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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

52 Ancestors: Week 9 "Close to Home": Bridget Scott

I was born and raised in New Jersey, but most of my ancestors were from elsewhere. My parents and grandparents moved to New Jersey in the 1950s. I do have an ancestor who grew up in New Jersey, though: my 8th-great-grandmother Bridget Scott.

Bridget's parents, Benjamin Scott and Margaret Woodley, were from Widdington, Essex, England. They were Quakers, and Bridget's birth on the 16th day of the 4th month (16 June) 1679 was recorded in the records of the Monthly Meeting of Thaxted.

Monthly Meeting of Thaxted, 1679. General Register Office: Society of Friends' Registers, Notes and Certificates of Births, Marriages and Burials. Records of the General Register Office, Government Social Survey Department, and Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, RG 6. The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England. England & Wales, Quaker Birth, Marriage, and Death Registers, 1578-1837 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

In 1681, the Scott family sailed from England to West Jersey on the Henry and Ann. Bridget's younger sister Elizabeth was born on the ship. Within a few years, Bridget lost both her parents. her mother Margaret died on the 26th of the 10th month (26 December) 1682. Her father Benjamin married Hannah (Chaffon) Kemball on the 12th of the 12th month (12 February) 1683. In April 1685, Hannah was granted letters of administration on Benjamin's estate.

Bridget's widowed aunt Bridget (Woodley) Bingham and her family had come to West Jersey with the Scotts. She married William Watson in 1687. Perhaps Bridget and William Watson raised Bridget Scott and her siblings.

Bridget married Edward Lucas at the house of Thomas Lambert in Burlington, New Jersey. Thomas was the husband of Bridget's sister Margaret. Elizabeth Lucas, Giles Lucas, Robert Lucas, John Scott, and 49 others were witnesses.

Marriage of Edward Lucas and Bridget Scott. 3rd day of 7th month 1700. Chesterfield Monthly Meeting, Burlington Co., New Jersey. Minutes, 1682-1847. U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1994 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Swarthmore, Quaker Meeting Records. Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

After their marriage, Bridget and Edward lived in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which is very close to Burlington, New Jersey. Their children were Mercy, born 4th of the 1st month (4 March) 1702; John, born 21st of the 11th month (21 January) 1703; Mary, born 1st of the 1st month (1 March) 1705; Margaret, born 16th of the 4th month (16 June) 1708; Edward (my 7th-great-grandfather), born 24 December 1710; Ann, born 3rd of the 3rd month (3 May) 1713; Elizabeth, born 23rd of the 7th month (23 September) 1716; Robert, born 22nd of the 12th month (22 February) 1718; and Benjamin, born 19th of the 8th month (19 October) 1724.

Bridget's husband Edward died in 1740. He appointed Bridget and their son John executors of his will.

Bridget died in Bucks County, Pennsylvania on the 21st of the 6th month (21 August) 1748. Her son John and John's wife Isabel had died earlier that month. It would be interesting to know what the causes of death were; since all three deaths occurred within less than two weeks, they may be related.

Falls Monthly Meeting, U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday's Faces from the Past: Schneider and Wegman Cousins

My maternal grandmother Margaret Schneider and her sister Paula are pictured here with their cousins, Marie and Margaret Wegman. I do not know who the other two children in the photo are.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Those Places Thursday: Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Johann Baptist, Kendenich, Germany

Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Johann Baptist (St. Johann Baptist Catholic Church) is located in Kendenich, Hürth, Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Germany. It is the oldest church in Hürth. A single-nave Romanesque church was built in the 13th century. The west tower dates back to 1682. In 1859, construction began on a neo-Romanesque church building. Architect Kart Band constructed a new building in 1954-1956.

My 2nd-great-grandmother Christina Nagel was born in Kendenich on 27 February 1851. At least three generations of Christina's ancestors were also born in Kendenich: her mother Anna Maria Aussem (born 18 October 1815), her maternal grandmother Theresia Erp (born about 1781), and her great-grandmother Agnes Schunk (born about 1744).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday's Child: Emma Louisa Gersbacher

Register of Deaths in the City of St. Louis, August 1888. Missouri, Death Records, 1834-1910 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2008. 

