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George Washington Webb and White Burley Tobacco

I’ve talked about the family tree my Grandma showed me when I was in the eighth grade. It was what started this genealogy obsession with me. There was always this little blurb in the beginning of it. It was the only little insight we had to George Washington Webb, his siblings, and his parents. I was always so fascinated with that little blurb. Maybe it was the problem solver in me, I just love to solve mysteries! Whether it be movies, books, or TV shows, I love a good mystery.

It told me that George and his brothers were orphaned at a young age and were three of five children. I found out that wasn’t quite right. There were at least 10 children born to his parents 1and his father, Reuben, was alive until he was at least 86 years old 2.  From what I can tell so far, the surviving children were all married by the time Reuben died. I can only guess that happened between the 1850 and 1860 census. I am still searching out those records!

The other part of the blurb that always stood out for me was that George was credited with discovering white burley tobacco. If you google it, you can find a little blurb about it and it does mention George but I was never quite sure what to go on. Well, before I went on a recent trip to Ohio with my mother, I decided I would look and see if there was anywhere I could go that would give me any idea about this. It turns out there is a Tobacco Museum right in between my two aunts houses.

georgewebb

The museum was closed when we went by, but there was this cool plaque sitting right outside! It’s technically been there since 1964, so it makes me wonder if my Grandma knew about it. She sure didn’t like to give me hints at all. Now I have to make sure I go back when the museum is open to see if there is anything at all about George Webb in there.

  1. Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren and Pulaski Counties, Indiana.  2 volumes.  Chicago, Illinois:  Lewis Publishing Company, 1899.
  2. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Highland County, Ohio. White Oak township, p. 322-A, dwelling 427, family 427, James Webb; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 Sep 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 694.

William Mays and Fanny Atkins

I had some amazing progress yesterday on my Mays ancestors. It all started on Tuesday, when I shared a bunch of old photos on my Facebook. I like to do that for my Aunts, Uncle, and other relations because it helps jog their memories of things. It was a wonderful day full of pictures and stories, and none of us were in the same place. Gotta love technology when you are far apart!

When I woke up on Wednesday morning I was refreshed and excited. After running the morning errands, cleaning, relaxing for a bit, and then cooking dinner, I really should have just watched a movie and went to bed. It must have been that boost from the day before though, because I just had to get onto FamilySearch and research more.

Usually when I’m searching FamilySearch, I just plug in various search terms and see what it finds. Don’t worry I smacked my own knuckles for that! I know I should make research plans, but it never turns out that way. However, I learned something new this week. I learned that if you have a specific locality you are wanting to search, you can use the catalog to see if FamilySearch has anything at all for that locality. It could be book, microfilm, or even online records. I know I’m late to the party with this. I knew about the catalog before but there is a newer feature I hadn’t know about previously.

catalogUsually when I use the catalog I use a film number to see what record group the information I am looking at came from. This is the first time I’m reversing the process. Since I was talking with my Mays relatives the previous day, I thought I’d go for broke and see if Montgomery County, Virginia records would show up for me. Montgomery County is where indexes tell me my 4x great grandparents were married in 1798.

vitalrecordsOh boy, this made me excited. To know the records were somewhere in the records was wonderful. That means I just had to get to them. I knew from the indexes they were supposedly married in September of 1798. So I clicked on Register of Marriages, Montgomery County Virginia, 1773-1863.

browseimagesI have no idea when those little icons started showing up but I am officially in love with them.

jackpotThis is when I stopped being able to contain my excitement!

0588-WilliamMays-MRLuckily for me, I knew from the index that I needed the year 1798. I thought at the time I was looking for September 17, but this record clearly says that William Mase and Fanny Atkins were married on September 20th. I checked my dates one more time, and nowhere did I have the 20th as an alternate date. Since this was the first actual record that I saw with my own eyes, I added it as the preferred marriage date, entered all the information in and patted myself on the back. I got curious about those Marriage Bonds on the list of Montgomery County records though. I mean, it can’t hurt to look right? Where did the 17th come from anyway? That was the date given in the index. I usually can tell how a transcription error has happened, but that 20 does not look remotely like 17.

