Tuesday, February 25, 2014

52 Ancestors: #8 Rebecca Ella Bailey Fisher (1858 - before July 1926)

Climbing My Family Tree, 52 Ancestors, #8: Ella Bailey (1858- before 1926?)
Ella Bailey (1858- before July 1926?)
Posted with permission of Christina Inman
Click to make bigger

I chose this week's entry because of the pictures my mother's cousin sent me. I don't have as much information as I'd like of my 2nd great-grand aunt Ella as I'd like, but courtesy of cousin Teeny I've got some great pictures!

In all the records I've found, except for the 1860 Census where she is listed as "Rebecca E", my 2nd-great-grand-aunt is known as Ella, and that is the name she is known by on the back of the photos I received as well. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1858, to John Bailey and Maria Williams, probably either in  Huntingdon County or Mifflin County as the 1850 Census had the family in Union Twp, Mifflin County and the 1860 Census placed the family in Jackson twp, Huntingdon County. She is the sister of my 2nd-great-grandfather Edward Carleton Bailey, who I wrote up as my 4th 52 Ancestors entry.

It is wonderfully odd to find I have ancestors from the Mifflin co/Huntingdon Co. or Juniata Valley area of Pennsylvania. I wish I'd known that when I went to Juniata College in Huntingdon PA [by the way, a great school for anyone looking for a college]. It was a great four years and gave me a great education and enduring friendships.  The next time I go back for a reunion, I'll have to schedule in some family research time.

I don't know anything about her early family life yet. At some point she met William W. Fisher, who was also born in Pennsylvania, although I don't know where yet. They married in 1881 when he was 28 and she was 23. In 1884, their daughter Grace was born in Pennsylvania.  But as of 1886, they lived in Findlay, Ohio, as their daughter, Fern was born there. The 1900 Census says that she had 3 children, but only two were surviving at that point. My great-grand-mother's notes say that "Ella had three girls: Grace, Bird, & Fern", but I've not found any other reference to Bird, so Bird may have died.

Climbing My Family Tree: Grace & Fern Fisher, daughters of Ella Bailey & William W. Fisher
Grace and Fern Fisher,
picture taken at Nichol's Photography 334-1/2 S. Main St Findlay, OH
Posted with permission of Christina Inman
Ella's husband William Fisher listed his occupation as an oil driller in the 1900 Census, at which time they were still in Findlay, Ohio. But sometime between 1900 and 1910, William, Ella and Fern  moved to Chautauqua County NY. Perhaps it was after older daughter Grace married Duke Watson? The Findlay City directory shows Grace and Duke living together as husband and wife as early as 1904.

Before they left town, Ella had another picture of herself taken at Nichol's photography. It is labeled on the back, "Aunt Ella Fisher, Papa's sister"

Climbing my family Tree: Mrs. Ella Fisher (1858-before 1926?)
Mrs. Ella Fisher
picture taken at Nichol's Photography 334-1/2 S. Main St Findlay, OH
Posted with permission of Christina Inman
Ella and William lived in Chautauqua County NY, where William worked as a oil driller and Ella kept house through 1920. In 1919 Fern had married Arthur Carlson in Canada. He was born in New York so I don't know why they went to Canada to get married. In 1920, Fern and her husband were living with Ella and William at the time of the Census.

But at the time of the 1930 census William is living in Wichita, TX with his daughter Grace' and her husband, Duke; Duke is the Superintendent of an oil field and, at age 77, William is listed as a laborer at an oil field. Ella is not listed on the census. I don't know whether she has died or whether she is simply elsewhere that day. As I can find no other reference to her, and as my 2nd-great-grandfather's obituary does not mention her as a survivor, I think she died before July 1926. (Edward's obituary says one brother, Richard, survived him.)

