Next General Meeting - January 19, 2008
We always have plenty of treats!
Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.
Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
~ Mark Twain
Speaking of Internet links at the library, I have been using the SOCCGS paid subscription to WORLD VITAL RECORDS on a regular basis. Information is continuously being added to this database. One of the major areas on this website is a significant number of small town newspapers. When I put in the BLUETT surname, quite a few hits came up in the newspaper category. The most interesting ones were for Brewster, a small town in Washington State. Aunt Ruth, my grandfather's sister, lived there most of her adult life. She had a home on acreage, with a small apple orchard and a nice-sized garden. I remember her sending our family a box of apples each year when I was a small boy. On occasion, she would visit us Los Angeles. I found Aunt Ruth's obituary on the website. It was a nice long write-up about her life and gave the names and locations of surviving members of her extended family. What I found helpful in the article were the married names of many female family members. Now, there are more Bluetts for me to track down on the census records. There were additional articles written about my grandparents visiting Aunt Ruth in the springtime. They would help her plant the huge garden area on her little farm. Other articles talked about Aunt Ruth's involvement in the community, including her many years of volunteer work at the local hospital. The Brewster newspaper database covered a timeframe from the 1930's up to the 1970's when Aunt Ruth passed away. She died in 1976, a few months short of her 100th birthday. All of this information gave me more personal insight into Bluett family members and their interaction with one another.
Another area of interest on the WVR website is the link to Find a Grave (which can also be accessed directly on Goggle, if you wish). I have found a few ancestors listed on the website with a photograph of the headstone and the location of the cemetery. The place of birth and the names of the parents may be indicated, as well. In my case, having the parents names listed was a tremendous help in verifying the fact that I had the right family. I'm looking forward to additional gravesites being added over the coming months. So, check it out. See if any of your ancestors are listed.
Some additional databases on this website include: scanned family tree group work sheets, family histories, directories, reference materials and a free newsletter which you can receive via e-mail. I recommend that you visit the WORLD VITAL RECORDS website on our library computers and browse through the databases.
Don't you think our ancestors are waiting for us to find out more information about them?
Tables of Contents, and Surname Index, Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal, 1981-2006:
You know your ancestors lived. You know they reproduced at least once. You know the mother was present at the birth of any children and that (with potentially a few exceptions) your ancestors are deceased. Virtually everything else you know about your ancestors came from either a piece of paper, someone's mind, or both.
The problem is that sometimes we might have gotten information about our long-deceased ancestors from our own mind. I'm not talking about channeling or talking to spirits. What I am talking about are assumptions we might have made about our ancestor's lives even though we never actually met the ancestor. Our assumptions may be completely correct, or they may be completely wrong. If they are completely wrong, they are hindering our research and may be why additional information cannot be located.
This week I am including some assumptions that could be hampering your research. Do not assume the list is complete. Assume that the suggestions listed here may need to be tweaked to fit your own family.
*The couple was married before the birth of a child. *My ancestors never divorced. *My ancestor only had one spouse. *Great-grandpa knew when he was born. *My ancestor cared about leaving behind accurate information on his overseas origins. *The husband and wife in the census were the parents of all of the children in the household. *My ancestor was alive at the time of the census. *My immigrant ancestor immediately settled in the place where he died. He didn't live anywhere else. *Grandma would never have moved after Grandpa died. *A couple in their sixties would never have migrated or immigrated. *Great-grandpa and great-grandma always acted in a way consistent with their ethnic group, social class, etc. *Great-grandpa cared about giving correct and precise information to the records clerk. *The adults in the household actually answered the census taker's questions. *My ancestor understood the questions the census taker was asking. *My ancestor wanted to become a naturalized citizen *My ancestor never lied on a government record. *My transcription of a record is correct. *I have a copy of the complete record. *My ancestor never traveled back to his homeland. *My ancestors were married near where their first child was born. *I know how to spell my great-grandmother's maiden name. *I know how my great-great-grandfather pronounced his name. *I know where my ancestors were living at the time of the 1850 census. *I am certain my family had enough money to require an estate settlement. *The census enumeration, birth certificate, etc. is completely correct. *The family immigrated together. *No other family members moved out west. *The family tradition is correct. *The family tradition is incorrect.
It is necessary to make assumptions in genealogical research, if for no other reason than to give our research a place from which to start. However, we need to make sure that our assumptions stay in the land of assumptions and do not cross over into the land of fact. Once an assumption becomes a fact it is difficult to go back. Ask yourself the question: What do I think I know that I cannot prove?
What you cannot prove may be correct, but it should not run counter to the facts. If it violates common practices and tendencies, make sure you make a note of the cause for that deviation. And remember, if the laws of physics or biology have to be violated for the details to fit, something is wrong somewhere.
