Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Anschlag's Confession

Because my 2nd great-grandfather was only in Los Angeles for a few years, I never really looked into mentions of him in the area papers before now.  Imagine my surprise when I found this:

[Note: this is just an excerpt from a very long article.  The full article can be found here.]

"...It will be remembered that a few days ago an account was published of the murder of one Julius Fuge, near Oroville, by Anschlag, and of the finding of the body.  The confession of this murder was obtained from Anschlag by Prof. U. S. Glick, who has translated Anschlag's confession exactly as it was given by him.  The obtaining of the confession was no light undertaking and Prof. Glick deserves great credit for the manner in which he performed so distasteful a duty.  Rev. John Berger, pastor of the German Evangelical Church, has been acting as Anschlag's spiritual adviser, and Prof. Glick has been his most able assistant.  Prof. Glick labored three days in translating the history of Anschlag, as told by himself, from German into English..."

The Los Angeles Daily Herald; 5 Nov, 1888; page 2

The Anschlag case turned out to be quite the case, getting wide and frequent coverage in the newspapers but this is the only instance, I have found, that mentions John.  He hadn't been in Los Angeles, or even California, for very long at the time this happened.  His church was the equivalent of what is now the Methodist church, only it was geared towards those of German extraction and services were performed in German.  I'd love to know what John thought of his time as "spiritual advisor" to a murderer...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Census Sunday: Great-Greats, Part 2

Last week, I covered my great-great-grandparents in the 1930 US census.  Here they are in 1920 (with the exception of the four who were still in Italy and the two that had died):
John Grant and Marion Wood Allen and Family
1920 US Census - Manistee, Manistee, Michigan

John Grant Allen and Marion Wood were living in Manistee, Manistee, Michigan in 1920 at 1400 Vine St.

1920 US Census, Manistee County, Michigan, population schedule, Manistee District 7, enumeration district (ED) 71, p. 11A, dwelling 218, family 237, John G. Allen (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T625, roll 783.
Frederick Rendle and Mary Stokes Croad and Family
1920 US Census - Millbrook, Mecosta, Michigan
Frederick Rendle Croad and Mary Stokes were living on their farm in the Millbrook, Mecosta, Michigan area.

1920 US Census, Mecosta County, Michigan, population schedule, Millbrook, enumeration district (ED) 248, p. 5A, dwelling 93, family 98, Fred Randel Croad (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 19 July 2011); NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 784.
Lauren Everett Healey and Family
1920 US Census - Sacramento, Sacramento, California
Lauren Everett Healey was living with his family (his 1st wife, my ancestor, had died in 1918 and he had since remarried).  They were living at 1225 15th St. in Sacramento, Sacramento, California (which is across the street from the state capitol).

1920 US Census, Sacramento County, California, population schedule, Sacramento Assembly District 15, enumeration district (ED) 118, p. 4B, dwelling 73, family 99, Lauren Healey (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 19 July 2011); NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 126.
Susanna vonAllmen Berger
1920 US Census - Oakland, Alameda, California
Susanna vonAllmen Berger was living with her son and daughter in Oakland, Alameda, California at 536 E. 21st St.  Susanna had been a widow nearly thirty years.

1920 US Census, Alameda County, California, population schedule, Oakland, enumeration district (ED) 82, p. 3A, dwelling 55, family 60, Suzanna Berger (mother); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 19 July 2011); NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 89.
Mary Anna Webb Wellons
1920 US Census - Yreka, Siskiyou, California
Mary Anna Webb Wellons was still married and her husband, George Washington Wellons, was still alive, but for some reason he isn't with Mary Anna and the rest of his family in 1920.  In fact, he doesn't seem to be anywhere in 1920!  Mary Anna was living at 429 Center St. in Yreka, Siskiyou, California.

1920 US Census, Siskiyou County, California, population schedule, Yreka, enumeration district (ED) 136, p. 8B, dwelling 219, family 225, Mary A. Wellons (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 19 July 2011); NARA microfilms publication T625, roll 149.

