Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Thomas MCGRAW

My great-grandfather, Thomas MCGRAW, was born on July 1, 1889, in Ohiowa, Fillmore County, Nebraska. He was the fifth of eight children of John and Mary Jane (Grogan) MCGRAW.

Thomas married Elizabeth Marie "Bess" DELANEY some time before 1917. Children of Thomas and Bess were:

  • Mary Margaret "Maura" MCGRAW (my grandmother), born on May 9, 1917 in Stanton, Fillmore Co. Nebraska; died on February 24, 2004 in Hemet, Riverside Co, California.
  • Thomas R. MCGRAW, born on January 19, 1919 in Geneva, Fillmore Co., Nebraska; died on February 26, 1984 in Tigard, Washington Co., Oregon.
  • Deloris Katherine MCGRAW, born on January 1, 1921 in Geneva, Fillmore Co., Nebraska; died on September 5, 2008 in Sioux City, Woodbury Co., Iowa.
  • Robert MCGRAW, born on August 18, 1924 in Nebraska; died on August 13, 2000 in Lincoln, Lancaster Co, Nebraska.
  • Myda G. MCGRAW, born on December 23, 1927 in Keystone, Keith Co, Nebraska; died on January 27, 2002 in Sioux City, Woodbury Co, Iowa.
Thomas was a farmer in Stanton, Nebraska, and spent at least two years as a private in the Nebraska National Guard. On his World War I Draft Registration Card, he noted that he had an artificial right eye.

On December 26, 1982, Thomas died in Seward, Seward Co., Nebraska. He was buried two days later in Exeter Cemetery, Exeter, Fillmore Co., Nebraska.

For reasons which I do not know, Thomas left his family, and Bess was left to raise their five children by herself. I do not yet know the final disposition of their marriage; Thomas' death certificate claims that they were divorced, and Elizabeth's claims that they were separated. My grandmother claimed that she did not know her father, and we never talked about him. She did, however, attend his funeral.


Photograph of Thomas McGraw's grave in Exeter Cemetery by an anonymous Find A Grave volunteer.
For sources and additional information about this family, please contact me.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Because Mommies Worry

My little girl is having surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids this morning.

If you would be so kind as to remember her in your thoughts and prayers today, I would be most grateful.

Wordless Wednesday: Scenes from the Chumash Pow Wow

"Scenes from the 14th Annual Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow Wow" (Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara Co., California). All images © Elizabeth O'Neal, October 18, 2009.

About Wordless Wednesday.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Think He Had Them at Hello

On Saturday, October 17, I attended the meeting of the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society (SBCGS). The special guest speaker was Stephen J. Danko, who authors Steve’s Genealogy Blog.

To say that Steve gave an outstanding presentation would not be telling you anything new. Those of you who know Steve or have heard him speak would expect nothing less.

But as the ladies who sat next to me put it, he was able to take a difficult topic and bring it down to the level of the average person. I thought that was an excellent description.


The first part of Steve's talk was entitled, "Genealogy and the Changing Map of Eastern Europe." He presented some ideas for finding information about immigrant ancestors (i.e., census records, church records, and passenger manifests), and gave a timeline of "history in a nutshell" for Poland and Eastern Europe.

Poland's history was really quite fascinating. Apparently, back in the day, everybody who was anybody wanted to invade that chunk of land. My theory is that the countries with the best food are the ones who were always invaded, but that didn't come up in Steve's talk.

Several members have added their ancestor's names to the "American Immigrant Wall of Honor."

During the break, I had an opportunity to snap some pictures, and tried to unobtrusively canvas the room with my camera. When I returned to my seat, two ladies in the seats next to me wanted to know why I was taking pictures. Was I the Society's historian? No. Was I from the newspaper? No. Was I Steve's wife? I assured them that no, I was not Steve's wife, nor was I his stalker... I was just a friend who was taking pictures for my own purposes. I did not confess to being a blogger.

