Saturday, June 30, 2012

OK Facebook Fans, Genealogy Is Live And Well On Facebook.

Do you need or want help on a specific research question? The answer just might be on Facebook. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has recently moved their Facebook initiative out of beta and into full access mode. Currently there are 104 Facebook pages or groups focused on a specific area or topic. Each page has one or more administrators. The success in receiving questions and getting them answered by an administrator or follower is already very high. Below is a photo showing some of the pages or groups. This is hot getting hotter each day.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Proof: Obama Overdoes Big Win

Learning Genealogy Is Getting Easier Each Day

One of the reasons genealogy research is getting easier to do is that so many are focused on it. All over the world individuals, governments, societies, businesses, and churches are catching the spirit in a passionate way.

The LDS church has a leading website: All information on this site is free to the public. Family search is able to partner with a lot of businesses and organizations in adding data to its database. Some data that would cost to obtain comes free to family search through trading or sharing resources. An example is that the UK 1911 census is the exclusive domain of Through it's partnering relationship, Family has that census.

Family Search not only has billions of records of data, it is one of the best learning centers for the beginner or intermediate genealogist. If that might interest you click on learn as you reach It will take you to a page like the one below:

There is the Wiki with expertise help on thousands of specific topics, showing you how to research that topic.  There are training videos that are excellent. There are forums to post you questions.

Catch the spirit, dive in. It's fun.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Can The Church Move From 2.5% to 10% Using New Family Search?

Mormon Temple
San Diego Mormon Temple
The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are taught that it is their responsibility to do family history work. Currently only about 2.5% of the members use new family search in it's full capacity.

Our software developers have been given the mission to make FamilyTree more user friendly, knowing that some people find too difficult.

I personally find the features of FamilyTree extremely motivating and am anxious to see it move from it's current beta mode to full live.

So besides the software being a positive, what else can get people inspired to take a part of their life for genealogy research?

One area is with our kids. The Salt Lake Family History Library had a recent cool story this last week. They have come up with some genealogy computer games for kids. One lady recently came to do research and had 3 of her children with her. The hosts asked if they could put her children on the computer with the games. She of course agreed. To eveyones delight, one of those children found a missing ancestor she had been researching for years.

In the 1940 census project, some of the biggest producers, and most accurate are teen agers.

I really believe genealogy research is much more interesting for kids, if they knew it, than a game. It is in this spirit that I created the Family Crossword Puzzle I posted a couple of days ago. Let's hope my children and grandchildren like it. It will help them learn about our name and ancestors.

I think many don't think they have the time. My personal experience is that I went from believing I was too busy to discovering it was a matter of priority and desire. Once I got going I scheduled part of every Sunday to do genealogy. I had the time, I always had the time.

Once you get going, you get into genealogy it becomes a labor of love.

I know just not knowing where to start holds some back. The church website is a fabulous place to start. Tremendous resources have been developed to help the beginner. Follow the learn tabs.

Our Church Priesthood leaders could help. I know a Bishop I put family history on the back burner. We did do some good things here, thanks to my having a committee on the topic that were pro-active and pushing me to be supportive. But the bottom line, I could have done so much more. It would have been a blessing to our Ward for me to have seen it in a more important light. I am certain today, there are many Priesthood Leaders that could have a big influence on the work of family history.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

1940 Census Update

There are 140,000 volunteers helping index the 1940 census. Pretty awesome, people from all religions and all types of communities are performing this mighty work. Thanks to you all.

The indexing part looks like it will be done in 3 to 4 weeks. The arbitration on this should be done by the end of July and the completion date appears to be around November 1, 2012.

Pretty amazing and good work. For more inforation on the 1940 Census click here

Wanna Have Fun - Create a Family History Cross Word Puzzle

I spent a few hours creating this puzzle for the kids and grandkids. If they do the puzzle they will learn a lot about their family history. It's a great idea that came out of a Saturday Seminar Session at the Riverton Family History Library. It was pretty simple to do on an Excel worksheet. Here is the one I did. It helps to be family on this one.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

British Civil Registration- Births Marriages Deaths

England Civil Registration
Join the Wiki Community Meetings to get advice from experts, give suggestions for improving the Wiki, or join a project. Previously held on Tuesdays, they are changing to Thursdays, effective 28 June, 2012. Check the Community Meetings page for the new information.
(Click [dismiss] on the right to stop seeing this message on every page.)

