Saturday, November 10, 2012

Surname Saturday: Deviney

My connection to the Deviney family is through Jane S. Shinn, sister of my 3rd great-grandfather.  Jane married Joseph around 1847.  They lived in their native Burlington Co., New Jersey throughout their lives.

Joseph was the son of Clayton Deviney and Charlotte Unknown.  Joseph and Jane had the following children:
  • Charles Henry Deviney, 1847-1920.  He lived in the Juliustown area of Springfield Twp., Burlington, New Jersey.  He married Mary G. Mount and they had the following: Jane S. Deviney Harker and Lydia T. Deviney Stevens.
  • Sarah Ann "Sadie" Deviney Vansant, 1851-1908.  She married a prominent Camden coffee merchant, James Alpheus Vansant.  They had two children: Amy Rose Vansant Scott and Ada V. Vansant Stoddard.
  • Edith Ella Deviney Cliver, 1852-1925.  She married David L. Cliver.  They lived in the Camden area.  They had: Shannon Cliver, Sadie V. Cliver Underwood, Estella Cliver Willett.
  • Joseph W. Deviney, 1858-1908.  Died in the New Aveline Hotel fire in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Married Sarah Kirk.  One daughter, Florence J. Deviney.
Surname is often also spelled: Devinney, Devinny or Deviny.

Joseph died in 1863, Jane in 1892.  Their headstones can be seen here.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Where It All Began

I actually didn't start genealogy research the usual way (or the correct way according to some).  I didn't start with myself, or any living relative for that matter.  I began with my 5th great-grandfather, only I didn't know it at the time.

His name was Moses Jackman, a name my eleven-year-old self found amusing.  My mother had a photocopy of a biography of his which I had looked at from time to time over the years with the knowledge that I was somehow related to him.

At the time I had a teacher who enjoyed spending her free time in the computer lab at school looking for ancestors on FamilySearch.  I caught her at it once and asked what she was so engrossed with and what the little charts and notes were about.

Sufficiently intrigued, I decided I wanted to try looking for ancestors too.  My mind pretty well immediately settled on the ancestor with the funny name, who lived and died long ago in a land far away, and who I had a vague idea I was somehow related to.

Because of the biography I had a lot of information on him already.  I used it as a guidepost in my research.  I would find a record and compare it to the biography to see how, or if, it matched up.  Luckily, a name like Moses Jackman isn't all that common so most records I found actually did pertain to him or his father (also a Moses).  Even more luckily, Moses was of old New England stock and they didn't like to move around much.  In fact, the name of the town where they had been in since before Moses' father's birth tickled me even more than the name 'Moses Jackman.'  Boscawen.  Boscawen, Merrimack, New Hampshire to be precise.  How could not want to learn about a family that lived in a town called 'Boscawen?!'

I spent the next year pretty much exclusively researching Moses' family.  In the end I had a mountain of paperwork on the family.  While a good portion of that paperwork has proved correct, because it was not sourced or in any way coherent research I ended up scrapping most of it several years ago.

Interestingly, since re-doing my research on Moses, I actually spend very little time on the family.  In fact my New England lines are by far the most neglected - surprising since it was a New England line that hooked me into genealogy to begin with.  But, I am glad I started with a New England line because it was so easy to research those people.  If it had been difficult I do wonder whether I would have stuck with genealogy research or not.  Today, I actually feel like I've come full circle in that it is the difficult lines and brick walls that I now prefer to work on and the easy ones (most in New England) that I have set aside for too many years.

In closing, all I have to say is thanks be to Moses Jackman from Boscawen, the ancestor to whom I owe so much - and where it all began.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Engeline's Obit

Engeline Christine Petersen Nielsen was my 3rd great-grandmother.  I know very little about her and nothing at all about her parents.  But, her obituary was a wonderful discovery because it gave me the names of two of her sisters who I have since been able to find in many records.  I'm hopeful that I'll be able to learn the names of her parents someday, if not through her, then through one of her sisters.

"NIELSEN -- In Alameda, February 28, Engeline C. Nielsen, beloved wife of Niels C. Nielsen, loving mother of Carolyn J. Muller, Lillian M. Petersen, the late Katherine Healey, grandmother of Mrs. Gladys Shinn and Dorothy B. Muller, and sister of Mrs. C. Clausen and Mrs. C. Strauss; a native of Germany, aged 76 years.
    Services will be conducted Tuesday, March 1, 1932, at 3 o'clock p. m. from the residence chapel of Fowler-Anderson, funeral directors, 2211 Santa Clara avenue, Alameda."

From the Oakland Tribune (Oakland, CA), 29 February 1932, page C29.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Emma's Obit

Emma Sophia Tock Shinn was my 2nd great-grandmother.  She died 11 April 1928 "after an illness of some two years" according to he obituary.  When I got a copy of her death certificate back in September, I learned that that illness was breast cancer.  She is the first ancestor (direct or otherwise) I have found who suffered from this disease which now, unfortunately, affects too many.  From the Lodi News-Sentinel (Lodi, CA), 12 April 1928, page 1:


    There passed away last night at 9:20 o'clock Mrs. Emma Sophia Shinn, after an illness of some two years.  Mrs. Shinn was born of English parents in Calles, Maine, January 27, 1859, and when 13 years of age, came to San Joaquin county with her father and three sisters, her mother having died when she was but two years of age.
    When but 16 years of age she married Mr. Shinn who was then but 21, and a little over three years ago celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.  Their home has always been on the Shinn ranch, located 3 miles from Woodbridge, and originally pioneered by the father and grandfather of Mr. Shinn.  The union was blessed with three children, Mrs. Mae Bancroft, Elmer Shinn and Mrs. Delmar Detert and seven grandchildren.  Raymond, Elizabeth and Clarence Bancroft, Ruth Atwell, Marilyn Detert, Elmer John Jr. and Everett Herman Shinn.  She was a member of Woodbridge Rebekah lodge No. 258.
    Her funeral will be held from the family home Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock under the direction of Hale & Bawden."

Although thorough, the obituary has several typos.  Most notably her birthplace, which was actually Calais, Maine (although a family biography states she was actually born across the river in New Brunswick).

She was interred in the Stockton Woodland Mausoleum in Stockton, San Joaquin, California.  Her gravestone can be viewed here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaBloPoMo 2012

Last November I attempted to participate in National Blog Posting Month.  I did pretty well, but did not meet the objective: posting every day of the month.  Well, it is November again, which means I'm going to try and post something every day.

I don't really have any plan or posting schedule, but I would like to take this opportunity to try and transcribe some records.  I've also found lots of newspaper articles this year and would like to get them transcribed here as well.  Most of these newspaper articles were actually found freely online at these places (each a long time staple of mine):

I've also been doing a bit of scanning lately and would like to get those up here during this month.  And finally, I am waiting on the mail for some (hopefully exciting) records.  If they arrive within the month I'll include them in NaBloPoMo.  What about you, will you be joining the NaBloPoMo fun?

Monday, October 29, 2012

An Oreo for George

George Albert Wood died at the somewhat young age of fifty-four in the same area where he grew up.  Doing no further research on him, it would be easy to assume he never left that area.