Emma Louisa Gersbacher was born in St. Louis, Missouri on 15 May 1888.  She was the daughter of my great-great-grandparents John (Johann) Gersbacher and Kunigunde Dreier. She was baptized at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church on 20 June 1888. She died of cerebral congestion on 1 August 1888 and was buried on 2 August 1888 in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in St. Louis, Section 009S, Lot 00PG, Row 30.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

52 Ancestors: Week 8 "Good Deeds": Sobrina Russell

In more ways than one, "good deeds" enabled me to find my 4th-great-grandmother Sobrina Russell. Two deeds (one from 1858 and one from 1888) led to her identification. And I have those deeds because Sarah Peery Armistead, one of the authors (along with her sisters Ova Lee Peery Sawyer and Lorraine Peery Russell) of the book Tarkingtons of Tennessee: Genealogy of John G. Tarkington, sent them to me.

On 23 May 1888, my 3rd-great-grandparents Joseph and Amanda (Russell) Tarkington sold land in Williamson County, Tennessee. to Wilks P. Hayes. Amanda had inherited the land as the only child of Sobrina Russell. On 26 January 1858, James Russell, as trustee for his sister Sobrina Russell, purchased this land from Thomas M. Clardy.

Through these deeds, I learned the name of Amanda's mother, and I learned that her mother's maiden name was also Russell. Since then, I have learned more about her mother's life and her ancestry.

Sobrina Russell was born about 1810 in Kentucky, probably in Somerset, Pulaski County (her family resided there in 1810). She was the daughter of Andrew Russell and Hannah Hardgrave. By 1820, Sobrina's mother Hannah was head of household, and the family was living in Davidson County, Tennessee. On 20 February 1830, Sobrina gave birth to her only child, her daughter Amanda. Since Amanda had her father's surname, she was probably illegitimate. I believe that Amanda's father was a man named James Sawyer. Amanda was listed as Amanda Sawyer in the family tree in my father's baby book. Amanda's oldest son James William Tarkington (my 2nd-great-grandfather) was listed as a grandson in the household of James and Louisa Sawyer in 1880. (For more in-depth analysis, see my posts on Amanda Russell and Joseph Tarkington.)

In 1840, based on the composition of Hannah Russell's household, I believe that Sobrina and Amanda were living with Hannah, and that Sobrina's widowed sister Malvira (Russell) Carrington and her children were living with her as well. In 1850, Sobrina lived with her mother Hannah. Her recently married daughter Amanda lived nearby with her husband and baby son. Her sister Malvira (listed as Elvira) and her children lived nearby as well, and so did her brother James and his wife and children.

Sobrina's mother Hannah died about 1853. Sobrina purchased the following items from her mother's estate: an oven, two skillets, a bed and furniture, a wooden bowl, three table cloths, a counterpaine, and a quilt.

In 1860, Sobrina lived in Williamson County, Tennessee, on the land that her brother James had purchased for her. Amanda and Joseph Tarkington and their children lived with her. In the 1870 United States, the households appear to have been misnumbered on page 9 of the 7th Civil District, Williamson County, Tennessee. Sobrina is listed in the household next to Amanda and Joseph and their children, but I believe they were actually in the same household. Looking at the entire census page, all the households appear to be off by one line. I could not find Sobrina in the 1880 United States Census. She probably died between 1870 and 1880.

The "good deeds"

Williamson County, Tennessee Deeds,  roll 147, page 124. Thomas M. Clardy to James Russell as trustee for Sobrina Russell, 26 January 1858.

Williamson County, Tennessee Deeds,  roll 147, page 125. Thomas M. Clardy to James Russell as trustee for Sobrina Russell, 26 January 1858.

Williamson County, Tennessee Deeds, vol. 13, roll 157, page 109. Joseph and Amanda Tarkington to Wilks P. Hayes, 23 May 1888.

Williamson County, Tennessee Deeds, vol. 13, roll 157, page 110. Joseph and Amanda Tarkington to Wilks P. Hayes, 23 May 1888.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mappy Monday: Stadtrundgang Erpel

I photographed this map in Erpel, Neuwied, Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Germany. Stadtrundgang means "city tour" in German.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Purchase of Florida

Map showing the results of the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. By Citynoise [CC BY-SA 2.5 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

The Adams-Onís Treaty (also called the Transcontinental Treaty or the Purchase of Florida) was signed on 22 February 1819 by U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and Spanish foreign minister Luis de Onís y González-Vara. The treaty was proclaimed exactly two years later, on 22 February 1821.

A boundary was established between the United States and New Spain, and Florida was given to the United States. The United States agreed to pay the legal claims of United States citizens against Spain, up to $5 million.

