Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Bit of Self-promotion: Capsules of my Genealogy Presentations

As I posted yesterday, I have a series of genealogy presentations available for societies, organizations and clubs that are interested in a speaker. I have delivered programs before groups in Florida, Ohio and Indiana, so I am willing to travel. I enjoy making any of the presentations, so I'm open to doing any of them. I also enjoy working with those new to genealogy, so my beginners session gets a lot of exposure and can be a single session or a series of more detailed sessions.
Two of my programs are in costumed 1st person format and aimed primarily at the Revolutionary War era. The last one on the list is still under development. Read #4 as "at the risk of our lives and fortunes."

Genealogical Presentation Topics:
1.      Researching Collateral Ancestors: Thar’s Gold in Them Thar Relatives!: Case studies will be used to demonstrate how researching siblings, cousins, and neighbors can help connect direct line ancestors.

2.      Using Online Resources to Help Solve Brick Wall Problems: A discussion of various online resources used to help complete a family group record suffering from errors and missing information.

3.      Mining Family Histories & Genealogies: Boom or Bust? Proceed with Caution!: Family histories and genealogies are a sought after resource. This presentation will examine how they can help and hinder research.

4.      “at the risque of our lives and ffortunes”: Researching Revolutionary War Ancestors: Two case studies [Pvt. John Faucett & Capt. Edward Prall] will be used to examine a variety of resources available to tell the story of a Revolutionary War veteran.

5.      Using City Directories to Fill in the Blanks in Family Research:  This presentation will take a look at city/county directories and what these wonderful resources can offer in filling in missing pieces of family history research.  

6.      Marriage Records: Different Ways to Record Getting’ Hitched: This presentation will cover different marriage records from colonial times to present.

7.      An Introduction to Genealogy: This presentation is designed primarily for those new to genealogy. It can be tailored to be a standard presentation, class, or series of sessions. More experienced researchers will, hopefully, pick up a few pointers as well.

8.      A Visit with John Faucett, veteran and pioneer: An 80 year old pensioner relates his early years on the Virginia frontier, life among the Indians, the War for Independence, and pioneering Ohio and Indiana. [presented in 1st person; 1830s costume]

9.      A Meeting with Captain Edward Prall of the Maryland Line: Edward Prall relates his story as a New Jersey farm boy, merchant-trader, signer of the Bush Declaration, and officer in one of the Continental Army’s prized regiments at Long Island through the Southern Campaign. [presented in 1st person; Rev. War uniform]

10.  Brushes with the Famous and Infamous: A Light-hearted Look at Some of the Heroes, Villains and Misguided Souls from My Genealogy Research: When I started my research, I hoped that I might find connections to two of my “childhood heroes.” Little did I know the assortment of historical figures that would play a role in the lives of my ancestors, or turn out to be my ancestors! This presentation takes a light-hearted look at my genealogical connections to an assortment of heroes, scoundrels and everyday folks from the 17th through the 20th century. 

11.  San Juan Hill, A Mayflower Connection, a Ship Lost at Sea and other bits of family lore: Family stories and tidbits from other researchers spun some interesting tales. The trick was to find out if they were truth, fabrications or a combination of the two. This presentation discusses various approaches to proving and disproving family lore.
12. Pioneer Migration to Indiana: This presentation will examine the settlement of Indiana from about 1700 until 1900. The early history, ethnic heritage and migration routes will be discussed. Attendees will learn where their Hoosier ancestors came from and how and when they arrived in Indiana. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Greetings, Resolutions, Presentations & Salt Lake

Merry Christmas!! I have decided on a couple of early genealogy-based New Year's resolutions.
(1) I need to post on the blog in a more regular fashion.
(2) I'm going to take a look at my RootsMagic program and check family by family to see where information needs to be gathered and plugged in. There are a lot of families that I haven't updated in years. I'll post the updates on the blog in case anyone can benefit from the process and info.

In upcoming days, I'll be posting capsules of my genealogy presentations. If any readers are in need of a speaker for their groups or societies, please let me know. I have done single presentations and full-day conferences in the past.

I will be attending the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in a couple of weeks. I will post each day's progress and events in hopes of encouraging some folks to attend in 2014.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Uh-oh Moments

One of the insurance or other companies offers AH HA Moment commercials; in genealogy I have "ah ha" and "uh oh" moments. I've been working on my girlfriend's paternal line off-and-on for awhile.

Her undocumented pedigree chart has seven generations of Murphys. James, Bartholomew M., William B., James N., Weeden B., Clyde W., her father and her. I had located a burial record for William B., which gave his parents as James and Lydia. I was scavenging for family records and let that slip by. I was thinking of the 1st James as the father. Has anyone seen my "uh oh" yet?

An old query in the International Genealogical Dictionary [1909] mentioned James' arrival from Dublin in Philly with wife and newborn son Bartholomew in 1774. That seems to be the origin of the lineage on the pedigree chart. The came my "uh oh!" moment - Bartholomew didn't fit.

It finally dawned on me that Bartholomew and the James given as William B.'s father were from the same generation! IF the immigrant James was the father of both, then things start making sense. The possible 1st four generations would have been James, James, William B. and James N.

Now all I have to do is prove my "uh oh" is now an "ah ha."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Heritage and Christmas Traditions

I decided to take a quick look at the countries from which my ancestors came and the Christmas traditions associated with them. I can lay claim to the following lands of origin at this point in time: England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales,The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany [Baden, Westphalia, so far], and Belgium [Walloons].

The "naughty or nice" list figured prominently in most of the countries, here are a few others:

Great Britain: Father Christmas, Christmas Trees, gift-filled stockings, window candles, holly
Germany: St. [Ni]Claus, Christmas Trees, holly, gingerbread houses and cookies
The Netherlands: St. Nicholas, gift exchange on Dec. 5*
Belgium / Walloons: St. Nicholas - 2 visits!
Sweden: Christmas trees and elves
Switzerland: Silver bells, Christkindli with reindeer and sleigh

*This one stood out as the gifts were called "surprises." My Christmas wish list to Santa every year ended with "and surprises." Must have been the Dutch bloodlines!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Genealogy Wish List

As we move closer to Christmas, many of the genealogy magazines, blogs, etc. publish articles covering the "wish lists" of professional genealogists. All sorts of technolgy tools enter into the lists. I guess mine is officially technology-oriented and will likely never come to pass.

One of my all-time favorite books and movies is H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine." There you have it. My Christmas wish is for a Time Machine! Portable scanners, I-Pad apps, resource books, subscriptions and what-not would be fantastic, but time travel!!!!!

