Saturday, December 28, 2013

MOUNT CLEMENS, MICHIGAN PUBLIC LIBRARY GENEALOGY COLLECTION

made a great discovery this week. While researching one of my friend’s ancestors, I found the Genealogy Collection page of the Mount Clemens, Michigan Public Library (http://www.mtclib.org/genealog.htm).  This site is filled with wonderful and free resources. For those unfamiliar with Michigan, Mount Clemens is located in Macomb County (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Clemens,_Michigan).

For example, under Local History (http://www.mtclib.org/local.htm), you will find the e-book Centennial History of Mount Clemens, Michigan, 1879-1979 (http://www.mtclib.org/centhist.htm).  In addition, you will find historical maps, city directory indexes, how to trace the history of a house, street name changes, yearbook records and more.



There is an interesting database called Old Crowd Memorial List: (Deaths, 1880-2006)
(http://www.mtclib.org/local%20history/oldcrowd.pdf). Old Crowd was a social organization of long-time residents of Mount Clemens.

There is a Macomb County Obituary Index (http://www.mtclib.org/search/obitindex.php) with assorted entries from 1880 to the present.

You can find military information, such as:

One of my favorite links is the Macomb County Court Records Index (http://www.mtclib.org/search/courtrecords.php). This will give you basic information that will enable you to order court records about an ancestor. Some of the actions I saw listed were: juror, mortgage discharge, divorce, civil, chancery, criminal, estate, estate appeal and naturalization.

Oh, and then there is the Macomb County Funeral Home Records Master Index (http://www.mtclib.org/search/funeralhomes.php). I found one of my distant cousins listed in this database.

There is a link to the Suburban Library Cooperative Digital Media Archive (http://www.libcoop.net/archive), where you will find amazing items such as old photographs, juror lists, newspaper articles and tombstone pictures.

There are also many links to general genealogical and historical information about Michigan and its surrounding states. There is even a link to the California Death Records (http://vitals.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ca/death/search.cgi) and, if you know French, you can check out the Montreal City Directory page at http://bibnum2.bnquebec.ca/bna/lovell/index.html.

If you find information on an index that you want to obtain and are unable to go to the library in person, you can order documents online via the Macomb County Genealogical Research Assistance. See http://www.mtclib.org/research.htm.

To my knowledge and dismay, I don’t have many ancestors from Macomb County, Michigan.  This makes me very sad. Seriously, check out and bookmark this free resource!



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Full-Color Old-Time Vignettes, 2002.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, new York, Electronic Clip Art, Elegant Floral Designs, 2003.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

FINDING A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK: CENSUS RECORDS










have a love/hate relationship with Census records.  They can provide wonderful information about your ancestors IF you can find your ancestors among the misspellings by enumerators and the incorrect transcriptions. Over the last few weeks I have been trying to find every possible Census record (federal and state) for many of my ancestors.  Here are some of the challenges I have faced:
  • Stephen SPAULDING was my third great grandfather. In the 1850 U.S. Census, I finally found him under the name Stephen Stalder.  (1)
  • Millard TAYLOR was my grandfather. In the 1925 New York State Census, I found him under Millar M. Fraylor.  My father was Stewart TAYLOR; his name is listed as Steran Fraylor in this household. (2)
  • My 4th great grandmother was Welthy MYERS, who married Samuel ROBERTS, my 4th great grandfather. I found Welthy in the 1820 U.S. Census with the name Weltley Roberts. (3)
  • My grand aunt was Winifred WILLIAMS. I found her on the 1915 New York Census bearing the name Winipel Williams. (4)
  • Hazel Cutler was my grand aunt. I found her in the 1915 U.S. Census with the name Harrel Culter. (5)
  • Daniel Deloss Cutler was my great grandfather. He is listed as Deloss Cutter in the 1870 U.S. Census.  (6)
  • My great grandmother was Jane OWEN WILLIAMS.  I found her with the name Janarez Williams in the 1900 U.S. Census. (7)


As you can see, finding your ancestors on Census records can be a struggle.  Don’t throw up your hands and say that your ancestor was not enumerated. You have to be creative to find them!  Here are some of the tactics I used:
  • I played around with my searches. I’d put in all the information I know about an ancestor and, if that did not work, then I would delete part of the information and try again and again and again.
  • I used wild cards. Databases differ in what wild cards they accept, so check the rules first.
  • Remember to try nicknames. Many people disliked their names and were known as another name. Sometimes people were given a nickname and it became the normal way that people referred to them. My 2nd great grandfather’s name was Michael, but he liked to go by the name “Mickey.”
  • People often went by their initials, especially in the South. My 2nd great grandfather, Thomas Magruder BRASHEAR, liked to go by T.M. Brashear.  That is how I found him on most of the Census records.
  • Try a different database. If you don’t find someone on Ancestry.com, try Family Search or Heritage Quest or numerous other sources for Census information.
  • Experiment with key words. Add an occupation, for example. That narrows the field.
  • Remember that many similar sounding names are spelled differently, such as Dixon/Dickson or Stuart/Stewart. 
  • Switch some letters around. For “Michael” try “Micheal.”
  • Remember to look in places where you don’t expect your ancestor to be living. Perhaps the person left his hometown and went out West during the Gold Rush.  
  • If you can’t find an ancestor, look for his sibling, child, spouse or parent instead.
  • If all else fails, read the enumerations one by one in a specific locale. This, of course, is easier if your ancestor lived in a small town.