My great-great-grandparents, Heman Doyle Shinn and Emma Sophia Tock were living with my great-grandfather, Elmer John Shinn, in 1920.  Elmer's 1920 US Census entry can be found here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Where I'm From: SNGF

I almost didn't participate in this week's challenge from Genea-Musings, but in the end I'm glad I did.
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I am from sun kissed poppies in the breeze, from baking Cheerios by Lodi Lake and Jackson Coney dogs.
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I am from the ranch with the red brick courtyard, crepe myrtles and Japanese persimmon tree.
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I am from the blooming bougainvillea bringing spring, the Bing cherries in summer, the Flame Tokays in fall and juicy, sweet, tart and tangy citrus in the winter.
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I am from summers swimming and deep grey-blue eyes, from Shinns and Bergers, Allens and Lapiccirellas.
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I am from a smile and laugh that can light up a room, and the quiet man with the hard-knock past.
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From pinochle and root beer floats, rising pizza dough by the radiator and 4-H fashion shows.
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I am from Catholic Baptists, Methodist ministers, the simply spiritual and happy non-believers.
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I'm from land like the Holy Sacrament, cities by the Bay, the big White Mountain, Copperweld Steel and Kelsey-Hayes.  I’m from summer Barbecues in the winter, stuffed bell peppers, and homemade marinara.
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From the chaplains of the Presidio, Shiloh, and Hornet, and the patriotic Quaker widow at the Sugar House.
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I am from the memories in my great-grandmother’s hope chest, the many gifts from generous people, and the unknown treasures yet to be found.
~

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: The Other Side of the Story

On Sunday, I posted my "Heritage Pie" breaking down the birthplaces of my 16 great-great-grandparents.  I thought it was interesting how 'colorful' my chart was with my ancestors being born all over.  But, that was only one side of the story.  Here is the rest:
The above pie shows where my great-great-grandparents died.  While the pie is a lot less varied, it tells me one big thing: this generation of ancestors were VERY mobile.  They came to Michigan from Ohio, England and Wales and they came to California from Indiana, Illinois, New Jersey, New Brunswick and Kentucky.  The only ones who stayed put?  My Italian 2nd greats.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Heritage Pie: SNGF on Sunday Morning

This week's challenge from Genea-Musings:




As you can see, 6 of my great-great-grandparents were born in Europe (Wales, England, Italy) and 10 were born in North America (New Brunswick, Canada; California, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, and Kentucky, USA)


My 16 great-grandparents:
16. John Grant Allen - son of Joseph Allen and Elizabeth Clemens/Clements.  Born in 1869 in Niles, Trumbull, Ohio.  His parents were born in Ireland, though his father at least was an Ulster Scot.

17. Marion Wood - daughter of Charles S. Wood and Diadame Beam.  Born in 1871 in Summit, Jackson, Michigan.  Her father was from Ireland with Scottish ancestry (an Ulster Scot).  Her mother's family were Loyalists who came to Canada from New Jersey after the war.  These Loyalists were quite a mixed bag coming from Germany, Scotland, France and England - and that doesn't include the many lines I haven't been able to cross the pond with.

18. Frederick Rendle Croad - son of Robert Rendle Croad and Susanna Tizzard.  Born in 1865 in Sydling St. Nicholas, Dorset, England.  His parents were English.

19. Mary Stokes - daughter of George Stokes and Charlotte Shepstone.  Born in 1868 in Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales.  Her parents were from England (Somerset) and had come to Wales a few years earlier where her father worked in the mines.

20. Matteo Lapiccirella - son of unknown and unknown.  Born unknown in Italy.

21. Carmella/Carmina Scarano - daughter of unknown and unknown.  Born unknown in Italy.

22. Unknown father of (Maria) Nicoletta, wife of Giuseppe Lapiccirella - son of unknown and unknown.  Born unknown in Italy.

23. Unknown mother of (Maria) Nicoletta, wife of Giuseppe Lapiccirella - daughter of unknown and unknown.  Born unknown in Italy.

24. Heman Doyle Shinn - son of John R. Shinn and Mariah Adelaide Doyle.  Born in 1853 in New Jersey.  His father was English.  His mother was at least half English and at least a quarter Irish.

25. Emma Sophia Tock - daughter of James Tock and Martha Wadd.  Born in 1859 in New Brunswick, Canada.  Her parents were from Lincolnshire, England.

26. Lauren Everett Healey - son of Comfort Heal(e)y and Mary Gertrude Smith Mott.  Born in 1873 in Newark, Alameda, California.  His father was primarily English and so was his mother.  His mother also had Dutch, Scottish and French ancestry.

27. Katherine Nielsen - daughter of Niels Christian Nielsen and Engeline Christine Petersen.  Born in 1875 in Mt. Eden, Alameda, California.  Her parents were from Schleswig-Holstein, Germany and were Danish.

