04 December 2011

Great Connection: Homer Porter & Dolly Ann Bates

A great day!  I'll spare you all the details, but recent "Member Connect Activity" at ancestry.com has led me to a "new" cousin, Marla, and her incredible photos of my great-great-grandparents Homer Thomas PORTER and Dolly Ann BATES!

Dolly Ann (10 Sep 1823 Westford, Chittenden, Vermont  - 1892 Great Falls, Cascade, Montana) was the daughter of Norton Bates and Betsey Sweet.  [There is no proven connection between these two Bates women: this Abigail is a Bates in the Clement Bates line, while Dolly Ann is in the Edward of Weymouth, Massachusetts line.]

Homer Thomas Porter (20 Nov 1813 - 24 Dec 1903, both Colchester, Chittenden, Vermont) was the son of Thomas Porter and Abigail Bates.   He married Dolly Ann Bates 11 Sep 1845 in Essex, Chittenden, Vermont.  

Thank you, Marla, for posting these photos and for permission to crop them for use here.  I look forward to a long and rewarding partnership with you!  You have made my month!!

While I'm on this couple and from our 2004 trip to Vermont: I am confident that this stone from the Malletts Bay Cemetery (Colchester, Chittenden, Vermont) commemorates Homer and his siblings, Ashbel and Sally (who married Horace H. Johnson).  Homer's Vermont death record and probate file (both available at familysearch.org) makes it pretty clear that the death date on the stone is incorrect and that 1903 is much more likely.  (A more legible image by Barb Destromp exists at findagrave.com)

14 November 2011

Happy Birthday, Daddy

My father was born 98 years ago today in Logan Canyon, Utah.  I can't believe that it's been 29 years since he died.

This photo is my newest treasure from Aunt Lelia.  She just received the photo from someone but she doesn't remember who (probably a Bannard descendant).  I have no other group photos like this one.  I am so glad that Aunt Lelia thought to share it with me and that Cousin Gary helped her send me a copy.  Also, it was very thoughtful of her to label everyone; otherwise, I would have been doing a lot of guessing....

Standing, left to right:  Mickey, Lelia, Flora, my father, Anne, Fred (barely a shadow over Wyla's right shoulder), Wyla

Seated: Bertha, Anne Matilda (Causier) Carr, Jane

Front: Barbara, Jessie, Margaret

The family groups are:
Anne Matilda (Causier) and 3 of her 7 children: Jane, Bertha, Anne
Bertha and 5 of her 8 children: my dad, Mickey, Lelia, Wyla, Barbara
Jane & husband Fred with 3 of their 4 children: Jessie, Flora, Margaret

The location is most probably somewhere in Los Angeles County, possibly in the North Hollywood area.  We don't know who is holding the camera (perhaps Ray B?) and Lelia doesn't remember the event itself.  It has to be before my great-grandmother Carr's death in 1940.  Guessing from Barbara's apparent age, I think the photo is 1938-9.  Ray H. died in late 1937, but maybe the photo is earlier and he's the photographer.  However, that would make Barbara younger than 6. Does she look that young??

28 September 2011

To Honor Brenda May Hass

A random check of Find a Grave this last weekend revealed an obituary for the recent death of Brenda May (Hegwer) Hass.  Brenda was one of the great-grandchildren of Charles Herman Hegwer and Margaret Lavina Richardson, making us second cousins. 

Brenda and I never met or even made contact, which somehow makes me additionally saddened to hear of her passing.  Our fathers were cousins and I know they met as children and had at least some contact by mail thirty-some years ago, before my father died.

My thoughts are with Brenda’s large and loving family.

22 September 2011

Treasures from the To-Do Pile: North Yorkshire archive & maps

Last March, Linda Elliott's Mad About Genealogy (English and General Genealogy News & Links) had a great post on the North Yorkshire County Record Office and all the goodies they have online.I had left a note in my To-Do-Pile to remind myself to get around to it someday....
The archive section of the North Yorkshire County Record Office website has more goodies than I can describe in one post.  I've played there for hours now, and I still haven't seen it all.  If you have any connection to North Yorkshire, this website is a must! 
Here's a snip of just one section of the webpage.  Notice that just this one little part of their site has links to historical maps, photographs, online archive catalog, and links to other excellent sites.  As with most large and intricate sites, the search options take a little getting-used-to, but the time is well worth the effort.
I played in the map section and found lots on Malton, Hutton's Ambo, and Rilington.  My direct-line surnames ETHELL, ROSE, BEETHAM, and MUNKHAM have ties to that area in the 18th & 19th centuries.  It was a joy to see the maps and I am confident that more work with these maps will improve the research I have to do to firm up the latter 3 surnames.  Here's a snip of one of the maps showing Rilington and the location of St. Andrew's Church.  I haven't yet proven a link to this specific church, but my people were bound to have been in the neighborhood!
  • Wouldn't it be nice if all the counties of England (or anywhere, for that matter) had similar sites? !  Thank you, North Yorkshire!
  • Thank you, Linda for sharing this wonderful resource.
  • Yet again, I've found great stuff in the To-Do Pile... the pile is shrinking, slowly but surely.  I think I am, finally, getting control!
  • I must check out the Archive section of this fabulous website.

15 September 2011

Headstones: John D. & Isabella Richardson

One of the very special treats during my trip to Missouri last June was Cousin Donald taking us to see the headstones of John D. Richardson and Isabella Shaw, our great-great-grandparents.  This photo shows the whole plot with a glimpse of the intersection where the stones are located.  The map excerpt is a portion of Morgan County. Cousin Donald made the red annotations and gave me this copy.  (The red rectangle gives the general location of the land where I took the 2 photos of John Richardson's land and shared in an earlier post.)  The red circle shows the location of the plot where these headstones are.  Comparing the map to the photo, you can actually pinpoint the location given the roads!  That's handy because there are no signs.

