Wednesday, March 4, 2015

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 7 - Meet My Mormon Ancestor Charles Coulson Rich and Eliza Ann Graves - Part 4

Update: In an effort to get back on track with the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks and to finish my story about Charles Coulson Rich, my Mormon Pioneer I have decided to repost the previous stories I have written so that (1) the story of Charles and his family will flow better and (2) to present the stories in order.


With the blessing of his first wife, Sarah DeArmon Pea Rich, Charles married as his second wife Eliza Ann Graves on January 2nd, 1845 at the Nauvoo Temple in Nauvoo, Illinois.

Eliza is the daughter of Reuben Graves (1786-1858) and Phoebe Palmer (1788-1858) was born in Waterford, Vermont on June 3rd, 1811. She was a sickly child and because of this she was taught to sew suits by hand by her maternal aunt. In 1832, when her family moved to Erie, Pennsylvania. Eliza and her mother, opened a tailor shop and hired a few apprentices.

It was in Erie when Eliza, her mother and her sister, Mary Palmer Graves were introduced to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints and were baptized into the church. As was custom at the time, Eliza and her mother welcomed church missionaries into their home. On one occasion while caring for a sick elder, Eliza met her future husband who had come to call on the elder. Sometime in 1841, Eliza and her family left Erie and traveled to Nauvoo, Illinois.

By all accounts, Eliza was a small woman standing about five feet, two inches tall and weighed about ninety-eight pounds. She was a successful business woman who ran and operated a sewing business in Erie, Pennsylvania and Nauvoo, Illinois. She hired women and girls as apprentices and taught them her craft.

Eliza and Charles were married on January 2nd, 1845 in Nauvoo. They were sealed to each other forever on February 3rd, 1846 at the new Nauvoo Temple. Charles and Eliza had three daughters. The eldest was Mary Bratton Rich (1846-1931), Eliza Ann Rich (1848-1849) and Frances Phoebe Rich (1850-1932). Mary Bratton Rich has the distinction of being the first polygamous child of her father, Charles Coulson Rich. 

 Left to right are: Eliza Ann Graves Rich, Mary Bratton Rich Linford and Frances Phoebe Rich Collings

Within days of Charles and his family leaving Nauvoo, Eliza gave birth to their daughter, Mary Bratton. With Eliza's history of being sickly Charles made the decision to leave without Eliza and Mary as the rest of the family headed for Winters Quarters, Nebraska. Eliza understood and asked that Charles bless her, which he did, then left her and the baby in her mother's care. 

Once Eliza was strong enough to join Charles and the rest of the family in Nebraska, Mary became very ill. Eliza and her mother endured the violence that was happening in Nauvoo in the summer of 1846. Eliza was taunted and harassed by the citizens of Nauvoo with comments such as Charles had forsaken her and their daughter. Finally on September 3rd, 1846, Eliza, along with her mother and daughter began their journey west and the family reunited.

Eliza Ann Graves Rich died on June 2nd, 1879 in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho at the age of 67. She is the only wife of Charles Coulson Rich to die before he did in 1883.

Sources:
Arrington, Leonard J. Mormon General and Frontiersman (https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE96564&from=fhd) accessed 4 September 2014  page 286 images of the following: Eliza Ann Graves, Mary B Rich Linford and Frances Rich Collings.

Arrington, Leonard J. Mormon General and Frontiersman (https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE96564&from=fhd) accessed 4 September 2014

www.familysearch.org, Eliza Ann Graves Contributed by pandersen3803350 (https://familysearch.org/photos/stories/10489875) accessed on 27 October 2014

Monday, March 2, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 8


Welcome to week eight of the Genealogy Do-Over. Our topics this week are Conducting Collateral Research and Reviewing Offline Education Options. I have learned a lot in the last eight weeks not just from Thomas MacEntee but from the entire Genealogy Do-Over Facebook Group too. 

Conducting Collateral Research

I began actively researching my family and that of my children's paternal family at age 17 while I was living in Montgomery, Alabama. My methods of researching are self taught through the many trial and error approaches of a young woman who didn't have a clue as to what she was doing at that time. However, the one thing I did with every single family and continue to do so now is collateral research.

When I began it never occurred to me to only do my direct line. Where was the fun in that? How would I learn about this grandparent's family and that cousin's family? For me collateral research is paramount to my research of any family. How can you research a family and not research everyone in that family? I can't and it is my own personal bright shiny object (BSO) because I have this overwhelming need to know what happened to each member of the family. I believe this need comes from not only nosiness but also because I am adoptee. It is a powerful need in me to find out as much as possible for every member in the family I am researching. 

