Fern's Genealogy Home Page
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Welcome to Fern's
Family History Website

This page is the main page to link all 4 of my lines I am researching. The Paty/Patty/Patey link is my father's line, Ferguson/Merryman is my mother's, May/Leatherman is my husband's father and Yaw/LeSure is my husband's mother's line. Please check each page out for any surnames that may be familiar to you. I would appreciate any help or information on any of these lines. If I can help you on any of these names, let me know.

I have genealogy databases on each of these lines ranging anywhere from over 3500 on the May line to over 14,000 on the Paty/Coghill lines. I also have a 532 page book on the Paty/Patty line that was written by Dee Lansford. It has a 64 page index of names. She is also a descendant of this family. If you are interested in it, you can contact her at:


Visitors to this site since Nov. 1, 1998:

Please feel free to e-mail me at the link found below.

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To go to one of my four Main lines, click below (The surnames relating to that line is listed below each main surname and has been indented in):

Yaw Home Page
      LeSure Family Tree
Paty Home Page
      Coghill Family Tree
May Home Page
      Leatherman Family Tree
Ferguson Home Page
      Merryman Family Tree

Check out my contributions to my family lines at Find-A-Grave:

Search Fern May's cemetery records at by entering a surname and clicking search:

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Listed below are some links to some genealogy sites that I have found very helpful. If you find any bad links here, please let me know and I will update or remove them.

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet
RootsWeb Genealogical Data Cooperative
Ancestry.com - Home Page
About Family History, Genealogy, and Roots at Kindred Konnections
U S Genweb Project
Fergy's Website of Genealogy, Tutorials & Software
Ancestor Hunt
Missouri Digital Heritage - Death Certificates
Family Tree Maker Online
Family Search - By Latter Day Saints Church
Family Chronicle Genealogy Magazine
Census Finder
Genealogy-Mall.Com - About DNA Testing
Global Genealogical Supply
Obituary Daily Times
Cemeteries of Texas
Ohio Obituary Index
Directory of Cemeteries in the U.S., Canada and Australia
The Genealogy Home page
GeneaNet Project
Panoramic Maps
The Quaker Corner
Interment.net - Cemetery Records
Find A Grave
Newspaper Catalogs on the Internet
State and County QuickFacts
CensusDiggins - FREE Census Records, Marriage Records and Civil War Databases
Genealogy Websites I Don't Hate
Stats about all US cities - maps, race, income, photos, education, crime, weather, houses, etc.

Genealogy Societies:

National Genealogy Society
Smoky Mountain Historical Society

Government Links:

The white house
Library of Congress Home Page
National Archives and Records Administration
Bureau of Land Management - National Home Page
US Bureau of Census
Tx State Library
United States Resources: Georgia
United States Resources: Alabama

General links that may interest you:

Search Engines:
Starting Point
The Seeker

Web Page Help:
Edit Plus (Shareware)

How will our children know where they are going if they don't know where they came from?

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Here is a little something I put together a few years ago after hearing comments from other genealogists. I hope you like it.




1. Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places.

2. Blank expression, are you sometimes deaf to spouse and children, have no taste
for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and
local FHL centers.

3. Compulsions to write letters and swear at mailman when he does not leave mail, and at my internet provider when it doesn't work.

4. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins and remote, desolate areas.

5. Sits for hours in back rooms at courthouses going through old dusty records
until your eyes get crossed and you can't straighten up.

6. Make secret phone calls at night (or sit on the internet until the wee hours). Hide
phone bills from spouse and mumble to your self.

7. Half of my photos are of cemeteries & tombstones.

8. Have a strange faraway look in your eyes.


There is no known cure, only treatment. Medication is useless. Disease is not fatal but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy work shops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quite corner in the house where they can be alone.

Genealogy Tips

Calculating Birthdays

If your ancestor's headstone says that they died on May 6, 1889, at the age of 71 years, 7 months, 9 days, try this trick to figure out their date of birth.

Using a calculator, enter 1889 for the year, 05 for the month and 06 for the day. That gives you an entry of 18890506. then subtract 710709, which is the age of the deceased (71 years, 07 months and 09 days).

This gives you a result of 1879797. Now subtract 8870 to correct the months and days. The answer is 18170927, which is 1817, ninth month and 27th day, or 27 Sep 1817.

The constant is 8870, which is supposed to work in all cases to settle out the months and days....Remember it!

(From the Spring 1993 issue of Bluegrass Roots," the quarterly publication of the Kentucky Genealogical Society)

By: Dorothy Sminkey

It is usually easier to trace the male lines than the female. This is because of the old laws and traditions, which reduced a woman to that of almost a possession of her husband. And while there are often various records which may help us to determine a maiden name, there is one document which is by far the most important in this regard. It is the deed or property record.

As an average, a couple usually bought land six times in their lifetime. Then there should be six deeds or records of this conveying of land ownership. Typically, there are four signatures on each deed which represent the witness to this event or legal instrument. Tradition says that the signatures of the first two witnesses will probably be from the husbandís side of the family and that the last two signatures will be from the wifeís side of the family.