As I remember Cousin Donald  telling me....  Many years ago, after he had found these stones and was photographing them, an "oldtimer" stopped to see who Donald was and what he was doing there.  Donald told of his family relationship and that Donald had even grown-up nearby.  The oldtimer hesitated for a few moments and then proceeded to tell Donald that the graves were not actually here: the gravesites had been "down by the creek!" The oldtimer and another neighbor had moved the headstones because pigs were constantly wallowing in the mud along the creek and repeatedly knocking over the stones.  Tired of uprighting them and fearing the stones would eventually break, the men had moved the headstones up to this location many years earlier.

Even with two men helping me, it was still hard to get good photos with all the vegetation around the stones.  The stone of the left commemorates both John and Isabella.

The center stone commemorates only Isabella.  We suspect that it was the stone made at her death.  The deterioration is evident; parts of the stone are very hard to read.  But is possible to see that it does name her as Isabella Shaw, wife of John D. Richardson.

The third stone in the grouping commemorates John's second wife, Nancy Jane Krues.  She is something of a mystery to me. Some people, including Donald, even have her name as Nancy Jane Bowles.  Clearly, I need to do more research!  Overall, I haven't done much research on other spouses of people from whom I descend.  But recently it has occurred to me that I cherish all my great-greats and I should also cherish those whom they married, whether I descend from them or not.

Sadly, there is a small, hidden stone between the two women's stones for 'Infant Richardson.'  We cannot make out the second line at all and have no idea who it represents.  And, knowing that the stones have been moved, the placement is not even a guarantee that the infant belonged to any of these Richardson's.  It bothers me a great deal to have unidentified children.

Going back to the first photo of the whole plot, the closest marker is for Margaret Beaman, wife of N. Beaman.  I don't know how she fits with the Richardson's. Given that the marker is apparently from about the same time as that of John's and Nancy's, and that it ended up here, I'm assuming there is some connection.  I guess that's more research to do!

Isn't that what always happens?  I find something wonderful, but now I have more questions and more to research...!

07 September 2011

Great Resource: British Isles Family History Society - USA

Week-before-last, I had the privilege of attending the monthly meeting of the British Isles Family History Society--USA in Los Angeles.  I've been a member for a few years and thoroughly enjoy their publications and meetings. Unfortunately, it's a long drive with an ugly traffic pattern, so I don't make it to every meeting. 
This last meeting was "Ask the Experts," a yearly program.  Members could email in questions or problems ahead of time and a panel of the group's experts would discuss each one as the program for the meeting!  I couldn't let that opportunity pass me by....

I had sent off a family group sheet on my great-great-great-grandparents, John Hughes & Lydia Cooper, and loads of questions.  Sure enough, John & Lydia were the third item on the agenda!  I won't go into the details here but, trust me, I have lots to go on now!  Two of the experts had obviously spent a good deal of time on my issues before the meeting and had lots to say.  Both also had several printouts for me of their research efforts.  The two experts had approached different issues, so I left the meeting with a handful of their printouts and 2 pages of notes from the group discussion!  It was great!!  I can't wait for next year: I'm already figuring out which couple I'll target then!

Annual Seminar
...from the BIFHS website...
You may have missed last month's meeting, but BIFHS's seminar is coming!  Full information is available at their website.  It will be all day, October 22 in Whittier, California.  The speaker is Darris Williams, of Salt Lake City, FamilySearch, and the Family History Library there.
A special, added feature, is that for no additional fee, you can attend the group's regular meeting the next day in Los Angeles and have all of Sunday afternoon to research at the Los Angeles Family History Library.  The speaker (I think he's giving an extra speech there) and all the experts will be there for individual help.  Check the Library website to search their catalog before your visit; they have an extensive British Isles collection.  What a great weekend it will be! 

Joing genealogy groups is a great thing, and BIFHS-USA is no exception.  I'm really looking forward to the seminar next month!
I am a proud member of BIFHS, but I receive no special consideration from them other than what comes from membership.  I think they are all nice to everyone all the time anyway.

02 September 2011

First Friday Folder: Lt. Nicholas Shaw & Ruth Beal

Lt. Nicholas SHAW and Ruth BEAL are two of my 6th-great-grandparents.  I selected this folder because, after my Unexpected Gift from a Great Blogger post last month, I played around a bit more in one of Bill West's blogs and Findagrave, which led me to another printout from Findagrave on Ruth (Beal) Shaw to file and no folder in which to place it! 

The Couple
Nicholas Shaw was born 28 January 1712/1713 in Abington, Plymouth, Massachusetts and died there 7 June 1780.  Ruth Beal was born about 1717 and died 15 December 1808 in Abington.  They were married 6 February 1735 also in Abington.  According to the page at Findagrave, she is buried at the Mount Vernon Cemetery in Abington. Her Findagrave page give a date and inscription, but no photo.  I wonder if Nicholas is also buried there?

The Folder
Ah, great news: this folder is in wonderful shape!  Of course, it's brand new today and only has two things in it ....

The Plan
I shouldn't do any more on this couple until I finished tying up loose ends in my research on the paternity of Norton Bates. I'm confident that I have the right parents (as shown here), but I need to finish resolving some mild contradictions and I need to formally write-up my theory and conclusions.  Then, I can work back couple by couple in more detail and with a clean conscience.

Line of Descent
I have started printing the line of descent for each of my direct-line couple folders as I use the folders.  With my new printer/scanner, I was able to make this image of the chart and, then, insert it here!  I have impressed myself!

