30 December 2011

Genealogy Goals for 2012

I really only have one major goal this year. Start writing and publishing books! I know that a genealogist work is never done. On the other hand if I keep waiting until my research is done, which is never, I would never get a book written.

Right now I have begun to work on my grandmother's genealogy, her Jenkins line. I'll have to write a few distant cousins that have shared photos with me and ask for their permission to use the photos if I look the book enough and decide to publish it. But for now it'll just be for my families enjoyment. My goal is to have this book done before my father's birthday so I can give him a copy for his birthday. He would really enjoy that. His birthday is in March, so I best get cracking.

I keep saying I want to write a book about the Old Paupers cemetery in Post Falls, ID, but I really need to do some more research before I will have enough histories to complete a book. It may have to be a series of books too. So this one will also go on my list to write and research as I go.

I'd also like to start books for each of mine and my husband's grandparents primary lines: Woolsey, Roe, Hayes, Riddle, Conner, Crooks and Ward. Eventually I'll write books for all the lines that merge into each of these primary lines.

I hope everyone has a good time and good luck achieving their genealogy goals for 2012. I know I will.

26 November 2011

A Name and Story behind the face; Bethany Slusher Barnett

I wrote about this lovely young lady a long time ago when I first received a copy of this photo from a gracious cousin, in We Have a Face. At the time all I knew is that she was the mother of Laura Alice Barnett Conner, but we did not know her name. Recently I've been working on finding out who this lady was along with a couple other cousins. I now have a story to tell.

According to her death certificate in Texas Bethany Barnett was born 4 August 1856. Her parents were unknown. She died 23 Nov 1945. The informant on her death certificate was her son Wilford Barnett. She was a widow by this time.

The family reported to me that her husband and Laura's father was Sam Barnett. I did find Sam's death certificate in Texas as well. He was born in Kentucky on 17 May 1850, parents unknown. He died 30 Aug 1937. The informant on his death certificate was his wife Bethany Barnett.

At around the same time as I found both death certificates I also found their graves. I found this on Find-A-Grave. They are buried at Old Fellow Cemetery, Georgetown, Williamson County, TX. The photo is posted there courtesy of John Christeson. Their headstone information corresponds with their death certificates, but unfortunately neither certificate gives us any parents names.

Up to this point I only had the word of family that Sam Barnett was the father of Laura Alice Barnett, that is until I found Laura and William Conner's marriage certificate, where S. J. Barnett gave his permission for his young daughter to marry William. They were married by the justice of the peace on 30 Aug 1890 in Webster County, Missouri.

Then I found the record that linked them all together. I found a birth record in Menifee, KY for an Alice Barnett born 30 Dec 1875 to a Samuel Barnett and Bethana Slusher. Father was born in Floyd Co., KY and mother in Breathitt Co., KY. This was the proof I was looking for. Then I began to search for the families in this area.

Now I was looking for the parents of Sam Barnett and of Bethany/Bethinia Slusher, but before I did that I wanted to complete the family history by finding them in the 1880 census. I found them in Jeffersonville, Montgomery, KY. Sam is age 30 and Beatheney is 23. They have a son, Henderson age 7, daughter Alice age 4, and baby boy Wesley 8 mo. This means that Sam and Bethany have were likely married before 1873.

Other than Laura and William's marriage the Barnett's seem to have strong roots in KY. So I focused my search in KY and was reward well. Next was an explosion of records. Knowing the Bethany's maiden name was Slusher I began searching for her in the 1870 census. My assumption was that she was married shortly after the 1870 census and that I would hopefully find her with her family, and I did. They are living in Menifee, KY. Which is where Sam and Bethany's daughter Alice was born. I'm certain this is her family. She is 14 years old and that matches very closely to her death certificate that puts her birth in 1856. Her father's name is G. R. Slusher and her mother is Ibby.

I then found them in 1860 in Breathitt, KY. This time her parents names are clarified as Gradner Slusher and Isabella Slusher both age 23. They have three children, Phoebee age 6 Nathina (I believe this is a misspelling on the part of the census taker, as the age is consistent with Bethany) age 2 and Shylvana age 1. Everyone except Shylvana is listed as born in Floyd, KY and Shylvana was born in Breathitt, KY. Also on either side of the family are two other Slusher families. One is Phillip Slusher age 52, likely Gardners father? The other is John Slusher age 26, likely a brother?

Then I found the marriage record of Gardner Slusher and Isabella Prater on 27 Sept 1855 in Floyd Co., KY. This record is very hard to read, but by blowing up on my computer I was able to make out the names. Now I have Isabella's maiden name. But I've not yet researched her family. I wanted to find out more about the Slusher's as I believed that the Phillip Slusher living next door to them was likely his father, the age was right.

Then I began a search of Gardner Slusher and sure enough I found him the in 1850 census in Floyd Co., KY in the house of Phillip Slusher and Mary. Likely I suspected, Phillip is likely his father and Mary his mother, though this is hard to prove from the census records as relationships are not listed at this point. Also in the house is a John Slusher that corresponds in age to the John Slusher living next door to them in 1860. It's not proof, but considering the connections and repeated places I believe that Phillip and Mary Slusher are the parents of Gardner Slusher the husband Isabella Pratter the parents of Bethany Slusher.

