Category Archives: Life Writing Your Family History

Celebrating Women’s History Month

3-17-2018

Vicki’s note – We know how hard it is to find some of those elusive women in our family history searches. All are quiet heroes (or the new word “shero”) in their lives as they take care of their families, in sometimes hard circumstances.  Which women in your life, or in your genealogy searches, have especially inspired you? 

That is one way that you can join in celebrating Women’s History Month.  Another way that you can recognize the sacrifices our female ancestors made to allow women to vote, is to vote – every election!  Read about other recognition of women’s strength  from the U.S. National Archives to Mattel’s new collection of “Inspiring Women” dolls and and the “Shero” Program dolls.

Celebrating Women’s History Month

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Mattel Is Releasing 17 New Barbie Dolls Honoring Strong Female Role Models

 

 

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Orphan Trains and Rock County Wisconsin At the Beloit Public Library:

Orphan Trains and Rock County Wisconsin; At the Beloit Public Library:

Vicki’s note – See notice below of a bonus Tuesday evening program  at the Beloit Public Library of interest to many.  This is from the Library’s “Around the Library” March/April/May 2018 brochure:

“Emily’s Story – The Brave Journey of an Orphan Train Rider
A presentation by Clark Kidder
Tuesday, March 27, at 7 p.m.
In this presentation, Clark Kidder brings to light his own
research on the orphan trains. Between 1854 and 1929,
nearly 250,000 children were transported from New York City to the homes of farm families in almost every state, particularly in the Midwest. Kidder tells the Dickensian story of his paternal grandmother, the late Emily (Reese) Kidder, of Milton, who, at the tender age of 13, rode an orphan train to the Midwest in 1906. Kidder will read from his book, Emily’s Story – The Brave Journey of an Orphan Train Rider. He will also show pictures from the book in a PowerPoint presentation. The presentation runs about one hour in length, and Mr. Kidder will conduct a Q & A session and book signing following the presentation.”

 

Quote from Amazon.com site about the book:

“It seems incomprehensible that there was a time in America s not-so-distant past that nearly 200,000 children could be loaded on trains in large cities on our East Coast, sent to the rural Midwest, and presented for the picking to anyone who expressed an interest in them. That’s exactly what happened between the years 1854 and 1930. The primitive social experiment became known as placing out, and had its origins in a New York City organization founded by Charles Loring Brace called the Children’s Aid Society. The Society gathered up orphans, half-orphans, and abandoned children from streets and orphanages, and placed them on what are now referred to as Orphan Trains. It was Brace s belief that there was always room for one more at a farmer s table. The stories of the individual children involved in this great migration of little emigrants have nearly all been lost in the attic of American history. In this book, the author tells the true story of his paternal grandmother, the late Emily (Reese) Kidder, who, at the tender age of thirteen, became one of the aforementioned children who rode an Orphan Train. In 1906, Emily was plucked from the Elizabeth Home for Girls, operated by the Children’s Aid Society, and placed on a train, along with eight other children, bound for Hopkinton, Iowa. Emily s journey, as it turned out, was only just beginning. Life had many lessons in store for her – lessons that would involve perseverance, overcoming adversity, finding lasting love, and suffering great loss. Emily’s story is told through the use of primary material, oral history, interviews, and historical photographs. It is a tribute to the human spirit of an extraordinary young girl who became a woman – a woman to whom the heartfelt phrase “there’s no place like home” had a very profound meaning.”

Clark Kidder will have his book available for sale at the Library program, and will sign books.

