Showing posts with label McClure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label McClure. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Erin Go Bragh for Tombstone Tuesday: Smith, Larimer, Gallagher, McClure, Shehen

Hubby's family has at least four branches stretching back to Ireland.
  1. His 5th great-grandparents, William Smith (1724-1786) and Janet Smith (1724?-1805), were from Limerick. Their first son born in America was Brice Smith (1756-1828), whose tombstone is shown above, from Fairfield County, Ohio. The name Brice has shown up elsewhere in this branch of the family, including in a member of the current generation.
  2. His 5th great-grandparents, Robert Larimer (1719-1803) and Mary Gallagher Larimer (1721-1803) were from the North of Ireland. He's the ancestor who was shipwrecked while enroute to the New World.
  3. His 5th great-grandparents, Halbert McClure (1684-1754) and Agnes (Steel?) McClure (1690-1750) were born in County Donegal. They were the journey-takers who brought the family to Philadelphia and then walked to Virginia for land.
  4. His 2nd great-grandparents, John Shehen (1801?-1875) and his wife Mary (1801?-?) were born in "Ireland" (that's all the info they told UK Census officials in 1841). Their three children were born in Marylebone, London during the 1830s. Perhaps they came to London because of the famine in Ireland?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over, Week 11: If Only Floyda Had Been on Facebook

This week's Do-Over topic has to do with social media. I almost titled this post "The Forever Do-Over" because with social media, the do-over process never ends (and that's as it should be).
Floyda Mabel Steiner Gottfried McClure and grandson

You just never know what you'll find out or who you'll meet, and what brick wall you'll smash because of new data or new people on Facebook, a blog, or other social media.

As dedicated as I've been to researching via surname and location message boards, social media queries are more targeted and often get faster responses.

Case in point: Floyda Mabel Steiner, my husband's grandma. Born March 20, 1878 (happy 137th bday) in Nevada, Ohio, Floyda married Aaron Franklin Gottfried (1871-1961) in 1898.

I only learned of Floyda's first marriage when I sent for her marriage documents from June, 1903, when she married Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970). So clearly Floyda was divorced after the 1900 Census (where I found her as Mrs. Floyda Gottfried, wife of a farmer) but before her remarriage in June, 1903. I searched but couldn't find Floyda's first marriage documents or her divorce documents back in 2011 when I first uncovered her "hidden" first marriage that no one in the family had ever heard of.

And by the way, Floyda wasn't exactly forthcoming in the 1910 census, when she said this was her 1st marriage when, in fact, it was her 2nd marriage. Wonder whether her 2d husband knew?

Anyway, as part of the Do-Over, I posted a note on the Ohio Genealogy Network's FB page this past weekend, wondering where to look for Floyda's divorce documents--and got answers right away. One member suggested I call the Clerk of the Courts in Wyandot County and even provided the phone number. Another did a lookup on Family Search and discovered that Floyda's first marriage document was posted there! (See it above.) Yet another kind member even offered to go to the courthouse on my behalf to copy the divorce info if it's there.

If Floyda had been on Facebook, all her friends and relatives would have known when and where she was divorced and I'd know too. Now, thanks to Facebook, I'll soon know when and where and, hopefully, why--the most important question for the family to answer. The answer will be on this blog for future researchers to read all about it.

My Genealogy Do-Over will never be "done" because there are always more questions to ask/answer and more FB groups to be part of. And that's a good thing because I heart genealogy.





Monday, February 16, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over, Week 7: Digitizing Maps and More

Old maps have dates and memories that add richness and detail to my genealogy research.
In week 7 of the Do-Over, I'm digitizing the maps that have been passed down in my family because they're clues to my ancestors' daily lives and some of the places they lived and visited--places that were meaningful to them and to me.

My grandparents on both sides (Schwartz, Farkas, Mahler, Burk) settled in New York City. They never owned a car but they and their children and grandchildren knew the subway and bus routes very, very well.

My in-laws (Wood, McClure) liked to drive to New York City from their home in Cleveland to visit family, see Broadway shows, etc. My father-in-law also saved state maps that were given away by gas stations, including old maps for Indiana, Ohio, and beyond.

