Inspirational Message

Inspirational Message

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cemetery Caretaker

I read with interest an article in The Catholic Missourian a week ago regarding the mass burial of cholera victims in a cemetery.  The mass grave was unmarked until a monument was erected after funds were raised. The cholera outbreak in question was 1853-1855 and they were Irish railroad workers.  The story about cholera is heartbreaking and scary, you can find more on this by searching on Google, etc. The awesome part of this article was the caretaker had written down the names of all 112 victims! The memorial was installed in 1988 and reads: 
"In memory of 112 Irish workers who died 1853 to 1855 in the cholera epidemic while building the Missouri Pacific Railroad thru Osage County and are buried in this plot of Immaculate Conception Cemetery. Rest in peace."
It makes me feel good to know they were not forgotten.

I haven't found any photos online of the memorial, but rootsweb has some transcriptions of the other burials there.  The article didn't say if they names of the cholera victims are listed on the stone or recorded anywhere other than on that piece of paper. 

 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Research Methodology From My Perspective

I became interested in genealogy back in 1983 following an article in Farm Woman magazine. Yes, I still have this issue tucked away in my research files.  Back then I wrote letters sent via the US Postal Service and requested research outlines for the areas where I needed to research.  Now, I use Google to find leads for published county histories in the area of my research.  County histories offer clues that lead to more research.  I never trust one of these completely, since it is written by a family member from their point of view and on what has been passed down from one generation to another. My family has a lot of story tellers.

I used The History of Meigs County by Larkin as a starting point when I was adding the Higley supplemental to my DAR membership.  The book stated that Electa Higley married Benjamin Williams and their daughter was Sophia Stearns who married James G. Mitchell.

Step one: Census records.  I start with 1850, since it is the first one that lists everyone in the household on the day the enumerator came to visit.  I knew my line came from Meigs County, OH so that is the location I started with.  I needed to find the Williams family as mentioned in the history book I found. This would confirm that Sophia Stearns was in that household.  I followed this family and its members forward as far as I could.  Not that I needed every census to prove my line, I just need to know. I use familysearch.org because their search engine understands me.  The results are linked to Ancestry.com and Fold3.com for images that are not on the familysearch site.  I have tried the search engine on Ancestry and Fold3 but they frustrate me, so I stick to familysearch.  

The family history on Joel Higley also mentioned his daughter Sophia Higley who married Asa Stearns. Do you see where this is going? That's right, when I sent in my application I received back a letter asking for Sophia Mitchell's first marriage record. Of course, I knew there wasn't one but I had to prove it.  Going back to the 1850 census I search for Asa Stearns in Meigs county.  He was not there, so I expanded the search parameters to the whole state of Ohio.  I found them and then followed up with the 1860 census; they were still together.  These two census records helped to prove there were two women name Sophia Stearns, but my Sophia was Sophia Stearns Williams Mitchell.  She was named after her aunt Sophia Higley Stearns.  

Step Two: Marriage records.  Once I know the time and location for the person I am researching then I look for a marriage record.  These are easier to find than birth records for those who lived before 1900.  I was able to find Sophia Higley and Asa Stearns marriage record.  So now I had the proof DAR was needing to approve my supplemental application.  I already had the marriage record for Sophia and James G Mitchell from my original DAR application.

Step Three: Cemetery records. These can be easy or difficult to find, it just depends on if someone has walked the cemetery and created an index online.  Otherwise, you do the legwork yourself by contacting the sexton of the cemetery for a look at the plot map. I really like these maps as they hold clues to possible family connections to those buried nearby.  The one difficulty I have is searching for pre-1900 non-Catholic burials when the spouse was Catholic. There is no funeral Mass so therefore no church record exists.  I wonder, is there is a section in a Catholic cemetery for non-Catholics? One case in point, a man married three times and his first wife was Catholic and had a funeral mass in the 1860s.  He remarried to a Protestant girl who died in 1878.  No funeral Mass was said and the location of her grave in unknown.  He married a third time and the funeral Mass for he and this wife was in his original parish but their final resting place was in a neighboring parish in another county.  Sometimes you get lucky and some kind soul has transcribed these records and posted them to their county's page on USGenWeb. These folks are truly a blessing!

Step Four: Newspapers.  I like to know everything about the families I research.  Newspapers are awesome! If I cannot find BMD records, I turn to microfilmed newspapers.  I have borrowed them from other state libraries and historical societies through my local library and I have sat and browsed them at the local historical society library. Those old newspapers printed everything and it was never politically correct!  They all seem to follow the same style so you can find the local columns easily. The first page is always national news and stories. I have learned a lot about my ancestors and their collateral lines by reading these newspapers.  Some are online and those are my favorites.

