Monday, July 30, 2007

Confusing Relationships

This past Friday, Charlene, a new-found "Shuder" cousin and her son came down from central Michigan for a visit with me and one of my first cousins. We got acquainted, shared some information, had a good time, and got a bit confused.

Our common ancestors, Nancy Jane Lavering and Isaac Shuder, were related to each other before they got married. As I attempted to explain their relationship and determine our relationship it just got more and more confusing. We finally did get it figured out though, I think. Nancy and Isaac were 1st cousins once removed, and Charlene and I are second cousins once removed, as shown in the image below, which can be read by clicking on it to make it bigger:

The problem I have with the standard relationship charts, is that you have to know your relationship to your common ancestor as well as the relationship of the person you are trying to determine your relationship to. Now, if I'd had the basic information for those ancestors and their children entered into the genealogy software that I use, which is Legacy, it wouldn't have been a problem, but I didn't and still don't. Actually, I did have it entered a couple of years ago, but that's another story. Anyway, Legacy has a neat feature that allows you to display and/or print a fancy chart mapping out these things. It's really a nice chart, but I couldn't use it. . .

Examples of the Standard Relationship chart can be found at:
A rather nice, slightly different chart with a pdf file available for download is at:

** Update July 31, 2007 **

What is a First Cousin, Twice Removed? is an article in the Learning Center that provides some helpful information on relationships. The Learning Center is a very good resource whether you are just starting your family search or even if you are a more advanced researcher.

Sunday, July 29, 2007



©2007 Rebeckah R. Wiseman

I haven't gotten anything done today that I had planned on doing. . . The day isn't over yet though, so there is still hope.

Have some Fun - make your own tombstone

Dick Eastman posted Make Your Own Online Tombstone with a link to the site. There is a maximum of 16 characters, including spaces, in each of the first 2 rows and 25 characters in the third row.

Mr. Eastman has issued a challenge from his blog: "... submit humorous or otherwise interesting words for use on a tombstone and post those words in the comments section" on his blog post." He will change the image in his post every day to reflect one of the latest submissions. Two weeks from today, he will change it to whatever he deems to be the funniest or most interesting tombstone message received and will leave that image online there forever. Here's your chance to have your words etched in (digital) stone!

Try it, Have Some Fun!! Here is what I came up with:

Using Bloglines

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has mentioned Bloglines in several of his posts and yesterday I decided to give it a try. So far, I can say without hesitation, I love it! Thanks for the tip, Randy.

It did take me a couple of hours to go through my Favorites to get the nearly 100 blog urls (and, believe it or not, not all of them are Genealogy Blogs) added to Bloglines, but it is going to be so very handy to have them all in one spot and to easily see what has been updated since last logging in to Bloglines, so definitely worth the time it took. You can set up folders to categorize your blogs and you can also set up a favorites bookmark that allows you to easily add a new blog to your Bloglines account.

And, of course, there is the added benefit of using a web-based bloglist since it will be accessible on any computer anywhere that is connected to the internet. Which means, when I start going on research trips I'll easily be able to keep up to date on what is going on in the genea-blogging world.

Bloglines generally displays the posts without any formatting or ability to add comments but a simple click on the blog title will open a new window to display the blog with all of its formatting. Depending upon the options the blogger has selected for feeds, you may see the complete post or it may be just the first few lines of the post. Again, a click on the blog title opens the full post allowing you to see it as the blogger intended and giving you the ability to add your comments.

Bloglines has a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page if you want to learn more before signing up and using this FREE service.

Mystery Photo #10

This is the ninth post (the 10th and final photo) in a series of unidentified photographs from the Charles Wiseman Family Bible. See this post for background information. Click on the "Mystery Photo" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the photographs in this series. As always, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Paper photograph on card stock. 2 3/8 x 4 1/16. Printed on the back: "H. C. Millice & Krieg, Photographic Studio, Warsaw, Ind., P.O. Box 246" and handwritten, upside down, at the top: "This One Henry Wiseman"

Based on other identified pictures I have, I'm fairly certain that this is Henry Weir Wiseman, son of Charles and Naomi Bray Wiseman, born March 13, 1859 in Switzerland County, Indiana. Henry and his older brother, Samuel Bray Wiseman, moved to Tippecanoe Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana prior to 1880.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mystery Photo #9

** Update ** Color version of photos added July 29, 2007 to help with analysis. Also added link to fM's post, see below.

This is the eighth post (and 9th photo) in a series of unidentified photographs from the Charles Wiseman Family Bible. See this post for background information. Click on the "Mystery Photo" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the photographs in this series. As always, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Paper photograph on card stock. 2 3/8 x 4 1/16. Printed on back: J. E. Walton, Photographer Vevay, Ind.

Depending upon when this picture was taken, it could be Susanna Wiseman, daughter of Charles and Naomi Bray Wiseman, who was born August 2, 1850. Susanna married James Scott on April 8, 1882. Or, it could be Elizabeth Detraz, born June 27, 1871 and daughter of Eliza Banta and Julius Detraz. Elizabeth married Charles Wiseman, Jr. on December 23, 1895. They all lived in Vevay. Or, of course, it could be someone else. . .

** Update July 29, 2007 **

footnoteMaven has posted Dating Old Photographs :: Becky's Mystery Photograph #9 which provides a great (tremendous, awesome) methodology for analyzing old photos. You have to check it out if you have any old pictures that have not been identified. fM also provides a list of resources/books she is using for help in creating a database for a project on Washington State and Territory photographers. A HUGE Thank You goes to fM!

