Friday, January 30, 2015

End of Week 2 of the Boston University Certification Course

The Genealogical Research Certificate Program at BU has made me realize what an amateur I am at genealogy. I have so many bad habits! I am self-taught and learned by just jumping in and figuring out as I go.  Finally I am getting a more thorough foundation.  This class is a LOT of work, but it's definitely worth it.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Latest News from AncestryDNA

Here's what Anna Swain, an Ancestry DNA expert, had to say this morning:
"The AncestryDNA database has grown to more than 700,000 people, and now that the test is available in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland, it will grow even faster with new possibilities for discovery on both sides of the pond."

After giving some general reasons why this is such good news, she gets personal:
"If any of you are like me, I have a few lines that 'appear' in the U.S. with few or no leads as to where they came from. In fact, I have three different lines going back to the 5th generation who were born in 1832, 1837, and 1844 in Kentucky, Virginia, and Indiana respectively, and that’s where I’m stuck.  Census records tell me one of these lines came from England, which means I’m extremely excited for AncestryDNA to be available there now. I’m hoping to match with cousins there who can connect me to my past on these lines."
Yes, indeed! I hope this will help us to eventually locate where William T. Slater, the most recent of my immigrant ancestors, was born in the late 18th century. Family lore says he was from Yorkshire.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Family Friday: Tomlinson

This is a portrait of my great great grandfather George Marion Tomlinson and his second wife (and my great great grand aunt*) Amanda Darling Tomlinson taken with the five children they had together and my great grandmother Rufina Ellen**, his daughter by his first wife.

[Courtesy of Olive Kennedy]

*Amanda's sister Mercy Ann Darling married Abner Webb.
**Fina, as she was usually known, is the woman in the center of the group. Her mother's name was Elizabeth Taylor.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: A Man and His Dog

Ben Fister and dog, abt 1930, courtesy of Tom Cairns

My great-grandfather, Berdines Rasmussen "Ben Fister" (1864-1934), and dog.  I'm not sure what the dog's name was.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Working on Wednesday: Adam Mott (1596 - 1661), Tailor*

The first record we have of my maternal 11th great grandfather Adam Mott is his marriage to Elizabeth Creed which took place in Saffron Walden* on October 28, 1616. The couple had five children--their youngest child (and only daughter) Elizabeth who was born in 1629 is my connection to them.

We don't know how soon after her daughter's birth Elizabeth died or where, but Adam married again, this time in Horseheath, Cambridgeshire**, on May 11, 1635, only a few months before their departure for New England. His new wife, Sarah, was a widow with a small child.

Near the end of July, 1635, the Defense sailed from London. Among the passengers were the Mott family who brought on board with them a certificate of Adam and Sarah's conformity to "the orders and discipline to the Church of England" from Cambridge and and had to provide proof of his loyalty to the King.

[The original lists of persons of quality; emigrants; religious exiles; political rebels; serving men sold for a term of years; apprentices; children stolen; maidens pressed; and others who went from Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700 with their ages and the names of the ships in which they embarked, and other interesting particulars; from mss. preserved in the State Paper Department of Her Majesty's Public Record Office, England. Published 1874 by Hotten in London.
Original: University of Toronto]

I found a great explanation (PDF) of what prospective passengers had to do before they were allowed to leave for the New World.
"By the 1630s, migration from England was in high gear, and the government wanted to keep track of this movement for a number of reasons. The king, Charles I, did not want his wealthier subjects, who paid the lion’s share of England’s taxes, abandoning him for a foreign realm. Also, in an age of fierce religious and political division, the king wanted to make sure that England’s overseas dominions were populated by loyal subjects. Thus, in 1634 Charles I told royal officials in London to record information about individuals sailing abroad. The Crown required oaths of allegiance from adult travelers and proof of their conformity with the English Church (usually referred to as “oaths of allegiance and supremacy” on the passenger lists). Some passengers carried with them letters from justices of the peace and ministers in their hometowns attesting that they met these conditions. Others, particularly those headed for Virginia or the Caribbean, took these oaths as their ships prepared to sail."
The Defense arrived in New England and the Mott family first settled in Roxbury where Adam and Sarah were admitted a members of the church. About a year later the family removed to Hingham and moved again to Portsmith, Rhode Island, in 1638, where he remained until his death in 1661.

For an in-depth look at Adam Mott's will and estate inventory, let me direct you to our South Bay neighbor (and cousin of some sort) Randy Seaver and his excellent blog post covering the probate file.****

*Or Taylor as it appears in the records.
**Located in Essex between Cambridge and London, Saffron Walden, designated a Conservation Area in 1968, has some 400 buildings special architectural or historic interest including a number that Adam and Elizabeth would have been familiar with.
***Horseheath is about 8-1/2 miles northeast of Saffron Walden.
****If you're not following Randy's blog Genea-Musings, you're missing out.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Shelf: Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature

According to his preface, written in March of 1880 at St. Mary's Vicarage in Ulverston, Lancashire, Charles W. Bardsley had spent twelve years collecting extracts of church records all over England. And this is the result:

[Curiosities of Puritan nomenclaturePublished 1880 by Chatto and Windus in London.
From the University of California Libraries via Internet Archive]

While I can't attest to the validity of all of Mr. Bardsley's conclusions, I assure you it's a fun read and will be useful when I revisit some of my Puritan ancestors.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 26, 2015

FamilySearch's United States Public Records, 1970-2009

Since I am an subscriber I can use their U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1 and U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 2 databases to find people from 1950-1993.  FamilySearch Blog has recently posted a series about its Top 10 Most Searched Record Collections, and it's 3rd most searched database is their United States Public Records, 1970–2009 collection.  I had no idea they even had such a database on FamilySearch.