Even in all of this research though I have found no mention or proof of the family being Native American like the family swears they are. According to the family Bethany Slusher was 100% Native American. So far these are the only records I have found to establish this family. However, it is interesting to note that William Conner married Laura Alice Barnett the daughter of Bethany and Sam Barnett in Missouri. Up until this point the Slusher and Barnett family lived exclusively, from what I can tell, in KY. Why they move? William and Laura were married in 1890 which is too late for the Trial of Tears, and during the Trail of Tears the are definitely well rooted into their communities around Floyd, Breathitt and Menifee Counties, KY. These counties are not next to each other, but near by. Why then did they suddenly move to MO in the late 1800's. Were they able to avoid the Trail of Tears, but truly were Native American and were forced to move later? We may never know, but I will always keep searching. I will admit that Bethany Slusher Barnett does appear to be Native American. I will also add that I have search Dawes Application and the Dawes rolls to find none of these family member on them. If they were in fact Native American it appears at this point that they never registered on the rolls. Though we do know that William and Laura did go to OK at a later date, but it was too late for them to have registered either, and I know from my research of the Conner that they never register for Native American rights.

My search will continue, but this is where I am at this time on the Conner, Slusher, Barnett and Prater families.

30 September 2011

Leonard P Rollett, shot by officer

I wrote a while back about my mom's family the Rollett's. I was in search of more information in order to compile a family medical history for my mother. I had finally found memorials for them in Find-A-Grave. I new I needed to send off for their death certificates, but at the time couldn't afford it. Then I had a lovely, generous lady, her name was also Amy, write me an email and tell me about Missouri's Digital Heritage that had online death certificates. I had heard about it when it first opened, but it was still difficult to search and didn't yield much to my research back then. You tend to forget about sites if you don't use them often, so thank you Amy for reminding me. As a result of going to Missouri Digital Archives I was able to find nearly two generations of Rollett and the extend the family by one more generation on the mother's Clark side.

I'm still compiling all the details in order to write a follow up story to the Rollett saga. However, I am stopping to write a story asking for a little help. I currently can't not afford any of my subscriptions to online databases. I really need someone willing to do a look up for a newspaper article if there is one. This story could be interesting.

I am looking now for information on Leonard P Rollett. I did find his death certificate on Missouri Digital Heritage. He died 31 July 1929 in Kansas City, MO. Here is where the death certificate got interesting. He was only 21 years old. The cause of death was Homicide, fire arm, additional note states: shot by officer. His family lived for many many years in Buchanan County, MO usually around St Joseph. So why is they young man, occupation: Truck driver, in Kansas City where he is shot by an officer?

I can only speculate. But let's consider for a moment that this is the hay day of the Prohibition which began in 1920 and continued until 1933 with the passing of the Volstead Act. Was Leonard rum running? He was my mother's great uncle, though of she never new of him until I discovered him.

I'd be grateful if anyone can find information on him, especially a newspaper article or if anyone knows how to get copies of police reports from those days.

10 May 2011

My Happy Dance!

For Mother's Day I gave myself my favorite gift, another break through. My husband got to witness my happy dance (or happy claps) for the first time. He probably thinks I'm a nut, but loves me anyway.

My mother as she is only six year younger than her mother was when she died of colon cancer has become more curious, not of her genealogy, but of the life span and causes of death of her ancestors. So on Saturday we were looking at her lines. We notice that the two generations before her of all four of her lines had short life spans. The youngest died at 49 and the oldest of her parents and grandparents was her mother at 62.

The youngest was her grandmother, May Elizabeth Rollett whom I've written about before. She is still a serious mystery to us. We do now know enough to continue on with the line, but it's her life that I would still like to solve the mystery of.

Here is a complete look of what I previously knew:

May Elizabeth Rollette was born 5 Apr 1899 in Missouri. I still don't know where in Missouri or exactly who her parents were. The date and place comes from her California Death Record 1940-1997.
May married Frank Roe. Based on the 1920 census they were married around 1919, most likely in Missouri.
Then they had the following children, all born in OK: Rachel and Hazel born about 1921, Von Joseph Roe born 10 Oct 1924 and died 3 Mar 1976 in Modesto, CA, Clarence Roe born 13 Oct 1926 and died in Alameda Co., CA 4 Apr 1974, (the information on these two come from their Social Security Death Index), and James Roe born about 1930. (the other birth dates are based on the 1930 Census)

She died 22 Dec 1949 in San Fransisco, CA. She died young. She was estranged from the family. We don't even know if she had any family with her as she was dying of a brain tumor. I've also noticed that so far no one in the family has a picture of her either.
Family tradition is that shortly after the 1930 census May went to take care of a sick sister. Now what we don't know is if they at that point had agreed to separate. What we do know is that with out May's return, Frank picked up the kids and left Oklahoma for California. From there Frank and his son lived the end of their lives in and around Turlock and Modesto, CA. Clarence known as Charlie I see ended up in Alameda County, CA. The rest I'm still not sure where they ended up. Frank remarried six more times, and from what I can see May never married again.

