Monday, May 2, 2016

Mystery Monday - The confusing family of David Pattee

While going through another batch of record matches from MyHeritage, I came across an interesting hit on my Harris side. It was for Lucinda (Harris) Fulkerson, the older sister of my 2nd-great-grandfather Frank Benjamin Harris. Lucinda was listed as a member of the Society of Montana Pioneers in their 1899 volume Society of Montana Pioneers: Constitution, Members, and Officers, with portraits and maps.

A quick glance at the page showed me that Lucinda wasn't the only member of her family in the society - her father Thomas W. Harris, uncle Benjamin Harris, and brother Frank B. Harris were also listed as members. It made me stop and think for a minute - this was not a society of descendants of pioneers. This was a society of the pioneers themselves. I don't think I've come across another society (not counting military groups) that was built to honor the deeds and doings of the living generation. Makes me wonder what they did at their meetings (assuming they had them). I also saw that Thomas served as an officer for the society, representing Ravalli County in 1894, just three years before his death.
Seeing Thomas and his kids in the society, I got to wondering - what about his brother-in-law David Pattee? David married Thomas's sister Emma, who had come up from Missouri with her mother Lucinda and brother Benjamin some years after Thomas moved there in 1852. David and Emma married sometime around 1865, so that should have been early enough for him to count as a pioneer as well, I figured. A jumped a few pages forward, and sure enough, he was listed as a member of the society as well.
He didn't get quite as full a treatment as the Harrises did, but he was in there. But his last address really caught my attention: Tacoma, Washington. That is literally fifteen minutes from my house! I suddenly had to know more about him.
I already knew David was born about 1828 in New Hampshire, and had moved to Montana in the 1850s or 60s, where he met and married Emma. They had five children together - Cyrena, Maud, Benjamin, Lucinda, and David. My previous research on him had stopped about 1880, when his family was still in Montana. I had no info on their having lived in Washington state. Some quick digging showed me they lived in Pierce County (which includes Tacoma) in 1889, then moved to Chehalis County (later Grays Harbor County) by 1894. In the 1900 census, David was living with his daughter Cyrena "Rena" Bell and her three kids.
I find it very interesting that David had lived on opposite ends of the country in an age where crossing the country was not an easy thing to do at all. The transcontinental railroad wasn't completed until 1869, years after he was already in Montana. How did he get there? What drove him to leave the Northeast, and why pick Montana of all places? What drove him to leave Montana and go even further west? These are probably questions I'll never have answers to, but it helps me see him and his family as real, 3-dimensional people.
Finding information about this family in and after 1900 was complicated by conflicting information. In the 1900 census, David was listed as a widower, suggesting that Emma had died between the 1894 and 1900 censuses. However, David's obituary from 1901 says he was survived by "a wife and two children at Los Angeles, Cal., a daughter, Mrs. BELL, at Elma, and a son at Westport". Did David and Emma separate? Why would his obituary list Emma as his wife, and the census say she had died? I have no answer to that so far. I found a listing for "Pattee, Emma (wid David)" in the 1901 Los Angeles city directory that seems to indicate she was alive when he died. As for the kids mentioned in the obituary, the 1900 census shows their children David A. Pattee and Lulu (Lucinda/Luda) Pattee as roomers with a Bowman family in Los Angeles. That would mean the son in Westport would be Benjamin, though I can't find any records on him after 1894.
I kept searching, and could find no death record for Emma. Benjamin and Maud disappear after 1880 and 1894 respectively. I did find more information on Rena though. In 1900, Rena was a 33-year-old double widow; her first husband William John Woods died between 1892-1895, and her second husband James Bell died between 1895 and 1900. That kind of loss must have been very painful for her and her children. She remarried in June 1901 to Edwin/Edward Hunter, just three months before her father passed away (which makes the obituary more confusing, as she should have been listed as Mrs. Hunter, not Mrs. Bell). The 1910 census lists her children with their fathers' surnames of Woods and Bell, which both helped me verify that I had the right family, and made me wonder why she never changed them. That census also shows that she bore four children, three of whom were living. I can't find any record of the fourth child, and with three husbands in two states, it won't be easy to find him/her. Rena and Edward were married for 19 years, until Edward died in 1920 just five months after the census taker enumerated them in Aberdeen, Washington. It made my heart ache for this poor woman, who had now buried her third husband, a child, and her father. She remained single until her own death in 1943 in Seattle. She's buried in Seattle, about 30 miles north of here.
Once again, a "quick search" to find one record on someone snowballed into a lot more research on a hitherto unexplored branch of my tree. I'm glad I found Rena's story, and feel so bad that she had to endure so much loss. Her story is sad, but that makes it worth remembering. Hopefully her descendants know something of what she endured in raising her family. It makes me appreciate the time I get with my wife kids, and makes me want to make better use of the time I have with them. I think I'll take a trip sometime up to Rena's grave, to pay my respects to this cousin of mine who endured so much.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sale price on Evidentia software - but only from me!

