Browse Tag


Fearless Females: Playing Favorites

I’m participating in Women’s History Month writing prompts during the month of March! I love writing prompts because they give you a subject to write about that you might not have thought of yourself. These prompts were thought of by Lisa Alzo of  The Accidental Genealogist.

March 1st: Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.

I think I do a very good job of hiding my undercover preference for my Great-Grandmother Llewellyn Thorward-Moore. Okay, so I don’t hide my obvious preference well. It doesn’t matter. I couldn’t tell you why I feel so connected to her. It might be because I never got to know her, but everyone around me has such warm memories of her. Even when I receive emails from long lost cousins, they tell me all the great memories they have of Llewellyn. I also have learned a lot about her through her records and pictures.

I’ve learned so much about her that I don’t think I could really pin down anything that I’d want to learn. Through her notes, correspondence, photos, and other’s memories I’ve learned more about her then I can ever imagine. Most special to me was seeing genealogy notes. She had obviously been trying to figure out her own family tree from what I can tell. I have her wedding gift registry which gives me the names, addresses, and gifts received for her 1926 wedding to William L Moore. There are little notes about all the milestones from my Grandpa’s early years. Llewellyn left a perfect trail for me to follow in researching her life. I just wish I could say the same about her grandfather! ha.

Really my future goals for researching Llewellyn is just to continue to pour through her journal and documents to get a glimpse into what her life was like. I also hope to continue to hear stories about her from my father and his sisters. They have great stories about growing up with her and William!

Lesson Learned: Take Notes

About 2 weeks ago, I had a conundrum with George Yohn/George Thorward. The next step in my dilemma was to ask questions. Who else should I ask but my Grandpa Moore! The thing is I’ve had a lot of genealogy conversations over the years and the one thing I forget to do is take notes. I don’t know why I fail to do it everytime. It is what it is. This time was different though.

My next step in this process? Actually having specific questions first. I just realized out of the many, many hours I’ve talked family history with my Dad’s side of the family, we’ve never discussed the Moores except for a little nugget Aunt Lori had for me. So I need to ask Grandpa about what he remembers about the Moores. Then I need to verify the dairy information he gave me last time because I wasn’t clear on it before.

The inset of the picture above is awhat my original notes look like. I am a messy note taker but I can’t stand trying to read those kind of notes on a regular basis. So I got myself a separate notebook just for my neat notes.

I even took both sets of notes with my handy archival pen! I’m learning here folks! Slowly but surely!


A Day at the Beach

What’s a girl got to do to get an invitation to Beach Day?

I recognize Jennie Love and her husband Lewis Thorward, but the others, well your guess is as good as mine! I’m pretty sure one of Jennie’s sisters is sitting next to her. They look like they could be related.

What fun they must have had. I think I have a whole months worth of beach pictures alone I could post about.

Seriously, Use City Directories

I don’t know if you can tell or not, but I’m kind of obsessed with City Directories. It started when I was going through them on and learning so much about William Moore. Now it’s a full blown obsession. I just can’t believe the things I’ve learned just by looking up people in the directories. Today though, I found something even crazier then I’ve found in the months since my first look.

Montclair, Bloomfield Caldwell, Essex Fells, Glen Ridge, Verona, Cedar Grove Directory, 1941

From the directory excerpt you see above, what interests me most is the second Thorward on the list.

— George died April 8 1940 age 88

This is a great find for me, because the only documentation I have of George’s death are his obituary (a newspaper clipping with a year written on it), and the year on his tombstone. This gives me a date to check in vital records now instead of just a year.

Montclair, Caldwell, Essex Fells, Verona, Cedar Grove, Glen Ridge Directory, 1945

Now we have George’s wife Josephine. For her, I only had a year written on her tombstone.

Montclair, Caldwell, Essex Fells, Verona, Cedar Grove, Glen Ridge Directory, 1947

Now here’s George and Josephine’s son Lewis. I had his death date already, but this just proves why you should be using city directories! It just might solve the missing relative problems you have. It might give you a ballpark date to search for vital records. They are full of information!

