Showing posts with label Denning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Denning. Show all posts

Monday, August 31, 2015

Matrilineal Monday: Where Train Got His Name

Ever wonder about some of those given names in your family tree?

I puzzled over Train C. McClure for a long time. He was the third son of Benjamin McClure and Sarah Denning, and he was born in 1843 in Wabash county, Indiana. Train was my hubby's first great-grand uncle on his mother's McClure side.

Train McClure served nearly three years in the Civil War, enlisting in Company A, Indiana 89th Infantry Regiment on Aug 3, 1862 and being mustered out on Jul 19, 1865 at Mobile, Alabama.

Two years after his military service, he married Gulia Swain and started a family. Train C. McClure died in 1934.


But why did Benjamin and Sarah name this son Train? And what does his middle initial C stand for?

Now I believe I know.

Benjamin had a younger sister named Jane McClure, who married Train Caldwell on April 5, 1831 (above is their marriage document, thanks to Family Search).

So it seems reasonable to think that Benjamin named his third son Train Caldwell McClure after his brother-in-law Train Caldwell.

Just to make it interesting, notice that the clerk of the court on Train's marriage document is William Caldwell and the justice of the peace is (I'm not making this up) Manlove Caldwell.

And even more interesting, Jane McClure's husband Train Caldwell isn't the only man with that name in Indiana during the time period. I'm currently trying to sort out which Train is which without derailing my research :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday's Tip: Local Genealogy via Long Distance

In my recent presentation to the Genealogy Club of Newtown, I highlighted ways to do local genealogy research from far away. The key is to think local--about where documents might be stored or who might know something about your ancestors and their lives.

NOTE that you may not find the actual documents with a click, but you just might connect with a person who can help you put your hands on the documents.

Here are five ideas for finding local genealogy resources and links without leaving your keyboard:
  1. Use the Family Search wiki to locate local genealogy resources by country/state/county. This link leads to research and info about family history research in localities around the United States, for example. I can't say enough good things about this comprehensive source of info and links, organized by location.
  2. Linkpendium is nothing but millions of links to pages organized by country (mainly the US) and state. The site also has links to surname pages worldwide. Often the locality links take you to official government sites (for vital records, as an example) or to unofficial sites loaded with volunteer-provided genealogy info. Unofficial sites can be excellent sources of details not available in the official records, so go ahead and click to see what you can find. Worth a look!
  3. Message boards that relate to specific countries, states or regions, counties, and cities are tremendously valuable. Don't just search for your name, also post if you have a specific question. The photo shows a message I posted several years ago, and within days, the wonderful historian in Wabash responded with clues about where to find the obituaries of Benjamin and Sarah McClure. That broke down a long-standing brick wall, all because I posted on a local message board. Try it on Rootsweb, Ancestry, GenForum, and other sites.
  4. Genealogy/historical clubs and societies have documents and books that may mention your ancestors. Some will even, for a small fee, go out and photograph local graves for you. Well worth it, and you'll often learn some details that aren't in the official records. Try doing an online search for "genealogical society" or "historical society" and the name of the county where ancestors lived. (Tip: Be sure to click on the correct state!) The Genealogical Club of Newtown CT, for instance, has several databases that substitute for the missing 1890 Census. What will you find in a local club's records elsewhere?
  5. Local historians know a lot about their towns or counties and can answer questions, sometimes by e-mail, sometimes by phone. Do an online search for "historian" and the name of the town or county. One historian kindly sent me three pages of surname info that another researcher had submitted to her--along with the researcher's name and e-mail for me to follow up. I left this historian my contact info just in case someone else comes looking for the same surname. Ask nicely, be polite, and respect the historian's time.
Remember, double-check and verify anything you find online. Unverified information is just gossip, not gospel.

Good luck and happy ancestor hunting!

Friday, January 31, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #5: Where Was Job Denning Sr. Born and Married?

