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

Sunday, May 31, 2015

52 Ancestors: Week 22 "Commencement": John Schneider

My great-grandfather John Schneider and his parents and siblings came to St. Louis, Missouri from Remagen, Germany in 1892. By 1895, John was working as a tailor like his father. He did not remain a tailor throughout his life, though. By 1918, he worked as a manager for Modern Woodmen of America. His brother Rudolph was a lawyer. Rudolph graduated from City College of Law and Finance in 1917. John also decided to attend law school. On 2 June 1921, he graduated from City College of Law and Finance.

Commencement was held at Sheldon Memorial Hall. John William MacIvor, pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, gave the commencement address. Max Goldman's Orchestra performed the music: "Stars and Stripes Forever" march by John Philip Sousa, "The Spring Maid" by Heinrich Reinhardt, "Broken Moon", "Down the Trail to Home, Sweet Home" and the quartet from the opera Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi. Hon. Henry S. Caulfield, City Counselor of St. Louis, presented the law students with their diplomas.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5 June 1921

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Alexander's Mural

 Alexander's mural. Photo available from Paramus Patch.

In the newspaper this week, I read that the Alexander's mural, which had been in storage in the Department of Public Works garage in Carlstadt, New Jersey, is being moved to the Art Factory in Paterson, New Jersey.

The painter of the mural, Stefan Knapp, was born in Biłgoraj, Poland in 1921. He was sent to a gulag in Siberia after the Soviet Union occupied Lwów (now Lviv, Ukraine), where he was attending Lwów Polytechnic, and murdered his father. After he was released in 1942, he joined the air force and was sent to Great Britain. After the end of World War II, he remained in England.

George Farkas, the founder of the department store chain Alexander's, commissioned Stefan Knapp to paint a mural for the Alexander's in Paramus, New Jersey. The colorful abstract mural was painted on steel, glass, and enamel. It was composed of 280 panels, measured 200 feet x 50 feet, and weighed 250 tons. It was completed in 1961. At that time, it was the largest mural in the world. It may still be the largest.

Alexander's went out of business in 1992. The mural remained on the closed Paramus store until 1996, when the store was demolished. The mural was saved from demolition, and in 1998, it was donated to the Bergen Museum of Art and Science. It was moved to the Carlstadt Department of Public Works garage until a place to display it was found. Last year the town of Carlstadt decided that the space was needed, so a new location for the mural needed to be found. The Art Factory agreed to transport and display the mural, but the Bergen Museum of Art and Science would retain ownership. The original plan was for the entire mural to be transported, but Carlstadt Mayor William Roseman decided to keep more than 20 pieces of the mural in order to ensure that it was not sold.

The mural became a landmark in Bergen County, New Jersey. People saw different things in the abstract work. As a child, whenever I was in a car and we drove past the mural, I always insisted that it was a map of the world. Not everyone agreed. I couldn't understand why, because it seemed obvious to me! Apparently I wasn't the only one who saw that: David Garsia, the general manager of the Art Factory, thought that the painting was "an abstraction of Earth" ("Paramus Alexander's Mural to Be Resurrected in Paterson). However, he is no longer sure that he still thinks that. Paramus Mayor Rich La Barberia said that he saw a parrot. ("Tug of War Over New Jersey Icon.") The band Real Estate used the mural as the cover art for their album Atlas. (Based on the title of the album, I would say that the band agreed with my interpretation!) The Bergen County newspaper The Record's online shop sells a jigsaw puzzle of the mural.

Not everyone liked the mural. The Record's columnist Mike Kelly once called it "a monstrosity." ("Then & Now: The Alexander's Mural.")

The mural will be showcased at the Art Factory's 7th annual ArtWalk on June 13 and 14. It will not be reassembled; 4 feet x 8 feet panels will be displayed.

