Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Few Favorite Ancestor Names

I have over 4,300 names in my family files at this time. At times they just blend together. However, there are a few that stand out. If you have a favorite family name  or an interesting naming pattern, add a comment.

Appollonia (Dick) Wolf, 1738 – 1791         

My 5th great grandmother, born at sea as her parents traveled from Germany to America. Appollonia is a very different name that seems to have been lost through the years.

Jessie Alexander Brumfield, 1838 – after 1910    

My 2nd great grandfather, born in Louisiana and lived in Mississippi. His very formal sounding name seems to fit perfectly with the time and place he lived, a southern farmer in the Civil War era.

Wyatt Smith, 1809 – 1894             

My 3rd great grandfather, born in Pike County, Mississippi.  A family history written by G. K. Fortinberry says Wyatt and his wife, “blazed the trail, built the stockade a quarter mile east of the present Silver Springs Church.  Besides rearing eight children of their own, they proved their love for children by bringing up several orphan children, and counted them their own." Guess I just like the name Wyatt; it adds spark to his very common last name.

Thomas Jefferson Mark, 1840 – 1863      

My 2nd great grand uncle, born in Wayne County, Ohio.  When his parents named him after a president did they think he was destined for greatness? As a soldier who died in the Civil War he did become a hero in our family. We also have a George Washington  Mark, 1878 - 1938, nephew of Thomas Jefferson. 

Mary Josephine (Mullane) Coyle, 1867 – 1927     

My maternal great grandmother, born in Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland. Hearing her name it is very easy to guess at her Irish Catholic heritage and life. She was called Mary Jo by her husband, Michael Coyle. They met and married in New York City where they raised a large family.

James Joseph Coyle, 1887 – 1955 

My maternal great grand uncle. Many men name sons after themselves. However this ancestor named all his sons after himself: Robert James, Thomas James, James Joseph, John Joseph and Joseph James. 

Augustus Ceaser Gruissy, 1840 – 1915    

My 2nd great grandfather. Named for the first Roman Emperor, was a simple farmer in Ohio who grew herbs and made his own medicines.

Friday, June 17, 2011

June Family Birthdays, June 17 - 30

Is your birthday coming soon? Maybe you share your special day with someone in our family. Look below and see. Happy Birthday!

17 June        
1853    Mary Josephine WOLF
1929    Malcolm Brown Pierce, son of Arlie & Lyda M. (Brown) Pierce. Married Blanche Ritchie. Children: Malcolm & Angela.

18 June        

1842    John MARK b. in Ohio, son of Abraham & Mary Isabella (Heffelfinger) Mark. He served & died in the Civil War: in 16 Regiment, Company C., Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

19 June      

1827    Lorenzo Dow SNELL married Amanda Miranda FORTENBERRY, daughter of Gasua Chapman & Sarah (Brown) FORTENBERRY. HE died in 1903.
1899    Henry Lattimore LEA

20 June        

1744    Caspar RITTER
1765    Elizabeth Bryant married Jacob ALFORD, son of Julius & Lucy (Newton) ALFORD. Their children: Needham, Sarah & Edwin Barksdale ALFORD

21 June        

1846    Sara Jane FORTENBERRY b. in Mississippi, daughter of Gasua Chaman & Sarah (Brown) FORTENBERRY. She married Hiram Cutrer. They had 5 children. She died in 1890.
1888    Amos Martin MARK
1891    Eugene C. SMITH

22 June   

1848    Adolphus Scott SMITH son of Wyatt & Euseba (Fortenberry) Smith. He married Julia Jane Simmons. They had six children. He died in 1921.
1874    Sarah Barbara GRUISSY

23 June        

1828    Elias FRANTZ
1860    Charles Fedler McDANIEL
1865    Charles Albert WOLF
1878    Minnie MARK
1892    Russel Grover MILLER
1904    Mildred Olga BROWN b. in Mississippi, daughter of Jasper Pascal & Rose Ella (Brumfield) Brown. She married James Alton Ball. They had ten children.

24 June   

1890    Hattie Rebecca WOLF
1914    Dorothy COYLE b. in Texas, daughter of William Paul & Lauretta (Niail) Coyle. She married Philip Reilly.

25 June        

1815    Nancy P. BROWN b. in Mississippi, daughter of Moses & Nancy (Perkins) Brown. She married Johnson Patrick. They had nine children. Nancy died in 1862, age 47.

26 June  

1879    Albert E. FORTENBERRY
1881    Alfred E. FORTENBERRY
1911    Zelma FORTENBERRY daughter of Lemuel Q. & Lillian (Ellzey) Fortenberry. Married Nolan Smith. Children: James, Robert, Maxwell, Karen.