1798 Marriage Bond

Nope, I suppose it can’t hurt at all! I found it pretty quickly in the 1798 section. This is also where the 17th of September came from, everything is so much clearer to me now! The interesting part is that it has Moses Atkins acting on behalf of Fanny. My excitement wanted me to add Moses as her father, but then I realized, it never actually says that. In bonds before and after this one, it will specifically say Father. I will take time right now to thank all the wonderful genealogists I learning from. If this was 5 years ago, I might have gone ahead and added Moses as her father. I would have assumed it was true and never thought twice. It makes me so happy to know that I have built better habits. Now if I can just learn some better ones in other areas of my research!

This is still an awesome find though, and I thought to myself, years I’d been looking for this and finally I’ve seen it. I am going to start planning a weekend trip to Montgomery County, VA. Not just for record searching, but because this is verifiable proof that my ancestors were there. This is the first known record of my Mays line, this is as far back as we go. There are still so many mysteries about them. Who is William’s father? Were they living in Montgomery County long term? Were they just on their way to Kentucky from a further East Virginia settlement? Now I am going to be diving into an uncomfortable place for me. The census records before 1850. I haven’t really used them before because they are hard to use in some of my families. When they are all named William, all about the same age, and all have 8 million children. Okay, I exaggerated the last part.

It doesn’t stop there, maybe because I was afraid to stop looking, I decided to look in another marriage records listing on the catalog page. The one that said Marriage Records, 1785-1861.

1798 Marriage Bond - clearerIt looks like at some point, Montgomery County decided to make a much more legible, indexed copy of the marriage bond records. Once again, Moses Atkins is specifically not mentioned as Fanny’s father. I suppose that means I made the right decision in not putting him down yet. Now I just have to research those three witnesses and the area and see what that brings!

 

The Story of Lillian Redford

Hello world, I am back again. Today I was watching a webinar given by Amy Johnson Crow on FamilyTreeWebinars.com. The webinar was very informative and a great refresher of somethings that I was already doing. While I was watching, it reminded me of something that happened about a year and a half ago. I was talking with my Aunt Lori over Thanksgiving, and it always turns to genealogy with us. My favorite thing to do is hand her records and let her look at them. About 90% of the time she notices something that I didn’t.

This particular Thanksgiving, we were talking about the progress I was making on the Redford/Travis section of the family tree. It had been a long time since I had anything new to report for them, so I was excited to share, even though it was more Travis than Redford.

We were discussing all the different Redfords that migrated to Los Angeles, and when they were there. I had mentioned that there was one Redford girl that had just plain disappeared on me and I couldn’t find information for her anywhere. I assumed that I would eventually find a death record for her in New Jersey from before the bulk of the family left for California.

The totality of my information as of that day.
The totality of my information as of that day.

To prove my point I plugged the surname Redford into a FamilySearch.org search box, and hit enter. Then I went through all the records showing her them, to see if she saw something I didn’t.

Then it happened.

Lillian's Marriage Record
Lillian’s Marriage Record

All of a sudden, Lillian’s timeline exploded with information. I was able to add not just the one marriage but a second one. I was able to add a child, and that child’s marriage. I filled Lillian’s census information in up to 1940, and I thought to myself, man, what a ride that was! I couldn’t even believe that all this information popped up, just by doing a new search.

Here comes the Kathleen twist though. It’s what always seems to happen to me, just when you think you’re done or that you’ve gotten the information, something else happens.

As I was entering Lillian’s information, I thought I might as well check her father’s death certificate to double check how long he had been living in Los Angeles. It was then I realized I needed to be more thorough in my examining of documents.

Herbert Redford's death certificate
Herbert Redford’s death certificate

It was there, right on her father’s death certificate the whole time. Informant: Mrs. Ralph Swiggart. If I had researched the informant’s name way back when I first got this record by mail, Lillian wouldn’t have been lost to me for so long!

