26 October 2015

Obituary: Margaret Lavina (Richardson) (Hegwer) Danes

I'm certainly happy with any obituary, but some are better than others... and this obituary is one of the others....  It is about my great-grandmother and briefly refers to my grandfather, but you'd have to be a family genealogist to know it!

The "local lady" is Margaret Lavina (Richardson) (Hegwer) Danes.  This obituary is from the 14 July 1919 issue of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, p. 5.  From the first line shown in the image, her obituary continues:
whose home was at 829 South avenue, occurred yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock, following a sickness of several months from asthma and complications. Mrs. Danes was born in Tiffany, Mo., August 29, 1860, and has been twice married, the first husband leaving her with two sons, one of whom is now making his home with his mother in this city and the other living in Idaho. Mrs. Danes was united in marriage with her present husband at Durango in 1905, and the family came to Grand Junction the following year.
     The funeral services are waiting word from the son in Idaho and upon receipt of such word the arrangements will be completed; burial will be on Orchard Mesa.
     Later--The funeral services will be held at the Martin chapel Tuesday at 2 o'clock p. m. and will be in charge of Rev. Edwards of the Christian church.
The only named person is her second husband, A.W. Danes (note the use of initials rather than 'Albert Wentling'). Neither her married name nor even her forename is given; survivors are not named.  Click here  for a photo of Margaret, Albert, and local son, Raymond Hegwer.

The "detail" of her first marriage is inaccurate and the location of her second marriage is wrong.  Click here for previously posted info about her divorce from Charles Hegwer.

By 1910 census and Salt Lake City directories, they did not arrive in Grand Junction Colorado before 1913.  I wonder who supplied the information...I would have expected her widower or her son to have been more accurate or to have simply omitted specifics.  So, it's another example of how cautious we have to be with obituaries.

 I found it through the website of the Mesa County Libraries and ordered an e-copy from them.   Thank you, Mesa County Libraries of Colorado!

10 October 2015

atDNA Matches by Company

I've made this my own "DNA Month"  and plan to concentrate on getting all the things I've learned to  do actually done.  I've got some more gedcoms to upload, some more third-party tools to download and start using, match contacts to reply to, other matches to contact, and lots of results to analyze.

Comparing atDNA test results across companies
Luckily for me, my aunt was gracious and curious enough to let me test her atDNA.  She's the only close relative I have from an earlier generation and so, consequently,  her results are very important in my research.  I tested her with Ancestry.com and then transferred the raw data to FTDNA to facilitate chromosome mapping.  I've also got both of us at GedMatch.

I haven't been paying much attention to my matches beyond 4th cousins.  Making this chart made me realize looking at my aunt's "4th cousin" matches, in essence, gives me one more good generation of priority matches to consider, at least on that side of my family.  And, I didn't realize that she actually has more "4th cousin or closer" matches than I do.  I'm going to have to spend some time on this result!

Hmmm...my chart for our FTDNA matches illustrates some of the differences between the two companies and how they select/report matches. ...  Far fewer matches but more (on the surface) common matches.   Given that my aunt doesn't have the Colonial America ancestry that's a full quarter of my pedigree chart, it surprises me that my aunt has more matches than I do.

It will be interesting to see how all these numbers change over time.

19 August 2015

Obituary: Dan Davison

Transcribed from the newspaper Vermont Republican of Windsor, Vermont.  It was the 5 March 1821 issue on p. 3.  Accessed with GenealogyBank.com

DIED --  At Hartland, on the 31st Jan Deacon DAN DAVISON in the 85th year of his age.  It may truly be said of him, 'He came to his grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in, in his season.' He was a soldier in the last French war in America, and when the struggle commenced between Great Britain and America, he was a warm friend to his country, and had two tours in the Revolutionary Army.  He was a member of the Legislature of Vermont several years.  He was a kind neighbor and a faithful friend.   The order and regulations of his family, were exceeded by few, if any in the present age; and great spiritual blessings has he enjoyed in his family.  He was a Deacon in the Baptist Church in Hartland, from its first constitution, and one of its main pillars.  We think we shall not exaggerate if we say, he lived and died a Christain, in the consciences of all classes of people.--His funeral was attended on the 3d inst. by a great concourse of people.  A discourse was delivered on the occasion, by one whom he had appointed, from the words of Elisha when his master was taken away, recorded in II Kings, 11th chap, and a part of the 12th verse 'My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.'
'Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of theta man is peace.' 