I had hoped that my First Friday Folder reviews would always result in saving lots of room in the file cabinet by my finding and removing unnecessary duplicates and other unneeded goodies.  Unfortunately, this week resulted only in adding material to the drawer.  But, I guess better organization is a higher goal anyway.... 

I would probably have more time for my serious research if I were able to quit reading other blogs and quit "playing" in the places they lead me and stay focused on a current targeted problem/topic/couple....  But, where's the great fun in that?!

13 August 2011

Richardson spots in Missouri

Here are just a few photos in Morgan County from my great trip to Missouri.  With cousins Donald and Linda as our personal guides, it was easy to see things we could never have found by ourselves.  We spent several hours in the community room (which you can just barely see behind the church) at a Richardson reunion, meeting dozens of third-cousins for the first time.

The Glensted Church was established in 1888.  Great-grandmother Margaret had moved away by then, but great-great-grandfather John D. Richardson was still nearby and very active.  He may not have worshiped here, but he certainly would have been going by here!

The Glensted Cemetery is just across the road from the church.  If facing the cemetery, and then turning right , you'd see:

 Below is a shot of the property once owned by great-great-grandfather John D. Richardson.  I started to cry as I took this photo, filled with thoughts that my great-great-grandfather had been here and now I was, too.

His property continued on to the other side of the current "road."  Both parcels are about 6 miles from the Glensted Church.

I took this photo of the Versailles, Morgan County Court House on Sunday afternoon while standing in the middle of the road.  There is certainly no civic center in greater Los Angeles county where I could have taken such a photo with no people in it nor any cars to dodge!

It was a wonderful trip!  When I started my genealogy research, I didn't know I had Richardson ancestors, let alone that they were from Missouri.  Best of all, I have now met my dear friends, Donald and Linda, face to face.  That they happen to be my cousins is icing on the cake!  And, that Donald is a generous and incredibly thorough genealogist makes it double-thick, chocolate fudge frosting!

11 August 2011

Happy Blogiversary and a State-of-the-Blog Report

My second blogiversary!  I would not have bet that I'd make it this far! 
It looks like 32 posts in the last 12 months.  Maybe it could have been more, but life keeps getting in the way....

The number of formal followers has doubled (it's easy to double small numbers!), and all comments have been so very supportive.

The number of monthly pageviews has been over 300 for each of the last several months, but that's not counting last May when I was a big, big hit in Russia (I think some machine was trying to get in; I am not aware of any ancestors or followers there!).  I have to credit the increase (but not Russia) to having been included in Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings "Best of" list for 6 February 2011.  Thanks, again, Randy!

Last January's Resolutions
So far, I'm three for six!  That's not bad... and, hopefully, there'll be more progress by December!

New Look
And, here is the first post in the design I've selected for GreatGreats' third year!  I hope it's easy to read and that it's pleasing in appearance.

09 August 2011

WARNING: Blogiversary Approaching

It's hard to believe that GreatGreats' second blogiversary will be in two days.

Here's the warning:  I will celebrate by changing the design template.  Once a year isn't too often, is it?!

If you have any comments on color, font, layout, or whatever, now is the time.  All feedback is appreciated.  Thanks!  Have a great, great day!

05 August 2011

First Friday Folder: Causier & Tolley

I selected this folder for review this month because it is the thickest one in my English line.  I was hoping I could thin it out a bit.  But, it looks like the big result of this review is that I found a huge error outside the folder!

After pulling the folder, the first thing I did was to check past posts and make sure I hadn't reviewed this couple before. Actually, there hasn't ever been a First Friday Folder on a Causier and no Causier posts at all in the past 12 months.  The yucky part was seeing that the last Causier post was titled 'William CARR in Dodderhill.'  I had written a whole post about William Causier and titled it 'CARR.'  That's terribly embarrassing....

The Couple
William Causier and his second wife, Ann Tolley, are my great-great-great-grandparents.  William was born about 1793 in Droitwich, Worcestershire, England, the son of Sacheverell Causier and Sarah Hunt.  He died 31 Jul 1873 in Whitwood Mere, (West Riding )Yorkshire, England; a snip from his death certificate appears above.  He and Ann were married 24 May 1829 in Dodderhill, Worcestershire.  Ann Tolley was born about 1809 in Droitwich.  She died about October, 1891, in Whitwood Mere.
The Causier's lived in this vicinity in Whitwood circa early 1870s, but on the 2006 personal tour Cousin Val gave us, she said none of the buildings they actually lived in remained.

The Folder
The folder is almost an inch thick.  I don't know Ann's parents, so I've been keeping Tolley clues and unknown Tolley's in this folder, but now I've moved them to their own folder.

There was a family group sheet from 2007 and one from 2009.  On one hand, I was surprised to see I hadn't printed a new one for 2 years, but it was also nice to see how far I've come in 4 years.  Otherwise, there weren't any duplicates or any papers misfiled.  Darn, the folder is still thick.

The Plan
  1. I need to review maps of Dodderhill & Droitwich and the locations of other nearby parishes from the GENUKI database.
  2. I need to review my extractions from1813-1874 the Dodderhill Parish Records to be sure I've entered all the appropriate info in my database.  Then, I need to go back further and find William's baptism and first marriage for myself.
  3. Who is the Thomas Tolley who witnessed William and Ann's marriage?  Perhaps he will be a clue to her ancestry?  Judging from how rare Tolley is in the Dodderhill records, I'm expecting her family to have been from a nearby parish.
  4. Who is the "niece" Elizabeth Bernat, age 6, living with William and Ann in the 1851 census?
Every month, I tell myself I am NOT going to continue the First Friday Folder blogposts.  But once again, the process has turned up a gross error.  So, I guess I better keep doing it....  Either that or stop making mistakes!

