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!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine's Day Greetings from 1912

Rachel Ellen "Nellie" Wood Lervis Kirby (1864-1954) sent this sentimental valentine postcard to her nephew, Wallis W. Wood (1905-1957), mailing it 104 years ago today, as the postmark indicates.

Little Wally was just 7 years old at the time, living in Cleveland in one of the many homes built by his father, James Edgar Wood (1871-1939). Nellie lived in Chicago with her second husband, a barber. They often kept in touch with their many nieces and nephews via postcards for holidays and birthdays.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: 107-year-old Washington's B-Day Postcard

Here's another of the delightful, colorful holiday postcards sent to hubby's uncle Wallis W. Wood. This one is from February 22, 1909 and was mailed to Wallis in Cleveland Heights by his aunt, Nellie (Rachel Ellen Wood) Kirby, who lived in Chicago. This time, no stamp or postmark, no signature or sentiment, only Wallis's name (not spelled correctly, as is usual on these postcards). So I imagine the card was enclosed in a letter from Nellie to the Wood family.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Surname Saturday: John Slatter Sr.'s Probate Page Lists Lots

Literally, hubby's great-grandpa John Slatter Sr's probate records listed lots, that is--vacant lots.

Great-grandpa Slatter was born in Oxfordshire on 31 January, 1838 and died in Cleveland, OH on 12 August, 1901, at the home of his daughter, Mary Slatter Wood.

Here's the probate page I found (thank you, Ancestry). Not only does it identify each of his children and their 1901 whereabouts, it details his so-called estate.

His personal estate consisted of "nothing" according to this document.

But he also owned "2 vacant lots in Warrensville, Ohio" with a value of $100, according to his daughter.

Since Great-grandpa Slatter's son-in-law James Edgar Wood was a home builder, and Warrensville was a convenient drive from the Wood home in Cleveland, did Slatter purchase the lots for his son-in-law to build on?

That's how the Wood family lived year in and year out, building one house after another on spec, and then moving in to finish the details while starting to frame a new house. They moved every year or every other year for quite a long time.

Sometimes documents raise more questions than they answer. In this case, hubby and I are convinced that Great-grandpa bought those lots for his son-in-law as a way to contribute to the welfare of the Wood household, where he was living during his last illness.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: Two of the Four Markell Brothers

In the ongoing saga of locating members of the Markell family (who married into my Mahler family), I finally checked out the headstone of Philip Louis Markell (1880-1955) to learn who his father was.

Thanks to the friendly folks at Tracing the Tribe, I confirmed that Philip's father's name translates as Yochanan Avraham, as shown on his stone at left. 
Philip's older brother is Barney H. Markell (1874-1944) and his stone (in a cemetery hundreds of miles away) says the father's name is Elchonon or Alchanon Avraham. Barney was the father of Joseph Markell, who married my great-aunt Mary Mahler.

One younger brother is Samuel Markell (1885-1971), who died--I believe--in Massachusetts. He's not in Find A Grave or the Jewish Online Burial records, so I don't yet know his final resting place. 

The other younger brother is Julius Markell (1882-1966), who died in Brooklyn, NY. So far, I don't know where he's buried and can't yet compare his father's name with that of Philip, Barney, and Samuel. The saga continues!