Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Who Do You Think You Are Episode

I conducted a genealogy presentation on Thursday evening, May 13th for my genealogy society entitled “Who Do You Think You Are.” This was an introduction to genealogy workshop and I used document examples from my maternal grandmother’s family.

As I finalized my PowerPoint presentation, I noticed that quite a few of my document examples related to Andrew Bullock, one of my grandmother’s maternal uncles. Uncle Andrew left NC at an early age (possibly teenage years) to move to New York City. My grandmother knew all of her mother’s siblings, except this uncle whom she only saw once. That one time encounter was in February 1951 when Uncle Andrew attended his mother, Luvenia Jeffress Bullock’s funeral in Vance County, NC.

So what if I had the opportunity to do a WDYTYA episode? I thought as I studied the slides which seemed to be “jumping out at me” screaming “Uncle Andrew.” I let my mind drift down the WDYTYA genealogical road.

The standard structure of the WDYTYA episodes begins with the celebrity stating what they want to learn about their family history and the reason(s) why. Most of the celebrities choose one side of the family to search and in some cases a specific ancestor such as Susan Sarandon’s grandmother. Actress Brooke Shields wanted to know something about both sides of her family. I know that the show focuses on the journey of finding direct ancestors, but at this time, the Uncle Andrew mystery is the one I’d like help in solving. If I were on the show, I would say:

“I want to know about the life of my great grand uncle Andrew Bullock who moved to New York from North Carolina during his teenage years. I want to know why he went to New York and about his life there. Through searching his life in New York, I also hope to discover other family members who may have also moved from North Carolina to New York.”

I continued to let my mind indulge in this genealogical fantasy when it occurred to me that I should analyze the documents I have already collected on Uncle Andrew by writing a timeline. As I searched my Family Tree Maker software file for data on Uncle Andrew, I discovered that I had already begun documenting some of the known facts on him by typing them in the Facts section of the genealogy software. I printed out a Documented Events Report and began reanalyzing and updating facts from my document collection.

Currently, I have gathered the following sources of information on Uncle Andrew.

  1. Information obtained from family reunion

  2. 1900 census

  3. Military draft registration card

  4. Social security death index

  5. Social security application

  6. Cemetery records

  7. Clue from obituary of his sister, Bell (my great grandmother)

  8. Knowledge learned through oral history

This would make a great blog series I thought as my mind continually entertained this Uncle Andrew scenario. So that’s what I plan to do in the next several postings— to blog about my analysis of documents related to Uncle Andrew Bullock.

My primary localities of research are Virginia and North Carolina. The research and availability of New York genealogical documents are a mystery to me at this time. Through blogging about my analysis of research on Uncle Andrew, I hope to achieve the following goals:

  1. To complete this timeline and analysis of documents and facts I have already collected.

  2. To help other researchers learn about the document analysis process.

  3. To learn more about New York genealogical resources.

  4. To discover new documents related to the life of Uncle Andrew.

Finally, I hope that blog readers will offer me suggestions for further research in learning more about Uncle Andrew.

Stay tuned. . . Coming Up! – Professor Dru learns about Uncle Andrew at Family Reunion.


Unknown said...

Great idea to construct your own family research quest and to outline how you are going about finding out about Uncle Andrew and telling his story. Looking forward to the next episode!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Angela,

This is an excellent way to teach the rest of us on a strategy to learn more about researching a particular Ancestor.

I'm looking forward to this series.

"Guided by the Ancestors"

Mavis said...

Great idea. Don't have any other ideas to add but am anxiously waiting to see what other avenues you pursue as I have a great grand uncle that I cannot locate after 1919.

Terrence A.T. Garnett said...

I'm interested in what you have documented and will uncover in this series. My 3rd-great grandmother had a sister Olivia who moved to New York. I hope to locate more information about and perhaps obtain a death record.

Anonymous said...

It’s like solving a puzzle! So exciting day by day! Makes me want to find my loved one!!

Unknown said...

Great work! Your work never seems to amaze me! This will definitely help my family when we start to research our ancestors. I will stay tuned!