Monday, December 16, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013


Recently when I've gone to Find A Grave there's been an amusing advertisement for a psychic's hotline.  The tag line was something like, "Want to speak to the relatives who've passed?"  Or something like that.  I laughed and then got a little angry because it felt a little disrespectful.  Then I moved on.  Today I signed up for something called Genealogy Wise.  I thought it was a sort of research site, and I guess it is, but not in the way I thought.  My biggest problem with it is that it has a chat room that you're automatically logged into when you as a member go to the site.  Yeah, no.  I don't like chat rooms.

While on the site I visited the Forums page which is where people post questions and comments and information.  One post jumped out at me: Genealogy Research and the Paranormal.  Um, okay.  I read some of the entries and comments.  The original poster stated that he'd gone to Gettysburg with divining rods, the type used to find water.  I guess they can also be used to find spirits.  The poster has several entries where he describes his divining rods leading him to a cemetery and to a specific headstone of a woman named Rebecca Little.  He posts about "talking" to her using a flashlight.  Mildly interesting, but not really my particular cup of tea.

I wrote on my birthday how the phone rang once and didn't ring again and how I imagined it was my father calling from beyond the grave to wish me a happy birthday.  I know that's not what happened.  Someone dialed our number and then changed their mind is all.  But between that, the ad on Find A Grave and the posts I read today, I'm just a tiny bit spooked by all the coincidences.

When I got back into researching family after not having done it for almost 10 years, I used to thank my Uncle Dick out loud for helping me find people.  It was sort of a joke, but not really.  Richard Lemon, my father's twin brother, was an avid amateur genealogist who was relentless in his quest to figure out our Lemon family tree.  He died in 2003.  He was a bit angry with me for stopping in the middle of our research and moving to another state after I divorced my husband.  We were only in contact once after I left and before he died; he wrote me a letter telling me of his latest findings and told me he wouldn't tell me anything else until I wrote him back.  I'm ashamed to say I never did answer his letter.  I can say I was too busy starting a new life in a new state, but the real reason was that I had lost interest.  During that time I was also busy learning to build websites and writing, writing, writing.  The things I learned back then have been very useful now as I made a website for my genealogy research and I write in this blog.

I left Michigan in 1998.  I started back into genealogy research in 2007, four years after Uncle Dick died.  It hasn't been as much fun without him to share my findings with, but I do feel sometimes he's up there, watching me research and fleshing out his original theories.  Sometimes it feels like he even helps me out now and then.

But probably not.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fumbling Towards The Obvious or Reinventing The Wheel...Again

I'm disheartened and delighted.  The first because all that I've been researching has already been found and documented, the second because I'm pretty darn good at this for someone who is unskilled and pretty much unworthy of any pride I take in my ability to hunt people down for the purpose of tracing their ancestors and descendants.

I have done a pretty good job of documenting at least one mystery in the Lemmond Tree; who was Margaret Charlotte Lemon?  She was really Margaret Catherine Lemmond, and the rest is already written about in many previous entries in this journal.  I'm delighted that I solved that mystery.  I'm pleased that the profile for her on WikiTree is no longer empty, but filled with all that I've discovered about her and her family.  I feel like an expert on Mrs. Margaret Lemmond McCord.

Of course there have been some mistakes along the way, some roads that led no where, some very wrong turns, some grossly ignorant assumptions, but these mistakes serve (I tell myself) only to sharpen my skills (HA!) and make me a better researcher.

I have managed to find some information that was not found (so far as I know) by other people;  probate records for Margaret's grandmother giving the approximate date of her death of the deaths of others that haven't been recorded in any other trees, census records no one else found, burying places in at least one case.

But my personal life has suffered, to be sure.  Knapper was extremely upset with me most all of yesterday because I've been in front of this computer for days tracking these people down and ignoring his needs.  (I say, dude, if you're hungry, FIX SOMETHING TO EAT!  Don't wait for me to fix it for you.  You're grown, for goodness sake! But he's gotten used to me waiting on him almost hand and foot and has not taken kindly to be being rudely pushed aside for the sake of dead people who no longer need to eat or have their houses cleaned or their clothes washed.)  I did try to make it up to him by fixing him a wonderful meal last night, one that involved many pots and pans, fresh mushrooms and chicken stock that I turned into a delicious gravy to go with pork steaks I simmered until the bones fell off.  It's not my fault I didn't constantly remind him to get me some potatoes from the storage he built in our old well pit, I asked him 3 times since before Thanksgiving, and even then I had to buy a bag at the store because I can't get down in the pit to get them and he kept forgetting.  Then yesterday when he finally got around to it, he discovered the potatoes had all frozen.  We had the gravy over rice.

In all it's been a fascinating journey, and who knows?  These Lemmonds may well turn out to be related to my own Lemons yet.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemmonds, Search Them Every Day!

I'm ashamed to admit this, but it seems I do nothing all day but search the internet for people who are not even related to me.  I have no idea where this obsession with the Lemmond family came from, but it's driving me crazy and may lead to my early demise from pressure sores on my...well.  I sit all day, that's enough of that.

I found more information on this family; burial places for minor characters, census records that no one else had found, documentation for people who had none.  Every day I find more and more information which only adds fuel to the fire burning in the pit of my stomach to get these people sorted out and be done with them.

I need to get back into my own family lines.  I've got new research finding subscriptions and I use them to find...Lemmonds.  I'm disgusted with myself, but like an addict searching once again for that first "high", I can't seem to stop.