Imagine traveling back a couple of generations to interview an ancestor! Talk about primary sources. Nailing down source documentation might be a bit tricky. Do you put down the date of the interview as 2012 or 1860?

Here are a few of my "time trips":
[1] Travel back to, say, 1918 Indianapolis, and chat with my mother's family. My grandfather could fill me in on the McHughs, grandma on the Crails. Grandma's parents could answer a few questions on the Crail, Simmons and Crousore families. Interviewing gggm Catherine O'Neill Crail, who came from Co. Cork in 1852 would be a real treat.
[2] Another trip to Indy, about 1830, to visit with my Faucett family. Questions galore for John and Eve Faucett! Was John really captured by Indians? Where and when did they get married? Was Thomas the son of John and Eve, or was John married before? The list goes on!
[3] I'd remain in Indiana about the same time to visit with my Crousore and Smith ancestors. I'd be able to find out who John Crousore's wife was and straighten out the Smith lineage.
[4] An 1860ish sojourn to Madison Co., Missouri to chat with my Wagner family from Baden.
[5] A visit with my Wolary family about 1870 in Ohio: Where was gggm Margaret born? Who was her grandmother on the Hubbard side? When did her mother die?

There are a lot of stops that I would like to make. Some might be tricky if period clothing wasn't available [visiting Salem, Mass. in 1692.] Travel outside of central Indiana might be difficult, if, as Mr. Wells proposed, the machine remained in the same place, but in yesterday's time.

There is my Christmas wish - a time machine. Once my travels are completed, I would be more than willing to loan out the machine - for a price! :)-

Monday, November 26, 2012

Salt Lake Institute; Philly Passenger Lists

For those of you who have dropped in on my blog from time to time, you've seen mention of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy sponsored by the Utah Gen. Assn. []. If you are interested in a great week of genealogy research and classes with access to Salt Lake City's Family History Library, check out the UGA site to see what's still available. [I still recommend Problem Solving!]

I've been working on my girlfriend's family history a bit lately. If anyone knows of any pre-1800 Philadelphia ships' passenger lists from Ireland, drop me a line. I haven't had a chance to get to the IN State Library to check the passenger list books there. On-line, so far, nothing that fits the 1774 arrival needed.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

A few weeks ago, I was on the IUPUI campus on the western edge of downtown Idianapolis and came to realize the campus and other parts of the area were formerly the home to my paternal great- and great-greatgrandparents from the time they moved to the city from Hendricks Co. until they relocated to N. Tacoma Ave. in 1916.

N. California St. currently runs behind the IU Law Library on the  IUPUI campus. The Faucett family lived on the 300, 400 & 600 blocks of California from 1896-1915. Prior to that, they resided on Douglas [1882], Blake [1883] & Indiana Ave. [1884-1895]. Douglas & Blake were just west of California. Indiana runs diagonally through part of that neighborhood.

To locate the addresses of the Faucett residences, I used the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps on microfilm at the Indiana State Library. The maps are a wonderful genealogy tool for folks researching urban areas. The maps give the addresses, a sketch of the buildings & data of importance to fire departments & insurance companies.

The microfilm is a little problematic to use as the names of the streets don't necessarily show up on each frame. You have to zoom in & out & check the next image from time to time as you go through the reel. Still the Sanborn maps are a wonderful tool.

The area around the IUPUI campus, which includes Victory Field, the museum complex, a hotel or two, the Indy Zoo & a rerouted Washington St. [US 40], has changed considerably since 1882. The Sanborn maps serve as a bit of a time machine, giving you a look at the area at different periods. [The ISL has the maps from 1887, 1898 & 1914-1943, plus a few others.] California St. once continued south of Military Park, that part of the neighborhood is long gone!

The Sanborn maps were well worth the look & I highly recommend them to anyone researching in areas where they are available.

The IUPUI digital images collection also has some of the Sanborn maps online and searchable.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Reel, Reeder, Crousore, Smith, et. al.

Genealogy can drive you insane - or close to it! The quest for tying the Smith/Crousore families together continues. I think I'm making progress. The Reels and Reeders play into this as the families intermarried.

Elizabeth Reel, who married William Smith, was the daughter of Nicholas Reel, most likely the one who married Amy Reeder. Nicholas was the brother of Solomon Reel who married Susannah Crousore [daughter of Nicholas, sister of  John]. Elizabeth's sister, Margaret Nancy married James Reeder.

The Reel familiy seems to have been in Fayette Co., PA, Harrison Co., (W)VA - and neighboring environs - maybe back to Fayette, Clinton, Highland & Warren Co., OH and Rush Co., IN. [some may have gone on to Delaware Co.] The Reeders, Crousores and Smiths followed similar patterns. Some of the other Reels who didn't go to Indiana, stayed in the Harrison Co., (W)VA area.

Nicholas & Amy [Reeder] Reel had, at least, Margaret Nancy, Solomon, John and Elizabeth.

Solomon & Susannah had at least six kids. Nicholas married Catherine Crousore and Delila married William Reeder.

The four families migrated as a group, or at least caught up with one another as they headed for Indiana.

Nicholas & Solomon appear to be the sons of David Reel Sr. & Willany _______. Possible siblings: David Jr., Benjamin, John, Jacob, Henry, Rudolph & Jane.

If you are confused, join the party!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Smith research & Jitter Junction wraps

Theatre has taken priority over genealogy these last few weeks. "Haunting at Jitter Junction" ended Sunday. We had some exceptional crowds by number and reaction. Colts games hurt Sunday attendance. It was a good run.

What little time I've spent on genealogy recently has been dedicated to my Smith line. Yes, Smith. I've actually had better luck than one would expect. The marriage lisence for Ama Jemima Smith & Jacob Crowser gave her brother's name as John. John Smith & Elizabeth Crowser's marriage lisence gave his father's name as William. There appears to be at least two other brothers, Abraham & William. One of Abraham's descendants applied to the SAR, naming Abraham's parents as William Smith & Elizabeth Reel/Real, grandparents as Henry Smith [Rev War vet] & Elizabeth Powell.

Elizabeth, however, was too young to be William's mother. The DAR amended their records to William's  mother being "unidentified." Henry's pension file mentions his family with Elizabeth Powell. A William is mentioned, but unknown if it is William frrom marriage #1 or a repeat given name.

Then a marriage between William Smith & Elizabeth Real in Harrison Co., [W] VA from 1798 is located on [John was born about 1799].

