10 April 2015

Living 100 years

Can you imagine it? Few can even imagine living to be 100 years old, but Emily Lutitia (Scott) Hoard experience exactly that and she lived in two centuries at that. Can you imagine all that she saw and experienced in her life time?

Let me put her life time into perspective. Emily was born 1 Sept 1848 in Metamora, Franklin, Indiana. Now let's think about that for a minute. She would have been 15 when the Civil War began. Knowing what I've learned about this side of my family I believe they were very loving and very likely against slavery. When she was a child slavery was still legal, travel was horse and wagon, the west was still being discovered!

In 1850 Emily is found in the census as a two year old living with her parents and her maternal grandmother in Center, Marion, IN. Next we see the family in the Iowa state census for 1856 in Union, Lucas, IA. There are now two more family members; A.F who is 5 (Alexander) and M.E who is 2.

So far no more records have been found for any of the family members between 1856 and 1866 when Emily shows up on 12 Jul 1866 in Platte City, Platte, MO where she marries James W Hoard.  According to a deposition Emily gave for her pension file they left for Jackson co., MO in 1868 and then back to Platte co., MO in the spring of 1869.

There are then no records found for George and Aner, or the boys, until 1880. In 1870 Emily and James are in Carroll, Platte, MO. It's very likely that George and Aner are in this part of Missouri at this time, just no records have been located. In 1870 census Emily and James have two boys; Thomas - 3 and George - 1. During this time period she would have likely heard of many of the Indian wars that happened in and around the states she was living in. As much as I believe the US government wronged the Native Americans I can also understand the fear of Indian attacks that someone like my 3rd great grandmother would have felt. One of the saddest and most disturbing Indian battles was the Battle of Wounded Knee, which occurred on 29 Dec 1890. It's likely Emily and James would have been in NE or MO at that time. I would have loved to have known how this effected her.

In 1880 George and Aner are living in Plum Creek, NE while 160 miles away Emily and James are in Vesta, NE. Vesta is just over the MO border from where George and Aner are buried in Mulberry, Crawford County, Kansas, USA.

Emily would then live out the rest of her life in Kansas from 1900 until she dies in 1948. She lived in Harvey, Latham and Union, Kansas. In 1903 the The Wright Brothers Make the First Flight at Kitty Hawk and the First Silent Movie, The Great Train Robbery comes out. I wonder if she would have seen it, or maybe her boys and their families? Her husband, James Hoard, died on the train to Arkansas to visit family on 14 Jun 1911. A year later The Titanic Sinks. She would have witnessed both World Wars and seen sons and grandsons go off to war. She must have been a woman with wonderful Karma because from what I've seen all of her sons and grandsons that would have served returned home to have families and live long lives. In many cases her sons and daughters lived into their 80's and a couple of the daughters to 98. I'd say the longevity gene was strong in her family.

In the 1920's she would have seen the beginning of Prohibition in the U.S., The First Talking Movie, The Jazz Singer, and First Mickey Mouse Cartoon. In 1920 she is living along at the age of 71 in Union, Butler, KS. In 1929 the Great Depression began. I do not know where she was in 1930 after the Depression began. I can only imagine that she must be living with one of her children at this point, but my 1940 she is once again living along in Latham, Butler, KS. Though Roy is living near by it is still amazing that a 91 year old woman is living on her own. In 1934 she would have been in the midst of The Dust Bowl and yet she stayed. The Hoard family was not one easily driven out of the Great Plains.

I've often been asked if I could go back in time and spend time with an ancestor, who would it be? Emily would be one such ancestor. I can only imagine the stories that she could have told. 100 years of life spanning the most volatile, industrious, changing, progressing two centuries in American history.

Emily died, just shy of her 100th birthday on 28 Mar 1948 in Wichita, Sedgwick, KS. She was then laid to rest beside her husband, James in the Latham Cemetery in Latham, KS.

In the photo L to R: Emily (Scott) Hoard, Thomas Hoard, Roy Hoard and Fontana Hoard. 4 generations of Hoards.

31 March 2015

Never forget

This week's challenge in #52Ancestors is "Favorite Photo." I would have to say of all the photos I now have of my ancestors one of my all time favorites is not what you'd expect. I doesn't have someone's face, but tells me so much about my great grandfather, General Martin Hayes.