Step Five: State Archives.  Some states have published indexes online and some don't. Illinois is a favorite one of mine since they have indexes by surname. If you are fortunate enough to live within driving distance of your local state archives, this is another of my favorite places. Just plan enough time because it always takes longer than you think to find the court record you are looking for.  One record always leads to another so don't stop when you find that one in probate.  I like to save them to my flash drive so I can upload them and have a digital image that I can zoom in the adjust the focus on. I usually just skim through them at the archives and then really dig in once I have the image uploaded to my computer.

How do you conduct your research?  Post your suggestions!

I love genealogy and genealogy research!


Sunday, January 4, 2015

52 Ancestors - Fresh Start

Immigrating to America is the biggest fresh start I am aware of for my Ormiston ancestors. Originating from the area of  Carnwath in South Lanarkshire. They came from Scotland aboard the Brig Prince Kutusoff, here is the passenger list, and landed in Philadelphia on May 12, 1828. On www.familysearch.org, I found images of the index cards for David age 28, Jane age 28, James age 4 years 6 months, John age 1 year 1 month, and Wm Ormiston age 2 years 4 months. Source: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/sct/LKS/Carnwath/  I wasn't able to find an image of the ship for that time period. If you find one, post a link in the comments. 

They didn't stay long and moved on to Washington County, Ohio.  They had many more fresh starts as the Ormiston descendents moved from Ohio into Missouri following the Civil War.  Later, at the turn of the 20th century, they moved on into Kansas and some into Colorado. 


A New Year 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

2014 started off well and I was committed to doing the blog challenge.  Somewhere along the way, just as with most New Year's Resolutions I make, well, I got side tracked.  The new challenge lists themes for each weekly post along with hints for what to write.  I am going to try this and see how it goes for me.

I hope my followers have a wonderful 2015!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

More Arms Confusion Abounds

I discovered two books published by members of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Vital Records of Deerfield, Massachusetts to 1850 and Vital Records of Conway, Massachusetts to 1850. The first published by Thomas W. Baldwin in 1920 and the second in 1943. The Conway book has a † note next to the marriage of Thomas Arms and Hannah Boyden that states "Marriages marked with a † are recorded in the "Town Copy," pages 391-392, under the caption, "A Record of Marriages supposed to have been performed by Rev. John Emerson at the dates indicated in the margin." The marginal dates are the same as the first dates of corresponding intentions which appear as follows: "June 29th 1792 Marriage is intended . . . 20th July 1792 the above has been Published". The marriage is recorded "Thomas Jr. of Deerfield and Hannah Boyden of C, Oct. 3[sic, int. ent. Oct. 3 and pub. Oct. 18], I795†." in the book on page 121.  I have also found an entry for Mehitabel Arms' birth on 22 October 1786 and the parents are listed as Thomas and Hannah. I also found an index entry that states Thomas Jr. is the son of Thomas and Polly Coolidge.  If you look back at one of my previous posts, Find-A-Grave has a memorial that has Polly as the first wife of the Thomas who married Hannah Boyden.
I found images on familysearch.org:
"Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1627-2001," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-31531-4313-48?cc=2061550&wc=MX1D-XM9:353350001,353367901,353367902 : accessed 12 Oct 2014), Franklin > Deerfield > Births, marriages, deaths 1675-1844 vol 1.





The interesting thing about this book, is the index. 


Notice the column heading above the first set of numbers. Noted as O.B. in the left column and Old Book in the right column. This book is a transcription of the old book. Sigh.

I just hope the clerk who copied the books was careful to double and triple check her work. The images I found back up what is in the books I found. I still have a mystery to solve.



Saturday, October 11, 2014

Arms are up, well, maybe not.

My previous post is a perfect example of not checking all possible sources before coming to a conclusion on the evidence.  A cousin sent me some links to online books written about the Arms and Alvord families. They all read pretty much the same and most likely came from the same source.

To prove the accuracy of any research requires some leg work.  First of all, how are the graves laid out in the cemetery?  Those buried next to one another could be a clue to their relationship. Finding a map of the cemetery plots would be most desirable.  Then there is the ever re-use of given names. For the Arms family, William and Thomas are repeated through the generations. These families were from Massachusetts and much research has been done on those who lived in the counties of this state. I ordered a roll of microfilm that has arrived at the local FHC that I will be viewing this next week, it is only open on Wednesday evening. 

