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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mappy Monday: Map of Chicago, Showing the Burnt District

 Freeman & Burr.. Map of Chicago, showing the burnt district , Map, [1871]; digital images, (, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting University of Texas at Arlington Library, Arlington, Texas.

Before the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, John Bennet Winters, his wife Ann, and their daughter Elizabeth lived at 247 S. Jefferson, Chicago. They did not live there after the fire. Looking at this map of Chicago showing the burnt district, it appears that the family was probably affected by the fire and had to move.

To zoom in for an even closer look, go to

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Census Sunday: The Russell Family in 1840 and 1850

In 1840, my 5th-great-grandmother Hannah (Hardgrave) Russell was enumerated as head of household in Civil District No. 14, Davidson County, Tennessee. Her son James Russell was listed as head of household on the same page of the census return.

1840 United States census, Davidson County, Tennessee, roll 520, page 349, image 718. 

 Hannah's household included one free white female age 40-49 (likely Hannah, although the age is incorrect; perhaps the census taker marked the wrong column, or Hannah's age was reported incorrectly), two free white females age 30-39, one free white female age 10-14, one free white female age 5-9, two free white females under age 5, and two free white males age 5-9.

In 1850, many of the same people were listed on the same census return page for Davidson County, Tennessee.

1850 United States census, Davidson County, Tennessee, population schedule, roll M432_875, page 279B, image 564.

Hannah and her daughter Sobrina (my 4th-great-grandmother) are enumerated in the same household, and her son James and his family are listed nearby. Two of the other households enumerated on this page also belong to the same family group. "Elvira Carrington" is Hannah's widowed daughter Malvira (Russell) Carrington, but her name is incorrect (perhaps the census taker misheard the informant), and her age is way off. Malvira and her children were probably living with Hannah in 1840. Hannah's granddaughter Amanda (Russell) Tarkington (Sobrina's daughter, and my 3rd-great-grandmother) was probably also in Hannah's household in 1840. Amanda married Joseph Tarkington in 1849, and she and her husband (my 3rd-great-grandfather) and their baby son James (my great-great-grandfather) lived near Amanda's mother, grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousins. Four generations of my family are listed on this census page.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sibling Saturday: The Five Anderson Siblings Who Came to America

Five of the children of Troed Andersson and Christina Jacobsdotter left Sweden and came to the United States.

Andreas Troedsson, my great-great-grandfather (born 24 February 1851 in Grevie, Skåne, Sweden), was the first come to the United States. He immigrated in 1872 and changed his name to Andrew T. Anderson; the middle initial T was from his original patronymic, Troedsson. He settled in Chicago, Illinois, where he married Marthe Elisabeth Erickson on 31 March 1877. They had seven children. He died in Chicago on 24 Jaunary 1916 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Johanna (born 16 February 1849 in Grevie, Skåne, Sweden) came to the United States in the mid-1870s and settled in Chicago. She married Frans Ludvig Oscar Sandquist, a widower, on 19 December 1885. They had four children. Johanna died in Chicago on 4 February 1934 and was buried in Oak Woods Cemetery.

Sven (born 30 December 1856 in Grevie, Skåne, Sweden) came to the United States in the mid-1870s. He changed his name from Sven Troedsson to Sven T. Anderson. In 1880 he lived in Suez Township, Mercer County, Illinois. By 1885 he had moved to Morris County, Kansas. He married Hannah Louise Abramson on 18 October 1887. They had thirteen children. Sven died on 6 October 1914 and was buried in Hebron Lutheran Church Cemetery in Morris County, Kansas.

Nils (born 14 November 1852 in Grevie, Skåne, Sweden) came to the United States in the early 1880s. He changed his name from Nils Troedsson to Nils T. Anderson. He settled in Chicago, where he married Ida C. Anderson on 27 November 1886. They had three children. Nils died in Chicago on 6 July 1928 and was buried in Rosehill Cemetery.

Elna (born  in 23 August 1845 in Grevie, Skåne, Sweden) married Nils Jonsson in Grevie on 15 April 1864. Their children came to the United States. In 1903, Elna and her son Sven Peter Nilsson came to the United States. Elna changed her name to Elna Nelson, because her children used the surname Nelson. Elna died in Chicago on 27 September 1925 and was buried in Graceland Cemetery.