From FamilySearch Wiki is considered by many to be genealogy research #1 tool.      

It won't answer your questions, rather it will have articles to guide you to places you should research. The Wiki is adding articles almost daily.
Civil Registration is explained here on the Wiki. This is a portion of the article recently posted by family search, with this link to it, click here.
England go to Civil Registration

St Mary-le-Strand church and the North Wing of Somerset House, location of the General Register Office from 1837 to 1970
Civil registration is the government recording of births, marriages, and deaths. Civil registration records are excellent sources of names, dates, and places of births, marriages, and deaths. Because they are indexed and cover most of the population, English civil registration records are important sources for genealogical research. Learn more about using these records for family history from the Directgov website.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Do Free Vital Records Exist?

Full article here on

Vital records are legal documents that track important events in a person’s life; like birth, marriage, divorce, and death records. These vital records exist for many reasons, not only to keep vital data for government agencies and census statistics, but for individual uses, For instance; identification, verification of marital status, background checks, verification for life insurance claims, and many other reasons.
A vital records search, however, can be a difficult task, and there’s normally a fee if you want to obtain a certified copy from a government agency. Do free vital records exist? If so, where can you get free vital records?

>Free Vital Records

Free Vital Records by State

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Some Thoughts About Life

Kildrummy Castle
Craigfintray Castle: Ireland
Several weeks ago I started posting something in tune with the spirit of Sunday as the Sabbath. It often is a neat video. For those that just want the video: here is a re-run of the one people liked the most so far: Click here

So for those willing to hang in there, I guess it might be relevant as my 71st birthday is coming up, I wanted to share these thoughts. Mark it down as an old man speaking. I know, I don't look or act old.

I am sure there is a God who has created all things and that he is a God of order. I am equally convinced that part of that order is the right he provides us to have our Free Agency. In other words, he will not force us to do his will, even when for our own good.

I believe that all things we encounter, good or bad, are for our own good. Many times I have asked myself,"'why was I born to these parents"? Yes many good things have come to me through them. I am now wondering if the challenging things we shared had lessons for me to learn. If there is such a thing as life eternal, and if our Saviour Jesus Christ not only died for our sins, but his atonement will make right our pains, should it matter what we have been subjected to, or should it matter more what we did with our situations? Or how we grew?  Kathleen and I were the Sacrament meeting speakers on Mothers Day. I don't know why, but I kept being prompted to say this to our mother: "Mother, I know you loved us", as part of my talk. Those close to our family will make more sense of this than others, let it suffice to say - things got pretty rocky in our family.

I am hoping for many many more good years on this earth. I'm planning on that. However, one thing I think I will cherish will be meeting some of my pioneer ancestors. It is true, the more research one does on their family history the closer you get to them. Recently I have wanted to understand our grandfather Elisha Cragun. The details of his joining the Mormons would be fascinating to me. I sense I would be impressed with that, as he was a wealthy man, married into a wealthy family. It appears he gave it all up, (land and slaves) as he and  his family were baptized and joined the trek west. He did die on the way.

I'd also like our Cragun ancestors to tell me the proper spelling of our name. Whether we came from England, Ireland, or Scotland, or all of the above, their is no spelling of our name as CRAGUN in those countries. Not now, not ever in the past. Something simple would do, like Craig rather than ones I have found possible like Craigfintray. There was a Castle in Ireland of that name.

Connecting the principle of free agency to the sacrifice of our early pioneer ancestors makes me think about the many of their descendants who left the faith. From that, much of their entire posterity is mostly out of that faith. Does it matter? Are all religions enough, are all correct? Now that would clash with the concept of a God of order. It wouldn't clash with believing eternal life provides enough time for the love of God to win us all over. That also wouldn't clash with believing Christ paved a way for all of us to be given forgivenss, and to accept his doctrine. I do sense thatwe will be judged for our lives work. I sense it is important to turn to his doctrine as we are here and when we are prompted by his spirit. I think our pioneer ancestors are likely concerned for their grandchildren many.