The Florida Territory was created on 30 March 1822, when East Florida and part of West Florida were merged. Florida became the 27th state on 3 March 1845.

My great-grandparents Edward and Ellen (Dahlquist) Anderson moved from Chicago, Illinois to St. Petersburg, Florida. My paternal grandparents Henry and Helen (Anderson) Gatlin used to go to Vero Beach, Florida in the winter. My brother and his family live in Florida.

Adams-Onís Treaty 
Florida Territory
The U.S. acquires Spanish Florida

Saturday, February 21, 2015

International Mother Language Day

February 21 is International Mother Language Day. On 21 February 1952, students from the University of Dhaka, Jagannath University, and Dhaka Medical College were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, Bangladesh during a Bengali Language Movement demonstration. The students wanted the Bengali language to be recognized as an official language in what was then Pakistan. Since that day, February 21 has been Language Movement Day in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan). February 21 was proclaimed International Mother Language Day at the 30th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), November 1999.

The 2015 theme for International Mother Language Day is Inclusive Education through and with Language - Language Matters. According to Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, "The focus for the post - 2015 agenda must fall on the priority of advancing quality education for all -- widening access, ensuring equality and inclusiveness, and promoting education for global citizenship and sustainable development. Education in the mother language is an essential part of achieving these goals -- to facilitate learning and to bolster skills in reading, writing and mathematics."

German, Norwegian, and Swedish were the native languages of some of my ancestors. Although she was born in the United States, my maternal grandmother Margaret Ann Schneider spoke only German until she was five years old. Her parents, German immigrants, spoke German at home.

International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day, Inclusive Education through and with Language - Language Matters
International Mother Language Day, 21 February

Friday, February 20, 2015

Follow Friday: Forgotten New York

According to webmaster Kevin Walsh, the purpose of Forgotten New York "is to highlight neighborhoods, objects and aspects of New York City that have gone ignored or unnoticed by other guidebooks, websites, and articles." Some of the subjects covered are cemeteries, neighborhoods, roads, and street necrology. It is a program of the Greater Astoria Historical Society.

My Winters ancestors lived in Brooklyn. Some Forgotten New York posts that are of particular interest to me include The Names of the Neighborhoods of Brooklyn, East Flatbush, Brooklyn (which mentions Holy Cross Cemetery, where members of the Winters family are buried), Irish Hunger Memorial, Battery Park City (Hugh Winters and his wife Mary Bennet were born in Ireland), and Roosevelt Island.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thriller Thursday: Couple Attacked By Ex-Employee

On 28 May 1905, my great-great-grandfather's brother Frank A. Shirlander and his wife Jennie (Hart) Shirlander were attacked by John Corning, their former employee. Corning's right leg had been amputated, and he walked with the aid of crutches. He had worked at the Shirlanders' grocery and meat market in Chicago, Illinois, and boarded in a room which adjoined the Shirlanders' residence. He had argued with the couple several weeks before the attack.

Corning entered the couple's home, using a cane to walk instead of his crutches. He entered the couple's bedroom and began striking Jennie Shirlander with the cane. Frank Shirlander woke up when he heard the attack. Frank tried to stop Corning, but Corning shot him three times (in the shoulder, chest, and cheek). Corning then used the gun to commit suicide.

Frank was taken to Provident Hospital. Jennie stayed with her brother, Fred Hart, who lived nearby.

The incident was reported in the 29 May 1905 issue of the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Tribune, 29 May 1905, page 8

The incident also received coverage in out-of state newspapers, such as the Cortland Standard, a Central New York newspaper.

Cortland Standard, 29 May 1905, page 1

Although this report states that the Shirlanders had taken care of John Corning from babyhood, I could not find any evidence to support this claim. The Chicago Tribune article stated that Corning had worked for the Shirlanders for four years. In 1900, the Shirlanders' household did not include John Corning. Based on his age and profession, I think that the John Corning who attacked the Shirlanders was living with his brother and sister in 1900.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

52 Ancestors: Week 7 "Love": Walter Enloe Davis

My great-grandmother Anna Gertrude Tarkington and her first husband, my great-grandfather Henry Brown Gatlin, did not have a happy marriage. But Gertrude found love with her second husband, Walter Enloe "Bill" Davis.

