Sunday, June 24, 2012

Census Sunday - Dudley Mitchell Household 1940 Federal Census

Dudley Moses Mitchell is my great-grandfather.  I found Dudley and his family residing at 630 19th West, Hutchinson, Kansas in the 1940 Federal Census.  During a research trip to Kansas in 2010, I took photos of many city directories in Hutchinson spanning the years 1937-1958.  This made it easy to find my family.  I also found a collection of index cards for Sanborn Insurance including photos on the back of each card.

The 1940 census finds Dudley (64) living with Opal (wife, 49), Raymond (son, 19), Elbert (son, 15 - real name Delbert), Kenneth (son, 13), Roberta (daughter, 9), Robert Newby (grandson, 5), and Richard Newby (grandson, 4).  The census shows that everyone in the household was born in Kansas and had lived in Topeka, Kansas in 1935.

Dudley rented the house pictured above for $18 a month.  Dudley worked as the store manager of a grocery store in Hutchinson.  He only worked 6 weeks in 1939 and shows in income of zero dollars.  His sons, Raymond and Delbert also worked in the grocery store.  Raymond was in the meat department and Delbert worked as a clerk.  Raymond work for 40 weeks in 1939 and had an income of $350.  Delbert only worked 14 weeks and made an income of $112.  I believe that Delbert only worked 14 weeks since he was also in school.  

My grandmother has always told us that she grew up without much money.  This census enumeration documents that there were 8 people in the household living off of $462.  Times were not easy.  Most of the families on other pages in Hutchinson had an average of 4 people in the household and were making $800-1000 a year.  

I found Loretta Mitchell Cogzill living nearby with her new husband, Grant Cogzill, at his parent's house.  Loretta is the mother of Robert and Richard.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Down In The Roots

I believe that reading other genealogy blogs teaches me a lot.  Not only do I learn about all things genealogy, I have been learning about blogs themselves.  Just by observation, I see what things I like about blogs, what I do not like, and things that I am willing to put the time in to learn about.

As I scanned the list of new blogs posted by Geneabloggers last week, my interest was peaked by a great name - Pardon My Redundancy.  The blog is focused on Anecdotal Blogging.  RHarrisonScott writes posts that memorialize his memories.  This is a blog that is done in a great way and speaks to my style.

I had a moment of brilliance while reading many of the posts at Pardon My Redundancy.  Although I have tried to write down my memories and feelings about current events, I generally fail miserably.  Then I had my DUH moment. Duh, I do not write in a journal because it is not a habit that I cultivate.  I realized that I need to write my memories down in a way that incorporates habits I already have.  I am in the habit of completing digital chores (email, facebook, blogging).

I have made the decision to create a second blog where I can write my memories down as blogposts.  Since this blog is about my ancestors who live up in the branches of my family tree, I am calling my new blog Down In The Roots to indicate that it is about me and my memories.

You can access my memories by pressing the Down In The Roots page button at the top of this blog.

A huge THANK YOU to RHarrisonScott for giving me the inspiration for starting my own anecdotal blog.    

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - William H Gamble Death Certificate

William H Gamble is my great-great-grandfather (me ->my dad->Mary Dempsey->Amelia Gamble->William H Gamble). He was born August 18, 1872.  He married Eliza P Lahey about 1891.  They had three daughters, Mary Alice, Amelia Josephine, and Faith Dorothy Mildred.  They lived in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania.

Certificate of Death
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics

File No. 110204
Primary Registration District no. 02-41-21
Registered no. 216
1. County of Allegheny, Borough of Sharpsburg
2. Full Name: William H Gamble
a. Residence : 30 Bridge
3. Sex: M
4. Color: W
5. Single, Married, Widowed, or Divorced: Married
a. Husband or wife of: Eliza P Lahey
6. Date of Birth: Aug 18, 1872
7. Age: 64 years, 3 month, 23 days
8. Occupation of Deceased: None
9. Birthplace: Penns.
10. Name of Father: John Gamble
11. Birthplace of Father: Penns.
12. Maiden Name of Mother: Alice Wise
13. Birthplace of Mother: Penns.
14. Informant: Eliza P Lahey (wife) 30 Bridge Street
15. Filed: Dec. 14, 1936 John L Huge?????????
16. Date of Death: Dec 11, 1936
17. Cause of Death: Cerebral Apoplafy?? Contributory factor: Myacardial Degeneration
18. No operation, no autopsy
19. Place of Burial: St Mary’s Cemetery 
20. Date of Burial: Dec 15, 1936

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Black Sheep Sunday - Where did Frank go after San Quentin?

Frank Gingg is my husband's maternal great grandfather.  I have written a previous post about the crime that lead him to spend some quality time in San Quentin (Black Sheep Sunday - My Dad Lived In San Quentin).

