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?!