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

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Questions About the Family Story of Robert Larimer

Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970), my husband's maternal grandfather, left a number of handwritten notes about his ancestry. Above, the note he wrote about being descended from a long line of Larimer ancestors.

My husband's 5th great-grandfather was Robert Larimer.  As shown above, he was supposedly "born in the North of Ireland" in 1719, and "came to U.S. in 1740." [I know there was no U.S. at that time, and so did Brice, who was just jotting notes onto a scrap of paper to record family history as he remembered it.]

Here's more of the family story, as further memorialized in "Our Larimer Family" by cousin John Clarence Work. Robert Larimer's father gave him some Irish linen and money, and sent him from the North of Ireland to seek his fortune in the colonies in 1740. Unfortunately, the ship was wrecked and he had to be rescued by a passing ship. Robert was brought to the colonies, then sold into indentured servitude to pay for his rescue.

The master overworked Robert for years until finally, Robert ran away to the Kishacoquillas Valley in Pennsylvania, where he married Mary Gallagher (or O'Gallagher), originally from the North of Ireland. They had four children that I know of: Phoebe, Isaac (hubby's 4th great-grandpa), Ebenezer, and Guzilla/Grizell. According to the Larimer book, Robert Larimer moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio with his son Isaac, circa 1801-2.

I have 5 specific questions about the family story. 

(1) Is Robert's birth date of 1719 correct? No clues at all. It would help to know where he was born.

(2) Was he born in Northern Ireland (and if so, where exactly)? No clues at all.

(3) Who were his parents? I know it's not easy to obtain info about ordinary (non-nobility, non-wealthy) folks born early in the 18th century, but it sure would be nice to know. Not a clue at this point.

(4) When did Robert die? Note above says 1805, Find A Grave says 1803, and Larimer book says he died "soon" after moving to Ohio, which means after 1802. Mind you, Robert would have been about 80 when he moved to Ohio. That's positively ancient for a man at that time, and for an elderly pioneer, it would not be an easy life.

Meanwhile, the Larimer book also says (and I confirmed) that a taxpayers' list dated 1806 and transcribed in Scott, A Complete History of Fairfield County, Ohio, includes Robert, Isaac, and Ebenezer "Laremore."

Hmmm. Maybe Robert's estate was paying the tax? Seems odd for an estate to not be settled and property not retitled with a new owner by that time. And although Isaac had a son named Robert, presumably to honor Isaac's father, that child was born in 1792 and surely wouldn't have been listed as a taxpayer in 1806. But surely the elder Robert was buried by 1806, given his advanced age.

(5) What was his wife's actual surname, and was she dropped from Mars or hatched from an egg?

There is one source I haven't yet consulted to answer my questions about this family story. It's the Kishocoquillas Valley Historical Society. Maybe they can help?! I'll find out soon.

As always, my thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for the weekly #52Ancestors prompt.

PS I haven't even listed my questions about Mary's birth/marriage dates. Would Mary really have been giving birth (twice!) in her 50s? Not likely...

Sunday, July 29, 2018

How Many Generations Did My Ancestors Know?

This week, Randy Seavers' Saturday Night Gen Fun challenge is to count how many generations our parents or grandparents knew. I'm focusing on my great-
grandparents, who were fortunate enough to know more generations.

At top, the 25th anniversary photo of the Farkas Family tree at The Pines, a now-defunct Catskills resort. I'm one of the twins at bottom right. This family tree association was founded by the children of my maternal great-grandparents:
Moritz Farkas (1857-1936) and Leni Kunstler Farkas (1865-1938), who knew 4 generations that I can be sure of:
  • Their parents and siblings. His were Ferencz Farkas and Hermina Gross, hers were Shmuel Zanvil Kunstler and Toby Roth. Plus their siblings equals two generations. Not sure whether they ever knew their grandparents, not sure of any birth-marriage-death dates for their parents or grandparents.
  • Their 11 children: Alex, Hermina (hi Grandma!), Albert, Julius, Peter, Irene, Ella, Freda, Rose, Fred, Regina. Another generation, with full BMD info.
  • 16 of their 17 grandchildren. Yet another generation.
My paternal great-grandma probably knew 6 generations, more than anyone else on either side of the family, because she lived to be nearly 100.
Tillie Jacobs (185_-1952) married Meyer Elias Mahler (1861-1910). Meyer died young, but Tillie's long life allowed her to be at the weddings of her grandchildren and to meet her great-grandchildren, as indicated in her obit above:
  • Her grandparents, parents, and siblings. She was the daughter of Rachel Shuham Jacobs (184_-1915) and Jonah (Julius) Jacobs. Did she meet Rachel or Jonah's parents (whose dates I don't know)? Very likely, because both Rachel and Tillie married quite young. Counting her generation and her parents and grandparents, that's 3 generations.
  • Her 8 children: Henrietta (hi Grandma!), David, Morris, Sarah, Wolf (who died very young), Ida, Dora, Mary. Full BMD info on all, another generation.
  • Her grandchildren and great-grandkids. Two more generations. Lucky Tillie to be surrounded by her family.
My husband's maternal grandfather lived into his 90s and met many of his ancestors and descendants.
Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970) was married to Floyda Mabel Steiner (1878-1948). Brice knew 6 generations:
  • His grandparents, parents, and siblings. Brice's paternal grandparents were Benjamin McClure (1812-1896) and Sarah Denning (1811-1888). Brice's maternal grandparents were Brice S. Larimer (1819-1906) and Lucy E. Bentley (1826-1900). He knew both sides. His parents were William Madison McClure (1849-1887) and Margaret Jane Larimer (1859-1913). Counting Brice's siblings, this makes 3 generations.
  • His daughter. Brice and Floyda had one child, Marian Jane McClure (1909-1983). One generation.
  • His grandchildren and grandchildren. Brice and Floyda had three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren (all still living). Brice met all the grands and three of these great-grands. Two more generations counted.

