Friday, November 30, 2012

Follow Friday - Favorites

Favorites is my weekly list of favorite genealogy, history and random finds from across the Net.
A wonderful genealogy relationship yields more surprises, from Old Stones Undeciphered: Treasure Chest Thursday: To My Complete Surprise
Recovering the photos Sandy tried to destroy: Finding Joy Among the Wreckage
A Civil War Serial Killer?: A Serial Murderer in the Regiment?
A nod for my love of 19th century murder mysteries: Murder by Gaslight
Remembering a WWI Soldier at Family History Fun: A Soldier's Short Life
A great tip for Pinterest Groupies: How to Save a Copy of your Pinterest board as a PDF
Hanging from the Family Tree tries Re-searching your Research
A great checklist for Civil War research from Poore Boys in Grey: Facts to look for in researching you Civil War ancestor
Check out this beautiful genealogy bookcase at One Rhode Island Family: A Genealogy Bookcase
An idea for remembering your loved ones: Colorful Memories of Mom

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Ohio Probate Records

Today I am thankful to Kathryn of Kathryn's Quest. She recently wrote a post about her Irish brick wall and in that post she mentioned that Ohio Probate Records were recently added to Although I subscribe to updates from FamilySearch, I wasn't aware of this new addition to their records until I read Kathryn's post.

My Kuhn line runs deep in Ohio and more specifically in Richland County, Ohio. So I immediately headed to Ohio, Probate Records, 1789-1996 to look for my Kuhn ancestors. The first ancestor that sprang to mind was Samuel Kuhn, my fourth-great grandfather. I have written about his oldest son, Philip, many times on this blog specifically here and here. In an amazing piece of luck, I was able to find Samuel's will in the first book I looked at. That never happens!
This was a great will because it had a full listing of his next of kin, their relationship and their current address.
My third-great grandfather is listed third and is living in Baldwin, Kansas. There are four full pages of the will including the text used for announcing the probate in the local newspaper. This is a wonderful addition to my files and I have Kathryn to thank for it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - In the Garden

A nice break from cold weather. Hazel McGuire White in a garden.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Source - Kansas Memory

I was born and raised in Missouri, just a few miles from the Kansas border. Many of my relatives lived in the state (as did I for a few years) so I find myself researching there quite often. The other day I came across, again, the great website Kansas Memory and decided it was high time to highlight it.
Created by the Kansas State Historical Society, Kansas Memory is an online repository for all things Kansas. I have found several digitized atlases that have helped me pinpoint my ancestors. I even found a photo of a distant uncle. You can browse their collection by county, topic or just conduct a search. You can also set up a free account and add your finds to an online "notebook." Remember, however, that the KSHS requires permission is granted prior to posting things you find on their site to your own website. This website is a tool-kit must have for anyone researching Kansas ancestors.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Follow Friday - Favorites

I am to the point in my blog reading career where I find a ton of great links that I'm sure you all will like. So I've decided to start a Favorites feature. I'll post the links I've found that either have great genealogy tips or are of historical interest. Enjoy!
Edward Ray, the Ghost of the Panama Canal, aboard the steamship "Panama" en route to the Canal Zone.
Even Lincoln had love problems: Abraham Lincoln to Mary Owens: "It's Not You, It's Me."
A Harrowing Homecoming: The Ghost of the Panama Canal
The diary of a Confederate girl: "Death seemed inevitable & I thought it was well to take it coolly."
A great reminder for farm research from Nancy at My Ancestors and Me: Farmers in Your Family Between 1850 and 1880?
Help with Ohio ancestors from Kathryn at Kathryn's Quest: Ohio Probate Records on Family Search
A war map: 1914: A Daily Mail War Map
A nursing story at My Genealogical Journey: Army Nurse

If you are interested in great history posts across the web, visit the Two Nerdy History Girls blog which has a great weekly featured called Breakfast Links and was one of my inspirations for starting my own favorites feature!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Thursday - ebay and old photos

Today it is Thanksgiving and I'm blessed to be able to spend the day with my family (and have written this prior so as to not interrupt the visit!). I'm not a big fan of the marketing frenzy rushing toward Christmas that has completely washed over this important holiday. I love this holiday. It is the time of year where my in-laws come to visit and we get to spend quality time together...something that is difficult for families living two states apart.

