Russell County Resources – Births

Unless you’ve been on a long vacation, you’ve probably heard that FamilySearch is ending the microfilm lending program on Friday.

Update: Due to a software glitch that was preventing people from ordering microfilm, the deadline has now been extended. You may still order microfilm through Sept. 7.

I have ordered my fair share of microfilm so I was sad to hear this announcement. But actually, this is good news for us because they are working toward making all of these records available on their website for free! So as they end their lending program, they are ramping up their digitizing efforts! In fact, they are currently digitizing 1500 rolls of microfilm daily and are getting those up on their site as quickly as they can! Their goal is to have this project completed by the end of 2020.

So I wanted to begin a list of all of the digital records available for Russell County, Kentucky. I will focus first on FamilySearch, but I do intend to list records from other sites as well. This will be a work in progress and I plan to compile each blog post into one tab at the top of my page – Russell County Resources. I’m also going to make a few notes as I go so that I don’t have to look at a record to know what it contains.

Click on the following links for go to each set of these records. (Text in red is a link.)

Russell County, Kentucky Births:

(These are not birth certificates, but birth registers.)

Information found:

  • Name of child
  • Sex
  • Condition (living/still born)
  • Place of Birth (County)
  • Name of Father or Owner of Child
  • Maiden name of Mother
  • Color of child (white/mulatto/black)
  • Residence of Parent (County)
  • Remarks (such as “illegitimate” or “twins”)

Family Search:

  • 1852 – images 184 – 186
  • 1853 – images 188 – 190
  • 1854 – book cover says 1855, but dates are for 1854. Page 4 is filmed twice. images 194 – 198
  • 1855 – images 200 – 203
  • 1856 – images 206 – 208
  • 1857 – images 211 – 212, filmed a 2nd time with 1 additional page (also filmed twice) – images 215-218
  • 1858 – book cover says 1859 – images 221 – 224
  • 1859 – no book cover image but the assessor note at the front says 1860 – images 226 – 229
  • FamilySearch catalog says this roll also contains 1903-1904, but it is not included.

1903 – 1904  – only available to view from a Family History Center or FamilySearch affiliate library (assuming it was moved from the viewable files listed above).

1905 – 1906 – only available to view from a Family History Center or FamilySearch affiliate library

1908 – 1909 – only available to view from a Family History Center or FamilySearch affiliate library

Ancestry:

  • 1852 – 3 pages
  • 1853 – 3 pages
  • 1854 – 4 pages
  • 1855 – 4 pages
  • 1856 – 3 pages
  • 1857 – 5 pages
    • 2 pages not included on FamilySearch. These pages are duplicates of the first 2 pages of 1875.
  • 1858 – 4 pages
  • 1859 – 4 pages
  • 1867 – 1 page
  • 1874 – 4 pages
  • 1875 – 6 pages
  • 1878 – 5 pages
  • 1903 – 4 pages – Beginning to see town names for Residence instead of County only
  • 1904 – 3 pages
  • 1905 – 1 page
  • 1906 – 1 page
  • 1908 – 1 page
  • 1909 – 4 pages
  • 1910 – 1 page
Advertisements

Adding a simple photo border with Gimp

It’s funny how something so simple can make such a big difference. Adding a border to a digital photo can help to make the image stand out on your page so much! It can add some contrast and helps to draw your eye to the subject – especially when looked at a photo that has faded with time.

1945 Betty in snow   1945 Betty in snow with border

(WordPress is adding the white border and shadow around these pictures.)

These short videos will teach you some basic skills that we will eventually be putting together into more creative projects.

So whether you are adding a photo to a web page, newsletter, calendar, genealogy report or PowerPoint presentation, learn how to use the free photo editing software, Gimp, to add this simple border to a digital photo.

Don’t have Gimp? See my last post to learn how you can download this free software.

 

 

Simple (FREE) Photo Editing

I LOVE photographs! When I run into family that wants to show me photos of my ancestors, I’m just in heaven!

I recently had an email from a “cousin” who asked me if I knew how people were adding text to digital images because sometimes extra information – sometimes called “metadata” – we add to a photo with a photo viewer on the computer gets lost when we share the photo with someone else – especially if their computer is not using the same operating system that we are.

There are a lot of photo editors out there and many of them are quite pricey! And let’s be honest, if we’re spending money, we’d rather be getting access to new records or perhaps ordering a new dna test for a relative! We don’t want to have to spend a lot of money to do basic tasks like adding a border or text to a photo or document.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to make some video tutorials. I’m planning to start with very short videos showing very basic things that I think everyone would like to do including adding a border to a photo and adding text to a photo. I’m thinking of building toward a nice Christmas project, so if you’d like to try to learn some basic photo editing tools, I hope you’ll join me. I promise to keep the videos short and simple!

So I want to talk about a program that is available for Mac as well as PC and is FREE. I wanted something robust enough to do some major editing to photos if a person knows how to do that but is also easy to find tutorials for if you’re a beginner who wants to learn how to do more. The program I recommend is called Gimp.

1_-_Download

Gimp is open source software and it is pretty much a duplicate of Photoshop except that most of the icons look different. If you go to YouTube and look for videos on using Gimp, the list is quite long! So for really heavy photo editing, you’ll want to look for tutorials on that. And if you see a tutorial for something on Photoshop, chances are really good that you’ll be able to figure out how to do the same thing using Gimp once you are familiar with their icons.

If you’d like to work along with me, you’ll need to download Gimp from their site.  Once you are on the downloads page, the website will automatically determine if you are on a Mac or PC and will give you the link for the download. If they are not correct, there are options to select the version that you need. I used the “download directly” button.

2_-_OS

Once you have downloaded the file, you will need to find the .exe file – probably in your downloads folder.

3_-_exe_file

Click (or double click) the .exe file and the program will open. Click on the “Install” button.

4_-_Install

The process of installing and starting the program did not take long, but don’t be alarmed if it seems to take a while as it looks for fonts and other assets that you already have on your computer.

5_-_Startup

If you use multiple monitors, like I do, you may find that there are different parts of the program on different screens. This allows the user to have as much work space as possible. I have 3 monitors and found a “dock” on each of my two side monitors. I pulled them onto my main monitor to take this screen shot.

6_-_Multiple_Windows

If you’d like to bring everything onto one screen, go to the “Windows” tab at the top of the screen and select “Single-Window Mode” from the drop down menu. Once selected, this option will remain enabled until you turn it off, even if you close the program.

6 - Single Window Mode

And now, we’re ready to begin! So if you’d like to give the program a try, I recommend that you download it and get ready to do a little editing. The options available with the program are incredible!

