Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Our Day at the National Archives

We boarded the VRE (Virginia Railway Express) train to Union Station at 7:51 a.m. at Leeland Station, just north of Fredericksburg. We planned to catch this train, not realizing that the VRE was on their “S” schedule (S meaning “Snow” and/or Holiday schedule), and neither did a number of regular commuters waiting there to catch an earlier train into work. A lot of sighs … But we did learn about the green dot meaning a train is headed our way.

After arriving at Union Station in DC, we quickly trotted (it was cold and windy) a number of blocks to the NARA building, arriving there just before 10:00 a.m., their stated opening time – or so we thought.

The doors were open and we learned they actually open at 9:30 giving researchers time to fill out their paperwork for the 10:00 a.m. records pull.

Since we were newbies, we had to watch a PowerPoint presentation on NARA procedures, and then waited in line to get a photo ID card made. We filled out our forms and got them in the designated wooden box for the 11:00 a.m. pull.   The NARA website used to have a very informative video on what to expect when arriving at the archives. Difficult to locate on their site before, now impossible, and I suspect it has been taken off and replaced by the PowerPoint.

We found the lockers where we stashed our coats, and in walking back to the main section, one of the archive staff approached me and said my ancestor’s records were now on Fold3. We went to one of the computers and she immediately brought up the Widow’s Pension record for Amos L. Tucker. I reviewed the pages while hubby went through the (agonizing) process of getting money on his card so that we could print the documents I needed.

The small café in the basement of NARA is delightful. Hubby had a cheeseburger, and I had a delicious ham wrap, and much needed water!

We arrived in research room 203 just moments before hubby’s documents arrived at noon. Those files provided us limited success.

The elusive John Pye that hubby has been searching for a friend remains elusive. The poor guy was shot in the face and had half his face torn off. He must have been in terrible shape and much pain. The end of pension paperwork that should be there is presumable “lost,” according to NARA personnel. The last paperwork in the file was dated 1873. We did get the name of the attorney who was receiving the pension checks on Mr. Pye’s behalf – George C. Carter of Utica, New York. And we found out that Mr. Pye was living in Adams, Jefferson County, NY.  These are some clues our friend can follow up on to try for date/place of death.

Hubby needed parents’ names for the other two folks he was researching – neither file included those, but for one, a wife and son are named. That was helpful. 

The NARA staff were all delightful and ever so helpful, and for that we are so appreciative.

To top off our day, we had the most delicious milkshakes from the Sugar Factory at Union Station while we waited for our 3:25 p.m. train back to Fredericksburg.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Upstate New York Research – Willard State Hospital

I just came upon the most interesting website – Inmates of Willard. The author, Linda Stuhler, has complied lists of inmates at Willard as well as other New York State institutions. She writes a blog, has written a book, The Inmates of Willard 1870 to 1900, and has numerous links on her site directing researchers to the particular area or county in which their ancestors lived.  Linda states:

The goal of this blog is to be a genealogy resource for people searching for ancestors who were patients at New York State Hospitals during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Brief histories of these former institutions can be found on the “Interesting Articles & Documents” page. If you have information to share, please share it here!

Although I don’t think I had an ancestor who was an inmate that died there, I did have one who was hospitalized a couple of times due to extreme stress in her life.  She lost a son, daughter, and husband within a month’s time in 1904.

I am also interested in the history of this state institution because my Hardenbrook line had property adjacent to the hospital and Washington Hardenbrook was stated to be one of the hospital’s oldest and most faithful employees.

For those researching Upstate New York, and think you might have an ancestor in one of the state facilities, do check out this helpful site.  Linda and company continue to lobby the state legislature for release of the names of those who died during confinement in these institutions.

Monday, December 21, 2015

DNA Testing – Buyer Beware

Yesterday’s blog by TheLegal Genealogist, Judy Russell was eye opening.  As most genealogists know, Ancestry offers DNA testing – AncestryDNA. But so does another company called, AncestrybyDNA. It’s that “by” word that is confusing people.

Ms. Russell points out that an autosomal test from Ancestry DNA identifies 700,000 informative markers; tests run by AncestrybyDNA provides ancestral proportions based on 144 informative markers. A slight difference.

