Sunday, April 9, 2017

Mattie Moad - Chapter 1

Mattie Moad

Chapter 1

Martha “Mattie” Blackburn is born to Black Township, Posey County, Indiana farmer William Jackson Blackburn (1843-1915) and his wife Charlotte Duckworth Blackburn (1846-1922) on the 15th of September 1870. 

Charlotte affectionately called Charlotty, in official birth returns for her children, was the daughter of Green Duckworth also of Posey County. She had been born, raised and raised her (7) seven children during the civil war and post-civil war era. From 1865-1881 Charlotty was birthing babies! William Jackson Blackburn had deep roots in Posey County as well. The census records confirm close, large family bonds within the community. Known as Jack Blackburn he served in the Union, 25th Indiana Infantry, Company A, as a Corporal and at the end of the War had promoted to Sergeant. 

The area of Posey County at that time was rural and primitive even for those days of the 1840’s through 1870’s. Black Township encompasses Mt. Vernon reaching to the river borders and Solitude at its northern border.

Families were large by nature and out of necessity to manage labor for their farms. The farms were not generally large scale money making operations such as today. The farms were raised just to feed the family. The rural farming poor. They were the civil war veterans who were the descendants of Revolutionary War Veterans who moved west to claim their land grants in Kentucky and Indiana. Many were immigrants escaping the escalating conflicts such as the Scotch-Irish and severe poverty of Great Britain (Ireland and England) and Germany as seen in this family tree.
Southern Indiana was growing rapidly in post-civil war and many newly freed slaves migrated to the Evansville area just in time for the manufacturing boom.

Black Township School, Posey County, Indiana - Sketch by Anne Doane

As a young farm girl from Southern Indiana, Mattie probably did have a good grasp on socially acceptable behavior, Jack was a preacher and Mattie had the benefit of learning Christianity to guide her through her daily life. Church was probably a luxury only to be enjoyed by those who could travel to services and did not have daily choirs to tend to just to keep the family surviving on a small family farm. 
Daily life consisted of choirs, taking care of younger siblings, if you were able, you could go to church, if you were within walking distance, you might be lucky enough to have a school house to learn how to read and write. 
Your parents decided when you were ready to marry and keep house on your own. Mattie was luckier than most girls she stayed at home until she turned 17 years old…

Chapter 2 posting soon!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Life & Times of Mattie Moad (1870-1932)

The Life & Times of Mattie Moad…(1870 – 1932)

Who was this woman who dared to marry 5 husbands, a widow once, 3 divorces and died living apart from her last husband? 

This was the Edwardian period…The time of the Great Depression in the bustling, factory driven, river town Evansville, Indiana.

Mattie has left her ancestors trying to put the pieces of her shattered life together to discover just who she was.
 Researching for years and sifting through records and interviewing family members she has remained forever elusive. 

There are some clues to her life and the vital records and historical social records do tell a story. So, let me enlighten my kinsmen on just what I have discovered about the infamous Grandma Mattie Moad.

Coming soon April 2017 currently being written…

Sunday, May 29, 2016

What is a pedigree collapse in Genealogy?

A Pedigree Collapse?!

In genealogy we often run into problems with building our direct lineage trees. One issue often seen in colonial times until after the civil war period many researchers will have what is called a pedigree collapse within the tree. A collapse can be explained when one discovers a descendant from multiple family members that have common ancestors. Intermarriages (cousins marrying cousins or Uncles/Aunts marrying nieces/nephews) were commonplace during the early social history of America and in other areas around the world. When the selection of a martial partner offered limited choices from the population within riding or walking distance more than likely, kinfolk living near was an option. Therefore, those of us tracing our families and those of others often find a collapse in the tree. 

Photo Source:

One such collapse is represented here within the Weaks & Kimbell families of Western Tennessee and Kentucky.

Washington Lee Weaks was born September 1825 in Stewart County, TN. Washington died May 1880 in Hickman County, Kentucky. His parents were William Carroll Weaks Sr. (1760-1848) of Hertford, Perquimans, North Carolina and Mary R Weatherford (1760-1848).

Washington Lee Weaks married Dorcus Brunson (b. 1829 Stewart County, TN) 22 Oct 1845 in Stewart County, TN. 8 Children were born, two of which I descend.

·         **William Finis Weaks b. 1848 d. 1938 in Obion County, TN.
·         **Elizabeth Bell Weaks (married James Benjamin Kimbell) b. 1862 d. 1917 in Fulton County, KY
Both of these siblings are my 3rd Great Grandparents. William Finis’ daughter Alva Rilla married the son of his sister Elizabeth Bell Weaks & James Benjamin Kimbell who was Richard Washington Kimbell. (1st cousins).

