Granddad Daniel Grant Varner

Granddad Daniel Grant Varner
Daniel Grant Varner (front, far right) and siblings with spouses

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cousins meeting and John F & Julia J Breshears family

I have been pleasantly sidetracked the last couple of weeks.  Due to a new DNA match on Ancestry I have been corresponding with a newly found second cousin.  We are related through the William Carroll Green Breshears line.

This past Saturday we were able to meet.  Julia, my second cousin and her parents (her mother is my first cousin once removed) met with my sister and myself and we visited the cemeteries in the Breshears valley of Missouri.  We were also able to meet up with some other Breshears cousins (from the state of Oregon) while we were there.  They were vacationing with other relatives here in Missouri.  It was a beautiful day for our outing and we were able to visit for some time.

In preparation for the outing I have been working on the John F and Julia J Button Breshears family this past week.  This was the line that cousin Julia came from.  I tried to put as much information together for her in the time that was available.  I have updated my Ancestry working tree and matched with Family Search.  Much work on this family is still needed in Family Search.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

This weeks spot light is on the Amanda Varner Rarick & Levi Rarick family

This past week I have begun working on Daniel Grant Varner's (Sr) children.  I'm currently working on the the family of Amanda Varner Rarick & Levi Rarick.  Their children were Curtis, Pearl, Raymond, Ralph and Mina.

I have found some first cousins 1x removed, second and third cousins.  Added seventeen new people to the family tree so far.

The Ancestry web hints are proving invaluable and the Rootsmagic "Tree Share" is working great.  As I'm going through them I am also adding to or updating the Family Search people and matching them to Rootsmagic.  I will turn on the Familysearch and My Heritage web hints after I've made it through all the Ancestry hints.

I hope to make it through the rest of this branch this week.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Restarting direct line descendant research and Rootsmagic TreeShare

I have finished my work on the John Washington Varner line for now.  It is not nearly complete but I will turn it over to cousin Kim for further documentation.

I am ready to spend a little time on a mini genealogy redo project.  Working my Varner line I will start at the end of the line and begin cleaning up my source documentation on direct line descendants.  At the same time I will work through all of the webhints I have in RootsMagic.  These will be from Ancestry, FamilySearch and MyHeritage.  At this time I have turned off the webhints for FindMyPast.  In addition to webhints I also plan to check on Fold3 for any military records.  I have found that the webhints fairly well cover, census records, SSDI, social security applications, most vital records and Find A Grave.

Now that RootsMagic has the new Treeshare option for Ancestry it is fairly easy to keep my Ancestry tree up to date and make better use of their shaky leaves.  That along with the integration with FamilySearch makes catching the low hanging fruit so much easier.

Friday, September 8, 2017

John Washington Varner - new branch added to family tree

I've finally completed adding another branch to the tree.  It was for John Washington Varner.  He is my 2nd cousin once removed.

I've updated my RootsMagic database and worked on a few people in FamilySearch.  Have not yet shared the family to my Ancestry tree.  Ran into a real mess with the FamilySearch Family Tree.  There were several duplicates for each person.  It took many hours of merging and relinking to clean everything up.

I haven't yet decided what to do with Ancestry.  I can use the treeshare feature or I can continue to build and source my tree only on RootsMagic and then eventually load a new tree to Ancestry.  The intent of the tree on Ancestry is to make use of their web hint feature but I am finding them a little overwhelming.  Since I loaded a new RootsMagic tree to Ancestry, I'm receiving hints for everything, even though I have the record attached to the tree.  I have turned off the hints for other member trees but I still have over 3100 hints.

I'm thinking of taking one family unit at a time and working through the various hints for each member of the family.  This will mean possibly visiting the same source documents multiple times but I think it will prove to be a more efficient process.  This should keep me from chasing down the rabbit holes and losing focus.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Peter L Varner on FamilySearch Family Tree

I have spent the last few days trying to fix the Peter L Varner family on the FamilySearch Family Tree.  Peter was married three times. Peter and his first wife Rebecca Righter had seven children.  Peter and his second wife Hannah Razer had two children.  Peter and his third wife Louise Lair had two children.

There were three records to be merged for Peter, two for Rebecca and two for Louise.  Some of the children had duplicates as well.  Many were assigned to the wrong parents.  Overall it was a complete disaster.

I spent an entire afternoon just trying to put together everything that was already in FamilySearch. The next day after reviewing everything again and determining what was there I then set about trying  to merge all of the children's records first.  Then I merged the duplicate parents.  Once I was down to a single record for each person I could then change the parental linkages to match the children to the correct set of parents.

