Monday, February 11, 2019

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of February 4-10, 2019

Genealogists are great at documenting our ancestors’ lives but not so great documenting our own. I’ll write about what I’ve been doing the past week. This idea came from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing, who started this meme.

Blog Writing: I wrote the following blog posts this week:
  • 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks For week 6, I wrote about “surprise” which was the awarding of honorary life membership to the PTA to my grandmother, Anna Sullivan Hork.
  • Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: We wrote out our longest married ancestors. My children had several who were married more than 50 years.
  • I also wrote a “On This Day” blog post about the birth of my great-grandmother, Nell (Hutson) Johnston.
  • I forgot to mention the “On This Day” post I did last Sunday about my 2x-great-grandfather, Joseph Heinrich Horoch’s baptism.
  • Lastly, I did a guest post on Cheri Hudson Passey's blog, Carolina Girl Genealogy.  The title was "Tuesday's Tips-Lisa Gorrell, CG~Preparing for Certification." 

Webinars/Study Groups Attended
I attended two webinars week:
  • Who Owned Solomon? A Case study of 19th Century African American Research by Janice Lovelace for Virtual Genealogy Association.
  • DNA and the GPS solves a mystery: Hamiltons in Colonial New England by Shellee Morehead, CG, for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Our Cert Peer Group met and we continued our discussion of our various projects and portfolios.

Family Writing.  I'm still working on writing the story of my parents' lives, though I have not yet begun the writing. I am also participating in The Family History Writing Challenge 2019 (with The Armchair Genealogist) and we receive tips and help each day. I’m reading these, getting ideas on how to approach this project. I do want this project to be more about the stories along with using photos to supplement.

Got some client work and took a trip to Fairfield to get various court records. It was interesting that each of the courts (criminal, civil, and family) had their own clerk and record’s office.

Other Activities
I went on my second bird watching trip with the Mt. Diablo Audubon Society. We birded in the Central Valley around Thornton and Consumnes River, as well as on Staten Island. Highlights of the trip were Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese (lots of them!), White-fronted Geese, Cackling Geese, and Tundra Swans. Watching the large flocks of snow geese pass over us was spectacular and the best part of the trip.
Sandhill Cranes

Friends of Alhambra Creek group is working on an updated flyer and I’m doing the edits in InDesign. We had a productive meeting this past week and are almost complete—only waiting on a couple of photos. I did phenology by myself at the meadow—there is spring in the air as some of the plants are leafing out.

My friend, Nancy, celebrated her 60th birthday on Sunday with family and friends. I met her about 25 years ago at the gymnastics place where our daughters were taking lessons. I heard her speak German to her daughter and struck up a conversation. Later they were at Creative Play preschool, then our girls took piano lessons from her, Margaret all up to senior year in high school, and then I took German at DVC from her after retiring. Now I attend weekly conversation classes in Oakland with her as teacher. It was nice seeing her daughter who lives in So. California, and her son, who surprised her by flying in from Chicago.

Nancy & I
 What a wonderful mixture of happenings this week!

Copyright © 2019 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Your Longest Ancestral Marriage

Our assignment tonight from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music!), is to:
1)  Marcia Philbrick wrote Celebrating 50 Years today on her Heartland Genealogy blog, and suggested it for a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge, so here it is:
2)   How many of your ancestors were married for FIFTY years?  What is the longest marriage of your ancestors in your tree (from marriage to first death of a spouse, or divorce)?  Consider, say, the last 6 generations to make it manageable! 
3)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a comment on this blog post to lead us to your answers.
By focusing on only our ancestors, I was able to make this manageable. I research my children’s ancestors so I will make the list based on that. their paternal ancestors are written in blue, maternal in green.

Parents Norman Gorrell and Lisa Hork, 39 years this August.

