Monday, March 30, 2015

MYSTERY MONDAY - WHO'S YOUR DADDY? Brick Walls Post #2 - Robert L. Bowden 1863-1906

Green tree with question marks_Robert Lee Bowden
BOWDEN is my maternal grandmother’s maiden name.  I have not yet been able to locate the parents or any siblings of her father Robert Lee Bowden.  This mystery has been going on for well over ten years.  Here is what I have and what I’ve done so far.  I welcome your input.

A BRIEF BIO OF ROBERT LEE BOWDEN
Born 8 Feb 1863 in White Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier, West Virginia.  Married Florence HUNTER on 10 Mar 1887 in Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio.  Two children born to this couple: Florence Lee Nora Bowden (my grandmother) born 31 Jan 1888 in Ashland, Boyd, Kentucky and Edna “Denny” Mabel Bowden born 1 Jan 1890 in Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio.  This couple divorced on 17 Jul 1899.  The divorce was filed in Kenton County, Kentucky.  Robert worked for the railroad in every record I have about him.  He possibly remarried to a lady named Bertie Kearney in 1900.  Robert died on 8 Oct 1906 in McKees Rocks, Allegheny, Pennsylvania at age 43.

Robert’s signature from his 1887 marriage record

BOWDEN_Robert_signature from marriage record_Ohio_1887

Here is what I know about Robert’s life so far:

(Click on any image to enlarge it)

BOWDEN screenshotindiv page
BOWDEN screenshotindiv page-last 2 events

I know that Robert and Florence divorced in 1899.  I have that record and a record of her trying to get him to pay child support.

Here are a few records from the divorce, filed in Kenton County Circuit Court, Kentucky and granted on 17 Jul 1899.

Bowden_Divorce--All pages_Page_01 BOWDEN_Robert & Florence Hunter_Divorce_papers_1899_KY_Page_3 Bowden_Divorce--All pages_Page_10

My grandmother, Florence, who is Robert’s older daughter, left me a lot of genealogical information on our family.  She had his death date listed as Oct 1906.  Since I have found her information to rarely be incorrect, and this was her own father, I looked for death records based on that date.

Here is the page from her journal with him listed as the second person.  I have redacted this list for anyone who may still be living.
 February_redacted

My brother, John and I believe we have found a record of a second marriage for Robert L. Bowden, shortly after the divorce from Florence was final.

BOWDEN_Robt marriage to KEARNEY_BC_1 Mar 1900_HuntingtonCabellWVA_enh1
MARRIAGE RECORD - R. L. BOWDEN TO B. C. KEARNEY ON 31 MAR 1900 IN HUNTINGTON, CABELL, WEST VIRGINIA

We do find Robert living with a woman named Bertie and her son, who’s last name is Kearney in the 1900 census.  He is a railroad brakeman, which is consistent with what we know about Robert’s occupation.  The record states they have been married only 4 months, which is consistent with the marriage record and Robert is said to have been born in February, which is also what we have on record.  The only thing different is the year of his birth being listed as 1865 instead of 1863.  But, we all know those years vary from record to record, especially in the census.  The other variant is the state of birth being Kentucky, when my grandmother stated it was West Virginia.  I have checked both the Kentucky and West Virginia birth records and not found anything....yet.

Here is that 1900 census record.




 




























My big AH HA! moment came when the Pennsylvania death records 1906-1944 were released last year on Ancestry.  One night I just decided to check these records for Robert.  Why?  I don’t really know, as I had no record of him ever being in Pennsylvania.   
NOTE:  You never know where you will find the record you need.

There it was!!!!  A death record for Robert L. Bowden on 8 Oct 1906 in McKees Rocks, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.  A railroad man who died suddenly of heart disease.  Of course no parents names are listed.