A bit more informaton about the pictures, based on fM's methodology:

  • Category: Card Measurement ~ the picture is 2 5/16 x 3 11/16 and the card is 2 1/2 x 4 1/8
  • Category: Card Thickness ~ No calipers on hand ;-) but using the method suggested by fM and described here, the thickness of the card was 8 sheets of 20 bond paper or .032 inches thick, which puts it into the 1880-1900 date range.
  • Category: Color of Card ~ The front of the card is off white/light tan with a hint of yellow. The background of the image is a bit darker than the card itself. The back of the card is white, not a bright white, but definitely white.

If there is just one thing I've learned in this process it is to scan all photographs, even monochromatic, in color, to take advantage of all clues hiding within the picture. It takes more time to get a good color "match" and you have to keep in mind that every monitor will display the pictures somewhat differently, which means not everyone will see it the way you do. Now I need to find the time to go back and rescan some of these Mystery Photos and apply fM's methodology, find the resources she mentioned, and see what information I can pull from these photos, as well as that big box of unidentified pictures my Dad gave me a few years before he passed away!

Mystery Photo #8

This is the seventh post (and 8th photo) in a series of unidentified photographs from the Charles Wiseman Family Bible. See this post for background information. Click on the "Mystery Photo" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the photographs in this series. As always, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Paper photograph on card stock. 2 3/8 x 4 1/16. Printed on back: Frank A. Place, Photographer, Warsaw, Ind. Also, perhaps, another of those "hidden mother" photos? Looks to me like the background has been retouched.

Okay, even though we all know what can happen when you assume something, an assumption is going to be made that this is a photograph of one of the grandchildren of Charles and Susanna Bray Wiseman. In the previous post I suggested that the baby in that picture was Nathaniel Howard Wiseman, born July 18, 1884. He was the 2nd grandchild of Charles and Susanna. The first was Ethol Walter Scott, born April 7, 1884 in Vevay, Switzerland County, Indiana and the son of Susanna Wiseman and James Scott. I don't think the previous picture was of Ethol because they lived in Vevay, in the southeastern part of Indiana. It's my opinion that the above photograph is of the 3rd grandchild who was Charles Wilson Wiseman, born September 20, 1886 and the son of Amanda Alexander and Samuel Bray Wiseman though it could be Smith Wiseman, born February 27, 1888 and also the son of Sam and Amanda.

The pictures below are from my father and were identified (from left to right) as Ethol Scott, Howard Wiseman, Smith and Charles Wiseman.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mystery Photo # 7

This is the sixth post (and 7th photo) in a series of unidentified photographs from the Charles Wiseman Family Bible. See this post for background information. Click on the "Mystery Photo" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the photographs in this series. As always, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Paper photograph on card stock. 2 3/8 x 4 1/16. Printed on back: 1856-1884 H. C. Millice, Photographer. Warsaw, Ind. P. O. Box No. 246.

The date 1884 on the back of the picture may provide a clue - if the photo was taken in 1884 it could be Nathaniel Howard Wiseman, born July 18, 1884 in Tippecanoe Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana. He died May 14, 1956. I knew Nathaniel Howard as "Uncle Howard" - All of Dad's relatives that were older than him were called "Aunt" or "Uncle" regardless of the relationship. Howard was actually my Dad's first cousin once removed. Howard was the son of Laura Mariah Alexander and Henry Weir Wiseman.

Take a closer look at the top of the picture. . . It's been altered, perhaps hiding the face of a person beneath the coverlet holding the baby?

Monday, July 23, 2007

A new-found cousin!

About a month ago I was contacted by a descendant of Elzora Mary Shuder Long Davis. Elzora was also known as Mary, Dora, and Zora. Anyway, Elzora is the sister of my grandmother, Elsie Shuder Wiseman (my Dad's mother). My new-found cousin, a great-grandaughter of Elzora, is coming to visit me and my first cousin Caroline on Friday. Cousin Caroline is the one who has done the research on this line, back in the late 1970's and early 1980's (before I got "into" genealogy) so I've been going through her files that I copied about 10 years ago. Those files have just been sitting there waiting for me to get to them, I've looked through them a couple of times, but never really did anything with them. . . Guess it's about time. It's just that I'd rather spend my time researching my lines that haven't been worked on rather than inputting data that someone else has found. I've got a couple of lines that have had books published on them and while I find it interesting to read the books and learn about those families, for some reason they just don't mean as much to me (gasp, gasp, we're not supposed to have favorites are we?). I think it is because I personally haven't invested so much time or resources in them.

I never knew Dad's mother, Elsie. She died in a house fire in 1926 when my Dad was two years old. I didn't know his father either, Charlie died in 1943, a couple years before I was born. I've been told many times that I resemble Elsie, but I've never seen a good picture of her to be able to tell whether I do or not. With the permission of Cousin Caroline, I'll be posting some of the information she has gathered on the Shuder/Schuder and allied families (Huntsicker, Lavering, Long, and Stoever). We actually connect to the Shuders in two ways - it gets a bit confusing but does cut down on the number of ancestors that need to be researched!

Mystery Photo #6

This is the fifth post in a series of unidentified photographs from the Charles Wiseman Family Bible. See this post for background information. Click on the "Mystery Photo" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the photographs in this series.

Paper on card stock 2 ½ x 3 ¾. Photographer unknown. As always, you can click on the picture to enlarge it.

Mystery Photo #5

This is the fourth post in a series of unidentified photographs from the Charles Wiseman Family Bible. See this post for background information. Click on the "Mystery Photo" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the photographs in this series.

Tintype 2 3/8 x 3 3/4 Photographer unknown. As always, you can click on the picture to enlarge it.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Recommended Reading - Copyright Dilemmas

Have you ever wondered about who "owns" the rights to a photograph, or anything else that you personally have not created, and what "rights" you might have for their use? I sure have, all the time. Obituaries, Letters, Photographs, books or magazine articles; can you use them without fear of legal litigation? How much is "fair use" and who determines what is fair?

Never fear, help is here. . .

