52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 5

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

So for the past few weeks I’ve been working on Amy Johnson Crow’s genealogy challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  Though I’m behind – I have found it very rewarding to focus on a different family member each week.

Week 5: In the Census

My relative that puzzled me for a while when it came to the census was my great-great-grandmother Mazie Lorenia Warner Dunbar Randol.  She was born in Pennsylvania in 1877 and passed away in Akron, Ohio in 1945.  She was my first big mystery that I solved as my mother had told me that she was buried here in Akron and it took me a while to find which cemetery and once I did, I found myself to be incredibly sad.

Mazie was a puzzle because my mother told me that was her name, but when you see varied documents with other names, I began to wonder if that was just a nickname.  You see, I have an 1880 Census saying her name is Mazie (but I didn’t find that one right away); and a 1900 Census saying her name is Mazie, but a 1910 Census has her name as Daysa (and of course, I found this long before the 1880 and 1900 ones).  1920 has her listed as Magie and 1930 has her with her rightful name of Mazie once again. I have yet to come across the 1940 Census but I’m hoping that maybe I can find her still using her address that I acquired from the City Directory.

Another stumbling block was that she had re-married, so finding information on other documents had her sometimes as her maiden name of Warner, sometimes as her first marriage of Dunbar (her first husband, Arthur, my great-great grandfather, passed away in 1912), and lastly as Randol.

I have found on some of my relatives marriage license they have my great grandmother’s name listed as Mildred Randol instead of Mildred Dunbar.  Yes I get a smug sense of satisfaction when I see this, as here I am knowing more than they did two generations later.

My goal is to write a letter to my great uncle (my grandmother’s brother) who is still alive in Florida, hoping he can give me some background information on what type of person Mazie was (he would have been 9 when she passed away).  From looking through the City Directories and how many times two of her daughters lived with her over the years, she comes across as a kind soul, willing to do whatever for her kids.

I know I can relate.

If you are interested in participating in Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge simply click here to sign up.

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Weeks 3 & 4

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

I’m still playing catch up on Amy Johnson Crow’s great challenge of examining 52 ancestors in 52 weeks and today I’ll be highlighting weeks 3 and 4.

Week 3: Longevity

I was lucky enough to actually meet who, to my knowledge at this point in time, is my relative who had the longest life span.  My Gammy as she was often called by her grandkchildren and great grandchildren, was my great grandmother who passed away in 1987 at the age of 96.

Sadly I had no idea that I was going to get so fascinated with my family tree in the next handful of years, otherwise I would have asked more questions or paid more attention to Gammy when we went back to Pennsylvania and would visit her for an hour or so.

Margaret Wise was born on February 11, 1891 to Anna Maria Leighty and Jonas Wise.  She lived in Pennsylvania her entire life.  She married Charles Morgart in 1910 and they had 4 children, 3 living to be adults – one of them being my Grandma (who was my focus in Week 2).  In 1917 Charles committed suicide when he was given a terminal diagnosis. She married two more times before she passed, where I hear she loved to play the “mouth organ” until the very end (a harmonica for those who don’t know the lingo).

My grandmother inherited her good genes as she lived to be 93. My dad and I have similar body shapes as my grandmother and I often wonder if we will eclipse 90 as well.

Below is a generational photo with my great grandmother holding me, my grandma and my dad.

Scan_20180207 (2)

Week #4: Invite to Dinner

Who would I want to invite to dinner.  This is a difficult question.  Instinctively I would choose my grandma once again, just because I miss her so much and would love to have more conversations with her.  But the more I contemplate this, if I had to choose 1 person, I think I would select my grandma’s grandma or my great great grandma mentioned above, Anna Leighty.

Why Anna Maria Leighty (who my own grandmother was named after, Anna Maria Morgart)?  There are certain mysteries I have discovered about her and a dinner with her I’m sure would clear lots of things up.

I have a distant relative, whose daughter was my Grandma’s cousin.  I remember when we would go across town and pick her up for family dinners before she became too old and was put in a nursing home.  Her name was Anna Mary Mullen, and when I read items online that her father, George Mullen, left behind, he claims that his mother was Anna Maria Leighty, yet he is never listed on a census with her.  He was listed on a census with her mother, Mary Ellen Adams., as a grandchild, but that’s the most I have found how he is a relative.

I just find it strange that if he was Anna’s child, why wasn’t he living with her and her children? Was she married once before and my great great grandfather didn’t want anything to do with a child from her first marriage?  Was she taken advantage of and so her mother was raising that child?  So many questions that could be answered and I hope one day to finally find the answers to this mystery.

If you would like to participate in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks join Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge by clicking here.

