Saturday, December 15, 2012

For our friends in Newtown

Our hearts are broken following the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut. We share the pain of our friends and colleagues there.  May they somehow, sometime, find peace.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thoughts of Thanksgivings Past

My family's Thanksgiving table, 1953

The house is quiet now.  Our children have returned to their respective homes after a busy and enjoyable Thanksgiving week in Fredericksburg.  

I now sit back with a cup of tea and think about Thanksgivings past. I think about why this holiday is so important that family travel so far in order to be with their loved ones.

Thanksgiving 1953
Taughannock Boulevard Home of Ed and Carol Nunn
From lf: Maude & Merritt Agard, Dick & Beverly Agard, Laura Hardenbrook, Carol & Ed Nunn, Mr. Wheeler
Seated: Mary Nunn, Nancy Agard
My family always gathered the Sunday after. We operated a restaurant so Thanksgiving and Easter were our busiest days. Since Thanksgiving was the last day of the serving season, that Friday and Saturday were dedicated to closing up the large building for the winter.  Consequently it was on Sunday that we finally had time to gather for the traditional Thanksgiving meal in our Taughannock Boulevard home near Ithaca, New York.

Thanksgiving at the Maki's 1993
Raising my own family, we opened our home on Thanksgiving to as many relatives and others who could make it. Cousins, aunts, and uncles came to Newfield, NY from New Mexico, Ohio, and Buffalo.  Our winding driveway brought them over the river and through the woods to our sprawling ranch house that could easily accommodate 30-35 people for Thanksgiving dinner; a new tradition was born.  For many years the Maki clan gathered around our many tables to enjoy delicious food, card games, football, and conversing with each other. 

The Thanksgiving buffet line 1993
Each family brought a dish to share and our long kitchen counter groaned under the number of delicious dishes it held. When the youngsters in the family turned into teenagers, they stayed until all hours playing Axis and Allies, and then returned the next day to continue the game.

Cousins catching up, 1993 
It goes without saying that food is a main ingredient to a successful Thanksgiving. This year we had way too much food, and I realized the reason was that everyone had to prepare the dish that meant the most to them at Thanksgiving.  Since this is important, next year I will suggest we make half the recipe.  

The common thread through these thoughts of Thanksgivings past is sense of community, whether that is immediate family, friends, or gathering at a communal dinner somewhere.  As humans we need a safe haven; we need human interaction. We need “family,” however it is described.  Thanksgiving provides that opportunity.

I pray our growing family will gather here every year and that we can continue to provide them with a safe haven, a Thanksgiving retreat. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Black Sheep Sunday – Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson (b: 27 May 1895) left his family in Virginia, and traveled to New York where he started another family.  That was the story handed down in the Woodson family through the years. 

We heard this tale at the local Fredericksburg PostNet store where we went to have our genealogy monographs printed and bound.  The young black man who waited on us was so intrigued with our research he just had to share his own family story. 

My hubby ended up grabbing a piece of paper so he could write down some of the information.  A couple of days later, after several hours of diligent research, he went back to the PostNet with a very different story about Charles Woodson.

Charles Woodson married Ruby Carey (b: abt 1896) on 14 May 1923 in Buckingham County, Virginia.  Charles and Ruby had four children: Virginia Elizabeth b: abt 1924, Charles b: abt 1925, James Henry b: abt 1926, and Robert b: abt 1929. 

At some point later in the 1920s Charles, Ruby, James, Robert and Ruby’s sister, Georgia Cary left Buckingham County, Virginia and moved to New York. Virginia and Charles E. stayed in Virginia with their grandparents.  The family lived on Lefferts Avenue, Brooklyn, New York and paid $16/month rent.  Charles found work helping in a garage.

Apparently Ruby and her sister could not adjust to city living and returned to Virginia with the children. Charles stayed on, living by himself at 430 Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn. He moved up to the position of chauffer with a commercial truck company.  

