Thursday, February 28, 2013

TRIMMING THE TREE




Sometimes you have to downsize to clear your vision. My family tree has over 5,000 entries and, with all the Elizabeths, Marys, Johns and Williams, I was starting to get confused. My Family Tree Maker 2012 was also getting cranky. I “compacted” it. I linked and unlinked it. I spent quite a few minutes talking to various Ancestry.com representatives.  So I decided to make a new tree with direct ancestors only—no cousins, no uncles, no aunts…  Life is better now. I can focus just on the main folks.

I haven’t forgotten my 5,000+ tree, but instead have put it aside for awhile.  I will return to the collateral people after my break.

Is your tree getting out of control? Try a little spring cleaning.



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

DECIPHERING WELSH WITH GOOGLE TRANSLATE


ne of the treasures in my mother’s many scrapbooks is a newspaper article from a Welsh newspaper.


(1)

Unfortunately, there is no notation as to the name and date of this publication.  In addition, the article is fading with time so parts of it are barely legible.

Despite these problems, I believe the article holds many clues to breaking through the brickwall I have with my Owen line of Welsh ancestors.  Supposedly, my great grandmother, JANE OWEN, and her sister, WINIFRED OWEN, my great grand aunt, were orphaned when they were young girls in Wales. There were other children also. Their parents were ROBERT OWEN and JANE LEWIS. Due to the Welsh practice of using only a handful of names repeatedly, this family has been especially challenging. I do know that WINIFRED OWEN (1858-1915) eventually settled in Mineral Ridge, Trumbull, Ohio. She also married John T. Williams, although I don’t know when or where. For more information on Winifred, see my previous post at http://www.theartofgenealogy.com/2012/12/christmas-babywinifred-owen.html.


Since I don’t know Welsh, except for the obvious proper names, the article is pretty much “Greek” to me. Using Google Translate (http://translate.google.com), I attempted to decipher the article. Google Translate is easy to use. You simply choose the language you wish to translate (using the drop down menu on the left side of the screen) and then choose the desired language (in this case, English). You then type in the baffling text and Google translates it.  It’s not perfect, but it can help you understand the gist of a document.  However, according to FamilySearch’s Wales Language and Languages Wiki article, “Do not, however, rely on a translation of a record made by using a dictionary. Get help from someone who knows the language.”(2)

For now, I will show you some of the results I got from Google Translate.  I believe you can upload your document and then have Google translate it or you can simply type in the text. I chose to just type in the text. There is a limit to the maximum number of characters you can input at one time. There are additional capabilities and tools for Google Translate. For more information see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Translate and http://translate.google.com/about.  According to Google, “Since the translations are generated by machines, not all translation will be perfect.” (3) Here are some examples of how Google translated my article:

(4)

My guess:  Winifred’s parents died when she was 14. Perhaps she lived with or was assisted by an uncle after her parents’ death.  After Winifred began living on Mineral Ridge, her uncle adopted a child for them. This is baffling—I know nothing about an adoption.  Winifred and her husband had a daughter named LEAH WILLIAMS, my 1st cousin, 2 X removed, but, according to several U.S. Censuses, she was born in Ohio in the 1880s. Is it possible that Leah was adopted, or was there another child?  If Winifred’s parents died when she was  14, that would have been around 1872. This possible death date for Winifred’s parents could help me learn more about them.  Did they die together in an accident or did they each die of separate causes that year? Who was the uncle who helped Winifred? That means at least one of her parents had a brother.

(5)
My interpretation of this passage is that Winifred arrived at Mineral Ridge, Ohio, when she was young so she was strangers with her family in the old country of Wales.  
  
It is obvious that I need more help to get the true meaning of this article. In order to obtain further clarification, I could use one of the following methods:
  1. Find a person fluent in Welsh who could translate the document for me out of the goodness of her heart.
  2. Learn Welsh by listening to the Learn Welsh Podcast at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/learn-welsh-podcast/id274989284.
  3. Take an online course in Welsh such as one given by the Madog Center for Welsh Studies at the University of Rio Grande (http://faculty.rio.edu/tjilg/classnotes.htm).
  4. Hire someone to translate the article for me.
  5. Contact a Wales historical society and see if they can help.
I will keep you posted when I get a full translation.