The Arms were a side trip on my route to prove the line from myself back to Paul Hazelton. I will be exploring the Arms line more in the near future.

Thank you to my cousin for disagreeing with my conclusion and pointing me in another direction.

Stay tuned for more!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Up In Arms

One would believe that a unique name would make searching for information easier in the genealogical realm. I am quickly discovering that is not so.  In my search for proof of the parentage of one Mehitable Arms, I am coming up empty.  I have the research of two other genealogists that list her as the daughter of Thomas Arms and Polly Coolidge.  Searching on familysearch.org  I found two possibilities for Thomas Arms.

1.
Massachusetts, Births and Christenings, 1639-1915, index, <i>FamilySearch</i> (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FZ98-DFH : accessed 27 Sep 2014), Thomas Arms, 03 Aug 1759; citing DEERFIELD,FRANKLIN,MASSACHUSETTS, ; FHL microfilm 186146.
Name: Thomas Arms
Gender: Male
Christening Date:
Christening Place:
Birth Date: 03 Aug 1759
Birthplace: DEERFIELD,FRANKLIN,MASSACHUSETTS
Death Date:
Name Note:
Race:
Father's Name: Thomas Arms
Father's Birthplace:
Father's Age:
Mother's Name: Lydia
Mother's Birthplace:
Mother's Age:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C50172-2
System Origin: Massachusetts-ODM
GS Film number: 186146
Reference ID:

AND

2.
"Massachusetts, Births and Christenings, 1639-1915," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VQXL-XFM : accessed 28 Sep 2014), Thomas Arms, 22 Jun 1729; citing DEERFIELD,FRANKLIN,MASSACHUSETTS, ; FHL microfilm 0873741 IT 3.
Name: Thomas Arms
Gender: Male
Christening Date:
Christening Place:
Birth Date: 22 Jun 1729
Birthplace: DEERFIELD,FRANKLIN,MASSACHUSETTS
Death Date:
Name Note:
Race:
Father's Name: William Arms
Father's Birthplace:
Father's Age:
Mother's Name: Rebeckah
Mother's Birthplace:
Mother's Age:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C50172-1
System Origin: Massachusetts-ODM
GS Film number: 0873741 IT 3
Reference ID:

Since I don't have any vital statistics on the Thomas Arms I am looking for, I am exploring all possibilities and then ruling out as I go.  I pasted this into an Excel spreadsheet, side by side.  That is the easiest way for me to do comparisons.  I then found the marriage records for the parents mentioned in the two results above.

1.
"Massachusetts, Marriages, 1695-1910," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FHT2-5HS : accessed 28 Sep 2014), Thomas Arms and Lydia Alvord, 12 Jul 1753; citing reference Vol. 1 Pg. 304; FHL microfilm 186146.
Name: Thomas Arms
Birth Date:
Birthplace:
Age:
Spouse's Name: Lydia Alvord
Spouse's Birth Date:
Spouse's Birthplace:
Spouse's Age:
Event Date: 12 Jul 1753
Event Place: Sunderland, Franklin, Massachusetts
Father's Name:
Mother's Name:
Spouse's Father's Name:
Spouse's Mother's Name:
Race:
Marital Status: Unknown
Previous Wife's Name:
Spouse's Race:
Spouse's Marital Status: Unknown
Spouse's Previous Husband's Name:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M50052-8
System Origin: Massachusetts-EASy
GS Film number: 186146
Reference ID: Vol. 1 Pg. 304

AND

2.
"Massachusetts, Marriages, 1695-1910," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FC4H-H97 : accessed 28 Sep 2014), William Arms and Rebekah Nash, 28 Oct 1720; citing reference ; FHL microfilm 0873741 IT 3.
Name: William Arms
Birth Date:
Birthplace:
Age:
Spouse's Name: Rebekah Nash
Spouse's Birth Date:
Spouse's Birthplace:
Spouse's Age:
Event Date: 28 Oct 1720
Event Place: Deerfield, Franklin, Massachusetts
Father's Name:
Mother's Name:
Spouse's Father's Name:
Spouse's Mother's Name:
Race:
Marital Status: Unknown
Previous Wife's Name:
Spouse's Race:
Spouse's Marital Status: Unknown
Spouse's Previous Husband's Name:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M50052-8
System Origin: Massachusetts-EASy
GS Film number: 186146
Reference ID: Vol. 1 Pg. 244

These I also pasted into my spreadsheet next to one another.  Another check for a marriage record for Thomas Arms revealed a record of his marriage to Polly Coolidge.

