KAREN's GEN BLOG
NOTE: I have always wanted to write a blog. Doubt any one in the world will read these, but just thought it would be fun. So, here goes #1 -- will probably put the newest one on top if I ever do more than #1 that is :) ENJOY !!!!
BLOG - 2 November 2022
Here is an image of an article, "Genealogy Oddities", I wrote for my "Grandcestor" column on April 7, 2009 found in "The Paper".
BLOG – 6 December 2021
I write an OTD (On This Day … something happened) for the Fountain County Indiana Genealogy Facebook page and also one for the Crawfordsville History page. It is very time consuming but a great deal of fun and I recently wrote one regarding a letter dated Nov 27, 1864 written by my great great grandfather, Nathaniel Morgan who was born in Bath County, Kentucky in 1797 and died in Fountain County. He was writing to the son of his sister, Lucy, Wesley Arrasmith who lived in Story County, Iowa. Granted there was a bit of family information but what I noticed that wowed me was that Nathaniel wrote about the bad typhoid fever epidemic in the neighborhood. “I have been to so many burials this fall.” Three of Andrew Grimes children have died this fall and one is sick yet. One of Jacob Fines is sick. John Fine is lying sick and not expected to live. Matthias Sowers is very sick at this time and many others have died and sick in this township. Just think that this was 25 years or so before they mandated death records. Tombstones could easily be gone and this might be the only way to prove at least those children died and are buried in the county. Adults might have other ways such as church records, probates, wills, but the children, ahhh the children. So wish I’d have kept so many letters I received although finding someone in today’s world is much easier, yet just the personal touch of a letter is more interesting. Nathniel went on to say that 31 from the township had been “dragged into this ungodly war to linger and die in camp or be slaughtered in battle.” He told of some leaving for Kansas. Talked about the crops (wheat is good, corn as “good as I have ever seen.” Prices were included as well. He noted something I’d not picked up on the half dozen times I’d read the lengthy letter – that was “My house has been searched and my children arrested and dragged off to prison and fined for no other reason that I know of only we differed in politics – this should not be so but let us reason together like sensible men and each one try to do the best we can for our country.” Another interesting topic in his letter was about “if we set them free their condition is only made worse. This surprised me immensely because his father had set his own slaves free and set them up fairly nicely in 1850. Perhaps it didn’t work out well for them. Sadly, he finished up the letter with even more being sick. Sure is an interesting way to view history – try it you might like it.
Blog 10 – May 4, 2018
I mentioned on the Smith side that we found Queens and Kings and let me tell you that was one of the biggest thrills of my life when that break-through came. Simeon Smith mentioned in a couple of other blogs had a great grandfather, Wait Smith, born in Jamaica, Long Island NY in 1687, died in Goshen, Orange Co NY where the Smiths lived for a century. Wait’s wife was Charity Treadwell, whose mother was Hannah Denton. This family goes back to the Dykemores in Lincolnshire, England. I got my first glimpse into royalty here with Sir Edward Lincoln Dykemore and his father, Sir Robert who was the sheriff of Lincolnshire in the 1520s. There are so many interesting folks on these lines. Robert Waterton died 17 January 1425 served three Kings, Henry IV, V and VI and was a constable of Pontecraft Castle for years. I was rather surprised at so many names of the lines as it transferred back to Louis VI of England, beginning with my mom’s Smith back to her great gpa’ who married a Helms whose mother was a Dixon who married a Hotchkiss whose mother was a Mallory back a few to Anne Eure Mallory whose mother was the Dykemore, Sir Edward’s wife being Anne Tailboys whose mother was Elizabeth Cascoigne, mother Margaret Percy then to the De Neville family of Durham, England (lived in Castle Raby – loved the castle scene, so fun to look ‘em up and see if they still exist and if not, was there a picture) then the Beauforts and VanRoets, the Plantagenets (hit those and you’re into the big boys ) de Champagnes, Capets, Aquataines, and the King Louie’s. King louis VI was called “The Fat.” Almost all the Kings of France had nicknames, and although I only saw his face on a coin with a quick perusal on the internet, it looks like he got his nickname properly. His son, my ancestor, Louis VII was dubbed “The Younger.” Wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of my favorite ancestor’s. Perhaps a blog may come your way about Eleanor?!
Blog 18 = Thanks for our Independence Day
Guess the 4th of July coming up makes me think of all the patriotic ancestors who have gone before me. First, I want to say that my father, although the only one in his family born in America (just a few months after his parents and sister came to the USA), a WWII veteran was as patriotic as anyone could get. He taught us to stand up for our country, freedom, our church, beliefs and ourselves. Above all, stand up and respect the flag, the president and anyone in authority. There was a recent president I thought was the most horrid thing that our country had ever experienced, but he was our president and I would have stood for respect. Sadly, too many are disrespecting our president, our country, and our flag. That said, I do want to tell you about a couple of our ancestors who made it possible for Americans to do just that, because they fought for our freedom.
One of those is my ancestor, John Phillipus Sowers. Born in Katzenback in the Palatinate area of Germany in 1734, he was sent to America by his parents when he was about to turn 14 and forced to serve in the service. He came to the Rowan County, NC area where I believe several other families from Katzenback settled. About 1756, he married Christina Faust and they parented 14 children. Many of their descendants came to the Fountain, Montgomery, Parke County area. Although a bit old to be in the actual fighting, he did guard German prisoners, quite helpful to the Americans as he could speak to them. In fact, he went beyond that as he took them home at night to feed them. Several stayed in America because of Phillip Sowers.
To close out this blog, I’ll tell you about one of Jim’s direct ancestors, James Kelly. Another immigrant, Kelly was born in Scotland and was about the age of 25 when he joined up to fight in the Revolution from Monongalia County, West Virginia. He was at Valley Forge with Washington and designed and helped build the small huts that are seen in many famous pictures. While on a foraging expedition, he was lost from his group of five men and spent the night in a hollow log. The next morning when a group was sent out to find his body, he heard them talking about there was no way he could have survived, but he yelled out of the log, “I ain’t dead yet, but if you don’t get me out of here and near a fire soon, I will be!” When they got him back to camp, they discovered that his face and ears were so badly frozen that the fleshy portions had fallen off. A few years after the war, he fell in love with Catherine Stewart, a Scottish lass who a few years before had been sent to town to get supplies by her mother, but while there, was swept up and stolen, then sold into indenture in the new world. He purchased her, and they lived so happily thereafter, for over 50 years.
KAREN's GENEALOGY BLOG
PERFECT PETS -- PART II
So, pet’s I’ve had in my adult life began with my pure white cat, Felia. My Italian grandmother named her. The vet told us it would be best if she had one litter of kittens before being spayed and declawed, so she did and me, being the goof I am, sent-out birth announcements with pictures of each kitten, momma and a little biography of each. My gma’ bested me by making a pillow for each one, different with a sweet note to each one. Hilarious times! The kittens went to good homes and we had Felia for close to a dozen years. One great story was the first time she tasted freedom. Having been declawed years before, she got out one day, ran out to this huge tree and believe it or not, she climbed that thing! She was hanging on for dear life and I yelled at her, “Felia, you goof, you can’t climb trees, you have no claws!” Creepy, now! She looked down at me and dropped. Landed on her feet just fine and took off. She loved the out of doors, so I quit trying to keep her in and one day a few years after that, she just never returned. Assume she died of old age or an animal got her.
Next were our two goofy dogs. A farmer friend, Larry Smith, told us to come over and get a dog from his litter that they were all cute. So, we four did. (Jim, me, Jay & Suzie). Well, they were cute, one white one who looked like a fire dog is the one Jim & Suzie picked out. Jay & I liked the shorter, dumpier, brown and black spotted one with the great personality. So, what did we do (DUMB) – brought ‘em both home. They were a lot of fun, but we put ‘em in a dog house and they ran around all over. Put ‘em on chains, they’d get off. Then a fenced in large yard. Dug under. The kicker was definitely a large fencer under the fence we didn’t think they’d ever get out of. In fact, when Jim would come home at night, they’d be there. When the kids and I got up for them to get on the bus, they were always there. Whew ! Fixed. Then, the neighbor lady, Libby, told me our dogs were getting in their ducks. No way! Yet, one day I think when the kids got off the bus or I went out to get the mail (probably not as I’d have known they weren’t in the pen as I walked out there) there they proudly displayed a large duck, split between ‘em. None of us can remember exactly what happened to them but we think one died and the other one left.
Herbie, our German Shephard I think I’ve written about before but he died from eating the rocks out of the driveway even though we fed him well. Poor baby. I was going to college, running kids around, Jim working 65 hours/week and all of us trying to take care of our 3-acres and large house. Sadly, we just didn’t have time for him. Mostly, he ate left overs, even some coneys, but then got this fettish for the rocks in our driveway and died. I’ve always thought he died from loneliness, though.
My Pud story is quite a hoot. We called him Pud because he looked like Butterscotch Pudding. So, one day I pulled into the garage, got out to take in the groceries, then little little puddin’ weiner dog walked right in with me. He stole our hearts. Oh, my, he was so spoiled, riding in the front seat, mowing (eating) on special food, adored 100%. So, he was with us for several months, maybe even a year or more then when I came home from grocery shopping, out he zipped again, never to be seen. Guess I should write a story titled, “The Grocery Dog?”
Domino was an adorable, fluffy, black and white “dotted” kitten. I was taking a bath one night when Jim came home, lit on the tub and sadly stated, “I’m so sorry, I just ran over the cat!” Thinking he meant Felia our aged cat, I said, “Oh, honey it’s okay, her life time has been long and excellent.” Then came, “No, Domino!” Then I doubled the amount of water in the tub. Such an adorable kitten.
So, that’s part II of the Pet session. Doubt you’ll hear anything about more so look forward to next week’s Blog! NOTE though: For any hackers viewing this and thinking they’ve got full reign into my computer (like one not long ago – grrrr) I do not use any personal information for my logins. EVER! So, quit your hacking ☹ What a ridiculous thing to do anyway – get busy doing something good, instead!
PERFECT PETS - Part I (Bazzani as a kiddo)
This’ll be one long blog if I told you about every animal I’ve been close to, so instead we’ll just share a few I’ve not mentioned in other blogs.
We had Spitz dogs when I was a kid, and a whole gob of cats. One cat, Blackie, I’ll tell ya’ a quick story on. She got scared once and went tearing down a cistern hole. My brother, Garry, stuck his hand down that huge, cement square and grabbed Blackie and wouldn’t let go. Mom and I couldn’t get the heavy thing off and Larry and Dad weren’t home, so I ran and got a couple of our neighbor men who lifted it off carefully. The cat was biting and scratching Gar’s hand and arm to pieces, but we were all happy to get Blackie and Garry out alive. Blackie was already probably ten plus and when she died a couple of years later, Gar locked himself in the bathroom and cried for hours. Dad finally lifted me up through the high bathroom window so I could unlock the door – I was glad ‘cause after several hours, I really had to potty!
Now, our first Spitz was Teddy. Although he was sweet and innocent with us, he was kind of a terror out and about, I do believe. It was a sad day when he was up in the library yard and someone (we know who and are 99% sure it was on purpose) ran over him. I later wrote a great story about my first love who was murdered by the boy next door. At the end I reveal it was Teddy. Got an A! Afteer Teddy was killed, we had several Spits girl dogs, all named Sissy.
