Monday, November 24, 2014

Mappy Monday - Geogen German Surname Mapping Tool

If you have German ancestors, you might want to give Geogen a try. The site produces maps of Germany showing the most common locations for a surname based on phone book entries. While  this represents fairly recent data, the concentrations might give some clues to help find the regions a family originated from.

I knew my Rohrer family was from Ellwangen, Germany, so I was curious to see where the current Rohrers were located. The map below shows the relative distribution for the Rohrer surname based on number of entries per million. The darker the color, the more Rohers are located in that area.

Ellwangen is in the district of Ostalbkreis, which I've circled on the image below. Interesting to see that my Rohers were from the same part of Germany where many of the present day Rohers are concentrated.

The site also has some other tools. A Name Graph shows similar surnames. This seems to be random since I get a different set of names each time I select it, but it does point out some different spellings to try. There is also an option for an absolute distribution map which is color coded based strictly on the number of entries for an area. The relative and absolute maps were fairly similar for the Rohrer families. A pie chart tool displays the surname distribution sorted by Federal States.

The Geogen site was developed by Christoph Stöpel and is free to use. Images may be posted as long as they are not commercial and the copyright notice is not removed. Thanks to Family Tree Magazine for mentioning Geogen on their Facebook page.

Mappy Monday is a GeneaBloggers prompt where you can post map images and how they relate to your research or discuss other aspects of land ownership and your ancestor. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Dennis Coakley of the 79th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

I posted earlier about an entry in an abstract for the Wilmington Clinton Republican newspaper that stated: DIED, Dennis Coakley, of the 79th Reg. Ohio Vol. Leaves wife and 2 small children. The abstract for Dennis Coakley was taken from the April 7, 1865 edition of the Clinton Republican newspaper published in Wilmington, Ohio.

I believe the Coakley families of Clinton County, Ohio are connected to my Creeden family. My 3x great-grandfather Patrick Creedan was married to Mary Coakley. Both Patrick and the early Coakley families were present at the first mass held in Clinton County in 1851.

I took advantage of a special offer from Geneabloggers for a one month subscription to FindMyPast and much to my surprise they have the Clinton Republican newspaper online. The page containing the notice for Dennis Coakley was full of information on the 79th regiment and provided more details on Dennis' death. Following are some small excerpts from the newspaper page.

A list of casualties for the 79th OVI from January 18, 1865 to March 25th was provided to the Clinton Republican. According to the notice, the casualties occurred on the campaign from Savannah, Ga., to Goldsboro, N.C. Dennis Coakley was a private in Company G.

A special note was added about Dennis stating that he "fell bravely in advance of the front rank. He was struck in the breast, dying instantly. By his death another widow is added to the list of mourners".

Another article on the same page provided a few more details. "Amongst the killed we are pained to find the name of our former townsman, Dennis Coakly, who fell at the battle of Smithsville, bravely leading in the advance of a charging column, on the 16th of March. He has left a widow, now almost frantic with grief, and two little orphan girls, in this place."

I'm hoping to follow up with more information on Dennis and his family through military and probate records. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Finding a Wedding Date for Kate Covey and George Chilcutt

I haven't found a marriage record for my 2x great-grandparents George Chilcutt and Kate Covey, but I was able to find some information in other sources. The 1900 and 1910 census records state that Kare and George had been married for 24 years and 34 years which would place their year of marriage at 1876.
1900 census, Queenstown, Queen Anne's County, MD
1910 census, Ruthsburg, Queen Anne's County, MD
A newspaper article gives their wedding date as December 23, 1876. The article published in the Easton Gazette of Talbot County, MD on December 23, 1876 states: Chilcutt - Covey - By the same, at Wye Landing, Dec. 21, George Chilcutt to Miss Kate Covey.

