Lina Hoyer

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Today is the anniversary of the death of my 2nd great-grandmother, Lina Hoyer, who passed away in 1915. She was the daughter of Julius Hoyer and Sophia Heimel, both German immigrants who raised her in San Antonio, Texas. She married Fridolin Wild and together they raised seven children, including my great-grandfather Herman Wild Sr.

In prepping for this blog post, I was reminded that photos of her gravesite have been added to FindaGrave. The memorial there also includes text from her obituary in the San Antonio Light, which includes her last street address, 206 Lavaca Street. Here is a Google Street View image of that address (apparently taken on trash day):

206 Lavaca Street, San Antonio

When Even Vital Records Can’t Be Trusted

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I was just notified by Ancestry.com that they found the death certificate for my 2nd great-grandfather Daniel B. Crow. I love finding vital records for any of my ancestors, but this one immediately raised some questions.

First of all, the  certificate lists his mother’s maiden name as Mary Crow. I am 95 percent sure that his mother’s actual name was Elizabeth Hart (based on census and marriage records). So where did Mary Crow come from? Well, Daniel was married to a Mary (nee Gourley). He also had a sister named Mary Crow. If his father Isaac Crow indeed married a woman named Mary, I certainly hope it wasn’t a relation of too close proximity.

Since the deceased couldn’t possibly provide the information above, it was provided by a relative–in this case, someone by the name H. T. Crow. I believe this to be Daniel’s son, Hugh Taylor Crow. Is it possible he didn’t know or remember his grandmother’s name? I suppose. Is it possibly an entry error by whoever filled out the form? I find this more believable, especially given the other discrepancy I detail below.

The next fact that gives me pause is the burial date of 8 April 1921, which predates the death date of 27 April 1921 (which appears to be corrected on the certificate).

Death date as listed on Daniel B. Crow’s death certificate (Ancestry.com).

Burial information on Daniel B. Crow’s death certificate (Ancestry.com)

Another problem has arisen in trying to locate the cemetery listed here. There are two cemeteries, in Cannon County, Tenn., with the word Milligan in their names. Neither is in Johnson City, which isn’t in Cannon County. The closest match I found on FindaGrave in Carter County is a cemetery called Millington County Cemetery, but it only has one interment listed and I think that its information is in error too.

So, boys and girls, what have we learned here? Even with vital records, each bit of information must be considered carefully and discrepancies investigated. In this case, I need to find further evidence to support the information provided, especially regarding Daniel’s death and burial dates. Finding his grave might clear it up. An obituary may help as well. The undertaker’s name is given. I might be able to track down which funeral home he worked for and investigate any available records of theirs as well.

Christmas Babies in My Family Tree

Meet one of my fourth great-grandfathers, William Hatley (or Hateley), whose photo I found on another Ancestry.com member’s tree (and yes, I did introduce myself before adding this photo to my own tree).

The full photo is much bigger, showing William from the waist up, holding a book and looking rather scholarly. The caption of the photo, which obviously was taken from a book, reads:

“William Hatley, father of Riley B. Hatley, born December 25, 1809, in North Carolina, died January 9, 1893. Married about 1835 to Anna Ford, born 1813 in North Carolina, died July 1880, daughter of Jacob and Mary Ford. Both are buried in Whitehead Cemetery near Butler, Tennessee.”

After contacting the distant relative who found this photo, he revealed that members of the Hatley family eventually travelled to Oregon and Washington State. This is very interesting to me, because members of my Hayes line — direct descendants of William Hatley — also tried to move to Oregon (but ended up back in Tennessee within a decade). I need to investigate if they went together with the Hatleys.

I also need to try and learn more about William, who appeared to be learned and well-to-do. This wasn’t necessarily the case for his descendants a couple of generations later.

William isn’t the only ancestor/relative of mine with a Christmas birthday. One of my fourth great-grandmothers, Maria Jesusa Curbelo, was born on Christmas Day in 1815, apparently.

My cousin Shannon also was a Christmas baby! I remember going to see her in the hospital that day. She and all the other Christmas babies were dressed in Christmas stockings. Happy birthday, Shannon!

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Josephine Susan Campbell Bennett

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On this date in 1922, my second great-grandmother Josephine Susan (Campbell) Bennett passed away. She was born in 1859 in San Antonio, Texas, and was the granddaughter of the first mayor of San Antonio, William John Smith. Her father was not only a Campbell, but William Wallace Campbell, so I can only assume she had a wee bit of Scottish ancestry.

Josephine married Anson G. Bennett, who hailed from Missouri. Together, they had eight children, including my great grandfather Susan Campbell Bennett.

I haven’t found many more records besides census records of her life, but her daughter, also Josephine, was quite the social butterfly and was written up quite a bit in local papers.

Lunch with President Kennedy

When my grandfather was serving in the Army in Germany, he was invited to a luncheon in honor of President Kennedy. One of my aunts showed me the souvenirs that he held onto after the day, including his ticket and the program with menu. I took photos of the items (click on the images for larger versions).

Something tells me presidential luncheon menus have gotten a bit fancier since the 1960s. Also, can you find the typo in the menu?

Tick Tock

The grandfather clock I mentioned in an earlier post was repaired today and is ticking and chiming away merrily in my dining room! It sounds just like I remember it. We’ll see if I make it through the night without switching off the chime though. I’m afraid it’s going to wake me up every 15 minutes with it’s Big Ben chime.