Speaking of all named the same - Mom liked birds (none of the rest of us did - NONE) and we had probably 10 or 12 - all named Corky and all looked the same, much like this one from kaytee.com
The oddest pet we had was Rollo. My brothers bought him at one of those roadside joints in Florida. He was the tiniest cute thing and so fun. Then he began to grow. And grow then beyond fun to torture. At that point, our alligator took three of us to feed and a parent close by. Larry held his huge body down, Garry got his mouth open, and I dropped in the hamburger. Not long afterward, Rollo got out of his cage. I left the house and went to gma’s for about a week with assurance Rollo was gone and I could come back. I was leery for months to come. Now, just where Rollo took off too I’ll never know but I’d be careful fishing on Little Raccoon Creek anywhere near Waveland if I were you!
Next week, we’ll have Part II, pets when I was an adult! Don’t miss it!
BLOG TIME – Christmas Past
Thought I’d do a different Christmas blog – when I was small in the 50s, we had three birthdays at Christmas time, so our birthdays were no big deal. In fact, really, no ones was much. We did get to do something different than anyone else. We got to choose whatever Christmas present (except for the year I got the huge teddy bear as big as I was and almost as big as me now -yep, still got him after 60 years as I got him for my 10th year but he was hidden and my brothers were sworn to secret on pain of death and I think mom meant it too as they never kept secrets before) that we wanted to open for our present. We didn’t have cakes, special breakfasts or suppers, just you can open your present now and we’d gather round and open whichever we had chosen. Sadly, I do not remember any of them.
We opened our present Christmas morning at our house. We had gone to our grandparents (in Waveland) the evening before. They didn’t have much money so the pickings were slim but we always looked forward to our Florida oranges they had special ordered for us. Don’t really remember any of their presents either but I think we usually got a puzzle to work (or at the other ones as we loved doing jigsaws). Midnight mass was a must then after our own opening of presents we piled in the car and went to Clinton to our Italian grandparents. Mom starved us until we got there b/c we had so much food it wasn’t even funny. Both Italian and American foods. Seriously, I’ll bet there were 30 things we ate, at least. When our own kids were little we went to my folks Christmas Eve and his on Christmas Day (because the restaurant was closed). Good times, lots of presents at both, especially his folks. Lots of delicious foods.
At my husband's parents, we usually split into various groups, such as football watchers, Euchre players and just talkers. At ours, we gathered round the kids and watched and teased them. When our kids grew up, we had his folks out to our house for several years, then when we moved to Waveland in the home where I grew-up, we had them here. Still miss ‘em today. We didn’t go to midnight mass too many years as I lead the singing at St. Bernard’s at the 10:30 mass on Sunday morning so we went then after opening our presents on Christmas morning and before going to his folks. All the sisters and brothers went by the wayside – they have families of their own although Jim’s sister and husband (Barb & Ter almost always came and Beck & Brad sometimes – then we try to do something with my brother Larry sometime around that time), but not at the actual Christmas time.
Today, there aren’t any Teddy Bears (for one reason because we don’t have little ones), nor are there homemade clothes or items (one year my grandmother made me pillows from the materials she had made me clothes from – she was a professional seamstress and amazing – always had the most adorable clothes) nor GI Joes we got our son when he was probably too young for it, nor Chatty Cathys (I had mine for about three days and I wasn’t a doll-type girl but did adore her since she was so cool but an after Christmas party with friends one of the gals – a Kelsey and we still can’t remember which one – pulled her cord too hard and broke her) but now, there is either money or something electronic. When I got my Teddy bear at age 10, I never dreamed five decades from that time that people could put a picture up of a Teddy bear in a second on a thing called Facebook or that we could order all our presents on it. Yet, some things don’t change. I still love being around the family and reminiscing and making new memories with new types of foods (this year we have vegans, glutton-free diets, Plant Paradox, regular eaters and Keto folks – should be interesting). PS - We ordered all types of pizzas from the Italian Pie & Pizza - great but we had so much left over as I, as always, made all kinds of things and the girls who weren't supposed to bring anything piled us up, too. Can't wait for next year to see what's happening - lol! Merry Christmas all PPS -I gave Teddy to my granddaughter, Reilley, for her 10th birthday and we loved to decorate her
Karen’s Genealogy Blog #36 – A Powerful Impression
Well, interesting. I was cleaning out “stuff” so the kids won’t have to in a few years (30-40 maybe?) and I found one of my old papers for one of my all-time favorite profs at ISU, Dr. Rob Perrin. Several readers will know my subject here and those of you who do not, can probably envision someone similar.
Dr. Robert Perrin
English 685A - Project 1
16 Sept 1991
Mr. Ralph Williams, A Powerful Impression
Mr. Ralph Williams made a powerful impression on his English students at Waveland High School. In the small Indiana town, rare was the time a child viewed a stately gentleman dressed in a suit, unless if was at the funeral home, and often then he was the corpse. Obviously, the dress code was casual. But, Mr. Ralph Williams could even be found mowing his lawn dressed in fashion. His wasn't the typical black suit, white shirt and black tie, though. Instead, he gave the impression of an overgrown Leprechaun. This, however, took nothing away from his statuesque build, his perfect auburn hair with rowed curls seeming to have been ironed onto his forehead (always suspected as a wig), or his Irish, green tailed suit. Starched: that's the perfect word to describe Mr. Ralph Williams' appearance. His skin contained a pearly glow, and one could only guess that many practice sessions made his mustard yellow-kelly green tie seem in alignment with his cat-marble eyes. Graceful: that was the perfect word to describe his movements. An ice-skater could not glide any lighter than Mr. Williams as he moved from one end of the room to the other and then writing for his students, he held the chalk perfectly parallel to the board. Every letter was written precisely. Formal: the perfect word to describe his speech with rare colloquialisms cropping-up, and then, only to emphasize a point. Daily, his students would go to the dictionary to peruse it for a new word discovered via Mr. Ralph Williams. Too, he made literature live. No joke! His students felt Moby Dick chomp Captain Ahab! Now, all of this is not to say that Mr. Ralph Williams was a God, but only to prove the point that he made a powerful impression!
Karen’s Genealogy Blog # 35 – Let’s Go Neighboring, part II’
I actually loved all my neighbors (Johnsons, Mrs. Reiter, Pences, Machledts, Barrs), but probably the ones I really adored were Maude and Oscar Cook. She was a talented artist who made a bit on the side drawing/painting items for sale and won several art contests. Don’t believe she drove so a bit hindered for that. She was so adorable. They had no children and she kind of adopted me. Loved to have me go over and visit. Mom wouldn’t let me stay long, but Maude always had homemade cookies and a glass of really cold milk with ice in it. I first thought that was pretty gross having ice in milk but got used to it and now I’m hooked as it’s the best way ever. Loved those people. Enjoyed babysitting for so many children in our town. Hauks; Porters; Fosters, Collins, Pattons and Thomas' were the main ones, though. The Thomas kids just a couple of houses away (2nd from town on north side of Green was where they lived). We loved to sit on the porch and count cars, play baseball in their yard and eat snacks. They were such good kids and think there were four of 'em, too. Porters came to town (he was the preacher of the Methodist Church) about my freshman year with just two kids - ended up with five when I graduated -- I did a lot of work for them -- FREE. Total idiot but just loved 'em. It was a very good experience, really, as that way, I learned to shop and cut corners, cook, bake and care for kids. They were such adorable ones, too. Any cool neighbors of yours?
Karen’s Genealogy Blog #48 - CRANKS
Cranks ! Even in such a fun, loving, helpful, sharing kind of hobby, there are some! Thank goodness there aren’t many, but sadly a few. Luckily, the only one who comes to mind worked in a small, nearby city where I went to get a death certificate for my direct ancestor. This was in the early 1970s and I don’t know who works there now but no one could be so rude and unhelpful. I gave her the book and page number where she could find the document. She went in the back, gone a minute (literally) and said it wasn’t back there and charged me $10, ridiculous since the state was charging $3. I requested to go look myself, explaining I answered the queries at the Montgomery County Health Office and knew what I was doing. She laughed and murmured, “I doubt it!” Seriously, she was unbelievable and I have no doubt she pocketed my $10 as she didn’t have me sign anything or give me a receipt.
When Ancestry got involved with making original records available, I finally got that record. Ironically, it said little and actually had incorrect information but at least I got it! There are a few overall examples of not so much cranks as pure unhelpful. I couldn’t count the number of times a librarian, county clerk or whoever would just point me in a direction with a, “There it is,” kind of comment.
Yet, there are just as many experiences where a person would go out of their way to aide me in a genealogical request. I volunteered for a decade at the Crawfordsville library and worked there two decades and tried to be this type of helper. Have yet many good friends I’ve met this way.
So, if you meet one of those old grumpy grouches, hang in there as there are the good guys somewhere to help ya’ out!
Karen’s Genealogy Blog - #44 – Queries
I had forgotten about the neat old genealogy columns that ran off & on in the Indianapolis Star for years. When I first started genealogy in April of 1969 I couldn’t wait for my father-in-law to finish his Indy paper (after all, he had first dibs since he paid for it) so I could find the Genealogy column. I ended-up writing one myself about five years later and have been writing one in some capacity since. Anyway, I was perusing for an obituary today and found on in the Indy Star 6 Dec 1931 p 37 – here’s the example: McMillin, Daniel married Eleanor FERGUSON and had Maxsey Miliander born March 20, 1795 married David Prutsman; Sampson C, born Sept 12, 1797, married Susannah Goble; Matilda, born Nov 27, 1799 married Robert Huston of Clark County, Ohio; Mary born Feb 4, 1805 married Tilman Rodgers; Jane, born March 15, 1807, married Hamilton Huston; Rachel, born April 24, 1809 married Samuel Inlow; Elizabeth, born April 15, 1811 married ___ Stone; Elijah F, born March 2, 1813; Eleanor born March 16, 1815, married William S. Brinsy; Daniel G, born July 31, 1819; Robert, born Sept 10, 1822; Thomas Alexander, born Oct 22, 1824. This family lived in Clark County, Ohio in 1815 and moved to Fountain County, Indiana bout 1830. Can someone give names of parents of Daniel McMillan and Eleanor Ferguson and revolutionary service in these lines?
Well, luck sort of has it with this answer. An old bible record gives the following dates but does not give parents. Mire Fargusson born March 25, 1802; William Fargusson, born Jan 15, 1804; Elijah Fargusson, born Jan 12, 1806; Thomas Fargusson born Sept 2, 1808; Ann Fargusson born Jan 5, 1810; Elizabeth Fargusson born Oct 20, 1812; Rachel Fargusson born Nov 18, 1814; John Fargusson born Aug 18, 1816; Ellen Fargguson born June 18, 1817; Mary Fargusson, born Nov 27, 1818; Abram or John Fargusson born Jan 1, 1820. Who were the parents, and where did they live? Was there revolutionary service? Shows to check all spellings and the old newspaper genealogy queries, now, doesn’t it?
Karen’s Genealogy Blog #43 – Nicknames
As I was going over the old Montgomery Magazines (gosh, I miss Pat Cline & Gaildene Hamilton and their quest for history) I found one of my old Family Roots articles I thought I’d kind of revamp for an idea for this blog. I told about our own son’s nickname. He was supposed to be William Michael after Jim’s two best friends, Bill Burkett and Mike Mayfield, but he was so huge and turned wrong that they finally had to put me out and the next morning (he was born at 9:59 p.m.) they brought me the birth certificate to sign. I refused – that tricky hubs of mine got the mail ego thing going and named him James William Zach Jr. Despise Jr’s so we were stuck. With a lot of talking and complete refusal on my part, he was finally named II. Problem is with Jr’s what do you name them? Well, you give them a nickname but our family already had Jim, Will and Bill so … we bought a car after calling him “baby” for a week and luckily, the guy who sold it to us was “Jay.” Perfect! Today, Jamie is most popular.