Our Grandmother Nancy Athena Porter will be a special meetup. I feel like I am her buddy. I feel her love. I also think she is getting impatient for me to finish the book I started so many years ago about her life. If I don't finish it, much I have learned will be lost.

I'm not sure how to wrap this up - so I will just wrap it up. Have a good day today. Larry

Friday, June 22, 2012

Are You One Of Those Sticky Notes Junkies Junking Up Your Desk?

Chess Art - 2
A Confused Mind Says No
In my effort to bring to you cool things  I find while on this genealogy mission, and to help you not be so darn confused, I remind you of Stickies.

My friends and relatives, it's time to clean that desk and move those yellow pieces of clutter off your desk and onto your computer screen.

What is Stickies?

Stickies is a PC utility written to try to cut down on the number of yellow notes you might be leaving everywhere, even on your monitor. 

It is a computerised version of those notes.

The design goal behind Stickies is that the program is small and simple. Stickies will not mess with your system files, or write to the registry.

Stickies stores information in a single text-based ini file.

Stickies will never support animated dancing figures, or play "Greensleeves". They are instead yellow rectangular windows onto which you can put some text notes. Once created, they will stay on screen until you take them away. Just like a real sticky piece of paper.

To demonstrate, on the right is a photo clip of my screen with a few of my top secret to do items put on Stickies. Don't get a magnifying glass, it will burn your screen up.

Stickies is free which is cool, along with how cool they are. You can donate.

Try them out by going to

Monday, June 18, 2012

Family Tree Is Moving Along Nicely

Family Tree, in its current beta form is still quite functional. The list below shows what is about to to be added. You only have to log into to see if FamilyTree is available to you

Click here for the article: Family Tree Is Going To Change Genealogy Research Forever:
I believe you can still just login and see familyTree as an option now. It was enabled the last time I looked. It goes off and on, so if it isn't live keep coming back. I believe they are on track to go fully live this year.

Here is the impressive list of the coming features:

Adding/Changing/Removing a Father

Adding/Changing/Removing a Mother

Adding a New Child to a Family

Adding a New Parent

Deleting/Restoring a Parent-Child Relationship

Deleting/Restoring a Couple Relationship

Adding/Changing/Removing Couple Events (Marriage, Divorce, Common Law, Annulment)

Adding/Changing/Removing Parent-Child Relationship Types (Biological, Step, Guardianship, Adopted, Other)

Couple Relationship Change History with Restore

Parent-Child Relationship Change History with Restore

Adding Sources to Couple Relationships

Adding Sources to Parent-Child Relationships

* All of these actions include "reason" statements.

Before we turn on relationship editing, we need to solve several data integrity issues. Family Tree is a new system with a new database. To populate this database, we migrated all of the people and their relationships from (nFS). There is a mechanism to keep these two systems loosely in sync.

This sync mechanism currently has several defects that result in the Family Tree data becoming inconsistent. The most serious defect occurs when users combine people in nFS. When that combined person is synced to Family Tree, the combined person remains as two people. This causes unexpected results as you navigate your tree.

Before we turn on relationship editing, we need to correct this problem. It's very important to note that once we turn on relationship editing, the two systems (nFS and Family Tree) will diverge. You should not expect that the two systems will display the same data. You should focus your attention on Family Tree. Correct the information there. Personally, I have stopped performing operations that separate and combine in nFS. (You Should Too!!!!!)

We are taking this problem day by day. It may require a planned outage to correct. We hope to have this fixed and turned on soon. Stay posted.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Does The Cragun Name Come From The Name Craig in Scotland?

I'm thinking of changing my name to Craigavon, Cragifintray, or  Craigellachie - read this and you will understand why.

Note, in all my research in England, Scotland, and Ireland I find no spelling of our name as CRAGUN. This includes my two year mission in England and flight stopovers in Ireland and Scotland. 

Several histories suggest that the name Cragun comes from the name Craig in Scotland. Many of them went back and forth between Ireland and Scotland. Some emigrated to England.

