Sunday, June 26, 2011

Census Sunday: Greats, Part 2

Since I covered my great-grandparents in the 1920 census last week and the 1930 census the week before that, this entry covers them in 1910.

John Grant and Marion Wood Allen and children
1910 US Census - Manistee, Manistee, Michigan
My great-grandfather (Joseph J. Allen) was living at 817 Engelman St. in Manistee, Manistee, Michigan with his family.
1910 US Census, Manistee County, Michigan, population schedule, Manistee Ward 4, enumeration district (ED) 0038, p. 2A, dwelling 24, family 30, Joseph J. Allen (son); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T624, roll 661.
Frederick Rendle and Mary Stokes Croad and children
1910 US Census - Millbrook, Mecosta, Michigan
My great-grandmother (Daisy M. Croad) was living with her family in Millbrook, Mecosta, Michigan on their farm.  Daisy's parents had immigrated to the US in 1892 and had become naturalized by 1910.
1910 US Census, Mecosta County, Michigan, population schedule, Millbrook, enumeration district (ED) 0130, p. 13A, dwelling 3, family 3, Daisy M. Croad (daughter); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T624, roll 663.
Heman Doyle and Emma Sophia Tock Shinn and children
1910 US Census - Elkhorn, San Joaquin, California
My great-grandfather (Elmer J. Shinn) was living on the family farm in rural San Joaquin Co. (enumerated as Elkhorn Twp.).
1910 US Census, San Joaquin County, California, population schedule, Elkhorn, enumeration district (ED) 0119, p. 1B, dwelling 15, family 15, Elmer J. Shinn (son); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 20 June 2011); NARA microfilms publications T624, roll 103.
Lauren Everett and Katherine Nielsen Healey and child
1910 US Census - San Francisco, San Francisco, California
My great-grandmother (Gladys V. Healey) was living with her family at 25 Lexington Ave., San Francisco, San Francisco, California
1910 US Census, San Francisco County, California, population schedule, San Francisco Assembly District 35, enumeration district (ED) 0119, p. 5B, dwelling 81, family 87, Gladys V. Healey (daughter); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 20 June 2011); NARA microfilm publications T624, roll 98.
Gideon Gottlieb Berger, was living with his family
but was enumerated on a different page for some reason
1910 US Census - Oakland, Alameda, California
My great-grandfather (Gideon G. Berger) was living with his family but for whatever reason was enumerated on a different page.  The Bergers were living at 388 Twentieth St., Oakland, Alameda, California.
1910 US Census, Alameda County, California, population schedule, Oakland Ward 7, enumeration district (ED) 0139, p. 12B, dwelling 57, family 61, Gideon Berger (son); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 20 June 2011); NARA microfilm publications T624, roll 71.
George Washington and Mary Anna Webb Wellons and children
1910 US Census - Yreka, Siskiyou, California
My great-grandmother (Georgiana "Georgia" Wellons) was living with her family at 218 North St., Yreka, Siskiyou, California.  Interestingly, Georgia was given the middle initial 'A.' in this census.  I think maybe they said 'Georgiana' but the enumerator heard 'Georgia A.' or thought her name was "Georgia Anna' and abbreviated.  In any case, this is the only instance where she is given a middle initial of any kind.
1910 US Census, Siskiyou County, California, population schedule, Yreka Ward 1, enumeration district (ED) 0121, p. 2B, dwelling 45, family 47, Georgia A. Wellons (daughter); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 20 June 2011); NARA microfilm publications T624, roll 108.