One final note: because my mother’s scrapbooks are feeling the effects of time, I have photographed and/or scanned all the contents.  If you have old scrapbooks, I suggest that you take action right away to preserve their valuable content.



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

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

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Women Illustrations, 2004.

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

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) "Y Ddiweddar Mrs. Winifred Owen Williams," undated newspaper article from unknown source in scrapbook of Jane Williams Cutler Taylor, now in the possession of Karin Hadden.

(2) “Wales Language and Languages,” FamilySearch Research Wiki, Last modified 2 December 2012 (https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Wales_Language_and_Languages: accessed February 24, 2013).

(3) “Find out How our Translations are Created,” Google Translate, (http://translate.google.com/about: accessed February 24, 2013).

(4) Google Translate Welsh to English (http://translate.google.com/#cy/en: accessed February 24, 2013).

(5) Ibid, Google Translate.









Thursday, February 21, 2013

AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY


I discovered a wonderful online exhibition entitled “A Woman’s Work Is Never Done” on the American Antiquarian Society website. (http://www.americanantiquarian.org/Exhibitions/Womanswork) Here you will find a history of women’s occupations in the United States, complete with pictures. The jobs are grouped into seven categories: Domestic Work, Women as Merchants, Women and War, Teaching and Education, Performers and Artists, and Miscellaneous Occupations. (1) For fun, I decided to look at my female ancestors and see in what categories, if any, they belonged.

DOMESTIC WORK

The American Antiquarian Society (“AAS”) describes domestic work as activities around the home, such as wood chopping, butter churning, gardening, weaving, cooking, washing and ironing clothes, feeding pigs, sewing and knitting. (2)

My grandmother, MARTHA BRASHEAR TAYLOR RANKE, lived on a farm, so I’m sure she did her share of domestic work. I know she was a wonderful cook and excellent seamstress.  Here is a Sock Monkey that she made for me when I was young.



WOMEN AS MERCHANTS

This category is described by the AAS as women who took in boarders, ran inns, worked in dress shops, etc.  (3) My Aunt Wynn (WINIFRED WILLIAMS BOYSER) worked as a saleslady in a department store in Utica, New York.  My grandmother, JENNY WILLIAMS CUTLER, worked in a toy store as a saleslady.  My Aunt Betty (ELIZABETH TAYLOR WRATTEN) had an antique shop in her home.

Jenny Williams Cutler


WOMEN AND WAR

This group would be comprised of women who did whatever they could to help during wars, serving as nurses, writing letters to injured soldiers and, in some cases, even disguising themselves as men so they could serve. (4)

My mother, JANE WILLIAMS CUTLER TAYLOR worked as a nurse’s aide at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Utica during World War II.

Jane Williams Cutler Taylor


TEACHING AND EDUCATION

This category is fairly self-explanatory. Prudence Crandall, my half 5th cousin 5 X removed, was a school teacher. See my post (http://www.theartofgenealogy.com/2013/01/prudence-crandall.html).  My mother was a Sunday School teacher.  My Aunt Betty (ELIZABETH TAYLOR WRATTEN) taught swimming for the 4-H Club and taught the deaf.



FACTORY WORKERS

This category involves mill and factory work. (5) Several of my ancestors were from Oneida County, New York, known for its many textile mills (http://www.oneidacountyhistory.org/Industry/TextileIndustry.asp).  My grandmother, JENNY WILLIAMS CUTLER, worked at Waterville Textile Mills, Inc. However, she worked in the office so I don’t know if this really counts as a textile job.  Here is the company letterhead on which she wrote a letter; it is one of the many gems in my scrapbook collection.




