Tuesday, July 26, 2011

William Howard Taft

There are many famous people who are descendants of the Samuel Chapin/ Cecily Penny linage.  Today I would like to focus on the pedigree of William Howard Taft, born September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Not only was he our 27th U.S. President, serving just one term from 1909-1913. he also served as the Provisional Governor of Cuba, and also held the position as the Civil Governor of the Philippine Islands under Teddy Roosevelt.. Under Ulysses S. Grant, he served as Secretary of War and as Attorney General in his cabinet. President Warren Harding appointed him as Chief Justice of the United States in 1921 and he served in that capacity for nine years, resigning just shortly before his death in 1930 on March 8th in Washington D.C.

He married Helen Herron (her nickname was Nellie) in 1886 and they had three children, Robert Alphonso, Charles Phelps and Helen Herron  . President Taft led the way for his sons and grandsons, who also chose political careers.  His son, Senator Robert Alphonson Taft, his grandson Senator Robert Alphonso Taft II ,and his great grandson Robert Alphonso Taft III who served as Governor of Ohio.    .

William Howard Taft descends from Samuel Chapin, & Cecily Penny, their son Josiah Chapin and his wife Mary King, their son, Seth who married Bethia Thurston, their son John who married Dorcus, their son John who married Rhonda Albee and their daughter who married Levi Howard.

    Samuel Chapin and Cecily Penny
 Samuel CHAPIN (1598-1675)Paignton, Devonshire, England
 Cicely PENNY (1601-1682) Paignton, Devonshire England

    Son: Josiah CHAPIN (c1634-1726)Oct 29, 1634 in England
          and Mary KING (1639-1676) Jun 15, 1639 in Weymouth, Norfolk Co, MA 
          Married on Nov 30, 11658 in Weymouth, Norfolk Co, Ma
Children: Henry Feb 15, 1671-Mar 20, 1671 Weymouth, Norfolk MA
Deborah Jun 16, 1664 Weymouth, Norfolk Ma died Aug 16, 1668 Braintree Norolk MA
Deborah Feb 12, 1675 Braintree, Norfolk Ma died Apr 9, 1702 Uxbridge, Worchester Ma
Sherm May 11, 1667 Weymouth, Norfolk MA died Jun 6, 1667 Braintree, Norfolk, MA
John 11 Jun 1661 Weymouth, Norfolk, MA died 22 Feb 1686 At Sea
Joseph 17 May, 1670 Weymouth, Norfolk MA  died 1722
Josiah Jr Dec 17, 1665 Weymouth, Norfolk MA died May 20, 1693
Henry Feb 15, 1671 Weymouth, Norfolk MA  died Mar 20, 1671 Braintree, Norfolk Ma
Deborah Chapin Jun 16, 1664 Weymouth, Norfolk MA  died Aug 16, 1668
Seth (Captain) Aug 4, 1668 Braintree, Norfolk MA  died Apr 1, 1746, Mendon Worchester MA
Second wife: Lydia Brown Pratt
Married Sep 20, 1676 Braintree, Norfolk MA
And had 4 or 5 children.


Title: Mendon, Worcester Co., Massachusetts Vital Records
Publication: Births, Marriages, and Deaths
Media: Book
Page: Page: 455
Text: Death: Chapin, Josiah Esqr., Sept. 10, 1726. (In his 92d y. G.R.1.).
Title: Weymouth, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts Vital Records
Publication: Baptisms, Births, Marriages, and Deaths (Published 1910)
Media: Book
Page: Vol. II Pages: 45; 108
Text: Marriage: Chapin, Josiah and Mary King, Nov. 30, 1658.* * Intention not recorded.

I did not give you the entire family tree of this family but if you go to rootsweb.com, ancestry.com or famiysearch.org I am sure you will find many records on him if you would like to complete his family tree.

William Howard Taft is just one of many historical people that descended from this family. Since there seems to be quite a bit of interest in this family particular line, I will put together some additional articles about other people.

In the meantime, happy digging!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Banging Your Head against Brick Walls

Every time I solve one problem, it seems like I create at least ten more when I am doing genealogy. I get one brick wall broken down and then whammy…..I am hit in the head with a zillion more! 

I am actually working on two different Parker lines, one from my family and one from my son-in law’s family and I am running into the same problems with both of them. I either can only get back so far in time on a generation or else I have some information on the families but not enough to figure out where they were born, where they lived or where they died. I have about exhausted every avenue I can think of on some of these people! 

Therefore, I am going to post here about one of the Parker families that is on my side of the family.

 This is the story of Ezra B.PARKER DOB unknown and Lydia Alta Decker; born 1856 in Bucyrus, OH and Died May 1930 Lydia was the daughter of David DECKER and Rebecca SCHRUM (M) . David’s parents were James Vandeveer (Cobe) DECKER  and Jane LUKE.

