Category Archives: GeneaBloggers Topics

Treasure Chest Thursday: Cemetery Deeds

If you told me 10 years ago that I would come to look at pieces of paper as treasure, I would have thought you were crazy! Sure I was curious about all this family tree stuff then, but not to the extent I am now. Reflecting on the great experience I had a few years ago, I decided I was going to do another Find a Grave photo request. However, I didn’t want to send someone into a Brooklyn cemetery blind. I knew I had the deed somewhere, which will give the plot number. It’s the least I could do, right?

In my quest for the Brooklyn Cemetery Deed, I found the one for Prospect Hill Cemtery in Caldwell, New Jersey.

Right next to the Prospect Hill deed was a big, thick envelope for The Evergreens in Brooklyn. In it was this transferred deed from William H Moore to his daughter Mary J Moore. William H Moore being the first Moore I know of in America.

Along with the original deed. What comes next is the great part apart researching my Dad’s family. My Great-Grandparents were probably the best record keepers in the world.

There is a remembrance card for Robert J Moore, Jr; William L Moore’s brother.

There is numerous correspondence between William L Moore and Chester Schmaeling. They were discussing the care and payment for the cemetery in Brooklyn. Chester being the brother of Gertrude, who married William L Moore‘s brother Robert J Moore, Jr.

There is a newspaper clip for a pilot who went missing during WWII. At first it’s unclear on why this is thrown into the mix.

Then I read that it was actually Marguerite Wambaugh’s (she’s Llewellyn’s cousin) husband. I’m going to have to research this further, because I don’t know if he ever made it home or not!

There is a big packet of papers pertaining to the Brooklyn plots. Including a funeral card for Marion Moore-Schroeder.

When I say that my Great-Grandfather was a very good record keeper, I wasn’t exaggerating at all. He was an accountant for AT&T. This was just what he did.

Always the accountant, William couldn’t help but figure out how exactly his money was being spent.

This is what I love. In this letter William inquires who all is buried in the cemetery plot in Brooklyn.

This is scribbled in pencil on the back of the deed. I’m unsure if this was done before William had a response from the cemetery. Maybe he was trying to figure it out for himself, or maybe he went to the cemetery and transcribed the tombstones. I can’t be sure.

I definitely don’t blame him though, because I wanted to know too! I called the cemetery and they gave us a count of 9 people and 8 plots. One of the people being a baby with no other information. The cemetery office said they couldn’t tell us over the phone anything other than the names of the people. We understood that, but this is the plot I’m going to see if someone can fill my photo request. I’m very curious about this cemetery. One day I will get to Brooklyn to visit it myself, but until then I hope this can give me something.

Treasure Chest Thursday is a daily blogging topic I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Treasure Chest Thursday simply create a post with the main focus being a family treasure, an heirloom or even an every-day item important to your family.

Tombstone Tuesday: Kindess

This Tombstone Tuesday I’m going to share a tombstone picture and a story of kindness.

As I often complain about, I live in Maryland while many of my roots are in other states. Due to limited means, I can’t really travel. So getting to cemeteries where my relatives actually are is very difficult. That’s why I love the Find a Grave website so much. They have Photo Volunteers on there. I am now one of them, but I haven’t been fast enough to fulfill a request yet! Anyway, I sent out a photo request for some tombstones that I had been to before in my Dad’s hometown, but didn’t have a camera at the time. What I got in return for one photo request was an amazing experience.

I didn’t know at the time how abundant our family was in that cemetery. I was just looking to get my Dad’s grandparents. I knew it would be awhile before I’d see New Jersey again. (I was right by the way. This was in December of 2007 and I still haven’t been there.) So I filled out the Request a Photo form, and I waited. It wasn’t very long before someone “claimed” my request. The hardest part of anything to me is the waiting. Whether it be for records by mail, photo requests, or in the line at Wal-Mart. I hate waiting. It was such a surprise when my request was filled so quickly. The request was filled by John. We actually emailed back and forth for a bit before he could get out to the cemetery. He had run by really quick to check the lay of the land but didn’t have his camera. He went to the office and got all the information from the stones for me to tide me over. It was such a kind gesture. He even saw that William L Moore was buried in a Thorward plot and when he caught sight of yet another Thorward plot, he noted down the names to check later. That’s when he found moore-mays.org and saw that they were all indeed my family.

Then the pictures started coming in…

William and Llewellyn Moore (My Great-Grandparents)

Jennie Love (Llewellyn’s mother)

Lewis Thorward (Llewellyn’s father)

He took pictures of everything in William’s plot.