Possible Theories:

May possibly was the child of a David and Rose Rollette of Missouri. In her California Death Index it list her father's surname as Rollette and mother's maiden name as Clark. In 1920 I find Frank and May in St. Joseph City, Buchanan Co., MO in the home of John W Stephens at 519 Maple St. They are just boarders and are both working in a local box factory. (this can be found on sheet 9, enumeration district 109, supervisor's dist 4?, Dwelling 189, family 206). Living in the same county and city at 227 South 13th St is a Rosa Rollette with sons Ralph, James, Leonard, and daughter Pearl (sheet no 7, enumeration district 117 and supervisor's district 4, dwelling 195, family 157). This in it's self doesn't say much, but if I go back to the 1910 census I find a David Rollette and Rose with children and daughter, May! In 1910 they are in Platte Twnp, Clinton Co., MO (sheet no 5, enumeration dist 40, supervisor dist 3, dwelling 117, family 112).
May and Frank divorced, but the divorce records have not been found. Either that or she just left and there was no divorce, but there had to of been if he was able to remarry legally six more times.
I'm sure she was buried somewhere in San Fransisco, but I have yet to find her burial. Though if she were alone with no family and no estate it may be possible that she is buried in one of the many unclaimed persons cemeteries and that may be why I can't find her. I need to contact funeral homes next.
I have the source information listed above with the details but an overview of the records I have are:

1910 Census of Platte Twnp, Clinton Co., MO in relation to the Rollette family
1920 Census of St Joseph City, Buchanan Co, MO for both the Rollette family and Frank and May
1930 Census of Port of St Louis Twnp, Oklahoma Co., Oklahoma of Frank and May with children.
California Death Index 1940-1997 for May Elizabeth Roe
Social Security Death Index for Frank and Clarence Roe

Now the fun was to find more. I pulled up all the tabs of my regular hot sites; Footnote, Ancetry, Rootsweb, Find-A-Grave, to name a few. I did a few of the usual searched on Ancestry and Footnote to see if anything new appeared and then went to Find-A-Grave. The first thing I noticed is that they have changed their search. You can now search by a range of years. Which was perfect in this case, because a range is all I had. Without definite dates I had not had any luck in the past. So I searched first for David and hit the jackpot. Not only did I find David, but his wife Rosa, one son, and Rosa's parents! This was the point I said YES! and started clapping. I got "have you fallen off your rocker" look from my husband.

I found David's memorial here. Linked to it was Rosa's here. From these memorials it appear that David Rollett was born 26 Jan 1866 and died 3 Feb 1913, likely in Missouri where they lived and where he is buried. It's unknown based on this where he was born, though in the 1910 census he gives his birth place as IL. Rosa was born 16 Dec 1876 and died 24 April 1932 in Chillicothe, Livingston, MO. Again the memorial did not give a place of birth, but according to the 1910 and 1900 census she was born in MO. Interesting to note that she remarried after David's death. Her second husband was Arthur Rifingburg Wilson a WWI vet. This may explain why I couldn't find her in the 1930 census even though she was still living.

Rosa's father was Elias Franklyn Clark born 10 September 1839 in VA and died 25 Apr 1914 in Buchanan County, MO. Her mother was Margaret (maiden name unknown) born 10 Sept 1846 and died 1 March 1922. There is no photo of her headstone and the information is sketchy at best. Either her birth date is an error or she shared a birth day with her husband, interesting to say the least.

From this I was able to report to my mother that yes this line of her family lived short life spans. We knew that May was 49 when she died of a brain tumor. Now we know that her father was 47 and her mother 56 at the time of their deaths. I need to send off for their death certificates now. It would be interesting to know what they died so young of. I'll work now to find out about David's family as well. Now Rosa's parents were both 76 at the time of their death. Why is that? In my mom's family every line barely lived to 60 and most died in their 50's for about three generations then four or so generations back are longer, sometimes even 100 years, life spans. My theory was they were smokers, but then I found out that my grandfather was not a smoker and grandma quit smoking until after he died. I'll know more when I send off for death certificates.

21 March 2011

Madness Monday - Jerry Roe

Yesterday I posted about my great great grandmother Rachael Roe who was half Chippewa Indian and French Canadian. Since then I have discovered that a dear cousin, Jeanette Perrin Coaly has made another of her fabulous break trough's. She discovered one of the unknown children's names, Jesse Roe, and I believe through that discovered from his social security death records that his mother's maiden name was Mason. Then she was able to find Jerry and Rachael's marriage records in Livingston, MO on 2 Jan 1883!!!

This was like dangling a chicken in front of an alligator! Give me a little tiny piece and I think great, finally I'll break down this brick wall. LOL sure. Not a chance. Then the chicken is thrown beyond the wall our of my reach. Just a tease!