In fact, with the exception of a few year's in his wife's native Cleveland, he had spent forty-five or so years of his life in the same area of Jackson County, Missouri.  With a common name like George Wood though, he had been difficult to find in Missouri in the 1940 US Census.  I decided to examine his death certificate from 1945 for clues as to where he was in 1940.  Two things immediately jumped out:

1) George had only been in the location of his death for about two months and 2) his occupation is given as the manager of the "National Bis. Co. Texas."  Also listed is Amarillo for his usual residence.  Interestingly, in the 1930 US Census George was still in his hometown and gives his occupation as a salesman for "National Biscuit."  Clearly he hadn't changed employers between 1930 and his death in 1945.

From there I decided to look for George in Texas at the time of the "old man's draft" in 1942:

He is still in Amarillo and still working for the National Biscuit Co.  All this means he was likely in Amarillo for the 1940 US Census - and sure enough he was.  At the same address, his occupation is given as manager of "Biscuit Company."

Because of where George died I had thought that finding a death notice for him would be difficult.  But, because of the years he worked in Amarillo, I struck pay dirt (twice actually).  It just goes to show that where a person died isn't necessarily the only place that would carry a death notice for them.

The Amarillo Globe (Amarillo, TX), 5 Nov 1945, page 2
So, what does all this have to do with Oreos?  Well, National Biscuit Company is still around... better known as Nabisco and Oreos are one of their flagship products... and also Oreos are one of my very favorite sweet treats (double stuff of course, with milk).  In fact, I think I'll have one in George's honor tonight!

(For anyone wondering what my connection is: George's uncle, Charles, was my 3rd great-grandfather)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Surname Saturday: Cook

My connection to the Cook family is through my great-great-grandmother, Marion Wood Allen.  Her sister, Eleanor, married Jacob Cook.

Eleanor "Ella" Wood was born 14 August, 1872 in Summit Twp., Jackson, Michigan.  She died in 1965 and was buried in Vinewood Cemetery, Edmore, Montcalm, Michigan.  She married Jacob Cook on 20 November, 1894 in Home Twp., Montcalm, Michigan.

Jacob Cook was born 12 October, 1871 in Freedom, Ingham, Michigan and died in 1950.  His parents were Jacob Cook and Caroline Weissinger.

Eleanor and Jacob had the following:
  1. Edward Cook (1895-1967) m. Frances L. Pixley
  2. George Frederick Cook (1896-1950) m. Vadah Rowley
  3. Anna Cook Crawford (1898-1990) m. Robert Crawford
  4. Clyde C. Cook (1900-1933) m. M. Ernestine Long
  5. Walter L. Cook (1904-1957) m. Doris E. Bollinger
Jacob and Eleanor had at least four grandchildren and likely more.  There is a lot about this family I don't know.  I do have some additional information and documentation I have not shared here.  If you are connected with this family, do please contact me.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

SNGF: Longest Gravestone Line

What a fun challenge this week!  I hadn't ever thought to look and determine which was my longest unbroken line of gravestone.  I really didn't think I could get very far, but then I remembered that there were quite a few on Fin-A-Grave.  I ended up being able to go a good ways back on some of my lines.

1. My grandfather, Everett Heman Shinn (1925-2000), Woodbridge Masonic Cemetery (Woodbridge, San Joaquin, CA).  Photo here.

2. My great-grandmother, Gladys Viola Healey Shinn (1898-1998), Stockton Woodland Mausoleum (Stockton, San Joaquin, CA).  Photo here.

3. My great-great-grandfather, Lauren Everett Healey (1873-1959), Greenlawn Memorial Park (Colma, San Mateo, CA).  No photo online.

4. My 3rd great-grandfather, Comfort G. Healey (1838-1910), Greenlawn Memorial Park (Colma, San Mateo, CA).  No photo online.

5. My 4th great-grandmother, Mary Lee Scott Haley (1809-1893), Irvington Memorial Cemetery (Fremont, Alameda, CA).  Photo here.

6. My 5th great-grandfather, John Scott (1768-1855), Chebogue Cemetery (Rockville, Nova Scotia).  Photo here.

7. My 6th great-grandmother, Lucie/Lucy Ring Scott (1751-1777), Chebogue Cemetery (Rockville, Nova Scotia).  Photo here.

8. My 7th great-grandfather, George Ring (1726-1776), Chebogue Cemetery (Rockville, Nova Scotia).  Photo here.

9. My 8th great-grandfather, Samuel Ring (1694-1768), Old Burying Ground (Kingston, Plymouth, MA).  No photo, memorial here.

I can also go aways back through my great-grandfather:

2. My great-grandfather, Elmer John Shinn (1877-1946), Stockton Woodland Mausoleum (Stockton, San Joaquin, CA).  Photo here.

3. My great-great-grandfather, Heman Doyle Shinn (1853-1928), Stockton Woodland Mausoleum (Stockton, San Joaquin, CA).  Photo here.

4. My 3rd great-grandmother, Mariah Adelaide Doyle Shinn (1833-1917), Woodbridge Masonic Cemetery (Woodbridge, San Joaquin, CA).  Photo here.

5. My 4th great-grandmother, Alzina Jackman Doyle (1810-1890), Woodbridge Masonic Cemetery (Woodbridge, San Joaquin, CA).  Photo here.

6. My 5th great-grandmother, Rhoda Collins Jackman (1781-1811), Union Cemetery (Livonia, Livingston, NY).  No photo, memorial here.

7. My 6th great-grandfather, John Collins (1754-1833), Graves Cemetery (Mendon, Monroe, NY).  Photo here.

8. My 7th great-grandfather, Thomas Collins (1725-1793), Riverside Cemetery (Ira, Rutland, VT).  Photo here.

Surname Saturday: Evans of Trumbull County, Ohio

Early into my research on my paternal line, I discovered that the Evans family of Trumbull and Mahoning counties, Ohio were quite prominent and numerous.  The portion of the family I am related to lived in Mineral Ridge and later, the Girard area of Trumbull County.

My connection to the Evans family is through my great-great-grandfather's sister, Mary C. Allen.  Mary married Thomas J. Evans.  Thomas was the son of John Luster/Lester and Hannah (Ludwig/Ludwick) Hocker Evans.

Mary C. Allen was born 2 January, 1855 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.  She died on 30 April, 1940 in Girard, Trumbull, Ohio.  She married Thomas J. Evans in March of 1870, likely in either Trumbull or Mahoning County, Ohio.

Thomas J. Evans was born 22 October, 1854 in Evansville, Mahoning, Ohio.  He died 1 March, 1930 in Girard, Trumbull, Ohio.  They had the following children:
  1. Emma Evans Baker (1873-1927)
  2. Nellie/Lilly Grace Evans Miller (1875-aft 1940)
  3. Robert Thomas Evans (1876-aft 1945)
  4. Elizabeth Hannah "Bertie" Evans Walters (1879-aft 1940)
  5. William J. Evans (1881-aft 1940)
  6. Ella P. Evans (1890-1923)
All but Emma and Ella left descendants, including: Elizabeth Mary Miller Black, June Evans, Mary Grace Walters Gautchi Cross, Marguerite Evans.

If you are related to this family, please contact me.  I have additional information and documentation not shared here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Election of 1912

This being a presidential election year, I thought it might be interesting to re-examine the voter rolls of my ancestors from one hundred years ago.  It was also a special presidential election because it was the first my female ancestors in California were able to vote in.

