Saturday, October 31, 2009

Surname Saturday: List of Names

I've seen this clever play on Surname Saturday going around and wanted to do it also.  In lieu of just writing about one surname in my tree, here is a list with all the surnames in my tree which I have ever blogged about or plan to:


vonAllmen (later Allmen)

I've got some Colonial era surnames as well which I'll probably blog about but the ones above are my main surnames (post-Revolutionary War to the present).

This exercise also helped me realize that I have done next to no work and absolutely zero blogging on some of these surnames, like my Leets and Buhlers.  I better get cracking researching them!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Research Journal and Family Newsletter: 18 Oct. - 24 Oct.

I really have to hand it to the bloggers who are able to keep a daily research journal.  I know I couldn't, but I would like to try and do a weekly one, sort of as a summary of the research I did in a week.  I'm also going to combine this with a family newsletter type thing as a way of keeping track of and sharing (if any of my relatives are interested) the research I do on my surnames:

Not Really Genealogy Related Things:
  • My main computer died on Sunday so not a lot of internet research was done this week.  I also had some papers due and a midterm on Wednesday so not a lot of off-line research going on this week either. 
  • Got a new desktop on Thursday, the day Windows 7 came out.  I'd like to do some kind of post on Windows 7 and genealogy but I'm afraid I'm not tech literate enough to do that.  I will say that Windows 7, so far, has been wonderful.  It boots and operates much faster than Vista and, I think, XP.  It is also sleeker and seems more streamlined and honestly, I wouldn't even know the computer was on if I weren't sitting here typing this because it is so quiet.  I will say that the toolbar is a disappointment this time around, XP and Vista have 7 beat in that department.  One of my favorite things about my new desktop set-up is the monitor which was actually thrown in for next to nothing when I got the PC.  It is the first High-Def monitor I've had (besides the one on my laptop) and I have noticed that it is a little easier for me to read old or poor-quality documents on the screen. 
  • How neat are those touch screen printers and scanners?  I was in Office Max the other day and started salivating over them (well, I've been obsessed with all the new touch screen toys for awhile now)- Santa, can you hear me?
  • Got a wonderful package in the mail the other day.  It was a bit of a surprise but a fantastic one none the less and chock full of genealogy goodies.  After I'm finished reading it, I'll post about it here.
  • Saw Law Abiding Citizen yesterday.  The movie was okay, but what really bothered me was a shoot-out scene in a cemetery- all those headstones shot up and destroyed, it was difficult to watch.  I know (or at least hope) no headstones were actually damaged in filming that, but the genealogist in me was still perturbed by it.
Surnames Researched:
Like I said, not a lot of research happened this week but I was able to get a little in-
  • I was inspired to go back and check out Old Fulton NY Post Cards and stumbled across some great articles on my Jackmans.  My great x 4 grandmother's siblings and half-siblings stayed in the Rochester area so there was tons on them.  A descendant of one of her half-siblings, Rev. Lyman Ward Beecher Jackman was particularly interesting.  I learned he was a Baptist missionary in Sadiya, India in the early 1900s.  His wife had "improper relations" with a British officer there in 1920 and later confessed to her husband who promptly went out and shot the officer to death.  The good Reverend spent about two years in a Colonial Indian prison (he pleaded "emotional insanity"  and got a lighter sentence because of it) before coming back to the US and resettling in New York City.
(For family members: "Bud" >Elmer Shinn >H.D. Shinn >Mariah Doyle >Alzina Jackman)

  • Haven't really done actual research on this bunch, but I heard from a cousin on this side recently and it has renewed my interest in this (VERY) frustrating branch of my tree.  I plan on checking out Lawrence Co., PA resources to see what is available for the time period of 1849-1880.  I also might look into Mercer Co., PA records for pre-1849 (Lawrence Co. was formed from Mercer and Beaver Counties n 1849) records.  Will also be checking out Clemens/Clements records for these counties.
(For famly members: "Jim"> Joseph James Allen> John Grant Allen> Joseph Allen and Elizabeth Clemens)

Internet Find I Loving:
  • Small Town Newspapers: a great, free resource I found through Google News.  Has newspaper archives for lots of small towns.  Found a couple obituaries and interesting articles on my Wellons bunch in The Carlisle Citizen (Carlisle, Iowa).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

SNGF: Most Unique Name

This week's SNGF thanks to Genea-Musings is:

1) What is the most unique, strangest or funniest combination of given name and last name in your ancestry? Not in your database - in your ancestry.

2) Tell us about this person in a blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.

3) Okay, if you don't have a really good one - how about a sibling of your direct ancestors?
First off there are my ancestors Charles Wood and Diadame Beam who, if they had hyphenated their last name would have been the "Wood-Beams." If I go way back I've also got a couple of "Swift-Wings."
The prettiest name combination, I think, are the "Mary Pollys" in my tree.  I've got a series of relatives and ancestors named Mary Polly- isn't that a nice first name?  I'm also fond on Hermosa Florita Wellons because she was named after two rivers in Colorado the family lived nearby when she was born.
For most confusing name combinations there is Jeremiah Vardaman Hudson.  This line is a bit of a brick wall and as yet, I have yet to find what significance the "Vardaman" in his name holds.  There is also Jeremiah's brother Ranter William Hudson.  Is Ranter just an odd given name?  A family name? What?  It certainly is unique...

