Elizabeth Walker Warren, 13th Great Grandmother


We are descendants of Richard Warren. Check out this fabulous write up on the Warren’s shared by Pamela Morse on Facebook.

Originally posted on mermaidcamp:

buried in Plymouth buried in Plymouth

My 13th great-grandmother arrived in Plymouth Colony in 1623 on the ship Ann.  Her husband was a Mayflower Compact signer.  She lived a long and, for her time, independent life.  We know a lot about her:

Director & Librarian, Pilgrim Society & Pilgrim Hall Museum

“A woman of valor, who can find? Far beyond pearls is her value… Give her the fruit of her hands, and she will be praised at the gates by her very own deeds.”
Proverbs 31:10
The “Pilgrim Mothers” are mysteries. These intrepid women of 17th century Plymouth Colony are known by their husbands and known by their children. Their own lives, however, are seen only in glimpses, pale images reflected off the activities of the families which revolved around them. The women themselves are almost invisible. While the…

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I Can’t Hide Mine, Please Don’t Hide Yours: An Open Letter to Ben Affleck


Mr. Twitty brings a lot to the table in his article. Please take the time to read and share your thoughts. Thank you Michael W. Twitty.

Originally posted on Afroculinaria:

Dear Ben,

Its unfortunate because of a massive internet hack we are in this particular place discussing your ancestral past. It’s horrible that your private matters were exposed because of something beyond your control. That’s untenable in any situation, but we need to address something right quick…this slavery thing.  You were embarassed, and that’s reasonable given the situation and the circumstances that produced it. But Ben Affleck, take it from a Black guy; with a platform like yours, don’t you dare be embarrassed to come from an ancestor who held enslaved people. Because….We need to know.

I don’t think many Black people really understand the profound guilt, shame or embarassment some white descendants of slave holding families feel. It’s not just that many assume personal responsibility for the past or that they grasp that their privilege or power is not just based on perceptions based on skin color.  Clearly these…

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What’s a good Sunday morning for a Genealogist?

I have a little smile on my face realizing that the basics of genealogical research are critical. I hope to do the happy dance if all of this recent research pans out. Following up on members of a household is critical. You never know who might be related and how they are related. I have a specific goal to locate William Michael Murphy (born in Indian Territory), my great grandfather. I resorted to using a poster board with county maps and details to help sort out where this man might of came from and where he died. Every time we think of a question or something doesn’t add up, we write it down on a piece of paper and that is the beginning of my research plan. I need to be able to research and resolve each question the best I can (following GPS steps).

research plan william michael murphy 2015

In order to research William Michael I also have to research my great grandmother Nellie McCorkle (b. 1866 in Greenville, TN). We assumed she was married to William Michael Murphy. So far my grandfather William Columbus is the only child of this union we can locate, but not likely, meaning there is more research needed. One census said that Nellie had five children, we can account only for three. I am not sure what happened to William Michael Murphy, but time will tell.

Well, Ms. Nellie “Murphy” married a second time to Henry Giles, who came from North Carolina. Getting married as a Murphy is telling me they probably were married. They married in 1897 in Bell County, KY, why? Who knows! Nellie’s sister was near and Sarah/Sallie McCorkle, she married Edward Goddard, they ended up in Harlan KY. The Goddard line is another story.

Nellie and Henry Giles had two children, Johnny H., b. 1896 and Ethel Irene b. 1899, who seems to go by “Irene”. Both of these children were born in Casey County, KY. I will be on the hunt for Johnny as well. The Giles family relocates to Illinois and appears in the 1900 census in Fulton County, near a coal mine. My grandfather is 14 and is listed as a stepson and a coal miner. I suspect William Michael and Henry Giles both are coal miners. In 1905, (per the Iowa state census) the Giles family is in Polk County, Iowa, again near a coal mine, and remains until 1925. Nellie passes away between 1910-1915. Henry is listed as a widower in the 1915 Iowa state census. Later Henry lives with his daughter and her family. Ethel “Irene” is now married to John Albert Sewell, they have two children, Mabel Anna and a son named Milton R. and then they appear in Kansas City, KS census until 1930. Apparently Ethel Irene and John Sewell divorce or he died, she is now married to Clive Doty (Dotie) and they are living in Jackson County, Oklahoma. What is interesting is that the Sewell’s came from Oklahoma. (Now do you see why I am using the poster, these folks are everywhere.)

