Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

Catherine Burtner Downey - Young
 Catherine Burtner Downey - Picture Postcard - Front
 Catherine Burtner Downey - Picture Postcard - Back
Catherine Burtner Downey - Death Certificate
State of Illinois Death Certificate #185

Catherine Burtner Downey - Newspaper Obituary
Decatur Daily Review newspaper
18 Mar 1916 issue, pg. 8, col. 1

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The subject was...obituaries...

A few months ago I attended a genealogy chat in Second Life - the topic was obituaries.  It was another great chat hosted by Genie Weezles.  After the chat I visited several of the sites recommended and hit "pay dirt."  One of the suggested sites was for the United Brethren Obituaries Index.  My husband had ancestors that were United Brethren and I decided to check the index.  A quick search for "Burtner" showed Rev. Henry Burtner.  When I clicked on the link I didn't just get a transcript, but a clipping of the obituary from the 4 Mar 1857  issue of the Religious Telescope publication (Dayton, OH).  This wonderful clipping gave a memoir of Rev. Burtner's life, and contained information I didn't have previously.
Rev. Henry Burtner - Obituary
I am continually amazed at how great the chats are in Second Life.  They are full of useful information.   

Tombstone Tuesday...

Emily Susan Yunker - Headstone
Emily Susan Yunker
Daughter of John James & Mary Ann (Younger) Yunker
Born 11 Sep 1873, Effingham county, Illinois
Died 9 Nov 1884, Fayette county, Illinois*
Buried Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Effingham county, Illinois

Emily Susan Yunker spent the morning of November 9th baking pies.  Once she finished she went outside to play.  While playing around the family's wagon in the yard, she was crushed to death. The pies she baked that morning ended up being served to guests after her funeral.
*Fayette county, IL 1884 death register #1140

Monday, October 04, 2010

On this day in our family history...

Alanson Osborn
This is Alanson Osborn (also known as A. Lanson Osborn), my husband's great great grandfather.   He was born 15 Aug 1822 in Athens county, Ohio and died on this day in 1895 (4 Oct 1895) in Moweaqua, Shelby county, Illinois. 
Alanson Osborn - Headstone
Alanson, is buried in Ludwig Cemetery, Shelby county, Illinois.  A short obituary was found in the Moweaqua Call-Mail Newspaper (Moweaqua, Shelby county, Illinois), 9 Oct 1895 issue, pg. 3, col. 1.
Alanson Osborn - Obituary
The Protrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois from the Biographical Publishing Co. of Chicago, 1891 (available on-line at the Internet Archive) has a biographical sketch of Alanson on pages 434 to 436.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday

My husband's great grandfather, William Albert Downey, owned a cabinet shop/furniture shop in Decatur, Illinois. He had been a carpenter most of his life.  We have a photo of him in his shop.
William Albert Downey - Downey Furniture Shop
We also have a blank receipt from his business.  It shows the address as 2177 North Church St., Decatur, Illinois.
Downey's Cabinet Shop - Receipt
But even more imporant than these items is the piece of furniture we have that was made by William Albert Downey.  It's a wash stand.  It actually has a mirror to go with it, but when we inherited it the mirror was in really bad shape and was being refinished.   Unfortunately it's still in the same condition :-)
Wash Stand Built by William Albert Downey

Monday, April 05, 2010

From DDDs to remarks...did I miss something important???

The Genealogy Insider blog had a posting today about DDD schedules.  I'll be honest...I hadn't heard of the DDD schedules or paid attention to column 15 of the 1880 census.  Perhaps that was because I didn't have any ancestors that had a notation in that column, but I had to be sure I hadn't missed anything.  So I set about to check various ancestors, and while I didn't find any ddd's, I did notice something that had escaped my initial research...the census takers "remarks."  Here is a portion of the page I was viewing.  The enumerater made several comments at the bottom of the page.  
None of these were my family, but what if they had been? I might have missed them completely.  So now, besides looking for ddd's, I also have to look at the end of township enumerations for any "remarks" I missed. OK...I must go now and get busy.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

Helen Klingler Fitch
Helen (Klingler) Fitch
Born 3 Sep 1896 - Iowa
Died 17 Apr 1984 - Phoenix, Arizona
Buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Topeka, Kansas

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday...

Christ Church Cemetery
Sherburne, Chenango county, New York
Stephen Medbury - Died 9 Nov 1869
Athalinda Medbury (his wife) - Died 4 Nov 1884

Monday, March 29, 2010

Help! Can a man really die twice????

