Showing posts with label Larimer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Larimer. Show all posts

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Family History Month: Looking for the Bentley Family

Lucy Emeline Bentley (1826-1900) was my husband's 2d great-grandma, married to 2d-great-grandpa Brice Larimer (1819-1906).

She was the middle child of 7 children born to Olivia Morgan (1799?-1838) and William Tyler Bentley (1795-1873).

I've been tracing the Bentley family for nearly a decade, with no luck getting further back than patriarch William Tyler Bentley. He and his wife and children were enumerated in Sandy Creek, Oswego county, New York, in the 1830 Census. The family moved to Elkhart county, Indiana, in 1835, according to The History of Elkhart County (p. 1071).

By 1841, however, Olivia had passed away and William Tyler Bentley was raising the children on his own. Later, he left for California as part of the Gold Rush, and he died in Tulare, CA, at the age of 77, not having remarried.

Lucy Bentley, meanwhile, married Brice Larimer in Elkhart in 1847, and they had 4 children together. The last US Census where Lucy appears is in 1900 (see excerpt at top). The enumerator visited the Larimer household in Clinton township, Elkhart, Indiana on the 18th of June.

Just one week later, 73-year-old Lucy took a hard fall and suffered a concussion. She died on the 28th of June in 1900 and is buried in Brown Cemetery, Millersburg, Indiana.

Any Bentley cousins out there? 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Family History Month: Top 10 Surnames on the Family Tree


Picking up a great idea from Colleen G. Brown Pasquale at her Leaves & Branches blog, I learned how to use the "surname statistics list" report function on my Roots Magic 7 software. No surprise that for my husband's family tree, Wood was the top surname by frequency, followed by Larimer.

But I also realized, with a pang, how many people appear without surnames in that tree. Uh oh. These are mainly missing maiden names, stretching back to the 1500s. This means I'll have to intensify my Genealogy Go-Over to see how many missing surnames I can identify. Perhaps new information has become available since I added some people to the tree? Turns out that these statistics can also reveal gaps in research...

The top 10 surnames that appear most frequently on the Wood tree are:
  1. Wood (earliest instance: 1551)
  2. Larimer (earliest instance: 1719)
  3. McClure (earliest instance: 1660)
  4. Steiner (earliest instance: 1802)
  5. Slatter (earliest instance: 1811)
  6. McKibbin (earliest instance: 1766)
  7. Hilborn (earliest instance: 1794)
  8. Denning (earliest instance: 1775)
  9. Smith (earliest instance: 1724)
  10. Cushman (earliest instance: 1578)
PS: Randy Seaver made this "top 10 surnames" theme the subject of his Oct. 21 Saturday Night Genea-Fun.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Saturday Night Genea-Fun: How Many in My Genea-Database?

Randy Seaver's latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge this week is: How many people are in your gen software database or online tree(s)?

Since I'm a new user of RootsMagic 7, I tried this challenge using the largest tree in my database: Hubby's Wood/Larimer/Slatter/McClure/Steiner tree.

As shown above, this tree has 2665 people and--I'm happy to see--19,084 citations. I'm going to organize my citations and format them correctly, without being too slavish. Sure, I want other people to be able to replicate my research and locate specific records or details. But I agree with the philosophy of Nancy Messier's "My Ancestors and Me" blog: "Done is better than perfect."

Shown at right, my Ancestry tree overview for the same family tree. Number of people is identical, because the synch is up-to-date. I try not to add people until I've investigated the relationship and sources to be reasonably certain these ancestors really belong on the tree.

