Wednesday, August 9, 2017

So You Found an Obituary

While I'm taking my time to research the descendants of John and Sarah (Callin) Scott, I figured I'd share one of my favorite tools with you: the Obituary.

When I started out, I didn't really know what to do with an obituary; obviously, you can take information from it and add new names, dates, and places to your family tree, but I learned the hard way that you have to make sure to add the obit as a source for every single detail and do so in a way that makes it clear where every piece of information came from.

Here's an example. To protect the identities of any living people, all names and identifying dates have been changed, but otherwise, this is a real example of an obituary, and how I work it into my Ancestry tree:

Ivy Edith Borden
November 22, 2010 at 5:00 am
Mrs. Ivy Edith Borden, 87, of Townsville, [Wisconsin] died on Tuesday, November 21, 2010 at Townsville Memorial Hospital. She was born on October 6, 1923, in South Townsville, Illinois to Fred and Myrtle (Johnson) Small-Krauss. She was a graduate of South Townsville High School, Class of 1942.
Mrs. Borden worked at the Telephone Company and at the local Chemical Company. She married Julius Borden in 1950. She was an excellent homemaker. She greatly enjoyed bowling, camping, playing cards and working crossword puzzles. Most of all she loved spending time with her family. Mrs. Borden was a passionate Cubs fan.
She is survived by her children: Cheryl Borden - Chicago, Ill; Harold Borden (Pat Andrews) - S. Townsville, Ill; Two grandchildren: Joshua Borden and Richard Borden, both of Columbo, Ill. Also two great grandchildren. Many nieces and nephews including, Gerald and Roberta Yokum and Gary and Ann Sailors.
She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers: Frank, Harry, Lester and Charles. One sister, Ethel Sailors-Mann.
The Memorial Service for Mrs. Ivy Borden will be held at 12:00 p.m. on November 27, 2010 at the Barry Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Cemetery.
Friends may call on Monday, November 27, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. until the time of service.

Finding the Obituary

There are abundant resources for locating obituaries that ran in newspapers. These days, funeral homes often also host obituaries on their websites. For someone who died more recently (ie, since the early 2000s), your best bet is to begin with Google.

If they died further back in time, internet searches become less useful, and you may need to turn to a service like If your ancestor died further back than the 1900s, you would be better off searching through local histories or genealogical surveys which might be available in Google books, the Internet Archive, or a service like Heritage Quest (which you ought to be able to access for free through your local public library).

Knowing what to search for is sometimes difficult. With our example, "Ivy Borden" is obviously Ivy's married name. If you are working "down the tree," as I often am, you may not start out knowing who she married, if she married, or when or where she died. Finding an obituary can be tricky under those circumstances, but it's not impossible.

Let's assume that in Ivy's case, I was researching her mother's line - so if I started with Myrtle Johnson, and found records of her marriage to Fred Small, I might have Census records for Myrtle's family, a marriage record for her and Fred, and possibly the 1930 and/or 1940 Census for Fred, Myrtle, and their other children (Frank, Harry, Lester, Charles, and Ethel).

If I were trying to find Ivy's obituary with that body of starting information, I would probably put this in my search:

Ivy Small obituary Fred Myrtle Johnson

Depending on what I see in my search results, I could add Ivy's birthdate and birthplace (which might not be exact, if I go by the Census records) or I could take out information to try to get better results. Adding the names of siblings may or may not be helpful. With a name like "Johnson," it may be better to leave it out and put a more unusual fact in.

Then, when this obituary turns up in my results, I know I have the right person because the parents and siblings match. (And yes, some obituaries leave a lot of that information out. We work with what we can find.) Obviously, finding the obituary is a skill that one refines with practice over time.

Using Internal Logic

There is a lot of useful information here. On the surface, you find Ivy's husband and children and get confirmation that her siblings all died before she did. You also get some other useful clues about what happened to her family in the time between the 1940 Census and Ivy's death in 2010.

One important detail in this particular example has to do with the location. You might not have noticed that Ivy died in "Townsville, Wisconsin" but was born in nearby "South Townsville, Illinois." It is always a good idea to learn about the geography around your ancestors, but in this case, it is particularly important that you know to search for records in both states. You may have gaps that could be filled in with information from just across the state line.

If you look at the way the obituary listed Ivy's parents - "Fred and Myrtle (Johnson) Small-Krauss" - you can see that Fred Small married Myrtle Johnson, and you can probably guess that after Fred died, Myrtle remarried. If you hadn't known that, it could help you find her obituary or death records under the name "Myrtle Krauss." That kind of information doesn't always show up in obituaries, especially if there was a divorce involved, but when you see it, make note of it.

You can see a similar construction with her sister, Ethel Sailors-Mann. The obit lists Ivy's nieces and nephews, including "Gary and Ann Sailors," so it's a pretty good bet that those are Ethel's children. And it looks like Ethel remarried after their father either died or after a divorce; and since the obit says Ivy's siblings pre-deceased her, you might find more by looking for "Ethel Mann" - either her death records or an obituary of her own.

Document, Document, Document

The first thing I do when I find a new obituary is to create a "Story" in my Ancestry tree. These kinds of stories should be attached to the main person the obituary is about. I either copy the text into that Story or, if I only find a scanned image of the obituary, I upload that as a photo, and transcribe it so I have it in a text format.

( has a nice feature for clipping an obituary or other story and attaching it to the people in your Ancestry tree, but even with my World Deluxe membership, a lot of their papers are behind their paywall. If you can't afford that extra $60/year, it can be a pain to get that text, but it is worth trying. They usually have an OCR version of the page your obit appears on, though the OCR quality may not be great. Take what you can get, and just be sure to save the URL to their page, the name of the newspaper, and the date/page information so you can cite all of that as a source.)

Ancestry stories can be attached to everyone that is mentioned in the story, so I usually go through line by line and make sure that each person named in my obit is added to my tree, and then use the "Add link" to add each person to this story.

Once I've attached this obituary, with all of its sourcing information included, to all of these people, then I go to each person and add whatever facts the obit gave me about them. For example, I added Ivy's son, Harold, and attached the story to him; then I go to his Fact page, and add his wife and his 2010 residence: "Harold Borden (Pat Andrews) - S. Townsville, Ill." Then I make sure that I edit the fact and click on the Media tab to make sure that fact is associated with the obituary's Story.

I repeat this process for every fact I can extract from that obituary. For example, all I know about Ivy's brothers-in-law comes from her sister's name: "Ethel Sailors-Mann." I would add two spouses for Ethel, one "Sailors" and one "Mann," and then attach the obituary Story to each, and make sure their Name fact links to that Story. That's a lot of effort for a small fact, but if I don't get around to searching for their full names right away, I could forget where those clues came from without a proper source citation.

Trust, but Verify

If you started with the information I did, you already knew a bit about Ivy, her parents, and her siblings. Then you found this obituary, and you were probably able to add seven more people to your tree: her husband, children, grandchildren, and her sister's children. You also have a pretty good idea where those individuals were living at the time of Ivy's death.

But that's where the next round of work begins. You need to check for records to confirm all of this new information. U.S. Public Records databases in Ancestry can often verify those residences, and sometimes give you a birth date, too. You may know enough now to look for marriage records, more obituaries, and much more.

Sometimes, especially for living people, it will be hard to find this information. Respect their privacy, and protect their identities - by keeping your files private - but maybe also reach out to let them know that you're researching their family. They may ignore you, but for most families, I find that someone who has lost a parent or grandparent might be interested in learning more about their family history. Be ready to share, and don't pressure them for information until they're ready to offer it!

It's also a good idea to remember that any detail you have found could be wrong. Misspellings, incorrect dates, and other errors could always trip you up. Be flexible, and patient!