Kildrummy Castle
Craigfintray Castle Kildrummie

Craig History

Although the surname Craig can easily be identified with the Gaelic word for a cliff or outcrop of rock (such as Ailsa Craig or Craigellachie) its origin appears to go far back into the time of the Picts, a native race from North East Scotland, of which very little is known. The story goes that as the Scots began to expand into this area the Picts were allowed to remain there on condition that all future Kings agreed to marry Irish Princesses.

Very early records of this surname appear in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire around the 12th century and this surname appears on the Ragman Roll in 1296. Despite this the stronger lineage of the clan comes from Aberdeenshire, seated at Craigfintray Castle in Kildrumie and has been for a long time connected to the
John Craig who led his clan in the battle of Culbean in 1335

Around 1440 another branch of the clan developed near Berwick where they were granted Estircrag.

Richarde de Crag was the vicar at St Mary's in Dundee in the 1550s and John Craig was imprisoned during the Reformation for adopting Protestantism. Fortunately he escaped and joined up with John Knox

Sir Thomas Craig of Riccarton was a well known authority on Scottish Feudal Law. He was much admired by James VI and his work 'Jus Feudale' is still referred to in Scottish Law. His son Sir James Craig became one of the Scottish undertakers of the Ulster Plantation (N. Ireland) in 1610.

His descendant James Craig of County Down was the son of a whiskey millionaire. During the 1920 he was an organiser for the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) who opposed Home Rule. In 1921 he became the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. He later became Viscount Craigavon.

The winning design for Edinburgh's New Town (the part of Edinburgh which extends to the north of Princes Street) was James Craig and his grand Georgian street layout is more or less intact to this day.

The more commonly used Craig tartan was designed by McGregor-Hastie around 1957 and the colours are representative of earthy tones meant to symbolise the Rocks from which the surname derives.

The Craig crest, of a chevalier on horseback with a broken lance represents the 'broken men' from other clans who were granted the protection of the clan. 

Click here for a little more.

Ireland Is A Beautiful Country

These photographs from Flickr give you a sense for how beautiful Ireland is.  However there was a famine about the time Partrick Cragun (probably spelled differently) was born. WikiPedia puts it this way: The Irish Famine of 1740–1741 (Irish: Bliain an Áir, meaning the Year of Slaughter) in the Kingdom of Ireland was perhaps of similar magnitude to the better-known Great Famine of 1845–1852.
[Howth and Ireland's Eye. County Dublin, Ireland] (LOC) Ireland Saint Patrick's Day
IrelandIreland Saint Patrick's Day
I am positing my research on Patrick, as are others, on Family Tree section.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Census Find Can Be Wrong

Kathleen was noticing that the 1940 census had her father 20 years older than he really was.

The lesson, when you find a census it is often a great resource, however, as a stand alone documentation it may have some incorrect info.

I love finding censuses on families I am researching. Yesterday I found the family of a woman who was a child we knew of parents we knew of. Through British census info we learned she ran a boarding house, that she outlived 4 of her 5 children. We previously didn't know even if she was married. We found grandchildren. We found out her married name. We still need to find her husbands name as she shows up in a census as a widow, at age 33.

Yes you can glean a lot from a census. One thing I like about is how it suggests other census to review on the same page of the particular census you are looking at.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Success With Microfilm At The Family History Libraries

Family History Library, SLC, UTThese past two weeks I have been training a father and his son as full time missionaries.

It's been rich, for me, and I think for them.

Their heritage goes back to England and not much is on computer where we are working, mid 1700's.

Not as easy a solution, but often a good one, is viewing microfilm records at the LDS Family History Library. Here in Salt Lake City, the advantage is that much of the microfilmed records are stored right on site. Those rolls that must be called from the Granite Vault can be retrieved the same day with an early enough in the day request.

We started yesterday afternoon. It didn't matter that this wasn't an area of my expertise as there were plenty of missionary volunteers there to help. We were advised to get 3 different rolls of microfiche. We knew a couple of counties their ancestors lived in and started going through Parish records that had been microfilmed.


