Wordless Wednesday: Spending Time With Our Oldest Living Family Member

Well almost wordless . . .

The Chapple~Smith Family Dinner my brothers and I hosted on 2 December 2012 was a HUGE success! It was wonderful seeing cousins (along with their adult children who have children of their own) I had not seen in many years. But what made this afternoon such a special one for all the descendants was spending time with their oldest “living” Chapple ~ Smith family member — my Mom, Carrie Chapple Taylor! So below are a few photos of mom –who celebrated her 84th birthday this past October– with family members who arrived early for our dinner event!

Bowie Family

Mom with her oldest great-granddaughter, which happens to be my “mini-me” (Bowie Family)!

McLemore Family

Mom with another one of her beautiful great-granddaughters (McLemore Family)!

Armstrong Family

Mom with her great-nephew, Bernard, and great-niece, LaJuana (Armstrong & Jean Families)

Armstrong and Jean Family Members

The Armstrong and Jean Families

Marshall Family

Mom with her nephew, Ralph and niece, Bettye (Marshall Family)

Yeah … We’re Family – Deal With It!

My brothers and I are rounding up the Chapple ~ Smith descendants for a Family Dinner Saturday afternoon, 1 December 2012, that we hope will parlay into many family gatherings and reunions for years to come. I sent the invitation below to relatives and 30+ have RSVP that they’re coming. So I’m very EXCITED about seeing my family!

Chapple ~ Smith Family Dinner


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – The Music of My Ancestors

Musical NoteOkay it’s Sunday night and not Saturday night, but being the techie that I am, I simply could not resist exploring last night’s Genealogy Fun activity by genealogy extraordinaire – Randy Seaver. Last night’s mission was to create – “The Music of Our Ancestors” – an activity suggested to him by his facebook friend M. Diane Rogers.

So out of curiosity, I decided to accept this mission and my assignment was to:

1)  Go to www.p22.com/musicfont/ and enter a text phrase or sentence into the P22 Music Text Composition Generator.  Enter a file name, the beats per minute you want (120 is slow, 1200 is really fast), and the instrument (from the dropdown list).

2)  Play your music text composition.  Can you find a way to put it on your blog?

3)  Tell us about your musical text compositions – what did you try, what sounded great?  Have fun!”

So here goes . . .

1. I went to the website and typed in just the first 15 surnames from my pedigree chart with a space separating each surname [taylor chapple taylor newsome chapple smith taylor green newsome moten chapple blanton smith white].

2. I gave my composition the unique file name – ClaimingKin – in upper and lowercase letters with no spaces as the website directed.
3. I set the beats per minute (BPM) to 300
4. I selected the cello as my instrument. Why the cello? I like the sound of this instrument and remembered one of my nieces learning to play it while she was in Middle School.
5. I clicked “Generate your music” and this is what “The Music of My Ancestors” looked like:

Music of My Ancestors
Music of My Ancestors

I was able to download the instrumental version of this melody but this download happened to be a .midi music file instead of the popular .mp3 or .mp4 music file I wanted it to be. So for me to get this file uploaded and working properly on my blog, I had to use my WavePad Sound Editor from my old literary podcasting days to covert this .midi file into the .mp3 format that I needed. Since I self-host my own WordPress blog, I simply installed the Compact WordPress Audio/Music Play plugin, uploaded my .mp3 to my webhosting server and entered it’s location in the embed code associated with this installed player and . . . .voilà . . . this is what “The Music of My Ancestors” sounds like . . .

Music of My Ancestors:

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://www.claimingkin.com/audios/ClaimingKin.mp3″%5D

Hmmmm . . . . is this music to my ears? Nope, not at all — LOL! Still, it was fun just creating this melody, converting it, and installing it on my blog. Who knows, with a few more notes and instruments this just may be a musical score that  my ancestors truly would love!

So create the music of your ancestors and let me know what you think!

