SNGF: Where Were They 100 Years Ago

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Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun has led me to a missing record! Tonight’s mission:

1)  Determine where your ancestral families were on 1 January 1913 – 100 years ago.

2)  List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?

3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google+ Stream post.

I was relatively certain that my dad and his family were living in Washington, D.C., but I was missing their 1910 census records. I knew they were living on Columbia Road in 1920. My grandparents were married in 1905 in Philadelphia and then my father was born in 1906 in Washington, D.C. I wasn’t certain where the family was living in 1910, but I was pretty sure they were in Washington.

I knew a good place to start would be to try and find their 1920 neighbors in the 1910 census. I’ve had success with this method before. I struck out with the first two families that I tried, but I hit paydirt on the third attempt.

My dad and his parents were living next door to a Mr. Story B. Ladd and his family in 1920. I found the Ladds again in 1910, still on Columbia Road. My ancestors were their neighbors then too, but their name was mistranscribed as Cortey, which is why they hadn’t turned up in previous census searches. I’ve since submitted a correction to Ancestry and saved the record to my father and grandparents. Yay!

Given that the census records show that the family was at the same address in 1910 and 1920, I can say that’s probably where they were on January 1, 1913.

I’m less certain when it comes to my great-grandfather on my mother’s side, William Edmond Hayes. His family was originally from Carter County, Tennessee. In 1910, however, Willie and his parents were in Umatilla County, Oregon, in what appears to have been a failed attempt to make a better living. In 1914, Willie is back in Tennessee, marrying my great-grandmother. And he wasn’t the only one to return — every single member of his family was back in Carter County again by 1920.

I’m still unclear as to the exact details about what the Hayeses were doing in Oregon, but I think they were trying to operate an orchard. I have found records that indicate that they went into debt regarding such a venture. The fact that the entire family returned to Tennessee leads me to believe that it didn’t work out, although I need to do more digging to find out the whole story.

Given the information I have so far, I can’t say for sure whether the Hayses were still in Oregon or back in Tennessee again by January 1. 2013.

Most of my other ancestors were where I expected them to be — elsewhere in Carter County, Tennessee, or in San Antonio, Texas. It’s dinner time now, otherwise I would go into more detail here.

Thanks, Randy, for prompting me to find that missing census record!

SNGF: Longest Gravestone Line

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Tonight’s mission from Randy Seaver is perfect for October:

Determine what is your longest unbroken line of ancestral gravestones – how many generations can you go back in time?  Do you have photographs of them?

Unfortunately, I can’t go back too terribly far in terms of my own family’s gravestones. I do have a photo of my dad’s gravestone (though I won’t post it for privacy reasons) and I’ve posted about my search for his parents’ and grandparents’ stone.

The photo trail goes cold in terms of the next generation of Corleys — Benjamin William Franklin Corley and his wife Lois (Wakefield) Corley (though I know them to be buried in Tower Hill Cemetery in Shelby County, Illinois; I’ve requested photos of their graves). On my dad’s maternal side, I did have the luck of finding his grandparents at Laurel Hill in Philadelphia. The cemetery sent me a photo of a headstone listing my great-grandparents William B. Hill and his wife Martha (Simpson), but it is copyrighted.

HAYES Headstone

When my mom died, she wished for her ashes to be scattered in the garden of her church. There is no marker. If I were to skip to the next generation, I do have a photo of my maternal grandparents grave (again, not posting for privacy reasons). Just a couple of years ago, I finally got to visit the grave of my great-grandparents, Della Crow and William Hayes.

I haven’t found a photo of the grave of William’s father, Joseph (but this post spurred me to request one via FindaGrave). I haven’t found death information for his mother yet. Likewise, I haven’t had much luck finding stones for Della’s parents.

SNGF: Ancestor Name Roulette

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It’s been a while since I posted, period. And now, two in one day? But I finally have a chance to play along with Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and so here we go for this week. The mission from Randy Seaver:

1) What year was one of your great-grandfathers born?  Divide this number by 50 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.”

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an “ahnentafel”). Who is that person, and what are his/her vital information?

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the “roulette number.”

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person’s name for your “roulette number” then spin the wheel again – pick a great-grandmother, a grandparent, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, yourself, or even your children!

It took me a while to find an ancestor whose birth year, divided by 50, matched a number on my Ahnentafel chart that I had filled in.

So, I started with Richard Corley, my 7th great-grandfather. He was born in 1670, which led to a roulette number of 33 (most of the rest of the 30s on my Ahnentafel chart are not filled in, sadly).

33 is Delilah Basham, my 3rd great-grandmother. Here are three facts about her:

1) Her name is one of my favorites among my ancestors. Delilah was the downfall of Samson in the Bible. These days, she’s the subject of a hit song by the Plain White Ts. I’m fascinated that her parents chose that name for her. Her father’s name was Obediah, one of my other favorite names among my ancestors.