Yesterday we found a relative, her marriage, the birth of her 3 children, then the death of her husband, and finally her re-marriage 7 months later.

I left them alone this morning to complete the first roll while I did research for them on the computer nearby. As of noon today they had found about 12 new names and events to add to their family tree.

At the same time I researched online, using names in their FamilyTree of ancestors who appeared to have no spouses.

Using,, and I have about 10 new entries for them.

One interesting discovery I am going to share with them this afternoon is one of their ancestors owned a boarding house in England. I found her in an English census as a widow owning a boarding house. Her 33 year old daughter, also a widow, lived with her with a child. In another census I found the widowed daughter with 4 children.  Three died according to one census which interesting had a column for number of children and another column for children living.

I am discovering that working on other peoples lines, helping them get excited about genealogy is fun, even though they aren't your relatives.\
Even if you don't live near Salt Lake City you are very likely to live near a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Family History Library. They are open to the public. Not all are open every day so you should look up when they are open. Those libraries can help you learn how to order film that can be viewed there. There is a cost that covers just some of the expenses to copy and deliver the film. The cost to the church is about $15.00 at this time, your cost will be less than that.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Story For My Posterity

OK now, this is article number 175 on this blog and it's the first about me.

I was raised in Pocatello, Idaho which was a good thing for me. There were a lot of Mormon kids which made it easy for me to pick friends with same standards and thereby stay in tune with our principles. I am glad for that. I've never smoked a cigarette or a drink of liquor, even beer. I wonder how my life would be different otherwise. I have had enough trouble discliping my self regarding food, sweets, and my weight that I think it might have been real difficult breaking an addiction.

Last month, on the 5th of May, I did pass a milestone where I did do something similar. It was probably not nearly as difficult. That is on May 5th 5 years ago I gave up drinking Diet Coke. I don't know what made me do it, I was good for several giant 32 ouncers a day. It was a sudden decision. Something told me cola wasn't good for me and that  I should quit. I did.

Somehow I had the will power to resist peer pressure. One day in High School,one of the tough kids in school, we called them "Hoods" back then pulled a switchblade knife on me and said he would cut my throat if I didn't smoke the cigarette he pushed to my face. My reaction surprises me even today. "Go ahead, cut my throat, I still won't smoke that thing", I said. Now in High School days I weighed about 145 pounds. Oops, how did I go up by 100? That's another obvious story. Anyway, I was no match for him should he have gotten tough for real. My answer seemed to surprise him, and he mumbled another threat and walked away.

In the big picture I think I was well liked by my classmates. But here is another related incident: one of our school football - baseball - basketball star athletes decided to take me out in a fight. I know I did nothing to provoke this. I am sure of that. But, here we are in the hallway after school and Duane Sims is yelling at me, dancing around like a pro boxer, and egging me on. We began to be surrounded by bystanders waiting to see death first hand. I began to wonder how bad this was going to turn out when from out of the crowd comes my switchblade buddy, with knife pulled out. He stepped out to rescue me if you can believe.

"Sims, this is my friend. I am his body guard and protector. If you ever do anything to him I make you pay, get it?"  I still get chills over this.

At this point, I sure wish I could remember his name. Interesting who's name I remember.

The final chapter to this was at our recent 50th high school class reunion when a guy walks up to Kathleen and me and wants me to go look at his website. It was Sims. Shock. I am bigger than him now. Come on Duane, lets go out and rumble, right? No of course I didn't say that. I did say to his dismay, "Gads you don't look so big now". He sure looked befuddled.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Purpose of This Blog

Photos from an annual family retreat
As I come up to 175 articles on this blog with about 50 other websites linking into the blog or linking out from this blog one might ask, what's the point?
Is it because it's fun for me? It is that, I do like to write about things.

Is it to leave a history of my life and my family? It in part does do that. There are stories here, Jason says he prefers stories when it comes to my involving him in our family history.

One reason, is to share the many things I am learning here on this family history mission, Kathleen and I are serving for 18 months, here at Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City. I share fun things too, cool things such as this video by Andreas Bochelli, clicking here takes you to that video.

