Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


 just discovered the website Family Deeds ( This is a free site that contains transcriptions of old deeds and documents from England.

Pat Johnson of Family Deeds, who wants to preserve and share the material she has found, states that the documents are costly and therefore need to be sold in order to finance the project. The documents are transcribed and posted on her website. She suggests that you search by surname (, but you can also search by county (

My Hall ancestors lived in Lincolnshire, England, so I searched for Hall and then, within those results, for Halls who lived in Lincolnshire. I found a Conveyance dated 6 April 1876 from Heckington, Lincolnshire, the village where my Hall family lived. The conveyance pertains to a public house called the Royal Oak. (1) Other names in the document include Robert Taylor. (2)  I also have a Taylor line from Heckington, who coincidentally owned a public house early in the 1800s. 

I then tried the location search and under Lincolnshire I found a Conveyance dated 14 December 1839 in Helpringham. (3) Here I found a John Leak named as the owner of adjoining property. (4) This unusual surname rang a bell, so I looked at my family tree and saw that a John Leak was the husband of my 2nd great grand aunt, Elisabeth Taylor. According to the 1861 England Census, John Leak of Helpringham (and husband of Elizabeth) was born in 1801. (5) That would make him the right age to own property in 1839.

Here is the page if you wish to order a document: The Family Deeds website also has the following page of useful links:

If you have ancestors from England, you should check out this very nicely presented website.  As with any derivative document, you must not rely on it exclusively.


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

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


(1) “Heckington, Lincolnshire, Conveyance Dated 6 April 1876,” Family Deeds, 2004 - 2013 Patricia Johnson ( : accessed 24 Feb 2014).

(2) Ibid.

(3) “Helpringham, Lincolnshire Conveyance dated 14 December 1839,” Family Deeds, 2004 - 2013 Patricia Johnson ( : accessed 24 Feb 2014).

(4) Ibid.

(5) 1861 England Census, Lincolnshire County, Helpringham Parish, population schedule, Class: RG 9; Piece: 2346; Folio: 19; Page: 31; GSU roll: 542957, John Leak; digital image, ( : accessed 25 Feb 2014), citing Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1861. Data imaged from The National Archives, London, England.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014


y mother’s scrapbooks call to me occasionally and, sure enough, they beckoned me again yesterday. In one of them I found a series of telegrams that my mother had written to her mother in 1944. They tell an exciting story of love during World War II.

The first one was sent from Memphis, Tennessee and is date stamped “1944 JAN 5 PM 12 04.” It is addressed to “MRS J W CUTLER = 8 CROMWELL PL UTICA NY.”  Mrs. J W Cutler was Jennie Williams Cutler, my grandmother. The telegram reads: “TRAINS ALL LATE WILL WIRE WHEN REACH CLARKSDALE EVERYTHING FINE LOVE=JANE.”

Jane was my mother, and she was on the move. You can feel her excitement and her frustration about the delayed train in her brief words. You can also see that she cares about her mother and doesn't want her to worry. This telegram gives me the address of my grandmother in January of 1944, good information. 

This is the second telegram I found:

This one was sent from Clarksdale, Mississippi, and is date stamped “JAN 6 PM 6 00.” It is addressed to my grandmother again and reads:


Stewart was my father and, like many men, he was in the service during World War II. Due to wartime and the nature of the military, he was moved around the world at a moment’s notice. In order for my mother to see him, haste was necessary.  I am sure that my grandmother was sad that she was not present at the wedding of her only child.

Here is a link that contains a photograph and information about the historic Alcazar Hotel:

This is the next telegram I discovered:

It was sent from Clarksdale, Mississippi and was date stamped “1944 JAN 8 PM 6 43.” Again, it was addressed to “MRS J W CUTLER.” It states:


So, according to this telegram, my parents were married at 3:00 on January 8, 1944, in an Episcopal Church in Clarksdale, Mississippi.”  This telegram is direct evidence of my parent’s marriage—it is explicitly stated.

I confirmed that January 8, 1944 was a Saturday by checking the website  Notice the way my mother signed the telegram:  Lt. and Mrs. Taylor. It was obvious that she liked being married to an officer. 

I decided to check my parent’s Marriage License to compare the information from the telegram.