 

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Weeks 1 & 2

This year I signed up through Amy Johnson Crow’s website to do a year-long challenge of exploring my ancestors. Though the first month has passed and I have yet to delve into the project, I thought it would be a great way for me to flesh out my heritage besides just placing names on an ever-expanding diagram.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

So here goes my stab at #52ancestors

Week #1: Start

My first dabble into genealogy began when I was in sixth grade and it was an assignment for my Social Studies class. The goal of the project was to either go back to another state or to another country. For me, like many, it was an easy task: my paternal grandparents were born and raised in Pennsylvania and my maternal great grandparents came from England.  I researched family crests, wrote down a family tree to my great grandparents on all sides of the family and I was done. Easy peasy.

Until I got my second computer in college, a Packard Bell and it could do this wondrous thing: connect to the internet.

I began researching my family tree once again, contacting relatives through the mail this time, my curiosity strong but college preoccupied my time, along with my part time job and the search was set aside.

I now wish I hadn’t. At this time I still had 2 thriving grandmothers who could have answered many of the questions I have now.

As a history buff (it’s probably why it’s one of the my degrees) finding information about my ancestors has been thrilling. I’ve learned all kinds of thing in the 18 months I’ve been doing my search, and though I work full time and have kids, I have days where I am able to focus and make some new discoveries.

I have also learned a very important lesson: just because I find information fascinating does not mean everyone does. My mother really is not into my learning about her heritage. I’ve learned to not say anything and am trying to focus more on my dad’s side of the family instead.

Week #2: Favorite Photo

AnnaMMorgart-VadaBlair

I’ll confess, I haven’t addressed photos yet having focused more on finding out if I have any Revolutionary War ancestors (I won’t give details now, it could be another prompt later in the year). My mom did share one with me when I began this journey and it still amazes me to this day.

Above is a picture of my Grandma, she is the one on the left holding the dog.  Why is this photo so amazing?  Because my Grandma is dressed like a girl!  I’m sure this sounds odd but once my Grandma discovered polyester pants and button down tops, she never looked back.  We have one picture of her in a dress, and I forget why she was dressed that way (perhaps her mom’s funeral, which happened in the summer of 1987).

It’s also just interesting to see my Grandma when she was young.  About a year ago I met up with my dad’s cousin (my second cousin) and when I sat down to speak with her I was blown away when she spoke of my Grandma, stating she was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen.  Even now it makes me smile.

The woman to the right is my Great Aunt Vada. It’s her daughter who has helped to guide me quite a bit in my family history research.  Vada was actually my Grandmother’s sister-in-law (my grandfather’s sister), but they were best friends, more like sisters I hear from various sources.

Looking at the date on this picture of August 1937 – my Grandma was still a newlywed, having married my Grandfather in April of that year. I guess I need to do some more researching and discover who the other 2 individuals are in the photo. I’m going to assume that this was taken in Indiana as well, because I know that is where my grandparents got married, and that’s where Aunt Vada was living at the time, too. (As a side note, my father was born in Indiana in 1943).

What a fun challenge this is going to be, it’s most likely not too late to start!  Click here to sign up!

 

 

 

 

Family Tree Puzzle: Where Did That Relative Come From???

So as I have mentioned previously, I am working on my family tree, using the free online website of Family Search to track all my ancestors.  I have thoroughly enjoyed myself as I have learned so much about family members that I never knew existed, both near and far in my lineage.

The bad part of using a public forum for this is because you sometimes find people suddenly on your family tree that don’t belong there.  And I find it really aggravating.

FamilyTreeWhereDidTheyComeFrom

Case in point, I have 3 ancestors with the same name… Andrew Jackson Blair. And with the Andrew Jackson Blair who is my great grandfather – someone has added another Andrew into the mix – an Andrew Sloan Blair – which I know is incorrect.  Why?  I doubt my great great grandfather (also an Andrew Jackson Blair) and great great grandmother would name 2 sons within 4 years of each other, Andrew.  Secondly, Andrew Sloan Blair was born within 4 months of another relative. I don’t see that being possible, do you?

What’s worse is that I even took the time to figure out who Andrew Sloan Blair’s ancestors were and messaged the person who has attached their person to my relatives.  I received a reply a week or so later telling me that they appreciated my work and that they would clean up their tree.

But Andrew Sloan is still there.

I honestly don’t think there is a way for me to remove him from my family tree, so for the time being live with him I must.

However, that hasn’t stopped me from looking into software so I can do my own family tree and slowly build it with what I have found.