I tend to think of myself as a pretty tech-savvy genealogist. I'm no Dick Eastman or Thomas MacEntee by any means, but I love doing genealogy on my iPhone and iPad, and I keep all my findings on my laptop, and make at least monthly backups to an external hard drive that I keep safe at a location away from my house. I try to keep up on at least some of the apps and websites out there.

I recently heard about Evidentia software, and decided to check it out. This is a different sort of genealogy program, in that it doesn't track your ancestors and print pedigree charts or family group sheets. Rather, it collects sources, records the claims those sources make about people, and helps you draw conclusions about the evidence and information presented. I have a couple of ancestors I'd really like to try this on, because I'm not entirely sure how I know what I know, and that it's been sufficiently proven. This would be a good way to review the evidence and see how it lays out, what conflicts and what doesn't. This is what it looks like:

Now here's the cool part - I just signed up as an affiliate of Evidentia, so I can offer you a discount price on Evidentia starting next week! From May 1-10, you can get Evidentia for 16% off, or $25 instead of the normal $29.99, as well as free shipping. To get this great discount, click on this link here. The discount code is "rantings". If you do get the software, leave me a comment and tell me how you like it. I'm still getting familiar with it myself, and would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party - April 2016: The Doctor and I

Elizabeth O'Neal recently suggested we have a genealogy blog party, and I thought it was a great idea! The theme of the part is this: after saving the universe with The Doctor (from Doctor Who), he offers to take me back to meet an ancestor of mine. Where do I go? Who do I visit? Do I disrupt the space-time continuum? The possibilities are pretty close to endless, but here's what and who I chose:

I would head to Gortnagullion, County Fermanagh, Ireland in 1844, where my 3rd-great-grandfather Henry Gibson and his wife Ann were living. I want to see what conditions were like for them in Ireland, and whether they chose to leave for more opportunity or just to survive. I would of course ask him who his ancestors were as far back as he knows, for himself and his wife, and whether he knows if his family originally came from Scotland or England. But I would also want to know more about him personally - what his goals were, what he wanted out of life for himself and his family, and what he felt about Ireland as a country. Was he proud to be Irish even though he ended up leaving? Would he want his descendants to remember where in Ireland they came from, or would that even matter to him?

I would probably want to tell him who I am, that I am his descendant from 170 years in the future, but after seeing the Back to the Future movies, I would probably restrain myself for fear of creating a paradox and destroying the universe. I would like to tell him in general terms that his family survives and thrives in the new world, serving in the military, becoming doctors and nurses and many other honorable occupations. And maybe, just maybe, try to convince him to do a DNA test for me.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Military Monday - A different kind of summer soldier

While trying to find details of and explanation for the connection between my ancestor Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse and George Prescott, whose home she passed away in, I came across some very interesting information on two individuals - her sons Lacey (yes, his name was Lacey) and Mitchell Garlinghouse. I've had their names in my database for years, but haven't tried to dig up any dirt on them. That's one of the downsides of genealogy research - you only have so much time, and there are way more people in your tree than you could ever have time to research thoroughly. But now that I had a reason to research them, I'm glad I did.

