Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Transcription Tuesday: I question if I'm called to be

My father had a cousin named George C. Groce. His middle name was Cuthbert, but I'm sure nobody except his mother and the IRS ever knew that. He was a scholarly type, but his intellect and his sense of humor battled for supremacy always. He introduced my parents, bringing about an exchange that went something like this.

Katherine: Do you play bridge?
Walton: Yes.
Katherine: Do you play well?
Walton: Yes. Do you play tennis?
Katherine: Yes.
Walton: Do you play well?

I don't know the answer to that one, since I don't think my mother ever played tennis. Anyway, by then they were both hooked. (Mother was the better bridge player, and Scrabble too.)

Okay, it probably never happened, but it gives you an idea what George and my parents were like.

Professor George, as we called him, lived in New York in the 1930s while he got his Ph.D. He later co-authored The New-York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America 1564-1860.  My dad was a budget analyst at Macy's then, and my mother was a steno. She typed up some of George's poems in her free time, two on the subject of the seasons. 

Spring in History E 10 R

A doctor of philosophy
Should very grave and solemn be;
Should gaze upon a cow or tree
And analyze it carefully;
Should speculate and ruminate
On matters of a lot of weight
On life and death and love and hate
"Le professeur" should cogitate
On matters small and matters great
The doctor should deliberate
But when the breeze is in my hair
And Spring is nearly everywhere,
I question if I'm called to be
A doctor of philosophy.


The Autumn's here.
I'm very glad
For subways now
Don't smell so bad.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: A Diagrammatic Chart and Sixteen Sheets

George Walton (ca 1680-1764) and his wife Elizabeth Rowe (ca 1685-1775) not only were very early settlers and very long-lived, they were documented in the most amazing ways I've ever seen. In 1955, Roy W. Black of Bolivar, Tennessee, typed 16 pages of material on the family, apparently with difficulty. in 1977, Britain W. Walton, an 11th generation descendent, saw fit to hand-print a massive "diagrammatic chart" of George and Elizabeth's descendents, based on Mr. Black's information. 

I have Mr. Britain's chart copied in pieces; I don't know what the original size was. It shows dozens of descendents, the latest born in the 1930s. Here's the heading. I've transcribed a little of it.

Diagrammatic Chart by Britain W. Walton (CH 2, 11th Gen), Edenton, NC 1977

Walton from the James and Many Descendants: American Origin
James River Locale, Colony of Virginia 
Those of: Surry County
Chart No. 3 — No more line data or female discontinued
RS – Revolutionary Soldier
(T) – Died testate
Material Source: Wal(l)ton family of Brunswick & Greensville Counties,
Virginia and Morgan & Putnam Counties Georgia
By: Roy W. Black, Sr.
Letters of Virginia Tabitha Walton (1837-1900) - 8th gen - included with data of Black. A thorough search of all records in Brunswick and Greensville Counties, VA by B.W. Walton
NOTE: The typed transcript by Block (1955) is on file at D.A.R. Library Washington, D.C.
DAR No. 48414. His write-up mainly concerns descendants of Capt. Henry Walton (1753-1813). He does not mention Geo. Walton being of Surry Co. apparently not knowing of the 1726 land patent. His presentation and this diagrammatic chart are the only known genealogical efforts on this Walton line.
George Walton & Wife                            Elizabeth Rowe
B ca 1680 probably England                    B 1/15/1685 in Middlesex Co. VA
D 1/1/1766 in Brunswick Co VA              Will signed: __/2/1771
Will rec 1/26/1761                                 Will rec 1/24/1775 ... names gr-children Geo, Sarah, Isaac Rowe
    John Walton Sr b abt 1706 Surry Co VA ?            Catherine Walton           
    D 1/1/1795 in Brunswick Co. VA                         B ca 1717 [?] Surry Co. VA
    Will rec 1/23/1796                                             D Aft 4/13/1793
        M Rebecca -?- b -?- D Bef 1/27/1789                   M Nathaniel Harris in 1737                                                                                         B ca 1708 D 1793 Brunswick Co.   
[John Walton] Received a patent for 180 acres in Brunswick Co. on 9/28/1728 & says he is of Brunswick Co and age would be abt 21
This is the upper left portion of the chart.

I have a scan of the chart that's big enough to read. If you want one, I'll be happy to send it. If anyone knows who holds the original, please let me know.

This is the first page of Mr. Black's document.

The code number SMITH WALTON/VA/2 is from my cousin Bennie Lou Hook Altom, an endless source of information and enthusiasm on our family lines. I can't find you on the Web, Bennie. Please check in, I miss you.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: What's that photocopy?