I am writing in hopes that this blog is a site people come back to. In that effort I mix things up: some of what I speak above, some fun things, great photographs, someting sprititual on Sunday, and tips about technology or genealogy.

I know to bring my kids back, I have to make it sort of interesting. I try.

This isn't a genealogy research blog but it links to one for each of my main family lines. The most work I have done, is researching on the Cragun line. That blog is here:  I am making every effort I can to make that a valuable resource for others that are working on the same families. Later even my children might find it valuable.

The research blog is focused while this blog has a few facets of content.

I also write for Google and the other search engines. I know how to get to the front page of Google without any fancy tricks. Why do I do that? The answer is easy. I want my unknown relatives that do searches to find this blog. Currently about 1/3 of the traffic to this site is from Google.

Some of what I write is easily sent to Facebook and Twitter, or can be emailed. I do a lot of that in my reaching out to family and friends efforts.

I invite comments an feedback. I anticipate some of them may chime in  once in a while on the comments option. Some have. That is good.

As I wrap this up, I invite your comments too if you are so inclined.

Home Teachers A Special Kind Of Simple Service

Ash, Kids, Horse 12What are home teachers? What is their purpose?

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, The Mormons, each person is assigned two people as home teachers.

Home Teachers are to have at least monthly contact with their assigned persons or family.

It's an assignment of service.

Be a friend. Be aware if any needs arise. Be an earthly guardian angel. How can you bless your home teaching person or family? That is your question.

I've seen wonderful service provided by home teachers. Some small acts, some that required huge efforts. Small or large, as Christ would do.

It's inspired.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blogging For Genealogy Success

Power Point - Blogging For Genealogy Success Presentation

Be Ye Therefore Organized Updated

This video by Barry Ewell is on his blog: The link is at end of this article 
We should be commanded to organize.

So much time is wasted when we aren't really organized. That it true and magnified when it comes to genealogy research.

For the last three months I have been training new full time family history missionaries. Most of them come with the desire to become excellent researchers as they are here on their missions. In that process we spend time researching and documenting our findings with their first 5 generations. We use research logs as a big part of knowing where we have been and what we have discovered.

In those 30 people there are: their spouses, their children, their children's descendants, and each have ancestors to confuse the intelligent. It takes only a mornings worth of research to have so many logs, photographs, copies of censuses, birth and death documents, and websites visited that one can easily have scrambled their brains.

Thus my new genealogy commandment: "Be Ye Therefore Organized:!

Taking the time to carefully follow this awesome system will require your focus at first but will reward you and your posterity forever. How is that for a promise?

I was pleased that so many clicked into the previous article about being organized. I am convinced this was a great thing for everyone to implement.

There was one problem - the concept was confusing to implement. I wonder how many were like me and did most of it, or like Kathleen who tore her hair out and screamed a bit. As we decided to take another more in depth look at the details we discovered that Barry Ewell had done his own version, very similar, and that he has made it easier to follow and implement.

I like his modifications.

I love his video and PDF.

I suggest that if you got started to any degree, review the video and see how you can implement his version.

If you haven't started yet, now is the time.

You can go to the website and order by email a 15 page PDF that is a great help. Wow, I love being organized!


Remember: Successful genealogy research depends upon being able to find information again which you already have. To do so you need a simple system for organizing paper copies of family group records, pedigree charts, documents, notes, and research logs and helps.

A Couple Of Things We Miss About Issaquah

Searching Ireland

Ireland Trent Strohm
From Irish Genealogy News website: Irish genealogy research is famous for being difficult, if not impossible. This reputation isn't entirely deserved, although there can be some fundamental difficulties in discovering your Irish ancestry, particularly if you don't know where your ancestors lived. That's why I launched my website, Irish Genealogy Toolkit. It's a free online guide to Irish family history research, and it's designed to help you to find your heritage.

As both Kathleen and I seem to have Irish roots, and we are now moving to search there, I have added a section of links on Irish Research to the right sidebar of this blog.

