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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Montreal General Hospital

General Hospital Montreal. Canada Historical Postcards [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. Original data: Mary Martin Postcards (, Perryville, MD, USA.
My 3rd-great-grandfather John Bennet Winters died in Montreal General Hospital on 25 December 1879.
Montreal Daily Witness, 27 December 1879, p. 1

In 1818, fund raising began to establish an English-speaking hospital in Montreal. On 1 May 1819, a small hospital on Craig Street opened.  It had room for 24 patients. In 1820, property was purchased on Dorchester and Dominique Streets.The cornerstone of the hospital was laid in 1821. In 1822, Montreal General Hospital opened. It had 72 beds. In 1823, the hospital received its charter. The hospital became affiliated with McGill University in 1832.

Photograph, Montreal General Hospital, Dorchester Street, QC, about 1890, Wm. Notman & Son. Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process, 15 x 17 cm. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

On 30 May 1855, Montreal General Hospital moved to a new location on Cedar Avenue.

Source: Montreal General Hospital

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

El Greco. Saints Peter and Paul. Public domain. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (also known as the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul) is observed on June 29. Saints Peter and Paul founded the See of Rome and are patron saints of the city. The solemnities of the two saints have been traditionally observed on the same day since the year 258.

My Schneider ancestors attended Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Remagen, Germany. After they immigrated to the United States, they attended Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
Saints Peter and Paul

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: Harry Ashby Lee

Harry Ashby Lee was born on 28 August 1927 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the son of Ashby Lee and Etta Pedigo. He married Joan Elise Roberts (the daughter of Earl Mason Roberts and my maternal grandfather's sister Florence Kathleen Boe) in 1952 in Missouri, and they had four children. Harry was a veteran of the United States Navy and served in World War II and the Korean War. He died on 3 August 2006 and was buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in Oakville, St. Louis County, Missouri.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Mystery Monday: Parents of Jane Mapplebeck

Jane Mapplebeck, the father of my great-grandmother's stepfather/adoptive father James Mapplebeck and probably the only grandparent that my great-grandmother ever knew, died on 24 August 1909 in Glassboro, Gloucester County, New Jersey.

According to her death certificate, her parents were James Bass and Isabella Bowie. However, there are question marks after both names, so they may not be accurate.

New Jersey. Bureau of Vital Statistics. Death certificate, Jane Mapplebeck, 1909. New Jersey State Archives.

According to the death certificate and the 1871 Census of Canada, Jane was born in Nova Scotia. The death certificate states that her father was born in the United States. Considering the time period and migration pattern, I suspect that he may have been a Loyalist.

Jane's daughter Sarah died in 1920. On Sarah's death certificate, the maiden name of her mother does not look like Bass. I am not sure what it says; the name is difficult to read.

New Jersey. Department of Health. Bureau of Vital Statistics. Death certificate, Sarah A. Mapleback, 1920. New Jersey State Archives.

Closeup of mother's maiden name 

 My 3rd-great-grandfather John Bennet Winters (the father of Catherine Elizabeth Winters, who married James Mapplebeck) was married to Elizabeth Buise, and the "mystery person" in the Winters family Bible, Margaret McGillivray, had a son named Charles Buise (also known as Charles Bews). I have wondered if there is an additional connection between the Buise/Bews family and my family. When I saw Sarah Mapleback's death certificate, I wondered if Jane's maiden name could be Buise or Bews, but I am not sure that is what the death certificate says.

The death certificates of Jane's sons James and George do not name her parents. I have not found a record of her marriage to George Mapplebeck. I have not identified any of Jane's relatives except her three children.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Frank C. Russell

Nashville Tennessean and Nashville American, 1 February 1917, page 3

                JUDGE F. C. RUSSELL
                                  DIES IN FRANKLIN

FRANKLIN, Tenn., Jan. 31––(Special.)––Judge Frank C. Russell, a prominent figure in the politics of Williamson county for many years, died here tonight at 6:3- o'clock in the sixty-ninth year of his age. Funeral services will be held Friday morning from the residence, conducted by Rev. W. S. Taylor and Rev. W. A. Cleveland.
   For  six years Judge Russell served as sheriff of this county. He also served fourteen years as county judge and was a number of times a member of the county court. He was United States commissioner under President Cleveland and represented Williamson county in the fifty-eighth general assembly.

