North Carolina and Halifax County, NC Websites and Assets.

Howell/Vincent
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Website Reviews (North Carolina)

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Background.

I have been researching my wife’s 3rd great-grandfather, Burkett Vincent. I really don’t know much about Burkett. He appears as the head of household in the 1810, 1820, 1830, and 1840 censuses. I also speculate that he appears in the household of Philip Vinson, his apparent father, in the 1790 and 1800 censuses. I have no birth record for him, although he was probably born between 1775 and 1780 in the North Carolina colony. I also have no death record for him, although he appears to have died before the 1850 Census.

He was apparently married twice. His first wife’s name is unknown and it appears that they had five children, 2 boys and 3 girls, between 1804 and 1820. I don’t know the names of any of those children. He was also married to Elizabeth Rose. With her, he appears to have had seven children. William, John, James, Elisha, Susan, Nancy, and Burkett. Born between 1814 and 1824.  It is possible some of the seven children were part of the initial five. I am pretty sure that Burkett was born, married, and died in Halifax County, North Carolina.

I have had several people ask that I share my research approach and some of my links.

Typically, my “first pass” uses I am familiar with and use for everyone. I use my various search tricks in doing so. For example, I might use “Vincent of Halifax” and North Carolina as a search term. For newspapers, I often use the individual’s address as a search term.

My regularly used “First Pass” sites include:

My Special North Carolina Links (Second Pass)

I had 29 Links in my North Carolina Bookmarks.  I went through them to clean them up and determine if any of them are particularly useful in my quest. Several links I moved to a separate subdirectory for bookmarks – Counties. I deleted several links as not being useful. I ended up with 11 North Carolina links I think are useful, and another four which are county sites, that make up my second pass.

Top 3 (In my opinion) – Non-Paid North Carolina Sites

  1. North Carolina – County Formation Maps – Interactive Slideshow. – Select a year and see the counties as they existed then.
  2. Digital North Carolina – Includes Yearbooks, Newspapers, Images, Memorabilia, City Directories & Audiovisual.
  3. North Carolina Digital Collections – Browse 26 separate collections or use a single search.

Top Paid North Carolina Sites

  1. $$ – North Carolina Pioneers – Databases for several states – $150.00 per year – I’m not currently a subscriber, but I’m thinking about it.

Other North Carolina Sites worth checking

  1. East Carolina Roots – Genealogy & History of Eastern North Carolina.
  2. North Carolina Encyclopedia (NCpedia) – Biographies, State Symbols, Counties, Geography, World War I, Digital Textbook.
  3. North Carolina Land Grant Images and Data – 216,000 land grants from 1663-1960.
  4. North Carolina State Government Publications Collection – Session Laws of North Carolina
  5. North Carolina State Historic Preservation – HPOWEB GIS Service (General Audience) – Note: This site requires Adobe Flash player to use.
  6. North Carolina State Library
  7. North Carolina State University Libraries

Counties – List of Counties

Finally, in my “2nd Pass” are county focused links. In my case, I have done research in the following counties and have these in my bookmarks.

  • Cabarrus County – Cabarrus Genealogy Society – Concord, NC.
  • Halifax County – NCGenWeb – Includes a list of resources. For GenWeb sites, I prefer doing a Google search of the county’s site.
  • Martin County – NCGenWeb
  • Martin County Register of Deeds – Full System, Includes Old Deed Books U (08/26/1866) thru 0XXXX; There are no “I” books, nor book N-05. Also, there are scanned index books for 1925 through 1984.

Review other potential sites (Third Pass)

For my “Third Pass,” I basically, review the following webpages for resources I haven’t used in my first and second passes. These are specifically for North Carolina; however, the concept works for any location. State and County resources recommended on these sites.

The Ancestor Hunt – North Carolina (for newspaper, obituary, and BMD suggestions.”

Family Search Wiki – North Carolina Online Genealogy Records.
Family Search Wiki – Halifax County, North Carolina Genealogy

Cyndi’s List – United States, North Carolina
Cyndi’s List – United States, North Carolina – Halifax County

$$ Ancestry – North Carolina (in the Card Catalog)
$$ Ancestry – Halifax County, North Carolina (in the Card Catalog)

Road trip or hire a genealogist – (This is a 4th step if needed).

  1. North Carolina State Archives. – Includes a listing of the various records held by each county by the County Offices. It is a very important document to review before a trip to the County Offices.
    1. The Halifax County Guide is here.
    2. The Martin County Guide is here.

