Thursday, May 30, 2013

Family Treasure: A Future Treasure?

Genealogy takes time: searching the internet, traveling to archives & libraries, writing letters, interviewing, etc. However, many of us have other interests as well. When the weather here in New York State is good, I like to spend time in my garden. I also spend many hours in my sewing room making quilts. Sometimes I try to integrate my interests. I enjoy finding ways to link genealogy & quilting.

Civil War 9 Patch Quilt

With the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War companies who make cotton fabric for quilts made reproduction fabrics, new fabrics in the colors and patterns of the 1860s. I bought some fabric, selected a quilt pattern from that era and made a Civil War Quilt. I wanted to make it in memory of my ancestors who fought on both sides on that awful conflict.

Label on back of Civil War 9 Patch Quilt

Recently my quilt guild had their quilt show. The Civil War Quilt is one of the quilts I entered in the show and I was happy to receive a second place ribbon for my workmanship.

Second Place Ribbon

Maybe, in the future, my quilt will be a treasure for my family.

§ Thomas Jefferson Mark 1840 – 1963, 118 Reg., Co. E Ohio Vol. Inf.
§ John Mark 1842 – 1862, 16 Reg., Co C Ohio Volunteer Infantry
§ William Mark 1844 – 1904, 195 Reg., Co I Ohio Vol. Infantry
§ Marion Mark b1848, 16 Reg. – 114 Reg. Ohio Vol. Infantry
§ David Ritter 1842 – 1863, 16 Reg., Co A, Ohio Volunteer Infantry
§ John W S Wolf 1841 – 1908, 120 Reg., Co D, Ohio Vol. Infantry
§ Joseph Wolf 1844 – 1924, 120 Reg., Co D, Ohio Volunteer Infantry

§ Jessie Alexander Brumfield 1838 – 1910, Col JH Wingfield’s Reg, LA Calvary
§ John D. Brumfield 1842 – 1903, Col J H Wingfield’s Reg. LA Calvary
§ MartinPenn Brumfield 1837 – 1862, 9th Louisiana Infantry, Co I, Rifles
§ BurrellTaylor Fortenberry 1820 – 1863, Pvt. 9th Louisiana Calvary
§ Gasua Chapman Fortenberry 1805 – 1884, 9th Mississippi Regiment

Related Posts:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Census Sunday – Creative Spelling

State & National Census Reports are filled with information for genealogists. Both the population & nonpopulation schedules give us insights into the lives of our ancestors. What have you found that is Surprising? Reassuring? Bewildering? Write your own Census Sunday post.

 Locating Augustus Ceaser Gruissy [1840 – 1915 OH] in US Census reports has not been an easy task. He was always in or near Stark County, Ohio. However, finding my 2nd great grandfather meant finding creative ways to spell Gruissy. Various reports show his last name as: Grusey, Creesy, Greely & Gurnsey. The Gruissy family was from Germany and certainly could have had strong German accents that might help explain the change in their names by the census takers.

In 1840 the father [Christian Gruissy, Jr.] and grandfather [Christian Gruissy, Sr.] of Augustus were in Stark County, OH. Their surname was ‘Grusey’. Ten years later, living in Sugar Creek, Christian Gruissy, Jr. and family were listed at ‘Creesy’. Christian and his wife, Mary, had been born in Germany.

In 1860 Christian, his wife and children were still in Sugar Creek. Christian was a cooper. His son, Augustus, was 20 years old. The family name was now listed as ‘Greely’.

By 1870 Augustus was head of his own family in Wayne County, OH. His name was written as ‘August Gurnsey’. Augustus was a 30 year old carpenter and married to his second wife, Esther Barbara Wolf.

The Medina County, OH census taker in 1880 actually got the surname right! Augustus Gruissy was a peddler with five daughters and a crippled or disabled wife.  I have been unable to find the family under any of spelling of Gruissy for the 1900 report. Maybe I am not getting creative enough.

In 1910 Augustus was married to his third wife and back in Stark County. Happily he was once again ‘Gruissy’.

When searching for your surnames don’t disregard a name just because the spelling is not exact.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Alphabetical Ancestors K

K is for kin and these are my ‘K’ connections.
If you share one of these names, let’s communicate. It is always good to learn more. 