28. John W. Berger - son of Heinrich Michael Berger/Barger and Fredricka Elisabetha Matz.  Born in 1841 in German Twp., Marshall, Indiana.  His parents were from the Wilgartswiesen area of Germany and were reportedly Alsacian German.

29. Susanna vonAllmen - daughter of Christian vonAllmen and Barbara Steiner.  Born in 1849 in Olney, Richland, Illinois.  Her parents were from Lauterbrunnen, Bern, Switzerland.

30. George Washington Wellons - son of John Chapple Wellons and Sarah Elizabeth Hudson.  Born in 1849 in Pulaski Co., Kentucky.  A lot is unknown about his parents ancestries but he was likely predominantly English with some Welsh ancestry (Wellons was originally Llewellyn).

31. Mary Anna Webb - daughter of Andrew Webb and Priscilla Mason.  Born in 1862 in Lawrence Co., Indiana.  A lot is unknown about her ancestry as well, though she was likely predominantly English as well.  She is also believed to have had some Native American ancestry, though I have found no proof for it as yet.

Census Sunday: Great-Greats, Part 1

Of my sixteen great-great-grandparents only six where alive and living in the US for the 1930 census:

John Grant Allen
1930 US Census - Jackson, Jackson, Michigan
John G. Allen left Manistee to go work for the prison in Jackson in the 1920s.  He and his wife don't seem to have divorced but they lived separately for twenty + years, him is Jackson and her in Manistee.  The family story is that John was an electrician and went to Jackson to "electrify" the prison.  I have no idea just how much truth there is in that story, but I do know from records like this census that he was a guard there.  In 1930 he was living as a lodger at 208 W. Washington Ave.

1930 US Census, Jackson County, Michigan, population schedule, Jackson, enumeration district (ED) 20, p. 15A, dwelling 259, family 482, John G. Allen (lodger); digital image, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T626, roll 996.

Marion Wood Allen
1930 US Census - Manistee, Manistee, Michigan
Marion (the wife of John above) was living with her grandson at 1400 Vine St. in Manistee.

1930 US Census, Manistee County, Michigan, population schedule, Manistee, enumeration district (ED) 15, p. 11B, dwelling 260, family 285, Mary Allen (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T626, roll 1008.

Frederick Rendle Croad
1930 US Census - Millbrook, Mecosta, Michigan
Fred's wife, Mary Stokes Croad, had died in 1926.  He was living, by himself, on his farm in Millbrook in 1930.

1930 US Census, Mecosta County, Michigan, population schedule, Millbrook, enumeration district (ED) 22, p. 5B, dwelling 122, family 122, Fred Croad (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 4 July 2011); NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1011.

Lauren Everett Healey and Family
1930 US Census - Alameda, Alameda, California
Lauren was living at 1377 Broadway in 1930 with his family (his first wife, my 2nd great-grandmother, had died in 1918 and he had since remarried).

1930 US Census, Alameda County, California, population schedule, Alameda, enumeration district (ED) 215, p. 1A, dwelling 1, family 1, Lauren E. Healey (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 4 July 2011); NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 100.

Susanna vonAllmen Berger and Family
1930 US Census - Oakland, Alameda, California
Susanna was living at 1434 Everett Ave. with two of her children.  At the time of the census she had been a widow for nearly forty years.

1930 US Census, Alameda County, California, population schedule, Oakland, enumeration district (ED) 206, p. 7B, dwelling 147, family 147, Susanna Berger (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 4 July 2011); NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 108.

George Washington Wellons and Family
1930 US Census - Yreka, Siskiyou, California
George was a widow and living with his daughter, "Flo," on Gold St. in Yreka.

1930 US Census, Siskiyou County, California, population schedule, Yreka, enumeration district (ED) 35, p. 11A, dwelling 169, family 283, George W. Wellons (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 4 July 2011); NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 220.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Were They Related?

Setting the Scene
"Emma was 'accidentally' born in Canada on January 27, 1859 while her mother was making a brief visit to relatives living there and was caught in a winter storm and could not return home, creating fears as to her citizenship, but there were no problems." - An excerpt from a biography on my 2nd great-grandmother, Emma Sophia Tock (Shinn).