University of Leicester Special Collections

I love it when I find a new website that really helps my genealogical research. I was researching my 4th Great-grandfather, Stephen Blackhurst, Sr. (c. 1779-1847) and found “Historical Directories of England & Wales,” on the University of Leicester, “Special Collections” webpages.  They have multiple directories from 40 county’s in England and Wales.  In my case I searched for Blackhurst and found over 100 returned items.  I then added “Yorkshire” to my listing and found 15 records.  Stephen died in 1847, so eliminated directories 1850 and newer. I looked closely at the Directories for 1833, 1841, 1847, and 1849 (he should have been gone for that one).

Stephen Blackwell in the 1833 Sheffield City Directory

Sure enough, there he was; a shoe maker at the Old Workhouse in Pitsmoor and he’s a shoemaker at 57 Pye bank in the 1839 and 1841 directories as well. He was not listed in the 1849 directory (he died in 1847), but two of his children, Adamson and Mary were listed.  Adamson was a shoe and butcher knife maker, at 102 Matilda St., and Mary was a dressmaker at 19 Chapel Street. I’m not 100% positive that this Mary Blackhurst is the right Mary Blackhurst (some of Mary’s siblings could have had a daughter Mary who could be this Mary), but it is likely enough to add it as a tentative entry.

To find the city directories, visit the University of Leicester Special Collections, then select Historical Directories of England & Wales. You can then browse or search the collection by county.  For those of you with Leicestershire ancestors, they have an additional 50 directories at Historical Directories of Leicestershire.

I can hardly wait to apply these city directories to my wife’s line in Workington and Cumberland County, England.

Ancestry’s ThruLines

By Don Taylor

One of the many huge announcements made at Roots Tech was Ancestry unveiling of ThruLinestm. Many bloggers have been writing about it, and I thought I’d see what it can do for me and the DNA Kits that I manage on Ancestry.

Immediately upon entering  AncestryDNA®, you now see ThruLines as the right-hand block which used to house DNA Circles.  There is a link in the block to restore DNA Circles if you wish, but I wanted to Explore ThruLines.

ThruLines then presents a block of my ancestors, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc., all the way to my 5th great-grandparents. (About the limit of what Autosomal DNA results can predict relationship at.)

As I clicked on my parents, ThruLines presented my half siblings for whom I’ve known about for several years now. The same thing was true when I looked at my grandparents’ entries. Looking at my great-grandparents, Hugh and Clora Scott Robert’s ThruLines yielded a 2nd cousin that I’ve corresponded with before.

Clicking on the 2 down block opens up the names of two individuals from Beth’s tree.

When I looked at my Great Grandparents, Joel Clinton and Marada Alice (Lister) Barnes, the power of ThruLines came alive. Two new lines showed. It showed my paternal grandmother had two sisters — one a half great-aunt to me the other a great-aunt. I had known about Essie’s sisters, Flora and Mabel, but hadn’t traced their descendants down. ThruLines provided links to a half 2nd cousin 1x removed (Beth) and to another 2nd cousin 1x removed (JK). In both cases, I know about their grandparents (Flora & Mable) but I didn’t have descendants for either Flora or Mable. The first one, “Beth” had a tree that provided names, dates, and relationships.  That line should be easy to replicate with sources. The second person, cousin “JK,” had two “Private” individuals between her and my great-aunt Mabel.  I should be able to follow Mable’s descendants to that cousin fairly quickly also. However, because ThruLines shows JK’s mother and grandfather are the pathway to her great-grandmother Mable, JK’s line is clear enough to provide information to be able to ask clear and concise questions regarding JK’s ancestors.

Continuing to look at my great-grandfather Arthur Durwood Brown, I found seven DNA cousins with whom I share Art Brown as a common ancestor. Two of the seven were new to me. That is to say, I knew they were DNA cousins before, but I didn’t know exactly how they were related.  Thanks to ThruLines, it is clear.

One problem I do see with ThruLines is that it relies entirely upon individual’s trees.  That is to say, if someone has a mistake, the mistake takes shape and form throughout the system. As an example, I believe my 2nd great grandfather is William Henry Brown, but many others think that Arthur Durwood Brown’s father was Henry “Mack” Brown. ThruLines won’t show anyone who believes that Henry “Mack” Brown might be the common ancestor because he doesn’t show as an ancestor in my tree. So, if your tree is right, ThruLines will confirm your tree. But if your tree is wrong, then ThruLines will confirm your tree with the wrong trees of someone else.  I think it is a dangerous path to follow.

So, it is essential for you to do your own research to validate any “hints” you receive from anyone and  ThruLines is no exception to that rule. Consider what ThruLine provides as a hint and you’ll be okay.  I like ThruLines much better than I liked DNA Circles. It will be more useful in helping me to quickly develop width to my tree, something that is important in understanding DNA match results.

———- Disclaimer ———-

 

NIGS & “Google for the Wise Genealogist”

It has been a busy week.  Among many other things, I’ve been catching up on my genealogical education and training. I finished up and tested in the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (NIGSonlinene course, “Google for the Wise Genealogist.” (Got a 97.5%) It was a free course, apparently intended to have potential students learn what lessons with them might be like.