Clark Kidde’s Orphan Train Website.

http://www.clarkkidder.com/home.html

This is the same author who produced the six volume set of  “History of the Rural Schools of Rock County” – (mostly one room schools) books that we have at the Library:

Location Call No. Status
 Beloit Genealogy & Local History  GEN 378.7758 Kidder 2015 Oct v.1  REFERENCE
 Beloit Adult Non-Fiction  378.7758 Kidder 2015 Oct v.1  ON SHELF
Description 340 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm.
text txt rdacontent
Series History of the rural schools of Rock County, Wisconsin ; 1.
Note Rock County author.
Included in this book are written histories of the school buildings, memories of pupils and teachers, as well as lists of students, teachers, and board members associated with each school. Also included are various photos of students, teachers, interiors and exteriors of the schools. A history of Rock County Normal school is included, which includes a list of teachers who graduated from the school during its operation.–from container.
Wisconsin author.
Subject Rock County Authors.
Rural schools — Wisconsin — Rock County.
Wisconsin authors.
ISBN 9781505823677
1505823676

Here is some additional information on Orphan Trains:

A non-fiction DVD available at the Beloit Public Library:

Publisher
PBS Home Video,
Publication Date
2006 1995

A book available thru WorldCat on Orphan Trains:

The Children’s Aid Society of New York : an index to the federal, state, and local census records of its lodging houses, 1855-1925

Author: Carolee R Inskeep; Children’s Aid Society (New York, N.Y.)

Publisher: Baltimore, Md. : Clearfield Co., 1996.

Edition/Format:  Print book : English

Database: WorldCat

Subjects –  Children’s Aid Society (New York, N.Y.) — Registers.  Children’s Aid Society (New York, N.Y.)  New York (N.Y.) — Genealogy.

ISBN: 080634623X  9780806346236

OCLC Number: 34963937

Description: ix, 150 pages ; 22 cm

Other Titles: Children’s Aid Society of New York (1855-1925)

Related Subjects:(19)

(The Related Subjects listed will give you suggestions on other terms to use while searching for information on the topic.):

Children’s Aid Society (New York, N.Y.) — Registers.

Children’s Aid Society (New York, N.Y.)

New York (N.Y.) — Genealogy.

Children — New York (State) — New York — Registers.

Vagrant children — New York (State) — New York — Registers.

Registers of births, etc. — New York (State) — New York.

New York (N.Y.) — Census — Indexes.

New York (State) — Census — Indexes.

United States — Census — Indexes.

Census.

Children.

Registers of births, etc.

Vagrant children.

New York (State)

New York (State) — New York.

United States.

United States, New York, New York (City) — Orphans and orphanages.

United States, New York, New York (City) — Societies.

United States, New York, New York (City) — Census — Indexes.

 

“Cenotaph” – Genealogy Word for The Day.

“Cenotaph” – Genealogy Word for The Day.

Vicki Ruthe Hahn

February 9, 2018

Your ancestor may have more than one FAG FindAGrave.com memorial ID #.  You would add an (Alternate) Alt. Burial event to record the second memorial ID numbers/location.  It may be that FAG needs to merge 2 records, or (a common situation) is that a person will be buried in one place and have a Cenotaph in another location.  I had not really heard of that term before.

 Here is the Wikipedia definition for all of us –

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cenotaph

” Cenotaph – A cenotaph is an empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been reinterred elsewhere. Although the vast majority of cenotaphs honour individuals, many noted cenotaphs are instead dedicated to the memories of groups of individuals, such as the lost soldiers of a country or of an empire.”

 

 

Here is further information from FAG FindAGrave.com about how they use cenotaphs-

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“A cenotaph is a marker within a cemetery placed in honor of a person whose remains are buried elsewhere. It may also be the original marker for someone who has since been reinterred elsewhere. To add a cenotaph, create a memorial. Then email edit@findagrave.com with a link to the memorial and request to have the memorial designated a cenotaph. Only add relationship links to the actual burial memorial when both a cenotaph and actual burial exist.”

So to find the family relationship links in FAG, we would look at the actual burial memorial ID# , not the cenotaph memorial ID# .

 

Here is another variation of a cenotaph, and a personal example – my Great-grandmother:

Minerva Christiana “Crissie” Shultz

1867–1950

Birth 3 APRIL 1867 Mayberry, Montour, Pennsylvania, United States

Death AFT JULY 1950 Elyria, Lorain, Ohio, USA

Burial

abt 1950Unknown

The headstone (in Sharp Ridge Cemetery, Montour County, Pennsylvania,USA) with her husband (Henry A. Bennett) has her birth date, but not her death date. She may not be buried there, but near where she died in Elyria, Ohio while living with her sister.

