Thursday, December 29, 2016

Beryl Russell Worked in Greece

This is a continuing story about the Official Personnel Folder for my great-aunt Beryl Johnston Russell.[1] See part 1 here.

I had always known that my great-aunt Beb (that was what we called Beryl Johnston Russell) had worked for the federal government and lived in Greece. I had no idea who she worked for, but guessed it was the State Department.

However, she worked first for the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers. She had been working for the Bureau of Reclamation in Sacramento on the Central Valley Project. On 11 July 1948, she accepted the position of Clerk-Stenographer, CAF-4, at $2992.50 per month. This money included a differential to begin when departure from the U.S.

Once at the Apergis Hotel in Kifissia, Greece, she filled out an application for employment in the Foreign Service of the United States. This is the best application as it had all of her previous employment history. It also had the addresses of the previous ten years. None of these addresses nor the addresses for her family members were redacted!

Her work with the Army Corps of Engineers, Grecian Division was short-lived.  She resigned on 8 January 1949 to go work for the ECA (Economic Cooperation Administration) in Athens.[2] She had been working in the Engineering Division for the Commissioner of Water Economy for the Ministry of Public Works. Basically she was transferred and received a pay raise. Later job applications stated the engineers were returning to the U.S. She must have wanted to stay and applied to the ECA.

A poster created by the ECA
The ECA was part of State Department and was the agency set up to administer the Marshall Plan for development projects and reconstruction assistance in many western European countries.[3] In her packet was an Oath of Office, Affidavit and Declaration of Appointee.” This is where she had to solemnly swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..” She also had to swear that she had not engaged in any strike against the Government of the United States.

She worked as a secretary for the ECA for about a year, resigning for personal reasons on 21 January 1950.

I have some photos of Beryl while she was in Greece. She did take advantage of seeing the sights and the ruins in Athens.

Picking flowers at the Apergis Hotel


[1] Official Personnel Folder (OPF) for Beryl Russell, 6510, National Personnel Records Center, Valmeyer, Illinois.
[2] Notification of Personnel Action, 13 Jan 1949, Mrs. Beryl J. Russell; Official Personnel Folder (OPF) for Beryl Russell, 6510, National Personnel Records Center, Valmeyer, Illinois.
[3] “Economic Cooperation Administration,” Wikipedia.com (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_Cooperation_Administration : accessed 28 Dec 2016).

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Beryl Johnston Russell Taylor Worked for the Feds

Today I received a thick envelope from the National Personnel Records Center for the civilian records of employment for my great-aunt, Beryl Johnston Russell Taylor.[1] It measured at one-half inch think, probably about 125 pages. I haven’t counted them yet but I have looked at every page.

So how did I get this file? I wrote a letter to the National Personnel Records Center at the address in Valmeyer, Illinois asking for the Official Personnel Folder (OPF) of my aunt who worked for the federal government for about 30 years. I gave all of her names (she was married twice), her birth and death dates, and her Social Security Number.

One of many of the forms in Beryl's file


I had known little about her work. I knew that she worked a year or so in Greece after World War II (from her passport) and that she worked in Sacramento until her retirement (from her obituary). But I didn’t know what she did for a living.

I will keep the pages in the order in which they came. The newest pages were on top. These were about her retirement in 1974. She had worked thirty years and five months total, and had 518 hours of sick leave and 277 vacation hours saved that was paid to her at the rate of $5.61.

All through the papers her title was Secretary (stenography). Her last position was with the Department of the Interior in the Office of the Solicitor, and her office was in Sacramento, California.

Some of the treasures found in the file:
  • Pay change forms/Salary increases
  • Life insurance coverage
  • Notification of Personnel Actions
  • Civil Service Test
  • Performance award
  • injury report
  • listings all of her previous employment
  • signatures

What was interesting was all of the addresses for witnesses and beneficiaries were redacted with large black marker. I doubt any of these people from the 1960s and 70s are still alive. I know none of her siblings are.

As I work my way through the file in more detail, I’ll write more. I’m especially interested in the sheets about all of her previous employment. This will help with creating a timeline. I have yet to find her and her husband in the 1940 census. I think once I figure out where she was, I might have a better chance of finding them.


[1] Official Personnel Folder (OPF) for Beryl Russell, 6510, National Personnel Records Center, Valmeyer, Illinois.


Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

John Elias Lundquist Gets a Pension

John E. Lundquist* enlisted as a private in Company C of the 4th Iowa Cavalry Regiment on 5 October 1861. He was thirty-six years old and was living at Lockridge township in Jefferson County, Iowa.[1] The companies of the regiment rendezvoused at Mount Pleasant, Iowa where they practiced until their assignment.[2] In February 1862, the regiment was transported by rail to St. Louis and then in March they traveled to Rolla, Missouri. Other movements occurred and they ended up on Arkansas. Company C had their first skirmish with the enemy on June 3.[3]

Sometime near August 1862, John was sent to the hospital for sore eyes and later discharged from the army at Memphis, Tennessee in November.[4] He returned home and was unable to work for many months. The discharge papers also stated he had upper right arm paralysis. That would certainly make it difficult to do farming work. However, he did not apply for a pension until 1871.


In his application letter, he stated he was 
“discharged on the 2 November 1863 at Memphis Tenn” and “while in said service and in the line of his duty he contracted sore eyes at Helena Arkansas on or about the 1st day of August 1862.” It went on to describe the “disease was caused by exposure incident to the duties of a soldier. The first time affiant was unfit for duty after his enlistment was at said time and he was first taken with pains in the back which after being blistered went to his head and settled in his eyes. And that soon after being taken affiant was sent to General Hospital in Memphis Tenn where his eyes continued to get worse and when he stayed till he was discharged having become totally blind in his left eye prior to the time he was discharged.”[5]
The application letter also described his problems at home with the disability. “Since his discharge he has been residing in Lockridge township Jefferson county Iowa on a farm and has remained total blind in his left eye ever since. He further says that during the hot weather in summer he is unable to labor on his farm as it inflames his right eye so that he is unable to endure the sunshine.”[6]

There were also an affidavit from W.B. Porter, who was the Captain of Co. C., attesting that John Lundquist received “sore eyes from the exposure incident to camp life and in line of his duty and that he was sent from said place to Gen Hospital at Memphis Tenn.” He also stated that he was “temperate and of good habits.[7] It was important to the pension board that the applicant did not cause his own disability through drinking or poor habits.

Because of the disability, John had to have regular physician examinations, the first on 14 Sep 1871. The physician stated the disability was 
“chronic ophthalmia of both eyes. The left eye is blind at present from photophobia. He does not claim paralysis of the right upper limb at present, but complains of a great deal of pain in it. Disability from disease of the eyes—total. Disability from disease of the limb—none as far as I can judge.”[8]  
Ophthalmia is the “inflammation of the eye, especially of its membranes or external structures.”[9] Photophobia is the “intolerance to light; especially painful sensitiveness to strong light.”[10]

Every year he was examined by the surgeon and this was reported to the pension department. He was paid at the rate of $6 from 24 Jan 1872, then increased to $8 from 4 Sep 1872, then to $14 from 13 Dec 1875, then on 13 Oct 1886 it was increased to $24 per month.  In 1879 he filed for Arrears of Invalid Pension, asking for past payment between Nov 2, 1862 and Jan 24, 1872 at the rate of $6 per month. The arrears was paid at the rate of $4 per month from Nov 3, 1862 and $6 per month from June 6, 1866, totaling $578.00.[11] This would have seen like a fortune to John.

John died 2 July 1909 in Cambridge, Henry County, Illinois of apoplexy, which is a stroke.[12]

John E. Lundquist’s pension file has 228 images. Sixty-five of the images pertained to his pension. The rest of the images pertained to his widow, Anna Lundquist’s request for a widow’s pension. It was first denied but she was persistent and was finally awarded a pension. But that is another story to be told at another time.



* Johann Elias Lundquist (1822-1909) was my husband's second great-granduncle. 

