Saturday, May 29, 2010

Surname Saturday: Stokes

1. Me.
2. and 3. Mes parents.
4. and 5. My grandparents.

8. Joseph James Allen
B. 7 Apr 1891, Wyman/Edmore, Montcalm, MI; D. Unk. (bet. 1945-1955), prob. in Jackson, MI
9. Daisy Mae Croad
B. 6 Nov 1896, Lakeview, Montcalm, MI; D. 24 June 1990, Pinellas, FL (prob. in Dunedin)

18. Frederick Rendle Croad
B. 12 May 1865, Sydling St. Nicolas, Dorset, England; D. 27 Sep 1932, MI (prob. Lakeview)
19. Mary Stokes
B. 16 April 1867, Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales; D. 26 June 1923, MI (prob. Lakeview)

38. George Stokes
B. circa 1824, Chedzoy, Somerset, England; D. 1 Oct 1895, Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
39. Charlotte Shipton/Shipston/Shepstone
B. circa 1827, Churchill, Somerset, England; D. March 1896, Somerset, England

I believe George's parents were James Stokes and Christiana Unk. but I lack the sources to be able to say whether this is definitely the case or not.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Madness Monday: What Is That?!

Several years ago I was surfing the internet and came across my 5th great-grandfather's tombstone picture.  It was a great find, but one thing puzzled me about it and continues to do so: a marker next to his tombstone.

I've seen special insignia markers before but none like the one next to his grave.  Since I have never been to New England, it is possible that it has something to do with that specific area.  What I think it is is a DAR insignia marker.  He is listed in their index of graves of Revolutionary soldiers (though I have no idea where they got the information that he was a veteran) and I wonder if the marker was placed around the time he was indexed by the DAR (the 1920s).  Adding to this is the fact that there is a small American flag just next to the mystery marker and I'm even more confident it has something to do with the war. 

Has anyone ever come across this marker before?  Does anyone know what it signifies or represents?  Sorry for the poor picture quality, it is the best I could do.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Surname Saturday: Wood

1. Me!
2. and 3. My parents
4. and 5. My grandparents

8. Joseph James Allen
7 April 1891, Wyman/Edmore, Montcalm, Michigan; bet. 1846 and 1950, Michigan
9. Daisy May Croad
6 Nov 1896, Lakeview, Montcalm, Michigan; 24 June 1990, Pinellas Co., Florida

16. Joh Grant Allen
18 May 1869, Niles, Trumbull, Ohio; 27 Sep 1955, Parma, Jackson, Michigan
17.  Marion Wood
Feb 1871, Summit, Jackson, Michigan; bef. 1955

34. Charles S. Wood
Oct 1842, probably Ireland; bet. 1910 and 1915, probably in Rolland, Isabella, Michigan
35. Didame/Diadame/Didamia Beam
10 Oct 1852, East Zorra, Oxford, Ontario, Canada; 7 May 1895, Rolland, Isabella, Michigan

68. Charles Wood
circa 1817, Ireland; 22 March 1863, South Dumfries, Brant, Ontario, Canada
69. Jane Montgomery
6 Aug 1816, County Cavan, Ireland; 18 Feb 1893, Blenheim, Oxford, Ontario, Canada

The Woods were supposedly originally from Scotland, reportedly from just outside Edinburgh.  I have not been able to go that far back with the family.  They were most likely Ulster Scots from County Cavan, Ireland before coming to Canada in 1855.  They first settled in Galt, Waterloo, Ontario where Jane's family had come to some time before.  I'm very confident that Jane's last name was Montgomery and have multiple sources that support it.  However, for some strange reason, Jane's daughter (also a Jane) lists her mother's maiden name as Fallagher on her death record. Whoever reported the death either didn't know or had been missinformed, but I'm still mentioning it as a possibility just in case.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Follow Friday: FamilySearch Online Classes

One of the hidden gems of FamilySearch is one I stumbled upon out of pure frustration and luck.  I was trying to access the new content that was added at the end of April to the pilot site but was having no luck due to server errors.  After a few tries I decided to step away and try again later.  Since I had some time on my hands and was on the FamilySearch site anyway, I decided to look around.  That's when I found this wonderful resource.

The series of videos cover a diverse field of topics and are well put together.  In fact, I can pretty safely say they are by far the best free online genealogy classes I've ever come across.  Some videos come with a handout which is little more than an outline of what the video will cover, but they are helpful nonetheless.  The classes range from how to read handwriting and do research to how to research specific ethnicities.  Some of my favorites so far are:  Research Logs parts 1 and 2, Inferential Genealogy, Basic Italian Research, and The Bachelor: Reconstructing a Solitary Life Using Obscure & Far-Flung Records.

