Query: Smith

Seeking info./connections re: Green Russell Smith b. 1844 GA, and his wife, Mollie E. (Brown) and family. They were in Mineola and Golden, Wood County, TX beginning about 1870. Green was a County Commissioner and lived in the Bellefonte Community. His daughters married into the Davenport, Wood, Russell, & Bullard families.

This query was originally posted on the Wood County (TX) Genealogy research page on Facebook. You can reply there or here as a comment below.


“Family History When the Power Is Out”

By Ancestry Weekly Discovery 29 July 2011
Editor: Juliana Smith

While my job is to share my experience in family history with you through this newsletter, I’ve learned much from you over the years as well. So to continue this newsletter in the spirit of sharing experiences, here are a few more tips that you sent in.

Family History When the Power Is Out
We have come to depend more and more on our computers for doing genealogy. We get online to find our information. We use our word processors to create timelines, lists, and indexes that capture that information.

But what to do when those severe summer thunderstorms or winter snowfalls deprive us of power? It was during a period of this forced downtime that I was prompted to make a folder in my filing cabinet titled “Projects That Need No Computer” after an outage when I was alone in the house and there was no one to annoy with suggestions of playing Yahtzee or Rummy. When my power goes out, I can pull out the folder and choose from the following tasks:

Filing is always first on the list. I tend to let things stack up when I’m in the middle of a project, so this is the perfect time to file away those items that I’ve printed out.

Labeling photos. I have a lot of photos that I need to label, but compared to the stuff I do on the computer, photo labeling seems like drudgery. This is the time to get some of it done!

Organizing research logs and notes. I am always scribbling down or printing out research suggestions and notes from various online sources. These usually get shoved into a research file in my filing cabinet for whatever county they pertain to. I use this time to organize those notes. My research logs can also get rather haphazard, so I use this time to organize them as well.

Timelines. I often create my timelines during this downtime. It forces me to use the information that I have at hand; no getting sidetracked by trying to find more information to fill in the blanks right then and there. It also forces me to make more concise lists of what I need for each person.

Organize my wish-list of books. I have a file folder of book titles that I long to have. I go through this folder and see what books I still want, what books I have obtained and didn’t bother to mark off the list, and what books no longer have the significance I thought they would.

Transcribing census records. I pull out family binders to see if there are any census records that I was remiss in transcribing. I can usually find one or two.

Reading over archived information. I’ve come across information that “didn’t quite fit” into my family lines, but I printed and saved them because you never know what will turn up. I take this file out and read over the pages again. Sometimes I find something buried in the lines that resonates with new information I’ve uncovered.

This list sure helps the time pass more quickly!

Jolynn Noel Winland

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We encourage the circulation of The Weekly Discovery via non–profit newsletters and lists providing that you credit the author, include any copyright information (Copyright 2011, Ancestry.com and its subsidiaries.) and cite The Weekly Discovery as the source, so that others can learn about our free newsletter as well.

Genealogy Workshop During Old Settlers Reunion Offers Exceptional Opportunity

George G. Morgan

George G. Morgan

Internationally recognized genealogy expert, author, and lecturer, George G. Morgan will present a genealogy workshop free to the public at the Quitman Public Library during Old Settlers Reunion Week on Friday, August 5.

The workshop, sponsored by the Quitman Public Library and the Northeast Texas Regional Library System and hosted by the Wood County Texas Genealogical Society begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Shamburger Room at the library and concludes at 5:15 p.m.

Genealogists, those interested in getting started in genealogy, and the general public are urged to take this opportunity to hear strategies, tips, and inspiration from this talented speaker who with Drew Smith produces The Genealogy GuysSM Podcast on the Internet at genealogyguys.com, the longest running genealogical podcast in the world, with thousands of listeners around the globe.

George is the president of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and an internationally recognized genealogy expert who presents at local, state, national, and international genealogical conferences.

George is the prolific author of literally hundreds of articles for magazines, journals, newsletters, in genealogical publications, and at online sites in the U.S., Canada, the U.K, Singapore, and elsewhere. He has written nine books and is at work on the third edition of his How to Do Everything Genealogy for McGraw-Hill.

He is Vice President of Membership for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and publicity director of the Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the New England historic Genealogical Society, and more than a dozen societies in the U.S. and the U.K.

10:30-11:30 How to Do Everything with Your Genealogy
Based on the second edition of the best-selling book, How to Do Everything: Genealogy by award-winning author George G. Morgan, this seminar provides an overview of genealogy research practices and document types that can be used to locate and study your ancestors.

11:45-12:45 Genealogy Orienteering: Using Maps to Find the Right Place
Maps are an essential part of our everyday life. As we use them in our genealogical research, it is essential to understand the geographical history of an area and how boundaries and jurisdictions have changed. These changes are important for determining who created what documents and where these materials can now be found. This seminar presents and discusses a simple yet efficient methodology and some resources to help you use maps to quickly and effectively locate the right place to conduct your research.

