The Online Genealogist

John Brugliera

Archive for the tag “deaths”

Genealogical Guffaws & Ha-Ha History

Time once again for The Online Genealogist to dip into his bag of garba- er, TRICKS and bring you the “best” and “funniest” items you will ever “see”!  Gotta love the quotes; no disclaimer required!

For you newbie readers of this garba- er, BLOG, that would be any family history-related tidbit found in print, such as newspapers and city directories.  But mostly, newspapers and city directories.  Most anything that fits into the “Ya just can’t make this up and if you did; why would you want to?” category.

And newspaper marriage combos are my favorites!  I could be so lucky to find most humorous pairings like STRAW-HOUSE, MOORE-RONN or KNOTT-PFUNNIE; so instead, you get this garba- STUFF!  From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Bklyn Eagle 18600810a Church-Church

Two Churches married by a Rev. Bell… in a church!

Not living up to his name…

Bklyn Eagle 18600801a Elder

…and an oxymoronic exit from this earth…

Bklyn Eagle 19260127 Lively death

Ah, yes – a Lively death.

On the flip side, here’s a boring couple for ya…

Bklyn Eagle 18601201a Moore-Knapp

They’re a hit a parties!  Zzzzzzz.

Besides the splotchy print, what is wrong with this marriage announcement?

Bklyn Eagle 18610520a Doherty-Rev. Pise

Score 50 points if you answered “Wait a minute!… Who’s gettin’ married here??”

Fortunately, it was corrected the next day.

Bklyn Eagle 18610521a Doherty-O'Donnell

…after a lengthy tongue-lashing from the furious bride, I’m sure!

Well, well, well…

Bklyn Eagle 18620307a Crowell-Cornwell

Many confusing introductions at THAT reception.  Ya think??

Is this a marriage or chess commentary?!?

Bklyn Eagle 18700203a Bishop-Trappall

Of course, BISHOP-KNIGHT would’ve been funnier.  Though maybe not for Miss Owatta Knight.

This is probably more common than you’d think…

Bklyn Eagle 18620528a Walsh-Walters

…marrying the girl that sat behind you in school!

What’s worse than two families flipping out, worrying about the upcoming marriage?

Bklyn Eagle 18600906a McFarland-Ashfield(x2)

…having to go through that hell, times two!!

Jeez, the McFarlands and Ashfields took up so much room that last newlyweds Arnold and Amaret were left with SQUAT!

Not looking for Lois and Clark; but super, man.

Bklyn Eagle 18700429a Kent-Lane

From the 1915 (!) Lebanon, NH city directory, it’s not Sam Carpenter, house-builder, but…

Directory Lebanon 1915 175a

Staying in Lebanon, but this coming from the Granite State Free Press.

GSFP 19420914 01a

We can only hope!

Here’s another “Fire the ad agency!!”-worthy ad in the Norwich Bulletin

Norwich Bulletin 19141113 07a

See comment below barber Pat… above.

It’s May 18, 1861 and this Bangor Daily Whig ad says Uncle Sam is NOT looking for soldiers to sign up for the barely-started Civil War.

Bangor Daily Whig 18610518 02a

“You’ll never see combat!  Only fifes and/or drums!!”  Yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

And the typesetter is getting a little tipsy at the Omaha Daily Bee

Omaha Bee 19150612 18a Crooked Type

Oh, today’s e-editors have NO idea.

Should you be worried if your newspaper editor may also be QUACKING?  From the Bradford page in an 1858 Vermont atlas…

Dr. Editor Mann

Voodoo doctor?  Super, Mann!

Even so, sounds better than his colleague Dr. Farr; a mechanical dentist.  I can hear the machinery nearing a patient’s mouth now.  Oh, the screams.

And the July 19, 1856 issue of the Boston Transcript shows that it was NOT a good day to be a George Russell in New England.

Boston Transcript 18560719a

And so ends this Ancestry.com-free blog posting!!!

JohnBrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

TOG WEB

Got Brooklyn ancestors? a.k.a. Wanted: Eagle-eyed genealogists

BDE

If you have any Brooklyn residents in your family history, you’ll surely want to check out this valuable resource… the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

With enormous thanks to the Brooklyn Public Library, we have free online access to much of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from 1841 to 1955.  Fully searchable and browsable, this newspaper is chock full of great information of Brooklyn and her colorful residents throughout the years during New York City’s largest period of growth.

While the Eagle has the usual stuff – obituaries, marriage announcements, probate and other legal notices – there are extra goodies to be found within this cool little neighborhood paper.

How about sale of property due to unpaid taxes?

BDE2

These listings go on for PAGES!  Check out any Wednesday Eagle in 1860.  If it’s more than four pages, then you’ve got several MORE pages of Brooklyn properties, with owners and locations.  Look at all the names here!!

