Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Cemetery - Rockefeller Secret Reburial

Published in August 1915 in the  Pawtucket Times out of Pawtucket, RI

Body Removed From Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Vault and Taken to Train.

 NEW YORK, Aug 11 – Taken through a driving hailstorm form the vault at Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, in which it had rested since March 12, the body of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller was buried yesterday in Lakeview cemetery, Cleveland. Such secrecy marked the removal that only with the arrival of the coffin at Cleveland did the plan of the family become known.
     It had been Mr. Rockefeller’s purpose form the time of his wife’s death, March 12, to lay her to rest in Cleveland, her girlhood home. The controversy over his takes which threatened to keep him away from the city, and the fear that a demonstration might mark the coming of the body, let, however to a delay of tour and one-half months. Meantime, Mr. Rockefeller had gone to Cleveland for the summer, and when attention came to be distracted from him he set about fulfilling his plan.
Monday morning work was sent to Charles Vanderbilt, a Tarrytown undertaker, to prepare for the shipment of the body that evening. He got the permit for the removal, then tried out the roads that would have to be traveled form the Old Dutch Church at Sleepy Hollow to Harmon, where the Rockefellers board New York Central express trains when they halt to change form electric to steam power.
     The state road from Sleepy Hollow to Harmon is being rebuilt, and a four mile detour is necessary. Vanderbilt covered the route before noon, and at 8 o’clock the 12 mile drive with the body was begun. Frederick Briggs, superintendent of the Rockefeller estate at Pocantico Hills was present when the coffin was taken from the green granite vault on the John Archbold plot. The only others there were guards on duty, the undertaker and his men.
     No one attended the body on the journey. Vanderbilt sat beside the driver on the hearse, but no one else took part in the enterprise. Soon after the trip was started a violent storm broke over the river hills and soon hail was driving in a way that made the most careful handling of the horses the price of safety for an hour the storm continued, and not until the journey was near a close did it cease. The coffin was placed aboard a baggage car of the Lake Shore Limited which leaves the Grand Central Terminal at 5 30 o clock, and reaches Marmon soon after 6. There was nothing about the rough box to indicate its unusual character and those about the station got no inkling of the fact that an event the neighborhood had long been anticipating was at hand. A similar absence of precautions marked the arrival at Cleveland.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Middletown Historical Society - Genealogy Classes

From the May 21, 2015 Middletown Transcript in Middletown, Delaware

Hunt for ancestors at Historical Society’s free genealogy classes

From Staff Reports
     The Middletown Historical Society is offering free genealogy classes to help participants research who their ancestors were. Knowing their stories can be life affecting, not to mention fun to find. 
     Beginning Thursday, May 28 at 7 p.m., the community is invited to the Middletown Historical Society Museum for the first of four classes led by genealogist Angie Rodesky which will clear the mysteries about how to find your ancestors.
     While the classes are free registration is required by emailing Rodesky at or calling 1-913-702-6489.
     Each class will build research skills by teaching about the tools and techniques for finding the amazing amount of information available, often from the comfort of your home.
     Rodesky is a full-time professional genealogist of over 12 years, who has traveled the world doing research and consultations. She does private group presentations such as these classes, and is a published author and freelance writer. Her work has been featured on the History Channel’s “How the States Got Their Shapes,” “Genealogy Roadshow” on PBS, and Federal Genealogical Society radio programs.

     Classes will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and the schedule is as follows:
May 28 – Where do I begin? The research process and organizing your information.
June 25 – Records? What records? Documents such as census records, death certificates, land records, military records, and more – the information they contain and how to obtain them.
July30 – Researching from your couch. How to research on the internet, including some sites that you might not have visited yet, and some helpful tools for maneuvering around them.
Aug. 27 – Middletown’s treasure trove. The amount of information that the Middletown Historical Society has amassed and organized is one of the treasures of our town. Rodesky has spent much time in the Historical Society’s research room, going through books, The Middletown Transcript, and the growing archives. The last session will include a tour of what’s available in the research room and the process of requesting records and assistance.
     Each class includes a question – and – answer session at the end.