Hence, if the researcher will make note of all the individuals who sign on the deeds, he will usually find a clue to the wifeís maiden name. While this is not positive proof, it is nevertheless a good tool. And with this information, a researcher can often search other supportive records, such as probates, plat maps, etc., and determine if in fact this is the maiden name of the wife.

This principal works about ninety percent of the time in the colonial period and the early federal period. It begins to become less effective after the Civil War with the advent of the railroad and the moving of people rapidly across the country, often away from their families.

However, in the earlier pre-railroad days, most families usually traveled together to find new land. This is also true of entire church groups and towns.

If we donít know where an individual comes from, we may find out where in the first sentence of the 1st deed in the new locality.

[Source: The Source of Magic BBS, Ridgefield, CT & Hunterís Haven, Jacksonville, FL]

By James R Hughes

The First Son was named after the Father's Father,
The Second Son after The Mother's Father,
The Third Son after The Father.
The Fourth Son after the Father's Eldest Brother.
The First Daughter after the Mother's Mother,
The Second Daughter after the Father's Mother,
The Third Daughter after the Mother,
The Fourth Daughter after the Mother's Eldest Sister.


Anyone who has done much research in 18th & 19th century records will come across some baffling diseases that carried off our ancestors. This is especially true when reviewing U.S. government documents such as census reports, which were not always taken or written by those educated in medical science.
Modern medicine, with germ and virus theories, not to mention hygienic cleansing, scrubbing and such did not become generally accepted until well past 1850.
Among the causes of death listed in 1850 and 1860 mortality schedules of the census were the following, with as close a modern definition as is possible. (Many terms were used that covered a number of diseases.)

Apoplexy: sudden diminution of sensation and voluntary motion resulting from congestion or eruption of a blood vessel in the brain.
Cholera morbus: deadly cholera, caused by unsanitary sewage disposal or exposure to infected feces.
Catarrh: inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the respiratory tract. (In World War II service, a common diagnosis of a cold was "catarrh" or "cat fever.")
Chorea: convulsive motion of the limbs.
Consumption: tuberculosis.
Painters' colic: lead poisioning caused by painters making their own paint out of many substances plus lead.
Dropsy: collection of fluid in organs that the heart is unable to pump out.
Flux: abnormal discharge from bowels.
Overlaid: this term, sometimes found in rural reports, apparently meant someone (usually an infant) smothered by an adult with whom the child was sleeping.
Quincy: sore throat and severe inflammation of tonsils, usually referred to as "a quincy."
St Anthony's Fire: inflamed skin condition
St. Vitus Dance: involuntary contracting of trunk and extremities; chorea.
Sycosis: disease characterized by eruption of wartlike growths on the beard and scalp, sometimes caused by use of unsanitary razors.
Swamp fever: used for a number of diseases, probably main malaria and other mosquito-carried diseases.
Worm fever: another poorly defined condition, probably caused by tapeworms or other bowel worms.
Scarlatina: a milder form of scarlet fever.
Texas fever: occasionally applied to a human, "Texas" or "Tick" fever is a disease of animals, particularly cattle. (Some of these terms are still in use, especially among nonmedical Texans.)

This article was taken from the Dallas Morning News. Written by: A. C. Green, who is an author and Texas historian.

A Cold by Any Other Name...(More Medical Terms)

AGUE - Used to describe the recurring fever and chills of malarial infection
BILIOUSNESS - Jaundice or other symptoms associated with liver disease
CAMP FEVER - typhus
CANINE MADNESS - hydrophobia>
CHLOROSIS - iron deficiency anemia
CORRUPTION - infection
CORYZA - a cold
COSTIVENESS - constipation
CRAMP COLIC - appendicitis
DYSPEPSIA - acid indigestion
EXTRAVASTED BLOOD - rupture of the blood vessel
FLUS OF HUMOUR - circulation
FRENCH POX - venereal disease
HIP GOUT - osteomylitis
JAIL FEVER - typhus
KING'S FEVER - scofula
LUES VENERA - veneral disease
LUMBAGO - back pain
LUNG FEVER - pneumonia
LUNG SICKNESS - tuberculosis
MANIA - insanity
MOSTALGIA - homesickness
PUTRID FEVER - diptheria
QUINSY - tonsillitis
SCOFULA - tubucular infection of lymph glands in throat
SHIP'S FEVER - typhus
STRANGERY - rupture
SUMMER COMPLAINT - infant diarrhea caused by spoiled milk
VENESECTION - bleeding

From Connecticut Nutmegger, December 1990

Genealogy Poetry & Sayings

By: Unknown Author

You got it from you father, it was all he had to give,
So it's yours to keep and cherish for as long as you shall live.
It was clean the day you got it and a worthy name to bear,
when he got it from his father, there was no dishonor there.
Stand tall and wear it proudly and keep it from disgrace,
For a black mark on your name, son, can never be erased.
So, protect and guard it safely, for when all is said and done,
you'll be glad the name is spotless when you give it to your son.


By: Unknown Author

Your tombstone stands among the rest;
Neglected and alone,
The name and date are chiseled out
On polished marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist.
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
Entirely not our own
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
One hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
Who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
And come to visit you.


