Friday, February 24, 2012

Sometimes ya just strike out!

And you have to wonder, What were “they” thinking when this was filmed? It's not the first time I've come across something like this. And I'm sure it won't be the last! [big sigh] Somewhere on this page is the guy I'm looking for...

Index to Deeds, Union County, Ohio for the “A” surname and “W” given name.
Family History Library film 571773 accessed February 24, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Splendid Mother Nature!

Yesterday, Mother Nature gave us a beautiful day, with the temperature almost reaching 60 degrees – not that I took advantage of it or anything – most days (other than Sundays) have been spent at The Library. No “new” ancestors yet but still finding some good stuff!

Today the high was in the upper 30s due to a cold front that came through last night. Late this afternoon I noticed some interesting cloud formations in the western sky and decided to leave a little earlier than usual. I drove just a few miles west of the city on I-80, and took the exit when I saw a small pond alongside the road. The photo below is the result of that little excursion. You can't miss with a sunset when there are clouds and water involved... It was a little chilly, but worth it!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Negro Man Called Thomas...

Several years ago I was corresponding with Carol Dorward, a distant cousin in my Goodrich line. She is a descendant of Price Goodrich while I am descended from his sister, Abigail (Goodrich) Joslin. They are the children of Bela and Sally (Church) Goodrich. Bela is a son of John and Abigail (Price) Goodrich.

John Goodrich was born in 1754 Wethersfield, Hartford County, Connecticut and lived there until about 1807 when he moved to Worthington, Franklin County, Ohio. From about the late 1790s until early 1806 he was known as John 3rd since there were two older men in Wethersfield by the name of John Goodrich. In April 1806 one of the older men died and John 3rd became John 2nd. Needless to say, this does create some “issues” with researching “my” John Goodrich.

One of the items that Carol sent me was a transcription of a brief biography about “our” John Goodrich from an article on Christ Church of Worthington. Among the information provided in that article was the following statement: “On Dec. 8, 1799, he bought a Negro man 'Tom,' the bill of sale being recorded on the Wethersfield land records.”

I know we are not supposed to judge our ancestors by today's standards, but I was more than a little surprised to learn about this “transaction” and decided to find the deed record. I'm glad that I did...

Wethersfield Deeds, volume 21 page 528.
Dated December 18, 1799. Recorded January 8, 1800.
Family History Microfilm 0,006,000 viewed February 13, 2012.

Wethersfield. December 18th, AD 1799.

Whereas I John Goodrich the third of said Wethersfield have this day purchased, bought & received of James Mitchell of said Wethersfield a Negro man called & known by the name of Thomas or Tom, between fifty & Sixty years of age & have gotten a Bill of Sale of sd Negro, to have & hold him said Tom during his Natural Life, and said Thomas or Tom has well served & Indemnified me, in Emancipating & setting him free, I do therefore for the Consideration of ten Dollars received to my full Satisfaction of said Thomas or Tom, sell convey & makeover, give & grant to said Thomas or Tom, all my Right & title to & Interest in his the said Thomas's Service, during his Natural Life, and whereas said Thomas is too far advanced in years to be Emancipated & set free, according to the Statute in such case provided, was to cause him to fall upon the Town in case of want & Sickness, yet so far as relates to any control over him, he is hereby Emancipated and free to all Intents & purposes as fully & absolutely as tho he had become a freeman of this State, & he the said Tom is forever, or during his natural, to enjoy all the Rights & priviledges of a free Citizen, as far as I can Effect both, from any Claim I have or might have or any of my Heirs or assigns. As Witness my hand and Seal the day & date above.

John Goodrich 3d. {Seal}

Signed, Sealed, & delivered in presence of – John Marsh, Stephen M. Mitchell.


Of course, as often happens, this document brings up more questions. We'll probably never know the underlying reason for his actions but it appears that John purchased and emancipated Thomas on the same day.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "A Negro Man Called Thomas," Kinexxions, posted February 17, 2012 ( : accessed [access date])

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


My sister Teresa and my Mother. March 11, 2004.

February 15, 2011 - My Mother, Virginia Phend Wiseman, died less than two months after being diagnosed with colon cancer. She was 82 years old and has left a void that will never be filled.

February 15, 2005 – My Nephew Joseph's son, Logan Jeremiah Lynn Wiseman, was born. He lived only a few hours before departing this world. His loss is still felt.

February 18th, 2007 my sister, Teresa Jane Wiseman Ratcliff Plybon, passed away. She was 53 years old.

February 17th, 2000 my gentle-souled uncle, Robert Glen Reiff died at the age of 75.

Yeah, February is a tough month to get through.... Remembering the good times helps. A little.

Christmas 1978 with the Grandkids.

May 1978 at Knapp Lake.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Remembering," Kinexxions, posted February 15, 2012 ( : accessed [access date])

Monday, February 13, 2012

Update from Salt Lake City...

It should come as no surprise that I am still in Salt Lake City! When I registered for RootsTech I also decided to spend the month of February here since I don't know if or when I'll get back this way. And even though I spent a total of 10 weeks here last year, there is still a lot to do.

