Monday, November 21, 2011

Matrimony Monday - Lou Ella Godwin to Roland A Rye

Lou Ella Godwin and Roland Rye applied for a marriage license on September 18, 1947 in Alma, Crawford County, Arkansas. Roland swore that he was 21 years of age and Lou Ella swore she was 18 years of age. They were issued a Marriage Bond the same day in the amount of $100 promising that they would follow through with their lawful marriage. Also on the same day, they were issued a Marriage License obtained in order to solemnize and publish the "banns of Matrimony." On the Marriage License, it is listed that Roland is from Alma, Crawford County, Arkansas, and Lou Ella Godwin is from Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas.

Lou Ella was involved in her husband's construction business and was the President of the Home Builder's Auxiliary in 1966. She and Roland were divorced in 1975 in Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas. Lou Ella Godwin Rye was my grand-father's sister. She died in 1988. Unfortunately, I was too young to remember her.

This is the only photo I have of Lou Ella and Roland Rye and their daughter Linda Lee. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Charley King

Photo of tombstone taken by Ginger R. Smith, May 1, 2006, and is copyright 2011 by Ginger R. Smith.

The inscription reads: 

Charley Son of W. F. & Mary King, Born Dec. 7, 1895, Died Nov. 27 1898
Sleep on sweet babe and take thy rest God called thee home. 

Charley King was the son of William Fletcher King and Mary French. William Fletcher King was the brother of my 2nd great-grandmother, Dora King who died around 1912 of a snake bite. Charley and his brother Alvy King died at a very young age and are buried next to one another at Joliff Cemetery in Rover, Oregon Co., MO. Other tombstones I have photographed in this cemetery include French, House, Huddleston, Joliff, Judd, Kimbrough, King, Nichols, Peters, Richards, and Willard.

This cemetery is approximately 1 mile north of Koshkonong on Highway 63. From Highway 63, take M Highway and go approx. 10 miles on M Highway to 160 Highway. Go approximately 3/4 mile east on highway 160 to first dirt road south. Keep bearing east for approximately 1 1/2 miles. Look for a sign post for the cemetery. 

Information on William Fletcher King can be found here

This post is part of the daily blogging theme hosted by GeneaBloggers.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Matrimony Monday - Alvin Godwin and Ella Davis

Alvin Godwin was my 2nd great-grandfather. He was married 2x that I know of. Lou Ella Davis was his first wife. It took me a long time to learn what Lou Ella's maiden name was and this marriage license was a key find in determining that her maiden name was Davis.

According to the license picture above, Alvin Godwin was 22 years of age when he applied for a marriage license and living in Sharp County, Arkansas. Ella Davis was 19 years of age and living in Hardy, Sharp County, Arkansas. They applied for their marriage license on March 14th, 1899 in Sharp Co., AR and were allowed to marry on March 17, 1899. Unfortunately, the marriage did not last long, as they were divorced by the 1920 census report. They had two children, Lorine and Orville Godwin, the latter being my great-grandfather. I have not been able to locate any information about Lorine Godwin, however the family does have a photograph of her and her two children, one boy and one girl.

Source: Arkansas County Marriages, 1838-1957", database, FamilySearch; from Arkansas Courts of Common Pleas and County Clerks. digital images of originals housed at various county courthouses in the State of Arkansas. Marriage records. FHL microfilm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. Accessed by Ginger R. Smith on 30 Jun 2010.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Follow-up Friday - Nov 3 2011

Last weekend I had a pretty good genealogy day over the weekend because I finally got my new desk set up. I heard that many of my genealogy pals got some good genealogy time put in over the weekend as well. I don't know if it's because the weather is getting cooler and we are staying inside more or if it's just because things are starting to slow down or what. But I definitely have a happy face on, despite the trials and tribulations I've been experiencing at work.