This week's ancestor in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge is: Job Denning Sr. (1775?-1836), hubby's 3rd great-grandfather.

He's at Find A Grave Memorial # 51417836. His wife was Mary E. [maiden name unknown, suspected to be Burras or Boroughs].

Job Denning's daughter, Sarah Denning, married Benjamin McClure in 1831, which is why I want to follow Job's trail backward in time. But Job Sr. has been a mystery because he shows up in Adams County, OH, in the late 1790s and stays put, an early settler without a past. Where was he born? Where was he married?

Job Denning Sr. had a LOT of descendants. And there are MANY ways to spell this ancestor's name: Deming, Dunning, Dinning, you name it.

Job's son, Stephen B. Denning (1801-1887), was one of several descendants who joined the Elliott Wagon Train of 1853, bound for Oregon. Stephen and his wife, Sarah "Sally" Donalson, were married in 1824ish and joined the wagon train, probably with several of their children (including a son named, of course, Job Denning, whose long obit is on Find-a-Grave).

The 215 Elliott wagons, loaded with 1,000 pioneers, turned off the Oregon Trail due to Cutoff Fever. They searched for a shortcut to the Willamette Valley but instead became lost and had to be rescued

Stephen Denning finally arrived in Oregon on November 1, 1853. He is listed as being among the first in the Oregon colony, having come from Wabash, Indiana (where his sister Sarah and bro-in-law Benjamin McClure lived).

Back to Job Denning Sr., who shows up in at least 26 family trees posted on Ancestry, and on other trees and sites as well. He's the subject of dozens of posts on Genforum, but none has conclusive documentation of his origins. One researcher thinks he was born in Pennsylvania or Kentucky, others think he was from Massachusetts. These possibilities are traced to what Job told the Census in different years and to other trees.

What's the truth of Job Denning's past?




Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wisdom Wednesday: Always Check Local Genealogical Societies

When I attended the FGS 2013 conference in Ft. Wayne, I picked up business cards and bookmarks from many local genealogical societies as I walked through the exhibit hall. Now, five months later, I'm still following up.

Today I unearthed the bookmark from the Emmet County Genealogical Society from Michigan. I clicked on its site to see what resources might help me figure out why a branch of the McClure family transplanted themselves there. The surname search on this society's home page turned up nothing related to McClure.

However, the society's link to the Greenwood Cemetery in Petoskey, Michigan led me to a small gold mine.

For example, here's the death cert of Mary Ann McClure Cook, daughter of Benjamin McClure and Sarah Denning McClure. It was available--for free--by searching for all "McClure" burials in this cemetery and then clicking on Mary Ann Cook's name. What a find!

I found the death cert for her husband, Reverend John Cook, in the same way. Now I know his parents' names and exact death date. Many other names on the cemetery's list include obits or death certs or both, all for free.

So always check local genealogical societies to see what links they suggest! They know the local resources better than out-of-staters. Thank you, Emmet County Genealogical Society, for pointing me in the right direction.

PS: Brenda of Journey to the Past asked about Reverend Cook's denomination and suggested some sources for me to check. Thanks to her idea, I learned that Reverend John J. Cook was Presbyterian, and served several churches, according to this excerpt from a history of the First Presbyterian Church of Petoskey:

In view of the departure of their pastor, the church now invited Rev. John J. Cook, then pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Little Traverse, and now of the Presbyterian Church of Crooked Lake, to serve them as temporary supply. Though zealous and faithful, the duties of his own field and the distance between the two churches he was serving, rendered Mr. Cook's labors very arduous and difficult. From a letter which I [Reverend Potter] received before coming to Michigan, I learned that he longed for the coming of a pastor to the Petoskey church, who should relieve him of a part of his responsibilities. Mr. Cook supplied the pulpit about nine months, closing his labors here on the arrival of the present pastor, June 14, 1878.