Note that the number of hints is three times the number of people! When I have a moment, I'll whittle that down by clicking to "ignore" hints for ancestors like "wife of brother-in-law of third cousin once removed of husband's uncle." Then I can concentrate on vetting the hints of people more closely aligned with the tree.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Erin Go Bragh - Hubby's Irish Roots

Happy St. Patrick's Day! My hubby has Irish (and Scots-Irish) ancestry that we can trace to the 17th century as they prepared for their journeys to America.
  1. His 5th great-grandparents, Halbert McClure (1684-1754) and Agnes (1690-1750?) were born in County Donegal, but the McClure clan was originally from Scotland's Isle of Skye. These Scotch-Irish McClures were the journey-takers who sailed to Philadelphia and then walked, as a family, down to Virginia so they could buy fertile land and farm it. Above, a transcription of the land purchase by Halbert McClure in 1747. Later, the McClure clan fanned out to Ohio and Indiana and beyond.
  2. His 5th great-grandparents, Robert Larimer (1719-1803) and Mary O'Gallagher Larimer (1721-1803) were from the north of Ireland. Robert is the ancestor who was shipwrecked while enroute to the New World, and was brought to Pennsylvania to work off the cost of his rescue. Larimer worked hard and then walked away to start a new life in the interior of Pennsylvania. Larimer descendants intermarried with the Short, McKibbin*, and Work families who were cousins from Ireland.
  3. His 5th great-grandparents, William Smith (1724-1786) and Janet (1724?-1805), were from Limerick. Their first son born in America was Brice Smith (1756-1828), who later settled in Fairfield County, Ohio. The name Brice has come down through the family, but this is the earliest instance documented in the family tree in America.
  4. His 2nd great-grandparents, John Shehen (1801?-1875) and Mary (1801?-?) were born in "Ireland" (that's all the info they told UK Census officials in 1841). Their children were born in Marylebone, London during the 1830s. In 1859, their daughter Mary Shehen married John Slatter Sr. in Oxfordshire. Mary Shehen Slatter is the ancestor I have been tracing through two different insane asylums, eventually dying at Banstead from tuberculosis in 1889. More on her saga very soon.
*Just in time for St. Paddy's Day, I heard from a McKibbin cousin who has Ohio naturalization papers from the McKibbin family, confirming their origin as County Down! Thank you so much, Marilyn.

P.S.: My wonderful daughter-in-law is adding to the festivities by having the family piece together a puzzle of different Irish places and themes (above is a sneak peek of our progress). A great way to remind the next generation of their Irish roots!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Pvt. Harvey Heath Larimer

On January 31, 1865, my husband's 1st cousin 4x removed, Harvey Heath Larimer (1848-1893), enlisted as a private in Company C of the 151st Indiana Infantry, signing up in Peru, Indiana, close to his birthplace. He was days away from celebrating his 17th birthday. He enlisted at the same time as his older brother, Jacob Wright Larimer (1846-1876) and they served side by side during the Civil War.

Harvey served in the Union Army for less than 8 months and was discharged in Nashville, TN, in mid-September of 1865 (along with his Brother Jacob). Harvey was in and out of the home for disabled war veterans later in his life and finally died of heart and lung problems in the Indiana Sate Hospital in Lafayette on November 18, 1927.

Harvey has been memorialized with a Find A Grave page detailing his war experience. I am requesting corrections and links to add to the F-A-G information about his life and family. This is my way of honoring Pvt. Harvey Heath Larimer, who enlisted on this day 152 years ago, and preserving the history of the Larimer family. I'm also editing relationship links for his brother Jacob Wright Larimer's F-A-G page.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Genealogy Resolutions and Results, 2016-2017

Looking back on 2016, I accomplished a lot. At right is a snapshot from my Find A Grave contributor tools page, in which I more than doubled my statistics from this time last year. Every trip I take to a cemetery, I take a hundred or more photos of surrounding graves and add them to the memorials, helping others find their ancestors' final resting places.

Of course, these numbers don't reflect the dozens and dozens of edits I've made or requested to link and correct ancestors' memorials from my tree and my husband's tree. This was my #1 resolution from last year and I feel good about my progress (even if it much of the work was crammed into the past week).

