Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of Mar 23-29, 2020

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.

I have completed two weeks of “lock down” due to Covid-19. I left the house twice: to do phenology at the meadow and to pick up a bird feeder set-up. I did stop on Thursday at a drive-through Starbucks to get a London Fog latte. My husband and I have walked, mostly to the local mailbox. I continued taking photos of birds or plants and posted on Facebook. My friends seem to appreciate them.

Genealogy
Blog Writing:

Webinars/Study Groups Attended:   
I attended no in-person activity. We met on Thursday evening and discussed the Coronavirus mostly but did discuss some of what genealogy we were doing.  On Friday, four of us met and discussed our progress and what we would now work on as we have more time.

Webinars I attended:
  • City Directories: Much More than Ye Olde Phonebooks by Mike Mansfield at Legacy Family Tree Webinars. I picked up some good tips and his lecture was using these at My Heritage. They have some interesting tools.
  • Strategic Searching on Find My Past by Jen Baldwin at the webinar series put on by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. I learned some great tips on using Find My Past. Hope to try that out soon.
  • Using Fold3 To Your Advantage by Craig Scott at Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Fold3 has always been a hard website to use. He made it seem less confusing and that browsing is important to find those records not indexed.
  • A Japanese American Family by Linda Okazaki at New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. It was her first webinar and she did great. I really liked the format of her webinar. She spoke first in  general about the kinds of records and then showed them as she spoke about the family.

Client Work/Presentations:
There has been no client work or teaching. Though I did make contact with the six students who were enrolled in my Intermediate class at the Acalanes Adult School to see if any would be interested in an online class.

Volunteer Work:
There has been no volunteer work either, except I answered a query for the Contra Costa County Historical Society. I also wrote an article about the 1918 flu in Contra Costa County for possible submission in their newsletter.

Own Work:
I worked on Hutson family research, focusing on newspapers and deed records. I made contact with an owner of a tree on Ancestry and she answered back. I now have permission to use the photos she posted.

I have also been trying to process, transcribe or abstract, and then enter into my RootsMagic program those files I had previously saved. If I can get my scanner to talk to my computer, I’ll try to scan some things during the next week. I do need to do more writing!

I worked on organizing the deeds in Sampson County, South Carolina of Daniel Coor and wrote a nine-page report with images. I may post to my blog next week.

Other:
I passed another yearly milestone (66) on Thursday. We celebrated by ordering take-out from a local restaurant. My husband bought me a hanging bird feeder station. Looking forward to watching the birds from our porch.

My dear sister-in-law, Val, passed away this past Thursday. She leaves a husband, a son, and two nephews she had been caring for. She loved reading, cooking, and being with family. She will be dearly missed.


We spoke with both daughters, who both work in the restaurant business and are out of work. We worry a bit about the one in NYC, where the pandemic seems the worse. But she is afraid enough to be careful. 



Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- A Facebook "Have You Done This?" Meme

It's Saturday Night -

time for more Genealogy Fun!


Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:
1)  Another "Have you done this?" meme was going around Facebook this past week.  Let's do it!! 
2)  Copy and paste the list below, delete my answers, and add your own. 
3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post on Facebook.
Here is the list:

1)  Driven 100 mph : I was not doing the driving, but my friend was driving her Cadillac and she got up over 100 mph on Highway 13 with us in the car.

2)  Ridden in a helicopter: No. I once had the chance but turned it down. I regret it. It was above a PG&E hydro-electric power plant where they were doing repairs and I could have taken wonderful aerial photos. However, I’m afraid of heights.

3)  Gone zip lining: No. Don’t like heights or speed.

4)  Been to an NFL game: Yes, maybe a half a dozen, seeing the Raiders play in Oakland back in the early 70s with my dad.

5)  Been to Canada: Yes. Several times. First two times by bus across the entire country. Visited Vancouver Island with my future husband another time. Lastly, we traveled across the country (4 days) by Via train.

6)  Visited Florida: Once, recently to visit Norman’s cousin.

7)  Visited Mexico: If you count Tijuana by walking from the streetcar, and at Mission, Texas by hand boat.

8)  Visited Vegas: Once, in the 80s.

