Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sentimental Sunday - Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter!

My Dad with his Easter bunny, Fluffy in the 1930s
Me and my first Easter dress and basket
My Dad with dressed up me
My Mom with me, my sister, and cousin

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fearless Females - Trading Card

March 29 — Create a free Fold3 Memorial Page or a Genealogy Trading Card at Big Huge Labs for a female ancestor. Tell us about who you've selected and why and then post a link to what you've created.


I created this card at Big Huge Labs for my great-great-grandmother, Anna Rohrer Niehaus. I chose Anna for the card partly since I had a nice portrait picture of her, but mainly since I had so much fun tracing her family with my Niehaus cousin Marj! We still have some mysteries to solve with our Rohrer family, but we have learned a lot.

Anna's parents Albert Rohrer and Walburga Fischer were from Ellwangen, Germany. They were listed in Reading, PA in the 1850 census with their first child, Albert and a baby daughter Hannah that was born in Pennsylvania. Anna was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1851. By 1860, Anna's mother had remarried to William Gisler and the family was living in Auglaize County, OH. We don't know what happened to Anna's father or her sister Hannah. Another mystery is that we're not sure what happened to Anna's brother after 1880.

In the 1880 census, Anna is living with her brother Albert in Mercer County, OH. Anna married Henry Niehaus in 1881 and they had six daughters in Celina, OH. Anna died in 1938 in Celina. Her daughter Anna was my great-grandmother.

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Follow Friday - Favorite Finds for Week of March 29

Here are a few of my favorite finds for the past week:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fearless Females - Best Friends

March 28 — Do you remember your mother’s best friend? Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?


My mother and her best friend Laura met when we moved into our neighborhood in Florida. I was four years old and Laura's daughter was about the same age as me. They came over to introduce themselves shortly after we moved there and we all hit it off. My mother and Laura shared a lot of activities with the kids, including Girl Scouts, dance recitals, shopping trips and camping trips in the Florida Keys. Laura was always at the center of the activities and used to take us horseback riding and to the beach. We used to have a great Halloween celebration in the neighborhood and Laura's wicked witch with her big boiling pot was legendary! Laura passed away a few years ago and I know my mother still misses her.

The picture above was taken by my Dad on one of our trips to the Florida Keys. I'm in the sunglasses and my best friend is between me and my sister. Laura is behind us on the left and my Mom is on the right.

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Nice hat!


This picture was labeled "Henry Niehaus' sister - Fetters". My 2x great-grandfather was Henry Niehaus, so I was curious about which of his sisters this might be. I had married names for all of them, except Catherine Niehaus, born in 1871. I found one match for a marriage between a Fetters and Niehaus: Edwin Elmer Fetters married Katie Niehaus on August 29, 1894 in Montgomery, Ohio. Katie was also born in 1871, so looks like a good possibility that she is the Mrs. Fetters pictured here with her hat!

Fearless Females - Education

March 26 — What education did your mother receive? Your grandmothers? Great-grandmothers? Note any advanced degrees or special achievements.

I wrote earlier about my mother's education at Goldey College and her Aeronautical Secretarial course. I don't think any of my grandmothers or great-grandmothers went to school beyond high school. My 2x great-grandfather's sister Julia Creedan worked as a nurse and a teacher, so I would guess that she had some advanced education.

My paternal grandmother Anna Lee Pulskamp graduated from Immaculate Conception High School in Celina, Ohio in 1928.






Anna Lee is shown above with her sister Emma Lee. The article to the right was published in the Lima News on June 2, 1928. Graduates were Pacifica Forathoefel, George Howick, Eugene Maher, Anna Lee Pulskamp, Emma Lee Pulskamp, Bertha A. Spheler, and Marcella Spriggs. The class motto was "'We' Did It". The flower was a white rose and the class colors were green and white. The baccalaureate was delived by Rev. Edwin Kaiser, professor at St. Charles seminary and diplomas were presented by Father George, pastor.


Anna Lee's Certificate of Graduation was signed by Sister M. Redempta, Principal and Rev. George Hindelang, Superintendent.


The inside of the certificate showed her classes and grades. She certainly had a well rounded education and made 95 or above in all of her classes. I was especially impressed that she received a grade of 100 in German Classics Translations. That sounds tough!


Anna Lee used her training in typewriting and stenography to find work as a secretary at the Farm Bureau after graduation.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mappy Monday - Queen Anne's County Landowner Maps

Queen Anne's Landowner Map, District 3

Many of my ancestors lived in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. While searching for some information on the area, I came across an Ancestral Location Gallery with images of some old landowner maps, such as the one pictured above.



