Inspirational Message

Inspirational Message

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday's Child - A Life Too Short

Craig Anthony Armstrong, my nephew, born 2 Sept 1988 and died 15 Apr 1989.   He was diagnosed with an inoperable malignant brain tumor within weeks of his birth. While perfect on the outside in every way and a beautiful baby boy.  He is buried in the Baby Land section of Greenlawn Cemetery in Pratt, Kansas.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lateral Research - Adding Cousins

I have many brick walls in my family lines.  Some of them go back to 1800s and a few go back another 100 years.  When I hit one of these walls, I concentrate my search on siblings and then work down to the present.  

My most recent search has been on my Graves line.  I really need to find some information in Vermont, but records pre-1800 are scant.  A volunteer on RAOGK Facebook page went to the Vermont Archives and sent me digital images of vital records index cards.  I received about 30 to sort out.  Thus far, none are my direct line.  I am in the process of adding another Patriot to my NSDAR line, Simon Graves.  From another member's application, I found the names and birth dates of all of his children and some of their spouses.  I added this information to my PAF file and searched for more information on these lines.  I started with to see if there were marriage records.  Since I don't know where they lived outside of Vermont or New York, I find it helpful to use first.  I found marriage records for many of his children and grandchildren.  Interestingly, a lot of his descendants moved to Wisconsin.  The lines I found in Wisconsin are Bishop, Underhill, Austin, Edwards, and Tousley.  They lived in Sheboygan and Taylor counties.  One child went to Michigan and one to Iowa.  I was able to find many of their burial places on Find A Grave. His son, Jesse,  moved to Iowa.  Submitta wife of John Convis, was the only daughter that moved to Michigan.   I am curious why so many moved to Wisconsin.  What pulled them to relocate there?  

 Many of Simon's sons fought in the War of 1812 and grandsons fought in the Civil War.  His son, Ira, is my 3rd great grandfather fought in the War of 1812 and Ira's son, Jesse B Graves fought in the Civil War.  My 2nd great grandfather, Gilbert A. Graves, did not fight in the Civil War.  He was born in 1829, 10 years older than his brother, Jesse B.  

Gilbert went from New York to Kansas according to census records that I have been able to uncover.  A family history states he was in Iowa.  In the 1880 census, Gilbert is missing from the household in Ellisburg, Jefferson County, New York.  His cousin, Delatus Graves and wife Rhoda, are the only family members listed in the 1880 census in Oakland, Louisa County, Iowa. Delatus was born in Indiana in 1825. I chose this county to look at because Ira's brother Jesse is buried in this county in Iowa.  There is a Charles Graves, born abt 1849, listed in the 1880 census  in Oakland, Louis County, Iowa.  He is listed as born in IL and their oldest child, Indiana, is 7. His wife, Mary E. was born in Indiana.  I don't have the children of Delatus in my database.  A search of the 1860 census reveals the children of Delatus and Rhoda Graves as Charles (13) b. IL, William (9) b. IL, Jacin (6) b. IA, Arvilla (5) b. IA and Harrison (1/12) b. IA.  This would suggest that Charles H. in 1880 is the same Charles in this household in  1860.  The place of birth is different, but that information is based on what the enumerator was told by the informant in the household.  That could have been Charles H's wife or one of the children.  This information should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.   A further search looking for Graves born 1789-1791 residing in Iowa in 1880 returned no results.  I am assuming he was traveling on census day and did not get enumerated.  Gilbert and his family were intact in the 1900 census in Woodward County, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). 

One of the biggest challenges in the Graves line are the given names; Jesse, Benoni/Benona, and Simon.  These names were passed down many times over.  

That is how I research my lines.  I always find new and interesting details about siblings and distant cousins.  I copy & paste my search results into the notes section for each individual I find.  This is a huge help later when I revisit this person.  I spend countless hours running down more information and adding it to my PAF file. 

Love the hunt!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Is Anyone Out There?

Nothing irks me more than genealogy webpages hosted online and then forgotten by the original creator!

One perfect example is Migrations (  I clicked on several state links and they were either broken 404 errors or in the case of Rutland County, VT that page was showing lots of MySQL errors.

When you click the "View County Migrations Data" link it takes you to this page:,%20VT

and this is what you see:

Notice: Undefined variable: migpassed in /usr/home/web/users/a0005879/html/county.php3 on line 6

Notice: Undefined variable: migcounty in /usr/home/web/users/a0005879/html/county.php3 on line 66

Notice: Undefined variable: migpassed in /usr/home/web/users/a0005879/html/county.php3 on line 80

Notice: Undefined variable: advanced in /usr/home/web/users/a0005879/html/county.php3 on line 80
Location search is
case sensitive.
All states use the 2 digit postal abbreviation.

Location search text:

Surname search text:

NEW! Click here for Advanced Search
Didn't find who you were looking for???

Click here to
to the database

Veteran's Registry

Hope your family came this way!

Please use the search form at left to find your Ancestor's Migratory Path.