They went on to rave about how interesting Steve's talk had been so far, and how much they had learned. "Is he very smart?" I said, umm… yes, I think so. He's got a Ph.D in biology or botany or something, so he must be pretty smart. They said they thought so, but they loved the way he was able to take a difficult subject like Eastern European history and make it easily understood by "regular people." I had to agree.

"Is he a calm man?" Err… I think so. He's been calm every time I’ve seen him. "He seems like he would be a calm man." I don't know what this had to do with anything, but I think they were impressed that he seemed at ease talking to a large group.

What they really loved was the personal touch that Steve added by inserting stories from his own research and including a few photos from his recent trip to Poland. The one of him with the two cousins was the biggest hit.

Personally, I think he had them at "hello."


After the break, Steve's talk continued with, "A New Look at Immigrant Passenger Manifests." This included what you can expect to find in a passenger manifest, as well as annotations made before and after arrival.

Some of these items were quite shocking by today's standards. Can you imagine a Customs official asking an immigrant today if he/she was a polygamist, anarchist, or intended to overthrow the U.S. government? Or labeling an immigrant an imbecile, illiterate, or a cripple with a piece of chalk… right on his/her clothes? There were real concerns back in the early to mid 20th century!

For what it's worth, I have not had any luck whatsoever finding my – or my husband's – immigrant ancestors in passenger manifests. Perhaps I haven't looked hard enough or in the right places. But let me just say that finding John McGraw on a boat from Ireland during the Potato Famine years is not the easiest task.

I do feel inspired to keep trying now, though. Maybe I'll have better luck armed with new information.


As a side note, the SBCGS Library, a.k.a. the Sahyun Library, is named for Dr. Melville, Irene, and mom Geraldine Sahyun, who donated the land and buildings which house the Society's library collection. Dr. Melville is best known for having formulated the famous eyedrops, VISINE®. Steve happened to mention before starting his second talk that he had picked up a bottle of VISINE® during his trip to Poland, and had it with him in his bag.

The Polish VISINE® bottle later posed for a few snapshots, and if I'm not mistaken, it will now be living at the Sahyun Library.


As for the rest of the meeting, I'm happy to report that the SBCGS is quite "healthy." President Art Sylvester announced that the group now has over 500 members, and I'd guess that at least 100 or so of them were present on Saturday.

I enjoyed meeting in person some of the members with whom I had only corresponded or read about in newsletters. I really appreciated the folks who took the time to introduce themselves and make me feel welcome.

Thank you for a great day!

Steve graciously posed for fan photos following the meeting.

Please be sure to check out the SBCGS blog for more about upcoming meetings and events.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Tombstone Tuesday: John Dunn

My great-grandfather John DUNN was born on 14 March 1843 in Shelby, Cleveland County, North Carolina. He was the fourth of eleven children of Samuel Marion DUNN and Julia Ann BLANTON.

John married Sarah Jane SWATZEL on 4 February 1877, in Albany, Greene County, Tennessee. Sarah was John’s second wife; his first marriage was to Anna BABB on 15 January 1866. Anna died on 4 November 1876.

John and Sarah raised twelve children of their own, as well as three children from his marriage to Anna.

Children of John and Sarah Dunn were:

