Sunday, July 31, 2011

Charles Creeden Death Notice - Sunday's Obituary

I've found that there are sometimes several notices in the newspaper for a death, including the initial notice, funeral notices, and obituaries. This notice appeared in the Celina, OH newspaper on May 9, 1958 for my great-grandfather, Charles Creeden:

Charles Creeden Passes Away

  Charles Creeden, retired postmaster of Celina, died at 12:15 p.m. today, at Gibbons Hospital.
  Funeral services are incomplete, but the body was removed to Dick & Stallter Funeral Home. Further details will be published tomorrow.

His full obituary is posted here.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Employment - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #30

Week 30: Employment. Describe your first job. What did you do? Were you saving for something in particular, or just trying to make a living? Did that first job provide skills and make an impact on your life today? 

My first job was as a clerk-typist for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center. I worked for a secretary in the Contract Administration group in the late 70's. This was before the days of a computer on every desk, so all of the forms were manually typed and copied. At least we had electric typewriters!

I was going to be home for the summer after my first year of college, so wanted to make some money for the next school year. I had taken typing in high school and passed the required typing test for the NASA job. I more than doubled my words per minute that summer! The typing skills I learned have been very useful, but the most important skills were learning how to work on a team and just seeing office politics in action. I spent my second summer in school, but returned to NASA in my third summer as an Aerospace Technician. That summer, I programmed in Basic on a very early version of a desktop computer that used tapes for storage. Technology sure has come a long way since then!

This is a weekly challenge from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy history.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Water - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #29

Week #29 – Water. Do you have any memories of the sea or another body of water? Did you live there or just visit? What did you do there? You can also describe a body of water by which you live or visit in the present day. This is a weekly challenge from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy history.

Titusville Marina

Growing up in Florida, it was easy to take some of the beautiful bodies of water for granted. We lived near the Indian River and often went out in my father's boat or down to the local marina to watch the boats. We had an incredible view for the Apollo launches along the shore of the river or from the boat. The Playalinda Beach at the Canaveral National Seashore was nearby too and my friends and I used to go there in the summer when we were teenagers. The beach is a rarity in Florida since it still has a a natural shoreline with no hotels or other buildings.

Playalinda Beach

Monday, July 18, 2011

Military Monday - Edward Creeden in Army, Marines, Canadian Forces, Part III

I've posted previously here about the mysteries surrounding my great-grandfather's brother Edward Creeden, born on April 10, 1884 in Celina, OH. Nobody in the family seemed to know what he did after leaving Celina.

Military records I found on had an Edward Creeden that served in the Army (1904-1910), the Marines (1910-1911), the Army again (1912-1915), and finally, the Canadian Expeditionary Forces (1917-?), but could these all be the same Edward? It seemed unlikely.

I ordered records from NARA for Edward Creeden's military service and received them this weekend. They solved one mystery, added some new information, and raised another mystery!

The records contained the following documents:
  • Edward's enlistment in the Army in 1904 and 1907 and his enlistment in the Marines in 1910. He enlisted in the Marines a few days after being discharged from the Army in 1910, so that explains the 1910 overlap. This was indeed the same Edward from Celina, OH, so one mystery solved!
  • The various units and locations he was in were listed. He first enlisted in Salt Lake City, Utah and gave his previous residence as Pueblo, CO and listed his sister Julia in Pueblo as next of kin. Locations included Porter, NY, the Philippines, Monterey, CA, San Francisco, and Puget Sound, WA.
  • Beneficiary information designating his sister Julia and brother Charles Creeden (my great-grandfather).
  • Promotions from Private to Corporal to Sergeant in the Army and Marines.
  • Military records showing that he served in the Army in the Philippines for 4 years and was in an Expedition against the Pulajames in Samar in the Philippines from Feb. 10 to April 1,1905.
  • Records of tests he took to be certified as an first class rifleman and sharpshooter. His record from the Army was transferred to the Marines.
  • Physical description including two tattoos-- an eagle with flowers on one arm and an eagle with a shield on the other.
  • Records of his desertion from the Marines in October, 1911 and warrants put out for his return. This is the biggest mystery. The records state that his clothing was left in good condition, that he was an excellent soldier in all respects and no reason could be found for the disappearance.
His last enlistment in the Army in January 1912 was not included in the NARA records. This was only a few weeks after his desertion from the Marines, so is very curious. It's definitely the same Edward as the Army enlistment lists Celina, OH, April 10, 1882, and the physical description is the same. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1915.

It's still a mystery as to why he joined the Marines after working his way up to Sergeant in the Army, then deserted the Marines after earning an excellent reputation there and went back to the Army. Then there's the question of whether or not the same Edward joined the Canadian forces.

A couple of the papers had Edward's signature and in comparing it to the signatures on the Canadian Expeditionary Forces form, they look pretty similar. The Canadian enlistment gives his real birth date of April 10, 1884, so maybe by then his age was working against him. It also lists his brother Charles as next of kin and the physical description matches. When I started looking at these records, I doubted that my Edward was in all 3 forces, but now it appears likely that he did have a very interesting and varied military career. Some signatures from the Canadian and US forms are below:

My next step will be to follow up with NARA to see if there is any record of Edward's Army service from 1912-1915. I was actually only expecting the Marine records in the package they sent, so was pleasantly surprised to get the earlier Army records too. The Marines records referenced his previous service in the Army, so I am curious to see if the later Army records make any mention of Edward's Marines service or desertion. I'm also wondering if it would be worth it to order the Canadian records. One mystery seems to lead to another with Edward!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

W. Kent Sparks - Sunday's Obituary

This obituary of W. Kent Sparks appeared in the Denton Journal (Maryland) on November 15, 1890. Centreville is in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. My Sparks family also lived in Centreville, but I don't know if they were related to W. Kent Sparks.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Follow Friday - Make an Ancestry Pie Chart

Family Tree Magazine's Genealogy Insider Blog by Diane Haddad had a fun exercise this week on making a pie chart to show the ethnic heritages that make up an individual's ancestry. She used a simple online pie chart generator at Kid's Zone to create the chart.

