My Genealogy Cave

Until recently, my computer was in an open loft with bookshelves down the hall and other genealogy stuff in a bedroom closet.

With some reconfiguration, my genealogy stuff is in a room with a door, really adding to efficiency. I added a second computer monitor, very useful when adding information from FTDNA or Gedmatch to the excel spreadsheets containing my DNA chromosome maps.

Computer Desk with Two Monitors
Computer Desk with Two Monitors

Isn’t that a clean desk! As part of my plan to be more efficient, I just have the current project on the desk. When that’s finished, I have plenty more projects on my work tables.

Work Tables
Work Tables

Fortunately, I can keep my back to my work tables. In a project for my ProGen study group I estimate, working 40 hours week, I’ll finish the work on the tables about May 2015. I appreciate the generous relatives who have given me so much information to add to our family tree. Perhaps, the key to a couple of brick walls are hidden on the work table. But back to today’s project – scanning more Musgrove family pictures for the family reunion.

  Copyright © 2014 Andrea Musgrove Perisho

Genealogy Education Plan

With traveling and focusing on training to improve my genealogy research and writing skills, I haven’t posted on the blog for awhile.

In April, I finished the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Genealogy Education Programs (GEP I, II and III). The on-line courses covered DAR applications, plus information useful for other genealogical research. Topics in the twenty-seven lessons included vital records, evaluation of evidence, federal, state, and local records, finding alternative sources, using indirect evidence, creating an analysis, and resolving complex service problems. The last two lessons required submitting an written analysis. I’m now a DAR Genealogy Consultant and feel better prepared to research Revolutionary War patriots for myself and others in our local chapter.

The National Genealogical Society Family History Conference was held in Richmond, Virginia, 7-10 May 2014. I flew in for pre-conference workshops on the probate process and on writing. From Wednesday through Saturday, attendees could choose from dozens of lectures from 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM. When not attending lectures, I was in the Library of Virginia pulling records on Holders and Piggs from Pittsylvania County, perhaps the native home of my Virginia-borne Holder ancestors.

After a week back home, my husband and I flew to Scotland for a tour with a group from our Presbyterian church. Visits to Iona, Stirling Castle of Braveheart fame, Edinburgh, Holy Island-site of the first Viking landing, Rosslyn Chapel-featured in the Da Vinci Code, Cambridge, and several places in and around London were included. During twelve days in Scotland and England, I saw many family surnames-the tomb of Archbishop Musgrave at York Minister, very near where our possible Musgrave ancestors lived; Medcalf in northern England; Knox, Craig, McIntyre and other familiar surnames in Scotland; Archbishop Davidson in southern England and many more. I wish I had ancestors traced back across the pond-maybe a later trip. A wonderful experience, with great scenery and traveling companions.  In the meantime, 500 pictures are awaiting processing.

A week after the overseas trip, I headed to Birmingham, Alabama, for the week-long Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University. I was one of twenty five people taking the Writing and Publishing Course taught by Thomas Jones, PhD, one of the most highly regarded genealogy authors and editors in the field and editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ). In addition to pre-work, homework was assigned most nights. On Monday night, after attending an optional evening lecture, I finished my homework at midnight. No more evening lectures for me. During our lunch breaks and long afternoon break, I was in the library researching Alabama ancestors, including Isaac Oaks, a Revolutionary War soldier who fought in Virginia, moved to Georgia, then onto Alabama where he is buried. If I can document this lineage, Isaac Oaks will be my first DAR patriot in our Holder line. A highlight of this trip was meeting a Vickers cousin; we connected through my blog post on Daisy McIntire Vickers.

A genealogy education goal is to participate in a study group based on Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills, the previous editor of NGSQ. The twenty nine chapters of ProGen, as it is called, cover Ethical Standards, Problem Analysis and Research Plans, Evidence Analysis and more. ProGen study groups work together on-line over about eighteen months covering the 600+ page book. Successful completion of ProGen is sometimes a precursor of genealogy certification. After Richmond, I applied for an upcoming ProGen class. I hoped for a fall class, but knew some people where waitlisted up to a year. While in Scotland, the ProGen coordinator sent me an email about an open spot for a study group starting June 1st. So in the week between the Scotland/England trip and IGHR, I finished my IGHR pre-work and did the reading for my first ProGen study group session held that same week.

Over the next eighteen months, my time will be balanced between genealogy research and training, focusing on the ProGen study group while still allowing time for an on-line NGSQ study group, which reviews one article from that periodical each month. For more details on NGSQ study groups, see Michele Simmons Lewis’s excellent description on her Ancestoring blog.  I’ve followed Michele’s blog and was especially pleased to meet her in the IGHR writing class.

