Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Hartman, Crabb, Jones

Martha Fern (Hartman) (Crabb) Jones
1920 - 2008
Martha was very dear friend of mine who is buried in the Kidder Cemetery in Caldwell County, Missouri. She was born near Hershey, Pennsylvania, but landed with her parents in Caldwell County when she was young. She married Mr. Crabb and had children, who also stayed in the Kidder area. She then married Mr. Jones, but outlived him. Martha studied her family history extensively. Her background was almost exclusively German. I loved it when she shared stories about her heritage with me. Martha loved life and I miss her.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Nystrom

Ingrid A. (Olsson) Nystrom
1905 - 2005

 Ingrid Nystrom was a beloved friend of mine. She loved me and loved my family. She taught my youngest son to say 'I love you' in Swedish. Her life began in Sweden; included travel across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States (not, thankfully, on the Titanic, though the family came close); life in California, where she lost her beloved husband in 1956; and a final move to Missouri. Living just over 100 years, Ingrid not only experienced a lot, but also influenced many. She has a large and loving posterity. I feel privileged to have known her.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Backward Glance - Carl Orson Avery

Carl Orson Avery was the son of Russell Hugh and Corinne Mae (Brownell) Avery. He was born on September 25, 1917, in Woodston, Rooks County, Kansas. Carl was an only child. 

As shown on the 1925 Kansas State Census, the family lived on Vermont Street, in Osborne, Osborne County, Kansas, east of Rooks County. It is interesting that Carl's middle initial is recorded as 'M.' His birth certificate left him unnamed, but he used the middle name Orson all of his life. Orson was also the middle name of Corinne's father, James Orson Brownell.
1925 Kansas State Census; Osborne, Osborne, Kansas

By 1930, Carl's family was living in Oakley, Logan County, Kansas. Family lore says he worked in an auto shop there, and attended Oakley High School.

There must have been socialization among the youth of surrounding towns and counties, because Carl dated a girl from Grinnell, in Gove County, named Luella Mae Bemiss. They were married in Burlington, Kit Carson County, Colorado, on July 3, 1935.

Lu and Carl had three children, all born in quick succession. Gayle was born in Oakley. However, with the depressed economic times in the 1930s, Carl moved his family to Bakersfield, California, where Al was born. He was very small at birth, and Carl and Lu went back to her folks in Grinnell. Fred was born in 1938 in Grinnell.

Lu & Carl's children ca. 1940: Gayle, Al, Fred
 In about 1939, Carl and Lu were divorced. It is said it was very sad, as the young couple was very much in love. Carl, however, couldn't seem to be able to settle down to the farming life of Kansas. On the day the divorce was final, Carl serenaded Lu with the "To You Sweetheart, Aloha." Carl then moved permanently to California.

Carl remarried before 1941 to Lenora Alice Breedlove. They had a daughter, Carol Lynn. This family lived in Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo County, California, in 1944 where Carl and Alice can be found on the voter registration list. Carl was a bartender.

On February 16, 1945, Carl enlisted in the U. S. Army as a private in San Francisco. His civil occupation was recorded as a tracktor (sic) driver or truck driver. "Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law." He was a veteran of the second World War.

Alice and Carl were divorced before 1948. Carl remarried sometime before his death to a woman named Ruth, though I've not yet found a record of it. When he died, she was named as a survivor.

Supposedly, Carl was a musician and worked for a radio station in the Bakersfield area. According to his obituary, his daughter lived in Oildale, the hotbed of country music at the time, producing such artists as Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Perhaps Carl knew these men.

Carl's life, though very full and diverse, was relatively short. He was a heavy drinker throughout his adult live, and died at the young age of 40 on October 26, 1957, in San Luis Obispo, California, from complications of alcoholism. He is buried in the Arroyo Grande Cemetery in San Luis Obispo.

Carl's children ca. 1970: Carol, Fred, Al, Gayle

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Beginning Genealogy Class in Poulsbo!