Not bad for a common name like Smith. So, all of you Smiths, Joneses, Browns, etc. out there, have faith!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

White River Library Presentation & Jitter Junction

I gave a beginning genealogy presentation at the White River Branch Library in Greenwood on Saturday. It was a small group, but very enthusiastic and anxious to advance their genealogy skills. All but two were beginners or near beginners. People just getting started with their research are so much fun to work with!

"Haunting at Jitter Junction" opens Friday night at Longstreet Playhouse. See my previous post for details!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Speaking Engagement & Haunting at Jitter Junction

I am speaking before a group at the White River Branch Library in Greenwood tomorrow morning. The topic is "Beginning Genealogy." This is a return engagement as I gave the beginners presentation at White River last year. The presentation received a little tweaking today. Info on the 1940 census & a slide on "Cloud Genealogy" were added & a couple of slides were expanded for readability purposes.

"Haunting at Jitter Junction" opens at Longstreet Playhouse next Friday. Show dates: September 28-30, October 5-7 & 12-14. Friday & Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 2:30. Check the Hendrick Civic Theatre website for details. [] If you get a chance, come out & see the show.

Jitter Junction is a small southern Indiana town & the action takes place in 1935 at the Shimmy Shammy Lounge. There is a mysterious death, an inquest, a seance & romance. Mostly there are laughs aplenty.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cousins, SLIG, Rehearsals

The title of the post tells you why my posts have been off for two plus weeks!
Over Labor Day Weekend, I was visited by a 3rd cousin, Nora and her husband Justin. John T. Simmons and Edith Crousore were our great-great-grandparents. Nora's great-grandfather, John W. Simmons, served with US forces in the Philippines in 1900. After returning to the States, he reenlisted in the Medical Corps and went back to the Philippines, married and lived there until his death in 1909 - about two months after his father died in Sharpsville, IN. My great-grandmother, Ama Jemima "Mima" Simmons Crail was nearly 20 years John W.'s senior.
We hit a few Indy highlights: The Soldiers & Sailors Monument & Lilly Civil War Museum [we nearly drowned as the drought ended], James Whitcomb Riley Museum on Lockerbie St. & Eiteljorg and State Museums. The big trip for Nora was to visit Crown Point Cemetery in Kokomo, where James Morris and Hester Jane [Moore] Simmons [John T.'s parents] are buried, and Sharpsville Cemetery, where John T. & Edith are buried. Edith's grave is marked. John's isn't. He was recorded as Simons and the death date was off a few days. I'm pretty sure we located the right spot.
Trying to wrap up my project submission for the Utah Genealogical Association's Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, January 14-18. I'm digging into my Isaac Clark family this time. I highly recommend the SLIG. It is a good week of concentrated research with the Problem Solving class. There are several other tracks. Check it out at
The Hendricks Civic Theatre is in rehearsals for "Haunting at Jitter Junction." The show is set c. 1935 in Southern Indiana. One of the local town drunks [Jeeter] is found dead drunk [literally] in a tree. One of the locals calls in a psychic to try to get Jeeter's spirit to stop haunting the rural community. The action takes place at the Shimmy Shammy Lounge. Show dates: September 28-30, October 5-7 & 12-14. [Fri./Sat. @ 7:30 PM, Sun. @ 2:30 PM] Yup, I'm in it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crousore land: Howard Co., IN

Boy am I dragging behind with posts! I've been examing land and census records for my Crousore & Simmons families. The 1850 Howard Co. census shows Jacob, John, John C. and Stephen Crousore, Samuel Langley and John Simmons as neighbors. Stephen, both Johns and Langley all are shown on Section 5 Twp 23-N, R4-E and John Smith on Section 4. These are all 1849 BLM-GLO purchases. Jacob Crousore and John Simmons [father & son-in-law] must have acquired property from their relatives or other neighbors by 1850. A Jacob Crousore [Christian] also bought land in 1849 - but not close to John's brood.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Simmons, New Book, Cousins, PFA Reunion

While searching the online databases for the Tipton Co., IN Library, I discovered a 1900 directory that placed my John T. Simmons [then living with son, Charles] on West Walnut St. in Sharpsville. Wish the directory gave the house number!

Cousin Betty Harrell Gerlack [we share my 4th great-grandfather, Cornelius Prall Sr., as our common ancestor] sent a 74 page book that she wrote on our Swart, Tietsoort, Whittaker & Van der Lindt families. There is some really interesting new stuff in the Tietsoort chapter. [That's all I've read so far.] Betty has done a really nice job!

I received an e-mail from one of my cousins in the Philippines last night! She was inquiring about how the Crousores and Pralls tied together. How is it I have cousins in the Philippines? GGM Mima [Simmons] Crail's baby brother, John W. Simmons, served in the Philippines in 1900, married a local girl and stayed on.

The Prall Reunion is regaining life. More as soon as details are sorted out again!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tipton & Kokomo Research; Prall Reunion

I've been negligent again! My Crousore-Smith [and Simmons] odyssey took me to Tipton and Kokomo yesterday. I found another good place to eat! Jim Dandy's on Hwy 28 going into Tipton. Nice waitress, good breakfast!

I learned a lesson on the trip: One day per town! After visiting the Tipton Library and Recorder's Office in the morning, I took off for Kokomo. After lunch, I had a short afternoon and ran out of time. Also caught rush hour on I-465. Next time I stay over, even if it's only 50 miles!

I could use a full day in the Howard Co. [Kokomo] Assessor's office and Recorder's office! A little more time in Tipton would be beneficial as well. The new Indiana Room at the Kokomo Library is very impressive!

Research results: I learned that my John Simmons was one of two or three in Tipton Co., so they need to be sorted out. I'm not sure if the grantee deeds are my guy or not. In Kokomo, the Recorder's Office closed before I was finished. Two Crousore deeds are being mailed. I did locate a Smith deed.

Staff: the ladies at the Tipton facilities were great. The ladies at the Kokomo government offices were really helpful.

The Prall Reunion may be postponed due to low registration. More on that in the next day or two.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Anderson Research

I made it up to Anderson today. Would you believe TWO court house fires?! The first was in 1840 and the second in 1880. That really played havoc with my time frame for John & Christian Crousore. John was there prior to 1837, when he acquired government land in Delaware Co. He was back by the 1840 census enumeration and, I think, until the 1849 move to Howard Co. Brother Christian arrived after 1835, but by 1840 and left about 1849 for Howard Co.

Tax and court records were lost in the fires, but the court house did have the deed records. Nothing even close for either brother.

The Anderson Library's Indiana Room is a nice facility. Staff there and at the Madison Co. Historical Society, as well as at the court house were friendly and helpful.