  • Samuel Marion DUNN, born 21 November 1877, in Greene County, Tennessee; died 5 June 1955, Urbana, Illinois.
  • Julia Ann DUNN, born 11 August 1878, in Newmansville, Greene County, Tennessee; died 8 May 1957, Colton, San Bernardino, California
  • Georgie Florence DUNN, born 9 November 1880, in Greene County, Tennessee; died 1881, in Tennessee.
  • John Walter DUNN, born 3 May 1882, in Greene County, Tennessee; died 13 February 1952, Bristol, Virginia.
  • Charles Edy DUNN, born 9 October 1885, in Greene County, Tennessee; died 14 October 1887, in Greene County, Tennessee.
  • Nina Josephine DUNN, born 6 January 1888, in Tennessee; died 9 February 1936, in Riverside, California.
  • Bertie Charlotte DUNN, born 9 November 1891, in Greene County, Tennessee; died 27 March 1917, in Greene County, Tennessee.
  • Mary Barton DUNN, born 30 November 1889, in Tennessee; died 3 March 1891, in Tennessee.
  • Dolly Myrtle DUNN, born15 January 1894, in Greenville, Greene County, Tennessee; died 11 February 1979, in Loma Linda, California.
  • Jodie Lee DUNN, born 5 May 1896, in Newmansville, Greene County, Tennessee; died 13 May 1925, in Greene County, Tennessee.
  • Bonnie Lucille DUNN, born 30 April 1898, in Greene County, Tennessee; died 30 March 1979, in Tennessee.
  • Reba Clyde DUNN (my grandmother), born 17 May 1901, in Greene County, Tennessee; died 4 August 1987, in Pasco, Franklin County, Washington.
John fought for the Union in the Civil War. Enlisting at the age of 19, he served as a Private in Co. K, 1st Tennessee Cavalry, from 12 July 1862, until 5 June 1865. He was captured in Newman, Georgia, on 31 July 1864, and held at Andersonville Prison. Fortunately, he was one of the lucky survivors who made it out alive.

On 15 September 1915, John died in Afton, Greene County, Tennessee. He is buried in Union Temple Cemetery in Greene County, Tennessee.


Photos of John and Sarah Dunn's headstone by Elizabeth O'Neal, May 1994.

For additional sources and information about this family, please contact me.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Friday, October 16, 2009

Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society to Feature Geneablogger Stephen Danko

Tomorrow morning, fellow geneablogger Stephen J. Danko of Steve's Genealogy Blog, will be the special guest speaker at the meeting of the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society (of which I am a member).

When: Saturday, October 17, 2009
Time: 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Where: First Presbyterian Church, Santa Barbara

Steve's program looks like this:

9:30 - 10:15 AM - "Genealogy and the Changing Map of Eastern Europe"
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM - "A New Look at Immigrant Passenger Manifests"

Barring any unforseen family crisis, my plan is to be there tomorrow for Steve's talks. My husband's maternal great-grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Czechoslovakia, and unfortunately I know very little about this area of research - let alone, part of the world. I can certainly use the information.

Also, as a charter member of the "Steve Danko Fan Club," I feel it my duty to be there to represent. I'm hoping Steve will give me some special tutoring. Or at least an autograph.

Seriously though, this promises to be an excellent program, and one that I'm looking forward to hearing. For more information about this event, as well as their other Family History Month programs, please visit the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Genealogical Joiner

I'm a joiner.

I like to be part of a group, especially a group that is working toward a common goal.

When you think about it, genealogy is such a solitary activity. We spend so much time alone: in front of a computer; in libraries, courthouses, and Family History Centers; writing and researching.

Our families sometimes see us as the crazy/nosey/annoying one, and hide or run the other way when they see us coming (especially when we’ve got netbooks and personal recorders in our hands).

Finding a safe place for us to “be ourselves” as genealogists, and to fellowship with others who share our passion is so important… not just to increase our knowledge, but to preserve our sanity.

Genealogical societies, both local and remote, are the perfect place to fill these needs. However, for me, at least, it’s been difficult to find everything I’m looking for all in one place.

So, I keep looking.

Like many genealogists, I belong to the National Genealogical Society (NGS). Their web site is great, their publications are great, their conferences are great (or so I’ve heard). But mainly I joined to get a discount on American Genealogy: A Home-Study Course. And also, hopefully, on the next NGS Conference… provided I can get a hall-pass to go. So being a member of this group has really been a "remote" experience for me. It helps with the knowledge, but not so much with the fellowship.