Who Owns the Copyrights to Your Photographs by Steve Danko, who has just completed a bit of training in Copyright issues, writes about the Copyright laws in the USA and provides some links to sites with additional information.

To Post or Not to Post: That is the Question by footnoteMaven, who writes about her dilemma regarding posting a family photograph from the early 1900's. She has analyzed the origin of the photograph step-by-step and her analysis could easily be used as a checklist for determining if it is feasible to post or publish any photograph without fear of legal litigation.

In my opinion, in case anyone cares, a little bit of common sense goes a long way in determining usability in these matters. But keep in mind, the wrong decision at the wrong time could see you in court.

There is a lot of information out there on this topic, so ignorance is not an excuse: a Google search for copyright+"fair use" brings up only 6,500,000 hits, the first one being
U.S. Copyright Office - Fair Use

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mystery Photo #4

This is the third in a series of unidentified photographs from the Charles Wiseman Family Bible. See this post for background information. Click on the "Mystery Photo" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the photographs in this series.

Paper Photograph on card stock 2 ½ x 4 ¼" Somewhat faded. Is the photographer J. R. Gocgas? Taken in Madison, Indiana.
** Update **
footnoteMaven identified the photographer as J. R. Gorgas.
Apple found this page on J.R. (first name Joseph or John) at Craig's Daguerreian Registry of American Photographers 1839-1860, which appears to be a good resource.
Much Thanks to both fM and Apple!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mystery Photo #2 and #3

This is the second in a series of unidentified photographs from the Charles Wiseman Family Bible. See this post for background information.

Tintypes. 2 3/8" x 3 3/4"

I don't know that it is, I'm sure it is wishful thinking, but I would like to believe that the picture on the left is my 2nd Great-Grandfather, Charles Wiseman, born 1815, with his three youngest children. Is the child sitting on the man's lap a boy or girl? What is the time period? How old are the children in the picture? Susanna Wiseman was born in 1850, Samuel in 1855, and Henry in 1859. Charles would have been 35 years old when Susanna was born. The family lived near Vevay, in Craig Township, Switzerland County, Indiana.

To me, the young man in the right photo resembles the man in the picture with the children. What do you think? Click on the images for a larger version.

The Carnival is Back in Town!

Jasia has posted the 28th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy at Creative Gene and it's all about Surnames! You're in for another good ride this time around...the COG just keeps getting better and better!

The topic for the 29th Edition of the COG will be: Smile For The Camera!

Jasia says "We all have them, boxes of family photographs. So, show us your favorite photo(s)! Tell us everything about them. Who or what is the photo of, when was it taken, where was it taken, where did you get it, who was the photographer, why is it one of your favorites? Does it commemorate a special occasion, is it a treasure, a mystery, or is it just plain weird, strange or unusual? Share with us the stories of your favorite pics from your family photo albums.

The next edition of the COG will be hosted by footnoteMaven. The deadline for submissions will be August 1st, so crack open those photo albums and start blogging!Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnivalsubmission form . Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnivalindex page .

* * UPDATE July 20th* *

No Smiling For the Camera: The footnoteMaven has officially changed the topic to "Moral or legal dilemmas in genealogy and genea-blogging, which ones have you had to deal with and how did you resolve them, if you did?"

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mystery Photo #1 Man and Woman

This is the first in a series of unidentified photographs from the Charles Wiseman Family Bible. See this post for background information.

Tintype. 2 ¼" x 3 ½" Note the tacks in the picture, one at the top and two below. This is a picture of a picture!

Could this be Samuel Bray, Sr. (1797-1885) and Susanna Ball (1797-1877), the parents of Naomi Bray Wiseman? Do you think the man and woman have similar facial features? Samuel and Susanna were first cousins, both born in Kentucky. Their parents moved to what would become Kentucky from Hampshire/Frederick County Maryland about 1785. What clues are there that might help date it? As always, you can click on the picture to enlarge it.

Charles Wiseman Family Bible

The Charles Wiseman Family Bible was given to me in January 2004 by Kent Scott, a grandson of Susanna Wiseman Scott (1850-1938). Susanna was a sister of my great grandfather Samuel Bray Wiseman (1855-1944). They were the children of Charles and Naomi Bray Wiseman of Switzerland County, Indiana. Charles (1815-1895) and Naomi (1824-1908) had three other children: Albert (1852-1853), Henry Weir (1859-1946), and Charles, Jr. (1861-1937).

At the time of the death of his grandmother, Flora Kiesel Scott, in 1970, Kent discovered an old carriage trunk in the attic of her home filled with old dresses, feed sacks, newspapers, and at the bottom of the pile, the Wiseman Family Bible. After looking through the Bible, Kent asked his father who was Susanna Wiseman? His father said Susanna was his grandmother and she had died in 1938. His father had kind memories of her while growing up on the farm. He said even later in life she still ruled the family with an iron hand but a gentle spirit. Upon his father's death in 1996, the bible came into Kent's care, and he vowed to return it to a member of the Wiseman family.

First contact was made by Phil Wilcox, Kent's brother-in-law, when he found Susanna Wiseman Scott in my WorldConnect database in December 2001. We corresponded off and on for several months but, for various reasons, it wasn't until January 2004 that Kent and I finally connected. For the cost of shipping, Kent offered to send me the Bible. I was hesitant because he was also a Wiseman descendant. But he wanted it to be with someone with the Wiseman name. So, of course, I accepted his offer!

"The Latest Illustrated Polyglot Family Bible" was published in 1872 by C. F. Vent, New York and Cincinnati. There was no dedication page so we don't know to whom it was presented or when. However, the family record pages give the birth dates for Charles and Naomi and their children written in "fancy" script, possibly inscribed at the time the Bible was presented to them, assuming it was a gift. One puzzle is a "Memorandum" page that has the inscription: "Josephine Ederington was born August 24th 1865." I don't know who Josephine is but she was listed in the household of Charles and Naomi in the 1870 census, aged 5 years old (Craig Township, Switzerland County, Indiana p267). She's not mentioned in either of their obituaries.