For best name for their occupation combination there is Gottlieb.  It is my great-grandfather's middle name and is German for "God's love."  Considering the fact that he was a minister, the middle name really fits him.

The most unique, to me, though would have to be my great x 3 grandmother, Engeline Christine Petersen/Pedersen.  Engeline was Danish, born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany bet. 1856 and 1858.  She came to the US to the Port Clinton area of Ottawa, Ohio where she had family around 1871.  She married Niels Christian Nielsen in Ottawa Co. in 1874 and they moved to Mt. Eden (now Hayward), Alameda, CA not long after.  They had three daughters who reached maturity, Kathryn, Carolyn and Lillian.  Kathryn was my great-great-grandmother. 

Near as I can figure Engeline is just a Scandinavian/Germanic version of Angeline.  My reasoning for this is the film Der blaue Engel (The Blue Angel).  I just think Engeline is a pretty and pretty unique name.  My Engeline's name is sometimes misspelled as Anglina so perhaps she tried to Americanize her name later- or maybe the census taker just couldn't wrap his head around "Engeline."

Surname Saturday: Jackman

I've been doing a "Family of the Week" post every Sunday for several weeks now but with the introduction of "Surname Saturday" I think I'll just kind of merge the two from now on. 

For my first surname of the meme I'm going with my Jackmans.  Jackman is a pretty far back one in my tree (my great x 4 grandmother is the most recent Jackman) but it is a special one because it was the first family I ever researched.  My line goes (NOTE I have much more information on these people than I am including below):

  1. James Jackman (1611, Exeter, Devon, England ~ 1694, Newbury, Essex, MA).  Came to the US in the 1630s and was a founder of Nwbury/Newburyport, Massachusetts.
  2. Richard Jackman (1660, Newbury ~ 1713, Newbury), married Elizabeth Plummer/Plumer/Plommer (1662, Newbury ~ 1700, MA)
  3. Richard Jackman (1684, Newbury ~ 1737) and Elizabeth Major (orig. Le Messurier) (1682, Newbury ~ 1739)
  4. Richard Jackman (1709, Newbury ~ 1761, Boscawen, Merrimack, New Hampshire) and Martha Call (1718, Boscawen).  A large number of Jackmans settled in the Boscawen area and most, if not all, are connected to the original Newbury Jackmans started with James.
  5. Moses Jackman (1746, Boscawen ~ 1838, Boscawen) and Martha Morse/Moss (1756, Newbury)
  6. Moses Jackman (1776, Boscawen ~ 1861, Livonia, Livingston, New York) and Rhoda Collins (circa 1781, Ira, Rutland, Vermont ~ 1811, Mendon, Monroe, New York)
  7. Alzina Jackman (1810, Livonia, Livingston, New York ~ 1890, San Joaquin Co., CA) married Heman Doyle (1809, Vermont ~ 1881, San Joaquin Co., CA)
  8. Mariah Adelaide Doyle (1832, Rochester, Monroe, New York ~ 1917, San Joaquin Co., CA) and John R. Shinn (1823, Burlington Co., New Jersey ~ 1867, San Joaquin Co., CA)
If you are connected to any of the people listed above, please contact me by either commenting on this post, clicking the green "Contact" button on the far left of this blog or by e-mailing me directly (my e-mail can be found by clicking on my Blogger profile or scrolling below to the TOS of this blog).  I would especially like to exchange information with anyone connected to 6 Moses Jackman/Rhoda Collins (or Moses and his second wife, Betsey Beecher), 7 Alzina Jackman/Heman Doyle or 8 Mariah Doyle/John R. Shinn.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

