Sunday, January 29, 2012

Starting my 2012 Genealogy Goals

Helen (Coyle) Gardner's Trunk
This year my goals focus on my mother’s family, especially my Irish roots.  I decided to review the materials I already have. I began with my Nana’s old trunk. I remember when it sat at the top of the steep stairs at my Nana’s house. She kept a heavy cloth over it and a lamp on top. I believe it belonged to her mother when she came from Ireland but I cannot be sure. Now it is in my house with a quilt over it. 

Leopold & Nathaniel Gardner
I hadn’t looked through it in ages so I sat down and stepped into the past. Some of the things inside are: my Nana’s photo album from 1917, my mother’s child sized ballet slippers, old post cards of New York City, embroidered handkerchiefs, Christmas and Easter cards drawn by us grandchildren and lots more. It was easy to get distracted by memories but I tried to focus on genealogy. 

The Gardners: Nathaniel, Joy & Helen
The most important item I found that I had not noticed before was an envelope of black and white photographs. One photo shows my mother’s father with his father, Leopold & Nathaniel Gardner. It is the only one I know of with them together. Another photo shows my mother with her parents. That is only the second photo of the three of them. Small treasures.

Times Square Postcard
I didn’t learn anything new about the family. I didn’t uncover a journal with answers to all my questions but I do have more special photos. Next I will go through my files and binders to see if I have overlooked anything there.

Friday, January 27, 2012

FOUND: Marriage Record for Samuel Weissberg & Florence Gartner

Florence (Gartner) Weissberg
Sometimes writing an old fashioned letter works wonders. Not everything can be found on the internet. I knew that my grand aunt, Florence Gartner, married Frank Samuel Weissberg in New York City about 1906. In the 1905 New York State Census Florence was living with her father. I knew Florence’s oldest son was born 27 December 1907. By 1910 she was living in Buffalo, New York as a married lady, mother of one son.

I went to the web site for the New York City Municipal Archives

I printed out the PDF form to request a marriage certificate by mail, filled in what I knew, including the range of years when they were most likely married and mailed it to: the New York City Municipal Archives, 31 Chambers Street, New York. About 4 weeks later they mailed me the certificate. I love my mailbox when it has a genealogical treasure.

Samuel Weissberg & Florence Gartner were married on 27 January 1907 in Manhattan. Samuel had been living at 646 East 6 Street. He was a 27 year old Tailor. Florence was living at 340 East 87 Street. She was 23. [As with almost all genealogical advancements, this one comes with a question. It says Florence was born in Hungary whereas all other records show her birth in New York City.] 

Another small family fact has been uncovered. What’s next?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Found: Fannie (Edelstein) Gartner Death Date

Fannie Gardner death certificate 1908

My mother’s paternal grandmother was Florence or Fannie Edelstein. She was born in October 1860 in Austria /Hungry. She married Leopold Gartner (Gardner) on 24 March 1878 in Manhattan, New York. She had five children who grew to adulthood and, perhaps, two who died young.

The City Directory for 1899-1900 shows the Gartner family at 445 East 83rd Street. The 1900 US census shows Leopold & Fannie with five children. She was 39 years old. Between the 1901 & 1911 city directories the Gardner family moved a couple times.  From 1905 to 1908 they were at 340 East 87th Street. The 1905 New York State Census shows Fannie as a housewife. In 1910 the US census shows Leopold to be a widower living at 56 West 118th Street in Manhattan.

I knew Fannie had died between the 1905 New York State and the 1910 US census takers’ visits. I wrote to the New York City Municipal Archives at 31 Chambers Street.  About five weeks later my mailbox contained a certified copy of Fannie Gardner’s death certificate. She died 28 February 1928. She had been a married housewife who had been in the US from Hungary for 32 years. She was buried March 1st in Washington cemetery.