Furthermore, Rev. Cook was a pensioner in 1881. How he injured his left hand and throat, I don't know, but he received $10 per month starting in March, 1881.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Surname Saturday and Getting Down to the DNA

The newly enhanced Ancestry DNA results are a much closer match for hubby's family tree origins than the old version. Above, the new map of his origins. Below, the summary of his origins, which make sense in the context of the updated Heritage Pie I created for him earlier this year.

Great Britain (England, No. Ireland, Scotland) was the original home of these families from hubby's tree:
  • Bentley 
  • Denning 
  • Larimer
  • McClure
  • Shehen 
  • Slatter 
  • Taber 
  • Wood
Western Europe was the original home of these families from hubby's tree:
  • Demarest
  • Nitchie
  • Shank
  • Steiner


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Genealogy Tip Jar: Gen Societies and Historical Societies on Facebook

Today's Geneabloggers Genealogy Tip Jar topic is: Genealogical and Historical Societies (#gentipjar). So here's a 21st century twist: Finding those resources on Facebook. Often it's as easy as searching in Facebook using the location and adding the word "genealogy" or "historical society." But there's an easier way, as I'll mention below.

My Facebook genealogy alter ego, Benjamin McClure, uses the family tree shown above as his cover photo. Benji has "liked" or joined the pages of a number of local genealogical societies on FB, including:
  • Adams County, Ohio Genealogy Researchers
  • Crawford County Ohio History & Genealogy 
  • British Isles Genealogy
  • Ohio Historical Society
  • Genealogical Society of Ireland
  • Indiana Genealogical Society
  • Elkhart Genealogical Society
  • Genealogy Club of Newtown, CT
Why Facebook? Because the people who post on these pages are very knowledgeable about their areas and willing to help each other with ideas, local info, even photos. In some cases, you have to request an invite; in others, you simply "like."

On the Adams County FB page, I requested an invite, and once approved, I posted a query about Benji's in-laws. Another participant on that site soon sent me a file listing early marriages in that county--including several members of the McClure family and the Denning family. What a find!

NOW for the biggest tip of all: Thanks to my Facebook participation, I learned of a fabulous resource assembled by researcher extraordinaire Katherine R. Willson, whose site is Social Media Genealogy. She has developed an extensive listing of links to genealogical and historical societies' Facebook pages for all 50 states--and she's willing to share! This valuable list is downloadable as a free pdf from her special page here

I found 4 pages of Ohio societies to explore on Facebook, and 3 pages of Connecticut societies on Facebook. Thank you, Katherine!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Surname Saturday: Heritage Pie Updated

Last October, I modified the idea of creating a heritage pie chart of great-great-grandparents and posted my pies with hubby's great-grandparents and my grandparents.

Today I have enough information to post a chart with the birth place of all 16 of hubby's great-great-grands (above). Except for 4 people, all of hubby's great-grandparents were born in the US (mainly Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Ohio). However, not all of the great-great-great-grands were US-born.

Here's what I know or suspect about where the families of each of hubby's great-great-grandparents were from originally:

IrelandJohn Shehen and wife Mary (maiden UNK)--have evidence
England: John Slatter Sr. and wife Sarah (maiden UNK)--have evidence of English birth, but this family might have long-ago Irish roots
England: Ancestors of Isaiah Wood Sr.--have evidence
England: Ancestors of Harriet Taber--have evidence
England: Ancestors of Sarah Denning--need evidence
England: Ancestors of Lucy E. Bentley--need evidence
Huguenots (possibly France): Ancestors of Henry E. Demarest--need evidence
Huguenots (possibly France): Ancestors of Catherine Nitchie--need evidence
Scots-Irish: Ancestors of Benjamin McClure--have evidence
No. Ireland: Ancestors of Brice S. Larimer--have evidence
Germany: Ancestors of Jacob S. Steiner--have a clue (a letter from a descendant)
Switzerland: Ancestors of Joseph W. Rinehart--have a clue (a family story)
???: Ancestors of Elizabeth (maiden UNK) Steiner
???: Ancestors of Margaret Shank, who married Joseph W. Rinehart



Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past: Uncle Benny McClure Saves a Coon

Benjamin McClure (1812-1896), hubby's great-great-grandpa, was a pioneer settler in Wabash, Indiana, but what was he really like?