PERFORMERS AND ARTISTS

The AAS lists some of the activities of this group as circus performers, actresses, lithographers, map colorers and Valentine makers. (6) Well, I am sorry to say that I have not found any circus workers or actresses in my family tree.  My mother, JANE WILLIAMS CUTLER TAYLOR, was employed by the radio station WRUN in New Hartford, New York in 1949. She worked mostly in the office, but she had an occasional part on the radio as a character named “Stocking Scratcher.” The following is a note my mother wrote in 1949 on WRUN letterhead, in which she states when she worked there--how considerate of her to make a note like that and put it in her scrapbook! Don't you wish all your ancestors left records like that?




I also have a number of artists in my family including my Aunt Betty (mentioned above), my Aunt Paulina (PAULINA TAYLOR JEFFREYS) and my mother.

MISCELLANEOUS OCCUPATIONS

The AAS gives examples of miscellaneous occupations such as postmistress, fruit and flower sellers, reporters, speakers and authors. (7)

My grandmother, MARTHA BRASHEAR TAYLOR RANKE, worked as a house mother at a university in New York; she was also a Census enumerator. My Aunt Paulina (PAULINA TAYLOR JEFFREYS) worked as a dental hygenist.


I really enjoyed thinking about the many occupations of the women in my tree. 

Thank you, American Antiquarian Society, for “A Woman’s Work is Never Done.”



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Women Illustrations, 2004.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) “A Woman’s Work is Never Done,” American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, Massachusetts, last updated November 4, 2004

(2) Ibid., "Domestic Work," http://www.americanantiquarian.org/Exhibitions/Womanswork/domestic.htm: accessed February 21, 2013.

(3) Ibid., "Women as Merchants,http://www.americanantiquarian.org/Exhibitions/Womanswork/merchants.htm: accessed February 21, 2013.

(4) Ibid., "Women and War," 

(5) Ibid, "Factory Workers," 

(6) Ibid, "Performers and Artists," http://www.americanantiquarian.org/Exhibitions/Womanswork/artists.htm: accessed February 21, 2013.

(7) Ibid, "Miscellaneous Occupations," http://www.americanantiquarian.org/Exhibitions/Womanswork/miscellaneous.htm: accessed February 21, 2013.














Saturday, February 16, 2013

PICTURES WILL LIGHT UP THEIR WORLD: GUILFORD, VERMONT


he role of family historian is not to just be a collector of dates but rather to paint a picture of your ancestor and their world.  Ask yourself these questions:
  • What did your ancestor look like?
  • Did they live in a town, city or on a farm in the country?
  • What religious structure did they frequent?
  • Where did they go to school?
  • What businesses were in their community?
  • What was the terrain like? Were there hills, rivers and lakes or was the land flat and arid?
  • Where are they buried?


After you have scoured your home for pictures and those of your living relatives, try investigating the following resources:

eBay.com – Here you will find all sorts of items about your ancestor’s world.  I have found postcards showing churches, businesses, street scenes, schools and monuments. I have discovered maps, cookbooks, letters, deeds and high school yearbooks.  I like to buy postcards of ancestral towns and put them in my surname binders along with Census records, birth records and all the other evidence I collect to support someone’s existence.

Here is a picture I found on eBay of Christ Church in Guilford, Vermont, where some of my ancestors lived:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Christ-Church-Guilford-VT-RPPC-1910-Real-Photo-Postcard-/200836776232?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ec2ce0128.  I then Googled Christ Church, Guilford and learned that it was built in 1817 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_Church_(Guilford,_Vermont).  It is possible that one of my ancestors attended this church.  Upon further Googling, I found a page with the exact location of this church as well as a list of people with the surname Barber buried at Christ Church (http://genealogy.jlthayer.net/getperson.php?personID=I56&tree=hhtt1).  Sure enough, John Barber, my 2nd cousin 5X removed is buried there. (1)

I then went to Cemetery Search at Find A Grave (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cs&) and looked up Christ Church Cemetery in Guilford, Windham, Vermont.  I learned that there are 306 people buried in this cemetery. Included on the list are more Barbers as well as several of my Boyden ancestors. On Find A Grave, I found pictures of the gravestones of my ancestors. Here is the gravestone of William Boyden, my 1st cousin 5 X removed http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSsr=1&GScid=641563&GRid=91870861&CScn=Christ+Church&CScntry=4&CSst=49&CScnty=2951&.