My Mom has two siblings while my Dad only has one. Researching their siblings and their respective spouses was an easy choice to make. I have included all of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as well. I have also researched my three brother in laws and my sister in law's families as well. For me this is a labor of love for my family.

My plan now is that I will continue conducting collateral research but I am going to try to keep it on a smaller scale. By smaller scale I mean that I will not necessarily do collateral research on every single family member in my tree such as a 3rd cousin 3 times removed, which is something I tend to do. That being said if I find a family or individual who I think is interesting or if their story is one that I cannot let go of then I will follow it right down the rabbit hole and see where it will take me.

Reviewing Offline Education Options

I would have loved the opportunity to attend a university that offered a degree in family history or genealogy. I didn't know that was even possible when I was in high school in the late 1970's. I would love to be able to attend a genealogy conference or attend a week long "intensive" institute class but right now that is not possible but I hope it will be in the future. 

I have in the past taken an online course through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies at the University of Toronto as well. For now I will continue to take advantage of courses offered online by Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree University and individual webinars that are offered by our fearless leader, Thomas MacEntee in the form of "boot camps".

In the meantime, I am yearning for more advanced classes with a more "hands on experience" or a "in the trenches" approach in certain areas of genealogical research. I will keep tabs on all genealogical educational opportunities by using Google alerts especially in the states where I do the most research. I am also actively looking for genealogy and/or historical society opportunities to further my genealogy education.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 6 - My Mormon Pioneer Charles Coulson Rich and Sarah DeArmon Pea - Part 3

Update: In an effort to get back on track with the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks and to finish my story about Charles Coulson Rich, my Mormon Pioneer I have decided to repost the previous stories I have written so that (1) the story of Charles and his family will flow better and (2) to present the stories in order.


The above image is of a young Charles Coulson Rich. This image is from The Annual Reunion of the Charles Coulson Rich Family 1965 and contributed to www.familysearch.org by Paul D. Peery.

In my previous post of Charles Coulson Rich, I tried to give a broad overview of his life and the events that happened in his life once he had converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. I had intended for the next post in this series to be about Charles and his first wife, Sarah DeArmon Pea. However, I feel it is necessary to finish with Charles first and then continue with each wife and that individual family.

Charles fled Missouri in November 1838 after the Battle of Crooked River and went to Quincy, Illinois. Upon his arrival in Quincy, Charles stayed with the family of George Crouch.  Charles rented a farm just outside of Quincy known at The Old Methodist Institute. Charles soon realized that the farm he had rented could not support his growing family. The small family returned to the home of George Crouch where they rented a room. Charles continued to work on the farm he rented and hired out to do jobs like rail splitting. 

Charles and his family were in poverty at this point in time. Having fled Missouri with almost nothing but the clothes on their back and what items they could carry or take in a single wagon. They were not alone, everyone who had fled were in similar circumstances. In the past they had looked to the leaders of the Church, their Prophet Joseph Smith and other high ranking church members for economic and spiritual support. Most of these officials were still imprisoned in Missouri. The community of Quincy did what they could to help the Mormon community by hiring the men to work in whatever jobs they had.

In April of 1839, the leaders of the Church were released from prison. These leaders began looking for options as to where they might could settle next without fear of being forced to flee yet again. They found Commerce, Illinois about 50 miles from Quincy. Here the church purchased land and Charles once again became involved in the building of new community. He would purchase a plot of land and build a log cabin home for his family. The town of Commerce became Nauvoo in April 1940.

On July 12, 1843, Prophet Joseph Smith reveals principle of plural marriage and the eternity of the marriage covenant. Charles and Sarah were told of the doctrine and it was understood that Charles was being urged to enter into choosing plural marriages. However, Sarah DeArmon Pea Rich was his first wife and the final decision as to whether Charles would have plural wives was hers. If she did not agree with the proposed idea of plural marriage then Charles would most likely would not have taken any other wives. On the other hand if Sarah did agree then Charles would then seek out an additional wife or wives. 

As it turned out, Sarah did agree with the idea of plural marriages and went so far as to help her husband choose who his future wives should be. It would be almost two years before Charles would take a new wife. In 1845, Charles would wed Eliza Ann Graves (2nd wife), Mary Ann Phelps (3rd wife) and Sarah Jane Peck (4th wife) over an eight day period between January 2, 1845 and January 9, 1845 at the Nauvoo Temple. On February 2, 1846 he wed Emeline Grover, his 5th wife. He married Harriet Sargent on March 28, 1847 in Winter Quarters, Nebraska as his 6th and final wife. Both Emeline and Harriet were 14 years old when they married Charles.

Charles Coulson Rich had six wives. Above are five of them. From left to right are Sarah DeArmon Pea, middle top is Mary Ann Phelps, middle bottom is Emeline Grover, top right is Sarah Jane Peck and lower right is Harriet Sargent.