The woodcut at left is from The Wabash Times, 21 December 1893, which ran a story on p. 3 titled "A Biographical Sketch: One of the Sturdy Old Settlers--Uncle Benjamin McClure, a Man Well Known to All the Older Inhabitants of Wabash County--an Octogenarian." The same newspaper used this woodcut when it ran McClure's obit in 1896. And I'm using this woodcut as the profile photo for my Benjamin McClure Facebook page, my social media experiment in genealogy.

(Mrs. Sarah Denning McClure, hubby's great-great-grandma, died in 1888. Widower Benjamin soon sold the family farm and lived with his children for the next 8 years.)

Hubby used the microfilm reader in the Wabash Carnegie Public Library (which has lots of useful genealogical resources) last month to look for McClure's name in local newspapers. He found a story in the Wabash Plain Dealer one week after McClure's death that gave us new insight into this pioneer man's strong religious feelings. Here's the story in its entirety:
Uncle Benny and the Coon

How the Late Mr. McClure Balked a Party of Hunters
Jehu Straughn, the genial pioneer resident of this county, tells an anecdote of the late Benjamin McClure, which shows how thoroughly loyal Mr. McClure was to his Christian faith.
Many years ago when the country was new and Mr. McClure lived on the farm just west of the city, an industrious, contented husbandman, rugged in constitution and strong in religious convictions, there was a coon hunt by persons living in the vicinity of Mr. McClure's farm.
The coon was started, and ran toward the home of Mr. McClure, ascending a tree in the door-yard of that gentleman. It wanted only a few minutes to midnight when the animal ran up the tree and it was after twelve when the hungers located him. It would have been an easy matter to shoot the creature, and some members of the party were determined to do so, but Mr. McClure, who regarded the Sabbath day as sacred, lifted his hand warningly and said: "Boys, you can't shoot that coon until Monday. This is Sunday and the day shall be kept holy. If the coon is in the tree tomorrow night at this time, get him if you can, but he shall not be killed before that."
The hunters expostulated, but to no purpose, and the dawn found the coon still in the tree. During the day the hunters dropped in and begged to be allowed to fire at the coon, but Uncle Benny turned them all away with the remark: "No man shall ever say that he heard the crack of a rifle on my farm on the Sabbath day, if I can prevent it. Come tomorrow and if the coon is there, he's yours."
But Sunday evening the coon ran down the tree and escaped and Mr. McClure was roundly censured, but he was true to his convictions and not an iota did the lavish criticisms cause him to yield from the position he had taken.



Monday, September 16, 2013

Military Monday: Elihu Served 6 Days in the Revolutionary War

Elihu Wood Sr., hubby's 3rd great-granddaddy, is the only one of his ancestors officially recognized as having fought in the Revolutionary War.

According to the 1896 multivolume publication Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Elihu--a resident of Bristol County, MA--responded to an alarm in Rhode Island by joining Captain Henry Jenne's company in Colonel Hathaway's 2d Bristol Regiment on August 2, 1780. Elihu was mustered out on August 8, 1780. Grand total of Revolutionary War service: 6 days.

During the War of 1812, his son, Elihu Wood Jr., was in Lt. Col. B. Lincoln's regiment, serving from June 30, 1814 to July 10, 1814 in New Bedford and Fairhaven, MA. His military service totaled 10 days.