Maybe someone out there in the genealogy world can figure this one out.  There's probably a very simple explanation...hopefully someone understands these documents better than I do.

It all started when I was trying to find Civil War records for my great-great grandfather, John Johns (born OH between 1840 and 1842).  John's wife was Cynthia Pilgrim; they were married 3 Sep 1862 in Dakota county, NE (Vol. 1, Pg. 47).

My first stop was  Footnote where I found the following THREE Civil War Pension records.  I believe it's the same person because the certificate number is the same, 500787.
At the bottom of each card is "Died" and a date.  Two of the cards have Oct. 13 1910 in Monte Vista, CA (which is in Placer county), but the other one has Dec. 10, 1920 in Del Paso Heights, CA (which is in Sacramento county).

How can he die on two different dates...ten years apart??? Help...can someone explain this to me?

To re-enforce that this John Johns is my John Johns...I have Margretta (Blay) Johns' address book which has a notation of "John Johns Del Paso Heights California." Margretta was John's daughter-in-law (married to his son, Robert William Johns).  Del Paso is the location of death at the bottom of the first card (above).
On Ancestry I found two records for John Johns in the "U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938" database.  Again...these appear to be the same person as they have the same pension certificate number of 500787.
In the first record his wife is listed as Carrie.  Could Carrie be Cynthia? Is it a variation of the name Cynthia, or is this another wife?  I last found Cynthia in the 1880 census (living in Nebraska), by 1900 she is gone and he's listed as a widow (living in Denver, Colorado).  In the 1910 census (enumerated on 16 Apr 1910) he's still in Denver, Colorado but is now living with his daughter, Hattie (Johns) Smith and her family.  He's still listed as a widower.  In the second veteran's home record above, his wife is listed as Frances...what?  Another wife?  You've got to be kidding...  Could they make this any more confusing?  By the way...the age listed in both records indicates his age when he entered the veteran's home.

In the 1920 U.S. Census (enumerated 23 Mar 1920) I can find a John Johns at the National Military Home in Malibu, Los Angeles county, CA.  He has the right age and birth location.  But there is also another John Johns (with the right age and birth location) living in Malibu, Los Angeles county, CA (enumerated 5 Jan 1920) living with his wife, Fraces(sic).  How could this be him when the veteran's home record above indicates he was admitted 27 Dec 1919 and released 10 Aug 1920?

So...are you as confused as I am?  Does anyone out there want to take a shot at helping me figure this out?  Come brave...

On this day in our family history...

Jasper Johns and Katie Bliven were married on this day (29 Mar) in 1895; Dakota City, Dakota county, Nebraska (Vol. 3, Pg. 218). 
Below is a picture of Jasper and Katie.  I believe the photo was taken in Sioux City, Iowa - possibly when they were living with their son, Earl G. Johns at 216 South Collins Street.  You can see the house number directly above them. 
The 1930 census shows them all living together at that address (#209/209, Pg. 13a, E.D. 34, Sioux City, Woodbury Co., Iowa).
The image below is from Bing maps and shows a current view of 216 South Collins St., Sioux City, IA.  I wish it could show a street view of the house.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday...

Crynant Cemetery, Glamorgan, Wales

Amy Morgan
Born in California 16 Jun 1865
Died at Swansea 20 Jan 1875
"As mine own shadow was this child to me
A second self far dearer and more fair."

Also Elizabeth Morgan
Died 28 Apr 1892
Age 59
"Beloved in Life, Deeply Lamented in Death"

Also Thomas Morgan
Died 19 Jul 1909
Age 81

Thomas came to the U.S. in 1852 eventually making his way to California where he co-owned a gold mine in Cherokee, CA with his younger brother, Jenkin Morgan.  Around 1856 he went back to Wales where he married, Elizabeth Williams and by 1859 they are back in the U.S.  Around 1870 the family returns to Wales where Thomas and Elizabeth remain for the rest of their lives.   

Paris Blues and my family history...hmmmmm

Have you ever seen the movie Paris Blues?
I don't think I've ever seen it, and you're probably wondering what this has to do with family history. Well a couple of days ago the answer would have been nothing. But that was a couple of days ago...before my Prehn research (that I talked about yesterday), before my recent trek to Genealogy Bank - where I let my fingers do the walking until I found..."Dallas Couple Lands in Paris Film Making."

