A New Puzzle

Yesterday, I attended the annual Wreaths Across America event in Brooklyn. Since I was going to be there my sister-in-law asked me if I minded checking out her grandparents graves at Cypress Hills Cemetery no problem. She gave me her grandparents names and that they were in the Whitehead plot but she had no clue who they were and the connection beyond her Grandmother was a Whitehead.

As you know, finding a woman in your line can be difficult, as a lot of times there are no records pre-marriage.

I started my visit in the office and I was limited in time as I had to be at the National Cemetery at Noon and it was already 10:50. To my luck I was the only person in the office and gave the names of George and Sarah Behringer. Well they could not find George but found Sarah with the date of death of 2004 and in the Whitehead family plot. To my surprise the Whitehead plot was in Section 1 of the cemetery. Section one is right in the oldest part of the cemetery I would say and faces Jamaica Avenue.

My only problem was nothing was labeled until I found a newer stone with the section and grave number. I was too far back. So I wandered forward and this stone was standing before me.

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This thing is huge and my mind was going a mile a minute saying please be the right family. I started walking around it, reading the names of all the people buried there were a total of 23 names including my Sister-in-laws Grandfather, George Behringer. I was at the right place.

Now the fun begins, contacting the cemetery researcher to find how many people are actually buried here, when the plot was purchased and who did it originally belong too  as there is a second name on the other side of the stone of Wilson.

After some preliminary research I believe I found her Grandmother’s Parents to be John and Elizabeth Whitehead according to a couple of census records but that has yet to be confirmed.

I am planning a trip to the municipal archives for my own research, so I am thinking of pulling the death certificates and seeing if I can go back further.

So a new puzzle and I am extremely excited to fit the pieces together.

30 x 30 Challenge Results

At the beginning of November, I decided to do a 30 x 30 challenge. Research for 30 minutes every day for 30 days. You can read more about the 30 x 30 challenge at Organize Your Family History.

Well I started off strong with being focused in my research and answering specific questions and working on focused research problems. As the month wore on I went off on my tangents a bit more but did research 30 minutes a day for all but 2 days. Some of the research was just checking out new DNA matches but it is research.

So my  goal the next time I do this challenge is to stay more focused on my questions. I did do a preliminary application for 2 lineage societies so that was part of my challenge to myself so I will be polishing those up in December and sending them out.

I really liked the premise of this challenge and will definitely be doing it again thought I don’t think November or December is the ideal time of year to do them.

‘Twas the day before Thanksgiving

Twas the day before Thanksgiving and I have been focusing on family and the blessings of life as is the norm this time of year. I am thinking of those who came before and those who may come after. I am feeling incredibly blessed for all that I have.

There have been several of those family members who came before me that have been heavy on my mind. I can almost feel them reaching out to me to tell their stories.

Martha Winchester Beardsley, who is just a name on a tombstone in Clintonville. She died at the mere age of 20 but left 3 children behind. I know nothing but a couple of dates but I can feel here asking questions.

Arvilla Preston Shumway, who was married at 16, to a man almost 20 years her senior. She went on to have 10 children. What must her life have been like. I hear her story wanting to be told.

My own grandmother, Chiara Moro DellaVecchia, who was born in the United States and then went to Italy for 20 years before returning in 1938. What was the real reason the family returned to Italy. What must it of been like to come back. How had it changed.

We always here the stories of the men but what about the women. Their stories are just as important. Even though the records are sparse their stories need to be told. I so want to put together a profile of those families that speak to me.

I am not a writer and don’t profess to be one but I can feel the family before me asking me to tell their stories and now I need to figure a way to tell those stories and to share them. Our ancestors should not be forgotten and they should be more than the names and dates on a stone.

So today I am thankful for all of my family, past, present and future. Thank you for helping me be the person I am.

Linking them all together

So I have been working on my Grandma’s family. I have several patriots in my Grandpa’s line. I joined the DAR through his lines and all my supplemental patriots come through my grandpa. My Mom would love to have a supplemental patriot through her mom’s family.