They married in Aug 1877, probably either in OH or in IL since they lived in Cornell, IL for a time. I do not know if Ezra died but my records show that she later married William ANDERSON. There were two children of this union Cleopatra PARKER born in 1879 in Iowa, and Charles Albert PARKER born in 1884, I have no children listed for her marriage to William Anderson.

Cleo had a brother Charles Albert PARKER, he was born Sept 1884 and in 1905, he married Golda KINNEY. They had three children, Madge Evelyn, George Leverne and Marjory Bernice.

Cleopatra (Cleo) PARKER married A. J. BURT (no known info) in 1894 and then later married G. W. HUNTER. With A. J. she had the following children: Iris Lorena born 1899, Lelah Montress born 1897, Charles Emery born July 1895 (he married Mary Casson, had two daughters Montress Vanetta Burt born 1920 and June Lee Burt born 1926.

Iris Lorena BURT (1899-1918 Peoria IL) married Howard TALBOT in Nov 1914. They had at least two children that I know of, Audrey Berdette born Oct 1917 and Eugene Burt born Dec 1920. Eugene married Helen Elizabeth HAWKINS

I have searched and searched for records on this family from stem to stern and have come up empty handed. It is interesting how actually you can find more on some of the older generations than you can on the newer ones. 

I hope that there is someone out there on the Internet who is related and going through the same frustrations that I am of not finding much information.

Is there anyone out there related to this family?

I think I am going to have to invest in these books, they look like they might help me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Documenting Now For Future Generations

Back in November 2010, I wrote an article about Continuing Family History and  how we often get so caught up in researching all our ancestors from the past that we are neglecting to keep up with documenting current generations and stories and mementos of today. Terri left me a comment which has taken me some time to formulate a good answer. She stated, “It's interesting Kay that you talk about preserving our history now for future generations. It is more difficult today to do that with technology the way it is. I have so many letters from my ancestors but today we just text, email or phone. We don't write things down. We need to think about how to preserve heirlooms and record events for our future children.”

Here are some things that I have been doing for my children and my grandchildren that might also be helpful to you.

First of all, I have set up several family trees using tribal pages.com where I have first a master tree with all the connecting family branches and then trees also set up for each of my children and their spouses and their group tree. This way, they can see how everything connects together on the master tree and then if they want to just concentrate on their own tree along with that of their spouse, they can do that also. The nice thing about tribal pages is that you can enter information about each person in the notes section and you can also include photographs if you have them.

As a security measure, I also have these trees on my computer as well as copied onto discs along with a copy of my family tree maker, which is the program off of the LDS website, so that they can install this program on their own computers if they want to continue to do additional work on the lines. This also ensures that if for some reason the Internet site is no longer available that all of my work will not have been done in vain.

The next thing I have done is created genealogy books for each family so that they can have a hard copy that they can physically hold and read and absorb all the information that it contains. In some cases, there is so much information more than one book is required.

As for heirlooms to pass onto future generations, I began by going through my photographs, labeling as many as I could on the backs and placing them into individual envelopes for each of my children.  There are some personal items that I want them to have and I have told them that I would like them to have those right now so that I am sure that they will receive them. If there are certain items that I just have to have, then I will be sure that those things are listed in my will and that their names will be listed on the physical item so that they will assuredly receive them.

I also have heirlooms that once belonged to my grandparents, some of which will also be disturbed the same way. If no one wants those items, then I will have them donate them to a museum, or I will handle it myself before I leave this beautiful world.

At present, there are four boxes in my hall closet, labeled with the name of each of my children. Inside they are going to find a collection of items that we have previously discussed that are to be theirs, along with some other items that I’ve saved over the years that I think they will be pleased to have.

I started a journal of my life for my children and my grandchildren. I want them to know about my growing up years as well as all the marvelous things that I have been privy to in the history of  this world and our country. Thank you Terri for your comment to my post because it has reminded me that I really need to be more diligent, working on this on a regular basis.

Like Terri, I also regret that nowadays so much of our communication is handled by the impersonal emails, the twitters and by phone. We no longer often hold a physical letter or greeting card in our hands and see the writing of that person, which by the way, really does tell so much about their personality! But graphoanalysis is another subject and maybe something I will post about at a later date if some interest is shown by my readers. 

I personally am probably the worlds worst pack-rat when it comes to saving things from my children and their growing years such as pictures that they created and were lovingly hung on the refrigerator, to handmade birthday cards and  Christmas gifts that they have given me over the years. I have their graduation announcements from school and even came across their old vaccination records when I was cleaning out my keepsake drawer. I’ve saved Mother’s Day, birthday and  Valentine’s Day cards that they have given me over the years, all stored in a special box.

