Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Earworm Farkas Family Tree Song

Moritz Farkas, patriarch of Farkas Family Tree,
with twin granddaughters, Dorothy and Daisy 
When the Farkas Family Tree association held monthly meetings, 1930s through 1960s, members would all sing the family song, loud and strong. As a tyke, I quickly learned the melody, which is Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Why use the music from that song? My guess: It was easy for adults of ages to dredge up from memory and easy to teach to the littlest Farkas folks. Like me. It's an earworm to this day.

Here are the first stanza and chorus of the song, written by my great-aunt, Ella Farkas, a daughter of the Farkas patriarch and matriarch:
The Farkas clan has now all gathered
One and all are here
Time for all cares to be scattered
Faces bright and clear,
Jokes and puns and smiles and fun,
Are ready to begin,
The clan has gathered now!
CHORUS:
Farkas, Farkas is the password.
Sing on high that it can be heard
That we all are here and now cheer:
The Farkas Family Tree!
As the children of Moritz Farkas and Leni Kunstler Farkas married and had children of their own, Aunt Ella expanded the song. Eventually, she wrote two additional stanzas to include the married surnames of her Farkas sisters and the married surnames of the next generation. The final stanza concludes: A proud family tree . . . as the Farkas Clan grows on!

When a group of Farkas descendants got together a decade ago, we sang the song and recalled the fun of joining in the musical tradition during family tree meetings in our youth.

MUSIC - This week's #52Ancestors prompt from Amy Johnson Crow.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Binge-Watching VGA Genealogy Webinars

During this weekend's heatwave, I binge-watched several webinars hosted by the Virtual Genealogical Association.

And truly, it was like attending a genealogy conference to see expert speakers, but without the costly travel and crowded auditoriums. (Plus I could sip homemade lemonade while I watched.)

There was a lot of wisdom on offer, and the programs were well worth the modest membership fee. Although I only had time to watch 3 of the webinars, I'll return again to view some I missed and more that are scheduled in the coming months.

  • Thomas MacEntee's "Future Trends" talk provided much food for thought about what's coming in the near and far future. A great way to consider what might be in store for the genealogy community as tech trends evolve (such as: is blockchaining for genealogy on the way?).
  • Randy Whited's DNA introduction was illustrated with excellent and informative slides. A thorough and easy-to-digest overview of genetic genealogy, with useful "third-party tools" listed in the handout. Inspired me to check out more of my DNA matches, after a brief summer hiatus.
  • Katherine R. Willson's "Voyage to America" talk reinforced my admiration for the hardships faced by my ancestors crossing the Atlantic. It also encouraged me to do a better job of analyzing which ports were used by specific individuals and families--and why they chose these particular ports.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ancestral Travels to America

How much distance did my grandparents and great-grands cover in coming to America from their homelands in Eastern Europe? All apparently sailed in steerage, never telling descendants very much about what must have been a difficult and uncomfortable trip. None lived near a port, so their travels also included a journey by foot or wagon or train to the port where they boarded a ship to cross the Atlantic.
  • 4430 miles. Above, my maternal grandfather's "as the crow flies" route from Ungvar, Hungary (now Uzhhorod, Ukraine) to New York City in 1902. Grandpa Theodore Schwartz was a teenager and the first in his family to leave for America. With his encouragement (and probably his financial help), an older brother and a younger sister also came to America. Happily, I'm in touch with their grandchildren, my 2d cousins.
  • 4460 miles. My maternal great-grandparents, Morris Farkas and Leni Kunstler Farkas, left for America as adults, coming separately from where they had married and lived in the area of modern-day Berehovo, Ukraine. Morris arrived first, with Leni arriving later (and their first 8 children joining them afterward in two groups). Morris missed his homeland and longed to return, but Leni wanted a better life and more opportunity for their growing family. 
  • 4200 miles. My paternal Grandma Henrietta Mahler arrived from Riga as a preteen. She sailed past the Statue of Liberty in the year it opened (1886). I'm still following up on the possibility that Henrietta was a cousin of some kind to her husband, Isaac Burk, connected through the Shuham part of their family trees. 
  • 4670 miles. My twenty-something paternal Grandpa Isaac Burk took the journey to North America in two hops. First, he left Gargzdai, Lithuania for Manchester, England. After staying with relatives and learning some English for a year or more, he sailed to Canada but got very seasick. He got off the ship at the first stop in Canada and continued to New York overland. Of all my ancestors, Isaac Burk had the longest journey from his home town to America.
Thank you to Amy Johnson Crow for this week's "Travel" prompt in her #52Ancestors series.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Lessons Learned in My Virtual Research Trip

