Add this bookmark to your Genealogy favorites

Big Thanks to for coming up with this idea!

If you ever wake up one morning and say to yourself, ‘Self, I want to learn more about genealogy today’, then  head over to There you will find a Google Calendar schedule of  online meetings, classes, hangouts, seminars and webinars to be held on the Web. Many are free, although many are fee-based.

Note: The times on the calendar are  in U. S. Eastern Time Zone (New York).  If you need a time zone converter see:

Click on any entry and you will find details on the sponsor or presenter, probably the originator’s web site and details on the subject matter. The presenters may use  Adobe Connect, AnyMeeting, Captera, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, Live Meeting, Skype, Web-Ex, and Wiggio for a few examples. The presenter’s web site usually has details on how to download what you need.

What else is great: If you have your OWN Google calendar as I do, you can make GeneaWebinars appear on yours. Down in the extreme right bottom corner you will see this image:

Add to Google Calendar

Click on it, and your Google calendar appears. Tell the dialog box yes, and poof! you now will see all the upcoming GeneaWebinar events.

How Cool is THAT?

Thanks again to DearMYRTLE for this great tool!


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Cryptic note

This is about my Powells. And about documentation.

In my mother’s Powell file, which has documents from my Powell grandparents, I found a photocopy document entitled Family History.

No date, no author, no idea where the original resides.
But this is what it says (I kept the author’s misspellings and punctuation):

“As I record. this history, May 1970, it seems farfetched to think it took six weeks to travel from Yazoo Co. Miss. to LaSalle, Parish La. when man can travel to the moon in something like four days. Travel by rocket is quite an improvement over the covered wagon mode of travel in 1895. A span of only 75 years. 

Reese (Reason Powell) first married Ann Gibson and fathered Mary, Christine, and George W. (could have been others, don’t think so though). After Ann died, Reese married Louisa Foster who was some twenty years younger than he, and fathered Nancy Ann, John Wesley, Benjamine Franklin, William Henry Harrison, James Randolph*, Francis Marion, Josephine, Thomas Jefferson.
Reese Powell’s father came to America with a Brother and Sister late in the 17th. century and Landed at Charleston, S. C. His Brother and Sister returned to Ireland but he stayed, married and fathered Reese. This Emigrant Powell (first name unknown) was a descendant of the Powel who fought with Cromwell during the Puritan or Religious wars in the 16th century. Because of his service to Cromwell was given land on the northern shores of Ireland. It is tradition that this Powell who fought for Cromwell was a Scottsman.
Reese Powell with his family moved from Sumter Co. Ala. to Lauderdale Co. Miss. about 1855. This family lived many years at Meridian, in Lauderdale Co. and Reese died and was buried there. “

The document goes on to describe the families of William Henry Harrison Powell who married Matilda. Rushton; John Wesley Powell who married Syrilde Rushton, Matilda’s sister; and related families.  JW Powell and WHH Powell were uncles to my grandfather.

The history recounts some movement between Yazoo MS and Caldwell Parish LA of the families and their friends, culminating in an 1875 trip that involved weeks of rain, camping in a cabin that burned, camping in covered wagons and other adventures. It ends with :

“William H. H. Powell family settled in Calahoula Parish (LaSalle now). Some of the men went to work loggin woods and some farmed. “

Because of the last paragraph, I think perhaps this was written by a descendant of W. H. H. Powell. Because it was in the file with my grandparent’s deeds, wills, marriage license, and a letter from a Beeman relative, I am thinking the author is a cousin to my grandfather who perhaps sent it on to Granddaddy thinking he would be interested. Or maybe Mother asked for it back in 1970. I don’t know because Mother, bless her heart, didn’t write down where she got it, or where GrandPowell and Granddaddy got it.

LESSON: Record your sources.

