Sunday, August 26, 2012

Genealogy while walking the dog

This spring I was out walking my dogs for one of their daily trips near my vacation home in Lakeside, Ohio when I cam across an interesting find. Most of my three times a day walks come out rather normally, but this one was going to be different. While walking I came across a large pile of garbage from a cottage that was in the process of being prepared for sale. Not normally being one to look through someone’s trash I was struck by an oil painting of a women that was staring back at me. The picture was of a woman that was dressed in a black dress from the mid 1850’s. Vision’s of the Antique Road show were dancing through my head, but then what caught my eye was the picture behind the women. The second image was of an older woman that looked similar to Queen Victoria and I was struck by how unusual it was to be throwing it out. The picture to me looked like a photograph that had been altered with color. I would later find out that the picture was taken just prior to 1903. Imagine my amazement when I turned to look on the back and discovered a genealogy of family names which included the women in the picture. Needless to say this got my genealogy blood flowing. The dog walk was shortened and I attempted to navigate the trip back with two paintings and two dogs on leashes that did not understand what I had just found. Walking two dogs can be a challenging task on its own, but with the addition of the two paintings and genealogy blood flowing it went fast without the usual stops along the way. Once back at the cottage I began to analyze the information that was on the second picture. The information was as follows. Card 1 Bella Brown Sarah Beatty’s mother John and Rachel Beatty’s grandmother Marcia Jane and Mary Louise Beatty’s great grandmother Card 2 Bella Brown Beatty Died Sep 3, 1905 Was married Dec 29, 1846 To John Beatty April 16, 1819 to 1897 Joseph Beatty July 4, 1865- March 1907 m. Sarah Henrietta Kerr John David Beatty Oct. 4, 1896 Father of Marcia, Mary Louise and David These were my beginning clues on my search. Being a professional genealogist I thought it would be an interesting test of my research skills in a new way. The older woman in the picture was Bella Brown Beatty. She was married to John Beatty on Dec. 29, 1846. Bella would die in Sep 3, 1905. I was curious about Bella and John’s potential connection to the cottage that was up for sale. The first step I took was to travel over to the Lakeside Archives to do a search of the property and determine the ownership history. A few years back the cottages in Lakeside were historically evaluated to get the area on the Historic Register. It is a valuable tool for reviewing the history of the homes. I hit pay dirt. The first name was Eloise Matham Hully who owned the property from 1909 to 1956. The owner of the property at the time of the survey was May Beatty Hagen. These were my key names to searching the history of the family in this picture both backwards and forwards. The second step was to look at both land records for the house and the property owner rosters. The land records date very early starting in 1910 and ending with 1924 with major breaks in between. The person listed as the owner during this time period was a Sarah Beatty. Could this be the Sarah Beatty listed on the cards on the back of the picture? I looked through the owner directories from 1930 to current with major breaks in the books. From 1930 to 1951 the property was owned by a E M Hully. Starting in 1964 the names listed was Mary H Beatty. The name changed to Mary Beatty Hagen in 1973. In 1985 the property would be owned by the Hammer family and this would be the case until 2006. Ownership then would change to the current owner and the person selling the cottage. The clues gathered here included the Beatty name and the long connection to Eloise who was the E M Hully in the directories. The other address for Eloise and Mary was listed as Deland, Florida. This would be the next step in my research. Starting with the US Census and working backwards I need to determine the connection between these two ladies and the Beatty family on the cards. The best way to complete the search was to take a look at the 1940 US census and the place to look was Deland, Volusia, Florida. I was able to locate Eloise Hulley age 72 years, widow and born in New Jersey. Living with her was Mary Beatty age 39, divorced and born in Pennsylvania. Eloise was born in 1868 and Mary was born in 1901. Need to identify a connection with these ladies to the cottage in Lakeside. Moved on to the 1930 census here I was able to identify a Louise Hulley with no age listed, but living in Deland, Volusia, Florida. She was married to Lincoln Hulley with no age listed. Lincoln was listed as a President of a University. The University was identified as Stetson. Louise and Lincoln were both identified as being born in New Jersey. Looking at Stetson University history would offer more clues to my hunt. Searching for Mary Beatty she was found in Pittsburgh, Alleghany, Pennsylvania along with John Beatty. Mary was listed as born 1901 in Pennsylvania. Curiously her parents are listed as being born in Northern Ireland. Her husband John was born 1896 in Pennsylvania. They had a daughter Marcia who was born in Pennsylvania in 1925. Is this Marcia Jane that was listed on the back of the picture? Later research would confirm this. It is amazing what you can put together from a picture. Fortunately I was able to piece all the puzzles together using the Lakeside Archives and the Family Search website on the internet. The paper trail continued through vital records as well as the Stetson University archives where pictures of the Hulley family at Lakeside. Lincoln was running bible classes every summer in Lakeside until his death in 1937. The search was complete. Preservation of pictures is important even if they are not your family. A wonderful story can be created from a picture. Amazing genealogy can happen even when walking the dogs.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Genealogy- What do I do with it when I am gone?

