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

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, 1901 poster: El cinco de Mayo de 1862 y el sitio de Puebla Alternative Title: May 5, 1862 and the siege of Puebla. Creator: Frias, Heriberto, 1870-1925. Contributors: Posada, Jose Guadalupe, 1852-1913 (illustrator); Maucci Hermanos, Mexico (publisher). Part of Biblioteca del niño mexicano. Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library. Available from DeGolyer Library and Wikimedia Commons.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican Army over the occupying French army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Mexican President Benito Juárez declared the day a national holiday on May 9. 1862. Although it is no longer a national holiday throughout Mexico, schools are closed throughout Mexico  It is mostly celebrated in the state of Puebla; it is a holiday there and in the neighboring state of Veracruz.

Cinco de Mayo is also celebrated in the United States. It has been celebrated in California since 1863. Many celebrations take place along the United States/Mexico border and in areas with large Mexican-American populations. The holiday has become a celebration of Mexican culture.

Although I do not have Mexican ancestors, the wife of one of my cousins is from Mexico, and my maternal grandmother's brother Carl Schneider lived in Ciudad Mante, Tamaulipas, Mexico at the end of his life.

Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo from - The Battle of Puebla, Mexico in 1862
Cinco de Mayo Observance Is Important Because It Provides a Collective Identity for Latinos, Says UCLA Center 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wednesday's Child: Lillie Gertrude Gatlin

Nashville American, 27 November 1898, page 3

Lillie Gertrude Gatlin was the daughter of my 2nd-great-grandfather's brother Clarence Bateman Gatlin and Ella Lee. She died in Nashville, Tennessee in late November 1898, at the age of one year and four months. Her funeral was held on 27 November 1898.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tuesday's Tip: National Archives of Norway Historic Photo Archive

Earlier this year, the National Archives of Norway launched its archive of historic photographs. The images come from state, family, business, photographic, and press archives, and date from the 1880s to 1980.

The National Archives of Norway's press release provides more information about the photo archive. The direct link to the photo archive can be found at There is a section for historic photos and a section for photos of Esso service stations.

The photos are arranged by county (fylke), but it is also possible to search by keyword. I found some photos of places in which my ancestors lived.

The photo below shows the northern harbor in Haugesund, Rogaland, Norway. Before she emigrated, my 2nd-great-grandmother Marthe Elisabeth Eriksdatter (later Erickson)  spent some time living in Haugesund.

Nordre havn, Haugesund, Stavangers amt. 1900-1910. Riksarkivet [National Archives], Havnedirektoratet [Harbor Directorate]. Public domain. Arkivverkets fotoarkiv.

Some of my ancestors lived in Seljord, Telemark, Norway. The photo below shows Dyrskuplassen, the site of the annual agricultural show Dyrsku'n, which is held in Seljord.

Aerial photograph of Dyrskuplassen, Seljord, 1964. Statsarkivet i Kongsberg [State Archives in Kongsberg], Seljord Dyrsku. CC BY-SA. Arkivverkets fotoarkiv.

If you have Norwegian ancestors, try looking through this collection to see if you can find photos of ancestral places.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Military Monday: The Boxer Rebellion

On 2 August 1900, my great-grandmother's brother Garfield Graham (also known as Garfield Mapplebeck) and five other men left Alton, Madison County, Illinois and headed to St. Louis, Missouri. They intended to enlist in the United States Army and serve in China.

Alton Evening Telegraph, 2 August 1900, page 3

The Boxer Rebellion was taking place in China at this time. A Chinese secret society called I-ho-ch'uan (Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists) was opposed to the influence of foreigners and the Christian religion. They became known in English as the Boxers because they practiced martial arts. The Boxers attacked and killed missionaries and other foreigners, as well as Chinese Christians.

The Eight-Nation Alliance was formed in response to the Boxer Rebellion. It consisted of the British Empire, the United States, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, and Austria-Hungary. The U.S. Army, Navy, and Marines participated in the China Relief Expedition and attempted to rescue United States citizens and other foreign nationals.

In June 1900, the telegraph line between Beijing and Tientsin was cut, and the railway line between the two cities was destroyed. Violence in Beijing increased. An international expedition led by Edward Seymour was sent to Beijing on 10 June 1900, but was forced to retreat to Tientsin after being defeated by the Chinese Army.

In early August 1900, about 19,000 soldiers from the Eight-Nation Alliance began moving from Tientsin to Beijing. They arrived in the Outer City on 14 August 1900. On 15 August 1900, they entered the Inner City and occupied Beijing.

Route of the Relief Force of the Eight Nation Alliance, China, 1900. Retouched by Smallchief. Original image by U.S. Department of the Army (Military Review Magazine, 1983). Public domain. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

The United States did not participate in subsequent military operations. Most U.S. troops had been sent to Manila by the following winter.

Given the timing of events, Garfield probably did not serve in China as he had intended to do. I am not sure if he even ended up enlisting in the army. According to his 1930 U.S. census enumeration, he was not a veteran. However, since I do not know who provided the information to the census taker, the information could be incorrect. He was still in Alton in 1901, working at the glass company, so it seems likely that he did not end up enlisting. But if the American role in the Boxer Rebellion had continued for a longer period, perhaps he would have gone to China.

Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion in China 1898-1900 
China (Boxer Rebellion), 1900-01
China Relief Expedition
Eight-Nation Alliance
Leonhard, Robert. The China Relief Expedition: Joint Coalition Warfare in China, Summer 1900.
Seymour Expedition

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Sandy Gray Tarkington

Nashville Tennesseean, 7 July 1942, page 2

Sandy G. Tarkington 
To Be Buried Today

County Investigator's 
Father Dies Here

    Funeral services for Sandy G. Tarkington, 81, father of County Investigator R. L. (Bob) Tarkington, who died at his son's home early Sunday morning, will be conducted at 3 o'clock this afternoon at the Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ.
   Elds. A. C. Pullias and J. E. Acuff will officiate, and burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
   Mr. Tarkington was a native of Nashville. He spent most of his life as a boilermaker, but had been retired for approximately 15 years. He was an active member of the Maccabbees and of the Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ up until he became ill six months ago. He was also a member of the Richland Park Croquet Club.
   Surviving besides the one son are his wife, Mrs. Fannie B. Tarkington; one daughter, Mrs. J. E. Lannom; a sister, Mrs. Julia Johnson; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren, all of Nashville.
  Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Atty. Gen. J. Carlton Loser, Asst. Atty. Gens. Harry Nichol, Ben West, H. Frank Taylor, Ned Lentz, County Investigator Thomas Aldred, Charles Hix, Judge Chester K. Hart, Judge Charles Gilbert, Sheriff Claude Briley, C. H. Smith, Dr. W. J. Core, Dr. John J. Lentz, Chief John Griffin, Chief Elkin Lewis, members of the Nashville metropolitan police force, Jackson Bruce, St. Louis, Mo.; R. J. Black, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Dr. G. C. Reynolds, the Richland Park Croquet Club, W. W. Doty, A. J. Sykes and Mont Murray.

Sandy Gray Tarkington was born on 12 November 1860 in Williamson County, Tennessee. He was the son of my 3rd-great-grandparents Joseph Tarkington and Amanda Russell. He married Fannie Lou Barfield on 1 November 1885 in Davidson County, Their daughter Susan was born in 1886, and their son Robert Lee was born in 1889. Sandy died in Nashville on 5 July 1942.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Surname Saturday: Winters

The surname Winters has multiple origins. According to the Internet Surname Database, it was originally a nickname for "someone of a frosty or gloomy temperament." Wintr was the word for "winter" in Old English, Middle High German, and Norse. It is also an ornamental surname that was given to Ashkenazi Jews in Germany. It can also be an Irish surname that comes from the Gaelic Mac Giolla Gheimhridh. Gheimhridh means "winter." Irish Ancestors contains information from the surname dictionary Sloinnte na hÉireann, which states that the surname Winters is numerous in Counties Armagh, Down, Monaghan, and Tyrone. In The Surnames of Ireland, 6th ed. (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1985), Edward MacLysaght states that in County Tyrone, Winters is used as a synonym of MacAlivery (Mac Giolla Gheimhridh).

My known Winters ancestors are:

2nd-great-grandmother: Catherine Elizabeth Winters
born 12 November 1861, Tonawanda, Erie County, New York
married James Graham (my 2nd-great-grandfather)
married James Mapplebeck 20 November 1885, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
died 4 March 1942, St. Louis, Missouri

3rd-great-grandfather: John Bennet Winters
born 19 December 1831, Leith, Midlothian, Scotland
married Anna Walker (my 3rd-great-grandmother) 10 October 1859, Tonawanda, Erie County, New York
married Elizabeth Buise 18 May 1878, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
died 25 December 1879, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

4th-great-grandfather: Hugh Winters
born about 1810, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, Ireland
married Mary Bennet (my 4th-great-grandmother) 24 January 1831, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
married Eliza
died 7 February 1887, Flatbush, Kings County, New York

Friday, April 29, 2016

Friend of Friends Friday: Joe, Slave of Abner Neale

North Carolina Gazette or Impartial Intelligencer, 29 July 1784, page 2


RAN-AWAY, from the subscriber, in Newbern, on the night of the 6th inst a Negro Fellow by the name of Joe, about 5 feet 10 inches high, has lost some of his fore teeth, is very talkative, has been bred a house servant in the West-Indies; and is remarkably complaisant, had on when he went away an oznaburghs shirt and trowsers, a blue sailor's jacket with white lining, tho' carried away other surts of cloaths.
   The REWARD of TWENTY POUNDS, will be given for the above Negro, if secured in any goal so that the owner may get him. He is supposed to be gone to South Carolina, in company with a Negro fellow, of Mr SILAS STEVENSON, who ran away likewise, and has been seen about thirty miles from this place, on the upper road to Wilmington.
   All Masters of vessels, are hereby de[ ]red not to carry any such fellow out of the Country.
                                           ABNER NEALE
                     Newbern, July 15, 1784.