Thursday, December 31, 2009

This is a test...

Today I did an Ancestry public trees search on my husband's great grandfather, John Milton Manley. This isn't new...I periodically do searches to see if anything has been added that is of interest. I specifically do John Milton Manley because I've been trying to get one of the submitters to correct a headstone photo they have attached to John. The submitter had the correct birth and death, but attached a headstone photo that was for the wrong John Manley (and had information that didn't even match their own dates). I sent the submitter the correct headstone photo. I was thanked and have been waiting (since August) for it to replace the wrong photo that is there. I noticed today that the wrong photo is still there. The only thing that's changed is that the submitter replaced the correct birth and death data that was there with dates that match this wrong headstone. Why? Wouldn't people prefer to post correct information? I don't get it. John's wife was Rachel Anna Carrothers. The wrong headstone photo showed John's wife as Mary. The correct headstone photo I sent showed John Milton Manley's shared headstone with his wife, Rachel A. Carrothers. The submitter shows John dying in Iowa and being buried there. John died in Illinois (he has an Illinois death certificate). He can be found living in Illinois in every census from 1880 to 1930 (well excluding the 1890 census of course...but I'm sure he was there then too).

What is really frustrating is that when I did my search today I found 10 other databases that now include this wrong information. It is just being perpetuated!

My test was to send each of the submitters a message letting them know the correct dates and places and listing my sources. It will be interesting to see how many (if any) of the submitters correct their information. I will happily share copies of my sources.

For the record...John Milton Manley was born 25 Jun 1850 in Iowa and died 31 Jul 1934 in Shelby county, Illinois. This is supported by his Illinois death certificate (which correctly lists his wife as Anna Carrothers and parents as Nathan Manley and Catherine Miller), two newspaper obituaries, his headstone (which I personally photographed in the I.O.O.F. cemetery in Moweaqua, IL), and the 1900 U.S. Census.

I will keep you posted on how many submitters want correct information versus how many just want any information. Okay...I'll get off my soapbox now.

They came through Ellis Island...

When my great grandparents came to this country from Wales they came through Ellis Island.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division #LC-USZ62-37784

They boarded the S.S. Aurania in Liverpool in 1896 with their 5 boys - three bags among all 7 of them. I don't know anything about the particulars of their voyage except that it included one stowaway, 30 year old Samuel W. James. I haven't found the date the voyage began, but other voyages around the same time, by the same ship were taking about 7 days.

Image of S.S. Aurania from

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division #LC-USZ62-7307

I wish my great grandparents were here so I could ask them what they thought and felt when they first saw the Statue of Liberty.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division #LC-USZC2-40098

The Davies family arrived in New York on 13 Jan 1896. It's still a mystery to me why my grandfather is listed under the name of Crannog. On his Welsh birth certificate he's listed as David Windsor Cranog Davies.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division #LC-USZ62-12595

The Davies family made their way to Scranton, Pennsylvania. On 13 Jun 1896, Caroline went into premature labor and gave birth to a little girl. The girl died the same day and was never given a name. Was she pregnant on the voyage? The death certificate doesn't indicate how premature. The cause of death is merely listed as "before time." Baby Davies was buried in Washburn cemetery the next day, 14 Jun 1896. There doesn't appear to be a headstone. They probably had very little money to place one. The family stayed in Pennsylvania for many years.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

Omaha Valley Cemetery (Homer, Dakota county, NE)

Olive W. Combs (May 22, 1870 - Aug 30, 1871)
Jennie B. Combs (Jan 20, 1872 - Jul 29, 1887)
Sattie E. Combs (Feb 29, 1876 - Dec 5, 1897)
Children of S.A. & M.J. Combs
S.A. Combs (1846-1926)

Monday, December 28, 2009

On this day in our family history...

My great grandfather's brother, William Evan Davis (Davies) died on this day in 1920. He was born 21 Dec 1887 in Garnvach, Bedwelty, Wales (the second of eight children born to Daniel Davies and Caroline Morgan).

William immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1896 and is found in the 1900 U.S. census in Scranton, PA. I haven't been able to find him in the 1910 census. He shows up in 1920 living in Buford, CO having changed his name to William Mullen (and going by the nickname Bert). It's a family mystery as to why he changed his name. One theory is that he didn't like his father and didn't want to carry his surname. Another theory is that he was in some type of trouble in PA and needed to change his name. His older brother, Thomas Stanley Davis (Davies), also changed his surname to Mullen. Some time around 1917 he married Mamie Tiderman.

They had two children, Bill Mullen (born in 1918) and Clifford Mullen (born in 1919).

The family story was that Bert died in a mining accident in Colorado in 1920. While on a research trip in Salt Lake, I found a book titled "Pre-1963 Colorado mining fatalities" by Gerald E. Sherard (also on FHL film #1698298 item #9). I was hoping to confirm the story of Bert's death. I found the following entry.

"Bert Mullen, Rope Rider, American, 31 yrs old, married, 2 children, employed 10 yrs, Routt county, working at Hayden Bros Coal Corp, Hayden #2 died 1920 Dec 28 of heart failure."

With the date I then researched newspapers and found the following articles:

Almost a year later the following article appeared in the newspaper:

I don't know the connection between Shorty Carmen and Mamie or why he willed her everything. At this point I don't know any more about this family or what happened to Mamie or the children. I found a William L. Mullen born on the same day as Bert's son, Bill, in the SSDI. He's has a previous residence in Colorado and died in Yakima, Washington on 9 Sep 1996.


  • Wales, Monmouth, Garnvach, William Evan Davies birth registration #428 (born 21 Dec 1887 and registered 27 Jan 1888)
  • Wales, Monmouth, Nantyglo, 1891 Wales Census, Daniel Davies household #231, pg. 38
  • Pennsylvania, Lackawanna, Scranton, 1900 U.S. Census, Daniel Davis household #152/168, pg. 8a
  • Colorado, Rio Blanco, Buford, 1920 U.S. Census, William B. Mullen household #163/163, pg. 8b
  • The Routt County Sentinel (Colorado) newspaper, 31 Dec 1920 issue, pg. 1, col. 2, "Phippsburg Man Dies in Mine from Heart Failure"
  • The Oak Creek Times (Colorado) newspaper, 1 Jan 1921 issue, pg. 1, col. 5, "William E. Mullen Succombs"
  • The Routt County Sentinel (Colorado) newspaper, 23 Dec 1921 issue, pg. 5, col. 2.