My favorite accomplishment of this year (and every year) has been meeting cousins in person after finding them through genealogical research. In fact, it was quite a year for cousin connections. In January, after I met a Farkas cousin of mine in NYC, Sis and I took a fun field trip to meet more Farkas cousins and reunite with our Burk/Mahler first cousins. Later in the year, I met several more Farkas cousins (including one across the pond). And I spent five days with a handful of Chazan cousins in Manchester, England. More cousin connections are in the works for 2017.

In 2016, I wanted to submit testimony to Yad Vashem about my great aunt, Etel Schwartz (a sister to my maternal grandfather, Tivador Schwartz). She's one of the two ladies in the big-brimmed hats in the photos above, along the banner of my blog. My cousins and I are having trouble determining who's who in the few photos we have of the Schwartz siblings, and we don't know Etel's married name. But I will submit what I know in 2017, even without a photo, to keep Etel's memory alive for future generations.

An ongoing resolution is to "tell the stories" and I'm continuing to do that, formally and informally, during meetings with cousins and at other opportunities. At top is a photo of me all dressed up in a bow tie and shirt with the stern face of Benjamin McClure, my husband's 2d great-granddaddy (he's also my FB genealogy persona).

I wore this shirt on Halloween when making genealogy presentations, and my family got a kick out of it. It's a different way to spread the word about an ancestor's life and times. Also I told some stories and featured ancestor photos in my genealogy book, Planning a Future for Your Family's Past. More stories and T-shirts are in the works for 2017, maybe even a new book.

Carried over from 2016, I'm still trying to pierce brick walls about my father's Birk and Mitav ancestors in Lithuania and continue looking for the origins of my husband's Larimer-Short-Work families, originally from somewhere in Ireland (north, most likely). So 2017 will be another busy and productive and exciting year!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party: Genea-Santa, Take Me to 1903

September 1, 1903
This month, Elizabeth O'Neal's Genealogy Blog Party is hosting letters to Genea-Santa. Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings is also asking us to make our Genea-Santa lists.

I made a list, checked it twice, and decided to ask for a field trip.

Dear Genea-Santa,

Please hitch up your sleigh and whisk me through time and space to Elkhart, Indiana, in 1903.

Where else but a family reunion could I ever hope to untangle the cousin connections in my husband's sprawling Larimer/Short/Work families?

For several years around the turn of the 20th century, these intertwined families held summer reunions in Elkhart. Dozens of people attended, and local newspapers in Goshen, Elkhart, even Millersburg covered the event.

My main target for this field trip is Brice Larimer (1819-1906), my husband's great-great-granddaddy. He was "the oldest member of the three families present" at age 84 in 1903, as shown here.

Brice could tell me stories about Bartlett Larimer (1833-1892), a pioneering doctor who inspired his nephews in the Short family to become doctors and dentists. He probably knew the original Larimer shipwreck story by heart, hearing it from his parents who heard it from the journey-taker, Robert Larimer (or Robert's wife Mary O'Gallagher). And I think Brice could tell me about where in Scotland and Ireland all these ancestors were from (another field trip for a future wish list). But as long as I'm at the reunion, I'll chat with every guest and, of course, snap photos.

Genea-Santa, I promise to be nice and share everything I learn with my family and with the wider world via my blog. If I learn anything naughty, I'll share that too! 'Tis the season to be genea-jolly.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sepia Saturday: Margaret Larimer McClure and Family


This is the only photo I have of my husband's great-great-grandma Margaret Jane Larimer McClure (1859-1913). She's shown on the right in this photo.

At left in the photo is Margaret's younger daughter, Lucille Ethel Larimer Develde (1880-1926). In the middle, between the two fashionably dressed ladies, is Lucy's husband, Edward Everett De Velde (1874-1947).

Since Lucy and Edward were married in June, 1905, this photo was most likely taken between 1905 and 1913, when Margaret died. Margaret was ill on and off for three years before her death, so I suspect this photo was actually taken between 1905 and 1910.