I’ll still use Family Search and Ancestry to research, but I prefer to double and triple check to make sure an ancestor is truly mine.  I latched onto an ancestor that was already listed in Family Search the other day and was really excited because somehow when clicking back to see what country my family members began in – it had me related to Charlemagne (he is my great x 39 grandfather).  I’ll admit, I was blown away – until when I began looking through the various people who were between me and Charlemagne, ended up having mothers that gave birth at age 4. So close to royalty.

So if you work on your family history – is there a software that you recommend?  Share with me as I begin my research!  Thank you in advance!

Getting My Geek On

One of the best parts of working on my family history has been trying to find out if any of my relatives fought in the Revolutionary War.  You see, I share my birthday with George Washington and he has become my big hero in life.  I love George.  He had his flaws but he had the hardest job of all presidents, trying to run the country without seeming like a king.  I always imagined that this had to be extremely difficult.

So this has been my thing, searching on various sides of my family, I found I had relatives from the French & Indian War, but then seemed to be too old or too young to have fought during the Revolution.  And then I started on my Grandma’s side of the family and low and behold my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather joined the Patriot cause and was stationed in Virginia.  He apparently saw no action outside of Virginia – but did partake in the Battle of Yorktown.  He was apparently there when Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington. (As a history geek – this had me on Cloud 9).

jb_revolut_yorktown_1_e

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/revolut/jb_revolut_yorktown_1_e.html

So that is what has been keeping my busy.  Trips to the library using Ancestry Library Edition and just trying to keep all the families and their members organized.

I’ve learned that not all finds have happy endings.  My Great Grandmother’s youngest brother had 13 children, and it appears that 4 of them died in a house fire back in 1939.  So sad.  Apparently, they were trying to build a fire in a stove and the coal oil exploded.  I found 2 of the death certificates online and it just breaks your heart.  One was 10, the other 2, and so far I’ve not found any information to figure out if the 2 that I have no information on were in the fire or not.  Hoping that I find their information elsewhere, and making the casualties be just two.

Here is to continued searches and a hope of finding more happy endings than sad ones.

 

Happy 2017!

goldiluxe

I am so looking forward to this new year.  I’m focusing on becoming a healthier me as I’ve gained a few more pounds and discovered with most foods I eat, I just feel plain lousy.  So this seems to be the day.  It’s a Sunday and the beginning of a new journey.

So as part of my journey of health – I’m going to be focusing on eating fruit and veggies every day and to try to eliminate processed foods from my diet.  As much as my taste buds love Cheez-It’s Classic Snack Mix – about an hour later I feel just icky.  I’m trying to follow the advice my body is giving me and maybe we’ll feel better.

I’m going to continue to focus on my family history.  My long lost family members I found here in the same town I grew up in I will be meeting with this new year to get stories about family.  So excited!

Contemplating a reading challenge. A few years back I read 60 books, contemplated 75, but sometimes that takes up so much time and energy.  We’ll see.  But I do want to read more.

And of course – trying to get myself (and by extension my husband) out of debt.  We can do this.  Our willpower just has to be so much better than it is.

Organization is another on-going goal for me.  But lately even I’ve been feeling claustrophobic from some of the stock piled junk.  January – look out!

My last goal is to blog once or twice a week.  I really do enjoy sharing my thoughts and finds with the world.

What are your goals for 2017 – share in the comments below!!!  Good luck!

Getting Crafty

Evening Peeps!

The temperatures here in Northeast Ohio are finally getting cooler and it has given me the opportunity to start picking up in my attic a bit so I can once again scrapbook.  I began this hobby a handful of years ago when I went to a crop at my Aunt Barb’s house.  I had never done any sort of scrapbooking before but I went to her house with a kit my mother had purchased for me a few years before, and there my creativity sprung to life and I was hooked.

Until about 2 years ago when life seemed to take over and I just stopped.  Sadly it also coincided with when my mother purchased herself a spiffier Silhouette cutting tool and gave me her old one.  This was bad.  My mother has been unhappy that I haven’t jumped at the chance to use the machine.  The few times I have tried it’s been a disaster. But as with everything else in life, I have a Pinterest board I’ve started that will hopefully teach me the basics and allow me to use the Silhouette along with my other scrapbooking tools.

I’m still quite interested in working on my Family Tree.  Here I discovered I had relatives living right here in town that I had never ever met.  When I discovered this last week I couldn’t wait to get to my parents house the next morning (I take the kids over there in the morning and hang out until it’s time to take my son to school) and tell my dad that I had found his cousin.  I was like bursting.

And then he shocked me.  “Yes, I knew Viola lived here.  I bumped into her when I was doing an inspection in the mid-90’s, she was an executive secretary.”