 - -- --- -- - 

As always, if you think you might be related to someone in the Callin Family History, I encourage you to reach out. You can comment below, join the Facebook group (link is in the right-hand column), or email my Gmail address, which is callintad.

Happy Hunting!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Update: Located in Illinois

I'm excited to announce another breakthrough; let me refresh the details for you (borrowing from The Rise of the Fergusons):

The year is 1835, and the younger of the Brothers Callin of Ohio, John Callin, has just died of tuberculosis. While the farm where John's children and nephews grew up must have begun to feel crowded by the end of the 1820s, during the 1830s and 1840s these children began to grow up and set off on their own.
Indeed, at least the older of John's children would have been married by the time of his death. His son, George Callin, was married though he may not have moved out to Huron county, yet. His daughter, Ann Callin Campbell, had certainly struck out on her own with Henry Campbell. And we have discussed how his nephew Alec Callin will soon embark on his journey to Iowa, taking wife and children with him, as well as his widowed mother (John's sister-in-law).
The Callin Family History (or CFH) is not very elaborate when it comes to conveying all of this activity and motion. It tends to compact a great deal of an individual's history into very little text. For example, the book has two lines about John's next two eldest daughters which seem to say very similar things, but which have very different stories to tell:
Sarah, born 1808, married John Scott, moved to Ills. About 1840.
Eliza, born 1811, married Jas. Ferguson, moved to Ind. 1851.
This doesn't specify when Sarah and John were married, though it might be safe to guess that it was probably within a year or two of 1830; Sarah would have been in her early twenties, then. But the real tragedy is that we know nothing else about this couple - because none of their children are named in the CFH, and we have no idea where in Illinois they might have gone.
After years of periodically running the same searches without seeing any results, Ancestry has added at least one Ohio marriage database containing a record of John Scott and Sarah Callin, who married in 1823 in Richland county, Ohio. I've also been checking in with other sites when I don't see results in Ancestry, and when I looked for Sarah and John at, I got a death record for a James Callin (1832-1916) which listed his father's name and his mother's maiden name: Sarah Callion.

That's all I needed. I began to pull that thread, and we now have another populous branch to add to the revised Callin Family History!

Joseph Scott was born in Pennsylvania in 1765. He may be the Joseph Scott who appeared in Washington, Pennsylvania, on the 1790 U.S. Census, but according to other researchers, he moved with his wife, Elizabeth Mary (1778-1848), to Ohio where all of his children were born. His oldest child, John Scott, was born in Richland county, Ohio, on 6 October 1798.

John Scott married Sarah Callen in Richland county on 18 January 1823. Depending on which record you trust for her birth date, she would have been anywhere from 15 (using the Callin Family History date of 1808) to 22 (using the date on her Find-A-Grave memorial). John and Sarah had their first three children there in Richland county before the Scott family relocated to Winnebago county, Illinois in about 1836.

North Burritt Cemetery, Winnebago, IL
John and Sarah's fourth child, Rebecca, was apparently born enroute, while they were in Michigan, putting them in that state in 1837. They settled in an unincorporated area called Harrison, near Rockford, Illinois. There, they had three more children. In the coming weeks, we'll look at these children and their descendants in more detail:

  • George Scott (1827–1905)
  • James Scott (1832–1916)
  • Sarah E Scott (1836–1854)
  • Rebecca Scott Sharp (1837–1928)
  • Nancy A Scott (b. 1840)
  • Cyrus H Scott (1843–1931)
  • Lucina Scott (b. 1845)

Sarah and John lived out their lives in Harrison, and died just a few weeks apart from each other; he died on 20 January 1872, and she died on 6 February 1872. They are buried in North Burritt Cemetery

 - -- --- -- -

I have seen several other names of researchers who seem interested in this branch of the family, so I'll be reaching out to them to let them know about this blog and the Callin Family History project. As always, if you are related to anyone named in the blog, I'd like to hear from you.

I'm on FTDNA if you'd like to look for our genetic connection, we have the Callin Family History group on Facebook (be prepared to explain how you're related before I approve any join requests), you can reach me at my Gmail address (callintad), and, of course, you can drop a comment below.

I always appreciate corrections, clarifications, and even new mysteries!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Breaking News: New Find-A-Grave photo for Mary Callin in Muscatine

Thanks to Find-A-Grave member Kelly Muldoon for fulfilling this photo request in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Muscatine, Iowa.

In case you don't recall the post The Distance of Close Connections, here's a quick quote:

Alec Callin, who felt The Pull of the West and moved further, from Ohio to Iowa. Just to refresh you on the details, the CFH says this of Alec:
"Married and moved with his family and mother to Iowa about the year of 1840. The mother referred to was 'Aunt Mary', wife of James 2nd who was killed with a gun. She sold the farm and went with Alec to Iowa where she died some years later. Nothing has been heard from that branch of the family since 1845."
There are several records of land grants to an Alexander Callin, one identifying him as a resident of Muscatine, Iowa in July 1854, and showing that he purchased a plots of land in the young state. There is also a Mary Callin buried in a Muscatine county cemetery, having died in 1846 at age 77.
The existing Find-A-Grave memorial for Mary Callin had that information - and if the photo had only been "head on," it would have merely confirmed what we already knew. I've scoured the records in the area trying to find connections to the Callin family in that area. But because Kelly also posted this photo, I got a bonus clue:

Mary Callin's memorial in Muscatine
(click to go to Find-A-Grave)

 I won't keep you in suspense - the memorial carved on the other side of that stone belongs to one Callin Rayburn. I had seen that name pop up in some of my searches, and it was interesting, but other researchers on Find-A-Grave connect his mother, Eleanor Callen Rayburn, back to the Patrick Callen family from Armstrong county, Pennsylvania.

This isn't concrete proof (pun intended), but it is a clue literally set in stone - at the very least, our Callin family was close enough to the descendants of Patrick Callen to be buried side by side in an Iowa cemetery.

I have a lot of work to do to see if I can find more information, but this is tantalizing and exciting!

(And, as always, if you're related to these Rayburn and/or Callen folks, please let me know! I'd love to compare notes!)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Things Are Looking Opp

I read somewhere recently that only about 7% of available genealogical records are online. So I always have to be careful about accepting records just because they're the only ones that fit what I know. Usually, I can take a record that I'm not 100% sure about, and test it against other kinds of records or searches, and if I can falsify it (meaning, I can use the information in two or more sources to prove that they aren't for the same family), I at least know that I've ruled out an incorrect line of research.

I try to communicate to you when I'm not certain about a detail or a relationship, and I try not to put more information in these posts than I think I can positively prove. This family made that very difficult, so I will do my best to show my sources, and let you decide how much confidence to assign to what I've written here.

The Opp families that lived in and around Easton, Pennsylvania, typically came to Philadelphia from town in the Rhineland during the 1730s or 1740s. They were generally members of the Evangelical Reformed Church (Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche), and many of them can be documented through church records available through Ancestry.

When I began writing up my Opp family, I discovered that I had fallen victim to a couple of common problems. Most of these Opp men I am researching were given traditional Reformation-style German names; almost all of them appeared in earlier records with the first name "Johan" or a variation. Their middle name was typically the name they used once they arrived in America, and it was common to name sons after themselves and their male relatives. As it turns out, I confused two men who lived in Easton and operated taverns - both of whom were named either "Johann Jacob Opp" or simply "Jacob Opp." After reviewing the available records, I think I've figured out who is who.

I suspect that three men with the Opp surname - Jacob, Michael, and Valentine - were either brothers or cousins who emigrated from the Rhineland when they were in their twenties. Their daughters married into families with names like Bixler and Bidleman, which were prominent in their way in the community. The Bixlers, in particular, would be important members of the Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society, which published some of the sources I will cite and runs the Sigal Museum (also at that link) in Easton.