I have known since a vacation with my husband's family in 2001 that Frank lived in Alaska.  We enjoyed a cruise of the Inside Passage including a stop in Ketchikan.  I remember Grandma Shirley pointing out the newspaper office.  She told us a story of visiting her dad one summer and coming to the paper where he worked as a printer.

What I did not know at the time of the cruise is that Frank had spent at least six years in San Quentin starting in 1933.  I have been wondering since my previous research what was Frank's life like after prison.

Last fall I was contacted by a new cousin who had read my original blog post about Frank.  This cousin is the son Frank adopted after getting remarried in Alaska.  For privacy I will call this person Cousin L.  Cousin L has been wonderful sharing information about his memories of Frank and a cd full of photos.

The digital files I received included a obituary from the newspaper in Ketchikan.  The obituary states that Frank had lived there for 15 years.  This puts his approximate date of arrival as 1942.  We know that Frank was sentenced to at least 6 years in prison in 1933.  It is more likely that he was in San Quentin for 8 or 9 years.

I know that Shirley spent at least two summers with Frank after his arrival in Ketchikan.  Shirley married in 1947 so I am guessing these summers took place about 1943-1945.

After Frank arrived in Ketchikan, Alaska he made contact with a childhood friend named Cecil.  Cecil was had two children from a previous marriage.  Frank and Cecil were married February 26, 1953 in Alaska.  Frank adopted both of Cecil's children.

Frank, Cecil and the kids 1954

Cecil and the kids moved to Ketchikan where they resided at 1200 Millar Street.

View from 1200 Millar Street

Frank, Cecil and the kids enjoyed life in Ketchikan.  Frank worked as the mechanical superintendent at the Daily News in Ketchikan.  He was in charge of all the printers.  The family used to swim in the summers and ice skate in the winters at Ward Lake.  Cousin L has many warm memories from this time in Alaska.

Frank Gingg circa 1957

In October 1957, Frank and Cecil drove to California for a visit with Frank's family.  He would visit his mother, Belle; daughter, Shirley; and sister, Catherine.  This would be the first time that Catherine and Frank would see each other in many years.  It would also be the last.  On the drive back to Alaska, Frank would suffer a deadly heart attack in Weed, California on October 26, 1957.  His body was taken back to San Francisco for funeral services.  Frank is buried at Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Colma, California.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Follow Friday - "Timeline of Their Lives"

There was a wonderful post this week at Adventures in Genealogy titled "Timeline of Their Lives."  Deb Ruth shared that she would be presenting a talk about timelines at her local library this week.  Although Deb Ruth will be giving her talk to a local audience, she shared the great resources she would be detailing to the rest of us in the genealogy blogosphere.

I checked the websites out and they are a treasure trove.  I have already added them to my genealogy favorites in my web browser.  I have written posts before where I wonder how life impacted my ancestors.  Timelines are a great way to put some context into the picture you are building of your ancestor.  


Friday, June 1, 2012

How Genealogy Can Be Inspired By Creativity

I have a stack of magazines next to my bed that are mostly a few months old.  I try to keep up with my reading so every so often I pull one out at random to read.  Last night's winner was the May 2012 issue of Real Simple.    I really enjoyed the article "Can You Get More Creative" by A.J. Jacobs.  The article follows the writer's quest to "reignite" his creative juices.  One of the big take aways from the article I read is that you need to let creativity hit you from all angles.  You need to nourish creativity and seek it out.

The left hand column of the article contained "7 Habits of Highly Creative People."  As I read each habit, I was struck how these same ideas could be useful for genealogy research.  Life lessons always seem to overlap many facets of your life.  So here is the list and how I would apply it to genealogy:

1.  Play - take time to flip though your genealogy paperwork or browse your digital file.  Just enjoy the stories of how your ancestors lived.  Take out your family treasures.  While you enjoy them, let yourself feel inspired.

2.  Borrow Ideas - Read genealogy blogs to get ideas for further research.  There have been many times that I have found a new repository or research technique from reading other blog posts.

3.  Sleep On It - When you hit a brick wall, it is always good to take a step back to re-evaluate what you know.  Looking at something fresh the next morning can open you to new ideas.

4.  Collect Every Seed Of An Idea - Keep a research journal.  Write down ideas about how to attack a research problem.  Make lists of repositories that could be useful.  Capture ideas for future blog posts.

5.  Embrace Constraints - I have ancestors from a 'burned' county in Virginia.  Instead of stopping my research into that family, I learned how to use new record types to get around some of the missing papers in the county archives.

6.  Commune with Nature - Get out and visit a cemetery.  Some of my husband's ancestors are buried within an hours drive.  It is time to get in the car, go pay my respects, and take a few good photos for my genealogy collection.

7.  Compete - Set a goal with yourself or a research buddy.  See who can complete that goal first.  You might be surprised what can get accomplished.  I compete with myself all the time.  I set a timer and see how much I can get scanned and entered into my genealogy software during the time limit.