What I still need to find:

More information on the John & Maria Bailey household in the Juniata Valley; what was the family life like. Anything else on Ella and Edward's parent's John Bailey and Maria Williams.
When and where did Ella meet William and when/where did they marry?
Why did they move to Findlay, OH? (They arrived there before Edward and his family did.)
Why and when did they move to Chautauqua County NY?
Why did Fern get married in Canada? And where are she and her husband after 1920?
When & why did Ella die? Is there an obituary somewhere?
When did William die? Is there an obituary somewhere?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Picture of 2nd great-grandparents and great grandfather Snyder

Climbing My Family Tree: Kathryn (1857-1931), Philip (1882-1967), and John Snyder (1854-1925)
Click to make bigger
Posted with permission of  Christina Inman

I recently received a packet of wonderful photos from my mother's cousin, Christina, who I'd never met (to my recollection) but who contacted me after she saw my post on Myrtle Bailey, her grand-Aunt and my great-grand Aunt. We're now friends on Facebook! And I've met her daughter Susan via email and Facebook as well (Susan is has done a lot of family history research on both sides of her family ). Thank you, Teeny!

This photo is of my 2nd great grandparents on the Snyder side: Catherine (Snyder) [1857-1931] and John Snyder [1854-1925], and their son, my great-grandfather, Philip Aaron Snyder [1882-1967]. on the back it  of Catherine that "She was a real nice lady" and that "She was cross-eyed". The back of the picture spells her name "Kathryn". In my research, I've seen it spelled about every way you can imagine. I chose to label the picture here with the spelling I've seen most often. I did my 2nd "52 Ancestors" post on my great-great grandfather John Snyder, and I did a post last December on my great-grandfather Philip Snyder. This is indeed a family treasure!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

52 Ancestors: #7 Don B. Snyder (1918-2012)

Climbing My Family Tree: Don B Snyder (1818-2012)

When I was young my Mom would talk about family members from when she was younger. I remember her talking about "Uncle Don in the Army & Uncle Don in the Navy" in WWII. This is "Uncle Don in the Army."

Don B. Snyder was my grand-uncle, my grandfather's youngest brother. I decided to write about him this week because I'd been adding transcriptions of newspaper articles to my Ancestrydotcom tree this weekend and he has, by far, the most newspaper articles written about him. He had an exciting young life; he may have had an exciting later life too but I don't really know much about that because he moved out of town and stopped making the local paper!

Don was born May 15, 1918 to Philip (age 36) and Pauline (age 27) [Bailey] Snyder; he was the youngest of their five children: Clarence (1910-1884); Christina (1912-1942); Phyllis (1914-2005); Paul (1916-1975) and Donald (1918-2012). He grew up in Findlay Ohio.

In 1935, when he was 17, he started boxing as a featherweight on the local circuit for boxing shows held in V.F.W. club arenas and American Legion Halls. He fought in 3- and 6-round bouts with other local amateurs. The local press said he displayed "a lot of ability and promise" and "handled himself capably". [1] By 1938 and 1939, he had grown into that promise and was headlining fights and competing (& winning) in Ohio Golden Gloves tournaments. Most of the articles I found were describing who was fighting whom and where the impending bout was to take place, and Don was frequently a headline draw for the night's event. But one time his victory was written up with a 7-column large headline!

Don Snyder, the 128 pound rubber man, bounced in and out and all over the ring, as he gave Joe Apel, Bowling Green junior lightweight, a terrific lacing in the main six-round go at the V.F.W. club's arena last night before a crowded house.
Apel, a half head taller and 7 pounds heavier, was dropped to the canvas eight times under Snyder's furious two-fisted assault, but the game and courageous Bowling Green battler was still on his feet at the finish.
The rubber man's thudding lefts and rights floored Apel in the first and fourth, twice in the fifth, and four times in the last two-minute session. The bell clanged as he hit the resin in the fourth. With two or three exceptions, Apel took nine counts before regaining his feet. The bout, Snyder's fourth straight victory in as many appearances at the club, was easily the most spectacular of any he has fought before the fistic followers." 

As you see by this time in 1938 he was being called "the rubber man"; that was not a description of his boxing skills but because he was working as a laborer for the Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. in Findlay, OH. In 1938 he also joined the National Guard (Company C, 148th Infantry, Ohio National Guard).  There are long stories in the local paper describing Company C's annual 15-day summer field training, usually at Camp Perry in northern Ohio, but in 1940 in the Wisconsin woods, along with several regular Army Units. The articles always listed every man participating: Don advancing from Private to Private First Class to Corporal.