Friday, March 28, 2014

52 Ancestors: #12 Margaret Woodley

My 9th-great-grandmother Margaret Woodley was a Quaker from Widdington, Essex County, England. She is mentioned in several documents which are described on the Seax - Essex Archives Online Web site. Constables' presentment for Widdington, created on 27 March 1671 (part of Calendar of Essex Assize File [ASS 35/112/3], Assizes held at Brentwood 26 July 1671), states that Margaret, wife of Benjamin Scott junior, was absent from church. (Because she was a Quaker, she did not attend the Church of England.) Deed to declare the uses of a fine, created on 19 June 1671, mentions Benjamin Scott junior of Widdington and his wife Margaret and Bridget Bingham of Newport, widow, and states that they were both daughters of John Woodley, late of Widdington, yeoman, deceased. Another document, included in Calendar of Essex Assize File [ASS 35/113/3], Assizes held at Chelmsford 15 July 1672, mentions Margaret, w. of Benjamin Scott, and many other people who did not go to church.

The England & Wales, Quaker Birth, Marriage, and Death Registers, 1578-1837 database on includes records from the Monthly Meeting of Thaxted. These records contain information about children of Benjamin and Margaret:

John, born on the 27th day of the 7th month 1668
William, born on the 22nd day of the 8th month 1671, buried on the 1st day of the 8th month 1676
Margret, born on the 17th day of the 7th month 1673
Martonn, born on the 4th day of the 7th month 1676
Bridget (my 8th-great-grandmother), born on the 16th day of the 4th month 1679

In 1681, Benjamin and Margaret, their children, and Margaret's sister Bridget left England and settled in Burlington, West Jersey, Province of New Jersey. Birth records from the Burlington Monthly Meeting, found in Early Church Records of Burlington County, New Jersey, Vol. 1 by Charlotte D. Meldrum (Westminster, MD: Heritage Books, 2007), contain information about one more child of Benjamin and Margaret: daughter Elizabeth, born on the 7th day of the 5th month 1681, on board the ship Henry and Ann at Gravesend.

Sadly, Margaret did not live long after coming to New Jersey. Early Church Records of Burlington County, New Jersey, Vol. 1 also includes death records from the Burlington Monthly Meeting. Margaret died on the 26th day of the 10th month 1682.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Dala Horse

A Dala horse (Dalahäst) is a traditional Swedish painted wooden horse. It may be painted red, blue, black, or white, or may be a natural wood. I received this Dala horse from my paternal grandmother Helen Martha Marie (Anderson) Gatlin when I was a child. At the time, I did not realize what it was; I just thought it was a pretty painted horse. Years later, after I began to learn more about my ancestors' cultures, I realized that it was a Dala horse. I have purchased more Dala horses since then, and also have red, black, and white ones. Dala horses are most often red. However, because I received a blue Dala horse as a child, when I think of a Dala horse, a blue one comes to mind.

More information on Dala horses can be found at the following sites:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Workday Wednesday: Carl Schneider, Schneidermeister

I have a scanned copy of my great-great-grandfather Carl Joseph Schneider's business card. My aunt Joan has the original card. The Schneider family came to the United States in 1892, so the business card must be from 1892 or earlier. Carl was a Schneidermeister (master tailor) in Remagen, Kreis Ahrweiler, Rheinland, Germany.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Swedish Traditions: Waffle Day

 Photo by Per Erik Strandberg  [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (]

March 25 is Waffle Day (Våffeldagen) in Sweden. Lady Day (the day of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin) is March 25, and in Swedish the day is called Vårfrudagen. "Vårfrudagen" became "Våffeldagen". This day is also considered to be the beginning of spring in Sweden.

My paternal grandmother was 3/4 Swedish, so I have many Swedish ancestors. Perhaps they ate waffles on March 25. Waffles have been made in Sweden since the 17th century.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Mappy Monday: Municipalities of Telemark, Norway

Municipalities of county Telemark, Norway. By Mahlum (Own work) [Public domain]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

This map shows the municipalities in the county of Telemark, located in southeastern Norway. My Norwegian immigrant ancestors on my mother's side of the family (the Boe and Halvorson-Otterholt families) came from Bø. Many of their ancestors were from Bø as well, but others were from Seljord and from Heddal (now part of Notodden).