[1] Certificate of Disability for Discharge, 27 Oct 1862; John E. Lundquist (Pvt., Co. C, 4th Iowa Cavalry, Civil War),  Pension File 893059; Civil War and Later Pension Files, Record Group 15; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[2] Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion: Together with Historical Sketches of Volunteer Organizations 1861-1866, Vol. IV,  published under the direction of Brig. Gen. Guy E. Logan, Adjutant General, Des Moines, 1910, p. 639.
[3] Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion: Together with Historical Sketches of Volunteer Organizations 1861-1866, Vol. IV,  p. 640.
[4] Certificate of Disability for Discharge, 27 Oct 1862; John E. Lundquist,  Pension File 893059; Record Group 15; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[5] Affidavit of John E Lundquist, 22 Apr 1871; John E. Lundquist (Pvt., Co. C, 4th Iowa Cavalry, Civil War),  Pension File 893059; Civil War and Later Pension Files, Record Group 15; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Affidavit of W.B. Porter,” 31 Jul 1871; John E. Lundquist (Pvt., Co. C, 4th Iowa Cavalry, Civil War),  Pension File 893059; Civil War and Later Pension Files, Record Group 15; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[8] Examining Surgeon’s Certificate,” 14 Sep 1871; John E. Lundquist (Pvt., Co. C, 4th Iowa Cavalry, Civil War),  Pension File 893059; Civil War and Later Pension Files, Record Group 15; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[9] Definition of ophthalmia, Dictionary.com (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/ophthalmia : accessed 23 Dec 2016).
[10] Definition of photophobia, Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/photophobia : accessed 23 Dec 2016).
[11] Brief for Arrears of Invalid Pension, 31 July 1879; John E. Lundquist (Pvt., Co. C, 4th Iowa Cavalry, Civil War),  Pension File 893059; Civil War and Later Pension Files, Record Group 15; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[12] Death Certificate of John E. Lundquist, 2 July 1909, dated 4 Apr 1919; John E. Lundquist (Pvt., Co. C, 4th Iowa Cavalry, Civil War),  Pension File 893059; Civil War and Later Pension Files, Record Group 15; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1970 Christmas Card

This Christmas card is from 1970 and is a part of the Gorrell Photo Collection. George and Thelma Gorrell with their five children.

I don't know the history behind the photo, but it looks like it was taken in a photo studio by the plain grayish background. The color has held up pretty well, though I tweaked it a bit in Photoshop Elements.


Merry Christmas from the Gorrell Family!

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 19, 2016

On This Day -- The marriage of Joseph Norman Gorrell & Matilda Pearl Davey, 19 December 1900


Joseph Gorrell and Matilda Davey met at a boarding house in Kansas City, Missouri where they were both living. She was a maid at the Washington Hotel and lived at 1221 Broadway.[1]

They obtained their marriage license on the 19th of December and were married on the same day by the Circuit Court Judge of Jackson County, Missouri.[2] On their application, they were living in different places: he lived at 1121 Central and she lived at 1207 Hasbrook Place. This differed from the city directory for 1900 but perhaps she had moved before the book was printed. Joseph was 31 years old and Tillie was 20.



Then fifty-five years later, Joseph and Tillie celebrated their anniversary and it was written up in the newspaper.[3] The Joplin Globe printed lots of newsy articles about citizens of their community. This nice article gave the date of their marriage, the address they had lived in Webb City, the number and names of their four children, and the occupation of Joseph and social activities of Mrs. Gorrell. They had no “open house” celebration but welcomed those who would come visit during the day. Two of their daughters were expected to attend.



Here are photos of Joe and Tillie from their grandson's baby book, 1952.





[1] Kansas City, Missouri Directory, Hoye Directory Co, 1900, p 271, Matilda Davy, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Feb 2014).
[2] Jackson County, Missouri, Recorder of Deeds, Marriage License, Return, & Application, no. 21336, 1900, Joseph N Gorrell & Tillie Davey.
[3] "Webb City Couple Will Observe 55th Wedding Anniversary, " newspaper article, Joplin (Missouri) Globe, digital image, Newspaperarchive (http://newspaperarchive.com : accessed 17 Dec 1955).

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Three Marriages of Johannes Eliasson Lundquist**

Johannes Eliasson Lundquist was born 8 Aug 1824 in Grolanda, Skaraborg län, Vastergotland, Sweden to Elias Pehrsson and Kjerstin Ericsdotter.[1] He married three times in his lifetime.

The first marriage was in his parish in Sweden. At the age of twenty-one, Johannes married Eva Charlotta Johansdotter, on 12 December 1845 in Fivlered Parish, Älvsborg län, Vastergotland, Sweden.[2]  They had at least three children: Josephina Alberina Wilhelmina, born 16 Sep 1846, Gustaf Adolph, born 23 Feb 1848, and Emile, born 26 Apr 1850.


1845 Marriage of Johannes Eliason Lundquist to Eva Charlotta Johannesdotter, Fivlered Parish

The family immigrated to the United States in 1852, arriving in New York on 12 July.[3]  Sometime before 1856, Eva Charlotta died. According to a testimony from Johannes’ third wife, Charlotta died at Princeton, Illinois, prior to the Civil War.[4] A possible cause of death was cholera, during an epidemic.[5] The county clerk of Bureau County, Illinois had no record of the death.

