Saturday, June 23, 2018

A Reminder That Not Everything is Online

The only adult picture I have of my great uncle Roy Alexander Fiester (1895-1972), son of Mette Karine and Ben Fister, and oldest brother to my grandmother Margaret (Fister) HartleyCourtesy of Tom Cairns.

I intended to blog my great uncle Roy Fiester's obituary today, but discovered that despite a search through GenealogyBank, NewspaperArchive, Newspapers, and Google Newspaper Archive, I couldn't find it.  Fortunately there is at least a reference to the obit's existence at the Aurora Public Library in Illinois (he lived in Aurora most of his life):

Roy had an obituary on the 18th and 19th of February, 1972, in The Beacon.  His wife's obit is also listed, but I already have that obituary.

© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Family Friday: Allen & Cora (Crossett) Taylor

If I have it right, Allen is one of my maternal first cousins, three times removed.* A life-long resident of Iowa, he and Cora were married on November 25, 1897, and had five children together. According to census records he was a carpenter.

[From the family tree of bsutlery]

[20 Apr 1931, Page 8 - Iowa City Press-Citizen at]

He's buried in the Wellman Cemetery in Washington County, Iowa. Cora survived him by eight years and is buried near him.


© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mrs. Mary Fister Dies at Plano

My great grandmother, Mette "Mary" Fister, with her youngest daughter Doris Fister (my grand aunt), probably in the late 1920s.

The Aurora Beacon-News
Tuesday, 8 Jan 1935
page 2(?) 
Mrs. Mary Fister Dies at Plano 
Plano, Ill., Jan. 8.--Mrs. Mary Fister, widow of the late Ben R. Fister, a resident of Kendall county for 40 years, died yesterday at her home in Plano.  She was born at Stavanger, Norway, Nov. 25, 1876.  Her maiden name was Mattie (Mary) Crina Anderson.  She was married Oct. 18, 1894.  Mr. Fister died May 2, 1934. 
Surviving are five daughters, Lila, Fern, Edith, Margaret, and Doris***, five sons, Roy, Alvin, Russell, Myron and Ival, nine grandchildren, three sisters and one brother.
Funeral services will be held Thursday afternoon from the home at 1:30 o'clock and from the Plano Lutheran church at 2 o'clock.  Burial will be in the Plano cemetery.

***The daughters are pictured here, around the time of Mette "Mary" Fister's death.

© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Working on Wednesday: Mabel Myrtle (Bryan) Morriss (1895 - 1991)

Without knowing her story, anyone looking at the 1940 U.S. Census record for Mabel Morriss (one of my second cousins, twice removed*) would have no reason to think that her life was any different from the other farm wives in Cass County, Texas. It seems there's no census category for "tireless pioneer."

[1940 United States Federal Census. Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.:
National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627]

The Bowie-Cass Electric Co-op wouldn't exist without her vision and hard work. This is from the co-op's history page:
The slight, pleasant East Texas lady with limitless hope for the future and belief in her fellow East Texans brought the Douglassville co-op into being almost single-handedly, braving numerous condemnations of the project as "economically unfeasible." A few years back when employees and members of Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative were asked about the organizing of the co-op, they would reply, "Ask Mabel Bryan Morriss. She did it." 
It all started one warm night in May 1935, as Mabel Bryan Morriss read the latest issue of the Atlanta Citizens-Journal. If she hadn't been too interested in the story about the new-born Rural Electrification Administration and its offer to finance electricity for everybody who could qualify, Mrs. Morriss could have heard the whispers from other pioneers about the obstacles to be encountered along unblazed trails, and the heartaches and rebuffs that go hand in hand with the challenge of leadership.
Over the years she served on the board of directors, as secretary-treasurer, and even donated the land that the co-op's offices occupy to this day. Go read the rest of the story to get an appreciation of how hard Mabel worked to achieve her goal: "John Carmody [the government official in Washington DC] approved the project in August 1937, but his reservations were far from resolved, for he commented even while approving, "I know this thing will never pay out, but this is the only way to get that woman off our necks!' "

The Cooperative currently serves over 36,000 members.

[Originally posted on her family tree by SummerGBmore]

[From the Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative website]

You can read more about the Cooperative here, which includes some background on the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). Here's the application form that Mabel had to fill out to start the process:

[Source: East Texas History-Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative]

*Here's how we're related:

© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Free Webinar: "You Need a Search Strategy: Maximizing Your Results with Online Genealogical Databases" by Mike Mansfield

Knowing what goes into creating genealogical databases, and what challenges and difficulties arise as well as the context under which the records in the database were created, is important to the end user, as Mike Mansfield from MyHeritage Webinars demonstrates in "You Need a Search Strategy: Maximizing Your Results with Online Genealogical Databases." 

In the past 20 years, online search systems, databases, and image collections have revolutionized family history and genealogical research making our work faster, easier, and more convenient. However, these databases are not without limitations and quirks. This webinar will discuss some limitations we face and present strategies for more effective searches across a spectrum of websites and online services.

One interesting tidbit: if your ancestor was a suffragette she may have been absent in the 1911  census of England and Wales due to a boycott organized by suffragettes in protest to the government's refusal to grant women the right to vote.

1 hour 22 minutes
Free to non-subscribers

© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday Is for Mothers: Mary Cutts? (1765? - 1826)

We know almost nothing about this paternal fourth great grandmother* who married Henry Avera/Avery in Cumberland County, North Carolina, in about 1786. If we have the right early census records the family was living in the Cheraws District of South Carolina (later Chesterfield County) by the mid-1790s and seem to have left there for Alabama in 1819, first in Madison County and then ended up in Bibb County where Mary died in 1826 and was buried in the Avery Cemetery.

[Avery Cemetery, Findagrave Memorial #170175530; Photo by Bertha Avery-Hood.]


*Even her name is suspect--the gravestone of her daughter Catherine's grave indicates that she is the daughter of "d/o Henry Avery & Christian Durham." Whoever she was, there are quite a few of us who are descended from her.


© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Celebrations: Fathers Day

The father who raised me: Harold D. Currey (1902-1981).

[Coos Bay, Oregon -1911]

[With son Harold D. Jr., San Diego, California - c. 1928]

[Holding me, San Diego, California - 1947]

[After Mother's death - La Jolla, California - 1980]

My biological father Tracy Stuart Warren (1923- )

[Center, with half brothers, probably Dallas, Texas - c. 1936]

[In the Navy - World War II]

[Probably Corsicana, Texas - c. 1998]

All the photos of Harold Currey are from my personal collection, the first two pictures of Tracy Warren are courtesy of James Turnbull, the portrait was sent to me by Tracy after we contacted him in the late 1990s.

© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.