Tombstone Tuesday: William Amos

William H Amos

William H Amos

William Amos was my 3x great grandfather.  I believe he fought in the Civil War, but I don’t have any concrete records of that yet.

I think this is a picture of him, as someone wrote “Willie Amos” on it.   The only puzzling thing for me is that the bottom right hand corner says the photo was taken in Illinois, and I have no record of him ever living there.

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(Also, sorry it’s been so long since my last post.  Life has been hectic!)

Friday Faces of the Past: Joseph Jones Family, 1897

photo This is one of those photos which is really priceless, because I had some trouble initially with this ancestor.  Of course, when you come upon a person with a name like Joseph Jones, and you don’t know much else about them, it can be exceedingly difficult to narrow search results down. On the back of this photo, it says Family of Joseph J. Jones, 1897 image There’s also a drawing of some kind of free mason-like symbol, which is drawn in pencil and not pen like the photos caption.  It almost looks like a doodle, and I am guessing it was not drawn at the time the caption was written.

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Back to the picture!

photoThe man on the right is my great great grandfather, Joseph J. Jones, born in England in 1858.  I don’t know when he came to America, but his eldest child Lewis was born in Indiana in 1890, according to the 1900 Federal census, so it was sometime before then.  He was a quarryman in Bloomington, Indiana, where they have huge amounts of limestone and, well, quarries.

The children are, left to right: Lewis, Charlie, Frank, and Elsie Nell, who was my great-grandmother (isn’t she precious with those little curls!).  The woman seated is Nellie May (Hopkins) Jones, my great great grandmother.  The woman standing behind them is Eliza J. Hopkins, listed as sister-in-law on the 1900 census.

Here comes an interesting twist (isn’t there always one!): by the 1910 census, Eliza Hopkins has gone from sister-in-law to wife, and her name is Eliza Jones.  Now, this probably wasn’t all that uncommon in those days.  Family often moved in with one another as a means of survival, especially to help when relatives become ill.

Nellie May (my great great grandmother, seated) was dead by 1900.  This picture was taken in 1897, so helps me narrow down her date of death.  I can tell she is very frail here, so if I had to guess I would say she died (not long after this picture was taken) of consumption, which we now call tuberculosis.

Overall, this picture makes me sad and happy at the same time.  It’s happy because the children look like they are kind of having fun, they are all dressed up, and I like how Joseph is looking over at the kids trying to get them to sit still.  It’s very similar to a modern family photo in that way.

It’s also sad because Nellie May is clearly very ill, and this is my one and only picture of her.  Also, Uncle Charlie will go on to fight in WWI and my great grandma Elsie died young, so when I look at this I feel a bit apprehensive of their futures.

Photographs really do speak volumes, don’t they?

Tombstone Tuesday: Horn Family

As luck would have it, the Horns have a family cemetery in Putnam County, Indiana.  I need to ask the property owner for permission, but some weekend I will definitely take a drive to this spot.

Phebe (Horn) Horn, 4x great grandmother, 1800-1860

Phebe Horn

Phereba (Peele) Horn, 5x great grandmother, 1765-1850

Pharaba Horn

Jeremiah Horn, 5x great-grandfather

Jeremiah Horn

Monument in North Carolina to the Horn family, containing some valuable birth/death date information.  Wouldn’t ya know it, this monument is in Wayne County North Carolina (I think?), which is “on the way” back to Indiana from the Outer Banks.  (See my last post for clarification.)

Something I have found is that if I can get back to ancestors around the American Revolution, there are often dozens of other descendants who have done some research which I can use as a jumping off point.  The Horn family seems to be one of historical import, as I have found a wealth of information on them.  When this happens, I get a kind of two-fold feeling.  The first part is excitement that I found all this great new info, but part of me is a little sad too that I didn’t get to it first!  Kind of takes the fun out of the detective work…but just a little!  I do appreciate the hard work of fellow descendants, though.