Here's the chart I came up with for my ancestry:

My lines aren't too complicated, so it was fairly easy to halve each of my parents lines to get the numbers. They both have some British ancestry, so I added the percentage from each of them. Of course, this is just an estimate and subject to change when I find out more on my ancestry, but it's a quick and easy way to take a look!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #28

Week #28 – Summer. What was summer like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.

Two words - hot and humid! Growing up in Florida, the daytime temps were usually in the 90's in the summer with the only relief provided by the almost daily thunderstorms. Lows were in the 70's, but didn't feel very cool thanks to the nearly 100% humidity. We went to the beach or swimming pools fairly often and played outside quite a bit. I remember my father grilling burgers, chicken, and seafood and ice cream and snow cones were popular treats.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Vacations - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #27

Week 27. Vacations. Where did your family go on vacation? Did you have a favorite place? Is it still there? If not, how has the area changed?  This is a weekly challenge from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy history.

L to R front: Me, my best friend, my sister, Back: Best friend's Mom, my Mom
We used to go all over the country on camping trips, but one place we returned to once or twice a year was the Florida Keys. We usually stayed in the Marathon area and enjoyed going out in my father's boat and touring around the Keys. The water was always beautiful shades of blue and green and I always loved going over the Seven Mile Bridge. Most of the places we went to are still there, but I haven't been down there for quite a few years. The picture above is from a trip we took with our next door neighbors. The picture below is of the Seven Mile Bridge and is from

Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Letter from Guion Miller

According to my father, there was a rumor of a Cherokee connection to my gg-grandfather Timothy Creeden. A few years ago, I requested the application records for an Ida L. Creeden for her share of money appropriated for the Eastern Cherokee Indians by an Act of Congress on June 30, 1906. The index I had available at the time showed that Ida was married to a Timothy Creeden, so I was curious to see if there was any connection to my family. The packet that I received included this letter from Guion Miller and a response from Ida L. Creeden:

Ida L. Creeden,
Dora, Arkansas
    On January 21, 1907, you executed the Eastern Cherokee Applications, Nos. 13691 and 13692, on behalf of Ruthy Nettles. 
    It does not appear from either of these applications by what authority you apply for this claimant, and you are requested to inform this Office, at your earliest convenience, in regard to same.

Guion Miller
Special Commissioner

Ida Creeden's response:
Campbell, I.T.
May 28, 1907
     The blank was intended for Ida L. Creeden and the other was a copy used for her sister, Ruthy Nettles and Ida L. Creeden copied from same. I was told then that they had it made in duplicate. Write me @ Campbell, I.T.
Resp., Ida L. Creeden

I can see where the confusion came in, as the application gave the name of Ruthy Nettles, but was signed by Ida L. Creeden. One page had Ruthy Nettles crossed out and Ida L. Creeden entered in the Remarks section. It's quite a few pages, so I won't post all of the images here, but if anyone is interested in this family, I'd be glad to provide digital copies.

The parents of Ruthy and Ida were Frank Marrs and Martha Hogg. They listed all of the siblings with birth and death dates, including Francis Marrs (1852-1855), Jeff (1851-1857), George (1860-1883), Caroline (1858-1861), Charley (1874-1893), Ida (1870), and Harrison (1872), Ruthy (1885). Martha Hogg was the Cherokee relation and her English name was Martha Hodge.

There was a supplemental application for Ida's minor daughter Nellie Creeden. Nellie was born on 8/18/1891. Ida's husband is listed on this form as Tim Creeden, age 46 years, so it would appear that he was born in 1861. Under the question of what tribe the spouse belonged to, Cherokee is entered. My Timothy was born in 1846 and lived in Ohio, so I don't think there is any relation to this family. It looks like that family rumor will remain a mystery, at least for now!

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

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sorting Saturday - That's the Ticket!

Does anyone else have a collection of ticket stubs sitting in a shoebox?

I've collected them since I was a college freshman and at one time had a lot of them posted on a bulletin board. In one of my moves, I threw them into a shoebox and I've been collecting them there ever since. I've been looking for an easy way to organize them and ran across this little scrapbook called the Ticket Stub Diary. It has several different size slots to hold the tickets and room to write on the pages. It's available on for about $10.00, so even if it doesn't work out for my needs, I haven't invested too much.

My first task is just to see what I have and the easiest thing to do is sort them in chronological order. There were a few surprises in there from shows I hadn't thought of for a long time and it was good to see some of my favorites were still intact.

My earliest ticket stub is from the FSU vs. Florida football game on Oct. 16, 1976 in Tallahassee, FL. We didn't win, but had a good game and went on to win the next four games against Florida. This was Bobby Bowden's first year as head coach at FSU and was very exciting as the program started to win games. It was so easy to get good seats back then. Wow, Row 15 for $8.00!

One of the prize tickets in my collection is from U2's opening night for their Zoo TV tour in 1992. This was before you could buy tickets online and the only way to get them was to stand in line. We were in line overnight, but they sold out in 6 minutes and we didn't get tickets. The week before the show, I won 2 tickets from a local radio station! It was an incredible show and I was so lucky to see it. The Lakeland Civic Center seated less than 6000 people, so it was by far the smallest venue on their tour and we had a great view.

Now that the stubs are sorted, I can move on to the harder task of scanning them for backup and entering them into the book. There are a lot of great memories in that box!