Tuesday, May 7, 2024

The Genealogy NewsLetter: May 2024


Did You Know?

It's Free, We Just Want You To Follow Us
Subscribe for a MyHeritage $300 value 
Every month one new subscriber to linktr.ee/hittinthebricks  is randomly
chosen to receive this $300.00 value MyHeritage Complete Package.
You must subscribe at the linktr.ee/hittinthebricks  to qualify.

Looking for the best DNA Kit Deals
Look no further than linktr.ee/hittinthebricks. We post the best prices. Check here often.
If you use the this link to purchase, proceed from each kit are donated to TracingAncestors.org - a not for profit,  501c3 Charity Organization for underserved communities. TracingAncestors.org is 100% volunteer based. However,  your donations pay for infrastrure (domain, website, etc) and educational materials expenses.

Have You Done This Yet? 1 DNA kit, 3 company results!
Perhaps you didn't know that if you have paid for one DNA kit from ancestryDNA, MyHeritageDNA, 23andMe, FamilyFinder of FamilyTreeDNA or LivingDNA you can share those results for free on other DNA testing sites. So you pay for one, but can get up to 3 free sets of results, 3 re-analysis of ethnicity regions/data, 3 sets of new cousins to analyze.

It's easy.
>Set up a free account on the new site
>Download the DNA Raw Data (DNA Data) from your paid kit to your computer. Don't open it, just download.
Need help finding RawData?
               FamilyFinder, of FamilyTreeDNA

Upload your DNA Raw Data (DNA Data) from your paid kit to other sites following one of the instructions below. Why not? It's Easy and free.

Upload to Myheritage
Upload to FamilyTreeDNA
Upload to LivingDNA 
(strong in European connections)

Note: You cannot upload to ancestry.com or 23andme, but you can use their Raw data to upload to myHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA and LivingDNA. As I mentioned, until we learn about the future of 23andMe, a3Genealogy is no longer recommending that OTC (Over the Counter) DNA testing kit. If you have already tested there, you do not want to lose your 23andMe data, so download your Raw Data to your desktop or a safe space.

A Few Featured Slave Descendant Podcast Titles
Thanks to the Kansas Afro-American Genealogical Society, we are featuring the following podcasts.  The following were mentioned in the KAAHGS session of 7 May 2024. Just go to the linktr.ee/hittinthebricks site to access these titles:

> Genealogy in Black and White
> Identifying Native Americans: The Mysteries of the Tyeskey Lineage
> Ships & Plantations - Kansas Ancestor McKinney

Yes, We Have a HTB YouTube Channel

Since we are primarily a podcast, most of our Hittin' the Bricks youtube uploads are just a convenient way to listen to the podcast. Not all of the episodes have been loaded, but that should be completed by May 2024. Know that there are a few YouTube gems where you will have video of John interviewing Kathleen. 

10Million Names - Be A Part Of the Project
There are at least 44 million descendants of enslaved individuals living today, but slavery separated families, erased names, and obscured facts. The 10 Million Names Project, launched by American Ancestors and its partners in 2023, aims to connect the family stories of these descendants to the 10 million men, women, and children of African descent who were enslaved in the U.S. prior to emancipation and to restore their names to history.

Because we believe in education and community work the a3Genealogy blog, Hittin' the Bricks with Kathleen are now partners under the TracingAncestors 501c, not-for-profit organization. I know you'll believe in our goals too. This 501c3 organization is dedicated to serving women, schools & underserved communities. We are a 100% volunteer organization, but we do need assistance with costs: domain, website, software, educational events, etc. I hope you will share this donation opportunity.  Every dollar helps.

Kathleen Brandt & The Board of Tracing Ancestors



Tuesday, March 26, 2024

All Things Clara Bow


When You Have the Coolest Clients EVER!
One of my clients in the business of restoring and sharing silent films shared one of his newest projects: "Pill Pounder" with Clara Bow.  Well, he's actually sharing it with the world. 

This previously-thought-to-be a "lost" silent film will be seen for the first time in 101 years. How do we get everything, even the stars to line up to fall into such a find?

Clara Bow's Tie to Kansas City
Read Taylor Swift’s New Album Includes the Song ‘Clara Bow,’ and Swifties Are Already Drawing ConnectionsGlamour Newsletter, 6 Feb 2024; Image Getty
Glamour Newsletter, 6 Feb 2024; Image Getty
  1. It's tie to KC.  A KC man woke up and said I'm going to Omaha to look at this parking lot filled of crates of film! March 2024 
  2. Taylor Swift: Tortured Poets Department opened our eyes to Clara Bow. Ok, many of you knew Clara Bow way before knowing Taylor Swift but I'm highlighting the KC Connection here! 
My mantra? Nothing is ever lost in the universe. Oh, and my other one: all things have historical relevance and connections. ALL!