Johan Michael Opp (1732-1803) appears in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-1999 database. He was buried at St. John's Lutheran Church in Easton, Northampton county, Pennsylvania on 28 May 1803. He is listed in many church and tax records as "Michael Opp" or "Michael Opp Sr," to differentiate him from his son, Michael Jr, who lived nearby.

Satellite image of the old Michael Opp farm
The senior Michael was a weaver, and property and tax records placed him in Easton. I took a description of the boundaries of his farm from Historic Easton from the window of a trolley-car, published in 1911, and used Google maps to make the image to the right, depicting the site of the old Opp farm. The Northampton County Courthouse and Prison occupy the western half of what was once Michael Opp's farm.

I believe Michael's wife was called Catharine Elizabeth, but I know very little about her. If my research bears out, then this couple would be my 6th-great grandparents. And their son, Jacob "Junior" would be my 5th-great grandfather. I found a mention of them in two articles published in 1997 in the local newspaper:

J Floyd S. Bixler, an early corresponding secretary of the Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society, wrote a history of Easton's early taverns in 1931. He noted that the Golden Swan Tavern was located at 460 Northampton St. This is confirmed by James A. Wright, whose 1993 history of taverns reaches beyond Easton to encompass all of Northampton County. Jacob Opp Jr., son of Michael Opp, was an early landlord at the Golden Swan. That was before 1813.
The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania; Thursday, July 24, 1997, Page: 13

Bixler tells the story of Theophile Cazenove, an agent for the French Land company on a tour of observation. "This Frenchman was a man of distinctive tastes, and traveled with a coach and four, a valet, a coachman, and a postilion," says Bixler. "He also had an extra saddle horse along for a change when he became weary of his coach." Cazenove stopped at the Golden Swan. He had a party of three men and three horses. Jacob Opp was the proprietor at the time. He charged Cazenove $3.90 for the night's lodging. One assumes this included supper and breakfast. Bixler comments, "Jacob Opp was no profiteer." Profiteer, no. But promoter, yes. Good service and a good price prompted Cazenove to write that the town of Easton could be proud of the Golden Swan. Bixler writes, "As he Cazenove always chose the best hotels, and was a critical judge of the service rendered, we may judge that Opp's Golden Swan Hotel was a credit to Easton in its day."
The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania; Thursday, July 24, 1997, Page: 25

Church records from St. John's Lutheran Church in Easton also establish that Jacob was Michael's son. For a long time, I mistakenly believed Jacob's father was "John Jacob Opp," who is described in two histories of the area:
In September of 1757 this property was conveyed to Adam Yohe, who had previously occupied the premises as a tenant. Yohe conducted a tavern which he called the Red Lion. This was Easton's principal hostelry during the French and Indian War. Yohe disposed of the property in 1760 to George Cungware who still owned it in 1772. Later Jacob Opp became owner and continued to operate the tavern. Just when Opp secured possession is not known but as the 1776 assessment list refers to him as a tavern keeper owning a house it is assumed that he lived here during the war. In 1806 the Orphans Court adjudges the property to Elizabeth, the daughter of Jacob Opp, and the wife of Abraham Horn. Eve, the eldest daughter of Opp, married Daniel Wagener. Opp's daughter Catharine married Christian Bixler.

A frontier village, pre-revolutionary Easton p. 239-240; by Andrew Dwight Chidsey, 1940; Easton, Pennsylvania

Notably, this source ruled out the relationship to my ancestor:
John Jacob Opp, father of Catherine Opp, was born in Chur-Paltz, Germany, in the year 1740, came to the colony of Pennsylvania and died in 1805. He was appointed a commissioner of Northampton county June 22, 1776, to receive bounty money to be paid to the three hundred and twenty-seven men who completed Northampton's first quota to the forces of the Flying Camp, as shown by the muster roll of Revolutionary militia. In addition to the sum of $981, he was also to exchange all saltpetre made in the county, this to be handed over to Capt. George Huber, to be used in the manufacture of gun-powder. John Jacob Opp became a large landowner in Easton, and by his wife, Anna Maria Hoffman, had four daughters, one of whom became the wife of Christian Bixler, the founder of the jewelry business which has been in the Bixler family one hundred and thirty-three years...

History of Northampton County (Pennsylvania) and the grand valley of the Lehigh, p. 316; by William Jacob Heller, American Historical Society, Boston New York etc., 1920
Michael Opp and his wife had at least one other son, Michael Jr. (1767-1843), and a daughter, Anna Margareta, who married Michael Odenwalder (1750–1828) on 8 March 1775. Michael Sr. left behind a will, recorded in an index record in Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993. It looks like I will need to make a trip to Easton one of these days to find that will and learn more about these folks.

Jacob Opp Junior (1763-1848) may have been named for an uncle or grandfather, which suggests to me that Michael Opp Sr. and John Jacob Opp (of the Red Lion tavern) might have been related. Whatever the case, my Jacob - the proprietor of the Golden Swan - married a widow named Elizabeth Reynale, probably around the time of Michael's death in 1803, if not a bit later. Elizabeth had a son from her first marriage, and she and Jacob also had a son in 1811 who they named Henry. Jacob relocated the family to Dansville, New York, around 1814.

Once again, property and tax records seem to support what the local histories published later claim about their biographical information. Jacob figures into the biography of Elizabeth's son, Dr. William H. Reynale:

Dr. Reynale was one of the earliest physicians and surgeons of Dansville. He was born at Quakertown, Hunterdon county, N.J., Feb 27, 1794. Very early in life he lost his father. His mother died in 1835. Soon after his father's death he was adopted by Henry Bidleman, a maternal uncle [N.B. - suggesting Elizabeth's maiden name must have been Bidleman] who was an accomplished scholar... After a severe and critical course of medical reading, he entered the University of Pennsylvania in January, 1811, as a medical student, and was graduated from there April 9, 1814. Soon after this he went to Dansville, at the invitation of Jacob Opp, a connection of Dr. Reynale, who was at that time building the well-known flouring and grist-mill south of Dansville, which is now, and has been for several years, owned by Benj. F. Readshaw.

History of Livingston County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers, pg. 194-195; by James H. Smith, Publisher: D. Mason, Syracuse, N.Y., 1881

And according to his newspaper obituary, "Dr. Reynale came to Dansville for the first time in 1814, with his stepfather, Mr. Jacob Opp." (Dansville Advertiser, Dansville, Livingston County, New York; Thursday, August 11, 1870 - emphasis mine.)

Jacob's move to Dansville was further documented in the History of Livingston County:
[Col. Nathaniel] Rochester took up his residence in Dansville in , and purchased a large tract of land, embracing most of the water power within the village, including the mills built by Daniel Sholl for the Pultney estate. He added to the other mills a paper mill, which was the pioneer of its kind in Western New York. In 1814 he disposed of his property in Dansville, in part to Rev. Christian Endress, of Easton, Penn., and in part to Jacob Opp, from the same place. ...Jacob Opp's purchase, which embraced the present Readshaw mill and site, was made in January, 1814, and in May of that year he moved his family here from Easton. He continued his interest in the mill property till about 1840, and died in Dansville in 1847, aged 84 years. Henry B. Opp is the only one of his family left here.

p. 162

The grist-mill owned by Benjamin F. Readshaw, on the corner of Gibson and Main streets, to which reference has been made in connection with the early settlement of the town, occupies the site of the gris-mill built in 1796 by David Sholl for the Pultney estate. It was soon after burned and rebuilt by Sholl, who eventually became its owner, and was succeeded in possession of the property by Col. Nathaniel Rochester, the founder of the city of Rochester. In January, 1814, Mr. Rochester sold it to Jacob Opp, who owned it till about 1840. The mill contains three runs of stones, which are propelled by water from Little Mill creek, with a fall of thirteen and a half feet.

p. 174

Henry B. Opp (1811–1884) was born in Easton, and at the age of three, moved with his family to Dansville, New York, in Livingston county. Henry was known as a miller, though after his father sold the mill around 1840, when Henry was 29, records list Henry's occupation as farm laborer.

