Sunday, December 30, 2007

DAR, Here I Come

Alice's application for membership in National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution arrived yesterday! That was so fast! It only took two or three weeks. I called my local chapter registrar this morning and she's all excited to fill out my application for me. I have to make copies of all my paperwork and send it to her, then when my application is finished, we'll meet and I'll sign my application and pay the fee. My family members who are thinking of joining it with me, can also use Alice's paperwork.

I notice there's also a Huguenot Society affiliated with DAR. The Dragoos were Huguenots, so I could probably join that too, if I wanted to take the time to prove my relationship to Pierre Dragaud. (Jennie Lee Dragoo is my great grandfather Howard Mitchell Keithler's mother.) It definitely wouldn't be as simple as proving my relationship to my great grandmother. A Mayflower Descendant group is also available to join, but I haven't decided if I'm one of those or not yet. I should probably not go nuts on joining groups I won't have time for or want to pay yearly dues for. But it's still fun.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Verna Browning, World Traveler

I'm having a lot of fun with Verna. I found her just today, a descendant of the Mitchell family - her father was William L. Browning, and her grandmother was Susan Franklin Mitchell Browning, the Brownings Kathy and I had discussed in our emails.

I didn't have any children for Susan and her husband, W.W. Browning, so I looked until I found some. They are:
Charles L., born about 1865 (all born in Kentucky)
William L., born April 1866
Julia, born about 1868
Annie, born March 1870

William married Etta (I also found her as Ettie), a Missouri native, and they had one daughter, Verna, born 16 August 1905 in Beaumont, Texas. Sometimes it's easier to find a family by one of the children's names, so I searched for Verna at Ancestry to see what I could see.

A few fun links revealed that Verna had taken several trips by ship to other countries - first to Europe with her mother Ettie, boarding the S.S. Lapland at Antwerp, Belgium and arriving home in New York in 1927; then alone, once coming home from Queenstown, Ireland, on the S.S. Adriatic in 1930, and then on the S.S. Uruguay, coming home from Rio de Janeiro in 1939.

It's fun to imagine Verna and her mother taking these trips, what they must have seen, their clothing and hair styles, and how they spent their time on these ships, but what I'm dying to know now is, what was Verna doing with all this traveling? Was it part of her job to travel, or was she simply taking advantage of the family finances (her father William was a bank president)? If it was part of her job, what did she do for a living?

I found a Verna Browning in a University of California, Berkeley, 1927 yearbook here. I wish there was some way to magnify it - it looks like each student's hometown is printed with their name, and I think I see "Alvin," which is where she was from.

It appears that Verna never married. In the Social Security Death Index, I found her under her maiden name. She died in February 1983, probably in Texas.

Note to Myself

Click here and buy the publication entitled Atchison County Missouri Deaths From Area Newspapers, 1878-1888.

This week I was contacted by a lady named Kathy, who found me while searching for Ignatius Mitchell, my 4th-great grandfather on Poppy's side. In her email, she included a snippet of his obituary, which came from the above book:

Mitchell, Ignatius S. --died Mar. 3, 1882 at the home of Mrs. Lawson Dragoo. He was her father and she lives in Rockport, Mo.. He had been living with another daughter, Mrs.W.W. BROWNING of Brownville, Nebraska....He was born in Mason County, KY. in Jan. of 1798. He married Nancy D. Twoke(?) in 1819. Burial in Mason Co., KY..(R.S.=Rockport Sun Newspaper)

Kathy is researching Brownings and asked me who the Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Browning were. They are my aunt and uncle, Susan Franklin Mitchell and her husband, Woodville W. Browning. Susan's sister Caroline married Alexander Keithler, and they are my 3rd-great grandparents.

I'm always amazed at the way seeing their obituaries makes my ancestors so much more real to me. They stop being names on a page I've seen since childhood and become human beings with lives, families, jobs, possessions... I start wondering what they looked like, what kind of clothes they wore, how they died, what their personalities were, etc.

I'm so grateful for the Internet. It's miraculous, how quickly information can be gathered and shared, and people can get in touch with each other. When I think of my ancestors (including Gran, who hated computers) trying to do all this research through letters, over the telephone, and by traveling, and the costs involved, all I can think is how blessed I am and how much I appreciate their efforts way back then, which were infinitely harder than mine are.

This work is so interesting, rewarding, and fun, I can't believe everyone doesn't do it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Life History of William "Bill" Ricketts Smith, Part 1: Birth and Family

[Written by my grandfather, pictured about 1942]

I was born on a cattle ranch about five miles north of Gillette, Wyoming. It was a cold winter day, November 5, 1918, election day. The ranch was owned by William Pendleton Ricketts from whom I received my middle name. The ranch was commonly known as "The Rooney Place" and was also known as the Rawhide Ranch as it was located on Little Rawhide Creek. It was necessary for the doctor to come from Gillette and I guess he arrived before I did. His name was Dr. Sexton.

My dad was foreman on the ranch, having been there since my parents were married December 24, 1913. Mr. Ricketts' main ranch, The Sunnyside Ranch, was about ten or fifteen miles farther north. We continued to live there for about two years after I was born. Meanwhile my father was "proving up" on his homestead which joined the Rawhide Ranch on the south. The winter of 1919 was very severe and Mr. Ricketts suffered great loss of cattle as did most of the ranchers of the area. He was forced to cut back on his operation after having been in control of thousands of acres of open range. This was actually the beginning of the end of the cattle empires of that day.

My dad had acquired some cattle during the years he had worked for Mr. Ricketts, so in about 1920 we moved to the homestead. My uncle Jack (John William Smith, Jr.) after having served in the Army (WWI) came to work for Ricketts in 1919 and had taken a homestead joining the land my father had claimed so we had a total of 640 acres. There was about 60 acres that was suitable for farming and the balance was fair grazing land. Drought and hail took its toll and by the fall of 1925 we had "lived up" all the cattle and were facing a bleak winter.

My dad had previously "worked out" some to support us. My mother's parents lived in Gillette, her father (William Raymond Fox) was an undertaker there. They had homesteaded northwest of my dad about two miles as the crow flies. My mother's brother Uncle Harry (Harold Germaine Fox) was living on the Fox homesteads with his wife Ella (Davis) and their four boys. Prosperity hadn't been with them either. My grandfather Fox decided that rather than see us all starve, he would move us all together at Harry's place, their house being a little bigger than ours, and it would be less expensive than supporting us at two locations.

[Continued next Friday]

A Biography of Mrs. W. H. Keen

[Written by Alice Muriel Johnson Keen, my great grandmother]

I was born May 4, 1892 in Madison, Nebraska. My father was Thomas Merril Johnson, my mother was Hattie Ellen Duggan [pictured below]. My father had lost his first wife, Kate, who had borne his first four children, namely William, Frank, Nettie and Charles.

He married my mother who was a tall girl for her 14 1/2 years of age and they lived in Madison, Nebraska. They had four small daughters when they decided to come west to Blaine, Washington. They came west in Spring of 1890 but didn't like the rainy weather - real coastal rains - every day. He was a carpenter by trade but stayed for the summer.

An epidemic of scarlet fever broke out and my father and mother packed up and took the train for the east - with their four little girls - the two youngest took sick on the train and they all had to get off the train at Wyoming where Julia died - then they boarded the train again and went on their way back to Nebraska, settling in Madison this time - Nellie having died in the fall with scarlet fever some three or four weeks after Julia had died.

They built a new home in Madison and lived in Madison where another little girl was born and named for my father's mother Lorette on December 7, 1890. Relatives who had taken my father's four children by Kate didn't want to give them up so it was easier for Mother to care for her four but how they missed Julia and Nellie. Then on May 4, 1892 I was born, being the sixth daughter in the family.

When I was two years old we moved to Rock Falls, Illinois where my only brother Napoleon Bonaparte was born May 31, 1894. There they bought two lots and built another home and Daddie was a contractor. We lived two blocks from my father's sister, Aunt Gay and Uncle Thome. He later was the Mayor of the town, a wonderful fellow. My sister Annie Marie was born April 12, 1896; my sister Hattie Quintilla was born April 13, 1898.

Father and Mother had trouble over his drinking and separated that summer. In November we sold the home and left Illinois for Washington.