You may find it somewhat strange that last week I spent only 3 days at the Library but, among other things, in those 3 days I was able to confirm five more Pennsylvania German ancestors! Aside from the New England ancestors, the Pennsylvania Germans are my largest “group” of immigrant ancestors. These are ancestors that other researchers had “found” or thought that “perhaps” they might be the parents of known ancestors but had no documentation on which to base those somewhat shaky conclusions. I now have the estate files, which provide the necessary link between the generations. But, there are a few more Pennsylvania German ancestors that I'm still looking for as well as several other “missing” ancestors.

I'm also very happy to report that the file naming project is mostly complete! All of the files for the direct ancestors have been renamed putting them in chronological order. That has come in very handy with determining what I have and what I still need to look for. The files for the siblings and/or children of the ancestors were also renamed but those were sequenced by name and date.

All in all, it has been a productive week. Stay tuned for future posts and a couple of really interesting documents...

Saturday, February 04, 2012

RootsTech :: Day Two

It was another busy and mind-boggling day at RootsTech. I didn't do much socializing since I attended presentations all day long!

As with yesterday, the keynote address was impressive with a nearly full room of attentive genealogists. Given by an enthusiastic and very dynamic speaker - Josh Coates – the topic was “Exabytes, Social Clouds, and Other Monstrosities.”

I've never tried Voice Recognition Software but after listening to Luana Darby in “Can You Hear Me Now? Voice Recognition Software and Genealogy” I may just have to give it a try! Someday. (I'm not sure my little netbook is capable of effectively using the software.) I have a lot of obituaries, deeds, wills, and estate files that need transcribing and it seems it may be easier to read/dictate them into the computer rather than trying to type up the documents myself! The obits could probably be done by scanning then doing OCR on them but that always seems to require some cleaning up of the text. It seems that Voice Recognition Software has come a long way in the last 10 years or so. The software still requires “training” to your voice and your manner of speaking but she says the accuracy is quite good.

Jill Ball did a great job directing the panel in “Genealogy 2.0: International Panelists Discuss Their Use of Social Media to Connect With Cousins, Collaborate on Projects, Discuss Issues, Market and Promote Genealogy Services and Perform Acts of Genealogical Kindness.” Jill, Amy Coffin, and Audrey Collins offered up examples and opinions on the various topics listed in the title of the presentation.

I seem to be attending sessions on topics where I have limited knowledge. Kinexxions is on blogger but I went to the presentation on Understanding WordPress by Amy Johnson Crow. Each platform has it's pros and cons and since I've got five years worth of posts on blogger, I don't think I'll be switching it over to WordPress. However, I would certainly consider using WordPress for a new blog – if I ever decide to start another one!

My last presentation for today was “Google's Toolbar and Genealogy” by David Barney. I learned so much during this presentation that my head was spinning! If you get a chance, I highly recommend watching this one when it becomes available on FamilySearch. It should be available soon along with the keynote addresses and other sessions.

I didn't take any photos today other than the one below...

Elyse Doerflinger and Michele Goodrum were “caught” doing what many other genealogists did after the sessions were over for the day! Michele is holding a wand scanner that she had been using to scan pages of a book – she says it works great once you get the hang of working with it.

As you can see, the place was pretty busy. I decided not to attempt any research since I'll be staying in Salt Lake City for a while after the conference is over. I also opted to not stay for the viewing of “Who Do You Think You Are?” though I did watch the show from the comfort of my motel room!

Friday, February 03, 2012

RootsTech :: Day One

The day began with the Keynote Address by Jay Verkler (with a little assistance from a few other people). It was rather mind-boggling listening to his vision for the future of genealogy research – if only it were possible to live to 2060 to see if his vision becomes reality! Wow. Mr. Verkler has recently stepped down as President and CEO of FamilySearch. In that capacity he helped guide and transform FamilySearch into a leading genealogy-tech company that is bringing online so many wonderful digital documents.

Along with many of the other 4,000+ attendees, I went into the Exhibit Hall after the keynote address The hall was absolutely packed! I found Thomas MacEntee handing out the geneablogger beads and picked up mine.

Michele Goodrum and I were chatting away like old friends when a “crew” came up and asked if they could interview one of us. I said sure, and then literally pushed Michelle in front of me as I stepped aside!

Luckily, Michele didn't hold that against me and graciously allowed Bart Brenner to take our photo.

And, here is Bart...

The first session I attended was Mining Newspaper Archives. It was a little disappointing as it was mostly about the process of getting the newspapers digitized and online. They also only discussed two of the sites available for newspaper research.

After lunch with Michele, it was off to the RootsTech Genealogy Idol presentation. Each of the contestants did a great job and congratulations go to Marian Pierre-Louis for winning the most votes and becoming the first Genealogy Idol.

I must say, I was very impressed with the enthusiasm and style of Elyse Doerflinger. She is going to make a wonderful teacher.

Evernote was the topic of the next session I attended. I had heard of Evernote but had never taken the time to learn anything about it. I think it definitely has possibilities for research purposes.

As with Evernote, I knew almost nothing about tablet computers so was hoping that Jill Ball could tell me all about them in her “Galaxy Girls” presentation. Jill discussed some of the benefits of the Samsung Galaxy tablets as well as their limitations. Then went on to talk a little bit about some of the apps and widgets that are not specifically genealogy apps but can be useful in doing research.

All in all, it was a good day – attending interesting sessions and seeing “old friends” once again!