Tuesday, June 30, 2015

SLIG 2015, Wrap-up and 2016

2016: Problem Solving was placed on hiatus. I signed up for Josh Taylor's class on New England Research. It was a very rewarding week, but I guess I've gotten used to a two hour class and all-day research. The biggest drawback - not having sufficient time at the Family History Library.

Problem Solving offers a unique opportunity. Daily consultations on research progress is the big draw. You are "forced" to focus on one research topic for a week. You have the chance to work with record groups [deeds, church records, etc.] with which you have had limited experience.

You may not solve your problem, but there's a good chance that you will make inroads toward a solution. As demonstrated with my SLIG posts, I have managed to solve several problems during the week. With others some progress was made and a solution came weeks, even years later. Then there's those few that remain unsolved. Whatever the success, the week is highly rewarding and worth the expense.

Here is the UGA/SLIG web page url: http://infouga.org/ Check it out and sign up! At least five classes are sold out, possibly a couple of others. The rest have available space.

SLIG will be held January 11-15, 2016.

I would like to thank Judi Hansen for all of the time and effort she put in as Problem Solving coordinator for the past several years. Also many thanks to the consultants who have been in charge of the research groups. There have been 18: George Ott [5] leads the list. I have had the pleasure of working with 5 others twice. A special mention to one of my first consultants - Jimmy Parker, who passed away a few years ago. SLIG offers a scholarship in his memory.

Now, which problem am I going to submit.............................

2014: Dutch or Welsh? That was the Question

2014: The goal was to determine the ancestral heritage of immigrant Mathias St. John. An article had appeared in the April NEHGS Register documenting the ancestry of Mathias St. John/Sension as being Dutch [or Belgian], with the surname being Santken. A website under development  proclaimed that Mathias was Welsh. [consultants: Claire Brisson-Banks & John Kitzmiller]

This was my first venture into strictly non-U.S. research at Salt Lake. The material documented in the Santken article was easy to locate. The material, primarily from the Dutch Reformed Church records of London and St. Olave's Silver Street, supported the author's idea that Mathias St. John was the son of Christian/Christopher and the grandson of Mathias. Likewise, the bulk of the material presented supporting the Welsh lineage was accessible. The St. Olave's records were key here as well.

Both lines hinged on the baptismal record of Mathias, the immigrant, at St. Olave's, Silver Street in 1601.

It became clear that two lines were being researched. (1) The Dutch Satken line of Mathias, Chritopher and Mathias. (2) Mathias, Christopher, Thomas and Christopher. The two Christophers had different birth dates, Dutch - about 1575 and Welsh - about 1581.

The key documents missing were probate files for Christopher [Welsh] and the any of the Dutch line.

Also key was the definition of Stranger in London during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Santkens were identified as Strangers in several records. Were the Welsh considered Strangers? Unification had made the Welsh citizens, but it was agued that Christopher considered himself a Norman, thus qualified. The Dutch were clearly Strangers.

My inclination at the end of the week was in support of the Santken article. However, further evidence could sway me to the Welsh.

It was a worthwhile experience, but brutal! :)-

Sunday, June 28, 2015

2013 SLIG: Close, but no cigar!

2013: The goal - to locate information on Samuel Clark, believed to be the son of Isaac Clark  [1792-1874] . [consultants: George Ott & Kory Meyerink] Isaac Clark was believed to have been born in Kentucky and resided in Ohio and Indiana. His father, Samuel, was probably born in Pennsylvania, but little else was known, including the name of his wife.

About the middle of the week, I thought I had achieved my goal. However, the wife of one Samuel Clark signed her name on documents, the other didn't. At least I disproved a new line before accepting it! Always check the signatures on the deeds. I was able to find a few bits and pieces on Samuel.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

SLIG 2012: I Have a Smith Family!!

2012: The goal was to determine the maiden name of "Anny," the wife of Jacob Crousore and where the couple lived before settling in Indiana. [consultants: George Ott & Paul Graham]: "Anny's" surname has appeared as Ice is numerous family trees. No Anny/Annie Ice could be found for the early 1800s. Who was this gal?

The plan for the first day of the Institute was simple. I had not been able to locate Jacob Crousore in the 1820 online census indexes for Ohio. I was convinced the family had moved there and he probably married there. The Crousore surname also suffered the spelling variation disease. The FHL had the 1820 Ohio census index in book form.