Two other ancestors saw service during the War of 1812:
  • Daniel Denning was a private in Capt. John Hayslip's Ohio Militia from September to November, 1814.
  • Isaac M. Larimer was a Sgt and Ensign in Capt. George Sanderson's company in Ohio, serving from April, 1812 to April, 1813. 
At least four ancestors fought for the Union side during the Civil War:
  • Benjamin Franklin Steiner was a private in 10th Company L, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, enlisting in 1862.
  • His younger brother, Samuel D. Steiner, served in Company C, 180th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in 1864-5.
  • Hugh Rinehart was a private in Company I, 15th Ohio Infantry, in 1861.
  • Train C. McClure served the longest of hubby's ancestors. He enlisted as a private in the 89th Regiment of the Indiana Infantry in August, 1862, and didn't leave the Army until July, 1865.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Surname Saturday: Denning (Lesson: Rule Names OUT)

One goal of the recent Midwest/FGS trip was to trace the family of Benjamin McClure's wife, Sarah D. McClure. Was her maiden name Deming or Denning? I've seen it both ways in various places.
Sitting in the ACPL and reading histories of Adams County, OH, where they met and married, I saw NO mention of any Deming family. But there was one prominent Denning family, that of Job Denning. So now I ruled Deming out and concentrated on Denning, at least for investigative purposes.

The first thing I did was plug "Job Denning" into Ancestry as Sarah's father. That turned up a green hint leaf with family trees to check out. It also led me to a Find-a-grave site, right place and right time. Now I had a death year (1836) and an approximate birth year (1775) to check, as well.

Also, I used my trusty search engine to find hits for "Job Denning" "Adams County Ohio" and found more than one solid reference to Job and Sarah. Above, the clipping of Job Denning listed as an associate judge in Adams county, OH, in 1820 (thank you, Google Books). Earlier, he was a court "cryer" [sic] and a constable. He successfully applied for a tavern license in 1797. On and on, his story unfolded from a bit of Internet searching. Quite a busy man, was this pioneer ancestor Job Denning.

Now comes the hard part: Checking everything and connecting Sarah Denning McClure to Job Denning through some real evidence. Stay tuned!



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Genealogy by the States: The Hoosiers in Our Family Tree, Including a Man Named Train

This week's Genealogy by the States topic is Indiana, the Hoosier state (aka the Crossroads of America).

At the top of the list of Hoosiers in hubby's family tree: 2nd great-grandparents Benjamin McClure and his wife Sarah Deming (or Denning) McClure, an early settler in the Wabash county area.

Wabash had a number of McClure families, and of course Benjamin is NOT the most celebrated or documented, although he did pitch in to build the community in several ways. (The most famous McClure in Wabash is Samuel McClure, considered the first permanent white settler in the county.)

Benjamin and Sarah's first children were born in Ohio, where the couple was married; their children born in Indiana include:
  • Martha Jane McClure, who married William Buck Cloud
  • Train C. McClure, who married Gulia Swain (and, after Gulia's death, remarried to Rebecca E. Abbott) - Isn't "Train" an interesting first name? His occupation was "oil mill operator" according to the 1880 census. He served in the Civil War, too.
  • Elizabeth D. McClure (who married John W. Austin)
  • Addison D. McClure (who died of an accidental gunshot wound at age 18)
  • William Madison McClure (hubby's great-grandpa, who married Margaret Jane Larimer)
  • John N. McClure
  • Amanda "Callie" Caroline McClure (I don't know much about her--yet)
Another of hubby's ancestors lived in Indiana: His uncle John Andrew Wood, who married Rita Goodin on April 7, 1951 in Crown Point, Indiana and was an area supervisor for du Pont in East Chicago, Indiana for many years. Although family legend has it that John was mostly estranged from his three brothers (Wally, Ed, and Ted Wood), I know from Ed's diary that John and his wife Rita were in touch with Ed from time to time and they even visited each other once in a great while. How the "estrangement" story got started, I don't know...

As usual, thanks to Jim Sanders for this week's genealogy blogging prompt.

A special thank you to Harold of Midwestern Microhistory blog, who just posted news of thousands more Indiana marriage records being available at Family Search (click here). If you're researching Indiana ancestors, check out Harold's blog.