Whenever I know I'll have a free evening or want to reward myself, I try and do another class.  So far, I've yet to be disappointed.  I believe they are adding new classes as well, some of the classes I've done were posted only last month.  If you want some inspiration or to jump start your research, I highly recommend one of FamilySearch's online classes - you'll be glad you did.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Surname Saturday: Wellons

1. Me!
2. and 3. My parents!
6. and 7. My maternal grandparents!

14. Gideon Gottlieb Berger
11 Oct 1885, Wabash Co., Indiana; 29 Nov 1965, Lodi, San Joaquin, California
15. Georgiana Wellons
29 April 189, Klamathon, CA/OR border; 26 Sep 1985, Lodi, San Joaquin, California

30. George Washington Wellons
Jan 1849, Pulaski Co., Kentucky; 1 Feb 1932, Yreka, Siskiyou, California
31. Mary Anna Webb
25 Jan 1862, Lawrence Co., Indiana; 12 May 1926, Yreka, Siskiyou, California

60. John Chappel Wellons
22 April 1805, Pulaski Co., Kentucky; 23 Jan 1896, Warren Co., Iowa
61. Sarah Elizabeth Hudson
3 Jan 1816, Pulaski Co., Kentucky; 8 Jan 1861, Warren Co., Iowa

120. Henry Wellons
circa 1776, Southampton Co., Virginia; circa 1840, Pulaski Co., Kentucky
121. Rebecca Chappel
circa 1782, Virginia; circa 1825, Pulaski Co., Kentucky

240. Henry Wellons
241. Ellender/Eleanor

480. John Wellons/Wellands/Wellyns
481. Annamaria(h) Freeman

After Henry and Rebecca Chappel Wellons, things get fuzzy because the family is out of Kentucky and in Virginia.  I believe I have the line figured out but hesitate to post it because there aren't many sources that go along with my beliefs and suspicions.  Suffice to say, the family name was almost certainly Llewellyn originally and that they descended from the Welsh Captain John Llewellyn who was the first in the line to come to America (Virginia specifically).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Lavender

Privately held by the author [address for private use], California - April 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Man on a Mission

“Religion, religion as part of the life of an ancestor, sources about an ancestor that are connected to their religion, basically anything to do with religion would be accepted.”

I often forget how big a role religion must have played in my ancestors lives, though only a little digging usually reveals their spiritual leanings (which I think says a lot for how important it must have been to them).  If I were to pick the "most religious" ancestor I have, it would have to be my great-great-grandfather, John Berger.

John was a first generation American, the youngest in a large family and I'm sure he was a surprise to his parents (he was born roughly seven years after his next oldest sibling when his mother was 47) and he was also the only child in the family to be born in Indiana.  His parents were from Rinnthal, a small village on Germany's side of the Rhine and came to America in the early 1830s, settling first in Ohio before permanently putting down roots in Indiana a few years later.  When he was born, he was John W. Barger and he grew up in a German speaking household of farmers. 

At some point the family joined up with an off-shoot of the Methodist Church, the Albright Brethren (also known as the German Evangelical Association).  The church filled a unique need for its time because of its appeal to America's influx of German immigrants in the 1800s.  It must have also been a comfort to those immigrants because it represented a little piece of home in a new world that worked in a strange new language.  What set "the Brethren" apart was the fact that it was run by German-Americans for other German-Americans with services run completely in German. 

John joined up with the Union soon after the start of the Civil War.  He was a fresh faced, twenty year-old who had probably never been off the family farm in his life and was probably eager to do his part in a war that wasn't supposed to last more than a few months.  A short time later, John was at Shiloh and then fell ill.  Once he was well again he rejoined his outfit which was protecting Louisville and the Ohio River from the Confederates and what wound up being General Don Carlos Buell's downfall.  John fell ill again and spent many months in a Union hospital in Nashville before being deemed too unwell for service. 

Though his time in the war was short, I think it changed him forever.  Exactly a year after being discharged John shows up again in records, only this time, he is John Berger and he is a minister with the Albright Brethren.  He rides the circuit going from one German community to another throughout the Midwest.  In Evansville he married a sixteen year-old Swiss girl, Susanna vonAllmen and children started coming, all the while the family is living the semi-nomadic life of a preacher and his family, putting down roots and then pulling up stakes a few years (sometimes months) later and going wherever he was ordered.

