Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lost & Not Found

The Allen County Library has a section on the second floor which has the genealogy books and materials. It appears relatively safe with one main entrance. While  I  was at the library, my laptop computer was stolen. I notified the library security and filed a police report.  The  policeman told me that the likelihood of getting it back was slim.
The four year old computer itself had little financial value. The information contained within was of great personal value. The  good news for me is that my computer is password protected. I however changed all my passwords that are  available.  I used  an external hard drive to backup my computer prior to my trip.  I also  used Evernote to store my genealogical  research which is on my smartphone.
  Since this loss, I have learned more about computer security and reminded myself  that no place is truly safe.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Worth The Trip

Allen County Public Library

I made my first road trip to the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana which is the  second  largest genealogy library in the county. With a lot of anticipation to make new discoveries I tried to prepare to utilize my time efficiently.  Prior to my trip, I reviewed the library’s online database for information.   I came equipped with my smartphone, computer laptop, pencils, paper and money for photocopies. There are two smartphone apps which helped me organize information. The app CamScan allows you take a picture of a document fine tune the image, label or tag, share or store. This app helped me save money. Instead of paying ten cent per copy I used the app to make copies from books.   I then organized my information on the app Evernote.  With CamScan, I could sync information onto the Evernote app which was installed on my smartphone and laptop computer. I purchased the premium edition of Evernote because I wanted to save a large amount of data. Organization is  key in genealogy research. Thru the years, I have found information and saved it, lost it and saved the information again thinking it was new information.  The Facebook group The Organized Genealogist has helped tremendously with organizational ideas.

The library is located in downtown Fort Worth.   I drove my car to the library and for a small hourly fee parked in their garage. Preparation is the recipe to success for research at the library. Be prepared. The librarians are not going to help you with your genealogy research.  Knowing what you can find and what you can’t find saves time.  I had a list of call numbers for books I wanted to review from the online catalog. I have made trips to the National Archives, the Mississippi Department of History and Archives and the Tennessee State Library and Archives on previous research trips.  Allen County Library has books that I have not previously found. My inability to find information in the past may stem from my previous inexperience in research or the library is user friendly and has a great collection. 
I found new information about the family trees which I plan to share. 

-------The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day November 11, 2014

Remembering Veteran Family Tree Members

On the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month in 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations during the Great War known as World War I was established.  This day has transformed to an official holiday to honor all members of the United States Armed forces.  I would like to honor ancestors on my trees who were in the armed forces. My research has not allowed me to identify all the veterans past or present.  They however are not forgotten.  Grateful for their service. God bless them all.    Let’s support our living veterans

Ernest B. Strickland Sr.
Ollie Brumfield World War II
 Isom Brumfield Jr. World War II
Hollis Caston Jr.  World War II  
Jessie Caston   World War II
Wiley Caston World War II
James Bearden World War II
Edward Elam Sr. Viet Nam

Wiley Caston
James Edwards Sr.
Bertha B. Bearden
Bertha B. Bearden
Wallace Caston
Cicero Caston

Monday, November 3, 2014

Six Degrees of Separation Caston & Brumfield Family Part 7

Thomas Brumfield Family

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”   Helen Keller

I looked for Thomas Brumfield in the 1880 census but was unsuccessful.  I was able to communicate with a fellow family historian Cousin Roger who gave me a missing bit of information.  Thomas Brumfield is listed in the Mississippi, Pike County census as Tom Black. I probably never would have made that association. This experience demonstrates the importance of collaboration in   genealogy research. 

He is listed with his wife Celia and child Mary.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Learning Curve

Instruction in Genealogy

Judy G. Russell JD, CG, CGL
When I began to research my family history, my methodology was erratic and somewhat ineffective.  I basically used only family stories and the “trial and error method”. Nowadays with the Internet genealogy websites a great deal of information is available online. Some of the family tree information on the popular websites has information errors. The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) is not used. My personal investigative results improved when I began reading genealogy research books attend conferences and joined the local and national genealogy societies.  I learned that I did not have to recreate the wheel.  I could learn the skills of the professional and experienced researcher.   
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Tennessee Genealogy Society fall seminar on October 18, 2014. The guest speaker was Judy G. Russell JD, CG, CGL.  
Judy is a lawyer, certified genealogist and certified genealogy lecturer.  She was a dynamic speaker discussing  1) making the first trip to the courthouse 
2) laws and statues which affect records 3) records of widows and orphans 4) DNA analysis in genealogy.

