Friday, June 23, 2017

On this Day -- the Marriage of Greenlee Bean Selman and Amanda Deborah Oldham, 23 June 1851

My three times great-grandparents, Greenlee Bean Selman and Amanda Deborah Oldham were married on 23 Jun 1851 in Cherokee County, Texas.

Actually, Greenlee Selman married another Selman, Mrs. Deborah A Selman. Here is a copy of the license for the marriage:[1]
“To any Judge Justice of the Peace or Regularly Ordained Minister of the Gospel, you are hereby authorized to solemnize the rites of matrimony between Mr. Green Lee R Selman and Mrs. Deborah Amanda Selman and due return make to within Sixty days after solemnization at my office in the town of Rusk. Given under my hand and seal of ?? In the Town of Rusk this 23rd September AD 1851.
   W.P. Brittain Clerk Co Court, by his Deputy O.G. Woods.”
1851 Marriage License for Green Lee Selman & Mrs. Deborah A. Selman,
Cherokee Co, Texas
Now there is no return recorded in the marriage book. When did they marry? Probably not in the same office on that day. Had the minister forgotten to return the marriage? Or had Greenlee and Amanda married in a different county and it was recorded there?

Amanda Deborah Oldham had previously been married to James Selman. They married 25 November 1841 in Carroll County, Mississippi. James died 10 November 1850 and they had two children:
  • George Washington Selman, b. 22 September 1842
  • Emma Olivia Selman, b. 6 May 1844

James was the son of Thomas Selman and Polly Goodwin and a first cousin to Greenlee Selman, who was the son of Benjamin F. Selman and Sarah Bean. Thomas and Benjamin were brothers.

Greenlee and Amanda had three children:
  • Mary Caroline Selman, b. 28 Jun 1852
  • Robert Louis Selman, b. 4 Apr 1855
  • Sarah Helena “Sallie” Selman, b. 27 Sep 1858, my second great-grandmother, who married Peter Hayden Hutson.
Happy 166th Anniversary, Greenlee & Amanda!

[1] Cherokee County, Texas, Marriage Record, Vol. A, p. 210, licence for Green Lee Selman to Mrs. Deborah A. Selman, digital image, ( : accessed 23 June 2017); citing FHL film 988075.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Recent Ancestor Photographs

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has another great assignment for us.
1)  Do you have photos of all of your ancestors back to the 1850 time frame?  Which recent ancestors do you not have a photograph of? 
2)  Review your files, and list the ancestors for whom you want and/or need to find a photograph.  Also list where they resided and where they died.  Where would you look to find a photograph of them?

3)  Share your answers on your own blog post (and leave a comment here with a link), or on Facebook or other social media.
So here’s mine:

I have photos of my parents, my four grandparents, and seven out of my great-grandparents. I have photos of  ten out of sixteen great-great-grandparents. And I have only two out of thirty-two 3X great-grandparents.

Of my great-grandparents:
I have not found a photo of Johan Anton Hork (1843-1906).

Of my great-great-grandparents:
I need a photo of Vincent Sievert (1823-1890) & his wife Susanna Raduntz (1832-1911). I have tried many years ago by contacting other Sievert descendants. Maybe someday.

Jeremiah Sullivan (1811-1888) and his wife, Mary Sheehan (1822-1892). They died in Todd Co, Minnesota.

Joseph Heinrich Horoch (1804-1857) and his wife Maria Catharine Trösster (1813-1874). They died in Oberhundem, Westfalen. I doubt I’ll find photos of them.

Of my great-great-great-grandparents: The only ones that fit the date criteria are:
Martin Gleeson (1787-1859) who died in rural Canada.

Samuel Johnston (1816-1869) who died in Titus Co., Texas and his wife, Elizabeth McCormack (1814-1891).

Benjamin W. Jones (1822-aft 1861) who died in the Civil War, and his wife, Amanda A Haley (1827-1904). If he had been in the Union Army I might expect to find a photo, however he was in the Confederate Army and I don't even know which unit. This is a big brick wall.