The Bible is not adorned in any way nor does it have any colorful engravings, but it does have some very nice black and white lithographs. The cover and spine are completely detached, it's musty smelling, some of the pages have brown spots on them, and some of the pages have separated from their binding, but it's a priceless family heirloom.

At the very back of the Bible were two pages containing a dozen photographs. Some are cartes de visite pictures, but most of them are tintypes. Only one has a possible identification. Tintypes were introduced in 1853 and the carte de visite came along about 1860. I promised Kent that I'd post the pictures, that was three years ago. Better late than never. . . I'll be posting those pictures here with the hope that someone can help date them if not identify them.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Swiss Passport 3 April 1832

The Front and Reverse of the Passport of Johannes Phend;

Transcription of the main portion of the passport, English Translation in brackets [ ]

Prefecture de Interlaken [District of Interlaken]

Coutes les Autorites chargees de maintenir l'ordre et lat surete, sont invitees a laisser passer lebrement - - - Jean B'hend avec sa famille savoir, sa femme et quatre enfant.

[To the authorities charged with upholding order and security, we request you to let pass freely - - - John Phend with his known family, his wife and four children.]

originaire de Armuhle [natives of Armuhle]
demeurant a Armuhle [living in Armuhle]
allant en Amerique dams de etat de Ohio [going to America to the State of Ohio]
dans l'intention de s'y fixer [with the intention of settling]

en recommandant de lui donner aide et assistance en cas de besoin, sous offre de reciprocite. Le present passeport est valable pour une annee. Delivre sur Pattestation authentique. Donne a Interlaken - - - le 3 April 1832, mill huit cent trente et deux

[In recommendation of him, bestow help and assistance in case of emergency, under our offer of reciprocation. The present passport is valid for one year. Release over (Pattestation ?) authentic. Admitted at Interlaken - - - the 3rd of April 1832, one thousand eight hundred thirty two.]

The upper left section of the passport gives the document number as 540 and a description of Johannes Phend aka Jean B'hend:
  • Signalement du Porteur [Description of the bearer]
  • Age de 50 ans [50 years of age]
  • Taille moyenne [average stature or size]
  • Grand 5 pieds 2 pouces [height 5 feet 2 inches]
  • Cheveux blonds [light hair]
  • Front ouvert [open, frank countenance]
  • Sourcils blonds [light eyebrows]
  • Yeux gris [gray eyes]
  • Nez petit romain [small roman nose]
  • Bouche moyenne [average mouth, lips]
  • Menton rond [round chin]
  • Visage long [long face]
  • Marquest distinctives [no distinctive marks were noted]
  • Signature du Porteur [signature of the bearer]
The back of the passport contains the seals and written remarks of the officials who endorsed the passport as the family passed through the various jurisdictions. I've not been able to transcribe or translate completely the handwritten remarks.

14 April seal of Canzley Bern
No. 1431 April 1832 seal of the Ambassador of France in Switzerland
8 June 1832 Du Haver [in LeHavre]
11 June 1832 Vu pour Baltimore [bound for Baltimore]

In 1991, the original passport was in the possession of Robert Ernest, a grandson of Sophia Phend Ernest, daughter of Jacob Phend. The photocopy I have was obtained from Robert's cousin, Dale Ernest. I still haven't seen the original.

DNA and Genealogy Research

Yesterday, Leland Meitzler posted Americans Are Individually a Mix of Many Races at The Genealogy Blog which is really about this article at The Observer: The genes that build America. It's a bit long but well worth reading.

It starts out talking about the discovery of the relationship between ancestors of Al Sharpton and Strom Thurmond, which is 'old news' but once you get past that, it gets interesting.

"America has embarked on an amazing journey to explore its own past. Millions of Americans of every creed and colour are exploring their family histories in a genealogy boom that is redefining who they are and what it means to be American. The internet has allowed people to find obscure information at the click of a mouse that was previously locked away on dusty library shelves. They are also using modern DNA techniques to research their racial history, creating a multi-million dollar industry of consumer genetics. Like Sharpton, many are making shocking discoveries. They are finding slaves and slave-owners. Far from being a nation of different races, many are finding they have mixed pasts. Blacks are discovering they have white blood, whites are finding black relatives. Native Americans are growing in numbers, not because of a high birth rate, but because many Americans are discovering unknown native ancestors written in their DNA."

"Last year, Professor Peter Fine at Florida Atlantic University had an idea for an art class. He would gather a group of students to produce work around their idea of their racial identity. But as part of the class he asked them to take a DNA test that would break down their racial background. His bet was that most of the class - of whom the majority saw themselves as whites of European descent - had no real idea who they were.

"He was right. Of 13 students, only one turned out to be completely European. The rest displayed a mixture of European, Native American, African and Asian genes. The one black student turned out to be 21 per cent white. Fine himself - who admits to looking like a corn-fed stereotype of a white Midwesterner - discovered he was a quarter Native American. 'I honestly think these tests could have a large effect on American consciousness of who we are. If Americans recognise themselves as a mixed group of people, that could really change things,' he said.

"Fine has a point. For centuries, America has been less a racial melting pot and more a stew, where different communities bump up against each other, but keep mostly to themselves. Yet, as millions of Americans take DNA tests, they are discovering a surprising truth: America's strict racial lines are, in fact, blurred. One-third of white Americans, according to some tests, will possess between two and 20 per cent African genes. The majority of black Americans have some European ancestors."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Phend Surname

The "Phend" surname, as you might imagine, is not a common one. The index to the book on the Phend Family that was published in 1991 only includes 331 people with the surname, and that included everyone that I had found since the family came from Switzerland to the United States in 1832. Johannes Phend, the progenitor of our family, had two daughters and two sons, John and Jacob. John didn't have any children. Jacob had seven children, six sons and one daughter; there were 43 grandchildren, 29 grandsons and 14 granddaughters. In the next generation the numbers flipped and girls outnumbered the boys by about 2 to 1.