I am fired up and ready to go the courthouse! I might even do mitochondrial DNA analysis sometime soon.  
                                                                                                      The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Six Degrees of Separation: Caston & Brumfield Families Part 6

The Thomas Brumfield Family

In genealogy research, it is often difficult to discern family  members who have a common name and the same name as unrelated persons.  The name Thomas or Tom is a very common name.  To find Thomas Brumfield son of  Louis Brumfield and Liddie  Brumfield Caston,  I looked at geographic location, timeframe and relationships. The major relationship is Liddie who lived Pike County, Mississippi which can be verified by the Federal Census.

I have relied heavily on census records which is not always accurate for information.

In the 1870 Federal Census for Pike County, Mississippi, Calvin and Lydia Caston are listed with Thomas Caston age 17 years old.  In the 1870 census family relationships are not identified. This Thomas Caston is probably Thomas Brumfield with a birth year of 1853.

Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Township 2 Range 9 East, Pike, Mississippi; Roll: M593_745; Page: 128B; Image: 262; Family History Library Film: 552244.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Six Degrees of Separation Caston & Brumfield Families Part 5

 Marriage Certificate of Richard Bromfield and Catherine Love

 They were married in Hinds County, Mississippi on August 26, 1875.

"Mississippi, Marriages, 1800-1911," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 Sep 2014), Richard Bromfield and Catherine Love, 19 Aug 1875; citing Hinds,Mississippi; FHL microfilm 885190.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Six Degrees of Separation Caston & Brumfield Families Part 4

Richard Brumfield

Richard Brumfield was a child of Liddie and Louis Brumfield. He is thought to have been born in Pike county, Mississippi between 1841 to 1843. Liddie would have been 16 0r 18 years old at his birth.  When the school census in 1878  was taken, he would have been 31 to 33 years old.  This was well beyond school age.  A black male  Richard Bromfield  27 years old  a farm hand  was enumerated August, 1870 in the  federal census for Township 2 Range 9 East Pike county, Mississippi.   Details of the meridian and the direction of the township are not listed in the census record.  In order to identify the  location where  Richard Bromfield was enumerated,  I looked on the same census page for individuals who were homesteaders.  Thomas Simmons white male 33 years old and John R. Simmons white male 55 years old both  homesteaded land at Washington meridian, Township 2 North and Range 9 East.  Because census records identifies the location where individuals lived, Richard Bromfield lived in this location.

United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 13 Jun 2014), Richard Bromfield, Mississippi, United States; citing p. 6, family 41, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000552244.
Richard Bromfield name is on line 3 of the census record.

This location is significant because Calvin Caston, Edmond Downs, Jack Gatlin, Irvin (Ervine) Brumfield and Robert Brumfield,  homesteaded  land in the same Washington meridian, Township 2 North  and Range 9 East.  The compelling evidence suggests that the Richard Bromfield  listed in the 1870 census birth year is 1843 and  working in the same geographic area of  Calvin Caston is presumptively the Richard Brumfield son of Liddie.

Richard Brumfield  family is also enumerated in the 1880 Federal Census in  Byran and Terry in Hinds county. Mississippi. Richard was farm laborer at that time.

"United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 12 Jun 2014), Richmon Brumfeel, Byram And Terry, Hinds, Mississippi, United States; citing sheet 422D, NARA microfilm publication T9.


Birthplace Father
Birthplace mother
Richmon Bromfeel



He latter returned to Pike county with his family. His children  Edna 9 years old and Percy age 7 years old are listed in the 1885 Pike county, Mississippi school records.