I am off to search for her final resting place. I am wondering if her children who died young are also buried in Washington Cemetery. This may help answer questions about them. I can also try to find her arrival in the United States based on the number of years she had been here at her death. Every discovery leads in new directions.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sepia Saturday - Dolls

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

Wava Alice (Mark) Braun
1919 - 2011
Lived her life in Ohio

My grand aunt allowed me to copy this photograph of herself and her doll.
 My paternal grandmother, her sister, though it was funny that Wava always played with dolls and yet she had only two children. My grandmother did not like playing with dolls. However, when she was grown she had seven children.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ancestor Anniversaries, January 19 - 29

Is your anniversary in January? 
Maybe some else in the family was married on the same day. Happy Anniversary! 

19 January 1894       William Henry Messmore & Susan Isabel Ritter, 1874 – 1918 [daughter of John William & Ruth Anna (Scott) Ritter]. Married  in Ohio. 6 children.

20 January 1885       Wyatt E. Fortenberry, 1858 – 1940 [son of William J. & Elizabeth Martha Ann (Cutrer) Fortenberry]  & Laura Schilling

25 January 1818       Willis Brumfield, 1794 – 1833 [son of John & Margaret (Kelly) Brumfield] & Nancy Virginia Holmes,b. 1797 [daughter of Elisha & Sarah (Stovall) Holmes] Married in Mississippi. 10 children

27 January 1907      Frank Samuel Weissberg & Florence Gartner, 1879 - 1954 [daughter of Leopold & Fannie (Edelstein) Gartner]. Married in Manhattan, New York City. 2 children.

28 January 1864       George Washington Wolf, 1842 – 1920 [son of Frederick & Louisa C. (Goetz) Wolf] & Margaret Ann Culp

28 January 1903       Thomas Kenneth Mark, 1879 – 1975 [son of William & Elidia Rebecca (Ritter) Mark]  & N. Regina Gruissy Gruissy,1879 – 1959 [daughter of Augustus Ceaser & Esther Barbara (Wolf) Gruissy] Married in Ohio. 7 children.

28 January 1950       Paul C. Strohschein & Lacy Lenora Ball [daughter of James Alton & Mildred Olga (Brown) Ball] Married in Louisiana. 4 children.

29 January 1902       Richard Silman Brumfield, 1867 – 1949 [son of Isaac Nelson & Sarah J. (Smith) Brumfield] & Nora Fitzpatrick

29 January 1947       Milton Paul Rowlee, 1923 – 1993 [son of Karl Clayton & Florence Vera (Morrison) Rowlee] & Nunley. Married in Ohio

29 January 1977       William Ream & Isabell Esther Mark Nee, in Ohio

Do you have a marriage certificate for any of these couples? If you know more about any of these couples. please contact me so we can share & compare.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

FOUND: More Children of Leopold & Fannie (Edelstein) Gardner

I thought that Leopold & Fannie (Edelstein) Gardner had three sons and two daughters born in New York City, including my maternal grandfather, Nathaniel Gardner.

Gartner Birth certificate 1890
Florence (Gardner) Weissberg, May 1879 – 19 February 1954
Nathaniel Gardner, 21 July 1882 – 7 December 1944
Arthur Moses Gartner, 15 June 1884 – After 1948
Albert Gartner, 11 December 1888 – c. 1920
Anna (Gartner) Bearman, November 1891

In researching the family I began with information from my mother, Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown. US & New York State Census Records & NY City Directories helped me to document her stories.

Recently, on Family Search, I found two more children for Leopold & Fannie. I was looking for more sources to support my information on the family. I had hoped to find birth certificates for any of the five children and thought I found one for Anna. The search results there listed Johanna Gardner, b. 1 November 1890, and the parents’ names matched. That pointed at Anna. I assumed I had the wrong year form my previous research. I wanted to be sure. I sent off a request to the New York City Municipal Archives for a copy of the birth certificate.

Four weeks later the certificate arrived in the mail & I discovered two new children for Leopold & Fannie. The birth certificate was not for Anna. It said, “Sex – Boy”. The name is difficult to read but it does look like Johanna. Or could the ‘J’ be a ‘T’? [Does anyone know a male form of the name? I unsuccessfully looked on line for Jewish boy names.]This son must have been born the year before Anna. He is not shown in any census reports or city directories.However, I am very confident that he does belong with the family. Parents names match, including the mother's maiden name. Even Leopold's job as a Tailor matches.  I am guessing that this child died young. Will I be able to find a death certificate for him? If you can read the child's name, please tell me what you think it is.