Charles served his country in World War I as a Private in the U.S. Army. His draft card states he was a farmer and employed by his mother and grandmother.  He registered again in 1942 for the WWII Draft. On that form he stated he had no telephone.

Charles died 10 December 1968 in Brooklyn and is buried in Long Island National Cemetery, Section 2W, Site 3604.

There could be any number of reasons why this family lived apart, and we may never know the answer.  But we do hope my husband’s research and subsequent report sheds a much kinder light on Charles Woodson of Buckingham County, Virginia.  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Irish Roots – Patrick and Maggie Conlon Doyle

I believe this photo to be of:
Maggie and Patrick Doyle
Winnie and Mary Doyle

Although from my paternal grandfather I have strong German roots, and distinctly English roots through my mother’s side, I most closely identify with my paternal grandmother’s Irish roots.  I wonder why that is?

It may be because I grew up listening to my grandmother sing her heart out with Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral (Tura Lura Lural) an Irish lullaby as she ironed away in our farmhouse kitchen.  

And although my grandmother, for whom I am named, lived six months of each year with us until her death in October 1971, I knew little about her growing up years and her family.

Since then I have learned her parents were Patrick and Margaret (Maggie) Conlon Doyle. Patrick was born in April 1857 in Ireland; Maggie abt 1867 in Ireland.  Patrick was naturalized in 1887.  Maggie arrived in New York in 1890, and they were married in 1892.  Patrick found work as a laborer, and then joined the City of New York’s Sanitation Department as a street cleaner.

The 1910 Federal Census shows two daughters: Mamie (Mary)(b: 1899), my grandmother, and Winnie, born abt 1903.  It is sad to see that Maggie reported she had had six children with only two living.  Their Manhattan apartment seems to be a refuge for Irish “cousins.”  In 1910 they have Thomas Conlon (probably a relative of Maggie’s), and three Gormley brothers, who I cannot connect to this family at this time.

By 1920 my grandmother is married to Harry Nunn, and they are living with her parents with their son, Harold. Also in the apartment are four Conlon cousins and niece Catherine Murphy.

I lose them now.  I cannot find Winnie again after 1910; I cannot find Patrick and Maggie after 1920.  My mother thought Maggie died sometime in the 1920s of diabetes. I have run through my Genealogy Toolbox again to see if additional information has surfaced on this family.  I haven’t covered all the bases, but for some reason I now feel strongly that the photo above is of Patrick and Maggie Doyle. The young woman on the right is my grandmother; the woman next to her might be her sister, Winnie.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Follow Friday - Preserving History

Peter Feinman’s November 12 article on the New York History blog poses an interesting question.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, where survival was of the upmost importance for people as well as historical archives, Mr. Feinman asks what responsibility do each of us shoulder for the recording and preserving of history, then and now?  How are we documenting history in the making?

Several years ago, after watching a DVD of historian David McCullough’s presentation in Salt Lake City, my husband and I started keeping our personal journals.  We document not only what is going on in our personal lives, but also document how we feel about the events in the local community, the nation, and the world.  We now need to plan ahead to assure that our journals, as well as those of our ancestors that we have in our possession, are preserved.

But is that enough? Mr. Feinman poses a number of though-provoking questions, and I urge you to read through his essay and give some thought to, “what it means to be an historian in our local globalized-communities where history never stops.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Willis C. Smith

Willis C. Smith Dies at home in Mecklenburg
Willis C. Smith died suddenly at his home in Mecklenburg, Saturday morning, Jan. 10 [1925] aged 71 years. He is survived by his widow, one son, Dr. Charles Smith of Detroit, Michigan, and one grandson, a son of Dr. LeVerne Smith, who died a few years ago. He was a justice of the peace of the Town of Hector, and had held other public offices during recent years.  Funeral services were held from the home at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Rev. E. M. Scholtz officiating.  Interment in Laurel Hill Cemetery.