Emma Sophia Tock
circa 1874
I never put much stock into the story above because there have never been any sources to back it up and it is so vague on the details.  But, whenever I did any research on the family I never forgot about the possible relatives in Canada Emma's mother had gone to visit.  If there were relatives in Canada who were they?  How were they connected to the family?  Were they the reason the Tocks chose to leave England for the Maine/New Brunswick area?

The biography above also mentions where the family was supposedly residing at the time of Emma's birth: Calais, Washington, Maine.  Looking at a map reveals something interesting about Calais:


View Larger Map

Calais is not only on the Canadian border, it and St. Stephen, Charlotte, New Brunswick run into each other.  They run into each other so much so that the family is often enumerated in records in St. Stephen and not Calais.

What a Little Research Turned Up...
I recently decided to revisit this family story and the results were interesting the say the least.  Census records were the first thing I re-examined.  Unfortunately, Emma, father James and mother Martha (Wadd) Tock aren't on any records (that I could find) in Maine or Canada.  But, three of Emma's sisters (Mary Elizabeth, Sarah Jane "Sallie" and Martha Ann/Anna) do appear in census records.

Death Record for Jane Harris Temple
In 1861, Sallie and Martha Ann were living in St. Stephen with a William Harris and his wife, Sarah.  Both William and Sarah were from England, born in circa 1813 and circa 1811 respectively.  Sallie and Martha Ann are listed as lodgers and are ages five and seven.

Next up is to look for the girls in either the 1871 Canadian census or the 1870 US census.  Well, Martha Ann is nowhere to be found in 1871 or 1870, but Sallie is enumerated.  She is still with William and Sarah Harris in St. Stephen.  The fact that Sallie appears in their household in both 1861 and 1871 is a red flag to me that maybe the Harris family might be more than just charitable to little Sallie and her family.

I was not able to find Mary Elizabeth in the 1860 US or 1861 Canadian Census records.  She is in the 1870 US census though, living in Calais.  She is listed as a dressmaker in the household of Robert and Jane Temple.  Both Robert and Jane were from England.  Could Robert or Jane be related to William and Sarah Harris?

Well, I looked up Jane in the Maine death records at Ancestry.com.  I was happy to see her record was there and even happier to see that it listed her parents names: William Harris and Sarah Barnes.

I then went and looked up Jane in earlier census years in the US, Canada and England.  She appears in Calais in 1860 as Jane Harris and is a servant in her future husband Robert Temple's household.

Were They/Weren't They?
There might be some reasons that could defeat the possibility of a biological connection:
  1. Emma, Mary Elizabeth, Sallie and Martha Ann's mother, Martha Wadd Tock, died in 1861.  It is entirely possible that James, unable to care for four small daughters on his own, sent them to live in whatever household would take them - like the Harris family (and later their daughter Jane's household)
  2. The Harris family put 'Wesleyan Methodist' down as their religion, and so did the Tock girls.  It is entirely possible that the two families attended the same church and had become close that way.  It might also be the reason why both families left England.
  3. I know where in Lincolnshire the Wadd and Tock families were from.  I have been able to find records for both James and Martha and their siblings.  I have never come across a Barnes or Harris in either family, or in the area in Lincolnshire in which they lived.
  4. They were both from England.  Perhaps the families just bonded over their shared origins.  Perhaps they left England and came to the Calais/St. Stephen area at the same time.
  5. Both William Harris and James Tock were laborers.  Perhaps the two men worked together and the families grew close that way.
  6. Maybe the girls worked for the Harris and Temple households.  They might just have been taken in to help Sarah Harris with household chores.  
But, there are also compelling reasons why they might have been related:
  1. I have not been able to trace Martha and James' parents.  It is entirely possible that either William or Sarah was a first (or more distant) cousin.
  2. William was a laborer and his daughter, Jane, was a servant before her marriage.  They probably weren't wealthy or in a financial position to be charitable with anyone other than a relative.
  3. William and Sarah were pushing fifty in 1861.  They also had at least one grown child.  Unless a relative were in need, I find it hard to believe that they'd choose to take in at least two small children and raise them for ten + years.
  4. Sallie and Martha Ann are never explicitly listed as servants, and for that matter neither is Mary Elizabeth.  In fact, Sallie is listed as attending school in 1871.  If she were in the household as a servant, I doubt she would have been able to attend school.
  5. Their connection was multigenerational.  If the Tock girls were a charity case or worked for the family, I have a hard time believing that they would have continued a connection with Jane and her family - especially since the girls probably joined the Harris family after their mother's death in 1861, when Jane was out of the house and on her own.
  6. Sallie's full name was Sarah Jane Tock - is it just a coincidence that her foster mother was also named Sarah and her foster mother's daughter was named Jane?
So, were they related or not?  What do you think?