I did find another neat eatery - The Lemon Drop Drive-In, on Rt. 32. The diner seats about 40. Four or five big booths and 10-12 stools at the counter. The grill is behind the counter, menu on the wall, great service and polite, friendly folks manning the place. I'd guess it's a family operation. Good tenderloin! An order of fries could feed a family of four! If you are in Anderson, check it out! Oh yeah, in place of a basket of mints at the register, they have a basket of lemon drops! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Back to the 80s

Just got back from Hendricks Civic Theatre's production of the musical, Back to the 80s. WOW! Great show! The setting was senior year at a mythical high school, with a former reminiscing about his senior year. The kids in the cast performed a number of tough songs very well. The storyline went well, the hero got to take his "true love" to the prom and the obnoxious jock lost the girl. Unfortunately, there's only one show left, tomorrow at 2:30. If you can make it, check the HCT site for details []. Kudos to cast and crew!

By the way, auditions for Haunting at Jitter Junction [written by Ron Schnitzius] will be held at Longstreet Playhouse, August 5,6.7 at 7:00. Cast of 19 being directed by Bob Jessen. See the HCT site for directions! The play is a hoot! It's set at the Shimmy-Shammy Lounge  in the town of Jitter Junction in Southern Indiana during the depression. Romance, a possible murder, seances, a hold-up, all sorts of fun stuff! If you saw Fracas at Jitter Junction back in 2008, it is the same play! :)-

Friday, July 27, 2012

Jacob Crousore's land dealings

OK, I'm confused! According to the Delaware Co. Deeds, Jacob Crousore sold 80 acres - N1/2 of NE1/4 of Section 13 Twp 21N of Range 8E to Isaiah Love for $225 on 11 March 1844 [14:102]. Then on 30 May 1849 he sold the same property for the same money to the same person! [20:576] On that same date Jacob purchased the same tract of land from John Hutson/Hudson for $214.[20:575]

Now, Hutson purchased that tract as well as another adjoining tract in Sec. 13 from Joseph Cook on 5 March 1839, but the deed wasn't recorded until 7 April 1845. That was 13 months after  Jacob Crousore sold the property to I. Love. Maybe that accounts for the 1849 deed? Hutson hadn't recorded the original purchase. Jacob would then have had to acquire the land between March 1839 and March 1844.

Jacob and most of the rest of the family moved to Howard Co. about 1849. Daughter Edith married there in June of 1849.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Muncie Research

I finally made it to Muncie! The genealogy facility in the Carnegie Library on Jackson St. is really nice. Many of their wills, deeds and court records are online. I'd been having fits accessing the site. The Muncie library has a new url, which was part of it. The old url was on other sites [i.e. Gen Web] and  didn't get you to the updated site.

I made copies of a few crucial deeds and a will. I looked at a couple of probate files and a few books. The staff there is incredibly helpful.

Also, I tried out the fare at Richard's Restaurant on M.L. King Blvd. Great breaded pork tenderloin!

Oh, I have the glitches worked out with the Muncie Library site, so if I need to make copies of any more of the online records, it's doable!

Anderson is up next!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Daniel Boone & West Point?

OK, this is totally off topic for a genealogy blog... Well, maybe not, it is historical. I was watching an old Daniel Boone episode yestrday and was completely baffled! Dan'l & Mingo were on their way to the fort at West Point when they spotted British soldiers and one "civilian." The civilian and our heroes end up at the same tavern, where said civilian, Major Andre [Mr. Anderson] meets with the West Point commander to pay the plans to the fort and help the traitorous commander flee to British lines. We're sorta OK up to now, most of the plot sounds reasonably accurate. Whoa! The West Point CO is a General Hugh Scott. Dan'l enlists the help of some local NY rangers to KIDANP Andre and foil the plot. To top it off, they capture Gen. Scott as well, after he kills the complicit tavern keeper. Boy, did history unravel in that final 25 minutes! [Traitor or not, Benedict Arnold must have been rolling over in his grave!]

Off to Muncie tomorrow. I have a will, a few court records and about 50 deeds to examine!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Midwestern Roots Conference

I ventured to the "old neighborhood" Friday and Saturday for the IHS 2012 Midwestern Roots Conference at the Indy Marriot East at 21st and Shadeland. [I grew up at the extreme eastern end of Irvington - the last bus turn-around in the city limits and between 10th and 16th in Warren Twp.] As usual the conference was pretty well put together. The sessions I attended were both informative and entertaining. The Genealogical Society of Marion County did a brisk business. We had quite a few people stop by with questions. Hopefully, a few new members will come out of the visits. If you get a chance, attend the next Midwestern Roots Conference in 2014.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Robert Cunningham & the Alamo

I was thumbing through my copy of Walter Lord's A Time to Stand, published in 1961. It is one of the better historical works on the battle of the Alamo. One item stood out that I had previously overlooked - " was Adjutant John Baugh who gave the signal to hole up. The men quickly dropped from the walls..... William Carey and the artillerymen on the west side."

Why is this passage significant? 1st cousin 5 times removed, Robert W. Cunningham was a private in Carey's artillery company.

Robert W. Cunnigham [b. 18 Oct. 1804 in Chenango or Ontario Co., NY] was the eldest son of David Cunningham and Anna Jennison. [Anna's sister, Dolly married John W. Simmons, my line. Also Robert's grandmother, Lucy Morris, was the step-mother of John W. Simmons.] The family eventually settled in Jeffiersonville, Clark Co., IN. They also spent time in Kentucky after leaving NY.

The Simmons and Jennison families tended toward occupations that kept them near the Ohio River in southern Indiana and Ohio and northern Kentucky. Robert was no exception. He eventually went to work on cargo boats traveling the Ohio and Mississippi. He spent some time in Arkansas before writing his family in 1832 that he had decided to settle in New Orleans.

That decision was short-lived. On 4 March 1833, Cunningham was granted a league of land on Skull Creek [present-day Colorado Co.] in Austin's Texas Colony. Robert joined the Texas army as a sergeant and 2nd gunner in Captain T.L.F. Parrott's Artillery Company. On 10 December 1835, the Texan forces took San Antonio de Bexar from General Cos. Cunningham was one of fewer than 100 regulars left to garrison Bexar.

In early 1836, Cunningham wrote the family that he had joined the army. He was reassigned to Captain William R. Carey's artillery company as a private. Carey's artillerymen were assigned to artillery HQ at the SW corner of the Alamo compound.