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!

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 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.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Easter Greetings in Family History

By following the addresses and dates on holiday postcards sent to young Wallis W. Wood (1905-1957) in Cleveland, Ohio, I can see where the family was living and when, and who was staying in touch. Above, a beautiful penny postcard sent to Wallis by his aunt Nellie (Rachel Ellen Wood Kirby) and uncle Arthur Kirby in Chicago for Easter in 1914. Wallis was my husband's uncle.
"Aunt Nellie" was, it seems, the favorite sister of Wallis's father, James Edgar Wood (1871-1939). They remained close as adults and his children received many postcards from this beloved aunt.

James Edgar Wood's oldest son, Edgar James Wood (1903-1986), grew up and married Marian Jane McClure (1909-1983) in Cleveland in 1935. Above, an Easter-time photo of Marian at age 4 (as inscribed on the back--let me thank the ancestors for captioning!).

As an only child, she was cherished by her parents, Floyda Steiner McClure (1878-1948) and Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970). After Marian married Ed, he became close to her parents and they had a good relationship all of their lives.

Honoring the memory of my husband's ancestors as Easter approaches and writing down their family history for future generations to know and enjoy!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Lucky Me, I Married Him For His Ancestors!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I married my wonderful husband for his ancestors! Lucky me.

Actually, for the first decade of our marriage, I paid absolutely no attention to our families' roots. But once I caught the genealogy bug, it was full speed ahead, starting with the bits and pieces in the family's possession.

As shown in the handwritten note passed down from his Granddaddy Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970), there were clear clues to Irish ancestry on hubby's mother's side of the family. Following up on these and other clues, here's what I learned about his Irish ancestors:

John Shehen and his wife, Mary, from somewhere in Ireland (possibly south) - Hubby's 2d great-grandparents. They were born around 1800 in Ireland but were in London by the 1830s. John and Mary’s daughter, Mary Shehen, married John Slatter in England. Their youngest daughter Mary Slatter grew up, married James Edgar Wood, and became hubby's grandma. [Too many Marys and Johns, don't ya think?]

William Smith and his wife, Jean, were from Limerick – His 5th great-grandparents. Their son Brice Smith was the first Brice in the family and was the first son born to these ancestors in America. There have been several other men named Brice since then, including hubby's Granddaddy.

Robert Larimer and his wife, Mary O’Gallagher, both from the North of Ireland - Hubby's 5th great-grandparents. Robert was shipwrecked while sailing from No. Ireland to America and then served as an indentured servant to work off the cost of his rescue. He finally ran away, married Mary, and settled down to farming. McKibbin and Short cousins from the North of Ireland were known to intermarry with the Larimer branch in America.

Halbert McClure and his wife, Agnes, were born in County Donegal, in the North of Ireland (although the McClure family is originally from Isle of Skye in Scotland) - Hubby’s 5th great-grandparents. This family sailed to Philadelphia as a group and then walked 200 miles to Virginia to buy land for farming in the 1730s.

Every year, I write my grandchildren to share the latest info about their Irish roots. There's always something new to investigate, someone new to discover among these branches of the tree. Lucky me, I married him for his ancestors.

Thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for the "lucky" prompt in Week 11 of her #52Ancestors series.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Chicken Post or Egg Post?

Genealogy blogging feels like a chicken or egg thing.
  • When I want to write a post, I research someone or try a new research tool. (Chicken post)
  • When I research someone or learn a new research technique, I want to write a blog post. (Egg post)
Which comes first? It depends on what I want to accomplish. Chicken or egg, I always learn something.

During January, I'm participating in Amy Johnson Crow's #52Ancestors challenges, which will provide blog prompts and ideas every week. Weeks #1 and #2 are crossed off my list already. Only 50 more to go, meaning I'll be doing more research on 50 more ancestors. These are chicken posts ;) And I'm participating in the Genealogy Blog Party, which is hosted by Elizabeth O'Neal--more prompts to give me ideas for chicken posts.