*William Reason Powell>James Randolph Powell>James Toxie Powell, Sr.>James Toxie Powell, Jr.>me

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I have been playing with RootsMagic 6 for a week. I like to see how genealogy programs help you fix things that are broken, and RootsMagic 6 did well!

For example: I imported a GEDCOM with my grandmother’s family, BEEMAN. In my grandmother’s generation, some of her siblings were duplicated because of nicknames. This fix was easy: Simply click the merge sign in the toolbar, bring up both entries and merge them into one. Put the real given name in the box and add the notation that another nickname is also often found, even on census records.

But further back, there was a more complicated problem. My great-great grandfather James Ivy Beeman had what today would be called a melded family: after the Civil War, he was widowed with two children. He married a woman named Sarah or Savannah Cross who was widowed with two children. In the GEDCOM, because of how the household was listed in a census, the input was that the two Cross children, John Wesley Cross, Jr. and Ransom Patrick Cross were the sons of James Ivy Beeman. Adding to the confusion is that John Wesley Cross, Sr., the father of these two, was not yet in the database. Then, Sarah and James Ivy had several children of their own, so we had about 10 children to sort out.

The Fix: first click each of the children of John Wesley Cross, Sr., then Edit, then Unlink. Then add the person who is their father, John Wesley Cross, Sr. Then link the two children as his, and Sarah’s. Now all is well! It took some clicking to find all this under the Edit file, and I do wish a right click on the name would give the same choices, but in the end, it worked.

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After Commando Course 1943

One of the boxes from Mother’s files has her brother’s letters from the 1930s and 40s. This brother is the one who died in the Battle of the Bulge.

The one I scanned and transcribed today has the personality that Mother always told me Vernon had. Here is the text with a few editorial notes from me. I had to look up Feather Merchant and the days of the week for 1943.


Post Mark: 1943 Mar 8 1 P.M. Fort Knox, Ky.

 Saturday Night [Editor’s Note: March 6, 1943)
End of 10th Week

Dear Folks: My last letter to you left me awaiting the Commando Course I believe. Here goes from there.

The course is much too complicated and long to describe in detail so I’ll just hit the high spots. We were on the course every morning at seven. From the starting point we run (as long as we can hold out) over an obstacle course about 1/2 mile long over a hill that I would call a mountain. It goes straight up nearly from the middle to the peak. When we get to the top there is a 20 ft long wall staring us in the face that has to scaled. We climb that and jump 6 hurdles ranging from two to four feet high. Next is a 10 ft. stretch of barbed wire which has to be crawled under on your back or stomach. from there we run to another wall 7 ft. high which is solid board so you have to jump, grab the top and pull yourself over. Then we hit a 15 ft. slanted log wall that must be climbed over. That brings you to a small ditch leading down the mountain at the center of which is a smoke mine that fills the gully and makes you breakfast come up double time. After we get through the smoke we climb a 15 ft. rope ladder, up one side down the other, run through & down a creek and fall exhausted back where we started. That is done first thing every morning to limber us up. I failed to say that every so often one of the instructors holler[s] “Grenade” and throw a grenade at us. We hit the ground and stay there until it explodes. When they burst two feet in front of you it really makes you hug the ground–

After the obstacle course we spend two hours at each of the following places–an infiltration course, a village, combat firing, Judo and demolitions. Each are as long and complicated as the one I described so you can imagine how much fun it is. On the Infiltration course we had to crawl on our stomachs for 120 yards through land mines, hand grenades, bob wire, etc, while rifles and machine guns fired two feet  over our heads. If we raise up we are shot. That sounds unbelievable I know but no body raises up so no one gets shot. The guys that do the shooting really know what they are doing so it is not as dangerous as it sounds.

I gained more confidence, and learned more ways to kill others and save my neck, in those three days than I ever dreamed was possible. If I can put to use in combat what I learned, I’ll never have to worry about the other guy getting me. The only catch is they know the same tricks!

