Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I don't understand.

Why are so many people "shocked" over the announcement by FamilySearch that images to the records being indexed may not necessarily be free to the general public? The INDEXES will always be free, although access to the images may not be.

All you have to do is read the original announcement FamilySearch to Provide Access to World's Genealogical Records. The key paragraph, which clearly states that there MAY be a charge for viewing document images outside FamilySearch facilities:
Working with the records custodians, FamilySearch can leverage its extensive microfilm and growing digital image collection to create digital images for affiliate genealogical websites at a fraction of the cost. The affiliate genealogy organization will create indices of the digital images and then publish the images and the indices on its own website, the archive's website, or a jointly published site. A copy of the index will also be made available for free on the popular FamilySearch website, which will help drive traffic to record images on the custodians' or affiliates' sites. Full, free access to both the indices and images will be provided to family history centers, FamilySearch managed facilities, and the archives. If the record custodian seeks revenue to sustain operations, a small fee may be required to access images outside FamilySearch managed facilities or the archive.
So why the shock factor? I imagine, the real consternation on the part of many FamilySearch indexers likely comes from the fact that the census images are part of an agreement FamilySearch made with Ancestry.com (whom many perceive to be the evil monster of the genealogical record world). The feeling is that the work being done on a volunteer basis is being turned over to the enemy!

Reality Check. The only way the records we need for our research will ever be put online is through collaboration. No entity can do it all on their own. Not FamilySearch. Not Ancestry. Not Footnote. Not the National Archives. Collaboration is the only way. Dick Eastman recently wrote an article about the costs associated with putting records online. I wholeheartedly agree with him on this point.

If you can't afford a subscription or to pay the fees that may be charged by other archive facilities, then simply head to your nearest FamilySearch Library/Center where you can view the images for free. Except, of course, for the price of gas to get you there...

favorite foto - really?

It's impossible. I just can't think about it anymore. I can't take the pressure. The stress of making a decision is overwhelming. Sorry, fM, I can't do it!

No way can I choose just one favorite photograph from my collection for Smile for the Camera. Each one is precious to me. All of them. The "old" family photos as well as current ones. And what of all those non-family pictures, the landscapes, the flowers and the vacation pix. OMG, there are so many pictures that could be called favorites. Really, I can't have just one! (You will find many of my favorites included in family posts, scattered throughout the blog. And some of my favorite "scenic" photos are being included in my "Wordless Wednesday" posts.)

So, what you get for this "favorites" edition of "Smile" is Becky in the Freezer! You will have to take my word for it that it is me in the picture. Notice the eyes? Like those of a deer caught in the headlights of a car - panic stricken. Thanks a lot fM ;-)

It's 1975 and I was stationed at the Photo Lab on the Naval Air Station at Point Mugu, California. I don't recall exactly what it was I was photographing that day but the "freezer" was a large climate-controlled building used for testing "stuff" for cold weather use. The walls behind me were being tested for environmental stability under extreme cold conditions. Cold, as in Antarctica cold. It was a big building. And it was cold inside! Really, really cold.

It wasn't easy to see through the "looking glass" to take the pictures. Not with a mask covering the lower portion of my face. And glasses. Glasses that got steamed up and then frosted over. I remember trying to focus the lens (yes, it was back in the days before auto-focus was even thought of). Couldn't see anything clearly. Taking off the glasses didn't help. I couldn't see more than a few feet without them. Basically, I guessed and hoped for the best.

Copyright: Photograph in the collection of Virginia R. Wiseman. Who owns the copyright to this picture? Not me, I didn't take it. A fellow photographer's mate, whose name I no longer recall, is the one who clicked the shutter. He was in the Navy on an assignment. It's a government photograph. Previously unpublished, and as far as I know, I'm the only one who has a print of it. What say you, Craig? Is it in the Public Domain, no copyright?

Mary, Elcy, Esther, Lillian, and Elmer

Of the fifteen children of Lysander and Lydia Robison Joslin, five of them died at a young age, only one of whom reached the age of three. The four girls are buried next to their great-grandfather, Bela Goodrich, and other kinfolk, in Adams Cemetery in Etna-Troy Township, Whitley County, Indiana just a few miles from where the family lived at the time. The fifth child to die young was their son Elmer, twin to Elmus, born June 4, 1868. Elmer died on June 30th, 1868. The family was living in Jefferson County, Iowa at the time. It is not known where Elmer was buried.

MARY J. / Dau. of / L. P. & L. JOSLINE / Died / Mar. 12, 1850 / AE. 3 Y's. 8 M / 1 D.

According to the Bible records, Mary Jane was born July 20, 1846. One transcription had her date of death as March 21, 1850 and the other as March 20th. Did it get written wrong in the Bible or inscribed wrong on the marker? Either way, she died a few days after her sister Elcy.

The 1850 Mortality Schedule for Whitley County, Indiana (page 347) includes Elcy E. Joslin and Mary J. Joslin. Elcy was two years old. Mary's age could be interpreted as a two or three. The record shows that they both died from Scarlet Fever and that they were ill for 17 days. It is a wonder that the other two children living at the time survived. Anna Eliza would have been 5 ½ years old and my 2nd great grandmother, Malissa, was not yet 9 months old.

ELCY E. / Dau. of / L.P. & L. JOSLINE / died / Mar. 9, 1850 / AE 2 Y's, 7 M / 4 D.
The Bible records show that Elsy Ellen was born August 5, 1847 and died March 9, 1850. As stated above, she died of Scarlet Fever a few days before her sister Mary.