Lite Genealogy

What do you work on when you can’t go “full bore genealogy”? I’ve been sick for a week now. I am sick of being sick. Sometimes when you’re ill, you still have a list of things that must be done. But today, I had nothing on my “must do” list, so I’ve had a light genealogy day. Meaning that I am significantly medicated and don’t have enough brain power to really think through genealogic. But I didn’t want to totally waste my day with naps and vegging in front of the tv, so I tried to think of things I could do that would be helpful later when I’m back to full geneastrength.

I decided that I would spend small chunks of time looking at source citations in my group sheets. I really struggle with creating “correct” citations, so I figured that working with something that I could copy and modify would be good. As I go, I’m trying to keep a “catalog” of the citations I create so that I can use them as templates as I go through my group sheets because I use the same sources for multiple families.

As I look at the week ahead, I see potential for more light genealogy days, so what else could I be working on?

  • Confirm that all of my digital genealogy files follow my standard naming convention
  • Take a look at “easy pickings” leaf hints on Ancestry. I enjoy using the Ancestry app on my iPad for this. I usually find tons of records for collateral lines that I don’t traditionally research from the website. It might be nothing but census records – and that’s about the speed I can handle when I’m medicated.
  • Update my catalog of online resources that I keep on Trello – anything new on FamilySearch?
  • Print out and read the notes that I’ve assembled on ancestors with the goal of marking up the document with questions that come to mind as I read. What else could I add to my notes to make them more complete or more enjoyable for family members to look at?

No real research for now. In my drug-addled state, it would be too easy to miss an important fact or come to an incorrect conclusion. But this is a good time to do some easy research or general housekeeping items to make my research time later even better.

Digitally Organized

A little while back, I had a question from Tammy who asked how I organize my digital files. I was hoping to answer her question much sooner, but “life” got in the way. Sorry for taking so long Tammy!

Everyone needs to have a system that works best for their own thought process. But here is an overview of what I do.

First, I wanted to have a place in the cloud where I could access every document whenever and wherever I want. I decided to use Google Drive for a number of reasons:

  • 15 GB of free storage for each gmail account.
  • It doesn’t matter if I’m on my home computer, library computer, family history center computer or iPad – I can look at these files from anywhere.
  • The ability to organize files for specific lines simply by having a different email address for each line. For example, I have several different gmail accounts and one of those accounts is specifically for my mother’s family and another is specifically for my mother-in-law’s family. These are the 2 lines that I do the majority of my research in. I do have accounts for my father’s and father-in-law’s families as well.
  • It’s easy to share a folder with a cousin who is also researching the same line. They can also add documents to the Drive folders.

Google_DriveIn this image, the top account is my work email and the remaining accounts are all genealogy related. I do have a couple of additional accounts, but they don’t show up in my list because I haven’t used them in a while.

Another advantage to having several email addresses is that I can email documents directly to a specific email address and know that they will be waiting for me to sign in and get them where they need to be. No more wondering which flash-drive something is on.

Once I’ve signed into an account, I am able to access the Google Drive that I need.

Level_1

Level 1

Within each Drive, I’ve created a set of folders to match my 5 gen chart. I have them numbered so that they appear in my Drive in the same order as they appear in my chart. I call this Level 1 of the system. If I have a significant number of records for another generation back, that is also indicated in the folder name. For example, folder 3 has files for Scott and Wade.

I do have a few additional folders based on whatever documents I have. For example, a folder just for maps and another for research aids.

Level 2

Each surname folder you see here contains 5 folders.

Level_2

Level 2

These folders are based on the way that I keep my research. I do have genealogy software, but I rarely use it. I use Ancestry extensively and I try to upload any documents to my Ancestry account that I have not found through Ancestry. This gives me a 2nd backup if anything were to happen to my files. I also keep detailed notes for each person, so I don’t like to take additional time to add details and citations to a software program. One thing that I do use genealogy software for is for printing charts and reports. When I need that, I usually download my Gedcom from Ancestry for the sole purpose of printing the chart.

Level 3

Excel:

I use Excel extensively so I keep all Excel files that I create for a specific surname in the Excel folder. This would include any databases I am putting together, timelines, resource lists, etc.

Group Sheets:Group Sheets

I have my own Group Sheet template that I use, so all Groups Sheets for a specific surname (or FANs for that surname) go into that folder.

There are times when there are 2 men with the same name, so I name these group sheets with the man’s name, (birth year-death year) and the wife’s name. That way, I can quickly tell if Group Sheets are for 2 different men or for the same man with more than one wife.

Just a note that the Mercer County Smith’s are a potential line that I am following, so they get a folder of their own.

Notes:

NotesI keep very detailed, chronological notes for each couple that I am researching. These are Word docs that get updated every time I find a new source, so those are all in the Notes folder.

In these notes, I add

  • Document images
  • Links to documents saved on Google Drive
  • Transcriptions of sources
  • Maps from the time period
  • News clippings
  • Notes on what I’d expect to find – for example, a pre-1850 census yet to be located
  • Theories I’m trying to prove or questions I need to research further
  • Correspondence with “cousins”
  • Posts from this blog to help me remember a thought process or to keep track of what I planned to research next. Because quite often, a significant amount of time will pass before I get back to that question.
  • And I always try to create a correct, complete source citation for each fact, to the best of my ability.

Sample_Notes

People:

PeopleAs I collect documents that are for a specific person. I place them into the People folder. Every person associated with that surname gets their own folder.

Again, I’ve added dates after most of these names to help me tell the difference between men with the same name.

At this point, you need to have a system that you can easily follow for naming your files. I like to have everything in chronological order. Whether I am collecting for 1 person, 1 family or 1 cluster, I like that my documents give me a timeline of what is going on and where each person is. So here is the “template” that I use to name files that I’ve downloaded or scanned.

Year, County, Type of Book, Page number, Person’s name.

John_M_Smith

If I were to open the folder for John M. Smith, you would see folders for his children followed by each document I have for John. Obviously, one of John’s children is my direct ancestor, so he would have a folder of his own apart from John’s folder. I not only keep scans of documents here, but also any transcriptions I’ve done of that document.

 

Places:

PlacesMy last folder is for Places. This folder is for documents that don’t necessarily belong to a specific person. For example, when researching county records, I often scan every listing starting with the letter “S” so that if I need to find another person with the surname “Smith”, I don’t have to go back and look for it again. I also include any historical information for that specific county. It might be about a battle that took place there or the story of a cemetery being moved to a new location.

Some of the sub-folders contained here would be:

  • Indexes
  • Court Records
  • Deeds – often broken down by specific book or time range
  • Tax Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Will Book and Pension Records

So that’s it! It took me quite a while to come up with this system, but it works like a dream for me!

