Thursday, June 30, 2011

Family Research Fantasy Trips

Lots of people will be hitting the roads this summer for family vacations but, unfortunately, I won't be one of them.  So to kick off the Fourth of July holiday weekend, I've created a fantasy road trip.  


I'd start in Emporium, PA because both my parents are from Emporium.  I'd be looking for information on the the DOLL, GASKILL, GORTNER, GREENALCH, HINDS, KLEES, MORRIS, MURRAY, SCHWAB, and STEWART families.  In the area, I'd visit the Cameron County Historical Society, the local library, courthouse and cemeteries.  I know I'd take some photos of at least my grandparents' house (I don't even know if it's still standing) and an uncle's house.  Oh, yeah, I might encounter some live relatives, too. 

From there, I'd head over to Lycoming County for research at the historical society in Williamsport, PA.  I'd be looking for information on the  BEEBER (and variations), GORTNER (and variaions), HALL, KLEES, MARSH and NUNN families.  I know I'd have to swing down to Muncy because so many of the families lived there.  Plus, I need to find out which Gortner owned the Gortner House that has been on Muncy home tours.  I know cemeteries and churches would be high on my list of priorities.  And a trip to the courthouse, depending on what I find out elsewhere.

On to Owego, NY for some research on the DITMARS, GASKILL, and HINDS families.  A visit to the local historical society and anywhere else that might turn up information on my great-great-grandparents, James Gaskill and his wife, Elizabeth.  I have some information on them, but not nearly enough.  Also, although I'm not related to Wilder Gaskill's first wife, Lucy, I'd like to know more about her, too.  And naturally, since it's nearby, I'd have to stop in Gaskill's Corners.  Just to take a picture of a sign.

The final stop of the trip would be Auburn, NY and some research on the MURRAY and STUDWELL families at the Cayuga County Historical Society.  I'd also make a trip to the Auburn Prison because my great-great-grandfather, Erastus Murray, was a guard there for a short time.  Also, I'd see if the original buildings of the Cayuga Home for Destitute Children are still standing.  It's where my great-grandfather and his brothers were taken when the family fell on hard times.  I'm sure I'd spend some time with archived newspapers from 1862-1863 to see if there were any stories about what might have happened to the family.  I'd definitely stop by my great-great-grandmother's grave in Throop Rural Cemetery.  A member of the Find-a-Grave community was kind enough to post a photo on the website, but I'd still like to see it in person.  But really, my ultimate goal would be to find out who Erastus' parents were and where they were from.  A girl can dream.

Eventually, I'd return home and I'd have enough material to keep me busy for a long time, recording and blogging about everything.


(UPDATE 10:35 PM-  As my last search of the day, after writing this, I was in the mood to make another stab at finding more info on Erastus.  Imagine my SHOCK in discovering a NY State Archive record from the Civil War with his birth date, birthplace, AND both his father's and mother's names--James Murray and Ruth Snow!!  Life is good.)
View Family Research Fantasy Trip #1 in a larger map

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All’s Well That’s Studwell

After following so many Pennsylvania German lines, I’m heading back to New England to follow the Studwells, with a brief stop in New York first.

My maternal side has some deep roots in the US.  I had already traced the Gaskill line back to colonial New England, so it’s no surprise to find a Gaskill married to someone with New England roots.  Wilder Gaskill first married Lucy (last name unknown), but it was his second wife, Mary Studwell, who gave birth to my great-great-grandfather, James.  I lucked out that I had a surname to follow.

As it turns out, there’s already been quite a bit of research done on the Studwell family.  Like, the Gaskills, they were a prominent, early, New England family.  Mary was born in 1773 in Greenwich, CT, but, along with her father, Gabriel, and extended family, she later moved to New York. 

Specifically, the Studwells moved to Cayuga County about the same time the county was formed--1799.  In a coincidence, shortly thereafter, it’s likely the Murrays from my paternal side would have been settling there also.  I’ve traced the Murrays back to my 2x great-grandfather’s birth in Cayuga County in 1812.  I’m sure the population was small, but I doubt if the families knew each other.  The Studwells were landowners in Cayuga County and, well, the Murrays were not.  The Murrays were more likely to have been laborers on the Erie Canal.