So in my genealogy news, I've been working on finding the parents of William Peters who was born in 1874 in Thomasville, Missouri. One of my DNA Family Finder matches believes the Peters line is our connection, however I don't have a leg to stand on because I can't get past William Peters. I did find a Martha Peters on the 1880 Oregon County, Missouri Census Report who could have been his mother as she had a young William living with her that fit my William. But then I got distracted by trying to trace this Martha to a James Peters family out of Anderson County, Tennessee. Turns out this family moved to Missouri and James disappeared leaving Martha to fend for herself and their 2 (or 3) children. Descendants of this family are not receptive to the idea of them having a son named William though, nor to the idea that Martha was living in Oregon County, Missouri in 1880! Another find I had is a newspaper article in which a John Peters was shot and beaten to death on his employer's farm by a gang of brothers in Council Bluffs, Iowa. I had heard my William was beaten to death but his death certificate said he died of a heart attack in Pocahontas, Arkansas. I wonder if maybe this John was William's father (or close relative) and he was the one the family remembers who was beaten to death. Only problem was that the 1880 Council Bluffs census says John Peters was single (William was born in 1874), he was living in Iowa and not in Missouri or Illinois where William was rumored to have been born, and John was from Denmark. Surely I would have heard something about Denmark in the family! Well the nice thing is that I've been able to comb through a bunch of newspapers that my University subscribes to.Click on this post to view newspaper article for the death of John Peters of Council Bluffs Iowa.

In addition to working on my Peters line, I have done some research on my Dunlap family in Stokes County, North Carolina.  Jesse Dunlap left North Carolina about 1820 and moved to Tennessee and then moved to Texas and then finally settled in Arkansas about 1840. His two sons, Jesse Dunlap, Jr and Lorenzo Dow Dunlap were killed in the Mountain Meadow Massacre of 1857 in Southern Utah. You might have heard about it. Click the above link for more information. Anyways, I started off my search in the totally wrong direction and it took a nice genealogist named Rex Bertram to set me straight. He sent me back to the North Carolina original records. So I have been combing through the Stokes County, North Carolina deeds (they are online – whoo hoo!), using the NorthCarolina State Archives online catalog called MARS to find land grants and wills, and compiling census records in order to piece together the history of the Dunlap family prior to their removal from North Carolina. This was also prompted by a Family Finder DNA match.

Lastly, I finished transcribing the estate files of John F. Dry of Perry County, Illinois. I happened upon these scans as I was making a list of files that I needed to scan during the next Scanfest. If you don’t know what this is, it happens the last Sunday of the month and it’s a time when genealogists all over the world get together in a chat room and chat while they scan their photos and documents. I usually do a pretty good job of keeping up with my scanning, but I always have a lot to catch up with after a trip to the library. These estate files were scanned once but at a very low resolution. I must have had a problem with the scanner. So they have not been transcribed. I did manage to rescan this set of estate files, so I was able to transcribe them. And then, my biggest feat of the week is that after reading Michael Hait’s blog post on Do you understand source citations? I decided to try my hand at writing an “official” citation to the estate file I was sent copies of and transcribed as mentioned above. It is probably missing several pieces because I was not the actual person who went to the courthouse and made the copies. In fact, I probably would have copied where the book sat on the shelf!

Anyways, here’s the citation I came up with (complete with footnote note):

John F. Dry Estate File No. 128, dated 1847; Perry County, Illinois Probate Records, Box 307; Perry County Courthouse, Pickneyville, Illinois. This estate file was copied by Stella Runyon,, Illinois, USA, in February of 2007 and sent to me by snailmail. Note that Stella told me this was file no. 158, however according to the Perry County Probate Index that is online at, and accessed 03 November 2011, (this is Stella’s homepage), it is file no. 128. I have change it to File No. 128 because I believe this index was compiled since 2007.

Check out Michael’s post if this citation doesn’t make sense to you!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Using Google Images to find your Ancestors

I think by now, we've all heard about TinEye, the reverse image search feature where you upload an image or type in a URL pointing to an image and it will show you all the places where that image has been used in the past or is currently being used on the Internetz.

