My little corner of the world
By: Arwen | Discussion (0)

My great-grandmother, Rebecca Pearl Evans Wilhelm, had a first husband.

Ok, so that statement shouldn’t be too shocking, but it was something that never came up until I began to ask about family history in 1999. Then I found out a few facts about him. My father said: “Roland Holmes was Rebecca’s first husband. Together they ran a very successful ice cream and confectionary business in Pocatello, Id. He made a business trip to Portland. We think that he contracted typhoid fever from drinking the water on the train. Rebecca was in good financial condition. She sold the business shortly after his death.” Becky took a trip to Europe in 1911, and married my great grandfather in 1912 at age 30.

It seems so impersonal.

What was her life like before she married a second time and gave birth to her only child in 1913? She had to have been devastated to lose her first husband so young.

I wanted to know more about this man — after all — who else will remember him?

@}- -,- -‘- –

Recently I was able to pick up this investigation.

Since I can assume that Becky would have married either near her family in Utah or in Idaho where she ended up living with her future husband, I began my search at the Western States Marriage Index. There I found that Rowland W. Holmes married Rebecca P. Evans on 25 Sep 1905 in Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho.

Next I searched the 1910 Census because I now knew that he died between 1905 when he married Becky and 1912 when she remarried. I located Becky living as a lodger in Pocatello. She was already widowed.

A check of online resources about cemeteries led me to discover that the largest cemetery at the time in Pocatello was Mountain View. A list of names is available online. I posted on to see if someone might take a photo of Rolland’s stone for me. I was hoping for dates!

Mary Brown responded and took photos for me!

I now knew that he was born on 31 May 1880 and died 2 Nov 1909. Armed with a date, I searched the Pocatello death records while I was at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City this summer. Wouldn’t you know it? His parents were not listed. And even with a birth date — I could’t find him in 1900! Arrrgh! (I even checked out all the people with the last name Holmes, Holms, and Homes in the known family haunts.)

Onto next step: Obituaries?! (::Crossing fingers::)

Luckily, the Utah papers are coming online at the Utah Digital Newspaper Project. I know that Rebecca appeared in the Park City Record several times throughout the years in the society section. She was a former resident of the City and her sister W.A. Raddon was well known.

Paydirt! Obituary located! It confirms that Rolland did die of typhoid, and that the couple owned an ice cream and confectionary business.

Now comes the time to spend some money (Ok — forget about the cost of the trip to SLC!). For two bucks I ordered Rowland and Rebecca’s marriage certificate from the Bannock County Recorder. For five bucks I entered an online request and got a pdf copy of a funeral announcement published in the Pocatello Tribune from the Idaho State Historical Society.

When the marriage record arrives, I find that the witnesses to the marriage are R.A. Holmes and Elizabeth Holmes or Hughes (there are two spots where the witnesses are recorded and each time this woman is given a different last name). My first thought — Ahah! a family member (or two?).

The funeral notice reveals that an unnamed brother travelled from Indiana for the service.

It is now time to recheck for Rolland since I have a date of birth. And up pops a Rolland “H.” Holmes born on 31 May 1880 in Cass County, Michigan. Checking the batch for other Holmes children turns up a Raymond A. Holmes born in 1882 in the same place. The original records are even viewable now on the FamilySearch Pilot site. The parents of these two boys are named as Andrew B. and Chloe Holmes.

I can trace this family (minus Andrew) to 1900 when living in Dowagiac, Cass, Michigan. Rolland is named as “Rowley.” I can trace Raymond into Indiana from 1910 to 1930. I even find that Chloe S. Rider Homes is buried in the Allen (or Red Mill) Cemetery in Silver Creek Township.

So — birth date matches, an R.A. Holmes is present in this family, and he was living in Indiana about the same time that Rolland died. The only thing that doesn’t match is the middle initial of “H.” However, that can be explained away quite easily as a clerical error or even an early name change. Currently, I am waiting to hear back from the archives as to the date of the funeral annoucement to know whether they searched only the weekly edition of the paper. Maybe more information is available in an actual obituary published in the daily edition — interlibrary loan may be in order!

By: Arwen | Discussion (0)

So, I was playing around with Google Maps the other day while I was thinking about the cemeteries around here. “Huh?” You say, “What the heck is the connection there!” Well, I (and several others) have been attempting to locate and photograph cemeteries in the area. We locate the cemetery and then proceed to photograph every stone we can find. We use the photos to create a list of people buried in that cemetery and create memorial pages for those people on Find A Grave. We do this because it is such a great resource for genealogists. I have used it many times to obtain photographs of headstones of ancestors who lived thousands of miles away. To give back, we fulfill photo requests and also post information about entire cemeteries.

Other reasons? Well, cemeteries are just plain interesting.

From interesting inscriptions: “If mothers were flowers, you would be a perfect rose…and here lies the thorn.”
Fun Inscription.

