Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: The Family Treasure That Always Gets Me

There was a moment when I understood in a very visceral way the importance of saving family history and felt the great depth of sorrow at the loss of it. On one hand, I’d never missed the heirlooms that might have gone to others in the family after someone passed. I just figured that someone else was more entitled to them than I. My cousins have grandmother’s aprons and that’s great because they love them. I rest easy knowing that my other grandmother’s china is in her glass cabinet and is living with other cousins who has grand kids. Wonderful! All of those beloved objects are still cherished.

But I just about lost it when I heard that Aunt Edith’s son threw out all of her papers! My guts tied themselves in a knot, and that felt awful. My sense of loss was deep and anger followed.
I don’t know where I get off being in a twist about Aunt Edith’s son dumping her stuff. He lived with her, he took care of her and was entitled to do as he pleased. And it wasn’t as though Aunt Edith didn’t have control over the disposition of her possessions as she had her wits about her and other children to whom she could bequeath her treasures, such that they were. I wasn’t even that close to her. Maybe I saw her two or three times in my life. And she’s not my direct aunt; she’s my Dad’s aunt, and my grand aunt. So we were just not that close because she lived in Miami and we lived in Cleveland. Where do I get off being that upset?

I’ll tell you where. If Aunt Edith hadn’t given my Mom a truly treasured book containing the story of the Myers line back to the Revolutionary War and beyond to a man known simply as Indian Fighter Myers, I’d not know about Nehemiah Newens, my fifth great grandfather. I wouldn’t have known his story and the story of his son and his son’s family and most important, his life’s story from Derbyshire, England, on to the Revolutionary War, and finally all the way to the frontier in upstate New York.
I can’t help but wonder what else might have been thrown out over the centuries, treasures that ended up unceremoniously at the town dump, or burned in the old trash fire behind the house. Sometimes on a cold and rainy afternoon I grieve for those lost mementos and feel sad for the ancestors’ faces staring out from old photos whose names are unknown.

I just simply want to do better and capture what can be collected now so as to preserve it for anyone who might care down the line.

Aunt Edith Kelly Condry, front right.
My grandfather John "Lee" Kelly in the middel of the back row.
(1891 - ????)
For another story about lost treasures and one that was saved in part, watch this video, "Leo Beachy: A Legacy Nearly Lost." It's the story of a truly gifted photographer in Western Maryland who lived and worked for year in relative obscurity, just now being recognized as one of the greats, and how his legacy was almost completely lost!

Sentimental Sunday is a lovely topic from Geneabloggers , and I thank them for this blogging prompt!

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Surname Saturday: His Name Was Troutman

Off we go into another Surname Saturday, the blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers. This one is going to be an adventure into a relatively deep past (at least on Mom's Big Tree) along the family known as Troutman back to Germany in the early 1700s. We aren't luck enough to have a lot of 1600s dates on the tree, but there are some. Besides, I'd rather have good stories! There's Benjamin Franklin Troutman, and Peter Troutman the Revolutionary War soldier. This group came from Germany and plopped down in southwest Pennsylvania along the Maryland border, and stayed there for over five generations. The whole family is like that: we get someplace we like and they can't get us out;)

1. Diane Kelly Weintraub

2. Francis Patrick " Pat" Kelly
(1916 - 2007)
3. Virginia Williams, living and loving it

4. John Lee "Lee" Kelly (1892 - 1969)
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller Kelly ( 1894 - 1985)

10. Gustav William "Gus" Zeller (1858 - 1927)
11. Moretta Workman Zeller (1859 - 1946)

Moretta Workman Zeller (1859 - 1946)

22. Elijah Workman (1816 - 1864)
23. Nancy Ann Troutman (1826 - 1882)
Elijah was born and died in Zihlman, Allegany County, MD, which is really hard to find on the map but located near Mt. Savage and Frostburg, Maryland. You can just about see Zihlman from where Mom now lives, especially when the leaves are off the trees.
Nancy Ann Troutman was born in Wellersburg, Somerset County, PA, and that's where the Troutman line settled and stayed, except for a short move and back again, or the ones who wandered off to Ohio. Elijah was a farmer.
Here are their children:
Amanda Workman (1848 - 1865)
Caspar Workman (1849 - 1949). He married Margaret Holtzman Merrill. They both died in Frostburg.
Benjamin Workman (1851 - 1869)
John Franklin Workman (1857 - 1930). He married Mary Anne Mealing. They both died in Frostburg.
11. Moretta Workman Zeller (1859 - 1946)
Mary Ann Workman (1861 - 1939). She married Peter Pressman. They both died in Frostburg.
Joseph Workman (1863 - 1894). He died in Frostburg.

46. Benjamin Franklin Troutman (1780 - 1856) (Find A Grave Memorial# 74544823)
47. Catherine Wolgerman (1765 - ????)
It is quite possible that Benjamin Franklin Troutman was born in Greenwich Tornship, Berks County, Pennsylvania and came to the Somerset area with his parents. If he did then his father, Peter Troutman, moved from his place of birth in Somerset to Berks County and then moved back to Somerset County again. Benjamin Franklin was said to have been a renowned gunsmith and well known for his craft. He could sing and dance and was in competitions for such talent. In the 1850 Census he is listed as a farmer, working the land with his son, Adam.
They has these children:
John Troutman (1782 - 1870). He married Elizabeth Horn. They both died in Ohio.
Mary Ann Troutman (1816 - 1899) She married Solomon John Leidig.
Joseph Troutman (possibly twins with Mary Ann. 1816 - 1898). He married Elizabeth surname unknown.
George Troutman (1820 - 1891)
Daniel Benjamin Troutman (1822 - 1891). He married Catherine Emerick. They both died in Kansas.
William Troutman (1825 - 1837) He married Louisa surname unknown.
23. Nancy Ann Troutman 1826 - 1882
Sarah Troutman (1829 - ????). Sarah married George Washington Sheirer.
Adam Agustus Troutman (1832 - 1858). He married Amanda Hildebrand.
Eleanora Troutman (about 1835 - before August 1856). She married M. Reiber.
Harriet Troutman (1843 - before 1920). She married John W. Hansel.