2) She was born in 1785 in Bedford, Va., according to the preponderance of secondary sources I’ve been able to find. This area of Virginia has very few surviving original records due to fires at county courthouses and other repositories (and not all were due to the Civil War either).

3) She married Jonathan Cheatham Corley and together they had 13 children, including my 2nd great-grandfather, Benjamin William Franklin Corley, and his twin brother, Henry William Washington Corley. Delilah and Jonathan are buried together in a Corley family cemetery in Shelby, Ill.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Ancestor Name Roulette

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Yay, I finally have a chance to play again! Here’s tonight’s challenge, as set forth by Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings:

1) What year was your paternal grandfather born?  Divide this number by 100 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.”

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an “ahnentafel”). Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the “roulette number.”

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person’s name for your “roulette number” then spin the wheel again – pick a grandmother, or yourself, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

My paternal grandfather was born in 1873 and so my roulette number is 19. That is my great-great grandmother, Sarah C. I think that the ‘C’ might stand for Champ — her daughter’s middle name was Champ.

Here are three facts about Sarah:

1) She was married to George Ferris.

2) She was born around 1821 in England. She and George eventually made their way to Iowa.

3) It appears that Sarah and George adopted a son — the 1880 census shows them with three children at home and one is denoted as “Adopt Son.” I’ve never seen such a notation before.

Image from Ancestry.com

SNGF: Better Google Search

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It’s been a while since I’ve been able to play along with Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. Here’s this week’s task:

“1)  Go to genea-blogger Ramdy Majors website (http://www.randymajors.com/).

2)  Add his blog to your RSS reader, if you don’t have it already.

3) Read his blog post AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search – BETA.  See the link at the top of the page that says “AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search – BETA?”  Click on it.

4)  Test out his Custom Google Search form to help you find online information about your ancestors, especially for their marriages.

5)  Tell us about your results – was this useful? Did you find something new?  How can Randy improve it?

6)  If you like Randy’s Custom Search, add it to your Bookmarks or Favorites.”

Searching the first few generations back (on my mom’s side at least) didn’t net much, but that’s to be expected because not a lot of recent records are online. I did find someone else’s Family Tree Maker site, mentioning my paternal grandparents and their marriage. Otherwise, I was finding my own blog posts mentioning my ancestors’ names.

I came across an Ancestry.com message board about my Corley line, but it’s one I’ve seen and commented on before.

What’s this? I entered in my great-great-grandparents, Benjamin William Franklin Corley and Lois Wakefield, and one of the results was for a domain called “sortedbyname.com.” This site listed marriage records and pointed to original source records. For this particular couple, I was sent to the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index. However, when I searched the index for both of their names, nothing came up. When I searched just for his name, I came up with a marriage record, but with a different woman! Hmmmm… and it’s before Lois died… More work is needed here.

Incidentally, when I type in just Lois’ name, I do find the record for her and Benjamin. The reason why it didn’t show up under his name is because he was only listed by his first initials.

Returning to my mother’s line, my great-grandfather Herman Wild (Sr.)’s FindaGrave memorial came up. While it doesn’t contain a photo of his gravestone, it does include a transcript of his obituary. This includes a wealth of information including his cause of death, employment info, street address and the names of several relatives.

SNGF: The Time Machine

Here is tonight’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun mission from Randy Seaver:

1) Determine which event in your ancestral history that you would love to be a witness to via a Time Machine. Assume that you could observe the event, but not participate in it.

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.

I would love to travel back to the early 1900s when my great-great-grandfather Joseph Smith HAYES moved his entire family from Carter County, Tennessee, to Umatilla County, Oregon, where they can be found in the 1910 U.S. Census. By 1920, they were all back in Carter County.

I’m curious as to why they traveled (I’m guessing for work) and what it was like to travel cross-country and back at that time.

SNGF: A Brickwall Ancestor

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Well, I’ve posted about him before, but here I go again. William Boyd HILL (one of my paternal great-grandfathers) and his parents constitute a brickwall I would love to bust down and so they are the topic of this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post.

I’ve featured the Hills before in a Surname Saturday post and even got as far as identifying Hill’s wife’s name (it was SIMPSON), which helped lead me to their family burial plot.

William Hill lived with his wife and children in Philadelphia in the mid- to late-1800s. According to census records, he was an Irish immigrant working as a grocer. I have yet to figure out when he came to the U.S. and via which port (if he even came straight to the U.S.; many Irish landed in Canada first).

I would absolutely love to learn more about William and his parents because they are my closest Irish ancestors. Finding out where in Ireland that line hailed from would be a treat.

My plan for tracking down more on William is to start by looking for information about his death. I need to see if a death certificate exists for him, or barring that, an obit or other evidence of his death (this hopefully will be easier now that I know the year of his death thanks to his tombstone). Thanks, Randy Seaver, for the prompt to re-investigate this line!