According to my Grandpa Vic, his grandfather, Jacob, pronounced the Phend surname as "pay-hend" and said that it was spelt pay-hay-a-n-day. He also told me it was originally spelled with a B instead of a P but that the B was pronounced softly like a P and that is how it got changed from B'hend to Phend. However, in Swiss records the surname has been found spelled as B'hend, Bhend, Fend, Fendt and Pend. In the United States, the surname has also been found in records as Fend, Fiend, Fin, Phind, Pheud, Phena, and Phent.

Considering that names were often spelled phonetically, and the fact that many record keepers and census takers wrote so poorly, the variations are not all that surprising. It just sometimes makes it a bit challenging to find the right records.

Johannes Phend was recorded as Jean (or Sean?) B'hend on his 1832 passport.

The signature of Johannes on his passport.

The Land Record from Carroll County, Ohio (Deed Book 11, page 367) showed John Phend and his wife Susan selling their land in 1849 - and his signature!

The family was found in census records the "old fashioned" way - by turning the crank and going through the reels of microfilm image by image, before indexes were widely available, and before the internet. Lucky for me, from other records, I knew where to look and the townships they lived in were relatively small.

1840 Carroll County, Ohio (Brown Township page 192)

1850 Greene County, Indiana (Taylor Township page 409b)

1860 Marshall County, Indiana (German Township page 56)

1870 Kosciusko County, Indiana (Scott Township page 434)

1880 Kosciusko County, Indiana (Scott Township page 33)

In 1900 and 1910, Jacob was livng with his daughter and her husband, Sophia and John Ernest, in Elkhart County, Indiana. (Nappanee, Locke Township page 232 in 1900 and in Concord Township page 56b in 1910)

Three other recent posts highlight some family records from Switzerland, the christening record of Johannes Fendt, and the family's emigration to the United States.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Phend Family Vital Records from Switzerland

On December 31, 2000 I was "exploring" databases on WorldConnect. In previous searches I had never found any entries on the surname Phend. Imagine my surprise when the results showed not just one family but several by that surname! All in the same database. I immediately sent an email to the contributor of that database and as a result found a distant cousin, Sonja Reid, something along the line of 4th cousin 5 generations removed, but a cousin nevertheless. And I will be forever indebted to her for the information she provided. At that time she didn't have my ancestor, Johannes Phend, in her database but Sonja was pretty sure that he belonged to her family. Sonja had been doing extensive research on the Gsteig bei Interlaken Parish and had the microfilms at her local Family History Center.

I gave her all the information available (names, dates of births, marriages, etc.) and, amazingly, two days later I received an email from her with transcriptions of the applicable records! And she sent printed copies the following week. I was so excited, I sent an email out to all of the Phend relatives that I had email addresses for, about 25 of them, and waited for their response. The result was disappointing, not a single one of them replied! Perhaps they didn't want to acknowledge that our immigrant ancestor, Johannes, was an illegitimate child? I don't know, it didn't make any difference to me. The only thing is, there will always be a dead end to that line since his father's name was not recorded. We only know that, according to his christening record, he was the illegitimate son of Catharina Fendt. But, along with the records Sonja sent, she also provided information for several more generations of Phend's and other connecting lines in Switzerland. It was Awesome.

Presented below are those transcriptions and cropped scans of the records. You'll definitely have to click on the images to be able to read the records. Johannes Phend and Barbara Wyss had five children: Barbara, Margaret, Johannes, and two infants who died at birth. Barbara died in 1821 while giving birth to the last of those infants. In 1824, Johannes married Susanna Kuebli and they had a son, Jacob, born in 1829.

Daughter, Barbara, was born 6 Jun 1807, christened 14 Jun 1807. Her parents are Johannes Pend, tailor, from Aarmuehle and Barbara Wyss. The witnesses are Jakob Pend, von (from) Aarmuehle; Magdalena Wyss, Jakob Blatters weib (wife), am Wasserbach; Anna Wyss, Hansen in der Polsteiten.

From the Habkern Kirchenbuch, 1627-1925 created by the Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche. Microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah at the Staatsarchiv des Kantons Bern, 1992-1995. Call Number: 2005678 & 2005679. FHL Film 2005678, Births 1807, Page 13.

All of the records below are from Gsteig bei Interlaken Kirchenbuch, 1593-1875 created by the Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche. Microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah at the Staatsarchive des Kantons Bern, 1991. Call Number: 2005438 - 2005447.

Daughter, Margaret, was born 23 Feb 1812, christened 1 Mar 1812. Her parents are Johannes Bhend and Barbara Wyss, from Habkern. The witnesses are Johann Caspar Brugger, storekeeper from Aarmuehle; Margaretha Bhend, the old "Hauptmann's" daughter, from the same place, single; Magdalena Bhend, Jakob's (deceased) daughter, from the same place, single.

FHL Film 2005440, Christenings 1812, Page 165, Entry 21.Witnesses: Johann Caspar Brugger, Handelsmann, von Aarmuehle; Margaretha Bhend, alt Hauptmans seel. Tochter, indidem, coelebs; Magdalena B'hend, Jakobs seel. Tochter, indidem, coelebs.

Son, Johannes, was born 20 Jul 1815, christened 30 Jul 1815. His parents are Johannes Bhend, tailor and Barbara Wyss from Habkern. The witnesses are Herr Christian Tschiemer, Gerichts Statthalter (some kind of a local official) from Habkern; Jakob Blatter, uxoris affinis, from Wasserbach in the same place; Barbara Wyss, born Wyss, from the same place.