Here is what we know:
  • Jerry Roe was born about 1861 in Iowa (based on the 1910 census of family in Otoe, Noble, OK ).
  • He married Rachael Mason on 2 Jan 1883 in Livingston, MO (based on (Ancestry.com. Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007.
    Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm).
  • Their first believed child, Jesse, was born 1887 in MO. (this was found by Jeanette Coaly. Not sure how she made the connection)
  • Then we know based on the 1910 census that they certainly had three boys: Pier born 1895 in MN, Frank born 1898 in MO, and Jaybird born 1903 in KS.
  • According to the 1910 census Rachael was half Chippewa Indian, making the boys 1/4. Jerry was not Native American.

Searches done:

  • Searched Dawes rolls, Dawes Index, Dawes packets on Ancestry and Footnote for any indication that they applied for the Indian rights. They were living on an Indian Reservations after all.
  • 1900 and 1920 census. Even using various surname spelling such as: Rose, Rowe, Row.
  • Find - A - Grave for any of the names in the family
  • Guion Rolls would not be a likely fit because it appears that Rachael was from Canada and part of the Chippewa/Ojibwa tribes. Guion Rolls, primarily but not solely, involved the Cherokee and other southern tribes. However the index on NARA was searched for the slim chance.

Searches still to do:

  • Microfilmed records in: Livingston, MO and Noble Co., OK
  • Roe families in Iowa. Research any that can be found in the 1860 to 1880 census in the hopes any of them connect to Jerry Roe.
  • Mason families in Canada and Missouri from 1860 to 1880 that have an English father and a Native American mother.

I will keep working on this family. Some day I will break through. I know the answers are out there somewhere they are just not easy to find.

06 March 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Disasters

I'm a California native, so I'm sure it's not hard to guess what disasters I experienced in my childhood. There is only one earthquake though that stays so vividly in my mind. It was the 1989 earthquake when the Nimitz bridge collapsed. I was probably about fifteen years old I'm thinking.

We had just finished up dinner. I was walking back from the kitchen into the dinning room to pick up some more dinner dishes when we began to feel the house shake. I remember we all stopped and looked at each other. Mom look up and calmly said "Whoa, that's a big one." Each of us stepped back into a doorway as we had been taught for years. We stood there for a moment and felt the shaking ease a bit. Then we all four went outside into the back yard, and as another aftershock began we watched as waves went the length of our fish pond and crashed on the outside of the pond. Then I looked up and watch the tall palm trees sway back in forth. Someone commented on the likelihood of them falling, but to our amazement they just swayed farther than I had ever seen them sway.

In those days we didn't have a TV as I have explained before because of the religion we were once a part of. We knew then the news would not be good, and our only way of getting the news immediately was by radio. We had lost electricity for a while in the house, so we all went out front to turn the radio on in the car. As we had feared the news was not great. The Nimitz Bridge in San Fransisco had collapsed during rush hour. I remember them still looking for survivors for days. Still finding miracles days later of people who had survived in their cars.

We lived in Modesto which was a couple hours away, but we certainly felt how strong the quake was. We did not see any damage in our area.

21 February 2011

Genealgy is shifting. Where do you stand.

Genea-Musings: Three (or more!) Genealogy Worlds?

Way in on where you think the genealogy world is going. It's moving fast toward technology based research. Are you following suit? What are the draw backs? What are the advantages?

My response to Randy's post was: "I'd say I'm probably in the Techie group. Again it has a lot to do with one point you made we have families, work full time jobs, and only go to repositories as a last resort, in my case I'd like to go much more, but time is the issue. I think technology is the one thing that is making this hobby/profession more available to the younger everyday working class person. We don't have the luxury of time due to retirements, but we need information, usually quickly so we can keep the momentum. I am looking forward to more records available online. I use every source I can find online to help with my researches, and at times even gracious lovely volunteers who have more time then I or are in a location I can not afford to travel too. But we must still be careful to source everything and research thoroughly."

What do you think?

Tough lengthy another great read on the subject, written by Greta Toward a Genealogical Democracy . I couldn't have said this better myself. So I'll let you read her post. She makes some great points and pulls from others who have posted on the subject.

Here's my view. We all play a roll in genealogy. Some traditionalists my not embrace Techies and visa verse, but if they would look at it this way maybe they could. As a Techie I truly appreciate the traditionalist who is most likely retired and has more time on their hands to go to a facility and volunteer their time to find records that I would otherwise never find either because of geographic location or time. I'm a mother of three with a full time job. What research I'm able to do is generally online, with some small portions of time at local repositories, but with out the traditional genealogist there are so many records I may never be able to find. They are important to me. In return I have those that have appreciated my knowledge of computers and online research to help them quickly and easily compile what they have gathered. If we realize that we all serve a purpose and embrace each other strengths instead of criticising then we may accomplish more.