Anyone considering taking a DNA test should first do their homework. Check out Judy Russell’s website as she writes often about what’s new on the DNA scene. Another good site to read is Your Genetic Genealogist by CeCe Moore. 

Bottom line is know what you are paying for and what results you expect from the test.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Amos Tucker’s Civil War Pension

Application for Civil War Pension by Martha Tucker November 1865
This morning, curled up by the fire with coffee cups in hand, hubby and I decided to make a trip to the National Archives next week. He is still searching for the burial place of John Pye, a New York State Civil War soldier hubby has been searching for years on behalf of a woman in our Newtown Genealogy Club. Recently one of our neighbors presented hubby with a problem with one of her Upstate New York ancestors, and so we will also be searching for a pension record on behalf of widow Rosebelle Greene.

I admit I haven’t paid attention to my Civil War ancestor Amos Tucker as I intended to in my 6 May 2015 blog. At that time I was gung-ho to research these sites:
The 1860 census.
Search enlistment registers, service records, etc. on FamilySearch.org, Ancestry and Fold3.
Check compiled military service records at NARA (and on Fold3)
Martha (van Gosbeck) Tucker died young, I won’t find her in the 1890 Civil War Veterans and Widow Schedule, but this is a GREAT resource for others.
Cyndi’s list
Library of Congress
National Park Service
Regimental Histories (A great idea!)
CW150 Legacy Project
Historical societies and museums.
The Civil War Trust is a wonderful resource and had great maps.

In searching for Amos L. Tucker this morning, Ancestry now has pension application forms available online and we were able to locate applications from both Amos’s wife, Martha, in November 1865 and another from Amos’s mother, Caroline Lanning Tucker dated March 1893. (Martha died in 1877). Martha’s application has a certificate number; Caroline’s does not, which leads me to believe her application was never granted (Caroline died in 1894). I look forward to reviewing these files to see what information they hold and hopefully will clear up the events surrounding Amos’s death.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Finger Lakes Mystery

My first mystery novel - set in the Finger Lakes
This is what has distracted me from my genealogy research over the past year. The book is finally published and can be found on Amazon.

I have started the second Caitlyn Jamison adventure and this one will include genealogy research that will be critical to solving the murder. Can't wait to work out that scenario.  

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving and White Friday

Sitting around the table last evening for our holiday eve dinner, I realized once again that the most important thing in life is family, friends, and good health. In our small family gathering last evening, I knew that we were blessed with each.

I enjoyed a recent Dick Eastman blog post featuring The Heirloom Registry's suggestion that people participate in White Friday. White Friday is when a family sleeps in, has breakfast together, then goes around the house looking for items with a history. The registry has a downloadable form if desired, but the object is to document the family heirlooms. For larger items, the documentation can be attached to the back; for smaller ones, the documentation can be filed with other important papers - maybe your will?

Enjoy and cherish the family time, and have a fun-filled White Friday!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ellis Island Immigration Facts

Genealogy 101 Presentation - Fredericksburg, VA
One of my pet peeves is when someone says, “I can’t find my ancestor, because they changed his name on Ellis Island.” I am quick (usually too quick and a little too forceful) to correct that statement.

Over the past month, my hubby has given two Genealogy 101 presentations to residents in our development. The first group numbered about fifty; yesterday’s session was for those who couldn’t make the September session, and he was doing it for two people in particular – fifteen showed up.  Those numbers, plus the number of beginning genealogists who attended our Fredericksburg Regional Genealogical Society’s October 10 conference, indicates there are a lot of people who are just starting their genealogy journey.”  As my husband points out at each of his sessions, “Warning: This can be additive.”

And that is why I wanted to share a link of an article found in GenealogyInTime Magazine.

This article is accompanied by great photos of Ellis Island, then and now. It is difficult to imagine how they processed an average of 5,000 people a day. There is a chart showing ten ports of arrival in North America for 1903, with Ellis Island receiving far above what the other ports experienced.

The article mentions not everyone was successful in entering.  Each immigrant was given a cursory medical exam and asked questions like, “Are you a communist?”