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Census Sunday: Norwegian Surnames in Census Records

Finding Scandinavian ancestors in United States census records can be a challenge. Spelling variations are not the only potential difficulty. The same individual could be listed under his/her patronymic, his/her father's patronymic, or another surname (in the case of Norwegians, it could be a farm name).  This 1875 Minnesota state census record shows that even members of the same family could be enumerated under different surnames.

Minnesota state census, population schedule, 1875. Swenoda, Swift County, page 791. Minnesota, Territorial and State Censuses, 1849-1905 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.

The first circled family consists of my 3rd-great-grandparents Halvor Eriksen and Guro Hansdatter and three of their children. My 3rd-great-grandfather is enumerated as Halvor Erikson, my 3rd-great grandmother is enumerated as Toro Hanson, and their daughters are enumerated as Anne, Johanna, and Kari Halvorson. Every member of the household is listed under the patronymic that would have been used in Norway, although the women are listed under the masculine version. Even daughter Johanna, born in Minnesota, is listed with a patronymic instead of her father's surname.

Two more children of this couple are listed on the same census page. Their son Erik Halvorson is listed with Gustava Johnson. Their surnames are different, but they are husband and wife; they married on 16 August 1874. Their daughter Aaste (enumerated as Aste) and her husband Jorgen Jorgenson (my great-great-grandparents) are listed below with their daughter Kari. All of them are enumerated with the surname Jorgenson.

By 1880, Jorgen and his family were using the surname Boe. Erik most often used the surname Halvorson, but sometimes used the surname Otterholt. As adults, some of his children used the surname Halvorson, and some used Otterholt.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Foreign Language Press Survey

The Foreign Language Press Survey contains translations of articles which were published in Chicago foreign-language newspapers between 1855 and 1938. The Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration translated the articles in 1942. About 120,000 articles were translated. The translations were microfilmed and digitized, and in 2009 a new digital transcription was created. 22 different ethnic groups are represented in the collection. The majority of the articles are from Bohemian (Czech), Danish, German, Greek, Jewish, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, and Swedish publications.

In this collection, I found a translation of a list of 46 real estate transactions in Chicago in which the buyer, the seller, or both were Scandinavians. It appeared in the May 2, 1905 issue of the Swedish newspaper Svenska Nyheter. One of the buyers was Axel E. Olson, the husband of my great-great-grandmother's sister Minnie Borg.

Friday, March 21, 2014

52 Ancestors: #11 Kunigunde Dreier

Since March is National Kidney Month as well as Women's History Month, it is a good time for me to write about my great-great-grandmother Kunigunde Dreier. Kunigunde was born on 24 February 1846 in Niederwihl, Waldshut, Baden, Germany. Her parents, Jakob Dreier and Franziska Schäuble, were not married at the time of her birth. They married on 3 February 1848, a little more than five months before their next child, Magdalena, was born.

On 16 February 1871, Kunigunde married Johann Gerspacher. Three months later, on 15 May 1871, their first child was born. He was called Friedrich in early records, but called Fridolin in later records. Johann's father and Kunigunde's paternal grandfather were both named Fridolin, so I think it is likely that Fridolin is the name they intended their son to have. Two years later, on 30 May 1873, their son Hermann was born, but he died on 24 August 1873. Their next child, and their first daughter, was my great-grandmother Paulina, born 13 August 1876. The next son, born on 26 September 1877, was also named Hermann. He died young as well, on 18 December 1878. On 8 May 1879, their son Joseph John was born, and their daughter Augusta Marie was born on 29 January 1881. The last child born in Germany was their son Edward, born on 26 November 1882.

According to a letter written by my grandmother Margaret (Schneider) Boe (Paulina's daughter), Johann Gerspacher left for the United States alone, while Kunigunde was pregnant. When he arrived in America, he changed his name to John Gersbacher. Kunigunde and the children joined him in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1883. They left from Bremen, Germany on the Braunschweig, and arrived in Baltimore, Maryland on 26 July 1883. They had reached St. Louis by 10 August 1883, when baby Edward died.