The sample offering was on a topic that I already know much about – Google.  I use Google in so many ways in my genealogy. Besides the obvious uses of Google Search and Google Maps, I use Google Drive and often create documents, spreadsheets, and other items in Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc. Basically, if I am planning on sharing a document, I use Google. I don’t use Google Scholar as much as I probably should. I have a Google Blog (Blogger web site), D. Taylor’s Food & Travel. Additionally, my genealogy blog (Don Taylor Genealogy) began life as a Blogger blog until I migrated the information to a WordPress site. I don’t use Google Patents Search as much as I should. I did find where my wife’s father patented several things but didn’t find where my grandfather supposedly patented some fishing items. (Family Oral History indicates that he patented a fishing lure.)  Anyway, I think I use Google Patents when I should as the need arises.

I think NIGS did a good job going over all of the Google tools that exist and highlighted uses that genealogists would actually find Google useful for.  The course had assignments and a final test to show understanding and competency in the material presented.

The “Google for the Wise Genealogist” course is one of the elective courses that can be used in pursuit of a Certificate in Genealogical Studies. Such a certificate requires nine compulsory basic courses, nine compulsory intermediate courses, ten required advanced courses, plus 12 elective courses. Receiving their top (American) certificate takes 40 classes.  At between $71.25 (one-time payment for all) to $89.00 per class (one at a time), the total cost to receive the “American Certificate in Genealogical Studies” runs between $2,850 and $3,560.

That said, NIGS has many other certificates, such as “Librarianship” and “Methodology” you can achieve along the way.  The real key to NIGS Courses is to know what you want. Are you looking for a certificate?  If so, this might be a way to receive one.  On the other hand, if you are looking for training and experience in a particular area of study, such as Probate Records or Military Records, taking individual, specific classes might be useful in your studies.

Logo of the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium I’m still behind in my genealogy training goal, but I should catch up in April when I attend the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC) conference.  I’m signed up for sessions every period of the conference from the time I arrive to when I expect to leave. Also, I’m an “official blogger,” so I’ll be blogging about my experiences, doing a couple interviews, and taking some pictures. It should be grand.

Family Search’s “Watch” & Barbara Bertha Trumpi

Darling/Huber/Trümpi

Family Search Watch

Family Search is one of my favorite genealogical websites. They have many great features, but one of my favorites is their “Watch” function. It is simple but really powerful.

Click “Watch”.

Family Search uses a universal tree. That is to say, everyone with a FamilySearch account sees the same tree (except for living individuals you created). Some people don’t like that feature because it means you do not have complete control over your tree. But once you have a person in the tree, you can watch that individual and be informed of any changes that occur with that person.  Those changes can provide import clues for your own research and can suggest contacts clearly interested in the same individuals as you are.

One of my problem research areas has been my wife’s great-grandmother Bertha Barbara (Trümpi) Huber and her parents [Bernhard and Bertha (Koch) Trümpi]. Little more than their names were in the tree when I began watching each of them. Over the past few months, another researcher has added several children to the couple that I didn’t know about, a second wife, who I knew about but didn’t have a name for, and Bernhard’s parents’ names. Wow!

Now, I don’t accept that new information at face value; but I consider it as clues to other facts, which I can investigate. In this case, the researcher suggested four new siblings for Bertha:

  • New Brother: Heinrich (1886-1914)  Potential –
  • New Sister: Barbara (1888-____)    Probably a mistake (same name as Bertha Barbara)
  • New Brother: Bernhard (1891-1961) Potential.
  • New Sister: Emma (1901-1901) Potential.

The entries also confirmed information I have about Bertha, Frieda, August, and Ernst.

It also suggested a first wife for Bertha’s father, Bernhard was Regula Stüssi and seven children for Bernhard and Regula. Following the Family Search additions, it seems that

Bernhard Trümpi married Regula Staüsi in 1867. They had seven children, four of whom died as infants. Regula died in 1882 and Bernhard married Bertha Koch in 1883. Although Regula was only two years younger than Bernhard, Bertha was 19 years younger. Now the family oral history which said that Bertha Barbara came from a large family makes sense. I had her with six siblings, with the addition of new family members she may have had 15 siblings, 11 of which live to adulthood. That would be a large family.

Finally, the researcher suggested that Bernhard’s father was Bernard and his mother was Anna Maria Oertli. That knowledge opens an entirely new avenue of research.

That which I thought was a brick wall now has many new holes for me to pick at and find a way through. Thanks to the “Watch” feature of Family Search I circle around and have a new direction for my research. If you aren’t using the Family Search “Watch” feature, I highly recommend you do so.