Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sentimental Sunday - Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone a joyous Easter! This photo is of my father, Tim Creeden in 1939. Looks like he was having a great time!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Edgewater Park, Celina, Ohio

This photo was labeled Geo. P., so I'm guessing one of the men on the dock is my great-grandfather George Pulskamp. They used to stay in Edgewater Park during the summers from around 1915 to 1950. George's wife Mary ran a grocery store there with their kids and the Pulskamps rented out seven cottages. The flyer on the pole behind them is advertising the Mercer County Fair.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Motivation Monday - Researching my 2x Great-Grandparents

This is an update to my to-do list for my 2x great-grandparents. In the graphics below, I'm showing the parents for each of my great-grandparents and taking a quick look at how much research I've done on them to date.

I've made a lot of progress on my Councill families by going through land and probate records for Queen Anne's County, MD and the surrounding counties. I think Francis' parents were John Councill and Ann Baynard and I've found found several siblings for Francis. From land records, I know that Ann Baynard's father was Levin Baynard. I still haven't researched the Meredith family.

My Sparks and Godwin families are proving much harder to trace. Through land records, I know that Samuel's father is Daniel Sparks and from census records I know that Susan Godwin's parents are Samuel and Ann Godwin. I located Samuel Spark's obituary which was in an old email! I've found a few possibilities for Samuel Godwin's cousins and siblings, but nothing so far on his parents.

Next up:
  • Post the land records for Samuel Sparks.
  • Continue searching the land and probate records.
  • Start researching the Meredith family.

Since my last update, I received some information from the Clinton County Genealogy Society on my Creeden and Matson families. It didn't provide any information on their parents, but had some interesting data on some of their siblings and other relatives. I'd still like to find an actual vital record for Timothy Creeden and find out more about Mary Ann Matson's grandparents. I haven't made any progress on finding out what happened to Anna Niehaus' brother Albert Rohrer.

Next up:
  • Do a detailed timeline on Timothy and his children to see what records I'm still missing
  • Organize and post my research on Timothy's siblings
  • Retrace steps on Albert Rohrer and Mary Matson's parents
  • Follow up on some of the Creeden mysteries (more here)

Since my last update, I made some progress on  my Schaefer and Desch families and posted the will of Catherine's father Ferdinand Desch. I haven't done too much more on my Pulskamps and Gasts.

Next up:
  • Organize my Pulskamp and Gast data and see what's missing
  • Continue with Schaefer and Desch research

I haven't researched my Willis and Chilcutt families since my last update, so still have a lot of research to do on these lines.

Next up:
  • Organize the data I've collected on these families and enter into my family tree.
  • Continue going through the probate info on FamilySearch.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My Dad took this picture of a mural on the side of an Irish pub near Sneem, Ireland. It's an interesting source for a few Irish recipes!

The recipes are for Irish Stew, Boxty, and Champ.

Mappy Monday - Levin Baynard's Estate

I posted last September about a distribution for John Councell's estate in Queen Anne's County, MD in 1836. It named his widow as Ann Councell and named sons John, Thomas Henry, James, William, and Francis. I believe that this Francis is my 2x great-grandfather, so I wanted to know more about his mother Ann.

I'd been having great success finding family information in the Maryland land records, but didn't find anything to shed any light on Ann's family in the Queen Anne's records. It turns out that I needed to broaden my search to some of the neighboring counties.

This record is from Book N, Page 338 of the Caroline County Court Land Records on

The record states that John Council and Ann Council his wife (formerly Ann Baynard) of Queen Anne's County are selling their share of Levin Baynard's estate to William Hughlett of Caroline County. The record didn't give details on the land or the relationship of Levin Baynard to Ann, but it says that they inherited 1/5 of Levin Baynard's estate.

In the Distributions book from Caroline County for 1812-1828, Image 80 on, distributions from Levin Baynard's estate are paid to Levin Baynard, John Councill in right of his wife; Abner Roe (of William) in right of his wife Elizabeth; Samuel Credich in right of his wife Ann; and the children of the deceased John Baynard on August 29, 1826. That explains why John and Ann inherited 1/5 of Levin Baynard's estate. It is curious that a second Ann Baynard is mentioned as the wife of Samuel Credich (or Craddick) and the wife of John Councill is not named here. I've seen Samuel's wife given as Nancy Baynard in some online trees, so it's possible that Ann was a nickname.

I'm guessing that Levin Baynard died without a will since the land record above says that he died "seized" and a Land Commission was formed to assess and divide his lands.

The record above is the only one I could find online for the results of the Land Commission from March 1821 on the Maryland Archives site. The index for the Land Commission names Levin's lands in Caroline County as part of Mary's Garden, Glasco, Keresby, Garrett's Lookout, Sandy Hill, Jackson's Meadows, Byrn's Bower and Piney Neck.

John and Ann Baynard Councill sold their share of Levin's estate in December 1821, so I suspect that there are more distributions and account records for Levin's estate. The only one I've found so far is the one from 1826.

There is still a lot to investigate, but it seems probable that my Francis' parents were John Councill and Ann Baynard and that Francis' grandfather was Levin Baynard.

