Sunday, February 26, 2012

Census Sunday: Great-Great-Greats, Part 2

My 3rd great-grandparents in the 1920 US Census.  There are only three: Mary Gertrude Smith Mott Healey, Niels Christian Nielsen and Engeline Christine Petersen.

Niels and Engeline were living with my great-grandmother, who I already covered in this post.

Mary Gertrude Smith Mott Healey in the 1920 US Census
San Francisco, San Francisco, California
Mary was living with her daughter, Nona, and Nona's second husband, John Vaughan.  They were living at 12 Henry Street, in the present-day Duboce Triangle neighborhood.

1920 US Census, San Francisco County, California, population schedule, San Francisco 26th Assembly District, enumeration district (ED) 102, p. 9B, dwelling 79, family 79, Mary Healey (mother-in-law); digital images, ( : accessed 26 February 2012); NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 135.

Shifting Focus for 1940

the1940census.comIn a little over five weeks, the 1940 US Census will be released.  I'm excited.  REALLY excited.  And, I think I'm pretty prepared.  I've located, or tried to locate, all of my direct ancestors in the 1930 US Census; in addition, I have been using the likes of city directories and WWII draft cards to help give myself an idea as to where they'll be in 1940.

I've also been shifting my focus, not just to the 1940 US Census itself, but to who I'm going to look for in said census.  I think it is especially important to be familiar with non-direct ancestors in the 1940 US Census.  This means making sure I know or have an idea where they could be in 1940, same as the direct ancestors.

Why do I put some much weight into the collateral lines?  Because two people per page (roughly a 5% sample of the population) will be asked a series of supplemental questions, including "place of birth of father and mother," and whether they had a social security number (a question I've very happy to see being asking).  The chances that all my direct ancestors fall into that 5% are slim to none, but the chances that at least one sibling or other relative of theirs fell into that 5% are better.

Are you ready for the 1940 US Census?  Do you know where your direct and collateral lines were in 1940?  What's more, have you signed-up to help index the census?  It is a very worthwhile endeavor (and easy to do) and you'll be helping others find all their branches in this important database.

Disclosure: I have no affiliation or connection to the sponsors of website, namely: FamilySearch or their parent organization, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints;; or and their parent organization brightsolid online publishing, inc.  I have no affiliation or connection with any of the society sponsors of said website beyond a paid membership in the National Genealogical Society.  I received no remuneration or prompting to write this post or sign-up for the 1940 Blog Ambassador program.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mystery Monday: Remarks

In 1892 my great-great-grandfather and his family arrived in the United States.  He was a farmer and their destination was Michigan.  That much I can make out, but the remarks section of the passenger manifest is a total mystery:

Any guesses as to what that says?  I'm at a total loss and welcome any help.


"Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945." digital images, ( : accessed 9 February 2012); Croad family, arrived of the Ohio, 19 June 1892; imaged from Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1883-1945, micropublication T840 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives [1945]), roll number 16.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

SNGF: The Wheel Lands on 19

My favorite Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenges have always been the ones having to do with ancestral roulette and this week is no exception (via Genea-Musings):

"1) What year was your paternal grandfather born? Divide this number by 100 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an 'ahnentafel'). Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the 'roulette number.'"

I came up with number 19, who is Mary Stokes Croad (1867-1923).  Mary is on my paternal side which I have spent less time working on than my maternal branch.  Hence, my knowledge of Mary and her family is limited.  But, I can tell you three things about her:
  1. Her parents were from Somerset, England but moved to southern Wales where Mary's father worked in the coal mines.
  2. Mary was born after her parents came to Wales and was fluent in both English and Welsh.
  3. Mary, her husband and children arrived at the Port of Philadelphia on 19 June 1892 on the ship Ohio out of Liverpool.  Their destination was Michigan, where Mary lived until her death in 1923.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Private Collins

John Collins is listed as a 'Private' in his pension application and that was largely the rank with which he served throughout the war.  At times, he also filled the rolls of higher ranks on a few alarms.  However, I think these were probably temporary promotions and he ended the war a Private.  Hence, when I was looking for John in MA Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, I accidentally passed over his actual entry more than once:

"Collins, John.  Corporal, Capt. David Wheeler's co., Col. John Brown's detachment of militia stationed at Fort Ann; enlisted June 30, 1777; discharged July 21, 1777; service, 22 days; roll sworn to at Lanesborough; also, Private, Capt. Daniel Brown's co.; marched from Lanesborough to Meloomscuyck Aug. 14, 1777, on an alarm; service, 6 days; certificate on reverse of roll states that Capt. Brown and company were in service 27 days and were then dismissed by Col. Benjamin Simonds; also, same co., marched from Lanesborough to Pawlet Sept. 5, 1777, on an alarm; service, 27 days."


1. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War: A Compilation from the Archives, 17 Volumes (Boston: Wright and Potter Printing Co., State Printers, 1897), Vol. 3, p. 822.