Most of our Stewart lines are dead ends or we lose them in Canada. Since our families were early settlers of Northern New York records at times are hard to come by. I seriously need a boots on the ground trip to the Essex and Clinton County New York County Seats. ( Road trip once G retires anyone want to come.)

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Anyway we have one line through my Grandma’s Grandmother the Preston’s which seem to have several patriots but it is a matter of dotting all the i’s and crossing all of those t’s.

The past 2 days of the 30 x 30 challenge has been spent reading old published genealogies and town histories. You have to love Google Books and Internet Archive.

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I am trying to find all the documentation to prove our connection to Hannah Bartlett Kelly (a female patriot). In doing the research I am finding the Hannah Bartlett Kelly seems like a pistol. She loaned money to the town after her husband, Richard death.

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 5.40.39 PMActually I am trying to piece together their lives as they seem to have been well documented and Richard had personal papers that are quoted.

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I came across this gem about Judith and Joseph Sawyer (who I believe was a Selectman in New Hampshire, trying to make my way through town minutes is tedious). I am grateful to whoever documented Richard Kelly’s writings but would love to make my own way through the originals. I bet they would be full of wonderful nuggets. Hopefully I will stumble upon a collection with these writings in them.

I was able to also find Richard Kelly’s Will with his daughter Judith listed along with her spouse, a rarity in the 1700s.

I am finding 30 minutes goes very quickly but is super productive. Tomorrow I am going to work on the actual DAR supplemental application and see what actual proofs are needed. I would love to get this mailed before Thanksgiving.

 

 

Thank you 30 x 30 challenge…

So far the 30 x 30 challenge has been great for my research. It is forcing me to be deliberate in my research and not fall down many rabbit holes.

Progress report – Day 2 I focused on Neil Osborne, Bergetti’s husband and made a similar timeline for him but it did not reveal any additional clues, so I began a timeline for their only living child John and it is in progress as I wanted to also use the records I have in my library (marriage certificate and death certificates). I am also trying to watch a webinar on Norwegian research, as I am not sure where to go next on this line.

Saturday( Day 3) I took a slightly different approach and decided to focus on one of my own lines by cleaning up some of those annoying green leaves on my ancestry tree. I clicked one that I don’t generally click “Story”.

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What an absolute treat I found…

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It was a full sheet (I have to print things out). I work much better with actual paper and it was a bit of genealogy gold. It actually referenced books I could find on Internet Archive “The History of Warner, NH” for one and read. Mr. Joseph Sawyer was a selectman in 1776 which I believe makes him eligible to be a patriot for the Daughters of the American Revolution. Hello, new patriot (he isn’t listed in the Ancestor Database).

It also referenced Judith’s parents, Richard and Hannah Bartlett Kelly. Which lead me to my Day 4’s research  another book on Internet Archive Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 8.19.32 AM

Which lists, the genealogy in great detail and it also references Judith’s Fathers papers which I am now on the hunt for as I like to have the actual references. Also it provides the direct proof I need to link to a proven female patriot, Hannah Kelly.

So now I just need to figure out how to print the pages I need from Internet Archive for reference.

So I must say I am enjoying this 30 x 30 challenge and it seems to be exactly what I needed to focus and my Mom will be happy as these will be patriots through my grandmother’s line.

 

Bergetti Netland Osborne (30 x 30 Day 1)

Yesterday was day 1 of my 30 x 30 challenge and let’s just say it raised more questions.

I decided to start with my husband’s 2X Great-Grandmother, Bergetti Netland Osborne. Gerard’s Norwegian Great-Great Grandparents call me and when they are speaking you need to listen to those voices. You need to tell the story.

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I went with the paper trail, I did have, from the first record, I found the 1892 NYS Census, (if only the 1890 US Census was available).

As you can see there is some conflicting information, from her age to the year, the immigration year. I did stumble upon some more records I will need to look at but have also learned I need to find some webinars on Norwegian Ancestry and naming patterns. I also need to go to Brooklyn and check out the will file I found mentioned on Ancestry. I also am curious as to what religion the Osborne’s were as they are buried in Canarsie Cemetery and their son is at Holy Cross Cemetery.