My favorite photo is a photo of this cabin where Martin Hayes was born. And to make it an even great treasuer, on the back in my great great grandmother's, Mary Jane (Vest) Hayes, writing is a note to him. "To Martin a Reminder Mother." She was reminding him to never forget where he came from.
General Martin Hayes was born 4 Apr 1907 in Hominy, OK to James Martin Hayes and Mary Jane (Vest) Hayes. Martin lived in and around Hominy until he was in his 30's. The last known record of him living in Hominy is the 1940 census. Though his obit states that he moved to Turlock, CA in 1941. On 17 Oct 1943 Martin enlisted in the Army to serve in WWII from Sacramento, CA. Note that he was given the name of General Martin Hayes as a child. He was not a General in the army, at least not that I know of.  By 1950 he moved his family to Modesto, CA. He died on 17 Dec 1960 in Turlock, CA.
This photo will always be a treasure as it truly represents many of my family lines and the hardships they endured. It just shows where my strength and ambition comes from.


26 September 2014

A Case of Murder

It all began with a death certificate. My Woolsey ancestry can drive me crazy sometimes when I hit brick walls, so I've gotten in the habit of looking at everyone and trying to find everything possible even on distant connections. I was looking at the family of Minnie Agnes (Woolsey) Tandy, my grandfather's aunt when I stumbled across this death certificate for her daughter Amie Urisa Tandy. Normally I would just capture the dates and places and move on in order to establish connections to my direct line, but then I notice the cause of death "punctured lung - gunshot wound, Hemothorax and Severed Spinal Cord" That alone just sounded so sad. I realized though that there had to be a story to this, so I began to search for newspaper articles on Newspapers.com.
I was shocked to discover that my grandfather's very own cousin was shot and murdered by her own husband Leo Nichols. Leo had come home drunk and began taunting his son Bobby Jack by shooting at him! I can only imagine the horror a mother must feel to witness her husband shooting at their own child. She confronted Leo and he turned his attention on her. He began shooting at her. Bobby Jack recalls on the stand that he saw his mother jump. He thought at first she had jumped out of the way, but in fact she had been shot and the impact of the bullet threw her body.
The Sheriff would later recall that he came to the home to find a woman moaning. She lay on the floor in her own blood screaming.
Leo Nichols was found guilty and given a life sentence. I never could find anything more on Bobby Jack Nichols. I can only imagine how hard it would have been on a little boy to witness his father shoot his mother. Bobby was only eight years old at the time. This was a sad sorry to discover in my family.
Amie Nichols, Ancestry.com. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

16 July 2014

Sarah Ann Revell 1838-1892

I've been writing lately about my great grandmother May Elizabeth Rollett and her ancestors, but I've really focused on her grandmother Sarah Ann Revell. I'm lucky that her father was one of the original members of the Reorganized Church of the Latter Day Saints in Nauvoo, OK. As a result there are many records available to me.

The biggest challenge was not being able to find a husband with her in any of the census I found. She was always in the home of her parents Thomas Revell and Elizabeth (Brierly) Revell. In my previous post I showed her with her parents in 1870 and 1880. Between 1870 and 1880 Brierly was born with the same last name as the older children. So where was this elusive husband?

I had read in several accounts of the LDS that her husband's name was Elmer Rollett. One record Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is recorded that Elmer Rollett died in 1866. So if that's the case he can't be the father of Brierly Rollet who was born in 1871. At this point the only thing that I can figure is that Sarah did remarry after Elmer's death to another man by the same last name as Rollett, who according to Brierly's death certificate is named Phillip Rollet born in France. It's likely they weren't even related as Elmer was born in England. I still am searching for records on this Phillip Rollett.

Finally I found Sarah with her first husband in 1860 census in St Louis, MO. They had another child I wasn't aware of, Elmer F Rollett. He is 8 months old. It's likely he died before the 1870 census. Elmer is 43 years old and Sarah is only 22. Elmer was 21 years her senior, but I have yet to find any indication that he was ever married before Sarah.

I did find an Elmer Rollett age 32 in Northern Lights, Philadelphia, PA in 1870 census in the home of John Edgar. I'm not certain, but this could be my Elmer. I've not found any others that match.