On 4 June 1856, Johannes (now called John), married Anna Stina Peterson in Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa.[6]
1852 Marriage of John E Lundquist & Annestina Peterson, Des Moines Co, Iowa

John’s second wife died 28 Jan 1892 in Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois. They had been living there since about 1879, when they were received in the First Lutheran Church.

John married the third time to Anna Nelson on 15 Apr 1892 in Davenport, Scott County, Iowa, which was just across the Mississippi River from Rock Island and Moline.[7]
 
1892 Marriage of John E Lundquist and Anna Nelson, Scott Co., Iowa



** John E. Lundquist was the great-granduncle of my mother-in-law, Thelma.
[1] Grolanda, Skaraborg, Sweden, Births, "Grolanda Births 1753-1758," 1824, Johannes Eliasson, p 247, digital images, image 1519.19.21000, Genline.com (http://www.genline.com : accessed 18 Jul 2011.
[2] Fivlered, Alvsborg, Sweden, Marriages, “Marriages, 1792 - 1862 (C:1),” 1845, Johannes Eliasson Lundquist to Eva Charlotta Johansdotter, digital images, “Sweden, Church Records, 1451-1943,” Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 Dec 2016).
[3] "Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1957," ), manifest, Swea, 12 Jul 1852, # 14, Johannes Eliason, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Dec 2011.
[4] Testimony of Annie Lundquist, 19 Apr 1908, Civil War Pension File #116368, John E. Lundquist.
[5] Letter from M. Elliott Waggaman & Co. to the County Clerk of Bureau County, Illinois, 23 Sep 1919, Civil War Pension File #116368, John E. Lundquist.
[6] Des Moines Co, Iowa, Marriage Records, Vol. 4, "1853-1862," p. 106, John E. Lundquist to Arnestine Peterson, 1856; Family History Library film 0956350 i2.
[7] Scott County, Iowa, Marriages, Marriage license record, volume 11, 1890-1893, p. 392, John A Lundquist to Anna Nielson, 1892; FHL film 1004418.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Homesteading in Dakota Territory: Gleeson and Sullivan Families


Five of my Gleeson and Sullivan ancestors applied for and received a patent on federal land in the Dakota Territory: John Gleeson, Martin Gleeson, John J. Gleeson, Ann Gleeson, and John Sullivan.  They all started as homestead applications. Homesteading involved three steps: filing the application, improving the land, and then filing the deed of title.[1]

Here, John Gleeson of Davison County, Territory of Dakota, filed an application no. 14941 on 14 Dec 1880.[2]




He also filled out a form swearing to the size of his family and that he had intentions of becoming a citizen of the United States.[3]


In 1880, he claimed his family consisted of his wife and six children. He, in fact, had ten children. Three of them filed their own homestead applications: Martin, Ann, and John J. Gleeson.[4]
The requirement of fulfilling the homesteading steps was to improve the property. They had to cultivate crops, build a dwelling 12 by 14 feet, and live continuously on the property for five years. If they completed the process they were rewarded with the 160 acres. Homesteading was difficult. The weather in Dakota Territory was harsh. The land was not easy to cultivate.

John Gleeson did complete the process. On 20 Feb 1886, he filed at the Mitchell, Dakota Territory Land Office, his final proof to establish his claim to the land, described as W ½ NE ¼ and E ½ NW ¼ of Section 9 in Township 104, Range 6.[5] He had four witnesses who would testify (or document) that he fulfilled the requirements.




John Gleeson and the witnesses were cross-examined and their answers recorded on paper. One of the questions was asked about the residence and the characteristics of the house.  John replied,
“June 14, 1881. Frame house 12 by 12 feet with floor, door trim, widow. Cost me $40.00 I put into said house at that time a good bed stead and bedding, cooking stove, a table, 4 chairs and cooking utensils worth $70.00.”
He was also asked about when his family lived on the land. 
“From the spring of 1882 (about the month of May) up to August 1883 they were away from the land about 2/3 of the time prior to May 1882. They were not residing with me at all to speak of. Since August 1883 up to the present time during the winter months of 1883-84 and 1884-85 and 1885-86 four of my children has been absent from the land about three months each winter to school at Mitchell except on Sundays but the balance of the time they have been at home.
“My family was absent from the land up to May 1882 because I had not a suitable house in which to keep them in and had not the means until I raised crops in 1882 to build a suitable residence for them and my wife had a good house in town where they could live and go to school.”
Another question asked was what business was he in when he made the application. His reply, 
“Teaming in Mitchell. I continued the business the following winter and in the spring of 1881 up to June 14, 1881. Since which I have not followed that business except perhaps occasionally a day when nothing to do on my farm.”
He was also asked how many days he was absent from the land. John replied, 
“I have not been absent from the land at all except now and then or part of day or day to town or other places on business in connection with said land since June 14, 1881. I have slept on this land at least 1400 nights.”

