03 May 2015

"Hegwer" in Sütterlin Script

With my new organization regimen, I review two random resource notebooks each month.  (Most of them haven't been used for years.)  My orginal hope was that I would find unnecessary or duplicate papers and could discard great bunches.  You can probably guess that hasn't happened much.  I keep telling myself that I am not responsible for archiving the world….

Today's pick was my notebook on German genealogy.  I only found one unnecessary page in the whole notebook and only had to move one page to its proper section. Generally, I'm impressed with the quality of info I've accumulated...maybe I should even go back to working on that line?!

The forgotten treasure I found was my handout and notes from a  2006 lecture for the then Santa Clarita Valley Family History Center seminar. This session was presented by Kurt Schröder and included content on various script found in German records.  I remember going up to him after the fine session and asking if he would please write "Hegwer" for me on my notes.  I had already written the name out and I pointed to the blank area after the name.  Mr. Schröder very graciously responded with the line you see above.  (I added the arrow afterward so that I'd remember what I had!)

[Image is cropped scan from original document in MHD collection; all rights reserved.]

03 April 2015

First Friday Folder: Patrick Keating & Catherine Dooley

Patrick and Catherine are two of my maternal great-grandparents.  It took me over 10 years to find them and prove it.  There was a lot of research with three independent serendipitous events involved and, someday, I should blog about it all….

I selected this folder for review this week because recent atDNA matches show promise and have re-energized my research on this line.  Maybe I can find out where my Irish roots are….

The Couple
In the 1880 US Census, Patrick Keating is 32, born in Ireland of parents born in Ireland, wife Catherine is 26, born in Canada of parents born in Ireland.  Their son, Fillamin T., is 4 years old and born in Ohio.  In later records, he is referred to as "Thomas" or "Tom" with a middle initial "F." They were living in Benton, Ottawa, Ohio.  Both a marriage certificate and state register show they were married in Ottawa County on 28 November 1873; Catherine's surname was given as Dooley. There was also a son, John, who died young with no children. My brother and I are their only daughter's only grandchildren.

The Folder
Much more than half of this one-inch-thick folder was loose pages of clues or ideas of what, where, and how to find the origins and ancestors of this couple.  I spent this morning organizing the folder and now I have bundles with sequenced contents:
  • vital records
  • census info (including a possible 1870 census listing for Patrick)
  • deeds and land info & clues
  • info on the linguistic origin and geographic likelihood  of both "Keating" and "Dooley" in Ireland 
  • a very sizable bundle of censuses, family group sheets, and other info on Tom's 7 children and their descendants. 
I was able to either consolidate or discard a very few duplicates…I'd hoped for more.  Mostly, I was struck by how many solid clues or possible record types I have to follow.  The two biggest may be the possible atDNA matches I have: one for a Dooley and the one for a descendant of Ellen (Keating) Earl  (discussed in an earlier post).

The Plan
I have all of Thomas Keating's children and 13 grandchildren.  I have some of the great grandchildren.  I need to bring all of the grandchildren as far forward as possible.  Then, I need to consider paying for one of them to do a Y-DNA test and perhaps find one of them who's interested in an atDNA test.  Triangulation might help the analysis of my existing matches.

I have some of Patrick's deeds, but I need to find the earliest ones.  I'm pretty confident that I have the right Patrick in a 1870 census in Ottawa County, but it says he has land and I can't find any deeds for him prior to 1874.

I need to find a primary birth/baptism source for Thomas F. (Fillamin).  I'm going to have to get a system and just go through the Toledo Diocese records image by image…. Hmm, maybe I could even find Catherine's death record, circa 1887.

Perhaps the biggest thing my review today recovered is that I have a baptism record for Patrick & Catherine Keating's second child, John Keating, that gives Bellevue, Huron, Ohio as the location.  I knew I had the baptism (since 2009, no less) but I had no recollection that it's in a county where I have never looked for the family.  That's embarrassing!

  • For research problems, review what I already have and then review it again.  I know I've written that before but here I've gone and proven it again!
  • DNA results may not immediately solve a major research problem, but they can certainly reenergize a search.
  • Having spent a day with this folder spread all over the breakfast table, what I really need is a whole wall like the ones in Homeland or Criminal Minds or Blacklist where the whole entire wall is covered with documents, images, maps, dates, with boldly colored yarn connecting some points.  It would stay up all the time, never having to be put away until the problem is solved.  Yeah, I know I could sorta do that with mind mapping software, but it's just not the same. 
Photos by MHD.  All rights reserved.