Above, part of the family's collection of New York City transit and street maps. The Hagstrom's maps are the oldest, and the World's Fair maps are the youngest (just 50 years old!). All being photographed and inventoried as part of Week 7 in the Do-Over.
PS: The Do-Over participants explained how to add my blog's name to photographs I post. Thank you!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Hubby's Pioneer Ancestors


Hubby's immigrant ancestors were all pioneers to be proud of--and thankful for:
  • WOOD. Way back on the Wood side, via the Cushman family of Fortune fame, he has four Mayflower ancestors (Degory Priest, Mary Norris Allerton, Isaac Allerton, and Mary Allerton). Their courage in braving the dangerous trip to the New World in 1620 is quite astonishing. John Wood, Sr., called "The Mariner" by Wood genealogists, was a seafaring man who came to America around 1700. His male descendants were mainly ship's captains, ship builders, or ship's carpenters. Hubby's great-grandpa Thomas Haskell Wood left his life on the sea to marry Mary Amanda Demarest and raise a generation of sons who were all carpenters or painters.
  • McCLURE and McFALL. The next set of pioneer ancestors to arrive in America was the McClure clan. Patriarch Halbert McClure and his family--originally from the Isle of Skye--came from Donegal to buy farmland in Virginia in the 1730s. McClures continued pioneering other areas further west in America. Halbert's grandson, John McClure, married Ann McFall in April, 1801, in Rockbridge county, VA. Above, a note scanned from the marriage bonds for that county, and posted by the US GenWeb archives. I'm now in touch with another McFall researcher and we're pursuing that family's connections. More soon!
  • LARIMER. The original Larimer pioneer left from Northern Ireland for America in 1740 with a trunk of Irish linen. Alas, he was shipwrecked but eventually made his way to central Pennsylvania and then the family continued west to Ohio and pioneered even further west over time.
  • RINEHART and STEINER. Hubby's McClure line includes intermarriages with the Rinehart and Steiner families. Both were pioneer farm families who seem to have settled originally in Pennsylvania in the late 1700s, then continued to Ohio (for more land?). Sadly, I still don't know which ancestors were the original immigrants and their original homeland.
  • SLATTER. The Slatter family lived in inner-city London, apparently so poor that the parents put three of their sons into a training program leading to stable careers in the military. This was in the 1870s. These sons grew up to be pioneers in the Canadian music world--specifically, conductors and composers of military band music. Both the Slatter daughters came to America around 1895, and married soon afterward. Mary Slatter married James Edgar Wood, hubby's carpenter grandpa. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 10 Genealogy Lessons Learned in 2014 - Part 2

More lessons learned from my genealogical adventures in 2014. NOT in priority order:
 
5. Be prepared when visiting or calling cemeteries. With an alphabetical listing of surnames printed from my gen software, I made several cemetery visits this year to eyeball burial sites. Most cemeteries were kind enough to do lookups or give me detailed plot maps, which I compared with my alpha list to be sure I visited as many family graves as possible. Also, I photographed hundreds of stones near my family's graves for two reasons: In case I later learn that they're in-laws or other relatives, and to post on Findagrave for the benefit of others. Not being able to visit certain cemeteries, I've called and asked questions--and found out that, for instance, Rosa Markell (marker at left) was originally buried in one plot but was moved to another when her stone was erected. Lesson: Do my homework before making a cemetery visit, have names/dates in hand, have a camera handy, show appreciation to cemetery staff, and follow-up by posting and/or correcting on Findagrave.

4. Dig deep for resources at the local level. At the start of this year, I followed the URL on the Emmet County Genealogical Society's bookmark (which I received at a FGS conference) and unearthed a goldmine of info about hubby's McClure ancestors--details that don't show up in an ordinary Google or Bing search. A new link on that site leads to online newspaper archives at the Greenwood Cemetery in Petoskey, Michigan, a potential source of obits and other info about the McClures. I also made small donations to county gen societies in exchange for receiving photocopies of surname info in their written files, and will follow up other local resources such as land-office info. Lesson: List the counties or county seats where ancestors lived and search out those genealogical and historical societies.

3. Mine newspapers for every scrap of info. Accessing newspaper databases, I've obtained dozens of obits and marriage announcements this year. I look for each person's obits (or engagement/marriage) on multiple days (often there are two obits, on day of death and on day of burial) and I search multiple news sources (both town and county-seat newspapers, for instance). Some newspapers printed much more detailed obits or wedding announcements, including the full names of out-of-town guests who are relatives! Obits and wedding announcements are also valuable for noticing who is NOT listed. Lesson: Keep plugging in those names, analyze every name/location mentioned, and be flexible about spelling and dates.

