Saturday, March 8, 2008

The latest

The new design is up and running.  

I haven't been doing any research during the time it's taken to get the site up, although I've just started to track down the burial site of Baltis Lemon.  Maybe this summer I'll plan a trip to Canada and see what I can find in person.   It helps that I purchased a new car for myself last week.

I need to send away for William and Sarah "Sallie" McKinley Oglesby's death certificates in Oklahoma.  I hope to find more clues regarding their parents.  

I sent the new information regarding William to Vic Oglesby and he's incorporated it onto his One Name Oglesby site.  It would be nice if I could find more information on the rest of Daniel and Nancy's children.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bits of This and That

New genealogy site is being constructed.  I went ahead and hired someone to do it.  Only waiting on final payment (payday) for the site to become active.

Found and spoke with more descendants of Mary Ann Lemon Mason.  One of them said words that gave me goosebumps:  "I remember Uncle Ike."  Uncle Ike being my great-grandfather, Isaac B. Lemon.  I now have information on all of Mary Ann's children, including the daughters' married names.  Of course this means that I owe additional information packets.  I still have quite a few to get out and I hope to work on those this week.

Received in the mail a copy of a photo of William Joseph Oglesby Sr. and his wife and some children.  It's taken from a newspaper article so it's not really suitable for putting on the site, but it's wonderful to even have a hint of the faces of people I've traced so relentlessly.  I also found a link to a bio of him on the Union County, Kentucky website.  I have sent off an email asking for a copy of the bio and hope to hear something about that today.  I am hopeful that it will give more information on his parents and siblings.  That would be wonderful beyond words.

I've not been working too hard on genealogy lately as things are rather strange here at home.  My mother has been very sick and has basically withdrawn from everyday life.  It's put quite a strain on my father.   I'm also waiting for my income tax refund.  When that comes I'm going to get a new car and hope to start making trips to places my ancestors lived.  That sounds exciting, doesn't it?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Family Genes


I'd been staring at the picture of the family of Cyrus and Rose Ruby Meredith for days, thinking there was something familiar about Cyrus himself when it finally dawned on me:  my brother, Alan, is the spitting image of Cyrus!  It's uncanny, really.  

Oklahoma Oglesbys

Talked by phone to a living descendant of William Joseph Oglesby, the brother of my great-grandfather, Morgan Oglesby.  It was a most enjoyable conversation.  While this person didn't have a lot of information on the family of Daniel and Nancy, Morgan's parents, he was a font of knowledge on the history of his own branch.  He was also very appreciative of the information I've already gathered on the beginnings of his branch.  He gave me the phone number of his brother, who has, he says, more information on the family.  He also did know of Morgan and says members of his family had met him.  

I find it astounding that I've been able to find this branch as they were a true brick wall for me a little over a year ago.  I've gone from knowing only the names of my great-grandparents (and nothing more) to discovering the names of their parents and siblings and actually speaking to descendants of the family.  I guess I have a knack for this genealogy thing (and I definitely believe I have help from Uncle Dick.  It sounds crazy to believe that your dead relative is helping you find your family roots, but for me, there can be no other explaination.  So go ahead and call me crazy, I don't mind.).

I've completed customizing the front page of the genealogy website.  I'm torn between wanting to put it up immediately or waiting until I've customized the other pages as well.  I really love the design I came up with and am quite proud it.  But I'm thinking too that now that I have the design I want I could hire the rest of the customizing out so the whole thing looks polished.  I don't know why genealogy is so important to me, but it is.  I don't think it will cost much to hire someone to finish the files now that I've come up with the actual design, and I do believe I have just right this minute made up my mind that I'm going to do that.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Family Photos

Haven't updated in a while.  Work last weekend wiped me out.  But I did work on Census records and made some progress with those.  And I received copies of photos in the mail yesterday of the families of Cyrus and Rose Ruby Meredith and Charles and Rebecca Meredith Herr.  They're wonderful.  The picture now gracing the front page of my genealogy site is of my grandmother as a girl.  I think she's beautiful.  These pictures mean more to me than I have words to express.  I actually cried when I looked at them.  To see the faces of the people I've been searching for is almost overwhelming.  I only wish I had pictures of the Lemons.  What did Baltis and Mary look like?  I can't even imagine what Eva Wilder looked like.  And I'd love to see a photo of Isaac B. Lemon as a young man.  Somewhere there are pictures of these people, someone has them tucked away, not realizing how important they are.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Oglesby-Lemon Census frustration