The death notice immediately following was, coincidentally, one sentence for one of his grandsons, Paul Davison, who died at age 26 in Waterford.

It saddens me that the memory of this man did not survive to my generation.  When I began my research, I did not know that any of my ancestors had lived in New England, or that they had fought in wars, or that they were Deacons or even Baptist.  Deacon Dan Davison was one of my 4th-great-grandfather on my mother's side.

17 August 2015

Thomas Bascom and Martha Boltwood Field

Thomas Bascom and his wife, Martha Boltwood Field, are two of my fourth-great-grandparents, through their son David.  This image is from Amherst town records and shows a family listing of their first five children.

Such a record does not prove the children were born in Amherst, but most certainy the family resided there for a time.  Given that David is the last listed, it is more likely that he was born there.  Town histories uniformly name Thomas Bascom as one of the early settlers of Amherst and there is no record of him returning to Warren, Worcester, Massachusetts prior to 1880.  Consequently, I believe it is fairly safe to say that David was born in Amherst.

The baptismal note added to the first Nathan's birth listing would seem to imply that he was at least baptized in Amherst.  It's probably also safe to list Martha and the second Nathan as born in Amherst.

Four more children were more probably born in Warren: Solomon, Asa, Absalon, and Simon.

Line of Descent
Thomas Bascom = Martha Boltwood Field
David Bascom = Lydia Palmer
Titus Davison = Hannah Field Bascom
Celim Homer Porter = Clara Evelene Davidson
my Grampa Porter

FHL186126 / online browse images / Amherst
Amherst, Hampshire: Births, marriages, deaths 1747-1836 vol 1 / clip from image 7 
Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1627-2001 at Familysearch.org

13 August 2015

Obituary: Walter H. Hegwer

Thank you, thank you, and thank you again to the Mesa County Libraries!!

My goodness, I'm having a great summer finding obituaries!! This time it's not a subscription website but is a free service of a public library: Mesa County Libraries in Colorado.

Luckily for me, one of my great-grandmothers spent her last years in Grand Junction, Colorado. I know my great-grandmother is buried there and that Hegwer grave(s?) were purchased at the Orchard Mesa Cemetery in Grand Junction.  I know I've looked before but, this time, something went right and I stumbled into the Genealogy section of the library system's website.

I was shocked to find that they had four entries for "Hegwer" or related "Danes" surnames in their files. I was even more shocked to see that it appeared that they have a free service of providing e-copies of the related obituaries.  I filled out the form and now I have copies of obituaries from the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel for:
  • Margaret Lavina (Richardson) (Hegwer) Danes, my great-grandmother
  • Albert Wentling Danes, her second husband
  • Walter Hegwer, one of her children who died young
  • Myrtle "Mamie" May (Foltz) Hegwer, widow of Raymond Dudley Hegwer, another of Margaret's sons
The biggest news here is the info about work, residence, and illness for grand-uncle Walter.  And, I have his birthplace as Laveta, Costilla, Colorado rather than Pueblo.  The clipping is from the 18 Feb 1908 issue on p. 8.

The moral of the story is to always check the library where family lived and to recheck it periodically...the digital world is changing...!

11 August 2015

Great Goodness: Sixth Blogiversary, 2009 to 2015

Wow...I almost missed it!  I sat down to send a note to Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers and High-Definition Genealogy (among others) and suddenly flashed on 'what date is this?!'

State of the Blog  --  Writing
I haven't posted annual goals for  GreatGreats for ages.  Considering I only blogged once in all of 2014, my unstated goal this year was just to get back in the rhythm.  I'm feeling pretty good about 2015: eighteen posts since last (uncelebrated) blogiversary.

