Thursday, October 27, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - Catharine Offerman Pope Death Certificate

Catherine Offerman in my husband's 2nd great grandmother.  She was born in Germany in 1865.  She immigrated to the United States in 1887 or 1888 with her husband, John Pope.  They lived at 3335 26th Street in San Francisco.  Catherine died a horrible death.  She received 2nd and 3rd degree burns on her body after gas on the floor of her home caught fire.  I am told by my husband's grandfather, who was 5 at the time of the accident, that Catherine was cleaning the floor with the gasoline.  The house burned down and was rebuilt.  I scanned the copy of the death certificate (below) from the genealogy stash at my husband's grandfather's house.  I plan on visiting the San Francisco Library to see if there were any articles written in the newspaper about the fire.  Hopefully, I will be able to add more to this story at a later date.

3335 26th Street, San Francisco, CA
Left: in 1989. Right:early 1900's before burning down.

State of California, Department of Public Health, Vital Statistics, Standard Certificate of Death # 32-005460

1. Place of Death: Dist. No 3801, City and County of San Fransisco, Franklin Hospital
2. Full Name: Catharine Pope
3. Sex: Female
4. Color or Race: White
5. Single, Married, Widowed, or Divorced: Widowed, wife of the late John Pope
6. Date of Birth: August 27, 1865
7. Age: 66 years, 4 months, 24 days
8. Occupation: At Home
9. Birthplace: Germany
10. Name of Father: C.H. Offerman
11 Birthplace of Father: Germany
12. Maiden Name of Mother: Anna Hink
13. Birthplace of Mother: Germany
14. Length of Residence: 45 years, in California 45 years
15. Informant: Per Mr C H Offerman, 547 Guerrero Street
16. Date of Death: January 21st, 1932
17. Cause of Death: Second and third degree burns of body. (One half body area) Accidental ignition of gasoline.
18. Special Information, Former Residence: 3335 26th St.
19. Place of Burial: Cypress Lawn Burial
20. Date of Burial: Jan. 23, 1932
21. Undertaker: H F Suhr Co, 2919 Mission Street

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No Longer a Posting Virgin

So I have done it.  I have posted my first photos to tonight.  As I was working on adding photo citations (and correctly filing the digital files) to pictures from a genealogy trip last fall, I randomly decided to look and see if the tombstones were listed on  Sure enough, there were no photos for Dudley and Opal Mitchell who reside eternally at Memorial Park, Hutchinson, Kansas.

I am sharing this here on the blog because I am not sure that my husband will be able to relate to my excitement about posting gravestones of dead people to the Internet.  I am so glad that my mind could not stay on the task at hand (citations and filing).  It was really easy to add the photos and I will definitely be adding more in the future.  Hopefully, my small contribution tonight will help another researcher down the line.  Okay, so now that I have slid even further off track by stopping to write a blog post, back to the trenches and citations.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Yosemite Cemetery

We are very lucky that my brother-in-law and his wife work and live in Yosemite.  They live in a small house in between Yosemite Village and Yosemite Falls.  We got to spend a long weekend with them in July.  Our older daughter was in heaven since her favorite book is "Ty Cooney and the Big Yosemite Race."  She was so excited to see all of the landmarks (El Capitan, Half Dome, etc) that are chronicled in the book.

I, on the other hand, was excited to take a few minutes to walk through Yosemite's Pioneer Cemetery and pay my respects.  It is a small cemetery that is sandwiched between Yosemite Village and some of the park housing.  I always enjoy walking through the cemetery because it is not typical at all.  There are a wide range of markers in the cemetery including stone monuments, wood markers, and names carved into large rocks. 

There is an excellent website ( ) that is a digital copy of a booklet called Guide to the Pioneer Cemetery by Lloyd Brubaker, Laurence Degnan, and Richard Jackson.  This website includes all of the names found on markers in the cemetery and short notes about each person. 

Here are some photos from my visit this summer:

Friday, October 14, 2011

You know you are a genealogist when...

Last night my husband and I were catching up on some of our shows that DVR each week.  With two small children it is nearly impossible to watch some shows when they are on.  Last nights lucky winner was NCIS: Los Angeles. 

The main character in the show, G Callen, has had a storyline about his family over the last couple of seasons.  What the G stands for is one of the mysteries, everyone just calls him Callen. In the last couple of episodes, most of his family history has been revealed.  He found out that his mother was killed in Romania when he was a young boy and that her name was Clara.  Clara had been born in Romania to a Romanian woman and a U.S. CIA operative after WWII.  She had immigrated to the United States with her mother after the father was killed in Romania.  Clara had been recruited by the CIA and returned to Romania as a young woman.  She had two children in the 6 years she was in Romania.  At the end of the episode we watched last night, Callen was asking his boss, Hettie, how he and his sister arrived in the United States after their mother was killed in Romania.  She replied that no one knows.  All she knew was they appeared 2 years after the mother was killed.  Callen then asked Hettie if she knew who his father was.  Hettie replied that the CIA was unable to answer that question when they tried to find out.

My genealogy brain immediately said "Well, they did not do a very good job then.  There are so many record types that they probably missed.  You don't just have two children and leave no records during 6 years that might indicate who the father was.  I would have started with finding Clara's address and interviewing her neighbors.  There also had to be hospital records, civil registrations, etc.  I bet they did not use the A to Z method of breaking brick walls."

I know it is a TV show but part of me wanted to jump on the Internet last night and see what types of records are available in Romania.  I can't wait to see what NCIS: Los Angeles comes up with down the line.  I am sure there will be some small piece of information that appears to start a story arc about finding Callen's father. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Review your previous work

I was doing some work on my re-organization of digital genealogy files yesterday.  I found a digital census image that was not added to my genealogy software.  It was the 1900 Federal Census for James Dempsey in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

I printed a census form and transcribed the image.  I also added the citation to my genealogy software and to the digital image.  I was reviewing the transcription and realized that I had no note of James Dempsey being a naturalized citizen in my software.  I was so excited to find a new piece of information! 

I quickly felt like a fool when I took a look at the 1910, 1920, and 1930 census images for James.  I already had this information and had missed it. 

I did not understand the importance of those two little letters "Na" when I started researching my family.  I am sure that I was in such a rush to find more census images that I did not follow up with the information that I had.

So learn from my mistake.  Review the research you have already completed.  There might be a little gold nugget hiding in what you have already collected.  I am adding to my goal list to do a complete review of the documents I have when I finish my organization project.

I ordered the naturalization paperwork for James Dempsey from NARA.  I am hoping that this will lead me to information pinpointing exactly when he immigrated to the United Stated from Scotland.  It might also have information about where in Scotland he is from.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Creating Genealogy

Wikipedia defines genealogy as:
Genealogy (from Greek: γενεά, genea, "generation"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members. The results are often displayed in charts or written as narratives.

This summer has been been very busy for my family.  My sister and my husband's brother and sister have all gotten married in the last 8 weeks!  We are so happy for all three of them and their new spouses.  They have chosen wonderful life partners and we know that they will be very happy.

The genealogist in me is excited too.  We have been creating genealogy this summer.  All of these weddings have created a whole new set of records to demonstrate my new extended kinship.  The genealogy geek in me has asked all of our siblings for copies of their marriage licenses to add to my collection.  I need these to correctly add a citation to their marriages in my genealogy software.  I am also going to create a document for each wedding that describes the day and all of the fun details.  This will also be added to my notes for future generations to get a glimpse at what weddings were like in the early 21st century.