Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Genealogy-What About Your Past-Rootsweb

William P. and Martha Harper (1896-1898)
Arminda (Childers) & William P. Harper
William N. Turner
Esley Turner Family 1927 or abouts

This morning I've been downloading old family pictures from relatives websites.  In 2002, I was hit with the finding out about my past bug.  Why 2002, I don't know, I wish it had hit when my Dad, both Grandpa's and Uncle Web were alive.  They would have had a storehouse full of information.  As it is, I've visited relatives with my scanner and notebook, begging and borrowing pictures and historical artifacts.  Visited numerous church yards and taken many pictures, and still I'm afraid I'm missing a lot. But then the journey is what's so interesting. Going back in time is so fascinating. Finding out the good and bad in my family and wondering why certain things happened.

When I began my genealogy journey, the first area of information I ran across was, this is the free version of  There's a lot of free information here. Their GenWeb database is the best.  This data base connects you to the city or town in a state to their genealogy records. For instance, I go to, once on the home page, on the left is a list of available resources. Scroll down to Search Engines & Databases, click on US Towns/County data. It will take you to a page where you list a town or county, and state.  I typed in Greenville as the town and SC as the state.  The next page gave me a choice of either Greenville or Spartanburg, because in later years, Greenville was divided and made into Greenville and part of into Spartanburg.  I clicked on Greenville, which after a few more clicks led me to a page to choose South Carolina Genealogy and more information. I think this has been my best resource to use. 

Another tool I used was online classes of "How To", though now the internet is so informative, but I know it helped me.  Another tool is You just have to visit this site to see what a wealth of information you can learn and use. And finally, I joined 

The money was well spent. I have copies of death certificates, census records, pictures, met other people researching my family, who turned out to be cousins or spouses of cousins, all from my office at home, with my trusty computer.

I want to comment on the pictures above.  The top picture is over a hundred years old. My cousin, who was given the picture in it's original frame, allowed me to take off the back of the picture and gently pull it out to scan.  As I did this, my thoughts were, this dust on the glass could be over a hundred years old and I'm probably the first person to touch it in over a hundred years!  This is a picture of my dad's grandfather and grandmother. He married Martha Katherine Lackey(Kate is on her tombstone, though her marriage certificate says MC) 28 Jan 1886, DeKalb County, Alabama. He was 27 and she was 22. They were only married for twelve years. She died in childbirth. She is buried at Black Oak Cemetery, Grove Oak, Jackson County, Alabama. Though why she wasn't buried at Macedonia Cemetery with the rest of the Harper's, I'm not sure.  From the above picture, I think they were happy. Much more so than with his second wife, Arminda, if pictures are any indication. Though one fact I discovered about pictures at that time.  You remember seeing movies in which a man placed his head inside a camera with a cloth, in his hand he held a wand and on the count of three, swoosh, powder went off.  To set up for the picture, people were placed in chairs with a brace at the back. The head was fitted into the brace so there could be no movement.  From what I read, this was very uncomfortable, which might account for the painful expressions!

Should you want to see my genealogy websites, you can go to M.C.(Mack, Mac, Leroy) Harper or Arville Harper Family Line.

The next two pictures are of my mom's side of the family.  The William N. Turner is one of the pictures I downloaded this morning from a cousin's site. I'm note sure how we're related, but it will be fun finding out.

The bottom picture was taken around 1927 of my grandpa Esley Turl Turner, with my grandma Frances (Tatum) Turner and all but two of their children, my mom and my aunt Jessie.

I have compiled a history book on this family, though it has been harder to find out about them.  It might have to do with the murder of my great-great grandpa Easley Turner, born 1816, died Jan 18, 1871, Georgia.

If you are on, I have family trees on Esley Turner and Leroy "M.C./Mack/Mac Harper.


Mommy Attorney said...

Thanks for sharing. I think this is just fascinating!

Agnes said...

Some of these genealogy sites are absolutely amazing! Judy, I love these photos. There's something about old photos...

Judy Harper said...

LH-You're so welcome. As you know, it's a subject I love to talk about!

Agnes-I know what you mean. I look at them and can do a time travel. It's so easy to imagine who they were and their life!

Journaling Woman said...

what great photos and history. Thanks for the links. I will try them.


Stephen T. McCarthy said...

J!3 ~
I don't know much about my genealogy, but I do know what sort of "Classic Leading Man" I'd make, because I took the test you have linked on your blog.

You can call me "Bogie".

~ D-FensDog

Judy Harper said...

Teresa-Old photos are such a window into the past. But at times, when you see your dad and mom in your greats, it's amazing!

"Bogie"- I can visualize that! I get such fun out of taking those tests!