The only greats who weren't enumerated in this census were my paternal grandmother's parents who were still in Italy at the time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Father's Day Gifts to Myself

My genealogy budget consists of the money I make house and pet sitting for friends and neighbors.  The summertime is usually when I make the bulk on what goes into this budget so the summertime is usually when I am able to get the most done (genealogically).  With a recent "genea-pay day" behind me and Father's Day happening I decided to go a strictly paternal route with the records I was ordering:

SS-5 forms, lots of them (more than I was planning to get actually) -

  • Maria Nicoletta Riccia.  My father's grandmother and my biggest brick-wall.  She is not in the SSDI but her death certificate lists her social security number.  I also know from this website, that she filled out her social security application in 1973, the year her husband died.  
  • Giuseppe "Joseph" Lapiccirella.  The husband of the above.  He is also not in the SSDI, but his death certificate lists his number.  He worked for Copperweld Steel which is likely why he had to get a social security number.  I know who his parents are but I ordered his SS-5 because his mother's name never seems to be spelled the same way twice, so I'd like to know how he personally spelled it.
  • Jane Rose Lapiccirella.  My father's mother and the daughter of the above.  She is in the SSDI and it lists her as getting her social security number in Ohio before 1951.  I want to learn: 1) when exactly she applied, 2) who she was working for at the time and 3) if she was married or still at home at the time she applied.
  • Daisy May Croad.  My father's other grandmother.  She is in the SSDI and got her number in Michigan before 1951.  I want to learn if she applied before or after her husband's death and where she was living at the time she applied.  She also doesn't have a birth record (believe me, I've looked) so I don't have any document that lists her parents names (even though I know who they are).
  • Harry James Allen.  My father's father and the son of Daisy above.  He is in the SSDI and it lists him as getting his number in Michigan before 1951.  From what I've heard and collected, he seems to have been career Army except for his brief time working for Kelsey-Hayes (which he hated).  I want to know when he applied and if he was in the Army at the time and also, if it was before or after he was married.
I also went to RAOGK and put in a request for two death records:
  • Frederick Rendle Croad.  The father of of Daisy above.  He died in Millbrook, Mecosta, Michigan in either 1932 or 1956.  I got those two death dates from the IGI and an unsourced tree on Ancestry.com so neither date is very reliable.  I'm curious to know which, if either, is correct and I want proof for it.
  • Mary Stokes.  The wife of Frederick above.  She died in Millbrook, Mecosta, Michigan in 1926.  Again, the source for this death date isn't that reputable so I want proof.
I also wanted to order my father's father's death certificate but those SS-5s maxed me out.  Luckily, the summer is still young so I won't have too long a wait.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Census Sunday: Greats, Part 1

Since I covered my great-grandparents in the 1930 census last time, here they are in 1920:

Right off the bat, I am missing my great-grandfather's (Joseph James Allen) entry in the 1920 census.  I have looked high and low for years and still can't find it.  He should be in Michigan, and since he got married in Jackson in 1921 (and was living there in 1918 when he was drafted into service for WWI), there is a good chance that that was also where he was in 1920.

Daisy May Croad Cuson (later Allen)
1920 US Census - Grand Ledge, Eaton, Michigan
The woman he would marry in 1921, my great-grandmother, was living in Grand Ledge, Eaton, Michigan at 615 West Jefferson St. I was glad when I found this entry for her because it helped clarify what was going on between her and her first husband.  They had married in 1919 but were obviously divorced by the time of her 2nd marriage.  In 1920 both she and her first husband (who was living in Flint with his family) are listed as 'married' but since they were enumerated separately, they seem to have separated by the time of the census.
1920 US Census, Eaton County, Michigan, population schedule, Grand Ledge Ward 1, enumeration district (ED) 102, p. 3A, dwelling 48, family 51, Daisy Cuson (lodger); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T625, roll 763.


Elmer John Shinn, and parents,
Heman Doyle Shinn and Emma Sophia Tock
1920 US Census - Elkhorn, San Joaquin, California
Gladys Viola Healey and grandparents,
Niels Christian Nielsen and Engeline Christine Petersen
1920 US Census - Alameda, Alameda, California
My great-grandfather, Elmer J. Shinn was living at home with his parents, sister, niece and future brother-in-law on the family farm (which is enumerated as Elkhorn Township) in San Joaquin Co., California.
1920 US Census, San Joaquin County, California, population schedule, Elkhorn, enumeration district (ED) 146, p. 20A, dwelling 474, family 488, Heman D. Shinn (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 14 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T625, roll 143.