Today, when I was clicking my merry way through online records pertaining to my husband's Slatter family, I discovered one shortcut and was reminded, yet again, of the value of checking originals.

Above, the shortcut I found to cut through the clutter of hints. My husband's Slatter family tree on Ancestry has more than 9,000 outstanding hints. Most of those are for ancestors too distant to be a priority. So I clicked on "records" to choose only those hints, then brought up the "filter by name" sorting option. (The default is "most recent" which means when Ancestry added that hint.)

By entering "Slatter" in the surname search box, I was able to view only record hints containing that name. Of course, I could have searched by first and last names, but given the creative spelling in so many records, I wanted to click through all Slatter record hints individually. Focusing on one surname enabled me to make progress, rather than being sidetracked by hints unrelated to my current research.


Now for the reminder about original records vs. transcriptions. The three dates on this record of marriage banns from a London church are 1 Dec, 8 Dec, and 15 Dec. The handwriting is very clear. At top of the page, not shown here, is the handwritten year--1907. Yet the transcription of this record says the year is 1908.

By reading the handwritten record, I was able to enter the correct dates for the marriage banns of Thomas Albert Slatter and Jessie Alice Elms. Also, the marriage license original confirmed the actual wedding day as 28 December 1907.

It's never safe to assume a transcription is accurate, let alone complete. It took only a few more clicks to view the originals and extract every possible data point.

My starting point for today's post was Elizabeth O'Neal's Genealogy Blog Party, July edition: Virtual Research Trippin'.


Monday, July 9, 2018

Review of "The Mayflower" by Rebecca Fraser

Browsing the new book section in my local library, I found The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America by Rebecca Fraser. My husband has four Mayflower ancestors,* so I eagerly dove into this 2017 book.

The book begins with two excellent maps, one of 17th century North America and one of Southern New England circa 1675, before the major war with Native American tribes broke out. These maps remind the reader of when the major settlements were established and which countries were backing those settlements. (I admit, I didn't realize there was a "New Sweden" in 1638 in Delaware.)

One of the strengths of the book is its British perspective on the "Puritan experiment." By beginning with the Winslow family's background in 1590s Droitwich, England and following that family and its relatives/in-laws through to 1704 in England and the colonies, the author shows what the Puritans were leaving, and why--and what they sought to accomplish, and why. This is as much a personal story as a historical account, intensifying the human drama of flight from religious persecution and life-and-death wilderness survival.

Although most U.S. readers already know that the Puritans had commercial backers with financial requirements for the colonies ("plantations"), I was surprised to find out how long the payback was expected to continue. I was also unaware that Plymouth had no royal charter and was therefore often threatened by shifting political winds in the mother country.

My only basic grasp of English political twists and turns meant I didn't immediately understand the author's discussions of governmental turmoil and the effect of the "Civil War" on the colonies. Once I adjusted my thinking to not default to the "War Between the States," I was better able to follow events and implications as they played out on both sides of the Atlantic.

Another strength of the book is how many strong female characters play active roles. From Anne Hutchinson's story of religious belief (and excommunication and exile) to Susanna Winslow's life of balancing between new and old worlds, the book shows how several generations of Puritans fared in a constantly-changing colonial situation.

