52Weeks 52Ancestors-Woman!

Meet my 3x great grandmother Sarah Ann “Hart” Goings/Goins/Goens. We have no photos of her or her husband. She was married to Lawson Goens/Goings/Goins, who was born in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1807 and passed in 12 July 1874, in Clarke County, Virginia.  I know that they had 11 children. Now Sarah was born in 1 April 1810, in Virginia-I have not been able to locate where in Virginia. She passed in 8 Feb 1886, and we do not know where in Virginia she died. So far there is no death record in Jefferson County, Virginia/West Virginia.  Here is a photo of her headstone that is located in St. Paul’s Church, Kearneysville, West Virginia:

sarah hart goens headstone

Now here is something interesting -a friend took this photo back in the 90’s and sent the photo to my oldest brother. We know that the friends were in the town of Kearneysville, Jefferson County, West Virginia but we do not find the headstone anymore. We were told that a car flew off the road and knocked down several tombstones. We assume her headstone was one of them.

Now this is what I know about Sarah Ann “Hart”, what we don’t know is who her parents are or siblings. She has a limited timeline and a detailed research plan built of unknowns, and many questions. She lived with her daughter apparently after her husband died because she shows up in the 1880 Jefferson County census with her daughter Nancy (Goens) Johnson.

That’s it! Thank you!




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A New Website: African American Civil War Soldiers

Wow a new site, thanks Dick Eastman for this posting on the African American Civil War site information and allowing it to be reblogged.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

This may be one of the most important history-related web sites launched so far this year. The following announcement was written by John Clegg, a founder of the African American Civil War Soldiers web site:

African American Civil War Soldiers is a new website that will crowd-source the transcription of the military records of roughly 200,000 African Americans soldiers who fought for their freedom in the American Civil War. These records are of great interest to historians and genealogists, since they contain detailed biographic information on individual Union Army soldiers, most of whom were slaves at the start of the Civil War. However, until now these records have been locked away in the National Archives in DC, accessible only to a select few researchers. Our website invites members of the public to help transcribe scanned images of the soldiers’ records, turning them into text that can easily be searched…

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Getting Started with Genealogy! Fredericksburg VA Women’s Forum

It was my pleasure to present at the Fredericksburg, Virginia Barbara Geslock Women’s forum. As promised I am attaching the power point and the timeline for you to use. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or post a note. I will leave it up for a couple more days. Thank you for attending!

Woman’s forum getting started Fredericksburg 3-10-18


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Timelines for the 2018 Rootstech folks

Thank you for attending. Here is the information I promised linking to the timelines…enjoy and have fun with it. Let me know if you have any questions. RootsTech Timelines are for You.

Timeline for Genealogy Blank Timeline for Genealogy Blank 2017


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Heirloom-52weeks 52Ancestors

I am trying to keep track of the challenge and I am slipping. This week I will acknowledge a family heirloom. My 2x grandfather-Ahira Harvey Worden was born on March 20, 1838, in Eaton, Michigan, his father, Parley Worden, was 42 and his mother, Lydoriana (Boyer), was 19. He married Elizabeth “Betsy” Boyer in 1859 in his hometown or on route to Michigan from New York. (yes they were cousins) They had eight children in 17 years and three survived. He died on December 12, 1916, in Shelby, Michigan, having lived a long life of 78 years, and was buried there.

Ahira Harvey Worden, a private from Michigan, fought for the Union during the Civil War. He served as a private in the 15th Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Company I.  In his profile he listed on 16 March 1865. He mustered out on 13 August 1865 at Little Rock, AR. (Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers 1861-65) He applied for his pension and it took about 40 years to get it, but it finally came in and then he died ($20) and his wife applied and got it.

After the war he joined the GAR Post #68 in Shelby, Oceana County, Michigan. Here is his GAR medal, one of my favorite heirlooms.

Ahira GAR medal

View the photo of Ahira and his wife and note he is proudly wearing his medal. When my brother Calvin (aka Todd) was sworn in the SAR & Sons of the Union Army he proudly wore this medal.


Ahira Worden Obit 12 Dec 1916

Ahira was also a whittler and here is a photo of a chair he whittled. Ahira Chair

Know your roots, they are long and strong!

Enjoy familytreegirl!