My great-grandmother, Gladys V. Healey was living with her aunt, uncle and grandparents (Niels Christian Nielsen and Engeline Christine Petersen) at 1508 Alameda Ave. in Alameda, Alameda, California.
1920 US Census, Alameda County, California, population schedule, Alameda, enumeration district (ED) 12, p. 13A, dwelling 251, family 306, Gladys V. Healey (niece); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 14 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T625, roll 87.






Gideon G. Berger and Georgia Wellons
1920 US Census - Butte, Siskiyou, California
My great-grandparents, Gideon Gottlieb Berger and Georgiana Wellons, were living in Butte, Siskiyou, California where he was the minister of the Methodist Church.  At the time of the census they had been married less than four months.
1920 US Census, Siskiyou County, California, population schedule, Butte, enumeration district (ED) 120, p. 7A, dwelling 151, family 155, Gideon Berger (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 14 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T625, roll 149.


The only greats who were not in the US for the census were my grandmother's parents who were in Italy and had not yet immigrated.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

SNGF - Most Recent Unknown

This week's mission:
"1)  Determine who your most recent unknown ancestor is - the one that you don't even know his or her name. 
2)  Summarize what you know about his or her family, including resources that you have searched and the resources you should search but haven't searched yet.
3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a status on Facebook."


I've written about them before and indeed, they are my main research focus of 2011.  My great-grandmother, (Maria) Nicoletta Riccia(?), seems to have fallen from the sky because her parents, if she had them (I'm beginning to have my doubts!), are a total mystery.  I don't have names for either of them, including surnames (though I'm pretty sure Nicoletta's maiden name was Riccia or some variation thereof), dates, or even a location.

I've done genetic testing.  Nicoletta is the source of my father's rare mtDNA haplotype, N1a.  This makes it interesting to research, but difficult to find genetic matches.  I've looked at the microfilms for the village where her husband (and supposedly she) was from and again, no luck.  I ordered her death certificate which disappointingly lists her parents as "Unavailable."  I've also put in requests for her naturalization file but it doesn't seem to exist.

Luckily, there is one glimmer of hope:  Nicoletta had a social security number.  And, where there's a number, there's an application (her SS-5 form).  I ordered it yesterday, wish me luck.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Family Finder

Back in November of last year I took a basic (HVR1) mtDNA test through Family Tree DNA.  I had planned on some sort of upgrade one day but was in no hurry thanks to the tests my parents took through 23andMe in December.

Well, the summer sale was just too tempting so I opted for the Family Finder test (which is $90 off thanks to the sale!).  I like autosomal DNA tests, they are a nice option for people with limited options like me (females) and I am satisfied with what I know about my mtDNA because of the test my mother did through 23andMe.  So, Family Finder was the most appealing item on the sale list even though their database is smaller than 23andMe's Relative Finder.

I'm thinking of this test as an investment more than anything.  Family Tree DNA is still #1 in the field of genetic genealogy testing and I don't see that changing any time soon and, I can only see their Family Finder database growing (it is still pretty new).

I already know what the Family Finder's Population Finder % will likely be since both my parents were considered 100% European according to 23andMe.  So really, I'm just doing this to see what matches I have and might get in the future.  Given my experience with 23andMe's Relative Finder, I'm betting most of my Family Finder matches will come from my mother's side (my father had relatively few Relative Finder matches, likely due to the fact that he is half-Italian) though I'd be thrilled if I could find a match through my paternal ancestry - especially the Italian branch.


Disclosure:  I am in no way affiliated with either Family Tree DNA or 23andMe.  I was in no way prompted or remunerated for this post by any individual or company (including Family Tree DNA and 23andMe).  I paid the sale price for the Family Finder test and received no additional discount of any kind from Family Tree DNA.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Census Sunday: Grands

I'm very excited about the release of the 1940 US census next year, but in the meantime I want to try and better organize the census records I do have.  This involves seeing exactly which ones I have and which ones I still need to find, and improving my citations for them (saying they're sloppy is putting it nicely).  My goal is to have all this done by the time the 1940 census is released next April.