Although my illustrations are from the Census records on Ancestry.com, the errors exist on all the databases. Good luck!



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, "1200 Ornamental Letters,"2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Elegant Floral Designs, 2003.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, "1100 Pictorial Symbols," 2007.

SOURCE CITATIONS:

(1) 1850 United States Census, Columbus, Chenango, New York; Roll: M432_488; Page: 272B; Image: 22; Ancestry.com [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch; Original data: Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls); Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

(2) 1925 New York, State Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012; Election District: 01; Assembly District: 02; City: Westmoreland; County: Oneida; Page: 5; Original data: State population census schedules, 1925. Albany, New York: New York State Archives.

(3) 1820 United States Census, Columbus, Chenango, New York; Page: 306; NARA Roll: M33_66; Image: 174; Ancestry.com. 1820 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch; Original data: Fourth Census of the United States, 1820. (NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

(4) 1915 New York, State Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012; Election District: 01; Assembly District: 02; City: Utica Ward 12; County: Oneida; Page: 03; Original data: State population census schedules, 1915. Albany, New York: New York State Archives.

(5) 1915 New York, State Census  [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012; Election District: 01; Assembly District: 01; City: Utica Ward 13; County: Oneida; Page: 29; Original data: State population census schedules, 1915. Albany, New York: New York State Archives.

(6) 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009; Columbus, Chenango, New York; Roll: M593_916; Page: 65A; Image: 135; Family History Library Film: 552415; Images reproduced by FamilySearch; Original data: 1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.


(7) 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004; Utica Ward 12, Oneida, New York; Roll: 1133; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0078; FHL microfilm: 1241133; Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: HOW NOT TO PHOTOGRAPH A GRAVESTONE



This photograph was taken in Oneida County, New York. You will notice a number of things wrong. First, my shadow should not be in the picture. Try not to photograph gravestones on a sunny day. Also, part of the flag is draped over the stone--not good. It would have been better to leave it out or try to photograph the entire flag and headstone. And, most importantly, we don't know William's last name.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

THE SAD FATE OF RENA GRACE EDWARDS

ena Grace Edwards (1898-1918) was my 1st cousin 1x removed. Rena was born to John Edwards and Ella Charlotte TAYLOR, my grand aunt. I have been able to re-construct her short life using Census records and newspaper articles from Old Fulton NY Postcards (www.fultonhistory.com). In addition, thanks to a genealogy report by my aunt Elizabeth TAYLOR Wratten which was forwarded to me by a cousin from Westmoreland, New York, I have been able to learn more about Rena and her tragic life.

TIMELINE

March 4, 1900 - Rena's father, John Edwards, is so injured by falling ore at Franklin Furnace that he dies. The Utica, New York Morning Herald reports that he leaves an invalid wife and a life insurance policy with Prudential. John's funeral was to be held at the Methodist Church. (1) Rena was about 2.

March 5, 1900 - John Edwards, died in a mining accident at the Franklin Furnace according to the Clinton, New York Courier. (2) 

In the 1900 Census, Rena is living with her mother, Ella, and grandparents, John TAYLOR and his wife Charlotte SCRIPTURE, my great grandparents.  (3)


October 15, 1900 - Rena’s mother, Mrs. Ella Edwards, “brought a suit against M.A. Hanna & Co, the lessees of the Franklin Furnace, for damages for the death of her husband, John Edwards.” According to this article, a “mass of frozen ore fell on him, injuring him so that he died in a few days.” Deputy U.S. Marshall P.D. Condon served papers in Clinton on Superintendent Patterson. (4)


June 28, 1904 - Rena’s mother, Ella TAYLOR Edwards, died at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Taylor. (5)  Rena was about 6.  

July of 1904 - a “decree of guardianship was issued for Rena G. Edwards.” John Taylor was appointed. (6)

In the 1910 federal census, Rena is living with her grandparents, John and Charlotte TAYLOR. (7)

August of 1912 - Rena attended the Taylor Family Reunion in Clinton, New York (8)

December of 1912 - Rena was elected treasurer of the Lairdsville M.E. Church Sunday school. (9)

August of 1913 - Rena attended the Taylor family reunion. (10)

July of 1914 - Rena played the Wedding March at the wedding of Isaac McLaughlin and Mabel Dixon (11)



December of 1914 - Rena was an “over-Sunday guest at W. Hills.” (12)

In the 1915 New York State Census, Rena is living with her grandparents, John and Charlotte TAYLOR. (13)

May of 1916 - Rena was the “guest of her aunt, Mrs. W. Hills” (14)  Mrs. W. Hills was formerly Miss Dora Taylor, my grand aunt.

