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!