2. "Revolutionary War Pensions." digital images, fold3 ( : accessed 9 February 2012); John Collins, pension no. S.10486; imaged from Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, microfilm publication M804 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives [n.d.]), no roll number cited.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Future Census Wish List

This post was inspired by this one at We Tree.

In 1940 I most want to find...
  • My grandmother in Warren, Trumbull, Ohio.  This will be her first appearance in the census - she missed out on the 1930 US Census by a few months.
  • My other three grandparents, who varied in ages from fifteen to twelve, two in California and one in Michigan.
  • My great-great-great-grandfather, Niels Christian Nielsen.  He was ninety in 1940 and living with his daughter in Alameda, Alameda, California.  According to the city directory for that year, he was living at 2421 Webb Ave. (which should make him easy to find - knock wood!).
  • My 3rd great-grandmother's sister, Christina Patrina "Kate" Petersen Strauss.  Since she died in Modesto, Stanislaus, California in 1942 that is the first place I'll look for her in 1940.
  • My great-great-grandparents, John Grant and Marion Wood Allen.  I don't think they ever divorced, but they were living apart by 1930.  I'd like to see if they are still separated in 1940 or if Marion had left Manistee, Manistee, Michigan to be with John is Jackson, Jackson, Michigan (where he died in 1955).  I also don't know when Marion died, so if she isn't in 1940 I'll have narrowed down her death date quite a bit.
In 1950 I most want to find...
  • My father, who would have been an infant at the time of the census.
In 1960 I most want to find...
  • My mother, who would have been a little girl.
  • My grandmother, who was a census taker/enumerator in San Joaquin Co., California.
In 1990 I most want to find...
  • Myself!  I really hope I'm around come 2062 when it is released.  Only fifty more years!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

SNGF: Two Degrees of Separation

Via Genea-Musings:

"1) Using your ancestral lines, how far back in time can you go with two degrees of separation? That means "you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor." When was that second ancestor born?"

I knew my great-grandmother, Gladys Viola Healey (1898-1998), who knew her grandfather, Comfort G. Healey/Haley (1838-1910).  That is nearly 150 years between Comfort's birth and my own.

If we were to go by just living (never met), then my great-grandmother, Daisy May Croad (1896-1990) was alive when I was born.  When she was born, her grandmother, Susannah Tizzard Croad (1830-1907) was alive.  If I really want to nitpick, then Daisy's grandmother, Charlotte Shepstone Stokes (ca. 1827-1896), died a few months before Daisy's birth.

Friday, February 10, 2012

John Collins, Soldier

One of my favorite finds last year was this piece on John Collins, my 6th great-grandfather.  Interestingly, once I had established John as an ancestor, I also got two more Patriot soldiers in my family tree, John's father and father-in-law.  John began his service in the Continental Troops, as a member of Seth Warner's Green Mountain Boys.  He then joined the 2nd, and later 3rd, Berkshire Co. (MA) Militia Regiment.  He finished out the war in the Vermont militia.  I can guess that the source of most of the following is John's pension application, since much here seems to be taken, nearly verbatim, from the application.  When looking for John's pension application and service records, I used the following as a guide - and had surprisingly excellent results...

From the 21 October, 1920 issue of the Honeoye Falls Times:

"Thirty-Seventh Year. Number 32 H


Early History of the Town and Its Settlers

Compiled for the Times by Mrs. Anah B. Yates

No. IV

In treasuring up the memories of the fathers, we best manifest our regard for posterity


Revolutionary Soldiers.
John Collins.