Francis C. "Frank" Russell was born on 15 February 1848 in Davidson County, Tennessee. He was the son of my 4th-great-grandmother's brother James Russell and Miriam Hill. He married Sarah Ann Givens on 8 January 1885 in Williamson County, Tennessee. Their son Skelton Givens Russell was born on 3 November 1885. Their second son, Frank Russell, was born about 1887, but died on 4 September 1899. Frank died on 31 January 1917 in Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Shopping Saturday: Foerstel Bros.

 St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 23 December 1927, p. 27

Charles F. Foerstel, the father of my maternal grandmother's first husband William Herbert Foerstel, was a grocer in St. Louis, Missouri.

1930 United States census, St. Louis, Missouri, Ward 15 part 1, population schedule, p.25B, family 542. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.

Charles worked for the Foerstel Bros. Mercantile Co. Charles' brother, Michael J. Foerstel, was president of the company.

Gould's St. Louis City Directory 1931. St. Louis, MO: Polk-Gould Directory Co., 1931. P. 455. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

My grandmother Margaret Ann Schneider married William Herbert Foerstel on  22 September 1931. By 1932, Herbert was working as a grocer.

Gould's St. Louis City Directory 1932. St. Louis, MO: Polk-Gould Directory Co., 1932. P. 397. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. 

Margaret and Herbert had two children during the early 1930s. My aunt told me that because of the family grocery business, they always had food during the Great Depression.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9 May 1924, p. 19

Friday, June 24, 2016

Marshall J. Gatlin

Marshall J. Gatlin was born 113 years ago today, on 24 June 1903, in Nashville, Tennessee. He was the son of my 2nd-great-grandparents John William Morton Gatlin and Sarah Claire "Sadie" Dyer.

Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee. Birth certificate no. 646, 1903. Tennessee, City Birth Records, 1881-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

 Marshall lived in Nashville until 1910, but shortly afterward, he and his family moved to Chicago, Illinois. In 1920, Marshall worked as a feeder in a printing shop in Chicago.

1920 United States census, Chicago Ward 23, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, page 1B, family 29. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

Marshall married Julia Ancis on 16 August 1922 in Cook County, Illinois.

Cook County Marriage Index, 1914-1921, p. 3246. Cook County, Illinois Marriage Indexes, 1912-1942 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

Marshall died of tuberculous peritonitis at his residence in Chicago on 13 September 1923. He was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in River Grove, Cook County, Illinois on 15 September 1923.

Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Statistics. Death certificate no. 24330, Marshall J. Gatlin, 1923.
Chicago Daily Tribune, 14 September 1923, page 10

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Swift Creek, Craven County, North Carolina

My 6th-great-grandfather Lazarus Gatlin owned land on the north side of Swift Creek in Craven County, North Carolina.

File no. 3654, Lazarus Gatlin. Book 26, p. 139. Land grant no. 1073. Entry no. 148. North Carolina, Land Grant Files, 1693-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016. 

File no. 3654, Lazarus Gatlin. Book 26, p. 139. Land grant no. 1073. Entry no. 148. North Carolina, Land Grant Files, 1693-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016.

Swift Creek is located in Craven County, North Carolina. It runs north to south and joins with the Neuse River opposite Hog Island.

The first Baptist church in the New Bern area was located at Swift Creek. It was founded by Rev, William Burges, probably around 1740. Lazarus Gatlin was a Baptist; he probably attended this church.

NWIS Site Inventory for North Carolina. USGS Site Map for USGS 0209205053 Swift Creek at Hwy 43 nr Streets Ferry, NC. State of North Carolina DOT, Esri, HERE, DeLorme, INCREMENT P, NGA, USGS.

Paschal, G. W. Early Baptists in North Carolina. Biblical Recorder, 21 November 1934.
Taylor, Ralph. Craven Geography.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tuesday's Tip: Look for Your Ancestors in Trade Publications

Trade publications may contain information about ancestors and their work lives. Many of these publications are on Google Books. These are some of my finds from trade publications.

