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: LDS Pioneer and Handcart Companies, 1847-1856 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:, 2013. Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1848 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

Arrington, Leonard J. Mormon General and Frontiersman :  accessed 4 September 2014

Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Chronology of Church History Timeline : accessed 10 September 2014.

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132 ( : accessed 15 September 2014

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, 2002 Official Declaration 1 Manifesto ( accessed 15 September 2014

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Plural Marriages and Families in Early Utah accessed 15 September 2014 

Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual, (2003), 211-234, Chapter Seventeen: Refugee in Illinois : accessed 10 September 2014

Cole, Zula Rich. Pioneer Joseph Rich 1786-1866 Father of Charles Coulson Rich "Timeline: The Early History of the Mormons" : accessed 10 September 2014)

Rich, Emeline Grover (1831-1917),City of San Bernadino California Library Services, : accessed 30 September 2014

Rich, Harriet Sargent (1832-1915), City of San Bernadino California Library Services, : accessed 30 September 2014

Rich, Mary Ann Phelps, (1829-1912), City of San Bernadino California Library Services, : accessed 30 September 2014

Rich, Sarah DeArmon Pea, (1814-1893), The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Contributed by deeanhicks1 : accessed 15 September 2014

Rich, Sarah Jane Peck, (1825-1893), The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Contributed by  RobertNelsonWestover : accessed on 15 September 2014

Wikipedia contributors, "Chronology of Mormonism," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,  : 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 LOC Catalog Number gm69002272 : accessed 15 September 2014

Wikipedia contributors. "Battle of Crooked River." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. : accessed  11 September 2014.  

Wikipedia contributors. "Charles C. Rich." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, : 10 September 2014.

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

Friday, February 20, 2015

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 10 - Meet My Mormon Pioneer Charles Coulson Rich

Update: Apparently in my 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 made a grave error. I just realized that I failed to post part one of the story! My apologies everyone!

The photo above of Charles G. Rich, was done by photographer C. R. Savage, Fine Art Bazar, Salt Lake City, Utah (1875-1883).

Meet my Mormon Pioneer, Charles Coulson Rich. He was truly a pioneer and frontiersman.

Charles is the son of Joseph Rich (1786-1866) and Nancy O'Neil (1782-1847). I will be telling Charles's story over a period of a few weeks due to the amount of information I have gathered on his life and family.

He was born in Big Bone, Kentucky on August 21, 1809. Within two years of his birth the family would move to Switzerland County, Indiana. Here the family resides until 1829 when Joseph moves the family west to Illinois. 

The Rich family arrives in Tazewell County, Illinois on October 7, 1829. Charles is ready to start his own life. He has been trained as copper, able to make and/or repair barrels and casks. However, Joseph and Nancy are reluctant to let him go out on his own. He spends the winter of 1829-1830 teaching reading, writing and arithmetic.

By the spring of 1830, Joseph and the family have settled at Farm Creek, Illinois. They were not far from Fort George Rogers Clark (now present day Peoria, Illinois). The Rich family had only a handful of friends at this time. These were the families of Morris Phelps and Sanford Porter, Sr. They were very influential men in Charles's life.

In 1831, it would be Morris Phelps who tells Charles about the Book of Mormon and the Prophet. Charles yearns to learn more about this new religion. 

In 1832, two Mormon missionaries appeared in the community in which Charles and his family lived. After learning more information from these missionaries, Charles, his parents and his sister Minerva were all baptized on April 1, 1832 into the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints. His sisters, Artemisia, Jane and Nancy would all be baptized into the Church not long after this.

On May 7, 1832 Charles and two Mormon Elders, Zebedee Coltrin and Solomon Wixom set out for Kirtland, Ohio. Along the way they stopped in other Mormon communities and on May 16, 1832 in Fountain County, Indiana that Elders Coltrin and Wixom ordained Charles as an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints.

Not only is Charles a new convert but he also a new preacher and new elder. On their trip east to Kirtland, Charles would preach his first sermon. As the men continued on their journey they would stop at other communities of the Mormon Church preaching and visiting. They finally reached Kirtland in June 1832.

