Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ancestors in Canada 150 Years Ago

(This is part of the Canada's 150th Genealogy Challenge)

3rd great-grandfather, Charles Stewart Wood:  Charles was living in Ontario, likely in the South Dumfries, Brant County area.  He was was 24 and likely working as a farm laborer on 1 July, 1867.  He came to Ontario with his family (see Jane below) from County Cavan, Ireland around 1854.  Charles left Canada for Michigan a few years after 1867, but returned (to British Columbia) and spent the last years of his life there, dying in 1918.

3rd great-grandmother, Didame "Damie" Beam Wood:  Damie was living in East Zorra, Oxford, Ontario, in 1867 and was 14 at the time.  A native Ontarian, she later moved to Michigan with husband Charles (above), where she died in 1895.

4th great-grandfather, Josiah Beam:  Josiah was born in the US, likely Pennsylvania, in 1811.  When he came to Ontario, I don't know, but he was there by 1838.  Josiah was 55 and likely living in East Zorra working as a farm laborer in 1867.  The last record I have found him in is the 1901 Census of Canada, still in East Zorra.

4th great-grandmother, Susanna Horton Beam:  Susanna was born in Ontario around 1817.  I suspect she was the granddaughter of Butler's Ranger Edmond Horton (by way of his son Emmanuel), but have no definite proof as yet.  She was around 50 and likely living in East Zorra in 1867.  She died there in 1888.

4th great-grandmother, Jane Montgomery/Gallagher Wood:  Charles' mother, Jane had been widowed a few years prior to 1867.  She was around 50 on 1 July, 1867 and likely living in South Dumfries.  She lived in Ontario the rest of her life and died in Blenheim, Oxford County in 1893.

It is entirely possible that, Josiah, Susanna, Jane, and Jane's deceased husband, Charles, had parents alive in Canada on 1 July 1867, but I have yet to find them.

I'm also not including my Nova Scotia lines (Haley/Healey, Scott, Hilton, Ellis, etc.), as they had relocated to California before 1867.  However, they had been in present-day Canada long before any of the other lines above.

Happy Birthday, Canada!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Amanuensis Monday: Second Berger Reunion

While browsing issues of The Bremen Enquirer, I found an article of particular interest.  The "Michael and Frederica Berger" mentioned are my 3rd great-grandparents.  I knew that they left a lot of descendants, and everyone mentioned is in my tree, but 226 attendees is shocking to me.

I have to wonder if anyone from my branch was there as my ancestor, Michael and Frederica's son John, had left for California many years before.  Since those who traveled a distance are mentioned, and doesn't include anyone from California, I have to think my branch was likely absent.  I wonder if they even knew about this?

It sounds like it was a wonderful reunion.  I'd love to see a copy of the group picture mentioned and know what Miss Erma Lozier (later Roederer), the family historian, gathered on the family.  I'm also curious if there were any other annual reunions.  Thus far, I haven't found a mention of any in subsequent issues.


Was Occasion of a Large Gathering on Bremen Fair Ground Yesterday

    The second annual reunion of the Berger family, or to be more exact, that portion of the Berger family, descended from Michael and Frederica Berger, brought together on the Bremen fair ground yesterday a company numbering 226, most of them from this vicinity, but many from a distance.  It was a typical family reunion, with a dinner ample for a regiment, music, some talks, a group picture, lots of visiting and a general good time.
    In a brief business session the following officers were elected:
    Henry Berger, president.
    Noah Lehman, South Bend, vice president.
    Miss Erma Lozier, secretary, treasurer and historian.
    Those present from a distance included:
    Michael Gingrich and daughter Alice, Reed City, Mich.
    Mrs. Philip Ewald and Mrs. Clem Ewald and baby, Abilene, Kansas.
    John Land, wife and baby and Mrs. Clinton Berger and children, Chicago.
    Jacob J. Berger sr., Elkhart.
    Otto Schwab, wife and baby, Noah Lehman, wife and son Joyce, Elmer Eslinger and wife, George Beyler, wife and son Otto, South Bend.
    Ulrey Weiss, wife and daughter Ida, Aaron, Charles and Jacob Weiss and their wives, Mishawaka.
    William Beyler and family, Plymouth.
    Rev. Philip Haney, wife and baby, Goshen.
    Charles Kline and family and Ervin Berger and family, Nappanee.
    Lawrence Conrad and wife, Bourbon."

From The Bremen Enquirer, Bremen, Marshall, Indiana; 26 June 1913; page 1.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Surname Saturday: Caruso of Montgomery Co., PA

I knew that since my great-grandmother chose to come to the US, it was possible that a sibling or two of hers might have as well.  Unfortunately it has taken me awhile to find any of those elusive siblings.  The ones I have found so far are 1) a brother who died in infancy, 2) a sister who disappears from records after birth, 3) a sister who remained in Italy and lived a long life and 4) a sister who married and also came to America.

This sister who came to America was born Donata Maria D'Accia in Peschici, Foggia, Apulia, Italy on 19 April, 1883 (her death certificate gives a date of 17 March 1885, though Peschici records do not support this).  Donata was likely named for her deceased brother, Donato Antonio Maria, and paternal grandmother, Donata Maria.

Donata's parents, Michele Maria D'Accia and Maria Mattea Giovanna Di Milo were also Peschici natives and had married there in 1877.  Michele was a "calzolaio" (shoemaker) who died in 1906.  In 1909, Donata's mother re-married a man named Eduardo Buoncompagni.