 My great-grandfather John Boe was the president of the St. Louis Motor Car Company. In 1919, he attended the National Automobile Dealer's Association meeting in St. Louis, Missouri (where he lived). The August 1919 issue of American Garage and Auto Dealer contains a photograph from the meeting, and my great-grandfather is in it. 

American Garage & Auto Dealer, vol. 10 no. 5 (August 1919), p. 12. Available from Google Books.

I found another photograph of him in from the same year in Motor World for Jobbers, Dealers and Garagemen. Prior to finding these pictures, I had only seen one photograph of my great-grandfather John Boe.

 Motor World for Jobbers, Dealers and Garagemen, vol. 61 (October 1919). Available from Google Books.

Prior to working in the automobile business, John Boe had a farm machinery company. The February 25, 1914 issue of Farm Implements reported that his company moved to Lewiston, Montana. This information was news to me. By 1915, John Boe and his family were in St. Louis, Missouri. At the time that the news item was published, one of my grandfather's sisters was a newborn baby. Perhaps the family briefly lived in Lewiston, Montana, or maybe L. O. Yonker, of Lewiston who purchased stock in the company, handled the day-to-day operations and John traveled. Perhaps John eventually sold the company to L. O. Yonker.

 Farm Implements, vol. 28 no. 2 (25 February 1914), page 62. Available from Google Books.

In 1915, John advertised for three salesmen with experience selling automobiles and threshing machinery.

Farm Implements, vol. 29 no 4 (30 April 1915), page 57. Available from Google Books. 

John's brother Theodore had previously worked with him in the farm machinery company; it had been called Boe Brothers before the name was changed to the John Boe Machinery Company. The July 31, 1913 issue of Farm Implements reported that Thoedore was working in the implement business in Arnegard, North Dakota.

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

My great-grandfather Henry Brown Gatlin worked as a printer. In 1904, Typographical Journal included his name on a list of pending applications for membership in the Typographical Union. This notice told me how long he had worked as  a printer and where he had previously worked. I learned that he had gone to Chicago earlier than I had thought.

Typographical Journal, vol. 25 no. 5 (November 1904), page 518. Available from Google Books.

My 2nd-great-grandmother's brother Mathias Joseph Nagel was a gardener. The November 1887 issue of Gardeners Monthly included a letter he wrote about transplanting trees.

Gardeners Monthly, vol. 29 no. 347 (November 1887), page 326. Available from Google Books.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mappy Monday: Map of the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad and the Belt Railway of Chicago

Map of the Chicago & Western Indiana RR and the Belt Railway of Chicago Showing Connections. Traveler's Official Guide of the Railway and Steam Navigation Lines in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. New York: National Railway Publication Co. 32nd year, no. 10. March 1900. Page 52. Available from Google Books.

This map shows the connections of Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad and the Belt Railway of Chicago. Some of my ancestors lived in Chicago and Indiana, and they may have traveled along this route.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day

Top left: my paternal grandfather Henry Cornelius Gatlin
Top right: my father (with my cat Flash)
Bottom left: my maternal grandfather John Boe
Bottom right: Joker, the father of my cat Kit

Saturday, June 18, 2016

150 Years Ago Today: Obedience Lucas

My 5th-great-grandmother Obedience Lucas died 150 years ago today.

Obedience was born on 16 December 1787 in Davidson County, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Andrew Lucas and Nancy Gower.

Obedience married Nathan Gatlin on 16 February 1803 in Davidson County, Tennessee.

Davidson County, Tennessee. Marriage Record, 1803-1804, p. 71, Nathan Gatlin and Obedience Lucas. Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008

Obedience and Nathan's first child, my 4th-great-grandfather John McNairy Gatlin, was born ten months later. The family lived in Davidson County, Tennessee. By 1830, they had moved to Giles County, Tennessee. By 1850, Obedience, Nathan, and some of their children were living in Tippah County, Mississippi. Obedience was blind.

1850 United States census, 3rd Division, Tippah County, Mississippi, population schedule, p. 517B, family 370. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009.

Nathan died on 8 March 1855. By 1860, Obedience had moved in with her daughter Nancy and son-in-law Lorenzo Dow Gower. They lived in Davidson County, Tennessee.