Fannie Gartner
The birth certificate also reveals another child. Fannie, age 31, was the mother of six children, five living. Therefore, there had been another child. Will I be able to find a birth or death certificate for that child?

As is usual with genealogy, each time we discover a new fact it leads to more questions. If you have connections to this family I would love to hear with you.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sepia Saturday - Hats

This week's Sepia Saturday photo shows an interesting hat. I submit this one, taken in Palm Springs, Florida, before 1955. Despite the funny hats and cart my great grand aunt and uncles look quite unhappy. Somehow, that makes it even more interesting.

Shown in photograph are three of eleven children of 
Patrick & Margaret (Brady) Coyle.

James Joseph Coyle 1887 - 1955
Margaret Coyle 1881 - 1972
Thomas Albert Coyle 1883 - 1962

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Shared Project

Genealogy & quilting are both loves of mine and I’m happy when I can do a project that incorporates both. This wall hanging is a project I shared with my Nana, Helen F. (Coyle) Gardner, who was born 9 January, one hundred fifteen years ago today.

 She was the oldest child of Michael and Mary Josephine (Mullane) Coyle in New York City. On 9 May 1921 she married Nathaniel Gardner and they had one child, my mother. 

My Nana, Helen, began a sewing project many years ago. She had sewed small circles of scrap fabrics and then stitched them together to make a bed cover for her daughter’s [Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown] bed. She used fabrics from dresses, aprons and other things she had sewn. After a dress was beyond repair she’d cut it up and snip off the buttons, using the fabric and the buttons for future projects. She also saved string and foil and used pencils till they were short nubs. Not only had my Nana lived through the Depression, she was also a widow on a limited income. She saved every penny. For whatever reason, this project went unfinished. She put the pieces in a paper bag where they remained, passing form her little house to my mother’s attic to my sewing room.

Most of the colorful circles, or yoyos, stayed in good shape. I cut away the blackened circles and evaluated what was left. I decided to separate some sections to make wall hangings, one for each of my three brothers and one for me. Now we each have a part of this great memento of both our mother and her mother.  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 Genealogy Goals

It is the time of year for Resolutions: accessing last year’s resolutions and setting new resolutions for the new year.  I find resolutions to be intimidating. Just the word ‘resolution’ sounds formal and difficult to achieve. I am not trying to form a new government or cure the common cold.

I am, however, setting
Genealogy Goals for 2012.

  1.  I will concentrate my genealogy research on my mother’s family, broadening my knowledge of the Coyle, Mullane, Brady and English families in Ireland and the Gardner family in Austria.
  2.  Once again I will look through my Nana’s old trunk, my paper & computer files and my photographs for any clues I may have over looked in the past. 
  3. I will stay in touch with my cousins connected to these families and try to contact new cousins who may have more bits of information that we can piece together.
  4. In order to expand my Irish research I will organize my current findings with a timeline for each family & a list of findings & a list of questions still to be answered.
  5. This winter I will visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and search by names and locations for my mother’s family. I have never been there so I plan to research how things work there so I can get the most out of my time.
  6. This summer I will go to Ireland and walk where my Irish ancestors walked: going to County Tipperary where the Mullanes lived and to County Cavan where the Coyles lived. Hopefully, the above goals will show me more precisely where I should when I get to Ireland.
  7. In the fall I will organize and write my findings.  I plan to publish a book on my mother’s family but that will probably happen in 2013. 
  8. All along the way I will use my blog and my website to share my findings and my questions with my family.

I welcome tips for achieving my goals! Do you have tips for Salt Lake City research? Do you know a useful Irish website? Do you have experience in Ireland? Let me know.

Writing down these goals helps me to clarify the direction my genealogy is headed. Plus, the only thing better than making lists is crossing things off those lists and I plan to do lots of crossing off!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ancestor Anniversaries, January 3 - 15

Last year I listed birthdays of our ancestors, twice a month. This year I will list anniversaries. Find out if anyone in our family was married on your wedding day.