On the other hand, I haven't done as many as I'd planned on DNA in my genealogy research.  I have to do better with my DNA research in general.

I resumed First-Friday-Folder posts, but I've missed a couple.  It's really hard when the first of the month is Thursday or Friday...I must plan ahead!!  I'm very happy that I've scheduled regular review of existing folders and the related family group sheet.  The biggest thing I saw recently is that while I have always written source citations, many  of the earlier ones are lacking any written, specific explanation of specifically what my thought process had been.

State of the Blog  --  Cosmetics
I'm feeling a serious urge to redecorate, ie redesign the blog.  Ideas?  Comments?  My husband says my font size is too small.  With the ease of manipulating screens nowadays, is that an issue for anyone?  Anyway, the next time you visit GreatGreats, don't be surprised if it has a new look!

07 August 2015

First Friday Folder: David Bascom & Lydia Palmer

David Bascom and Lydia are third great-grandparents on my mother's side.  I selected this folder for review because, if I decide to participate in NEHGS' new database project  Early Vermont Settlers to 1784, Lydia's father, Zenas Palmer, is a viable candidate.  Before working on Zenas, I better make sure the more recent generation is in good shape….   (Read the very first one here to review what I mean by First Friday Folder.)

The Couple
Lydia PALMER was born in 1789 in Fairfax, Franklin, Vermont, the daughter of Zenas Palmer and Lydia Marshall.   David BASCOM, son of Thomas Bascom and Martha Field, was born 8 Aug 1780 in Amherst, Hampshire, Massachusetts.  David was in Fairfax by 5 Dec 1805 when he married Lydia.  They lived there the rest of their lives and had nine children.  David died 21 May 1859 and Lydia died just three months later, 29 Aug 1859. They, and many members of their families, are buried in Sanderson Corners Cemetery in Fairfax and most are listed at Find A Grave.

The Folder
The folder's contents were is relatively good shape, organized and nicely grouped.  There were even three unnecessary duplicate pages to remove and file in the trash!  I was feeling pretty good until I reviewed the family group sheet. While my citations were thorough enough to find the related source, I could not tell what-in-the-world I had been thinking…what did that page have to do with the event to which I had linked it?!  I probably thought the link was obvious…something I'd "never" forget...

The Plan
  • FHL #28213 has been on my to-do list for some time: Now is the time to order these early Fairfax Town Records and write really thorough citations and proof statements as appropriate!
  • Review all citations for this couple and re-research and/or rewrite as needed.
  • Investigate two very promising DNA match in this line at Ancestry.com and another at FTDNA
  •  I need to remember that I am writing citations not for me today, but for me later when I am not in the midst of solving that problem and I no longer remember what I was thinking at the time.  My  new dream is to someday review a folder that does not embarrass me….
  • I have to figure out a rationale or procedure on how to prioritize and rank which DNA matches to pursue.  There are just too many to do them all justice.

23 July 2015

Resource: Old Lutheran Migration

The latest issue of American Ancestors has a great surprise!  American Ancestors is a publication of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and I'm used to finding info about my maternal grandfather's Colonial New England ancestry in almost every issue.  I was unhappy about 2 years ago when the society decided to open their focus to be much more general: there'd be less content for me but I could understand their need to appeal to more people and make more money to support the society...so...

I never expected to find an article directly relevant to my Hegwer line!  While Carl Benjamin Hegwer and Maria Rosina (Ilgner) Hegwer are not specifically mentioned, "George Dopf and the Old Lutheran Migration of 1839" is a very good article about the nature of their immigration in 1839.  It's very hard (as in near impossible?) to find scholarly things in English about the early 1800s in Silesia, so this article is a real treat.  The ship the Hegwer's were on left Hamburg 1 Jul 1839 and is the one described in this article, arriving NY on 24 Aug 1839. 

Wherever the article refers to the Silesia group, that's us!  There is no doubt that Carl Benjamin Hegwer knew Krause and Grabau, and probably Rohr, too.  There was quite a bit of documented 'drama' among the 3 ministers, the Buffalo congregation, and the Wisconsin groups that has been left out of this article.  You can't fit everything in one article!