12 February 2011

Finding Treasures

William "Billy" Grant and Lillie Woolsey

I had one of those happy dance moments the other day. I was on Ancestry.com just poking around to see if there was anything new on my family. I clicked on a leaf by William G Woolsey profile. *Update, this is not my William Woolsey in the photo. He died in 1913 and that car behind him jis from the 1930's.*

Normally the only thing I look at are the records. I'm so often disappointed by what other people have placed as fact in their trees that I don't look at trees that much, but this day something compelled me to look. Again I was some what disappointed because so many people have fallen prey to the genealogy pit falls that I experienced early on with the Woolsey family. I'm ashamed to admit, but before I knew better, I also shared the same information claiming it to be fact. There are a great deal of trees that now have a William Woolsey and Armile Hatch as the parents of William Grant Woolsey. However, I have yet to see any of these trees use anything other than census records to substantiate this finding. Since then I have traced that Woolsey family to a William Woolsey who died and is buried in Spokane, WA, ironicly 30 from where I live today. I have been in touch with that William Woolsey's family and we are not related. I know it's a lack of experience, but it's so frustrating to continually see this. Okay, enough venting. I think you get the point as to why I don't look at trees often other then to gather potential clues to dig deeper for records.

Any way this time was a bit different. Though I had my usual disappointments I also had a moment of shear joy. For the first time since I began my quest I got to see the face of my ggg grandfather William Grant "Billy" Woolsey! I've already seen a picture of Lillie his wife, but I had never seen a picture of William, and everyone in the family I have talked to has never had a picture to share either. Above is that photo. William died in 1913 at the age of approximately 50, give or take as I have yet to find concrete proof of his birth, only numerous records that contradict each other on his birth year. I would venture to guess that this picture was taken some time around 1910 and likely in Garvin Co., OK where he lived.

Unfortunately I didn't find any new information, but this photo was enough to put me on cloud nine for the day.

Well that was until recently when that moment of joy was obliterated! I shared the photo with a wonderful man that I have recently made contact with who knows more of the story behind William that I have been searching for years to find. He told me to take a second look at the photo. Notice the 1930's Ford behind the man in the photo? I do now! This mean the the man in the photo CAN NOT BE WILLIAM G WOOLSEY, as he passed away in 1913. *sad* Why does this man have to be such a myster????????

Then to make my week even better. The next night I decided to look to see if there was any new information on my best friend's Portuguese roots. One that I have had very little luck with because of my lack of experience with Portuguese genealogy. As if my week couldn't get any better it just did. There in the tree of a distant cousin to my friend were three more generations of information and photos to her Victorino family!!!! The only thing we knew is that her grandfather's mother was Mary Victorino and I had never found anything more. I think that was because of the Portuguese tradition, of which I still don't quit understand, of using two surnames and my distance from our old home town, otherwise I might had found more if I were close enough to make it to the courthouses in Stanislaus Co., CA The family can be found in records further back with the name Victorino Azevedo.

Anyway the following picture was found that then lead to more finds. I have since been in touch with and put my friend in touch with her cousin Gloria. It has been a real treasure for her whole family who has been just buzzing on Facebook about it. Her grandfather had apparently destroyed the families photos after the tragic death of his wife, and therefor her family has had no photos beyond the past 40 years or so. It's moments like this and the joys I know I bring to others when I help them find those special treasures that make me keep doing what I do.

The Victorino Family of Newman, CA
The Victorino Family Standing Ida age 13, Manuel age 17, Ellen age 11, Anna age 10, Mary age 15, Manuel Victorino Azevedo age 43, Maria Josepha (Cunha) age 44, Rose age 9 (Baby Tony Balthazar baptism)

04 February 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Radio & Television

Well now that's an interesting topic. Favorite radio and TV shows from my childhood......hmmmmm? Well lets see, when I was about four my parents started a church that did not allow TV and the only radio was gospel. They stayed in that church until I was 16. So guess what I grew up on? Yep you got it, gospel radio.

At sixteen though I was finally able to watch TV. Part of my morning routine before leaving for school was to sit with my parents and watch "Little House on the Prairie." They just don't make shows like that any more. It's still one of my favorite shows. I had read all of the books. Since they were based on a true story I was allowed to read them. I was not allowed to read fiction growing up, so I read a lot of real life stories. I guess that's where my passion for history sprang from. Then to top it all off, when I first attempted to be a stay-at-home-mom I found I got board very easy. So one day when I was watching........ Oh come on, it can't be that big of a stretch of the imagination........"Little House on the Prairie" I was sitting at my computer and thought........"I wonder what has been put online about the real Ingalls family?" So I started searching, and a search into her history soon lead to a curiosity and search into my family. From this moment sprouted the roots of what is now "Untangled Family Roots." So I guess you can say that my favorite TV show lead me to be a genealogist. Wow I never quit thought of it that way myself.

I also use to love such shows and Bonanza, Gun Smoke, Renegade, and Knight Rider. Yeah I liked the old stuff even when most kids my age would have thought that was strange as a teenager in the early 90's to like Bonanza, Gun Smoke and Little House on the Prairie. But I was still trying to catch up on what I had missed out on when I was younger.