Check back, as I find more I will update the sidebar.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Creggan Parish Church, Counth Armagh, Ireland

Creggan Parish Church, Crossmaglen, County Armagh (1758)
Creggan Parish Church, Armagh County Ireland
In my search to find Patrick Craguns father, Caleb (the spelling is still to be figured out) I spent much of the afternoon reading through records of The Creggan Parish Church, Counth Armagh, Ireland.

My hope was to find some record of Caleb and how his name was spelled. Even a family member would have been great. No such luck.

However, I did find some interesting journal entries I thought I would share:

This parish serves served several towns, Cregganduff being one of them. Note another spelling.

There is a Creggan river that runs by the church. (near the Glassdrummen Castle)

A quote: "A Creggan Parish tradition that sometimes rears in the parish is in this effect, that at one time an ancient buriel ground, occupied a portion of a field in the possession of a Mr Donaghy, on the left hand side of the road leading from Creggan to Crossmaglen, a distance of one field away from same road. As certain mourners were about to ener the body of a departed friend, they heard a bell tolling. This mysterious and unseen bell as a warning to them that they should not perservere in the internment of the body there. They deserted from their orignal mention and were guided by the souond of the bell, which they followed until they came to a spot where the Creggan parish church now stands and there they laid the corpse to rest."

An entry on weddings: "Weddins in the old days were on foot, but them that horses rid them. A good weddin then was worth lukin at."

"Big Charlie Carragher was keeper of the Dorsey Pound. He began his career with cattle stealing but eventually committed a murder for which he suffer the death penalty at Bullsmills."

"People build a haunted house at 6 pence per day wages."

A 1743 request of the Lord Duke of Devonshire - Gen Governer of Ireland: People in Cragger were so uncultivated that it became a refuge for thieves. By giving proper encouragement to Protestants it of late became civilized and improved. A meeting house was built for their continued teaching. Recently it has been burned down. Will the Honorable Lord Duke of Devonshire conceive of a proper reward to discover the author of this horrid and deter them from future attempts and greatly conduce to the increase of Protestants in the Barony?"

"Creggin" a long reach of territory with moras, bog, and river called in ancient times "The Precint of the Fews". In the upper part of this district lies the parish of Creggan. Morally and geographically it was perhaps oone of the wildest parts of Ireland - the scene of most of the adroit and daring exploits of Redmond O Manlon, the Robin Hood of Irish robber romance. It's first traits of Protestants dates back to as far as 1615.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Researching Patrick Cragun Opens Up Interesting History

Major General John Sullivan Patrick Cragun (Craguner - Creagan???) seems to have arrived in Tennessee about 1779 or 1780.

It has been fascinating to learn about that era in Tennessee. General John Sullivan led the final crushing of the feisty Indians. Those battles on their own are interesting. General Sullivan went into Tennessee to fight the Iriquois Indians and their British agents with four brigades totalling 1500 soldiers.

Later, in December of 1779 brave pioneers left their homes to seek their own fortunes in Tennessee. Many came through South Carolina which  had an important network of early roads, including the ancient Great Indian Warrior Path. Some came by river, in 1779 Colone John Donelson led a 30 boat flotilla that launched the famous river migration to Tennessee. He had been there  previously, but his family came with him in this flotilla. 

Years earlier the area had been surveyed in preparation for settlement. The land was choice, the ground was fertile, perfect for farming which is what Patrick Cragun did for his remaining life.

They arrived and settled in what was to become Sullivan County, named after General John Sullivan. His story is also interesing. His bitterness toward England is understandable, as his families Irish Castles had been leveled to rubble by the British invasions. His father was an Irish Exile.

John Sullivan led an in your face attack on Fort William and Mary, where he and some selected associates, through fire and muskets tore down the Royal Flag and carried barrells of powder and muskets away. This British reaction was that it was so humiliating there was no turning back to a war with the Colonials.

The Irish had good reason to despise British rule. Ireland had been pillage and raped, their people murdered by the thousands. It was no wonder the Irish immigrants were key to the American Revolution. Those most vigorous in the rebellion agains England were the Irish. John Sullivan being just one of them. Patrick Cragun possibly another.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Some Thoughts About Mormon Prejudice

by a non mormon college professor: Found on

It was a fairly typical lunch at an academic conference in the East after the New Hampshire primary in 2008. There was a smattering of endowed professorships and international reputations at the table, perhaps eight academics in all.