Greenlee Bean Selman (1820-1888) and his wife, Amanda Deborah Oldham (1822-1880). They both died in Texas.

George Wilson Lancaster (1839-1919). He died in Erath Co, Texas. I have a photo of his wife with her second husband.

James Madison Coor (1833-1889). He died in Texas. His wife, Melissa Ann Welch died in 1876 in Copiah Co, Mississippi. They were probably too poor to have any photographs.

Jesse Loveless (1806-1873) and his wife, Elizabeth Nixon (1810-aft 1876). They died in Faulkner Co, Arkansas.

Some of these last group probably never had photos taken of them. However, if anyone out there has a photo of my ancestors, I would love to see it!

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Which Ancestor Moved the Furthest?

Another great genealogy challenge from Randy Seaver of Genea-musing.
1)  The Family History Hound listed 20 Questions about your Ancestor, and I'm going to use some of them in the next few months. 
2)  Please answer the first question - "Which ancestor moved the farthest from their home?"
3)  Write your own blog post, make a comment on this post, or post  your answer on Facebook or Google+.  Please leave a link to your answer in comments on this post.
My great-grandfather, Johann Anton Hork and his brother, Johann Albert Hork, came the furthermost distance from their home.

Both were born in the small town, Oberhundem, located in Kreis Olpe of Westfalen. Anton was born 8 Nov 1843 and Albert was born 10 Aug 1853.[1]

The 27-year-old, Johan Hork, arrived in the United States on 5 Nov 1870 aboard the HMS Idaho.[2] He married Julia Sievert in Joliet, Will County, Illinois.[3] John was a tailor and he took his family west as far as Portland, Oregon:
  • Kane County, Illinois[4]
  • St. Louis, Missouri[5]
  • Detroit, Michigan[6]
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan[7]
  • Portland, Oregon[8]

Later he moved his family to Hamilton, Montana,[9] where most of his children lived the rest of their lives.

John Anton’s brother, Albert Hork, was a Roman Catholic priest. He attended Laurentiacum Arusberg in Paderborn, then St. Francis in Wisconsin, and finally his theological studies at University at Vienna, Austria and American College at Louvain, Belgian.  He became a priest 7 Jun 1884. He served in many parishes in Missouri: Kearney, Central City, Ridgeley, Randolph, Menominee, and St. Libory.[10]

The last church Father Albert served was at St. Louis in Gervais, Oregon. He lived until his death at the St. Mary’s Covent in Beaverton, Oregon.[11]

Distance between Oberhundem, Westfalen and Portland, Oregon is 8,278 km or 5,144 miles.[12]

[1] For Anton’s birth: Kirchenbuch, 1649-1874, Katholische Kirche Oberhundem (Kr. Olpe), Baptism of Johann Anton Horoch (Mikrofilme aufgenommen von Manuskripten im Bistumsarchiv Paderborn.Kein Verleih an europische Genealogie-Forschungsstell), Intl 1257842, Taufen 1826-1847, p 139. For Albert’s birth, Kirchenbuch, 1649-1874, Katholische Kirche Oberhundem (Kr. Olpe), Baptism of Johann Albert Horoch, (Mikrofilme aufgenommen von Manuskripten im Bistumsarchiv Paderborn.Kein Verleih an europische Genealogie-Forschungsstell), Intl 1257843, Taufen 1848-1878, 1853, p 27.
[2] "Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1957," digital images, (, film 336, 5 Nov 1870, SS Idaho, line 39, no. 1030, Joh Hork.
[3] St. John's Catholic Church, Marriage (Church) Record of Anton Hork & Julia Sievert, Joliet, Illinois, Marriages, p 13, Hork-Sievert.
[4] 1880 U.S. census, Kane County, Illinois, pop. sched., Aurora, ED 73, p 43c (penned), p. 79a (stamped), dwelling 280, family 392, Antone Hark, (, citing NARA T9, roll 217.
[5] St. Louis City Directory, 1882, p 561, Anton Hork, David B. Gould, Publ., digital image, (
[6] Detroit City Directory, 1883, p 553, Anthony Hork, J.W. Weeks & Co, digital image, (
[7] Grand Rapids City and Kent County Directory, 1885-85, 294, Anton Hork, microfilm, FHL film 1376887, R.L. Polk & Co, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
[8] Oregon City Directory, 1891, p 62, Anton Hork, “U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989” (Beta), (, RL Polk Co, Portland.
[9] 1900 U.S. census, Ravalli County, Montana, population schedule, ED 81, Sheet 15a, p 33 (stamped), household/family 285, John A Hork, digital image, ( : accessed 28 Jun 2011), citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 914.
[10] Biography written in Albert Hork’s hand, 20 Oct 1902, original located at Diocese of Omaha, Nebraska.
[11] Ken Hoggatt and Phyllis (Ferrara) Hoggatt, editors, Cemeteries of Washington County, Oregon Vol 1 (Tigard, Oregon: n.p., 1996.), 126-27.
[12] Google search for “distance between Oberhundem, Germany and Portland, Oregon,” 4 Jun 2017.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- "The Other You"