Your assumptions may be tying you up. Cut a few loose and see where your research goes.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, became the site of the first long- distance radio message in 1908, thanks to the efforts of Captain Gustave Ferrie. His efforts became invaluable a few years later when World War I broke out.
People were beginning to look upward in New York City too. Owned by the Singer (sewing machine) Company, the Singer Building was completed in May 1908. Until the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower was completed in 1909, it was the tallest building in the world at 612 feet.
In Arizona, the view was downward as President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Grand Canyon a National Monument, so that it would be kept "for your children, your children's children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see." Remarkably, much of the Colorado River's course remained unexplored into the twentieth century, due mostly to the rough terrain.
Disaster struck in Italy on 28 December 1908, when a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck in the Messina Strait between Sicily and Calabria. The quake was followed by a tsunami that decimated coastal areas. The death toll is estimated at around 200,000 and many residents of the affected areas were forced to relocate; many immigrated to America.
The following year, the S.S. Florida left Naples with 850 emigrants on their way to a new life in America. Disaster struck again when the Florida struck the Republic, killing three passengers. The ship eventually made it to New York.
On a brighter note, for those of us who consider ourselves Chicago Cubs fans, the year 1908 still lives on as a beacon of hope. It was the last time the Cubs won the World Series. There's always next year.
It seems that every bit of advice given to new genealogists suggests they begin with an interview of living relatives. And, the advice is often accompanied with the lament that too often those family members who could have been most helpful are now gone. I am no longer a new genealogist though I'm certainly not one in a position to advise. However, I have managed to realize a few invaluable bits of information from my 87 year-old dad as he slips into the dreaded Alzheimer's.
Until January 2007 I was at a loss to find any ancestors of my paternal great grandfather, William Allen who was born in Indiana on 25 July 1841. I knew that he had fought in the Civil War, but then so had 867 other William Allen's - and that wasn't counting the Confederates! In addition, Indiana is a pretty big state, and I couldn't imagine how I would be able to discover his birthplace even having the date of his death. Unfortunately for my search, Allen is the 27th most common surname in the United States. I didn't have the given names of either of his parents. What I did know was that he had married Elizabeth Hulvey Trobaugh, a widow from Rockingham County, Virginia, on 9 February 1888; and that they were in Burbank, California by the time the 1900 US Census was taken. This census revealed that his father had been born in Pennsylvania and his mother in New Jersey.
The mystery first began to unravel when my dad expressed a desire to visit the cemetery where his mother's Allen relatives were buried. He was fairly certain he could recall where their graves were, and he knew that there was a small obelisk nearby. Upon learning that the cemetery in question was Grandview Cemetery in Glendale, I suspected that it would be closed to the public. I checked online to learn that it was, indeed, the cemetery that had recently been involved in scandal and legal proceedings. Needless to say, I was discouraged. We visited the cemetery anyway, and learned that it was closed and that an attorney could be contacted for further information. Before I made that contact, however, a serendipitous reading of an obituary in the Los Angeles Times revealed that the cemetery was open two hours a week on Sunday afternoons, due to the goodwill of the city of Glendale and some volunteers.
Armed with that knowledge, we headed to Grandview once more. We were finding it difficult to locate headstones because there were fallen leaves everywhere. Happily, the little obelisk eventually helped us zero in on the graves of William, Elizabeth and little Leora Allen, as well as the resting place of Elizabeth's son, Alva Trobaugh. The headstone of William Allen yielded a vital piece of previously unknown information: that he had fought in the Civil War in Company M, 11th Indiana Cavalry.
I looked up William Allen's regiment and learned which cities the men were drawn from, and discovered the dates of recruitment and muster and where the war had taken them. The regiment was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on 19 September 1865. This information provided me with helpful hints, but also with a detour. I thought surely William must have come from Tippecanoe, Howard or Marion Counties, since those were the three counties where the recruiting cities were located. Searching for Allen's in those locations yielded nothing definitive or even slightly helpful.
I tried finding lists of the men in William Allen's unit, but only officers were named. Next I looked for Civil War Service records on Ancestry.com and discovered the massive number of Allen soldiers who fought in the Civil War. At first I only found records that showed what I already knew. Then I came upon a record showing a William Allen whose residence was Darlington, Indiana, who enlisted on 30 January 1864 and mustered out on 19 September 1865 in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The other records had shown his regiment number; this one showed the muster dates corresponding to the dates indicated for Company M, 11th Cavalry. His rank was listed as private on all sources.
The new piece of information that proved pivotal to further discovery was the naming of his residence as Darlington, Indiana. Darlington is in Montgomery County and is the nearest post office to Sugar Creek, Montgomery County, Indiana, where I found a young William Allen in the 1850 US Census, living with his parents James and Lydia Allen. James Allen was born in Pennsylvania and Lydia in New Jersey, both consistent with the later census in Los Angeles County. The 1860 and 1870 censuses show William living with James and Lydia and siblings, still in Sugar Creek. By 1880 James, Sr. is no longer listed. However, William's brother, John, is now head of his own household and his next-door neighbors are Quincy and Elizabeth Trobaugh, my great grandmother and her first husband.
