How is your summer?….

Yup, it is finally summer here in the Deep South and it’s been so busy so far. First took our youth group to youth camp for five days. Had a blast!

Came home and slept for three days.

Then I went to a family reunion. No check that, crashed a family reunion.  My great grandmother’s sister Polly’s greats had a family reunion and Mom and I crashed it. We were the only representatives from our branch.  Now when Ola, my great grandmother died, it was Aunt Polly who kept up with my grandmother and her siblings. And my grandmother adored her Merritt cousins. And for good reason, they are incredibly wonderful loving people.  Aunt Polly and Uncle Josh practically took my grandmother in when she got out of the orphanage at 18 and she always loved her cousins.  When I grew up, whenever someone in the family passed away, Mom would take Granny to the funeral home and I’d sit with these older cousins and listen to them talk.  When I got interested in Genealogy, it was Polly’s children who sat with me and gave me family photos. Not copies, mind you, originals!

We had a blast! And I got even more family photos while I was there. And I got to share one with them. Aunt Polly’s grandmother’s photo. 

And then we came home and I am working on some leads my Great, great Aunt Polly left for me in her very own handwriting. Is it possible to love a woman you never met this much?  Thank you Aunt Polly for your wonderful family, for the genealogy you left behind and for caring for my family. 

So far, our summer has been great!

Number three is graduating high school this year, so we took senior pictures yesterday! Oh my gosh, where has the time gone and how do I slow it down?

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What If It Were Your Child?….

My Facebook feed this morning is full of posts about Josh Duggar and allegations that he molested several people when he was fifteen. Response goes from “Hang him at high noon” to “that’s what you get when you lead such a sheltered life”.

Now let me be totally upfront. I do not watch 19 Children and Counting and never have. For one, we don’t have cable and for two, I have three kids of my own, why would I need to watch someone else try and raise hers?  So I don’t watch the show. I will say, I don’t agree with a lot of the Duggars religious views either and that’s another reason I have never watched the show.  But I do have an opinion on the situation.  What if it were your child?

I have three children and one thing I know is they are all sinners.  I have been blessed that they were easy kids, incredibly easy teenagers and adulthood has had only a few trials along the way, but for the most part, I am an incredibly proud mom of three amazing kids, as I am sure Michelle Duggar would say about nineteen.

But I do know that just because they haven’t given me a lot of problems, doesn’t mean that they are perfect. Far from it.  They are human and they make mistakes, so I asked myself “How would I want people to react if this were my child.”   First off, Josh has apologized, so I would want people to take his apology on face value.  I would want them to be gracious and forgive my child.  And I would want them to allow him/her to move on from their sin, because Satan loves to keep us trapped in guilt about our sin, for it is there that he can get us to repeat it over and over again.  In forgiveness and moving forward, we can learn from the mistakes of our past and move on.

If you ask me how I would feel, I would be angry, bitter, afraid, frustrated, sad, disappointed, confused…..

Then I thought of my friends whose children have done things that disappointed them over the years:

The mom who told me her young teenager was pregnant. As she told me her story, she wasn’t looking for my judgment, she was looking for me to have the grace to love her anyway.  She was angry, bitter, afraid, frustrated, sad, disappointed, confused…. But she also loved her child very much and I reminded myself that while my 15 year old wasn’t making me a grandmother, he/she was still not perfect and so I prayed for my friend and her daughter and allowed them to move forward. That was all she wanted from me.

Then I thought of the friends whose children have told them they were gay. Again, she was angry, bitter, afraid, frustrated, sad, disappointed, confused…. But she also loved her child very much and I reminded myself that while my child wasn’t telling me he/she was gay, he/she was still not perfect and so I prayed for my friend and her child and allowed them to move forward.  That was all she wanted from me.

Then I thought of friends whose children have done stupid stuff that landed them in jail.  Again, she was angry, bitter, afraid, frustrated, sad, disappointed, confused…. But she also loved her child very much and I reminded myself that while my child who had committed a crime, he/she was still not perfect and so I prayed for my friend and her child and allowed them to move forward.  That was all she wanted from me.