Randy Seaver of Genea-musings has a new challenge today.
* Tell us about your "other" hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research, writing, speaking, etc.  Be mindful of your family's privacy, though!
 * Write a blog post of your own, respond with a comment to this post, or write a Facebook status post or a Google+ Stream post.
My immediate family thinks all I do is genealogy. It is true that every day I try to fit in genealogy as part of my day.  In the morning I check emails and Facebook to see what’s happening in the genealogy world. If someone describes a new database, I usually think of someone in my database that this might apply to and do a quick search. I also multitask while watching television with my husband, either writing a blog post, searching in Ancestry or FamilySearch, or entering data into my genealogy program.

But I do find time to do other things.

I try to play Pickleball three days a week (Mon/Wed/Fri). There’s Yoga on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, too. Walking the dog to the mailbox is another activity, though not every day.

I take two classes a week, one with the adult education center where we practice speaking, do grammar exercises, and read and translate literature. The other class is smaller and we also practice speaking and playing games. Sometimes we watch German TV and eat at German restaurants.

I love listening to music and still have all of my L.P. albums. I play ukulele with a club at the Senior Center. It’s a blast singing Hawaiian songs as well as songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s. I also play the guitar and take a private lesson once a week.

Misc. Hobbies
I love to read, especially historical fiction and mysteries. I love to play Scrabble, do crossword puzzles, and put together jigsaw puzzles. I birdwatch and do photography, with flowers as my favorite subject. I do a bit of gardening grow California natives. I follow Giants baseball and watch some tennis and women’s soccer.

Volunteer Activities

I am a board member for the Contra Costa County Historical Society and volunteer as a researcher once a week. I volunteer with the National Parks at the John Muir Historical Site, where I do a phenology study once a week. I also volunteer with local genealogy societies.

I think having other activities makes for a well-rounded person and perhaps a better genealogist. Even when I'm doing other things, I'm thinking about genealogy!

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- The Homes I've Lived In

Randy Seaver's post this week has an interesting assignment:
1)  Read Linda Stufflebean's blog post, "Homes In Which I've Lived" on her Empty Branches on the Family Tree blog. 
2)  This week, please list the homes in which that you have resided (not just visited) from your birth until the present. 
3)  Share your list in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or on Facebook or Google+.  Please provide a link to your list as a comment to this post.

I lived in a total of five addresses my entire life: three with my parents, one on my own, and one with my husband and children. I am grateful that I have not had to move much, but regretful that I didn’t get a chance to see new places. I envy those who move often, as they are able to cull excess belongings each time they move.

My grandparents helped my parents purchase a house in West Pittsburg, in an area called Shore Acres. Their address there was 35 Harbor Dr. This is where my parents were living when I was born. I think that my parents could not handle the house payment. Perhaps they sold the house.

My mother and me at 35 Harbor Dr, West Pittsburg, 1954

In the 1955 Pittsburg, California city directory, my parents lived at 467 East 9th Street and continued to live here until Spring of 1963.