Paper Wraps Technology

Paper copies and research forms are alive and well, at least for me. I use them to preserve certain kinds of information. Writing it out forces me to slow down and absorb what it says, and reading on paper will always have its advantages.

In addition to pedigrees, family group sheets and research logs, I'm constantly searching for forms, charts and planning aids online. I have a binder with originals in sheet protectors and copies with dividers for family group sheets, pedigree forms, research logs, records checklists, discrepancy logs, census forms,will extracts, deed extracts, etc. I've designed some forms of my own that I use as well.

Some paper forms combine the best of both worlds. Today at footnoteMaven's website I found a handy little tag for labeling copies.  "Collecting Information for a Source" is her solution to the pesky problem of knowing which page comes from which source. I always say "Oh, I see what this page looks like, the running heads, the typeface, I'll know where it's from." But once I get the copies home, not so much.

FootnoteMaven uses a citation form printed onto a strip of paper. You fill it out and place it on the glass or in the photo or scan with each page, and the source data will be there every time. What a great idea! There are so many uses for this little tag: as a bookmark while the book is waiting to be copied, as a quick reminder of why I made the copy in the first place. I can even line up the tags on the copier for a record of the documents I found that day! 

FootnoteMaven tailors her forms to the type of document—photo, book, journal article, original record or whatever. Here's a sample of the one she uses for pages of photographs.

I think this is a terrific idea, but I decided not to go with a tailored tag—I have so many forms that I need to control the urge to add more!

I designed the strip to go across the width of the page so it would always fit the document. If there's not enough room, I can set the photocopier for legal-size paper. This is the form I'm going to try first. The notes will show the information I got from the document and whatever else I want to remember.

Next time I go to the library I'll try this and either tweet or post here to let you know how it worked. Thanks a million for the tip, FM!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: My Mom's Family

The children of the Rev. Mr. Duncan circa 1919. My mom, the youngest, is on the right.

The sisters on the beach, circa 1922. One of my aunts is smoking a cigarette!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Steamboat Green Bay

My mother used to refer to herself as an amanuensis. She worked as a "steno" in the 1920s in New York City. I have some poetry she wrote, on the typewriter of course, and some she typed for George C. Groce, my dad's cousin who introduced them. But I digress.

Today I finally typed up John C. Craig's handwritten note that I've had in my files for about 13 years. I visited the public library in Beaumont, where they made me a copy of Capt. Craig's photo and other documents about him. Later on a wonderful librarian sent a copy of the note with a Post-it attached.

 Jill: I just happened to find this while looking for something else. Did Craig own a steamboat? This was in a group of A.J. Tevis papers. —Judy Linsley

Beaumont, Tex. April 27th 1870

Rec’d of Andrew J. Tevis former Sheriff of Jefferson County Three Hundred dollars in full of our pro noto of the purchase money of the Steamboat Grand Bay, decreed to us in a cause heretofore pending in the District Court of Jefferson County, wherein we were plaintiffs and Walter Wakefield was defendant by attachment of said Steam Boat then sold under order of said Court He having this day settled the same with us by executing his note for said amount.

Craig & Keith

 per Jno C Craig

For anyone interested in the history of Beaumont, I recommend Emerald of the Neches by W.T. Block, Nederland [TX] 1980. There's a wealth of information there.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I Guess New Year's Day is Magical

2012, Now What?

I never make resolutions. The old definition of a resolution as a to-do list for the first week of January definitely applies to me.

You could call me an emergence sort of person. I have to do something for a while before I know how I’m going to do it, and even then I keep on adjusting my methods. I also have ADD and Senior Moments. I take a lot of notes and read them over.

Okay, I guess I can resolve to read slowly, concentrate hard, and do whatever it takes to absorb the information.

I interrupt this blog post for breaking news

I was listening to Descendancy Research Lesson 3 on FamilySearch.org and the instructor, Tim Bingaman, mentioned www.stevemorse.org so I went there and clicked on birth records and I think I’ve found a long-lost cousin twice removed, or second cousin or whatever, named Hughbert Creighton Craig.

My great-grandfather was John Creighton Craig, known as “Honest John.” He was a handsome Irishman and a leading citizen of Beaumont, Texas. Here’s his picture, given to me by a wonderful librarian in Beaumont in 1996.

I have a handwritten note he signed that says something about a steamboat. He may have won it in a poker game. I'll get back to you when I figure it out.