BDE3

And this is only ONE PAGE out of EIGHT!

In looking for your Brooklynite, start off with the OCR search.  Though don’t fully rely on that here; especially with all of the dots and numbers to confuse that iffy software.

BDE4

So, who’s got an Alden S. Crowell or Hugh G. Crosine in their line?

Also, in the Things You Wouldn’t Usually Expect in a Newspaper category, the BDE sporadically published a…

BDE5

This column for idle Brooklyn mail is broken down into a Ladies’ List and a Gentlemen’s List.  This is particularly noteworthy as there are so few resources in the mid-1800s that actually list HUNDREDS of women’s and wives’ names.  Look at those ladies’ names going all the way down to the center of the page!  Genealogy GOLD.

BDE6

Being on this list would mean you’ve moved, you’re in jail, you’ve gone underground, you’re dead or you’re just plain LAZY.  No matter, it’s proof of residence – at one time or another.  Well, if that actually IS your Della Hall listed above there…

I barely scratched the surface in this post, but can confidently say that the Brooklyn Daily Eagle is an excellent neighborhood newspaper which should be at the TOP of your research list for all things Brooklyn.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any Brooklyn family.  But it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy electronically flipping through the pages of the Eagle; with over 100 years to choose from!

Whether it be in Brooklyn, NY or Brookline, MA,  I will research your family history – I’m The Online Genealogist!

JohnBrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

TOG WEB

Darling Ross, and other curious names found in our genealogy research

Darling Ross

How would you like to be a guy and have to go through life with “Darling” as your first name?  “Hey, how ’bout hitchin’ up that team of horses?…Dar-ling!”  And did Mrs. Ross call him “Darling” or “Dahhhhhhrling”??

As family history researchers, we see unusual names like this quite frequently, giving us a chuckle as we quickly scan by, looking for the non-Darling Ross names in the search for our elusive ancestors.  The difference with me?  I save them… for posting here later on!

So, how did Mr. Ross end up with Darling as his first name?  Longtime genealogists will surmise that it’s not based on his sparkling personality; more likely a mother’s or grandmother’s maiden name.  Colonial surnames were sometimes used as first names for later children.  If I were researching our darling Darling here, I would surely be looking at possible Darling families living nearby.

But enough with the helpful hints – on with the silliness!

Appropriate names are always fun.  What ELSE would you expect this fellow to do for work?

Federal Census 1850 Carpenter 2

From the 1923 Bristol, CT Directory, a confused worker…

Bristol CT Directory 1923 61aIs he an employee or is he the BOSS?

Do you think this Norwich, CT family has a problem trying to sit still?

Norwich Bulletin 19150121 09a

And of course, staying in Norwich, we can’t forget marriages.

Isn’t this one of those Pacific Islands in the middle of nowhere?

Norwich Bulletin 19150218 07a

Is this a couple or a birdwatching guide?

Norwich Bulletin 19140928 07a

This second couple went WAY out of their way to offset “what people may think”.

Norwich Bulletin 19140930 07a

…and this couple, uhhhhh – didn’t!

Norwich Bulletin 19141014 07a

Happiness and Gaiety, not far behind!

Norwich Bulletin 19141104 11a

But in the 1919 Brockton, MA Directory, someone is not quite sure.

Brockton Directory 1919 86 DionAnd ending off with a couple in Buxton, ME… marriage expectation a bit too high?

Living & Loving 2Was the Dunnel of Love, but now Mrs. Love Lane.  Living and Love in church records – yes!

 

Amongst our Living, I’d Love to research family histories for you!

 

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

 

Family History Humor, featuring Jean E. Allogee

 

 

Hiney

While researching, I frequently come across records that give me a chuckle; mostly bad name puns and the like.

Or those that are comical all in themselves.  Such as the above 1850 Federal Census extract for Rome, PA.

Yes, Henry Hiney, his wife Sally Ann Hiney and their presumed five children.  George Hiney at the bottom (sorry) could be a younger brother of Henry Hiney.

But the kid’s names are even better… Zepheminah Hiney! C.C. Hiney!!

City directories are a GOLDMINE for such silliness.  Or if not, I just add my own.

Like Jesus Christ is NOT in Buffalo!

No Jesus Christ

He should be between Jacob the carpenter and the John on Clinton Street.

But then I thought, Well, DUH!  Of course Jesus would be UNLISTED!!

And what’s a directory without a few good name and occupation combos?  This from the 1911 Boston Directory.

George Speede Boston 1911

Now, what ELSE would George L. Speed be doing for work??

And a 1932 Columbia, NH entry.

Columbia Directory 1932

E.E. Cass: “You wanna work on my farm and your name is Guy LeGro??  You’re HIRED!!

You know, that’s how many surnames came to be in the first place.