Then when he’d done that he took pictures of all the other names he’d found on my website. I can’t even picture them all here. They include Thorward, Lindsley, and Bush family plots. To this day I still remember John and how nice he was to take these pictures for me. Even though we weren’t related he’d found a great sense of history through my family ties to Caldwell, New Jersey. Even getting excited to see the old building the Meat Market was housed in. In his own words, “I’ve driven past this building a hundred times. Never really noticed it until last week.” I don’t know if John still visits this site, but I hope he knows how much I appreciated all the help he gave me.

This is why I love genealogy and the people who make it possible.

Follow Friday: Family Search

I am in love with this website. I love this website so much, I’m pretty sure I’d take the drastic step of marrying it if I could. I’m not experienced or smart enough to get lost in the technical jargon about the website, so you’ll have to go elsewhere for that.

I have been using the FamilySearch “Pilot” site for many years now. Mostly in past years for their wonderful collection of Ohio Death Certificates. Recently they’ve made a drastic change. That change is adding so many names to the database I’ll probably never come out on the other side.

I’ve always been hampered in my research in the fact that I have practically no means of travel. If it isn’t in my own town, most likely I can’t get there. Washington D.C. is a day trip that doesn’t happen often, maybe more now, but we’ll see. With these new website updates though, I may not have to stress too bad about that any longer.

A lot of the records they’ve recently put online are just indexes. So they aren’t the most helpful (mostly because of transcription interpreting I think). That doesn’t even hint on the way that they source the indexes and how valid the actual index information is.

This is my favorite part though. I found this marriage record for Mary J Webb. I don’t know who Mary J Webb is quite honestly. I know who her parents are though. Enoch Webb and Jane Lindsey. I’m actually pretty sure of Webb research, so it did surprise me to find a daughter for these two. She was born around 1884 and didn’t marry until 1915. So by all intents and purposes she should be living at home with her parents in 1900 and 1910. That isn’t so though. In fact, it wasn’t until I found this record that I remembered something that always stumped me before. Enoch had an older brother Amos. In 1900 and 1910 Amos had a niece living with him named Minnie/Mammie. I was always stumped by who this girl could belong to. She popped up in 1900 out of nowhere. If I had the 1890 census, things would have been clearer. Once I found this record though, I got excited. I’d finally identified her! The birthday fits and everything.

Is this a 100% identification? Maybe not, but it’s the closest I might ever get! What can I do to verify this information? Well I’m going to have to see where Family Search got their information.

So I took the Film Number and plugged it into the Family History Library Catalog Search.

This is the microfilm that gives me the above information. Straight from the Brown County Courthouse! That’s without a 10+ hour trip to Ohio with people who aren’t exactly into going through old records and cemeteries.

What exactly do I plan to do with this?

I plan to see it for myself, in person if at all possible.

The Genealogy Gods are smiling down on me today folks. They do have a Family History Center in my town! This is great news, and I plan to get a to do list together and head in there in the very near future!

FamilySearch Record Search

Follow Friday is a daily blogging theme I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Follow Friday, simply create a post in which you recommend another genealogy blogger, a specific blog post, a genealogy website or a genealogy resource. Tell us why they are important to the genealogy community and why we should follow.

Wordless Wednesday: George Thorward

The transcription on this photo is George Thorward – 1st car -1905

Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogging theme I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Wordless Wednesday simply create a post with the main focus being a photograph or image. Some people also include attribute information as to the source of the image (date, location, owner, etc.). Some have begun doing a “Not So Wordless Wednesday” with the main focus still being an image but there is a backstory to the image.

Tombstone Tuesday: Unknown West grave

When I was lost in Kentucky many moons ago, I found this gravesite. At first I was excited because I was just going to Johnsville Cemetery for my Taylor relatives. Little did I know I had really opened up a waterfall of relatives. I know better now. Any cemetery in Bracken County, Kentucky is littered with my kin.

This however, isn’t one of them. Let me give you a quick look at my line leading up to the West line.

Me > Mom > Grandma Taylor > Lula Applegate > Elizabeth Susan West > Isaiah West and Zeroah Rachael Black?

Why do I put the question mark at the end of Zeroah’s name. Well, that’s because her name is cause for debate among the few that are actually researching this line. I haven’t communicated with any of them, because quite frankly I don’t think they are part of my line. I’ll probably reach out more once I have all my ducks in a row so to speak. I’m pretty confident about this line though, because I researched it myself, it didn’t come from my copy of the family tree. I have the death records of everyone except for Elizabeth’s parents. In all of the children’s death records it shows their mother listed as a weird Z name and the surname Black. So that’s why I have that in my family file. A quick search on Ancestry will bring up a half dozen trees with Isaiah West married to Zerelda Jane McClanahan. They say this because there is a Kentucky Marriage Record on file for the two.