10+ Things You Probably Didn't Know About This Blog

  1. I absolutely HATE the name of my blog.  I think it is pretentious, arrogant and egotistical.  It was the first thing I could think of when I created this blog so I tacked it on without much thought.  I had always planned on changing it at some point (and I did briefly, to SHBWGen and then GeneaLeah, but I thought those were even worse) but nothing better ever came.  Now that I'm involved in GeneaBloggers, the name will probably never change too dramatically- I am thinking of changing it "An Internet Genealogist" just so I sound like less of a know-it-all but who knows.  NOTE to those thinking of starting a genealogy blog: spend some time thinking up a blog title and make sure it is something you like and can live with for years to come!
  2. Most blog URLs have the blog title (in part or whole) in them- I don't.  I've had several people ask me why my URL has nothing to do with my blog title and the short answer is that "shbwgen" stands for my maternal ancestors.  See, this blog was originally a companion to my website which is all about my mother's family tree and also has a URL which contains the "shbwgen" letters.  I actually really like the URLs for both my blog and website.  It is unique and it makes it easy to find my genealogy information online because all I have to do is tell someone to type "shbwgen" into a search engine and all my info pops up.  Shbwgen specifically stands for Shinn Healey Berger Wellons Genealogy.
  3. I read and appreciate every comment I get on posts.  It may not seem like it because I usually don't respond (more on that below), but the feedback and information I get thanks to comments are invaluable to me and I just want to say "thank you" to anyone who has ever left a comment or e-mailed me about a post.  The first thing I look for after reading a comment is if the author has a blog that I can add to my Google Reader.  If you have an active (meaning that you post at least once a month) genealogy blog tell me because I'm always looking for more reading material!  Which leads me to my next topic...
  4. I think reading genealogy blogs is as addictive and enjoyable as doing actual research.  At first I had a hard time getting my head around the concept of genealogy blogs because I couldn't understand why reading about people that I am in no way related to would be interesting but boy, was I ever wrong!  Turns out those people and their stories and the blogs and bloggers who write about them are just as interesting as the people in my tree.  I've actually found that quite a few of my favorite blogs concentrate on topics and areas of genealogy which I normally don't research in like southern US, eastern European and African-American genealogy.  I like them because they really enlighten me on areas of genealogy which I am not very familiar with, something which I think is important.
  5. I usually write all my posts on the weekend and then schedule them throughout the week.  A lot of times as a post gets closer to publication I'll revisit it and clean it up some more but this is only if I have the time.  I keep a draft with post ideas that I add to and amend from time to time and when I have the time to actually write a post (usually on Saturdays and Sundays) I just use an idea from that draft.  I'll do spur of the moment posts too, like when I read something that inspires me to write or when I want to take part in a current meme.
  6. I don't write a lot of comments.  In fact, I can count on one hand the number of comments I left in the past year.  It isn't that I don't want to comment, I just have a really hard time coming up with something to say and I often worry over whether my comment is worth leaving.  It is something that I am getting better at and I do try and make more of an effort to leave comments so please bare with me!
  7. Believe it or not but my most popular posts are the two I did on Earl Derr Biggers awhile back.  I was interested in him because I'm a fan of his books and think he is an underrated author and because he was from Warren, Ohio where a lot of my father's family is from.  It started off as just a bit of fun and a way to kill an afternoon.  Since then, the vast majority of the hits that this blog gets and the correspondence I receive have to do with those two posts.  I've been approached by several authors, biographers and fans and there are even a few Earl Derr Biggers biographies out there or near publication which list me and this blog in the bibliography- something which tickles me pink.
  8. I'm sure most genealogy bloggers out there are like me in that we're all kind of inspired by each other.  Whenever I have a case of writer's block a post comes along that inspires me and if they don't inspire me directly, they do so indirectly.  For instance, the other day I was reading a post on Polish Heritage Month which inspired me to do something for Italian Heritage Month (they're both being celebrated this month).  If I had to put a figure on it, I'd say about 75% of the posts that come out of this blog are in some way inspired by other posts and bloggers.  I think that really says something about what an amazing community of writers GeneaBloggers is.
  9. All that being said, I don't participate in hardly any carnivals or memes.  It isn't so much that I'm not interested in them but that I always, without fail, seem to realize they're going on about an hour before the deadline.  Or, what will happen is that I'll start a post and then get sidetracked or hit a wall in trying to write it.  It is still my goal to participate in a carnival before the end of the year, I just got to get my act together first!
  10. For the most part, I'm happy with this blog though there are definitely some changes I'd like to see happen in the future.  Mostly, I'd like to be more of a HOGS blogger (a blogging style out of the original Hill Country of Monroe Co. blog).  I'd also like to be better about taking, scanning and posting pictures.  For some reason (laziness?!)  I'm terrible at remembering to take pictures and am equally terrible about remembering to post them.   And let's be honest, scanning isn't the most exciting activity on the planet  (but I can see how Scan Fests would help to keep the boredom at bay so I might do one of those in the near future). 
  11. I'm sure every blogger has a sense of what they will and will not post and I'm no different.  Obviously, the names and personal information of the living are no-go areas. I also like to keep a little privacy for myself though.  For instance, I won't post where I go to school, work, my address or my phone number.  I also haven't posted where I grew up and currently live but it was in the Sacramento area and my local FHC is and has always been in Woodland, CA.  Oh, and a scientist who just won a Noble Prize went to the same High School as I did (though we attended about thirty years apart) so that is pretty cool.  I also never planned on posting my last name but I kind of flubbed that when I posted my Facebook badge awhile back (oops!)... (Speaking of Facebook, feel free to friend but don't be hurt if I don't confirm you as a friend right away- I'm lucky if I get on Facebook once a month!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Family of the Week: John Shinn

John Shinn was the son of John Shinn and Jane Herbert and was born in New Hanover Twp., Burlington, New Jersey on 8 Dec 1785.  He was a clerk or storekeeper judging by an accounts book of his that has passed down in the family.  He married Elizabeth Asay on 1 Nov 1809, probably in Monmouth Co., New Jersey.  He died on 20 Dec 1840 in Mansfield Twp.

Elizabeth Asay was born circa 1785 in Springfield Twp., Burlington, NJ, there is some confusion over her parentage.  She died on 26 July 1863 in Mansfield Twp.  Elizabeth and John Shinn had:

