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.