So following up on the son of Ethel Irene and John Albert Sewell, I located Milton R. Sewell on ancestry.com and family search, and it leads me to Find A Grave. I also see that he served in the military and passed in 2000. This is good news and gives me some more leads. But what I noticed on Find a Grave was a little posting on the bottom right. It was a note saying he, Uncle Milton was missed, etc., and it was from a niece. So first I search others on Find A Grave, sent an email and did a public posting to this person. Next I checked the name on Facebook. Boom! I located the niece and sent a message. Now I will prepare a list of questions to ask this niece since now I also know who her parents are. Her mother does not appear to be a Sewell or Giles. So this will be interesting.

milton r sewell headstone 2000

I don’t want to lose my focus, but I am getting a little excited. I hope she knows some information on Nellie, which might lead to some information on William Michael or at least we can share some information. I know it is a long shot, it isn’t totally exhaustive yet, but working every angle will help. So far, it has been a good day for this genealogist, sticking to the basics of following up on all the family members. Stay tune in more is coming! If you can think of anything else, please share. Thank you.Familytreegirl

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Sharing family stories…Check out comments by Joyceann, Sarah and Monique….#jefferson county WV. Thanks Sarah for writing this up.

Originally posted on BitterSweet:

By Joyceann Gray, Sarah Brown and Monique Hopkins

Joyceann Gray, Monique Crippen-Hopkins and Sarah Brown are “linked through slavery”. Joyceann and Monique’s ancestors were enslaved by Sarah’s ancestors, the Washington family. When Sarah published her most recent post, about her connection with Monique’s family, Joyceann spoke out about her feelings about the piece. The three of them decided that the Facebook dialogue that followed was important, and would be valuable as a post of its own.

Read Joyeann’s blog for her full story:  http://jgraydiscovery.com/

Read Monique’s blog for her full story: http://genealogybreakingdownthewalls.blogspot.com/

Joyceann Gray Joyceann Gray

 Joyceann Gray writes:

There are a few who are in a delicate position being a direct descendant of slaveholders and wanting to give what you can of slave history and family connection to descendants of those enslaved by your families. You are in possession of access to all your family papers which affords you a glimpse…

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Daughters of the Republic of Texas sue the Texas General Land Office


Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter is a good one to read. Weekly postings are very informative. Check out this newsletter about the DAR in Texas suing the Texas General Land office.

Originally posted on Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter:

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas sued the state General Land Office, accusing the state agency of “an unlawful attempt” to take some 30,000 books and artifacts at the Alamo that the group says belong to the DRT.

The suit comes shortly after Land Commissioner George P. Bush decided to remove the Daughters as overseers of the Alamo, ending the nonprofit’s 110-year role there.

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Familytreegirl as your Genealogy Coach might be what you need!

Over the years I  have helped numerous individuals and families conduct their family research. Most of them want to do the research themselves and/or just need some help getting started, organize your research,  or dealing with a conflict or challenge. I am the  Genealogy Coach yours truly “familytreegirl”. The only one. I believe coaching continues to be my calling (along with being a teacher). This is not coaching about a business, its about the research. I love providing this service to assist folks in their genealogy research. With my background in organizational management and genealogical research skills it makes a perfect match in helping folks to enhance their research skills. They get the pleasure to experience locating a record and sharing the family history.

I truly believe it is best for anyone doing genealogy research that you must have a plan. It helps keep them focused and organized.  Well for those that have not experienced one of my workshops, you first have to understand what you know about the individual(s) and the communities they lived in. You have read my blogs on SO WHAT principles of record analysis, the importances of setting goals, and having a plan, etc.

