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?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Breaking up is very hard to do...

I'm planning on kicking my computer to the curb...well...actually, I'm kicking it to my husband (the computer  that is) and he's kicking his computer to the curb.  It's about time that I replace my desktop, and so begins the task of making sure all my essential programs get installed on the new beast.  So what are my essentials?  Here they are (in no particular order):
Of course, I have to backup my contacts and favorites, and install the software for my printers, and scanner.  See what I mean...breaking up (with your computer) is very hard to do.  But then I think of the one I'm planning to buy...8GB ram, 1T hard drive, etc., etc.  Maybe breaking up isn't so hard after all!

Hmmmm...have I forgotten anything?  I'll have to double and triple check my list.  Anyone out there have any "essential" software?  What are your must haves?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Wreck of the Alice Buck...

The year is 1881 and the Alice Buck (a ship out of New York) is bound for Oregon laden with railroad iron for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company.  On board is a crew of 24 that included the Captain, Herman Henningser.  They encountered a hurricane at latitude 16 degrees north and the ship began taking on water.  Although the crew was manning the pumps around the clock, the situation continued to get worse.  Capt. Henningser decided to head to San Francisco for repairs.  He mistakenly thought they were about fifty miles southwest of the Farallones and turned northeast.  Shortly after midnight on September 26th, the ship struck the rocks in Half Moon Bay (San Mateo county, California) and quickly began falling apart.  Some of the crew members became "panic-stricken" and jumped overboard...they were never seen again.  Others stayed with the ship as long as there was something to hold on to.  A couple made it to shore where they were helped by locals.  Two young men, Silas Hovious and Frank Hale, received recognition for their heroic actions in saving the lives of some of the mariners from the Alice Buck.

The 10 Oct 1881 issue of the New York Times newspaper carried the story on page 2.  It details the actions of the two 19 year old young men.

Subsequent newspaper articles give the names of those lost:  William Barry West, First Mate; D. Crocker, Second Mate; George Parker, a boy of 14; David Black, seaman; Charles Reader, seaman; Patrick Welsh, seaman; John Gunnison, seaman; and "two Chinamen, cook and steward."

The San Mateo County Coroner's Index lists (as unknown) some of the seamen that died in the wreck (A104-A109); notice all were found on different days.

Silas and Frank were each given a certificate and gold medal in recognition of their heroic actions.  The certificate reads, in part, "Humanity, unflinching courage and personal peril for the sake of saving human life.  These qualities so significantly displayed by yourself and your comrade, Frank Hale, when, on the 27th of September last, you saved four lives from the wreck of the Alice Buck, on the coast of California, near Half Moon Bay..."

The Annual report of the Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco, 18, Volumes 50-53 shows the cost of the gold medals the young men were given...$25.00.

So how is this story connected to my family history?  Silas Hovious' son, Edward Hovious married Carolyn Raaen.  Carolyn was the daughter of my great grandmother, Minnie Prehn (by her first husband, Lawrence Raaen).  This isn't my direct line of research...but it's still an interesting story.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday...

Veronica Alphenia MANLEY
Born:  7 Sep 1893
Died:  4 Feb 1894
Buried:  Green Hill Cemetery, Logan county, IL

Veronica (nicknamed Ronie) was the daughter of John Milton and Rachel Anna (Carrothers) Manley.  She died just shy of 5 months old.  John and Rachel must have wanted a lasting memory of this precious baby and had this photograph taken after she died.  Five of their twelve children died at under 2 years of age.   

Saturday, January 02, 2010

An update on my "test"...

On New Year's Eve I posted an article on a test I was performing to see how many researchers with wrong information would be interested in making corrections when provided with documentation (you can read that post here).  Out of ten e-mails I sent, three not only expressed gratitude for the information, but quickly corrected their Ancestry Public Tree entry.  I am so grateful for their attitude and how swiftly they made the correction. 

According to their Ancestry profile a few of the others haven't been on the web site for 6 months or it may be a while before those will be corrected (if ever). 

However, there still remains one researcher who in spite of documentation prefers to hold on to the inaccurate information.  She found a John Manley buried in Iowa and seems to disregard any information that proves her wrong.  I've sent her the correct headstone photo and offered to send her the other sources (obituaries that list her ancestor as a survivor, and the death certificate which lists the correct parents and spouse), but still she doesn't seem interested in accuracy.  I find that attitude very sad.

Were there any Happy New Years in my family history????

Happy 2010!  Celebrating New Years yesterday had me wondering if there were any New Years babies born in my family history.  I did a search in Legacy and sure enough there were.  One was Laura Louise Prehn.  According to her Missouri death certificate (#11783), Laura was born 1 Jan 1879 in Webster Groves, St. Louis county, Missouri.  She was the daughter of Johann (John) Prehn and Louise Wilhelmine Marie Leue. 

She was a bit of a heroine in Jan 1912 when she rescued a couple of women.  The story appeared in the Webster Groves Times newspaper on 5 Jan 1912, page 1.   

Laura never married and was 77 years old when she died in Webster Groves on 1 Mar 1956. Her body was cremated on 2 Mar 1956 and placed in Valhalla's Hillcrest Abbey Crematory in St. Louis, Missouri.