K is for these Surnames…

My Keck family came from Germany. Henry Keck, my 5th great grandfather, came from Germany and settled in Pennsylvania. He & Hannah had seven children: Johannes, Georg, Henrich, Maria Elisabeth, Wilhelm, Andreas & Frederick. At least three of those sons served in the Revolutionary War. Daughter, Maria Elisabeth Keck, married Johannes Ritter, Sr. They had eleven children, all born in Lehigh Co., Pennsylvania.

I have Kelly families that are not related to each other but are related to me. Bernard W. Kelly [b. 1894 CT] married Bridget Coyle [1888 Ct – 1943]. Bridget was my great grand aunt, daughter of Patrick Coyle & Margaret Brady.
Margaret Kelly [b 1772 NC] married John Brumfield [b c 1768] in North Carolina. Margaret was my 4th great grandmother. Her father, William S. Kelly, served in the Revolutionary War. Margaret was the mother of thirteen children, born in South Carolina and Louisiana.

Edward Kennington [b 1715] was the father of three sons: twins, Edward & William and John. Edward was my 5th great grandfather. His son, John, served n the Revolutionary War. He lived in South Carolina, married Martha & was the father of seven children.

Terry F. King married Joanne Spice in Ohio. Joanne was the daughter of Ralph Lawrence & Petronela Spice. They had three children.

Anna Margaretha Ritter [b 1761 PA], my 5th great grand aunt, married Bernhard Klein. They had four children: Elizabeth, Solomon, Margareth & Christina, all born in Pennsylvania.

Anna Ottilla Knack was my 6th great grandmother [1711 Germany – 1782 PA]. She married Johan Adam Dick [1709 Germany – 1785 PA]. They married 1731 in Germany. They had seven children: three born in Germany, one born at Sea, and three born in Pennsylvania. I’d like to learn more about Anna’s Knack family.

Andreas & Barbara Keck had two children marry into the Knauss family. Their son, Solomon Keck [1782 PA – 1863 PA] married Margaret Knauss [1784 – 1866 PA]. Their daughter, Maria Magdalene Keck [1787 PA – 1839] married Solomon Knauss. Try to keep those names straight! Ha!

Cornelia Knight [1785 – 1806] married Jacob Wolf [1762 PA – 1810 PA].Jacob was the son of Johann Jonas Wolf & Appollonia Dick. Cornelia & Jacob had a daughter named Margaret [b 1803].

Other ‘K’ surnames in my tree: Keeton, Keller, Kendall, Kern, Kindig, Kinney, Kirk, Klingensmith, Knappenberger, Knepp, Kunemund, Knoble, Knox, Koenig, Kohr, Kolk & Krick.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

There is Always More to Learn

Our local community college offers many classes for ‘Creative Retirement’ in a wide range of topics. This spring a new class was offered, 

Search for Your Irish Ancestors 
taught by Lisa Dougherty. 

A friend of mine wanted to attend and I said I would go along with her. I thought I might learn a tip or two and I did.

Lisa Dougherty began by explaining how difficult it can be to search for Irish records considering the lack of records available. Then she explained the search can be easier if you can uncover the county & townland where your ancestor lived. She explained sources for discovering that information:

·         Newspapers with obituaries and/or probate records
·         Naturalization & Immigration Records & Passenger Lists
·         Vital Records, church & civil
·         Family Documents, Stories, Photographs
·         Gravestone & Cemetery Records
·         Military Records
·         Regional Surname Maps
·         Girffith’s Valuation

Our teacher gave each of us a handout with websites associated with each of the above categories. She gave us four websites for general Irish genealogy research:
3.    FamilySearch
4.    IrishGenealogy

All of this was covered in the first hour. It was a lot to absorb for beginners but the handout should be of great help once they returned home.

The second half of our class focused on
·         An overview of the site
·         The history of the Irish Family History Foundation
·         Records that are Available
·         Registering & Purchasing credits
·         Tricks & Shortcuts
·         Research Tips

Lisa stressed, “The success of any search is dependent on the quality of the information you bring to it.”