Now, the point here is nicknames seem to me about as important as real names and while perusing my 11-generation chart, here are some nicknames for you to ponder. The obvious William above is Bill or Will but our grandson is Liam. Dorothea is one of Jim’s ancestors and she could be Dorth; Dot; Dodie; Dorie or Thea. Almarinda was my great gpa’ Smith and she had several nicknames, Allie the most prominent but also Mari; Rinda; Rin; Mar … Nathaniel is Nate, Nathan, Nat (my great uncle).
At the time of the article, I worked with a girl at the library who was the fifth generation Elizabeth and none went by Elizabeth and none had the same nickname. They included: Elisa, Lisa, Beth, Liz, Betsy, Bet, Lisabeth and actually you could go on and on. My mom was Kathryn. It is spelled so many ways and has so many different possibilities of nicknames that it might be the ultimate name for fun purposes if nothing else.
Well, any good genealogist knows that names as well as nicknames can be fun but frustrating, all in one. So, this is Karen signing off as one having no nickname !
Karen’s Genealogy Blog - #42 – Awesome Abstracts (photo saved under “abstract”)
Abstracts. If you don’t use them, get ‘em if possible. Here are some items I’ve tallied from them.
My personal big one is when our house was built from our home’s abstract. We knew it was old and proof is according to the official document, that it was erected in 1856. It has always been a question to us as to why the house next to ours shares our driveway and is so close where the one on the other side has a nice space between the homes. You’ve probably guessed by now – mother-in-law house, built I believe in 1904.
My personal big one is when our house was built from our home’s abstract. We knew it was old and proof is according to the official document, that it was erected in 1856. It has always been a question to us as to why the house next to ours shares our driveway and is so close where the one on the other side has a nice space between the homes. You’ve probably guessed by now – mother-in-law house, built I believe in 1904.
Recently, I received some old papers pertaining to Browns Valley. In them, an old abstract was a pure delight. Benjamin Vancleave owned the original land where Brownsvalley is today, the E ½ of the NW ¼ of Sec 21, Twp 17N Rg5W containing 80 acres. This was an original land grant from the government.
Next on the abstract was a lengthy affidavit from Matthias VanCleave, son of above that he was a resident of Crawfordsville and had been for 60 years. That he came to this county with his father in 1826 and that his father, Benjamin entered the above property then built a house on it. The next year his father gave Matthias the tract of land on which Brownsvalley now lies. “That he does not remember if he ever got a deed to that land but it ran his mind that he never did.” After he laid out the town he moved away up into Madison Twp, leaving everything in Brownsvalley to his father. He had no interest in the land other than the “Public Square” noted on the map. He then deeded (surveyed by Thomas Glenn, deputy surveyor for John Gilliland) the land to “Brownsville,” dated Dec 20, 1836 with the warranty deed dated June 19, 1884. Signed: Matthias M & Mary A.E. VanCleave. Other transactions in the abstract show George and Mary Williams; David & Alice Elmore; Fosters; Galeys; Bakers and Taylors (Walter and Myrtle June 15, 1918; Mont & Elsie Starnes (1923). There were also leins and complaints against the property. The Todds, Deeres and Whittingtons, as well as Servies were involved and the grandchildren of Ben VanCleave. On up to when the Taylors had their wonderful grocery store on the town square.
Sometimes there’s a touch of humor in the old abstracts, too as was in the above one stating that Vancleave had known “most of his grandchildren well for the last 30 years.”
Taxes for the years of a mortgage on the property can be seen, too and they are usually interesting, sometimes indicating a building has been torn down (considerable decrease in tax level) or part of a property sold off or the building of a home which increases it immensely. Wills, land records and much more can be gleaned from an abstract so … definitely, abstracting is not an abstract way of genealogying but fun, and meaningful!
Karen’s Genealogy Blog #41 – Revolutionaries –
Some of our Revolutionary soldiers are pretty interesting, probably James Kelly the most, so read on if you can’t miss any of my exciting writing, you love the Revolutionary War or you’re bored silly. At any rate, here goes!
James Kelly was born in Scotland in 1752 and was in America by age 20 or so, fighting in Col. Gibson’s Virginia Regiment. He was one of the first at Valley Forge, serving as an artificer, a specialized builder to erect the little huts that are famous in the VF photos.
One day, while he was out searching for food with a few other men, he was lost by his comrades who were finally forced to return to camp, minus food and Kelly. James Kelly in the meantime realized he was lost and could never find the camp on his own lost at night, so found two close trees and walked and walked between them all night long. Finally early in the dawn, he built a fire inside a hollowed out log and fell asleep. His friends back out to find him later remarked, “He’s simply not here! I fear fellas, he's been eating by a bear or frozen to death. Yes, he’s dead!”
A voice rang out from the downed tree, “I ain’t near dead yet, but if you don’t get me out of here, I fear I will soon be!” His face and ears were so badly frozen that he lost a great deal of his flesh. Earlier, he had lost a portion of his nose from a musket ball during a battle.
In Monongalia County, West Virginia in 1784 he married Catherine Stewart who had been born in Tyrene, Ireland a dozen years after him. He passed away August 30, 1837 and is buried in the heart of Springfield, Ohio in a small cemetery, his stone marked by the DAR. They were married 53 years and had an even dozen children.
Now, which one of mine will I pick to round this blog out? Hmm, Philip Sowers, I guess, my first soldier I found. At age 14, he was sent to America because otherwise, he would have been forced to serve in the German Army. His parents did not want that for him, saved their money and paid for his voyage on the ship, Two Brothers, along with others from the Katzenback, Germany area. These folks settled near him in Rowan County, NC where he lived the rest of his days, passing away August 21, 1784. His wife, Christina Faust passed away many years later Oct 25, 1825. They had 14 children, several small ones when he died. He has a nice stone erected by a reunion group in the Beulah United Church of Christ Cemetery in Welcome, Davidson County NC. Sadly, she just has a memorial no stone.
During the Revolution, Philip at age 50 +, was assigned to guard the captured Hessian soldiers in the stockades, tight quarters where a dozen soldiers dwelled in something similar to what w think of as a chicken house. There were a couple of older men of their community who did the same, but we know only of Philip’s humanity toward the captured men. He would take one to his home every night, where food, baths, clothing and kindness greeted them. This gave the men hope that once in about a week they would be treated in a humane way by Philip Sauer (Germanic spelling). At least two of these men stayed in that community upon the war’s end.
So, there ya’ have two Revolutionary stories about men who make-up mine and hubby Jim’s ancestors. They had rough pioneer lives, fought for their new country, were God—loving and I hope … Rest In Peace.
Karen’s Genealogy Blog #40 – Meet The President –
Some of the old sections of the old newspapers were fabulous and I miss ‘em so much. Our local newspaper had a fantastic one called, “Let’s Meet The President,” and that’s what it did – small, but interesting articles on presidents of the many clubs in our area. Believe me, there were many more than today. Today, it seems like few people want to get involved, whereas back in the day, people belonged to dozens of things. Well, my dad was featured once as the president of the Rural Mail Carriers Association. Dang, now, I can’t find that article, but I remember almost all of it. It told about the association, how many were in it, who had been the previous president, then about dad, telling about him being in the service, how long he had been a mail carrier, his side job of carpet laying, how he was a Scout leader, and baseball coach. The biggest thing I will never forget is that they put our middle names in for us kids. NONE of us, with good reason like our middle names. Oh, and Dad always told me, “I had nothing to do with any of your names – all your mom!”
Yet, I regress. Truly, those old “Let’s Meet the Presidents,” were amazing, as was the old Montgomery Magazines that came in the newspapers and the little town bleeps “Waveland News Items,” for instance. Wish they’d bring some of those back. I started the Town Talkins a year or so ago to try to get that last one going back again and Ron Keedy, Neil Burke and others are doing the Neighborhood Notebook now and continuing it so hopefully, we can get a few others writing and maybe make newspapers the good, interesting and uplifting models of long, long ago (of course if you go back pre 1920 or so, it’s like Peyton Place – heehee)!
BLOG – New Years Eve One – used 2018-19
So many times I’ve made New Years resolutions – most of the time I didn’t carry ‘em out although a few I have but this past year I think I did myself in. The resolutions didn’t flow around me personally really, but around what I do for others. I do the Montgomery (Fountain and Putnam) GenWeb pages. GenWeb began 21 years ago and is just a group of volunteers all over the world who enter whatever is available to share with genealogists who are interested in researching in their counties. Each individual does what they do – whether it is wow or nary a thing. The best point of the GenWeb, however, is that it is still FREE. So far, it is also NOT Ancestry’s. Ancestry would love to get ahold of my Montgomery site – it is huge and has so many unique things on it (diaries, newspaper tidbits, hundreds of photos and thousands of obituaries plus a whole lot more). Fountain is coming along and poor Putnam I have had three times. The first time I took it because so many of the Montgomery items were Putnam related; however, when I wrote my Crawfordsville: Athens of Indiana book, I just couldn’t do three and gave Parke (I didn’t have Fountain then but began Parke and had it for 10 years mainly because of so many of my relatives were from there) up and Putnam, too. When I took it back a few years later it had been in two other peoples hands and so many things I had spent hours putting up there were gone. That was back before hubs and I learned you back up everything almost daily. So, when I got it a third time we just decided to keep up, although I have not a soul in that county. Actually, as far as old relatives (my grandparents lived here and Mam was born here but then grew-up in Parke) I have none here but I was born here and have lots of friends who have shared such unique things with me to add to the site. It is huge, absolutely huge. Hubs and I have been working six months to get it moved and still probably only half way so for the next year’s resolutions that will be the big one – last years was to get the other two sites done and he did most of that himself. Even he wouldn’t tackle this one alone. He is awesome with pictures so he is doing most of those. I’m finished already with a few things – all the biographies, for one. Yet, it will still take a long time. One thing I had for the resolution was to do 100 obituaries for Montgomery and 50 each month for the others. Most months I’m up to around 300 for Montgomery and the others 100 or more, so doing great. A late resolution was for both of us to lose weight (it was really 13 days after because at our 50th anniversary when we saw the digital pictures we said we were NOT going to look like that on our 51st anniversary – he lost 70# and I’m just behind him – depending on which doctor you talk to with me). I want to continue the 100+ obituaries, finish up Montgomery and just keep on keeping on. HOW ABOUT YOU???????????
Karen’s Genealogy Blog #34 – Let’s Go Neighboring
Norman and Agnes Walker (children Billy, Johnny and Joey or Martha Jo but they were mainly gone when we were growing up although Johnny the youngest babysat us several times) lived next door (homes still there) at 202 E. Green (we are 204) and were absolutely astounding neighbors in every way. He was also my accordion teacher and once he asked me if I had practiced that week. “Yes, Mr. Walker.” He promptly told me that he knew better because he lived right next door. Busted! Although they weren’t constant talky neighbors, we knew they were there and we’d do anything for them, including taking care of their place when they were on vacation. Sometimes they would for us. A funny with them was when our female dog, Sissy was in heat. Mom wrapped a feminine pad around her and put it on with a belt. Mr. Walker brought it over holding (a bit bloody, yes if you’re wondering) it with a pair of pliers and nicely said, “Well, Kate, that didn’t work. I found this in my yard!” When I was a senior, dad and I wanted to go to South Carolina on vacation. We had been to Florida for probably eight years in a row, doing the same things in the same place but mom said we were going to Florida, so I stayed home. They were worried about me I guess, as the neighbors kept a very close eye on me. Jim was here one afternoon and Mrs. Walker who never came over, knocked at the door bringing me (well, us) some of her absolutely amazing sweet corn. The other neighbors called to check or stopped by. Herb Miller came to check on me, too. What a hoot but guess it was a good thing the whole town was keeping an eye on me as I stayed a virgin -heehee. Another Walker story is one year when I was oh, maybe seven we were out west. We had stopped at a tiny ice cream place as it was so hot and we thought that would cool us off. I said, “Hey, look, there’s an Indiana car – it must be Walkers.” Mom, Dad, and my twin brothers laughed at me, but ready for this? IT WAS! Neither family knew the other had gone although sometimes we’d watch each others houses, just this time we hadn’t. Talk about an odd-ball coincidence. Well, anyway neighbor stories are great but this is getting lengthy, so will save the Pences, Johnsons, Murrays, babysitting the Thomas kids and Gma Reiter for later.