It's In Your Genes!
Genealogy is pretty popular, just now. Thousands of people tune in to the television to watch as various celebrities make discoveries about their families. It is fascinating, but it's not just for celebrities!

For the first time ever, the City of Poulsbo Parks and Recreation is offering a genealogy course; and, yours truly is the instructor! Oh. It's gonna be fun! 

We will spend an hour and a half one evening a week, for five weeks, discussing the essentials of genealogical and family history research. The fifth week will be a hands-on research workshop. Are you curious? Is there a family story or legend or mystery you'd like to prove or solve? This course will provide you with the basic research tools to help you reach your genealogy goals.

Spread the word! Anyone living in Kitsap County, Washington, should look into this course. 

Not interested in genealogy? What? Well, the parks and rec people have lots of other classes to offer, too. Check it out at Winter 2012 Mini-brochure. (The genealogy course is described on page 15.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Barnett

Charles C. L. Barnett
1853 - 1903

photo courtesy Gary Hoyle
"Loved, and gone to rest but
Not forgotten.
"But loved more with God
In heaven."

According to the 1900 federal census, Charles was a silver miner who had immigrated from England in 1867. He was born in May 1853. His wife of 17 years, Tomsina, was also from England. They had no children. His obituary can be found here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Backward Glance - Silas T. Bemiss

photo courtesy Dakota 2010
When I was a child, my great-grandmother, Maud May (Morgan) Bemiss, dictated some family history to one of her daughters. I remember being fascinated by the mysterious 'Grandad' who served his guests from town (Grinnell, Kansas) muskrat legs, passing them off as chicken, and thinking it was a great joke! He then went to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to seek out a new place for the family to live, only to have his trunk returned with news of his death, which looked to be 'foul play.' Who wouldn't be intrigued?!

Silas was born to Thomas A. and Salinda (Babcock) Bemiss on March 20, 1828. The family lived in Chautauqua County, New York. Silas was the fourth of twelve children, including: Alva, Elvira, Almeda Mary (died young), Smith Jonathan, Phoebe L., Rebecca, Caroline Melissa, Sarah, William O., Stephen and Almeda.  All of the children were born in New York. Sometime between the 1845 New York State census, when they lived at French Creek in Chautauqua County, and the federal census taken in 1850, the family moved to Wayne, Erie County, Pennsylvania.

On April 27, 1853, Silas married Keziah Nason, in Greenfield, Erie County, Pennsylvania. Keziah was the daughter of Ezra Washburn and Phoebe (Brown) Nason. Silas and Keziah had two children: William Silas and Phoebe Silinda, both born in Pennsylvania. Their family lived in  Union Township in Erie County at the time of the 1860 federal census.

Silas served in Battery E, 1st Regiment, Pennsylvania Light Artillery (14th Reserves) during the Civil War. He enlisted as a private on December 29, 1863. From the National Park Service Civil War site, the history of the regiment from the beginning of 1864 is this:

"Duty at Portsmouth, Va., till July, 1864. Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond July, 1864, to April, 1865. Chaffin's Farm, New Market Heights, September 28-30, 1864. Fair Oaks October 27-28. Before Richmond till April, 1865. Occupation of Richmond April 3. Engaged in demolishing defences and removing Ordnance till July. Mustered out July 25, 1865."

We believe the soldier on the left is Silas T. Bemiss.
After the war, Silas' family continued living in Union Township in Pennsylvania. However, Silas was not enumerated with his wife and children in 1880. He doesn't seem to be on the 1880 census at all! Maybe he was out scouting for a new place to live?

In 1884, along with their son, William, and his wife, Olive, Silas and Keziah relocated Gove County, Kansas, to a 'homestead north of Grinnell just south of the Saline River across from the Haverkamp Grove.' They withstood the blizzard of 1886. 'That Spring you could walk for miles down the Saline on dead cattle.' In 1888, Keziah died, and is buried in the Grinnell City Cemetery.