[Mr. Smith is buried alongside his parents, Alexander Smith 1812-1888 and Sarah M. Smith 1815-1893.] 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mystery Monday - Hattie Phoenix Gardner

Hattie Phoenix Gardner - Age 88
May 20, 1962
I found this photo yesterday tucked into a pocket of a 3-ring binder, a binder I had not opened in several years.  On the back of the photo is written, “Hattie Gardner,” “May 20, 1962” and along the side, “Born May 24, 1874.”

In Jessie Tucker’s diaries I came across many references to Aunt Hattie and George and Hattie.  I knew she was related, but how?

I then remembered Jessie’s diary entry about her wedding day. It is interesting she writes in third person:

“Arthur Agard and Jessie Tucker were married June 26, 1901 at the Tucker home in Enfield called the “Tichenor Place.” …  They were married by the pastor of the Methodist Church, Enfield Center, the Rev. Wilcox at 4 p.m.  They went immediately to Newfield to the Jay Phoenix home. Hattie Phoenix and George Gardner were to be married at 7 p.m.”

Although I knew Hattie was Arthur's cousin, I needed to know exactly how.  First I found George A. Gardner (1875-1947) and Harriett M. Gardner (1874-1964) buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Newfield, New York.  I then did a Command F on Jessie’s diary transcription, and found that George and Hattie met up with Jessie and Arthur each year at the Secord Family Reunion.  That was the link.  Hattie’s mother must have been a Secord; Arthur Agard’s mother was Sarah Secord.

In the 1860 Federal Census I found Arthur Agard’s mother, Sarah Secord (b: 1854); she is the daughter of Charles and Eliza Secord.  Sarah’s older sister was Susan (b:1844). The Secords lived in Hector, Schuyler County, NY, not far from Enfield. 

The 1900 Federal Census shows twenty-five year old Hattie Phoenix living with her parents, J.B. and Susan Phoenix. They were living in Starkey, Yates County, NY.

The Montour Falls Free Press dated 20 June 1901 states:  “Cards are out announcing the marriage of Miss Hattie Phoenix which occurs on the 26th of this month.”

I look forward to learning more about George and Hattie Gardner.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sentimental Sunday – Fanny Adelia (Hosner/Hausner) Tucker

Secured by a straight pin into William Lanning Tucker’s Daily Reminder for 1922 was this newspaper clipping in which he filled in the blanks shown in bold:

In Memoriam

In memory of my dear wife Adelia Hausner
who died April 9, 1916.
I often sit and think of you,
When I am all alone;
For memory is the only friend
That grief can call its own.
Like ivy on the weathered oak,
When all things else decay,
My love for you will still keep green,
And never fade away.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Addition to my Genealogy Toolbox

I learned something today that will be an invaluable addition to my Genealogy Toolbox!  On the Family Search website, if you click "All Records Collection," an alpha list will appear. On the right hand side of the page you will see a column labeled, "Last Updated." Click on that and you will see the the most recent additions to their site. One of the items recently added is "New York County Marriages 1908-1935."  That index provides the parents name, including mother's maiden name, and spouse.  A quick try on that site gave me Blanche Tucker's maiden name, which is Rumsey. 

This index will also provide another check for your GPS. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

William L. Tucker's Diaries 1919-1929

Diaries of William Lanning Tucker

William’s 3” x 5” red diaries do not provide much space for entries.  Each day’s entry begins with a sky and weather report. It is either a “dark cloudy day” or “this has been a fine day.”  His name is written in pencil on the front page and his location, i.e. Trumansburg, N.Y. or Jacksonville, N.Y. and sometimes both are listed as he moved between the homes of two of his daughters. 

Sunday’s Obituary – Horace Addison Hugg

Horace Addison Hugg, 84, died about 1 o’clock yesterday afternoon at his home in Jacksonville. He leaves a sister, Mrs. Mary Hulburt of North Spencer, and several nieces and nephews.  The funeral will be held at 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon from the Methodist Episcopal church in Jacksonville. Rev. Schuyler C. Henry will officiate. Interment will be in Trumbull’s Cemetery. Fidelity Lodge, F. and A.M. of which Mr. Hugg had been a member for 63 years, will be in charge of the services at the church.