If an immigrant was to be sent back, and the article suggests that more than the estimated 2% were sent back, someone would accompany that person, and maybe the entire family would return. If you can’t find your ancestor, they may have accompanied someone back to the homeland.

“When looking for immigration records on Ellis Island, always check for other relatives +/- 3 years from the date when you find a record for one of the family members.” This is because often, a husband, or other family member would come ahead, get a job, save up, and then send for the family.

The article is full of search hints, and explains the reasons why some immigrants wanted to change their name.  Another hint I had forgotten was that Ellis Island was for steerage class passengers. If your ancestor traveled first or second class, they disembarked in downtown Manhattan.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Herbert Beardsley 1888 - 1918

Herbert Beardsley abt 1898

I don't have much information on Herbert, but I did have this cute photo in my collection. The photo was taken by Herb Saylor. I'm assuming Herbert was around ten years old when it was taken. He was a nephew to my great-grandmother, Jessie Tucker Agard. This photo, along with a number of others was stored in a corner of the family barn for many years. I saved as many as I could, but this photo has much damage.
What I do know is that Herbert Beardsley was the first child of Frank J. and Carrie B. (Tucker) Beardsley. Herbert remained single, living with his parents and working on the farm of Mr. Bodle. In January 1916 he fractured his leg from jumping from a wagon.[1] 

On 20 December 1918, Herbert succumbed to a bout of pneumonia, a result of influenza. His funeral was held at the home.[2]  Herbert was buried in the Mecklenburg (NY) Union Cemetery next to his parents, Frank and Carrie (Tucker) Beardsley, though the stone is indexed as “Robert W. Beardsley.”

[1] “Herbert Beardsley,” society note, Ithaca Daily News, 18 January 1916, p. 7 col. 6. [www.fultonhistory.org accessed 20 Sept. 2012]
[2] “Herbert Beardsley,” death notice, Ithaca Daily News, 30 December 1918, p. 7, col. 6. [www.fultonhistory.org accessed 20 Sept 2012]

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Is Silence Golden?

I have neglected my genealogy blog for the past few weeks and am excited to be able to get back to researching the Tucker family line, and continue transcription of my great grandmother's journals as well as transcribing the history of the Jacksonville Community Church.

So, what has taken me away? I am in the process of finishing my first mystery novel. Have been seriously working on it for the past year, and am now in the final (I hope) editing stage. 

The other distraction for the last month has been filling my role as organizer/ point person for our genealogy club's October Fall Lecture Series. That was held yesterday at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library in Fredericksburg. We had over 100 people register, and had to cut off registrations early last week. We ran two tracks of sessions from Skill Building with national speaker Sharon Hodges, to Genetic Genealogy: DNA by another national speaker, Shannon Combs-Bennett. One of our members presented on Genealogy meets Social Media. Other sessions went into Burned County Research Methodology, Researching African American ancestors, and Getting the most from Family Search and Stephen Morse websites.

When the speaker asked the 80+ people sitting in the session on Family Search and Stephen Morse, how many used SteveMorse.org, I was the ONLY one to raise my hand! When I was a baby genealogist, SteveMorse was my go-to for finding New York City births and marriages. It was amazing to me that so many people are not aware of his site. It has so much great information.

I was pleased when several of the speakers stressed: Do not put online or publish any information about living people. If you want to put your own information out there, fine. You do not have the right to make anyone else's information available to the public. 

Anything found on the Internet is ONLY a clue. Do your own research, and verify, verify, verify.

Cite your sources as you go. Use timelines.

Take caution when posting vacation photos. If you say your whole family is at Disneyworld, everyone will know your house is empty. 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Genealogists to the Rescue!

A Facebook post I received this morning called for help:

FB friends, we need help! We bought this cedar chest at an estate sale and found it had a hidden drawer underneath. In it was a stack of letters, drawing of a house, marriage license and birth certificate. The letters are addressed to Arlise Mord at Methodist Hospital in Sioux City and are from 1947. They are postmarked from Wausau, NE. There are also letters from Arlise to Stanley W. Anderson in Sioux City. There are baccalaureate and commencement notices from the School of Nursing, 1949. Arlise's birth certificate (Mar. 7, 1928) to Arthur Emanuel Mord and Esther Helen Larson (maiden name). He was a farmer in Wausau. The wedding license is for Arlise and Stanley (am guessing the letters were their courtship while she was in nursing school.) Everyone loves a "happily ever after", so PLEASE SHARE THIS, we would love to give it all back to their families!