My great-grandmother was too young in 1912, but her mother, sister and sister-in-law all appeared on the rolls - as did her father and brother:

Yreka Precinct Ward 1
Siskiyou, CA Voter Rolls 1912, page 125
I think it is interesting that my great-great-grandfather is registered as a Socialist and the rest of his family is not.  I wonder if it created any familial friction...

My great-grandfather, his brother, sister and his mother all were registered:

Oakland Precinct 132
Alameda, CA Voter Rolls 1912
So was my great-great-great-grandmother and her daughter:

San Francisco Assembly District 25
San Francisco, CA Voter Rolls 1912

...And her son, my great-great-grandfather, whose name is quite mutilated on the roll:

Alameda Precinct 2
Alameda, CA Voter Rolls 1912
As well as my great-grandfather and his father:

Woodbridge Precinct
San Joaquin, CA Voter Rolls 1912
If my ancestors decided the winner in 1912 (assuming they voted along party lines), all added up the results are:
Woodrow Wilson: 4
Theodore Roosevelt: 0*
William H. Taft: 8
Eugene V. Debs: 2

*My great-grandmother (who was only a girl in 1912) always loved Theodore Roosevelt, so it is possible her father Lauren voted for him in 1912 instead of the Socialist candidate, Debs.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Today this little blog turns four.  Who would have thought?  Certainly not I.

But you know what?  I still enjoy writing posts here just as much as I did on day one, maybe even more so because I'm not as unsure of myself as I was then.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by, whether for a moment or ten, and to those who have left comments, or left quietly.  Reading the genealogy blogs of others have inspired and educated me more than I can say, so the fact that anyone bothers to stop here humbles and amazes me.

Genealogy research is still my favorite thing in the world to do, and documenting that research here is a close second.  It has been a fun four years, now let's see what the next four bring!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

SNGF - Paternal Maternal Line

This week's challenge is one I did before (my mtDNA haplogroup is K1a4a1), so I'm doing my father's maternal lines instead.  This will, unfortunately, be short and sweet:

1. My Dad
2. My Paternal Grandmother
3. (Maria) Nicoletta UNKNOWN (likely either Riccia or Daccia), born 25 February 1891/1892 in Peschici, Foggia, Italy; died 10 February 1987 in Warren, Trumbull, Ohio

Their mtDNA haplogroup is N1a, a rare one - especially in Europe.  The only place it shows up in any noticeable percentages today is in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

For a bonus here are my grandfather's maternal lines as well:

1. My Maternal Grandfather
2. Gladys Viola Healey (1898-1998)
3. Katherine Nielsen (1875-1918)
4. Engeline Christine Petersen (1855-1932)

Engeline was Danish, from the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.  I do not know what their mtDNA haplogroup is, though I have several testing options.

1. My Paternal Grandfather
2. Daisy May/Mae/Marie Croad (1896-1990)
3. Mary Stokes (1867-1923)
4. Charlotte Shepstone/Shipton (1827-1896)
5. Sarah Shoe (1806-1832)
6. Mary UNKNOWN (ca. 1776-aft. 1841)

Mary lived in Somerset, England and at the time of the 1841 England Census, she was living in the village of Churchill (where her granddaughter Charlotte was born).  There are a few testing options that I know of, but I have not been in contact with any of them.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Pastoral Record

I've used the Methodist Church's wonderful and extensive archives in researching my mother's family over the years, but was quite surprised to learn someone on my father's side was also in there.

Andrew Wood was the brother of my third great-grandfather.  He was the son of Irish or Scotch-Irish immigrants to Canada and like at least two of his brothers, came to Michigan when a young man.  Andrew became a Methodist minister, something I learned when I discovered he had been the officiant at his brother's funeral.  I located him in the Annual Conference Journal Memoirs Index and sent away for the record (cost was $5).  This is what I received:


    Rev. Andrew Wood, retired minister of the Detroit Conference and resident of Imlay City some twenty years, died at his home, Sept. 10, aged 85 years.  He had been in failing health for some years.

    Andrew Wood was born in Waterloo County, Ont., Feb. 27, 1857.  He entered the ministry of the Methodist Church after attending Colburg College and served two charges before coming to Michigan about 60 years ago.  He joined the Conference in 1884 and was married to Laura Banks at Sault Ste. Marie, Feb. 25, 1885.

    He is survived by his widow and a brother, George Wood of Kansas City, Mo.  He had two sons.  George Wood, who died at Imlay City in 1934, and Major Charles Wesley Wood, U.S. Army, who died suddenly while on duty in Washington, D.C., June 2, this year.

    Brother Wood was widely known because of his effective work on many pastorates in this Conference and his work in the cause of temperance in both Michigan and South Dakota.

    Twenty-two ministers attended the funeral service in the Imlay City church on Monday, the fourteenth.  The pastor, H. A. Hudgins, opened the service while the attending ministers stood in silent reverence, the District Superintendent, Gordon Philips, brought the sympathetic expression on behalf of the conference and the district.  Neighboring pastors who spoke were Frank Hemingway of Lapeer and David Grasman of the local Christian Reform Church for the community.  The other ministers present sang two hymns and served as pallbearers.  Burial was in the Imlay City cemetery."

From the 1943 minutes of the Detroit Conference.  Also included was a list with dates of all the places where he officiated.

I think the "Colburg College" mentioned is actually Victoria College which was in Cobourg, Ontario and was an "unofficial Methodist seminary."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Deceased Physician File

While I don't have many physicians in my family tree, there are a few which is why my curiosity was piqued when I saw FamilySearch had added United States, Deceased Physician File (AMA), 1864-1968.

The first physician I looked for was the one I knew the least about, my great-grandfather's brother, Albert Berger.  From letters and records, I know Albert was often on the move through the military or his medical work.

Albert J. Berger Deceased Physician File, Page 1

Albert J. Berger Deceased Physician File, Page 2
I wasn't expecting to learn as much as I did about Albert.  His middle name, education and cause of death were all new to me.  Thanks, FamilySearch!

Disclosure:  I have no affiliation whatsoever with either FamilySearch or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I received no remuneration of any kind by anyone for writing this post.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: No Cause of Action

"Artist Wood Discharged.
    "William Wood, the Lockport artist who was arrested by Agnes Bridges of the Falls and taken before Justice Piper for assault, was last Saturday honorably discharged on the grounds of no cause of action.
    "Mr. Wood desires to make the following statement:
    "He says he is engaged in making crayon portraits, soliciting throughout the State personally sometimes.  Last November he called on Mrs. Agnes Bridges, who gave him an order for a portrait to be delivered May 1st, terms cash if the work proved satisfactory.  He took the portrait to her and the work was satisfactory, he claims, but she could only pay one dollar then.  Mr. Wood said he told her he could not leave the picture, but would leave it at his hotel until the balance was paid.  She said it should not go out of the house and took it into another room.  He then came home and brought suit and got a judgment two weeks after the transaction.
    "Mrs. Bridges returned to the Falls the same day and had him arrested for assault, with the result noted above."

Lockport Daily Journal (Lockport, Niagara, New York), 28 May 1894, page 5.

William Wood was the brother of my third great-grandfather.  Do you have any crayon portraits of your ancestors from the Niagara County, New York area?  Maybe William drew it!  He was in business there from the mid-1880s until the mid-1920s.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

AncestryDNA Results!

