Do Genealogy the Old Fashioned Way in a New Fangled World…. Pt 2.


I have spent this weekend working with moving my research tasks from The Master Genealogist to Evernote, simply because I have decided Evernote is better for a research log than TMG is.  Part of that reason is Evernote allows me to bulk create tasks.  SO I thought I’d share the process for my genealogy friends here.

First off, Tennessee has put a small portion of their probates online at Family Search. These are the same films you view when you go to the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) and you can find a listing of their microfilm inventories here. TSLA Microfilm

The first thing I did was use Gensmarts for TMG to analyze my data to get a list of my direct ancestors who lived in Davidson County, TN.  This narrowed my very large genealogy file down to 23 people who I needed to research.  In Evernote, I copied this list to a note and the created a list of things to do by editing the file to add check lists.  The note looks like this:


Now I only need to copy the list and paste it to a new note and I have a list of ancestors to look for on each roll of Davidson County, TN microfilms (and books when I get to the library next).

Next I created a note for each roll of microfilm, using the TN microfilm inventory for the Probate Court.  In each note, I copied my list of ancestors note. 

Then I went down the list. Anyone who died more than one year before the dates of the film I marked off they most likely weren’t going to be on the film. And then I marked off everyone who died after the dates of the film.   That left me with a list of ancestors to research.


Once the note was finished, I then tag the note. If an ancestor is found, I tag it with his name and dates. If he is not found, I tag it with his names, dates and Not Found.  One way to make tagging quicker when you are using a lot of tags is to prefix the tags with a number. This way all the ancestors sort together in the tag list.

After you tag all the notes, with Found or Not Found, then you can easily see a list of notes that you have researched for an ancestor.

Notes for ancestor that he was found on:



Notes where he was not found:


And then finally, you need to transcribe the document, create the source and add it to your genealogy software.

All of this was done in my comfy chair, with an internet connection. Over three days, I researched 23 ancestors, in 41 rolls of microfilm and never left home. Well, not to research anyway. :)

Posted in Documentation, Evernote, Genealogy, Gensmarts, Organization, The Master Genealogist | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Doing Genealogy The Old Fashion Way in a New Fangled World….

I am not a fan of shaky leaves or having my family tree online where people can link to it or add to it. I am an old fashioned genealogist. Set me in a dusty courthouse, give me $50 in quarters and leave me until the dust sends me into a coma and I am happy as a lark. At least until the coma kicks in.  However, the reality of our world is a lot of what I can find (not all) in that old courthouse is now online and I am no fool. I can research from my comfy chair, sans dust bunnies from home in my PJs just as well as I can travel for three hours and sit in a dusty courthouse. So I do as much online as I can, before I hit the dusty trails (so to speak.)

So how does an old fashioned genealogist take advantage of this new fangled world?  First off, I love’s free records. They have slowly been putting Tennessee probate microfilms online and hopefully someday soon, the deed records will join them.

So I go online to Family Search and I find a roll of film I want to look at. I still use the TN State Library and Archives Microfilm Inventories to help me be sure I know what I am looking at and if you browse the roll of film at Family Search you will usually  find the TSLA microfilm number on the first few pages of the microfilm. Sometimes Family Search will use multiple rolls for one roll of microfilm at TSLA especially if it is an index and then book. So beware you may not have all the TSLA microfilm in one image set at Family Search.

So we pick out a will book.  The next thing I do is look at TSLA’s inventory and see what year that will book covers.

So let’s look at Rutherford County, TN Will Book 1.  The microfilm inventory tells me it is TSLA roll number 282.  So that is what we are going to research in today. Step 2:  Open up Evernote and create a new note under “Tennessee Research in County” in the folder “Rutherford” called “R282 Index to Will Books & Will Books 1 and 2 (1879-1925)”


Step 3: Open Gensmarts and go to the Customize Records section.  Create a new record set called R282 (Rutherford 282)



Click next.  Set place restraints to USA, Tennessee.  Set place restraints to 1879-1904. (Note, the TSLA film covers both book one and two, the Family Search image set only covers book 1) Because I am trying to get all possible ancestors, I didn’t set a county, since my ancestor may have lived in Bedford County, but had his will probated in Rutherford. I can remove them manually later. I also select born, married or died here as constraints. Click next. I do not narrow it down by sex because I have female ancestors who had wills. Click next and name your report. (NOTE: If you only want to research your direct ancestors, first create a subset of people for Gensmarts to analyze from your data)  Under suggested title template, I use _gsSurname_, _gsGivenName_ (_gsBirthYear_- _gsDeathYear_)  This gives me a list of ancestors, by birth name alphabetized by surname. 