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52Ancestors52Weeks Weird Names

Oh yes there are some interesting names in our ancestry. Typically, the odd ones in my tree are all on my mother’s paternal side. It’s the European’s all the way. My father’s side all seen to be “normal” and familiar. So for this week I will just list some of the first names. But, if I think of it, they are just as weird as some of the 21st century ones of today. Here are some of the strange or let’s say odd male and female names in my family tree. I did not include any of the Dutch names because I do not know if they are odd or not. Enjoy!






Ahira (great grandfather)

Hopestill (7th great grandmother and her last name was Holley and married a Worden)


Joram, Jorum (great great grandfather)



Parley (my great great grandfather)



Weed (oh this is really interesting and he is not from the 1960s, but the 1700s)


Ahasuerus (I believe this man is a Tory-ugrrr a traitor!)




Massena (on Mom’s mother’s side)



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52Ancestors52Weeks, Census-Joseph Goings

As a genealogist new or experienced the Federal Population census is a go too document. From what I know and you can visit the United States Census Bureau website for more information. There are several reasons why the federal government developed the population census. I am not going in-depth about who does what about the census. But here are some key points that I think folks should know:

  • It’s about people and the economy in the United States. It is taken every ten years.
  • It helps delegate federal $$ to local communities every year and others things
  • It does the American Community Survey, something I look at for my day job.
  • The first census was taken in 1790 and today we have access to the 1940 Census.
  • Every 72 years the census is available to the general public.
  • Each census collected different information-visit this website to learn about each census: https://www.census.gov/prod/2000pubs/cff-2.pdf

Well let me introduce you to Joseph Goings! He is my 4th great grandfather. I find him in the 1810, 1820, and 1830 federal population census. We assume he is born about 1750 to 1775. His son Lawson was born in 1807 in Loudoun County. As of yet, we do not know when he died or where he is buried. Most of the Goings family in Loudoun County migrated to Jefferson County, Virginia, now West Virginia.

I would recommend looking and learning the columns and what should be filled in but the census taker. The 1810 Census collected the name of the head of the family, if the head of the household is white, their age and sex, race and if there were slaves. When you develop your timeline on an ancestor you want to make sure you have the census and state census listed. In addition, you want to note who is in the household.

Below is a blank 1810 to view:


Here is an 1810 census showing Joseph Goings in Loudoun County, Virginia.


Here is an 1860 Census for Medina County, Ohio. View the Wm Davis family. The 1860 census collected the 1860 the Name of the head of the household; age; sex; race; value of real estate; value of personal estate; occupation; birthplace; whether married within the year; school attendance; literacy; whether deaf and dumb; blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict.


Here is the 1860 Census with William and Mildred Davis’s household.

1860 William Davis Medina Ohio Census

Another document I would suggest you get is the instructions for the census takers. You can download it free from the census bureau website. With the blank census forms and the filled out forms you should gain a little bit more knowledge of the benefit of using the census. (https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/census_instructions/)


Know your roots, they are Long and Strong!


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An African-American Cemetery in Baltimore was Bulldozed

Wow this is so sad! Thank you Dick Eastman for sharing this information. Our cemeteries are precious and protected. This is why what we do as genealogists is so important.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

“Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead, and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high ideals.” – William Gladstone

Since it was opened in 1852, Laurel Cemetery was supposed to become a place where the luminaries of Baltimore’s black community could be remembered forever. “All who procure burials here are sure of an undisturbed resting place for all time to come,” an 1858 ad promised. However, “forever” ended in the 1960s.

The cemetery was paved over by developers with political connections. Today the former cemetery is the site of a Food Depot, a discount department store, and a Dollar General, among other commercial buildings.

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52Ancestors52Weeks Week #4, Invitation to Dinner. Gathering of the Greats!

Holy moly! Well it won’t be a barbeque dinner but it will be a fabulous dinner at the familytreegirl’s round table. So here’s the menu designed by this genealogy professional.

Menu for familytreegirl’s Round Table Dinner for 8!

The Gathering of the Greats.