Around 1839, he married Susan Karcher (1818–1903), daughter of William Karcher (1782–1852) and Magdalena Welch (1786–1869). Henry and Susan are my 4th-great grandparents. They spent their entire lives in Dansville, where they had five sons and two daughters.

     I. Henry K Opp (1840–1908) served in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. He was the paymaster aboard the USS Pocahontas. After the war, he married a woman named Mary, and they settled in Wellsville, New York, where he ran a clothing store.
Jacob Edward Opp

     II. Jacob Edward Opp (1842–1913) was my 3rd-great grandfather. He married Mary Elizabeth Palmer, and we looked at their descendants in a previous post.

     III. William Opp (1845–1920) served in the 21st Regiment, New York Cavalry during the Civil War. In 1868, he married Martha E. Fenstermacher (1846–1919), and they raised three daughters:

     A. Theda W Opp (1871–1961) remained single her whole life, working for many years as a saleslady in a dry goods store in Wellsville. About her 70th year, she moved to Rockland, Maine, to live with her niece's family. She is buried in Wellsville.

     B. Adela "Addie" Opp (1873–1954) also remained single, working as a clerk or as a housekeeper to support herself. When Theda went to Maine, she appears to have gone with her, and she, too, was buried in Wellsville after her death.

     C. Edna P Opp (1877–1954) was born in Dansville, grew up in Wellsville, and married William F. Yewdall (1870–1932) in 1901. She moved to Thomaston, Maine, to live near her daughters after his death, and her sisters follow a few years later.

     i. Helen Marlee Yewdall (1908–2008) married Joel Murray Miller Jr (1908–1987), and was 100 years old when she died.

     ii. Margaret F Yewdall (1914–2011) married Dr. Frederick Collins Dennison (1908–1994). He served in the Knox County Hospital for many years. They are survived by their daughter, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

     IV. Amelia J. Opp (1847–1922) She married Samuel H. Peterson, whom you might recall from the post about his grandfather, Samuel Peterson, New Jersey Shipwright. Samuel (b. 1847) was five years old on the 1850 Census, but later records dispute his birth date. On the 1860 Census, Samuel and his sister, Annie, appear listed in the same James Palmer household as their grandfather, Sam Peterson. According to a newspaper obituary for Amelia, they married in 1873, and moved to New York state.

Samuel and Amelia were in Deerpark, New York, according to the 1875 New York State Census, and they were in North Dansville with their daughter and three sons in 1880. When Amelia shows up in 1900, she is listed in North Dansville as a widow, but I have not been able to find Samuel's death records. Amelia lived in North Dansville until her death in 1922, and she was buried near two of her sons in Green Mount Cemetery.

They had a daughter and three sons, altogether:

     A. Susan Peterson was born in 1874, and only appeared in the 1880 U.S. Census. It is possible that she grew up and married, or may have died young. Until some records turn up, I do not know.

     B. James Henry Peterson (1875–1942) lived in East Rochester, New York, where he likely worked for the Foster & Armstrong Company manufacturing pianos. He married Julia H Sullivan (1878–1950) about 1903, and they had five children. The couple is buried in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester.

     i. Charles H Peterson was born about 1904, and appeared in the 1905 New State census and the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Census records with his family.

     ii. Helen Amelia Peterson (1907–1942) married Joseph Seward Little (1897–1939) in 1937. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War I who died just two years later while living in the Veteran's Administration facility in Tucson, Arizona; he was only 41.

     iii. James H Peterson Jr (born 1907) followed his father in the piano-building business.

     iv. George Peterson was born about 1913, and was seven years old in the 1920 U.S. Census, which is the only record I have for him.

     v. John Richard Peterson (1916–1985) married Margaret Jean Race (1926–2003) in the 1940s, and they lived in Rochester, where they raised four sons and a daughter. They were survived by their children and seven grandchildren.

     C. Samuel Hoffman Peterson (1878–1951) was a lifelong bachelor and resident of Dansville. He worked in a plant nursery for many years.

     D. Henry K Peterson (1880–1962) married Charlotte Alice "Lottie" Wilcox (1880–1964). He served as superintendent of mails at the post office at the time of his retirement, and lived in Dansville his whole life.

     V. Lewis Isaac Opp (1851–1927) was a lifelong bachelor who spent his whole life in the Dansville area. He died at 74 of a stroke.

     VI. George Benjamin Opp (born 1859) lived with his older brother, Henry, in Wellsville, from at least 1870. I have not found any records for him more recent than his appearance in Henry's household in the 1880 U.S. Census.

     VII. Mary Elizabeth Opp (1864–1867) died at age 3, and was buried in Green Mount Cemetery, in Dansville, near her parents.

 - -- --- -- - 

There you have it - to me, it always seems like a lot of names, but also a lot of "lifelong bachelors," which makes finding modern cousins tricky. I especially dislike having so many mysterious loose ends, but until more records are online - or I find time to travel around the Eastern seaboard! - they will remain mysterious.

Of course, if you recognize any of these folks from your own research, I'd love to hear from you. I welcome any corrections and updates.

You can reach me at my Gmail address, callintad, or through the comment section below. I'm also on Twitter @tadmaster, and on Facebook. (Be prepared to tell me how we're related before I approve any Facebook requests, though - a boy can't be too careful these days.)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

James C. Palmer and Martha Peterson

James C Palmer was born in April 1814 in New York. He married Martha Peterson (1815–1882) around 1836; they are my 4th-great grandparents. Our previous post focused on Martha's father, Samuel Peterson, and on his descendants.

I know very little about James Palmer, as the earliest record I have found online that identifies him is the 1860 U.S. Census. He appears in four of the U.S. Census records (1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900), three state census records (two for New Jersey, and one for New York), and about 16 city directories, so we know that he was born in New York state (the minority of records say New Jersey), that he worked as a shipwright, like his father-in-law, and that from 1871 forward, he and his family lived in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The family's first documented appearance was in Washington, Middlesex county, New Jersey, in 1860, according to the U.S. Census. The household in that record included Martha's father, niece, and nephew. Sam Peterson died in 1862, and in 1865, the remaining Palmer family (plus two Petersons) lived in Brooklyn, New York, according to that year's State Census. By 1870, they were in Jersey City, and all of the subsequent records show James living there.

James and Martha had four daughters, spread out over 19 years. When Martha died in 1882, at age 66, James lived on his own for about ten years, but eventually went to live with his second-youngest daughter, Sarah Decker.  He died in 1904 at the impressive age of 90.

I. Mary Elizabeth Palmer (1837–1889)

Jacob E. Opp, about 1910
Sources are pretty evenly split on the subject of where Mary was born; most records say New York, a few say New Jersey. As with her father, the earliest record I have that lists Mary is the 1860 U.S. Census. She appears three times in the U.S. Census (1860, 1870, and 1880) and once in the New York State Census (1865). The only other records I have is of her death, in the New Jersey, Deaths and Burials Index, 1798-1971.

Mary Elizabeth married Jacob Edward Opp (1842–1913) about 1867. (They are my 3rd-great grandparents.) Jacob was a Civil War veteran and railroad engineer from North Dansville, Livingston county, New York, and his pension record from the National Archives was very helpful to me when I began researching this branch of the family. I'll talk more about him and his ancestors in future posts.

Mary and Jacob had three children, two daughters and a son. They raised their family in Paterson, Pasaic county, New Jersey, but also appear to have been close to the Opp family in Dansville. After Mary died in 1889, Jacob relocated from Paterson to his daughter's home in Newark, but still appeared in the U.S. Census in his mother's household in Dansville on the 1900, as did his daughter's family (the Freys).

