Thursday, January 28, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday- Cossairt, Cosad, Cazart, Cozart Family

My great-grandfather was Lemuel TUCKER (b.IL abt. 1842, died 2 Sept 1855 White County, IL). He married Martha Ann COZART (b. abt. 1849 White County, IL, died 30 Mar 1910 White County, IL) on 20 Sept 1866 in White Co., IL

This couple have always fascinated me since I have known little to none of this vein of the tree for so long. Gradually, and with humor, the COZART line of the family is becoming one of the most interesting and researched lines on Ancestry, RootsWeb, and others. There is still much I have to personally prove and collect records down to my line, but my treasure today gives me some insight into doing that.

I had heard of this book on several message boards and was thrilled when it surfaced for me to purchase from a nice woman trying to clear out her inventory. "Genealogy of the Cossart Family, Cossairt Family, Cassatt Family, Cozart Family, Cozad Family, Cosad Family by Joseph Arthur Cossairt" was typed on carbon paper in 1932. It appears he sought to contact as many cousins in the United States and write a comprehensive listing with sources noted where he could.

It is a great source for me and I have not even scratched the beginning of its surface in surveying all the information included, but to me-- one of those enduring treasures!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday- January 26, 2010

I decided today to show a few tombstones from a trip taken to Lexington, Kentucky over Labor Day weekend a year ago, some for their overall design, one because it is the middle of basketball season, and the others because of their connection to Lincoln and I do live in the middle of Abraham Lincoln's years before he became president.

In memory of
My Boys
Samuel B. Todd
David H. Todd
Alexander H. Todd
All Confederate Soldiers

"He'll raise you up
On Eagles Wings
Bear You On The
Breath of Dawn
Make You to Shine
Like the Sun
And Hold You In
The Palm of His Hand"

In Memory of Our Beloved Son and Brother Marty Matthews

Adolph Frederick Rupp
U. K. Basketball Coach  42 Years
Olympic Coach 1948
Four NCAA Championships
Nationall Basketball Hall of Fame

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday Night Fun (On Sunday Morning)

Once again I am a bit late for the party, but I wanted to respond to the "Saturday Night Fun" entry suggested by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings. (For some reason I can't get the blog linked right now, but please look him up; Randy offers good information regularly on his blog, as well as his "Saturday Night Fun" challenges").

His question- "Tell us about your "other" hobbies or interests outside of genealogy."

I wrote a few days ago about how I am trying to integrate my genealogy with scrapbooking, so I will leave that one alone, but i did discover a new activity this past summer when I was looking for something that my teenage daughter and I could do together since she will soon be off to college. That activity was letterboxing.

Letterboxing and geocaching are similar, but with letterboxing you DO NOT KEEP anything found in the box. It's like going on a scavenger hunt that involves solving puzzles, but also being creative because others can't see what you are doing or the box you are finding. That way it can be rehidden for the next person who comes to find it. My daughter and I have a journal that we carry with us and a stamp and ink. When we find the letterbox based on clues we got off the internet, we open the box and use the stamp insde and enter it in our book, then enter our stamp in the book with the stamp, reassemble the box, then hide it back again. Letterboxing.Info is an excellent resource to learn about letterboxing. We have done it in the rain, the highest heat, hiked into woods I didn't know existed in my city, and also been to several cemeteries. So sometimes I coordinate this hobby with genealogy.

There are times when I cannot letterbox. Unfortunately I have had a winter in which my health has fought hard with my mind and many times poor health has won out, so when that happens I also enjoy listening to books on tape. They calm me and therefore calm my muscles. I really enjoy books like those by JD Robb, and James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, etc., but I am also starting to listen to books that are of a historical fiction manner. I decided they would help place my ancestors socially, so right now I am listening to James Michener's "Chesapeake" since many ancestors came from Maryland and Virginia during that time.

After perusing this entry, it would be a good entry to add to my recent challenge regarding assessing myself and leaving information behind for later descendants about this ancestor.