In Clinton Co. under Crouser I located John, Jacob and Christian. Father, son, brother.

Next, check Clinton Co. marriages. Success! Jacob Crouser married Jemima Smith in 1822. [There was a note that the county archives records had more information, but the FHL did not have those records.]

Step 3: Dig into land records. Voila! A Delaware CO., IN deed named Jacob 'Crowsaw' and his wife, Ama Jemima. Wait a minute! Ama Jemima? My great-grandmother was Ama Jemima Simmons. Now I knew who she was named for!

The rest of the week was spent tracking the Crousore/Smith family and trying to piece together the Crousores back in Pennsylvania.

By Wednesday that note about the Clinton Co. Archives got to me. I called to ask about the marriage record. The wonderful lady on staff pulled the book and read the info to me. The record confirmed that Jacob was John's son. Jemima's brother was also named - John Smith. [A copy of the entry was mailed to me.]

A reexamination of the 1850-1870 censuses explained how Ama became Anna, etc. The 'm' had been written so that it was mistaken for a double 'n.' Ama became Annie, Anny, and Annie I.

That opened up new avenues of research. Ama had more brothers and the families traveled together.

The main question left unanswered was "when and where did Jacob and Amy die?" Only two of their children survived into the 1870s. Edith and William. Edith died in Indiana, William went west.

William took his parents along when he moved to McPherson Co. Kansas. They died there during the late 1870s.

Note: Follow-up research included contacting McPherson Co., KS to get local records on Jacob and Amy. I also went to Clinton Co., OH to dig more into the families there. Amy's brother John had married Jacob's sister Elizabeth. John's parents were William and Elizabeth [Reel] Smith. The Crousores, Smiths, Reels and Reeders [also marrying Crousores in PA] traveled to Indiana together. Revolutionary War records identified William's father as Henry Smith.

Friday, June 26, 2015

2011 SLIG: The Great Crail Mystery

2011: The goal was to locate James B. Crail, Jr. [birth - death unknown] and tie him to the family of James B. Crail, Sr. [consultants: Jim Petty & Craig Scott]: James B. Crail, was the father of Sylvester, John and Aaron Crail. He married Mary A. Jones. The births of the three boys were given in their Civil War service records. Their marriages and deaths are recorded. The same cannot be said for James.

This family has been the topics of several posts. James and/or Mary appear in three records. She bought two town lots in Marietta, Shelby, IN in 1851 and 1853. Together they sell the lots in 1854. That's it until Mary appears as a widow residing with son John in the Indy city directory in 1875.

I searched Hamilton Co., Ohio [where Sylvester and John were born], Marion Co., Ohio [where Aaron was born], Shelby, Marion, Johnson and Hamilton Counties in Indiana, where the family was known to reside. Two references in church records stood out in Hamilton Co., Ohio. James Sr. had already moved on, suggesting James Jr. could be the James Crail mentioned. The same could be said for a handful of tax records for the same county. James Sr. was in Indiana. There were possible cousins and brothers also taxed. All of the records were within a year or two of births of Sylvester and John. That was it for the week.

Note: Bull-headedness figures into the Crail research. I have been in touch with a couple of descendants of George Berry Crail. His parents are given as James B. Crail and Mary A. Jones on his death certificate. The information [siblings, children] given on George had been shaky. I cannot tie him to my three Crail brothers in any record. The best that can be said is that he does not appear in census records until 1880, missing 1850, 1860 and 1870 - the same three as James and Mary.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

2010 SLIG: The Big Breakthrough!

2010: The goal was to prove the ancestral link between James Morris Simmons [1804 NY - 1883 IN] and John Simmons [c1730 ENG - 1795 NYC] [consultants: George Ott & Wade Hone] This one was almost magical! I had located a series of online pedigree charts on a Simmons family that included my 2nd and 3rd great-grandparents from my Simmons line. The charts took the family back about five generations to New York City and another three generations to Hampshire, England. A great find, but it had to be proved. There were numerous references to the research done on this family on the GenForum message boards. A RootsWeb World Connect site was also in development on the family of "Wall Street John" Simmons, a tavern keeper in New York City.

One of the GenForum posts gave the mother of "Morris J. Simmons" as Dolly Jennison. "Morris" had died in Carroll Co., IN, but was buried in Kokomo, Howard, IN. I drove up to Dephi and requested a copy of the death certificate. The information provided: J.M. Simmons, died 25 May 1883 [78y 7m 2d] in Camden, Carroll, IN;widowed; father: John Simmons; mother: Dolly Simmons.