Let's start with Lacey. As I mentioned previously, he married Elizabeth McCormick in 1856 in Wapello county, Iowa. They had at least four kids together - Henry, Edward, Viola, Josiah, and (possibly) Ida (see below). Henry was born in 1862, the same year Lacey enlisted in Company B of the 36 Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry to fight in the Civil War. From what I can tell, he spent the next three years in the military, transferring to the Veterans Reserve Corps in 1864, and serving there until he was mustered out in September, 1865 (a full five months after the Civil War officially ended). His next child was born in 1866, so I'm guessing after his discharge, Lacey and Elizabeth resumed their relationship right where it left off in 1862. Having already found a few other relatives who participated in the Civil War, this was really interesting because he didn't stay with the same unit the entire time like Alexander Shute did. Nor did he die early on in his service like Norton Johnson and George Craddock did. There really wasn't one universal set of experiences in this war (and I'd imagine that's the case for any war), but that idea never really hit home till I was reading about Lacey's service.

After reading about Lacey Garlinghouse's military experience, I started researching his younger brother, Mitchell Garlinghouse. Like Lacey, Mitchell also enlisted to serve in the Union army during the Civil War, but his enlistment occurred in February, 1864. I'm curious as to why he waited so long to enlist, but that's probably unknowable now. Regardless of the reason for his timing, he entered the service of his country on 25 February 1864, and was mustered into Company I of the 8th Regiment of Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. Unlike his brother, however, his service ended five months and one day later at Fort Ripley, Minnesota. His enlistment record gives this little tidbit about the reason:

It looked to me like it said 'Dischd for disob. (while ab form Co.)'. I took that to mean he was discharged for disobedience while absent from company. Discharged for disobedience? What kind of disobedience gets you discharged? I've heard of being court-martialed or even executed for rulebreaking, depending on the severity of the infraction, but discharged? That was new. I kept digging around, searching on Fold3 and Google, until I found something in a book titled "Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars":

Now his discharge made much more sense; he wasn't released from service because of disobedience, it was because of disability. He got sick and stayed sick long enough to be let go. Sickness was rampant during the Civil War. Norton Johnson (also from Minnesota) and George Craddock (who served in Missouri) were both killed by sickness rather than bullets or cannonballs. At least Mitchell survived the war and was able to return home. Thus his stint at soldiery was limited to the spring and early summer of 1864.

Sadly, for Mitchell and Lacey, both of their stories ended just a few short years after their military service ended. Lacey's widow Elizabeth applied for a Civil War pension in 1901, and stated that Lacey had passed away 16 Feb 1871. I'm hoping that she misremembered the year, because the 1875 Minnesota census shows Elizabeth living with three children, Viola (6), Josiah (4) and Ida (1). If Lacey died in 1871, then there's no way he could have fathered Ida in 1874, and there's another mystery to solve.  Mitchell fared little better, having passed away before August 24, 1874, when his mother Amanda applied for a Civil War pension in his name. It's sad to think that whatever illness or other disability ended his military service in 1864 may have caused or contributed to his death within the next 10 years.

One thing is certain though - the military events that occurred during Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse's life had quite an impact on her family. Two of her three sons served in the Civil War. At least one son-in-law, Paul Groff, served in the Mexican-American War, having enlisted twice during that conflict. I wonder what she thought of the men of her children's generation having to go off to war again and again. It likely wasn't too different from what mothers, wives, and children feel today as we see our loved ones called to risk life and limb in the service of their country. It makes me proud and grateful to live in a country where men and women from all these generations have stood up time and time again to protect our country and our way of life, whether they served for one summer or many summers.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Surname Saturday - A Garlinghouse, a Prescott, and a Belknap walk into a bar...