Imagine my surprise when I checked my e-mail this evening and saw that my AncestryDNA results were up!  I thought I had at least another two weeks to wait but am happy that it didn't take as long as I thought it would.  My pie was surprisingly colorful:

I was expecting a higher percentage of British Isles and not as much Scandinavian as I was assigned.  While I have a Danish great-great-grandmother, I imagine some of my English ancestors (especially those from Lincolnshire) have been classified as Scandinavian.

The Middle Eastern result surprised me until I read that is included the Eastern Mediterranean Coast - which is where my Italian ancestors were from.  I think my Southern European and the Uncertain portions also come from my Italian grandmother.

My matches were pretty much what I was expecting: not too many and most of those that I did get were thanks to my Colonial New England lines.

There was one interesting match which warrants more research.  My Masons are a big mystery and one of my closest matches also had a mystery Mason... a few counties west of where my Masons were in Indiana.  Hmmm...

Disclosure: I have no affiliation with either or AncestryDNA.  I bought an AncestryDNA test and received no remuneration of any kind by anyone for taking the test and writing this post.

Monday, September 3, 2012


This is part three in a series of posts on what happened to the Wood brothers after they left Canada.  My ancestor was Charles S. Wood who ended up in Michigan along with his brother, John.  They had a sister, Jane, who married Edward Maycock and went to British Columbia.  Their mysterious brothers were: Alexander, William, James A., George D., and Andrew.

When last we left off, there was a William Wood family discovered in the same Lockport area as George D. Wood.  Reading newspaper articles soon clenched that this was indeed, my ancestor's brother, William.  His obituary sealed the deal by both mentioning George in Missouri, and also Jane (aka "Jennie") Maycock in British Columbia.  It also gave me a location for brother Andrew, who was living in Imlay City, Lapeer, Michigan, at the time.

I soon located Andrew in census records and learned he had been a Methodist minister (Google his name and the various locations he ministered and you'll get quite a few hits).  This was wonderful news because it meant the Methodist Church might have some biographical information on him. A quick search of their Annual Conference Journal Memoirs index revealed an entry for, I believe, my Andrew Wood.:

I have written for a copy of this memoir and am anxious to read it.  I do know that my other ancestors who members of the Methodist Church clergy had wonderfully detailed memoirs published about them when they died and I am hopeful that Andrew's will prove equally illuminating.

There was still one brother left to locate after all this, Alexander.  Where to start?  How about here:

William had many out of town guests at his funeral, most either relatives of his or his wife.  One person in particular stuck out: "Arthur W. Wood of Syracuse."  It seemed pretty likely that Arthur was a relative of William's but how did he fit in?  Neither William nor any of his known siblings had a child named Arthur.  Could he be related to the mysterious Alexander?

I began investigating Arthur by looking in city directories of the time and then census records.  Interestingly enough, Arthur was also an artist like William.  I was able to establish that he was born in New York around 1880.  Then I found this from the 1892 New York Census:

This Arthur was living in Buffalo, Erie County.  It looks like he was living with a sister, Nellie and parents Alexander and Hattie.  Hmmm...  If this is my Alexander Wood, then Hattie is a remarriage because the only spouse of his I knew of was a Margaret McFadden who had died in Canada in 1886.

Since it seemed possible that Arthur would be in the 1880 US Census, I went looking.  An Arthur Wood, six months of age, appears in Medina, Orleans, New York:

Also in the household is Nellie, again, as well as Alex(ander) and... Margaret.  This really seems like my Alexander Wood, and I believe it is.  Of note is the fact that also living in Medina in 1880 was William Wood and his family.

While looking for Alexander in later records I stumbled upon an online tree which gives him a death date in 1893.  But, since I can't find any proof to confirm or deny this, I simply have him listed as dying after 1892.  Since he doesn't appear in either the 1900 US or 1901 Canadian Census, it seems probable that he died before then.  

Now, back to where I started: John's obituary.  It states that at the time of his death in 1918, he was survived by five brothers and one sister.  Assuming the obituary is correct and taking into account this new research, the five surviving brothers were: James A., William, Andrew, George D. and... Charles S. 

One of the reasons I wanted to research Charles' siblings was to maybe learn when he died.  I knew it was between 1910 and 1920, but if John's obituary is correct (as well as this new research), then Charles was one of the surviving five in 1918. 

Much research still needs to be done on these people, but I feel like I have many more avenues to go down now - and I can't hardly wait to get going!

Sunday, September 2, 2012


This is part two in a series of posts on what happened to the Wood brothers after they left Canada.  My ancestor was Charles S. Wood who ended up in Michigan along with his brother, John.  They had a sister, Jane, who married Edward Maycock and went to British Columbia.  Their mysterious brothers were: Alexander, William, James A., George D., and Andrew.

We last left off with the discovery of a Wood family in Missouri which seemed to match the family of James A. Wood, brother of my ancestor, Charles.  Was this the right family though?  Dates and places seemed to match but I was still uneasy.  Since information on Find-A-Grave isn't typically sourced, I needed to find out if this woman really was Anna Brodhagen Wood, wife of James A. Wood.

A search of Missouri Digital Heritage revealed a death certificate which correlates with the information on the headstone, and also does indeed give her maiden name as Brodhagen.  This would seem to "seal the deal" but I wanted more, so went looking for an obituary which would hopefully name some surviving relatives back in Canada.

Lo and behold, I found an obituary for James A. Wood and it was a dilly.  From the 19 Oct 1918 issue of the Kansas City Star, I learned that he died in Denver in a mining accident.  I also learned that at the time of his death he had three surviving children and: "...a sister, Mrs. Ed Maycock, Kerrisdale, British Columbia, and a brother, George D. Wood, Merwin, Mo."

With the mention of Mrs. Maycock in British Columbia, I was certain this was the right James A. Wood.  And, best of all, the obituary gave me my next clue: brother George D. Wood of Merwin, Missouri.

Information on George was surprisingly easy to find.  Census records, a picture of his headstone, even his death certificate.  Like James, George seems to have spent most of his life in Missouri, especially the Kansas City area.  However, it was his time out of state that is the most interesting.

At first I didn't pay much attention to the fact that his two eldest children had been born in New York.  Then, as I was reading the death certificate for George's son, George Albert, I noticed that his birth place in New York was Lockport.  Bells started going off in my mind as I remembered that Lockport was quite close to the Canadian border.  And remember, I still hadn't located all of the Wood siblings yet, there was still brothers William, Alexander and Andrew unaccounted for.

George Albert had been born in New York in early 1892 and his sister, Grace, there a year later.  Since I know the family likely hadn't left the state the whole year, it was a pretty safe bet they were enumerated in the 1892 New York Census.  They were:

The family was in Lockport at the time.  I was curious to know if any other Woods were also there in 1892 so went looking.  Interestingly enough, this family showed up a couple pages before George:

While 'William Wood' is a common name, I chose to again focus on the uncommon: Dora McFadden.  Brother Alexander married a Margaret McFadden who had a sister named Dora.  Could there be a connection?  Is this my William Wood?

Luckily, many New York newspapers are online and one such newspaper proved quite helpful.  Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"...He Leaves Five Brothers, One Sister..."

This is part one in a series of posts on what happened to the Wood brothers after they left Canada.  My ancestor was Charles S. Wood who ended up in Michigan along with his brother, John.  They had a sister, Jane, who married Edward Maycock and went to British Columbia.  Their mysterious brothers were: Alexander, William, James A., George D., and Andrew.