Thanks to Cindy of the Eastern Shore Facebook group for pointing me to the land record for John and Ann Baynard Councill!

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.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Ann Godwin

This is a transcription of the will of Ann Godwin of Queen Anne's County, MD. Ann's only son George Hackett Godwin is named in the will along with two of his cousins, Gunning Bedford Hackett and Ann Catharine Holt. George's estate papers named several more cousins including one that is possibly my 3x great-grandfather Samuel Godwin. The will was filed in May 1829.

The images for the will are from's probate records for Queen Anne's County, MD in the book of Wills from 1815-1856, Volume 1, image 221.

   In the name of God. Amen. I, Ann Godwin of Queen Ann's County in the state of Maryland being sick and weak in body but of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs and thereof...

... be the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please God to call me hence, do therefore make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say.___

   First and principally I commit my soul unto the hands of Almighty God, and my body to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executor hereinafter named and after my just debts and funeral charges are paid I devise and bequeath as follows:

   Item I give and devise unto my only son George Hackett Godwin my plantation whereon I now dwell known by the name of William's Lot containing about 299 and 3/4 acres of land more or less to him the said George Hackett Godwin or his issue legally begotten of his body.
   But in case the said George Hackett Godwin should die leaving no lawful issue of his body or if leaving issue and the said issue should die leaving no issue of their bodies then it is my will and desire that the aforesaid land and premises shall descend to and become the property of my nephew Gunning Bedford Hackett and my niece Ann Catharine Holt to be equally divided between the said Gunning Bedford Hackett and the said Ann Catharine Holt share and share alike.

   Item I give and bequeath to my son George Hackett Godwin one bed and furniture and also all the plate and one silver watch which said plate and watch I have heretofore delivered to my son George H. Godwin as his own rightful property together with all the residue of my personal estate which may remain over and above paying my just debts to him the said George H. Godwin.
   Item I desire that my nephew Gunning Bedford Hackett should become the Guardian of my son under the usual regulations of the Orphans Court.
   And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my Nephew Gunning Bedford Hackett to be sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament revoking and annulling all former wills by me heretofore made ratifying and confirming this and none other to be my last Will and Testament. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this thirty first day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred & twenty nine.

Signed Ann Godwin

The following were witnesses: Walter J. Clayton, Jesse Godwin, Parraw? Taylor

It's interesting that Ann's son George Hackett Godwin's estate was distributed among ten cousins in 1837 since Ann's will specified that it be split between Gunning Bedford Hackett and Ann Catherine Holt. I'll have to investigate more as this may have just been his personal property. There was no land mentioned in the estate distribution.

From marriage records posted on RootsWeb, George Godwin married Ann Hackett, daughter of John and Sarah of Queen Anne's County in 1786.

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

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mappy Monday - Following the Trail of Hawkins Pharsalia - Part II

In my last post on Hawkins Pharsalia, I sorted out some of the John Councells in my tree, but wasn't sure how Henry Councell fit into the mix. In the land records I was looking at, Henry Councell bought the part of Hawkins Pharsalia that had been left to Edward Carey Councell by John Councell "the Elder". The sale was documented in 1811 and was approved by several other Councell relatives.

In 1813, Henry Councell and his wife Sarah sold the land to John Councell, Jr., son of Edward Carey Councell. The following excerpt from Queen Anne's County Court Book JB 2, page 214 documents that Henry was the son of John Councell "the Elder" and grandfather of John Councell, Jr. The deed was recorded on December 4, 1813 and this record is available on the site.

Book JB 2, page 214, Queen Anne's County Court, Maryland

...that part of the tract of Land called and known by the name of Hawkins Pharsalia which the late John Councell (Father of the said Henry Councell and grandfather of the said John Councell Jnr. did by his Last Will and Testament devise to his son Edward Cary Councell Father of the said John Councell Jnr.) which said part of said Tract not being sufficient to bear a Division between the several heirs of the said Edward Cary Councell as adjudged by Commissioners appointed by the court of Queen Anns County for that purpose and the said John Councell Jnr. being the eldest heir made his election to take said Land at the valuation set upon it by said Commissioners and did by a Deed of sale bearing Date the fourth Day of January in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and eleven convey the same to the said Henry Councell being devised therein by John Councell Snr? William Councell Elijah Councell and Thomas Councell for the purpose of supplying? a Deficiency in the Will of the late John Councell ? together with all and singular the Buildings improvements wood ways waters...

The Land Commission denied Edward Councell's heirs' request to split up the land in 1811. At that point, Henry Councell bought it with the approval of Edward's sons and then sold it back to John Councell (son of Edward) in 1813. I'm not sure what the "deficiency" was in the will of "the late John Councell", but I'm guessing it was that he didn't specify how the land should be divided in the case of the death of his son Edward. Several family trees on have Edward's year of death as 1797 which was the year after Edward's father John died.

This land record provided a little more clarification as to why the land switched back and forth between Henry and his grandson John. Next up is to investigate Edward Carey Councell. Are there any estate papers for him? My Councill tree as it stands now is shown below. John Councell Jr. was my 3x great-grandfather and his son Francis was my 2x great-grandfather. At some point my family started using the Councill spelling, so I have used that in the tree.

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.