Wish I was there….

This week, the  Federation of Genealogical Societies meeting in Birmingham, and I’m not there. I’m actually packing for a boating trip, and putting things back in order after hurricane preparations. But when I return from that, I’m going to try to start getting back to genealogy, blogging, and writing in general.

I have, in the last few months, been sending off requests to Ancestry Findings. This wonderful site puts different resources up for free look ups for limited times. Keep up with this site via email, and when something is open for free look ups that involves your surnames or geographic areas, shoot them a request. It takes a bit, because a volunteer will look up for you what you ask for, and then email it to you. If you need hard copy, they can mail that to you surface mail, for a very small fee.

So before I take off for a week of scalloping, snorkeling and swimming, let me leave you with that recommendation, and a shout out to my buddies who are gathered in Birmingham!

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My few minutes of fame.

Wear TV 3 in Pensacola interviewed me about the 1940 Census.

Of course I fumbled a bit, because cameras make me so nervous.

But, here it is.

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1940 Census–First hit

Searching the 1940 Census is quite the snipe hunt…you have to know the address, or at least the general neighborhood, of the person you are searching for. My Uncle Marion, of course, remembers exactly where he lived when he was 8. So he was the first to find the Spencer family in the census:


I thought my Powell grandparents lived on Valley then, but apparently that was much later. They lived at 321 Valley all my life until Grandpowell moved in with us. However,  in 1940, no Powells are listed on Valley at all, and all the families listed on Valley Street are African-American.  So. Hmm.

On the other side of the family, my father in law is pretty certain they lived on the Dixie Highway in the spring of 1940. He is certain that is where they lived the day of the Pearl Harbor attack. I am still going through the pages for Elizabethtown, and although I can find his cousin, and several people I know he grew up with, I can’t find my Crowes or Logsdons. Yet. 

When I get frustrated, I quit looking for a while and start indexing names. This is fun, easy and you can do it while listening to podcasts or music. Go to 1940 Census – Get Started (https://the1940census.com/getting-started/) to download the software. It only takes a few minutes to get up and running with it. You can choose which of the states you want to index but not the county, unless you are part of a specific organization such as a genealogy society that has volunteered to do their localities.

When you are done, some other volunteer “arbitrates” your entries, that is double checks it to see if what you saw is what was meant (some of the handwriting is excellent, some of it not so much.) Then the indexed data will be available at FamilySearch.org.

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The 1940 US Census Community Project — Volunteer Today!

1940 U.S. CENSUS COMMUNITY PROJECT ANNOUNCES CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS TO CREATE FREE, SEARCHABLE DATABASE OF 1940 U.S. CENSUS RECORDSMost Informative Record of American Life prior to U.S. WWII Involvement Has Potential to Unlock New Insights into the Past, Discovery of Unknown Family Connections

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 2, 2012) – The 1940 U.S. Census Community Project—a joint initiative between the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Archives.com, FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com, and other leading genealogy organizations—announced today a national service project to create a free, high quality, searchable database of the 1940 U.S. census records. Through the indexing efforts of online volunteers across the U.S., records from the 1940 census that were closed by law for 72 years will be easier to find. These census records capture countless untold stories of those who lived through the Great Depression—great men and women who have been called “the greatest generation.”

With the support of NARA, the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project is leading the digital transformation effort to create an index entirely by online volunteers. Fueled by the joy of discovering fascinating surprises from their own family history, volunteer indexers are excited to join many thousands of Americans in an online community effort to make the historic 1940 U.S. census readily searchable for others.

“Many of us living today know someone in the 1940 U.S. census, but we may not know much more than their name or the town in which they lived,” said David S. Ferriero, archivist of the United States. “The 1940 census will unlock some of these mysteries for us. We are delighted to join with the U.S. Census Community Project to produce an index which will make this census much more user-friendly.”

When complete, the index and images will also be available online for free through the sponsoring organizations’ websites. Those interested in lending a hand can learn more and sign up to be an official 1940 U.S. census volunteer indexer at the 1940 census website (the1940census.com). The project aims to make available to the public a fully functional, free, and searchable record database by the end of 2012.

“Many parallels exist between life in 1940 and 2012: international conflict, the political intrigue of an election year, and efforts to rebuild a flagging economy,” said Dan Lynch, spokesperson for 1940 U.S. Census Community Project. “Our goal is that through the work of online volunteers across the nation, a fully digitized and searchable database of the 1940 census records can help strengthen connections between Americans, their families, and an important time in our collective history while bringing renewed understanding of the resolute courage past generations had in restoring America.”

