Tuesday, April 17, 2018

She Left Us Too Soon - Gay Nickle Lauritzen Appleberry

Though she is no longer with us, today we honor and celebrate the birthday of Kerry's sister, Gay.

Kerry and his sisters, Joy and Gay, were the "middle kids", and they always played together. He will often fondly recall something the three of them did as young children, and often with a tear in his eye.

She quickly made me feel at home as a new member of the family, taking me on wild rides through the Sanpete Valley of Utah in her green convertible. And, she made the best cinnamon rolls I've ever tasted in my life.

She was an artist extraodinairre, with two of the most gifted hands I've ever witnessed. She worked as a set director for several Hollywood movies, and for LDS films.

And, she also was diagnosed with ALS.

She passed away nearly 18 years ago, her body ravaged from the disease. It was so difficult for her large family to say their goodbyes...wanting her to be well, yet wanting her released from her misery.

Gay was one year younger than me. I didn't have her in my life long enough, but she was there long enough to make a difference.

Gay, your family misses you so much. We honor you today, and can't wait to see you again!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

One of My Most Humbling Moments Ever

I am sitting here on a quiet and rainy Sunday evening, contemplating the events of this past week attending the #2018OGS Conference.

I am humbled with the award of Fellow that was given to me at Saturday's luncheon. Humbled, yet overwhelmed at the thought of this recognition.

Let me tell you how this played out.

I had just finished teaching a class, and told Kerry to go on to the luncheon. I would get there as soon as I could, and was stopped several times on the way there.

The lunch was delicious! One of the most beautiful memories I had was of sitting at a table filled with people I didn't really know that well and hearing their lively conversations about their joys and challenges of their own genealogy.

It was awards time...and, my mind was on my next class that was to begin shortly. Chapters, chapter members, newsletters, etc. were all receiving their due recognition.

Then, it came time for the Fellow award. Again, I was looking at my watch, for I would need to leave to set up equipment in the next little bit.

Deborah Lichtner Deal began to read a beautiful description about someone that sounded so wonderful. I began to think about who it could be, for I really wanted to meet that person before the conference was over.

Then, things began to click. Some "Peggy-isms" were mentioned, then the number of presentations that I had given last year was brought up, and I'm sure a few more things were mentioned. But, at this point the tears were falling.

The entire room stood on its feet to clap and cheer for me as I made my way to the front. Never, ever in my life had I ever received anything like this. Never.

The rest is a blur. I made my way back, where Kerry embraced me with pride. I let him wear my corsage to church today, for I wouldn't be where I am without his firm, yet gentle support through the years.

Years and years ago, my parents were among the small group of genealogists who met in Dr. David Massa's home in downtown Mansfield to form what would eventually become the Ohio Genealogical Society. I'm sure they didn't know that 62 years later, their daughter would receive one of the awards stemming from those beginnings.

Now, that said, let me also point out that I am still the same Peggy that I was the moment before I received this. I am the same as you...I research like you do, I laugh with you, I cry with you, I pray for those who have asked to be remembered, and I worship with many of you. I am not above a single one of you.

May I never, ever forget that.

I humbly thank you all who have sent your love and greetings from around the world.

I thank my mom and dad.

I thank Mr. Kerry, who has known about this since January!

And, I thank the Lord for all of you who have enriched my life so greatly.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Having a Public Tree and a Private Tree

I will have to admit that having a public tree on FamilySearch has sometimes aggravated me.

I've had it set in place with good documentation for quite awhile.  Then, a year or so ago, someone went in and changed it.

I changed it back.

Two weeks later, I checked again.  Sure enough, someone had changed it.  

I changed it back.  Sigh...

So, I wrote a personal note to the person who was changing it, and said, "Please leave this family alone.  Check the page that contains all of the sources and documentation that I and others have added through the years."  

It hasn't been changed again.

Now, was I angry?  No.  Frustrated?  Well, a little bit.  But, I also tend to think in the positive.  Perhaps it was a young person just getting started, or even an older person not real adept at computers yet.  It was an opportunity to teach.  

But now, I have found a reason to love the idea of a public tree.  It's something called "All the Stories".   https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/family-storiesin-place/

This blog post came out a couple of years ago, and I just hadn't had the opportunity to check it out.  So, today I did.

I learned that it combs through all of the stories attached to people in your tree -- whether it's been you that has added them or someone else.  You simply give it permission to connect to your tree, and watch the fan chart begin to fill in.

