Sunday, June 30, 2013

Census Sunday - Why I Prefer's Old Search

I received an email from this week announcing that their Old Search will be discontinued within the next six months. The email stated that as part of the 2% of subscribers that use the Old Search, they were reaching out to get my inputs on potential improvements. I went ahead and took the survey that was linked in the email, but it's easier to explain why I prefer the Old Search by looking at the results of both searches.

For initial searches on a name, I typically try something like this:
  • Check the "Exact matches only" box in the Old Search and use wildcards. For my Creeden surname, I've found that Cre*d*n catches most spellings without pulling in too many unrelated names. For this example, I'll use Tim* Cre*d*n to compare the census results of the two searches. I could also narrow this down by a location or date, but for this initial search, I'll look at all of the results.
  • Repeat the same search in the New Search using the Categories tab.
  • If I don't find what I'm looking for, I try other options such as not checking the Exact matches box, different spellings, Soundex, locations, dates, and entering more information in the Advanced search fields.

Here are the results of an exact match search for Tim* Cre*d*n in the Old Search:

Using the Census & Voter Lists as an example, I can quickly see that there are 314 matches and they are ranked by number of matches. I find that the underlining of each link to a record set and the alternating pale green and white background helps me read the information. The font is fairly bold and easy to read. As I scan down the results, I quickly see the number of matches right next to the record set.

The New Search results look like this. I'm using the Categories tab to compare the same kind of results.

I find this quite a bit harder to read. There is an alternating green and white background on the records sets, but the green is barely there. The text is paler too and looks slightly smaller. The links to the record sets aren't underlined and there is more white space between them. I have to scan all the way to the right to see the number of matches. There are 12 record sets shown in the same space where I could see 17 record sets in the Old Search without scrolling. On the plus side, there is a list of categories on the left with the number of matches for each one. Clicking on these brings up options to narrow down which record set you want to view, so this is a nice feature.

I also noticed that there were 332 matches in the Census & Voter lists, while the Old Search only found 314. I would guess this is due to Ancestry adding some of their improvements or record sets to the New Search only. As I found out when I clicked on specific results, some entire record sets are left out of the Old Search results.

Clicking on "View all 314 results" in the Old Search brings up the following screen:

Again, I can quickly scan down the results and see what records I'm interested in. The text is bold and the alternating green and white backgrounds helps to separate the lines, but without taking up more screen space.

Clicking on "See all 332 results" in the New Search brings up the following screen:

Here the text is paler and harder for me to read, but the New Search adds a nice capability to narrow the categories down by decades. However, it looks like they're eliminated the Old Search's capability to sort the results alphabetically. In both cases, I'm showing 20 results per page, but this can be adjusted to 10, 20, or 50 for both searches.

Aha, and now I see that there are 16 matches for the Ireland, Tithe Applotment Books that weren't in the Old Search. This could be very important in this case since my Creeden ancestor came from Ireland. I also found two other record sets with 1 match each that weren't included in the Old Search.

In Ancestry's email, they state that they want to make improvements in the following areas:
  • More relevant search results with the best results at the top
  • Easier refining and control of your search results
  • Keeping a better history of the work you have done
  • Publishing more new content and more corrections to existing content
  • Performance improvements to return results faster

They don't mention readability of the results and I fear that the format I prefer will be gone. This isn't a deal breaker for me and I do appreciate the additional capabilities in the New Search. I also understand from a software point of view that it would be more expensive to continue to maintain both searches. I just wish it was easier on my eyes!

What do you think? Do you prefer the Old or New Search?

Sunday's Obituary - Ida Bell Creeden

I posted earlier about Daniel and Lena Creeden losing both of their children in two years. This is the obituary of their daughter Ida Bell who died on August 11, 1916 in Celina, Ohio at the age of only 11 years. Their son Ned died the year before at the age of 12. I can't imagine what they went through in losing both children so quickly. Daniel was the brother of my great-grandfather Charles Creeden. Their sister Julia lived in Pueblo, Colorado, so Daniel and Lena may have taken Ida Bell there in the hope of improving her health.


