Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sale price on Evidentia software - but only from me!

I tend to think of myself as a pretty tech-savvy genealogist. I'm no Dick Eastman or Thomas MacEntee by any means, but I love doing genealogy on my iPhone and iPad, and I keep all my findings on my laptop, and make at least monthly backups to an external hard drive that I keep safe at a location away from my house. I try to keep up on at least some of the apps and websites out there.

I recently heard about Evidentia software, and decided to check it out. This is a different sort of genealogy program, in that it doesn't track your ancestors and print pedigree charts or family group sheets. Rather, it collects sources, records the claims those sources make about people, and helps you draw conclusions about the evidence and information presented. I have a couple of ancestors I'd really like to try this on, because I'm not entirely sure how I know what I know, and that it's been sufficiently proven. This would be a good way to review the evidence and see how it lays out, what conflicts and what doesn't. This is what it looks like:

Now here's the cool part - I just signed up as an affiliate of Evidentia, so I can offer you a discount price on Evidentia starting next week! From May 1-10, you can get Evidentia for 16% off, or $25 instead of the normal $29.99, as well as free shipping. To get this great discount, click on this link here. The discount code is "rantings". If you do get the software, leave me a comment and tell me how you like it. I'm still getting familiar with it myself, and would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party - April 2016: The Doctor and I

Elizabeth O'Neal recently suggested we have a genealogy blog party, and I thought it was a great idea! The theme of the part is this: after saving the universe with The Doctor (from Doctor Who), he offers to take me back to meet an ancestor of mine. Where do I go? Who do I visit? Do I disrupt the space-time continuum? The possibilities are pretty close to endless, but here's what and who I chose:

I would head to Gortnagullion, County Fermanagh, Ireland in 1844, where my 3rd-great-grandfather Henry Gibson and his wife Ann were living. I want to see what conditions were like for them in Ireland, and whether they chose to leave for more opportunity or just to survive. I would of course ask him who his ancestors were as far back as he knows, for himself and his wife, and whether he knows if his family originally came from Scotland or England. But I would also want to know more about him personally - what his goals were, what he wanted out of life for himself and his family, and what he felt about Ireland as a country. Was he proud to be Irish even though he ended up leaving? Would he want his descendants to remember where in Ireland they came from, or would that even matter to him?

I would probably want to tell him who I am, that I am his descendant from 170 years in the future, but after seeing the Back to the Future movies, I would probably restrain myself for fear of creating a paradox and destroying the universe. I would like to tell him in general terms that his family survives and thrives in the new world, serving in the military, becoming doctors and nurses and many other honorable occupations. And maybe, just maybe, try to convince him to do a DNA test for me.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Military Monday - A different kind of summer soldier

While trying to find details of and explanation for the connection between my ancestor Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse and George Prescott, whose home she passed away in, I came across some very interesting information on two individuals - her sons Lacey (yes, his name was Lacey) and Mitchell Garlinghouse. I've had their names in my database for years, but haven't tried to dig up any dirt on them. That's one of the downsides of genealogy research - you only have so much time, and there are way more people in your tree than you could ever have time to research thoroughly. But now that I had a reason to research them, I'm glad I did.

Let's start with Lacey. As I mentioned previously, he married Elizabeth McCormick in 1856 in Wapello county, Iowa. They had at least four kids together - Henry, Edward, Viola, Josiah, and (possibly) Ida (see below). Henry was born in 1862, the same year Lacey enlisted in Company B of the 36 Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry to fight in the Civil War. From what I can tell, he spent the next three years in the military, transferring to the Veterans Reserve Corps in 1864, and serving there until he was mustered out in September, 1865 (a full five months after the Civil War officially ended). His next child was born in 1866, so I'm guessing after his discharge, Lacey and Elizabeth resumed their relationship right where it left off in 1862. Having already found a few other relatives who participated in the Civil War, this was really interesting because he didn't stay with the same unit the entire time like Alexander Shute did. Nor did he die early on in his service like Norton Johnson and George Craddock did. There really wasn't one universal set of experiences in this war (and I'd imagine that's the case for any war), but that idea never really hit home till I was reading about Lacey's service.