Round one of trying to find out how George Prescott and his wife Olive (Garlinghouse) Prescott are connected to Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse is over. I started with going over previous records of Amanda and her family that I've already collected, and finding out more about Amanda's other children besides Susanna to see if there's a connection to George Prescott. I have discovered a couple of very interesting details, but nothing that really answers the question definitively yet. Here's what I now know:

1. In the 1856 Iowa state census, Olive's parents David and Catherine Garlinghouse were enumerated in the household of COB and Kizia Garlinghouse, and over a dozen other Garlinghouses (none of whom I have definitely connected to mine, but they could be related). Also in that household were Thomas and Elizabeth McCormick, brother and sister and both natives of Ohio. Later that same year, Elizabeth McCormick married Lacey Garlinghouse, the oldest of my ancestor Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse's children.

2.  Four years previously, in the 1852 Iowa state census, Wapello county, David Garlinghouse is listed next to J Garlinghouse, John Garlinghouse, E Belknap and James Belknap. It's not one of those censuses that list all household members by name, unfortunately. But the numbers are pretty close for J Garlinghouse to be Josiah, E Belknap to be Elijah Belknap (Amanda's father) and James Belknap to be Amanda's brother. That puts him smack in the middle of Amanda's immediate family in the right time and place that they were there, and would give her father, mother, brother, and potential her husband and herself time and opportunity to get acquainted with the family Olive Garlinghouse would be born into in 1858.

These two discoveries help close the proximity gap between my Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse and the (still disconnected) George Prescott and his wife Olive Garlinghouse a little. It seems that Amanda and her family (both her parents and brother, as well as possibly she and her husband Josiah and their kids would have known David and Catherine Garlinghouse just a few years before Olive was born. If they remained in contact until Amanda's death in 1882, that would mean an association of 30 years or more. Even if David and Catherine had passed away, having known them and their children for so long, Amanda may have been perfectly comfortable spending her final moments in Olive's home.

The 1856 Iowa state census shows David and Catherine Garlinghouse were in the household of a very large Garlinghouse family in Van Buren county, the county that was kitty-corner southeast of where they were living in 1852. It would make sense that they would move to be nearer to family. But did they leave one family gathering place to go to another? Were they leaving family behind (Josiah Garlinghouse and his extended family) to live with other family members (COB Garlinghouse and his extended family)?

Still no answers yet. Guess that means more digging! I think I need to work on assembling Olive's family tree, her parents David and Catherine Garlinghouse, and see if they aren't connected to my Garlinghouses. There was obviously a large extended Garlinghouse family in Iowa, and I think it's time to put all those pieces together.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Genes Day Friday - The biological father of grandma Edna is...

Several years ago, I was discussing my latest genealogy finds on the Craddock side with my wife and parents, going over the many marriages of my 2nd-great-grandmother Lena Beilstein. I told them about how Lena left her second husband Clarence Johnson for her third husband Ernest Craddock right around the time she became pregnant with my great-grandmother, Edna Craddock. My mom asked "Well, how do we know if Edna's father was Ernie or Clarence?" My jaw hit the floor - I'd somehow never considered that Edna's biological father may have been Clarence. I determined then I needed to have a known Craddock cousin take a DNA test, so we could see whether Edna's father was Ernie or Clarence.

The obvious choice for the test was a cousin of my grandmother's, who shared the same grandparents, Ernie Craddock and Lena Beilstein. I am very fortunate to have many of her cousins on that side still living, but unfortunately, my DNA funds had dried up and other projects (like going back to school and finding a new job) took precedence in the budget. Then earlier this year, I got little something extra at work, and I knew exactly what to do with it - buy a DNA test! I contacted one of grandma's cousins, and she readily agreed. Happy dance!!

I'd tested all my grandma's relatives at 23andMe up until just before the big brouhaha with the FDA shut them down temporarily.When they came back with the medical testing, they also upped the price tag by $50. Being the frugal genealogist that I am, I purchased my cousin's test at FTDNA and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Then, just as the expected ready date was approaching, FTDNA notified me that the test results would be delayed, and there was no guarantee that the results would be ready by the projected completion date.