My friend was happy with the class and eager to learn more about her Irish ancestors. However later in the day she emailed me: “I am more confused than I was, but it seemed so easy at class!” She is a beginner and I think she was overwhelmed but don’t worry. We are going to get together & I will take her through it all at a slower pace.

For me, I learned a half dozen new websites. I was unaware of the Boston Pilot newspaper database where people searched for their missing Irish family members. I did not know that if you search for Griffith’s Valuation at it will link to a map to show you exactly where they lived. I want to try this!

My Tuesday Tip is this, you can always learn more. Find opportunities to expand your genealogy talents and you will discover more about your family.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Census Sunday – The Same Family 10 Years Later?

There are Alfords climbing all over my family tree. some are swinging on the branches and waving at me. Others ar e hiding behind the trunk. My great grandfather was Edwin Barksdale Alford [1792 – 1878 MS]. I found him in the 1850 census but not the 1860 census. That 1850 census shows his half-brother, William Alford [b c 1800] living nearby. Perhaps, if I found William in 1860, I would find Edwin as well. I did not end up finding Edwin but went off in a different direction, tracking down William.

I looked at the details about William & family in 1850, Pike Co., MS. His wife was Eveline and they had nine children. I already had William & Eveline’s names from: Creel, Bevin J. A Patriot's Legacy: The Family of Richard Dillon and Ann Lawrence From Bertie County, North Carolina To Southern Mississippi and Louisiana. Franklinton, Louisiana: Privately Printed, 2002. I copied down the 1850 information.

Then, with a quick search, I advanced ten years and found William & Eveline Alford in Pike Co., MS in 1860. Once I looked past the names & location I had second thoughts. The names of the children were different, or were they? I was not sure at all. I made a simple excel spreadsheet to help me untangle and compare the two reports.

William Alford Family
William Alford Family in 1850 & 1860 US Census, Pike Co., MS

Understanding that these reports are not always accurate with ages and name spelling, and knowing that children marry or die between reports, I believe these are both the same family. What do you think?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Michael Coyle, Baker

My great grandfather, Michael Coyle, has always been a bit elusive. He ducks down when I try to see him.  I have learned quite a bit about him but there are still dead ends when I try to learn more. I search & search and then just put him aside. Once in a while I pull him out again to see if I can learn anything new. There are always more records available to genealogists.

I recently looked at Michael Coyle once again. Surprisingly, I found something new!

I knew that he was born in Ireland in November 1870, the oldest child of Patrick & Margaret (Brady) Coyle. He came to the USA in May 1885, arriving in New York Harbor. He spent most of his life in New York City. His parents and siblings came later, settling in Waterbury, CT. Family stories say he was something of a black sheep and was not close to his family. His youngest siblings, born in CT, did not know him at all.

His 1894 Naturalization certificate(saved by his youngest daughter), however, shows he became a citizen in New London, Connecticut. That always puzzled me but there is no longer anyone I can ask about Michael, no one who would have known him. And I knew that by 9 November 1895 he was in New York City marrying Mary Josephine Mullane.

1894 Naturalization paper, Michael Coyle in Connecticut

I recently searched for Michael again on I put in all the dates & places that I know. This time I also decided to add a key word: baker. I knew he was a baker in New York City for many years. I have, in my china cabinet, a glass cake plate from his bakery.  So I added baker to my search to see what, if anything would turn up.

1893 New London CT Directory page 53; Michale Coyle, baker

City Directories
Michael Coyle stood up and waved at me from New London, CT. The 1892, 1893 & 1895 City Directories of New London show Michael Coyle, baker at 24 Golden St. Because of the Naturalization record showing that Michael had lived there for at least a year and because I know he was a baker, I believe this is my great grandfather.

