Connecting the Crowes….

In 1975, when I first met Thomas Wayne Crowe, he told me his grandmother was “full blooded Cherokee.” In 1978, I married his grandson. In 1982, we had our first child and I really wanted to find out about this. T. W. clammed up on me, and for years I could find out nothing.

This month, Mark’s grandmother, Gladys, died. The family let me have the Bible that always sat on her coffee table. And, below is one Genealogy Page.

Photo of family Bible

So now I have the two grandmothers’ names:
Arminta Foster Crowe, born in Arkansas and Julia Ann Jolly May. One of these women could be of the Cherokee tribe. But which one?

Using,, and it does not take me long to find the parents of both of them. I found census, marriage and death records that helped.

  • Arminta’s parents are Margaret Dunn and Jesse Forrester, according to several records, and several sources have her first name as Margaret.

  • Julia Ann’s parents are Joseph Jolley and Elizabeth Perkins, who possibly had a first or second name as Frances. Also, I find that Julia Ann was born in Tennessee, according to her death record.

So that is a start. Some very good clues. But a mystery….

I’m going to blog about what I find over the next few days….

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Press Release from Fold3: Special Black History Month Access

This is a press release from Fold3:

Celebrate Black History Month with Free Access to Black History Records

In 1976, President Ford designated February as Black History Month to highlight the achievements of African Americans in U.S. history. He encouraged the nation to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

In honor of Black History Month, we invite you to enjoy free* access to Fold3’s Black History Collection. This collection includes many enlightening historical records documenting African American achievements since the earliest days of our nation. Of particular interest are those from the Civil War era as we continue to observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

As soon as black soldiers were recruited to serve the Union in 1863, records were generated to document their service including Compiled Service Records for the U.S. Colored Troops and, ultimately, pension files. The pension file index cards, like this one for Joel Bedenbaugh, include a soldier’s rank, company, and regiment within the U.S.C. Infantry, his pension numbers, and sometimes a death date, 24 August 1913, in this case. Private Bedenbaugh’s 16-page service record also includes his enlistment record from when he joined up in Dayton, Ohio, in 1864.

Southern Claims Commission files are petitions by southerners who lost property to Union troops during the Civil War, including many blacks, like William and Louisa Ferguson. Though freeborn, Louisa was not only the wife of a slave, but also the daughter of George Washington’s carpenter, also a slave. Their claim for compensation of $150 for the loss of a horse was denied, but Louisa’s tales of Union and Confederate troops in the vicinity includes her encounters with the rebels and her service to the Union hospital nearby. A transcription of her file is here.

Explore these and thousands of other records documenting the history of African Americans in the U.S., from before the Civil War to the War in Vietnam. Join us as we recognize Black History Month and provide free* access to the Black History Collection on Fold3.

*  Free Access ends February 29, 2012 at Midnight

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Press Release: Attend some of RootsTech Free Online!

RootsTech Conference Will Broadcast Select Sessions Free Online

SALT LAKE CITY—RootsTech, a leading family history and technology conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 2-4, 2012, announced today that fourteen of its popular sessions will be broadcasted live and complimentary over the Internet. The live broadcasts will give those unable to attend worldwide a sample of this year’s conference content. Interested viewers can watch the live presentations at The second-year conference has attracted over 3,000 registered attendees.

The free online sessions include the keynote speakers and a sampling of technology and family history presentations. Following are the fourteen broadcasted sessions and speakers. All times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST):

Thursday, February 2

8:30-10:00 am, Inventing the Future, as a Community (Keynote Address) by Jay L. Verkler

11:00 am-12:00 pm, Do I Trust the Cloud? by D. Joshua Taylor

1:45-2:45 pm, Effective Database Search Tactics by Kory Meyerink

3:00-4:00 pm, Twitter – It’s Not Just “What I Had for Breakfast” Anymore by Thomas MacEntee

4:15-5:15 pm, Eleven Layers of Online Searches by Barbara Renick

Friday, February 3

8:30-9:30 am, Exabyte Social Clouds and Other Monstrosities (Keynote Address) by Josh Coates