Charles would be in Kirtland, Ohio for roughly six weeks. During this time Charles would attend various church meetings. Not long after his arrival in Kirtland Charles received a recommendation of good standing. This recommendation was comprised of other members of the Church mainly Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons who would judge him on his morals and Christian accomplishments. He was found worthy of the testimonials he received and was granted a certificate stating that was a regularly ordained Elder of the Church which recommended him as a man of God and friend to mankind for all people. This must have been quite an honor to have been so graciously accepted! Especially since he had only been baptized two months prior and ordained an Elder a month earlier.

Charles and Solomon Wixom would leave Kirtland in August 1, 1832 and would stop in Cleveland and Steubenville, Ohio and what is now Wheeling, West Virginia. From Wheeling they would travel by steamboat to Cincinnati, Ohio. After one day in Cincinnati, Charles would then take another steamboat to Sun Rise, Indiana where he stayed for two months. While there he visited with family and friends, as Sun Rise was not far from where he grew up.

Charles would arrive home in Illinois on  October 23, 1832. During the remainder of 1832 and for next several years, Charles stayed in Illinois working the family farm, planting and harvesting crops as well as putting his training as a cooper were put to good use building barrels, tubs, casks and buckets. He also had his religious duties to attend to as well. 

During this time, Charles's sisters would all marry. His sister Artemisia had married Jesse Atwater Wixom in April of 1831. Artemisia and Jesse would raise their family in LaSalle County, Illinois; sister Minerva would marry Asa Colton Earl in January of 1834 but died shortly after the birth of her daughter, Nancy Minerva Earl in 1840. In November 1837, his sister Jane Ann married Hervey Green; sister Nancy would marry in February of 1837 to John President Porter and both of these sisters and their families, and their parents would follow their brother to Utah. 

In 1836, it was clear that those of the Mormon Faith and those who were not could coexist peacefully. A proposal was made by the Missouri state legislature in which Caldwell County was created in northwest Missouri. However, with thousands of converts flocking to Caldwell County they soon out grew their county boundaries.

In July and September of 1838 Charles and his father, Joseph bought land in Caldwell County, Missouri. According to land records they were co-owners of the property. Together they built a home for the family and one for Charles and his bride, Sarah DeArmon Pea. Charles was a leader in the Mormon community in Caldwell. 

On election day, in August 1838 a brawl broke out in Gallatin between members of the Church and members of the community. The local community militia began patrolling the area as did the Church militia. The tensions between the two groups continued to escalate on into October of 1838. Then on the night of October 24, 1838, was the Battle of Crooked River. John Lockhart, a Missouri sentry shot Patrick O'Bannion, a scout for the Mormons. He would later die from the wound.Charles was on of the leaders who would lead the charge on the militia camp. These last few days of October saw the tensions rise even higher resulting in Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs to order the Missouri militia to war with the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints and to issue an Extermination Order on October 27, 1838. The extermination order reads in part,

" and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this State ... the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond all description."

By November of 1838, Charles fled from Missouri to avoid being arrested for his involvement at the Battle of Crooked River. He left his wife Sarah behind. Eventually with the help of her father, John Pea she left Missouri. She was not in good health and made the trip to the Mississippi confined to wagon. When Charles learned that Sarah had finally arrived on the shore of the Mississippi he crossed the river by canoe to see her. The next day he took Sarah back across the river to Illinois.

My next blog in this series will be about Charles and his first wife Sarah DeArmon Pea.

1. LDS Pioneer and Handcart Companies, 1847-1856 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:, 2013.
2. Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1848 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.
3. Arrington, Leonard J. Mormon General and Frontiersman ( accessed 4 September 2014
4. Bureau of Land Management, “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records (, Accessed 4 September 2014, Joseph Rich (Caldwell County, MO) Accession #: MO1230_.148
5. Bureau of Land Management, “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records (, Accessed 4 September 2014, Joseph Rich (Caldwell County, MO) Accession #: MO1250_.476
6. Bureau of Land Management, “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records (, Accessed 4 September 2014, Joseph Rich (Caldwell County, MO) Accession #: MO1250_.477
7. Church History In The Fulness Of Times Student Manual, (2003), 193–210, Chapter Sixteen: Missouri Persecutions and Expulsion ( accessed 10 Sep 2014
8. Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual, (2003), 211-234, Chapter Seventeen: Refugee in Illinois ( accessed 10 Sep 2014
9. Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Chronology of Church History Timeline ( accessed 10 September 2014.

