Saturday, May 30, 2009

One stop shopping???

This is the wedding photo for Robert Franklin Manley and Pearl Osborn. You would never know by looking at them that they were married in a clothing store. We didn't know either...until we found a newspaper article.

I contacted the Decatur Genealogical Society to see if they had a photograph of the clothing store, or if they knew why it was a popular place for weddings. Unfortunately they couldn't help me with either request. So it remains a mystery. Why a clothing store? I wonder if their wedding clothes were rented or purchased?

Friday, May 22, 2009

I can't believe it finally happened...

After years and years of research to find the parents of Cornelia Reynolds; I can't believe I finally found them! I had searched through census, vital, probate and land records, as well as historical and biographical books. All to no avail. I had worked through the pre-1850 census records and had narrowed down the possible father, but lacked a way to confirm my theory or to find the name of the mother (who died before 1850).

I had about given up hope. Then on a recent trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, I found the confirmation I was seeking AND the name of the mother! Cornelia grew up in Hartwick, Otsego county, New York, and that was were I had concentrated my research. Who knew I would find the answer by researching one of Cornelia's siblings and that the answer would be found on the opposite coast.

So don't ever give up! Even if you think you have looked everywhere. Keep looking and digging. You may just find the answer in a place you least expect. And research those allied lines. At least in my research, it seems a better paper trail was left by the siblings of my ancestors than by my ancestors themselves. to tackle finding Cornelia's grandparents :-) That will probably take another 10 years.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Will Picasa save my sanity????

I've just started using Picasa in an attempt to organize all my genealogy photos and images. I've tried using Picasa in the past, but didn't really like it. I couldn't seem to get it to do what I wanted, and it drove me crazy that it catagorized everything by date. I don't know what made me try it again, but I downloaded it, and set it to search only my genealogy folders. I then began entering tags to each photo and image. The tag I'm using in the person's RIN (Record Identification Number). Using Picasa I can search on an ancestor's RIN and find all the photos, certificates, newspaper articles, and census records for them.

So far things are going well. Of course...I did have to figure out how to get it to display even the small photos. By default it's set to ignore all photos/images that are 250x250 pixels (or less). Some of my images are pretty tiny. Anyway...I couldn't figure out why some of them weren't showing up. Once that was corrected (View, Small Pictures) things are going swimmingly. It's going to take a long (long...long) time to enter all the tags.

I have tried using other programs (like FastStone View), but it wouldn't allow me to add tags, comments to png images. I'm hoping Picasa will make it easier to find things. Especially since I have items in different folders (a folder for headstones, one for census, one for newspapers, and so forth). Will it save my sanity? Only time will tell...

Monday, May 11, 2009

The final installment...

This blog article ends the letter written by Josiah Osborn on April 7, 1848 and tells the aftermath of the massacre.

...The priest gave me a letter to the Bishop. All being ready, we started, the Indian leading the way, and made all haste to get back to my wife and children. When we came near, we commenced hunting, but could not find them, owing to the dark. We gave up the search until daylight; soon after, we found them, almost perished with hunger and thirst. The Indian got water, and I gave them bread; and in about ten minutes we began to get ready to start; being so near the Indians that had committed the murders, our guide was anxious to return. We started to go by the company's farm, and had got no more than two miles, where we got off at a creek, before we saw an Indian coming toward us; he came up with spped, and spoke very friendly to me, but told my Indian that he would kill me, and put his hand on his pistol. My Indian asked him if he was an old woman that he would kill an old man that was sick, with a sick wife and children? After they had talked for some time he replied that, as he never had shed blood, he would not; but said tell him to hurry and be gone, for the murderers will follow and kill him before he gets to the Umatilla. My Indian told me to hurry; we started, and the Indian followed close behind for some distance, and then left, and we soon got to the farm where we were to change horses. We were directed to stop here till night, but the Frenchman would not let us stay, for he said the Indians would be there before night. Here was the first fire that Margaret and two of the children had seen since Monday. We warmed a few minutes and started as though we would go to the bishop's. When we were out of sight we turned, and thought we would risk going to the fort. We went on as fast as we could, but soon after dark Margaret gave out, and had to be tied to the Indians back, but we got to the fort about ten o'clock. Mr. McBean helped us into an empty room, and we soon had a fire.

We had hardly got warm before McBean came to me, and wanted me to leave my family with him, and go down to the valley by myself, but I refused to leave the fort, and would not go; but God fed us here until Mr. Ogden came up from Fort Vancouver, and brought the women and children here. We had to spend one month among Roman Catholics and Indians, and fed for some time on meat, having but little bread; we helped to eat one horse, which gave my wife the dysentery.

Mr. Ogden one of the principal agents of the Hudson Bay Company, took us down to Oregon city. After we got to the city, John Law died, and we bured in the same grave with Alex Findley. I can say but little more about the massacre; we may say, however, that it was nothing but the hand of the Almighty God that delivered us out of the hands of these cruel savages.

The climate of Oregon is pleasant and healthy. Wheat is good here, so are vegetables. Father Courtney was killed by the falling of a tree. Putnam lost his wife with the camp fever. There is a call here for all finds of machinery. I am now building a saw and gristmill for Rees & Cottle. Jane and Lydia were married about new-year. Jane lost her husband this month, the rest are well.

Yours, &c. Josiah Osborn
The following links have more information on the massacre:
A WPA interview with Catherine (McHargue) Hume dated July 7, 1939 gives the following account:

"Perhaps the most historically notable persons buried in this cemetery were Josiah and Margaret Osborn. Margaret Osborn's grave is marked but Josiah Osborn's is not, but they are buried here close together, also I believe that there are two of their children buried there in unmarked graves. The Osborns first settled in my father's community about the year 1845. In 1847 Marcus Whitman hired Josiah Osborn to assist in building a mill at the Whitman mission. Osborn and his whole family were there at the time of the Whitman Massacre. All of the children were sick with the measles at the time and Mrs. Osborn was sick following a miscarriage in childbirth. I used to play with the Osborn children when I was small and knew the whole family well. Mrs. Osborn has often told me the story of the massacre.

