Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Jealous Genealogist

My local genealogy society is the Marin County Genealogical Society.  I love attending our monthly meetings.  Not only do I usually learn something new from the presentations, it is fun to talk with people who have the same passion for family history.

On Wednesday night this week, the Marin County Genealogical Society had its monthly meeting.  The guest speaker was Anthony Hoskins.  He gave a great presentation entitled, "You May Not Be Who You Think You Are, or How Y-DNA Testing Broke Up That Old Family Of Mine."  As the title suggests, DNA testing shattered years of documentation he had collected.  It was a very interesting story that does not have an ending yet.

I found myself thinking of Mary Bradley during the presentation.  I have written about the search to identify her mother in two posts: Mystery Monday - Who Was Mary Bradley's Mother? and Mystery Monday - Mary Bradley Update.

Tony Hoskins' discovery was a surprise and a little earth shaking for him.  He has proven that there is an illegitimate child in his direct line.  While I feel for Tony, I still felt a little jealous on Wednesday night.  I will never be able to prove Mary Bradley's mother with DNA.  That family line weaves in and out of males and females so I am unable to use the Y chromosome test.

It is back to the paper hunt for me and hopefully there is enough of it to prove or disprove who Mary Bradley's mother is.  I am still trying to pin down the death date for Catherine Carey in Chicago, Illinois.  I have too many options right now for the time frame I am looking at.  Hopefully, I can pare it down soon and find probate records that identifies if Mary was her child.

Monday, January 23, 2012

An Italian Baptism

Adele Siletto is my paternal grandfather's mother.  She was born in Cossano Canavese, Piedmont, Italy on January 10, 1893. This image was scanned from the FHL microfilm I have been researching ( Registri Ecclesiastici di Cossano Canavese (Torino), 1651-1899).

With the help of the book Italian Genealogical Records: How to Use Italian Civil, Ecclesiastical, and Other Records in the Family History Research by Trafford R. Cole, a rough translation is:

Certificate No. 1
Siletto Adele

The year of the lord one thousand eight hundred ninety two the twelfth of January was presented to the Church an infant born ten of January at ten pm, daughter of Siletto Guiseppe, son of living Stefano, native of Cossano, and daughter of Maglione Ana Stasia, daughter of deceased Giacinto, native of Cossano, of the family Siletto live in Cossano to whom the baptism was administered by ??? the delegated priest, and to whom was giving the name of Adele, the godfather being Avetta Pietro, son of deceased Stefano and the godmother Siletto Margarita, daughter of living Stefano. Represented by ? Pietro ??

The indication of the birth, with the request for baptism, was made by the underwritten father of the infant.

Signature of the person who requested baptism - Guiseppe Siletto
Signature of the parish priest - A. Banedetto

Written in the left column:
Joined in matrimony to Ciardonei Matteo 22 -12-13 (22 Dec 1913)
Last rites given 18-1x-1919 (18 January 1919)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

William Bender 1868-1902

William Henry Bender is my 3rd great grandfather.  (William Lawbaugh > Effie Bender>William Henry Bender)  He was the first child born to John Bender and Matilda Shireman on May 23, 1868.  Records show he was born in Pennsylvania.  The family moved to Kansas in 1876 or 1877.  They settled on land between the towns of  Halstead and Sedgwick which are located about 25 miles northwest of Wichita.

William had 5 younger brothers and 2 younger sisters.  Tragedy struck the family when the youngest, Leroy, died in 1884 at 6 months old.  There were more happy times as William married Mary Bradley on Thanksgiving Day in 1887 (November 24).  Mary was from several miles down the road in the town of Halstead.  On my trip to Kansas in October 2010, it was easy to imagine William riding a horse to town to see his girl.

William and Mary Bender age 19 and 18

William and Mary quickly started their own family.  Their first born, a son named William, arrived in 1888.   I have not found any death records for William but he may have died in 1889 around the same time of his Aunt Ella.  Ella was William's youngest sister who passed away just a few weeks after her 8th birthday in April 1889.

William and Mary lived in the Riverside Park area of Halstead.  This is just north of the downtown area and across the river.  We tried to find the home on our trip to Kansas but it was no longer there.  There was evidence that a home had been on the property at one time.  The 1900 U.S. census lists William working as a Teamster.

William and his wife, Mary, had 6 more children.  Benjamin was born in May 1890.  Effie (my 2nd great grandmother) was born 30 December 1892.  Walter was born 15 march 1896.  An unknown child was born after Walter between 1896 and 1898.  This child did not survive.  Charles was born May 1899.  Last was Matilda born in 1901.