An Unexpected, Yet Expected Turn

Yesterday, I was trying to catch up on my genealogy blog reading. The over 500 still unread blog posts in my Google Reader tells me I didn’t make much progress. You see, I have a few favorite blogs that I like to read through first. They’re the ones I’ve been reading the longest.

That’s when I came across Randy Seaver’s blog post, Tuesday’s Tip – Use the list of FREE Online Vital Records Databases on site. Of particular interest to me was the Vital Records section where the FREE links were. I jumped to New Jersey because New Jersey has been a big problem for me so far. (Note: I’m starting to think I’ve built New Jersey up in my mind as a big hassle. I now realize it might not be as bad as I make it out to be.)

That led me to the New Jersey State Archives website. They have a full list of databases that are searchable online! The unfortunate thing is it also led me to the biggest pet peeve I have.

Please, Please, Please. I’m begging all website developers out there. CHECK YOUR DESIGN IN ALL WEB BROWSERS. No it’s not fun to test in Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari but I do it anyway. Most times there are two categories where websites end up. In the works and doesn’t work category. Most times your design will work in Internet Explorer and not any other browser. Sometimes it will work in Chrome but not Internet Explorer. (Rarely though.) The thing is, it’s all the same code but unfortunately the browsers all process the code differently. I’ve had it all be a horrible jumble in Chrome because an errant SPACE in my .css file. So please, just check it. You want to make sure no matter what browser your visitor is using, they see your vision or even just the content.

Now back to the real reason for this post. You may or may not remember a few months back when I speculated maybe I had found George Thorward in the 1870 census but wasn’t quite sure? Well I didn’t ever get any farther on that. I’ve been searching on and off trying to find immigration records for George but just haven’t found them yet. I would love to head to the Caldwell Library and see what kind of books they have.

Here’s the 1870 census again for reference. Line 18 is my 3rd Great-Grandmother, Josephine Doremus and line 9 is the suspect, George Yohn.

Here is the record I found on the New Jersey State Archives website yesterday. I should have known this would just lead to more questions! In fact, I had even more after I tried explaining to my Dad last night, because he doesn’t ‘get’ the genealogy thing and so it helps me to bounce things off him. That’s when I know whether something is concrete or not.

So here are my questions. What’s with the Yohn? If they were married under the Yohn name, does this mean they legally changed it at some point in time? Their first child, Frank Thorward, was born in 1872. Was Frank born a Yohn? Was Thorward the original name but changed to Yohn at time of immigration? Or was Yohn the original name and he just wanted to change it? Aunt Lori told me George had a brother that also lived in Caldwell but they had a falling out and never spoke again. Is the brother a Yohn or a Thorward? Maybe this is why I didn’t have any evidence of a brother yet.

If you haven’t guessed yet, I didn’t catch up on my Google Reader blog posts.

Who are you George?

Mystery Monday: The Baby

Things I know about this photo:

  1. This photo is obviously someone from the Moore/Thorward side of my tree.
  2. This photo was taken at the studio of F.L. Huff in Newark, NJ
  3. This photo was taken in the late 1800s early 1900s

Things I think I know about this photo:

  1. I have no reason for believing that I’m right, but I think this could be Llewellyn.

Things I want to know about this photo:

  1. Is this in fact Llewellyn?
  2. When was this picture taken?

Next steps:

  1. I’m going to research more about F.L. Huff and how long exactly he was in business. I did a little searching around and found a pdf on early New Jersey photography1 This gives me reason to believe Huff could have been just starting up around 1869. He is listed in the 1870 US Census2 as being 27 and from New York. Hopefully if I learn more about his business I can narrow down who this baby could be.
  2. 1870 United States Census. Newark Ward 10, Essex, New Jersey. Page 362A. Dwelling 654, Family 959

Those Places Thursday: Park Avenue House

One of the places that I often think about is the house on Park Avenue. Anytime we have a family get together, this house always comes up. Everyone on my dad’s side of the family has memories of this house. Whether it be the layout of the house, the renovations done, or the way the porch was screened in during the winter. Unfortunately, I don’t have any memories of the house. So I soak up any information that people give to me about the house. Now I just have to remember to type it all up and keep it in my files for later.

Park Avenue house, October 2010.