Family History Month 2012

Family History Month 2012

It’s Family History Month 2012 at the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research (another one of my favorite months of the year) . . . woo-hoo! Below is a list of  EXCELLENT events and programs taking place the whole month of October 2012:

Genealogy Basics Boot Camp

Saturday, October 6, 2012 1:30PM-3:00PM

Interested in your family history, but not quite sure where to start? Found some information, but need to know what else is available? Join the boot camp for an exercise in genealogical research resources! This session focuses on starting genealogical research by examining basic tools, such as the pedigree chart, and basic research strategies. Learn about the different genealogical materials available to researchers and how they lead to other sources. Reservations required. Please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

Crossing the Wide Blue Seas: Passenger Lists of Our Ancestors

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 2:00PM-3:30PM

Since the discovery of the New World, ships have been bringing passengers to our shores to start new lives. Some of these voyages were well documented and some not. In this talk we will be discussing how to find evidence of your ancestors on passenger lists. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

Beginning German Research

Friday, October 12, 2012 10:30AM-12:00PM

Do you have German roots but are unsure about how to get started researching records outside the United States? Are you trying to find the town of origin from which your ancestors came, and what records are available for that town? This session deals with basic-level German research, with a focus on church and civil records and how to find them and use them. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

1st Louisiana Guard: Free Men of Color in the Civil War

Co-sponsored by the Afro American Historical Genealogical Society – Willie Lee Gay Chapter (Houston)

Saturday, October 13, 2012 10:30AM-12:00PM

This presentation will feature case studies involving the Civil War pension files of two free men of color, Casimir SAM and his cousin Martin WHITE, who served in the 1st Louisiana Guard, later the 73rd Louisiana Colored Troops. Learn how valuable Civil War pension files can be in researching the lives and family history of your ancestors. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

South Carolina History, Formation of Counties, Sources, Special Research Problems, Hints!

Saturday, October 13, 2012 2:00PM-4:00PM

Learn about several helpful research sources (online resources, South Carolina Archives, and collections in other repositories) and hints on organizing your research. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

City Directories

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 6:00PM-7:30PM

Have you ever wondered why people use city directories in genealogy? Learn how they can be useful in your research, how to use them effectively and where they may be found today. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

 1st Annual Genealogy Lock-In – Discover History for Yourself

Friday, October 19, 2012 2:00PM-5:15PM – three pre-event virtual presentations

Friday, October 19, 2012 6:00PM-12:00AM – Lock-in and optional presentations. Two are virtual; the last one is an in-house speaker.

In celebration of Family History Month in October, the Houston Public Library’s Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research will be sponsoring its 1st Annual Genealogy Lock-in at the library. This event is free and open to anyone interested in genealogy.

This event will showcase the library’s genealogy collection. It’s a great opportunity for both the novice and the experienced researcher to learn more about genealogy and to pursue their individual family’s history. The Lock-in will include genealogical advice, instruction, and light snacks.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s Lock-in will be held in conjunction with the same type of event being held at four other libraries across Texas. These libraries include: The Texas State Library and Archives Commission; Special Collection Department of the Denton Public Library; Genealogy, Local History, Texana, and Archives of the Plano Public Library; and the West Waco Library and Genealogy Center.


Registration for the pre-event sessions and for the lock-in MUST be made in advance.

The pre-event programming during the day is open to everyone, even those not planning on attending the extended hours Lock-in. All three sessions will be virtual. You may sign up for any or all of these sessions. Registration is limited to 50.

I.     Resources of the Southwest Regional Archives (NARA)


Aaron Holt, Archives Technician

He will discuss the resources of this great national institution. Learn about Indian records, national records, business and other records of genealogical value.

II.     Using the Treasures in FamilySearch


Lynell Moss of the Plano Family History Center

Learn about all the tools currently available on FamilySearch.org and seven tips for getting better results when searching the more than 1250 collections in Historical Records.

III.     Ancestry Library Edition: What’s New


Edward Loera, ProQuest Database trainer

Listen to Mr. Loera highlight what’s new in content and features and provide us his insight on how to best use this premier resource for genealogical research.

There will be three optional presentations during the Lock-in. These sessions will be virtual, except for “Unusual Resources”. You may sign up for any or all of the sessions . You must be signed up for the Lock-in to attend any of these three classes. Registration is limited to 100.

IV.     Genealogy 101: How to Get Started in Genealogy


Cheryl Smith, Genealogy Librarian (Plano)

She will speak on filling out a pedigree chart, where to find information, software suggestions, Internet sites, and more.

V.     Resources of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission


Sara Hayes, Reference Librarian, Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Learn about genealogy resources available on-site and online from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin.

VI.     Unusual Genealogy Resources


Susan Kaufman, Manager, Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, Houston Public Library

Susan will provide an overview of unusual resources and not often used sources that can give a deep insight into your family history.


Lock-in attendees do not have to stay until midnight. You can come to the lock-in (if you are registered) any time between 6:00PM and 10:30PM.

This event is for adults/teens.

Security will be provided, and reservations will be checked.