To the poignant (quadruplets who all died)

To the just plain spooky

To help us to locate cemeteries and plan our trips, I did several things. First I searched the internet for cemeteries in Pima County, which usually gives me names, but no locations. Then I discovered that when using Google Earth I could usually see a cemetery from a satellite photo. Then I discovered that many cemeteries are marked on topo maps. They are indicated with dashed lines and the notation “Cem” — or sometimes just a cross.

However, I got tired of continually having to go back to the topo maps or satellite images after I had written down directions and GPS coordinates. I still wanted to check the map before making a trip to a new location. So I decided that I needed a more permanent way of locating these cemeteries quickly. I decided that Google Maps was the way to go (simply because I already had a Google account.)

The first map I created was for ALL cemeteries within Pima County.

View Larger Map
(Yes, I am sure I have missed some!)

I then went on to create other Arizona county cemetery maps.

My process is this:

  • Use the Geographic Names Information Server to locate all “Feature class” = cemeteries within any given county.
  • Click on the cemetery name to open the information window.
  • On the right, look for “ACME Mapper.”
  • Then use the topo maps (see the button in the upper right above the map) to determine the location.
  • Move what you want to located to the center of the map under the crosshairs.
  • Reading the LAT LONG data from the box at the bottom of the screen, enter that data into Google Maps and placemark away!
  • Then do the same with feature class pointing to populated place. When looking at populated places, move the map around because there might be cemeteries just off the map! (And remember you must zoom in.)
  • If you find cemeteries reported to be on a ranch use locale, for creeks use stream, for canyons use valley, etc.
  • I spent quite a lot of time finding all of the cemeteries in Pima County and had to do it again when I decided to use Google Maps — but now it is available for the world to see, and I can quickly locate a super obscure (what the heck is its name?!) cemetery (and impress my genealogy buddies with my wit and wisdom — or some junk).

    (And yes, this used to be less complicated — but don’t get me started on the idiots who purchased TopoZone and made EVERYTHING require payment. There were fewer steps. I will NEVER buy any maps from them now — since I figured I might need some — I will get in the car and drive myself to a map store instead.)
    ((See, I told you not to get me started!))

    By: Arwen | Discussion (1)

    I have located marriage records for Joel and Henry Turner.

    Groom: Joel Turner
    Bride: Mourning S Davis
    Bond_Date: 04 Jan 1843
    County: Nash
    Bondsman: Willie Made his Mark Turn [probably Turner-see below]
    Witness: S Brown (Clerk)

    Groom: Henry Turner
    Bride: Amandy E Daughtridge
    Bond_Date: 21 Jun 1849
    County: Nash
    Bondsman: J L Made his Mark Boon
    Witness: J W Bryant

    Circumstantial evidence is mounting that not only were Warren and Orren brothers, but Joel was as well. Linking in my Josiah is a last step.

    And, I have likely located Shanny who lived next door to Joel in 1850.

    Groom: William Turner
    Bride: Shanney Joiner
    Bond_Date: 31 Mar 1825
    County: Nash
    Bondsman: Saml W W Vick

    Since Shanney was born about 1800 and married in 1825, if William Turner was the father of the boys, she was probably the second wife. The only detractor from that is that in 1840, I find a family that might match William Turner with only children born since 1825.

    Knowing my luck though, they will all turn out to only be distant cousins.

    By: Arwen | Discussion (1)

    Here is a genealogy conundrum I am working on. This is a line that dead ends for me at Josiah Turner, and I am attempting to push it back a generation by examining the people who might be associated with him.

    Josiah Turner (1812-abt 1876) m. Nancy Jackson in 1836 in Edgecombe Co and later married Lenoir Cox. Lived in Burke Co, NC.

    Joel Turner (abt 1818-abt 1878)m. Mourning Spivey Davis in 1843. Lived in Coopers, Nash, NC.

    Henry Turner (1820-1907) m. Romandy Daughtridge. Lived in Rocky Mount, Nash, NC.

    Orren Turner (1823-1879) m. Minerva. Lived in Rocky Mount, Edgecombe, NC.

    I am attempting to determine if these four men are siblings. Currently I am working on circumstantial evidence.

    My circumstantial evidence:
    1. Josiah had a son named Joel. After Josiah Turner’s death, a Joel who is of the appropriate age (b 1859) is located on the 1880 census
    with Orren Turner’s wife. There is no relationship noted. There is no guarantee that the Joels are the same. However, it seems likely that
    Joel would have gone to live with his uncle’s wife since she may have needed help on the farm and his own mother may not have been able to
    support him.
    2. Josiah and Henry both named a son “Joel.” I am relying on family naming patterns that might not hold any water in this case. (Orren had
    girls.) And Josiah also named a son “Oren.”
    3. Henry and Orren are buried in the same cemetery in Rocky Mount which is a city that straddles the Edgecombe and Nash county line. Their burial location could be simple coincidence. Transcription of cemetery: Jackson Cemetery.
    4. The name of that cemetery is “Jackson” because of the number of people with that surname who are buried there. Jackson is the maiden
    name of Josiah’s wife.
    5. In 1860 another name coincidence occurs when Joel is “next door” to a Rhody Daughtridge age 50.