1:30-2:30 Bring ‘Em Back to Life: Developing an Ancestor Profile
In the course of our genealogical research, we often become engrossed in the collection of information snippets, failing to put them into a logical perspective. We lose sight of the fact that the people we’re tracing participated in the life of their historical times, led complex lives, and interacted with one another. 
Organizing the information we collect into a biographical profile can help you begin to recognize character traits and decision patterns. And the profile also provides an invaluable, portable research tool that avoids your taking voluminous amounts of notes with you on research trips. This seminar presents a methodology and a structured model for taking the details you collect about your ancestor and creating a biographical profile.

3:00-4:00 Using the HeritageQuest Databases
HeritageQuest Online is one of the premiere ProQuest databases for genealogical researchers. It contains six excellent databases of interest to genealogists: U.S. Federal Census: 1790-1930; the Periodical Source Index (PERSI); more than 28,000 digitized, indexed, and full-text searchable local and family histories; the Freedman’s Bureau Bank records; Revolutionary War records; and the American Serial Set. This seminar addresses the contents of HeritageQuest Online, and also introduces embedded online tools that can really help your research.

4:15-5:15 New Ways to Research Our Roots 
We’ve come a long, long way in the last several decades in our genealogical research work. We started with writing letters and sending away for individual records, and now we are using the Internet, DNA, and social networking applications to collaborate with other researchers.
This session takes the attendees from our beginnings to the future of genealogical research, and it concentrates on the products, services, technology, and initiatives that are advancing our research each day. Learn about new research resources available today and trends into the future with books, records, digitization, DNA, and more.

Super Event Planned for August

The first notice of an upcoming super event for the society and Wood County this August is included in this email from the Quitman Public Library. More details will be made available as we can put together our event plan. We hope to make this available to our members, the general public, and members of other genealogical societies in the area.

Event: Quitman Public Library and Wood Co. TX Genealogical Society present “The Genealogy Guys”
Date: Friday, August 5, 2011
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Place: Thurman Shamburger Community Room, Quitman Public Library, 202 East Goode Street, Quitman TX 903-763-4191
Desc: The Genealogy Guys are two avid and enthusiastic genealogists who want to discuss all facets of genealogical research. The Genealogy Guys are George G. Morgan, internationally-recognized genealogy expert, author, and lecturer and Drew Smith, MLS, instructor at the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

More can be found about “The Genealogy Guys” and their bios by scrolling to the bottom of the page at www.genealogyguys.com. The society is planning this as a very large event since this coincides with the Old Settler’s Reunion.

Stay tuned right here for more details.

Query: Smith (from Hertfordshire, England)

Hopefully, one or more of our members can help this English researcher who sent the following query. Any and all ideas would be appreciated.


I do not want to put anybody to any trouble but I was wondering if you can give me any idea how I can obtain information about Deaths in Mineola, Texas in 1883. If indeed there are any remaining records. My Great Grandfather, David Smith (Yes, I know, a very common name) is listed in our English 1881 Census as living in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. I also live in Hertfordshire.

The family story is that he went to Texas to grow Onions! The only other information I have is a copy of a Memorial Card stating that he died in Mineola, Texas on the 16th October 1883, at the age of 38. There could be a querie on his age as it also says he was 38 in 1881 in the Census.

I find it quite sad that he went to Texas leaving a wife and seven children in ‘The Robin Hood’ Public House in Hatfield where he had been the Publican & Dealer to go, as many did, no doubt, to try and find a better life. I hope that it was his intention to send for his family when he
was established. Sadly this was not to be, my Grandmother was his youngest child and only 6 when he died.

I would be so grateful is you could point me in the right direction regarding Death Records for this area as I seem to have drawn a blank so far with my research.

Very best wishes
Sue Waller

If you contact Sue directly, please also send us a copy of what you are able to find to share with others with an interest in Wood County research.

Query: Hamrick

I’d like to correspond with anyone from you society who is searching the Hamrick Line or would help me in that area. Years ago I wrote to Joe L. Hamrick at an Winnsboro address. My last letters were returned. My mother’s maiden name was Hamrick (Dora Murl Hamrick Leverton). At the time Joe and I could not connect our lines, but felt we were related.

Juanita Leverton Calvin
1329 Johnson Street, Apt. D
Fairmont, MN 56031-4521
Researching Leverton, Hamrick, Brown, Stice, Farley, Eubank.

