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Staying Organized…The Bane of Every Genealogist’s Existence!

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Like every other genealogist on the planet I find myself overwhelmed by the piles and piles of paper and information generated during family history research.  One of my goals for this year is to get my research organized.  I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of printing duplicate records and wasting time following an ancestor trail only to realize that I’ve already performed that search once. 

 

I don’t really have room for a filing cabinet but I found some cute, cheap file boxes that seem pretty sturdy and will hold quite a few hanging file folders.  I labeled one with my grandparents’ surnames and then settled on a filing system.  The one that seems to work the best for me and is the easiest to stick to is to make a file for each couple.  Since I place both of my grandparent’s ancestors in one file box at this time, I use a red sharpie to label my grandfather’s lines and a green sharpie to label my grandmother’s lines.

 

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On the folder label I write the husband’s name and then the wife’s name right below it, with last names capitalized.  I also include the couple’s ID#’s which correspond to their numbers on my pedigree charts.  Children are written in birth order on the front of the file folder.  The family group sheet is placed in the folder along with any printed source material I may have for that couple.  Information for the children of each couple that are not my direct ancestors are placed in a separate folder and filed behind the couple in the same hanging folder. 

 

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Now that I have a basic filing system in place I can simply pick a person or couple to work on and get all of the documentation and notes I have organized into one place.  I can see what information I have and what I’m missing by writing up a summary on my new on-line research log/blog.  I think keeping an on-line research log will have several benefits.  I do hope to publish a written genealogy someday for my family members and it won’t seem too overwhelming because I will already have lots of little pieces of information about my ancestors written on my blog.  Also, by posting on-line hopefully some long-lost cousins will come across a familiar name and together we can breach one of those nasty brick walls we all face in genealogy. 

 

I have my plan of action now!  By the time genealogy season is in full swing (= winter for me) I’ll be a lean, mean, family-history researching machine!


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Cross, Willis, Gamble, Baker, Castleberry, Floyd, Hawkins, Merchant, Packwood, Lewis

These are just a few of the surnames I am researching.  My maternal grandparents were Charles Albert “Abb” Cross and Willie Mae Willis, both born in Texas and died in California.  I have concentrated mainly on the Cross surname since my mom has a first cousin that has already done a lot of research for the Willis surname.  Here is the 4-generation ahnentafel chart for my grandfather, Charles Albert Cross:

Ancestors of Charles “Abb” Albert CROSS

Generation 1

1. Charles “Abb” Albert CROSS, son of James Henry CROSS and Alice GAMBLE was born on 30

Aug 1902 in Bowie, Montague, Texas, USA. He died on 13 May 1968 in Indio, Riverside,

California, USA (Age: 66). He married Willie May WILLIS, daughter of Lee Edward WILLIS and

Lydia L. CASTLEBERRY on 30 Sep 1933 in Frederick, Tillman, Oklahoma, USA. She was born on

25 Jun 1909 in Tye, Taylor, Texas, USA. She died on 11 Aug 1991 in Poteau, Le Flore, Oklahoma,

USA (Buried in Vaughn Cemetery, Gilmore, Oklahoma, USA).



Generation 2

2. James Henry CROSS, son of Elkanah CROSS and Mary Margaret HAWKINS was born on 16 Jan

1874 in Indian Territory, Oklahoma. He died on 06 Jul 1958 in Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA (Bur.

Eastview Cemetery in Vernon, TX). He married Alice GAMBLE, daughter of Jeremiah G. “Jerry”

GAMBLE Jr. and Kisiah Ann (Annie) Baker on 01 Mar 1896 in Wise County, Texas, USA.

3. Alice GAMBLE, daughter of Jeremiah G. “Jerry” GAMBLE Jr. and Kisiah Ann (Annie) Baker was

born on 05 May 1878 in Wise County, Texas, USA. She died on 02 Feb 1955 in Dallas, Dallas,

Texas, USA (Bur. Eastview Cemetery in Vernon, TX).



Generation 3

4. Elkanah CROSS, son of Unknown CROSS was born about 1833 in Virginia, USA. He died on 03

Oct 1878 in Near Callisburg, Cooke, TX. He married Mary Margaret HAWKINS, daughter of

James Lewis HAWKINS and Orpha Packwood on 05 Nov 1854 in Ralls Co., Missouri, USA.

5. Mary Margaret HAWKINS, daughter of James Lewis HAWKINS and Orpha Packwood was born

on 14 Feb 1839 in Marion County, Missouri, USA. She died on 01 May 1917 in Bowie, Montague,

Texas, USA (Bur. Salona Cemetery near Bowie).

6. Jeremiah G. “Jerry” GAMBLE Jr., son of Jeremiah G. GAMBLE and Sarah Ann Lockaby was

born on 14 Nov 1850 in Alabama, United States. He died on 02 Aug 1895 in Montague, Texas,

United States (Bur. Salona Cemetery near Bowie, Montague, TX). He married Kisiah Ann (Annie)

Baker, daughter of James BAKER and Mercy BELL on 09 Jul 1874 in Grayson County, Texas,

United States.

7. Kisiah Ann (Annie) Baker, daughter of James BAKER and Mercy BELL was born on 25 Feb 1857

in Lawrence, Missouri, USA. She died on 25 Jan 1946 in Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA (Bur. Salona

Cemetery near Bowie, Montague, TX).



Generation 4

8. Unknown CROSS.

10. James Lewis HAWKINS, son of Philemon HAWKINS and Ailcy Hannah LEWIS was born about

1803 in Scott Co., Kentucky, USA. He died before 01 Jun 1860 in Missouri (Enumeration date for

the 1860 census. His wife Orpha and daughter Ailcey Judith can be found living with daughter

Mary Margaret and her husband Elkanah Cross in Bates Co., Missouri.). He married Orpha

Packwood, daughter of Elisha PACKWOOD and Mary Polly BURNETT on 13 May 1838 in Monroe

City, Monroe, Missouri, United States.

11. Orpha Packwood, daughter of Elisha PACKWOOD and Mary Polly BURNETT was born in 1808 in

, Patrick, Virginia, USA. She died date Unknown in Missouri, United States,.

12. Jeremiah G. GAMBLE, son of Unknown GAMBLE was born about 1810 in Ireland. He died about

1878 in Grayson County, Texas, United States. He married Sarah Ann Lockaby, daughter of

James Lockaby about 1844.

13. Sarah Ann Lockaby, daughter of James Lockaby was born about 1826 in Georgia, United States.

She died after 1870 in Grayson County, Texas, United States.

14. James BAKER was born on 24 Aug 1808 in Tennessee, United States. He died on 25 Feb 1862 in

Lawrence, Missouri, USA. He married Mercy BELL, daughter of Thomas BELL and Elizabeth on

10 Aug 1838.

15. Mercy BELL, daughter of Thomas BELL and Elizabeth was born on 18 Dec 1813 in Tennessee,

USA. She died after 15 Jun 1880 in Alvord, Wise, Texas, USA (Bur. Alvord Cemetery Alvord, Wise,

TX).