FHL Film 2005440, Christenings 1815, Page 251, Entry 96.
Witnesses: Herr Christian Tschiemer, GerichtsStatthalter von Habkern; Jakob Blatter, uxoris affinis, am Wasserbach, indidem; Barbara Wyss, geb. Wyss, auf der Burg, an der Bolseite, indidem.

The birth and death of a child of Johannes and Barbara was recorded just above hers and says that a premature daughter of Hans Bhend from Aarmuehle and Barbara Wyss from Habkern was born dead on 10 Dec 1821. She was buried on 11 Dec 1821.

FHL Film 2005446, Deaths 1821, Page 149, Entry 86
Text: Ein todtgebohrenes unreifer Maedchen der Hans Bhend von Aarmuehle und der Barbara Wyss vo Habkern.

Recorded just below the child's record is the death of Barbara Bhend, born Wyss. She died 14 Dec 1821, was buried 16 Dec 1821. Barbara Bhend, born Wyss of Habkern, the wife of Hans Bhend from Aarmuehle, married 9 Mai 1806, died from heavy, long childbirth requiring an operation. She was survived by 4 children. She was 37 years and 10 months old.

FHL Film 2005446, Deaths 1821, Page 149, Entry 87Text: Barbara Bhend, geb. Wyss von Habkern, der Hans Bhend von Aarmuehle, Ehefrau geb. , cop. 9 Mai 1806. Storb als Kindbetterin, an geschwaren, langen daran sie eine operation ausgehalten, hinterlasst 4 kinder. Alter, 37 Jahr, 10 Monat.

The marriage record of Johannes Bhend and Susanna Kuebli. The banns were proclaimed January 4, 11, 18 and they were married in Gsteig on January 23, 1824. Johannes Bhend, from Aarmuehli, christened 18 January 1782, illegitimate child of Katharina Bhend, widower of Barbara Wyss, deceased, from Habkern. Widower since 14 Dec 1821. Susanna Kuebli, from Aarmuehli, christened 1 January 1786. The daughter of Jacob Kuebli and Verena Laederach, deceased, from Worb.

FHL Film 2005444, Marriages 1824, Page 56, Entry 3.Text: Johannes Bhend, von Aarmuehle, get 18 January 1782, unehelich, Mutter, Katharina Bhend. Wittwer des Barbara Wyss sel. aus Habkern, seit 14 Dec 1821. Susanna Kuebli von Aarmuehle, get 1 Januar 1786, E. Jacob Kuebli, Verenea Laederach, sel von Worb.

Jacob [my 2nd Great Grandfather] was born 27 June 1829, christened 5 Jul 1829, the second child of Johannes Bhend and Susanna Kuebli. His father was Johannes Bhend, from Aarmuehli, the son of Katharina, deceased. His mother was Susanna Kuebli, from Aarmuehli, the daughter of Jacob and Verena Laederach from Worb. They were married, 23 January 1824. The witnesses are Jacob Kuebli, des kinds Grossvater (the child's grandfather); Jacob Kuebli, Sohn, der Mutter Bruder (son, the mother's brother); Margaritha Bhend, des Kinds Halbschwester (the child's half-sister). FHL Film 2005440, Christenings 1829, Page 792, Entry 80.

Johannes Fendt 1782 Christening Record

The christening record for Johannes shows that he was christened 18 January 1782, the illegitimate son of Catharina Fendt from Aarmuehle. The witnesses were Johannes Seiler from Boenigen; Johannes Wilhelm from Matten, and Anna ab Buehl. The entry is #8, the second from the top.

Copy of microfilm record received in January 2001 from Sonja Reid (my 4th cousin 5 generations removed - or something like that).

  • Title: Gsteig bei Interlaken Kirchenbuch, 1593-1875
  • Author: Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche
  • Publication: Microfilmed Staatsarchive des Kantons Bern, 1991
  • Call Number: 2005438 - 2005447
  • Page: FHL Film 2005439, Christenings 1782, Page 231, Entry #8

Sonja noted that "the interesting thing about the name is the inconsistency in the way it was spelled. It is spelled B'hend, Bhend, Phend, and Fendt. It is often dependent on the time frame in which the information was recorded. Often at the birth of the child it is spelled one way and subsequent entries for the same person or for other children born to the same couple are spelled a different way."

Johannes Fendt, aka Jean B'hend, aka Johannes Phend, was my 3rd Great Grandfather and emigrated to the United States in 1832.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hill Country of Monroe County

One of my ancestors, great-grandfather Charles Romain Brubaker, moved to Mississippi about 1922. The blog Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi makes me wish he had settled in northeast Mississippi instead of in Pascagoula, which is in Jackson County, along the Gulf Coast. It's a relatively new blog, only about 3 months old, but Terry Thornton and his collaborators Judy Sullivan, Jerry A. Harlow, Mary Anna Riggan, and Lori (no last name listed, possibly one of those LNU family members discussed by Janice Brown of Cow Hampshire ;-) have a winner. The posts, covering a wide variety of topics, are very well written. I've been enjoying them immensely and am hoping to read the rest of the posts soon.

Letters from Boot Camp Index

On November 14th 1969 I enlisted in the U.S. Navy. For the next 10 weeks I went through basic training at RTC(W) Bainbridge, graduating on January 23, 1970. These are the letters that I wrote home during that time.

RTC(W) Company 70-14 Graduation

In the picture at left, that's me carrying the Stars and Stripes. At right is the company passing in review.

