Welcome to True Miracles with Genealogy

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Thank You for Visiting True Miracles with Genealogy!

True Miracles with Genealogy Volumes One and Two - Global eBook Winner 2012True Miracles with Genealogy welcomes you and invites you to scroll down for  book news, genealogical quotes, product reviews, family history writing tips, and the latest genealogy news from other sources.

House moves blew a hole in my writing time. Hence the two-year gap in posting. Thanks for your patience. I will post more in the weeks ahead.

Furthermore, I invite other writers of genealogy related articles to submit them for publication.

Please contact me by clicking on the "Contact Us" link at top of this page, or message me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/anne.bradshaw

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Genealogy is Exciting!

Genealogy is a fascinating and exciting activity. I love being a detective and making the connections that build my family tree. The process fires up my brain and brings history alive for me. Consequently, it is my hope that this website, together with the True Miracles with Genealogy books, will encourage many people to get involved with research. As a result, we can all enjoy uniting families in heaven and on earth, one link at a time.  ~ Anne Bradshaw

Turning Genealogy into Historical Fiction — Part Three

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Genealogy to Historical Fiction — Part Three

by Bev Scott

This is the third in a serial documentation of the journey Bev Scott traveled from reading yellowed documents in the National Archives to launching a historical fiction novel based on the lives of her grandparents. ~~ Anne Bradshaw

On the Trail of John Howard Scott

Grandfather Harvey Depew Scot as a young man before he abandoned Harriet.
Grandfather Harvey Depew Scot as a young man before he abandoned Harriet.

I knew from the depositions I found in the National Archives, that John’s first wife Harriet reported he had abandoned her in 1879 leaving her “destitute” with five children and a sixth on the way.  She believed he was dead.  But I knew he lived until 1911 under the name of Harvey Depew Scott.  Looking for clues, I combed the depositions he gave to government agents when he was trying to prove his identity as a Civil War Veteran.

There he acknowledged that he was in Kansas and in 1880 went to work as a cook for an “overland”  expedition from Fort Dodge to Laramie, Wyoming.  Another time he reported that he worked cattle.  It was the time of cattle drives from Texas up to Dodge City.

Thousands of longhorn cattle were driven by drovers up the Chisholm Trail and the Western Cattle trail.  It is estimated that over five to six million cattle driven up the Western were packed into wooden rail cars and shipped to Kansas City, Omaha, St. Louis and Chicago.  1880 was one of the peak years for cattle drives. Some cattle were to be delivered farther north and were driven across western Kansas to Ogallala, Nebraska, Dakota Territory, Wyoming, Montana and as far north as Canada.

Far west town
Far west town

Life on the Cattle Drive

Going from Texas to Dodge City at ten to fourteen miles a day easily took two to three months.  Life on the cattle drive was dusty, lonely and frequently dangerous.  Any strange noise or unexpected event especially at night could precipitate a stampede of the thousand to fifteen hundred skittish animals.  Heavy rains meant flooded rivers and the trail drivers had to get reluctant cattle into rushing  water, make sure none of them were carried downstream with a fast-moving current or got stuck in the quick sand at the river’s edge.

Cattle towns provided distractions and entertainment for the drovers.  Dodge City was infamous as a wild and lawless town.  A typical frontier town, it acquired a reputation of glamour, excitement and opportunity.  Buffalo hunters, cowboys, gamblers, gunslingers and railroad men were drawn to Dodge City for thrill of adventure and easy come, easy go money.

Although killings didn’t happen every day, they were not a rare occurrence either.  In the saloons where drinking, gambling and female entertainment occurred, and arguments among the rough characters who frequented these establishments were usually Background in the style of the American West. Handcuffs in jeans.settled by  gun fights.  The men shot dead were often buried in unmarked graves on famous Boot Hill.  Wyatt Earp, his brother, Dave Mathers and other famous gun slingers and killers hung out in Dodge City.

Where was John Howard?

Did John Howard join a cattle drive from Texas to Dodge City and then go on to Wyoming?  Did the lure of Dodge City entice him north from Texas?  I believe there is a strong possibility he was in Dodge City or passing through during its rough and tumble days in the 1880s.

Next Installment in Genealogy to Historical Fiction Coming Soon

Turning Genealogy into Historical Fiction–Part Two

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Genealogy to Historical Fiction — Part Two

by Bev Scott

This is the second in a serial documentation of the journey Bev Scott traveled from reading yellowed documents in the National Archives to launching a historical fiction novel based on the lives of her grandparents.~~Anne Bradshaw

In my journey to uncover the family secrets about my grandfather, John Howard Scott, aka Harvey Depew Scott, I had discovered a trove of documents in the National Archives that confirmed the stories of another family. I had found information in Indiana searching in County records, libraries and cemeteries about John Howard’s parents, his birth, his Uncle Bill Swan and marriage to his first wife, Harriet. (see May 20 Blog) But, the National Archive documents indicated that the family had moved to Texas.