9)  Eaten alone at a restaurant: Yes.

10)  Ability to read music: Yes. I can play the piano, guitar, and ukulele

11) Ridden a motorcycle: rode on the back and only got a block before demanding to be let off

12)  Ridden a horse: Yes, not often.

13)  Stayed in a hospital: Twice, to have babies.

14)  Donated blood: Once. Made me very weak.

15)  Been snow skiing: No. See above: no heights or speed.

16)  Been to Disney World or Disneyland: Yes, many times to Disneyland, once to Disney World

17)  Slept outside: Yes, at home in our backyard when it was hot, many times camping as a Girl Scout and later as a Girl Scout Leader.

18)  Driven a stick shift: Yes.

19)  Ridden in an 18 wheeler: No.

20)  Ridden in a police car? Yes, front seat.

21)  Driven a boat: No.

22)  Eaten Escargot: No, but I would try.

23)  Been on a cruise:  Once this past year on the Mississippi River.

24)  Run out of gas: Yes

25)  Been on TV: No.

26)  Eaten Sushi: Yes, love it!

27)  Seen a UFO:  No

28)  Been Bungie jumping: No

29)  Visited another continent: Yes - Europe

30)  Been to Ellis Island?  Yes, twice.


It’s your turn......

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

An Update on Peter H. Hutson: Did He Run a Hotel?

This week I have been working on Hutson family, specifically, Peter Hayden Hutson. There is much discussion on what his first name was. Some say Payton.  However, all of the documents I have found either list his name as P. H. or Pete. He was known in the Gustine, Texas area as “Uncle Pete.”

I wrote about Pete back in 2014 when I participated that year in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. That post is here. Since I wrote that post, I have learned a little more about him.

On 13 April 1905, P. H. Hutson purchase a piece of property from R. L. Selman and his wife, Julia P.  This piece of property was located in Gustine, Comanche County.  He paid initially $350 and secured three notes to be paid in 1906, 1907, and 1908, which totaled $400. The land was two acres.[1] R.L. Selman was Pete’s wife, Sarah’s brother, Robert Louis  (1855-1931). The interesting thing about the land, was it wasn’t filed until 27 December 1919. So the next task is to try to figure out: What prompted the need to file the deed?

Comanche Co TX Deed, v. 111, p. 283

This is also the same piece of land that the Thomas N. Johnston children owned an undivided 1/10th of, that Thomas asked the court permission to sell. See this blog post for more details on the guardianship.

Now from newspaper accounts I found in the Comanche Chief and The Pioneer Exponent that are found at the wonderful website The Portal To Texas History, I encountered hints to what the land was used for. The first was a 1910 news item:

About ten days ago a stranger blew into Gustine supposedly looking for a business location. While here he secured about $50 from local people for checks against a Gatesville bank to which he signed M. Carleton as his name. These checks have been returned unpaid. He got out of town last Saturday, forgetting to settle with the Hutson Hotel for accommodations while here. A warrant for his arrest has been issued and officers are making an effort to capture the plausible gent.[2]

There is no mention of Pete or his wife, but it would be a coincidence if there was another Hutson who ran a hotel.

The second item in 1914:

“We, the undersigned citizens of Comanche County, Texas, through ourselves and others have in the last three weeks made a most careful and thorough investigation as to which one of the three candidates that are representative of the Progressive Democratic Administration of President Woodrow Wilson and William J Bryan, and who can be depended upon to vote for the principles and policies of President Wilson’s administration, as between Judge Hunter, Mayor Milam, and Judge James W. Swayne, each of whom are in line, with the Democratic Administration, and have become thoroughly satisfied that Judge James W. Swayne, of Fort Worth, Texas is the strongest and most available man for the voters who want to elect a Democrat in line with President Wilson, to concentrate their votes on…[continues like this for seven more paragraphs…][3]

At the end was a list of gentlemen who signed the above document along with their occupation. P. H. Hutson was listed as hotel man.