It’s easy when it’s someone else’s child to say, “I’d kick them out” “I’d call the police” “I’d hang him at high noon”, but in reality, when it’s our own children, we are angry, bitter, afraid, frustrated, sad, disappointed, confused…. But we also loved our children very much.  And all we want from other people is forgiveness, grace and the chance to move forward.  It’s hard to say what we’d do in the situation and I just thank God that I am not the one dealing with this particular test.

So Michelle, I don’t know you, but I do know this much, your heart is breaking from this news. You are probably angry, bitter, afraid, frustrated, sad, disappointed and confused. But I do believe that our God can forgive all things. 

To the fans, when you put a fifteen year old on a pedestal, don’t be surprised when he falls off. Don’t kick him while he’s trying to get back up.  To the naysayers, why do you watch a TV show if you hate the people so very much?

Now you may ask, but if he committed a crime, shouldn’t he pay. Yes, he should. But remember, if he robbed a bank at 15, that would be removed from his record at 18.  All would be forgiven….

Ask yourself this: “What if it were my child?….”

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Walking, Podcasting and the Genealogist….


In my real life, my job is Youth Director at our church. Through the winter months, most of my time is spent at the computer planning lessons, planning activities, teaching kids. But come summer, I have five days of summer youth camp. The camp is built on the side of a mountain in South Alabama. It is June and the humidity often reaches 144% during the day time. Night is more miserable.  And you have to be decently dressed, because it’s a Baptist Church camp.

So I have been working on getting back into shape after months of rain and sitting and eating pretty much anything the grocery store sells.  Now I hate exercise as much as the next middle age woman in the south.  But I have found a way to not only get in shape, but also do genealogy.  Podcasts…..

Now all genealogists know about the basic ones:
Genealogy Gems

Genealogy Guys

But did you know about:

Footnoting History

Colonial Williamsburg Past and Present

Virginia Historical Society

Civil War Traveler


Just to name a few.  Just search Civil War, History, Revolutionary War, or maybe even a topic of interest like Civil War Medicine.  And start walking.  In two weeks, I have managed to gain a pound. :)  But I can now run up a flight of stairs without feeling light headed and I have learned a great deal of  history. Maybe that’s where the pound came from?!?

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And our ancestor is NOT FOUND on….

Ever wish you had a good way of keeping up with all those books and microfilm that your ancestor WAS NOT FOUND on?

Well, by carefully naming my Evernote microfilm notes and book notes, and by tagging them with my ancestor’s Not Found tag, I can do just that:


Here are a sampling of the microfilm and books I have looked for Burnett Victory on and that he WAS NOT FOUND.