June of 1916 - Rena played the “strains of the ‘Bridal Chorus’” at the wedding of Miss Agnes Annette 
Bryden and Elbert Barney Mattoon in Vernon Center, New York. (15)

June of 1916 - Rena won a prize at a shower for Miss Bryden. (16)

December of 1916 - Rena gave a “kitchen shower in honor of” Miss Martha Brashear. (17)

December of 1916 - Rena was attendant for Martha BRASHEAR (my grandmother) at Martha’s wedding to Millard Taylor (my grandfather). (18)

December of 1916 - Rena was elected organist at her church. (19)

August of 1917 - Rena was “recovering from a serious illness” (20)

November of 1917 - Rena played the piano at the Cornell Club's birthday celebration. (21)

January of 1918 - Rena is ill. (22)

February 28, 1918 - Rena died at her home in Lairdsville. She suffered from a chronic disease. (23)

(24)
(25)

Rena is buried at Kirkland Prospect Hill Cemetery in Oneida County, New York. (26)

April of 1918 - Rena’s will was admitted to probate at the Surrogate’s Court in Utica, New York. (27)

May of 1918 - the personal property of Rena was calculated to be $1,194.59 (28)

March 1941 - Spencer Taylor (my 1st cousin 1x removed) donates hymnals to the Lairdsville church in honor of Rena. (29)

THOUGHTS

Rena was born the same year as my grandmother, Martha BRASHEAR Taylor, and it appears that they were friends.  Martha was the only grandparent I remember.  Rena and Martha lived in the same area and participated in similar activities. It must have been horrible for my grandmother to have her good friend die at such a young age.

Rena lived a simple life with family and friends in Oneida County, New York. She never got to travel the world, have a husband or enjoy children and grandchildren.  Through newspaper articles, I learned about her character: She was trustworthy enough to be appointed treasurer of her Sunday school; she was talented musically (played the piano and organ); Rena was a social person (attended weddings, reunions and showers); and she cared enough about her friends to give parties in their honor.

So what was this mysterious illness? According to my aunt’s genealogy report, Rena had tuberculosis. (30)  I do not know if this is true. The 1918 flu pandemic killed thousands of people in upstate New York and worldwide, but it seemed to hit toward the end of 1918. Rena died early in 1918.  Rena lived near Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. The following article discusses how the flu took the lives of college students: http://www.hamilton.edu/magazine/winter09/departments/the-hill-in-history

Also, kudos to my great grandparents John TAYLOR and his wife, Charlotte SCRIPTURE, who took care of first Ella and Rena and then, after Ella died, Rena.  John died at the age of 69, four years after Rena’s death.

This story shows that not everyone is blessed with a long life and not everyone has the pleasure of having their parents while they are young. Despite all of Rena’s hardships, she appears to have been a talented and loving young lady.  We can all learn from her.



GOING FORWARD

To complete my file on Rena, I now want to:
  • Obtain Rena’s death certificate. I would like to see what is listed as her cause of death.
  • Obtain Ella's death certificate to see her cause of death. See if I can discover why she was called an invalid.
  • Obtain copies of the court documents regarding the lawsuit against the furnace company. I want to see if Ella won her court case against the company.
  • Order copies of the guardianship and probate records.
  • I plan to contact historical societies to see if I can acquire a picture of Rena.  I could also look for high school yearbooks.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1100 Pictorial Symbols, 2007.


CITATION SOURCES:

(1) "Death of John Edwards, Who Was Hurt by Falling Ore at Franklin Furnace," Utica, New York Morning Herald, digital image 348165, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).
(2) "Obituary," The Clinton Advertiser, March 10, 1900, digital image 535301, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(3) Year: 1900; Census Place: Westmoreland, Oneida, New York; Roll: 1134; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0098; FHL microfilm: 1241134. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

(4) “Kirkland,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, October 15, 1900, digital image 1229403, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(5) "Lairdsville," Rome New York Daily Sentinel, July 5, 1904, digital image 1374994, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(6) “Surrogate’s Court,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, July 19, 1904, digital image 1370679, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(7) Year: 1910; Census Place: Westmoreland, Oneida, New York; Roll: T624_1053; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0175; FHL microfilm: 1375066. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

(8) “Taylor Family Reunion,” Utica, New York Herald Dispatch, August 20, 1912, digital image 259525, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(9) “To Hold Donation,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, December 3, 1912, digital image 1301515, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(10) “Reunion of Taylor Family,” Utica, New York Herald Dispatch, August 14, 1913, digital image 219383, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(11) “Westmoreland: Isaac G. McLaughlin and Miss Mabel Dixon Wedded at Lairdsville, “ Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, July 18, 1914, digital image 1294897, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(12) “Were Married 25 Years Ago,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, December 10, 1914, digital image 1168645, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(13) New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 01; Assembly District: 02; City: Westmoreland; County: Oneida; Page: 02. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: State population census schedules, 1915. Albany, New York: New York State Archives.