The family story is that Silas left for Oklahoma, leaving Keziah with the family. However, according to Silas' pension application, he filed on January 25, 1890, from Kansas. So, it seems he was in Kansas until at least that time. He did ultimately go to what became eastern Oklahoma. He died in Indian Territory on February 8, 1895. He is buried in the Stokes Cemetery in Bartlesville, Washington County, Oklahoma. His headstone was provided by Vermont Marble Company, presumably a contractor who provided headstones for veterans.

Even given the cold facts of Silas' life, there is mystery that surrounds him, just teasing to be found!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Hyggen

Olive Charlotte Hyggen
1896 - 1913
(photo courtesy Maria Kelly)
Olive was born January 19, 1896, in Kingston, Kitsap County, Washington. She was the daughter of Ole E. and Anna (Rue) Hyggen. Her parents were both from Norway.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Backward Glance - Isaac Marguerat

The discovering of Isaac Francois Marguerat has been an exciting one for me. His son, Eugene Marguerat, immigrated to America via Paris, France, in 1850. Eugene is my second great-grandfather. Many years ago, my aunt had some research done on the Marguerat family in Switzerland. That was when my quest for more on Isaac began. Recently, I have located biographical information written about Eugene that shed some light on Isaac's life. This has led me to more about Isaac and some of the events during his lifetime.

The Marguerat family is an ancient one. I received this history of the family through an internet acquaintance. 
Isaac was the son of Jean Jacob and Marie Judith Marguerat. Judith's maiden name was also Marguerat. Isaac was born on December 30, 1795, in Lutry in the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland. From civil and parish registers which have been filmed and made available for searching, I've identified at least five other children in the family. They are Jeanne Susanne, Jean Jaques Louys, Susanne Francoise, Frederic and an infant of unknown gender.

I don't know the specifics of the migration of his family, but Isaac was married on December 9, 1825, in Gimel, which is also in Vaud. He married Barbara Lisette Debonneville, the daughter of Jean David and Anette Lisette (Bauert) Debonneville. She was born in Gimel on June 29, 1806. Barbara and Isaac had at least four children. Louise Zora Wilhelmine, who died in infancy; Louise Claire Caroline; and a son. I've not yet determined with certainty his son's name, but I know he was a clergyman.

Isaac was the 'ministre suffragant' in Gimel from at least 1821 until 1829. He recorded all of the births, baptisms, marriages and deaths there. It is still thrilling for me to look at the records and realize that I am looking at Isaac's handwriting! Often, Isaac had performed the baptisms he recorded. Every record was handwritten and then signed by him.

As a 'minister of the Holy Gospel,' Isaac served in different places. It is recorded he served in Peney-le-Jurat from 1828-1831. In about 1835, he was in Morrens. It was said of him "homme au coeur debonnaire, savait unir beaucoup de couceur a une grand fidelite," or, that he was a man with a good-natured heart who knows how to combine a lot of heart with great faithfulness (translation courtesy Thomas Adams). He was also described as a mild and peaceable person.

His grandson, Eugene F. Marguerat, wrote of him "Isaac Marguerat was a clergyman & one of those who were prominent in the movement toward greater religious freedom which prevailed in Switzerland in 1845. He seems to have had the courage of his convictions for in that year he was one of those who resigned clerical positions in the state church to found the free church which has ever since increased & greatly prospered in the canton of Vaud as well as other parts of Switzerland." More can be read about Isaac's involvement in the religious reformation taking place at that time in Evangelical Christendom, as well as other books. 
Lausanne, Switzerland, ca. 1840
It appears that Isaac and his family were forced to live in Lausanne, Switzerland, after his resignation from the State Church. He seems to have suffered much persecution, but remained true to his personal convictions and was active in the forming of the Swiss Free Church. I am struck by his apparent strength and honor, and feel privileged to be one of his descendants. He died in 1858.