Visit Geneastar.org for more ancestral information on Clara Bow.
Family Tree Image from Geneastar
Not vetted by the Tracing Ancestors Family: linktr.ee/hittinthebricks

More Info Needed? 

Image: Casper Star-Tribune, 7 Feb 1925, pg4, Casper, WY

Here are a few resources if you have no idea what I'm talking about : 

Kathleen Brandt

Monday, March 18, 2024

DNA Spring Cleaning: A Must Do

We say "test as many as we can, but wisely." This has been the a3Genealogy and the DNA Community mantra since about 2009. Now it's time to do some Spring Cleaning.

Don't Lose Your DNA Testing Results
I've heard many of you have not securely saved or downloaded you Raw DNA. You will want to do that and here's why...

If you have tested, or have had elder relatives tests, be sure to download your Raw Data to your personal computer. Why, because if  a company goes defunct, so might the DNA testing results along with the RawData on that company - never to be retrieved again. A good example is that I would want to preserve my deceased mother's DNA results.

Why Mention Now?
Have you been keeping up with the 23andMe Security Breach Debacle? 

Wired: 5 Dec 2023
Wall Street Journal, Rolfe Winkler, 31 Jan 2024 
FastCompany, 31 Jan 2024

Will they recover? The stock shares are now, at best, Penny Stocks. Will they survive? If they fail, will the DNA Raw Data of your loved ones be accessible?  

What Can You Do?
In addition to downloading your DNA Raw Data to a secured file, you will want to upload your Raw Data to MyHeritage and FamilyTreeDNA.  Besides expanding your cousin matches to analyze, you will receive additional resources.  

How to download from 23andMe?
You can access your raw genetic data within your 23andMe account one of three ways:
First: Login to 23andMe

  1. Navigate directly to you.23andme.com/tools/data/
  2. Click on your profile name on the top right-hand corner of your homepage, and select Resources from the dropdown menu.Then select “Browse Raw Genotyping Data” and then “Download” at the top of the page.
  3. Visit your Account Settings and click on “View” under 23andMe Data.

Here are full instructions if needed: Accessing Your Raw Genetic Data

Upload to MyHeritage
Once on your computer, you can upload this data for free on MyHeritage.com.  Just create a free account and follow these instructions:Upload DNA Data to MyHeritage.

By the way did you know our partner Hittin' the Bricks with Kathleen podcast are giving away a Free MyHeritage Complete Package for a year (value $300). To learn more about the Free MyHeritage Complete Package Giveaway, just subscribe to the linktr.ee/hittinthebricks site. It's a monthly drawing, no newsletters, no selling, just a drawing for our subscribers. 

Upload to FamilyTreeDNA
Go to this link to Upload your DNA data

What About AncestryDNA
Note: You cannot upload to ancestryDNA.  
But, you should download your Raw Data from the AncestryDNA kits also and store in a secured place for a backup. Here Is that Downloading DNA Data from AncestryDNA instructions. 

Be sure to share this post with your DNA testing cousins. 

Kathleen Brandt

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Revolutionary War Research - Ridiculous Mistakes

Many of you have asked how to see the North Carolina original records of Ned Griffin, our subject of the Hittin' the Bricks Podcast Episode:  Finding Ned: Church Records, Court Papers & Contracts. Let's be reminded that there are tons of paper waiting for your discoving.  Here are out top 5 Revolutionary War research go to record collections: 

1) Land Records.
Edward Griffin: Revolutionary Soldier, Proquest

One way to prove parentage and ancestral lines is to prove land inheritance. This was used in uncovering Ned Griffin's movements. These records can show when and where land was probated and to whom. Land records often name children, spouse or siblings. If not close ties to others in the community. They too should be researched. Minor children may be named and guardians.

2) Guardianship Records. Mothers were not usually granted guardianship of their minor children during the Revolutionary War Era, but if they did, it usually was through the court system. So a guardianship record should be available for any minors. These records would list minor heirs and guardians and maybe even other inventory and probated information.

3) Church Records. During the Revolutionary War Era churches kept a lot of family records to include children baptism, christening, marriage banns, and licenses. You are doing a disservice if you haven’t researched these genealogical gems.