This obit was secured with a straight pin to the front of William Lanning Tucker’s Standard Diary for 1921. A bit of research found that Horace Hugg (1838-1922) was buried in Trumbull’s Corners Rural Cemetery, 761 Millard Hill Road, Newfield, NY, next to his wife Elizabeth (1849-1921).  In 1910, the Huggs lived in Ithaca; by 1920 they lived with and worked for Mary Ann Northrup in Enfield, NY. That is probably how William L. Tucker came to know the Huggs. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Too Close for Comfort

The process I use when writing a monograph is to do the research, write as I go, and then input the data into Reunion software. I like to include a description of the geographic area in which the ancestor lived, as well as information on any unique or unusual jobs they held. In the Hardenbrook monograph recently completed I researched and wrote about the Craig Colony for Epileptics, a place I never knew existed.

Yesterday I was working on the line of Mary Jane (Tucker) Doolittle.  Mary Jane married John Doolittle. Their first son was Jay. Jay married Cora L. Bennett in 1889. Jay and Cora had two sons, Omer H. b: Oct 1891, and Walter b: July 1894.

Following Omer Doolittle, I found he married Maude Case b: 1894; they had one child, Ralph Doolittle.

Omer died in July 1951 at the age of 59 as a result of injuries suffered following a fall from a tractor at his job at the Seneca Ordnance Depot.  I decided to include in my monograph a short write-up on the Seneca Army Depot (Ordnance), officially closed in 2000.

Walter Gable, Seneca County (NY) Historian does a wonderful job of researching, writing and putting on the Internet a wealth of information on the history of Seneca County.  With the help of Mr. Gable’s research my monograph includes the information below:

As the Second World War threatened our shores, the Seneca Ordnance (Seneca Army Depot) was chosen for munitions storage. Five hundred concrete igloos were to be built as quickly as possible. Land was taken from farm families, and accommodations sought for the many workers and their families that descended on rural Seneca County to complete this task.  By November 1941, 7,000 people were employed at the Depot; at the end of the war, in 1946, only 595 civilian workers remained. By the early 1980s it was disclosed that the Seneca Army Depot housed the Army’s nuclear weapons, and that uranium for the Manhattan Project had been stored there as well. The FOIL documents lead to anti-nuclear demonstrations. By the year 2000, the base was permanently closed. This eliminated concerns of nuclear weapon storage as well as eliminating many jobs and economic vitality for the region.[1] 

In 1980 we were living fifty miles south of the Seneca Army Depot with two children, ages 4 and 8.  Mr. Gable’s article jogged my memory of how I felt when the FOIL report was released about nuclear weapons being stored so near to our home.  It was too close for comfort. 

[1] Gable, Walter. Written History of Seneca County, digital image,

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Mystery of Frankie Tucker Solved

The mystery of Frankie Tucker is solved (I think), another family line emerges, and wrong assumptions corrected.

William Lanning Tucker had twin siblings born in July 1855. One was named Frankie, the other Freddie.  Through the census, William’s diary entries, and newspaper articles, I found a good amount of information on the family of Freddie Tucker.

I came up blank on Frankie Tucker due in part to the fact that I assumed Frankie was male.  Looking at the 1860 and 1870 census more closely, I realized that Frankie was female. And during that time period there were many females named Frankie. I suspected the reason Frankie did not show up in the 1880 census was because she married.

Yesterday from my genealogy toolbox I utilized a number of ways to find this elusive ancestor.  To no avail I tried the 1875 NYS Census on Family Search for “Frankie Tucker,” newspaper articles on, the Index to Trumansburg Newspapers, “Frankie Tucker” on Tompkins County GenWeb, searching “Frankie” on the advanced search feature of HeritageQuest. Then, just searching females (no first/last name) in New York in the 25 year age range on HeritageQuest, looking for possible variations of the name. 