9:45-10:45 am, Publish Your Genealogy Online by Laura G. Prescott

11:00 am-12:00 pm, Optimize Your Site for Search Engines by Robert Gardner

1:45-2:45 pm, Genealogists “Go Mobile” by Sandra Crowly

3:00-4:00 pm, Google’s Toolbar and Genealogy by Dave Barney

Saturday, February 4

8:30-9:30 am, Making the Most of Technology to Further the Family History Industry (Keynote Address) by Tim Sullivan and Panel

9:45-10:45 am Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101 by Lisa Louise Cooke

11:00 am-12:00 pm, Future of FamilySearch Family Tree by Ron Tanner

1:45-2:45 pm, Privacy in a Collaborative Environment by Noah Tatuk

For more information:
Jim Ericson,
RootsTech Marketing,,
Paul Nauta,
RootsTech Media Relations,,

Posted in And More..., Genealogy, Genealogy Online, Genealogy Sites, News | 1 Comment

WikiTree: A different sort of web site for genealogists

I recently had a wonderful opportunity: Chris Whitten, the Creator of (his page is agreed to let me interview him about his genealogy web site.

WikiTree is a genealogy site where you can upload your genealogy data and compare it to data others may have on the same people. If you have a match you can merge the two entries on the same person and that way establish some connections.

I recently had a wonderful experience with this site in this way. A third cousin, the granddaguther of one of my granmother’s cousins, found me on WikiTree and we have exchanged pictures and data.

So here is my quick interview with Chris:

Q; What is a good one-sentence description of WikiTree?

Our mission statement: To grow a single, worldwide family tree that will make genealogy free and easy for everyone.

Q:  What was the reason you decided to create WikiTree? Why did we need > another genealogy interaction site?

A: I originally started the site for my own family. I couldn’t find another tool that had the balance of privacy and collaboration that I wanted (and still don’t know of another one). At that point (circa 2004) I was still working on another site (WikiAnswers) and didn’t envision this as a worldwide family tree. It was just something for organizing my own family history, privately sharing it with family, and enabling them to add information on the fly. As time went by the idea developed. In 2008 I left WikiAnswers and devoted myself to WikiTree.

Q:  What makes WikiTree different?

I still think of the “privacy-collaboration balance” as what makes it special. The idea is a little abstract, but here’s what I mean. We developed this unique system of privacy settings and “Trusted Lists” that operate on each individual person profile. This enables you to share a profile with the people you want to share with. For modern people it’s just close family members. But as you go back through the generations, you have more and more distant cousins collaborating on the same ancestors. Because the privacy controls operate on the individual profile level we can all work on the same family tree without compromising privacy.

Q: Is WikiTree good for beginning genealogists? In what way?

Yes, I think it does work for beginners. Since I first started this when I was still a very amateur family historian (OK, I still am) I set things up in the way that made sense to me. I’ve learned a lot since then and as WikiTree has grown I’ve tried to work with advanced genealogists to figure out what tools and features they need, and how they expect things to work. But it still works for the beginning genealogist too. It’s generally considered very user-friendly.

Q:  What is the best thing about the site? What is the “worst” thing (the thing you most want to improve)

A: The best thing? Maybe that it’s all free. Every bit of it. There are no premium memberships or anything like that.

The worst thing? Probably the amount of genealogical garbage that careless users have left behind for more serious users to clean up. Some people don’t respect what they get for free. As a result, we’ve had people start using WikiTree without taking the time to understand that what they do here affects others, because we’re all working on the same tree. We’ve taken a lot of significant steps to minimize this problem for the future, but good WikiTreers are still cleaning up the

Q: Can you give some pointers on the most efficient way to use  WikiTree?

Updating profiles, in whatever way you can, is a great way to get them noticed. Any edit will bring a person’s profile to the top of the surname index. That means it’s more likely to get noticed by browsers and search engines (and, hence, by your cousins).

