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] 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 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.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Organizing and Writing your Family History – Start Small

One of the continuing issues in our genealogy club meetings is how to organize research material. Once material is organized, then it becomes easier to write up a family history, something many people are afraid to do.

We are having our annual round table discussion this evening, so I will use my three minutes to show the different ways I have used to keep my research organized, which becomes a natural springboard to writing. I will also volunteer to work one-on-one with anyone needing help writing their family history.

This blog came to mind this morning after I received Penny Stratton’s NEHGS blog, “Writing Family History: Start Small.” From an article she read, one quote by John Bond caught her eye, and I think it is worth repeating here: “You are doing a service by leaving a legacy, no matter how small or large.”

Every genealogy conference we attend there is a session on the importance of writing your family history. Genealogy research is never complete, but it is important for segments of your research to be made available for other researchers. Therein is the value of monographs.

Write up what you have. Tell the story of your ancestors. The process will become easier the more you do it. And writing provides another benefit. Through that process you will immediately know the holes in your research.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Virginia Vital Records on Ancestry

For those of you who follow Dick Eastman’s Newsletter, you noticed his 5 June issue had a blurb about the availability of Virginia Vital Records on Ancestry. Eastman’s announcement reads:

“Governor Terry McAuliffe recently announced the completion of a two-year, public-private collaboration between the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and that fully digitizes the state’s vital records. To date, more than 16 million records have been digitized and indexed. Scanned images of the original, public* documents are available online through Access to the indexed information on the records is available free of charge through VDH’s Division of Vital Records’ and the Library of Virginia’s websites. So far, birth and death records from 1912 to the present, marriage records from 1936 to the present and divorce records from 1918 to the present have been scanned and are available. Images are available and the records have also been indexed.”

Read carefully.  When you access these records through the VirginiaDepartment of Health or the Library of Virginia, you are immediately sent to Ancestry. The index is free, giving names and dates, but to see the scanned image, in which there is a wealth of information, you have to have an ancestry subscription. Bummer!

Since we have an Ancestry subscription, we were able to access the scanned documents. They are clear, and it was very exciting to see marriage licenses we had processed for Fredericksburg Circuit Court now online!! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Genealogy Interest Survey

Our genealogy society recently sent members a “Survey Monkey” to capture information on member interests and research needs. The information gathered will allow us to develop future programs.

We learned the geographic area in which our members live, which confirms we are holding our meetings in the best possible library branch location.

We learned 46.5% of our members use Facebook, but not for genealogy, nor they mentioned, did they have any idea how to do that. Our October program will be on using social media for genealogy research.

Members shared the most used genealogy websites and added many to the list provided.

Fifty-nine percent want help to improve their online search techniques, while 52% need help organizing their research materials. We will cover this universal issue at next week’s meeting.

When asked what software used it was surprising that 29% don’t use the better known software. One uses Ancestral Quest, another The Master Genealogist, one paper and pen, and a disturbing entry, “,” probably not the best place to keep all your family data. Ancestry is a business that is bought and sold at will. No one knows what the next owners of the site will do. Consequently, it is best to keep your family data at home, backed up often.

In the comment section we learned even more about what members need from the society. They enjoy the exchange of ideas, learning new research techniques, and social time with fellow genealogists. One person stated they felt like a “deer in headlights” not knowing where to look for the resources they need. And that is where members of FRGS will come to the rescue!