Today I have decided to tell you about a recent purchase I made on eBay. I love eBay. For me it is the hunt that is so enticing. I'm just sure that one day I'll find a photo of an ancestor or just the perfect piece of ephemera for my WWI collection. The other day I noticed a listing for six photo albums dated around WWI.
I'm not really sure why I was drawn to these albums. There were no close up photos in the listing, so I had no idea if there would be anything in of interest to me. But I spent a sickening amount of money on them anyway and instantly felt buyer's remorse! When they arrived, however, my remorse flew out the window.

In a weird coincidence, three of the albums include photographs from northwestern Arkansas in the 1920s. They include photos of students heading off to the University of Arkansas and photos of small-town Arkansas. Have I mentioned that I am currently living in Arkansas? I plan to offer these albums to the University or to a myriad of organizations here in the state capitol.

Two of the other binders include photos taken by an artistic Soldier stationed in France during WWI, to include some random ephemera from the time. This, for me, was a goldmine. The Soldier took many photos of historic France as well as himself and his buddies.
Although there are no names attached to the photos, in one you can clearly see the Soldier's patch: 79th Infantry Division.
The 79th Infantry Division's lineage is carried on by a unit that I am currently assigned to. What are the chances that six random photography albums from a seller in Illinois would end up with content relevant to me? Not relative to my family, but content I can embrace and hopefully return to the rightful owner. All of the sudden I'm not longer ashamed of what I paid for the albums. I'm just thankful for coincidences.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday's Tune - MacArthur Park

Ah, MacArthur Park. A random song whose meaning is elusive. I remember hearing this song growing up and I loved it. I mean, who wouldn't love a song about cake, right? Remember the words?

"MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark,
All the sweet green icing flowing down. 
Someone left the cake out in the rain.
I don't think that I can take it,
'cause it took so long to bake it.
And I'll never have that recipe again...OH NO!"

MacArthur Park was written by Jimmy Webb and first recorded by Richard Harris in 1969. There were many covers of the song, to include Donna Summers and the Temptations. To me, the Richard Harris version will always be the best. Only he can sound so emotionally disturbed by the mistreatment of a cake.

As it turns out, that cake is meant to represent a relationship. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Frederick Thomas, Fruit Merchant

Frederick Thomas married into my Butler family line when he wed Nellie Eliza Butler in Milwaukee on June 28, 1893. Nellie was my 2nd great grand aunt, sister to my great-great grandfather, William M. Butler, Jr.
This photo is believed to be of Frederick Thomas with his wife, Nellie, and their daughter, Dorothy.
Frederick had been married previously and had one son, Herbert. He was a business man in Chicago and was a prosperous fruit shipper. Frederick, who owned the fruit shipping business F.A. Thomas and Son, originated the idea of refrigerated fruit cars for the shipping of fruit from California to Chicago. He created a private line of rail cars that specialized in fruit, making it possible to ship fruit from California and have it arrive in Chicago without being rotten.
Printed in the Daily Inter Ocean, May 11, 1895.
Note above that F. A. Thomas announced the first shipment of fruit from California to Chicago in 1895. The F.A. Thomas & Son business was located at 104 South Water Street among other produce packers and shippers.
The biography below was printed just prior to Fred's marriage to Nellie Butler. They married later in Fred's life, he was 61, and although it seems improbable, they had one daughter, Dorothy. Note that Fred already had grandchildren by the time he had his second child.

From the Hand-Book of Chicago Biography, 1893 edition.