The records imply that Jacob never stopped working as an engineer, driving trains right up until his death from pneumonia on 17 July 1913.

     A. Lillie May Opp (1868–1881) died young, only aged 13 years 6 months. She is buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Dansville, Livingston county, New York.

     B. James Henry Opp (1870–1941) married three times, and had a total of eight children. Because marriage and birth records were sparse, I can't be sure that I correctly associated children with the correct mother, so please let me know in the comment section at the bottom of this post if I need to make any updates.

James was born in Dansville on 11 March 1870, and grew up in Paterson. His first marriage was on 14 July 1889, when he married his cousin, Evelyn Stevens (b. 1870). His mother died in September of that year.

James and Evelyn had two children together, but did not stay together for very long. Evelyn remarried in 1900, and we will discuss her later in this post.

     1. Richard Dana Opp (1890–1944) was born 11 August 1890 in Jersey City, and married Helen Platt (1886–1965) in 1913. A few years later, he joined the New York National Guard in 1917, where he served in the 7th Infantry as a corporal. A couple of years later, he joined his father in relocating to Elmira, New York, where he worked for the Aluminum Ware Manufacturing Company.

I don't know when they were married, but in 1920, he was listed in the U.S. Census with his second wife, Anna S Klein (1890–1973), and in 1922, Helen Platt Opp took her father-in-law, James H. Opp, to court over an unspecified debt.

     a. Richard Dana Opp Jr. (1917–1991) was born on July 22, 1917, in Bronx, New York. He entered the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1937, and would eventually retire from the U.S. Marine Corps at the rank of Lt. Colonel. He and his wife, Ruth O'Connor (1913–2002), had one son and one daughter, both of whom are still living. He died on February 13, 1991, in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, at the age of 73, and was buried in Arlington, Virginia.

     b. Edna Mae Opp (1920–1993) was born on March 28, 1920, in Elmira, New York. She worked in a credit union until World War II broke out, and she then enlisted in the Women's Army Corps (W.A.C.). After the war, her arthritis forced her to move to a hot, dry climate, and so she relocated to El Paso, Texas. She lived there with her mother until Anna's death in 1973. Edna died on June 2, 1993, in El Paso, Texas, at the age of 73, and was buried there.

     2. Lillian Elizabeth Opp (b. 1893) married William Corwin Johnson Jr (b. 1888) in 1916, and we know they had a son (possibly still living), and two daughters: Charlotte Elaine Johnson Bloch (1917–1989) and Lillian Joy Johnson  Franklin (1921–2003).
James married his second wife, Lillian Jones (1871–1915), on 20 January 1896.  James worked in New York City, and the family lived in Newark, New Jersey. In 1900, James's company, Opp & Grundy, went into bankruptcy. Still, he worked hard and eventually got back on his feet.

They had five children before Lillian's death in 1915.

     3. Julian Theyer Opp (1899–1978) was a mechanic who lived in Union county, New Jersey. He married Charlotte L Jacques (1913–1997) around 1930, and they had two daughters, who may still be living.

     4. Lucinda Opp (1901–1902) died before her first birthday, and was buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Westchester County, New York.

     5. Emily A Opp (1904–1917) was born on 23 February 1904 in Kings county, New York. She died just over a month before her thirteenth birthday on 15 January 1917, and was also buried in Sleepy Hollow.

     6. Stanley Walter Opp (1912–2001) was born in New York City, and grew up in Newark, where he met his wife, Eleanor Bertha Ficke (1915–2004). They married around 1937, then lived in Denville, New Jersey, from 1944 until 1973. He was a warehouse supervisor at Bendix Corp. in Teterboro for 29 years, retiring in 1971. They had two children, one son, Stanley Charles Opp (1938–1993), and a daughter, still living.

Stanley and Eleanor then moved to Tuckerton, New Jersey, where he was a licensed optician. They lived there from 1973 until 1989, and retired to Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania. He received his optician degree from Camden Community College in 1980. He also owned and operated, with his late son, the Stanley Shell, later known as Stanley's Sunoco, in Denville.

     7. Dorothy Opp (b. 1915) remains a bit of a mystery; her brother Stanley's 2001 obituary mentioned her (as "Dorothy Campbell") and said she died previously, but did not say when. And she appeared in the 1940 Census in her younger brother James's household in Hillside, New Jersey, where her surname looks like "Comboy" (possibly a mis-hearing of "Campbell").

After the 1915 death of Lillian, James H. Opp's third marriage was to Jessica Viola "Jessie" Owens (1896–1987). They had one son in 1917, and then about a year after that, in 1918, James and his business associates took over the Aluminum War Manufacturing Company headquartered in Elmira, New York. James and his family all relocated to Elmira, and James purchased the famous Glove House there.

James's oldest son, Richard D., worked for him at this company, and James soon took over as president of the company from his partners. But within a couple of years, questions over the company's finances led to the Opps giving up control of the company, and moving back to New Jersey. It isn't clear that anyone did anything wrong, but the newspapers of the time implied that this was a local controversy.

     8. James Henry Opp Jr (1917–2010) married Shirley Cole (1920–1986), and they had two children: a daughter, still living, and a son, James Michael Opp (1956–1989). The family lived in Southern California from the mid-1950s, and James and Shirley are buried in Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park, Westlake Village, Los Angeles county.

     C. Emily Amelia Opp (1871–1913) married Emil C Frey; they are my 2nd-great grandparents, so I will cover their family in more detail in future posts. I told much of Emil's story here on the blog a few years ago in Love and Loss in Old New York (and New Jersey).

II. Emily M. Palmer (b. 1842)

Emily married Alexander Charles Radcliffe (1819–1900)  on November 5, 1871, in Jersey City, New Jersey. They had one son, Loder B Radcliffe born and died in 1873. After Alexander's death, Emily was living in Philadelphia, where she was last seen in 1912. I have not found any record of her death.

III. Sarah D. Palmer (b. 1854)

Sarah was born in May 1854 in New Jersey, and she married James L W Decker (b. 1858) on October 9, 1884, in Jersey City, New Jersey. They had four children in 11 years. They appeared together with their children in the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census, and on birth and death records for the three younger children; there is also a marriage record for them in the New Jersey, Marriage Records, 1670-1965 database.

I don't know precisely when Sarah or James died, but she is listed in a U.S. City Directory at their home on Graham St. in 1918 as "wid. Jas. W." - and she appears in the 1930 Census in the household of her son-in-law, John T. Denmead.

     A. Theresa Decker (b. 1885) last appears in her parents' home on the 1910 U.S. Census, where they lived on Graham St. in Jersey City. She is single and 25 years old, with no listed occupation.

     B. Gordon Thayer Decker (1888–1952) married Marie Augusta Harnisch (1892–1972) on 21 December 1915, and they lived in the house on Graham St. with his parents. Gordon and Marie soon had their daughter, and they moved to East Orange around 1920. Gordon worked as a machinist and engineer until the 1940s, when he and Marie appear to have retired, either to San Diego, or to New York. Marie appears in both New Jersey and San Diego on the 1940 Census; in New Jersey, she lived with Gordon and her elderly parents, and in San Diego, she lived with her daughter and son-in-law.

Gordon died 8 April 1952, and was buried in San Diego, and Marie died there in 1972.

     1. Lois Decker (1917–1977) married Robert Edward Cullmer (1911–1968) of Montclair, New Jersey, probably in 1935. They moved to San Diego, California, where their son was born: Robert Morrison Cullmer (1937–2001).

     C. Grace P Decker (1889) died in June 1889 at five months of age.

     D. Caroline C Decker 1897–1993) was born on March 10, 1897, in Jersey City, New Jersey. She married John Tennant Denmead, Jr. (1894–1939) about 1921. They had six sons between 1922 and 1939, when John died. One son is still living.