Walter was born in Nashville, Tennessee on 17 February 1899. He was the son of Larned Davis and Lena Alley. In 1900, he and his parents lived at 941 Woodland Street, Nashville, Tennessee. I have not been able to locate Walter in the 1910 United States Census. He was not in his parents' home in Sumner County, Tennessee. When he registered for the World War I draft in 1918, Walter was living with his parents in Bethpage, Sumner County, Tennessee and working as a farmer. He was not in their household in 1920, and I have been unable to locate him in census records.

In 1930, Walter lived at 4530 N. Lincoln Street, Chicago, Illinois. He worked as a  chauffeur for a private family. My great-grandmother Gertrude (Tarkington) Gatlin and her son, my paternal grandfather Henry Cornelius Gatlin, lived with him and were listed as lodgers, but I suspect that Walter and Gertrude were already in a relationship.

Walter applied for a Social Security account on 25 February 1937. At that time, he lived at 4719 N. Winchester Ave. Chicago and worked for Schach Motor Livery, 1820 Lawrence Avenue.

In 1940, Walter and Gertrude lived at  4710 Wolcott. Walter worked as a chauffeur for a motor livery company. He and Gertrude were listed as married. However, they may not yet have been married. According to my father's baby book, he received a birthday gift from Grandma Gatlin and Bill Davis for his first birthday in 1942, and he received a gift from Grandma Davis for his second birthday in 1943. So they may have actually married between March 1942 and March 1943.

Sometime between 1940 and 1943, Walter and Gertrude moved to New York State. My father took a trip to Utica, New York to visit them on 1 August 1943. I am not sure if they had more than one residence in New York. I only know of one: Orangeport Road in Brewerton, Onondaga County, New York.

Gertrude died on  9 July 1959. On 27 February 1962, Walter married Mary Katherine Johnson in Manchester, Coffee County, Tennessee.

Walter died in Davidson County, Tennessee on 3 September 1983. There is a gravestone for him (shared with Gertrude) in Cedarville Cemetery, Cedarville, New York, but I am not sure whether he is buried there. His death date is not inscribed on the stone.

Supplemental report of birth, Walter Enloe Davis. Tennessee Delayed Birth Records, 1869–1909. Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Available from Tennessee, Delayed Birth Records, 1869-1909 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

World War I draft registration card, Walter Enloe Davis. United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm. Available from U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.   

Walter Enloe Davis, SS no. 351-07-2053, 25 February 1937, Application for Account Number (Form SS-5), Social Security Administration, Baltimore, Maryland.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mappy Monday: Remagener Wanderwege

I photographed this map, which is displayed near Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church in Remagen, Kreis Ahrweiler, Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Germany. My Schneider ancestors lived in Remagen and attended Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Black Sheep Sunday: Counterfeit Money

Charles Buise was the son of Margaret McGillivray, the "mystery person" in the Winters family Bible. On 28 February 1887, he and Thomas Power were brought before magistrate Dugas in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and remanded for eight days. Thomas Power had passed a counterfeit $10 bill, and claimed to have received it from Charles Buise. Buise denied giving the counterfeit bill to Power, but since he was charged with embezzlement five years later, I think there is a good chance that he gave Power the bill.

Quebec Daily Telegraph, 1 March 1887

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Throughout the Years

The newspaper clippings below, published between 1863 and 1921, all relate to Valentine's Day.

Nashville Daily Union, 15 February 1863, page 3

Nashville Union and American, 8 February 1870, page 4

St. Paul Globe, 15 February 1901, page 4

St. Louis Republic, 7 February 1904, page 4

Indianapolis Star, 9 February 1913, page 18

Chicago Tribune, 15 February 1921, page 1

Friday, February 13, 2015

World Radio Day

February 13 is World Radio Day. Jorge Álvarez, the chairman of the Academia Española de la Radio (Spanish Radio Academy), wrote to Kōichirō Matsuura, the director general of UNESCO, in January 2008 and proposed an international day to celebrate radio. On 3 November 2011, at its 36th session, UNESCO's General Conference proclaimed World Radio Day. February 13 was chosen as the date because United Nations Radio was established on 13 February 1946. The proclamation was formally endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly on 14 January 2013.

According to the official World Radio Day Web site, the goals of World Radio Day are:

  • raising greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio
  • encouraging decision makers to establish and provide access to information through radio
  • enhancing networking and international cooperation among broadcasters
One of the questions asked by United States census enumerators in 1930 was whether the household had a radio. All four of my grandparents were living in households with a radio.

1930 United States census, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, Ward 47, population schedule, enumeration district 16-743A, sheet no. 18A. Available from 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.