Note: this post was written for week 2 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog at Tonia's Roots.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Three Death Certificates of Patrick Henry Hudson

When it comes to Texas genealogy, I just have a few collateral lines that headed for the Lone Star state.  Sometimes I wish I had more ties to the area just so I could take more advantage of all the wonderful resources available.  One of these 'wonderful resources' is the collection of Texas Death Certificates online (both FamilySearch and Footnote have collections).  My third great-grandmother's nephew (Patrick Henry "Dobe" Hudson) and his family appear in the collection.  They settled in Fannin Co. where Patrick died in 1911.  Interestingly, he has not one, not two, but three death certificates:

Certificate #1 doesn't offer much information at all - not even his full middle name.  Note the death date of April 5th.  No medical or personal information is provided, beyond the fact that he was a farmer.  If this was the only death certificate available for him I'd be thoroughly disappointed.  Luckily...

Certificate #2 is much better.  This one, however, gives Patrick a death date of the 6th, not the 5th like above.  It also provides some personal information on him like his birthday (Feb. 19, 1840), place of birth (Pulaski Co., Kentucky), his father's name (Vincent Jackson Hudson) and his mother's maiden name (Vaughn).  I was also able to learn where he was buried: Hampton Cemetery in Bonham.
Certificate #3 fills in the rest of the picture.  Medical information (like cause of death) is included in this one.  His death also changes again to the 5th.  This certificate also asks something that the others didn't, how long he had been at the residence where he died and in state.  Unfortunately, whoever filled out the certificate was a little vague on this one.  When it comes to the question about how long he had been at his residence (Edhube), "some years" is given.  When it comes to the question about how long he had been in the state, "many years" is given.

The death certificates for Patrick's widow and their children aren't in triplicate so I don't know why Patrick alone had three, or why they couldn't seem to get all the information on one.  Looking at the certificates, I imagine the first one was rejected because there isn't much of anything filled out.  Two was probably rejected because no medical information was provided, including a physician's signature.  Interestingly, certificate #2 is the only one with a registered number (104).  I wonder if I were to order his death certificate from the county, which one would they send me?  #2?  All three of them?  It makes me curious about how many more relatives I have out there with more than one vital record for one event...

Patrick's FindAGrave entry (including a picture of his tombstone), is here.  His father, Vincent Jackson Hudson, was my third great-grandmother's brother.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Census Sunday: Greats, Part 4

Since the 1890 US census was largely lost, I don't have the records of my only two living great-grandparents in that census.  But, I do know where they were in 1890.  Gideon Gottlieb Berger was about five and living with his family at 618 South Olive St. in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California (the family had moved there in 1888 from Indiana and left for Oakland in 1891).  My other living great, Elmer John Shinn, was about thirteen and living on the family farm in San Joaquin Co., California.  Elmer is also the only great who appears in the 1880 census:

Heman Doyle and Emma Sophia Tock Shinn and Family
1880 US Census - Alabama Twp., San Joaquin, CA
Elmer was two at the time of the census and was living with his parents, siblings and maternal grandfather on the family farm (which is enumerated in Alabama Township).  Nearby is Elmer's maternal aunt and her family (the Russells).

1880 US Census, San Joaquin County, California, population schedule, Alabama, enumeration district (ED) 92, p. 302D, dwelling 257, family 269, Elmer J. Shinn (son); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 3 July 2011); NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 71.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Pie

My Family Finder results came in today (over a month earlier than estimated!).  I was a little disappointed with my matches, or lack thereof (none were closer than 4th cousin range), but I know the database will only continue to grow.  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my Population Finder pie chart though:
I was expecting just a blanket "100% European" - which is what each of my parents got at 23andMe.  The big blue slice is that generic Western European ("French, Orcadian" under population) I was expecting.  The orange slice represents "Romanian, Tuscan" (aka Southeastern/Southern European) and on the corresponding map that came with the chart Romania and the countries around the Adriatic are highlighted.  Considering that a quarter of my ancestry is Southern Italian, the orange slice makes sense - I'm just surprised they were able to distinguish it from the rest of Europe.

