Birth Record Success


Last night, as part of Randy's Saturday Night Fun, I told about searching for the birth record of my ancestor Chloe Foster. I found through other Wells family researchers that she had married in Leyden, Massachusetts, and a town history includes the genealogy of her father's family. There are three rolls of microfilm of town records for Leyden that are appropriate for the time period: one is specifically titled "Vital Records," and one is "Town Records" with a notation that vital records included, and the third is also general town records but specifically states in the Family History Library catalog that it does NOT contain vital records. So I ordered the first two films and viewed them both very carefully. I did find the marriage of Chloe Foster to her first husband recorded (I'm descended from her second husband). And I did find the recording of her parents' deaths, but I did not find any birth records for the family. I might have assumed that there was non-compliance going on if it weren't for the widow's pension application that Chloe's mother, also Chloe, filed  in 1838.  She had to establish proof of her marriage to Ezekiel Foster, a Revolutionary War soldier, in order to obtain benefits. One deponent for her application was the town clerk of Leyden. He stated that he was unable to find a marriage record for Ezekiel and Chloe, but that he does have on record the births of their children, the first being Urania who was born in 1778.

So I knew that the birth records for this family did at least exist at one time.  I ordered the third volume of town records -- the one that the Family History Library catalog says has no vital records. It arrived last week and I went in this evening to view it. And hallelujah!  The birth record for Chloe and all her siblings is there. Just below their family's record you can see the births of the children of Chloe's brother Ezra. (click on the thumbnail image.)

FHC Saturday Night Fun


Randy's assignment for Saturday Night Fun!

I've just recently done this with no prompting from Randy, so I'll tell what my next roll of film is to be after I've completed the assignment for another ancestor.

Here is the "assignment" for tonight's SNGF:

1. Identify one "elusive ancestor" family (perhaps one you just found, or one you've not found any information about), and the county/state that they resided in. Tell us the family name and the county/state.

Rebecca Dark. I "discovered" her on a recent research trip to Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. Her obituary gave her maiden name as Dark and told that she was born in 1815 and married David Baughman both events occurring in Snyder County, Pennsylvania. However, Snyder was not formed from Union until 1855. Union was formed from Northumberland in 1813.

OK, scrap that person (see #2). I'll go to a library or the county to see what I can find.

When I was at the Salt Lake Institute in January, I discovered a new set of parents through the death record of Electa Van Hoesen who died in 1889 in Rock County, Minnesota. Her parents were John and Chloe Wells. I have already pursued Chloe's line because she was previously married and another researcher of the Wells family had information on  her maiden name and location of marriage. I was able to locate what I believed to be the right family in the 1800 census of Leyden, Hampshire County, Massachusetts. I ordered the microfilm containing the town's vital records and did indeed verify the marriage record of Chloe Foster to her first husband Andrew Kately. Surrogate court records for Cortland County, New York showed the connection between Chloe Cately/Kately to John Wells, her second husband.

I had ordered two films which contained vital records from Leyden, but I was unable to find any birth records for Chloe herself. A town history states that she is the daughter of Ezekiel Foster.  I just chalked it up to uneven reporting practices when I found the Revolutionary War widow's pension file for Ezekiel's wife -- also named Chloe.  The town clerk of Leyden helping to verify the marriage of Ezekiel and Chloe deposed that the town records showed the birth of Urania in 1778, their first-born child. He also implied that other births are to be found and he is only naming the oldest.  So I know that at least at one time the birth record for their children did exist -- at least in 1838 it did. There is one more microfilm of town records although it says it does NOT contain vital records, so I have ordered that. It has arrived and I will be going in tomorrow evening to look at it.

2. Go to the FHL Catalog, find the resources for that county/state.

Normally my first tack to take would be to look for probate and land records for the Dark and Baughman surnames. However, it does not appear that the deed books have been filmed.  And certainly not much has been filmed for probate records. No government records at all. 

3. Identify at least three items from the FHL Catalog that you need to look into in an effort to further your knowledge about that family's history. Tell us about them.

I'm going to count the three rolls of town records I have ordered. There aren't any land records on microfilm listed, otherwise that's probably what I would look at next. It may be some other jurisdiction than the town level that handles land records. New England research is new to me.

4. Do you know where your nearest Family History Center is? If not, go here and look for it. Tell us where it is.

It is on Cox Road in Springfield, Missouri.

5. Are you willing to make a commitment to go to the FHC and rent microfilms in order to pursue that elusive ancestral family? If so, tell us about your commitment.

Yes, I do and I continue to do so.


Randy's Saturday Night Fun

Randy at Genea-musings has posted his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun idea:

The challenge is this:

Provide a list of your paternal grandmother's patrilineal line. Answer these questions:

* What was your father's mother's maiden name?

* What was your father's mother's father's name?

* What is your father's mother's father's patrilineal line? That is, his father's father's father's ... back to the most distant male ancestor in that line?

* Can you identify male sibling(s) of your father's mother, and any living male descendants from those male sibling(s)? If so, you have a candidate to do a Y-DNA test on that patrilineal line. If not, you may have to find male siblings, and their descendants, of the next generation back, or even further.