2. Context counts. Because I created memory booklets about my maternal and paternal ancestors this year, I did a lot of research to understand why and how they did what they did (leaving the old country, traveling from or to a certain port, settling in a particular area, etc). World history and hyperlocal events definitely influence individuals: My grandparents fled pogroms and persecution in Eastern Europe, along with millions of other immigrants who sought a better life in America. Names, dates, places, and relationships are data points that must be linked by stories of why and how--and that's why context counts. Even the context of a century-old photo makes a difference in telling the story. Lesson: Time-lines and family trees must be analyzed in the context of what was happening at the time.

1. Never give up! This is a lesson reinforced every time a distant cousin finds me via my blog or Facebook or Ancestry or Findagrave and we exchange info. Luck plays an important role in genealogy. We just never know when a vital scrap of knowledge will pop up and solve a mystery that's stumped us for years. Lesson: Life in the "past lane" requires patience and perseverance. Plus good records so when that key item drops into my life, I can put my hands on the rest of the puzzle pieces and figure things out.


HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

52 Ancestors #48: Wabash Pioneers Mr. & Mrs. Theodore Wilson McClure, Married "Three Score Years"

Thanks to the Wabash Plain Dealer, I got a glimpse into the pioneer lives of hubby's great-grand uncle Theodore Wilson McClure (1834-1927) and great-grand aunt, Louisa Jane Austin McClure (1837-1924). Theodore was the son of Benjamin McClure and Sarah Denning McClure. Jane was the daughter of Thomas and Mary Austin. Both came to Wabash as youngsters, when the area was still heavily wooded and the entire settlement consisted of a handful of wooden cabins.

Ted and Louisa married on April 15, 1858 and all their children were born in Indiana. In April, 1918, the Wabash paper published a front-page story about their "Sixtieth Wedding Anniversary--Mr. & Mrs. Theodore W. McClure of Lagro Married Three Score Years." (The same front page carried WWI news from the European front.) The Wabash newspaper often mentioned how the McClures were from Scotch-Irish roots--and this article was no exception.

According to the newspaper clipping (some of which is illegible):
Mr. McClure is of Scotch-Irish descent and was born in ___ county, Ohio, in 1834, the son of Benjamin McClure. His early life was spent in Wabash, beginning in a pioneer environment. When the Indians still enjoyed the liberty of the woods, wandering through the trails that are now streets of Wabash, he used to climb the hill next to the court house to see the people in the only two cabins there.

Mrs. McClure's parents came here in early days also from the east, reaching Wabash county in 1847. Her parents were Mr. & Mrs. Austin, and they came overland from Clinton county, Ohio, passing through some rough and wild country. Their farm, east of Wabash, became known as the old Austin ___.

A member of the Austin family, who was popular in the school and church circles, and who grew up with the other pioneer children as the village of Wabash grew to a town was Louisa Jane Austin ___ in later years, Mrs. Theodore McClure. The wedding took place April 15th, 1858. The Rev. Cooper of the M.E. [Methodist] Church was the officiating minister, and conducted the service at 5 o'clock. The wedding feast was one of the bountiful ones, read about more often than seen in present times, and included venison, wild turkeys, and ducks.

Mr. & Mrs. McClure are the parents of five children (Charles, Albert, Clara, Theodore Jr., and another daughter, name illegible). 
Louisa McClure died just weeks after celebrating their 64th wedding anniversary. Ted McClure lived seven months past what would have been their 66th wedding anniversary.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Those Places Thursday: On the Genealogy Trail, Passing McClure, Ohio

Marian McClure (1909-1983) passed through McClure, Ohio, in the 1930s. She was newly married to Edgar Wood (1903-1986).

Many years later, her son and I drove through. He remembered the photo of his mom and we snapped our own version.

