I’ve Been Nominated!

Leibster AwardI’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award.  Don’t worry Mom, it’s better than it sounds.  In fact, it’s something quite wonderful.  The Liebster (from the German word for dear, beloved or sweetheart) Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers.  It’s a pay-it-forward-way to encourage fellow writers to keep writing.  Given to bloggers with less than 200 followers (Boy can I meet that threshold!) the award’s origins are clouded in mystery.  To receive the award you must answer your nominator’s questions on your blog and then nominate three bloggers to receive the award.

Thank you Melissa from Finlay Family. org for my nomination!  Here are my answers to her questions:

1. Why did you decide to start your blog, and what is the emphasis of your blog?

Two reasons:  I wanted to use my blog to encourage me to write about my family research, to put my research in a form my family and others could enjoy.  Secondly, I was so new to genealogy and making so many mistakes that I hope to write some research tips to save other new family historians some time, trouble and money.  I focus on the four main lines of my parents’ parents and all the offshoots of these four people.  I also throw in tips for other family historians.

2. What is your favorite post that you have written? (include a link, please!)

The one I’m writing NOW about my great-grandfather’s death.  I hope to post the first installment in a few of days.  This is actually a hard question because I get excited about most things I decide to write.  I suppose “Happy Trails” was as enjoyable to me as anything I’ve written to date.

3. What goals do you have for your blog in the next year?

Like most bloggers, I would like more consistancy.  I want to research better and write better.  I want to publish at least twice each week.  I want to know my blog is helpful and entertaining.

4. How long have you been interested in your family history?

I’ve always had an insatiable curiosity, which at time has gotten me into trouble.  I’ve also enjoyed history and love the large nuclear family God gave us.  I suppose all of this comes together to “create” a family historian.  But honestly, it’s only been a little more than three years that I’ve taken a real interest in documenting our family’s past.  I think my age may have something to do with that!  I wish I had started earlier.  I wish I had asked more questions, sooner.  I’m happy I can do it now.

5. What do you enjoy most about blogging/writing?

Two things: it forces me to put into words and on “paper” the things I’m learning.  And, it allows me to leave behind something for my children and grandchildren.

6. List a few of your favorite blogs.

Here are three of my favorite genealogical blogs:

7. If you could choose any vacation destination, where would you go, and why?

When I find the origin the first Roberts in my family line to imigrate to America, I would like to go there.  And/or any place my wife wants to go is fine with me!  Good answer!

My nominations for the Liebster Award Are….

Each of these nominees easily exceeds anything I have accomplished and are worthy of your consideration.

  1. Jake Fletcher at Travelogues of a Genealogist
  2. Michelle Ganus Taggart at A Southern Sleuth
  3. Larry and Gayle at Family Roots and Branches

Should they choose to accept my nomination, they will need to post their answers to the following questions and nominate three other bloggers for the award.

  1. What are your top two motivations for blogging?
  2. Describe your early attempts at blogging?
  3. Describe your immediate family and share how, if in any way, they influence your blogging?
  4. What is the favorite blog you’ve written and please share a link to it?
  5. Describe how your research and blogging influence each other.
  6. If you had only one thing to say to your readers, what would it be?

I look forward to reading my nominees’ responses.  Congratulations!

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What Do You See In this 1860 Census Image?

How’s your eyesight?  What name is given for the the head of this household in the 1860 Federal Census in District 1, Williamson County, Tennessee? (The Image mirrors the quality of the original.)
1860 Roberts, Anderson G. Federal Census for Williamson County, TN

Source Citation

Year: 1860; Census Place: District 1, Williamson, Tennessee; Roll: M653_1279; Page: 170; Image: 346; Family History Library Film: 805279

Source Information

Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

Original data: 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Here’s what the indexer saw.