On the 1910 census record for this time period, he was listed as a farmer. No other member in the family, including Sarah, his wife, had an occupation.[4] Perhaps he farmed and she ran the hotel. There is a hint to this at an online tree, Ancestors of Charles Wayne Hutson and Rose Elaine Walser, where Peyton (Peter) Hutson & Sarah Helena Selman’s family group sheet are shown with their children. There are links to their parents as well. He was listed as a farmer, and Baptist. She was listed as hotel owner and Baptist.[5] There was no source for these comments.

Is it possible that the land was purchased from Sarah’s brother and wife in order for Sarah Hutson to run the hotel? Sarah died 26 September 1916.[6] Three years seems a long time to wait between her death and the filing of the deed.

The next task to help solve the mystery is to figure out who owned the land and when it was later sold. It will involve the need to visit the County Recorder’s office to view the later indexes, or hire someone to do that.[7] I sure would love to visit Comanche County, so will put that on my list of things to do. I would also plan to visit the Comanche County Museum, and the various libraries in the county.



[1] Comanche Co, Texas, Deeds, v. 111, p. 283, digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 21 Mar 2020).
[2] Pioneer Exponent, 18 Nov 1910, p. 7, digital image, The Portal to Texas History (https://texashistory.unt.edu/).
[3] “To the Voters of the 12th Congressional District of Texas,” Comanche Chief, 17 Jul 1914, p. 6, col. 3&4, digital image, The Portal to Texas History.
[4] 1910 U.S. census, Comanche Co, Texas, Justice Prec 1, ED 5, family 357, Pet K Hutson,  digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 Apr 2011) citing NARA T624, roll 1541.
[5] Ancestors of Charles Wayne Hutson and Rose Elaine Walser  (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~txtttp/txhis/f1098.htm#f13830 : accessed 26 Mar 2020).
[6] "Texas Deaths, 1890-1976," digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org ), Texas Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, no. 17663, Mrs Sallie H. Hutson, 1916; FHL 2,051,689.
[7] On FamilySearch, the indexes only go up to 1921. The guardianship sale was in 1926. 

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

52 Ancestors (2020) – Week 13: Nearly Forgotten “Three Sons Named Edward”

This is my third 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.

According to a bible record for the Thomas & Mary Davey family, there were three sons named Edward Davey.[1]

Edward Nicholas Davey was born May 1837 in Constantine, Cornwall and died in infancy.
Edward Davey was born 18 April 1838 in Cork, Ireland.
Edward N. Davey, III was born April 1842 in Bedminister, England.

Of the fifteen children born to Mary and Thomas, only seven lived to adulthood.  These three sons were not part of that list.

I have not seen the copy of the bible page, only the extraction done by a granddaughter of Thomas and Mary.  It is likely the bible passed on to their son Thomas Nicholas (1835-1924) and then to Mary “Marie” Davey Korn (1877-1948). The image of the typed page was in my father-in-law's papers. He was the great-grandson of Thomas and Mary.

There are parish records in Cornwall and I have found evidence of the first son.

The first son, Edward Nicholas Davey was born in 1837 and baptized 6 May 1837 in the Constantine parish, Cornwall, England. The family lived in Bridge and Thomas was a blacksmith. The baptism was privately done by the Vicar, Edward Rogers.[2] This was a rare thing in the baptism pages. Perhaps the boy was thought not to live long.

I have found no records of the next two sons, except what was listed in the bible.

Luckily, these children, along with the following who also died young are not forgotten:
James Davey, born 1843 in Bristol, died in infancy
Charles Davey, born 1 Oct 1844 in Deptford, London, died in infancy.
Julia and Emma Davey, born October 1845 in Deptford, London,, both died in infancy.
Samuel Henry Davey, born June 1848 in Deptford, London, died in infancy.

Eight children, remembered only by their entry in a family bible on the page devoted to deaths.

St. Agnes Parish Church Cemetery, Cornwall.
No Davey tombstones were found here


[1] Thomas Davey Bible, (Cincinnati: Moore, Wilstch, Keyes & Co, 1859), extracted by Mary Davey Korn, granddaughter, extracted image, Gorrell Family Collection; privately held by Lisa Gorrell, California.
[2] “Parish Registers for Constantine, 1562-1961,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DYVS-LP9?i=262&cc=1769414&cat=44013), County of Cornwall, Constantine, Baptisms 1813-1844, p. 161, 1937, no. 1283, Edward Nicholas Davey, image 262; citing Cornwall Record Office, Truro, Cornwall. 

