Sunday, February 25, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 8 - Heirloom

The 52 Ancestors prompt for this week is "Heirloom". Is there a special item that's been passed down in your family?

We don't really have any heirlooms that have been passed down for generations, but we do have some more recent things from my grandparents that will be passed down. I'm also very fortunate to have some photographs on both sides of the family dating back to the 1800s.

One of my more recent finds is a portion of a ledger kept by my great-grandfather George Pulskamp. I was contacted by someone that used to live in the house George lived in on Walnut St. in Celina, OH. In the 1970s, she found a couple of ledger pages up in the attic that had George's name on them and she saved them just because she thought they were cool. She found me through my blog and offered to send the pages to me. It was a lovely gesture and I'm thrilled to have something of George's in our family!

The page above is from a ledger George was keeping to track his expenses in 1895. He went on to become a newspaper publisher and printer, so it looks like he was a natural businessman. The page pictured is dated June 1895 and shows that he received $35 from B. Pulskamp at the start of the month. The entry might be referring to Beatrice Pulskamp.

The rest of the lines show his expenses for the month and his signature at the bottom. The interesting thing about the entries is that they detail a trip from South Bend, Indiana back to Maria Stein, Ohio. George was attending Notre Dame University during that time, so this was most likely a trip home for the summer.

George spent quite a bit of his budget on clothes, including $15 on June 3, plus a collar and something for baseball that I can't quite make out. I wonder if he had a summer job waiting for him at home.

On June 4, he bought a Jubilee book for $1 and a Jubilee medal for 50 cents. Notre Dame's Golden Jubilee celebration was on June 11-13 of 1895, so he probably attended some of the celebrations before heading home.

On June 6, he spent 15 cents for strawberries, cake, and milk at a farmhouse. I bet that was delicious!

It looks like he started his trip home on the 13th of June. There were expenses for a trunk transfer and supper in South Bend. His biggest expense was his railroad fare which cost $4.20. There was another trunk transfer on the 14th and then a railroad fare of 65 cents to Maria Stein. It's such an interesting glimpse into George's life during his college years. This is indeed a very cool thing to have and to pass down in the family! Much thanks to Brenda S. for taking the time to research someone connected to George and to send the ledger pages to me.

I wrote about some other heirlooms in previous posts:

My great-grandmother Anna Niehaus Creeden and her paintings
Charles Creeden's Mercer County, Ohio Sheriff's Badge
A few trinkets from my Councill family
Space Program Souvenirs

#52Ancestors is a series of weekly family history prompts developed by Amy Johnson Crow.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 7 - Valentine

This week's 52 Ancestors prompt  is "Valentine". Is there a love story in your family tree? Maybe a couple was married on Valentine's Day or you have a valentine that one ancestor gave to another. Maybe you have an ancestor named Valentine. 

I wish I knew the stories behind some of my ancestors' marriages, but I don't have any love stories or Valentines that have been passed down. Nobody named Valentine either! I found one Valentine's Day marriage in my family tree and it's for Bertha Rose Niehaus and Joseph Frederick. Bertha was the sister of my great-grandmother Anna Niehaus Creeden.

This newspaper article about their wedding was published in the Celina Democrat on February 17, 1911. I noticed that my great-grandmother isn't mentioned in the article. She gave birth to my grandfather 2 days before the wedding, so was probably recovering from the birth. 

There was a lot of information in this article. The wedding took place in the Catholic Church of Celina (Immaculate Conception) at 6:30am and was celebrated by the Rev. Fr. Ernest Hefele. The bride was attended by a younger sister, Miss Carrie Niehaus and the best man was a brother of the groom, Clarence Frederick. A wedding breakfast was served at the home of the groom's parents after the ceremony.

The groom was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Frederick and worked at the furniture factory. He was a pitcher for the local baseball club. The bride was the third daughter of the Infirmary Director and Mrs. Henry Niehaus. She was a graduate of both the Parochial and Public High Schools and taught school in the county,. She resigned her position in West Jefferson the month before the wedding. They lived in a home purchased by the groom on Lisle street.

Several years of the Celina Democrat are available on the Chronicling America site. They always listed their marriage notices under "Cupid's Victims" which is a tad quirky, but makes them easy to search for!

#52Ancestors is a series of weekly family history prompts developed by Amy Johnson Crow.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 6 - Favorite Name

This week's 52 Ancestors prompt  is "Favorite Name". Favorite name could be a name of an ancestor that makes you smile. Perhaps it's an unusual name.

Hornor family crest from Colonial Families of the USA
I don't really have a favorite name, but one that's always intrigued me is Deliverance Horner. That's definitely not a name you hear now! Deliverance's parents were Joshua and Mary Hornor of Burlington County, New Jersey. They were most likely Quakers from England. Deliverance married George Clevenger on July 19, 1737 and they were the parents of my ancestor Nancy Ann Clevenger Matson.