John J. C. Harris Case Study

My “cousin”, Beverly Duncan, has written a case study to answer the question, “Was John J.C. Harris, son of George Fuller Harris and Phebe Bailey Harris, of Russell County, Kentucky, the same John J.C. Harris who lived in Horse Creek, Dade County, Missouri,in about 1870, then back to Russell County, Kentucky before 1880?” She asked if I’d be willing to publish her case study here and is hoping to hear from anyone who might also be researching this line.

—–

Was John J. C. Harris, son of George Fuller Harris and Phebe Bailey Harris, of Russell County, Kentucky, the same John J. C. Harris who lived in Horse Creek, Dade County, Missouri, in about 1870, then back to Russell County, Kentucky before 1880?

THE HARRIS HOME, 1850 RUSSELL COUNTY, KENTUCKY

In 1850, John J. C. Harris lived with his parents, George Fuller Harris and Phebe Bailey, in their home, near Somerset, Dist. 2, Russell County, Kentucky.[1]  The 1850 Russell County, Kentucky, Dist. 2, census did not list the relationship to the head of the household.[2]  From their marriage record and the 1880 Kentucky census for Russell County, Phebe became George’s wife and was the mother of his children.[3] [4]  The occupants of George Harris’ home in 1850 were[5]:

Table_1

Another daughter, Victoria Elizabeth was born 3 December 1853, in Russell County, Kentucky, to George F. Harris and Phebe Bailie, residents of Russell County, Kentucky.[6]

GEORGE FULLER HARRIS, 1855

After having ten children together that in 1855 were as old as 24 years and as young as 2 years, on 11 February 1855 George Fuller Harris married his companion of 25 years, Phoebe Bailey, in the home of George F Harris, witnessed by W.F. Harris, J.J.C. Harris, and Agnes Fuller.  George and Phoebe were married by Moses H. Wilson, Minister of the Baptist Church.  George Fuller Harris died at the age of 52 on 6 July 1855 in Russell County, Kentucky. He was buried in the family plot, on his father, Theodore Moses Harris’ farm in Russell County, Kentucky.  In George Fuller Harris’ will, he states:

“Fourth – I will and bequeath unto my son John J. Critton [Crittendon] Harris Bailey all my land lying on the large fork of Wolf Creek not included in the deed made to Francis M. Harris Bailey, also one horse colt and cow and calf, two sheep, and sow and five shoats which he now claims.”

The total acreage of the land was not stated.  All the children mentioned in George Fuller Harris’ will were referred to as “Harris Bailey”.  This may take into consideration the parents’ late marriage.

CONFIRMING VITAL DATES

On the draft registration John J. C. Harris signed in February 1864, he stated his age on 1 July 1863, was 26, which calculates to a birth year of 1837, and agrees with the 1850 census and the date of death on his tombstone.[7]  Visits to Ethel Cemetery, Ethel (near Collinsville), Grayson County, Texas confirmed the birth date on his tombstone as 3 Sept 1837; his death date as March 19, 1896.[8]  John J. C. was buried next to his wife, Martha Ann Floyd who died 31 May 1895.[9]

JOHN J. C. HARRIS AND MARTHA ANN FLOYD MARRIED AND BEGAN THEIR FAMILY

On 3 March 1856, John J.C. Harris and Martha Ann Floyd were married in Pulaski County, Kentucky by M.[atthew] Floyed [Floyd], witnesses were Marion Harris and Rona Floyd, [relationships unknown].[10] [11]  In 1860, the census for Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky showed that John J. C. and his new family, consisting of Martha, age 25 born KY; George, age 3 born KY; and John, age 1; born KY, lived near Somerset, Pulaski, Kentucky. John’s occupation was recorded as Bap[tist] Clergyman.  They owned real estate valued at $500. [12]

Table_2

 

JOHN GOES TO WAR

John J. C. Harris served in the Civil War, 3rd Regiment, Kentucky Infantry, Union Army, Company D, as a Private.[13]  He enlisted 5 November 1861, at Camp Wolford [KY] for a period of three years[14].  He appeared on the Muster-In Roll on 1 January 1862 at Camp Boyle [KY]. The Special Muster Roll of April 10, 1863 stated that John J. C. had been absent, sick at home, in Russell County, Kentucky, since 15 March 1862. All persons subject to do military service between the age of twenty and thirty-five were enumerated in the month of February 1864. John J. C. Harris was included in this enumeration with comments written beside his name: “12 mo. 3 K Inftry.”[15] He has contracted measles, typhoid, kidney trouble and other diseases during his military service.[16]

BACK HOME IN RUSSELL COUNTY, KENTUCKY

The tax list for January 1866 listed J. J. C. Harris in Russell County, Kentucky, paying a tax of two cents per lb. on 18 lbs. of cotton.  The tax of thirty-six cents was paid on 28 December.[17]

In 1867, the Salem United Baptist Church, Russell County, Kentucky, named John J. C. Harris as moderator and Martha Ann Harris as charter member.[18]  These three items support the fact that they lived in Russell County, Kentucky very close to the time they leave Kentucky for Missouri.

HORSE CREEK, DADE COUNTY, MISSOURI, 1870

John Jefferson Crittendon Harris, a lifelong, stable resident of both Russell and Pulaski Counties in Kentucky left the familiar Kentucky area, went to Horse Creek, Dade County, Missouri and was enumerated there on the 1870 census.  The occupations recorded on the 1860 through 1880 census all agreed that he was a clergyman.  John J.C. Harris was found on the 1870 census living in Horse Creek township, Dade County, Missouri, occupation – Minister of the Gospel.  He owned real estate valued at $664.[19]  We do not know the physical location of the property included in this amount. The amount may include the land in Kentucky left to John J. C. by his father. It may be land purchased in Missouri, or even elsewhere. Searches in Missouri tax lists have not returned any tax paid by John J. C. Harris.[20] The 1870 census enumeration instructions told us that the property did not have to be in the enumeration district or in that county.