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of Mar 15-22, 2020

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.

I have completed one week of “lock down” due to Covid-19. I left the house twice to do some client work but will do no more. We are allowed outside to exercise so my husband and I have walked, mostly to the local mailbox. I try to take photos of birds or plants to post on Facebook to help bring up everyone else’s spirits.

Genealogy
Blog Writing:

Webinars/Study Groups Attended:   
I attended no in-person activity. We met on Thursday evening and discussed the Coronavirus mostly but did discuss some of what genealogy we were doing.  On Friday, four of us met and discussed our progress and what we would now work on as we have more time.

Webinars I attended:
  • Techniques for Integrating Documentary & Genetic Info in a Research Report by Karen Stanbury
  • Following the Irish Trail to Canada & Beyond by Tammy Piolo
  • 1867 Voter Registration and Beyond by Diane L Richard


Client Work/Presentations:
I did go do document retrieval at the Contra Costa County Recorder’s office and went to the Court clerk’s office for another document that I had to FedEx overseas. Probably no more retrieval until our lock down is lifted.   

Volunteer Work:
No volunteer work either. Both the historical society and the FamilySearch library are closed. I am working on an article for the Contra Costa County Historical Society’s newsletter.

Own Work:
I have continued working on the Johnston family, first trying to find the court records about the Johnston guardianship. I found the documents in the minute book by browsing. The case number was not written in the minute book, so I browsed the case files until I filed it. I still don’t know how the children received a 1/10 share of property. Who has the other shares? I need to do more research. Wish I could travel to Comanche County and have access to all the deed records.

I also worked at verifying the death of Peter H. Hutson, the grandfather of the Johnston children. The cemetery tombstone showed death in 1930 but I haven’t found the death certificate. I decided to search in Comanche newspapers for Hutson articles and found the obituary in October 1930.

Other:

I managed to walk three times this week, taking photos of plants and birds to post to Facebook. I hope that cheers up others. I also went to the Meadow to do the plant phenology. Lastly, I did some weed-pulling in my yard. The poppies are blooming so nicely this year. 






Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Tom Johnston Becomes Guardian to his Own Children

Newspapers sometimes gives clues to events that one would otherwise not know about. Such was the case when last week I was searching Comanche, Texas and Stephenville, Texas newspapers for articles about my great-aunt, Beryl Johnston for my weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun blog post.

One of the articles I found was about a court hearing to appoint Thomas N. Johnston temporary guardian for the children Beryl Johnston, Mildred Johnston, Tom Johnston Jr, Hal W Johnston, and Luther Johnston, minors.[1]


The notice stated that on the 12th day of December, he was duly appointed Temporary Guardian and the appointment would be made permanent unless “the same shall be successfully contested at the next term of said Court, commencing on … 6th day of April 1924 [should be 1925] at the Court House…”

So my first thought was, what had the children inherited? Usually under-aged children need a guardian to handle an estate given to them. Since their father was still alive, it must be another family member, such as a grandparent who left them the property. Who had died in 1924? Thomas’ father, Rueben Mack Johnston, had died 4 May 1924 in Gustine, but there was not a probate for him in the index.[2] Thomas’ wife, Nell Hutson Johnston, died 14 Jul 1919.[3] Her mother had died three years previous on 26 Sept 1916.[4] And lastly, Nell’s father, Peter H Hutson, did not die until 9 October 1930.[5] The only way to be sure was to find the actual court records.

I found the “Citation on the Appointment of Temporary Guardian” in the Comanche County Court Minute Book.[6] The following pages also concerned this case.[7] These documents alternated between using Johnson and Johnston as the surname. This was very common in the county. Even the newspapers spelled their names both ways.

