Monday, October 24, 2011

31 Days of Genealogy - 10 Minutes at a Time - Days 19 - 25

During the month of October, which is Family History Month, I'm participating in Lisa Lee of Got Genealogy? 31 Days of Genealogy. The daily challenges are designed as a way to get us working on our genealogy each day during the month of October. Most of the challenges only require 10 minutes to do.

The challenges for Days 19 - 25 are as follows:

Days 19) Start a family Health History, using your pedigree chart.  Note the causes of death of as many people on the chart as possible, looking to identify any trends that may be passed down generation to generation.

Days 20) Write a quick 5-min story about one of your ancestors.  Send it, along with a photo, to a local genealogical society for their newsletter, or even to your local newspaper, as they're always looking for fresh content.

Days 21) Look for online obituaries for your relatives.  Do an Internet search for the city where they died, to determine the name of the local papers, then look for an online obituary archive.

Days 22) Create a blog for one branch of your family.  If you already have a blog, create a new one.  Blogs are free on sites like,, etc.

Days 23) Backup your family file to, which is a FREE cloud storage site.  You can upload files, documents, videos, music, etc., and access the information from any computer, Mac or PC.  You need to backup your family files at least once per month.

Days 24) Create a "Passwords File" which includes all the Internet passwords for the various accounts you have online.  This needs to be either placed with your final instructions (for use after you die), or instructions where the file resides on your computer.  Without passwords, your heirs will not be able to access any family files/information you've posted online.

Days 25) Make plans to attend at least one regional or national genealogical conference next year.  It's never too early to start planning.  Groups such as the FGS, APG, Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS), NGS, International Black Genealogical Summit, RootsTech, Ontario Genealogical Society (Canada), Ohio Genealogical Society, etc., are just the tip of the iceberg.  Check out their Web sites and start making plans to participate in one or more of these.

Day 19:  While doing my research, I've often noted, mentally, what my ancestors died from but I've never taken the time to do a formal genogram. Since for me, this activity feels like it may take a bit longer than 10, I plan to work on it later in the week when I have more time.

Day 20: What a great idea! This ties in with Lisa challenge from Day 3, which was to work on your genealogy gifts by writing the life history of one  ancestor. Since I'm already working on my paternal great grandfather, Peter T. Everett, for the Christmas gift, I've decided to also use him in submitting an article to the Martin County, NC Genealogical Society.

Day 21: This is something I do at least once a week trying to find obituaries for ancestors as well as more recent relatives. Usually, I find myself doing this on Tuesdays when I'm trying to find something to post for Tombstone Tuesday.

Day 22: Currently, I have two blogs documenting my research / search for my ancestors. The first is of course this blog, Georgia Black Crackers, which documents my search for my maternal ancestors, and the other is Conversations with my Ancestors, which documents my search for my paternal ancestors.

Day 23: I think I've heard of but have never bothered to check it out. After listening to the video on Dropbox, I think this is exactly what I need. Currently, I have genealogy information on my desk top and lap top as well as a couple of flash drives. Many times I've driven myself mad going back and forth between the laptop and desktop to retrieve files.

Day 24: I've created a password file for my financial information and actually have some of my genealogy passwords within that file. However, thanks to this exercise, I created a totally separate file for all my genealogy passwords.

Day 25: Since it will be in my home state, one conference that I'm planning to attend in 2012 is the 33rd Annual National Conference of the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society, Oct 4-7. I would also like to attend at least one month meeting of the East Georgia Genealogical Society as well as the Martin County, NC Genealogical Society.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

31 Days of Genealogy - 10 Minutes at a Time - Days 15 - 18

After finally getting caught up on all the daily challenges from Lisa Lee of Got Genealogy?, I quickly fell behind, again. The daily challenges are a way to work on your genealogy each day during the month of October. Since the challenges require a minimal amount of time, Lisa touts they can be done in 10 minutes, even if you get behind, you can catch up quickly.