92. Peter Troutman (1754 - 1846) (Find A Grave Memorial# 26925953)
93. Mary Barbara Stauler (1757 - 1836) (Find A Grave Memorial# 74554972)
Peter Troutman served in the Revolutionary War. We have a lot of information about him:)
They had these children:
46. Benjamin Franklin Troutman (1780 - 1856)
Mary Ann Troutman (1781 - 1853). She married John Emmerick. They both died in Ohio.
Anna Marie Troutman (1783 - 1869). She married Abraham Miller.
Mary Magdelina Troutman (1785 - 1853)
Rachael Troutman (???? - 1862).She married Daniel Martz in 1836 and then David Albright in 1832.
Jacob M. Troutman (1788 - 1877). He married Rebecca Boyer.
Susanna Troutman (1789 - 1829). She married Peter Boyer.
John Troutman ( 1782 - 1870). He married first Elizabeth Horn and then Mary Thomas.
Annie Troutman (1802 - 1853)
Catherine Troutman (1808 - ????). She married John Mease.
Rebecca Troutman ( 1812 - ????)
Elizabeth Troutman (1789 - ????)

184. Wilhelm Troutman (1727 - 1790)
185. Elizabeth Neusser (1728 - 1806)
Both Wilhelm and Elizabeth came from Germany but married in the colonies in 1753.
They had these known children:
92. Peter Troutman (1754 - 1846)
John Troutman (1756 - ????) He married Anna Marie Sutter.
William Troutman (1758 - 1833) He married Anna Catherine Uhl.
Catherine Troutman (1760 - ????) She married Jacob Koltz.
Philip Jacob Troutman (1764 - 1793)
Joseph Troutman (1766 - 1790)

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Friday, March 29, 2013

The Creative Process: To Frame or Not to Frame?

This series is about the cross-over skills and concepts between creating art and doing genealogy. Admittedly, it's all very blue-sky.

OK, please understand that I'm not talking about the physical object you put around a two-dimensional work of art, as in, I really need to get that painting I just bought framed down at the frame shop. This is about a very handy concept (that I forgot and just remembered) called "framing" a work of art: using frame of reference to help define the work and its meaning. As genealogists we use framing when we look at a record and ask ourselves, what exactly am I looking at?

For a while I volunteered as a docent in the San Diego Museum of Art. As a tour guide to all manner of folks it was incumbent upon us to be as informative (and entertaining) as possible, and we all figured out that the task was best done by letting the adult visitors guide the guide. So I'd walk up to a likely couple looking at a work of art - and here I might mention that we had to know something about all 10,000 works of art in the museum - and engage them in conversation, sort of like cocktail chat but with a purpose.

One of my favorite opening question went something like this:, "Oh, I see you're looking at that Van Dyke. Do you like it?" That was a safe bet because people who didn't know anything about a Van Dyke did know if they liked it or not! So I used that liking or disliking and the specifics of it as a springboard to sharing more information about that and other works in the museum.

It all got especially dicey in the Modern and Contemporary galleries. People had strong opinions there! But no matter which side they fell out on, for or against, once they knew what the artist's intention was they had a frame of reference and they could appreciate it more... which didn't necessarily mean they ended up liking it. Wasn't my job to convince them. Hey, we like what we like.

So here's the thing about framing and establishing a frame of reference. You can walk right up to, say, a contemporary work of art and try to "appreciate it" but you probably won't get very far going "unframed." If you want to be involved with a work it's best to bring all manner of information as a "frame" for the work.

I thought about this as I was doing some research recently. I found myself looking at a document from the late 1700s in Virginia. I knew some small amount about the community and that the place was still in Virginia but on the frontier in land that would 100 years later be West Virginia. This document needs to be "framed" properly I thought so off I went to find out as much as possible about the records set and how and why and where it was made and for what propose... much as I would if I was standing in front of a work of art and thinking, what's this about?

This sure isn't rocket science to all of you who have been doing this genealogy thing for a while! You automatically frame the record you're looking at right away rather than getting head over heels at finding great uncle Sammy. For me, I reminded myself again that I can't have too much information about the document I'm looking at and to never make any assumptions about it! The Virginia record was a tax record, and it was only an index. "Not an original work of art at all!"

Nutshell analysis and the obvious take-aways:
* Find out as much about the record that you're looking at so as to better frame it.
* You don't have to like all the works hanging in a museum!

On Fridays if I make a new post in the Creative Process series, I'll also post a painting of mine... just in case you don't care for the post, you might enjoy looking at the painting instead:)

"Borrego Badlands In Bloom"
24 by 40 inches, oil on canvas.
Diane K. Weintraub

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Best Dressed Miners

Digging in the Olde Treasure Chest this week, my pick is a book by Katherine A. Harvey, Best-dressed Miners, Cornell University Press, 1970. Because so many of my male ancestors worked in the coal mines of the Georges Creek mining area in Western Maryland, this book was a must-have for my book shelf! And I've not been bored reading it.

As you'll see from the photos of the pages, below, there are statistics to back up the strong narrative Katherine A. Harvey beautifully weaves together. I read it and re-read it. Can't get enough of it! So take a look at this treasure:)

Title page with detailed map of the mines.
I can trace where each ancestor lived and if in doubt which mine he worked for, look at the map to see which ones were closest.

Salaries by year and days typically worked.
Not everyone worked all the time. If the mine management liked you, you worked.

Salaries by mining company. Some paid better than other, with larger operators paying best so as to attract the best workers.