Thus the significance of the passage in Lord's book. Col. Travis was among the first defenders killed on the north wall. It was there that the Mexican forces finally breached the north wall and swarmed into the Alamo. When Baugh, 2nd in command, gave the order to "hole up," Robert Cunningham was probably among those men who methodically retreated to the barracks for the last stand. [Jim Bowie was too ill to take an active part in command and David Crockett had his hands full defending the palisade connecting the west wall with the church.] 
The barracks along the south and west walls were the scene of brutal hand-to-hand combat. The Mexicans turned the defenders' cannons on the barracks, then charged in to slaughter the survivors of the cannonade.

By 6:30 A.M. on 6 March 1836, 31 year-old Robert W. Cunningham, the more famous Travis, Bowie, Crockett and 180-200 other men had met their fate. The Alamo had fallen.

Whether Robert was killed at his post, during the ensuing retreat to the barracks or holed up with other defenders in one of the small barracks rooms is not known. His Simmons, Jennison and Singletary relations had chosen to take a stand for independence in 1776. Robert W. Cunningham gave his life for the same principle 60 years later.

My guess is that it was sometime in April before word reached the Cunningham home in Jeffersonville, Indiana that the Alamo had fallen.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Smith & Crousore Trips: Part 1

Finally made it to Wilmington, OH & Rushville, IN for rounds 1 & 2 of my Smith & Crousore searches. I checked the 1819 Clinton Co. marriage of John Smith to Elizabeth Crowser. Voila! John was given permission to marry by his father, William Smith!

If an SAR application for Henry Smith, father of William, grandfather of Abraham is remotely correct, and William married Elizabeth Reel, then I may have deeds between William [wife Elizabeth] and John. One deed places William in Highland Co. selling Clinton Co. property to John.

Driving US 52 from I-74 to Rushville is an adventure! Not much luck there. I did copy a couple of deeds that involved a John & Elizabeth Smith.

Strange, not a single land record for the Crousores!!

Next up: Muncie, Delaware Co., IN.

Friday, July 6, 2012

4th Follow-up: What happened to the Rev War ancestors?

I thought I'd do a follow-up on the patriots listed on the 4th of July post:

Captain Edward Prall: Returned to Harford Co., MD. He was an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati [officers' fraternal orginization], served in local politics and died in 1803.

John Faucett: The pioneer spirit was in John Faucett. At 46, he took a flatboat to SW Ohio in 1797. Son Joseph was born along the way. Then, at 73, he uprooted his family and moved to central Indiana in 1824. He died in 1838 - aged 86; buried in Shiloh Cemetery in Hendricks Co.

Holden Rhodes: Holden remained a mariner after the war, serving as master of several sloops. Hedied in Warwick, RI in 1809. Four of his six sons were lost at sea.

Seth Mahurin/Huron: He took the family to SW Ohio during the 1790s. He died in Warren Co. in 1815. Granddaughter Rebecca married Joseph Faucett.

John St. John: He also settled in Warren Co., OH, where he died in 1819. Daughter Bethiah married Othniel Huron, son of Seth.

John Simmons, Sr.: After the war, John returned to his beloved tavern. The 1st mayor of American NYC was sworn in at the tavern. The family watched as George Washington was sworn in as the 1st President at Federal Hall across the street. John died in 1795, the "biggest man in NY." Part of the tavern had to be dismantled to get his body out for burial!

John Simmons, Jr.: Three marriages and stops in Chenango Co., NY, near Canonsburgh, PA, Dearborn Co., IN, Monroe Co., OH & Wheeling, VA, where he died in 1843. John was a farmer and innkeeper.

Amos Singletary: He was a farmer and grist miller and remained active in public service. Amos died in MA in 1806.

Peter Jennison: Peter became fairly wealthy and owned a number of slaves. He married Mehitable, daughter of Amos Singletary. Jennison died in Chenango Co., NY in 1816. Daughter Dolly married John W. Simmons, son of John Jr.

General Thomas Sumter: The Gamecock became a major political figure in South Carolina. He served in the state legislature and as a US Represenative and Senator from SC. Sumter died in 1832 at 98.

General Nathanael Greene: The "Fighting Quaker" was given a plantation in Georgia after the war. He died there from heatstroke in 1786.

General Benedict Arnold: Needless to say, Arnold was forced to move to England after the war. Financial setbacks marked his last years. He died in 1801 in London.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

On our nation's birthday, take the time to reflect on those of your ancestors who served in the Continental Army, local militias or offered aid and comfort to the patriot cause as non-combatants. I  put together a list of my own, at the risk of missing someone, here goes!

Captain Edward Prall, MD: signer of the Bush Declaration in 1775, served on various committees for Harford Co., MD, served with Smallwood's Maryland Regiment at Long Island, captured there, served with 1st Maryland Line in Southern Campaign. [unmarried brother of ancestor Cornelius Prall]

John Faucett, PA: served on Pennsylvania - Northern Virginia - Ohio frontier with Pennsylvania militia as "ranger and spy," briefly assigned to Virginia Regulars.

Holden Rhodes, RI: privateer [our naval forces], prize master aboard sloops Joseph and Satisfaction, spent   about 16 months as a POW at Britain's Forten Prison.

Seth Mahurin/Hurin, NJ: signed Articles of Association of the Freeholders & Inhabitants of Pequannock in the County of Morris, sent supplies to the Continental Army at Morristown Encampment, winter 1779-80.

John St. John, NY: Scofield's West Chester Militia of the 4th Regiment, New York Line.

John Simmons, Sr., NY: His tavern at Wall & Nassau Sts. in NYC was a patriot gathering place, served in the provisional 2nd Regiment of NY Troops. [DAR Patriot Index adds 5th & 6th NY Regiments, Duchess Co. Militia.] [Sons William and John, Jr. also served.]

John Simmons, Jr., NY: Onderdonk's Clarkstown Militia assigned to Hays' NY Regiment [1778-80], Bowman's Co., Col. Weissenfel's Regiment of NY Levies [1781-82]

Amos Singletary, MA: Sutton's representative in the Provincial Congress for 4 years.

Peter Jennison, MA: Growl's Militia Co., Col. Learned's Regiment at Lexington [19 April 1775]

General Thomas Sumter, SC: "The Gamecock," South Carolina partisan leader. [brother to ancestor Anna Sumter Land]

On the "distant cousin" side of the ledger:

General Nathanael Greene, RI: Quartermaster General of the Continental Army, assigned commander of Southern Army after Gates' disaster at Camden.

General Benedict Arnold, CT: with Ethan Allen, captured Fort Ticonderoga, wounded and captured during invasion of Quebec, Canada, hero of the Battle of Saratoga [received crippling wound in left leg] - at this point, possibly on of the greatest American military heroes on record. [Then things took a nosedive, culminating with his treasonous act of selling the plans of West Point to the British.]