This is a great addition to my public records search arsenal, and best of all, it's free for everyone to use.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday Is for Mothers: Lucy Westbrooke (About 1754 - 1816)

When my paternal fifth great grandmother, the widow of Kirby Bittle of Southampton County, Virginia, came to make her will in September of 1815, "being in low health," Lucy's first bequest was to her younger son Thomas Westbrook Bittle to whom she left all her land, a slave named Jim, one feather bed, and a black mare. If he were to die before reaching the age of 21* without "lawful issue" everything was to be divided among her three daughters, otherwise each of them would receive a slave and some special piece of furniture.

However in the final item of her will, Lucy named her older son, Benjamin,**  and left "thirty gallons of apple brandy to him and his heirs forever." That's all.

[Lucy Bittle's Will. The Brantley Association of America

Now Benjamin had been the the administrator of his father's estate in 1810 and among the items in the inventory are an "apple mill and trough" and a "cider press and hoops." I'm wondering if the apple brandy follows from something Benjamin did (or didn't) do as administrator which caused his mother to essentially disinherit him. There definitely seems that a message was being sent.

[Kirby Bittle Inventory. The Brantley Association of America

*He appears to have survived receive his inheritance.
**From whom I descend; the surname spelling changed to Biddle over the course of the 19th century.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

52 Ancestors in 54 Weeks: Week 13: Mette Halvorsdottar (1825-1904), My 3rd Great Grandmother

Mette Halvorsdottar was born on 17 Oct 1825 in Hagen, Sauda, Rogaland, Norway, to Halvor Ingemundsen (b. 1793) and Lisbet Samuelsdotter (b. 1789).  She was christened several weeks later on 6 November 1825 in Sand, Rogaland, Norway.  She had at least one other sister and 3 brothers.

My family information has Lillerod after her last name and I don't know if that is a location where the family farm was?  I see a mention of Lillerød as one of the farms owned by a man in Rogaland in the 1600's, and that might possibly be the area.  Her parents were living in Rød lille, Sauda, Sand, Rogaland, Norway in the 1865 Folketelling, so maybe the name just got transposed?

Mette got her smallpox vaccination a day after her second birthday on 28 Oct 1827.

Shortly before she was 21 she married Od Knudsen (1824-1890) in Sauda, Rogaland, Norway on 10 October 1847.  According to family information the witnesses were Halvor Lillerod (I'm assuming her father) & Orm Risvold, with reading of proclamations September 3, 20, 26.  Their first child, Anna, was born 21 March 1847, only 6 1/2 months after they married, meaning she was either premature or was conceived before marriage.  Two years later their twin girls, Ingeborg and Lisabeth, wereborn 2 years later on 23 May 1849.  I am assuming that Lisabeth died soon after, as my 2nd great grandmother, also Lisabeth, was born a year later, on 20 June 1850.  Next came sons Halvor (1852) and Knut (1855), followed by Ingeborg (1856) (I'm assuming the first Ingeborg died?) and Berte Oline (1859).  Their son Od, was born in 1863, and Tore Martin Odson was their last child, born in 1867, when Mette was about 41.

In the Folketelling 1865 Mette, 40, and her family were in Hinderåa Parish, Nerstrand, Rogaland, Norway.  Husband Od and children Halvor, Knud, Od, Anne, Ingeborg, and Berte Oline were also there.  Lisabeth was working as a servant in Hinderåafor another man named Knud Knudsen, 30 (relation?).
Daughter Lisbeth Odsdatter in later years

In the Folketelling 1875 Mette, 50, and her family were in Askedalen, Nedstrand, Rogaland, Norway.  Husband Od and children Halvor, Od, Tore Martin, and Anne were living with her, as well as son-in-law ("svigers.") Jakob Torgersen (Anne's husband), and their son Torger Olaus Jakobsen (b 1873) (Od's grandson), and Mette's own father, Halvor Ingemundsen.  Her father was referred to as a "Folgemand, which "is a man who has "handed" over his farm to the next generation, and has made an agreement on what his rights are, for instance that he can stay at the farm as long as he lives."

The following year her daughter Lisabeth had her first child, Mette Karine, my great grandmother, out of wedlock.  I am not sure how out-of-wedlock births were viewed in that time and place, but Mette and Od helped raise Mette Karine some time after Lisabeth married Martin Anderson in 1880.
Mette with husband Od and granddaughter Mette Karine

According to family records, Od died on 24 February 1890and was buried 8 days later on 4 March 1890.  Granddaughter Mette Karine immigrated to the United States a few years later, in 1892 or 1893.  Family information has Lisbeth going to America for a brief period of time but I am not sure when that happened.

In the Folketelling 1900 Mette, 75, was living with Siri Olsdatter, about 70 (b. 1830) in Askedalen, Nedstrand, Rogaland, Norway.  Mette is listed as a "Bruger af Husmandsplads m J" which means "uses cotter's place."  Siri was a "Gaards arbeider og uldspinder" but I don't know what that means yet, unfortunately (maybe a spinner or spinster worker?).  I don't know what Siri's relationship to Mette was.

According to family records Mette died on 23 April 1904, aged 78, in Askedalen, Nedstrand, Rogaland, Norway.  She was buried 7 days later on 30 April 1904, under the name Mette Halvorsdtr Klungtvedt (?).

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Fantastic Find: World Map of Y-DNA Haplogroups

I discovered this map through a post by Nivenus at io9 titled "A Patrilineal Map of the World."

