Monday, November 30, 2009

November To Do List - Revisit

Today is the last day of November, so that means that it is time to review my November genealogy to do list. I think I did pretty well this month, but let's see.

For November I wanted to:
  • Order copies of my grandfather's WWII photo book for everyone in the family that wants a copy. Done. Just need to deliver them to the family in December. They look great too!
  • Work on the to do folder and bookmarks. Does making more count as working on it? I did get through some of the items in my to do folder for families that I have already resourced. But I really need to make an adjustment to my research to get this fixed. (Maybe a new year's resolution to keep the piles done?)
  • Complete 2 years of the Vevay Newspaper Index (hopefully I will get more done though). Finished 1880 and 1881. Downloaded the next set, but haven't started it yet.
  • Work on resourcing my ECK line. For November, I want to finish the family in central Pennsylvania. I finished this except for a few strangling bookmarks.
  • Scan all ECK documents in the binder of my grandmother's research that my aunt sent me. Finished all the obituaries and other info for the central PA people. Need to look through what she has on the Berks county side next.
  • Complete National Institute of Genealogical Studies course: Methodology 5. Just finished the exam!
  • Create a letter to send with Christmas cards to my dad's side of the family seeking stories about him and photos. I want to create a scrapbook in the new year with what I find. Did this and put all Christmas cards together. Just need to send them out and hope for some great stories and whatever else people want to send me.
By the end of the year I want to:
  • Finish resourcing the ECK line. Just need to finish the Berks county side. Not really much more to do with these old family lines until I do more research, which is not my goal right now. It will also be nice to get some more binders and books off the floor.
  • Research and enter all new data that I received from my STULL cousin last month. Excited to get this off my desk and research a new line next month.

Friday, November 20, 2009

SSDI Death Date Discrepancies

In my on going effort to fix the source citations in my genealogy database, I have been working on my ECK family line. My aunt recently sent me some of my grandmother's old records that included many obituaries for the HAEFNER family. When I started adding them to my database, I noticed a few discrepancies between the death dates that I had found in the SSDI and what I found in the obituaries.

I have used the SSDI many times to find death dates for my ancestors. I have found it very helpful in also finding Social Security numbers in order to send for SS-5 applications and birth dates. Many times I have come across death dates that included only the month and year. But this was the first time I had found the dates not matching the actual death date.

I knew that there were problems with researchers assuming that a person's last residence was where the person died. My husband's grandfather's last residence is listed as Florida in the SSDI, but he actually had been living and died in Connecticut. One of my great great uncles died in Ontario on a trip, but his last residence is in Williamsport, Pennsylvania where he lived.

When I entered the obituaries from my grandmother into my database, I found two instances where the death dates did not match.
  • Anastasia (MAYAN) HAEFNER died 15 Nov 1971 according to the SSDI. But her obituary and funeral card give her death date as 30 Nov 1971.
  • Elizabeth (HOCHREITER) HAEFNER died 15 May 1984 according to the SSDI. But her obituary states her death date as 25 May 1984.
At first I thought that the death date given in the SSDI was the date that the Social Security office was notified of the death. But in both cases the SSDI date is before the obituary date. I also find it interesting that the SSDI dates are both the 15th date of the month, but they are 13 years apart.

Is this a case of incorrect data entry? An unknown (at least to me) way to enter the dates? Has anyone else run across this discrepancy in their research? At the very least it reminds us all to look for more than one record to prove information in our databases.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

DAR Record Copy: John Shepherd lineage

Last month, I wrote about my confusion over how John Shepherd's descendants were able to get into the DAR when his pension had been denied. I still think there is something fishy going on with what this man said and what actually happened.

Sheri, from The Educated Genealogist blog, was kind enough to look up John Shepherd in the DAR database and told me that one woman had traced her lineage from John through his son James, my ancestor. She recommended that I order a Record Copy from the DAR to learn more about this file and the proof used.

I sent in my order form along with check for $10 to the DAR on November 9th. I received the file in the mail today (the 19th). Not a bad turnover (especially when I think everything takes forever).

This descendant used the book "History and Genealogy of the John Shepherd Family" complied by R.N. Hodgman for proof of the last 4 generations. This is an unsourced family history apparently created through the knowledge of John Shepherd's grandchildren and other descendants. The 1850 US census was also used for John's son James and James' daughter Ann.

If that is all that I need to source my lineage, then it might be a lot easier that I first thought. (Or maybe how I think it should.)

The most interesting thing about this file is what is not said. The lineage is traced through Anna Shepherd, James M Shepherd's daughter, who married James W Gibbons. James W. Gibbens shot and killed his father-in-law James due to divorce proceedings (according to Dearborn county, Indiana newspapers) or drunkenness (according to Switzerland county, Indiana newspapers). I haven't searched the Ohio county, Indiana (where James lived and died) newspapers and court records yet, but I can't wait to find the truth and the story.

Comments are always welcomed below or through email at genwishlist@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Lieutenant Metts

Another post in my series of my grandfather's WWII photos from Alaska.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

SNGF: Source Citation Find

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver is about nice things that other genealogists have done for you. This is the perfect topic for me this week because I had a very exciting find.

I was received an email last Friday with a comment from my blog entry on my confusion with the DAR process with the application for a lineage through Mary and Moses RUSSELL. I already wrote about what my newly found cousin told me. She found the source citation for the court case involving Mary's mother, Mehitable Esther NOLAND suing Colbert ANDERSON for child support after Mary was born in 1783.