1897 NYC Directory; Michael Coyle, baker
You never know when an old search will turn up something new.


  • Birth Record for Michael Coyle, 26 November 1870, Microfilm #101217, Page 121, Entry 478, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.  Photocopy from Kathleen Coyle, Arizona.
  • Arrivals at Port of New York, Microfilm #1027354, Arrival 11 May 1885, Passenger #540, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.  Copy made by Robert J. Coyle and given to author. Passenger: Michael Coyle.
  • Marriage Certificate for Michael Coyle and Mary J. Mullane, 9 November 1895, Certificate #17416, Bureau of Records, Health Department, New York City; New York City Department of Records and Information Services, Municipal Archives, 31 Chambers Street, New York City, New York, 10007.  
  • Certificate of Marriage for Michael Coyle and Mary Mullane, 9 November 1895, St. Brigid’s Church, 119 Avenue B, New York City, New York 10009.  
  • New York City Directory, 1897 - 1898, Microfilm Box #34, Reel #16, Page 267, New York State Library, Albany, New York.  Michael Coyle, baker, 419 W 39th.
  • New York City Directory, 1898 - 1899, Microfilm Box #35, Reel #17, Page 269, New York State Library, Albany, New York.  Michael Coyle, baker, 433 E 117th.
  • New York City Directory, 1899 - 1900, Microfilm Box #36, Reel #18, Page 261, New York State Library, Albany, New York.  Michael Coyle, baker, 436 E 121st.
  • New York City Directory, 1900 - 1901, Microfilm Box # 37, Reel #19, Page 258, New York State Library, Albany, New York.  Michael Coyle, baker, 159 E 113th.
  • New York City Directory, 1901 - 1902, Microfilm Box #38, Reel #20, Page 276, New York State Library, Albany, New York.  Michael Coyle, baker, 159 E 113th.
  • 1900 United States Census, Manhattan, New York; Vol. 178, E. D. 930, Sheet 2, Line 72; New York State Library, Albany, New York; Microfilm Box #120.  Michael Coyle family at 159 E 113 Street, Manhattan.  
  • 1910 United States Census, Third Avenue, Ward 12, Manhattan, New York City, New York, S. D. 1, E. D. 330, Sheets 16 A & B. Michael Coyle family.
  • 1920 United States Census, New York City, New York, Vol. 279, E. D. 1292, Sheet 18, Line 70; New York State Library, Albany, New York.  Michael Coyle family, 223 E 113th.
  • Membership of the International Workers in the Amalgamated Food Industries for Michael Coyle, 4 June 1921. 
  • 1925 New York State Census, New York County, Microfilm Box #151, AD 18, ED 32, Page 47, New York State Library, Albany, New York.  Michael Coyle family at 223 E 113th.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Maps Lead Places!

My great great great grandfather, Edward S. Brown, was born 26 July 1806 in Liberty, Georgia. About 1835 he married Mary Polly Spurlock. His children [born 1836 – 1844] were born in Amite County, MS. In an attempt to discover more about Edward I purchased:

Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Amite County, Mississippi. Deluxe. Norman, Oklahoma: Arphax Publishing Co., 2006.

This is the fourth of these map books that I have purchased. I love these books! They have led me to great family discoveries in the past. In these books land patent information is given and indexed by surname. I quickly found Edward Brown on two of the maps. On Map #10 he owned four sections along Robinson Creek. On Map #21 he owns two sections. All these land patents date to 10 November 1840. I also found William G Brown owning land adjoining one of Edward’s sections. This could be Edward’s nephew, son of his brother James G. Brown.

The discoveries did not end there. Mr. Boyd’s book notes that my ancestor purchased this land as part of an Act of Congress that authorized on 24 April 1820 “Cash Sale Entry 93 Stat. 566). An online search explained this act: The Cash Entry Act of April 24, 1820 (3 stat. 566) allowed the outright purchase of federal land. It reduced the minimum size of the tract from 160 to 80 acres. Additionally, the act required a down payment of $100 and reduced the price from $1.65 to $1.25 per acre.

To learn more Mr. Boyd directs readers to , Arphax Publishing Company.

