Sunday, October 24, 2010

SS-5 and the Grandparents

Let's complete the collection of SS-5 images by looking at the ones for my 4 grandparents.  3 of them were easy to obtain, because three of my grandparents were originally listed in the SSDI.

The 4th, belonging to my paternal grandfather William Henry Smith, required me to use his death certificate as the way to document his death (and thereby obtain his SS-5).  Here is his SS-5: 

Notes based upon other knowledge: His father's name was Charles Henry Smith, his mother's name was Mary Ann Bannon.  (The Bannon surname was sometimes spelled "Bonnon".)  

Next up is the SS-5 for my paternal grandmother, the most interesting (in my opinion) of all of the SS-5s:

Notes: In the early 70s (on a visit to my brother, who was living near DC at the time), I learned that Grandmother Smith had converted from Judaism to Catholicism in order to marry Grandfather Smith.   So she had taken the name "Elizabeth".  I had known her only as "Elizabeth C. Smith", without any idea as to what the "C" stood for, although if I had been asked to guess, I would have assumed another typical Catholic name, such as "Catherine".  Imagine my surprise to read "Conceptia".  Her birth name was "Rachel", but she was frequently called "Rae".  Also surprisingly, she was not born in the NY/Northern NJ area, but instead, in England, Arkansas.  And she fails to give her mother's maiden name, which I learned from other sources was "Grodowitz".

Now, my maternal grandparents, beginning with my maternal grandfather:

Note: His mother appears as "Jane" in most records, and with the surname spelled "Bodie".

Finally, to complete the set, the SS-5 for my maternal grandmother:

Notes: In nearly all records, she appears as "Lizzie", but she appears as "Elizabeth" in the 1930 census.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

SS-5 and the Parental Units

If I'm starting my new family database from scratch, then it stands to reason that I should begin by focusing on my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.  I've previously posted my mother's birth certificate.

Now let's take a look at the SS-5 applications of my parents, beginning with my father's:

Notes: Dad worked for Reynolds Metals before and after World War II, but after he attended television repair training (RCA, funded by the G.I. Bill), he quit his job and became self employed as a TV and radio repairman.  He continued that job until his retirement.  Dad's mother was born Rachel Weinglass, but when she converted from Judaism to Catholicism to marry my grandfather, she took the first name of "Elizabeth".

Now my mother's:

Notes: Mom spelled her name "Corinne" throughout her life, but it appears as "Corene" on her birth certificate. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

RootsMagic and the Macintosh

One of the things that I've been using as an excuse to keep me from making progress on my personal genealogical research has been the inability to run my favorite genealogy software, RootsMagic, on my Macintosh.  Oh, yes, I know that I can install Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion, and then install Windows.

But I recently stumbled upon an easier solution: CrossOver Mac.  By installing the Standard version ($39.95), I was then able to install and run RootsMagic 4 without a problem.

One less excuse for avoiding my personal genealogical research!

Friday, September 17, 2010

And now for something completely different...

Information found online about a cemetery:

"Lakeview Memorial Estates is a private cemetery.  If you'd like information on people buried there, please contact them directly."

Hmmm, perhaps they needed to word that better?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Eyewitness Accounts After the Fact

While family stories passed down from generation to generation may add color to genealogical research, there is a reason why they may not be very dependable for factual history.  Even those told to you by a witness to the event are suspect, and this article will explain why.

Monday, September 13, 2010

To DNA or not to DNA

I have made numerous presentations about using DNA as a tool in genealogical research, although I have not yet had my own DNA tested (or had a cousin take a test).  However, with three of my lines involving very common surnames and very common first names, it is very likely that I will need DNA to make better progress.  Here are the 3 situations:

1.  My Smith ancestry has been traced back to the immigrant Smith ancestor (circa 1850).  I know him only as James Smith, and I have not yet identified any siblings for him nor the names of his parents.  I do not yet know where in Ireland he was from, although it is possibly County Cavan as that is where an obituary says his wife was from.  If I take a Y-chromosome test, I may be able to identify Smith cousins with Irish ancestry who already know the specific location in Ireland of their ancestors.

2.  My Martin ancestry has been traced back to the Edgefield area of South Carolina, with my earliest identified ancestor being James S. Martin (born around 1797).  There were a number of Martins living in that area at the time.  By having a male Martin cousin (my first cousins) take the Y-chromosome test, I may be able to determine which Martin families I should be focusing on.

3.  My King ancestry has been traced back to the Laurens area of South Carolina, with my earliest identified ancestor being Charlie King (mid-1800s).  I have only recently made contact with male King relatives (2nd cousins), and this provides an opportunity to test their Y-chromosome to make further progress on this common surname.

My other lines of immediate interest involve either relatively unusual surnames or lines that have already been traced back many generations, so DNA is not a high priority in those lines.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How old were your ancestors, really?

I just came across this posting in a blog I read, which should be of some interest to any genealogists who wonder if their ancestors were being accurate and telling the truth about their ages: Sakhalin Island

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Goals for Future Research

When I present on the topic of using a blog as a research log, I point out that one purpose of using a blog is to put down in writing the research goals.

More than 5 years ago, I posted this:

"My project idea is to identify all descendants of the immigrant (to America) BODDIE ancestor. Before I do that, however, I should do the 'prequel' project, namely, to trace in an organized fashion my own ancestry back to that ancestor."

In reality, I'm interested in more than one project, and having multiple genealogical research projects allows me to keep my interest.  So let's enumerate those:
  1. To identify all descendants of the immigrant Boddie ancestor to America, after having traced my own ancestry back to that ancestor.
  2. To identify all descendants of the immigrant Smith ancestor to the United States, after having traced my own ancestry back to that ancestor.  
  3. To identify all descendants of the immigrant Weinglass ancestor to the United States, after having traced by own ancestry back to that ancestor.
  4. Other projects as time and interest permit: Martin, King, Foshee, Eidson, Pitts, Satcher/Sotcher, Gradowitz, Bannon/Bonnon, Hyland, Reilly (and a few others).