(14) “Vernon: Mrs. John Taylor Entertains,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, May 8, 1916, digital image 1009588, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(15) “Vernon Center: Pretty Wedding Took Place at Home of Bride Near Village,” Utica, New York Herald Dispatch, June 30, 1916, digital image 227978, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(16) “Shower for Miss Bryden,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, June 21, 1916, digital image 1024093, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(17) “West Hill Paragraphs,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, December 28, 1916, digital image 1133686, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(18) “100 Guests at Wedding: Miss Martha J. Brashear and Millard M. Taylor of Clinton United in Ceremony at Bride’s Home,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, December 28, 1916, digital image 1198347, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(19) “Lairdsville,” Utica, New York Daily Press, December 9, 1916, digital image 350026, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(20) “Vernon: West Hill Paragraphs,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, August 29, 1917, digital image 1051958, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(21) “Cornell Club’s Birthday Celebration,” Clinton, New York Courier, November 21, 1917, digital image 1031690, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(22) “Vernon Center: Berg-Smith Wedding,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, January 28, 1918, digital image 1079965, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(23) “Miss Rena G. Edwards, Dead,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, March 1, 1918, digital image 1198866, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(24) Ibid.

(25) “Lairdsville: Miss Rena G. Edwards: Bright and Beautiful Young Life Ends, and is Mourned, March 5, 1918, digital image 385018, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(26) Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, digital image (http://www.findagrave.com: accessed 15 December 2013), Rena Edwards (1898 - 1918), Kirkland Prospect Hill Cemetery, Oneida County, New York, Memorial No. 44861669, created by Epy.

(27) “Surrogate’s Court: Letters of Administration Issued—Other Matters,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, April 10, 1918, digital image 819191, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(28) “Transfer Tax Appraisals,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, May 4, 1918, digital image 1209657, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(29) “Lairdsville Hymnals, Organ Given to Church,” Rome, New York Daily Sentinel, March 19, 1941, digital image 1077810, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 15 Dec 2013).

(30) Handwritten notes about the Taylor Family by Elizabeth “Betty” Taylor Wratten (1922-1989), Deansboro, Oneida County, New York.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

SAMPUBCO.COM: FINDING RICH SOURCE MATERIAL WHEN YOU LIVE FAR AWAY










t is frustrating to live far away from states that possess courthouses holding your ancestors’ records. Fortunately, there is a website called Sampubco (http://www.sampubco.com) where you can order records from the comfort of your home.  

Sampubco has the following types of records from a variety of states:
  • Will Records
  • Probate Files/Surrogate's Files
  • Naturalizations and Declarations of Intent
  • Guardianships
  • Letters Testamentary
  • Letters of Administration
  • Miscellaneous Orders and Decrees
  • Petitions for Administrations
  • Proofs of Wills
  • Renunciations
  • Cemetery Burials


If you use this website, please be sure to read the instructions carefully. For example, if you place an order correctly, you will not hear back for a few weeks. There is no immediate confirmation of order. However, if you fail to follow the instructions, you are notified immediately.  I waited patiently and, sure enough, a few weeks later, my order was e-mailed to me.

I found it helpful to go to the Site Map page (http://www.sampubco.com/Sitemap.htm). Here you can see what documents and states are available, look at indexes and print order forms.  I was really pleased to see that there are numerous New York resources.  Under “New York Counties Will Testators Indexes” for New York, Oneida County, I found references to the following records of interest:
  • George Bowles in Westmoreland (NY-33-44-419). George Bowles was my paternal 3rd great grandfather.

  • Marilda S. Miller in Westmoreland (NY-33-35-129).  Marilda Scripture was my paternal 3rd great grandmother.

  • Amelia Parks in New Hartford  (NY-33-25-379). I have been speculating that Amelia was my maternal 3rd great grandmother, and I was eager to see her Will.

Under “New York Counties Will Testators Indexes” for New York, Chenango County, I found the following record:
  • Levi Cutler, Sherburne (NY-9-DD-39).  Levi was my maternal 3rd great grandfather.


As you can see, these are all direct ancestors, and Wills are excellent genealogical sources.  I don’t live in New York, so it is hard to run over to the courthouses to gather this information.  Sampubco provides an excellent service.

This week my documents arrived, and I now have copies of the Wills of four of my 3rd great grandparents. The cost was only $48, a bargain!