The Carroll Co. Historical Society had cards on James M. Simmons' kids, which added new data to the mix.

Armed with this assortment of information and pedigree charts, I aimed to trace the family and prove that  "Dolly Simmons" was indeed "Dolly Jennison." The FHL had a book on the Jennison family in the stacks.

After our Monday morning Problem Solving group meeting, I made a bee line for the Jennison Family History at the FHL. I pulled the book and found Dolly in the index. Included was a transcript of a letter from Dolly to one of her sisters written in 1860. Dolly wrote about several of her children, including Morris. There is was! The proof that Dolly Simmons was Dolly Jennison and the mother of James Morris Simmons.

I spent a good chunk of the day reading through the Jennison book, putting together Dolly ancestors and making copies. I also looked through a handful of books written on the Simmons family.

My P.S. group had mixed emotions on Tuesday. They were thrilled that I had found the link so quickly and wanted to string me up because I had found the link so quickly. :)- From there it was verifying the family info on the pedigree charts and confirming the details in the Jennison book.

I knew from the GenForum posts that the firm that did the research for the pedigree charts was based in Salt Lake. I scheduled an appointment to request the list of sources, if possible, used in the research. I wanted to do my own digging. The heirs of the gentleman who had contracted the research would only permit me to have a copy of the pedigree chart for James M. Simmons.

So, I went to work on New York deeds, Pennsylvania deeds and English parish registers sorting out details on the Simmons clan. I gathered a lot of new material and added some 20 lines to my maternal side of the family.

Note: I continued the research after returning home. I searched for data that would verify or disprove what I had on the new ancestors. There were errors corrected and new details added.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2009 SLIG: The Hubbard Mystery Continues

2009: The goal was to find out the name of Levin Hubbard's second wife. [consultants: George Ott & Stan Lindaas] My great-grandmother, Margaret Jane Wolary Prall was the granddaughter of Levin Hubbard and his 2nd wife. I had been trying to locate her off-and-on for several years.

Not even George Ott's expertise could bail me out on this one. Searching Hubbard records from Maryland, Delaware, Ohio and Indiana provided no clues to the elusive lady's name. I was able to flesh out the children of all three marriages a bit, but nothing on wife #2.

Note: One ray of hope remained after the Institute. Elizabeth Hubbard Johnson, the only child of Levin's 2nd marriage to survive until Indiana deaths were officially recorded, died in Grant Co., Indiana in 1903. I drove up to Marion after I got home to check on the death registration. Her father's name was misspelled and her mother's name "unknown." The mystery continues.

Next up: The Big Breakthrogh of 2010!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2008: Finally Some Luck With Mom's Line!

2008: The goal was to flesh out the family of Louisa Wagner McHugh [1849-1906]. [consultants: Joy Price & George Ott] This was my first of five (so far) Problem Solving sessions with George Ott. All have been very rewarding. I knew from census records and Lafayette Co., Wisconsin research that my great-grandmother, Louisa Wagner was born in Missouri, married in Wisconsin and died in Chicago. Her parents, John Wagner and Catherine Laubscher, were natives of Baden.
 and settled in Pennsylvania.

This P.S. session provided some nice twists and turns as the week progressed. I had decided that the maiden name of Louisa's mother was Laubscher based on rather poor handwriting on her brother William's death registration. Others had deciphered it as Lancher or Lanscher. The P.S. group was in agreement on it being Laubscher.

The 1850 census for the lead mining district near Fredericktown, Madison, Missouri showed a Margaretha Wagner with children John, Henry and Mary residing with a George Laubscher. The ages and birthplaces were right for Catherine, Henry, William and Louisa. The father for this family was missing, but the Laubscher surname was promising. Lafayette Co., Wisconsin, where the Wagners were found in 1860 was also lead mining country.

Lafayette Co. deeds provided the proof that Margaretha and Catherine were one and the same. George Laubscher and the Wagners acquired land together in Lafayette Co. in 1851. The WI State Census for 1855, showed only Catherine and her three children. Evidently, John had died between 1851 and 1855.