11 March 2015

Causier Reunion: June 27, 2015

Wouldn't it be fun?? …  With a few minutes of spare time last night and as I frequently do on my less common ancestral surnames,  I ran a search on "causier," and found something great!

There's going to be a reunion of CAUSIER descendants in Droitwich, Worcester, England this summer.  The organizers are celebrating the 300th anniversary of the baptism of Sacheverell Causier at St. Peter De Witton, 27 Jun 1715.  They've received good press coverage in the Worcester area, with articles in both the Worcester News 19 February 2015 and in the Hereford Times 20 February 2015 .  I wish I could go join them all.

These two articles are virtually identical and both include contact info for event organizer, John Causier.  Wouldn't it be great to attend and travel around the area with distant cousins?  Just think of all the photos that will be snapped and all the info that will be shared… wouldn't it be fun?…  but I'll just have to be content with all the dreams I will have about returning to visit England….  I'll have to settle with contacting the organizer, seeing how we relate, and sending my best wishes for a successful event.

I've posted before about this Sacheverell Causier before.  As shown in my line of descent below, I'm descended from 3 consecutive generations of Sacheverell Causier!  Actually there were at least 2 more generations of Sacheverell's, just not my line.

We went to England in 2006 and had a wonderful time visiting with fourth cousins I'd found online: one on the Causier line and one on my Ethell line.  This photo is from Whitwood and shows an old cornerstone naming James Causier.  The year on this stone is illegible, but another stone in the building appeared to be dated 1887 (or possibly 1867).  This James is not in my direct line, but is indeed a descendant of Sacheverell.  The building is within sight of the church I showed in an earlier post.

Line of Descent
Sacheverell Causier = Betty Astmore
Sacheverell Causier = Elizabeth Wood
Sacheverell Causier = Sarah Hunt
William Causier = Ann Tolley
Charles Causier = Catherine Hughes
John Henry Carr = Ann Matilda Carr
Bertha Maud Carr = BT Hegwer (my grandparents)

Photo by MHD: all rights reserved.

06 March 2015

First Friday Folder: Davison & Phelps

Paul DAVISONand Abiel PHELPS are two of my 5th great-grandparents on my Porter grandfather's side.  I picked this folder this month because it has not been touched in 9 years.  I'm afraid my sources won't meet my current standards!  (Read the very first one here to review what I mean by First Friday Folder.)

The Couple
Both Paul and Abiel spent their short lives in Mansfield, Tolland, Connecticut.  Paul Davison, son of Peter Davison and Anna Morgan, was born 5 April 1711 and died 20 August 1751.  Abiel Phelps, daughter of Benjamin Phelps and Deborah Temple, was born 12 March 1711/1712 and died before May 1747.  They were married 30 Aug 1733 and had at least three children: Oliver (1734-1769), Dan (1736-1821), and Phineas (b. 1740).

After Abiel died, Paul married second Deborah Wright 7 May 1747; they had Abial (b. 1748) and Deborah (b. 1750).   After Paul died, Deborah married second Aaron Younglove.

The Folder
The folder had 15 items in it, mostly family group sheets or printouts from online trees with a date indicating I printed them out in 2004 & 2005.  I removed some unneeded duplicates and two misfiled items were refiled…Yeah, now I have a thinner folder!

Upon review, I see that my sources are compiled genealogies and published transcriptions or extractions from town vital records.  Everything seems to be consistent and there is no sight of genealogical problem with this couple.  Of course, it would be better to verify everything myself with primary sources as I have with son Dan.  Given that I have serious doubts about the ancestry of Paul's grandfather, the Daniel Davison who married Margaret Low in 1657, I would have to start by verifying Paul and then his father Peter before I ever return to research Daniel.

The Plan
I've annotated both the family group sheet and my master To-Do list that I need to start with verifying Paul and work my way back from there if I ever decide to return to researching Daniel Davison.  This folder will be all ready for me then!

This was a pretty easy folder to review and there aren't any major things to do.  It should be easy to find primary sources, given that I know where and when to look.  This line would be a good one to work on the next time I get to Salt Lake City!

16 February 2015

Presidential Cousins

The latest post at the Vita Brevis blog, Celebrating Presidential Kinship, US Ancestry by Christopher Carter Lee,  does "briefly" discuss the presidency,  genealogy of the individual presidents, and NEHGS's support of such research and archiving.  It also reminds me that I haven't blogged about any of my presidential connections….