Abstract Mural Was Eye-Catcher at Alexander's
Alexander's Mural, 1992, Jigsaw Puzzle
The Alexander's Mural Through the Years
Art Studio to Resurrect Former Landmark New Jersey Mural
The Carlstadt Garage Housing It May Change, But the Boxed Up Former Alexander’s Mural Remains the Same
Iconic Former Alexander's Mural Will Be Relocated, Displayed in Paterson's Art Factory
Moving Day for Alexander's Mural from Carlstadt to Paterson
Mural by Artist Stefan Knapp for Alexander's Department Store Is Paramus' Forgotten Landmark
Paramus Alexander's Mural to be Resurrected in Paterson 
Real Estate Hits Home with "Atlas"
Recalling a Colorful Landmark: Alexander's Mural
Stefan Knapp
Stefan Knapp at Work on His Giant Mural in a Hangar at Middlesex
Stefan Knapp Mural in New Jersey Is a Mammoth in Mothballs
Then & Now: The Alexander's Mural
Tug of War Over N.J. Icon: Display of Old Alexander’s Mural in Doubt

Friday, May 29, 2015

Friend of Friends Friday: Slaves of Chapman Gordon

Excerpt from will of Chapman Gordon, written 14 April 1853, proven 10 September 1855 in Louisa County, Virginia. Louisa County (Va.) Circuit Court. Records, 1742-1858.  Miscellaneous reel 461, Library of Virginia. 

When he wrote his will on 14 April 1853, my 5th-great-grandfather Chapman Gordon of Louisa County, Virginia left his wife Mary two slaves: "one negro boy named Tom, and one negro girl named Sally". His will was proven on 10 September 1855.

The 1850 United States Census slave schedule indicates that there were 5 slaves in Chapman Gordon's household.

1850 United States census, Louisa County, Virginia, slave schedule. Available from 1850 U.S. Federal Census - Slave Schedules [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

The 1860 United States Census slave schedule shows a larger number of slaves in the household of Mary (Layne) Gordon, the widow of Chapman Gordon. The image was light and difficult to read. I have darkened it, but it is still somewhat unclear.

1860 United States census, Southern District, Louisa County, Virginia, slave schedule. Page 63. Available from 1860 U.S. Federal Census - Slave Schedules [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Those Places Thursday: Swedish Club of Chicago

Swedish Club of Chicago. 2 February 2010. Photo by Smallbones. Public domain. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

My second cousin once removed Carla told me that she remembered seeing my grandparents, father, and aunt at the Swedish Club of Chicago for a holiday dinner. Since I had many Swedish relatives in Chicago, that was probably not the only occasion that members of my family spent there.

The Swedish Club was formed in 1882 by members of the immigrant singing society Föreningen Freja. It was originally located at 155 East Chicago Avenue. On 13 April 1896, the Swedish Club of Chicago moved to 470 North LaSalle Street; when the streets of Chicago were renumbered, the club's address became 1258 North LaSalle Street. At that time, the neighborhood was known as Swede Town.

The club sponsored holiday dinners, New Years' celebrations, Svithiod Day (midsummer) celebrations, herring breakfasts, dinner dances, golf outings, travelogues, and exhibitions of Swedish-American art. It published the Swedish Club News.

The Swedish Club of Chicago closed in November 1984, after an auction. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 2 December 1985.

"Everything But Memories Auctioned at Swedish Club." Chicago Tribune, 19 November 1984, section 2, page 1.
"500 Eat Herrring at Swedish Club." Chicago Tribune, 25 January 1954, part 2, page 8.
National Register of Historical Places - ILLINOIS (IL), Cook County
"Pallet and Pencil: The Swedish Club of Chicago Holds its Fourth Art Exhibit." Svenska Tribunen-Nyheter, 27 April 1915.
"Swedes Mark Svithiod Day with Funfare." Chicago Tribune, 22 June 1952, part 3, page 2.
Swedish Club of Chicago 
"Swedish Club Outing Begins with Herring." Chicago Tribune, 28 June 1964, section 10, page 3.
"Swedish Club's 28th Art Show Opens Tonight." Chicago Tribune, 21 November 1953, part 1, page 17.
Swedish-American Archives of Greater Chicago Manuscript Collection #34: Swedish Club of Chicago Records, 1910-1984

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday's Child: Isabella Baird Mapplebeck

Isabella Maplebeck death record. 16 April 1888. County of Wentworth, Division of Hamilton. Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. Original data: Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Deaths, 1869-1938. MS 935, reels 1-615. Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Isabella Baird Mapplebeck  was born on 22 March 1880 in Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada. She was the daughter of William Mapplebeck (the half-brother of James Mapplebeck) and Isabella Marion Stevenson. She died of diptheria on 16 April 1888 in  Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Norman Kowelman

Norman Kowelman was born on 28 November 1928 in Cook County, Illinois. He was the son of Boruch/Benjamin and Esther Kowelman. He married Jeanne D. Graham, my second cousin once removed. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. He died on 1 March 1994 and is buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis County, Missouri.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Military Monday: Memorial Day