Til next time,


Friday, January 22, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy- Challenge #3- Assess Myself

I have to admit, when first planning to write on this challenge I made an assumption. We genealogists all have a list of "Dos"  and "Dont's" when it comes to researching as well as a list of commandments gathered from the books we read and the seminars we attend. "Do not assume anything" is right up at the top of every list, and yet when I sat down to write this entry I had to chuckle to myself.

All week I had planned on writing about this challenge, one created by Amy Coffin for this year titled "52 Weeks to Better Genealogy" that are being supported by the Genea-Bloggers Group on Facebook.  I had delayed in writing because I wanted to take a few moments to review my genealogy resolutions for 2010 first. Why make a list of goals for the year if there are no plans to follow them, right? (By the way, so far I am doing all right. I am in the middle of getting wayward papers filed where they belong and have assembled some new modular furniture for my tiny den that is helping control location central).

The irony is that the challenge for this week titled "Assess Yourself" was not about doing an assessment of my research goals, it was to do an assessment of my personal records and timeline events in order to make sure that future generations find my life well documented and included in my genealogy records. That's what happens when I make assumptions, yet it is a perfect time and reminder for me and for all of us as we move forward in our genealogy pursuits.

So, how am I doing? How do I plan on improving? I would consider myself one of those ancestors with a spotty record at this time. I have gathered all the important papers including birth, marriage, real estate, school, etc. into one location, and I have copies recorded in relevant binder (I have my direct lines in 3-ring binders separated into categories such as census, military, everyday life, etc. Siblings are included into their own sections, and any records for my ancestor before marriage go in the binder with their parents). 

I enjoy scrapbooking and am currently beginning what's called "Project Life" by Becky Higgins. In Project Life you take one photo a day and write a quick little note. You can also put a movie ticket stub or any other memorabilia if you don't want to take a picture. The kits are supposed to be available on Amazon next week. I like that it gives a snapshot of everyday life, and I did the same thing last year with a previous kit.

There are other steps to take, including gathering past writings, putting togther a photo album, and doing my own interview of myself that might bring out some areas for pursuit. Putting togther my own timeline of my life should bring up many ideas on records to gather,and  pictures to put in an album that would best represent my life. I also like the journal prompt books that are available that ask everything from favorites to political views.

I think I will take this challenge and spend some time each week on myself as well as on those elusive ancestors.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday- January 21, 2010

This is a tea set I was given by my paternal aunt several years ago when I went to visit her out west. Dated 1918 on the bottom, I have it sitiing on a high shelf in my home with some doilies my grandmother crocheted.
I call this a twofer treasure since two of my treasures are in one spot!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- January 20, 2010

My great- uncle Harry McDANIEL sitting in the front seat, and great aunt Juanita McDANIEL, both of White County, Illinois, children of Israel McDANIEL and Clyde Bell McDONALD.

John James Raley Journal Part III

I was looking over some of the past entries in this blog and realized that some time had passed since I last quoted from the journal of my great-grandfather, John James Raley. For those of you new to this blog, or just passing through, this journal is one of my greatest treasures. JJ, as I call him in order to keep him separate from all the other men with the same name in his pedigree, started writing this journal on Wednesday, July 19, 1911. The last two entries, one regarding the "Titanic Disaster" on page 273, were dated Monday, March 25, 1912.

He wrote about the family, the news of the day, his favorite sayings, and included poems he sent to his wife and his children when he was away from them because of his job with the railroad. I have quoted as he has written to this point, grammatical errors and all, but I am hesitant when it leaves an ancestor in what their descendants might consider an unfavorable light. I know that we could have several discussions about that and maybe this is a good time to have one, but in the meantime I have a decision to make.

One of the themes that runs throughout my great-grandfather's journal is the ability for members of his family, close or distant, to take care of themselves, be able to earn a good living, and to be responsible to one another. he doesn't mix words regarding these themes, and I sure if I could meet with the good people of Ohio County, Kentucky in the early 1900's they would say the same things. So, I will qoute the positive and the somewhat questionable, asking you to remember the era, the culture, and the man.