On October 21, 1940, he  and his guard unit were mobilized into active duty with the regular Army and deployed to Camp Shelby, near Hattiesburg Mississippi for where the 148th Infantry, as part of the 37th Division, began a long  training program designed to make it one of the best fighting units in the country. After 16 months of rigorous training, the unit moved to Indiantown Gap and finished off its pre-embarkation training designed for European service. At the end of March 1942, Sgt. Don B. Snyder transferred from Indian Town Gap, PA to Ft. Benning GA for a three-month officer training course.

On September 8, 1942, Don's older sister, Christine (Snyder) Bunts, was killed in a car crash. He was still assigned to Ft. Benning then.  I couldn't tell if he was allowed to come home for the funeral. He was deployed overseas to the Pacific Theatre in November 1942. 

When he entered regular Army service he was single, but he married to Ardyth Lucille Ebersole (daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Virgil Ebersole of Arcadia, OH) while he was serving. I don't have a date for that. I did find a newspaper article announcing the birth of Don & Ardyth's son Philip Ardon (I think they combine Ardith & Don for the middle name) on January 5th, 1943. Staff Sergeant Don Snyder arrived home that day from Camp Carrabelle FL (Army Amphibious Training Center) for a 10-day furlough.

At some point, Don (probably when he went for Officers training when the rest of his unit was deployed to the South Pacific) was transferred from the 148th Infantry, 37th Division, to the 151st Infantry, 38th Division, later known as "The Avengers of Bataan". Don Snyder took part in the battle that won the 38th Infantry that title. The Findlay Republican Courier, wrote his part up as follows, on 16 April 1945:

"Despite Japanese mortar and sniper fire, Technical Sergeant Don B Snyder, of Findlay, leading a platoon of the 151st Infantry, 38thDivision, maintained a continuous supply line to the front in the battle of Zig Zag pass on Bataan. There were no beaten trails through the jungle-like thickets but the platoon was able to keep the supplies moving. Tech. Sgt. Snyder is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Philip Snyder and the husband of the former Ardyce Ebersole of Arcadia. He was a well-known boxer prior to entering the Army and has continued winning numerous titles while in service. Overseas 15 months he now holds the Combat Infantry Badge, the American Defense ribbon, and [?] Pacific and Phillipine Liberation ribbons with two campaign stars."
38th Infantry Division- Avengers of Bataan, image bought from Veteran Graphic
Image bought from Veteran Graphics

In 1945 he was sent home in a plane on leave because he had been shot in the leg. His left leg is in a cast in the below photograph. Don is on the left, Paul in the middle and Clarence on the right.

Climbing My Family Tree: Don, Paul, and Clarence Snyder 1945
Click to make bigger

Don seems to have had problems in his marriage in the years after the war as he filed for divorce April 2, 1947. She counter-filed on August 30, 1947, and was granted the divorce on December 30, 1947. However, apparently, they got back together later because their daughter, Cathryn Adele, was born in October 1949.

After returning to work for Cooper Tire and Rubber after the war, Don became active in the union, initially Findlay Local 207, United Rubber, Cork, Linoleum and Plastic Workers of America, CIO,  becoming President of the first union in the plant, and being re-elected President after it became the Findlay Local 207, United Rubber Workers of America, CIO. He was also named to the District Executive Board of the United Rubber Workers of America, and represented the union at National Conferences in Omaha NE and Buffalo NY. During that period he also spoke up on behalf of local civic employees, such as the police and firefighters, when they were seeking raises from the city. After he was no longer president of the union, he continued to serve as the chief steward during contract negotiations in 1950.

Someplace between 1950 and 1959 Don moved to Temperance Michigan, as he was living there at the time of his parents 50th Wedding anniversary on March 6, 1959.In Temperance, he became a barber. He was a barber for 30 years, first in Michigan, and later in Toledo, Ohio, and later still, in or near Yankeetown, Florida.

On March 31, 1960, Don married Mrs. Florence Kay (Fry) Crider, of Findlay. The bride wore a navy taffeta dress with white accents and a white orchid corsage. Attendants were Mrs. Bethany Brandenberry, sister of the bride, and Philip Ardon, of Temperance Michigan (Don's son). After a short honeymoon, the couple moved to Toledo, Ohio.  