ESTHER / Dau. of / L. P. & L. / JOSLIN / DIED / Nov. 5, 1858 / AGED / 1 Y. 2 M. 2 D.
The Bible records show that Esther/Ester was born September 3, 1857 and died November 5, 1858.

LILLIA A. / Dau. of / L. P. & L. / JOSLIN / DIED / Sept. 20, 1863 / AGED 1 Y. 5 M.
The Bible records show that Lillian A. was born April 20, 1862 and died September 20, 1863.

The cause of death is not known for Esther, Lillian, or Elmer.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Records from the Joslin Family Bible

It is not known who has the Lysander Joslin family Bible. Or even if it still exists. Thankfully, on February 7, 1895 the family information was written down by Andy Joslin. And sent to my 2nd Great Grandmother Malissa Joslin Brubaker.

There are two sets of transcriptions. I believe that the first two pages were written by Andy. And the last three appear to be written by Malissa. But I'm not sure. Compare the writing to that in this post and see what you think. The first transcription may have included a page of marriages but, if so, it is now missing.

Page 1

Malissa you will see that you got some of the names misplaced but you can see the dates are all right
Elcy died before Mary Jane
Ester died before Lilian
Page 2

Lysander P Joslin was born May first 1825
Lydia Joslin October 10, 1825
Ann E Joslin was born November 8, 1844
Mary Jane Joslin was born July 20, 1846
Elsy E Joslin was born August 5, 1847
Malissa M Joslin was born June 24, 1849
Luther M. Joslin was born January 2, 1852
Roxie A. Joslin was born April 4, 1853
John L Joslin was born November 30, 1855
Esther Joslin was born September 3, 1857
Minerva F. Joslin was born January 7, 1859
Andrew H. Joslin was born May 30, 1860
Lillian A. Joslin was born April 20, 1862
Ida Blanch Joslin was born July 11, 1863
Mandella Joslin was born December 9, 1866
Elmer & Elmus Joslin was born June 4, 1868
Mary Jane died March 21, 1850
Elsy Ellen died March 9, 1850
Lillian A died September 20, 1863
Ester died November 5, 158 [sic - 1858]
Elmer died June 30, 1868

In this second transcription, which I believe was written by Malissa, some middle names are included. There is one more name in the list of deaths: Ann Eliza Klingaman died July 28 1885 and the second page is a list of marriages.

Lysander Joslin & Lydia Robison were married Aug 23. 1843
Anna Eliza Joslin & Wm Klingaman was married Oct 12th 1865
Malissa Joslin & Wm Brubaker was married April 20 1871
Roxie Joslin & Jacob Parkison was married May 30, 1874
Luther Joslin & Dorothy Elliot was married Feb 1876
Minerva Joslin & Wm Knight was married March 1876
Ida Blanch & John E. Dressler was married. 1882
Della Joslin and Downa Quillen was married July 1883.
Andrew Joslin & Minnie Himes June 1st 1891
Elmus Joslin & Katie Kelly was married May 1892

In the middle of the third page that lists the deaths is the notation:
"This is the record of Father's family taken from the family bible Febyary 7, 1895 by Andy Joslin."

And, upside-down at the bottom of that page is another marriage:
John L. Joslin & Mattie --- was married September 29 1890
For additional information on this family, please see the following posts:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Keith Eugene Phend 1922-1943

My niece and I spent all day this past Wednesday taking apart Mom's photo albums and sorting the pictures into "family" stacks - one for her pictures, a stack for each of us four kids, and additional stacks for each of her siblings. There was 2 shelves worth of albums that consumed about 48" worth of space on her bookshelf. Now we have to sort and sequence each of those stacks.

While sorting those pictures in Mom's albums, the thought that there would be any surprises never even crossed my mind. I thought I had seen all of the pictures before. Way back when I was working on the Phend Family History I had asked if anyone had pictures of Keith Phend, Mom's first cousin. Keith had been killed On October 25, 1943 in an airplane crash while in training at the Naval Station at Quonset Point Rhode Island. There didn't seem to be any pictures of Keith; none were received from his siblings.

So, back to last Wednesday. Sorting pictures. I don't remember which album they were in, but they were where they shouldn't have been. Two pictures clearly marked with his name, Keith Phend. Mom said she knew she had them but didn't know where, so when I asked it was easier for her to just say she didn't have any. . . Keith was born March 4, 1922. Neither picture is dated but the one as a young man is probably his high school graduation picture. Both pictures simply melted my heart, but especially the one of him as a young boy.

The obituary of Keith Phend as published in the October 30, 1943 edition of the Columbia City Post:

Local Youth is Killed Monday in Air Crash.

A telegram from the U.S. Naval commander of the station at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, received Oct. 26th by M. F. Magley told of the death of his grandson, Keith E. Phend, aged 21, in an airplane crash on Oct. 25.

Phend, who had recently completed his training as radioman upon a naval bomber plane, was in Columbia City on October 21 as the guest of his grandparents here. At the time of his visit here, he was on leave from the station in Rhode Island from Wednesday until Sunday. He had attained the rank of A.R.M. third class since his enlistment in the Navy on September 28, 1942 at Fort Wayne.

His preliminary training was secured at Great Lakes U.S. Naval Training school and thence he went to the Naval air training school at Jacksonville, Fla. He was transferred to the Rhode Island station only about six weeks ago.