Karen’s Genealogy Blog #33 – It’s all about places
Where did you grow up? I grew-up in the little town of Waveland, Indiana. Still living (or actually again) in the same house where I spent my childhood and love it! The town, however, isn’t exactly the same. I’ll not do any comparisons, though, as it’s still a good town, just not the great town, but here it is in the 1950s and 60s. I was born at the very last of 1949, so don’t remember a thing of the 40s, obviously, and not too much of the early 50s, but a few odd ball things. This one isn’t very nice. I did not like Clarhud Moore and no clue why, probably because he hated our dog and it was retaliation – heehee. So, one day when I was two, I do distinctly remember this, I waited watching out the front door for him to come down the street. I rushed out and did a poo right in his path. My mom was so embarrassed but she also thought it was hilarious. Overall, the town was extremely loving and giving, and with a feeling of being well-protected. Kids didn’t have to be watched 100% of the time as today. I began riding my bike to my grandmother’s at age 5. It was about 8 blocks away and town between. But, everyone in town would keep an eye out, yell at me if something was up ahead to watch out for, and make sure all was well. There was always something to do (oh my and this was pre-cell phones too). If it was raining we’d pile into someone’s house and play a long game of Monopoly or work on a jigsaw puzzle. Sunshine found almost everyone, boy, girl, young or old, at the park playing baseball. Sometimes we’d ride bikes. On a really hot day, we would pile in a car and run out to the trestle near the Conservation Club and swim. The adults tried to have things for us too. Every year the Lions Club hosted the week-long fair. (photo thanks to www-ride-extravaganza.com) There were so many people in town that week, and it was so much fun. I’d mow yards, baby sit, anything to save my money to ride on the Tilt-a-whirl. Our parents would always warn us about the carnies not being trustworthy, but as to my knowledge, they never stole anything or hurt anyone. We had movies uptown on a huge screen every Wednesday night. Think it was sponsored by some group too or maybe Charlie Moore. He would also travel all over, then show us slides from his trips at the Waveland library. I hated being drug to those then (wish I’d have paid more attention now) b/c the library smelled and he smoked nasty cigars and smelled, too. Sorry, but it’s true. There was the Masonic Lodge and the girls had a group (can’t think of the name of it – anyone know?) there but since I was Catholic, they wouldn’t let me in that. Think it’s fine now but wasn’t then. But, I’d wait on them at Sharpie’s and still get to enjoy the camaraderie when we had sundaes and hand-stirred coke-drinks. Then the school was just wonderful. Do have a friend who did not enjoy school as he was literally bullied long before it had a name for such, and I had problems along the way (like when I kept having to put my newspaper and babysitting money I’d worked so hard for in the til to make the candy money come out right at school and later found out three boys in our class were not only stealing the money but the candy bars and selling them for a nickle more than the store was selling them for) but overall, it was not only a wonderful school but a wonderful town, as well.
Karen’s Genealogy Blog #32 – Food again – let me hear your stories
This week, I’ll write about the foods I remember from home and I’d sure love to hear yours, too. First, mom. She loved to cook for others. Honestly, she out-bested my grandmother in the spaghetti line, and my grandmother was Italian straight off the boat. Personally, I think mine is better than hers, even, but ready for this – none of us made it by a recipe. Here’s how I make mine, though. Brown about half an onion in a bit of oil. Mom actually burned her onion, and I like mine brown but not that far. Add a pound of hamburger and brown it. Add onion and garlic salts (mom and Nona browned real garlic, I use salts even for the onion itself sometimes). I add some parmesan cheese as well, guessing maybe a Tablespoon - I just shake. Then pour in a can of tomato sauce. I usually use about ¼ can of water to swish-out the rest of the sauce. The last few years I added the tomato chunks, too. Then simmer while you’re cooking the spaghetti. It’s simple, but really good. So, mom was famous for that and her pies, but she hated making pies so she taught me when I was very young (seven or so). Her pie crust was amazing and I still make it that way. ½ cup of oil in a small bowl. Add but do not mix, just pour in ¼ cup of milk. Pour into just shy of 2 cups of flour, then kind of fold it in. Roll it out between two pieces of waxed paper (I wet the counter slightly so it doesn’t move) then peel off the top paper, flop it into the pie crust and peel off the other piece. It takes some getting used to. Now, my grandmother, was a fab cook, as well as the Italian one. Mamaw Smith I remember her chicken and noodles and mashed potatoes, all the old fashioned way. I make mean mashed potatoes with the Idaho mix. Heehee, but I used to do it the old way. She cooked the chicken and made the noodles and they were to die for. Actually, my Italian gma’ was a great “American” cook too – had chickens out the back door and fixed ‘em on the spot, so to speak. My Aunt Hulda, mom’s sister, made the best meat (mom, Nona, Mamaw all cooked it to death). She fried it in an electric skillet. Used to get the most delicious butterflied Pork fillets – finally discovered years later her secret and it was Lawry’s salt and pepper. My other aunt, Alice, was an amazing baker and especially loved her fingerprint cookies. Oh, my I can taste it all. Now, let me know what you particularly loved that your folks made!
Karen's Genealogy Blog #31 - Sharing
How in the world do you share 50 years of your life? Well, or five or six or any number where genealogy is concerned? Well, I have a few ideas that might help you and perhaps you have some to share, too? The obvious is a book. I've done a few, with one really bad experience. Early on, I wrote a Barker Genealogy and sold it at cost at one or two of our reunions. Sadly, about 15 years later, the same Barker book (with a few obituaries added and a different cover and that person's name as author) showed up at a reunion I missed. It was for sale for quite a wad. One of my cousins, George, was furious. I was mad, too but it was too late. Yet, that's an idea. I have three or four fabulous books written by long-lost family members that I'm sure glad I purchased, especially my Durst and Darsts of America, one I've yet to find a mistake in the almost 600 page book. Some, like the VanCleave history is multi-volumed. Pre-internet, pre-e-mail, it was fun to share via letters. So much fun opening that mailbox out on 300 South and get 5-6 letters, full of new genealogical information. Nowadays, it's much easier to share. Although most of what I share on my three GenWeb pages (Montgomery, Putnam and Fountain) are not my family, it's someone's I'm sharing when I add 100 or so obituaries every month, death records, news items and the like. The several (the Indiana Genealogy one is great if you're interested - https://www.facebook.com/groups/10663889943/ such a sharing, giving, helpful bath of genealogists. The Crawfordsville and Montgomery County history page, along with the Ladoga and Waveland ones are especially nice for the area. Sadly, I've not had any luck at all and even said something about remembering our Veterans on Vets day once and got bombasted on one. Yet, some can be fabulous, do as you will. One of the ways I love to share is via a booklet with just direct ancestors. My daughter-in-law is adopted and I've found many cool directs for her and put it all together in a book. It's just an 8 ½ x 11 sheet with a life story about each, including the dates, etc and at least one picture of them (mainly found on Ancestry which is also one way to share but have mixed emotions on that) or the place they lived, or grave, then kind of decorate around it. I've done some of these for hire too - great Christmas or big birthday presents. This is getting way too long, but there are multiple ways to share, the key point here is: don't keep it to yourself ??
Karen’s Genealogy Blog #30 – Let’s eat Italian etc. !!
Truly, my grandmother’s kitchen brought to mind a pizza parlor, the smell of oregano drifted into the nostrils as one pondered the meal of the day. Almost every Sunday for probably 15 years, we went there for lunch after going to church in Rockville, then on to Clinton to eat. Often, we’d take friends with us, plus there might be relatives down from Chicago, or a half dozen she asked in after she went to church at the beautiful Catholic place of worship in Clinton. Seriously, it mattered not whether there were the 11 of us or 22 or 33 or beyond, she always had more than enough food. Always wondered if that was their meals for the rest of the week, the left-overs. Should have asked. Pretty sure my dad gave her money for the Sunday dinners, he was always helping them out. In fact, he began at age 10 feeding the family, but that’s another blog – don’t let me forget it. Anyway, there was Italian food – Antipasto, always – ugh, never liked it. Sometimes Bagna cauda, and believe me, stepping in the door, you knew that was some of the fare for the day (what an unbelievable fishy, stinky affair), and always one of two soups (tortellini or another one with tiny pieces of pasta and tasted a bit like chicken-noodle soup) then of course spaghetti, lasagna (not too often) or gnocchi - probably everyone's favorite. Always a big salad, sometimes applesauce or an apple salad. That was the Italian side. We however being very Americanized, also had the American stuff. Roasted potatoes with a Ham or Beef, and usually more things. I’m guesstimating but I’d say there were at least 20 items to eat. No one can imagine the laughter, stories, memories that were shared. Certainly, we never went away hungry. The table was huge (think it is long gone but I do have ONE chair from the set) and would hold all of us but if there was more and usually was then we’d have to go elsewhere. She had t.v. trays we’d flip out and eat in the living room or out on the front porch in the swings or chairs out there. Occasionally, if it was nice weather, she’d have a table set up outside which was always fun. Notice no mention of dessert? For one thing, we were too full, but more than that, my grandmother could not bake. Cook, unbelievably yes. Bake? Don’t go there. Ohhh, if I could only duplicate that Italian dinner just once I’d appreciate it so much more as she said, “Let’s eat!”
Karen’s Genealogy Blog #29 – It’s all about a Woman today
So, today I want to tell you about one strong woman who is a piece of me. St. Margaret of Scotland was the daughter of Edward the Exile who had died and England was in disarray. Her mother, Agatha, decided to leave Northumberland and return to the Continent; however, a storm drove their ship into Scotland, where they sought protection from the King (Malcolm III). A widower, he was immediately attracted to the beautiful red-headed Margaret, and the feeling was most mutual. An extremely religious woman, she treated their subjects well (bringing reform to take care of the sick and poor), introduced a monastery, providing free passage to come to church. Six sons and two daughters blessed their marriage. When in November of 1092, her son and husband were ambushed and murdered, she went to her bed and died herself in less than a week, still in her 40s. She was canonized in 1251 as a great benefactor to the church and the people. She amazes me as one of my strongest females in my ancestry (5 times over, actually).