The challenges for Days 15 - 18 are as follows:

Day 15) Explore Genealogy Blog Finder  Their collection of topics is wide-ranging and covers such items as famous folks, Jewish, genetic genealogy, podcasts, obituaries, and oh, so much more.  Find something new and exciting, or add your own to the mix.

Day 16) Learn how easy it is to print your entire family pedigree on one huge piece of paper.  On OnePage you can download their software (Mac or PC) and use it to create the chart. Once you've tweaked it, copy the PDF file onto a thumb drive and take it (or email it) to your local copy center to have it printed on a huge poster.  OnePage Genealogy is free and is easy to use.
Days 17) Enroll in an online genealogy course with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Whether you want to go for your PLCGS certificate, or just brush up on one or two courses, these classes are high calibre and very affordable.  Classes are conducted online, where you can interact with your instructor via phone or online.  Check out their catalog at:

Days 18) Download a free trial of a different genealogy software program.  You may love the one you've been using all this time, but each program has its features and benefits, as well as shortcomings.  Mac users are lucky in that they can run Mac programs or PC programs, using PC emulation software such as Bootcamp, VMWare Fusion (my favorite) or Parallels.
Check out this site, for a side-by-side comparison of Mac and PC genealogy software programs:

Day 15: I went to the Genealogy Blog Finder site. One of the first things I did was check to see if my blogs were listed there. This blog, Georgia Black Crackers, was listed among the blogs, but my other blog, Conversations With My Ancestors, was not. So, the first thing I did was submit a request to add Conversations with My Ancestors to the list.

I also checked out other blogs on the site. In my eyes, I see the Genealogy Blog Finder as another resource in keeping up with the various blogs. I also use Google Reader and see the two complimenting each other.

Day 16: This is a great idea and something I've always envisioned doing this for a family reunion. So, I've started to work on and tweak this, so that I can hopefully present it at future family reunion(s).

Day 17:  After several attempts, I was unable to access the National Institute of Genealogical Studies website. Hopefully, later today, I will be able to access it.

Day 18: I currently use Roots Magic. I also have Family Tree Maker, which was my first genealogy software program. Even though I already have 2 software programs, I decided to download the free version of Legacy Software. I've heard several of my fellow bloggers talk about Legacy, so I decided to check it out. Will report back later on my experience with the software.


Friday, October 14, 2011

31 Days of Genealogy - 10 Minutes at a Time - Days 13-14

I've been participating in Lisa Lee's, Got Genealogy?, 31 Days of Genealogy. These are projects to get us working on our genealogy each and every day during the month of October, which is Family History Month. Most of the projects can be done within 10 minutes.

The projects for Day 13 and 14 are as follows:

Day 13) Transcribe or re-transcribe a written document.  Have an old military, land, immigration or other record?  Take the time to transcribe the entire document, or, re-transcribe one you already transcribed years ago.  

Day 14) Order a microfilm from the Mormon Family History Library ONLINE. It's a new feature, at, and the films will be sent to your local Family History Center (FHC), but it makes it much easier to order the films, using a credit card or you Paypal account.

Day 13: I've not gotten this project accomplished, yet. My goal is to work on it this weekend.

Day 14: I recently discovered that microfilms can be ordered online. I've had 3 sitting in my cart for a while now and needed this prompt to go ahead and order them. I'm so happy that the ability to order microfilms has finally been put online. The Family History Center that I go to isn't on any of my usual routes, I often find myself driving there just to order. It will be so much nicer to be able to order on line and just go when the microfilm finally arrives. It may not add up to a huge time savings but as they say, every little bit helps.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

National Black Genealogy Summit, Fort Wayne, IN - Oct. 20-22, 2011

The National Black Genealogy Summit will take place October 20 - 22, 2011 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Fort Wayne is home to one of the nation's most comprehensive collections of genealogy records, and an excellent source of documents pertaining to Black genealogy in particular.