His signature at the end of the affidavit
There was another affidavit form that he may have filled out himself. On it he gave more detail about the house he built. 
“It was a frame house 12 by 12 feet. I built a larger and better house in September 1883 18 by 24 feet and 1 ½ stories high, shingle roof, pointed & plastered: a barn & granary 28 by 32 feet 10 feet high shingle roof – frame building, cow shed 100 X 20 feet 10 feet high boards & frame covered with straw. Horse barn frame 24 feet square & up 156 acres under cultivation: plowed 5 acres in ?? & fruit trees now in good condition, fenced 40 acres: value $2600.00.”[6]
The description of his property on the land gives us a better feel for what he had accomplished on the property. I could not read what he planted that was listed in front of fruit trees.

His land was patented on 17 Dec 1887 and recorded in volume 19 on page 319.  He also purchased 40 acres at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre totaling fifty dollars.[7] So that brought his total acreage to 200 acres.

I don’t know how he disposed of this land. In 1900, he and his family were living in Mitchell as renters and he had no occupation.[8] Land records were not filmed by FamilySearch so I will need to request land records from Davison County, hire a researcher to obtain the land records, or visit Mitchell and do my own research. I hope I can do that this summer.

I also want to thank Victoria Kinear for pulling these records for me at NARA.



[1] “The Homestead Act of 1862,” National Archives (https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/homestead-act : accessed 7 Dec 2016).
[2] Homestead Application, Application No. 14941, 14 Dec 1880, John Gleeson application file bearing final certificate no. 14497, Mitchell, South Dakota, Land Office; Land Entry Papers 1800-1908, Record Group 49, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[3] Homestead Affidavit, Application No. 14941, 14 Dec 1880, John Gleeson application file bearing final certificate no. 14497, Mitchell, South Dakota, Land Office; Land Entry Papers 1800-1908, Record Group 49, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[4] For Martin Gleeson, see Application Nos. 4680 & 7035. For Ann Gleeson, see Application No. 4681. For John J. Gleeson, see Application Nos. 9970 & 27458.
[5] Homestead Proof, Application No. 14941, 5 Jan 1886, John Gleeson application file bearing final certificate no. 14497, Mitchell, South Dakota, Land Office; Land Entry Papers 1800-1908, Record Group 49, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[6] Homestead Application, Homestead Proof, Testimony of Claimant, Application No. 14941, 20 Feb 1886, John Gleeson application file bearing final certificate no. 14497, Mitchell, South Dakota, Land Office; Land Entry Papers 1800-1908, Record Group 49, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[7] Homestead Application, Cash Entry No. 14497, 17 Dec 1887, John Gleeson application file bearing final certificate no. 14497, Mitchell, South Dakota, Land Office; Land Entry Papers 1800-1908, Record Group 49, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[8] 1900 U.S. census, Davison Co, SD, pop sched, ED 112, Sheet 12a, p 45 (stamped), Mitchell Twp., household 173, family 185, John Gleeson, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed  14 Nov 2012); citing NARA T623.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Who Is Your MRUA (Most Recent Unknown Ancestor)?

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has a new assignment this week. 

Here is my assignment:

1) Who is your MRUA - your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the lowest number on your Pedigree Chart or Ahnentafel List that you have not identified a last name for, or a first name if you know a surname but not a first name.

2) Have you looked at your research files for this unknown person recently? Why don't you scan it again just to see if there's something you have missed?

3) What online or offline resources might you search that might help identify your MRUA?
4) Tell us about him or her, and your answers to 2) and 3) above, in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook or Google Plus.
I don’t know the parents of my ancestor, Susanna Raduntz, who is no. 19. Susanna was born about 1832 possibly in Posen, Prussia. She married Vincent Siewert in Schneidemuehl, Posen, Prussia on 10 Feb 1850.  There are not many records in this area and the researcher my cousin, Tom Manley, hired gave us names and dates of Vincent’s parents and the names and dates of Vincent and Susanna’s children. He said there was no more information going backwards. Every time I see new databases open up in the former German areas that is now Poland, I check for Siewert and Raduntz names.