The 1870 census for Queen Anne's shows that my great-great-grandfather, Francis Councill was in the 3rd district of Queen Anne's in Centreville.
 

A closeup of the map shows where F. Counsell owned land near Centreville. I have seen the Councill named spelled Counsell or Councell, so there is a good chance that this is my Francis. I also found several instances of my Sparks, Meredith, and Godwin names on the map, although I didn't find exact matches for my family.


A closeup of the Spaniard Neck area where my Sparks family lived didn't show their property, but I don't know the date of this map. It's also possible that their plot wasn't large enough to show up here. I navigated up to the top of the site and found that there is a wealth of information on many different locations. The home page for the site is here and the Ancestral Location pages start here. The site isn't the easiest to navigate, but it's worth a look if you have ancestors in this area.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Henry Niehaus


This is an obit card from the Mercer County Library in Ohio.

NIEHAUS, HENRY
3-16-23
W. Logan St.
Wife - Anna Rohrer/Mar. Jan. 25, 1881
Age - 68
Died - Wed. Mar. 14, 1923
Born - Sept. 25, 1854 in Luxemburg, Germany
Family - Mrs. F.E. Adair, of Cork, Ark., Mrs. Agnes Eagle, Mrs. Charles A. Creeden, Mrs. Joseph Fredericks, Mrs. Charles Myers of Celina, 7 grand ch.
Funeral - Immaculate Conc. Cath. Ch.
Burial - Catholic Cem.

Henry Niehaus was my great-great-grandfather. He came to the US with his family at the age of 10 or 11 from Wildeshausen, Germany and lived most of his life in Mercer County, Ohio. I don't know whether the birth place of Luxembourg given in the obit card is correct or not, but that was also reported by his wife on his death certificate. Henry and Anna Rohrer had six daughters: Katir, Walburga, Agnes, Anna, Bertha and Caroline. He was a Street Commissioner in 1900 and a newspaper article in 1912 mentions Henry Niehaus as the Director of the County Infirmary. Thanks to Marj for sending me the obit card.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fearless Females - Timeline

March 23 — Create a timeline for a female ancestor using your favorite software program or an online timeline generator such as OurTimelines. Post an image of it or link.

This is a timeline for Julia Creedan, the sister of my great-grandfather Timothy. Julia was born in 1842 in County Cork, Ireland and was living in Clinton County, Ohio by 1860. She entered the Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1870 and took her vows in 1872. Click on the timeline for a bigger graphic.



I looked at the timeline generated by OurTimelines for the years 1842-1918. Two big events that would have affected Julia's life were the Irish Potato Famine from 1845-1849 and the Civil War from 1861-1865. The telegraph, telephone, light bulb, X-ray, airplane, and radar were some major inventions that came into use during Julia's lifetime. The Irish Easter Rebellion was in 1916 and a major flu epidemic occurred in 1918, a few months after Julia died.

I have gaps in Julia's timeline from 1872-1888 and 1910-1918. I have not been able to locate her in the 1880 census, although I found a group of Sisters of Charity nuns that were all listed as Sister Mary! Since Julia took the name Sister Mary Felix, it is possible one of them was her. Sometime after 1910, Julia retired back to the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse in Mount St. Joseph, Ohio. She died there in 1918 and is buried in the Mount St. Joseph Cemetery.

I created the graphic for the timeline based on a tip from Heather of Leaves for Trees. Thanks Heather!

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fearless Females - Surprising Fact

March 19 — Have you discovered a surprising fact about one of your female ancestors? What was it and how did you learn it? How did you feel when you found out?

This was one of my original Fearless Female posts from March 19, 2011.

When I found my Willis great-great grandparents in the census, I talked to my Mom to see if she remembered any of her grandfather's siblings. She told me about her great Aunt George (Georgeanna) that she remembered from when she visited her grandparents as a young girl. Aunt George worked out on the farm with a couple of the Willis brothers and in the evenings she used to enjoy her whiskey and smoked a corncob pipe! We had a good laugh about it and were wishing that we had a picture of her. It's definitely not the kind of thing you'd find out from the census!

Updating to add the census with Georgeanna and my great-grandfather Eugene in June 1880. Georgeanna was 14 in 1880 and the family was living in Mispillion Hundred in Kent County, Delaware.



Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Tombstone Tuesday - Mathias Gast


Mathias Gast was my 3x great-grandfather. He was born on October 22, 1813 in Ligsdorff Haut-Thin, France and died on April 22, 1888. He was married to Katharina Maria Hagedorn on September 12, 1839 in Maria Stein, Ohio. He is buried in the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Cemetery in Maria Stein, Ohio.


Photos are courtesy of Cousin Becky from FindAGrave.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Fearless Females - Shining Star

March 18 — Shining star: Did you have a female ancestor who had a special talent? Artist, singer, actress, athlete, seamstress, or other? Describe.


This photo was a fun discovery from my father's slide collection. It shows my great-grandmother Anna Niehaus Creeden with three of her paintings, two of which I hadn't seen before. I knew that she used to paint, but the only painting we still have is the blue one with the boats in the upper right of the picture.


The photo of the painting pictured above was in the same set of slides and the painting is signed "A. Creeden".


These are a bit blurry, but I attempted to crop the paintings from the top photo.

It is too bad that the family didn't save more of her paintings, but I'm glad we have the one and the photos were a nice surprise. I wish some of that drawing and painting talent had passed down to me!

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Church Record Sunday - Book of Kells for St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland has announced that digital images from the entire Book of Kells are now available to view online as part of the general celebration of St. Patrick's Day at Trinity. According to the site, "these new digital images offer the most accurate high resolution images to date, providing an experience second only to viewing the book in person".


From Wikipedia,  "the Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created by Celtic monks ca. 800 or slightly earlier."


I've been lucky enough to see the Book of Kells exhibit at Trinity College twice and it's well worth it if you get the chance. The exhibit explains the history of the manuscript and how it was made. The book is in four volumes and two pages are displayed under glass each day. One is a page of text and the other a drawing page like the one pictured here. The pages on display are rotated on a regular basis. The detail in the drawings is incredible and the pigments that were used give the pages a 3D quality.







Top photo was cropped from my photo of the signpost for the exhibit at Trinity College in 2009. Image of the Madonna and Child is from Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Surname Saturday - Niehaus

My Niehaus family came to the US from Wildeshausen, Oldenburg, Germany.  While I have some information on the names and dates in the family tree, I don't know too much about their life in Germany.  They came to the US in 1865 and settled in Mercer County, Ohio.


My 3x great-grandfather Charles (Carl Theodor Heinrich) Niehaus was born in 1831 in Wildeshausen and died in 1906 in Celina, Ohio. His occupation was listed as a Handwerker which translates to manual laborer or craftsman. His son Henry came to the US with his family at the age of 10 or 11 and lived most of his life in Mercer County, Ohio. On the 1900 census, Henry's occupation is given as Street Commissioner. A newspaper article in 1912 mentions Henry Niehaus as the Director of the County Infirmary. Henry and his wife Anna Rohrer had six daughters: Katir, Walburga, Agnes, Anna, Bertha and Caroline.

Agnes, Anna, Bertha, and Burga Niehaus in the early 1900's in Celina, OH
My great-grandmother Anna Niehaus was the first generation born in the US. She was born in Celina, Ohio on April 11, 1888 and married Charles Creeden on November 27, 1907. According to my father, Anna was the Matron of the Mercer County Jail when Charles was Sheriff in the 1920s. He also said that she was quite the sharp shooter and at one time met and did some shooting with Annie Oakley!

Anna and Charles had three children: Carl Edward (1908-1912), Robert Frank (1911-1995), and Mary Mae (1914-1999). Anna and Charles raised my father after the death of his mother in 1934.

I am lucky to have several nice pictures of my Niehaus family. Carl and Robert are pictured on the far left in my blog header. The second picture from the left is a family portrait of Anna, Carl, Robert, and Charles in 1911. Mary Mae is the young girl with the umbrella.

Once again, thanks to Marj for sharing her information on the Niehaus family. Marj is the granddaughter of Anna's sister Bertha. Thanks also to Heather of Leaves for Trees for her tip on using Excel for ancestor graphics.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fearless Females - Newsmakers

March 14 — Newsmakers? Did you have a female ancestor who made the news? Why? Was she famous or notorious? Did she appear in the social column?

When I first answered this prompt in 2011, I didn't know of any female newsmakers in the family. Since then, I've discovered a few fun items from the 1930s and 1940s in the Chester Times, Pennsylvania social column featuring my mother and her sisters. The article below is about a weiner roast my mother attended. It must have been a slow news day!