I thought I had the answer to the disappearance of John M. Lemon's family after 1920.  I should be able to find his son and/or grandson in the 1930 census, but they've just disappeared.  The only thing I've been able to find has been a Clayton Lemon living in Los Angeles, California with a wife and two step-children in their 20's.  Clayton Lemon is in his 40's, drives his own truck, and was born in Michigan around the right time.  But I can't find his son, who would still be young enough to be with a parent.  I've tried searching the census by looking for his first name and the name of his mother, thinking his parents divorced and his mother remarried, but if that's the case, his mother gave him her new married name because I can't find an Ella with a son named John Lemon.  I have found a John C. Lemon with the same birthdate who died in Pontiac in 1997.  An obituary would be nice.   My theory has been that the Lemon name got mangled in the 1930 census and that's why I can't find them.  I also figured out how to get a family's address off the census, which only works for those who live in cities, and spent hours trying to find the address of John Lemon in 1930.  I finally found the house, but other people were living there.  I wish access to land records were online.  

And the Oglesby family continues to ellude me from 1880-on.  I tried a similar search strategy in where I located neighbors in relation to the Oglesby property in the last census I found them, then searching for those people in the next one, but didn't have any luck.  Then I tried searching in Illinois as I had found at one time a record of land being bought in Illinois by a Daniel Oglesby, but I couldn't find them there, either.  What happened in 1880 to the Oglesby family?  They must have lost their land and split up, but why?  It's so frustrating not having answers to these questions.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Masons found!

I've talked tonight to three people directly connected to Mary Ann Lemon Mason and to say I'm happy and excited is an understatement.  Isn't it strange how just when I feel ready to give up, I find that one piece of information that starts the chase anew?  

Thank you, Uncle Dick.

I now know when John Mason died, and the dates of death for one of his sons and a grandson.  This is as exciting as finally finding Bessie Finch.  I've now found almost every single descendant of Isaac and Ann Tiffin Lemon.  I feel so energized that I want to try to find the descendants of John Lemon, too.  

Cold-calls work.  Just make sure you have your facts at hand and don't be afraid or shy.  Like my friend Deborah says, "They can't eat ya."  And like B. Caldwell, RN says, "They can't take away your birthday."  The most they can do is hang up on you, but I've never had a single person do that yet.  

I've promised two more genealogy packets to Mason descendants and just finished emailing packet information to the mother of a third.  I'm so blessed to be able to find the descendants of my ancestors.

This is me, doing my happy dance.  :)

Masons in Michigan, continued

I cold called a number for a Mason family in Yale, Michigan and discovered they are related to Max G. Mason, the son of George W. Mason and his wife, Blanche.  While the person I talked to didn't have a whole lot of family knowledge and had never heard the name Lemon in relation to his family, I'm pretty sure it's the right Mason family.  Finally!  The young man (it was his father's number I called, and he identified himself as the grandson of Max G. Mason) said no one in his family has any interest in genealogy.  I told him I'd assumed that as I'd never found any hint of information on these Masons anywhere online.  He did give me places of residence for his many uncles, but all except one have unlisted phone numbers.  That was very disappointing.  I gave the young man my name and phone number, but I doubt anyone will call me back.  

It's still exciting to speak with descendants of people whose lives I've studied and researched.  Inside that young man are the genes of my great-grandfather's sister.  They live in the same place she had land in the 1800's.  The young man said that his grandfather, Max, had been living for many, many years on land that was "given" to him, which I assume meant had been passed down.  Max's father, George, was the eldest son of John and Mary Lemon Mason, so it's not unreasonable to assume that the land was passed down to him and then to his son.  And I've not been able to find any other children of George and Blanche.  I hope to learn if there are any other children, did they know and interact with the other siblings of George, do they have any contact with them now.  

There's always something to keep me pushing on in the search for family.  This is a major breakthrough in my hunt for the descendants of Isaac and Ann Tiffin Lemon.