Then in 1874, things changed for John.  For whatever reason, he and his family packed up and left the only country they'd ever known to go back to the country of John's ancestors, Germany, to do missionary work.  John and Susanna had two little boys who were going with them also.  While in Germany they'd add another two boys to the family, but also lose one (their eldest).  I'm afraid I don't know much about this period in John's (and his family's) life.  I'd love to know where they lived, what it was like for them, whether they were welcomed or met with hostility, what they did there and most importantly (to me) whether their going there had anything to do with John's roots.  This period in John's life eventually came to an end and they returned to Indiana in 1878 or 1879 and settled in South Bend.  Around 1882 they moved to Wabash Co. which would be one of their longest stays as they lived there a whopping five years!

Then John's church called on him to move again, and this time it wasn't to another small Indiana farming community but Los Angeles, California where he would run and help establish the new church.  So they packed up again, said good-bye to all their relatives and friends and went west.  They arrived around 1888 and stayed for two years, working and living in what is now the heart of the city.  Then they were off again, this time to Oakland, California where John would once again establish and run a new church for the Albright Brethren.  Unfortunately, this would be John's last post.  Soon after arriving John's health, which had never been the same after the war, worsened and he died in December of 1891 aged 50.  He left behind his widow, Susanna, and nine children (the eldest 18, the youngest 1) and is buried in the Berger plot at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.

I have many letters that John wrote to Susanna from the road as he traveled, spreading the word of his church.  From them, I get that he was very passionate about his faith and the work he was doing.  He was also frequently ill but never seems to have let it stop him from doing what he believed in (his work with his church).  His tremendous faith also seems to have given him and his family courage.  Courage to go all the way to Germany and then start a new life (later in his life) on the other side of the country in California, far from everything they knew.  It must have also helped them as they experienced grief over lost children and the frequent good-byes they must have had to say.

Many of John's parishes are gone now but his legacy lived on.  Two of his sons went on to become Methodist ministers (including my great-grandfather) and another was heavily involved in the YMCA in Oakland.  John's gandson (my grandmother's brother) also became a minister and naval Chaplain and currently can be found giving services (in English) as Chaplain of the historic USS Hornet.

John in 1866, age 25.  Image taken from his marriage certificate. 
I have no idea why he is pretending to be Napoleon...

This post was written for the 29th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy.

Copyright © 2010 by

Monday, May 10, 2010

Transcription: Mott Memoir, Part 14

"The last and most important of the Ships of War that came to Honolulu during our sojourn there was the Flagship Independence having Commodore Stockton on board.  There was a reception and dance on the ship which was very pleasant.  As the Independence had stopped at Mazatlan while our mother was there she was acquainted with several of the officers.  One of them Lieutenant Henry Wise, wrote a book about Mexico called Las Gringos a nick name given to the Americans by the Mexicans.  When it was published he sent us a copy which we found very entertaining.  There was a Midshipman named J. Randolph Hamilton belonging to one of the "First Families of Virginia" who was often my partner at the dances given to the officers.  He was nice looking and well bred.  I regret to say that when the Civil War began he resigned from our Navy, went south and fought against the flag he had sworn to defend.  He wrote some rather absurd verses in my album.  Several of the officers wrote in it and Commodore Stockton was good enough to write his name.  I have the old album yet.  It is amusing to look over sometimes.

Mrs. Dominis decided to give a party also.  She told us it was on our account principally as she wished to have a party before we left and this would be a good time while the ships were in port.  She had everything very nicely arranged.  The side of the piazza upon which the dining room windows opened was enclosed with canvas.  With a long table, it made a fine room for the supper.  The dining table being removed and the double doors into the parlor kept open there was plenty of room for dancing.  Several of the officers of the Independence were among the guests, also a Spanish girl, Domatila Vida, whose family had lately arrived from Chile.  Fanny and I wore pink tarleton dresses with ribbons to match.  Tarleton of a fine quality was fashionable for evening dresses then.

The polka was a customary dance then but merely as a round dance, something like a waltz.  There were a number of figures that Evy and I had learned at dancing school and often practised together, Evy taking the boy's part as she was so tall.  When the music for the polka was played young Mr. Hamilton asked me if I knew the figures and as I did, would I dance them with him, which I was quite willing to do.  Miss Vida was the only other girl who was familiar with them.  (Evy could not dance then)  So the rest of the company went into the front room while Miss Vida with one of the officers, Mr. Hamilton and myself went through all the figures in the other.  The polka figures were very pretty and I enjoyed the dance.  Hamilton made a good partner and we all acquitted ourselves well and received much applause when we had finished.

