When we turn our hearts to our ancestors, something changes inside of us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves~Russell M. Nelson

Thursday, February 26, 2015

52 Ancestors Week 8: Naturally Kindhearted~William Mcmanus

Good Deeds is the topic for Week 8 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2015 Edition.
       Researching my maternal Great Great Grandfather, William A. McManus (1854-1914) has lead me to believe that he was a generous, kind man.
 Not much is known at this time about William's parents or where he grew up except for census records recording his birth place as South Carolina. 
 According to Bible records and a newspaper account, W.A. McManus, as he is often listed in records, married Francis "Fannie" Virginia McRady (1856-1903) on 11 Dec. 1872 in Sumter County, South Carolina.

     William McManus was a farmer and lived with his wife and children in the Spring Hill area of Sumter (now Lee) County, South Carolina. 
      Family lore says that his daughter, my maternal Great Grandmother, Loretta "Etta" (McManus) Daughrity (1894-1936) was adopted by the McManus family after she had been abandoned as a baby. Records of an adoption have not been found but along with her 1912 marriage licence is a hand written note from her father, W.A. McManus, giving permission for Etta Daughrity, his under aged,"adopted daughter" to be married. 

adopted daughter of W.A. & Fannie McManus
Pisgah Church Cemetery, Pisgah Crossroads, Sumter, South Carolina
        After visiting the family cemetery a second adopted daughter was discovered . Bessie McManus (1887-1892), shown on her headstone as "adopted daughter" was only 4 years old when she died and had not been recorded in the family Bible. 
    Two adopted daughters. I wanted to find out the story if I could. My grandmother, Azile Juanita (Daughrity) Roberts Sullivan (1921-2009) the youngest of  the five Daughrity sisters, did not remember much about the McManus family, so I talked to her oldest sister Mildred  Chrystanella (Daughrity) Jolly Finfrock (1919-2006) to see if she may have remembered any stories about her maternal grandparents and what if any thing she may have known about the adoptions. All she could tell me was that "They were just good and would take people in ".
    From W.A. McManus' obituary in the Camden Chronicle, Camden, Kershaw, South Carolina, 25 Sept. 1914 comes another clue about the nature of my Great Great Grandfather.

Pisgah, Sept. 15--- Mr. W. A. McManus was buried at
Pisgah church yesterday, after services by Rev. T. L. Cole.
He lived here for many years, but died in Bishopville, where
he had been living for sometime. He did his share toward his 
fellowman, and many graves he dug without money or without 
price. Naturally kindhearted, he had many friends and relatives
who sorrow that he is no more. Peace to his ashes.

Headstone of W.A. McManus
Pisgah Church Cemetery, Pisgah Crossroads, Sumter, South Carolina

Naturally Kindhearted. One who did Good Deeds. A great Legacy.

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Last Day in Salt Lake City~The Family History Library and Temple Square

    With FGS and Rootstech 2015 over, I took the opportunity on Monday, Feb. 16 to spend the day in the Family History Library.
 It has been almost 10 years since my last research trip to the Library so I was really looking forward to it.

Family History Library
Salt Lake City, Utah

    Arriving when the doors opened at 8am, I went straight to the 3rd floor to look for books on the various South Carolina and North Carolina counties that I have ancestors from. A list was made using the FHL catalog before my trip so that I would know the call numbers of the books that I hoped would help me with my research.
   My goal was to use my Canscanner phone app to capture information from the books and then after a break for lunch head to the 2nd floor and look through microfilm for the same States and Counties. On Mondays the Library closes at 5. I had no time to waste!
North and South Carolina Books
Family History Library
Salt Lake City, Utah

So many books, so little time!
Family History Library
Salt Lake City, Utah
        After 5 hours of searching and scanning in the book section, I headed to get something to eat and then it was off to look at the microfilm.

Row and Rows of Microfilm
Family History Library
Salt Lake City, Utah

     Luckily, the library wasn't too crowded so it was easy to find a film reader close to the films that I needed. The next 3 hours were spent looking through and finding much needed documents and information on my people. Some of which was new to me and some corroborated evidence for things already suspected.
  The library staff was helpful and friendly as were the other patrons. There were fellow conference goers researching in the library that day as well. I was able to wave to Judy Russsell and see Tom Jones and Michael Leclerc in action.
     5 O'clock came way too fast and it was time to gather my things and head out. My ride was not going to pick me up for an hour so I spent the time on Temple Square reflecting on my week. Knowing that these were my last few hours in Salt Lake City before my flight back home was bitter sweet. Although I was ready to get home and see my family, I was sad that the wonderful experiences that I had enjoyed over the past week were over.

Salt Lake City Temple

Assembly Hall on Temple Square

Tabernacle on Temple Square

 LDS Conference Center
Salt Lake City, Utah

Christus Statue
 North Visitors' Center
Temple Square
Salt Lake City, Utah

        So here's to the lessons learned and discoveries made, the friendships formed and those renewed-to the shear fun of it all.

    Thank you Salt Lake City and those who put together FGS and Rootstech 2015! A time I will always remember.

What are your favorite memories of FGS and Rootstech 2015? I would love for you to let me know by leaving a comment!

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!


Monday, February 23, 2015

DONNY!!! I Mean-Day 4 FGS/Rootstech 2015

Waiting for the Opening Session to Start
With Hilary Gadsby and Valerie Eichler Lair

     Saturday's Opening Session couldn't come fast enough!
Having been a Donny Osmond fan since I was a pre-teen, I was so excited to hear him give his Keynote address to the FGS/Rootstech crowd.

 The first speaker of the day was award winning author A.J. Jacobs who talked to us about his plans for the Global Family Reunion to be held in New York in June 6, 2015. This is to be quite a party! There will be games, entertainment, speakers and food with the proceeds going to the Alzheimer's Foundation.  A.J., whose tag line is"I Am A Cousin" came out on the stage with everyone in the audience holding a "I Am a Cousin" sign. He took a selfie with all of us holding up our signs in the background.

A.J. Jacobs-Keynote FGS/Rootstech 2015

A.J. Jacobs with George and Barbara Bush
I Am A Cousin!

    This was a fun and entertaining Keynote talk. The Global Family Reunion sounds fantastic. I won't be able to attend this year, but am hoping that it will be held again in the future.
          Then, be still my heart, it was time for Donny!
Donny Osmond-Keynote FGS/Rootstech 2015

Donny, sharing family stories
FGS/Rootstech 2105

Honoring his ancestors
Donny Osmond-Keynote FGS/Rootstech 2105
      Donny began by entertaining us with songs from his past. It was so much fun to sing along with "Puppy Love", "One Bad Apple"and "Soldier of Love". He told us that his Mother had given him her 4o years of Genealogy work and asked him to continue on with it. Donny showed us pictures of his Welsh ancestors that had joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and bravely left their homeland to come to America. Their example of courage, he said, has helped him throughout his life.
       He also spoke of his father's hard life growing up and the faith of his parents as they went on to have more children despite being warned not to by Doctors after their first two sons were born deaf. Further examples of courage that have boosted him in times of trial.
    Donny reminded us that his life had been recorded in one way or another since he was very young and he asked "If you haven't started recording your life, why not?"
Photo with Donny!!

    What a wonderful morning! A fantastic way to begin the last day of the conference.
    My sessions for the day began with She Came From Nowhere:A Case Study Approach to Solving a Difficult Genealogical Problem-Michael Lacopo followed by The Power of DNA: Introduction to Genetic Genealogy -CeCe More and my last of the conference was Manuscripts and More -Pamela Boyer Sayre. Each was very good and gave great insight and practical ways to use each subject with my genealogy research.

 Fun photo opportunities came throughout the day!

Pre-Concert photo with David Archuleta 

Geneabloggers with photo bomber A.J. Jacobs

With WikiChic Eowyn Langholf
She was a teenager the last time I saw her!

With Valerie Eichler Lair and Caitlin Gow

      What a day! Learning, laughing, making and renewing friendships.  It was hard to believe it was almost over.
      In order to get a spot for Caitlin Gow and I for the Evening Social featuring David Archuleta and Studio C it was important to get to the media seats early. What I thought was the end of the Family Day presented by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints turned out to be a break instead. It was an honor to be able to hear the last part of the presentation that included the One Voice Children's Choir and Elder Quentin L. Cook.

One Voice Children's Choir

Elder Quentin L. Cook
with quote from Elder Boyd K. Packer

       Studio C began the Closing Event with a Q&A session and then performing a comedy skit involving a lip- syncing game. I love Studio C and thoroughly enjoyed them!
Studio C-Q&A

Studio C-Shoulder Angel

David Archuleta
Fantastic performance
FGS/Rootstech 2015

David Archuleta
 FGS/Rootstech 2015

      David Archuleta was up next and performed several songs for us. The first was a cover of Justin Timberlake's Mirrors. David told us that he chose to sing the song after learning that it had been written for Justin's Grandmother. Makes the song mean so much more! 
       Once the concert was over, it was time to meet up with our ride to the After Party at Myrt's. The ride was an adventure in itself and was a great opportunity to get to know Peggy Lauritzen and her husband Kerry. Thanks again for the ride!
     Dear Myrtle (Pat Richley-Erickson) and her husband Gordon graciously opened up their home to over 40 of us where we were fed and given the opportunity to mingle with wonderful people. Several joined in Myrt's weekly Genealogy Game Night on Google+.
  On a tour of their home, we were able to see where the magic of Monday's With Myrt, Wacky Wednesday, Genealogy Game Night and various Study Groups take place. Yes, Cousin Russ was there too! We also were shown many of the family's keepsakes and treasures. 
  Thanks to Pat and Gordon for your hospitality. A perfect way to end a wonderful four days!

At Dear Myrt's After Party

Dear Myrt's After Party
What a great group of Genealogists!
  With that, my conference week had come to an end. I can't wait to do it again! What a loving community of people.Thanks to all who taught, befriended and encouraged me. This will be a week to remember.

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

FGS/Rootstech 2015 Day 3~It Just Keeps Getting Better!

Waiting for Friday's General Session to start
 FGS/Rootstech 2105  Day 3 began with a General Session that featured Keynote speakers D.Joshua Taylor and Laura Bush along with daughter Jenna Bush Hager.
   Josh, who is a fantastic speaker, talked about his love of family history and of cheese. Seems Josh has a thing for cheese graters and so did his ancestors! He also gave us an update on the record collections on FindMyPast.com.
D. Joshua Taylor-Keynote FGS/Rootstech 2105

   Family Stories was the theme of the talk by Former First Lady, Laura Bush. Personal stories about her days in the White House as a daughter-in-law and then as a wife to the President of the United States were warm and funny. She shared experiences during 9/11 that were chilling. To hear her tell of having to quickly go to the  White House basement safe house, without her contacts, in her fuzzy slippers while her husband, the President lead the way for her because she couldn't see was an emotional experience.  After we heard from Mrs. Bush she sat down on the couch where she was joined by daughter Jenna. A reporter, Jenna began interviewing her mother. We learned that despite the pressures of political life, the family has tried to lead as normal a life as possible.
Former First Lady Laura Bush-Keynote FGS/Rootstech 2105

Jenna Bush Hager interviewing her mother, Laura Bush.
FGS/Rootstech 2015
With D.Josh Taylor-Keynote FGS/Rootstech 2015

My first class of day 3 was Gentlemen Judges:The Justices of the Peace-Judy Russell
   Judy taught us about the records created by our ancestors who were JP's and where to find them in a fun, information packed hour. 
With Laurie Desmarais, Judy Russell and Bev Fieg

         During lunch, I decided to check out the Expo Hall.
The Media Hub

Studio C Booth!

You never know who you will meet in the Expo Hall!

I found Donny!!!
Prep for seeing the real thing tomorrow!

With A.J. Jacobs

    That was exhausting, but it was back to classes for the rest of the afternoon.
 I attended Time Saving Apps for Busy Genealogists-Lisa Alzo
  Writing a Prize Winning Family History-Tom Jones  and 
Using Tax Records for Genealogical Problem Solving-Michael Lacopo

   Again, each class was full of great information. Each gave me tips and hints to help me move forward with my research. Lisa helped me see different ways that I could use apps, Dr. Jones went through the steps to write a family history that could be submitted to a genealogical publication and Micheal Lacopo? Great information on where to find and how to use Tax Records- in spite of the fact that he should have been blogging......no, really! :)
Micheal Lacopo

  The night ended with a Cultural Event in the Expo Hall. There were performances representing many different cultures and people dressed in costumes from different time periods. The booths stayed open to give extra time to see and experience all that was there.

Scottish Musicians performing during Cultural Night

Time to get a good night's sleep! 
Valentine's Day With Donny Tomorrow!

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

This Week On My Family History Calendar

Feb. 22-Feb. 28

February 24~
  Mary Strother Dargan (1772-1822), my paternal 5th Great Grandmother would have been 243 years old on this day. Mary was the daughter of William Strother (born abt. 1730 in Virginia) and Catherine (Dargan) Strother (born abt. 1735 in South Carolina).  Mary lived most of her life in the Sumter County are of South South Carolina.

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

FGS/Rootstech 2015 Day 2~ The Fun Continues!

    Thursday, February 12 was the official opening of FGS/Rootstech 2015. My day began with an invitation to a breakfast sponsored by Find My Past. We were served a wonderful meal of bacon, eggs, hash browns and muffins. Such a great way to start the day! I was so excited to be included in a group of such wonderful Genealogists!
My place card and swag bag! 

My table for the Find My Past Breakfast

Find My Past Breakfast
With the ladies from The In-Depth Genealogist
Jennifer Alford, Shannon Combs-Bennett and Terri O'Connell
           After eating, we heard from D. Josh Taylor, Business Development Manager of Find My Past and Annelies Van Den Belt, CEO of Thomson Family History.  An announcement was made that a partnership had been formed between Find My Past and FamilyTreeDNA.  Questions that had previously been submitted to Find My Past from those attending the breakfast were answered. I was thrilled that my question was chosen to be one of those asked. My question?-" Was Find My Past going to integrate with Genealogy online sites and computer programs?" The answer was yes, as we found out with several announcements of partnerships that came throughout the week.
     Next, several Genealogy Bloggers were invited to a tour of the Expo Hall before it opened. With over 200 booths, a Demo Theater where you could sit down, relax and watch as the vendors showed their products in action, the Family Discovery Zone with hands on activities and games, and the Cyber Cafe where free drinks and charging stations available there, was plenty to see! A media hub was also available for bloggers and other press to use as a place to write, interview and relax. 

  Backstage after the Expo Hall Tour
 With Michelle Ganus Taggert and Laurie Desmarais
        Photo Credit: J.Paul Hawthorne

    Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch began the morning by introducing us to The Family Discovery Center a new interactive family history experience located in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City and soon to be in other cities around the world.

David Brimhall-CEO FamilySearch

We also heard from Josh Taylor, Kenyatta Berry and Mary Tudesco from Genealogy Roadshow and Mike Mallin, Chief Product Officer of MyHeritage.
     Without a doubt, the highlight of the morning was Tan Lee, who as a young child fled from war torn Viet Nam with her Grandmother, Mother and Sister to start a new life in Australia. Tan Lee told us her compelling story of sneaking away in the night on a fishing boat, worried about pirates that would surely mean torture and death as well as of storms and the possibility that the boat would not be able to make the trip. She told us that her experiences would not allow her to feel that she belonged in her  new life and country, even when she became Young Australian of the Year in 1998. Most touching was her telling of the visit she received from the spirit of her Grandmother coming to say goodbye. This special experience came before Tan Lee learned of her death. There were not many dry eyes in the room as this courageous young woman told us of family ties and love.  Today Tan Lee is a telecommunications entrepreneur and is working on developing a headset that reads brainwaves.
    It was an honor to be able to have a picture taken with her.

Tan Lee-Keynote Speaker FGS/Rootstech 2015

  After a quick picture with other FGS Ambassadors, it was time to attend the classes that I had planned out for the day.

FGS 2015 Ambassadors

My classes included:
30 Pieces of Tech I Can't Live Without-D. Joshua Taylor
Bridging the Gap:Tracing U.S. Ancestors Between 1780 and 1840-D.Josh Taylor
Documenting Your Family Heirlooms-Jennifer Alford
After Your Gone:Future Proofing Your Genealogy Research-Thomas MacEntee

  These were all very helpful and gave me new ideas for my research and ways to preserve what I have.
 I also spent some time helping out at the Association of Professional Genealogists Booth in the Expo Hall at lunchtime. I had never had the experience of working a booth. It was fun to visit and get to know people attending the conference and explain the benefits of being a part of APG.

  The day ended with the Rootstech Opening Social. We enjoyed a concert by Alex Boye and the One Voice Children's Choir.  The children were so much fun to watch and listen to and Alex Boye is quite the entertainer!
One Voice Children's Choir

Alex Boye
    Never heard these great performers? Check out this video!

 After a long but incredibly fun day, it was time to get some sleep and get ready for day 3!

 Are we kin?Please contact me.Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by.