  1. John Irick Shinn, b. 9 Aug 1810, Burlington Co., NJ; d. 15 July 1889, Burlington Co., NJ.  Married 15 Jan 1837 Hannah Wilbur Lyons.  They had twelve children, seven reaching adulthood.
  2. Mary Anne Shinn, b. 26 June 1812, Burlington Co., NJ.  Married James Pit(t)man in 1832 in Burlington Co.  They had eight children (possibly more), but only two are known to have reached adulthood.
  3. Charlotte Shinn, b. 20 Oct 1814, Burlington Co., NJ.  Married 3 Jan 1850 in Chesterfield, Burlington, New Jersey Samuel Whitehouse (or Whighthouse).  No known descendants.
  4. Jane S. Shinn, b. 8 Oct 1816, Burlington Co., NJ.  Married Joseph Deviny circa 1845.  Four children reached adulthood, possibly others who died young.
  5. Sarah Shinn, b. 1 Sep 1818, NJ.  Died after 1900, probably in Camden City, Camden, NJ.  Never married.
  6. Hannah Shinn, b. 11 Mar 1821, NJ. Married Daniel Pitman.  At least four children reached maturity.
  7. John R. Shinn, b. 21 Apr 1823, Burlington Co., NJ; d. 29 Oct 1867, San Joaquin Co., CA.  Married Maria Adelaide Doyle on 23 Dec 1852 in New Jersey.  Had three children; this is my line.
  8. Edith Shinn, b. 28 Aug 1825, New Jersey.  Married Chalkley Keeler, no issue.
  9. Jacob Asay Shinn, 28 Aug 1829, NJ.  All published accounts say he never married but I've come across at least one person online who claims to be descended from him.
Some of these lines I'm a little sparse on information on, like Hannah Shinn/Daniel Pitman.  For others, I have a wealth of information.  If you think you are in any way connected to this family, please contact me- I would love to exchange information!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

SNGF: Family Increase

This week's SNGF is to:
1) Pick one of your four great-grandparents - if possible, the one with the most descendants.
2) Create a descendants list for those great-grandparents either by hand or in your software program.
3) Tell us how many descendants, living or dead, are in each generation from those great-grandparents.
4) How many are still living? Of those, how many have you met and exchanged family information with? Are there any that you should make contact with ASAP? Please don't use last names of living people for this - respect their privacy.
5) Write about it in your own blog post, in comments to this post, or in comments or a Note on Facebook.

I honestly don't know a lot about my paternal relatives and their other descendants.  I actually knew one of my maternal great-grandparents and she made sure all her descendants kept in touch and remained close.  This is the branch that still holds family reunions so I can probably list off memory who all the descendants of that great-grandparent are.  But, I want a bit of a challenge so I picked another maternal branch (actually my mother's mother's family). 

Since I don't use any genealogy software (I have several online trees which I work in and then back up in MyHeritage Family Tree Builder or Legacy) I'm doing this by hand:

Rev. Gideon Gottlieb Berger (1885-1965) and Georgiana Wellons (1891-1985) are the greats I went with.  They had:
Children: 3 (two living, one deceased)
Grandchildren: 7 (all living)
Great-grandchildren: 8 (plus 1 adopted, all still living)
Great-great-grandchildren: 4 (I believe a fifth is on the way and the adopted great-grandchild has a baby)

So in all, there are 23 living descendants (21 in you only count biological descendants).

All of the great-great-grandchildren are under the age of 5 so obviously there are no great-great-great-grandchildren yet.  While doing this exercise on this family I realized just how much longevity there is in this branch- something to look forward to hopefully!  I plan on doing this exercise for a few other greats too- thanks for a fun Saturday evening activity, Randy!

As a completely unrelated aside, I had some more Saturday Night Fun in the form of the movie Where the Wild Things Are.  I have no memory of ever reading or being read the book but my mother says she did and that I wasn't too fond of it...  In any case, the movie is good and I highly recommend it! 

Friday, October 16, 2009

Celebrating Italian Heritage Month: Italian Immigration to the US

It is estimated that in 1850, there were only about 4,000 Italians in the US. A mere thirty years later, the estimation is around 44,000 and by 1900 close to 500,000- something I find staggering. Since my family is from southern Italy that is obviously the region I'm interested in specifically and will be the focus of this post. Poverty in that area beginning around the 1890s is the reason why a lot of Italian men came to the US to earn money to send home. "Chain migration" was popular among Italians and consisted of groups of people from the same town coming and settling in the same area in the US. This seems to have also been the case for my family because I've noticed a large number of people from Foggia have settled in the Warren and nearby Ravenna, Ohio area.  

Southern Italy is much more agricultural than the northern portion and tomatoes, grapes and olives are especially suited to the southern climate. Since Foggia is in the south, agriculture is and has always been an important part of the economy there. Since most of my relatives are from Vieste, a coastal town on the Adriatic, fishing was as an important an occupation as farming. Because of how closely tied to the economy agricultural was in southern Italy, a bad farming year could be disastrous. Earthquakes are also a problem in southern Italy, with two large and damaging ones in 1894 and 1908 (the 1908 one caused a tidal wave which did additional damage to parts of southern Italy). Phylloxera devastated grapevines in 1890 and caused the wine industry in southern Italy to almost collapse. All these events and more led many southern Italians to the US and of all Italian immigrants, those from the south were the predominant group throughout the mass waves of Italian immigration (roughly 1890 to the early 1920s). But when many Italians came to the US the acres of cheap farm land that became available in the mid-1800s had been snapped up so they were forced to urbanize and work dangerous, grueling jobs that no one else wanted (a lot of eastern European immigrants were also in the same boat). My family was lucky in that Giuseppe already came to the US with a useful trade, he was a tailor. They also did not stay in New York but came to the Midwest which was less congested and competitive when it came to jobs so conditions were much better for them a lot of other immigrant families.

