Don Taylor Genealogy – 2019 Year in Review

Reviews

The primary purpose of my blog is to help me understand my genealogical findings. It is like a diary or journal that helps me to focus on what I know. It helps me to stay focused not to become distracted. I would like to remind readers that I do accept guest submissions. If you would like to write something that will be of interest to readers of my six primary topics (Brown, Darling, Howell, and Roberts lines as well DNA discoveries or understanding and Donna Montran’s Vaudeville Career), I’ll be happy to consider your submission as a guest post.

I am not selling genealogical services. However, I do lead a genealogical group at the Scarborough Public Library. We meet the 4th Monday of the month learn more about it on the SPL-GG Facebook Page. participate with the I do participate in an affiliate program. Please, consider using my links when you purchase genealogical resources so I can help fund this site.

2018 Statistics.

I wrote 125 posts during the year, slightly up from 2018.  My goal is to post, at a minimum, once every three days. So, I made my goal by posting an average of once every 2.92 days.

The number of page views stayed virtually the same in 2019 over 2018 down 0.01%, So the average views per day stayed at 36.

I currently have 460 followers/subscribers – up from 409 at the beginning of the year. Besides direct subscribers, there are other individuals that follow my blog via Facebook, Twitter, and Google. If you do not subscribe to dontaylorgenealogy.com, please do so.

Referrals to my site are as I would expect, Google by far the greatest referrer, with Facebook a distant 2nd. The third was the WordPress Android App. My old Blogspot site dropped to sixth, so I guess I still can’t delete it.

Top Seven Postings for 2019

My number one post during 2019 was the same as my #1 post in 2016, 2017, 2018 “Why I’ll never do business with MyHeritage Again.” I guess people love reading rants.

My number 2 article for 2019 was number 2 last year as well it was the 2017 “OMG – Another Half-Sibling,” which spoke about learning of a half-sibling here-to-fore unknown for my mother. Quite the surprise for my mother and my half-aunt, Barbara.

Third, was my review of DNA Painter. I definitely need to do more reviews.

Number 4 was my “Surname Saturday” article about the Howell surname. I will try to do more surnames in that series.

Number 5, an “Ancestry ThruLines” posting about my second-great-grandfather, Asa Ellis.

Number 6 surprised me greatly. It was a 2016 memorial article regarding my uncle, Russell Kees. I received a touching comment from Lisa Emmert who indicated that Russ wrote a poem to her mother in the 1940s. The poem was “To Rosie.”

Number 7 was another review, Ancestry’s ThruLines.

Conclusion

Going through these statistics, I noticed that my “Surname Saturday” dropped off my radar for work. I need to resurrect that series. Like previous years reviews, My Heritage, Lost Cousins, DNA Painter, and Ancestry ThruLines were among my most read articles.

Next Year

I have found that I overextended myself during 2018.  As such, I have decided to reduce my activities in several areas and focus more on family and Scarborough activities. I have quit doing any kind of (paid) genealogical consulting activities. I will also greatly reduce my genealogical society volunteerism and will drop memberships in at least six societies and organizations. I plan to work more diligently on my five primary research areas, Brown, Darling, Howell, Roberts, and Donna’s Vaudeville and less on my other genealogical projects. I will continue efforts with the Scarborough Historical Society. I expect 2020 to be an exciting year for genealogy as more and more records become available online.

 

 

Step 2a – Newspapers – My Favorites

Using “Step 2a” to Research Rufus Harry Darling.

After I had done my initial research on a person, (Birth, Marriage, Death, Censuses, and “happen upons,” during the individual’s life, I begin my Phase 2 research. In the case of my wife’s great-grandfather, Rufus Harry Darling, I found many key points in his life. His life was complicated. He appears to have lived in Kalamazoo until he was about 30. Then as a “railroad man,” he lived in many locations, Chicago, Kansas City, and Texas. He may or may not have lived in Buena Vista, Colorado or Kittanning, Pennsylvania, where he married his first and second wives.

Where Rufus Harry Darling lived during known events in his life.