Starting with the most recently released census (1930) and the most recent generation (my grandparents):
Joseph James and Daisy May Croad Allen
1930 US Census - Jackson, Jackson, MI
My great-grandparents (Joseph J. Allen and Daisy M. Croad).  They were living at 330 Addison St., Jackson, Jackson, Michigan.  Their children, including my grandfather, appear on the subsequent page.
1930 US Census, Jackson County, Michigan, population schedule, Jackson, enumeration district (ED) 25, p. 18A, dwelling 429, family 459, Joseph J. Allen (head); digital image, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T626, roll 996.


Giuseppe and (Maria) Nicoletta Riccia Lapiccirella
1930 US Census - Warren, Trumbull, OH
My great-grandparents (Giuseppe "Joseph" and Nicoletta Riccia Lapiccirella).  They were living at 657 Second St., Warren, Trumbull, Ohio.  My grandmother was not enumerated in this census, even though I'm sure she was making her presence known - she was born four months after the census was taken.
1930 US Census, Trumbull County, Ohio, population schedule, Warren, enumeration district (ED) 31, p. 22B, dwelling 389, family 547, Giuseppe Lappicirella (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T626, roll 1883.




Elmer John and Gladys Viola Healey Shinn
1930 US Census - Elkhorn Twp., San Joaquin, California
My great-grandfather (Elmer J. Shinn).  He and his family (including my great-grandmother and grandfather) were living in the family home in rural San Joaquin County (enumerated as Elkhorn Township).  My great-grandfather is the only one who appears on this page, the rest of the family is on the subsequent page.
1930 US Census, San Joaquin County, California, population schedule, Elkhorn Township, enumeration district (ED) 17, p. 9A, dwelling 230, family 231, Elmer J. Shinn (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 12 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T626, roll 210.


Gideon Gottlieb and Georgiana Wellons Berger
1930 US Census - Petaluma, Sonoma, California
My great-grandparents (Gideon G. Berger and Georgia Wellons) and their children.  They were living at 411 A St., Petaluma, Sonoma, California.  I actually know quite a bit about this home as my grandmother was able to recall many details about the house, street and her neighbors when I interviewed her a few months ago.
1930 US Census, Sonoma County, California, population schedule, Petaluma, enumeration district (ED) 31, p. 4A, dwelling 71A, family 90A, Gideon G. Berger (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 12 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T626, roll 222.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fort Dix and My Family Tree

When my 3rd great-grandfather, John R. Shinn, came out to California in the 1850s he left his family in Burlington Co., New Jersey behind and doesn't seem to have kept in touch with any of them.  Among the family who saw John disappear into the west were his many siblings, including his sister Jane.  Jane had married Joseph Deviny/Devinney and they had several children.  Their eldest, Charles Henry Devinney, had a daughter, also a Jane.  Jane S. Devinney was married to C(harles) Newell Harker, whose family owned some of the land that became what is now Fort Dix and the home that became the commanding generals' quarters.  Convoluted, I know, but the article is interesting nonetheless:

