Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - A Fearless Females Prompt

From Randy over at Genea-Musings:

it's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun!!!

 Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

 1)  Read Lisa Alzo's blog post Back for a Fourth Year: Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women's History Month on her blogThe Accidental Genealogist.  [Yes, I know it was last year, but Lisa's using the same list this year.]

2)  Choose one of her daily blog prompts from the list (this is March 8th, do that one if you don't want to choose another), and write about it.

3)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, in a Facebook post or a Google+ post.

Here's mine:

 I chose the March 8th prompt :  "Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt."

My grandmother, Ethel Ranney Tapley (1913-1973) kept a diary in 1933 and 1934.  I have shared them here on this blog.  (To read entries from those diaries, please click on the tab "Posts by Topic" and then go to the topic "California."  All posts are listed there.)

Ethel Ranney Tapley

My great-grandmother, Bessie Carter Ranney (1883-1960), kept a diary in 1929.  I have also shared that diary here on this blog.  (Those entries can also be found under the topic "California.")

Bessie Carter Ranney
I am grateful for the small glimpses into their everyday lives.  I really got a feel for Grandma's dry humor and what a loving mother my great-grandmother was.

On my father's side, I have a letter that my Aunt Irene (Irene Tapley Thomas [1925-2004]) wrote to her mother (my grandmother), Nealie Drake Tapley (1895-1970).  It's a short, new-sy type letter.  I have no idea when it was written, probably between 1967-1970.   

"Wed. P.M.

Dear Mom,
  It sure was good to hear you went thru the surgery O.K. And hope every thing turns out O.K. guess Blanche told you I called her this morning, I sure felt better after I heard from you - I was supposed to go to the Dr. to-day, but I put it off til next week, As I've got to go to my nerve Dr. Friday, And I just wasn't up to going to-day.  I can't do too much going, I'm just not up to it, I can't hold out. Bart has got the kitchen almost finished, all he lacks now is finishing the cabinets, and putting the tile on the floor, I think its going to be right pretty, Its just kinda large.  Mom, Jackie Tapley & her husband has been here for the last 30 days, And I've really enjoyed being with her, you know she sure is nice & sweet, you know I've always loved her, And she has talked a lot about you, they are fixing to leave, I hate to see her go.  Well I'll stop for now, don't worry and get well soon.  We love you.

Love Always,
Irene & Bart"

Nealie Drake Tapley

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Do You Have a John Smith?

From Randy over at Genea-Musings:

it's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun!!!

 Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

 1)  How many persons named John Smith do you have in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How many persons named John Smith are ancestors?

2)  Pick out one of those persons named John Smith and do some online research for them in Ancestry, FamilySearch, or another set of record collections.  Your goal is to add something to your database.

3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post on Facebook or Google+.

Here's mine:

1)  Believe it or not, I only have one John Smith in my Family Tree Maker 2012 database!  And he is not even a direct relative!  However, I never turn down a reason to research so here goes.

2)  John G. Smith was born 07 Aug 1824 and died 28 May 1894.  He was married to Mary Tyson, born 27 Feb 1817 and died 07 Feb 1894.  Their daughter, Margaret F. Tyson Smith (17 Nov 1856 - 02 Aug 1935) was married to my first cousin, John Solomon P. Lampp (13 Aug 1854 - 16 Dec 1922).  Other than presuming they were born and lived in Georgia, I know nothing about this family.

Upon checking the public member trees on, I found a listing for John Gordon Smith with (almost) matching birth and date dates who was born in Emanuel County, Georgia.  His wife is listed as Mary Tyson.  Bingo!  His parents are listed as William Daniel Smith (1801-1860) and Nancy Ann Stewart (1802-1884).   

Also on, in the database "Georgia Marriages to 1850," I found a listing for John G. Smith and Mary Tison.  They were married on February 6, 1845 in Emanuel County, Georgia. The same information is listed in "Georgia Marriages, 1699-1944."

I also found a J. G. Smith and Mary Smith in the 1880 United States Federal Census (  They were living in Johnson County, Georgia at that time, along with their 19-year-old son, John, which matches information I found elsewhere.

Also in the public member trees on, I found a picture of John Smith's headstone.  This lead me to  There I found the memorial for John Gordon Smith who is buried in Smith Cemetery in Scott, Johnson County, Georgia.  The inscription reads:

 "But Man Dieth
& Wayesth A
Way Ya Man
Giveth Up
The Ghost &
Whare Is He"

So I found quite a bit of "new" information in a very short period of time.  A successful evening, I would say!

3)  Done!