I strongly suggest that you not only look at the pretty map, but also read the comments Nivenus added which help explain what you're looking at. Here's the first one:
"This only shows the dominant haplogroup(s). The actual genetic diversity in many of these regions is more than it appears (though not so much in others; the Basque in Spain and France for example express 92.7% correlation with Haplogroup R-M207)."
Nivenus is promising an even more exciting map someday.
"I'm also working on my own, similar map, which has multiple layers and shows off more of the individual mix in each country."
© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Census Was Taken Today: "We All Count": San Diego Task Force On the Homeless

Click here to see video on CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA

In order to qualify for funds to help the homeless, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires regional organizations, like the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless, to conduct a survey in one day during the last 10 days of January of each year.  More details and requirement from HUD here and here.  In the future the results will be displayed as just numbers and statistics, not personal information on each homeless person, but still helpful to future historians and genealogists.  Everything is grist for the mill.

More in depth here from the San Diego Union-Tribune today.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Family Friday: Grenfell

This portrait of Bernice Evangeline Grenfell* (1902 - 1980) and her two brothers, Gilbert (1901- 1928)  and Richard 1904 - 1981), was taken in Redfield, South Dakota, taken in 1919. 

[My personal collection]

The photographer was Charles O. Lindrooth and I haven't been able to learn any more about him.

*She is the mother who raised me.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Shelf: New England's Prospect

The first edition of this slender book by William Wood was published in London in 1634, followed by a second edition the next year and a third five years later.

The author made his purpose clear in his preface:
"I  have laid down the nature of the country, without any partial respect unto it, as being my dwelling place and intend, God willing, to return shortly again. But my conscience is to me a thousand witnesses that what I speak is the very truth, and this will inform thee almost as fully concerning it as if thou wentest over to see it."
Wood begins with a description of the land and its climate, comparing it with what his English readers were familiar with, then passes on to the soil and the plants, animals, birds and fish to be found there. He adds a brief description of several communities(which he calls plantations) already established there, includes "Such Things as Are Hurtful" and finishes with a consideration of what the voyager should take,
'And because the way to New England is over sea, it will not be amiss to give you directions what is necessary to be carried. Many, I suppose, know as well or better than myself, yet all do not; to those my directions tend."
The Second Half of the book concerns itself with a description of the native peoples. The subtitle of that part gives an idea of the scope of matters Wood touches on, even including a.short vocabulary of native words.

Wood was not writing a religious tract but as the title page indicates, his purpose was:

After discovering New England's Prospect while writing about an early immigrant ancestor who might have been influenced by books like it, I decided to get my own copy which I found at Amazon. It's also available as a kindle book and, of course, you can read it online at the Open Library. (The edition I got has an informative introduction and has been slightly edited to make the spelling in the original easier for the modern reader to follow.)

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: A Boy and His Dog

John "Jack" Slater and family dog Freddie, photo courtesy of Olive Kennedy
This week I've been thinking about Jack Slater (1923-1943), my biological grandmother Alta Slater's little brother who died off the coast of France during World War II.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Working on Wednesday: Dirick Areson (About 1635? - 1678/9), Horses

When my maternal ninth great grandfather made his will on October 1, 1678, in Flushing, New York, he described himself as "finding my selfe very dangerously weak and not knowing how soone I may be taken away hence..."

["New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971," images, FamilySearch (,226244501 : accessed 20 January 2015), New York - Wills 1665-1683 vol 1 - image 230 of 323; county courthouses, New York.]

Dirick left all his property to his well-beloved wife Ann for her widowhood and directed that, if she did remarry, one half of the property should be shared between his children.* Almost as an afterthought reference is made to "The Estate of the above Dirick that (is) in Holland if it bee recovered is equally to be divided among his seavon children."

The will, signed with his mark, appears in New York probate records the following February (1768/9) along with an account of what he owes and is owed in turn. His four debts "taken from his owne mouth in his greatest extremity" are expressed as various quantities of tobacco with the sterling equivalent added. Only a small amount of tobacco is owed him but he has already paid "Meny ye shoonmaker" for three pairs of shoes, and is waiting for a firkin of soap, three deerskins, and "one mare" and "one three yeare old horse."

According to an entry for his family** in The Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey** Dirick died as a result of a kick from a horse he was shoeing. I haven't been able to discover where this information originally comes from, and even if it's true, I don't know if he considered himself a blacksmith. But horses definitely belong in his story!

*Dirick comes into my direct line through his daughter Sarah.
**Spelled Aaronson there.
***Francis Bazley Lee, Lewis historical Publishing Company, 1910 - New Jersey.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Genealogy Course At Boston University Starts Tomorrow!

My class Online Genealogical Research starts tomorrow, and I am very excited.   Offered through Boston University's Center for Professional Education, it is a 15 week, non-credit course.  I have been self-taught up to now, and it will be nice to fill in whatever gaps exist in my methodology.  Genealogy is a field where the learning never stops.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday Is for Mothers: Abigail Davis (About 1633 - 1682)

When her father William Davis died in 1643, my maternal 9th great grandmother Abigail Davis was only about ten years old. She continued living with her stepmother, who married John Cowdall a year later. At some point the family moved to Newport, Rhode Island, and in about 1655 Abigail's stepmother and her husband forced her to marry Richard Ussell.