Karen's Genealogy Blog # 28 -- Recipes, as promised :)
Karen’s Genealogy Blog #28 – Recipes, as I promised Last week when I told you about the new eating plan and my love of food, I also promised that I’d give you a couple of family recipes. Don’t get excited, it is NOT and will never be the coney sauce recipe. We promised Jim’s dad on his death bed we’d not give it out. For many good reasons, one being it simply can not be duplicated – not the same pan we used for years, same hamburger and one of the ingredients, you can’t even find anymore. But, I do have a couple of family recipes and the link to my GenWeb page where there are many more that I will share today. One of the recipes my mother actually originally made, I took to many functions, but dad really perfected it, making it pretty and added nuts and the like – it’s so easy and if you keep the ingredients around, you can whip it up in a jiffy, especially if you use the ready-made graham cracker pie crust (dad would cringe). Lemonade Pie -- Beat: 6-oz. can Frozen Lemonade concentrate 1 Can Condensed Milk Fold in: small, cool whip Pour into: Graham cracker crust (homemade is best). Refrigerate. Yummy! Then if you want, add various touches – strawberries, or pecans or …. ?? Have fun! http://www.ingenweb.org/infount…/Family%20Recipes/index.html In this day and age, we probably should rename this recipe – from Best Dope Ever to Best Stuff Ever – this was created for the state fair (and won) by one of hub’s cousins and is so good. For the two of us I split it and freeze half. Brown in Skillet: 1 1/2 # Ground Beef 2 small Onions 1 Small Green Pepper Cook 1 pkg. medium noodles in salted Water. Drain when tender Add 1 can Mushrooms (stems & pieces) - salt & pepper to Noodles. Mix above ingredients together -- place in casseroles and cover with 2 cans mushroom soup. Put slices of Velveeta cheese on top. Cover and bake one half hour, at 350 degrees. Uncover the last 15 minutes to brown. Delicious - this makes quite a bit so I usually put it in two small casserole dishes and freeze one for a week or so later. So, hope you enjoyed the two I shared and know that I’m either blessed or cursed having been “given” a love of food! ingenweb.org Fountain County INGenWeb Project The US Gen Web Project.
Indiana, Fountain County Project
Main Page Project
Karen’s Genealogy Blog #27 – Food, ahhh, ya’ gotta’ love it!
Karen’s Genealogy Blog # 26 - What drives you to genealogy?
Have you ever asked yourself why you are so involved in genealogy or if not involved, what is the reason for at least the interest? I hate to say I’m nosey, but sometimes I wonder. More so, though I truly feel it is the mad desire to solve a mystery, or discover a new outlook on life, or death. This week’s blog entry centers on the last. As I’ve been working (and hubs too – him more than me, even) on switching over the huge Montgomery County INGenWeb site to a compatible (with Windows 10 and by the time we get it done we may be on Windows 92) program, I recently have been changing over the Deaths, both an index to the Death Records plus many I’ve put up as I worked on a family. Along with checking out the whole picture, I found questions/comments/ahhhhs and more as I switched over the information. For instance, there were those death records that just make you wonder, “What the heck?” William J. Cox died the first day of 1885 after having his throat cut a few days before. So, what happened to him? I mean, seriously, anyone reading just this piece of his life, don’t you wonder? Then there’s the crazy indexing on Ancestry as I noticed one I was researching about this same time that died in Measer, in Montgomery County. Now, I’ve been researching, finding, processing, towns (all 505 of ‘em) in Montgomery for many years, and believe me there has never been a Measer. Checked that out and it was Mace. Who’d have figured? So, perhaps it’s not even that I’m nosey, want to solve a mystery, want to discover a new outlook on life or that I’m fascinated by aspects of death. Nope, I just have it solved, it’s that I want to fix all the mistakes ?? Ahhh, it must be the teacher in me !!!
Karen's Genealogy Blog 25 – 8-16-2018 Loved the glory
Truly loved the old newspapers when there were nifty little tidbits. In 2003 under the Waveland Elementary School citations, in the Crawfordsville Journal Review June 20, 2003, we found a couple of nifty things about my grandson, Andrew (AJ) Baldwin when the Honor Awards were announced for the year, that he received honors in Reading, Art and PE. In October, 1907, T.F. Vanscoyoc, who resided on E. Market, Crawfordsville, “is one of the crack rifle sharpshooters in the country,” having competed during the army, winning highest honors at Chicago and San Francisco, as well as capturing a silver cup in an international shoot. Would that be absolutely thrilling to discover about your ancestor? In the Waveland Independent Sept 18, 1918, “Charles Smiley and Jesse Wheat shipped chickens to the Peoria Fair this week. At the Springfield fair, Wheat got First Open on Brown Leghorns against all exhibitors of smaller breeds.” March 1924 brought Jeanne Burrin 138 out of 140 possible points in the District Music Memory contest and she was to represent the district at the state contest at the Caleb Mills Hall at Shortridge High School. One of my favorite prizes captured I found was 95-year-old Waynetown resident (May 1948) Jennie Beck receiving a chenille bedspread from JC Penneys in Crawfordsville for being the oldest woman to register for that day. Love it. Some of my blogs have gotten lengthy but want to keep this one short concluding with I loved the old newspapers writing up such nifty details as the above, and I miss those fun media days!
Karen's Blog 24 8-12-2018 – Coveted traits from old obits I wrote this in 2003 for a column called, Tracking Them Down, in the Crawfordsville Journal-Review.
Thought it was still reasonably appropriate to share. I’ve updated it just a little, but overall, it is the same as I wrote 15 years ago. Here goes. Sometimes when you’ve written a column for so many years, you’re forced to throw out a line and fish (for information/ideas), so this could be the world’s greatest catch or I may sink. This idea came to me recently while typing obituaries for the Montgomery County INGenWeb page (ingenweb.org/inmontgomery/obituaries.htm). A friend of mine, Betty Dotson, loaned me three books of obituaries from the Fountain, Montgomery and Parke County area and since I have more than 300,000 area names in my Legacy family program, many of them go there as well as up on the internet page. Usually, I type and I don’t do much thinking, but all of a sudden, I began really reading and getting the “feel” of what the people were all about. If you’ve read old obituaries much, you probably have already noticed the fact that they are so different than the ones today. Most, especially in the smaller home town papers, were written by someone who knew the deceased person well and had a personal outlook on the death versus those today called in to the obituary page. Anyway, reeling in my point, I began noticing traits of the people that I would either like to have or think I have that would be wonderful by which to be remembered. Thus, here are a few: Mary Gertrude Wilkey Spencer was “a loving daughter, sister, mother and kind neighbor.” Lewis Rogers hated dishonesty and was a hard worker. Mary Elizabeth Ewbank Bales “had a jovial disposition and rugged constitution,” as well a being an indulgent grandmother. Newspaperman Charles M. Berry’s obituary said that the community “owes a debt of gratitude for writing the history of the area.” My favorite and one I strive for was Mary Catherine Ewbank Ratcliff’s “possessed with the idea that success is measured by usefulness.” Finette Clem Ratcliff was “held in the very highest esteem by all who knew her,” as well as possessing the pure character to be the friend of everyone and lived that the world might be better. Then there was a note at the end to the editor of the J-R at the time, Gaildene Duncan Hamailton – So, Gail, when ya write my obituary, throw in the ones pertinent and lie about the others, okay?. Editor’s note (back to me) – You better believe it, Karen. Only hope someone does the same for me! Sadly, Gail passed about a year later, but glad to say, she had amazing tributes! So, guess the point is live a good life folks!
Karen's Genealogy Blog Blog 23 – Pitch it, Just Pitch it !!
Don’t suppose any of you have “pitch it” criteria? I don’t either but one definitely has to do that at times. I thought it was all pitched for me when we had the basement flood, but then I found a bunch of family folders I thought had been long gone. So, the first one I picked up was the DARST family and the first thing in it was a bunch of pages (probably 40 or more) of early marriages for Gallia County, Ohio with family names marked – for instance: Anderson Rife and Sophia Scott married 12-1-1842 by Alexander Logue, Marriage Vol. 1 p 404. So, was all set to pitch those as none of my directs are in it, just side bar folks, then hubs had the great idea that he’d scan it and we’d keep them that way in a file then pitch all this paper. Yeah, hubs !!! So, go through those files (if you even have any anymore like I do) and pitch away – I always, always keep my direct ancestor’s things, like I have a deed for my Isaac Darst in Meigs County, Ohio and nobody’s getting that (well, copies, I’d love to share). Put actual old items in acid free folders. So, if you don't have pitch it criteria, maybe this’ll help.
Genealogy Blog - #22-- Goals
Blog 22 – Get ya’ some Goals I made five goals when I began genealogy almost 50 years ago. #1 – Do my five generations which my grandmother said I couldn’t do on the Bazzani side because they were itinerant farmers and moved a lot. Done, back seven generations in the same little town to Domenico Angelo Bazzani and Luigia Tadolini. #2 – Get everyone possible out of the USA (well, okay the Bazzanis were pretty easy but some pretty doggone hard – Done – well, mostly done, I still need James McCracken and a few more, but have most of ‘em. #3 – Find a king or queen – well, this took about 35 years but finally … Done! I’ll never forget the night I found the first one and from that one, another 20 something and within the next week that many more. If you can hook up with the Tudor world, you’ve got it made as everything was well documented so they could marry off the kids to cousins to keep the rule in the family. Love it! #4 – Discover how Jim and I are cousins. This too took decades but once I found his Plantaganet, I discovered we are actually cousins in three ways, 21st cousins twice removed through Richard DeGrey, 21st cousins three times removed through Eleanor Plantaganet and 26th cousins through Henry, King of England. He got a kick out of sleeping with his cousin. #5 – Go back to Adam and Eve. Done but son Jay and I don’t count it because after about 800 AD the genealogies all say, “Mary begat Jonathan who begat Simon who begat Rebecca…” not even places, just names so we decided of course we do go back, but we’re happy with what we have for sure, not out in spacedom. All in all, I’m pretty pleased that it only took me four decades to complete just five measly goals ?? Currently, I mainly make genealogical goals for my GenWeb pages and FB pages, such as 100 obituaries / month on the Montgomery GenWeb site, and do OTD in Fountain History for the Fountain County, Genealogy FB page. I do need to go back and review my own genealogy and get busy doing ours again, because believe me, I spend so much time helping and doing others genealogies that I have little time for mine and that is not why I made those five goals !!
Karen's Genealogy Blog - newspaper pluses
Blog 21– Flush-out the paper Of course, the big use of newspapers for genealogists is to find an obituary, but please know that they are much more. Granted, it’s not as easy to find articles about the ancestors as an obituary since the obit is going to be a short time after the death, but especially now with so many papers being digitized and indexed, it’s getting much easier. One of the most fun and interesting continuing articles I’ve ever read was one in our local newspaper in the 1950s called, “Let’s Meet the President,” and it was an overview of the presidents of various organizations in the county. Reading the articles, one found out about the person, how long in the club, when made president, reasons for the club, family members and the like. So, let’s just continue with dad and I’ll tell you about some of the other articles he popped up in. One was in 1954 in an article in the Waveland Independent, telling how he and others platted, marked, ordered and installed street signs in town. There were several articles about him as a carpet installer, mail carrier and when they built the new Post Office. Service articles were important – found a couple in the Clintonian, one in August of 1944 stating he was now stationed in Italy and had been in the service over two years. While in the CCC, there were five or six articles about his baseball playing. He was exceptional, but always said he wasn’t allowed to play on the Clinton HS team because he was a “WOP”. I thought that was so cruel, but imagine it might possibly have been that he worked for a local farmer with some power which could be some of it. Anyway, he played when he returned from the service on a local team and there were a few articles then, too. Then there are those you don’t want to see, like when he almost lost his life in a severe wreck on the route. Anyway, don’t just stop reading the newspaper for the obituaries. Continue on for the real good stuff !