An earlier article was about a party my grandparents gave my mother for her seventh birthday and it listed 23 guests. The biggest surprise was an article about my mother and two of her sisters being admitted to the Sacred Heart hospital. My mother said they had their tonsils out at the same time. I've shared many experiences with my sister, but I'm glad that wasn't one of them!

I haven't found any female newsmakers on my father's side, probably since the paper where he grew up has not been digitized. When I answered this prompt in 2011, I was on the lookout for Siobhan Creedon Lankford's book, The Hope and the Sadness even though she is not directly related to my Creeden family. Her memoir recounts her childhood growing up on a small farm in County Cork, Ireland, as well as her activities during the fight for Ireland's independence. She was born in 1894, so I was especially interested in her stories about her Creedon family in rural Ireland. I just recently obtained a copy from a used book seller. The book starts with the story of her father Patrick Creedon's arrest for ploughing his farm after being evicted and his escape from the police, so it looks like an interesting read!

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fearless Females - Working Girl

March 12 — Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.

This is an updated version of my post from 2011.

My mother in DC in 1951
My mother worked at the Dupont Chemical Company during the summers while she was attending Goldey College in Wilmington, DE. After graduation from Business College, she moved to Washington DC and worked as a secretary for the NPA and Veterans Administration in the early 50's. She returned home and worked for General Chemical in Claymont, DE and then moved to Florida where she worked at the Patrick Air Force Base as an Executive Secretary. After marrying my Dad, she worked for NCR in Dayton, OH while my Dad finished college. She stayed at home when my sister and I were younger and then returned to work as a secretary when I was in high school.

I discovered a newspaper article in the Chester Times from 1949 that said my mother was one of 53 students on the honor roll at Goldey College. The article stated that she was cited for outstanding performances in the aeronautical secretarial course. When I asked her about the course she pulled out a picture I'd never seen before.


The Goldey graduates of the aeronautical secretarial course were treated to a trip to New York City sponsored by Eastern Airlines! My mother is the 4th from the left. I'm sure a good time was had by all! They certainly were dressed up for the occasion.

My maternal grandmother Edna Willis worked in a factory as a seamstress, along with a couple of her sisters. They had moved from Maryland to Lansdale, PA to find jobs and she met my grandfather while working at the factory. According to the 1930 census, my paternal grandmother Anna Lee Pulskamp was working as a secretary for the Farm Bureau in Ohio at the age of 19.

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fearless Females - Family Document

March 9 — Take a family document (baptismal certificate, passenger list, naturalization petition, etc.) and write a brief narrative using the information.


This is a marriage license for the marriage of Hannah Creedon and Richard Egan on February 14, 1899 in Clinton County, Ohio. I don't know if Hannah is directly related to my Creeden family from Clinton County, but I thought the record was interesting for a few reasons.

The first thing that caught my eye was that Hannah's place of birth is listed as the Atlantic Ocean! As I was typing the date, I realized that they got married on Valentine's Day. Hannah is 34 in 1899, so that would indicate that her family came to the US in 1865. According to another researcher's notes, her parents Timothy and Hanora were married in 1854 in Clondrohid Parish in County Cork, Ireland. This is the same parish that my Creeden family is from and the spelling of Creedan seemed to be common in this family too. The notes also indicated that Timothy died on the ship, as well as his son Daniel.

So, here is another Creedon family with ties to Clondrohid that settled in Clinton County, Ohio. I gathered a lot of information on this family that needs further investigation, so I am adding that to my "To Do" list.

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fearless Females - Letter and Einstein Sighting!

March 8 — Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt.

This is an updated version of my 2011 post with images of the letter added.

I don't have too many letters from my female ancestors and nothing like a diary or journal. I recently acquired a letter written on July 11, 1970 by my step-grandmother Hilda Kleinhenz Creeden. She was born in 1903 in Mercer County, Ohio and died in 1990. She contracted tuberculosis in her 20's and the letter is remembering her stay in a facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She lived to be 87 which was amazing considering all she went through. Here's an excerpt from the letter:



"Yesterday Miss Leona Wint and I had a little reunion. Out of 18 patients we knew in Albuquerque in 1930 when we were victims of the Great White Plague we are the only two left. We spent so many hours horizontally and so many hours vertically. During our stay there, the patients able to would go the Union Station to see what celebrity they could see on the back platform as the train pulled out. I was there the Sunday noon before I came home, guess who I seen, "Old Einstein". I was hoping to see some good looking Movie Star."

