October Remembrances

October is an interesting month for me and my family. We celebrate many birthdays, but we’ve also lost loved ones.
I lost my grandmother and then my mom exactly two years and one day apart from each other (October 28, 2001, and October 29, 2003, respectively). Earlier this year, I came across this photo of the two of them while going through old family photos with my aunt. I’ve since printed and framed it.

My Week in Search Terms

As a blogger, I’m obsessed with site metrics and as a researcher/librarian, I’m obsessed with search terms. WordPress satisfies both obsessions with its blog statistics, which let me know how people find my blog by searching the Internet.

I found several interesting search terms over the past week (for still more search-term hilarity, I suggest you visit my friend Amy’s We Tree blog for her “Fun with Search Terms” posts).

1943 guide to hiring women — perhaps this week’s “Binders Full of Women” meme made you think of this brochure that informed 1940s government managers about the ins and outs of hiring and employing women.

andrew jackson photos — unfortunately, Andrew Jackson died in 1845, pre-dating most photographic technology. My second great grand uncle Andrew Jackson Corley, on the other hand, lived in the late 1800s, and I was lucky to come across a photo of him.

how to flip my couch into a flatbed — I think the method you use will be determined by the type of couch you have (Hopefully you have a sleeper sofa. Otherwise, I’m not sure how successful you’ll be). You found my blog because of my post about my Flip-pal scanner — one of my best purchases of 2012. I highly recommend you get one too. You can use it while on your couch or while on your bed.

roots tech 2012, going to — RootsTech 2012 was back in February, but you’re in luck! The event will take place again in March 2013. Hope to see you there.

why are maganetic albums badMagnetic albums are bad. Really, really bad. I highly recommend using an acid-free album like these from Creative Memories (I am a CM consultant) to better protect your photos.

“alfred t. gourley” civil war — nice use of quotation marks to create a phrase out of the name. Unfortunately, even though you most likely also are a descendant of my third great-grandfather, you didn’t reach out (and I even have a special request at the top of this post asking for you to make contact). Next time, stop by and say hello! I don’t bite.

abbey mausoleum arlington wiki — It would be great if there were a wiki for this now-defunct mausoleum, which was looted over many years of neglect. I posted about my search for ancestors who used to be buried there. Hopefully you also found this FindaGrave page about Arlington Abbey, including old pictures of the facility.

Meet Anson G. Bennett, My 2nd Great-Grandfather

Anson G. Bennett

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

This weekend, one of my aunts and I went through a ton of photos and documents that used to belong to my grandmother. Among the treasures was a funeral announcement for my second great-grandfather, Anson G. Bennett. I wrote about him briefly before.

One of the most exciting things about the article was the photo shown here — I’d never seen his photo before. Unfortunately, the newspaper clipping isn’t dated or identified by publication name. It most likely came from one of the San Antonio papers.

The article reveals several new-to-me facts. One of Anson’s sons was San Antonio city clerk. Anson was buried at St. Mary’s parish cemetery. Anson’s address at the time of his death was 619 Cedar Street.

619 Cedar Street, San Antonio

The following excerpt is especially rich in detail:

“A native of Missouri, he was brought to San Antonio in a covered wagon by his father, Capt. Sam C. Bennett, Civil War veteran and boat captain on the Mississippi river between St. Louis and New Orleans.” (“A. G. Bennett Funeral Services Set,” date and publication unknown.)

I already knew that Anson died on 12 Mar 1944. I didn’t know about his father’s Civil War service. I believe he served the Confederacy as I have evidence he was a slave owner (an obituary for one of the family’s slaves was even published in the San Antonio Express).

Beyond the above clues, searching anew for information on Anson led me to his listing in the 1940 census. I also found another newspaper article that said Samuel C. Bennett was custodian of the Alamo for three years prior to his death in 1900 (“Capt. Bennett Dead,” Dallas Morning News, 16 Jan 1900, digital image, GenealogyBank, http://genealogybank.com : accessed 2 Sep 2012.). I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot more material to find on him.

Album Rescue Project: Cracking the Codes (The Letter B)

As promised, I’m continuing my examination of the photos in the Album Rescue Project. I’ve created a spreadsheet of all of the codes written on the photos, to make them easier to group. My hope is to interpret what at least some of the codes mean because this may provide further clues as to the identities of those pictured in the album.

I have come up with a new theory about the codes and who wrote them. My hunch is that the album’s star–the girl featured in most of the album’s photos–was the original owner of the albums and that she wrote a lot of the captions. However, I don’t think she necessarily also wrote the codes. My reasons for this: the handwriting is slightly different in the codes than in the captions; the codes are written in ink and almost all of the captions are in pencil; some of the photos have multiple codes. My thinking is that a subsequent possessor of the albums started coding the photos in order to organize them either for divvying up among family members or for selling. Many, many of the albums’ original photos were no longer in the albums when I purchased them. A friend of mine suggested that a previous owner may have sold some of the photos individually before offloading the albums.

On to the codes themselves. I’m starting with the letter ‘B.’ No ‘A’s were used in the codes. Below are the photos incorporating the letter ‘B’ in some way. There are a variety of subjects portrayed. I think codes incorporating ‘B,’ ‘2B,’ ‘3B’ and ‘BB’ all stand for different things.