Costs of common goods with years.

Strikes were rather common and a trial for the miners and their families.

Old illustrations show the area as it was.

Treasure Chest Thursday is a blogging prompt of GeneaBloggers.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: Hurry Up, Now Slow Down!

Have learned so very much this week! Been watching RootsTech and taking that time away from my regular genea-life to sit in front of the live stream was one of the best things I could have done to further my genealogical education right now. Thank you, RootsTech! But that's not all. The DNA results and DNA contacts are humming along too, but I blogged about that on Monday. Plus, it's new cousins all over the place. Life is good! So now after the hectic pace and the ton of new information, it's time to slow down and digest, then follow up.

Google Search by Dave Barney. I can never know too much about Google search and how to dig even deeper so I was happy to spend some quality time watching this presentation by Dave Barney from Google who knew just how we like it. For some reason, and this coming from a gal who loves family and ancestor's photos, had not thought about all the wonderful ways to tweek the Image Search feature to dig deeper. I can now upload a photo from my file and have Google go look for a similar image. Using this tool to hunt for my mysterious Williams people who did that disappearing act in Upstate New York could be interesting and that's topping my list of things to do. (I learned of this tool a while back but forgot how to get there. Now I know all over again!)

Funny Boy, David Pogue. I like a good laugh so I really liked the presentation on the second day by well-known technology writer, David Pogue. OK, so there was no genealogy content and I don't care a fig. The man was that funny. Go watch for yourself! You deserve a treat:)

FamilySearch Family Tree by Ron Tanner. I came to a deeper and more thorough understanding of what FamilySearch Family Tree is all about due to this presentation. Must say, that if this works and it sure looks like it will, it is going to be the vehicle for building a single tree of common ancestors, with good research behind it. I recently wrote a blog post about the need I felt to stop from having every new genealogist build it all from the ground up. While that's a good way to learn it sure doesn't advance human knowledge. What I really like about Family Tree is this: you see the sources, and you seen who changed and updated the entry and when! And, there will be photos and stories and newspaper articles too. What's not to like in this wonderful way to stop research duplication?

New to me Cousins! I just love it when new cousins find me and we can share! Three recent contacts illustrate beautifully how it's all working when it's working at optimum because they came from three different sources: this blog, a local genealogy organization, and Ancestry Member Trees.
Cousin Karen#1 found me through this blog. Those posts do come up in Google searches!
Karen#2 found Mom because Mom is well known at a local genealogy library in Allegany County in Western Maryland, run by the Allegany County Genealgical Society, where the bulk of recent ancestors back three or four generations lived. Mom's even left a binder there containing a tree and Ahnentafel report and Karen#2 saw it, noted the shared ancestors, got Mom's phone number from the volunteers there, and called Mom. Mom took Karen#2's phone number with the intention of calling her back but I got to her first and yesterday we had a nice long chat. She shared the basics of her immediate and recent ancestors with me and that fills in some descendants down another line from our mutual ancestor, Samuel Albert House. I took copiuos nots and will type them up for Mom thus relieving her of the pick and shovel work. At 94 she deserves an assistant. Karen#2 didn't have a photo of Samuel Albert House and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Farrell, so I was tickled to share that with her!
Cousin Robert found me through Ancestry Member Trees. We share a common ancestor, Benjamin Thomas. There's so much sharing there to be done... as soon as he gets back to me. Hurry up, Robert!

Allegany County List Friends. I do like mailing lists for geographic areas! You can post idiosyncratic questions there and actually get answers. I recently posted a question asking when a manufacturing plant that my Dad worked at closed. Was surprised to find that it hadn't closed, it had just moved! Had no idea!
As with lists like this, eventually you start emailing back and forth sharing stuff and become friends. One of my friends there emailed a photo of a tombstone in St. Michael's Cemetery in Frostburg, Maryland. It's a beautiful old Irish Cross, and the name inscribed, which was just about the only thing that was readable, was John Kelly. Because this person knows I'm over here in the Kelly pile-o-ancestors, she relayed the photo to me... of my 2nd GGF's Irish Cross tombstone! I was able to supply all of the vital data that was worn off the stone.
But there's more!! Through her resources and contacts - wow, she's good and well connected - she was able to solve a long time mystery and that's where his wife, Bridget Cocoran Kelly is buried. Right there next to him!! Now we know where she lies and her date of death too. Next step: get a copy of the death certificate!

How did you find me? Have noticed quite recently that readers of this blog are now coming in some numbers from portable devices such as smart phones as well as social media like facebook and Pinterist. That's a big change from only being read by followers using a reading tool and email. Interesting. Tides are turning. But then change is the only constant these days.

Shout out to fellow bloggers! Just love my fellow blogger. They keep me connected and informed. They are quirky, irreverent, serious when need be, funny too. Don't stop posting! I need you:) Here's an e-hug to you!!

Here lies John Patrick Kelly 1829 - 1891
AND his wife Bridget Cockrane Kelly 1830 - 1912.

This post uses a GeneaBlogger's blogging prompt called Wisdom Wednesdays . Check them out!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

DNA Monday: Haplogroup H3, My Deep Peeps

Is anyone out there in haplogroup H3? Anyone at all? Think I'm the only one! Can't be.

Still here stumbling around under the Nut Tree looking at my DNA results from 23and Me. It strikes me that while other blogs are written by experts and offer answers, here I am wandering round watching the questions multiply before my eyes. Why anyone would want to read this mess is beyond me, but thank you so much for stopping by. And if my misery from time to time makes you feel less miserable, then something has been accomplished.