For what happened next, I think I'll just give you the Rhode Island Court Records, complete with their spelling:*

[Original from Harvard University]

The Generall Courtt of Tryalls held for the Collony
The 24th of June at providence in the yeare 1656
An action of Trespas: upon the case Comenced by Edward: Richmond plaint against Richard Ussell Defendt Damige one hundred: pownds starll: The Issue joyned by the Aturnies not guilty of Trespas: The juries verdict we find for the: Defendt: the costs of Court: judgment granted and Execution thereon
The Gen Court of Tryals Held for the Collony At ports-
mouth the 14th of october in the yeare 1656
An action of Trespas: upon the case for Breach of Covinant and for forcing Abigall Davis the spoused wife of Edward Richmond and for takeing keeping and with houlding her from Edward Richmond aforesaied. Comenced By Edward Richmond plaintiff against John Cowdall and Richard Ussel deffts: damige thre hundred pownds starll
This case is reffered to the court of Comitioners there detirmanation
At the Generall Court of Tryalls Held at Warwicke june
the 30th 1657.
An action of the case to answer the Condemnation of the Court upon A nihil dicett Entered before the Court of Tryalls in october last at portsmo, Comenced by Edward Richmond plaintiff against Richard Ussell Deffendant Damidge Forty pownds starll jurries verdit we Find for the plaintiffe Damidge sixe pownd and Cost of this present Court judgment granted and exicution thereon
Att the Generall Court of Tryalls held for the Collony at
providence the 13th octobr 1657
An Action of Trespas upon the case comenced By Abigall Davis pla: against Richard Ussell Defftt: Damidge tenn pounds starll: The Issue joyned by the Aturnie is the Defft knows noe Abigall Davis of newport and the Deft is not guilty of the charge The jurry cominge into the Court did Declare that they cannot Agree to bringe in A verdict and will noe longer atend upon the case
Abigail and Edward found themselves in court again the next year.

The Genrl Court of Tryalls Held for the Collony at New-
port on the . . . Day of June 1658
Upon A presentment by the Grand Jurry against Edward Richmond for liveinge with Abigall Davise contrary to the law of this Collony: The Deffendant Enters his Traverce: leads Guilty Soe Far as he lives Contrary to law: And Reffers him Self to the Bench for Tryall: The Court doe judge the Sayd Edward Richmond Guilty of Fornication and to be whipt or pay Forty Shills accordinge to law: The sayd Edward Richmond Doth acknowlidge to abide the law in payment of Forty shills to the Genrl Treasurer: judgment graunted
Upon A presentment by the Grand jurry against Abigall Davice for liveinge with Edward Richmond contrary to the law of this Collony: The Defendant Enters her Traverce: pleads Guilty and Reffers her Selfe to the Bench for Tryall: She also in Court owned herselfe to be the same woman Abigall Davice: and that she hath a chylde by Edward Richmond The Court doe judge her Guilty of Fornication: and to be whipt or pay forty shillings—accordinge to law: She ownes to abide the law in payment of Forty shills to the Genrl Treasurer Judgment Granted:
Upon the humble Request of Edward Richmond and the aforementioned Abigall Davice that thay haveing beine adjudged: and also thay owneinge the Righteousnes of the Sentence of the Court against them for liveinge together in Fornication: That now this court would be pleassed for prevention of the licke Temptation now to Declare them selves Condissendinge to the two parties marriag to gether: which the Court doe Consent unto: for that ther is Testimony that they have beine twice published according to law but that Mr Jeffery advised them to stay A litle while becaus obadyah Holmes Forbad it thoe he shewed noe Reason nor hath accordinge to law proceeded in the matter since therefor the Court Declares under the hands of the Court or by their names herto anexed that the sayd persons are married together before and in pressents of the Court Leagaly
At last, by order of the Court, Abigail and Edward were legally married to each other.

They had six children together before her death in 1682 and I'm descended from the third one, John Richmond. 

*Rhode Island. Court of Trials. (192022). Rhode Island court records: records of the Court of trials of the colony of Providence Plantations, 1647-1670. Providence. pps 18, 22, 28, 37, 45.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

52 Ancestors in 54 Weeks: Week 12: Od Knudsen (1824-1890), My 3rd Great Grandfather

Odde (or Od) Knudsen was born 27 November 1824, in Bakke, Sauda, Rogaland, Norway, to Knud Knudsen (b. 1795) and Anna Sjursdatter (b. 1800).  He was christened in Sand, Rogaland, Norway 6 months later.  He had 5 brothers and 4 sisters.

According to family records, Od was given the smallpox vaccine on 8 November 1836, when he was almost 12.  By then, as John Follesdal explains in his article on Norwegian parish registers, Norwegians had been vaccinating against smallpox since the first decade of the 1800's (everyone 1 year old and up had to vaccinate, and couples had to present their vaccination certificates to get married).  I'm sure Od enjoyed the getting the vaccine as much as the child below.
[Od and his fellow countrymen would have had to have gone through a similar ordeal as James Phipps, who got his smallpox vaccination in 1796 from Edward Jenner, as imagined by artist Robert Thom in this 1950's painting, Jenner, Edward: inoculating a young boy, 1796. Photograph. Britannica Online for Kids.]

On 10 October 1846 Od, 21 years old, married 20 year old Mette Halvorsdottar (1825-1904) in Sauda, Rogaland, Norway.  Their first child, Anna, was born 21 March 1847, only 6 1/2 months after they married, meaning she was either premature or was conceived before marriage.  Two years later their twin girls, Ingeborg and Lisabeth, wereborn 2 years later on 23 May 1849.  I am assuming that Lisabeth died soon after, as my 2nd great grandmother, also Lisabeth, was born a year later, on 20 June 1850.  Next came sons Halvor (1852) and Knut (1855), followed by Ingeborg (1856) (I'm assuming the first Ingeborg died?) and Berte Oline (1859).  Their son Od, was born in 1863, and Tore Martin Odson was their last child, born in 1867, when Od was about 43.