Kunigunde and John had three more children after immigrating to St. Louis. Their daughter Anna Maria was born on 25 August 1886. She was the last child who would survive to adulthood. Their daughter Emma Louisa was born on 15 May 1888 and died on 1 August 1888. Their daughter Rosa Louisa was born on 17 December 1890 and died on 13 July 1891.

Their oldest son Fridolin died in St. Louis on 30 May 1892. Less than a year later, on 6 January 1893, Kunigunde died in St. Louis. She was only 46 years old. She died as a result of carcinoma of the kidney. She was buried at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in St. Louis.

 Kunigunde Dreier baptismal record, 24 February 1846. Katholische Kirche Niederwihl. Kirchenbuch, 1700-1889.

Gerspacher family, Braunschweig passenger list. Baltimore, Maryland. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, Maryland, 1820-1891. Microfilm Publication M255. RG 36. 50 rolls. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Kunigunda Gersbacher burial certificate. Missouri Death Records. Jefferson City, MO: Missouri State Archives.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Andrew T. Anderson's Chair

My parents have a chair that was made by my father's great-grandfather (and my great-great-grandfather) Andrew T. Anderson, who was born Andreas Troedsson on 24 Feb 1851 in Grevie, Skåne, Sweden. He was a wood turner. He immigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago, Illinois, which must have been where this chair was made.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday's Child: Alice, Hugh, and David Winters

The Winters family Bible includes information about three people with the surname Winters who were buried at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois. All were buried in block 2, no. 213. I contacted Graceland Cemetery to find out more about these people, such as their dates of birth or their ages at death. I was told that they were three children, all buried in one grave in their single grave section:

Alice Winters
Date of death:           July 29, 1866
Burial date:               July 30, 1866
Age at death:            14 days

Hugh Winters
Date of death:           September 10, 1866
Burial date:               September 11, 1866
Age at death:            3 years, 8 months

David Winters
Date of death:           September 22, 1868
Burial date:               September 26, 1868
Age at death:            21 days

I realized that they had to be children of my 3rd-great-grandparents John Bennet Winters and Anna Walker, who moved to Chicago in the 1860s. Young Hugh had the same name as John's father. I had thought that it was unusual that my great-great-grandmother Catherine Elizabeth Winters was an only child. I realized that she had not been an only child; she had been the only child that survived to adulthood.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dad and Me

I am sharing a childhood picture of myself with my father, since today is his birthday. This photo was taken at our family's home in New Jersey in the mid-1970s.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mappy Monday: 1799 Clement Cruttwell Map of Ireland

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I am posting this 1799 map of Ireland, drawn by G. G. and J. Robinson of Paternoster Row, London, for Clement Cruttwell's 1799 Atlas to Cruttwell's Gazetteer.

G. G. and J. Robinson, Paternoster Row, London, for Clement Cruttwell's 1799 Atlas to Cruttwell's Gazetteer. By [Public domain]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

52 Ancestors: #10 Margaret Ann (Schneider) Boe

Today would have been the 103rd birthday of my maternal grandmother, so it is the perfect time for me to write about her. She was a wonderful grandmother and was one of the best people that I have ever known.

Margaret Ann Schneider was born in St. Louis, Missouri on 16 March 1911. She was the third child of John Schneider and Paulina Gersbacher, both German immigrants. The family lived at 2024 Russell Boulevard, St. Louis. Margaret began was a gifted pianist who began playing at the age of nine. She attended Rosati-Kain High School, and and studied music at Fontbonne College (now Fontbonne University). On 22 September 1931, she married William Herbert Foerstel at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in St. Louis. They had a daughter and a son, but were divorced in June 1939.

My aunt Joan, Margaret's oldest child, told the story of how my grandparents met. Margaret had taken a job as a pianist at a beer garden. One night a fight broke out, and she took cover under the piano. So did a man, who introduced himself and offered her a cigarette. That man was my grandfather, John Boe.