At some point, they moved to Florida, where Florence died on February 11, 1981. After her death, he moved back to Toledo and retired.

In approximately 1983 he married Florence Zumbrunn-Snyder. Although the marriage was dissolved about a year later on 4 January 1984, according to all the relatives who have talked to me or written me about it, they remained very close for the rest of his life.He lived thirty years longer and died on January 12, 2012. His obituary said that he was survived by his son, Phillip A. Snyder of San Francisco; daughter, Kathryn Gonzalez of Florida; step-children, Cynthia Tutak, Pamela Criger, Denise Naibor and Richard Criger; two grandchildren; 9 step-grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. 

Don's obituary said he was a member of the Disabled American Veterans and a 30-year member of the National Speleological Caving Society. His main hobby was exploring non-commercial caves, mostly in Kentucky. It also said that he deeply appreciated the care given to him by his stepdaughter, Cynthia Tutak and his dearest friend Florence Snyder.

For future research: I need to find something establishing marriage dates for the marriages to Ardyth Ebersole and Florence Zumbrunn; perhaps a copy of the divorce decrees; and much more information to fill in the large blank spaces I have in his life after 1960.

Other Related Posts (links):

Federal Censuses: 1920, 1930, 1940

NewspaperArchive.com: 12 February 1935 Findlay Republican Courier p. 9; 18 April 1935 Findlay Republican Courier p. 11; 15 April 1938 Findlay Republican Courier p. 10; 16 July 1938 Findlay Republican Courier p. 2; 30 June 1939 Findlay Republican Courier, p. 5; 9 August 1940 Findlay Republican Courier, p. 13; 21 October 1940 Findlay Republican Courier, p. 2;31 March 1942 Findlay Republican Courier p. 12;6 January 1943  Findlay Republican Courier p. 6 ; 16 April 1945  Findlay Republican Courier p. 11;   2 April 1947 Findlay Republican Courier. p. 16; 30 August 1947 Findlay Republican Courier p. 7; 3 0 December 1947 Findlay Republican Courier p. 3; 21 October 1949 Findlay Republican Courier p. 10; 2 April 1960 Findlay Republican Courier p. 9; 3 February 1948 Findlay Republican Courier p. 6; 11 March 1948 Findlay Republican Courier p.9; 15 May 1948 Findlay Republican Courier, p. 18; 3 August 1948 Findlay Republican Courier p. 16; 30 September 1948 Findlay Republican Courier, p. 2; 16 Feb 1950 Findlay Republican Courier p. 9 (I've more articles transcribed on Ancestry Tree. These are just the ones that informed this post.)

Obituary, Toledo Blade January 14, 2012.; Found (by my cousin, Kevin Rainey) at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/toledoblade/obituary.aspx?n=don-b-snyder&pid=155455342#sthash.prUNRYva.kHoQsHsa.dpuf 


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

52 Ancestors: #6 Abram Wolfington, 1810 - abt 1874

This week I am going to write about my 3rd Great Grandfather Abram Wolfington as part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge begun by Amy Johnson Crow of the No Story Too Small blog. I had started to write about him last week when I all of a sudden had some significant breakthroughs in the life of his wife, my 3rd Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Manley Bixler Wolfington Moore, and I wrote about her instead. I've not had as much luck with Abram.

According to the 1850  and 1870 Censuses, Abram was born in North Carolina in approximately 1810. I think his parents were Abraham and Esther Wolfington, and, if so, Abram, is likely one of the two males under ten enumerated in the 1820 Census as part of Abraham Wolfington's family in Orange County Indiana. He doesn't seem to be accounted for as part of Abraham's family in the 1830 Census but I've not found him on his own yet that year; he would've have been approximately twenty in 1830.