But back to the Studwells—The Studwells received land grants after the Revolutionary War, hence the move to NY.  I've seen references to Gabriel receiving a Revolutionary War land grant and found references to his service, but he’s not in the DAR database and a few other reliable places I checked.  I think it's more likely that one of his brothers, Henry or Anthony, received the grant.  I need to do some more research in this area to see what I might be able to dig up in military records.  At any rate, Gabriel can be found in the 1800 an 1820 census records in Cayuga County.  He died in Genoa, NY in 1831.

The 1790 census, consistent with the wealth of information I found online and found in several family genealogies, puts Gabriel in Connecticut.  In transcriptions of Connecticut records, there are wills, real estate transactions, etc, that reference the Studwells in Fairfield County, CT.  Gabriel was born about 1734 to Thomas and Jemima (last name unknown). They lived in Greenwich where they were landowners.

Thomas, born about 1671, was the youngest of two sons of Thomas Studwell and Martha (last name unknown).  Thomas senior, in turn, was the son of Joseph Stedwell (born around 1645) and Mary Lyon.  Details in the records suggest a very high probability he is the Joseph Studwell who was the son of the immigrant Thomas Studwell, although there is not a definitive connection. 

So, here we are already at the end of this trail with our immigrant Thomas, born in England around 1620, in Connecticut no later than 1656 (possibly arriving via Virginia), and who later helped establish Rye, NY.  I found this article about the founders of Rye, but I wasn't sure about how (or what) sources were used.  Nevertheless, I was particularly interested in the statement that Thomas sometimes spelled his name Stedwell.  

Maybe a NEHGS membership is in my future.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Someone flunked penmanship and Someone is remembered

One of the things I read regularly in genealogy blogs is that an exhaustive search should be conducted—that the researcher should gather all evidence available.  There are many good reasons, beyond just the scholarly aspect, to engage in this practice.   But did I do this from the outset when I started researching a little over a year ago?  Nope.

I’ve also read regularly in genealogy blogs about the wishful thinking and regrets for not having done something or followed a certain procedure in the early stages of research.  To be honest, I could have done some things better—could still do things better—but I don’t regret my past actions at all.  I’ve accomplished a lot and I’m actually looking forward to going back over all the names I’ve researched refining my research and adding information I missed.

But I am chuckling a little over the fact that I didn’t think I needed any official records or documents on my parents.  After all, I knew they existed, when they were born and married.  Once I decided to correct those omissions, I discovered some unexpected reasons to broaden my thinking.

  • Submitting corrections to the various databases.
On, I discovered an uncle, Byron, born in 1918, transcribed as Bapton born in 1869.  And while I was in the neighborhood, I happened to notice the Narby family listed as Nasbry.  If I hadn’t been looking for my dad’s 1930 census record, undoubtedly at some point there would be someone trying to figure out who the heck Bapton was.  And wondering where Byron was in 1930.

  • Unexpected stories
So, I was looking up my mom’s 1930 census record and right below her name was Honor Stockton and the relationship was Servant.  Wha??  I’ve never thought of my family as the type to have servants.  So, I called a primary source—my mom.  Even though she was young, my mom remembered Honor and knew she was from England.  She thought maybe the term servant came from Honor because she felt the term housekeeper was more accurate.  My mom remembered little else, except that Honor used to take glass jars to the store and get them filled with candy for my mom and her brother.  And my mom remembered that she felt a kind of awe or amazement when Honor washed the steps leading from the kitchen to the basement—my mom had never seen anyone do that before.  My mom then made a rather poignant comment, “There’s not anyone left I can ask about her.”