Just chalk that one up to another misadventure in my genealogy. Here I am just proving that my personal motto should be Oops! 🙂

William, Father of William

Even though my main focus is to clean up my source citations, every once and a while you just need to put in a little research time. So that’s what I do when I just need to do something fun with my genealogy.

This strategy has paid off for me because I managed to find William Travis and Sarah Booth‘s marriage record! That means I’m back one more generation since it gives the father’s names.

I was also able to confirm that this 1841 England Census entry was in fact William, Sarah, and their 4 month old daughter Frances. I was about 95% already but confirming that William’s father was named William gave me the last 5%. Now I have to figure out who David and Alice are. I’m assuming siblings of William, Jr. Or maybe David is a son of Alice. They are 20 years apart so anything is possible at this point.

I love figuring things out a small step at a time because I’m able to really take in the info! What’s your latest exciting find?

Moores in 1915, driving me crazy

One of the things I’m doing is trying to find my Moore families in the New York state censuses. It’s not easy because of their commonly used names, but it’s fun looking anyway. I had found William H Moore Jr in 1915 at his usual address in Queens. In 1920, he lives at the same address, but in Brooklyn not Queens. I checked the map at the time and when I did, I completely understood!

47 Crosby Avenue in Google Earth
47 Crosby Avenue in Google Earth

The green line you see is the county line. It separates Kings County (Brooklyn) from Queens County. No doubt that border moved itself a bit before finally settling where it is now. Fun fact: That big green area is  The Evergreens Cemetery where the Moore family is buried.

1915 census of New York State, Queens County, New York. Evergreen town, New York City AD 03, ED 36, p. 052 (penned), William H Moore; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).
1915 census of New York State, Queens County, New York. Evergreen town, New York City AD 03, ED 36, p. 052 (penned), William H Moore; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

The above image shows where I had found William Jr‘s family in Queens in 1915. Just where I knew they would be, living at 47 Crosby Avenue.

This week I was working in Family Tree Maker. Making everything neat and tidy. Really just working on what I can without all my files, since I’m still waiting on the new computer. Imagine my surprise when a little green leaf showed me something a little surprising and informative!

1915 census of New York State, Kings County, New York. Brooklyn AD 22, ED 23, p. 053 (penned), Wm Henry Moore; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).
1915 census of New York State, Kings County, New York. Brooklyn AD 22, ED 23, p. 053 (penned), Wm Henry Moore; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

William Jr‘s family was enumerated twice! This isn’t the first time this has happened to someone in my tree. It is the first time I’ve gotten extra information though, which is awesome. This one finally, finally, finally, suggests something I suspected, that the H in both William’s names stands for Henry. It also led me to William Jr‘s brother and business partner John. He is about 5 households up the street in this census.

Moving Along Nicely

Today is a great day for me. I’m moving on to the Webb family in my Family File Cleanup Project. This is a big deal because at this portion of the tree, all the research is my own. I will still have to properly source everything in a consistent way with the rest of the tree. I wasn’t so consistent with the sourcing. The great news is that I shouldn’t have any super crazy verifying to do at all. Everything from this point on is my own information, so hopefully I’m able to get this section knocked out quickly. That’s not to say that I won’t be doing a little research here and there, because I’m sure I will. For some reason, I’ve always loved researching the Webb family.

The original paragraph
The original paragraph

I think maybe it was the mystery of them when I started. It all goes back to the paragraph written at the beginning of the tree my Grandma gave me. While there was information in the beginning to guide, most of the research was corrected and filled in when I first started and beyond. For some reason, I didn’t cite census records well, but I made sure on everything else to make citations. At least there’s that!