27 June      

1782    Maria Elizabeth WOLF
1785    Lydia KNAPPENBERGER married Henry Ritter, son of Martin & Anna Margaret (Steininger) RITTER. Children: Maria, Margretha, Heinrich & Daniel Ritter.
1932    Doris Joan JOLLIFF

28 June        

1743    Catherine NAUGLE
1875    Fletcher Boyd BRUMFIELD b. in Mississippi, son of Jessie Alexander & Martha Elizabeth (Alford) Brumfield. Married Mattie. Children: Mead, Francis, Courtney & Ed Brumfield.
1894    Elva Gale MARK

29 June        

1811    John Jonas WOLF
1817    Gideon B. RITTER b. in Pennsylvania, son of Martin & Anna Margaret (Bogert) Ritter. Married Theresa. Gideon died in 1891.
1857    Jesse Eli BRUMFIELD
1894    William Paul COYLE

30 June     

1779    John Frederick WOLF b. in Pennsylvania, son of Johann Jonas & Appollonia (Dick) Wolf. Married Esther Barbara Wolf. They had ten children.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Printing the Mark Family Story

I find that the closer I get to making my book, The Mark Family Story,  a reality the more hesitant I get. Have included every scrap of information that I collected? Is it organized in a clear, easy to follow manner? Have I presented the dates & places in an interesting manner? Have I made our ancestors come alive once again? Will my realtives be happy to be included? Basically, will anyone want to read this? And will they pay for a copy?

In the summer of 1993 my children, my father and I packed up my minivan with suitcases and snacks, a cooler of cold drinks, books and toys. I had my camera, a blank spiral notebook and a thin folder of notes that included everything I knew about the Mark family. My father had a couple often used maps of Ohio and his lifelong knowledge of his home state. Kissing my husband good-bye, I climbed into the minivan for my first genealogy trip. We headed to Ohio to visit my father’s maternal relatives and wander in cemeteries. My children remember feeding Great Aunt Wava’s chickens, the wooden swing in Uncle Clarence’s back yard and waiting for long lines of freight trains to pass by before we could continue driving. I remember my father’s happiness at being home again, stories he shared and the hospitality of our family in the Buckeye State. By the end of the trip I dreamed of writing down all this information to share it with the rest of the family.

That was the beginning of collecting information on the Mark family which I did in starts and stops over many years. It was followed by years of writing letters to libraries with SASEs, pestering relatives to tell me stories, scanning old photographs, filling out family group sheets and buying larger and larger binders. I shared bits of information in Christmas newsletters. I printed out and stapled together little stories of our family and gave them to my cousins when we gathered for annual Fourth of July BBQs.

Now I am ready to have a ‘real’ book printed. I have a Word document, complete with a Table of Contents, chapters, footnotes, photographs and an index. My daughter, Alyssa, who is also my editor, has pointed out my errors and those have been fixed.

 The next step is finding the right place to print my book. I will soon be going to the Troy Book Makers. Their website says, “Let your inner book out.” I am signed up for their seminar. 

You’ve just put the cap back on your pen, or saved your last sentence—your latest written work is now complete. Now what? Join us to find out more about polishing your completed work to get it ready to be printed with The Troy Book Makers. This is an informational session that gives authors the basics about self-publishing. The Troy Book Makers staff provides tips, to-do lists and honest advice.” 

I will take a notebook, a DVD with my book and my courage and go off, pretending to be a ‘real’ author.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Counting Cousins

Genealogy is very much about cousins. I grew up with plenty of cousins and through my research I am discovering more. I remember a conversation with friends when I was in school. We were talking about our weekends and my friend, Susan, was talking about her cousins.  She had gone to a park with one cousin and out for ice cream with the other cousin. I asked her why they didn’t just go all together. She said her cousins did not know each other. They were not related to each other.

I think that conversation remained with me because it was a totally new concept to me. My friend had cousins who did not know each other. All my cousins knew each other. My father, Delbert Keith Brown, was the oldest of seven children and my brothers and I have sixteen first cousins.  My mother, Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown, however, was an only child. Holidays, picnics, summer outings were spent with our Brown cousins, our only cousins. We still see each other on many occasions, now with our children, a new set of Brown family cousins.

If you go back a step and count up second cousins the picture is very much the same. My father’s mother, Ivy Regina (Mark) Brown, was one of seven children, giving me thirteen second cousins. My father’s father, Roy Jesse Brown, was one of nine children, giving me thirty eight second cousins. Once again I have lots of cousins from my father’s family.

Compare that to my mother’s family. My mother’s mother, Helen (Coyle) Gardner, was the oldest of seven children but her siblings had no children. I have no second cousins from the Coyles. My mother’s father, Nathaniel Gardner, was the second of five children. He had two nephews, giving my mother two cousins. They and their descendants did not want to maintain a connection because of a difference in religion. 