I have another problem with nos. 20 and 21, who are Jeremiah Sullivan and Mary Sheehen. Jeremiah was born about 1811 in County Cork, Ireland. Mary was born about 1822 in County Cork, Ireland. They married sometime before 1 Nov 1843, when their first known child, Mary Sullivan, was born near Castletownbere, County Cork. I hired a researcher in Ireland, Riobard O’Dywer, who said one of the church books was missing (the one where the marriage and baptism of their son, John Sullivan in 1854 might be). He did find a few of the children, but not all of them. There was no indication of who their parents were.

When the Irish church records came online this past year, I looked for the church records in Eyeries Parish but the book was missing from the digitalized version, too.  Sadly, I may never find their names among the hundreds of Sullivans and Sheehans in County Cork.

If anyone knows the identity of my Raduntz, Siewert, Sullivan, or Sheehan ancestors, please let me know!

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Autograph Book Tells a Tale

The standard records told the life story of Joseph Norman Gorrell.  Census records said he lived in Blackwater, Cooper County, Missouri as a child and Webb City, Jasper County, Missouri as an adult where he raised his four children. A marriage record indicated he lived in Kansas City, Missouri because he married his wife, Matilda Pearl “Tillie” Davey there in 1900. City directories confirmed some other locations in Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa, where he worked in the telephone industry as a lineman.

However, an autograph book that I scanned this week, told of another tale of his life before his marriage. I have a couple of these books in my collection, where friends and family signed pages with little poems, scripture, or hopes for their future. What is so precious about these pages is having the actual handwriting of your ancestors and their friends.



Joe’s autograph book is missing the first page. I can see where it had been torn our. This might have been a page that described his receiving the book for a particular occasion. As I read the pages, it seems like a “going away” book. It is full of advice for a young man about to go out on his own.

The entries were not placed in any order. One must look at every page to find the earliest entry which appears to be in early January 1893. These entries from 1893 are from friends and family members who lived in or near Blackwater, Missouri, where Joe was born.

Jan 9, 1893 entry by Maud Hill. The torn page is seen on the left.

Entries from his family included his parents, Amos and Catherine Gorrell, his sisters, Linnie, Ada, and Lou. Missing was one from his brother, Arthur.  His father had great advice.

Sept 6, 1893 entry by his father, Amos Gorrell

Be kind to all they fellows
Be intimate only with a well chosen few
Always save up a portion of your earnings
No telling what may hapen to you
Shun evry temptation to do evil
Improve evry opotunity to do good
Don't be led astray by the Dveil
But always honor thy God
Your Pa Pa  A. Gorrell
"Be Thou strong therefore"
"And show thyself a man"
1st Kings 2nd v 2
His mother, also wrote advice in the form of a prayer:

August 30 entry by his mother, Catherine Elizabeth Gorrell

It is the later entries that tell a tale that other records  not yet found would have told. The entries in 1896, 1897, and 1898 were from Los Angeles and Pasadena. The entries from 1894 were from The Dalles in Oregon. And there was one entry from a person in Oak Lake, Manitoba!

In The Dalles, Oregon lived his step-brother, May Mansfield Sayre. It appeared that was Joe’s first trip west. It was likely that May got him a job there.

Jan 6 1894 entry of May Mansfield Sayre at  The Dalles, Oregon

Later, he was working in Los Angeles and other cities in California. The story heard by family was he worked building telephone line where ever there was work. 

Nov 7 1896 entry of Chas Spangler in Los Angeles

By 1900 he was back in Missouri, working as a lineman for the Missouri & Kansas Telephone Company in St. Joseph.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Friendly Fill-Ins for Thanksgiving


Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is a great one today.



Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) This is a fun meme co-hosted by McGuffy's Reader and 15 and Meowing (thanks to Suzanne McClendon on the P.S. Annie blog for the links).

2) Fill in the blanks for these four statements:

1. One Thanksgiving tradition I have is __________________________.
2. Black Friday ______________________________________________.
3. The best part about Thanksgiving Day is _______________________.
4. One Thanksgiving, _________________________________________.


3) Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post. Be sure to drop a comment to this post if you write your own blog post and link to it.

Here's mine:

1. One Thanksgiving tradition I have is making cornbread stuffing. This was always the kind we had while growing up. My mother and her mother were from Texas, and I think this is truly a southern dish.

2. Black Friday is a shopping day I avoid. I'd rather go bird watching, bike riding, or watch a movie. I did go one year to the mall with my mother-in-law. Oh, what a mad house. Did get most of the shopping done, though!