Graves at Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Day 2008. Photo by Remember. Public domain. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

On Memorial Day, I would like to honor those who have died in service, including the following relatives:

Thomas J. Tarkington, who died in the Battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican War
Davidson Binkley, who died of measles while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War
Ferdinand Constand Schneider, who died in the Battle of Château-Thierry during World War I
Fred Logan Trickey, Jr., who died in a B-25 bomber crash in 1946

Sunday, May 24, 2015

52 Ancestors: Week 21 "Military": Thomas J. Tarkington

Because I have not yet been able to prove the parentage of my 3rd-great-grandfather Joseph Tarkington, I cannot be sure of the relationship between myself and Thomas J. Tarkington. But if my theory is correct and Joseph S. Tarkington lied on his Southern Claims Commission claim because he thought his claim would not be approved if he admitted to having a son who was in the Confederate Army, Thomas was my 3rd-great-grandfather's brother, and my 3rd-great-grandfather's son Thomas was probably named after him.

Thomas J. Tarkington was the son of Joseph S. Tarkington and Amelia Owen, who married in Williamson County, Tennessee on 6 June 1818. In 1830, the family was living in Giles County, Tennessee. Thomas was under 5 years old at the time of the 1830 United States census. In 1833, Joseph S. Tarkington married Nancy (Sanders) Theall in St. Mary's Parish, Louisiana. Thomas was not in his father's household at the time of the 1840 United States census. I am not sure who he was living with. In 1843, Joseph S. Tarkington, who had remained in Louisiana, deeded Thomas 380 acres of land on the Big Harpeth River in Williamson County, Tennessee. (Armistead, Sarah Peery; Sawyer, Ova Lee Peery; and Russell, Lorraine Peery. Boyer, Penny Russell, ed. Tarkington-Kersey, Theresa, photo ed. Tarkingtons of Tennessee: Genealogy of John G. Tarkington. 2001.)

On 30 November 1843, Thomas married Rosanah (or Rosannah or Rosanna) Midyett in Williamson County, Tennessee. He gave B. H. Harrison power of attorney to sign and seal his name to obtain a marriage bond.

Power of attorney to sign bond to obtain marriage license. Nomination and appointment of B. H. Harrison by Thomas J. Tarkington. 30 November 1843. Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm.

Marriage, Thomas J. Tarkinton and Rosanna Midyett. Williamson County, Tennessee. 30 November 1843. Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm.

Thomas and Rosanah had two daughters, Nancy and Elizabeth.

On 16 June 1846 in Alton, Madison County, Illinois, Thomas enlisted in the army. Alton is close to the Missouri border, near St. Louis. Two of Rosanah's half-brothers had left Tennessee and gone to Missouri; maybe Thomas had taken his family to stay with one of them, and then left to enlist. Thomas was a private in the 2nd Regiment of Illinois Volunteers.

Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War, 1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8. Prepared by Isaac H. Elliott, Adjutant-General of the State of Illinois. Springfield, IL: H. W. Rpkker, 1992. Page 235. Available from Google Books.

Indexes to the Carded Records of Soldiers Who Served in Volunteer Organizations During the Mexican War, compiled 1899 - 1927, documenting the period 1846 - 1848. Thomas J. Tarkinton, Wheeler's Co., 2 Illinois Foot Vols. (Bissell's), Mexican War. NARA M616. Available from Fold3.

In his Southern Claims Commission claim, Joseph S. Tarkington stated that his only son (I am skeptical about the "only" claim) was killed at the Battle of Buena Vista.

Orleans Parish, Louisiana claim no. 12265 (Joseph S. Tarkington), Allowed Case Files, Southern Claims Commission, 1871-1880; Settled Accounts and Claims, Third Auditor. Records of the Treasury Department Accounting Officers, Record Group 217. National Archives, Washington, DC. Page 4. Available from Fold3.

Orleans Parish, Louisiana claim no. 12265 (Joseph S. Tarkington), Allowed Case Files, Southern Claims Commission, 1871-1880; Settled Accounts and Claims, Third Auditor. Records of the Treasury Department Accounting Officers, Record Group 217. National Archives, Washington, DC. Page 19.  Available from Fold3.

The Battle of Buena Vista (also called the Battle of Angostura) took place in Puerto de la Angostura, Coahuila, Mexico on 22-23 February 1847. It was the last major battle in northern Mexico during the Mexican War. Major General Zachary Taylor and General John E. Wool led the United States troops to victory over the Mexican army.