      1. B044 Bedford County, TN Probate Records Administrators and Executors Bonds and Letters Books 1- 2 (1861-1894)

      2. B045 Bedford County, TN Probate Records Administrators and Executors Bonds and Letter Books Books 3-4 (1894-Feb 1917)

      3. B057 Bedford County, TN Probate Records Guardian Bonds and Letters Books D-E (Dec 1894 – Nov 1930)

      4. B101 Bedford County, TN Probate Records Wills and Inventories Books E-F (Jul 1890-Feb 1901)

      5. Early Middle Tennessee Marriages V. 1 Grooms

      6. H 976.858 MAR: Bedford County, TN Wills

      7. H 976.8583 MAR V.1: Bedford County, Tennessee Bible Records Volume 1

      8. H 976.8583 MAR V.2: Bedford County, Tennessee Bible Records Volume 2

      9. H 976.8583 MAR: Bedford County, Tennessee wills & vital records from newspapers (1996 Volume)

      10. H 976.8583 MAR: Chancery Court Records of Bedford County, Tennessee

      11. H 976.8583 MAR: Land deed genealogy of Bedford County Tennessee, 1861-1865 The War and Reconstruction Years Volume 2

      12. H 976.8583 MAR: Land deed genealogy of Bedford County, Tennessee, 1807-1852

      13. H 976.8583 MAR: The Burned Deed Index of Bedford County, TN 1852-1861

      14. H 976.8583 PHI: The Jennings-Phillips collection of early Bedford County, Tennessee records

      15. H 976.8583 Soldiers of the Revolution in Bedford County

      16. H976.8 SIS Index to Early Tennessee Tax Lists

      17. H976.8 SIS v.2 Tennessee Land Grants Volume II Surnames L-Z and Cross Index

      18. H976.8 TEN V. 5 The Tennessee Civil War Veterans Questionaires Volume Five (Rainey-Young) Confederate

      19. H976.8 Ten-Index to Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications

      20. R116 Rutherford County, TN Registrar of Deeds Deed Books 1-2  (1842-1847)

      21. R204 Rutherford County, TN County Court Clerk, Settlement Books 1-2 (1883-1892)

Posted in Documentation, Genealogy, Organization | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Making a Genealogy Research Trip Productive….

Several months ago, I decided to move all my genealogy research to Evernote and I have been keeping my research log there ever since. As most genealogists know, a good research log can save you time, but when your family refused to live more than 45 miles from each other for 6 generations (on most all lines) you find yourself using the same records over and over and over again despite the best of logs. I needed something that could grow with my research.

In Evernote, I created a note for each book our local research library had on Bedford County, TN. My ancestor, Burnett Victory lived most his life there, and the Civil District I need in 1850 to prove his parents doesn’t exist, so I need to look at wills, deeds, etc to see if I can abstract every Victory, Vickery, Vickory, (well you get the gist.) from the records.

Once I had made a note for each book at home, it was time today to visit the library.  I took my computer, iphone, Evernote and a good looking research assistant to help me.   I went to the stacks and got every book the library had on Bedford County and began the process of looking up my Victory family. I didn’t look for other surnames today, that will require another trip. Just too easy to get distracted. But I did copy the front page and page with the publisher’s information so that I could use it to set up source citations in TMG.

I copied those pages to Evernote to refer to for future surnames. 

Once I had that done, each note now has a source citation, a copy of the cover page and publisher page and notes about any Victorys found in the index. 

Each ancestor has a tag for found and not found. So now that I am home, I can tag each book with each Victory ancestor as to whether he or she was found or not.  Then I will know at a glance which books I have researched and found or not found information.

Next time I go, I will pick another surname in that county and yes, I will retrace my steps, just not for the Victorys again.  I will be able to see that I have looked them up already in the index.  And I can easily get a group of books I have looked a certain ancestor up and not found any data for just by searching for certain tags.

Now if only I had found some suggestion of who were his parents….

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

How Were They Related? You Say….

Abraham Lincoln to Michael Prewitt

— 1st Generation —

1. Abraham1 Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln, son of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, was born on 12 Feb 1809 in Hardin County, KY.

Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd, daughter of Robert S. Todd and Eliza Parker, on 04 Nov 1842.

Abraham Lincoln died Ford’s theater, Washington, District of Columbia, DC. Assignation.

— 2nd Generation —

3. Nancy2 Hanks.

Nancy Hanks, daughter of James Hanks and Lucy Shipley, was born circa 1784 in Bedford County, VA.

Nancy Hanks married Thomas Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln and Bathsheba Herring, on 12 Jun 1806 in Washington County, KY.

Nancy Hanks died on 05 Oct 1818.

— 3rd Generation —

7. Lucy3 Shipley.

Lucy Shipley, daughter of Robert Shipley Jr. and Rachael Prewitt, was born circa 1765 in Bedford County, VA.

Lucy Shipley married Henry Sparrow on 30 Apr 1790.

Lucy Shipley married James Hanks, son of Joseph Hanks and Nancy Unknown.

Lucy Shipley died circa 1825 in Hardin County, KY.

— 4th Generation —

15. Rachael4 Prewitt.

Rachael Prewitt married Robert Shipley Jr., son of Robert Shipley Sr.

Rachael Prewitt, daughter of Michael Prewitt and Elizabeth Simpkins, was born circa 1743 in Campbell County, VA.

Rachael Prewitt died before 1798 in VA.

— 5th Generation —

30. Michael5 Prewitt.

Michael Prewitt, son of Andrew Prewitt and Agnes Unknown, was born in 1722 in Lunenburg County, VA.