The telegram announcing his death was as follows: "Deeply regret to inform you that Keith E. Phend was killed in an airplane crash on October 26, while in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country. Sincere sympathy is extended to you in your great loss." The telegram was signed by the Commanding Officer of the station. A telegram was received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Russell Phend, at their home at Springport, Michigan, telling of the tragedy.

The parents of the young man have advised Mr. and Mrs. Magley that the body will be sent to Springport, but that they plan for burial in Columbia City.

The victim of the plane crash was born in Columbia City on March 4, 1922 to Mr. and Mrs. Russell Phend, and attended school here in the grades. The family moved to Springport, where Mr. Phend has operated a service station for several years. Keith attended Jackson high school, from which he was graduated in the class of 1940. Following his graduation he assisted in the shop of his grandfather in Columbia City for nearly a year and then secured employment in the Freuhauf trailer plant at Fort Wayne, where he was employed when he enlisted in the Navy. While here he was a member of the Baptist church of Columbia City.

No details of the plane crash have yet been received by relatives in this city, nor by his parents in Michigan.

And, his funeral notice of November 1, 1943 also in The Post:

Naval Rites Held for Keith Phend.

Full military rites were held Saturday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock at the First Baptist church for Keith E. Phend, 21, A.R.M. 3/c, son of Mr. and Mrs. Russell Phend of Springport, Mich., who was killed in an airplane crash last Monday near Quonset Point, R. I.

The Rev. Walter Mickley, pastor of the church, was assisted in the funeral service by Rev. Marion R. Shroyer, pastor of the First Church of God, and the Rev. Edwin Bauer, naval chaplain from Bunker Hill. Members of the U.S. Naval Air Station at Bunker Hill attended the services in a group and served as the pallbearers, color guard and firing squad. Carter Diffendarfer, close friend of the family, served as head usher at the church. Committal services were held in Greenhill cemetery.

Miss Catherine Sarrich, vocal instructor in the public schools at Springport sang "My Buddy." Her piano accompaniment was played by Mrs. Lucille Lonsbery, also of Springport.

The rites held in this city followed a short service held at the Phend residence in Springport at 9 o'clock Saturday morning.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - A Hoosier Farm

Washington Township, Noble County, Indiana. August 1983. Digitized 2008.
Sepia Toned Infrared Photograph.
Copyright © 1983/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Case of the $12 Box Coat

Like everyone else, I've come across some "mysteries" in my family research. Particularly, with the Joslin family. In Nothing Special - A bit of a Mystery I mentioned the "separation" of James and Abigail Goodrich Joslin (my 4th great grandparents) and Why did he do this? discussed the land transactions made by James Joslin to his sons Lysander in 1841, and to Edwin and Joseph in 1844. The boys were only 16, 14, and 12 years old, respectively, at the time of the transactions.

The document that follows seems to be fairly straightforward. Lysander P. Joslin (my 3rd great grandfather) purchased a box coat from John Black on or before January 14, 1843 and apparently agreed to pay for the coat with manual labor. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a box coat was a heavy overcoat formerly worn for driving or a loose coat usually fitted at the shoulders.

In January 1843, Lysander would have been a little more than 17 1/2 years old (he was born May 1, 1825). Having worked and bartered for $9.75 of the $12.00 debt, Lysander evidently did not work for or pay the balance of $2.25 when due.

The following may or may not have any bearing on why the balance wasn't paid, but I think it might. On August 23, 1843 Lysander married Lydia Robison. By that time he had turned 18; Lydia would turn 18 in October that year. Their first (known) child, Anna Eliza was born in November 1844.

At any rate, John Black took Lysander to court in December 1844. Local court, but court nevertheless. The best part of all this is that Naby Joslin testified that Lysander was not of age when he went into debt with John Black. The document also mentions James Goodrich as a witness. Sufficient proof has not yet been found but I believe that James is Naby's brother. Naby being none other than Abigail Goodrich, Lysander's mother. Who else could provide verbal testimony that he was not of age at the time of the transaction? This is important. Why? Because we don't have "that" document that says that Abigail is Lysander's mother. There is evidence that leads to that conclusion, but no silver bullet. (Big Sigh)

But back to poor John Black. He had $2.25 coming to him. But he lost the case. And had to pay $2.04 3/4 in court costs, which included 50¢ for witness fees. Yep, that's right, James Goodrich and Naby Joslin got paid for their testimony. That wasn't unusual as other cases in the ledger indicated that witnesses were routinely paid. They had expenses, or maybe they were missing out on work. I'm certainly glad that Mr. Black decided to sue Lysander. It provided an interesting though somewhat puzzling document. I'm not too happy with Lysander because he skipped out on his debt. But we don't know all the facts of the case. I'm sure he had a good reason ;-)

The question that comes to my mind is how could minor children legally sign contracts for purchasing land (mentioned above) yet not be held responsible for incurring a debt while a minor?

Partial transcription/abstraction of the above document (click on the images for a larger version).

Troy Docket Ledger located at the Whitley County Historical Museum, Columbia City, Indiana on November 2, 2001 [No page numbers]

[first page]
John Black vs Lysander P Joslin}
In an action of debt
Bill filed which is as follows
Lysander P Joslin dr to John Black
December the 1 AD 1844 to one box coat a $12.00.