Genealogy Blog 20 – Pros & Cons of joining-up
How many of you belong to a (physical) group for genealogy? Certainly there are pros & cons to each and all. Mainly, I’ve had good experiences but a few bad, too. Let’s talk DAR first, one of the big ones of course. I loved DAR but towards the end of my what 20 years or so, many of the gals had died off so there were only 4-5 good workers, young enough to move left. I always got stuck with doing the dinners (two a year) and it was so expensive and so much work. The tradition was the fancy plates, and the whole 9-yards. Well, Barb Taylor and I bucked the system and did paper plates once, nice ones and with the theme (October – we had everything corn – it was so much fun – corn pudding, corn this & that) and most of the gals loved it (wondering why in the world we’d been so silly with it all anyway). Expense, not only for the dinners but the dues and just everything made it way too expensive for me. My plan was to stay in 50 years but alas that didn’t happen. I did have an accomplishment – I’m one of the few to ever have regent twice and that was another reason for quitting, they were urging me to take it a third time. Did love the ladies, just upsetting as they all passed away. The local genealogy club has had its ups and downs, as well. For several years in the 70s and 80s it was wow, spearheading and completing several awesome projects, including the 1864-78-98-1917 combined atlas and the most recent county genealogy/history (although my Crawfordsville: Athens of Indiana and a couple of other nifty books have been done) Family Histories of Montgomery County, but then inner grouches kind of ruined it all and for awhile there really wasn’t one but the current one is great, and are accomplishing much, especially in the cemeteries. State wise, I was the first secretary of the Indiana Genealogy Society and enjoyed helping to get it going strong, but again, the travel was so expensive. I belong to Indiana Pioneers and paid my dues for life otherwise, I’d probably have dropped that too. So, I guess I’d have to say it’s what you make it. Ask yourself, is the expense worth it? Is the time worthwhile? Do you enjoy the people? What projects are getting done or is it the same-‘ol-same-‘ol?
Genealogy Blog 19 – July 15, 2018 -- A unique Genealogical Experience
Although this is not the blog I wrote for this week (I have several ahead) I wanted to share with you today probably the coolest genealogical experience I’ve ever had. It began about 10 months ago when the grandson of a classmate of mine contacted me to see if I had any ideas for an historical musical about our county (Montgomery) that wasn’t well known. Although I had five suggestions, I laughingly told him if he’d choose this one, I’d help him write it as I had already done the research on the Montgomery County Poor Farm, made a findagrave listing of what I had discovered, and had fallen totally in love with the people I’d found. So, in agreement (being a history buff himself and not even knowing the concept of a poor farm) we got busy. When Preston and Karen take off, we’re not stop, and pretty much finished the play in a few months. Yes, I said play – I did not feel it was musical oriented although there is music in the play we finished (it is narrated by Joel, age 90, playing his guitar and mainly annoying the other residents). Well, last night (July 14th) we performed (my first and likely last time since I’m age 70 on-stage other than high school plays I did) Down On The Farm at the C’ville Legion and our cast was amazing (and about half of us were newbies). What an excitement to see and be a part of this type of history in the making! Although I’ve written thousands of things in my years, it is my first play and I want to thank Preston Dildine with all my heart for taking me on as a newby playwright! Thanks, also, to my beloved poor farmers making this unique piece of history possible and letting us tell your story! One of the most exciting parts is that even though we used the people who lived at the Montgomery County, Indiana Poor Farm, their story is universal.
Genealogy Blog 18 - July 4, 2018 - thanks for Independence
Thanks for our Independence Day -- Guess the 4th of July coming up makes me think of all the patriotic ancestors who have gone before me. First, I want to say that my father, although the only one in his family born in America (just a few months after his parents and sister came to the USA), a WWII veteran was as patriotic as anyone could get. He taught us to stand up for our country, freedom, our church, beliefs and ourselves. Above all, stand up and respect the flag, the president and anyone in authority. There was a recent president I thought was the most horrid thing that our country had ever experienced, but he was our president and I would have stood for respect. Sadly, too many are disrespecting our president, our country, and our flag. That said, I do want to tell you about a couple of our ancestors who made it possible for Americans to do just that, because they fought for our freedom. One of those is my ancestor, John Phillipus Sowers. Born in Katzenback in the Palatinate area of Germany in 1734, he was sent to America by his parents when he was about to turn 14 and forced to serve in the service. He came to the Rowan County, NC area where I believe several other families from Katzenback settled. About 1756, he married Christina Faust and they parented 14 children. Many of their descendants came to the Fountain, Montgomery, Parke County area. Although a bit old to be in the actual fighting, he did guard German prisoners, quite helpful to the Americans as he could speak to them. In fact, he went beyond that as he took them home at night to feed them. Several stayed in America because of Phillip Sowers. To close out this blog, I’ll tell you about one of Jim’s direct ancestors, James Kelly. Another immigrant, Kelly was born in Scotland and was about the age of 25 when he joined up to fight in the Revolution from Monongalia County, West Virginia. He was at Valley Forge with Washington and designed and helped build the small huts that are seen in many famous pictures. While on a foraging expedition, he was lost from his group of five men and spent the night in a hollow log. The next morning when a group was sent out to find his body, he heard them talking about there was no way he could have survived, but he yelled out of the log, “I ain’t dead yet, but if you don’t get me out of here and near a fire soon, I will be!” When they got him back to camp, they discovered that his face and ears were so badly frozen that the fleshy portions had fallen off. A few years after the war, he fell in love with Catherine Stewart, a Scottish lass who a few years before had been sent to town to get supplies by her mother, but while there, was swept up and stolen, then sold into indenture in the new world. He purchased her, and they lived so happily thereafter, for over 50 years.
Genealogy Blog 17 - June 26, 2018
Don’t believe everything you read. For the longest time, I truly believed (as I thought it made sense) an article I read about the Smiths in upper New York. The information said that there were so many of that name in the 16 and 1700s that they started giving them place names to go along with their occupations. My direct ancestor was Wait Smith, because he weighed things coming in from the port. Another was Bull Smith, because he owned cattle, Rock Smith as they lived in a rocky area. Of course Black Smiths are obvious as they were blacksmiths. Now, I did have a bit of trouble swallowing the Blue Smiths, though as they “got their name from a blue cloth coat worn by their ancestor,” however, it did explain that a blue coat was then an extremely uncommon color. The Tangier Smiths were said to have gotten their name from Colonel William Smith who had been the English Governor of Tangier, in the reign of Charles the II. So, the article continued to explain all the Smith names of the NY upper area, and I thought it made perfect sense, until I discovered my immigrant Smith’s grandmother was a Waite, a family named passed down for many generations. So, do be careful about believing everything you read will you?
Blog 16 – for June 19th 2018
Recently, a fellow who was born here but has lived most of his life away from Montgomery County made me one happy, one super happy lady! He sent me PDF files in Alphabetical Order of all of the WWI draftees. I had several of these typed on my GenWeb page (maybe 400 or so but with an obituary or something else, not in any order and a pittance of the total) but he has completed the 5,000+ cards . There were three waves of the draft and he has them color-coordinated as to when the man registered. Such information is the Serial # of the registrant, Order #, name, address, age, birthdate, whether a citizen, occupation, employer, and place of employment, whether married, nearest relative and relationship, address, and a description – height (rarely an actual one but tall, medium, short); build (as per the height) eye color and hair color. And, whether there are any disabilities. There was a bit of a variance on the three forms, but overall that is what was included. So, if you’ve been searching say the Sayler name, check it out as there are seven of them who were between the ages specified, two of whom, although I’d done quite a bit of searching the name I did not have in my database. These do not specify whether the person registering went to the war, but it is especially awesome to find the occupations and middle names, as well as specific birthdates and places. I love them. What an awesome search tool. Check ‘em out !! If for no other reason, just to familiarize yourself with a bit of America’s history !!!
Here’s the URL – look for Draft Cards -- http://www.ingenweb.org/inmontgomery/mil/ww1/
Note: I've been working on upping the original cards as well so you can get your ancestors' actual signature but not having very good luck with those ... bear with me - I'll figure it out
Note 2: Lots of awesome WWI items on that page :) http://www.ingenweb.org/inmontgomery/mil/ww1/
Genealogy Blog 15 – for June 12th 2018
Not sure exactly how to begin this blog – I mean I know what my idea is, but when I have a semi-writers block (believe me they are rare) if I just start, I’m usually fine, so here goes! Occupations have always fascinated me, and those my ancestor’s have had are even more interesting to me. My father, for instance, went to the CCC when he was just out of high school, and he was assigned to the Medic position. He was one smart fellow, and could have easily been a doctor in that aspect. He lived through (one of six of 366 in the medical field who went over together in WWII, who returned) the war, came back and started on the GI Bill to Rose Hulman in pre-med. Then, he got married and they had twin boys, so no doctor for him (always teased him saying he missed his occupation because no one, like all doctors, could have read his signature) but he did use his knowledge driving an ambulance for several years. When they decided to move from Terre Haute, he along with about 25 other men of the area of Waveland, took a test from the government to see who would receive the appointment of Rural Mail Carrier. He blew the rest out of the water so there was no question as to who had the position but many were jealous as they had always lived here and Dad just married a Waveland girl. One heck of a mailman though. He kept goodies for the youngsters, played funny pranks (and got a few, too), took old ladies their groceries, helped everyone who was stuck, you name it. He also laid carpet and was the best for many counties. Anything (carpentry; coaching) he did he did with great flare. My Gpa’ Smith was a prison guard; Nono Bazzani, a miner. Jim’s father went to college at age 40, bought two drive-ins for money while he was attending but after receiving a Mechanical Engineering Degree from Purdue stayed in the restaurant business. Altogether, the family (including me and the hubs and our children) was in that business for over 40 years. His grandfathers were in the pattern business and a factory worker. Other interesting jobs our ancestors have had is that one of his was basically a Matre-de for a King and received land for being such an amazing and dedicated worker. Another one of his had about 60 acres of land that was marshy and had much wild life – he catered to hunters in northern Indiana. His family really were none farmers, whereas I had many. Also, carpentry passed down at least 5 generations in one family. There were several railroad workers, a few doctors, ministers, Kings/Queens, ship captains, business men, boot and shoemakers and likely a whole bunch more occupations, but this is long enough and finished :) Anyway, love to hear of some of your more unusual ones !!