I am afraid if anyone reads these reminiscences they will think me very conceited to write so much about myself, but little Essie Mott seems to me an entirely different person from the old Grandma who writes these lines and I should like the younger members of the family to realize that I was not always a forlorn old woman, but once actually young and lively and pretty enough to be pleasing.

The supper on the piazza was a great success.  There was no ice-cream in Honolulu as there was no ice there at that time, but Mrs. Dominis had cups of cold custard that were almost as good.

The young Princes were not allowed to come to the party as it was a dance, but Prince Alexander dressed like a common Kanaka and stood out in the garden and John passed him through the opening in the canvas as much as he could of the supper.  No one noticed this performance and I was much amused when John told me the next day.  It seemed such a funny thing for a Prince to do.  John said Prince Alexander was particularly pleased with the custards, he had about six.

(I read in a newspaper that the Independence was at Mare Island and there was some talk of breaking her up but others thought it would be better to keep her until after the Panama Festival as a relic of old times.  I feel much sympathy with the old ship, she is connected in my mid with so many pleasant memories.  Now alike, we have both outlived our usefulness and are lying quietly in port waiting for the end.)

A few weeks before we left a ship came into the harbor and a young man landed who told a very exciting story.  It is so long ago I cannot remember all the details, only the principal facts.  The ship had sailed from Mazatlan bound for China with three passengers, Mr. Cook, his wife and her maid, all English.  Mr. Cook had been in business in Mazatlan, but having better prospects in China was on his way there.  The merchants in Mazatlan often sent a considerable amount of money on the ships to China as there was so much traffic with that country.  After this vessel, I do not know her name, had been at sea for some days the crew mutinied, intending to seize the ship and the money and go to one of the Pacific Islands and divide their booty.  Taking the Captain by surprise they killed him, also the first mate and Mr. Cook and threw them overboard.  They told the second mate they would spare his life if he would agree to navigate the ship for them as none of them understood navigation.  He consented to this on condition they would not harm Mrs. Cook and her maid, and took charge of the ship.  He succeeded in bringing them to Honolulu, but how he managed to come ashore and tell his story to the authorities without the crew suspecting him I do not remember.  It seems quite improbable now, still it really happened.  The mutineers were arrested and Mrs. Cook and her maid brought ashore.  Our mother being already acquainted went to see her and took me with her.  The poor woman was in such distress she could hardly talk and I have only a confused idea of what she said.  This unfortunate woman had not only lost her husband but was left with very little means and no one to help her but her maid who was a middle aged woman evidently much attached to her mistress.

Our father having written that Mazatlan was in a peaceable condition now, and would be safe for us, our mother was trying to find a vessel that would take us.  But the ships that stopped at Honolulu had different destinations and did not want to go out of their way.  At last a whaler the John A. Robb, came into port for water on her way North to the whaling ground.  The Captain agreed to take us to Mazatlan on consideration of our father paying him $1,000, when we arrived.  This being settled we had to begin packing, which was a difficult task as there were so many of us.

Our sea chests and our mother's big camphor wood trunk were brought up from the cellar and we commenced.  Evy was not strong enough to do much.  Our mother superintended, but Fanny and I did most of the work.  We liked to pack, but were sorry to leave Honolulu where we had been so happy. Mrs. Dominis' house was more like a pleasant home than a boarding house.  She treated us as if we were her children not merely boarders. We went around the house and garden just as we pleased.  Captain Spencer put up a swing for us under a big tree which gave us much amusement.  The climate was delightful.  I sometimes hear people speaking of Honolulu as being dreadfully hot but we did not find it so.  It was warm but not oppressive.  We could always sleep comfortably.  The summers in New York were much hotter.

We were leaving many pleasant friends, Uncle Charlie and Kate were like dear relations, Lizzie Turrill and the other girls who had been very kind and friendly.  We had passed many happy hours with them but all things pass and the time came when we had to leave.

We spent our last evening with the Brewer's who gave us a farewell party.  The next day we said good-bye to Mrs. Dominis and accompanied by John, Uncle Charlie and Kate went on board the ship.  Kate seemed very much affected when she said good-bye to Evy.  I suppose she felt she would never see her again.  Mrs. Cook was going back with us to Mexico, now her husband was dead there was no reason to go to China and as she did not money for the long voyage back to England.

Uncle Charlie went out as far as the Pilot took us and returned to his boat.  We remained on deck watching the Islands until they were only a blur on the horizon.  Though I did not realize it then, I left my childhood there."