Grandparents George Gorrell & Thelma Nilsen, 59 years (short 6 mo. for 60 years due to death in 2011 of George.)
Grandparents William Hork & Lela Johnston, 38 years (Lea died in 1992)

Great-grandparents Joseph Gorrell & Matilda Davey, 57 years (Matilda died in 1958)
Great-grandparents Arthur Nilsen & Agnes Lundquist, 19 years (Agnes died in 1936 at age of 42)
Great-grandparents William Hork & Anna Sullivan, 45 years (but were separated for 27+ years)
Great-grandparents Tom Johnston & Pansy Lancaster, 39 years (Tom died in 1973 at age 60)

2nd-great-grandparents Amos Gorrell & Catherine Shotts, 52 years (Catherine died in 1918)
2nd -great-grandparents Fred Davey & Matilda Wollenweber, 7 years (Matilda died in 1885 at age 26)
2nd-great-grandparents Malkom Nilsen & Hulda Anderson-Carlson, 31 years (Hulda died in 1924 at age 56)
2nd-great-grandparents Per Alfred Lundquist & Lovisa Ericksson, 39 years (Per Alfred died in 1932 at age 75)
2nd-great-grandparents John Anton Hork & Julia Sievert, 34 years (John died 1906 at age 62)
2nd-great-grandparents John H Sullivan & Anna Gleeson, 30 years (Anna died in 1912 at age 51)
2nd-great-grandparents Thomas Johnston & Nell Hutson, 12 years (Nell died 1919 at age 31)
2nd-great-grandparents George W Lancaster & Lela Ann Loveless, 38 years (Lela died 1951 at age 55)

3rd-great-grandparents Amos Gorrell & Leah Wollam, 45 years (Leah died at age 73)
3rd-great-grandparents Daniel Shotts & Mary Ann Bishop, 44 years (Daniel died at age 71)
3rd-great-grandparents Thomas Davey & Mary Nicholas, 53 years (Thomas died at age 78)
3rd-great-grandparents Ludwig W Wollenweber & Philappina Voehringer, 14 years (Ludwig died at age 51)
3rd-great-grandparents Jonas Nilsson & Marta Larsdotter, 42 years (Marta died at age 69)
3rd-great-grandparents Anders P Johansson & Anna Larsdotter, unknown
3rd-great-grandparents Anders Eliasson & Cajsa Pehrsdotter, 35 years (Anders died at age 60)
3rd-great-grandparents Karl Johan Erickson & Stina Maja Samuelsdotter, 48 years (Karl died at age 81)
3rd-great-grandparents Joseph H Horoch & Maria Catharine Trösster, 22 years (Joseph died at age 53)
3rd-great-grandparents Vincent Sievert & Susanna Raduntz, 40 years (Vincent died at age 66)
3rd-great-grandparents Jeremiah Sullivan & Mary Sheehan, unknown
3rd-great-grandparents John Gleeson & Margaret Tierney, 57 years (John died at age 80)
3rd-great-grandparents Rueben Johnston & Olivia J Jones, 35 years (Olivia died at age 55)
3rd-great-grandparents Peter Hutson & Sarah Selman, 37 years (Sarah died at age 57)
3rd-great-grandparents William C Lancaster & Martha J Coor, 50 years (Martha died at age 69)
3rd-great-grandparents Ebenezer Loveless & Eliza Rodgers, 36 years (Eliza died at age 53)

The longest marriage for these five generations is:
Grandparents George Gorrell & Thelma Nilsen, 59 years, just short of their 60th.
 The ancestors who were marriage at least 50 years:
Grandparents George Gorrell & Thelma Nilsen, 59 years
Great-grandparents Joseph Gorrell & Matilda Davey, 57 years
3rd-great-grandparents John Gleeson & Margaret Tierney, 57 years
3rd-great-grandparents Thomas Davey & Mary Nicholas, 53 years
2nd-great-grandparents Amos Gorrell & Catherine Shotts, 52 years
3rd-great-grandparents William C Lancaster & Martha J Coor, 50 years
I do hope our children’s parents reach their 50th anniversary!

Copyright © 2019 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 8, 2019

On This Day, 8 February – Birth of Nell Hutson

Nell Hutson was my paternal great-grandmother. 

She was born either 8 February 1888 as was written on her tombstone[1] or 1889 which is calculated from U.S. federal census records.[2] The best record that might have solved or put into light on this question is the death certificate. She died at the age of thirty-one on  14 July 1919 at home near Gustine, Texas.[3] There is an obituary about her death and burial (even though the paper spelled her name wrong), but no death certificate.[4]

Mrs. Tom Johnson Dead
Mrs. Tom Johnson died on Monday, July 14, at the family residence in Comanche and was buried Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Union cemetery at Gustine. The many friends of the family will learn with keen regret of Mrs. Johnson's untimely death, passing away as she did in the prime of life when so much of her life was yet in the future. We join the many friends in extending our sympathy to the sorrowing husband and relatives.