What an adventure! My oldest sister Myra had a good job and stayed in Illinois but Mother took the other six of us and left to visit my great grandfather [Adam Hetrick] who had left the family farm in Nebraska and had gone to Kalispell, Montana and established himself on a 320-acre fruit farm. It had a huge irrigation system. Grandpa had invited Mother to bring her family to come and make her home with him but he had married again after his first wife died and the new grandma had grandchildren of her own and we weren't exactly welcome. How distressing it must have been for Mother.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


It pays to study your family information once in a while.

I was just looking at John and Jennie Smith's family timeline and noticed this small mistake:

1902 - John's father John P. Smith died
1904 - John died
1910 Census - Jennie was widowed, living in Kentucky with her son Jack, widowed sister-in-law Alice, niece Katherine... and John's father, John P. Smith, age 86, who was apparently not dead. Oops!

I later found him in the Kentucky Death Index - he died at age 95 in 1918.

The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin Archives at

... have been my latest online haunt.

I found them several years ago, when our family history centers were still affiliated with Mom and I spent a fun evening looking at old pictures and reading detailed descriptions of family weddings, Uncle Denton's speeding tickets, and Uncle Charlie saving a boy from a wild deer in Pioneer Park. At that time, the online archives included the years 1945-1954.

Yesterday, while writing a timeline, I stumbled upon them again. While some years are still missing, more recent archives are available now. Last night I found the wedding announcement for Aunt Nancy's marriage to Uncle Steve in 1973, and read about the day in 1971 when my grandparents received a phone call from my parents to say my brother was born; ten hours later, another call came from my uncle and aunt to say that my cousin Candace was born. Our great-grandmother Alice Keen called the newspaper to report it, and they were kind enough to print the story.

While I feel a little sorry for the must-have-been-bored-out-of-their-minds newspaper reporters, who were on hand to capture such events as Uncle Doug earning Gold and Silver Arrow Points at his Cub Scout pack meeting and great-grandfather Carl Dysart winning a free Christmas turkey, I'm grateful to them for doing such a great job in capturing these fun little life moments. I'm also glad my family spent so much time in Walla Walla, where no detail went unnoticed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Making Timelines

Timelines can teach you so much about - well, obviously - what happened when in a particular family. But they also do much, much more...

They provide a way to discover a family's migration pattern. For my family, all roads lead to Washington state. Major emigrations have resulted in quite a few family members in the Tacoma area, the Vancouver/Portland area, and of course, Walla Walla (I'm convinced we own half of Mountain View Cemetery). Going back a few generations, it's interesting to see how everyone ended up there and all the different places they came from.

They allow you to see how one major life event affected the rest of the family, such as the early death of a husband and father; how national and world events, like the influenza epidemic of 1918 and World Wars I and II, change ancestors' lives; and how such things as abuse, alcoholism, and divorce can continue through many generations.

They give some insight into where those "lost" relatives might be hiding; the siblings and cousins who were alive at the same time; which mothers were around when their daughters were married, and which daughters went wedding dress-buying on their own; which fathers carried more of the "girl" chromosome or the "boy" chromosome. The Keen family men are noteworthy - Grandpa Keen had four sons and two daughters, but of the three sons who survived to adulthood, two sons' children numbered eleven, and out of those, ten were girls.

For these reasons and others, I enjoy creating and studying family timelines.

Below are some timelines I've put together for my great-great grandparents. The names of the living have been omitted.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Timeline: Enoch Newton Keen & Elizabeth Rebecca Crumley

14 May 1879 - Enoch and Lizzie married in Independence, Grayson, Virginia
*1880 Census
29 March 1880 - First child Orlan Duette "O.D." Keen born in Fall Branch, Washington, Tennessee
26 October 1883 - Second child Lonnie David Keen born in Johnson City, Washington, Tennessee
9 November 1885 - Enoch's father Eli Ashley Keen died in Fall Branch; buried in Fall Branch
28 November 1886 - Third child Walter Eli Keen born in Johnson City
16 July 1887 - Walter Eli Keen died in Johnson City
10 July 1888 - Enoch's mother Rebecca Morgan Keen died; buried in Fall Branch
14 November 1888 - Fourth child Wildie Herbert "Bill" Keen born in Johnson City
15 September 1891 - Fifth child Lola May Keen born in Fall Branch
31 January 1893 - Sixth child Maude Leah Keen born in Fall Branch
4 September 1897 - Lizzie's father Rev. Fleming David Crumley died in Fall Branch; buried in Fall Branch
*1900 Census
13 November 1901 - O.D. and Bertha Olivia Crouch married in Morristown, Hamblen, Tennessee
18 January 1903 - Grandson Ward Rothwell Keen born in Fall Branch (O.D. & Bertha)
1 August 1905 - Granddaughter Ena Vasta Keen born in Walla Walla, Walla Walla, Washington (O.D. & Bertha)
22 March 1906 - Lizzie's mother Mariah Woodrow Snodgrass Crumley died; buried in Nickelsville, Scott, Virginia
28 August 1907 - Grandson Lawrence James Keen born in Walla Walla (O.D. & Bertha)
*1910 Census
4 November 1910 - Grandson Lester Orlan Keen born in Walla Walla (O.D. & Bertha)
25 June 1912 - Bill and Alice Muriel Johnson married in Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai, Idaho
16 May 1913 - Grandddaughter Elsie "Marguerite" Keen born in Walla Walla, Walla Walla, Washington (Bill & Alice)
23 June 1916 - Lonnie and Margaret Beaetta Tate married in Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai, Idaho
9 December 1916 - Granddaughter Esther "Kathleen" Keen born in Walla Walla (Bill & Alice)
18 June 1917 - Granddaughter Virginia Margaret Keen born in Ritzville, Adams, Washington (Lonnie & Margaret)
17 September 1917 - Lola and Louis Henry Beinder married in Walla Walla
5 December 1918 - Granddaughter Marguerite Beinder born and died in Walla Walla (Lola & Louis)
23 January 1919 - Granddaughter Alice "Dorothea" Keen born in Walla Walla (Bill & Alice)
5 December 1919 - Granddaughter Mary Rose Beinder born and died in Walla Walla (Lola & Louis)
*1920 Census
8 March 1921 - Granddaughter born (living)
21 June 1921 - Maude and Dr. Harvey B. Thompson married in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon
9 February 1922 - Grandson Louis Newton Beinder born and died in Hockinson, Clark, Washington (Lola & Louis)
27 November 1922 - Granddaughter Bernice W. Beinder born and died in Sutherlin, Douglas, Oregon (Lola & Louis)
13 April 1923 - Granddaughter born (living)
10 March 1924 - Granddaughter Violet LaRose Keen born and died in Walla Walla; buried in Walla Walla (Lonnie & Margaret)
5 April 1924 - Grandson Charlie Hart Beinder born and died in Sutherlin
1 December 1925 - Granddaughter Lois Lucille Beinder born in Coquille, Coos, Oregon (Lola & Louis)
2 December 1925 - Granddaughter Lois Lucille Beinder died in Coquille (Lola & Louis)
17 November 1926 - Grandson Burton Thomas Beinder born and died in Swisshome, Lane, Oregon (Lola & Louis)
17 December 1926 - Granddaughter born (living)
24 May 1928 - Grandson born (living)
13 November 1928 - Grandson Pal Arthur Beinder born and died in Dunsmuir, Siskiyou, California (Lola & Louis)
*1930 Census
20 July 1930 - Granddaughter born (living)
21 February 1932 - Lizzie died in Walla Walla; buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla
7 March 1933 - Maude's husband Dr. Harvey B. Thompson died in Walla Walla
1 May 1935 - Maude and Bert Martin Torvanger married in Walla Walla
21 June 1937 - Granddaughter born (living)
*1940 Census
17 May 1942 - Enoch died in Walla Walla; buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla

Timeline: Alfred Denton Ackley & Mary Lucinda Newberry

30 December 1874 - Denton and Lucinda married in Cold Brook, Herkimer, New York
27 May 1877 - First child Raymond Henry Ackley born in Cold Brook
28 December 1878 - Lucinda's mother Lucinda Newberry died; buried in Newport, Herkimer, New York
7 September 1879 - Second child Letha May Ackley born in New York (probably same area)
*1880 Census
6 August 1886 - Third child Claude Jason Ackley born in Dundas, Rice, Minnesota
17 July 1892 - Fourth child Ruth Irene Ackley born in Dundas
14 February 1900 - Letha and Arthur John "Jack" Johnson married (later divorced)
*1900 Census
17 June 1901 - Granddaughter Lourene Marjorie Johnson born in Minnesota (Letha & Jack)
14 March 1903 - Raymond and Margaret Ellen Clark married in Faribault, Rice, Minnesota
11 October 1903 - Lucinda died of a ruptured ovarian cyst in Walla Walla, Walla Walla, Washington; buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla
22 June 1904 - Denton and Sarah E. Woggoner Cannon married in Walla Walla county
12 July 1905 - Granddaughter Mary Loretta Ackley born in Minnesota (Raymond & Margaret)
17 September 1905 - Grandson Wilbur Arthur Johnson born in Washington (Letha & Jack)
*1910 Census
24 November 1910 - Letha and Fred M. Robinson married in Multnomah county, Oregon
4 May 1911 - Ruth and Carl Bacon Dysart married in College Place, Walla Walla, Washington
21 February 1912 - Granddaughter born (living)
4 August 1913 - Granddaughter Letha "Irene" Dysart born in College Place (Ruth & Carl)
14 February 1914 - Claude and Lily Beatrice Yahr married in Walla Walla
24 July 1916 - Granddaughter born (living)
23 November 1918 - Grandson William "Denton" Dysart born in College Place (Ruth & Carl)
*1920 Census
8 November 1921 - Grandson Carl Byron Dysart, Jr. born in College Place (Ruth & Carl) (pictured at left; Carl Sr. and Ruth at right)
29 March 1923 - Denton's second wife Sarah E. Woggoner Cannon Ackley died; buried in Walla Walla
27 April 1923 - Granddaughter born (living)
29 May 1929 - Denton and Mrs. Margaret A. Jackson Taylor married in Walla Walla county
*1930 Census
20 July 1932 - Denton's third wife Margaret A. Jackson Taylor Ackley died in Walla Walla
7 December 1935 - Denton died in Walla Walla; buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla

Timeline: William Leander Davis Dysart & Maga Belle Tinsley

28 September 1884 - William and "Maggie" married in Fresh Water District, Colusa, California
18 November 1885 - First child Carl Bacon Dysart born in Ashland, Jackson, Oregon
13 November 1887 - Second child Elizabeth "Dott" Dysart born in Harrington, Lincoln, Washington
12 February 1889 - Third child Lulu Lee Dysart born in Harrington
15 March 1891 - Maggie's father Arthur L. Tinsley died in Harrington; buried in Harrington
1 December 1895 - Maggie's mother Elizabeth M. Scott Tinsley died in Harrington; buried in Harrington
24 November 1896 - Fourth child Murriel "Dean" Dysart born in Harrington
*1900 Census
1 February 1901 - William's mother Sarah "Elizabeth" Saye Dysart died in Bolivar, Polk, Missouri
9 May 1902 - Fifth child Mildred Willena Dysart born in College Place, Walla Walla, Washington
12 July 1906 - Sixth child Williebelle Dysart born in College Place
24 January 1907 - Dott and John Byron Fitch married in Walla Walla, Walla Walla, Washington
2 March 1907 - Granddaughter Josepha Rosabelle Fitch born in Waitsburg, Walla Walla, Washington (Dott & John)
6 September 1909 - Granddaughter Doris Anita Fitch born in Sunnyside, Yakima, Washington (Dott & John)
*1910 Census
2 June 1910 - Lulu and Charles Albert "Charlie" Parris married in Walla Walla
31 October 1910 - Grandson John LeVan "Jack" Parris born in Pasco, Franklin, Washington (Lulu & Charlie)
4 May 1911 - Carl and Ruth Irene Ackley married in College Place, Walla Walla, Washington
21 February 1912 - Granddaughter born (living)
25 September 1912 - Josepha Rosabelle Fitch died; buried in Walla Walla
30 July 1913 - Granddaughter Josephine Allene Parris born in Walla Walla (Lulu & Charlie)
4 August 1913 - Granddaughter Letha "Irene" Dysart born in College Place (Carl & Ruth)
18 September 1913 - Grandson Nicholas Landon Fitch born in Walla Walla (Dott & John)
30 July 1915 - Grandson William Wesley Fitch born in Walla Walla (Dott & John)
24 July 1916 - Granddaughter Mildred Genevieve Dysart born in College Place (Carl & Ruth)
22 November 1918 - Mildred & Ralph Daniel Huff married in Dayton, Columbia, Washington
23 November 1918 - Grandson William "Denton" Dysart born in College Place (Carl & Ruth)
*1920 Census
About 1920 - Dean and Ruth Ann Berry married
4 May 1920 - Grandson Ralph Everett Huff born in Everett, Snohomish, Washington (Mildred & Ralph)
September 1920 - Granddaughter born (living)
22 February 1921 - Maggie died in Walla Walla, Walla Walla, Washington; buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla
21 April 1921 - Granddaughter Enid Ione Dysart born in Walla Walla (Dean & Ruth)
22 July 1921 - Grandson born (living)
8 November 1921 - Grandson Carl Byron Dysart, Jr. born in College Place (Carl & Ruth)
14 September 1922 - Granddaughter Geraldine Williebelle Huff born in Yakima, Yakima, Washington (Mildred & Ralph)
24 September 1922 - Grandson born (living)
27 April 1923 - Granddaughter born (living)
18 April 1925 - Williebelle and William "Paul" Long married in Walla Walla (later divorced)
22 April 1925 - Doris Anita Fitch died; buried in Walla Walla
3 September 1925 - Granddaughter Mildred "Naomi" Huff born in Kirkland, King, Washington (Mildred & Ralph)
16 January 1927 - Granddaughter Paula "Dolores" Long born in Walla Walla (Williebelle & Paul)
10 April 1927 - Granddaughter born (living)
14 December 1928 - Grandson born (living)
26 December 1928 - Dean's wife Ruth Ann Berry Dysart died; buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla
*1930 Census
10 February 1931 - Grandson born (living)
22 March 1931 - Geraldine Williebelle Huff died in Franklin county, Washington
*1940 Census
14 April 1943 - William died in Walla Walla; buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla
10 November 1945 - Grandson born (living)

Timeline: Ignatius Mitchell Keithler & Jennie Lee Dragoo

14 December 1886 - Ignatius and Jennie married in Rockport, Atchison, Missouri (Jennie at left)
17 September 1887 - First child Cecile "Verne" Keithler born in Musselshell, Musselshell, Montana
1888 - Second child William Clary Keithler born in Musselshell
19 February 1890 - Third child Gertrude Ellen Keithler born in Musselshell
1892 - William Clary Keithler died in Musselshell
5 November 1892 - Fourth child Howard Mitchell Keithler born in Musselshell
22 January 1895 - Fifth child Jennie Lee Keithler born in Musselshell
18 September 1898 - Sixth child Oswin Ignatius Keithler born in Musselshell
*1900 Census
About 1901 - Seventh child Glen Gerald Keithler born and died in Junction, Yellowstone, Montana
11 April 1905 - Jennie's father Lawson Dragoo died in Atchison county, Missouri
About 1907 - Gertrude and Clarence Emory Beaver married
3 March 1907 - Ignatius died in Yellowstone county, Montana; buried in Billings, Yellowstone, Montana
10 November 1908 - Grandson Everett Keith Beaver born in Montana (Gertrude & Clarence)
*1910 Census
21 May 1910 - Gertrude's husband Clarence Emory Beaver died in Miles City, Custer, Montana
26 August 1913 - Verne and John Vanderpauwert married in Miles City
11 January 1915 - Gertrude and Arthur D. Tennant married
May 1917 - Grandson Lawrence "Keith" Vanderpauwert born in Montana (Verne & John)
4 September 1917 - Daughter Jennie & Hugh Allen "Sandy" Smith married
7 December 1918 - Grandson Leo Vanderpauwert born in Montana (Verne & John)
April 1919 - Granddaughter Audrey Mae Smith born in Montana (Jennie & Sandy)
5 September 1919 - Howard & Adina Irene Clark married in Hysham, Treasure, Montana (Howard pictured at right)
*1920 Census
5 June 1920 - Grandson John Lawrence Keithler born in Hysham (Howard & Adina)
About 1921 - Grandson born (living)
8 November 1922 - Granddaughter born (living)
22 September 1928 - Grandson Howard Ernest "Haudy" Keithler born in Crow Agency, Big Horn, Montana (Howard & Adina)
*1930 Census
*1940 Census
22 July 1942 - Jennie died in Vancouver, Clark, Washington; buried in Park Hills Cemetery in Vancouver

