Monday, March 31, 2014

Blogging our history

When I started blogging, I thought that I would post a few pictures & tell some of the stories that I had been told & that would be that.

I had not idea that I would embark on this journey to becoming a blogger.

This is not my first rodeo (as my loving baby sister would say).  I've kept a blog for my Medical Assisting class for the past 2 years, but that's easy.  I have a written curriculum, so I never have to think of something to write about.  I post a ton of YouTube videos & post more photos of my classes then anything else.  That blog basically writes itself.  
Another significant difference is my students have to look at my blog.  A lot of their quizzes & in class discussion happen in our blog, so I rarely have to make them read it.  


I took a week off from blogging last week to learn how to blog.  I researched how others brainstorm or come up with ideas & I was surprised to find that I'm not alone.  Others struggle with what/how to blog their family history.
I've come across several blogs I'm utilizing on a daily basis now:
  1.  I had no idea how a blog post should be set up until I read this post by Alex Mangini.
  2. Jana's genealogy & family history blog-my blog was mentioned in her blog as a Fab find this past week.  Thanks a million Jana Last!!!
  3. Genealogy tip of the day by Michael John Neill-he post a brand new tip everyday.  I'm learning so much!
  4. The accidental genealogist by Lisa A. Alzo- This month she is featuring fearless females & you have to check it out.
  5. We tree genealogy-Amy Coffin's has a ton of info on the upcoming Rootstech conference. 
  6. Western Kentucky Genealogy blog-Brenda Joyce Jerome is teaching me so much about Kentucky, which is where most of my ancestors hail.
The only thing I am still struggling with is how to build a follow.  Right now I feel like no one is interested.  Not one person is following my blog, not even my own Mom.  (Sorry Mom.)

What can I do to build an audience?

Please leave a comment & let me know what I can do to make people want to read my blog.

Why did she raise her siblings?

Why did she raise her siblings?

  • In the 1880 census, my great, great grandmother Emma lived with her mother & her 3 siblings-Annie, Leslie & Matilda.
  • In the 1900 census, she is married to my great, great grandfather-Yost.  The record stated they had 6 kids & all 6 were living.  At the time, she had birthed 4 children-Andy, Daisy, Harrison (my great grandfather) & Arthlow.  Matilda is recorded as a step daughter. That would make 5.

Who was the 6th child? 

  • I've been told that Emma gave birth to a daughter that looked white.  When the slave owner saw her, he sent the little girl to live with his sister in England.    ???
  • As stated in a previous post, Leslie didn't die until 1908.  I'm not sure what happened to Annie after 1880.  

What happened to her parents?

  • One of the biggest brick walls that I have is who is Emma Gatton's father?  He isn't mentioned on her death certificate. (Most likely Matilda did not know or she wasn't sure.)  
  • Why is it that I can't find any other record for Nancy after 1880? ( If she died before 1900, why can't I find a death certificate?)
I could use all the help I can get with this one.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What happened to Leslie Gatton

Leslie Gatton was the only brother of my three time great grandmother Emma/Emily.

I found an article about his death:

South Carrollton, KY Coal Mine Gas Explosion, Feb 1908

Central City, Ky., Feb. 11. -- Nine miners were killed and one other fatally injured by an explosion of gas in the mine of the Moody Coal Company at South Carrollton, three miles from this city. The mine is a small one and only thirteen men were at work in the diggings at the time of the explosion.
The accident was caused by a slow blast setting off the gas which had evidently accumulated in considerable quantities, as the interior of the mine was wrecked and the cages smashed.
The dead are:
J. N. RUSH, both white men.
The following are negroes:
Fatally injured is JOHN BRYANT, white.
Each of the victims leaves a family.
Evening Independent Massillon Ohio 1908-02-11

There is also a small paragraph about the explosion in the A History of Muhlenberg County [Kentucky]
 By Otto Arthur Rothert

I have also found several article online about the explosion.

How to REALLY start searching your family tree

I thought I knew what I was doing.

When I first started to research my tree, I really thought I knew what I was doing.  I started subscribing to all of the right sites or what I thought were the right sites & asking all the wrong questions.

Everything I read said ask your family, but I now disagree. People can remember an event a lot of different ways.  Not always the truth or reality.  

My advice is to start with what you can prove.  I've found more evidence in newspaper obits & death certificates than any other source.

I should be clear though, relatives can give you info you can't get from official records or newspapers.  First hand knowledge is priceless.  Every photo I share came from a dear family member I've never met in person, but who has given me so many priceless treasures I can't even begin to describe how key to my search they have been.

I also think an organizational system is so important.  My biggest problem now is organizing the real info for my ancestors from the false.  (I went a little save crazy there for a while & now I am paying the price.  Having had no official training in genealogy, I had no clue that even with an uncommon name like Wickliffe, there can still be duplicate names.  This is an issue to be continued later in my blog)  
Managing your records & keeping track of what you have versus what you need.  It will save you a ton of time & heartache later. Believe me.