The 1940 U.S. Federal Census is the largest, most comprehensive, and most recent record set available featuring the names of people living in the U.S. at the time. In fact, the census contains more than one million pages and features a depth of detail that paints a more complete portrait than was previously available of the 132 million people living in the U.S. during the Great Depression. From this new vantage point, we can learn about the life and times of our people living 72 years ago. Several new census questions appeared for the first time in 1940, including:

· Where people lived five years prior to the census
· Highest educational level achieved
· Detailed income and occupation

Perhaps more so than at any other time in American history, these individuals taught us lessons in hardship and survival. The Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the subsequent New Deal programs have left an indelible footprint on American history. In addition, many of these men and women listed in the 1940 census went on to support the fight or actually fought in World War II. Helping index the census, for many, is a way of giving something back to this great generation and rightfully preserving their place in our nation’s history.


About the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project
The 1940 U.S. Census Community Project is a web-based, national service project with the goal ofcreating as soon as possible a free, high quality online index linked to the complete set of census images. The index will allow the public to easily search every person found in the census and view digital images of the original census pages. The collection will be available online for free to the general public at 1940census.archives.gov, Archives.com, FamilySearch.org,and findmypast.com, the respective website sponsors of the community project. Archives.com and findmypast.com will make substantial financial contributions to make the 1940 U.S. census online name index possible and will work with the nonprofit organization FamilySearch to bring additional new historic records collections online—making even more highly valued family history resources available to the entire genealogical community.

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Getting closer…?

Kay Rudolph and Cheryl Rothwell have been helping me with this hunt! Big, big thanks to both of them!

Kay started looking in newspaper databases for the obit of Elizabeth (Betsie) Perkins Jolley, but she found “but dead ends. Genealogy Bank doesn’t have any Kentucky papers covering 1878; they have some Owensboro M-I but only for 1988 onward. The Newspaper Archive, Chronicling America, Google newspapers … zip, zip, zip. University of Kentucky has paper copies for 1877-1879, but that’s a long trip with little guarantee of rewards. If Constantine was full-blooded native American, would he have been able to pass as white?”

I was having the same experience. As far as Lexington, we still have friends and family living in Louisville and Elizabethtown so that is not impossible, perhaps sometime this summer…. On the census question, I read this on the NARA site today: “Prior to 1900 few Indians are included in the decennial Federal census. Indians are not identified in the 1790-1840 censuses. In 1860, Indians living in the general population are identified for the first time.”


“The Eastern Band of Cherokees traces its origin to the more than 1,000 Cherokee members who eluded forced movement westward in 1838-39 by remaining in the mountains. Approximately 300 of these individuals were living on tribal lands in 1838 and claimed U.S. citizenship. Other tribal members living in Tennessee and North Carolina towns were not immediately found and removed.”

So if they have been living side by side with the Europeans since before the ToT, maybe the census enumerator didn’t ask and the Perkins/Jolly families didn’t tell?

Cheryl pointed out to me that several censuses exist of the Eastern Tribes of Native Americans and sent me this link:


I’m going to be poking around there a lot in the near future.

Finally, I got some clues from DuckDuckGo, a search engine that is good at finding people. The latest edition of Ancestor Searching from the Huntsville Public Library (a MUST READ) pointed this search engine out to me.

It worked so well that I almost immediately hit upon someone also descended from Elizabeth and Joe Jolley. However, in reply to my email, he said, “I’m sorry that I can’t offer any proof of descent from the Cherokee Jollys. I have often heard older family members claim we are descended from Indian blood, but I have never found any proof.”

Sigh It may be next Monday before I blog on this again, but stay tuned!

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Still on the hunt

Today I’m going to explore some different sites in my quest for the Jolly/Perkins family.

First, On AncestralFindings.com, I am going to ask for a lookup in the Early Kentucky Settlers, 1700s-1800s database.

Next, I’ll prowl around the Kentucky Genealogy and Hard to Find Surnames queries pages there.


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The Laws of Genealogy Kick In…

There are several laws of genealogy that shove the poor family historian around like a comet flying by Jupiter. One such law of genealogy is this:
When you are looking hard at family B, something from Family A will pop up to distract you. This is the “Ooh, Shiny Genealogy” rule.