I do know of one father who was stationed overseas in Iraq for over a year and he kept every single email that his wife and children sent to him. He plans on including that into his genealogy records. I am sure those will be very interesting reading for his grandchildren some day.

So even though communications of today have gotten away from the handwritten word, there are still ways of preserving precious memories and I hope that this will give all of you some new ideas for saving yours.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Headaches and Heartaches

Misinformation can cause you a lot of headaches and heartaches when you are in the process of doing genealogy work.  Granted, your prior generations may have started working on your family tree, but if they have not documented their resources, there is a very strong chance that they have gathered information from relatives, family bibles, hearsay or family tales as well as genuine document sources. But if they have not made any notations of where their information has been gathered from, please do not take it as the gospel truth! Take the time to go back and recheck your information and add documentation.

One of my pet peeves is seeing information that has been put onto what I consider reputable source websites by people posting their family information which has not been verified and proven.  Just because you have found a tree that looks like it matches your family’s information and has additional information that you now want to add to your tree, don’t just do so without being sure that it is indeed your family’s roots.

I hate to point fingers, but I have found incorrect information at both sites where you have paid to have a subscription to access information as well as at free websites where people have posted information. These are well known websites and we tend to rely on them as being accurate. It is important to remember that they do not verify the information that has been submitted to them.

If you find what appears to be matching information for your family, make an attempt to reach the poster of the information so that the two of you can share references and other family information to validate everything as true. Chances are you are going to find relatives and establish some long lasting relationships in the process.

I want to share with you a very obvious mistake on a family tree that hopefully you will see as quickly as I did when I saw it. I will make mention that I have contacted the website and asked if there is any way they can put me in touch with the author of this family tree so that we can discuss this information.

History of the Olmstead/Olmsted Family

The Olmsted family originated in England
My records start with Richard, born about 1430 and mentioned in the Domesday Book, Essex Co, England 1086. Olmsted Hall meaning “Place of the Elms” is a moated structure and now belongs to Queens College, Cambridge.

Next listed is James Olmstead born in about 1520 married to Alice. My records have no last name for her but on line I found her last name could be Sorrell or Hawkins. I also found 3 children listed of this marriage.

Next is James Olmstead born about 1550, who died in 1595. He married Jane Bristow on Aug 12, 1576 and they lived in Great Leighs, Co, Essex, England.
As my reference I have Olmstead Genealogy
 Jacobus, Old Fairlefied Vol I pg 451

James immigrated to America in 1632 aboard the ship “Lyon” and settled in Cambridge, MA and in 1636 some removed to Hartford. James came to America with his Uncle James Olmsted .Some online references also state there were other nephews and a niece in the party.

Since James and Jane Bristow are my direct lineage, prior researchers in our family only concentrated on our direct line and did not list all of their children. We are descended from Richard Olmsted and his wife Frances Slany/Slaney. My records indicate that she has a brother Thomas Slany of London, whom I have not definitely located yet or her parents.

My records show that Richard and Frances had the following children:
Richard baptized 1612
Mary baptized 1615
John baptized 1617
Sarah baptized 1620
Rebecca baptized unknown but married to Thomas Newell
Joseph baptized 1627

Again, References used were
Olmstead Genealogy
Jacobus, Old Fairfield, Vol. I pg 451

Here is where the fun part starts
I found a record on line where someone posted a tree for this family with all of the above information. On their tree they show the son Richard, baptized in 1612 with parents as
James and Jane Bristow. They show that the SON  was married first to Jane Bristow and then to Frances Slany . The record went on to state that Jane Bristow was born in Hatford, CT  and that she married Richard in Essex England and their children were born in Hatford CT. There were 3 children from this marriage, Richard born between 1608-1612, James born 2/16/1617 and John born 2/16/1617.

Before we go further with this record do you see the glaring blunders?  They have the son marrying his mother! They also have his mother being born in America and then marrying the son back in England.

The son, Richard, of Richard and Frances  Slany  had 3 children, their mother unknown
Yet I find records saying that Frances Slany was the mother of these children!
James an unnamed daughter and John (my line) born 1649 who married Mary Benedict and then married Elizabeth Pardee Gregory. I have found records where all of the children from both marriages were mixed in together as well as records where one of the children was listed with the wrong mother.

I have found records where Eunice is listed as the daughter of Mary as well as Elizabeth. Now I need to go back to my resource records just to be sure that what my prior researchers found is indeed correct. To see with my own eyes the printed material they used to validate who’s daughter she really is.

If there are any other Olmstead/Olmsted researchers out here reading this article, I hope you will come forward and contact me so that we can work on some research together.
There is no way I am publishing any of my information on line until I am sure it is correct, at least in my own mind, and be willing to share it with the world.