It is really important to be able to set your plan of action keeping your goals in your mind. As a Genealogy Coach, I will coach you through your research. If you want to use my service or have questions on how all this works and the costs,  just email me or post a comment. I am professional with high standards, and affordable.

If you are a current genealogist with some dynamic skills and would like to consider the coaching realm as a business contact me. I have a few other coaches coming on board so stay tuned, there might be a Genealogy Coach near you.

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Boatmen-are you part of the escape plan?

Today is Saturday and I have attempted a little research, yeah right! I have a few call for papers to complete and design an “Understanding the Process for the DAR”. But as usual, something else pops in my mind and I have to check it out. I believe this is my ancestors whispering to me. So I need to pay attention. For some reason I was drawn to Jim Surkamp’s website about Jefferson County, West VA. I had not visited in a while and the USCT’s were on my mind. I haven’t located any of my ancestors in the database as of yet and wondered if any of the ones he had listed were connected. My Goens/Goings surnames are worst than my Murphy’s when researching. There are so many of them.

Jim’s site covers numerous histories of Jefferson County, Virginia, now known as Jefferson County, West Virginia (after June 1863). Most do not know of this area, but might have heard of some towns in the county such as Charles Town or Harper’s Ferry, John Brown’s raid, etc. I met Jim a couple of years ago and we chatted about the 1860 Slave census where the count of escaped slaves is 602 noted on the census. Now is it all accurate, who knows, but it is a start of something. My great great great grandfather was Lawson Goens/Goings/Goins, who was born in 1807 in Loudoun, Co. Virginia, and was a boatman for 30 years at the Shannondale Springs Resort.  His parents were Joseph and Nancy (assumed Windsor) Goings. Lawson’s wife is Sarah Hart, they were married about 1830 in a location I have not been able to document yet. We have this wonderful flyer from 1856 noting the resort where Lawson worked:

shannondale springs flyer

The flyer was tucked in Sarah (Hart) Goens/Goings bible. It had no meaning until I located Lawson’s Obit. Lawson passed on 12 July 1874 and the obit was a reprint in the 1944 Jefferson Spirit newspaper in Charles Town, WV. I found it on the newspaper microfilm at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV:

lawson goens obit reprint 1944

With the flyer and obit there are a lot of things that can be noted, such as dates, names, and locations. Using the “so what” principles I will be able to analyze the information for some good solid research. Lawson was working for the company at the time the flyer was produced.

Jim has laid out an extremely informative reference using maps. The maps show the location of the escaped slaves. On his website he also mapped the free people of color. Jim Surkamp’s maps are located at:


The value of using a map is unbelievable. You realistically cannot do genealogy research without picking up a map or two. He references my 3x grandfather Goens and wondered if they were cooperative in helping individuals escape slavery. I too wonder. The Goens/Goings were free for as long as I can document them. I am also on the hunt for more information on Joseph and Nancy, since I located a marriage record online that I believe is theirs (1801, Maryland marriage record). Yes, you saw that right, the marriage took place in Maryland, instead of Virginia. It was easier to get married quick in Maryland versus Virginia at this time. This marriage record was located on ancestry.com:

Name: Joseph Goings
Spouse: Nancy Windsor
Marriage Date: 30 Jul 1801
County: Frederick
State: MD

Ref: Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp.. Maryland Marriages, 1667-1899 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA

The boatmen are the logical choice to help escaped slaves along the rivers. One of my mottos for research is “follow the money, the land and the water”. I am not sure how I will plan this research, but I have to have a plan! Jim said that there are only two actual accounts from slaves on the route out of Jefferson County. So there is obviously more work to do on this topic since the census is noting 602 escapees.

What are you thoughts on the research? Where would you begin to locate information on 602 escaped slaves and the “boatmen” that might of helped? As you know, I have to have a plan in order to guide my research. I am only at the stage of writing down everything I know in a timeline format and from there I go…

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