My father's mother was Edith Louise Olson, b. 1911 in Titusville, Crawford County, Pennsylvania; d. 1981 in Redding, Shasta County, California. She had only one brother who had no children.

Her father was Frederick Olson, b. 1882 in Dahoga, Elk County, Pennsylvania; d. 1966 in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara County, California. He did have one brother who had sons.

Fred's parents were my most recent immigrant ancestors. Most of my ancestors were here from colonial times.  Johann Erik Olsson; born 1839 in Nysunds Parish Varmland, Sweden, arrived in the US with his wife Louisa in 1871.  I do not know if any of his siblings came with him (for males as a source for y-dna testing). Swedish parish records are wonderful, but a lot of the names are very much alike because of using the patronymic naming system.  Of course they didn't continue the practice here at that late of date, but most of the names are just variations on what seem to be a limited number of first names. Because of that,  the fact that there was a man of the same last name who submitted his declaration of intent at the same time as John may not mean anything. In the Swedish parish records Johan does have a brother named Anders which, if I recall correctly, is the name of his fellow applicant for the declaration of intent (and oath of allegiance, too, I think--both made me think there was a strong connection). This little exercise forced me to check that fact that I hadn't before.

John Erik Olson's father was Olaf Persson, b. 1794 in Karlskoga, Orebro lan, Sweden. (I have not learned how to do all the proper symbols for Swedish spellings.)

Olaf Persson's father was Peter Jansson, born in 1751 (no location in the last parish record I consulted for this line).

Both of these last two did have other male children. It would be interesting to track those lines forward to see if I have a resident Swedish cousin. Parish records are so great for Sweden (see Genline), that it seems to make y-DNA testing less important.

The other thing I thought interesting about this exercise is that my ancestor in each family was born to a father that was older than average. Fred was 29 (not so old, but my grandmother was the oldest child); John was 43 when Fred was born; Olaf was 45 when John was born; and Peter was 43 when Olaf was born.



Anniversary of Pennsylvania's Charter

I was a little late in  wishing Pennsylvania a happy birthday (on Facebook).  Last Wednesday was the 328th anniversary of William Penn receiving a colonial charter which was granted on 4 March 1681.  Today is the day that the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is celebrating it.

Click here for further information. Images of the actual documents can be viewed by clicking on thumbnails in the right-hand column.


Sorry if you've received this multiple times in a blog reader....I can't believe how many stupid little errors slip through.

Tombstone Tuesday

Somewhere, although I do not remember where, I know that there is a genealogy topic to post for each day of the week.  I was reminded because of visiting Randy's Genea-Musings. I don't know that I'll post on these kinds of things regularly because I generally like to post what I want when I want.  So this is "Tombstone Tuesday."

I've had another blog and only recently decided to split my history and geneaology topics into a blog of their own.  I transfered all my old posts here, but not the comments. So welcome, if you are new, and welcome back for those who read my other site.

This tombstone has a great story behind it... a "happy dance" kind of story behind it.   From  a marriage record showing a second marriage of my ancestor Albertus Van Hoesen, I knew that the first wife likely died. They had moved from Clarksville, Butler County, Iowa, in 1896 to Willow Springs, Missouri.  However, in perusing all the cemetery books, I was unable to locate any gravesite for Carrie A. Burton Van Hoesen.


To back up a bit, I had been in Clarksville, Iowa, a few years ago looking at courthouse records, visiting cemeteries, and viewing the files of Rudolph Priepke who had been the town genealogist and historian for many, many years.  Mr. Priepke's files can be found in the public library in Clarksville, staffed, I might add, by the wife of a descendant of one of the original settlers of the town.  Although quite a bit is known about the Burtons, not that much is about the Van Hoesens who arrived in about 1866. Nevertheless, Mr. Priepke did have a small file on the Van Hoesens which contained a letter  to him asking about my ancestors. The letter's author was descended from a sister of Robert Van Hoesen, father to my Albertus.  This letter was written some time in the 1970s.  When I got home, I looked her up and found she was living in the same house from which she had written!

When this new-found cousin (Emma Lou Stanislav) found out about the difficulty I had finding Carrie's grave in Willow Springs, she immediately volunteered the fact that she had gotten a response to a query to the Willow Springs area.  The woman (Aletta Van Hoesen) who responded to her query had told in which cemetery Carrie was buried (it's a big one), and she had made a drawing of the tombstone and transcribed it.  My cousin photocopied it and mailed it to me.  Because of the kindness of these two women, I was able to stand in the cemetery, rotate, and zero in on the correct tombstone.  I was thrilled to find resolution to the life of one of my ancestors.

In loving remembrance

Carrie A. Wife of A.L. Van Hoesen

Daughter of H.F.L. and M.E. Burton

Born Nov. 18, 1861 Died Sept. 17, 1897

Sweetly slumber angel Carrie, Let no strife disturb thy rest,

Thy loving eyes are closed forever, Thou art with the blest.