Battle of Buena Vista. Lithograph published and printed by Henry R. Robinson, from a sketch by Major Eaton. Available from Library of Congress and Wikimedia Commons.

Map of Battle of Buena Vista. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Rosanah married Thomas E. Adams on 3 January 1850 in Panola County, Texas. Thomas and Rosanah's daughter Nancy lived with her paternal grandfather and his wife in St. Mary's Parish, Louisiana at the time of the 1850 United States census.

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!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

NGS 2015: Day 4

This week has flown by! I started the day off with Patricia Walls Stamm's lecture "Railroads and Their Records." Some of my relatives worked for railroads (including my great-great-grandfather's brother Jesse Tarkington, who was killed in a train accident in 1909); hopefully I will be able to locate additional information on them. I then went to Billie Stone Fogarty's session "The Homestead Act & Land Entry Files." Some of my ancestors and collateral relatives obtained land through the Homestead Act. I then attended Craig Roberts Scott's presentation "Civil War Prisoner of War Records." My 3rd-great-grandfather's brother John G. Gatlin was a prisoner of war at Rock Island Barracks. Next, I attended the NGS luncheon, where Jan Alpert spoke on "Have You Tested Your DNA? Is There a Non-Paternity Event in Your Family?" After lunch, I attended Vic Dunn's lecture on indirect evidence. Finally, I heard Craig Roberts Scott speak again, this time on researching ancestors in the War of 1812. So far I have identified three ancestors who participated in the War of 1812, as well as the brother of an ancestor. After the conference, I met up with some of the other Geneabloggers at Hendricks BBQ.

I will head home tomorrow. It has been a great week!

Friday, May 15, 2015

NGS 2015: Day 3

I began Day 3 with Alison Hare's lecture "The Time of Cholera," a fascinating case study of a London neighborhood during the 1854 cholera outbreak. Next, I heard Elizabeth Shown Mills' presentation "The Problem Solver's Great Trifecta: GPS + Fan + DNA"; she explained how she proved 4 generations in a female line without any documents that identified parents or siblings. That is an impressive accomplishment! I then attended Thomas W. Jones' lecture "When Does Newfound Evidence Overturned a Proved Conclusion?" I also finally met my friend Maddie in person. I then went to the FGS luncheon "Lincoln Lives," where Curt B. Witcher spoke about the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection. After lunch, I heard Mary Stansfield speak about Missouri State Penitentiary and Algoa Intermediate Reformatory records. With all the black sheep in my family, I couldn't miss the prison records lecture! I also couldn't miss Elaine Helgeson Hasleton's talk "Scandinavians in the Midwest," since I am more than a third Scandinavian (equal amounts Swedish and Norwegian). In the evening, I attended the National Genealogical Society Banquet. It was a long and busy day, but a good one. The conference is going by so fast!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

NGS 2015: Day 2

Day 2 of NGS 2015 didn't get off to a good start when I got up later than I had planned, but I made it to the St. Charles Convention Center in time for the second lecture period, and heard Baerbel K. Johnson speak about German marriage records, laws, and customs. I learned so much from this session! Next, I heard Teresa Steinkamp McMillin speak about German farm names. I have not yet come across any German ancestors who used farm names, but it is possible that someday I will. At the Palatines to America luncheon, Warren Bittner spoke about the Palatines, German history, and German territorial pride. After lunch, I attended Patti Hobbs' lecture "Opening the Ozarks: The Legacy of Marsha Hoffman Rising." Marsha Hoffman Rising's book The Family Tree Problem Solver taught me so much about genealogical research; I began to consider things that I might not have thought about otherwise. Marsha helped to make me the researcher that I am today, so I wanted to hear more about her work. I then heard Sean Visintainer talk about steamboats in the nineteenth century. My 3rd-great-grandfather John Bennet Winters was a fireman on boats, and was also a watchman (probably on boats as well). This session gave me so much insight into his experiences. Finally, I heard Bryan McGraw talk about the military and civilian personnel records at the National Archives at St. Louis. It turned out to be a fabulous day!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

NGS 2015: Day 1

Today was the first day of the 2015 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in St. Charles, Missouri. The day started off with keynote speaker J. Mark Lowe, who spoke in character as Charles Floyd. At the end of the presentation, after watching a video of eagles flying, a special guest came out: Lewis, a bald eagle from the World Bird Sanctuary. What a beautiful bird!