As it turned out, Catherine had three brothers. George and Louis/Lewis had gone to Missouri as miners. Youngest brother Charles remained in Pennsylvania. Both George and Louis both served with Missouri Union forces during the Civil War and returned to Pennsylvania after the war. I was able to order the pensions of George and Lewis from the NARA, which helped flesh out their stories.

Catherine died during the 1880s. Louisa married James McHugh and, after his death in 1898, moved with her children to Chicago. Louisa died there in 1906.

On the Saturday after SLIG, I finally had time to dig into Lafayette Co. probate records which shed some light on the death dates of John and Catherine. In a warranty deed dated 1882 [recorded 1885], Lester Metcalf had purchased 40+ acres from the Wagner estate. Metcalfe wanted to sell the land in 1892 and told the probate court that Catherine had died "10 or more years ago" and John had passed "many years ago." Catherine was alive in 1880, so must have died in 1881 or 82. John's death remained in the 1851-1855 range.

Monday, June 22, 2015

SLIG 2007: You Wouldn't Think a Name Could Be Spelled So Many Ways!

2007:  This project had a three-fold goal: (1)To determine in which states/colonies the Cawby family resided; (2) Learn the name of John Cawby's wife; and (3) Determine the birthplace of Martin Cawby Sr. [consultants: Jim Petty & Natalie Cottrell]

The biggest problem with the Cawby family was spelling variations. A fellow researcher had come up with about 60 versions of the name over the years. I would add to that number during the week. It seems the name could begin with either a 'C' or 'G,' so just about every spelling was doubled!

My primary lead, provided by the above mentioned researcher, was the possibility that the Cawbys came from North Carolina, perhaps the Catawba River Valley. As luck would have it, on the top shelf of the North Carolina section of the Family History Library was a book entitled
German Speaking People West of the Catawba River in North Carolina 1750 - 1800 and Some Emigres Participation in the Early Settlement of Southeast Missouri
It  included a chapter on a Johannes Gabi/Cabi. That began the new run on different spellings. Johannes settled in Lincoln Co., NC about 1789. His unidentified first wife had apparently died before the family arrived in Carolina. He had arrived in Philadelphia and settled in Maryland.

A check of Maryland sources did not reveal any details, other than establishing Johannes' residence there. Based on the dates of birth of John's children, they were Maryland born.

The Lincoln Co., NC records gave a good account of Cawby's two decades there. Deeds were interesting to research since so much attention had to be paid to "anything close" to Cawby.

The Cawbys first appeared in Kentucky records in 1809. This matched beautifully with the end of Cawby records in North Carolina. The names that had appeared in NC and then KY: John, Martin and David. The Cawbys were among a number of German families that moved from North Carolina to Jessamine Co., Kentucky.

The consensus again was that I had the right people. I had managed to accomplish two parts of the goal.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

2006 SLIG: A Rumor Becomes Reality

2006: The goal was to determine the mother of Mary Hazen. Most sources identified her mother as Elizabeth Dart [d/o Daniel Dart & Elizabeth Douglas], but I had found at least one source that claimed Mary's mother was Elizabeth Turner [d/o Ezekiel Turner & Susanna Keeney].  [consultants: Claire Brisson-Banks & David Barss]: Early in my research, I had exchanges e-mails with a Hazen descendant who told me that she had heard rumors of a Mayflower connection in the line. The Hazen Genealogy made no such claim. I came across an issue of the Mayflower Descendant that gave Elizabeth Turner as Mary's mother, not Elizabeth Dart as Hazen and most sources claimed.

Digging into various volumes on Mayflower families, records for New London, Connecticut and a gem of a source: The Diary of Joshua Hempstead of New London, Connecticut, the story unfolded. Mary Hazen's father, John, had indeed married Elizabeth Dart. However, it was Elizabeth's 2nd marriage; her first husband had been Thomas Dart, son of Daniel and Elizabeth [Douglas] Dart. Elizabeth was the daughter of Ezekiel and Susanna [Keeney] Turner.

The ancestry of Mary Hazen changed considerably with this revelation. Susanna Keeney was the daughter of  John Keeney and Sarah Douglas, aunt of the afore mentioned Elizabeth. Ezekiel Turner was the son of John "the Elder" Keeney and Mary Brewster. Mary Brewster's father was Jonathan, son of Elder William Brewster, who arrived in Plymouth aboard the Mayflower.