Joshua Hornor entry from Colonial Families of the USA
Joshua Hornor was born in in Tadcaster, England according to Colonial Families of the USA on Tadcaster is a town and parish in North Yorkshire.

Deliverance Horner, child of Joshua and Mary in Colonial Families of the USA
The list of Joshua and Mary Hornor's children in Colonial Families of the USA includes Deliverance and gives the date of her marriage to George Clevenger as July 19, 1737. The American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) gives Deliverance's birth year as 1710, although I see December 18, 1708 on several trees. Her year of death is given as 1756 in Frederick County, VA on several trees, but I haven't found a source for that. It does match up with my Clevenger family coming from Virginia.

I was surprised to find two more Deliverance Horners. One was born in 1685 and married Thomas Stokes. They also lived in Burlington County, New Jersey. Another was married to Baley Babb in 1785 in Frederick County, VA, so there's another reference to Frederick County. I would guess they're all related somehow, so probably worth doing a bit more research.

The use of Deliverance seemed to fall off quite a bit in the US after the 1850s. There were 122 entries for Deliverance in the 1850 census as compared to 79 in the 1860 census. There were only 12 matches for Deliverance in the 1940 census. The name hasn't disappeared entirely, but is very rare now. There are 22 entries for Deliverance in the Social Security Death Index, with the most recent one born in 1981.

#52Ancestors is a series of weekly family history prompts developed by Amy Johnson Crow.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 5 - In the Census

This week's 52 Ancestors prompt  is "In the Census." What intriguing find have you made in a census? What has a series of census records shown you? Do you have an ancestor who constantly ages only 7 years between censuses? 

The census is usually the first set of records I use when starting research on a surname. Sometimes I easily find a wealth of information on a family and other times it can be confounding due to incorrect information and spellings that aren't even close! Following are a few of my favorite census records. For a complete list of my posts involving the census, you can check out my census link under the Labels on the right side of the blog page.

The most intriguing find I've made in the census was when I found an entry for a Timothy Creeden in the US 1860 census for Clinton County, Ohio.

1860 Census for Patrick Creedan family in Clinton County, Ohio
My family thought our Timothy Creeden was the first in his line to come to America and we assumed he came over as an adult. I knew Timothy was in Clinton County, Ohio by sometime in the 1860s since he was married there in 1868. This census entry raised the possibility that he came over much earlier than we thought and that he had other family members in Ohio. The only problem was his age was wrong and this entry said he was born in Ohio! Every other source I had said Timothy was born in 1846 in Ireland.

I took a look at the same family in the 1870 census and found that Joanette/Joannah was now said to be born in 1851 instead of 1846. Could the census taker have switched the ages for Timothy and Joanette in 1860? Timothy isn't shown in this 1870 entry since he was now married and running his own farm nearby. After much more research, I was able to determine that this was Timothy's family. Several years later I finally found an obituary for Timothy and it confirmed he came over with his sister Julia when he was only 3 years old. The census entries were key in making the connection, although the incorrect information threw me off for a long time.

1870 Census for Patrick Creden family in Clinton County, Ohio
I've found it useful to look at a series of census entries for a given surname in a county. I've found many connections between individual families that way. Sometimes you can recognize a pattern like the same first names being used in different families. A couple of examples of series by county are my posts for Matson Families in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, Ohio and Coakley Families in Clinton County, Ohio.

One of my favorite census entries shows several of my family names in the 1850 census for Queen Anne's County, Maryland. Members of the Godwin, Sparks, Meredith, and Davis families are living in one household. An intriguing thing in this entry is Samuel Godwin's occupation as a sailor. So far, I haven't been able to find any information about his job as a sailor.

1850 Census for Queen Anne's County, MD
The 1880 Agricultural census might not give you new information on family names, but it totally changed my impression of Timothy Creeden's farm. I'd pictured one crop like wheat or corn like the farms I'd seen when traveling through the mid-west.  It turns out Timothy and his wife Mary had a lot going on on their 42 acres! They sold butter, eggs, and livestock in addition to having crops of corn, oats, wheat, apples and even half an acre of Irish potatoes.

Timothy Creeden in the 1880 Agricultural census for Clinton County, OH
When the 1940 census came out, I looked up both of my parents and found that my dad managed to get included in two entries! He was raised by his grandparents Charles and Anna Creeden, but was also listed in the entry for his father Robert Creeden. We'll never know for sure how that happened, but my guess is the census taker asked if they had any children and my dad's stepmother answered yes.

Robert Jr. with his grandparents in the 1940 Mercer County, OH census
Robert Jr. with his father and stepmother in the 1940 Mercer County, OH census
#52Ancestors is a series of weekly family history prompts developed by Amy Johnson Crow.