Before I got my DNA test results back I tried to get up to speed on some aspects of the test, and one of them is haplogroup. I found out that haplogroup is a way to think about the great tree of man, or Homo Sapiens. Because I'm female my haplogroup comes down from a very distant woman living about 190,000 to 200,000 years ago now called Mitochondrial Eve. As the great family of woman grew and migrated, the ladies haplogroups grew and migrated. You can see that it's helpful to change the letters at each junction where the tree branches out.

My group, H, can only be given to female descendants because it's contained in the mitochondria of female DNA known by it's abbreviation, mtDNA. Guy haplogroup determination has a whole other set of letters and because there's so much written about yDNA and surname tests, let's let them fend for themselves. H, L2, and A haplogroups belong to us gals.

Science likes to get as specific as possible so the letters break down into sub groups and numbers are added. The haplogroups are also called clads, and the numbers are called subclads. These can be further broken down and if they are then lower case letters are added. While I'm H3 I've seen other people's results that are E1a. And science isn't resting on its laurels. No, researchers are working and these subclads are, even as I write and you read, now breaking down subclads even further in an effort to be as specific as possible. That's great because each addition of a letter or number means deeper specificity, and don't we want that so we can know as much about our deep peeps as possible?

I've had a good time finding out about my H3 haplogroup. We're quite an interesting band of travelers and here's our story. Haplogroup H originated in Southwest Asia about 20,000 to 25,000 years ago on that great big tree of man, er I mean, of women, when H came out of haplogroup HV. You can Google up a haplogroup migration tree if you get a spare moment and are interested.

Evolutionary tree of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups
Mitochondrial Eve (L)
(Table courtesy Wikipedia.)
My H3 deep peeps, after a stint in Southwest Asia, moved on down the line as part of the migration during the last ice age, and landed in the Franco-Catabrian Glacial Refuge. Interestingly for me, this is where all of the cave art also comes from. So can you picture them huddling in caves and what not, enduring the last ice age? If I was there I'd have said, "Hey, let's put some art on those cave walls!" This group was also responsible for repopulating much of Europe after the ice melted.
Laxcaux. (Wikipedia commons.)
Well, I could go on here because this is the kind of stuff I just love knowing. But you'll have your own haplogroup to work on and the fun of finding out about your own deep peeps!

DNA Monday: Are We Related?

Have been working through the results from the DNA test I took at 23andMe, and you can see previous posts by plugging "DNA" into the search box at the right there. I decided on 23andMe because of the low price as well as the medical results, which seemed interesting and useful. Have not been bored with the genealogy results either!

By the way, AncestryDNA just announced at RootsTech that they are lowering the price for an entry-level test to $99. It gets interesting-er and interesting-er all the time!

This past week have been busy contacting DNA matches for two groups: the closest match based purely on chromosomes, and matches sharing surname. First let me cover a few observations about this whole contacting matched people effort and then I'll take a moment to comment on the close match versus the surname match.

Contacting your matches is a fairly straight forward process in which the first contact is made through 23andMe messaging to allow a buffer, and that felt comfortable. If the person is interested they can reply to your overture. I picked about ten or so from both the DNA match as well as the surname match, for which I selected Williams. The results could have been predicted if I'd stopped to think it through. Of both groups the most likely to respond were the individuals who had supplied the most information to 23andMe, probably indicating their interest in using this testing for genealogical purposes rather than those people who came for the medical results and then were just vaguely curious about ancestor matches.

Only one person in either group had a tree online to look at and that was from the Williams surname group. Perhaps this number is low because I didn't contact enough people. Or perhaps this number is low because those who are more serious about testing for genealogy - and with larger and denser trees - have chosen one of the other services, and if I had to guess that's what I'd guess.

After picking through a couple of Williams responders, most of which didn't have a tree online for me to look at, it became apparent that it was going to be much more difficult than I ever could have imagined to find any matching folks or to be able to pinpoint just where and along which line the match was happening. Those without trees online were supplied a list of my direct line Williams ancestors to look at with accompanying dates and locations. A couple of those who responded said they thought the matching ancestor was probably too far back for us to identify and they could be right about that, or at least their trees and research didn't go back that far.

Maybe I selected the wrong surname to start with. Everyone with a Williams surname has ancestors who come from Wales... where else would they come from?! Perhaps I better go back to the list and find another surname. And, I need to find out how these surnames were generated. That's an important detail.

The group with close DNA matching chromosomes in general (not surname specific) were the most difficult to sort out and to know how to get going on. Which surnames do we have in common? Most people offered a half-dozen surnames, but I'm thinking that if we're 3rd to 5th cousins the pool of possible surnames is way larger than that. Do they have a tree online? Most don't. Where to begin the matching process? (When I did a surname report on Mom's Big Tree it was over 200 pages long!)

Generally, people were slow to respond. (Maybe they have a life: how boring for them.) But now at close to a week out about a third have replied and that's pretty good, I think. I still have five replies that I'm working on so who knows how this will turn out. I'll keep you posted.

I'll be looking for Randy Seaver's posts about his contacts over at Genea-Musings because I'm starting to feel that there is probably a "best practices" way to go about this contacting stuff and with Randy's wonderful engineer's orderly mind behind this problem is he's bound to come up with something. Me, I'm blindly stumbling and finding (or rather not finding) my way and not doing a very good job of it.

Plus, I think I'll hold off further exploration until this Saturday when the seminar by Ce Ce Moore on DNA research is happening, hosted by the Chula Vista Genealogical Society. I'm probably going about this the wrongest way possible!

Coal miners in Eckhart, Maryland with the old Eckhart homeplace in the upper right.
Photo courtesy of my Eckhart peeps over on the Descendants of George Adam Eckhart facebook page. (About 1910)

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: I Hardly Know Ya'

 But what were they like?

Was watching the live stream from RootsTech online and listening to Ron Tanner's presentation about FamilySearch Family Tree. He said a lot of fascinating things and one of them struck me hard. He said that after four generations no one knows us.