BOWDEN_Robert L_death cert_8 Oct 1906_McKees Rock Allegheny Pennsylvania_B&W copy

Thanks to the assistance of a researcher on the Allegheny County, PA Facebook group, I also found out there was a newspaper article about his death.  Can you believe it?
BOWDEN_Robert L_newpaper article_9 Oct 1906_The Gazette Times_page 2_PittsburghAlleghenyPennsylvania BOWDEN_Robert L_newpaper article_9 Oct 1906_The Gazette Times_page 2_PittsburghAlleghenyPennsylvania_cropped
And, I saw that the death certificate was signed by a Coroner, so I sent for the Coroner’s record, which gave me no new information.  All the Coroner did was look over the body to rule out signs of foul play.  See my post about my analysis of the Coroner’s report here http://www.michiganfamilytrails.com/2014/06/coroners-case-file-robert-l-bowden.html

WHAT I STILL NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MY GREAT GRANDFATHER ROBERT LEE BOWDEN
  • A birth record to verify when and where he was born (although due to the Civil War, this may not be available)
  • Who his parents were?
  • Who his siblings, if any, were?
  • Any court records I may have missed regarding the guardianship of his daughters
  • Information from the cemetery that could contain details I don’t have.  I have left two messages and will try calling again.
Please note:  There is a Robert L. Bowden of about the correct age in the 1870 census.  He is the son of Elias & Sarah Bowden and living in Hardy Township, Isle of Wight, Virginia.  I have followed this lead and this IS NOT my Robert.

Do you see anything I have missed?

OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST


If you think you might be related, even remotely, to anyone mentioned in this blog, please contact me!
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2015   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Sunday, March 29, 2015

CENSUS SUNDAY–The first 1940 census I looked for when they were released

clip_image003

When the 1940 census records were released I know most of us had been waiting a long time.  We had in mind exactly who we wanted to look for first.
 
Before all the indexing was finished by volunteers (myself among them), we had to use Enumeration Districts and other locators to find our family members.
 
The first one I wanted to see was of my Dad, Harry Norman Gould living with his first wife Elaine.  He and Elaine were married 22 Aug 1936 in Michigan.  There were two daughters born to this couple.  These daughters were my half sisters, Norlaine Rae 1942-2001 and Virginia Carol 1945-2005.  I didn’t grow up knowing my sisters, but was fortunate to meet them each one time, when I was in my 30’s.  Unfortunately, they are both gone now.  However, I have a wonderful relationship with Virginia’s daughters, my nieces, Dawn & Debbie.  I'm so happy to have them in my life.  They both still live in Michigan, as does most of my family.

GOULD_Harry_Norman_&_CROFT_Elaine_Gertrude_Wedding_Day_1934_Enh
My Dad & his first wife, Elaine on their wedding day in 1936

Here is that 1940 census record.

1940_GOULD_Norman & Elaine_Faust Ave_DetroitMichigan

Here is the index from that 1940 census:

Name:    Norman Gould
Age:    27
Estimated Birth Year:  abt 1913
Gender:    Male
Race:    White
Birthplace:    Michigan
Marital Status:    Married
Relation to Head of House:    Head
Home in 1940:    Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Map of Home in 1940:    View Map
Street:    Faust Avenue
House Number:    12892
Farm:    No
Inferred Residence in 1935:   Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Residence in 1935:    Same Place
Sheet Number:    12A
Number of Household in Order of Visitation:  268
Occupation:    Statistician
House Owned or Rented:    Owned
Value of Home or Monthly Rental if Rented:  4350
Attended School or College:    No
Highest Grade Completed:    College, 2nd year
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census:    39
Class of Worker:  Wage or salary worker in Government work
Weeks Worked in 1939:    52
Income:    2050
Income Other Sources:    No
Neighbors:  View others on page
Household Members:   
Name    Age
Norman Gould    27
Elaine Gould    21


Something I just noticed in looking at this record again, is that my Dad owned this home.  I need to look at property records in Detroit and see if I can find the deed to this residence from that time period.  I tried going to the Wayne Co. Deeds online site, but their records only go back about 30 years.
 
Which 1940 census did you look for first?