We had one cold day, dry, yesterday it snowed a couple of inches and today it rained until three when it started snowing again. You can imagine how nice the ground was to crawl on. It’s all over now but the soreness (I walk like I’m 80) and I wouldn’t take any thing for the experience but have no intention of going through it again in the near future. By the way, this course is brand new (three weeks) and I don’t know  how much information is supposed to be given out about it so the less you say to any one the better. We are never supposed to say any thing about our training but this was so good that I couldn’t keep it.

All the physical hurdles are over now. Next week is “Suitability” week and if I get over that I will have an even chance to graduate. Every Day They Send more before the “Board” so all of us have the shakes wondering who will be next. If we get a “Suitability Board” we are as good as through as they just can’t be beat. I would hate to flunk out after going this far but even if I do I learned a lot that will serve me well later, knowledge that I would have never received in my old outfit.

If you have any money left, use it. I m broke but I think the plan has been changed and I will be paid the 10th, if not I can manage.

Everyone here under 5’6″ is called a “Feather Merchant”.   Fewer of us were hurt or couldn’t take it than the big men (on the course) and they are burned up. They were the first on the Course and it nearly killed them. The first day we came in they were all ready to razz us but we bounded up the stairs two at a time (even though I thought every move was the last). You should have seen their faces fall! Big men just can’t take it.

Love, Vernon

Editor’s Note:  slang : one in a position that involves little effort or responsibility or that calculatedly evades effort or responsibility : loafer


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Boxes and Boxes!

This past weekend I brought home all my late mother’s files, notes, pictures and books on genealogy. I am sorting, scanning and winnowing this treasure trove. Can one feel daunted and excited at the same time?
Already, I have come up on a small problem, and if anyone out there reading this is from the New York area:
In the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record back in the 20s, were published three articles on Silas Crippen:
Silas Crippen 1759-1831
1924 V55 #3 p251-262
1924 V55 #4 p378-384
1925 V56 ‪#‎l‬ p3-8
Mama copied all of the first article, and I just turned that into a searchable PDF. Anyone who needs that can private message me.
BUT–This is Frances we are talking about. She seems to have skipped the second article, and she copied the third article, but pp. 4 and 5 are missing.

Now, as I have found sheets of paper in this Crippen file that pertain to Reason Powell, to Bradford Tree, to Dexter Hungerford and to Thomas Minor, I’m somewhat hopeful that the missing pages are still in this box, just mis-filed. HOWEVER, comma, should anyone out there have already copied V56 #1 pp3-8 and be willing to send me a copy, boy would I be grateful!!! I would pay postage, scan them into a searchable PDF and send them right back!
Praying to all the Genealogy Angel Corps!

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Family Stories

Several family stories from both sides of my family give personality and life to ancestors.

For example, at the funeral of my Aunt Isabel  (my mother’s sister) recently, my first cousin once removed, Isabel’s granddaughter, said Isabel told this story: Grandfather Spencer (my mother and Isabel’s grandfather) got married late in life after being widowed. It seems a lady came to town looking for a rich husband. Because Grandfather Spencer had a surrey with fringe on top, just like the song. Apparently, as Cathy said, it was the Lamborghini of the time. Seeing this fancy rig,  she assumed the owner was what she was looking for. She set her cap and they were wed.

Now, as Aunt Isabel told it, at the time a rich widow in town would have happily married Grandfather Spencer, had he only asked, because she quite liked him. But he went for the younger, prettier and slier girl.

Once settled into domestic life, the new Mrs. Spencer discovered to her dismay that he was not rich. Not at all. Grandfather Spencer had been a successful farmer in Indiana before moving to Mississippi, but the crops he was accustomed to growing just did not fare well in the Mississippi heat. So he was not only not rich, he was losing money each year. He had a nice house, with nice furnishings, some land, and of course that surrey. But income was not what the bride expected.

She cut her losses quickly, leaving town with all the family heirloom furnishings and was never heard from again. And, we all assumed the nice, rich widow decided Grandfather Spencer was too foolish a man to pursue any further.