Because of the complexity of the cleanup process I worked only in FamilySearch, it was simply too confusing to try to work it through RootsMagic.  I still have to go back and rematch my RootsMagic person to the merged FamilySearch person.  Once that is done I can begin sharing the data and sources between the two.

This was an interesting project but I don't think I want to tackle another family for awhile.  I need to get back to working on the source documentation.

Monday, August 28, 2017

A genealogy mystery - Louisa A Bell Kreider (1856-1911)

I have spent several days trying to work out the mystery of Louisa Bell Kreider.  Louisa A Bell Kreider (1856-1911), according to her death certificate her parents were James Bell and Sarah Ann Varner.  I'm not able to verify this biological relationship with any other source documents.  The issues are:

  •  Louisa is 14 years older than her nearest age sibling.  
  • Her mother (Sarah Ann Varner) was shown in the 1860 census in her parents home living under her maiden name.  Her age was 20, she would have been 16 at Louisa's birth.  
  • Her father (James D Bell) was shown in the 1860 census in his parents home.  His age was 22, he would have been 18 at Lousia's birth.
  • James D Bell was a Union soldier in 1862.
In summary there is not enough evidence to support that Louisa is the biological daughter of James and Sarah Ann Bell.  Obviously much more investigation is needed here.

Monday, August 21, 2017

New branch added to family tree - Joseph Varner Bell & Ellen Meloy Bell

For the last few days I have been working on adding the Joseph Varner Bell family to my tree.  Joseph is the son of James Bell and Sarah Ann Varner.  He is my second cousin once removed.  Sarah is the daughter of my great granduncle John Peter Varner, the brother of my great grandfather Daniel Grant Varner.

I am still working on finding original documentation on the family.  I have much work left to do and many other people to add to the tree.  So far I have been able to find census records and find a grave records for most.  I have spent several days trying to work out the mystery of Louisa Bell Kreider, which is the subject of another post.

Work on this line was prompted by an email I received from a reader of this blog.  Thanks, Kim.  I have much work left to do and many other people still to add to the tree.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Page added to blog for family photos

I have added a page to this blog to add various family photos that I have that I think is interesting.  There is a new link on the left hand side of the page under the "About Me" section.  Just click on the link and you will be taken to the page of photos.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

New cousin contact from Stuffel Werner of Pennsylvania line

I received an email a couple of days ago from a cousin that found me because of this blog.  This was my first contact because of the blog.  It has renewed my interest in writing here.

Kim has provided some needed insight and most of all the desire to resume my research efforts on the Pennsylvania Varner lines.  I have not documented or researched the majority of my Varner line except for my direct ancestors,  I believe it is now time to go back and fill in all the branches of the tree.

Monday, March 20, 2017

New first cousins (once removed) contacted

I have to give kudos to Facebook.  Thanks to social networking I have recently "met" and been in communication with two first cousins from the Varner side of the family.  These are daughters of two of my deceased first cousins from California.  These cousins lived in the Los Angeles area most of their lives so we were not close having only met a very few times on those extremely rare times our families got together.

Both of these ladies now live in the pacific northwest.  One I just had a very pleasant phone call with a few days ago.  Neither are very interested in family history but they were able to provide me with some valuable recent family information.

It is my hope to continue the contact and hopefully learn some more from them.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Summer vacation and mission trip

Again this year we went on the Canadian mission trip with our church.  We decided to combine that trip with our annual vacation.  So we drove through the pacific northwest to go into Canada and then come back to the Calgary area.

While vacationing on the west coast we were able to spend an afternoon with one of my first cousins (once removed).  My cousin and his wife are both well advanced in age and he is in poor health.  So it was very good to be able to visit with them possibly for the last time.

Chuck was born and raised in the area where I still live.  He had left the area before I was born but he and his family returned to quite often to visit my father and his other cousins in the area.  Because of the age difference we did not know each other very well.  However, I was able to provide him a good time reminiscing on his youth and growing up with my father and uncles.

We will probably do another pacific northwest trip next year but the chances are very good that he will no longer be with us.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DNA testing and cousin connections

I have taken the atDNA test from Ancestry and the ydna and mtdna tests at FTDNA.  Loaded my atdna test results to FTDNA, MyHeritage and Gedmatch.  From this I have had hundreds of matches. Very slowly working through some of the closer ones.

Within the last few days I have actually been in contact with a couple of cousins.  One, a second cousin once removed on the Varner side.  The other was a cousin from the William Carroll Green Breshears line.  Unfortunately her Breshears relative died as a younger adult and she did not have much information on the Breshears line and nothing on the Green Breshears connection.

I'm feeling optimistic that we may be able to collaborate on the Varner line but will probably have no help on the Breshears line.