04 August 2011

Variations in GIB

One of my CARR-line surnames is GIB.  It didn't take any time at all to find that it could just as well appear in records as GIB or GIBB or GIBBS.  Well, that's when it appears...it seems to be fairly rare, or at least it is where I've been looking! (East Riding of Yorkshire, 1770s)

Recently I picked up my Genealogical Research in England and Wales, Vol. 1, and I decided to see if the "Surnames -- Given Names -- Dialect" chapter had anything interesting.  That's not a topic that ordinarily excites me...and I've probably never looked at that chapter before.  First, I was surprised when I came to the name GIBB, and secondly, I was surprised to see a whole half paragraph!
Some variations in the spelling of surnames caused by local pronunciation are somewhat obvious, but others are not. ... A family of Gibb from near Chard in Somerset is found recorded under the spellings of Geeb, Geep, Gabe, and Geab.  One interesting case is that of Betty Geab recorded in the 1851 census, whose death was subsequently registered and appears in the indexes at Somerset House under the spelling of Gabe.  Although her burial at the parish church of Merriott is written Elizabeth Gibb, it was not until every entry recorded in the week of her death at the local superintendant's register office was checked, that the spelling Gabe was discovered. [1]

I wonder if I've missed any of these variations in my research?  I think I would have made note of these, given how rarely I see any one-syllable word starting with G, but I will certainly pay more attention now!

  • I found this book in a used book store in Utah several years ago.  I think older books about research ofter have a lot to offer.  And, re-reading them occasionally can be useful!
  • I've added these unusual variations to my GIBB family group sheet so that I'm more likely to be reminded to be creative in my searching.

David E. Gardner & Frank Smith. Genealogical Research in England and Wales, Vol. 1.  Salt Lake City: Bookcraft Publishers, 1956, p. 273. [The italics are as they are in the original; the color is my addition.]

03 August 2011

Great Resource at a Great Price

If you remember my last post earlier tonight, you can easily see that I'm catching up on reading the blogs I follow....

I've been meaning to do a thorough review/comment of Michael John Neill's Casefile Clues, but you know how time flies....  Now, I've just read Michael's latest offer for the whole first volume of Casefile Clues.  It says it's good as long as the link is hot; it was just a minute ago at 10:45pm Pacific time.

If it is still available and if you enjoy reading genealogy articles, emphasizing the research and thinking process, then this might be the best $10 you ever, ever spend.  I don't have the time to detail all the things I like about Casefile Clues, but some quickies are that
  • it's not for beginners, 
  • the examples are real and almost read like serial mysteries, and 
  • the charts he develops are super. 
I'll still get around to a full review someday, but don't let this bargain pass you by.

NOTE: Other than being a subscriber, fully paying my own way, I am in no way connected to Casefile Clues or  Michael John Neill and this post is completely independent (and unknown to him).

Unexpected Gift from a Great Blogger

Bill West, of The Old Colony Graveyard Rabbit, recently posted lovely photos of the "Olde Beechwood Burial Ground"  in Cohasset, Massachusetts.  One photo that caught my eye turned out to be the headstone of my 5th great-grand-aunt, Sarah Bates, who died at about the age of 11 in 1737.

I know Bill also contributes to FindaGrave.com, so I quickly clicked over to their site and found out that Bill had indeed already submitted a photo and annotation for Sarah's father, Joshua Bates.  Thank you, thank you, Bill!

Thanks to Bill, I now have burial locations for both Joshua and Sarah!  I like filling in blanks in my database!  Now, I wonder if Bill West and I are related....

17 July 2011

Great-Great-Grandparents: Heritage Pie

Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun looked interesting.  I guess it's still ok to participate on Sunday afternoon....

It took only about 3 minutes to make the graph at Kid Zone's "Create a Graph" and represents the birthplaces of my great-great-grandparents.

My sixteen great-greats, with abbreviated info, are:
William CARR (1840-1916?) -- Yorkshire
Jane ETHELL (1841- after 1901) -- Yorkshire

Charles CAUSIER (1836-1912) -- born Worcestershire, died Wisconsin
Catherine HUGHES (1838-1911) -- born Staffordshire, died Wisconsin

Carl Benjamin HEGWER (1791-1860) -- born Silesia, died Kansas
Maria Rosina ILGNER (1801-1873) -- born Silesia, died Kansas

John D. RICHARDSON (1829-1908) -- Missouri
Isabella SHAW (1828-1877) -- born Ohio, died Missouri

parents of Patrick KEATING  -- unknown Ireland

parents of Cathrine DOOLEY -- unknown probably Ireland, possibly but unlikely

Homer Thomas PORTER (1813-1903) -- Vermont
Dolly Ann BATES (1823-1892) -- born Vermont, died Montana

Titus DAVISON (1804-1900) -- Vermont
Hannah Field BASCOM (1808-1881) -- Vermont

If I use the location of their deaths, I get a different picture.  I've kept the same people in the same color or with a different value of the original color.

It's a little complicated not knowing four of the 16 at all.  This activity has certainly reminded me that that generation saw a lot of major changes in their lives.

A more specific problem this activity has reminded me of is that I've found info to make me think that the death date/location I have for William CARR could be wrong.  I've got to add that investigation to my TO-Do list!

09 July 2011

Treasures from the To-File Pile: Danes' Mystery Solved

This is another example of how working through the To-File Pile can take up a whole week....  Warning: this post carries a tragic death.

