Covering genealogy, family history, historical events and places, and anything else related!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Society Saturday: New York Irish History Roundtable

The New York Irish History Roundtable was founded on 4 July 1984. It promotes research on and interest in the Irish in New York City and their history over the last 300 years. It publishes an annual journal, New York Irish History.  It sponsors lectures, field trips, scholarships, walking tours, and museum exhibitions. For the last eight years, it has sponsored an Irish-language (Gaelic) mass at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.

Today I attended one of the New York Irish History Roundtable's lectures: "The City of Homes - The Irish in Brooklyn" by Dr. Stephen J. Sullivan. Dr. Sullivan's lecture was very enlightening for me, since my Irish-born 4th-great-grandfather Hugh Winters lived in Brooklyn. Earlier this year, I attended another of the New York Irish History Roundtable's lectures' I heard Joe Buggy speak about researching Irish ancestors in New York City.

New York Irish History Roundtable
New York Irish History Roundtable Facebook page

Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

Since today is my birthday, I have posted a picture of myself as a baby.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Those Places Thursday: Rotzel, Baden, Germany

Rotzel is located in Landkreis (County) Waldshut, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The earliest reference to Rotzel was in 1266, as "Rotsol". On 11 July 1972, Rotzel became part of the town of Laufenburg.

After the previous church was destroyed by fire, St. Karl Borromaeuskapelle was constructed. The first mass was celebrated in the chapel on 11 November 1853.

The inn Schwärzwalder Hof

Bürgerhaus (community center)

My 4th-great-grandmother Maria Eva Stäuble and her ancestors were from Rotzel.

Laufenburg (Baden)
Laufenburg: Stadtteile
St. Karl Borromaeuskapelle in Rotzel

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

European Maritime Day

May 20 is European Maritime Day. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the importance of the oceans and the role that they play in the lives of Europeans.

On 20 May 2008, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission signed a Joint Tripartite Declaration Establishing a "European Maritime Day".  This was done as part of the Integrated Maritime Policy, which was proposed by the European Commission in October 2007 and endorsed at the European Council on 14 December 2007.

Each year, a European Maritime Conference is held. This year's conference is in Piraeus, Greece.

The sea has played a role in the lives of Europeans in my family. My great-great-grandfather's brother Ola Peter Troedson was a sjöman (seaman) in Grevie, Skåne, Sweden. My great-great-grandmother's brother Andreas Eriksen was a skipperborger (skipper/ship master, social layer above the working class) in Haugesund, Rogaland, Norway. My 4th-great-grandfather Hugh Winters lived in the port city of Leith, Scotland and worked as a fireman, probably on ships. James Mapplebeck's father's family was from Rawcliffe, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, which is about 3 miles from the port city of Goole. His father's brother Robert Mapplebeck was a mate of a home trade passenger ship, and his father's brother William Mapplebeck was a captain who drowned when his ship was lost at sea.

European Commission: European Maritime Day
European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - 20 May: European Maritime Day set up by European institutions
European Maritime Day

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: William F. and Josephine H. Illig

William F. "Bill" Illig was born on 11 December 1889.  He was the son of German immigrants William Illig and Maria Anna Foerderer. On 12 June 1912, he married Marie Schneider, the daughter of my great-great-grandparents Carl Joseph Schneider and Christina Nagel. They had a son, William Philip Carl. Marie died on 28 November 1918 as a result of the 1918 influenza pandemic. William's second wife, Josephine Hattie Krill, was born on 9 February 1894. They had a daughter, Audrey. William died on 13 July 1967, and Josephine died on 16 June 1982. They are buried in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mappy Monday: Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway

Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway. Poor's Manual of the Railroads of the United States, 1903. Public domain. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Patricia Walls Stamm's lecture "Railroads and Their Records"at NGS 2015 inspired me to look for railroad maps. Many members of the Tarkington family worked for the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway. I found the Pegram station on this map. My great-great-grandfather's brother Jesse Tarkington was the engineer on a freight train which collided with a passenger train (on which my second cousin 4 times removed Joseph Greener Gower was the engineer) on 15 September 1909, one mile west of the Pegram station. Both of my relatives were killed in the accident.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

52 Ancestors: Week 20 "Black Sheep": William D. Gatlin

I have many black sheep in my family tree, and I have posted about them in the past. I have found some additional information on my great-grandfather's brother William D. Gatlin, so this week is the perfect time to share the update.

To recap, William was born on 10 December 1886 in Nashville, Tennessee. He was the third child of John William Morton Gatlin and Sarah Claire "Sadie" Dyer. His paternal grandfather William Dow Gatlin was tried for an ax murder, and his mother's half-brother Tom Cox was sentenced to death for killing a police officer (but committed suicide before he could be executed). As far as I know, William first served time in the Southern Illinois Penitentiary in Chester, Randolph County, Illinois, for committing robbery. He broke out of prison twice. He and his brother John were involved in a shooting, when a man tried to break up a fight between them and the man's gun went off. (The man lived.) He was arrested for stealing guns, ammunition, a knife, and 36 pairs of scissors from a hardware store in Bloomington, Indiana. He served time in the Indiana Reformatory and the Indiana State Prison. Not long after his release, he was sent to Joliet Prison in Joliet. Illinois, where he was shot and killed by a guard after refusing to obey orders. He died on 23 September 1919.

William's prison records from the the Indiana Reformatory and the Indiana State Prison provided more details about him, including his mug shot.

Mug shot of William Gatlin. From Department of Correction Indiana State Prison records. Record details available at

I found a brief newspaper item that mentioned his escape from jail after a deputy sheriff opened his cell. (The Day Book, vol. 1 no. 306, 18 September 1912, page 25.)

Now for the update: not long ago, I searched the Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program. I found two more news items about William, which provided information about one of his escapes from prison. 

Jasper Weekly Courier, 29 November 1912, vol. 55 no. 8, page 3. Available from Hoosier State Chronicles.

Jasper Weekly Courier, 6 December 1912, vol. 55 no. 9, page 7. Available from Hoosier State Chronicles.

From William's Indiana prison records, I had learned that he had escaped from prison but was caught after he committed burglary in Henry, Illinois. Although these two newspaper items are brief, they add more details. It was interesting to learn that he had escaped by drilling out part of a brick wall. I also had not known that he escaped with another inmate. I had not known that he went to Nashville the first time that he escaped. Most of his family was living in Chicago by then, but his sister Anna Elizabeth Gatlin and her husband Frank Joseph Smith still lived in Nashville. His father's brother and two of his father's sisters also lived in Nashville. I hadn't known that William was a jewel thief; when he was arrested in 1912 and sent to prison, he had stolen weapons. I learned  a lot from these two brief news items. I hope to learn even more about William. Black sheep are so interesting to research!