My family also seems to have gotten lucky in that they arrived in the US only a few months before the Emergency Quota Act was passed in 1921 which was meant to restrict immigration from southern and eastern European countries. Before the Immigration Act in 1924, an average of 200,000 Italians were coming into the US each year (starting around 1910, in the period between 1890 and 1900 it was closer to 600,000 thousand a year), after the act passed, only 4,000 were allowed each year.

A lot of Italians came to the US as "Birds of Passage" meaning they came to earn money to send home but had no intention of settling here. I've wondered if my family started out that way (Nicola came to the US first and it was quite awhile later when he seems to have put down roots and married, started a family, and welcomed, maybe even inviting, his brother Giuseppe and his family to the US). A lot of Italians once settled here, established "Little Italy" communities and while I've never been to Warren, Ohio, where my family settled I'm sure they had a flourishing community there.  In Sacramento, some of the best markets can be found in the "Little Italy" section of town (which is in East Sac, around Folsom), especially the historic Corti Bros.

I'm going to be honest and say that I really never looked into Italian immigration before and doing research for this post really enlightened me.  My main source for the information here is this site

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Celebrating Italian Heritage Month: My Italian Family

My paternal grandmother was a first generation American with most of her siblings born in the family's native Italy.  I actually don't know a whole lot about my Italian branch which has to do more with lack of available resources than interest.  Going to my local FHC and ordering the microfilm I need has been on the top of my list for nearly a year and alas, I don't know that I'll be able to get to that before the beginning of next year.  I've been hoping to see more Italian records available on but the glacial pace with which the regions are being made available makes me think it'll be quite some time before they get to releasing records for the places I'm interested in in Italy. 

Lapiccirella is a pretty regionally specific surname originating in the area of Foggia, the "ankle of the boot."  The name supposedly means "little darling" in Italian and there are many surname variations, but none (that I know of) in Italy. Lapiccerella, Lapicirela, LaPiccirella and Lapicarella are some of the variations I have come across. 

Giuseppe Lapiccirella (later Joe or Joseph after coming to the US) was born 2 Aug 1888 in Vieste, Italy.  I do not know who his parents were, but he had a brother, Nicola (Nick in the US) who came to Ohio first.  I believe Giuseppe served for Italy in WWI but I have no proof.  He married Maria Nicoletta Dacci(a)*, b. 25 Feb 1892 in Foggia, around 1912 and they had Clara (or Carmella) around 1913, Mattia (Martha in the US) around 1915 and Michelita (Lena in the US) around 1919.  In 1920 the family left Italy by way of the port of Naples and came to the US to live in Warren, Trumbull, Ohio.  They arrived on Ellis Island on 4 Sep 1920.  A month and a half later Giuseppe and (Maria) Nicoletta had son James. 

Giuseppe was a tailor in Warren and probably also one in Italy.  In 1925 they had another daughter (who might still be alive so I won't mention her name here) and in 1930 they had my grandmother, Jane Rose.  The family never left Warren and Giuesppe died there in 1973, Nicoletta in 1987.  I know Nicoletta never learned more than a few words of English in the 66 years she lived in the US, though I think Giuseppe, as someone who worked with the public, probably had a good grasp of the language.

* There is some confusion over whether Dacci(a) was her last name or not.  Her Ellis Island record says her name was Biccia but my grandmother always said her mother's last name was Dutchi.  Since there is no such last name as Dutchi, I'm thinking she probably meant Daccia or Dacci.  Dacci is a pretty concentrated surname in Foggia which is another reason why I think this was her surname.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Madness Monday: Priscilla's Parents

Priscilla Mason is my great x3 grandmother. She was born on 3 March 1822 in Lawrence Co., Indiana.  It is generally believed that her parents were Samuel Mason and Nancy Mo(o)re, though I have yet to see conclusive proof (however, a genealogist which I trust and know for a fact sources her work says that they are her parents).  For some reason Samuel is generally credited as being the son of John Mason and Anna Shirley but I do not think that he was.  Here is what is known about Samuel Mason:

  • He was born in either Pennsylvania (according to sons James and John on their 1880 census records), Virginia (according to son Owen's 1880 census record) or Kentucky (according to son David's 1880 census record), probably around 1789/1790.
  • He married a Nancy Moore in Wayne Co., Kentucky on 14 Apr 1806.
  • He died 26 July 1850 in Lawrence Co., IN
I know even less about Nancy:
  • She was born in either North Carolina (according to son David's 1880 census record), Pennsylvania (according to son John's 1880 census record), or Tennessee (according to sons James and Owen's 1880 census records).
Nancy and Samuel lived in Wayne Co., Kentucky until about 1817 when they moved to Lawrence Co., IN.

