Genealogy or History? Collaborative Research in Action

During our general meeting on March 21, 2023, the AIGS was pleased to welcome Carol Clay, Past-President of the Southern Genealogist Exchange Society (SGES). An attentive audience of 29, including five non-members, listened to her very informative and entertaining presentation, which covered the history, inventory and activities of the SGES, and specifically its research on two prominent Jacksonville citizens and their families. Thank you, Carol! For those who missed it: a recording of an earlier presentation by Carol on the same topic can be watched below.

Kyle Adkins

Use of Death and Funeral Home Records for Genealogical Research

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our meeting on February 21 was held at an unusual location. When it appeared that we could not access the Library meeting room, our speaker, Kyle Adkins, generously offered to convene at his office building. So, there we were, 23 AIGS members listening to his presentation on the Use of Death and Funeral Home Records for Genealogical Research in the Chapel of the Oxley-Heard Funeral Home! Being on his own turf seemed to make the speaker very comfortable, and he treated us to an excellent, informative program. He also kindly answered many questions from the attendees, and it was 8:45pm when we concluded the program. On behalf of AIGS, thank you, Kyle, for a great presentation, for your hospitality, and for saving the day.

1903 Oldsmobile Curved-Dash runabout

Automobubbling in Nassau County, Florida

Theodore William Waas registered the first automobile in Nassau County, Florida in 1906. He owned an Oldsmobile Curved-Dash runabout, a popular model of the time known for its affordability and simple design. The car was powered by a 4.5 horsepower engine and had a top speed of 20 miles per hour. The car's open roof and minimal interior allowed for a unique driving experience, although only two people could ride at a time. The cost of the car was $650, which might have been a significant expense for the Waas family who had four children and lived in a small town. Come explore this set of records, the family of the two Theo's, the song behind the word "automobubbling," and even listen to an old scratchy 78 recording of the waltz performed by Bill Murray and orchestra back in 1905.

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President’s Message for October 2022

It’s beginning to feel like fall on the Island and that means your Society is starting to prepare for 2023. Beginner Class preparation have begun by the Education Committee and those on last years waiting list have already been notified so they can signup before the announcement is made to the general public. The 2022 board has approved a budget for 2023 that we will bring forth in November’s Annual Meeting for vote by the membership; in our last board meeting we revised and adopted a new set of responsibilities for Board Members, Officers, and Other Positions (Webmaster, Geneline, etc.) which should give future board members a better idea of expectations for each position. Patti talks about the new financial budget in her Treasurer post… I call it our “Great Expectations” budget. Membership has continued to bounce back from the Covid collapse, but we are still in need of more new members (or donations) to meet our growing expenses! It’s time to vote! Our board officers are hitting the 2 year term limit and it’s time for a new board and budget to be voted in. We do this in person at our Annual Meeting in November, but for those 2022 members who cannot attend, we provide a proxy form which delegates one of our board members to vote on your behalf. Because we require a quorum of membership in order for a vote to be successful, please vote by proxy if you cannot attend!

Sarah Braddock Claim File 13525 Page 1

President’s Message for August 2022

The webmaster has been busy this past month adding additional volumes of the Nassau Genealogist to our online collection. Recent additions include biographies, obituaries, newspaper excerpts, several articles on the Goodbread family. These all came from volume V of TNG which were published back in 1998. Please take a look at them when you get the chance if you have Nassau County ancestors. The Nassau County Genealogist: Online Table of Contents Too often genealogists think military records are only there to provide information on your ancestors military service. They are there for that, but as we like to emphasize, they often can provide the genealogical record you need but just cannot find elsewhere. Pension files are often what we like to point researchers to. I discovered a Bible record (or a non existent town record) in my 5th Great-Grandfather Zebulon Crane’s Revolutionary Pension record. It wasn’t even for his family, it was for his wife’s family, but that record helped verify the relationships which I thought were correct but could never positively prove. This month I accidently discovered another source of military records, the Southern Claims Commission Files. If you know me and my family you realize that I would never have need of these for my own family records, My ancestor’s are just a bunch of Yankees that go back to the Mayflower and French-Canadian back to the founding of Quebec. But I was working on updating my Tennessee Genealogy website where I have had an index of these …

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Abel Partridge Family in Auburn Records - cropped

President’s Message for July 2022

The first week of July always greets us with celebrations around the founding of the United States and the hot and sultry Florida weather. While I enjoyed the celebrations, especially our neighborhood fireworks show, I am definitely ready for some cooler weather. In the mean time I’m hibernating in my house while working on genealogy. One of the tasks I took on this month was straightening out the ancestry of an Abel Partridge of Ward, Massachusetts, whom most genealogists recorded as the son of Eli Partridge and Rachel Sheffield who resided in Medway, Massachusetts and Chesterfield, New Hampshire. I found however, that he wasn’t their son, he was the “supposed” son of Abel Partridge and Hannah Cheney of Medfield, Massachusetts. In this instance the “supposed” is how this child was listed in the published vital records of Medfield, Massachusetts, and it implies he was born out of wedlock. Worn, torn, and mutilated, by 1850 the original Medfield vital record books usefulness were nearing the end. Yet the original records would be copied three times over the next 50 years, first by a town clerk in 1850 who was able to consult the books before they were singed, then by two separate committees, one in 1876 created after a fire at the town hall almost burned the records, and the final in 1903, which resulted in the publishing of the Medfield Vital Records “tan book.” As I reviewed these multiple copies doing that “reasonably exhaustive search of all records” we’re suppose …

