Category Archives: Who the Heck Are You?

These are the posts where I try to identify people in my bundles of pictures.

A Tale of Many Sisters: Finding Emma Carter’s Mother

Most of the times, my genealogy days turn into a long day of entering information into my family tree program of choice. I love the record keeping part of genealogy. The one part I didn’t realize I enjoyed so much is the mystery-solving aspect. Every so often, I can’t be satisfied with just entering names and dates and making lists of places to search newspapers for. Every once and awhile, there are members of my family that just jump out and say investigate me more!

Emma Carter was one of these people. Emma first showed up in the 1870 Census, living with Rachel Miller-Carter and her family. Emma was listed as being 8 years old. That presented a problem to me. Rachel’s husband, Levi Carter passed away in March of 1860. So was Emma an illegitimate child of Rachel’s? Rachel was listed as being 52 years old in 1870, so I was a little doubtful of that. I next started wondering about Rachel’s daughters. She had four daughters and three that were living with her in 1870: Betsy, Sina, Eliza. I eliminated Hannah, the married daughter because I had her tracked through my life. She is my 3rd Great Grandmother. If she was Hannah’s daughter, I would have either known about it already, or I wasn’t going to find out by my usual means. So I decided to eliminate her for now, but not permanently.

I jumped ahead to the 1880 Census, the first one to show relationships, to see what that would bring me in the way of information.

1880 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 0996. Brown County, Ohio. Lewis township, Higginsport precinct, ED 198, p. 342-C (stamped), dwelling 215, family 233, Rachel Carter; digital image, (

Luckily for me Emma was still living with her in the same household in the 1880 US Census. So now I know that Rachel is in fact Emma’s grandmother. From this information, I still don’t know who Emma’s mother is. The next step was to follow the daughters and Emma to see where they end up. Luckily for me some Brown County records are online at FamilySearch. I was a little worried about the 20 year gap between the 1880 and 1900 censuses. So I decided to try and see if there was a marriage record for any of Rachel’s daughters first. There was not. Then on a whim, I searched for a marriage record for Emma Carter.

Probate Court, Brown County, Ohio, 1879-1881, vol. 11, p. 551, no. 13812, for Chas W Hurdle-Emma Carter; FamilySearch (

I was in luck to have found a marriage record for 1881! Now I had a place to search for Emma in 1900, but I couldn’t be sure this was my Emma without further evidence.

1900 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1247. Clermont County, Ohio. Franklin township, ED 028, sheet 01-B, dwelling 11, family 12, Emma Hurdle; digital image, (

There are a few problems with this record, like Sina being listed as male (she wasn’t), and that she was widowed. I still haven’t found a marriage record for Sina, so I can’t confirm or deny that fact. What’s interesting is she is listed as a servant in the household instead of as a relation. So by this record, I’m still not sure who Emma Carter’s mother is, but I am positive the above marriage record fits with my Emma Carter. So I will follow Emma’s family into the next census to see what that brings.

1910 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1160. Clermont County, Ohio. Franklin township, ED 029, sheet 02-A, dwelling 33, family 33, Hamer Hurdle; digital image, (

The 1910 Census answers all the questions that I first had and gives me two more. The question I had answered is the identity of Emma Carter’s mother. That I know is Sina Carter. However I now have two questions: Where is Emma Carter if Sina has 2 living children in 1910? Who is the second child, Lewis maybe?

I can pick my relative out of a lineup

Today is a great day. My sister is happy in her new car and my Grandpa Moore might be released from the hospital for a few days before his surgery. I’m hoping I can get the pictures for this entry scanned without many problems. My printer/scanner has been acting a little funny and I haven’t had a chance to troubleshoot it yet.

I received a few comments on my older entries this week, one was from Dana who writes the Just Folks blog. I jokingly told her in a followup comment that I may not know their names but I can pick my relatives out of a lineup! At first I meant that jokingly, then I realized how real that analogy was.

When I first ran across these class pictures, I didn’t know who I was looking for. Eventually I was able to distinguish Llewellyn in most of them. (You can click the class pictures to make them larger.)

Her brother George was in others.

When I first stated this website and blog, I was only able to pick out Llewellyn in the pink and her mother in the purple with the white hat. Now after being in contact with a distant cousin, Rick, I know his Grandmother is Belle Love-Leonard and she sits straight across from Llewellyn. I knew she had to be important because I can pick her out of a lineup too! She’s in quite a few of the pictures I remember so now I’m slowly identifying more of my family that I thought I would never identify!

The lesson I’ve learned is don’t be afraid of those photos you can’t identify. Get familiar with them. You never know when something will pop out of the woodwork or cyberspace in my case and your pile full of unidentified people become relatives!

My next project:

Matching names with faces on Llewellyn’s 8th Grade class picture. I noticed some familiar names like Helen Steinhoff (from Llewellyn’s diary) and Loren Leonard. Two of Llewellyn’s Aunts married into the Leonard family, so it’s be fun to see if she had a cousin in her class! Also there was a Fred Personette in her class. The Personette family married into the Lindsley family, who married into the Thorward family. However, that was Kate Lindsley and Frank Thorward and word on the street is that no one talked with Frank for some strange reason. I’m actually in contact with Frank’s Great-Great Grandson Brent. Funny how the universe works, we both ended up in the same Maryland town and didn’t know each other existed until we met on the internet!