So, as a little gift to my mom, I did a quick search of the likely spots. In 1901 Honor lived in Staffordshire, England with her husband William and sons, Arthur and William. The family emigrated from England in 1907 and the children were listed as Arthur, Howard, Eva and Horace, but no William.  By 1910, the family was in Pennsylvania, but now there was no Howard, so it looks like they lost two children.  By 1920, their son Arthur had moved out on his own, but there was now a son Clarence.  In 1925, Honor and Clarence made a 2-month trip to England (maybe so family could meet Clarence who had been born in the US?).   Then 1930 is when Honor is without her family and is a housekeeper for my mom’s family.  Eva had married, moved to NY with her husband and Clarence was living with them.  No sign of William Stockton, Honor’s husband. 

I went no further in my search, but I have to admit, I am really curious about what happened to Honor and want to know if any of her grandchildren are still alive.  Wouldn’t it be great to be able to tell my mom there is actually someone she can ask about Honor?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Clues, Wherever They May Go, I Will Follow

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I found clues hiding in Everett Gaskill’s Civil War pension file.  I love clues.

From that file I learned that Everett had moved from New York to Pennsylvania in 1868 and that he had gotten married in New York.  That seems like such a small bit of information, doesn’t it?

It’s when it was added to the mix of what I already knew that things started percolating.  From other search results, I knew that in 1870, his future wife was living with her parents in New York and I knew they had married in 1871.  But, I hadn’t found Everett in the 1870 census.  Now, with the new information, I figured he was most likely in Emporium, PA in 1870, so I made another stab at a census search.  I found a John Gashill, right age of 25 and right birthplace of New York, living with a Norman Whitmore at the home of Chester Eldred, both of these men also from New York.

That Whitmore name surely was connected to a family history book I had and to a previous bit of census information.  Included in some of my mom’s family records I acquired was the Genealogy of the Whittemore Family and had come across the name Whittemore in the 1860 census when Everett was recorded at a neighbor's home--Whittemore.  I asked my mom about the Whittemores last year when I first looked at the book.  I didn't see any immediate family connection,  She only knew that the families were close and didn’t know of a specific connection.  At one point I thought about putting the book on ebay for some Whittemore researcher to find, but I decided to wait, just in case I found the connection.

After the name popped up in this 1870 connection with a possible Gaskill, I decided to pull out the book to see if I could find Norman and to see where that might lead me.  As I scanned the book, before discovering any Norman, another name under the heading of ISAAC WHITTEMORE BRANCH jumped out at me—Isaac’s wife, Jane Ditmars.  I had a great-great-grandmother by the name of Ellen Ditmars (Everett’s mother-in-law), so I slowed down to read that section.  

It listed Jane and followed with the names of their children.  In the very first of line of the text, it said her mother and father were George and Charity Ditmars.  They were my 3x great-grandparents! Jane was Ellen’s sister.  There followed a brief explanation of George and Charity as aging parents moving to be with one of their children in Michigan.  I had wondered about that during my Ditmars research.

Then came the text of an 1851 letter from George and Charity to Jane.  There was nothing surprising in the letter; just a newsy, family update.  It was just great to rediscover it and recognize it for what it was, happening so soon after my Ditmars exploration.  I’m sure I saw it when I began family research last year.  I just didn’t know who they were at the time.  This book is definitely NOT going to ebay.

After all that excitement, I went back to finding Norman in the book.  And I did.  He was the above-mentioned Isaac Whittemore’s nephew, just a few years older than Everett.  There was even a note mentioning that Norman had moved to Emporium, PA.  Interestingly, Norman had a half-sister and also a wife by the name of Perna, and much later, Everett named a daughter Perna—my grandmother.  In reviewing the 1860 census again, I noted Norman Whitmore lived six houses from where Everett Gaskill’s family lived.  And on that the day of the census I finally realized Everett was actually at Norman’s brother’s house, halfway between Everett's home and Norman's.

I’m not sure I’ll ever have proof that the John Gashill in the 1870 census was actually Everett Gaskill.  But I am comfortable agreeing with my mom that the families were “close”, even though Norman and Everett had no blood relationship.  The connection was that they were both nephews of Jane Ditmars Whittemore--Everett was the son of her sister and Norman was the son of her brother-in-law.  I don’t know where that falls on a relationship chart and, in the end, I’m not sure it matters.

