Tag Archives: A Savory Spotlight

Germantown, TN’s Resident Traveler


Tina Sansone & Sheri McNeil Savory are researchers for ResearchDNAWriters.com. During one of Tina’s research cases she came across a fascinating lady, Frances Stuart, that taught her the importance of having an open mind during the research process.

Researching our ancestors can become quite tricky at times. It is interesting to discover how much they did travel and move, although their mode of transportation is not as available as it is today. Take for example, Frances E. Stuart, born in Germantown, Tennessee in 1869. Just take a look where the research has shown her to live, not to mention she was married 5 times!

Born 1869-Germantown, 1900-Memphis, 1902-San Francisco, 1910-New York, 1915-New Orleans, 1917-Memphis, 1921-Carroll County Arkansas, 1925-Memphis, 1930-St. Louis, 1937-Angelina, Texas

It was quite an adventure documenting this fascinating lady from Germantown with all her marriages and travels. She died in 1952, but led quite an adventurous life. Although our ancestors did not all own cars as most of us do today, they did manage to travel and move around. Some of the most popular modes of transport were cars, ships, trains, horse and buggy. As you research your families, and they seem to disappear, do not be afraid to look at adjoining states, or even those farther away.

Some of the records I used to document Frances Stuart were census, marriage licenses, newspapers, archives, military, divorce, funeral home, land deeds and family letters. It is vital to use a variety of sources in order to get the full story of one’s life. Had I left out some of the resources I discovered, there were marriages and places of residence we would have overlooked.

Why is this important to you? Many times I have heard researchers say they do not need to attend a lecture for a state that their family was not known to live in. We never know where the trail we take will lead us when doing family history. As I started researching Frances Stuart in Germantown during her early years, I had no idea of all the many states I would be taken to as we documented her life. As you start investigating the lives of your family, have an open mind.

Most genealogical societies realize that most of their visitors have family that live outside their state. They will have books, maps and resources that will cover their home state, but also other states, countries, wars, etc. Access to online databases are offered at some society libraries. If you have a book or resource you need, do not forget about inter-library loan or ordering microfilm thru FamilySearch.

Something you can do to get the kids involved is to create a family map. As you move and travel, keep a record of your many adventures for your descendants to keep track of your life. I know the family of Frances Stuart found it hard to believe this young girl from Germantown, Tennessee had quite the life, and you do too.

Is there a topic you would like us to write about? Please send your queries, topics and/or comments to savoryspotlight@gmail.com. Research DNA Writers is available to assist you in your personal research using a variety of databases as well as DNA analysis. Visit our website for more information.


L. T. Reece, Author Review

LT Reece

L. T. Reece was a guest on our show, Tuesday, August 4. We had a great conversation with him, author of thrillers, suspense, mystery and crime! He gave us insight into his writing style and a sneak peek to his latest release, “The Last Omen“. Other books he authored are “Coma Sins”, “A Suitcase Mystery 1 & 2, Fear and other great novels. What is even more exciting is these books are offered in audio, so you can listen as you drive or take your walks. L. T. Reece is offering a FREE book, “The World of Suspense and Mystery” on Amazon, so check it out while it’s FREE.

I read his book, “The Last Omen” and it held me in suspense til the end. I love reading books that leave me guessing to the end, and his books do not disappoint.

Much appreciation for L.T. Reece for coming on our show; you can check out his interview on “A Savory Spotlight” and scroll down to the archived shows.

He can also be heard on iTunes, “The Last Omen” and Stitcher.

Documenting Your Past Review

Doc Your Past Logo

A Savory Spotlight is super excited to have as our newest sponsor, Documenting Your Past.!Michael Gleason, John Spence and the rest of their team have done an amazing job collecting one of a kind unique documents.

As we research our families, we are basically documenting their past lives. We are searching for clues to their births, marriages, deaths, and other events that occurred in their life. An exciting website, Documenting Your Past might just have that exciting and fascinating document that will help you discover even more about your family.

Their mission statement reads, “To provide a dynamic genealogical database of names drawn from everyday documents used by our ancestors, for the purpose of establishing a record outside of the traditional government archives.” Documenting Your Past offers a dynamic database of historical items from the early 1800s through 1945. Items include envelopes, letters, deeds, land grants, insurance policies, checks, bills, receipts, stock certificates and other miscellaneous documents and records that detail the daily lives of the people who created the history of our great country. What a true treasure!

Here is how the searches works:

  • Our database offers an enormous amount of flexibility in performing searches specific to your needs. Only one field in any category needs to be filled in to obtain results. Of course the more information you enter, the more specific the search results will be. For example, when searching for people, you can search by first name or initial or by last name only, with no other field required.
  • When searching by date, no name is need to initiate a search. If you type in 1865, the database will pull up anything from January 1, 1860, to December 31, 1869. This allows you to search by decade. Many genealogists are interested in the history of the period their ancestors lived in and this allows you to look at items.from a specified time period.
  • Location searches are just as simple. Type in Boston and any items related to Boston will be returned. Likewise, type in the name of a state and any items related to that state will be returned.

What is exciting is that “Documenting Your Past” posts a picture of the document. You can view and decide if this pertains to your family. And if it does you can purchase it! How exciting is that? If you are unable to find your family, they have a Watch List where you can submit up to ten searches. If a new submissions matches your search, you will receive an email with a link to the document to check and see if it matches your family. I have entered my surnames and cannot wait to see if one day there is a match. If you post to the “Watch List” and get an email, come share with us in the genealogy forum your matches.

Some of the ways you can search is by surname, dates, and places. An example of a unique document you can purchase or order scanned photos of is Item ID: LE000052 – Name(s): Jean Betty, H Burroughs, James Shearer, William Miller, N Wilson, J Campbell: Surveyor General’s Office of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, dated Dec. 22, 1871, to the Prothonotary (chief clerk of the court, used only by Pennsylvania and Delaware) of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, against 110 acres 124 and perches of land located in Bratton Township, Mifflin County. The property was owned by Jean Betty and the lien was paid by H. N. Burroughs, William Miller, and James Shearer. Signed N. C. Wilson, for J. M. Campbell, Surveyor General. Lien is embossed with a red seal for the Surveyor’s General Office, Pennsylvania. Can you just imagine one of the descendants of those named finding this document!

If you have any questions or comments, there is a page where you can contact them directly. Visit Documenting Your Past and let us know what great document from the past you have discovered!