Some guesses about relatives:

  • Samuel is on the 1810 census in Wayne Co., KY.  There are two other Mason households there at that time, both are headed by a John Mason.  I think one of those Johns is Samuel's father and the other a brother, but it is just speculation.  One of the John Mason's household is listed in the line above Samuel leading me to believe that they are related.
  • There are three Moore households in Wayne Co. at this time, whether they are related to Nancy or not, I do not know.  Nena Moore, Henby Moore and David Moore are the heads.  David could be a relative of my Nancy since Nacy had a son named David, but again, this is just speculation.  David is also listed only a few lines up from Samuel's household.  The youth of the people in that household makes it unlikely that David is more than a brother of Nancy.
  • Samuel was in Lawrence., IN by the 1820 census.  Other Masons there at that time include three John Mason households. There are also four More households, Eliah, Wilson, William and Thomas are heads- I do not think they are related to my Nancy.  In the 1820 census for Wayne Co., there are several Moore households: John S., Elisha, Johnathan, and Samuel but there aren't any Mason households.
  • In the database Kentucky Marriages 1802-1850,  Mason marriages in Wayne, Co. include: Betsy Mason and George Brown on 30 March 1809, Anney Mason and Eli Barnes on 29 Dec 1822 and William Mason and Polly Davis on 13 Mar 1823.  Moores in that database include: David Moore and Anne Craig on 4 Feb 1804, Henley Moore and Mary Jones on 22 June 1805, John S. Moore and Sarah Carter on 20 May 1811, Whaley Moore and UNK. on 11 Nov 1815, Richard Moore and Peggy Jackson on 21 Sep 1816.
Most of Samuel and Nancy's children went to Arp, Smith, Texas in the mid-1800s.   They included sons Andrew, John and David.  Priscilla and a brother of hers, James, stayed in Lawrence Co., IN.  Son Owen went to Monroe Co., Iowa.  Children Mary, Martin and Samuel are still unaccounted for but I think they died young.  If anyone knows anything about this family, PLEASE get in touch with me!

Celebrating Italian Heritage Month: Pasta Bake Recipe

This recipe is a big favorite in my house and serves double duty as both our go to recipe for a potluck and when we have leftovers that need to be used up. The recipe basically consists of pasta, sauce (marinara, alfredo, vodka, etc.) and cheese. You can get fancy and add fresh herbs, veggies, cream, meat (prosciutto and Italian sausage work well), and pretty much whatever else you want and have laying around. The one rule to the recipe is that you can't go to the store for any of the ingredients, everything that goes into it has to already be laying around your house (the logic is that by going to the store and buying any of the ingredients, you're defeating the point of using up leftovers). There are some examples of a pasta bake recipes online, like baked ziti and this, but normally I just wing it and don't follow any recipe. Here is basically what I do:

1. Pre-heat oven to around 350 degrees F.

2. Grease a casserole dish. Size doesn't really matter except that if you want the pasta bake a little crispier use a shallow, large dish and if you'd rather it be more moist use a deep smaller dish (like a meatloaf pan).

3. Cook up whatever already opened box of pasta you have. Have half a box of penne sitting around? Use that. Farfalle? That works too. Rigatoni? Well, you've got the picture. If there is less than half in a box, consider mixing it up and finish up two boxes of pasta (just make sure the cook time is about the same for each kind) to make the half a box minimum. Tortellini and stuffed pastas also work well.

4. It have about half a jar of pasta sauce in your frig, pull it out and dump it in a large bowl. If you want to add anything special, this is where you would, but if you want meat or veggies in your pasta bake, cook it before you add it to the sauce in the bowl. Some mascarpone is a nice touch (about a cup will do, just eye ball it) and I like my food spicy so I'll add some red pepper flakes or Rooster sauce (if the pasta sauce you're using is an arrabiata, you don't need to add more spice). I'll also usually add some more garlic and/or onion.

5. Once the pasta is a little before al dente, remove it from the boiling water (reserve some pasta water) and add it to the sauce and whatever else you have in the bowl. Add in some cheese (mozzarella works well, so does the smooth asiago- NOT the crumbly kind). I add in LOTS of cheese because I love cheese, but you should just add however much cheese you like. You could also just not add any cheese at this step if you'd rather. Mix the pasta and sauce in the bowl and then dump in the greased casserole dish. Spread the mixture evenly in the dish.

6. Sprinkle the top with cheese. A smooth cheese and a crumbly cheese combo work well for this. I'll usually do about a handful or two of mozzarella and a fourth of a cup of parmesan.

7. Bake for about a half hour to forty minutes or until the cheesy top is bubbling and golden brown.

8. Serve with a nice bread like foccacia.

Honestly, I've never made the same pasta bake twice- it always changes based on what I have handy and what I want to add and that is what I suggest you keep in mind while making it.  It isn't a diet friendly dish so if you're watching what you eat consider revising the ingredients.  Quinoa and whole wheat pasta are good alternatives and low-fat cheese in smaller quantity works well.  When I want to make a healthier version I also add in more veggies and less pasta so that I have 50% pasta and 50% vegetables.  Pick a low-sodium, low-calorie marinara for your sauce since the creamier sauces are usually fat and calorie bombs.  If you have to have meat with your pasta bake, a healthier choice (over sausage or prosciutto) would be adding some cooked, diced chicken breast.  Keep a closer eye on the healthier version while it is cooking though because the bake time can be affected.
While a pasta bake is more an Italian-American dish than something direct from the Mediterranean, it sure tastes good and is really popular whenever it gets served around my neck of the woods.  If any part of the directions don't make sense or you have questions, feel free to contact me for clarification.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Family of the Week: Beams of Sanilac Co.