Before I found the Trobaughs in the 1880 census, I was concerned that there was no way of knowing how the connection was established between them and the Allen's. I had looked for them as Trobaugh but the original writing was very unclear and the transcriber wrote Probaugh. I didn't notice them just above the Allen entry on the original census page until much later. I had tentatively made a connection between Elizabeth Hulvey Trobaugh and Montgomery County when I discovered that her brother, Samuel Hulvey, lived in Sugar Creek in 1900.
I felt that all these bits of circumstantial evidence did a pretty good job of establishing that James and Lydia Allen were the parents of William Allen. However, I still didn't have a maiden name for Lydia. Once again, my dad gave me a vital clue. One day he was recalling details about his grandmother and her sister, his Aunt Ella, when he mentioned that Ella's last name was Booher and that his family had friends or other relatives named Rakestraw, although he had no idea what the relationship was. I searched the Los Angeles and Montgomery Counties' census records but found no Rakestraws. It seemed like another dead end.
Weeks later I was searching the Montgomery County, Indiana, US Gen Web Project, when I spotted a biography segment. A James Allen was listed, but there was no information so I began looking for other Allen's. I found John W. Allen, who I knew was the younger brother of William, as listed in several census records including the one in which he lived next door to the Trobaugh family. This entry was quoted from a book written in 1881 entitled H.W. Beckwith History of Montgomery County, Indiana. It said in part, John W. ALLEN, farmer and stock raiser, ... is one of Sugar Creek Township's thrifty, enterprising farmers. He was b. in 1843 on the farm, part of which he now owns. His father, James Allen, was b. in Pa in 1803 and emigrated to Ohio with his parents when quite young, and then came to Sugar Creek Twp. in 1827, where he was marr. in 1831 to Lydia A. RAKESTRAW, a native of New Jersey; she having emigrated to his township with her parents as early as 1828.
I have now traced Lydia Rakestraw's family back to their Quaker roots in Philadelphia, where they arrived from England in 1685. I don't yet have any primary sources to substantiate my internet finds, but I have met a fellow Rakestraw descendant online who has been researching the family for over 30 years. I have also found the burial records of both James and Lydia, along with their birthdates. A genealogical journey to Indiana in the future will hopefully yield the necessary documents to confirm what is apparently true.
Against huge odds, I found William Allen, despite knowing only his birth date and the state in which he was born. My next challenge will be to find a James Allen, born somewhere in Pennsylvania on 11 January 1804.
MY GENEALOGY TREE
By Patricia Ann (Dean) Christiansen
As the years have passed, putting up elaborate decorations for the holidays has become less and less of a desire or necessity. Several reasons apply: my energy level and income over the past few years have both waned; the children have all married and moved away; and my husband has passed on to that greatest Christmas Season of them all. Our last big splash at decorating was with what we called our Millennial Christmas Family Reunion in December 2000. We started planning for this event two years in advance. One of our sons was in the military and we wanted to have him with us, if at all possible. He had already been deployed to Korea and returned earlier in the year; 50 years after his father had served in the Korean Police Action. Little did we know then, that in just a few short months, he would again be deployed, this time to the Middle East; not once, but twice. With good pre-planning, all seven of our children, their spouses and our grandchildren were present, 32 of us together for this one memorable event. Christmas Eve began with a Bethlehem Supper and a star lit atop the Christmas tree in the living room. The menu consisted of foods that were likely to have been eaten in the region of Christ's birth, including cucumbers in yogurt, and pita bread. One of our daughters had delivered our newest grand baby on December 20th of that year. Even though the baby was a girl, this new little child played the part of the baby Jesus lying in a manger in our Christmas Eve tableau. Three of our older grandsons were the three Wise Men and others were shepherds and angels as the Christmas Story was read. We now have 27 grandchildren (number 28 will be born in May 2008), a great-grandchild, a couple of divorces and new marriages, and our posterity has expanded exponentially. I have long since run out of tabletop space for individual pictures and needed new ideas for displaying these family images. After reading suggestions from others in various genealogical publications, I decided on one that uses an artificial Christmas tree and images of the various family members hung as ornaments. Further, the tree is left up all year round. When a slim-line artificial tree went on sale at half the price it was in the store; I purchased it on-line, and it was delivered to my house complete with 550 little lights and a stand. My ornaments are made from the plastic lids of yogurt containers. I took the faces from extra prints of my family and cut them out with a circular die. Then I affixed each inside a lid and inscribed their name on the front; they are now displayed on the tree for all to see. After my husband passed away, one of the decisions we made was that I would remain in our home. He had designed and had the house built to accommodate our growing family over 37 years ago. There are so many wonderful memories here and it is also a place for our children and their families to visit Hotel California when they come home to visit from various places in the world. The genealogy tree is now a year-round accompaniment to the huge wreath that hangs above the fireplace in the living room. It has been there for seven years, since the Year 2000 Millennial Reunion; my husband liked it and we never took it down. Let's wait and see what they think of my genealogy tree!