     The Middletown Historical Society Museum is location in the Old Academy, 216 N. Broad St., Middletown. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Skeleton's Diary of Suffering

Published October 1900 in the Pawtucket Times out of  Pawtucket, RI
Skeleton of a Sailor Found Near the 
Bering Sea – Diary Contained Story 
of His Sufferings.
San Francisco, Oct. 31 – On Unimak Island, which guards on of the entrances to the Bering sea, a rude mound of rocks marks the last resting place of Charles W. Anderson sailor, fisherman and hunter. Anderson starved to death on the bleak and barren island waiting for friends who deserted him. He died on June 13, 1899, hand his skeleton in his bunk and his diary beside it were found by two hunters who were driven on the island during a storm. The diary was addressed to Andrew Goswold of Unga, who arrived here a few days ago with his friend’s last writings.
Several vessels passed by his island prison, the pathetic record reads, but none saw Anderson’s flag of distress. Once a vessel was becalmed close to the shore, and he tried to reach it, but he had not the strength to launch his little boat. His legs had failed him and he could only pull himself along by his elbows. He deliberated on shooting his dog, but he could not get up courage to slay his faithful friend. Finally the dog disappeared.
The diary records the terrible sufferings of Anderson from thirst and his expeditions after fresh water. The last entry says:

“June 19 – Now I must go for water again. I am more afraid this time than before, but with God’s help I may come back again. I would not like to dig outside but God’s will be done.” He had his wish, for he returned and died in his bunk.

Friday, May 15, 2015

NGS Vendor Spotlight - "JustaJoy"


      I know I’ve said before that this is my first NGS conference but I have attended a couple FGS conference. One common connection that both of these conferences have to offer is the large exhibit halls full of vendors. Wither you are new to genealogy research or have been doing it for some time you can always find a vendor or two that will catch your attention.  You will find information about different societies, educational connections to sharpen your research skills, companies and organizations that have web sites to assist you in your searches.  

     While walking through this exhibit hall there was a vendor that caught my attention and held it for some time. I’m talking about “JustaJoy” they can be found at booths 511 and 614. This is such a unique and wonderful company and the owners are just as unique, Joy and George Shivar. I spent some time with both of them finding out more about them and what their company was all about. They have the largest source of indexed heirlooms that are waiting to meet their families. I love how they refer to these heirlooms as “orphaned heirlooms” that is such a sweet and truthful way of putting it. 

Joy Shivar

     While speaking with Joy I discover they have an amazing history with stories of matching some of these “orphaned heirlooms” with their families. Imagine searching their site, you type in your families surname and up pops a photograph of your grandfather in his military uniform. You’ve never seen him in this uniform and there he is starring back at you and you are filled with so much excitement and joy that you have now located this photograph. Thanks to “JustaJoy” you can now experience something like that and then have the opportunity to obtain that heirloom.   

I encourage you to stop by their booth and look around, if you aren’t able to stop by visit them at and look through their site.  

Day Two of NGS Completed

    Well with day two underway there are still a large number of family historians, librarians, genealogist archivist and many more that are interested in what’s offered here a NGS. Just to give you a quick visual, I’m sure many of you have seen the news clips that show “Black Friday” and the swarm of shoppers entering the stores. Well, that’s what you can see here as they enter or exit one of the many lectures or even the exhibit hall. 

     Again there were many great presentations to attend and I was very happy with one of the choices I made. I attended “Research Jewish Genealogical Records From Your Couch” presented by Daniel Horowitz. He offered many useful tips and sites to visit while doing your research that I would not have known about if not for this presentation. His sense of humor through the presentation was just the perfect mix with his knowledge. This was another plus on my experience here at the first NGS conference that I’ve attended. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Day One of the NGS Conference


  Well I have nothing to complain about when it comes to the start of this conference. As I’ve said before this is my first National Genealogical Society (NGS) conference and it appears to be a very well attended conference, I hear the numbers of attendees is in the thousands. I’ve attended a few lectures and thought they were very well presented and I always think of it successful when I walk out with new pieces of information.