Massachusetts, Marriages, 1695-1910, index, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FCMJ-6WG : accessed 27 Sep 2014),  MM9.1.1/FCMJ-6WL:, Thomas Arms and Lydia Alvord,12 Feb 1785; citing reference ; FHL microfilm 873740.
Name: Thomas Arms
Birth Date:
Birthplace:
Age:
Spouse's Name:
Spouse's Birth Date:
Spouse's Birthplace:
Spouse's Age:
Event Date: 12 Feb 1785
Event Place: Montague, Franklin, Massachusetts
Father's Name: Thomas
Mother's Name: Polly Coolidge
Spouse's Father's Name:
Spouse's Mother's Name:
Race:
Marital Status:
Previous Wife's Name:
Spouse's Race:
Spouse's Marital Status:
Spouse's Previous Husband's Name:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M50178-1
System Origin: Massachusetts-EASy
GS Film number: 873740
Reference ID:

I went to Google.com and searched for "Thomas Arms Polly Coolidge Franklin Massachusetts" and found another source for a marriage record for them.  Polly was from Coleraine, Massachusetts.

Thomas (Arms), jr., of Deerfield [s. Thomas. P. R. 14.], and Polly Coolidge of C., int. Feb. 12, 1785.
http://dunhamwilcox.net/ma/colrain_ma_marrs.htm
PART I 
COLRAIN MARRIAGES TO THE END OF THE YEAR 1849 
Extracted From 
Vital Records of Colrain, Massachusetts 
To the End of the Year 1849 
Salem, Mass., 1934 (no copyright statement) 
[transcribed by Dave Swerdfeger]


I tried to find a digital copy of this book without success.  I would like to know the meaning behind the abbreviations in the entry.

Many years ago I corresponded with someone regarding the Rice connections to the Hazeltons.  Paul Hazelton married Mary Rice. Mehitable Arms married Royal Harvey Hazelton. Online I found the following:
Thomas Arms married Polly Coolidge.1 Thomas Arms was baptized on 6 August 1758 at Deerfield, MA.2 He was born on 3 August 1759 at Deerfield, MA, (sic).
Child of Thomas Arms and Polly Coolidge
Mehitabel Arms+
Citations
1 [S1351] Hupfer.
2 [S1114] Thomas W. Baldwin, Deerfield, MA, Vital Records.
© Copyright 2002, 2011 by the Edmund Rice (1638) Association                                [S1114] Baldwin, Thomas W.. Vital records of Deerfield, Massachusetts, to the year 1850. Boston, MA: Wright & Potter, 1920.  

http://www.george-king.com/Planter/p5.htm#i256767

Notice the two different birthdates and the corresponding sources.  I went back to familysearch.org and found this record:




Name: Thomas Arms
Gender: Male
Christening Date: 06 Aug 1758
Christening Place: DEERFIELD,FRANKLIN,MASSACHUSETTS
Birth Date: 03 Aug 1759
Birthplace:
Death Date:
Name Note:
Race:
Father's Name: Thomas Arms
Father's Birthplace:
Father's Age:
Mother's Name: Lydia
Mother's Birthplace:
Mother's Age:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C50172-1
System Origin: Massachusetts-ODM
GS Film number: 0873741 IT 3
Reference ID:
Citing this Record:
"Massachusetts, Births and Christenings, 1639-1915," index, <i>FamilySearch</i> (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VQXL-XF3 : accessed 28 Sep 2014), Thomas Arms, 03 Aug 1759; citing , ; FHL microfilm 0873741 IT 3.
I don't know about you, but I find it hard to believe it is possible to christen a child who has yet to be conceived.  But you can clearly see where the two cited sources on http://www.george-king.com/Planter/p5.htm#i256767 found their information.  The question remains, which year is correct. 

An additional search on Find-A-Grave I found the following:


Birth:  unknown
Death:  Sep. 12, 1756
Deerfield
Franklin County
Massachusetts, USA
Thomas was the son of William Arms.
INSCRIPTION: Thomas son of Mr & Mrs William Arms died September 12, 1756 aged ?? 
Burial:
Old Deerfield Burying Ground
Deerfield
Franklin County
Massachusetts, USA
Created by: Geo Clinton
Record added: Oct 04, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21948755
Thomas Arms who married Lydia Alvord had a son, Thomas Arms, in 1759 and Thomas Arms, son of William Arms and Rebekah Nash, died in 1756. My conclusion is that they are not the same person.  Below is the Find-A-Grave memorial for Thomas Arms who died in 1808.

