52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Week 2: Writing prompt - Challenge

I had made my way back in my family tree to my 3rd gr. grandfather William PERRY.  I finally located him on an 1850 census for Drew county, Arkansas but it had taken me several years to find this record.  It seems that when the census had been indexed the person transcribing the microfilm had mistakenly interpreted William's last name as TERRY instead of PERRY.  I finally requested a copy of the microfilm from the Family History Library of the LDS church so that I could look at the microfilm myself to see if the person indexed as William TERRY was instead William PERRY.  

These days we can look at scanned copies of the original census microfilms in the comfort of our own home on our personal computer.  But on this day many years  ago I found myself sitting at the library in front of a larger microfilm reader where I had loaded the 1850 census microfilm for Drew county, Arkansas.  I used the index  book which had been published to find which page I needed to go to on the microfilm in order to view the record I was looking for. (I'm not sure what year it had been published, but I can tell you that this was in the early 1990s when I was looking at it.)

I finally found the page and below is what I saw.  It is easy to understand why the person indexing the page mistook the P for a T but this is my PERRY family.  All the names and dates match.

The moral to my story... ALWAYS look at the original record.  It will save you many challenges along the way!

1850 census of Veasey Township, Drew county, Arkansas

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

I'm starting a little late but I think this will be a great way for me to get on "paper" some of the stories I have in my head regarding my ancestors.  Isn't the point of doing genealogy to record what you have learned so that future generations can know more about the people who's genes make them who they are?

Week 1: Writing Prompt — First

I first became interest in learning more about my ancestors when I was 14 years old.   I was attending the funeral of my great grandfather, Ruby Monroe Perry, know to all his family as "Big Daddy".

I was named after Big Daddy.  My mother, Alma Jean (Wilson) Lane was the daughter of Big Daddy's oldest daughter, Leona Bernetty (Perry) Wilson.

My mother was very close to her grandfather.  She and my father (Bryan William "Bill" Lane) had decided to name me after him.  I was told that my parents were expecting me to be a boy and I would be called William (after my dad) Perry (after my gr. grandfather), but I surprised them so by changing the spelling of Big Daddy's surname from PERRY to PERI  and adding Ann (chosen by my dad) as my middle name, they were able to have a girl's name and still honor the two men.

As I sat at my gr. grandfather's funeral service listening to everyone talk about him it dawned on me what an honor it was to have been named after this man.  I had had the privilege of knowing him and spending time with him myself and remembered how kind and gentle he was to me.  He had bore four children, two girls and two boys.  But both of the boys had died without leaving any male heirs to carry on the PERRY surname.   It seemed to me that it was my responsibility to make sure that the PERRY family surname was remembered.

I remember going to my grandmother not long after we attended Big Daddy's funeral service and asking her to tell me about him.  I wanted to know everything!  Where was he born?  Who were his parents?  His siblings? When had he gotten married?  My grandmother seemed pleased that I was asking questions about the family history and she was eager to answer my questions.

So that was the beginning, Ruby Monroe PERRY was the very FIRST ancestor that I put on my family tree. 

Ruby Monroe Perry, "Big Daddy" had been born the 25th of February 1888 on a small ranch northeast of a small town called Ponotoc, Texas. He was the ninth and youngest child born to William Riley & LettieAnn Burnetty (Reid) Perry.

Ruby's mother died 28 December 1889, when he was just shy of two years old. Lettie was only 41 years old. Luckily Ruby had older siblings still living at home to care for him.  

In September of 1891 Ruby's father married Amanda Marshall. Amanda was a spinster of 43 and not fond of children.  So, in October of 1891, when Ruby's oldest brother, Hilliard, married Sarah Edwards, Ruby (still just a toddler) went to live with his brother and new wife.

Although I do not know of the exact timing I do know Ruby's older sister, Alice, married in December of 1893 to Ruben Stone.  In October 1896 their son, Horrace was born,  Horrace lived only a few short weeks.  He died 7 December 1896.  Not long after the death of her son Alice took into her home her brother, Ruby, who was about 9 years old and her younger sister, Theo Docia, who was about 19 years old.  Both of her siblings show up in the Stone household on the 1900 census for Mason county, Texas.  By 1910 Alice and Ruben had two more children born to them; Marie, born 1906 and Lurlene, born 1910 and Ruby (by this time 22 years old) had married his sweetheart, Mary Elizabeth (Bessie) Alexander (They were married December 18, 1909 at Eldorado, Texas). Ruby and Bessie were living in Eldorado, Texas in 1900.

More on Ruby &  Bessie PERRY later.

Good Genealogy Read

Love reading books fiction/non fiction with a genealogy theme.
Just found this author and plan on making his books part of my summer reading list.