We even drove by the house when we were in Caldwell in October for my cousin’s wedding. Though it looks different, I can recognize much of the original house just by looking at it. (Thanks to my sister for getting the picture!)

Park Avenue house.

Even when people contact me about the family tree, they ask me about this house. I don’t think people love this house because of it’s floor plan or windows. I think people loved the people who lived in this house.

Park Avenue house.

The more I research William and Llewellyn, the more I see that they were well loved by everyone around them. When I first started researching genealogy, I was just soaking up the facts and collecting dates. It’s different now. Now I’m learning about the people. I’m seeing the full scope of things. I’m learning why I am the way I am. Not only that, but I’m learning why my ancestors where the way they were.

July 1931, Park Avenue house.

I have a lot of pictures and documents that pertain to this house. Including all the documents from when William and Llewellyn bought the house. I’ll share those with you another day though.

Park Avenue house.

Would it be weird to knock on the door and ask to come in for a looksie?

Those Places Thursday is a blogging theme being used by GeneaBloggers, it was originally started by Cheryl Palmer at Heritage Happens!

Mystery Monday: Another Couple

Mystery Couple

What I know about this photograph:

  1. The couple is connected to the Thorward side of my family.
  2. They are the same couple from this Mystery Monday post.

What I want to know about this photograph:

  1. Everything else :p
  2. Who are they?
  3. How are they connected to the family?

Mystery Monday is a weekly series I do on Mondays. It is also a blogging theme used by other GeneaBloggers. Feel free to post about your own mysteries and maybe someone will be able to solve it someday!

Treasure Chest Thursday: 44 Years of Kodak

Note: I don’t mean to show a bias towards Kodak. It is strictly coincidence that I found this after my Tech Tuesday post. Except I don’t believe in coincidences, so it’s really one of those crazy freaky things that follows me around. Again, I am not being compensated by Kodak for this post.

I had photos on the brain yesterday. I was actually sorting through some of my scanned photos trying to decide if I was going to rescan the last batch at a higher DPI. That’s when I remembered this box in the spare room. It’s there with a suitcase full of sympathy cards that were sent to Llewellyn after William‘s death.

I remember opening this up before but I think I was too busy pouring over documents. I probably saw that these were negatives of some sort and decided to check later if they were negatives of pictures I already had. I should have been tipped off to the fact that these were kept separately.

So yesterday, I started going through the box. It was then I realized these were slides and not negatives. Or are they negatives that are mounted as slides? Is that the same thing. This shows you how much I know about these things. Obviously I need to do a bit more research.

On this box I noticed a name that I found on the back of a photo. Gladys Walker. I’m almost certain that Gladys Walker is a relation who lived in the Detroit area. This all feels more likely to me because I found Detroit written on the back of some photos and Ralph Leonard even spent a few years there. If there was family there, then Ralph’s brief time there is better explained.

It was when I stuck one of the slides into this that I realized I could possibly have more pictures than I thought.

I’ve got a lot of pictures. There is one big batch of a trip to Florida. So I’m thinking these slides could be from William and Llewellyn’s travels. My father says they traveled around a bit. Unfortunately, the light is broken in the viewer that I found in the box. I’m putting a new one on my Christmas wish list and I’m hoping that my slides will fit into a new one.

If that’s the case, I have a lot of slides to go through.

This box says Moore and 86 Park Avenue. So I’m now positive these slides are William and Llewellyn’s. The date of 1966 gives me a time frame that pretty much matches the photos I have of Llewellyn and William in Florida.

There’s a lot of Kodak in that box. I’ve used Kodak for 10 years myself. It was my first digital camera. It’s kind of comforting when I find these things in my family tree. I’ve grown up without a lot of family around me. So I never really felt a lot of connections to the past. Which is probably why I am a literal sponge when my grandma gave me that family tree. I remember distinctly being amazed that you could actually know your family back that far.

Now that I know my Dad’s side of the family, it’s amazing all the different things I find that link me to things. Just finding a box full of Kodak slides made me giddy. Like I had yet another connection to these people I’m learning were a lot like me. So that’s at least 44 years of Kodak history in our family, it’s kind of a nice feeling.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...