Photographs of Jennie and Howard: courtesy of my grandmother

Timeline: John Thomas Clark & Johanna Magdelena Steinhilber

1 January 1893 - John and "Lena" married in Kearney, Buffalo, Nebraska
13 October 1893 - First child Cora May Clark born in Gibbon, Buffalo, Nebraska
30 November 1895 - Second child Bryan Jennings Clark born in Thedford, Thomas, Nebraska
29 November 1897 - Third child John Adam Clark born in Thedford
*1900 Census
13 February 1901 - Fourth child Adina Irene Clark born in Thedford
26 May 1903 - Fifth child Ernest Dilworth Clark born in White Sulphur Springs, Meagher, Montana
7 January 1906 - John Adam Clark died in Forsyth, Rosebud, Montana
29 February 1908 - Sixth child Rozilla Margaret Clark born in Forsyth
*1910 Census
25 February 1910 - Seventh child Lena Helen Pauline Clark born in Forsyth
1912 - Cora and Aaron Johnson married in Billings, Yellowstone, Montana
18 August 1912 - Bryan Jennings Clark died in Sanders, Treasure, Montana
30 December 1913 - Grandson Maynard Aaron Johnson born in Hysham, Treasure, Montana (Cora & Aaron)
21 April 1914 - John's father John Wesley Clark died in Confidence, Wayne, Iowa
10 April 1915 - Granddaughter Wilma Virginia Johnson born in Hysham (Cora & Aaron)
22 July 1916 - Grandson Gilbert Lisle Johnson born in Rancher, Treasure, Montana (Cora & Aaron)
27 October 1918 - Lena died of influenza in Hysham; buried in Forsyth
14 November 1918 - Grandson John Hubert Johnson born in Rancher (Cora & Aaron)
5 September 1919 - Adina & Howard Mitchell Keithler married in Hysham
*1920 Census
5 June 1920 - Grandson John Lawrence Keithler born in Hysham (Adina & Howard)
28 November 1921 - Grandson Ernest Claude Johnson born in Hysham (Cora & Aaron)
8 November 1922 - Granddaughter born (living)
August 1923 - John died in Big Horn, Sheridan, Wyoming; buried in Big Horn
22 September 1928 - Grandson Howard Ernest "Haudy" Keithler born in Crow Agency, Big Horn, Montana (Adina & Howard)
1929 - Rozilla and George Craig married in Great Falls, Cascade, Montana
*1930 Census
2 January 1932 - Grandson Marlin Stewart Craig born in Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Rozilla & George)
1934 - Rozilla's husband George Craig died
26 September 1935 - Daughter Lena & Howard L. "Bus" Wolf married
1936 - Rozilla and Earl Burrell Craig married in San Antonio, Bexar, Texas (later divorced)
6 June 1936 - Ernest and Laneta G. Hensler married in Helena, Lewis and Clark, Montana
28 August 1937 - Grandson born (living)

Timeline: William Raymond Fox & Elizabeth Ann Zane

30 December 1888 - William and Elizabeth married in Schoolcraft, Kalamazoo, Michigan
12 August 1891 - First child Harold Germaine Fox born in Sundance, Crook, Wyoming
14 February 1893 - Second child Ruby Valentine Fox born in Sundance
3 January 1899 - William's grandfather Lysander Bathrick died in Sundance; buried in Sundance
*1900 Census - Living in Sundance, Crook, Wyoming, next door to William's parents. William was a farmer. Elizabeth was the mother of two children, two living. Household included William & "Lizzie"; children, Harold and Ruby; and boarder Grace Blake, 18, born in Iowa.
4 April 1901 - Third child Ruth Fox born and died in Sundance; buried in Sundance
3 July 1901 - Elizabeth's father Thomas William Zane died in Sundance
*1910 Census - Living in Gillette, Campbell, Wyoming. William was a land surveyor. Elizabeth was the mother of three children, two living. Household included William & Elizabeth and daughter Ruby.
8 August 1911 - Harold and Ella May Davis married in Sheridan, Sheridan, Wyoming
18 November 1911 - Grandson Francis Raymond Fox born in Gillette, Campbell, Wyoming (Harold & Ella)
23 March 1913 - Grandson Harold Maurice Fox born in Gillette (Harold & Ella)
24 December 1913 - Ruby and Maurice Warfield Smith married in Gillette
22 March 1915 - Grandson Clarence Milton Fox born in Gillette (Harold & Ella)
26 December 1916 - William's mother Maranda Adelia Bathrick Fox died in Moorcroft, Crook, Wyoming; buried in Buffalo, Johnson, Wyoming
5 November 1918 - Grandson William Ricketts "Bill" Smith born in Gillette (Ruby & Maurice)
10 January 1919 - Grandson Miles Leroy Fox born in Gillette (Harold & Ella)
*1920 Census - Living in Soukop, Campbell, Wyoming. William was an undertaker for his own establishment. Household included William and Elizabeth.
3 June 1921 - Grandson Raymond Maurice Smith born in Gillette (Ruby & Maurice)
4 April 1929 - Elizabeth's mother Susan Virginia "Jennie" Cummings Zane died in Sundance; buried in Sundance
*1930 Census
3 November 1936 - William's father Adelburt Alphonso Fox died in Buffalo; buried in Buffalo
18 June 1939 - Francis Raymond Fox died in Ucross, Sheridan, Wyoming; buried in Gillette
7 October 1939 - William died in Rochester, Olmsted, Minnesota; buried in Gillette
31 May 1963 - Elizabeth (pictured at left) died in Basin, Big Horn, Wyoming; buried in Gillette

Timeline: John William Smith & Jennie Ella Mobley

22 November 1877 - John and Jennie married in Elkton, Todd, Kentucky
29 October 1879 - First child Ruby Clair Smith born in Elkton
*1880 Census - 28, farmer, living in Fairview, Todd, Kentucky, not far from William & Elizabeth Mobley (Jennie's parents). Wife J. Ella, 26, keeping house, and daughter Rubie C., 1.
18 February 1881 - Second child Maurice Warfield Smith born in Elkton
15 August 1883 - Third child Shelby Russell Smith born in Elkton
27 December 1884 - Jennie's mother Mary Elizabeth Burrus Mobley died in Elkton; buried in Elkton
12 June 1888 - Fourth child Mary "Elizabeth" Smith born in Elkton
9 January 1894 - Fifth child John William "Jack" Smith, Jr. born in Elkton
16 November 1898 - Ruby and Lucien Eugene Vandegrift married in Elkton
*1900 Census - 49, living in Elkton, Todd, Kentucky with Jennie, 45, Maurice, 20, Shelby, 17, Elizabeth, 15, and Jack, 6. Everyone was born in Kentucky. John said his father was born in Georgia. He was a liveryman. Shelby and Elizabeth were going to school. Also in the household were three boarders. Census taker came 1 June 1900.
30 March 1904 - John died in Elkton; buried in Elkton
2 October 1907 - Elizabeth and Perry Small married (later divorced)
11 September 1908 - Grandson McLean Small born in San Francisco, San Francisco, California (Elizabeth & Perry)
About 1910 - Shelby and Iva Logan married
*1910 Census: Living in District 106, Caseyville, Todd, Kentucky. Jennie is widowed; mother of five children (all living) and keeping boarders. Son Jack is a helper at a livery stable. Household includes Jennie and son Jack; widowed father-in-law John P. Smith, 86; widowed sister-in-law Alice Anderson, 50 (helping with boarders); niece Katherine Anderson, 15; and four boarders. Census taker came 20 April 1910.
8 May 1911 - Jennie's father William Ellison Mobley died in Elkton; buried in Elkton
Abt 1913 - Granddaughter Jane Smith born (Shelby & Iva)
24 December 1913 - Maurice and Ruby Valentine Fox married in Gillette, Campbell, Wyoming
7 March 1914 - Grandson Shelby Russell Smith, Jr. born in Florida (Shelby & Iva)
28 March 1914 - Grandson born (living)
1916 - Granddaughter Clair Vandegrift born and died in Nashville (Ruby & Lucien)
5 November 1918 - Grandson William Ricketts "Bill" Smith born in Gillette (Maurice & Ruby)
*1920 Census - (Jennie) 50 (age has been fudged), living in Elkton, Todd, Kentucky, widowed. Census taker came 3 January 1920.
3 June 1921 - Grandson Raymond Maurice Smith born in Gillette (Maurice & Ruby)
About 1925 - Elizabeth and Edwin A. Williams married
About 1927 - Jack and Dorothy Doud married
*1930 Census - (Jennie) 75, living in Elkton, Todd, Kentucky. Jennie was widowed, no occupation, property worth $3000. Census taker came 14 April 1930.
*1940 Census
24 September 1947 - Jennie died in Elkton; buried in Elkton