Friday, April 1, 2011

FREE at Ancestry.com Civil War Records

In case you have not heard of Ancestry.com (is that possible?) and know that they have both a paid for subscription part as well as many records that you can get free of charge, be sure to go there and register!

The week of April 7th to April 14th Ancestry.com is opening up their Civil War records along with Census reports from 1860 and 1870 to the general public. If you have not had the opportunity to locate those records or census reports before now, it is a great time to take advantage of this offer.

I would suggest that you go through all of your family surname records and write down every man and boy from the age of 14 on up who could have possibly participated in the Civil War. Even young boys went along to help the soldiers so don't discount the boys. Also make sure that you copy down the towns, or at least the areas where they lived at the time, which will assist you in knowing which regiment they may have been attached to.

Then plan on burning some midnight oil so that you can look them all up during this week.  Hopefully you will turn up lots of information to add to your files. 

Happy Hunting

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Walking In Their Shoes

I am so pleased to see how much the show Who Do You Think You Are? has spurred interest in so many people to begin, or continue, their quest to find their roots. The show makes it look so simple doesn’t it? Just plug information into Ancestry.com and magically YOUR family appears!  In reality it isn’t that easy.  There are many features about Ancestry.com that I like but please, please, please ( I can not stress this enough) don’t believe everything you read on there or other sites, such as World Connect.com , RootsWeb.com, Genealogy.com, or Family Search.org  and others, as being the gospel truth! Records on those sites are all listed by people just like you and me, amateurs putting together their family history. Those sites do not go through and check each and every piece of information that is submitted to them. We are all prone to making mistakes. Now am I saying not to use these resources?  No, by all means  use them as reference material , just like you would anything else that you might find elsewhere on the internet. But then research and document it with proof to be sure it is indeed correct material to go with your own family genealogy.
Be sure that you start with what you know about your own family and work backwards.  I so hope that people are taking time to truly document their findings and making sure that they are indeed finding their own family! Now with that being said, I am going to tell you that sometimes rules are meant to be broken. I know, big contradiction to what I just told you isn’t it? Perhaps you know that your great great great grandfather was someone famous…. lets say like Daniel Boone, Walt Disney or Frank Lloyd Wright, these are all hypothetical by the way, but what if you know there is a connection, your family has told you that you are related. You have several generations in-between where you have a big gap. Since they are famous, you could take their descendant chart and work from them back through to where it meets up with yours. Just be sure that you are indeed correct by getting supporting documentation! Maybe you are not a direct descendant but a cousin several times removed, or a cousin by marriage, etc.

Let me give an example by telling you about what has happened in some lines of searching for my own family history. I have come across mix-ups in posting entire generations as being part of a family group when they were not part of the family at all, but because so many of the “names matched up” someone along the way decided they were indeed all of the same family. If they had really and truly paid attention and done their research, they would have found yes, indeed members of the families all seemed to name their children identical, but they were from two separate areas of New Jersey and Connecticut! I have one ancestor where we truly are not 100% about his wife or wives, but now there are several listings for him on Ancestry.com and World Connect with each wife entered separately as his spouse!

I have come across women married to a man who were listed as his child and not his wife! Because someone didn’t take time to truly research and document, now it is out there on the internet and others continue to copy this information as if it is true when in reality it is not.

Because a father and a son both have the same name, and there is no JR after the son’s name, someone took it upon themselves to enter a tree where they combined them as one person, where as if they had paid attention to where they lived, who their wives were and their dates of birth and death, the error would never have been made. Now those of us who are true direct descendants of these men, have to go in and try and straighten out this mess so that records at D.A.R., S.A.R. and other organizations  can be corrected and taken off of dispute! 

So in your zest to locate your family’s ancestors and truly enjoy the adventure of finding them, be sure to:

 1. Document your sources be it birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, copies of land documents or gravestones (by the way I’ve seen some of these be spelled wrong and have incorrect dates) or if you are using family owned documents. Leave a good paper trail so others can follow in your footsteps and carry on when you have passed away.

2. Take time to find some books about the era and area where your ancestors lived and read up on what was going on in that time frame. Pay attention to the nationalities of the people who lived in the area, their religious affiliations, were there epidemics of illness which would wipe out families or communities. Were there Indian disputes which would cause people to migrate out of the area. Was there major crop failures, or perhaps they were in the middle of a battlefield area and had to evacuate.

3. Find maps from that time period, boundaries of cities, counties, states, and even countries have not always been as they are today. How do I know? Well, I found out the hard way that there were parts of Switzerland that were actually part of Germany at one point in time!

4. I know that there were census reports back to the 1790 period but be careful trying to understand them. The handwriting is often horrible, there are various spellings of names and instead of listing all the members of a family by name they are recorded by an age bracket. Also remember back in that time, there was a different calendar, many still used the Julian calendar, compared to the Gregorian calendar that we use today, which is going to throw your dates off.

