Monthly Archives: April 2012

How Can I Be “Removed” In My Own Family Tree?

In my last post, I used the term “removed” in describing the relationship between two people in our family tree. Have you heard the phrase “she is my second cousin once removed” and wondered what that meant? How far apart do people have to be in a family to be classified as “removed?” Terms like cousin, aunt, and uncle tell us about which ancestors we have in common. For example, I have grandparents in common with my first cousin and great-grandparents in common with my second cousin. My grandparents are also the closest ancestor that I have in common with my first cousin’s children, so we are also first cousins, but because they are one generation later than me we are first cousins once removed. The term “removed” tells us that there are generations that separate us: once removed means one generation, twice removed means two generations, etc. So, the term “removed” doesn’t make us that far apart on the family tree!

For a more detailed explanation of the term “removed” I encourage you to check out Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter article “What Is ‘Second Cousin Once Removed?'” He is very well-known in the field of genealogy, and his newsletter is always interesting and often though-provoking. It’s also free!

I confess that when it comes to figuring out relationships in our family tree I still find it somewhat confusing.  I am very thankful that my family tree software, Reunion, does it for me!

1 Comment

Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Genealogy Lessons


Weekend Reading: The History of Alamance

Want to know more about the friends and neighbors of our ancestors and the lives they led? The History of Alamance, by Sallie Walker Stockard tells their stories. (Note: the colored text is a link that will take you to the free Google ebook which you can read online.) In her book, she mentions several of the rivers and creeks we find in the deeds for land owned by our ancestors: Sandy Creek, Stinking Quarter Creek, Deep River. It includes an interesting account of the Regulator Movement, which was a precursor of the American Revolution, led by some residents of Alamance County, North Carolina. At the end of the book, she includes detailed family histories of some of her ancestors.

While reading the book, I found myself struggling to remember which sides of the fight the “whigs” and “tories” were on. (My American history classes were such a long, long time ago.) For those of you in the same boat, here are the definitions:

  • Whig: supported American independence from Great Britain during the Revolutionary War; later became the Republican Party in opposition to Andrew Jackson and the Democrats.
  • Tory: supported the British Crown against the colonists who sought independence.

The author, Sallie Walker Stockard, made history in 1898 as the first woman to earn a degree from the University of North Carolina. She wasn’t allowed to attend the commencement ceremony with her male peers, and wasn’t included in the class photograph. The University commemorated her achievements 100 years later. The press release about the event makes note of the difficulties she faced as a student, such as not being allowed to enter the library to study or borrow a book. It also says:

Stockard represented the independence of her generation of college women by marrying, having two children and eventually separating from her husband and taking back her maiden name, “a subject of no little controversy,” according to Gladys Hall Coates’ book.

As Stockard stated, “I have supported myself and brought up two children from birth without help. I am under no obligations to any man for the use of his name. . . . Shall I have to be cremated to keep that man’s name off my tombstone? Wooden headed tradition!”

I found this book by coincidence while researching a person in our family tree, Henry Jerome Stockard, who turns out to be Sallie Walker Stockard’s first cousin, once removed. Henry Stockard married Mildred Holding, who was Col. William F. Askew’s grand-daughter. Henry and Mildred are buried in the Holding/Askew family plot in Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, NC. Incidentally, the book is dedicated to General Julian Shakespere Carr, also in our family tree – more on him in a future post!

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Askew, Weekend Reading


Tags: , ,

Paying It Forward With the 1940 Census

Would you be surprised if I told you that thousands of people have contributed their time, at no charge, to help me with my genealogy research? Well it’s true! And I couldn’t have done it without them. Now it’s my turn to help others with their research. One way I am doing that is by volunteering as a transcriber for the 1940 census. By typing the census data into a form that the the computer can manipulate, an index will be created that will allow people to search for their ancestors by name, age, birthplace and other information recorded by the census takers in April of 1940.

The Federal census, taken every ten years, determines the number of seats each state has in the United States House of Representatives. It also collects information about the population, such as how many people are employed, the number of people in a household, and levels of education. The type of data collected varies with each census. The first Federal census took place in 1790 and counted 3.9 million people. Some states have conducted their own, separately from the Federal government. Also, there have been some special censuses for specific purposes, such as mortality and agriculture.

The 1940 census was released on April 2nd, at the end of the required 72-year waiting period. It contains over 3.8 million pages of hand-written information. As a transcriber, my job is to read the hand-written census pages and type the information into a computer form. Each page is transcribed by two different people. The data is compared and if differences occur it is up to an arbitrator to determine which is correct. After enough data is compiled, an index will be created.