I love it when the stars align and I'm able to devote a whole day to genealogy.  Those days are rare, but I got one this past week and what a special day it was!  I'm still a little dumbfounded with how it all unfolded and am continuing to process all my discoveries.  But, it was one of those genealogy research days everyone dreams of and one I think I'll always look back on fondly.  In short, one clue led to dozens of new people, facts and resources.

I began the day with no plan or direction beyond the fact that I knew I wanted to work on my oft neglected paternal side.  I also wanted to get some organizing done as well.  I decided to start there and began where I last left off, with the Woods.  As I was tidying up the digital files, I noticed that I had two copies of what I thought was the same obituary so I began re-reading them to see what, if any, differences there were between the two (there weren't any, I just somehow ended up with two of the same).  It was then that I was struck by a line in the obituary: "...besides the immediate family he leaves five brothers, one sister..."  That one line motivated me to re-examine a long stranding mystery - and actually solve it.

My ancestor was Charles S. Wood, one of eight children.  His family had come from Northern Ireland or Scotland to Ontario when he was a boy and he had lived there until shortly after his marriage when he went to Michigan (he would return to Ontario after a few years before coming back to Michigan permanently a few years after that).  For all of Charles' many siblings, most of their movements after reaching adulthood had been impossible to track.

From census records I knew who the siblings were: there was Charles S., then William, Alexander, John, James A., Andrew, George D. and Jane "Jennie," the only daughter.  Some while ago I had a little luck tracking Jane and John.  Jane had married a Maycock and moved to British Columbia.  John had also gone to Michigan, and it was his obituary from 1918 which mentioned five surviving brothers and one sister.  The sister was obvious since there was only one, but who were those surviving five brothers and was my Charles one of them?

This is a question I've tackled before but I could never get far.  After marrying, they all seem to disappear - at least from Canadian records.  Since two of the siblings (Charles and John) ended up in the US, it was a fair bet that that is where the mystery ones ended up as well.  But where?  Wood is a common surname, as were all their given names, and there were many Scotch-Irish and Canadian immigrants in the US throughout the years.

This time I took another approach: look for the uncommon within the common.  One of the mystery brothers, James, married a woman whose maiden name was rarer than the others, Brodhagen.  So what was my next move?  I typed "Brodhagen Wood" into Google and hit search.

It was here that I noticed a Find-A-Grave entry for a woman matching the wife of the mystery brother.  And what is more, she was buried with a James Wood and a woman matching the information I had for a daughter of theirs, born while they were still in Ontario.

Could these be my Woods... all the way in Missouri?!  Stay tuned...

Friday, August 31, 2012

My Greatest Discovery (COG 121)

I've gone back and forth on what, exactly, has been my greatest genealogical discovery in nearly fifteen years of research.  Indeed, several finds would qualify, but the most recent one was quite special because it came to me when I really needed it.

I had been working on a biography on John W. Berger for my grandmother's Christmas present.  Although not very interested in genealogy, she has always been supportive of my efforts and genuinely interested in what I had to show her.  She also knew the majority of my time had been spent researching lines other than hers (for a variety of reasons, but the main one being that until recently hers were filled with stubborn brick-walls).  Therefore, I knew a book on her grandfather would be special.

I also had a soft spot for John myself.  I knew both so much, and yet so little about him.  He left letters and pictures and many records, but there were some periods in his life, especially his early years, which were a cipher.  I knew who his parents were but had no records explicitly stating their connection.  I also had many questions: When did he become a minister?  How did he end up in Evansville, Vanderburgh, Indiana (where he married)?  Where in Germany did he do his missionary work?  When exactly did he come back?  When did he come to California and later, Oakland?  What lasting effects, if any, did the Civil War have on him physically?

The deadline was looming for the book and while I had a lot of facts, I hadn't felt like I had done a good job of fleshing him out as a person.  I was feeling frustrated one evening and decided to brain storm.  What was the one thing John had been involved in most of his adult life and held most dear?  His church.  Luckily, the Methodist Church keeps wonderful records - but I didn't have time to write away for something and sit back for a month waiting.  So, I went hunting online.  I don't know what I was expecting but I felt the questions most likely to be answered were the ones pertaining to his work as a minister.

And then everything stopped.  I found it.  Was this correct?  What was this?  Is it my John Berger?  It is!  Oh my gosh, oh my gosh...

It turned out to be the book Historical Data and Life Sketches of the Deceased Ministers of the Indiana Conference of the Evangelical Association, 1835 to 1915 (a dryer title you will never find), another, equally interesting version can be found here.  I had spent the last few weeks working on the biography of a man who already had one written about him.  A very good one, indeed, filled with the kind of detail you can usually only dream of and the kind only gleaned from first had accounts not usually written down in books.

I learned about all the places he served as a minister (he was a circuit rider so there were many) and even got found two new pictures of him - one as a young man.  I also learned that he did his missionary work in Essen, Germany and came to California for his health.  I learned that he had probably met his wife at the church conference that had been held in Evansville a few months before they married.  And, I finally had black and white proof for what I long knew, who his parents were.

Then there were all the special, little surprises in store: he was finally persuaded to become a minister when he narrowly avoided being hit by lightning; while in Germany, he was once detained by a policeman on suspicion of being a spy; while a minister in Wabash, Indiana, he was thrown from his buggy and broke his leg and while still recovering, a fire broke out and burned the stable and part of the parsonage; he frequently contributed to church papers and served a variety of roles within the church; he felt his church should not merge with the non-German speaking Methodist Church; he was well loved most everywhere he preached.

I still can't really believe this even existed and was online but am so grateful to everyone from the original authors to the folks at the Internet Archive for putting this out there.

And how did the Christmas present turn out?  Great!  I ended up building the book around this biography (fleshing out areas in the biography only minimally touched on) and ended up with a nearly fifty page book (not bad when you consider the original biography was only about three pages long).  And best of all, my grandmother loved it!

This post was written for the 121st Carnival of Genealogy.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Waiting for Results

The test has been taken and mailed back.  Now I wait.  I'm curious to see how AncestryDNA interprets my results.  From my research I know that my ancestry breaks down (roughly) thus:

25% Italian (not Colonial, arrived 1920),
18.75 English (not Colonial, arrived after 1850),
9.375% Scottish and Irish (not Colonial, arrived after 1840s),
6.25% Colonial New England (English and Irish primarily),
6.25% Colonial New Jersey (English, German, Scotch-Irish),
6.25% Swiss (not Colonial, arrived 1840s),
6.25% German (Palatine; not Colonial, arrived 1830s),
6.25% Danish (not Colonial, arrived after 1850),
9.375% Colonial Southern US (many unknowns, likely all English in origin),
3.125% Colonial New York (Dutch, French, English, Scottish),
3.125% Colonial Unknown (earliest traceable is Pennsylvania in the 1780s - probably entirely English in origin).

(In case you're wondering, yes, I did have too much time on my hands last evening.  Then again, I'm so anal-retentive, I would have figured these percentages anyway.)

In my experience with 23andMe (where my father, who is 50% Italian, tested) and FamilyTreeDNA, not a whole lot of people with Italian ancestry have tested.  I'm guessing even fewer will have tested with AncestryDNA, which is still in Beta.  I'm especially anxious to see how that chunk is read and classified (Southern European?  Middle Eastern?).