Sure enough, Lt. Stewart V. Taylor and Miss Jane W. Cutler were married on the 8th day of January, 1944, at St. George’s Church in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Again, I used the Internet, to satisfy my curiosity about the church, and the following link shows a picture of the beautiful St. George's Episcopal Church:

And here is a photograph of my parents:

While the Marriage License has details about the marriage, the telegrams have the time of the ceremony (3 p.m.) as well as an account of the events prior to the wedding. In addition, the telegrams tell me that my parents were staying at the Alcazar Hotel. The more evidence we can find about our family, the more we can build a correct and real picture of their lives.

Apparently, you still can send a telegram. See:

If you’d like to read more about the history of telegrams, I found the following links to be of interest:


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

Friday, February 14, 2014


I found this Valentine's Day card in one of my mother's scrapbooks. You would not see this kind of greeting card today because hardly anyone uses a typewriter anymore. This Valentine's Day message was sent by Earl Hamlin and his wife, Isabel Williams Hamlin, my grand aunt, to my mother.  It was really perfect for my mom because she worked in an office all her life and resembled the woman in the picture--well dressed and pretty. Unfortunately, there was no envelope with the card so I don't know the date that it was sent. Isabel died in March of 1966, so it must have been before then.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Yesterday I added another monitor to my desktop. Now I can search for records and have a view of my family tree nearby. No more flipping back and forth between my tree and a record. It is most helpful.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Yesterday I took a bus to the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana ( along with many other members of the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research (  I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a while and prepared by making a list of items I wanted to research using their online catalog (

Genealogy Center
Allen County Public Library
Fort Wayne, Indiana

If you have a chance to visit the Genealogy Center at this magnificent library, here are ten things you might want to check out:

1. Free Book Lists. Soon after you enter the Genealogy Center, you will see carousels filled with free handouts that contain lists of books on numerous topics. Here are some of the ones that interested me:
  • Arkansas
  • British, English & Welsh
  • Connecticut
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Military
  • New York,
  • Next Steps & Discoveries
  • Ohio
  • Ontario
  • Passenger List
  • Quaker
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Scottish
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
These lists contain the call numbers where you can locate the books in the library. However, you can search for these titles online or at other repositories after you leave the Allen County Library.  The lists give you the names of hundreds of books available of interest to those enticed by genealogy. For example, on the “British, English & Welsh” list, I found books titled Marriage Law for Genealogists, Simple Latin for Family Historians and Dictionary of English Place Names. These would be good reference books to purchase for my home library.

Allen County Public Library
Fort Wayne, Indiana
2.  Microforms. A second source to explore at the library is their microform holdings. You can use the online search box for this also; simply narrow your results by clicking “Microfilm and Microfiche.”  You can also browse through their collection by walking around the well-labeled cabinets.  I found the drawer for New York and noticed that they had a number of spools for Chenango and Oneida Counties, New York. I will explore those on my next trip.

3. Surname Books. I love surname books and always check to see if they have added new ones for my family names.  Yesterday I reviewed:
  • Descendants of Thomas Dewey by Edna Dewey Fink
  • Josiah Dewey: Son of Thomas Dewey, the Settler compiled by P.D. Leger
  • Horner Patriots of Pennsylvania by Jack Horner Bell
  • Our Horner Ancestors by Virginia Horner Hinds
  • The Leonard Family by the American Genealogical Research Institute
  • The History of the Bowles Family compiled and published by Thomas M. Farouhar
  • The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island compiled by Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.