I then headed over to the exhibit hall and did some shopping. Maia's Books always has such a great selection!

At 11:00 AM, I heard John Dougan speak about Missouri Digital Heritage. I then attended the GSG/ISFHWE luncheon, where Judy Russell spoke about "The Rest of the Story."  After lunch, I heard Baerbel K. Johnson speak about German digital libraries. I am very interested in exploring some of the resources that she talked about! I then attended Ann Carter Fleming's lecture "St. Louis 250+." Finally, I heard Jordan Jones and Patricia Walls Stamm talk about the cloud-based courses offered by the National Genealogical Society. It was a great first day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

German Studies: Understanding German Records and Methodology

I am in St. Charles, Missouri for the National Genealogical Society 2015 Family History Conference. Today I attended the St. Louis Genealogical Society's seminar German Studies: Understanding German Records and Methodology. At the beginning of the seminar, Baerbel K. Johnson, AG spoke about finding a German ancestor's town of origin. Next, F. Warren Bittner, CG, spoke about German, historical maps and territories. Then Carol Whitton, CG, spoke about German archives. After lunch, Baerbel Johnson spoke about solving German research problems, and used case studies as examples of how they have been successfully solved. Finally, Warren Bittner gave us an overview of German history. A syllabus was included, so I will be able to review the material that was presented. I am 1/4 German, so I found the seminar very interesting!

Monday, May 11, 2015

St. Louis County Library

I spent the day at the St. Louis County Library in St. Louis, Missouri. I had been there several times on my last trip to St. Louis, but there was still more for me to find there. I started the day off at the microfilm reader; I spent hours there. The biggest find on microfilm was the 1883 coroner's inquest record for my great-grandmother's baby brother Edward Gersbacher, who died shortly after the family arrived in the United States. My great-great-grandmother Kunigunde (Dreier) Gersbacher, the baby's mother, was the informant. She said that the baby had been sickly and weak ever since they left Germany.

After I finished looking at microfilm, I looked at the book collection. I made copies from several books, including Tennesseeans Before 1800: Davidson County by Marjorie Hood Fischer and History of Chippewa and Lac qui Parle Counties, Minnesota, vol. 1, by L. R. Moyer and O. G. Dale.

Finally, I spent a couple of hours searching the St. Louis Post-Dispatch online. I found many newspaper articles which mentioned my family, from the early 1900s to to the early 1920s. I found advertisements too; many were for automobiles. (My great-grandfather John Boe was president of the St. Louis Motor Car Co.) It was a long but very productive day!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

In honor of Mother's Day, I am posting a picture of my mother and me.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

52 Ancestors: Week 19 "There's a Way": Theodore Jorgen Boe

Theodore Jorgen "Ted" Boe was born in  Hagen, Chippewa County, Minnesota on 16 July 1883. He was the son of my great-great-grandparents Jorgen Jorgensen Boe and Aaste Halvorsdatter Otterholt. The family lived in Lac qui Parle, Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota in 1885. By 1895, the family was living in West Bank, Swift County, Minnesota. In 1908, he moved to Williston, Williams, North Dakota. He worked with his brothers John (my great-grandfather) and Hans Adolph "Duff" in their farm machinery business, Boe Brothers. On 19 September 1912, he married Anna Marie Braaten. They had three children: Arlene Hildred (born 4 May 1913), Theodore (born 24 April 1915), and Marjorie (born 20 January 1918).

In 1913, Theodore opened a farm machinery and implements business in Arnegard, McKenzie County, North Dakota.

Williston Graphic, 10 July 1913, page 1. Available from Chronicling America.

Farm Implements, vol. 27 no. 6- (31 July 1913), page 54. Available from Google Books.

Harness, vol. 27 no. 6 (August 1913), page 147. Available from Google Books.

On 20 August 1915, Theodore, Robert Byrne, and Bert Jenner filed for a charter for the Farmers Telephone Company of Arnegard.

Bismarck Daily Tribune, 18 September 1915, page 4

In 1918, Theodore was living in Watford City, McKenzie County, North Dakota. He was an implement dealer and a farmer.

World War I draft registration card, Theodore J. Boe. 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.  

In 1920, Theodore was living in Rugby, Pierce County, North Dakota. According to the 1920 United States census, he was a traveling salesman. He was probably selling farm implements. By 1925, he and his family had moved back to Arnegard.

In 1931, Theodore and his family moved to Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota. Theodore worked for J. I. Case Co.