Along with the sweet tea and penne pasta came the inevitable skewering of George W. Bush.

"Never has a president experienced such horrible poll approval numbers in the midst of a war," one professor quipped.

"That is, if you overlook Harry Truman," I interjected into an uncomfortable silence.

It was going to be that kind of meal.

Dessert made its appearance and talk turned to the relative merits of the developing college basketball season and presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were hotly debated – the state’s primary promised to be a pivotal one. Then it was onto the Republicans, and Mitt Romney’s name popped up.

"I couldn’t vote for a Mormon," one professor said. There was some polite (or perhaps impolite) head-bobbing. "It’s a cult. Very intolerant, and their opinions about women, and, well ... ” and his voice trailed off.

I mentioned I had just been hired at a college in the West with a sizeable student and local population of Mormons -- Idaho State University, in Pocatello.

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

What Happens When You Focus on "MY" in Family?

Family Tree
A Family Tree?
What Happens When You Focus on "MY" in Family?

This was shared with me in a discussion about the upcoming FamilyTree. There will be a paradym shift for many, maybe even most.

The shift? It will go from everyone having their own tree to being a part of one family tree. That is a most significant evolution from New Family Search.

In other words, if I change data to my ancestor it changes my tree and your tree - our tree.

I know this will make some uncomfortable. I have experienced people's ire when I do something with one of their ancestors in new family search.

FamilyTree will have important features that will enable us to work together, actually force might be the word. 

So now about the tricky part of this post.

So, we do spell family: F A M I L Y  |  If we focus on "M Y" rather than the entire family it ends up like this: strike the M and the Y from  F A M I L Y  and you get F A I L.

Cute but right. I guess that is applicable in any family dynamic. My needs versus Family needs.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Important Settlement Of America Dates

1565: The Spanish created the first permanent Settlement at St Augustine, Florida

King Phillip II of Spain named Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, Spain's most experienced admiral, Governor of Florida, and instructed him to explore and to colonize the territory. When Menendez arrived off the coast of Florida, it was August 28, 1565, the Feast Day of St. Augustine. Eleven days later, he and his 600 soldiers and settlers came ashore at the site of the Timucuan Indian village of Seloy with banners flying and trumpets sounding. He hastily fortified the fledgling village and named it St. Augustine.
Utilizing brilliant military maneuvers, Menendez destroyed the French garrison on the St. Johns River and, with the help of a hurricane, also defeated the French fleet. With the coast of Florida firmly in Spanish hands, he then set to work building the town, establishing missions to the Indians for the Church, and exploring the land.
Thus, St. Augustine was founded forty-two years before the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, and fifty-five years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts - making it the oldest permanent European settlement on the North American continent

1607:  Jamestown, Virginia -- First English permanent settlement.In 1607, 13 years before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts, a group of 104 English men and boys began a settlement on the banks of Virginia's James River. They were sponsored by the Virginia Company of London, whose stockholders hoped to make a profit from the resources of the New World. The community suffered terrible hardships in its early years, but managed to endure, earning the distinction of being America's first permanent English colony.

1619:  First Slaves from Africa brought to America

1620:  Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts settlement - Pilgrims

1623:  New Netherlands (New York) - Dutch settlement

1630: 10 year migration to New England - The Great Migration many from England and Ireland

1820:  Records of arrivals began: There were passenger lists created prior to 1820 by some State and local authorities. Some are available on line in  Some records are not there and can be found in books. Not so convenient, I know. This might help those of us that are researching Patrick Cragun. He did jump ship in Boston Harbor, but there may be a local or state record not yet found.

1892:  Ellis Island opens as main immigrant processing station

Saturday, June 2, 2012

One Of My Favorite Genealogy Research Forms

When you start piling pages of research notes one on top of each other, they can become confusing. Having records is superior to not having them, but the information you amass can become a challenge. I have found the form below is a great one to use as I read my old notes and strive to make sure I focus my research. This is easiest downloaded at my account: Click Here
An Example of How I Am Using This Form