After graduation from Basic Training on January 23, 1970, I was sent to the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia. In April 1971, I attended photographer's Mate "A" School in Pensacola, Florida and after that training was completed I returned to NTC Bainbridge! The base closing was announced in 1971 and I attended the last WAVES formal graduation on May 12th 1972, which was for company 28-72 . I thought it was sad that, according to the scanned article below, there were four additional companies that completed their training at Bainbridge but they apparently did not have a formal graduation ceremony. I can't imagine going through Basic Training without having some kind of ceremony to mark its completion.

The 1,000 acre Navy Training Center was located on the bluffs and rolling hills above the town of Port Deposit, Maryland (situated on the banks of the Susquehanna River where it enters the northern reaches of the Chesapeake Bay). It was officially closed on March 31, 1976 after 34 years of service. Opened in 1942 as a recruit training center for men, it became the home of the Naval Academy Prep School as well as the center for other specialized Navy training schools including, in 1948, the Recruit Training Command (Women).

The photographs in the above article are credited to PH3 Becky Wise. . . but it really was me that took them, I was the only Navy photographer on base at that time.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sunday January 18, 1970 ~ Letter from Boot Camp

This is the 15th, and last, in a series of letters written home while I was in Basic Training. Click on the "Boot Camp" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the letters.

Recruit Training Command (Women)
U. S. Naval Training Center
Bainbridge, Maryland ~ 18 Jan 1970

Hi Mom,

This will be the last letter I write while here, in fact, I'll probably be home before you get it. Friday we found out who the honorwoman of the company was. It was Cynthia Dias - she is from Hawaii and is a great kid - I really like her and so does everyone else. This week was our final week of inspections. One of our personnel inspections was in light blues and they really hit everyone on them. I got a 2.8 on that. The CC inspection was 4.0, bunk 3.0, cube 3.1, locker 3.63 and average was 3.33. Monday is our final academic tests. Hurrah!

We get paid Wednesday and after I buy everything I need I'm only going to have about $15.00 left. That won't last very long I'm afraid.

Have to go to mess now. I'll see you in about a week.

Love, Becky.

P. S. Went to Washington, D. C. yesterday - had fun.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Saturday January 10, 1970 ~ Letter from Boot Camp

This is the 14th in a series of letters written home while I was in Basic Training. Click on the "Boot Camp" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the letters.

Recruit Training Command (Women)
U. S. Naval Training Center
Bainbridge, Maryland ~ 10 Jan 1970

Hi Mom,

I know it's about time I wrote. I'm sorry but I really haven't had the time. We only have about three hours each evening to get everything ready for the next day. I really don't know where the time goes except that it goes fast. I only have thirteen days left. It's hard to believe. We graduate on the 23 Jan 1970. I think I'm going to spend a day or so with one of the girls and then come on home. I'm not real sure yet though. Anyway, I wrote to Jack and told him I would be there the last weekend in January so I think he'll try to come home then too. I'll have to be back to my next duty station around the 6 Feb. I get fourteen days leave.

We got our orders yesterday. I will be going to Norfolk, Virginia for on the job training for Photographer's Mate. I think I'll like it.

My grades for last week were not as good as they have been or should have been . Mainly because I had a bad cold like everyone else. Actually, compared to everyone else I didn't do too bad. Only twelve people had averages above me. Bunk was 3.10, Locker 3.06, Cube 1.90, IO inspection 3.5, CC inspection 3.5 and average was 3.01 - the highest average in the company was only 3.25. We didn't have any academic tests because of service week last week. But we do get graded in service week for personal appearance, adaptability, military behavior, and performance. I got a 3.8 in all four areas, which is pretty good.

This weeks inspections have gone a lot better but I'm not sure what my scores were. We'll get them on Monday.

For Company 13 graduation, which was yesterday, I was an alternate in the Honor Guard. That is a part of each company in the regiment that is "inspected" by the reviewing officer which was Rear Admiral Cooper. Actually all he does is walk past you and maybe he glances at you. But anyway, it is one of Navy's many customs. The people chosen for Honor Guard had to pass inspection by 2/0 Sturgeon and if they didn't then an alternate would take her place. One of the girls didn't pass and as I was an alternate I was chosen to take her place. It is supposed to be an honor to do this but I didn't think it was anything special.

For the next graduation, which is Company 14, which is also me, I am to be the National Ensign Bearer. I will carry the flag throughout the ceremonies. This is really an honor. The person that carries the National Ensign cannot have any demerits. I only have next week to worry about and then I'm home free (excuse the phrase).

Each graduating company has an honor-woman to represent them. We had our first balloting last Monday. The top three people were then put on the next ballot for voting on Tuesday. Guess who was one of them. Me! I couldn't hardly believe it. Anyway we had the final vote on Tuesday but our CC hasn't told us the results as yet. We'll find out who is the honor-woman for company 14 sometime next week. Also, these three people are candidates for the American Spirit Honor Medal which is the highest award a recruit can receive during basic training. We all three will go before a reviewing board of RTC(W) officers. But every company does not have an American Spirit Honor Medal winner. Company 13 didn't have.

Last Saturday we went to Lancaster, Pa. It was fun. We didn't do too much except walk around and shop for lingerie which we were inspected for last Monday. There was a dance at the USO. They didn't have a band, just music via record player. Anyway it was fun.

This Saturday - make that next Saturday the 17th, we go to Washington, D. C. It will be a guided tour but it will be interesting and it will also be a chance to get out of the barracks because I don't think we'll get base liberty next weekend.

Tell Doug I'd be glad to sell him my car for what I owe on it. I'm not sure what that is now but I can find out real easy. Tell him to decide by the time I get home cause if you can't make payments on it I'll have to sell it to somebody. How I'll do it I don't know but I'll have to cause I sure can't afford it. Tell him to buy it!!

Have to go to mess now. Be back later... Hi again, I'm back. Boy is it ever cold out. We are actually wearing our wool slacks. They said it never gets cold enough around here to wear them but we're wearing 'em. I don't think it has gotten below zero yet but it's been close to it. To make matters worse the heating system hasn't been working very well so we freeze at night as well as during the day.