4.  Location Books. You can learn about multiple ancestors by reviewing books that discuss a particular town, city or county. Yesterday I gained new knowledge about my Scripture, Turner, Kimbrough, Graves, Boyden and Spaulding families by exploring the following publications:
  • The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, 1985 by the Caswell County Historical Association
  • Caswell County, North Carolina: Land Grants, Tax Lists, State Census, Apprentice Bonds, Estate Records compiled by Katharine Kerr Kendall
  • Early Church Records of Groton, Massachusetts: 1706-1830 from the Church Books and the Middlesex County Records
  • Groton During the Indian Wars by Samuel A. Green, M.D.
  • Epitaphs from the Old Burying Ground in Groton, Massachusetts by Samuel A. Green, M.D.
  • Ypsilanti Archives by Laura Bien
  • Ypsilanti: A History in Pictures by James Thomas Mann
  • A History of Ypsilanti: 150 Years by Thomas N. Tobias, Jr., Mary Wallace Baker and Barbara A. Fairfield
  • The Story of Ypsilanti by Harvey C. Colburn
  • Vital Records of Heath, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 by the New England Historic Genealogical Society
5. Cindy's DinerDon’t forget to eat. Research requires that you fuel your body and hydrate your brain cells. My husband and I skipped the Dunkin’ Donuts inside the library and ventured out. We were on our way to Jimmy John’s for subs, when we came upon the most adorable little restaurant called Cindy’s Diner (

Cindy's Diner
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Inside we grabbed two available seats at the 15-seat counter. I looked around and was transported to the 1960s. A mini jukebox was on the counter before me so, of course, I had to test it out.  We were scrambling for change, when a friendly lady sitting near us gave us a quarter.  I chose “My Boyfriend’s Back.”  I was musing about whether or not to choose a burger, when the lady said they were the best in town. I ordered one and she was right! The service was fast and friendly. We talked to the lady and her husband, who were both retired Fort Wayne residents. They were sharing a piece of fresh, warm rhubarb pie. We learned about other great restaurants that were nearby, which I will check out the next time I visit.  She said that the diner would be moving in a few months but that it will still be near the library. Here is an article about that move:
The meal was very affordable and the atmosphere was relaxed. By all means, check out Cindy’s Diner when you visit the Allen County Public Library.

6.  Periodicals. Publications by local historical and genealogical societies can contain fascinating information about your ancestors’ lives. You can find them in the online catalog under “Magazines and Newspapers.” You can also walk along the east wall of the library and browse through the current and unbound periodicals. These are the ones I looked at yesterday.

“Branches & Twigs” by the Genealogical Society of Vermont
“Tree Talks” published by the Central New York Genealogical Society
“The Perry County Quarterly” by the Perry County Historical Society in Tennessee

7. Genealogical Guidebooks. It is always a good idea to have a general knowledge of an area before attempting research.  I have been helping a friend explore his Italian heritage, so yesterday I was pleased to find the following books:
  • Italian Family Research by J. Konrad
  • Finding Italian Roots by John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.

8.  Computers. The library has plenty of computers with free online databases, such as:
  • Allen County and Ft. Wayne records
  • Government documents
  • Obituaries
I did not have a chance to go online at the library, so I will earmark that as a project for my next visit.

9. City Directories. There are numerous city directories that can help you locate people between census periods. Census directories are filled with valuable information about businesses, churches, fraternal organizations and more. See one of my earlier posts about discoveries I made using city directories from Utica, New York (

10. Maps.  Visualizing a location as it existed in your ancestor’s day is critical to finding records. The library has hundreds of maps. Here are just a few:
  • Ordnance Survey Maps of Ireland
  • Library of Congress Land Ownership Maps
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
  • Maps of Canada
  • Maps of Gettysburg and the Civil War
  • Maps of the Oregon Trail
  • Family Maps for many locations throughout the U.S.

There is so much more… Aren’t libraries wonderful? With all the crime and banal activities out there, we are very fortunate to have access to quiet havens filled with history. Libraries are peaceful, good places to spend a day.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sunday, February 2, 2014


enealogyInTime Magazine ( has two powerful and free genealogical search engines: 

  1.  Genealogy Search Engine 

      This searches ancestral records.

           2.  Family Tree Search Engine 

      This engine searches online family trees and forums.

Although these engines are powered by Google, they weed out the miscellaneous hits of a regular Google search and hone in on the genealogical information we are seeking.


I searched the Genealogy Search Engine on GenealogyInTime (( for “Eleazer Scripture,” my 5th great grandfather (1742-1815), and received 23 hits. When I searched in for “Eleazer Scripture” I got 351 results.  In addition, to my 5th great grandfather Eleazer, I believe there were at least two other men named Eleazer Scripture. Because Scripture is a relatively rare surname, most, if not all, of these Scripture folks are related to me in some way.