     One of the presentations I attended this morning was “Tracking Pennsylvania Ancestors Keys to Research” the presenter was Kay Haviland Freilich CG, CGL, FNGS. This was the first time I have seen her present and I can say if you had a question, any question about locating records while doing research in Pennsylvania she would be the person to ask. Some interesting points that she shared and I thought I would share with all of you. While searching Philadelphia you need to look at both county and city records as for the rest of the state records stay in the county they were created in. If you are taking advantage of searching the septennial census records you might be surprised to find they hold information about African Americans.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Bryan Family of Middletown, Delaware

Well here we go again another “Tombstone Tuesday” blog post. I did a little research on the Bryan family that I found in the Old Saint Anne’s Church Cemetery. This is an interesting family that has a great amount of history. There was so much history and research that I could have done but I had to draw the line somewhere and stopped at the 1920 census record. 
                                                   CHARLES HENRY BRYAN
                                                          OCT. 22ND 1831
                                                          JULY 30TH 1869
                                                            AND HIS WIFE
                                           MARY ELIZA READING BRYAN
                                                        BORN MAY 28.1834.
                                                          DIED MAY 8.1928.
                                                     REQUIESCAT IN PACE 
                     HENRY BELL BRYAN                JEANNETTE YOUNG BRYAN
                                 1862-1939                                        1863-1961 
                                   1865-1928                                      1867-1938
                    EDWIN CLARENCE  BRYAN              MARTHA BAIRD BRYAN    
                                1867-1935                                        1880-1944
                      MAHLON PHILIP BRYAN                EDWIN ANDREW BRYAN
                               AUG. 9, 1895                                JULY 24, 1904
                               DEC. 29 1961                                NOV 9, 1977
                          MARTHA LOIS BRYAN                 ESTHER CLARICE BRYAN
                                NOV 25, 1912                                 MAR 30, 1911 
                                DEC 24, 1989                                 JULY 9, 1997
                                                CAROLYN GUILD BRYAN
                                                             WIFE OF
                                               MAHLON PHILIP BRYAN
                                           DEC. 27, 1919 - DEC. 15, 1989

Wordless Wednesday

I’m sorry that I haven’t posted anything in a couple of days but some of you might not be aware of the National Genealogical Conference (NGS) taking place this week in St. Charles, Missouri. So after saying that yes that is the reason I have been absent. With packing, travel, arrival and check in I’m a little short on the posting time. So with that being said I will lump Tuesday’s post and today's all in one, enjoy. I will add an additional post later tonight on my thoughts and experiences during the conference, heck I will post daily on that because you know I will have a lot to say. Enjoy!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday Cemetery - Cemetery Wedding

Published November 1916 in the Idaho Statesman out of Bois, ID 


ABILENE, Kan. – “We’ll make it a quiet wedding,” agreed E.K. Elcholtz, an undertaker of this city, and Miss Ruth Marion, also of Abilene, when they decided to married last July.
Mr. Elcholtz reflected upon the problem long a diligently. At last an inspiration came to him.
“I’ve got the idea,” he told his prospective bride. “The only wonder is I didn’t think of it before.”
“I knew you’d get it,” said Miss Marion, with the sublime confidence of prospective brides. “Where will we have it?”
“In the cemetery,” responded Mr. Elcholtz, triumphantly.
Miss Marion ventured so far as to point out that a graveyard was not the gayest place in the world.
“Why,” said Mr. Elcholtz, “I’ve spent some of the happiest days of my life in cemeteries.”
In the end Miss Marion abandoned whatever objections she had and the wedding was held. As they wanted to keep it secret it had to take place at night. Mr. Elcholtz was in favor of having it at midnight, but Miss Marion said she’d have to draw the line somewhere and positively refused to consider any hour after 9:30 o’clock in the evening. Mr. Elcholtz was rather disappointed. He said it always seem to him that midnight was the cheerfulest possible time around a cemetery. But Miss Marion was firm and 9:30 it was.
The ceremony was performed by an Abilene minister, and the couple was successful in keeping it secret until now. It came out through Mr. Elcholtz himself when he and his bride registered at the Hotel Grund, on the Kansas side.