William died at the early age of 34 on October 4, 1902.  His children ranged in age from 1 to 12 at the time of his death.  His obituary says that he had been 'in poor health for several months' before his death. William's headstone is located next to his parents and younger siblings at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery just outside of Sedgwick.  It reads " W. H. Bender, born May 23, 1868, died Oct 4, 1902, dearest father thou hast left us and our loss we deeply feel. But tis god that has bereft us he can all our sorrows heal."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

21COFH - How I Organize My Digital Files

The Turning of Generations blog is hosting a great series this year called the 21st Century Organized Family Historian.  Each week a 'project' will be posted that relates to organizing your family history.  Week 2's topic is Developing a Digital Organization Scheme.

I am excited to participate in this blog series.  I am in the middle of reorganizing my digital files, scanning a box of genealogy paperwork, adding citations to my genealogy software for the scanned documents, and adding citations to the meta data for each digital file.  I always love hearing how other people organize their genealogy data.  We all do it just a little differently from each other.  My scheme is all about what I can maintain and ways to find the files without too much searching.

One of my biggest problems with my old digital filing system was the files being saved in Documents and Pictures.  I found it confusing so I created a new library on my C drive called Genealogy.  I did this by right clicking on the word Library in the Windows Explorer.  Now all of my photos, documents, and downloads will be kept is one area.

Within the genealogy library I have several folders: Genealogy Education, Places, Up In The Tree, Surnames.  The Genealogy Education folder contains all of information I have collected from webinars, genealogy ebooks, etc.  The Up In The Tree stores copies of all my blog posts (I am a backup junkie).  The Places folder contains any information regarding a specific place that I am researching.  The last folder is the Surname folder.

With the folders mentioned above, there is only one file kept at this level.  My Research Log is kept here for easy access at all times.

The Surnames folder is divided into 2 sub folders, one for my side of the family and one for my husband's side of the family.  The sub folders are further divided into 16 folders, one for each surname of a great-great-grandparent.  At this point, the sub folder is divided as needed.  If a person has more than one document or photo, I create a person sub folder.  I do not create document type folders.  I put all documents within the person folder.  If there are additional surnames either further back in my line or laterally, they get a folder.  Here is an example:

Here is what an individual's folder may look like:

Information for women is kept under their maiden name.  The exception is marriage licenses which are filed under the husband's name.  If a woman has additional marriages beyond my direct ancestor, these files are kept with the woman.  

My naming convention is "Lastname, Firstname Document Type."  As mentioned above, for each file I put a copy of the citation in the meta data.  To do this, right click on the the file.  Chose properties and then click on details.  The comments section allows for text.  Any additional information about the file is also added after the citation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Change Is In The Air

In the last couple of months, I have seen updates to a variety of Google services, including Reader, Gmail, and Blogger.  All of the online applications now have the same feel.  Now the products all "drive" the same way.  I am surprised how much I like the new Blogger interface after only a couple of days.

All of these small updates has gotten me to thinking about my ancestors lives again.  Today I am wondering how my ancestors dealt with change.  There have been some huge advances in the last couple of hundred years.  Could you imagine seeing your first automobile? Airplane? Washer and Dryer? Computer?  My great grandmother, Effie Bender, was born (1892) four years after Karl Benz started selling his first cars off the production line.  Effie died (1974) five years after Apollo 11 landed on the moon.  In her 82 years, Effie definitely saw great change!  I would love to be able to interview Effie and find out what she thought of all of the new technology she saw in her lifetime.  Did she accept these new ideas and products with open arms?  Or was there resistance?

I have heard many times "change is inevitable."  Some people look forward to change, some cringe at the thought.  I try to embrace change and go with the flow.  I think that change is part of a continuing education in my life.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Do you give yourself presents? I do!

It is tradition for me to buy myself a present each Christmas.  I wrap it and place it under the tree with a tag that says "From: Santa."  This year I decided to tweak the tradition.  I had included in my wish list (given to my family) that I wanted a Flip Pal Mobile Scanner.  I wasn't sure if anyone would get it so I decided to hold off on my present to myself just in case Santa had trouble finding my house.

It was a good decision.  I was able to use the coupon offered after Christmas to get my Flip Pal and it arrived yesterday.  The doorbell rang with the announcement from FedEx that the box was here.  I yelled a huge "Thank You" at the FedEx delivery man as he ran away from my over-excitement.  And man was I so excited!  It was Christmas morning all over again except this time instead of small children ripping open wrapping paper, it was me ripping open the box.  