That gives me sixty seven first and second cousins from my father’s family and two from my mother’s family. The scales are strongly tipped towards the Browns.

First Annual Cousins' Weekend
 It wasn’t until I delved into genealogy and internet research that I found cousins from my mother’s family. Discovering my third cousins was like digging up a buried treasure. I connected with Patricia Brady on the internet and we started sending emails and letters to each other. She had been gathering information for a long time on people I was just learning about. Patricia generously shared information that expanded my knowledge tenfold. Patricia knew of another cousin, Tara (Herbert) Cousins. Now I had two cousins who knew about my Coyle ancestors. Although we live in different states, we live in the northeast, within driving distance of each other. We decided to meet. We all drove to Waterbury, CT, the home of Patrick and Margaret (Brady) Coyle, our common ancestors. We were happily surprised to discover we all very ‘Irish’ looking, including lots of freckles! We were fortunate to find a restaurant that would let us sit and talk for a long time. It was a terrific afternoon.

The next year Patricia kindly invited us to her house for the weekend, our First Annual Cousins’ Weekend. We discovered we all love the ocean, seafood and antiques. Back with the internet, I found another Coyle cousin, Lisbeth (Timothy) Knapp. Emails flew between us.  She joined us in our Second Annual Cousins’ Weekend at my house. We had a BBQ and took a Hudson River cruise. 

My Mother's Cousins
The scales have not exactly tipped in favor of my mother’s family, especially if I count all the third cousins on both sides. However, it is wonderful to be able to talk about “my mother’s cousins”. Today we compare and share our Coyle and Brady photos, stories and other information. More than that we stay in touch and share happenings in our lives. We are planning our Third Cousins’ Annual Weekend, this year in Boston.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June Family Birthdays, June 1 - 15

Is your birthday coming soon? Maybe you share your special day with someone in our family. Look below and see. Happy Birthday!

1 June        

1894    Eli Eddie BALDES b. in Louisiana, son of Eli B. & Morgana Blades. Married Annie Clotee Cutrer.

2 June     

1940    Dale JOHNSON

3 June        

1807    Edwin SMITH b. in Mississippi, son of Jeremiah & Joanna (Dillon) SMITH.
1855    Susan Penelope FORTENBERRY
1878    Anna May WOLF

4 June   

1832    Matilda MILLAN

5 June        

1762    Jacob WOLF b. in Pennsylvania, son of Johann Jonas & Appollonia (Dick) WOLF. Married to Cornelia Knight. Daughter: Margaret Wolf.
1783    Andrew WOLF

6 June         

1821    Ann Lowery
1931    Sally Louise SHEETS
1932    Gerald Maurer b. in Ohio, son of Elmer & Pauline (Morrison) Maurer. Gerald died the day he was born.

7 June        

1856    William Edward FORTENBERRY
1858    Charles Sumner BROWN was born in Iowa, son of Aaron & Elizabeth Brown.

8 June        

1858    Patrick Hines ALFORD
1908    Ivy Regina MARK b. in Ohio, daughter of Thomas Kenneth & N. Regina (Gruissy) Mark. She was my paternal grandmother. She married Roy Jesse Brown in 1927 in Ohio. She was the mother of seven children.  My father, Delbert K. Brown, was her oldest child. The family moved to New York State about 1941. My grandmother loved flowers & gardens. She collected milk glass. She loved spending time with her family.

9 June        

1835    B. Franklin RITTER
1929    Dorothy June HURD b. in Michigan, daughter of Howard M. & Marian (Lehman) Hurd. Married Vern James Simons. Children: Stephen, Thomas & Vern.

10 June        

1724    Anna Maria WOLF b. in Germany, daughter of Johan Jacob & Anna Barbara (Orth) Wolf.
1884    Henry Lucius ALFORD

11 June        

1753    Johannes Theobald RITTER
1849    Peter Alfred WOLF
1888    Adolphus Oliver SMITH, son of Adolphus Scott & Julia Jane (Simmons) Smith. Married to Grace Graham. Father of nine children.

12 June        

1928    Olivia Margaret SHAW, daughter of John R. & Mary Jeanette (Mark) Shaw. Married David Walter Foss.

13 June        

1862    Mary Elizabeth GATLIN married William Franklin Ellzey, son of John Shaffer & Saryntha (Smith) Ellzey. They had eight children.
1897    Alva William BLADES

14 June        

1798    Isaac OTT was the son of Jacob & Margaret (Jackson) Ott. He was my 3rd great grand uncle.
1835    William J. M. SMITH
1836    Esther Barbara WOLF

15 June        

1854    Sarah Louise FORTENBERRY
1884    Arthur Moses GARTNER b. in New York City, was the son of Leopold & Florence Gartner.