Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year, New Beginnings in Google Earth

This past year 2013 has been a great year for genealogy research, which has lead me to starting a new blog called Genealogy Through Google Earth.  I am creating this new blog to help my Google Earth audiance have a clear place to go for ideas and support, while this blog can stay more show & tell, story based.  I am still working on posting at both blogs biweekly.

Genealogy Through Google Earth, starting out I am explaining how I use Google Earth to find and share my family research.  Then I will go more indepth with how you can create these interactive projects with your family.

I really hope you have enjoyed my blog this year and will continue reading it as well as Genealogy Through Google Earth.  My first post will be Jan 1, 2014.

Thanks for a great year

Eric Stitt

Sunday, December 22, 2013

DNA in My Family Genealogy... The Ethnicity Update

Ancestry has finally done it, they have updated the Ethnicity Estimate within the DNA results. If you are just now tuning into this post and haven't read my other two segments called DNA in My Family Genealogy you can check them both out here... MY DNA  and  THE GRANDPARENTS

If you remember I wasn't really impressed with the ethnicity results from my first test, especally after I got results back from my maternal grandparents. My results showed me with 78% Central European and 18% Scandinavian. Between my two grandparents they had well over 100% British Isle, so where did mine go.

That's where ancestry changed things up. The first added more regions this broke some places up like Great Britain and Ireland up so for some people it may have increased the accuracy of their region results. The other thing they did was the calculated range. The randomly selected 40 positions of the DNA. From there they average the results out and with some comparisons figure out your probability to each region.

All in all I think its more accurate but below are pictures of my results, my grandfathers, and grandmothers. I will let you check it out for yourself.  I think its pretty interesting that I went from no British Isle to 53% Great Britain and 4% Irish.

Let me know what you think.

My Ethnicity Estimate
Grandpa's Ethnicity Estimate
Grandma's Ethnicity Estimate

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Roberts Cemetery Restoration Project... Chapter 2

I posted a question to a group of genealogist I am apart of on Facebook, and desided it is a good time to post an update to this topic, the Roberts Cemetery Restoration Project. It seems to short of a time from when I started this project this last spring to have spring be the next season around the corner. While it was a short summer it was still a active and busy one.

After talking with other people in my neighborhood and genealogy community about cemetery restoring, we put off cleaning during the summer in order to get more of our ducks in a row. I talked to multiple scout troops to find someone who would like to take the on as an Eagle Project, all met with no luck. I still have plans to talk to someone at the councle level and hopefully they will find someone before we finish it all.

After many emails to different title companys I finaly talked to the right person at KC Title. They were more then willing to help out with this community project. A week went by before I heard anything back, when I did it was brought to my attention that its was a taller order then they originally thought. I dont know what technology they use but it wasnt going to be as simple as putting in an address. They told me it would be a couple of weeks as they would have to go dig into the old deed books to find something that old. I kinda figured as much since its coming up on 150 yrs since the original deed. Shortly after that I got a messege that I should check with the Clay County Historical Society as they should know everything about that cemetery. I let them know that I have been talking with the society for a few years now and that was not going to get me what I am looking for. A couple of weeks when by and I recieved my final email and I got this "Sorry to tell you we couldn’t find anything on the ownership of the cemetery. It’s going to be more of a Genealogy search. We couldn’t find anything where the cemetery ever got deeded to anyone else so it looks like all the heirs of the original owners (from that deed dated in the 1800’s) would be the owners now. So as far as we can tell, it is still owned by the Roberts family."

So now I am back to square one, trying to find ownership and bounderies. I have found some Missouri Laws that state if the cemetery is inactive after 75 year that it could be considered an Abandoned Cemetery. There is some other legal hoops to jump through to make that all offical and I have letters out to the three Clay County Commissioners to hopefilly identify a way forward without costing an arm and a leg.

I also spend some time writing a Project Proposal which you can see here... Restoration Proposal

With all that going on over the summer while the cemetery was green and almost impenitrable we didnt let it discourage us. The Saturday after our November meeting 8 neighbors showed up to the cemetery. We recieved a free rental of a industrial sized wood chipper from Home Depot, that with our helpers and 3 chain saws we started cutting away the honeysickle and whatever else that was growing there that wasnt a tree. We worked on the SE coner of the lot for 5 hours. I think there was just as much dead fall if not more from the decades of neglect. After we finally called it quits we cleared about a 1/6th of the cemetery, but I think everone will agree it wasn't going to happen overnight.

My plan forward is to continue to clean the cemetery. I am going to try to start a tradition in the neighborhood that we work the cemetery the Saturday after our meetings ie cleaning until its cleared, then mowing and upkeep after that. I have found numbers to call the BSA and get headquarters involved with finding someone. The County Commissioners I am sure will be a waiting game but I will still keep my fingers crossed that something will come of it soon.

I appreicate all those who have helped with this project, I am sorry there is just to many of you to name. I will post again next big move forward. Check out below some pictues from the clean up we did.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Preserving Family Memories... Making Stones Last Forever

Well if you have read my blog for any period of time you may have realized I have a passion for cemeteries. I don't know what it is, maybe it's knowing that they are right there, or that their descendants where standing at that very same spot when their loved one was laid to rest. Earlier this spring I got to attend a class about Preserving Cemeteries taught by Mandi Brown of Northwest Missouri. She introduced me to this chemical called D/2 Biological Solution I eventually bought one before making my rounds to the family cemeteries on Memorial Day. One stop in particular was to a cemetery called Sugar Creek in Rushville, Mo. there is the final resting place of many branches of the Moore family, and the oldest Robert Moore my 3rd Great Grandfather.

I am not going to go into great detail on his back story but after crossing the pond to America, he joined in the Civil War. He eventually married and moved west to Rushville where he settled down and lived a long life.

His tombstone is over 100 yrs old and has been covered with black mold/lichen for as long as I can remember. After getting my gallon bottle of D/2 I ventured out with my Great Aunts on the Friday before Memorial Day. I poured the solution into a pump bottle so that I could spray it on the stones. Without any scrubbing or touching of the stone, other then pulling dead grass of the base, I proceeded to spray the stone with the D/2 solution. I was a little sceptical at first, as I soaked the stone and the solution ran down the face of the stone, it started turning brown. I left it at that hoping it would do its magic and clean the stone without damaging it.

The summer passed, and I would say it was a pretty normal summer, hot and windy with the occasional rain shower. We have a family reunion at this cemetery the first Saturday of October every odd year. I visited the cemetery every month this summer but hadn't shared the results with anyone before the reunion. I was looking to see if any one noticed. Hopes went to high since I don't think anyone else is as crazy about the cemetery as I am. The reunion was great its fun to see how the family is growing. Like I had guessed no one really noticed the difference in the stone, potentially because they couldn't see it side by side, but when I pulled up pictures on my computer they where amazed.

I have been very pleased with the results of this D/2. I haven't been back to most of the cemeteries I visited Memorial day. I cant wait to see how the other stones turned out. I plan to purchase more this next spring and start cleaning more stones, and hopefully help preserve these memorials for future generations to come.