Hubby's Wood family lived in Toledo, and his McClure family lived in Cleveland, so the route was familiar to folks on both sides of the family tree. We followed the route last year, while doing genealogy research, and stumbled on the McClure sign by accident. Watch for it when you're outside Toledo some time.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

52 Ancestors #41: Samuel, A Dentist Son of Thomas Short and Margaret Larimer

From "The Michigan Alumnus 1920-1"

Hubby's 1st cousin 3x removed was Samuel Bartlett Short (1854-1920). The Short family had a cousin connection with the Scots-Irish Larimer and McClure families, from their days in Northern Ireland. Many descendants of these families became pioneers in Indiana and Ohio, farming and raising sons to be farmers. However, not every son followed that path.

Samuel Bartlett Short grew up in Eden township, Lagrange, Indiana, one of seven sons of the farmer Thomas Short and his wife, Margaret Larimer (hubby's 2d great grand aunt).

Influenced by their uncle, Dr. Bartlett Larimer, Samuel's older brothers William and John became physicians. His older brother Frank B. became a dentist. Not surprisingly, Samuel decided to go to dental school, following in the footsteps of the other professionals in his family. (Brothers Oscar David and James Edson became farmers.) As the biographies above show (from history of Lagrange county), everyone seems to have studied in Michigan.

So Samuel attended the University of Michigan, and graduated with a doctor of dental surgery degree in March, 1879. He returned to Indiana, settled in Elkhart county, established his practice, and in 1884, he married Jennie V. Landon. They had one child, William. Jennie died in 1901--in Battle Creek, Michigan, where she was a housekeeper, according to the death record. This part of the story seems strange, doesn't it--wait, they probably meant she "kept house" and had no other occupation? 

Dr. Short remarried in 1909, to Emma Clouse. On September 21, 1920, Samuel Short died and was buried in Grace Lawn Cemetery, Elkhart, close to his first wife, Jennie. Second wife Emma was eventually buried nearby as well, having outlived Samuel by 31 years (she died in 1951).

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

52 Ancestors #36: Margaret McClure "Stricken with Grippe . . . Until Life Became Extinct"

Hubby's great-grandma, Margaret Jane Larimer McClure (1859-1913), the daughter of Brice S. Larimer and Lucy E. Bentley, outlived her husband by more than 30 years.

Born in Elkhart, Indiana, Margaret married William Madison McClure in October, 1876. After great-grandpa Willy died in 1887, Maggie moved to Wabash, Indiana, with three of her four children (Lola, Lucy, and Hugh Benjamin).

The photo above shows Maggie with her daughter Lucy (Lucille) and Lucy's husband, John Everett De Velde.

As a member of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, I can conveniently search databases like Newspaper Archive from home. So I plugged Maggie's name into the search box for Wabash, IN, and found her obit in the Wabash Daily Plain Dealer of May 15, 1913--the day she died.

According to the obit, Maggie was "stricken with grippe" a few days before her death, "which later developed into a complication of diseases and caused her to grow gradually weaker until life became extinct." Rest in peace.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

NGS 2014: Prothonotary, Census Tips, and Case Studies


With the elusive McClureSteiner, and Rinehart Pennsylvania ancestors in mind, I attended three final sessions at NGS last Saturday.

  • What's a prothonotary? Now I know, thanks to Elissa Powell, and I have a better idea of what kinds of courthouse records to seek out in Pennsylvania. For the 1741 marriage of Robert Larimer and Mary Gallagher, however, Elissa suggests looking for church records (if I'm lucky enough to find something that early).
  • Census tips from Jason Harrison offered a LOT of ideas to try. Here are only a few: (1) Check Ancestry, Heritage Quest, and Family Search, because there may be different transcriptions and different scans of the same pages in each place. (2) Search in a specific town and specific ED, when I know that info. (3) Try the Soundex search in Ancestry. (4) Try * and ? for wildcard searches. (5) Try nicknames, not just name variations. For instance, Nancy might be Agnes, Nan, or Nannie (I had this exact example). (6) Try initials instead of a first name/middle name. (7) Search for other family members or known neighbors, then look at who's living in the same area. 
  • Case studies cited by Tom Jones reinforced how someone else's experience can teach me a new technique or a different way to reframe the question. It's the same with genealogy blogs, not just written case studies in magazines. I've learned so much by reading what bloggers did to break through their brick walls.

