Friday, April 11, 2014

Another Piece of the Kenyon Puzzle ... Thomas Kenyon (1854-1887)

So excited. :)  Look what showed up in my mail box this week.  It is a certified copy of the death entry for Thomas Kenyon (my husband's great great grandfather).  The informant is listed as "Alice Shaw, Sister" and her address in Low Green is the address where the death occurred.  Though I am not 100% certain yet this is John Kenyon (Sr.) father, I now have a new name (Alice Kenyon, married to a Mr. Shaw) to help further my research.

Certified Copy of Entry of Death, 1887 for Thomas Kenyon


Application Number 5553750-1

1887 DEATH in the Sub-district of Hindley in the County of Lancaster


No. 366

1 When and where died
Fifth September, 1887
85 Mackey Lane, 
Lowe Green, Hindley, U.S.D.

2 Name and surname
Thomas Kenyon

3 Sex

4 Age
33 Years

5 Occupation
Coal Mine Labourer

6 Cause of death
Inflammation of Liver, Jaundice, 
Certified by Thomas Brayton L.R.C.P.

7 Signature, description and residence of informant                                  
X The mark of Alice Shaw, Sister, present at the death,
85 Mackey Lane, Lowe Green, Hindley

8 When registered
Fifth September, 1887

9 Signature of registrar
John Grime Registrar

CERTIFIED to be a true copy of an entry in the certified copy of a Register of Deaths in the District above mention.

Given at the GENERAL REGISTER OFFICE, under the Seal of the said Office, the 26th day of March 2014.

DYD 670352     See note overleaf



Thanks for stopping by.

Love & Aloha,
Cuzn Amy

Thursday, February 27, 2014

52 Ancestors: #5 - The Hunt for James Parker Continues

I'm officially behind in my 52 ancestor posts ... but I knew that would happen. I'm just going to keep plugging away as best as I can, and hopefully I'll catch back up before summer.

Do you have that one elusive ancestor, that makes you want to tear your hair out? Me too!

But I know the answer is out there somewhere ... and every so often I do a quick search in Google for:
"James Parker"+"DeKalb County"+TN+genealogy
just hoping my brickwall ancestor will find a way to contact me from the Great Beyond ... through all the ports and plugs that make up the vast World Wide Web.  Usually, its fruitless but every so often I come across new material ... or a new researcher .... with the same brick wall. ;o) (Misery loves company)

Well, during one these random "while I'm waiting for the microwave to finish" searches I came across some new information in the form of a genealogy report of the Descendants of James Parker which had been uploaded by Deborah Hills Nichols sometime in November of 2012. And her "James Parker" is from ... DeKalb County, TN. 

This could be promising ... 

My "James" first shows up in 1852 in DeKalb County, TN when he marries Catherine Burton.  Since I have no birth date or age at death for him, I've had to make some general assumptions as follows:  
1) His wife, Mary Catherine Burton was born about 1834-1836 ... I figure he had to be near her in age ... so I've estimated that he was likely born between 1830 and 1835.  
2) I've also made the assumption that James likely met Catherine Burton through neighbors or church affiliations (meaning they likely lived near each other and perhaps attended the same church in 1851-52).  So if the Burton family lived in Liberty District, DeKalb County, TN during the 1850 census ... perhaps James is related to another "Parker" family living nearby.  
3) It is also entirely possible that my "James Parker" was an outlaw with a made up name, who showed up one day looking for work at the Burton family farm ... and ended up with a shotgun wedding a few months later ... if so, then all bets are off.  

But if not .... He has to be out there in some record .... somewhere .... Right?? (just nod please)

Let's just brainstorm a little using the Parker family list created by Deborah Nichols.  Her report provided information on over eight generations of Parker descendants who could all claim her "James Parker" from DeKalb County, TN as their common ancestor.  Of course, my James Parker was not listed among them (why couldn't it be just that easy?) ... but it did get me thinking about additional ways to research this brickwall ancestor that I had not tried yet.  Namely, which Parker families can I trace from the area ... 

Since I have not been able to to find my "James Parker" listed in the 1850 Census of the DeKalb County, TN area. Nor have I found a "James Parker" in one of the nine counties surrounding DeKalb County, TN that might be a possibility ... I need to refocus my "Parker" research into what I can figure out ...