Finally, I enjoyed the author's insightful narratives of Native American tribes' interactions with the Puritans and other colonists during the decades following the Mayflower's arrival. In particular, I was interested in the "Praying Town" movement, part of the Puritans's efforts to convert Native Americans to Christianity, and in the fact that during the mid-1600s, wampum was demonitised (that's a quote).

You don't need Mayflower ancestors to enjoy Rebecca Fraser's unique take on the founding, growth, and evolution of Plymouth and the personalities who were part of this era.

* Mayflower ancestors are: Isaac Allerton, Mary Norris Allerton, Mary Allerton, and Degory Priest.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Robert Larimer, Born and Died in July

One of the notable July births and deaths in my husband's family is that of Robert Larimer. He was born on July 15, 1792 and died on July 30, 1850, at the age of 58. Robert was the oldest son of hubby's 4th great-grandparents, Isaac Larimer (1771-1823) and Elizabeth Woods Larimer (1773-1851).

Both Robert and his father Isaac, then living in Fairfield county, Ohio, enlisted to fight for the United States in the War of 1812.  According to the History of Ohio, Isaac enlisted in Capt. George Sanderson's Company of Ohio Militia and was captured in Detroit. As a militiaman (not a regular US Army soldier), Isaac was paroled to return home and permitted to keep his sword, which became a treasured heirloom in the Larimer family for generations.

According to a June, 1921 letter to the newspaper written by Robert's nephew, Aaron Work (1837-1924), both Robert and Isaac Larimer were with General Hull's division of the US Army at Detroit. The letter explains that when "the old Tory" (meaning Hull) surrendered to the British, Robert was also paroled but instead of going home, he fought for the US side until the war ended in 1815.


Military service in the War of 1812 entitled Robert to land bounty--which he used to acquire land in Ohio in September, 1834, for his growing family.

By the way, Robert's brother, John Larimer (1794-1843), served in the War of 1812 as a "90-day man," according to his nephew Aaron Work. Both John and his brother Robert are buried in Eldridge Cemetery, Middlebury, Elkhart county, Indiana.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Which Ancestral Family Arrived First in Elkhart?

Of my husband's three intertwined ancestral families--Larimer, Short, Work--I wondered which was first to settle in Elkhart county, Indiana. In my earlier post, I mentioned the Presbyterian church records showing these three families worshipping together in Bremen, Fairfield county, Ohio, around the turn of the 19th century.

Summer of 1903
I also had a couple of newspaper clippings describing the intertwined families meeting for reunions early in the 1900s. This 1903 clipping from Elkhart, Indiana, says the Larimer family was first to arrive in Pennsylvania and then moved to Ohio, followed by the Short family. From there, descendants went to Elkhart and that area. But could I confirm this?

I constructed a rough timeline as I looked for clues. Also, I read through the genealogical booklet "Larimer Family, 1740-1959" by J.C. Work (he's mentioned in the 1903 clipping). The booklet's names, dates and details aren't always entirely accurate, but the numerous family stories are fascinating and enlightening. You can see the Larimer booklet on Family Search here.

According to the Pioneer History of Elkhart County, Indiana, the Larimer family was first to pioneer (see excerpt at top of post). Abel E. Work (middle name is actually Everett or Everitt) arrived in 1841, a few years after his brothers-in-law, James and John Larimer. Abel was married to Cynthia Larimer, sister of James and John.

Further research confirmed that John Larimer (my husband's 3d great-grandpa) did indeed acquire Elkhart county land on April 5, 1836 and more land on March 15, 1837 (according to Family Maps of Elkhart County). Moses Larimer, hubby's 4th great uncle, acquired land in Elkhart county on May 30, 1837, adjacent to one of John Larimer's parcels.

Thomas Short married hubby's 3d great aunt Margaret Larimer in Elkhart, Indiana, in January of 1842. The bio of his two doctor sons (John and Isaac Short) says that Thomas bought land in Eden township in 1841, in LaGrange county due east of Elkhart county. Eden is where he and his bride settled after their marriage.