Oh sure, they can research the facts of us, but will they be able to answer that question we've all as family history buffs asked of living relatives: what was he or she like? "He was a tall bear of a man with big strong embracing arms." "She was a small woman who was the strongest person I ever met." "He was ill most of the time, but he had a wickedly good sense of humor. It kept him going." When it all boils down, that's the stuff we, or at least I, want most and is hardest to come by. I'll give up more than a couple of records to hear the answer to that one question: What was he or she like?

While watching RootsTech I was struck by how much emphasis there was on images (photos and video) as well as narrative, the stories. In the past I've heard a lot of folks be dismissive of "soft" information as compared to records. But now it seems the world is balancing out. We want those records but as human beings we need those photos and stories. They warm our hearts and sustain us.

Let's touch our collective toe in the water with my GGF, Daniel Williams (1852 - 1920). He was Mom's father's father and three generations back for me. He died a couple of years after Mom was born, and I'm guessing he held her in his arms. I can feel the soft information slipping away as I try to document his life. He's right there on the cusp and because of him, I get it how exactly people are forgotten by the fourth generation.

Now let's go just one more generation to that elusive and too easily forgotten fourth generation back and the 2nd great grandparents, another way to put it, my grandparent's grandparents. I'll list who is there and what I know about them in the way of soft info. Here's the line up, first with Mom's side and then with Dad's. Maybe some cousin out there will search and find me so we can connect. Maybe they will have a photo. Hey, a girl can hope:)

Here are Mom's people starting with her paternal grandfather, Daniel William's parents:

Thomas Williams (1815 - 1868)
He was a coal miner in Wales and lived in a small market town of Strata Florida, Cardiganshire. We think he died about 1868. He had seven children. What was he like? Probably strong and maybe big because all of his sons were large men. You'd have to be strong to work in a coal mine. No picture of him yet found.

Jane (James) Williams (1815 - ????)
Small, sturdy. Jane was the one who birthed those seven children, kept the house, made do when times were hard in the Welsh mine fields. After Thomas died she immigrated to the US and was in Upstate New York. Where she lived and died is still a mystery to us. But what was she like? In the one photo of her she looks delicate and frail but she's old.

Daniel William's wife was Jane Price and here are her parents:

William Price (1829 - 1872)
William Jr. was born in Bedfordshire, England, and died in Aux Sable Township, Grundy County, Illinois. Our working theory is that they went west, possibly mining, and to be with family. He's listed in the 1841 English Census living with his mother, Ann who is a lace maker. In both the 1850 and 1870 US Census he is listed as a miner and then more specifically, a coal miner.
Here's another coal miner who was likely strong and sturdy. But I still don't know what he was like.


Diane Thomas Price (1832 - 1871)
Diane was born in Wales. She died in Mount Savage, Allegany County, Maryland. Mom believes that she traveled back to where family was to have her last child and died in childbirth or shortly thereafter. That's very little to know about a person. And there's no photo of her in our possession so I can't look into her eyes and wish I knew her.

Mom's mother was Susan Whetstone Williams (1897 - 1965). Here are her grandparents.

Joseph Edward Whetstone (1816 - 1997)
We know quite a bit about my grandma Williams' grandparents by comparison to some of the others listed here. There are stories and some photos too. Here's Joseph E, Whatstone who started working as a blacksmith in conjunction with his father in law, Peter Yeast, who owned an roadhouse on the Old Pike going west near Grantsville, Garrett County, Maryland. He later became a stone mason and enjoyed a nice career in that work. Here's his photo. He looks strong and stone masonry was probably work for a very able-bodied man then. But look, he's holding a book. He was literate and my guess is that it's a bible. And look at those eyes!

Sarah Waggoner Whetstone (1825 - 1880)
Sarah was the step-daughter of the roadhouse and inn owner mentioned above, Peter Yeast. We have no photo of her but we do have an amazing letter written by Sarah to her daughter, so I'll post that instead. As you can see, she was literate and that was quite an accomplishment for the time - about 1869 - and place - extreme wilds of Western Maryland. Perhaps it was from her that Mom and I got our love of reading and writing.

Samuel Albert House (1832 - 1917)
We know a lot about Samuel Albert House and you can see it here. He's just that far out of immediate reach but somehow he imposed his presence down through four generations. Maybe you have to be quite the character in order to do that? I feel as though I'd know him if he walked into the room today, and that's saying something.

Mary Elizabeth Farrell (1835 - 1919)
We know about Mary Elizabeth by way of her husband and in many regards she has been defined by him. She had 16 children with him and that couldn't have been easy given his life. Well, at least we have a photo of her, for which I am very glad.

Here's Dad's line up starting with his father's grandparents.

John Kelly (1821 - 1891)
Born in Shannonbridge, Clonmacnoise Parrish, County Offlay, Ireland and died in Eckhart, Allegany County, Maryland. We have no idea why or when he came over . And the only photo we have for him is his grave marker, a lovely Irish cross, in St. Michaels Cemetery, in Frostburg, Allegany County, Maryland. I have no idea what he or his wife were like.

Bridget Cockrane (1830 - 1910)
Bridget married John Kelly on 21 June 1846 in Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland. We know she was born in Ireland but don't know where. And we don't know when she died or where she's buried. It's a mess. And lastly, very sad, we have no picture of her even though she lived till 1910. Why?

John Eckhart (1831 - 1917)
Mary Myers Eckhart (1837 - 1909)
I think of these two as a couple because the visual I have for them is a couple graphic made by a cousin I found through facebook. I just did a post about them and you can see it here. I know where they lived and what work he did, but other than that, I don't know what they were like.