Timeline: Thomas Merrill Johnson & Hattie Ellen Duggan

28 November 1883 - Thomas and Hattie married in Fremont, Dodge, Nebraska (later divorced)
9 September 1884 - first child Myra Lucy Johnson born in Lincoln, Lancaster, Nebraska
21 September 1885 - Thomas' mother Lorette Proctor Johnson died in Rock Falls, Whiteside, Illinois; buried in Rock Falls
31 January 1886 - second child Eugenia Pearl "Jean" Johnson born in Lincoln
17 June 1887 - third child Julia Amelia Johnson born in Lincoln
12 November 1888 - fourth child Ruby Ellen Johnson born in Lincoln
Summer 1890 - Family moved to Washington state
September 1890 - Julia Amelia Johnson died enroute home from Washington in Green River, Sweetwater, Wyoming
October 1890 - Ruby Ellen Johnson died in Arlington, Washington, Nebraska
7 December 1890 - fifth child Lorette P. "Laura " Johnson born in Arlington
4 May 1892 - sixth child Alice Muriel Johnson born in Arlington
** Family moved to Rock Falls, Whiteside, Illinois **
31 May 1894 - seventh child Napoleon Bonaparte Johnson born in Rock Falls
12 April 1896 - eighth child Anna "Marie" Johnson born in Rock Falls
13 April 1898 - ninth child Hattie Quintilla Johnson born in Rock Falls
*1900 Census - Family living in Rock Falls
October 1901 - Hattie left and took the children (Laura, Alice, Napoleon, Marie & Hattie) to Montana
1902 - Hattie and Frederick Newell Golden married in Kalispell, Flathead, Montana
17 February 1903 - Thomas' father William Johnson died in Rock Falls
15 March 1904 - Myra and Albert Nicholas Bloomster married in Las Animas, Bent, Colorado
1 September 1904 - Jean and John J. Mullennax married in Kalispell (later divorced)
24 October 1904 - Granddaughter Helen Louise Bloomster born in Las Animas (Myra & Albert)
June 1905 - Laura and Otto Antone Johnson married in Rathdrum, Kootenai, Idaho (later divorced)
29 July 1905 - Granddaughter Nellie Louise Mullennax born in Somers, Flathead, Montana (Jean & John)
20 September 1906 - Grandson Oren Olof Bloomster born in Las Animas (Myra & Albert)
26 April 1907 - Granddaughter Florence Ellen "Frances" Mullennax born in Del Norte, Rio Grande, Colorado (Jean & John)
18 February 1908 - Granddaughter Ruth Hilda Bloomster born in Las Animas (Myra & Albert)
About 1909 - Thomas and Mrs. Jennie Miller were married
5 July 1909 - Grandson Oliver August Bloomster born in Dalton Gardens, Kootenai, Idaho (Myra & Albert)
*1910 Census
1911 - Laura and Thomas B. O'Reilly married in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California (later divorced)
14 April 1911 - Granddaughter Thora Elna Bloomster born in Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai, Idaho (Myra & Albert)
1912 - Marie and Noah Blaine Ferguson married in Ritzville, Adams, Washington
25 June 1912 - Alice and Wildie Herbert "Bill" Keen married in Coeur d'Alene
8 May 1913 - Granddaughter Thelma May Bloomster born in Coeur d'Alene (Myra & Albert)
16 May 1913 - Granddaughter Elsie "Marguerite" Keen born in Walla Walla, Walla Walla, Washington (Alice & Bill)
January 1915 - Grandson Joseph Warren Ferguson born in Ione, Pend Oreille, Washington (Marie & Noah)
24 June 1915 - Grandson Paul Albert Bloomster born in Coeur d'Alene (Myra & Albert)
30 November 1915 - Jean and Robey Harrison Tolliver married in Walla Walla (later divorced)
21 April 1916 - Hattie died at Four Lakes, Spokane, Washington; buried in Spokane, Spokane, Washington
9 December 1916 - Granddaughter Esther "Kathleen" Keen born in Walla Walla (Alice & Bill)
20 March 1917 - Granddaughter Alice Catherine Ferguson born in Ione (Marie & Noah)
29 March 1917 - Granddaughter Laura May Tolliver born in Walla Walla (Jean & Robey)
10 June 1917 - Grandson David Otto Bloomster born in Coeur d'Alene (Myra & Albert)
August 1917 - Daughter Hattie and Joseph L. Biersner married in Walla Walla
17 May 1918 - Granddaughter Elsie Lavonne Ferguson born in Ione (Marie & Noah)
22 December 1918 - Daughter Hattie Quintilla Johnson Biersner died of influenza in Walla Walla
19 January 1919 - Napoleon and Lydia Alice McGaughey married in Puyallup, Pierce, Washington (later divorced)
23 January 1919 - Granddaughter Alice "Dorothea" Keen born in Walla Walla (Alice & Bill)
9 March 1919 - Granddaughter Mary "Myrl" Ena born in Coeur d'Alene (Myra & Albert)
10 November 1919 - Granddaughter Doris Jean Johnson born in Washington (Napoleon & Lydia)
21 November 1919 - Granddaughter Lois Marie Tolliver born in Tolliver, Ashe, North Carolina (Jean & Robey)
*1920 Census
20 February 1920 - David Otto Bloomster died; buried in Coeur d'Alene
6 June 1921 - Grandson Roy Albert Bloomster born in Coeur d'Alene (Myra & Albert)
4 July 1921 - Laura and Thomas John "Tom" Carter married in Vancouver, British Columbia
3 March 1923 - Thomas died in Sterling, Whiteside, Illinois; buried in I.O.O.F. cemetery in Rock Falls
1 November 1923 - Helen Louise Bloomster died in Dalton Gardens; buried in Coeur d'Alene
23 January 1924 - Granddaughter Martha Virginia Bloomster born in Coeur d'Alene (Myra & Albert)
16 January 1925 - Grandson Thomas "Willard" Carter born in Washington (Laura & Tom)
12 July 1927 - Grandson Daniel Blaine Ferguson born in Ione (Marie & Noah)
30 June 1929 - Grandson James Joseph Johnson born in Puyallup, Pierce, Washington (Napoleon & Lydia)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hitting Paydirt

On Tuesday night at the FHC, I noticed, when I used Google, that other genealogists before me had searched for names of their ancestors using quotation marks, like this:

"Ruby Valentine Fox."

I remembered reading that when you enclose your search terms in quotation marks, Google looks for exactly that phrase or name, instead of finding websites where the names appear but are not linked together. I never used it because I thought it was no big deal, until last night.

Just for fun, I entered Ruby's name in Google surrounded by quotation marks, and found a major source for her Arndt ancestors: The Story of the Arndts. And oh, what a treasure trove of Arndt family members it has turned out to be. I'm obsessed now. So far I've added almost 100 new family members and haven't even made it to Ruby's page yet.

This book also verifies ancestors' information I inherited from Gran, describes the service of the Revolutionary War patriots in the family (along with other military endeavors), and is chock-full of great sources itself, such as church and tax records. The book may provide a way to add the Arndt men's names (only a few are listed) to the DAR Patriot Index, which is something I remember DAR liked doing - finding new patriots.

I also found a copy of Gran's obituary by doing the same thing with his name.