Here is some of the knowledge I have gained or confirmed from these Wills:

George Bowles
  • At the time George signed his Will, Angeline was his wife. Charlotte Andrews, my 3rd great grandmother, was deceased at that time.
  • George had a daughter named Harriet Scripture, my 2nd great grandmother.
  • He also had daughters named Sarah Bryden, Charlotte Deland and Dinah Ford.
  • Sarah Bryden’s son, David B. Bryden, was appointed executor of the Will.
  • George left no property to his son, George P. Bowles.
  • Two of the witnesses (John H. Taylor and Elmer Waters) were my ancestors .
  • George was able to sign his name on the document.  (1)


Levi Cutler
  • Wesley H. Lottridge, husband of my 3rd great grand aunt Dolly Cutler, was appointed executor.
  • Levi’s wife, Nancy Eliza Miller, my 3rd great grandmother, was deceased at the time Levi signed his Will.
  • Levi's daughter was Fany Jenks.
  • Levi had sons named Levi Cutler and David Cutler.
  • The names of the witnesses to the Will. These people may be ancestors also.
  • Levi was able to sign his name on the document.  (2)



Marilda S. Miller
  • Marilda Scripture Miller had only one child, Marquis Scripture, my 2nd great grandfather.
  • Marquis Scripture was named executor.
  • The names of the witnesses to the Will. These people may be ancestors also.
  • Marilda’s nephew was William Miller, son of Theodore and Susan Miller.
  • Marilda signed her name on the document. (3)


Amelia Parks
  • Although the index stated that Amelia’s last name was Parks, on the Will it is listed as Park in every place except the first paragraph.
  • The names of the witnesses to the Will. These people may be ancestors also.
  • Amelia gave property to her daughter, Caroline Marsh, my 2nd great grandmother, whose husband was Cyrus Marsh, my 2nd great grandfather.
  • Amelia had sons by the names of Albert M. Park and Benjamin Park.
  • Albert M. Park was named executor.
  • Amelia’s husband’s name was Earl Park.
  • Amelia gave her mark as a signature.  (4)  


This information is a springboard to further research. For example, I took the name “Albert M. Park” and put it into Old Fulton NY Postcards (www.fultonhistory.com) and was able to pull up several articles about Albert and his family. Because the name “Albert Park” is fairly common, by narrowing it to “Albert M. Park” I was able to hone in on the right person quickly.

I can’t wait to investigate what other documents can be ordered at Sampubco (http://www.sampubco.com). Check it out!




CITATION SOURCES:

(1) Last Will and Testament of George Bowles, 9 Apr 1891, recorded 6 July 1891, pp. 419-420, Oneida County Surrogate’s Office, Utica, New York (e-mailed document number NY-33-44-419 from Sampubco.com).

(2) Last Will and Testament of Levi Cutler, 25 Oct 1889, recorded 18 May 1891, pp. 39-41, Chenango County Surrogate’s Court, Norwich, New York (e-mailed document number NY-9-DD-39 from Sampubco.com).

(3) Last Will and Testament of Marilda S. Miller, 15 Jul 1876, recorded 2 Jul 1884, pp. 129-131, Oneida County Surrogate’s Office, Utica, New York (e-mailed document number NY-33-35-129 from Sampubco.com).

(4) Last Will and Testament of Amelia Parks, 28 Aug 1874, recorded 7 Nov 1874, pp. 379-380, Oneida County Surrogate’s Office, Utica, New York (e-mailed document number NY-33-25-379 from Sampubco.com).

ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, "1200 Ornamental Letters," 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, "Decorative Silhouettes," 2003.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, "Elegant Floral Designs," 2003.









Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

World War II Army Officer Cap Device

My father wore this "officer cap device" on his hat during World War II. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure what it was at first, but my husband explained it to me.

If you'd like to know more about World War II collectibles, the following book might help:

Warman's World War II Collectibles: Identification and Price Guide by John F Graf (available on amazon.com). 



Saturday, November 16, 2013

DISCOVERIES AT THE BURTON HISTORICAL COLLECTION

am fortunate to have easy access to the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan (313-481-1401). While the library emphasizes records on the history of Detroit and Michigan, there are countless resources on the Great Lakes region, New England, the South, the Mid-Atlantic  states, as well as foreign countries. There are books, microfilm, maps, photographs, business records, scrapbooks, military records, manuscripts, census schedules, vital records, church records, family histories, newspapers and more.  For a list of the many resources, see the PDF files located at the bottom of the page on this link: http://www.detroit.lib.mi.us/featuredcollection/burton-historical-collection



When you first enter the Burton collection you will see banks of card catalog drawers—just like in the old days. (You can, of course, search for items online.)


I stopped here to perform some surname searches. After jotting down my findings on a piece of paper, I entered the main room and asked a librarian for guidance.  She needed to obtain a few of the items offsite. 