So questions raised, what year did Bergetti actually come to America in. Her son, John Osborne was born in 1884. Are Jens Olsen Netland and Birthe Oldsdatter really her parents? So thankful that her husband was the informant on her death certificate.

One thing that I found that corresponds with Gerard’s DNA results is the mention of Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway, that is one of the regions mentioned on his test.

Overall it was a productive day, 30 minutes is no time and I am off to create a timeline for Neils or Nels or Neil Osborne to see if it reveals anything different.

The timeline was indeed beneficial and there is something about putting it down with pen and paper that helps me.

If you have any tips on researching Norwegian Ancestors, I would love to hear them as this is new territory for me.

Day 1 of the 30 x 30 challenge

Today starts the day of my 30 x 30 genealogy challenge of researching 30 minutes a day for 30 days. This concept belongs to Jane Adams of Organize Your Family History.

For my 30 x 30 challenge to be successful, I had to come up with some goals and ideas of lines I wanted to research.

Here are a couple of my goals:

  • submit my application to the Daughters of Union Veterans.
  • submit my application to National Society Daughters of the Union.
  • gather the proof for my Associated Daughters of Early American Witches
  • Work on my additional information required request for a supplemental patriot.

Some of my research questions I would like to answer:

  1. When and where did Benjamin Nurse (father of Elizabeth Nurse who was married to Joseph Da(r)by) die?
  2. When did Neils Osborne arrive in the United States? Where in Norway was he from?
  3. When did the wife of Neils Osborne, Bergetti Netland arrive in the United States? Where in Norway was she from?
  4. When and where did Sarah Knowlton marry Obadiah Coolidge?
  5. Where might I find the will for Benjamin Knowlton who died in 1808 be?

So there is just the tip of the iceberg. It ought to be an interesting month. Working on lineage applications gives me a tangible goal and I feel like I should know how to fill out each one out there.

I am going to try to report in on progress as I make some. These are all pressing questions and involve different lines for me and they may even involve me taking this tree sideways in some points.

Here is to a profitable November in finding information.

Some of my Favorite Podcasts

I love podcasts. I find them a great source of personal development. It fills the time when I am driving back and forth to work or while waiting for the kids to get out of activities. I became addicted to podcasts when I first started as a Beachbody Coach and my tastes have evolved over the years.

Here are some of my favorites.

Extreme Genes – This is a fun one. Scott Fisher is the host and I have learned a lot. It is broken into segments. – News from David Allen Lambert from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and I also throughly enjoy the Preservation Authority segment with Tom Perry.

The Genealogy Guys – This is a great one for all the ins and outs. I have learned so much from the listener emails and the guys tips. I also enjoy the Genealogy Connection they put out with professionals in the field.

Genealogy Gems  – hosted by Lisa Louise Cook is another great informational segment with stories, tips and dna feature is another go too.

Research at the National Archives and Beyond – this is another go to. This one has a lot of tips for African American Research. I have learned so much with this one. It is so informative. I think one of my favorite shows on this one was about publishing your work.

The Forget-Me-Not Hour – I have listened to every episode of this podcast from Jane E. Wilcox. Her segment with Henry Z. Jones on the Palentines is one of my favorites. I am so sad that she is no longer producing it, I suggest you listen to it as it is such a wealth of knowledge.

These are my go to podcasts. There are others that I have recently started listening too but I haven’t gone through enough episodes to finalize an opinion. If you are into family history these are great listens. Let me know if you listen or if you have a favorite podcast. I would love to add to my rotation.

 

 

 

 

 

Decoding those leaves…

 

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We all know about those shaky leaves on ancestry. See these leaves here they sit for a long time. These in particular because they deal with Irish Ancestry. I you look you will see a lot of Peter, Marys and Bridgets. They give me a headache after a while. Decoding a leaf for me is a long process.  If the hint is another tree, I hit the ignore button. While trees are great hints for a starting point the facts have to be verified so I would rather not have any preconceived notions.

The following trees I am trying to set up research questions for and concentrate on finding answers. Having a research plan will hopefully keep me more organized and help finish some lines.