3. The best part of Thanksgiving Day is the smell of the turkey cooking and the getting together with family.

4. One Thanksgiving I missed because I was in labor with my first daughter. My mother-in-law came to stay with me for a week when I got home from the hospital. She offered to cook and I requested Thanksgiving dinner. She used my mother's recipes. What was so great, was my quiet father-in-law said after tasting the cornbread stuffing was "just as I remember as a boy." He'd grown up in southern Missouri. From that point forward, my mother-in-law added some cornbread to her stuffing! (Funny how he had never complained about the soggy stuffing before.)



Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Mixed-up Richmans (Reichmann): His, Hers & Theirs?

In the previous blog post about Henrietta Fiday, we discovered that she was listed in the 1900 census as a Henrietta Richman. After analysis, it was thought that she was indeed Henrietta (Sievert) Fiday, the mother of Magdalene Reichman, and not the mother of Joseph J Reichman.[1]

Jos. J. Richman and wife, Magdalene were living in Joliet at 207 Johns Street.[2] Here is an image of a portion of the census. This was a second marriage for both Joseph and Magdalene.

1900 Will Co, Illinos for Jos. J. Richman (Reichmann)

Here is the transcription:
Richman, Jos J, head, w, m, Mar 1850, 50 m2, 3 yr, Germany, Ger/Ger, 1870, 30 yr, na, butcher, house
                Magdalene, wife, w, f, Jan 1852, 48, m2, 3 yr, 7 child/4 living, Germany, Ger/Ger
                Elizabeth, dau, w, f, Sep 1878, 21, mar, 3 yr, 1/1, Indiana, Ger/Ger
                Frank, son, w, m, Aug 1883, 16, sing, Indiana, Ger/Ger, butcher
                John, son, w, m, Apr 1886, 14, sing, Indiana, Ger/Ger, grocery & meat M.
                Ferdinand, son, w, m, Jun 1888, 11, sing, Indiana, Ger/Ger, at school, 9 mos.
                Julius A, son, w, m, June 1876, 23, mar, Illinois, Ger/Ger, butcher
                Frank, son, w, m, Feb 1899, 1, sing, Illinois, IL/IN
                Laura, adopted dau, w, f, Apr 1896, 4, sing, Illinois, IL/IL
                Henrietta F, mother, w, f, Apr 1828, 72, wd, 10/7, Germany, Ger/Ger, 1854, 46 yrs here

Several questions were posed at the end of that post that need some answers about the mixed-up family of Richmans in Joliet, Will County, Illinois in 1900. The questions posed from the previous blog post:
  • Was Magdalene, Joseph’s wife, Henrietta’s daughter?
  • Or was Henrietta actually Joseph J. Richman’s mother?
  • Which of the children listed belonged to Joseph and his first wife?
  • Which children might belong to Magdalene and her first husband?
  • Do any children belong to Elizabeth or Julius who were both listed as married?
  • Where they married to each other?


Analysis
The first two questions have been answered by the previous blog post: Was Magdalene, Joseph’s wife, Henrietta’s daughter or was Henrietta actually Joseph J. Richman’s mother? It was determined that Henrietta Richman was really Henrietta Fiday, living in the household of her son-in-law, Joseph J. and daughter, Magdalene.

Now it is time to sort out who the rest of the family was. Everyone was listed with the same surname but it is possible that some of the children belonged to Magdalena and her first husband, Joseph Waber, a butcher from Austria who died in 1889. There were three known children, based on the 1880 census: Joseph, Herman, and Lizzie.[3]  Joseph Waber died in 1889. The census above indicates that Magdalene had seven children, so it was certainly possible that four more children could have been born between 1880 and 1889 to equal the seven total.

So which children could be Magdalene and Joseph Waber’s? Since they were living in Indiana at the time of Joseph’s death, the children who were listed as being born in Indiana are likely candidates:
Elizabeth, dau, w, f, Sep 1878, 21, mar, 3 yr, 1/1, Indiana, Ger/Ger
Frank, son, w, m, Aug 1883, 16, sing, Indiana, Ger/Ger, butcher
John, son, w, m, Apr 1886, 14, sing, Indiana, Ger/Ger, grocery & meat M.
Ferdinand, son, w, m, Jun 1888, 11, sing, Indiana

These children were listed together in descending age order.  So how to test that these were really the sons of Joseph & Magdalena Waber? Research them further. Marriage and death records might name their parents. In doing some searching on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org, the following information was found:

·         Elizabeth Waber married Julius A. Reichmann on 11 May 1898.[4] This matches the number of years of Elizabeth’s and Julius’ marriage in the 1900 census. They also have been married long enough to have had one-year-old Frank. She was also the two-year-old, “Lizzie” in the 1880 census with her father, Joseph Waber and mother Lena.[5] This age matches her age in the 1900 census.