I have not been able to pinpoint Crissie’s exact date of death, nor where she is buried. My Mom just knows it was in late 1950 after July. My parents had just moved to a new place in Illinois with a very little baby, and did not go to her Grandmother’s Pennsylvania? Ohio? funeral.

This headstone would probably be a cenotaph, but we don’t know for sure.  My Mom might have remembered better before memory loss set in.  She is the last one of her family generation.  None of the genealogy-searching cousins have any idea either.  A cautionary tale – ask your relatives while they can still tell you.

Crissie headstone

Vintage Aerial- historic aerial photography of rural American farms and homesteads

Vintage Aerial- historic aerial photography

of rural American farms and homesteads

12-14-2017
Vicki’s note –  Ron Zarnick  shared a new source that he found. 

Find Your Photo

Vintage Aerial has more than 18 million photos, taken in 41 states over the second half of the twentieth century. If you are looking for an aerial photograph of a rural area or small township, we most likely have your picture.

Start your search now by selecting your state and county:  https://vintageaerial.com/

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(From Ron:)
The following website has aerial photos for many years and many locations in 41 states. I found 6 pictures of my grandparents Pa. farm. They were for 1966 through 1999. The photos are not only farms.
You start off by specifying the state and county. There is no index, and some may find it difficult to use.
The sample teaser photo you find is copyrighted. Prints are expensive. There are several options ranging from $29-$250.
We have not yet decided to purchase a photo. However, I feel finding what I did was worth the effort.

A Fun Photo Discovery

A Fun Photo Discovery

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

I was able to date (my 2 x Great Grandmother’s) Lucy Adams Leighty’s dress from researching and presenting my program several times on “Contemporary Fashion through the Decades – How to Identify Our Ancestors’ Timelines  by What They Wore, When”.   I am learning the time periods of some of the historic styles by sight.

Here is Lucy Adams Leighty’s 1897 dress:

Lucy Adams dress 1Lucy Adams dress 2Lucy Adams dress 3Lucy Adams dress 4

My sisters and brother have been working on a 600+ pages family photograph book; Chris is creating the book, all of us donated photographs, two of us (Melodie and I)  are editing and doing genealogy research (as fast as we can) to fill in gaps, and I have been writing family stories about our ancestors based on research.  So much for waiting until I semi-retire someday and have more time to do all that!  🙂
Greg, our third cousin from Pennsylvania, has been invaluable in donating old family photographs and filling in family history.  We connected due to an Ancestry.com DNA test match.
If the “book” is ever published on paper, we would have to split it into 2 books.  The cost would be about $1 per page through the program that my sister is using.  We may just print one copy and give everyone else a DVD or electronic version.  What a great way to preserve family history.  The very last revision needed from me was to write a story to go with these photos.
My niece Andrea had done research on this dress for her college costuming history class.  She had surmised that Lucy made the special dress for her own wedding (in 1867).  This is not the correct style for that time period.  And Andrea had put in examples of 1890s dresses. 
Hint – don’t let preconceived notions of family stories detract you from the evidence, “i.e. “This must have been Gt Gt Grandma’s (1867) wedding dress.”  Keep your mind open to see the possibilities.  Look for clues and pieces of the puzzle that fit together.
While writing this history story last night, I discovered the fun photo discovery:
I was right – the dress is from 1897!  Lucy sewed the dress for her to wear as mother-of-the-bride at her daughter’s wedding!
Lucy Adams (probably) beautifully sewed this dress herself.  It’s style of fitted sleeves with a small puffed upper “leg of mutton” is from about 1897, when Lucy would have been age 60.  She married William Smith Leighty on March 29, 1867. They had five children in 20 years. Lucy and her husband were farmers in Morgan, Ohio.
Lucy may have worn a small bustle with the dress, as the back is longer by about an 1 1/2 inches.  It has a one-piece fitted bodice with hook and eye closure, and full skirt which was a little less full than the style (as a cost savings?)  The special fabric – a print of white flower sprigs on dark blue/black,  and the black lace collar, indicate that she made it for a special occasion, probably her daughter Annetta’s wedding.
One of Lucy’s children was our paternal Great Grandmother Annetta Leighty Jewison.  Annetta married Charles Oscar Jewison on February 17, 1897, in McDonough, Illinois. They had three children during their marriage, including our paternal grandmother Muriel Helen Jewison Ruthe.
Great Great Grandma Lucy would have used this as a Sunday dress afterward.