I do find myself wondering if Norman might have sent this postcard to Everett.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Military Monday-Gaskill Civil War Files

After a few speed bumps, and following some advice from Heather Rojo, I  received Everett Gaskill’s Compiled Military Service Record and his pension file from NARA.

The CMSR confirmed the basics of what I found online, but it did have more detail.  He received a bounty payment of $100 for a one-year enlistment.  He only served about 6 months because the War ended.  He mustered out at Fort Berry, VA, not even six miles from where I currently live.

His pension file had much more information.  Now I know why everyone gets so excited when they get these records. 

The first thing I noticed is that he had some difficulty getting his pension approved, but maybe every applicant had to go through the same thing.  He was rejected once after an application in August 1912, but then in January 1913, notarized paperwork was submitted and a tracing of his signature was furnished by the War Department.  He was approved for a pension of $15 per month.  Then again in July 1915, he resubmitted paperwork, perhaps to get an increase, because there followed an approval for an increase to $18 per month, effective July 1915. 

I’m sure it’s the applications that get everyone so excited.    It confirms his birth and marriage places and dates, the name of his wife, Mary E. Hinds, and indicated she died in 1897. It also had the names and birth dates of his children.  Additionally, it indicated there was no official or church record of his marriage--the certificate was lost in a fire.  No point in searching for that!  It confirmed Mary Etta had not been previously married.  It also gave the specific date, March 12, 1868, he moved from Owego, NY to Emporium, PA, meaning he was in Emporium for three years before his marriage back in New York.  I originally thought Everett followed the Hinds family to Emporium, but it seems to be the reverse—his in-laws followed them to Emporium. 

The final piece of information confirmed by the file was his death date of December 16, 1916.  He must have been paid quarterly as there was a notice of a returned check for $54 dated March 4, 1917.  The check was returned by the Postmaster with the information that he had died.

One thing I wasn’t able to confirm was whether or not he was a drummer boy.  The age of 19 seems old for that role, so I was hoping for a clue.  One clue that did come out of this led me to a peripheral story I’ll post on Thursday.

Seeing all this genealogical information made me sad that my great-great grandfather, Erastus Murray, was rejected after enlistment and never served in the Civil War.  When I think what I would have learned from pension papers to enable me to get past that brick wall in my research, well….

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ruchstein & Mengel

These are the last two lines of my paternal side for which I have information.  And even for these I have very little.  Part of the reason I don’t have as much on my dad’s side is that, mostly, the families came to the US much later than on my mom’s side.  The other reason is that I hit dead ends on my dad’s side in much earlier generations than on my mom’s side.  As I look at the big picture, I’d say there were more impoverished circumstances on my paternal side--the families just don’t appear in many local histories that typically include prominent families.

Catherina Ruchstein, my 3x great-grandmother, later married to Jacob Doll, was born in 1788 in Northampton County.  According to the Commemorative Biographical Record of Northeastern Pennsylvania, published by J.H. Beers & Co. in 1909, Catherine Ruthstine was born in Monroe County, but the name discrepancy likely stems from some mangled pronunciations (more of those to come) and the county discrepancy is likely a result of changing county boundries.  Monroe County was created in part from a portion of Northampton County in 1836.

The same Beers book said Catherine’s father was Frederick Ruthstine, but had nothing else on the family.  Going to the census I found a bit more information and in other records I found possible matches, but the name variation was more noticeable.  I found Frederick Ruston of Northampton County in 1790, Frederick Ruchstein of Northampton County in 1800, and a Frederick Rustay of Northampton County in 1830.  He lived near the Boyers and Dolls who would appear in the next two generations with a son-in-law and a granddaughter-in-law.  I think I might be able to find additional census records by doing a page-by-page search of Northampton County, but the spelling variations are an obstacle to a simple name search.  They have included:  Ruchstein, Ruchstine, Ruthstine, Rufstine, Ruhstein, Rustine, Rustay, Ruston, Rustag, and Rustey.