I tried to tell myself that I'd waited years for these results, so a few more weeks wouldn't kill me. But I still checked the website every day at least once or twice, hoping that I'd be able to see the results before the end of April. Turns out, I didn't have to wait for April to even start. They came in last night sometime around 11:30!

So now, without further ado - the results! My grandmother and her cousin share about 9.5% of their DNA. 23andMe says the range for first cousins that share both grandparents on one side is 7.31% - 13.8%. If Edna had not been the daughter of Ernest Craddock, the shared DNA would have been the same as for second cousins, between 2.85% - 5.04%. Therefore, it seems that Edna was, without a doubt, the daughter of Ernest Craddock. Problem solved at very long last!

I'm not done waiting for DNA results, however. The last DNA sample I set out to collect when I started all this madness back in 2012 is still in process - the Y-DNA test for my Wagner line. I had originally intended to test my grandma Blossom's brother Howie, but he was pretty ill at the time and I was advised to not broach the subject with him. Sadly, he passed away before I ever got the chance to really talk to him about it. Fortunately, one of his sons was willing to swab for me, and his DNA test went to the lab right around the same time as the test for my grandma's cousin. My Wagner Y-DNA results should be done around the middle/end of April, so that gives me just enough time to play around with these autosomal results I just got and get familiar with them. Once I have the Y-DNA results I need, my plan is to organize all my DNA tests and really begin working the research and collecting results, analyzing them and plumbing them for info and clues. Sound like fun? You better believe it!!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Those Places Thursday - Amanda Belknap dies in a stranger's home?

Let me just say, I have been on a roll this week! After finding Adoniram Shute's obituary earlier this week, tonight I stumbled upon an obituary for another ancestor - Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse. I haven't been able to find any death info for her until now, so this was really exciting. It was also slightly confusing. Here's why:

Amanda died on March 31, 1882, exactly 134 years ago today in Princeton township, Mille Lacs county, Minnesota. According to her (all too brief) obituary, it said she passed away in the home of George Prescott. I searched for him in the 1880 census and quickly found George Prescott, age 46, wife Olive, age 22, and three children, Perry (11), George E. (9), and Burt O.(1).

So who was George Prescott to my ancestor, and why was she in his home when she was dying? Finding good information about him has been difficult. There are several online trees, of course, but  trying to find original sources to back them up or disprove them has been frustrating. I've also tried looking for information on his wife Olive. I have been able to confirm that Olive's maiden name was Garlinghouse, the same as Amanda's married name. Olive's parents were David and Catherine Garlinghouse, and could be relatives of Amanda's husband. David and Catherine were enumerated just before the family of Amanda's daughter Susanna (Garlinghouse) Groff in the town of Greenbush in the 1875 Minnesota census. Five years later, Amanda and her husband were in Milo, 18 miles north of Princeton. Were George and Olive such good neighbors to Paul and Susannah that Susannah recommended them to her mother when she was ill? It seems unlikely that Amanda would travel almost 20 miles to die in the home of someone that wasn't family.

I don't have a death record for Josiah, so I'm not sure what happened to him after the 1880 census. Was he not around to care for his wife? If he hadn't passed away yet, why was his dying wife in another man's house? There is the Garlinghouse connection, so maybe trying to find out how Olive was related to Josiah could help answer the question.

I think part of the problem lies in the fact that I've researched back to Susannah Garlinghouse, and linked her to her parents, but I haven't traced any of her siblings forward in time. That leaves a lot of unexplored territory in Amanda's circle. There's also the question of whether the connection could be found among Josiah and Amanda's own siblings and their connections, and I haven't gotten very far yet on exploring their branches in my family tree. If he's not connected there, I'll try digging deeper into newspaper articles, maybe some city directories (if they're extant for this time and place), or try tracing George and his wives further back in time to see if there's another explanation. (I say wives because it's obvious Olive, at age 22, couldn't have been the mother of George's 11- and 9-year-old children, so there had to have been a previous wife).

So buckle up Scooby-Doo, we're off to Princeton, Minnesota and we've got a mystery to solve!