Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday - William H. Lawbaugh

This is a picture I received from my mom's cousin from her collection of family photos.  William Henry Lawbaugh (1861-1911) is one of those ancestors that I would love to be able to peer back into history to see more of his life.  He was an artist (literally and musically) that came from a family where everyone was a farmer.  He had a wonderful obituary that I posted (Sunday's Obituary - William H. Lawbaugh).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Surprise Genealogy Time

I am able to grab a few minutes today while both of my kids are taking a nap.  This hasn't happened in months, I am giddy with excitement for a little bit of surprise genealogy time! 

Tomorrow night is the monthly meeting for my local genealogy society, Marin County Genealogical Society.  I am really excited because Steve Morse is coming to our meeting to present "Getting Ready for the 1940 Census: Searching Without a Name Index."  I am really looking forward to this.  I have been to two Steve Morse presentations before.  He is a great presenter and I can't wait to learn more about his One-Step web pages for the 1940 census.

I am going to spend my "surprise genealogy" time this afternoon making a list of the ancestors who were alive in 1940.  If the kids sleep long enough, I will try to pin down locations for each person too.

Monday, February 13, 2012

(2Matteo + 2Lucia) - Pietro(Teresa/Antonia) = ?!?!

I have jumped deep into researching my Italian line the last couple of months.  I have been slowly combing my way through baptism, marriage, and death records to piece together my family line.  I am still working on these records but want to share an interesting story of analysis of a portion of my goldmine.  I warn you now that everyone has the same name.  Proceed with caution!

The story begins with my great-grandfather Matteo Ciardonei.  Baptism records show he was born to Pietro Ciardonei and Antonia Ciamporcero.  Additional baptism and death records show that Pietro and Antonia had at least six children as follows (records for this microfilm end at 1898 so there may be children born after that date):

  1. Matteo Stefano Pietro Ciardonei born  27 July 1883, died 14 August 1883
  2. Lucia Vittoria Maria Ciardonei born 30 June 1886, died 21 April 1888
  3. Matteo Ciardonei born 11 February 1889, died 14 March 1921
  4. Lucia Maria Antonia Ciardonei born 28 December 1891, 22 June 1894
  5. Silvinia Maria Ciardonei born 2 October 1894
  6. Stefano Sarino Ciardonei born 16 September 1898, died 21 June 1934
There was also a baptism record for a Matteo Claudio Ciardonei born 8 November 1875 to Pietro Ciardonei and Teresa Salarano.  My first inclination was to think that this was a first marriage for Pietro.  

I next went on to find the marriage records for Pietro & Antonia and Pietro & Teresa.  A quick glance had me thinking that these were the same person.  When I arrived home and analyzed the documents a few days later, I was not so sure.  The only thing that was for sure - I was immediately thankful that almost all of the church records listed a person's father, his father, and sometimes the person's mother and her father.  In addition each name indicated if the person was alive or deceased.

Pietro Ciardonei married Teresa Salarano on 20 February 1875.  Pietro is listed as the son of living Matteo (who is the son of deceased Pietro) and deceased Lucia Avetta (daughter of living Sebastiano).  Teresa parents are listed as deceased Stefano and living Maria Bonello. 

Pietro Ciardonei married Antonia Ciamporcero on 20 March 1882.  I was surprised to see that Pietro's parents were slightly different than the prior marriage record to Teresea.  This Pietro's parents are deceased Matteo (son of deceased Domenico) and living Lucia Avetta (daughter of deceased Antonio).   

Are these the same Pietro Ciardonei?  It was time to go back another generation to try to find out.

I found the marriage certificate for Matteo Ciardonei and Lucia Avetta on my next trip to the library.  Again, I was finding and scanning as many documents as possible and doing the analysis at home.  Once at home, I looked carefully at the marriage certificate.  This Matteo Ciardonei married Lucia Avetta on 25 July 1846.  This seemed to fit Pietro for a possible estimated birthdate.  Matteo's father is listed as living Pietro, deceased Matteo, deceased Domenico.  Matteo's mother is listed as Maria Burghesio, daughter of deceased Domenico.  I paused here thinking, "wait, did the Priest confuse Pietro as the dad?  But wait he wasn't born yet - these are his parents. O no, I have a problem. Are there two Pietro's?!?"

I went on to note that Lucia Avetta's parents were listed as living Sebastiano Avetta (son of deceased Matteo) and living Maria Franesio (daughter of deceased Michele).  I needed another trip back to the library.