Finally, in the Larimer genealogical booklet, I read about Cynthia Hanley Larimer, who married Abel E. Work. Here's an excerpt:
Abel Everitt [sic] Work was a blacksmith, had a shop on the N.E. corner of the crossroad 2.5 miles east of Bremen [Ohio] and one mile north of Bethel Presbyterian Church. In year 1841, he made a trip to Elkhart Co., Indiana and purchased land from James Larimer, his brother-in-law. John, James, and Robert Larimer had settled in Elkhart Co., year 1835. The big move to Indiana began Oct., 1842. [Goes on to state that several members of the Work family moved there in 1842.]
My conclusion: The Larimer family migrated from Ohio to Indiana first (1835 or 1836), with the Short and Work families moving to Indiana a little later (1841 and 1842). Hubby's McClure family also pioneered in Elkhart, circa 1844, which is where William Madison McClure later met and married Margaret Larimer, becoming my husband's maternal great-grandparents.

Happy Independence Day to these pioneer families in my husband's family!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Independence for Canadian and U.S. Ancestors

My husband's Slatter ancestors and my Burk/Burke/Berk ancestors both have strong ties to Canada and the United States. For Canada Day and the Fourth of July, both days celebrating independence, I'm summarizing their moves to these adopted home nations. And, of course, doing a little extra research in case new records have become available for these treasured ancestors. Note: Long post ahead!

HUBBY'S SLATTER ANCESTORS

Hubby's paternal great-grandfather was John Slatter (1838-1901), who married Mary Shehen (1837-1889) in Christ Church, Southwark, England, in 1859. John left London for Cleveland, Ohio, in 1888. That struck me as unusual, because his wife Mary died in 1889. Then I found out about her being confined in an asylum and...well, the light dawned.

Of the six children that John and Mary had together, three sons settled in Canada after the turn of the 20th century. They were the "Slatter bandmaster brothers" I've written about in the past. Two daughters settled in Ohio before the turn of the 20th century, following their father to that state. New career opportunities and new family lives awaited them as they left the past behind in England.
  • Albert William Slatter (1862-1935) was a distinguished military bandmaster trained in England who married Eleanor Marion Wilkinson (1865-?). He came to Canada in 1906, joined by his wife and six surviving children one year later. Albert long served as bandmaster of the 7th London (Ontario) Fusiliers, rising to the rank of Captain before his retirement.
  • John Daniel Slatter (1864-1954) became a world-renowned bandmaster who popularized the kiltie band. He was the first of his family to settle in Canada, in 1884. A few years after his 1887 marriage to Sophie Elizabeth Marie LeGallais (1862-1943) in Montreal, John moved his damily to Toronto and was the founding bandmaster of the 48th Highlanders Regiment of Toronto. That's Captain John Slatter pictured above, in full bandmaster regalia. He was, by all accounts, both kind and thoughtful.
  • Henry Arthur Slatter (1866-1942) was trained in  England and served in the military there before going to Vancouver with his wife, Alice Good (1864-1914). He became bandmaster of the 72d Seaforth Highlanders and soon enlisted to serve in WWI, despite being widowed with three children. After the war, he resumed his high-profile bandmaster role with the 72d Seaforth and was lauded for his leadership.
  • Adelaide Mary Ann Slatter (1868-1947) came to America after arriving in Quebec in 1895. She paid her own passage across the pond and told border authorities she was going to see her father, with $2.50 in her pocket. "Aunt Ada" (as she was known in the family) wound up marrying James Sills Baker in Toledo, OH. Her two grown daughters, Dorothy and Edith, later moved to Cleveland and were guests at the wedding of my sis-in-law.
  • Mary Slatter (1869-1926) was the baby of the Slatter family. She went from England to Toledo, Ohio in 1895, the same year as her sister Adelaide, and got married in 1898 to James Edgar Wood (1871-1939). By 1901, she and James had moved to Cleveland, where her father John Slatter was ailing (he died in her home that August). Mary had four sons with James and was a soothing and loving presence. Her unexpected death due to heart problems in 1925 was a terrible blow to her family.
MY BURK/BERK/BURKE/BERG ANCESTORS