The current entry returns to his Uncle Wesley RALEY who is the son of John RALEY and Nancy WILSON, both born in and raised in Kentucky. Uncle Wesley, actually James Wesley RALEY is the brother of JJ's father, Jonathan RALEY. This entry discusses Uncle Wesley's children.

"He has several of his children living near him on farms and I suppose look after his needs. His oldest child by his first wife lives in Louisville, Kentucky and is wealthy now, and in the year 1883 he did not have one dollar and boarded with me at Big Clifty, Grayson County, Kentucky, and went to school and I waited on him for my board money until he could teach a school and earn it. He taught one or two schools then worked as a clerk in a dry goods store for one R. J. Daniel at Caneyville, Grayson County, Kentucky, 84 miles west of Louisville Kentucky on the I. C. Railroad. He went from there in to what was known as the Kentucky Joans Clothing Manufacturing House at Louisville, Kentucky and worked there as a clerk for several months and ran a boarding house near a medical college and boarded the students. he made money almost like finding it, then he quit the Kentucky Joans Clothing Company and secured a position as postal clerk on the train running from Louisville, Kentucky to Memphis, Tennessee. I heard my father say just a few days ago that cousin William Raley's income was said to be nearly one thousand dollars per month at that time, Harah for Bill!  Will close for today, Wednesday July 19th, 1911."

I think he included that last part with just a small bit of sarcasm, but as we all know, those little pieces of daily life, such as current income or the company a ancestor worked for all serve to fill out the story of their lives.

Thanks for listening,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

An Unusual Picture - The Empty Site
Amanda Ellen TUCKER
daughter of Lemuel TUCKER & Martha Ann COZART
Amanda died 13 Aug 1953 Lockport, Niagara, New York
Buried Posey County, IN

A cousin recently reported that she and a daughter are buried next to one another and initially a stone was there. Unfortunately, the bill could not be paid and the stone was removed, leaving an empty spot for Amanda.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Today's Technology vs. Yesterday's Inventions

I have not been on the computer over the past several days and I have to admit that I've missed it. We have been in the middle of what I call the "Tussled Tango", a kind word for emptying every item from one part of a room in order to move a whole other set of items into that same spot-move still other things around-and then move the first pile to the spot of the last pile, throwing out some stuff in the process. Somehow in the middle of that crazy dance I wind up with a room that looks markedly better and more organized, but in between, oh my, in between it looks like a dozen shoppers at a 3am store closing special when they are fighting all for the same item. Drives my family crazy because they can't see the vision floating around in my brain.

I was twice blessed this time because in the middle of the Tussled Tango I was also integrating a few new technology products into the mix. So, today I spent a total of nearly 4 1/2 hours on the phone with technical support. The first person transferred because they said I was in the wrong department. The second person said they couldn't help me.The third technician which was suppossed to have recieved forwarded info from last technocian. Of course they didn't. The next technician hung up on me (accidental). After some debate, I decided to try one more time. The final multi-hour phone call set up the computer. The problem that caused all issues?   The cord that connected the monitor to the tower worked once it was reversed- even though both ends are exactly the same and not labeled are designated any differently. We only tried this because the technician was desperate and I was desperate to get off the phone and have them come pick up the damn thing and give me back my money.

What does this have to do with genealogy? Well, besides being a more powerful computer with better storage capabilities for my ever growing collection of materials and photos, I couldn't help but think about how my ancestors might have handled new fangled inventions into their lives. How did they respond when they had the telephone installed into their homes? Did they turn to a more knowledgeable neighbor or friend when they needed help with the car's motor, or did I inherit my stubborn streak from them?

I often hear the stories from my aunts and uncles of the walk to the outhouse, and given the grand freeze we have had here in the midwest recently, I can't imagine. I'm complaining because my cold water line is frozen right now, yet they boiled water on the stove they kept stoked all day. At least I could put the playoff games on mute while living on the phone and plugging in and unplugging all day. The great pleasure of my grandfather was pulling the rocking chair in front of the radio on Saturday night listening to country music.