5.Collaborate with other family members to try and find your ancestors. Reach out in your attempts to locate other branches of your family because they might have information to share that you don’t have and between all your efforts you can put together the puzzle of your family. Look for the ancestors of siblings of your relatives. They may be looking for you as well. For instance, go post on message boards, join Surname or Ethnic groups over at Yahoo and get acquainted. There is also a group called Brickwall at Yahoo that has some wonderfully talented researchers who are willing to give you assistance. If you are of Native American Indian descent, join one of the tribal groups on yahoo. The Cherokee board is very helpful, even if you are not Cherokee.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I don’t care if it is from another researcher on a website, maybe they don’t even happen to have the same surnames in their family but would be able to give you some good tips and advice. Ask a librarian at your local library because many of them are knowledgeable. Go to the local genealogy library in your town because many of the people who work in there have been doing research for years and years. Also you are always welcome at the local LDS Church library in your city. They certainly are not as large as the facility in Salt Lake City, but they do have resources there as well as they are able to order films from other locations for you to view. Again, the people who work in this library are also very knowledgeable.

7. “If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well” and doing it correctly. Even if you do publish information on any site or even on your own site and you have it open for public viewing, please be sure to let others know that “to the best of your ability you know this information is correct, but we are all open to human error, if you see something that you dispute, please contact me.”   Or write something to that effect. Also if you do not include information about where your sources of information have been gathered from, indicate you do have documents on file if they are interested or if you don’t have any, advise that also.

8. Now get started. Gather together some pedigree charts or get a genealogy program installed on your computer (there are some good ones that you pay for as well as some free ones), get a notebook or set up a section on your computer so that you can be ready to add some great stories about the different people in your family so that your ancestors come to life for others. There is nothing exciting about just seeing a family tree with lots of names and dates written down!

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Robert Todd Lincoln In His Father's Shadow

The minute you hear the name Lincoln you immediately think of Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd. You also usually think about his mother Nancy Hanks,  because of her elusive background and fewer people even remember his father, Thomas Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln and Mary Ann Todd were married 1842
They had four sons, but three of them died before reaching adulthood
Robert Todd Lincoln was the first born, in 1843 in Springfield Illinois
Edward Baker 1846 died Feb 1. 1850  in Springfield, ILL
William Wallace "Willie"  born Dec 21, 1851 died Feb 20, 1862 Washington DC
Thomas "Tad" born Apr 4, 1853 died at age 18 July 16, 1871 in Chicago, Ill

Their son Robert also had quite an impressive life, beginning by following in his father's footsteps by becoming a lawyer.

Robert Todd Lincoln, born in 1843, at Springfield Illinois  died on July 26, 1926 at his home in Vermont at the age of 82.  He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery along with his wife Mary and their son Jack. The three of them are buried together in one tomb.

Robert graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1860 and then studied at Harvard University from 1861 to 1864. He was a member of two fraternities, Delta Kappa Epsilon (Alpha Chapter) and the also Delta Chi. He was enrolled in the Law School at Harvard but he did not graduate.

After his father was assassinated, Robert moved back to Chicago with his mother  and his brother Tad. and it was there that he completed his law studies at the University of Chicago (present name) and was admitted to the bar on Feb 25, 1867.

His mother didn't want him joining the Civil War, but eventually he did over her objections, and with the blessings of his father. He was a Captain in the Union Army, serving in the last weeks of the Civil War, under  General Ulysses S. Grant, assigned to his immediate staff. He was present when Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

Robert was married,on Sept 24, 1868, to Mary Eunice Harlan (Sept 25, 1846-March 31, 1937) She was the daughter of Senator James Harlan and Ann Eliza Peck of Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

They had a son Jack (Abraham Lincoln II  who died at age 16 (March 5, 1890) in England.

A daughter, Jessie Harlan Lincoln  Nov 6, 1875 - Jan 4, 1948  Born in Chicago, Illinois died Jan a4, 1948 at Rutland Hospital in Rutland Vermont.  She married Warren Wallace Beckwith , eloping on Nov 10, 1897 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They  had two children, Mary Lincoln (Peggy)Beckwith born in 1898 in Des Moines Co, Iowa. She died in 1975 Rutland Vermont. And son, Robert (Bud) Todd Lincoln Beckwith on July 19, 1904  and died Dec 24, 1985 in Saluda, Middlesex Co. Virginia. He married Hazel Holland on March 14, 1927 and then Annemarie Hoffman on November 6, 1967 in Hartfield Virginia and then Margaret "Maggie" Fristoe in 1976. He had several step-children but no issue of his own.  He was the last Lincoln descendant. Jessie divorced Warren in 1907 and married  Frank Edward Johnson in 1915 and then Rober John Randolph in 1926.  There were no children born of the last two marriages.