Dad's mother's grandparents were:

Charles William Zeller ( 1829 - 1901)
We have a nice portrait photo of Charles William and you see it below. There's a very recent post recapping all that's known about him and his wife Anna Mary. But it's not enough. I deduce that he was resourceful and ambitious having brought his candy making skills from Germany then moved his them from the little mountain town of Frostburg in Western Maryland and finally to the metropolis of Chicago where real money was to be made. He does look prosperous in this photo, don't you think?

Anna Mary (possibly Breuning/ Browning/ Bruning) Zeller (1834 - 1906)
Because of the comment to the post mentioned under Charles above, I now want and need to go research Anna Mary! She is probably not the woman I think and now I'm not sure what I think. But never mind because I love a mystery:) Do I know her and what she was like? No way.

When family stories were told, the exotic Zellers often took the spotlight and the couple below were left in the shadows.

Elijah Workman (1816 - 1864)
Nancy Ann Troutman (1826 - 1882)
I know very little about either person of this couple. Both families have long lines that go back to the earliest frontier days in the area now known as Allegany County, Maryland. But personal information that would help a descendant know what they were like? Forget it. A photo? No way. One tiny story? Forget it.

So there you have it. It's sad really, and that's why it's here on Sentimental Sunday. Four generations back and forgotten about. I can do better for them. How are you doing with your fourth generation back? Do you know what they were like?

NOTE: I finished this post Saturday late and checked it out later to edit. Blogger, it seems, had eaten the whole last half of my work here. So if you see something that needs a bit more polish, please have mercy. Sorry.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Surname Saturday: Last Name Unknown (Possibly Breuning)

Oh, I'm not liking this Surname Saturday, the blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers. I have next to nothing for you because here in the fifth generation, there's a big ugly brick wall. Mom has worked on it and another researcher has too. Now it will go on my To Do list and I'll take my best shot in rotation. I can almost feel the other genealogists who've tried this line before having a good laugh at this beginning intermediate who will undoubtedly stumble around a lot as I try to find Chicago and German records. I'll be looking for my 2nd GGM, Anna Mary (?) Zeller who married my 2nd GGF, Charles William Zeller. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

He's a short look at all that we've got.

1. Diane Kelly Weintraub

2. Francis Patrick " Pat" Kelly
(1916 - 2007)
3. Virginia Williams, living and loving it

4. John Lee "Lee" Kelly (1892 - 1969)
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller Kelly ( 1894 - 1985)

10. Gustav William "Gus" Zeller (1858 - 1927)
11. Moretta Workman Zeller (1859 - 1946), everyone called her "Ma"
They had these 5 children:
Charles Sample Zeller ( 1880- 1966)
Adelbert "Burt" Zeller ( 1883 - 1947)
Gustav William "Gus Jr." Zeller Jr. (1884 - 1964)
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller Kelly ( 1894 - 1985), that's Grandma Kelly there:)
Anna M. Zeller ( 1882 - 1882)

20. Charles William Zeller ( 1829 - 1901)
21 Anna Mary (possibly Breuning/ Browning/ Bruning) Zeller (1834 - 1906)
See that "Bruning" I put in there? I sort of remember that name when I just got started doing genealogy but failed to take even a scrap of a note about the source! The name stuck in my head and so I entered it this week on Mom's Ancestry tree while preparing this post and some leaves started shaking at me. I checked out Ancestry member trees and a couple had Browning. I then changed it to the more German Breuning and got nothing. I then translated "brown" into german and saw that it was "braun" so I entered Brauning as her surname. Still nothing. I'm still confused.
This couple were both born in Werttemburg, Germany. They immigrated and settled in the little town of Frostburg, Allegany County, Maryland. Mom believes there were relatives in the area and a search of local records turns up a number of other Zeller families, although their exact connection mystifies us.
After 1878 when the last of the children was born in Frostburg, and before 1886 when Henry died in Chicago, the family moved to Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. All the children except Gustav are buried in the Chicago area. The local Cumberland, MD newspaper mentions Anna Mary's death in the issue printed on 17 Sept 1906 and says she and her husband were residents of Frostburg 22 years ago, making their moving date about 1884. Good tip from a local newspaper! Too bad it didn't give a maiden name.
Charles was a confectioner and his wife, Anna Mary, was a diabetic. Go figgure! Charles ran a very popular sweets store in Frostburg until he moved to Chicago. I wonder if he realized the wider potential of his success in Frostburg and decided to move to the larger market Chicago would promise?
In checking the 1870 US Census Mary Ann is listed as being a milliner. Seems to me I remember Grandma Kelly telling a story about a milliner. Maybe Mom remembers better that I do.
In the 1900 census they are living in Chicago, he's 71 and working as a baker. It says that he was naturalized in 1851 and Anna Mary did the same in 1852. He owns his house free of mortgage.
They had these 11 children:
Charles Zeller (1855 - ?)
10. Gustav William Zeller (1858 - 1927)
Gotlieb Zeller (1861 - 1889)
George Zeller (1862 - 1931)
Delbert Zeller (1865 - after 1910)
Frederick Zeller (1869 - 1932), he and John are twins
John Zeller (1869 - 1945), he and Frederick are twins
Henry Zeller (1870 - 1886)
William Zeller (1872 - 1906)
Daniel Zeller (1875 - ?)
Annie Mary Zeller (1878 - ?)

That's all I have, sad to say. But wait, don't go. I have a photo, well not of Anna Mary. Bummer.

20. Charles William Zeller ( 1829 - 1901)
Husband of Anna Mary.

10. Gustav William Zeller (1858 - 1927)
Just an observation, but you'd think that if there is this fine photo of Charles William Zeller that there'd be a fine photo of his wife, Anna Mary. He predeceased her so, well, wouldn't you think she'd had her picture made if her husband did? Sure would kike to find a cousin who has that!

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Friday, March 22, 2013

The Creative Process: Many Things to Many People

This series is about the cross-over skills and concepts between creating art and doing genealogy. Admittedly, it's all very blue-sky.