[The next section lists the dates he worked and amounts earned. He also provided a calf valued at $1.50 so there was a total of $9.75 paid, with balance owed of $2.25]

On which the following proceedings were had to wit
Summons issued dated February the 17th AD 1844 awarded to
George H Stocking constable of Troy township and returnable
on the 23rd day of February at 10 o'clock AM of said day
This day namely 23rd of February 1844 constable returned said
summons served on the 17th day of February 1844
and the parties present towit called Plaintiff Pleads that
he was a minor when the debt was contracted and offers
testimony to the fact Naby Joslin sworn and states that
the said defendant was not of lawful age when the debt
was contracted

It is therefore considered and adjudged that the Plaintiff pay all
costs taxed at $2.04 3/4) two dollars four cents and three fourths
James Grant JP

Labor by summons 12 1/4
two subpenas 50
sworn witness 6 1/4
Judgment 24
[subtotal] 93 3/4
Court fees 61
Witness fees James Goodrich Naby Joslin 50
paid the witnesses
[Total] $2.04 3/4

I do hereby acknowledge myself bail on the
above Judgement interest and all costs and acruing costs at the
expiration of thirty days from the rendition of the same (con'd over)

[second page]

as witness my hand and seal this 23rd day of February 1844
George H Stocking {Seal}

Received of John Black two
Dollars and four and three fourths
cents in full of the foregoing Judgement
James Grant
Justice of the Peace

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel?

A good deal of my time so far this summer has been consumed with scanning pictures and preparing pictures for scanning. On June 2nd I reported that another 970 pictures had been scanned since mid-May, plus the 575 pictures of mom's that had been scanned in April.

For the heck of it, I decided to keep track of how much time was spent in scanning. In hindsight I probably should have tracked how much time was spent in preparing the pictures for scanning as well. Once I started on the magnetic albums, it's highly likely that as much time was spent in prep as in actual scanning.

The prep work consisted of removing the pictures from the albums, sorting them into the order in which they were to be scanned, then attaching them to archival paper. After fiddling with trying to put multiple pictures on the scanner bed and getting irritated with them moving when the cover was lowered (due to static), I decided to put the pictures on the pages where I wanted them, add captions as needed, then individually scan the pictures along with their corresponding captions. Too bad I didn't think of that when I was scanning mom's first album. Something to keep in mind for the next one!

Out of the past 48 days, scanning was done on 21 of them, usually 2-3 hours a day but occasionally 4 hours. One day I was on a roll and spent 6 hours scanning! I'm not totally crazy, it wasn't all at one sitting. I did get up a few times to stretch my legs and grab a bite to eat. And yes, I washed my hands after eating and before handling the pictures! Anyway, a total of 70 hours of scanning in 21 days netted another 2278 images. That's an average of 3.3 hours and 108.5 images per day.

That takes care of my personal albums. There are still a few more of Mom's to do. Next up will be the genealogy documents. But, they too need to be sorted prior to scanning. I've mentioned before that with my filing system I put documents of the same type together, regardless of who they are for, whether an ancestor or other relative, giving each document a number. I could find them easily because of the numbering system and the fact that when something was entered in my database the document number was entered for reference, so all I needed to do was look up the person in the database to see where the document was filed. But that system isn't really intuitive and I need to make it easier for whomever will take over my research (assuming there is a family member who wants it or in case it gets donated to a library or society). So that means sorting and putting the documents together for a given person or family. I haven't decided yet whether I'll scan "everything" or just the ancestral documents. "Everything" includes a lot. I think, after I've sorted through stuff I'll do the ancestors first and save the rest for another time. I want to get back to researching! And doing other things. But at the least, I want to get the ancestor documents scanned.

There may not yet be light at the end of the tunnel, but it will be there one day. Soon, I hope.

The picture below was taken in September 1978 while I was stationed in Japan. Above the Clouds. Sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji. There is a story to tell that goes along with the picture, but it'll have to wait for another time.

Photo Copyright © 1978/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Friday, July 18, 2008

An Ageless Subject - Age - COG 52

Lisa has posted the Carnival of Genealogy, 52nd Edition over at 100 Years in America. The topic is "Age" and as Lisa says " This is a collection of tales and trivia, stories and statistics. Thanks to these contributions by various family historians, we have a look into the lives of others who stand out from their family tree (and society in general) because of their age." There are some new contributors as well as the "regulars" and a wide variety of tales that have been told. As always, I'm amazed at the quality and variety of the posts contributed to the COG. Check them out! Lisa has done a wonderful job of putting it all together. I for one know that it is not an easy task to come up with a good "lead" for each of the posts. Well done, Lisa!

The next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will be a “carousel” edition. Just as carousels have a variety of animal figures so, too, will the next edition of the COG have a variety of topics. All subjects are welcome but please limit yourself to one submission. Submit any article you’d like (genealogy-related of course!) and if you'd like an introduction for it, please write your own. Jasia will be hosting the next edition on the Creative Gene blog but she won't be writing any introductions this time around. The deadline for submissions is August 1.Submit your blog article using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found at the blog carnival index page. Want to know more about the Carnival of Genealogy? See Jasia's Frequently Asked Questions page.

Kudos to footnoteMaven for the Carnival of Genealogy posters.

For numerous reasons, I neglected to post something when the last two "issues" of the COG were published. So, in case you haven't read them yet:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another New-Found Cousin

Well, well, well. Looks like Thomas MacEntee and I are related, something along the line of 8th cousins! Through the Freer family. Our most common ancestor is Hugo Freer Jr and his wife Maria Anna Leroy. See his post on his trip to the New Paltz Cemetery and the comments at the bottom of the post.