On my next trip I quickly made my way back to the marriage records and started searching before 1846.  To my surprise, I found another marriage certificate for Matteo Ciardonei.  This time he was marrying Lucia Avetta in 1835.  Okay, now I was totally confused.  This town was Catholic to their last breath.  How is it that Matteo Ciardonei married Lucia Avetta twice?!  

The 1835 marriage of Matteo Ciardonei to Lucia Avetta is a handwritten marriage record.  Although I have been unable to translate the whole thing yet due to a change of language from Italian to Latin, I can definitely see the names written in the paragraph.  Matteo's parents are listed as Domenico Ciardonei and Maria Giandefio.  Lucia Avetta's parents are listed as Antonio Avetta and Magdelena Giacometto (daughter of Ignatio).

I also came upon a death record for Lucia Ciardonei ne Avetta.  She died 17 July 1888.  The death record states that she was 74 at the time of her death.  This would give an estimated birthdate about 1813-1815.  Her parents are listed as Antonio and Magdelena.  The spouse is listed as Matteo Ciardonei.

It was time to compile an excel sheet to figure out just what I had here.  My excel sheet included columns for date, record type, name, name of father, father's father, mother, mother's fathers, spouse, and estimated birthdate.  After entering all baptism records, marriage records, and death records the families started to shake out.

Once on paper it became clear that Lucia Avetta in the 1835 and 1846 marriage licenses was the key to unraveling this mystery.  Each marriage definitely had a different Lucia (different parents).  

I had two different Matteo Ciardonei's marrying two different Lucia Avetta's only 11 years apart.  Both of these couples had at least one son named Pietro.  Both Pietro's had sons named Matteo (about eight years apart).

The death record for Lucia Ciardonei ne Avetta helped to solidify my argument for which Matteo and Lucia marriage was mine.  If you look back to the marriage certificates for Pietro & Teresa and Pietro & Antonia, you will notice that one Lucia is living while the other is already deceased.  "My" Lucia (daughter of Antonio and Magdelena) is listed as living.  This jives with Lucia's death in 1888. The "other" Lucia passed away before 1875.

Here is a sketch of each family:

  1. Matteo Ciardonei (1889-1921)
    1. Pietro Ciardonei 
      1. Matteo Ciardonei
        1. Domenico Ciardonei
        2. Maria Giandefio
      2. Lucia Avetta
        1. Antonio Avetta
        2. Magdelena Giacometto
    2. Antonia Ciamporcero
  1. Matteo Ciardonei (1875-1878)
    1. Pietro Ciardonei
      1. Matteo Ciardonei
        1. Pietro Ciardonei
        2. Maria Burghesio
      2. Lucia Avetta
        1. Sebastiano Avetta
        2. Maria Franesio
    2. Teresa Salarano

Monday, February 6, 2012

Interlocking Generations

Yesterday, I attended a 90th birthday party for my husband's great-grandmother's brother's wife.  It is okay if you need to read the first sentence again.  I did.  For the most part, the relationships got even more complicated from there.

It was a fun morning with descendants of Grandma Long (Wendla Batmastar Long).   There are some complex relationships because some families had children late, some early, and some had children in second marriages.  Grandma Long had 4 surviving children that were born between 1907-1913.

The grandchildren of Grandma Long were born across a 24 year period (1927-1951).  My husband's line comes from the first grandchild born.  This means that my husband's father was born and raised within a few years of his mother's cousin (the last grandchild born).  My husband and I are the same age as my father-in-law's second cousins.  We jokingly refer to the "extra generation" that was added to the line.

When we get together with this side of the family, I like to hang out with cousin Judy.  Although Judy is 9 years older then myself, we have some common interests (genealogy) and small kids.  I came home yesterday and powered up my genealogy software to figure out just how are children are related.  Judy is another second cousin of my father-in-law.  Her parents waited to have children a little older so age wise she is smack in the middle of generations.  Our children are 3rd cousins 1x removed.  They sure had fun playing together.

There was one contingent of the family that was missing yesterday.  They add even more fun to the generation layers in my husband's family.  They are almost the same age as their aunt (5-8 years apart).

It was a great morning visiting with everyone.  There was lots of talk about who each person belonged to and how we all fit into the puzzle.  It was fun for me to have my husband's family interested in family history for the day.