Frederick's first wife, Frances, died October 31, 1891 on board a train.
Printed in the Ogden Standard, Ogden, Utah, Nov. 1, 1891.
Frederick married Nellie Butler in Milwaukee two years after his first wife's death. Their child Dorothy was born July 20, 1895. Frederick died December 6, 1908. I have yet to find his obituary. Thanks to Frederick's foresight, we can all now enjoy fresh fruit and I, for one, am grateful! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Follow Friday - Moms should stay in photos

If you are like me, you spend a lot of time taking photos. As genealogists we love photographs and usually are the ones to remember to pull out the camera to make new memories for our descendants. But how often are you in the photo? I, for one, have very few to no photos of myself. I've never thought of myself as photogenic and I don't like to have my photo taken unless I'm "gussie up." But a while back I read an article by Allison Tate here, which describes her own fear of photos and the need to put ourselves back in the picture. While this is written from a mother's point of view, it is just as true for fathers, grandparents or any relative.
Case in point, I had to reach back to March to find a photo of me with my kids.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Creed Ladies

The Creed sisters. Front row (l-r) Mattie Maxwell, Monnie Bausell and Jessie Kellogg. Back row (l-r) Mintia Whitlock, Gussie Kuhn and Etta Demieville.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Comments in Adobe Reader

I ran across an issue today with Adobe Reader. I was downloading a newspaper page from that included an article on a distant uncle. The actual newspaper page did not show the newspaper title or date, so in order to include all the information I needed to remember I would have had to name the file:

Thomas fruit assoc Daily Inter Ocean Chicago 1_14_1891.pdf

That is one long file name. And yes, I could have shortened some of the terms but I have a horrible memory and I doubt that one day I would remember that DIO stood for Daily Inter Ocean.

I had the bright idea to add meta data to the PDF file, similar to how I add it to my photo files. However, I quickly learned that you can not edit or add meta data to PDF files through Adobe Reader. (This can be done with full Adobe Acrobat). Well, after a little thought I came up with this work around.

Adobe Reader allows you to add comments and highlight documents. This tool allows you to edit documents, or in this example, allows you to add a comment that may help you remember more details about the file.
Quick links for adding comments are circled above.
When you open your PDF file in Adobe Reader you will see two quick links to click for adding comments to the file along the top of the program. You can either add a comment or you can choose to highlight a specific section. Click on the "speech bubble" or Sticky Note icon to add a comment to your page.

When you click on the icon your mouse pointer will turn in to a speech bubble. You can place your Sticky Note anywhere on the page by clicking in the location you want. A yellow and white speech bubble will then appear with a text box. I added the publication data and when and where I found the article. If you find that you no longer need the Sticky Note, simply click on the speech bubble and delete it. If you have multiple notes you can organize them under the comment list on the right-hand side of the screen.

Save your file and the note will now be visible every time you open the file. A great way to share information with fellow researchers. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Baldwin City, Kansas home update

Quite a while ago I wrote a post about this house in Baldwin City, Kansas.
Yesterday I received a comment on that post from a teenager that currently lives in the area and thought the house looked familiar. She wondered if I had any idea where the house was because she was sure she could find it. Problem? I had no idea. So, thanks to Bee I dug a little deeper.

I knew that my 2nd great grandmother, Cora Ozias Kuhn Martin Wolverton (whew!), lived in Baldwin City from around 1900 to 1920. But I wasn't sure when. However, since I last conducted research some additional plat maps have been added online at the Kansas Memory website. I was able to track down Cora's location in 1921.
You can see Cora's property circled in red. It is just south east of town, but there are no roads listed. It also appears that she is due east of the rail head. I hunted around with Google Earth for a while, but couldn't find a house that looks like the photo.
A second atlas from 1902 shows a better view and includes street names.
You can see that it appears that Cora lives on the southeast corner of Orange and 1st Steet. I checked out that location and there is no house similar to the one in the photo. I guess it was lost to time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - F.E. and Gussie Kuhn

My great-grandparents, F.E. & Gussie Kuhn. My father's resemblance to his grandfather is uncanny.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tech Tuesday - Evernote for Genealogy

I am a very big fan of the website, Evernote. I was first introduced to this site during a random search for organization apps for my phone. At the time I had no idea how helpful this app would become.

Evernote is a collection of products focused on organization. The company offers a multitude of different applications designed to help people get organized and communicate with each other. One of the first times I used Evernote I was helping my husband with a project for his master's degree. I had found a lot of links on the Internet that may be relevant for his project, but just sending the link to him was not a very efficient way for him to quickly weed out the sources that he wouldn't be able to use. With Evernote I was able to create "notes" for my husband that included not only the link to the source, but also a screen shot.