This is the Maxwell tree. This one has so many fabulous names. I am going to start with who was Byrd C. Maxwell and some basic facts of his life.maxwell

Another thing that hints from Ancestry that I love and do spend time perusing is photos. I stumbled across this one of Byrd Maxwell.

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Byrd is seated in the front row and he looks like a character. I wonder the stories he could tell.

Below is what I have termed the Hoffman family tree.  Charles Hoffman is actually a Robinson. HE was adopted. I am in search of his actual obituary and not the copy I found online.

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I also love the fabulous names in this tree including George Wesley Collison and Cornelius Collison. These families came from the East and moved west.  I am trying to piece together Cornelius Collision and am having a hard time as their is either another Cornelius or it is possible the had 2 families (not unheard of).  I recently bought some poster board to see what I could find out. Sometimes I have to revert back to old-fashioned paper and pen research to figure things out.

Here is another tree I am loving. This one has some fabulous names. I am trying to flesh out some Revolutionary War Ancestors for someone. I am also trying to find the immigrant ancestor on the deeply Irish side. This tree currently has over 200 hints I need to review. I timed myself one day. Each hint takes me around 5 minutes to decide if it is correct.

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This last tree I am loving. I showed you a portion of this family in my last post about Israel and Golde Angert. This is a different branch but equally as interesting. Number one, what a fabulous name Monteville is.

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Also that Sylvanus Judson is a twin. This tree has so many names on both sides speaking to me that I am deriving several questions including the first one of who is Rose Gross. We know she was adopted but we need to find out more. This is where the release of the Birth and Death Records that Reclaim The Records is pursuing is so important.

I am thinking of offering a history of one ancestor snapshot – 30 minutes of research for the fee. If interested email me at Chiara@decodingthefamilytree.com and we can chat.

Off to work on writing those research questions.

 

 

 

Post 1850 Immigration

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This is  a list of the trees I am actively researching. This summer it has been an ebb and flow of research as there has a been a lot going on here on the home front. This afternoon I had every intention of taking the kids to the pool but it is a rainy cool day and that isn’t happening. I decided to choose one of the trees and do some research.

The luck winner is the Angert Tree. I am very intrigued by post 1850 immigration as it is not my forte. Actually researching passenger lists tends to make me nervous and realize how much experience I do not have at it.

I generally let the ancestors speak to me and guide me on this journey, especially when I am researching family that is not mine. These ancestors seem to want their stories told. Today I concentrated on Golde “Jennie” Wasserman and Israel “Joseph” Angert.

I went with what I had already found from the information provided to me. I found the couple on the 1910 census.

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The Angert Family lived at 129 Bruce Street, Newark, New Jersey. They have been married for 28 years and it is the first marriage for both. Additionally, we learn that Jennie has given birth to 9 children and 9 children are living. They are Russian/Yiddish (I need to do a bit more into this but we can discern they are Jewish immigrants). We also learn that they arrived in 1882 and are naturalized citizens. I need to research the immigration laws of the time to see how it worked. If memory serves me right from my own familial research if Joseph became a citizen his wife and minor children became citizens.

Another point of interest is Joseph and the children spoke English but Jennie is listed as speaking Yiddish. We also see that Joseph and the children can read and write but again Jennie does not.

The Angerts also rent their home. So much can be gleaned from a census record. From this information I now knew the date of the Angert’s arrival so I headed over to Family Search (I have a lot better luck their searching passenger lists for some reason) and searched for their arrival. I checked a few records and found it. Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 3.49.34 PM

Israel Hangert and his wife Golde came to New York in 1886 on the Alaska and both were born in Russia. This is pre-Ellis Island so they most likely were processed at Castle Garden.

Unfortunately, we can not check the 1890 Census so we will check the 1900 census for NY and check the births of their children to see what else we can glean. I did find a death record in 1916 but am not sure it is actually the correct family (as the burial is in Connecticut) so I don’t want share it until I can verify it.

Thankfully with the wonderful work Reclaim the Records is doing I can check the index to see if any of the names match with the census records to further track the journey of Golde and Israel.