Undefined variable: migpassed in /usr/home/web/users/a0005879/html/county.php3 on line 340

Notice: Undefined variable: query in /usr/home/web/users/a0005879/html/county.php3 on line340

Notice: Undefined variable: 
migpassed in /usr/home/web/users/a0005879/html/county.php3 on line 375

Notice: Undefined variable: query in /usr/home/web/users/a0005879/html/county.php3 on line375
I sent an email to alerting them to the problem I encountered.  Does anyone know if this project expired??  All data appears to be correct as of 2008.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Motivation Monday - Persis Who??

Until recently, I had never heard of the name Persis.  Now that I have her in my line of direct descent, I need to figure out who she is.

It began with an email from my cousin who wished to join the Daughters of 1812.  She asked if we had any ancestors who fought in the War of 1812.  I went online and searched the United Daughters of 1812 database and found Ira Graves, her 3rd and my 4th great grandfather.  I decided to search the DAR database for the Graves surname as well.  I found Simon Graves, father of Ira.  His wife was listed in the database as Persis Unknown.

Now the journey is under way to find who Persis is and to find a marriage record for Simon and Persis.  They lived in Massachusetts at the time of the American Revolution.  Simon is documented in the "1673 1899 History of Sunderland, Massachusetts" book that I downloaded from some time ago.  Persis is listed without a surname.

I checked's Massachusetts, Births and Christenings 1639-1915 index and found a birth record for a Perses Graves, daughter of Daniell Graves and his wife Joanna on 22 Aug 1754 in Brimfield, Hampden, Massachusetts.  Simon was born in 1752, so this could be his Persis.  Too bad the images are not available online for this index.

I decided to search on for a book pertaining to this particular area of Massachusetts.  There wasn't a book on Brimfield nor Hampden.  There were many books on Massachusetts Town Records.  I finally found "History of Palmer, Massachusetts, Early known as the Elbow Tract." I had seen that Palmer was in Hampden county so I decided to look into this book.

On page 124 begins the list of Early Settlers, Inhabitants and Landowners, 1716 - 1745.  And on page 129 it states, "Graves, Daniel from Springfield, located early on Brimfield Addition."

On page 281 it states that he obtained a license to open a public house before 1760. " It stood opposite the Washington Elm."   The Washington Elm is clarified on page 466 as the spot where Gen Washington addressed the people in 1784.

Back on page 163 it states, "Graves Tavern. January 16, 1761, a petition was presented to the General Court by Capt. Aaron Graves of Palmer, setting forth that his father, Daniel Graves, of said town, deceased,  at the court of General Sessions of Peace, holden at Springfield the last Tuesday of April last, obtained a License from the Justices of Sd Court, to keep a tavern in his then dwelling-house; that he has since deceased, leaving a suitable stock for such a house of entertainment-Praying that the Court of Sessions may be empowered to grant the petitioner a License to keep a Tavern in said house."  The petition was granted.
Looking further in the book is the section of Early Palmer Families.

Page 391 lists Daniel Graves as owning lot 91. On page 403 it reads, "No. 91 Graves, Daniel with the family of the same name came from Springfield, and he located on this addition on or near the Country road.  His son, Maj. Aaron Graves was keeping hotel, 1780.  There has been several proprietors since that time. Mr. M. W. French is the present owner. The descendants of Mr. Graves (many of them) obtained farms in this addition."

Page 466 is where it gets really interesting!!!  "Ebenezar, Jun. and Daniel Graves of Springfield, were some of the first settlers of Brimfield. The Graves family of Palmer settled in that part of Brimfield that is now in the limits of this town.  The family has a tradition that shows some semblance of fact.  A boy was kidnapped in France about 1720, and brought to Boston,  and the party sold his time from eighteen to twenty-one  for passage money and expense  to a man by the name of Graves that was then living in Springfield.  At the expiration of the time Mr Graves gave him an outfit of two suits of clothes, and two axes, and extended his benevolence even further in giving him his own name (Graves).  He with others of his family, entered land in Brimfield, when the tide of emigration was then moving from Springfield to the new settled District.  Daniel with the other single men were not allowed the full compliment of acres  with the proprietors in general, but he became in possession of a large tract of land so that his sons remained with him on this Brimfield Addition. He had three sons, Aaron, Simeon and Daniel; and some of the descendants still remain in town.  Gideon, son of Daniel Jun., entered the Continental Army at the age of eighteen and served six years and seven months, he was orderly sergeant of a company of artillery and was wounded twice; once with a British cutlass on the wrist and also a wound from a ball in the hip, he was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis.  Aaron Graves served in the army and received the rank of major.  He kept the hotel on the country road south of Checopee River; the lot is now owned by M. W. French.  It was at this place that Gen. Washington and Lafayette stopped, dined and addressed the people under the big elm in 1784.  Peace had now been declared between the Colonies and the mother country, and L_____ was received with a triumph of joy on his tour through the country.  They presented the major with a cane that is now in the family of George W. of Illinois.  He has it in his possession with the understanding  that it will be handed down to the next oldest descendant by the family name of Graves."