1870 Census Enumeration Instructions excerpt:

“Property -Column 8 will contain the value of all Real Estate owned by the. person enumerated, without any deduction on account of mortgage or other incumbrance, whether within or without the Census subdivision or the county. The value meant is the full market value, known or estimated.”[21]

Without knowing exactly where the land is, nor the dates of purchase or sale, we do not know how “permanent” he intended to be in Missouri. When he came to Missouri, had he immediately bought land, we would have a better idea that he had intended to stay for a longer period.  Tax and land records for John J. C. Harris, in Missouri were researched, with negative results.[22]

Table_3

 

Per John and Martha’s son, Samuel A. Harris’ death certificate, he was born 13 August 1866. Comparing the 1870 census date of 14 June 1870, he would have been 3 years, 10 months of age. However, the census reported his age as 2, which made his birth date 1867 or 1868. With this conflict, we cannot use his age to estimate when the Harris family moved from Kentucky to Missouri.[27]

On 22 March 1870, John C. Harris was appointed chaplain of the new Masonic Lodge at Arcola, Missouri, a village 10 miles north of Greenfield, Missouri. This was before the census was taken.[28]

During the years 1867 – 1872, John J.C. Harris was included as a minister in Dade Co., Missouri, therefore, marriages he performed would have been included in Marriage Book “B” covering 1867-1872. There are no entries in Marriage Book “A” for him because John J. C. and Martha Ann lived in Pulaski and Russell Counties in Kentucky during 1863-1867, the time span covered by Book “A.” After searching through the Marriage Records, Dade County, Missouri, page by page, records of the marriages John J. C. Harris (officiant # 47) performed were not found in this compilation.[29]  Multiple searches for newspapers in Missouri from 1865 to 1880 did not yield any information on John J. C. Harris or John Harris.

BACK HOME IN RUSSELL COUNTY, KENTUCKY…AGAIN

In 1880, we found the J.J.C. Harris family back in Russell County, Kentucky, occupation – preacher. [30]   The family members listed there were:

Table_4

 

A DAUGHTER BORN IN MISSOURI, 1871

Find A Grave entry for Victoria Elizabeth Lowry, born 25 Jan 1871, Missouri, and died 20 April 1952, Bryan County Oklahoma, buried in Old Bennington Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Bennington, Bryan County Oklahoma.[31]  Victoria’s birth in 1871, Missouri, supports the hypothesis that the family or at least her mother was in Missouri in 1871.[32]

MINISTER AND FARMER IN TEXAS AFTER 1880

John J. C. Harris was minister of Crossroads Baptist Church of Christ [now known as First Baptist of Celina], Celina, Texas in 1884.  Information was found by the church secretary in an 1895 Church publication that contained a listing of ordained and licensed ministers from every church in the association. John J. C. Harris was listed as an ordained minister from Ethel, Texas.[33]

Besides preaching, his other occupation was farming as confirmed in his compiled Civil War Service Record, image 25. He had maintained a farm throughout his entire life and provided his family and their animals with food and grain.  Farming was the “lay of the land” for any rural family, during the era.[34]

SUMMARY

John J. C. Harris of Russell County, Kentucky has been proven to be the same John J. C. Harris who moved to Missouri about 1870.  We have also proven that John J. C. Harris was back in Russell County, Kentucky before 1880.  This is the same man.

There was no census found that showed a relationship to the head of household with John J. C. Harris and George Fuller Harris in the same household, other than the 1850 Russell County, Kentucky census, when John was age 13.[35] George Fuller Harris gave us the confirmation of the relationship between him and his son, John J. C. Harris, when he left a parcel of land to John in his Last Will and Testament.

The 1870 census, their daughter’s 1871 birth in Missouri, and the continuity of the members of the family in 1860 and 1880 census, confirm that the John J. C. Harris family from Russell County, Kentucky, was the same family that went to Horse Creek, Dade County, Missouri, then returned to Kentucky before 1880. Following is a table that compared the census from 1860 through 1880 to prove the same family moved.[36] [37] [38]  Names and ages were appropriate for these to have been the same family.

Table_5

 

With all the facts reported here, the exact reason or date they went to Missouri has not yet been discovered. They left Kentucky for Dade County, Missouri after 1867 and returned to Kentucky before 1880.  Because of his long-time work with the Baptist Church, it leads to supposition that the Church asked him or he volunteered to go to Horse Creek, Dade County, Missouri to help them get their church started and possibly even help build their building.

Shown below is a list of the places that John J. C. Harris and his family lived during and after the Civil War.  These residences were listed in his Compiled Service Record.[42]

Table_6

 

They made at least one more move after this – to Ethel, Grayson County, Texas where Martha Ann (Floyd) Harris died 31 May 1895, followed by John J. C. Harris’ death on 19 March 1896. They are buried together in the Ethel Cemetery.

—–

[1] 1850 U.S. Census, Russell County, Kentucky, population schedule, Second District, page 33 (written), page 267 (stamped), family of George Harris, dwl 385, fam 385; image, Ancestry.com (http://Ancestry.com : accessed 12 Feb 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 217.

[2] Ibid.,

[3] Kentucky County Marriages, 1783-1965, Marriage license and return of George Fuller Harris and Phoeba Bailey on 11 February, 1855, Ancestry.com (https: http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Feb 2017), citing FamilySearch.org (familysearch.org : accessed 20 Feb 2017) image, FHL film no. 594,312.

[4] 1880 U.S. Census, Russell County, Kentucky, population schedule, Enumeration Dist. – No. 101, page 18B (written), dwl 159, fam 159, family of John J. C. Harris; image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 12 Feb 2017); citing NARA microfilm production T9, roll 441; FHL film 1,254,441, page 519B.

[5] 1850 U.S. Census, Russell County, Kentucky, population schedule, Second District, page 33 (written), page 267 (stamped), family of George Harris, dwl 385, fam 385; image, Ancestry.com (http://Ancestry.com : accessed 12 Feb 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 217.

[6] Ancestry.com, Kentucky Birth Records 1847-1911, Record for Victoria Elizabeth Harris, born 3 December 1853 to George F Harris and Phebe Bailie, in Russell County Kentucky, page 2, line 4,   http://www.ancestry.com,. (http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=KYbirths&h=150099324&indiv=try : accessed 18 February 2017); citing Kentucky. Kentucky Birth, Marriage, and Death Records – Microfilm (1852-1910). Microfilm rolls #994027-994058. Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky.

[7] U. S. Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865,” “Consolidated List of all persons of Class I, enumerated during the month of February 1864, images, Ancestry.com (http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=ConsolidatedListsofCivilWarReg&h=3924966&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=Pqj335&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&rhSource=1117 : accessed 12 Feb 2017), entry for John J. C. Harris.

[8] Ethel Cemetery, Ethel, Grayson, Texas, [From Denton, TX, take FM428E and US 377 N to Graham Grove Rd to Ethel Cemetery Rd], grave/tombstone of John J. C. Harris, born 3 Sept 1837, died 19 March 1896; inscription reads: “Rev John J. C. Harris, a Strong Defender of the Babtist [sic] Doctrine for 36 years, Born Sept 3, 1837, Died March 19, 1896, grave is with his wife, Martha Ann [Floyd], and daughter in-law, Sarah Ellen [Brown] Harris, personal visit to Ethel Cemetery, ca fall 1999, Beverly Duncan, DeLynne White, Jacob W White (age 1) and Wanda (Harris) Wade.