After reading about Lacey Garlinghouse's military experience, I started researching his younger brother, Mitchell Garlinghouse. Like Lacey, Mitchell also enlisted to serve in the Union army during the Civil War, but his enlistment occurred in February, 1864. I'm curious as to why he waited so long to enlist, but that's probably unknowable now. Regardless of the reason for his timing, he entered the service of his country on 25 February 1864, and was mustered into Company I of the 8th Regiment of Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. Unlike his brother, however, his service ended five months and one day later at Fort Ripley, Minnesota. His enlistment record gives this little tidbit about the reason:

It looked to me like it said 'Dischd for disob. (while ab form Co.)'. I took that to mean he was discharged for disobedience while absent from company. Discharged for disobedience? What kind of disobedience gets you discharged? I've heard of being court-martialed or even executed for rulebreaking, depending on the severity of the infraction, but discharged? That was new. I kept digging around, searching on Fold3 and Google, until I found something in a book titled "Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars":

Now his discharge made much more sense; he wasn't released from service because of disobedience, it was because of disability. He got sick and stayed sick long enough to be let go. Sickness was rampant during the Civil War. Norton Johnson (also from Minnesota) and George Craddock (who served in Missouri) were both killed by sickness rather than bullets or cannonballs. At least Mitchell survived the war and was able to return home. Thus his stint at soldiery was limited to the spring and early summer of 1864.

Sadly, for Mitchell and Lacey, both of their stories ended just a few short years after their military service ended. Lacey's widow Elizabeth applied for a Civil War pension in 1901, and stated that Lacey had passed away 16 Feb 1871. I'm hoping that she misremembered the year, because the 1875 Minnesota census shows Elizabeth living with three children, Viola (6), Josiah (4) and Ida (1). If Lacey died in 1871, then there's no way he could have fathered Ida in 1874, and there's another mystery to solve.  Mitchell fared little better, having passed away before August 24, 1874, when his mother Amanda applied for a Civil War pension in his name. It's sad to think that whatever illness or other disability ended his military service in 1864 may have caused or contributed to his death within the next 10 years.

One thing is certain though - the military events that occurred during Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse's life had quite an impact on her family. Two of her three sons served in the Civil War. At least one son-in-law, Paul Groff, served in the Mexican-American War, having enlisted twice during that conflict. I wonder what she thought of the men of her children's generation having to go off to war again and again. It likely wasn't too different from what mothers, wives, and children feel today as we see our loved ones called to risk life and limb in the service of their country. It makes me proud and grateful to live in a country where men and women from all these generations have stood up time and time again to protect our country and our way of life, whether they served for one summer or many summers.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Surname Saturday - A Garlinghouse, a Prescott, and a Belknap walk into a bar...

Round one of trying to find out how George Prescott and his wife Olive (Garlinghouse) Prescott are connected to Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse is over. I started with going over previous records of Amanda and her family that I've already collected, and finding out more about Amanda's other children besides Susanna to see if there's a connection to George Prescott. I have discovered a couple of very interesting details, but nothing that really answers the question definitively yet. Here's what I now know:

1. In the 1856 Iowa state census, Olive's parents David and Catherine Garlinghouse were enumerated in the household of COB and Kizia Garlinghouse, and over a dozen other Garlinghouses (none of whom I have definitely connected to mine, but they could be related). Also in that household were Thomas and Elizabeth McCormick, brother and sister and both natives of Ohio. Later that same year, Elizabeth McCormick married Lacey Garlinghouse, the oldest of my ancestor Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse's children.

2.  Four years previously, in the 1852 Iowa state census, Wapello county, David Garlinghouse is listed next to J Garlinghouse, John Garlinghouse, E Belknap and James Belknap. It's not one of those censuses that list all household members by name, unfortunately. But the numbers are pretty close for J Garlinghouse to be Josiah, E Belknap to be Elijah Belknap (Amanda's father) and James Belknap to be Amanda's brother. That puts him smack in the middle of Amanda's immediate family in the right time and place that they were there, and would give her father, mother, brother, and potential her husband and herself time and opportunity to get acquainted with the family Olive Garlinghouse would be born into in 1858.

