Valentine Corley

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My fifth great-grandfather, Valentine Corley, passed away this day in 1803 at the age of 82. Before writing this post, I didn’t have any direct sources of information about him. His death date came from the Family Data Collection on Ancestry, which also lists his wife as Sarah Walker. Valentine lived and died in Virginia.

In preparation for this post however, I did another search for records for Valentine and found another Ancestry member posted scans and a transcription of Valentine’s will. The will verifies that his wife’s name was Sarah and also reveals that they owned several slaves by the names of Betty, Ruth, David, Sarah, Lucy, Fanny, Pleasant, Wiat, Daniel and Rob. The names of Valentine’s children also appear: Aggathy, Ann, Mary,  Milly, Asa, Caniel (my 4th great-grandfather) and William.

Surname Saturday: Heimel

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One of my third great-grandmothers was Sophie Heimel who, according to her gravestone, was from Bavaria. I believe that she came to the U.S. in 1845 at the age of about 17.

I haven’t jumped the pond to investigate her forebears, so please let me know if you share this surname.

Sophie married Julius Hoyer, also from Germany, and they settled in San Antonio, Texas. Her FindaGrave memorial apparently includes text from her obituary. She died in 1883.

Happy Birthday, Andrew Jackson Corley

Andrew Jackson Corley (crop of photo from page 186 1/2, A Genealogy of Corleys by Dewitt C. Corley (1927)).

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My 2nd great-grand uncle Andrew Jackson Corley was born this day in 1829. He was married twice and fathered no less than 20 children. His parents were Jonathan Cheatham Corley and Delilah Basham. I found his picture in the book A Genealogy of Corleys, which states:

“He was the next to the youngest son, a farmer, with but limited education, but was regarded as a man of honor and uprightness. He lived and died on his farm, three miles north of Herrick, Illinois, and is there buried, in what is known as the Corley Cemetery, with his wife and several children. He was reasonably thrifty. He was a member of the Masonic Fraternity, and served in the Federal Army during the Civil War. He was twice married. His first wife was Harriet Jones, to whom he married August 5, 1847.”

What a wealth of information! After looking up his Civil War records, I found the pension information for the applications filed by him and his second wife, so I need to try and find that the next time I’m at NARA. His second wife was Sarah Jane Wooters, whom he married shortly after Harriet’s death around 1872. He died 5 September 1893.

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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