Location of the photo is unknown. But I know, from the 1910 Census, that Lucy and Edward were living in Chicago, where he was a plumber working on new buildings.

Margaret had been widowed in 1887, when her husband William Madison McClure died. So perhaps Margaret traveled to the Chicago area to see her daughter and son-in-law? Or maybe they vacationed together somewhere between Chicago and Wabash (where Margaret lived)?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: Cousin Casper Larimer, Truck Driver

With many people out of work during the Depression, hubby's 2d cousin 2x Casper Richard Larimer was probably lucky to have a job at all.

Early on the cold morning of January 4, 1932, he was driving a truck near Michigan City, Indiana--roughly 80 miles from his home in Millersburg, Indiana--when he pulled over to the side of the road.

It was about 1 a.m. and Casper left the truck's motor running for heat while he grabbed a quick nap.



Sometime later, a passerby noticed the truck and peeked inside the cab. Casper looked asleep, but he had actually passed away.

After an inquest, the coroner determined the cause of death as [quote]:

"Poisoning from carbon monoxide gas which came up through the cab floor of his truck standing with motor running at side of road US Route north 20. He was sleeping. This was due to defective and broken manifold on his truck, about one hour. I consider his death accidental."

RIP, cousin Casper R. Larimer (1910-1932), buried in Brown Cemetery, Elkhart, Indiana. Casper was the youngest son of Bartlett Larimer (1879-1949) and Ella Sarah Fravey (1874-1959).

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Surname Saturday: McKibbin/McKibben family of Indiana

I've returned to searching newspaper databases for colorful tidbits about ancestors, inspired by Janeen Bjork.

Fortunately for my research into hubby's McKibbin/McKibben family, there are lots of old Indiana newspapers available to search.

(NOTE: I just posted a new ancestor landing page for McKibbin/Larimer connections.)

At left, one of the more bizarre articles I found in Elkhart newspapers from 1903. Headline: Skeleton Puzzles Farmers Living East of Goshen.

The key man in the action is John Wright McKibben (McKibbin), hubby's 2d cousin 3x removed, son of "Squire" Alexander McKibbin and Harriet Larimer McKibbin.


It seems that farmer McKibben (1850-1911) unearthed a skeleton in a gravel pit.

The newspaper speculated on who the dead person might be. Possibly Bill Swazy who went missing after a night of heavy drinking?

I previously found an article about another of "Squire" McKibbin's children, Phoebe McKibbin Herrold. The headline: Dies in Chair as She Crochets. Can't make this stuff up!

The squire's wife, Harriet Larimer McKibbin, died of "lung fever" according to the sentence in the news I found. The squire himself "dropped dead" at his home, as the news item above shows. 

Any McKibbin-McKibben-Larimer cousins reading this, please feel free to comment!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Ancestor Landing Pages Keep Working

All-time views as of April 15, 2016

My ancestor landing pages (those tabs just below the masthead and above the photos on my home page here) continue to attract viewers! I set up my first ancestor landing pages in January, 2013.

The goal is to summarize what I know about each of these families in my tree or my hubby's tree, and to "land" viewers who use surnames as key words to search the web for genealogical details. If my landing pages show up in their results, they'll hopefully click to read on.

Of course, landing pages make it easy to share ancestor highlights, including photos or documents, with cousins. As I continue blogging about a particular surname or family, I add a bullet point with a link on the ancestor landing page for that family. I want to make it easy for distant relatives or researchers to connect with me!

By far the most popular of my ancestor landing pages is the story of Halbert McClure and family--the folks originally from Isle of Skye, who moved to County Donegal, and then saved their money to sail across the pond and buy land in Virginia.

In terms of audience: The #2 landing page is about my Schwartz family from Ungvar, then Hungary and now Uzhorod in Ukraine, followed by #3, about the Larimer family whose patriarch was shipwrecked in the Atlantic.