Masons in Michigan

There are too many Mason families in Michigan for me to cold-call to find the descendants of Mary Ann Lemon and John Mason.  I've been able to track all of their sons, but the majority of their daughters remain shrouded in mystery and veiled by time.  Finding the men was relatively easy as they were born within the time frame for them to have to register for the WW1 draft.  And finding them in the census records was easy because their mother was born in Canada and their father in England, the opposite of their mother's heritage; her mother being born in England and her father in Canada.  

These Masons haunt me.  Do they have pictures or stories of their mother's life in Canada?  Do they know more about Isaac and Ann?  Mary Ann Lemon was the eldest daughter of Isaac and Ann, named for her mother and her father's mother.   Sometimes I wish I were Canadian.  I'm sure it's easier to search for Canadian records if one actually is Canadian.   

The Lemon descendants should have received their packets by now.  I find myself strangely uninterested in getting out the other packets I've promised.  I'm waiting for photos that were promised but haven't arrived.  Karma.  I delayed getting the packets out and now the photos are slow to come.  I must prioritize, but I'm lethargic and feel dull.  I always feel this way after finding relatives I've been searching for.  Finding the descendants of Bertha Wilder has left me feeling a bit let down now that the excitement is fading.  I keep looking at the photo of Nettie Fredericks, trying to see her grandmother, her great-grandmother, my own great-grandmother.  What did Eva Wilder look like?  What color was her hair?  What did her voice sound like?  Was she kind?  

None of these musings is getting my work done, yet the musings persist.

Monday, January 14, 2008

William Lemon

Searched and found William Lemon up to the 1920 Census.  I'm trying to find all the descendants of Abner and Lucy Lemon of Macomb County.  Abner continues to intrigue me.  What did he look like, I wonder?  Was he a good person, a good father?  Who was "John B. Lemon" who gave the information for his death certificate?  How was he related?  Could it have been Isaac B.'s brother John?  What did the "B" stand for in his name?

Sometimes genealogy leaves more questions than it answers.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Mystery of Abner Lemon

Abner Lemon, son of Baltis and Mary Mendenhall Lemon, born in Canada in 1825, married to Lucy A. Harmon, father of at least 6 children, property owner in Armada Township, Macomb County, Michigan, died in Coral, Montcalm County, Michigan and is buried in the Coral Cemetery where all of Knapper's mother's people are buried.  

On census records Abner states he arrived in Michigan from Canada in 1860.  I can't find him in the 1860 census.  I found a marriage record for Abner Lemon and Louisa Palmer Bench in Addison, Lenawee County, Michigan for 1885.  By 1900 she was gone.  I have a photo of her tombstone in the Coral Cemetery next to Abner's.  But in 1910 Lucy A. Harmon Lemon is found in Armada Township in Macomb County living with her daughter and son-in-law, Jemima and John Ball.  Where was she in 1900?  I can't find her.   

Abner, Lucy, their daughter Luella and son James are found on the farm in Macomb County in 1880.  Jemima is also there as is John Ball, though they are not married yet.  By 1900 Jemima and John Ball are married, but Abner is in Coral and Lucy is not to be found.  Abner is running a hotel in Coral and the 1900 census states that two children with the last name of Bench are his grandchildren.  

I can't find any record of Abner in Canada.  He should be in the 1851 Canadian Census, but their census is not searchable like ours.  Or maybe it is and I just haven't figured out how to do it yet.
There is a probate record for Abner listed in the Macomb County Probate Office, but I can't get to it online.  I'd have to send away for it or go in person to see it.  What would it tell me?  Is it a will?  And who is the mysterious John B. Lemon who was the informant for Abner's death certificate in 1900?  Is the Isaac Lemon found in Macomb and Kent counties related to our Lemons?  That Isaac Lemon had a son named John B. Lemon.  Why does Isaac B. Lemon's death certificate say that his father John and not Isaac?  

So many mysteries solved, but so many remain.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Three packets mailed

The packets were surprizingly inexpensive to send, which was good because the ink for the printer was surprizingly expensive to buy.  

Later today I'll start the other packets.