I'm especially impressed that it picked up on the Adriatic connection specifically (represented by the "Romanian" I believe) as my Italian ancestors are from the village of Vieste, which right on the Sea.

For anyone interested in what the Population Finder is and how it is calculated, see here.

Full disclosure: No one but little old me paid for my Family Finder test, nor did I receive remuneration or prompting of any kind from anyone to write this post.

Monday, July 4, 2011

America in My Family Tree

While I think it is important to acknowledge and honor those that put their lives on the line and took up arms for a cause, I also think it is important to do the same for the "behind the scenes" ancestors who did their parts to help make America what it was when and what it is today.  In honor of the 4th of July, these are some of the ancestors I think of when I think of patriotism and the American Dream - two things we celebrate most on this date.  These people aren't in history books, they didn't see combat, they didn't enact any landmark laws and most have been largely forgotten by time.  They are average people, on the surface unremarkable, the "common man" in every sense of the word, and people who I admire and think of when I think of America in my family tree.

Anne Coles Mott (1747-1840)
Anne was a Quaker with four small children when the Revolutionary War broke out.  During the course of the war she lost both her husband and youngest fifth child.  She came from a family that supported the American cause (her brother was a spy for General Washington) but lived in a city (New York) that was largely Loyalist in leaning.  She didn't have to do anything, I doubt anyone expected her to.  But, she did and then she went above and beyond.  She nursed the American prisoners being held in the dreaded Sugar House Prison, where conditions were, to put it mildly, horrible.  She gave them food, clothing and in at least one instance a place to recover from the prison (only after her husband put up half of a 1,000 pound sterling bail bond).  In return, the American soldiers gave her a quilt which she cherished.  Many years after the war and towards the end of her life, her great-granddaughter remarked that she continued to leave things outside for the American soldiers and was convinced that British soldiers were hiding in the trees outside her home.  My dream has and continues to be to join the DAR through Anne's service.

John Chapple Wellons (1805-1896)
The Wellons family owned slaves.  They likely owned them from the time they arrived in Virginia, roughly a hundred years before John's birth, and they continued to own them in Kentucky.  A biography written by John's grandson says that John freed his slaves in the 1830s or 40s.  I know that John's father, Henry, owned them, but can find no record of John having owned any.  Either they were freed upon by Henry upon his death or John did so not long after (as the eldest son the plantation and everything on it would have passed to him). Whoever did it, I'm proud of them.  Twenty + years later, when the Civil War broke out, John saw four sons (and very nearly two more if they hadn't been caught for being underage) and several nephews enlist and serve on the side of the Union.

Mariah Adelaide Doyle Shinn (1832-1917)
When Mariah died her obituary mentioned that she was an early pioneer in her community, that she was related to the Beecher family and that she was well loved by those who knew her.  She was also the daughter of a prominent early California and Nevada lawyer and judge and her mother's people were some of the oldest and most respected New England families.  But it is what her obituary failed mention that I am proudest of.  As a little girl her family nearly starved while they tried to establish a community along the then wild Mississippi River before returning in failure to her hometown of Rochester, New York.  She got married at twenty and soon had a baby which she took with her on the dangerous and grueling voyage and trek over the isthmus of Panama to reach California.  The family prospered for a time but then her husband died of malaria, leaving her with vast amounts of acreage needing to be cleared and unfarmable... as well as three small children.  She was also briefly married to a bigamist before divorcing - an event that deeply scarred her.  She could have just sold the land and gone back to what she knew and what was easy but she didn't and what's more, that never really seems to have been an option in her mind.  The land was cleared, the children raised and a legacy of farming begun.  Her husband's dream was not to dig up California's gold but to plant it - a dream she seems to have shared and passed on to later generations.

Susanna vonAllmen Berger (1849-1932)
She was the daughter of immigrants who chose to leave crushing poverty and famine in Switzerland for the US only a few years earlier.  At seventeen she married a physical fragile young minister who had been permanently scarred by his time in the Civil War.  She then spent the next twenty five years following him to where ever the church sent him.  If they were lucky they got to stay in one place for more than a year or two.  And even when they were settled in one place she was often left alone in a community of strangers with her young children while her husband traveled and spread his church's message.  What little money they did get from his preacher's pay surely wasn't enough for their large family (there were ten children in all) but she made do.  And then came the biggest move of all: to Germany so her husband could do missionary work.  While there her eldest child died and two more were born.  The family's final move was to Oakland, California where her husband died soon afterward.  She was only 42 and her youngest child (who was severely handicapped) was only a year old.  She went on to raise their children by herself with only her widow's pension (and the charity of others) to support her.  She outlived her husband by over forty years.  My grandmother's recollections of her, pictures of her in old age I have seen, stories told to me, and letters to her I have read give the impression that she was a pretty formidable person - something I'm sure she had to be to survive everything that had happened to her.

