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:

"DEATH CALLS EMMA M. SHINN

    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?