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 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 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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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,,

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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?

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