Another way to confirm that landing pages are working is by reading the key phrases that people use to search and land on the blog. Those key phrases can be found under the "traffic sources" section of the blog's statistics. Sure enough, this week I see "Halbert McClure" and "Benjamin McClure" and even "Markell family tree." These ancestor landing pages keep on working! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fearless Females: Emma Jane McKibbin Shoup, Administratrix

Hubby's 3d cousin, 2x removed, was Emma Jane McKibbin Shoup, married to Russell B. Shoup. I'm researching the McKibbin line to trace the origins of Emma's grandfather, Alexander "Squire" McKibbin (1817-1888), who married Harriet Larimer (1819-1887), the first of several marriages I've seen between Larimer and McKibbin ancestors.

The wonderful folks at the Elkhart County Genealogical Society have been helping me, by sending me images of McKibbin documents from their records. Above, one page from the probate file for Emma's father, James Harvey McKibbin (1846-1914), hubby's 2d cousin, 3x removed (so says Ancestry). Below, James Harvey McKibbin's obituary. After reading it, I understood why James Harvey McKibbin and his son John McKibbin are living with James's daughter Emma and her husband Russell (and their baby), according to the 1900 Census.

Before Emma could serve as administratrix for her father's estate, she had to have her husband's permission, as shown above. [Reader, you can imagine how I felt seeing that!] She also had to post a $100 bond with the court, to be returned after probate was complete.

Emma and her brother, John Henry McKibbin, were the only heirs, and the father died without a will. Emma was supposed to liquidate her father's property and pay his debts before splitting the proceeds, 50-50, with her brother.

John, the father, owned lots #170 and 171 in "Wilden's Walnut Hill addition" in Goshen, Elkhart county, with an estimated value of $1,000. To liquidate the estate and share with her brother, Emma had to sell the lots.

Now here's something interesting: Emma filed paperwork with the probate court saying she tried to sell the property, but the only private buyer backed out, so she asked for a public auction. The court agreed and the result is that one bidder stepped forward and paid $1,040 for the real estate. The bidder? A gentleman named Russell B. Shoup, whose signature appears in the image above as his permission for his wife to be administratrix.

After paying court costs, funeral costs, legal costs, and so on, Emma and her brother split $826.95, mainly from the sale of the two lots to Emma's husband.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Those Places Thursday: From Ireland with Love, Hubby's Ancestors

Happy St. Paddy's Day! Hubby has Irish (and Scots-Irish) ancestry that we can trace to the 17th century as they prepared for their journeys to America.
  1. His 5th great-grandparents, Robert Larimer (1719-1803) and Mary Gallagher Larimer (1721-1803) were from the North of Ireland. Robert is the ancestor who was shipwrecked while enroute to the New World, and was brought to Pennsylvania to work off the cost of his rescue. Above, Robert Larimore's land grant for 200 acres in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, where he eventually owned 300 acres.
  2. His 5th great-grandparents, William Smith (1724-1786) and Janet (1724?-1805), were from Limerick. Their first son born in America was Brice Smith (1756-1828), who later settled in Fairfield County, Ohio. The name Brice has come down through the family, but this is the first instance documented so far.
  3. His 2nd great-grandparents, John Shehen (1801?-1875) and Mary (1801?-?) were born in "Ireland" (that's all the info they told UK Census officials in 1841). Their children were born in Marylebone, London during the 1830s. Daughter Mary Shehen married John Slatter Sr., they had a family in Oxfordshire, and he ultimately followed five of those children to North America in the late 1800s.
  4. His 5th great-grandparents, Halbert McClure (1684-1754) and Agnes (1690-1750?) were born in County Donegal, but the McClure clan was originally from Isle of Skye in Scotland. The McClures were the journey-takers who sailed to Philadelphia and then walked, as a family, all the way to Virginia so they could buy fertile land in a sparsely settled area.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: The Old Gentleman's Family

A number of hubby's ancestors are buried in historic Old Mission Cemetery, Upper Sandusky, Ohio. One is his granddad, known affectionately as "the Old Gentleman," Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970).