This is another family history tale I want to turn into a novel someday!



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Wending My Way to Paperless-ness

So, the latest edition of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter  (if you don’t subscribe already, you should!) had a small article about going paperless.

I remember, way back in the 80s, (yes children, I got my first computer in 1982!) that we all believed computers would eliminate the need for paper. Instead, by 1990, I was buying paper by the case.

And today, the end of January still means one thing to me: shuffling through  365 days worth of paper (at least three pieces per day, minimum) to determine what is deductible and what is not…what yearly statements I have and which I must go out and get somehow…creating and sorting spreadsheets from the 1,000 pieces of paper….ugh.

But Dick Eastman had this little blurb, linking to this LifeHacker article, about going paperless. For real.

I have experimented with Evernote,  with PDF Creator, with ShoeBox, and about half a dozen other iPhone and iPad apps, but other than being able to save quick copies of a family Bible, I have not found any of them convenient or elegant.

The LifeHacker article suggests a little hand held, battery powered gizmo for taking pictures of receipts, making them PDFs, posting them to your Evernote account, and organizing the receipts  there.


I don’t need another battery-powered gizmo in my life. I have enough of those. I also have a HP Photosmart All in One that can scan to searchable PDF for me. I also have a filing system that has worked for me, lo, these 30 years.

It being the end of January, I decided my New Year’s Resolution was to work toward paperless-ness. So I set out, not to reinvent the wheel, but to modify my particular wheel  to carry me into the paperless-ness I desire. 

First I created a new drive on my 1TB hard drive. It is labeled “Paperless”. On my Paperless drive, I now have directories (that’s what we used to call “folders” on our computers, kiddies. Quaint, no?) that match exactly my historical paper filing system: Automobile, Boat, Charitable Contributions,  Credit Cards, House, Insurance, Medical, Misc, Office Supplies, Utilities, and so on. 

Now to my new way of filing: instead of printing out all the email receipts from Amazon, Ebay, and all the other online shopping, I created PDFs of them.  Instead of taking all the paper receipts from the secretary in the living room and filing each in its category in the Bills Box, I started scanning them.  Each scan went into the appropriate folder on the Paperless drive. 

It will take me another day to finish January’s receipts (nothing is ever easy. The printer decided in early January to turn into an electronic brat. I had to re-install it twice before I could start scanning.)  After that, scanning is going to become the habit. However, it will probably be Easter before I have the nerve to recycle all these paper receipts!

Once I get the hang of it for receipts and bills, I’m going to start scanning and sorting all my genealogy paper. The photocopies, the pictures, the citation screen shots, all are going to be scanned and sorted and filed on their own little drive. The pictures I took of my husband’s grandmother’s Bible, the copies of NASA Spinoff, and so on.

It will take a while for this to feel as natural and routine as putting the paper in the folders in the box in the secretary. But I’m determined to do it!

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Support Cyndi’s List

Cyndi’s List ( has been fighting an  intellectual property. This site is always the first one I mention in my popular talk, “Five Favorite Free Genealogy Sites” (which, by the way, I am presenting in Foley, AL this Saturday). Cyndi has been working tirelessly on this site for over a decade and a half, and it is her livelihood. For someone to swoop in, take all her hard work and post it elsewhere for profit is beyond the pale.

Cyndi posted this on Facebook:

People are still asking how they can help me. I can’t tell you how overwhelmed I am with the generosity and kindness being shown to me. It means the world to me. There are several ways you can help:

1. Tell others about Cyndi’s List:

2. Submit new links that I don’t yet have:

3. Report broken links:

4. Donations are very welcome to help me pay attorney’s fees and also to defer the cost of the upgrade:

5. Share Cyndi’s List online with others:

6. Shop online and Cyndi’s List earns commissions:


So that is what I want my readers to do today. Strike a blow for intellectual property rights! Post about Cyndi’s List on your blog/feed/web page. Find a new link for Cyndi to add. Do all the other things she listed. Let’s help Cyndi fight this!