Disclaimer: I haven't done any research of my own on my Van Curen, Terwilliger and Freer lines. My information on these families has come from a first cousin, published books and the internet so there is the possibility that it isn't correct ;-)

My Line of Descent:
Hugo Freer & Marie Haye
Hugo Freer & Maria Anna Leroy
Sara Freer & Evert Terwilliger
Jan Terwilliger & Maria Van Wagenen
Elisabet Terwilliger & Jacob Van Keuren
Henry Van Curen & Rebecca [-?-]
Rachel Van Curen & William Alexander
Amanda Alexander & Samuel Bray Wiseman
Charles Wilson Wiseman and Elsie Shuder
Jack Wiseman and Virginia Phend
Becky Wiseman

Thomas descends from Hugo Freer & Marie Haye THREE ways.

Hugo Freer & Marie Haye
Hugo Freer & Maria Anna Leroy
Hugo Freer & Brejen Terpenning
Sara Freer & Jacob Freer (see below)
Jacob J. Freer & Margaret Ean
Annatje Freer & Christian Freer (see below)
Ann E. Freer & Edward McEntee
John W. McEntee & Elmira Wood
Elmer A. McEntee & Margaret DeGroodt
Abraham Craig MacEntee & Loretta Slattery
Richard MacEntee & Jacqueline Austin
Thomas MacEntee

Hugo Freer & Marie Haye
Hugo Freer & Maria Anna Leroy
Elizabeth Freer & Johannes Van Wegenen
Sara Van Wegenen & Jeremias Freer
Christian Freer & Annatje Freer
Ann E. Freer & Edward McEntee
John W. McEntee & Elmira Wood
Elmer A. McEntee & Margaret DeGroodt
Abraham Craig MacEntee & Loretta Slattery
Richard MacEntee & Jacqueline Austin
Thomas MacEntee

Hugo Freer & Marie Haye
Hugo Freer & Maria Anna Leroy
Hugo Freer & Brejen Terpenning
Hugo Freer & Esther Deyo
Jacob J. Freer & Margaret Ean
Jeremias Freer & Sarah Van Wegenen
Christian Freer & Annatje Freer
Ann E. Freer & Edward McEntee
John W. McEntee & Elmira Wood
Elmer A. McEntee & Margaret DeGroodt
Abraham Craig MacEntee & Loretta Slattery
Richard MacEntee & Jacqueline Austin
Thomas MacEntee

I haven't spent much time with this family, other than entering the ancestral information into my database a couple of years ago, so I spent a few hours this evening exploring the web to see what I could find. It turned out to be quite interesting.

Freer-Low Family Site
Hugo Freer
The Freer-Low House on Huguenot Street
The Terwilliger House at Locust Lawn

Huguenot Education in Colonial America - This article discusses the educational opportunities available at that time, specifically mentioning Sara Freer, orphaned in 1698 at the age of 10, and her apprenticeship. This Sara Freer was a daughter of Hugo Freer (Sr) and his second wife Jannetju Wibau.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wordles Wednesday

No, that isn't a typo. And no, don't worry, this won't be a feature every Wednesday ;-)

Last week when footnoteMaven passed around the Wordle virus to the genea-blogosphere with her post Let Me Get A Wordle In Edgewise, I didn't have time to play. She did a follow-up with Do Not! I Repeat - DO NOT - Read This Post! With links to other genea-Wordles and some other fun stuff.

In school, and the Navy, I was nearly the last in line for everything (surname Wiseman, right). And have a tendency to be a bit late for meetings and appointments. Not on purpose, though it might seem so. Anyway, as the saying goes "Better Late Than Never" here are my contributions to the genea-Wordle-world. One is for the surnames in my Mom's lines, and the other is for my Dad's lines. The size of the name is dependent upon how many ancestors have been entered in my database with that name. As always, click on the images to see a larger version.

Wordless Wednesday - Knapp Lake

Knapp Lake, Noble County, Indiana. Infrared Photograph.
Summer of 1985. Digitized 2008.
Copyright © 1985/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Monday, July 14, 2008

Live Long And Prosper...

Well, I'm not sure about the prosper part, but based upon the longevity of my Ancestors, and barring any unforeseen accidents, I think I can expect to live a few more years ;-)

Of the 8626 relatives entered in my databases, 305 of them are Ancestors. I must admit that some of them haven't been "proven" sufficiently, yet. However, of those 305, a little more than half, 160, have birth and death dates (some don't have full dates, just years). Of those 160 Ancestors, the Average Lifespan is 71 years.

The following statistics for Age at Death are based on those 160 Ancestors for whom I have birth and death information.
  • Under 30 = 2 (1%)
  • 30-39 = 3 (2%)
  • 40-49 = 9 (5.5%)
  • 50-59 = 18 (11%)
  • 60-69 = 29 (18%)
  • 70-79 = 52 (32.5%)
  • 80-89 = 40 (25%)
  • 90-99 = 8 (5%)
As you can see, there are no centenarians amongst my Ancestors although several come close.
  • Great-Grandmother: Nancy Jane (Lavering) Shuder - - 99y 30d (03 Dec 1854 - 02 Jan 1954)
  • Grandfather: Rolland Victor Phend - - 97y 11m 30d (19 Jun 1893 - 18 Jun 1991)
  • 5th Great-Grandmother: Margaret (Ellis) Sisley - - 96y 2m (13 Dec 1773 - 13 Feb 1870)
The Amazing Alexanders
This line on my Dad's side of the family had a father and son who both lived into their 93rd year. I don't have a date of birth, or even a year, for my 4th Great-Grandfather William Alexander but I suspect he was in his late 20s or early 30s when he was killed on August 27, 1777 on the 2nd day of battle at "Landing Head of Elk" in Maryland. He was serving as a 1st Lieutenant of the 7th Battalion of the Maryland Regulars. I've often wondered whether William ever saw his youngest son or if he knew of his birth. I would like to think that he did since the battle in which he was killed was fought in Cecil County where his son William Washington Alexander was born on February 17, 1777.