4) Newspapers and Journals. Don’t forget newspapers and journals. Don’t underestimate the holdings at Local public libraries and State Archives.

5. Other Court Records. Early American court records are the best. It took Ned from 1783 to 1784 to get his case tried, heard and settled from the North Carolina General Assembly. But it allowed plenty of time form the court to gather depositions, statements, affidavits and a law changing decision.

The court record, that is popularly known as An Act for Enfranchising Ned Griffin, Late the Property of William Kitchen, and was recorded in 1784 April 19, 1784 - June 03, 1784; Volume 24, Pages 543 - 649.

In 2000-2004 when seeking this record, there was not yet a digitized copy, but I wanted to avoid abstracts or transcriptions. I know, early records are challenging to read, but so much can be lost, or typos can lead to misinterpreting using abstracts or transcriptions of court records. Be sure to get at minimum a full image of the original record (with any sidebar scribbles).

Three More Life Lines  
  •  State Archive
  •  NARA State Collections 
  •  Congressional Serial Set 


Colonial and early American records are most assuredly, if extant, held in the State Archives, but don't forget the State Collections held within the National Archive and Records Administration (NARA).  And one of my favorites, the Congressional Serial Set records hold a wealth of information on the colonies as laws were being made for new Colony and later states.  

But Don't Rely on Abstracts 
Absracts usually address someone else's genealogical question.  Although we are greatful for them, the abstractor (is that a word?) had an agenda. You are looking for the citation! Where was the resource held at the time of abstraction? Which book, volume, and  page can I find the information. When the date of abstract took place helps us guide the repository when the book was spotted at their repository. 

Ned Griffin's full 17 page NC General Assembly Session Records of case, has now been digitized on the North Carolina Digital website with witness statements and hearing information, but that was not the case in 2000-2002 during my initial search.

Let's look at issues with his Abstract at that Time
The North Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), published the story of Ned in abstract form in 1932.  So many details were missing. The first being that he was a man of color, but they also used the name Edward Griffin, Pvt, to describe him. If we only relied on secondary sources or artists interpretations, we would be missing the facts. Here are a few: 

1)  Ned was considered mulatto, and mixed blood.  The statue that honors him does not capture that description.
2) Wm Kitchen was a deserter in 1781, and needed a substitute.
3) Ned served Griffin's stead from Jun 1781  - Jun 1783
4) Ned not only got his freedom but 640 acres of land in 1783.
5) For his freedom, Ned was required to serve the remainder of Wm. Kitchen's term.
6) Ned entered into service as a free man.
7) Wm. Kitchen "seized" and resold Ned Griffin to Abner Roberson.

As mentioned in the podcast, Ned was supported by the community and military. There were several affidavits and secured states to inlcude 1) Lt. Col Murfree of Camp near Bacon Bridge, in Jul 1782,
2) Joseph Fort's affidavit of Edgecombe County dated March 1784, who was able to recall a 1781 conversation between Ned's original enslaver, William Griffin & William Kitchen 3)William Griffin, the earlier enslaver.

Kathleen Brandt

Saturday, February 10, 2024

One Document, Three New Questions

If you know the work of Kathleen of Hittin' the Bricks with Kathleen, a DIY podcast, you already know the mantra "One Document, Three New Questions." This is for all to practice: family historians, professional genealogists, the a3genealogy and Tracing Ancestors Interns, historical researchers and presentation attendees from beginners to advanced.

Each documents gives us a minimum of 3 new genealogical questions; each genealogical question garners a new research plan.

Notice I said MINIMUM of 3.  In this example, recently placed on social media, Kathleen clearly exceeded the 3 new questions from a newspaper ad. She implied there are still more, but here's a great place to start her  "One Document, Three New Questions" practice to meet her genealogical questions,

Known info:
1) counting the infant child, 24 enslaved persons were scheduled to be on an auction block 10 Jan 1855
2) the women, Sally the cook and Lize the new mother, were named; but non of the men.
3) sure the newspaper that covered the Cheapside slave market in Lexington named buyers
4) John Carter kept, or bred, his enslaved men and women.
5) John Carter of Indiana lived in Lewis County Ky until 1855 with a Clarksburg, Ky post office.