Save Your Genealogy Research by Donating It

Save Your Genealogy Research by Donating It

Vicki’s note – a Family Tree Magazine article.  Their articles have lots of great resources for genealogists. 

I am including this posting as a reminder of an additional way to preserve your genealogy work.   Can’t get no respect or find a genealogy appreciator from your family to be an inheritor of your hard work?  Ask your local library.  Don’t forget about donating to Allen County Library of  Fort Wayne Indiana, (in previous posting.)  Or look on my Electronic Links and Genealogy Helps page/tab for the Genealogical Will for Preserving Family History form.

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Ask A Librarian: How to Donate Your Genealogy Research So It Doesn’t Get Thrown Out

Kids don’t want your genealogy research? Don’t let it get thrown away when you’re gone. Here’s how to donate your family history papers to a library.

 

Subscribe or to read the rest of this content.
Family Tree Magazine

Legacybox turns your outdated formats into digital

Vicki’s note – Maybe try this?

9-27-2017

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Legacybox turns your outdated formats into digital

Legacybox

“Getting the box back was such a delight! It felt like finding treasure.” -Blog: Design Mom

Legacybox

Legacybox turns your outdated formats into digital GOLD

Convert your home movies, videotapes, film reels, and pictures – including slides, negatives and prints – all to DVDs or thumb drive easily with Legacybox.

Legacybox was founded on the conviction to restore — to revalue what has been devalued. On the surface, we are about preserving outdated memories — tapes, film, photos, and audio — into digital keepsakes that are usable and safe for future generations. We are led by the desire to find simple, technology and design-driven ways to reconnect people with things that matter most, but are being lost or overlooked. Simply put, we help make memories matter.

Learn More

legacybox.com

 

Daily Life of Our Ancestors 150 Years Ago

Daily Life of Our Ancestors 150 Years Ago

Vicki’s note – a book that I ran across on Facebook – “The Lost Ways” by Claude Davis.  Even if you don’t appreciate the survivalist attitude, this quote from his Facebook ad is a good reminder of what our ancestors lived. This can help us to learn more about how they lived, and hopefully none of us will have to use their skills.

I learned a new term for survivalists – preppers.  It is always good to be prepared, and self-sufficient. There certainly have been enough natural and man-made disasters lately to be prepared to deal with.

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“The Crisis we should all prep for

is what folks 150 years ago called daily life:

…no electrical power, no refrigerators, no Internet, no computers, no TV, no hyperactive law enforcement, and no Safeway or Walmart.
They got things done or else we wouldn’t be here!

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Introducing ‘The Lost Ways’

Saving Our Forefathers’ Skills”

How to Search an Address in Ancestry.com

How to Search an Address in Ancestry.com

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

9-14-2017

The question was – how do I find more information about a house (in Beloit WI)?

I just now discovered how to do that searching in Ancestry.com (Library edition at the Library.)

Note that I did not put any names of people in, nor did I use ” quote” marks on the address.  I got thousands of results when putting the address in “Place your ancestor might have lived”.  It seems to bring up all of Beloit, even when putting in the house number  and street name.  So that does not work.

The same happens if you put the address in “Lived in” or “Any Event” and “Location”.

What does work is to click “Match all terms exactly” AND put the complete address in “Keyword” and click “Exact”.  I did not even capitalize the street correctly.  You can select the entire correct entry when the typing prompts auto fill choices.