Documenting the Wilders

I now have Bernard and Calista Lewis Wilder documented from 1850 until their deaths.  This is a big thing as I've been searching Census records for months and months, trying to find their homes. I finally found them on the 1860 Census living in Freedom, Cattaraugus County, New York listed as "Barnard Willey", "Calista Willey", "Charles Willey", and "Losie Willey".  I've submitted the corrections to  

While going through the Census of a particular county page-by-page is tedious and boring, it is rewarding.  I just wish I had better luck with the Union County, Kentucky Census images for 1880 so I could see how many of Daniel and Nancy Oglesby's children were still living with them, and if Daniel and Nancy were still alive.  If I were rich, I'd fly to Kentucky and check out the records in person.  I'd go to Macomb County and gather the information on the Wilders in person.  I'd buy plat maps of the counties where ancestors lived in the times in which they lived there.  I'd go to land offices, the Library of Michigan, Tuscola and Sanilac counties where my grandmother Lemon's people came from.

Instead, all I have is this computer and internet access.  But I think I've come amazingly far in just a year.  When I started I didn't know who the parents of Calista or Bernard were.  I couldn't find Bertha Wilder, much less her daughter Bessie.  I've tracked down and contacted all the living descendants of Isaac B. and Eva Bell Wilder.  That's a huge thing!  

Starting today, genealogy packets go out to all three surviving grandchildren of Frank and Nellie Woodward Lemon.  Then I start on the packets for the Meredith's, the Herr's, and the descendant of Nettie Frederick.  This is also huge.  I've developed a method of compiling the information they must want to know without overwhelming them.  People are mostly interested in themselves and their direct lines.  Mother, Father, Grandparents, Great-grandparents.  They don't want to wade through aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws.  I want to know everyone and that's my issue, not theirs.  If they want to know more, I have that information available, but they haven't wanted it so far.

So a very productive week for me.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Census Gleanings

I found Bernard and Calista in the 1870 Federal Census. Finally. They didn't live in Armada, but in Lenox Township. And their name was listed as "Wilden", not Wilder. I submitted a correction report for the names and hopefully they'll be searchable soon for anyone else looking to find them. But after all these years, I think I'm the only one who's been trying to find them.

I also had an epiphany while searching for Josie Wilder Seeley: The Pittsburg referred to in Calista's obituary is NOT in Pennsylvania, but in Michigan. So I Googled "Pittsburg, Michigan" and found it to be in Bennington Township, Shiawassee County. Duh. I know she was there in 1919 when Calista died, so now I have to search the 1920 census.

I found the Wilder's in the 1880 census by searching Macomb County page by page, which is tedious, but rewarding. I also found more Plat maps of Macomb County, but they aren't easily read. And it turns out I was looking in the wrong township anyway. So I'll work on that.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

That Darn Census

I know I could get further (farther?) on my research into the Oglesby family if I could just read the 1880 Census for Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky.  But I can't.  The writing for most families is not legible.  In the year 2008 you would think someone would have come up with a way to enhance the handwriting so it can be read.  Don't those people at watch CSI?  (I don't watch CSI, but someone who works at must because a lot of people do.  Pardon my logic.)  I am so frustrated by not being able to find the Oglesbys that I need a diversion.  So I started trying to put the Google Maps function to work on my site.  




Can you say "tedious"?  Can you say "boring"?  It's all that and more.  And because I sometimes entered counties as Co., and sometimes as County, it takes a long time and a lot of editing to fix the places.  So I did a few and then stopped.  I'll do more tomorrow.  Maybe.  But the thing is, Google Maps is so cool.  It's amazing to see how close one place is to another and helps me understand how couples met.  

Meredith and Wilder and Villro and--again--Knapp

Received two emails today from descendants of ancestors.  Very welcome letters.  More information was learned, family history discussed, and, as ever, I told a secret.  I have been told that my Grandma Lemon, Clara Herr Lemon, was very good at keeping secrets.   Someone told me "If you told Clara a secret, it stayed a secret."  I must not have inherited that gene.  I must have received the must-tell-everything-she's-ever-told blabber mouth gene because it's very rare that I'm able to keep quiet about something I know.  I think I'll work on that.  

Working on finding the Villros in Michigan in the census records.  Edward was born in France in 1848 and on one census record says he came over in 1850.  But I can't find him, even accounting for various misspellings of his surname.  I wonder if he landed in Canada first and lived there before going down into Michigan?  I'll check the Canadian census records.  

I also received an email from someone related through the Lewis'.   She is a descendant of Lucy
Jane Tarbell Lewis, daughter of Laban and Sarah.  It would appear that she and I are related through my Knapps, not Knapper's Knapps.  

I really believe we are truly all related in a six-degrees-of-separation kind of way, if not on a more genetic level.  

