SNGF: Where Were They 100 Years Ago

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!

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!

Grandma Was a Census Enumerator

Gold star for my cousin Daniel, who made an exciting discovery when studying the 1940 census page showing our great-grandparents and fam in Carter County, Tennessee (click on the images for larger versions):

The Hayeses in the 1940 census (image from Ancestry.com).

Nothing too unusual in the crop above — the census page lists my great-grandparents William E. and Della (Crow) Hayes, along with their children including my grandma, G. Alma.

Actually, one discovery does reveal itself in the information listed above — I never knew that my great aunt Ruth was born in Colorado until I saw this page — this was confirmed by relatives at a recent family gathering. There will be another blog post on that story later.

BUT, the really super-huge-big-deal discovery was made by Daniel at the top of the page. Check out the name of the enumerator:

Enumerator: Alma Hayes (image from Ancestry.com).

The enumerator was Alma Hayes a.k.a. Grandma! You think I would have recognized the handwriting. Kudos, cousin Daniel!

Friends Album: Checking in with the Neighbors

A while back, I found a 1920 census listing for Friends Album subject Frederick A. Young and fam and noticed that there was a family by the name of Wilson in the household next door. Is this a coincidence, given that there’s an Ellis Wilson in the Friends Album? Certainly ‘Wilson’ is a very common surname, but I felt I needed to dig deeper to see if I could find a connection to these neighbor Wilsons.

Ellis’ parents were Clarence T. Wilson and his wife, Susan. I haven’t really fleshed out their extended family or previous generations at this point because I was more interested in looking for more recent generations.

The Wilsons living next to the Youngs in 1920 are George R. (age 58), his wife Libby A. (age 60) and George’s mother, Elizabeth A (age 74). George is listed as a farmer.

The Wilsons are living next door to the Youngs in 1910 as well. Daughter Emma M. (age 24) is in the household at that time, as is son George E (age 15).

In 1900, the clan is even bigger. Another daughter, Libbie Belle, is with the family, along with mother-in-law Emily Hirst. Not only that, but there is another Wilson household right next door to them (on the other side from the Youngs): Albert and Annie, along with their son, Charles.

Most of these neighbor Wilsons have roots in New York, Connecticut or England. After looking a bit more into Clarence’s family history, however, he and his siblings were born in Massachusetts. Clarence’s parents hailed from Connecticut though. I’m trying to flesh out his father’s life a bit, but for now, there’s no clear connection between Ellis and his family and the Wilsons who were neighbors to the Youngs.

I suppose that there doesn’t really have to be such a connection between Ellis Wilson and the Youngs pictured in the album. The album is titled “Our Friends” and so it could be a hodge-podge of a acquaintances who are not related to each other in any way.

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1900 U.S. Census, Fairfield County, Connecticut, population schedule, Newton, page 10, dwelling 90, family 94, Albert Wilson and family; Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2011).

1910 U.S. Census, Fairfield County, Connecticut, population schedule, Newton, page 15, dwelling 170, family 174, Geroge R Wilson and family; Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2011).

1920 U.S. Census, Fairfield County, Connecticut, population schedule, Newton, page 14, dwelling 240, family 249, George R. Wilson and family; Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2011).

Census Searching: Ancestor Not Home? Ask the Neighbors

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!

I finally had a chance to do some personal genealogy research last night and so I headed to Ancestry.com to look for tidbits. While researching my paternal line, I found Benjamin William Franklin CORLEY (my great-great-grandfather) and fam in the 1880 and 1860 censuses in Tower Hill, Shelby Co.,  Ill., but had no luck finding them in 1870. I was relatively sure that they hadn’t left the area only to return again before 1880. I decided to look for one of my ancestors’ neighbors in 1870 instead and then check the nearby pages to see if my fam turned up.

I went back to the 1880 census and looked to see who their neighbors were that year.  A NICHOLS family was the next on the census sheet. That’s a rather common name. Next was John SHARROCK. Perfect!

Benjamin William Franklin Corley and fam in 1880. John Sharrock is two households down. Click on the image for a larger version.

I searched for John Sharrock in the 1870 census and was able to find him in the same town and county. The censustaker there that year seemed to have some creative spelling ideas and his handwriting left quite a bit to be desired. No wonder I was having trouble finding my family!

The censustaker wrote “Spirock.” His handwriting/spelling left a bit to be desired.

