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.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sentimental Sunday: Cousins Send Easter Greetings in 1909


In April, 1909, teenaged Charles Francis Elton Wood (1891-1951), always called Elton by the family, sent this Easter postcard to his young first cousin, Wallis W. Wood (1905-1957).


On the back is Wallis's name (not spelled correctly, as usual) and his current address, in one of the many homes built by hubby's granddaddy, James Edgar Wood (1871-1939). The pencil notes at left are from a later generation, correcting the name of the recipient.

All of these greeting postcards I've posted were exchanged among descendants of Thomas Haskell Wood and Mary Amanda Demarest Wood. Thomas and Mary had 17 children. Aunts, uncles, and cousins were encouraged to write to each other to keep the family connections close. Whether in Toledo, Cleveland, Chicago, or beyond, it's impressive that the family stayed in touch!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Matriarchal Monday: Genealogy Go-Over Yields Old Photos (New to Me)

As part of my Genealogy Go-Over, my sis unearthed a batch of old photos that we didn't remember seeing before, from the 1920s-1950s! Imagine, family photos more than 90 years old and we just "rediscovered" them.

Above, the earliest known photo of my mother and her twin sister, with a date. Below, what was written on the back--finally, we know who's who. Now we can use this to ID the twins in other early photos.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sepia Saturday: Tracing Steiner and Rinehart Roots Geographically

Hubby's 3d great-grandparents were probably the journey-takers who left Europe for what was then either the American colonies or the brand-new United States of America.

On the Steiner side, these were almost certainly the parents of Jacob S. Steiner, who was born just before or after 1802 in Pennsylvania and died between 1850 and 1860 in Crawford county, Ohio. Hubby's "Old Gentleman" granddaddy left notes about these ancestors, as shown above.

On the Rinehart side, the journey-takers were likely the parents of Joseph W. Rinehart, who was born in 1806 in Pennsylvania and died in 1888 in Nevada, Ohio.

So part of my quest is to reconcile family stories about where the Steiner and Rinehart families were originally from. The way hubby's father heard it, these ancestors were from Switzerland, but others in the family wondered whether Germany was the original homeland.

For context, I turned to the Family Tree Historical Maps Book--Europe, which shows maps and historical milestones from the 1700s to after WWII.

In 1736, Germany and Switzerland had different borders than they do today. Only by 1815 did Switzerland's borders settle into their current location. So it's very possible that the journey-taker ancestors left from an area in Germany during the late 1700s and by the time they told their story to descendants, that region had become part of Switzerland. Or vice versa!

To complicate the situation, the Family Search wiki warns that civil registration records for pre-1800 Switzerland are generally unavailable because they weren't required by law. Similarly, German civil registration records weren't required prior to 1792. And remember, these ancestors probably arrived in America around the time of the Revolution, give or take a decade, even before the first US census.

Bottom line: My best hope for tracing hubby's Steiner and Rhinehart roots is by finding these ancestors in Pennsylvania records (not an easy task, since I need given names and a town) and then looking for any clues there (field trip!).

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.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Ungvar's Changing National Borders

My family gifted me with a wonderful reference book for anyone with European ancestry: The Family Tree Historical Maps Book, Europe.

Magnifying glass in hand, I used it to trace the changing national borders surrounding UNGVAR, the hometown of my Grandpa Teddy Schwartz (1887-1965).

Ungvar wasn't always spelled that way on the maps, and today it is known by an entirely different name bestowed upon it by the Russians after WWII.

It's an easy place to find on the book's maps. I simply look for the Carpathian Mountains, and scan cities just south of it along the river Ung. Ungvar was a market town and therefore was always visible on the maps.

Here's what I learned from the book about Ungvar's changing national borders:

1836: Unghvar is part of the Austrian Empire, in the northeast of Hungary, not too far from Galicia (which is over the Carpathian Mountains).

1856: Unghoar is in the northeast of Hungary, part of Austria.

1873: Unghvar is within the borders of Hungary, part of Austria.

1891: Unghvar is within the borders of Hungary, part of Austria-Hungary.

1901: Unghvar is within the borders of Hungary. 

1925: Ungvar is within the borders of Czechoslovakia.

1948: Uzhgorod is renamed (from previous name of Ungvar) by Russians and moved to USSR map. 

TODAY: Uzhhorod (Uzhgorod/Uzhorod) is in Ukraine.






Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Statistics

Feeling good about my contributions to Find-A-Grave over the past nearly four years. I still have 25-30 more photos to add from my most recent cemetery visit.

Of course there are still dozens of my own ancestors to link together as parents/children or spouses on Find-A-Grave, so that future generations will see the relationships at a glance. I've started this process but won't be finished for some time.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Matrilineal Monday: Another Twin Birthday

Happy birthday to sis and me! Here we are, on the lap of our grandma Minnie, reading the funny papers.
And here's a photo of our mother and her twin sister, taken at about the same age.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Surname Saturday: Another Shuham Connection?

Today I received my paternal grandpa Isaac Burk's Soc Sec application, shown above. Since he was a carpenter, and usually self-employed, I was surprised to see him say he was working for the Better Model Form Company. Then again, since the company was owned by a relative, it's not really that surprising.

The real surprise was seeing that Isaac's mother's full name was Neche Gelle Shuham.

Why is this surprising? Because Shuham is the surname of Isaac's grandma-in-law.

Isaac married Henrietta Mahler, granddaughter of Rachel Shuham, in 1906. Rachel was born in Lithuania and came to New York City with her son and daughter and grandchildren in 1886. Above, the Mahler family around the turn of the century, with matriarch Rachel sitting in the center, holding a granddaughter.

According to the NYC census of 1905, Isaac and his brother Meyer Burk were "boarders" in the NYC apartment of the Mahler family, which is how Isaac met his future bride, Henrietta. Or so I suspected. Now I wonder whether it was actually a cousin connection that brought them together.

In the 1901 UK census, Isaac and his brother Abraham were living with Isaac Chazan and Isaac's wife, Hinda Ann Mitav Chazan, in Manchester. The census-taker wrote that Isaac and Abraham were nephews of the head of the household. Whose nephews? No sign of them in the Chazan family. I thought possibly they were Hinda's nephews, but maybe not, if Isaac's mother's maiden name was Shuham.

More research is in my future. And more Social Security applications for ancestors!