Immediately after posting this I had time to do a quick Findagrave search. Arlise Anderson came up with a full obituary.  Wow - wish my family were that easy!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

AncestryHealth and AncestryDNA

A recent Genealogy In Time article about Ancestry’s future growth strategy caught our attention. What was most disturbing is that Ancestry has sold its DNA sequences to Calico, a Google affiliated company. Here is the 2013 announcement about Calico.

“MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – September 18, 2013 – Google today announced Calico, a new company that will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases. Arthur D. Levinson, Chairman and former CEO of Genentech and Chairman of Apple, will be Chief Executive Officer and a founding investor.

Announcing this new investment, Larry Page, Google CEO said: “Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives. It’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Art—one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation—to take this new venture forward.” Art said: “I’ve devoted much of my life to science and technology, with the goal of improving human health. Larry’s focus on outsized improvements has inspired me, and I’m tremendously excited about what’s next.”

We don’t doubt the philosophy behind this company – quality of life – is an important one. What concerns us is the privacy issue. Not only will over a million people who have had their DNA tested through Ancestry have their sequence available to another company, that information is accompanied by extensive family trees. And who else might gain access to this information?

We think it would have been a much better idea if Ancestry had first gotten permission from those who had had their DNA tested through that site. But then, it is about money.

Friday, September 11, 2015

African American Research Tips

Last Wednesday evening our genealogical society had the honor to host Char McCargo Bah, owner-CEO of Finding Things for U, LLC. Ms. Bah educated those in attendance with her presentation: We Were Always in the Courthouse: What You Can Find in African American Court Records.

Char’s Hints:  You can’t research African American ancestors without tracing the white population. No one is an island; we are all part of a community.

Don’t skip anything when researching genealogy. At some point you’ll come to a brick wall and you’ll need that piece of information you skipped over. If you’re using information that has been passed down, understand that additional records have become available since older genealogies were done.

Cite, cite, cite - If/when you publish, you’ll need  accurate citations - Char makes sure she has three sources to document each fact. Make life easier for yourself, cite as you research. Use cluster research or collateral lines.

Cohabitation records – African Americans that were married before the Civil War could go to the courthouse to have their marriage recorded. This applies to divorce as well, and this may be the first record of the couple’s children. In divorce cases they have to present their marriage license. One stop shopping!  The children are listed. Divorces are found in courthouse records with siblings and neighbors testifying. The only grounds were adultery and desertion. If adultery, there had to be numerous witnesses. The court would have lists of people from whom they took depositions.

Know correct terms; know the county. Not all records are on line. You may have to go to the courthouse.

Dispute of property: Division of Slaves.  You have to understand African Americans were considered property, and when people were taken to court, it was because slaves were property that had to be divided equally.

Keep in mind - Some court cases lasted 30-40 years. Some court cases brought slaves back in to verify the owner and owner’s family to settle land disputes.

Many African Americans went to DC to get married. DC was a popular honeymoon spot because of the availability of hotels that would allow blacks. Unfortunately, DC marriage licenses didn’t ask parents’ names.

Prior to 1865, the free people of color in Virginia were required to register every 2-3 years (Register of Free Blacks). Those lists are in local courthouses. They had to carry their free papers on them. This law was passed 1790, and took effect early 1800s. In Virginia when freed by their owner, an African American had one year to leave. They had to petition to stay and that had to be applied for and approved. Black Code Laws; some of these laws continued after Civil War into the Jim Crow period.

Char’s website can be found at: http://theotheralexandria.com/biographic-infoformation2/

Monday, August 24, 2015

St. Joseph's Home Franciscan Sisters on Facebook!

I just learned that the Franciscan Sisters in Peekskill, New York (formerly St. Joseph's Home) have a Facebook page!