In the Folketelling 1865 Od, 41, and his family were in Hinderåa Parish, Nerstrand, Rogaland, Norway.  Wife Mette and children Halvor, Knud, Od, Anne, Ingeborg, and Berte Oline were also there.  Lisabeth was working as a servant in Hinderåafor another man named Knud Knudsen, 30 (relation?).   Od was listed as "Husm. m. Jord" (husmann med jord), which was a cottager, tenant farmer, crofter, smallholder, or person who rented a house with small plot of land on a larger farm.  A 65 year old "Spinderske" (female spinner) named Ranveg Hendriksdatter was also living with them.  I do not know her relation to Od.

In the Folketelling 1875 Od, 51, and his family were in Askedalen, Nedstrand, Rogaland, Norway.  Wife Mette and children Halvor, Od, Tore Martin, and Anne were living with him, as well as son-in-law ("svigers.") Jakob Torgersen (Anne's husband), and their son Torger Olaus Jakobsen (b 1873) (Od's grandson), and wife Mette's father, Halvor Ingemundsen (Od's father-in-law).  His father-in-law was referred to as a "Folgemand, which "is a man who has "handed" over his farm to the next generation, and has made an agreement on what his rights are, for instance that he can stay at the farm as long as he lives."

The following year his daughter Lisabeth had her first child, Mette Karine, my great grandmother, out of wedlock.  I am not sure how out-of-wedlock births were viewed in that time and place, but Od and wife Mette helped raise Mette Karine some time after Lisabeth married Martin Anderson in 1880.
[Od Knudsen with wife Mette and granddaughter Mette Karine, in the 1880's]

According to family records, Od died on 24 February 1890, at age 65, and was buried 8 days later on 4 March 1890.  Granddaughter Mette Karine immigrated to the United States a few years later, in 1892 or 1893.  His wife Mette remained in Norway for the rest of her life, as far as I know.

I found the Norwegian/American dictionary online to be quite helpful in figuring out some terms on the Norwegian censuses.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Something Old and Something New: Genealogy Roadshow, US Edition

The 2nd season of the American "Genealogy Roadshow" started Tuesday on PBS.  It's the first episode I've seen of this series, and I am looking forward to seeing more.

Add this to the British and American "Who Do You Think You Are", "Finding Your Roots," "African American Lives," and "Time Team America" for shows I obsess about.  And because I'm more ethnically British than anything else, I'll throw in the British "Time Team" series as a very early genealogy show.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

The Invasion of America: How the United States Took Over an Eighth of the World

My ancestors were among those Americans who kept moving west generation after generation, leaving the more settled parts of the United States behind in search of a better life for themselves and their children.

[View of the great treaty held at Prarie [sic] du Chien, September 1825 / painted on the spot by J.O. Lewis ; Lehman & Duval Lithrs.
Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division Washington, D.C.]

I just discovered this map which makes it clear how it came about that there was always land for them somewhere ahead:
"Between 1776 and 1887, the United States seized over 1.5 billion acres from America's indigenous people by treaty and executive order. Explore how in this interactive map of every Native American land cession during that period."
Claudio Saunt, the creator of the map, writes more about the topic here.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Book Shelf: Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer

This is a big brick of a book, even in paperback. Because my lineage includes ancestors from all four of the groups described in the book, I've found it enormously helpful in understanding some of the information that puzzled me at first.

[University of Oxford Press]

The author begins with an introduction in which he explains how each of the four largest waves of settlers in the North American colonies before the Revolution brought with them from their native land not only their (mostly) common Protestant religion and shared English language, but also distinct regional customs, attitudes, and patterns of living that set them apart from their neighbors.

The titles of the main chapters can help the genealogical reader focus on those sections that may be relevant to her research:

  • East Anglia to Massachusetts: The Exodus of the English Puritans, 1629-41
  • The South of England to Virginia: Distressed Cavaliers and Indentured Servants, 1642-75
  • North Midlands to the Delaware: The Friends' Migration, 1675-1725
  • Borderlands to the Backcountry: The Flight from North Britain, 1717-1775

Albion's Seed is available at all the usual places, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AbeBooks. You can also see if your local library has it.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

USGenWeb Is 18 Years Old!

Welcome to The USGenWeb Project! We are a group of volunteers working together to provide free genealogy websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. This Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free genealogy access for everyone.

I've known about USGenWeb for almost as long as I've used the Internet.  As a blast from the past, here is a snapshot of the website in December 1996.  As someone with a huge American colonial ancestry I've found bits and pieces of my family history from this site over the years, and I'm so grateful to the innumerable volunteers who have tirelessly added the information.  I'm spoiled to have access to quite a few subscription databases, and I wanted to give a big Thank You to everyone involved in this free resource.  The massive amount of information provided voluntarily is a real testament to the generous spirit of the genealogical community.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Working on Wednesday: Thomas Stanton (About 1615 - 1677), Indian Interpreter and Fur Trader

Nothing is known about Thomas Stanton, my paternal 8th great grandfather*, before he arrived in Massachusetts in 1635.** The next year he moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where he was one of the original  proprietors and engaged in fur trading with the Indians, learning their language and customs.