[9] Ibid.,

[10]   Pulaski County, Kentucky, Marriage Bonds 1799-1863, Record and minister’s return for John JC Harris and Martha Ann Floyd (written in record book), Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 February 2017),  FHL microfilm # 0,804,052, pg.88.

[11]   Pulaski County, Kentucky, Marriage Records, 1852-1914, Ancestry.com, (http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=KYmarriages1852&h=40989&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=Pqj335&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&rhSource=7667 : accessed 12 Feb 2017, microfilm rolls #994027-994058,  Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky.

[12] 1860 U.S. Census, Pulaski County, Kentucky, population schedule, District 1, Somerset Post Office, page 204 (handwritten), dwl 1374, fam 1324, family of John J. C. Harris; image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 12 Feb 2017) : citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 393; Page 352; FHL film 803,393.

[13] National Park Service, “Soldiers,” database, “The Civil War, Soldier Details,” NPS.gov (https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=7C74DBA5-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A : accessed 12 February 2017,) entry for John J. C. Harris, 3rd Regiment, Kentucky Infantry, Union, Company D, Rank in – Private, Rank out – Private, citing NARA microfilm publication M386, roll 12.

[14] John J. C. Harris compiled military Civil War Service Record (private, Co. D., 3rd Volunteer Regiment, Kentucky Infantry), Office of the Adjutant General, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington; digital images, Fold3

(https://www.fold3.com/image/225265216/?terms=John%20J%20C%20Harris : accessed 25 Jan 2017).

[15] U. S. Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865,” “Consolidated List of all persons of Class I, enumerated during the month of February 1864, images, Ancestry.com (http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=ConsolidatedListsofCivilWarReg&h=3924966&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=Pqj335&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&rhSource=1117 : accessed 12 Feb 2017), entry for John J. C. Harris.

[16] John J. C. Harris compiled military Civil War Service Record (private, Co. D., 3rd Volunteer Regiment, Kentucky Infantry), Office of the Adjutant General, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington; digital images, Fold3

(https://www.fold3.com/image/225265216/?terms=John%20J%20C%20Harris : accessed 25 Jan 2017).

[17] U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918, Russell County, Kentucky, Division No. 9 of Collection District No. 2, for the month of January 1866, entry for J. J. C. Harris, database with images, Ancestry.com (http://interactive.ancestry.com/ : assessed 25 February 2017), citing: Internal Revenue Assessment Lists for Kentucky, 1862-1866; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M768, 24 rolls); Records of the Internal Revenue Service, Record Group 58; The National Archives at Washington, D.C.

[18] “South-Central-Kentucky-L Archives, Grace Baptist Church – Russell Co.”, Ancestry.com (http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/SOUTH-CENTRAL-KENTUCKY/1999-09/0938178737 : accessed 19 February 2017), Salem United Baptist, 13 June 1867, John J. C. Harris named moderator, Martha A Harris recognized as a charter member ; Colonel Sandi Gori, 205 Clements, Glasgow, KY 42141, 270-651-9114 or E-Fax 707-222-1210, Friday, 24 September 1999.

[19] 1870 U.S. Census, Dade County, Missouri, population schedule, Horse Creek twp., pg. 15, dwl 96/fam 102,  family of John J. C. Harris; image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 12 Feb 2017): citing NARA microfilm publication  M593, roll 773; FHL film 552,272.

[20]U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918”, [database on-line], entry for J C Harris in Missouri, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 April 2017,) citing Records of the Internal Revenue Service, Record Group 58, The National Archives at Washington, D.C.

[21] Ninth Census, United States, 1870, Instructions to Assistant Marshals, Act of May 23, 1850.  Census Office, Department of the Interior, Washington D.C., May 1, 1870, Government printing Office, United States Census Bureau, History, 1870 Instructions, (https://www.census.gov/history/pdf/1870instructions-2.pdf : accessed 25 Feb 2017 )

[22]U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918”, [database on-line], entry for J C Harris in Missouri, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 April 2017,) citing Records of the Internal Revenue Service, Record Group 58, The National Archives at Washington, D.C.

[23] “Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1839-1960,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FWJ8-W4Y : 4 December 2014), George M. Harris, 26 Mar 1857, Russell County, Kentucky; citing Russell County., Kentucky, reference yr 1857 p 1; FHL microfilm 216,838. George M Harris, b 26 Mar 1857, to father John J C Harris and Martha A Floyd.  Shows birthplace as Russell County, but is recorded in Pulaski County, where John & Martha were living.  (their families were in Russell County – they were probably staying with her mother to have their first baby)

[24] “Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1839-1960,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FWJ8-8KM : 4 December 2014), John Bunion Harris, 02 Feb 1860; citing Pulaski, Kentucky, reference yr 1860 p 883; FHL microfilm 216,838.

[25] Family records such as the family Bible repeatedly refer to Levethy Belle Harris.  There are transcripts written by various researchers, but the original Bible has now disappeared. No official birth record for Levethy Belle has yet been found.

[26] State of Texas, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Certificate, Samuel A. Harris, 16 October 1949, age 83 years, 2 months , 3 days, [dob  13 Aug 1866] Rt. 2, James, Upsher, Texas, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 April 2017), certificate 50681.

[27] Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death no 50681 for Samuel A Harris, died 16 Oct 1949 in James, Upshur Co., Texas, birthdate 13 Aug 1866, birthplace Kentucky, father-Jefferson Harris b KY, mother-Martha Ann Floyd b N.K. [?], informant, Lonnie Harris.

[28] Dr. R.M. Crutcher, “History of Dade County and Her People, From the date of the Earliest Settlements to the present time,” “History of Garrett Lodge No. 359, A.F.&A.M., at Arcola, Missouri,” Master Masons met at the masonic hall in White Hare, Cedar County, Mo., 22 March 1870, to organize a Masonic lodge by dispensation, appointed officer W. C. Montgomery, Worshipful Master, and among others, J. C. Harris, chaplain.  dcms.lds.org, (https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE745939 : accessed 23 Feb 2017,) The Pioneer Historical Company, Greenfield, MO., November 1, 1917, 181.

[29] Mrs. Howard W. Woodruff, compiler, Marriage Records, Dade County, Missouri : books “A” and “B,” 1863-1872, and abstracts of wills and admrs. “A,” 1841-1867, “Ministers & Justices”, No. 47, John J.C. Harris, MG, microfilmed by the compiler in the Office of the Recorder in the Courthouse at Greenfield, Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri, Mrs. Howard W. Woodruff, 1971, list of ministers- p. 25.

[30] 1880 U.S. Census, Russell County, Kentucky, population schedule, Enumeration Dist – No. 101, page 18B (written), dwl 159, fam 159, family of John J. C. Harris; image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 12 Feb 2017); citing NARA microfilm production T9, roll 441; FHL film 1,254,441, page 519B.