Name: Anderson F Roberts
Age in 1860: 53
Birth Year: abt 1807
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1860: District 1, Williamson, Tennessee
Gender: Male
Post Office: Franklin
Value of real estate: View image

Did the indexer see it correctly?  Is it what they “saw” or could it have been “what they typed”?  Look at your keyboard next to the “F” key.  What do you see to the right?  Yes. That’s what I think this indexer did.  They made a typographical error.  They typed an “F” rather than a “G”.  They also failed to separate the Roberts family from the previous family in the column even though the original record clearly separates them.

What do we learn?

  • View the original when you can.  Don’t just take my word or the word of any other well-meaning person.  You are ultimately responsible for what you put on your tree.  Our lack of caution may confuse other online friends trying to “fill in their blanks”.  I found this relative in several other trees as Anderson F. Roberts when he is clearly Anderson G. Roberts here and in other documents.
  • Recognize your fallibility and the fallibility of others.  We all make mistakes.  Try to catch as many as you can.  Be open to correction.  We just want to get it right.
  • Take the time to put alternate information into the record when given the opportunity.  Remember, only put in what you see in the original document, not what you think or know it should be based on other research.

Can you Help!  Anderson G. Roberts is my 2 x great grand uncle.  Do you know anything about the Roberts or Tatums from Williamson County, Tennessee?  I would like to hear from you.  We may be cousins!  Also, if you enjoy this post or other posts on my blog, please share this blog with others.  You may also sign up to receive notice when new blogs are posted.  Use the “Follow” button on the Home Page.

Thanks for your help!

The Reluctant Genealogist Writes Again

I didn’t just jump into genealogy.  Perhaps you can identify with my struggle.

In my first post I shared how a wonderful couple, virtual strangers to me, introduced my family to my dad’s deceased grandfather whom we had never met.  Lawrence and Juanita Uhl of Jacksonville, Texas did their work the old fashion way.  They got in their car, drove to a courthouse, a library, a newspaper, a cemetery, made some calls and dug out the information, documented their research, made copies on bad copy machines and took Polaroid pictures.  After all, it was 1985.

What they did was to spark my interest and provide the foundation on which I now build my family’s history.  What they began continues through this blog and other efforts in the works to assist beginning genealogist and family historians.  I would not be writing this today if it were not for their efforts.

So, what took so long?  Their work on my behalf ended thirty years ago this fall.  Why has it taken me so long to shake that genealogical tree?  Well, that’s why I call myself the reluctant genealogist.

In 1985 my wife and I were 11 years into raising a large family.  We would eventually enjoy 7 children.  We were part of a growing church in a great community.  I was the lead pastor.  We were busy.  We were forward looking.  The only past I paid much attention to was biblical past and cultural past.  I wanted to bridge that past with the present and move into the future.  In most ways I still feel that way.  But not when it comes to family history.  My mortality was showing.  My family’s past was still clouded in the mist of the unknown.  No one could pass this on to my children and grandchildren like I could…and no one else should.

I began slowly, as time allowed, to collect facts, photos and do more and more research.  Dee and I began to use our away time to travel in and out of state to research the Roberts and the Ingram side of my family.  We shifted our focus this past year to the Byrds, Horns, Riggs, and allied families while my mother could enjoy our discoveries.  The Burns, mom’s mother’s family, is on our radar as well.  For three Christmases our large and growing family has played a game using PowerPoint slides.  We bring our family history to the present in a competitive format.  We spiced it up this past season with a few Riddles, Harrisons, Burges and Jordans (Dee’s family).   We call it Family Feud!

We’ve only scratched the surface in our research.  I hope to continue for many years to come.  I expect my children and grandchildren to read every post on this blog (Are you paying attention Roberts, Armstrongs, Collins and Willifords?).  I expect them to invite their friends to read it.  (Ok, maybe just their old friends).  I expect them to join the coming Facebook page and follow me on Twitter.  I…oh well, that’s enough dreaming.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.  I hope you’ll come back often, join the conversation, share how you research your family history and then share it with others.  I’ll talk about my family and in the process hope to help others research theirs.  Welcome.