Michael Prewitt married Elizabeth Simpkins, daughter of John Simpkins and Elizabeth Adam Rench.

Michael Prewitt died.


Hiram “Joshua” Edde to Michael Prewitt

(Joshua was my father’s 2nd great grandfather)
Joshua was my only Union Civil War ancestor

— 5th Generation —

20. Hiram Joshua5 “Joshua” Eady.

Hiram Joshua “Joshua” Eady, son of Hiram Eddy and Candace Johnson Holt, was born in 1837 in Bedford County, TN.

Hiram Joshua “Joshua” Eady married Carry Muse, daughter of Samuel B. Muse and Nancy Sutton, assumedly in Bedford County, TN. Bedford County, TN did not start recording marriages until Jan 1861.

Hiram Joshua “Joshua” Eady died before 1870 in Bedford County, TN. Carry is the head of household on the 1870 census.

— 6th Generation —

40. Hiram6 Eddy.

Hiram Eddy, son of James Edde and Patience Prewitt, was born on 07 May 1807 in TN. It is possible that Hiram was born in Shelby County, KY or somewhere between there and Bedford County. Since the first deed we find for James isn’t until 1810, the family probably did not live there until that time period making it unlikely that Hiram was born in Bedford County, TN.  The 1810 census is not extant.

Hiram Eddy married Candace Johnson Holt, daughter of Joshua Holt and Elanor Cain Burrow most likely in Bedford County, TN. Bedford County, TN did not start keeping marriage records until Jan 1861.

Hiram Eddy married Harriet Richards circa 1853.

Hiram Eddy died.

— 7th Generation —

81. Patience7 Prewitt.

Patience Prewitt, daughter of Michael Prewitt Jr. and Elizabeth “Betty” Hurt, was born in 1786 in Campbell County, VA.

Patience Prewitt married James Edde, son of John Edde and Francis Stringer, on 05 May 1806 in Shelby County, KY.

Patience Prewitt died between 17 May 1817 and 1820. I think Patience died in childbirth or soon thereafter, since James sold his 212 acres of land at a huge loss. Perhaps he needed the money to help raise his family. This will require a lot more research.

By 1821, James Lockhart is selling land to Moses H. Prewitt. Hiram Edde, Moses Edde, Malvina Edde, and Patience Edde are named as heirs of Michael Prewitt. If their mother was still alive, they would not have been mentioned. 

— 8th Generation —

162. Michael8 Prewitt Jr.

Michael Prewitt Jr., son of Michael Prewitt and Elizabeth Simpkins, was born in 1756.

Michael Prewitt Jr. married Elizabeth “Betty” Hurt, daughter of Moza Hurt and Mary Unknown.

Michael Prewitt Jr. died in 1812.

— 9th Generation —

324. Michael9 Prewitt.

Michael Prewitt, son of Andrew Prewitt and Agnes Unknown, was born in 1722 in Lunenburg County, VA.

Michael Prewitt married Elizabeth Simpkins, daughter of John Simpkins and Elizabeth Adam Rench.

Michael Prewitt died.


Note:  Most of the information on Lincoln’s family and the connection between the Prewitts and Abraham Lincoln are taken from Dr. Charles Raymond Dillon PsD., Pruitt-Prewitt Ancestors Genealogical Research Associates, 1960

Other source information available by request.

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150 years ago, my dad lost a distant cousin….

James-Lincoln comparison           Lincoln


Today is the 150th anniversary of the passing of Abraham Lincoln from a gun shot wound to the back of the head while watching a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D. C.  Lincoln, was the 16th President of the United States, and my dad’s 3rd cousin, 4 times removed.

I have always thought there was a family resemblance around the mouth and chin area and of course the long forehead.  Dad always combed his hair forward and then over, to hide the fact that he had the same receding hairline.  I have often wondered, could I be looking into the face of my Prewitt ancestors when I look at these two men?

Like most of the American Public, I have been fascinated by this man who led our country during one of her most trying and horrific times.  But when I discovered that he and my dad share a common ancestor, I became even more curious about him. 

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