I also found Elmer and Sarah's marriage. They were married 16 April 1858 in St Louis, MO. Elmer's first name though was recorded as Abner, or at least that's the way it was transcribed on Ancestry. I'll have to find a way to see the original.

So now to find the second husband Phillip Rollett. This woman's life is getting so interesting.

14 July 2014

May Elizabeth Rollett and Ancestors Part II

I haven't had this much fun researching one of my family lines in probably more than a year, but once again I'm being sucked into the genealogy vortex and I just can't seem to pull away.

I wrote last week about a little minor detail that had gone unnoticed preventing me from discovering my Rollett ancestors in May Elizabeth Rollett and ancestors. Now that I've put the puzzle pieces together here is a bit more about her family. So far I'm able to trace May's father's side back to her great grandfather, Thomas Revel.

Thomas Revel was born on November 4, 1813, in Radford, England. He was married Elizabeth Brierly 28 Jan 1838. He died on April 24, 1896, in DeKalb, Missouri, having lived a long life of 82 years, and was buried there.

According to the book "Roots of the Reorganized Latter Day Saints in Southern Iowa" by Pearl Wilcox Thomas and Elizabeth joined the Latter Day Saints church in 1847 and came to America in 1851. They first went to Utah, but after nothing but disappointment moved to St Louis, MO where they remained until 1861. From there they moved to Council Bluff where they were one of the first to be baptized in the Reorganized Church. Thomas was ordained a elder 1 May 1862 and in 1864 sent on a mission to England. After he returned the family moved to Nauvoo, Hancock County, IL where they lived until 1890. He died in the home of his grandson Brierly R Rollett in DeKalb County, MO.

I did find the family in 1860 in St Louis, Ward 7, MO. In the home is only Thomas and Elizabeth and the name is spelled as Ravell. However they appear to have boarders, unless they are family. There are four other families listed in the same dwelling. Not sure yet if any of them are related.

By 1870 they are now settled in Nauvoo, Hancock, IL. Thomas and Elizabeth with their daughter Sarah Ann Rollett (miss spelled Ballet in the census) and two grand children Elizabeth and Isaiah D Rollett. Isaiah is David Isaiah who was May's father.

In 1880 they are all still in Nauvoo, Hancock, IL only this time there is another child, Brierly. What I find interesting is that this child has the same name as his siblings, yet two census records have yet to record the father of these children or Sarah's husband. I've never encountered this before over two census records. It makes me wonder if this is the result of a plural marriage. Was she living with her family even though she was one of many wives to an unknown Rollett? I say unknown because I have yet to pin point who really is her husband and the father of these children. On Brierly's death certificate his father was reported to be Phillip Rollett born in France. I do find a marriage record in MO of a Sarah Ann Revel married to an Abner Rollett in 1858. But then there is one more.......in
"The Heritage of Buchanan County, Missouri, 1984
Johnson, Herman, author
Stevenson family biographical information [ca. 1984]
"Faced with the responsibility of raising 6 children, ages 1 to 16, William [Stevenson] remarried on Nove 14, 1880. His second wife was Sarah Ann (Revell) Rollett, widow of Elmer Rollett. Sarah was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Revell."
So now I have another name. How can this man be known by three different names. From everything I read and find William Stevenson was only a second marriage for Sarah, so not likely that she was married to two different Rolletts, and I can see Elmer being mistaken as Abner or visa versa.

Sarah Ann Revell was born on April 29, 1838, in England, the only child (so far known) of Thomas and Elizabeth. She had three children, Elizabeth, David Isaiah & Brierly with Phillip/Elmar/Abner (to be determined) Rollett between 1862 and 1871. She then married William Stevenson and they had one child together, Joseph. She died on April 12, 1892, in Nauvoo, Illinois, at the age of 53.

I'm getting the feeling that David or at least his son Leonard was the black sheep of a strict Mormon family. Leonard if you'll recall I reported in one of my earlier post was a bootlegger shot to death by the Sheriff. A family that with in the span of three generations goes from extremely religious to outlaws. I can't wait to find more.