Morgan Beam was the brother of my great x3 grandmother, Diadame Beam Wood.  Morgan was the son of Josiah and Susanna Horton Beam.  He was born in June of 1840/41 in East Zorra, Oxford, Ontario, Canada.  On 14 Jan 1863 he married Elizabeth Winegardner and they had:

1. Margaret L. Beam, b. Jan 1865.  She never married and died in Sanilac Co., MI on 2 Feb 1924.

Elizabeth died sometime afterward and Morgan remarried Mary Polly Gregory around 1868.  Shortly afterward they moved to Sanilac Co., MI and had:

2. Herbert James Beam, b. 18 Oct 1868/69 in Worth, Sanilac, MI.  He married 1st Susie Baker on 12 Dec 1897 in Lexington, Sanilac, MI.  They had Roy Beam on 6 June 1898 in Lexington before divorcing in 1899.  Herbert married 2nd Bertha Merrick Pifer on 10 Jan 1907 in Lexington.   Roy Beam married Millie Cheney on 18 July 1924 in Port Huron, St. Clair, MI, they had two children.  Roy died in 1958.

3. Dollie Beam, b. June 1870 in Sanilac, MI.  She married John Nunn on 7 May 1891 in Lexington, Sanilac, MI.  They had Herbert J. Nunn on 8 Nov 1892 in Lexington and Jemima Nunn in Oct 1897 in Sanilac Co.  Dollie died in March 1904 in Sanilac Co. Herbert married Ina Belle Thornton on 24 Nov 1915 in Lexington, they had at least two children.  He died on 6 Dec 1965 in Sanilac Co.  Jemima married Ervin John Woodruff in 1916, they had five children.

Italian Heritage Month!

Well, it certainly seems like October is the genealogy month of the year.  Hispanic, Polish and Italian heritage as well as family history in general fall under October (I'm probably forgetting a few other heritages celebrated this month, apologies if I am). 

Since I'm Italian I can't let this month pass without celebrating in some way!  I'm going to do a series of posts to celebrate the month actually.  I had planned to start this at the beginning of the month but non-blogger activites (midterms!!! Ugh.)  have been keeping me preoccupied.  So here is the plan: Monday I'll be posting an Italian recipe which is popular in my family, Wednesday I'll post about Italian genealogy research, including my own and Friday I'll be posting on Italian immigration. 

Even if you aren't Italian, find some way to celebrate Italy and everything great that has come out of the country and its people (going to Round Table and downing some Two Buck Chuck doesn't count!).  You can celebrate through food, film, literature, art, music, etc. - the possibilites are limitless!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: LIFE Magazine Picture of the Week, 17 Feb 1941

I was playing around last night and typed in the name of my great-grandfather's brother, not really expecting anything new to pop up.  To my surprise I was led to a link to LIFE magazine from 17 Feb 1941:


At noon on Feb. 4 Mrs. Frances Ann Nemitz, 68, was distressed by severe diabetic pains in her legs.  "If I could just get down to the ocean and wade around I'd feel better, I know," she told her daughter.  Her request was a familiar one, for Mrs. Nemitz had long believed that cold salt surf palliated the pain that nagged her.  Her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Garfield M. Berger, agreed to drive her from their home in Oakland, Calif. to Half Moon Bay, 50 miles away.  At 3 p. m., Mrs. Nemitz waded into the Pacific surf.  As she did so, Mrs. Berger snapped her picture with a brownie box camera.  It was the last picture taken of her alive.  The first wave beyond Mrs. Nemitz broke and hissed about her knees.  The next rolled her off her feet, swept her under and out of sight.  It was not till an hour later that the boiling sea tossed her body back up again."  What a sad, sudden death- although, you have to admit that it is somewhat poetic...

Mrs. Nemitz was Frances Ann Parrish, born 13 Jan 1873 in Ohio.  Mrs. Berger was Garfield's third wife, Oma Aretta Nemitz, born 17 Apr 1894 in Kansas and died 13 Apr 1958, Alameda Co., CA.  Garfield Mentor Berger was the brother of my great-grandfather, Gideon Gottlieb Berger.  Garfield was born 20 Sep 1881 in South Bend, St. Joseph, Indiana and died 14 Jan 1964 in Alameda Co., CA.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Family of the Week: Tock

Emma Sophia Tock was my great-great-grandmother.  She was the daughter of James Tock and Martha Elizabeth(?) Wadd. 

James Tock was born in Alkborough, Lincolnshire on 12 July 1818.  He was the son of William Tock and Elizabeth Unk.  Tock is a regionally specific surname in the UK in Lincolnshire, especially the Alkborough area.  On the 1851 census, James states that he was an agricultural labourer and his wife Martha is listed as a washerwoman.  James married Martha Wadd on 14 June 1848,  They came to the US 1853, arriving in Portland, Maine on the "Gypsey."  James and Martha had:

1. Mary Elizabeth Tock.  Born 2 Feb 1849, Burton upon Stather, England; D. 10 April 1935, Murphys, Calaveras, California.  Mary Elizabeth married George Russell on 23 Feb 1875 in Stockton, San Joaquin, California.  George and Mary Elizabeth had:
  1. George Russell, b. Aug 1876, Sacramento, Sacramento, CA
  2. James Henry Russell, b. 5 Sep 1877, Sacramento, CA; d. 24 Feb 1957, Concord, Contra Costa, CA.  James married Lilith Mary Land on 4 Aug 1904 and they had three children.
  3. Isaac L. Russell, b. circa 1879.  He only appears on the 1880 census, I believe he died before 1900.
  4. Milton Ross Russell, b. Feb 1880, CA; d. circa 1919, Stockton State Hospital, Stockton, San Joaquin, CA. 
  5. Thomas Allen Russell, b. 4 Sep 1884, Taylor Co., Texas; d. aft 1930, CA.  Married Helen Adelaide Laidet, they had four children.
  6. Grover Cleveland Russell, b. 4 Mar 1886, Taylor Co., TX; d. young
  7. Mary Russell, b. Dec 1887, Taylor Co., TX or California; d. aft 1900 (I loose track of her after that census)
  8. Elsie Russell, b. June 1891, CA; d. 1922, CA.  Married John A. Fischer, they had two children.
2. Sarah Jane Tock "Sally." Born 13 Mar 1853, Calais, Washington, Maine or St. Stephen, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada; D. 9 July 1898, San Joaquin Co., CA.  Married Simon O'Dillion Turner on 3 Mar 1875, San Joaquin Co., CA.  They had:
  1. Walter W. Turner, b. 26 Apr 1876, CA; d. 1 Jan 1947, San Joaquin Co., CA.  Married Myrtle E. Wiley (nee Bandy), they had twins.
  2. Lola V. Turner, b. 22 Jan 1881, San Joaquin Co., CA; d. 19 Feb 1958, Sacramento Co., CA.  Married Unk. McEnerney and Unk. Schmidt.
  3. Delbert Dayton Turner, b. 16 Apr 1883, CA; d. 11 June 1940, San Joaquin Co., CA.  Married 1st, Florene A. Snedigar/Snediger (NOTE: Florene was the niece of Heman Doyle Shinn, who was Sarah Jane Tock's brother-in-law).  They had twins, Dorothy and Doris Turner on 15 June 1908 in San Joaquin Co., CA but I believe they died young.  Married 2nd, Hilda Christine Weber and they had a son, Delbert Dayton Turner, Jr. in 1918, he was in WWII: "Turner, a U.S. Army private first class, died in a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines. He was 25, educated in Lodi schools and graduated from the Oakland Concordia College. He was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. According to news reports at the time, Turner’s family was first told he had been wounded, then informed he was missing in action. They later learned he was being held as a POW, and were finally told by telegram that he had died in a prison camp." From Vanishing Heroes: A Salute to Lodi's WWII Vets from the Lodi News-Sentinel, published 13 Nov 2000
  4. Annabel(le) or Anna Belle Turner, b. Sep 1887, CA.  Married 1st, John Nyhoff and had one daughter.  She married 2nd, George Bechthold, they had daughter Marjorie who was born and died on 7 July 1920.
3. Martha Ann(e) Tock.  Born 6 Mar 1854, St. Stephen, Charlotte, New Brunswick or Calais, Washington, Maine; D. 1 Aug 1875, Benson's Ferry, San Joaquin, CA.  Married John M. Benson on 8 Dec 1873 in Sacramento or San Joaquin Co., CA.  Up until about a year ago, no one knew that Martha had had a daughter before she died.  I only found her by chance when looking at later census records for John M. Benson.  The daughter always seems to have always considered her step-mother (John M. Benson's second wife, Adelaide Bovard, whom he married in 1878) as her mother, which makes sense since Annie's real mother died when she was a little shy of three months old.
  1. Annie Benson, b. 10 May 1875, Benson's Ferry, San Joaquin, CA; d. 11 Apr 1954, San Joaquin, CA.  Married Harvey Hale and they moved around San Joaquin Co., Sutter Creek (and Amador Co.), and Mason Valley, Lyon, Nevada.  They had five children. 
4. Emma Sophia Tock.  Born 27 Jan 1859, New Brunswick (probably St. Stephen); D. 11 Apr 1928, San Joaquin Co., CA.  Married Heman Doyle Shinn on 8 Dec 1874, San Joaquin Co., CA.  They had:
  1. Flora Mae Shinn, b. 18 Dec 1875, San Joaquin Co., CA; d. 1 May 1945, San Joaquin Co., CA.  Married George Mason Bancroft, they had three children.
  2. Elmer John Shinn, b. 5 Sep 1877, San Joaquin Co., CA; d. 9 July 1946, San Joaquin Co., CA.  Married Gladys Viola Healey, they had four children.
  3. Bessie Adelaide Shinn, b. 10 Oct 1888, San Joaquin Co., CA; d. 13 Dec 1964, Lodi, San Joaquin Co., CA.  Married 1st, Clarence Atwell, one daughter.  Married 2nd, Delmar Ross Detert, one daughter. 
Martha Wadd died in 1861 and James re-married Margaret Mowatt around 1865.  They had a son, James Samuel in 1867.  James wanted to come west and earn a better living but Margaret didn't want to leave New Brunswick/Maine so James and his daughters left her and James Samuel behind in 1874.  James Samuel and Margaret changed the surname to Tuck and remained in the New Brunswick area.  I haven't really researched the 'Tucks' but I did write a little about them here.

If anyone out there reads this and think we might be connected in any way, I'd love to hear from you.  I can be contacted by clicking the green 'Contact' button on the left side of this blog, I can also be reached through the e-mail listed in the TOS at the bottom of this blog and by clicking any of links in the "I Can Also Be Found At" box on the left side-bar of this blog.