And this law hit me yesterday. I was poking around Ancestry.com looking for more on the Perkins and Jolly families that MIGHT be our Cherokee connections, when behold! Ancestry told me of some activity on a possibly related tree: a photograph of the Jessie Daniel Crowe family.

And here it is:
Jessie Daniel Crowe Family

Now anyone who knows my husband’s family will immediately see this is indeed my husbands great-great-grandfather in the center and his great grandfather in the back row.

So I spent another hour on the Crowes instead of on the Jollys and Perkins’. Sigh.

Today, I’m back on the hunt!

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Still Searching….

Haring off into the data and Tennessee…..

My new friend, Kay Rudolph, has been helping me with this brick wall. Kay has much better genealogy chops that I, and an analytical mind that leaves me in awe. We met on the MeetUp group Gulf Breeze Genealogists and she was fascinated by my puzzle.

After our first meetup at the Navarre Public Library, Kay and I both decided to keep looking at Julia Jolley’s family. First, because that surname is on the Dawes Rolls, two or three generations after Julia. Second because that family lived in the area of the Smokey Mountains where the Cherokee were known to live when the Europeans came. And thirdly, we just had a feeling. (True Miracles in Genealogy anyone?)

So I went home and started searching all the usual suspects for clues. First, I found a Kentucky Death Record for one of Julia’s brothers:, Abraham Jolley, as I noted yesterday. About the same time, Kay was finding that Bettie Perkins Jolley died around 1878 and is buried in a cemetery in Kentucky.

Kay continued searching in Jefferson County, Tennesee censuses for clues about the Perkins family (also a surname on the Dawes Rolls). She found one C. W. (Contanstine W.) who is near the Jolleys about the time of the marriage of Elizabeth and Joseph, and finds his occupation is basket weaver.

CW Perkin(s) in Census

In fact, in the 1850 Census this is the only Perkins family in the area at the same time Elizabeth and Joseph (or Betsie and Joe as they seem to have been known to the family) are living in the area, too.


Meanwhile, I am finding that in the 1790 Census, in North Carolina, William Jolley, Joe’s father, is living quite near Charles Jolley in Iredell County, NC. And that one person in the PRF believes that Charles is William’s father.

So we are still looking, but we feel these Appalachian families are a good bet….

Found this today:

Information provided by: Kentucky Historical Society  3/1/2012
100 West Broadway, Frankfort, KY 40601, 502.564.1792

Grave Information

Last Name: JOLLEY
First Name: Betsie
Middle Name:
Maiden/Alt Surname:
Date of Birth: 01 /  / 1838
Date of Death: 01 / 18 / 1878
Date of Birth Note:
Date of Death Note:
Inscription: Wife of J. Jolley
General Notes:
Grave Status: Identifiable
Quantity Graves: UNKNOWN
Quantity Remains: UNKNOWN

Cemetery Information

Cemetery Name: Jolley Cemetery
County Name: Daviess
USGS Quadrangle: UNKNOWN
Physical Location: Off the Harmon’s Ferry Road., east of Livia, KY
Cemetery Type: UNKNOWN
General Notes: 1.



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…Finding More on Julia….

So in searching for Julia Ann Jolley May’s life, I have come up with this much information, and logged it on Ancestry.com: Here is some of what I have found:
1856 19 Mar Birth Tennessee, USA Sources:
1880 United States Federal Census
1900 United States Federal Census
1910 United States Federal Census
1920 United States Federal Census
1930 United States Federal Census
Kentucky Death Index, 1911-2000
Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1953

1880 Age: 24, Residence Buford, Ohio, Kentucky, United States. In this census, the family is listed as white. Joseph is 68, Julia is 22 and keeping house, her four teenage siblings at home, and the mother is not listed.

1881 14 Apr Age: 25, Marriage to Nelson Thomas May Ohio County, Kentucky, USA

1900 Age: 44, Residence Magisterial District 5, Buford, Ohio, Kentucky

1900 Age: 44, Residence Magisterial District 5, Buford, Ohio, Kentucky Stories (1)

1910 Age: 54, Residence Hartford, Ohio, Kentucky

1910 Age: 54, Residence Hartford, Ohio, Kentucky

1920 Age: 64, Residence Heflin, Ohio, Kentucky

1930 Age: 74, Residence Bartlett, Ohio, Kentucky

1946 31 Dec Age: 90, Death Mclean, Kentucky, United States

Now, in the census that first lists her, the family is living in Jefferson City, Tennessee. That is not too far from North Carolina, as he lists his birthplace. And this is definitely Cherokee territory, so to speak, just 40 miles from the present day Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

After going to a Genealogy Meetup with Kay Rudolph, I came up with this information on the Jolley family:

Abraham Jolly, Died 1917 in Livermore, McLean, Kentucky, father Joe Jolly Mother Bettie Perkins. This seems to be a brother. Abraham Jolly, age 5 is listed with the family in the 1870 Federal Census in Jefferson County, Tennessee.