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Down the Rabbit Hole without a Watch

World Cat: Where you can look in thousands of library catalogs!

Went down the genealogy rabbit hole today. Spent some time looking for info on Edgefield Co SC 1802-1830, and Sumter County AL 1830-1850. Using WORLDCAT, I found a few books on those topics, some of which are in libraries in Baldwin County and Escambia County. – Don’t know that they will mention my Reason, but there’s hope.  Just wish I could find out what he was up to from 1802 to 1832 when he married Anna…..

I also set about printing out all I do know. Marian Pierre-Louis’ webinar on brick walls had some great ideas, one of which is to research siblings. I don’t know Reason’s siblings any more than I do his parents, BUT I do know about his kids, siblings to my ggf James Randolph Powell. So the next little tunnel will be seeing if I can find information on the rest of the brood…and it would be great if I could find out where and when Anna died….But for now, I’m going to chase after Mary Louisa, George Washington, Nancy Ann, Francis Marion, Josephine and Thomas Jefferson Powell….

Just a quick recap:

Children of William Reason “Reese” Powell and Anna Gibson were as follows:
Mary Louisa  Powell, born 1833.
George Washington  Powell, born 1837.

Children of William Reason “Reese” Powell and Louisa Foster were as follows:
Nancy Ann Powell, born 14 Aug 1845 in Sumter County, Alabama, USA; died 8 Oct 1919 in Stonewall, Clarke, Mississippi, USA.
William Henry Powell, born 17 Nov 1850 in Georgia, United States.
-> MY ANCESTOR James Randolph Powell, born 15 Nov 1853 in Kemper, Mississippi, United States; died 1 Jan 1933 in Collinsville, Lauderdale, Mississippi, United States.  He married in 1875 Susan Christian Fortson, born 12 Jun 1859 in Alabama; died 31 Oct 1931 in Collinsville  MS, daughter of Joseph Gail Fortson and Sarah Ann Eliza RADFORD.   Notes: James Randolph was a 32 degree Mason. He and his wife are buried at Pine Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. Souce: Aunt Ruth Beeman Walker (Mrs. Joseph Raymond).
Francis Marion Powell, born 25 Apr 1856 in Meridian, Lauderdale, Mississippi, United States; died 19 Dec 1931 in Martin, Lauderdale, Mississippi, United States. *(I always thought this was ironic, because this great-uncle of my father had the same names as my mother and her brother.)
Josephine Powell, born 22 Apr 1858 in Meridian, Lauderdale, Mississippi, United States; died 26 Mar 1913 in Kemper, Mississippi, United States.
Thomas Jefferson Powell, born 1866 in Meridian, Lauderdale, Mississippi, United States.

So, anyone out there in genealogy land who might be descended from these folks, give me a shout!

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Genealogy at a Glance Guide: Cherokee Genealogy Research

I received a (free) review copy of   Cherokee Genealogy Research (Genealogy at a Glance) the other day and was excited. Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG, of course is a recognized Certified Genealogist. She is the author of this handy, four page, laminated guide.  You may also recall that I am chasing down my husband’s ancestor who may have been a member of the Cherokee tribe.

This is a handy guide to have next to you at the computer, at the library or at a courthouse. It lists some of the common surnames the Cherokee adopted, a brief history of interactions between European-descended Americans and the Cherokee groups, and a good list of records and databases to search. She gives details on the different rolls  (censuses) available at the Family History Library, the National Archives and sometimes online.

The three official Cherokee group’ websites, and other online resources, are also listed.

I found this guide very well written, and helpful. This is one is a keeper.

Genealogy at a Glance guide: Cherokee Genealogy Research

Genealogy at a Glance guide: Cherokee Genealogy Research 

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