Without an index, you have to know where the person was living in 1940 so that you can determine the correct enumeration district. Then, you still have to search through many pages of handwritten records to find the right one. Census takers went door to door to collect information. If no one was home, they returned at a later time. These records will be recorded on pages at the end of the enumeration district, making them even more difficult to find. Having an index means you can find the person you are looking for quickly and easily.

I am deeply indebted to all the people who spent their time transcribing the records that I have used in my genealogy research. I am paying them back by paying it forward to researchers in the future who use the 1940 census index.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized



Finding My Charles T. Askew, Part 2

It was one of those EUREKA moments that happens every now and then, when poking around leads to finding that missing piece of the puzzle that makes everything fall into place. It makes the hair on your arms stand up, as anyone who has ever done genealogy research will attest.

I had left my search for Charles Thompson Askew and moved on. The questions remained unanswered until one day, with some time on my hands and my laptop at the ready, I tried a Google search using “Charles T Askew” and paper mill. The first result was a free Google ebook, called The Paper Mill and Wood Pulp News, Vol. 22. It listed Charles T. Askew or the Ulster Paper Mills of Saugerties, NY. Farther down the list of search results was Husted’s Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley Directory, 1907 listing Charles T. Askew at Merriam Paper Company. Several additional results, which I will detail in a future post, traced his work history from Baltimore, to New York, to California. This was all news to me.

Apparently I had never put his name together with the words ‘paper’ and ‘mill’ in a Google search before. There are two lessons here:

  1. Don’t restrict a search to just the person’s name. Include terms that describe things that you know about the person, like their occupation or hobby.
  2. Repeat searches from time to time. As more information comes online, new results will appear.

All of this information was interesting, but none of it was definitive until I saw this:


This article was published in The Atlanta Constitution on January 14, 1923. It has been digitized and can be found on the website

The key piece of information is in paragraph 4. Colonel William F. Askew of Raleigh, manufacturer of paper at the Falls of Neuse, is my great-great-great-grandfather. I have found Charles.

Now, what about Leila Dodson, the widow?


Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Askew


Tags: , , , ,

Finding My Charles T. Askew, Part 1

Charles Thompson Askew was born in 1859, married Leila Dodson in Baltimore, Maryland on December 19, 1882, and died before 1900, or so I thought.

His birth year was calculated using census data. His marriage to Leila was suggested by a notation in legal documents pertaining to his father’s estate and confirmed by a notice on page 4 of the Raleigh News and Observer, published on December 24, 1882. The notice states that Charles T. Askew was married “last Tuesday evening” in Baltimore to Leila Dodson by the Reverend AC Dixon. Furthermore, the R. L. Polk & Company Baltimore City Directory for 1899 lists a Charles T. Askew in the paper business at 1804 Bolton Street. I know he learned the paper business from his father, who owned a paper mill in Wake County, North Carolina. In the 1900 census for the 2nd Precinct of Baltimore, Maryland, Leila Askew is listed as a widow with her daughter, Bertie, born in July of 1883. So, Charles must have died some time before the 1900 census.

It all made sense, until I found this listing in the Alumni History of the University of North Carolina:


From Raleigh; New York, N. Y.; b. Nov. 30, 1858; d. Sierra Madre, Cal., Dec. 31, 1923; s. 1875-78; paper manufacturer 1878-80; merchant 1880-1923.

Was this the same person? The 1910 census for Los Angeles, California lists a Chas. T. Askew of approximately the correct age, but from South Carolina, living with Edith, his wife of 13 years, and son Charles E. His place of business is a paper house. His name, age and occupation suggest he is the same man who lived in Baltimore. The state where he was born doesn’t fit, though. Who is Edith, and what about Leila and Bertie??

Could there be two different men of the same age, both named Charles T. Askew, and both in the paper business? If so, which one belongs in my family tree?

After more than four years of searching, I believe I have the answer!

1 Comment

Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Askew


Tags: , , , , , ,

Notes From A Genealogy Addict

What do you do that makes your skin tingle and your heart skip a beat, that makes you want to yell ‘Hallelujah’ and give everyone within shouting distance a high-five, that keeps you coming back for more?

For me, it’s genealogy. It’s spending hours and hours searching internet databases, reading old documents, and visiting archives. It’s finding that one document that answers the questions. Who? Where? Why? It’s the thrill of the hunt. It’s an addiction.

A recent discovery inspired me to start this blog. I want to share it with you. The people I will write about are all my ancestors, and perhaps they are yours, too. Take a few minutes to find out how I chose the title ‘Quotations From Our Ancestors’ on my ‘About’ page. Welcome to my blog!

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Uncategorized