Tuesday, April 29, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Comfort G. Healey (#13)

(My entry in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge)

I have hesitated to do challenge entries on ancestors I know quite a bit about because I simply have not had the time to write long biographies (or do the research and pulling of files that go along with it).  Case in point, my Haley/Healey/Healys.  There is a lot out there on this family, as well as a wonderful book.  But, I think this not writing about them has been a disservice to these lines.  The point of this exercise to get information of any quantity out there.  I'd also love to be contacted concerning my Healeys, Healys, or Haleys (just as much as any of my brick wall people), and that won't happen if I don't write about them and put information out there to be found by others!

So, even though you don't have to hunt far to find a lot on Comfort, I want to write about him.  However, because basic biographical information is plentiful, I'm writing about other (not so well known) things concerning him:

  • If you search for information on him, be sure to search for him as Comfort, Comfort G. or C. G. with the last names of Haley, Healy or Healey.  That is nine different name combinations in case you were wondering.  Oh, and sometimes the G. is erroneously written or transcribed as a C. 
  • The initial G. seems to be a Harry S. Truman situation.  I have no idea why he adopted that particular letter.
  • Before his marriage to Mary G. S. Mott, he was briefly married to a Mary Ann Williams in Alameda Co., California in 1864.  I wish I knew more about Mary Ann, like whatever happened to her after her marriage.
  • Comfort briefly lived in Monterey Co., California.  A Comfort Healey was in Alisal (now Salinas) at the time of the 1860 US Census.
  • Comfort was enumerated in the 1910 US Census, even though he had actually died six days before the enumerator came to his house.  The reason for this is that he was still alive on April 15, the cut off date (he died five days later).
  • He was close to 6 ft. tall, with a fair complexion and blue eyes.
  • Comfort died five months after the death of his daughter, Stella Therese.  Her death was a hard blow to the family and probably hastened his death from cancer of the face and head.
  • Comfort became a citizen of the United States on October 18, 1864.  His place of naturalization is given as either "San Leandro" or "Alameda Co.," or "Alameda, 3rd Judicial District."  His father and brothers naturalized at around the same time.
  • Many of Comfort's neighbors in Alameda Co. were neighbors and relatives from back in Nova Scotia.  His property was also near the local school, whose teacher, Miss Mott, he would go on to marry.
  • After many years of living in what is now the Fremont area of Alameda County, Comfort moved to San Francisco around 1904.  His addresses in the city were: 608 Shotwell (until about 1906), 3322 20th (until about 1909) and finally 2436 Folsom.  All three residences are a brief walk from one another and in what is known as the Mission District (one of the few neighborhoods that did not burn down during the 1906 earthquake).
  • Comfort was cremated and interred in the Odd Fellow's Cemetery in San Francisco.  He was eventually moved to Greenlawn Memorial Park in Colma, San Mateo, California and is buried in the family plot there.
  • The only time I've ever gotten a postal money order was so that I could order Comfort's death certificate from San Francisco.  Like everything else concerning San Francisco, it was very expensive.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Revisiting Pennsylvania Death Certificates

Although most of my Pennsylvania connections had long ended by 1906, I've been eager to check out the death certificates recently uploaded by Ancestry.  The one certificate I did order from the Dept. of Health a few years ago was of horrible quality.  I was expecting more of the same, but lo and behold:


The above is the same certificate I had previously ordered, though this time I can actually read it!
(The certificate has several errors: Joseph wasn't born in Niles, Trumbull, Ohio but Lawrence Co., Pennsylvania.  His mother's name was Elizabeth Clemen(t)s and the Margaret Murray listed was actually Joseph's late wife.  Joseph had lived in Ohio most of his life but died in Sharon while visiting his daughter.)

My skepticism has been banished!  If you also ordered through the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health and were disappointed, give Ancestry's new collection a try - you might be pleasantly surprised.

Note: I have no affiliation whatsoever with Ancestry.com or any other persons, websites or companies under the Ancestry.com umbrella.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Rebecca Chappel

(My current entry in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge)

Rebecca Chappel's last name might have Chaple or Chapple, or maybe Chappelle, or it could be Chapele or it might be Chapell...  and on it goes.  I've also seen Rebecca spelled Rebekah.  Point is, I know next to nothing about Rebecca.

Rebecca was probably born in Virginia, either present-day Virginia or present-day Kentucky.  The first record of Rebecca is her marriage record to Henry Wellons (spelled 'Willons') on December 8, 1801 in Pulaski County, Kentucky.

I don't know exactly how many children Henry and Rebecca had.  A Henry 'Weldon' was enumerated in Somerset, Pulaski, Kentucky in 1810.  There was one man and one woman between the ages of 26 and 44 (presumably Henry and Rebecca) and five people (two boys and three girls) under the age of sixteen.

The only other census Rebecca was alive for was the 1820.  The Henry 'Willings' household in Somerset, consisted of eight white people.  There were four girls under twenty-five and two boys under fifteen.  There was also one man and one woman over the age of forty-five (Henry and Rebecca).

Rebecca was dead by 1826 (the year Henry remarried).  Interestingly Henry and his new wife named their daughter Rebecca.

There are candidates for Rebecca's family.  A James Chapple appears on an 1800 Pulaski Co. tax list (and was still there in 1810).  There were also some marriages of note in Pulaski Co.: Nancy Chappel to John Emerson in 1805, Kizah Chapel to John Wood in 1806, and Elizabeth Chapell to William Wood in 1805.  I believe all these people are in some way connected to Rebecca but proof is still elusive.

Rebecca's son, John Chappel Wellons, was my third great-grandfather.