Joseph Jolley appears in a Pedigree Resource File (remember, PRF is all secondary information to me, because this is someone else’s research of records). Though his age in the 1870 census would put his birth date at 1802, this PRF file says birth 1807, Iredell County, North Carolina. This PRF file Shows the marriage to Elizabeth Perkins 11 September 1850, which is what I found in Kentucky Marriage Records. In the same file Elizabeth Jane is listed as born 1855 Jefferson County, TN, and again the census of 1870 would put her birth at 1854.

This file shows Joseph’s father as William, who married Lucinda Allen; William’s father as Charles, no mother listed.

Nothing in this file shows any connection to the Cherokee, but some good clues to chase down. .

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…Finding more on Arminta….

Starting with the Crowe grandmother,  Margaret Arminta Forrester who married Jesse Crowe.

Margaret Arminta Forrester life shows in these records: 

Birth 5 Aug 1859 in Tunnel Hill, Walker, Georgia, USA. Sources: 1860 United States Federal Census, 1870 United States Federal Census, 1880 United States Federal Census, 1900 United States Federal Census, 1910 United States Federal Census, Kentucky Death Index, 1911-2000, Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1953

Death 17 September 1915 in Heflin, Ohio, Kentucky, USA Sources: Kentucky Death Index, 1911-2000, Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1953

Residence 1860 (Age: 1) Catoosa, Georgia, United States 1860 United States Federal Census

Residence 1870 (Age: 11) Jeffersonville Ward 1, Clark, Indiana, United States 1870 United States Federal Census

Residence 1880 (Age: 21) Murray, Daviess, Kentucky, United States 1880 United States Federal Census

Residence 1900 (Age: 41) Magisterial District 5, Buford, Ohio, Kentucky 1900 United States Federal Census

Residence 1910 (Age: 51) Hartford, Ohio, Kentucky 1910 United States Federal Census

Death 17 September 1915 (Age: 56) Heflin, Ohio, Kentucky, USA Kentucky Death Index, 1911-2000 Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1953

Marriage Ohio, United States to Jessie Daniel Crowe

I should note here, that I have not found anything putting the Forresters in Arkansas, although perhaps they were there between censuses…..From the records I could find, we see Arminta was born in Georgia before the Civil War, was in Indiana just across the river from Kentucky in 1870, and married and in Kentucky in 1880. Now Tunnel Hill GA is up in the mountains, near the Trail of Tears. So this is interesting. However, a quick search of the Dawes Rolls of the Cherokee does not turn up Forrester as a surname in that census. So, that is not a deal killer, but it is not something that makes me wonder.

Then, a friend who has much more genealogy experience than I wrote:

Tunnel Hill has a connection to the Cherokee Nation. It’s basically at Dalton, GA. I have been to Cherokee, NC – reminds of me of the song, all the things we made by hand are nowadays made in Japan. I have been to various monuments between Chattanooga and Knoxville. There are several signs on I-75 between Chattanooga and Atlanta but we never stopped, always next trip. They had females in positions of power and the late Wilma Mankiller was the Cherokee Chief. Got to love that name.
I think you need to find a map of the Trail of Tears. IIRC there were several branches, some going into Kentucky. and touching southern Illinois. There were drop offs all the way for whatever reason. Could be mom was born in Tunnel Hill and Arminta was born somewhere in Arkansas but since she didn’t know where they were she adopted Tunnel Hill. Things like that happened. But Arminta was born too late to be on the trail of tears. >I think Jolly sounds like a Cherokee name. The ones [few] I have dealt with had names like that. I don’t know how it all works out but there was a Cherokee who was in central Illinois in the 1830s or 40s who gave testimony on a RW pension app. How did he get there? And my cousin’s multi great grandmother, a Cherokee, came out of Kentucky as I recall. That’s when I discovered there wasn’t A trail of tear but branches. So there has to be more to it than the standard history – round them up, move them out.

So, next I will look more closely at Julia Jolley.<

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