I scanned a couple of pages back and forth and then found what I was looking for (sort of). Due to his lengthy name, Benjamin William Franklin Corley often appears as B.W.F. Corley in various records. Well, I found what looked to me like a B.W.F. CANBY, but was indexed as CAULY two pages past Mr. Sharrock/Spirock.

Below the scan of the image on Ancestry is a typed index of the information appearing on the page. In the bottom left-hand corner is an “Add Update” button. I clicked on this to update the spelling of the household surname in the census index.

Any index is going to have inaccuracies, especially one that is based on sloppy handwriting and questionable spelling. I’m glad to see this feature on Ancestry that allows for researchers to help contribute to making the index more accurate!

Tombstone Tuesday (AIIP10 Edition): Erie Street Cemetery

I attended the 2010 Association of Independent Information Professionals conference in Cleveland, Ohio, this past weekend (read my recap here). The conference hotel was located directly across from two important Cleveland landmarks: Progressive Field (where we watched the Indians lose to the Twins) and Erie St. Cemetery.

One of the stones in the cemetery is for Joc-O-Sot or Walking Bear.

Next to his stone is that of Chief Thunderwater. Both earned names for themselves by participating in theater acts and Wild West shows.

Another stone that caught my attention was this one:

The dates are a bit hard to read due to the staining on the stone, but when you blow up the photo, here’s what you see:

SCHARLOTT

Father
Born July 11, 1835–Died Mar. 13, 1904 [age ~69]

[space]

Amelia
Born July 3, 1859–Died Mar. 13, 1903 [age ~44]

Dorothy
Born Nov. 28, 1860–Died Mar. 28, 1864 [age 3 1/2]

Margaret
Born July 26, 1866–Died Aug. 16, 1867 [age 13 mos]

Albert
Born Jan. 2, 1873–Died Aug. 16, 1873 [age 6 mos]

Albert H
Born Mar. 3, 1877–Died Feb. 3, 1880 [age ~3]

Carrie
Born May 15, 1879–Died Nov. 1, 188[3 or 9?] [age ~4 or ~10]

Harry
Born Aug. 15, 1885–Died Dec. 3, 1888 [age 3]

Edna
Born Mar. 3, 1887–Died Jan. 5, 1888 [age 10 mos]

Can you imagine? I had to know, were these the only Scharlott children or did more survive into adulthood and are perhaps buried somewhere else? I think I found the family in the 1880 census in Cleveland on Ancestry.com (under the name Scherlotk; click on the photo for a larger view):

(Ohio, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, District 15, page 7, lines 40-49, 1880 U.S. Census, Ancestry.com)

You can see Amalia and Carry listed in the census — presumably they are the Amelia and Carrie listed on the stone. Their birthdates match.

It’s somewhat comforting to know that after all that loss, some of the Scharlott children survived. And now we know their parents’ full names as well. As to why the mother, Anna, isn’t included on the stone, one can guess that she survived her husband, remarried and is buried with the subsequent husband. That’s another question for another day.

Surname Saturday: HILL (Pennsylvania, Ireland)

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Brown. Smith. Johnson. Somewhere along the way, almost all of us have an ancestor(s) with a name so common, the task of finding just the right people seems next to impossible. In my case, it’s my HILL line.

idaperhaps-sm

My Grandmother, Ida

My father’s mother, Ida, was the daughter of Irish-American grocer William B. Hill (~1841-?) and his wife, Martha (aka Mattie; ~1847-?), who raised their family in Philadelphia. According to census records, William was born in Ireland, and Martha’s parents were born there as well. I have not found Martha’s maiden name yet.

annahill-sm

Anna S. Hill

William and Martha had seven children total, five of whom were still living by 1910, when Martha was listed in the U.S. census of that year as 62 and widowed (still in Philly). Her daughters Anna (1872-?) and Elizabeth (1874-?), both public school teachers, were still living with her, as was her son, Joseph (an inspector at a glass factory). These three siblings were in their 30s at that time. Interesting side note: on the back of Anna’s photo, her name is written along with a street address that now appears to be part of the campus of Temple University — I will need to investigate if she was a student there or if perhaps the university has acquired the property since.

I have not been able to trace William B. Hill back any further from his time in Philadelphia with his wife and children. I don’t know when or where he arrived from Ireland. I have not found his exact death date yet. I haven’t figured out who the fifth surviving Hill sibling was or when the other two siblings passed away and why. It’s not that I’ve tried and failed to find this information. Since Hill is such a common name though, I’ve been putting off delving into this line. It just seems so daunting to me. Writing today’s post, however, caused me to jump on in and I hope to report back that I’ve found some good leads in the coming weeks.