This ends the Honolulu section of the memoir, next up it The Whaler and Mazatlan.

The book mentioned can be read over at GoogleBooks.  Los Gringos: Or an inside view of Mexico and California, with wanderings in Peru, Chili and Polynesia by Henry Augustus Wise, U.S.N. includes this passage:
"The circle of our own countrymen was limited - the Consul, good Doctor Bevans - who gave us a grand feast on leaving, - and the Anglo-American house of Mott and Talbot.  From all these gentlemen we experienced the utmost civility; but to Mr. Mott and his amiable lady we stand indebted for many and repeated acts of kindness and hospitality, that never can be too gratefully remembered."

Transcription: Mott Memoir, Part 13

"When the weather became very warm as the rainy season set in, the Turrill family went for awhile to an old house some distance up the valley called the King's place, because at one time the King lived there.  It was a long low building surrounded with trees, a very pretty place.  The air was cooler there and it was so far from the town it was like going into the country and as they only brought the most necessary articles almost like camping.

One afternoon Evy, Fanny and I with the three Judd girls and John Dominis rode out to call on Lizzie Turrill.  When the time came to go home it began to rain violently.  As there was no sign of clearing Mrs. Turrill said the girls would have to stay all night and John could let our mother know where we were.  As there were not enough beds for so many unexpected guests she spread quilts and pillows on the floor of the large room that was living room and dining room both and we all slept together except Evy.  Mrs. Turrill was afraid she might take cold on the floor so made a bed for her on the dining table.  We had a merry time.  I think we talked more than we slept.  In the morning the rain had stopped but the ground was very muddy, still as we wanted to see a little waterfall that came down near the house we decided to go out though Mrs. Turrill would not let Evy go.  Our shoes were thin and would be spoiled in the mud so we took off our shoes and stockings and went bare foot except Lizzie who had a pair of thick shoes.  After we had gone a little way my feet hurt so dreadfully I could hardly walk so Lizzie lent me one of her shoes and we held on to each other and hopped.  The other girls did not seem to mind.  We had to go down a bank to reach the falls by that time the sky became so dark we thought it was going to rain again.  There were some taro patches between the falls and the house  and Lizzie said if we could walk on them it would be nearer than going back to the road. 

The taro plant is used for the native's poi and is planted in thick mud made into squares called patches with ridges of hard earth between each patch, just wide enough for one person to walk on.  We thought we could walk on them and started to go across, but the earth was slippery from the rain and first one fell off and then the other.  The mud was almost to our knees and we were shrieking wildly and struggling to get out we heard sounds of laughter and looking up beheld John Dominis, Mr. Dwight and Horace Crabb, a friend of John's on horseback in the road near the bank watching us with great glee.  We begged them to go away but they only laughed until we declared we would not come out while they were there, so they took pity on us and went on to the house.  We managed to scramble out and go in the back door to the kitchen where we had to take off our dresses and skirts and hang them up to dry and wash the mud off our feet.  While the clothes were drying we were wrapped up in shawls, quilts and everything poor Mrs. Turrill could find.  I expect she wished we had all stayed at home.  By the time our clothes were dry the sun came out so we thought we had better go home while it was pleasant.  Mr. Dwight and John had not remained long as we were not in condition to see them.  Mrs. Turrill kept Evy with her as it might rain again but the Judds, Fanny and I mounted our horses and started off.  Before we reached the Judd's house lower down the valley the rain came again so heavily we were soaked through.  When we came to the house Fanny and I had to go in and take off our ridding habits, even the dresses worn under them were wet.  When the shower was over and our habits were too wet to put on again the girls lent us each a dress and bonnet and we walked home leaving our horses and clothes in the care of Mrs. Judd.  Fortunately the sun stayed out this time and we reached our house without getting wet again.

Evy had seemed well during the voyage though she still had a slight cough, but now sometimes she had pain in her side with a little fever and was obliged to stay in bed for a day or two, but generally she was able to accompany us on the rides or to the parties.  The Doctor said she might dance quadrilles but not round dances, quadrilles were danced then more than waltzes.

Mr. Faulkner an Englishman in business in Honolulu was very attentive to Evy for awhile.  He came to the house frequently and rode and danced with her.  He probably would have been serious in his attentions if her health had not been so delicate.  Perhaps he considered her the daughter of a rich man.  I heard long afterwards that we were supposed to be worth $50,000 apiece at that time.  I never thought about money then.  We were always well dressed and had everything we needed.  I do not think our mother realized in what a precarious condition our father's business was.