Caroline remarried Julius Leo Briegel (1898-1977), and lived in Netcong, New Jersey, for many years. She was an assistant librarian at the Netcong Library from 1957 to 1967. She was a member of the Netcong Board of Education from 1950 to 1967, and served on the Juvenile Conference Committee of Morris County Juvenile Court from 1960 to 1965. She was a World War II Gold Star Mother and a past president and member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Lakeland Post 2347 Ladies' Auxiliary of Netcong.

She died in 1993 in Passaic, New Jersey, at the age of 96, and was buried in Netcong, New Jersey.

     1. John T Denmead III (1922–2013) was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and lived most of his life in the Netcong/Stanhope area. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. during WW II as a water survival instructor in Fresno, California. After the war, Jack worked as a salesman for Vita Frost Frozen Foods until it closed. He then worked as Superintendent of Building and Grounds with Lenape Valley Regional High School for over 25 years before retiring in 1987.

Jack was well known in his community for his historical knowledge of lakes Musconetcong and Hopatcong. He conducted water safety instruction for the Sussex County American Red Cross, certifying lifeguards in the area.

Jack married Patricia Jane Black (1923–1993) in 1943, and was survived by his brother, three children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

     2. Donald R Denmead (1923–1943) enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and served as a ball turret gunner on the B-17 #4230872, 'Ole Puss,' which collided with another aircraft on 16 December 1943. The plane crashed into North Sea, and Sgt. Denmead was lost with the rest of the crew.

     3. James G Denmead (1928–2013) James served in the Marine Corps during World War II, and married Doris Louise Tobin (1923–2002) on 11 October 1952. He worked for Fablock Mills in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, as a computer data and construction manager. He was a member of the Warren Township American Legion Post 293. In his spare time he enjoyed oil painting, and sang with  the Hounds for Harmony Barbershop Chorus in Plainfield, New Jersey.

James and Doris are survived by their daughter.

     4. Bruce P Denmead (1933–1991) was born on June 12, 1933, in Dover, New Jersey, and lived in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, much of his life. He was a dispatcher at Jersey Central Power & Light Co. in Phillipsburg for 28 years before retiring in 1986. He was a member of Westley United Methodist Church in Phillipsburg. He also was a Cub Scout Webelos leader for Pack 62 in Budd Lake.

He died on January 20, 1991, at the age of 57, and was buried in Easton, Pennsylvania. He is survived by his wife, a son, four daughters, and seven grandchildren.

     6. Harry Wadsworth Denmead (1939–2008) was born on April 21, 1939, in Dover, New Jersey. He married Mary Ann Parliment (1940–2013) on 24 October 1958 in Vance, North Carolina, and enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1963-1965. They resided in Netcong prior to moving to the Budd Lake section of Mount Olive Township, New Jersey, in 1965.

Mary Ann was a nurse, working for many years at Dover General and Karen Ann Quinlin Hospice. Harry retired in 1998 after 38 years as a production planner with Westinghouse in Randolph. He was a life member of Stanhope United Methodist Church in Stanhope, and he was a member of the Barber Shop Harmony Society for 50 years.

Harry died on Wednesday afternoon, Oct 1, 2008, at St Clare's Hospital, Denville, after a short illness. MaryAnn died on Friday morning, April 19, 2013 at her home in Netcong after a long illness. They were survived by a son, two daughters, and two grand-children.

IV. Carrie W. Palmer (b. 1856)

When Carrie Palmer married Charles H Stevens (1840–1921) on October 8, 1879, in Jersey City, New Jersey, she was 22 years old. He was a boot & shoe maker with two children from a previous marriage. They had two more children.

Carrie's new step-children were William A. Stevens (b. 1866) and Evelyn Stevens (b. 1870). She is the Evelyn Stevens who married her step-cousin, James Henry Opp (1870–1941). After they divorced, Evelyn remarried George W. Gifford (b. 1868) on 11 August 1900.

Carrie died in 1931 in New Jersey at the age of 75, and was buried in Morristown, New Jersey.

     A. Charles H Stevens Jr. (1882–1923) married Jeannette "Jennie" Kalshoven (1886–1979) in 1908. He worked as a bank clerk, and died at only 41 years of age. They were survived by a son, Charles H Stevens (1910–1985).

     B. Clara R H Stevens (b. 1892) married William Fredrick Wing (1889–1942) on 22 December 1912, and they appeared together in her parents' household on the 1920 U.S. Census - but by 1922, William was no longer listed in Jersey City with Clara. He seems to have remarried by 1925. The last record I have of Clara is her listing in the 1922 U.S. City Directory for Jersey City, living in her parents' home on Grant St.

 - -- --- -- - 

As you can imagine, this is a very time consuming project! I'm planning to continue, but it certainly won't be a weekly exercise.

If you're a relative of any of the people named here, I am always eager to hear from cousins - especially if they can help me fix any mistakes I might have made in the course of my research.

If you've had your DNA tested through, look for me in your Matches; you can reach me through my "callintad" Gmail address (listed there on my profile, too) or you can drop a comment below.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Samuel Peterson: New Jersey shipwright

After spending two years focused on my paternal line, I've been eager to look at the other branches of my family. Since the Callin Family History started with my 5th great-grandfather on the paternal side, it seemed inevitable that I should re-start this blog project by going to the exact opposite end of the tree: my 5th great-grandfather through my maternal line. Records are still sparse online, but perhaps one of these days I'll get the chance to visit the places that have the records that might fill in the blanks. 

Tracing back from my maternal grandmother's mother, Edna Lyle (Frey) Tuttle, here's what I can tell you about her great-great grandfather:

Samuel Peterson (1783-1862) - my 5x-great grandfather

Sam Peterson was a New Jersey shipwright who was born in 1783 in  Cape May, New Jersey. He had three sons and three daughters with his wife Mary between 1814 and 1830. He died on July 9, 1862, in Middlesex county, New Jersey, having lived a long life of 80 years.

Edna Lyle Frey (1895-1985) pedigree chart
click for full size version
There is a great deal that I don't know, and even some of the facts I have may be wrong. I had to make some educated guesses from the available records, but here's a breakdown of the evidence I have.

U.S. Federal Census records for 1830, 1840, 1850, and 1860 show a Samuel Peterson residing in Middlesex county, New Jersey. The first three place him in North Brunswick, presumably in his home with his wife and children; the 1860 places him in the town of Washington (the borough of South River, today), where he is living with the Palmer family.

I believe that James and Martha Palmer are Sam's daughter and son-in-law. There are also two children with the surname Peterson in the household that year: Samuel (14) and Annie (12); other records for Martha and James identify them as a niece and nephew, which I'll talk about in more detail later.

In addition to the four census records, I have an index record from the New Jersey, Deaths and Burials Index, 1798-1971. That record identifies Samuel Peterson, born about 1782 in Cape May, New Jersey; died 9 July 1862 in Washington, Middlesex, New Jersey at 80 years of age. Occupation: Shipwright; marital status: Widowed.

I have not found any records, local histories or old genealogy texts with any information about Sam's parents, but several Peterson families were listed in the New Jersey Tax Lists in Upper Township, Cape May county, during the 1780s and 1790s. (I found records for Aaron, Isaac, Hance, Joseph, Thomas, and a Samuel Peterson - any of whom might be Sam's father.)

Mary Peterson (1782-1852) - my 5x-great grandmother

Mary was born in 1786 in New Jersey. Other researchers give her maiden name as Hoffman, but I have not been able to confirm that with the available records. I only have two records that name her: the 1850 Census, where she is listed in Sam's household in North Brunswick, and the record of her death in the New Jersey, Deaths and Burials Index, 1798-1971. She died on February 17, 1852, in South River, New Jersey, at the age of 66.

