Shenandoah Valley Heritage Day 2016

Shenandoah Valley Heritage Day 2016, the date changed due to the impending weather. It is held in Winchester, VA. Visit the website for up to date information.

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Making a connection, using the Find-A-Grave website

Great find and confirmation by Cousin Russ. Tune in to his blog and enjoy! Find a grave is an awesome place to check information. I located a gentleman on find a grave and saw a note posted at the bottom saying we miss you uncle Milton, RIP. I followed up with the name in the note and found out that her grandmother was my grandfather’s half sister! Yes use Find a grave!

A Worthington Weblog

As I posted earlier in the week, I mentioned going to Monocacy and the Worthington House there. I met several “cousins” there as we were able to tour the building.


What we didn’t know for sure, is HOW WE are related. I knew how I was related to the owners of the house, be not sure how they were related.

I had taken a book with me, that I created in 1999, for the opening of a Walking Trail at the Worthington House. During lunch, I shared that book with the cousins, Joe Worthington and his two daughters.

Joe found his ancestor in my book, very good news, but I had not searched down further on that line, because I was focusing at the time to Judge Glenn Howard Worthington.

He mentioned Lavinia a number of times and there was a cousin connection to the owners of the Worthington House…

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2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you to those who follow the familytreegirl!

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NEHGS Offers FREE Access to Important Databases on during the Month of January 2016

NEHGS Offers FREE Access to Important Databases on during the Month of January 2016 shared by Dick Eastman-Online Genealogy Newsletter.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

The following announcement was written by the folks at the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

Family Historians Can Fulfill New Year Resolutions with a Variety of Resources in Genealogy Available from NEHGS

NEHGS_January_promoDecember 30, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts— To assist family historians of all levels with ambitious New Year’s resolutions, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is granting free access from Wednesday, December 30, 2015, through Sunday, January 31, 2016, to historic vital records from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont which will be available for unlimited access during the entire month after registering for a free account. NEHGS, the most respected name in family history, has also assembled a quick guide to resources, services, and staff expertise to fulfill any genealogist’s resolutions to grow the ancestral family tree in the New Year.

Family historians can start fulfilling their New Year’s genealogy resolutions with NEHGS by visiting

NEHGS Can Fulfill Your…

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Get Organized! 2016


Join me! Dear Myrtle has a challenge out there to help us get organized. We all need it. I am ready and committed. I want to seek out better ways of storing and organizing my files. I set folders up by surnames, Whew! That is done. Check out Myrtle’s blog: Next I have switched to RootsMagic, dumped FTM and ready to rock. I am not uploading anything, I am inputting line by line and will schedule some scanning to cover the paper files. This will also give me time to view each line and catch errors and conflicts. I already  found one with my Goens line. Joseph Goings father is not Elihu Goings in Loudoun, what I saw was there are basically the same age, both born about 1788 so we know that is not good and I have to resolve that conflict. LOL.

Come on…you can do it. Meet us every Monday at 12noon EST there is something for everyone!!!


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Irita Ethel Goins Canady -Family and Friend

I just heard that you have begun your journey home. I am devastated, eyes watered, and unsure what to say. You are family and a special friend. You are loved and will be missed by your family and friends. I am remembering our discussions about the Goins, McCuen, Mayle, Stevens, Adams in Virginia and West Virginia. We set up the site and it went good for years, now it is on Spokt and doing well. You were working on getting me a new password to the site. You are an excellent researcher and the thought of you being gone is like the old African proverb ” a library burns to the ground.”


I enjoyed seeing you and your son in Ft. Wayne, during the first International Black Genealogy Summit back in 2009. We shared our notes, our walls, and our common ancestors. We had the best time when you and your parents visited my brother in Bear Lake, Michigan. It was like we all knew each other for years, it was sharing and building our family stories. We also shared our medical issues, our beloved hearts, and the things we have endured. It was amazing at Todd’s how much you and cousin Rita looked like twins. We all were amazed. With a heavy heart I let Todd and others know of your passing. Your contributions are stellar showing your life’s work of preserving the family histories.


There is nothing more I can say about you Irita. I hope others will view your work and what you have laid your hands on. You have contributed so much to others on their genealogy paths; it will be hard to let you go. But I have to say I feel I have another angel watching over me. Thank you! You are everything Goins! Love you!