From this experience, I've learned to never pooh-pooh a good genealogical search tip, no matter how small or goofy it may seem.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More DAR Stuff

I received a form from my local DAR lady last week, a form for getting a copy of Grandma Keen's DAR membership application. With it, I'll be able to send in my paperwork and become a member of DAR. I filled it out and sent it a few days ago.

Last night I found more DAR patriots in the Patriot Index, which is fun and exciting. (No, really. It is.) I'm up to "McDaniel" now in the book.

Also, my grandmother Abigail may finally have a maiden name: Dougall. Ever since I've known of her, she's been Mrs. Abigail Kettle Bathrick - her first husband Mansir Kettle died in 1773, and her second husband, Tillabee Bathrick, is my grandfather. I found her maiden name on New England Families, a website I LOVE for its rich notes, sources, and interesting information. Apparently I had an LDS uncle (Almon Bathrick) from back in the Joseph Smith days, who performed temple work on behalf of his ancestors in the first Nauvoo temple, including Tillabee and Abigail, in 1844. Now THAT is nifty. I'm waiting to hear back from New England Families guy.

I also looked up the females without last names, the Q and the R surnames last night in PAF Insight and found a few more things.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

DAR: Will Mom Be Joining???

I talked to my mom, and now she wants to join too. I sent the paperwork to her. She said she thought her mom may have been DAR, and possibly her dad's mother, Ruth Ackley Dysart.

UPDATE: Neither one of them were.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Wild Hair That I Call "DAR"

Prior to writing this post, I completed an online application on DAR's website.

The DAR lady called me today about my online application. She will mail me the form to request Grandma Keen's DAR information (fee $10). I will need to gather birth, marriage, and death certificates for hubby and me, my parents, and my grandparents.

(Later) I looked in my family files and found everything I need. This is me dancing the happy dance that I won't have to bug anyone for birth certificates or pay for new copies. Everything is all gathered in a folder, ready for filling out my paperwork.

(Later still) I emailed all my female relatives on Mom's side of the family and let them know I have some of the copies of what they'd need to join DAR, just in case they're interested.

(Later again) I heard from Aunt Nancy, who wants to join and get her daughter Mandi signed up, and from cousin Candace. Her mom might already be a member, so she's going to check that out. I scanned the copies of Grandma & Grandpa Keen and Grandma & Grandpa Dysart's birth, death, and marriage certificates, and sent them to Nancy and Candace. It would be fun to have so many of our family become members.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Elvis and DAR

So I'm chatting via email with bloggy sister Corrie, and she tells me about this nifty function (formerly known as The Devil) provides. You upload your family tree, you click on a family member's name, and then click on "famous people" and it'll show all the people you MIGHT be related to through that person. So far, Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Princess Grace, Helen Keller, James Dean, Marlon Brando, a Mayflower passenger, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, and numerous U.S. Presidents and First Ladies have popped up as possible relatives.

Of course, the accuracy of these links is iffy - the information is only as correct as the genealogists who contributed to OneWorldTree have made it. So, you know, we can take most of it with a grain of salt (I've already seen one blaring mistake, where the child was born before the mother). But it's still fun, and has spurred me on to check these connections out. I'd love to have a Mayflower ancestor, and Elvis being my cousin is actually looking pretty possible.

As most of these family ties involve colonial families, I spent some quality time this evening messing around with my "older" names - the names I've had forever but haven't done much with. Shock of all shocks, I have grandparents, aunts and uncles with only a BIRTH DATE. Neglectful me! I tried remedying that situation a little tonight. My aunt Daphne Proctor now has a husband and children.

Daphne got me started on my long-forgotten quest to become a member of NSDAR (National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution). My great grandmother, Alice Muriel Johnson Keen, a.k.a. "Alice Brown Eyes" at my house, was a member. Grandma Dot, her daughter, was most anxious for me to become a member. I was 24 at the time and not all that excited to join up with a bunch of blue-hairs who, I figured, would take one look at my youthful visage and say to each other, "New blood - GET HER!" Plus - this creeped me out - they all had to sign their names "Mrs. William Edgar Jones" (or whatever their husbands' names were) and at formal functions, they actually wore sequinned evening gowns and WHITE GLOVES. The horror!

Now that I'm considerably older, I figure, who cares? It would still be cool to be a member. All I'd have to do is order a copy of Alice's paperwork and prove my relationship to her, and I'm in like Flynn. (Who is Flynn?) I messed around on the DAR website for a while and filled out an online form to get on their call list.

Which prompted me to look up my patriot ancestors in the DAR Patriot Index. You only need one to join, but genealogically overachieving me - I think it would be fun to prove my relationship to ALL of them. Maybe by the time I'm 85, it'll be possible. Here's the list so far:

ARNDT: Abraham (1751-1825); Jacob (1725-1805); Jacob (1758-1831); John (1748-1814)
BATHRICK: Tillabee (1751-1831)
BURRUS: Thomas (1724-1788)
DANIEL: John (1751-1802)
DIMMICK: Timothy (1745-1807) - my possible Mayflower connection
DRAGOO: William (1747-1824)
DYER: Charles (1753-1845)
DYSART: James (1727-1781); James (1744-1818); John (1749-1842)
FOX: Abraham (1748-1777); Elijah (1758-1838); Joel (1754-1837)
GORTON: William (1750-1826)
JOLLIFFE: John (1751-1777)
LOCKE: James (1728-1808)
MCDANIEL: George (1722-1821); John (1751-1839)
MILLS: Nathaniel (1750-1815)
MORRISON: John (1729-1799)
PATTON: Robert (1747-1813)
PETTIGREW: George (1746-1818); James (1713-1784)
PHILLIPS: Caleb (1761-1829); Spencer (1755-1840), Thomas Jr. (1747-1829)
PROCTOR: James (1720-1790); Moses (1747-1805); Nathaniel Sr. (1723-1806); Nathaniel Jr. (1762-1855); Oliver (1745-1815); Peter (1735-1822)
REED: Jacob Sr. (1730-1820); Jacob Jr. (1762-1846)
RUCKER: Ambrose (1735-1807); Reuben (1755-1782)
SAYE: Richard (1740-1779)
SHOEMAKER: Jacob (1744-1810)
STRAIGHT: Jacob (1741-1796)

The great thing about finding them in the Index is all the missing information I scored in the process - a birth or death date here, a new marriage there. I probably have more, but I was only looking for grandfathers and uncles. Can you have an uncle or aunt as a patriot ancestor, or does it have to be a grandparent?

At any rate, the FHC was very fun this time - a most fruitful evening.

Friday, November 09, 2007

What I've Been Up To Lately

... scanning mass quantities of pictures at Neenaw's.

< My great-great grandmother Elizabeth Ann Zane Fox

> My great grandmother, Adina Irene Clark Keithler

< My great grandfather, Howard Mitchell Keithler (Adina's husband), with granddaughter Sharon Ann Keithler

>My great-great grandmother, Howard's mother, Jennie Lee Dragoo Keithler - the lady who gave me my nose, mouth and chin

< Adina's parents, my great great grandparents, John Thomas Clark and Johanna Magdelena "Lena" Steinhilber, with their three oldest children, Cora, John and Bryan (later came Adina, Ernest, Rozilla and Lena). Mother Lena came with her mother and sisters from Germany to the U.S. on an LDS Church-chartered ship, came west to Utah where Lena's youngest sister was born, then moved to Nebraska. Lena died in the influenza epidemic in 1918, leaving John and their five children (John and Bryan both passed away before her death).

>Uncle Ernie and Aunt Laneta (Ernie is Adina's younger brother)

< Lena Helen Pauline Clark Wolf, Adina and Ernie's youngest sister

>Rozilla "Rose" Margaret Clark (sister of Adina, Ernie and Lena) and her first husband, George Craig

< Aunt Rose

>Zella Daily - a Clark cousin

Monday, October 08, 2007

My Cousin Ernest, World War II Casualty

Click here and scroll down to "Casualties from U.S.S. Neosho."

Ernest Claude Johnson was the youngest son of my great grandaunt, Cora Clark Johnson, and her husband Aaron. He died after the Battle of Coral Sea (east of the coast of Australia in the South Pacific). After his ship, the U.S.S. Neosho, was attacked on May 7, 1942, he and 67 other men climbed aboard life rafts, lashed them together, and set themselves adrift, thinking the Neosho would sink. It didn't.