I put a bit of new into text up at the top there because I am at the point where I'm kinda tired of trying to explain myself every Friday. Hope it's working and if you have another way to say it, please give a girl a hand and let me know:)

This week, let's chat about one of my very favorite concepts surrounding fine art and that's the idea that art is many things to many people (and so is genealogy). Some at the top of the food chain make plenty of money making or selling art. Big time artists, curators, gallery owners, dealers, and oh yes, art thieves are at the top. In the middle are the neighborhood galleries and frame shops, small-time dealers, art school professors, and only about 10% of all the artists who work at it full time and clear more than $10,000 a year after expenses. At the bottom of the food chain are part time art teachers usually working on contract for schools or teaching workshops locally, and the 90% of practicing artists making less than $10,000 a year. It can be very competitive (and often ugly) at the top as artists elbow each other for attention of a tiny collector base. Dealers will sell dear old mom for a rich collector relationship. I could tell stories, but not here because all are just plain mean.

The bulk of individuals who are interested in art don't make a dime on it: they spend money on it but not a lot. That group includes hobby artists who take workshops or classes, and art fans who go to museums and occasionally purchase a piece for their home because they love it and want to live with it. Typically the folks at the top openly express great disdain for anyone in this level. I've seen things and it wasn't pretty.

As you see, art is many things to many people. Some are just interested and are fans. Others want to try their hand. A few love how it ties into history and read about it and visit museums. Some get quite good at making art, often after a career in some other field. The young and ambitious want and need to make a living at it and there are legions of dealers ready to sell their souls.

While I was involved one way or another in the world of art I had much respect for anyone trying hard to make a living at it, especially if they didn't have a name art school education or a relative who owned a big gallery or was placed at a New York or LA museum or auction house. I'd give these folks a break whenever I could because it's rough out there.

You have to love the folks who retired and jumped right into making art! They are starry-eyed and love it in a pure way with enthusiasm. Or the people who work at a 9 to 5 job and make art on the dining room table on the weekends and holidays, especially the ones who have persistence and work at it off and on over years. For them, life comes and goes but art sustains and is always waiting for them. And it's a private place for their refuge. Knew a woman who took care of a gravely ill mother for many years and would hurry out to a small space in the barn to make art whenever her mother was safely in bed. She worked for just 15 minutes at a time for many years producing a beautiful body of work. She said to me, "It kept me sane." Much respect for her.

And I'm thinking that genealogy is like that too. There are the professional and/or certified genealogists who know where the goods are and nobly go get them for us. I read their blog posts, books, and take their classes and learn, picking up whatever crumbs they are willing to share and am thankful that they are so generous. It must be difficult for them to give away the knowledge they paid to get, one way or another. Much respect to each in his or her area of expertise as they try to make a living.

There are others who work in these fields because of love or devotion, hoping to find as many ancestors and relatives on as large and expansive a tree as possible. They work and learn often due to the "kindness of others" who share and help with no monetary reward. Many have been doing this work out of love and devotion for an awfully long time. Some teach or run blogs and often have the most practical knowledge. They are admirable and are happily still learning with the rest of us. Deep respect to them.

Then there are what we might call "hobbyists" for lack of a better word and we do need a better word, who perhaps came to this pursuit after a day job or now that they have retired. We come and we go, but love genealogy because it touches some note or chord within us and often moves our hearts. Yeah, we're not much in the eyes of others perhaps, but we have the love and passion for it as we stumble through the night looking for a wee bit of morning and keep searching for those we knew and loved and went before and others we're just now finding and claiming as our own.

Here are some tips for the "hobbyists" about dealing with the professionals, shamelessly swiped from the world of art and dealing with career artists, dealers, and gallery owners. For genealogists especially, supporting the professionals makes sense all around.
* Know the professional and respect their status. If they have click through ads on their web site, this is a pro. Help the pros you like by clicking through and checking out the wares. You might find the next new thing you couldn't live without.
* Give a pro a helping hand. See if you can understand where they make their income and don't ask for anything they charge for for free. Just makes it all awkward. If you are able, use their services and pay. If we don't use their services they won't be around down the road, and we need them to be here.
* Understand that there are pressures that come with trying to make a living doing this work. Most are entrepreneurs and running your own business is never easy, especially in difficult economic times. Be patient and give them the benefit of the doubt. If someone is a tad snippy it probably means they are dealing with an issue.
* We're not all equal, the pros and the semi-pros, and the rest of us. There is a hierarchy and it's good to know where you fit so that you don't step on toes.
* Give respect and send love and support to the pros you like and maybe our pros will send the love on back. They really should because that's where their bread is pleasantly buttered:)

Nutshell analysis and the obvious take-aways:
*  The art world is crazy.
*  We over here in genealogy are real nice folks.
*  We know that and are planning to keep it that way because we're smarter than they are;)

Photo of the day from Aunt Betty's Archive:

The Williams Boys, sons of my GGF Daniel Williams, except for James Price who was my GGM Jane Price Williams' brother. Just realized that Daniel wasn't in this photo because he died in 1920. Gosh.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Frostburg Mining Journal

Let's see what's in the Olde Treasure Chest this week. So much to choose from... I'm such a lucky girl! Oh, here's a goodie. The Frostburg Mining Journal published in that Western Maryland town from 1871 to 1913. You can find it at the Maryland State Archives here. Here's what the MSA has to say about this publication:

The Frostburg Mining Journal was published September 30, 1871 [v. 1, no. 1] to April 17, 1880 [v. 9, no. 31]; April 24, 1880 [9th year, no. 32] to 1913. It was published weekly. It was also published as the Frostburg Journal and the Mining Journal. "Mining" appears in masthead ornament, September 29, 1883-December 1889. "Frostburg" appears in masthead ornament, January 1890-[1913]. The newspaper was continued by the Frostburg Spirit (Frostburg: 1913).