             Child      Age      Sex       Parent
            Edna         9          F           Richard Brumfield
            Percy        7          M         "                            "                                 

   Richard Brumfield is also enumerated in latter census records which I have not included. He died February 13, 1935 from the infirmities of old age at 94 years old based on prior census information.  It is on his Mississippi death certificate, his father was Louis Brumfield at birthplace unknown and mother Litter Brumfield birthplace Pike county are identified. At the time of his death, he was thought to be 99 years old widower with his wife’s name Catherine which corresponds to the census enumeration.  The informant was his son Dudley Brumfield.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Six Degrees of Separation Caston & Brumfield families Part 3

Going to school

All forbearers have not been identified in federal census records.  Mississippi school age children were enumerated in county school records for selected years. The children are divided by race and location. The name of the parent or guardian was sometimes included. These school records were helpful in identifying children and families for non-census years. I performed an extensive but by no means exhaustive search of school records for Lincoln, Amite and Pike counties for 1878 and 1885. I was able to find to the Caston children in school records for Pike county, Holmesville precinct in 1878. The parent is not listed with the children.  The oldest Caston child listed was Isham age 19 years old and Monroe the youngest 5 years old.
Isham Caston
"Mississippi, Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957," images, <i>FamilySearch</i> ( : accessed 22 Feb 2014), Pike > 1878 > image 111 of 200
Name Age Sex
Caston Green 17 male
Caston Silas 14 male
Caston Isham 19 male
Caston Jesse 12 male
Caston Adeline 11 female
Caston Monroe 5 male
Monroe Caston (2)
"Mississippi, Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957," images, <i>FamilySearch</i> ( : accessed 22 Feb 2014), Pike > 1878 > image 112 of 200

The Caston children were also found in the 1885 Pike county school enumeration.
 Irvin& Tom Brumfield, Calvin Caston
Name Age Sex Parent
Caston Jesse 19 male Calvin Caston
Caston Adeline 17 female “                        “
Caston Monroe 12 male “                       “
"Mississippi, Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957," images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 03 Jun 2014), Pike > 1885 > image 7 of 178; citing Government Records, Jackson

What happened to Frank, Richard and Irving? More information to come.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Six Degrees of Separation Caston & Brumfield Families Part2

Where's the proof?  The Census

I have been searching for information to support the early relationship of the Caston and Brumfield families. Liddie born in 1825 was the mother of Caston and Brumfield children. Her first husband was Louis Brumfield and second Calvin Caston. What documents are available substantiate the whole story of this blended family? The 1870 census is the first census that freeman or former slaves are listed. In the 1870 census, all of the children of Liddie and Calvin surname are listed as Caston. An additional child not previously mentioned in the blog Elvira Caston, is also listed in this census. She may have been a Brumfield.
  4273803_00262 (2) (1064x1280)
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Township 2 Range 9 East, Pike, Mississippi; Roll: M593_745; Page: 128B; Image: 262; Family History Library Film: 552244.

Caston, Calvin

Richard, Frank and Irving are not listed in the census record. More information to come.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Six Degrees of Separation Caston & Brumfield Families Part 1

While searching for genealogy information, I had an opportunity to meet a cousin online.  I latter attended a family reunion and found a connection between the Brumfield and the Caston families.  Liddie (last name unknown) was the mother of Brumfield and Caston children.   Louis Brumfield was Liddie's first husband.  I have been unable to locate Louis in census records or verify when he died. According to her death certificate she was born in Mississippi and parents are unknown. Her approximate date of birth is December, 1825 from the Federal 1900 census . She is thought to have been 93 years upon her death on July 5, 1916. Calvin Caston was born in Mississippi approximate date of birth April, 1832 was married to Liddie in 1872 from the Federal 1900 census. I have been unable to verify when he died.
  Liddie and Louis Brumfield children           
1)      Richard Brumfield
2)     Frank Brumfield
3)     Irving Brumfield
4)     Tom Brumfield
5)     Elvira Brumfield
6)     Rosann Brumfield
7)     Isham Brumfield

Liddie and Calvin Caston
1)      Green Caston
2)     Silas Caston
3)     Jesse Caston
4)     Adline Caston
5)     Monroe Caston

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday

Fannie Brumfield
 Fannie McGowen  Brumfield was the wife of Isom Brumfield Sr. They were married in 1917 according to the Federal 1910. She was born in Mississippi.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday

Isom Brumfield Sr. Pike County Mississippi

Isom Brumfield
 1883 - 1961
A Loving Husband & Father
Isom Brumfield Sr. was a farmer and the son of Irvin Brumfield and Lue (Louisa) Ellzey (McEwen) .   His death certificate states date of birth December 27, 1883 and date of death September 3, 1961. On his World War I registration record  the date of birth is December 27, 1880 he lived 80 years 8 months and 8 days from this date.