Several events transpired in 1844 that accelerated the tensions between the Mormon and non-Mormon communities. The Nauvoo Expositor, was a newspaper published by former members of the Church who were critical of Joseph Smith. There was only one paper printed by The Nauvoo Expositor on June 7, 1844. On June 10, 1844 Joseph Smith orders the destruction of the newspaper office and printer. Eight days later, on June 18, 1844 Joseph Smith, who was also the mayor of Nauvoo at the time declared martial law and activates the Nauvoo Legion, the city's militia. An arrest warrant was issued for Joseph and his brother Hyrum. They agree to a trial in Carthage, Illinois Joseph and Hyrum were jailed and awaiting trial. Then three days later, on June 24th the Carthage jail was attacked by mob. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed and no one was ever charged with their murder. These events would pull Charles in and alter his world yet again. 

Stay tuned for the rest of Charles Coulson Rich's story and those of his wives and their respective families. If you missed the first two posts you can find them here http://dawninggenealogy.blogspot.com/2015/02/52-ancestors-in-52-weeks-week-4-meet-my.html and here http://dawninggenealogy.blogspot.com/2015/02/52-ancestors-in-52-weeks-week-5-my.html.

Sources:
Ancestry.com. LDS Pioneer and Handcart Companies, 1847-1856 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com, 2013.

Ancestry.com. Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1848 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

Arrington, Leonard J. Mormon General and Frontiersman (https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE96564&from=fhd) accessed 4 September 2014

Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Chronology of Church History Timeline (https://history.lds.org/timeline/tabular/chronology-of-church-history?lang=eng) accessed 10 September 2014.

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/132?lang=eng) accessed 15 September 2014 

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, 2002 Official Declaration 1 Manifesto (https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/official-declarations/official-declaration-1-manifesto?lang=eng) accessed 15 September 2014

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Plural Marriages and Families in Early Utah (https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-and-families-in-early-utah?lang=eng) accessed 15 September 2014 

Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual, (2003), 211-234, Chapter Seventeen: Refugee in Illinois (https://www.lds.org/manual/church-history-in-the-fulness-of-times-student-manual/chapter-seventeen-refuge-in-illinois?lang=eng) accessed 10 Sep 2014

Cole, Zula Rich. Pioneer Joseph Rich 1786-1866 Father of Charles Coulson Rich

Peery, Paul Davis, Family Search.org, digital image, (https://www.familysearch.org//photos/images/3815740 : accessed 15 September 2014), photograph, "Annual Reunion of the Charles Coulson Rich Family Utah State University Campus & LDS Institute - August 13-14, 1965

PBS.org "Timeline: The Early History of the Mormons" (http://www.pbs.org/mormons/timeline/timeline2.html) accessed 10 September 2014)

Rich, Emeline Grover (1831-1917),City of San Bernadino California Library Services, (http://www.sbcity.org/cityhall/library/services/history/pioneers/p_r/rich_e.asp) accessed 30 September 2014

Rich, Harriet Sargent (1832-1915), City of San Bernadino California Library Services, (http://www.sbcity.org/cityhall/library/services/history/pioneers/p_r/rich_h.asp) accessed 30 September 2014

Rich, Mary Ann Phelps, (1829-1912), City of San Bernadino California Library Services, (http://www.sbcity.org/images/departments/library/csb_jpg/csb_130.jpg) accessed 30 September 2014

Rich, Sarah DeArmon Pea, (1814-1893), The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch.org Contributed by deeanhicks1 (https://familysearch.org/photos/images/224244?p=90846) accessed 15 September 2014

Rich, Sarah Jane Peck, (1825-1893), The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch.org Contributed by  RobertNelsonWestover (https://familysearch.org/photos/images/755662) accessed on 15 September 2014
  Wikipedia contributors, "Chronology of Mormonism," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chronology_of_Mormonism&oldid=623891857 (accessed 10 September 2014). 

Wikipedia contributors. "Battle of Crooked River." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Sep. 2014.  

Wikipedia contributors. "Charles C. Rich." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 Sep. 2014. Web. 11 Sep. 2014. 

Copyright © Dawn M Kogutkiewicz 2014-2015, All rights reserved.

Monday, February 23, 2015

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 5 - My Mormon Pioneer: Charles Coulson Rich Part 2

Update: In an effort to get back on track with the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks and to finish my story about Charles Coulson Rich, my Mormon Pioneer I have decided to repost the previous stories I have written so that (1) the story of Charles and his family will flow better and (2) to present the stories in order.

A pictorial version of the Route of the Mormon Pioneers from Nauvoo to Great Salt Lake.