The Spyglass File by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

Morton Farrier was no longer at the top of his game. His forensic genealogy career was faltering and he was refusing to accept any new cases, preferring instead to concentrate on locating his own elusive biological father. Yet, when a particular case presents itself that of finding the family of a woman abandoned in the midst of the Battle of Britain, Morton is compelled to help her to unravel her past. Using all of his genealogical skills, he soon discovers that the case is connected to The Spyglass File—a secretive document which throws up links which threaten to disturb the wrongdoings of others, who would rather its contents, as well as their actions, remain hidden forever.

1918-1919 Influenzia deaths

I have been doing some volunteer work for Portland Metro Pioneer Cemeteries office. My current task is to look up names on copies of death records (supplied by Friends of Multhnomah Cemetery who spent many hours in Salem, OR making copies) and determine the location in the cemetery where the person is buried. That way we can place a copy of the death record in the appropriate person's file.

As I have been working on this project I found something very interesting which got me to thinking.

There are many records for stillborn babies & prematurely born babies who died during the time period of 1918-1919. I came across a few (see sample below) which indicate that the cause of death was due to the mother suffering from influenzia.
I wonder if all the statics we read about the thousands who died in the US from the 1918-1919 epidemic include the stillborn and prematurely born babies who died? Also how many of the stillborn births were as a result of a mother having influenzia but a Doctor or corner did not indicate the mother's sickness on the death record of the infant?

Maui cemetery

Visited the Hanakaoo cemetery today which is south of Lahaina, Maui. I can' seem to find any info about it. It appears to be a Japanese cemetery.

My husband commented that it wouldn't be a real vacation if I didn't drag him to a cemetery. :-D

Jan 12, 2012 - A friend sent me the following... the cemetery is filled with the remains of Asian and Filipino immigrants who made their way to Hawaii to work on the sugar and pineapple plantations.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


I too use the BillionGraves iPhone app.  Below is a great posting by Lynn Cassity about using it to "Pay It Forward".

Originally Published for Dearborn, Missouri (Area-Info.net Dec. 31, 2011)

Paying It Forward with an app

By: Lynn Cassity

Trekking through a cemetery in December is not something one can normally do in the Midwest. But this past week I spent a few minutes in the oldest cemetery in St. Joseph, MO, taking photos of headstones. I do this to ‘pay it forward’ for genealogy help I’ve received over the years. It also combines my interests in genealogy, photography and technology.

To do this I use an iPhone app from BillionGraves.com, a company with a mission. Their aim is to photograph and transcribe headstones throughout the world for family historians. The app for iPhone and Android uses the phone’s camera to take photos of the tombstone and uploads the photo to BillionGraves’ database. There the photo awaits volunteer transcribers to enter the data into a searchable database. This makes family data available with just a few keystrokes instead of a journey of many miles. The program also uses Google maps to locate the cemetery with the GPS coordinates attached to the photos uploaded.

I’ve added small rural cemeteries to the database and my families’ tombstones. When logging into BillionGraves this week I saw that someone, or perhaps a team of people, has recently added over 1500 headstones at the National Cemetery at Ft. Leavenworth, KS. Another worthwhile project and hundreds of those photos are waiting for transcription.

The program is free and can be searched by going to BillionGraves.com and creating an account and then searching. The genealogy treasure trove of family information, headstone photos, and cemetery location and satellite pictures is available to all. I’m hoping someone in Kentucky will find this app and take photos of my ancestors buried there. This simple app makes it possible for all genealogists to ‘pay it forward.’
at the IOOF cemetery in Coburg, OR

One of the photos I posted to Billions Graves from the IOOF cemetery in Coburg, Oregon.  (Peri)

January 1, 2012 -- Goals for the year

* Keep  a Gratitude Journal (I want to pay better attention to the small things people do for me not just the big things). And to say "thank you" to those people.

* Create a "Bucket List" (places I want to visit or things I want to experience before I die)  and cross off at least 2 things on it.

* Cut Calories but not taste. Maybe take a cooking class at the community college.

* Take more walks and participate in atleast one 5K walk for charity.

* Clean out and reorganize one drawer or part of a closet in my house or office every month.

* Write a narriative history about atleast 2 of my family members

* Have a weekend get away with some girl friends

* Communicate more with my neices & nephews, including sending them a personal note on their birthday

* Volunteer for the pioneer cemeteries in the area, researching, writing & documenting the "residents" 

* Make a quilt

* Help someone discover the thrill of finding their ROOTS

* Regularly do something (what ever the need may be at the time) to give a hand up to someone in need, remembering how blessed I am and sharing what blessings I can.

* Tell the people in my life as often as I can that they are loved and appreciated.