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.