By: vikimouse, 1998

Life wasn't always easy; but she never did complain.
Though I saw her shed a leaf or two; when cold November's came.
How her arms spread wide & welcomed, any weary nesting soul.
Vast numbers took their comfort there, in spring and winters' snow.
When August sun's beat down on me, I rested' neath her shade,
And warmed myself in winter with the firewood she gave.
Played beneath the shelter of her strong and sturdy limbs,
Swung from her branches happily with all my childhood friends.
In her bark, I carve initials of those sweethearts long forgot,
from her branches, hang my medals, hide my secrets in her knots.
From her seeds, I grew an orchard; in her leaves I made a bed,
& when I thought to give up ... her trunk spoke, "forge ahead!"
I gaze now through her branches, far past where eyes can see,
& every bough uncovered, tells that much more of ME!
& I proudly bear the markings of her awesome history,
Oh she started but a seedling ... and became my family tree.


By: Unknown Author

Many, many years ago
When I was twenty three
I got married to a widow,
Pretty as could be.

This widow had a grown-up daughter
With flowing hair of red
My father fell in love with her,
And soon the two were wed.

This made my dad my son-in-law
And changed my very life.
Now my daughter was my mother,
For she was my father's wife.

To complicate the matters worse,
Although it brought me joy,
I soon became the father
Of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became
A brother-in-law to dad.
And so became my uncle,
Though it made me very sad.

For if he was my uncle,
Then that also made him brother
To the widow's grown-up-daughter.
Who, of course, was my step-mother.

Father's wife then had a son,
Who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandson,
For he was my daughter's son.

My wife is now my mother's mother
And it makes me blue
Because, although she is my wife,
She's my grandma too.

If my wife is my grandmother,
Then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it,
It simply drives me wild.

For now I have become
The strangest case you ever saw.
As the husband of my grandmother,
I am my own grandpa.


By: Unknown Author

1. My family coat of arms ties at the back....is that normal?
2. My family tree is a few branches short! All help appreciated.
3. My ancestors must be in a witness protection program!
4. Shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall!
5. My hobby is genealogy, I raise dust bunnies as pets.
6. How can one ancestor cause so much TROUBLE??
7. I looked into my family tree and found out I was a sap.
8. I'm not stuck, I'm ancestrally challenged.
9. I'm searching for myself; Have you seen me?
10. If only people came with pull-down menus and on-line help.
11. Isn't genealogy fun? The answer to one problem leads to two more!
12. It's 2000... Do you know where your-Gr-Gr-Grandparents are?
13. A family reunion is an effective form of birth control.
14. A family tree can wither if nobody tends it's roots.
15. A new cousin a day keeps the boredom away.
16. After 30 days, unclaimed ancestors will be adopted.
17. Am I the only person up my tree... sure seems like it.
18. Any family tree produces some lemons, some nuts and a few bad apples.
19. Can a first cousin once removed..RETURN?
20. FLOOR:The place for storing your priceless genealogy records.
21. Gene-Allergy: It's a contagious disease, but I love it.
22. Genealogists are time unravelers.
23. Genealogy is like playing hide and seek: They hide...I seek!
24. Genealogy: Tracing yourself back to better people.
26. A pack rat is hard to live with, but makes a fine ancestor.
27. I want to find ALL of them! So far I only have a few thousand.
28. I Should have asked them BEFORE they died!
29. I think my ancestors had several "Bad heir" days.
30. I'm always late. My ancestors arrived on the JUNEflower.
31. Only a Genealogist regards a step backwards as progress.
32. Share your knowledge; it is a way to achieve immortality.
33. Heredity: Everyone believes in it until their children act like fools!
34. It's an unusual family that hath neither a lady of the evening or thief.
35. Many a family tree needs pruning.
36. Shh! Be very, very quiet.... I'm hunting forebears.
37. Snobs talk as if they had begotten their own ancestors!
38. That's strange: half my ancestors are WOMEN!
39. I'm not sick, I've just got fading genes.
40. Genealogists live in the past lane.
41. Cousins marrying cousins: Very tangled roots!
42. Cousins marrying cousins: A non-branching family tree.
43. All right! Everybody out of the gene pool!
44. Always willing to share my ignorance...
45. Documentation... The hard part..
46. Genealogy: Chasing your own tale!
47. Genealogy...will I ever find time to mow the lawn again?
48. All the really important information is on that missing page
49. I researched my family tree...and apparently I don't exist!
50. SO MANY ANCESTORS...........................SO LITTLE TIME!


By: Unknown

My True Love gave to Me...

Twelve Census Searches
Eleven Family Bibles
Ten E-Mail Contacts
Nine Headstone Rubbings
Eight Wills and Admons
Seven Miners Mining
Six Second Cousins
Five Gold Rings
Four GEDCOM Files
Three Old Wills
And a Branch in a Family Tree

Thank you for visiting my web page. Suggestions or comments are always welcome.

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Copyright & copy; 1997-2009 Fern May. All rights reserved.
This page last updated on: May, 2009