Polk's Fargo (North Dakota) and Moorhead (Minnesota) City Directory 1932. Including West Fargo. St. Paul, MN: R. L. Polk & Co. Page 131. Available from U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

Two years later, he and his family moved back to Arnegard, where he worked as a farmer. He was elected McKenzie County Treasurer in 1948. A county treasurer was only allowed to serve two consecutive two-year terms. However, Theodore found a way around that restriction! He was influential in getting legislation passed which eliminated this law. He served as County Treasurer until 1959. When he retired, the North Dakota County Treasurer's Association (which he had helped to create) gave him an Honorary Member Award.

In August 1967, Theodore and his wife Marie moved to the Good Shepherd Home in Watford City. He died in Watford City on 25 November 1967. He was buried in Schafer Cemetery in Watford City.

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.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friend of Friends Friday: Estate Inventory of Mayo Children, Legatees of William Isbell

When my 6th-great-grandfather William Isbell passed away, he left 57 acres of land and three slaves to the children of his deceased daughter Ann (Isbell) Mayo, my 5th-great-grandmother: William Mayo, Mary W. Mayo, James W. Mayo, Thomas Mayo, Elias L. Mayo, Jacob D. Mayo (my 4th-great-grandfather), and Stephen L. Mayo. The children's father, my 5th-great-grandfather Stephen Mayo, acted as their guardian.

Guardians' Account Book, 1794 - 1852. Fluvanna County, Virginia. Microfilm reel 24 or 59, Library of Virginia.

An inventory of the estate of William Mayo Mary W. Mayo James W. Mayo, Thomas Mayo Elias L. Mayo Jacob D. Mayo and Stephen L. Mayo Infants of Stephen Mayo and Legatees of William Isbell deceased which hath come to my hands as Guardian for the said Infants to wit.

The 13th Lot of Land containing fifty seven acres lying in the County of Goochland

One negro woman named Minny } Received from the admin-
One negro Girl named Aikey (?) } istrators of William Isbell
One negro Boy named Barnett } deceased.
                                                          Stephen Mayo Guardian
                                                          July 25th 1808

At a Court held for Fluvanna County on monday the 25th day of July 1808. This Inventory of the estate of William Mayo Mary W. Mayo James W. Mayo Thomas Mayo Elias L. Mayo Jacob D. Mayo and Stephen L. Mayo Infants of Stephen Mayo and Legatees of William Isbell deceased was this day returned by the said Stephen Mayo their Guardian and ordered to be recorded.
                                                                     John Timberlake C. F. C.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bill of Sale with Redemption: William Harding and James Hartgraves to Matthew Tennison

The information below is a summary of a published transcription/abstract; I have not seen the original document. James was the oldest son of my 6th-great-grandparents Francis Hardgrave and Sarah Greer.

William Harding and James Hartgraves sold Matthew Tennison a negro man named Dick. Dick was to be the property of Matthew Tennison until William Harding and James Hartgraves paid Matthew Tennison 75 dollars. The Bill of Sale with Redemption was proven in open court by the oath of James Demoss during the October 1809 term, and it was registered in Davidson County, Tennessee Deed Book H on 22 December 1809.

Smith, Mary Sue. Davidson County, Tennessee Deed Book H 1809-1821. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 2000.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Slaves Purchased By John Hardgrave, 1819-1820

I have summarized the below information about the slaves purchased by John Hardgrave, the son of my 6th-great-grandparents Francis Hardgrave and Sarah Greer, in Davidson County, Tennessee. I have not seen the original deeds; the information is based on published transcriptions/abstracts.

On 16 February 1819, Sanford Coil of Burk County, Georgia sold a negro man named Jesse, between 24 and 26 years old, to John Hardgrave. The bill of sale was registered in Davidson County, Tennessee Deed Book H on 17 November 1820.

On 15 July 1820, John Demoss sold a negro man named Harry, about 28 years old, to John Hardgrave. Harry was in Louisiana and was supposed to be in possession of Skelton Hardgraves (John Hardgrave's younger brother).  The bill of sale was registered in Davidson County, Tennessee Deed Book H on 16 November 1820. John Demoss had purchased Harry from Sanford Coil of Burk County, Georgia on 16 February 1819. At the time, Harry was said to be between 25 and 30 years old. The bill of sale was registered in Davidson County, Tennessee Deed Book H on 16 August 1819.