My paternal great-grandfather was Solomon Elias Birck and paternal great-grandmother was Nekhe Gelle Shuham. To my knowledge, both were born and died in Lithuania (probably Gargzdai). I think they had seven children, of whom one remained in Lithuania (fate unknown) and the other six came to North America, seeking better lives and fleeing religious persecution.
  • Nellie "Neshi" Block (1865 or 1875?-1950) seems to have been the first in the family to arrive in North America, which surprised me. My grandpa Isaac said, on crossing from Canada to America in 1904, that he was going to see her in NYC. How Nellie got here, and when, I don't yet know. She was a fur operator, according to the Census, and the only Burk who never married.
  • Abraham Berk (1877-1962) and his brother Isaac left Lithuania and stayed in 1901 with an aunt and uncle in Manchester, learning English and earning money for the trans-Atlantic trip. A skilled cabinetmaker, Abraham married Anna Horwitch in Manchester, England, 117 years ago this month. He sailed to Montreal in 1902 while Anna remained behind to give birth to their first child. Abraham stood in as the patriarch of the Burk family when my father (his nephew) was married.
  • Isaac Burk (1882-1943) married Henrietta Mahler (1881-1954) in 1906. The photo at right shows them in 1936. I think their relatives in the old world knew each other, since Isaac and his brother Meyer "boarded" in the NYC apartment of Henrietta's family in 1905, and the surname "Shuham" is in both family trees. Isaac first went from Lithuania to Manchester, than to Canada, then crossed the border and took a train to New York. His sister Nellie was living in the same apartment building as the Mahler family. Isaac and family crossed from Canada to US numerous times before settling in the Bronx, NY. My quest to learn when and where my grandpa Isaac died started me in genealogy 20 years ago!
  • Meyer Berg (1883-1981) and his brother Isaac were "boarders" in the Mahler apartment, says the 1905 NY census. I learned more from Meyer's wonderful granddaughter, found via genealogy. In America, Meyer married Anna Peretz (1888-1981, maiden name might be Paris or Peris), and they had five children. One of Meyer's children was named Harold Berg, and he was the first cousin of my Dad, Harold Burk. Two Harolds in one generation, most likely named after the same dead ancestor, following Jewish naming traditions! Meyer died days after his 98th birthday.
  • Jennie "Shayna" Birk (1890-1972) was only a name in the Census, "boarding" in the Mahler apartment in 1910, until Meyer Berg's granddaughter told me more about her life. It looks like Jennie arrived in NYC from Lithuania in 1909 and worked in the garment industry. She married Paul Salkowitz (1889-1957) in 1919. They had no children together but were always loving and generous to their nieces and nephews. 
  • Matel "Max" Birk (1892-1953) was a complete mystery until recently. He arrived at Ellis Island in 1906, saying he was going to his brother Isaac Burk c/o M. Mahler (there's the Mahler family connection again). Tracked via the Census, Max was in the jewelry business, in Chicago and then in New York, where he married Rebecca Simon Chaiken (1897-1984) in 1936. They had no children but, like Jennie and Paul, were an affectionate aunt and uncle to their nieces and nephews.
Thanks, as always, to Amy Johnson Crow for this "independence" #52Ancestors prompt.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

FAN Club: Larimer, Work, Short Families Go to Church

Once again, keeping the FAN club (Friends, Associates, and Neighbors) in mind when doing #Genealogy research has reinforced close connections in my husband's family tree. True, some of these connections are more than 200 years old, and that's a real plus--it shows how the Larimer, Work, and Short families were intertwined for many generations.

They lived near each other, worshipped with each other, and some married each other. A few clues (such as obits) suggest these families were related as cousins in Northern Ireland, and naturally decided to settle in America near each other. One group began in Pennsylvania and then moved westward to Ohio. Some relatives and descendants continued west to Elkhart county, Indiana. Along the way, church records in particular (plus census records) helped me document their close connections. (I viewed the new Presbyterian records posted on Ancestry, reading every original page rather than relying on the index/transcription--which allowed me to note "creative" spellings and spot instances of all the surnames I'm researching!)

