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Indiana_Flag_(1903)

Thanks to a Facebook post on the Indiana Genealogy page yesterday, I learned that three new databases were added to Ancestry.com – Indiana Birth Certificates (1907-1940), Indiana Marriage Certificates (1958-2005), and Indiana Death Certificates (1899-2011). At first, I figured it was just transcriptions of these documents (and we all know that there can be errors in transcribing documents!). Imagine how thrilled I was to find out that these three databases all included scanned images of the records!

After spending almost an hour going through some of the records pertaining to my family and ancestors, I realized that if I didn’t set a time limit for myself, I would be up all night! I found the birth certificates for my mom, aunt and uncle! I found death certificates for some of my extended Wilt relatives. And even though I had said that I had found the last piece of the Johnson/Kirkpatrick puzzle, I was wrong! On Ellen Ora Johnson Moffitt’s death certificate, her mother’s name was listed . . . (drum roll please) . . . Nancy J Kirkpatrick!!! Oh, happy, happy dance!!!

I’m sure I will find even more details that I’ve missed when I go through these documents and some are even sad. I decided to look for the death certificate for Albert Wilt. He was my maternal grandmother’s younger half-brother, son of Joseph Napolean Wilt and Anna Park. Albert’s gravestone bears the years 1917-1933. I did find his death certificate and the cause of death listed was horrible: head crushed by railway tram as he walked along the tracks. His death was ruled an accident. My great-grandfather Joe was the informant but he listed his birth date as August 1, 1914. So was Joe correct and the incorrect birth year was put on the head stone? Whatever the case, Albert was too young and his death was tragic.

So if you have family and ancestors from Indiana, please go check out these three new databases. Perhaps you’ll find some information that can help break down some brick walls.

(Image: Indiana Flag 1903 from Wikimedia Commons; public domain)

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air-balloon-balloons-birthday-42067

Eight years ago on April 18th, I decided to take the leap from a Tripod hosted website (which is still in existence) to a Genealogy Blog. I am still reaping the rewards of that decision! Not only did I become a part of the larger “genea-blogger” community but I’ve learned so many tips, tricks, and techniques for research and blogging!

In the last eight years, I have written 551 posts and received 664 comments. The blog has had 59, 547 views and 11,704 visitors (I don’t have a way of knowing how many views and visitors are unique or the same). The day I had the most views was September  6, 2014.

The best part of this journey is the distant cousins that have found me! Some of them had very little information about their family history until they found my blog. That is what keeps me excited about writing and researching.

I can’t guarantee that I’ll still be writing eight years down the road, but I hope you – my readers – will stick around as long as I’m here!

Thank you!

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follow-friday

The blog post that had me by the heartstrings this week was from DNAExplained by Roberta Estes about a daughter that was born too early and passed away without a name or a proper good-bye – The Invisible Child. Her article made me think about my own mother who lost a child at 5 months gestation.

Randy Seaver, at Genea-Musings, never fails to amaze me with tips, ideas, how-tos, or some humor. Yesterday, he posted Ancestry.com Provides a Relationship Calculator, and my first thought was “are there still people who aren’t familiar with that?” I was thinking that it is the line on the person’s profile that says “2nd great-grandmother” – etc. But then I started reading the article! It is not what I thought. Once again, Randy told me something I did not know nor was I aware of!

I believe that Amy Johnson Crow is my hero when it comes to Ohio research! I learn new and interesting things about researching in my home state. Her article, 5 Ways to Prepare For Your Courthouse Research Trip, is not just for those with Ohio ancestors. This couldn’t come at a better time for me because I’m planning on doing some courthouse research this summer when I’m in Ohio. Thank you, Amy!

Denise Olson (Moultrie Creek Gazette) provided some tips on publishing a family history book in Build Family History Books with BookWright. There are many types of services to do this, and Denise helps narrow down those choices.

What have you been reading this week?

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follow-friday

No Fooling!  Here’s a few of the articles that I’ve read this week and want to share with my readers.

Since I was born and raised in Ohio and at least three or more generations back called it home as well, I appreciated Amy Johnson Crow’s article 5 Hidden Treasures for Ohio Genealogy. Although I’ve used a few of her suggestions, I sometimes tend to forget about them. Now I can make sure they are bookmarked when I need to refer to them.

Do you have an ancestor or collateral relative who fought in the Civil War? My 2nd great-grandfather, James Emory House, was a member of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry Co. H, 80th Regiment. Do you wonder if your ancestor was at the Battle of Gettysburg or Vicksburg? Follow the advice that DearMyrtle gives in: Was He There When His Unit Fought in the US Civil War?.

Lynn Palermo (The Accidental Genealogist) shares Seven Timelines Apps to Share Your Stories.

Do you have tins or jars or boxes full of buttons, trinkets, or other household paraphernalia? Have you inherited them from your mom, aunt, or grandmother? What stories does that jar of buttons hold? Denise Levenick, The Family Curator, provides some advice in dealing with items that others would consider “junk” in Why You Don’t Want to Toss Grandma’s Buttons in the Trash”. I especially loved the ending – but don’t read ahead!

That’s all for this edition of Follow Friday!