1963 birthday party in front of 467 East 9th St, Pittsburg

From 1963 to 1988, my parents lived at 130 Paulson Lane. It was painted red when we moved in but around 1970, my parents had it painted green. It was a great house, full of knotty pine paneling and hardwood floors. We lived on a quiet street that dead-ended at Las Trampas creek where we all played in during summers. The house and property were purchased by the California Department of Transportation in order to widen Interstate 680. My parents and youngest sisters moved across the street to the old Potter home at 141 Paulson Ln.

130 Paulson Lane, Walnut Creek

I moved out in 1979 to my own apartment at 141 Flora Avenue, Walnut Creek. I had lived at home while attending college in Hayward (CSUH) and I worked a year or so at BART before I had enough money to live on my own. Just before we were married, I received a notice that the apartment was converting to condos. The photo below is from Google Street View. I have no photos taken of the place at all. My apartment was on the floor above the carport. In 1979, there was an earthquake that shook so much it woke me up. I think it had to do with being over the carport.

141 Flora Ave, Walnut Creek (north side)

The last house I have lived in is 781 Wilson Avenue, Martinez. We have been here 37 years and raised two daughters here, as well as several Australian Shepherds.

Our current home

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 17, 2017

WW II Draft Card from NARA for Wm Cyril Hork

Everything is not online and I recently received from the National Archives the World War II Draft Registrations for my two grandfathers and for my husband’s father.

During World War II, there were six draft registrations. The registrations are in two different groups at the National Archives. One group is the 4th registration, known as the “Old Man’s Draft” which registered all the men who were born between April 28, 1877 to February 16, 1897.[1] Images of this draft can be found on and as “United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942.”

The other group are the rest, those men who were born between February 17, 1897 to July 31, 1927. These records are not available online and I had to order the records from the National Archives in St. Louis. Information about it is here. There is a special form you fill out for the registrant you’re seeking and when the archives personnel find the record, you’ll receive a letter with an invoice to order the copies. The Registration Card is $7.00 and the Classification Record (including the Registration Card) is $27.[2]

I ordered three different records: my paternal grandfather, William Cyril Hork; my maternal grandfather, Tom J Johnston; and my husband’s father, George J. Gorrell. The time frame for receiving the records were:
  • Filled out the online form: ??[3]
  • NARA sent the invoice: December 7, 2016
  • I returned the invoice: December 22, 2016
  • NARA sent the records: January 24, 2017

Did I learn anything new from these records? I did learn some new things, mostly about their occupation. Today I’ll write about my paternal grandfather, William Cyril Hork.

WWII Draft - William Cyril Hork
Front side of the card. The handwriting is different from the back side, which would be filled out by the registrar, so perhaps my grandfather filled out the form himself. He was living at 215 North Euclid Ave, Ontario, San Bernardino Co, California.[4] This was the same address as listed in the 1940 census and the 1942 California Voter Registration.[5]

He put down Lorene Hork as the person who would know his address, and her address was 1259 Eggleston, California. He left out the city of Napa. My grandparents were separated by now and my grandmother lived in Napa at 1259 Eggleston with her children.[6]

His employer was the W.P.A. Project #12322, working on the Ontario Municipal Airport in Ontario, California. On his 1942 Voter Registration, he recorded his occupation as a pipefitter.[7] With this project detail about the airport project with the Works Project Administration, I should try to see if the WPA has records about my grandfather. I can start here.

WWII Draft Card - William Cyril Hork
Back Side of Card
As with all draft forms, his description was included: white, 5’8”, 150 pounds, blue eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion, and what I didn’t know, numerous scars on the left side of his face. These will filled out by the registrar, Bertha C. Henning. I have few photos of my grandfather. I do have two photos taken before his service in World War I and there are no scars on his face. Another photo taken of him in the mid-sixties does show scars on his face. I wonder what happened.

Left side of Classification Record
Classification Record
The other form, Classification Record, gives information about the registration process. There are many columns and the first few had this information: order no. 11387, Wm Cyril Hork, serial no. 849, age: 41, white.