Evidently Walter Lawrence Prehn and his wife, Carrie (Hille) Prehn, were vacationing in Europe.  They made a visit to Paris and wanted to take a quick boat ride (or is that Bateau Mouche ride?) on the Seine.  They arrived just as the bateau mouche was starting off.  They had to jump to get on the boat, but they made it.  The trip is underway, but they realize it's not going to the destination they thought.  Curious they stopped a man in a beret and asked where they were going.  Needless to say the man was slightly taken aback...he thought they were joking.  He informed them that the ship was being used as a movie set and all the "passengers" were actors.  The film?  You guessed it....Paris Blues.  The newspaper article goes on to say that Joanne Woodward and Sidney Poitier stopped by and apologized to the Prehns.  And the man in the beret?  Why he was the director, Martin Ritt.  Walter and Carrie ended up as extras in the movie.  So now I'm going to have to rent the movie and watch for them.
I tried to enhance the newspaper photo...but didn't have much success.
I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, I LOVE newspapers.  You just never know what you're going to find.  Does this add genealogically to my data?  No, but I love the story and I love the little glimpse into their life.  Things like this turn them from mere names into people, or ancestors.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Is there a story behind the certificate???

Sometimes we, as genealogists, focus on events and their corresponding sources (certificates, registers, etc).  We tend to overlook the story behind those events or documents. Get the certificate, get the proof and move on to another ancestor.  But...

I was recently going through my file folder for Henry Prehn (my great-great grandfather) and his descendants.  Entering data, organizing and scanning documents, researching on-line, etc.  Henry's son, Walter Lawrence Prehn Sr., lived in Texas.  So off I went to look for available Texas records.  My first stop was FamilySearch Record Search where I found the death certificate for Margaret Ann Prehn (Walter L. Prehn Jr.'s daughter).
The cause of death is listed as "pulomary hemorrhage" and "severe 3rd degree burns."  There are other notations like..."clothing caught on fire," This made me want to find the story behind the certificate.  So I went to my favorite newspaper site - Genealogy Bank.  There I found the sad tale...

It was Christmas day 1953, and little Margaret had been given a grass skirt as a Christmas present.  She had the skirt on...I can just picture her spinning around and watching the grass twirl..., but she got too close to a heater.  The skirt caught fire and she was badly burned.  She survived 5 months, but her little body was just too damaged, she died 16 May 1954.  The story was carried in the 17 May 1954 issue of the Dallas Morning News (TX) newspaper, pg. 10.
Are you like me?  Do you want to find the story behind the facts?  I can't even begin to imagine how devasted Margaret's parents were.  To have such a happy ocassion go so horribly wrong - it's heartbreaking.

Now to find out why she was buried in Palo Alto, California...hmmm...another story behind the story?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A life that began and ended in February...

According to his obituary (in the Carlinville Democrat (IL) newspaper, the major events of Edward Trover's life occurred in February.  He was born 4 Feb 1887 (the son of Edward and Julia Morris Trover);  he was married 2 Feb 1907 (to Lois Irene Gates); he died 19 Feb 1956 (in Carlinville, Macoupin county, IL); and he was buried 22 Feb 1956 (in the Carlinville City Cemetery).

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

Father & Daughter
Bertha Albee & Abraham Lincoln Albee

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Abraham Lincoln Albee
20 Apr 1920
Woodlawn Cemetery, Colma, San Mateo county, California
Califnornia Department of Public Health dateh certificate for Abraham Lincoln Alvee (sic), 1920, #2996
The San Francisco Examiner newspaper (California) - 22 Apr 1920 issue, pg. 4 (section cc)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe...

It's difficult sometimes to decide which name to use as the primary name when there are several to choose from.  Most genealogy programs allow us to enter an alias...that's not the issue.  How do I decide which to enter as the primary name?  Case in point...

My husband's great great grandmother is listed as Duanna Morehead in 1848 in Vermillion county, IN probate court papers (Box 124) when her step-mother sued her in a petition for dower from property Duanna inherited when her father died.
In the 1850 census for Vermillion, Vermillion county, IN (pg. 107a) she is listed as Duanna Morehead.
On 21 Sep 1859 she marries Joseph Dicken and the marriage register (Vermillion county, IL - Bk. A, Pg. 290) lists her name as Duanah Moorehead:
In the 1860 census for Vermillion, Vermillion county, IN (pg. 132) she is listed as Duanna Dicken :
In the 1870 census for Camargo, Douglas county, IL (pg. 268a) she is listed as Duanna Dicken:
On 9 Jul 1872 she passed away and was buried in Broadus cemetery, Douglas county, IL.  Her headstone is engraved Dauanah Dicken.
So my question is...which name should I use as her "primary" name in my database?  Duanna?  Duanah? Or Dauanah?  I would normally lean toward the marriage record, except in this case it appears to be a register that is all written in the same hand.  It isn't anything she signed herself.  Do I assume the headstone is the most correct?  Her husband was alive when she died, wouldn't he have known how to spell her name?   But then more records appear as Duanna, so does that one win because it has the majority?  Eeny, meeny, miny, moe...  Which would you use? 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What does a yo-yo, bubble gum, scotch tape and Pez have in common???