    John Collins, of Mendon, made application for pension August 7, 1832. He was born in Scituate, Rhode Island, October 21, 1754, and the only record of his birth is in his Bible. He lived in Lanesboro, Berkshire County, Massa-chusetts, at the beginning of the Revolutionary war; in 1779, he removed to Ira, Rutland County, Vermont, and in 1809, he removed to Mendon, Monroe County, New York.
    In January, 1776, he volunteered under Capt. Nathan Pierce, of Lanes-boro, for five months, to go to Canada. He was mustered at Rupert by Col. Seth Warner, who was raising the regiment for Canada, from there Captain Pierce returned home with recruiting orders.
    The regiment marched from Rupert under Lieut. Eli Petibone, of Lanesboro, by way of Spencertown, Ticonderoga, mouth of Otter Creek, and on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain, to St. Johns and Montreal, where they halted a week and were paid six dollars each in specie by General Wooster for bounty. From there they marched by Three Rivers to the army of General Arnold, who was blockading Quebec. The snow was deep and Arnold not having recovered from his wound, was drawn about the camp by the soldiers on a sled. Jones, a Lieutenant, in the company, Capt. Hall, of Lanesboro, Gideon Morison (?) of Sunderland, William Satterlee and Julien, of Williamstown, belonged to Warner’s regiment. During the winter General Thomas joined the army. The British received reinforcements and on May 6, our army retreated from Quebec. At Sorel, Gen-eral Thomas was taken with small-pox and died. He was discharged at Chambly about the last of May.
    July 1, 1776, he enlisted under Lieut. Newell, of Lanesboro, for five months. Oliver Root, of Pittsfield, was Captain of the company, Newell (Newhall) and Clark, Lieutenants, and Asaph Cook, of Adams, Ensign. Jonathan Smith, of Lanesboro, was Colonel of the regiment. Company mustered at Pittsfield, and from there marched to New York. While there our army retreated from Long Island to White Plains, and this regiment being hardy backwoodsmen were most of the time on fatigue, throwing up entrenchments. He recollected Co. Glover’s regiment from Marble-head; they were called “Jo Bunkers.” The company was discharged about De-cember first at Croton River.
    July, 1777, the Militia was called out to go to the north to oppose Burgoyne. The deponent volunteered. Ensign Me-dad King marched the men to Fort Ann. On the march they heard of the evacuation of Ticonderoga. Colonel Brewer commanded Fort Ann. Soon after arrival there a party of the enemy were said to be approaching by way of Wood Cree. Volunteers were called to meet them by Capt. (?). They turned out at a place called Battlehill, met the enemy and a sharp action ensued. Many were killed and they were ordered to retreat and Fort Ann was ordered evacuated. Col. Brewer retreated fif-teen miles to Fort Edward, commanded by General Schuyler. Col. Brewer was ordered back four and one-half miles to form camp, where they lay about a fort-night when our forces retreated to Fort Miller. His time expired in August and he returned home.
    Directly his company, Capt. Brown’s, was ordered to defend Bennington. They marched without delay, and the next morning after their arrival they were detached under Col. Hench to at-tack the Hessian breastworks. About twelve o’clock, the battle began. They carried the breastworks and the enemy was defeated and taken. Then came Col. Skene with reinforcements. This was the hottest battle, but they defeated him and took his cannon and many men. After assisting to guard the prisoners to Williamstown Meeting-house, the company returned home. Lieuts. Nash and Prindle and several others were from Lanesboro.
    During the residue of the season he was called to go as a guard for provisions. He was at Pawlet, Castleton and Skenesmorough after the surrender of Burgoyne.
    In 1779, after his removal to Ira, alarms were frequent and the militia were called out. He was out under arms two weeks at Castleton and went to Ticonderoga. He was out several times. His service was all with state troops or militia and he served in all thirteen months. He received no written dis-charge and he knew of no one then liv-ing who served with him; he referred to William Barnard and Henry Fellowes or any inhabitant of Mendon where he had lived twenty-four years. In clos-ing his petition he said, “When and to whom shall I apply for traditionary evi-dence of my services? The graves can’t speak; the aged are no more. The present generations have heard my statements, and perhaps they have no tradition from any other source; it is fifty-three years since I left Lanesboro.”
    Before James Smith, Judge.
    The court declared Mr. McGregor, a minister of the Gospel to be “Gentle-man of Reputability.”
    James McGregor testified to an ac-quaintance of twelve years and had heard that he was a Revolutionary sol-dier.
    Also the testimony of John Moore. Before Leonard Adams, Clerk.
    John Collins died January 5, 1833, aged 79, and is buried in the cemetery near Rochester Junction, Mendon.

Anah B. Yates, Compiler, The Pioneers of Mendon: Nos. I-LXXIV, From the Honeoye Falls Times, Sept. 30, 1920 - May 25, 1922 (n.d.), pages 13-14; digital images,, ( : accessed 9 February 2012).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Tip: Freedman's Bank Records

Freedman's Bank Record for Emeline Agnes Feeks
Until recently I believe my knowledge of the Freedman's Bank was roughly on par with most: that it was created immediately after the Civil War to serve the financial interests of former slaves.  But that isn't quite the whole case...

While looking up a cousin of an ancestor of mine, I was surprised to find her in the Freedman's Bank records at Ancestry - surprised because she was not African-American.

On her record her occupation is listed as "Matron in Orphan Asylum, Elizabeth (New Jersey)."

It turns out many community and religious organizations also used the Freedman's Bank.  If you also have relatives who were involved in one of these organizations, these records might be worth checking out.

In fact, I came across several entries for non-African-Americans who weren't affiliated with any organizations.

Don't ignore this resource just because you have no African-American ancestry, you might miss out on some valuable information.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Census Sunday: Great-Great-Great, Part 1

The only great-great-great-grandparents I have who were in the 1930 US Census were Niels Christian Nielsen and Engeline Christine Petersen.

Niels Christian and Engeline Christine Petersen Nielsen
Alameda, Alameda, California - 1930 US Census
Niels and Engeline were living with their daughter, Lillian, and her first husband.  Interestingly, one of the boarders went on to be Lillian's second husband.

1930 US Census, Alameda County, California, population schedule, Alameda, enumeration district (ED) 210, p. 17B, dwelling 192, family 196, Niels C. Nielsen; digital images, ( : accessed 3 December 2011); NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 100.