Inspirational Message

Inspirational Message

Friday, September 28, 2012

Follow Friday - Internet Archive

I was really excited when I saw a link to  I was researching my Graves line in Massachusetts and Vermont.  I had posted a question on the Graves Family Association Facebook page and was directed to a county history book along with a link to the digitized copy.  This website is absolutely FREE. Free is my favorite word when it comes to genealogy research.  I found lots of books in PDF format regarding my areas of research.  I downloaded all of them I could find!   I check this website often to see if new content has been added that is of interest to me.  Here are the titles I have downloaded:
1673 1899 History of the town of Sunderland, Massachusetts
 Genealogies of Hadley Families Embracing the Early Settlers of the Towns of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst and Granby. 1862
1673 1899 History of the Town of Sunderland, Massachusetts. 1899
 Genealogy of the Graves Family in America. Three Vols. Volume I. Sketch of the Family in England. Genealogy of the Family of Thomas Graves, of Hatfield, Massachusetts. 1896  
Graves Genealogy, Traced down from Thomas Graves of Hatfield, Mass., A.D. 1645 with some English Ancestors Also Collins Genealogy As connected with the Graves family and traced down from the year 1600.  1911
 Historical Sketches of Watertown, Massachusetts...1893  
 History of Western Massachusetts, the Counties of Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire. 1855
 History of Hadley. Including the Early History of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst and Granby, Massachusetts. 1905
 1660 1910 The History of Hatfield Massachusetts. 1910
 History of the Town of Whately, Mass. Including a Narrative of Leading Events from the First Planning of Hatfield. 1660-1871. by J H Temple. 1872
Inscriptions of the Grave Stones in the Grave Yards of Northampton and of Other Towns of the Valley of the Connecticut...1850
212th Anniversary of the Indian Attack on Hatfield, And Field-Day of the Pacumtuck Valley Memorial Association, At Hatfield, Massachusetts, Thursday, September 19th, 1889. Gazette Printing Company, 1890. Northampton, Mass.

1673 1899 History of the Town of Sunderland, Massachusetts, Which Originally Embraced Within Its Limits the Present Towns of Montague and Leverett. By John Montague Smith. Greenfield, Mass. Press of E. A. Hall & Co. 1899

Jefferson County Prior to 1797. An address delivered at the Jefferson County Centennial in June 1905. by Robert Lansing.

Rupert, VT. Historical and Descriptive. 1761-1898 by Geo. S. Hibbard. The Tuttle Company, Printers and Publishers, Rutland. VT 
There are also US Federal Census microfilm from the Allen County Public Library that have been scanned as well.    Some of the media that has been scanned to this website are indexed the census images are not indexed.   I was fortunate to find the 1880 Census images for Linn County, Missouri!   My Louthan line settled there after the Civil War.

Play with your search terms, i.e. VT is not the same as Vermont.  You will need to search for all known abbreviations for the state you are researching, i.e. MA or Mass.  Don't get too specific or you will miss some hits.  It does take some time to go through your search results to eliminate irrelevant hits.  Only you can determine what is irrelevant to you.  Depending on the size of the PDF, I will view the pages online first to see if it has information that I need.  If it does, then I download it.  Some of these books are quite large and take some time to download on DSL.

Good luck with your search, love the hunt!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Grandma's Auction

About twelve years ago, my grandmother remarried following the death of my grandfather.  Her new husband insisted she had to sell all of her and grandpa's possessions since her new spouse had a house full and she would be moving into his house.   So, off I went to bid at my grandmother's auction.  I had made a list of those items I saw on the sale bill.  Among the items I purchased at the sale was my great grandmother's glass butter churn which sits in my china cabinet.  I don't remember seeing great grandma make butter, but I did see grandma make butter with it.  Grandma had a Jersey milk cow that she milked everyday.  Her cream separator was in the storm cellar so she had to carry the pail of milk down the cement steps.  Grandma always let the cream sour before making butter, perhaps this was how her mother made it.  I never liked the taste of grandma's butter nor did I like drinking fresh cow's milk.
I also purchased a .22 rifle.  I thought is was Grandpa's but it turns out it belonged to my dad.  I am keeping it for my grandsons.
At any auction, there are the trailer loads with boxes of treasures.  I bought a box that contained Grandpa's shaving brush, mug and razor.  I watched him many times lathering up the soap in the mug before applying it to his face and then shaving.
Another box contained Grandma's spoon rest which always had a prominent place on her kitchen stove.
I have special memories of staying with my grandparents during the summer and relive them each time I look at the butter churn or her spoon rest.  Those were great days!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Talented Tuesday - Sammie Louthan