For more information, contact Sue Kaufman, Clayton Manager, at 832-393-2602 or susan.kaufman@houstontx.gov. Please use LOCK-IN for the subject line.

Lineage Day

Saturday, October 20, 2012 10:30AM-4:00PM

Visit with representatives from many genealogical and historical lineage societies to discuss their organizations. Get some hints that can help you identify those ancestors for entry into those societies. Representatives include, but are not limited to, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the Republic of Texas, and Cherokee Nation. No reservations needed. Adult/Teens.

 Unusual Resources

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 6:00PM-7:30PM

Learn about some very unusual record groups for genealogical research, sources not often thought of. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

 Beginning English Research

Saturday, October 27, 2012 10:30AM-12:00PM

An overview of some of the records you might find most useful when looking for your ancestor from England, such as census and civil registration records, parish registers and much more. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

 Quick Start your Genealogy! Overview of Genealogical Research Tools

Wednesday, October 31, 1:00PM-3:30PM

1:30PM-2:00PM HPL Catalog

2:10PM-2:50PM Ancestry Library Edition; FamilySearch

3:00PM-3:30PM Ordering microprint from Salt Lake City

Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

Family History Book Sale

October 1-30 2012

The Clayton Library will be holding its Family History Book Sale in October. All Clayton’s duplicate family history books will be available for sale. These are donated books that we already own; the copies offered for sale have never been part of our collection.

Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
5300 Caroline Street
Houston, Texas 77004
Phone: 832-393-2600

Library Hours are:
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-8 | Th 10-6 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Who has the most Census Records?

It’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with genealogy extraordinaire – Randy Seaver — and tonight’s mission, should I decide to accept it is:

Determine which of your ancestors has appeared in the most census records – any census!”

After reviewing my Ancestry family tree online, it seems that my paternal great-great-grandmother, Mary Magdalene (Allen) Moten (1869-1951), has appeared (consistently) the most in U.S. census records than any of my ancestors. Her entries are:

1870 US Federal Census for Mary Magdalene (Allen) Moten

1870 U.S. Census:  Brenham, Washington County, TX she was living with her parents  Samuel and Lucinda (Flowers) Allen and her siblings – Joseph, Jennie, Ben, and Peggy; Mary Allen was 1 yrs old, born in North Carolina.

1880 US Federal Census for Mary Magdalene (Allen) Moten

1880 U.S. Census:  Justice Precinct No. 4, lying south of the Old Brenham and Evergreen roads, Washington County, TX with her parents Samuel and Lucinda (Flowers) Allen and her siblings – Joseph, Zina, Benajmin, Louis, Davey and Jonas:  Mary Allen was age 11.

1890 U.S. Census: These records were either lost, or destroyed by fire in the National Archives in 1921.

1900 US Federal Census for Mary Magdalene (Allen) Moten

Click to View

1900 U.S. Census
:  Burton, Washington County, TX, wife of Eli Moten and children – Isaac, Olivia, Rose, Emma, Joe, Cornelius, Lucinda, and Amanda:  Mary (Allen) Moten is 31 years old.

1910 US Federal Census for Mary Magdalene (Allen) Moten

Click to View

1910 U.S. Census
:  Burton, Washington County, TX, wife of Eli Moten and children – Cornelius, Joe, Lucinda, Amanda (Mandy), Willie, Mariah, Eli, Jr., Jennie, Phillip, and grandson Ben Williams; Mary (Allen) Moten was 41 years old.

1920 US Federal Census for Mary Magdalene (Allen) Moten

Click to View

1920 U.S. Census
:  Brenham, Washington County, TX wife of Eli Moten and children – Maria, Eli, Lela, Phillip, Ruby and grandchildren – Maggie and Lillian; Mary (Allen) Moten was 51 years old.

1930 US Federal Census for Mary Magdalene (Allen) Moten

Click to View

1930 U.S. Census
:  Brenham, Washington County, TX wife of Eli Moten and children – Phillip, Meeky, Ruby and son-in-law, Ben McBride,  and granddaughter Lillian Solomon; Mary (Allen) Moten was 61 years old.

1940 U.S. Census: The indexing for Texas is not complete at this time, but I feel fairly certain that I would find her listed when they’re ready. And since she passed away 19 December 1951, it’s a good possibility I may find her listed in the 1950 U.S. census records if I’m around when those are release to the public too!

If you have a — Mary Magdalene Allen Moten — in your family tree from the Washington County, Texas area, let me hear from you because –  I’m Claiming Kin!