Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stumped! Who Was Emiline Niday?

Our first introduction to Emiline Niday is when she planned to marry Greenberry Percy Stump. In Therese A. Fisher, compiler, Marriages in the New River Valley (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1991), page 229 is the entry: "STUMP, Green B. & Nidah, Emaline (d/o John Niday); 18 Jun 1847 (GB)" Spelling inconsistencies aside, this tells us that a marriage bond was taken out for the marriage of Green B. Stump and Emaline Niday on 18 June 1847 in Giles County, Virginia, and that Emaline was the daughter of John Niday. In the introduction to this book, the compiler tells us that she made no assumptions regarding parentage (even when it seemed to be made quite evident) and so we can safely assume that Emaline's parentage was explicitly stated in the record.

John Vogt and T. William Kethley, compiler, Giles County Marriages, 1806-1855 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Publishing Co., 1985), page 123 adds a little more detail in the entry: "Nidy, Emaline & Green B Stump 17 Jun 1847; perm- John H Nidy, father  wit- James G Stump, Jacob Nidday  b- 18Jun by Jacob Nidey, John P Johnston." The two dates in this entry puzzle me; according to the introduction the date should be assumed to be that of the marriage with any conflicting bond dates noted, but it seems unlikely that a bond would be needed on the day following the wedding. That aside, we do now know that John H Nidy, Emaline's father, gave permission for the marriage, indicating that Emaline was not yet 21 years old. We also have the names of the two bondsmen, Jacob Nidey and John P. Johnston.

Two things these entries agree upon - Emaline Niday was the daughter of John Niday and she intended to marry Green B. Stump.

Recently I came upon another researcher's work where this is disputed. That author believes the transcriptions to be in error and that Jacob Niday should have been listed as the father of Emaline. The author bases this belief on two factors, one the mistaken belief that "Bond is generally given by the father" and the other, that "No record of a John H. Nidy corresponds with the time frame for this marriage that I can find." I certainly can't know what this researcher has or has not found, but not finding something is not at all the same as that thing not existing. Like this researcher, I have not found any contemporary record for a "John H. Nidy", but there is good evidence of a contemporary named "John Nida" or "John Nidah."

John Nida/Nidah/Niday was born in Virginia circa 1797, took out a bond to marry Sarah Harless on 23 October 1818 in Giles County, Virginia and later moved to Ohio and then Iowa. It is this John Nida who I believe to be the father of Emeline Nida, but can I prove it?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Got My Favourite Database Back Online Today.

I absolutely love "On This Day in Harless History." I know that sounds a bit vane considering I created it, but although I am proud of it, that isn't really what I mean. I developed this database as a fun thing so people could see who they shared a birthday with. I thought it would be a good way to introduce children to their heritage and genealogy - on their birthday go to the Harless Homepage and see how many of their Harless ancestors were born on the same day. I didn't really think of it as any more than that, but after a while I noticed how often I checked it myself.

I maintain several large genealogy databases using a few different genealogy programs, but the bulk of my personal research is in my Harless database that I have in The Master Genealogist (TMG). This database has almost 81,000 people in it and I add to it most days when I get a chance. But five minutes here and there isn't enough time to check every fact for every one of those 80,000+ people. One thing TMG does is keep a record of the last time you edited anything in the record of a given person. I do not recall exactly when I switch over to TMG (I used Roots4 before that, so genealogy tech nerds will probably know the exact date! lol). What I do know is that I have people in this database that I have not edited since 11 June 2000 because that is the date shown for the random person I just selected in that database.

If I come across a new collection at a library, archives, online etc., obviously I revisit the people who are or might be covered by that collection. The next reason is when I get an email - people ask me where I got a certain fact or offer to update a line - when that happens I usually work on their line for a few days until I am satisfied I haven't missed anything. But if I have no new collections and no emails, how do I pick which line, which family, which person, to check? I go to the "On This Day in Harless History" database and pick the first name that comes up! I love it. No over thinking, no picking easy lines or favourite states (yes, I will admit to it - have you seen the collections WV has put online?)

I would love it if everyone who came to the Harless Homepage looked at On This Day in History and checked their own lines. Perhaps you know it is your ancestor's birthday and I don't have them listed - if they aren't on the page it either means I don't have any information or I only have partial information. As soon as I have the full date and the name of their spouse for the marriage entries, I can add them to the list.

On This Day in Harless History

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Webpage Overhaul

I spent today giving the Harless Homepage a new look - it was long overdue but it is one of those things that aren't really urgent enough to make it to the top of the to-do list. One thing that was much higher up that list was getting some of the databases back online. These were incompatible with the (new a few years ago) server and I knew I needed to write a new script and make new databases - those things are just about as boring as they sound - so obviously I put that off in favor of the fun things like research.

Today I finally finished the first database makeover and I was feeling very pleased with myself right up until I remembered I still hadn't given the page it's new look. But I am invincible. I decided to update the site before I took the database live. And then I decided the blog needed an updated look. And then I decided the family tree needed a new look too. Nearly 2,000 pages in total. And I did it! Yes, I'm bragging. I usually don't, but this is a huge chunk of my very long to-do list cleared. Christmas shopping is now at the top of that list, but I have plenty of time for that, right?

Go check it out and let me know what you think of it.
Newly Renovated Harless Homepage