When I contacted the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society for information about my Doll line, the surname Ruchstein was part of the background information I provided to them--as mentioned above, Jacob Doll married Catherine Ruchstein.  Fortunately, part of the research results included translated and transcribed church record information on the Ruchsteins.  There was a Frederick and Magdalene Ruhstein as baptismal sponsors in 1794 and as the parents of Jacob Ruhstein at his 1789 baptism.  Much to my delight,  Frederick and Maria Ruchstein were in the translated and transcribed parish records of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church as the parents of Catharina, born Feb. 3 and baptized June 8, 1788.  Later, at the Hamilton Township Union Church, Friedrich and Maria were baptismal sponsors for Catherina's daughter, Maria.  Catherina and Jacob Doll appear quite frequently in this record in connection with Ruchsteins (including spelling variations), interchanging between being the sponsors or the parents.  I’ve not yet come across birth or death dates for either Frederick or Maria, nor do I know her maiden name.  I’m looking forward to exploring this line more at a later date.

And so I come to Mengel.  Because I know next to nothing about the Mengels, I decided not to do a separate post.  In Charles Boyer’s The American Boyers, I read only that another 3x great-grandmother, Barbara Mengel, born in 1780 in Pennsylvania, was married to a significantly older Valentine Beyer and was mother to Sophia Boyer, who later married Samuel Doll.  I won’t be confident in the information from that book until I can locate some alternate, confirming sources. I did some searches for early Mengels on and surprisingly few popped up.  I don’t know yet if that’s good or bad news.  I’ve been trying to turn up leads, but so far with no success.

Now my research will be focusing only on my mom’s side.  I have quite a few more surnames to explore there.  But, I feel pretty confidant that I will keep returning to the missing links on my dad’s side, hoping to find some clues and maybe even some answers.  And I hope that distant  cousins will find my blog and have wonderful new insights to share with me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mystery Monday--Albert Murray, aka Edward Mallory

Albert Murray, Jr--Alley--was my great-uncle.  I never knew him,  but I knew of him  (well, I met him once when I was really young and only have a vague memory of the visit).  He was a fixture in family tales.  I’m not certain how much was fact and how much was Irish blarney.  Suffice it to say, some members of my family could spin quite the story.

The story first and then the few facts I uncovered.

From my grandmother’s notes, I learned Alley was born March 27, 1885.  I had always heard rumors of Alley leaving home at an early age and heading West and that he was somehow involved with one of the Wild West gangs.  One of my cousins confirmed that, after Alley's father died in 1909, his mother remarried and that the children still at home disliked their stepfather so left home at when they were young. 

The family legend about Alley included vague (to me) references of a connection to the Dalton Gang.  I also heard he went by an alias.

Another cousin wrote an article about Alley in A History of Cameron County Pennsylvania, compiled by the Cameron County History Book Committee in 1991.  His information provided more details, otherwise known as clues, about Alley’s life.  I'll recap some key points here:

According to the article, Alley left home at 16 and returned to his hometown of Emporium, PA for a visit about 50 years later.  He visited again for a few weeks in the summer for several years.  My cousin’s father spent time with Alley and learned that he lived in Reading, CA.  Later, my uncle and his family visited Alley in California and learned he went by the name Edward Mallery.

Alley told them a story that, going through hard times, he had ridden into a Kansas farmhouse and befriended and worked for the remaining Daltons from the Dalton Gang.  He supposedly married a Dalton sister by the name of Agnus and they had a son.  At one point Alley was responsible for driving their cattle herd to sale.  Alley said he sold the cattle, kept the money and never returned to Agnus and his son.  Alley said they had been married in Flagstaff, AZ.  Not long after my uncle, cousin and rest of the family returned from this trip, another uncle wrote to Flagstaff inquiring about the marriage record and received a Photostat showing that Alley indeed married Agnus Dalton.  In 1960 or 1961, my uncle learned that Alley had died.  He was buried, destitute, under the name Edward Mallery.

