Sunday, November 30, 2008

Luther James Kemps 1876 - 1935

A first draft for the Luther James Kemps biography has now been published. In addition, seven other pages were updated to create a link to this biography. I will now be soliciting additions and corrections from other relatives.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thomas McClurken 1748 - 1845

I have now posted the biography for Thomas McClurken who arrived in South Carolina in 1772. I have labelled it preliminary because I plan to acquire additional documents to supplement the story of his life. As I mentioned in an earlier post, another researcher has provided me with some information. Included was the knowledge about a wonderful resource related to South Carolina, the South Carolina Archives. It is from these archives that I plan to acquire additional documents and try and resolve some other relationship issues. I am also looking to acquire documents from Washington County, Illinois. I do not expect an update to this biography for several months.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Marriages and Death

In an attempt to verify the dates of a couple of marriages, I ordered documents from the Washington County Clerk. A copy of the pages from the Marriage Books were received and have been added as references to the biographies of Samuel Henry Kemps, Clara Amanda McClurken Kemps, James H McClurken and Elizabeth Olivia Kemps McClurken. Additionally, the Death Certificate of James H McClurken was added to his biography.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Updates for History of Oakdale Township references

I have now included the references from the History of Oakdale Township in the biographies of Samuel Henry Kemps, Clara Amanda McClurken Kemps, Andrew Todd McClurken and William Henry Kemps. In adding the Civil War information for Andrew, I attempted to verify the data from other sources. I was able to verify that Andrew was in the Civil War but in a different Company and Regiment. The Illinois Civil War database provided additional personal information about Andrew and caused me to realize that I had an incorrect birth year (that had come from different sources). This caused me to go back and fix four related biographies. You do the best you can with the sources that you have but expect to find some conflicts.

Sharing with other researchers

When I submitted the Sarah Rodman Hood McClurken story to the Genealogy Trails website, the webmaster advised me of a related entry for this individual. This provided me with new ancestor information for Sarah. I sent an email of thanks to the author and also pointed out a small error. The author expressed her thanks and sent me some additional information and requested my help in error checking. This provided me with new facts related to the marriages of four of Sarah's daughters. I found a couple of minor errors in the others persons data, however, I was also able to provide her with data the she was missing. This simple act of sharing rewarded both of us. I have updated five of my "biographies" and the ancesor tree diagram to reflect the new information. Now I need to send a note of thanks to another individual whose data was helpful to me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

James and Sarah McClurken

I have just completed the updates for these two individuals and removed "preliminary" from their biographies. The updates include the references from "History of Oakdale Township" and also includes their land purchase records. They are available at: James McClurken and Sarah Rodman Hood McClurken .

Oakdale Update

My Oakdale, Illinois page was fairly minimal. I decided that I needed to add some references to the old trails that passed through the area. I also added links to various maps of the area. The update can be viewed at:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


In reading the "History of Oakdale Township," it became apparent that being Covenanters was important to the story of the McClurken's. My original reference was inadequate. Therefore, I spent quite a bit of time researching Covenanters. Then I compiled a more extensive summary of the aspects of Covenanters that shaped the lives of the McClurken's. The update is available at:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tracking down a book

When I spoke to my father's cousin, Richard Kirkpatrick, back in 1987, he told me about a book about Oakdale that he had gotten a year earlier. Almost twenty one years later, in May of 2008, I began trying to locate a copy. I got a good tip from the Genealogy Trails website and followed it up with the Washington County Library. They had a copy and it was not copyrighted. They made me a photocopy and I scanned it and put it on my website. The "History of Oakdale Township" provided a lot of good information related to my family history. Now I need to rewrite some of my stories to include the information from that book.

Documenting More Individuals

With what I had found on, I was able to write the story of my wife's maternal grandfather. Then I started the William Henry Kemps story. I sent it to Bill and other family members as final. Then the updates came back and I sent out another final. This happened a few more times and finally settled down. About November 2007, I signed up for another year of I did a lot of searching and finally documented the Patrick and Louisa Ryan story. In May of 2008, I happened upon a good website resource for my family; Illinois Genealogy Trails for Washington County at: I was going to send my stories there so they could be posted. Then I realized that I had some out of state stories so I created my own website: as a place to put them all. This is working very well, considering how often I am making updates at this point in time. The Genealogy Trails website points to mine so the stories are shared through that site. So far, I have about 10 stories posted.