Thursday, October 29, 2015

Those Places Thursday: In Search of Farkas Connections in Botpalad

My maternal great-grandpa, Moritz Farkas (1857-1936), was born in Botpalad, Hungary (shown circled in red with a black arrow, above). This is an area still considered part of Hungary but very close to the borders of modern-day Ukraine and Romania (two red arrows at far right).

Moritz's parents were Ferencz Farkas and Hermina Gross. Farkas is a common name in Hungary, but we know we're definitely connected in some cousiny way with another branch of the Farkas family.

The young granddaughter of Ida Farkas Weiss (1873-1924) was at my parents' wedding in New York City and she vividly remembers attending Farkas Family Tree meetings in NYC during the 1940s and into the 1950s. She and her parents were known to be cousins, but nobody told the younger generation exactly how we were related.
Today I want to look at Ida Farkas's niece, Gizella Steinberger, who was the daughter of Josephine "Pepi" Farkas and Noe Steinberger and the granddaughter of Elek and Roszi Farkas. I'm guessing that Elek Farkas was the brother of Ferencz Farkas. That would make Gizella my 2d cousin, 2x removed.

Born in Botpalad on November 6, 1898, Gizella Steinberger arrived at Ellis Island in December, 1923, and applied for U.S. citizenship in 1926.

In 1929, Gizella married Irving Huppert (1900-1982). They were living at 1821 Davidson Ave. in the Bronx when she became a naturalized U.S. citizen, as shown on this index card.

Gizella and Irving had two children and lived into their late 80s. They are buried at Mount Hebron Cemetery in Queens. I'm going to "edit" the relationships of each on Find A Grave to show husband and wife, and include their dates and places of birth.

Still searching for more Farkas connections from Botpalad, Hungary!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Gen Do-Over 2015: Finding Dr. Bartlett Larimer's Will from 1892

Dr. Bartlett Larimer (1833-1892) -- hubby's 2nd great-grand uncle -- had a thriving medical practice and had a major influence on the lives of his extended family, inspiring 2 nephews to become dentists and 2 nephews to become doctors. He died in January of 1892 and his will, made about a week before he died, was probated soon afterward.

As part of the Genealogy Do-Over, I was able to find the contents of Dr. Larimer's will among the newly-posted probate records on Ancestry!

The will begins: "In the name of the Benevolent Father of All." The good doctor's beneficiaries included his children, relatives of his late wife, Sarah E. Miller Larimer (1843-1881), and several children of his siblings, plus family friends (?).
  • To his oldest son, Edson F. Larimer, 80 acres of land in Millersburg county, IN where the doctor was living when he made his will.
  • To his second son, Bartlett Larimer Jr., 80 acres in Millersburg plus 40 acres in Perry township, Noble County, IN.
  • To his third son, John S. Larimer, 35 acres of land in Perry township, plus more land in a different section of Perry township.
  • To his niece, Margaret Anna Haglind (daughter of his sister Eleanor Larimer), 20 acres in Eden township, Lagrange county, IN, and $200.
  • To his nephew, William Tyler Bentley Larimer (son of his brother Brice S. Larimer), a note held by the doctor for the sum of $350 plus interest. In other words, the note was forgiven by the will.
  • To his nieces Emma O. Freeland and Margaret Jane McClure (daughters of Brice S. Larimer), $200 each.
  • To his mother-in-law Elizabeth Miller and his sister-in-law Hester Miller Coy, interest on $2,000 on mortgage notes held by the doctor against William Haller and Lorenzo D. Haller. Also forgiveness of a note held against Hester by her brother-in-law for $40 and interest.
  • To friends (?) Luella Widner, wife of Charles Widner, $200 and Leoter? Blanche Hard, wife of Hale Hard, $200.
Son Edson Franklin Larimer was the executor, and the witnesses were Charles F. Widner and Brice Larimer, who were also beneficiaries.

The will may also be a clue to what I've long suspected, that three of Dr. Larimer's children didn't live long enough to be named as beneficiaries: Ulysses Larimer, born about 1865 (of course), Alice Larimer, born about 1866, and William Larimer, born in 1868. RIP to these 1st cousins, 3x removed, of my hubby

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Surname Saturday: Georgiana Olivette McCLURE

Hubby's 1st cousin, 1x removed was Georgiana Olivette McClure (1903-1973), the daughter of Hugh Benjamin McClure (1882-1960) and Olivette van Roe (1885-1905).