Much of this sounded like tall tales to me, but once I got involved in genealogical research, I became curious about what I could prove.

First, the census records. 

In the 1900 census, he was living at home and his birth month and year were recorded as March 1885.  That is consistent with my grandmother’s notes with a date of March 27, 1885.  If Alley left home at 16, that would have been 1901.

In the 1910 census I found the newly widowed Catherine and her children, but no Alley.  Of course, at 25, it’s unlikely he would have still been at home, although possible.  Nevertheless, he wasn't in Emporium, PA.  I found several Albert Murrays in 1910, but none quite fit the bill.  I found no Alley Murrays.  I found an Edward Mallory in Doyle, Washington who fit the profile except for a birth year of 1889 instead of 1885, but I had nothing solid to link this person to Alley.

In the 1920 census no meaningful Mallorys, but one Albert Murray in Kansas City, MO with birthplace wrong and birth year off by two years.  But the Kansas part of it caught my eye and the fact that he was divorced.  Nothing again in 1930.

Second, his father’s death and his mother’s remarriage. 

I had records confirming the 1909 death of his father and the 1911 remarriage of his mother.  Again, unlikely Alley was still at home by this time.  He left for reasons other than unhappiness with a stepfather.

Third, the Dalton Gang family tree. 

Simply put, there was no sister of the Dalton Gang family with a name resembling Agnus.

Interestingly, I found an Agnes Dalton in Kansas in several census years during the right timeframe, but I haven’t found any connection between this Agnes and the Dalton Gang.

Fourth, the marriage of Alley and Agnus Dalton.

Among other places, I searched the Western States Marriage Record Index.  The closest I came to finding anything was an Edward Mallory who married Mae Wahl in Idaho in 1933.  Not very close.   Looks like I'll have to make a written request to Coconino County, AZ.

Fifth, the alias Edward Mallory.

I was surprised to find Edward Mallory in the Social Security Death Index.  It had a birth year of 1883 and death in 1964 and his SSN was issued in California.  Close, but uncertain.  On to the California Death Index.  There he was.  Edward Mallory.  Born March 27, 1885 in Pennsylvania.  Died in Shasta, CA on March 4, 1961.  Mother’s maiden name: Dowel.  Well, her maiden name was Doll, but with a match on the birth and death dates from family oral history, I felt certain I had found him.

And I found Edward Mallory’s WWII Draft Registration.  The birth date was exactly the same as Alley’s.  It stated he was born in Johnstown, PA, not Emporium, PA.  He was living in Oregon in 1942 and working for a lumber company.  Perhaps the Edward Mallory in Doyle, Washington in 1910 is Alley.  Might be worth a little investigation.

So, the Dalton Gang connection seems to be a tall tale.  Maybe the Agnes Dalton I found in census records has a connection to this story.  Possibly the 1910 census record for Edward Mallory in Washington state is Alley.  But the alias is true.  I sure would like to find out why he used an alias, but I’ll have to come back to this on another day.  But before I let go...since I have Edward Mallory's SSN, I can request a copy of his application.  It'll put me over my genealogy budget for the month, but I'm just too curious.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Morris Miners

Although married to Ellis Greenhalgh (Greenalch) by the time she immigrated, my 3x great-grandmother, Esther, was the first of our Morris line to come to the US.  Esther was born in 1828 in Burtonhead, Cheshire, England.  She and her family were in the US by the 1870 census and she was in Cameron County, PA, widowed and remarried by the 1880 census.  I haven’t been able to confirm the immigration date or port of entry, but family stories suggest it was in the mid-1860s.  Her brother, John, also immigrated to the US and lived in Cameron County by 1880 and had moved to a nearby county by the 1900 census.