Their Children

This section should be considered a work in progress. I had to piece together clues from a lot of different records, some of which contradict each other. There are several common names used across several generations, and children who seem to have lived with aunts and uncles while their parents were still alive, but I'll do my best to piece things together.

Assuming that the children living in their household in 1830 and 1840 were their sons and daughters, I expect to someday find all six of them. There were three boys and three girls in 1830; one girl and two boys in 1840; and one of each in the household in 1850 (the first year that named all household members). Here is the current list of Sam and Mary's descendants, as best as I can prove:

I. Thomas Peterson (1814–1880) - since none of the records I have found online identify Thomas as the son of Sam and Mary, there was a son listed in the "age 15-19" block of the 1830 Census. Also, the 1860 Census shows the Thomas Peterson family living next door to the James C. Palmer family, where Sam Peterson was also living. This is probably the strongest evidence I have to suggest that Thomas is related to our Sam Peterson. So, while I offer the caveat that he may not be a member of this family, the facts that follow are supported by five Census records (1840 through 1880), which place him in the area of East Brunswick, as well as his death record in the New Jersey, Deaths and Burials Index, 1798-1971, and memorials in the U.S. Find-a-Grave database.

Thomas Peterson was born on August 8, 1814, in New Jersey. He had two sons with his wife, Sarah Eliza, between 1838 and 1843. He was listed as a "waterman," "boatman," and "master sloop" in the various census records. Thomas died on October 26, 1880, in East Brunswick, New Jersey, at the age of 66, and Sarah Eliza died January 31, 1906, at age 88. They are both buried in the Washington Monumental Cemetery in South River, New Jersey.

On the 1870 Census, two young men, Perry (age 22) and Isaac (21) are listed as "farm servants" - their race is listed as "black" and their birthplace as "Virginia." They are indexed as Perry Peterson and Isaac Peterson, but the original census does not actually indicate a surname for them, so I'm not sure whether they used the name or not. 

     A. William H Peterson (b. 1838) married Mary F Reid (b. 1839) in 1858. They had one child during their marriage, Martha R Peterson (b. 1860). In addition to six U.S. Census records (1850-1910) that place him in East Brunswick and South River, William is recorded in U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865. 

     B. Theadore F Peterson (1843–1877) was born in 1843 in East Brunswick, New Jersey. He his wife, Louisa, had one daughter, whom they named Carrie, in 1869. He died at age 35 on April 1, 1877. All we know about Louisa and Carrie comes from the three Census records that feature Theadore.

II. Unknown sister - born between 1816-1820, she only appeared on the 1830 Census in the "Females aged 10 thru 14" block.

III. Martha Peterson (1815–1882) - is my 4x-great grandmother; we will go over this family in more detail in a later post. She married James C. Palmer in 1836, and they had four daughters. This family took in Martha's nephew Samuel and niece Annie when Martha's sister-in-law died; and Martha's father, Samuel, lived with them after Mary died in 1852. In 1860, Samuel was listed in the Palmer household with the occupation constable.

IV. James H. Peterson (1821–1900) - was born in January 1821 in New Jersey. He had one son and two daughters with his wife, Sarah A, between 1847 and 1848. He died in 1900 having lived a long life of 79 years. You will notice a significant gap there, as I only have two Census records for James - one from 1850 that shows him, Sarah, and two of their children living in North Brunswick, and then 1900, living with his niece (Martha's daughter), Sarah Decker, and his brother-in-law, James Palmer.

While I have not been able to find James in the Census between 1850 and 1900, two of his children appear in the records consistently. I haven't been able to find records that would explain what happened, but I suspect that Sarah and one of their daughters, Martha, died during the 1850s. That said, there could be any number of explanations for these patterns.

     A. Martha L Peterson (b. 1847) was three years old in 1850, according to the 1850 Census; after that, I have not found records to indicate her fate.

     B. Samuel H. Peterson (b. 1847) was five years old on the 1850 Census, but later records peg his birth date closer to Martha's. On the 1860 Census, Samuel and his other sister, Annie, appear listed in the same James Palmer household as their grandfather, Sam Peterson (the same Sam we started with). According to a newspaper obituary for his wife, he married Amelia J. Opp in 1873, and they moved to New York state.

Samuel and Amelia were in Deerpark, New York, according to the 1875 New York State Census, and they were in North Dansville with their daughter and three sons in 1880. When Amelia shows up in 1900, she is listed in North Dansville as a widow, but I have not been able to find Samuel's death records. Amelia lived in North Dansville until her death in 1922, and she was buried near two of her sons in Green Mount Cemetery.

Because Amelia Opp is the sister of my 3x-great grandfather, Jacob Edward Opp, I plan to explore this family in a future post - there are a lot of Peterson descendants in this branch!

     C. Annie E. Peterson (1848–1880) presents a few tragic puzzles. She does not appear on the 1850 Census, but she and her brother Samuel appear on the 1860 in the home of the Palmer family. Annie apparently married a man named Eugene Morter, and they both appear in the Palmer household on the 1870.

According to the New Jersey, Marriage Records, 1670-1965, she married John A. Darlington on 11 December 1871, and they lived in Brooklyn, New York, according to the 1875 New York State Census. That marriage record names her parents as "James H. Peterson and Sarah Peterson." In 1880, John and Annie lived in Brooklyn with their three sons: James (b. 1872), John (b. 1877), and Orrin (b. 1879).

Tragically, Annie died on 17 June 1880 - there is a record that attributes her death to "consumption," but it also gives her race as "mulatto" (all other records that list race describe her as "white") and the date of death as June 1879, so that may be a different Anna Darlington. Whatever the cause of Annie's death, little Orrin also died a few weeks later on 14 July 1880.

Her husband and two surviving sons remained in Brooklyn, none married or left any children as far as I have been able to determine. The younger John died in 1902 at age 25; his brother James died in 1924. Their father traveled to England, and returned to New York in July 1886. The most recent record I see for him is the 1900 Census.

V. Larisa Peterson (b. 1826) - appeared in her parent's home in 1850.

VI. Samuel Peterson (b. 1830) - like his sister, appeared at home with his parents in 1850.

 - -- --- -- - 

As always, I would be eager to hear from anyone who might be related to any of the families mentioned here. It is a real challenge to research a surname as common as "Peterson," especially when everyone marries someone named either "Sarah" or "Mary" and then names their sons Samuel, James, or John!

But that is the challenge, I suppose, and I wouldn't really have any fun without the challenge.

I can be reached through my Gmail address, which is "callintad" and I will be notified if you comment below. My DNA is in the database, if you are looking for genetic connections.

And happy hunting!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Update: Lillie and Nellie Campbell

Sometimes, the tiniest of clues can lead to a breakthrough.

Just before Christmas, I received an email from someone who came across this blog while going about her own research. She offered to help me fill in some gaps after the holidays, and even though she only told me that she was the widow of the grandson of Lillie May Campbell, that one fact - that Lillie grew up and married - was enough to open up a whole treasure trove of records on Ancestry. Even before hearing back from my new distant cousin, I was able to add about two dozen missing descendants of James Callin to the tree!

Of course, some of those records only raised more questions; if I didn't have someone to ask, I would have no way of answering them myself. So thank you to Barbara for reaching out to me!

As it happens, I have been able to update two families based on what I've learned, so here we go:

Lillie May Campbell (1871–1946)

Lillie was the eldest daughter and the second child of Harrison M Campbell (1837–1924) and Catherine Hoot (1846–1930), the subjects of the post The Campbells Take Missouri (originally posted in January 2015). The only information I had about Lillie in that post was based on her 1800 U.S. Census record, which gave her name and age: "Lillian, age 9."

At 16 years of age, on 27 December 1887, Lillie married George G Weaver (1858–1918) in Morgan county, Missouri. George was a farmer who was born in Fort Scott, Kansas, before the Civil War, and they settled in Haw Creek, Missouri, where they began their family.