I then went back to Tompkins County GenWeb and did a search just on “Frankie.”  Browsing down the results, I came to Enfield’s Rolfe-Applegate Cemetery where Frankie’s parents are buried.  Once on the cemetery site I did a Command-F to find the “Frankie.” The one result was Frankie Wheeler, born 1855; died 1878.

Going back to the 1875 NYS Census on, I found Thomas (male age 24), Frank (female, age 20), and Oscar Wheeler. Oscar was one month old.

In the 1880 Census, Thomas and Oscar are living with Thomas’s father, Sumner, and Thomas’s brother, Melvin in Jerusalem, Yates County, New York.   I now believe this is Frankie Tucker’s family. She married between 1870 and 1874, had a child in 1875, and died in 1878. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

The month of September flew by and I feel a bit guilty about not producing a blog post during that time – with the exception, of course, of helping to locate the family of the Finison Family Bible.

States she plans to obtain licensure:
Florida, New York, Vermont, and Virginia

So what have I been doing?  We drove to Gainesville, Florida to attend the graduation of our daughter from the Academy of Five Element Acupuncture. We are very proud of our Master of Acupuncture daughter.  She is now busy studying for her national boards.  I started volunteering two mornings a week at the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc., and am getting their office and research files in good order. We enjoyed a lot of company this month, as well as a couple of day trips, one to Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay, and another to the birthplaces of Robert E. Lee and George Washington.  And in my spare time, research on my latest project, Life on the Farm, The Tuckers of Tompkins County, New York could not be done without transcribing the diaries of William Lanning Tucker, and his daughter, Jessie May Tucker Agard.

William’s diaries span the years of 1919-1929. William died in 1929 at the age of 90.  Jessie’s diaries span twenty-four years, 1944-1968, with the years 1945 and 1946 missing.  Jessie died in 1973 at the age of 97.  I am not transcribing every word, but I am capturing dates and important events during each year. Needless to say, it is a time consuming project, but a very worthwhile one. I am now able to document more of the life of Jessie’s sister, Addie Tucker, as well as her death, and the date and cause of death of many family members. 

I learned that on 14 April 1944 Jessie took the oath of office as Ulysses Town Historian.  And on 16 January 1947 Jessie began writing the history of the Jacksonville Community Church. 

Jessie and Arthur Agard at her 90th Birthday Party
January 1, 1966 held at the home of Merritt and Maude Agard

When not cleaning her house from top to bottom each day, after baking several loaves of bread, a couple of pies, and a pot roast, Jessie was busy making afghans and quilts for each family member.  All females received a colorful afghan; each male a quilt.  I still have mine.

I am anxious to get back at my genealogy research...and will try to be better at sharing same.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Finison Family Bible

I hope the Manatee Genealogical Society doesn't mind if I share an item in their latest Cracker Crumbs newsletter. But I thought they would want the word spread.  Below is their listing to find the family of the 100 year old Finison family bible. 

The Salvation Army is looking for the Owner of a Donated 1920’s Bible.
They need our help finding a family that was separated from its Bible. Liz Brown, the manager of the Salvation Army Select Store in Greensboro, NC found the nearly 100 year old Bible at the bottom of a bag of donated clothes. Writing in the Bible shows it was given to Nannie Finison by her oldest son. In it she documented the births of her children and some of their deaths. Brown wants to return it to the Finison family. If you have info, contact her at 1-336-235-2662.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Follow Friday - Grandma's Picture Box

I was intrigued with one of Geneabloggers' newly discovered blogs called Grandma's Picture Box. The purpose of the blog is to reunite orphan photographs with their families.

The author looks for old photos in thrift stores, tag sales, wherever she can find old photographs that have enough writing on the back to give her a hint as to where to start her genealogical research on the photo.

When her research is complete, she posts the photo and its story on her blog.  She is pleased that some of her orphans have found homes.