I have little else to go on except that her parents were Welsh and that after her marriage, the family moved to Germany for a time, looking for work.  Her son, John, was known as “Dutch” because he was born, around 1860, in Germany, or rather Prussia as recorded in the 1861 English census.  However, by the time he was in the US, he reported his birthplace as England.  Looking at the 1861 census, because it records birthplace, it seems the family must have moved frequently, probably looking for work, because the children were all born in different locations.  They were miners, so that skill must have transferred easily within Great Britain, over to Germany, and finally, to the Pennsylvania mining areas. 

I’ll continue to look for material that will help me build a more complete story of Esther’s life in the US, but, really, the next big step will be trying to locate records in England and Wales.  I’m holding off on that for a bit.  I’ve got way too much in the US to work on right now.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mystery Monday--96, 97, 100, 107, or 114 years old, but who’s counting?

I don’t normally spend much time off my direct line research, but it’s sometimes useful when you encounter dead ends.  I’ve been struggling with some of the details of the Morris line, and there was a sibling who might lead me to some clues. 

My grandmother’s notes indicated her great-uncle, John Morris, was born in 1848, supposedly in Wales, and died at age 103 in 1941 in Clearfield, PA.  Okay, so math wasn’t her thing.  It still let me know he was pretty old when he died.  I found four US census records (1880, 1900, 1910 & 1930) for John, putting his birth year at 1833, 1844, 1843 and 1840, respectively.  The earliest I'm still looking for is 1870 (supposedly he emigrated in 1865) and the latest is 1920.  At Find-A-Grave, the photo of his headstone had 1839-1940. Currently, I'm also on the hunt for his naturalization record.

I thought his age might generate enough interest for newspaper coverage.  Using Genealogy Bank, I found three AP articles (from Seattle, Omaha, Springfield, MA). 
From the Seattle Daily Times, April 27, 1940: 
Death Takes Man, 114
 Clearfield, Pa.,  Saturday, July 27   (AP)
John Morris, whose relatives said he was born 114 years ago during the administration of John Quincy Adams, sixth president, died yesterday.  A former Pennsylvania mine inspector, he was known as “First Aid” Morris because of his interest in first aid work.
I suppose it’s possible John was born in 1826.  After all, his sister, my 3x great-grandmother, was born in 1828.  It just doesn’t seem likely to me.  And I was hoping for more clues.  Unfortunately, the local or regional newspapers that are likely to carry more details don’t seem to have been digitized, but I'm still looking.   (As an aside, I find I am disappointed with Genealogy Bank.  I think it’s good for some researchers, but it just hasn’t been a very cost-effective resource for me.)

But who’s counting?  Well, I am.  I always liked math.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nunn Other Than

This is the last of the names to add at the 2x great level (well, except for the dead ends).  Next week I’ll be moving to 3x great level.  I’ve been eager to get my lines out into the internet in case someone else is researching and can offer up information.  Soon, though, I’ll need to assess what I’ve accomplished and what my new objectives will be.

Mary Nunn, my great-great-grandmother was born (in 1826), was married and died in Lycoming County, PA.  Her parents were Aaron Nunn and Ann Hall.  (I’m guessing her mother connects to my Lycoming Hall line, but I ran into some issues--i.e., conflicting data--with my Hall research, so I haven’t pursued that further.)  Her parents were both Pennsylvania born and bred, but I believe Aaron came to Lycoming County from Northumberland. Aaron died in 1870 of lung fever--tuberculosis.  I hadn’t found anyone in the Federal Census Mortality Schedules before so that was an interesting find.

Born in 1794, Aaron was the only child of Thomas Nunn who was born in New Jersey and migrated to Pennsylvania before the Revolutionary War.  He was involved in the Great Runaway and returned to New Jersey for a time.  So many families in my line were involved in the Great Runaway, I wonder if the bonds that developed were part of the reason these lines merged—or was there just a small population and not many alternatives?  With how transient my era and my geographic region are, it has amazed me to see these concentrations of ancestors in only a few areas.

The Lycoming County Historical Society didn’t have anything on my Nunn line, and this everything reliable I’ve turned up online.  It’s not much, but I probably want to conclude my research assessment before I spend much more time on the Nunn line.