I probably won't have any time to write next week but I'll write again to let you know what I'm gonna do. We make travel arrangements next week. I'll see you in about two weeks or so. Tell everybody I said Hi.

Love, Becky

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sunday December 28, 1969 ~ Letter from Boot Camp

This is the 13th in a series of letters written home while I was in Basic Training. Click on the "Boot Camp" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the letters.

Recruit Training Command (Women)
U. S. Naval Training Center
Bainbridge, Maryland ~ 28 Dec 1969

Hi Mom,

Service week started for me today! Make that yesterday. I had an "all day" security watch in laundry house 138 from 1200 to 1730. We didn't have a single person come in all afternoon. It was really a waste of time and boring too. Spent the evening in the lounge talking and not saying anything - you know how it is. I even hit the sack early last night because I had to get up at 0500 to go on watch again from 0600 to 1200.

We had our CC inspection today because last week was so messed up. I got a 4.0 and it counts double. That will really help my average. I'll let you know what that is next time I write.

We have tests tomorrow so I'll have to study sometime tonight. This has to be turned in in about fifteen minutes - it's my "duty" letter. Sometimes it takes a while for the CC to get around to getting them sent out. I'll write more later in the week.

Love, Becky

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Happy Birthday, Brother

My Brother, Jack Lynn Wiseman, was born on this date in 1949. In the picture below, I was 17 months old, Doug was 28 months old, and Jack was about 3 weeks old. He probably won't see this, but I was thinking about him. . .

Friday December 26, 1969 ~ Letter from Boot Camp

This is the 12th in a series of letters written home while I was in Basic Training. Click on the "Boot Camp" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the letters.

Recruit Training Command (Women)
U. S. Naval Training Center
Bainbridge, Maryland ~ 26 Dec 1969

Hi Mom,

Well, I hope your Christmas was nice. All considering mine wasn't too bad. I was feeling a little blue - maybe a slight case of homesickness - and believe it or not it's the first time since I've been here. That's why I called. I figured I'd end up crying when I called but I didn't. I just felt a whole lot better afterwards. It was great to hear everyone. Did Jacky call?

Sorry but I really haven't taken the time to write since Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon we had a Christmas party - the whole first regiment. It lasted all afternoon and it was a lot of fun. It was like an amateur talent show. And then I only had two hours after evening mess to study. So Monday morning we had our tests and I didn't do too bad either. In History 3.6, in Ships, Aircraft, and Weapons 4.0, and Orientation 4.0 - not bad, huh? Also got our scores from last weeks military inspections. Bunk 3.57, locker 4.0, IO personnel 3.75, CC personnel 4.0, cubicle 2.80 and my average was 3.62 - it was the highest in the company. 3.45 was the closest anyone else came.

At morning quarters Tuesday we got our first flag. It was for personnel inspections. Oh, on our decorations we got first place for the lounge and first place on window decorations. We're finally doing something good as a whole company. Also the graduating company awards the "Royal Nut" (a stuffed nut) to the company most likely to succeed and the "Royal Tomato" to the most friendliest company. And Company 11, the graduating company, awarded them both to us. Which is really quite an honor - this is also helping to bring the company together.

Wednesday we had two classes in the morning and then graduation review. We missed getting the "R" flag by just four points but we will get it the next time because they usually give it to the senior company anyway. We are now Juniors!!

The afternoon was ours and so I got all of my work done. We didn't go to bed till 12:30 and reveille was not called at all so I slept till about nine. Then we went to mess - had turkey and trimmings. I think it was leftover from Thanksgiving.

I just got interrupted again. Several of the girls came to me for a "pep" talk. They know they can talk to me and I listen to them and try to give them advice on whatever they need. I think it is partly because I am one of the older girls here.

Was today a National Holiday? We heard that Nixon declared it one but we didn't get it off. I guess we were the only regiment in the command that "worked" today. It was really a crazy day too. Reveille was called twenty minutes later than usual. I guess that's our holiday - twenty minutes of sleep. Anyway, it snowed some more last night and then rained and the drill field was a real mess of slush. At least three inches of slush all over it. The mess hall was closed due to lack of power and they also wanted to clear the grinder some. It didn't do any good because the water and snow and slush is still there - great fun trying to lead a company through that mess.

They brought breakfast to us - a box of cereal and a sweet roll. We had royal service too! An SA gave us the cereal, a First Class put sugar on it, Chief Van put the milk on it and a second class gave us the sweet roll - Royal Service, huh! Finally shoved off to classes at 8:30 and what a mess it was. Somehow I made it through the day without any major errors.

Every Tuesday we strip our bunks and get clean linen. We have to fold our blankets, mattress pad, and bedspread in a certain way and place it on the bunk. Our CC hasn't been checking it but last Tuesday she did. Only six people in the company had it laid out properly and I was one of them. So she is taking away area liberty and making everyone strip their bunks on Sunday, that is except for those six who had it correct.

It's almost time for taps so I've got to go. Since the RCPO isn't here I have to take bed check. I've never done it before but it isn't difficult. I guess I've been doing okay as ARCPO. The only complaint they have is that I don't yell loud enough - me?

Bye for now, Love, Becky.

Our Company Commander, RM1 Contini, was Santa Claus at the Regimental Christmas Party. That's me to the right of Santa, and with the Christmas Tree ;-) Don'tcha just love the black-rim glasses?

Part of the Christmas decorations created by the ladies in company 70-14. This was drawn on brown craft paper and was fairly large (about 3' x 8'). These pictures were taken with a Kodak Instamatic, using the old 126 film cartridges. The original images were much smaller. Although these have been enlarged and enhanced somewhat, they still aren't very good quality, but they are all I have. . .