Here is a photo of the beautiful Flora Adeline Lemmond who married William W Davies:

I find her to be quite lovely.  There's something about her eyes.  The photo comes from David Hunter Brown from  Thank you, Mr. Brown, for sharing your family tree and giving me permission to use her photo.  Flora was the daughter of Milas Madison Lemmond and his wife, Mary Virginia Means.  Mary Means was the sister of Harriet, the mother of the woman who started me on this quest: Margaret C Lemmond McCord.  So Margaret and Flora were cousins.  I wonder if they had any type of family resemblance?  I'd like to think so.

It's almost 2:30 in the morning.  It's time to stop seeking and get some rest.  The Lemmonds records will still be waiting for me when I wake up.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Birthday, Genealogy, Live Family, Dead Relatives

It's been a long day and I'm tired.  My birthday is officially over, and that's good.  I'm uncomfortable about my birthday.  Not because I dread getting older, I'm not a vain woman, but because I get anxious from all the attention a birthday brings.

Two of my sons and their wives brought me cake and presents and that was nice.  I got to play with 5 of my 10 grandchildren, whom I adore.  We all laughed and I told about the Lemmond family I've been working on and they managed to hide their boredom pretty convincingly.  I was appreciative.

The phone rang off and on today.  I answered some calls and let the machine take others.  Then the phone gave a single ring and went silent and for a moment it crossed my mind that it was my father, who passed in 2010, calling me as he'd always done on my birthday.  Of course, says my rational, logical mind, it wasn't him.  But it could have been, says my magical, dreamy side.  I've been working so hard on other people's families lately, maybe I was given a small birthday gift, even think it could have been my beloved father calling me with birthday wishes.  And for a moment his face was so clear in my mind; his smile, his laugh, that tears welled up.  They didn't fall, and I went back to researching this other Lemon family that has become so important to me for reason I can't explain.

I have to remember to never take the living family I have for granted.  That I even have to remind myself of that means I'm getting too consumed by this passion for names and places and dates of people long, long gone.

Friday, December 6, 2013

North Carolina, Estate Files, 1663-1979, Cabarrus County, "M", Means, Margaret M (1864)

So this has been a fascinating journey.  Harriet C Means, daughter of John W Means and his (insane) wife, Margaret McCamey (not spelled like that at ALL in any of the records) Wilson, married John Q Lemmond. I first pieced together this family by working first on the family of Harriet and John's daughter, Margaret C Lemmond McCord.  When I first adopted her profile on WikiTree, she had the middle name Charlotte and her maiden name was spelled "Lemon", which was what got me interested in the beginning.  The profile listed her husband and using that, I was able to find online her death certificate which stated that her father was John Q Lemmond and her mother was (no first name given) Means.

I started an family tree for the "Lemon Family", naming it Wiki Lemon Family to keep it separate from all my other trees.  First I worked on John M McCord, Margaret's husband.  I found his family and I added the children of John and Margaret, discovering that they had named their son as detailed above.  That was an interesting name and I was sure it was significant, but then again, people name their children strange things all the time, so I could have been wrong.

I found the spouses and children of McCamey and Carolina Brite McCord, John and Margaret's surviving daughter.  Carolina married a man named Amos Philmore Whitley and supposedly committed suicide by blowing a hole in the center of her chest with a shotgun.  Um, what?  How on earth does one do that to oneself??  Haven't found anything other than the death certificate on that one.

Then I started on John "Lemon", Margaret's father.  I thought I'd found him (and I actually HAD) in Union County, but it didn't seem to add up, so I abandoned him, thinking that a Margaret Lemmond I had found living with another male Lemmond in the family of a couple named...oh, I forget now, but they were much older and had different names than this Margaret and the male Lemmond.  I worked on that theory for awhile until I started finding death records for other Lemmond children with the parent's names given as John Q Lemmond and Harriet Means.  That's when everything started to break for me.

I found Harriet and John Q in the census records.  Everything added up except they had a daughter, Catherine, born in 1847.  Harriet and John didn't marry until 1852.  I eventually found this Catherine living with Harriet, John W, Margaret M, and John M W Means in Cabarrus County in 1850.  On all records for this Catherine, whose name ended up being Sarah Ann Catherine Lemmond, her father is given as John Q Lemmond, but I think she was born illegitimately to Harriet before John Q entered the picture.

In the 1850 census, Margaret M Means is listed as "insane".  She's also listed that way in 1860.  I have been unable to find this family in census records after 1860, but that's because Margaret died, leaving a LOT of land and property which became the subject of a dispute between the heirs.  From the records, it looks as if Harriet is not the only one who married a Lemmond.  She had a sister, Mary, who married M. M. Lemmond, who I found when I thought I'd found the breadcrumb trail of Margaret McCord.  John Q and M. M. are brothers.

Margaret Means' estate file is 71 pages long and the images are available on  I can't believe I've been lucky enough to find all this information just by adopting a "Lemon" profile.  They may or may not be my Lemmonds, but either way, they've been fascinating to follow.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Addendum to the Lemmond Tree

After buying a month subscription (Knapper is going to kill me, but it's only 8 bucks a month) to, I have learned that yes, Margaret was the Catherine listed in the 1860 as being born abt 1854, her parents were John Q Lemmond, who died in 1893, and Harriet Means.

The truly funny part is that she is the 3rd great granddaughter of William Marr Lemmond.  I find that coincidence unnerving, to say the least.  I had been on this trail right after I adopted Margaret's profile, but had rejected the information because I didn't have enough information.  I was even emailed a woman on whose site I  had found William Marr Lemmond to tell her of our possible relationship, based on the Marr name, and to ask her about Margaret.  She wasn't able to tell me anything about Margaret and John, but she was very curious about the Marr name in her line and in mine.

Yes, folks, when you get right down to the nitty-gritty, we are all related.  If not by blood, then by marriage.