Road Trip with a Surprise

April 2, 2016

Just got back from a trip to Fairfax, Virginia to help DearMYRTLE with 4 presentations at the Fairfax Genealogical Society Spring Conference.

On the way home, I had two stops to make. One was to drop off a book that I had created on the Worthington’s who lived in the Worthington House in the Monocacy Battlefield.

On the way there, I stopped by an old cemetery just south of the Battle field to see the renovations that had been done to the Zion Church and Cemetery, Founded in 1802.

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Here is a picture I took in 1999.

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and today

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Incredible.

Dropped of the book, as promised but stopped by the “Thomas Farm” house, the neighboring farm to the Worthington House. Have driven by it many times, but not close enough to take a photo.

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(the surprise is coming)

I have a 2nd cousin who lives just north of Gettysburg, but have never stopped by to visit.

The “back story” is that I works for my 2nd cousin’s father one summer. I knew about “the Gettysburg Farm” but didn’t know where it was. Today, I stopped, not out of the blue, but they were going to be home and it was OK to visit.

The surprise was as soon as the door was open, I thought I had escaped by 60+ years, as the smell of Apple Sauce cooking just rolled out of the door. It was like walking into the kitchen of my grandmothers house, or even my mother as they cooks apple sauce. I had forgotten just how great freshly made, home made, apple sauce really was.

Where was my camera when I needed it. On the stove was an apple sauce grinder just like my grandmother had and used on the stove, with it still dripping the sauce. In fact, the grinder was my grandmothers SISTERs apply sauce grinder doing all of the work, with a little help from my 2nd cousin.

Oh was that good.

After catching up a little and talking about what I had been doing, and sharing my spare copy of the Monocacy book, we talked about my other cousin DearMYRTLE and how we were connected. Now, my 2nd cousin was from Chester County. I mentioned one of the names on a Power Point slide the Myrt showed in Fairfax the day before, and my cousin know immediately the surname. I didn’t have to say any more. We talked a little more and mentioned Conrad Weiser, one my Myrt’s ancestors.

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This is the Conrad Weiser Homestead in Womelsdorf, PA.

As soon as I mentioned “Weiser”, my cousin’s face lit up, her husband got up and went to a collection of CDs and brought back a Music CD by a Weiser. (sorry, forgot the artist name). But my cousin’s children KNOW the many Weiser family members living in the area. Now the homestead is probably 45 minutes away from where I was, but to make that connection, was NOT Expected.


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.

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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.

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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.


Letter #1–Aunt Eleanor to Jody & Mary

March 14, 2015

The letter was dated 30 September 1972. That date won’t make sense  today, but it may tomorrow. I have transcribed the letter from my genealogy database and a “letter notebook” that I have created.

This letter announced to our Texas Cousins, that my cousin Kenny had been killed in an accident a couple of weeks earlier. 24 years old, was just discharged from 4 years in the Air Force, not in the letter was that he was killed in an motor cycle accident as he worked at a Honda repair shop.

Kenneth Robert Highley (05 January 1948 – 13 August 1972) was Married to Edie and they had little Kenny born the year before.  In the letter “It was so sudden, so very, very sad” it a confirmation for me, that helped confirm WHY my cousin was buried where he was buried, in the plot of Edie’s parents.

It told of how Anna and her husband, Bob, would go out to Omaha to bring their belongings, in a “U-Haul” back to New Holland, PA. Anna, being Eleanor’s younger sister. Edie and the baby had to return to Omaha and Eleanor’s daughter, Bernice and her husband would fly out to drive Edie and Kenny back to Pennsylvania. You see, that Bernice’s husband Don and Edie were brother and sister.

Aunt Eleanor mentions her other daughter, Valerie as being “8 years old & just bubbles over with enthusiasm for everything she does.”

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All transcribed, page protected, and in a netbook with the images, with citations, the transcription, and I added a transcription with notes about who the players are in the letter.


The RAGU Challenge

April 2, 2014

Oh, we have a Challenge from my cousin DearMYRTLE. Please read about it in her blog.

Dear MYRTLE’s 3-2-1 Cite Genealogy Contest

April 2014 Edition

We also have a Video on what this contest is all about.

Click on this image to view the video

The RAGU Challenge321

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow9oQQK_RdU

There is the 4 letter word CITE. Sounds like work for me, but so has trying to understand Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace and Mastering Genealogical Proof by Dr Thomas W Jones. But in the Dear MYRTLE’s Genealogy Community on Google+ we have been studying this book. What a great idea to study a book like this within a group of fine panelists and a great community.

So, the challenge is for us to blog about 3 Documents and write two Paragraphs about 1 Event. Then the kicker, CITE those sources.

Now to the task at hand, I thought I would take a different approach, and not go to my genealogy database management program for this subject. There will be a couple of follow up blog posts over there that are a fall out from this Blog Post.