I then headed to Google Images (https://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi) and searched for Guilford Vermont.  I found scenic country roads, covered bridges, more churches, the Guilford Free Library, a dilapidated barn and maps. Some of these images came from Flickr (www.flickr.com), another great website to find pictures.

I then added the word “Boyden” to my “Guilford, Vermont” search. This time I found a picture of Kate and Thomas Lynde. (http://www.guilfordschool.org/about/history/people/Kate_Thomas_Lynde.php) Thomas served in the Revolutionary War in Captain Josiah Boyden’s company in 1777. The Lynde family eventually owned the Hollis Boyden farm. Hollis Boyden was my 1st cousin 5 X removed. (2)



It’s always worth it to check Wikipedia. Here’s a picture of a Guilford, Vermont covered bridge: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Guilford_vermont_covered_bridge_20040820.jpg

Guilford even has its own Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GuilfordVT).

I typed Guilford, Vermont into Google Earth (http://www.google.com/earth/index.html) and saw a one room schoolhouse, the Green River Timber Dam, a Guilford country store and war relics at Guilford’s Welcome Center.

And, of course, there are always books. I own a copy of the Official History of Guilford, Vermont: 1678-1961, edited by Broad Brook Grange No. 151, 1961. Although most of this book contains historical and genealogical information, there are also pictures such as a brick school house built in 1800, a Guilford Cannon from 1784, The Broad Brook House (1875) and a plan by a surveyor of the lots of some of the earliest settlers. Lot 12 (Boyden) was right next to Lot 11 (John Barber). (3)  If you go to Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com or any other book seller websites, you’ll probably find books about the homelands of your ancestors too. In addition, magazines can be a wonderful source of pictures.

In summary, there are numerous ways to discover pictures of your ancestors’ environments. In addition to your personal collection, try:


Now, check out these pictures of Guilford, Vermont, and tell me if you don’t want to visit Guilford this fall:





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.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Trees & Leaves, 2004.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, American Historical Illustrations and Emblems, 2001.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1565 Spot Illustrations and Motifs, 2007.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) Our Family History: a genealogy of the Heath, Palmer, Thayer, Goodnow and Allied Families by Darrin Lythgoe, 2001-2013 (http://genealogy.jlthayer.net/getperson.php?personID=I56&tree=hhtt1: accessed February 16, 2013).

(2) Guilford, Vermont, Maintained by the Students of Guilford Central School, Guilford, Vermont, 2012 (http://www.guilfordschool.org/about/history/people/Kate_Thomas_Lynde.php: accessed February 16, 2013).


(3) Official History of Guilford, Vermont: 1678-1961. Brattleboro, Vermont: Town of Guilford and Broad Brook Grange No. 151, 1961, page between pages 86 and 87, page between pagess 118 and 119 and insert between pages 374 and 375.



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

MISSING BOSTON: LOUISA MAY ALCOTT


just finished listening to the audio book version of the novel Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother by Eve LaPlante (http://www.amazon.com/Marmee-Louisa-Untold-Alcott-Mother/dp/1451620667). This book gives a touching account of the life of Louisa May Alcott and, in particular, her relationship with her beloved mother, Abigail May Alcott. This is a wonderful book for women as it speaks frequently of women’s rights. Writers too will love reading about Louisa’s writing process and publishing decisions. And the book is loaded with references to important figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. There is mention of the Salem witch trials, Louisa’s role during the Civil War and her travels to Europe.  I won’t spoil it; it is worth your time.



Louisa lived most of her life in the Boston area and, at the end of the book, the author speaks of the many places throughout the Boston area where Louisa lived and worked.  She is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=alcott&GSfn=louisa&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=14&df=all&).
Reading this book made me homesick for Boston, where I attended Boston University many years ago. 