See those dots?  Those represent stories added to various people on my pedigree.  There are actually some that I have added to children of my ancestors, and also to my sisters.  They wouldn't show up on a pedigree fan.

A panel will then appear to the left side showing you titles of stories that have been added by you, or by someone else.  Remember, this is one world tree, so you're going to be seeing stories and memories added by others you may have never met.  

But, they are their ancestors, too.

I didn't know this about Adam Gearheart before finding this on his page.

I am beyond excited about this, and may have finally been convinced that this could be a good thing.  

I still maintain my genealogy on a stand-alone program, using both Legacy Family Tree and RootsMagic.  And, I have just added Heredis to the mix, too.  I keep control of my information and documentation using programs that no one can touch.

Then, when I am sure of the information, I put it up onto trees the public can see.

But, the stories!  These are quite exciting to me, for others may have more information about someone's life than I have.  And, they have put it up there to share.

Not much of my family's history will be written in books and volumes, such as is found in the fantastic New England collections, or the Company Journals of the Mormon Pioneers.  

My people were in the hollers of Appalachia where no one wrote much about them, unless it was unfavorable.  Occasionally I will find something really good about their life in a newspaper.  But, it's a rare occasion when I do.

But, the personal parts of the far-extended family members are things I don't know about.  And, I'm sure they don't know very much about our branch of the tree.

Something like this can connect us.

And, I think I like it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Communtcating Without Talking

I have no outlandish stories to tell about my flight from Seattle to Nashville. 

But, I did have a first.

Because of the tenderness that is still present with my shoulder, I am allowed to pre-board. My doctor wants me to wear the sling as needed, but particularly when I fly. It gives a visual signal, especially if I need help.

As I am sitting up against the window with a stuffed cow under my arm for support, a kind looking tiny Asian lady asked by motioning to me that she would like to sit by me.

Of course.!

Now, I am not profiling...I am just giving the scenario.

We both took lots of photos out my window. I showed her when Mt. Ranier came up, and then soon we had the three mountains perfectly framed in the window.

We saw lakes, and rivers, and more mountains. Cloud formations were spectacular as well approached Nashville. The city lights there put off the most beautiful glow from the air.

Now, why am I telling you this?

Because she couldn't speak a word of English. And, I didn't know a single word of her native language.

But, we spent 3 1/2 hours in the air communicating with each other as we gazed upon the beauties of the earth.

Perhaps there was a lesson there for those of us who do speak the same language.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

All That Sarah Saw

Today I'm going to piggyback off a post I did concerning Randal Smith and Sarah Fulkerson.  Some of it contained information from Randal's application for a Revolutionary War pension.  The other part was about Sarah, and her census information showing her at 100 years old in 1850.

It also showed her her death certificate, which listed her age at 102.  The post can be found here.

I began thinking about all of the things Sarah would have seen in her lifetime.  A few years ago I discovered a website that can generate a timeline of world events.  All you have to do is put your ancestor's name in the box, put in the birth and death dates, and it will put together a timeline, both viewable and printable, that will show you things that may have impacted their lives.

The name of the site is OurTimelines.com, and can be found here.

Here is the landing page:

You will want to click on "Timeline" in the left column.

So, here comes Sarah's timeline, according to the known information we have on her.  She was reportedly born in North Carolina and died in Kentucky. 

 She was born before the French and Indian War.  Would that have affected her?  Maybe not.  But, it might have involved her father.

And, Halley's Comet.  Would she have seen it?  Would her older siblings, or her parents?

The Revolutionary War was in full swing when she was in her late 20's to early 30's.  How did that impact her family?

The dollar was adopted when she was 36 years old.  She was married by then.  How did that impact her family?  Or, perhaps her father's probate?

North Carolina entered the union when she was 39 years old.  Did that affect her and her family?  That's where they were living at the time.

Kentucky entered the union when she was 42 years old.  By the time she reached that age, her family had moved from North Carolina to Kentucky.

She was in her 50's when the Lewis and Clark Expedition was going on.  Did she know about it?

In her early 60's, the War of 1812 was in full swing.  Did her husband or her sons serve?  Many Kentuckians volunteered to go to fight at the River Raisin, where there was an unfortunate massacre.  They never forgot the injustices done to them there.  So, when Oliver Hazard Perry put out a clarion call for volunteers during the Battle of Lake Erie, who volunteered again?  The Kentuckians!

From the age of 67 to 73, there was a cholera pandemic.  She survived.