Karen's Genealogy Blog 14 - June 9th - whoops, kind of like the other one - wrote 'em at diff times though - go figure - sorry
Blog 14 – for June 5th Never thought I’d be the admin for a Facebook page but here I am doing two. Love the surnames listing and have contacted a couple of people from it. I’m the third boss (never, ever want to be the big one) on the Indiana GenWeb and as such, I got the Indiana Genealogy FB page from these two wonderful ladies (Sheri and Shani) and enjoy it so much. The page was in perfect order. Such super stories and helpful folks. The other one, the Fountain County, Indiana Genealogy FB page I began because I had waited and waited for the Fountain County Rootsweb listserve to become available and when it did I didn’t see it and so it was nabbed by a man who seems to nab at will. First thing I put on the listserve was the same thing I’d added for 15 years each month – the things I’d put up on the Fountain County INGenWeb page but he sent me a note back and said that was inappropriate. WHAT? So, I began the FB page so that I can put that up on there. It is going great guns. Another one I’m on that has helped immensely is the Northern Italian FB page. I recently began a Surname listing on it that is getting quite a bit of response, so that is nifty. Some kind of historical/fun pages I belong to are my hometown (Waveland) page, the Crawfordsville page where I put an OTD (On This Day) of Montgomery County up each day that seems to get read pretty well, and various other FB pages (oh a Lectin Free that’s me since we’ve been doing the Plant Paradox eating plan) that are fun, or helpful or both. FB is a different way of doing genealogy but it is so much more fun than writing a letter, waiting for days upon end for an answer – perhaps it’s that instant gratification world we live in today? -- Oh, guess what – just today I joined the Meigs County, Ohio and Lancaster County PA FB pages so watch out – world, I’m coming through! -- Note: this was written a couple of weeks ago but did want to say that I guess ALL of the FB pages aren't so perfect after all. Had a bad experience and got off of the Lancaster page :( Oh, well, on a whole :)
Karen's Genealogy Blog 13 - May 30th
Blog 13 – for May 30th, 2018 I admin the Indiana Genealogy Facebook page and love to ask questions to get people involved. It’s so much fun. Recently, I queried what was inherited from an ancestor. One gal said the way they cross their legs, which got me to thinking beyond what I said getting only a few hours of sleep I got from my dad who got it from his mom who got it from her dad. One said, “Hadn't thought about it till Laura's comment, but abilities and interests do seem to be inherited.” A real trait in my father-in-law, husband and son, Jay, is how they kind of raise their eyebrows oddly when perplexed or frustrated. I love it! When talking to a history buff friend, he said his family handed down family stories like the olden days and he is now working on proving some of those. My father was an amazing carpenter only I have no clue who he takes after. That’s the bad part of being the only one born in America in his family – no one to ask and I just didn’t think about it when my grandparents or even dad was alive. He was super smart too and I do know that his mother was brilliant. My grandson has my widows peak but not sure who had that before me, and sadly, he also has my sinus troubles, which both my parents had. Sorry, Dane! Daughter, Suzie, gets her arthritic hands from her dad, and his mother and I remember a couple of her Kritz aunt and uncles having that too, whereas her mother did not so it must be from the paternal side. Very knotty and curvy early on (Suzie’s began at about age 40 as did her dad’s). On another side of the family is twins, the Barker side. One family reunion, there were 13 sets of twins and one of my directs had three sets of twins plus another child, seven children under the age of 7. She died at age 34. Go figure! This is just a slight notation of a few things. I probably really should write a part of my autobiography about these traits as there are so many, many more! Now, I wonder what trait I got from Eve – heehee!
Karen's Genealogy Blog 12 – for May 20th, 2018
This blog may be lengthier than my norm, but hopefully, a good read about my Eleanor of Aquitaine. Quite the woman of her time, Eleanor was one of the richest women in Western Europe in the High Middle Ages. Loving the Arts, she was patron of Wace, Gernart de’Vintadorn and other literary greats of the times; yet, she also was extremely successful on the battlefield. (no experience on the battlefield, but do love the literary aspect of Eleanor). Her father, William X died and she became a ward of King Louis VII of France, who chose her for his son’s mate, King Louis VII in France.
She did not want the marriage. In the 15 years of wedded unbliss, she produced only two daughters so Louis VII desiring a son, agreed to an annulment. Immediately thereafter, two dukes made unsuccessful attempts at kidnapping and marrying her for her land and beauty. She bequested her third cousin Henry to come marry her who had turned Eleanor’s daughter down because they were too closely related. Henry became King of England 25 October 1154 with Eleanor as his Queen. Five sons (take that, Louie) and three daughters blessed their royal household. Henry liked to hop beds, though Eleanor ignored it and even raised Geoffrey of York, one of the illegitimates at her castle.
Eleanor and Henry lived apart for some time, but in mid July 1174, after returning to England from Portiers, Eleanor’s literary castle, she disappeared (for encouraging their sons to revolt against their father), and was imprisoned for the next 16 years in various locations, released only for special occasions when Henry need to appear normal, all the time keeping some of his affairs behind closed doors, while flaunting one particular one with Rosamond Clifford whom was reported as his one true love.
Eleanor refused to give him such, so keeping in mind, Eleanor was imprisoned, Henry nurtured the rumors that Eleanor had poisoned Rosamond. Henry died 6 July 1189, and Eleanor was finally released. Because of the inner fighting of sons and grandsons, she took the veil of a nun and outlived all her children but the youngest, John.
Oddly, she was buried with a son and Henry in the Fontevraud Abbey. Noted to be the most beautiful of the royals women for centuries, overall, Eleanor was extroverted, lively, intelligent, strong-willed, and loved her Lord. Sounds like me, don’t ya’ think?
Karen's Genealogy Blog 11 – for May 13th, 2018
Had my braggin’ rights last week telling you about some of my Kings/Queens, so this time, I want to tell you about going to Italy to see the place my normal, every-day Italian grandparents grew-up in. You know the National Lampoon Vacation series? Well, mine could fit in to those easily and might be even better; however, briefly I just want to highlight the great times. There were some cool and funny things that happened before we got to the little village of Lotta, Italy, where my grandparents grew-up, he being 18 when he left to come to America from there, and she just barely born then. Later, he went back to visit his folks and they eloped walking 15 miles to the county seat to marry she at barely 15, and he about to turn 31. First, we visited the cemetery where my Nonna’s parents and grands and many aunts and uncles, sisters, brothers were buried. Up in the Alps, it’s such a different atmosphere, that the cameras did not work well but managed to get a photo/two. Never did find where the Bazzanis were buried, though, just her side, the Berti family. The cemetery was neat with a rocked wall, the photos of those who had gone before put up on the wall when the next generation was buried, literally on top of the previous one who had passed. Kind of strange but with such rocky soil, it was the only way to intern them. After that we went to her niece’s home and had a great time with them. They took us to see the family home my great grandfather came to America three times to earn the money to build. Nonna had pictured it to be quite the mansion and it was indeed a nice home but not near as big as she described. Sadly, we could not go in as it was locked up for the winter (we went in October) and Nonna’s brother lived in France who owned it. Plan a good itinerary if you go ? The tiny Catholic church where my Nono went had been bombed in WWII. They were trying to get money to rebuild it. Lastly, we went to the other, much bigger (yet still not large at all) church where she went. My cousin, Frank, ran right up to the altar, bypassing the pews, yet my eyes immediately saw “Carolina Berti,” 1919 on the back pew. We found out later that it was the custom that if a family member left (especially for America but other places too such as Australia) their name was engraved on the family pew. She always loved to sit in the back row when I went to church with her. Me, too. Some things never change!! By the way, my grandmother signed her cards Nona but on a very big discussion on an Italian Facebook page they insist it is spelled Nonna but it looks funny to me.
Karen's Genealogy Blog 10 – May 4, 2018
I mentioned on the Smith side that we found Queens and Kings and let me tell you that was one of the biggest thrills of my life when that break-through came. Simeon Smith mentioned in a couple of other blogs had a great grandfather, Wait Smith, born in Jamaica, Long Island NY in 1687, died in Goshen, Orange Co NY where the Smiths lived for a century. Wait’s wife was Charity Treadwell, whose mother was Hannah Denton. This family goes back to the Dykemores in Lincolnshire, England. I got my first glimpse into royalty here with Sir Edward Lincoln Dykemore and his father, Sir Robert who was the sheriff of Lincolnshire in the 1520s. There are so many interesting folks on these lines. Robert Waterton died 17 January 1425 and had served three Kings, Henry IV, V and VI and was a constable of Pontecraft Castle for years. I was rather surprised at so many names of the lines as it transferred back to Louis VI of England, beginning with my mom’s Smith back to her great gpa’ who married a Helms whose mother was a Dixon who married a Hotchkiss whose mother was a Mallory back a few to Anne Eure Mallory whose mother was the Dykemore, Sir Edward’s wife being Anne Tailboys whose mother was Elizabeth Cascoigne, mother Margaret Percy then to the De Neville family of Durham, England (lived in Castle Raby – loved the castle scene, so fun to look ‘em up and see if they still exist and if not, was there a picture) then the Beauforts and VanRoets, the Plantagenets (hit those and you’re into the big boys ??) de Champagnes, Capets, Aquataines, and the King Louie’s. King louis VI was called “The Fat.” Almost all the Kings of France had nicknames, and although I only saw his face on a coin with a quick perusal on the internet, it looks like he got his nickname properly. His son, my ancestor, Louis VII was dubbed “The Younger.” Wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of my favorite ancestor’s. Perhaps a blog may come your way about Eleanor?! Below is Raby Castle just an FYI :)
Karen's Genealogy Blog 9 – for April 29, 2018
The idea for this blog came as I was writing a biographical sketch of the great grandmother of one of my friends. She liked it, yet said, “Well, I know she was married multiple times, but not sure about him.” So, it was time to further the research. For sure, my friend, Vicki was indeed correct. In fact, Ellen her great granny was married once before Vick’s great gpa’ and had five children with Matthew Larison. What happened to these children is a question in itself yet to be answered. It is our guess that they were orphaned or raised by other family members. When Sarah Ellen Bailey Larison married Harry Ellsworth Elmore, they produced three children, one being Vicki’s gma’ Maxine. One of the many oddities in this whole situation is that Ellen also named one of her Larison children Maxine. Elmore divorced her just after impregnating her with his only son, James H. Elmore. Both are in the 1910 census with their own parents. Next, Ellen married Joe Kasubjak. As far as is known they never had children. They divorced of course and she married for the final time 20 Nov 1951 to William Huff. They were married just eight years before he passed away. He was 49 years old and it was his first marriage. Perhaps he was her one true love as she never remarried in the 20 more years of her life. Rest in Peace, dear Ellen! You sent us on quite a chase!
Karen's Genealogy Blog 8 – for April 22, 2018
Last week I told you of the tragedy of the Terre Haute PL burning our Smith family bible, thinking that since they indexed them (three different organizations) that all was well. May have been for most people, but not for me. I only saw two of the indexes which had my ancestor, Simeon Smith’s father as Joshua so for ten long years I searched, the old fashioned way, by writing letters, making several trips to Ft. Wayne, researching books I could borrow, just anything to further my search. Smith is a nightmare to research anyway, but I thought with Simeon no big deal. HA! On me! There were 21 Simeon Smiths in the 1810 census in NY (at least I knew he was from NY although at that point I did not know where). Okay, father Joshua – Simeon should be in the 1810 census (he came to Indiana in 1818 so would not be in NY in the 1820 census. I only knew of my direct ancestor Reuben’s birth in 1815 so he’d not be born yet so no clue how many kids for sure (did know his brother, George C. born in 1800 and Simeon born 1811 (but he too would not be in that census). Really thought it’d be no big deal but of those 21 Simeons I could only get rid of a few because no son George’s age and no Joshua living near them. That was a given but figured it’d help at least !! I’ll make the story short and tell you I was chasing three Simeons for ten years that were possible, all up the wrong tree, by the way. Finally, I got an e-mail when e-m was just beginning from a lady in California. Turned out to be a cousin via my Reuben’s brother. She had the third AND CORRECT rendition of the Smith bible. His grandfather was Joshua; his father George – the bible had been interpreted incorrectly by two of the three groups, but it helped a great deal. She came to Rockville and met me and we compared notes and figured which one our Simeon would be. We discussed the oddity that three of Simeon’s sons bore the middle name of Coleman. She went back to California and researched Colemans from the same town in NY and BINGO we found our Sarah, wife of George Smith was Sarah Coleman. How? Through a will with each and everyone of Joseph Coleman’s grandchildren named Smith, each one named and their dates from that exact same family bible. So, my tragedy was a horror, losing the family bible in such an atrocious way but meeting Lenore, my cousin, and working together to find not only our Sarah Smith, wife of George’s maiden name, but Kings and Queens, as well. Yep, that’s another story to tell in some future blog!
