Was it Reorganizing or part of a Genealogy Do-Over

January 20, 2016

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Yesterday, I did a blog post Is re-organizing your files helpful? and there were many, many questions about the content of what I posted. Understand that I only posted maybe one page of the 23 pages in this file. I thought I would take a few minutes to reflect on what I learned.

  • Review the information you have in your file(s)

This is not the first time that I have gone back and found information in my database or in my files that I missed the first time around. This example is almost part of the Genealogy Do-Over project that continues among the genealogy community.

  • Share your research

If I received this package around 1997, I was in the early stage of my research so may not have recognized what I should or should not keep track of. Having moved from those early days to now doing some presentations “in public”, either in person or online, I have learned lots. For that past year or so, now teaching. Those students really keep me on my toes.

  • Use Cousin Bait

Blogs are known as being a way to catch those cousins, especially the ones you don’t know. Having an Online Tree, I think falls into this same category. I have shared some information I received from a DNA Match, using an online tree. The recent visit to the Monocacy National Battlefield with “new” cousins.

One of the Queries posted on this blog appears to have made another cousin connection. I knew I wanted to be able to deal with Queries, figured out a way to do that, and a couple of days ago, cone of the comments appears to be a solid cousin connection between two people. How awesome is that.

  • Put your information into context

I read those 23 pages from start to finish. As I read, there were moments of “oh, I knew that” or “OH, I did NOT know that”! I will probably do more blog posts on that later, especially what I posted yesterday. Some eye opening pieces of information, just on that one page.

To wrap this blog post up, there was a comment about a book that the family was working on, “Hell and Beyond”. The letter was written in 1978 and was asking questions about THE BOOK. The family has always talked about it, knew about it and I have the book that was published in 2006. I received my copy with an enclosed letter dated December 7, 2006, Pearl Harbor Day. It was on that day, that the authors father began his “Diary of War and Captivity”. Won’t go into that her, BUT just hours before I found this folder, I have mailed an extra copy of the book to my DNA Cousin. (she doesn’t know it’s coming, so don’t tell her). We had talked about “the book” on the phone earlier in the week.

  • How do we communicate

As many ways as possible. Blogs, Email, Snail Mail, even the telephone. You know those things that hang on the wall in the kitchen?

If I hadn’t posted my tree Online, done a DNA test, posted a private message to my newly found DNA Cousin, who asked me to call her, the letters I have talked about recently, wouldn’t be sitting on my desk waiting to be transcribed, giving me some insight into the lives of my grandparents. You never know when that one person will make contact with you that has the key or small piece of information you have been looking for, will be looking for something you have.

I am guessing that the reaction to the book will be much the same as me finding this folder that I have had for years.


Is re-organizing your files helpful ?

January 19, 2016

While taking a break from “business as usual” I finally am taking some time to make sure that my files are organized.

Having moved a couple of years ago from an apartment to a house, I finally have a Genea-Cave, an almost real office. I had a pretty good record of my files, but haven’t done an inventory of what I had as I knew I had some folders that were not labeled, thus not in the right place.

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One of those folders had a very long letter from my Uncle to the “real” Genealogist in the family, one of my Texas Cousins. She was in the process of writing a book “Hell and Beyond”. I have talked about this book before, but while she was doing the research for the book, apparently she sent letters to the Pennsylvania Cousins for information.

I am posting the 1st page and the last several pages of this 24 page document. Will post some of the letters that were transcribed dating from 1888 to 1932 over time. I’ll start with the opening and closing of the document.

 

Box 205
Lionville, Pa. 19353
August 28, 1978

Dear Cousin Frances,

Betty made copies of thy letter and distributed them to the five of us children of H. Russell Worthington. I have read my copy with intense interest and hope that I can contribute in some small way with information which I have gleaned from two old tin boxes of papers, letters, etc., some of which came into my father’s possession following the death of Aunt Lizzie (Elizabeth Farnum Worthington Russell) in 1924.

Coincidentally, did thee realize that thy letter was dated July 27th, my father’s birthday? Or was it coincidental–maybe providential?

I am thrilled to hear that thee is working toward the publication of Uncle Wistar’s writings and am looking forward with great anticipation to reading “Hell and Beyond” upon its completion. Please reserve four copies for us and our three children.

I, too, have been faced with many gaps in time and information. There are so many missing pieces, like in a jig-saw puzzle. An old birthday book of Aunt Lizzie’s has been very helpful–she had recorded in the back of the book some dates of marriages and deaths.

Samuel Worthington and Sarah Catherine Reeve (sometimes called Kate) were married 2nd Ho. 15-1872 at Cottonwood Meeting House, Lason (.sp.?) County, Kansas.