I know that he was probably married prior to marrying my 3rd great-grandmother as he brought several children to that union: William (bn abt 1837), James (1839-1918), Marinda (bn about 1842), Eliza J (bn abt 1845), and Valentine (bn abt 1848). I have found a marriage between "Abraham Wolfington" and Lucinda Rodman on May 29, 1836, which occurred in Harrison Indiana. However I'm not certain yet that it is my 3rd great grandfather she wed, even though the timing would be right for the birth of William, for three reasons: 1) I've not found any other mention of her yet anywhere; 2) I've not found any other document placing Abram in in Harrison Co. Indiana; 3) no where else does Abram use the name "Abraham" until after his (probable) father dies. I have more research to do obviously!

Climbing My Family Tree: 1850 census Abram Wolfington
Click to make bigger

In 1850, at the time the Census was done Abram was living in Paoli, Indiana with his children, William, James, Marinda, and Eliza, and a 70 year old woman named Lydia Jackson, who may have been helping to care for the children and keep house -- the census does not say. It does say that Abram is a wool carder. 

Hi father died that year. His (probable) mother Esther Wolfington is found, in the 1850 Census, living alone in French Lick In, which is in the same county as Paoli.

Abram was 41 when he married my 3rd Great-grandmother, Elizabeth Manley Bixler, a young woman of 22 years of age, on March 30, 1851, in Orange County Indiana.  Over the course of their marriage, they have 8 children: Martha Emily (1852-1915, my 2nd great grandmother), Clarence (bn abt 1854), Isabel (bn abt 1856), Alfred (bn abt 1858), Annie (bn abt 1863), Emma (bn about 1863), Charles CR (bn abt 1867) and Clifford (bn abt 1867).  In 1860, he is still a wool carder, but in 1870, he described himself as a Teamster.

We know that he died in or before 1874 as my 3rd great-grandmother remarried in 1874 to a childhood friend of her deceased husband. (Mr. Moore's Findagrave.com memorial states that he "married Mrs. E.M. Wolfington the widow of a comrade of his boyhood.") My great-grandmother's notes say that he died "on the road to Kansas" as the family was moving there, but I've not yet found anything which confirms this, nor which gives me a death date.  More research to do!


 [Great-grandmother's notes; Federal Census for 1820, 1830, 1850, 1860 and 1870,   (for  Abraham Wolfington, Esther Wolfington , and Abram Wolfington,); Kansas Findagrave.com Memorials #16972829; Orange County, Indiana, Index to Marriage Records 1826-1920.]

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

52 Ancestors: #5 Elizabeth Manley Bixler Wolfington Moore, 1828 - 1913

Here I am typing away at the last minute again for my weekly submission to this week 52 Ancestors project as begun by Amy Johnson Crow of the No Story Too Small blog. However, this time I'm fairly certain that I will be too late so I'm not going to worry about it, and will likely just have two in the count for next week.

Last night I started out with the intention to write about my 3rd Great grandfather Abram Wolfington as he is currently the end of a branch, but as I always do before writing one of these I tried to see if I could find one more tidbit about him, and in so doing I started reviewing my great-grandmother's notes (Pearl Pauline Bailey Snyder, 1891-1978) again and doing searches on both Abram and his wife Elizabeth Manley Bixler (who I didn't have much on), including re-checking previously ignored hints. And, all of a sudden, things started falling into place for Elizabeth Manley Bixler, and...several hours after midnight, I had (the start of) a life for her and the beginnings of another generation beyond as well! And all due to great-grandmother's notes, which while not altogether right, assuredly helped me figure out what were the correct hints. Thank you, great-grandmother!

So, I thought this time that I would set out here a transcription of the pertinent parts of great-grandmother's notes on her grandmother (she mixes people together in writing about the family from one sentence to the next; these are the portions I used to help me with research on Elizabeth M.):

"My grandmother (Mama's mother) was a Methodist through and through - when she came to visit us she came alone clear from Kansas. She stayed with us a few years, then she got homesick for Kansas and went back alone. She was tall and stately. She acted the part. She was a real 'lady', in every  way. She had long, thick, medium brown hair and brown eyes. ....Grandma  married a man by name of Moore (Hanns). Mama's sister Anna married his (Moore's) son. ... Mama's sister Belle had three girls and one boy; I've forgotten who she married. Lydia never married; Ella had three girls: Grace, Bird & Fern.
"I have no idea where Papa met Mama, but she was born in Paola Indiana. She went (or started) with her parents to Kansas. She had one or two brothers. One named Clifford, other may have been Clarence. Mama's maiden name was Wolfington. ...Her mother's name was Bixler. They lived along the Maumee River close to  Ft. Meigs at Maumee OH. They lived a short while on Chamberlin Hill in Findlay Ohio. All this must have been before they started west because Mama's father died on the trip west. He died from pneumonia."

