Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Genealogy Resolutions

I see that it has been a while since I have posted.  With all of work I do to maintain my Van Sickle Family site at Facebook, I tend to neglect the blogs.  I am tempted to make a resolution to post regularly, but I have other genealogy resolutions in mind:

1.  I have no ancestral information on my 4th generation grandmother, Mrs. Alce WORSHAM (nee JOHNSON).  I really need to do some digging into the JOHNSON family in Pike County, Missouri circa 1820.  That is awfully early in Missouri history.  Coupled with the fact that Johnson is such a common surname, I definitely have a challenge ahead of me.

2.   There are tons of records that I need to order for my BROWN family in Cedar County, Missouri.  The courthouse there was nearly destroyed completely in a tornado about 10 years ago.  I've had some trouble locating some records since that time.

3.  I really want to understand the lives of my Anabaptist ancestors.  My Brethren family was quite modern compared to Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite groups, but that was not always the case.  I am somewhat familiar with how my family help establish Brethren churches in Indiana and Missouri (see:  History of the Church of the Brethren in Indiana.  My 4th generation grandparents were Jacob and Hannah RONK).  I know too that many in the church struggled with the modernization of society that began in the 19th century.  Was this true for my family?  I'd love to read, "The Brethren During the Age of World War", but did you see the price?  Wow!

4.  Speaking of Mrs. Hannah RONK, her parents were Thomas and Nancy (nee DEVER) BROTHERS.  Who are Nancy's parents?  And does her DEVER branch somehow connect with my other DEVER branch- Henry and Elizabeth (nee MILES) DEVER of Hardin County, Kentucky?  I need to find some documentation!!!

What genealogy resolutions do you have for this year?


Steve said...

People hitting brick walls might be interested in this information:

One resource that has just "opened up" in a big way is genealogy books in ebook format.

Amazon recently introduced its Kindle Unlimited program, which allows you to borrow and read as many Kindle ebooks as you like, for $9.95 a month. I wonder if genealogists have grasped what a godsend KU may be. Here's why:

In the genealogy section of the Kindle ebook store on Amazon, along with the how-to-climb-your-family-tree books, there's a huge number of reference and raw-data collections, from histories of specific families to ships' records, newspaper abstracts, etc. The problem with such books in the past has been that you didn't know until after you purchased one (whether a print or a digital copy) if it contained information relevant to your own research.

With Kindle Unlimited, this pig-in-a-poke problem vanishes.

Here's what you could do to further your research without gambling on books that may or may not have anything of use in them (to you). With a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you could borrow ten genealogy ebooks (the maximum allowed at one time). Then you could flip through them, or use your Kindle device's search feature, to find any information of use to you. If you don't find anything, then you can simply return them and borrow ten more.

I know that these days, there are tons of information for ancestor hunters available for free or for a subscription fee at the dedicated genealogy websites such as Ancestry.com.

But there's still a lot of data locked up in various small-press books and books by individuals writing their own family's story. Kindle Unlimited gives us genealogists a virtually cost-free way to unlock those books -- at least the ones that have been committed to ebook format (and you might be surprised how many there are).

By the way, you don't even need a Kindle device to read Kindle books. You can download a free Kindle reading app for your smartphone or laptop that will do the trick. (Also BTW, I do NOT work for Amazon.)

I_P_G05@yahoo.com said...

Hi Jeannie

I am a looking for information on John I. Sickles. Born in New York around 1781. I know we were at one time a Van Sickle but I do not know when it was lopped off. From what I have found so far my ancestors have all appeared to be Sickles. My grandmother is a Sickles, her father was Paul Vain Sickles, His father Ernest, His father and this is where is things kind of get weird, either Anan Henry, Ammon Henry, Amon Henry "Richard", or Amon H, his father George and then finally John. I have found other places that verify this John did leave in Riga New York and did have a son George but not much more than that. I type "John I Sickles" in Google search and your blog site was in the top five sites so hopefully you can point me in the right direction.

Jeannie said...

Thanks for writing. When I researched your family last night, I noticed there was a Fordham Sickles who lived near John. Online trees have indicated that Fordham is a brother, and that is probably the case. Searching early Genesee Co. NY records (since the town of Riga was part of Genesee county when John lived there), may be your best bet in locating his ancestry. But it does help to have have a possibility of a siblings when researching, so I'd recommend looking for records on Fordham as well. Later in life Fordham resided in the nearby city of Chili, which is in Monroe County. What also helps in your case is that your ancestor stayed in the city of Riga for quite some time. Instead of searching county records, searching records that pertain to the city of Riga may be very useful. Church records, city directories, and newspapers for the town should provide some information. Finally, I would like to suggest that you keep an open mind regarding your family surname. It has been my experience that though some people have added the "Van" to their surname, I have only seen one family that actually dropped that portion. It's possible that your family were part of the Van Sickle family, but it is much more likely that you descend from the Zacharias Sickels family, or one of the many Sickles lines who are British in origin.

I_P_G05@yahoo.com said...

Thank you very much. This has helped me tremendously.

Jeannie said...

Oh good! I am so glad to help. P.S. I searched the records at the NY Genealogical and Biographical Society, but I couldn't find anything on John.