  • 1857 (Born), 1860, 1863, 1864, 1870, 1877, 1895 1911, 1917 (Death) – Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • 1876    Kalamazoo, Michigan – 12 Cedar
  • 1880    Kalamazoo, Michigan – 42 Rose
  • 1887    Kalamazoo, Michigan – 209 Edwards
  • 1889, 1907      Chicago, Illinois
  • 1890    Buena Vista, Colorado
  • 1891, 1896, 1900, 1910 – Kansas City, Missouri
  • 1894    Texas
  • 1907    Kittanning, Pennsylvania

I consider it possible that a person could have located to a new location the day after the previous event and the day before the next event in their life. With day in mind, I develop a search plan.

I also look for the first name, first name with middle initial, first name with middle name, and first and last initial in the newspapers. Also, when I know a person’s address, I search for the address also. Finally, I also search the name in a last name first format. So, in the case of Rufus I have the following searches to do.

  • Rufus Harry Darling
  • Rufus H Darling
  • Rufus Darling
  • Darling, Rufus
  • Darling, Rufus H (unnecessary if no “Darling, Rufus” results are found.
  • Darling, Rufus Harry (unnecessary if no “Darling, Rufus H” results are found.
  • 12 Cedar
  • 42 Rose
  • 209 Edwards

All during the appropriate years and locations.

The Dates and Locations are:

  • Buena Vista, Colorado 1889-1891
  • Chicago 1887-1910
  • Kalamazoo – 1857 to 1907 – It is possible that Rufus was in Kalamazoo anytime from his birth to his death.
    • Kalamazoo at 12 Cedar 1857 to 1880
    • Kalamazoo at 42 Rose 1876-1887
    • Kalamazoo at 209 Edwards 1880-1889
  • Kansas City – 1890-1911
  • Kittanning, PA – 1906-1908
  • Texas – 1891-1895

For this search I have three source search categories.

A.  My favorite sites.
B.  Location sites.
C.  Sites of Sites.

My Favorite Paid Sites

 My Favorite Free Sites

In my browser, I have all of the above entries in a single folder of Genealogy/Newspaper bookmarks. I hover “Newspaper” right click then open all and all 12 of the sites are opened. I then work through each of the web sites for my search criteria.

Discovery – Marriage Clarification

For some time, I’ve had two marriage dates for Rufus and his first wife, Ida.

  1. June 1889 – When Rufus married Anna (Hannah) McAllister he indicated that he had been married previously, in June 1889 and that his first wife died in September 1898.
  2. September 1890 – Rufus H. Darling married Ida Ready in Buena Vista, Colorado.

The Michigan State Census of 1894 shows the Elizabeth Darling household included two of her daughters, Mary and Emma, her son, Rufus H, and her daughter-in-law Ida. That census is what told me that Rufus’ wife’s name was Ida. So, when I found a Rufus H. Darling marrying an Ida Ready, I ascribed that to my Rufus. I hypnotized that the June 1889 marriage was a mistake of some sort, either by the clerk or, possibly, Rufus said the name he began living with Ida and not the date of their actual marriage.

I always had a bad feeling about that marriage location and date. Nothing in my research, other than Rufus H. Darling marrying Ida Ready, suggests that Rufus was ever in Colorado.

That was before I found an interesting article during this search. On page 5 of the September 27, 1889 Kalamazoo Gazette[iii], it said:

Kalamazoo Gazette – 27 September 1889, page 5, via Genealogy Bank.

“The Chicago Herald of a recent date states that the police of that city are looking for Mrs. Rufus Darling, a runaway wife. It is claimed that she left her husband at St. Louis to come to this city, but nothing has been heard from her since her departure. Darling is having great times with his wife and other women since he left here.”

That Mrs. Rufus Darling appeared to be a “runaway wife” and learning that Rufus had “great times” with other women since he left Kalamazoo seems to fit with his personality.

The article confirms that Rufus was married in 1889, So I now believe that it was a different Rufus H Darling who married a different Ida in 1890.

UPDATE: Marriage: June 1889 Rufus Darling to Ida LNU.

Marriage: September 1890 was removed and added as a note of unlikely possibility to the June 1889 marriage notes.

