Tuesday, November 20, 2012


HOW TO FIND A MAIDEN NAME and Locating a marriage record
   The Lawrence Register website and Facebook page

Yesterday I mentioned that I would tell you about the marriage record I located.  I've been researching the children of Basil LUNSFORD and his wife Mahala TAYLOR.  They had 6 children.  This is about their son, Chas. Emmit LUNSFORD.
Step 1 - try and locate a birth record for him.  I know that there are many Ohio birth records online. You can check both ancestry.com and familysearch.org for those records.  Those two websites are where I always look first.  Sure enough I located a birth record for Chas. Emmit Lunceford (notice the variation in the spelling).  This record listed his parents as Basil Lunceford and Mahala Taylor.  TIP: Never be too concerned when the spelling of names in records is different from what you have.  Spelling was just not as big a deal back then and of course you always have to account for transcription errors.  Here is what the text of the record looks like.  There is no image.  However, you could find it by looking at the microfilm available at your local family history center.  More on that later.

Ohio, County Births, 1856-1909, Chas. Emmit Lunceford, 1892

name:Chas. Emmit Lunceford

event date:18 Jun 1892
event place:Mason, Lawrence, Ohio
father:Basil Lunceford
father's birthplace:
father's age:
mother:Mahala Taylor
mother's birthplace:
mother's age:
reference number:Bk 4 Pg 148
film number:317728
digital folder number:004016340
image number:00360 
Step 2 - Locate Chas. Emmit Lunsford in census records.    Since it was his marriage I was wanting to learn about I began with the 1910 census, when he would have been 18 years old.  Still living with his parents.  Next, the 1920 census.  BINGO!  I locate a Charles Lunsford of about the correct age & place of birth, living in Ohio with a wife named Myrtle. The 1930 census has Chas. & Myrtle, still in Ohio and now with 2 children.  1940 census - Charles & Myrtle still in Ohio and with just their son, Ralph, living at home.  What is Myrtle's maiden name?  The best way to locate that would be by finding a marriage record.  At least that's my first step in trying to find out a maiden name. 

Step 3 - Look for a marriage record.  I checked all over Ancestry.com and familysearch.org.  I tried many variations of the surname spelling, swapping Charles' middle and first name, searching by initials only, and any other twist I could think of.  NOTHING!  Darn!
Then it came to me.  There is a wonderful site for anyone with roots in Lawrence County, Ohio.  It's called the Lawrence Register and can be found at
Lawrence Register 

This site is full of incredible record and history for Lawrence County.  It's run by a wonderful lady named Martha Martin.  I had the pleasure of meeting Martha and having her show me around Lawrence County and neighboring Cabell County, West Virginia during a visit this past summer.  Remember - sites similar to this one are all over the web.  Just use your search engine and search for the town, city or county and see what comes up.
HEY!  Did I tell you that this particular website also has a Facebook page?  It's a group called Lawrence Register.  Here's the link: Lawrence Register Group on Facebook

Sure enough, under Marriage Records on this site I was able to locate an index record for C. E. Lunsford to Myrtle WISEMAN.  I had already determined what I believed would be the correct year range for them to have married.  I based that on the age of their children in the 1930 census.  The index gives me a range of years and a volume and page number.  Now I just need to get a copy of the record.  Is the index absolute proof that I have found the record?  No.  However, a copy of the record may name their parents and will give me the date of the marriage.  If the parents names are not included then I will continue to try to find further evidence of Myrtle's maiden name.  Perhaps in obituaries, birth and/or death records of her children and maybe even in newspaper announcements about events in their lives.
UPDATE - See my post on 12/26/12 for a follow up on Myrtle's maiden name.

This is a good start to filling out the facts and events in this couple's history.  I can't wait to learn more.  Try these methods for finding records for your own family and let me know what you find.

Back to my research,
Michigan Girl

Monday, November 19, 2012


Stay tuned for more on this subject tomorrow.  But for now I just have to say that you never know when you will hear from someone in response to a post or message you sent.   Tonight was a good example.  I heard back from someone I had messaged on Ancestry.com who is descended from my 5th Great Grandparents.  YEAH!!  He has already given me information I did not have on one of their children.  More on this tomorrow. 