Really?  The only relatives I knew of on my dad’s side of the family were in Johnstown, PA and Flagstaff, AZ.  He went on to clear up some of the mystery surrounding his Aunt.  Like my Great-Great Grandmother Mazie on my mother’s side of the family, my dad’s Aunt Genevieve seemed to elude me on his side.  I saw where she got married just day’s before my Great-Grandfather passed away (he worked in the mines and he was crushed), moved to Akron, had 2 girls, her first husband passed, I knew from her mother’s obituary she had re-married, and that she lived in Akron until her death in 1964 at the age of 54.  But I couldn’t find why she died so young.

When I discovered her daughter living so near, I was ecstatic thinking they could supply these answers.  And maybe they will supply photos so I can find out what Genevieve looked like (so curious as my Grandmother always spoke so fondly of her).  But here she passed from cancer. I am fairly certain my dad didn’t know what type of cancer, just that she had gotten sick a few months after she fell out of favor with my Grandfather, and he was very stubborn and he refused to speak to her.  They were close in age (she was born in 1910, he in 1911) and he apparently never went and saw her while she was sick.  My dad, who was in the Navy, took my Grandma to see her when he was on leave, and that was the last time my Grandma had the opportunity to see Genevieve.

As excited as I get learning about my distant family, it’s amazing how happy I am one minute about a find and how sad I can be the next when I find out more background information.

Tomorrow I’m taking a class at the library about the basics of working on a Family Tree, just in case there is some major thing I should be doing that I’m not.  Then my husband is planning on spending the afternoon at his Aunt’s and I may take my time and utilize some of the software that the library offers free of charge.  One is Ancestry Library Edition – as long as you are in the library it’s free to use.  I love it as it gets me what I need without having to spend a monthly fee!  And it’s nice for me as our local library is just about 9 blocks away so I drive down after dinner and try to find the information I need as Ancestry has access to some of the information that it’s a little vaguer when using the free FamilySearch.org.  I like using it though, as my cousin who does live in Flagstaff is a member of the Latter Day Saints so I hope that eventually I’ll find more information because she has worked on the family tree in the past herself!

So I will try to be a better blogger.  I often have thought about what I wanted to write – but then my children get on my computer and by the time they go to bed, I head their myself shortly afterwards because I’m so exhausted from waking up every day at 5:30 in the morning.

Wishing everyone a wonderful evening!

 

Happy Labor Day!

The 3-day weekend has gone super fast (a quote from my son).  I must admit, it has gone way too fast.  Back to the grind tomorrow, but I will do my best to enjoy today.

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For close to a month I have been working on my genealogy.  Discovered that the library has a free Ancestry Library Edition that anyone can use – it beats paying what I know I would need a month, so the library will be my new home away from home, at least for an hour or so a week.  I also went to a class this past Saturday that gave me the lowdown on how to use a specific database, Heritage Quest.  It was interesting, but yet I know a lot of this information comes up using the website I am presently using, but it’s interesting how one has more information than another.  Ancestry instantly gave me the date of death for my great-great-grandmother who’d I’d been seeking out since I began my family tree journey (my version hadn’t, I’m using FamilySearch.org – it’s free).  I was so sad.  I guess I knew she was gone – but there was still a part of me that wondered if Mazie was out there somewhere… wanting to be found, even if she would have been around 140 years old.

Anyhow, if I’d checked my email before I left for my class at the main library on Saturday morning, I’d have known she had been found as the cemetery that my mom thought she was buried got back to me, sending me pdf’s of the receipt of her burial plot purchase (a whole $60 for her and her late husband that included perpetual care) along with where in the cemetery she could be found.  I told my mom that I was going to go and check her out some day and she wanted to go too.  Since hubby and I were out, I asked him to stop by the cemetery to see if they had a map listing where the sections were.  They didn’t but we noticed they had numbers at the corner of the sections – so I looked up the email and lo and behold – she was right by the main entrance and so we got out and I found her.  She is actually not far from a famous inhabitant of the cemetery – Dr. Bob Smith – one of the founders of AA – is just a section away (since I had worked at Stan Hywet for several years where the first meeting of Bill W. with Dr. Bob Smith took place with an introduction by Henrietta Seiberling, it was cool to drive by and see the resting place this man who started a movement that has helped so many).

With September 1 comes the Hiking Spree our area Metroparks has each year.  Hubby and I went to a trail we’d never gone to before to get hike #1 done.  Just 7 left to go.

Today we head over to his aunt’s at 1pm for a family get together to celebrate the holiday.  I hope all of you enjoy your day off (if you get one – I know when I was in college I use to work every holiday I could simply for the time-and-a-half).

Happy Labor Day Everyone!