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!

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.

Album Rescue Project: Album 2, Photos 34-39

Quite the variety of photos in this next set:

Photo 34

Things to love about this photo: the car; the boy’s hat; the dog (or is that a sheep?).

Photo 35

Yeah, these kids are barely tolerating having their photo taken.

Photo 36

The above is a dramatic shot, isn’t it? Anyone recognize it? If you’ve been to Gettysburg and seen Devil’s Rock (or Devil’s Den Rock), then you’ve seen it before.

Reverse of Photo 36

Love the knickers in the next photo:

Photo 37

This is a different vehicle than what is shown in the background of the first photo above. Perhaps they are posing in front of a new car?

Photo 38

Well, here’s an easy landmark to identify — the Reflecting Pool with the Washington Monument in the background.

Photo 39

Donald Trump’s hair’s got nothin’ on the kid on the left…

Album Rescue Project: Album 1, Photos 92-95

The next series of photos is one of the reasons why I bought these albums. The photos are taken in Washington, D.C., my hometown.

Photo 92

Nice shot in front of the Capitol. Uh-oh, the guy second from the left has his hand in front of his face. Let’s try again.

Photo 93

This is better, but not everyone’s looking at the camera. C’mon, guys. Focus! Here’s another landmark to see while the guys regroup.

Photo 94

You guys ready? Let’s try one more time.

Photo 95


When My Two Loves Combine: History and Food

This post also is available at my food blog, Freezer Full.

The National Archives has a really neat initiative launching soon and it will involve more than just an exhibit — it will include a restaurant too!

“What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam” will open in conjunction with America Eats Tavern in D.C. The former will feature original records about food. The latter will produce dishes using native ingredients and historical recipes. How neat!

Read more at the NARA blog. Also, listen to the chef behind America Eats Tavern on D.C.’s NPR station.

52 Weeks to a Better Genealogy: Google Maps

Here’s this week’s challenge from Amy at We Tree:

“Play with Google Maps. This is a helpful tool for determining the locations of addresses in your family history. Where your ancestral homestead once stood may now be a warehouse, a parking lot or a field. Perhaps the house is still there. When you input addresses in Google Maps, don’t forget to use the Satellite View and Street View options for perspectives that put you were right there where your ancestors once stood. If you’ve used this tool before, take sometime and play with it again. Push all the buttons, click all the links and devise new ways it can help with your personal genealogy research. If you have a genealogy blog, write about your experiences with Google Maps, or suggest similar easy (and free) tools that have helped in your own research.”

I decided to look up the address my paternal grandfather listed on his WWI draft registration card. The address is in Northwest Washington, D.C. By looking at the various views on Google Maps, I was able to determine that he lived near the National Zoo:

And that the location is now nestled between a bank and a Verizon Wireless store:

Google Maps states that a management company (with some pretty negative reviews) currently is housed at the address, but there’s a For Rent sign in the window on Street View.

My grandfather was a physician and it’s likely that his practice was housed in this building as well, especially since it appears to be a mixed use area. I know that the family used to live on the premises because I have other documents, including a letter written by my father as a teenager, bearing the address.

What I want to know is if some of the photos I have of my dad were taken at this address, including his ever-popular Rick Astley shot, which would have been taken around the time the family lived at this address. Has the neighborhood changed that much or was this photo taken at a different location?

Folks who like this kind of task may get a kick out of the Historical Aerials web site. It’s not comprehensive, but you may luck out and be able to see what your ancestral locations looked like from the air decades ago. I was able to find a view of the above street corner from 1963.

[This post constitutes Task A in the Expand Your Knowledge Event of the GeneaBloggers 2010 Winter Games and earns me a bronze medal!]