His skill as an interpreter was so valued by the United Colonies that they paid him a yearly sum for his services. As Frances Manwaring Caulkins*** comments about Thomas:
"He himself appears to have been always upon the wing, yet always within call. As interpreter to the colony, wherever a court, a conference or a treaty was to be held, or a sale made, in which the Indians were a party, he was required to be present. Never, perhaps, did the acquisition of a barbarous language give to a man such an immediate, wide-spread and lasting importance. From the year 1636, when he was Winthrop's interpreter with the Nahantick sachem, to 1670, when Uncas visited him with a train of warriors and captains to get him to write his will, his name is connected with almost every Indian transaction on record."
In 1638 the Connecticut General Court named seven men who were the only ones permitted to trade with the Indians for beaver and Thomas Stanton of Hartford was one of those named.

Having married and started a family by 1639, he continued living in Hartford, then took up residence in New London by 1650, while at the same time establishing a trading house in Pawcatuck (later Stonington) which he moved permanently by 1653.

He represented Stonington as Deputy to the Connecticut General Court for many years, served on a commission "to end small causes" and was a Selectman for the town. He even prepared a catechism in the Narragansett or Pequot language for the commissioners of the United Colonies which was published in 1658.

He died in 1677 at the age of 62 and is buried in Wequetequock Burying Ground. The "new house" Thomas left to his son Robert in his will is still standing. It's on the National Register of Historic Places and is now a house museum.****

[Historic American Buildings Survey Everett H. Keeler, Photographer March 9, 1937 SOUTH ELEVATION - Robert Stanton House, Stonington, New London County, CT. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.]

monument for him and three other founders was erected in 1899 and  his name appears on the historical marker for the town.

[Photo Doug Kerr]

*Through his daughter Hannah.
**Some believe that he first sailed to Virginia before removing to Massachusetts but this hasn't been proven.
***History of New London, Connecticut, from the first survey of the coast in 1612 to 1860.
****To watch a 2012 video tour of the house.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fantastic Find: New England Historical Society

Another day, another fantastic find!

Covering the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, the New England Historical Society, which you can join for free, has fascinating articles on all kinds of topics like this one about early colonial burial practices titled Seven Strange Facts About Colonial Funerals. Apparently drinking, gloves, and rings were important, but not sermons.
"Many of today’s traditions, such as giving right of way to a funeral procession, stem from the earliest days of America. Other traditions from Colonial Funerals have died away or been altered over time. Here are seven strange funeral practices that have been done away with in modern times."

[Mourning ring, 1683; Private Collection; d: 11/16" Engraved E:Dudley:Obit:1:feb:82/3
This ring, apparently the earliest known dated piece of marked American gold, commemorates the death on February 1, 1683, of Edward Dudley, the twelve-year-old son of Joseph Dudley. Source:]

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Some Great Resources and Advice, from D. Joshua Taylor

On Saturday, January 10th, I went to see D. Joshua Taylor's fantastic 4-part presentation at the San Diego Genealogical Society's 70th Annual meeting.  You can see this "fireside chat" with him and Michael J. Leclerc recorded July 2014 for more introduction.

D. Joshua Taylor recommends broadening your research scope to include online resources aimed toward historians and not just genealogists (in fact, the links on state archives labeled for genealogists are usually geared to those just starting out on their journey).  Include broader topics such as time period and location in your searches, as searching for a particular name may not yield any results.  Sections for educators can be fruitful for the genealogist.

One crucial resource is the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC), which I briefly covered in an earlier blog post.  ArchiveFinder was specifically mentioned, which is a subscription database that is available at large institutions (for San Diego residents it is available at UCSD*).  On the other hand ArchiveGrid, which is part of WorldCat, is free to use.

Another resource is JSTOR, which includes journals, primary sources, and books.  You can set up your own individual account (which has some limited access to full-text articles) or access all the full-texts through a large institution (for example in San Diego you can use UCSD*or SDSU*)

Taylor also mentioned Early American Imprints, a database I had not heard of before (Series I and Series II available in San Diego through UCSD*).  He describes it thus:
Single page broadsides, pamphlets, and multi-volume works comprise what is referred to as Early American Imprints.  Currently, these imprints are available online in two series.  The first, Series I, is known as "Evans," and covers 1690-1800.  The second, Series II, is known as "Shoemaker-Shaw" and covers the periods between 1801 and 1819.
Imprints often contain pertinent genealogical information that is useful in bridging the gap, including sermons, laws, cookbooks, music, court records, histories, etc.  They can also contain names, dates, locations, events, and are also helpful in establishing and building historical context.
Taylor then went on to discuss state archives.  I have looked a number of state archives before in my research, including Virginia and Alabama, but he emphasized spending some time with each website to discover what they really have to offer, as each state is different and has its own strengths and quirks.  I found Cyndi's List has a good directory of state-level archives and libraries.

Finally, aim to produce a finished product in genealogy, which can include not just pedigree and lineage charts but write-ups on whatever research you do.  It isn't enough to spend a day at the genealogy library or courthouse only to go him and never do anything with the information found.  It was a good reminder to me why it is important to take research beyond a collection of facts and try to synthesize a story or narrative about my ancestors.

*I believe you have to physically go to the university unless you are a student or employee and already have a password.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday Is for Mothers: Martha Heath Hardy (1834 - 1886)

This list of the heirs of my paternal fourth great-grandfather John H. Hardy who died in 1854 provides us with information about the next two generations of my ancestors.

["Alabama, Estate Files, 1830-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01 Jul 2014), Russell - Hardy, John H (1854) - image 42 of 51.]

At his death at the age of 81, John H. had outlived at least seven of his children (including my great great great grandfather Alfred Ward Hardy) and it was his intent to divide his property equally among his children with the surviving children of his deceased sons and daughters sharing their parent's portion.

