My Genealogy Education Plan for 2015

A couple of weeks ago, Thomas MacEntee challenged genealogists to develop an educational plan for 2015. I’m glad he didn’t call it a list of New Year’s Resolutions because it seems like not many of those are kept. Being a retired special education teacher, an “educational plan” sounds much more doable. I spent many years writing student IEP’s (individualized education plans) and the trick is to keep the goals to as short a list as possible while making the maximum learning gain.

Keeping that in mind, here is my 2015 Genealogy Education Plan, which centers around building genealogy-technology skills:

1. This is easy – learn as much as I can at the dual FGS-RootsTech 2015 conference in Salt Lake City in February. I’ve already started a list of possible sessions to attend, but that list will change as the conference draws closer. It will also change while I am there so what I plan to learn is a bit up in the air.

2. Master some level of expertise beyond “beginner” level in Heredis and RootsMagic, both of which I recently bought. I have dabbled only a bit in them and want to learn more about each.

3. Learn how to do at least five new things in WordPress, which I use for my blog. One thing I want to figure out is how to post a comment so that the response isn’t “I think you are a spambot,” which is what it told my friend and my husband when they each tried to post valid, detailed comments so I could see whether or not a plug-in I had installed was working.

4. Attend at least one webinar per month covering technology-themed subjects. I have attended several live webinars and viewed a couple of others in the latter part of this year. There is always good information to be learned and I need to make this a regular part of my genealogy time.

5. Continue to develop skills in navigating Danish and Swedish records, particularly in using the Danish military levying rolls (one ancestor was a career soldier in the Danish army) and in reading old Gothic script, as most of the Scandinavian records I now need date from the early 1800’s and back.

My 2015 Educational Wish List:

6. Attend Jamboree in Southern California June 5-7, 2015.

7. Attend the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in St. Charles, MO May 13-16, 2015.

Last, but not least, as I have been the recipient of many acts of genealogical kindness, I would like to continue to give back and help others:

8. Continue to teach the ladies in my local Welcome Club interest group “Kin Seekers” in a way that keeps genealogy fun and teaches them new strategies to develop their own skills.

9. Participate more actively offering help and suggestions on the several genealogy-themed on line groups which I’ve joined.

I find that by helping others, I not only provide them with information, I usually learn something new myself so #8 and #9 count as part of my education plan.

That’s it. I think it’s a realistic plan for the upcoming year. Not overwhelming, but enough to keep me busy – plus, it leaves plenty of time for breaking down more brick walls. 🙂



Murder Trial of Clayton Columbus Nation, 1913

Today’s post is about a difficult family situation that happened over a hundred years ago. The family members who first shared this story are now all gone.

Clayton Columbus Nation, or Clay as he was known, was born 18 September 1872 in Cumberland County, Kentucky to Joseph Michael Nation and his wife, Christianna (Annie) Riddle. He was the 7th of their eight children.

He married Matilda Jane Dulworth – yes, part of yesterday’s brick wall Dulworth-Broadway story – on 20 June 1896 in Clay County, Tennessee. Matilda Jane, or Tilda as she was known,  was the daughter of Abraham Dulworth and Mary Jane Adams.  She was also a bit older than husband Clay, having been born in July, about 1869, in Cumberland County, Kentucky. She was also the great granddaughter of John Dulworth and Mary Broadway, the subjects of yesterday’s post.

Matilda had several siblings, but her brother Jacob is the other piece of this sad story. Jake’s age varies slightly in the records, with his birth being noted as anywhere from 1889 to 1891.

On 13 June 1913, near Mangum, Greer County, Oklahoma, Clay Nation went to George Thompson’s home about 5:30 a.m. He was looking for his brother-in-law, Jake Dulworth, and he found him asleep outside on the porch. Clay aimed his gun, fired and killed him, hitting him in the lower stomach area. Jake died instantly and Clay went to the sheriff, told him what he and done and surrendered.

My husband’s aunt and I had heard this story from elderly family members, but instead of details, all they would say is “Those sure were hard times.” We decided to seek out the details on our own. First, I wrote to the Greer County Clerk, asking for copies of the court records of the trial that followed.  I received a quick reply back, with regrets that the trial record itself was missing. The folder where it should have been only had one record, the court docket:

Clay Nation, Court Docket Record 1913
Greer Co., OK County Clerk’s Office

The docket had no details of the court trial so I next looked to the Greer County Genealogical and Historical Society, hoping that there might be newspaper accounts of the trial. I received transcriptions of three newspaper articles. The Mangum Weekly Star carried the first news story of the murder on 19 June 1913:

Court proceedings certainly didn’t have the delays that happen today. Exactly one week later, on 26 June 1913, the newspaper reported that a jury had been selected, both sides had rested their cases and that the jury would be asked to deliver a verdict.


On 24 July 1913, the last article about the trial appeared in the paper and noted that the week before, many were surprised that Clay Nation had been acquitted of murder.

One short sentence in the first article may have been the reason that Clay was acquitted:  “From all appearances, this is one of the worst murder cases to come up in this community in several years, and it appears that not only was booze a contributing factor, but it seems that family affairs had much to do with it.”