"Native Returns
Farmer Visits Generals

    An 85-year-old ex-resident of the farmland that now houses "the Home of the Ultimate Weapon" took a sentimental journey last week to the house in which he was born and raised.
    The spry octogenarian is C. Newell Harker, presently of Haddonfield, and the house has since been the home of the 26 commanding generals of Fort Dix.  Housing Major General Chase W. Kennedy in 1917, the white frame, two-story home was most recently occupied by Major General Reuben H. Tucker (1961-1962).
    It all started one evening in 1917, when the Harker household was visited by a mysterious group of men from the government.  The family was informed of a massive plan to help America answer the call to arms for World War I.  The designs, plans and maps that were laid out on the Harkers' dining room table months later had materialized into a bustling military reservation.
    Since then the five-mile tract of farmland has grown into the 55-square mile "military city" of Fort Dix.
    All of the Harker farmland, stables - including the 50-foot well that was dug by Harker and his father, has since been transformed but the house itself, aside from interior changes has remained about the same and can be seen set back from the General Circle, one of the entrances to the main post.
    Mr. Harker's birthplace always had a strong sentimental value attached to it, since his Haddonfield residence was built as an almost-exact duplicate.
    His recent visit to the old home satisfied the curiosity that had built up in the house's original occupant since he left it over 45 years ago.
    As he walked from room to room he unveiled the history of the 150 year old property, relating remembrances of days spent here he discussed everything from the cistern that used to be under the house to the eerie overnight disappearance of his mother's "store-bought teeth."
    His running commentary began as soon as he entered the building.  "So many things come to my mind... They've taken the partition out here (dining room); this used to be double doors.  Hmmm, enlarged the kitchen - used to be two rooms.  Look at that banister - still sturdy as a rock!  This was an open porch: it's been enclosed and cut off here... this grass area used to have a sidewalk through it."
    Through each of the rooms, the elderly guide led his touring party of friends and military escorts.  From the cellar ("There used to be a pork barrel and a ham barrel down here.") to the attic, which had been reconverted into finished rooms, ("It's lost its identity.") he smiled, joked, reminisced and remembered parts of his life that were unlocked along with the front door.

Private Puzzled
    After thoroughly touring the home, he left the building which he said "was certainly well cared for," and expressed his delight at being able to see it again after so many years.
    As his care drove out the driveway, a soldier who had been raking leaves from the lawn, lost control of his curiosity and asked, "Who was that?"
    "A gentleman who used to live her," was the answer.
    "Is he a general?" was the next question.
    "No, just a man who had long been looking forward to... looking back, so today he did just that."
    The puzzled private continued to rake the leaves off of the "grass that used to be a sidewalk.""

From page 25, Trenton Evening Times, 15 June 1962.

I'm sure this isn't my only familial connection to Fort Dix as it is both a major military installation (and has been for nearly 100 years) and also because of its location in an area where I have had family since before the county was formed in 1681 - this is just the only familial connection I've been able to uncover... so far.

Another interesting anecdote about the family is that Charles Henry Devinney's brother-in-law lost his business partner on the Titanic.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mappy Monday: Wood

My Woods seem to have moved around a lot and in an interesting pattern, coming from Ireland to Canada, then moving to Michigan and then back to Canada and then, finally, back to Michigan.  Their time within both the US and Canada also involved moves to different communities.  I believe all these moves has a lot to do with the fact that my third great-grandfather, Charles Wood (and his father before him), was a farm laborer for most of his life and probably had to go wherever there was work.

Early history of the family is sketchy but from the few biographies I have of various family members, Charles Wood and his wife, Jane, came to Galt, Waterloo, Ontario in 1855.  Jane's family, the Montgomerys, had come to Hamilton, Ontario around 1842 and then Galt around 1849.  Both the Wood and Montgomery families originated in Northern Ireland, some sources say County Cavan and some say County Armagh.  Below is what I know of the family's locations after the 1861 Canadian census:


View Wood Family, 1861 - 1910 in a larger map


[1] Blue push-pin: North Dumfries, Brant, Ontario, Canada
[2] Red marker with dot: East Zorra, Oxford, Ontario, Canada
[3] Green marker with dot: Summit, Jackson, Michigan, USA
[4] Teal marker with dot: South Dumfries, Brant, Ontario, Canada
[5] and [6] Yellow marker with dot: McKillop, Huron, Ontario, Canada
[7] Purple marker with dot: Farmington, Oakland, Michigan, USA
[8] and [10] Pink marker with dot: Rolland Twp., Isabella, Michigan, USA
[9] Blue marker with dot: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, USA
[11] Pink push-pin: Rolland Twp., Isabella, Michigan

Sunday, June 5, 2011

This Is The Face of Genealogy

My great-grandmother, Georgia Wellons (Berger), 1891-1985
and her three sisters, Flo, Sadie and Edna (back row)
Picture taken circa 1900, Yreka, Siskiyou, California

For the back story on this post, see here.