I picked up a bundle of scans on the Hegwer/Danes family sent to me by genealogy cousin Christi two years ago, thinking it would be something I could quickly file, but then I remembered Christi had said something about not knowing who all the people were.  I know that I read the whole packet several times when Christi emailed it:  I had been so elated to receive the few pages from a family Bible.  It was still easy to pick out the strangers' names: the deaths of two McCRACKENs in the Bible and a newspaper clipping about the suicide of a LIVERMAN.  Neither name was anywhere in my database or memory. I decided to try again to identify them before filing the printouts.  I reread all 19 pages; no answers, so I set them down.  The next night, I reread all 19 pages again.  This time it hit me that the obituary clipping was for the mother of Albert Wentling Danes, my step-great-grandfather (link to earlier blog about his marrying my great-grandmother Richardson).  While my copy of the newsclipping was completely unidentified, I found a much more legible copy of it at Colorado Historic Newspapers [1]:
I suddenly saw that her survivors included Al Danes (as well it should, since he was her son) and a "Mrs. McCracken!"  Aha: The mysterious McCracken's in the Bible must be related to Albert Wentling Danes and probably to a sister of his who married a McCracken!  This revelation had only taken a couple of years and another dozen reads to click in my little head....
 The Bible image is not too clear--just barely discernible:
xxx Edith McCracken Died July xx 1900 at Cortez      10 years
Earl McCracken Died April 10 1901 at Cortez    age 19
A return trip to Colorado Historic Newspapers found a brief mention for one of them [2]:
At Cortez, on Saturday last, Edith, the 10-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.H. McCracken, was stricken with that dread disease, diptheria, and, before proper remedies could take effect, the handsome, lovable child was a corpse.  The remains were buried the same night, and blighted hearts are within that recently happy home.  "Whom God loveth, He chasteneth.
It was easy to find the children in the 1900 census at Cortez, Montezuma, Colorado, with parents Jas H. and Minnie McCracken. Sadly, Minnie was listed as having had only 2 children, both living. How sad to think that less than a year after enumeration day, both of those children were dead. To verify, I searched in the 1910 census, easily finding James and Minnie in Denver, Denver, Colorado, with all data matching, including that Minnie had had 2 children who were both deceased. Suddenly, another revelation: the McCracken's were in the same household as a Jennie Liverman and her son, Kenneth.

Quickly, I went back to the obituary: sure enough, Mrs. Danes also had a surviving daughter, Mrs. Liverman.  Today's genealogy moral: read it, read it again, and then keep reading it over and over again.  Someday, it will sink in.  And, did you just see the other revelation? 

It took me a few more minutes, but then I went back to the suicide news clipping:  Kenneth Liverman.  More great sadness.  My copy of the clipping is barely legible and would only be a smudge here and Colorado Historic Newspapers doesn't have The Denver Times for that year.  Here's an excerpt from the long article headlined "Rejected Youth Ends Own Life" [3]:

Kenneth Liverman 17 years old ... committed suicide by shooting at the Albany hotel at 8 o'clock last night. The boy ended his life because Miss Julie Stewart, a 16-year-old student at the Central Business College refused to marry him. ... The boy left a note, addressed to his mother, ... in which he begs her not to worry over his death. He said that he had been forced to pawn her watch and his violin in order to secure money with which to purchase a revolver.  ... Young Liverman was an accomplished musician and linguist.  He and his mother had returned to Denver from Germany only last June.  For the past three years the boy had studied music in Leipsic, Germany, and also had studied for the stage.  He spoke German and French fluently.  A few weeks ago, Liverman, at the suggestion of his mother, entered the Central Business college to study shorthand.  She thought it would be better to prepare the boy for the management of a fortune left him by his father. ...
Quick research over the last week easily found more on the Liverman's and McCracken's, especially at Findagrave [4] and Colorado Historic Newspapers.  Certainly the refusal was a precipitating event, but also in the last 10 years, he had experienced the deaths of his 2 young cousins, his father, and his grandmother.  He had been uprooted to leave friends and family for Germany and then uprooted again to return to Colorado.  It's hard being a teenager in the best of circumstances.  Clearly, Kenneth had had more than his share of pain in just a few years.

  • Sometimes it takes reading something repeatedly before it sinks in or before the connections click.  (That's not just me, is it?)
  • Family keep clippings in a Bible for a reason.  With time, the reason can be found.
  • I will email the Liverman volunteer at Findagrave to see if he would like any of the info I have.
  • The To-File Pile is still not any smaller than it was.

[1] Durango Democrat (Durango, La Plata, Colorado); 18 Nov 1906; p. 1.  Found at www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org.  NOTE: I love this website and think it is the best of the historic newspapers sites.  Still, its OCR needs lots of work-arounds.  This article did not turn up through their search engine when searched for 'Danes,' 'Skeels,' 'Liverman,'or 'Cracken.'  I had the family Bible notation that she had died in Nov 1906 in Durango.  I already had a copy of the article, and given the margins, it appeared that the article was from the bottom of a page.  So, I went to Colorado Historic Newspapers, saw that they had the Durango Democrat for November 1906, and I started skimming every page from 1 Nov 1906.  Luckily for me, there are only four pages per issue and I only had to read to the 18th of the month!

[2] Durango Democrat (Durango, La Plata, Colorado); 1 Aug 1901; p. 3.  Found at www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org.

[3] Denver Times; 6 October 1910 (copy of the annotated clipping in the collection of the blogger).

[4] Searching at Findagrave.com for Liverman's in Colorado quickly gives photos and lots of info on the family, courtesy of Greg Liverman and Joyce Escue Culver.  Thank you, Findagrave volunteers!!!

01 July 2011

First Friday Folder: Grice & Gibb

I chose this folder for review this month because I knew it would be pretty quick to check!  After all, I have to get back to analyzing and inputting all the new Richardson & Shaw data I got on my recent trip to Missouri....  On the other hand, Grice & Gib will be the ones I return to after I get all of Missouri sorted out.

The Couple
John GRICE and Sarah GIBB are my 4th-great-grandparents on the paternal side of my Carr line.  I have posted before about these surnames and geography and specifically about their marriage. [1]

There is a nice sequence of baptisms in the West Lutton / Weaverthorpe area for children of John & Sally GRICE, including my 3rd-great-grandmother Rachel (Grice) Ethell.  Two trees from solid family researchers had given me the marriage of John Grice and Sarah Gigs as 1808 in Yorkshire, with unsourced, online trees giving John's birth as 1754.

My early research found an 1823 Baine's Directory for Yorkshire with both a John Grice senior (farmer & grocer) and John Grice junior (wheelwright & farmer).  This and John's calculated age at the marriage worried me and made me think I should at least consider the idea that Sarah had married Junior or even that "Sally" and "Sarah" were two different women.

But, now having followed both Bishop's Transcripts and Parish Records [3] in the area for a whole lot of years, I agree that
  • Sarah/Sally is one person,
  • she married John Grice senior, and
  • the Rachel Grice who marries Joseph Ethell is their daughter.
The tricky part is that Senior was a widower when they married!  Junior was one of at least seven children of Senior and Ann Simpson, who was buried 27 Dec 1807.

Senior was buried in 1833, after he and Sarah had another seven children.  Then, widow Sarah Grice married widower George IRELAND in 1834.  They had no children together.  They appear together in the 1841 census District 6, Weaverthorpe, Yorkshire [2].  Conveniently, Jane GRICE, the youngest daughter of Senior and Sally is with them, cementing the family groups I've formed:

The Folder
Given the time span, the folder is not swollen with census extracts.  But, it does need three family group sheets: Grice/Gibb, Grice/Simpson, and Ireland/Gibb.  I had only printed out one of those previously, so I fixed that omission today.

The folder also holds several sheets of info on "unknown" Grice's.  I think I will be able to label several of those after I finish with the parish records and sorting all the kids and grandkids.  I also have a few printouts from online family trees with clearly incorrect and/or incomplete info on this couple. 

The Plan
  • after I "finish" all the work left from my wonderful Missouri research trip, I have to go back and finish reading/analyzing the parish records, land tax records, and church wardens' accounts for this area
  • input all the data from that analysis
  • try to see what I can find on the kids in the 1841 and later censuses
  • verify Senior's birth/baptism and parents as much as possible
  • look for Sarah Gibbs' birth and parents; I have a clue that leads me to Acklan and I'm excited to start looking there!
It really pays to use multiple sources.  I'm pretty proud of the research I've done on this couple.  I wonder if I should try to contact some of the owners of those online trees?

Watch out, "Missouri pile," here I come!  I've got a thing or two to show you!

Sources & Disclaimer
[1] see those posts for additional source citations
[2] census image cropped from that at ancestry.com
[3] Weaverthorpe, Yorkshire, England.  Parish register 1682-1862, FHL # 1,068,415, Item 14-19

I do not and have never worked for nor received any special consideration for any of the entities listed above.

26 June 2011

Carl Traugott Hegwer, 1833-1893

Our trip to Missouri was wonderful!  There will be posts about it and all my new info for weeks and weeks to come!

Trinity Lutheran Church & Cemetery: Freistatt, Missouri

Here's how an unexpected conversation led to my standing at the grave of great-grand-uncle Carl Traugott HEGWER:  I was sitting with 3rd-Cousin Donald, filling in some missing Hegwer data for him, which was unexpected that he would even want it since the Hegwer's are NOT in his ancestry at all.  Donald's eyes widened in recognition as I told him that CT was probably buried somewhere in Freistatt, Missouri.  Imagine my surprise as Donald said that not only did he know where it was, but that I would be driving right by there on my way to see Cousin Kate!

I jumped to the computer to see if I could find a Lutheran cemetery there in Find A Grave.  Another surprise: not only did I find the cemetery, but also a photo of CT's headstone!  (That's another reminder to revisit websites such as findagrave on a regular basis!)

My photo above shows the back of CT's headstone and how close the site is to the current church building.  A plaque on the building says the church was founded in 1874 and this building erected in 1954.  I wonder if I can find a photo of the original building....

Here is one of my photos of the front of the headstone.  Given the scroll work on the other 3 sides, it appears that the original intent may have been to eventually carve more names but there are none.
There are not any more Hegwer's in this cemetery at findagrave nor did I see any others nearby.  Checking my database just now, I see that his wife did not die until 1924 and is buried in Joplin, Missouri.  Oh, dear me:  We drove the highway past Joplin on the way to Springfield and saw convoys of relief vehicles.  And, of course, the tornado was a frequent topic of conversation and media coverage during our entire trip.  I did not remember that I had a connection to Joplin. 

Here's a link to an earlier post including Carl Traugott Hegwer.

  • Meeting face-to-face and spending a week with Donald & Linda was an incredible gift.  I do not have the words to express what a wonderful time we had. 
  • I must remember to check websites such as Findagrave.com more regularly!
  • I went to Missouri to work on RICHARDSON lines and had been reviewing them in my database and folders for months.  But, I should have also reviewed the Hegwer's, too.  I bet Joplin and Freistatt were not the only places I was close to.  Hmm, another reason for a return visit to Donald & Linda?!
  • I should probably make it a goal to find the burial sites of all 10 of the children (and their spouses) of Carl Benjamin Hegwer and Maria Rosina Ilgner....
PS: The search for photos of an older church here has led me to:
Escape to the Silent Cities.  Nothing older there, but several lovely photos of the  cemetery.  I've left a comment hoping for help.
PPS: Hurray!  Tammi of Escape to the Silent Cities has already come to my aide!  Here's a link to the original church.  Thanks, Tammi!