·         Frank Waber was found living at 207 John in the 1900 Joliet City Directory.[6] This was the same address as the census record. On a death record for Frank J. Waber on 27 Oct 1956, his parents were named: Joseph Waber & Madalyn Fiday.[7] The actual certificate needs to be ordered from Cook County, Illinois.

·         John J. Waber was living with brother-in-law Julius A. Reichman and sister, Elizabeth in Joliet, Illinois in 1910.[8] His mother, Magdalena Reichmann, also lived in the household.  The death index for his death of 15 Feb 1959 in Evanston, Cook Co, Illinois, stated his mother as Madeline Feitag.[9]

·         Ferdinand Waber was found in Joliet City directories. He was living with his brothers, Frank J. and John J. at 207 John in 1908.[10] 

Then the next person listed was Julius A. Richman, at age 23. He was married. No wife was listed below him, but it is likely that Magdalene was Julius’ wife, and the one-year-old Frank, was their son.
Julius A, son, w, m, June 1876, 23, mar, Illinois, Ger/Ger, butcher
Frank, son, w, m, Feb 1899, 1, sing, Illinois, IL/IN
Laura, adopted dau, w, f, Apr 1896, 4, sing, Illinois, IL/IL

Julius A. Reichman died 30 Jul 1929 in Joliet, Will Co.[11] His death record listed his parents as Jos. J. Reichmann and Louise Nockerfunek and his spouse as Elizabeth Waber. So Henrietta couldn’t be his mother.

Now Laura Reichman, the four-year-old adopted daughter has not been found in other records. Was she a Reichman, a Waber, or someone else? More research is needed.

Conclusion
Elizabeth, Frank, John, and Ferdinand were the children of Magdalene from her first marriage with Joseph J. Waber. Julius A. Reichmann, was the son of Joseph J. Reichman, and the husband of Elizabeth Waber. Their son was the one-year-old, Frank. Henrietta was Henrietta Fiday, the mother of Magdalene. There were no children of Joseph J. and Magdalene Reichmann in the household.

This family was a blended family of "His" and "Hers" but got lost under a "Theirs" by everyone being listed under one single surname, Richman.

*Magdalene Fiday was the author's first cousin, three times removed.



[1] “Henrietta (Sievert) Fiday Was Lost Among Reichmans,” blog post, 6 Nov 2016, http://mytrailsintothepast.blogspot.com/2016/11/henrietta-sievert-fiday-was-lost-among.html.
[2] 1900 U.S. census, Will County, Illinois, pop. sched., Joliet, Ed 126, sht 7a, p. 140 (stamped), dwelling 135, family 135, Jon J. Richman, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Nov 2016); citing NARA  roll 353;.
[3] 1880 U.S. Census, LaPorte County, Indiana, LaPorte, ED 85, p. 23c (penned), dwelling 205, family 226, Jos. Weber, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 May 2012); citing NARA T9, roll 292..
[4] “Illinois, Marriage Index, 1860-1920,” Julius A Reichmann to Elizabeth Waber, 1898, Ancestry.com. I need to order this marriage record.
[5] 1880 U.S. Census, LaPorte County, Indiana, LaPorte, ED 85, p. 23c (penned), dwelling 205, family 226, Jos. Weber, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 May 2012); citing NARA T9, roll 292.
[6] Wiggins Joliet City Directory, 1900, p. 610, Frank Waber, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Nov 2016).
[7] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” 1956, no. 1027, Frank J. Waber, index, Familysearch.org (http://familysearch.org : accessed 8 Nov 2016), citing Digital Folder Number 100673704.
[8] 1910 U.S. Census, Will Co, Illinois, Joliet, ED 173, sht 4b, dwelling 74, family 79, Julius A Reichmann household, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 May 2012); citing NARA T624, roll 334.
[9] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” 1959, John J. Waber, Familysearch.org. Another record to order.
[10] R.L. Polk, Joliet City Directory, 1908, p. 730, Ferdinand J. Waber, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Nov 2016).
[11] "Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916–1947," Julius A. Reichmann, 1929, index, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Nov 2016); citing FHL film 1643318.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.