If You Blog it, The Bricks Will Fall….

Or so goes my theory. Hasn’t really worked so far. :)

In 1819, Neavil Gee died and left a will:

I, Nevil Gee of the County of Lunenberg and State of Virginia do make my will in the following manner that is to say– 1st I give to my son George L Gee one hundred and fourteen and a half acres of land whereon he now lives on the following conditions (viz)  that ? George L. Gee shall pay to each of my other sons when they arrive to age of twenty one years the one fifth part of the value of land at the time he received it– Also I give to my son George L. Gee one bay horse named wonder which is now in his possession. 
2nd I lend to my wife Elizabeth Gee the whole of the land whereon I now live and all my negroes, stock, plantation utensils, corn fodder and oats during her life or widowhood except the stock sold to pay my debts if any be sold but it is my will and desire that my sons William O. Gee, Alfred Gee Claiborne Gee and Neavil A. Gee shall each of them have a riding horse common saddle and bridle from what is made from what I have bound my wife by cropping or raising cols if it can be done and she and family well supported but if ? cannot be done before she dies or gets married they each must have a riding horse on the value of one part of my Estae and not to be accountable for the same in the General division between my children.
3rd  It is my will and desire that my son Alfred Gee shall have one years ? and my sons Claiborne and Neavil A. Gee shall have an education equal to their other brothers and that to be done out of the profits made from the property loaned to my wife.
4th It is my desire that the crop of tobacco now made and the crop that will be made this year be applied to the payment of debts but if my wife and Exer. think proper they may sell part of the stock to discharge my debts. 5th  It is my desire and will that my wife and Exer may ? each Legatee when they marry or arrive to the age of twenty one years a certain tract of the Estate loaned my wife and that each legatee shall have an equal part give as nearly as can be ascertained by valuations and ? each receives be ? shall be accountable at the General division atty I leave the whole of my estate that I have not given away as above at the death or marriage of my wife, Elizabeth Gee, to be equally divided among my sons George L. Gee, William O. Gee, Alfred Gee, Claiborne Gee and Nevil A. Gee to go to them and their heirs forever 7th and lastly I appoint my son George L. Gee and my brother Lucas Gee Excur. to this my last will and Testament In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this sixteenth day of January eighteen hundred nineteen.
Neavel Gee, SEAL
Signed, sealed, and acknowledged
in the presence of
Jones Gee
Joshua Smith
James L. Gee

From this will, we can infer that Nevil and his wife Elizabeth were the parents of the following children:

George L. Gee (received 114.5 acres where he was already living implying that he was grown and one horse; Made executor with his uncle Lucas Gee)

William O. Gee (not yet 21 according to will; would receive 1/5 value of land at age 21; one riding horse, saddle and bridle)

Alfred Gee (not yet 21 according to will; would receive 1/5 value of land at age 21; one riding horse, saddle and bridle; to receive one year’s education)

Claiborne Gee (not yet 21 according to will; would receive 1/5 value of land at age 21; one riding horse, saddle and bridle; education equal to brothers)

Neavil A. Gee (not yet 21 according to will; would receive 1/5 value of land at age 21; one riding horse, saddle and bridle; education equal to brothers)

The 1820 Federal Population census shows:

George L. Gee living in Mecklenburg County, VA. He and his wife are 16-25. They have one daughter under ten and one slave.

Elizabeth, William O, Alfred, Claiborne and Neavil A are not enumerated. My guess is they were either missed or are in the fold of the page and weren’t microfilmed.  They are most likely still living on the farm in Lunenburg County, VA in 1820.  I still need to research deeds and wills in Lunenburg thoroughly.  Task for another day. :)

Since William O. Gee married Nancy P. Knott in 1821 in Lunenburg County, VA, we can assume the family was still living there as late as October of that year.

Alfred married Nancy Coleman Edmonson in October 1821 in Mecklenburg County, VA, so it is possible that he moved to be near his brother George L.  Since the two counties border each other, it is possible that the family lived near the county line and they traveled back and forth. Records in both counties will need to be researched.

By 1830, Alfred and Claiborne are enumerated in Williamson County, TN. Alfred has two males 20-29 living in his household, so I assume this is one of his brothers.  We know that by 1830, William O. Gee is married and living in Williamson County, so it could be him, but I believe it is not, based on the fact that only one female that age is in the household and both men were married. I believe this is most likely his brother Neavil.  Claiborne is enumerated with two young males living in his household, but I believe that one of them was his guardian, Samuel Washington Edmonson. 

Also showing up at this time in the records of Williamson County, TN was David Gee, who married Lucinda Unknown. David has two females living with him. I believe the other female may be Mary Winn Gee, his sister. Some researchers have this David as the some of David Gee and Agnes Hicks. But I believe he is the son of James Gee and Sarah Hicks. More research will need to be done to prove this. David W. lived next to Henry H. Horton, and Henry Horton was a guardian of Mary W. Gee and probated her rather large estate when she died.  How these two Gee families are related, I am not yet sure.

In 1836, George L. Gee (parentage unknown) married Sarah Jane Rash in Williamson County, TN. This is my line and the one brick wall I would like to see come down.  George was born circa 1816 in VA.  He married in Williamson County, TN in 1836 and can be found enumerated there in 1840.  Where he was living in 1830 is anyone’s guess. He could have been one of the young males living with Claiborne Gee, but who was his parent? He could belong to David W. or one of his siblings.


And how was David W. Gee who married Lucinda and lived in the 5th District related to Mary Winn Gee. Was he her brother as I suspect, or the son of David Gee of Carroll County, TN as many suspect?

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Scanning. Why it no longer involves the scanner….

We genealogist all know the drill. Go to archives. Photocopy stacks of paper. Drive home with migraine, seasick from microfilm machine.  Take 15 years to recover.  Scan scratchy, faded image into computer. Link to genealogy program, transcribe, source, pull out hair.

Yup, I know the drill well.  But no longer does the drill involve my scanner. In fact, the 15 year wait is over as well. Because I have an Iphone. Yup, a phone with a camera that is better than the digital camera sitting on my dresser. That Iphone.   You probably have a similar phone in your purse. 

Now here are the steps to scan an image with my scanner:

  1. Find paper in stack and go to scanner.
  2. Remove last document scanned and file it away.
  3. Unload washing machine and fold load of clothes in drier
  4. Put paper on scanner.
  5. Press scan
  6. Go to computer and realize it wasn’t on so document did not scan
  7. Go back to scanner and push scan again
  8. Unload washing machine and fold load of clothes in drier
  9. Go to computer and try where the heck document got sent in scanner software.
  10. Move document to correct folder that has something like C:Pictures as it’s name and not C:User/You/Documents/Scanner/BetYouCantRememberAllTHis/TodaysDate/ScannerImages/…
  11. Open document in imaging software and crop out extra background noise
  12. Go to genealogy program  and realize that copy of image got saved into C:User/You/Documents/Scanner/BetYouCantRememberAllTHis/TodaysDate/ScannerImages/…
  13. Go into imaging software and repeat step 10
  14. Pull out hair and decide gardening is a better hobby, though you hate the heat and plants and gardening in general.
  15. Put away clothes so that you at least accomplish something today.

Now here are the steps to scan an image with my phone:

  1. Find paper in stack
  2. Take picture of paper
  3. Move picture to my computer via USB cord
  4. Open genealogy program and use image.

Now here’s the real issue. I am old and my back hurts.  I can scan at my desk in a computer chair that has never ever felt all that great, OR I can use my phone in my recliner in front of the TV. 

It’s up to you to decide, but I think the scanner is going to retire very soon at our house.

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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