After college I worked on Tremont Street near Boston Common (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Common), the Massachusetts State House (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_State_House), the Granary Burying Ground (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granary_Burying_Ground), King’s Chapel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_State_House), Beacon Hill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beacon_Hill,_Boston) and more.  I was too busy living my life at the time to appreciate the wonders of the history of Boston.  At the time, I was more interested in Filene’s Basement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filene's_Basement).

Don’t get me wrong, living is Michigan is fine, but there’s something about Boston that makes me go weak at the knees…



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Victorian Decorative Letters, 1999.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Full-Color Men and Women Illustrations, 2001.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Trees & Leaves, 2004.

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

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

Artwork by
Jane Williams Cutler Taylor
1923-2005

Sunday, February 10, 2013

ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY: THE STEWART/MCFARLAND DILEMMA

Allen County Public Library
Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit again the genealogy section of the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana (http://www.genealogycenter.org/Home.aspx). I have described this library’s fantastic resources in one of my prior posts (http://www.theartofgenealogy.com/2012/09/allen-county-public-library.html).

This time I remembered to input my contact information and the surnames I am researching into the computer they have designated for that purpose. You can search this database (http://www.genealogycenter.info/search_gensurnames.php) and discover 
other persons who are researching the same surnames as you. Now, I can hope that I will be contacted by others searching my surnames.

Another perk you will find at this library is a carousel of free handouts on their holdings for different states and topics.  I chose Connecticut, Massachusetts and Irish & Scot-Irish.  These lists are handy not only for your time at the library but also as future reference. Some of the books listed are available for free on the Internet at Google Books, Archive.org, etc., and, of course, you can always purchase a book at Amazon.com, ebay.com and other sites.

I had a plan. The surnames I tackled yesterday were my Stewart/McFarland family in Canada, my Marsh line in Massachusetts and my Scripture line from Connecticut. Today I will discuss my Stewart/McFarland research; I can chat about the other lines in future posts. 

Globe in Lobby of
Allen County Public Library
Ft. Wayne, Indiana

STEWART/MCFARLAND

Michael Stewart (b. circa 1821, d. 1907) and Jane McFarland (b. circa 1829, d. 1902) are my second great grandparents. A knowledgeable cousin informed me that they came from Newtownstewart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newtownstewart) in Northern Ireland and landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the mid-1850s. Supposedly, they then traveled from Philadelphia to Ontario, Canada, where they settled in Simcoe County. I believe they may have lived in the United States for a few years because the 1861 Census of Canada indicates that their oldest daughter, Jane, was born in the U.S. in 1853  (1) This same Census page indicates that Jane and Michael were married in 1859. I am dying to know the parents of Michael and Jane, but many records were destroyed in Northern Ireland so this has been one of my brickwalls.

One of the books I examined at Ft. Wayne was An Alphabetical Index to Ulster Emigration to Philadelphia 1803-1850 by Raymond D. Adams.  I reviewed the entries for both McFarland and Stewart.  In 1850, a John McFarland arrived with a family, one of whom was named Jane. They were from Tyrone, which is where Newtownstewart is located. The index does not list Jane’s age but the children appear to be in age order. Jane is listed above her sister Eliza, age 11.  (2)  If the 1861 Census of Canada is correct and Jane was born in 1829 then Jane would have been 21 in 1850. We all know Census records are often incorrect.  This Jane in the John McFarland family is a possibility.  

