15 January 2015

Dempsey Boyd Trotter Facundus (1899-1960), part 2

I feel fairly confident with my ability to research and find sources to document my ancestors. I admit that my skills at documenting and writing down my conclusions are not as well developed. In April of last year I made a post called Dempsey Boyd Trotter Facundus (1899-1960) in which I posted all of the sources I found for Dempsey.

What I failed to post was the reason I had done the research for Dempsey and why I was confused about my findings. Both of which would help me to better understand when my research got back around to Dempsey and for anyone who would read my blog and could possibly answer some of my questions. As fate seems to work, my first and as of yet only comment on this blog was for this post.

As I wrote in my post My Brick Wall Ancestor, I am at a brick wall in my Trotter line. I have tried many different approaches to finding more information about him. One of many issues with this ancestor is that the dates don't really line up. It may be that the Trotter name was given to my ancestor because it is the same name as his siblings. His biological father may not be the same person as his siblings father. One way I can answer this question is by using DNA, I just need to find a living descendant of one of my ancestors siblings.

As I began my descendancy research from my Brickwall, I started with my known ancestors brother William Jasper Trotter whose biological son is Dempsey Body Facundus. Dempsey's name instantly raised questions for me. Why is his last name Facundus when his father's name is Trotter? To add even more confusion, my ancestor Samuel Thomas Trotter was married to Emma Facundus. The Facundus surname has to be more than a coincidence. As I tried to figure out the family connections I found myself in a haze of confusion. That is when I wrote my post in April.

The comment I received on the post was from Lena Martinez. She stated that her great-grandfather is Dempsey Facundus. She also included her ancestry line to Dempsey. She also mentioned that her grandfather, Dempsey's son, was still living in Arizona. A quick Google check lead me to Lena's grandfather William Facundus Sr. I called and spoke with him yesterday to try and get more information about his father and perhaps his grandfather.

William was receptive to my call but wondered how I got his information. He told me the family story that Dempsey's parents both died and so he went to live with his aunt Kate or Katherine. He also told me that when through bootcamp he passed the security screening and that they came back to him and asked him about his fathers surname change from Trotter to Facundus. William Sr. called his parents and that was the first time he was told that his father had moved to live with his Aunt Kate when his parents died. The Army seemed okay with the story and William was admitted into his unit. William Sr. said he did not know much more about the Trotters.

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I put together the above chart to try and understand the relationships of this family. From the sources I have found I can prove all of the following relationships that are connected. However, as of now I cannot find the Facundus connection between Dempsey and Emma Facundus.

I still have some questions about Dempsey, as did Lena.William Sr. told me that Dempsey was a young boy when his parents died and he went to live with his Aunt Kate. I assumed Kate was a Facundus but she is a Newsom, sister to Dempsey's mother.

  • Dempsey was born in 1899.
  • Dempsey is enumerated in the 1900 census with his sisters in the home of William and Nancy Trotter.
  • Dempsey is enumerated in the 1910 census in the home of Walter and Kate Facunduz.
  • Dempsey's father, William Jasper Trotter, died in 1914.
  • Dempsey's mother, Nancy Newsom, died in 1918.
  1. When and why did Dempsey leave his parents home to live with his Aunt and Uncle?
  2. How is Walter Facundus related to Emma Facundus?
  3. Why did Dempsey's sisters remain in Louisiana and not with Aunt Kate?
  4. Dempsey was 15 when his mother died and 19 when his father died, why change his surname to Facundus?
When I spoke to William Sr. I asked him if I could send him a questionnaire in the mail that asked simple questions that may spur memories of his family. One of the questions I added was if he would be willing to take a DNA test. This may be the best way to see if we are descended from a common ancestor. Lena's comment may lead me to a breakthrough on my brick-wall ancestor.

09 January 2015

RootsTech 2015 App Available

I was reading Renee's Genealogy blog post New RootsTech 2015 Schedule Tools Available! and I got excited. Last year I found the app very friendly and I used the information to both plan the classes I attended and to find out information while I was at the conference.

The app looks similar to last years. Each icon gives you different functionality and will become more relevant the closer we get to RootsTech.The advantage to this app is that you do not need a wifi connection to use it. Once downloaded you have everything you need.

My Schedule - A four day, hour by hour schedule. As you look through the conference schedule and other information you can add your choices to this schedule. Then while you are at the conference a quick look at this page allows you to know where you are headed to next.

I took this photo at RootsTech 2014. Looking from the second floor into the Exhibit Hall.
Exhibitors - A list of all of the exhibitors that are registered for RootsTech. The functionality of the tool allows you to get more information about the exhibitor, mark them as a favorite, mark them as visited, schedule a visit that will appear on your schedule, or take notes while at the vendor to refer to later.

**Conference Tip**
I would plan on spending some time in the exhibit hall, I learned many new things while visiting the exhibitors and I got some free stuff too. I like the ability I had to be hands on with some products. I also enjoyed seeing the interviews and bloggers working at the show. They had free Dr. Pepper at the Cyber Cafe and a place to sit and charge my computer. The Demo theater was the most informative and comfortable place to be. I wish I had looked closer to the schedule of the demo theater compared to the classes I was attending. I missed some demos I would have liked to see.

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Maps - There are currently two maps in the app one for the Full Campus and one just for the Exhibit Hall. I can see myself referring to the Full Campus map during the conference. It would be nice to have a map from the Salt Palace to the Family History Library but luckily for those who don't know the way. Luckily it is only a block north of the building, straight up West Temple.

Conference Schedule - This is where you can find out information about the classes that are being offered. You have a choice of looking at the schedule day by day or by Track, depending on your skill and interest level. Once you find a class you are interested in you just click the star and it is added to your schedule. If you accidentally star a class at the same day and time as another class you have already chosen a pop-up will tell you that there is a scheduling conflict. 