The son of William Madison McClure and Margaret Jane Larimer McClure, Brice was a master machinist who worked on railroads. Some of his tools remain in the family.

Brice married Floyda Mabel Steiner (1878-1948) in June, 1903, and they were the parents of one daughter, Marian Jane McClure (1909-1983).

My genealogy research owes a lot to the Old Gentleman, because he wrote down details about his parents, siblings, and grandparents.

Thankfully, his daughter saved these scraps of paper and they proved to be valuable in tracing the family tree.

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Larimer & McKibbin Cousins in Elkhart, Indiana

More than once, hubby's Larimer cousins married their distant McKibbin (or McKibben) cousins in Indiana. Above, yet another Larimer/McKibbin headstone from Eldridge Cemetery, photographed for me by the very kind genealogy buffs at the Elkhart County Historical Society. (If you're looking for someone buried in Elkhart, click to the society's listing of cemeteries in the county.)

Hallie Richard Larimer (1899-1960) was my husband's 4th cousin, 1x removed, descended from my husband's 5th great-grandpa, Robert Larimer (who was shipwrecked on his way from Northern Ireland to the New World). His WWI draft registration listed him as stout, medium build, grey eyes, and light brown hair. 

Although Hallie grew up in Elkhart county, Indiana, living next door to McKibbin and Showalter relatives, he married Mary Magdalene McKibbin in Benton Harbor, Michigan in 1920. He was not quite 21 and she was a month shy of her 17th birthday. Hallie was a mason--the son of a mason--and he continued in that trade after he and his wife raised a family and moved from Elkhart county to South Bend, Indiana, where he died in 1960.

Mary Magdalen McKibbin (1903-1976) was the daughter of John Henry McKibbin and Susan Henrietta Phelps--and a descendant of Alexander McKibbin and Harriet Larimer. So the tradition of intermarriage between McKibbins and Larimers goes way back into the 1800s.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Celebrating Blogiversary #7 - Some Mysteries Solved, New Opportunities Ahead



Since blogiversary #6, I've been thrilled to hear from cousins from the Mahler, Larimer, Steiner, Kunstler, and Wood families. And I've located a couple of Farkas cousins. Along the way, I returned family photos to people outside my direct line, solved some mysteries, donated historic artifacts to museums for posterity, and--of course--uncovered more opportunities to increase my knowledge of the family's history.

My top lesson from the past year: Don't assume that old photos captioned with unfamiliar names are of family friends. Just because cousins don't recognize or remember the people, doesn't mean they're not relatives. The Waldman family turned out to be part of my extended Farkas tree. There's a reason our ancestors saved these photos for so many years!

Interpreting "identified" photos can be a real challenge. Thanks to a Mahler 2d cousin in California, I learned that photos of "Madcap Dora, grandma's friend" were not my great-aunt Dora Mahler (so who was she?). This cousin was kind enough to help me identify the real Dora Mahler (shown above, seated 2d from left in a 1946 photo).

My other key lesson from the past year: Facebook is an incredible tool for genealogy. Simply reading the posts on genealogy pages has proved to be a real education, day after day. Plus, kind folks on many FB gen pages (like Tracing the Tribe, Adams County/Ohio genealogy, and Rhode Island genealogy) have offered advice and dug up records or recommended resources to further my research.

For instance, in my quest to link Grandpa Isaac Burk and his brother Abraham to either the Chazan or Mitav families, a friendly gen enthusiast in England suggested I contact the Manchester Beth Din and request the synagogue's 1903 marriage records for Abraham's marriage to Annie Hurwitch, which could show his father's name and his birth place. I never even knew such records might exist!