For the past three years I’ve also been a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS). They have an awesome library –which actually contains books that are relevant to my research – some terrific member benefits (like a NewspaperArchive subscription), an informative web site and publications, and they put on one rockin’ conference each year. Seriously, if you haven’t been to the SCGS Jamboree, you haven’t lived (read about last year’s exploits here). And SCGS members are darn nice people, too.

SCGS membership has filled both my fellowship and knowledge needs. Unfortunately, their headquarters are far enough away from me to make attendance at meetings – and visits to the library – impossible.

So finding a local group would really help to fill that void.

In May of 2008, I related my woeful tale about how I tried to join our hometown genealogical society, only to find that it had died such a quiet death that even the newspaper thought it was still alive.

I was disappointed, but determined to find another group.

A couple of former defunct-local-society members directed me to check out the larger "county" groups: the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society (SBCGS) and the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society (SLOCGS). Not knowing anything about either group – with the exception of their meeting dates – it was really a toss-up for me. Travel to meetings for each group would be about an hour, each way. I weighed the pros and cons of both groups (as I saw them), and I finally decided to attend a meeting of the SBCGS. I joined that same day.

(I have not yet visited the SLOCGS, but I still have every intention of doing so… someday… in my free time.)

The SBCGS is an outstanding group. I haven’t been able to attend many meetings yet, (unfortunately (there are only so many weekends in a month), but so far, the programs have been wonderful, and the people are friendly and helpful. I hope to be more involved in the group in the future.

However, I'm still on a quest to either find, or organize, an even more local-to-me genealogical society. I recently – with the help of all-knowing GenSoc Guru Kathryn Doyle – stumbled upon the Santa Maria Valley Genealogical Society, a fairly small group that meets monthly in Santa Maria on a weekday afternoon. I met up with a few members one afternoon at the local library, and they were extremely welcoming, even with my 3 year-old daughter bouncing off the library walls. I really hope to visit one of their meetings in the not-too-distant future… provided that I can find a babysitter.

The group does have what looks like an interesting collection of genealogical books at the Santa Maria Public Library, but with said toddler bouncing off the walls (literally – I'm not joking), I didn’t have much of a chance to check it out. I'm just lucky they didn’t ask us to leave.

So, why do I find it important to find a local group? Well, as I’ve said, that face-to-face interaction is a big boost to genealogical motivation (and depression). Even if the meeting topics aren’t always relevant to my particular area of research, there’s still so much value in attending the meetings, networking with others, and discovering how they solved similar research dilemmas.

Plus, there's the cookies.

In the meantime, my current goal is to join a few genealogical/historical societies in the areas in which I’m researching: namely in Tennessee, North Carolina, Nebraska, and Iowa. I’m hoping that the brick-wall-breaker information I need is hidden away in back issues of their periodicals. And if I’m really lucky maybe someone will still be alive who knew my family.

You just never know what you’ll find when you’re a joiner.

Written for the 82nd Edition, Carnival of Genealogy: "Breaking Into Society."

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Beautiful Bride

"Anna (Pado) MACEK on her wedding day." Digital image. Original photograph privately held by [NAME AND ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Brevard Co., Florida. 2009.

About Wordless Wednesday.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Marvin G. DAGLE

My maternal grandfather, Marvin George DAGLE, was born on September 12, 1912, in Jefferson, Union Co., South Dakota. He was the eldest of two sons of George Dames DAGLE and Azelia Clementine FAIVRE.

Marvin married Mary Margaret MCGRAW on June 10, 1936, in Elk Point, Union Co., South Dakota. They had 2 daughters, one of whom was my mother. Both daughters, as well as Mary, are now deceased.

Marvin died of kidney failure on August 12, 1951. He was buried four days later in Calvary Cemetery, Tacoma, Pierce Co., Washington.


Photograph of Marvin Dagle's grave in Calvary Cemetery by an anonymous Find A Grave volunteer. Photograph of Marvin Dagle in possession of Elizabeth O'Neal.