Friday, January 4, 2008

Finding Minerva Marcum

I guess the thing I love most about researching a large number of families is that when I get bored or frustrated or tired of trying to find information on one, I can go on to another.  And that's what I was doing today.  

It's been bothering me a lot since I found Minerva Marcum Stevens' death certificate that I haven't been able to document through census records her residence in Henshaw, Kentucky in 1910.  She had to be there.  Don't ask me how I knew she had to be, but I knew it.  So I started doing a page-by-page search of Union County, Kentucky for 1910.  But Henshaw isn't listed as one of the places you can search.  No, that would be too easy.  Instead you have to hunt and peck until you find Magisterial District #3.  These are areas that are outside of towns and have funky descriptions like this:

Magisterial District No. 3 Raleigh (part of) incl Henshaw town All south of the Morganfield and Shawneetown Road and Spring Grove and Grove Center Road, beginning at Blackburn and running southwest to the "Rocks", thence east over Bald Hill to where Grove Center Road leaves the Morganfield and Shawneetown Road; thence to the Blue Ridge.

This is the area from whence my ancestors sprung.  It sounds almost poetic, but I bet it was a biotch to farm.  But they did farm it.  They raised food to feed their children because they didn't exactly have Burger Kings and Walmart stores nearby.  Do you ever wonder just what it took to live in the 1800's?  I do.  And I feel spoiled.  It's no wonder so much of America is now suffering from obesity;  who really works for food these days?  How many people still have to cut and haul wood to stay warm in the winter?  

So I found Minerva in her final years, still working a farm with two of her children:  Walter, who was in his 30's at that time, and Blanche, who was 23.  Why was Blanche still home, I wonder?  Most women her age were already married 8 or 10 years and had a number of children.  Was there something wrong with her?  I'll never know, which is the curse of genealogy.  So many stories I'll never know!  If I had a time machine, I'd set it for the 1800's and visit every single ancestor I've recorded and learn their stories from their own mouths.  

I feel a sense of relief having finally found Minerva in her latter years, but I'm still anxious to find her in her youth.  Where in Ohio was she born?  Why can't I find her in the 1850 census if she was born between 1845 and 1849?  

I've figured out that I can't find some ancestors because the census is too light to read or the names are transcribed incorrectly.  


I am surely losing what's left of my feeble little mind

I was trying to find an introduction letter I'd written and sent with other packets when I found this:

Crouched here
beside these lovely bones
all gray powder now,
no meat or sinew to bind them,
the skeletons of my ancestors
constructed now of dates and places,
names once called out in love and rage,
jotted down in neat rows
as they never were in life,
now, centuries later,
they are meek and silent,
seen only in old photographs,
perhaps a chin on this child,
a farmer's eyes now
seeing compact discs and
optical mice.

It was just a notepad item and my "My Documents" folder is full of them.  I have the startings of stories and poems I've written and just pasted into Notepad and put away for another time.  I really, really like the thing above, but I can't remember if I wrote it or copied it from somewhere.  It feels like I wrote it, but I can't be sure.  And if I can't be sure, I can't claim that I did.  I tried Googling it to see if I could find it somewhere, but nothing came up.

I hope I wrote it because I really like it.


Duh, denise

I forgot to write that I completed and have ready to mail three-count 'em-three! genealogy packets.  These go to Lemon cousins.  Once they're out the door, I have four more to get ready and send off; One for a Meredith family member, two for Oglesby, and one for the descendant of my elusive Bessie Finch.  

Ink for printers is too expensive.  I'd rather the printers be expensive and the ink be reasonable.  I used up most of my ink trying to make a copy of the newspaper article on the death of Eva Wilder Lemon, which my Uncle Dick got from the Library of Michigan.  I'm going to take it to Walmart and make copies of it there and save my ink for printing reports.

Lint, Lint Everywhere

Sometimes when I get stuck on a family, I leave them alone for awhile and work on others.  This is what happened tonight.  I got stuck and started looking to fill in names, dates and places for Allied families.  You know, families that I'm not necessarily related to, but who marry into the families to whom I am related.  Or something.