10. Cole, Zula Rich. Pioneer Joseph Rich 1786-1866 Father of Charles Coulson Rich
11. Find A Grave. Find A Grave. 
12.Missouri State Archives. The Missouri Mormon War ( accessed 10 Sep 2014
13. Missouri State Archives. The Missouri Mormon War, Image of Governor Lilburn Boggs Extermination Order ( accessed 10 Sep 2014 
14. "Timeline: The Early History of the Mormons" ( accessed 10 September 2014)
15. Rich, Charles Coulson log home Creator Mays, Kenneth R. Contributor Mays, Kenneth R. Copyright Status/Owner Licensed from Kenneth R. Mays December 12, 2002 Description This log house is located in Mirabile, Caldwell County, Missouri about 4-5 miles south of the site of Far West. The structure was first owned by Charles C. Rich, who presided over a branch of the Church in that area during the northern Missouri period of Church history. Following the expulsion of the Saints from Missouri in 1838-1839, the property was acquired by James Wallace and was owned by the Wallace family until about 1900. The home was subsequently covered over with wooden siding and mistakenly thought to be a newer, frame home. In 1995 the original log structure was discovered inside the newer siding. Efforts are now underway to preserve the structure. Elder Rich was called to the Quorum of the Twelve in 1849 and served in that capacity unitl his death in 1883. Date Original 2003-05 Publisher Digital Brigham Young University. Harold B. Lee Library Date Digital 2003-05 Edition Electronic reproduction; Genre Photographs Collection Religious Education LDS Church History and Doctrine Owning Institution Brigham Young University Subject Rich, Charles C. (Charles Coulson), 1809-1883 Rich, Charles C. (Charles Coulson), 1809-1883--Homes and haunts Mormon Church--Apostles Subject Complete Rich, Charles C. (Charles Coulson), 1809-1883; Rich, Charles C. (Charles Coulson), 1809-1883--Homes and haunts; Mormon Church--Apostles; Apostles (Mormon Church); Council of the Twelve (Mormon Church); Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (Mormon Church) Geography Mirabile (Mo.) Caldwell County (Mo.) Geography Complete Mirabile (Mo.); Marquams Store (Mo.); Caldwell County (Mo.); Caldwell Co., Mo. Course REL C 341 Hierarchy LDS ChurchHistory Geography United States Missouri (
16. Savage, C. R. Title: [Charles G. Rich bust portrait], Photographer:Savage, C. R. (Charles Roscoe), 1832-1909,
Electronic reproduction; Publisher Original: Fine Art Bazar, Salt Lake City Date Original: ca. 1875-1883, Publisher Digital: L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Date Digital: 2004-07, Call Number: MSS P 24 Item 207 Original: taken ca. 1875-1883,Description: A bust portrait of a man with a beard. Written on the back- Charles G. Rich. Back label- C.R. Savage, Fine Art Bazar. Owning Institution: Brigham Young University, Subject: Men--Portraits Rich, Charles C. (Charles Coulson), 1809-1883, Genre: Photographs Cartes-de-visite Portraits, Collection: Charles R. Savage Photograph Collection ( : accessed on 5 September 2014
17. Wikipedia contributors. "Battle of Crooked River." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Sep. 2014.  
18. Wikipedia contributors. "Charles C. Rich." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 Sep. 2014. Web. 11 Sep. 2014. 
19. Wikipedia contributors, "Chronology of Mormonism," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed 10 September 2014). 20. Wikipedia contributors. "Lilburn Boggs." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 Sep. 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 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 & 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 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 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. 

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

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? 
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 (

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 . 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 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!

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

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Genealogy Do Over Week 5

We are now into Week 5 of the Genealogy Do-Over and are topics this week are (1) building a genealogy research box and (2) citing sources.

Genealogy Do-Over Toolbox 2015

My genealogy toolbox began about four years ago when I started to use Google for documents, books and newspapers. I have countless webpages that are booked mark. Going through them will be a tedious job and it is on my "to-do" list. In the meantime I have started a new toolbox, "Genealogy Do-Over Toolbox 2015" and as I weed through the old one I will only transfer those that are absolutely necessary into my new toolbox. 