“I am a blacksmith and will forth hence be known as Mr. Smith!”

“Yes, and I own a mill.  Instead of ‘Very Friendly Mill Man’,  I hereby change my name to Bud Miller!!”

“Oh, but I am a DOG CATCHER!  Forthwith and beyond -”

Wait, that doesn’t work out; damn!  Eh, you get my gist.

And maybe we could have farmer Guy above “translate” this ad page from the 1915 Lebanon Directory.

Leb 1915

“Yeah, I need my horse renovated…”

“We’re Rogers & Hubbard!  Your one-stop shop for bone-based fertilizer!”

Cow invigorator??  I don’t even wanna know what that’s supposed to do!  Boviagra?

And don’t forget “Books free. Good books too.”  Ha!

I saw this in unsold ad space in a 1928 Lancaster, NH directory.

LOOK

A raise of hands…

How many of you have come across typographical errors in city directories?

Yep, everyone but that one dude in the back there.  “Yo!  Henry Hiney!!  Research much??”

So, how many people have THEY offended over the years in hundreds of localities across the country?  They should be apologizing here instead of looking for ad dollars!  OK, rant over.

From the Federal Naturalization Index…

Superfine

Lewis Superfine from Russia!  Wonder what his Russian name really was.

And I’ll leave you with this almost-triple-play…

Russell

Yes, it’s Russel Russ, of Russell, NY!

 

Thank you ancestry.com and familysearch.org for most of the above images!

Besides being screen captures, these items have not been altered in ANY WAY.  “If you don’t believe me, you can look it up yourself!” (King of California, 2007)  That’s why I always include WHERE they’re extracted FROM.

 

Because that’s just what The Online Genealogist does.

And don’t forget my Free Quickie Online Ancestor Search!!!  Details upper right.

I would love to research for you!

 

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

Who says parents don’t play favorites??

 

Daughters Gets Dollar

For those being-able-to-read-handwriting challenged…

“Seventhly, I give and bequeath to my daughter Lydia Allison one dollar.

Eighthly, I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary Kilton one dollar.”

OK, so this was over 150 years ago, but still!  His sons got all the land and another received $100.

Is there any significance to this, besides our being able to use the wonderful info for family-connecting?  Would it have been considered an insult to receive such a pathetic inheritance amount?  Even accounting for inflation, it’s only around 25 bucks!  Was their father “snubbing them”, or was it the norm back then; the sons receiving all the loot while the daughters get pennies?

 

Speaking of pennies, that’s how much it will cost you for research compared to many other genealogists out there; give me a shout!!

 

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

 

The year of death on an actual tombstone is reliable. Any person transcribing that tombstone is NOT.

Image

How could they have NOT transcribed two gravestones properly??  Not one, not two, but THREE wrong numbers found within these two entries.

We’ve all seen errors in printed genealogies or family trees online.  While it does keep us on our toes, it can get beyond annoying when the mainline research you’re building hinges on “facts” such as death dates and ages; exactly what you’re hoping to glean from these transcriptions.

The highlighted wife and husband are in a direct line I’m researching.  I included the others merely for comparison and to give you an idea of what information was included.

Image

Now, I had already found Otis Kilton’s probate records online, and knew he died in 1854.  And according to everything else I had on Otis and Lydia, they were both born around 1770.  Such as the 1850 Federal Census here.

Image

So, if the cemetery transcriptions are to be believed, Lydia was NOT 80 when she died.  And Otis?  He’ll be dead in less than 6 months, missing his 54th birthday by a few weeks.

With these serious age discrepancies, I was beginning to doubt my own ability as a family researcher.  Really!!  And I had found nothing to even hint at there being another Otis and Lydia Kilton……exactly 30 years their junior……living in the same town.  I’m no math wiz,  but something wasn’t adding up.

What’s a genealogist to do when confronted with such messed-up information?  Easy – go to the SOURCE.

Yes, The Online Genealogist takes an offline field trip!

Grafton is less than 25 miles away and yesterday was a gorgeous day for a bike ride.  Hit the nearby Northern Rail Trail (ex-Northern RR) which goes across the road from the cemetery.  Couldn’t be handier!

It’s right up here on the left.  See it??

Image

Sorry, getting sidetracked.  Or train-tracked.

Otis Kilton!!  Such a sad-looking stone.

Image

If you were transcribing this particular headstone, what would you be entering into your iPad?  Note any defects or wear that could make this difficult to read.  Pay particular attention to the age and year Otis was laid to rest.

Just in case it’s hard to see on that photo…  And I even underlined the numbers in dispute here!

Image

Now, does that look like 1851 to you?  And was Otis 53; or 83, as was originally surmised?

Lydia Kilton’s gravestone is even more difficult to read.  (Snark, snark.)