The original Webb oldest generation
The original Webb oldest generation

It’s hard to see the sad pictures of Grandma’s original tree because the pages are fading. 🙁 You might not be able to see that the only second generation children were those of my 3rd Great Grandfather, George Washington Webb. In my research over the years I’ve added George’s siblings, up from the known two siblings to a total of at least nine. That means the original paragraph mentioned a possible five children but I found mention of at least five more. I only wish my Grandma was still alive to share in the find. She was so set on that paragraph, but she wouldn’t have minded knowing how many more members of the family there were. Besides, I still have some mysteries she mentioned that I can search out, so I haven’t dashed all the family myths yet, just one!

Mystery Monday: Samuel Redford

It’s been a long time since I had something to post on Mystery Monday, but this one is a doozy! Before my vacation, I wrote about ordering Samuel Redford and Frances Travis’ marriage record. Now on top of the Duckworth/Redford mystery, I have a tale of two marriage records apparently.

Before I realized I could see a copy of the marriage certificate online, I ordered a copy from the General Records Office. I didn’t receive it until Saturday, which I think is pretty speedy for a record from another country! Anyway, I was cooking when the mail was brought in, so I asked my father to open the record for me. It’s always fun seeing records through a non-genealogist eyes. He immediately zeroed in on the fact that Samuel Redford was listed as a widower. Which prompted a variety of discussions, the biggest one being my shock at his widower status.

I thought it was funny that this was the first time I was hearing this, especially since I had viewed the record on FindmyPast.co.uk after I ordered it. Sunday morning when I had a little more time to investigate, I brought up the computer record and the certificate to compare. That’s where the mystery comes in! To respect the copyrights of the records offices, I’m going to just show you a transcription. You’ll just have to trust me on the differences for now!

click for full size
click for full size

 

I changed the text color on the most significant differences on the records. You can see that on the transcription from Find my Past, it says Samuel is a bachelor and that Frances resides in Werneth. Frances’ residence makes much more sense in the FMP record since I’ve found her family’s census data for 1861, 1871, and 1881 all in Werneth. What I think might have happened when they copied the record down in the GRO (who knows when?) is that the record above Samuel and Frances’ got mixed up with theirs. You can’t tell from the GRO certificate since it only gives the one record, however on FMP I can see the full page. The other record lists the husband as a Widower and both spouses living in Hyde. So most likely a mixup happened somewhere, but it’s not a good thing when you’re researching your family tree from across the pond!

This does show that mistakes happen all the time in records and you should always double check things even from the most trusted of sources.

Duckworth, Redford or Both?

The original post
The original post

9 years after I posted a message on an Ancestry.com message board I received a response! So never give up hope about some of your more silent lines. They can perk up at any moment.

http://www.cheshirebmd.org.uk/
http://www.cheshirebmd.org.uk/

Basically the message pointed me to this website, where he found my 3rd Great Grandparents in the Marriage Index!

Duckworth? Huh?
Duckworth? Huh?

The index doesn’t give too much information right away. Though it does give you enough to order if you so desire. My particular record wasn’t available for the order online option so I started trying to figure out how else I could find it. I thought about upgrading my Ancestry.com membership, but I didn’t see Chesire records in the databases. I didn’t want to commit that much money if I wasn’t going to have a big payoff.

Got to love FamilySearch
Got to love FamilySearch

I wasn’t sure what name to search for Samuel under, so I searched on FamilySearch for the bride instead. I found their entry in a Chesire Parish Register index! This opens a bit more information up for me. Samuel’s father is listed as William Duckworth, but Samuel uses the surname of Redford. Most likely his parents didn’t marry and Samuel used his mother’s surname. I also confirm that the Frances Wright Travis I got quick glimpses of in previous quick searches is in fact my girl. Her father’s name is also listed. I’ve watched enough of the British WDYTYA? by now to understand how their records are laid out. I still wish they had asked for the mother’s names though!

By the time I got to this point, to say my mood was good would be an understatement. I still wanted to see if there was anyway other then sending a SASE to England on getting a look at this record. It was then I made an inane comment to myself.

I wish that they had a ScotlandsPeople like site for England.