John and Margaret left St. Louis, and married on 25 September 1939 in Indianapolis, Indiana. They were still living in Indianapolis at the time of the 1940 United States Census. Soon afterward, they moved to Detroit, Michigan, where Margaret had two more daughters and another son. John worked for P. F. Collier, and the family moved frequently. They lived in Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; New Hyde Park, New York; Redwood City, California; Highland Park, New York. When John was appointed Vice President of P. F. Collier and began working at the New York office, the family bought a home at 506 E. Saddle River Road, Ridgewood, New Jersey. John and Margaret lived there from 1956 to 1974, and then moved to an apartment in Ramsey, New Jersey.

Margaret played piano for the Ridgewood High School Jamboree for 25 years. She was a member of the Valley Hospital Auxiliary, and volunteered at Valley Hospital's Kurth Cottage.

Margaret died unexpectedly on 4 August 1986. She died in New York City, shortly after heart surgery. The day she died was one of the saddest of my life. She was always there for me when I was growing up. She was a warm, caring, loving, entertaining person and I was so lucky to have had her as my grandmother.

Margaret's funeral was held on 10 August 1986 at Christ Episcopal Church in Ridgewood, and was buried at Valleau Cemetery in Ridgewood, next to her husband John. Their gravestone inscription reads "THEY WERE LIFE ITSELF".

Margaret's graduation

Margaret's wedding picture, 1931

Margaret and John Boe
Grandma Boe and me

Thursday, March 13, 2014

52 Ancestors: #9 Marie (Schneider) Illig

The 1918 influenza pandemic killed approximately 50 million people worldwide. One of them was my great-grandfather's sister Marie (Schneider) Illig.

Marie was born Maria Schneider on 11 April 1890 in Remagen, Kreis Ahrweiler, Rheinland, Germany. She was the youngest child of Carl Joseph Schneider and Christina Nagel. In 1892 the family immigrated to St. Louis, Missouri. In 1901, when she was eleven years old, Marie's father died. In 1906, Marie began working as a sales clerk at the May Co. She continued to work as a clerk until she married William F. "Bill" Illig on 12 June 1912 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Marie's brother Carl J. Schneider and Louise Scheffer also married at this time, and the couples were each other's witnesses. On 20 December 1913, Marie and Bill's son William Philip Carl Illig was born. On 28 November 1918, Marie died of bronchopneumonia due to influenza. She was buried at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in St. Louis.

Marie and Bill Illig

Marie Illig death certificate. Missouri State Board of Health. Bureau of Vital Statistics.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 30 Nov 1918, page 6

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday's Child: Robert Leland Taylor

Tennessee City Death Records: Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Memphis 1848-1907. Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Death certificate no. 1091, Robert Leland Taylor. 4 July 1907.

Robert Leland Taylor was my paternal grandfather's half-brother. He was the first child of my great-grandmother Gertrude Tarkington. Robert was born on 12 June 1907 in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee and died on 4 July 1907 in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee. According to his death certificate, his father is unknown. However, since he had a different surname than his mother and the informant on the death certificate was his mother's sister Maggie Tarkington, I suspect that his father's name was known, but the family did not wish to provide it. I have not found any evidence that Gertrude was married to Robert's father.

Robert was buried at Vaughn's Gap, where Gertrude's father James William Tarkington and other family members were buried.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: George Washington Tarkington

BORN MAY 2, 1854
DIED JAN 3, 1902

Mount Olivet Cemetery
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee
Plot: Sec. 13 Lot 75

George Washington Tarkington was the son of my 3rd-great-grandparents Joseph Tarkington and Amanda Russell. He was born in Tennessee on 2 May 1854. He married Susan E. Post on 16 January 1878 in Davidson County, Tennessee. George died in Davidson County, Tennessee on 3 January 1902.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mystery Monday: Margaret McGillivray

The Winters family Bible contains a transcribed death notice for Margaret McGillivray, the wife of the late Charles Buise. The only date given was the 26th inst." I eventually found the original death notice, which had been published in the Montreal Daily Witness, 27 January 1880.