Have you thought about what happens to your life work your genealogy once we get the final date? This is a important item to be taken care of while we are still alive so that it does not end up in the dumpster. If you are not able to identify a family member that is interested that is the legacy of our family history we need to make plans for it's care once we are gone. Many opportunity exist outside of our family units to find a good home for our genealogies. An important step though is to make sure that we index the content of our collection. Make sure to identify the scale in which your family history covers. What are the primary surnames, locations and time periods involved. Does your archive include vital records, bibles, pictures, etc etc. Making a complete inventory and identifying significant items in your collection are important for those that will get the collection. The ability to make it a useful tool for others is hindered when the caretaker needs to start from scratch to inventory your archive. Make sure that items in the collection are protected properly. Put the information in a format that will allow others to use the collection. Several places exist that would be glad to have your family record. The library that holds the county genealogy collection would be a excellent place to start. Finally the Michigan Archives loves all things that relate to Michigan history. Contact these facilities prior to your passing to discover what their rules are on accepting new items. Most of all make sure to start quickly in taking care of it. So much time love and energy have been put into our work. It makes me cringe to think it is going to end up in a landfill. Many excellent ideas exist on the Internet to help you with this task.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sources Wayne County- Archive of Michigan

Thought this would be of interest to all those that are doing research in Wayne County Michigan. Have a great week.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Genealogy Boot Camp- A to Z

Don't forget the Bootcamp on Oct 6 put on by Lapeer County Genealogical Society with speaker Derek Davey. Its going to be a GREAT day! If you have never had the chance to hear Derek speak you won't want to miss it! He is a very knowledable! We just had a group of 10 sign up! Make sure to get yours in!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Awesome weekend in Michigan

Had a very short weekend to enjoy Michigan again. Took a Gulf Oil trip that was produced in the 1950's from my home in Ohio up into the western half of Michigan. Saw some excellent sites. Started off the weekend on Friday night by visiting Jackson via Adrain. Took a tour of the Adrian college campus. Wow has it grown since I last visited. The sports facilities have expanded tremendously. Traveled to Jackson through the Irish hills what a view. Passed MIS and was glad that it was not next weekend when they are having the race. Got to Jackson to see the Cascades, but first took part in the Cancer walk that was in the park. What a great way to continue to honor my wife's battle with cancer. Beautiful night and the lights of the Cascades were awesome. Amazing sight and interesting history on the building of these man made falls. The next day we moved through Albion, Marshall, Battle Creek and Kalamzoo. Albion was having a lot of garage sales on the main street. Did a lot of looking, but not much buying. Checked out the college here. Another gem. Moved on traveling west on Michigan Avenue towards Marshall. The town has to have one of the most beautiful downtown's around. Love the statue in the center of town. Yes, they still make cereal in Battle Creek both Post and Kellogs. Moved on to Kalamazoo to see Western Michigan. Hope my Rockets can show them a thing or to this fall. Traveled up 131 towards Allegan and did some antiquing again. Son was able to find some vintage vinyl. He thinks it's cool just makes me old. In Holland was able to visit the Art festival they were having in the park downtown. Always love seeing peoples ideas for Art. My wife enjoys getting ideas for her winter creations. On to Sauguatuck. Needless to say Sauguatuck on a weekend in August was very busy. Unfortunately I was unable to find a parking spot, but was able to show the family where I stayed last fall while writing. Going to bring them back later in the season. Went over to Douglas that was having a old style baseball game at the field downtown. Was neat to see and really was a throw back to yesteryear. Moved further down 31 to Benton Harbor. Oh my what a view of Lake Michigan in the town of South Haven and then Benton Harbor. I think half of Chicago moves up here on weekends. Some lovely shops and nice places to eat. The storm that came in off the lake was awesome. The rain that came down was very much needed by the fruit growers in the surrounding region. Needless to say we had a great weekend. Was good to get away from the history research for a little while. Helps to recharge the batteries and get back on track.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Michigan Oakland County 1890 census redeveloped

The Oakland County Genealogical Society has reconstructed the 1890 census for their county. Awesome work and should prove to be a valuable resource.