“Yes,” said Mr. Elcholtz, “It was a great ceremony. Mrs. Elcholtz wasn’t scared, or at least if she was I couldn’t notice it. And it was solemn – why you couldn’t imagine anything more impressive. It was as good as a funeral.”

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Mud Pond Mystery

Published in August 1905 in the Wilkes –Barre Times out of Wilkes-Barre, PA 


     When the body of J. Arthur Potter, who was mysteriously drowned at Mud Pond near Lake Ganoga, two weeks ago, was exhumed for the Ellentown cemetery yesterday a deep gash was revealed over the young man’s face and left eye. Dr. Allan C. Brooks, of this city, performed the past mortem. It is not known whether it will implicate Thomas J. Georgi and Harold Kensey, of East End, with the tragedy.
Dr. Brooks returned from Ellentown this morning. He was seen by a TIMES reporter at his residence on North Franklin street, but was rather reticent about his findings. He stated, however, that he found a deep gash over the dead man’s eye, but refused to make further comments. The gash was made by a blunt instrument and according to Dr. Brooks, the blow was sufficient to render Potter unconscious. The wound extends form the tip of the nose to a point over the eye.
The county officials engaged Dr. Brooks to perform the post mortem examination and he left here Tuesday. From this city he went to Dushore, where he met Undertaker Frank E. Bickens, who buried Potter. He then went with the undertaker to the cemetery in Ellentown, Lycoming County. The place is situated between Williamsport and Towanda and they did not reach the cemetery until yesterday afternoon.

     As there was no place to take the body after it was exumed, Dr. Brooks had to perform the post mortem examination in the cemetery. There was a curious crowd about the remains and Dr. Brooks took four hours with his examination. The body was in tan excellent state of preservation. While he was working over the remains it was necessary for some on to hold an umbrella over him.
He cut open the skull and also examined the abdomen. Just what he found Dr. Brooks would not state, but he intimated he had some valuable information. After the autopsy he returned to this city, arriving here shortly after 11 o’clock.

     Upon his arrival in this city he was summoned to the district attorney office. There he was interviewed by District Attorney Jones, Assistant District Attorney Meyers and county Detective Jones. He told them his story, and according to District Attorney Jones he was direct to write out a report.
Dr. Brooks when later interviewed denied that he receive orders to write up a report, stating that he gave the district attorney all the information he had.

Assistant District Attorney Meyers, when interviewed, stated no warrants had been issued for either Georgi or Kensey. The district attorney has been acting slowly in the investigation, and will make no arrests until he is positive of his information.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Follow

Again I've had the opportunity to read many interesting and useful blogs this past week. I wanted to take time to share some of those postings that caught my attention. They aren't listed in any particular order so please enjoy, share and have a great weekend.

 A Jewish Genealogy Journey - "Certificate of Citizenship for Morris Goldstein"
posted on Wednesday, May 6th
posted by Elizabeth Handler 

My Maine Ancestry - "Fatally Wounded at Antietam"
posted on Wednesday, May 6th
posted by Pam Carter

JSTOR / Daily - "The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 and Your Ancestors"
posted on Friday, May 7th
posted by D. Joshua Taylor

Grace & Glory - "My Cousin Who Fought at the Alamo"
posted on Monday, May 4th
posted by Becky Jamison

The Legal Genealogist - "The Guardian ad litem"
posted on Wednesday, May 6th
posted by Judy Russell

Southern Graves - "Gov. Stephen Heards Grave (Tombstone Tuesday)"
posted on Tuesday, May 5th
posted by Stephaine Lincecum

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

YEAH!!! May 7th Clarksville, Tennessee

Thursday, May 7th
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
L&N Train Station
189 10th Street
Clarksville, TN

What can I say except that I’m so excited for this coming Thursday!  If you are in the Clarksville, TN area around 5:00 p.m. stop by the historical L&N Train Station. The Arts & Heritage Development Council and Montgomery County Historical Society will be hosting a "book talk". We will be discussing the book I wrote and was released in March, “Images of Modern America Clarksville Tennessee”. They will have books there for purchase, just in case you haven’t gotten yours yet. I’m only sorry that I physically won’t be there but I will be there via google hangout. I look forward to seeing everyone that helped with the process and answering questions and hearing your thoughts on the book. 