First I needed a better understanding of the geography that I was working in.  Having never been to this area ... I really needed to use as many maps and historical information that I could find.  

I know my Burton branch intersected with my Parker branch at some point on a farm in Liberty, DeKalb County, TN sometime before 1852.  So when did DeKalb County, TN become an official county? And what County did "Liberty" fit into before DeKalb County was formed.  To answer some of my questions, I visited the Newberry Library - Atlas of Historical County Boundaries website and generated the following three images.  

I've determined that Liberty Township falls approximately at the "E" in the word DeKalb  in these images.

Overlay of DeKalb County, TN Borders 1800

According to the Atlas, in 1800 the Liberty Township area was part of Wilson County, TN.  Now, I don't know how early my "Parker" branch came to DeKalb County, but Deborah Nichols family branch for her James starts in the late 1760s in Smith County, TN which bumps up to Wilson County at the "K" in DeKalb.  So it is possible that our branches may be related as far back as the early 1800s.

Overlay of DeKalb County, TN Borders 1830
Since my "James" was likely born in the early 1830s, I need to make sure I'm looking in the correct location for possible birth records.  The Liberty area appears to actually be located in Smith County, TN during the 1830s.  And I hadn't looked for a birth record for "James" in Smith County, TN yet.  So there's another possible resource to check out.

Overlay of DeKalb County, TN Borders 1840
And by 1840, DeKalb county was officially formed and looked closer to what it looks like today.

Deborah Nichol's information goes on to mention that a few early births were in a location called "Dismal Creek".  A Google search turned up several suggestions, including a map and a book.  The map pinpoints to an area called "Dismal Road" which is north of Liberty by about 2 or 3 miles and runs along the Smith Fork River.  There is also a cemetery marked on the Google map called "Tubb Cemetery", which gives me even another possible resource for tracking down more "Parker" family information.  Which would be very helpful, especially if I can find a connection between my James and Deborah's James.

Google also gave me a link to the text of a book by Will T Hale, called the The History of DeKalb County, TN, published in 1915.  Again, this was a new resource I hadn't found before.  To my joy, the text is searchable and appears to have information on several "Parker" families who were pioneers in the area. Now, it appears that it is computer generated text from a scanned book, so it's not formatted like a book with pages, so it may take me some time to fully digest and analyse.

But again, it's more information than I had this morning. And that is a good thing.

Bottomline ... I've got some new resources to pursue on this branch once again.  I'm still pushing forward with my plans to do a DNA test this summer, but there are no guarantees that I will connect to anyone with a better documented Parker branch going back to Adam ... at least not right away ... and with my luck lately, it's more likely that if we do connect ... they are stuck with the same brickwall as me.

Meanwhile ... the hunt for James Parker continues ...

Love & Aloha,

Friday, January 24, 2014

52 Ancestors: #4 - George Clark (1857-1923)

This week I’d like to introduce you to another one of my 2nd great grandfathers, George Clark.

When I first started this blog post, I realized that I had very limited materials for the Clark family, and even less in the way of source citations.  A research notation in my software for George Clark, leads me to assume that most of my current information came from pedigree charts submitted to the LDS church Pedigree Resource File (but I have no idea who was the original submitter), and apparently I had not yet gathered the usual copies of any research documents or photographs (birth/death/marriage records, censuses, obituaries, headstones, etc.).

In fact the only electronic images I have currently for George Clark or his kin, were downloaded from the Find-A-Grave memorial pages created in 2008 by a volunteer named Betty Joan Cogan.  I am not sure if or how Betty and I are related (yet), but I am very thankful for her sharing the historical images she had access to.  The following image of George Clark and his wife Elizabeth (Dove) Clark, was cropped from the 1900s photograph of the whole Clark family found on Elizabeth Dove Clark’s Find-A-Grave Memorial.

George Clark [Jr.]  was born on January 29, 1857 in Worth Township, Sanilac County, Michigan.  His parents, George Clark [Sr.] (1825-1896) and Elizabeth Blaine (1827-1895) were Irish Immigrants, and George was the fifth child of thirteen (ten boys and three girls) born to this couple.  I have not found any references that either George used the designation of Jr. or Sr. during their lifetime, so I will not use this designation for the remainder of this post, except references made to George’s father will contain the [Sr.] designation only to reduce confusion.