These are a few of the discoveries I made:


Find A Grave ( First, I found the record of Eleazer, my 5th great grandfather. I also found a number of  records that have Eleazer as a first name and Scripture as a middle name. In addition, some records mention Eleazer as a relative of the departed. If I had done a search on, I would not have discovered these relatives because their last names were not Scripture. Findagrave requires that you enter at least two characters in the surname field. These are some of the people I unearthed:

Irene Scripture Fisk was the daughter of Eleazer Scripture. (1)

June S. Hinckley Pepin, featured on one of the most lengthy FindAGrave entries I have ever seen, was the great-great-great granddaughter of Eleazer Scripture. (2) Because this entry was so detailed, I was able to sleuth out an enormous amount of information on my Hinckley ancestors, many of whom are buried in Ypsilanti, Michigan, not far from my home. A field trip will be scheduled when the weather gets warm. 

Eleazer Scripture Barney. (3) I don’t know how this person is related to me, so more research is needed.


USGenWeb   ( – There were a number of hits from USGenWeb that contained cemetery records and census records about possible ancestors. For example:

According to the 1850 Federal Census records in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, there was an Eleazer Scripture, age 62, living in the Town of Pewaukee. He was born in Connecticut.(4) This Eleazer is my 1st cousin 6x removed. 

A man by the name of Eleazer Scripture (1786-1863) is buried at Boscobel Cemetery in Grant County, Wisconsin. (5)  This could possibly be the same cousin listed above, but more research is necessary.


Next, I searched for Eleazer on the Family Tree Search Engine (, and received 64 hits. Here are my discoveries:

3. – A variety of trees containing the names of the immediate family members of Eleazer. There is no citation information for the tree data, so you have to take it with a grain of salt. It can give you possible clues, however. You can also contact the tree manager if you want more information on where they found their information.

4. - FamilyTreeMaker

"Ancestors of Mary Elizabeth Stevens" – Fabulous 49-page generational report containing many Scripture references. Unfortunately, there are no citations, but the information is quite detailed and will certainly lead to further research. (6)

"Descendants of Tobias Saunders" – This website states that Susan Saunders of Hopkinton, Rhode Island, married Eleazer Scripture. (7)  This Eleazer is not my 5th great grandfather.

5. - Rootsweb

The parents of Martha Harmon Scripture were Susan and Eleazer Scripture. (8)

On “WELLS-L Archives” I found information an Eleazer as well as several other Scripture family members. (9)

Using the GenealogyInTime search engines helped me to focus quickly on websites that deal specifically with the genealogy of the Scripture family and in particular Eleazer. When time is precious, this is a very good thing.  Give it a try!


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

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

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


(1) Meces, contributor, “Irene Scripture Fisk,” memorial 43522498, Find A Grave ( : accessed 1 Feb 2014).

(2) Skye, contributor, "June S. Hinckley Pepin," memorial 94126929, Find A Grave ( : accessed 1 Feb 2014). 

(3) B. Coberley, contributor, "Eleazer Scripture Barney," memorial 87423769, Find A Grave ( : accessed 1 Feb 2014). 

(4) Waukesha County, Wisconsin USGenWeb Site, 1850 Federal Census, Index, Page 7 of 26, Abstracted by Regan Kanaley from public records.  Edited and formatted by Maggie Stewart, 11 August 2005.  Submitted by Regan Kanaley, 01 August 2005 ( : accessed 1 Feb 2014).

(5) Grant County Wisconsin USGenWeb Site, Boscobel Cemetery, record updated September 2000 ( : accessed 1 Feb 2014).

(6) Ancestors of Mary Elizabeth Stevens by Dennis L. Hoffman, ( : accessed 1 Feb 2014).

(7) Descendants of Tobias Saunders,, 2009 ( l: accessed February 1, 2014).

(8) Martha ‘Harmon’ Scripture entry in Godfrey Shew (Circa 1734 - 1805), Northern New York State Pioneer, & His Descendants, Compiler: Pete Shew, Stockport, Ohio, Site updated  5 Oct 2012 ( ; accessed 1 Feb 2014)

(9) "Descendants of Joshua Wells (Wyllys)," WELLS-L Archives, posted 27 May 1997,, 2014 ( : accessed 1 Feb 2014).