Friday, June 29, 2012

Reunion Update & Clark Research

I'm back!

The 2012 Prall Reunion schedule is rounding into shape. I'm waiting on a quote for the Saturday bus trip. Scheduled stops at this time are the Old Stone House/Battle of Long Island site in Brooklyn, Historic Richmondtown, the Billiou House, the Watering Place and drive-bys of various places where our SI Pralls lived. [Plus a lunch break!]

I decided to get an early start on my Problem Solving project for the 2013 Salt Lake Institute. I selected my Clark family. Samuel settled in Pennsylvania, migrated to Maryland and/or Kentucky and Butler Co., Ohio. Son Isaac was born in Kentucky or Maryland. He took his clan from Butler Co., Ohio to Hendricks Co., Indiana. The main objective is to track the family migration and identify Isaac's mother. Plenty of questions to answer!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beginning Genealogy, Research, Prall Reunion

It is great that more and more people are getting interested in genealogy. I have two speaking engagements this week - both my Genealogy for Beginners presentation, with another round in September.

I still have my road trips to Wilmington, OH, Rushville, Muncie and Anderson, IN for my Crousore - Smith research coming up. As for information on hand, it is all recorded. Whew!

The base hotel for the reunion is set: The Hampton Inn in Flemington, NJ.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Reunion News, Flag Day

Things are starting to take shape for the September Prall Reunion. The Hampton Inn in Flemington, NJ will be our "home base." We will probably visit the Old Stone House in Brooklyn near where the Maryland 400 made their stand against the British, while the rest of the Continental Army escaped Long Island. We are set to visit Historic Richmond Town and the Billiou-Perrine House. I'm working on a river cruise for Sunday.

In honor of Flag Day and the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812: If you are in the Baltimore area, take time to visit Fort McHenry. That's where Francis Scott Key penned a little poem about the siege of  the fort that became our National Anthem. I visited the historic site back in 2003, I believe.The video presentation was interesting, but the finale was incredible. As the Anthem was played at the end of the video, everyone stood up and the curtain opened with a view of the replica flag. Moving doesn't do it justice!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Crousore Research, Reunion Update, New Query

The Crousore Family research is about complete! Of course that doesn't include any new data from Clinton Co., OH, Rushville, Muncie, Anderson and Kokomo road trips that are coming up.

It's beginning to look like our base hotel for the reunion will be the Hampton in Flemington, NJ.

The PFA site received a new query about a Peter Prall who worked as a clerk for the NY Central RR in Syracuse, NY. He came from Canada [b. 1870s] and lived to be 102. If you have any info on him, let me know and I'll pass it on.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Prall Line, Reunion hotel update

It is really nice to see other researchers break through brick walls. The Prall Family Assn. site has a questions e-mail. One came through last night on an Elizabeth Prall. With a little maneuvering on and, I was able to help track her down in the 1900-1940 NY censuses. Her Canadian birth record was located, her parents' marriage and her father's birth record in Kent, England. Ain't technology grand?! We now have a new Prall line out of Kent, England and Ontario, Canada.

To those Pralls planning on attending the reunion in September, Hampton Inn may be our option. I still don't have an update from Ramada New Hope.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Prall Family folk! Thinking out loud here, concerning the September 15th Staten Island bus excursion. Possible itinerary: Historic Richmond Town, Billiou House, the Watering Place Monument at Tompkinisville [where the early settlers landed and ships stopped to replenish their fresh water supply; this is the spot, or near to, where Jan, Baetje and the youngsters came ashore c.1650.] Fort Wadsworth [close to Tompkinsville], the Reformed Dutch Church at Huguenot Park [maybe just a photo stop to get the Prall & Billiou street signs], maybe a look at Prall Island and the Conference House [no Prall connection, but a nice historic stop, Adams and Franklin met there with Brits to negotiate a peace in 1776 - it failed!] That's a full day! The best part is we don't have to drive!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I have really neglected the blog lately! Getting my Crousores sorted and recorded has been a daunting task. Another 2-3 weeks should do it. I also have road trips planned for the Crousore ancestral stomping grounds in  Ohio and Indiana this month.

I hope to have some updates for the September Prall Reunion in the next week or so.

The Utah Genealogical Society has announced that registration for the 2013 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy [Jan. 14-18] will begin on June 2. There are some new options for lunch in '13. For courses, general info and registration, go to: I'll be attending for the 13th straight year. I need to check my pedigree chart for a candidate for the Problem Solving track. I highly recommend the SLIG. It is well organized, informative, fun and you get to visit the Family History Library!

Monday, May 21, 2012

What a shame! NBC has canned "Who Do You Think You Are?" after 4 seasons. You just can't allow educational, informative and historical programming on NBC for very long. Hopefully, CBS, ABC or another network will pick it up for 2013.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Update on the E.Q. Prall photo from yesterday's post. An Elmus Q. Prall died in Oklahoma in 1960. If I have traced his ancestry correctly, it is as follows:  Elmus Q., Charles C., Asa, Thomas, George, Peter, Peter, Peter, Arent Jansen, Jan Arentsen. This would be part of the Clark Co., IN - Iowa Pralls. Census and grave records have Elmus' birth between 1871-1873. The photo was found in an attic in Drumright, OK and turned over to the Historical Society. Let me know if you are an Elmus Q. descendant!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Genealogy is like baseball, stick around long enough and you see something that you haven't seen before. Today I came across an 1880 census entry for occupation "laid up, spinal issues & heart issues." That's a new one!

If any of you Pralls out there have an ancestor E.Q. Prall, born Oct. 31, 1870, let me know. I received an e-mail about a picture from when he was four.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Genealogy is a wonderful adventure! Hours of research lead to conflicting pieces of evidence that don't fit with the facts that you already have. Pouring through resources online or in a research facility only to find that there's no information on the person/family you are tracking. Then there's the flip-side... Hours of research lead to that elusive piece of evidence that you have been after for years. Pouring through resources online or in a research facility only to find unusually well documented information on a gap in the pedigree chart. Enjoy the ride!

Weekend #2 for Hendricks Civic Theatre's production of A Nice Family Gathering. Show times are 7:30 tonight and tomorrow, 2:30 on Sunday.

The Genealogical Society of Marion County meets at the Crown Hill Cemetery Waiting Station at 1:00 tomorrow. The May presentation covers a discussion of a variety of Genealogy software programs [FTM, Legacy, RootsMagic, etc.] and a general Q&A sessions about genealogy in general. Attendance is free!