Mom and I were on a crusade to get the FMJ available online and then discovered that the Maryland State Archives was already doing just that. We sent them donations, and when they put up rolls of the microfilm they sent us a down loadable file of those rolls as a nice thank you gift for sponsoring that roll. Good all around.

The FMJ is the kind of thing you can spend hours browsing, and Mom and I do. I keep it as a reward for completing some particularly distasteful but necessary task. It whisks you back in time and gives you a real peek into the lives of the miners and their community of 15,000 strong by 1900 surrounding the market town of Frostburg in Western Maryland. Chickens gone missing, the mayor speaking to a ladies group, who wed whom, and which naughty married lady had run off with which fellow. It's all there. Life lived on Main Street in 10 point lead type.

So today I want to post a couple of items from the paper. The first is an ad for corsets. There were
plenty of ads and the income from them likely made the whole effort profitable for the paper's owner, J. B. Order.


Corsets not your thing? How about a cocktail?


 Christmas time was a boom time for J. B. Order when all the merchants ran ads!


Obits were common too and I like them because they went into depth and gave a feel for the lost beloved. This one below is for my great grand aunt, Elizabeth Jane Whetstone Clise. Enoch Clise, her husband, was mayor of Frostburg twice.

My favorite section is called Breveties. Here you'll find short mentions of all manner of information that didn't fit elsewhere. The one below is a story about my GGF Gus Zeller, owner of a very popular barbershop, receiving a shipment of 63 fancy goldfish. Some went in the big fish tank in the window of his establishment and others went into a pond on a property he owned. Mom has speculated that the reason he's mentioned so often in the Frostburg Mining Journal is that the publisher, J. Benjamin Order, must have gotten free services from Gus.

News to the left, ads on right. Entertaining stories of length (a substitute for TV) occupied the entire front page. My guess would be that mats (used in letterpress printing) were probably subscribed to and shipped in to newspaper printers because the stories on the front page were of general interest and not timely. Mr. Order was then left to typeset the rest and fill the four page paper with local ads and news. Here are some typical pages. Enjoy:)

May you find your own version of the Frostburg Mining Journal online containing the daily news of a town some of your ancestors lived in... that you can browse in your pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers:)

Treasure Chest Thursday is a blogging prompt of GeneaBloggers.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: Faster, Please

Some days it seems like I don't know a blasted thing. Then other days the knowledge comes at me like a freight train and it's all I can do to keep alert. It's Wednesday again and I'm using GeneaBlogger's blogging prompt called Wisdom Wednesdays so that I'm sure to take time and evaluate how this beginning intermediate genealogist is doing. If I don't do this the learning will likely be willy-nilly and random so this feels like it keeps me focused, more or less.

Have to confess that I kinda like the knowledge coming at me fast. Keeps me moving along and on my toes. But here's the thing: I'll be working on a project, like the Biggerstaffs right now, and then my DNA results come back from 23andMe and I am on the freight train again. But that's a good thing, right? Here's what's been happening this last week, in no particular order.

OMG! DNA! My results came back from 23and Me. So much information and I want to devour it all at once. Must resist. Am using some measure of self-control and taking it one feature at a time. Have explored the "DNA Relatives" tool, which you can read about here. And before that checked out the "Countries of Origins Tool" and you can read about that here. Getting results back is an information 18-wheeler, but if you just chunk it down there's no reason to be overloaded. It's all right there and the learning tools are easily accessible so that you can explore and learn as you go. See a new report? Look, the tutorial link is there on that same page. This morning I've received the first reply from my DNA matches and will be getting back to her immediately so that we can compare ancestors. Will use Mom's Big Tree on Ancestry to do this. Handy to have it there:)

Cousin Bait Blog. At the beginning of the year set out a goal and crafted a strategy (sort of) to build in more cousin bait and you can see that popular post here. One of the best things I did was start doing a Surname Saturday post. Not only does it give me an opportunity to review our research, see holes, and take a close look at theories, it's the perfect cousin bait! Something is working because a Whetstone cousin contacted me last week and we immediately got on to discussing the biggest "argument" about the Whetstones. It was so much fun!! Cousin bait is working:)

Am reading Oh, Beautiful, a wonderful book by John Paul Goedes. Can't put it down. It flows from page to page, story to story, family to family. I've read a couple of family history narrative books before and I get into them and eventually find myself thinking, "I really should finish reading this." Not with this book! Each evening I can't wait to read the next section and stay up way too long doing so.

Got thinking about cemeteries and tombstones because of the first chapter of Oh, Beautiful. Part of the beginning is set in a remote mountain village in Italy where the people all live close together and are closely connected. When someone died and was buried all felt that they could go "visit" that person at the graveside, discuss issues of the day and review problems. So they were gone, but still connected. We've, many of us, lost that. Cemeteries for the general population are often the setting of spooky Halloween movies. I like it when an insight like that comes up unexpectedly in something I'm reading.

Looking forward to participating in RootsTech online this week. The Armchair Genealogist, who gets a big e-hug from me for the Family History Writing Challenge and a lot of other stuff, has a brilliant post about how to participate online which you can see here. I think that having your conference open to those who can't be there for whatever reason is exceedingly expansive and generous of spirit and is in the vein of all that is wonderful about the greater sharing posture and good will of the genealogy community, and why so may people are drawn to it. My Mom is 94 and she can't be there but she is online and can participate. I can't be there this year but I want to enjoy and benefit from it as I can, and I'll be watching online too. So thanks and an e-hug to RootsTech. Have a wonderful conference and I'll be watching the sessions as well as looking for blog posts from all the bloggers in attendance!!

Photo of the Day from the Archive:

Dad's Sisters: Chris, Helen, and Louise about 1989.

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