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President’s Message for June 2022

Summer is in full swing here on our little Island paradise and as such, my attention has been drawn to things other than Amelia Island genealogy. I expect many of you are in the same boat as I am. But don’t get so busy that you miss out completely on all of our summer general meetings. The program committee has been actively finding some top quality speakers for this summer period. Case in point, last months professional genealogical speaker, Drew Smith. Drew regaled us with his genealogical knowledge and ability to speak that expertise in an efficient manner that everyone could understand. FAN research remains one of the most used tools in the genealogy toolbox for solving brick-wall problems. If you missed the meeting which was virtually broadcast in, then you missed a really good presentation! Not to be overshadowed, this months speaker comes direct from Washington DC where she is the Chief Historian for the U.S. Census Bureau. You won’t find any higher level of knowledge on the process of taking a census. From the earliest in 1790 to the latest 1950 release she will explain how the census has been taken over time. This is an extremely important subject for genealogists, as it can help explain how mistakes were made in past census, like Seline Martin being attached to the wrong family during the 1870 census, for example.. When you understand how these census were taken, how often the facts were written by hand before it made it …

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President’s Message for May 2022

We were treated to another entertaining presentation in March by Chip Kirkpatrick as he shared his passion of metal detecting and presented examples of historical finds he has discovered in the vicinity of Nassau County. The good news for those who were unable to attend the presentation is Chip has a YouTube video of a similar presentation that you can watch at your convenience. Speaking of video’s, May’s speaker will be presented via teleconferencing. While we had several teleconferenced meetings during the Covid shutdown, we have not had one while we were doing in-person meetings. For our membership, this is one of those meetings you really need to see. We’re bring to you Drew Smith, one of the two who make up the Genealogy Guys podcast show. Drew will show you how to use Cluster Research (aka FAN Club) to get around the brick walls in your research. FAN is an acronym for Friends, Associates, and Neighbors. Genealogists have learned that most ancestors relocated from one location to another as a group, not by themselves. I wrote about FAN research or Cluster Research in the February 2019 edition of Geneline where I also provided various tutorials you could watch. This method of research remains one of the best tools in the chest for solving brick walls. Come on out and join us at the Fernandina Branch Library on 17 May at 7pm! AIGS Website Development The website has made several large strides over the past month. A search has been …

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President’s Message for April 2022

I have been working on a post for the AIGS website featuring the family of Levin Tomlinson. The foundation for the post is an article published in The Nassau County Genealogist Vol. XX #3, pp.41-44, called “Tomlinson Family.” My plan is to expand that synopsis about the family, to extend it, and to source it properly, something that the limited size of our periodical does not allow. I have no relationship to the Tomlinson family and would appreciate any information on the family not currently published in the older article. Thanks! In my Beginning Genealogy Class on the PROCESS method of genealogy research the E stands for “Extract Important Information” and it challengers researchers to slow down and extract or transcribe important events and facts from the records found when they conduct their reasonably exhaustive research. It’s a step overlooked by new and seasoned genealogists alike because it consumes valuable research time. The Levin Tomlinson Family is such a case. The answer to unproven facts in genealogies found online, and even in our own article, could easily have been resolved with a careful analysis of the broken pieces of Levin’s gravestone. An image most all online trees have or link to. Putting those pieces of stone back together as Jim Miller and Bob Frey did in 2013, and photographing it, enables a few minor mysteries about the family to be solved and sourced. Another new post published recently concerns the early history of Fernandina, An Island Frontier from its discovery …

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President’s Message for March 2022

We had a packed house for last month’s general meeting and it was good to see not only our regular membership, but many returning guests as well. I appreciate Medardo Monzon’s presentation on The Genealogy of Genes. I found it both useful and instructive! We often take for granted the wonderful creation that is the human being and forget that we are all a lot more alike then we are different from each other. DNA can bring us back to the reality of our similarities. Our beginning genealogy classes are over for 2022 and for the last class I introduced a DNA conundrum. A cousin had contacted me and believed she descended from a particular line of Martin’s in my family tree. She could not prove whom, but the DNA pointed to that likelihood. Our problem was identifying the child of Charles and Mary Martin of Highgate who was the Charles Martin who married Marguerite Commanda, an Ojibwa, her gr-gr-grandparents. Since my cousin and I will both write about our findings I’ll wait until then to provide the exhaustive details for everyone. Let’s just say we tracked Seleme Martin from his birth identity in Highgate VT and his marriage to Phebe Lucia, to that of Charles Martin who married Marguerite on the Nipissing Reservation in Ontario, to that of Samuel Martel who married Marie Presse in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, and back to his original identity when he died in St. Albans, Vermont as Seleme. In this puzzle we had to …

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