So there it was! The Mayflower connection! Tracy Hazen in compiling his story of the Hazen family had located the Elizabeth Dart - John Hazen marriage, but incorrectly assumed she was born a Dart, not a Dart by marriage.

A secondary goal was to find a record of Mary Hazen's marriage to Seth Hurin or Mahurin. The marriage took place about 1753, probably in Morris Co., NJ. That record failed to materialize.

Note: The conference hotel changed hands again. The Prime became The Radisson. The hotel was undergoing renovations during the institute. My group met in a room off the lobby, possibly the coldest room in the Northern Hemisphere. We were afraid to take off our coats! I learned from consultant Jimmy Parker that his group's room suffered the opposite. They had trouble staying awake due to the heat! The next year we were back in regular, comfortable meeting rooms. Never a dull moment! 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Tide Begins to Turn: SLIG 2005

2005: The goal was to determine if Samuel St. John  [1672-7 - before 1752] the son of Mathias II or Mathias III?  [consultants: Kory Mererink & Gordon Remington] I had corresponded with a fellow St. John researcher who had determined that Samuel St. John had been incorrectly identified as the son of Mathias II St. John and Rachel Bouton. He should, instead have been listed as Mathias II's brother. Taking this theory [with his blessings], I set out to see if the evidence agreed. Orline St. John Alexander's The St. John Genealogy, is and was the basic bible for St. John research.

I used the St. John Genealogy for the primary purpose of identifying the deeds for Mathias I, Mathias II, Mathias III and Samuel, as well as siblings of M-II and Samuel. I also utilized resources from the various places where the St. Johns lived, Norwalk [CT], Windsor [CT], Wethersfield [CT], Ridgefield [CT], Cortland Manor [NY] and Salem [NY].

There was no direct evidence stating that Samuel was Mathias II's son. The deeds and, especially, Norwalk town records, however, supported that theory. Part of the key was realizing that the three Mathias were going to change identity. When Mathias II came of age, he would be "junior" and Mathias I would then be "senior." After M-I's death and when M-III became of age, M-II became "senior" and M-III became "junior." Samuel was consistently deeded land by M-II, as were James, Ebenezer and Mathias III.

The St. John Genealogy gave Samuel's birth as 168_. Norwalk records and deeds suggested a date between 1672 and 1677. Samuel's wife, Rebecca Olmstead, was born about 1681.

In the vernacular of the time, the consultants and the research group felt that "the preponderance of evidence" supported the theory that Samuel had been misplaced.

Next up, 2006, A Rumor Becomes Reality

Friday, June 19, 2015

Salt Lake Institute:: The Lean Years - 2002-04

Looking back, I'm amazed that I stayed with the SLIG after my 2nd, 3rd and 4th years. Breakthroughs were few and far between, but I was honing my research skills and having fun in the process.

2002: The goal was to piece together John Faucett's life between his birth in 1751 or 1752 and his Revolutionary War service and then between his war service and arrival in Ohio in 1797. [consultants: David Dilts & Larry Piatt] Turning up Faucett records in western Virginia and western Pennsylvania was akin to pulling teeth with chopsticks. I wasn't going to happen. The consultants hoped that the Draper Manuscripts would offer some clues. Lyman Draper chronicled the American frontier and his journals are an essential tool in learning about the years 1755-1815. Draper covered the history of  the western Carolinas and Virginia, parts of Georgia and Alabama, the Ohio Valley and part of the Mississippi Valley.

I spent a good part of the week reading Draper. There was nary a reference to John Faucett who lived in western Virginia and Pennsylvania and Ohio during those years. John's Revolutionary War pension file detailed his service, but gave no indication of his family members.

Note: All was not lost. During the next few years, I would locate bios on a couple of John's grandkids that told essentially the same story. John was taken captive by Indians as a boy, later released, married and ended up in central Indiana, where he died in 1838 at the age of 86.

2003: My goal was overly ambitious. I tried to focus on the records of three families [McHugh, Crail & O'Neil] instead of one. [consultants: Alan Mann & Judy Wight] The consultants steered my focus toward the Crails since I had done some fairly extensive research on the McHughs in Wisconsin back in 2001. The O'Neil research was designated for another time. The Crails were then and are now a difficult family to research. Very little was uncovered.

Note: I would address the McHughs again later. I think I've located Catherine O'Neil's arrival. The Crails? SIGH!

