I received my order of records from the New Jersey State Archives on Saturday. The record you see above was too big to fit onto my scanner, so I tested out the app recommended to me for my iPhone. It worked pretty well! Especially under the conditions I was trying. It would have probably worked a bit better in daylight on a flat surface.
Anyway, onto the record. The record I sent for was the marriage record for George Yohn and Josephine Doremus. I’m currently trying to figure out if George Yohn is in fact George Thorward. What I like about the above record is that the marriage date fits with what I know for George and Josephine. I also like that Josephine Doremus is listed. There was another Josephine Doremus in the 1870 census but she was living in Newark and not Caldwell. In 1880 there is no trace of Josephine and George Yohn. Only Josephine and George Thorward. Everything about the above record fits with George Thorward except the Yohn last name. It is a bit disappointing to see the parents names listed as “Not Known” for George. Though it raises another question. Did George lose his parents when he was young? Did that prompt his immigration to America?
I did search the online index for name changes on the State Archives website but I found no trace of any Yohns or Thorwards. I’d love to get my hands on some local history books from the church or even the newspapers. My Grandpa told me that there is some stuff in local books about the Thorwards because they were integral in the Methodist Church of Caldwell.
Included in the envelope with my records was a note from the Archives. They explained to me that they included the entire page as counties were only required to report once a year the births, marriages, and deaths from their county. Individual records weren’t issued by the State until June 1, 1878. So the record they sent me is actualy for the whole period of May 1871 to May 1872. So to me that tells me, if another Josephine Doremus had married George Thorward in November of 1871, it most likely would also be listed on this page.
I’m getting closer and closer to confirming my assumption that there was a name change. Once that happens, I’ll have more questions. Was Thorward the original German name or was Yohn? Did George adapt Yohn when he immigrated and then wanted to change it back? Were the children born under the name Yohn? Will this impede me in finding their birth records?
Previous entries in the George Yohn craziness:
I’ve been so disorganized in the last few weeks. I recognize now that’s why I don’t feel like I’ve gotten anything accomplished. However, I have many hours of television on my DVR to catch up on and a few hours to spare. So I’m taking that time to sit down and look over some of my current mysteries. I’m on a Mays family hiatus, in case you were wondering. That two death certificates thing just through me completely off my game.
George Yohn / George Thorward
Okay, he’s my biggest mystery. I’ve discussed him with myself and others many times since I had my latest breakthrough. Here are the facts about George Thorward.
- He is most definitely George Thorward through my Great-Great Grandfather’s life. I don’t have Lewis’ birth or death records but as our family is most notably Thorward, I’ve got to assume we’re Thorwards.
- In the 1900 and 1910 censuses they ask for year of Immigration. George answered 1865 and 1867.
- There was no George Thorward in 1870 Caldwell, New Jersey.
- There was a George Yohn living next door to Josephine Doremus in 1870. George Thorward’s wife, whom he married in 1871.
- I found a marriage record for George Yohn and Josephine Doremus on the New Jersey Archives website.
- George Thorward was in the tobacco business his whole life. George Yohn is listed as a cigar maker’s apprentice in 1870.
The things I’m doing to resolve this problem:
- I sent away for the marriage record between George Yohn and Josephine Doremus to see what it says.
- I’m making a list of the dates of all these Caldwell/Essex County events so that if I get a chance in July, I’ll be ready to go to the local library in New Jersey.
William H Moore
William Moore runs a very close second to George Thorward when it comes to mysteries. Here’s what I know about him:
- He first shows up in 1870 census in Chicago with his wife and oldest three children. My Great-Great Grandfather isn’t born until 1871.
- Through city directories I know that William lived in Chicago from 1866 to 1870. This might explain why Cook County didn’t have a record of Robert’s birth in 1871.
- He immigrated to the United States in either 1858 or 1859
- In 1920, William and his daughter Mary are living at 7 Myrtle Ave in Caldwell, New Jersey.
- I found dates of death penciled onto the back of the Brooklyn Cemetery deed. William’s is given as July 28, 1928.
- Caldwell, New Jersey, July 28, 1928 did not return a record when I sent away for it.
- I don’t know if his wife immigrated at the same time as him or if they married after. She died in 1896, before the immigration question on the census.
What I need to do to solve his mysteries?
- I need to fill the gaps between his estimated birth of 1836 and 1870. His daughter Mary was born in 1865 in New York. His next child was born in 1868 in Chicago.
- When I go to look up things in New Jersey, I have to check myself to see if he did in fact die in Caldwell or some other part of Essex County.
- I want to find an obituary for him to see if it mentions anything about his early life.
- I should look in New York and see if there is a marriage record for him and his wife, Mary.
- I should also look and see if there is a naturalization record for him. In 1910, he says he is a naturalized citizen. There should be a record of it somewhere. I just don’t know if his very generic name will be a road block.
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!
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!
Actually this was probably the same day, but here we go.
I notice my great-grandfather William Lawrence Moore standing in the back on the right. I also see George W Thorward, sitting in the middle. I think the woman sitting next to him is one of Jennie‘s sisters but I’m not sure.
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.
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 Footnote.com 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!