For additional sources and information about this family, please contact me.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Monday, October 12, 2009

Celebrate Columbus Day in Washington, DC

If you are in Washington, DC, today, you won't want to miss the 92nd annual Christopher Columbus Ceremony, held at the Christopher Columbus Statue in Columbus Plaza (opposite Union Station). The ceremony begins at 11:00 AM EDT today. The United States Marine Band will provide a musical prelude starting at 10:45 AM. This event is free to the public.

In addition to the special presentations and wreath-laying ceremony, the winner of the DAR's "Christopher Columbus Essay Contest" will read her 1st place essay:

Miss Monika Grzesik, resident of Macomb Township, Michigan, the national winner of the eighth annual youth essay contest, will deliver her essay entitled "A Day in the Life of Christopher Columbus the Explorer."

Since 1996 this nation-wide contest is co-sponsored by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and The National Italian American Foundation. The prize for the national winner is a cash prize of $1,200 along with travel expenses and hotel accommodations for the student and one parent/guardian to Washington, D.C. for the holiday weekend.
More information about the Christopher Columbus Essay Contest - as well as other essay contest opportunities for young people offered by the DAR and SAR - is available here.

You can read more about the Columbus Day Ceremony in the press release issued by the National Parks Service.

Portrait of Christopher Columbus, above, by Sebastiano del Piombo (1485-1547), c. 1520.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy 119th Birthday, Daughters of the American Revolution!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday National Society Daughters of the American Revolution...
Happy birthday to you!

October 11, 2009 marks the 119th birthday of the DAR.

Founded by Mary Desha, Eugenia Washington, Ellen Hardin Walworth, and Mary Smith Lockwood, the objectives of the DAR remain the same today as they did at that first meeting:

Historical - to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence;

Educational - to carry out the injunction of Washington in his farewell address to the American people, "to promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge, thus developing an enlightened public opinion…";

Patriotic - to cherish, maintain, and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty.
For more information about the Daughters of the American Revolution, please visit http://www.dar.org/.

Pictured above: DAR members and others pose in front of the DAR building in Washington, DC. Founder Mary Smith Lockwood is on the right, near the front, wearing a white fur-trimmed coat and hat with a white plume. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Harris & Ewing, photographer, 1916)

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Friday, October 9, 2009

Year Two: It's My 2nd Blogiversary!

Two years ago today, I published my first article in this blog. As you might guess from that stinker, I had no real idea what direction the blog would take. I was just going to type, and hope to be struck with inspiration. After all, no one was going to read my blog, anyway.

In the beginning, I think I assumed that I would be a "mommy-blogger." I was (and still am, to some extent) an isolated, stay-at-home mom. I was looking for a way to express myself and communicate with others who shared my interests. You moms out there know what I mean: sometimes we just need to talk with others without using the words "num num" and "poopy" for an entire conversation.

But despite the fact that I love my kid, and I love talking about and showing off my kid, I wasn't sure that all I wanted to write about was my kid. Blogging wasn't going to be much of a "break" for me if I was still being a mommy while I was doing it. Besides, I still had other interests, didn't I? Like, say… genealogy. And wine (although not necessarily together).

What I didn't know at that time was that there was this amazing group of people out there who shared my passion (read: obsession) for genealogy, who were already blogging about it and sharing their knowledge. I accidentally stumbled across this group one day when I Googled my way onto Bill West's blog, West in New England. Bill had just posted "49 GENEALOGY USES FOR A FLUTAPHONE ON PARADE!" and had issued a challenge to his fellow genealogy bloggers to design a virtual float for the "Genealogist's Parade."

I'd had a frustrating few days (years) of researching my Delaneys, so I decided that - what the heck - I could design a float for Bill's parade... even though I was a newbie blogger and had never met (virtually, or otherwise) any of the genealogy bloggers out there.

Kind of brave of me, when I think of it now.

My float was The Mother Ship. Yep, I'm pretty sure my people really were beamed here by aliens and then mysteriously removed, leaving absolutely no trace.