Samuel Oscar Louthan, front row holding the bats, the son of John Cope Louthan and Anna Jane Haddow, was born in Linn County, Missouri 20 August 1872 and died in Chester, Major County, Oklahoma 21 December 1921. His mother died in Linn County, Missouri.  His dad remarried to Mary Ann Elizabeth Hale in Linn County.  They came West in 1885 and settled in Barber County, Kansas.  When the land run opened up Oklahoma Territory, John and Sammie went to Oklahoma.  Sammie's brother James stayed in Barber County and Eddie went to Seward County, Kansas.
Sammie played baseball on a traveling town team.  The photo above is a scan of the newspaper article from the Enid News and Eagle published in Enid, Oklahoma. The original photo was in the possession of my great aunt, Annabelle Mitchell.  Three of Sammie's boys; Lester, Howard, and Floy, all played town team baseball in Chester.

L-R: Jimmy Holub, Leonard Louthan, Bud Holub, Bud pierce, Lester Louthan, Howard Louthan, Vic Holub, Lloyd Bensch, and Floy Louthan. 
Back then, at least in a small town, every boy grew up playing baseball.  It was America's game. You may read more about baseball in Chester, Oklahoma on my cousins website,

Sammie's talent for baseball was passed down through the generations.  He had many grandsons, great grandsons and great great grandsons who played baseball. One great grandson, Duane Louthan, played for the Oklahoma Travelers in 1982. Duane has twin sons, Josh and Connor, who are playing for the Bartlesville Braves, a AAA league team, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

I would like to know if John Cope played baseball. He would have played in Ohio before the 1860s, as he was injured in the Civil War.   I would love to read newspaper accounts of the early games in which Sammie and his sons played. Off to find newspaper archives online!  As always, love the hunt!

Amanuensis Monday - Dear Grandma and Grandpa

Company C
Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion
United States Army Training Center, Engineer
Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri

15 July 1961

Dear Grandma and Grandpa

How is everything at Chester getting along.
Hope this finds you both well.
I received your card & letter today and was real glad to hear from you.
Thanks a lot for the card it was sure pretty.
Things aren't to awfully bad here.  They don't work me to hard.
I made the baseball team down here so I have been playing quiet a bit of baseball.  I have won 3 games & lost one & have releaved in several games.  Playing ball makes the time pass a lot faster.  Our team is tied for first place.
Grandpa have you caught any more big fish lately.  I hope when I get our of the Army I have a little spare time.  Then we will have to go fishing a few times.  I haven't been fishing for a long time.
We have been having pretty nice weather here so far.  It hasen't been to awful hot.
When does Billy get out of the Navy.  Mom said he was going to stay in & finish his time.
Well I guess I had better close.
Thanks again for the Birthday card & letter.

With Love
Your Grandson

Friday, September 14, 2012

James Franklin Hedrick 1887-1972

I have many documents filed away in paper file folders in storage totes that at one time were housed in a file cabinet.  Housing documents in totes makes them less accessible.  In my Hedrick file folder I have four documents:

  1. A typed obituary for James Franklin Hedrick.
  2. The marriage certificate copy for William Cowdry Hedrick and Nancy Hazelton from Greene County, MO 28 Dec 1877.
  3. The marriage record copy for Nancy E Logan and Thomas Hedrick from Greene County, MO 5 Oct 1852.
  4. The marriage record copy for James Franklin Hedrick and Myrtel Mae Paris from Major County, OK 31 Dec 1911.
This file also contains numerous funeral cards, handwritten letters , a wedding invitation from 1962 and a Christmas card. All were among the possessions of James Franklin Hedrick at the time of his death.  My grandmother kept these keepsakes in a basket with a lid.  This basket was handed down to my father and the contents were given to me.  I love reading the letters that were sent to Frank and Myrtle Hedrick.   Here is a transcription of the Obituary for James Franklin Hedrick.
James Franklin Hedrick was born March 20, 1887 at Stafford County, Kansas and passed from this life on July 29, 1972 at the Mooreland Community Hospital following a short illness at the age of 85 years, four months and nine days.
Mr. Hedrick moved with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William C Hedrick to the Chester Community in 1895.  He was eight years old at the time.  He has resided in this community ever since. 
He was married to Myrtle Paris on December 31, 1911 at the brides home east of Chester.  To this union was born 5 daughters and 1 son.
His occupation was farming but had been retired for a number of years due to his age.
He was a member of the Christian Church of Chester as long as it was active.  Later he attended and help the Assembly of God Church in Chester.  He made it a practice to read his Bible.  His faith was seen in his life.  His conduct was always Christian and it was a joy to be with him.  the songs he played on his violin were always Christian songs.
Woodcarving was his hobby.  He carved farm animals and building, wagons and other objects of the farm.  He made violins patterned after the Stradivarius.  He gave such violins to each of his children and to many of his grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife who died January 3, 1965.
Those who remain to mourn his passing are five daughters; Lila Louthan, Chester; Lula Long, Fairview; Helen Inderlied, Buffalo; Leota Louthan, Chester and Leora Hill, Chester; one son, Bill Hedrick of Chester; one brother, George of Chester; two sisters, Miss Leota Hedrick and Mrs. Florence Walker both of Pratt, Kansas; sixteen grandchildren, twenty-seven great grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends.  Frank will be greatly missed by his family and community. 
Frank  is buried in the Orion Cemetery located in Section 10 Township 20 N Range 15 West in Major County next to his wife, Myrtle.  Frank's parents (William and Nancy Hedrick) and grandmother (Nancy Logan Hedrick) are buried in the Chester Cemetery located in Section 11 Township 20 N Range 16 West also in Major County.

My parents have one of Frank's violins.  I can remember Great Grandpa Hedrick playing his violin.

One of my memories, each Saturday he and his friend, Sam Lawton, sat on a bench in front of Branstetter's Store in Chester and gave quarters to each child who came to the store.   That was a lot of money for a kid in the late 60's and early 70's.  Candy bars were big and you could buy one for a nickel.  Of course, we spent our quarters inside the store!

Chester is a small community located at the crossroads of US Hwy 60 and US Hwy 281 in Oklahoma.

I love going through my paper files!  They are full of clues that need to be followed to lead me to the next great discovery!  Genealogy research is never finished and there are many forks in the road to be explored!
Love the hunt!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Trading Cake Plates

My grandmother, Mary Steinmetz Hoag, was given a treasured family heirloom by a friend on the occasion of her marriage in 1924.  After her friend passed away, her daughter came to my grandmother's house and offered the American Fostoria Cake Stand (pictured here) in trade for that  family heirloom.  Grandma was happy to oblige but her daughters were appalled!  After all, who takes back a gift?  When Grandma died we gathered after the funeral to clean out her house and divide her possessions.  Everyone was asking "May I have this?"  I asked about the cake stand and no one else wanted it.  I was 13 years old.  For 41 years this American Fostoria Cake Stand has moved with me many times!  I always remember my Grandma when I look at it sitting in my China Cabinet.  The cake stand will always be the most treasured piece I own.  Grandma served cakes for birthdays on this cake stand and I served my daughter's first birthday cake on it in 1978!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Transportation

Jared Hoag, Medicine Lodge, Barber County, Kansas 1890's.

Wedding Wednesday - 1924 - Steinmetz-Hoag

Mary Steinmetz and Mitchell W Hoag were married 2 Sept 1924 in Woodward, Oklahoma.  They took a wedding trip to Pike's Peak near Colorado Springs, Colorado.  When they returned home, their siblings, John Steinmetz and Elsie Hoag, had married.  We have double cousins!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Leave no stone unturned

I was a subscriber to Farm Woman magazine when they ran an article on tracing your family's roots.  I read it over several times absorbing every word.  I was fortunate that my grandparents on my father's side were still living.  I sat down with my grandmother and she wrote names and birth dates on paper for me.  I saved these sheets of paper because it is written in her hand.  What a treasure!