    Another person of interest: In 1850 Joel lived “next door” to a Shanny Turner, a 52 year old woman. In her home were Hardie age 21 and Rhoda age 16. She is of an age to be the mother of at least the elder sons (she’d have been 14 when Josiah was born). Or, she could be an aunt. Another naming “coicidence” occurs when Josiah’s son Warren named one of his sons “Hardie.”

    Circumstances might at least point to the fact that they are cousins if not brothers. I would, however, bet just about anything that at least Henry and Orren are brothers.

    By: Arwen | Discussion (0)

    Just in case I am not busy enough (apparently too busy to blog), a friend and I have decided to start a genealogical research service. I have been researching my and my husband’s families since 1995 and have eyed the possibility of becoming a certified genealogist for quite some time. The problem has been that you have to have some client reports to send in your portfolio. This is one of those Catch-22s where you have to say you are a professional before you can be a true professional. Maybe now in a few years I will be able to actually apply for my certification.

    The service will be offering all kinds of things: full service research, teaching you how to do your own genealogy, research trips, research consulting, editing of manuscripts (English teacher perfect!), digitization of family heirlooms and documents, and publishing of family history books, family cookbooks, family directories, family photo books, family calendars, family charts, etc.

    By: Arwen | Discussion (1)

    I have been researching an ancestor named Ebenezer Buck. He was born in 1717 in Middletown, CT. He had a number of children in Hebron, CT. I have a hand-written family history that very specifically states that Josiah Buck was born in 1766 in Hebron to Ebenezer and Deborah Buck. However, there are no official records of his birth. This means that I have to keep looking in order to prove the relationship as more than just family legend. Luckily, the history also names two siblings: Ebenezer and Sally who married a Barnes. Both of them lived in Lanesboro, MA.

    I make an effort to track down these siblings because there is usually interesting information that can be found by locating distant relatives. For example, another of my lines recorded family information in a bible, the eldest daughter got that bible and passed it down through her daughters. Without copies of that bible, I would have been unable to confirm my dates.

    Well, back to Ebenezer and Sally. To be quite to the point about the second, I can’t find Sally Barnes! Even with the names of her children, Fidelia (who married a Gettinger), Newell, Beulah, Sylvia, and Besty, I can’t find her.

    Ebenezer is easier to find because census records of 1790-1830 recorded his name as the head of household in Lanesboro. I am able find records of his marriage to an Anna Talcott in CT in Oct 1784. I am also able to find a cemetery transcription for him; it turns out he is buried in the same cemetery with an Ebenezer and a Deborah who appear to be his parents. The history did not say that Ebenezer and Deborah had moved to MA too! See what great information I have already located?

    Since I am certain that I have found the right family, I check some sites and find some other researchers who are looking into relations of Ebenezer Bucks in Lanesboro. I email two of them.

    One reports back that Sybil married a Barnes. Ebenezer and Deborah did have a daughter named Sybil! OK, now we are getting somewhere–that means that someone in my family misremembered which sister it was that married Barnes (or the other way around). However, a list of Sybil’s children does not match mine…until…I look at the names of the wives of her children. There I begin to see a similarity. More research is needed on this front to confirm the family relations. Of course, I also can’t rule out that they both married Barneses.

    The other reports that she is not sure that the Ebenezer Jr who was living next door to Ebenezer Sr in the 1790 census is in fact the one I thought I had located. She thinks that it is another man who married a woman named Anna Talcott. Her evidence is that the census only recorded two people in the home…husband and wife. Records for Ebenezer and Anna show that they had one daughter by this time. In her book, this casts doubt on the marriage and she thinks she need to be looking for a third Ebenezer.

    To sum up, she feels that there are three Ebenezers:
    Ebenezer and Deborah Buck
    Ebenezer Jr and ????? Buck
    Ebenezer and Anna Talcott Buck

    I think the solution is simpler. The census taker did not record the daughter for one of two reasons: misinformation or the fact that Mary was living elsewhere. On the 1800 Census there are two children in Ebenezer Jrs home that are between 10 and 16…meaning that Anna must have been VERY pregnant at the time of the 1790 census. Because family was so near, it is not a stretch to think that Mary was living with her grandparents or an uncle so that she was not underfoot while her mother gave birth.

    To sum up, I feel that that there are two Ebenezers:
    Ebenezer and Deborah Buck
    Ebenezer Jr and ????? Buck
    Ebenezer (Jr) and Anna Talcott Buck

    So, the next step, continue the effort to locate all known children of Deborah and Ebenezer Buck. If or when an extra child is found in the 1790 census, we have located Mary. If not, the census record is one of MANY which were WRONG.