Sunday, January 6, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #1 ~ Caroline Flory and My First Great Genealogy ‘Find’

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click here for details at Amy's blog) 

Week 1: First 

"Who was the first ancestor you found who you didn't personally know? Who was the first ancestor to arrive in the country? Who was the first child in one of your ancestral families? First to go to college? First husband out of a string of many?" 

Just the facts:
Name: Caroline Flory
Born: 20 March 1844 in Wayne County, Ohio
Married: John Ulrick Saurer, who was 21 years her senior, on 30 Oct 1860
Died: 16 May 1884, East Union Twp, Wayne Co, Ohio [Find-A-Grave memorial]

Relationship: Great-great-grandmother
I am descended through:
- her son, John Frederick Saurer (1873 - 1962)
- his daughter, Lela Mabel (Saurer) Ritchie (1913 - 1991)
- her son, my father, Donald John Ritchie (living)

Caroline was the source of my first truly thrilling genealogy find. I had just started to seriously research. By "seriously" I mean actually looking for records to back up all the information I had collected over the years from talking to my relatives. I had quite a bit of information at this point because I just loved looking at old pictures and, of course, when people show you pictures they tell you about them.

On a trip to Apple Creek, Ohio to visit relatives I decided to run over to the court house in Wooster. Not really knowing what I was doing at this point I was fortunate that the person there was very helpful and pointed me to some indexes which had been published by the local historical society. I happily looked up births for quite some time and made copious notes. I found more children listed for Caroline and John Saurer then I was previously aware they had. On an interesting side note, I was told that the original birth registers were not available to look at as they were too fragile. Now those same records are available to view on Family Search!

Next I decided to look for marriage records and bingo! There was a listing for John Saurer and Caroline FLORY. I felt so proud of myself ~ an actual new piece of information that no one else in my family had been able to tell me – Caroline’s maiden name. That, however, wasn't even the thrilling part. This was just the index so I asked the nice lady about the actual record and she showed me where the big ledger-type books were kept. I looked up the record and nearly fell off my chair. The record had some writing next to Caroline name which was HER FATHER'S consent to the marriage because she was only 16! So, right there I was able to go back another generation. If that wasn't cool enough, I also found and was able to make copies of her father's will.

WOW! I was totally hooked for life. Of course I soon found out that not every single trip to a courthouse was going to yield up such treasures. I don't mind though. Looking at old records just fascinates me almost as much as looking as old pictures. It's a way of touching history.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

#GenealogyPhotoADay ~ starts with A AUFLICK

Written for Genealogy Photo A Day ~ a list of photo prompts provided by Genealogy Girl Talks.

Name: Nellie [possibly Margaret or Mary Ellen] Auflick
Born: 29-Apr-1864, Minersville, Meigs County, Ohio
Married: William Eickelberg, 01-Jan-1884, Charleston, West Virginia
Died: 27-Sep-1940, Meigs County, Ohio [Find-A-Grave memorial]

Relationship: Great-great-grandmother
I am descended through:
- her daughter, Nelle Eickelberg (1885 - 1970)
- her son, Jack H Quick (1911 - 1999)
- his daughter, my mother, Jacqulin Ann Quick (living)

Although Nellie was born and died in Ohio, the picture here was taken in Denver in 1887 and Colorado is where she lived most of her adult life.  I'd always assumed it was where she'd died until I did some actual research. I even blogged about it way back when I made the discovery.

I have many pictures of Nellie so it was hard to choose one to share.

The last picture is Nellie at her 70th birthday.

Her parents, Thomas Auflick and Margaret Ann Hannington also eventually moved out to Colorado and are buried in Lafayette, Colorado. If I'd had a picture of them I'd have chosen that for this prompt. I've always felt there SHOULD be a picture of this couple. It's certainly on my most wanted list.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Another SCORE for the Shaking Leaf Hints

I have a confession to make and I hope it doesn’t get me thrown out of the highly selective genealogy club. I love the shaking leaf hints on Ancestry. I even wrote a blog post about them a few eons ago.

This time the shaking leaf solved a big mystery for me. I guess the thing I love so much is it’s not a mystery I was even working at.

In brief, my great-grandmother, Nelle Eickelberg was married three times. While she was born in Indiana, her family was in Colorado by the time she was two or three and she lived the rest of her life there. I have been able to find her first marriage, when she just 17, a great newspaper snippet about it, the birth of her first child, as well as the records for her subsequent divorce.

I can find her and her second husband, my great-grandfather John H Quick, in the 1910 census and I have their son, my grandfather’s birth record. I have John’s very scanty death certificate. I also have a record of Nelle's marriage to her 3rd husband as well as being able to find her in every census in Colorado from 1900 to 1940. I have her death certificate. I have her third husband’s death certificate. Shoot, I have her first husband’s death certificate.  The one thing I couldn’t find – a record of her marriage to my great-grandfather. I’ll admit after the first few attempts I haven’t tried all that hard. There is really no information I felt it would add to what I have on Nelle.