  • Each of the dinner guests have to complete a “timeline” on their life.
  • Each have to identify their parents, grandparents and what they know about them and even their great grandparents. (snacks are on the table, fresh fruit and veggies)
  • As the host, I will show them photos of their descendants and ask them which of the descendants look like someone in their family
  • Each need to tell the names and birth location and ages of their siblings
  • Each will share their faith and any churches they attended
  • For the ladies, tell me how many children they had and lost along with what their favorite meal they cooked and what they did not like about their husbands, etc.
  • If they served in the military, what war and what was their role?
  • What is the one thing they wished for their children and descendants?
  • Allow familytreegirl to take photos and record the whole dinner session
  • I hope they enjoy red wine as that will be the drink for dinner along with a good dressed up arugula salad, mashed cauliflower and a beyond meat burger.
  • I will close dinner by sharing the love, answering any questions they might have and telling them to keep in touch, return my telepathy calls & thoughts during my prayers and meditation and thanking all of them for passing down the heart disease, etc.-I am handling it the best I can.

The guest list:

Joseph Goings, I guess a mulatto, free born, 4tx great grandfather was born about 1775, in Virginia somewhere. He lived in Loudoun County but just not sure-yet- if he was born there. He is either the brother or son of Luke Goins born about 1740. He was married to Nancy (Windsor) in 1801 in Maryland. They leave Loudoun County and resume living in Jefferson County, Virginia and as of June 20, 1863, it is West Virginia. This line supposedly goes to Jamestown and I am on the right path with some evidence so far, but I grave more. I have researched their children but have not located his or his wife’s death location. The one thing I would like to know is who is Joseph Goings and Nancy Windsor’s parents, and how do they connect to William Goings and James Goings. Information retrieved from ancestry.com: Maryland, Compiled Marriages, 1655-1850.

Name: Joseph Goings
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 30 Jul 1801
Spouse: Nancy Windsor
Spouse Gender: Male
County: Frederick County

Parley Worden, my European 2x great grandfather on my mother’s paternal side. Parley was born in 1795-1799 in New York according to an entry written in the Worden bible. Parley was part of a party of 19 who left the Herkimer County, New York area and traveled to Eaton County, Michigan. He married Lydoriana Boyer. He died in Oceana County, Michigan 5 May 1862, he is buried in the old section in the Benona Cemetery with no marker. I hope to save some money to put up some headstones for those buried in the cemetery. What I want to confirm is that Parley’s father is Arnold Worden born in 1763 in New Stonington, New London Connecticut, and died in Petersburg, Rennselaer, New York in 1840, confirm where his mother Abigail (Marshall) is buried. I will visit your grave in March and hope to find out that Abigail is buried right next to you. I am sure your second wife Mary Sheppard is buried near you as well. Finding out about Arnold, a patriot of the Revolutionary War will help me complete another application in the Daughter of the American Revolution society.

Sarah Ann Hart-Goens/Goins/Goings, white or mulatto, born in 1810, somewhere in Virginia. She is my 3x great grandmother, on my mother’s side, who married Lawson Goens/Goings/Goins and they lived in Jefferson County, Virginia/West Virginia until Lawson passed 12 July 1874. You moved in with your daughter since I located you in the 1880 Jefferson County population census. I have tracked the children and yet to locate anything on your family. I found family connections but not your parents. The bottom line with Ms. Sarah Ann, “who’s your daddy and momma”?

William Davis, my 2x great grandfather on my mother’s maternal side, a mulatto. William was born 1814-1818, in Pennsylvania, not sure where, but somewhere near Chambersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He is the son of a slave owner and a slave. Oral history says he is one of three children and his father, the slave owner (who had numerous slaves) was poisoned by the neighbors. The neighbors did not like the fact that Williams’s father, who was not married, has the slave women in the house with him and she had the three children. The neighbor’s poisoned him and on this death bed told the slave woman to take the children and flee north. I believe rather have a theory that the plantation was actually in the Winchester, Virginia area and the fleeing took them to Chambersburg, which is just about straight north of Winchester. William Davis died in Joyfield Township, Benzie County, Michigan in 1881 and is buried in the Joyfield Cemetery, Benzie County, Michigan. It is believed that they are the first family of color to homestead in Benzie County. I would like ask him about his siblings and parents, along with any grandparents to help confirm oral history about the Davis family. I figure the white Davis family in Franklin County is yours but can’t prove it-yet.