Smith, Mary Sue. Davidson County, Tennessee Deed Book H 1809-1821. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 2000.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Manfred Gerspach

I came across the grave of Manfred Gerspach (2 October 1946 - 20 December 2007) while visiting St. Bartholomäus Catholic Church in Görwihl, Waldshut, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. My Gerspacher ancestors were from Görwihl. Further back in time, some had the surname variant Gersbach. Manfred could be my distant cousin.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mappy Monday: Rawcliffe, East Riding of Yorkshire, England

Map of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, with Rawcliffe parish highlighted. Map by Keith D, containing Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right. [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

This map shows the location of Rawcliffe, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. James Mapplebeck's father George Mapplebeck was from Rawcliffe.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

52 Ancestors: Week 18 "Where There's a Will": Edward Lucas Disinherits His Son Edward Lucas

My 8th-great-grandparents Edward Lucas and Bridget Scott were Quakers. Their son Edward, my 7th-great-grandfather. married out of unity and was eventually disowned by the Falls Monthly Meeting, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He left Falls Township, Pennsylvania and settled in Frederick County, Virginia (now West Virginia.)

When my 8th-great-grandfather Edward Lucas wrote his will, he originally intended to provide for my 7th-great-grandfather Edward.

Will of Edward Lucas
I Edward Lucas of the Falls Township in the County of Bucks and province of Pennsylvania being of health in body & sound mind and good memory but calling to my rememberance of the uncertainty of this Life do make this my last Will & Testament touching the disposal of what temporal estate  I have herebt revoking & annulling all other & former Will or Wills Whatsoever heretofore by me made and this only to be taken for my Last Will & Testament and none other. First I do Will that my body be decently buryed according to the Discretion of my Executors heretoafter named. Secondly I do Will that my just Debts & funeral Charges be duly paid. Thirdly I Give Devise & bequeath unto my well beloved wife Bridget Lucas my best bed & all the furniture thereunto belonging. Fourthly I Give and Bequeath unto my two Daughters Ann & Elizabeth each of them a Bed & furniture and that Ann have the next best to my Wifes & Elizabeth the next best. Fifthly all & Singular the Tract of Land where I now live with the Appurtenences I give & Bequeath unto my son John Lucas & his Heirs for ever excepting & reserving unto my Wife the Room in the new House where we Lodge & free egress & regress to & from the same from time to time as her occasion shall or may require so long as she may remain unmarried. And  _ _ also that he do keep for her [?] Cows and a Horse both Winter & Somer every year as afs. and also do reserve her what Celler room and Wood for firewood she shall need so long as she shall remain unmarried as afores.  Also I do reserve the old House where my son John now lives for a home for any of my Children ti retire unto while they are unmarried or if any of my Daughters Husbands should dye and thereby they stand in need of a home then the said House to be for them also. Sixthly my Land that lyes between William Paresons and the Widow Darks Land that was formerly my Brother Johns with all & singular the Improvements with the stock & corn on the ground I give & bequeath unto my son Robert Lucas his Heirs and Assigns hr paying unto my sister Rebecca Lucas and I do will that my said son Robert do take care of my brother Giles & provide for him sufficient of Meat Drink Washing & Lodging and Apparel of all sorts during his natural Life. Also I give and bequeath unto my said son Robert Lucas and his Heirs and Assigns all of the Right Title and Interest which I now have or which my Heirs Executors or Adms. shall or ought to have hereafter of in & unto the Tract of Land Joyning on the Tract last mentioned being the Tract which my Brother Giles afores. made some improvement on. And also I do give to my said son Robert all accounts all accounts which I have against my said Brother Giles for keeping and maintaining him heretofore I do also give & to my said son Robert all my house hold goods & Husbandry utensils that is on the plantation herein bequeathed to him. Seventhly I do give my Daughters Mercy Mary & Margaret each of them twenty shillings. Eighthly I do Will that my son John afores, his Heirs Exs or Adms do pay unti my son Edward the sum of five pounds yearly for the space of six years after my decease. Ninthly all the remaining part of my personal Estate whatsoever I give and bequeath unto my Wife my Daughter Ann and my Daughter Elizabeth to be equally divided amongst them into three equal parts or shares. Lastly I do make nominate and appoint my Dear and welbeloved wife aforesaid and my son John Lucas aforesaid to be my Executors to see this my last Will and Testament performed. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal Dated the twenty third Day of the Eleventh Month Anno Dom. one thousand seven hundred and thirty seven.
                                                                                          Edward Lucas     1737
Sealed Pronounced & Declared by the Said Edward Lucas to be his Last Will and Testament
in the presence of
Saml Harker
Joseph Atkinson
Wm Atkinson