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2015   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Saturday, March 28, 2015

SPRING IS HERE - TIME FOR A THEME CHANGE ON MY BLOG

It's time for the spring theme change here on Michigan Family Trails.  Time for lighter colors and thoughts of traveling.  

Where will be our ancestors lead us?  What gems will we find along the way?  

I can't wait to find out.

See you on the road,

Michigan Girl



Copyright ©  2010-2015   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

WEDDING WEDNESDAY- Martin & Wunderlich

wedding bells

Today I’d like to highlight the marriage of my 6th great grandparents, John or Johann Eberhard MARTIN and Jacobina Elizabeth WUNDERLICH.

According to the records I have located, they were married on 16 Feb 1745 in Notzingen, Tech Donau, Wurttemberg, Germany.1, 2

Here is a map of Germany with the location of Notzingen

Map of Notzingen Germany

Right now I don’t know very much about this family.  I have recorded 5 children born to this couple: Christopher, Mary, Rachel, Anna Barbara and Elizabeth.  It is Anna Barbara who is my direct ancestor.  She was born on 19 Mar 1747 in Germany and married John FRAMPTON, Jr. about 1780 in Derry Township, Pennsylvania.  The Frampton family were very prominent in Pennsylvania and later in Ohio and a lot has been written about them.

There is a record of his immigration to the United States from Germany, recorded in a book, which states he arrived on 16 Oct 1751.1

IMG_3207

I have taxation records for Everhard/Eberhard Martin too.  He and Jacobena are listed as Pioneers in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania.


Martin image 3195
 
What all of this told me today, is that I have a LOT more work to do on this couple.  That is one of the big benefits of writing about our ancestors.  We suddenly determine what we do and do not know.

Sources: 1 - Raymond Martin Bell, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania Families & Records before 1800 Supplement (N.p.: n.p., n.d.), Supplement: 36. Cit. Date: 9 Jul 2012; MARTIN Everhard of Derry - wr [warrant] Jan 13-1784 - pr [probate] Feb 20-1784 (German) wife Jacobena Elizabethch: Christopher, Barbara, Mary, Elizabeth, Rachel
2 - John Martin Stroup and Raymond Martin Bell, Book - The Pioneers of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania-Who's who in the Early Records with an Account of the Growth of the County before 1790 (Lewistown, Pennsylvania: n.p., 1942). Cit. Date: 29 Jun 2010;

If you think you might be related, even remotely, to anyone mentioned in this blog, please contact me!
OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
WEDDING WEDNESDAY - Or should I say Where Were they really Married?
WEDDING WEDNESDAY - Things aren't always what they seem, or what they say

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2015   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ON THIS DATE IN OUR FAMILY

clip_image002
Let’s see who in our family had an event on this day?

Born on this day
Sean David Albro – living
Marian Lindsay Pritchard – living
Baby Boy Lunsford – 1888
Calvary Morrison – 1856
Richard Milne Morrison – living
Millard O. Ray – 1911
James Thornton – 1848

DIED ON THIS DAY
Hannah Letitia Boggs – 1874
Samuel Hill – 1723
Harriette Parshall – 1897
Ray O. Millard – 1988

The oldest record on this date, then, is the death of Samuel Hill in 1723.  He is my husband’s 6th great grandfather and was born in Medfield, Massachusetts about 1654.

Here is the descendant record
Samuel HILL -------------------  Hannah TWITCHELL
         Dorothy HILL ----Capt. Jeremiah HALL
               Jesse HALL ---- Achsah CLARK
     Cornelius Clark HALL ---- Elizabeth CONICK
        Rev. George HALL ---- Almira ROSETTE
     Thomas Cornelius HALL ---- Cora E. BROWN
       Charles Schuyler HALL ----- Daisy Fern BRIGHT
      Gordon Charles HALL ---- Dorothy Beatrice FINK
          My husband Ron HALL
If you think you might be related, even remotely, to anyone mentioned in this blog post, please contact me!
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl 

Copyright ©  2010-2015   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Monday, March 23, 2015

THIS IS WHY I ATTEND SEMINARS–WHAT I NEVER KNEW ABOUT COURTHOUSE RECORDS

Courthouse Cabell-County-Courthouse SAMSUNG            Courthouse Lawrence Co Oh
Left to right – Cabell County, West Virginia, Cheshire County, New Hampshire and Lawrence County, Ohio

I was fortunate to be able to attend a seminar this past Saturday that featured Judy Russell as the speaker.  The seminar was put on by the North San Diego County Genealogical Society, of which I am a member.