In my previous post of Charles Coulson Rich, I tried to give a broad overview of his life and the events that happened in his life once he had converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. I had intended for the next post in this series to be about Charles and his first wife, Sarah DeArmon Pea. However, I feel it is necessary to finish with Charles first and then continue with each wife and that individual family.

Charles fled Missouri in November 1838 after the Battle of Crooked River and went to Quincy, Illinois. Upon his arrival in Quincy, Charles stayed with the family of George Crouch.  Charles rented a farm just outside of Quincy known at The Old Methodist Institute. Charles soon realized that the farm he had rented could not support his growing family. The small family returned to the home of George Crouch where they rented a room. Charles continued to work on the farm he rented and hired out to do jobs like rail splitting. 

Charles and his family were in poverty at this point in time. Having fled Missouri with almost nothing but the clothes on their back and what items they could carry or take in a single wagon. They were not alone, everyone who had fled were in similar circumstances. In the past they had looked to the leaders of the Church, their Prophet Joseph Smith and other high ranking church members for economic and spiritual support. Most of these officials were still imprisoned in Missouri. The community of Quincy did what they could to help the Mormon community by hiring the men to work in whatever jobs they had.

In April of 1839, the leaders of the Church were released from prison. These leaders began looking for options as to where they might could settle next without fear of being forced to flee yet again. They found Commerce, Illinois about 50 miles from Quincy. Here the church purchased land and Charles once again became involved in the building of new community. He would purchase a plot of land and build a log cabin home for his family. The town of Commerce became Nauvoo in April 1940.

On July 12, 1843, Prophet Joseph Smith reveals principle of plural marriage and the eternity of the marriage covenant. Charles and Sarah were told of the doctrine and it was understood that Charles was being urged to enter into choosing plural marriages. However, Sarah DeArmon Pea Rich was his first wife and the final decision as to whether Charles would have plural wives was hers. If she did not agree with the proposed idea of plural marriage then Charles would most likely would not have taken any other wives. On the other hand if Sarah did agree then Charles would then seek out an additional wife or wives. 

As it turned out, Sarah did agree with the idea of plural marriages and went so far as to help her husband choose who his future wives should be. It would be almost two years before Charles would take a new wife. In 1845, Charles would wed Eliza Ann Graves (2nd wife), Mary Ann Phelps (3rd wife) and Sarah Jane Peck (4th wife) over an eight day period between January 2, 1845 and January 9, 1845 at the Nauvoo Temple. On February 2, 1846 he wed Emeline Grover, his 5th wife. He married Harriet Sargent on March 28, 1847 in Winter Quarters, Nebraska as his 6th and final wife. Both Emeline and Harriet were 14 years old when they married Charles.

Charles Coulson Rich had six wives. Above are five of them. From left to right are Sarah DeArmon Pea, middle top is Mary Ann Phelps, middle bottom is Emeline Grover, top right is Sarah Jane Peck and lower right is Harriet Sargent.

Several events transpired in 1844 that accelerated the tensions between the Mormon and non-Mormon communities. The Nauvoo Expositor, was a newspaper published by former members of the Church who were critical of Joseph Smith. There was only one paper printed by The Nauvoo Expositor on June 7, 1844. On June 10, 1844 Joseph Smith orders the destruction of the newspaper office and printer. Eight days later, on June 18, 1844 Joseph Smith, who was also the mayor of Nauvoo at the time declared martial law and activates the Nauvoo Legion, the city's militia. An arrest warrant was issued for Joseph and his brother Hyrum. They agree to a trial in Carthage, Illinois Joseph and Hyrum were jailed and awaiting trial. Then three days later, on June 24th the Carthage jail was attacked by mob. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed and no one was ever charged with their murder. These events would pull Charles in and alter his world yet again. 

Stay tuned for the rest of Charles Coulson Rich's story and those of his wives and their respective families.

Sources:
Ancestry.com. LDS Pioneer and Handcart Companies, 1847-1856 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com, 2013.

Ancestry.com. Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1848 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

Arrington, Leonard J. Mormon General and Frontiersman https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE96564&from=fhd :  accessed 4 September 2014

Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Chronology of Church History Timeline https://history.lds.org/timeline/tabular/chronology-of-church-history?lang=eng : accessed 10 September 2014.