The first railroad in the United States was completed at age 78.  It's not likely that impacted her at that time in Kentucky.
The California Gold Rush occurred when she was 98 years old.  This may have impacted a son who suddenly disappears from our records.  I'm in the process of trying to locate him and his son right now.

Sarah may or may not have seen quite a few things in her life.  I don't know.  There were changes in America, along with wars.  There were advances in industrialization.  The money system changed.  There were pandemics, which she survived.  And, there were wonders in the sky.

Now, if you really want your eyes opened, plug your own name into the search box.  You will be amazed at how much has happened just in your own lifetime!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Randal and Sarah/Sally Fulkerson Smith; A Long Life and a Sad Tale

Yes, I have a Smith line in my family tree.

But, fortunately this Smith line has been one that has fallen into place a lot easier than I expected.

Randal Smith was born in Amelia County, Virginia...we think.  At least, that's what was in his pension file.  

He died sometime after the 1840 census was taken, and fell in the 80-90 age range, as did his wife Sarah.

But, it was his pension file from the Revolutionary War that touched my heartstrings.

Rejected or Suspended Applications for Revolutionary War Service - Kentucky

Smith, Randal - Carter - For deficient proof of service
Claims of Kentucky Residents, 1850

At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, he would have been about 27 years old.  And, living in Virginia, there is a high likelihood he would have served.

But, it was a statement made by a neighbor that gave us a glimpse of his life as an old man:

from www.footnote.com - Pension Application
Service:  NC     Smith, Randol     #R9834
Statement from Tho. T. Horn
"Enclosed you will find the Decleration of Mr. Randol Smith an old Revolutioner, who request of you to try and obtain for him a pension.  he hos that you will use your influance in his behalf I have been acquainted with the old man for near Thirty years, and from every information from him self & neighbours I have no doubt that he served his Country during the Revolutionary war to the full extent of the time that he aleges, he is now very old as you will see from his statement, holy dependant upon his neighbours for a support for him self and wife who is but a few years younger than himself.  they live a lone by them two selves in a small cabin in the woods not evin inclosed by a fence & not nearer than a mile of a neighbour.  the old people hopes that you will befriend them in this as necessity has caused him to make the request.  I was at there cabin a week or two ago the old man is not able to get up when he is down without help. - The old man a few years ago gave alll he had for a Negro Boy for the purpos of working & supporting him self & wife and in the cours of Three or Four months the Negro was proven & taken away from him.  it appears that the negro had bin stolen by the man that sold it to Smith.  That is one cause of there dependant situation at the present. - A few weeks ago I sent to your care the Declaration of Jas Horsly which I have not as yet go any answer be so good as to write me on the subject immediately & your prompt complyance to the above will be duly acknowledge by your friend Truly     Tho. T. Horn
PS  All Communications on the subju Direct to me at Grayson Carter County K.Y.     Thos. T. Horn"

Pension was eventually rejected, as the only witness was another man about 115 years old.  He was not found on the pension roll of 1832.  He served from NC under Colonel Yarborough (aka Yarber). 

It goes on to say:
"Rev. War Pension File #R9834. States that in 1843 he was a resident of Carter Co., Ky. Goes on to say Burliegh Grayson has known SMITH for 30 years and that SMITH is very old and must rely on neighbors to support himself and his Wife, who is just a few years younger than her Husband. They live alone in a cabin in the woods and had a negro boy until a few years ago having been stolen by the man who sold him to SMITH. The file goes on: On 13 Jan 1843 in Carter Co., Ky Randaol states that he moved as a small boy from Amelia Co., Va to Wilks Co., NC. He enlisted at Wilkes Co., in 1778 and was the battle of Hanging Rock and served a total of 5 to 6 years. He then moved from NC to Greenup Co. (now Carter Co.) Ky 30 Years ago and is now 95 Years old."

So, according to Randal, he served a total of 5-6 years, and was at the Battle of Hanging Rock.  I looked up some of the details on this battle:

The Battle of Hanging Rock (August 6, 1780) was a battle in the Revolutionary War that occurred between the American Colonies and the British.

1 Precursor

1.1 Location
2 Preparations
2.1 British strength
2.2 American strength
3 The battle
4 Aftermath
5 Notes

Charleston fell into British hands in May 1780. Within weeks, Cornwallis' army had spread over South Carolina, setting up stations at major towns, such as Camden. Each station had outposts whose role was to intimidate the locals and disrupt any attempts of the Patriots to organize. [1]

The battle was in present-day Lancaster county south of Heath Springs, South Carolina, about a mile and a half from a place known as Hanging Rock. [2]


British strength
A British garrison was located just south of Heath Springs. It was well fortified with more than 1400 British troops, including the 500-man Prince of Wales Regiment of the regular army, led by Major Carden of the British Army.

