Wednesday, October 14, 2009

News from a distant cousin in Nashville

I recently received the following information from a distant cousin concerning my great-great-grandmother, Eliza (Lively) Clarendie Harber (born 11/1/1827 and passed away in 1880). "Lively Clarendie Harber was the daughter of George A and Silvey Ann Harber of Marshall County TN. She had two brothers who settled near Eaton very early. One of her sisters married a Cleek and another a Hay. The Eaton to Crockett Mills area has a number of Harber, Stephenson, Cleek, and Hay cousins. Lively had a "Dutch" (most likely German) bible and would sit and read aloud from it unless she thought someone was listening. There were a number of stories about her two brothers speaking German to each other when they came to town to Crockett Mills. The best I can tell the family was Pennsylvania Dutch. A group of the Pennsylvania Dutch migrated to Charleston SC then to Marshall Co Tn. George Harber's father was Jacob. I have not been able to go much further back. I know that the 'H" in Harber was silent (at least for a time) and there were a lot of variations in spelling."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Dad

I can't continue without giving a much deserved plug and pat on the corporate back to the hard-working and brilliant folks at

Without the Herculean efforts of in making millions of documents available online, I would have been stuck peering through countless rolls of microfilm at my local public library in Memphis, Tennessee, searching for small entries among billions of entries in long-forgotten newspapers or censuses or wills or certificates of death or deeds or countless other written records scribbled during many centuries.

And, almost all of my ancestors were not famous or even well-known in any way, shape, or form.

For example, my father, William Roy Stephenson (pictured on the left), was born on 3/12/1927 in Bells, Tennessee. In January, 1945, my father was a senior in the 1945 graduating class of Bells High School (pictured below) and a member of the basketball team there and decided to join the United States Navy.

When you are only 17 years old, it was a brave decision, in my opinion. (I have never been a member of the military).

After basic training, my father was assigned to the USS Monitor (pictured).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Family Research You Tube Videos

You can find many, many more wonderful videos by this young lady (Elyse90505) and others by doing a search for Researching Genealogy at You Tube.

Isn't the modern age of technology amazing?

Here are some of the tips given by Elyse on the first few videos:

Start with what you know (this should be gathered on a Pedigree sheet.)

Write everything down you already know (be sure and include maiden names for the females).

Don't forget to ask older relatives and friends to help fill in the missing information.

Next do a Family Group Record for each couple (including parents and children).

Decide what is missing (and be sure to highlight this on your Family Group Sheet and Pedigree).

Be sure and include these three things on your research sheets (birth, marriage, and death -- in a city, state, county, and country format). More later . . . happy researching!

My First Post

Grandpa Phil with twin Luke

First, I want to thank Kathy Stephenson for setting up my genealogy blog.

By way of introduction, my name is Phillip Roy Stephenson, son of William Roy Stephenson, son of William Thomas Stephenson, son of George Adams Stephenson, son of William Calvin Stephenson, who is probably son of Robert Stephenson, son of Edward Stephenson, son of Robert Stephenson, who is probably son of Robert Edward Stephenson, who is son of Unknown.

As for the subject of my blog, I have discovered that genealogy is an unusual but fascinating discipline, because genealogy lifts the lives of our many ancestors out of obscurity.

Also, genealogy is beginning to benefit from the discipline of genetics and the sequencing of chromosome DNA and the human genome to discover the biological basis of human families.

Welcome to Phil's Genealogy Blog

Have you ever wondered how far back in your family tree you could go? Have you ever longed to know more about the roots from hence you came? Have you ever wondered what famous people in history you just might be related to? Well, I have.

After my retirement a few years ago, I quickly found myself interested in pursuing this venture while enjoying my coffee and newspaper (and laptop computer). With the right URLs, the right databases, etc., you can do it too. Not only has this brought me a lot of pleasure, it has also been something wonderful to share with my family — and even my Dad. For his birthday he received a new laptop computer in hopes he would get into this searching mode with me. Sharing your family roots with each other is a very rewarding pastime for everyone.

While following my family roots on this blog, I will be sharing with you some wonderful information to help you also locate your roots. Are you ready? Well then, let’s start our historical journey and watch the roots start growing faster along the way. Plan on having a fun time because you will!

Oh, by the way, did I mention I was a history major in college. Yes, I love history. So look to see some history thrown in here as well — whether it be American history, European history, or just plain the history of Memphis where I live.

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