Berefit By Loss Of Only 

Mr. and Mrs. Dan Creeden Lose Their Beloved Daughter Ida Bell

   Ida Bell Creeden, the eleven years old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dan Creeden died Friday morning at 10:30 oclock at the home of her parents on West Livingston street.
   The child had been in failing health for the past year. Her parents took her to Colorado several months ago, hoping that the change of climate might better her health, but no improvement was made in her condition and they returned home two weeks ago.
   Ida Bell was the only child, a brother having preceeded her in death last October. Profound sympathy is extended to the bereaved parents in the loss which leaves them childless.

Thanks very much to Ken at the Mercer County Public Library for looking up the obituary for me. The article is from the local Celina newspaper, The Daily Standard.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sibling Saturday - Robert and Mae Creeden

This is my grandfather Robert Creeden and his sister (Mary) Mae Creeden McNamee, born in 1911 and 1914. The picture was probably taken in Celina, Ohio.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Graduation Day 1929

This photo is of my grandmother, Anna Lee Pulskamp Creeden on her graduation day in June 1929.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mystery Monday - Which William is Which? - Part II

I posted earlier about trying to sort out a William Creeden that stayed in Ohio vs. one that went to Kansas. There was also my great-great-grandfather Timothy Creeden's half-brother, Patrick William Creeden who may have gone by William since his father's name was Patrick. Is he the same as the Kansas William? All three Williams are about the same age in the census records.

I found a marriage record for a W.P. Creedan in Clinton County, Ohio that matches the wife's name for the Kansas William, so it is looking more possible that they are the same.

The marriage record shows that a W.P. Creedan married Mary C. Snyder on August 22, 1885 in Clinton County, Ohio. Unfortunately, there are no ages or parents listed on the record. This information matches the William and Mary that I found in Darke County, Ohio in 1900 next to John Creedan. John's children are a match for the Clinton County John and William's are a match for the Kansas William.

The William and Mary C. in the 1900 census had been married for 15 years, so the 1885 marriage date is a match. It wouldn't be unusual for someone with the same name as their father to use their middle name, but would they switch their initials as was shown in the marriage record? It's still a mystery for now. My next step will be to try and find additional birth, death, and marriage records for the different Williams.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Census Sunday - Coakley Families in Clinton County, Ohio

I've just started investigating my possible link to the Coakley families in Clinton County, Ohio, so decided to see what I could find out from the census records. My Coakley-Creeden link is through Julia Creedan's parents listed on her baptismal record and death certificate. Her parents were given on both records as Patrick Creedan and Mary Coakley. Julia is the sister of my great-great-grandfather Timothy Creeden.

A 1915 history of Clinton County, Ohio says that the first Roman Catholic mass celebrated in Clinton County, Ohio was in August 1852 and had ten attendees: Michael Devaney, wife, and daughter, Timothy Coakley, Patrick Creedon, Jeremiah Coakley and wife, Catherine Knaughton, and two young men whose names were not recorded.

I didn't have any luck finding Coakleys in the 1850 census for Clinton County, so went on to the 1860 census.

1860 Census - Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio
Both Coakley families are living together or next to each other. Tim and Catharine are from Ireland, while their children were all born in Ohio. Jerry, Mary, and their daughter Mary were all born in Ireland. They are living in Wilmington in Clinton County. There is also a Dennis Coakley with wife Mary, daughter Mary and infant son Dennis. A Catherine Coakley was living with a Fisher family.

1870 Census - Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio - Timothy Coakley and family
By 1870, the families were no longer living together and Timothy and Catherine had three more children. Jerry and Mary are living nearby and both families are still in Wilmington. I couldn't find their daughter Mary in this census.

1870 Census - Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio - Jerry and Mary Coakley
In the 1880 census, the families are back together. Timothy and Catherine have had two more children, John and Thomas.

