Friday, August 1, 2014

The more I find the less I know

My number six ancestor to be filed neatly away in my new handy dandy organizational system is young Calvin's father John. John Burk is my brick wall, or should I say one of my brick walls. But really the one that causes me the most grief. It seems the more information I find on him the less I know or the more questions I have. There was a prompt on another blog asking who in history would you like to have dinner with and my answer was John Burk just to ask who his parents and grandparents were and where they came from so I could move on in this research.

John was born in Crawford, Ohio in 1833 when they did not keep birth records. I know this because his brother in law was kind enough to write a family history down with birth and death dates and his 2 times grand daughter was kind enough to share it with me. I also have a handwritten note with the same dates from someone in my grandfathers family. Sadly, these notes do not include his parents names.

John married Ellen Percey Hill from Jackson, Hancock, Ohio on April 4, 1863 and they had three boys, Calvin, William and Elroy (who died before his first birthday). The Burk family lived in Bath, Green Co., Ohio in 1870 and one year later Ellen died in Hancock Co. Ohio soon to be followed by John in 1872. The boys, Calvin and William were put under guardianship of their uncle, Ellen's brother Edward.

At one point in John's life he knew a man names JW Burns who transferred a patent over to John in 1870. This man lived in Medway, Ohio not far from Bath. Which raises questions of what did John do for a living? Did he work for this JW Burns? Were they related? Why did he get that patent and what was he going to do with it? As interesting as all this is it does not answer the question of who his parents are and where did they come from. The search continues!

1 comment:

  1. Another resource that has just "opened up" in a big way is genealogy books in ebook format.

    Amazon recently introduced its Kindle Unlimited program, which allows you to borrow and read as many Kindle ebooks as you like, for $9.95 a month. I wonder if genealogists have grasped what a godsend KU may be. Here's why:

    In the genealogy section of the Kindle ebook store on Amazon, along with the how-to-climb-your-family-tree books, there's a huge number of reference and raw-data collections, from histories of specific families to ships' records, newspaper abstracts, etc. The problem with such books in the past has been that you didn't know until after you purchased one (whether a print or a digital copy) if it contained information relevant to your own research.

    With Kindle Unlimited, this pig-in-a-poke problem vanishes.

    Here's what you could do to further your research without gambling on books that may or may not have anything of use in them (to you). With a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you could borrow ten genealogy ebooks (the maximum allowed at one time). Then you could flip through them, or use your Kindle device's search feature, to find any information of use to you. If you don't find anything, then you can simply return them and borrow ten more.

    I know that these days, there are tons of information for ancestor hunters available for free or for a subscription fee at the dedicated genealogy websites such as

    But there's still a lot of data locked up in various small-press books and books by individuals writing their own family's story. Kindle Unlimited gives us genealogists a virtually cost-free way to unlock those books -- at least the ones that have been committed to ebook format (and you might be surprised how many there are).

    By the way, you don't even need a Kindle device to read Kindle books. You can download a free Kindle reading app for your smartphone or laptop that will do the trick. (Also BTW, I do NOT work for Amazon.)