1930 United States census, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois,Ward 19, population schedule, enumeration district 16-722, sheet no. 21B. Available from 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.

1930 United States census, St. Louis City, Missouri, Ward 14, population schedule, enumeration district 96-496, sheet no. 3A. Available from 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.

1930 United States census, St. Louis City, Missouri, Ward 8, population schedule, enumeration district 96-382, sheet no. 20A. Available from 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.

Proclamation of a World Radio Day
UN Officially Endorses World Radio Day
Why World Radio Day?
World Radio Day
World Radio Day 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: Bø Bygdebok

I recently acquired volumes 1-3 of Bø-Soga II: Telemark, Gards- og ættesoga, by Stian Henneseid, and edited by Gregar Nordbø. The books were published by Bø Kommune, Telemark, Norway in 1982. Bø-Soga II is a bygdebok for the Bø parish in Telemark, Norway. Bygdebøker (the Norwegian plural) contain farm histories and genealogical information about the people who lived at each farm. They are a valuable resource for tracing Norwegian ancestry. Out-of-print bygdebøker can be hard to find. My great-grandfather John Boe's parents were both born in Bø, and my ancestry in and around that area can be traced back to the late 1500s. I feel very fortunate to own these books.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

52 Ancestors: Week 6 "So Far Away": Halvor Ryen

My 10th-great-grandfather Halvor Ryen is the most distant ancestor that I have identified in my maternal grandfather's direct paternal line. Halvor was born about 1580, and was also known as Halvor Skoje (or Skoge). In 1611, he lived on the Skoje farm in Sauland, Telemark, Norway, where he owned 1 tønde (73.3% of an acre) of land. He was the allodial farmer at Skoje; Sveinung Vreim and Torvill Espedalen also had allodial rights. Halvor also owned 4 ½ tønde land (3.3 acres) of the Ryen farm in Heddal (Hitterdal), 3 tønde land (2.2 acres) of the Folserås farm in Gransherad, 4 ½ mæle (a grain unit of measurement , approximately 15-17 liters) of the Skårdal in farm Sauland, and a part of the Lona farm in Bø.

According to the Odelsrett (an ancient Scandinavian allodial title), if a farm has belonged to a family for a specified amount of time, family members have the right to buy it if it is sold. If the farm is sold to someone who is not a family member, family members have the right to buy it back within a specific period of time. Sveinung Vreim and Torvill Espedalen must have been Halvor's relatives. Several generations of a family can have allodial rights, so more information is needed to determine what the relationship was.

Halvor was probably married to Torgon, the widow of Jon Skoje. Jon had lived at Skoje from 1593 to 1602. Halvor was the stepfather of Gjermund Skoje, who lived at Skoje from 1640 to 1648.

Halvor and Torgon had a daughter, Svanaug, who married Petar Haraldsson Folserås. Halvor also had a son, Gregar (my 9th-great-grandfather), who was born about 1605.

Jordebok 1615 for Telemark og Numedal indicates that Halvor Skoje still owned the Skoje farm in Sauland in 1615. He resided in Sauland. Sveinung Vreim  and Torvild Espedal (who both resided in Bø, Telemark) were also owners of the Skoje farm. Halvor also still owned property at Rygi nedre (also called Ryen nedre), Heddal; Folserås, Gransherad; and Skårdal søndre, Sauland.

By 1645, Halvor was a widower. He was living on the Ryen nedre farm in Heddal, and was known as Halvor Ryen. Gregar and his wife Gunne Halvorsdatter also lived at Ryen nedre. Halvor was still living at Ryen nedre in 1650. He died around 1660.

Koppskatt, Telemark, med ekstrakt, Bratsberg, Telemark, 1645. Hitterdal. Available from

Thanks to Rick Mathews from the Norway Genealogy Research community for help with translation, copies of Bygdebok entries, and information about allodial rights in Norway.

