Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ProGenealogists on John Day's Trail

In August I put ProGenealogists on John Day's trail with an $1,800 retainer. This is the third hire of professional genealogists in an attempt to find that rascal. I've spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours personally researching him. Still don' know who his parents are. As Sir Winston Churchill said: " Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never . . . ."

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Confusion of Days

I've spent many frustrating hours in recent days, searching for my 2nd great grandfather, John Day (d1842 or 1846 in Wisconsin). Problem is this wonderful digital age that provides us with tremendous resources also is providing a blizzard of bogus data naively posted by genealogists who leap to convenient assumptions and don't document.

I'm finding pedigrees that report my John married to the wrong women in the wrong state and siring children from the grave! I've found one pedigree that appears to have a mother giving birth to a son and then marrying him and having children by her son!

I'm sure I've made some mistakes too; but some of what's going on in cyber genealogy is just ridiculous.

Document. Document! DOCUMENT!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Another Cousin Pops Out of the Ether

Another cousin popped out of the Internet ether last week to ask what I could help her identify her great grandfather. She found me on the Internet. Her suspect was Paul Glen Day, son of Theodore Barber Day. I was pleased to corroborate her information, moving the rascal from suspect to definitely guilty as charged. I refer to my grandfather's half-brother as a rascal because he has frustrated many genealogists by using aliases. He is found in the 1930 U.S. Census as Gus Day.

Anyway, I fired back a quick response and received another in reply.

"Thank you so much for responding! I am literally crying right now because I have worked so long and had on this, and it has all been such a mystery to me and my parents for years."

I've received a lot more help over the years than I've given other genealogists, so I'm always thrilled when I can light up someone's day; especially if they are a cousin.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Perils of Changing E-mail IDs

Considering changing your e-mail provider? Do so at your own peril. That involves changing your e-mail ID, and that’s at cross purposes with genealogy on the Web.

Every time I get frustrated with my internet provider I’m tempted to teach it a lesson and find a new one. But after stewing a bit I come to the realization that venting my spleen in such a fashion would cut me off from innumerable genealogists “out there” who might try to answer one of my numerous queries.

Surely I’m not the only cybergenealogizer who has received e-mail from a query that has sat for ten years or more on a Web server. It has happened to me several times. Just now I’m sorting through McKenzie genealogy with a new-found cousin (she found me from an ancient query) in McMinnville, Ore., and we both have information the other hasn’t.

16-Year-Old Corpse Hosts BBQ

Last month I was the guest of honor at a BBQ hosted by my 91-year-old cousin, Glenna, in Placentia, CA. It was my sad duty to tell her that she died in 1994 and is moldering in a grave in Michigan. I soothed the message by telling her she is the best-looking cadaver I've ever seen.


Shortly before driving from Washington down to Placentia to genealogize with Glenna, I was on Ancestry.com where I discovered a pedigree chart that informed me of Glenna's demise.

No one does very much genealogy without making a mistake here and there, and I've certainly made a few; but this one was a doozy. The person who posted it said he will resurrect Glenna. I hope he already has because Glenna is a vibrant and delightful old gal. Hope she won't mind me saying that. At 91 she is an arbiter in the Mormon Church's extraction program. Volunteers extract government documents, such as censuses. Each record is extracted twice, by different extractors. A computer compares each extraction. If there is any, even minor, discrepancy, the records are forwarded to arbiters who decide which, if either, was accurate.

Hope you enjoy this jovial reminder that genealogy is like walking on ice. We must have evidence to support our conclusions, and just like ice on a lake or pond, they need to be strong enough to bear the weight of our conclusions.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

ELUSIVE JOHN DAY (1806-1842)

Seventy years ago my fifth cousin, Glenna Bailey (now Goodlad) began the search for our common ancestor, Virginia-born John Day. I joined the search a couple of decades later. We're still looking, and even have hired professional genealogists with "nil" success. Well, we've eliminated a number of suspects, but haven't found the elusive rascal. But we haven't given up.

We are uncertain of when or where John was born. I strongly suspect that he was born before 1806, but that's the date some researchers have used. A herd, pack, flock, or gaggle of John Days inhabited Morgan County, Kentucky, during the first half of the nineteenth century and we have been unable to determine which one is our John, except for a marriage entry for John and Elizabeth McKenzie (1799-1861).

They are the parents of Rufus Morgan, Jemima and Theodore Barber Day. Elizabeth also is the mother of James Johnson McKenzie, we know not whether via a previous marriage or without benefit of clergy. JJ's obituary refers to John as his stepfather. Reference also is made to other siblings, not named. So Elizabeth apparently had other children as well, before marrying John.

Elizabeth is the daughter of Isaac McKenzie (1764-1831) and Virginia Jean Johnston. JJ's obit says the family arrived in Lancaster, Grant, Wisconsin, August 10, 1840, having over-wintered in Edgar County, Illinois, on their way from Morgan County, Kentucky.

John and Elizabeth were among a passel of Days and McKenzies who migrated to Grant County, WI, 1839-1855, most of them from Kentucky.

And then there was a diaspora with some Days and some McKenzies winding up in Oregon and Washington.

After the Civil War, Jemima's and Ted's families then both moved first to Iowa, then to Kansas. Then, in the 1880's, they went their separate ways; Ted to Oregon and Jemima (married to Antone Bailey) to California.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Welcome to Genealogizer's Blog

I have been genealogizing for more than half a century. My main interest is the Day line and associated Willis, Barnes, Clarke, Pettit, Wilding and McKenzie lines. My Day brick wall is John Day (circa 1809-1842). A cousin started the search for John in 1939 and we are still hunting the rascal. He was born in Virginia, lived several decades in Morgan County, KY, and died in Lancaster, Grant, WI. His wife, Elizabeth McKenzie, descends from Mordoc McKenzie, who immigrated from Glasgow to Virginia.

My goal is to push the Day line back a few more generations, and to collect data on all of his descendants.