Also, I bought the session CD for Henry Hoff's "Research Strategies for Upstate New York." Friends in the audience raved about his suggestions, which I want to try when researching the Bentley and Morgan families from Oswego. His session ran at the same time as Elissa's prothonotary session, unfortunately for me.

For lunch, a small group of us walked to the Jefferson Hotel. I enjoyed a salad topped with a pretty and yummy crispy poached egg. The hotel has its own methodology, but you can get an idea of how to make this unusual egg dish by checking out this site. And like everyone else in Richmond, we had our photos taken with the alligator in the courtyard.


Monday, May 12, 2014

NGS 2014: Looking for Local Info--NARA, Periodicals, Newspapers

Day 3 of the NGS Conference (final attendance: 2,593!) was NARA day for me plus two other sessions about finding my ancestors in local records and newspapers:
  • NARA's finding aids. I've been too intimidated by the scope and diversity of the National Archives site to search it in detail. Pam Sayre says to start on the "Research our records" tab and learn about the online catalog. With her excellent ideas, hints from the Geni Guide (Guide to Genealogical Research in NARA), and the online index at the Archives Library Info Center, I hope to be able to figure out how to get WWI records for my Farkas great uncles, Mahler in-laws, and some ancestors in the Wood line.
  • Federal land tract books. Thanks to Angela Packer McGhie's presentation, I think I'll look into the land records for hubby's Steiner, Rinehart, and McClure farm owners. Among the sites she suggested investigating are HistoryGeo and of course the general land office records from BLM.
  • Maps, maps, maps. Rick Sayre's excellent talk on NARA's cartographic records inspired me to dig deeper into those maps so I can better envision population movements, economic impact, geographic features that affected immigrants' lives, and transportation possibilities. This will be especially helpful in tracing the McClures who left Virginia for Ohio, and the Pennsylvania Steiners and Rineharts. What were the common westward routes and how/when did towns and farms develop? Maps will help me learn more.
  • PERSI and beyond. Don Rightmyer wasn't just focused on Kentucky in his talk about state and regional genealogical periodicals. He reminded me to go back to PERSI on a regular basis and also check HeritageQuest and Find My Past for periodical listings to articles about everything from cemeteries and published obits to photo identification and social activities of our ancestors.
  • Criminals, soldiers, apprentices, and the news. Josh Taylor had the audience smiling and nodding as he described the databases we can use at Find My Past for locating British Army personnel (hello, Slatter great uncles), news articles about criminals and scoundrels, workhouse records, and apprenticeships (Shehen and Slatter family?). My local Family History Center has access to Find My Past, Fold3, and other databases--can't wait to get there and do more research!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

NGS 2014: Scotch-Irish and Runaways and Mining the Data


Highlights of NGS 2014 from yesterday:

  • Vic Dunn speaking about "The Scotch-Irish from Pennsylvania to Virginia and Onward." I wasn't the only one scribbling or typing quickly to take down all the research ideas he mentioned! And his syllabus names several top books to read for more background. I'm looking forward to his talk today about Scotch-Irish movement from Old Dominion to Ohio--the journey my husband's McClure and Larimer ancestors took.
  • Michael Brophy speaking about "Irish Genealogy" including the Scotch-Irish from Ulster, with more ideas such as searching the Pennsylvania Gazette for ads seeking the return of runaway Irish immigrants who were indentured servants. The Larimer who was hubby's ancestor journey-taker from Ulster had to be rescued from his shipwreck--he wasn't indentured, was a paid passenger--and was forced to work off the cost of the rescue. He supposedly walked away from his harsh master to start his new life in America after many months of toil. Maybe there's a record?! You know I'll be checking!
  • David Rencher speaking about "Mining the Destination Data." This was an excellent session demonstrating how to wring every last bit of info out of every document and clue. He even exported records from a cemetery's database, resorted by section, and tried to reconstruct the family plots of an Irish family named Shea in an effort to see the connections between possible siblings and in-laws. Impressive and inspiring!
  • Several trips through the exhibit hall, a half-hour well-spent listening to a Family Search specialized search demo, and one genealogy T-shirt purchase (a gift).

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Surname Saturday: Rineharts and Steiners and Larimers, Oh My!