The three-day conference will feature a number of nationally-known genealogy and research experts, and a wide variety of workshops for everyone from beginners to experienced family researchers. The event is sponsored by the Indiana Genealogical Society; the Friends of the Allen County Public Library; and

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

31 Days of Genealogy - 10 Minutes at a Time - Day 12

The project for Day 12 of Lisa Lee's, Got Genealogy?, 31 Days of Genealogy is as follows:

Day 12) Bundle some or your scanned images and documents into CDs or DVDs, burn the, and send them to family members.  In case of a natural disaster, if your computer hard drive dies and you don't have a back up, by sending these documents to other family members, you have a better chance of recovering them.

This is something I've been meaning to do for awhile but keep saying I'll get to it "tomorrow." An although it sounds like this is what I'm doing again, I really am putting this on the schedule for Friday, since it's not something I had a chance to work on today due to working on a few craft projects today.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

31 Days of Genealogy - Day 11

Lisa Lee of Got Genealogy? has designed some fun ways to squeeze a little genealogy in every day during the month of October, which is Family History Month.

Today's activity is 

Never use an ISP-related email address for your genealogy.  What I mean by that is that if your email address ends in "@aol," "," "," etc., if you ever change your ISP (and you will, eventually), people trying to track you down will have a difficult time doing to.

I've had access to the Internet now for 10+ years and during that time I've changed Internet services providers at least 5 times. After change #2, I decided to forgo the ISP-related e-mail. I first signed up for a yahoo account. Within the the past 5 years, I added Gmail.

Going with a non-ISP email was the best decision I ever made. I got tired of trying to notify everyone of the change whenever I switched providers. Now I can change providers as often as I want without ever giving up my e-mail address.

Monday, October 10, 2011

31 Days of Genealogy - Days 8-10

For the month of October, which is Family History Month, I've been working through the daily activities that Lisa Lee of Got Genealogy?, has devised to get us working on our Genealogy. Lisa touts that these activities can be done in 10 minutes.

Due to getting slightly behind on reading my e-mails, it was a few days into the month before I realized that Lisa was doing this. As a result, I've been trying to catch up by doing several of the activities each day.

The activities for Days 8-10 are as follows:

DAY 8) County Courthouse Day
 It may be Saturday, and even though your county courthouse is closed, the internet is open 24/7.  Spend a few minutes looking to see what online databases and resources your county courthouse has available.  Pick a county where one of your ancestor lived, and do the following searches:
Buncombe County, NC register of deeds  (customize this search with YOUR county)
… registrar or deeds
… recorder
… court recorder
… courthouse or court house
… clerk

Each county is a separate entity.  Some offer oodles of online information, some offer none, and they constantly change.  Even if you've looked before, look again.  If you find something useful, be sure to bookmark it.

DAY 9) Public Library Day
 Just like county courthouses, public libraries may or may not offer information useful to genealogists.  One neat trick I've found is that if I search for public libraries in the county where my ancestor, the search results will include any county public libraries found along with all of the cities within the county that also have their own public libraries.  Try search for, say, "wayne county michigan public library" and you'll get a list of libraries in Detroit, Westland, Garden City, and others, along with a map of where each is located.
You can also go to, which gives an alphabetical list within each state, which may be helpful.
Some public libraries offer free research assistance, the Richland County, SC public library will do free lookups of obituaries and will scan the images and email them to you (for free), the Indiana State Library has free genealogical databases online including marriages, newspaper indexes, military records, etc., and you don't have to be a member to access this information.

State, county and local libraries are a great start, but be sure to look for college and university libraries, private, genealogical, historical society and ethnic libraries.  For example, a search for "african american libraries" or "jewish library association" will provide dozens of links of such libraries all over the U.S. There's a ton of information out there – go find it!