The genealogy of the Graves family continues on this page, I am including only Daniel Jr here.
"4. Graves, Daniel Jr m Joanna ____
9, ch 1, Persis b. Aug 22, 1756
10, ch 2 Gideon b. Aug 25, 1758
11, ch 3 m. Maria Rodgers Oct 3, 1786
12, ch 4 Sibel b Aug 10, 1761 m. Cosmo Gordon Apr 1800
13, ch 5 Thankful m Mr. Parsons."

The question that remains, is Ebenezar Jun the Real Graves and Daniel the one who was kidnapped from France or the other way around, hence the Junior?  I still need to find a marriage record for Persis and Simon Graves.

I went to and selected Massachusetts.  I then selected Hampden county.  Hampden County was formed in 1812 from Hampshire County so the marriage record should be in Hampshire County.    Hampshire County was formed in 1662 so we are good here.  They have posted links to the US GenWeb Archives for marriage records to 1840 but the links are broken. :-(  So I went back to and clicked 'Project Archives' to look for Hampshire County Marriages to 1840. I found those links and they worked fine, but no luck finding Persis Graves nor Simon Graves.

It looks like the hunt will be on for more information on this elusive ancestor.  As always, love the hunt!

Friday, November 2, 2012

James L Bishop - Worthy Mason


Whereas it has pleased the Grand Architect of the Universe to summon to a state of endless duration our Worthy Brother James L Bishop, we as Masons, while bowing to the submission to the inevitable decree that "The dust shall return to earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it," deeply deplore the severance of another link from our fraternal chain, therefore be it
Resolved that we extend to the bereaved family our sincere sympathy.
Resolved that in the death of Brother Bishop Rising Light Lodge No. 637 has lost one of its oldest members, the community a model citizen, a man of strict integrity in all his relations to life,  a friend to all a foe to none.
Resolved, that as a tribute of our affection, the charter of our lodge be draped mouring and a memorial page be spread on the Lodge book of records,  a copy of the foregoing to be presented to the family of our deceased brother and a copy to the Jefferson County Journal and a copy to The Pulaski Democrat.
J. A. Coulter
W. D. Laird
O. F. Greene



James L Bishop of the Commercial House, who suffered a paralytic shock several days ago, remains in a critical condition with little hope of his recovery.  His brothers, Nathan  Bishop of Rodman and Dan of Pulaski were with him several days last week.

I have been searching for more information on this Bishop family.  My search took me to the Oswego County page hosted on rootsweb.  I found a link to the Pulaski Cemetery ( transcription conducted by the local DAR chapter in the 1920's.  The Bishop family is not in the list. I checked as well and did not find them listed in the Pulaski Cemetery.  I wanted to put in a request for a photo, but first I needed to create a memorial page.  Another note stated that the grave location was appreciated when making this request.  Going back to the Oswego County page, I found a link to History of Pulaski ( where I found two historians listed with contact information.  I sent an email to the Pulaski Historian requesting the contact information for the Pulaski Cemetery.  I stated in my email that I had the obituary for James L Bishop and that James was a Mason.  I received a quick reply that the historian had seen the tombstone of Mr. Bishop in the Pulaski Cemetery and offered to get a photo of it for me.  The Pulaski Historian is also a Mason.  I am waiting for the photo and praying that Lanette 'Nettie' Bishop is on the same tombstone or has a tombstone of her own in Pulaski Cemetery.  I have still been unable to find an obituary notice for her.  I did find a couple or articles regarding falls down stairs that she took in 1899 and again in 1909.  The last fall resulted in a broken hip.  The Bishop's had one child, a son, who had no children.  This is the end of this Bishop line and I would really like to complete the research on them.  Like all genealogists, I am relentless!



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thrifty Thursday - Free Online Newspapers

We used to be called "Arm Chair Genealogists" because we never went onsite to do research.  Back then, before the Internet was available to the public, I wrote lots of letters to archives, repositories, libraries, court houses, etc.  None of them charged a fee to ask a question, but there were fees for copies plus postage if they had a record in which I was interested.

Times haven't really changed all that much for me.  I still do my research from home, only I use the Internet to find the resources before I write a letter or send an email request.
One of my favorite resources are newspapers.  I can spend hours browsing through newspaper microfilm!

My research  is focused on New York.  I am not able to travel to New York so I appreciate two wonderful sites that have some newspapers digitized and freely available online.  One I have mentioned in other posts,, and the other one is Northern New York Historical Newspapers,  Fulton History covers the whole state of New York.  Both websites use the same search engine and I always select "the exact phrase" so I can find Mrs. Bishop, or Clarence E Bishop or James L Bishop.  Otherwise, I will receive hits for the Bishop of the Catholic Church.  Check out my other posts of transcriptions of the newspaper articles I found on these two sites.

I  use these two sites to research my Hoag, Holly/Holley, Graves, Bishop, Fall, and other lines that originated in Northern New York.   I have also visited the Library of Congress website and searched through their digitized newspaper collection.

I really appreciate all the hours spent digitizing these newspapers!  Best part of genealogy is sharing resources and good finds!

Keep up the hunt!