So I started to work on the Lints and Kriegers.  These families married into the Knapp line.  Christian Daniel Lint married Lydia Ann Krieger and they produced a daughter, Sarah Jane Lint.  Sarah married a man named George E. Fike and THEY produced a daughter, Myrtie Sylvesta Fike, who married James Harrison Knapp, the son of Orlando James and Armina Cordelia Edmonds.  James and Myrtie had 3 daughters-only one of whom lived to adulthood-and a son, Hazen Harold Knapp.  Hazen's photo is the one that graces the main page of my genealogy site.  He sits while his new wife, Zelma Wright Knapp, stands at his side all pretty and pregnant.  I'm pretty sure that bump in her dress is my ex-husband's father, Jack Hazen Knapp.  Zelma and Hazen had 2 sons, Jack and Wayne, and then Zelma died during childbirth trying to deliver a 3rd child in 1931.  The dead child is supposedly buried with her in the same coffin in the Amble Cemetery.   

So James and Myrtie lived in Amble, Winfield Township, Montcalm County, Michigan where most of their descendants still live.  Even their daughter that lived to adulthood lived in Amble, one field over from the house in which she was born.  She married a man named Engebretsen and they had a tall, two story house that stood vacant and spooky for many, many years.  She and her husband had 3 children; 2 sons and a daughter, Myla Beth.  One night in the '40's they were coming home from a basketball game and were in a car accident and the three of them, the mother, the father, and the daughter, were killed.  The two sons were older and already married and out of the house by this time.  No one ever lived in the house again, but my ex and I used it as a...well.  We used it before we were married.  Later we ended up being given land next door to the house and we made our own home in the shadow of this spooky, vacant house that had some really great memories for us.  

Anyway, I digress.

Somehow, Lydia Ann Krieger Lint ended up dying in Amble and I think she's buried in the Amble Cemetery, which is on land given to Winfield Township by the family of James Harrison Knapp, and which is right next door to the house he himself lived and died in.  Most of the Knapps are buried there.  Orlando himself is buried in the old section of the Howard City cemetery.  I think he died before his son got the land where the Amble Cemetery is now.   

However it happened, Lydia died in Amble and a lot of her children ended up in Montcalm County, marrying local folks whose names are still alive in that area.  

Sometimes?  When I think about it?  I think how strange and odd it is that I know more about my ex-husband's family than he himself knows.  But then I remind myself that I have 3 sons with the man and those people are my sons' family, too.  Then I get back to work.


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bertha Estelle Wilder Finch

I just finished importing the latest GEDCOM into my site and discovered that the 2nd of January was Bertha's birthday.  I find it magically coincidental that I found her descendants and actually talked to one of them, on the day she was born.  

Genealogy is the closest I come to magic in my life.

Knapper (my ex-husband) and I connect families again

Those pesky Knapps keep getting mixed up in my Lemons, which is sort of funny, I guess.  And while not all the Knapp families who connect to my lines are his direct lines, it's still funny, I think.

Around 1992 I was given two documents by the Knapp family.  One was a genealogy of all the direct descendants and families of a man named "Deacon Isaac Knapp" right down to my ex-husband and I.  The second document was an interesting paper written by a man named Charles Knapp in the 19th century and mailed to all (I guess, I was never very clear on this part) families with the last name of Knapp.  It's apparently the lineage of William and his younger brother, Nicholas.  I've since learned that most of this information is incorrect, that Nicholas and William were not brothers, and that my ex's family is probably from Aaron or William, not Nicholas.  

But I am from Nicholas Knapp through the Tarbell side of my father's grandmother's family.  Still, all those Knapps from different lines keep intersecting with people from my allied families and it's sort of fun, in a weird and twisted way.

To put these matters to rest, I'm going to have one of my sons' DNA tested and submitted to the Knapp surname project and find out which line they are actually descended from.  I'd also like to do a maternal DNA study on my mother's side of the family as those are also very old names: Penrod and Hodges.  It would be very interesting to find out where we fit in.  DNA testing is 
expensive though.  And I can't do the Lemon side of the family as my father does not want himself or any of his sons tested due to a family secret.  (Babies born to the sister of my grandmother and given to her, the father really being my grandfather.  My father says that his father is his father and that's all there is to it and doesn't want testing done.  I've teased him that I'll get a sample from him after he's deceased, but he doesn't laugh when I say it, so I won't do that.)