Mrs. Calvin included the following information about the Hamrick line of Joe L. Hamrick, a resident in the 1980’s of Winnsboro, TX.:

Joe L. Hamrick
(Living 1980’s Winnsboro, TX.)
son of Noah Franklin Hamrick
(had 2 sons)
son of Henry Newton Hamrick
(b. 1854, had 2 sons, brought
family to Texas from Alabama
about 1892)
son of Warren Dekalb Hamrick
(b. 1831, GA, d. 8/22/1862, KY,
in Confederate service. Married
Mary C. M. Wright, 11/29/1850
in Carroll Co, GA. She died soon
after husband, She mostly of
Cherokee blood)
son of Robert Signor? Hamrick Sr.
(b. 1800, GA, d. 1865 Cleburne
Co., AL, married Margaret
Elizabeth Smith
, 6/27/1821 in
Jasper Co, GA. She born 1801-04,
GA, d. 1894, Cleburne Co., AL)
son of Maybe Thomas Jefferson
or Jeremiah Hamrick


By Juliana Smith 13 December 2010
19 December 2010 The Weekly Discovery from Ancestry.com
Re-printed with Permission

If the answers to your family history dilemmas can’t be found in the descriptive materials for the collection, as we discussed in the previous article, here are some problem-solving strategies that can help.

1.) Look at External Factors
For the past week, our local weatherman has been warning us of the storm that began yesterday, and since I’m in charge of snow removal for our house and several neighbors who are unable to do it, last week I made sure that the snow blower had gas, and I had my gloves, hat and scarf at the ready. With the sophisticated weather predictions that are available now, it’s hard to imagine not knowing when bad weather might strike. Certainly, our ancestors learned to keep their eyes on the skies and noted certain weather indicators, but they couldn’t just flip on the Weather Channel and be informed as to when and where they should evacuate. The 1900 Galveston Hurricane is a tragic example of the catastrophic results that often came when unexpected weather events struck populated areas.

If your ancestors inexplicably picked up and moved, turn to local histories to see if you can determine the reason. Drought, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, pestilence, a brutally cold and snowy winter, or an unusually hot summer may have convinced your ancestor that this was not the place he wanted to raise his family and he may have moved on to greener pastures.

Check local histories and familiarize yourself with major events in the areas in which they lived. You may find it helpful to create a local history timeline that you can compare against the timelines of your ancestors.

2.) Widen Your Horizons
Just a decade ago, your chances of locating an ancestor with wanderlust were much slimmer than they are these days. With the ability to search the entire country–or even abroad–with the click of a mouse, it’s much easier to find ancestors who turn up in unexpected places. Try a search without including a residence, but instead including other factors that will narrow the search to your ancestor–things like age, birthplace, race, and in some cases, even the names of other household members.

In researching our Tobin family of hatters, I was missing my ancestor’s brother in 1870. The family had for the most part stayed in the New York City area, but George was eluding me that year. When I removed the residence of New York and searched for him using his name, age, and birthplace of Ireland, I was able to quickly locate him in Washington, D.C., where I had no inkling any of the family had lived. Without the nation-wide index to the census for 1870, I might not have thought to look for him there.

3.) Explore What’s Available
There are currently nearly 30,000 individual collections available on Ancestry.com, and some of them may hold the clues you need. But with so many options, it can be difficult to keep up. This past year, Ancestry.com created new place pages that give you a better look at what’s available for the places where your ancestors lived. To access the state pages, just click on the Search tab, and then select a location from the map in the lower left corner of the pages.

Sometimes it pays to revisit collections as well. New data may have been added or search functionality may have been tweaked and your ancestors may surface where they hadn’t before. You can see when a collection was last updated by locating it in the Card Catalog. Hover your mouse over the collection title and you’ll see a box appear a brief description along with the date the collection was originally published on Ancestry.com and the date it was last updated.

4.) Side-Step
Consider this–a spouse dies and in the next census you find that several young children are also missing. An epidemic, natural disaster, or perhaps some other family tragedy? Perhaps. But maybe they were sent to live with other family members because the single parent was unable to care for them while they were working to support the rest of the family. Check with other family members and see if you find them living with siblings, grandparents, or cousins. You may also find your ancestor’s parents living with his or her sibling. Be sure to conduct “whole family” research, gathering census records for even extended family and keep track of the addresses you find on records. You may find that the address your ancestor gave on his marriage record was the same as that of his aunt and uncle.

5.) Finding Holes in Your Research
Too often I’ve found that my brick-wall problems are of my own making. Usually they are based around some assumption that I’ve sub-consciously made. I learned early in my career writing about family history that if I ever want to find a hole in an area of my research, I should plan an article around that very topic. Never fails. As soon as I start writing about how I made this amazing discovery, I’ll find holes in my logic. But it’s a good way to keep my research on track. Try it. Write up a brief summary of the research steps you’ve taken and keep it with your research log. Not only does putting it in writing help you to better analyze your research, but years from now when you’re wondering how the heck you came to that conclusion, it will be right there for you.

Reprint Policy
We encourage the circulation of The Weekly Discovery via non–profit newsletters and lists providing that you credit the author, include any copyright information (Copyright 2010, Ancestry.com ), and cite The Weekly Discovery as the source, so that others can learn about our free newsletter as well.