I have done a number of blog posts on Evidentia! a genealogy program that approaches our research from a different angle, that is starting with the Source documentation BEFORE moving any information into our genealogy software. There is a link to the Evidentia! website on the right of this blog post. This is the first time that I am using Evidentia Version 2.

I chose an uncle of mine, William James Hart, as the information that I have on him may help with this challenge.

I have three documents as source information on him. One is a Family Group Sheet that was created by his natural daughter. I am not going to include an image of that, because there is information about living people on it. This daughter, Joanna Hart Yunninger and I have been trying to find the parents of her grandmother who was adopted. Every once in a while I’ll go looking for her. In that Family Group Sheet is all of the information about my Uncle. His full name, his date and place of birth.[1]

The second source was from the Find-A-Grave website. The image on the website is like the one I took, which is here.

This confirms the birth date of my uncle. William and Hart are the same as the Family Group Sheet. The difference is that the Family Group Sheet has his full middle name of James. So, “J” works for me, as does the birth and death dates.[2]The pictures are mine, but the citation is from the Find-A-Grave website which has a similar photo. I don’t own that photo, so it’s not included here.

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 My third source is the 1940 U.S. Federal Census Record[3].

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This census has William J Hart, age 26, born in Pennsylvania.

This data was entered into Evidentia. This program, for me, asks the right questions that help me understand the Genealogical Proof Standard. Each piece of information from these three sources are entered as Claims from these sources. Each Claim is then a piece of Evidence for which we must analyze. What I like about this program is that you can’t move on to the next step until you complete the first, then second. We must right out our evaluation of each piece of Evidence. Then draw our conclusion.

My goal was to determine the Birth Information for my Uncle Bill. I used the three Sources, per the goal. Now for the two paragraphs I am going to include the Genealogical Proof Report as a result of these steps. I know this will meet the 2 paragraph requirement.

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Genealogical Proof Report
for the Birth of William James Hart

Summary of Findings

Based on the Family Group Sheet, provided by William James Hart’s daughter, Joanna Hart Yunninger, the 1940 US Federal Census, and the headstone on the Find-A-Grave website and my own photograph of that headstone; there is no conflicting information that would indicate that he was not born on 14 Jun 1914 in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Itemized Research Findings

5 assertions from 3 sources were considered in evaluating this claim.

The Joanna’s Family Group Sheet[1] asserts that Birth Date is 19 Jun 1914.

The source reviewed was an Authored work, introducing the risk of errors in interpretation. The information is believed to be Secondary (meaning the person providing the information received that information second hand, from another person or work). The evidence supporting the claim is considered Direct (meaning it adequate to answer the question directly).

Joanna Hart Yunninger is the daughter of Williams James Hart and recorded his birth date to be 19 Jun 1914

The Joanna’s Family Group Sheet[1] asserts that Birth Location was West Grove, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

The source reviewed was an Authored work, introducing the risk of errors in interpretation. The information is believed to be Secondary. The evidence supporting the claim is considered Direct.

Joanna Hart Yunninger is the daughter of Williams James Hart and recorded his birth place to be West Grove, Chester Couinty, Pennsylvania

The Find-A-Grave[2] asserts that his Birth date 19 Jun 1914.

The source reviewed was a Derived Record, introducing the risk of copy errors. The information is believed to be Secondary. The evidence supporting the claim is considered Direct.

The Find-A-Grave memorial and stone shows William J Hart’s brith date to be 19 Jun 1914

The 1940 US Federal Census[3] asserts that he was born in Pennsylvania.

The source reviewed was a Derived Record, introducing the risk of copy errors. The information is believed to be Secondary. The evidence supporting the claim is considered Direct.

The 1940 US Federal Census recorded William J Harts birth state to be Pennsylvania

The 1940 US Federal Census[3] asserts that his age is 26.

The source reviewed was a Derived Record, introducing the risk of copy errors. The information is believed to be Secondary. The evidence supporting the claim is considered Indirect (meaning the evidence is implied or circumstantial).

The 1940 US Federal Census recorded William J Harts age to be 26, which would have him born about 1914

End Notes

1. Joanna Hart Yuninger, Family Group Sheets, Hart Collection; Joanna Hart Yuninger, {[Address For Private Use], }[Owner Or Supplier’s Location], 2000. Family Group Sheets. Joanna does family research for her father’s family, William James Hart.

2. Find A Grave, Database And Images (http://findagrave.com : Accessed 27 Nov 2009), Memorial Page For William James Hart, Find A Grave Memorial No. 45164446, Citing Little Britain Presbyterian Cemetery, Peach Bottom, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA.

3. 1940; U.S. Census, Ward 8, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; Population Schedule; enumeration district (ED) 36-89, Sheet 8-B, dwelling 754 West Vine Street, family 135, lines 70-72, William J Hart household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 09 Apr 2012); citing NARA microfilm T657, roll 3532.

Prepared 2 Apr 2014

The RAGU Challenge

Evidentia© 2012-2014


Query: Texas Worthington’s

February 13, 2014

A Query from Don:

I have a lot of info on the Texas Worthington who surveyed Texas in 1830s. I do not know how he died or where. He descends from Robert the Quaker in PA.