I also know so little about Southern Colonial lines (though they are all likely English in origin), that I would really love to find a match listing Wellons, Hudson, Mason, Mo(o)re, etc.

I do have one little suggestion for AncestryDNA.  It would be nice if projected matches were included while someone waits for their result.  I've already linked my kit to a public tree I have there, it would be nice if other testers who had the same ancestor(s) in their Ancestry trees were listed as a potential match.

Is it September yet?!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ohio Birth Index Fun recently added Ohio Birth Index, 1908-1964.  I was a little excited about this because it included:

James Lapiccirella entry
My grandmother's brother, James.  He was born about a month after the family arrived in the United States. Since his mother's maiden was something akin to 'Dutchi' I'm particularly interested in the 'Additional Information' section.  Machi and 'Dutchi' sound a bit alike, no?  A quick search of FamilySearch revealed the surname 'Macchia' in the same province my great-grandparents came from.  Hmmm...

'Nunzziatina' Lapiccirella entry
My grandmother's sister, who apparently was named Nunzziat (though I'm guessing it was more like Nunzziatina and the last letters were cut off) at birth.  As far as I know she never went by this name.

Jane Lapiccirella entry
My grandmother!  The 'R' stands for Rose.  I think it is interesting that by this point the family had been in the US a decade and seems to have Americanized a bit.  She is Jane, not something akin to Giovanna and her father had become simply 'Joe' from Giuseppe.

Also included were many of my grandmother's first cousins, children of her father's brother, Nicola.  Thank you, Ancestry, for adding this database.  You've motivated me to finally order these records and add them to my collection.

Disclosure: I have no affiliation whatsoever with  I have a subscription which was paid for same as everyone else.  I received no remuneration or prompting to write this post by anyone.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Some weeks ago I got an AncestryDNA invite.  I waited too long and missed my chance to order a kit.  I was obviously disappointed.  Then I checked my e-mail the other day and what do you know: a new invite.  And this time I didn't putz around!

I've done DNA testing before, though not through Ancestry.  Both my parents tested through 23andMe and I tested my mtDNA and did an autosomal test (Family Finder) through FamilyTreeDNA.  The AncestryDNA test is also an autosomal test.  I'll probably be the one to take the test, but I might try and talk my father into it instead - or maybe my grandmother (though that will be a real long shot).  We'll see.

I'm curious as to how a quarter of my ancestry will be interpreted: my Italian portion.  At FamilyTreeDNA it was classified as "Romanian, Tuscan."  I'm also interested in my possible matches - hopefully there will be some new folks I haven't previously found on

I'm interested in knowing what others thought of the test and results.  Have you taken the AncestryDNA test?  What is your opinion?

Disclosure:  I have no affiliation with and paid the $99 for the test same as everyone else.  I received no remuneration of any kind by anyone for writing this post.

Genealympics: Research Plan #2

From challenge 2d: "Review your collected data, research log, and database and create a Research Plan to do a Reasonably Exhaustive search for the selected ancestor(s)."

Research Plan #2:
Heman Doyle, my 4th great-grandfather.  I have the following records
  • 1850 through 1880 US Census records, obituary, city directories (New York and California), Great Register and voter registration entries (California), headstone picture, letter written by his father-in-law mentioning him, various newspaper articles, biography written by a descendant of his in the 1970s.
What I need to find/get:
  • 1820 through 1840 US Census records, 1810 also if possible; marriage record; possible biographical information from Douglas County, Nevada; cemetery record (?); probate records (?); school (law or otherwise) records (?)
What I know from what I have:
  • Heman was born 31 December, either in 1809 or 1811 in Vermont.  His father was from Ireland and his mother was from Connecticut.  He first appears in 1833 where he is mentioned in his wife's (Alzina Jackman) grandfather's will.  He appears in 1837, as Constable of Pittsford, Monroe, New York.  In 1840, his father-in-law, Moses Jackman, writes to his brother, Caleb, and mentions Heman and Heman's family.  Moses states that Heman and his family had just returned from a failed homestead somewhere near the Mississippi.  Moses further states that at the time of the letter, Heman was visiting his half-brother in Buffalo, Erie, New York.  This likely explains why I cannot find Heman in the 1840 US Census.  
  • Heman appears in the 1850 US Census in Rochester, Monroe, New York where is is listed as a lawyer.  His presence in New York in this census must be due to his wife because he was en route to California at this point.  He had gone west with John R. Shinn, who kept a journal of the trip which mentions Heman as a member of the party.  John R. Shinn would later become Heman's son-in-law.  Alzina continues to appear in Rochester directories for a few years after this, one of which lists her as a widow.  She eventually joined him out west, likely coming with her daughter and grandson in 1853.
  • Heman and his family appear in El Dorado County, California in the 1860 US Census and in San Joaquin County in the 1870 and 1880 US Census.  He died in Woodbridge, San Joaquin, California in 1881 and was buried in Woodbridge Masonic Cemetery.
  • Other tidbits:  He was in private practice in Placerville, El Dorado, California between 1852 and 1854; then until 1856 he served as recorder and court justice in Placerville.  In 1854 he was accused of trying to bribe two California State Senators.  Whatever the outcome, he did remain in practice in California afterwards.  In 1859 is mentioned as a notary public in San Joaquin Co., California.  He then went into private practice until 1865.  That same year he was appointed probate judge in Douglas Co., Nevada as well as a notary public there.  He went on to serve two terms as District Attorney for Carson Valley, Douglas, Nevada.  He also served at various times as Justice of the Peace in New York, California and Nevada.  His later activities are not known, though in the 1880 US Census, his occupation is listed as 'farmer.'  Occasionally, he is listed as H. H. Doyle, Heman H. Doyle and Herman Doyle (which is a typo).
  • From the family Bible of his daughter, his children were: Maria Adelaide Doyle, Rhoda Melissa Doyle and Frances P. Doyle.  Rhoda never appears in any records and likely died young.  While Rhoda was named after her maternal grandmother, I have no idea if any of the other girls were named after a relative on their father's side.  He was a master mason in Woodbridge Lodge, No. 131.
As you can see, Heman was no wallflower.  Finding a marriage record for him and Alzina Jackman (likely around 1832 in Monroe Co., New York) is my first priority, as is finding probate records (if he left any, they'd be in San Joaquin Co., California).

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Genealympics: Research Plan #1

The next challenge I chose was 2d: "Review your collected data, research log, and database and create a Research Plan to do a Reasonably Exhaustive search for the selected ancestor(s)."

Research Plan #1:
Nicoletta ?, my great-grandmother.  I was hoping her SS-5 would have answered the big parents question, but that didn't happen.  At first I was disappointed that all I learned was where she was born, but then I realized that the names of her parents would have meant nothing without a place to look for them.  I have a birthdate for her (although the year changes depending on the record) and now that I know the place, I should be able to find and order microfilm.  What I do have on her:
  • 1930 US Census record, death certificate, obituary, ship manifest, SS-5 application
What I still need to find/get:
  • 1940 US Census record (if there is one - believe me, I've looked!), marriage record (I saw it long ago but stupidly didn't make a copy), birth record (microfilms are available to order), cemetery record (?), church records.  Eventually, I need to look for her in the 1950, 1960, 1970 and 1980 US Census records when they are released.
From all the records I do have, this is what I know:

  • She was born 25 February, 1891/1892, in Peschici, Foggia, Apulia, Italy.  She was married to Giuseppe Lapiccirella on 13 August 1913, in Italy.  They arrived at Ellis Island on 4 September 1920 and went to Warren, Trumbull, Ohio where they remained.  She was a member of St. Mary's in Warren but left at some point (I believe after her husband's death in 1973) and joined the Free Methodist Church, also in Warren.  She died on 10 February 1987 in Warren and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery (also in Warren).  According to various family records, her maiden name was something akin to 'Dutchi' but her name at Ellis Island is 'Maria Nicola Riccia.'