I had no idea that any of the travel documents needed by the Old Lutherans to leave Prussia still existed.  I can't wait to follow author McGrath's reference list and see if I can find some new info specific to the Hegwer's or Ilgner's.  Records from the part of Silesia now in Poland are harder to find than those now in Germany, but I'll still try... and maybe the Hegwer/Ilgner party had already started to move and were interrogated along the way, leaving records in what is now Germany???

McGrath, Lawrence R. "George Dopf and the Old Lutheran Migration of 1839." American AncestorsVol. 16 (2), Spring 2015, pages 37-40 & 59.

I am a paid member of NEHGS but receive no other consideration from them.

21 July 2015

Great-Great-Grandfather Homer Thomas Porter

Clipping from the St. Albans Messenger of St. Albans, Vermont.  This obituary appeared Thursday, 31 Dec 1903 on page 8.  I found it through GenealogyBank.com; I'm very happy with my new subscription!*

Homer Thomas Porter and Dolly Bates are one set of my maternal great-great-grandparents.  It's always nice to have an obituary for an ancestor, but this one is especially nice for several reasons:
  --It specifies where he was living when he died.
  --Dolly Ann (Bates) is named as his late wife.
  --His father, Thomas, is named. With common names, it's always nice to have generations linked!
  --It not only says where Dolly was when she died, it also specifies why she was so far from Vermont.
  --Surviving relatives are named and residences specified.
  --His religion and commitment to it are included.

I had most of these events but only from a distant family  member.  Granted, an obituary may not be reliable but this one is still closer to being original than what I had previously.  All input considered, I'm feeling pretty good about reliability.  What I had is confirmed and I'm able to fill in some very meaningful new details.

And, I have something new to research: What was the "battle of Plattsburg" and why is it still mentioned 90 years later???

Line of Descent

For the curious or the observant, Dolly Ann (Bates) Porter and her mother-in-law Abigail (Bates) Porter are not closely related.  Abigail is a descendent of Clement Bates, while Dolly Ann is a descendent of Edward Bates of Weymouth.

I am a new, paid subscriber to GenealogyBank.  I do not receive any favor from them beyond my subscription.

05 July 2015

Portrait of a Great Great: Mary Mason

With a full quarter of my ancestry coming from the Great Migration, I'm used to finding the occasional mention in American Ancestors, one of the periodical publications of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  But the Winter 2015 (Vol. 16, No. 1) has set a new standard here for excitement!

One article is primarily about Abigail Smith Adams, wife of President John Adams and mother of President John Quincey Adams [1].  Author Michelle Marchetti Coughlin hypothesizes howAbigail's maternal great-grandparents may have affected Abigail.  Luckily for me, those maternal great-grandparents are also my 8th-great-grandparents, John NORTON and Mary MASON.

The entire article is very interesting and includes a good deal of family history information and detail, far beyond birth-marriage-death.  The great surprise is a portrait of Mary Mason, circa 1670!  The actual portrait, artist unknown, is on display at the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Massachusetts.  As part of the United States National Park Service (NPS), the website is great, too.  It includes a Photo Gallery with eight sections, one of which is Portraits in the Old House. Of the 32 portraits shown there, one is of "Mary Mason, circa 1670" and a download is available.  My illustration here is a clip of that NPS download. Please visit their fine site for your own full copy.


  • Join national genealogy societies!
  • Read their publications and be prepared for surprises!
  • Appreciate fine government websites!

Line of Descent
Rev. John Norton = Mary Mason
Capt. John Norton = Elizabeth Thaxter
William Norton = Elizabeth Bennett
Moses Bates = Hannah Norton
Moses Bates = Ruth Shaw
Norton Bates = Betsey Sweet
Homer Thomas Porter = Dolly Ann Bates
Celim Homer Porter = Clara Evelene Davidson
my Grandpa Porter

[1] Coughlin, Michelle Coughlin. "A shared sensibility: Examining the legacy of John and Mary (Mason) Norton, maternal great-grandparents of Abigail Smith Adams." American Ancestors, 16 (1): 47-51.

26 June 2015

Just a Great Coincidence?

My mother would have been 93 years old today but I wouldn't be blogging about it if it hadn't been for today's obituary section of the Los Angeles Times.  About 60% of Section B, page 6 is filled with the obituary of Patrick Macnee and includes a classic image from "The Avengers."  I was surprised to see that he shared her birth year.  He was one of mom's most favorite actors: she loved "The Avengers" with Macnee and Diana Rigg, but she would watch them no matter which female lead was present.  I have very fond memories of watching the episodes in the 1960's with Mom.  In later years, she was always ecstatic when she found reruns on TV.

The remaining 40% of the page was the obituary of Don Featherstone, designer of the vivid pink plastic garden flamingoes of 1957.  The obituary includes a cute image of Featherstone with oodles of his flamingoes.  Mom loved garden art, especially animals.  We had several of those original flamingoes and she added/replaced them over the years; I have no idea how many she had in her lifetime.  And, I never had any trouble finding a gift for her for any event or just because!

It's hard to believe it's merely a coincidence that, on her birthday, a whole page of the newspaper is consumed by two things she loved.  I hope the families of Patrick Macnee and Don Featherstone realize how many memories they created for so many people.

My brother and I split her garden art.  I think she might have been surprised to know we have kept it.  I know she'd be surprised to see that I have added to it.

 I need to get a pink flamingo as soon as possible.

[Images all by me of some of Mom's garden art in my yard -- all rights reserved.]

10 June 2015

Great Image of Henry Hegwer

I was extremely successful at the TechZone at SCGS Jamboree this year!  I am extremely happy to have found an obituary for Great-Grand-Uncle Henry Hegwer, ninth child of my great-great-grandparents Carl Benjamin and Maria Rosina (Ilgner) Hegwer. It's fairly lengthy and with a style of excess that fit the era.  There are some errors but mostly sins of omission and exaggeration.  The great thing that got me so excited is the image of Henry that was included!

This is a screen clip from the Denver Post of 15 Dec 1921, p. 10, cols. 5-6 obituary accessed through GenealogyBank.  It's not the best quality and I don't see a lot of resemblance to present day Hegwer's, but he does clearly have a Hegwer-style forehead!  Maybe there's still hope that I'll, one day, find a photo of his baby brother, my great-grandfather, Charles Hegwer….

I do want to take the time to point out two main errors in this obituary:

  • Henry was born 8 Oct 1842 in Freistadt, Ozaukee, Wisconsin.  The family did not go to Kansas until 1857.
  • Henry was married three times: Kate Hornberger, Flora Wallace, and Fritchie (Knight) Conda.  The marriage to Mrs. Conda lasted only about five weeks before Henry filed for divorce, which was granted a year later, but that's still a marriage.
Thank you, Southern California Genealogy Society! Thank you, GenealogyBank!  I'm very happy to have this image of Henry Hegwer!

08 June 2015

Less-than-Accurate Obituary : Flora (Wallace) Hegwer

Moral: It may be in print but that doesn't make it complete...

Great Grand-Uncle Henry Hegwer's second wife was Flora C. (Wallace) Hegwer.  I just found an obituary for her at GenealogyBank from the Denver Post of 7 February 1910, p.2, col. 6, thanks to the TechZone at SCGS Jamboree!

I'm very happy to have this obituary because it shows that great-grand-uncle Henry, who had these children and married Flora, also used the name "Ferdinand."   I was confident that they were the same person, but it's nice to have confirmation in print.  I've blogged before about Henry...it seems there is no end to his adventures.