George Clark married a Elizabeth Dove, on October 27, 1885 in Croswell, Sanilac County, Michigan and to this union two children were born: Moses Dave Clark and Jennie Violet Clark (my great grandmother).  George Clark died July 3, 1923 in Croswell, Michigan, at the age of 66 and is buried at the Croswell cemetery along with his wife.

This week, I have spent time tracking down additional research materials that I could find online for George Clark, his wife and/or their children.  I visited, and and below is a list of information and/or materials I was able to compile over a couple hours ... and best of all it was FREE.


I was able to gather vital statistic information on several family members as well as download images of various cemetery signs, headstones and several individual and family portraits as contributed by Betty Joan Cogan, Gordon Golchert, Shirley Hoard and other Find-A-Grave volunteers.  Even though the majority of information on Find-A-Grave is not cited, it is a wonderful starting place to gather “clues” that will lead you to primary source records that validate the information.  And occasionally you will find a copy of an obituary or funeral program added to memorial page.

The Find-A-Grave memorial for Charles Clark can be found at:  The data provided for George Clark indicates that he was one of twelve children (but I have 13 listed in my database). As my current data comes from compiled records done by other researchers, I still need to validate information for the 13 children I have listed for George Clark [Sr].


Death Record - FamilySearch does not have an actual copy of the certificate, but they do have an index entry in their collection of "Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952”.  The entry for Geo[rge] Clark can be found at

Marriage Record – FamilySearch does have copies of the actual marriage records from 1868-1925, and I was able to obtain a copy of the marriage record for George Clark and Elizabeth Dove.  Please note that the index incorrectly identifies Elizabeth’s surname as “DAVE” instead of Dove.

I love the way FamilySearch records provide you with a source citation on the bottom of each record page, and all you need to do is copy and paste the information into your program or research log.

"Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 Jan 2014), George Clark and Elizabeth Dave, 27 Oct 1885.
Birth Record – I was not able to find a birth record on FamilySearch (yet).  There was no listing found using the search parameters for a “Geo Clark” or “George Clark” born “1856-1857” in “Sanilac County, Michigan” in the "Michigan, Births and Christenings, 1775-1995," index, FamilySearch collection, and he would not be listed in the Michigan, Births, 1867-1902 collection.  This doesn't mean it doesn't exist, it just means that either the record is present but index in a way I have not searched yet (like by initials), or perhaps this record is in a collection that has not been digitized yet.  I may need to contact the courthouse directly to get a copy.

Census Records - I was able to locate George Clark in the census listings on Family Search; though copies of the actual images were not available on FamilySearch.or except for the 1900 and 1870 census.   However, a quick visit to my local LDS Family History Center or my public library would provide me with FREE access to to download the additional images of the census records that I couldn’t access from my home computer.

  • 1920 US Census– Census listing as found on FamilySearch; image not available on FamilySearch but available on
  • 1910 US Census – Census listing as found on FamilySearch; image not available on FamilySearch but available on
  • 1900 US Census – Census listing as found on; copy of the census image was also downloaded
  • 1880 US Census – Census listing as found on FamilySearch; image not available on FamilySearch but available on
  • 1870 US Census – Census listing as found on FamilySearch; copy of the census image was also downloaded
  • 1860 US Census – Census listing as found on FamilySearch; image not available on FamilySearch but available on

Normally, I find a lot of good information in the “Death Records, 1897-1920” collection on the website, so I usually start with this webpage when researching my Michigan branches; however in this case there were no records specific to George Clark and Elizabeth Dove Clark (or their children) as they all died after the online collection stops (1920) … and George [Sr.] and Elizabeth Blaine Clark died before the online collection starts (1897).  I did find copies of death certificates for other extended Clark and Dove family members, and I plan to download those and add any additional information to my software program as I work on these branches more.

I'm sorry that this was rather a dry post, in that I didn't share any stories or images.  It was more focused on doing online research and the types of information you can gather.  It is my hope that you at least learned some new information that you didn't already know, and feel more confident in your own research capabilities.

Join me next week as my 52 Ancestor Challenge post turns back to my old nemisis and brickwall ancestor, James Parker.  If you want a get a feeling for my pain and suffering thus far, be sure to read these 2012 posts about this frustrating ancestor:

As always, if you have any questions or need some personal assistance, please feel free to leave a comment below. I wish you success in your own family history research projects this coming week.

Thanks for stopping by. See ya next time.

Love & Aloha,
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