Surname Saturday: HAYES (Tennessee, North Carolina)

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Yesterday, I came to the realization that a framed photo I thought pictured my great-grandparents was really too old to be depicting them. Luckily, when I slipped the photo from the frame, the real names of the couple were written on the back — Joseph Smith Hayes and his wife, “Mollie” Taylor Hayes. The helpful relative who labeled the photo also wrote that the couple were the parents of my great-grandfather William Hayes — I had never known his parents names before.

Armed with this new information, I went to Ancestry.com and found the couple listed in the 1930 U.S. census living in Carter County, Tennessee. This is the same county where I remember visiting my Great-Grandmother Hayes (Della, William’s wife) in the town of Elizabethton. The 1930 census listed Joseph and Mollie on Powder Branch Pike, but I don’t think a road by that name exists there any more.

Here is what information could be divined from the 1930 census listing:

  • They owned a home worth $4,000 (not a farm).
  • Joseph was two years younger than Mollie; they were 63 and 65 respectively in 1930.
  • They were married when he was 19 and she was 21. That would have been ~1886.
  • Her parents were both from Tennessee.
  • His father was from North Carolina and his mother from Tennessee.
  • He worked as a laborer doing odd jobs. She stayed at home.
  • He was not a veteran.

But that is the only clear mention of Joseph and Mollie that I can find in census records — at least after an initial search. Part of my challenge is that Joseph Hayes is a very common name, so I haven’t followed up on all possibilities. However, there doesn’t seem to be any indication that the Hayeses left Carter County and there are no other sure mentions of them living there in earlier or subsequent censuses.

I did find two possibilities (searching the census on HeritageQuest Online), but the age information doesn’t match up. I found a 29yo Joseph S. Hayes in the 1900 census with his wife Mary (36yo) and several children (including a William E. — that is my great-grandfather’s name). Both of Joseph’s parents are listed as from North Carolina.

I also found a 9yo Joseph S. Hayes in 1880 — his age would match that of the one found in 1900 — so perhaps those two are the same Joseph, but I’m not convinced he’s *my* Joseph. Still, the inconsistencies are subtle enough to leave room for the possibility that one or perhaps all of these census records had errors in them.

I’m assuming that Mollie wasn’t my great-great-grandmother’s real name, otherwise it wouldn’t be in quotes like that on the back of the photo. I understand that Mollie can be a nickname for Mary. I am tempted to assume that Taylor may have been her maiden name, but there is no guarantee.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (A Day Late): Ahnentafel Roulette

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 is my first stab at Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (albeit a day late) — a concept championed by Randy Seaver on his Genea-Musings blog: http://www.geneamusings.com. This has been a really educational exercise to undertake — I learned about a numbering system I hadn’t been exposed to before, I further investigated a relative that I hadn’t spent a lot of time on yet and I found some interesting discrepancies in his census records that will require some work to clear up.

This week’s challenge is Ahnentafel Roulette:

1) How old is your father now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 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 ahnentafel. Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person with the “roulette number.”

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, 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 your mother, or yourself, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

This post has prompted me to learn more about the Afhnetafel numbering system. I was a bad MLS grad and went to Wikipedia for a basic description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahnentafel

Shame on me, I know (actually, it’s even worse; first, I Googled it). Google also led me to this better explanation at ancestry.com. Note that there is a typo, and number 15 should actually be great-grandmother.

Following the rules above, the roulette number to investigate is 26. This is my mother’s father’s mother’s father, Anson G. Bennett (1859-1944). I had done some preliminary investigations online into who Anson G. Bennett was, but I didn’t have much information. Here’s what I’ve been able to glean, with some certainty:

1) He was born in October 1859 in Missouri.

2) He married Josephine Susan Campbell after moving to San Antonio, Texas.

3) His father was a merchant and Anson worked for him in his store before marrying my great-grandmother.

The above has been gathered from a family history previously compiled by a relative and by searching federal census records. The one sticking point is that the state of birth information for his mother varies — either given as Missouri, Tennessee or Virginia, depending on the census year. This could mean that I’ve been viewing the records of two (or more) different Anson G. Bennetts. It could also mean that a recording error was made or that the wrong information was inadvertently given to the census taker in a given year. Obviously, more work needs to be done to clear this up.