They had a son, Roy, in 1893, followed by their daughters Edith, in 1896, and Gladys, in 1900. Sadly, Gladys died at age four in 1904. Eight years later, they had another little boy, Frank.

Both George and Roy died in 1918. George suffered from heart and kidney failure, likely from untreated kidney disease. He was only 59.

Lillie's parents, Harrison and Kate Campbell, are known to have moved to Oregon in 1919, where Lillie's sister, Mary Hodges, had moved with her family about ten years prior. Lillie seems to have decided to move with them, bringing her two surviving children to Oregon with her, only to lose young Frank in 1921.

Lillie married again before 1930, this time to a doctor named George Thomas Darland (1857–1935) whose first wife had died in 1924. He cared for her in Hillsboro until his death in 1935, and then she moved to be closer to her children and grandchildren in Beaverton. She was living with the Cady family in 1940, and died in Washington county in 1946.

     I. Roy R Weaver (1893–1918) grew up in Haw Creek, Missouri, and was farming there in 1918, when he registered for the World War I draft. He died in 1918, and was buried in Verasailles Cemetery in Morgan county, near his father.

     II. Edith Vivian Weaver (1896–1960) also grew up on the farm in Haw Creek, and served as a nurse overseas during World War I. After the war, she moved with her mother and grandparents to Beaverton, Oregon, where she married  Willis Lawrence Cady (1896–1961) on 7 November 1923. Willis's grandfather, Alonzo B. Cady, was the 1st mayor of Beaverton in 1893; his father also was mayor and built the first brick building in Beaverton, which is still standing.

       A. Maxine Elizabeth Cady (1925–2011) attended Beaverton Schools and University of Oregon (Gamma Phi Beta) graduating from the School of Music. In 1946 she married "the boy I fell in love with in the 2nd grade", Bob Barnes. A piano prodigy, Maxine taught piano lessons, and organized the first high school choir at Bethel Congregational Church, becoming Director of Music and Organist in 1955. In 1956 she began teaching music in the Beaverton School District. There she was famous for her elaborate mini Broadway musicals. In 1973, she was awarded Teacher of the Year honors. As a teacher, director and musician Maxine was admired, respected and loved by her peers, but especially by her students.

Following the passing of her husband, Maxine started a new adventure as real estate broker. After her second career, Maxine directed and played for the Way Off Broadway Singers that toured local Senior Centers. During this time she became a companion of Earl Bolliger, a friend since Beaverton High days; they happily shared life's journey until Earl's passing in 2006.

Maxine is survived by her son, three daughters, 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

       B. David Lawrence Cady (1928–2008) was born June 5, 1928, in Portland, Oregon. David was reared in Beaverton and was a 1946 graduate of Beaverton High School. He served in the Army from 1951 to 1952 during the Korean conflict. In 1959 he graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor's degree.

He was a CPA, with his own practice in Gladstone. He retired in 2004. He was a member of Beaverton and West Linn Lions clubs, a charter member of South Park Unitarian Fellowship of West Linn, and served Friends of Clackamas Community College for 20 years.

He and his wife lived in West Linn for 46 years before moving back to retire in Beaverton in 2004. She survives him, along with their son and daughter, and two grandchildren.

     III. Gladys M Weaver (1900–1904) died at age four, and was buried in Versailles Cemetery, where her father and older brother would eventually join her.

     IV. Frank E Weaver (1912–1921) was only nine years old when he died from pneumonia after suffering a case of measles. He died in Forest Grove, Oregon, and he was buried in the Forest View Cemetery there.

There you have the update for Lillie - but in the process of digging for those records, I learned more about her sister, who we only knew as "Ella, age 3," from the 1880 Census! We also solved the mystery of the "Deronshire Campbell" who appeared in the 1920 Census as a grandson of Harrison and Kate. 

 Nellie Viola Campbell (1877–1967)

Nellie was the fourth child, and third daughter, of Harrison and Catherine (Hoot) Campbell. She was born 13 April 1877 in Tipton, Morgan county, Missouri. She married a man called Earl C De Avonshire in Morgan county on 31 July 1907, and moved with him to Indianapolis, Indiana, where their son, Campbell De Avonshire was born in 1908.

Piecing together conflicting clues from the records to get a picture of what happened to Nellie and Earl was difficult, but they were living in Ohio when their second son, Wellington, was born in 1911. Their daughter, Lucille, was born back in Tipton, Missouri, in 1913, but Earl's World War I draft registration card showed they were living in Akron, Ohio, in 1918. This record also gave his name as "Edward Clinton Deavonshire" and I might have ignored it as a different person if it hadn't listed his nearest relative as Mrs. Nellie De Avonshire.

(I don't know whether "Edward Clinton" was his given name and "Earl" an actual title of nobility, or if "Earl" was a nickname. One of his daughter's marriage records says he was born in England, but another says he was born in Virginia; and two other records place his origin in Ohio.))

Nellie and Earl seem to have parted by 1920; Nellie and Wellington appeared in the Census in Washington county, Oregon, near the other transplanted members of the Campbell family. Campbell De Avonshire showed up in that Census living with his grandparents, Harrison and Catherine, in their Forest Grove, Oregon, home - but it mistakenly lists his aunt Frances as his mother. (And calls him "Deronshire Campbell.") Earl shows up (as Edward C) in 1930 in Libertyville, Illinois, running a restaurant with a new wife.

Nellie married again about 1927. Her new husband was the recently widowed Jacob H Shearer (1855–1940). She lost Jacob just two years before Campbell died; and later, in 1949, she married
William Oscar McConnahay (1878–1969), who survived her by two years.

     I. Campbell De Avonshire (1908–1942) was born in Indianapolis, and came with his mother and her family to Oregon around 1919. In 1930, at age 22, he was a patient resident at the Oregon State Hospital for the Insane. He died in 1942, and was buried in the Forest View cemetery in Forest Grove.

     II. Wellington De Avonshire (1911–1930) was born in Ohio, and he was living with his mother in the home of his step-father, Jacob Shearer, in Forest Grove in 1930 when he died at only 19 years of age.

     III. Lucille Frances De Avonshire (1913–1992) was born in Missouri, and lived with her mother and brother Wellington in 1930. She married Russell W Craine (1906-1966) on 31 January 1932 in Vancouver, Washington; they were together for about eight years. She was married again, this time to Fredrick Melvin Graham (1920–1993) on the day after the Pearl Harbor attacks, 8 December 1941, in Vancouver. They lived in Portland.

Based on the obituaries for Lucille and her last husband, Howard Verne Busch (1914–1993), whom she married on 5 July 1952 in Vancouver, they were survived by three daughters, but it isn't clear whether they were his daughters from a previous marriage, or hers. Regardless, Lucille and Howard are buried together in Mountain View Memorial Gardens, Forest Grove, Oregon.

 - -- --- -- - 

I've been lying low the past several months, working on bringing the revised Callin Family History to publication. The computer I was using was not powerful enough to produce the manuscript using Family Tree Maker, and when I upgraded to a newer computer, I was not able to download and install Family Tree Maker, despite having paid extra for that feature in 2014, when I bought FTM in the first place.

Since the new company making FTM wants me to pay $40 for an upgrade, and is charging $80 for the new version, I decided to migrate over to RootsMagic. I've been following Randy Seaver's blog for a while, and he writes about his experiences with various software experiments, and with RootsMagic - click here for an example. The price was right, and the features similar.

While I'm learning and churning, I will probably not be posting with any regularity. If anyone is interested in sending in a guest post, I'd be happy to post that!

And, as always, if you're related to anyone in this post (or any of the previous 137!), please drop me a note at callintad at gmail dot com. Descendants of James Callin are invited to join the Callin Family History Facebook group. And I'm always up to something on Twitter.