1860 United States census, 12th District, Davidson County, Tennessee, population schedule, p. 38, family 248. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009.

Obedience died on 18 June 1866. She was buried in Gower Cemetery.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friend of Friends Friday: Runaway Slaves of Caleb Eubank

Nashville Whig and Tennessee Advertiser, 14 August 1819, page 1 

75 Dollars Reward.
RANAWAY from the subscriber, in Limestone County, Alabama Territory, July 16, 1819, three Negro Men, to wit :
about 31 years of age, yellow, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, his fore finger crooked, had on when he went away, a black furhat, a black broad-cloth coat, white pantaloons and red striped vest.
yellow, about 5 feet 4 or 5 inches high, had on a large white hat, blue stockingnet pantaloons, linnen shirt, his age 25 years
about 26 years old, 4 feet 4 or 5 inches high, black, slender made ; had on a black leather hat, nankeen coat, the rest of his cloths not recollected. Any person taking up said negroes and confining them in jail, so that the owner can get them, shall receive the above reward and all reasonable expenses paid, or either of them in proportion. Any person seeing such negroes advertised in any newspaper, and will inform me at Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama Territory, or Columbia County, C. H. Georgia ; at both would be best, shall receive twenty-five dollars extra.
                                                                            Caleb Eubank.
   July 27––––51––––3m*

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Illinois State Penitentiary

Illinois State Penitentiary was the original name for Joliet Correctional Center in Joliet, Will County, Illinois. It was in existence from 1858 to 2002.

The penitentiary was built with convict labor. In May 1858, thirty-three prisoners arrived from Alton to begin construction. Prison transfers were completed in July 1860.

From the 1870s onward, the penitentiary had work contracts with businesses in the area.

According to the Joliet Prison Post, vol. 1 no. 2 (1914), the inmates at the penitentiary were classified into three grades, which would determine the privileges that they were allowed. Prisoners in the first grade could write letters and have visitors once a week. Prisoners in the second grade were allowed to write and have visitors once every two weeks. Incoming prisoners were placed in the second grade upon arrival, and would be moved to the first grade after thirty days if their conduct was good. The third grade was for "willful offenders against the prison discipline" (p. 57). These prisoners could only write letters and have visitors once every four weeks, and could not go into the yard for recreation.

My great-grandfather's brother William D. Gatlin was sent to the Illinois State Penitentiary on 16 October 1917 to serve a sentence of one to fourteen years for robbery. He died there on 23 September 1919. He was shot by Henry Springer, a guard at the Illinois State Penitentiary, after refusing to obey orders. The incident occurred when William was being taken back to solitary confinement. William must have been in the third grade!

Joliet Correctional Center
Joliet Prison Post, Volume 1, Issue 2, 1914

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Flag Day

U.S. flag on the grounds of the DeWint House, Tappan, New York

 U.S. and Washington's Headquarters flags, DeWint House, Tappan, New York

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mappy Monday: Districts in Mjölby Municipality, Sweden

District subdivisions in Mjölby Municipality. Lantmäteriet [ODbL (, CC BY-SA 2.5 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

This map shows the districts in Mjölby Municipality, Östergötland, Sweden. My Borg ancestors were from what is now  Mjölby Municipality (Östra Tollstad and Västra Harg).

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Robert Leland Taylor

Nashville American, 5 July 1907, page 5

Robert Leland Taylor.
    Robert Leland Taylor, aged one month, died Thursday at the residence of his parents, No. 1797 Eighth avenue, South. Funeral services will be from the residence at 8 o'clock this morning. Interment at Vaughn's Gap.

Robert Leland Taylor was born in Nashville, Tennessee on 12 June 1907. He was the son of my great-grandmother Anna Gertrude Tarkington. I do not know who his father was. The informant on his death certificate, Gertrude's sister Margaret "Maggie" Tarkington, said that the father was unknown. Gertrude must have known who her son's father was, since her son did not have her surname. I suspect that Margaret knew too, and just did not wish to say. Robert died on 4 July 1907 in Nashville. The cause of death was congenital debility and marasmus.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Tappan, New York

Today I visited Tappan, Rockland County, New York. I had lunch at the '76 House, the oldest tavern in New York. Major John André, who was a British spy and plotted with Benedict Arnold, was held prisoner at the '76 House before he was executed.