Motivation Monday

If you follow my twitter account, you already know that I am planning a vacation to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and the Outer Banks, North Carolina.  Of course these are great locations for any trip, but I think they are especially fantastic for any history enthusiast or genealogist (or “nerd”!).  I have been to both sites once on a family vacation around 15 years ago, and I loved it, but I was around 12, so of course I couldn’t fully grasp the magnitude of the historical sites I was taking in.

My husband and I are thinking of going around the end of May, which means I have about 2 months to accomplish my research goals before we set out on our journey.

I know that I can trace some of my family to both Virginia and North Carolina.  What I would love to be able to do is either locate the grave sites, former homes, or other significant places of those ancestors so that I can see them and take some photos for my records.  Obviously, I won’t go hours out of our way to take a shot of a headstone (that wouldn’t be a fun trip for my husband!), but if I can locate something fairly “on our way,” then that would be amazing.

Here is where it gets a little tricky: I don’t know where many of these particular ancestors are buried, and I have few records for my colonial ancestors.  Find a Grave is a great resource, but it only has so many graves indexed and often very old graves are hard to read.

Luckily, only a few of my surnames are possible matches for the areas we are going to, so that does narrow it down a bit.  My research will be focuses primarily on:

  • William S. Daugherty (1867-1935 Indiana), my great-great grandfather’s family.  It appears most of his entire line, through his great-great grandparents were either from Virginia or resided/died there.
  • Hardy Horn (1838,North Carolina-1900, Indiana), my 3x great grandfather’s family.  He fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.  Almost every one of his ancestors were from North Carolina or Virginia.
  • Elias Simpson Bowden (1793 North Carolina-1881 Tennessee), my 4x great grandfather’s family.  It looks like almost all of his family was from North Carolina/Virginia (some I have tentatively marked down as far back as 1699!)  I believe he is a veteran of the War of 1812.
  • Clark Franklin (1803 either Virginia or Tennessee-1880, Indiana).  I know that the Franklin side has been in America for a very long time, and have a strong hunch they have roots in Virginia/New England.  This is one of my brick walls.

I know this seems like I bit off more than I can chew, but I am really looking forward to giving my research some focus.

In college, my major was history and I focused primarily on American colonial history, so this trip is really exciting for me.  Even if I don’t uncover anything particular to my family, it will be neat just to experience some of that history in person again, now as an adult.

Have you ever taken a trip for family history or genealogy?  How did you prepare?  Do you have suggestions of “must see” sites or activities in the Outer Banks or Colonial Williamsburg?

Church Records Sunday

Today I’m featuring baptismal certificates and other documents relating to those baptisms.  These come from my collection of Prussian documents from the Schmeling/Schessow (once spelled Schohsow) family.  I can’t tell the specific denomination, but my grandma was Lutheran, so I imagine these were all from a Lutheran or Protestant church in Prussia.

(I bet they would have some words to say about my being Catholic!)

Here I have my great-great grandfather Franz Friedrich Schohsow’s baptismal certificate from February 15, 1856.  I cherish this record because it lists his parents’ names, which were previously unknown by me, Gottlieb Schohsow and Dorothea Claudin (Tesh or Jesh) Schohsow.

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Next I have my great-great grandmothers baptismal certificate from 1858.  Her name was Luise Wilhelmine Friederire Schmeling, and her parents’ names were Joachim Friedrich Schmeling and Wilhelmine Friedricke (Ehmre) Schmeling (which I wouldn’t have known without this document).  This is an interesting document because it shows her baptism as 1858, but it is signed in 1870.  Maybe she had to prove her baptism in 1870 for some reason?  I am not sure.

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The next set of documents  are from 1884 and have both my great-great grandparent’s names on them, but I can’t find the name of the person being baptized anywhere.  This puzzled me at first.

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However, the 1900 census shows that they had a daughter, Minnie, around 1884, and her birthplace was Germany.  I think I solved that little mystery!  I have concluded that these are Minnie Schessow’s baptismal certificates, which her parents brought over with them when they came to the United States.

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Isn’t it a great feeling when you can connect the dots?