Excerpt from the allegati for
Costanzo Caruso and Donata D'Accia
Donata married Costanzo Giovanni Caruso in Peschici in 1902.  They had a son and daughter, but Costanzo left Italy in 1906.  He arrived in New York on 3 April aboard the Citta Di Torino out of Naples.  His destination was an uncle in Philadelphia.

Donata and their children stayed behind in Peschici until 1910 when Donata also emigrated.  She arrived in New York aboard the Duca D'Aosta but was detained for three days, being released to her husband on 25 November.  Costanzo's address is given as Hoboken, New Jersey at the time.

Their son, Salvatore, who remained with Costanzo's mother in Peschici, would arrive as an eleven-year-old in Philadelphia on 3 July, 1913 aboard the Taormina.  His destination was Altoona, Pennsylvania.  I have yet to find an arrival record for Donata and Costanzo's daughter, Maria.

In the US, Donata and Costanzo had an additional six known children.  In all:
  1. Salvatore, born 19 Feb 1902 in Peschici, he married and had children.  Salvatore died in Lower Gwynedd Twp., Montgomery, Pennsylvania on 1 May 1964.
  2. Maria (Mary), 20 Nov 1904 in Peschici, she married and had children.  Maria died 11 Aug 1996 in Spring House, Montgomery, Pennsylvania.
  3. Angelo, born circa 1912 in Pennsylvania.  I have been unable to trace him following the 1920 US Census.
  4. Michael Caruso, born about 1914 in Pennsylvania, he married and had children.  Michael died 2 July 1987 in Norristown, Montgomery, Pennsylvania.
  5. Nicholas Caruso, born 19 June 1916 in Ambler, he married and had children.  Nicholas died 6 March 1951 in Norristown.
  6. Louise Elizabeth Caruso, born 30 Nov 1917 in Ambler,  She married and had children.  She died 10 March 1994 in Palm Bay, Brevard, Florida.
  7. Leo Caruso, born circa 1920 in Pennsylvania.  I have been unable to trace him following the 1920 US Census.
  8. Emma Caruso, born 16 Aug 1924 in Ambler.  She married and died on 18 Dec 1959 in Philadelphia.
Donata, like my great-grandmother, does not appear to have learned English.  She and Costanzo don't appear to have naturalized either.  She died in Whitpain, Montgomery, Pennsylvania on 11 May 1940 and was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Donata's death certficate from the state of Pennsylvania

Since my great-grandmother lived in nearby Ohio, I wonder if she and Donata kept in touch.  My great-grandmother's reputation as a difficult person, however, makes me doubt it.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Robert Allen's Estate

I've yet to find estate paperwork for Robert, but a notice in the Niles Daily Times, page 18, dated 26 June 1935, tells me that there was an estate.  It also helps me to fill in married names and addresses for some of my collateral Allen relatives at the time, and for that I am very happy.


    Lavina Allen, 27 Wells Street, Caro, Michigan; John Allen, State Penitentiary, Jackson, Michigan; Mrs. Anna Sheperdson, Wyman, Mi-chigan, George R. Allen, Taft, Ca-lifornia; Jane Allen Ott, 1107 Ne-ville Street, Follansbee, W. Virgin-ia, Jemia Jane Adams, 1107 Neville Street, West Virginia, Margaret Ann Smith, R.F.D. No. 1, Hagers-town, Maryland; Alice Ruth Shute, 1128 Neville Street, Follansbee, West Virginia and Charles William Allen, 1197 Neville Street, Follans-bee, West Virginia, will take notice that of the 14th day of June, 1935, the said D L Evans, as adminis-trator of the estate of Robert Allen, filed his petition in the Probate Court of Trumbull County, Ohio in Case No. 11762 against the above named parties and others, praying for an order directing him to sell the real estate of said Robert Allen with which to obtain funds to pay his debts.
    Said parties are required to answ-er on or before the first day of September, 1935.
    D L EVANS, Administrator, W F MacQueen, Atty.
 June 19, 26, July 3, 10, 17, 26, 1935."

Since Robert died without a wife or living children, the heirs are all connected to Robert through his siblings.  The first named is likely Lavinia Mary Beyett(e) Allen, the widow John Henry Willis Allen.  John was a son of Robert's late brother, Joseph.  John died only a month after Robert, in Caro.

The next person is John Grant Allen, a brother of Robert's, and my 2nd great-grandfather.  The State Penitentiary address makes me chuckle as it makes it seem John was a resident there, when in fact he was working as a guard.

The following two were Anna Allen Shep(p)ardson and George Robert Allen, also children of Robert's brother Joseph.  Jane (Reese) Allen Ott was a widow of another of Joseph's sons, Joseph Jr., who had died in 1917.  I hadn't followed Jane after Joseph's death so her remarriage was a new piece of information to me.  She married John H. Ott in Wellsburg, West Virginia in 1920.  The last four people were Joseph and Jane's children, Jemima, Margaret, Alice and Charles.

Since Robert died in 1932, I was a little surprised to find this notice over three years after his death.  But, clearly, the administrator was having difficulties getting in touch with all of Robert's far-flung relatives.  I'd still like to find the estate papers as I suspect the children of Robert's late brother, James, and his living sister, Mary C. Allen Evans, were heirs as well.  Since that group remained in the Niles area, it probably wasn't necessary to include them in the Legal Notice.

One thing I haven't cleared up is whether Robert had a familial connection with the administrator of his estate.  Robert's sister, Mary, married into the Evans family, but the "D.L." initials don't fit for her husband or children.