2004: The goal this time was two-fold, to identify my immigrant Crousore ancestor and to trace the families of John T. Simmons and his wife, Hester Jane Moore. [consultants: Stan Lindaas & Gordon Remington]  The Crousore research was side-lined and the Simmons-Moore families took the forefront. Bits and pieces of info surfaced, but nothing that shed light on either family. The number of Moore families in the Carolinas was mindnumbing. Few of the Moores in Ohio fit the profile for having a daughter born about 1800. A rough week!

Note: I would bring the Crousore and Simmons families back to Salt Lake later on with resounding success. The Moores not so much.

Maybe it was the Wyndham Hotel [our SLIG base-of-operations] becoming the Prime Hotel in 2005. Maybe I was due for a change of fortune. Whatever the case, the next four years were incredible!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Saga

I have been promoting the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy since beginning my blog. One of my charts was a thumbnail of my success, or lack thereof, year to year. The next few posts will chronicle my Problem Solving adventures at the SLIG beginning in 2001 and running through 2014. [As mentioned Problem Solving was placed on hiatus this year, but will be back in 2016.]

2001: Identify the Parents of Zachariah Rhodes: Suspected to be Holden Rhodes and Susaanah Wall of Rhode Island [consultants: Jimmy Parker, David Putnam] The title stated my primary goal. Secondary motives were to flesh out Zachariah's story in Baltimore. Jimmy and David were great consultants to have at my first SLIG. There was little doubt that I had correctly identified the parents of Zachariah. From there the hopes were to find his date of death, the date of death for his wife Harriet Cunningham and exactly what happened to their only child Ann Bathia Rhodes, before she turned up with her widowed aunt and married into the Prall family in Harford Co., MD.

Not much was found on Zachariah and Harriet. The Life and Time of Samuel Gorton stated that Zachariah died at sea. That, at least, confirmed a family story. I located pits and pieces on Ralph Porter and Bathia Cunningham [Harriet's sister]. John Brown Jr.'s will named the Porters and Ann Bathia as heirs. [John was the son of another Cunningham girl.]

It was clear that Ann had been taken in by the Porters after her mother died. She and Bathia later moved to Harford Co.

Note: Since 2001, the Rhodes story has fleshed itself out. A trip to Baltimore nand an examination of city directories and other records narrowed Zachariah's death date to 1814-15 and Harriet's to 1818. A trip to Boston would turn up the name of Zachariah's ship, the date it left port and the destination.

Tomorrow I will relate three of my less successful SLIGs [2002-04]. Each had its successes, but overall, the goals were not met. Don't be discouraged! It got better in a hurry! :)-

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Family Photos: Last, but not least

I hadn't planned on any recent family photos, but it is my blog and I'm entitled to add one of myself:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The McHugh Kids: 1920-1925

Back to Mom's side of the family: The photo on the left is of my Mom's three brothers. The images on the right are two of my favorites, Uncle Mutt [4] and Mom [4] getting ready for the Indy 500. To the best of my knowledge, both failed to qualify for the field of 33.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Family Photos #7: Family Vacation?

My best guess is that the Pralls are leaving for vacation. Luggage is securely strapped to the driver's side running board. That's my grandfather at the wheel, my Dad in the middle and Aunt Dorothy next to him. Pop must be about 6-7 here. That would date the picture in the md-1920s. Grandma must be the photographer.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Family Photos #6: Four generations of the family

To me, this is one of the neater photos of the group. Four generations of the family! There is a bit of debate on the identification of one generation. My best guess for the date of the picture is as early as 1919, but no later than the summer of 1920.

The lady on the far right is my great-great-grandmother, Lucinda Gulley Cawby who died in September 1920 at the age of 89.

To her left is her daughter, Elizabeth June "Lizzie" Cawby, my great-grandmother. [c53]

Lizzie is holding the topic of debate. Originally, I thought she was holding my Aunt Dorothy. That would have placed the date of the photo about 1916. However, the shoes made me rethink the identity of the youngster. They look more like boy's shoes than girl's. It may well be my father, Hugh Charles Prall in 1919-20.

Finally we have, on the far left, my grandmother, Mayme Faucett Prall. [c35]

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Family Photos #5: Grandparents

This photo was provided by one of my cousins. There were eight pictures of grandparents, my father and his sister as youngsters and my grandfather and his sister. When my Dad saw this one, he said that his father never dressed like that in his life. So, the best we could figure, it had to involve a special occasion - like their wedding in 1911. The couple: William Marshall Prall [33] and Mayme Faucett [26].