Visit them at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Franciscan-Sisters-of-Peekskill/113565338676429

My St. Joseph's Home blog posts consistently have the most views, and the most comments. I am so glad the Sisters are reaching out to the many people whose lives they have touched over the years.

Another Anomaly in Fredericksburg, VA Marriages

I love genealogy research because I am always learning something. Three years ago we volunteered to digitize Fredericksburg, VA marriages so the wealth of information on those documents would be available for genealogists tracing their ancestors in this part of the country.
We learned as we went along that marriages taking place in this town were not just local folks, but for couples coming from the northern states and states to the west. This made sense since Quantico Military base is close by, but then we ran into the anomaly in 1939-1940 when we learned the northern states started to impose wait periods and required blood tests.
Last week when we got to the 1916 and 1917 Fredericksburg marriages we ran into another anomaly. Working back, we did 1917 first. In that year there were no marriages performed during the month of May. Since the names were filed alphabetically, and we were refilling them by month, it wasn’t like we missed a folder or that one had been misfiled.
We went to the archivist and explained the “empty” month. He jumped on the Internet and brought us information that explained the U.S. Selective Service Act was enacted 17 May 1917. Those married and providing sole income and with dependents under the age of 16 were classified as “exempted, but available for military service.”
We didn’t go back through the first months of that year to see how many men married divorced or widowed women with children, but that might have been an interesting statistic to find. Being married before the month of May 1917 was definitely an advantage when it came to draft eligibility.
Then in 1916 we ran into the same thing, this time there were no marriages in the month of June. In a cursory search I learned the National Defense Act was enacted 3 June 1916, getting Americans prepared for entry into WW I. Why this affected marriages during that month, I can’t say, but it did make for an interesting day!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Who’s Dana Walker?

Today I returned to my research on the family of Ezra and Caroline (Lanning) Tucker. To refresh my memory and to tighten the prose I started at the beginning.

After reading through the introductory material, I read through the documentation I had accomplished so far on each family member.

In the write-up on Ezra and Caroline’s grandchild, Jay Doolittle, I wrote that in 1900 Jay ran a grocery store in the small rural village of Covert, Seneca County, New York. Jay employed Dana Walker (b: March 1877) to drive the grocery wagon around the countryside. And that was it. On to the next descendant.

Today I realized that a number of times I have found a “servant” or “farm hand” living with my ancestors. I would note them in the household, but then dismiss them as far as any further research. Until today.

I wondered, who is Dana Walker? I spent a couple hours in an attempt to fill in his life.

From The Farmer Review of 16 March 1901 I found that Dana Walker and Miss Ada E. Hall, both of Farmer, were united in marriage Wednesday 13 March 1901 by the Rev. C.H. Moscript. I believe Ada (b: abt 1883) was the daughter of Porter and Claudia Hall of Seneca County, New York.

In 1904 Dana left Jay Doolittle’s grocery store, using his contacts through the grocery wagon to find work at the nearby Rappleye farm.

At some point Dana Walker returned to work in the grocery business because on 18 July 1913 the Interlaken Review reported that Dana resigned his position with the H.P. Minor store and traveled to Portland, Michigan to assist his recently widowed mother. 

Not so much information on the life of Dana Walker, but at least it is a start and I will keep an eye out for him if he intersects with my family line in the future.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Ireland Reaching Out

This morning I registered with Ireland Reaching Out, a “global network for people of Irish Heritage.”

With a great grandfather named Patrick Doyle, I didn’t think I had a chance of finding him in Ireland.

Ireland Reaching Out is a community of volunteers and family researchers working to make those connections. It is a great marketing tool for Ireland, and a great asset for those of us just starting to search across the pond.

It is easy to register. Just put in your email. An email is sent to you with further instructions and a password into the site. One glitch, however. I never received the original email. This morning I put in my email again, being told that email was already taken, and did “I” forget my password? [smile]

I clicked “forgot my password,” even though I had never been sent one … and I did receive the next email. I was able to reset my password, and from there you can chose if you know your parish or if you don’t. I selected “don’t know,” and from there a message board appeared. I put in my gr-grandfather’s information, as much as I know, and now hope some volunteer or researcher will be able to help me.