Our last big splash at decorating was with what we called our Millennial Christmas Family Reunion in December 2000. We started planning for this event two years in advance.
One of our sons was in the military and we wanted to have him with us, if at all possible. He had already been deployed to Korea and returned earlier in the year; 50 years after his father had served in the Korean Police Action. Little did we know then, that in just a few short months, he would again be deployed, this time to the Middle East; not once, but twice. With good pre-planning, all seven of our children, their spouses and our grandchildren were present, 32 of us together for this one memorable event.
Christmas Eve began with a Bethlehem Supper and a star lit atop the Christmas tree in the living room. The menu consisted of foods that were likely to have been eaten in the region of Christ's birth, including cucumbers in yogurt, and pita bread. One of our daughters had delivered our newest grand baby on December 20th of that year. Even though the baby was a girl, this new little child played the part of the baby Jesus lying in a manger in our Christmas Eve tableau. Three of our older grandsons were the three Wise Men and others were shepherds and angels as the Christmas Story was read.
We now have 27 grandchildren (number 28 will be born in May 2008), a great-grandchild, a couple of divorces and new marriages, and our posterity has expanded exponentially. I have long since run out of tabletop space for individual pictures and needed new ideas for displaying these family images.
After reading suggestions from others in various genealogical publications, I decided on one that uses an artificial Christmas tree and images of the various family members hung as ornaments. Further, the tree is left up all year round.
When a slim-line artificial tree went on sale at half the price it was in the store; I purchased it on-line, and it was delivered to my house complete with 550 little lights and a stand. My ornaments are made from the plastic lids of yogurt containers. I took the faces from extra prints of my family and cut them out with a circular die. Then I affixed each inside a lid and inscribed their name on the front; they are now displayed on the tree for all to see.
After my husband passed away, one of the decisions we made was that I would remain in our home. He had designed and had the house built to accommodate our growing family over 37 years ago. There are so many wonderful memories here and it is also a place for our children and their families to visit Hotel California when they come home to visit from various places in the world.
The genealogy tree is now a year-round accompaniment to the huge wreath that hangs above the fireplace in the living room. It has been there for seven years, since the Year 2000 Millennial Reunion; my husband liked it and we never took it down. Let's wait and see what they think of my genealogy tree!
New England Historic and Genealogical Society
SOCCGS has a membership in the New England Historical & Genealogical Society that allows us to search the many databases on their website. Some of the most recently added are: Massachusetts Vital Records of Dedham 1635-1845; Weston to 1850; Fitchburg to 1859; Middleborough to 1845; Marshfield to 1850; Truro to the end of 1849 and Inscriptions and Records of the Old Cemeteries of Boston and Mansfield. Also, Mansfield, Connecticut to 1850.
Please wear your SOCCGS Badge to the monthly meetings. Don't have one? Herb Abrams will provide one if you sign up at the check-in table, or you may send him an email with your name and the surnames (up to six) that you would like included.
2008 GENEALOGICAL EVENT CALENDAR
January 12 - San Diego Genealogical Society, Annual Seminar & Luncheon featuring Arlene Eakle, Ph.D. at the Handlery Hotel. Reservations must be received by January 8. For more information, email Gloria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 16 - Hemet-San Jacinto Genealogical Society Seminar, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
February 23 - WAGS Annual Seminar (Whittier), Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck. Contact Judy Poole (909) 985-6657 or
email@example.com (Flyers available at SOCCGS library.)
March 8 - North Orange County Genealogical Society, Annual Seminar, Finding Kin In Court Records, at the Brea United Methodist Church.
August 7-9 - The British Isles FHS-USA, Annual Seminar, "Sail Into Your Past Aboard the Queen Mary, will be held at the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach. Flyers are available at SOCCGS Library. For more information, please see the website at (http://www.rootsweb.com/~bifhsusa)
Please send your literary contributions to the newsletter editor by the Wednesday following the monthly meeting. These may be sent via email or Word attachment. All submissions are subject to editorial approval and may be edited for content or space. Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cream the butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Add egg yolks and salt. Add flour and knead with fingers. Pat batter onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Spread with jelly and top with chocolate bits. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold in remaining sugar and nuts. Gently spread on top of jelly and chocolate. Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cut into squares or bars.(Recipe courtesy of the Sacramento Bee. From The Sacramento Cookery Book The Culinary Heritage of California's Capital by Sally A. Clifford.)______________________________________________________________________________________________
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