I never really got into watching cartoons though. Probably because I was already a teenager when I started watching TV, but I do remember one cartoon my brother and I would watch every weekend...... Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I loved all the movies and the cartoon.

25 January 2011

Expert Conect, No More

I won't try to resay this. Thomas MacEntee says it best in his post. In this post he talks about possible reason why Ancestry.com will discontinue their Expert Connect and what possible directions they are going in return.

Here were my humble thoughts on the matter:

I completely agree with you. I found Expert Connect was another avenue to get my name out there. But the transactions with my costumers were so much more of a hassle then the ones I received using APG.

I have since stepped out of the research realm for a time. I needed to make my family my priority and genealogy was stealing my attention from them. But when I do return, and it is in the works, I will use APG to hang my shingle. Expert Connect was great in theory, but the clientele it brought me (in some, but not all cases) took more hand holding and wanted something for nothing. Though I appreciated the contacts I gained through them, I know it will be no big deal in the future to use APG to gain further clients, that is APG’s niche after all.

I’m sure Ancestry.com will focus their attention in a way that will better serve us all. They gave it a great try, but not everything is made to last forever. There have been times when many of us have been highly irritated with Ancestry.com, but I will give them this, every time that I know of they made an extra effort to right their wrongs and satisfy their customers the best they can (keep in mind you won’t make everyone happy all the time). I will look forward to what they bring us in the future.

I especially like Stephanie Hoover's "Wal Mart mentality" perspective. I truly agree with her. I encountered that as well.

24 January 2011

Home- 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy

I grew up in a very special home. My parents bought the home on 130 Glenn Ave in Modesto, CA from my Grandmother, Mary Ellen Roe. I was four years old. My Grandfather, Von Joseph "Rusty" Roe had recently passed away, and Grandma wanted to sale the home. She bought a smaller home one street behind us.

My Grandparents, Mary and Rusty Roe had bought the home when my mother and her twin were about five years old, so this would have been about 1960. My Woolsey Grandparents lived in the home behind us that faced the alley at 130 1/2 Glenn Ave. I was fortunate to live so near both sets of grandparents and be so surrounded by their love.

The home set on a lot and a half, probably 1/2 acre or so. When I was about 12 my parents stuccoed the home, it was blue and remained that way until they sold it. They had friends in the church as well as my uncle who were plasterers. I can still see all the people working on our home who helped to finish it in a very short time. My mom and all the women would set up big tables with food for everyone. All of us kids would entertain our selves with all kinds of games in the yard, as long as we stayed away from the scaffolding. Later my dad put a new roof on the home as well as Grandma Woolsey home behind us. I'll still never forget the mishaps he had on her home. He went straight through the roof into a back bedroom for one and then the back porch broke away and fell with him. I'd say Grandma's home was in desperate need of repair.

Our home had three bedrooms and one bath. We didn't have the luxury of two of three bathrooms for everyone. We had to learn to share. It had the beautiful detail of the inset ceiling design, rounded corners, plastered walls, and a huge kitchen. The kitchen was as big as the family room. With cabinets filling two walls, the stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher taking up three other nooks in the kitchen. I remember wall papering the kitchen with my mother and painting the cabinets and stenciling little designs on them. When I was pretty young my parents converted the garage into a den with a cozy wood stove. I can still smell the firewood burning and the popcorn popping. We would come home after church on cold nights (well California cold anyway. Today I'd say that's nothing after living here in the snow of Idaho), start a fire in the wood stove, pop popcorn and make a batch of tea to drink with it. Set around a watch the fire as we visited. Remember all the years I grew up in that home until I was 16 I never had a TV to watch with my family, so we really did talk.

This is my mother in the middle, her twin to the right and my Dad's sister on the left. This shows the stencle work she did on the cabinets.

I had a huge yard to grow up in and my mother made the best use of it she possibly could. You would have thought that I lived on a five acre farm the way she used that 1/2 acre. The only animals we didn't have there was our horse, and then any time we raised a calf or pig to butcher. They were kept elsewhere. But we did raise, chickens, rabbits, turkeys, ducks, goats and even my FFA lamb on that 1/2 acre. We always had fruit trees; apple, pear, fig, cherry, lemon, pomegranate and more. We had vegetable gardens and even mom's beautiful rose and iris gardens, and I don't mean just little flower beds. They were huge gardens!

My dearest memory was a cool day in October 1993. James (my later to be husband) and I were sitting out by the fish pond. I believe my grandfather was the one who built that fish pond, but I'm not sure. It was made out of cement blocks and plaster. It was always green from the algae, but we would all get in there every now and then and clean it out together. At one end of it was a very tall palm tree and if you would look toward the street from there you would see another one straight ahead in the front yard. Anyway I was sitting between James' legs and he had his arms wrapped around me. We were just talking and sharing our dreams when he quietly and tentatively asked me if I would marry him. We had already been together for nine months and I already knew he was the one. We were still in high school, but I didn't hesitate. I said yes. I still finished high school before we got married a year later. Actually my parents didn't really accept it at first and he didn't have a ring for me until November of 1993, when we made the engagement official. But to me it was that cool October day when he proposed that stays in my mind. Probably because it was so unexpected and I know unplanned on his part, but truly from the heart.