 Arphax Publishing        Click to enlarge

Once there “go to the ‘Research’ page, and click on the ‘Land-Law’ link.” I followed Mr. Boyd’s suggestion. I soon found myself reading the search options at the 
Bureau of Land Management                Click to enlarge

I put in the information for Edward S Brown that I had discovered in the book of maps. Edward S Brown came up with the date, Doc #, State, County, section, etc.
Edward S Brown Search

I clicked on the accession number. The next image focused on Edward.
Details on Search for Edward S Brown

On this screen I found the total acres 153.39 purchased. I clicked on the tab for ‘patent image’. When this opened I was quite excited to see the certificate, signed by President Martin Van Buren, made out to Edward Stewart Brown. I did not know his middle name before!
Patent Image for Edward Stewart Brown

I was very happy to learn something about this ancestor because I had very little information about him. I did a second search at the Bureau of Land Management website inputting the information on the second map. Edward Stewart Brown had made a second investment in land on 1 June 1859. I thought this might be an error but looked carefully and saw the details & certificate.

Family records had shown that Edward died 7 May 1856. As far as I know he had five children, none of them named Edward. In 1860 his wife was a widow. I am going to see what else I can find to verify his death date. He did not have a long life but it looks like he made it past 50 after all. 


· 1840 US Census, MS, Amite; Roll 213, page 55, image 115; E S Brown.
· 1845 & 1853 MS State and Territorial Census Collection, 1792 – 1866; microfilm V229.1; Edward S Brown in Amite Co.
· 1850 US Census, MS, Amite Co; Roll M432-368. Line 30. E S Brown family.
· 1860 US Census, MS, Amite, Liberty; M653-577, National Archives. Mary Brown and children.
· Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Amite County, Mississippi. Deluxe. Norman, Oklahoma: Arphax Publishing Co., 2006.
· Criminger, Adrianne Fortenberry. The Fortenberry Families of Southern Mississippi with Early Records Concerning the Faulkenberry/Fortenberry Families of the South. Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, Inc., 1984.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers' Day!

Happy Mothers' Day!

For Mothers' Day this year I offer this photograph of my mother & her mother:
Helen (Coyle) Gardner & Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown. They are posing in front of their little house on Main Street in Germantown, NY in the late 1940s. Both of these women were very important in my life, teaching my brothers and I many things including love, independence, creativity and the importance of family. They are with me always.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Alphabetical Ancestors J

J is for jewel, join, journey and just a few surnames…

J is for these Surnames…

Margaret Jackson married JacobOtt III [1774 SC – 1836 LA]. They were my 4th great grandparents. They had 8 children: Isaac, Charles, Jessie, Naomi, Sarah, Charlottte & Jacob. I’d like to learn more about Margaret’s family.

Helen Delores Janisky [1919 PA – 1984 OH] married Joel Moore Good [1917 OH – 1989 OH]. They were married in 1942 OH and had five children: Joel, Gary, Nancy, Andrew & Mary Jane. Joel was a drive for a newspaper.

Samuel Martin Jolliff [1871 OH – 1927] married Margaret Maude Mark [1881 OH – 1964 OH]. They were married in 1898 in OH. Their children: Helen, Glenn, Nellie, Mellie, Samuel, Mary, Grace & Ruth. Samuel was a farmer.

Other ‘J’ Surnames in my tree: Jackson, Jeffers, Jones, Jordan

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Vintage Photograph: Coyle Sisters in Bermuda

 September 1938
Sisters: Marguerite (Coyle) Marshall & Kathleen Coyle
on board the Monarch of Bermuda

These women were younger sisters of my maternal grandmother, Helen (Coyle) Gardner. They traveled to many places around the world. This photo, with the name of the ship, led me to the passenger list and enabled me to date the photo.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Census Sunday – Sometimes it All Comes Together

Wyatt Smith, my 3rd great grandfather, [1809 LA – 1894 MS] married Euseba Fortenberry [1809 SC – 1878 MS].  Wyatt & Euseba “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."[1] They are buried in the Wyatt smith Cemetery in Pike Co., MS.[2]

Sometimes a search comes together easily, perhaps to compensate us for all the other times when every avenue turns into a muddy path. I have been able to find Wyatt in several US Census reports.