The men who clung to the remnant of the Neosho would be rescued four days later. The 68 men floating aimlessly on the raft would spend the next nine days suffering from lack of food and fresh water. Some were killed by sharks; others became delirious and drank sea water, and died quickly after.

Of those 68 men, only four survived to be rescued. They were taken back to the States in critical condition, and only two of those four would survive.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Aunt Jean

One day, I'll meet my great grandaunt Jean.

Eugenia Pearl Johnson - Jean - is my great Grandma Keen's older sister and she lived an interesting (sometimes unfortunate) life. She was married three times and had two daughters each with her first and second husbands, John J. Mullennax and Robey Harrison Tolliver. Tonight, I found missing information I'd been hoping to find for a long time about Robey and Jean's marriage.

As I've said before, for the most part I've given up trying to find really important, missing pieces of information. Now I just get to work and let it come. Tonight I took the extra step of praying before I started working on it. I plugged my PAF file into PAF Insight as usual, decided to work on the 3,000s, which happened to contain Aunt Jean's family, and thought, since it was slow and I was bored, "I should look up each person in while PAF Insight is looking for them in the IGI and see if I find anything" and lo and behold, that's when I found them. I also had the Washington state digital archives page open and happened to type in the name "Tolliver," which led me right to Jean and her daughters.

Robey was one elusive man to find, but tonight I have information I found in his World War I and II draft registration cards. I found out he and Jean divorced and he moved to California, where he died. I found Jean's third husband and his first wife living in Salem, Oregon. I found out that Jean's daughter Florence Ellen "Frances" Mullennax had been married not once, but twice, and that her son is the product of her first marriage.

A good night. I definitely feel closer to Jean and her family.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Is It Tuesday Yet?

"It's either Tuesday or Not Tuesday." This is how I find myself thinking of the days of the week lately. If it's Tuesday, yay! If it's not, I'm counting the days till the next one.

Tuesday is the day I serve at my Family History Center. Every Tuesday evening, I show up, I plug in my jump drive, I turn on PAF Insight and I go to town.

PAF Insight is a program you can download for $20-ish, and I plan to have it on my own computer someday so I can use it at home too. But I love the usually uninterrupted time with my ancestors. I also love all the books, films and fiche at my disposal, with always more to find in the Family History Library Catalog.

Saturday today = three more days! I've never enjoyed a Church calling so much in my life.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Projects Of Late

First I started a timeline project, which at first was just for fun, but had an interesting side effect: I started researching people with incomplete information. If all I had was their death year, I looked for the day, month, and place. If I had their birth information and could see they were probably dead by now, I went looking for death information - and so on. Since I started this project I've been able to complete scads of records and add even more family members from census records, online family trees, state histories, etc.

Before too long I noticed that I was adding people to the timeline whose names I wasn't sure were "mine" yet. I knew I needed to either connect or weed out those who weren't connected, which started my latest project: the "all related" project. I have over 15,000 names now, and I've been gathering surnames in certain areas that I know must be my relatives - Dysarts in Missouri, Keens and Copasses in Tennessee, Keithlers and Dragoos everywhere - and had found many that I hadn't connected to my people yet.

What I do is do a PAF search, find my name, click on it, click on "advanced search" and under the search options, click on "All related." I started at ,A and look for anyone who isn't related. When I find a family that isn't connected, I try to find them at and other databases, and if I find the connection, I'll fill in the information. If I can't, I export them to another file, my "not related yet" file. I've since worked my way down to ,Nancy.

Today while working on William Fenton Keithler, son of John W. and Mary A. (I haven't seen how they're related yet and am starting to think they aren't), I found a reference to my great grandaunt, Cecile Verne Keithler vander Pauwert. At, a book called "History of Montana" is available for viewing and I found great information about her husband John Daniel vander Pauwert's family. I've searched and searched for her and her husband and sons, and that is one tough name. Not only could census takers not spell it or write it legibly in cursive, but the family went back and forth between calling themselves "Vanderpauwert" and just plain "Powert." Also, John being from Holland originally, I found that in Holland, "vander" or "vanden"-anything is like Smith in English-speaking countries.

At any rate, I found Aunt Verne's husband's and sons' birth information and one son's death information, stuff I'd been looking for forever, and was very happy. Gotta love those goofy little projects that every so often have me doing actual research.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Links! Links! Links Galore!

Project Idea: Get a map and put it on the wall, and trace the different family names (grandparents) to where they moved in the U.S. For example, start with yourself and put a pin in the place where you were born, then do the same for your parents, then your grandparents (use different colors of thread for each new surname), and so on. You can see exactly where you came from.

Branching Out on Your Family Tree by George D. Durrant, April 2007 Ensign - don't forget the aunts, uncles and cousins!
Planning a Family Reunion
Top 10 Genealogy Resolutions

Could We Be Cousins?
My Family Tree
My husband's Family Tree
Tillabee Bathrick's Headstone (My ancestor)
Descendants of Elijah Keen
Jason & Lucinda Newberry's Burial Place (My third-great grandparents)

Fellow Geeks
Cemefairy Genealogy
Renee Zamora's Darn Fine Genealogy Blog

Places To Look - All Free!
101 Ways To Trace Your Family History For Free... and free is the best price
1880 U.S. Federal Census
Arizona Birth and Death Records
Free Vital Records Online - Births, Marriages and Deaths
Missouri Birth and Death Records
Social Security Death Index
U.S. Genweb - just click on a state for lots of resources!
Utah State Archives - Birth and Death Records
Washington State Digital Archives

(Hint: I found some of these state archives records by googling them. If you know where your ancestors came from, you can google "New York State Records," for example, and see what pops up. I've also had success by googling the names of my ancestors - the ones not named "John Smith.")

Research Helps
Find the county for that pesky county-less town in Nebraska (or any other state).
Get Nosy. 50 Questions to ask when interviewing relatives.
Indexmundi, for all your international place-finding needs.

Free BYU Family History Training!! Now you have no excuses.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

And Her Name Is Diana Brandon

Anyone who has any kind of genealogy inklings will be happy for me: last night I had one of those deeply-satisfying genealogy research experiences that reminded me of going out to dinner, eating a HUGE meal that tasted wonderful, and waking up in the morning still full and still thinking "YUM!!!!" Yes, it was that good.

I have an uncle, William Arthur Armstrong Keen, who was a Baptist minister in Tennessee. He had (I thought) four wives and numerous children, including a girl named Dicie Diana Keen who married her cousin, Vanzandt Keen. Dicie was lucky because she got to keep her initials all her life, which I'm sure was important to her.

After years of wondering, and finding out little bits of information about William and his family, I found that he had eight other children but no Dicie was included among them. It was pretty easy to figure out which children went with which wives, but Dicie was a mystery. She didn't show up in any censuses with her family. The wives I had dates for didn't fit with her being their child - some of the wives, all I had was their first and last name. I didn't even know what order they were in (Wife #1, Wife #2, etc.).

Fortunately hosts a family tree site. This very lovely man who lives in Denver, Colorado, had also researched William and his family, and not only did his family tree give me awesome pieces of missing information last night - they were all documented. YES. They all had a source. You always hesitate with stuff that doesn't come directly out of a book or a microfilm, but all this stuff had a source. Did I mention all of it had a source?

Finally, after all these years of not knowing who Dicie's mother was - which one of the four, except it ended up being FIVE, wives of William Keen - her mother is Diana Brandon. I don't have actual proof of it yet, but it fits. It was very common for women to die in childbirth back then - William lost at least one of his wives this way - and Diana's death date and Dicie's birth date are almost the same.

What I think happened was, William and his first wife Hiley had four daughters, then Hiley died. William then married Diana (I have their marriage date from this nice man, and a source), and I think they had Dicie. All the censuses I've seen her in, Dicie lived with the Jesse Crouch family. I think, having already lost two wives and with four little girls to raise, William let his newborn girl be raised by this family until she was married.

The clincher was when I looked up Diana's family in earlier censuses and found her as a child with her parents. Guess what Diana's mom's name is... it's Dicey. Such a strange little name can only be a family name. So there we had it - Dicie Diana Keen. It seems so obvious to me now, but there's no way I would have known if I hadn't found this nice man's family tree last night.