Step 4:  Highlight all the names in the list (if you created a subset of your data, you will just have your direct ancestors) Print a list of to dos (click on the down arrow beside print and click To Do List) I do one line per task and only print their names to a plain txt report. Open that in your word processor and copy all the names.

Step 5: Go to Evernote and paste the names into your newly created R282 note. Then using the checklist button create a check box beside each name (I always get two boxes, I just delete the extra ones as I do the research).


Now you have a list of people to search this roll of microfilm for and you have started your very first research log.

Go to the index for this roll of film (which is actually on another roll of film at Family Search) and see if any of your newly created to do ancestors are found on this roll of film. Check off those not found. Make notes of page numbers for those that are found and then you can go back to the roll of film with the will and find those pages. (note the page numbers correspond with the will book page numbers, not the Family Search image number)

Save any wills you find to your computer. I like to use a program called Transcript to help me transcribe the wills once I have downloaded the images.  I enter the data into my genealogy program The Master Genealogist.  

There  you have it. Old fashioned genealogy, using new fangled methods of research.  No shaky leaves necessary. (Though I admit I have no issues with the shaky leave site and use this same method of keeping up with my research over there as well.)

Posted in Evernote, Genealogy, Gensmarts, Organization, The Master Genealogist | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

DAR Applications

For twenty three years, I have researched my family.  And raised a family. When the kids were little, I was a member of a local computer genealogy society, but motherhood and the expense of driving that far caught up with me, and I dropped out.  But in the last few months, one kid got a job and the other graduated college and got a job, and so now I am at home with one pretty self sufficient teenager and a guinea pig and decided it was time I did some stuff for me.

So I decided about a month ago to join the DAR.  I went online and found my ancestor had already been accepted and so I began the process. First things, first, I sent an email and got in contact with a local DAR chapter.  Then I needed to get some proof for my grandfather and great grandfather’s deaths.  Sent a form and $7 to the TN Department of Vital Statistics and waited about two weeks. Got my form and checks back.  My great grandfather’s death certificate is over 50 years old, so it is no longer held a the Department of Vital Statistics. So I sent a form and $10 to the State Archives. Not sure why the exact same document would be three dollars more once it is housed at the State Archives, but there in is how governments work.

Called the Department of Vital Statistices because they’d also sent back the form for my grandfather and my check and sent  a form wanting $15 to “verify the cause of death.”  I don’t need the cause of death for the DAR, and I was there when he died. I know the cause of death.  Just don’t have a copy of his death certificate.  When I called them, she replied, “It needs to state it is for the DAR”.  Um DUH lady, it plainly states on the line that says, “REASON” DAR APPLICATION.  So I write DAR APPLICATION in huge letters on the top of the form, and mail it back to them. Why does it take $8 extra to verify the cause of death when it’s plainly written on the death certificate they can send me for $7? ANYONE?

So now I am waiting for the documents to come and started last night marking the documents that I have to get ready to meet with my Regent.  Only have to prove generations 1-4. The rest have been proven and accepted by the DAR.  Had I known it was this easy, I’d joined 20 years ago.

Once I realized how easy it was, I started through my list of ancestors. So far 21 of my ancestors have already been proven as DAR patriots. Three had notes that service would need to be proven.  The rest I could join on by simply paying my check for the application fee. Once these four lines are proven, linking to the other 20 men is a piece of cake. 

So this just lends me to what I have always said. I am an American.  My family was here living on American soil and ready to fight for her freedom in 1775.  At least 21 branches of them. :)

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Keziah Gambill Brown Pedigree

 Pedigree  -  Chart# 1











Chart of Keziah “Kezzie” Gambill (7650)




























4. Bradley Gambill (7632)







b. c 1751



























d. bt 1806-1807







at Rutherford County, TN



2. John Gambill (7634)







b. c 1771














marr 1 NOV 1798







at Davidson County, TN






d. bt 1843-1843







at Rutherford County, TN







5. Susanna (–?–) (7633)







b. b 1765














d. 1825







at Rutherford County, TN




1. Keziah “Kezzie” Gambill (7650)







b. 12 MAR 1806





at Rutherford County, TN







m-w. 12 OCT 1824






at Rutherford County, TN








d. 21 NOV 1874




24. John Kimbrough (13271)



at Rutherford County, TN







sp. Wiley S. Brown (7652)


12. Thomas Kimbrough (7700)





b. 15 FEB 1808


b. 1690 , d. 1777



at Rutherford County, TN



25. Elizabeth Bradley (13275)




d. 15 JAN 1904






at Davidson County, TN









6. William Kimbrough (7699)







b. b 1750







13. Eleanor Graves (7701)






marr 1770

b. , d.











d. 1816






at Rutherford County, TN






3. Sarah Kimbro (7648)




28. Thomas Gooch (7694)



b. bt 1770-1780




b. , d.