With any luck, I’ll get back on track with weekly blogs, probably not posting 52 ancestors this year, but posting a few more as my research allows.

 Copyright © 2014 Andrea Musgrove Perisho

Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group

Since mid-August, I’ve participated in an on-line study group covering Thomas W. Jones’ book Mastering Genealogical Proof.1,2 This new book has the genealogy community excited, with case studies and questions/answers showing us how to apply respected standards to come up with acceptable conclusions.

Angela Packer McGhie, administrator of the ProGen Study Program, in her Adventures in Genealogy Education blog has just announced five more study groups are forming.3 DearMYRTLE has just completed a study group; the YouTube videos are still available.4  I’ve reviewed those chapter 2 videos to help me understand that chapter’s difficult, for me, concepts.

While working on my family history, I want to learn professional techniques so my research can be used by others. One assignment in MGP is to select a brick wall in your own family tree and use the techniques in the book to break through that brick wall.

For my brick wall, I selected my great-grandmother Dovey Alpine Piearcy Buckmaster, with my research question – “Who were her parents?” The answer to that question seemed pretty clear-cut, until I really started gathering sources for her. Dovey wasn’t listed as a great-granddaughter of Tryphena McGinnis Piearcy in her petition for Choctaw citizenship, as were Dovey’s two younger siblings. (See my earlier post for Tryphena’s petition.) Then I pulled out my paper files on Dovey, including the original marriage records for James Wesley Piearcy and Bertie Wellington. From the calculation of Dovey’s age from the 1900 census, Dovey was born in 1889/90, four years before her parents married in 1894. Both Jim and Bertie were fourteen years old in 1889/90. It really doesn’t seem likely Jim and Bertie would have a child when they were fourteen, then marry four years later. Possible, but not likely.

In chapter 2 of the study group, one of our assignments is to develop a locality guide with all the possible sources of information, to assure a reasonably exhaustive search for records. So far, I’ve written a locality guide for Ozark County, Missouri, where Bertie’s parents married. I’ve found extensive records on Bertie’s mother, Lucinda Webster, but little on Bertie’s father. Family records say his name was John Wellington and his two children , Daniel and Bertie, have their last name recorded as Wellington. So far, I’ve found John’s last name spelled as Wilington and Worlington; maybe that’s why no one has any records of John’s parents.

My next step is to gather information for a locality guide for Arkansas and while I’m at it, see if I can find any records of John and Lucinda Webster Wellington in Arkansas, using a wild card surname search of W*lington. I want to find out where Bertie was nine months before Dovey was born, so I’d love to find records in the 1888-89 time frame. Unfortunately, the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire, so that’s not available.

After that comes a locality guide for Texas, particularly Clay County, where James Wesley Piearcy and Bertie Wellington married in 1894.

It really may take DNA testing to break down this brick wall, so if you are a Piearcy cousin and are interested in DNA testing please contact me. In the meantime, I’ll keep working on this brick wall and through my study of MGP learn more about foot notes, several of which should have included on the above material. But stay posted, I’ll have more blogs on this family lines, with proper footnotes.

Here’s more about the book from the NGS website – Mastering Genealogical Proof aims to help researchers, students, and new family historians reconstruct relationships and lives of people they cannot see. It presents content in digestible chunks. Each chapter concludes with problems providing practice for  proficiently applying the chapter’s concepts. Those problems, like examples throughout the book, use real records, real research, and real issues. Answers are at the back of the book along with a glossary of technical terms and an extensive resource list.5


  • Preface
  • Chapter 1 – Genealogy’s Standard of Proof
  • Chapter 2 – Concepts Fundamental to the GPS
  • Chapter 3 – GPS Element 1: Thorough Research
  • Chapter 4 GPS Element 2: Source Citations
  • Chapter 5 GPS Element 3: Analysis and Correlation
    Chapter 6 GPS Element 4: Resolving Conflicts and Assembling Evidence
  • Chapter 7 GPS Element 5: The Written Conclusion
  • Chapter 8 – Using the GPS
  • Chapter 9 – Conclusion
  • Appendix A – Pritchett Article
  • Appendix B – McLain Article
  • Glossary
  • Reading and Source List
  • Answers to exercises

MGP can be ordered through the NGS website. If you are a member, log in first, to get the discount.