Some years afterwards, in San Francisco, my mother and I met Mr. Faulkner as we were coming out of Church.  She went up to him saying "How do you do Mr. Faulkner?  Don't you remember Mrs. Mott?"  He looked at her with a glassy stare, all he said was "Oh-Am" and walked on.  Evidently he had heard of my father's failure and did not wish to continue the acquaintance.  He married Miss Bell, went into business with her father and the firm of Faulkner and Bell was well known in San Francisco at one time.

One morning Fanny and I were up very early.  It was a beautiful clear day so we thought we would take a walk before breakfast.  Mrs. Dominis' house was on the edge of the barren tract that surrounded the extinct volcano called the Punch Bowl, (originally the Devil's Punch Bowl on account of the fiery liquid it once contained.)  The ground was seamed with cracks where the lava had flowed during a former eruption and Fanny and I were childish enough to enjoy jumping over them.  We had ridden to the top of the Punch Bowl several times as on one side the slope was so gradual it was quite easy to go up on horseback.  We thought we would walk up, it did not seem very far, but when we reached the volcano we could not find the sloping side and like foolish children, decided to climb up anyhow as we were determined to reach the top.  We thought it would be fine to say we walked up the Punch Bowl, but the higher we went the steeper it became and when about half way up it was still harder to go back.  We could not stay there clinging like flies to a wall so with desperate courage we kept on and at last reached the top, very tired and hot.  After resting a few minutes we walked around the crater.  Now on firm ground overgrown with grass and weeds, we soon found the slope were we descended with no difficulty.  When we came home it was long past breakfast time.  Our mother was worried and Mrs. Dominis vexed.  Everything had been cleared off the table as she said, she would not keep breakfast waiting for such foolish girls.  She gave us some cold coffee and bread and butter in the pantry.  Our mother was horrified at our appearance.  We were dirty and sun-burned, our clothes were dusty and covered with stickers.  She disliked sun-burn as much as I do and was particularly vexed because a French man-of-war had entered the harbor that morning and she had met some of the officers in Mazatlan, expected them to call them to call on her and wished us to look well.  Mrs. Dominis sent us to the cellar to pick the stickers out of our clothes.  The cellar was clean and cool and felt pleasant after the hot sun.  We sat there on the boxes for some time and when we came upstairs the sunburn was gone.  I suppose we were not really burned, only very hot. When dressed in clean clothes we were quite presentable and when the officers called she was not ashamed of us. 

When we heard the American sloop of war, Prebble was expected Evy and I were much interested as that was the vessel Mr. Lies had sailed on and we were pleased at the prospect of meeting him again, but when she arrived we heard he had left the Prebble at Valpriaso and returned to New York.  I was greatly disappointed, we had been such good friends and his engagement to Emma made him almost a relation.

The purser Henry Wilson was a very pleasant young man.  He was a frequent visitor and when the Prebble went to one of the other Islands for a few days he stayed at Mrs. Dominis' house so we became well acquainted.  He had been married only a short time before going to sea and spoke of his wife very often.  We three girls liked him so much we adopted him for a brother and called him brother Henry.  We were very sorry to, when he had to leave.

There was also a midshipman named Mr. Gunnigale with whom we were friendly.  He was a nice boy about seventeen and danced very well.  He and I danced together frequently at the parties given to the officers of the Prebble.

Years later in San Francisco after I was married, he called at the house one evening.  Of course he was acquainted with Mr. Lies, having been on the same ship.  He must have found me dreadfully changed.  He became Captain of a gunboat during the Civil War and was killed in a Naval battle.

One evening we were invited to the Judd's house to meet some other young people.  Our mother was not going but John accompanied us and we were so used to him, he seemed almost like a brother.  Lizzie Turrill and several other girls were there.  We were not allowed to dance but we played games and had a very pleasant evening.  When we were ready to leave, with our wraps on, John noticed a row of pies on the pantry shelf and saying "These look nice" took one and n spite of protests from the Judd girls walked out of doors with it and as he passed me he said "come along Essie" and I am sorry to say instead of reproving him as I should have done I joined him, thus becoming an accomplice in crime.  We ran down the road until we were some distance ahead of the others.  When we came to the Brewer's house, seeing a light in the windows, John said let's go in so I followed him in.  Uncle Charles was in bed but Kate and her sister were in the parlor.  They laughed at us when we told what we had done.  Kate brought a knife and between us it was all eaten, so we had nothing but an empty plate to take home.  When we got there we were received with reproaches.  We stayed so long at the Brewer's, the other girls were home already having been escorted by Mr. Bishop and no one knew where we were.  My mother and Mrs. Dominis scolded us for staying out so late and Fanny was vexed because she wanted some of the pie.