Sarah Catharine Worthington died (then, in my father’s handwriting) “fall of 1896”

Samuel Worthington died at Richfield, Morton County, Kansas, 5th No. 30 (the year is blurred, but in my father’s writing) “1897”. This conflicts with 1896 as the year of death on the family tree which I am enclosing with this letter. More about the family tree later.

The children were not a11 together at all times with Samuel and Sarah C. prior to their deaths. This is understandable as both Samuel and Sarah died of tuberculosis and were in failing health for several years. Several letters from Sarah C. Worthington disclose these facts:

[ 19 pages of letters follows ]

Frances, I must wind this yarn up and get it sent off to thee. After all, thee is the one who is writing a book, not I.

The first thing I question about the content of thy draft of “About the Author of ‘Hell and Beyond” is J. Wistar Worthington’s birthdate. From what I have found in several places it was 12-29-1888. H. Russell Worthington was born 7-27-1887 and the two boys were only seventeen months apart.

Based on information which I have at hand, I have concluded that Sarah C. died in February ? 1894 and Samuel died 5-30-1897. If this is wrong,’ I hope that someone will provide me with exact dates. If 1897 is the correct year of Samuel’s death, H. Russell W. was not quite 10 years old and J. Wistar W. was 8 years and 5 months old at the time. I have already covered the rest of what I have learned about the early schooling of H. Russell W. and J. Wistar W. Wistar W. and about their being sent to Aunt Lizzie’s, the Moorestown Academy and Westtown Boarding School.

Does thee remember hearing about H. Russell and J. Wistar and the other children going out on the prairie to gather “Buffalo chips” to use as fuel in the stove?

May I ask- who was the relative thee refers to who asked for the use of the “College Fund” and died before it could be repaid?

Does thee have a picture of the log cabin in which our fathers were born?

Samuel W. attended Westtown Boarding School for one year, 1852-1853, entering at nine years of age. Aunt Lizzie, Aunt Sallie and Uncle Henry also attended there.

Best of luck to thee, Frances, in thy endeavor. I know what a monumental task it will be.

My sincere appreciation is extended to Betty for typing all of these pages. She and Harvey have done this as their contribution toward thy project.

Affectionately, thy cousin
Robert M. Worthington


QUERY: Martha A Worthington (1870- ?) Kansas

January 12, 2016

A Query from Sharon Culver-Rease

I am struggling to find the parents of my great grandmother, Martha A Worthington who was born March 15, 1870 in Kansas. She had a brother Edward born in October 1876. The information I have is from census and marriage records. She moved to Missouri at 18 and got married. I would welcome any suggestions.


Another Snail Mail Package

January 9, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I did this blog post

Look what I received in the mail

It was a package that contained some letters between my paternal grandmother and out “Texas cousins’”. I go to pick up the mail today and there was another envelop with another 10 or so letters AND something I have not seen before. A poem written by my Grandfather.

A couple amazing things about this Snail Mail package. First that I received another set of letter, and the poem, but the letter was written December 29, 1949 to his younger brother for his 60th birthday. He was born 12/29/1888.

I have written about him before

Josiah Wistar Worthington, Col. V.C., U.S.A. – 09496

Now, Josiah, we called “Uncle Wistar” was a P.O.W. twice but HE wrote him while using poems as his way of telling the family how he was doing.

So, I was not surprised at my Grandfather’s 8 pages, typed written poem about my grandparents visit to Uncle Wistar’s home. The title of the poem.

TO BROWNSVILLE AND BACK (11-28-‘49 TO 12-13-‘49)”

I don’t know for sure who typed it up, as it might have been my mother, but the 8 page poem told the story of the trip my grandparents made to Texas. He told of how their children took them to the train station, how they were greeted in Texas and their return home. He mentioned many of the towns that they traveled through, what they could see from the train, it was just like we were there.

No I don’t remember that they took that trip, but I would have been in school, but I do remember Wistar and his family visiting us, but now I heard of the visit to the Texas cousins.

He wrote about the Thanksgiving dinner and their ventures while in Texas.

On the 4th page, were two paragraphs that I will share here. I do so, because the 2nd link, Josiah Wistar Worthington, col. V.C., U.S.A. – 09496 talked about his military service, and in this poem, for Wistar’s birthday, my grandfather wrote:

The Colonel is retired from the Army
After serving in two World Wars;
He’s been then thru the smoke and battle
And seen men die at his side.

Near four years he was starved and tortured
After his capture at Bataan by the Japs
But miracles worked in his favor,
He was saved from a horrible death.

My Grandfather and his “little” brother, The Colonel.

Worthington_HenryRussell

Worthington_JosiahWistar-1

One other “little” item in the envelop was something that I had forgotten about, but I’ll share it here. A Card that was used for the farm we lived on. More on that in another blog post.