Daughter Mary Todd Lincoln (Mamie) born Oct 15, 1869, Chicago, Illinois,  married Charles Bradley Isham on September 02, 1891 in Holy Trinity Church, Brompton Parish, near London, England.  They had a son, Lincoln Isham, born June 8, 1892 . Lincoln married Leahalma Correa in 1919 but died September 1 1971 at Putnam Memorial Hospital, Bennington  Vermont, without issue. Leahalma had a daughter,
Frances Mantley, whom Lincoln helped raise.

Robert turned down President Rutherford B Hayes' offer to appoint him Assistant Secretary of State, but later accepted President James Garfield's Secretary of War position,  serving from 1881-1885.

Robert assisted Oscar Dudley  in establishing the Illinois Industrial Training School for Boys in 1887 which was located in Norwood Park and In 1899 the school relocated to Glenwood, Illinois. Girls were not enrolled in the school until 1998. Under the name Glenwood School for Boys & Girls, the school continues to operate today as a haven for both boys and girls whose parents are unable to care for them.

Later, he served as the U.S. minister to the United Kingdom from 1889 to 1893 under President Benjamin Harrison, then returned to private business as a lawyer.

He was general counsel under George Pullman, and was named president after Pullman's death in 1897. In 1911, Robert Lincoln became chairman of the board, a position he held until his death in 1926.

The last public appearance of Robert Lincoln was at the dedication ceremony of his father's memorial on May 30, 1922, in Washington, D.C.


Robert was once saved from possible serious injury by Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes Booth. They were on a train platform in Jersey City New Jersey. The incident occurred in late 1864 or early 1865, the exact date is not known,  shortly before President Lincoln was assassinated.

The train platform was crowded with people and it was late in the evening, people were securing sleeping car places from the conductor. Robert was pressed against the car body and the train began to move.  He lost his footing and ended up down into an open space when someone grabbed him by the coat collar and pulled him up onto the platform. That person was Edwin Booth, an actor, whom Robert knew and called by name, as he thanked him.

He was present at three assassinations, His father's, where he had turned down an invitation to go to the theater with them because he was not feeling well, President Garfield's in 1881, where he was actually an eye-witness, and President McKinley's in 1901 where he was there but not an eye-witness to the actual event.

Lincoln constructed an observatory at his home in Manchester, Vermont, because he was a serious amateur astronomer.
His telescope still exists; it was restored and supposedly is still being used by a local astronomy club.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Abraham Lincolon and President's Day

In honor of President's Day, I thought it only fitting to honor Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, was born February 12, 1809 near Hodgenville, Kentucky to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks. When Abe was only two years old, the family moved from Kentucky to Indiana .Nancy had two other children, Sarah and Thomas, although Thomas died in infancy. Nancy Hanks Lincoln died in 1818 when Abe was only about 9 years old. Soon after Nancy's death, his father then married Sarah Bush Johnston in 1819 and she brought three children with her into this marriage. Abraham got along very will with his step-mother and credited her with being a strong stable influence in his life. John Hanks visited the family in Indiana and helped clear their land and Thomas expressed to him that the soil wasn't that good for growing crops. When John got ready to leave, after being with them for about two years, he was going to Illinois to look at some land and Thomas told him to contact him about what he found.

Everyone knows that Abraham Lincoln was known as the Civil War President and that he was assassinated on April 15, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth, while attending a show at the Ford Theater in Washington, D. C.

Abraham married Mary Todd in 1842 and they had four sons, William Wallace "Willie, Thomas "Tad, Edward Baker and Robert Todd who was the only one to live to maturity, marry, have children and lead a very public and active life in Washington, which I don't think many people are aware of. I will save that for another article.

I personally am honored to at least be able to claim Abraham Lincoln as a shirt-tail relative although he is not of my own direct lineage. Elijah Loomis, the brother of my ancestor Mary Olivia Loomis, married Emily Hanks. Emily's father, John I. Hanks and his parents were William Hanks and Elizabeth Hall. John was a first cousin to Abe's mother, Nancy Hanks.Now you can understand why I told you about John Hanks and his being close to the family even after Nancy's death.

John Hanks married Susan Wilson in 1826 and in 1828 moved his family to Macon County, Illinois.  John had written to Thomas Lincoln about the wonderful farm land and how it was superior to that of the land in Indiana. It was in 1830 that Thomas then moved his family to Illinois and John Hanks and Abe hauled the logs together with a yoke of oxen, and a cabin was built near the Sangamon, in Harristown township, Illinois in which the Lincoln family lived while they resided in Macon county.

Abraham Lincoln and John Hanks both served in the Black Hawk War. John also served in Co. A, of the 21st Illinois regiment. This was the regiment that Gen. U.S. Grant entered the war as the Colonel in command.