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Genealympics: Ancestral Surname

My first challenge is that of tracing an ancestral surname.  I went with my great-grandmother, Gladys V. Healey (Shinn):

1. Gladys V. Healey (1898, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA)
2. Lauren Everett Healey (1873, Newark, Washington Twp., Alameda, CA)
3. Comfort Haley/Healey (1838, Chebogue, Yarmouth Twp., Nova Scotia, Canada)
4. Ebenezer Haley (1801, Chebogue, Yarmouth Twp., Nova Scotia, Canada)
5. Comfort Haley (1754, Brimfield, Massachusetts Bay Colony)
6. Ebenezer Healy (1709, Rehoboth, Massachusetts Bay Colony)
7. Paul Healy (1664, Cambridge, Massachusetts Bay Colony)
8. William Healy (1613, England)

Sources and further information can be found in the book The Haley and Healy Family Ancestry of Ebenezer Haley, California Pioneer of 1850; With an Account of His Descendants to the Present Day compiled by James Bayard Haley, 1964.

Medal: Gold (although James Bayard Haley deserves it, not me)

Genealympics: The Flag

I'm late to join, but eager to participate.  Back in 2010 I also played along and had so much fun I'm coming back for more!

My previous flag can be found here, but since it left off some key countries, I'm going to make a new one also:
Not the best flag, but does represent the ancestral countries I missed the first time.  The top left flag was the flag of Canada between 1868 and 1921 and was the Canadian flag my ancestors lived under primarily.

Below it is the flag of present-day Germany.  Although my ancestors left before what is the current German state was formed, I went the modern route because there are many ancestral locations in Germany which are as yet unknown.

To the right of the German flag is that of Switzerland.  My great-great-grandmother's family hailed from there and I am very proud to say I have Swiss roots.

Above the Swiss flag is that of the Duchy of Schleswig.  Although I could lump it into Germany because it comprises the present-day German state of Schleswig-Holstein, my Schleswig-Holstein ancestors were not Germany.  They were Danish, hailing from what is now North Frisia.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Surname Saturday: Lynch

I'm only collaterally (and distantly) related to the Lynchs, but I have been doing a fair amount of research on them, primarily in the hopes of solving a bit of a mystery (see the bottom of this post for more).  Here is what I know:

Generation 1:
Francis Lynch, born circa 1770*.  He married Mary or Maria Rose (the sister of my ancestor, William Lucius Rose) on 2 Oct 1791 at Trinity Wall Street Church, New York, New York.
Marriage Notice from the New York-Packet (New York, New York), 6 Oct 1791, Issue 1211, Page 3
Their first known child, Thomas, was born 16 Jan 1795 and christened at Trinity on 22 Feb 1795.  His sponsors were his maternal grandparents, Joseph and Barbara Rose, and maternal uncle, Joseph Rose, Jr.    Francis B. Lynch does not have a christening date, though his birth date of 3 Aug 1797 appears in Trinity records.  Their third child christened at Trinity, is Joseph Rose Lynch, born 9 April 1799 and baptized 9 June 1799.  Daughter, Mary Adeline Lynch, born 4 June 1801, was christened at Trinity on 26 July 1801.

Francis Lynch died on 26 Aug 1802 and was buried in the churchyard of Trinity.  His will only mentions his children in a general sense and not by individual name, thus it makes it difficult to know which ones were living at the time of his death.
Death Notice, Daily Advertiser (NY, NY), 28 Aug 1802, Vol. XVIII, Issue 5467, Page 3
Francis' wife, Mary, remarried Capt. William McCormick on 21 Sept 1809.  She died on 30 Apr 1833 in New York, New York.  Her will left her estate to the children of her son, Francis B. Lynch.
Death Notice, Spectator (NY, NY), 2 May 1833, Vol. XXXVI, Issue 46, Page 3
* birth date calculated from cemetery records which list his age at death as thirty-two.

Generation 2:
1. Thomas Lynch, born 16 Jan 1795.  A Thomas E. Lynch died in Regla, Cuba on 12 May 1810.  I believe that this Thomas E. is the same as the Thomas, son of Francis Lynch and Mary Rose.
Death Notice, Columbian (NY, NY), 8 June 1810, Vol. I, Issue 187, Page 3
2. Francis B. Lynch, born 3 Aug 1797.  Francis married Charlotte Phillips Bache on 14 Feb 1821.
Marriage Notice, NY Daily Advertiser (NY, NY), 21 Feb 1821, Issue 396, Page 2
Charlotte died on 23 May 1830.  Francis B. Lynch died on 30 Dec 1841.
 Death Notice, Evening Post (NY, NY), 24 May 1830, Issue 8678, Page 2
 Death Notice, Spectator (NY, NY), 1 Jan 1842, Issue XLV, Page 3
Francis and Charlotte had three children (see "Generation 3").

3. Joseph Rose Lynch, born 9 April 1799.  A Joseph R. Lynch died in Marseilles, France on 9 Dec 1820 and I believe that this is the same person as Joseph Rose Lynch.  He does not appear to have been married or had children at the time of death.
 Death Notice Evening Post (NY, NY), 22 Feb 1821, Issue 5825, p2
4.  Mary Adeline Lynch, born 4 June 1801.  She is a recent discovery and someone I know very little about.  I'm guessing she died young and did not have children as she is not mentioned in her mother's will.

Generation 3:
Francis B. and Charlotte Bache Lynch had the following children, according to the book The Barclays of New York... by R. Burnham Moffat:
From page 137
I have done additional research on this generation and it is available upon request.

The Mystery:
So why have I been so interested in the Lynchs?  Because Francis is a mystery himself, and his will even more so.  I do not know where Francis was born or who his parents were.  His will makes mention of a "widow Jane Lynch" and her three children, Maria, Francis and Thomas Miflin Lynch.  Try as I might I have not been able to uncover much about these four people or how they might be related to Francis.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Looking for the Place of Death

I've always wondered why I could never find Joseph T. Allen in the Ohio death certificates at FamilySearch. He lived most of his adult life in the Warren area, so his death should have been registered in Trumbull County, right?  Plus, I know he was buried in Union Cemetery (AKA Niles City Cemetery) which is in Trumbull County.

Well, today I got a copy of Joseph's obituary.  At the time of his death he was visiting his daughter who lived nearby... in Sharon, Mercer, Pennsylvania.  So not only did Joseph not die in Trumbull County, he didn't even die in the state of Ohio!

To make sure, I decided to look for him in the Pennsylvania death indices online.  With minimal effort, I found him:

Since all my Pennsylvania ancestors left before vital records began to be kept, I have no experience with ordering records from the state.  I have heard that it can take a very long time and easily turn into a nightmare.