3 January 1716        John Nicholls & Elizabeth Osborne, in Virginia

6 January 1939        Karl Leavenworth Rowlee [son of Karl Clayton & Florence Vera (Morrison) Rowlee] & Genevieve Stanley Combs. Married in W. Virginia. 2 children.

7 January 1867        Needham Edwin Alford, 1845 – 1937 [son of Rev. Warren Jackson & Celia Ann (Lewis) Alford] & Mary Luzina Stafford, 1845 – 1937. 12 children.

7 January 1957        William Sherrill Whitaker & Carol Ann Good

9 January 1943        Robert James Coyle [son of James Joseph & Madeline (Herbst) Coyle] & Ruth H. Pottle. Married in Virginia. 4 children

10 January 1920       Hubert Allen Brown, 1894 – 1971 [son of Jasper Pascal & Rose Ella (Brumfield) Brown] & Freddie Smith, 1899 – 1988. Married in Mississippi. 6 children.

11 January 1774       Casper Ritter, 1749 – 1822 [son of Heinrich & Maria Elizabeth (Tutt) Ritter] & Hanna Ottilia Hertz. 8 children.

11 January 1774       Martin Ritter, 1749 - 1827 [son of Heinrich & Maria Elizabeth (Tutt) Ritter]& Anna Margaret Steininger,1752 – 1838, Married in Pennsylvania. 7 children

11 January 1941       Alvin Henry Braun, 1915 – 2000 [son of Frederick herman & Alvina Wihelmenia A. (Klagge) Braun]& Wava Alice Mark,1919 – 2011 [daughter of Thomas Kenneth & N. Regina (Gruissy) Mark. Married in Ohio. 2 children.

13 January 1850       Samuel Wolf, 1827 – 1894 [son of Frederick & Louisa C. (Goetz) Wolf] & Susanne Metzger. 1 child.

13 January 1880       Charles Felder McDaniel, 1860 – 1935, & Letitia Susan Blades, 1863 – 1888 [daughter of Benjamin & Hollander Elizabeth (Morris) Blades] Married in Louisiana. 3 children.

14 January 1904       Franks Peters & Emily Augusta Morrison [daughter of Seth Benner & Margaret Jane (Gruissy) Morrison] Married in Michigan. 2 children.

15 January 1845       Elisha Brumfield, 1822 – 1860 [son of Willis & Nancy Virginia (Holmes) Brumfield] & Salena Arvozena Jane Warner

Do you have a marriage certificate for any of these couples? If you know more about any of these couples. please contact me so we can share & compare.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Mary Polly (Spurlock) Brown, b. 1 January 1800

In 2011 I gave long lists of ancestor birthdays. This year I plan to focus in on one or two a month, giving more details on their lives.

Mary Polly (Spurlock) Brown was born in Oglethorpe, Georgia, daughter of Allen & Frances (Taylor) Spurlock. In June 1800 the U. S. capital was moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. Thomas Jefferson was president.

 She married Edward S. Brown & had 5 children: Allen Moses Brown (b. Jan. 1836), Mary Magdelene Brown (b.  15 Dec. 1836), Martha M. Brown (b. 15 Dec. 1836), Adeline V. Brown (b. 1840) and James P. Brown (b. 1844).

In 1850 Edward S. & Mary (Spurlock) Brown were living in Amite County, Mississippi. Edward was a 46 year old farmer whose real estate was valued at $720. Mary was 47. The five children living at home had all been born in Mississippi: Mary, 17 years old; Martha M., 17 years old; Moses A., 14 years old; Adeline V., 10 years old; and James P., 6 years old.

Son, Allen Moses Brown married Emmaline Smith in 1858. They had three children: Mary (b. 1861), Jasper (b. 1865) & Alvira (b. 1868).

Edward died 7 May 1856 in Mississippi. She died 12 January 1888 in Osyka, Pike Co., Mississippi. They were my 3rd great grandparents on my father’s side.