These surnames from hubby's family tree will be my main focus during sessions at the NGS conference:
  • Rinehart - Joseph W. Rinehart (hubby's 2d great-grand) was born in Pennsylvania in 1806, died in Nevada, Ohio in 1888. When did the Rinehart family get to America? Who were Joseph's parents? Sessions on Pennsylvania and possible German connections might help!
  • Steiner - Jacob S. Steiner (another g-grand of hubby's) was born in Pennsylvania in 1802, died in Crawford County, Ohio, before 1860 (he's not in that census). Where/when did Steiners come from? Who were his parents? Elizabeth Rinehart married Edward George Steiner in 1851 in Crawford County, OH (see above).
  • Larimer and O'Gallagher - Robert Larimer (hubby's 5th great-grand) was shipwrecked enroute from Northern Ireland to America. Was he part of a family of Scotch-Irish immigrants? What is the family connection between the Larimers, the Shorts, and the Works? They held an annual reunion for several years in Elkhart, Indiana, and intermarried. Robert Larimer married Mary Gallagher (or O'Gallagher) in Pennsylvania. Where were the O'Gallaghers from and when did they arrive?
  • Smith - Brice Smith (hubby's 4th great-grand) was born in Cumberland Cty, PA, in 1756 and died in Fairfield Cty, OH, in 1828. He was the first Brice we know of in the family, but not the last. Supposedly his father Robert Smith was born in Limerick, and Robert married Janet "Jean" in 1751 in Limerick. What's their story--why and when did they come to America? Sessions on Irish genealogy may help me research the Smith family.
  • Bentley and Morgan - Still looking for the origins of William Tyler Bentley, born about 1795 in upstate New York, and his wife Olivia Morgan, also from upstate NY. Were they originally from England? Session on UK research might help.
  • McClure and McFall - Still trying to find siblings for Benjamin McClure, son of John McClure and Ann McFall, who married in Rockbridge cty, VA, in 1801. Sessions on Scotch-Irish immigration will help me trace these families from Pennsylvania to Virginia and especially beyond.

Friday, April 25, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #18: Who Else Is in John McClure's Family?

Hubby's 4th great-granddaddy was Alexander McClure (1717-1790), who sailed with his father Halbert and mother Agnes (as well as uncles, aunts, and siblings) to Philadelphia in the 1730s or so. They weren't indentured servants, so they clearly had the money to pay for their passage. The entire McClure family then walked to the Shenandoah Valley and "claimed" land. All of this is documented in the excellent, well-researched book Following the McClures-Donegal to Botetourt by Joseph W. McClure, George E. Honts III, and Ellwyn Worley.

Alexander, once he was established in the new world, married Martha Moore and had a number of children, including John McClure (1781-?). In turn, John married Ann McFall (1780-1823). The records are sketchy here, so the only one of their children I've definitely identified is hubby's 2d great-granddaddy, Benjamin McClure. (You can visit "Uncle Benjamin's" Facebook genealogy page here.)

My challenge is to see who else might have been in the family of John and Ann McClure. Despite the detailed descendant appendixes in the McClure book, no one knows what became of John and Ann. I know where they died (Adams County, OH) but I just don't know whether Benjamin had siblings. It seems very unlikely that he would be an only child in the 1800s, doesn't it?

With the National Genealogical Society's 2014 conference just around the corner, I'll have a chance to get new ideas from experts in Virginia and Ohio family research. The conference also has a few sessions on Scotch-Irish migration that will arm me with good tips and techniques for pursuing this question.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #14: Lt. Theodore W. McClure

One of hubby's great-grand uncles on his mother's side was Lieut. Theodore W. McClure, a son of Benjamin McClure (aka Uncle Benny) and Sarah Denning. He got his rank of Second Lieutenant while serving with the 11th Indiana Regiment Reserve. His name is the last on this page from the June, 1863 sign-up sheet.


McClure (1835-1927), a farmer, married Louisa Jane Donaldson (1837-1924) in 1858. By the time he listed himself with the 11th Indiana, he was a father. Louisa and Ted had six children in all: Ida (who died in infancy), Charles, Anna (died as a teenager), Albert, Clara, and (of course) Theodore.

Lt. McClure's family is also listed on an informative Find a Grave site, kindly researched and posted by the Friends of Falls Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Wabash, Indiana. Thank you to all the volunteers who preserve the memories of our ancestors in this way!