While his father may have died young, William Washington Alexander was long-lived, dying at Marysville, Ohio on February 16, 1871 at the age of 93 years 11 months and 30 days. William Washington's first child, also named William (of course!), didn't live quite as long as his father but did spend 93 years 4 months and 18 days on this earth! William was born November 20, 1805 in Erie County, Pennsylvania and died April 7, 1899 in Kosciusko County, Indiana. William had 13 children by 3 wives, his last child was born in 1868 when William was 63 years old. So he gets the award for being the oldest ancestor who fathered a child. He also gets the award for being the ancestor who fathered the most children (three) after the age of 60!

When William was not quite 60 years old, his 10th child Amanda Mineva was born on September 25, 1860. Amanda was my great-grandmother. She passed away on June 2, 1950 at the age of 89 years 8 months and 8 days. Amanda's husband, Samuel Bray Wiseman, was 88 years 5 months and 24 days old when he passed away. Samuel's parents lived fairly long lives: his father was 79 when he died and his mother was 84. That longevity didn't get passed down to Sam and Amanda's children though. My grandfather Charles Wiseman died at age 56, his brother Smith died at 70, sister Goldie was 83 when she died, and little Ray was taken away by diphtheria when he was only 7 years old.
The Phenomenal Phends
And in Mom's lines there was also a father and son combination that lived into their 90s. Her father, Rolland Victor Phend died the day before his 98th birthday, and his father, Henry Phend, was 92 years 8 months and 3 days old when he passed away. His wife, Susie Yarian, was 84 when she died. Mom's mother, Hazlette Brubaker, was 82 when she died; her parents died when in their mid-70s.
Some Old Mothers
There is no easy way to find out how old a woman was when she gave birth to her last child other than looking at each person in the database. A quick look in the database for my mother's family turned up 10 Ancestors who gave birth after the age of 40. I was amazed, especially given the time period in which they lived. Although I didn't check my Dad's database, I'm pretty sure there are a couple women there that could be included as well. Following are a few words about several of these "over 40" child bearers.
Oldest when married. Susanna K├╝bli (1785-1856), 3rd Great-Grandmother, was 39 years old when she married Johannes B'hend (aka John Phend) in Switzerland. Five years later, at age 44, she gave birth to her only known child, Jacob Phend. She lived to be 71 years old.

Youngest when married. Sophia Hazlett (1794-1864), 4th Great-Grandmother, was 16 when she married James Dunfee. She would give birth to at least 10 children in the next 29 years, the last child was born when she was 45 years old.

A Sad Story. At age 24, Johanna Whitcomb (1674-1717) married Peter Joslin. They are my 8th Great-Grandparents. She would have 9 children but died from complications of childbirth at the age of 43. Peter would marry twice more but had no more children. He passed away in his 93rd year. Johanna was Peter's second wife. His first wife, Sarah Howe died July 18, 1692 along with their four children during an Indian attack on their farm in Lancaster, Massachusetts Bay Colony.

But, the Joslin men picked them well. Peter and Johanna's son John Joslin (1710-1789) married Lucy Wilder (1715- ?) when she was 17 years old. She would have 14 children in 24 years, giving birth to the last one at age 43. It is not known when Lucy died. John and Lucy's son Joseph Joslin (1743-1829) was married in 1763 to 22 year old Sarah Tarbell (1741-1810). She would give birth to 12 children in a 20 year period the last one being born when she was 45 years old. Sarah died in her 68th year. Joseph was 86 years old when he died.
Note: Written for the 52nd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. I hope you've enjoyed this little journey through my family files.

Smile for the Camera, 3rd Edition

footnoteMaven has posted the 3rd edition Smile for the Camera whose topic this time is "Celebrate Home" over at Shades of the Departed. Interesting stories and pictures were contributed which capture the essence of "Home." I'm sure you'll enjoy them, I know I did.

And, the topic for the next edition of Smile for the Camera is "My Favorite Photograph": "Choose a photograph of an ancestor, relative, yourself, or an orphan photograph that is your favorite family photo or that photograph you've collected and wouldn't give up for a King's ransom."

Read more about the topic and find out how you can participate (scroll to the bottom of this post) where you will also find links to the two previous carnivals.

Oh boy, this one is going to be a challenge for me... I don't know how I'm going to pick "just one" favorite!

Images courtesy of footnoteMaven.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Must be Something in the Air

Congratulations to Jasia, who recently found a first cousin she didn't know she had and is Dancin' 10 Feet Off the Ground...

Like the title of the post says, must be something in the air. Months can often go by between "contacts" and then they seem to come in bunches. In the past week I've been contacted by three distant (very distant) cousins (or potential cousins), two new ones and one that I have worked with previously.

