Category Archives: The Gray Home

Tidying Up

Thanks to a brief e-mail conversation with Larry Watts, I was able to find Eliza Ann Graham in the 1940 census, which led me to do a major overhaul of my 2010 article about her. The following changes were published today:

Eliza Ann Graham

  • Added section headers by decade
  • Added county clerk’s name to marriage paragraph
  • Added marriage data for all of Eliza’s children
  • Added full name and day of birth for Ola Elizabeth Watts
  • Added 1940 census for the Wilkey family
  • Added images for the 1880, 1900, 1910, 1930 and 1940 census
  • Added land patents for Siler and Eliza
  • Added all sorts of little things that are tedious to list but exciting to read
  • Expanded the list of the cited sources, and moved it to a second page.


Tidying Up

Today I published an update to my 2010 article on John Henry Graham and Mary Matilda Bohannon.

  • Updated the link to the National Archives regarding the 1890 census.
  • Added images from the 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 census.
  • Added in the name of the day for all known dates.
  • Added relationship between Mary Matilda Bohannon and Mary Elizabeth Leming.
  • Added that John Henry Graham signed his mark as security on the marriage bond for Matilda’s brother, John Jasper Bohannon. Added also an image detail of the signatures.
  • Added that John Jasper Graham may have been named for his uncle.
  • Added that Matilda was apparently listed as a witness on the marriage certificate for her niece, Thelma Drucilla Melton. Added also an image detail.
  • All images now have captions.
  • Changed spelling of Daniel Graham’s middle name to conform to the John Henry Graham Family Group Sheet.
  • Added link to obituary for John and Matilda’s grandson, Vernon Leroy Graham.
  • Removed some of the explanation of the various spellings of Bohannon as it was beyond the focus of the article. I saved the text so it may reappear at some point, perhaps expanded into an article in its own right.
  • Removed “Questions” section.
  • Reformatted and expanded the “Sources” section and moved it to a second page.

>> Go read the new version now!

Pink Coffin

I was re-reading my previous article on Jesse Graham & Sarah Scott when I had the following conversation with my daughter.

“What’s that?” she asked, looking at a photograph of a grave marker.

“That’s the grave of my great great grandmother, and your great great great grandmother,” I said.

“What’s the coffin look like?”

“I don’t know. She died in 1928. That was 42 years before I was born.”

“Maybe it was pink.”

“Maybe it was!”

Arkansas Death Certificates May Now Be Ordered Online

Some good news came today via Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. To quote:

The Arkansas Department of Health rolled out a new service on Monday that allows users to search and order state death certificates on the Web. Previously, the records were available only through in-person requests or paper-form submissions

The new online database currently offers only records of deaths that occurred from 1935 to 1961 on the website, but the department said that workers will be adding records in the coming months. Users may search by last name, death date, county of death and state of birth.

When Looking Back, Don’t Forget To Back Up

For some time I’ve been using a web site called BackupMyTree to, well, back-up my tree. If you ever read the first message on this journal, you’ll remember that I created Graham Ancestry after I’d lost all my previous research in a hard drive failure. That will never happen to me again, because BackupMyTree now automatically creates a back-up copy of my research which I can download to any computer from anywhere. From the web site:

“Fast, automatic backup and off-site storage for all of your family tree files. All of the popular family tree file formats are supported. Download your files at any time. FREE, simple, easy, safe & secure.”

It’s incredibly simple to use. Their software runs in the background of your computer, automatically detects family tree files and uploads a copy of them to their site. I haven’t had to worry about losing my genealogy data since I began using the service. Learn more here:

DNA Doings

In September, FamilyTreeDNA was having a sale on their DNA testing kits, so I went ahead and ordered the Family Finder test. I’d been thinking about submitting a DNA test for a while, I just hadn’t gotten around to it. I’m now waiting on the results, which are expected by 9 January 2013.

There are two projects on FamilyTreeDNA that may be of interest to readers of this journal. The first is the Graham Surname DNA Project, with the goal “to identify Graham lines who have common ancestry as an aid to genalogy research” (sic). The project web site can be reached at:

The second project is the Watts/Watt/Watson Families Reconstruction Project, of which one of the Group Administrators is Barbara Van Camp, who also manages The WATTS Family at “The Project collects chromosome testing of Y-DNA from Watts and Watt/Watson related males in an attempt to discover biological links where the genealogy paper trail has been lost in the mists of time.” The project web site can be found here:

I have joined both projects, and look forward to sharing my results with them. Of course, whatever I learn will be shared on this journal was well.

Incidentally, FamilyTreeDNA is currently having another sale on their tests until 31 December 2012.

How to Quickly Discourage Genealogy Newcomers

Here’s something from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter that’s worth a read. I’ve had something similar to what’s described in this article happen to me as a result of my journal, so I can sympathize.

How to Quickly Discourage Genealogy Newcomers – Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.

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