With luck, I'll have more brick walls smashed by the time blogiversary #8 rolls around. Meanwhile, dear relatives and readers, thank you for reading and commenting!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: The Larimers Buried in Brown Cemetery, Elkhart, Indiana

Buried in Brown Cemetery, Elkhart, Indiana
Two years ago, the kind folks at Elkhart County Genealogical Society sent me documents and photos to help in researching hubby's Larimer family. Although I was specifically interested in Brice S. Larimer and his wife, Lucy E. Bentley, the wonderful lady who photographed the burial places sent me every Larimer headstone she could find in Brown Cemetery, Elkhart, with the comment that they were probably related to my Larimers in one way or another.

It took two years to track down the connections, but yes, she was entirely correct, of course. I've now accounted for almost every person whose headstone is in those dozens of photos, and I'm grateful to have the names/dates shown. I'll be writing her another thank you note to say how much I appreciated her wisdom in anticipating that I would eventually figure out how these Larimers were related to each other and to my hubby.

Above, the photo of the final resting place of Cora Emma Leslie and Edson Franklin Larimer. Buried in the midst of many other Larimer relatives, Edson was hubby's 1st cousin, 3x removed, the son of Bartlett Larimer and Sarah Miller.

Although buried in Elkhart, Edson actually died in Dawson county, Montana. Because Edson's daughter Velma Ruth Larimer married Ralph James Thomas in Dawson county, Montana, I imagine that Edson was visiting Velma at the time of his death. But until I could track down Velma and her marriage cert from Dawson county, proving that Velma was Edson & Cora's daughter, I couldn't just assume a connection.

Genealogy is really a long-term hobby, isn't it? 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: Bessie Hostetler Kelsey, Who Married 109 Yrs Ago Today

When Bessie Hostetler was married in Millersburg, IN at high noon on May 31, 1906 to Homer John Kelsey, the Hostetler and Shank families had reason to rejoice.

Bessie was one of four daughters of J. Cephas Hostetler and "Emma" Emily Mary Shank. Emma Shank, Bessie's Mom, was the granddaughter of Lucinda Helen Bentley, who married Jonas Shank.

Beautiful Bessie -- hubby's 2nd cousin, 2x removed -- gave birth to a son at the beginning of April, 1907. Sadly, she died one week later, during an operation in a Fort Wayne hospital, leaving behind a bereaved husband and a newborn baby boy.

I wasn't aware of this tragedy until I read the1914 obit of Emma Shank Hostetler, Bessie's mother (see right). It mentioned how Emma and her husband, J. Cephas Hostetler, took care of their grandson after Bessie's unexpected death.

The Shank family intertwined with hubby's family in other ways. Cornelia Jane Shank, a daughter of Lucinda Helen Bentley, married David Oscar Short in Indiana in 1872. The Short family is related to hubby's Larimer family in cousin fashion.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day: A Purple Heart for Cousin Alexander Everett Herrold



For Memorial Day, I want to honor the WWI military service of hubby's 3d cousin, 2x removed: Alexander Everett Herrold (1881-1959), the grandson of Harriet Larimer (1819-1887) and "Squire" Alexander McKibbin (1817-1888).

Captain Herrold of Company L, 129th Infantry, American Expeditionary Forces, was wounded in France on October 9, 1918. His mother (Phoebe McKibbin Herrold) learned of the injury from a letter he wrote, which she then turned over to the local newspaper for publication on the front page. His letter closes with these sentences:
"I walked two and one-half miles on the wounded leg to get to an ambulance. Don't worry about me for I am not seriously hurt."
Herrold had enlisted in the Indiana National Guard in 1905, then was mustered out in 1916 to enlist in the U.S. Army for WWI. The Elkhart Review newspaper refers to him as Captain Herrold. Above, the application for headstone for a military veteran refers to him as a First Lieutenant and notes his Purple Heart. Now, nearly 97 years after he was wounded, I'm recognizing the service of this distant cousin on Memorial Day weekend.