Then again, I'm not in a hurry, it is a record I'd like to have, and it would be a new experience.  Hmm...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

NGS Courses

My membership in the National Genealogical Society recently came up for renewal and once I finished paying my dues, I noticed something new.  Well, new to me at least, and apparently I'm a bit behind the eight ball because they have been out awhile: online/PDF courses (besides the Home Study course).

I am actually surprised these haven't gotten more press (beyond NGS's blog) online.  The most interesting ones to me were Working with Deeds and Introduction to Religious Records.  The cost is $70 to non-members and $45 to members for each course.

I'm seriously thinking about ordering one.  Has anyone tried these, and if so, what did you think?  My only apprehension is if they are geared towards brand new beginners, I might not get a whole lot out of the course.  I think this might be the case with Introduction to Religious Records (the title kind is a tip-off).  But I like that it has a section on the Quakers, so I might get it anyway.  And, since it is NGS, I'm bound to learn something useful.

One thing I really like about each of the courses is that they include how to create a proper source citation for a record in that particular set.

Have you taken a course through NGS?  Did you enjoy it?  Did you learn a lot?  Which course(s) would you recommend (the Home Study course is a given)?

Disclosure:  I am a paying member of NGS and have no affiliation with them beyond my membership.  I received no remuneration of any kind from anyone for writing this post.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Northern California Family History Expo Day 2

(A recap of day 1 can be found here.)

Unfortunately, I started the day not feeling great and it got worse as the day went on.  It is the reason I missed the first session of classes, which disappointed me because I had wanted to attend Stephen P. Morse's Genealogy Beyond the Y Chromosome: Autosomes Exposed.

I did arrive in time for the second session, which was Arlene H. Eakle's Migrations Within the United Kingdom and Ireland.  As always, I learned a lot.  Some things that especially stuck in my mind: 1) our ancestors were far more mobile than we give them credit for being, 2) even the humblest of families could have a servant (who was probably a relative there to learn a trade), 3) records of the poor were recorded separately in the parish registers.  That last one was especially important to me because I have at least one ancestor who I know died in a poor house in 1847.

After this it was lunch time.  My mom came by and we had the (very good) buffet that the hotel put on.  I wasn't expecting the hotel to offer lunch but was so glad they did as it meant I didn't have to go far and possibly miss the next class session.

After lunch, the third class I went to was one put on by RootsMagic's Michael Booth called RootsMagic: Sharing and Publishing Your Family Tree.  I've listened to many RootsMagic webinars, which is why I think I didn't get much out of the class.  I did learn more about the book making feature and how to create a shareable CD though.  I do think if you are brand new to RootsMagic or thinking about getting it, it would be a valuable presentation to attend and Michael Booth was a good instructor.

The last session I attended was a last minute decision.  Arlene Eakle had another class at this time, but I thought I should "diversify" so I went to James L. Tanner's for Experienced Users.  I had really high hopes for this class as presentations I had seen before seemed to be geared towards beginners.  But, I guess I'm too "experienced" because I didn't end up learning much new information.  One thing I did like was that he used Ancestry's new search throughout the presentation.  That is one thing I need to get used to and learn to love.  I do think it was a valuable class and James Tanner was an excellent instructor, I just think it should have been called for Intermediate Users.

The migraine I had been fighting all day finally got the better of me during this last session.  I thought I could make it through the closing keynote but left about fifteen minutes in when I realized I still had a thirty minute drive in 100 degree heat to make.  The expo itself was just as wonderful the second day, I just wish I had been able to enjoy it more!

Disclosure:  I am a Blogger of Honor for the event, see here to learn what this entails.  I have no affiliation with any person or company mentioned in this post.  I purchased RootsMagic 5 last year, use it, and like it.  Beyond what I received from Family History Expos, Inc. I received no further remuneration of any kind from anyone for writing this post.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Northern California Family History Expo Day 1

I'm tired, but it is the good kind of tired (the kind you get from a day of fun and learning).  Where to begin?

Well, I arrived a little after 1pm at the Crowne Plaza in Sacramento.  I quickly got registered and then wandered a bit before the keynote speech began at two.  Our keynote speaker was Dean McLeod who provided the perfect start to all the fun ahead.

After the keynote address ended, I made a bee line for the Family Roots Publishing booth.  I wanted to see if they had some titles I was specifically looking for and if so, I wanted to snap them up before they were gone.  Luckily, they had a wonderful selection and were very friendly and helpful when it came to a book I had wanted but they didn't have.  I ended up getting three titles I had been wanting for awhile (and I might get more tomorrow if funds permit): Genealogical Proof Standard - Building a Solid Case by Chrstine Rose, Genealogy As Pastime and Profession by Donald Lines Jacobus and The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood.

After my book haul, I wandered a little bit, then chatted with Sheri of The Educated Genealogist for a few minutes and also met Kim of Le Maison Duchamp.  Then it was time for my first class: How to Document your "Common Man" Ancestors in British Land Records by Arlene Eakle.  As with all the Arlene Eakle classes I've gone to, I left feeling inspired and excited to begin a whole new (to me) area of genealogy.  This class concerned British land records and the fact that even if your ancestor was a "common man" you can still find information about him in these records.  I thought it was especially interesting to learn that when the rent was raised, many left to come to America, Canada, etc. where they would purchase their own land.  I also have to chuckle because we learned that American Dream was a horse, a cow, a home and land to farm I remembered that I have a family picture that depicts this "American Dream" to the letter.

My next class also concerned land records.  It was Deeds and Land Records by Billy Dubois Edgington.  More than anything, this class was a good refresher as I had not realized how much I had forgotten.  I also learned a lot, especially terminology and jargon that go along with these records.  One thing I was never clear on before this class was "quitclaim."  Now, I'm selling the Golden Gate bridge, who wants to buy it???

Following a dinner break, my next class was another of Arlene Eakle's, British Isles Migration Patterns to America: Documenting "Original" Settlers to New England, New Netherlands, and The South.  I think of all the classes, this one was my favorite.  I learned about many new books as well as some of the reasons different groups chose to migrate (for example, the Scottish were usually merchants and came for the money while the Scots-Irish came for the land).

After this class, I visited some more exhibits before heading in for my final session of the day, Angela Kraft's Beyond Names and Dates: Building Your Ancestor’s Profile.  It was a good class to end the day on: laid-back and fun.  It was mainly a refresher to me, but I think it would be quite valuable for a beginner to genealogy.  One thing I really liked about this session was the long Q&A period which seemed lacking in the other sessions.  We were a pretty chatty group and the presenter was more than happy to answer questions and keep the flow of conversation going among us.

With sessions done for the day, I ended up at the doTerra booth talking Italian genealogy with the folks there.  I learned about several new websites here and got to see pictures of a variety of Italian records.  I also got some ideas on where the go with my brick-wall Italian ancestors.

All in all, I had a wonderful day.  I'm torn about tomorrow's schedule though, because I'd like to attend all the sessions - if only I could!  Maybe after I sleep on it, the decisions will be clearer (though I doubt it!).  I can't wait until day 2!

Disclosure:  I am a Blogger of Honor for the event, see here to learn what this entails.  I have no affiliation with any person or company linked to or mentioned in this post.  Beyond what I received from Family History Expos, Inc. I received no further remuneration of any kind from anyone for writing this post.