In fact, a deposition from a Civil War soldier confirmed that his sister, Harriet, had married John Howard and that she lived at the time in Fort Worth, Texas. I wondered if I could find more information and learn when and why John and Harriet and their children moved to Texas. That led me on another leg of this journey.

Census Records and Depositions

Weatherford, Texas
Weatherford, Texas

I began by exploring the census records. I discovered that in 1870 John and his family had moved to Illinois; but, in the 1880 census, John was not listed. Instead, Harriet is listed with six children living in Parker County, Texas. What happened to John and why was Harriet in Texas?

I turned back to the depositions. The government agents had tracked Harriet down in Fort Worth, thanks to her brother. In her deposition, she reported that the family moved to Weatherford, Texas, a small rural community in Parker County west of Fort Worth, but no hints as to why they moved to Texas.

Archives Document
Archives Deposition

In November, 1879, John Howard had gone into town for a load of corn and never returned. Harriet said she was left destitute with five children and a sixth on the way. She looked for John tracking him to Fort Worth but ultimately lost the trail and assumed that he was dead. Five years later she had re-married and was running a boarding house in Fort Worth.

Following the census records also revealed three more generations of John Scott’s in Fort Worth, Texas, but no John Howard Scott. I wanted to know what had happened to him when he left Weatherford in 1879. Since I had found interesting information in libraries and historical societies in my search in Indiana and Nebraska, I decided the next stop in my journey was a visit to Texas.

Still No Luck

I had no better luck than Harriet. I could find no trace of John Howard in Weatherford or in Fort Worth. He got out of town and left no trace. I did find in the Scott family plot in the Fort Worth cemetery and two of the three generations of John Paul Scotts.

In the library, I found the obituary for John Howard’s son, J.P. Scott Sr., a “Pioneer in Business” who died in 1959 at age 92. It is Interesting that the obituary reports he moved to Fort Worth from Weatherford after his father died. J.P. founded his company in 1892, just three years after his father left the family. Originally the company served as a wagon yard selling firewood and awnings and shoeing horses. When he retired in 1938, his sons took over the business which then consisted of the Scott Awning Company and the Scott Rug Cleaning Company.

Where Did John Howard Go?

Scott Grave Site
Scott Grave Site

Where did John Howard go when he left Weatherford? When did he change his name to Harvey Depew Scott? What did he do between 1879 and 1892 when he married my grandmother? My journey and my search weren’t over yet. I still had many questions.

Next Installment in Genealogy to Historical Fiction Coming Soon

Turning Genealogy into Historical Fiction

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Genealogy to Historical Fiction

by Bev Scott

Going from genealogy research to a full length historical fiction novel is an involved and lengthy process.  This is the first installment in a serial documentation of the journey author Bev Scott traveled from reading yellowed documents in the National Archives to launching an historical fiction novel based on the lives of her grandparents. Her novel, Sarah’s Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness, will soon be published. More information coming later with further accounts of Bev’s writing journey. Thank you, Bev, for sharing your adventure. ~ Anne Bradshaw
National Archives where genealogy comes alive.
National Archives

“Very few Civil War veterans have thick files like this,” the staff person at the National Archives said as he handed me two thick folders in response to my request for information about my paternal grandfather.

Excitedly I began to read the forms and letters, yellow with age, which documented my grandfather’s lengthy pursuit of Veterans Benefits.

At first my only goal was to search for the truth of the whispered story, that he had another family. It was true! It was documented in these files. That was why my grandmother never received her widow’s benefits.

Historical Documents

Reading these old documents, depositions and letters was intriguing. I learned details about Harvey Depew Scott, the man my grandmother married; but who was born John Howard Scott. He was born in 1840 and reported his father had died when he was four so he was raised by his uncle. He claimed his name was wrongly recorded when he enlisted a second time in the Civil War. He swore his only wife was my grandmother, Ellen; yet his first wife, Harriet, reported in her sworn deposition that he abandoned her in Texas with five children and a sixth on the way. I wanted to know more. Who were his parents? Were there other relatives that had similar names? When did he marry his first wife? When and why did they go to Texas? Could I find an explanation behind these details?

Like many other Americans, I began a journey of genealogical research to see what I could find out about this mysterious man that my grandmother never mentioned to her family after he died.

Bev in Spangler Cemetery - 1 Genealogy to Historical Fiction
Bev in Spangler Cemetery – 1

I had learned from the Archive files that he was born in Vermillion County, Indiana. I already knew that my grandmother’s family also came from Indiana so I made a trip to Indiana to visit cemeteries, libraries and county court house records. I learned the names of his parents, Paul and Rebecca Scott, when they married, stories about the uncle, Bill Swan who was a river boat captain, and when John and Harriet were married.

I found the cemetery with the grave of Captain Bill Swan and a record of John’s mother, Rebecca, who was also Bill’s sister, dying in the poor house. Her body was given to Captain Swan but there was no record of her grave. I found minimal information about John’s father, Paul. I wanted to know who his parents were, did he have other relatives, where he lived before he came to Indiana, when he died and where he was buried.