In the application, Tom stated:

“That said minors are entitled to an estate consisting of real estate, which is situated in Comanche County, Texas, of the probable value of one thousand ($1000) dollars. That the mother of said minors is deceased, and resided in Comanche County, Texas, at the time of her death; that the father of said minors survives and resides in Comanche County, Texas. That said estate to which said minors are entitled may now be profitably disposed of by sale, and that the interests of said minors and their estate require the immediate appointment of a Guardian of said minors.”

This document points to the property probably coming from the mother’s side, as he mentioned that she is deceased.

From these documents I learned the children received a 1/10 undivided share in a piece of property in Gustine, Texas as described:

Lot 1, Block 23, Original ad. Town of Gustine, Comanche County, Texas.  Valued at $200.00.

J. W. Robinson and B. W. Speed were bonded with T. N. Johnston as sureties for the amount of $250.00. I do not at this time know who J. W. Robinson is, but B. W. Speed was Tom’s brother-in-law. B. W. Speed’s wife, Coreta was Nell’s sister.

These court records in the minute book did not give the case number, but with some browsing of the case files, I was able to find the original case documents.[8]

There were some additional documents in the probate packet, especially the documents concerning the sale of the property. Tom claimed the property provided no income for the children and requested an order to sell said property share at a private sale. This land was described further as:

“All that certain tract or parcel of land situated in the Town of Gustine, Comanche Co, Texas and being a part of the CH Clarm Survey; Beginning 60 ft S 71 E from EB Boyles’ SE corner; thence S 71 E 150 vrs; Thence N 19 E 75 vrs; thence N71W 150 vrs, thence S19W 75 vrs to the place of beginning.”[9]

Vrs are short for varas, a unit of measurement used from the Spanish days. The description also said that this is the same land shown in a deed from Selman and wife to Hutson, dated on April 13, 1905 in volume 111, page 283.

So of course to learn more, I found the deed mentioned above. It was interesting that the date of the sale was in 1905, but the deed was not recorded until 27 December 1919. The deed was between R. L. Selman and his wife, Julia P. to P. H. Hutson, for the sum of $300. There included three promissory notes that totaled $400, payable over three years until April 1908.[10]

R. L. Selman was Robert Louis Selman, Sarah Helena Selman Hutson’s (P. H. Hutson’s wife) brother. So this indicates that the land did come from Thomas’ wife’s family from Pete H. Hutson to Nell, his daughter, and his other living children. But I cannot figure out how the Johnston children received 1/10th. Who had the other 9/10ths?

And why would the children receive a 1/10 share this land if Peter H. Hutson was still alive? It certainly is a mystery that I have yet to solve.

Tom did have permission to sell the share in a private sale and he sold it to Mrs. B. W. Speed on 16 Feb 1926 for $80.[11] I don’t know why it took another year for the sale.

With these loose papers from the case file, I have several examples of Thomas’ signature.



I also have Beryl’s signature when she signed to waiver her right for personal services and chose Tom Johnston as guardian because she was over fourteen years old.[12]


Conclusion
So check out newspapers and don’t just look for obituaries. Those legal notices can help tell a story, too!



[1] “State of Texas,” Comanche Chief, 13 Feb 1925, p. 3, col. 2, digital image, The Portal to History (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ : accessed 14 Mar 2020).
[2] For death, see “Another Pioneer Gone,” Comanche Chief, 15 May 1924, p 4, digital image, The Portal to History (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ : accessed 17 Mar 2020). There is no index between 1919 and 1925 on FamilySearch. The probate minutes (v. K) was viewed by browsing from his death date up to the February 1925.
[3] "Mrs. Tom Johnson Dead," Comanche Chief, 18 Jul 1919.
[4] "Texas Deaths, 1890-1976," digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org); citing Texas Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, no. 17663, Mrs. Sallie H. Hutson, 1916; FHL 2,051,689.
[5]"P. H. Hutson Buried Friday," Comanche Chief, 17 October 1930, p 4, digital image, The Portal to Texas History (https://texashistory.unt.edu : 15 Mar 2020).
[6] Comanche County, Texas, Probate Minutes, v. Ka, pp 278-79, Citation on Appointment of Temporary Guardian, Johnston Guardian, digital image, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L97S-Z2SX?i=9&cat=1851126), image no. 10-11.
[7] Ibid., Comanche County, Texas, Probate Minutes, v. K, p. 111-13, “Application,” “Order Appointing Temporary Guardian,” “Oath and Bond of Guardian,” “Inventory and Appraisement,” “Order approving Inventory etc.”
[8] Comanche County, Texas, Probate case files, no. 1521-1550, 1866-1937, case no. 1550, the Estate of Johnson Minors, digital images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DTH7-2NT?i=492&cc=1831470&cat=1851126 : accessed 19 Mar 2020), image 493-517.
[9] Ibid, “Application to sell Real Estate,” image 510-511.
[10] Comanche County, Texas, Deeds, v. 111, p. 283, digital image, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9Q97-YSJV-SZ7?mode=g&cc=1831470&cat=1851132), image 284.
[11] Comanche County, Texas, Probate case files, no. 1550, Report of Sale, images 514-515.
[12] Ibid., Case no. 1550, Waiver, images 502-503.