William Finis Weaks owned farmland in Fulton and Hickman Counties in Kentucky as well as Obion County, TN, where he lived most of his adult life and raised a large family.

William Finis Weaks
Photo Source: Ben Woodson Family Collection

Alva Rilla Weaks Kimbell
Photo Source: Ben Woodson Family Collection

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spring Graveyard Lurking

Time to get out your rakes and gardening gloves!

For those of you who have a box already in the shed and ready at a moments notice for those impromptu graveyard trips, some new researchers may need help preparing for graveyard lurking and documenting the trip! So here goes a few tips and suggestions that may help you as you begin the genealogical graveyard lurking season of 2016!

Items to pack for your trip.  
  • Maps plan your trip, map out at least three places to spend your day. You never know where back roads will take you, especially those roads less traveled. Some maybe impassable. 
  • Insect repellent - chiggers and ticks thrive in cemeteries.
  • Picnic Lunch and Cooler
  • Lawn Chairs
  • Proper Clothing - boots, long white socks, long sleeved shirt, hat
  • sunglasses
  • a box of cornstarch
  • large SOFT paintbrush
  • spray bottle of water - NO CHEMICALS PLEASE!
  • Small garden tools - small hand rake, small hand shovel
  • digital camera
  • batteries (for the camera)
  •  Notebook for transcription notes
  • something to write with I recommend a pencil! 

Now that you have your graveyard kit packed or started, here are some things to remember:

***Not all burial grounds are on public property and you may need to make contact with a caretaker, do you research before going.

Using cleaning solutions, chalk, abrasives etc. on old tombstones are frowned upon and cause damage to the stones. Use cornstarch and a SOFT paintbrush for those hard to read stones. Do not try to recreate names and dates on them. REMEMBER we want to protect the integrity of the markers.
Document the condition with a photograph and write down what letters and numbers that are visible and share them with others. Document everything!

Keep a journal of where you visit and directions, the condition of the cemetery, date, time of day, and always take pictures of the entrance of the cemetery and a sign with the name if there is one BEFORE you photograph stones. This will help you keep track of your archive work right on the pictures! 
These are pictures I took going into Cedar Grove in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky in 2014 documenting the cemetery location.

Enjoy your adventures and please share with others! Your hobby will bring lost family members together someday, perhaps generations from now!

Until next time!

Tree Climber, Lori Jo Humphreys-Basting 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016



Ancestry DNA & Family Tree

So, the latest buzz is linking your DNA results to your tree files. Being one to not want to be left out of the newest thing in Genealogy or the greatest thing since sliced bread, I DID IT! Paid $89.99 for a test kit. The kit arrived promptly within three days of placing the order. I read the instructions carefully, registered my test tube number on to secure my ownership of the forthcoming DNA sample for eternity. Yes it is forever recorded as my unique DNA language and my future descendants will be able to research their family tree in a matter of seconds...a chore that has cost most of us years of research to accomplish. 

At any rate, I read the directions and began drooling into the tube provided. As I checked the amount line I thought it would take forever but it was very little effort to produce the necessary spit for the sample requirement. I placed the preservative container atop the tube, secured it, shook it, bagged it and PRESTO! In the box and off to the lab it went. 

I had very little concern for the spit or the package until I received an email that the disgusting little tube had arrived in Utah! Daily I check the meter provided on that gives you the progression of your DNA through the lab. YES IT TAKES 5-6 Weeks! 

I forgot about it after a few days until BAM! An email says "Congratulations! Your results are in!" So, I closed the curtains, turned off the television, phone and anything else that would distract me from my new treasure!

This is the test that conducts for genealogical purposes.

My results: 

Europe 99%
 Great Britain 46%
Europe West 35%
Ireland 9%
Scandinavia 6%
Trace Regions 4%

Now I think that my generation of family genealogist have already established all of the above, correct me if I am wrong but there was no surprise except that there is 0% traces of the Native American - Cherokee Princess that is supposed to be in everyone's tree! 

I am totally connected to all my fathers family lines in every way, sideways and backwards! I think the several points of collapse in the tree caused such a strong genetic connection to a certain KIMBELL line and I don't believe anyone on any branch of my mothers family has completed any genealogy at all! Well...besides I ordered a second test and my precious mother went to work filling her spit tube this afternoon!

The ethnicity results were interesting and the connections to perfect strangers are confusing but Ancestry provides hints, clues and provides probably common ancestors based on your DNA comparisons and surnames. I have just begun this quest so I will keep you posted...In the meantime, we wait for my Mother's results!
To be continued...