Mildred Ann Brand-Davis, a mulatto, she is my 2x great grandmother on my mother’s maternal side. Mildred was born about 1825 in Richmond, Virginia, died 17 December 1895, buried next to her husband. Mildred’s father was from Scotland. Now the question to Mildred Ann is what are your parent’s name? Why and when did she relocate to Pennsylvania and meet William Davis. Another question-good gracious, who is Joseph Brand Davis your first born son’s father? We located the court case and it says he is your illegitimate son. Also, who are your siblings and grandparents? http://bit.ly/2DDwWLs

George W. Marsh, an African American, born in 1834 in Virginia is my 2x great grandfather on my Mother’s side. Now you are a slave per oral history and your daughter Clara Marsh-Davis. I know you were dark skinned and very tall. I have heard the stories for over 50 years that you could stand with your hand on a fence post and jump over it. You and your wife, Mary Catherine Goens/Goins/Goings had 12 children, yes I also heard six were dark and 6 were light skinned. Based on the photos we have of the children and Mary, I would say that is oral history was true. You and Mary left Jefferson County right after the Civil War, did you serve? You traveled to Morrow County, Ohio, had your daughter Sara and then migrated to Manistee County, Michigan. On route you met Leonard Reed from New York/Canada and family and you both traveled together. In Manistee Michigan, you are believed to be the first person of colored who homesteaded 160 acres. I grew up spending my summers on this homestead property. Now George, I want to know the truth about what you remember the day your father was killed by the plantation owner, you were only 4 years old what did your mother do after that? Did she stay in Virginia, get sold, what about your siblings and who was the owner of your family, was it Battille Muse of Jefferson County since his farm was called the Marsh farm, did you take his name? Battille Muse had 24 taxable slaves.

Ambrose Cureton, African American my 2x great grandfather on my father’s side. Ambrose was a slave born about 1840, either in Africa and came here at the age of 9 per oral history, or born in Tennessee or one of the Carolina’s. I located him, his wife Eliza, son Govan and daughter Elizabeth in Cocke County, Tennessee in the 1870 census. He with 2nd wife Lue J (Grinway) appear in the 1880 Census for Loudon County, Tennessee. I lose him and the children, except for Govan the first born son. Govan and his wife, Hattie (Russell) relocated to Knoxville and then on to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Govan’s daughter Viola Cureton marries William Columbus Murphy and from there they become my grandparents. I will visit Govan’s grave while in Ft. Wayne attending the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI). Govan died in 1920, and is buried in Lindenwood Cemetery in the Negro section. Lindenwood Cemetery has over 69k graves. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindenwood_Cemetery) I hope to hear Ambrose tell me who owned him, about his parents, any siblings and where he is buried. Also, did he become free before 1865 and where is Eliza and Elizabeth buried and when did they die.

William Michael Murphy-great grandfather, we have no idea what he is, he might be a mulatto, maybe American Indian and African American, or slave, who knows! You are my Immaculate Conception individual-a real legit brick wall, and so far I am creeping up on an exhausted dead end search for him. Genealogy does not guarantee that we will find an ancestor. He might have been born around the 1860s. I am hoping my genealogy buddy Victoria will have some luck with him. I am not sure when or where he was born or died, when he and my great grandmother Nellie (McCorkle-Giles) got married and had children. Per one record from his son, my grandfather William Columbus Murphy, his father was born in Indian Territory. Nellie was born about 1865 in Greene County, Tennessee. So far there is no divorce, no death record or marriage record. Nellie remarried as Nellie Murphy to Henry Giles and they had two children. I have tracked Nellie’s life through her daughter Irene Ethel Giles’. So far nothing has helped me to connect to William Michael. I am thinking that William Michael was a coal miner and died because the locations of Nellie and Henry tended to be around coal mining towns. What I want to know–where in the hell are you great grandfather William Michael and who are your parents, etc.? This record is William Columbus Murphy’s SSI application noting his father’s name.

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My Aunt Lillian Murphy 52Ancestors 52Weeks-Longevity

As genealogist/family historian we always think of our eldest relative and what questions do we want to ask them. Well my father’s sister is our eldest relative on the Murphy side of the family. Aunt Lillian was born 20 December 1920 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and now enjoys her time living with her daughter Jackie and granddaughter Allison. Yes, she has celebrated her 97th birthday. What a blessing! I did not get to know her well, since she moved away from Michigan. I am in contact with her via Jackie and asked about some more details about her Mom. Jackie shared that Aunt Lillian was sort of secretive about her life, which is just like her father, Granddad (William Columbus Murphy). She is the first born and only surviving of her family. Here parents are William and Viola (Cureton) known as Mother Vi. I am named after Mother Vi (my middle name is Viola). She has one sister Evelyn and five brothers (William “Bud”, Calvin (my father), Harold, Ralph and Donald.