Be honest: you've thought the same thing about your own family at one time or another, right?

So I left a comment on Bill's blog pointing him to my article. Sure, he'd probably think I was nuts, but since nobody was actually going to read my blog, I didn't care.

Before I knew it, people were leaving comments on my post – which meant they were actually READING it – wow! They were supportive and encouraging. In particular, an amazing, wonderful blogger named Apple had taken the time to look up - and find! - information that I had overlooked dozens of times in Ancestry.com.

I was stunned. And hooked.

I'd found my genea-soulmates.


Much has changed in the past two years. Genealogy bloggers have adopted the moniker "geneabloggers," and the online community has virtually exploded. Genealogists - from newbies to seasoned researchers - are creating new blogs every day, as is evidenced by the 719 members (!) of the Geneabloggers group on Facebook.

"Geneablogging" is being taken seriously at conferences, with how-to workshops and classes being offered at local and national events.

But what hasn't changed is the people. They’re still the most wonderful, caring, helpful folks you could hope to find anywhere... not just on the world wide web. And they're, FUN (especially in person)!

So my point – and I do have one – is this: if you've been thinking about starting a blog, and haven't had the courage to do it yet, be brave. Do it! You'll meet some incredible people, and you'll be amazed at the rewards. I know I was.

Who knows: you might even meet a new cousin!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Announcement from FTDNA: Full mtDNA Price Updates

Have you already had your mtDNA tested with FamilyTree DNA? If so, you may be interested in the following announcement.

I am pleased to make a very special announcement about our Full Mitochondria Sequence test.

As you know, this test has continually dropped in price from its initial introduction at $895 in 2005. These price decreases were related to volume and workflow, translating productivity into economies of scale that allowed us to reduce prices to those customers interested in testing their full mitochondrial sequence.

Now Family Tree DNA is doing it again, but this time we are going to take advantage of new technology that will allow us to run more samples in less time, and the savings are substantial. We expect that this price decrease will hearken a new era of Full Mitochondria Testing for the entire Genealogy community!

We will jumpstart this new era of complete mtDNA testing with an aggressive price in order to build the comparative database to the levels that genetic genealogists will be able to use to answer precise ancestral and geographic questions.

So now on to the news that you've been waiting for. A new price for the full mtDNA test will be introduced in November but until then we are offering our current customers a promotional price through October 31st, 2009:

  • $179 (was $410) for those who have already tested up to HVR2 (the order item is HVR2 to MEGA)
  • $199 (was $420) for those who have already tested HVR1 (the order item is HVR1 to MEGA)
To Order:
  • Log in to you personal page at http://www.familytreedna.com/
  • Click "Special Offers"
  • Select "mtHVR1toMega or mtHVR2toMEGA from the dropdown order list
  • Click "Continue" to proceed to the payment screen and complete your order
Orders need to placed and paid for by the end of the day, October 31st, 2009.

Depending upon the time that it takes to process these upgrade orders using our new hardware, we may experience a back order or lag time in November. If this occurs we expect to resolve the backlog in December, so to avoid any delay in attaining your results please place your order early in this sales cycle.

Bennett Greenspan
Family Tree DNA
I've been tested and am pondering the upgrade. Any thoughts on this from you? Will you be upgrading?

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: She Finds the Little Ones

"She Finds the Little Ones" (Goleta Cemetery, Goleta, Santa Barbara Co., California). Digital Image. Photographed by Elizabeth O'Neal, September 27, 2009.

About Wordless Wednesday.

For more about the grave of Emma Caroline Ufken, please visit The Graveyard Rabbit of the California Central Coast.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Serena (Baxter) BROWN

Serena (BAXTER) BROWN was the daughter of Barnet BAXTER and Melissa CUNNINGHAM. She was born on December 20, 1840 in Greene County, Tennessee.