    19 May 2011

    Great-grandmother Margaret Lavina Richardson

    Another treasure!  Come share my excitement...
    When I started my genealogy research, I didn't have photos of all my grandparents, let alone any of the "greats."  This month has brought another milestone: my first-ever photo of great-grandmother Margaret Lavina RICHARDSON!  I am so very happy to finally see what "Maggie" looked like!
    Left to right: Margaret, son Raymond Dudley Hegwer, second husband A.W. Danes

    Margaret was the fourth child of John Richardson and his wife, Isabela Shaw.  She was born 28 July 1860 in Tiffany, Morgan County, Missouri.  She married Charles Hegwer 9 December 1883 in Corning, Nemaha, Kansas; they were divorced 14 August 1905 in Durango, La Plata, Colorado.  She married Albert Wentling Danes a few days later in Aztec, San Juan County, New Mexico Territory.  Margaret died 13 July 1919 in Grand Junction, Mesa, Colorado.  [Click here for an earlier post about the divorce, which includes source notations.]

    Third-cousin Donald found this photo in his To-File pile! Interestingly, from the reverse side of this photo, it seems that, on the Richardson side, she was called "Vina." If the reverse side of the photo had not been so well labeled, I'm not sure either of us would have known these people.  I have photos of Raymond much younger and much older; I might have guessed it was he, but I'd never have been sure. 

    We don't know when or where the photo was taken.  It looks like some sort of retaining wall in the background, perhaps a mining site?  It is probably in or near Mesa County, Colorado.  Any ideas?  Given Raymond's appearance and his mother's marriage/death dates, I'm guessing this is circa 1915.  Comments?

    • Donald found this photo while tidying-up his files for my visit next month!  I haven't even left yet and, already, the trip is a blazing success!!!
    • Donald found me a few years ago because of a birth-name comment I'd left on a census record for one of our distant Richardson aunts.  I am very grateful to both ancestry.com and Donald for making all of this possible.  Donald is an excellent researcher, a helpful collaborator, and an extremely nice person.
    • I can't wait to meet Donald and see our ancestral lands in Missouri with a personal tour guide!

    I subscribe to ancestry.com, but I have no other connection to them and have never received any special consideration from them.

    06 May 2011

    First Friday Folder: Dr. Daniel Porter, Immigrant

    The ancestry of my Porter grandparent is easily my largest database with almost 4,000 names.  [See my 'Surnames' blog page for a list of the direct-line surnames of that grandparent's ancestry.]  However, I've written relatively few blog posts about my Porter line, and never a First Friday Folder analysis of any of my PORTER surname'd ancestors.

    I selected this folder for review this month because of a new (only 16 posts so far) blog dedicated to Porter's: Porter Family Genealogy.  Perhaps most interestingly, it talks about a Porter Surname Genealogy website.  It seems to have begun in 2002, but it's certainly new to me!  It's fairly extensive and I need to spend more time there going over all the info.  I'm thinking of contacting the blog and/or the website, so I best review my info first! 

    The Couple
    Daniel Porter was probably born in England perhaps around 1630.  The earliest colonial record for him is 1644 in Waterbury, Connecticut. He was a 'bonesetter' (doctor) in Farmington with a yearly salary in 1661 of 6 pounds.  His will, 15 August 1688, appears in Manwaring's Early Probate Records of Connecticut, and was probated in 1690.

    Little is known about his wife, Mary.  She was alive at the time of the will.  The couple had seven children between 1653 and 1665; at least 6 of whom married. 

    The Folder
    A relatively thin folder, there were only 7 items besides two old versions of the family group sheet.  Of the seven items, only one really belongs in this folder!  The other six items have now been moved to the folder of son Daniel Porter & Deborah Holcomb.

    I printed out a new family group sheet.  Comparing it to the previous one shows I have done a good deal of work on the family, but I don't remember targeting them at all. The newest one:
    • is the first I've printed in 5 years
    • is 2 full pages longer
    • has 12 new sources
    • has 28 additional footnotes
    • has comments on all 7 children (vs. only 3 previously)
    • How many more folders do I have where 85% of the contents are misfiled???
    • I don't have full, info let alone good sources, on the marriages of most of their children.
    • I need to map the towns on the family group sheet to get a better idea of movements.  I think many new towns listed may really be newly created towns rather than the Porters moving.
    • My notes refer to a Memorial History of Hartford County, 1886, Vol. 2, p. 166, but it is not listed in the sources.
    • I haven't looked at any land records for Daniel.  That's depressing....

    Yet again, I've shown myself that First Friday Folder review is worthwhile.   In this case, it can also be pretty upsetting.  Perhaps I should add a day a week where all I do I check folders and immediately fix any misfiled info?!

    I've added the problems listed above to my master genealogy to-do list.  There will be no shortage of tasks to tackle when I rotate back to working on my Porter line.  But, first there's the Richardsons, and then the Keatings, and there's all my recent finds for the Carr line and where they may lead ...  So much genealogy ... so little time!

    01 April 2011

    First Friday Folder: Amos Richardson & Elizabeth Hicks

    I selected this folder for review this month, again, in preparation for my trip to Missouri in June, although I am becoming apprehensive that life will get in the way and keep me at home.  Amos and Elizabeth are the parents of John Richardson of last month's post. 

    The Couple
    Amos Greene Richardson was probably born about 1792 in Virginia or a part of Virginia about to become Kentucky.  His ancestry is one of my biggest problems in my Hegwer line.  Elizabeth Hicks was probably born about 1796 in Kentucky.  Her ancestry is also unproven. 

