Monthly Archives: April 2012

Chaotic Genealogy

Here’s an example of how genealogy research can lead a person into unplanned directions.

Yesterday, I was searching the website of the Sikeston Standard Democrat for news on Grahams and related families living in the area. There’s a lot of family in that part of Missouri! I saved several obituaries to be added to my tree.

Today, I sat down with the intention of adding yesterday’s findings to my file in Family Tree Maker, but the program flashed one of those little green leaf icons on the entry for Alvin Graham. The leaf icon indicates that Family Tree Maker has found possible matching records at So, I clicked on the icon and found matches in the U.S. Public Records Index for Alvin’s residence in Yuba City, California.

The entry for Dora McClung, Alvin’s wife, also was sprouting a green leaf. Clicking on that, I found a matching record in the Arkansas County Marriages Index. “Interesting,” I thought, “that Ancestry has an index to those records, since the actual images can be found on” While I was importing the source, I noticed that at some point I had left myself a note that Nona Graham Lathum was recorded as a witness at Alvin and Dora’s wedding. I looked at the scan I had previously acquired from FamilySearch to confirm it again, then opened up my article on Nona here at Graham Ancestry. I decided to update her article to add in the wedding detail and, while I was at it, to include new information from the recently released 1940 census.

The problem with the 1940 census is that, at present, it isn’t indexed. That means you can’t simply type a name into a search engine and get results. You have to do the search manually by knowing where to look and what you’re looking for, then flipping through the images one at a time until you find it.

To find Frankie and Nona Lathum, I started with the last place I found them in 1930, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas. I didn’t find them, but I found lots of other relations. I tried next in Shady Grove Township, knowing that some Grahams had settled there, with no luck again. So, they had moved, but to where? I looked at where Nona was buried, thinking that she was probably buried near where she last lived. She is buried in Chinquapin Cemetery in Searcy County. I jumped over to Find A Grave to view a map of where Chinquapin Cemetery is located, then compared the location to the map of Searcy County Townships I have here at Graham Ancestry. It is in Sulphur Springs Township. I opened up the census records of Sulphur Springs Township at the National Archives site and found Frankie and Nona there on the second page of enumeration district 65-20.

Which leads us into the next exciting episode of…

Tidying Up The Gray Home

Today’s tidying was done on the article for Nona Elizabeth Graham. The following tidying took place:

  • Added newly-released data and an image from the 1940 Census
  • Added section headings by decade to make the article easier to follow
  • Added information from Mary Matilda Bohannon’s obituary
  • Added information from Irene Polk’s obituary
  • Added information from the John Henry Graham Family Group Sheet
  • Added information from the marriage certificate of Alvin Graham
  • Updated section on name variations
  • Updated sources.

Read the new version now!

Found Myself

I was doing some online newspaper browsing this evening when I came across a brief article about me!  It was published in The Gadsden Times of Gadsden, Alabama on 31 May 2004.

Byron W. Graham

Army National Guard Spec. Byron W. Graham, while pursuing an associate degree at South Suburban College, South Holland, Ill., has been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society of the two-year college.

Requirement for the society include full-time student status and a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

He is the son of William and Jewell Graham of Henagar.


The Gadsden Times, “In The Service”, published 31 May 2004. Retrieved from Google News on 23 April 2012.

WW2 Records Free At Fold3 In April

To help celebrate the release of the 1940 United States Census on its sister site, Fold3 is offering free access to its collection of records from the Second World War until 30 April 2012.

Check out their collection here:

Graham Orthography

Orthography is a part of language study that deals with letters and spelling, sayeth the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. I’ve been thinking a lot about spelling recently, specifically, the spelling of Bohannon. I previously wrote that it’s not my aim to settle which is the correct spelling, whether its Bohannan or Bohannon, and I stand by that. But, I wonder if I haven’t given the topic its due consideration.

My goal with Graham Ancestry is not to be “right” in the sense that anything that doesn’t fit in with my research is wrong, but rather it is to be accurate, or as accurate as is possible, and to support that by citing my sources so that others can check my work. Since Graham Ancestry is an online and public journal, it may itself be cited as a source by others doing their own family research, so I feel that I have a responsibility to give fair play to any discrepancies.

In many of my family history articles I have included a section on name and date variations and where I encountered them. However, as I was reviewing my 2010 article on John Henry Graham for the inclusion of 1940 Census data, I realized that it had no such section on variations. That was the second article I ever wrote for this journal and the first family history, so I had not quite established the format that later articles would follow. Today, I have published a major revision of that article that made the following changes:

  • Added a section on spelling variations, specifically addressing Bohannan/Bohannon, as brought to my attention by Donald Bohannan
  • Added a paragraph addressing discrepancies in John and Tildy’s date of marriage
  • Added section headings by decade to make the article easier to follow
  • Added newly-released data from the 1940 Census
  • Separated the previous census data by decade. It had been summarized in a single paragraph listing all of John and Tildy’s children
  • Added an image from the 1900 census
  • Incorporated John’s homestead information from the article Graham and the Wild Lands
  • Added information from Tildy’s obituary
  • Added information from the John Henry Graham Family Group Sheet
  • Added photographs of John and Tildy’s grave markers

Click here to read the new revision of John Henry Graham.

Also Updated

Sarah Rosabelle Graham, Challenger of the Unknown

  • Added the real reason she was omitted from the 1900 census!

Tidying Up The Gray Home

The following article has been updated today:

The Many Wives of Patrick, Part Three: Mary Frances Graham

  • This is the first GA article to  include data and an image from the just-released 1940 Census! Woo!
  • Added section headings by decade to make the article easier to follow.
  • Added a photograph of Mollie’s grave marker.
  • Added two paragraphs on name variations.
  • Deleted the section titled “Bad Lemons”, as it added nothing useful to the article.

1940 census

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