I'm not sure what the phrase "By the same" means in this case since they were the first couple listed in the Married column. According to A Gazetteer of Maryland by Henry Gannett published in 1904, Wye Landing is on the Wye River in Talbot and Queen Anne's County, Maryland, so I can at least narrow my record search to those two counties. By the time the 1880 census was taken, George and Kate were living in Queenstown, Queen Anne's County, Maryland with Kate's mother Sarah Covey.
1880 census, Queenstown, Queen Anne's County, MD

Monday, October 20, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - Estate of George B. Chilcutt

I don't know too much about my 2x great-grandfather George B. Chilcutt and was hoping to find some information in the Maryland probate records. He was born in October 1854 in Maryland and married my 2x great-grandmother Kate Covey on December 21, 1876. While it doesn't appear that he left a will, his estate papers are available on The papers help to place his date of death sometime before or during December 1916. His estate was probated in Queen Anne's County, Maryland.

A newspaper notice was placed in the Centreville Record on December 26, 1916 to alert any persons with claims against his estate to make their claims by July 30, 1917.

The newspaper notice reads as follows:

Notice is hereby given that the undersigned has obtained from the Orphan's Court for Queen Anne's County letters of administration on the personal estate of
late of said county, deceased. All persons having claims against said deceased's estate are hereby warned to exhibit the same, with the proper vouchers thereof, to the undersigned on or before July 30, 1917, otherwise they may by law be excluded from all benefit of said deceased's personal estate.
  All persons indebted to this estate must settle at once.
  Given under my hand this 26th day of December, 1916.
Ture Copy -- WM. T. BISHOP, Register
D30t4 Test -- WM. T. BISHOP, Register

In the estate papers, the newspaper notice was attached to a certification from the Centreville Record that the notice had been published for four successive weeks.

"THE CENTREVILLE RECORD PUBLISHING CO. hereby certifies that the notice to creditors in the case of the estate of Geo. B. Chilcutt a true copy of which is hereby annexed, was inserted in The Centreville Record, a weekly newspaper printed and published in Centreville, Queen Anne's County, Maryland, once a week for four successive weeks, the last insertion being six months before the 30th day of July in the year 1917. The Centreville Record Publishing Co." The record was signed by Edwin H. Brown, Jr. President.

An appraisal of George's personal property was followed by a public auction to sell his personal estate. The auction was held "on the farm On Saturday, January, 27th, 1917, beginning at 11 O' Clock A.M."

The items sold were mostly farm equipment and goods. A brown mare was sold for $8 and a very old gray mule for $1. I think the Covey Chilcutt shown here is probably George and Kate's son. He bought a riding saddle for a grand total of 25 cents!

An account of the estate filed by Kate with the Orphan's Court showed that while the estate was appraised at $485.90, only 260.20 was raised by the public auction. Kate then made claims against the estate for funeral expenses and probate expenses.

The second page of the account shows that an allowance of $49.71 was given to Kate "as the surviving widow of the deceased with infant children of the deceased." The total amount charged against the estate was $225.70, leaving only $34.50 from the money raised by the auction. In the 1910 census, George and Kate were renting their farm, so I'm guessing that they didn't own any land. I'm wondering how Kate survived with the children. I haven't been able to locate her in the 1920 census yet. Some of the children were adults, so I suspect she may have been living with one of them.

Source: "Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 Oct 2014), George B. Chilcutt, 26 Dec 1916; citing Queen Anne's County, estate number QA0000001204.

Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Grandpa on a Tricycle!

This photo of my grandfather Robert F. Creeden was taken in Celina, Ohio. I would guess the year was around 1915.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Census Sunday - Covey family in Maryland and Delaware

In a previous post, I traced my 2x great-grandparents Kate Covey and George Chilcutt in census records, starting with the 1880 census. In this post, I'll try to trace Kate Covey's family in the census records. In the 1870 census, Kate was 9 years old and was living with her parents, Henry and Sarah Covey in District 3 of Queen Anne's County, Maryland.

Covey family in District 3, Queen Anne's, MD, 1870 census
Other Coveys living with the family are Allen M., age 13, Frank F., age 11, and Josiah, age 23. Maryland is given as the place of birth for everyone in the household.