1880 Census - Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio
In the 1890 census, I found a Mary Burns, listed as the former widow of Dennis Coakley. Dennis was killed in battle on March 16, 1865 in Avarysboro, NC. This abstract was taken from a notice in The Clinton Republican on April 7, 1865: DIED, Dennis Coakley, of the 79th Reg. Ohio Vol. Leaves wife and 2 small children. Dennis' widow Mary was in Xenia, Greene County, Ohio in this census.

1890 Veteran's Schedule - Xenia, Ohio

1890 Veteran's Schedule - Xenia, Ohio
In 1900, I found Timothy Coakley with his family and a Timothy Coakley that was living alone. They were all still in Wilmington.

1900 census - Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio

1900 census - Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio
Of interest in the 1900 census was the immigration year which was given as 1860 for Timothy. His wife Katherine didn't list a year, but said she had been in the US for 27 years or since about 1873.

1900 census - Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio
In the 1910 census, Timothy Jr. is living with his father who is now a widower. John and Elizabeth are also living with their father.

1910 census - Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio
This time Timothy's immigration year is given as 1836! Well, it wouldn't be a typical census record without some discrepancies.

In the 1920 census I found four of the brothers and sisters living together. Interesting that none of them are married! While I think this is the same family, their ages are off by at least a decade.

1920 census - Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio
By the 1930 census, Elizabeth has married John Ford and her two brothers are living with them. Elizabeth's age at her first marriage is given as 43 and John's is 26, so he has been married before.

1930 census - Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio
In the 1940 census, John Coakley is living with Amelia Murphy, a widow. The index listed his relationship to her as "boarder", but it looks more like "brother" to me. John and Elizabeth Ford are listed on the same page of this census in Wilmington.

1940 census - Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio
As usual, once I find some answers, I have more questions! Who was Amelia Murphy? What happened to the children of Dennis Coakley and what information would his Civil War records provide? Are there any Irish or immigration records available for these families? My next step will be to see what records I can find beyond the census records.

  • 1860-1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]
  • History of Clinton County, Ohio by Albert J. Brown, published in 1915 by B.F. Bowen & Co.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday's Faces From the Past - Mystery Girls

Two cute little girls, but no labels on the pictures. The photos were grouped together, so it could be the same girl. They were in my Ohio grandparents' collection, so they might be related to the Creeden or Kleinhenz families and were probably taken in Mercer County, Ohio.

Friday’s Faces from the Past is a way to highlight photos, of known ancestors or complete unknowns suggested by Smadar Belkin Gerson of Past-Present-Future.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Mystery Family

This one is a mystery. It was probably taken in Ohio and may be my Creeden family, but the relative ages of the children don't match.

Updating to add that I recognized the woman in this photo in one of my Pulskamp family photos.  I still don't know who she is, but it appears that she is linked to the Pulskamps in Mercer County, Ohio.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - John Creedan

John Creedan was born on November 13, 1853 to Patrick Creedan and Hannah Hoover in Clinton County, Ohio. He died on December 13, 1923 in Mercer County, Ohio and is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Fort Recovery, Mercer County, Ohio. John was the half-brother of my great-great-grandfather, Timothy Creeden. Thanks to Tracy C. for putting up the memorial and picture on FindAGrave.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Guardianship Bonds

I've followed a trail of probate records and Guardian's Bonds that link my great-great-grandfather Timothy Creeden to Patrick Creedan's family in Clinton County, Ohio. The bonds show that Timothy was named guardian of his half-sister Roseanna shortly after their father Patrick's death in Clinton County in 1883. The guardian's bonds were filed in Clinton County until 1887 when the probate case was moved to Mercer County, Ohio. The witnesses to the bond in Mercer County were Timothy's neighbors in Hopewell Township, Mercer County.