The back story, which one elderly relative was willing to share, was that Clay Nation had found that Jake was romantically pursuing Clay’s daughter Ethel. Not only was Jake Ethel’s uncle, but she was only thirteen years old. Clay told him to keep away from her and the family and said if he caught him near her again, he would kill him. Apparently, Jake didn’t think Clay meant it, but he obviously did.

I don’t know if it is just chance or family intent, but there are no relatives that have a single photograph of either Clayton Nation or his wife, Matilda Jane. Clay died on 30 June 1922 in Granite, Greer, Oklahoma. Matilda survived him by nine years, passing away in 1931, also in Granite. They are buried side by side in the Granite City Cemetery.

John Dulworth-Mary Broadway, Another Brick Wall

One of the things I love about blogging is that as I choose ancestors to spotlight, I am forced to check for new information that might have been found about some of these lost lines. I’m not sure that it is going to help much with this particular brick wall, but I can always hope. My husband, Dave, is descended from John Dulworth and Mary (?) Broadway through his mother’s family:

1. David Stufflebean

2. Edward Stufflebean, 1917-2002
3. Ruby Jewel Sturgell, 1919-2013

6. Oscar Elden Sturgell, 1893-1968
7. Ethel Anne Nation, 1900-1976

14. Clayton Columbus Nation, 1872-1922
15. Matilda Jane Dulworth, 1869-1931

30. Abraham Dulworth, 1840-after 1910
31. Mary Jane Adams, Abt 1850-1932

60. James Dulworth, Abt 1805-1887
61. Elizabeth Gwinn Spear, Abt 1817-1878

120. John Dulwit/Dulworth, Abt 1763-?
121. Mary (?) Broadway, Abt 1766, SC-Aft 16 Feb 1853

Part of the difficulty with this family is that there are few written records for them.

John Dulwitt first appears on a list of militia men on guard in Knox County, Tennessee dated 1792-1794:

John Dulwitt, Knox Co., TN 1792-1794

The second, and last record, found for John Dulworth is his marriage to Mary Broadway on 2 December 1803 in Knox County, TN:

John Dulwit-Mary Brawdeway Marriage, 1803

There are a couple of road blocks here. The first, and it is a big one, is that the census records for eastern Tennessee are missing before 1830.  Secondly, most people who have placed information about this family on line seem to believe that Broadway was Mary’s maiden name. I don’t believe that. I don’t have any idea what it was, but I firmly believe that Mary was a fairly young widow when she married John Dulworth.

The Broadway name appears in only two other places  and those are also marriage records.  Peggy Broadway married Thomas Robinson in Knox County, TN on 23 December 1813. That record is a certainty.

The next connection is a bit more tenuous. There is a Louvina who married John Rush about 1819, probably in Cumberland County, Kentucky. Family descendants say her maiden name was either Broadway or Dulworth and her age in census records consistently place her birth about 1800-1801, two years before John Dulworth married Mary Broadway. In 1820, newlyweds John and Louvina Rush are living only two doors away from Mary “Delwit.”

I have seen references on line to a will supposedly left by a John Dulwit stating that his wife “left me early” and that he was leaving all to daughter Hannah. However, I have never been able to locate a source for this will in Knox County, TN or Cumberland Co., KY.  No date has been given with this reputed will, either.

The next factual information found is Mary, already referenced in the 1820 census, above. She is the head of household and her known Dulworth children are in the household with her.

It appears that John Dulwit died before the 1820 census as he is not found in Tennessee or Kentucky in a household apart from Mary. Many on line trees place his birth at about 1778, but I believe he was born some years before that. I would expect for him to be on a 1792-1794 militia list with no other family found in the area, he was likely at least 21 at that time. That would place his birth closer to 1770.

Mary Broadway married Solomon Prewitt, a Revolutionary War pensioner, shortly after 4 November 1840, the date on a marriage bond noted in his pension file.

In 1850, her age was reported in the census as 75, which would place her birth year at about 1775.

That would be a good fit for a woman who had children born in the late 1790’s during a first marriage to Mr. Broadway. In her affadavit for a widow’s pension in 1853, Mary’s age was given as 87 years old, which is probably too old, especially when compared to her age of 75 in the 1850 census. Mary died sometime between 16 February 1853, when she was approved for her pension and the 1860 census, probably in Cumberland County, Kentucky.

There stands the brick wall. By the 1850’s, the family surname was most commonly recorded as “Dulworth.” Her children died in places where parents’ names weren’t included on death certificates or there were no death certificates at all. No probates have been found, the few land records recorded for this family gives no indication of family origins and no family Bible records or anecdotes have surfaced.

FamilySearch brings up a John Henry Dalwerth baptized a Catholic on 20 Mar 1753 in Juelrich, Rheinland, Prussia; parents are John Jacob Dalwerth and Anna Magdalena Funck. I have no idea whether this family is related to John Dulworth of TN and KY.

Comments and suggestions are welcomed!

Genealogy Tips & Family History