Blog 7 – for April 15th, 2018
Today, my mind wandered to genealogical tragedies, so I thought I would tell you about one. Simeon Smith was my Indiana Pioneer and super easy to find, having come to Sullivan County, Indiana in 1818 with several other families.
Buried in the old Rockville Cemetery (died 26 Feb 1851), he came to Parke County ten years after his arrival to Indiana, simply due to there being a great deal of building opportunities and he was an exceptional carpenter, a trait that came down through his family.
Wife, Hester Helms is also buried in Rockville, only died many years before (March 1832). They were parents of eleven children.
I had just started an interest in genealogy and just a few days before my grandfather passed he told me to check out the Smith family bible that his cousin had. When I did that, the cousin had given it to the Terre Haute library, even though my grandfather had begged him several times for it. The man had but one son who died in the war, so he felt it would be the safest there and seen by more people at the library than in an individual’s home.
However, who’d have guessed the library had several and didn’t want to store them for years so here’s the tragedy! Not only our family bible, but about 15 others they tossed on a fire one day. YES.
Crazy, huh? To my knowledge, they didn’t try to find anyone in the family who might want them. They did however have three groups do indexes for them – the Historical Society; Genealogy Society and DAR. Still makes me sick after 50 years and sometime I’ll blog just how much trouble and heart ache those three indexes caused me!
Blog 6 - April 8th 2018
Thought I would tell today about a speech at a work shop I gave so many years ago. It was about what I’ve mentioned before I think that genealogy = history; history = genealogy – “You can’t have one without the other!” Oh, I can’t remember what I talked about exactly but it is so true. I mean say you were interested in a building. Well, think of its genealogy. Who designed it – who built it – who worked on it – who has repaired it. Get that – WHO – the building couldn’t have a “history” without the genealogy behind it. A war – who started it; who were the movers and shakers; who won; who died because of it? Okay, so there are the “things,” the history; but what about the people? Well, you can’t have genealogy without history either. If your great .. grandpa’ fought in the Civil War, why did he join? Who did he join with? What battles was he in (see that history and genealogy going side by side?); who were his superiors … Seriously, it is nonstop just don’t ever tell anyone I’m a genealogist – you aren’t as you are also a historian. Or, tell someone you are a historian – you aren’t as you are also a genealogist. Yep, genealogy = history and history = genealogy. They go hand-in-hand, and you certainly, definitely, absolutely can’t have one without the other !! Just sayin’
Blog 5 - Dated April Fool's Day 4-1-2018
I’ll probably change-up my topic after this week, but want to talk about one more magazine, one I’m sure the majority of you are quite familiar. Traces of Indiana. The mail was thrilling when I used to get Traces and it kept me busy for several days. After retiring, cutting income in half, we get no magazines, but I do need to find a couple of hours online or at the library and read more, especially my beloved Traces. Not a genealogy magazine, though per se I’m a firm believer that genealogy = history and history = genealogy. In other words, ya’ can’t have one without the other and Traces presents both even though genealogy is not in the magazine’s name. The short article topping off the current issue is titled, Answering the Call by Ray Boomhower, who features Indianians going off to war. Actor John Bowers (born in Garrett) is the subject of a lengthy, super article by David L. Smith. Allen Boyer writes about his father, Rocky, a WWII communication officer in a fighter-bomber unit. Wonderful photos, letters, newspaper clippings and the like make this the best personal look at history I’ve perused in a long time. Other articles included The Old Prophet, Rev. LK Jackson; From Farm to Garden, about the neighborhood of Indianapolis, Crow’s Nest and Friends of Forkner and Fourteenth Street (Jackie Robinson and Carl Erskine).
Blog 4 -- Dated 3-25-2018
Last week I talked about how genealogy is changing and how I used to constantly read (and take notes from) genealogy magazines whereas I’ve gotten completely away from that. With a couple of hours to kill, I went to CDPL & enjoyed browsing in some real hard-core (make that cover) genealogical magazines. We’ll overview Family Tree this week. The first article in the March/April 2018 issue begins with DNA. Not new, it is certainly stepping out of its infancy. Discussing the various types (mitochondaial; Y-chromosone; 23rd and me) beginning with a handful tested in 2012 and 6 million profiled in November of 2017 and it’s still growing! Loved the article by Nancy Hendrickson titled, “On Your Mark,” where she talks about genealogy not being a spring, but a marathon, a right-on concept. Mainly a helpful hint session for researching Ancestry.com – interesting (but I’ve personally waded through all that and could add more). Got a bit sidetracked when I saw a small, inserted (stapled) catalog from Blair.com. Hate shopping but did see some cute, affordable items. Have to check that out farther. Sorry, I astray! Other articles in the newest Family Tree Magazine included Your Forever Family tree (34 hints on how to begin and maintain your genealogy at FamilySearch. New and Now: 7 online records to check out today, listing records (birth/death) and places to try out reclaiming the records.org for example. A good one was titled Should You Take the Hint? I once got 17 hints in my Ancestry tree, 16 not even for my Ancestor (okay so he’s George Smith but enough information I shouldn’t have received the hints) and one legit but nothing I didn’t already have. Other topics included ship passengers, free digital newspapers online (YES!); 22 historical online photo database, showing what you have and organizing photos. It’s a good one!
Blog 3 Dated 3-17-2018
Anyone having done genealogy for more than a couple of decades knows the hobby is much changed. Gone are the days of filling-out paper sheets, fewer are those stomping cemetery days or rustling around in the courthouse basement. Enter Family Tree Maker (Legacy or the like), findagrave, Ancestry and let's not forget the DNA frenzy.
Another item that was once a must but that has come close to being a lost tool is perusing genealogy magazines. In fact, I hadn't looked at any for several years, but had a couple of hours to kill at the Crawfordsville District Public Library today and decided to ta plunge! In fact, I began with a magazine I'd never seen, Your Genealogy, Sept/Oct 2017.
Hopefully, you'd never need the first article I glanced over (Crimes Across Multiple Jurisdictions) but if you did have an old stinky relative, who crimed- around, Diane Richard gives excellent, overall research tips about geography, types of courts and how records were often filed.
Next, although a century ago, is a current topic, because of the 100th anniversary of WWI this year. "Discover Your WWI Ancestor Through State-Base Resources. Many have databases for the soldier's from their state. It's easy - Ancestry, local libraries, general google search, to discover the basic facts, but keep going. Create a real profile.
Check for a 1934 Veterans Compensation Application - you might discover he earned $10/month from the state which during the Depression was a major income-aid. Your could discover the battles in which he fought. Check the Gold Star Rolls, as well. If a person who died was in your ANcestor's unit, then gpa' was probably in that battle, too.
Several other articles of course included your Irish Ancestors (ha - guess that one I should have read since it IS St. Pat's Day) and their Schools; Apprentice Records; Probate INformation; Overseers and Surveyors of Roads and more.
Meet me next week for another view of Family Tree!
Blog 2 : Dated 3-12-2018
Last week, I talked about one of my side hobbies to genealogy (collecting signatures) so no surprise, I'll discuss another this week.
One day, I found in a stack of genealogy things that a lady gave me a picture sheet for ancestors. That was my start, only I've always been an overachiever. I wanted to collect a picture representing every piece of my ancestor's lives. That takes a bunch of pictures. Using my dad as an example: the youngest picture I had was when he was probably three standing with his sister in their back yard, his hand on his faithful dog, Shep. My grandparents were Italian immigrants so extremely poor so to even have that picture is very lucky. Shep was dad's babysitter. Dad was quite the stinker, prankster, adventurer so Shep literally kept him in the yard. Next dad would have a bathing suit picture - it's quite the scream of him, his dad and sister. He was probably 12 or so. Then his graduating picture from his high school year book. CCC - now, I do have a lot of pictures from the CCC years but do wish I'd had one in his baseball uniform when he played for them.
WWII was next then there are several of the five of us (I have twin brothers, Larry, Garry and me, all born 10 days before Christmas - they are three years older than I am - my poor mother) and when I got camera age I have lots of dad. Did miss carpet laying. He is in one advertisement laying carpet and I have him in a picture putting up mail.
Of course, it wouldn't have to be live pictures. Tombstones; something representing their work (farm tractor for instance); a picture of the church they attended. Anything to chronicle their life. Okay, that said, I should get myself busy practicing what I preach!
Blog 1: Dated 3-8-2018
How many of you have discovered a side hobby while working on your genealogy? Me? I have so many.
Likely my first side step was collecting my ancestor's signatures. Probably had 200 or more in a file when we had our basement flood about eight years ago and I've never refound any of them; some may not be replaceable anyway.
My oldest one was dated in 1704 and was a note to pay off a small piece of property. It was an original and I cherished it so -- sadly, all gone!
Of course, since then, I could find easily my kings and queens' signatures and refind many of the ones I lost, but I guess I just don't have the interest anymore. Next week's blog, I'll tell you some more.
I found the signatures in various places - wills, marriage licenses, letters and the most unusual in an autograph book.
Well, there it is Blog #1 :)
BLOG – WPA Babies
When we changed the Fountain County Indiana GenWeb site to a new program, hubs grabbed the WPA births and deaths as jpgs for quickness. Didn’t really think that if they weren’t typed, they’d not be searchable. Found that out too late, so in late December 2020 we decided to retype and actually rework the WPA births. At the end of July 2021, we finally finished them. We worked almost every day on them (great covid project since we had to stay home anyway) most often 10-12 hours on them. Now, they are basically finished although I decided it would be a good idea to go back one more time and smooth things out.
The two main goals were to type it in better order (example: J. Smith; John Smith; JL Smith – all same father, so we would make them all John L. Smith) and to find names for all the “blank” babies – there were so many. Definitely a mistake, we didn’t keep track of how many named and the ONLY one I had the original list from and the completed list was the Y’s so here is an overview of those so you can kind of get the feel of the project. Keep in mind, these were based on the WPA listings of the Fountain County Births but now is MUCH improved and way beyond the original.
There were 89 original WPA births for Fountain County. We added 27 other children proven born in Fountain County within the 1882-1920 time frame of the WPA records. There were 23 unnamed babies – we found names for 15 of those (note: often the reason they were unnamed is they passed at birth – if we could find that out, we noted that). We fixed much parental information – examples: mother Myrna Borgart was Myrta Bogart; --- mother --- Bannon was Christina; father Ed was John Edgar).
When we added births, we gave two proofs (most were from Death Records, Marriages, Social Security Applications, WWI & WWII draft papers, and FindAGrave) if at all possible – rarely could we only find one.
Spellings and consistency were other goals, too. I do an OTD (On This Day) for the Fountain County Genealogy Facebook page so this made it perfect to include many of these folks in the OTDs.
Jim Zach, my hubby of 53 years has been amazing. He did all the retyping of the project (plus did the Death Records on his own with a tiny bit of help from me) and some of the research. I did the majority of that, but he would try to find things on his own before I took the search into Ancestry and other genealogical search areas.
It was a rewarding and fun project on a whole, but so sad in other aspects, such as when the babies would pass (so many had no burial places which REALLY bothered us – unmarked graves in the backyards??). One gal had 9 children in the 1900 census but only two living. That was so sad and there were many examples similar.
After completing the project, I'm still not satisfied with it so now, we're going back over it, smoothing it out and making one last effort to name those little ones and/or discover what happened to 'em!
Mostly, we found the little ones grew-up, became mothers, nurses, teachers, military personnel (Generals, Lts, lots of Sgts we found), doctors, businessmen. Many left; many stayed, and we were proud of them all!
Fun way to get to know the community, people, and area – definitely a worthy project !!!