Then there were many columns with dates:
  • date record transferred by or to local board: Aug 27 1942
  • date record returned: Nov 5, 1942
  • date questionnaire mailed: Jul 20 1942
  • date questionnaire returned: Jul 28, 1942
  • classification: AH
  • date to appear for physical: Oct 22, 1942
  • date appeared for physical: Oct 27, 1942
  • date classification by local board mailed: Nov 5 1942, Jan 27, 1943
  • date request to appear before board received: Apr 26, 1943

Then there was an inserted page with this information:
  • classification: 1AH [crossed out], 4A
  • column 29: Jul 8 1944 (which might refer to the date the 4A was written)

What were these classification codes? I found an answer on the Selective Service System website. These codes were for registrations between 1948 and 1976. So, I can't be sure that the code "AH" means "Registrant not currently subject to processing for induction or alternative service."

I don't think he ever served. I have received his military record from WWI, where he had Naval service. That story can be found here.

[1] “Selective Service Records,” National Archives at St. Louis, : accessed 16 April 2017)
[2] ibid.
[3] If I kept a better research log, I would know when I filled out the form.
[4] World War II Draft Registration Records, Selective Service Records, National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, Missouri, D.S.S. Form 1, William Cyril Hork, ser. no. 849, dated 16 Feb 1942.
[5] 1940 U.S. census, San Bernardino County, California, pop. sched,  Ontario, ED 36-63, sht 64A, p 903, William C. Hork, digital images, ( : accessed 2 Apr 2012), NARA T627, roll 290. See also “California, California Voter Registration 1900-1968,” database with images, ( : accessed 25 Nov 2012), 1942, San Bernardino Co, Ontario Precinct No. 18, roll 12, William C. Hork.
[6] Napa City Directory, Polk-Husted Directory Co, Sutro Library, film 1221., 1942: 73, Anne Hork, Lorene E Hork, and Virginia A Hork.
[7] “California, California Voter Registration 1900-1968,” 1942, William C. Hork.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Who in Your Database Has Your Birth Day?

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has a new Saturday Night Genealogy Fun for us this week.
1) Are there persons in your genealogy database that has the same exact birth date that you do?  If so, tell us about him or her - what do you know, and how is s/he related to you?
2) Are there persons in your database that are your ancestors that share your birth day (but not the year)?   How many, and who are they?
3) Are there other persons in your database that share your birth day (but not the year)?  How many, and who are they?
4) For bonus points, how did you determine this?  What feature or process did you use in your software to work this problem out?  I think the Calendar feature probably does it, but perhaps you have a trick to make this work outside of the Calendar function.
1) I am the only one in my database to have the exact birthday of March 26, 1954.

2) I have no ancestor who shares my birthdate. I have 7,030 people in my database. I have many birthdates as year only and not an exact date, so it is possible there might be some ancestor who shared my birthday.

3) I have the following people in my database that share the March 26 date for birthday. I included their relationship to me:
26 March 1834    Thomas I Matthews-9979 (183) – in-law that I couldn’t figure out!
26 March 1894    Robert Kamegia Knox-2997 (123) – 1st cousin 3 times removed
26 March 1898    Dessie C. Ball-9957 (119) – wife of grandson of  3rd great aunt
26 March 1906    Ada May Gorrell-68 (111) – husband’s aunt
26 March 1943    Living  (74) – second cousin
26 March 1947    Richard Hork Jr.-2024 (70) – second cousin
26 March 1954    Me (63)
26 March 1961    Living (56) – wife of husband’s second cousin
26 March 1966    Living (51)—third cousin
RootsMagic can indicate relationship and I have it set up to show me at the bottom of the screen. Sometimes nothing shows up. There is also a relationship calculator that can be used. The reason these people have no relationship might be because I have taken the collateral line a bit far from the direct line.

4) I used the “Birthday and Anniversary List” in RootsMagic. My list was 87 pages and I scrolled to March 26.  I have used this list often to find people to write about on my blog with the theme “On This Day.”

This was a great exercise. I realize I have done a “On This Day” in quite a long time. I need to work on a few more to document my family.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- A Family's Increase

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has a new mission for us:
1) Pick one of your sets of great-grandparents - if possible, the one with the most descendants.
2) Create a descendants list for those great-grandparents either by hand or in your software program.
3) Tell us how many descendants, living or dead, are in each generation from those great-grandparents.
4) How many are still living? Of those, how many have you met and exchanged family information with? Are there any that you should make contact with ASAP? Please don't use last names of living people for this - respect their privacy. 
5) Write about it in your own blog post, in comments to this post, or in comments or a Note on Facebook.
1) My Great-grandparents were Johan Anton Hork (1843-1906) & Julia Ann Sievert (1854-1928).

2) I used RootsMagic7 to make a Descendant’s Report.

3) Their descendants are (the best that I know):
  • Children = 10 (all deceased)
  • Grandchildren = 16 (1 still living)
  • Great-grandchildren = 45 (37 living)
  • 2x-grandchildren = 35 (33 living)
  • 3x-grandchildren = 7 (all living)

4) The total increase is at least 113 and most likely more. I do not know the relatives of the ones who lived in Montana, Utah, and Washington. Of the 113 that I have counted, I have met 44, although I have communicated with a few by email and letter.

I need to find more descendants of:
  • Susan Veronica Hork (1877-1922 & Andrew Edward Hart (1877-1955)
  • Anthony Hork (1886-1966) & Mary Kelly (1891-1971)
  • Urselle C Hork (1892-1951) & Bernard V Schwalen (1888-1962)

I have their children and grandchildren but do not know of any great-grandchildren or great-great-grandchildren. Their brother (my grandfather) moved to California and didn’t keep in contact much. 

Perhaps I should do a bit of searching or writing letters to learn more about more recent births. 

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Jamboree: Here I Come!

I will be attending the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree in Burbank, California from June 9-11, 2017. This will be my second time, the last time many years ago. Finally, I don't have any college and high school graduations to interfere with the seminar. If you want to register, click here.

I am very excited to also be attending the DNA day on June 8. I am ready to learn more about using DNA in my genealogy research. On my last train trip across the country, I worked through the workbook, Genetic Genealogy in Practice, by Blaine T. Bettinger, Ph.D., JD, and Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL. This has been really helpful and I know that some of the sessions at Jamboree will help me, too.

I will blog about my experiences during Jamboree. I will meet many other bloggers, speakers, and friends who will also be there. It will be lots of fun.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Treasure Chest Thursday - More Trouble – The Marriage of Fred Davey to Tillie Wollenweber*

A newspaper account of the marriage of Frederick H. Davey and Matilda Wollenweber was a bit surprising by the title, “More Trouble.”[1] There were two marriages listed under this title and Fred and Tillie’s was first. What was the trouble?

(Jeffersonville, Indiana) Evening News,
26 June 1878, p. 1, col. 1
A transcription in case you can't read the image:
“Married, June 25, at the residence of the bride’s mother, on Prison Hill, by the Rev. Dr. Wm. H. Sheets, Mr. Fred Davey to Miss Tillie Wollenweber.”
There is not much in this announcement. They were married the previous day. They were married at Tillie’s mother’s home on Prison Hill. They were married by Rev. Dr. Wm. H. Sheets. Each of these statements bring questions I want to answer:
  • Is there a marriage record?
  • Where is Prison Hill? Is it in Jeffersonville? Or is it in Louisville, across the Ohio River? Tillie’s mother was Philippina Wollenweber. Where was she living in 1878?
  • Who was Rev. Sheets? Which religious denomination was he a part of? Will there be church records of the marriage?
  • What was the trouble?

Isn’t amazing how a five-line item in the newspaper can bring up so many questions? More stuff to research! Stay tuned.

* Frederick H. Davey and Matilda Wollenweber were my children’s great-great-grandparents.

[1] “More Trouble,” (Jeffersonville, Indiana) Evening News, 26 June 1878, p. 1, col. 1, marriage of Fred Davey to Tillie Davey; digital image, NewspaperArchive (http;// : 5 Aug 2013).