American strength
General Thomas Sumter.The Americans were under Gen. Thomas Sumter, commanding troops made up of Maj. Richard Winn's Fairfield regiment, Col. Edward Lacey's Chester regiment, Col. William Hill's York regiment and Maj. William Richardson Davie of the Waxhaws of Lancaster county with Col. Robert Irwin's cavalry of Mecklenburg county, North Carolina. [3]

The battle
Sumter decided on a plan of attack of assaulting the camp in three mounted detachments. The initial assault was made early in the morning where Winn's and Davie's men completely routed Bryan's corps. Capt. McCulloch’s company of the British Legion, after presenting a volley, was also routed by Sumter’s riflemen. The Prince of Wales Regt. also came under heavy fire and suffered very severe losses, including Carden who was badly wounded. The King’s Carolina Rangers then came up, and having cleverly deployed themselves in some woods, checked the rebel assault with a surprise crossfire. This allowed the British to drew up on a hollow square in the center of the cleared ground, and to further protect themselves with a three-pounder which had been left by some of Rugeley’s Camden militia. [4]

Then, in the heat of the battle, Major Carden of the British Command lost his nerve and surrendered his command to one of his junior officers. This was a major turning point for the Americans. At one point, Capt. Rousselet of the Legion infantry, led a charge and forced many Sumter’s men back. Lack of ammunition made it impossible for Sumter to completely knock out the British. The battled raged for 3 hours without pause, causing many men to faint from the heat and thirst.

A marker at the scene of the battle.At the end, the British had lost 192 soldiers; the Americans lost 12 killed and 41 wounded. It should have been a total American victory but the American militia was untrained and suffered from extreme thirst. A small group of Americans came across a storage of rum in the British camp and became so drunk that it became necessary to prematurely start the march back to the base camp at Waxhaw. Thus, the intoxicated Americans were in no condition to take prisoners and let the remainder of the British army retreat to Camden. [5]

Granted, some of our ancestors didn't hang onto their paperwork like we are so wont to do today.  I have other grandfathers who were also engaged at that same battle.  They also didn't have their paperwork.  It's sad that the one witness who could vouch for Randal being on the battlefront claimed to be 115 years himself.

Randal and his wife Sarah suffered poverty in their later years, along with a lot of others.  Their neighbors were kindly enough to look in on them to see to their care as best as they could.  

Randal would die sometime after the 1840 census was taken.  Wife Sarah/Sally would go on to be listed in the 1850 as being age 100.  She died two years later.
"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M6RM-BNJ : 12 April 2016), Sally Smith in household of William Smith, Carter county, Carter, Kentucky, United States; citing family 197, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
(Note: Her place of birth is listed as Virginia.)

(Note:  Her place of birth is listed as North Carolina.)

Source Information

Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1964 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data:
  • Kentucky. Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records – Microfilm (1852-1910). Microfilm rolls #994027-994058. Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Be Sure to Look Next Door

Some lines on my pedigree are a mess.

I've tried to straighten them out, and so have hundreds of other researchers.  I'm not sure that they're any better than they were a few years ago.

They're all in a wad.

The family lines I am particularly thinking about are the Mullins, who lived in southwest Virginia and southeast Kentucky.  The main problem occurs because of family names that appear in every generation and are spread out among all of the cousins in that generation.  Evidently, some family names were greatly favored.

One thing I love about research is looking at maps.  They can give such a wonderful bird's eye view of a vicinity.

But, most maps don't show the hills and the hollers and the creeks and the valleys and the cliffs...you know what I mean.  It takes a different map for that.

Recently, I was trying to figure out why I wasn't having much luck finding some of my family in the records of Floyd County, Kentucky.  They lived in the southeast part of that county, and should have gone to the county seat of Prestonsburg.

However, I did find several records next door in neighboring Pike County, where the county seat is Pikeville.


This may be the answer.  Let's look at it closely.
The bottom star is the area where my family lived.

Prestonsburg is the county seat, just to the northwest of them.

Pikeville is just across the county line into Pike County.

A flat map wouldn't tell us much.  But, look at the detail of a topographical map from GoogleEarth.  When the map is enlarged, greater details emerge showing much more of the lay of the land.

It just may have been easier to go next door and pay taxes in Pikeville...which you could do...as opposed to the distance and the terrain to go clear to Prestonsburg.

Just some food for thought.