Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Year in Review - Accentuate the Positive

I was thinking about doing a "year in review" post when I discovered that Jill Ball, author of the GeniAus blog, has an annual year-end challenge she calls "Accentuate the Positive". This is my first year to take part in this. She has 20 sentence starters, but I will finish just a few of them. For all of Jill's prompts see her post Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2017.

An illusive ancestor I found was... Potter Smith, father of Azor C Smith of Connecticut. According to the death certificate of John Potter Smith, his parents were Azor C Smith and Mehitable "Potter". An Ancestry hint showed a marriage record of Azor C Smith to Mehitable "Watrous". Further searching led me to a death record for Azor C Smith, whose father was named "Potter" Smith. I haven't confirmed this yet, but I believe the informant for the death certificate may have just assumed John's middle name came from his mother's maiden name.

A great newspaper article I found was... Years ago a fellow researcher gave me a date of December 24, 1879 for the death of Lebbeus Simmons, but could not tell me the source of that date. In nearly 20 years, I have never found the source. This year I posted a message in the Facebook group for the Fulton County, Illinois History & Genealogical Society for some help. The President of that society (and local DAR chapter Registrar) did some research for me and found the newspaper article announcing Lebbeus' death which happened on December 24, 1879. 

A geneajournal I took was... a one day stop in the little town of Peotone, Illinois spending some time in the library and a cemetery. Wasn't able to find a marriage date I had hoped to, but narrowed the date down to within a few weeks.

An important record I found was... Two women's death records that I consider very important 1) because records for women in the mid 1800's are very hard to find and 2) they both are in my direct line for the Patriot Libbeus Simmons. I've worked on this line for many years and these two documents were well worth the money I spent on getting them from a Civil War pension and Genealogybank. 

A newly found family member shared... photos of my Great Grandmother's sister, Laura Kyle and her family. I had a photo of people who I assumed were Laura and her family. I searched Ancestry and found a photo of Laura & Joseph Kyle and contacted the man who posted it. He helped me identify the people in a few photos and even had a copy of one of the photos I had which was labeled with the names.

A geneasurprise I received was... a photograph of my Great Grandparents Cicero & Allie Bell about the time of their marriage. A first cousin once removed sent it to me in the mail. It's an awesome photo!

My 2017 blog post that I was particularly proud of was... Two Different Frank Roscoe's  I was able to find several records to differentiate the two men.

A new piece of technology I mastered was... scanning slide film. I've had a scanner a long time, but had never figured out how to scan slides. Now I've added 900 digital photos to my collection.

I joined... several #genchat sessions this past year. They are informative, helpful and a lot of fun!

A DNA discovery I made was... not a discovery yet, but I might be on the right track about Isaac Burnett being somehow related to John Adair's wife Mary.  I'm working on finding her maiden name and with some of my matches having Isaac Burnett in their trees, I hope to discover the relationship.

I taught a genimate how to... well, I can't say for sure but I've tried to include some helpful things in the newsletter I edit for my local genealogical society. No one has told me they've learned anything, but there's a chance.

I am excited for 2018 for... the chance to get to the Midwest Genealogical Center in Independence, Missouri. I've wanted to go for a while and don't have set plans yet, but will try to get there.

Another positive I would like to share is...the volunteer services I've spent time doing like editing the newsletter and doing some transcription for articles in the Nebraska State Genealogical Society publications. Also a couple of blog posts for the Slave Name Roll Project.

My focus in 2018 will be on getting the last few needed documents for my fourth (and final) DAR supplemental. With this last one, all four of my Grandparents will be proven descendants of Revolutionary War Patriots - provided the one I sent in this year will be approved (supplementals take about a year to process). 

Nebraska sunset, August, 1961


  1. You've accomplished a lot in 2017. Hope your supplementals make it through, too. It's a long wait for those. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you Linda! I keep an eye on your blog posts for online sources for Maine. My Patriot is from Unity. I try all the sites you write about. Happy New Year to you!

  2. Fantastic review and even better discoveries. Don’t you love how one little clue leads to another? On to 2018 with more discoveries ahead. Happy New Year!

    1. The idea was to "Accentuate the positive". I hadn't really felt like it had been an especially great year until I focused on the good things. As always, there's more to do! Good to hear from you. Happy New Year!!

  3. Thanks so much for responding to the Geneameme. What s swell year you've had.

    1. It's great for us to focus on our accomplishments! I was happy to participate. Thank you for reading! Happy New Year!