I definitely will keep this hobby in mind as I think it would be a fun and interesting endeavor.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Those Places Thursday - Enfield, New York

My current project of documenting the Tucker family brings me to a geographic area just north of Ithaca, New York that I had thought of as just a crossroads. I am now learning that during the 1800s, Enfield was the busy hometown of the many branches of the Tucker family.  I am a bit overwhelmed already as I trace out the eight living of ten children of Ezra and Caroline Lanning Tucker. And then researching the four daughters of William Lanning and Fanny Adelia Hosner Tucker.

I learned that William was raised on a farm in the northeast corner of Enfield, possibly attending School District #10, while his father supported the family by being a blacksmith.

Although early residents of Enfield, NY were from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Middletown, Connecticut, it is suspected that Enfield, New York was actually named after Enfield, Connecticut.

When I am feeling stressed about the amount of work ahead of me, I gaze on this postcard of early Enfield that was recently found in a box in the back corner of my great-grandparent's barn. 

"Now, don't you wish you were here?" 1940s Time Machine

This morning the Connecticut Society of Genealogists members received a message about Ancestry's 1940s time machine -

I enjoyed seeing what my grandparent's life might have been like in New York City. The time machine offers a limited number of geographic options, but it still gives a flavor of life in 1940.

Through Labor Day Ancestry is making all its census information and selected databases FREE.

Friday, August 10, 2012

More Goshen News January 1920

Hoping to be of help to another family genealogist, I share an additional article found in the January 1920 Goshen newspaper from which the obituary for Louis Hawks appeared.  This one is a society note about the Evensens trip to Norway.

Evensens Go Abroad to Spend Year in Norway
Mr. and Mrs. Earling Evensen left Sunday for Cleveland where they will visit Mr. and Mrs. O.C. Rouse and from there to New York. Mr. and Mrs. Evensen will sail on Jan. 16 on the “Stavangesjord” for Christiana, Norway, where they will visit the former’s parents, expecting to remain in the old country a year. Mrs. Evensen was Miss Eathel Hout, daughter of Mr. ad Mrs. Chas. Hout of Goshen. Mr. Evensen was a member of the A.E.F. and severed several months in France. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mystery Monday - Is the Blind Collie Dog Guilty?

One of my jobs while in Goshen and Elkhart Indiana was to search microfilms for obituaries.  I found this obituary of Louis K. Hawks (son of Dwight and Estella Burns Hawks) whose cause of death was somewhat suspicious.

Since I have always been a cat person, in our household if anything ever went wrong, my husband always blamed the cat.  Consequently I laughed out loud (sorry library patrons) when I read Louis’ obit that included one of the theories for the cause of his death was that the blind collie dog was the culprit!

Louis K. Hawks Found Dead: Overcome by Gas
Body Discovered in Bed by Wife Saturday Evening
Coroner Gives Verdict of Accidental Death After Making Investigation

Louis K. Hawks, 34 years old, son of Dwight H. Hawks, well known Goshen druggist, was found dead in bed at his home, 306 Wilkinson street, by his wife, shortly after six o’clock Saturday evening. Death had been caused by asphyxiation and was accidental, according to the verdict announcement by Coroner Eugene Holdeman, of Elkhart, after the inquest Saturday evening. Gas escaping from a detached hose connection for a small heater in the bedroom had filled the house and overcome Mr. Hawks while he was asleep, it is believed.

Mr. Hawks was employed as a salesman for the Standard Chemical Co. for the past several months, and assisted his father at the Hawks Drug Store on Saturday evenings.  Prior to his employment as a salesman, he had been employed regularly at the drug store.  Because he had expected to work late Saturday night, Mr. Hawks had gone to bed at one o’clock in the afternoon.  When his wife, who is employed at the Elkhart County Trust Co., returned home a few minutes after six o’clock, she discovered the house full of gas and immediately went to her husband’s bedroom. She found that he was dead, and it was afterwards learned when an examination was made that he had been dead for several hours.