Thanks to Marj B. for sending me the letter!

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Follow Friday - Favorite Finds for March 8, 2013

Here are a few of my favorite finds for the past week:

  • Wordle.net has a fun site you can use to create a graphic like the one above. You can create the graphic from a block of text or a link to a web page. The more common a word is in your text, the larger it appears in the graphic. I saw Wordle used on Julie Tarr's GenBlog which has many tips and tricks for genealogists. 
  • Dick Eastman posted about Thomas Tryniski's Fulton History site which has access to more than 21,790,000 old New York State historical newspaper pages. The FAQ contains info on using the site. I don't have any New York ancestors that I know of, but I tried a few searches for my Ireland locations and found articles as far back as 1843.
  • Northern New York Historical Newspapers is another free site with digitized newspapers for New York.
  • Heather Kuhn Roelker of Leaves for Trees tackled my problem with not being able to remove image frames from my blog posts. We discovered that Blogger has different options for different templates, so if her tip doesn't work for your blog, you may have to edit the HTML as suggested here. Be sure and back up your template first. Thanks Heather! No more frames!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Fearless Females - How They Met

March 5 — How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?

This is an updated version of my original post in 2011, including new information on how my grandparents met and new pictures.

My parents met in 1955 in Florida. My Dad, aunt, and uncle worked for RCA and my Mom was working for Pan American at Patrick Air Force Base. RCA had a boat ride event and my aunt and uncle invited my parents and introduced them to each other. Their first real date was to see a movie and play golf. I asked my Mom if he asked her out at the boat ride and she laughed and said, "No! I asked him!".

My grandmother Edna Willis worked in a factory as a seamstress, along with a couple of her sisters. They had moved from Maryland to Lansdale, PA to find jobs. Edna met my grandfather Royce Councill while working at the factory. My Dad's parents were Anna Lee Pulskamp and Robert Creeden. They were listed on the same page in the census in Celina, Ohio and attended the same school, so I would guess they knew each other as children.


My parents on their wedding day in 1956. My aunt and uncle are behind them.
My sister and I had another batch of my Dad's slides digitized last year and discovered a couple of pictures of my Mom in her wedding dress that we hadn't seen before. In case you're wondering about the shorter dress, it was August in Florida before the days of A/C!


Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fearless Females - Marriage Records

March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one. 

St. Vitus Basilica, Ellwangen, Germany

Several generations of my Rohrer ancestors were married at the St. Vitus Basilica in Ellwangen, Germany. The records I have go all the way back to my 5x great-grandparents in the 1700s, starting with Catharina and Johannes Rohrer.


The record below is for the marriage of Albert Rohrer and Walburger Fischer on October 19, 1846 in the St. Vitus Basilica. Their son Albert was born in Germany in 1847 and their daughter Anna was born in 1851 in Philadelphia, PA. Anna is my 2x great-grandmother and she and her brother Albert lived in Ohio by 1860.




























Translation: Groom Albert Rohrer, shoemaker in Ellwangen, Catholic, parents Albert Rohrer, ? Rohrer, maiden name ?, widower. Bride Waldburg Fischer from Ellwangen, Catholic, parents Heinrich Fisher, Theres Dilger, unmarried. Groom born 22 Sept 1809 in Ellwangen, bride born 2 Oct 1818 in Ellwangen, no permission needed, proclamation read on 4, 11, 18 October, actual marriage 19 October [1846].








The record above is for the marriage of Albert Rohrer and Ursala Wailbl on Sept. 23, 1801 at St. Vitus. They were my 4x great-grandparents. There were also family and christening records at St. Vitus for their children Johann, born in 1805 and Albert, born in 1809.

Translation: 23rd of September
Matrimonially joined together are by Reverend Frid. Bechdolf the honest young man [bachelor]
Albert Röhrer from Ellwangen Johannes Röhrer and Barbara, married couple, legitimate son,
To the wise virgin [maiden] Ursula Waibl [in is a female ending] from Ellwangen, Johann Michael Waib, Deceased and Catharina his wife legitimate daughter: witnesses were Michael
Zieglbaur and Johannes Röhrer from Ellwangen.

The picture of St. Vitus is from Wikipedia. Thanks to Marj for sending copies of the records and for getting assistance with the translations! Thanks to Heather of Leaves for Trees for her tip on using Excel for ancestor graphics.

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.