BOOKS

In the meantime, I browsed the stacks. Some of the books I chose to review were:
  • 7,000 Hudson-Mohawk Valley (NY) Vital Records: 1808-1850 by Fred Bowman and Thomas J. Lynch
  • A Brashear(s) Family History, Descendants of Robert and Benois Brasseur by Charles Brashear
  • History of the Town of Stonington, County of New London, Connecticut by Richard Anson Wheeler
  • The Roster of Confederate Soldiers: 1861-1865 by Janet B. Hewett
  • State of Vermont: Roster of Soldiers in the War of 1812-14 by Herbert T. Johnson
  • Vital Records of Putney, Vermont to the Year 1900 by Ken Stevens


PERIODICALS

Some periodical articles I found of interest were:
  • “Early Church Records in Madison County, New York” by Roberta Kincaid, Tree Talks, March 2006, Vol. 46, no. 1, p. 3.
  • “Genealogical Research in Oneida County, New York” by Mary Anne Buteux, Tree Talks, March 2007, Vol. 47, No. 1, p. 3.
  • “How to Write a Page Turning, But True, Family History” by Leslie Albrecht Huber, Crossroads, September 2010, Vol. 5, p. 10.
  • “Mug Books: Boon or Bane?” by Joyce H. Cook, Tree Talks, March 2009, Vol. 49, No. 1, p. 3.
  • “Seventh-Day Baptist Church of Brookfield,” Tree Talks, Sep 2009, Vol. 49, no. 3, p. 149. (Here I found a number of references to my Crandalls, Burdicks, Babcocks and Clarks.)

CLIPPING FILES

At my request, a librarian brought me a clipping file containing references to the surname “Scripture.” In the clipping file, I discovered a newspaper article about Dulcie Scripture, a former Detroit resident, who was Miss Illinois in 1969. In this article I learned, among other things, that she was the daughter of Rev. and Mrs. George Scripture of Hamilton, Ohio. (1) Because the Scripture surname is so unique, it is possible that Dulcie is a distant cousin.

A quick Google search turned up a picture of Dulcie. See http://missillinois.homestead.com/Formers.html.

Another Google search found an obituary for Rev. George Scripture who, apparently, was born in Chittenango, Madison County, New York, five miles from my home town. See http://www.redpathfruthfuneralhome.com/obits/obituary.php?id=372409

Another article from the clipping file was an obituary for Charles M. Scripture, a Detroit architect, who died in 1982. (2)  This was filled with genealogical information and will be a great source for further research.



As you can see, The Burton Historical Collection does not just contain Michigan information.  

If you don’t live near Detroit, you can still enjoy some of the benefits of the Burton via the Internet. For example, if you look at the right side of their Biography and Genealogy page (http://www.detroit.lib.mi.us/research-resources/databases/biography-and-genealogy), you will see a database search box. Click the drop down menu to Biography and Genealogy. Here you will find a Biography and Genealogy Master Index. Enter the surname you are searching. I used “Scripture” and received 8 hits. One of them was a citation to Who’s Who in America for William Ellis Scripture, my 1st cousin 4 X removed.  Another database you can search from home is Heritage Quest Online (http://www.heritagequestonline.com/hqoweb/library/do/index). Here you can search census records, books, PERSI, Revolutionary War records, Freedman’s Bank and the U.S. Serial Set.

Brief, factual questions can be answered via the Ask-A-Librarian link: http://www.detroit.lib.mi.us/specialservice/ask-librarian

If you would like newspaper articles, see this link: http://www.detroit.lib.mi.us/specialservice/detroit-newspaper-search-0

As a courtesy, the Burton provides a list of researchers you can hire:


I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the Burton’s holdings. 


ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Early American Design Motifs, 2003.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) "Miss Illinois Honored," Detroit News, Detroit, Michigan, September 8, 1969.

(2) “Charles M. Scripture,” Detroit News, Detroit, Michigan, August 17, 1982.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY



I found this photograph in one of my grand aunt's photo albums.  It was probably taken in Utica, New York. I can't say for sure the identity of the three people, but I suspect that the ladies are my aunts. The young man on the right, possibly one of my uncles, appears to be holding a walking stick/cane. I love the hats and the old train in the background!

Trains were an important means of transportation back in the early 1900s. My Aunt Winifred WILLIAMS married a train conductor, Frederick Boyser.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

VETERANS DAY

In honor of Veterans Day, I am going to share with you some information about my father, Stewart V. Taylor, who was a pilot of B-17s during World War II.   His service records show that he entered the Army on 25 Feb 1943 and was honorably discharged on 1 Jan 1946.

Stewart V. Taylor

His military record papers indicate that he had the following decorations and citations:
  • European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon

  • American Defense Service Medal

  • American Theater Campaign Ribbon

  • World War II Victory Medal

  • Air Medal

His battles and campaigns were in the Rhineland and Central Europe.