OH!  And I will also be telling you about my hunt for a marriage record and the results.

Michigan Girl signing out for tonight

Thursday, November 15, 2012

LINK to FINDAGRAVE.com Memorials I have created

Search D. Gould Hall's cemetery records at by entering a surname and clicking search:

Restrict search to


As I've said, there is always something NEW to learn when we are doing family research.  Yesterday I was on findagrave searching for a branch of our LUNSFORD clan.  Specifically Claudius Lunsford RUCKER.  I was able to locate his memorial on the site.  The great thing about his particular memorial was the short bio that the creator had entered.  It stated that Claudius died of "Penetration of bull's horn into frontal lobe of brain."  Now that is something you don't see every day under cause of death.  What was interesting was that there was a link to the Arizona death certificate for Claudius.  Really?  I didn't know you could include links in the bios. 

Today I determined to learn more about links in bios and I was reading "contributor tools" when I came across something else NEW to me.  I can include, on this page, a link to ALL of my contributions on FindAGrave.com.  This way any of you that are reading the blog can go to FAG (FindAGrave) and find out more about our family via memorials.  (see the link above)

I still haven't quite figured out how to include a link in a bio on the FAG site,  but I have learned how to be able to send my readers to my FAG memorials.  So, using the link above just fill in a surname and you'll be taken to any memorials I have created for that surname.

By all mean, if you have questions, corrections or additions, please let me know.  Now, back to the learning tools and see if I can figure out the link in the bio thing.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Who knew blogging could be so much fun?  I'm learning as I go here.  So...if you see errors in my layout, please forgive me. 

I'm trying different formats to see which one works best for me and reads the best for you.  I'm open to suggestions, so if you have any, send them my way. 

I'm going to try to post 1-2 times a week.  Maybe more often if I come up with interesting finds, tips or tricks.  I doubt that I'll reinvent the wheel or anything, but I'm hoping that I can give you some real time experience for working on your family research. 

Let me know what you like, what you don't like and what you might like to see me blog about.  I appreciate your interest and your input.

Bye for now,
Michigan Girl

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Timelines, historic events and military service
The day after the Presidential election in the United States 2012. From what I can gather there are about half of the citizens happy and the other half disappointed. In reviewing our history we know that conflict over politics has gone on since we became a nation. Somehow we have survived it all.
Have you ever looked at a timeline for your ancestors?
    What elections were they involved in?
      Do you know if they voted regularly?
        Which party did they belong to?
          Who were the Presidents during their lifetimes?
          For those of you using personal databases. You can generally run a timeline for your ancestor from the software. It's as easy a click of your mouse. Now, what appears in the timeline is another story. A timeline for their lives is only as good as the information that you input. Except of course for the historic events. I use Legacy Family Tree Software (this is not Family Tree Maker). There are tabs that allow me to click on a title called Chronology (another word for timeline). Once I do this I can see things like how old they were when their mother or father died, their age when their children were born, when they moved form place to place etc. There is an "option" button that allows me to insert various historic events, like US Presidents and US Wars.

          I just used this option for my maternal grandfather. He was born 8 Jan 1883 in Detroit, Michigan and died 27 Sep 1957 in Detroit, Michigan. During his life there were 14 different Presidents and 4 wars. How did these events change your ancestors life? Did they? My grandfather lived through the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War. He was too young for the Spanish-American War and did not serve in any of the other wars. Did your ancestor serve in the military? If so, what branch, which war? There are several ways to discover the answers to these questions. The very BEST of which is to talk to your ancestor. OK, well, that isn't always possible is it? So what other sources do we have for finding out if they served in the military? Here are a few:

          Look documents that have been saved & handed down through generations. These might be records of service, discharge papers, loan records (when a veteran applies for a VA loan), pension records, photographs of the ancestor in uniform (look for the military insignia), awards or plaques or medals that were given to your ancestor.

          Look online at the various websites that offer information about the wars our ancestor served in. Again, the usual sites are Ancestry.com, Fold3 and familysearch.org. You might also want to use your search engine, such as Google to search for veteran organizations that would have information about your ancestors service, the people he or she served with and where they served.