1840   Pike, MS        Wyatt Smith; 2 adults; 4 children; 25 slaves
1850   Pike, MS        Wyatt Smith, 41, farmer; Sibby; 7 children, all b in MS
1860   Pike, MS        Wyatt Smith, Holmesville, 50; Euseba; 5 children; a son next door
1860   Pike, MS        Slave Schedule, p 51. Wyatt Smith with 10 slaves & 2 slave houses
1870   Pike, MS        Wyatt Smith, Osyka, 61,  Euseba; 2 children, Adolphus & Walter
1880   Pike, MS        Wyatt Smith, 69, living with his son, Adolphus & family.
1900   Pike, MS        Adolphus Smith, dentist, in Magnolia with wife & 6 children

1860 Us Census, MS, Pike; Wyatt Smith family

May all your census searches be successful.

[1] Fortinberry,  G. K., Abstract History of the Fortinberry Family; 1795-1940's; Family History Center Microfilm #1036152, page 39.
[2] Parish, Ray, and June Sartin Parish. Cemetery Inscriptions; Pike County, Mississippi; 1750 - 1978. 1979.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Roy Hurd was born May 1878 in Michigan. He married Mona D. Morrison [daughter of Seth Benner Morrison & Margaret Jane Gruissy] in 1899. They had six children, including twins who only lived one day. In 1900 & 1910 Roy was a farmer.  In 1920 Roy was a merchant in a general store and in 1930 he was a truck driver.

1 Roy Hurd b: May 1878 MI, d: Feb 1940 in Ionia, Ionia, MI
... + Mona D. Morrison b: 8 Aug 1881 Chippewa Lake, Medina, OH, m: 15 Oct 1899 New Haven, Gratiot, MI, d: 08 Oct 1968 in Ionia, MI
......2 Howard Merton Hurd b: 24 Oct 1900 New Haven, Gratiot, MI, d: 30 Apr 1973 Lansing, Clinton, MI
...... + Marian Louise Lehman b: 3 May 1904 Ionia, MI, m: 12 Mar 1927 Ionia, Ionia, MI, d: 13 Feb 1969 Lansing, Clinton, MI
.........3 Dorothy June Hurd b: 9 Jun 1929 Lansing, Ingham, MI, d: 16 Sep 2008  Lansing, Ingham, MI
......... + Vern James Simons b: 6 Jul 1927  Lansing, Clinton, MI, m: 28 Jun 1948 Auburn, De Kalb, IN
.........3 Howard Merton Hurd Jr. b: 16 Sep 1933 Lansing, Ingham, MI
......... + Fern Marie Atkins m: 4 Jun 1955 Lansing, Ingham, MI
......2 Nina Belle Hurd b: 23 Jan 1903 New Haven, Gratiot, MI, d: 08 Oct 1968 Ionia, Ionia, MI
...... + Wesley Turk
......2 Clyde Hurd b: 3 Jan 1910 New Haven, Gratiot, MI, d: 3 Jan 1910 New Haven, Gratiot, MI
......2 Claude Hurd b: 3 Jan 1910 New Haven, Gratiot, MI, d: 3 Jan 1910 New Haven, Gratiot, MI
......2 Vera Mary Hurd b: 26 Nov 1912  New Haven, Gratiot, MI, d: Mar 1987 in Ionia, Ionia, MI
...... + Herbert Dunsmore
.........3 David Dunsmore b: 20 Jul 1935 in MI
......... + Doreen Padglek
.........3 Roger Dunsmore b: 19 May 1938 in MI
......... + Bettye Sue Kendall
......2 Ruth Grace Hurd b: 13 Mar 1913 in New Haven, Gratiot, MI
...... + John Wortman m: 06 Nov 1936
.........3 Brenda Lee Wortman b: 01 Oct 1939
......... + Arliss Gene Laux
.........3 John Wortman
.........3 Danny Wortman

Selected Sources:
·         1900 United States Census, New Haven, Gratiot County, Michigan, SD 11, ED 54, Sheet 14A. Roy Hurd family.
·         1910 United States Census, New Haven, Gratiot, MIchigan, SD 11, ED 73, Sheet 1B. Roy Hurd family.
·         1920 United States Census, New Haven, Gratiot County, Michigan, SD 8, ED 44, Sheet 1A. Roy Hurd family.
·         1930 United States Census, Ionia City, Ionia COunty, Michigan, SD 7, ED 34 - 17, Sheet 6B. Roy Hurd family.