Evernote works by allowing you to capture information on the Internet in a digital notebook. You can download the application to your home computer and add the application tool to your web browser. You are then able to easily create a "note" within the application based on anything you find online that you want to remember later. There is also an application for smart phones and tablets. The best part is that you can sync all your notes through one account in the cloud. This means that notes created from your desktop can be viewed on your smart phone, tablet or laptop. A great option for carrying research queries from home to the library, historical society or on a cemetery visit.

With Evernote you can create "Notes" within a notebook all along a particular topic. You can then share your notebook with other Evernote users. A perfect option for joint genealogy research.
The above screenshot shows an example of a notebook. In the left hand column you can see the various notes I have created on this particular topic. The right-hand screen shows one note in full.
A basic Evernote account is free or you can upgrade to a premium account for $5/month or $45/year. You can download Evernote software here for free.
I use my Evernote account to keep ideas for my blog in one handy place. Whether it is an interesting website or a note I write to myself with possible post topics, they are all in one location. You can also create tags for your notes to help categorize them.
You'll note above that I have tags for various topics such as "Genealogy" and for specific tags like "Celia Butler," one of my ancestors.
Click here for a starter's guide to Evernote.
The uses for Evernote in genealogy research seem to be endless and I'm just scratching the surface. Have you used Evernote for your research?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Military Monday - "The Fighting 20th," the 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry

Recently I was putting together a post on my 2nd Great-Grandmother, Cora Ozias. In gathering facts I re-read the obituary for her mother, Christine (Potterf) Ozias.
From The Seneca Tribune dated Thursday, January 26, 1899.
The obituary mentions that two of her sons, Joseph and Ernest, are members of the 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry and were currently serving in Manila. Now here is a new military avenue for me to research. I am not familiar with the late 19th century military actions, other than I know that A Message to Garcia was written around this time.

The 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry was mustered into service on May 16, 1898. Joseph W. Ozias and Ernest Ozias, brothers to my 2nd great-grandmother Cora Ozias Kuhn, were assigned to Company H.
A list of the Soldiers in Company H, 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry, as printed May 17, 1898 in the Kansas Weekly Capital in Topeka, Kansas 
The Spanish-American War was spurned by America's desire to protect it's western shipping lanes and a long-standing disdain for the treatment displayed by Spain towards its territories. The war was declared in April 1898 and ended four months later. Many historians claim that it was this war that officially made America a global power. America gained the Phillipines, Guam and Puerto Rico as territories from Spain and also annexed Hawaii as a result of war.
The 20th was made of volunteers from the state of Kansas. The Fighting 20th, History and Official Souvenir states that the 20th was the first regiment mustered in to service from Kansas where not a single man signed with "his mark." Mustered in May 1898, the unit was sent to San Francisco for training and was there for five months in preparation to head to the Phillipines. Pay close attention to the dates and you will note that the 20th did not participate in the Spanish-American war because by the time they arrived in the Phillipines the war was "officially" over. Following the war, Spain was forced to cede the Phillippines to the United States. This disappointed many Fillipinos and they clashed with American forces for the next three years. Therefore, the eight months the Fighting Twentieth spent in battle were part of the Phillipine Insurrection or the Phillipine-American war.
"Philippine Islands: A regiment of sure shots - the fighting 20th Kansas repelling an attack," call Number: LOT 11522-1, Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Both of the Ozias brothers participated in the regiment's training in San Francisco and both went to the Phillipines. Records show that Ernest Ozias was discharged in Manila and for some unknown reason stayed there.
Following his service, Joseph Ozias stayed active in the Fighting 20th veteran's group serving in various leadership positions. Ernest Ozias was admitted to the Veteran's home in Leavenworth, Kansas, based on his service. Both men also have veteran's headstones.
Joseph Ozias' headstone in Oak Hill Cemetery, Lawrence, Kansas. His date of death is unknown.
Ernest Ozias' headstone in Leavenworth National Cemetery, Leavenworth, Kansas
For more information on the Fighting 20th or the Spanish-American war visit the following links:
The World of 1898 - The Spanish-American War, a Library of Congress presentation
The Spanish American War, 1898, U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian
Crucible of Empire, The Spanish American War, a collection of information by PBS
The Fighting Twentieth, Kansas GenWeb