Anyone have any information on this Texas Worthington?


A funny thing happened at #RootsTech 2014

February 6, 2014

RootsTech is now an annual Genealogy Event in Salt Lake City. See more at rootstech.org. Its a great opportunity to learn lots of “stuff” and to meet and chat with new and online friends. Many GeneaBloggers gather just for that purpose. We know one another “online” through Blogs, both posting and reading, and I have heard it said that it’s like a big Family Reunion.

But, I want to share one of the many things that have happened, just today.

I am sitting at Lunch, in the Family Search (familysearch.org) lunch on the topic of “With Dramatically Changing Technologies, What MUST NOT CHANGE! The speaker was David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer, FamilySearch.org. Food was good, talk was GREAT, BUT, isn’t there always a “but”, he puts up on the screen a picture of the “Baldwin Book Barn” just out side of West Chester, Pennsylvania. He told us about a box of photographs of people, just sitting there. I am sure that I have seen THAT BOX in THAT BARN more than one time. His comments was more than identifying the people, but if YOU have a photo that is writing on the back, WE MUST identify WHO wrote that information on the back. My thought was “Thank you for the EXTRA Work”, but then it dawned on me, that of course we need to do that.

I am thinking about the scanning that I have to do, with my mothers photo albums (90+ of them), where I know my mothers hand writing, but anyone coming later may not. So, IF I know who wrote on the back of that Photo, I need to document that as well. Did my mother know that person, or did her mother tell her who that person was. OK, I get that, as it makes total sense.

Now for the really fun part.

I checked my cell phone, to make sure I had the photo in my Online Tree of my grandparents house (my mother’s house) and I did. So, I went up to Mr Rencher after the presentation as showed the picture my the house taken in 1939, I had marked the photo with the ADDRESS and the Date of the Picture, and asked My Rencher if he ever saw that building before. He KNEW the address and recognized the house.

After I picked myself up off of the floor (as they say), he had family in the SAME TOWN where I was born, where my grandparents lived and the he was born in the same area.

It’s a small world after all. BUT isn’t the technology that Mr Rencher was talking about just awesome, where you can have your family tree, on your cell phone, and to be able to share a photograph to someone else, right there “on the spot”.

 

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This is the back of the barn where my mother raised her horse. Its now the 3rd to 5th floor (I think) of the Baldwin Book Barn

 

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This is the house in 1929, where my grandparents and my mother lived.

Mr Rencher, thank you.

As a side note, as I write this blog, I am reminded of the 1940 Census of this Household. Before those census records were indexed, I did some browsing of those census records and found my MOTHER listed twice. Once in a house that I never knew about, in West Chester, with my father (they had married the year before), but she was ALSO listed in this household with my grandfather. The information about “my mother” was really the information about my GRANDMOTHER and my Aunt was NOT listed at all but she was still in school, living in this house in 1940. I know this, because when I found the record, I just had to call my aunt to make sure I have my information right and I did. The Informant was my Grandfather.

Yes, it’s all noted in my genealogy database.


DNA Test Results

May 24, 2013

I have received my 2nd set of DNA results from Ancestry.com. The first test was “old” and I was very discouraged by the lack of connections with anyone. I moved the results to FamilyTreeDNA, which did confirm one connection and maybe let to two others. But, nothing firm.

The new test results at Ancestry.com is new technology and returns an Ethnical view of my ancestry. Still not very helpful.

BUT, that has now changed. I first received a couple of emails with “hint” to others, in the 3rd to 6th cousin range. Communicating to several of those with similar results didn’t help too much. I looked at the Ancestry Member Tree (AMT) that was provided, but the names didn’t make too much sense. One of the  issues, I think, it that WE all are thinking about the “old” version, where it was surname based, and not location based, which is what it appears these new results will show.

I received another email, with some new hints and I wanted to see if I could understand what I was looking for. Remembering the Location vs Surname thought that I had, I printed a Surname Report from my genealogy database management program, with the list of surnames back 6 generations. That should help me look at another persons tree to see if any of those Surnames are on my list. I have 53 surnames back 6 generations.

I then looked at this first example, 3rd to 4th cousin range to see if any of my 53 surnames were there. Sure enough, there was one. Not only that, but it was in the right LOCATION.

Comparing my file against what was in this persons AMT I had my “hit”. I didn’t have much on this specific person, but I know the surname and in my file I actually had this person in my file. Middle name was different, but I had it. Looking at where I received the information on this person, my mother actually had a newspaper article on this person. Having her scrapbook, I tried to locate the article, but the scrapbook is in really bad shape and I couldn’t find it quickly. Will take more time with that book so that I can share this article with my potential cousin.

The relationship from the “common” person is Great-Grand Aunt. It would appear that the prediction was right on the mark. Email has been sent to my new found “cousin” and we’ll go from there.


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