Elizabeth Manley Bixler was born in Ohio, in approximately 1828, to Abraham and Sarah Bixler (Manley appears to be a middle name). I don't know where in Ohio yet, and I don't know how long they lived there or Sarah's maiden name. Elizabeth's parent's were born in Virginia, and after living in Ohio for some time, moved the family to Indiana. By 1850 Elizabeth and her father were living in the home of her brother Levi, along with her brothers Jacob and Salothel, in Poesy, Washington County Indiana.

Climbing my Family Tree - 1850 Census: Elizabeth Manley Bixler
Click to make bigger

 On March 30, 1851, Elizabeth married Abram Wolfington, in Orange County, Indiana.  She was 22 and he was 41. He had several children already from a prior marriage that I haven't found yet: William (bn abt 1837), James (1839-1918), Marinda (bn about 1842), Eliza J (bn abt 1845), and Valentine (bn abt 1848).

Elizabeth and Abraham had several children over the years: Martha Emily (1852-1915, my 2nd great grandmother), Clarence (bn abt 1854), Isabel (bn abt 1856), Alfred (bn abt 1858), Annie (bn abt 1863), Emma (bn about 1863), Charles CR (bn abt 1867) and Clifford (bn abt 1867).

In 1860, Elizabeth and Abraham were sharing their home Paoli, Indiana, with William (23), Marinda (19), Valentine (12), Clarence (6), Isabel (4), and Alfred (2).   In 1870, Elizabeth and Abraham were still living in Paoli, Orange County, Indiana, with William (now 33), Martha Emily - called Emily (18), Clarence (16), Isabel - called Belle (14), Emma (7) and Charles CR (3). Apparently Annie wasn't home when the Census taker came through this time, unless she and Emma are the same person.

Abraham died before 1874. I don't know yet if it was on the road to Kansas as my great-grandmother said. I do know that she married Solomon Moore (1822-1898), a boyhood friend of her deceased husband, in about 1874. Solomon had been born in Orange County, Indiana, and in 1850 had lived just down the road from Elizabeth's former mother-in-law (Abraham's mother, Esther Wolfington). So he was someone Elizabeth likely knew well and trusted. His wife had died only 4 years before he married Elizabeth. Solomon would have been around 54 and Elizabeth about 46 years old. They both would have needed someone to help them raise their children.

In 1880, Elizabeth (52) and Solomon (60) were living and farming in Hayes, Kansas in Franklin County, with his son Hance (20, bn abt 1860), and her children Annie (17) and Clifton (13).  [Clifford and Clifton are probably the same person.]
Climbing my Family Tree: 1880 Census: Elizabeth M. Bixler Wolfington Moore
Click to make bigger
Elizabeth's daughter Annie did marry Solomon's son Hance, in approximately 1882 (it apparently worked since they were still together in 1930 in Chanute, Kansas).

By 1895, Solomon (73) had evidently retired, because when he and Elizabeth (68) were counted in the Kansas state census, he no longer described himself as a farmer. (She was now claiming to be two years older than she was.) They are living down the road from Solomon's second youngest son George (probable). Solomon died three years later on February 20, 1898, of Bright's Disease (acute kidney disease, per wikipedia).

Elizabeth outlived Solomon by 15 years, dying on July 25, 1913 at age 84. She is buried with Solomon in the High Prairie Cemetery in Altoona, Kansas.

So with Elizabeth living to 1913 and Pearl Pauline being born in 1891, Elizabeth would have been alive for my great-grandmother's first 22 years. She probably didn't come and stay "for years" while her husband was alive, so it was probably after 1898. I haven't found the trip back to Findlay, Ohio yet.