I haven't had any luck finding the Covey family in the 1860 census. I found a probable match in the 1850 census, although the ages and birthplaces don't quite match. Henry and Sarah were living in Kent County, Delaware in the Milford and Mispillion Hundred. All birth places were given as Delaware and Sarah is 32 years old, while Henry is 35. In the 1870 census, both Henry and Sarah were 50 years old, so they didn't quite age 20 years. Henry was at the bottom of the census page, with the rest of the family on the next page.

Covey family in Kent County, Delaware, 1850 census
From Delaware marriage records, Sarah married Eli Pratt on April 19, 1836. She married Henry Covey on August 2, 1847. I think the Pratt children listed here are most likely from Sarah's marriage to Eli Pratt.

In the 1900 census, there is a Sarah Covey born in March 1818 living with George and Ariane Faulkner in Worton, Kent County, Maryland, District 49. She is listed as the Mother-In-Law and is widowed. She had twelve children and nine are still living. Ariane and George have been married 32 years, so that explains why Ariane isn't in the 1870 census with the Coveys.

Sarah Covey in Worton, Kent County, MD,1900 census
From the census records I've found so far, probable children for Sarah are Ann E. Pratt, William H. Pratt, Eli C. Pratt, Joseph Covey, Henry C. Covey, Robert G. Covey, Allen M. Covey, Frank F. Covey, and Kate O. Covey. Josiah Covey, age 23 is also living with the family in 1870, but not in 1850, so he may be some other relation. From the 1900 census, Sarah also had a daughter named Arianna. I'm still hoping to find the 1860 census to fill in some of the gaps.

  • 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line] Year: 1850; Census Place: Milford and Mispillion Hundreds, Kent, Delaware; Roll: M432_52; Page: 146B; Image: 298.
  • 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]Year: 1870; Census Place: District 3, Queen Annes, Maryland; Roll: M593_593; Page: 406A; Image: 257; Family History Library Film: 552092.
  • 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line] Year: 1900; Census Place: Worton, Kent, Maryland; Roll: 625; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0049; FHL microfilm: 1240625.
  • Delaware Marriage Records, 1744-1912 [database on-line]. Original data: Public Archives Commission, Delaware Public Archives. Marriage Records, 1744-1912. Dover, Delaware: Delaware Public Archives. Record Group # RG 1325; Subgroup # 003; Series # 004.
Census Sunday is a daily blogging prompt suggested by Colleen Pasquale of Leaves and Branches.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Census Sunday - Hannah Creedan in the US 1880 Mortality Schedule

The US census included mortality schedules for the years 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1885 that provided information on those who had died in the year prior to the enumeration. This can be a valuable source of information since it can be hard to find obituaries or death records for those time periods.

Hannah Hoover Creedan was the second wife of my 3x great-grandfather Patrick Creedan. She died in 1879 in Clinton County, Ohio and is listed in the 1880 Mortality Schedule for Clinton County.
The number in the far left column matches the number of the family in the 1880 population schedule. The next columns list the name of the deceased, age at death, sex, color, and whether single, married, or widowed/divorced.

Hannah's place of birth was Ohio. Her father was born in Baden and her mother in Pennsylvania.

Hannah's occupation was given as "Keeping House" and the month in which she died was October. The cause of death was consumption. Since Hannah was 58 in October 1879, that places her date of birth somewhere between October 1820 - October 1821.

The last columns list the number of years the deceased was a resident of the county, place the disease was contracted if somewhere other than the county, and name of the attending physician. This appears to say that Hannah was a resident of Clinton County for 50 years which would indicate she was born somewhere else in Ohio. If this is correct, her family moved to Clinton County in 1829.

Source: U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885 [database on-line]. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Non-population Census Schedules for Ohio, 1850-1880; Archive Collection: T1159; Archive Roll Number: 102; Census Year: 1879; Census Place: Wayne, Clinton, Ohio.

Census Sunday is a daily blogging prompt suggested by Colleen Pasquale of Leaves and Branches.