Transcription, with slashes indicating paragraphs:
Wife of Prominent Politician is Dead / Early Sunday morning Mrs. Flora C. Hegwer, wife of Ferdinand H. Hegwer, and for years a prominent Republican political worker, died at her home, 4428 Elizabeth street. Mrs. Hegwer had been a resident of Denver for over twenty years, coming here from Francisco, Ind. She was 43 years old and her death was brought on by a complication of diseases. Besides her husband, Mrs. Hegwer is survived by five children, Harry H., Otto W., Lela, Leonard and Mrs. Clara Lowe, all of this city.  The funeral services will be held from the family residence Tuesday afternoon. / Mrs. Hegwer is survived by her husband and five children, Harry H. Hegwer, Otto W Hegwer, Lela Hegwer, Leonard Hegwer and Mrs Clara Lowe, all of Denver. Two sons of Mrs. Hegwer died in the Philippines during the Spanish-American war.  They were Oscar W. Hegwer and Albert C. Hegwer. Both were members of the First Colorado regiment, Compay E. Harry H. Hegwer was also with the Colorado regiment in the Philippines.  Ferdinand H. Hegwer, the husband, is a veteran of the civil war and is commander of the recently organized Indian War Veterans of Colorado. / The funeral of Mrs. Hegwer will be from the family residence tomorrow afternoon.
[Yes, the obituary repeats the names of the children and date of the services.]

Alternative Information

  • "Henry" is much more commonly used as his first name.  Early records, military, headstone, etc., are "Henry."  He seems to have started using "Ferdinand" around the time of the boiler explosion scandal.
  • Flora's first child, Otto, was born in Kansas in 1886 and the couple was definitely in Kansas in 1888 for court cases about the "Hegwer Houses" and at least one related lien on property Henry had in Flora's name.  Yes, Flora was born in Indiana, but every indication is that they were in Kansas for at least a few years before Colorado. [ie, 1900 US Census, Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado]
  • Clara, Albert, Oscar, and Harry were children by Henry's first wife, Kate Hornberger, who presumably died before 1885. [ie, 1880 US Census, Grant, Reno, Kansas]
  • Albert died in San Francisco in a military hospital on the way to the Philippines; he was in Company I at the time. He is buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery. [ie, San Juan Prospector, 20 Aug 1898, p.1]
  • Oscar attended to his brother all through his short illness in San Francisco and then continued on to the Philippines.  He returned to Denver after serving about one year but was already ill when he arrived home.  He died a few weeks later. [i.e., Denver Evening Post, 15 Oct 1899, p.6, col.D]

I had already accumulated a great deal of info on Henry when I found this obituary, so I knew it was inaccurate.  I hope researchers for whom this obituary is their first great find about Henry have the good sense to keep looking.

Full source citations gladly available upon request.

03 June 2015

Keating Variations

Céitinn, Cateing, Cating, Cayting, Ceating, Ceitin, Ceitinn, Kaiting, Kateing, Kating, Katting, Keatance, Keateing, Keatinge, Keatings, Keatting, Keeting, Keetinge, Keting, Ketinge, Ketting, Kettinge, Ketyng, Ketynge, Mac Céitín, MacKeating, McKeating

From the Irish Times webpage.  I've blogged about this resource many years ago.  It's good to revisit great resources periodically!

More possibilities abound: trade C for K, double vowels, omit second vowels, maybe trade a D for K and so on….

31 May 2015

Great Resource: Maps of Morrow County, Ohio

This is just a clip of the Chester map from 1857.  Visit their website to see much more!

The Morrow County Engineer website includes several links to county and township maps.  The section titled "Misc Maps" is especially interesting since it includes the 1857 atlas maps, which it says were taken from actual surveys. Eight other Morrow County atlas maps are also included, dating from1871 to 1989.  The map is in a pdf file and is very, very slow to load, so I'm not including that specific link here.  Visit the 'Misc Maps' link and select the atlas map of your choice.

My SHAW and MILLER lines were in Chester, Knox County from the early 1800s.  Morrow County was created in 1847 and Chester was one of the areas reassigned.  Robert Shaw and Sarah Miller were in Missouri for the 1840 & 1850 censuses, but I can't find them in 1860…I wonder if they went back to Ohio?  This 1857 maps show that there were still Miller's in town.  Adjacent names are familiar, too.

I found this resource from a footnote in an article in the Ohio Genealogical Society's Ohio Genealogy News, Fall 2014 (45:3, p.21) by Corinne Bertin Konecny.  My membership in OGS has paid for itself many times over through all I've learn through its publications.

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!