Day 10) Join a Genealogical or Historical Society
Even if you're not a professional genealogist, if you want to become one, the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) is a wonderful place to start ( You can join for as little as $35/year, which entitles you to the quarterly journal (APG Quarterly), or for $65/year you'll get full voting rights, discounts to genealogical conferences, will be listed on the APG's Web site and can attend APG meetings.  One of the hallmarks of the APG is their commitment to high research standards, to ensure that all APG members conform to their Code of Ethics.

If your ancestor lived in a faraway county, there's probably a genealogical or historical society there, and you should consider joining.  Most provide a quarterly journal of local information, and being a member, I've found the ones to which I belong more than happy to help me with look-ups and tips for trip planning… even a free place to stay when I came to town on a research trip.  You know how the old saying goes, "You can never join too many genealogical societies."

Day 8: I research primarily in Georgia (maternal lines) and North Carolina (paternal lines). For the counties that I research in Georgia, I don't find much online for the individual counties but I do make full use of Georgia Virtual Vault, which has a considerable amount of information online. In North Carolina, my county of focus has primarily been Martin County. A lot of old deeds and even more recent deeds can be found at the Martin County Register of Deeds Remote Access Site.

Day 9: While I've not done it often, I have employed local libraries in the areas that I research. Most often I write, but I've also visited them if I'm in the area. I appreciate Lisa providing the site to find the listing of Public Libraries. Until now, I did not know of this site.

Day 10: I've already joined a few genealogical societies. I've joined the local ones where my ancestors lived, East Georgia Genealogical Society (EGGS) and Martin County (NC) Genealogical Society. I've also joined the North Carolina Genealogical Society. Depending on funds, I'm also planning to join the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) and the National Genealogical Society (NGS).

And with this post, I'm finally up to date on the daily activities. So far, I've really enjoyed the activities. Thank you Lisa for coming up with this idea.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

31 Days of Genealogy - Days 4-7

For Family History Month, Lisa Lee of Got Genealogy? has devised a series of fun activities and projects to get us working on our genealogy every day during the month of October. Most of the activities will only require 10 minutes of your time.

Today, I worked on the activities for Days 4-7 in an effort to get almost caught up on the daily activities.

The activities for Days 4-7 are as follows:

DAY 4) Consanguinity Loops
Take two minutes to view my "Consanguinity Loops" video and get a better understanding of how two people are related, so that you can explain it at your next family reunion.  View Video
DAY 5) Facebook Groups
If you're not already on Facebook, you're missing out on an incredible resource of information.  Find relatives, discover new information about your family, find photos, etc.  JOIN FACEBOOK.COM TODAY.

If you're already on Facebook, search for new groups to join and join them.  Do a search for:

You get the idea.  Once a member of these groups, you can ask questions, post answers, share interesting Web sites, etc.  The more you reach out, the more information you'll find.

DAY 6) Order a Social Security Application ONLINE
If you haven't already tried it, this new, convenient service, is fast, secure and reliable, and costs less, because you don't have to pay for postage, paper and an envelope.  Plus, the desired SS application arrives faster than a mail request. $27 for each request.  BOOKMARK THIS URL:

DAY 7) Subscribe to Dick Eastman's Genealogy Newsletter
Dick Eastman has been around since before the beginning of recorded time, and when it comes to computers, genealogy and all things technology, he's your guy.  His award-winning newsletter offers free and premium  ("Plus", only $20/year) versions, and both are jam packed with interesting and useful information.  Sure, you could probably spend countless hours trying to find half the stuff you'll find in just one of his online newsletters, but he's the expert at finding information and making difficult topics easy to understand.  Eastman's newsletter is a must-have for all genealogists.  Subscribe today.

Day 4: Depending on the cousin chart used, I tend to have no problems understanding the chart but trying to explain it to a person who use happens to want someone to explain once removed and twice removed, etc. can be a bit daunting.