I know that all my sons are the children of my ex-husband and my ex-husband is definitely the son of his father and on back to Isaac Palmer Knapp, supposedly the son of Deacon Isaac Knapp.
I'd like to pay for one of my Lemon cousins (children of the children of my great-grandfather, Isaac B. Knapp) to have their DNA tested, but that's sort of a tricky proposition and I don't know quite how to go about offering to do so.  

Anyway, I've connected the Finch family (Of Bertha Wilder Finch, Bessie Finch Frederick and Nettie Frederick Vaden Adams) to the family of Nicholas Knapp.  Seems the father of Alsey, husband of Bertha, was the great-great grandson of Clara "Choely" Knapp, who was the daughter of Ezra Knapp and Phoebe Fairchild.  

The more I do genealogy, the more I discover that we are all indeed related.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Children of Bessie Finch

Well, I cold-called and spoke with Bessie Finch Frederick's son, James, a very nice 74 year old gentleman who lives in Washington state.  It was a wonderful conversation.  I couldn't believe I was actually speaking to a member of my great-grandmother's family.  I'd been stymied for so long, it felt surreal.  

I promised him a packet (oh dear), and he's promised to send me copies of pictures of Bertha Estelle Wilder Finch, his grandmother, and Bessie Finch Frederick, his mother.  I can hardly believe I found him.  He said, "I thought I was the last bump on the log,"  which I thought was very cute.  He didn't know he had any family left.  And after all this time, I thought Bessie Finch Frederick was a figment of my imagination.  

I told him about the very long lives of the Lewis women and he was very interested.  I told him about his being the 5th great-grandson of Bernard Romans, which wasn't very exciting to him as he doesn't know who Bernard Romans is.  He did say that no one else in his family is interested in genealogy, which makes my finding him all the more magical, in my opinion.  

Uncle Dick, are you proud of me?  

My uncle, Richard Paul Lemon, my father's twin brother, was the one who started me on this quest for the Lemon family back in 1997.  Without his groundwork, I'd have nothing to go on.  He found Bernard and Calista Wilder, the parents of Eva Wilder Lemon, but that's all he had; their names.  I'm so excited to be able to accomplish so much for him because all of this is dedicated to him.  

So, Isaac Lemon, the young boy from Canada, went down to Michigan with a brother and a sister, John M. Lemon and Mary Ann Lemon and worked the forests of virgin timber.  He and John worked in the woods and Mary Ann kept house for them.  All of them give the date of their arrival to Michigan as 1870, but I'm not sure that's correct because Isaac Sr., their father, was still alive and they were living in Goderich, Huron County, Ontario, Canada at the time of the 1871 census.  Their mother, Ann Hepzibah Tiffin Lemon, had died there in January of 1871 and their father died there in 1873.  

Isaac Jr. grew into a man and married Eva Bell Wilder, the daughter of Bernard Charles and Calista Marie Lewis Wilder in Macomb County, Michigan.  Bernard was a blacksmith.  I can't find much about them other than stray facts here and there.  Calista owned land in Macomb County, some of her siblings and her mother were living near her, and Eva was their only child born in Michigan.  

Isaac and Eva had 7 children, my grandfather being their youngest.  They had 5 sons and 2 daughters before Eva died tragically in a kitchen fire on April Fools day of 1906.  According to the newspaper account it took her hours to die and was horrible.  Isaac then married a Danish woman, Axelina Johnson, who was a widow with several children of her own.  The families combined and one of the daughters of Isaac ended up marrying one of the sons of Axelina.  That must have been interesting.  And if Isaac and Eva hadn't given their youngest son the maiden name of Isaac's mother, I'd never have known where our Lemons came from.  

There's a lesson here for future generations:  give your children names that have history and family significance.  

More Oglesby breakthroughs

I found the last name of William Oglesby's wife, Sarah "Sallie" B.  If the information is correct, her maiden name was McKinley.  The information was found because one of William and Sarah's daughters, Minnie Camella Oglesby, had someone in her family who posted her information online. God bless the internet.  

I emailed the information to Vic Oglesby, who trusted my information enough to add it to his database, and emailed the contact for the information posted on Minnie.  To say I'm excited by this breakthrough is an understatement.

It still feels like these ancestors and "cousins" want me to find them.  I hadn't been able to find any information on William J. Oglesby, or on ANY of the siblings of Morgan, for a very long time and suddenly I am finding so much that it's frightening.  Now if I could only find out for sure which Oglesby family Daniel belongs to, I'd be a happy woman.