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state genealogy chart

I happen to be Facebook friends with many geneabloggers so when Judy G. Russell (the Legal Genealogist) posted her chart last night, I knew that there would be many others who would do the same. Judy was inspired by J. Paul Hawthorne (with whom I’m not familiar). By morning, I’ve counted no less than five from those I do know.

I had already decided last night that I would do one for myself – boring though it may be – and use it as a blog post. So this is what I created (see above). Pretty repetitive!

The top half signifies my paternal branch and the lower my mom’s. William Amore – my paternal 2nd great-grandfather was born in New York. My dad’s maternal great-grandfather, Florus Allen House, hailed from Connecticut. See the two Virginia blocks on the far right top half? Those are for Evan Ogan and Susanna Fritter Ogan – the couple who raised my great-grandmother, Frances V. Ogan House. I don’t have a biological component to add there but I didn’t want to leave those two spots blank because then the chart would look lopsided.

I have a 2nd great-grandmother who was born in North Carolina – Amanda Evaline Mullis (wife of James Wilson Johnson); a 2nd great-grandfather born in Virginia – Israel Isaac Wilt who married Elsy Nash from Pennsylvania. Other than that – we are all predominantly Ohio or Indiana born!

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Clara Jennings obit - Democratic Standard Coshocton Ohio Sep 15 1893 pg 6

Clara Jennings, my second cousin twice removed, was the youngest daughter of Mary E Lewis (daughter of George J Lewis and Eliza McVey) and Alexander Jennings. (If you remember my Saturday Surname post from yesterday, then you know that George J Lewis was the brother of my great-great-grandmother Julia Ann Lewis House.)

Clara was born on June 8, 1877 in the township of Tuscarawas in Coshocton county, Ohio. Her mother Mary was about 36 year old at her birth. Alexander was about eight years older than Mary. The couple already had six children. When Clara was six years old, her father died. Seven and a half years later, Clara’s mother died.

On September 7, 1893 as seventeen year old Clara was visiting her older brother, Leander James Lewis’ home in the Flint Hill area of Coshocton county, she died of typhoid fever. Two days later after her funeral at Mt. Zion church, she was laid to rest in the cemetery. A cemetery where some of my Amore ancestors are also buried.

For me, it is a shame that a young girl died without her mother being there to wipe her brow or tell her good-bye. But perhaps, it was her mother who said “hello” as Clara departed one life and in to an everlasting life.

As an interesting aside, I am related to Clara in two different ways. First, is via her mother, Mary E. Lewis, my great-great-grandmother’s niece (the House side). Second, is mainly through half-sibling and in-law relationship via my great-grandmother on the Amore side. My great-grandmother, Mary A. (Werts) Amore’s half-sister, Sarah Ellen Simon, married another Alexander Jenning (they dropped the “s” from the end of Jennings). Ellen’s husband, Alexander, was the nephew of Mary E. Lewis’s husband’s father – making him the husband of my first cousin three times removed!

Obituary: The Democratic Standard (Coshocton, Ohio), 15 Sep 1893, pg 6, Ancestry.com, digital images, accessed 12 Mar 2016.

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Blog Throwback Thursday

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I’ve realized that I just can not do Wordless Wednesday posts because I always have something to say about a photo. I picked the photo above for Throwback Thursday not for the person (me at a very young age) but the items captured by my father when he photographed me.

A few years after this photo was taken, my dad built a bookcase to separate the entry way of our house from the living room. He also laid laminate tile on the floor so the carpeting on the upper left side of the picture had to be taken up. The new couch next to me was black and orange. Mom was never crazy about the color but she liked the way it sat so she had it recovered in a burnt orange color. Some forty years later, that same couch was where family sat mourning her death. A couch that no one wanted and no one could haul off. I wonder if someone is enjoying it now almost seven years after she died or if it ended up in a dump somewhere.

The dining chair now sits in my home in Missouri – along with the table and other chairs of the set. Who knew that when this picture was taken back in 1965 that I would know exactly where that chair was going to end up?

The table between the chair and the television sat under my vanity for a very long time in our Texas home. Inside – where once was magazines and needlework books – were wooden Disney characters from Bambi. Those figures had graced my bedroom wall as a young child. Now, they are packed away.

That old black and white television set was the only TV in our house. Many times when the TV would get a “snowy” picture, Dad would climb on the roof to adjust the antenna. I would stand at the open door while he moved it around so that way I could relay what was happening on the TV as Mom watched to see if a picture was coming in. I’m not sure what commercial was on the televison when Dad snapped the picture but obviously whatever medicine it was “effective as codeine!”

Many years later, that TV set was put in the basement when we got a brand new color television! But we still had to get up out of our seat and cross the room to change the channel!

When I see pictures of objects that were familiar to me as a child, I always feel a sense of nostalgia. For me, genealogy is so much more than searching for ancestors who have come and gone. It is a history and what transpired within the lives of those people to make them who they were. Such is it for me. Remembering how I felt at certain points in my life – and the objects and places around me – is part of my history. My kids and grandchildren will not know details about why a particular place, or thing, or moment in history is important to me unless I tell them. And tell them again. And again.

Have you shared your memories and history with your family?

(Photo by Eugene J Amore; original slide and digital version in possession of Wendy Littrell – Address for private use)

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