And I'm sure you've all used Google Images to find that neat and great-looking image to use on your next blog post to spice it up a bit, but do you know...

How to identify an image using the Google Image search box? You can actually drag and drop a photograph you took or one that is in your collection directly into the Google Image search box and it will bring up on web pages containing that image.

Google has already let the cat out of the bag. You can follow along with their directions from their Google Image site. Here is a screenshot telling you how you can drag your image directly into the search box. (Remember you can click on any image to make it bigger, then click the back button in your browser to go back to the blog post).

So let's get started! 

I opened up my folder with my images in it. Then I opened up the Google Images webpage and I put the folder and the webpage side by side. The first image I chose was an image of Albert Einstein that I pulled off of the internet. As you can see the image was named "Albert Einstein.jpg" and it is a very popular image which is all over the internet, so I would expect google to find multiple instances of it. 

I simply drag the Einstein image from the folder into the Google Image search box. When I started dragging, the search image box got bigger and it told me to "Drag Image Here." I managed to capture this in the below screen shot: 

Google Images had no problem finding information on Albert Einstein and finding additional images of him. It reported that there were 89,800 results, so surely you could find whatever you were looking for. 

So I have shown how Google Images can pull up information based on an iconic figure, but what about my ancestor, T. J. Benson? I have saved a copy of his photograph in my Image photo and I named it "Image.jpg." I want to see if Google Images is searching by file name or by visual image characteristics. So I drag the photograph of my ancestor into the Google Image Search box and this is what I see for results:

At the top of the page it displays the image I searched with, then below that, it displays "Pages that include matching images." And of course, the only page it comes up with is my very own blog. Unfortunately, for some reason, it does not display the actual blog post, however it does display the Archive for the Month and Year in which that blog post was made. Users can then click on the link and scroll down through the list of posts for July 2010 until they come upon the post about T. J. Benson. 

How is this good for genealogy? It has been my experience that oftentimes several descendants have the same photographs of ancestors hanging in their living rooms while they were growing up. There has been at least two instances where I've received copies of photographs in the mail from cousins and then had the same photographs show up from different cousins several years later! (And no, it wasn't because the photos were distributed and copies all over!) So I can see the benefit of running some of your ancestor's photos through the Google Image analyzer to see if any other copies of the photo has surfaced. Who knows, maybe one of your unknown cousins wrote a blog post about them! 

And what about those unknown people? Put those photos out there! You never know when you might find your photo on DeadFred!

Speaking of, I was NOT able to pull up photographs that I knew were saved in public trees on has their information locked up tight behind a membership wall. Likewise, I was not able to pull up headstone photographs from FindAGrave either. I was kind of surprised by that. I guess I kind of take access to FAG for granted.

I am not quite sure how exactly Google Images does this. But I can tell you that it doesn't seem to have a strong aspect of facial recognition because when I put random pictures of myself in the search box, it came up blank. One of my end of semester projects will be on exactly how queries are processed based on images submitted to a search box, so I might be able to answer this better come Christmas time. In the mean time try it out. Submit your photos of heirlooms, ancestors, and the cool stuff you see while on vacation and let me know about your experience!

Oh and feel free to share, tweet, etc. You know the drill!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Tabitha House

Tabitha "Bitha" House was born in Thomasville, Oregon County, Missouri in the 1840s or 50s and died February 9th, 1937 in Birch Tree, Missouri. She married 1st to Robert "Bob" King and 2nd to Samuel H. Watson. She had two children with Bob King, including my 2nd great-grandmother, Dora King and her brother William Fletcher King and eight children with Mr. Watson. Tabitha House was the daughter of Mr. Hollingsworth House who purchased land from the State of Missouri in the Land Case Files I wrote about previously and Millie Thomas.