Reuben Webb, You’ve been found!

Back when I started to search my family history, I was given a copy of the tree by my grandmother. I’m sorry, I think I’ve said this 8 million times. I’ll try not to repeat myself so much. In the front of the tree, there was a little paragraph that started out explaining about our Webb line.

James F, Vincent, and George Washington Webb were three of five known children who were orphaned at an early age by the death of both parents. There may have been other children. Upon the death of their parents, they were taken in by various families and were reared to adulthood on that basis. There is no information on the other two children. James lived in Brown County, Ohio and died at an early age from Civil War wounds. Vincent moved to Romney, Tippecanoe County, Indiana. George lived generally in Brown and Clermont Counties of Ohio and Pendleton County, Kentucky Court House records reveal that he owned land in that county. By some Accounts and by an entry in Congressional Record, George Washington Webb is credited with discovering white burley tobacco. The family legend of their having one fourth American Indian blood has not been confirmed.

Okay, so that’s what I started with. I eventually found out Vincent Webb was actually Reuben Thompson Webb. George and James’ information is mostly correct. However, they were NOT orphaned at an early age. As of 1850 their father, Reuben H Webb was alive and living with James and his young family in Highland County, Ohio.

Eventually I even found the names of two more children in an online tree, Alice and Nathaniel. I couldn’t find any documentation for Nathaniel at the time, but I did find Alice. So I was up to four out of five children! Not bad!

Sunday night, I was doing some random Google searches. I ended up typing in Reuben Webb, Tippecanoe IN. I knew he was in the Civil War and lost his eye. I knew he was in Tippecanoe for at least 50 to 60 years. I figured if I was going to find anything out about the parents, it would be from him because it surely didn’t come from my Gr-Gr-Great Grandfather George Washington Webb. Little did I know, I struck a goldmine. My search resulted in a biography written as part of a compilation of biographies to outline the history of many Indiana counties. The book is called, Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren, and Pulaski Counties, Indiana. Reuben T’s biography appears on pages 319-322 of Volume 1. It was published by Lewis Publishing Company and can be found on Amazon and Google Books.

The biography transcript was removed because I don’t want to violate copyrights. I finally managed to get the main page to load, so I’ve removed the transcript from the blog because it says no reproductions are allowed on the web in any part.

The biography was originally published in 1899! The full transcript can be found here. So this was written while Reuben Thompson Webb was still living. Not only that but it gives a huge background on the Webb families. Now all I have to do is back it up with records. I’m going to slowly gather these but this biography blew the little paragraph out of the water.

Thorward Boys

Oh gosh, I am sorry sorry for my absence this week! I wasn’t feeling well most of the week and time just flew by. I’m on the mend, so now it’s time to get back to work. I’m still trying to make sense of my Mays ancestors in my new clean family file. It’s going very sloooooooooow. Sorry for all the os. They were necessary! That’s really how slow it’s going! I haven’t even been able to add many of the Mays’ to the website yet, because of the problems I’m having finding and identifying them! Maybe if they weren’t all named the same thing!

So I’m posting a picture today from my Dad’s side of the family. Even though I have his family sorted and sourced in my family file, I’m still going through those pictures I have.

Thorward Boys

This is one of about a dozen tin-type photos I have. I think they are tin-type anyway. I’m no expert! I have probably looked at 1 million and 3 photos of Lewis Thorward in all my research. While I’m not a photograph analysis expert, I do consider myself a Lewis Thorward expert. If there is anyone out there who believes they are also a Lewis Thorward expert, please contact me, because I have a few questions I’d like answered!

In my expertise, I can definitively say that the little boy standing in the above photograph is Lewis Thorward. What brings me to this conclusion? Was it written on the back (remember it’s a tin-type folks)?

Lewis Thorward

I’m not being a braggart when I say, “I just know.” Is this a scientific method? Of course not. However, I’ve put in my Lewis hours. I’ve looked through a lot of photos of Lewis, Jennie and their children. So I’m pretty confident saying that the boys in the first picture are Lewis and his older brother Frank. Don’t be afraid of your own gut! It’s not something I’d base my entire research on, but I think I can trust it on a Lewis Thorward picture.

Update from Yesterday

I can’t help myself. I have to chart out all those children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Reuben and Anna Webb. See yesterday’s post for the catalyst to this list. For those that aren’t me and aren’t familiar with the way my family tree works. The Webb family is on my mother’s side of the family. My maternal grandmother’s to be exact. This family has been for the most part verified by me because for some reason I love the Webb family. Reuben’s family is actually all researched by me, so that’s why I’m so anxious to pinpoint all these kids. The hard part is not counting the kids born AFTER my 1905 target date for the article written and not counting children that had passed away before 1905.

Reuben Thompson Webb married Anna Sidwell 16 May 1835 in Brown County, Ohio 1.

Living Descendants in 1905

Okay, I did leave in all 6 of Reuben and Anna’s children. Elizabeth died in infancy and I think James died after or during the Civil War. In all, I’m really surprised how off I am! This shows that you shouldn’t be too confident just by using census records! I had a few marriage indexes to help at the time but most of this research was done in the early stages of my genealogy. So really I’m anxious to see what else I could unearth now! I’m going to have to make time for that this weekend or during the week sometime!

  1. Brown County, OH Marriage Records 1818-1939, FamilySearch

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.

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