Tombstone Tuesday - Kohl Family

                             GEORGE H. KOHL                 FANNIE SCOTT KOHL

                                    1859-1931                                      1871-1923

[1]1910 United States Federal Census in New Castle County in the state of Delaware shows George H Kohl as head of house hold born about 1860 in New York, male, white, married for 18 years, both parents born in New York, occupation listed as farmer, 50 years of age.  Fannie S Kohl, born about 1873 in New York,  wife to head of house hold, female, white, married for 18 years, 2 children born and living, both parents born in New York, no occupation listed, 37 years of age. Jessie D. Kohl born about 1898 in Delaware, daughter to head of house hold, female, white, single, both parents born in New York, no occupation listed, 12 years of age. Caroline Scott born about 1851 in New York, female, white, widowed, 2 children born and living, mother-in-law to head of house hold, both parents born in New York, no occupation listed, 59 years of age. Albert Johnson born about 1880 in Delaware, servant to head of house hold, male, black, married for 10 years, both parents born in Delaware, occupation listed as labor, 30 years of age. Rebecca Johnson born about 1882 in Maryland, servant to head of house hold, female, black, married for 10 years, both parents born in Maryland, occupation listed as a cook, 28 years of age.

[2]1920 United States Federal Census in New Castle County in the state of Delaware shows George H Kohl as head of house hold born about 1860 in New York, male, white, married, both parents born in Germany, occupation listed as farmer, 60 years of age. Fannie S Kohl, wife to head of house hold, born about 1873 in New York, female, white, married, both parents born in New York, no occupation listed, 47 years of age.
**Special Note: Jessie Kohl, Caroline Scott, Albert Johnson and Rebecca Johnson who were listed on the 1910 census are not listed on the 1920 census. Also notice George H Kohl's parents are now listed as being born in Germany.  

[3]1930 United States Federal Census in Brooklyn, Kings County in the state of New York at 435 75th Street, shows Walter W Kohl as head of house hold born about 1879 in New York, male, white, married for  22 years , both of his parents born in German y, occupation listed as manager of Steamship, 51 years of age. Bertie A. Kohl born about 1882 in Connecticut, female, white, married for 20 years, wife to head of house hold, both parents born in Connecticut, no occupation listed, 48 years of age. George H Kohl born about 1860 in New York, male, white, widowed, both parents born in Germany, no occupation listed, retired, 70 years of age.   

**Special Note: Fannie Kohl who was listed on the 1920 census is not on the 1930 census. Notice the headstone shows she died in 1923 so that would be the reason for her name missing. Also notice now we have the name of one of his siblings, Walter Kohl, on the 1930 census. 

[1]1910 United States Federal Census ( accessed 31 March 2015) Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. Census Place: Representative District 13, New Castle, Delaware; Roll: T624_146; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0095; FHL microfilm: 1374159 Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. 
[2]1920 United States Federal Census ( : accessed 31 March 2015) Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. Census Place: Representative District 13, New Castle, Delaware; Roll: T625_204; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 171; Image: 442 Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[3]1930 United States Federal Census ( : accessed 31 March 2015) Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002. Census Place: Brooklyn, Kings, New York; Roll: 1509; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 1150; Image: 794.0; FHL microfilm: 2341244  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Brick Wall vs. Sinkhole

   By now I’m sure most of us have run into that head scratching “brick wall” while doing our research. At least if you haven’t run into one you have at least heard of it. Quick definition: you’re stuck in your research.  But how about that “sinkhole” have any of you experienced the “sinkhole”? A sinkhole is when you find yourself surrounded by so much information and continue to receive more information that leads to more research. I’ve heard of a few that refer to it as a “rabbit hole.” 