When we left New York nothing was known there of the discovery of gold in California.  When we arrived in Honolulu we found the people talking of it and some men planning to go to San Francisco.  Also we heard that some one had discovered a drug that could make people insensible to pain so they could have an operation performed without feeling it.  There was much discussion on this subject.  While some said what a blessing to humanity this would be others laughed at the idea and thought it nonsense.  This seems strange now when the use of chloroform is so common."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

SNGF: Matrilineal Line

1) List your matrilineal line - your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!
2) Tell us if you have had your mitochondrial DNA tested, and if so, which Haplogroup you are in.
3) Post your responses on your own blog post, in Comments to this blog post, or in a Note or status line on Facebook.

This week's challenge from Randy was just the kind I like.  I always like the Saturdays where he has us trace a line or ahnentafel number and this week it is especially fortuitous because I didn't do a Surname Saturday post today.

1. Me!
2. My madre!
3. My grandmother!
4. Georgiana Wellons
29 April 1891, Klamathon, CA/OR border; 26 Sep 1985, Lodi, San Joaquin, CA
5. Mary Anna Webb
25 Jan 1862, Lawrence Co., IN; 12 May 1926, Yreka, Siskiyou, CA
6. Priscilla Mason
3 March 1822, IN (probably Lawrence Co.); 16 May 1863, Marion Twp., Lawrence, IN
7. Nancy Moore
?; ?

Nancy is my brick-wall and probably the person that I have spent the most time researching this year.  Unfortunately, for all my research I haven't gotten anywhere.  What is known about Nancy: she married Samuel Mason in Wayne Co., Kentucky on 14 April 1806.  According to her children, Nancy was born in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, North Carolina or Kentucky.  She probably died in Lawrence Co., Indiana where she and her family moved to from Kentucky in the 1810s.  Based on some things I've found and heard, I believe Nancy was Native American or Melungeon. 

I have not had my mtDNA tested though I would love to!  There are so many mysteries with Nancy and I think taking the test might clear some things up.  I'm especially eager to take the test since Moore is considered a core family by the Melungeon DNA Project.

Subscription Services Report Card

With my subscription to a genealogical website coming up for renewal at the end of this month, I thought I'd take a look at all the subscription services I use and hand out some grades!  These are my opinions alone and may very well be different from yours.

GenealogyBank: A-
I debated over springing for GenealogyBank for a long time (two years actually).  I watched it pretty closely over that time and was impressed with how frequently newspapers and other databases were added.  What's more, the newspapers run the gamut from small town papers to major metropolitan publications and usually cover a long stretch of time.  I caved signed up in March and haven't regretted it yet.  Just today I got an e-mail announcing more publications that have just been added and a quick glance through the list revealed at least a half dozen papers which I'm excited to investigate.  My only qualm is the fact that it (at least for me) takes FOREVER to load pages.  I don't know if it is them or my browser but I do know that I don't have the slow load problem on any other website.

Footnote: C
I got a deal through my NEHGS membership which got me a Footnote subscription for $50 off back in January.  As it is now, I'm very glad I didn't pay full price for my subscription.  The only thing I've found of use are the military related records.  Everything else I can either find elsewhere or is of no genealogical interest to me.  I'm not planning on renewing unless I can get another $30 or less price on my subscription.

WorldVitalRecords: C +
Full disclosure: I don't pay for a subscription, it is a perk of membership in one of the genealogical societies I belong to.  That said, I'm still writing a review based on my personal observations and experiences with the site (with the exclusion of subscription pricing related opinions).  When it comes to their original content, I think it is a fine resource, though their catalog is smaller than the likes of FamilySearch and Ancestry.  My main qualm is the fact that they piggy-back off of GoogleBooks and FindAGrave (which are both FREE resources).  If I want to look for my ancestors on those sites, I do.  I do not, however, want their entries on these sites coming up as "results" when I'm trying to use WorldVitalRecords (a pay subscription service).  I could also go without the e-mail a day I seem to get from them.  I get that times are tough and financially, most people and businesses are hurting, but the constant "deals" and ads they send me are a major turn-off and a big reason why I'm not giving them a higher mark.