As you can see in #5 in the 1867 list above, Alfred Ward had five children of whom the third was "Martha Warren wife of Jesse Warren."

Martha, known to her family as Mattie, was born in Monroe County, Georgia, on November 6, 1834, and the family moved to Cotton Valley in Macon County, Alabama, when she was about four years old, drawn by descriptions of the fertile soil in accounts like this one on page 299 of "View of the valley of the Mississippi, or, The emigrant's and traveller's guide to the West" by Robert Baird.*

[An Accurate Map of the State of Alabama and West Florida: Carefully compiled from the original surveys of the General Government; designed to exhibit at one view each Section and Fractional Section; so that each person can point to the tract on which he lives; By John La Tourette, Mobile, Ala. Engraved by S. Stiles & Co. New York. Anno Domini 1838. Printed by Colton & Co.
David Rumsey Historical Map Collection]

In the 1840 U.S. Census, Alfred Hardy is listed as the owner of 13 slaves, seven of whom are engaged in agriculture (almost certainly growing cotton). Since this census only gives the name of the head of household, Mattie and her older sister Ann Elizabeth are the enumerated in the column for white females ages 5 - 9.

[ 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. 
Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. (NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.]

On December 6, 1849, 15-year old Mattie married Jesse T.S. Warren. Records tell us the couple were married by E.W. Story, a local Methodist-Episcopal minister.

Although there's a household headed by Jesse in the 1850 U.S. Census but we don't find a listing for Mattie.**
[ 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls); Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, Washington, D.C.]

From a Texas 1867 voter registration record we know that Jesse (or J.T.S. as he's often referred to) and his family left Alabama to move to Cass County in 1852, probably with a group of relatives, and that's where we find them in the 1860 U.S. Census.

[ 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.]

The effects on the family wealth from the emancipation of their slaves are evident in the 1870 U.S. Census as the value of their real estate fell by nearly one-third and Jesse's personal property, most of which came from his slave-holdings, almost completely vanished.

[ 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.Minnesota census schedules for 1870. NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.]

The last public record we have for Mattie is in the 1870 U.S. Census.
[ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Original data: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.]

She died, almost certainly in Cass County, on May 9, 1886 at the age of 51.

We don't have any pictures of Mattie but her bible is still in the possession of one of her descendants whose grandson kindly shared several photos of it with us.

[Private collection; photo courtesy of T. Warren]

You can read about her son James Chappell Warren, my great grandfather, here.

*Available as a free Google ebook here.
**Unless the 18-year old Eliza and 1-year old John listed as residents there are actually 16-year old Mattie and her baby James which seems unlikely.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

52 Ancestors in 54 Weeks: Week 11: My 2nd Great Grandfather James Chappell Warren Sr. (1854-1924)

James Chappell Warren was born 9 May 1854 in Cass County, Texas, in the "Piney Woods" region, to Jesse T. S. Warren (1825-1894) and Martha Heath Hardy (1834-1886).  His middle name Chappell was a reference to his mother's mother, Sarah Heath (Chappell) Hardy. He was the third of nine children.  His oldest brother Alfred Hardy Warren died as a toddler in 1852  back in Cotton Valley, Alabama, before James' parents even came to Texas.

James was a farmer most of his life.  I am not sure what his education was like but I do believe he was a Methodist.

He grew up in Douglassville, which according to the website was started the same year he was born:
First settled in the 1850s, settler John Douglass is the community’s namesake.
First settlers migrated from Alabama and Georgia and modeled their Red River community after the plantations they left behind.
A post office was opened in 1854 and only closed in 1990 – a run of 136 years. In 1884 it had a population around 150 which slowly increased to 176 by 1900.
Most of the 20th Century history of Douglassville is unavailable. The population in 1980 was given as 228 and the 1990 population was 192.
His grandmother Sarah Heath Chappell Hardy died about 1876, when James was about 22.

On 29 August 1877, when James was 23, his sister Martha Timmie Warren died at age 19.

He started appearing on the Cass County tax assessment rolls for state and county taxes as "J C Warren" in 1877 and subsequently appeared on the county's 18781880, 1881, 1882, and 1883 rolls.  He was taxed for land, horses, carriages/buggies, and some miscellaneous items.  The 1880 U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules reveals more specifics about his farming:
[Non-Population Census, Census Year: 1880; Census Place: Precinct 6, Cass, Texas]

Looking at the record above, it shows James Warren was the owner and rents for shares of products:
80 acres tilled, including fallow and grass in rotation (whether pasture of meadows)
90 unimproved acres, woodland and forest
$1500 farm value, including land, fences, and buildings
$100 value of farming implements and machinery
$400 value of live stock
$50 cost of building and repairing fences in 1879
$1200 estimated value of all farm productions (sold, consumed, or on hand) for 1879
2 horses of all ages on hand June 1, 1880
3 mules and asses, all ages, on hand June 1, 1879
4 milch cows on hand June 1, 1880
10 other meat cattle on hand, June 1, 1880
4 calves dropped, 1879
1 cattle slaughtered, all ages, 1879
1 cattle died, strayed, and stolen, and not recovered, all ages, 1879
100lbs cheese made on the farm in 1879
25 swine on hand June 1, 1880
50 barnyard poultry on hand June 1st, 1880, exclusive of spring hatching
10 other poultry on hand June 1st, 1880, exclusive of spring hatching
100 dozen eggs produced in 1879
40 acres of Indian corn, 1879
500 bushels of Indian corn, 1879
40 acres of cotton, 1879
20 bales of cotton, 1879
50 bushels of Canada peas (dry), in 1879
1 acre potatoes (Sweet), 1879
100 bushels of potatoes (Irish), 1879
100 cords of wood cut in 1879
$100 value of all forest products sold or consumed in 1879

James married Nancy Elizabeth "Nannie" Freeman (1857-1934) on 15 December 1885 in Johnson County, Texas, when he was 31.  I don't know how they met but I suspect that since both of their families had lived some time in Cotton Valley, Macon, Alabama, the families had likely kept in touch, even though they lived in different parts of Texas.