Does this look like your sinkhole? 


Is this what your faced with doing your research?


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Cemetery - Comanche Cemetery

Published in April 1913 in the Daily Oklahoma out of Oklahoma City, OK


 Comanche, Okla, April 13 – (Special.) – Comanche was thrown into a fit of feverish excitement and indignation was intense when the fact became known vandals had visited the cemetery and proceeded to smash and tip from their foundations the monuments over thirty-one graves. The reason for the act cannot be accounted for unless it was the work of some demented person. Large and small monument in the path of the vandal were served alike, many of the smaller ones being broken when tipped over, and where many of the stones were more securely fastened than others, the base and all were toppled over. The officers have thus far been unable to find a clue to the guilty party or parties.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Census Records in Danger

Published in December 1913 in the Duluth News-Tribune out of Duluth, MN
Director Harris Says Records Are in Constant Danger of Destruction by Fire.

      WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 – Urgent need exists for a more sanitary building for the census office, according to Director Harris, who also declares that the records of the bureau as now stored are in constant danger of destruction by fire. Greater space for the storage of records and equipment is highly desirable, he says.
     “A fireproof building, erected with proper regard for lighting and sanitary conditions and having ample storage space, would facilitate the work of the bureau and would greatly increase the comfort and well-being of its employees,” the director says. “In view of the vast quantity of valuable records which must be stored, many of which could not be replaced if destroyed, the need of a fireproof building is especially pronounced, and while the census bureau remains in its present quarters there is great need of a larger fireproof vault for the storage of population schedules of past censuses, as the capacity of the vault now in use is insufficient to meet the bureau’s requirements.

Complains to Secretary Redfield
     In a letter to Secretary Redfield, Director Harris has this to say about the danger to the records:
“The total number of volumes from 1790 to 1880 comprised 4,622. In 1890, when schedules were not bound, we had approximately 44,000 bundles of schedules. For 1900 we have 2,813 volumes. The population returns for 1910 are in a fireproof vault and fill it completely. They have not been bound and are constantly referred to. The census returns from 1790 to and including 1900 are continually referred to for genealogical purposes and the returns for 1850 and 1860 are constantly being examined to secure data showing the ages of pensioners, as they are unable to obtain any other record evidence of their ages. These volumes, especially, are proving invaluable and could not, of course, be replaced if they were destroyed, and as time passes by the census returns will prove of greater value, as it is the only list to which individuals can refer in order to establish relationship in their families, often required in settling estates.
“In addition to the census-returns we have many divisions records, the loss of which would cause great embarrassment and thousands of dollars would have to be expended to attempt to replace them. For instance, the geographer’s division has the plans of division in to enumeration district, into which the country was divided in 1910. These official records, if lost, could not be replaced and would involve great expense in the preparation for the fourteenth census. There are in all the divisions of the census bureau division records that are essential in preparing for another census, and they would all be lost if there were a fire which destroyed the present building occupied by the census bureau.”

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Follow

Well Friday Follow has come around again and I wanted to share some postings that caught my attention. There were so many and I'm sorry to say I didn't have more time to view as many posting as I have in the past, busy week. They aren't listed in any particular order so please enjoy, share and have another wonderful weekend.

Worldwide Genealogy – A Genealogical Collaboration – “What part must we play in our genealogy education?”
Posted Friday April 24th
Pat Richley-Erickson – posted

Nutfield Genealogy – “May 2015 Genealogy and Local History Calendar”
Posted Monday, April 27th
Heather Wilkinson Rojo – blogger

Genea-Musings – “Pre-Wedding Rehearsal Dinner -- Post 357 of (Not So) Wordless Wednesday”
Posted Wednesday, April 29th
Randy Seaver - posted

Many Roads - “German/Prussian Mega Search Engine”
Posted on Wednesday, April 29th
Mark Rabideau – posted

Taneya’s Genealogy Blog - “2nd Cousin Connection!”
Posted on Wednesday, April 29th  
Taneya Koonce – blogger