[31] Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line], entry for Victoria Elizabeth Harris Lowry, Ancestry.com, (http://search.ancestry.com/ : accessed 25 February 2017),

[32] 1880 U.S. Census, Russell County, Kentucky, population schedule, Enumeration Dist – No. 101, page 18B (written), dwl 159, fam 159, family of John J. C. Harris; image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 12 Feb 2017); citing NARA microfilm production T9, roll 441; FHL film 1,254,441, page 519B.

[33] “History of First Baptist Church,” (http://www.fbccelina.org/history.htm : accessed 13 June 2010, )

First Baptist Church organized as the Crossroads Baptist Church of Christ on December 12, 1874 in the old one room Union Schoolhouse, located at Crossroads (FM 455 & CR 97), Celina, Texas, “our pastors… 1884 J. J. C. Harris.

[34] John Jefferson Crittendon Harris compiled Civil War Service Record (private, Co.D.,3rd Volunteer Regiment, Kentucky Infantry), Office of the Adjutant General, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington; digital images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/image/225265216/?terms-John%2D1%2DC%2DHarris : accessed 25 Jan 2017), slide 25.

[35] 1850 U.S. Census, Russell County, Kentucky, population schedule, Second District, page 33 (written), page 267 (stamped), family of George Harris, dwl 385, fam 385; image, Ancestry.com (http://Ancestry.com : accessed 12 Feb 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 217. 1850 Census did not show relationship to the head of household.  This was the only census that George Fuller Harris and John J. C. Harris were living in the same house.

[36] 1860 U.S. Census, Pulaski County, Kentucky, population schedule, District 1, Somerset Post Office, page 204 (handwritten), dwl 1374, fam 1324, family of John J. C. Harris; image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 12 Feb 2017) : citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 393; Page 352; FHL film 803,393.

[37] 1870 U.S. Census, Dade County, Missouri, population schedule, Horse Creek twp., pg. 15, dwl 96/fam 102,  family of John J. C. Harris; image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 12 Feb 2017): citing NARA microfilm publication  M593, roll 773; FHL film 552,272.

[38] 1880 U.S. Census, Russell County, Kentucky, population schedule, Enumeration Dist. – No. 101, page 18B (written), dwl 159, fam 159, family of John J. C. Harris; image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 12 Feb 2017); citing NARA microfilm production T9, roll 441; FHL film 1,254,441, page 519B.

[39] 1880 U. S. Census, Russell County, Kentucky, population schedule, Enumeration District 101, page 18B(written), dwl 156, fam 156, family of George M. Harris, image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 26 March 2017; citing NARA microfilm production T9, roll 441; FHL film 1,254,441, page 519B.

[40] Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1964, (database on line), Ancestry.com (http://search.ancestry.com/ : accessed 26 March 2017); citing, Kentucky, Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records—Microfilm (1852-1910), Microfilm rolls #994027-94058, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky.

[41] Obituary, Bennington, Bryan County, Oklahoma, unknown newspaper, printed a few days after 20 April 1952, (dod) “born in Missouri January 25, 1871.”

[42] John Jefferson Crittendon Harris compiled Civil War Service Record (private, Co.D.,3rd Volunteer Regiment, Kentucky Infantry), Office of the Adjutant General, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington; digital images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/image/225265216/?terms-John%2D1%2DC%2DHarris : accessed 25 Jan 2017), image 25.

[43] John J. C. Harris, Civil War military pension (private, Co. D, 3rd Regiment, Kentucky Infantry, Civil War), soldier’s application no. 309,110, certificate no. 250,077; Office of the Adjunct General, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[44] John Jefferson Crittendon Harris compiled Civil War Service Record (private, Co.D.,3rd Volunteer Regiment, Kentucky Infantry), Office of the Adjutant General, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington; digital images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/image/225265216/?terms-John%2D1%2DC%2DHarris : accessed 25 Jan 2017), image 25.

Creating a Tribute Page

 

My husband has been talking about potentially organizing a family reunion and I have been thinking about ways to show the family research that I’ve done without pulling out the traditional family group sheets and 5 gen charts. I thought I would try to create a type of tribute page for each family in his tree, almost in the style of an obituary. I highly recommend trying to write an obituary for your ancestors – it helped me to think through my ancestor’s life to see if I had additional areas to research and to help me make a research plan for other members of the family.

I plan to include maps to show the area each family is from as well as images that show interesting aspects of their lives. For example, Andrew Dabelstein was born and married in Germany, but was a bricklayer and hod carrier in Chicago after they came to the United States. I included an image showing bricklayers in the Chicago area during that era. Andrew_Dabelstein_tribute

I have many ideas of items that I’d like to include, so this may turn into a pamphlet of
sorts, but I’m still playing with it. Here’s my first attempt at the front page of Andrew Dabelstein’s tribute. I’m also including the text for the obit/tribute that I wrote for Andrew in case another descendent visits the blog. If that’s the case, I’d love to hear from you!

Andrew Dabelstein 1Andrew J. Dabelstein

Hans Hinrich Detlev Dabelstein (1816-1891) was a day laborer in the tiny village of Nusse, Lubeck, about 15 miles from the Baltic Sea.  In 1847, Hans married Maria Dorothea Niemann (1822-1896) and they started a family.

Jochim Andreas “Andrew” Dabelstein was the third child of Hinrich and Dorothea. He and his older siblings, Dorothea and Hinrich, would eventually welcome 2 additional siblings, Maria and Margaretha, to the family.

At the age of 26, Andrew married Sophia Catharina Christina “Alvina” Carstens in the city of Hamburg, Germany on Mar. 20, 1879. Alvina was the daughter of Johann Hinrich Carstens and Magdalena Margareta Voss.

Andrew and Alvina lived in Hamburg where Andrew was a laborer. They had their oldest child, Fritz Carl Hans Johann “John” Dabelstein on Dec. 27, 1880 in Hamburg.

On Apr. 19, 1882, “Andr”, “Christine” and “Fritz” left their families behind to began a two-week journey traveling in steerage from Hamburg to New York aboard the Wieland. By January, they had settled in Chicago where Andrew worked as a brick layer and hod carrier. Very soon, they expanded their family, eventually having 5 children: John, Martha, Minnie, William and Andrew.

Andrew and Alvina lived in Chicago for many years. Alvina passed away at the age of 54 on May 27, 1912. She died from heart failure due to overexertion. She was preceded in death by her son, John, who passed away in 1903 at the age of 22.

Andrew passed away at the age of 76 on Nov. 23, 1929 after living with his daughter Minnie Danker’s family for the final 2 years of his life.

It Continued with Fruechtenicht!