"When the massacre began Josiah Osborn was at work outside and Mrs. Osborn and the children were all sick in the cabin. Josiah Osborn ran to the cabin and taking a single blanket and a loaf of bread he raised the loose boards of the floor and the whole family crept beneath. They stayed there all day, small children, sick children, sick mother and all. They heard all the terrible noise of the massacre, some of which took place just above them.

Mostly the small children were good but sometimes they would begin to cry and then Mrs. Osborn would quiet them as best she could, or if necessary smother their cries beneath their blanket. They stayed there until late into the next night and then Osborn crept out hoping to meet a friendly Indian who would help them to escape. They finally crept away and tried to make their way to Fort Walla Walla. They traveled for several days, sleeping without shelter during the daytime and traveling at night. These measles-sick parents and children had to ford cold flooded streams and then sleep in their wet clothes. It is a wonder that all of them did not die.

Finally they reached the fort but were denied entrance. Apparently the small force there so feared the Indians that they did not dare admit them for fear of angering the Indians. At last they were admitted and hidden in an inner room. Mrs. Osborn was so sick and think that her bones actually protruded through great sores where she lay on the hard floor. They were finally rescued and taken to Oregon City where one child died. Mrs. Osborn suffered for years from unhealable ulcers, the result of her hardships and exposure.

"I knew all of the Osborn children well. They had five girls and two boys. The boys were Alec and Wilson, the latter named after Rev. Wilson Blain, early Presbyterian preacher in this region. Then there was Nancy who was the baby at the time of the Whitman Massacre. After that there were twins, Narcissa and Louisa. Narcissa was named after the wife of Marcus Whitman.

The younger children were Malinda, Margaret and Merinda. Nancy later was rather well known as Nancy E. Jacobs, her married name. The Osborn claim was just east of my father's claim so that I naturally associated with the younger children almost every day. "

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The tragic events begin to unfold...

Continuing the letter of Josiah Osborn written April 7, 1848 recounting the events of the Whitman Massacre. Below is a sketch of Tiloukaikt and Tomahas, Cayuse chiefs that were tried for the murders at the Mission.

On the 29th day of November, the Indians convened for the purpose, apparently, of burying their dead, and continued coming in nearly all day. About one or two o'clock Margaret got up and went into the parlor to see the sick children - the first she had walked for three weeks. The doctor and his wife were in the room, and an Indian came to the door and spoke to the doctor, who went out into the kitchen. Mrs. W. now bolted the door, and the firing soon commenced. Kimble, Camfield, and Huffman were dressing a beef in the yard, Sanders was in the school room, and the other men were at their work. I was in my room, on the bed. The Indians commenced on all at nearly the same moment. They killed the doctor and wounded the three men at the beef, and killed a young man in the room with the doctor and Mr. Gillyean the tailor. Margaret came back into our own room; I asked her what was the matter; she answered that the Indians had risen to kill us. A constant firing was now kept up. Sanders was killed in attempting to get to his family; Kimble got into the house with his arm broke, and got up stairs with the children. Mrs. Whitman being informed that her husband was not yet dead, with the assistance of another woman, she dragged him into the parlor. His head was badly mangled and his throat cut. She was shot in the breat, and Mr. Rogers got her up stairs, and he, by presenting a gun at the head of the stairs, kept the Indians down; but about sun-set they promised that if Mr. R. and the rest would come down and go to the house where the emigrants were, they would not kill any more. Mr. R., with the assistance of an Indian, got Mrs. Whitman down, but no sooner had they got outside of the house than the Indians fired several balls into Mrs. Whitman, and kicked her bleeding body into the mud. They shot Mr. Rogers three times, and left him to die. A few minutes before this last occurrence, I had lifted up the floor and we got under, with our three children and put the boards back in their place. We lay there listening to the firing - the screaming of women and children - the groans of the dying - not knowing how soon our turn would come. We were, however, not discovered.

When it had become dark, and all was quiet, we concluded to leave everthing, take our children and start for the fort, which was twenty-five miles distant, knowing that if we remained till morning death, would be our portion. Taking John Law on my back and A. Rogers in my arms, we started. The first step we made outside was in the blood of an orphan boy. Some of the murdered had their heads split open; some were lying in the mud disemboweled. This night we travelled only two miles. We hid in the brush, about fifty feet from the road, where all the next day, we heard the Indians passing and repassing - When dark came on, we started for the fort and got three miles further. We then gave out , and again hid in the brush, and then spent another mournful day in the Indian country. - When night came on, finding that Margaret was unalbe to travel, I took John Law on my back and started for Fort Wallawalla, yet twenty miles distant. When I had arrived within six miles of the fort, I laid down in the wet grass till morning. About nine o'clock, I reached the fort, where McBean met me, and told me that he had reported me among the dead. He gave me about half a pint of tea and two small biscuits. When we had got warm, I asked for assistance to bring in my fmaily, but was unable to procure any. During the day, Mr. Stanley came up from Fort Collville with two horses, which he offered me. At night we got a little more to eat, and an Indian being hired to go with me, I prepared for a start. Mr. McBean said I must go to the bishop on the Umatilla. I refused, but he said I must, for if I came back we could not have a mouthful of food. I asked him for some bread to carry to my family, for they had had nothing but a little cold mush since Monday. He gave me none, but Mr. Stanley gave me some bread, sugar, tea, and salt. And gave John Law a pair of socks, and a fine silk be continued