Getting back to the opening paragraph: My Crousore-Haught research is maddening! A petition for the appraisal of the value of the estate of Nicholas Crousore, dec'd , from 1815 names his children and the eight children of his late daughter Magdalena [Jacob] Haught, Jacob then married Magdalena's sister Mary.
Census records strongly suggest that Magdalena and Jacob had another son, George, who should be on the list. I can't find any other sources that put his birth late enough to be Mary's son. Then there are two daughters named Magdalena that some researchers have being alive in 1810. That seems doubtful.

The real fun has been determining when Magdalena died and Mary married. 1803 is the estimated birth year for the youngest of the grandchildren named in the 1815 petition. The next "surviving" child was born about 1809. There are three females born 1801-1810 unaccounted for in the 1810 census. So, Mary and Jacob must have married about 1805. Was this Mary's first marriage? Maybe. She would have been about 25 in 1805.

Dealing with people in the pre-1850 census era is the big stumbling block with this line. Many of them died before 1850, so identifying children and spouses is a serious challege!

Just one more thing..... Where's Columbo when you need him?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Prall Query: Those of you doing Prall research, here's a sort of fill-in-the-blank research problem. Judy Snyder is trying to fill in a gap in her lineage. If any visitors can help out, drop me a line.

Here's Judy's line starting with generation 3:
Pieter Prall [1672-1748] & Maria Christopher;
Isaac Prall [1710-1774] & Maria DuBois,
Isaac Prall [1753-1789] & Charity Dissoway
(missing generation)
Isaac W. Prall Sr. [1817 NJ - 1875 Logan Co., OH] & Catherine (possibly Hutchings) [1819 PA-1883]
Isaac W. Prall Jr. [1853-1934] & Laura "Jennie" Walker
Harry W. Prall [1891-1973] & Ferol Edna "Bess" Tudor
Isaac Edward Prall [1915-1970] & Margaret Musgrave
they had Edward & Judy

Initial thoughts were that the missing generation was Lewis Prall [1784-aft1853] & Esther Marsh, but research is not supporting that theory.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

We had a good audience at A Nice Family Gathering last night [size and reaction]. Still six shows to go [May 11-13, 18-20]. If you are close to Hendricks Co., IN, come and see it! [Web info on earlier post.]

One of my pet peeves with genealogy is the amount of misinformation posted on family trees and websites! Honest mistakes, typos, etc. are to be expected, but it seems that people need to double-check data and be wary of assumptions made by others.

I'm back to working on my Crousores with a collateral link to Haught. It seems that one branch of that family has parents born in the 1780s or 1790s with children born in the same two decades!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Good opening night for A Nice Family Gathering! Seats available for tonight and the next two weekends.

Sometimes genealogy research turns up some peculiar situations! One such situation came up with my Simmons research. I was digging into records for Sylvanus Simmons, younger brother of my James Morris Simmons, and found him in the census from 1860 through 1880. In 1860 the family consisted of Sylvanus, wife Henrietta and daughters Henrietta [14] and Ada [11].  Henrietta was indexed as Harriet and H.P. in the other two enumerations.

Sylvanus' mother, Dolly had written a letter to one of her sisters in November 1860 and mentioned several of her children, including Sylvanus, with whom she was living at the time. Dolly mentioned the girls [14 & 12], but not by name.

Sylvanus turned up in various northern Kentucky and Cincinnati directories through the early 1900s. Then came  three finds that led to mass confusion!

(1) Henrietta's obituary appeared in the Covington, KY Daily Commonwealth [17 Mar 1881]: "The funeral of Mrs. Henrietta P. Simmons, late wife of Mr. S. Simmons, took place this afternoon from the residence of her son-in-law, ex-councilman Bateman, on Bakewell St., where she died last Tuesday."

(2) The marriage of Ada J. Simmons to Edward Bateman on 3 Mar 1864 in Cass Co., IN

(3) The death certificate of Ada Bateman dated 27 Aug 1930 in Cincinnati, OH. Husband: Edward Bateman; Father: S. Simmons; Mother: Kate Van Loo.

Whoa! Kate Van Loo?! Mama was supposed to be Henrietta P. ________. What's going on? Husband and father matched with the obituary details, why was the mother different?

I had not been able to find Sylvanus, Henrietta and the girls in 1850. They should have been married about 1845 in Ohio or Kentucky.

A search of Ohio marriages turned up one for 16 Sept 1845 between Sylvanus Simmons and CATHERINE VAN LIEU. The 1850 census recorded S.S. Simmons [26], Catherine [23], Sarah A. [4] and Margaret J. [2]. Ages fit all concerned, but Henrietta was Sarah and Ada was Margaret! What was going on?

Based on the 1930 death certificate of Ada Bateman and other records, I had the right family. For some reason the females underwent name changes between 1850 and 1860. The informant on Ada's death certificate did give the "actual" name of her mother. The BIG question - WHY?

I'm still looking for explanations! I ran into a similar situation with one of my German Catholic families. I wrote the discrepancy off  as the possible use of baptismal given names in 1850 and preferred middle names thereafter. This Simmons family has me baffled!

Friday, May 4, 2012

First off, I need to correct a relationship error from the Earp/Crockett post. Robert W. Cunningham, who died at the Alamo, was the grandson of Lucinda Morris Cunningham Simmons, not her son. Robert was the son of Anna Jennison and David Cunningham. Anna was the sister of my 4th great-grandmother, Dolly Jennison, wife of John W. Simmons. That makes Robert my 1st cousin 5x removed.

The Genealogical Society of Marion County will be holding its May 12th meeting at the Crown Hill Waiting Station [34th & Boulevard Place] from 1:00-3:00. We will be examining several leading genealogy software programs such as RootsMagic, Legacy, Family Tree Maker and a couple of others. Those researchers in the area who haven't selected a software program or may be thinking about switching to a new one, are invited to attend.We will also have a general research Q&A session afterward. It's fee! For details and directions:

A Nice Family Gathering opens at HCT's Longstreet Theatre tonight! Seats are available!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I've neglected the blog the past few days getting ready for the opening of Hendricks Civic Theatre's production of A Nice Family Gathering on Friday. If you are a theatre-goer in the Indianapolis-Hendricks County area stop by. Show info at

Genealogy has been on the back burner, but the Crousore research is still #1 right now. If anyone who stops by to read the blog has ties to Nicholas Kraushaar/Croushore/Crousore of Fayette Co., PA, let me know.

Prall Reunion mini-update: I've heard from a couple of hotel chains with no positive results. Will keep all posted.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ancestor Wish List: How many of you have famous people you hoped you were related to when you first got into genealogy? I do have a handful of famous ancestors, both direct [Roger Williams] and collateral [Thomas Sumter, Nathanael Greene and Benedict Arnold.] There were two childhood heroes that I was hoping to link to in some fashion. Guess what? I did it! It took some stretching, but the ties are there!

