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Category Archives: Genealogy

Family Leaves made Easy

From L to R: Great Grandmother Vianna Sumpter Brumfield, unknown woman, Grandmother Mary Brumfield

You don’t have to be a professional genealogist to make your own family tree.  From my own family research, I have encountered a group of people who are considered professional genealogists, meaning that they have obtained a Bachelors degree in Genealogical Research.  I am not one of these people, but that doesn’t take away from my fascination with creating my own family legacy.

I am your average person, who happens to enjoy researching my roots.  I became interested in creating a family tree as a young child.  As a class, we were asked to make a tree and I was only able to get up to my great great grandparents and only on my maternal side.  I have always wanted to explore further and thus my journey continues.  Here are some things that I have found useful.

Use of Genealogical Software

  • http://www.familytreemaker.com/    This is the one that I use.  I love how it does much of the work for you.  One draw back is that you have to learn how to cite your research, but this can be made easy with a simple read of the manual that comes with the software.  In order to keep the software going, you must pay a low monthly fee to have access to the large database, which includes census records, pictures, and other useful document.  The fee is well worth it as you won’t have to go further than your computer screen to find out about your family.
  • http://www.myheritage.com/  This is a free software that puts your tree on the internet.  It does have a cost if you want to access other researcher’s trees, but that is one of the drawbacks.  You can’t trust that other people have done the proper research.  I only trust what I find in documents and not what others have to say about their ancestors.  I have come across many people on this site who have incorrect documentation that I could easily back up with my census data.
  • http://genealogy-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ppc-index.html?cmpid=74152  This website has various reviews and pricing on genealogy software.  There is one for every budget.

Family:  As the Best Source

You have gone the software route and you are staring at a blank screen waiting to plug-in what you already know.  How will you know the dates and full legal names of all these people? The software can’t go any further unless you already have some working knowledge of your family.

You will need to get information from the elder members of your relatives.  Your grandparents or great aunts and uncles can be of value in telling you the names and birth dates of your family.  They may even have old pictures, letters or stories that will be of value to your research.

Other Internet Sources

  • Historical Society Websites— When I find out where my ancestor has spent most of their life, I immediately look for a historical society website for that town or city.  I have found pictures of my ancestors on these sites that I couldn’t get with my ancestory.com software.
  • Simple Google Search Of course you can use any search engine, but sometimes you will find information on your ancestors just by simply doing a quick internet search.  Be sure to put the name in quotes ( “First Last”) that way the internet will only find people with that exact name.  I have found books written about my ancestors in doing this.

The most valuable tip in doing your family research is to realize that it will never end.  Pace yourself you can’t get it totally complete and you will never get it done.  It is something to enjoy and to pass down.  Have fun doing it and don’t forget to write down the stories of your family.  You will be surprised by all that you find out.

Vianna Sumpter Brumfield 1894-1975

Vianna Sumpter was born on January 19th, 1994 to Christopher Columbus Sumpter (b. June 1867) and Mary Swick (b. March 12th 1873 d. July 26th 1963).  It is not clear to where she born, but she was raised in Gallia County, Ohio.  She had a rough life as her

Vianna Sumpter Brumfield with husband, Sheridan Elmer Brumfield

mother, Mary Swick left her children to the care of their father, Christopher Columbus Sumpter.  She decided to start a new family with Charley Brumfield. 

Here siblings from the marriage of Christopher C. Sumpter and Mary Swick were:  James Sumpter (b. Aug 1890) and William Sumpter (b. May 1897).

Christopher C. Sumpter couldn’t take care of his children because he had to work and therefore the children were left desolate.  According to the 1910 U.S. Census:  Vianna Sumpter worked as a servant in the home of Daniel and Ora Lewis of Gallia County, Ohio.  She was only 16, but according to Vianna’s own accounts to her daughter, Mary Doris Brumfield, she had been working as a servant since she was 9 years old.  She still maintained some communication with her father Christopher C. Sumpter, but had a hard time forgiving the woman that gave birth to her. 

Vianna married Sheridan Brumfield (b. 2 June 1889 d. 7 August 1969).  He was born in Scottown, Lawrence County, Ohio.  He worked as a farmer.  Together they had the following children:  Ray Owen Brumfield (b. 17 Feb 1922 d. 8 Jun 1948); Floyd Edward Brumfield (b. 26 Aug 1925 d. 2 Jan 1998); Bernard Eugene Brumfield (b. 28 Jun 1927 d. 6 Aug 1928); Mary Doris Brumfield (b. 22 April 1929); George Christopher Brumfield (b. 20 Nov 1931). 

She is my Great Grandmother.  Her daughter Mary Doris Brumfield is my Grandmother.  If you should need any additional information on the Brumfield family or would like to have more photos of Vianna Brumfield then please feel free to contact me at mendezsunshine@gmail.com.  I have an extensive family tree prepared thanks to Ancestry.com and would be happy to share with any distant relatives.  I would only ask that you would be able to collaborate on any of your own research as together we can reveal the leaves that make up our tree.