In the 1880 Census for Hickory Point Township, Macon Co, Illinois, John I. Hanks, now 78 listed as father-in-law, is living with Elija (Eliza on the records) and his wife Emily and their children. There is also a little girl, 10 yrs old named Emma Hanks and she is listed as a daughter. Who's daughter is she? John's wife Susan died before this child would have been born. Did John remarry?

Some trivia facts about Abe Lincoln:
Did you know that he was the first President to wear a beard while serving as President in the White House?
One of the reasons he grew a beard was because he had a receding chin.

The only campaign stop that Abram Lincoln made in Michigan during his Presidential political campaign was in 1856 at Kalamazoo, Michigan. He spoke in Bronson Park. There is now a plaque there commemorating the event.Interest fact is that Silas Hubbard and Mary Olivia Loomis Hubbard, the sister to Elijah Loomis who was married to Emily Hanks, the daughter of John Hanks who was cousin to Abe's mother Nancy and who was close to Abe, were living in Kalamazoo at the time. Abraham spent the night in Kalamazoo before heading back to Illinois the next day.  I wonder if he stayed with Silas and Mary? 

Abraham Lincoln (Photograph, Standing) Art Poster Print - 13x19

Friday, February 11, 2011

Digging Up Moore and Moore Bones

I hope that I am not the only one who is intrigued by how different names can end up in different parts of the country and then wonder if they end up connecting somewhere along the way!

As I work on two separate families, both with Moore lineage, I have to ask myself will they meet somewhere along the way?  Is it possible that My MOORE family, originating in Canada and moving to Michigan, join up with my son-in-law’s MOORE family that so far I am finding in the southern part of the United States?

Coming from My Northern Moore family we have
Ebenezer Moore married to Elizabeth Wood  they are from Canada
Son Charles married Hannah Triey they are from Canada
Son Sylvester married Jane Andress (often a form of Andrews)
Son David Michael born 1864 in Michigan married Clara Belle Mac Donald
Son William Henry married Lua Louisa Ackerman in Mt Pleasant Michigan, who are my grandparents.

Now lets look at the Southern Moore Family

According to one researcher, William Moore was born in 1725 in King George Virginia to Francis Moore and Elizabeth Harbin.  Francis was born about 1706 and Elizabeth about 1704 in King George.

William and Mary French had Several Children:
Mary born about 1760 in Morgan, Lincoln Co, NC,
John born about 1762 in Morgan Lincoln Co NC
William birth date unknown but dying before Oct 1770 in Lincoln Co. NC. Who married Mary Steele.

William’s will dated Oct 1770 states Joseph as an heir. He was married to Rebecca Ballew around 1784 in Kentucky.  I have his full name as James Joseph and born between 1757 and 1759.

Joseph and Rebecca had two sons who carry the Greenberry name,
Burt Greenberry Moore, born 1796 (he married Mary French) and their son, Greenberry H. Moore was born Oct 31, 1815.
Delilah born abut 1785 who married William Robertson,
Edmund 1787 who married Nancy Asher,
Alexander  born about 1793.  who married Sarah French (be interesting to see if this ties into relatives of Mary French who married Burt)
Joab born abut 1792,
Willliam L born about 1792 who married Charity Carter,
Hester Ann born 1897 married Morgan Childs
Robert Wilson. born 1808 married Lydia Cabaney/Cabney/Caviness (no one can agree on the spelling of her last name)
Daniel Boone born 1895 married Emily Lincecum (Lincum)
Dr. John Major born 1805 married Martha Medley

Burt Greenberry Moore and Mary French had a son they named Albert Greenberry Moore born in July 1848 in Itawamba Co MS.   Albert in turn married Frances Truelove and they had a son that they named Albert Greenberry Jr born in Sept 1885.
They also had
Alexander Hamilton  married Susan Bullard
George Washington married Martha A. Medley (is this the same Martha that Dr. John Major Moore Married?)
Eliza Jane married John Nelson Maxcy
William Hugh married Elizabeth Ann Walker
James Madison married Mary H. Truelove (is she related to Frances that married  Albert Greenberry Jr?)
Mary Demaris Adeline
Sarah Ann
Joseph Birton
John Woffard

Robert Wilson Moore who married Lydia Cabaney/Cabney/Caviness
Had the following children:
Robert Calhoun married Nancy Ellen Collins
David H. C.
James married Serina Robertson

By 1880 Robert and Lydia moved their family to Parker County Texas, as they appear on the census there in that year.