Long story short: I woke up full this morning. Yay!!!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Gathering vs. Hunting

I feel the need to keep telling my family history Sunday school class to not let themselves get frustrated about certain family lines. I spoke to them about it the week before General Conference and will bring it up again this Sunday.

We all have them - seemingly unfindable ancestors that we beat our heads on brick walls about - and they can be really frustrating. Not that they're personally doing it to us (I hope). We're all given a pedigree chart and told to fill it out and find the missing pieces of information. We get so set on that filling up that "tree" - and the subsequent generations afterward - that we start to settle for nothing less. I've discovered we can't do that.

Some family lines take YEARS, literally. I hunted for a long, long time before finding two necessary marriage dates. Family tradition had placed one date months ahead of its time, making it impossible to find in the record it "should" have been in; the other one, no one had any clue where this husband and wife were married. It took years of searching and not finding and thinking and studying and more searching until I finally found what I needed. On other family lines, I've been sent hundreds of pages of information out of the blue.

Thinking about this reminded me of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her parents. In the books, they usually lived pretty far away from the nearest town, and there was no refrigeration then. If they wanted fresh meat, Pa had to kill it, and whatever Pa killed that day was what they would eat for dinner that night. Ma had to be resourceful and versatile. Whether it was a rabbit or a deer - one time it was blackbirds that were eating their corn crop - it was Ma's job to prepare it and cook it for dinner. If Pa couldn't hunt anything, they made do with what they had. Sometimes they had to make do for a long, long time.

It's that way with genealogy. When I first started serving at the Family History Center, I noticed the wall lined with books and wondered half-heartedly if any of my family would be there. I figured probably not. But I noticed that many of them were volumes dedicated to Colonial families. By chance, I picked up a set and noticed that some of the names were common with mine. As I spent more time with these volumes, depending on the location, I eventually found over a thousand names that were my relatives - not anyone I was "hot after", but still worth adding to my family tree.

Since then I've learned to be less a hunter and more of a gatherer. Sure, I still want to complete my family tree as well as I can, and I still have hold-out ancestors who came from obscure places, did absolutely nothing of note (at least, that I can find), and died almost anonymously. And their names! William Johnson? Did he have to be named William Johnson?

However, once I figured out that I was being handed a big crop of blackbirds for dinner, I didn't stop to think that I'd rather have the filet mignon. I took the blackbirds and made do. Those people are no less important than my elusive little grandparents, and in the meantime, it gives me good genealogy "self esteem" to have added that many family members to my PAF file.

I've learned to tailor my information to the available documents, and not vice versa. Most of is no longer available at the Family History Center, but certain census years still are (1880, 1900, 1920). The 1880 census is also available at I took my family names, narrowed them down to who would be alive during those censuses, and started looking them up. Since I started doing this, new aunts, uncles and cousins galore have popped up. When the books at the FHC didn't have information about my specific ancestors, I focused instead on the surnames I KNEW must be mine (Bathrick, Dragoo, etc.) and gathered them all, figuring I would find the connection sometime - and on some of them, I have found it.

It pays to gather, and to make do with the resources that are available. I'll keep trying to find those hidden ancestors, but in the meantime, I won't disregard the free stuff that continues to come my way.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I am so sick of not finding anything about the man I believe is my grandfather, Jason Newberry, that I'm putting something online with his name on it, just so I can Google him and at least THIS will pop up.

He was born about 1823 in New York state. He married Lucinda, born 1821 in Massachusetts. They had three daughters that I know of, Fannie, Mary Lucinda (my great-great grandmother), and Ida J. He died 12 February 1870 and was buried in the Swezey-Bromley Cemetery in Newport, Herkimer, New York. Lucinda died 28 December 1878 and was buried with him.

In the 1860 census, I found him with his family (I was looking for a little 8-year-old girl named Mary Lucinda and this was the family that matched). They were living in Russia, Herkimer, New York, and a woman named Polly Newberry, 69 years old, was living with them. I believe she was Jason's mother.

I googled his name and found the Swezey-Bromley Cemetery webpage. It gave me their death dates and burial places, along with more Newberrys, including whom I believe to be Jason's parents and other possible family members. Polly Newberry was there, wife of Samuel, and her information matches the Polly Newberry I found with Jason and the family in the 1860 census. I believe Samuel and Polly are Jason's parents.

I called the Newport town clerk today, and she put me in touch with the Herkimer Genealogical Society. I spoke with Barb C., and she will be doing some research for me this week. I didn't ask her to - she offered. That was nice. I was prepared to have her send me copies, and have me pay for them, at least. That might still be the case - I'll find out in about a week. In the meantime, she has my address and email address, and she'll be looking for whatever she can find about this family.

OK, he's out there in Internetville. If someone else googles his name, hopefully they'll find this and feel happy.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

NOW It All Makes Sense


It is New Year's Eve 1852 and Henry HYDENWELL sits at his desk by candlelight. He dips his quill pen in ink and begins to write his New Year's resolutions.

1. No man is truly well-educated unless he learns to spell his name at least three different ways within the same document. I resolve to give the appearance of being extremely well-educated in the coming year.

2. I resolve to see to it that all of my children will have the same names that my ancestors have used for six generations in a row.

3. My age is no one's business but my own. I hereby resolve to never list the same age or birth year twice on any document.

4. I resolve to have each of my children baptized in a different church--either in a different faith or in a different parish. Every third child will not be baptized at all or will be baptized by an itinerant minister who keeps no records.

5. I resolve to move to a new town, new county, or new state at least once every ten years--just before those pesky enumerators come around asking silly questions.

6. I will make every attempt to reside in counties and towns where no vital records are maintained or where the courthouse burns down every few years.

7. I resolve to join an obscure religious cult that does not believe in record keeping or in participating in military service.

8. When the tax collector comes to my door, I'll loan him my pen, which has been dipped in rapidly fading blue ink.

9. I resolve that if my beloved wife Mary should die, I will marry another Mary.

10. I resolve not to make a will. Who needs to spend money on a lawyer?

Of course, birth and death dates in genealogy are important to have. While backtracking one family group, I came upon a death date entry indicating only that the man's demise was "None too soon."

--- Rootsweb E-newsletter

Saturday, January 13, 2007


...I was pleased to receive an email from A very distant cousin's boyfriend kindly took my cousin's information and put together a family tree, and invited me to look at it via the Internet. What did we ever do before the Internet?

The family tree focused on the Steen family of Monroe county, Kentucky, and I was able to update my information. The Steens are cousins from the Keen side. The cousin and I are actually 7th cousins - our common ancestors are Matthias Keen and his wife of Virginia. Their daughter married a Copas, and their daughter married a Steen. My great grandfather was also a Keen.

This lit a little fire under me and I spent some quality time gathering Copas family members from Monroe county, Kentucky, off the IGI. I decided to take all of them and put them in my files. This is a project I'm still working on and proves to be very fun, like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Last Tuesday night, I finished my first run-through with PAF Insight (speaking of "what did we ever do before..."). I have quite a few people in my PAF file and found it necessary to run them through, one letter of the alphabet at a time. This last Tuesday, I finished with the T, U, V, W, X, Y & Z surnames. Now I can start running them through again next week, but I'm happy to have the Copas project to work on as well.

I think I'll start doing more of the surname/locality gathering. When there's a surname that's not common - Dysart comes to mind - and they all seem to be gathered in one place, I'm just gonna grab all of them. We're all related somehow, I'm sure.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Back At the FHC

Yay! My fellow staff member's rotator cuff surgery is over with and our shift started again tonight. We had one patron and we had the night to ourselves. I made some good progress.

I put my S surnames into PAF Insight and got some good dates, and while I was thus employed, I noticed that cousin Enoch Shackleford died in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1921, and was buried in his hometown. Wondering if he may have been in prison (I didn't know the guy - stranger things have happened), I looked for him in 1920 to see where he was living. I'm thinking the Leavenworth death place might be a mistake because his entire life, he lived in Greenfield, Dade, Missouri, and barely moved until he was buried there.

At any rate, once I found him in the 1920 census, it opened the door to his whole family. I found all four of his children (all I knew is that he and his wife HAD four children), almost all their spouses, and the grandchildren. I found birth dates and places I hadn't had previously (love that 1900 census) and made some serious progress on that family. And it just dropped out on my lap, practically. I considered my night successful.

Until next week!