1) Who were the local slave traders? They may have purchased the "lot."
2) Why, in 1855, did Carter, known for raising "slaves" remove to a free slave state? Indiana at the time was a state full of Quakers and abolitionists. Yet, he auctioned off his own persons?
3) What can we learn about the Quick Run Plantation owners, deeds, wills of previous owner, etc ?
4)  What is the significance (bragging rights) of "All Raised on the CARTER PLANTATION at QUICK'S RUN?"
5) Who was the immediate family and in-laws of John Carter? 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

The Anomalies of Placing Out Children & Babies


Orphan Train Movement 1854-1929
Like any other massive immigration movement, the United States, although known as the land of ‘milk and honey,’ had the reality of tenements, scarce jobs, and insufficient provisions for the over four million arrivers. These newcomers faced unsanitary living conditions, diseases due to the lack of sanitary living quarters and work environment, and risky jobs without safety measures where many of the men faced their demise leaving overworked mothers at home with young children who may have begun working as early as age six. Due to the high death rate of parents, or their heavy burden, these children were often abandoned or orphaned, left to feign for themselves.

By 1854 there were over 30,000 children living in the New York City streets.  But this was a growing issue especially in overcrowded eastern cities. Two organizations took noticed: The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) led by  Charles Loring Brace; and The New York Founding Hospital. These two organizations worked to place orphans into suitable homes and other over crowded children's homes joined in these efforts. By transporting children by train across America all 48 states were participating in housing homeless children.

The 1880 US Federal Census New York Juvenile Asylum, NY, NY gives us an indication of the homelessness of some of these children who were placed in Illinois (as well as other states). For more information read: Children of Orphan Trains: From New York to Illinois and Beyond.

This Orphan Train Movement, 1854-1929, placed over 150,000 orphaned and abandoned children, babies to teenagers, in homes of every state with the majority being placed in rural Midwestern homes. NY orphaned children moved across America, sometimes as many as 20-30 in a train with a couple of adult caretakers, and were presented to small town America donning new outfits, in hopes of being chosen by a family. Siblings were often separated in spite of efforts to keep them within one family unit.

Irish Orphans Placed in Mexican Homes, AZ
The largest conflict of placing out children was in the Arizona Territory. In 1904 Arizona Territory orphan train placements from a New York Foundling Hospital (Catholic) sent 40 white children, mostly Irish, between the ages 2 to 6. The Arizona French-born Catholic priest who led the Clifton, AZ Sacred Heart Catholic Church saw no issue with 24 of the orphan children being placed in reputable Mexican households. Less than 8 hours later, a mob of over 400 people gathered to "reclaim" babies from the Mexican families. This fight was escalated and Clifton vigilantes successfully kidnapped 17 more of the Irish orphans. The sensationalized legal battle that followed was taken to the Arizona Territorial Supreme Court. Many newspapers accused the children as having been taken to Arizona as part of a slave ring. Oh...this is a story in itself!

Children of Color, Italians, Armenian's and the Finish, were usually sent to orphanages that accepted them.  

Black Orphans Needed Homes Too
Black children were included but with a different process. Although they too travelled the country as orphans and half orphans, it must be noted there was usually an agency to receive them at the train station. Many of the Black children were placed in Leavenworth Catholic where a partnering Black Catholic Orphanage arranged housing and care for their wards.  As housing was not as plentiful, many of these orphanages were subsequently transported to institutions to learn a trade. 
There was a Colored Orphan Asylum on Fifth Avenue between 43rd and 44th street in NY that was burnt down during the New York City Draft Riots of 1863, leaving 233 black children homeless. Brace of the CAS was able to assist these children in other ways, but avoided controversy of aiding the African American community as CAS depended on financial donations from those that did not embrace the black community.

Some of the adopted out orphaned and abandoned children were integrated into families, attended school, did chores, etc., others were merely cheap farm labor, housekeepers, cooks, or shop laborers. Some landed in what would now be considered abusive homes. It was believed, in spite of this, that they probably fared better than their street life in New York. 

Best Resources to Begin Research
  • Newspapers. The Orphan Train Movement was chronicled in every newspaper in the USA. You may wish to review Orphan Trains brought Homeless NYC children to Work On Farms Out West.
  • Historical Societies. Many of the local museums and libraries will have information on foundling hospitals and local orphans. Here's the New York Historical Society Museum & Library Foundling Hospital information 1869-2009
  • Midwest Repositories. The announcements of the trains expecting arrival and adoptions were not only in the newspapers, but organizations and churches also promoted and kept loose information on the orphans: where were they placed, what was the agreement, etc.  The National Orphan Train Complex, Museum & Research  Center in Concordia, KS is a good place to start.  

Accurate, Accessible Answers