When I was a kid, I remember when we got our first color TV (am I dating myself...or what?).  The whole family sat on the sofa as we Ohhhh'd and Ahhhh'd at the vibrant colors dancing across the RCA screen.  I think we were watching Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea or Sea Hunt...something like that.  The ocean water was incredibly blue. back to the question.  What does a yo-yo, bubble gum, scotch tape and Pez have in common?  My Grandfather...well sort of.

Actually they were all invented during a period of his life.  My genealogy software of choice is Legacy Family Tree, and it has the option of including inventions in a chronology of the person's life.  I have fun with this.  It's always interesting to see what inventions your ancestor may have seen or experienced.  What they may have Ohhhh'd and Ahhhh'd over.

From the Chronology tab, click on "Options."  In the Chronology  Options box (the Include tab) click on the "Select Background Timelines" box at the bottom.  Click "Add a Timeline" and you will get a list of timelines you can include (such as Wars, Presidents, Organization of States, etc).  Select "Inventions."  It's that simple.  Now your chronology view has inventions plugged into it.

The screenshot above shows what was invented when my Grandfather was 19 to 27 years old.  So what was invented during your ancestors' lifetime?  You will be surprised.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Second Life chat provides Real Life benefits...

Last night I attended a genealogy chat in Second Life (SL) hosted by Genie Weezles (pictured here in front of the whiteboard and used with her permission).

The topic was "sharing."  Genie did a wonderful job introducing us to various ways to share our genealogy.  I've already implemented some of her recommendations...there is now a "Share This" button on my blog posts.  This allows readers to share a posting in various ways (e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc).

Another topic in the chat was Delicious - a social bookmarking site.   It allows you to have access to your bookmarks/favorites no matter what computer you're on and search/view the non-private bookmarks of other users.  I've set up my Delicious account...very, very nice.

Also discussed was Stumble Upon, Su.Pr, Flickr, Picasa, and Transfer Big Files.  There was so much useful information in this chat.  I'm still setting up accounts, and trying out the things we were shown.

If you haven't checked out Second're really missing out.  There are some very knowledgable genealogists willing to share, help and host chats like this one. 

Hoping to see you in SL :-)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday

My husband's great great grandfather, Cyrus Downey, was in the Civil War.  Our "treasure chest" item is a letter Cyrus wrote to his brother on 22 Dec 1863.
Cyrus Downey - Civil War Letter
On the other side of the letter he drew a map of the battlefield.  Below is a transcription of the letter...well all except for one word (which I can't clearly read).  If anyone out there has any ideas about the missing word...please let me know:
December the 22th 1863
Murfreesboro Tenn
 Dear Brother
I thot that I would drop you a few lines to let you a few words that I got your letter yesterday, and was glad to hear from you and tell Catharine that I would be glad to have those suspenders and [unreadable word ] and that knife and handkerchief and if I don’t get them before the 15 of next month I can by them here those things will cost me a bout 8 or 10 $ and send me that box when you get the chance but I want them other things rite the way as soon as you can send them I send my love to you all

This is the Chickamoga battle ground and when I get home I will show you where our reg fot hand this to Catharine
 Cyrus Downey
It actually looks to me like the word is "pumps," but if that's right...well...what does that mean?  The letter was written in pencil and is fading.

The Catharine he refers to is his wife, Catharine (Burtner) Downey.  Per his pension file (#263511/379-997), Cyrus enlisted in Company F, 123rd Regiment of Illinois Volunteers on 1 Aug 1862, and was mustered into service on 6 Sep 1862.  He was discharged 28 Jun 1865 in Nashville, TN.

My husband and I treasure this letter and are so grateful that his mother passed it on to us.  She knew of our interest in genealogy, and knew we would keep it safe.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...



Anna Christina (Zeitz) Osborn

Photo restoration using Corel's Paint Shop Pro X2.  I guess that wasn't really wordless...was it?