I had many great memories growing up in that home, and I know my parents did as well. My parents first rented the home to my husband and I for a while when they moved up here to Idaho, and then to her twin sister and her family when my husband and I moved up here in 1997. When Grandma Woolsey passed away, my mom's twin was also ready to move out of the family home to be closer to her children, so my parents put both homes on the market. This was back when the market was booming in 2001. They made a killing on both homes. I will always miss that home, but I will no longer miss the neighborhood. When I was growing up there we were surrounded by the old families that had lived there for generations. Today almost none of them are left and the old part of town has gone to hell in a hand basket. It's not an ideal part of town to live in any more. It's also known as South Modesto.

15 January 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Cars

I couldn't resist this weeks topic by Amy Coffin of We Tree. To write in my blog about memories of cars. We are a car family. I married a car man for Pete's sake! I have so many good memories, and when I get back home I will see if I can find some photos to share as well.

I'm starting first with my childhood. It was an old blue Ford 1972 pickup my Dad drove. I can still hear the sound to this day. For many years the darn fan built would squeal. We always new when Dad was around the corner on his way home from work. You could hear that thing squeal from a mile away! It was a good old pickup. It also comes with a darker memory too. The day I was almost left with out a father. If not for the grace of God by his side he would have been shot to death by a police officer in Modesto, CA because of a mistake in identity. My Dad worked only about five blocks from home at Proctor & Gamble in Modesto, CA. I don't know what year this happened as I was very young, though I think I was about 8 or 9 years old which would have been around around 1983. The grocery store down the street on Crowslanding road in South Modesto had just been robbed as my father was leaving the house for work. The description given to the officers matched my father's blue Ford pickup. When he pulled out of Glenn (our street) onto Crowslanding Rd, the rooky cop spotted him and followed him into the Proctor and Gamble parking lot where he worked. The officer opened fire on him. My Dad took two shots, one in the hand and the other in the shoulder. There were about four or five shots fired. One barely missing his head. He recovered fully.

Then my first car......a piece of junk! Actually my first two cars were. My first was a $200 green 1970 something fast back Mustang. My cousins grandmother had it out in here field. At the time my husband and I were dating and he looked at it and believed he could fix it, so we bought it from her. James and Dad did get it running, but not for long. I drove it for a while until the darn engine overheated and it was done for good. I even remember the day I went to James house to give him back his ring and break off our engagement. I was driving that car, and I'll never forget how when I was getting back in I looked up to hear my now mother-in-law screaming "Shannon (that's what his family calls him) get back in here." I had told him it was over, left the rings and walked out. He obvously didn't want me to leave with out an explanation and since he had been in bed was still in his underwear, to his mother's dismay, running across the lawn to my car. I had to stop and go back in the house. I left there with a promise to give it another try. I guess the boy in the front lawn in his underwear was enough to disarm a determined girl who had taken her brother along to make the point. We laugh about that all the time. Of course for a newly engaged couple that car also had other great memories too. That was back before the drive-in movies were completely gone. There was still one in our town, though it was gone a few years later. It sure was an ugly pain in the butt car, but wonderful memories.

Then since those days I've had many other cars. The one I miss the most is our T-top lemon ice yellow '95 Trans Am with a V8 engine. Boy did that thing have power. I loved that car and still miss it. My husband had used the whole back trunk to put in a speaker system. I remember I use to think he was crazy. That was something young stupid kids did right? That was until the car became mine and I fell in love with hearing my country music in stereo! Shanian Twain and even George Straight sounded so much better in stereo. I was also an outside account rep for a printing company in Spokane. I remember that people took notice when you pulled up in an impressive vehicle like that. It was also nice to have such a beautiful car when you took clients out to lunch. I was pregnant with Jamie, my third child when I was driving that car. It did get more difficult to get in and out of that thing the bigger I got though, but otherwise it was a very comfortable and fun car. We sold it after Jamie was born because the back seat wasn't a bench but two buckets. It wouldn't hold three kids with two in car seats!

03 January 2011

Madness Monday - Edward H. Kaufman

Here I am again after more than a year. I have finally found a little time to pick up my old Kootenai County Paupers Cemetery file and do some more work. To my dismay, many of them I still can't seem to break through, at least not online. I have got to find time for the library and the FHC to do some deeper digging.

But I was, at least in part, able to put together another man's life from the Old Paupers Cemetery.

On my list is a man named Edward H. Kaufman. He died 25 May 1940 and is buried at the Old Paupers Cemetery. According to the county list of burials he was born 28 Sept 1879 in Saranac, Michigan. The first record I found on Ancestry was the Idaho Death Index 1911-51. In this index his county of death is Shoshone in the city of Osburn. This is interesting. Why would a man die in Shoshone County, ID and then be buried by Kootenai County in their Pauper's Cemetery. I'll need to look into this further. This record confirms the same death and birth dates I had.