Georgianna was born in Wabash, Indiana, where many of the McClure family lived.

Sadly, Georgiana's mother Olivette died at age 20, when the baby was only 2.

When Georgiana was 15, her father remarried to Rebekah V. Wilt (1896-1975), and that's how Georgiana met her future husband--through the Wilt family.

Georgiana married William Evert Gillespie in 1925. His mother was a Wilt!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Participating in Find A Grave Meetup Day from Home

Tomorrow is the day Find A Grave has asked volunteers to photograph headstones at local cemeteries or fulfill photo requests from its site.

Since I can't be out in the field photographing, I'm going to be participating from home in my own way: By going through my family tree, person by person, and adding everyone to Find A Grave--as well as by linking family members according to relationships. I want to honor their memories and also make it easier for cousins and family researchers to figure out who's who.

Here, for example, is the memorial page I set up for my mother, showing relationship links to her parents on Find A Grave.

The more links, the more opportunities to be found by genealogists and cousins!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Ancestor Landing Pages Update

So my ancestor landing pages--those tabs at the top of my blog, each for a different surname branch of my family tree--have been part of my blog since January 2013.

The purpose is to have a special page devoted to each surname group, so when a distant relative or researcher does an online search for a name like "McClure" or "Slatter," they will "land" on my ancestor's page and see what I've discovered about those ancestors.

Over the months, these ancestor landing pages have been attracting views and, on occasion, comments from cousins and regular readers!

As of October 9, here are the statistics for the TOP 10. (The dates indicate the most recent time that I updated or added to each of the pages.)

Most popular is my page about the Herman & Hana Schwartz family from Ungvar, Hungary (now Uzhorod, Ukraine). This was my grandpa Tivador Schwartz's family.

Next most popular is my page about hubby's McClure family, originally from the Isle of Skye, then Donegal. This family sailed en masse to Philadelphia and then walked to Virginia to buy land.

Unquestionably, ancestor landing pages are an effective way to showcase genealogical breakthroughs, family information, photos, stories, and connections. For me, the best part is when I get a comment or an e-mail from a cousin who found the page, recognized some of the names, and got in touch!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sympathy Saturday: Leander Elkanah Wood, Cholera Infantum Victim

Leander Elkanah Wood was the last of 17 children born to Thomas Haskell Wood and Mary Amanda Demarest. Alas, little Leander fell victim to "cholera infantum" at the age of only 4 months.

He was born at home in Toledo on March 10, 1875, and he died on August 11, 1875. Thanks to a kind genealogy person on the Ohio Genealogy FB page, I learned that "cholera infantum" was often the term listed on death certs of young children who actually died of diarrhea or dysentery.

Why did hubby's great-granddaddy and great-grandma name their child after a young man in an ancient tragedy?

Leander was a mythological figure who fell in love with Hero and swam across the straights every night to be with her, his way lit by a lantern she set up to guide him. One stormy night, the lantern light was blown out and heavy waves took Leander further and further, sweeping him away, to Hero's great sorrow. In despair, she threw herself after him and perished as well.

Even allowing for the fact that Thomas and Mary had named 16 other children by that time (their first was born in 1846!), Leander doesn't seem an obvious choice as a given name. Especially since one of their other children, Thomas Jefferson Isaiah Haskell Wood, drowned in May, 1861, before his 13th birthday.

Nor does Elkanah, Leander's middle name, have any family significance that anyone knows of (he was a figure in the Bible). UPDATE: Elkanah turns out to be a significant given name in the Wood family, as I learned by examining the family tree of a distant, very distant relative who's related by virtue of the Mayflower/Fortune connection. Thomas Cushman, who arrived on the Fortune, married Mary Allerton (a Mayflower ancestor of the Wood family), and they had 8 children, including Elkanah Cushman. The Elkanah name continued in that branch of the tree for some time. So perhaps Thomas Haskell Wood was aware of his Mayflower ancestors after all?!

RIP, little Leander Elkanah Wood.