Using FindMatches is important, if you haven’t done much of that yet.
We don’t run it automatically yet, so it depends on users doing a search once in a while to see if their tree overlaps with others on WikiTree. This is especially important for those who got started on WikiTree with GEDCOMs. When you add a profile manually, a background search is done to see if the person might already exist. But if a GEDCOM is creating 100 or 1,000 people at once, the background searches aren’t done at all. You have to do it with FindMatches.

Thank you Chris, for a great site and for your time!


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Why Online Genealogy is So Cool

Of course, things like this happened back in my mother’s day, when you did your genealogy queries and research by sending letters and reading magazines, but still:

Looking for my grandmother’s genealogy, I came across, which had Flora Beeman Powell’s family. I emailed the owner, who is my third cousin. Her name is Carol Ann. She answered, but that was right around the holidays and we both lost track….

So this week, Carol Ann  found ME again, this time on WikiTree. (I hope to blog about this site next week). AND she found me on Ancestry as well!

Carol Ann wrote:

I bought Family Tree Maker 2012 so I could supposedly merge the tree on my computer with the one on It turned into a huge mess making kids married to their parents, duplicating entries, etc. Thank goodness I did back up what was on my computer. I started over on the tree and have a lot of living people from the one on my computer so I made it private. I don’t exactly how the program determines who to make “Living” when you put living people in your tree.

 I’m still not sure how much data is being synchronized because I get error messages every time I do it. I don’t have nearly as many photos on Ancestry as I did. I don’t believe I have any photos of your John Wesley Beeman but I do have other Beeman photos if you are interested in seeing them. And I’d love to see any you might have of the Beemans.

 A small part of the Beemans left the South and came to Texas. I never knew I had Beeman relatives in Texas other than my grandmother and her sisters Carrie & Sudie. When I got old enough to care about the family history, every time I would ask my Daddy to tell me about the family he would just say he didn’t know anyone or anything. I have no idea what the story was there but I know good and well he knew more about the family than he wanted to fool with telling me. I only have the one cousin who found the photos on the Downs/Beeman side of the family and she never had an interest in genealogy until I shared what I had with her a couple of years ago, so she’s not helpful either.

So I am sorting through what I have, and hoping to send Carol Ann some pictures of my grandmother and her sisters.

Isn’t online genealogy cool?

Posted in Genealogy, Genealogy Online, Genealogy Sites | 1 Comment

Come hear me speak at the Navarre Library January 31!

Using genealogy, history and online resources, Elizabeth Crowe will paint a lively picture of Colonel Guy Wyman, the founder of Navarre, at 5:30 p.m. January 31, 2012, at the library. It’s a story of murder, mayhem, madness and many wives. There’s never a dull moment in the story of Wyman and his family.


Libbi Crowe, a Navarre resident, is the author of Genealogy Online, now in its 9th printing. Crowe’s father really was a rocket scientist and she has been involved with computers since the early days. Her family got involved in genealogy after discovering an old Bible with family records going back to 1812.


The program is part of the free Lore, Legends and Learning series at the Library sponsored by the Friends of the Navarre Library. The program is held on the last Tuesday of each month, presenting a variety of topics to the public. Reservations are not required..


Visit our website: for the most current information.

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Soundtrack of my life, sort of.

Played this list while at a friend’s house, and she really liked the mix:





Rhino Hi-Five: Gordon Lightfoot – EP

Gordon Lightfoot


Best Of James Taylor

James Taylor


Grey’s Anatomy: The Music Event

Grey’s Anatomy Cast

Calling All Angels

My Private Nation


Carefree Highway

Rhino Hi-Five: Gordon Lightfoot – EP

Gordon Lightfoot

Chasing Cars

Eyes Open (Deluxe Edition)

Snow Patrol

Crazy Love


Van Morrison

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Best of Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin


Grey’s Anatomy: The Music Event

Grey’s Anatomy Cast



Brian Sutton

Hey There Delilah

Hey There Delilah – Single

Plain White T’s

How to Save a Life

Grey’s Anatomy: The Music Event

Grey’s Anatomy Cast

How We Operate

Grey’s Anatomy: The Music Event

Grey’s Anatomy Cast

I’ll Be 

Rhino Hi-Five: Edwin McCain

Edwin McCain

I’m Yours

We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things

Jason Mraz

If You Could Read My Mind

Rhino Hi-Five: Gordon Lightfoot – EP

Gordon Lightfoot

Kathleen (Live)

iTunes Live from Soho

David Gray

Mad World

Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets

Gary Jules with Michael Andrews


Best Of James Taylor

James Taylor

More Than a Feeling



Rain Day

The Rumba Foundation

Jesse Cook

The Reason

The Reason


The Riddle (Album Version)

Two Lights

Five For Fighting

Run Back to Your Side

Run Back to Your Side – Single

Eric Clapton

Runnin’ On Sunshine

Grey’s Anatomy: The Music Event

Grey’s Anatomy Cast

She’s On Fire

Drops of Jupiter


She Will Be Loved

Songs About Jane

Various Artist

Southern Cross

Crosby, Stills & Nash: Greatest Hits

Crosby, Stills & Nash

Southern Cross

Buffett Live – Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays

Jimmy Buffett

Spill the Wine

The Best of Eric Burdon & War

Eric Burdon & War

The Story

Grey’s Anatomy: The Music Event

Grey’s Anatomy Cast


Rhino Hi-Five: Gordon Lightfoot – EP

Gordon Lightfoot

Superman (It’s Not Easy)

America Town

Five for Fighting

Universe & U

Grey’s Anatomy: The Music Event

Grey’s Anatomy Cast


Grey’s Anatomy: The Music Event

Grey’s Anatomy Cast

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Rhino Hi-Five: Gordon Lightfoot – EP

Gordon Lightfoot

Year of the Cat

Al Stewart: Greatest Hits

Al Stewart




You’re Beautiful

Back to Bedlam

James Blunt

 In a way it is a soundtrack of my life from grade school to now….so if anyone writes a novel about me and wants to listen to the music of my life, this is a good start. 


Posted in 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History, And More... | Leave a comment

My Christmas Card This Year

Crowe Family Christmas Card

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! I have decided to do only email newsletters/holiday cards this year. Less waste of gasoline and paper!

2011 brought some pretty wonderful things. Marianne and Ryan were married in Key West in February, my brother Bill and his wife Kathie (and Springer Ria!) came to see us in June and Matthew passed his prelims for his Ph. D. in September. We went boating a lot and camped out on the lovely coastline where we live. From Destin to Pirate’s Cove in Baldwin County, we had a blast on Crowe’s Nest this year.

We hope all of you are well and happy, and will come to see us in the new year!

Below: Matthew, Libbi, Mark, Marianne in Key West!


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West Florida Genealogical Society, Inc. (WFGS)

The West Florida Genealogical Society was kind enough to ask me to speak last Saturday at their regular December meeting. I had a blast!My topic was What’s New in Online Genealogy.  I talked about blogs, and Twitter and social networks like Google+ and more!
For example, I pointed out that   Twitter is where you will find people discussing news and techniques about genealogy. Several sites such as have regular Twitter sessions where you can pepper professional genealogists with questions using the @ and handle, and receive directed replies.

Another topic was social networking.  Google+ has less traffic and less garbage about Fill-In-The-Blank Awareness and Appreciate Your Dog Week than Facebook. Although Google+ works much like Facebook, the way you sort the postings is called “circles” and works much better at filtering the stream of the social network. So I advised one questioner to try that, as he had found Facebook left him cold.

Another questioner asked me about finding African American genealogy in one little town in Louisiana. I showed her quickly how to search Google in my iPhone and there it was, a site about the history of the place where her grandparents had lived!
I also found some folks that had Kentucky genealogy, and had a good time swapping facts with them.

During my talk, promised the group that I would get back to blogging myself. 2011 has been such a busy year, that I have not posted much. My new year’s resolution is to fix that. So this is an early attempt to keep that promise!

Posted in And More..., Genealogy, Genealogy Online | Leave a comment