First day of 23andMe test results, and already a breakthrough!

I’ve been a FamilyTreeDNA customer for a couple of years, and I’ve had great success with using DNA testing combined with traditional genealogical research to break through one brick wall so far (see here https://www.randymajors.org/2010/12/man-who-wasnt-john-charles-brown). I recently became a 23andMe customer as well…their holiday special was just too good to pass up! Well, I started receiving my test results a couple of days ago for the Health Edition, and yesterday for the Ancestry Edition of 23andMe.  I’m excited to say that I already have lots of matches to explore, and have already received about a half dozen requests to make contact, … Read more

President Lincoln writes a letter of thanks for “a pair of socks so fine”

On 4 Dec 1861, President Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to my 5th great grandmother, Susannah Crume Weathers, thanking her for a letter and gift she had recently sent him:  “a pair of socks so fine”.  It seems quite funny and odd on the surface of it, and yet how quaint, charming, and even noble it is.  The letter is inspirational to me, as it exemplifies President Lincoln’s unpretentious and accessible character. Below is the letter as reproduced in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 5 (Wildside Press, 2008).  How I’d love to see the original letter Abraham Lincoln had … Read more

Coming Soon: No more heads peeking over the fence on Ancestry.com! (Full faces soon to return!)

I have good news for anyone else that has been as annoyed as I have been about the photo display problems in the Pedigree view of the new Tree Viewer on Ancestry.com. (The same issue existed both in a beta they ran of a Tree Viewer a year or more ago, as well as in the more recent “preview” and recently released Tree Viewer.) The issue is that the bottom of people’s faces are cut off in the Pedigree view, as you can see in the screenshot below. Now, skeptics may opine that this must be a problem with my … Read more

Unexpected Name-Change Brick Wall Busted!

The man who wasn’t  John Charles Brown? Secrecy, Genealogical Research, Hunches, and DNA Testing Lead to Answers For 130 years – from 1880 to 2010 – John Charles Brown’s past was hidden in veils of secrecy.  John’s children and grandchildren didn’t know who his parents or siblings were.  It was the proverbial genealogical brick wall.  Therefore, since this was one of my most difficult family lines I could research, I researched it. JOHN CHARLES BROWN APPARENTLY DIDN’T EXIST BEFORE HIS MARRIAGE For many years, the first confirmed record found of John Charles Brown was of his marriage to Catherine Connors … Read more

Majors and Moore family histories published

Majors and Moore regional family histories were recently published in the book Great Sage Plain to Timberline, Our Pioneer History by the Montezuma County Historical Society. I submitted the article on the Majors family, which is shown here. The William Andrew “Andy” Majors Family Settled in McElmo Canyon from the Oklahoma Indian Territory in 1887 Having crossed the plains in a wagon-train, William Andrew “Andy” Majors arrived in McElmo Canyon 17 Aug 1887 from the Oklahoma Indian Territory, along with Henry Bowdish and George Edmonson.  The following summer, Andy Majors ran the plow teams building the Lone Pine and Hermosa ditches … Read more

Photo Detective write-up on tintype of my 4th Great Grandfather

Back in July of 2009, Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, did a write-up on a “photo” I discovered of my 4th Great Grandfather, William Riley Majors.  In the photo with William were his two children from his first marriage: my 3rd Great Grandfather William Andrew “Andy” Majors and his sister Martha Etta Majors. The photo was at the house of a 2nd cousin 2 times removed in Cortez, Colorado, but she had not known who was in the photo until we met in October 2008.  So we both made a fantastic discovery that day! “Electronic files are wonderful for sharing pictures, … Read more

Frank and Jesse James lived in the same neighborhood as my great great great Grandfather. So THAT’S what my great Grandmother was always alluding to…

Check this out: In 1860, in Clay County, Missouri, Frank and Jesse James are found living in the same neighborhood as my great great great Grandfather James S. Holt. [See 1860 Federal Census images below].  Jesse James and James S. Holt were the same age and would have gone to school together. Also, by around 1910, still in Clay County, Missouri, James S. Holt’s son, Charles N. Holt (my great great Grandfather) can be found living just down the road from Frank James (Jesse James had been shot and killed in 1882). [See map below from around 1910 with the … Read more

Astrophotography

Moon 23 September 2004, 9PM.  Using Meade Lunar and Planetary Imager (LPI) on Meade ETX-125 UHTC telescope. Sun and sunspots 07 November 2004, 347PM.  Using Meade LPI with on ETX-125 UHTC telescope; stacked 20 0.008 second exposures Jupiter and 4 moons 07 November 2004, 6AM.  Using Meade Lunar and Planetary Imager (LPI) on Meade ETX-125 UHTC telescope; stacked 40 0.088 second exposures.  

Temple, Basilica, Cathedral, and Church

Left to right:   Wat Arun Rachawararam, the Temple of Dawn, 1-Feb-2004 (Bangkok, Thailand – 17th century) Saint Basil’s basilica, 19-Nov-2003 (Moscow, Russia – 1554) Saint Louis Cathedral, 4-Aug-2003 (New Orleans, Louisiana, United States – 1720) Christ Church, 8-Jun-2003 (London, England, United Kingdom – 1845)

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