More Historical Records

Bev in Spangler Cemetery - 2 Genealogy to Historical Fiction
Bev in Spangler Cemetery – 2

I was more successful in tracking down information about my grandmother, Ellen’s family. I visited a cemetery, now an overgrown in a cow pasture, in Putnam County, Indiana with her ancestor’s graves. I found family marriage and birth records back three generations.

I later visited the small Nebraska town where her parents homesteaded and learned stories of her family and her siblings. I uncovered the marriage records listing my grandmother’s name as Eva Ellen Russell marrying Harvey Depew Scott in 1892. She was 22; he was 52. There were records of their homestead land claims made right after they married as well as land claims filed by Eva Ellen in the years after Harvey Depew died.

Later I found the newspaper report of Harvey Depew Scott’s death in 1911 in Hanley, New Mexico a small community outside of Tucumcari. Why were they in New Mexico? How long had they been there before Harvey Depew died? How long did my grandmother stay in New Mexico?

Next Installment in Genealogy to Historical Fiction Coming Soon

My next trip was to New Mexico to see what else I could uncover about Harvey Depew Scott.

International Genealogy Guides

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International Genealogy

Does international genealogy research sound impossible to you?  Think again! FamilySearch has some wonderful research guides on their website at https://familysearch.org. And everything is free of charge.

A World of International Genealogy
**********A World of International Genealogy**********

With permission from the FamilySearch website, I quote below from their easy to understand explanation of what to do when visiting their guides.

Each Genealogy Guide Comes with Three Parts

Each guide comes with three parts – Instruction, which includes a guided activity, Assignment, to test what you’ve learned, and an Answer key, to check how you did on the assignment. The guides are also rated as either Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced. The majority are designed for beginners.

The guides are available in PDF form designed to be downloaded and printed. To view a guide, click on its title. Once the guide has opened, use the PDF tools found in your browser to print and save the document.

PLEASE NOTE: Some guides are designed to be completed using resources found in the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. These are indicated by an * following the title of the guide. If you cannot visit the Family History Library, check your local library or your local FamilySearch Family History Center for availability of the resources described in the guide.

What You’ll Find in the International Genealogy Guides

Check below for the various sections available in the international “how to” guides.

1 How to use the guides
2 Work in progress
3 Countries
3.1 General Help
3.2 Latin America
3.2.1 BrazilGr
3.2.2 Mexico
3.2.3 Uruguay
3.3 Europe
3.3.1 Austria
3.3.2 Czechia
3.3.3 Denmark
3.3.4 England
3.3.5 Estonia
3.3.6 France
3.3.7 Germany
3.3.8 Italy
3.3.9 Latvia
3.3.10 Lithuania
3.3.11 The Netherlands
3.3.12 Norway
3.3.13 Poland
3.3.14 Portugal
3.3.15 Russia
3.3.16 Slovenia
3.3.17 Spain
3.3.18 Sweden
3.3.19 Switzerland
3.4 Africa and Asia
3.4.1 South Africa
4 Feedback

Happy hunting–the world is indeed your searchable oyster!

FREE United States Research Seminar

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FREE United States Research Seminar, August 22-26, 2016

FamilySearch is offering a FREE United States Research Seminar, in-person AND via webinar, August 22=26, 2016 - here's how you can attend!

Thomas MacEntee, owner of Geneabloggers.com , gave me permission to share a recent post from his blog about this upcoming free United States research seminar. To quote:

Classes Include: New England, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-South, Gulf South, Midwest, Great Plains, Pacific, and Mountain West Regions, U.S. Topics, FamilySearch classes and lunch time research activities. Click here to download the PDF brochure and read below for the official announcement!

* * *

The Family History Library’s Research Specialists invite you to their free week-long United States Seminar. The seminar, which will be held August 22nd – 26th, 2016, is perfect for beginning and intermediate genealogists interested in learning about U.S. regions and records, FamilySearch resources, and Family History Library collections.

Come and spend a week at the world renowned Family History Library learning from our expert staff genealogists on how to effectively use the FamilySearch Catalog, Historical Records, Research Wiki and more. This year various regions of the United States will be explored. Learn what records are unique and similar to each region. Discover new techniques, strategies, and methodology to apply to your genealogical research problems.

In house seating is limited to 120 attendees and this year all classes will be held as webinars except for the hands on activities. We ask that all participants register for the seminar.

If you are attending in person please visit the following link to register: http://bit.ly/29yftnL*

If you are attending by webinar please visit the follow-ing link to register: http://bit.ly/29SVbmz*

Each in house participant will be provided a free spiral-bound syllabus containing all of the class handouts and materials. Those attending by webinar will be able to print the handouts at their home.

We hope this seminar will not only be informative and instructive, but that it will also encourage and inspire you to continue your family history research. Perhaps this seminar will be just what you need to break through that 20 year old brick wall research problem. We look forward to working with you!

*We will use Eventbrite to process your registration. Your information will be processed in accordance with their privacy policy located at http://www.eventbrite.com/privacypolicy.