Discovery 2 – A “Happen Upon”

During my search for Rufus on Hathi Trust, I happened upon a Report of Accidents for Michigan during the year 1887. Under “Injured” I found an entry which read:

“March 5. Rufus Darling, brakeman, Northville, fell from engine, shoulder blade broken.”

Commissioner of Railroads Report – 1888, Page 380 via Hathi Trust.

We know that Rufus was a “railroad man.” Also, search for Darlings in Northville, Michigan failed to yield any Darlings living in the township.,” As such, I’m pretty sure the “Northville” reference is to where the accident occurred. Even though the railroad was the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad Co., I suspect that this was our Rufus. Today, Northville is a suburb of Metropolitan Detroit.

Also, such an injury might have been the prelude to Rufus becoming a clerk for the Midwest Central Railroad shortly after that. I added a new “tentative” event:

NEW Event: 5 Mar 1887 – Rufus Darling, a brakeman, fell from an engine and broke his shoulder blade.

Conclusion

It is always a good genealogy session when I can clarify a fact, learn a new fact, and can add a specific search for further research.

Future Actions

Specifically search the Chicago Herald in September 1889 for mentions of Rufus and his runaway wife.

Continue my newspaper searches using “state newspaper sites.” (Step 2B)

Using the “Sites of Sites” to determine if I’ve missed any appropriate newspapers that should be searched. (Step 2C)


Endnotes

[i] I generally have a subscription to two Newspaper subscription services at a time and rotate between several newspaper services.  Currently, I have Genealogy Bank and Newspapers.Com subscriptions.

[ii] Chronicling America is searched when you do an Elephind search. I often skip using Chronicling America and only search Elephind, particularly if there are few hits for newspaper articles.

[iii] This article was repeated on page 3 of the October 4, 1889 Kalamazoo Gazette. See Genealogy Bank.

Ancestry – December Sale!

Ancestry® December Sale

AncestryHealth® is on sale for $99* (originally $149)
AncestryDNA® is on sale for $59.
Ancestry® Gift Subscriptions are also 20% off.

Sale ends at 11:59 pm EST on Tuesday, December 31st.

This is a great time to get the AncestryDNA® test kit you’ve been wanting.

 *Not available in NY, NJ or RI.


I have purchased several AncestryDNA® kits for family members and I pay for an annual subscription to Ancestry.Com World.  The use of these links will allow me to receive a small referral fee from Ancestry which I use to help pay manage this website. Please see my disclaimer page.

– – – – – Disclaimer – – – – –


FamilyTreeDNA Sale

FamilyTreeDNA Sale

Sale Ends December 26th

Family Tree DNA is having sales on several of their products.

Save $30 on FamilyTreeDNA’s autosomal test, “Family Finder” is only $49.

Save up to $250 on FamilyTreeDNA’s Y-DNA Paternal Ancestry tests during their December Sale!

Save $60 on FamilyTreeDNA’s Maternal Ancestry Test – mtFull Sequence – to understand your maternal line better and connect with relatives during the Black Friday Sale @ FamilyTreeDNA!

This is a great time to get the FamilyTreeDNA test you have been wanting.


I have purchased the FamilyTreeDNA Y-37 test for myself and a brother-in-law. I have also purchased FamilyFinder tests for myself, my mother, and my half aunt. I think it is a great genealogical research tool to be tested. I have received no products from FamilyTreeDNA.

The use of these links will provide a small referral fee from FamilySearchDNA that I use to help pay for this website. For further information, disclaimer page. Thank you for your support of Don Taylor Genealogy.

I think I’ll get an mtDNA test for my wife – Don’t tell her though. It’s a Christmas present.

Presentation – Sources for Finding Addresses

I developed a 20-30 minute talk about “Sources for Finding Addresses” (for Genealogy) including some links of where to find them. The presentation was given at the Scarborough Public Library Genealogy Group on 28 October 2019 and included the following:

    • Census Records – 1940 Census
    • Other Censuses
    • “Where would you look?”
    • Military Draft Records
    • Public Records
    • Where to Find.

You can download the presentation HERE.