Research how to do genealogy research.

I had no clue it took real work to learn to research your family tree.  

This is not an easy accomplishment.  If you don't know what you are doing you will spend a tome of time researching someone else's family.  I'm recovering from this period myself & I must say I caused this mess myself.

I'm still learning, but it is getting easier.

African American Schools in Muhlenberg County, KY from 1886-1962

How do you educate on those children in that tiny little building?

Colored District No. 3, 8 [ca. 1880's-1890's],1900

My grandpa in school

Class pictures sure have changed in the almost 80 years.

I recently stumbled upon The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archive's Electronic Records Archives & it prompted me to post this photo & read a little about education back then. 

3 grades worth on students & still only 13 in the class?? 

As an educator, It's still a mystery to me how someone can teach 3 graded in the same classroom.
Mr Richardson doesn't look like he had any problems keeping things under control.

I wonder who else is in the photo besides grandpa & Mr Richardson?

Friday, March 28, 2014

My first research trip: Downtown Indy
I've been considering visiting our local historical society before attempting to go down to Muhlenberg, KY.

Where else should I try first?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

World TB DAY

Yesterday was World TB day & I found this picture online & had to add it to the blog.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My grandpa as a child

Was he a dog lover?

I have so many questions about this photo.  

  • How old is he & are those his dogs?
  • Where was this photo taken?
  • I wonder what type of boy he was? 
  • Who can tell me about this photo??????

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ray Hensley - Paradise - John Prine - Composer

Probie Wickliffe-Who was her real father?

How is the father?

Great grandma Probie had 6 sisters that I know of, but are they all father by my Great great grandfather Alfred?
It has been said that Eddie Howard is my Great grandmother's real father & that she was not told until late into her teens.  Her father (Alfred) had a mule that he would ride into "town" & would not return for several days.  
Is this when she was conceived? There are multiple reasons why I don't find this to be true:

  • She does resemble my great great grand father Alfred.
  • Alfred had a sister named Probia.
  • All of the have his last name, but if he & Cordelia were married (which they were in 1888) then they would.

Does anyone know who else is in this picture besides Great Grandma Probie & her mother Cordelia?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Matilda, Matilda & Matilda

Matilda Gatton must have been a popular name.
In my research, I've found 3, but only one was raised a Wickliffe.
Born Matilda Gatton, her death certificate stated my three time great grandparents, Yost & Emily were her parents.
However, the first census she appears in, (1880) Emily is mentioned as her sister, not her mother.
Their mother was Nancy Gatton.
What happened to Nancy Gatton?
After 1880, Nancy either dies or remarries, because I can't find any other records mentioning her.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Allen, Alney or Alvey

How many ways can you spell Allen?
Allen, Alvey or Alney..... I'm not sure how he spelled it, but I am his descendant.
Born in either 1826 or 1842, Allen was my three times great grandfather.  He is the start of the other side of my Wickliffe lineage.
He had 6 children, who was the last?
According to the 1900 census, my three times great grandparents had 6 children, 5 living.
I know James, Diner/Dinah & Charles are 3 of the 6.
I found 2 death records, naming them as parents.
One for Laura Wickliffe, born in 1876. That makes 4.
The other for a male child, born in 1877. That makes 5.
Who was the last?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Take Me Back To Muhlenberg County


I may not be from Muhlenberg county, but I love the old pictures in this video.

Aunt Palestine & Uncle George Mathis Wickliffe

Siblings from the heart

                         George may not have had any siblings when his mother was alive, but within 2 years of her death, Aunt Pal was born.

The day they wed

For years I wondered why I could not find my grandmother in hardly any record.

Her name was really Mary Bessie Wickliffe.

Now that I see not only the spelling of her REAL name, I see how her mother spelled her name too.

How knew her name was Mary?

When did she drop the Mary & go by Bessie Mae?

Who knows what other records are in Mary Wickliffe/Mary Bessie Wickliffe/Mary Bessie Harrison?

Monday, March 10, 2014

mother of a slave

How do I find the mother of a slave?

My great grandfather, Yost was either a slave or a child of a slave (I'm not sure).

I've found his death record, which stated that his mother was unknown.

Where do I find his mother?

I know nothing of slave records & I'm not even sure anything like that would have been documented by each & every family.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

More than just one name

This blog is dedicated to my Wickliffe family, but there are other names to explore.