It was as I was finishing that thought out loud that I realized, wait a minute…

http://www.findmypast.co.uk/
http://www.findmypast.co.uk/

I read enough genealogy blogs to remember that the people behind the ScotlandsPeople website had also made a website for England. I was able to choose from a few options. There were a bunch of subscription options with full unlimited access to the site. I didn’t need that much access though, because I don’t have a ton of England searching to do. Just a few families so far. So I decided to purchase my 280 credits (good for a full year) and see how far that got me.

When I logged into Find My Past, I ended up opening a ton of tabs in my browser. I had a few different searches going. I was moving things from one computer screen to another. It was hectic, it was crazy and I realized I had to slow it down, and take it easy.

Forced calmness is sometimes needed
Forced calmness is sometimes needed

That’s right I moved to the kitchen table with my laptop. It forced me to do only what the computer could handle. I couldn’t open a million tabs, I couldn’t have Facebook going while I searched. I also couldn’t get distracted by the TV or other things around my computer. It was just me and the laptop at the table. I did miss being able to have Family Tree Maker open on one monitor and the records on the other, but sometimes you have to slow down so you don’t miss adding your citations in! That’s one of the things I’ve learned. Sometimes I devour records and then wonder where I saw things again.

http://www.gro.gov.uk
http://www.gro.gov.uk

From Find My Past, I was able to find the index entry again for Samuel and Frances. This time I was able to head over to the GRO website and actually order the certificate online! I can’t wait to get to see it. Maybe it will give me some hints as to William Duckworth’s occupation so I can narrow down my search a little more. You never know!

Travis Family - 1861 UK Census
Travis Family – 1861 UK Census

I was able to make a ton of progress on Frances’ family. I even found her siblings christening dates in another FamilySearch index. I followed her family through the 1881 census. She left for America in 1870/71, so it will be interesting to see how her family grew in her absence! Even after all the progress, I still have 210 credits left to use. I don’t want to waste them, so I’ll make a plan before I do anymore searching. It’s nice to know that I can send for birth and marriage records though, for a relatively cheap price after the conversion. What I paid for Samuel and Frances’ marriage record will still end up cheaper than all I’ve put into trying to find William H Moore’s death record in New Jersey!

Redford Pedigree
Redford Pedigree

I’ve filled in a little more of my family tree and it feels good! It a little strange to see the change of surname from Samuel to William Duckworth. It’s all I’ve got to go on for now though, so we’ll see where it goes!

Bill worked late for Sharkey

Just that small sentence shouldn’t mean much to anyone other than a genealogist. To a genealogist it’s a clue into the life of an ancestor. For me, it wouldn’t have meant much without the document I am about to share with you. Before this document, I would have noted that my great-grandpa William L Moore once worked for a Mr. Sharkey but that would have been it. With the document I have though, I know that Mr. Sharkey must have been more than an employer. He was most likely a very supportive mentor and friend.

I first shared this resume in 2010, but now that I’ve spent this long transcribing Llewellyn’s diary, this document has a much richer meaning. It might be hard to see in the gallery format, so feel free to click over to the original shared images here.

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What the resume shows is that in July of 1922, when William was just 20 years old, he started working for H.W. Sharkey, C.P.A. as an Assistant Stenographer. This is a big deal because what we know without looking at the resume is that my Great-Grandpa spent over 30 years working for AT&T as an accountant. Unfortunately, the resume also shows that there just wasn’t enough work to keep my Great-Grandpa on and in December of 1923 he left. Great-Grandpa spent about two weeks working as a bookkeeper for the British International Corporation before he went back to work for H.W. Sharkey & Co. This time as a Semi-Senior Accountant or Assitant, I can’t tell. What I do know is he got himself a $5 raise! He must have proven by leaving that he was vital to the business!