    They married 4 October 1810 in Estill County, Kentucky.  Amos died in 1853 in Morgan County, Missouri.  Elizabeth was still alive for the 1870 US census of Haugh Creek, Morgan, Missouri.  They had at least 10 children, three or four of whom were born after the family moved to Missouri.  Their lives in Missouri are fairly well documented.

    Yes, there are numerous online pedigrees attributing ancestors to both of them, but I have seen no verifiable sources or logical proof statements, nor have Cousin Donald or I yet found solid evidence or drawn a conclusion we feel good about. 

    The Folder
    This folder is 7/8 of an inch thick, mostly because it includes all my leads and possibilities to consider for their ancestry.  It was fairly well organized; I've been working on it off and on the last year.  I think that for review this week, I'll look at all the problems and questions I have, and perhaps pick a few to work on before the trip to Missouri. 

    Problems / Questions
    If Benjamin Richardson and Ellen Holt are the parents of this Amos, why are none of his children or grandchildren named "Benjamin" or "Ellen?"  It is very tempting to adopt this couple as Amos' parents, especially since their own ancestries are well-documented and it means an immediate jump back for lots of generations ....  But, at least for me, there are too many problems and not enough alternative proof/logic yet.

    Is the Sara/Sallie Richardson who marries Bemjamin Franklin McFarland a provable daughter of  Amos and Elizabeth? 

    I don't have sources indicated for the births of Amos & Elizabeth's children.  I know I have at least census indications for most of them. 

    Breaking News: Cousin Donald has just proven the husband of Amos & Elizabeth's youngest daughter, Amanda.  I have to get that info into my database and see where else it leads us.  I think that deserves its own blog entry!

    Have I tried to locate or pinpoint my Amos in the 1800-1810 censuses?  I think I have him in 1820-30.  Does it all line up reasonably with known children?

    I have a 'research log' from 2006/7 with 34 items on it for further research.  I need to go over that list and incorporate still-resolved issues into this list.

    I have to go back and revisit the fine Morgan County Genealogy website.  I've learned a lot since I was last there, and they've probably added new info, too!

    I need to work on the HIX/HICKS of Morgan County, Missouri.  Perhaps there is a link there to Kentucky that will help with finding Amos & Elizabeth's ancestors.

    There are Estill County, Kentucky, land records that I have not seen and need to comb.  The big problem there is that with all the changes in boundaries, I'll really be looking at at least Bourbon, Fayette, Clark, Madison, Clay, Montgomery, Lincoln, Floyd, Knox, AND Estill counties in Kentucky.  And, then there's the issue of Kentucky County, Virginia, before Kentucky statehood.  In my dreams, a Kentucky expert comes to my aide....

    I must write-up / blog the whole rationale proving that this is NOT the Amos Richardson who marries Nancy San(d)ford.  The county history mugbook is wrong and so there!

    I need to do the GoogleEarth thing as I did for John on all of my Amos' land!

    Donald has reviewed all the Kentucky tax lists and sent me his findings.  I need to buckle down and try to make sense of it.  There's just so many Richardsons in the area and they all have the same few forenames....@#$%#!

    I need to reread all the probate info on Amos & Elizabeth and the first couple to die of their children. 

    This may be the biggest to-do of them all!  We've got the 67-marker Y-DNA of this line and I must sit down and make a huge spreadsheet with it and that of the Richardson group at FamilyTreeDNA, etc.  I'm afraid that all the possible candidates for the father of this Amos are closely related themselves.  I think we're also going to need to find mtDNA candidates for Elizabeth's line, and possibly the Hix line and see if we can rule anyone out that way.  That's all I need: another field to study.  So much to do, so little time .... 

    Obviously, there's a lot I should do before doing anything really new with this couple.   I'll start in this order: Morgan County genweb site, the Amanda news, census and other records for kids' birthplaces, the Sanford issue, the land records, and the DNA.

    This is a complex problem.  I have to face the "facts" (or the lack thereof!) and look at more of the collateral kin and neighbors and use cluster methodology, ala Chapter 4 of Marsha Hoffman Rising's The FamilyTree Problem Solver.  Many of the surnames in Kentucky and Missouri are the same and there are many similar surnames among the children's spouses.

    June is going to be here before I know it!  Hmm...do I blog or work on research?  I need a resolution to focus, focus, focus...

    23 March 2011

    Big & Little Things I've Been Doing

    Big Thing
    I regret my recent absence from the genealogy blogosphere, but I know you'll understand.  Ah, it feels so good to again sit at my computer and breathe ....  We are caregivers for our dear neighbor.  He'll be 85 next month.  He's retired, career Navy and, oh, the stories he has told, including having been on a ship off Japan for both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  He's been very independent until March 9, long story short: ER, hospital, surgery, skilled nursing, and now we are planning the next step.  I have had the privilege of giving him all the time I could these last two weeks.  Things are better now, but I don't know when my blogs will be regular again.

    Relatively Teeney Little Thing
    With just a bit of "free" time now, I sat down and started on the accumulated blog postings in Reader.  Wow, people have been very, very busy, ..., there are hundreds to read...  I don't know if I'll ever get caught up.

    I say a recent post at Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings
    on how to make these personalized maps for blogs.  He credited Becky Jamison and Sheri Fenley with leading him to it.  It's so easy that I made this one in just a few moments.  The BigHugeLabs webpage really is incredibly easy to use! 

    Some of these states were very short stays for my ancestors.  I can probably add Illinois (great-grandparents had one child born there, I think on the way to a South Dakota / Minnesota border town) and New York (4th great-grandfather owned land there, but I haven't proven he lived there).

    It strikes me that my ancestors lived in at least 20 states, yet if I made a map for my husband's ancestors, it would only show New York and Italy before that.  If I made one for our dear neighbor's ancestors, it would only show Pennsylvania and Germany before that.

    How different we all are ....