#2: Wyatt Earp: I got hooked on Wyatt Earp through the TV series and have read tons of material on the Earps and the "Gunfight in the vacant lot next to Fly's Photographic Studio" [or better known OK Corral]. David Cawby, brother of my 3rd great-grandfather Martin Cawby Jr., married Nancy Earp. She was Wyatt's 4th cousin twice removed. Like I said - a wee bit of a stretch!

#1: David Crockett: I was one of the thousands of kids who caught "Davy Mania" thanks to Walt Disney. Again, it stuck. Reading about Crockett and the Alamo has been a passion. We won't discuss this surrendering issue. Lucinda Morris Cunningham was the 2nd wife of John Simmons Jr., my 4th great-grandfather. Her eldest son from her 1st marriage was Robert W. Cunningham. Robert went to Texas and found himself in an artillery company at the December 1835 siege of Bexar [San Antonio]. He stayed on as an artilleryman with the Tejanos at the Alamo in March 1836. Along with William B. Travis, James Bowie and, yes, DAVID CROCKETT, Robert W. Cunningham followed Travis' words to fellow Texans - "Liberty or Death, God and Texas!"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For those of you visiting the blog for PFA Reunion updates dates: If you would like to learn more about the John Prall House, where we will hold our general meeting and lunch, or the Prallville Mills across the road, please visit the Delaware River Mill Society site at If you would like to check out the sites we will probably include on the Staten Island trip [Historic Richmondtown, The Billiou House, the Watering Place, Fort Wadsworth, etc.] go to the following links:,_New_York
We will probably visit Washington's Crossing on Sunday, September 16. Some of you may be wondering why this particular place? In addition to the Crossing's historical significance, Prall and other local families were actively involved in helping to secure boats for Washington and serving the cause. John Prall, Jr. was involved with the Crossing. Edward Prall [Aaron, Pieter, Arent Jansen, Jan Arentsen], born in Hunterdon Co., moved to Maryland and served with the Maryland Line, had been captured at Long Island. 400 Maryland troops fought off six assaults and their ground while Washington withdrew the army to safety. [256 casualties]

More later...........................

Thursday, April 19, 2012

2012 Prall Family Association Reunion: For those Pralls who happen to stumble across the blog and aren't aware of the reunion or any Pralls not already members, it will be held in [of course] Prallsville, Hunterdon Co., NJ. [Brothers Aaron, Cornelius & Peter Prall [Pieter, Arent Jansen, Jan Arentsen] settled in Hunterdon Co. in the 1730s. Brother Johannes Praul settled in Bucks Co., PA]

Our social gathering/general meeting will held at the John Prall House across the road from the Prallsville Mills. We will meet on Friday [Sep.14] for a get-together, Prall news, lunch & a couple of speakers. There will be an art show at the mills that you can check out. You can explore Hunterdon Co., NJ or Bucks Co., PA on your own after the meeting, or get together with "cousins." [Either Friday or Saturday evenig we will try to have a 'social' at the base hotel (TBA).]

Saturday [Sep. 15] will be a long, but fun day! We will take a bus trip to Staten Island. There we will visit Historic Richmond Town, the Billiou House [home of Arent Jansen Prall's in-laws], the Watering Pace near Tompkinsville [where it is believed the family first came ashore], Ft. Wadworth and possibly another site or two.

Sunday [Sep. 16] will probably include a trip to Washington's Crossing Park [PA side] and a Delaware River Cruise.

I'll add some Hunterdon area sites to visit as the reunion nears.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My research focus for the past few months has been on my  CROUSORE [Kraushaar, Crowser, Croushore, etc.] family. My maternal 3rd great-grandfather was Jacob Crousore. His wife was listed in numerous family trees as Annie Ice. I was never convinced that those trees were correct. I took on identifying Jacob's wife as my "brick wall" for January's Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Problem Solving Course [more on the SLIG in a later post].

I knew Jacob was married in Ohio during the early 1820s, but not where. Online census indexes were a bust, so I knew the 1820 Census Index book could open the door - it did. John [Jacob's father] and Christian Crouser were in Clinton Co., OH in 1820. Next stop - marriage index. There were three Crowser entries: Elisabeth to John Smith [1818], John to Caroline Treadway [1835] and Jacob to Jemima Smith [29 Aug 1822]. Jemima definitely match with Annie, Anna or Anny from the 1850-70 Howard Co., IN Censuses.
I later received the marriage license, which named Jacob's father as John Crowser and Jemima's brother as John Smi th. The Crousores were in Delaware Co., IN during the 1830s. A deed search turned up "Jacob Crouser and Ama Jemima his wife." [She was 'Amy' in another deed.] Ama was indexed as Annie, Anna and Anny, now it made sense!

Jacob's trail seemed to end with the 1870 census. But NO! Sole surviving son, William, went to McPherson Co., KS, where the family appeared in the 1875 Kansas State census [Jacob & Emma]. Records show Jacob there until 1877. It appears Ama died about 1876.

So, Jacob Crousore [b. c1805 PA - d. 1877-1879 McPherson Co., KS] and Ama Jemima Smith [b. c1803 VA - d. c1876 McPherson Co., KS] were the parents of Edith Crousore who married John T. Simmons. Edith and John named a daughter Ama Jimima [Mima], who was my great-grandmother. I had always wondered where Mima's name originated. Now I know!

I'm working on Jacob's grandfather once again. The project is attempting to get all of Nicholas Crousore's children and their spouses identified. I'm missing one spouse, you guessed it! The wife of John, Jacob's father.

Monday, April 16, 2012

TDP Genealogy Blog Debut Entry

Hi fellow family historians,

I have been researching since 1990. My posts will focus on my family history research and adventures, the Prall Family Association, my ancestral family stories, the Genealogical Society of Marion County [IN] and my speaking engagements.

As I get rolling, I will be posting updates for the Prall Family Association Reunion coming up September 14-16 in Prallsville, NJ. I will also add recent research adventures and post some old ones.

Here's a partial list of families that I am researching: Prall, McHugh, Faucett, Crail, Wolary, Cawby, Simmons, Rhodes, Hubbard, Clark, Gulley, Hickey, Wagner, Laubscher, O'Neil, Rittenhouse and Crousore. There's plenty more, but these will do for a start.

If I can help anyone with info on my families, drop me a note. I'll give details on speaking topics a bit later. Welcome aboard!