Other bloggers also inspire me. I've been reading Janice Sellers' "Events in my family tree" series. And reading Randy Seaver's occasional posts about using RootsMagic features. These gave me the idea for a chicken post, a post where I start by wanting to write and use that as the impetus to learn something or research someone.

I originally wanted to find something timely in the family tree to write about. To do that, I had to learn how to use my RootsMagic "calendar report" function, which I've never investigated. With multiple family trees, I need multiple calendars.

The software allows me to check a box and get a calendar with only living people, as a reminder to send birthday or anniversary greetings. However, I wish the software would also let me check a box and have no living people on the calendar.

The results: My maternal Schwartz tree calendar for January has a few birthdays and wedding anniversaries. My husband's Wood tree for January is so crowded with names and occasions that the software had to print more than 20 names and dates on a separate piece of paper! This makes sense, since his tree has more than 2,700 names, and my maternal tree has fewer than 1,000 names.

On January 13th, the Wood tree shows the marriage of Thomas Short and Margaret Larimer, 176 years ago. I have Margaret's death date, not her birth date (still can't find it, despite an hour of searching this morning), and I have Thomas's birth date but not his death date (still can't find it, darn it). They're on my list to continue researching.

But as part of my research into these two Wood ancestors, I tried out the search function of Elephind, that wonderful free newspaper website--it's searchable from the home page!

In addition, I forced myself to search using the new Find A Grave interface, which I dislike. Unfortunately, no sign of Thomas and Margaret, but at least I'm getting used to the new interface. A little.

This is what a chicken post looks like. I also like egg posts. Both are fun and keep me excited about #genealogy blogging.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Most Popular Genealogy Blog Pages in 2017

In 2017, the most popular page on my blog was the "ancestor landing page" devoted to hubby's 5th great-grandfather, Halbert McClure from Donegal. Also popular were the landing pages about the Larimer family, Schwartz family, Birk family, Bentley family, and Wood family of Ohio.

These landing pages summarize what I know about each main surname or family on my tree and my husband's tree, including links to my blog posts about those names/families written in more than 9 years of blogging. And yes, these pages are cousin bait that have brought me new connections over the years!

One other popular page was my Genealogy--Free or Fee page, with links to 17 posts I wrote about frugal research strategies and when it pays to pay for a document.

The other popular page features Sample Templates (for inventory, indexing, cousin connections, and genealogy sources) I invite you to try or adapt for your own genealogy purposes.

Happy ancestor hunting in 2018! More to come.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

It Was a Busy Genealogy Year in 2017

This has been an incredibly productive and rewarding year for genealogy--and it's not over. A recap of the year to date:
  • Thanks to newly-discovered ephemera, I smashed a long-standing brick wall on my paternal Burk tree, identified my great-aunts and great-uncles, and met lovely new cousins, who were kind enough to share photos and memories.
  • With the in-person help of one of my UK cousins, I learned the sad truth about hubby's ancestor, Mary Shehen Slatter, who died in a notorious insane asylum in 1889.
  • Cousins I found through genealogy have been taking DNA tests to help in the search for more connections with outlying branches of our mutual trees. At the very least, we've proven our family ties and, sometimes, pinpointed the common ancestor.
  • I've made a lot of progress on writing family history. I updated one family history booklet for my side of the family, based on the new Burk information. I wrote two brand new booklets for hubby's side, one based on his Slatter-Wood roots and one based on his McClure-Larimer roots.
  • I'm about to complete a booklet about my husband's Wood family during World War II, based on interviews with relatives, documents and photos saved by the family, and genealogical research to fill in the gaps.
  • Also, I've written detailed captions for key photos, so future generations will know who's who, when, where, and why.
  • I was a speaker at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference and the International Jewish Genealogy Conference. So many wonderful sessions to attend, excellent speakers, friendly audiences, and a chance to meet blogging buddies in person.
Already this year, I've written more posts than at any other time in my 9 1/2 years as a genealogy blogger. At top are the stats showing my most popular posts of 2017. If you missed them, here are the links. Thank you for reading--and stay tuned for more posts before the end of the year.
  • Beyond Google Your Family Tree (practical tips for online genealogy searches using five specific search operators)
  • Tuesday's Tip, Genealogy, Free or Fee (try free sources first, but don't hesitate to pay for a Social Security Application if it will show a maiden name you don't have or otherwise move your research forward a leap)
  • Junk or Joy? Think of Future Generations (downsizing or just simplifying your life, consider the significance of family artifacts before deciding to donate, give away, or keep)
  • The Case Against Paperless Genealogy (Why I print everything, file everything. Technology changes rapidly but paper, stored properly, will live on for future generations)
  • Tuesday's Tip, Free or Free Genealogy (Learn to record strip: check every detail on every document or photo, analyze it in the context of what else you know, wring everything you can from the research you have and what you acquire)

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).