Last time, I wrote about a “mystery sister” for my husband’s great-great-grandfather, August Schmidt. I have found a potential match for this sister and the last thing I had found was an interesting name on her marriage record – H.F. Fruechtenicht.

I did a Google search for the name and it was not at all difficult to find the name of his church – The German Evangelical Lutheran Zion Church  in Ottawa, LaSalle Co, Illinois. In the year 2000, an article was written about the 150th anniversary of the church.

Nearly five million immigrants made their way to the U.S. between 1830 and 1870. Many of these immigrants were of German, Scandinavian and Irish descent, looking for a better life and freedom of religion. As a large group of German families made their home in Ottawa, the need for a formal church — offering services in the language they understood — became apparent.

Pastors of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, established in Chicago in 1847, began recruitment and training of pastors to be sent out as missionaries. In the late 1850s, Lutheran pastors from Chicago found their way by rail to Ottawa.

Pastors went from house to house, knocking on doors. When someone answered, they would say “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon” in German. If the person answering did not understand, it was obvious they were not German. The pastors would apologize and move on to the next house. Their mission work was much targeted.

As they canvassed this small outpost town, Zion Lutheran Church began to form. As early as 1855, the Rev. Henry Wunder, of Chicago, led Lutheran services in Ottawa. For several years thereafter, these services were in the courthouse, Mechanic’s Hall and other places. The services were primarily spoken in German until 1918.

The 17 families — original chartered members — were determined to build the church in 1861 regardless of what it would cost. Included among those first families are Werner, Wittie, Reitz, Frischauf, Krieger, Walkling, Schmidt, Vette and Turk.

Rev. Fruechtenicht was the pastor at Zion from Nov. 1860 to Nov. 1875. According to different census records, August Schmidt and his family arrived in America around 1858. August’s obituaries state that he was born in Blue Island, Illinois and his family moved to Marseilles, LaSalle Co, Illinois when he was a small boy. Marseilles is 8 miles from Ottawa, where Zion Lutheran Church was located.

I did a search on FamilySearch for records from Zion Lutheran and I was ecstatic to find that their records had been microfilmed! The film was ordered and I waited about a week and a half for the film to arrive.

When I have looked at marriage records from other German Lutheran churches, the parents were almost always given. This was not the case for Christian Boeje and Alvina Fritz.

Boeje_Fritz_marriage_cropped

This record did confirm the dates of birth for both Christian and Alvina. Still hoping to prove the connection between Alvina and August, I began to  look through all of the records. Would you think it was a coincidence, or “proof” that they were related if I were also able to find August and his family in the same church records?

Based on other records, I knew that August was born 31 August 1858 and his younger sister, Wilhelmina, was born 6 June 1861. I decided to see if they had baptism records in the same church – and they did! Coincidence? 

Schmidt_kids_baptisms

Interestingly, this record shows an 1857 date of birth instead of 1858. Normally, I wouldn’t think that was super important, but because I have a potential date of arrival in the US as 1858, this could change the timeline a bit.

While I was beyond excited to find these records, I was still a little disappointed that I didn’t find a clear connection. I know that tradition was that family members were often Godparents so in the back of my mind, it would be my proof if one was a Godparent for the other. So does that mean that THESE Godparents were related in some way? I decided that I would go through the book and look for all entries with these surnames as well as Schmidt, Fritz and Boeje/Boje/Bojie.

I started by writing the information in a spiral notebook, but after awhile, I was having a hard time keeping it all straight in my mind. I decided to put the information into an Excel database, but believe it or not, it did not help me as much as I thought it would. But I was focusing on the wrong thing. I was focusing on the names and who was a Godparent for who. I decided to take a break from collecting information and to put the marriage and baptism information into my notes.

My notes are written as a chronological list of every piece of information that I find for every member of a family. I add a lot of images of the documents that I have so I can tell at a glance if I have a digital document or an index. I often wonder if a document holds some detail that I hadn’t noticed before, so keeping the images as part of the notes helps me to quickly check for a detail. I had already begun to add all information for Alvina and Christian Boje to my notes, but their notes were put in a different color so that if I had to go back to remove it, it would be easier to find. When I added the new information, a new connection jumped out at me!

Notes_image

 

The marriage and the baptisms had occurred on the same day! 28 Sept 1864. Coincidence? I need someone to tell me that this is no longer a series of coincidences!

After I discovered this connection, I decided to make an index card for each of the events that I had written down and to keep combing through the book for additional entries. I have been able to take cards and arrange them and re-arrange them based on different criteria. I can put them into chronological order. I can arrange them into surname groups. I’ve been able to discover some of the family groups of the church by doing this. I’ve found several baptisms in which Christian and Alvina were the Godparents. GodparentsBut August and Wilhelmina’s baptisms are the only time that that Karl Schmidt and Caroline Fritz appear in the records.

But once again, I’m guilty of looking for the “important” Marseillesinformation and overlooking other obvious clues. About 90% of the time, the far right column gives the name of the Pastor who performed the service. But as I was creating my cards, a new word popped out at me: Marseilles.

August Schmidt’s obituary said that his family moved to Marseilles, Illinois when he was a small boy. And the Looft family were the Godparents for the Boje’s oldest son and on the same day, they were the Godparents for their son. Another coincidence?

I decided to do some research to find if there was a German Lutheran Church in Marseilles. I found a book on Internet Archives called “The Story of Marseilles 1835-1860“. On page 18, they tell the story of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Trinity_Lutheran

Based on this, I believe that August and Caroline probably attended Trinity Lutheran Church, not Zion Lutheran Church. Looking through the records for Zion, I now see in the final column indications of “Morris”, “Brookfield”, “Seneca”, “LaSalle” and “Earlville”. All of these towns are near Ottawa so I believe these are all locations of churches that Rev. Fruechtenicht traveled to in order to minister to the people.

So where to next? I’m going to continue to learn all I can about the people on my index cards. I’m not sure what I’m looking for yet, but hopefully, there will be some wonderful surprises ahead!

It Started With Boj…

Last Christmas, my husband and his mother took DNA tests through Ancestry. When we got the results back, my husband decided to start taking a look at the information I had collected for his family and he began to do research himself.

We don’t research the same way. He is interested in connecting with cousins he hasn’t seen in years and with finding items for ancestors that he knew personally. I’m more interested in digging into the lives of the oldest known relatives and collecting every scrap of information that I can while trying to get back another generation. It’s been interesting to see the differences in our approaches. But bottom line – it has motivated me to take a break from my side of the family and to look back at what I know about his side of the family. And I’m amazed at how many more records are available now than there were when I last looked at this family.