Bucks [?] June of  2d 1740 Then personally appeared Samuel Harker and on the Sixth of the same June personally appeared William Atkinson two of the Witnesses to the within written will and on their solemn affermation did declare that they were personally present and saw the Testator Edward Lucas Sign Seal publish & Declare the within writing as his last Will and Testament and that at the doing thereof he was of Sound mind memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge -
                                                                                       Coram W Hall Dep Regr

After he wrote his will, my 8th-great-grandfather Edward changed his mind about providing for his son Edward.

Be it known unto all Men by these presents that of Edward Lucas of the Falls Township in the County of Bucks & Province of Pennsylvania Yeoman have made and declared my Last Will & Testament in Writing bearing Date the twenty third Day of the eleventh month Anno Dom. one thousand seven hundred & thirty seven and the said Edward Lucas do by the presents Codicil confirm and ratifie my said Last Will only excepting that I do make the alteration therein as followeth That is to say First I do will and by these presents order that my son John and my son Robert do pay what I owe to my sister Rebecca equally between them. Secondly I do will that my son John don't pay my son Edward any thing. Thirdly I do give Devise and Bequeath unto my son in law Thomas Bayley his Heirs and Assigns a certain piece of Land for a Conveniency of water to be taken off at the back part of my Tract of Land where I now live viz. to begin at my back Corner next the great Road leading to Philadelphia & to run Six Rod (?) Wide to the Water. And my Will & meaning is that this Codicil or Shedule be adjudged to be as part of my Said Will & testament & that all things herein contained be faithfully performed as in full & ample manner as if the same were set down and declared in my Said Will. In Witness whereof the Said Edward Lucas have hereunto Set my Hand & Seal this Sixth Day of the Twelfth Month Anno Dom. one thousand seven hundred and thirty nine - 1739/40
                                                                                                  Edward Lucas
Sealed Pronounced & Declared by
the Said Edward Lucas in the presence of
Jos. White
Wm Atkinson

Bucks [?] June of 2nd 1740 Then personally appeared Mark Watson and Joseph White and on the Sixth of the Same June personally appeased William Atkinson the three Witnesses to the above Writing and on their solemn affermation did declare that they were personally present and saw the Testator Edward Lucas Sign Seal Publish and Declare the above writing as a Codicil to his Last Will & Testament and that at the doing thereof he was of sound mind memory & understanding to the best of their knowledge-
                                                                                        Coram W Hall Dep. Regr.

My 7th-great-grandfather Edward was disinherited! Perhaps my 8th-great-grandfather Edward was still angry about his son's disownment by the Falls Monthly Meeting.

Will of Edward Lucas. Bucks County, Pennsylvania Wills 1713-1759 vol. 1-2. Image 187. Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994. FamilySearch. County courthouses, Pennsylvania.

Will of Edward Lucas. Bucks County, Pennsylvania Wills 1713-1759 vol. 1-2. Image 187. Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994. FamilySearch. County courthouses, Pennsylvania.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Sports Center Saturday: Kentucky Derby

Release flyer for the Kentucky Derby, 1913. By Chicago : Selig Polyscope Co., Publisher [Public domain]. Available from Margaret Herrick Library Digital Collections and Wikimedia Commons.

Since 1875, the Kentucky Derby has been held annually at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May. It is the first leg of the Triple Crown; it is followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Twenty three-year-old horses compete in the Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby is also referred to as the "Run for the Roses" because a blanket of roses is draped over the winner. In 1896, Ben Brush became the first horse to receive flowers; he was given an arrangement of pink and white roses. the red rose became the official flower of the Kentucky Derby in 1904. The winning horse now receives a garland of more than 400 red roses which have been sewn into a backing of green satin. The winning jockey receives a bouquet of 60 long stemmed roses wrapped in ten yards of ribbon.

I remember watching the Kentucky Derby in 1978, as a child. I was drawn to the race horse Affirmed, and hoped that he would win the Kentucky Derby. I was very pleased that he won the race. I rooted for him in the Preakness and the Belmont, and watched him win those races too, beating his rival Alydar.

Affirmed. Photo from Thoroughbred Racing Wiki.

Kentucky Derby (official site)
Kentucky Derby (Wikipedia)