Lisa's Consanguinity Loops approach is easy to understand. So, the next time I attempt to explain cousins to someone, I will use Lisa's loops approach and see if eliminates the glazed over eyes.

Day 5: I've been on Facebook almost from the moment that I renewed my research back in 2009. Although I was hesitant in joining Facebook, I'm glad that I did. I've discovered and gotten to know some of the descendants of my great Uncle, Will Hosch, via Facebook.

There are also some great genealogy groups. One that I joined recently is DNA Tested African Descendants. Other groups include East Georgia Genealogical Society, Inc (EGGS), Georgia Genealogy Network, and Haplogroup L3.

Day 6: I've ordered several Social Security Applications online. When compared against request that I've mailed in, I do get the application faster.

Day 7: I've been a subscriber to the free version of Dick Eastman's newsletter for awhile. I decided to go ahead and upgrade to the Plus version because often times I've found myself wanting more.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Genealogy Christmas Gifts and 31 Days of Genealogy - 10 Minutes at a Time

In honor of October being Family History Month, Lisa Lee of Got Genealogy? has devised some great ideas and activities that will have us working on our genealogy every day during the month of October. The activities can be done in as little as 10 minutes.

Since I'm a little behind on the daily activities, I'm hoping to get caught up by doing 2 - 3, maybe more, of the activities each day.

The third activity (Day 3) that Lisa has us doing is

Start Working on Your Genealogy Holiday Gifts
No excuse, you have plenty of time to write the life history of ONE of your ancestors, cite it (sources are a MUST), format it, pretty-it-up, print it and get it gift wrapped in time for the holiday season in December.  You don't have to write the story of your entire family … just pick one or two ancestors, and tell their story.  If you keep it in historical context, it will make your story more compelling and those who receive it will be more inclined to keep it around for future generations.

What a great idea! Lisa even gives an example from her own family. 

The thing I like about this project is that for those of us who one day plan to pen the history of our families, it's a great starting point to begin that process.

For this project, I've selected two ancestors, one from my maternal side, great grandfather Cornelius Pierce, and one from my paternal side, great grandfather Peter Everett.

Since I've already done a PowerPoint presentation for Grandpa Cornelius, I'm hoping that one will come together quickly.

31 Days of Genealogy - 10 Minutes at a Time - Day 2

October is Family History Month and Lisa Lee, Got Genealogy?, has
devised a clever way for us to squeeze a little genealogy in every day this month.

Since I missed reading this earlier this week, I'm a little behind on the daily activities and am trying to get caught up. So, you might see a few posts from me today as I try to catch up.

The exercise / activity for Day 2 is as follows:


This FREE Web site makes it easy to find interesting Web pages, photos and videos that you probably wouldn't find on your own.  You can create your preference of "interests," and StumbleUpon will go out and find other Web sites, photos and videos that include that topic.  In addition, if you login using your FaceBook credentials, whenever any of your FB friends "likes" a particular Web site in StumbleUpon, you'll be notified.  StumbleUpon makes the Web a much smaller place, and increases the likelihood that you'll find new information you probably wouldn't have found on your own.

I've seen some of my genealogy friends using StumbleUpon but never really understood it or knew exactly what it was until doing this activity.

I set up an account on StumbleUpon and selected my interests. I then searched on some of my interests. Although not genealogy related, I came across an interesting recipe posted in one of the blogs at for Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites. By the way, I am a Tarheel.

And although I've seen this before, the first thing that came up when I did a search of genealogy was a cousin chart which had been posted at Los Cuatro Ojos

Friday, October 7, 2011

31 Days of Genealogy - 10 Minutes at a Time

October is Family History Month and Lisa Lee, Got Genealogy?, has
devised a clever way for us to squeeze a little genealogy in every day this month.

Since I was a bit behind on reading some of my e-mails, I didn't realize that Lisa was doing this until yesterday. So, I'm going to have to play catch-up for a few days.