The resume says that my Great-Grandpa was only with H.W. Sharkey & Co. for four months before leaving in April of 1924. You and I know differently though because on February 16, 1925, he worked late for Sharkey. I would say that it was an error on the resume, but I know my Great-Grandpa’s record keeping skills. That just wouldn’t happen. So I choose to believe he worked for Sharkey while he went to the Excelsior Business School (see what I did there using the resume!). Then on May 15, 1925 he finally went to work where he would stay for the rest of his professional career, AT&T. Which is where I am 100% positive he was when this series of pictures was taken.

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Update on the Carter Girls!

This entry is going to show you just how far behind I am on following leads, but oh well! Such is life I guess. Anyway, months ago, I wrote an entry about how I loved being a mystery detective when it comes to my family tree. That entry highlighted Emma Carter and my search for her mother among a group of sisters. I discovered her mother was Sina Carter and that Emma married Charles Hurdle.

Thanks to a wonderful friend/reader, Magda!, I have a few more leads after this entry to get me started. Unfortunately or fortunately, it could be both, I am only left with more questions. Ha! Magda commented on the entry to say my Carters sparked a few thoughts about her own Carters in that area, so she decided to dig a little deeper to see if there was a connection. Sadly, there wasn’t, but she did find some great records on FamilySearch for me to look at and analyze!

The first record she linked was the death record of Lewis Carter, the other mystery Carter from my previous entry. The death record gives his mother’s maiden name as Sina Carter and doesn’t list a father except for the last name of Carter. So that’s still an unknown at this point. The other record Magda found was a marriage record for Emma Hurdle and Elmer Fite! The best part is it actually gives Emma’s father’s name as John Jennings. I do wonder if maybe Lewis had the same father but without any record to back up that thought, it stays a thought. So I’ll leave Lewis for another day this week and take on Emma’s clues.

After the marriage record, I immediately did a search on the Ohio Death Records to see if I’d get a hit on Emma Fite, since I hadn’t gotten one on Emma Hurdle previously.

click for full size
click for full size

There was indeed a record. The name, birth date and place of death all fit my criteria. Also, this Emmie Fite being buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery also is in the positive column. I have yet to come across any of this family of Carters NOT buried in this cemetery. The only thing that was disappointing was that the mother is listed as Ellie Carter, not Sina and there is no father listed. So it’s an up in the air record. I’ll go ahead and use it and see where I go, knowing I might have to remove it later.

Since the death date was listed as 1931, I went ahead and jumped to the 1930 census to see if I could find Emma and Elmer in Clark township, Brown County, Ohio.

1930 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1753. Brown County, Ohio. Clark township, ED 003, sheet 04-A, dwelling 96, family 97, Elmer E Fite; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

1930 found them exactly where I expected them to be, so I moved on to 1920… where the intrigue got started again.

1920 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1351. Brown County, Ohio. Clark township, ED 026, sheet 10-B, dwelling 240, family 240, Elmer Fite; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

On the 1920 census, it lists a Meredith Hurdle as Elmer’s stepson. There are a few problems with this. I have record of Emma’s children with Charles Hurdle and Meredith wasn’t one of them. I found a death record that fit Charles for 1897. So if Meredith was born about 1902… well, then Charles isn’t the father of Meredith. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the family in the 1910 census yet, I have to go page by page in Clark township yet. So I set off for more information on Meredith. I came across a marriage record for him and that’s when things got more interesting!

click for full size image
click for full size image

On Meredith’s marriage license, it gives an exact date of birth. Doing my calculations, that means he was born 16 Dec 1901. Definitely too far from 1897 to be Charles Hurdle’s son. Even more interesting is he’s going by the last name Fite and lists his father as Elmer. My first thought was that maybe he was Elmer’s son. Then I realized he was born 6 and a half years before Elmer and Emma’s marriage. Which doesn’t mean Elmer isn’t his father, just that it’s not a given fact.

Then I started thinking about it, and really I ended up happy. Happy that a boy without a father at his birth might have found a father figure by the time he married at the age of 22. Really Elmer might have been there his whole life, I don’t know. Just another one of those mysteries that keeps growing.

So thanks again Magda for all the great leads you gave me, and next I’ll have to ferret out Lewis!

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