10 July 2014

May Elizabeth Rollett and ancestors

I have been on the search for my Rollett ancestors for years. I've written about that wonderful brick wall a few times. It's funny how sometime we consider a family line a brick wall, when in fact it's just a mater of not seeing the little details. That was the case with this family. I missed one little detail that blew the flood gates wide open when I finally saw it.

As of a few weeks ago I knew that my great grandmother May Elizabeth Rollett was the daughter of David I Rollett and Rosa D Clark of MO.  I wrote about finding her parents and siblings back in a post in 2011, My Happy Dance. Since then I found myself once again stumped, until last night! That's when I realized my brick wall was self inflicted. I simply was not paying attention to every little detail.

So how did I break through.......
  1. I opened up David I Rollett and Brierly R Rollett's death certificates. I still suspected they were brothers, but needed to connect them. Like I stated in my previous post Brierly was the informant on David's death certificate which clued me in to the possibility that they were brothers or at the very least cousins, being close in age with the same surname.
  2. While looking at Brierley's death certificate I realized (and I still can't believe that I've missed it for so long) that it listed his birth place as Nauvoo, IL. So I looked up what county Nauvoo was in. I find that by searching by city, it's too narrow as people in my family often move around in an area, usually with in a county, but often don't stay put in the same city, especially in a family where one child was said to be born in MO and the other in IL. Knowing from Brierley's death certificate that his parents are Phillip Rollett and Sarah Revel, I began to look for the family. It didn't take long really and I had found a family in 1880 census in Nauvoo, Hancock, IL that partially matched the family I was looking for.
    Thomas Revel 67
    Elizabeth Revel 62
    Sarah Rollet 42
    Elizabeth Rollet 18
    Isaiah Rollet 14
    Briley Rollet 9
The problem was that only two of the four names I was looking for matched and since the only one I had a birth year for was Brierly I still unsure that I had even found the right family. I was darn near ready to give up and mark it as another of many possibilities in this family, when the light bulb went on. Notice the child listed above Briley, Isaiah? I can't believe I had missed it. David's middle initial was "I" so I went back and calculated the age. Isaiah being 14 in 1880 would put his birth at 1866. My David was born in 1866!!!! They are brothers. David was just known by his middle name then!

Now I can add anther generation to my tree. I have been busy over the last two days finding more records and attaching to my tree records. My tree is once again going. Not only did this census confirm that Sarah and Phillip (based on the death certificate) were David's parents and that Brierley was his brother, but I also now know that Thomas and Elizabeth Revel were their grandparents! I'm off to do more research on another generation!

25 April 2014

Minor photo restoration

This is a photo of my mother and her sisters in Mexico. With this one I started by removing the scratches and spots as always. Then I began to selectively correct the contrast in layers. I created a layer and selected all the washed out white areas and brought some of the detail back. Then by selecting different areas on the photo I was able to adjust them individually until they all worked together. This was such a cute photo of them and now I can give them and even cuter version of the photo.

23 April 2014

Severely Damaged Photo restoration

This photo was approximately six hours of restoration. I started with the background. A solid background is the easiest to repair. After repairing the cracks there was discoloration and tail-tail signs of the restoration in the background. So I used a fill with very little opacity to help blend the background. This would not be an option if the background had any sort of pattern. Solid background are a gem as a result. That's where the easy part ended. In the most severely damaged part of his hair  I had to use a healing patch from another cleaned up portion of his hair that matched as closely as possible. Then blending is makes it look normal.

The rest of the restoration was pretty straight forward healing and cloning, keeping a close eye on shadows and lines that need to be maintained. Then a little selective color adjustment and some added film grain and I have a completely restored school photo of my dad.

21 April 2014

Restored photo to Art piece

This is the original photo of my grandmother Mary Ellen (Hayes) Roe. This took a lot of hours of work to clone and heal all the little spots of damage in the photo and remove the writing on her shoulder

Here is the photo part way through the restoration. As you can see there are still little specs in the photo. So I continued to clean up the photo and balance the levels.
Once the photo was cleaned up I began the fun part of recoloring the photo. By selecting each portion of the photo I wanted to recolor and then choose the "Hue/Saturation" option to create a layer. I could then adjust the Hue and Saturation until I got the desired colored. This is the best option especially when working with the face. However, you can also create again a layer with each new color and set the color using a brush and color in the area you desire (this was what I did for the shirt), this option is tricky and not always user friendly.