Then I looked for Michael Stewart on the emigration list. No Michaels. Perhaps Michael came to this country after 1850 or perhaps the index missed him.  I now intend to research other sources of passengers from Ulster, such as the Irish Passenger Lists Research Guide (http://www.genealogybranches.com/irishpassengerlists). Mr. Adams' book on emigration to Philadelphia states that the principal port of departure of the emigrants from Ulster was Londonderry (or Derry). Other ports to consider are: Belfast, County Antrim; Newry, County Down; and Ballyshannon, County Donegal. (3)



Another book I found at the Allen County Public Library was Ardstraw (Newtownstewart): Historical Survey of a Parish 1600-1900 by John H. Gebbie. This is a wonderful book, and I would not mind owning it.  It discusses the history of Newtownstewart for four centuries in meticulous detail.  There are portraits of 17th Century Stewarts  (1st Lord Mountjoy, 2nd Lord Mountjoy and James Stewart, son of 1st Lord Mountjoy) (4), maps, photographs of the town, names of townspeople and their occupations as well as a nice bibliography for future research.  The Stewart family was an integral part of this community, starting with Sir William Stewart. (5) However, I do not know how, or if, my Stewart family connects to them.  I do know that Newtownstewart is a small community. According to Wikipedia, the 2001 Census had a population of just 1,479 people in Newtownstewart. (6)

Those are the resources I was able to review at the Allen County Library on the Stewart family. I am sure there are many more, but I will save that for another trip. My Stewart/McFarland brick wall has not been broken, but I’ve learned about what I believe to be their homeland in Ireland and I have a possible lead on Jane’s McFarland family.

I have had the good fortune to have found a Canadian researcher who is from the area where my Stewart family lived in Canada (Innisfil, Simcoe County). He is giving me assistance out of the kindness of his heart and flatly refuses any money or gifts for his time. I am hoping to repay him by providing him with research assistance on New York and/or Michigan genealogical dilemmas.  So, everyone out there, if you are stuck in your genealogical research, do not hesitate to ask for help. There are many people who will help you. You just have to ask.

My next project is to contact libraries and historical societies near Newtownstewart. 



ILLUSTRATION BY:

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

SOURCE CITATIONS:

(1) 1861 Census of Canada, York, York, Canada West, Personal Census, Enumeration District [ED] 2, p. 3 (penned), p. 41 (stamped), person no. 25,  Jane Barber Stewart: digital images, Ancestry.com (http:www.ancestry.com: accessed February 10, 2013); from Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Roll C-1090.

(2) Adams, Raymond D., An Alphabetical Index to Ulster Emigration to Philadelphia 1803-1850, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 1992, p. 60.

(3) Ibid, p. vii.

(4) Gebbie, John H., Ardstraw (Newtownstewart): Historical Survey of a Parish 1600-1900, The Strule Press, Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, 1968, p. 33.

(5) Ibid, p. 75. 



(6) Wikipedia (http://wikipedia.com), “Newtownstewart,” rev. 8 June 2012.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

THE QUILT INDEX: Lester Cutler


t all started with my reading the excellent article entitled “25 Websites for Locating Your Female Ancestor” by Gena Philibert-Orega in Tracing Your Female Ancestors (http://www.familychronicle.com/Tracing_Female_contents.htm). Incidentally, Gena was one of my professors at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (http://www.genealogicalstudies.com).  In this article, Gena discusses The Quilt Index (www.quiltindex.org), a website about “vintage quilts and their makers." (1)  




On the home page of The Quilt Index, I entered the surname Cutler and got 13 results. On this list I saw the name Lester B. Cutler, the only man on the list.  His quilt, called Postage Stamp (with an Alternate name of "Steps to the Altar"), is located at the Michigan State University Museum. The quilt date is 1930-1949, and the owner of the quilt was Annajeanelle McInnis, Vassar, Tuscola, Michigan. (2) See:  http://www.quiltindex.org/fulldisplay.php?kid=1E-3D-CF5

I have a Lester Cutler in my tree who is my 1st cousin 3X removed; my Lester was from Michigan. Unfortunately, my Lester had an “M” for a middle initial, not a “B.” Out of curiosity, I did some research on him anyway.

I learned that Lester M. Cutler was a staff sergeant in the Army during World War II. His home on record was Van Buren County, Michigan. (3) Lester died in England on 21 April 44 during World War II (4) when his aircraft crashed during a practice mission. (5)  He is buried in England at the Cambridge American Cemetery, which contains 129 100th Bomb Group graves. (6) Lester is listed on the National Gold Star Family Registry (http://gsfr.gskalak.com/heroes/lester-m-cutler).