We have shared this website with those we know researching their Irish ancestors. I will let you know if I have any success.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Capture those Images - Now!

Three years ago we helped one of our Florida friends find information on his grandparents, married in Cook County, Illinois in early 1900s. My hubby found the marriage certificate on Family Search.org and captured the image. A few weeks ago we received a call from this friend who was in Chicago doing genealogy research. He needed some clarification on the information hubby had found.

Hubby emailed him the image and told him it was available on the Family Search.org website under “Illinois, Cook County Marriages 1871-1920.”

Our friend sent a frantic note yesterday saying he had searched for two hours and could not find this image. Could we please send the exact link? Hubby went to get the link only to find the marriage was listed in the index only. No more image. What happened?

He contacted a trainer at the local Family History Center and her answer is:

“Cook County made a contract with Family Search that their images could only be shown for, I think, two years. After that index only. That was Cook County's stipulation to partner for the project.”

She went on to explain, “If there's a particular one you really want, last I checked it was $7 & you get to immediately download the image.”

She uses the Cook County site - Hubby went to that site this morning to check it out. The price is no longer $7.00, but $15.00 and records prior to 1930 are not there. They have a contact button. He tried that only to learn you can communicate with them ONLY if you have a requisition number. Since we haven’t purchased anything, he didn’t have a number, therefore could not go any further. A present day Catch-22. Later today he will have to pick up the phone and talk to someone about their computer/database issues.

How many times do genealogists get deep into searching, find an image, and figure it can be download later? Especially on sites like Family Search.org. I, for one, now know there is no guarantee an image will be there in the future. 

Capture those images - Now!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hidden History – African American Cemeteries

One of my favorite gifts of a recent birthday was Professor Lynn Rainville’s new book, Hidden History; African American Cemeteries in Central Virginia.

Her story begins in 2008 when a friend (and archaeologist by profession) called her to report damage she and her husband witnessed as a power company crew drove machinery across an old small cemetery.  The couple went through many channels in an attempt to stop the desecration.  The power company employees were only doing what they were told. The execs didn’t care, nor did the local sheriff’s office. After repeated attempts to deal with the authorities, the couple called 911 and reported a crime in progress according to Code of Virginia, section 18.2-127. They were stalled again.  Hence the call to Professor Rainville.

Many early African American cemeteries were not recorded and Professor Rainville set out to change that. Her book describes her journey to locate and document these cemeteries, but also describes how enslaved people held funerals, their rituals, the role of churches and worship. 

She shares stories of how genealogies and oral histories helped her locate several cemeteries, and how finding these burial grounds helped to connect communities and families again. And then the threat ongoing development poses to these small cemeteries.

I highly recommend this book. The back of the book has a form for evaluating an old cemetery and the stones therein. The process is relevant to preserving any abandoned cemetery.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wedding Shower for Sylvia (Joki) Rautine April 1946 - Newfield, NY

My hubby found this photo of an April 1946 wedding shower given by his mother Kathryn (Cutter) Maki for neighbor Sylvia Joki. The shower was held at the Cutter homestead on Shaffer Road, Newfield, NY.  Hubby suspects his mother did not let on that she was pregnant (with him) at the time of the shower. 

First row: Dale Cutter, Ed Laine, Marie Laine, Donald Cutter, Devona Maki;

Second row: Esther (Tompkins) Williams, Louise (Bowen) Seely, Margaret (Payne) Van Riper, Lottie (Williams) Tompkins, Sylvia (Joki) Rautine;

Third row: Minnie (Tompkins) Cutter, Sylvia (Holub) Williams, Blanche (Holub) Ruuspakka, Myrtle (Tompkins) Lampila

Fourth row: Helen Kippola, Sylvia (Knuutila) Kent, Frances Payne, Tillie (Lampila) Laine, Maila (Joki) Mickelson


Friday, June 26, 2015

Peggy Joyce Chapman Keppler

My genealogist hubby doesn’t normally ask me to blog about what he is working on. The other day he found a story in the 9 September 2000 Tucson Citizen about Peggy Joyce Chapman Keppler. It is such an intriguing story he suggested I write a blog about it.

