Showing posts with label Wood family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wood family. Show all posts

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Mystery Monday: Indexing Your Family's Records to Solve Mysteries

You finished indexing your grandfather's diary, your mother's letters, your grandmother's baby book. Now what?

In my previous post, I outlined how to index letters or other documents or books from your family's past. Before you file your index (a copy with the document you indexed and copies inside the files of the main surnames mentioned), mine it for clues to family mysteries. You’re not indexing simply for the sake of getting organized—the process is important for making progress on your genealogical research.

Here are five ways you can use an index to deepen your knowledge of family history and to solve family mysteries:
  • Check dates against what you know. Does the index help you narrow down possible birth, marriage, death dates? Does it fill in the blanks on where ancestors were during key periods? Who is missing on key dates? During indexing, I noticed that a great-grandfather was suddenly absent from the documents after being mentioned year after year. That was a clue to his approximate death date, which I’d been unable to pinpoint.
  •  Look at relationships. Does the index shed light on whether family members were estranged or close? Does it confirm relationships that you suspected? Who is present at family gatherings, and how often do they show up? One set of family meeting minutes I indexed showed how warmly a widowed in-law was welcomed, along with her second family. The same index reflected the rare attendance of an uncle whose marriage outside the faith was frowned upon.
  • Look at occasions. Who’s visiting on holidays? Which holidays are celebrated? Are weddings, birthdays, funerals mentioned? Who’s giving gifts, who’s receiving gifts, where and when? One baby book I indexed gave me a clue that someone was more than a “family friend” because she gave a surprisingly valuable gift. Sure enough, she turned out to be the ex-spouse of a close relative.  
  • Cross-reference the index against other items. Do you have photos of the people mentioned in the index during the period covered by the documents? See whether the index can help you identify mystery people in your photos or give you more context for when, where, and why the photos were taken.
  • Verify details. If a diary mentions someone’s birth, marriage, or death, compare the dates with official documents. A century ago, official records weren’t always filed on time, so a birth date on the vital records form might be a day or a few days later than the actual birth. Maybe the index will point you to the actual date, or explain why the date differs from the official record. Also, names on Census forms weren’t always accurate, so check your index against what you see on the Census. Use the index to match nicknames with full given names on your tree. You might find a variation via the index that you can use to when you research that person.

Solving a mystery: My sister-in-law remembered a cousin Edith, quite a tall lady, attending her wedding. Now, years later, no one remembered Edith's last name or how she was related. When I indexed my late father-in-law's diaries, I found repeated mentions of Edith in the 1960s and 1970s. This led to a hunch about Edith's parents. 

Putting together clues from Census data, Cleveland directories, and my husband's and sister-in-law's memories, we solved the mystery and figured out where Edith fits on the family tree. Using the dates and approximate ages, we also identified her and her sister in the above photo with my father-in-law. Without the index, this mystery would have taken much longer to solve.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sibling Saturday: Big Brother and Little Brother in Cleveland Heights

Big brother and little brother, side by side in the living room of their home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Thanks to their sis for sending this nostalgic photo from the Wood branch of the family tree!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mayflower Monday: Celebrating Degory Priest and the Allertons

Today is Mayflower Day, the day in 1620 when the Mayflower set sail from England, headed for the Virginia colony. 

Thanks to Cousin Larry's decades of research into the Wood family tree, we know there are four Mayflower ancestors in our past. I want to celebrate them today! 

(1) Degory Priest. His line led through the Coombs family to Sarah Hatch, who married James Cushman. Their granddaughter Lydia was the mother of Harriet Taber, who married Isaiah Wood Sr. in Massachusetts in 1806. Harriet and Isaiah were hubby's great-great-grandparents.

(2) Isaac Allerton, (3) Mary Norris, and (4) Mary Allerton. Mary Allerton Cushman's son Eleazer Cushman married Elizabeth Royal Coombs, great-grandaughter of Degory Priest, linking these ancestors to the family tree of Degory Priest.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past: Wood family of Ohio

Wood brothers: John Andrew, Edgar James, and Wallis Walter
James Edgar Wood
Today I'm highlighting hubby's family in the Buckeye State, starting with his dad, Edgar James Wood (1903-1986). The above photo shows Ed and, we think, his next-younger brothers. One brother is not in the photo: Theodore W. Wood.

Edgar Wood's father was James Edgar Wood (1871-1939), shown at right. He was a builder whose homes I've showcased in other blog posts, like the one here

James was one of 17 children of Thomas Haskell Wood (1809-1890) and Mary Amanda Demarest Wood (1831-1897). In order from oldest to youngest, they are: 
  • Jane Ann Wood (1846-1936)
  • Thomas Jefferson Isaiah Haskell Wood (1848-1861)
  • John Marshall Taber Wood (1850-1859)
  • Lucy Maria Kize Wood (1851-1870)
  • William Henry White Wood (1853-1893)
  • Alfred Olando Wood (1855-1895)
  • Francis Ellery Wood (1857-1933)
  • Joe Elemuel Wood (1859-1864)
  • Lavatia Allen Wood (1859-1864)
  • Charles Augustus Wood (1862-1895)
  • Rachel Ellen "Nellie" Wood (1864-1954)
  • George Howard Wood (1866-1866--d. in infancy)
  • Marion Elton Wood (1867-1947)
  • Mary Emma Wood (1869-?)
  • James Edgar Wood (1871-1939)
  • Robert Orrin Wood (1873-1933)
  • Leander Elkanah Wood (1874-1874--d. in infancy)
We're still researching some of these Wood siblings. We know almost nothing of Mary Emma Wood after the 1870 Census...except that she married a man named W.R. Eagle. Need more on her, for sure.

William Henry White Wood married Allise (Alice?) and had four children, according to 1880 Census: Hattie, Phillip, Cathie, and Thomas. And then??

What about Charles Augustus Wood, a carpenter who died of "la grippe" in 1895? Did he marry? Or have kids? Still digging...

By the way, Mary Amanda Demarest's parentage is a mystery. See the tabs at top of this blog for a special ancestor landing page devoted just to her.

Monday, September 12, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy: Earliest Memories--No Shells in Eggy Bread

About the time this photo was taken of my hubby Wally, at age 2 or 3, his first memory was of sitting in a high-chair in the kitchen of his Cleveland home. Wally's parents, Edgar James Wood and Marian Jane McClure Wood, would have been in the kitchen or nearby.

Wally may have been feeding himself or being fed by the au pair, Dorothy, but he remembers announcing:

"I don't like shells in my eggy bread."

He remembers that he was eating a piece of bread with an egg on top, and he'd found shells in the egg. No wonder he complained. I don't like shells in my eggy bread either, do you?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cousin Larry and the Wood family

Thanks to Cousin Larry, we know a lot about my hubby's Wood ancestors. He's a meticulous researcher and doesn't let up even when the going gets tough. Surprisingly, he found out that a distant cousin of his and hubby's (who married into the huge Foote family of Wethersfield) lived and died in my town. So now I can do some local research the old fashioned way--in my local library--instead of mousing around the web.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Taking care of the Wood family Bible

One of the Wood second cousins visited last week, with his wife, during a genealogical/vacation swing through New England. I was moved when he brought out the giant and beautiful family Bible, which he protects with a special archival envelope and a custom-made wooden case. Now I wish I had taken a photo but when he had it on the table, I was too spellbound to think of grabbing the camera. He told us the book's history and how he came to have it--and that another beautiful Bible (complete with births/marriages/deaths) once existed in another part of the family but can't be found these days. Auggghhhhh!