Birth:  1730
Death:  Aug. 17, 1808
On July 12, 1753, Thomas Arms married Lydia Alvord in Sunderland, Franklin County, MA. 
Family links:
 Spouse:
  Lydia Alvord Arms (1736 - 1802)*
 Children:
  Eliphaz Arms (1754 - 1826)*
  Thomas Arms (1759 - 1832)*
  Lucy Arms (1774 - 1836)*
 *Calculated relationship
Inscription:
Thomas Arms
Died
Aug. 17, 1808
AE 78 yrs.
 Burial:
Sugarloaf Street Cemetery
South Deerfield
Franklin County
Massachusetts, USA
Created by: acpflute
Record added: Jul 13, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 93549255

I was still looking for Thomas Arms who married Polly Coolidge.  Find-A-Grave had a memorial, but I didn't believe it to be the same man.

Birth:  Aug. 3, 1759, Deerfield,Franklin County, Massachusetts, USA
Death:  Jun. 2, 1832, Deerfield, Franklin County, Massachusetts, USA
Thomas Arms was the son of Thomas and Lydia Alvord Arms.
Head of family 
Family links:
 Parents:
  Thomas Arms (1730 - 1808)
  Lydia Alvord Arms (1736 - 1802)
 Spouse:
  Hannah Boyden Arms (1774 - 1861)* Spouse #2
 Sibling:
  Eliphaz Arms (1754 - 1826)*
  Thomas Arms (1759 - 1832)
*Calculated relationship
Inscription:
Thomas Arms
Died
June 2, 1832
AE 73 yrs.
Burial:
Sugarloaf Street Cemetery ,
South Deerfield, Franklin County,
 Massachusetts, USA
Created by: acpflute
Record added: Jul 13, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 93549176

This is my Thomas Arms, but who is Hannah Boyden??  One of the search results took me to an Arms family genealogy website where I found this:


ID: I1363
Name: Thomas ARMS Jr. 1
Sex: M
Birth: 3 AUG 1759
Death: 2 JUN 1832
Change Date: 18 JAN 2003

Father: Thomas ARMS b: 1729
Mother: Lydia ALVORD

Marriage: 1. Polly COOLIDGE b: 7 FEB 1765 in Weston, Massachusetts

Child: Mehitable ARMS b: 22 OCT 1786 in Deerfield,Franklin,Ma

Marriage: 2. Hannah BOYDEN
Married: OCT 1795

Sources:
Text: "A Genealogical Record of THE ARMS FAMILY in this Country" byEdward W. Arms. 1877.

I was able to find a digital copy of this book.https://archive.org/details/genealogicalreco00byuarms and under the heading, "Third Generation" is found this entry "9 Thomas, born 1729, married Lydia Alvord, South Deerfield" on page seven.  Then on page nine is this entry "16 Thomas Jr., born Aug 3, 1759, died June 2, 1832, married Polly Coolidge, died June 1794, married Hannah Boyden, Oct, 1795."  Finally on page 16 I find the entry for Mehitable Arms!
9 Children of Thomas, Jr., son of Thomas. Deerfield.
Mehitabel, born Oct. 22, 1786.
Polly, born Feb. 9, 1789.
Senv, born Oct. 22, 1791.
Dexter, born Oct. 29, 1797.
Harriet, born Sept. 3, 1799, married Aaron Dickinson.
Fidelia, born Nov. 26, 1801, married Squire Palmer, April 23, 1830.
Wealthy, born June 23, 1804, married Solomon Adkins.
John Boyden, b. June 15, 1806, m. Hannah Childs April 17, 1836.
Josiah Coolridge, born Sept. 23, 1808, married _________Bryant.
Thomas Alvord, born March 11, 1812.
Julia Alma, born Oct. 11, 1814, married Albert Clapp.

This book also says that Thomas Arms b. 1729 who married Lydia Alvord is the son of William 2nd and Rebekah Nash.  It states that William is "buried between his father and son in the old Deerfield burying ground."  The author does not cite his sources and the two Thomas Arms are buried in two different cemeteries. The book also doesn't state which son he is buried next to. 

Heartbreaking when someone's research is flawed and the author doesn't include a citation of sources.  As usual, another mystery to unravel.  I guess that's why I love genealogy!