Friday, March 14, 2014

'Tis a Wee Mystery: The Short, Work, and Larimer Families in Ireland

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My hubby has a number of Irish ancestors:



·    William Smith and his wife, Jean, from Limerick - 5th great-grandparents

·    Rober Larimer and his wife, Mary O’Gallagher, both from the North of Ireland - 5th great-grandparents

·    John Shehen and his wife, Mary, from somewhere in Ireland - 2d great-grandparents

·    Halbert McClure and his wife, Agnes, were born in County Donegal and moved to Virginia in the late 1700s (although the McClure family is originally from Isle of Skye) - 5th great-grandparents


Now, just in time for St. Patty's Day, a wee mystery: According to the Goshen (Ind.) Midweek News of September 1, 1903, which reported on a reunion of the Larimer-Short-Work families, these folks were cousins and all were originally of Scotch-Irish descent. That's the mystery.

The article says the Larimers originally settled in Maryland and then went to Pennsylvania. Actually, the first to set foot in America was Robert Larimer, who was shipwrecked on his way from Ireland and then spent years as an indentured servant to repay his rescuer. Maybe this Larimer ancestor was serving his master in Maryland, maybe not, but he then got to Pennsylvania on foot to continue his saga.

According to Sons of the American Revolution documents, Samuel Work--the original Work ancestor to arrive in America--was born in County Antrim, Ireland and died in Fairfield county, Ohio. 

As for the Short family, the patriarch was James Short and matriarch was Francis Gilbert. Both were born in Ireland (where?) and came to Ohio, according to a biography of their grandsons, Dr. W.H. Short and Dr. J.L. Short. 

The Short and Work families intermarried with the Larimer family over the years. So were they cousins in Ireland? All were Presbyterian, one clue to a possible Scots-Irish connection.

'Tis a wee mystery! Happy St. Patty's Day.
 

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!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #10: Typhoid Fever Fells William M. McClure

Hubby's great-grandpa William Madison McClure (1849-1887) had been married to Margaret Jane Larimer for only 11 years when he died following six weeks of suffering from typhoid fever. As noted in his obituary from the Wabash Plain Dealer, above, "Will" was a Mason. According to the 1880 Census, he was a worker on the railway.

Will left four children under the age of 10 at the time of his death:
  • Lola A. McClure, born in 1877 in Goshen, Indiana
  • Brice Larimer McClure, born in 1878 in Little Traverse, Michigan
  • Lucille Ethel McClure, born in 1880 in Millersburg, Indiana
  • Hugh Benjamin McClure, born in 1882 in Wabash, Indiana
Luckily, the Wabash Plain Dealer reported that Margaret (known as Maggie) had some financial cushion, thanks to his advance planning and his Masonic connection: 
Will McClure had his life insured in the Masonic Mutual Insurance Co for $3,000. The policy was made payable to his wife.
What caused Will and Maggie to move from Elkhart, Indiana, where they married in 1876, to Goshen, then to Little Traverse, then back to Millersburg and finally to Wabash? I know a number of McClures lived in the Little Traverse area, which was in the midst of a farming, tourism, and lumber boom. But why leave to return to Indiana so quickly?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #9: Brice S. Larimer, Elkhart Pioneer

Brice S. Larimer (1819-1906), hubby's great-great-granddaddy, was a pioneer settler in Elkhart county, Indiana and the son of a pioneer couple of Fairfield county, Ohio (Robert Larimer and Rachel Smith Larimer). Most probably, Brice's full middle name is Smith, in honor of his mother's maiden name.

His father brought Brice and siblings to Elkhart in 1835. As the oldest of nine, Brice helped his father with the farm and family after Rachel died at age 38, in 1838.

In 1847, Brice married Lucy E. Bentley (which is why I've been hunting her elusive ancestors, William Tyler Bentley and Olivia Morgan Bentley). They had four children: Atta, Emma, William, and Margaret (hubby's great-grandma, who married William Madison McClure). Wonder what happened to Atta? Maybe she died young, because I've found nothing about her.*

Brice had a series of careers, including family farming, Lake Shore agent, and notary public.

He was not the first Brice in the family. Brice Smith (1756-1828) was Brice Larimer's grandfather, the father of Rachel Smith. And the family has had other Brices since then, keeping the name alive for generations.

* The Larimer family book says Atta died young, sad to say.

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?