The Allodial Rights Act
Boe (Bø) and Halvorson-Otterholt; Shared Roots in Telemark. Compiled by Melvin and Alpha M. (Boe) Brodshaug, 1984. Published by Arlene (Boe) Christensen and Marjorie (Boe) Bergee. Printed by Anundsen Publishing Co., Decorah, Iowa.
Henneseid, Stian. Bø-Soga II: Telemark, Gards- og ættesoga. Band I. Ed. Gregar Nordbø. Bø Kommune, Norway, 1982.
Holta, O. H. Hitterdalsboken: Gaarde og slegter. Porsgrund, Norway, 1926.
Jordebok 1615 for Telemark og Numedal
Karlsrud, Gjertrud Kleveland. Hjartdalsoga: Gard og ætt Sauland. Band II. Hjartdal Kommune, Norway, 1992.
Koppskatt, Telemark, med ekstrakt, Bratsberg, Telemark, 1645
Quamme, O. A., Tjønnås, Ketil, and Nisi, Aaste. Gransheradsoga. Notodden Kommune, Norway, 1977.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Military Monday: World War I Memorial, Niederwihl, Germany

In Niederwihl, Görwihl, Waldshut, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, there is a memorial for the men of Niedewihl who died in World War I, 1914-1918. The soldiers' names are inscribed in the order of their death dates. The plaque reads Zum Gedächtnis der im Weltkriege gefallenen Helden der Gemeinde Niederwihl (In memory of the fallen World War heroes of the community Niederwihl).

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Church Record Sunday: Immanuel Lutheran Church Records, St. Louis, Missouri

The records of the Immanuel Lutheran Church, 3450 Marcus, St. Louis, Missouri are online at Records from 1883 to 1920 are available. The records include baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and deaths. Digital photos of the records, taken by Linda Reichert, are available. The original records are located at Concordia Historical Institute in St, Louis, Missouri.

Entry 42 in Image 064 is the baptismal record of Erwin Edgar Schaefering, the husband of my maternal grandfather's sister Vivian Evelyn Boe. He was born on 29 November 1901, and baptized on 15 December 1901. His parents were Georg and Emma Schaefering. Baptismal sponsors were [?] Hallenberg, Alfred Schaefering, and Elisabeth [Schulemeyer?].

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sympathy Saturday: Alfred William Troedson Funeral Notice

My first cousin three times removed Alfred William Troedson (the son of my great-great-grandfather's brother Ola Peter Troedson) died on 2 January 1937 in Queensland, Australia, and was buried in Toowong Cemetery in Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland. His funeral notice was published in the 3 January 1937 issue of the Sunday Mail (Brisbane).

Sunday Mail, 3 January 1937, page 4. Available from Trove.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sami National Day

The Sami flag. By Jeltz [Public domain]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

February 6 is Sami National Day. The Sami are indigenous Finno-Ugric people who live in Sápmi, which includes northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.

Sami National Day was first celebrated on 6 February 1993. The date was chosen because the first Sami congress was held in Trondheim, Norway on 6 February 1917.

On this day, the Sami flag is flown and the Sami national anthem is sung. It is an official flag day in Norway. People eat traditional Sami food and wear gákti (traditional Sami clothing).

Sami Week is held every year in Tromsø, Norway around the time of Sami National Day. Activities include a Sami market and reindeer racing.

Sápmi in Europe. Edited by Misha bb [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (]. Available from Wikipedia.

Sami National Day
Sami National Day celebrated
Sami people
Sami Week, Tromsø 2015

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thriller Thursday: Back from the Dead?

Nashville Globe, 8 March 1907, page 7. Available from Chronicling America.

My great-great-grandmother's half-brother Thomas "Tom" Cox committed suicide in the county jail in Nashville, Tennessee on 3 May 1905, before he could be executed for killing police officer Ben Dowell. Almost two years later, the above report appeared in the Nashville Globe.

I have a copy of Tom Cox's death certificate, as well as newspaper articles about his death, including one that stated that his remains were at the home of his brother-in-law William Gatlin (my great-great-grandfather) for viewing by friends and family before his funeral at St. Mary's Cathedral. I do not think that he was still alive in 1907. It is interesting that someone reported seeing Tom in Chicago, though. My great-grandfather Henry Brown Gatlin and his brother William D. Gatlin had moved to Chicago in 1904. Henry moved back to Nashville after marrying Rose Kuenninger in December 1905, but Rose may have been from Chicago, and the couple could have returned for a visit. William was arrested for robbery and sent to Southern Illinois Penitentiary in Chester, Randolph County, Illinois. I have not yet learned the date of his arrest, but it may have been after 8 March 1907. He escaped from Southern Illinois Penitentiary twice. Maybe the person who believed that he saw Tom Cox actually saw one of Tom's nephews.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Jacobvs Fasbender

This gravestone for Jacobvs Fasbender, Anno 1770, is located at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Remagen, Kreis Ahrweiler, Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Germany. Fassbender is one of my family surnames from Remagen. Jacobvs could be a relative of mine.