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/132?lang=eng : accessed 15 September 2014

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, 2002 Official Declaration 1 Manifesto (https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/official-declarations/official-declaration-1-manifesto?lang=eng) accessed 15 September 2014

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Plural Marriages and Families in Early Utah https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-and-families-in-early-utah?lang=eng) accessed 15 September 2014 

Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual, (2003), 211-234, Chapter Seventeen: Refugee in Illinois https://www.lds.org/manual/church-history-in-the-fulness-of-times-student-manual/chapter-seventeen-refuge-in-illinois?lang=eng : accessed 10 September 2014

Cole, Zula Rich. Pioneer Joseph Rich 1786-1866 Father of Charles Coulson Rich

PBS.org "Timeline: The Early History of the Mormons" http://www.pbs.org/mormons/timeline/timeline2.html : accessed 10 September 2014)

Rich, Emeline Grover (1831-1917),City of San Bernadino California Library Services, http://www.sbcity.org/cityhall/library/services/history/pioneers/p_r/rich_e.asp : accessed 30 September 2014

Rich, Harriet Sargent (1832-1915), City of San Bernadino California Library Services, http://www.sbcity.org/cityhall/library/services/history/pioneers/p_r/rich_h.asp : accessed 30 September 2014

Rich, Mary Ann Phelps, (1829-1912), City of San Bernadino California Library Services, http://www.sbcity.org/images/departments/library/csb_jpg/csb_130.jpg : accessed 30 September 2014

Rich, Sarah DeArmon Pea, (1814-1893), The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch.org Contributed by deeanhicks1 https://familysearch.org/photos/images/224244?p=90846 : accessed 15 September 2014

Rich, Sarah Jane Peck, (1825-1893), The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch.org Contributed by  RobertNelsonWestover https://familysearch.org/photos/images/755662 : accessed on 15 September 2014

Wikipedia contributors, "Chronology of Mormonism," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chronology_of_Mormonism&oldid=623891857  : accessed 10 September 2014). 



Route of the Morman Pioneers from Nauvoo to Great Salt Lake, February 1846-July 1847 Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. 20540-4650  (Digital ID-g4051s ct001119 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g4051s.ct00111) LOC Catalog Number gm69002272 http://www.loc.gov/item/gm69002272/ : accessed 15 September 2014

Wikipedia contributors. "Battle of Crooked River." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Crooked_River : accessed  11 September 2014.  

Wikipedia contributors. "Charles C. Rich." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_C._Rich : 10 September 2014.

Copyright © Dawn M Kogutkiewicz 2014-2015, All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 7


This week in our Genealogy Do-Over are topics are (1) reviewing genealogy database software and (2) digitizing photos and documents. When I first signed up for the Genealogy Do-Over I started reviewing and sampling other genealogy software because I have used nothing but Family Tree Maker (aka FTM) since 1998 but did purchase Legacy 8 last year too. I am not a technology wizard, far from it in fact! I do better when I can read a manual or have one on one training. Instruction videos definitely help but not always.

Now if I could design a software program for genealogy, I would take all my favorite aspects of the genealogy software I have been looking at these last several weeks and combine them into one program. As well as adding a few extra ideas. Unfortunately, I am technically challenged when it comes to designing computer software. That being said, lets take a look at the programs I have been looking at.

Genealogy Software Review

Family Tree Maker (FTM) - 

Considering I have been using FTM software since 1998 I felt that I was between intermediate and advanced in my understanding of FTM. In 2012, I purchased and updated to the newest version of FTM. From the get go I had problems with that version. It took me two days to get the software to load properly. There were unusually long response times and a host of other issues. 

When I called Ancestry's FTM Help Desk, I was repeatedly told in polite yet condescending tones that the problem was "operator error". By "operator error" I mean that instead of taking the few extra minutes to actually determine "why" I was having problem(s) or to ask specific question(s) two things would happen. The first thing I would be asked was for my email address. Then I would be asked what they could do help. After a short and brief conversation I was told "we are sending you a link as to how to fix the problem(s). I can't begin to explain how frustrating that was especially for someone like me who spent my entire adult life in the customer service industry.

Fast forward two years to 2014. Once again, I upgraded to the newest and latest version of FTM 2014. I got so frustrated with constant freezing and hung up in "la-la land" that I decided I wanted purchase Legacy 8 (aka L-8). Of course my impatience at learning something new got the better of me and I I went back to FTM. I had hoped that it would not be a repeat of FTM 2012. There were indeed some improvements and the synch factor between Ancestry.com and FTM was definitely an improvement. But I still wasn't a happy camper!