Who is Judy Russell?  Most of you probably know she is the Legal Genealogist.  She has a blog where she keeps us up to date and completely informed about various laws involving our genealogy research.  I have followed her blog for a while now and we’ve become Facebook friends.  However, I had never had the honor of hearing her speak.  What I did know from other genealogy friends, was that I would not be disappointed. 

That is an understatement.  Judy is not only knowledgeable about many areas of the law, but she’s also an excellent genealogist and a really good speaker.  And, she’s funny too.
There were four session to the seminar which went from 9:30 to 3:30.  Here are the titles of those sessions:

THAT FIRST TRIP TO THE COURTHOUSE
  • What to know before you go
  • What to bring
  • What to look for when you get there
  • When the clerk asks “May I help you?”
  • Tips for courthouse research
  • Checklist for courthouse research
THE FAIR COURT
  • Introduction
  • Some basic concepts
  • Kinds of cases in equity
  • Reasons why genealogists should love chancery cases
THE TIES THAT BOND
  • What is a bond?
  • A discussion of the kinds of bonds: marriage, bastardy, bail, adminstrators, guardianship, appeal, peace and official
  • Why do we care about bonds?
DOWERED AND BOUND OUT – WIDOWS AND ORPHANS UNDER THE LAW
  • The law of dower
  • Records of widows
  • The law as to orphaned children
  • Records of orphans
I was spellbound during these sessions.  I have been to courthouses in several states during my various genealogy road trips.  However, I now know that I missed a large amount of the possible records available for my ancestors.  Yes, I’d heard of bonds, and even seen a couple of records.
 
What I didn’t know was
- That there are so many different types
-  That they can contain copious amounts of information
-  That they can connect one family member to another
- And that I should look for them every time I enter a courthouse

Since most of these records can only be obtained at the actual courthouse, it will be a while until I can revisit some of the places I’ve been.  However, there was a website that Judy told us about that has many scanned chancery court records.  It is the Virginia Memory-Library of Virginia website.  Here is a direct link to the Chancery court page http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/  

VA memory

I began looking on this Virginia page yesterday and found a 96 page court record involving my 6th great grandfather, Andrew HAMILTON and other family members. On page 4 was a mention of his daughter Alice Hamilton who married my DAR patriot, Andrew BOWEN.  This was my first good piece of evidence as to Alice’s father, other than circumstantial evidence.

Here I have circled references to family members on this page. 
 (Click on the image to enlarge it)
HAMILTON_Andrew names Alice BOWEN as his daught in Chancery cas

The images from the Virginia Memory site can only be saved one page at a time.  As a result it will take me several days to save all 96 pages of this document.  It’s much easier to read them on a monitor or on the iPad when you can enlarge the print.  I’m actually very pleased with how readable the document is.

To quote Judy Russell “Is this a record that you would like to have?”  My answer is a resounding “YES!”

Now I cannot wait to go to other courthouses and find bond records of all kinds.  Those courthouses shown at the beginning of this post are all places I’ve been.  I’ve been inside two of the three courthouses and never looked for bonds.  Don’t make that same mistake.

Have you looked at these types of court records before?  Or, is this your first time hearing how valuable they can be?

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2015   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

DAY TWO OF THE MICHIGAN DEATH CERTIFICATES JOURNEY–NOW WHAT?