Isaac M. Larimer (1771?-1823) and his wife, Elizabeth Woods Larimer (1773-1851) were my hubby's 4th great-grandparents. They had 10 children that I can account for. Many were baptized in the Rush Creek Presbyterian congregation in Fairfield county, Ohio, during the early 1800s. At top, the church record showing two Larimer children (James and Moses) baptized in June and July of 1806.

The youngest of Isaac and Elizabeth's children, Cynthia Hanley Larimer, was baptized in this church in 1815. She married Abel Everett Work there in 1836. Abel was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, while his father, Aaron Work, was married in Mifflin, PA, the town where hubby's Larimer ancestors lived before the move to Ohio.


Also in 1815, the year that Cynthia was baptized, a few Larimer and Work family members were admitted to that Rush Creek Congregation. Shown above, Aaron Work (Abel Work's father) was admitted "on certificate." John Larimer was admitted "on certificate" in 1816. And the list goes on. Who moved first, encouraging which family to join later? I'm going to find out, because they appear in groups, this FAN club of extended family members.

A granddaughter of Isaac and Elizabeth, Margaret Larimer, married Thomas Short in Middlebury, Elkhart county, Indiana, in 1842. Not long after Thomas's birth, his parents (James Short and Frances Gilbert Short) were admitted to the Rush Creek Congregation "on certificate" in 1822. (Interestingly, Thomas's later bio mentions that his parents were born in Ireland, but no indication of where.) Lots of Short relatives eventually settled in the Elkhart area, as did some Larimer and Work relatives, all members of the FAN club.

PS - Reader Janet asked how I keep track of FAN club names that may be important to my research. First, I have my Ancestry family tree open in one browser window (can do same for a Family Search tree) while I read any online records. Second, I have an alphabetized list of surnames I printed from my RootsMagic software. Then I can compare a name and date in, say, the handwritten church records with the names/dates in my tree or software. I also have notes in my software regarding suspected cousinship relations. Of course so many times the same name is used in multiple generations, which means I have to check closely to avoid making assumptions about the wrong Samuel Work or John Larimer.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Mysterious David Mahler

My great uncle David Mahler (1882-1964) was a bit of a mystery in my paternal grandmother's Mahler family. And, I understand, a bit of a black sheep. I never met him in person, but I heard stories and found intriguing records that raised more questions than they answered.

David was born in Latvia, the second child of Tillie Jacobs Mahler and Meyer Elias Mahler. I believe he was named for Meyer's father, David Akiva Mahler (who was my 2d great-grandpa).

As an adult, David had a variety of occupations: paper hanger (age 18, according to 1900 Census); driver (age 23, according to 1905 NY Census); rigger (age 35, according to WWI draft registration); motion picture technician (age 58, according to 1940 Census); utility man, Columbia Studios, motion picture industry (age 82, according to California death certificate). He said he was living in High Point, NC in 1935--why? I haven't found him in the 1930 Census yet, so who knows what he was doing at that time!

There are a few other family mysteries surrounding this great uncle. His WWII draft registration card indicates he had a tattoo, D.M., which I'll bet his mother never saw (and would have disapproved of). When, where, and why did he get it? Maybe while a rigger in New Jersey during WWI?

An even bigger mystery: David told the 1940 Census that he was married, yet he was living in the "Universal Hotel" without his wife, along with dozens and dozens of other unrelated people.

His death cert mentions that he was widowed, the informant being his sister Sarah, who also lived in California. Well, the only David Mahler marriage record in California that seems remotely possible is in September, 1937 to Charlotte Schlyer, but I haven't sent for it at this point.

Although David bounced around during his life, he wasn't really a black sheep until the day he helped out in his brother-in-law Louis's New York City paint store.

The way Louis's granddaughter heard the story and shared it with to me, things were quiet in the store, so Louis decided (uncharacteristically) to leave just a little earlier than usual and take his wife out to dinner. He asked David to watch the store and lock up.