Image

Does the first number of Lydia’s age below look more like the “8” or the “5” in 1850?

Image

Phew!  It’s NOT me after all!

This is such a great example of just plain BAD transcription.  I’m sorry, but there is NO excuse for those numbers to be so… WRONG!!!

Of course, we don’t know where the dates and ages got so screwed up.  Most gravestone transcriptions were originally written down in a notepad (some much better than others); how did they get from there to the listing that was placed online?  Was it a rush-job for the transcriber(s)?  If that was the case, why even bother??  Or maybe they were three typos on two lines.  Then fire the person that edited it!

It really doesn’t matter why these cemetery transcriptions are useless for anyone; it only matters that they ARE.  Heck, if I can’t believe two lines, what weight am I going to give to the rest of the Kilton transcriptions on that list?  Do I shrug it off as “Aw, they’re probably the only three errors in that entire list of over 1,000 individuals.”?  Or do I hit the brakes and take any entry on there with a grain of salt?

If I didn’t visit the Grafton Center Cemetery, what would I have done?  As I said, all other evidence pointed to Otis & Lydia Kilton living to their 80s, with all but their first 20 years in Grafton; most of it documented by their children’s births, annual inventory lists and tax valuations.  (Thank you LDS and FamilySearch.org!)

And besides, my now-infamous genealogy gut told me that those transcriptions couldn’t be right.  Either that, or I’ve got terrible gas

Oh, and this was on top of one of the Kilton children’s headstone.  Creee-py.

Image

The entire middle piece for this stone was gone and the lamb is sort of just placed there.  I’m thinking it used to be at the top of the missing piece.  Hate to see that, BUT the lamb is still there!

Image

As it turns out, this cemetery transcription was a project for the local Boy Scouts.  (Genealogy Badge??)  While their intentions were noble, “boys” would not be my first choice for transcribing tombstones.  And these two Kiltons were the EASIER ones to read!  Some of those early slate stones were extremely weathered and worn.  I wonder if those even made it to their project.  No way a slam on the Boy Scouts; only bad transcribers!

Here is the website…

http://graftonnhcemeteries.com/

And watch out for those research landmines!!

 

Ask about my FREE Online Quickie Search for one ancestor!!

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

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It’s a Mocavo Two-fer!

Mocavo

First, big news that Mocavo has been purchased by FindMyPast.

Here is the full announcement on their home page.

I’m almost ashamed to say that I’m not subscribed to Mocavo or FindMyPastAlmost.  I mean seriously, how many of these paid-subscription websites must a genealogist cough up the bucks for?  And with some of them, you do some serious coughing!  But that’s for another post…

Funny that those two were next on my “genealogy sites to subscribe to” list, but only if I really really really really needed to.  As Mocavo is more of a search engine, I’ve been able to locate the information on my own, after their Free Forever search comes back with the results.  Same for the newspapers on FindMyPast – many are already available online for free.

So, what does this marriage mean for us?  A bad name like FindMo’Cavo??

Well, to start, a combined website/yearly subscription would be nice!  *COUGH COUGH*  (The till is dry.)

I’m sure FindMyPast and Mocavo joined forces for the very reason I’ve yet to subscribe to either; they really don’t have enough exclusive material to warrant the extra expense.  It’s almost like they’re trying to snatch up the “scraps” that Ancestry and FamilySearch (and to an extent, Fold3) don’t want.

FMP/M will have plenty to say in these coming months.  But will their combined efforts be enough to get me off the fence?

And did you know Mocavo will scan your genealogy-related books, diaries, photos, etc. for FREE?  (Love that word.  FREEEEEE.)

Simply click that Contribute button on their navigation bar.  (Or you could always just click the clickable “Contribute” I made right there.)

I recently found two local town landowners’ annual reports at a church rummage sale and mailed them to Mocavo for them to scan.  Upon doing so, they’ll add these to their collection of OCR searchable items for ALL!  It’s a GREAT service and I’m hoping that many subscribers (or not) will take them up on this offer.  So, keep an eye out, as there’s lots of genealogical stuff out there for scanning!

One very nice Mocavo niche is the central availability of such annual town reports, many of which contain births, marriages and deaths recorded during that past year.  (Obviously, better chances of seeing those for smaller towns.  Cities will simply give you the grand totals.)  Though again, with some digging, you can find most of these annuals online elsewhere..,yes, for free.

But you probably don’t want to send Mocavo anything that’s near and dear to your heart.  Especially books, as they say they need to remove the binding for better scanning, which makes perfect sense.  Read the fine print.

I’ll let you know when “my” town records come up online there.  (Supposedly, they’ll contact me AND give me credit for the data.)

So, let this be an open challenge to FindMyPast/Mocavo

Knock me off the fence!!!

 

T-O-G Biz 01

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