Lisa's activity for Day 1 of the 31 Days of Genealogy is as follows:

Speling Dusn't Cownt
The first Golden Rule of Genealogy is "Speling Dusn't Cownt," mainly because, back in the day, most folks could barely read or write, plus spelling standards weren't what they are today.  Can't find a missing ancestor? Perhaps his/her name was just misspelled, so today's task is to "re-spell" their name based on the following tips:
a) N = U or V
 - In cursive writing, the lower-case letter “n” often looks like a lower-case ”u,” and there are, quite literally, thousands of instances on, alone, where these surnames have been mis-transcribed. Names like ANDERSON, HANSEN, JONES, LANHAM, HENDERSON, MONTGOMERY, STONE, etc. can become Auderson, Hausen, Joues, Lauham, Heuderson, Moutgomery, and Stove.

 - Reversed consonants account for far more unfindable relatives than most people even imagine. In many cases, it’s just due to bad spelling, but in others, it’s poor penmanship or sloppy transcription. Pronounced, bor-DOE, has a Soundex code of B630, sharing that Soundex code with surnames like:
Broadway Barto
Brodie Bort
Beard Brett
Barrett Breed, etc.
However, if the middle consonants (“r” and “d”) were reversed, the name would be Boudreau, pronounced BOO-droe or boo-DROE. Boudreau has a Soundex code of B360, sharing that Soundex code with surnames like:
Bowater Bowder
Butter Bywater
Bader Batter
Beaudry Beiter, etc.
With a Soundex search, you are searching within one unique Soundex code, so even if you do a Soundex search for Bourdeau, you can’t get from BOURDEAU to BOUDREAU using Soundex. It will never happen. So, you decide to do a wild card search for Bourdeau. You might try:
Bo*deau, etc.
Because the middle consonants were swapped, it’s going to be next to impossible to get from Bourdeau to Boudreau using a wild card search, either. Can’t find your missing relative, try swapping middle characters.

 - If a name is mispronounced, chances are, it will also be misspelled. Some surnames commonly mispronounced:
GROSVENOR - The “s” is silent, but this name is often mispronounced as GROVES-ner.
WOOLSEY - This surname is often mispronounced as WOOS-lee.
LAHSER - Anyone from the Detroit area is quite familiar with Lahser Road (LA-sir), but for decades, it’s been mispronounced as LASH-er.
MAUGHAN - Both the “g” and “h” are silent, making the correct pronunciation MAWN, but it’s often mispronounced as MAWG-in

JULET - I used to work with a delightful man named Tim Julet. Assuming his surname was French, I pronounced it, zhoo-LAY, only to find out that it’s actually of German origin, and pronounced joo-LET, just like it’s spelled. Too funny.
LEICESTER - I’m going out on a limb here, but I think the correct pronunciation of this is LISS-ter, rather than the commonly used LIE-ces-ter.

Looking for Grosvenor relatives, it would be wise to act as though the silent “s” isn’t even there, and try to track them down as though the name was spelled GROVENER or GROVENOR, and also look for them with the hard "s.".  How far a leap would it be for a sloppy clerk to change GROVENOR to GOVERNOR? Not hard at all.

For today's task, try re-spelling the names of your missing ancestors using the above tips.

Using the above tips from Lisa, I once again tried to locate my 2nd great grandfather, Jasper Pierce, on the 1870 Federal Census. Although, I'm fairly confident that he's just not enumerated on the 1870 census, I still try to locate him on it. I have tried some of the techniques that Lisa mentioned and have been unsuccessful but am giving it another try, so I used various spellings of Pierce such as Pearce and Piers. I tried reversing the i and e, I tried leaving the final e off, and for the fun of it I tried reversing the r and c but so far I still wasn't able to locate Grandpa Jasper on the 1870 census.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Surname Saturday - Perkins

A line in my family tree that I continue to neglect is that of my Rome Ancestors

For the time being, I’m still focusing on trying to penetrate the 1870 brick wall of Jasper and Jane Pierce, 2nd great grandparents via my maternal grandmother, and the 1870 brick wall of my 3rd great grandparents, Frank and Venus Everett, via my paternal grandmother. However, when I’ve temporarily exhausted ideas of where to turn next to bring those walls down, I usually begin to focus on other areas of my tree, wondering what became of the various collateral lines.