Nell was born, probably in Gustine, to Peter H. Hutson and Sarah Helena Selman. She was the fourth child of eight. He was a farmer, who owned 40 acres of land in Comanche County.

Nell married Thomas N. Johnston on 6 June 1907 by a minister of the gospel, J.R. Fagan.[5] They had six children, one who died as an infant. 

At the time of her death, my grandfather, Tom, would have been just seven years old. His sister, Beryl was ten. Thomas did not immediately remarry, so she probably took on much of the household chores. The 1920 census gave no additional members of the household, so perhaps Thomas paid for a housekeeper to take care of things during the day, but no one lived with them.[6]

[1] Find A Grave, database with images (, Memorial# 64910690, Union Cemetery, Gustine, Texas, Nell L. Johnston.
[2] For February 1889, see 1900 U.S. census, Comanche Co, Texas, Justice Prec No. 2, ED 29, sht 4A & B, pg 133 (stamped) 65/65, Peter H. Hutson, digital image, Ancestry (, citing NARA T623.
[3] "Mrs. Tom Johnson Dead," Comanche (Texas) Chief, 18 Jul 1919.
[4] The Comanche County Death Record, v. 2-a, was searched in the index and on the pages associated with 1919 deaths. Her death is also not in the “Texas Deaths, 1890-1976,” index and images on FamilySearch.
[5] "Texas, Comanche County, marriage records, 1856-1951," digital images, FamilySearch (, v. 5, p. 563, Johnston-Hutson marriage, 1907, image 577 of 668.
[6] 1920 U.S. census, Comanche Co, Texas, pop. sched., Comanche, ED 70, sht 7a, p. 47 (stamped), dwelling 136, family 138, Thos N. Johnson household, digital image, Ancestry ( 

Copyright © 2019 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 4, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise: Honorary Life Membership for Mrs. Ann Hork

This is my second year working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I have enjoyed writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

Picking a topic for “surprise” was a matter of searching the word in my RootsMagic program. Some of the hits pertained to elopements of young people who “surprised” family and friends by getting married. Other hits pertained to deaths, where the timing was imminent so people “weren’t surprised” by the death.

My grandmother, Anna Sullivan Hork

I did find the newspaper article from the Napa Register discussing the Parent Teacher Association awarding Honorary Life Membership to Mrs. Ann Hork in 1957.[1]

Honorary Life Membership in the Parent-Teacher Association was awarded to Mrs. Ann Hork, former Napa teacher at a recent meeting in the Williams School in Concord.  The principal of the school, who made the presentation, is also a former Napan and member of a prominent Wooden Valley family, Robert White.  Mrs. Hork has been teaching in Concord since leaving Napa in 1949.  She was given the honor in view of her "outstanding achievements in work with children above and beyond the call of duty."  The program was arranged along the lines of the popular "This is Your Life," and Mrs. Hork's children were all brought secretly to the meeting as a surprise to her.  They include Mrs. Eugene Soares of San Francisco, Mrs. John Gertridge of San Mateo, Miss Lorene Hork of San Francisco, and William Hork of Concord.  Many of Mrs. Hork's former students here will agree that she is one of the most deserving to receive the honorary award."

Not only was this clipping among my grandmother’s possessions, she also had a copy of the speech that Principle Robert White gave.

      "The recipient of this award was born in a small town in one of our Rocky Mountain States more than 50 years ago.  She was the youngest of five children.  She showed a marked interest in Sports as a child and cut quite a swathe in her community as an ice skater and basketball player.  In fact while getting her training at Normal school she was a member of the pennant winning girls basketball team.  She decided to become a teacher and like many others accepted as her first assignment a teaching position in a one teacher school in a small community where todays modern facilities were unknown.  Baths taken in washbowls and "chick Sales" type lavatories were the order of the day.
     “Following several years of teaching she married, resigned and began raising a family.  A few years later the family migrated to Southern California.  In 1937 circumstances necessitated her resuming the role of wage earner and bread-winner for her three daughters and son.  During the next 10 years her varied roles included that of soda fountain manager, cafeteria manager, and during the war years of 1941-43 that of wine maker for a large Southern California winery.  She resumed her teaching career in Napa county in 1943.  Following six years in rural schools there, she moved to Concord, accepting her present position at Williams School, where she has worked continuously for the past eight years.
     “Her work as a teacher has been outstanding.  Her quiet, soft spoken manner; plus a sound knowledge of children and teaching techniques has endeared her to children, parents, and fellow teachers alike.  In addition to the enviable record as a teacher, and despite the fact that she has been the sole support of her family for many years, my candidate has found the opportunity, even at times to the detriment of her own health, to work actively with children in the community.  She has spent at least 15 years teaching church doctrines to boys and girls of her faith, as well as serving as a much admired counselor and advisor to adults and children alike.  It gives me great pleasure to present to you Mrs. Anne Hork as recipient of the Honorary Life Membership Award for outstanding service to children in our community."[2]