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- What's On Your Genealogy Bookshelf?

It's Saturday Night -

time for more Genealogy Fun!

Here is Randy’s assignment tonight from Genea-Musing.  Our mission is to:

1)  Teresa at the Writing My Past blog wrote a post about her genealogy bookshelf, even showing photographs of the books on several of her shelves.  Linda Stufflebean thought this was a good SNGF topic, so here we are!

2)  Tell us what books, or types of books are on your genealogy bookshelf/ves in your home.  Do you have a photo of them?  Are there specific books that you use more than others?

3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post on Facebook.

I have genealogy books on several different bookcases in my home. The ones I use most often are next to my desk. Others are placed based on their size, though I have most of my German genealogy books together. Actually my books get moved around often as I always take books to share when I teach genealogy classes.

Important books on my shelf are:
  • Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills
  • Genealogy Standards by Board for the Certification of Genealogists
  • Chicago Manual of Style
  • Mastering Genealogical Documentation by Thomas W. Jones.
  • Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W, Jones.
  • Professional Genealogy: Preparation Practice & Standards, ed. by Elizabeth Shown Mills
  • North Carolina Research by Helen Leary

Some new books I have on my shelf include:
  • How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records by Sunny Jane Morton and Harold A. Henderson
  • Your DNA Guide the Book by Diahan Southard
  • Creating Family Archives by Margot Note


Here is a photo of the books from my Library Thing account showing those books I’ve tagged as genealogy. I think I need to add a few more.



Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 20, 2020

52 Ancestors (2020) – Week 12: Popular: Ursula Hork “One of Hamilton’s Most Popular Young Ladies”

This is my third 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.

I thought I would check my RootsMagic database on the word “popular” and see what might come up. Several newspaper articles came up with the word “popular” and one person in my tree has many newspaper articles with her name, both before and after marriage.

Urselle “Ursula” Clementine Hork was born to Johan Anton Hork and Julia Ann Sievert in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon on 23 Mar 1892.[1] She was the sister of my grandfather, William Cyril Hork.

Hamilton newspapers gave several accounts of Ursula’s school-year activities. In the 4th grade, she was part of the year-end program playing Ye Queen of ye May.[2] She was captain of the volleyball club at her high school.[3] In 1909, she was in the Girl’s Club of Hamilton and hosted the group at her home. The house was “decorated in an effective manner with carnations and ferns, and delicious refreshments were served.”[4]  The following year, she was in the play, “The Whirl o’ the Town,” playing the manicurist and county girl. The play was produced by Eastern Star lodge and performed at the Lucas opera house for two evenings, March 30 and 31.[5] Her brother, Ray, was in the play as well.

In the announcement of her engagement to Bernard V. Schwalen, the article stated “The bride-to-be is one of Hamilton’s most popular young ladies.”[6] I believe the attention paid to Ursula was due to the fact her brother, Tony, was the Clerk and Recorder of the county. Their wedding was also written up. She wore a “beautifully gowned in a creation of cream marquisette over crepe messaline and wore a dainty chiffon hat, with white gloves and slippers.”[7]

Later, they moved to Tacoma, Washington, and Ursula (as Mrs. Bernard V. Schwalen) appeared in many newspaper articles on the society pages. One such article showed she was part of the Comus Club. Here she is pictured in the lower right-hand corner.[8] She was also very active with bridge club.[9]






[1] Oregon State Archives, Oregon Historical Records Index Detail Information, http://genealogy.state.or.us/start.lasso?location=detail&id=381053, Case#6096, Hork, Ursula Clementine, 03/23/1892, delayed birth, Multnomah Co, Health.
[2] “Last Day of School,” The Western News Stevensville MT), 22 May 1901, p. 8.
[3] “Take Place Today,” Ravalli (Hamilton, Montana) Republic, 6 May 1904, p. 8.
[4] “Society of Hamilton,” The Daily Missoulian (Mt), 5 Apr 1909, p 2.
[5] “Cast is Announced in Hamilton,” The Daily Missourian, 27 Mar 1910, p. 9.
[6] "Miss Urselle Hork To Be Married in June," The Missoulian, 21 May 1913, p. 3.
[7] "Pretty Ceremony Unites Valley Couple,” The Missoulian, 26 Jun 1913, p. 3
[8] Untitled, The Tacoma Sunday Ledger, 8 Marc 1925, Section D, p. 1.
[9] Multiple articles appeared in The Tacoma Daily Ledger.

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of Mar 9-15, 2020

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.

Genealogy
Blog Writing:

Webinars/Study Groups Attended:   
I attended both of my online weekly meetings. Thursday, we discussed the coronavirus issue, especially about the Family History Library and National Genealogical Society conference in Salt Lake City. I have a California Genealogical Society trip planned for the end of May and don’t know if we’ll be going. During our Friday meeting, we had good discussions about genealogy coaching. I’m thinking of offering coaching services for people who would like assistance in their own research.

I attended several of the webinars from the Legacy Family Tree Webinar Marathon, and hope to catch others when they are uploaded to their website:
  • “How Do I know It’s Correct: Evidence and Proof,” by Rebecca Koford
  • “Not Who He Once Was: Tips for Finding Your Name-Changing Ancestor,” by Mary Kircher Roddy
  • “Searching By Name: Swedish Records Using ArkivDigital,” by Kathy Meade
  • “Advanced Googling for Your Grandma,” by Cyndi Ingle
  • “Can a Dead Man Sign a Deed?” by Kelvin L Meyers

I also attended the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society Monday Morning Group. We had a low attendance but everyone had a chance to speak about their genealogy endeavors. I brought two new books to share, The Magic of German Church Records: Finding the Key to Your Ancestor’s Past by Katherine Schober and How to Find Your Family in U.S. Church Records: A Genealogist’s Guide by Sunny Jane Morton and Harold A. Henderson. Our regular Thursday meeting was cancelled.

Client Work/Presentations:
I had no client work or presentations this week.   

Volunteer Work:
At the History Center, I worked on the artifact collections, recording what we have and comparing to what we have already recorded. This is a start to determine which of these artifacts we will actually keep, since our mission is to collect paper archival material.

Our Wednesday morning class that I’m teaching for the California Genealogical Society at the Oakland FamilySearch Library went off without a hitch. The center got the new computers in. We discussed religious records. There is one more week, but the center is now closed, so the class is postponed until after the virus emergency.

Own Work:
Because I am basically shelter-in-place because of the closures of large gatherings, I have done lots of genealogy. For this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, I searched for newspaper articles about my great-aunt, Beryl Johnston. I was able to find lots of articles because I searched on only her first name. Many of the articles had listed her name as “Johnson” and I would have missed them if I had searched only on “Johnston.” I found the article about her marriage to Howard Russell, and then searched for articles about “Howard Russell” since she was listed as Mrs. Howard Russell in later issues. I also realized I hadn’t really processed her personnel file I received from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. She had worked for the federal government most of her life.

Other:
I didn’t do much other this week. We had our fitness class at DVC on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I went to Yoga Tuesday and Thursday. Both are cancelled now. I also had my ukulele lesson, but I think I’ll postpone them for now. Our model club had to cancel last weekend’s open house to the public and very few came to the monthly meeting. We didn’t have a quorum.