A week ago I received an email from someone who had found my website and the obituaries on the Joslin family posted there. She was married to a descendant of Joseph Joslin and is looking for more information on her former husband's family for her son's genealogy. She asked for "everything" that I have on the family! Including documents, photographs, etc. I responded to her giving a brief line of descent back to our common ancestor and explaining that I don't have much on that particular family. Her son's ancestor, Joseph Joslin is a brother to Lysander Price Joslin, my 3rd great grandfather. Our common ancestors would be James and Abigail Goodrich Joslin, my 4th great grandparents. So, I think her son would be my 4th cousin once removed. While writing this post I received another email from her asking for information on "all Joslin and other clan related to my son." I really, really don't think she wants "everything" I have on all the Joslin and related families in my database! It would be a bit overwhelming to say the least. So, I have to figure out what to send her and that will take some time. It would be much easier if I had my research in an online database, but that's on my "to do" list as well. I've given her a link to this blog so she will probably see this post so I don't want to say anything that will put her off, but how do you respond to someone who asks for "everything" you have on a family and related lines?????

On Thursday, I heard from longtime Yarian family research "partner" Carl Bennett. He saw my entries on Find A Grave for Susie Yarian Phend and Henry Phend and wanted me to link Susie to her parents, Eli Yarian and Lovina Berlin Yarian, which I did. In February 2007 I wrote about Carl's work with Find A Grave. Carl has been busy! He now has 4,658 memorials and 697 photos posted on the site. Quite impressive, especially since I found their input process to be somewhat tedious. To date I've added a whopping two memorials and 11 photos. I have a lot of gravestone pictures that I intend to add but they all need to be resized to a smaller file size. Sigh. Don't know when that will ever get done! I really like what Carl has done with the Yarian family on Find A Grave. It is a tremendous resource for Yarian researchers. Thank you, Carl!

The next day, another email came. This one from a descendant of Rosanna Wise Hale through Rosanna's granddaughter Rena Elizabeth Grunden Detweiler, whom the correspondent found in this post. She has provided some leads to additional info on her grandparents and will be checking her files to see if she has anything on Rosanna. I've got my fingers crossed.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Home. I've been contemplating just what that means ever since fM announced the topic of "Celebrate Home" for the upcoming edition of Smile For The Camera. I lived in three different houses while growing up in the rural communities of North Webster and the Barbee Lakes. And while I consider that area to be my "hometown" because that is where I grew up, none of those houses hold any special meaning for me. However I do have fond memories of those locations and some of the events (birthday parties, holidays, family gatherings, etc) held there. And of the people who lived there, family and neighbors.

After graduation from high school, I bounced back and forth between living at "home" and living in apartments in Fort Wayne. I lost track of how many times I moved during that time. Then, after three years, it was off to join the Navy, with numerous duty stations during my 9+ years of service. And, in the nearly 30 years since my discharge from the Navy, I've only lived in six different places. Several hold a place in my heart, again, not so much for the buildings themselves but rather for the memories they recall. Two of the places I've especially enjoyed living in are shown below.

Eastbrique Tower on Fruitridge Avenue, Terre Haute, Indiana. I lived here 1979-1982. I don't know when the house was built but it was quite old. The owner was remodeling it and turning it into apartments. I lived in a little efficiency apartment located in the left corner, first floor. I was devastated when I returned to Terre Haute in 1985 to discover the house had been torn down and the lot turned into a paved parking area for a neighboring restaurant. Inclusion of my shadow was on purpose; I wanted to be in the picture, but the house was really the subject. Copyright © 1982/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman.

Knapp Lake. Noble County, Indiana. The little house in the upper right is where my mother lived for fifteen years. I lived there with her for about two years. The front yard would flood in the spring or during heavy rains, but luckily the house itself didn't. Neighbors were in close proximity but it didn't matter, living on the waterfront was wonderful. It was a small lake, so no big powerboats were allowed, just fishing boats and pontoons. Infrared Photograph. Copyright © 1985/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Parade of Lights

Shriner's Parade of Lights. Three Rivers Festival, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
July 1985. Digitized 2008.
Copyright © 1985/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Friday, July 04, 2008

Sparkling Light for the Fourth

July 4th 1981. Digitized 2008.
Copyright © 1981/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman
Hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Not Your Normal Portrait

Carrie and Tami. Summer of '81. Digitized 2008.
Copyright © 1981/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Robert Quillen - An Independent Spirit

One of the most interesting men that I never met, and who just happens to be related to me (first cousin three times removed!), is Robert Quillen. And, in my opinion, as a free-thinker he meets the qualifications as an "Independent Spirit" which is the topic for the upcoming Carnival of Genealogy. Have any of my readers ever heard of him?

A contemporary of Will Rogers, Robert became known as "the Sage of Fountain Inn" and was nationally known as a paragrapher, humorist writer, newspaper columnist, and newspaper editor during the first half of the 20th century.

Born as Verni Robert Quillen on March 25, 1887 near Syracuse in Hamilton County, Kansas (near the Colorado border) he was the son of James Downey "J. D." and Mandella Joslin Quillen. His mother was the sister of my 2nd great-grandmother, Malissa Mariah Joslin Brubaker Bower, and they were two of the fifteen children of Lysander and Lydia Robison Joslin.

Robert's father was born in Missouri, his mother in Indiana. They married in Barton County, Kansas then moved to Syracuse in western Kansas, where J. D. published the weekly Syracuse Independent. In a few years the family moved back again to eastern Kansas, to the small town of Overbrook, where J. D. began publishing the Overbrook Citizen. Here Robert learned the printing trade, setting type and running the presses.