Additional Posts:
Tabitha House Watson's obituary
Tabitha House's marriage to Robert King, her first husband, and my 2nd great-grandfather, July 28, 1870 in Howell County, Missouri
Tabitha King's marriage certificate to Samuel H. Watson, her second husband, in 1879, Highland Township, Oregon County, Missouri and a list of their children
Information about her son, William Fletcher King

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Land Case Files – Part 3 – Cash Entries

Last week I started a series of posts about my trip to the National Archives (NARA) in Washington, D. C. where I obtained copies of several ancestors' Land Case Files. Although the final Land Patents are available to download from the Bureau of Land Management website, the Land Case Files that are housed at NARA are the original documents pertaining to your ancestors and sometimes contain information about your ancestors that is of genealogical significance. Last week I covered Military Scrip Warrants and this week I am going to cover Cash Entries. You can read my original post on Land Case Files if you are interested in learning about how to order Land Case Files onsite from the Archives.

Cash Entry Files:
On December 8th, 1856, my ancestor, Hollingsworth House, made an application to purchase 142 acres in Lot No. 4 in the Northwest quarter of Section No. 1 in Township No. 24, North of Range 6 West and the Southeast quarter of the Southwest quarter of Section No. 35 in Township No. 25 North of Range 6 West in Oregon County, Missouri. 

Application of Hollingsworth House for 142A of land in Oregon Co., MO, 08 Dec 1856, copied from Land Case Files at NARA, Washington, DC

In many instances, applicants had to fill out an affidavit attesting to what they planned to do with the land, and then another witness had to testify to the validity of the applicant’s statement.

Affidavit of Hollingsworth House, copied from Land Case Files at NARA, Washington, DC

In his affidavit, Hollingsworth House swore that the land will be used for the purpose of “actual settlement and cultivation under the Provisions of the Act of Congress of 4th August 1854.” He also swore that he had been occupying the land since the 1st day of January 1851 and that he has a dwelling house, kitchen, cribs, stables, and other buildings thereon about 35 acres of said land which is now in cultivation. Lastly, he swore that he was 21 years of age. 

An additional affidavit stating he was 39 years of age and currently residing in Oregon County, Missouri, was a male and head of house. One small note here is that his age does not actually match up with the date of birth I have for him of December 25, 1816. He should have actually been 40 years old at the time this application was filled out in 1856. [1]

Affidavit of Hollingsworth House, copied from Land Case Files at NARA, Washington, DC

Benjamin A. Huddleston was a corroborating witness who swore that Hollingsworth House was the same guy who had been residing on said land since the 1st day of January, 1851.

Affidavit of Benjamin A Huddleston, copied from Land Case Files at NARA, Washington, DC
Hollingsworth House paid $17 for this transaction. Here is a copy of his receipt:

 Recipt for land purchased by Hollingsworth House for $17, copied from Land Case Files at NARA, Washington, DC

He also received a proof of purchase that he was instructed to bring to the Commissioner of the Land Office (Jackson, Missouri):

Proof of Purchase of Hollingsworth House for land purchased, copied from Land Case Files at NARA, Washington, DC

Here is a copy of the final patent that my ancestor received after he had filed an application, proved he was going to cultivate the land, paid his money, and presented his receipt to the Land Commissioner:

Land Patent certificate No. 24495, copied from the BLM Website, Holingsworth House
I was a bit skeptical at first about the worthwhileness of my trip to NARA because it seemed like most of the Land Case Files I pulled consisted of the patent (which I already had a copy of thanks to the BLM online records) and a receipt, which didn't even offer a signature. However, it only takes coming across one "thick" file to make it all seem worthwhile. In this packet, I found an adequate description of the land, when my ancestor had moved to it, what he had done to the land, how old he was, and who his closest friend or acquaintance was, enough to paint a nice picture of my ancestor's life on the land. 

Cherie wanted to know the link for ordering the Land Case Files from the NARA website. You can access information on ordering Land Case Files from the NARA (Washington, D. C. site) here. Thanks Cherie for the suggestion!

 [1]  This date of birth came from his grave marker in Union Hill Cemetery, Thomasville, Oregon Co., MO.