The Mystery of Bessie Finch Solved

I've been trying to find what happened to the children of Alsey and Bertha Wilder Finch for forever.  Bertha Estelle Wilder was the daughter of Charles Edgar and Mary Jane Clark Wilder.  Charles was the brother of my great-grandmother, Eva Bell Wilder Lemon.  Bertha and Alsey lived in Armada (pronounced "ArMADEa", not ArMODa), Macomb County, Michigan.  They had at least three children:

Kendall Finch b. 26 Oct 1906 and was either stillborn or died the same day he was born.
Bessie Finch b. Abt. 1906 and, as I just found out tonight, d. 2007.
Florence Finch b. Abt. 1913.

I haven't been able to find anything at all about Florence, but I hit the motherlode on Bessie.  I knew she'd married a man by the name of Clarence S. Frederick and had at least one child because I found them in the 1930 Census.  Their child was Nettie Frederick.  I found her obituary tonight.  

Nettie Jean Vaden ADAMS

June 19, 1927 - June 10, 2001 Nettie Jean Adams, 73, died Sunday,
June 10, 2001 at her home in Waldport, Oregon with her husband John at her side. She was born in Armada, Michigan, the daughter of
Clarence and Bessie Frederick. She graduated from Armada High
School in 1945 and in April of 1946 married V.G. (Geary) Vaden.
They had three children: Christie Anne, Charles Frederick, and Clarissa Jaye. Nettie was a longtime resident of the Seattle area, but had spent the last seven years on the Oregon coast. She adored reading, traveling, good restaurants, and her family and friends. She was outgoing, outspoken, and always a challenge to all who knew and loved her.

Nettie was preceded in death by her father, Clarence Frederick, in
1950. She is survived and truly missed by her husband of 12 years,
John Adams; her mother Bessie Frederick 93 of Anacortes, WA., her
brother and sister-in-law James and Dorothy Frederick of Anacortes,
WA., her daughter and son-law Christie and William Eichler of
Anacortes, WA., her son and daughter-in-law Charles and Patricia
Vaden of Federal Way, WA., her daughter and son-in-law Clarissa
and William MacLean of Rigby, ID., her step-children George Shargas,
Debra Edwards, Catherine Drew, Carol Adams, Robert Adams, as
well as 13 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. A private
memorial will be held Saturday, June 16, 2001 at 1 p.m. at the home of 
her brother James. Memorials to the American Heart Association and
the Arthritis Foundation in Nettie's memory are suggested. Cremation 
was conducted under the direction of Bateman Funeral Home in
Newport, Oregon.

Jun 15 2001
Seattle Times

The very sad thing is that I also discovered that Bessie Finch, Nettie's mother, died in 2007 at the age of 99.  She was like most of the Lewis women; they lived very long lives.  Bessie's mother, Bertha Estelle Wilder, lived to be 97 years old.  Her grandmother, Calista Marie Lewis Wilder, lived to be 91 years old.  Calista's mother, Sarah Tarbell Lewis, lived to be almost a hundred years old also.  I haven't found Bessie's obituary yet, but I'm pretty certain I know where she died.  Best of all, Nettie Fredericks had a brother I didn't know about because he was born in 1933.  He's listed as living in Washington state.  I plan on calling him tomorrow.  I'm very excited.  It would be wonderful if someone in that family was interested in genealogy.  

So, a mystery solved, perhaps new "cousins" to connect with, and more names to enter in the database.  Not a bad start to the new year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Longuski, Langowski?

I'm trying to find Ersell Meredith, sister to Rebecca Jane, who married "a man named Longuski", according to my uncle's notes.  I did find her in the 1930 Census in Huron county, Michigan, but I can't find her in 1920.  The 1930 census gave me the names of her husband and children, but I can't find his WWI draft card, which is unusual.  He was born about 1893 so he should have one and finding it would give me the exact spelling of his name.  

I did stumble upon a large pile of Griffins, which was exiciting.  The Griffins married into the Merediths.  I'm still trying to find the birthplace of Charles Meredith who was born in 1761, maybe in Pennsylvania, maybe in North Carolina.  All that is really known about him is that he fought with the British during the Revolutionary War and so received land in Canada from King George.  My families are so diverse!