Because of the DNA testing, my husband connected with a distant cousin who had access to a scrapbook that was kept by my husband’s great-great-grandmother – Caroline Berger Schmidt. She kept any newspaper clipping that related to our family and then passed the scrapbook on to her daughter who did the same thing. Caroline and her husband, August, spent their entire married lives living in the Kankakee, Illinois area. Our new cousin generously sent us scans of everything. What a goldmine! I can’t say that there was a ton of new genealogy information, but the snippets of life from that time are precious to us. It also brought back to mind a family mystery. Looking at my husband’s great-great grandfather’s (August Schmidt) obituary, we find the puzzle. 1921 August Smith Obit KKK Daily Republican 6-21-1921 cropped

…“where he resided until 1880, when he went to Kansas where a sister resided, he spent two years there then returned to this place.”

A sister in Kansas? We only know of one sister, a younger one, who we have been able to trace quite thoroughly and she went to Minnesota, not Kansas. My first thought was that the person who gave the information for the obituary must have been mistaken and it may have been a relative, but not a sister.

In the scrapbook was another obituary from another newspaper and it said:

1921 AG Smith Obituary cropped

“Shortly after he attained his majority, he went west and located at Galesburg, Kansas, where he learned the trade of a wagonmaker.”

Interesting. Not just Kansas, but a specific town in Kansas. We already had his 1880 census in Illinois and searching for a “Schmidt” or “Smith” in Kansas wouldn’t work. A sister living in Kansas more than likely had been married and therefore wouldn’t have the same last name.

Have you ever read a document MANY times but not really read it? You skim through it looking for “important” details and totally skip over other parts? That’s what I had done when I read the newspaper account for August and Carrie’s wedding.

Thursday Newspaper 27 Dec. 1883 1883 Dec 20 Carrie Berger AG Smith Wedding Announcement

Married on the 20th inst., at the residence of the bride’s parents, Mr. August Smith and Miss. Carrie, eldest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. John Berger.  The ceremony was performed by Rev. Mr. Bruegmann, Lutheran Pastor of Goodrich. The relatives of the family present from abroad were Mr. & Mrs. John Herscher of Herscher, Misses Meyer, Kankakee; Mr. & Mrs. Charles Smith, Avoca; Mrs. Boj, Kansas; Mr. & Mrs. John Milly, Wilmington.

The home was filled with friends. The guests were served with a skillfully prepared dinner and supper, and the evening was passed with music and conversation. The young people had an enjoyable time in tripping the light fantastic toe. The presents were numerous and valuable. May they live a long and useful life is the wish of your humble correspondent and begin right by subscribing for the Gazette.

Did you catch it? “Mrs. Boj, Kansas” was listed as a relative. How could I have never noticed that before? I’m so used to searching for common surnames like Smith or Stephens. Could I find a Boj in the 1880 Kansas census? Yes – one family jumped off the screen at me, last name “Boje”. And they lived about 70 miles from Galesburg. Coincidence? Certainly worth checking out! And the “coinicidences” just kept piling up.

1880 Centerville, Neosho Co, Kansas census

Crist Boje – age 41 – born in Holstein
Elvina Boje – age 32 – born in Prussia (died in 1938 in Galesburg, Kansas)
Henry Boje – age 14 – born in Illinois
Mary Boje – age 11 – born in Illinois putting them in Illinois in 1869 (remaining children born in Kansas)

Crist and Elvina Boje had 5 children in the 1880 census. And the two oldest were born….in Illinois. August and Carrie Schmidt were from Kankakee, Illinois. Coincidence?

I decided to add Crist and Elvina to my tree in Ancestry to see what else I could discover. One of the first things that I found was the Find-a-grave entry for Elvina Boje. She died in 1938 in Galesburg, Kansas. That’s the town that was named in August’s obituary as the location that he went to learn wagon making. Coincidence?

According to Find-a-grave, her maiden name was Fritz. And August Schmidt’s mother was Caroline Fritz. Coincidence? Could it be that Elvina Fritz was a half-sister to August Schmidt? Perhaps the daughter of Caroline Fritz from a previous marriage that we know nothing about yet?

I continued to dig into the Boje family and eventually found the obituary for the oldest son, Henry. In the obituary, it said that Henry was born in Kankakee, Illinois. Coincidence?

I have tried to find the Boje family in the 1870 census, but I have had no luck. According to the 1880 census, their daughter, Mary, was born in Illinois in 1869, but I have searched high and low to no avail. I wonder if perhaps they were traveling to Kansas during the time that the census was being taken and therefore were missed?

“Boje” is a fairly unique name, so I did a Google search and was able to find a blog written by a descendent of Christian and Elvina. I was able to collect more information about the family through that site and I was able to get in contact with the writer. She has also sent me some helpful files.

I turned to other trees on Ancestry for Elvina to see what else I could find and someone had unsourced information that Crist and Elvina had been married in 1863 in Ottawa, LaSalle Co, Illinois. August had a sister – Whilhemina – and on her marriage record, she stated that she had been born in LaSalle County, Illinois. Coincidence?

I searched the Illinois marriage index and found 1 record that was interesting.

Christian Berger and Alvina Fritz married in LaSalle County, Illinois, in 1864.

Could Alvina be a sister to Elvina? Perhaps a twin? I was excited to find that FamilySearch had online marriage records for LaSalle County and I anxiously clicked the link only to discover that to see the images, you must be in a Family History Center. You cannot view them from home or from the library. Oh no…remember me, the shy one? The one that has never gone to a courthouse or society meeting? They want me to go to a Family History Center that I’ve never been to before?

I did a search and was happy/dismayed to find that there was a FHC a VERY short distance from the restaurant that my husband and I have breakfast at almost every Saturday. Did I have the nerve to go by myself? I have seen the church before. It isn’t very large and there is no sign about how to get into the FHC. What to do?????

I researched the facility further and found that they are only open 5 hours a week. Two hours every Wednesday night and 3 hours every Saturday. My husband came to my rescue and told me that he would go with me. That night.

I won’t bore you with all the details of getting to the FHC, but I will tell you that I have no qualms about going back, even by myself! And while we were there, I was able to download the digital versions of the Marriage Register and the Marriage License. I was dearly hoping for the names of the parents, but at that time, that information was not recorded.

1864 LaSalle Co IL Marriage Licenses Book C License 2944 Boege and Fritz p2

I was quite surprised to find that on one portion of the Marriage License, Crist’s last name looks like “Berger” (and had been indexed that way), but at the bottom, where the Minister had signed the document, he had written “Boeje”. Bingo! The Alvina that I thought might be a twin to Elvina was actually Elvina herself!

And the Minister’s name? H.F. Fruechtenicht. Now THAT’S a name I can Google!

Next time…It Continued with Fruechtenicht!