Needless to say that’s enough for some. I get that Zerelda or any Z name is uncommon so this is probably as close as you can get. This record is one of the only (if not the only) marriage records for a West in the database. I’m still hesitant though. My couple started having children in 1866 that I know of. I don’t know if there were any infant deaths yet. I also have their marriage as being estimated for 1862. Which makes sense to me. For their ages and the children start time. The marriage record however, lists the marriage date as May 2, 1852. That’s 10 years off  my target date. Is it still possible, yeah it is but I don’t think so. I’m going to err on the side of caution on this one.

Where does this tombstone come in then you ask? Well when I found this tombstone on that ill fated trip, I assumed at the time that it was my couple. Why I don’t know, I just did. The delight wore off once I uploaded my pictures and started attaching the pictures to my file. This was definitely not my couple. In the years leading up to this post though, I’ve run across this couple in census records. I’m pretty sure all these yahoos I mentioned will end up in my tree. It’s another case of the William Moores and William Mayses for me. Eventually I’ll prove they were cousins or something. It’s just the way my research becomes full circle. It’s why I never deleted this picture. I just have it sitting in my Tombstone folder marked as Unknown West.

Maybe later today I will research the West family again, now that I’ve typed this up I find I want to get my ducks in a row when it comes to this family. Hm.. :)

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily blogging theme I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Tombstone Tuesday simply create a post which includes an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors and it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor.

Madness Monday: Back Away…

Sometimes, you just need to back away from your family file. Well I do at least. I found myself this week re-thinking EVERYTHING that involved my research and my blog. I’ve already done the irreversible step of clearing out my Mom’s side of the tree on my website. Which I’ll never regret, because keeping it around was just wrong when I wasn’t sure of the validity of it all.

I’ve read enough on blogs in the last month or so to make me sweat about all things I think I know. It’s been a crazy, educational couple of months. In the end, I deleted everything but my Original Family File and then I made a copy of my Random Number RootsMagic file and plopped it into Family Tree Maker. No more files for me. These three are it. The Original file is now relegated to back up status, even though I back up the other two regularly.

So here I sit, with a clean start on both my website and my family file. Technically I’m not starting completely over though. I still have all those names in my file to contend with. I just won’t add them to the website unless I have them thoroughly and well sourced. Which brings me to my next decision.

I went through all the trouble of having to clean out my website database. This is so my Ref ID #’s on the website and in FTM/RootsMagic will be the same. I couldn’t change an already existing ID # in the website, which I understand completely. So I’m starting over with that in every since of the word. The decision I made though, is I’m going to go ahead and add my Random Relative Project relatives as I finish them. If I don’t feel comfortable adding them to the site yet on what I have, I won’t. Since I know so much more about things on the TNG software though, it doesn’t make sense to save them for later when it’s just as easy to add them now, and then link them in when I get there. It doesn’t harm anything really.

So that’s where I’m at. By the way, I put eighty million categories on this post because they all fit, and I’m obsessed with categories. Maybe I just need to put up a Kathleen is Category Crazy category for days like today… or maybe I just need to leave it as Family File Hijinks and Madness Monday. Here I go again. :)

Madness Monday is a daily blogging theme I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Madness Monday simply create a post with the main focus being an ancestor who may have suffered from some form of mental illness or an ancestor who drives you “mad” because you have trouble locating them or locating more information about them.

Madness Monday: You can kill yourself with Insanity

I never thought I’d have anything to contribute to Madness Monday at GeneaBloggers. Sure I have plenty of dementia in the family but I doubted I’d ever have any good stories about this subject. A while back (meaning I can’t remember when), I got the death certificate for my Great-Great Grandfather. I got quite a surprise when looking at his cause of death.

GeorgeThomasTaylor-DR

That’s right folks. It reads “Acute Insanity” as his cause of death.  The Contributory causes seem to say: “Worry over sickness of the other 3 ???  family.” This certificate was the Ancestry.com copy, I’m going to order a certified copy and see if the writing is clearer. I have reason to believe it will be. ;)

Now looking into his family situation I can’t really blame him. By the time of his death, four of his eleven children had died as infants. 1913 is still a little early for the “Super Flu of 1918,”  unless there was a very localized epidemic I’m not aware of. I will probably spend a day going through the newspaper archives on my first Kentucky genealogy trip. :)

I’m sure it wasn’t worry that was his downfall but maybe stress induced heart attack? Stroke? Brain Hemorrhage? Who knows, but I’ll always be able to say he died of Acute Insanity.

Madness Monday is Daily Blogging Topic I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Madness Monday simply create a post with the main focus being an ancestor who may have suffered from some form of mental illness or an ancestor who drives you “mad” because you have trouble locating them or locating more information about them.

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