I quickly made sure that my kids were occupied with toys and coloring so I could have a few minutes to myself.  I cut open the packaging and scanned (pun intended) the quick start instructions.  I powered my newest technology tool up and scanned the first thing I could get my hands on.  It was awesome!  

I have not played with the stitching software yet.  That will probably have to wait until after the kids are asleep tonight.  

I have some big plans for my new Flip Pal:

1.  I want to scan all of the photo albums we have accumulated over the years.  
2.  There are a lot of photos at various family member's houses that need to be documented.  
3.  A new genealogy trip needs to be planned just so I can scan stuff somewhere. 
4.  I have a few ideas for art projects with the kids that can utilize the Flip Pal.

I know that my new toy/tool is probably going to be making more work for me in the long run since I will need to add labels and citations to all of the photos I scan.  I am definitely okay with this since I will have fun doing it.  Thank you Santa!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Matilda Shireman Bender

Matilda Shireman Bender is my g-g-g grandmother on my mother's paternal side (William Lawbaugh> Effie Bender > William Bender > Matilda Shireman).  The following articles were found on my trip to Kansas in October 2010.  I got to spend a wonderful day at the Kansas Historical Society State Archives Library in Topeka, Kansas.  

We wish to express our sincere appreciation to the many friends and neighbors for the numerous and beautiful flowers and the kind deeds and words of sympathy extended during the illness of our beloved mother and grandmother.
Mrs. Nora Bastin
Irvin Bender
Lewis Bender and Family
Walter Bender

"Card of Thanks", Halstead Independent, Halstead, Kansas, 3 March 1932, page 2, column 2: microfilm no. H1640, Kansas State Historical Society Archives, Topeka, Kansas.

Well Known Pioneer Woman Passes Following a Long Illness.
The last rites for Mrs. Matilda Bender who passed away at the home of her son, Irvin, south of town, on February 22, were held Thursday after noon at 2 o’clock from Pleasant Valley Church with Rev. D.H. Sills of Sedgwick, assisted by Rev. Moorehead of Wichita, and Rev. Bessie Koontz conducting the services. Music was furnished by the Pleasant Valley Church choir accompanied by Mrs. Virgil Wilson at the piano. The many beautiful floral offerings and the large attendance at the services gave evidence of the love and esteem in which Mrs. Bender was held.
The body was laid to rest in the family lot in Pleasant Valley Cemetery and those who served as pallbearers were Robert Trego, Joe Neal, Charles Berger, Will Hoke, Jas. McIntire and Lou Biggs, neighbors of the deceased.
Matilda Shireman Bender was born in Union county, Penn., December 21, 1847, and passed away at the home of her son on February 22, at the age of 84 years, 2 months, and 1 day.  Her death was attributed to a fractured hip received October 19.
She was united in marriage to John Bender, August 8, 1867.  They lived in Allenwood, Pa., until 1878 and moved to the farm south of Halstead.  For the past 54 years they lived within on half mile of the present home where they endured the hardships of pioneer days.
To this union were born eight children, four of whom with her husband preceded her in death, Mr. Bender having passed away February 15, 1925.  Those who survive are one daughter, Mrs. Nora Bastin, three sons, Irvin, Lewis, and Oliver and Walter, a grandson, whom she raised as her own.
Mourning her besides her children are two brothers, John and Samuel Shireman and one sister, Mrs. Emma Vaneida, all of Pennsylvania; a nephew, Herbert  King of Atlanta, Kans., who has been devoted to her during the weeks of her suffering; ten grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
Grandma Bender, as she was familiarly known, was a faithful member of the United Brethern Church at Pleasant Valley, always showing a keen interest in all the affairs of the church and Sunday school whenever possible until a failure of hearing and poor health kept her at home.
She loved her church, her home and her community and was always ready to lend a helping hand, a cheery smile, and a word of comfort to the afflicted and unfortunate.  Grandma Benders’s happiest moments were when she was surrounded by her family and friends.  Her sunny disposition had endeared her to all who chanced to make her acquaintance, and while suffering intense pain during the last few weeks her faith in her Saviour was unwavering.  She displayed great patience and fully appreciated the worth of true friends who helped to ease her and who were with her during the long days and night of suffering. 
“A heritage of Faith and love you left us all.
Seems to me the sun shines brighter,
Seems that life is more worth while
Seems to me the load is lighter,
Having been blessed by the sunshine of your smile.”

Matilda Bender obituary, Halstead Independent, Halstead, Kansas, 3 March 1932, page 1, column 3: microfilm no. H1640, Kansas State Historical Society Archives, Topeka, Kansas.