So fast forward to yesterday. Now my standard work-flow for dealing with hints is that I go through periodically and pick ‘ignore’ for all of them. Then, when I want to work on a particular person I will look at – and evaluate – all the hints I’ve ignored. As I was doing my ignore, ignore, ignore, routine I happened upon a marriage record in Iowa for J H Quick. Well clearly that’s not my guy and Quick’s a common name. I was wishing that Ancestry had another option besides ignore. Something like maybe ‘hell no’ that would put these clearly wrong things in a different category but I digress. Then I saw the next entry. Basically the same marriage record in Iowa but for Nellie Nissen (Nissen being Nelle’s first married name)! OK, that’s odd so I actually click through to the record. I wanted to jump out of my chair! There was all the correct information – her parents’ names as well as his parents’ names. This was my great-grandparents’ marriage record – IN IOWA!

As you can see here it even shows that both of them live in Denver. Why in the world they went to Council Bluffs, Iowa to be married is a mystery to me.

Of course the first thing I thought of was to check the marriage date (29-Sept-1909) and my grandfather’s birth date (03-Jul-1911) but as you can see it wasn’t that.

Here’s the cool thing – after I looked at that marriage record I realized that it gave me some real proof that the family I’d picked out for John Quick really was correct. There, plain as day, he’s listed his parents. I had placed John in this family based on a few scant clues but I knew that it wouldn’t really stand up to hard scrutiny. Now I feel much more secure in this branch of the family.

My next step is to look at Nelle's divorce from her first husband.  Maybe there are some clues there.  Oh, and laws, I need to look at laws.  Possibly it was easier for them to get married in Iowa?

No matter what we find, there's always something more to do...that's the fun of genealogy.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Family Events ~ January 31 - February 7

[Yes, I know - February 6th should be the last day...but I have a special reason for including it here!]

January 31st ~ On this day in 1901 in Edinburgh, Scotland William Hannan RITCHIE, my 2nd cousin twice removed is born. He will only live for 4 days.

February 2nd ~ On this day in 1838, marriage banns are read for David RITCHIE and Agnes GOURLAY in Ceres, Fife, Scotland. They are my 3x great-grandparents. This day in
1993 is also marked by the death of my granduncle, Windsor Benzie RITCHIE in Ohio.
February 3rd ~ This day is marked by the death of James KIRK, my 5x great-grandfather in 1829 in St. Andrews, Scotland. I am fortunate that there is a marker for him in St. Andrews, erected by his son and that I got to see and photograph it.

This day is also marked by the death of Selma EICKELBERG, my great-grandaunt in Denver, Colorado in 1913. She was just 5 days shy of her 19th birthday.
February 4th ~ On this day in 1897 Edna SAURER is born in Dalton, Wayne County, Ohio. She will become the wife of my great-granduncle Raymond GRABER. She will also cause be no end of problems early in my genealogical "career" as she was born Edna SAURER and became Edna GRABER while her sister-in-law, Raymond's sister, is born Edna GRABER and becomes on marriage Edna SAURER!!! Even when people noted names on the backs of pictures it all depended on who was doing the labeling as even after marriage both women might be noted by a maiden name.

And now for the most special days of this week:
February 6th AND February 7th ~ On these days, some years ago, right before and right after midnight my twin nephew and niece were born. My niece, the one born on the 7th used to say that the 6th was always, "the worst day of the year for me" because on that day her brother would tell her, and anyone who would listen, that HE was a year older! "I'm already x but you are NOT" I'm sure any of you with brothers can imagine. While they are grownup now, I just couldn't resist using their one-year old birthday party pictures.

Happy Birthday Twins!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

FINALLY Get Organized! Jan 3rd-9th 2016

[If you'd like more information on Dear Myrtle's Finally Getting Organized  - click on the picture to the right]

Here are our marching order for this week along with my progress.  I'm pretty good for this week because I spent my Christmas break time cleaning my genealogy room:

1. Clear off the computer desk and make piles for everything.

Done as far as clearing off my computer desk.  I don't have piles for everything instead I have project boxes where I grouped things by large category.  Sometimes it was surname, sometimes type of project.  For instance I have a box with a large number of my grandfather's negatives to scan.  These boxes are all arranged in the closet.

2. Check your office supplies, and replace any missing or lost items.

Done.  As a matter of fact I think I have enough office supplies for many years to come. I made a box to store the extras so they aren't cluttering things up.

3. Setup your computer desk and office the way you really want it! 

Done with a gold star!  My brother-in-law helped me set up my computer to accommodate a third monitor.  That's been my dream arrangement for a couple of years now and I'm so happy to have this set up.

4. Designate a special red clipboard as the "When Computer Help Arrives" clipboard.

I'm passing on this one.  I AM the computer help in my family, or, if I have an issue I can't tackle, I ask the above mentioned brother-in-law.

5. Designate a special green clipboard as the "Genealogy Challenges" clipboard.

This fits in so well with advice in the Genealogy Do-Over workbook about BSOs [Bright, Shiny Objects]  Basically it's the same concept - write it down and move on, don't follow the bunny trail.  I've found this works well in many ways.  When my mind is like that browser with waaay too many tabs open it helps me to write some things down and then I can concentrate on the one thing I should be working on.  So in this case my "green clipboard" is a note in Evernote called, "To research later."  I'm not sure right now if I'll divide that up into separate note for surnames or just use tags to do the work.  So, I'm considering this one done as well.

Pretty good for week one - but they I had a huge head-start on this one!