SHAVER_Sherman A_death cert_15 Aug 1924_RichmondMacombMichigan_enh
LINDSAY_Doris E_death cert_16 Apr 1931_DearbornWayneMichigan THORNTON_Orman S_death cert_27 Feb 1925_TraverseCityGrandTraverseMichigan
So, we’ve all been online checking the SeekingMichigan site for those 1921-1939 Michigan death certificates.  I had great luck in finding mine. 

The end count was 33!
 
After I created my list from the search feature in Legacy 8, I began going through it for those who might have died in Michigan.  Please see my post from yesterday for details about creating that list.  Here is the link: http://www.michiganfamilytrails.com/2015/03/michigan-death-certificate-images.html

Here are the steps I followed:
  • Once I see a name on the list that is a “possible” I go to that person in my Legacy 8 database.
  • I check whatever death record information I have for that person.  In some cases, I had already noted that the death record was on FamilySearch under the Michigan Death Certificates 1921-1952, but with no image.  When I find an index only, I copy and past the information under “notes” for that event on the Individual’s Information in Legacy.
You can click on that little plus sign next to each event and it brings up your options for Adding Addresses, Notes, Pictures and whether the event is shared.  I use this feature in Legacy every day. 

(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT)
A_screenshot 1
  • Next I went to the Seeking Michigan site, which was already opened on my browser and I began entering the search criteria for that person.  When I did this I made sure that I was ONLY searching the death certificates for 1921-1952 (we know they only go to 1939 right now).  But, there are many databases on the Seeking Michigan site and I only wanted to search this single one.  A fellow blogger, Amy Johnson Crow, wrote a post with some tips for using this new collection.  Here is a link to her post: FINDING NEW DEATH CERTIFICATES ON SEEKING MICHIGAN
  • Once I located the correct death certificate I wrote down the RIN number and name on a piece of paper (yes, a piece of paper), on my desk.  I just wanted a real quick way to keep track of what I was finding.
  • Next, I downloaded the image (I always use the “large” option when saving).  My computer automatically opens any image in an editing program that I find very easy for everyday cropping, straightening and resizing etc.  I use Microsoft Office 2010 Picture Manager. I wrote a post about this and will site it at the end of this article. 
  • I straightened, cropped and enhanced the image and saved it in the proper surname folder with my standard, consistent naming method.  I will not allow any of those black borders or crooked pictures to be added to my database.
  • The process of editing and properly saving your images immediately, guarantees they will be in the correct place on your computer.  And, it only takes a few seconds to do. After all, we get interruptions in our daily life and may not get back to them right away.
  • Now I’m ready to begin the process of adding all this wonderful information to my Legacy database.
THIS PROCEDURE WILL INVOLVE THE FOLLOWING STEPS
  • Start with the first name on that list I made.
  • Adding the death certificate image in the “pictures” area next to death event (see my RED arrow in the screen shot above).
  • Adding the source citation in SourceWriter.  I already have a Master Source for Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952.
A_source list











  •  
  •  
  •  
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  •  
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  • Copying the citation to the clipboard so that I can add the source to whatever fields are necessary.
  • Adding information to the Events/Facts area of the Individual’s Information.  I have created my own events when I didn’t find the ones I wanted on the list. Here are my additions:
    • Informant on Death Certificate
    • Funeral Home or Mortuary
    • Residence at time of death
    • Autopsy at time of death
    • Occupation at time of death
    • Physician listed on death certificate
  • I will also go to the Parents list for that person and add the source (using the clipboard).
  • I’ll add the cause of death in the medical notes.
  • And enter the date of burial and location (if listed)
At that point I will consider myself done with this important piece of evidence in the life of my ancestor.  Since there is no paper copy, there will be no need to create one.  I do not create paper when I don’t have to.  When I send for and receive vital records I do save those in a binder after they’ve been scanned, but that’s about the only paper I have. 

Have I missed anything in my procedure?  Is this how you process your records or do you have a different method?

OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
EASY DOCUMENT EDITING
DIGITAL FOLDER ORGANIZING AND NAMING MADE EASY

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2015   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION