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Who the Heck Are You?

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

The Genealogy Breakthrough that Made Me Cry

I don’t usually do blog posts this close together, but I just had to share my latest break through. I was attending one of Legacy Family Tree’s webinars (Mining Uber-sites for Germany Ancestors by James Beidler) and using one of the tips, broke down my not-so brick wall. This brick wall has stumped us all for years. I’ve talked about George Thorward before.

  1. Wordless Wednesday: George Thorward – 1st Car
  2. Tombstone Tuesday: Thorwards – Tombstone pictures for George and his wife Josephine, plus an extra one of them outside their house.
  3. Did I Find Him? – An entry where I first wonder about the George Thorward/George Yohn question.
  4. Surname Saturday: Thorward – A very brief glimpse of what I knew of the Thorwards in July of 2010
  5. An Unexpected, Yet Expected Turn – George shows up in his marriage record as George Yohn and I end the entry with the question: Who are you George?
  6. Mysterious Ancestors: I tried to examine this George Yohn/George Thorward thing yet again.
  7. George Yohn… Again: I got Josephine and George’s marriage record in the mail
  8. Timeline: George Thorward: Again, I use a timeline strategy to sort out what I know about George Thorward/Yohn. Note: Eagle eye readers will notice I state at the beginning that I lost the article that showed where he came from in Germany. Then post that same article at the bottom of the post. Talk about losing things right in front of your face!

That brings us all up to date except for the recent revelations. I’ve been blocked when it comes to George for a long time. Until about a week ago that is. On Facebook, a conversation between some Thorward cousins popped up. My 2nd cousin 2x removed (haha, I love that), happened to mention that her father (grandson to George Thorward) used to tell a story about George. According to her father, the story is that George and his brother came to Newark, New Jersey in 1866 from W├╝erttemberg to escape serving under the King of Bismark. According to him, George was 12 at the time. They came to Newark to stay with their sister whose last name was Gantz and she had a hat factory. The family lore also says their last name was originally Weigel but that the brothers made up the name Thorward. George then got a job on a farm in Towaco, New Jersey. There he met and married the farmer’s daughter, Josephine Doremus. My 2nd cousin also believed that George’s brother was Benjamin and he went west to the Chicago area. I will dissect this family lore in another entry on another day. There is going to have to be another timeline soon I think. ­čÖé

Now I had always heard about George and a brother who came with him, but I could never find the brother to substantiate anything having to do with a brother. George and his descendants were the only Thorward ever in New Jersey that I could find. There was one other Thorward family that pops up in the mid-west but I never had any connection to them. I know I should have been a good genealogist and researched them also. I mean if you think about it, there was only that one other family so they had to be related somehow. I just never got around to it with all my other things going on. Note to myself, a to do list will help with this in the future, haha. This other family was headed by Benjamin Thorward and he did say he was from W├╝erttemberg. So now I will definitely be adding that family to my to-do list!

Fast forward to today’s Germany webinar and I got one little tip that sparked in my head. I was watching when I saw a database pop up as an example. It was called the W├╝erttemberg, Germany Emigration Index. All I put into the search box was George Weigel. I didn’t add anything else.

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This was the very first search result. I’m not going to lie to you, I might have blacked out for the second half of the webinar. I will definitely be re-watching it because it was full of such good tips. I just can’t remember any of them at the moment. If this turns out to be a match, it would also explain where the Yohn/John comes from in the earlier records for George.

johanngeorgweigelI am very excited about this for a lot of reasons. I know this still has a long way to go to be a stronger connection. I have plenty of records I still want to get my hands on for both of my candidates here. I believe the next record I will get is George’s New Jersey death record and see what that says. It was on my to do list anyway. Plus I want to learn a lot more about this section of Germany and what was happening at the time.

So all of this is very exciting for me but I know there is still tons of work ahead. I’m sorry if I come across a little scattered but my brain is moving 500 miles per hour! Never fear though, I am taking a cooling off period and slowing down. I will be examining lots more records before I determine if this is my guy or not. I am so much closer than I ever was before though!

Records to Order:

  • George Thorward’s death certificate from New Jersey. The issues that kept George from stating his real name in the beginning of his America journey, probably wasn’t shared by whoever filled out his death certificate. His wife was still alive, maybe she was aware of his family history. I might not ever be able to 100% prove the Weigel connection, but it won’t be from lack of trying.

Records to Find:

  • An immigration record for either George Thorward, George Yohn, or Johann Georg Weigel.
  • I am going to try and track down the sister by the name of Gantz.
  • City directories – George showed up in many directories once his name was Thorward but maybe he used one of his A.K.A.’s in Newark before moving to the more rural area.
  • Maybe a naturalization record would give some great information. As early as 1900 George stated on the censuses that he was naturalized. If he was telling the truth, that should give me something!
  • I want to look for a will for George in New Jersey. It could be he might mention a brother or nephews/nieces in his will.
  • The land records for George’s house on Central Avenue.
  • Any more newspaper mentions of my George to see if it gives anymore about his German history or family.
  • Research the other Thorward family that shows up in the mid-west. This is allegedly George’s brother. Maybe I will find records to help me, by researching them.

You can be sure you’ll be hearing more about this in the future!

When to Change the Spelling on a Name?

One of the problems I still struggle with is when to change a spelling for one of my families. Usually it’s not an issue. 90% of my families stay pretty consistent. There is that other 10% though. My latest example being the Featherson/Featherston family.

I first became aware of the Feathersons on my great-grandparents marriage certificate.

0284-CliffordHerbertRedford-MR
New Jersey Office of Vital Statistics & Registry, marriage certificate 4422 (1923), Redford-Parkin; New Jersey Department of Health, Trenton

My 2x great-grandmother’s maiden name on this record shows Jennie Featherson. Now in indexes, it usually comes up as Peatherson just like Sutcliffe usually comes up as Putcliffe. I really believe that is an F on this record.

Once I had her maiden name, I tried searching for her in a census. I knew then that Jane Parkin was born in 1896 and since the 1890 census is gone I have to go father back than I would normally like. I tried searching in the 1885 New Jersey State Census and came up with nothing after trying many spellings.  That leaves the 1880 Census. I should also note that I found John Walter Parkin, his wife Jennie, and their 4 children in the 1900 census. That means I have an estimated birth date of Jan/June 1875 in Pennsylvania.

William Featherston, 1880 Census
1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Baltimore County, Maryland. Baltimore city, enumeration district (ED) 33, p. 546-A, dwelling 94, family 106, William Featherston; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Apr 2016); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 498.

I was a little surprised to find my closest match living in Baltimore, Maryland in 1880. It might seem like a jump, but putting together the evidence, maybe not so much. Jennie Featherston is about 5 years old and born in Pennsylvania. Her mother was born in New Jersey as were her parents. This is a nice fit, but how can I prove this is my Jennie? Featherston and Featherson are close enough. Then I got an idea to check a city directory. I thought maybe if I found William Featherston/Featherson in the city directory and his name was spelled without the T, then that would help my case.

William Featherston, 1882
John W. Woods, Baltimore City Directory, 1882: 289; digital images, Ancestry http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 Apr 2016.

Strange enough, I couldn’t find him in 1880, but kept checking and finally found him in an 1882 Baltimore City Directory. It looks like the T is still sticking to his name though. This means I need more records, and more instances to compare. So I sent away for the marriage certificate of Jennie Featherson and John Walter Parkin.

0310-JohnWParkin-MR
New Jersey State Archives, marriage certificate (1891), Parkin-Featherson; New Jersey Division of Archives & Records Management.

Well, this 1891 marriage certificate just confuses me more. Here I have Jennie Featherson, born in Philadelphia, USA (NEW CLUE!), her father is listed as William Featherson and her mother as Jennie with no maiden name. That doesn’t exactly help my case either, since the 1880 Census of William Featherston has a wife named Anna. I just have more questions. Are these the same families? Are they different families? Is Anna a second wife and Jennie a first wife? There is a gap between William Featherston’s second and third child, plus a change in location. That could be a gap where his wife died. It was about this time where I remembered that I had Jennie and John Parkin in 1900 with their four children and it should list the birthplaces of her parents.

John Parkin, 1900
1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Essex County, New Jersey. Newark Ward 11, enumeration district (ED) 113, sheet 12-A, p. 12-A, dwelling 172, family 248, John Walter; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Apr 2016); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 966.

Please forgive the surname on this record, the family is listed as having a surname of Walter, which is John’s middle name. If I pay attention to just Jennie though, I notice her father was born in England and her mother in New Jersey. Okay, so my 1880 Census couple the Featherston’s might still be a fit. Also notice that Jennie named her first-born daughter Anna.

It’s at this point that I realized I’m going to need more records than what I now have. Really, I could always use more records. Before I could decide to add this couple into my tree as Jennie’s parents, I just needed a little more. I went to FamilySearch.org and checked their catalog. They’ve had so much added recently, I thought I might try to see what they have.

Anne Featherston, 1875It turns out they have a Philadelphia City Births collection! Just what I needed… I guess. There is a perfect fit for Featherston, if my 2x great grandmother’s name was Anne. However, if you look over my previous records, they could use Anne or Jennie as a nickname of the other name. Or maybe they are still 2 different families.

It also doesn’t help that between 1900 and the 1905 New Jersey State Census, I lose my 2x great grandmother Jennie. I am assuming she died because John is living with his mother and their children are living in what looks like a children’s home. By 1910, John is also gone and the kids bounce around a lot. The Featherstons and Feathersons both disappear as well. It is obvious more research is needed.

If this turns out to be the right family it is surely enough evidence to change the name in my database from Featherson to Featherston. The question I have though, is how much evidence do you wait for before changing the spelling of a name in your database? Except for the two marriage records, all other spellings of the family name is Featherston. Yet, the more solid resources, vital records, give the name as Featherson.

Isaiah West and the Z-ladies

For years, there has been a mystery surrounding my 3x great grandparents, Isaiah West and Zemiah/Zerurah/Zeniah/Rura Black. Thanks to a new 5th cousin connection, I have a much clearer timeline in my head for what really happened. Not to mention I want to get my greedy hands on the Barton papers in Pendleton County! My brand new 5th cousin Christy wrote up a timeline that I think makes perfect sense. That inspired me dig up some of the records to back up that theory. Great teamwork if you ask me! I want her to have the credit for the theory, because once I started reading what she wrote it made a lot of sense to me! Christy is descended through Isaiah’s sister Sallie Ann West-McClanahan, who will come into play later in the timeline. ­čśë

April 30, 1853

Isaiah West and Samuel McClanahan swear out a marriage bond for Isaiah and Samuel’s daughter, Zerelda Jane McClanahan.

May 4, 1853

Isaiah West and Zerelda Jane McClanahan were married in Pendleton County, Kentucky. Marriage Certificate, Marriage Register

March 5, 1856

Isaiah West and Zerelda McClanahan have a son named Henry A. West in Pendleton County, Kentucky. Birth Record

Sometime after Henry’s birth Zerelda dies (allegedly). I haven’t found her death record yet.

August 11, 1860

In Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky, the US Federal census is taken. Samuel McClanahan is recorded first. Sallie West-McClanahan is recorded right after. Living with her is a Zacariah West, age 35 and Henry West, age 5.  Right after that, John Black is recorded with his family, which includes Rachael Black, age 23.

October 30, 1861

Izah West and John F. Black swear out a marriage bond between Izah and Zemiah Black. The marriage is to take place on November 4, 1861 at John F. Black‘s residence. The marriage bond lists Izah as 30 years old, but lists this is his second marriage. Zemiah is listed as 24 years old and this is her first marriage.

November 4, 1861

Izah West and Zemiah Black are married at “her father’s house” in the presence of J. Willson, F. McClanahan and Walter Macketee. Marriage License and Certificate.

August 6, 1870

In Berlin, Bracken County, Kentucky, the US Federal census is taken. Isiah West and his wife Zeruah are counted with two children Jackson and Susan. Another child, Lafayette West seems to not be there. Also living in the household is 14 year old Henry West.

September 1, 1877

Henry A. West and Martha (McClanahan) Thornberry are selling off a piece of Samuel P. McClanahan’s land to a James B. McClanahan. Further cementing Henry A. West as Samuel McClanahan’s grandson. This is the final reference I have to Henry.

June 1880

Isaiah West and Zernie West are counted in the 1880 United States Census with 5 children. None of them are Henry. The sad part about this being that if Henry was still in their household, it might have said son listed as his relationship.

February 28, 1899

Jack West marries Laura McClanahan in Bracken County, Kentucky. His father is listed as being born in Bracken County, Kentucky. His mother is listed as being born in Pendleton County, Kentucky. This is Jack’s first marriage and Laura’s second. Marriage Record Page 1, Marriage Record Page 2

June 1900

The 1900 United States Census is the last time I see Isaiah or Zemiah. Though I don’t know what to really call her because she is something different on every record. In this census Zemiah says she has given birth to 10 children, with only 5 living. Elizabeth, Michael, Edith are living with her. Jackson and Lafayette are married with families. A child, Isaiah M. West who was months old in 1880, is not listed in this census. I already have 5 children found, so I am assuming Isaiah M. West has died. That leaves 4 more children I need to see if there are birth and death records for.