While I am not descended from any American Presidents, several of them are distant cousins through some of my Great Migration ancestors.  At the 2009 SCGS Jamboree, I had the pleasure of talking with Gary Boyd Roberts at the NEHGS booth.  I blogged about his great books before but didn't list my presidential cousins...

That year, after reviewing my pedigree chart, Gary Boyd Roberts listed the following cousins for me:  Fillmore, Lincoln, Grant, Cleveland, Harding, Coolidge, FDR, Nixon, Ford, both Bushes, and conditionally added Pierce and Hoover.  It's almost six years since Mr. Roberts examined my chart and wrote the notes and I'm still gratified by his kindness.

As the Vita Brevis post mentions, there is a newer 2012 edition of the book and I'm sure it's worth having for all the additions & corrections it must have, but I can't bear to replace mine.  I will always cherish the thought that Gary Boyd Roberts actually took my pedigree chart back to his hotel room, read it, wrote on it, and took the time to write a detailed personal comment on my copy of his book! Thank you, Mr. Roberts!

I hope to someday get to Boston to visit the library and do lots of research.  I'll take my book along with me, hoping to show Roberts and talk with him again.  In the meantime, I really, really hope that someday NEHGS brings him back to this area for Jamboree.

11 February 2015

Great Resource Verifies New Cousin: Martha (Earl) Black Beck

In genealogy, we seem to spend a good deal of our time fitting pieces together, hoping we're right, and going on from there.  Don't you love it when you find something that verifies a chain of assumptions?

I've been working on William EARL with wife #1 (married 1860 in Ottawa County, Ohio) Ellen/Helen KEATING and wife #2 (married 1868 in Ottawa County) Mary HADD Gourno Earl Peeling for some time with no indication that they are related to me.  But, when you know so little about a great-grandfather, you must research those around them (FAN concept)!  My great-grandfather, Patrick KEATING, had land dealings with William EARL in Ottawa County, Ohio, in the 1860-70s, and William's first wife was an Ellen KEATING.  I figure there has to be a family relationship there but it's been outside my grasp.  Ellen left even fewer records than Patrick and for years I believed that there were no children from her short marriage to William Earl.

Long story short: a few months ago, I was able to verify that some of the children formerly/sometimes attributed to Mary HADD's first or second marriage were actually her step-children.  Ellen Keating did have descendants!  But, there was still a lingering uncertainty with confused names, common surnames, and only circumstantial links.

The great resource in my title for this post is the Ohio Memory site . It's one of those resources where you can get lost for hours and find wonderful things! It's a must if you have any roots in Ohio.

Today, after reviewing all the inconsistencies in Ellen's children's names and ages, I decided to review my "EARL possibilities" folder and found a note that there is an obituary for one of Ellen's daughters at OhioMemory.  Hmm, better check it out…. well, it's a great find! It's just a 15-line obituary with only 94 words from an unnamed newspaper, but it ends all my doubts about the children of William Earl and Ellen Keating!

 Mrs. Charles Beck, better known in Oak Harbor, where she was born and raised, as Mrs. Mattie Black, died at Marion, Ind., last week Wednesday, at the age of 52 years.  She was a step-daughter of Mrs. Mary Earle and half-brother of Wm. T. Earle.  For many years, the deceased with her first husband Daniel Black, operated a milk route in Oak Harbor, residing north of town about a half mile. she leaves two sons Ira and Guy, the former being a prosperous grocery dealer at Marion, Ind., and the latter in the ministry.
The online item title is "Obituary of Mattie Beck" and has a handwritten date of 2-26-1917 on the clipping image and was submitted by the Harris-Elmore Public Library, which seems to be about 9 miles from Oak Harbor.

The Great News
Careful readers should now be asking "What's the great news? Where's your connection to Patrick anyway?  Well, one of my atDNA matches is a descendant of Daniel Black and Martha/Mattie Earl! Ancestry.com DNA predicts we are 4th-6th cousins with "very high confidence. " My "conclusion" is that my great-grandfather, Patrick Keating, and Ellen Keating are indeed related: maybe cousins, maybe even siblings!

Of course, there's still a lot of work to do.  But I think it will be easier to find Patrick's origins now that I
'know" at least one relative for him!

The Plan

  • Enter all my Earl info into my database and online trees
  • Contact and exchange info with my new Black Family cousin
  • Go back to researching Patrick with a new perspective and renewed energy!

Don't you love the feeling that just maybe there is an answer in sight?

06 February 2015

First Friday Folder: Benjamin Richardson & Ellen Holt

My First Friday Folder feature has been silent for over two years. Given that this year's mega-goal is organization, it's time to start it up again! (Read the very first one here to review what I mean by First Friday Folder.)  I picked this particular folder this month because I knew it would be an easy one to do and would help ease back into the First Friday Folder habit.

The Couple
Benjamin RICHARDSON and Ellen HOLT are two of my 4th-great-grandparents on my dad's side.  This is the public debut of my officially claiming them as ancestors.  Prior to this week, I have had them in my database with the middle names of "UNPROVEN."  No, I haven't written my proof statement yet, but I really think there's enough to go on finally… and having a folder in which to put it all while I work on the statement is a good thing, right?  Then, the proof statement can be a new post!

The Folder
This folder is in pretty good shape because there were only a few things in it:
  • two maps of the Estill County area of Kentucky
  • a FHL film note for a film on Estill County wills
  • copies of 3 email conversations with Richardson expert, cousin DR on Benjamin
  • placeholder copies of p.1 of about six websites with pedigrees including early Richardsons.
I put an official new label on the folder.  I removed the UNKNOWN middle names from Benjamin & Ellen in my database and printed out a family group sheet.  It has virtually nothing more than son Amos' info and notes.

The Plan 

  • Write proof statement, including DNA evidence, on Benjamin & Ellen being the parents of the Amos Richardson who married Elizabeth (Betsey) HICKS.
  • Review evidence/sources DR already has collected on the couple and enter into my database.
  • Figure out what other early records exist that might help document Benjamin and Ellen.
  • Track all of their children for at least 2 generations of descendants, which should further strengthen the DNA evidence.

Line of Descent
Benjamin RICHARDSON = Ellen HOLT
Amos RICHARDSON = Elizabeth (Betsey) HICKS
John D. RICHARDSON = Isabella SHAW
Charles HEGWER = Margaret Lavinia RICHARDSON
Benjamin Theodore HEGWER = Bertha Maud CARR, my paternal grandparents

I still think it's important to revisit folders/couples every so often, if only to see if there's anything to be done to make more room in the file drawer.  I hope my renewed resolve lasts…!  I know I cheated a bit by picking this folder, but it stills feels good to be posting again.

31 January 2015

My CARR-line mtDNA

[First, a comment: This is embarrassing…my first post in a year…how did that happen? Better late than never?]

One of the projects I've been most involved with over the last year has been genetic genealogy.  Altogether over the past few years, I have paid for or won  (Going to conferences does pay off!) a total of 9 DNA tests on my husband's or my lines.  For the past 18 months, I've made a point of studying more about it.  I've read books, blogs, articles, and gone to several seminars, including the DNA Day at Jamboree last year.   Unfortunately, the field is seemingly growing and changing faster than I can keep up! But I am finally feeling confident enough to post the first in what should be lots of upcoming DNA posts sprinkled among others.  I believe that writing about my results is part of my learning process, but my main goal is to share what I've learned about specific lines…and there's really been a good deal of progress on some of them lately!

A few years ago, a first cousin graciously agreed to give a sample so I'd have info on our CARR maternal line.  From Grandma CARR it goes back through Ann Matilda CAUSIER, Catherine HUGHES, and Lydia COOPER.  The paper trail to my 3rd great-grandmother, Lydia COOPER, is well documented.  According to census data, Lydia was born about 1803 in Brierly Hill, Worcestershire, England.  I hope this year to really search for her parents.

mtDNA Results

Grandma CARR's mtDNA comes back as haplogroup J and is consistent with her English heritage.  As of today, there are 304 HVR1, HVR2 matches.  With just a quick review and, as is the nature of mtDNA, there's no sign of a match in a genealogically relevant time frame.

This test was done over 4 years ago; so, to determine a specific subclade, I'd need to upgrade the test.  Doing so could be useful in eventually confirming or disproving any hypotheses I might come up with for Lydia's parentage.

  • Review Brierley Hill baptism records to see if I can find any possible parents for Lydia.
  • Spend more time/care in reviewing the current mtDNA "matches," …who knows what may show up?  Also, I have my aunt's atDNA…I need to get it transferred to FTDNA and see if any of her mtDNA matches are also atDNA matches.
  • Review the FTDNA projects available to me and consider joining them. 
  • Consider upgrading this test.  Maybe there'll be special conference pricing at Jamboree!