Our governor has urged seniors to stay at home. I think the only activities I’ll have in the near future are an occasional walk with my husband and the weekly phenology study at the meadow. These two should be safe enough and being outdoors is healthy. 


Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Fearless Females, Beryl Johnston

It's Saturday Night -

time for more Genealogy Fun!

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has our assignment for this week:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1)  Lisa Alzo developed a series of Fearless Female writing prompts 10 years ago to celebrate National Women's History Month.  This year's listing of prompts is in Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Fearless Females Blogging Prompts.

2)  Today is March 14, so the writing prompt is:  "Newsmakers? Did you have a female ancestor who made the news? Why? Was she famous or notorious? Did she appear in the social column?"  If you cannot write about that prompt, choose another one from the list.

3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post on Facebook.

Newspapers in small towns often have news about local activities of their residents, especially those of women and children. The Comanche Chief newspaper in Justine, Comanche County, Texas was no exception. I found news articles about my great-aunts, Beryl and Mildred Johnston. I also found articles about them in the Stephenville Empire-Tribune. These newspapers are digitized on The Portal to Texas History, which has papers from many Texas towns including those in Comanche County, and Stephenville, in Erath County.[1]  

In 1932, Beryl Johnston helped out with an Easter party given by her cousin, Polyanna Speed, who was almost twelve.[2] The article spoke of Beryl and Johnie Wallace helping out with the games and egg hunt. At this point, Beryl was twenty-three years old and likely Johnie was either a young adult or older teenager and older sibling of Roy Esmond Wallace the other host.


Another clipping mentioned Beryl Johnston twice. One article was about visiting with her sister, Mildred, who was by then married to I. F. Bay, who lived in Stephenville, which was in the next county over. At this time, it seems married women went by the name of their husband.  The other mention of Beryl was with her friend, Miss Isobel Bates, also from Stephenville, who spent the previous week with Beryl.[3]


Beryl was listed on the honor roll at John Tarleton College in May 1931. In order to be on the honor roll, the student needed to carry a full load and make at least a grade of B on each subject carried.[4]
As I spent most of the afternoon searching for more articles by searching on her first name “Beryl,” I discovered many articles about her. She attended John Tarleton College, a two year junior college at the time, and made honor roll a couple of times. One article said she had straight As.[5]


She was also a part of the Young Women’s Auxiliary, which was a group of Baptist young women.[6] 


She married Howard Russell 13 September 1936 and I found the newspaper article about the wedding.[8]

There were many articles about their various occupations and residences. At one time during World War II, Beryl worked in the intelligence department with the Quartermasters Corp in Dallas.[9] Later they worked for American Cyanide Chemical Corporation.[10]

I have ended up with some very nice articles to help fill in the life of my great-aunt and her first husband. This has been a great exercise.




[1] So the general citation would be: digital image, The Portal to Texas History (https://texashistory.unt.edu/), “The Comanche Area Newspapers.” I will shorten the rest of the citations to just the newspaper and date.
[2] “Entertains Schoolmates on Easter,” Comanche Chief, 1 April 1932, p. 7.
[3] “Personal Mention,” Comanche Chief, 21 Sep 1934, p. 8.
[4] “Fifteen Local Students Named on Honor Roll,” Stephenville Empire-Tribune, 8 May 1931, p. 3.
[5] “Records Show Five Resident Students Make Term Honor Roll at Tarleton,” Stephenville Empire-Tribune, p. 3.
[6] No title, Stephenville Empire-Tribune, 28 Nov 1930, p. 2. See also “Y.W.A. Holds Meeting at Church Tuesday,” ibid, 5 Dec 1930, p. 5.
[7] “At Home From Comanche,” Stephenville Empire-Tribune, 2 Nov 1934, p. 8.
[8] “Beryl Johnston and Howard Russell Wed,” Stephenville Empire-Tribune, 25 Sep 1936, p. 5.
[9] “Mrs. T Johnston Attends Family Reunion Event,” Stephenville Empire-Tribune, 12 Dec 1941, p 2.
[10] No title, Stephenville Empire-Tribune, 31 Mar 1944, p. 8.

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.