Lillian’s parents and my grandparents: Viola (Cureton) & William Columbus Murphy

Viola Cureton and William Murphy-grandparents

Lillian’s brothers (L to R) Harold, Donald, William “Bud” Jr, Ralph, and Calvin (my father). These are some good looking men!

murphy brothers calvin murphy

Aunt Lillian with her brother -Uncle Donnie  Lillian and Donnie

Brothers Calvin (my dad with the shades on) and Uncle Donnie (on Right) in MI:

daddy, donnie homer cross Idlewild

The Murphy’s are a quiet and we don’t know much about them except for the evidence we can find. William and Viola married in Ft. Wayne in 20 June 1920. My grandfather got his calling to be a minister while in Ft. Wayne working at a hotel shoveling coal. According to oral history there was a lynching (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_of_Thomas_Shipp_and_Abram_Smith)close to Ft. Wayne, Allen County and my father said he remembers his mother (Mother Vi) frying chicken and baking biscuits. The children where woken in the night, they, all 7 of them hopped on a train in Ft. Wayne and they were put off in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The train porter -Mr. Harmon took the family and housed them until Granddad got a job. He got a job with the WPA and helped to build a water tower in Franklin Park in Grand Rapids. Granddad also became and Associate Pastor at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church

The “Murphy Sisters” Aunt Evelyn and Aunt Lillian

murphy sisters evelyn and lillian

Photo of Aunt Lillian playing the organ

Lillian playing organ

The Murphy children are very talented. The boys all sang, Aunt Lillian played the piano and organ and Aunt Evelyn did readings of bible versus. Her one brother Harold sang with the famous Wings Over Jordan Black Gospel group during the Korea War:

Aunt Lillian has become set in her mind and her ways as all our elders do. Jackie says she won’t let us take pictures of her. Aunt Lillian hates Trump, she thinks he is crazy. I have to agree with her on this one! But she loves Obama and his family. She also loves Oprah and always wanted to meet her. They tired to get tickets to her show. She enjoys her soaps- General Hospital and One Life to live. Also watching the OWN Channel and likes Iyanla, Sweetie Pie’s and sometimes Dr. Phil. Jackie shares that the TV watches her more than Aunt Lillian watching it. The Maury and other court shows, such as, Mathis, Hot Bench, Peoples Court and loves Judge Judy. The View is another favorite that she watches everyday and thinks a lot like Whoopi.

She married George Leon Johnson on December 1, 1941, in Grand Rapids, Michigan and they had 5 children (Jackie and her 4 brothers).

Photo of George Johnson  george johnson jackie dad

Lillian and Junie, the oldest son.

Lillian and Junie

Over the years she worked for Michigan Bell Telephone and transferred to NJ Bell in 1959 as an Information Operator. She retired from the company. She likes to travel and after retirement lived in Michigan, Ft. Wayne a bit in San Francisco and returned to New Jersey in 1979 where she still resides. She also worked for the Montessori school for several years. My mother (Verna) and Lillian have wrote letters over the years, can you believe it, my mother has all of the letters that Lillian has ever wrote.

Aunt Lillian is a lover of traveling. It doesn’t matter if by boat, train, or plane. One of Aunt Lillian’s hobbies is a bit of Crewel, stitchery and hook rugs, which she made many and gave them as gifts. She also loves doing Word search puzzles. She was known for her potato salad-yum!

“Traveling Aunt Lillian”

Aunt Lillian (on left) at Bear Lake Michigan at my brother Todd’s house, sister Evelyn and granddaughter Allison. Second photo, Todd and Allison.

lillian todd

Aunt Lillian is living her life, fragile but doing well for 97! She has survived both her parents and all her brothers. She is well taken care of and loved by family. I hope to make it to 97 when I grow up and sit back and let the TV watch me…

52Ancestors 52Weeks, Week #3

Know your Roots they are long and strong!

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