I found a 1930 census, Lakeshore, Coeur d'Alene City, Kootenai County, Idaho, Enumeration district - 28-12, sheet 11A, written pg 8351, Enumerated 10 April 1930 by Mrs Mary Eastburn, living at 822 Mullen Ave, Dwelling - 286, Family 286. Edward Kaufman a 49 year old single male is a boarder at the home of Marshall Pearson. He was born in Michigan, father in Ireland and mother in Canada. He is a laborer at the lumber mill. Later we'll find out that Marshall Pearson is his brother-in-law.

Next I found an Edward Kaufman with an Irish father and Canadian mother born in Michigan in the 1880 census. I searched through many, even more in Michigan, but this was the only one that fit. Sanilac, Sanilac, Michigan, page no 39, Sup. dist. 3, Enum dist. 342, enumerated 30 June 1880 by John H Hopkins, Port Sanilac Vil., Dwelling - 354, Family- 357, Daniel Kaufman head of house age 40 born in Ireland, Emily his wife age 39 born in Michigan, but her parents in Canada. Julia - 13 born in Canada, Willie - 11, Louisa - 10, Fred - 7 and Eddie - 9 mo. The rest of the children were born in Michigan. I still wanted to dig deeper to see if this family was the right one. I had a head scratching moment when I looked at the census further. Daniels occupation is listed at Hustler. Wow, I bet there is a story behind that. I will look deeper in Sanilac County records when I can.

I did another search for Edward and found him and his mother in Saginaw Ward 6, Saginaw, Michigan, sheet 5B, Enumeration District 53, they are living at 109 Bristol St, Dwelling 94, Family 104. This time however, I have my doubts that I am on the right path. This Edward is listed as being born in June (not Sept) of 1880 (not 1879). This concerns me. But he was born in Michigan. Once again it states his mother is born in Canada and that she immigrated in 1860. That would be before Julia was born. If Julia was indeed born in Canada then they must have traveled back and forth for some time. Edward's occupation is an Iron Worker.

I still wanted to find more, but was unable to find any other records of an Edward Kaufman born around 1880 in Michigan to an Irish father and Canadian mother. So I began to search for his siblings. Again I was doing the happy dance.

1910 Census, Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai County, Idaho, page 17B, Enum. Dist. 166, image 130, again on Mullen Ave, dwelling - 330, family - 351, Head of house is Ed Kaufman (would be why I hadn't found him. I had not yet gone through name variations.), mother Emily Kaufman, brothers Fred and William. The boys are all born in Michigan and Emily in Canada. This time he is 37 years old, and his brother is listed at 39. Neither have the right age. I would say age wasn't important to this family. Then in the same year and even on the same street, but about 22 dwellings apart is his brother Fred again, this time in the home of their sister Julia Huyck. Fred must have been living back and forth between the two homes.

With no further luck on Fred and Edward I looked for Julia, now that I had a married name. I then found her in the 1920 census in Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai, Idaho, sheet 4B, sup dist. 8, enum dist. 206, enumerated 3 Jan by Mrs. Blanche K. McMartin, at 822 Mullan, dwelling 91, family 101. Head of house is Marshall Pearson her brother-in-law, husband of her sister Adaline. This sister is a couple years older than Julia. Until this point I had thought Julia was the oldest, but it's possible that Adaline was already married by the 1880 census, therefor not with the family. Also in the home is Edward Coffman (another variation of his name, which is why I had not found this census of him), as well as their mother Emily. Most of the information is close to what has been found to this point. This census again confirms that Emily, Julia and Adaline all immigrated in 1870, which fits the timeline established by the 1880 census better, since the next child after Julia was born in 1870 in Michigan.

Then I did some searching on Find-A-Grave to find his brother Fred Kaufman born 10 Sept 1870 in Michigan and died 6 Feb 1920 in Coeur'd Alene, ID. This means he died about a month after the 1920 census was taken. He is buried in the Forest Cemetery in Coeur d'Alene, ID. The quote in his memorial states "Single; son of Daniel Kaufman and Emily Brown; Lineman." Again confirming that he was the son of Daniel and Emily, but this is the first account of his mother's maiden name. I'll need to look further into this.

Also in the same cemetery is their sister Adeline Kaufman Pearson born 3 Jan 1864 in Wisconsin and died 3 April 1936 in Coeur d'Alene, ID. This leads back to the idea that the family was back and forth from the US a few times when their first children were born. Likely because Emily's family was in Canada. The quote on her memorial read "Wife of Marshal B Pearson; daughter of Daniel Kaufman and Emily Brown."

That is Edward Kaufman's life story as I currently know it. There are a lot of holes that I hope to fill, but will take some time for me to visit the library and the FHC in Hayden. Until I can do that I would certainly be interested in hearing from anyone that can share stories or photos of this family to help me build upon his life story. My goal still is that some day I will be able to recreate the life story of every person buried at the Kootenai County Cemetery, before it is gone forever.