Some of the facts for her timeline are incorrect, but as a whole, I’m happy to have this copy of the speech. It’s great to know how she was appreciated by her colleagues and students. What I would love and haven't found yet, is a copy of the class photos from the time she was at Williams School. The Concord Historical Society might have some, but their archives is currently in storage awaiting the completion of their new archives.

By the time I was in school, she was retired, though she may have done some substitute teaching, and she taught CCD classes at St. Peter Martyr Church in Pittsburg. Since I attended the parochial school, I never had my grandmother as a teacher. However, she had a collection of readers. She read lots of books to us, as well as taught us many songs, which we often sang while washing dishes. That made the time go by fast!

Nana with her grandchildren in 1954

This grandmother, my Nana, was the fun grandmother, who was very comfortable around children. She knew how to speak to them, make them laugh, and have us feel loved.

[1] Lucy Case, “Over the Gate…,” Napa Register, 1957 (day and month unk). A hand-written note written on the clipping said “from Napa Register 1957.
[2] Written at the top of this type-written essay was “Williams School June 1957” and below “Principal Robert White.”

Copyright © 2019 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of January 28-February 3, 2019

Genealogists are great at documenting our ancestors’ lives but not so great documenting our own. I’ll write about what I’ve been doing the past week. This idea came from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing, who started this meme.

Blog Writing: I wrote the following blog posts this week:
  • 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks For week 5, I wrote about my first trip to Sutro Library viewing census records and finding my grandfather’s family. This trip hooked me for life.
  • Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: We were to write about Super Bowl LIII and about our favorite teams. I wrote instead about the San Francisco Giants.

 Webinars/Study Groups Attended
I attended three webinars week by Family Tree Webinars:
  • Family Gatherings: Dragging Genealogy Information Out of Your Family by Melissa Barker
  • You Can Do This: Photo Organizing and Preservation by Thomas MacEntee
  • Focused Research VS Information Overload by DearMyrtle & Cousin Russ

and participated in one study group:

Our Cert Peer Group meet for the first time this year and spent lots of time checking in and discussing our experiences at SLIG. It was so good to see each other again.

Family Writing & Research.  I'm working on writing the story of my parents' lives. It's hard to begin so I decided to start with brainstorming. Writing down all the thoughts I have about them at different times in their lives might give me a place to start. I will also ask my sisters to give some input. 

Other Activities
I went on my first bird watching trip with the Mt. Diablo Audubon Society. It was in my backyard. We first started at Waterbird Regional Preserve, where we viewed McNabney Marsh with binoculars and scopes. We saw all kinds of ducks (three different teals) and shorebirds. The best was watching a peregrine falcon land in the marsh. We traveled in carpools to a spot next to Copart. There we were hoping for the Golden Eagle that the leader had seen the previous day, but did not. A merlin was perched at the parking lot. Then we traveled to the other side of McNabney Marsh and scoped from there. Finally we drove to the Martinez Shoreline Park and walked around fields and ponds at the east end behind the ball fields. Lots of shorebirds there, both avocets and black-necked stilts, along with many killdeer.

Mt. Diablo Audubon Trip to Martinez sites

Bird watching at home included woodpeckers, goldfinches, robins, titmouse, flickers, and more, coming to the feeders and feeding in plants at the backyard. They were pretty active on Saturday after the many rain showers.

Two doctors’ appointments helped determine that I have a pulled groin muscle. Will have to take it easy for a while.

I attempted the written test at the Walnut Creek Model Railroad club, a prerequisite to operate on the layout. I missed 20 out of 101 questions and passing is missing only 10. Can try again in two weeks. I get mixed up on Open and Shorts but someone explained them to me. I also missed the parts about the proper speed in particular locations. I will have to study those. Next time I should do better.

I attended the final performance of Onstage Repertory Theater's "Red Herring" at the Campbell Theater with friends, Jamie and Mary. Funny play and very enjoyable. Also ran into some BART employees, Dave & Gina, whom I hadn't seen in ages. It was great catching up.

Copyright © 2019 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

On This Day – 3 Feb 1804 Baptism of Joseph Heinrich Horoch (My 2nd-Great Grandfather)

Joseph Heinrich Horoch, my second great-grandfather, was born in Altenhundem, Westfalen on 3 February 1804 to Johann Horoch and Anna Gertrud Sommer.[1] He was the middle child of five.

As was typical of Catholics in Germany at this time, he was baptized the next day, February 3, at the church in Kirchhundem. His godparents were Joseph Sommer of Kirchhundem and Anna Margarete Horoch of Meggen.[2]

Kirchhundem and Altenhundem are located in the current state of  North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. These communities are still very small. They are situated in narrow valleys with steep hillsides. The nearest large city is Cologne, some hundred miles to the west.

Altenhunden is in the top image and Kirchhundem the bottom,
they were very close to each other, along with Meggen
Joseph’s father was a tailor (“Schneider” in German), as was Joseph, and later, his son. Johan Anton Hork (our great-grandfather, who came to America). It was common to learn the trade of your father.

Joseph married Maria Catharina Trösster in Oberhundem on 2 August 1835. He was thirty years old and she was twenty-one.  They had ten children, but known children lived to adulthood. Three known children emigrated to the United States: Johan Anton, Rev Johan Albert, and Maria Clementina.

In October 1857, two young children and Joseph succumbed to dysentery within days of each other.[3] What sadness that must have been for Maria Catharina to lose two children and her husband within days  of each other.

Unfortunately at this time, all I know about the family is through the religious sacramental records that are microfilmed and can be viewed at the Family History Library. Someday, I’d like to visit the towns and see what else I can find.

A view of Kirchhundem/Oberhundem today:

By the 1870s, the name Horoch had changed to Hork as we know of it today.

[1] Katholische Kirche Kirchhundem (Kr. Olpe) (Kirchhundem, Westfalen, Germany), Taufen 1779-1808, p. 210, 1804, 3 Feb, Josepbus Henricus (Joseph Heinrich) Horoch; FHL film 1257833.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Katholische Kirche Oberhundem (Kr. Olpe) (Oberhundem, Westfalen, Germany), "Toten 1848-1878," Joseph Heinrich Horoch, 1847, p 33; FHL microfilm 1,257,843, item 3. See also p. 33, Joseph Carl Horoch.  See also p. 33, Maria Elisabeth Horoch. 

Copyright © 2019 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Super Bowl LIII (2019) Sunday

It's Super Bowl Weekend in America - the whole country (well, almost) will watch the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon at 6:30 p.m. EST (3:30 PST).

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:
1)  What is your favorite National Football League team?  [For those that are not American football fans, but fan of another sports team, substitute your favorite team]  Why are you a fan of this team?  How long have you been a fan of your favorite team?
2)  What is the genealogy of your favorite team?  When did it start playing, what leagues has it played in?
3)  Have you worked for the team in any capacity, or attended games?  What is your best memory of your favorite team's history? 
4)  Predict the score of the Rams-Patriots game on Sunday.
5)  Tell us in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.
Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has another Super Bowl Challenge for 2019.  I wrote about Super Bowl LII last year and included charts my father made. This year, I am answering his updated questions. 

I do not follow football and will not be watching the game. I do not even care about the half-time show or the commercials. I imagine I could find them online somewhere afterwards. Everyone seems to be predicting that the Patriots will win, so that is my guess, too.

In the past, when we had a peach tree, that was the day my husband and I pruned it. We could always hear cheering from households around us whenever there was a good play or touchdown. Perhaps this year, I'll prune my roses.

I do, however, follow baseball. My favorite team is the San Francisco Giants, who came to the west coast from New York in 1958. The team just celebrated their 60th year in San Francisco last season. The Giants play in the Western Division and have been to the World Series three times in this century.

I always thought it would be fun to work for the team, but I have never. I do attended 3-10 games a year and watch as many as I can on television. I also enjoy visiting other stadiums and attending games around the country. I have seen games in Cincinnati, Kansas City, Oakland, and Pittsburgh. Maybe I’ll go to a Mets or Yankees game this spring when I’m in New York City!

My daughter, Margaret & me at a June 2018 Giants game

Copyright © 2019 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.