David went into the back room for a smoke (and a drink, if I recall). He fell asleep and the lit cigarette accidentally touched off a roaring fire that destroyed the store and financially ruined his brother-in-law. Not surprisingly, the family got upset with David.

Ne'er-do-well David was lucky to be "offered" a job 3,000 miles away, at Columbia Studios in Hollywood. This was thanks to the kindness of another Mahler in-law, who kept David on the payroll for years. In 1964, David died of cancer at the Motion Picture Country Hospital, his residence listed as the Universal Hotel (the same as during the 1940 census). Rest in peace, great uncle David, and know that you are remembered, warts and all.

Thank you to Amy Johnson Crow for this week's "Black Sheep" prompt in her #52Ancestors series.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Clues Buried in Sources on Other Family Trees

Good genealogy researchers trust good sources, right?


And that's why, any time I view other people's family trees on Family Search or Ancestry, I go straight to the sources. This allows me to retrace the steps of any family history researcher and examine the evidence for myself. I analyze and weigh the details of every piece of evidence. If the evidence seems solid, I add it to my tree, cite the source(s), and factor it into my genealogical conclusion.

If a tree has no sources, I move on--nothing to see.  Family stories and relatives' memories are only a starting point--we need actual evidence to construct a reliable family tree. Too often, family trees posted online use other family trees as the source (a la the sources titled "Ancestry Family Trees"). Sorry, not good enough for the Genealogical Proof Standard.

Sources for other people's trees, if any, will be hiding in plain sight.* At the top, a family tree on Family Search, with the button "print family with sources" circled in dark green near the bottom of the image. Click, and up pops a pdf of a family group record followed by pages of full sources (like the ones below).
I compared this tree with a tree on Ancestry, where the sources are in the center column for convenient access. Both of these trees had good sources--different sources, in some cases. By viewing the original documents, not the indexed or transcribed versions, my neighbor and I picked up good clues to research as she follows the Crandall branch of her family tree.


* Thanks very much to reader Marian, who pointed out that on the profile page of each person in Family Search, there are sources listed. Clicking on a fact will bring up any linked sources--then click on the sources to see the documents. I print the list so I can check which I have and which I haven't seen before by comparing with my tree.

PS: Yes, my neighbor knows about the Crandall Family Association. She's actually done a ton of research. We were spot-checking dates and spelling by looking at sources connected with other people's trees.

PPS: Above, from a tree that will be nameless (to protect the guilty), one reason why I distrust trees without sources. Jean must have had quite a wedding in 1805, considering she's listed as dead by 1790.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Jane: The Name in the Middle

Margaret Jane Larimer McClure at right, with daughter Lucille Ethel McClure
and son-in-law Edward DeVeld
My sis-in-law has always told me that Jane is the traditional middle name for females in her family.

Not in the family tree of my late father-in-law, Edgar James Wood (1903-1986). One of Edgar's aunts was Jane Ann Wood Black (1846-1936), the eldest child of my husband's great-grandparents (Thomas Haskell Wood and Mary Amanda Demarest). None of the earlier Wood family females carry this middle name, so far as I can discover.

We learned that Jane is the most popular middle name in both sides of the family of the mother-in-law I unfortunately never met, Marian Jane McClure (1909-1983). She gave her daughter that middle name, and in turn my sis-in-law gave her daughter that middle name.

Marian's mother Margaret Jane Larimer (1859-1913) and grandmother Elizabeth Jane Rinehart (1834-1905) both had Jane as their middle name. Larimer and McClure ancestors often gave Jane as the middle name of one girl in each generation.

The McKibbin family, which intermarried with Larimer ancestors, included a number of women with Jane as their middle name. Same tradition in the Hilborn family, which intermarried with the Rinehart family.

By the way, I identified all the ancestors with "Jane" as a first or middle name by doing a search with my RootsMagic7 software. Very convenient way to prep for this #52Ancestors post.