Mary Anna Webb Wellons (1862-1926)
There is a lot about Mary Anna that is admirable.  In fact, I could devote a whole post just to her.  But I'm just going to salute one thing about Mary Anna - something that is often a forgotten part of the American Dream: the right to vote.  When California granted women suffrage in 1911 (nine years before the 19th Amendment passed), Mary Anna started appearing on voter rolls immediately.  She exercised her right as an American citizen when she didn't have to, when many women still chose not to, and when many women who wanted to weren't allowed to.  She was almost fifty years old when she was able to vote for the first time and until her death fourteen years later appeared on every voter roll.  She was also somewhat unique in that she didn't just vote the same as her husband, in fact, they weren't even members of the same party some years.  I also think she played a big role in the fact that her daughters also started appearing on voter rolls as soon as they were able - and even they didn't always vote the same as their parents.  A loving family where everyone voted according to their individual ideals?  That is something I think of when I think of American greatness.

Lauren Everett Healey (1873-1959)
I chose Lauren but it is really all the Healeys that I want to honor here.  While the family did a lot that I'm proud of, the reason I'm saluting them here is because of their response to one event in American history: the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.  Lauren (and likely the rest of his family) lost everything that April day.  He spent weeks living as a refugee at Golden Gate Park trying to get word to his family through the Red Cross.  His family spent that time across the Bay watching their city burn and crumble, all the while not knowing if Lauren was even alive.  They could have left, I don't think anyone would have blamed them if they did.  But they didn't.  They stayed and rebuilt when San Francisco needed them most.  They repaid and remained loyal to a city that had given them so much.  And most of all, they carried on with their lives and, like so many other San Franciscans, never let one horrible event define (and destroy) their city.

The Immigrants (1620-1920)
From the Mayflower to the Madonna, I salute them.  Leaky boats, covered wagons, aching feet, train, plane or automobile - no matter how they made it, I'm so glad and so proud that they did.  I am especially proud of the ancestors like my great-grandmother who came to this country not knowing anything about the language, the culture or what the future would bring her family.  She came through Ellis Island eight months pregnant with her fourth child headed for a strange land called 'Ohio' and a factory town - a far cry from the Italian countryside she knew so well.  While she spent the rest of her life struggling to learn the language, she embraced her new country, and it embraced her like it did for all my other immigrant ancestors.

Happy Birthday, America!  Here's to the many things you do better than anywhere else, the mistakes you've learned by, and the amazing people (my ancestors included) you've both attracted and fostered from elsewhere and homegrown.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July To-Dos

I stopped doing monthly to-do lists because I just didn't have the time to complete all my goals (at one point I was having a hard time completing ANY of my goals).  Since I have more time in the summer for genealogy, I'm bringing the list back - at least for now.

  • Order: my grandfather's death certificate (died in Georgia).  Also, look into ordering death certificates for my paternal grandmother's siblings (most died in Ohio) and my 3rd great-grandmother's (Engeline Petersen) sisters (both died in California).
  • Order: the documentation file associated with the DAR application on my 5th great-grandfather, John Shinn (and possibly other ancestors in the DAR Patriot Index)
  • Request: A cemetery photo of the grave of my great-grandfather's stillborn sister (I just discovered her existence).  She is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Manistee, Manistee, Michigan.  Another sister is buried in that cemetery and I want to find out if they are buried near each other - if so, then I'll know it is a family plot which might help me find other relatives in the same location.
  • Contact: the person on Ancestry.com who created a tree with information on the sister of my 3rd great-grandmother, Elizabeth Clemens.  This sister has been impossible to track so I'm really curious where they got their info on her (and how accurate it is).
  • Upload: My GEDCOMS to Gedmatch.  I have already uploaded the raw data I have (and will upload my Family Finder results when I have them) but I never uploaded the corresponding GEDCOMS.
  • Contact: Speaking of my Family Finder results, once they are in I want to get in touch with any matches I might have.
  • Transcribe: Get back into FamilySearch Indexing.  I also just volunteered for a new project I'm VERY excited to start!
  • Learn: I want to get back to watching more online courses through FamilySearch.  At the top of the list are - "The English Parish," "Building A German Genealogy Library," and "The 2 Sides of Interviewing." 
  • Correct: I am horrible at remembering to make correction to typos and mistranscriptions I come across and adding post-ems if need be.  I want to get better about making corrections and also go back and make some to certain records (like the census record where my Tock family is indexed as the 'Sock' family).
  • Attend: I've signed up for and am looking forward to the following webinars - (7/2) "NSDAR -Resources for your Revolutionary War Ancestors with DearMyrtle," and the upcoming July Legacy Family Tree webinars.
I also want to continue my "Census Sunday" posts and the census citation cleanup I've been doing, and post the next installment of Essie Mott's memoir.  I don't have any research projects or goals right now, but that doesn't mean I won't be doing ANY research this month.

