Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Help Through I Ching?

Randy Seaver's SNGF (at Genea-Musings) is really off the wall this week looking for genealogy research help by throwing the I Ching. His directions read:
1)  The writer of the Nuts from the Family Tree blog wrote about her question for the I Ching ( Book of Changes) guru in Cluless No More.  I thoguht that this might be a fun thing to do on Saturday night. 
2)  Go to and ask a question relating to your genealogy research.  You can "throw the coins virtually" or "throw the coins by hand."  You have to click the "throw" button six times, then click on "Read." 
3)  Report the question you asked and the answer you received, in the form of the Cast Hexagram (which explains the situation you are now in, or what has gone before), to your readers.    
4)  Does the answer make any sense to you?  How do you interpret the answer? 
5)  Write your own blog post about this, or post a comment on Facebook or Google Plus, or write a comment on this blog post.
I followed the directions and it was very interesting, maybe even hopeful.

My Question: Will I unravel the Eckles family in Fayette County, Kentucky? (see post here)

My Cast Hexagram:
The Cast Hexagram reading is for  45 - Gathering.

The first part of it reads:

The Lake rises by welcoming and receiving Earth's waters:
The King approaches his temple.
It is wise to seek audience with him there.

Success follows this course.
Making an offering will seal your good fortune.
A goal will be realized now.

That is followed by this Situational Analysis:
This is an important Convergence, and you must be part of it.
Look for the Center of this convergence.
Like waters running to the sea, like an astronomical convergence of planets revolving around the sun, you should let the gravity of this Center draw you near.
Others are also drawn to this Center, and among them you will find shared bonds and kindred spirits.
This tribal convergence will give you a clarity of purpose.
You will no longer be alone.

This sounds very encouraging to me, especially as I plan to go to Kentucky the end of the month and especially do research in Fayette and Scott counties. I've made contact with and hope to see relatives there I've not seen in about forty years, so the gathering might be very literal.

I tried the Custom Search at the Trigram Symbol tab, but of three "hits" and another using "Eccles" nothing was remotely connected. My question is very meaningful to me, but not an easy Internet search.

Thanks to Randy for a really different adventure on Saturday Night.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: Will of Charles Williamson

Deborah (Williamson) Bell was my great-great grandmother. I wrote about difficulties learning the identity of her father. A very strong candidate was a Charles Williamson who died in Wood County, (West) Virginia in 1858. See my earlier post: HERE. He was included in a book by Raymond Martin Bell and Edna Marian Miller with just eight children. They did not include Deborah. I hoped they had missed some esoteric document, but a very basic document reveals the truth.

FamilySearch has browsable images of "West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971" for all 55 counties of West Virginia. In Wood County's Will Book 5 I found three entries for Charles Williamson in the index: his will on p. 127-8 and two settlements on pp. 180-81 and 266-68. The image below is a little too small to read and not in the best of shape to begin with, but it is a treasure!
The will names eleven children. Based on the census records for Charles Williamson, I believe there were twelve, the additional one a daughter, Judith, who died in 1847 and is buried in Compton Cemetery in Wood County as are Charles, his wife Martha and other of their children. I created a table based on his census returns of who was represented assuming all the children were his children. The will now gives names to "my daughter Deborah Bell" but also daughter Sarah Williamson and son Samuel M. Williamson. The will named executors but Charles added a codicil naming his wife and Joseph Bell as executors. The settlements are done by executor Joseph Bell. He was Deborah's husband.
The Williamson book gives the maiden name of Charles's wife as Martha Martin. Learning her family will be added to my queries now. I will also have to verify the Williamson descent from Moses Sr. and his son John, both having served in the American Revolution, down to Charles.

I just found the will last night and when I saw those magic words "my daughter Deborah Bell" there was cheering in my house!

  • 1820 U.S. census, Tyler County, Virginia, p. 86; NARA M33, roll 140, digital images,
  • 1830 U.S. Census, Tyler County, Virginia, p. 187; NARA M19, roll 200, imaged from FHL microfilm 0,029,679.
  • 1840 U.S. census, Washington County, Ohio, Marietta Township, p. 299; NARA M704, roll 433, imaged from FHL microfilm 0,020,179.
  • 1850 U.S. census, Wood County, Virginia, District 65, p. 110A; NARA M432, roll 981, digital images,

(all Virginia locations now in West Virginia)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

SNGF - a little late, but looking at family houses

Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) really appealed to me this week, but I was distracted, especially by the late-running (but WINning) Indians game. I'm going to post even though Saturday has ended. The challenge was:

1)  Review Denise Levenick’s (The Family Curator) three blog posts on the Present Photo Challenge. World Photography Day is coming up Aug 19, and this seemed like a fun thing to do something genealogy-wise.

 2)  Identify one or more photographs from your own photograph collection that you could use for the Present Photo Challenge.
3)  Show us the photographs that you could use on your blog, a Facebook status or a Google Plus Stream.
I  did something slightly similar to Denise's trip in 2005. My parents lived in a number of homes until they were able to buy a house in December 1939. We lived in that one when I was born. My mother left a box of old photo divided into envelopes with an address on each. From them I could find the places they'd lived and photos of many of the houses. The Cuyahoga County Archives houses a large set of property assessment cards with photos of the buildings attached, probably taken in the 1950s. I got copies of those for my family's addresses and mapped out a route to visit them. Amazingly they all still were standing, the first in which they'd lived now looking quite good. I took photos of them and began a book of the old photos and the new and in between. I redid a page for the house in which they roomed just after marriage in 1930 HERE. I've just spruced up a page I did on the first house my sister remembers. I think she started school there.

So, I don't have photos superimposed of old and new, but these pages are my attempt to capture the times together.