I also haven't found her early years in Ohio yet, other than her listing her birth state as Ohio on every census. I haven't found anyone near Ft. Meigs (that would be Perrysburg now). I did find her marriage  to my 3rd great grandfather and they were living in Paoli (not Paola), Indiana, when my 2nd great-grandmother was born, and continued to live there most of their married lives. I found her sons Clifford and Clarence, and daughters Anna and Belle, but  Lydia and Ella belong to Pearl Pauline's Bailey grandparents and not to the Wolfingtons (I double-checked the Baileys about Lydia and Ella).

 I haven't yet figured out the reason for the move to Kansas or whether it was with my 2nd great grandfather or later. She did marry "a man by the name of Moore" and her daughter Annie did marry his son (it was the son that was named Hance, though.)

Great-Grandma's notes are good clues but are mostly hearsay evidence. They make good starting or somewhat corroborating evidence but are not to be taken as gospel.

It will be interesting to see what else might fit with in her stories. Always more to find!

[Great-grandmother's notes; Federal Census for 1830, 1850, 1870,  1880, and 1930 (for Abraham Bixler, Esther Wolfington, Abraham Wolfington, Abram Wolfington, Elizabeth Bixler Wolfington Moore, Solomon Moore, Hance Moore, Annie/Anna Wolfington Moore and Jane Wilson); Kansas Census for 1895; Kansas Findagrave.com Memorials #16972829 and #52136322; Orange County, Indiana, Index to Marriage Records 1826-1920.] 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Public Tree or Private Tree? I Choose Public.

The question is whether I should have my Ancestry.com tree public - so anyone who wants to can see it (no one can see the living members unless I send an invitation AND grant the invitee that ability) or set to private so no one but me can see it (unless I send them an invitation). I know I've gone back and forth on this question. Initially I had it set Public because I thought that history belongs to everyone (simplistic thought, yes, but I was a rank amateur). Then after reading a bunch of blogs by more experienced genealogists and professional genealogists on this debate who were incensed by mistakes made in public trees being passed on as if they were fact, I made it private (& issued invitations to family although Ancestry is inconsistent about actually sending them) so as not to perpetuate any mistakes I'd make.

I've thought about this more as time has passed and I recently put my Ancesty.com tree back to public for a more conscious reason than "history is free", lol. I know that by doing so I will appall a large portion of the genea-blogging community, since the Ancestry.com tree is my working tree at the moment, even though I also have genealogy software, and yes, mistakes will creep in even though documentation is very important to me (any mistake will be taken down as soon as I'm sure that it is a mistake).  I've put the tree public to increase the likelihood that I might find someone I'm distantly related to me-- or they might find me --and that by sharing information we can improve both our trees/research -- and I might make a friend.

Since one of my current discovery methods is to put up the connections I think (based on prior research and/or family notes or legends) are there and then see what hint leaves pop up to see if I can confirm or deny the hypothesis, I've thought about the hazards of passing on possible hypotheses as historical fact. Therefore, I've taken steps to try to put people on notice that they need to check their own sources and do their own research rather than relying on mine: 1) My Ancestry.com tree is named "Ancestors of Jo Henn (a work in progress)"; and 2) on any connection I am not sure of and/or which I'm trying out to see if it flies, the main picture (the one that shows on the person box) is the 'question mark in a puzzle piece', that I headed this blog post with, with the picture title "Is this connection correct?" This ought to put a reader on notice that they should not attach this alleged fact to their tree willy-nilly, without further research of their own. And, frankly, if they use it anyway without doing their own research, it's not my problem  -- it's theirs. The only person's work I can truly control is mine and I do what I can to make sure everything is eventually documented. If I can't document it, it comes down. If I can document it, the puzzle piece picture comes down and it stays. The length of the between period is up to me, and varies.

As to the question of people "stealing" my research or pictures or such from my tree, that's where my "history belongs to everybody" mindset comes in. It doesn't bother me. If it would bother me if someone would "steal" or use something, then I don't put that something up on the public tree, ...or on the blog, ...or on Facebook, etc.  You get the idea.

[I am aware of copyright issues and ask before I use anyone else's stuff which is subject to copyright (particularly on the blog).]