Here is the final result of a completely restored and recolored photo of Mary Ellen (Hayes) Roe. This is one of my favorite photos of her. I believe she was about 15 years old in this one.
For photo restoration contact me at amygennut at gmail dot com

07 April 2014

New fun tool on Ancestry

This is really cool. With the new tool on Ancestry.com you can create "Story" pages of your ancestors from the photos and documents that you have collected. So far it looks like it does a pretty good job of telling the story from the data. Again though what you put into it is what you will get out of it.

Here is the "Story" for my great grandmother Mary Joann (Williamson) Woolsey

Also on my dad's side of the family is my 3rd great grandfather Curtis Grubb Beeson A confederate Civil War Veteran. Though there is much more to his story that I have at home on his computer, Ancestry.com has put together his story as I have entered it into their data base. What it doesn't show are the pictures I have gathered of the Beeson property and graves. He lost the Beeson property after the war as his records that proved he was the owner of the land were burned during the war. Though he was wealthy and unfortunately owned slaves, he died a poor man not long after the war ended.

This is pretty cool. I will have to make efforts to put more into my Ancestry data base so that I can compile more complete stories of my ancestors.

27 November 2013

Extreme photo restoration.

Here is a before and after of the photo I just finished restoring of my mother. It's one of my favorite photos of her. This one was an extreme challenge since the emulsion on the photo was deteriorating so badly. I'm not very happy with the hair, but it's probably as good as it's going to get considering there wasn't much of the hair to work with. I had to recreate the right eye, since there wasn't enough of it to use the healing function to restore it.

12 March 2013

Restored Memories

I have been extremely busy lately. I'm now a volunteer with CARE for Sandy. I'm putting my skills to good use to restore photos that were damaged in Hurricane Sandy. At the same time I'm working on some of my own family photos. Here are just a few of the photos I've restored form my collection.

This photo is of my mother (striped shirt), her twin (blue), their baby sister (sitting), and their parents.
This is a photo of my grandma and grandpa Roe


These two ended up in my Jenkins genealogy book that I just finished. Yes I finally finished my Jenkins book! Woohoo!!!!!!

11 March 2013

Jenkins Genealogy Book

It was nearly two years of blood sweat and tears, but I finally finished my first family history book. This book is about my Jenkins family. I could have never put together such a lovely scrap book with out the generosity and love of some very wonderful distant cousins that I met in the process. Very few of the photos were in my possession when I started this project. Now I have a 29 page book of photos and stories about my Jenkins ancestors. A few of the cousins ordered their copies. Now I'll be offering this book to anyone that wants a copy. If you'd like a copy of the book you can contact me to order. This book traces the genealogy of my grandmother Olivia Joyce Jenkins, her father John Hubert Jenkins, John Stephens Jenkins, and Michael Oliver Jenkins. Then the history gets interesting. We may never know for sure the name of MO's mother or father, but we had Jewel Dial's interview of him that spoke of his Grandfather Joseph Jenkins and his Aunt Margaret (Jenkins) Fronburger who raised him along with his cousin Barbara who was the same age.
I then spent a year researching this family of North Carolina Jenkins. They were an early family to Rowan and Lincoln Counties, NC. There is some mention in documents of Hugh Jenkins (the farthest ancestor) being from Lancaster County, PA. In Lancaster, PA is where the trail grew cold. If I ever break through there, I'll write a sequel.

10 September 2012

Where were you 11 September 2001?

Fall was in the air. I was six months pregnant with our second child. Our oldest Christopher was four years old. We were living in a two bedroom duplex in Coeur d'Alene, ID. My morning routin was always to get up and have my cup of coffee and breakfast while watching the news. This morning was no different. I had gotten Christopher up and given him breakfast and gone to take my shower. As always I left the TV going so I could listen to the news while I got around.

I was in the bathroom doing my hair when I heard something about a plane crashing. I came out of the bathroom and stood behind the couch that was by the hall way watching the TV to see what was going on. I'll never forget the sight of the second plane as it hit. I stood there frozen for some time. My hand rested on my belly. I still get teary eyed when I remember rubbing my tummy and looking down while whispering to my unborn child "what kind of world am I bringing you in to?"