After the visit with my grandmother, I started searching for the oldest known ancestor, Hiram B Louthan.  He only lived 45 years or so, between 1800 and 1845, in Ohio.   I made a list of what I needed/hoped to find:

  • When did the city, county, and state begin recording births and deaths.  
  • What are the earliest county court records, is an index available.   
  • What county history books have been written.  I always look for the oldest publication date.
  • Census records, what information can I find.  
  • Free online genealogy websites like  Some counties have a lot of information posted online.  Sometimes they will have contact information for the local genealogy go-to person.
  • Contact the local library to see if they have a genealogy section.  
  • Cemetery Records, are there transcriptions available online
  • Church Records 
  • Family Bible - talk to distant relatives to see if they have a family Bible
  • Newspapers on microfilm for the area where the family lived
  • Connect with others researching the same surname, search Google for your surname.
  • Family Photos
Keep accurate records of your research in a log.  Note who, what, when and where for every email or letter sent and received.  Your note should detail the information requested and what your received.  Don't rely on your memory.  You can set up a spreadsheet yourself to keep an electronic record.  Back up everything to an external drive.  Share your information with your relatives!  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mystery Monday - Vanishing Father

Nancy L Logan was born 29 November 1825 in Tennessee to Tarlton L Logan born 7 January 1803 and Jane Campbell born 9 January 1800.  Tarlton moved his family to Holly Springs, Marshall County, Mississippi between 1833 and 1836.  They didn't stay long and went up the Mississippi River to the White River and then up the James River to Greene County, Missouri.  This is where Nancy met and married (James) Thomas Hedrick on the 8th of October 1852.  Their only child, William Cowdry Hedrick was born on 23 November 1853.  In the 1860 census, Nancy and William are living in her parents household.  I have never been able to find Thomas in any census record.  I know absolutely nothing about him.  William married Nancy Mehitable Hazelton in Greene County, Missouri.  They moved to Stafford County, Kansas in 1886 and then on to Oklahoma Territory in 1895.  I visited with my grandmother about Thomas and she recalled the story that Thomas had another family.  I discovered an interesting census record:
name:William G. Hedrick
residence:Pond Creek, Greene, Missouri
birthplace:Missouri, United States
relationship to head:Self
spouse's name:Nancy Hedrick
spouse's birthplace:Missouri, United States
father's name:
father's birthplace:Tennessee, United States
mother's name:Nancy Hedrick
mother's birthplace:Tennessee, United States
race or color (expanded):White
ethnicity (standardized):American
martial status:Married
age (expanded):25 years
nara film number:T9-0687
page character:C
entry number:4695
film number:1254687
selfWilliam G. HedrickM25Missouri, United States
wifeNancy HedrickF23Missouri, United States
sonRily HedrickM2Missouri, United States
mothNancy HedrickF54Tennessee, United States
broCharley HedrickM15Missouri, United States
sisSatola HedrickF13Missouri, United States
Source Citation
"United States Census, 1880," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 03 Sep 2012), William G. Hedrick, Pond Creek, Greene, Missouri; citing sheet 149C, family 0, NARA microfilm publication T9-0687.

I tried to find Charley or Satola in previous census years, but came up empty.  I did find a Charley H Hedrick in the 1920 census in Ray County, Missouri with a son named James T Hedrick.   I theorize these are the same Charley's.  The difficulty in finding Thomas Hedrick, I have no clue as to his age when he married Nancy Logan.  The census has always been consistent regarding the birthplace of Thomas as being Tennessee.

I am really curious about 3 things; 1. where is Thomas?; 2. how did these children come to live with William in 1860? and 3. who was the mother of these children?

Can you help me break down this brick wall?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sympathy Saturday - Uncle Jerry

My Uncle Jerry was laid to rest this past week.  He was a husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather in addition to being my uncle.   His family always shared their evening meal together even after the children were grown and the grandchildren began arriving.  This is an awesome tradition!  How nice it was for him to have his family near.  I recall many years ago the Christmas celebrations at my grandparents farm in Oklahoma.  Their house was a tiny one bedroom cottage with no indoor plumbing.    These Christmas gatherings came to an end as we had outgrown the space.  Our families were separated by many miles and we didn't get together regularly.  I will always wonder how different our lives may have been if we had remained close over these many years.  His family misses him dearly.  I will always remember his quick wit.