I can see myself looking through the classes now to set my schedule. Last year I got into a couple of classes and I decided that they were not for me so I used the app during the conference to find another class instead.

Speakers - A one stop place to find out about the speakers at the conference. I loved listening and learning from Crista Cowan last year. Luckily I chose a class from her early in the conference. I found myself in a class that was not what I expected and saw that she was teaching another class I had a mild interest in and I am glad I traded. Last year I did not look into the speakers when I chose my classes. I depended on the class descriptions. I have learned that just because a presenter can write a good class description it does not mean they have they have the background or experience level to back it up.

These pages not only tell you about the speaker but they also show you when they are presenting and gives you a link to add their presentation to your schedule. 

Click to view larger version.
Show Documents - A place to find handouts and other documents relating to the conference.  Currently there is a Week-at-a-glance chart that shows when different events are occurring during different times the day. This was not in the 2014 app so I can only assume exactly what will be in this part of the app but as we get closer to the February 11 I will be checking this for more information.

This is me and my wife with a pirate at RootsTech 2014.
Photo Gallery - A gallery of photos relating to RootsTech 2015. It was fun to see the different photos that were posted to social media from the last RootsTech. Some of the vendors even had picture contests. This part of the app allows you to take photos and add them to this library. I am not currently sure if they will be shared with others. I assume that the conference organizes will post photos of the conference for us to see.

Videos - A collection of presentations from past RootsTech conferences. I assume that they will continue to post sessions from this conference to the website and they will be available through this app. I would spend some time watching these presentations now to get a flavor of what the conference will be like in February. What better way can we put tech into RootsTech.

Twitter - A collection of the latest tweets about #RootsTech. This is another way to experience Tech at RootsTech. I am not a big twitter lover but ever since last February I have been a fan. It is fun to see the things people say and share through twitter. It also gives you a way to keep conversations going. This allows to experience the information and feel of twitter without committing to the social media site. Check it out now because it has all of the latest information for RootsTech available at your fingertips.

Friends - A collection of people you meet at RootsTech. This is where you can view the status, schedule and other information for the friends you add. To add a friend just click the + icon.

News - A collection of blog posts about RootsTech. There are currently blogs posted to the app but during the conference we will be able to read and follow the blogs live right in this app.

Attendees - A list of RootsTech 2015 attendees that share their profile for others to read. This is where you can find friends for the friends part of the app. It has a security feature so that people have to request to be your friend before they can see your information.

RootsTech.org - A link to the RootsTech website. I believe this icon requires an Internet connection. This link gives you access straight to the RootsTech app.

Facebook - A link to the RootsTech facebook page. I believe this also requires an Internet connection.

Search - This is a powerful tool to find anything you need within the RootsTech app. A quick search of DNA found 22 events, exhibits and presentations. You can also search for an attendee or speaker. I can see that I will probably be using this the very most while I am at the conference.

Download the RootsTech 2015 conference app today at the App Store and Google Play

05 January 2015

My Genealogy Stats as of 1 January 2015

Last year just after RootsTech I took a look at where I was in my genealogy research. I did not record all of the information from my database and I was looking at the end of February instead of at the very beginning of the year.

This year I have decided to record more of my statistical information to compare in the future. I am a Legacy Family Tree user and easily found the information in the File Properties in the file menu.

Number of Individuals: 9883
Number of Families: 3176
Unique Surnames: 2192
Alternate names: 7158
Master Location: 5058
Master Sources: 983
Citations: 66430
Master events: 13278
used by individuals: 13336
used by marriages: 690
Master media items: 5070
times linked: 47925
Repositories: 15
Event addresses: 283
Mailing addresses: 109
To-Do items: 204
Research: 201
Correspondence: 3
Other: 0

The only real number I can compare to last year was an increase of 1295 individuals. I am hoping that I can see more than a 13% increase in my numbers. The good news is that I was averaging 129 new people a month or approximately 4 people a day. I know from my work that these have all been sourced and added to my database, FamilySearch and ancestry.com.

I also took a look at my FamilySearch temple reservation information on the website.

All Reserved: 139
Not Printed: 116
Printed: 21
Shared: 0

Legacy also gives me information on the cards I have already printed and not completed. I notice a discrepancy with the website and Legacy between 25 and 21 cards.

My incomplete ordinances are as follows:

60% complete

I hope to push this number higher and try to also track the total number of cards and not just the active and reserved information.

I admit that I chose a direction to head in with my research. I have had some mildly successful outcomes. This coming year I hope to:
  1. Continue my path and try and perfect my skills and boot my numbers higher than 13%. 
  2. Either switch my cloud storage or break down and pay to increase my dropbox capacity. The current back-up size is 3.7 GB for my media file and 39 MB for my data file.
  3. Double my blog numbers. I made 28 posts to my blog since mid January. This looks like an average of 2.5 a month but the reality is that more than half of them I made in the first three months. I have had 1812 page views this year with 341 last month.
  4. Go old school with my research. I need to ask relatives for more information through personal questionnaires and media searches. I also need to print out sources I find to add to my files. I also need to visit the Family History Library more than once to obtain copies of sources that are not online.
  5. Increase use of social media. I want to host a virtual family reunion with specific goals for obtaining information and pictures for descendancy research and living family members. I also want to get more people to see my rebel mouse page.
  6. Attend at least two genealogy conferences this year and attend or teach a regular class within my area or stake.
  7.  Complete the temple reservations I have already printed and supply more cards for our family to attend together and complete at least 5 baptisms and confirmations for each of our teenagers at home.
 I like writing down my goals but I think the true benefit of this post will be to see how I have grown and the work I have completed in 2015. I am open to other ideas but I think this is a good start.