Several theories as to the accident have been advanced, but the coroner’s verdict merely stated that he had met his death accidentally from asphyxiation. It is possible that the gas hose may have been disconnected when the pressure was low and the escaping gas was not noticed and it was also suggested that the hose, which ran past the door to the bedroom may have been disconnected by a blind collie dog which was kept in the Hawks home, as he entered or left the room.  The dog was in the house when Mrs. Hawks arrived, and apparently was little affected by the gas.  The door leading to the bedroom, and also another door leading to the bathroom were both partially open, and the entire house was filled with gas.

Mr. Hawks is survived only by his wife and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dwight H. Hawks. He was born in Goshen, and had been a resident of this city all his life.

Episcopal funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at two o’clock at the home of Mr. Hawks’ parents, 218 North Third Street and the body will then be placed in a receiving vault at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Mr. Hawks was a member of St. James Episcopal Church of Goshen. He was also a member of the local company of state militia and plans are being made to have the company attend the funeral in a body.

Rev. Roland of Chicago will assist Rev. Weeks in the funeral services. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Indiana Marriages Companion Book

Marriage Record for Dwight Hawks and Estella Burns
5 June 1884

We were in Elkhart, Indiana this week doing some research for my hubby’s monograph on the Cutter family. 

Family lines to be researched in Elkhart and Goshen were the Davenports, Butterfields, McCutchens and Hawks.  On Sunday afternoon we visited the Grace Lawn Cemetery, the Violett Cemetery and the Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Early Monday morning we visited the Goshen Vital Records department where we found a marriage record for Mary Louise Butterfield and Martin Van Buren Starr who were married 25 June 1895, and for Georgiana Butterfield and Charles McCutchen, married 6 June 1894. Both were married in the St. James Church by Rector Charles Stout.   

But it was the Hawks marriage that had us stumped. Doing due diligence prior to our trip, my hubby had called and talked with the staff of each department to ascertain exactly what information was available.  At one point he was bounced over to the Goshen Vital Records Archives where he talked with a knowledgeable and helpful woman. She reported that her microfilm had Estella Burns Hawks’ father as Floyd Burns.  But when we viewed the marriage record for Dwight Hawks and Estella Burns, there was no mention of a father. So where was this information? The vital records clerks had no idea.

We drove to the Archives to find the answer:  the Indiana Marriages Companion Book for the years 1882-1907.  According to the archivist, because of staff turnover knowledge of available information like the Companion Book is lost. The Companion Book information is not online and it has not been filmed by the Mormons.  

The Companion Book recorded as to whether it was a first or second marriage, and if second, depending on the year, it might say if it was because of divorce or death. It showed parents names, and ages of the couple.

At this point we don’t know how many counties within Indiana and/or how many states might have Marriage Companion Books.  But it would be wise to ask, and in this case, if my hubby’s phone call hadn’t been transferred to this particular woman, we would never have known.  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Herman C. Owens Killed by Hit and Run Driver November 1919

It is not obvious at this point why William Lanning Tucker pinned into his Monday June 16, 1919 diary page this article about Herman C. Owens who was hit by a car in Auburn, New York on November 9 of that year.  I do, however, look forward to learning why this article was important to William. In the meantime, for those whose ancestor was Herman C. Owens, I hope this little tidbit is helpful.

Ithacan Hit by Car, Dies in Hospital
Auburn, Nov. 10 – Herman C. Owens, 56, of Ithaca, who suffered a fracture of the skull when hit by an automobile while crossing a bridge on the Grant avenue road, Elbridge, died at 9:45 o’clock Saturday night in Auburn City Hospital without regaining consciousness. He was in Elbridge visiting his son, Charles H. Owens, a school teacher in that village. The motorist who ran Mr. Owens down did not stop and efforts to learn his identity have been futile.