At the age of 7 or 8, Peggy was stricken with rheumatic fever. The resultant bacteria triggered the immune system and attacked the body’s tissues. The doctors at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY had little hope for Peggy’s survival. The only option was open-chest surgery, and her family believed she was the first successful pediatric open-chest surgery performed. Following the surgery her parents were given no assurances, and told Peggy wouldn’t live past the age of 12.

Peggy was to live a quiet life, but being a “normal” child she found ways to do the things she wanted to do like dance and play.

This remarkable woman went on to survive three high risk pregnancies, a stillbirth, a bout with cancer and a back injury. In 1953 she had a second heart operation, and in 1983, open-heart surgery. The Tucson Citizen article was written when Peggy was 70 and awaiting yet another heart operation, this last one unsuccessful.

Peggy beat all odds. She didn’t let her ailment stop her. She had a family, worked, and contributed to society. She is a role model for us all.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sarah H. Tucker and Dewitt Burnham Harvey

This couple has stumped me before, and they are proving difficult again. Here is what I have been able to glean:
Sarah H. Tucker, the sixth child of Ezra and Caroline (Lanning) Tucker was born in 1847. She married Dewitt Burham Harvey between 1870 and 1873.  They had one son, Howard Tucker Harvey (b: 16 September 1874).[1]  I believe Sarah died in 1875, after the census was taken as she is shown in that census living with Dewitt B. Harvey and his brother, Edgar B. Harvey.

Following Sarah’s death, Howard was sent to live with his grandparents, Ezra and Caroline Lanning Tucker. We find Howard in that household in 1880 at the age of four. In 1896 Howard married Frances “Frankie” T. Cowen. Frances was born in 1870, died in 1934. Howard Harvey died in 1930 and they are buried in the Hayts Cemetery, Ithaca, New York.

I then find a Dewitt B. Harvey married to Ida L. Harvey and they state they were married in 1873 though their first child is not born until 1877. Dewitt is listed in a number of family trees on Ancestry, and all, but one, show his marriage to Ida, not Sarah. Today when I searched on Howard instead of his father, Dewitt, I found a tree that included my Sarah H. Tucker as the first wife of Dewitt. I sent an email to that person (who seems to log in regularly) with the hope she might know the rest of the story.

At this point I believe Dewitt Harvey died in 1909 and is buried in the Mecklenburg (NY) Union Cemetery.[2]

[1] WWI Draft Registration for Howard Tucker Harvey.
[2] Findagrave.com entry for Dewitt Harvey.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Frank and Mae Louisa (Turner) Doolittle

Over the last few days I have spent hours inputting family data, photos, sources and obits into my FamilySearch.org family tree. Mostly I am getting caught up on the Tucker family. Since I haven’t worked on this family line in about a year, I am doing a form of genealogy do-over, reviewing what I have written and verifying my sources.

The process of developing an online family tree is helpful in that it immediately tells me where I have missing or erroneous information – like the red warning note that says a child was born after the mother’s date of death!  Typo!!

Today I realized my previous write-up did not include any marriage information for Frank Doolittle (1865-1915), son of John and Mary Jane (Tucker) Doolittle. His obit mentioned two married daughters, using their husband’s names of course. So where is the wife?

It did not take long to find this family in the 1900 census, and I don’t know why I didn’t have this information before.

In 1886 Frank Doolittle married Mae Louisa Turner. They had two daughters, Charlotte, born March 1887, and Helen, born November 1889.

In March 1908 Charlotte married Purley H. Lawlor of Willawanna, PA. The couple then lived with his parents, Joseph and Ida Lawlor in Athens, Bradford, PA.  Charlotte and Purley had a daughter, Margaret, born abt 1911.  By 1915 the couple lived in Rochester, New York.

Helen Doolittle married Charles Shaff.  Helen died at her sister’s home in 1933 at the age of 44. I need to find out the circumstances and to find where Charles is buried.

At some point along the way, Frank and Mae were divorced, as I later find her listed as Mae Louise Turner Manley, or Mrs. Earl Manley.

There is lots more information needed for this family.