Source citations for genealogy information is almost as good as the actual fact to me. Now I can go look it up and prove it to be real in my own database.

My cousin told me that another cousin had found the court case on FHL microfilm number #831290. I looked it up in the Family Search catalog and found that this film was Order books, 1772-1927, West Virginia, County Court (Berkeley County). The film specifically was for Volumes 6 and 7 of the order books.

Lucky for me the Allen County Public Library had this film in their microtext catalog. I went to the library on Thursday and found the entry that I needed.

In volume 6 of the order books that covers 1784-1785, I found the case for Noland vs. Anderson in the index on page 145 (just as my cousin had told me).

It reads:
Judgt (on the side)
Upon the complaint of Mahatable Noland against Colbert Anderson ? ? ?. It is considered by the court that ? Defendant pay to the complainant fine passed annually for the Term of three years for the maintainance [sic] of her baseborn Child of which he's the Father and ? in their behalf expanded?

I need to work on my 18th century handwriting a bit more.

Thanks again to my "new" cousin Lynda for this find.

If you would like to see the image, leave a comment or send me an email to genwishlist@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Glenn Roberts WWII

Another post in my series of my grandfather's WWII photos from Alaska.



Back: Glenn Roberts, Box 164, Beaverdale, Pennsylvania.

If you have another other information about Glenn Roberts, please leave a comment or email me at genwishlist@gmail.com.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Solving the Mystery of Mary Russell's Father

Last month I wrote two blog posts with questions about proving lineage for the DAR. The first was about John SHEPHERD, who I don't trust, but maybe he was actually telling the truth. I have sent to the DAR for a record copy of John's lineage through his son James (my ancestor). Hopefully this file will clear up some of my questions about proving this lineage.

The second post was about Mary RUSSELL and her father Moses RUSSELL. I have been struggling with making sense of the dates in this family for a few months.

Mary was born 4 April 1783, according to a tombstone erected many years after her death.

Moses RUSSELL married Mehitable Esther NOLAN/NOLAND in 1785, according to West Virginia records and Esther's widow's Revolutionary War pension file.

The pension file also includes a bible entry for the births of Moses and Esther's children, but does not include Mary.

I knew something was going on with this family, but I could never figure out what. I knew that I needed to do more research.

Then I got a comment on my blog post about Mary and Moses. According to this cousin (who heard it from another cousin), Mary was NOT Moses RUSSELL's daughter. She was actually the illegitimate daughter of Mehitable Esther NOLAN and Colbert ANDERSON.

In 1783, Mary's mother went to court to get her daughter legally recognized as Colbert's daughter. Colbert was fined and had to pay support for 3 years.

Now I just need to get ahold of the court documents for this case in Berkeley county, Virginia (now West Virginia). I have not received a source citation for this from my cousin. I also contacted the original poster of this information and she can't find the source either. So I guess I will have to figure out which of the FHL court films I need to verify this information.

Even without the documentation of this court case, the life of Mary, Esther and Moses makes more sense to me. When Esther and Moses were married, Moses raised Mary and she took his name. Moses was the only father she knew and it would have been passed down through the family that he was her father. Who even knows if Mary knew the entire story of her birth?

If anyone has a suggestion of which court would have these records in Berkeley county, (West) Virginia in 1783, leave a comment or send me an email to genwishlist@gmail.com.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

SNFG: Eiswerth surname distribution

For Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun this week, he sent geneabloggers to World Names Profiler to see the distribution of their surname across the world.

I chose to search for my maiden name EISWERTH.

From the map you can see the distribution is Canada and the US.


Top country is Canada.
Top region is Saskatchewan, Canada, followed by British Columbia. I wonder how many cousins I have in Canada.
Top city is Williamsport, Pennsylvania, followed by South Williamsport and Montoursville. This isn't surprising because this is where my dad's family is from and most still live.

I'm also surprised that the numbers in Germany are so low, since that is where my EISWERTH ancestors were born. I guess they all left Germany or those left didn't have children.

Very interesting SNFG! Thanks Randy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday:

Another post in my series of photos from my grandfather's collection of WWII photos from Shemya island, Alaska.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November Genealogy To Do List

Yesterday I wrote about my October genealogy to do list and how I had some exciting developments in my research that kept me from completing much of my list. I am hoping that November goes a lot smoother (but I'd love more cousins finding me and family sending me more of their own research and artifacts).

For November I want to:
  • Order copies of my grandfather's WWII photo book for everyone in the family that wants a copy.
  • Work on the to do folder and bookmarks.
  • Complete 2 years of the Vevay Newspaper Index (hopefully I will get more done though).
  • Work on resourcing my ECK line. For November, I want to finish the family in central Pennsylvania.
  • Scan all ECK documents in the binder of my grandmother's research that my aunt sent me.
  • Complete National Institute of Genealogical Studies course: Methodology 5.
  • Create a letter to send with Christmas cards to my dad's side of the family seeking stories about him and photos. I want to create a scrapbook in the new year with what I find.
By the end of the year I want to:
  • Finish resourcing the ECK line.
  • Research and enter all new data that I received from my STULL cousin last month.
I'm crossing my fingers that I will be able to cross more off my list this month. What's on your genealogy to do list for November? Post it to your own blog and leave a comment here.