Serena (sometimes spelled "Syrena") married John Smith BROWN on September 26, 1858 in Greene County, Tennessee. They had 5 children together:

  • Mary M. BROWN (b. Feb 1860 in Greene Co., TN)
  • James Franklin BROWN (b. 09 Jun 1863 in Greene Co., TN)
  • Ruth Ella BROWN (b. c. 1871 in Greene Co., TN)
  • Deluna Frances BROWN (b. 03 May 1876 in Greene Co., TN; d. 20 Dec 1953 in Kingsport, Sullivan Co, TN)
  • Katie J. BROWN (b. c. 1878 in Greene Co., TN)
Serena died of stomach cancer on January 15, 1916 in Greene Co., Tennessee. She was buried the next day in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Greene County, Tennessee.


Serena Baxter Brown's grave in Pleasant Hill Cemetery photographed by Elizabeth O'Neal, May 1994.

For additional sources and information about this family, please contact me.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cast Your Vote for the Family Tree 40!

The polls have officially opened for Family Tree Magazine's 40 Best Genealogy Blogs! Congratulations to the many uniquely wonderful blogs who have been nominated!

About 130 blogs have been nominated in the following 10 categories:

  • All-around
  • Cemetery
  • Heritage
  • How-to
  • Genealogy Companies
  • Genetic Genealogy
  • Local/Regional
  • News/Resources
  • Personal/Family
  • Photos/Heirlooms
The polls are open beginning today through November 5, 2009, and you can vote as often as you'd like. The Family Tree 40 will be announced in the May 2010 edition of Family Tree Magazine.

"Little Bytes of Life" is nominated in category 10, Personal/Family. I was extremely surprised at this news, especially considering the difficulty I've had in keeping up with posting this year. Thank you to whoever made this nomination happen!

Now... please go do your "civic duty" (genealogically speaking) by heading over to the polling place and casting your votes!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Friday, October 2, 2009

Central Coast Genealogy Calendar: October 2009

October is Family History Month! Be sure to check out some of the outstanding offerings listed below to learn more about YOUR family history!

Thursday, October 1
Monterey County Genealogical Society
7:00 PM (Doors open at 6:00 PM)
Hawley Roddick - "Your Memoir - The Legacy of a Lifetime"

Saturday, October 3
San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society
12:30 - 1:00 PM
Research Class: "Photographing Your Ancestors: Using Your Digital Camera to Record Your Research Finds" - Tim Tryon
1:00 PM - Business Meeting
1:15 - 1:45 PM - Social time; book & drawing sales, snacks, coffee & tea
1:45 - 3:00 PM - "Following a Rolling Stone Across the Big Pond" - Dave Dowell

Friday, October 9
San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society
10:30 AM - Noon
Hands-On Computer Genealogy - "Chinking at the Mortar of Your Brick Walls: Help with online searches"

Tuesday, October 13
Conejo Valley Genealogical Society
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Computer Interest Group Meeting
Lois Burlo - A Review of Robert Ragan’s Book "Pajama Genealogy System"

Saturday, October 17
Monterey County Genealogical Society
Heritage Harvest Family History Workshop
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Featuring Karen Clifford

Saturday, October 17
Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society
9:30 - 10:15 AM - "Genealogy and the Changing Map of Eastern Europe"
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM - "A New Look at Immigrant Passenger Manifests"
Speaker: Stephen Danko, Ph.D., PLCGS

Saturday, October 17
Ventura County Genealogical Society
31st Annual Seminar
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Featured Presenter: Lloyd deWitt Bockstruck

Tuesday, October 20
Conejo Valley Genealogical Society
5:30 - 6:30 PM - Genealogy Tools
6:45 - 8:45 PM - General Meeting
Judy Barton - "Veterans Benefits"

Thursday, October 29
Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society
Wines, Vines, & Family Lines #3
3:00 - 5:00 PM
Guest Speaker: Ken Brown, founding winemaker of Byron Winery

Please send me an email if you would like to have your event included in this monthly calendar series.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal