Why I need your research notes

Beginning family historians haven’t yet been warned to be wary of accepting an online tree as 100% accurate. Why be cautious?

We cannot readily evaluate the reliability of an online tree.

For example, though the tree may have a variety of unique sources attached, it is impossible to determine if the researcher successfully eliminated same-named individuals in the area at the time.

It took me 8 years to distinctly identify a Union Civil War veteran from several others in two states who each married women named Eliza/Elizabeth. Yet the number of unique sources attached to that ancestor in my online tree is small compared to the total number of documents I reviewed that belonged to other men with similar profiles.

Genealogical research is much more than a “quick click” to match your William Smith (1840-1916 Indiana) with a 1865 record mentioning William Smith in Indiana. The document could be about your William Smith’s same-named uncle, father, grandfather or cousin. Or this man could be no relation whatsoever.

Without the ability to review someone’s research notes, it is unclear if “reasonably exhaustive research” and other elements of the GPS have been taken into consideration.

What’s the GPS?

In a nutshell, the Genealogical Proof Standard is a set of scholarly research guidelines hammered out by leaders in the genealogy community, most recently codified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists in Genealogy Standards, fiftieth-anniversary edition. (1)

A brief review of the Genealogy Standardstable of contents reminds us to consider subtle yet important research elements like:

  • Distinction between content and comments
  • Evidence inconsistencies
  • Evidence independence
  • plus 80 others

Being “scholarly” isn’t being uppity

If we want to correctly identify our ancestors we must make a concerted effort. Life itself takes a scholarly approach.

  • When baking a cake, we follow a recipe. If we forget to add sweetener, the result won’t be palatable.
  • When purchasing a new car we study price, available options, gas mileage, frequency of repair ratios and potential resale value to avoid buying a lemon.
  • When purchasing a home, an inspection is required to ensure the home is structurally sound and free from things like termites and rusty pipes, thus saving us expensive surprises once we receive the keys.

Shouldn’t a family tree be as carefully considered?

Mr. Myrt says “It sounds like more work, but the effort is essential. We must be similarly diligent with each data point – birth, marriage, military service, birth of children, when and where they moved, etc.” He suggested online trees may or may not be accurate, but:

Without the ability to review someone’s research notes, it is unclear if “reasonably exhaustive research” and other elements of the GPS have been taken into consideration.

_____________

(1) Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, fiftieth-anniversary edition (Nashville, TN: Ancestry, 2014).

Mondays with Myrt – 9 July 2018 features JoyFlips Demo

This will revolutionize communication with my grandchildren!

MondaysWithMyrt

UPDATED: The archived webinar is embedded below.

During the 9 July 2018 Mondays with Myrtwe will have a special guest Tami Mize with a live demo of JoyFlips. The live broadcast starts at Noon Eastern US (New York), 11am Central US (Chicago), 10am Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City), 9am Pacific US (Los Angeles). Tami will be first on the docket.

From the website you’ll learn JoyFlips isn’t just a phone app. There’s a web version that works seamlessly with the scanning and cell phone recordings you are doing with you smartphone, or as a stand alone method for archiving photos with tags and embedded recordings. File storage space at JoyFlips is FREE! You may upload your JoyFlips  photo to the appropriate ancestors on FamilySearch, since this is FamilySearch Certified.

Watch the first 15 minutes of this ARCHIVED version of Mondays with Myrt to catch Tami’s demonstration of JoyFlips. She shares a folder and we connect via our smart phones. Then she initiates a recording and asks me questions about each photo. This is precisely the sort of thing I an do with my grandchildren! YAY!


DearMYRTLE's Profile Pic
Myrt’s Musings

For future reference, this is the link to DearMYRTLE’s Event Calendar – http://hangouts.dearmyrtle.com/calendar.html

Here’s the link to the GeneaWebinars Blog & Calendar of other genealogy webinars, chats and hangouts – http://blog.geneawebinars.com/p/calendar.html

ARCHIVED
Most DearMYRTLE Webinars are embedded in a Myrt’s Musings blog post, along with selected comments and links we mention at

COMMENT AFTER the webinar at http://bit.ly/DearMYRTLEonGoogle


 

REGISTER: July 2018 DearMYRTLE Events

DearFRIENDS,
Cannot wait to see everyone as we plunge into July and talk about our favorite subject – FAMILY HISTORY research. Cousin Russ and I invite you to start your genea-week off right by joining us for our flagship webinar Mondays with Myrt most Mondays without the year. Practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians. We talk about everything that’s come across our genea-desks in the past week. Powerful breakthroughs happen during our interactive live webinars.