Robert Calhoun and Nancy had the following children
Ruben Tyson married Oda Marie Price
Lydia Margaret married A Q Teague
Mary Elizabeth married George Riggs
Prudence Rachel
George William
James  married Edith Doner/Donner
William P

At some point, Robert “Cal” Moore moved his family out of Texas.
Several of the children ended up in Oklahoma, namely Ruben Tyson and his sister Lydia Margaret and brother James. I have not completed my investigation on the rest of the children from this marriage.

I guess my next step will be to see if any of My Northern Moore’s moved South down into the North Carolina area or into some of the other Southern states.  It doesn’t look like the Southern Moore’s moved North at all.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New Website To Check Out

Have you ever felt like one or more of your ancestors just fell off the face of the earth without a trace? It might be a good idea to do a time-line of events that happened during the last years that you were able to locate them in a given area. Perhaps they lived in a state that had a tornado, floods or droughts. Back in the days of the settlers, maybe there were Indian wars, or skirmishes with the British!

I came across a new website that may be of interest to everyone. It is called www.3.gendisasters.com.There are all types of disasters listed there, from natural to manmade events, where you can read about an event and in most cases names of victims lost in the tragic event are listed.  You can search by state, year, or types of events.

You may be able to locate one of your "brickwall" ancestors there!  I went and browsed through the site the other day and was very impressed with the number of articles that are already listed there and more are being added all the time.

So go check it out and let me know what you think about it

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Infectious Disease With No Known Cure

There is no cure for this disease.  It is passed on from one generation to another, to at least one member of the family. The method of transmission seems to result from several sources, neither of which are possible to suppress or circumvent. 

Onset of this disease often results during one’s high school years, where there is an unusual desire during American History class to dig deeper and learn if any of your ancestors came across on the Mayflower, was one of the original settlers in a community, ended up marrying a Native American Indian, or was murdered in the Salem Witch Trials.

If one isn’t infected by this disease at that point in time, it often invades our system when one of our close loved ones dies.  All of a sudden this yearning to know about your heritage invades your entire body and you realize you have to get going on the search before any more of the “older generation” passes away, or you yourself get too much older and the family history is not recorded for the generations that will follow you. This is followed by a fever, a yearning desire to get started on this project immediately.

There is no cure, all you can do is take medication in order to subdue this disease.  That means lots of research, whether it is by using the internet to get you started, or by visiting old courthouses for documents and finding old graveyards where your ancestors are buried.  The brick walls that you encounter will keep you awake at night, those old buried bones seem to cry out to you “ find me find me” !  Sometimes the burning desire is so deep that you get up in the middle of the night, brew yourself another cup of coffee to help keep you awake and you pursue the hunt one more time!  You try posting more information, rewording your request or the people that you are hunting for on one of the many genealogy message boards. It means searching records again, maybe this time for a sibling of your direct ancestor, or contacting others in the family who also suffer from this same disease.  Consequently more and more websites are popping up on the internet as this disease spreads. Information can become available through the most unlikely sources sometimes.  You know that you are truly addicted with this infection when you scrutinize each of the addresses of people who send you emails and they include the names of others on their lists to see if any of the Surnames match those you are looking for?  Or if you have joined any Yahoo groups and you watch the names and where they live?  .

I have so many different lines that I am following, that I often feel like Michael Jackson in the graveyard of his movie Thriller!  All of those zombies, clamoring for his attention and the feeling of being overwhelmed by it all!  There are times when I think ok, I’ll step back, work on just one line and guess what happens?  Out of the blue I will get an email and it will be someone who is looking for the same people I am and they are related through one of the other offspring of the family. I end up once again picking up the torch and trying to light a pathway so that we are both able to find what we are looking for. So much for concentrating on just one line.

So I go back to my conglomeration of Moore’s the ones in my family from the North, being Michigan and Canada and the Moore’s from the South, being my son-in-law’s family, wondering if they will end up being connected somewhere along the way. The same with my Parker family from Illinois and his from Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.  Will all those Parker’s take me back to Chief Quanah Parker?

It is so difficult to try and stay centered on just one family!  My cousins and I have tried that with our Decker line. We were fortunate enough to locate several more family researchers and we are all still trying to unravel the mystery of who exactly was Peter Decker’s wife!  It would have been simple, if there weren’t more than just one Peter Decker, living in or near Passaic New Jersey, and who didn’t all name their children, using the same names of John, Andrew, Jacob, James and Isaac! They all lived in close proximity to one another and are often mixed up and end up in each other’s genealogy history. Once again, the need arises for as much accurate documentation as you can lay your hands on, and finding family bibles or journals which will be able to unravel the mess!

So as I start this new year, I am anxious to hear from all of you as to how you go about solving your brick walls.  How do you stay centered on just one or two people to try and track down at a time? 

Since there is no cure, I am looking for some other methods of finding solutions to these problems and the burning question…….. Who do you think you are?

This looks like a good book to add to my library!  So many times we forget about the women and really need more ways to locate them.