Disclosure: I am in no way affiliated with any of the websites or companies mentioned (and/or linked to) in this post nor did I receive any remuneration for this post from any party/parties mentioned here or otherwise.

Census Sunday: Greats, Part 3

I'm counting down my great-grandparents in the US census and this week is 1900.  This is the last census where all of them were alive and enumerated.  Most were born in the 1890s so this is also their first census.  One was born in the 1880s and would have been in the 1890 census if it had survived.  One was born in the 1870s and was enumerated in the 1880 census.  The only greats not enumerated in the 1900 census are my paternal grandmother's parents who were still in Italy.

John Grant and Marion Wood Allen and children
1900 US Census - Manistee, Manistee, Michigan

My great-grandfather, Joseph James Allen, and his family.  They were living at 1514 Vine St. in Manistee, Manistee, Michigan.

1900 US Census, Manistee County, Michigan, population schedule, Manistee Ward 4, enumeration district (ED) 34, p. 10B, dwelling 150, family 193, Joseph Allen (son); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T623, roll 728.

Frederick Rendle and Mary Stokes Croad and family
(most children appear on the subsequent page)
1900 US Census - Millbrook, Mecosta, Michigan





My great-grandmother, Daisy May Croad, and her family.  They were living in Millbrook, Mecosta, Michigan.  Daisy and most of her siblings were enumerated on the subsequent page, their parents appear on the page to the right.

1900 US Census, Mecosta County, Michigan, population schedule, Millbrook, enumeration district (ED) 107, p. 10B, dwelling 210, family 215, Daisy Croad (daughter); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T623, roll 731.


Heman Doyle and Emma Sophia Tock Shinn and family
1900 US Census - San Joaquin, California

My great-grandfather, Elmer John Shinn, and his family.  They were living on the family farm in San Joaquin County, California.

1900 US Census, San Joaquin County, California, population schedule, Elkhorn, enumeration district (ED) 102, p. 5A, dwelling 100, family 103, Elmer Shinn (son); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 27 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T623, roll 108.

Lauren Everett and Katherine Nielsen Healey and child
1900 US Census - San Francisco, San Francisco, California




My great-grandmother, Gladys Viola Healey, and her family.  They were living at 103 Welsh St. in San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

1900 US Census, San Francisco County, California, population schedule, San Francisco, enumeration district (ED) 66, p. 9A, dwelling 159, family 193, Gladys Healy (daughter); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 27 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T623, roll 101.

Susanna vonAllmen Berger and children
1900 US Census - Oakland, Alameda, California



My great-grandfather, Gideon Gottlieb Berger, and family.  They were living at 1260 E. 10th St., Oakland, Alameda, California.

1900 US Census, Alameda County, California, population schedule, Oakland Ward 7, enumeration district (ED) 392, p. 7B, dwelling 139, family 143, Gideon Berger (son); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 27 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T623, roll 83.






George Washington and Mary Anna Webb Wellons and children
1900 US Census - Mountain, Siskiyou, California
My great-grandmother, Georgiana Wellons, and her family.  They were living in Mountain Twp., Siskiyou, California - which is now a part of Klamath National Forest.

1900 US Census, Siskiyou County, California, population schedule, Mountain, enumeration district (ED) 131, p. 9B, dwelling 188, family 191, Georgia Welons (daughter); digital images, Ancestry.com (ancestry.com : accessed 27 June 2011); NARA microfilms publication T623, roll 113.