Zemiah Black's Name Variations

June 1900

Jack and Laura West are living in Falmouth, Kentucky with her son Burg and their child together Ester. Also living in the house is Sallie McClanahan. She is listed as Jack’s Aunt. According to my new cousin, Sallie wills Jack her land as a repayment for him taking care of her in her later years. I really want to get my hand on these E. E. Barton papers. ­čśë

December 10, 1908

Edith West marries Anderson Curtis at the residence of James William Applegate (husband of Elizabeth West). Her father is listed as Isaiah West and mother as Ruie Black. Both are listed as being born in Bracken County, Kentucky. Marriage Record Page 1, Marriage Record Page 2

Aug 4, 1912

Isaiah and Zemiah’s son, Michael West passes away at the age of 35. His father is listed as Isaia West and his mother is listed as Rura Black. Both are listed as being born in Bracken County, Kentucky. The informant on the record is Elizabeth West‘s husband, James William Applegate. Death Record

July 30, 1938

On July 30, 1938, my 2nd great grandmother, Elizabeth West-Applegate passed away. On her death certificate her mother is listed as Zeroah Black and father as Isaiah West. Both are listed as being born in Bracken County, Kentucky. The informant for the record was Elizabeth’s husband, James William Applegate.

1930s and 1940s

The E. E. Barton papers. A very prominent lawyer in Pendleton County was very interested in Northern Kentucky genealogy. He spent over 50 years researching but in the 1930s and 1940s he interviewed residents and transcribed records from the courthouse. These family notes should be treated the same way family bibles are, as secondary sources, but they are still so valuable. Also, I don’t know the copyright on these papers so I’m not going to post them here. I know there are volunteer groups working to transcribe them to the web, and I believe the “originals” are in possession of the Pendleton County Historical and Genealogical Society in Frankfort. To find out more, read this great article by Cheri Daniels. I’m going to be looking more into that soon!

Christy sent me a couple of examples that back up her theory about Isaiah’s marriage. In the examples it mentioned that Henry West m. in Pendleton County, went west. It also says Lafayette went west with Henry. Now I’ve been looking and I found Lafayette out “west” but no sign of Henry yet. Lafayette was in Missouri in 1900 before reaching Colorado and settling. I haven’t entered all that into the website or my program yet, or this entry would never get finished! Maybe I will do a Lafayette entry on his own someday. ­čśë

My next step is to search out some more records. I have two goals I want to accomplish. This first one is to document the variations in Zemiah‘s name to try and have an idea of what her actual name is. The second goal is to have as much evidence as possible that there is one Isaiah West, who married two different Z-ladies, as I call them. ­čśë

These are the records I will be searching for in the future:

  1. Zerelda McClanahan‘s death record. It should be sometime between 1856 and 1861.
  2. Birth records, if they exist, for all of Zemiah and Isaiah’s children.
  3. Death records for all the other children of Zemiah and Isaiah.
  4. Find Edith West-Curtis‘ death certificate. I know where she is buried, so I just have to find out where she died.
  5. Lafayette West in the 1870 Census. Maybe he is living with a family member? Or maybe his estimated age was off in 1880.
  6. Marriage record for Henry West in Pendleton County, Kentucky.
  7. Marriage record for Lafayette West and Mattie O’Neal. I have them in the census until 1940, but haven’t found their marriage record yet.
  8. Marriage record for James William Applegate and Elizabeth Susan West.
  9. Death Record for Henry that will hopefully show his mother’s maiden name. He was young when she died so it could go either way on that one.

I really enjoyed making this timeline and I think I will do at least one a week! It really helped me have to gather all my records and re-examine them.

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┬ápermanently.

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, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

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 (http://www.familysearch.org).

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, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

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, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

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,┬áBiographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren, and Pulaski Counties, Indiana. Reuben T’s biography appears on┬ápages 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┬áabsence┬áthis 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 ┬ámy 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.. ­čÖé

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┬árelegated┬áto 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. ­čÖé

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 ÔÇťmadÔÇŁ because you have trouble locating them or locating more information about them.

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