  1. Thomas W. Jones Ph.D, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS is certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, and is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, Utah Genealogical Society and the National Genealogical Society.  He has co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002 and is a trustee and a past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
  2. Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013).
  3. Angela Packer McGhie, “Five Gen Proof Study Groups Open for Registration,” Adventures in Genealogy Education, posted 07 Sept 2013 ( : accessed 09 Sept 2013).
  4. Pat Richley-Erickson, “MGP Study Group – Hangouts on Air,” DearMYRTLE, posted 17 Mar 2013 ( : accessed 09 Sept 2013). [NOTE: While DearMYRTLE’s MGP Study Group is finished, the YouTube videos are still available, accessed 09 Sept 2013, to watch the videos just click on the video tab in DearMYRTLE’s YouTube.
  5. National Genealogical Society, “Mastering Genealogical Proof,” NGS Special Publications( : accessed 09 Sept 2013).
Copyright © 2013 Andrea Musgrove Perisho

Unemployment Relief Census of 1933 – Transcribed by Oklahoma Historical Society

While on the Oklahoma Historical Society website yesterday, I found the following information about the 1933 Relief Census. Here’s the link  to the site: (Right click and select open in a new window.)

On this site listed as heads of household were both my maternal and paternal grandfathers, Carl Holder (listed as Carroll Holder, age 28 in 1933, a farmer with 4 people in the family and living in Wade, OK, which all matches Daddy Holder) and William Musgrove (age 24, a farmer with 3 people in the family and living in Oklahoma County). Also included in the census as heads of household were two of Daddy Holder’s brothers, E.F. and Joe, along with their father, G.B.

Within a few years, both my grandfathers, Carl Holder and William Musgrove, were able to buy their own farms.

For a genealogist, this census gives us another tool to place people in a particular place and social context.

In order to be on “the dole,” most likely, the family could not own any land. The head of household may have had to be of a certain age. A quick search today did not list the criteria for being on the dole in Oklahoma, but each state set up their own criteria until Roosevelt established the Federal Employment Relief Act in late 1933. I’ve requested a book on the Depression in Oklahoma, which may give more information.

From the site:

The OHS Research Center staff and volunteers have transcribed Oklahoma records for   unemployment relief. These records offer insight into the economic status of Oklahomans during the 1930s. There are more than 100,000 names included in this database.

The OHS Research Division’s manuscript archives include information for several counties. These records are located in the William H. Murray Collection [1982.294]. The records are fairly uniform and consist of typed pages.

  1. Beaver County
  2. Blaine County
  3. Bryan County
  4. Caddo County
  5. Canadian County
  6. Cotton County
  7. Craig County
  8. Creek County
  9. Logan County
  10. McCurtain County
  11. McIntosh County
  12. Muskogee County
  13. Noble County
  14. Nowata Count
  15. Okfuskee County
  16. Oklahoma County
  17. Okmulgee County
  18. Ottawa County
  19. Pawnee County
  20. Payne County
  21. Pottawatomie County
  22. Sequoyah County
  23. Texas County
  24. Tillman Count
  25. Tulsa County
  26. Wagoner County
  27. Woodward County


Copyright © 2013 Andrea Musgrove Perisho


Land Records

Yesterday, I listened to a recorded webinar on Using the Bureau of Land Management Tract Books by Michael John Neill. [Read this only if you need instructions on how to get to the sites. To go to website, right click on underlined link and select open link in a new tab. Look at the top of your computer screen to see the new tab. Click on it. When you are on his site, on the right, see all the webinars he has available. If you are interested in buying some of his webinars, join his blog site and wait for the frequent sales.]

I’ve spent all my spare time since then on the Bureau of Land Management site. I’ve found what may have been my great great grandfather’s, Charles Wilson Buckmaster, original homestead in Oklahoma in 1903. (Or maybe not since it’s in Washita County, in western Oklahoma. However, that could have been the only available land and he rented it out. More research is needed to figure out if he’s our Charles Wilson Buckmaster.)

I found lots of Arkansas records on the Eoffs, Holders, Tylers, McIntires and Mays, with several Holder men who may be contemporaries of Spencer and Joseph. Maybe further research of these lines will help break down that Holder brick wall. 

The Bureau of Land Management has over 5 million Federal land title records issued since 1820, but not every state has been micofilmed. Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri look pretty complete. In Texas, only two counties are on the website. That was disappointing. Kentucky and Tennessee don’t have many records on the site, either. From the header on the site home page, it looks like Nebraska records will be available soon.

If you, like me, have Scots Irish and other ancestors who were farmers moving west with the frontier, this free site is worth checking out. If you get bogged down on the site, it’s worth spending the $6 or so for Mr. Neill’s webinar.

Genealogy Bank is a new site with millions of available newspaper clippings. I joined after hearing great reviews. I found no newspaper clippings from my Oklahoma, Texas or Arkansas relatives on that site. So if your ancestors are from the rural areas of those states, wait a little while and check on their coverage before spending your dollars on this site. 

Good luck seeking your own roots.

Copyright © 2013 Andrea Musgrove Perisho