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Your Best Find of 2016, and Research Challenge for 2017

Another assignment from Randy Seaver at Genea-musing:
Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:
1)  What was your best research achievement in 2016?  Tell us - show us a document, or tell us a story, or display a photograph.  Brag a bit!  You've earned it!
 2)  We all have elusive ancestors.  What research problem do you want to work on in 2017?  Tell us where you want to research and what you hope to find.
 3)  Put the answers in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.
My biggest accomplishment in my research in 2016 was finding the probate packet for Robert Lancaster. This was a big estate and the inventory was several pages. What excited me most was learning that he had two whiskey stills. I wanted to learn all about how whiskey was made in the 1840s and I even got to taste some bourbon whiskey.

I made the posts on my other blog: Mam-ma’s Southern Family with the following:
Robert Lancaster Estate: Such a Large Bond!
Robert Lancaster Estate: A Very Large Inventory–Part I           
Robert Lancaster Estate: A Very Large Inventory—Part II
Robert Lancaster Estate: A Very Large Inventory—Part III: Some of the Slaves           
Robert Lancaster Estate: A Very Large Inventory—Part IV:How About Some Whiskey         
Robert Lancaster Estate: Intermission About Whiskey Making           
Robert Lancaster’s Estate: Wheat farming
Robert Lancaster Estate Continued: Division of Robert Lancaster’s Land in Shelby County, Kentucky

For 2017, I could probably squeeze out a few more as I continue to analyze his estate, his land division, tax records, and the purchase of the land. This I will continue to do in 2017. I would also like to write up a story about the Lancaster family.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

David Shotts of Ross County Ohio, Estate Records – part 2: “Letters of Administration”

We began the search for David Shotts’ estate records from a newspaper notice submitted by the administrator, Daniel Shotts asking for debtors to pay up and anyone with debts against the estate to come forward. The complete story about the notice is here.

Because the notice was found in the newspaper, the probate records were searched for David Shotts. In the Testamentary Docket, the index gave two pages for David Shotts.[1]

Index for Testamentary Docket showing David Shotts, decd.
So on page 180, there was a summary of what happened when Daniel Shotts came to the October Term 1825 term on the 14 October 1825.
“On motion and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that the widow has relinquished her right of administering. Ordered that Letters of administration be granted unto Daniel Shotts on the estate of David Shotts decd on his being qualified and giving bond and security to the satisfaction of the court whereupon the said Daniel Shotts was qualified and entered into bond together with Robert Bishop and Isaac Jordan his securities in the penalty of four hundred dollars.”[2]
This explained why Daniel Shotts, who was likely David’s son, became the administrator of the estate and not David’s widow, Mary. She had relinquished her right. She was fifty-nine years old and likely had at least four children still living at home.[3]

The part about being qualified to be administrator probably comes to the fact that Daniel had just recently turned twenty-one years old.

It is also learned that the bond was for $400 and his sureties were Robert Bishop and Isaac Jordan.  The Shotts and Bishop families intermarried. Robert Bishop was likely the uncle of Jacob G. Bishop, who married David’s daughter, Margaret Shotts on 21 Aug 1821.[4] The other surety, Isaac Jordan is unfamiliar to me at this time. Perhaps he worked with Robert Bishop.

In the probate packet, also found at FamilySearch, there was the loose paper showing also the assignment of Daniel Shotts as Administrator and the $400 bound.[5]
Letters of Administration & Bond
This form had signatures of the three bondsmen. Daniel probably could not read and write as he signed his name with an X.

Signatures of Sureties

Now that Daniel Shotts was the administrator, he could begin to conduct business concerning his father's estate. Thus, the notice that was put into the paper asking for those who owe money to come forward and pay, and those who are owed money to come present their bills.

Next up will be the court assigning appraisers to conduct the estate inventory.