Here are my pros and cons for Family Tree Maker:

  • Pros
    • Importing/Exporting of documents, photos & videos in multiple formats
    • Synch feature between Ancestry.com & FTM
    • Fairly easy to use
    • Merging of duplicate people
    • Smart Story feature 
    • Import/Export of Gedcoms
    • Import/Export of Reports in PDF format
  • Cons
    • Technical support for FTM is not great
    • No color coding availability
    • No mobile app for FTM per se but Ancestry.com app is available but not great - constantly freezes on my new Android phone & tablet
    • I continue to get "not responding" 
    • It gets hung up in "la-la land" even though I am using Mozilla's Firefox web browser which is recommended by Ancestry.com and FTM Help Desk

Legacy 8 (L-8)-

After a frustrating day with FTM last year I decided to purchase Legacy 8 Deluxe rather than go for the standard free version. I am bells and whistles kind of gal even if it takes me a while to figure them all out! The reviews were great and I thought it would be a welcome change. It has not been easy for me to learn but between the instructional videos and the manual I am progressing slowly but that is okay. Although I am still learning all the ins and outs of L-8, I am confident that I will get more comfortable as time goes on. I don't really have a list of cons for L-8 but here is my pros list

  • Pros
    • Importing/Exporting of documents, photos
    • Color coding features
    • Standard version is Free
    • Import/Export of Gedcoms
    • View different families simultaneously in multiple windows (up to 6 I believe)
    • Additional programs that can be purchased as add on's such as Legacy Charting Companion and Genelines
    • Calendar features
    • Record DNA test results
    • Import/Export of Reports in PDF format
    • Mobile Version available for Android, i-Phone, i-Pad, i-Touch & Windows
What I Plan to Do - 

I am going to use Legacy 8 for my Genealogy Do-Over. However, I will continue to use Family Tree Maker 2014 until I have completed a brand new "Master" tree using Legacy 8. Once that is complete I will reevaluate the pros and cons of keeping Family Tree Maker 2014. Considering my "Master" tree in Family Tree Maker has more than 94,000 people, 14,000 plus photos, more than 4,200 stories and nearly 100,000 records attached this is going to take an incredible amount of time. 

I estimate that 96% of my duplicate persons/families has been either merged or deleted by me. I have been working on deleting duplicate photographs but making sure that all individuals are still attached to said photographs. A very time consuming process I might add. I would estimate that nearly 90% of my stories have their source citations in the story itself but that I did not create an actual source citation in that individual's profile.

As I build my new and improved tree in Legacy 8, I am working in stages. The first stage is to add each family member with their supporting evidence and properly citing the sources. The second stage is to add photographs with proper source citations. Finally in stage three I will add narratives, stories and interviews with proper source citations.

Digitizing Photos and Documents -

I have a Canon Pixma MG-5420 printer/scanner that I love! I have learned a lot about scanning formats from our Facebook discussions and from fellow genealogy blogs. I have reset the scanner to high resolution rather than standard as well as resetting the format from JPEG files to TIFF files. From here on out I will hopefully have a better class of photos. It is not possible for me to rescan many of my photos but I wonder if there is anything I can do about that? I will have to consult with Miriam Robbins and Thomas MacEntee on that thought. (Question posted to Genealogy Do-Over page at Facebook)

Photos - DIY or Use a Professional Service?

Over the years I have saved photos to floppy discs, cd disks and flash drives in more recent years.  

I don't currently use a mobile scanner such as Flip-Pal but I do put my cell phone and tablet to good use by photographing documents to attach to my research extracts and/or notes for said document whenever possible. Some libraries and archives are very particular about this so I always ask before doing so. 

I have never considered using a professional service (other than for having film developed) for my photos or documents. There are many reasons but the top ones would be cost? fear of losing the photo or document in transit from me to the service and back to me and fear of damage to the original (or further damage). This is something I will have to research at a later date and have added to to my list. 

Documents - How to Convert Image Test to Searchable Text 

I will begin this section with are you kidding me? I didn't know such a thing was possible! I have learned a lot in the last seven weeks. I have learned new computer skills as well as  new research skills. I have saved the link for "How to Convert Images and PDF Files to Editable Text" to my Genealogy Toolbox in Evernote for future reference.

Next week we will be discussing Conducting Collateral Research which I am curious to see if I have been using in the proper context. We will also be Reviewing Offline Education Options.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 6



Well week 6 of the 2015 Genealogy Do-Over is nearly over and I believe that puts us at the half way point as well but don't trust my math! A lot of good information has been shared by everyone.  There have been many conversations that have taken place on our group page on Facebook too. All in all I am very grateful to be part of this project. Thank you Thomas MacEntee for sharing your vision of the Genealogy Do-Over with the rest of us!

Let's begin! This week our topics are evaluating evidence and reviewing online education options. I can honestly say that I will probably never look at another piece of evidence again without going through a these questions.

Questions to ask when evaluating a piece of genealogic evidence:

What is the source type? 
Is it original or derivative?  
What is the clarity of the evidence? 
Is it clear? 
Readable? 
Handwritten or Typed? 
Has the information been altered on the document? 
What is the type of the information? 
Is it primary? secondary? or unknown?  
What type of evidence is it? 
Is it direct? or is it indirect? 
What is the condition of the evidence? Is it intact? Is it damaged? 
Is there any conflicting information?  