One of those collateral lines is Great Grand Aunt Penny Rome, my granddad’s, LC Hosch, maternal aunt.

Aunt Penny was one of my Great Grandmother’s, Sally Rome Hosch, younger sisters. Aunt Penny married Wesley (Wes) L. Perkins in Walton County, GA on 22 March 1894.

The 1900 Federal Census, which was the first census after they were married, shows them living in Walton County, GA with the following children: Ruf, Ennis, Wayman, and Maud.

The 1910 Federal Census shows them still to be living in Walton County, GA.

Aunt Penny and Uncle Wes now have nine children: Rufus, Ennis, Wayman, Maud, Calvin, Clifford, Annie, Ophelia, and Ruth M.

After the 1910 census I lose track of Aunt Penny, at least in Walton County, GA, but thanks to Ancestry’s shaking leaves, I’ve long suspected that Aunt Penny migrated to Arkansas. About a year ago, I saw the shaking leaf. My first thoughts were it had to be Aunt Penny. It was just too much of a coincidence that there was a Wesley and Penny Perkins on the 1920 census living in Pulaski County, AR, who were born in GA around the same time as Aunt Penny and her husband Uncle Wesley Perkins and whose children had the exact same names as those listed on the 1900 and 1910 censuses for Walton County, GA and who were also born in GA.

As I focused most of 2010 on trying to bring down those monumental 1870 brick walls on the lines mentioned above, I put Aunt Penny on the back burner. Recently though, my curiosity with regard to Aunt Penny was aroused when I came across another tree on Ancestry that contained the suspected Aunt Penny and unlike a lot of trees I come across on Ancestry, this one actually made sense. As this could possibly be one of my Great Grand Aunt’s descendants, I desperately wanted to make contact, but I needed to be sure that the Penny Perkins that appeared in the 1900 and 1910 censuses in Walton County Georgia was indeed the same Penny Perkins in 1920 Pulaski County Arkansas.

I initially thought about sending away for the SS-5 Application of a Wayman Perkins who died in 1980 in Conway, Faulkner, AR. This could possibly be her son but I decided against ordering the SS-5 and instead went a different route after finding what appeared to be Aunt Penny listed in the Arkansas Death Index. This Penny Perkins died in 1937. As death certificates usually cost less than SS-5 applications, I checked out the Arkansas Department of Health website to get all the particulars on ordering a death certificate. Per the website, death records that are more than 50 years old can be released to the public. Thankfully, this death certificate met the criteria. The cost for a death certificate was $10.00.

When Aunt Penny’s death certificate arrived the week of Sept. 12, 2011, I had literally forgotten about my request for her death certificate. I was excited and didn’t even wait until I got in the house to open the envelope. Sometimes, before you even open an envelope of requested documentation, you just know you’ve scored one for the ancestors. This is how I felt as I ripped open the envelope containing Aunt Penny’s death certificate. Never the less, I still braced myself just in case the information I sought, the names of her parents, was not on the death certificate.

There it is. Her dad is Wyatt Rome. The informant was her son Calvin Perkins. I’m so thankful that Calvin knew the name of his grandfather, my 2nd great grandfather. I’m also grateful that he saved his 1st cousin twice removed the expense of having to write for an SS-5 application.

Now that I’ve confirmed the relationship, my next step is to contact the owner of the tree, and try to connect with this forgotten / unknown branch of the tree. Hopefully, I’ll finally be able to record a successful reaching out experience. So far, I’ve not had much success in this department. Wish me luck.