          Have you thought of looking on FindAGrave.com? Sometimes when you find a headstone for an ancestor you will see a reference to military service. I've even found them buried in national cemeteries (where only those who served or who are related to those who served are buried. My husband's parents are both buried at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemtery in San Diego. One of my ancestors, Wm. W. Frampton is bured in Kansas and his headstone lists his military unit.

          Look for websites about the military bases or training bases. These are good sources for background and some have photos of the bases and the people who served or trained there.

          So, be vigilent, be persistant and think outside the box.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's election day in the United States. I hope that everyone takes the time to exercise this wonderful freedom that we have. I always get excited on election day and voted this morning in my 11th presidential election. Today I thought it would be appropriate to talk about military service. It's through the military that we retain our freedom in this country.
My stepdad Joseph Edward Cornelius in his Navy uniform in 1944. I have "Ed's" discharge papers and a few other records of his service. It's easy to use your search engine (Google.com or Bing.com or whichever one you prefer) to find out more about the military unit, ship, training station etc. You'll find there are organizations for veterans and families of veterans. You can also post a military page for your ancestor on your Ancestry.com tree or on Fold3 My stepdad served on the USS Cook and later on the USS George W. Ingram. I was able to locate web pages that contained the history for both of these ships. I even found photos of the USS Cook.
It's very interesting to read about these historic ships and their battle history. Imagine your ancestor serving on these ships during wartime. What was it like for them? Who were their friends? Were they afraid? Did they write letters home? I always try to put myself in the shoes of the ancestor I am researching. Unfortunately, I didn't spend any time talking to my stepdad about his service in World War II. I remember bits and pieces of conversations about being a Navy SEAL or UDT (Underwater Demoliton Team) member. Thankfully, I have made contact with some of his brother's family and they have provided photos of Ed when he was in the service. That is another reason why it is very helpful to locate living family members. You'd be surprised what has been passed down through the years. It's important that we continue to honor those who have fought for our freedom. From the Revolutionary War to the current situation in Afghanistan and Iraq. Men & women who were our ancestors, have given their time and sometimes sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My latest copy of Family Chronicle magazine came today. I'm sitting here reading it. Always more to learn. One of the articles concerns Revolutionary War pension application files. I am already a member of DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), but would like to add other patriots to my membership. Earlier today I was looking at one of my ancestors, John Frampton, and reading an application submitted to the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) in 1916 by his descendant John Ross Frampton. I found this application on Ancestry.com. That got me interested in the Revolutionary War again and then the magazine arrived. Coincidence? I think not. One site that I belong to is Fold3, formerly known as Footnote. This site offers the pension application files for our Revolutionary War ancestors and many other types of files concerning military service. You can even create a military page on the site for your ancestor. I'm learning more as I read and will be back with tips.

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's been too long since I posted. I did that trip to Ohio & West Virginia & had lots of fun and met great people. Seems as though once I returned one thing or another has kept me from posting. That doesn't mean I haven't been busy working on the "family trails." In fact, just last week I received a package from a gentleman that I have been communicating with for about a year. This man doesn't use a computer, so everything we do is via snail mail. You know ..... the old fashioned way. The package he so kindly sent to me was a genealogy of the KING family. This is a line related to me via my Great Grandaunt, Ada Emily HUNTER who married William James KING. They had 6 children. Since Ada is the sister of my Great Grandmother, Florence HUNTER, I have a great interest in learning about her and her family. Here are pictures of William KING & his wife Ada HUNTER
I have several other pictures of Ada and other members of the family. What I'm doing now is going through this 46 page document (which is mostly individual family groups sheets) and comparing the contents to what I already have in my database. Of course, new information has emerged. That leads me to research online and find out more about the family. The next thing you know another lead pops up as I'm researching and off I go to that informaton. Genealogy research is funny that way. You'll be working on one family or branch and the next thing you know, you're off the road and onto another family or branch. But, I guess that what keeps it interesting. At least for me. I never seem to get bored of finding new information.