Friday, June 12, 2015

Family Photos #4: Grandma at 16

One last photo for the Crail collection: This photo of Bess Catherine Crail was taken in 1907 by a Shelbyville photographer named Harley. Harry, Pansy and Bess had their pictures taken professionally at 16.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Family Photos #3: The Crails from "Picturesque Shelbyville"

While I was researching my Crail family in Shelbyville several years ago, I looked through the local history books as well as other resources. The true gem that I came across was a book entitled Picturesque Shelbyville. James Crail was a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and belonged to the local chapter in Shelbyville, as was his son Harry. There was also a women's auxillary.  Mima Crail and eldest daughter, Pansy Nell were members of that organization. The book included a group photo of both the SUVCW members and the women's auxiliary. This gave me pictures of my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, Uncle Harry and Aunt Pans that I would not have otherwise had access to from 1902.  Dr. James Crail was 43, Harry was 16, Mima was 43 and Pansy Nell was 15. Be sure to browse through the local histories at the libraries, you never know who may show up!!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Family Photos #2: Bess Catherine Crail

The two photos above are of my maternal grandmother, Bess Catherine Crail, daughter of Dr. James and Mima [Simmons] Crail. The pictures were probably taken between 1898 and 1902. They were taken in either Kokomo or Shelbyville, Indiana.

Note: For those of you who are new to collecting and cataloging family photos DO NOT select an album with a sticky surface on the pages. It wreaks havoc with the photos! I was not aware of that problem when I started reorganizing photos back in 2000, after Mom died.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Family Photos #1: John W. & Dolly [Jennison] Simmons

We begin with the oldest of the photos that I have access to on my ancestors. The picture above was posted on Find A Grave by Douglas Bean. The guess is that it was taken during the mid to late 1850s. The couple, Dolly [Jennison] and John William Simmons would have been residing in Henry Co., IN or Northern Kentucky. Two versions of John's death exist: (1) He passed away in Wisconsin while helping one of his sons relocate in 1859. (2) He died in Northern Kentucky, Campbell or Kenton County in either 1857 or 1859. Dolly passed away in Covington, Kenton, Kentucky in 1862.

Dolly was born in Worcester Co., MA  on 31 March 1787. John was born on 16 October 1781 supposedly in New York City. The Simmons family had evacuated New York during the British occupation in 1776, thus making John's birth in the city questionable. John's father was in Orange Co., NY during the Revolutionary War. The 1850 Newport, Campbell, KY census gives NY as his birthplace.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Salt Lake Institute 2016 and a Baseball Note

The course descriptions are posted for the 2016 Salt Lake Institute. Here is the url: 

Check it out, the SLIG is a great experience! Hope to see a few new faces there!

OK, this is not genealogy, but is interesting. My girlfriend and I attended the San Diego - Cincinnati game yesterday. It was our 3rd game. I am tossing out the "there's no sense of urgency" game from September 2013 vs. Milwaukee. [The Reds were in folding mode as the season wound down and the manager was fired in the off-season.] Last year vs. Marlins: Cueto starts and goes 8 innings, Devin Mesoraco hits a solo home run and a grand slam to lead the Reds to a 6-2 win. J.J. Hoover pitched a scoreless 9th. Yesterday: Cueto pitches 7 innings of shutout ball. Jay Bruce hit a solo home run and a three run homer to lead the Reds to a 4-0 win. Hoover pitched a scoreless 8th. [Chapman pitched the 9th to secure the win.] Footnote: Both games saw 11 strike outs by Reds pitching and free pizza for the crowd.

See the similarities? Maybe we should be should be put on the Reds' payroll! We also witnessed a very funny incident. In the 8th, 1B Votto and 2B Phillips barely avoided a collision on a pop fly caught by Votto. In the 9th, on another pop fly, Phillips emphatically waved Votto off as he caught the ball. A bit of humor late in the game!

Back to full genealogy mode tomorrow!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Family Photos: Introduction

I will be posting a few family photos and giving some background on them over the next few days. Unfortunately, neither side of the family had much of a selection stored up over the years. Most of my ancestral photo collection is set in stone - the types used for cemetery markers.

On the paternal side, one of my cousins e-mailed a handful of photos about 10-12 years ago. These photos ranged from about 1911 to the late 1930s. There are a couple of gems in the collection. Nothing earlier has survived.