July 2018 DearMYRTLE Webinars

MondaysWithMyrt

9 July 2018 Mondays with Myrt Our flagship webinar, where we talk about anything and everything that’s come across our genea-desks in the last week. We will have a special guest Tami Mize with a live demo of JoyFlips. The live broadcast starts at Noon Eastern US (New York), 11am Central US (Chicago), 10am Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City), 9am Pacific US (Los Angeles).


AmericaGen Study Group

11 July 2018 AmericaGen Study Group tackles “Chapter 6 – Reference Works” from Val Greenwood’s The Researchers Guide to American Genealogy, 2017 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company.) The live broadcast starts at Noon Eastern US (New York), 11am Central US (Chicago), 10am Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City), 9am Pacific US (Los Angeles).


DearMYRTLE's WACKY Wednesday Logo

 11 July 2018 WACKY Wednesday with DearMYRTLE’s *very* distant cousin Our topic is determined by our Mondays with Myrt discussions. The live broadcast starts at 9pm Eastern US (New York), 8pm Central US (Chicago), 7pm Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City), 6pm Pacific US (Los Angeles).


MondaysWithMyrt

16 July 2018 Mondays with Myrt Our flagship webinar, where we talk about anything and everything that’s come across our genea-desks in the last week. The live broadcast starts at Noon Eastern US (New York), 11am Central US (Chicago), 10am Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City), 9am Pacific US (Los Angeles)


AmericaGen Study Group

18 July 2018 AmericaGen Study Group tackles “Chapter 7 – Organizing and Evaluating Your Research Findings” from Val Greenwood’s The Researchers Guide to American Genealogy, 2017 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company.) The live broadcast starts at Noon Eastern US (New York), 11am Central US (Chicago), 10am Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City), 9am Pacific US (Los Angeles).


DearMYRTLE's WACKY Wednesday Logo

 18 July 2018 WACKY Wednesday with DearMYRTLE’s *very* distant cousin Our topic is determined by our Mondays with Myrt discussions. The live broadcast starts at 9pm Eastern US (New York), 8pm Central US (Chicago), 7pm Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City), 6pm Pacific US (Los Angeles).


MondaysWithMyrt

23 July 2018 Mondays with Myrt Our flagship webinar, where we talk about anything and everything that’s come across our genea-desks in the last week. The live broadcast starts at Noon Eastern US (New York), 11am Central US (Chicago), 10am Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City), 9am Pacific US (Los Angeles)


25 July 2018 The Archive Lady  The live broadcast starts at 9pm Eastern US (New York), 8pm Central US (Chicago), 7pm Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City), 6pm Pacific US (Los Angeles).


MondaysWithMyrt

30 July 2018 Mondays with Myrt Our flagship webinar, where we talk about anything and everything that’s come across our genea-desks in the last week. The live broadcast starts at Noon Eastern US (New York), 11am Central US (Chicago), 10am Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City), 9am Pacific US (Los Angeles)


DearMYRTLE's Profile Pic
Myrt’s Musings

For future reference, this is the link to DearMYRTLE’s Event Calendar – http://hangouts.dearmyrtle.com/calendar.html

Here’s the link to the GeneaWebinars Blog & Calendar of other genealogy webinars, chats and hangouts – http://blog.geneawebinars.com/p/calendar.html

 


Gettysburg Day 1 & My William Henry Phillips

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: It took me several hours in the air conditioned comfort of my home to compose this post but 1 July 1863 wasn’t as peaceful for my 2nd great-grandfather William Henry Phillips.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee had camped at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. He marched his Army of Northern Virginia east toward Gettysburg and first engaged the enemy in a hilly field northwest of town. What Lee faced were the battle-seasoned Union troops known as the Iron Brigade, including my ancestor William Henry Phillips, Company K, 19th Indiana Volunteers.

IRON BRIGADE

IMAGE: By Chitt66, Iron Brigade Unit Badge, Gettysburg Memorial Park, Wikipedia Commons.

Also known as the Black Hats for their unusual head wear, the Iron Brigade included

“Noted for its strong discipline, its unique uniform appearance, and its tenacious fighting ability, the Iron Brigade suffered the highest percentage of casualties of any brigade in the war.” See: Wikipedia, Iron Brigade.

IMAGE: By Hal Jesperson, Civil War Hardee cap, Gettysburg National Memorial Park museum, June 19, 2005. Public Domain.

MY RELATIONSHIP
William’s US Civil War pension file #243464 contains a certified copy of his 6 Aug 1874 certificate of marriage to his second wife, my second great-grandmother, Louisa Terry. This is one of his pension index cards.

William Henry Phillips Pension index card

  • Me
  • My mother
  • Her mother Frances Irene Goering
  • Her mother Stella Mae Phillips
  • Her father William Henry Phillips

William’s file also indicates his first wife was Sarah Pugh, and mentions two additional daughters, Calley [Phillips] Taylor and Viola [Phillips] Dontal.

GETTYSBURG DAY 1

Gettysburg MapThe Iron Brigade had been positioned near Herr Ridge to stall the progress of Lee’s overwhelmingly large forces, thereby giving time for Union troops to fall in from the east. Click the thumbnail map at left to view a series of Gettysburg battle maps archived at the Library of Congress.

In a private tour of Gettysburg, our professional guide took us to the woods where early in the day the fiercest fighting resulted in heavy casualties including the death of William’s commander and the majority of boys from William’s home county in Indiana. As a result, William’s unit was pushed back to McPherson’s Ridge.

During the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, the 19th pushed a part of James J. Archer‘s Confederate brigade off McPherson’s Ridge, and then stubbornly defended the heights later in the day before withdrawing to Seminary Ridge. When the I Corps retreated to Cemetery Hill, the Iron Brigade and the 19th Indiana were sent over to nearby Culp’s Hill, where they entrenched.” Source: Wikipedia. 19th Indiana (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/19th_Indiana_Infantry_Regiment : viewed 1 July 2018.)

Our tour guide explained the retreat to Culp’s Hill through the town of Gettysburg was dangerous with Confederate sharp shooters poised in attic windows and Lee’s army in hot pursuit. I suggested my ancestor and the rag-tag remnants of his unit must have been running scared. Our guide immediately objected with these words I shall never forget.

“The 19th Indiana walked backwards through the streets of Gettysburg behind the rest of  the Iron Brigade, laying a suppressing fire to ward off Confederates and to protect their comrades.”

AFTERMATH

The US Civil War pension file of William Phillips, Certificate #243464, Co K 19th Indiana Volunteers contains William’s affidavit stating he injured his left leg in a fall at the railroad cut and “said affects of rheumatism and disease of liver was contracted after the [illegible] battle of Gettysburg in the state of Virginia about Aug 1863, caused by exposure incident to the marching and campaign after said battle of Gettysburg which battle was fought July 4, 1863.”

OK, I guess he incorrectly remembered the precise date and location of the Battle of Gettysburg.

William’s pension file and surviving hospital records indicate he was treated at a Union medical facility in Washington, DC shortly afterwards.

On 21 Sept 1883 William was accepted in the Grand Army of the Republic, John C. Ferguson Post 49 near his residence in Knoxville, Iowa.

William Phillips GAR card index

IMAGE:”Iowa, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records, 1861-1865,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-909-49094-31265-72?cc=2351982 : accessed 21 October 2015), Marion, John C. Ferguson, image 505 of 720; citing the State Historical Department, Des Moines. Front and back of membership index card.


Myrt’s Musings

PhillipsWilliamHenrytombstoneIt was my honor to place an American flag at the final resting place of William Henry Phillips who is buried with his wife Louisa next to their married daughter Stella. Graceland Cemetery, Knoxville, Marion, Iowa.
Apparently the cemetery records perished in 1950, so I walked the rows until I located the grave.

The metal star to the right  of his tombstone indicates he was a member of the GAR, a veterans organization known as the Grand Army of the Republic.