I am fortunate to have in my possession his air medal:



The paperwork inside the Air Medal box states, in part:

“8 March 1945

For meritorious achievement while participating in sustained bomber combat operations over Germany and German occupied countries. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by those Officers and Enlisted Men upon these occasions reflect great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States

305th Bombardment Group (H)
STEWART V. TAYLOR, O-1178362, 2nd Lt. New Hartford, New York”



For more information about Air Medals see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Medal

My father is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery in Clinton, Oneida County, New York. Rest in peace, Dad.



Sunday, November 3, 2013

FRANKENMUTH, MICHIGAN: DO YOU HAVE GERMAN ANCESTORS?

A few weeks ago, my husband and I visited Frankenmuth, Michigan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenmuth,_Michigan), a city founded by German settlers. I don’t have many German ancestors, but, as a genealogy student, I want to know as much as I can about every type of ancestry.

We started with the Frankenmuth Historical Association, where I purchased Teach My People the Truth: The Story of Frankenmuth, Michigan by Herman F. Zehnder.  If you are a compulsive book buyer, you’ll want to check out their online gift shop (http://www.frankenmuthmuseum.org/onlinegiftshop.html). The historical cookbooks might help you learn about your female ancestors. 

Frankenmuth Historical Museum

The Frankenmuth Historical Association’s website (http://www.frankenmuthmuseum.org) is worth exploring if you have ancestors from Saginaw County.  For example, there is a link to the Frankenmuth News Archives (http://www.frankenmutharchives.org), where you can search the Frankenmuth News back to 1906. Also on the Frankenmuth Historical Association’s website is a link to the Cass River Genealogy Society, where you will find online indexes for obituaries, death notices, marriages and anniversaries in the Frankenmuth News (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~micrgs/onlinedata/general.html).  There are also links to the Saginaw News Obituary Index (http://obits.netsource-one.net) and Saginaw County on MichGenWeb (http://www.mifamilyhistory.org/saginaw).

The Frankenmuth Historical Association also has a fabulous collection of quilts shown on their website (http://www.frankenmuthmuseum.org/FHA%20Quilt%20Collection.pdf) and, if you are lucky enough to be related to a quilt maker, you will find a mini-biography of that person.

Frankenmuth does a wonderful job of recreating the little Bavaria experience.  Here are a few links to places you might want to see:
Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn

If you have ancestors who were involved in the brewing industry, you should visit the Frankenmuth Lager Mill Beer Store & Brewing Museum (http://www.frankenmuthmuseum.org/Lager%20Mill/index.html). Here you will find not only endless bottles of beer, but also thousands of pieces of German glassware, photographs, artifacts and more about the history of brewing.

Frankenmuth Lager Mill Beer Store & Brewing Museum

I found the following books online about Germans in Michigan:



There are also a number of interesting articles about German settlers in Michigan:





Hopefully, you will have a chance to visit Frankenmuth. If not, thanks to the Internet, you can enjoy a virtual experience. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

THE JOY OF NEWSPAPER RESEARCH: Frederick Scripture is Missing










very few weeks, just for fun, I go onto Old Fulton New York Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com), the free historical newspaper website. This website features predominantly New York newspapers, but you can find, on occasion, articles from surrounding states. I have discovered countless articles that have helped me chip away at brick walls and learn details about my family that I probably would never have found in other sources.


Recently, I happened upon an article about Frederick A. SCRIPTURE (1877-1918), my 1st 2x removed. Apparently, Fred, age 19, was reported missing in July of 1897.  (1)

(2)

I love it when I find a picture of an ancestor or, in this case, a description.  You will notice that Fred had a scar on each cheek. I believe those scars were from an accident in his childhood where he was burned in 1889. (3)

(4)

In addition to the above description, the following news article let me know that Fred was 6 feet 2 inches tall. (5)

(6)

Fred’s parents were devastated by Fred’s disappearance. (7) Articles appeared in papers around Central New York.

(8)

You will be happy to know that Fred came home.  Apparently, he went out of the county to find work. (9)

(10)

(11)

I am thankful for this incident because it allowed me to learn more about Fred.  

Have you explored historic newspapers lately? They are filled with tidbits of information on your ancestors. In addition to Old Fulton NY Post Cards, there are other free historic newspaper websites, such as Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov). For more information on historical newspaper sites, see “Digital Historical Newspapers” at http://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Digital_Historical_Newspapers. In addition, your local library may allow you access to ProQuest historical newspapers (http://www.proquest.com/en-US/catalogs/databases/detail/nationalsnews.shtml).

I also subscribe to Genealogybank.com, a paid newspaper website. Ancestry.com, Americanancestors.org, Fold3.com and Findmypast.com have newspaper databases as well.  There are other paid newspaper websites such as Newspapers.com and Newspaperarchive.com, but I have not yet subscribed to those sites. It is only a matter of time before I check them out.




ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Early American Design Motifs, 2003.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) “Two Missing Youths,” Utica, New York Daily Union, July 9, 1897, digital image 271415, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 2 Nov 2013).

(2) Ibid.

(3) “Explosion at the Clinton Mines,” Utica, New York Weekly Herald, February 19, 1889, digital image 352785, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 2 Nov 2013).

(4) Ibid.

(5) “Briefly Told,” Rome, New York Roman Citizen, July 9, 1897, digital image1520350, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 2 Nov. 2013).

(6) Ibid.

(7) “In Neighboring Localities,” Watertown, New York Daily Times, July 9, 1897, digital image 493763, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 2 Nov 2013).

(8) Ibid.

(9) “Not Missing,” Utica, New York Daily Sentinel, [?] 1897, digital image 2400300, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 2 Nov 2013).

(10) Ibid.

(11) “Briefly Told,” Rome, New York Roman Citizen, July 13, 1897, digital image 1502174, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www.fultonhistory.com: accessed 2 Nov 2013).




Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

THE STEAMER TRUNK THAT RODE ON THE LUSITANIA

William B. Williams and his wife, Jane Owen, were my great grandparents.  I never met William or Jane, but my mother adored them.  They came from Wales in the 1880s and settled in Utica, New York, along with many other Welsh people.

I recently acquired from my brother the trunk that William had used during his travel to and from Wales. 



William’s initials are on the side of the trunk:


The trunk was manufactured by Henry Likly & Co., Rochester, New York.



After doing a little research, I learned that the company name “Henry Likely & Co.” was used from the late 1870s until 1925. (1)  Thus, it is possible that William and Jane bought this trunk soon after their arrival in New York in the 1880s.

What is fascinating about this trunk is the label on the top:


It says:

William B. Williams
New York
Lusitania
July 4, 1908

Fortunately for them, they rode the Lusitania before it was torpedoed and sunk in 1915. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Lusitania).  They travelled on this ocean liner just one year after its launch in 1907.

I then went to the Ellis Island website (http://www.ellisisland.org) and searched for arrivals on the Lusitania in 1908. I found an arrival on July 10, 1908 from Liverpool, England, and, sure enough, William and Jane Williams were on board. They were listed as married U.S. citizens with their last place of residence as Utica, New York. (2 and 3) According to the Ellis Island website, William was age 53 (2) and Jane was 4…  (3)  I am not sure why Jane’s exact age was not completed.

Since my great grandparents had lived in Utica for over twenty years in 1908, they apparently went back to Wales to visit. Liverpool is not far from Holyhead, Wales, where they were born. (A MapQuest search shows that the two cities are approximately two hours apart.) I wonder if there was a family event or if they just wanted to see the old country again. They had lost a son, Robert, to illness in 1906. Another son, William, was killed by a train in 1907.

I wonder if this was their first trip back to Wales after they arrived in this country in 1883. Who, if anyone, greeted them when they arrived in Wales?

Who was watching their three daughters in Utica (Jane, Winifred and Isabel), who weren’t quite old enough to stay alone?  Perhaps William’s mother, also named Jane, who was living in Utica at the time, kept an eye on the girls. Or perhaps one of William’s siblings who also lived in Utica.

There was another couple on the ship named Robert and Elizabeth Jones, who were also from Utica. (4 and 5) Did my great grandparents know them?

I have two "Holyhead, Wales" vases that have been in my family for years. I wonder if Jane and William bought these as souvenirs from their trip? There is no discernible manufacturer name on the vases, and I have not been able to find similar vases on the Internet that might give me an approximate date of their manufacture. 




So many questions…  




CITATION SOURCES:

(1) Aderman, Margaret, "Made in Rochester: Researching Local Businesses," Monroe County Library System, Rochester, New York, 2016 (http://www3.libraryweb.org/lh.aspx?id=945 : accessed 18 Jun 2016).

(2) “Passenger Record” database, Statute of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, (http://www.ellisislandrecords.org), accessed 25 Oct 2013, entry for William B. Williams, 53, arrived 10 July 1908 on the Lusitania.

(3) “Passenger Record” database, Statute of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, (http://www.ellisislandrecords.org), accessed 25 Oct 2013, entry for Jane Williams, 4…, arrived 10 July 1908 on the Lusitania.

(4) “Passenger Record” database, Statute of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, (http://www.ellisislandrecords.org), accessed 25 Oct 2013, entry for Elizabeth Jones, 46, arrived 10 July 1908 on the Lusitania.

(5) “Passenger Record” database, Statute of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, (http://www.ellisislandrecords.org), accessed 25 Oct 2013, entry for Robert W. Jones, 42, arrived 10 July 1908 on the Lusitania.