Guardianship moves from Clinton County to Mercer County - Click to enlarge
The record above shows that Timothy resigned his guardianship in Clinton County, Ohio since he had moved his family to Mercer County, Ohio. The text reads:

September 14th 1887 the following paper was filed,
to the ? Probate Judge of Clinton county Ohio.
   The undersigned guardian of Roseanna Creeden hereby tenders his Resignation of said trust and prays the same may be accepted. (signed by) Timothy Creeden
And the court finds that said guardian is chargeable with assets belonging to the Estate of his said ward amounting to $762.61 and is entitled to credits amounting to $333.56 leaving remaining in his hand $339.05 and the court finds that said guardian has moved with his said ward to Selina Mercer County Ohio and he has tendered his resignation as such guardian to this court and has made application and has been duly appointed and qualified as guardian of said Roseanna Creeden in the Probate Court of Mercer County aforesaid. It is therefore ordered and said resignation is hereby accepted for the purpose of transferring said Trust Estate to the Probate Court of Mercer County aforesaid. Copy of Letters of guardianship aforesaid is herewith filed October 7th 1887.  A. ? Williams PJ

Guardianship in Mercer County, Ohio - Click to enlarge
The corresponding record in Mercer County, Ohio shown above reads:

No 2798. In the matter of the guardianship of Rosannah Creeden, an imbecile. Oct. 4, 1887. appointment
   Upon application, and the court being satisfied that Rosannah Creeden, a resident of this county, is an imbecile; and incapable of managing her affairs, Thimothy Creeden is hereby appointed guardian of the person and estate of said Rosannah Creeden, and letters of guardianship are granted accordingly. Whereupon he accepts said appointment, and filed a statement, as required by law, of the whole estate of said imbecile, and the probable value thereof, was duly sworn, and afterwards, to wit: on the 5th day of October, 1887, came the said Timothy Creeden and presented his bond as such guardian in the sum of five hundred dollars with John H. Siebert and Henry Beathler as sureties, which bond is approved by the court.

I've been amazed at how much information I've been able to find on Timothy in the Ohio Probate Records. Images of these records are available online for free from Family Search. In the absence of any vital records showing Timothy's parents or family, I've been able to link him to his father Patrick and his sister Julia. Julia's death certificate named her parents as Patrick Creedon and Mary Coakley and her baptism record showed that she was baptized in Clondrohid, County Cork, Ireland in 1842. Patrick and Mary had another child there in 1848, but I couldn't find any records for them between 1843-1847. Timothy was born in 1846, so the search for records for Timothy continues.

  • Clinton County Ohio, Testamentary Records 1884-1889, volumes 12-13, "Ohio, Probate Records, 1789-1996." Images. FamilySearch.
  • Mercer County, Ohio Journals 1886-1888, vol11, "Ohio, Probate Records, 1789-1996." Images. FamilySearch.

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

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sentimental Sunday - Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there! This is a picture of my Dad doing one of the things he loved best. He is the one sitting in the middle of the canoe. The picture was taken in the early 1950s and labeled with: Here we are half way across West Bay, passing by an island.  Left to Right: Bert Bruns, Tim Creeden, and Dick Bruns. I think he was referring to West Bay, Michigan.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sibling Saturday - Carl and Robert Creeden

This photo was taken in August 1911 when my grandfather Robert Creeden was six months old and his brother Carl Edward Creeden was three. Sadly, Carl died from meningitis in 1912 when he was only four years old. Thanks to Marj B. for sending me the photo!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Follow Friday - Week of June 14, 2013

Here are a few of my favorite finds for the past week:
  • I found one of my mystery photos in This Is Our Life, a family history of the Willke, Kleinhenz, and related families from Mercer County, Ohio.
  • The Spiraling Chains has some good tips for finding Catholic clergy records on Google Books. 
  • If you're looking for a way to organize your genealogy data, check out Sarah's system on Geneartistry.
  • Wendy has a nice photo of her Madsen family on Shaking Leaves.
  • Denise writes about her ancestor's close call in the American Revolution on Meandering Past.
  • Watch a pair of Salt Lake City falcons raise their chick. Warning, it's addictive!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - A Mystery Solved

Dr. Edgar J. Willke and Alfrida Kleinhenz

I posted a little over a year ago about a wedding photo I had that was not labeled. It was in my grandfather's collection and I thought it might be someone related to his second wife, Hilda Kleinhenz. I recently discovered two books online about Hilda's sister Alfrida and her family. The This is Our Life book has the same photo in it!