I continued to get myself and Christopher ready for the day while listening. Popping back in to the front room often to see what was happening. We loaded up and headed out. I dropped Chris off at daycare with an extra big hug and rushed to work.

At that time I worked for a photography studio as their sales consultant. September was always a slow time of year. The senior pictures were done and no more sales to do. The gal who did the masking of the negatives was very busy in the office, but I had a lot of free time. We had a large TV in my sales room to show the customers their portraits.  This day it was not being used to show photos. Instead the photographer and I spent most of the day on the couch, where customers would normally sit to view their photos, and watched the tragedy unfold.

It wasn't easy to hold back the tears. It must have been the hormones. We didn't know anyone in that part of the country, but my heart broke for them. At some point though, life goes on, especially if you weren't personally effected by the tragedy. I'll never forget that dreaded feeling of bring another child into such a horrible world, but three years later we were bringing another child into the world. For us life went on.

12 July 2012

If a Prostitute can make a living then why can't I as a genealogist

I hate it when I get online for a quick read and before you know it I've got 50 pages up of a hot subject. Today was one of those day. It started with find a link on my facebook Looking for Ancestor's post To Pay or Not to Pay? The Cost of Genealogy which just sent me on a wild chase of all the others who have weighed in on this topic. First stop Genealogy – What Do You Mean It Isn’t Free? A 2012 Update and then on to the various links through. In this post I especially like the part "I Don’t Live In Beverly Hills Because I Can’t Afford It" Amen to that. I'm the same way. I don't buy things I can't afford, and though I may complain to my family that I can't afford something I really like, I don't complain to the person providing the product/service because I know what it takes to get there and why they charge what they do. I am also quit creative and in many ways can find away to do or make it myself if need be ;-) Then when I ended up here: What Do You Mean It Isn’t Free? and started to rant on that post I decided I best move my comment here.

From personal experience I can say that it does no one justice to undervalue your product/services. I did and as a result I ended up with pain in the butt customers (a few of them anyway, others were great) that in return undervalued all the hard work I put into their research especially when I didn't find what they wanted me to find, even though what I found was the reality and not the fantasy they want......oh Lord here I go again. I digress.

I also volunteer my time when I can spare it. It's always been my way of paying it forward. But nothing gets under my skin more than to see my hard word (when my name is attached ie: my blog) stolen and reposted elsewhere with out any credit. Though I must add that I actually get a really good laugh when I see a mistake I've made that resulted in the connection to a wrong family run like wild fire on the Internet and my name (though I was the original idiot) isn't attached LOL ;-) There is always a silver lining I guess.

But I agree with all of you that somehow we need to put our heads together to change this awful perception that everything in genealogy should be free (or at very little cost). It's time to educate the public when is really involved in what we do. I've actually walked away from a lot of what I did because it irritated my husband that I spent so much time in the genealogy helping others and in the end (considering the time I'd spent on a project) I'd make nearly nothing, compared to working full time and bringing home a paycheck. I'd love to do genealogy professionally, but I'd need to make a REAL LIVING to do it and support my family of three kids. Many of us that are wanting to make a living at this are not granny's looking for a hobby to fill our time (sorry ladies, I love many of you and many of you are the reason I volunteer) but busy mothers and fathers who need to support our families. Think of that the next time you think you deserve our hard work for free. Money doesn't grow on trees and it's getting hard to come by these days, partially because of the availability of "free" information, but with enough creativity and collaboration in the right direction we may get there.

I've come to see it this way: If a Prostitute can make a living then why can't I as a genealogist. Not everyone is willing to pay for a prostitute and some find creative ways around it, though not recommended. So if you are unwilling to pay then I agree with the best of them, find a way to be creative. If you're willing to pay then someone else can do the hard work and you can reap the benefits. Dear Lord here I go again with my ranting and imagination getting the better of me.

I've abandoned my services of research for others. I'm working on another avenue and I hope this one pans out. I just got tired of the complainers and those that wanted something, including my help, for nothing, family/cousins excluded.

Okay I'm done ranting