[1] Ross County, Ohio, Probate Records, Testamentary Docket 1821-1834, S index, digital image, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 Jan 2017); citing FHL film 977561 Item 2.
[2] Ibid, p. 180.
[3] Daniel (b. 1804), Sophia (b. 1806), Jonas (b. 1809), and Susanna (b. 1811) did not marry until well after their father’s death. Mary (b. 1802), Hannah (b. 1801), and Catherine (b. 1795) never married.
[4] Robert Casari, compiler, Marriage Records of Ross Co, Ohio 1798-1849, 1994, p. 19. Since this is a derivative record, the original marriage needs to be found.
[5] Ross County, Ohio, Probate Records, Probate case files, no. 7758-7864, ca. 1830-1886, case file no. 7863, David Shotts, estate, digital image, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 Jan 2017); citing FHL film 2203706.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Treasure Chest Thursday – Notice of Claims against Estate of David Shotts, of Ross Co, Ohio

In the 27 October 1825 issue of the Scioto Gazette, a newspaper published in Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio, there was a notice put in by the administrator, Daniel Shotts for the estate of David Shotts, late of Huntington Township in Ross County.[1]

Scioto (Chillicothe, Ohio) Gazette, 27 Oct 1825, p. 3

The administrator of the estate was responsible for collecting any debts owed to the estate and any debts that the estate owed to someone. This newspaper ad, that was likely in several consecutive issues, was asking that anyone who has a claim against the estate to “present them within one year” and that those who do owe money to the estate were “requested to make immediate payment.”

This is also a clue to me that there should be probate records concerning this estate. So on to to search for a probate record for David Shotts around 1825 in Ross County, Ohio. The records are online there but are browse only records. 

David Shotts was my daughters' paternal fourth great-grandfather. More on what I find in the probate records in the next post. Stay tuned!

[1] “Notice,” 27 Oct 1825, Scioto (Chillicothe, Ohio) Gazette,  p. 3, Estate of David Shotts; digital image, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 14 Nov 2014).

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What Are Your Genealogy Goals for 2017?

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has his weekly SNGF mission. Our mission to day is:

What goals do you have for your genealogy research, education and writing during 2017?

My goals for 2017:

I have planned two (2) research trips to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library. The first trip will be the week following SLIG (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) where I will move from the Hilton to the Plaza Hotel and research for a week at the library with the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society’s group. The second trip will be in April when I take a group of genealogists from the California Genealogical Society to research for a week at the library.

In March, on our way back from a trip to South Texas, I will stop in Little Rock, Arkansas, where I’ll take some time to visit the archives there as well as the Capital building and the Clinton Library. A day trip up to Conway in Faulkner County might be in order, too, to collect some more land records and poke into some of the records in the vault at the courthouse.

In July, a friend and I are attending the International Germanic GenealogySeminar in Minneapolis. Afterwards I’m planning a road trip to Mitchell, South Dakota for some research into court, church, and land records. Then we’re driving down towards Omaha for the flight home. Before leaving, though, we’ll take a trip over the border to Iowa and Montgomery county where I’ll do some court, land, and church record research of my husband’s Swedish ancestors. I might visit family or the cemeteries.

Of course, I do a little research every day from home!

I am taking the course “You Be the Judge” at SLIG this month. This is the only institute class I have planned this year (so far).

I attend at least two, but often up to six webinars per month and view or participate in Hangouts with Myrt several times a month. I attend classes at the local genealogy societies each month. I teach two six-week courses on beginning and intermediate genealogy with the partnership of the local society and family history center, and present at several society meetings during the year. I have booked four so far this year.

I also try to read up on subjects I’m not familiar with. I’m currently reading The Genealogist’s Guide to Researching Tax Records by Carol Cooke Darrow and Susan Winchester. I hope to work my way through Blaine Bettinger’s Genetic Genealogy in Practice to learn more about DNA. I also read every article in the NGS Quarterly and try to participate in the NGSQ Study Group once a month when I can.

I am committed this year to write more in my two blogs, Mam-ma’s Southern Family and My Trails into the Past. I would like to pick one line of my family and make an outline to start a family history book. I would also like to write more proof arguments to add to my database and perhaps to send to some quarterlies.

What are your plans for 2017?

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.