I created my new "2015" toolbox with a notebook in Evernote. I am still learning how to use Evernote but I have the notebook and notes down pretty good. Here are the categories I currently have in my toolbox: Maps, Newspapers, Archives, Digital Libraries,  Favorite Websites and Calculators. I am very satisfied with the way my new "2015" toolbox is coming along but it is a work in progress. I have plans to incorporate my favorite sources for each state I research and by country. I haven't learned how to share my notebooks/notes from Evernote but here is the link for my toolbox

Citing Sources

Like many beginning genealogists I did not cite my sources, I collected names and trusted what I found in genealogical family histories in libraries or was given by other researchers without checking the facts for myself. I have since learned that all of that is a big no-no! Don't get me wrong I truly appreciate the work done by other family members before me especially since they did not have the resources I have today. I consider their work to be like a springboard because it allows me to see what they have done, it allows me to garner new leads or perhaps point me in a direction I had not considered previously. 

Of course, I didn't know that there was an actual genealogical way to cite my sources when I first began research so many years ago. I used the method I was taught while I was in high school and then later in college where I learned the APA and MLA source citation formats. Now as I rebuild my new trees I am will be using the proper source citations.

How I View Sources

I see sources as a way to establish proof or evidence of fact(s) such birth, marriage, residence, occupation, relationships and death. I see sources as a way to determine evidence (ie: direct, indirect, primary, secondary etc.,) and how it relates to the person or persons I am researching. In tracking my sources I can locate the record(s) at a later date and/or provide it to someone else. There are other factors to be consider as well. Such as expanding my research into an ancestor's life with evidence I have already proven can help me to make a better determination when considering further or future research. Finally, my sources will allow me to find conflicting information in my past or current research when I discover new evidence. 

Old Source Citations vs. New Source Citations

All source citations have the following information in them: Author's First & Last name, Title, Publisher and Date right? Not exactly. The source citation should include the following information: Author's First & Last name, Title, Publisher, Locator Information (ie: page or pages), and if it is an online source you will need to include the Date the source was accessed or retrieved, Examined (you examine the document for reference to John Doe).

For example when I was researching my ancestor Charles Coulson Rich, I accessed a book online by Leonard J. Arrington. I found this document at and this is how I sourced it: 
Arrington, Leonard J., Charles C. Rich - Mormon General and Western Frontiersman ( accessed 4 September 2014.

I do not own a copy of Evidenced Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyerspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills, but I have become more familiar with her book through her posts on Facebook. I realize now that I am missing some information in that source citation. I believe it should look more like this:

Arrington, Leonard J., Charles C. Rich - Mormon General and Western Frontiersman, Brigham Young University Press, pp. 291-308 ( : accessed 4 September 2014). 

My plan now is to carefully track all of my sources. Then I will slowly, carefully and correctly enter my source citations into my new tree.

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

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Family History Writing Challenge (FHWC) - Day 1

This is my first post for Family History Writing Challenge (henceforth known as FHWC) with Lynn Palmero, The Armchair Genealogist. However, I somehow was branded after I submitted my post as "topic author". I tried to edit it the piece and that didn't help. I have sent Lynn a message through Facebook asking for her assistance.

Hi Everyone,

My name is Dawn and this is my first year participating in The Family History Writing Challenge. I want to learn how to write the story of my family and decided that this was the way to learn. I want to share what I know with my family and hopefully leave something remarkable for future generations. 

My interest in genealogy started as a result of listening to the adults of our family talking while visiting grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins but of course we were suppose to be asleep. Then in 1973 while my family was living just outside of Dayton, Ohio while my Dad was taking advanced training classes with National Cash Register Corporation. I discovered a small cemetery behind a Hardee’s. I was 11 years old and had no clue about how to research this cemetery. However, somewhere deep inside my heart and soul I started preparing for my role of “family historian” at an early age. 

I will be adding my posts from here to my blog, Dawning Genealogy ( as well. The big bonus from this challenge is that I will be able to write (hopefully) more polished articles for my blog too.

Dawn Kogutkiewicz