May 19, 2017

Newspaper Social Columns Can Provide Great Clues


While researching the only member of my husband’s family to emigrate from Britain to the US, I found some great clues pertaining to those who stayed behind. With the most recently released British census being 1911, it can be quite difficult to trace marriages and children of those born around 1900 (especially if they have a common name or one used over and over in an extended family).

Ann Williams and her husband Stephen Vincent Woodward left Cheshire in 1889 for new opportunities in Missouri bringing their 3 small children. Ann was the oldest sister of my husband’s grandmother, born 17 years after Ann and only shortly before Ann married. We don’t actually know, but assume they never saw each other again after the Woodwards departed. Ann was born Lancashire to Owen Williams and Margaret O’Neill in 1861 followed by 10 younger siblings born 1863 – 1882.

In 1864 Stephen was born in Lancashire to George W Woodward and Ann Frodsham, the youngest of their 3.  His father died when Stephen was only 4 and his mother remarried 2 years later. The 1871 census lists the combined family group in another county with Stephen listed by his middle name and his stepfather’s surname (even though he didn’t change it).  These anomalies can make it confusing to follow a family group. The second husband died in 1873 and his mother remarried again … actually twice more. By the 1881 census, the 3 Woodward children were scattered and working as servants in non-family households. I somewhat gave up on tracing his sister Eliza and his brother George.

So my focus turned to the Woodward clan in the U.S. who started out in Missouri but  soon settled in Kokomo, Indiana where many of them stayed. That’s really helpful !  My goal was to identify all of Ann and Stephen’s children, track their residence and occupation, see if they married and had children. I found much of that information rather quickly, but was a bit  confused about their son Howard, born 1904.

January 7, 2016

D. Joshua Taylor Appointed President of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society

Wow ... what fantastic news !!  I have had the honor and privilege of taking several workshops with Josh and am always impressed with his knowledge, grace and demeanor. AND HE'S YOUNG ... so we can look forward to years and years of his guidance !


Here is a link to the press release.  Yes, you've surely seen him on TV.

Congratulations Josh !!!

December 2, 2015

Death of John Martino -- thanks to him we have free indexes to NYC records

As a long time volunteer myself, I just received the news of John's death on November 30. He had tirelessly led a large team of volunteers who created databases for many NYC b-m-d and other records. If you visit the NYC municipal archives, they direct you to italiangen.org as the only comprehensive index to the records held in the archive. Many researchers around the country have benefited from the work of this organization and the FREE information contained in them.

If you have used these records, you might want to send a contribution in his honor to help with postage and database costs and / or volunteer to help in their ongoing projects.

You can volunteer for future projects to be done at home with Mark Waldron at GenDatabases@gmail.com

Your contributions are tax-deductible !!


ITALIAN GENEALOGICAL GROUP INC is a non-profit organization in New York and its Employer Identification Number(EIN) is 11-3302825. ITALIAN GENEALOGICAL GROUP INC was established on 04/1996. The company's organization type is listed as Corporation.

Send a contribution to Italian Genealogical Group
   c/o Mary Anne Yenoli, 212 East 3rd Street, Deer Park, NY 11729

September 30, 2015

Ruth E Flint born Berne, Albany, NY 1849

I came upon Ruth listed in census records with David Smith and his wife Rachel in Rensselaerville (near Berne), at times listed as grandchild and later as adopted daughter. The first listing was a state census in 1855 when Ruth was 6. That afforded me the opportunity to find her with her parents in the 1850 federal census. It seems they were Joseph M Flint (who died in 1854) and Sabra Ann Ticknor. Ruth was the 3rd of their 5 children and the only one NOT found in any later census record with her widowed, and later remarried, mother. In the 1860 census Sabra appeared with second husband Levi Bailey, living in Berne, with daugthers Mary Ann 16 and Caroline 7 plus 10 month old son DeWitt Bailey. Her sons Seth and David Flint were not in the household.

Rachel Smith's maiden name has not yet been discovered, but she was born about 1813. David was born in 1809. It seems that she and David likely married about 1831, so it does not seem too likely that they were actually the grandparents of Ruth. I have been trying to propose various scenarios, but knowing Sabra's maiden name and having found her parents, that does not seem to be the link. I have not found the parents of Joseph Flint who was born in 1827.

It also seems odd that Ruth was the only child living away from her mother ... could it be that she was not actually the child of Sabra and Joseph? More investigation is needed ! None of those named are actually part of my family line, but were neighbors / associates of my ancestors. The situation just struck me as odd ... so, I'll keep looking for an explanation.


August 26, 2015

New Jersey Death records 1878 – 1893


I have not done much research in the state of NJ and was rather befuddled as I followed a New York family line as they moved to (and died in) Union County, New Jersey.  Index records are available on ancestry, so I was able to confirm when and where they died but wanted more information.

I thought perhaps I should order the microfilm from the FHL, but as I read the description for film 589830 it was described as an INDEX that might or might not include more information.

I decided to check the NJ State Archives site and was so pleased with what I found. They have numerous searchable databases including deaths (now complete for June 1875 – June 1893). I needed records for1880 and 1881. PERFECT !

 

Select the death records database and a search box appears. 




















Then the result is shown with an order option.










Hit select and a printable order form appears.

















Mail it in with a check ... and hope great information shows up soon.

If only New York State would be so helpful !! (The New York City are this
easy to use also .... but the rest of the state, not easy at all).

July 7, 2015

Jennie May Peckham Wright died in 1921


After spending time following the wrong Jennie down the wrong paths I decided to spend some additional time examining her family members. I knew that her husband George was buried at Graceland in Chicago and wondered if she might be too, but that was a dead-end. I knew that her cousin, Helen Wooster Peckham, lived and taught in Berkeley, California. So when I found a possible match for Jennie in San Francisco, I thought I had found her.
 
A California death record for Jennie M Wright, born 1855 and died 1907 seemed a match. But
reviewing that fact that her mother died in Chicago in 1912 made me wonder. Yes, I found the two living together in Chicago in the 1910 census, so that San Francisco death record was someone else. I could find no Chicago death record for Jennie, so I really wasn't sure what had happened to her.

It was my return to her father, Robert Watson Peckham, who died in Chicago in 1897 and is buried with his second wife at Rosehill Cemetery, that resolved the question. 

June 12, 2015

What happened to Jennie May Peckham Wright?

Born to Robert Watson Peckham and his 1st wife Valeria Peck in Richland, Oswego, NY in 1855, Jennie was raised by her maternal aunt Jenny Peck who married her father Robert after he was widowed in 1858. The family lived in Stillwater, MN and then settled in Chicago. It was there that Jennie married George Edward Wright, a native of Ohio, in 1879. They were married until George’s death in 1901; they had no children. I cannot find Jennie after the 1900 census when her stepmother Jenny was also living with them. Her stepmother died in Chicago in 1912 (though I cannot find her in the 1910 census) … were Jennie and Jenny living togehter? Why can't I find them?

At first I thought perhaps Jennie married Robert P, Smith in 1906, but it was not her. I found Jennie M Wright listed as a beneficiary in the 1919 probate notice for her relative George P. Elliott in New York. Was she alive? Where? I had found a possible death reported in San Francisco (where her cousin Helen lived) for Jennie M Wright born 1855 -- could it be her? If so, why would she be listed in a probate public notice 12 years later? So confusing!

Next I will check with the cemetery where her husband is buried. Puzzling.