The plot thickens. According to the Nov. 10, 1919 Auburn Citizen, Mr. Owens was lame and could not get out of the way of the oncoming vehicle. And although the driver escaped identification, it was thought that very driver was the one who delivered Mr. Owens to Auburn Hospital.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: 1890 Baptisms and Marriages St. Rose Church, Newtown, CT

Under the category of things I should have done, this 1890 Parish Register for St. Rose Church in Newtown, Connecticut would be at the top of the list. I captured this information many years ago when we were developing the 1890 Census Substitute for Newtown.  The database contained names from the Grand List, School Books, New Electors and Voters lists. But the question remained - how do we find women? The answer: Go to the churches.  I did get to St. Rose one afternoon after work, but that was the extent of my success in visiting all the area churches.

The caveat with this database is that the church register for the most part was in Latin and the handwriting was difficult to read.  If mistakes are found, they are mine alone.  I did try to translate names where I could. 

For those with ancestors in Newtown, Connecticut, the 1890 Census Substitute can be found at:

Lname Fname Event Date Spouse Parents Comments

Carmody Francis Joseph Baptism 16 March 1890 Michael F. Carmody & Bridget Donnellan Wit: Patrick J. Bradley & Maria Blake

Casey Michaellen J. Marriage Martin T. Blake

Cavanagh Dennis Baptism 15 Sept 1890 Michael & Marcella Mulligan Cavanaugh Wit: Dennis Cavanagh & Maria Donahue

Collins Loretta Baptism 23 Feb 1890 Michael Collins & Maria F. Kilbride Wit: Jacob Carmody & Anna Kilbride

Collins Loretta Marriage Feb. 14, 1924 Thomas A. Foley St. Nicholas Church, Passaic, NJ

Farrell Jacob Baptism 27 April 1890 Thomas & Maria Keane Farrell Wit: Patrick & Maria Farrell

Fians Jacob Baptism 31 March 1890 John & Teresa Reavy Fians Wit: Eduardo Riley & Jennie Crotty

Fitzgerald Gerald Baptism 5 Oct 1890 Thomas Fitgerald & Catherina McGrath Wit: Maria Cummins & Joanne Ahearns

Honan Danieleen Caroline Baptism 4 Jan 1890 Daniel Honan & Catharine Finnell Wit: Maria Lynch & Patrick Blake

Houlahan Martin Marriage 14 June 1890 Marian Kilbride
Kavanaugh Sarah Helen Baptism Michael Kavanaugh & Lucia B. Carroll Wit: Michael Kilbride & Elizabeth E. Carroll

Keane Anna M. Baptism 21 Sept 1890 John & Brigit McNerney Keane Wit: Martin Kelly & Magarita Gallaher

Keane Martin Francis Baptism 14  April 1890 Patrick & Margarita Finnell Keane Wit: Michael Haugh & Maria McMahon

Keating Catherine Baptism 14 Sept 1890 Bernard & Catherine Kelly Keating Wit: Patrick F& Brigitta Finnell

Lacey Ellen Augusta Baptism 3 Aug 1890 Patrick & Maria Carmody Lacey Wit: Thomas Bradley & Nellie McNamara

Leister Marian Baptism 21 Dec 1890 Guielim Leister & Margarita McCarthy Wit: John McCarthy & Brigita McCarthy

Lynch Marian Helleman Baptism 1890 Michael Lynch & Catherine Connors Wit: James Lynch & Maria Helena Farley

Meehan Jennie Marian Baptism 22 June 1890 Jacob & Bergitta Fitzpatrick Meehan Wit: Thomas Keenan & Maria Sullivan

Quinlivan James Baptism 11 March 1890 Dennis Quinlivan & Maria McNertney
Reiser Mary Ann Marriage 30 Nov 1890 Patrick J. Finnell
Ryan Mrs. Marriage 12 May 1890 Mr. Keltz Under peculiar circumstances

Scanlon Anna Baptism 30 March 1890 Jabob & Maria Foley Scanlon Wit: Patrick Crose & Helen Foley

Scanlon Michael Marriage 1891 Marian A. Mulligan

Whaley Anna Jame Baptism 28 July 1890 John & Anna Gaffney Whaley Wit: Hugh & Catherine Gaffney