On Ancestry.com, I learned that Lester enlisted on 16 September 1942 in the Air Corps. He had four years of high school and was a skilled mechanic and repairman. He was single, without dependents, 65 " tall and weighed 161 lbs. (7)

So who is the Lester Cutler who made quilts??  

My next step is to contact the Great Lakes Quilt Center in East Lansing, Michigan (http://museum.msu.edu/glqc) to see if I can get more information on Lester B. Cutler’s background. It is possible that he too belongs in my tree.

The irony of this story is that, in trying to find female ancestors, I discovered more about a male ancestor. It is so easy to let serendipity take over when you are doing genealogical research!



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

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

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Women Illustrations, 2004.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Dover's Greatest Clips, 2010.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, East Meets West Art Deco Motifs, 2010.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) Philibert-Ortega, Gena, "25 Websites for Locating Your Female Ancestor," "Tracing Your Female Ancestors," Moorshead Magazines Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2013, p. 16.

(2) Cutler, Lester B.. Postage Stamp. 1930-1949. From Michigan State University Museum, Michigan Quilt Project. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/fulldisplay.php?kid=1E-3D-CF5: accessed: 02/6/2013.

(3) Lester M. Cutler - Vanburen, MI (Staff Sergenant) WWII, WarMemorial.US, page was last modified on 3 June 2011, http://warmemorial.us/mediawiki3/index.php?title=LESTER_M._CUTLER_-_Vanburen,_MI_(STAFF_SERGEANT)_WWII: accessed 02/06/2013, primary source The National Archives (http://www.archives.gov).

(4) 100th Bomb Group (Heavy), The Bloody Hundredth http://www.100thbg.com/mainmenus/cemeteries/cambridge_01.htm: accessed 02/06/2013.

(5) "2nd Lt. Myron D. Richmond," 100th Bomb Group Foundation, http://www.100thbg.com/mainpages/crews/crews3/richmond.htm: accessed 02/06/2013.

(6) Ibid, 100th Bomb Group (Heavy).

(7) "U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946,"
entry for Lester M Cutler," Digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 02/06/2013), Original data: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946; World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013

HISTORY AND GENEALOGY


few years ago I visited my local Family History Center for the first time.  I explained to the woman in charge that I was a student at the National Institute of Genealogical Studies (http://www.genealogicalstudies.com).  She took me under her wing and proceeded to teach me about genealogy.  The first thing she said I needed to know is HISTORY, HISTORY, HISTORY…. She is right, of course. Our ancestors’ lives were shaped by the events around  them—the wars, the advent of new transportation, epidemics, natural disasters and more.

I have taken her advice and have been trying to brush up on history ever since.  The History Channel (http://www.history.com) has some wonderful shows including the Hatfields & McCoys, Mankind, How the States Got Their Shapes and The Men Who Built America. PBS (http://www.pbs.org) has fascinating television shows such as The Dust Bowl and The Abolitionists.

When I visit my local Barnes & Noble, I always check out the history magazines including History Magazine (http://www.history-magazine.com) and BBC History Magazine (http://www.historyextra.com).

And then there are books, endless books. My local library had a used book sale last week and some of the treasures I brought home were:
  • Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation by Peter L. Bernstein



  • The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough


  • Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball


  • Surviving the Confederacy: Rebellion, Ruin, and Recovery--Roger and Sara Pryor During the Civil War by John C. Waugh




  • Jefferson's Children: The Story of One American Family by Shannon Lanier


  • The Plantation Mistress: Woman's World in the Old South by Catherine Clinton



  • Black Southerners, 1619-1869 (New Perspectives on the South) by John B. Boles


  • Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick


  • Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier by Joanna Stratton


  • The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry




Now, if I only had time to read all these books.


ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1989.

Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Old-Fashioned Nautical Illustrations, 2002.

Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Civil War Illustrations, 2003.

Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Old-Fashioned Silhouettes, 2001.

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