1886 was an eventful year.  I am not quite sure where they lived at first.  James' mother Mattie died on his 32nd birthday, 9 May 1886.  His first daughter, Mattie Lizzie Warren was born 6 months later on 1 November 1886.  Tragically she died before the age of 3 on 10 September 1889, when James was 35.  James then appeared on the 1889 and 1893 Cass County tax assessment rolls again.

James and Nannie must have had a terrible time in 1889 and 1890, having lost their only child.  They finally had a second child, Henry H Warren, born about 1891, when James was about 37.  James had further losses with his father Jesse T.S. Warren dying on 26 January 1894 and sister Fannie Warren McGee on 17 September 1895.

They were definitely living in Cleburne, Johnson, Texas by the time their third child, James Chappell Warren Jr (my great grandfather), was born on 8 April 1897.  James Sr was then almost 43.  James and Nannie's last child, Mary Anna Warren, was born 11 Dec 1899.

Cleburne was one of the stops on the Santa Fe railroad line, below both Ft Worth and Dallas.  Unlike Douglassville, Cleburne was a growing city with quick access to a big city like Dallas, which would have likely opened up more opportunities for James' children.
[An Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Route Map from the 1891 (title Grain Dealers and Shippers Gazetteer), from Wikipedia]
In the 1900 Federal Census he was 46, a farmer, and owned a farm with a mortgage.  By the 1910 Census he was 56, a general farmer, and owned the home/farm free and clear on Waxahachie Road in Johnson County (not sure if this is the same place as 1900).   His son Henry was not on the 1910 Census but Nannie counted him as still living.  I am unsure of Henry's fate as I don't find him after the 1900 Census.

They appeared to live in a different place by the time the 1917 Cleburne City directory was published, as they were living at 709 W Chambers St, Cleburne, Texas (the original home appears to still be there if you look at Google maps).  Son James Jr. was also living with them, as he appeared at the same address on the following page.
[James and Nannie in the 1917 Cleburne city directory: U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Title : Cleburne, Texas, City Directory, 1917]
Two of James' brothers, Bill Warren and Pomp Warren, died in 1917.  Bill died three days before James' 63rd birthday on 6 May 1917, and Pomp died 21 December 1917.

James and Nannie must have moved the following year, or purchased another property, as James Jr. indicated on his World War I Draft Registration Card on 5 June 1918 as living and working for his father at #4 Alvarado, Johnson, Texas, almost 13 miles east of the Chambers address.
[James Chappell Jr.'s WWI Draft Registration Card showing address, Registration State: Texas; Registration County: Johnson; Roll: 1983267]
 In the 1920 Federal Census James (now 66), Nannie, James Jr., and Mary Anna were living in Cleburne.  James Sr. and Jr. were both farmers (Jr. had just come back from serving as a fireman working in the engine room in a ship in the Naval Reserve during World War I), and Mary Anna was a college student.

James Jr. married Letta Estella Porter on 3 June 1922, and the following year James Sr. became a grandfather to James Jr.'s one and only son.  Unfortunately James Jr. died 8 August 1923 from complications of appendicitis and James Sr.'s daughter-in-law Letta Estella appeared to go live in Dallas with the baby.  This must have been a terrible blow for James Sr.  He died a mere 6 months later, on 15 February 1924 in Sand Flat, Johnson, Texas (not sure why here) from lobar pneumonia stemming from influenza.  One his death certificate it indicated that his wife's address was in Alvarado, so maybe they were visiting Sand Flat when he died?
[James Chappell Warren Sr.'s death certificate, from Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Death Certificates, 1903–1982. iArchives, Orem, Utah]

He was buried the next day at Cleburne Cemetery.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Genetic Genealogy Standards

Via Your Genetic Genealogist:
"A group of individuals, including genealogists, genetic genealogists, and scientists, have been working for the past year to develop a draft of genetic genealogy standards. The document is intended to provide ethical and usage standards for the genealogical community to follow when purchasing, recommending, sharing, or writing about the results of DNA testing for ancestry. 
To ensure that this document accurately reflects the standards embraced by the community, we made the document available for a period of public comment (from May 12, 2014 through June 15, 2014). We received more than 75 comments during the comment period, and have revised the document to incorporate those that we felt strengthened the standards. 
On January 10, 2015, the Genetic Genealogy Standards were presented during the First Annual SLIG (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) Colloquium in Salt Lake City, Utah."
From the introduction to the Standards:
"These Standards are intentionally directed to genealogists, not to genetic genealogy testing companies. As used in the Standards, the term “genealogist” includes anyone who takes a genetic genealogy test, as well as anyone who advises a client, family member, or other individual regarding genetic genealogy testing. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of those taking a genetic genealogy test (“tester”) to understand and consider these standards before ordering or agreeing to take any genetic genealogy test."
You can download a copy of the Standards here.

Currently standards and guidelines for Y-DNA and mtDNA testing are being worked on and will be available at Genetic Genealogy Standards when completed.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.