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Finding info on Mildred Ann (Brand) Davis-What’s the Plan!

Mildred Brand Davis is my great great grandmother on my maternal side and I really don’t know anything about her. As a professional genealogist I need to have a strategy to gain knowledge and guide my research. Walk through this with me and maybe it will help you with some of your research.

It is always good to write down your research goals. You can have more than one goal. Just be able to track and note what you have viewed and what has been completed. This will keep you focused. I use a timeline to outline all that I know in chronological order. It includes all of the things that happen in and around ancestor’s life. My goal is to locate information on Mildred Brand Davis’s life prior to getting married. At the same time I am questioning if she was a slave, or free? If so, when and how did she get free and who owned Mildred? Also, where did Mildred meet William Davis and marry?

The first strategy is to write down all that I know about Mildred:

  • Born 24 April about 1818 (per census and death record) in Richmond, VA
  • Mildred’s father is listed as being from Scotland-this came from another record
  • Mildred married William Davis at some date maybe before or around 1838 (first son Joseph B. Davis is born in Chambersburg, Franklin County, PA)
  • 1843 Franklin Co. Tax list-William Davis, a colored is listed, 11 acres, cow
  • In Antrim, Franklin County, she first shows up in the 1850 Fed. population census, as wife and mother of two.
  • William Davis sold the 11 acres in Franklin Co. in 1858, they left for Ohio
  • The Davis family hit the trail and headed to Ohio, lived in Wayne Co, first, per the deed of the 25 acres that was brought in neighboring Medina Co.
  • William and Mildred had two children born in Medina, Alma and Henry after 1860 census
  • In Westfield, Medina County, Ohio you are listed in1860 as wife of William Davis and have the following children: Joseph, James, Susan, and William O. as children in Ohio
  • Mildred had 8 children (I have birth for some and death records on each of Mildred’s children)
  • Mildred is listed in the 1870, 1880, census in Benzie County Michigan
  • William Davis did in 4 Dec 1881
  • Mildred dies 17 December 1895 in Benzie County, Michigan
  • James Brand/Brant assumed to be your brother, married Matilda Helman, was in Franklin Co. and also relocated to Medina Ohio by 1867. His line passed for white in Ohio.
  • Lived 5 yrs in Medina Co. Ohio, then onward to homestead in Benzie County, MI.

mildred A Brand Davis death Benzie Co. Death Records

What I don’t know about Mildred Brand Davis:

  • Who Mildred’s parents were
  • Why and how she left Richmond, VA?
  • Was she is a slave or freeborn?
  • How did William and Mildred meet and marry?
  • If Joseph Brand, her son, is William Davis’s son?
  • If there were other babies born and died
  • Does Mildred has any other siblings?
  • There is no photo of Mildred Brand Davis

Who or What might know something about Mildred Brand Davis:

  • Other children’s death records in Michigan, VA, OH, PA
  • Seek marriage record for Mildred & William Davis in PA and VA
  • View laws for “colored” free, slaves, and marriage, etc. in PA.
  • Look for info in Richmond on Brands during 1818-1825, land records
  • Look for anyone from Scotland in Richmond during 1800-1825
  • Research the slave trade in Richmond, was Brand a slave trader, slave owner
  • Review Maurie McInnis’s book on Waiting to be Sold for any leads on resources in Richmond
  • Is there anything about VA to PA regarding slaves or free people-google is my friend
  • Look for earlier Franklin County records and information on the Davis family and Brand family
  • Check for church records in Franklin County-they lived near United Brethren Church-they sold the house to the Rev. Wm Coursey of United Brethren Church.
  • Check buried records in Franklin County
  • Follow James Brand in Ohio and his lines, maybe something was noted on his parents or siblings
  • Join the Franklin Co. PA Historical Society
  • Check for any possible newspaper articles
  • Read about Blacks in Franklin County 1800-1860, free and enslaved
  • Research the all counties surrounding Franklin County, PA
  • Search earlier tax records (pre-1843)
  • See if there are others researching the Davis in Franklin Co. and Medina Ohio
  • Look for white Davis families in Franklin Co. and Clarke County, VA
  • Check with family on any oral history or thoughts
  • Share my walls with others in my genealogy groups for thoughts, ideas, and support

The list is enough to get started and will be an ongoing list. There will be more added and some things will be checked off. It will be one record at a time. Is there anything you would add or have a question about?

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