My maternal side did a little better job on saving photos. I have one from the 1890s. There are a few pre-1930 photos. One recent find dates back to the 1850s. The photo that I have heard about, but has never been located, is of my great-great-grandfather, Aaron Crail, and his brother, John. They were in uniform and getting ready to serve in the Civil War. I would give my eye teeth to see that one!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Salt Lake Institute Registration Coming Soon

Registration for the 2016 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy opens in two weeks [June 20] at 9:00 AM Mountain Time [11:00 AM Eastern]. The first couple of hours can be hectic as folks try to sign up all at once. Strike early and be patient if you are interested in a course that looks like it might generate a lot of interest. Details: http://www.infouga.org/ Some information is also posted on the blog at http://ugagenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Possible Lead!!!

I came across a reference on World Vital Records to a book that offered some possible insight as to the parents of Frances Ann "Franky" Franklin, who married Enoch Gulley c1781. The Underwoods of Madison County, Virginia offers Sarah Underwood and Edward Franklin Jr. as candidates for Franky's parents. Sarah was the daughter of Nathan Underwood and Elizabeth Anderson. The time frame and locales fit. More research is needed. A possible #7 option for SLIG Problem Solving!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wrapping up Religion

Well, that about does it for the variety of religious beliefs that have made up my ancestral heritage. My maternal side has been dominated by the Church of England [Episcopal & Anglican] and the Catholic Church, with a little Lutheran stirred in for good measure. The Paternal side? Everything else in the pot! Dutch and French Reformed, Puritans & Pilgrims, Baptist, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Quaker, Lutheran, Anglican and Methodist.

I would love to tell you what's up next, but I'm sure myself - so stay tuned! I'm thinking about early photographs, but those are lacking in my collection of memorabilia. Until tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Methodist Church

The Methodist Church has its roots in the teachings of Charles and John Wesley and George Whitefield within the Church of England. These three men began holding bible study groups at Oxford University. Their methodical and detailed approach led them to be called Methodists.

The Wesley brothers took their teachings to America in 1735, attempting to spread their gospel to the natives in Georgia, John Wesley returned to England and met with clergymen he respected to identify their basic foundations of the Christian faith:
  1. People are all, by nature, "dead in sin," and, consequently, "children of wrath."
  2. They are "justified by faith alone."
  3. Faith produces inward and outward holiness.
The American Revolution effectively separated the Methodists from the Church of England. Methodism spread like wildfire in the American frontier. The Church employed circuit riders, many laymen, to spread the Gospel throughout the rural countryside. Before long, Methodist Churches were springing up in nearly every community.

If you are not sure about Methodist ancestors, check the family rolls for the names John Wesley and Charles Wesley. It's a safe bet when those names pop up that that family followed the Methodist faith, at least for awhile.

A couple of examples: Isaac R. & Ann Bethia [Rhodes] Prall named their 2nd eldest son Charles Wesley. Joseph & Rebecca [Hurin] Faucett named a son Joseph Wesley. I'd bet that middle name was significant. John & Eve [Fry] Faucett, and Joseph & Rebecca, as well as several other members of the 1st two generations of Faucetts to become Hoosiers are buried in what was originally the Shiloh Methodist Church burying ground in what is now Avon, Hendricks Co., Indiana.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Church of England

The Church of England is the official Christian church of England. It was established by King Henry VIII when the Pope refused to allow the annulment of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon so that the king could marry Anne Boleyn. The Church of England follows practices of both the Catholic and Reformed churches.

The Episcopal Church was the outgrowth of the Church of England in the American colonies with the first church founded in Jamestown in 1607. The Anglican Church [CofE] dominated New England, New Jersey and New York during the Revolutionary Era. Anglican ministers had to swear allegiance to the Crown in order to keep their positions.

In at least one case, residents of Hunterdeon Co., NJ understood the minister's predicament. They had had their children baptized in the local Anglican Church while their Presbyterian Church was being rebuilt. They hung the the minister in effigy, but otherwise left him and his church alone.

Other than the handful of Puritans, Pilgrims and members of other denominations already discussed my New England ancestors were Anglican. Of note, the Simmons family of NYC attended Trinity Church in New York City and, to the best of my knowledge, the family continued to follow the Episcopal/Anglican faith into the 20th century.