14. William Gooch (7695)




d. b APR 1834



b. 1738 , d. 1802











7. Elizabeth Gooch (7698)






b. b 1765















d. 1826







15. Keziah Ann Hart (7696)
















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In the DUH department….

A few weeks ago I was having real problems with my neck. It would get so stiff and sore that I’d have trouble doing anything and long term computer use was near impossible. So being one that doesn’t like to take lots of pain medications, I decided to search online for an alternative treatment.  I began to read lots of good things about arthritis and flax seed.  I started eating 1 tablespoon of ground flax in the morning in a container of applesauce and another at night and found immediate results for my neck pain.  I also noticed my skin felt incredibly soft and began reading other wonderful things about flax.

About that time I got a terrible case of bronchitis and I was pretty sick with it for about three weeks.  Finally, I thought I was on the mend.  About this time, I became bored with the applesauce, and decided to see other ways to get down the flax. I read online that you could mix it with yogurt. Not being a huge yogurt eater, I decided to buy several containers (ten) and try my flax in it. Having read about chia seeds, I bought some of those to try as well.

Suddenly I began having terrible, painful stomach issues.  I figured after being sick, my body just wasn’t adjusting to the high fiber in the flax seed, so I decreased the amount I was taking in half.  Still about an hour after I would eat the yogurt and flax seed or chia seed mixture, I would have terrible pains in my stomach.  Everything I ate seemed to make me sick.  My stomach would bloat so bad I would literally grow 3 pants sizes in about an hour. Not the effect one is going for when one is trying to look better.   But I’d read all these good things about flax and chia and when I skipped a day, my neck pain would return. So I persevered on. Yes, I am hard headed like that. Plus I’d read that as your intestines get cleaner, sometimes pain from fiber can occur. Everything I read assured me that this was a passing thing. No pun intended.

Last night, I decided to try my yogurt and flax seed right before bed. About two hours later, I was crying in pain.  Thought I was going to have to go to the emergency room, because the pain was so bad.  I am lying there, trying not to keep Hubby up, trying to relax and suddenly it hits me.


When I was three, my doctor took me off all dairy, because I was milk anemic. I always thought it was a term my mother made up, but nope, it’s a real illness in children who get anemic because diary foods allow blood to leak out of their intestines.  I had two great uncles who died as infants from similar problems.  I do not drink any milk. I can use a little to cook with like to make mashed potatoes, and I can eat a small amount of cheese with no problems, but I do not eat ice cream or drink milk at all. Two of my children are also lactose intolerant.   Last time I had an ice cream cone after dinner,  I was deathly sick all night.  But it never dawned on me that yogurt could do the same thing.  Until I found myself googling Yogurt and Lactose Intolerance last night at midnight.

Seems that yes, some people with lactose intolerance can eat cultured yogurt.  The key word there being cultured.  The yogurt brand I bought didn’t have that yogurty taste. It was sweet and creamy and had 12 grams of carbohydrates in it!  One less gram than 8 oz of whole milk!  No wonder I have been praying for a quick death the last few weeks.

So this morning, I decided to experiment.  I ate first so there would be something in my stomach.  Then I measured out 1/2 tbspoon of flax seeds. I ground those and then mixed them with a container of applesauce.  I ate as much applesauce as it took to eat the flax seeds.  And I began the wait. 

Thirty minutes passed.  Stomach feels normal, can lay flat on my tummy.

One hour passed.  Still nothing.

Ninety minutes passed. Still feel fine. Getting ready for lunch with a friend.

So yeah, do I ever feel stupid. Turns out it wasn’t the high fiber in the flax seed that was giving me problems. It was the high lactose in the yogurt.  Tomorrow I am going to try the chia and applesauce and see what happens then.  No more dairy or eggs for this girl.  Will have to get my protein elsewhere….