My great grandfather Harrison Wickliffe

Harrison Wickliffe was my great grandfather.
He was born in South Carrollton, KY on August 20, 1892.
He married Mont VanMeter in 1909 & adopted & care for her son when she died in 1914.
I've heard that at Mont's funeral, he met my Great Grandmother Probia.  His brother Andy introduced them.  They were married that same year.
He worked as a coal miner for 20 years & for the Illinois central railroad another 11 years.
He lived in Kentucky most of his life, but would eventually move to Indianapolis.  He lived at 905 Eugene until he died in 1969

Friday, March 7, 2014

Joe Bodine
Name:Joe Bodine
Residence:Lebanon, Kentucky
Enlistment Date:18 Jun 1864
Rank at enlistment:Private
Enlistment Place:Lebanon, Kentucky
State Served:U.S. Colored Troops
Service Record:Enlisted in Company B, U.S. Colored Troops 123rd Infantry Regiment on 18 Jun 1864.
Sources:Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kentucky

Thursday, March 6, 2014


This photo is of my Grandfather & his big sister, Aunt Pal.
I was told he is about 3 in this picture.  Which means it was taken around 1921.
A few details about 1921:
  • A loaf of bread cost $0.12
  • The 1st Tuberculosis vaccine was administered.
  • Albert Einstein won the noble peace prize
  • Hitler became chairman of the Nazi party 
  •  The first Mrs America was crowned.
  • Chanel no. 5 hit the shelves.

Pond creek

My interest in Pond creek came about when I read this part of Robert Wickliffe's will:

  Fifthly I give to my two sons AARON WICKLIFFE and CHARLES A. WICKLIFFE all my lands which I purchased of Moses Wickliff and THOMAS WARTIS lyng on pond Creek containing six hundred and forty three acres to be equally divided between them in quantity and quality, I also give to my son Aaron Wickliffe three Negroes namely RICHARD, SHADRACK, and JACK and my new set of Blacksmith tools and their future profits for ever- I also give my son Charles A. Wickliffe three Negroes namely CHARLES, ISABEL and GILBERT together with all the money that lyes by me with all bonds notes and acpt. and there future increase for ever.

I know the my great, great Grandfather Yost worked for Aaron Wickliffe in his early teens.  That fact was proven in a 1860 census.
I also think that (as I stated in a previous post) Joe Bodine may have been a slave, owned by Jane Wickliffe Bodine.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Annie May Wickliffe

Annie May was the second daughter born to my great grand Uncle Andrew/Andy & his wife Callie.
Annie only lived 3 months before she died of stenosis (narrowing) of the stomach.
According to the Mayo website, this condition is rare, only effecting 2 to 4 out of 1,000 babies.  It causes babies to vomit forcefully, leaving baby constantly hungry.
Today, this condition is fixed with surgery, unfortunately for little Annie, she died in 1921.  If she even saw a doctor for this condition, the technology to determine if that was the problem, was not available yet, so they may not have even found it.(According to Wikipedia, diagnosis for pyloric stenosis is accomplished with an Upper GI (gastrointestinal series) & abdominal ultrasound.  The first UGI wasn't done until the 60's & the first ultrasound in the late 40's)
The death of their newborn baby, 4 days before Christmas must have been devastating.  However, they did have another daughter, Elizabeth, just 2 years later.

The missing leaves from my family tree

Where do I go from here?

For 8 years now, I have been researching the Wickliffe family blood line.  I've tried to clean up the mess I've made of my tree, but I'm still missing so many people.
I've had an membership since the beginning & most of what I have found, has been through that site.  
I was recently introduced to & I love it.  First of all it's free (which sucks since I've been paying $25.00 for 12 years), secondly, for some reason, records are easier to find on their site.  I often have both sites up & use familysearch to locate the record & ancestry to save it to the people already in my tree.
Unfortunately, now I'm stuck
I think my next step is to visit Kentucky.  I know that the records are out there, but I don't think that they are all on-line yet.  So that means road trip.
The problem is I don't know where to start.
Muhlenberg county is #1 on the list.  However, the Kentucky archive is in Frankfort.  
I've also seen records in Christian, McLean, Ohio, Logan, Hopkins, Daviess, Nelson, Breckridge & Jefferson county.  Unfortunately for me & the price of gas, all these counties are not all right there in the same area.  Some are, most aren't.  Especially not Frankfort.  It's way on the other side of Kentucky compared to Muhlenberg County.  

I think I need some help.............................or a good tour guide.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Is this the reason Joe Bodine joined the army?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

James Wickliffe

Name: James Wickliffe
Birth Date: 1865
Age: 23
Spouse's Name: Louisa Williams
Spouse's Birth Date: 1870
Spouse's Age: 18
Event Date: 22 Mar 1888
Event Place: Breckenridge, Kentucky
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: I01692-4
System Origin: Kentucky-EASy
GS Film number: 1877052
Reference ID: 202

Citing this Record:
"Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01 Mar 2014), James Wickliffe and Louisa Williams, 22 Mar 1888.