Photo 73 — 2B-1917/F-1917 (Aunt Bert & Hazel Walters)

Photo 79 — 2B-1918

Photo 103 — 2B-1919

Photo 44 — 3B-1918

Photo 45 — 3B-1917

Photo 132 — 3B-1920

Photo 133 — 3B-1920

Photo 101 — B-1918

Photo 20 — BB-1920 (Red Bridge Park)

I think that ‘2B’ and ‘3B’ are particular to the locations pictured. ‘3B’ photos in particular seem to be from some sort of summer destination or gathering spot. Regarding ‘BB,’ I don’t think it is necessarily particular to the subject of Red Bridge Park as there are other photos from that park without a code using ‘BB.’

Album Rescue Project: Album 2, Photos 60-64

Well, with this post we’ve reached the end of Album 2. There’s no magic clue that reveals the album’s past in these last few photos, but every little tidbit helps and I still have steps I can take to try and track down the family to whom this album belongs. Before we do that though, here are the last photos:

Photo 60

I’m not sure if the photo above is supposed to be of the woman in the background hanging her laundry (she does appear to realize that her photo is being taken) or of the contraption in the foreground…

There is some interesting information printed on the back:

Reverse of Photo 60

This photo was printed on Kodak Velo (or Velox) Paper according to the stamp on the back. I found this information on Velox prints, which helps to date the photo.

We’re back at a dam (I think) in the next photo:

Photo 61

Love the vehicles in the image above. I don’t see a sign identifying this location, unfortunately. Anyone recognize it?

Photo 62

The guy pictured above looks pretty young — what do you think, is this a high school portrait?

Glue spots foil us in discovering more:

Reverse of Photo 62

There was something written/stamped on the back, but it’s obscured now by glue and paper from where it was adhered to an album page. Bah.

Photo 63 is a blast from the past:

Photo 63

That’s our star at a much earlier age in a photo that has the same coding as used on most photos in Album 1. Check out the dude snoozing on the hammock in the background. He inspired the inscription on the back:

Reverse of Photo 63

It simply says “Wake up.” I’ll get into my reasons why in a future post, but I’m 90% positive that the S in the above code stands for Shippensburg.

Here is the final photo of the album, which also appears to be much older than the rest of the photos in Album 2:

Photo 64

This photo has Shippensburg written on the front and another notation on the back:

Reverse of Photo 64

It’s perplexing that there are four people pictured in the photo, but only two identified on the back. Or are those the names of the folks to whom the photo was given? I’m having trouble reading the first name, but the second one appears to be Viola. I don’t recognize any of the kids in this photo from other images in either album.

Stay tuned for future posts where I try to divine further information from what we’ve seen so far. This ain’t over yet!

Album Rescue Project: Album 2, Photos 53-59

Some very intriguing images in this next set, as we near the end of the second album:

Photo 53

I recognize at least one person in the photo above. The gentleman front and center was featured several times in Album 1 including here and here (also here). My guess is that’s our star’s dad. Who are the women? Several women also were featured in Album 1. For instance, her and her. Are they in the photo above? Unfortunately, there are no notations on the above photo to offer further clues.

I think the guy below is holding tire. There is a pump in the foreground:

Photo 54

There is a clue on the back of his photo:

Reverse of Photo 54

This photo was printed at Sweigart’s in York, Pennsylvania! You know that I went straight to Google with that little tidbit. What luck! There’s is a web page devoted to this photography shop on a web site about preserving York’s history! How neat to get the back story. The information may prove helpful in dating this photo.

Not only that, but I also found a web page on the same site about a dam near York. Could Indian Rock Dam be that pictured in yesterday’s post? Hmmm… the one in yesterday’s post looks too wide to be Indian Rock Dam. Damn!

On to the next photo:

Photo 55

I think the child above is the same pictured on the left here.

Photo 56 presents us with a skyline. Anyone recognize it?

Photo 56

I know we were just talking about York, but I think this might be Harrisburg, based on an image search on Google… Anyone know?

Photo 57 is a slightly different view of the same skyline:

Photo 57

Photo 58 is a nifty shot of a ferry either coming into a dock or departing from one.

Photo 58

I’ve tried to read the name of the boat without any luck. Bummer!

Photo 59 is equally interesting. At first, I thought the contraption on the right was some type of plane. On closer inspection, you can see that it’s a tower somehow anchored into the surf. I almost wonder if it’s a type of amusement ride — maybe swings over the water? Anyone ever see anything like this before?

Photo 59

Album Rescue Project: Album 2, Photos 46-52

More riverside photos in this next set:

Photo 46

Photo 47

Any guesses as to what the contraption is in the image above?

Photo 48

The above might not make much sense, but will be explained a bit a couple of photos down.

Photo 49

I imagine that towers like these were quite a new phenomenon when the above photo was taken.

Photo 50

Anyone know which dam this might be?

Photo 51

Back in D.C. — a destination in Album 1. The above is a photo of the Lincoln Memorial, which opened to the public in 1922 (construction began in 1914). This information helps to date the photo.

Photo 52

Love the cars pictured in this image of the U.S. Capitol.