Makes me wonder what great technology our descendants one day will be comparing to ours.

Til next time, Kim

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday- Rhoda Jane DARLING

Do you ever find yourself drawn to an ancestor that you haven't met and know nothing about?

Well, I have  a few of those people in my line. One of them is my 2nd great grandmother, Rhoda Jane DARLING. From the moment I heard her name I knew that I had to find out about her. Although not having much faith initially, I have since learned that there are many records to search, cousins to find, neighbors to talk to, and message boards to discover, but in the beginning my paternal side was very blank and bleak.

One day I was fortunate enough to travel to Carmi, White County, Illinois with my father and he stopped to talk with someone who I discovered was a cousin. (Why is it so hard to learn these things sometimes?) She knew many things about Rhoda personally. I was thrilled and did one of those happy dances!!! She and I have spent several hours together since that day and now I have some answers.

Rhoda Jane DARLING married John McDONALD 18 Oct 1874 in Gibson, Indiana. There is a classic story in my family that they made a raft and traveled down the river and discovered Maunie, White County, Illinois where they settled, farmed, and raised their 6 children. I have no proof of the raft ride, but ask any cousin, aunt, uncle, neighbor, or stranger, and they will all tell you the same story. Anyway, Rhoda was a ladies lady, dedicated to church, proper in her dress, an avid reader, and always put together. She died 22 May 1931 in Maunie, White County, Illinois in the home of her daughter Cora Estel, surrounded by her children with her grandchildren running around playing. My cousin (who I have not named to protect her), gave me a special treasure during one of our times together- a picture of Rhoda, which I share with you today. She is buried in Little Prarie Cemetery in White County, Illinois. Today you can't read her name on the stone, but a few years ago it was very clear and legible, but unfortunately I do not have a picture of it, so I will include the current stone for now.

This encounter always reminds me that any road has possibilities.

Clarence TUCKER & Flora MCDANIEL

This is Clarence Lemuel TUCKER & Flora Maude MCDANIEL, my paternal grandparents. I love this picture of them because it is one of those rare moments when they are relaxed and laughing. So many photos of our ancestors find them in such a formal manner, especially in those days of early professional photography. Although this photo has damage on the side and not perfectly designed it gives me a glimpse for just a moment into their relationship and I treasure it since they both died years before I was born. In the next few days I will write some of their lives, but for today- I just wanted to treasure their laugh.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Well, several days have passed since my last entry. I decided to look back at my goals for 2010, wanting to give them several days to settle into my inner voice before writing my next entry. The resolutions had flown out of my heart so quickly that I feared that I had thrown out the baby with the bath water, but I have to say that I am satisfied.

Yes, much is written. Yes, it is written in a semi sarcastic attempt at some humor, but there are days when my attempt at humor rolls and the day I wrote those goals was one of those interesting moments. I am pleased that I am already making moves in some categories, instead of simply writing a blog, putting a satisfied grin on my face, and then turning off the computer without another thought.

I have received word that I will be particpating in the next Pro-Gen study course starting in February based on the book, "Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians" edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. This is an 18 month peer group that Angela McGhie oversees based on that book and I am excited to particpate. I will have to keep you informed on my progress.

I have also made a concentrated effort to spend a bit of time in the evening reading  one of the genealogy publications that have been collecting dust since fall, and of course that adds to my list of ideas for further research, but the articles also keep researching fresh and interesting for me and I have missed taking the time to read.

Organization steps are also underway as I have been assembling some storage furniture, preparing to sell other pieces that take up too much room compared to their usefulness (we don't need a desk in the living room for the computer that is as big as the couch, for example), and rearranging to make use of space we have. As we genealogists know, organization is so important yet not one of the priorities when we would much rather be finding cousins and chipping away bricks from the wall.

I think its a good start. I intend to review these resolutions/goals monthly to stay on track, so we'll see how it goes.

Till next time,
take care