The wedding photo is of Dr. Edgar J. Willke and Alfrida Kleinhenz. They were married on July 21, 1931 at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in St. Mary's, Ohio. Hilda was the maid of honor. The photo in This is Our Life is in much better condition than my copy and there is a second lovely photo of Alrida in her wedding dress on page 23 of the book. The books are beautifully done with many photos and interesting histories.Thanks so much to Andy N. for putting the books online!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Church Record Sunday - Ohio Quaker Records

Up until yesterday, every church record I've found on my Creeden family has been Roman Catholic. I was trying to find an obituary for John Creedan when he popped up in in an Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy by William Hinshaw. The entry below is from Volume 5, Ohio Monthly Meetings in the section for the Dover meetings held in Clinton County, Ohio. The Dover meetings were started in 1824.

According to the list of abbreviations in the volume, "recrq" is "received by request" and "dis" is "disowned" or "disowned, for". In this case, it looks like John and his family were disowned for disunity. Of course, I wondered what that meant!

The encyclopedia is an extraction of the meeting minutes, so if any details were recorded, they would be in the original records. Disunity could be as simple as speaking out strongly against the consensus of the members, although there would have to be a number of occurrences for this to cause a member to be disowned. A possibility is that John supported a cause or group that was contrary to the consensus of the members. The Quaker Corner on Rootsweb is the repository for the Quaker Roots mailing list where I found some discussions on disunity.

The other interesting thing in the minutes is the William Creeden that was received on the same day as John. I've been looking for some evidence that John's brother Patrick William went by William since their father was a Patrick. While I can't tell for sure that this William is John's brother, it looks like a good possibility. The combination of the names John, Minerva, and Hiram is unusual enough to make me pretty sure that this is the same family.

This was the only entry I found for the Creedans in the Quaker records. John is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Ft. Recovery, Mercer County, Ohio. This is a Catholic cemetery, so it looks like he returned to his original religion at some point.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sibling Saturday - Charles Creeden and brothers

Charles Creeden and brothers

This photo was labeled "Charles and brothers". I know that my great-grandfather Charles is the one in the middle, but I haven't been able to identify the other two. Charles had three older brothers: Daniel, Dennis, and Edward. He also had a younger brother, Joshua. Charles was born in 1886, so I'm guessing the picture was taken sometime in the 1900s or 1910s in Celina, Ohio.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Follow Friday - Week of June 7, 2013

Maryland State Seal Photo by Diane P. Evartt

Here are a few of my favorite finds for this week:

  • Maryland Manual on Line is published by the Maryland State Archives and has a great set of links for Maryland government and research. The site is updated daily.
  • Beverly of Reeves, Reaves, and more Rives posts about her ancestor's journey through the Cumberland Gap in 1806.
  • D.E.B. posts about her mother's college scrapbook on a Pathway to Remembrance.
  • Carl has research and photos of the Sparks and related families on The Sparks Family Genealogy Pages and the World Connect Database.
  • Dan and Carolyn continue their musical journey through South America in FollowTheSong.

The obverse of the Great Seal of Maryland pictured above shows Lord Baltimore as a knight in full armor mounted on a charger. Obverse of State Seal, State House entrance door, Annapolis, Maryland, January 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt and posted by the Maryland State Archives.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Workday Wednesday - Newspaper Man

Ad in 1916 Mercer County Farmer's Directory

I knew my great-grandfather George Pulskamp was publisher of a German language newspaper, Der Mercer County Bote, but I didn't know anything about his early career. Thanks to Notre Dame putting the Notre Dame Scholastic student weekly online, I now have some details.

George graduated from Notre Dame in June 1896 with a Bachelor of Letters. By October, he was helping to edit the Mercer County Standard in Celina. Ohio. Interesting that they slipped a bit of political commentary in.