So it seems that my aversion to dairy is hereditary.  My great grandmother was allergic to eggs, and I am as well. I look just like her so it’s no surprise I’d have her allergy issues.  I know she was allergic to eggs because once one of my little cousins would be sick every time he was fed eggs. My grand father insisted he was allergic to eggs.  My grandmother, mother and aunts would make fun of him, saying “no one is allergic to eggs”.  One day he’d had enough and said, “Momma is allergic to eggs and so is that kid.”  The next weekend we went to see my great grandmother and she confirmed she was allergic to eggs. And so am I.  Who ever thought there was a gene for that.

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Cousin Drama….

There is nothing like a public forum, like say, Facebook, to bring out the best  worse in people.  And from time to time someone will post something vague on the public forum like “if you do that again, you’ll wish you were dead.”  Someone else will post “what’s up boo?”  Which apparently is permission to open up a can of personal family problems in a public forum.  Saw that happen today and since I am very passive aggressive and don’t really want to join the scuffle, I thought I’d share the following advice with those of you who aren’t as passive aggressive or who like me, don’t participate, but have enjoyed watching a few encounters like this over the years.  Enjoy.

So if you are inclined to participate in such cat fights, let me give you some friendly advice from the truly sane among us:

1)  If you are going to call your arch rival “stupid”, then please, by all means be sure you understand the difference between “your’ and “you’re”; “their”, “they’re” and “there” and finally “loose” and “lose”. examples:  You’re going to die. Your husband is a jerk.  Their children are neglected, they’re going to be sorry and we were just over there.  Finally, she is going to lose custody…. (You’ve all got a few screws loose.)

2)  If you are going to throw out derogatory accusations about your opponent, by all means, please be sure you understand the definitions of said words, so we don’t have to read how you are more of an “derogatory accusation” than your opponent is.  There are lots of places online to find these definitions, though you may need to be able to spell them.

3) If you are going to post your dirty laundry in a public forum, please by all means, don’t be surprised when family members of your arch enemy pile on.  The gene pool isn’t that varied.  Isn’t that your point?

4) If you are going to post your dirty laundry in a public forum, please do not delete posts before those of us who have day jobs get home. Otherwise, it just looks like you are arguing with yourself.  Plus, we want to be able to follow the entire thread and missing posts just makes that impossible. We realize you are home all day because you don’t have a job. But at least have pity on those of us who do work.

5) Finally, if you are going to post your dirty laundry in a public forum, please understand that I intend to pop popcorn and watch.  All the way from the first accusation till the point where you feel guilty and have your melt down.  Thanks for the entertainment.

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She Could Have Let Me Go Barefoot….

Bought a new pair of shoes today and that got me to thinking about the year my grandmothers died. I’d turned twelve that year and as my sister-in-law says, over night I’d become all arms and legs.  My poor mom was overwhelmed with caring for my brother, she’d lost a mother in law a few months earlier, now having lost her mother, and running the family business, so she decided that she’d let my aunt, her younger sister, take me shoe shopping.  Mom’s request was simple:  Buy a pair of shoes that a twelve year old girl could wear to a funeral.  No tennis shoes.

She gave my aunt her check book, me, and an unlimited amount of money, if she’d just fulfill this one request.  For my aunt, it seemed simple. She’d had boys, but she loved dressing me up.  I was her personal Barbie doll and now she had access to unlimited funds to purchase one item.  A pair of shoes.

Mom went to the funeral home to make final arrangements and sent me and my aunt shopping.  We went to every store in town. I tried on hundreds of pairs of shoes.  You see, Mom understood something about my foot my aunt didn’t.  While it had grown longer in my twelfth year, it had not grown wider.  Tennis shoes are fine for narrow fitting feet. They hug the foot and you can just tie the shoe strings tighter to make the shoe stay on. Dress shoes don’t have that sort of give.  We tried on cheap shoes at Kmart. Nope, as soon as I took a step, I would step completely out of the shoe.  We tried sandals, but for the life of me, I would step right out of those strapless beauties. We tried expensive shoe at a company that made money promising kids they could get a free prize from a golden egg.  We left with no shoes, and no golden egg. Apparently those only come with purchase.

Mom got done at the funeral home and went home to rest. It had been hours since she’d sent us out and now she began to worry. Her sister wasn’t exactly the one you gave carte blanch to your checking account. Finally right before dinner, we arrived home. My aunt was tired, haggled, in no mood for discussion.  I was as pleased as punch with my new shoes.

And that’s how I came to wear a new pair of tennis shoes to my grandmother’s funeral. 

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