The Evaluating Process:


This is the death certificate for Henry Kitts, my children's 3rd great paternal grandfather. Let's see if I can answer all of my questions.  

My Analysis:

Death certificate for Henry Kitts. This is a derivative piece of evidence as it is a digital copy of the original on file with the state of Tennessee. I do not consider this document to be clear due to the handwriting. It is readable for the most part. It is handwritten and does not appear to be altered in any way but there a few faded numerical notations for which I do not know the meaning. This would be direct evidence with of Henry's date and location of his death along with other explicit information stated on the document. The document is in fair condition and does not appear to be damaged. There maybe potential conflicting information regarding who his mother is but at this time it is still an unanswered question. How did I do Thomas?

Online Education Options: 

Over the last four years I have been participating in online webinars through Legacy Family Tree, Ancestry and Family Tree University. Some of these courses were beginning and some have been intermediate in the levels. I have been looking for more intermediate and advanced courses to take to further my advancement in genealogy. I would really like to become a certified genealogist. So what am I going to do further my education?

Well, I have signed up for webinars at Legacy Family Tree on topics that I am self taught in so that I can compare my way versus the standard way. I plan to participate in webinars offered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They have webinars in History Library Catalog and Services, Genealogy Program Introduction, Guide to I & N History Research and "Records Found" Case Studies. These classes are first come, first served and you can find more information at (http://www.uscis.gov/HGWebinars#HistoryLibraryCatalogServices).

I am also considering the home study courses available through National Genealogical Society. I have looked at the requirements for becoming a Board Certified Genealogist at http://www.bcgcertification.org/ . There are a few areas of genealogy research where I need to improve my skills (ie: court house research) so I will be using their skill building articles to help further educate myself. I understand that Ancestry.com is planning to introduce Ancestry Academy this year so I will be watching for more announcements from them. I am also considering looking into ProGen for 2016 or early 2017. In the meantime, I am also looking for classes presented by the states where I spend the most time researching (Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carlina and South Carolina) which are presented by state or county historical societies.

Ready for Week 7!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Death of Our Son - The Conclusion


The Funeral...

Kenny's Mass of the Resurrection was held at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church on February 12th, 2000. It is a fairly large church and it was nearly full with family and friends to say their last good-byes to a life that was ended too soon. 

The ushers handed out the programs to everyone as they entered the church. The picture to the left is the front page of the funeral program. 

I couldn't believe all the people that were there especially after seeing so many the night before. There were so many faces I did not know.  One young man was wearing his Coast Guard blues. I stopped to ask him why he chose to wear his dress blues. He told me that Kenny was a very good friend and he was honoring him by wearing his blues. Nearly everyone who attend the Mass also followed us to he cemetery. As Fr. David said the burial rites for Kenny it began to snow. 

A Father's Eulogy

"Kenny Kitts is my first born son. He is special in my heart, I am proud of who he is in his short life. I love him very much. Last night I saw many of Kenny's friends - new faces and old faces. There was a lot of sorrow. Kenny would laugh and smile and tell us not to be afraid... When I learned of Kenny's death, I was afraid. I was afraid of what lay ahead. I was afraid I would not see him, talk with him, or hold him. Last night I spoke with Father David and I listened to his words. I am no longer afraid. I will see Kenny again. Father David talked of winter. When I think of winter I remember traveling in a U-haul truck with Kenny as a newborn baby and his mother. We did not have a penny in our pocket. Kenny lay asleep in a basket on the floor of the truck. When we pulled up in front of Bill & Nina's house we knew we were home. He used to make fun of me - moving slowly in the mornings. As I get old and my body fails, Kenny will be forever young - I envy him. I ask parents here today - Tell your children you love them - Tell them everyday. Those of you who knew Kenny, I ask you to come to me and Kenny's mother and tell us a story about Kenny. We want to know. If you don't tell us, we will never know. In closing, when I spoke with Kenny last, he expressed how proud he was of his brother David. Kenny was looking forward to David going to college at Myrtle Beach this fall. Kenny was looking forward to cruising the beach with his brother. Thank you all for coming and being a part of Kenny's life."

David's Last Gift...

David said he wanted to sing at his brother's funeral. I asked him why, and his reply was "because it is the last thing that I can do for him.". Those few words made me love our son even more than I already did and made me very proud of the courage he found to do this for his brother. 

I was worried that he would not be able to finish the song in it's entirety so we had Kathy Martinek singing with him just in case. Kathy has been a family friend for more than 30 years and she along with a few other close family friends provided the music for Kenny's funeral. 