Worthington_Orchard_Card

The trees on both sides of the drive way, we called “the lane”, the house on the right, and it’s still standing, and the “packing house” in the back. The “packing house” is where we took care of all of the fruit from the orchards, and also had a store in the front. That isn’t there anymore, it’s all housing.

Better get back to my scanning and transcribing of these letters.


Making a connection, using the Find-A-Grave website

December 31, 2015

As I posted earlier in the week, I mentioned going to Monocacy and the Worthington House there. I met several “cousins” there as we were able to tour the building.

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What we didn’t know for sure, is HOW WE are related. I knew how I was related to the owners of the house, be not sure how they were related.

I had taken a book with me, that I created in 1999,  for the opening of a Walking Trail at the Worthington House. During lunch, I shared that book with the cousins, Joe Worthington and his two daughters.

Joe found his ancestor in my book, very good news, but I had not searched down further on that line, because I was focusing at the time to Judge Glenn Howard Worthington.

He mentioned Lavinia a number of times and there was a cousin connection to the owners of the Worthington House. Hmmm.

My approach, in this case, is to try to prove him, Joe, wrong. So, I took what I had and did some research to do just that. As it happens most of the time, I am able to prove him correct, but I have information to start looking for the documentation to prove him right.“A Cousin”, “Lavinia”, “Dr Charles Nicholas Worthington”, and the owners of the Worthington House at the time of the Civil War.

In my database, I had a shaky leaf hint for John Thomas Worthington, the owner to the 1900 Federal Census. Right time, right place.

2015-12-31_194002

1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Maryland, Frederick County, Urbana; Supervisory District 4, Enumeration District 15;Sheet 12 B (penciled); dwelling 318, family number 30; line 79-82; Lavinia Worthington household; Roll: 622; Page: 12B;  FHL microfilm: 1240622; NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 622; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 December 2015).

There is the Lavinia and cousin John T Worthington, and his wife Mary R. Worthington. There is the cousin connection between Lavinia and John, but WHO is Lavinia.

I entered Lavinia into my database, as I normally would, with an unknown birth surname, as the census stated that she was a widow, and other information from the census record and a shaky leaf hint showed up for her.

It was to a Find-A-Grave Memorial (#16417102), confirming where she was buried and that was in the same cemetery where Dr Charles Nicholas Worthington was buried. The inscription in the transcription from the stone, and it is readable, “wife of Dr. Charles N Worthington”. Not completely happy there, I went to HIS memorial (#16416989).

This memorial confirmed what I have in my database, as to his parents, and his first wife. So, I have the right person, and now his 2nd wife.

Not only did it confirm what I had, but also backed up why Lavinia was listed as a Widow, as Charles died in 1898. Joe, is a descendant of Charles’ first wife. I only had one of his children, but the Find-A-Grave memorial listed their 5 children, only one of which was a male. So, I am one generation closer to making the connection to Joe and his family.


A Visit to Monocacy, Home of Judge Glenn Howard Worthington

December 28, 2015

A while ago, I made this blog post

Planned Weekend Trip – Day 1

I talked about Monocacy. Well, tomorrow, December 29, 2015, (weather pending) I will visit The Monocacy Battlefield with some “cousins” I have not met in person. We will be able to visit the inside of the Worthington House.

In 1999, I was also in the house, but that was before the National Park Service made a lot of progress on the restoration of the house. They were in the progress of making it stable for the restoration.

WorthingtonHouse-1999-01.jpg

I took this picture in 1999. A couple of years ago, I revisited it.

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Looking at my notes, 101 years ago, December 29, 1914, there was some tragic news that impacted Glenn Howard Worthington and his wife, Julia Alvey Worthington. A telegram was received by the Worthingtons letting them know that Mr and Mrs Harry C Alvey and their three children were burning “yesterday” about 4 o’clock in their house in Winter Haven, Florida. Mr Alvey was the brother of Julia Worthington.

Glenn Howard Worthington was my 5th Cousin, 2 times removed.

I am looking forward to another visit to this historic home and meeting some new cousins as we are able to see the progress on the inside of the house. But, will remember who lived in the home that we visit.

We are grateful to the National Park Service for the work that has been done to this historic home and for allowing us to visit.

 


QUERY: Sarah Worthington b: 1741

December 26, 2015

Good Morning! I have a Worthington ancestor who is a mystery. She is known as Sarah Worthington. She was supposedly born 1741 in Connecticut. She was the wife of Cornelius Drake (1741-1818). Sarah Worthington Drake died in Christian County Kentucky. The Drake family line is well researched and fleshed out but no one seems to know anything about Sarah Worthington. Any info you may have would be much appreciated. I really enjoyed your site!

Thanks,

Keith


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