found enumerated in Kansas City, Missouri, making it likely that R.D. and Rhoda Horton were the parents of Benjamin and Elijah.5

Eventually other records were found that confirmed this theory:

  • The Anderson County courts granted a divorce to R.D. and Rhoda Horton in 1861.6 R.D. remarried a year later in Knox County, explaining his absence from the household headed by Rhoda in 1870.7
  • In the 1880 and 1900 census, Rhoda is living with Elijah and identified as his mother (Figure 2).8,9
  • Death certificates for Benjamin F. and Elijah give March 13, 1854 as the date of birth for both men, confirming that they were twins (Figures 3 and 4).10,11
  • Benjamin’s death certificate identifies his parents as Richard V. Horton and Rhodia Frost.12 Elijah’s gives the names R.D. Horton and Rhoda Frost.13

Although Benjamin Horton never appears in a document with his father, evidence from marriage records, census listings, and the death certificates for both Benjamin and his twin brother, Elijah, show that his father was Richard D. Horton of Anderson County, Tennessee.


References

  1. 1860 U.S census, Anderson County, Tennessee, population schedule, East Fork, p. 48, dwelling 685, family 685, Rhoda Horton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Mar 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 1239.
  2. 1870 U.S. census, Anderson County, Tennessee, population schedule, District 4, p. 40B, dwelling 225, family 225, Rhoda Horton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 Apr 2016); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 1513.
  3. Anderson County, Tennessee, Marriage Records, 1847: 81, Horton-Hendrix; digital images, “Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002,” Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Dec 2015); citing Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm.
  4. Anderson County, Tennessee, Marriage Records, 1852: 11, Horton-Frost; digital images, “Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002,” Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Dec 2015); citing Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm.
  5. 1860 U.S. census, Jackson County, Missouri, population schedule, Kansas City, p. 161-62, dwelling 1333, family 1363, B.F. Horton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 April 2016); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 625.
  6. Hutton, Edith Wilson. Anderson County, Tennessee: Divorces and Naturalizations, 1844 through 1920. Knoxville, Tenn.: E.W. Hutton, 1992.
  7. Knox County, Tennessee, Marriage Records, 1862: 172, Horton-Trail; digital images, “Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002,” Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jan 2017); citing Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm.
  8. 1880 U.S. census population schedule, District 5, enumeration district (ED) 138, p. 1A (stamped, 1 (penned), dwelling 7, family 7, Elijiah Horton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 2 April 2016); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 1244.
  9. 1900 U.S. census population schedule, Fifth Civil District, enumeration district (ED) 5, p. 31A, dwelling 590, family 604, Elijiah Horton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 2 April 2016); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1557.
  10. Knox County, Tennessee, death certificate no. 5568 (1912), Bengiman F. Horton; digital images, “Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1958,” Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 Dec 2015).
  11. Anderson County, Tennessee, death certificate no. 488 (1928), Elijah Walker Horton; digital images, “Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1958,” Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Dec 2015).
  12. Knox County, Tennessee, death certificate 5568 (1912), Bengiman F. Horton.
  13. Anderson County, Tennessee, death certificate 488 (1928), Elijah Walker Horton.

 Images
Figure 1. Rhoda Horton in the 1860 census, Anderson County, Tennessee
Abstract:

Rhoda Harton, 29, F, Domestic, b. Tenn.
Eijiah W., 6, M, b. Tenn
Benjamin, 6, M, b. Tenn
George W., 3, M, b. Tenn

Figure 2. Elijah Horton in the 1880 census, Anderson County, Tennessee

Abstract:

Elijah Horton, W, M, 26, b. Tenn
Rhoda Horton, W, F, 47, mother, b. Tenn

Figure 3. Death certificate for Benjamin F. Horton
Abstract:

Name: Bengiman F. Horton
Date of birth: March 13, 1854
Name of father: Richard V. Horton
Maiden name of mother: Rhodia Frost


Death certificate for Elijah Horton

Abstract:

Name: Elijah Walker Horton
Date of birth: March 13, 1854
Name of father: R.D. Horton
Maiden name of mother: Rhoda Frost