My 3rd-great-grandfather John Bennet Winters married Elizabeth Buise at St. Gabriel Street Presbyterian Church in Montreal on 18 May 1878. According to the record of their marriage, Elizabeth's parents were George Buise and Margaret White, and they were both deceased at the time of her marriage. John Bennet Winters died in Montreal on 25 December 1879. He and Elizabeth Buise were not married long. It is likely that there is some connection between Elizabeth Buise and Margaret McGillivray's husband  Charles Buise, but since John and Elizabeth were not married long, I wonder if there is another reason that Margaret McGillivray's death notice was transcribed in the Winters family Bible. Maybe Margaret McGillivray was related to John Bennet Winters, to John's previous wife Anna "Ann" Walker, or to James Graham, husband of John and Ann's daughter Catherine Elizabeth Winters. Maybe she introduced John and Elizabeth. I do not know why the Winters family moved from the Chicago, Illinois area to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Maybe they knew someone there, possibly Margaret McGillivray.

 Margaret married Charles Bews at Presbyterian Saint Andrew's Church in Quebec City, Quebec on 25 March 1847. The marriage record stated that Margaret was a spinster and was from Beauport. Their son Charles was born on 21 May 1847 and baptized on 22 November 1847 at Presbyterian Saint Andrew's Church in Quebec City. The record noted that the father was absent. Margaret was buried on 28 January 1880. Her burial is noted in the records of Anglican Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal. John McGillivray witnessed the burial.

I have not yet been able to find more information on Margaret McGillivray. I have found some information on her son Charles Buise,who lived in Montreal until about 1889, but I still do not know how this Buise family is connected to Elizabeth Buise, or if Margaret McGillivray is related to me in some way.

Margaret McGillivray Buise death notice, transcribed in the Winters family Bible

Margaret McGillivray Buise death notice, Montreal Daily Witness, 27 January 1880

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tennessee Union Provost Marshal Records

The Tennessee Union Provost Marshal records are available online at through the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The database consists of records from Microcopy 416, a collection of 94 rolls of microfilm created by the National Archives and Records Administration. It includes materials from War Department files from 1861 to 1867. The records include information about civilians, such as oaths of allegiance, claims of compensation for property, and lists of prisoners. Digital images of some records are available.

I searched this database and found that my 3rd-great-grandfather William D. Gatlin's horses were seized in 1863.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

52 Ancestors: #8 Hannah Hardgrave, A Woman of Strength

March is Women's History Month, so it is a good time for me to write about my female ancestors. My 5th-great-grandmother Hannah Hardgrave seems to have been a strong woman. She was born on 22 February 1782 in Wilkes County, North Carolina, and was the daughter of Francis Hardgrave (a captain and major in the Revolutionary War) and Sarah Greer. Around 1796, the Hardgrave family moved from Wilkes County, North Carolina to Lincoln County, Kentucky. In 1799, Hannah's parents and brothers moved to Tennessee. Hannah and her two sisters remained in Kentucky. Her sister Sarah, who had married Isaac Lowe in Wilkes County, North Carolina on 8 September 1790, was living in Barren County, Kentucky in 1810. Her sister Nancy married Archibald Mills in Lincoln County, Kentucky on 29 January 1797. Hannah married Andrew Russell in Lincoln County, Kentucky on 28 June 1799, and they settled in Pulaski County, Kentucky, which had been created from Green and Lincoln Counties in December 1798. The family appears there in the 1810 United States census, living in the town of Somerset. By 1820 Hannah and her family were living in Davidson County, Tennessee, near her parents Francis and Sarah Hardgrave. She was listed as head of household in the 1820 United States census; she was the head of a large family. Her husband Andrew Russell had probably died. On 7 August 1828, her father Francis Hardgrave died. He left Hannah the land that she was living on, and specified that after her death, it was to go to her son James Russell (her youngest son). Hannah's mother Sarah died on 30 November 1832. By 1840, Hannah was the only one of the children of Francis and Sarah still remaining in Tennessee, and may have been the only one of them that was still living. Her two oldest sons had moved to Kentucky. She was listed as head of household in the 1840 United State census. Again, she headed a large family, which probably consisted of her widowed daughter Malvira Carrington, Malvira's children, her daughter Sobrina (my 4th-great-grandmother), and Sobrina's apparently illegitimate daughter Amanda (my 3rd-great-grandmother). Her youngest son James lived nearby. Hannah could not read and write, and yet she managed, in a male-dominated society, to successfully raise three sons and five or six daughters, and to help raise her grandchildren, including one who appears to have been illegitimate. Sobrina lived with Hannah until Hannah's death; Hannah seems to have been a very supportive mother to her. Although Hannah had help from her father Francis Hardgrave until he died, and her son James Russell probably helped the family too, Hannah still strikes me as a remarkably strong woman for her time.