These two discoveries help close the proximity gap between my Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse and the (still disconnected) George Prescott and his wife Olive Garlinghouse a little. It seems that Amanda and her family (both her parents and brother, as well as possibly she and her husband Josiah and their kids would have known David and Catherine Garlinghouse just a few years before Olive was born. If they remained in contact until Amanda's death in 1882, that would mean an association of 30 years or more. Even if David and Catherine had passed away, having known them and their children for so long, Amanda may have been perfectly comfortable spending her final moments in Olive's home.

The 1856 Iowa state census shows David and Catherine Garlinghouse were in the household of a very large Garlinghouse family in Van Buren county, the county that was kitty-corner southeast of where they were living in 1852. It would make sense that they would move to be nearer to family. But did they leave one family gathering place to go to another? Were they leaving family behind (Josiah Garlinghouse and his extended family) to live with other family members (COB Garlinghouse and his extended family)?

Still no answers yet. Guess that means more digging! I think I need to work on assembling Olive's family tree, her parents David and Catherine Garlinghouse, and see if they aren't connected to my Garlinghouses. There was obviously a large extended Garlinghouse family in Iowa, and I think it's time to put all those pieces together.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Genes Day Friday - The biological father of grandma Edna is...

Several years ago, I was discussing my latest genealogy finds on the Craddock side with my wife and parents, going over the many marriages of my 2nd-great-grandmother Lena Beilstein. I told them about how Lena left her second husband Clarence Johnson for her third husband Ernest Craddock right around the time she became pregnant with my great-grandmother, Edna Craddock. My mom asked "Well, how do we know if Edna's father was Ernie or Clarence?" My jaw hit the floor - I'd somehow never considered that Edna's biological father may have been Clarence. I determined then I needed to have a known Craddock cousin take a DNA test, so we could see whether Edna's father was Ernie or Clarence.

The obvious choice for the test was a cousin of my grandmother's, who shared the same grandparents, Ernie Craddock and Lena Beilstein. I am very fortunate to have many of her cousins on that side still living, but unfortunately, my DNA funds had dried up and other projects (like going back to school and finding a new job) took precedence in the budget. Then earlier this year, I got little something extra at work, and I knew exactly what to do with it - buy a DNA test! I contacted one of grandma's cousins, and she readily agreed. Happy dance!!

I'd tested all my grandma's relatives at 23andMe up until just before the big brouhaha with the FDA shut them down temporarily.When they came back with the medical testing, they also upped the price tag by $50. Being the frugal genealogist that I am, I purchased my cousin's test at FTDNA and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Then, just as the expected ready date was approaching, FTDNA notified me that the test results would be delayed, and there was no guarantee that the results would be ready by the projected completion date.

I tried to tell myself that I'd waited years for these results, so a few more weeks wouldn't kill me. But I still checked the website every day at least once or twice, hoping that I'd be able to see the results before the end of April. Turns out, I didn't have to wait for April to even start. They came in last night sometime around 11:30!

So now, without further ado - the results! My grandmother and her cousin share about 9.5% of their DNA. 23andMe says the range for first cousins that share both grandparents on one side is 7.31% - 13.8%. If Edna had not been the daughter of Ernest Craddock, the shared DNA would have been the same as for second cousins, between 2.85% - 5.04%. Therefore, it seems that Edna was, without a doubt, the daughter of Ernest Craddock. Problem solved at very long last!

I'm not done waiting for DNA results, however. The last DNA sample I set out to collect when I started all this madness back in 2012 is still in process - the Y-DNA test for my Wagner line. I had originally intended to test my grandma Blossom's brother Howie, but he was pretty ill at the time and I was advised to not broach the subject with him. Sadly, he passed away before I ever got the chance to really talk to him about it. Fortunately, one of his sons was willing to swab for me, and his DNA test went to the lab right around the same time as the test for my grandma's cousin. My Wagner Y-DNA results should be done around the middle/end of April, so that gives me just enough time to play around with these autosomal results I just got and get familiar with them. Once I have the Y-DNA results I need, my plan is to organize all my DNA tests and really begin working the research and collecting results, analyzing them and plumbing them for info and clues. Sound like fun? You better believe it!!