The clock displays the month, day of the week and the date...

... and the phase of the moon.

The clock has a nameplate with my dad's name on it and the date it was purchased.

I love the fact the face of the clock shows it was made in "Western Germany."

For those who don’t have the pleasure of owning a grandfather clock, did you know you can experience the pleasure through Twitter?

And on a separate note, did you know there are splogs related just to grandfather clocks? And they delete your comments when you complain to them about stealing your content?

Dr. Moody’s Sanitarium, San Antonio, Texas

October 29 is the birthday of my great-grand aunt Josefa Wild (b. 1873). In searching for her in various records, I found her in a sanitarium in 1930 on the U.S. Census.

The name of the facility was Dr. Moody’s Sanitarium (I know, what a name!). I’ve always been kind of fascinated by older mental health facilities. Such facilities often developed quite a reputation over time. Check out the documentary “Cropsey” to see what I mean.

I wanted to find out more about the sanitarium where my relative stayed. I found several resources via Google. This Texas State Historical Society article described the sanitarium as a 75-bed facility founded by two brothers. I found this ad for the facility in an issue of the Texas State Journal of Medicine on Google Books.

This find on Google Images shows a treatment room at the sanitarium with lots of interesting looking paraphernalia.

I found another article that gave the address of the facility. When I looked up the address on Google Maps, Street View was available (see below). I wonder if those buildings are the old sanitarium? They kind of look like the buildings in the ad above…

The sanitarium even got a mention in this article on haunted sites in San Antonio.

I haven’t found out why Josefa was in the sanitarium or how long she stayed there, but it’s been neat to learn more about the facility.

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Grandfather of a Different Kind

Today saw the return of a family heirloom (well, part of it, anyhow) to this Corley household. After 17 years, I’ve been reunited with my family’s grandfather clock, which friends have stored for me in the interim. The face and movement are with a clock repair shop that will clean, fix and test them, hopefully reassembling everything early next week. In the meantime, the rest of the clock is now in my dining room!

My dad bought this clock in 1978 and it merrily chimed away for my fam until my mom and sister moved out of state in 1994. Me and the clock? We stayed in Maryland. I was soon off to college and moved in temporarily with neighbors. The clock moved with me.

When I went off to college, the clock had to stay at my friends’ house though — dorm rooms don’t have much space to accommodate such a piece (and its Big Ben chiming probably would have infuriated my roommate).

And so the clock stayed at my friends’ house while I was at school. And there it remained as I bounced from apartment to apartment to apartment in the ensuing years after graduation.

Moving a grandfather clock is not a trivial matter. The movement must be (carefully) removed and packed, the head separated from the body. It costs hundreds of dollars each time.

And so I waited to be reunited with my clock until I was a) in a place with tall enough ceilings; and b) relatively certain that I’d be there a while. It took 17 years.

Oh, I visited the clock (and the friends storing it) often. I know they’re going to miss it. The kids in the household grew up with the clock, much like I did. It eventually stopped ticking though and probably hasn’t chimed in more than 15 years.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the clock restored and the pendulum swinging again. I’m not sure I’ll have the chime turned on — my house is pretty small and I’m afraid it would keep me up at night. I’m sure I’ll ask the clock repairman to play the chime at least once though, for old time’s sake (no pun intended; well, not really).

Stay tuned for a future post when the clock is restored and in working order!

Tombstone Tuesday: William Wallace Campbell

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Another FindaGrave volunteer has come through and taken a photo of the grave of my 3rd great-grandfather, William Wallace Campbell (Gee, you think he might have been Scottish? Just a bit?). The stone is a little hard to read in places, but I’m fascinated by the imagery depicted:

The carving depicts a broken tree with what appears to be a wall leaning against it.

I’ve never seen this type of imagery before. The broken tree, to me, seems to signify a life ended too short (he was only 34 when he died). I don’t know for sure if that’s a wall leaning in from the right. What do you all think? Ever seen anything like this? I want to do some more digging and see if I can find out how he died.

Here is the image from the second stone that is at the base of the larger headstone. It is much clearer:

Note the masonic symbol, which is repeated in the larger headstone.

Obviously, this smaller stone was added later by one of his children. I wonder if it was because the larger stone was already starting to wear?

The larger stone is hard to read, but after cropping and enlarging it, I think I can make out what it says:

W. W. CAMPBELL
born in Va. June ? 1828
died in San Antonio
January ? 1862

The FindaGrave memorial has the exact dates listed. I assume it’s easier to read the stone in person than in the photo provided.

One interesting finding: William’s wife, Susan Elizabeth (Smith) Campbell died two years later, also at a very young age. After viewing her FindaGrave memorial again, it’s even more apparent why new stones were made for these graves.

I recall coming across the information that they had died young before because it made finding their children in ensuing censuses challenging.  I would love to know what happened to this couple…

Happy 203rd Birthday, Isaac Crow

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One of my third great-grandfathers was Isaac Crow, born 21 Oct 1808. There is some confusion as to his middle initial on various census records, but his FindaGrave memorial (sans photo) states his middle name was Lincoln.

Isaac married Elizabeth Hart(e) in 1832. They resided in Carter County, Tenn., where I still have relatives to this day. The 1860 census listed Isaac as a “Hammerman.” In 1850 and 1870, he was listed as a farmer.