Ancestry.com keyword

Here were the results I got, which were all from 1930 U S Federal Census, even though I chose “All categories”.  The fifth person’s name was a different house number on Highland Ave.  I’m not sure why it was included, or why I did not get more hits.  Probably not enough Beloit City Directories, etc. loaded onto Ancestry yet. But this gives you some more people’s names to trace back the history of a house in City Directories, etc.:

Results 1–5 of 5

Name:  Louisa Devine
Birth:  abt 1860 – Wisconsin
Residence:  1930 – Beloit, Beloit, Rock, Wisconsin, USA
Name:  Archie Devine
Birth:  abt 1896 – Wisconsin
Residence:  1930 – Beloit, Beloit, Rock, Wisconsin, USA
Name:  Archie Devine
Birth:  abt 1919 – Wisconsin
Residence:  1930 – Beloit, Beloit, Rock, Wisconsin, USA
Name:  Frank Devine
Birth:  abt 1921 – Wisconsin
Residence:  1930 – Beloit, Beloit, Rock, Wisconsin, USA
Name:  John L Briggs
Birth:  abt 1906 – Michigan
Residence:  1930 – Beloit, Beloit, Rock, Wisconsin, USA
Other places to look, and ask for the Librarians to help.  I keep getting to know our Beloit Local history better the more I help folks.:

Historic Wisconsin buildings : a survey in pioneer architecture, 1835-1870

Perrin, Richard W. E., 1909-
[Milwaukee, Wis.] : Milwaukee Public Museum, 1981. 1981

Location Call No. Status
 Beloit Adult Non-Fiction  720.9775 P428h  ON SHELF
 Beloit Adult Non-Fiction  720.9775 P428h  ON SHELF

BOOK1981.

Other relevant

Other relevant titles

entries 3-9

3

Architectural and historical intensive survey report : City of Beloit, Wisconsin

Sheboygan, Wis. : Legacy Architecure, Inc. ; 2016. 2016

Location Call No. Status
 Beloit Genealogy & Local History  GEN 720.9775 Architectural 2015-2016  REFERENCE
And
Beloit City Directories and old phone books at the Library
And
29 Early Beloit City Directories, Phone books, and history books that are digitized online at the Beloit Public Library Homepage: “Beloitlibrary.org”  > “Discover< investigate, Grow” > “Genealogy and Local History” >

Beloit Local History Digitization

And

In the indexes of the “Book of Beloit 1836 – 1936” and “Book of Beloit II 1936-1986”.

And

In the local history pamphlet file.

And

On the many Beloit area historic maps that are in our Library Local History/Genealogy collection.

 

Football and Family History

Football and Family History

Vicki’s note – Everything can be connected back to genealogy and researching your family’s history.  Anything that your ancestors experienced in their lives can help you to understand them.  History is always interesting.  The theories in this Family Tree magazine article seem plausible to me.  What do you think?

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The History of Tailgating

“September 2nd is National Tailgating Day. Tailgating is a widely loved pastime, but where exactly does the activity originate?

Even those that don’t love sports are often willing to take part in tailgating festivities. What’s not to love about sharing (lots of) food and fun with friends while enjoying a much larger sense of community? In fact, it’s actually reported that as many as 35% of tailgaters don’t attend the sporting event being held within the stadium. But where did this tradition of grilling out and celebrating in parking lots before the game get its start? Did our ancestors tailgate?

While investigating, we discovered that there are actually several theories. At its shortest, this activity goes back at least 100 years – while some suggest that the history is much deeper…”

Which of these theories seem the most plausible connection to tailgating?: 

“…has its roots in the bounty of falls harvest.”

It “…originated during the U.S.’s Civil War. …(at) …the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861, voyeurs… (went) …from DC to Manassas, Virginia. …with picnic baskets to watch and cheer on their “team”, Union or Confederate.”

“…a large number of fans…(went)…by train to a Yale football game in 1904. …they had made sure to bring food and beverages to the stadium prior to the start of the game.”

Do you have any favorite stories about your ancestors and sports?  What other autumn stories or Civil War stories have you found?