Monday, January 23, 2012

Tapley Daniel, 1785-1874

Tapley Daniel is my 4th great-grandfather. He has also been a challenge to research. You would think that with a name like Tapley, he would be easy to find. It hasn't been easy, but I am slowly gathering more and more information.

Tapley was likely born in Wake County, North Carolina at some point around 1785.  I know he was born in North Carolina from the census information I have gathered. Wake County is my best guess because his father, Benjamin Woodson, was from that part of North Carolina.  However, I don't yet have solid evidence that Benjamin was his father. I will get back to that later.

What I find most confusing is his date of birth. That may sound strange, but it seems that in almost every census, he was recorded as being born in a different year.  For example, in the 1850 census, he was listed as being 65. This age would place his birth sometime around 1785.  However, in the 1870 census, he was listed as being 90, placing his birth around 1780. 

I am not quite sure as to when he got married. The census didn't record that. Based on his age, and that of his wife, Keziah "Kizzy" Thornhill (1800-1870), it is likely they married between 1820 and 1830.  Kizzy was born in Tennessee.  It is likely that is where they got married.  My grandmother recorded their daughter Martha's birth as being in Sumner County, Tennessee in 1830. This information is backed up by the 1830 U.S. Federal Census has them living in that county at that time.  Ten years later, they were living in Perry County, Tennessee.  

Tapley and Kizzy had at least 3 children: Martha C. (my 3rd great-grandmother), John, and Lucinda. All three were born in Tennessee.  It is possible there were 2 more children, based on the 1830 Census, but I have not found any detailed information on them.  

From Tennessee, Tapley and his family moved to Missouri.  The earliest recorded information I can find, online, is a land record where he purchased 40 acres of land on 1 January 1849 in Greene County, Missouri.  Tapley remained there for the rest of his life, dying only a few years after his wife.

One of these days, I plan on going down to Greene County, Missouri to dig at the courthouse. I hope to find more information on Tapley, like an exact date of death, land records, and a will.  I would also love to go to Sumner County , Tennessee to dig for information on his life there.  

As I wrote in my last blog entry, I am missing source information. In this case, I obtained my information on this line from my Grandma Scott.  My father has done more research going back from Benjamin, Tapley's father, but I want to confirm, first, that Benjamin is his father.  There are some hints that it is correct. They lived in the same geographic areas around the same time. The dates fit. It is quite plausible that Tapley was Benjamin's son. What I would like to find is something more solid than conjecture.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Finding Sources

When I started working on my family genealogy, I inherited quite a bit of information from my Grandma Scott who had researched for many years. I was very blessed in that. Unfortunately, I did not know the importance of documenting my sources of information. I would find something and just plug it into my tree then move on. I will admit that I did this for about 5 years until the light finally went on. It finally hit me that knowing where I got the information was EXTREMELY important. How did I miss that? It seems inconceivable to me that I didn't automatically know this, especially when you consider I have a Master's in psychology and did a thesis.

For the last several years, I have slowly been going through my tree trying to find all my sources for my family history. I have gotten quite a bit. In fact, I would guess that I have found the sources for 95% of the research I did. However, the stumbling block I am running into is in finding the documentation for the research my Grandma did.

You see, when I started researching, my grandmother was no longer researching. In fact, she seemed hostile to the idea in many ways. I remember asking her for some information. I was quite frankly told that she was no longer investigating the tree and didn't want to look at it again. To say the least, my disappointment was immense. Here was a woman who knew so much and could be a huge help, but she did not want to assist me in any way on our family tree.

My Grandma Scott passed away over 10 years ago. When my parents went through her belongings, they found very little genealogy research. It seems that my grandma got rid of the vast majority of her research. Devastating.

The stuff that is missing is likely her sources of information. I have lots of birth dates, death dates, marriage dates for ancestors, but no source of where it was found. I trust my grandma's research, for the most part, but would love to know where she found it all. I would like to appropriately document the research with the appropriate sources. Eventually, I am sure I will find it all, but until then, I will just focus on providing the proper documentation as I do my research.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Welcome to My New Blog

Welcome all to my newest blog! Insane, I know, to start yet another blog; however, I feel compelled to do so.

One of my all time favorite "hobbies" is genealogy. I love it!  I often don't have enough time to work on it, but when I do I can often become obsessed. Some times I consider doing it professionally. In fact, I would love to be a professional genealogist, but I am not quite sure how I would even get started. Not only do I love looking up information on my family, I enjoy researching for others. Since I have been thinking about turning genealogy into a profession (part-time, consultation even), I start considering what I might need to do to achieve that goal.  

1.  Joining the National Genealogical Society and, perhaps, a few other genealogy organizations that apply to my research. 

2.  Attending genealogy conferences so that I can make connections with others doing research and professionals in the field.

3.   Go to the genealogical society in my town. I haven't because I don't have family members from this county, not really. But, it is something I may need to consider doing.

4.  Publishing a blog on my efforts to find my own family.

5.  Getting certified through the Board of Certification of Genealogists.

Once I have done all of that, then I might look into joining a professional organization in the field (like APG).  

It may take a while to achieve my goals, but I know I can do it.  In the meantime, I plan to keep researching my family history.  This blog will be a place where I discuss my frustrations, successes, and thoughts about what I find in my search.  I hope you enjoy the ride.