Early in 1904 J.D. decided to move his family to Washington state. But that March, just before his 17th birthday, Robert enlisted in the army, (without the consent of his parents and swearing he was twenty-one) as William Stewart. It was reportedly an attempt to heal a broken heart. In actuality it was probably rebellion against the sternness of his father. Robert was assigned to the 13th Cavalry Regiment and sent to the Philippine Islands. In June 1905, after deciding that military life was not his cup of tea and with some help from his father, Robert was discharged from active duty.

After his release from the Army, Robert traveled for a time, and ended up in Fountain Inn, Greenville County, South Carolina. He had some experience as a printer, gained from working with his father, so he launched the "Fountain Inn Journal" but that enterprise didn't last long. He met and fell in love with Donnie Cox, an "older" southern girl, five years his senior. As can be imagined, her family didn't approve of the young westerner but Donnie was in love with Robert too. Robert moved to Americus, Georgia taking a job as a print shop foreman. Robert pursued his romantic interest in Donnie and when her father finally relented to her wishes, they were married September 2, 1906, reportedly in Atlanta. They lived for a short time at Americus and then Ashburn, Georgia before joining his parents and siblings in Anacortes, Skagit County, Washington where his father was publisher of "The Citizen".

The Quillen family moved closer to Seattle where Robert and his father established the "Port Orchard Independent". In December of 1910, Robert and Donnie returned to Fountain Inn, South Carolina. The following February, Robert published the first issue of the "Fountain Inn Tribune" which he would continue to publish until his death. His parents and sisters joined Robert in Fountain Inn. A brother, LeRoy, had died in 1917. His father died in Fountain Inn on June 6, 1919. His mother passed away February 7, 1943 at the home of her daughter, Della Lucille Quillen Agnew, in Hartsville Township, Darlington County, South Carolina.

It was about 1920 that Robert's writing started getting noticed by prominent publishers and several articles were accepted by the Saturday Evening Post and the Baltimore Evening Sun. His special pages and editorials ran in those publications for several years. In 1922, Robert's wife, Donnie, passed away. By the end of the year he was married again, to Marcelle Babb. No children were born to either marriage, but Robert and Donnie had adopted a daughter, Louise, who became the inspiration for his columns "Letters from a Bald-Headed Dad to His Red-Headed Daughter" that were published in book form in 1933.

In addition to being a writer, editor, and publisher, Robert was also a humanitarian. It was said that if a child in the county woke up Christmas morning with an empty stocking, it was because he didn't know about it.

He was a bit of an eccentric, not only in his writings, but in his actions. Twice he sold his newspaper, only to buy it back again both times. In 1925, he erected a statue to Eve on the lawn of his home, which horrified the townspeople. It was simply an obelisk with the inscription "In Memory of Eve, the First Woman" and carved beneath was an apple with a twig and one leaf. In an editorial in his newspaper, he said: "Eve was a distant relative of mine, on my mother's side. The family has always been proud of her. She was the first lady of the land and the reigning beauty of her time."

Robert Quillen made his living as a commentator on American society. His columns covered virtually every aspect of life in America in the early-to-mid 1900s. Many of his columns were thinly veiled descriptions of the local citizens. One Fountain Inn man warned a new preacher, "Don't get mad at anything Mr. Quillen says. We're used to him and just overlook his queerness."

His opinions were not always widely accepted, in fact, they were often controversial, but his work was published in more than 300 newspapers in the United States and Canada when he died at the age of 61 on December 9, 1948 at Hendersonville, North Carolina. His syndicated features included "Aunt Het" and "Willie Willis," both humorous cartoons, as well as editorials, "Quillen's Quips" and other articles.

He once wrote his own obituary and printed it in the Fountain Inn Tribune, the weekly newspaper he published. He described the service and the last rites at the cemetery. Then he wrote, "When the last clod had fallen, workmen covered the grave with a granite slab bearing the inscription, 'Submitted to the Publisher by Robert Quillen'." The Greenville News added "There will be no copyright. The original work could hardly be reproduced."

A depiction of "Aunt Het", Robert Quillen, Robert with his adopted daughter Louise. Pictures on display in his study in Fountain Inn. Photo taken by Becky Wiseman on March 12, 2004.

The infamous statue "In Memory of Eve, The First Woman." Photo taken by Becky Wiseman on March 12, 2004.

Sadly, there isn't much to be found on the Internet about Robert Quillen. This article was compiled from numerous newspaper clippings about him that I received from the Greenville County Library, Greenville, South Carolina as well as an article in The South Carolina Historical Magazine (Vol 102 No 2, April 2001 pages 110-134 "The Wit and Wisdom of Robert Quillen, 1887-1948" by Marvin L. Cann). After receiving a copy of that article in September 2002 I was able to contact Mr. Cann. Most of the resources and photographs he used in the article were housed at the University of South Carolina. I contacted them and obtained several pictures of Robert and his family. However, I can't post them here since I don't have their permission to do so.

A recent search of the 'net brought up a new book published last year, "The Voice of Small-Town America : Selected Writings of Robert Quillen, 1920–1948" edited by John Hammond Moore. An article on Wikipedia appears to be excerpts from the Moore book.

A few of Robert's one-liners:

  • Acting is not being emotional, but being able to express emotion.
  • As we grow older, our bodies get shorter and our anecdotes longer.
  • Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance.
  • Great art is never produced for its own sake. It is too difficult to be worth the effort.
  • If we wish to make a new world we have the material ready. The first one, too, was made out of chaos.
  • There are glimpses of heaven to us in every act, or thought, or word, that raises us above ourselves.