I also visited the DeWint House, the oldest surviving structure in Rockland County, New York. It was George Washington's temporary headquarters four times during the American Revolution.

The coat rack in the DeWint House is the original one that was used when George Washington visited.

The Carriage House was built in the mid-1800s.

The weeping willow tree on the grounds is a shoot from the largest weeping willow tree in the United States.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Friend of Friends Friday: Former Slave Mrs. M. A. Smith (Syntha Dickerson) Seeks Relatives

Nashville Tennessean, 9 January 1935, page 14

Former Slave Seeks 
Postmaster's Help in 
Hunt for Relatives

    Days of the Old South when there were masters and slaves and when masters often sold their black property "down the river" sound an echo from the pages of a letter recently received from the Nashville postmaster.
   The letter came from an old negro woman living in St. Louis, Mo. Now she is Mrs. M. A. Smith. But years and years ago, she was a pickaninny, the property of one Robert Gibson, a horse salesman of Nashville.
    "I was sold in slave days. My name was Syntha Dickerson. My master was named Robert Gibson," the letter opened. In such brief and simple sentences, the letter told that the slave child, Syntha, was taken to New Orleans and sold.
   But the letter tells between its lines far more than is expressed in its simple sentences. The writer must be about 80 years of age by now––one of a comparatively few survivors of an innumerable number of slaves who stood on the mast in New Orleans for sale to the highest bidder.
  When she was just a child she was taken to New Orleans from Nashville. In all probability the trip was made by river. There she was sold to another "master" and never again saw the mother, father, brother, and sisters or the "white folks" back in Tennessee.
   "I have never seen or heard from eny of my people since," is the way in which the old woman voices her lifetime of separation from everything in her childhood. "My children wants to see some of my people," she writes.
   Nearing the end of her life that began in slavery, this old woman has turned her thoughts backward to the days of her carefree, happy childhood in Nashville and wants to locate any surviving members of her own family and those of her "master."
   To her they are still "my people" regardless of a Civil war that swept a master's ties on his slaves and gave them a life of her own. She has written the Nashville postmaster in the hope that in this way she can establish those long-lost contacts.
   Any one having the information desired by Mrs. Smith is asked to communicate with Postmaster William Gupton.
   Following is the letter, containing between its lines a more vivid and moving story than the old ex-slave expresses in words:
    "St. Louis, Mo., 4580-A Garfield avenue. January 3––1935. To the postmaster of Nashville, Tenn. An inquirie of my people.
"I was sold in slave days. My name was Syntha Dickerson. My master was named Robert Gibson. He had a little girl that I stayed at the house with until she was old enough to go to school. She learned her letters well enough to go and she would not go without me and she would not go in her class without me so her father took me down to New Orleans and sold me. I have never seen or heard from eny of my people since. My father was named Harry Dickerson. My mother's name Sopha, a sister name Mary, one Harriet one bro name Alferd
   "Now postmaster please let me know if you can find any of the white children of Robert Gibson and any of my people as my children wants to see some of my people
   "Now I shall waite your ans Mrs. M. A. Smith."

Thursday, June 9, 2016

International Archives Day

June 9 is International Archives Day. The date was chosen because the International Council on Archives was created on 9 June 1948. The purpose of International Archives Day is to raise awareness of the importance of records and archives and to raise the public, private, and private sectors' awareness of the necessity of preservation and access.

The 2016 theme for International Archives Day is "Archives, Harmony and Friendship." Events are held all over the world. The celebration will continue until the September 2016 ICA Congress in Seoul, Korea.

Archives are very important for genealogical research. Some of the archives that I have visited are the Tennessee State Library and Archives; the Metro Archives in Nashville, Tennessee; the Williamson County Archives in Franklin, Tennessee; the New Jersey State Archives; the New York State Archives; the Library of VirginiaBibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Stadtarchiv Hürth, Germany; and Stadtarchiv Remagen, Germany;

About the International Archives Day 
International Archives Day: 9th June 2016