Hannah died in Davidson County, Tennessee about 1853. Below is her estate inventory.

Davidson County, Tennessee Will Books Microfilm Reel #433 Volume 16, Page 263, Hannah Russell Estate Inventory Dated 16 March 1854, Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Davidson County, Tennessee Will Books Microfilm Reel #433 Volume 16, Page 332, Hannah Russell Estate Inventory Sale, Tennessee State Library and Archives.

 Davidson County, Tennessee Will Books Microfilm Reel #433 Volume 16, Page 333, Hannah Russell Estate Inventory Sale, Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday's Child: Christina Schneider

My maternal grandmother's older sister Christina Schneider was born in St. Louis, Missouri on 20 April 1903. She was the oldest child of John Schneider and Paulina Gersbacher. Christina died of meningitis on 27 April 1909. She was buried at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in St. Louis. My grandmother, who was born in 1911, never knew her older sister. But even before I became interested in genealogy, I knew that my grandmother had a sister that died young. Although we never had a chance to know her, Christina is remembered by her family.

Christina, 6 months old

Christina, 4 years old

Monday, March 3, 2014

52 Ancestors: #7 Michael Dyer

My 3rd-great-grandfather Michael Dyer was born about 1829 in County Roscommon, Ireland. On 23 March 1853 in Nashville, Tennessee, he renounced allegiance to Queen Victoria (Davidson County Naturalization Records 1803-1906, abstracted by Mary Sue Smith. Nashville, Tennessee: Byron Sistler & Associates, 1997, page 43). Two other men from Ireland, John Duggan and Michael Allen, also renounced allegiance to Queen Victoria on the same day; I wonder if the three of them went to the court together. By 1859, Michael Dyer was living in St. Louis, Missouri. In the 1860 United States census, he was enumerated with his Irish-born wife Mary and baby daughter Mary. He lived at south side Cooper, at the corner of Pratte Av. and Summit, and was a laborer. In the same household were Martin Wallace and his wife Anne, who were also born in Ireland, and their children Sarah, William, Ellen, and James. I do not know if the families were related, but I suspect that Mary Dyer and Anne Wallace may have been sisters, based on their ages and the names of the children.

By 1863 Michael Dyer was back in Nashville with his family. His daughter Sarah Claire "Sadie" Dyer (my great-great-grandmother) was born there on 8 October 1863. In January 1866, he left Nashville. His wife Mary placed a "Missing Friends" advertisement in the Boston Pilot on 6 October 1866. This advertisement provided me with the information about his county of birth. He eventually returned to Nashville; his son Michael J. Dyer was born about 1868, and he is listed in the 1869 Nashville city directory. He ran a saloon on S. Market and also worked as a blacksmith.

On 3 June 1870, Michael Dyer committed suicide. He had been drinking heavily, and he shot himself in the head. An account of his death in the Nashville Republican Banner, 5 June 1870, stated that "Dyer was known as a hard case and treated his family with great severity." However, I think it is worth noting that before he committed suicide, he drove his family to a neighbor's home. His family did not have to witness his suicide, or hear the gunshot. If they had, surely they would have been even more traumatized.

There was a coroner's inquest. I am hoping that the record of this inquest survives, but I have not yet been able to locate it.

An account of Michael Dyer's death is available online:
Nashville Union and American, 5 June 1870, image 4

Nashville Republican Banner, 5 June 1870, page 4

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sports Center Saturday: Henry Cornelius Gatlin's Hole in One

My paternal grandfather Henry Cornelius Gatlin played golf. On March 20, 1989, he scored a hole in one at Indian Pines Golf Club in Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County, Florida and received the Johnnie Walker Golf International Hole-In-One Award.