Notre Dame Scholastic, October 10, 1896

By 1887 he was a foreman in the Standard office and was also spending his spare time getting subscribers for the Bote. I thought this second clipping was especially interesting since it includes an article from the Mercer County Standard that quotes the Bote talking about George and the Standard. Both newspapers give high praise to George.

Notre Dame Scholastic, January 23, 1897

A little more than 3 years after graduating from Notre Dame, George purchased the Bote. I was surprised to find out that he bought the paper that early. The paper was discontinued sometime after WWI, but George continued to run a print shop until his retirement in 1947.

Notre Dame Scholastic, November 26, 1898

In addition to the info on George's career, I found a lot of fun facts about him in the Notre Dame Digital Archives. There were a couple of papers that George wrote while in school and reviews on a play he was in. I also found his dorm, classes he took, and some of his grades. I highly recommend this resource if you have ancestors that attended Notre Dame. One last thing... Can anyone tell me what the meaning of "Hock!" is in the last article?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Military Monday - Documents of the American Revolution

The American Archives site hosted by Northern Illinois University provides free access to documents of the American Revolution covering the years 1774-1776. The site can by searched for documents or keywords and there is a detailed page on how to search.

I came across the site while doing a search for my Godwin surname and found a document listing the Minute Company that marched from Queen Anne's County, Maryland in 1776.


Included in the list were three men with my Queen Anne's County surnames: John Godwin, Thomas Meredith, and James Gould Sparks. One of the Corporals was Thomas Meredith Bryon, so there could be a connection there too. Very interesting to see that some of my families may have participated in the American Revolution. Now if I could just make that link back!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Census Sunday - Godwin Family in Queen Anne's County, Maryland

I posted earlier about finding my Godwin family in the 1850 census. It's an intriguing record since it has family members with four different surnames living together: Godwin, Sparks, Meredith, and Davis. Other families headed by Ann Sparks and Robert Sparks were living nearby.

3rd Election District, Queen Anne's County, Maryland, 1850 US Census
I don't know too much about my Godwin family. I found a Maryland marriage record that said Samuel Godwin married Ann Davis on March 23, 1824 in Queen Anne's County. My uncle had put together some family trees in the 1990s and he had a note that the family came from Wales. Samuel's occupation is listed as sailor and I've wondered if that could lead to some other records.

First, I decided to see what else I could find out about the family in the census records. From their ages in the 1850 census, Samuel and Ann would have been born around 1795 and 1804. I didn't have any luck finding Samuel or Ann in the 1860 census. Samuel and Susan Sparks are living on their own by then.

A search for Sam* Go*dwin in the 1850 census for Queen Anne's turned up 4 matches, all born in Maryland.

From their birth years, the last 2 Samuels would have been around 12 in the 1840 census, so I would not expect to see an entry for them. That leaves my Samuel and a second Samuel with the middle initial "P". My Samuel is in District 3, while Samuel P. is in District 1. Both families had 1 child living with them in 1850, but Samuel P.'s was a newborn.

The same search for 1840 turned up two Samuels.

This time, there is a Samuel with no initials and one with a middle initial of Z. Someone on Ancestry added Samuel T. Godwin as a correction to Samuel Z. Godwin.

I'm looking for a family that has 1 male, 45 years old, 1 female, 36, and 1 female, 8. Samuel Z. does not seem to be a match since the oldest male is between 30-39, there is 1 male child between 10-14, a female between 20-29, and a female between 50-59. The family for the other Samuel does not match either. Opening the search up to all of Maryland only produced one more Samuel that was not a match.

I did one final search in Maryland for all Godwins or Goodwins and still didn't find a match. The 1840 census is tough since it doesn't list family members and it's possible that they were living with another family. In my next searches, I'll see if I can track down some of my other Queen Anne's surnames in 1840 and also see if I have any luck finding Samuel's neighbors from 1850 in the 1840 census.