NewspaperArchive: B -
Full disclosure: this is also a perk of membership to one of the genealogical societies I belong to so the same rules as WorldVitalRecords applies here as well.  I think they have good content and a pretty nice selection of newspapers.  I also prefer their image viewer to Footnote's.  My problems are in the search engine which is less than accurate and the fact that I seem to be able to find a lot of their content elsewhere (meaning, I find few databases which are exclusive to them).

Ancestry: B
Its the behemoth of the online genealogy world and there have been so many discussions on it already that I really don't have much to add.  I hate the new search and avoid it like the plague, it is also annoying that their online trees always seem to be down for maintenance or "technical issues."  But their content is pretty well unmatched both in the size of their catalog and the overall quality of their catalog.  They're kind of the Wal-Mart of the genealogy world, you hate their monopoly and size but can't live without them.  Full disclosure: I don't pay for my membership, it my annual Christmas or birthday present from my parents.

I was in no way compensated for this post or influenced by any outside entity beyond my personal opinions.  These are my views and my views alone based on my genealogical interests and personal research.  Just because I gave a site a low mark, doesn't mean that it can't be a perfectly marvelous resource for you.  Your opinion on any and all of these sites could (and probably are) very different from mine and that's fine, it's what makes us human!

Notice I didn't review my genealogical society memberships.  I'm in the school of thought that says they need all the support and positive press they can get and, unless you have a serious grievance with one, negative opinions and experiences should be kept between you and your society alone.  Just my two cents!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Follow Friday: Nutfield Genealogy

One of my very favorite blogs is Nutfield Genealogy, written by Healey/Healy/Haley cousin Heather Wilkinson Rojo.  Heather very graciously spotlighted this blog in her Follow Friday post today and when I saw that I had not already done the same, I wanted to return the compliment.

Heather frequently posts on a range of subjects and her posts are always well worth the read.  Some of my favorites from her are her posts on how to use Blurb, her posts for the various carnivals and her Tombstone Tuesday pictures which are always interesting.  Heather has also been writing some wonderful posts of late on Hawaii and her relatives, the prominent Dominis family.  Not too long ago, we found we had another connection besides our Haleys.  Turns out my third great-grandmother's sister, Estrella Mott Lies, lived with the Dominis family in Hawaii for about six months in 1848.  Best of all, "Essie" wrote a memoir of her early life, devoting a large portion to her time with the Dominis family at Washington Place and her youthful adventures in and around the area.

I've been slowly transcribing Essie's memoir and had planned on having part 13 up today but a bout with a bug has put me behind.  I hope to have this section up by tonight but in the meantime do check out Heather's posts on Hawaii and the Dominis family including her most recent post from today on the Hawaiian Royal Family that Essie and the Dominis family knew.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Honey Rose

This bush has been growing in my parents backyard for as long as I can remember. I know the name of it but it is escaping me at the moment. It is a type of rose and because of its color we always called it the 'honey rose' bush.

Privately held by the author [address for private use], California - April 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Surname Saturday: Croad

1. Me
2. and 3. My parents
4. and 5. My paternal grandparents

8. Joseph James Allen
B. 7 Apr 1891, Wyman/Edmore, Montcalm, MI; D. Unk. (bet. 1945-1955), prob. in Jackson, MI
9. Daisy Mae Croad
B. 6 Nov 1896, Lakeview, Montcalm, MI; D. 24 June 1990, Pinellas, FL (prob. in Dunedin)

18. Frederick Rendle Croad
B. 12 May 1865, Sydling St. Nicolas, Dorset, England; D. 27 Sep 1932, MI (prob. Lakeview)
19. Mary Stokes
B. 16 April 1867, Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales; D. 26 June 1923, MI (prob. Lakeview)

36. Robert Rendle Croad
Christened 17 March 1832, Sydling St. Nicolas, Dorset, England; D. 1903, Sydling St. Nicolas, England
37. Susanna(h) Tizzard/Tizard/Tyzard/Tinard
B. 19 Nov 1830, Frampton, Dorset, England; D. 30 June 1907, Sydling St. Nicolas, Dorset, England

72. Robert Croad
B. 14 May 1794, Sydling St. Nicolas, Dorset, England; D. 1873, Sydling St. Nicolas, Dorset, England
73. Elizabeth Rendle
B. ca. 1803, Crewkerne, Somerset, England; D. aft. 1881, prob. in Sydling St. Nicolas, Dorset, England

144. William Croad
145. Ann Rogers

288. John Crode
289. Mrs. Mary Hallet, widow

Sources available upon request except for living persons.  Contact me if you think you might be related to or have further information on any of the people mentioned above.