The song that David chose to sing was "Here I Am, Lord" which was composed by Daniel L. Schutte and the words from Isaiah 6:8, " Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" "Here I am," I said; "send me!" and 1 Samuel 3 (the whole chapter). 

I am very fortunate that our church was in the habit of recording their Masses (at that time) because someone thought to turn on the recording device. I now have my son's entire Funeral Mass on a cassette tape, including the music, the Homily, the eugoly's and David's gift of song. I would very much like to find someone who can convert the cassette tape to a digital format for me.

Cause of Death...

Weeks went by before I would learn the cause of Kenny's death. Finally one day I got a phone call from the detective who was responsible for the investigation into Kenny's death. He had the toxicology report and it wasn't good. The cause of death was accidental methadone poisoning. There was enough methadone in his system to kill at least ten people according to the report. I don't believe that he did this voluntarily to himself but we will never know what happened the night before or the morning of his death.

How is it even possible that he was poisoned? Methadone is a synthetic opioid. It is used to treat heroin addicts and for severe pain management. Here in the United States it is a very restricted drug and is only available through a methadone treatment facility or a pain management specialist. 

Kenny wasn't perfect and he had made some bad choices. He learned from his choices and he was finally getting his life back on track. He had a plan and that plan was forever crushed on that February day in 2000. He had been clean and sober for two years. 

Visit's to the Cemetery...

That first year I went to the cemetery several times a week. Mostly during my lunch hour. I would go there to eat my lunch and talk to Kenny. I had so many unanswered questions about his death and so many things that we never got to say but most importantly it was my way of saying goodbye. When his 20th birthday came in October that year we released balloon's to celebrate and had a family dinner at Olive Garden, Kenny's favorite restaurant. I also found a six pack of beer that year around his birthday which told me his friends visited too. 

Over the years my visits have become fewer but I visit as often as I can and I don't miss a holiday or his birthday. I still find an occasional six pack around his birthday and someone keeps putting flowers there besides me. This only serves to remind me that while Kenny has been gone for 15 years now, he is not forgotten. 

A Mother's Love...

A mother's love doesn't begin at birth nor does it end in death, it continues on no matter how long your child has been gone. The loss of a child is profound. Your world is irrevocably changed beyond anything you can imagine. You have to gather up the pieces of your life and hope that you can put them back the way they were. It is only then that you realize that the death of your child has left a hole in your heart and soul that can never be filled again even though you try. No parent should ever have to bury their child.

Kenny was full of life, he had a great personality, he was charming, he had a gorgeous smile that was framed in dimples, he had a heart the size of the Grand Canyon but most of all he loved his family and friends with everything he had. He will never find the love of his life, never have a family of his own and the world just isn't the same without him in it. I remember a quote by A.A. Milne as said by Winnie the Pooh, "as soon as I saw you I knew an adventure was going to happen.". This is one of my favorite quotes and it reminds me that while Kenny is no longer here with us, he is indeed on a great adventure in heaven. 

15 Years later...

Kenny was 19 years, 3 months and 30 days old on the day he died. He was full of life and there was so much he wanted to do in his life. However, all of that was abruptly taken away on that fateful day in February of 2000. There is not a single day that I don't think of Kenny. I miss that smile, I miss his beautiful dark chocolate brown eyes and the sound of his laugh. I miss his personality, his sense of humor and the big goofball he could be at times. I miss hearing "I love you Momma" and his hand going into the sign for I love you in American Sign Language.  Kenny was in kindergarten when he learned the American Sign Language sign for I love you and from that day until the last day I saw him, he would say I love you, Momma and give me that sign.

Kenny, David and I loved going to the movies. It didn't matter whether we were watching videos at home or on television or in a movie theater it didn't matter. They would purposely scare me in a horror movie or tease me unmercifully for crying when Mr. Spock died in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan or for crying at Christmas commercials.

There are days when I feel his presence around me and I feel fortunate on those days because it is like he is checking up on me. There are times when Tommy or I will look at the clock and it will read 10:10 (am or pm doesn't matter - his birthday is 10/10) and we look at each other and say, "what now Kenny?" 

I know that Kenny is okay with this series of posts about his death and the aftermath our family had to endure and overcome. I think he would say to me, "It's about time, Momma!".

This is the end of this series about the death of our son, Kenneth George "Kenny" Kitts. Thank you everyone for the kindness you have shown by reading this series. Your wonderful thoughts and words mean so much to me. Thank you for allowing me to tell and share Kenny's story.



This is the last family picture that Tommy, David, Kenny and I would have taken before he died. It was taken on September 18th 1999 at my sister Susie's wedding.