Monday, November 22, 2010

Marriage Monday - Lena's Marital Adventures: Epilogue

After having researched and written so much about Lena herself, I thought it would be interesting to see what I could find on one of her husbands. I chose the husband that I knew most about but wasn't actually related to - Clarence Johnson.

When I say I knew the most about him, I don't mean that until I started researching him I knew a lot about him. I didn't. All I really had on him was
1. a marriage record from the FamilySearch beta site's Montana Marriages, 1889-1947 database
2. a census record of Clarence and Lena living as husband and wife in Montana in 1910

I thought that since every relationship had an effect on Lena and how she lived and raised her kids, and since Clarence is the second best documented relationship I have of Lena's, I could learn more about her by learning more about him. So I spent a couple hours on to see what I could find. The marriage record from FS said his parents were Merit and Eliza Johnson, and that Clarence was originally from Kansas. That matched the census record's info. So I went off in search of more information on Clarence's family.

Of course, I started with census records. I always start there, as they are the easiest to search and contain a lot of info. I started with the 1900 census, and soon found Clarence living as the oldest of four single children - the others being Jennie, Leo, and Lio - of Merit and Eliza Johnson, though with an older widowed sister named Letta Harvey also listed in the family. Letta also had two children in the household, Eunice and Eustace, aged 4 and 1. So in 1900 Clarence lived in a household of ten people, ages 56 to 1, all living in Clay county, Kansas. I thought that was very interesting, as ten years later he lived with his wife Lena in a household of two. What really interested me, though, is that the 1900 census said Clarence's mom was the mother of 11 children, of which 8 were still living. I wanted to learn more about Clarence's family, and why he had two brothers with apparently the same name, Leo and Lio.

I started poking around other census records, but this time went with the Kansas state censuses. I've been listening to the Genealogy Guys podcast and remembered George saying had added a huge database of Kansas state census records, so I went there first. George wasn't kidding! I found the Johnson family in the 1885, 1895, 1905, and 1915 censuses pretty quickly. It was through these censuses I found that Lio's name was actually Lionel. The other Leo stayed as Leo in other censuses so that may have been his actual name. I also found that Clarence's sister Lettie remarried to a man named Harry Bender, and stayed near her parents.

I then went back to the federal censuses. Fortunately for me, Merit and Eliza didn't move out of Kansas. It was pretty interesting to see their family grow from 2 kids in 1870, to 5 in 1880 and 1900, then to just Merit and Eliza in 1910. Each census had a different list of children, depending on how old they were, who was still living, and who had married and gone off on their own.

Going back to Clarence, he and Lena split sometime around the end of 1910 (assuming they split when Lena got pregnant with Ernie Craddock's daughter, Edna). Clarence married Ruth Hauscan on 4 Sep 1913, in Havre, Hill county, Montana. They stayed together at least through the 1930 census, and by then had had six children - Hazel, Lila, Leo (probably named after his uncle), Shirl, Laurie, and Kevin.

I haven't found what happened to Clarence after 1930 yet. But it's interesting to look at his life and see what his background was like, and his life after Lena. He came from a big family of 8 kids, his parents stayed in the same state for over 50 years, so (in that regard at least) he came from a stable home, and that seems to be the lifestyle he sought for himself. Clarence and Lena married when Clarence was 25 and Lena was 19, and were only married for 3 years at the most. Clarence, at least until 1930, was married to one more person for at least 17 years, and seemed to just settle down and raise a family.

It kind of makes me wonder what would have happened if Clarence and Lena had stayed together. My great-grandma might have been a Johnson, and not a Craddock (if they'd had any girls that is); I might have had an ancestral line that probably would be much harder to trace (Johnson seems to be much more common than Craddock); and all of this research would have taught me more about blood relatives than simply the family of one my great-great-grandma's ex-husbands. But it was still interesting to learn about them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Has this ever happened to you?

I was working on my project last night, taking all the data I've collected over the years and adding it to my database. I'm still working my way through the Craddock family files (that's my maternal great-grandmother Edna Craddock's line). I was working on the family of my great-great-grandfather's sister Edna (whom my great-grandma was named for) and adding source citations for what I'd found, like I've been doing for months. I started looking at the info I had on her kids, and saw that I didn't have very much. Not even a census record or anything, just that I'd gotten the info somehow from my Grandma Sally. Well, being the type of genealogist that I am, I couldn't just let that stand; I had to try to find something in the way of original records on them.

So I trundled (electronically) off to, and did some quick census searching. I eventually located Edna and her second husband Thomas Morton in the 1930 census, with their sons Lloyd, Hugh, and Hervey (first time I've seen a guy named Hervey and not Harvey). I also found Roy Morton (who I have linked to both Edna's first and second husbands-got some cleanup to do there) and his wife Iona. I even found a marriage record for Hervey on the FamilySearch beta site's Montana marriages database. After entering most of these records in the database (I printed and put the marriage aside, as I wanted to look at that one some more before entering it) I realized I'd spent almost an hour on my little side track. I'd been listening to some of my custom radio stations on, always telling myself "just one more song, after this song I'm done." So here's a tip - don't listen to good music while you're doing genealogy if you're using the music as a timer to tell you when you're done. :)

Then I realized something - that's why this project is taking so long to complete. I started back in May with the Beilsteins, and here I am, six months later on the Craddocks. Yes, I took some time out for the photo album project, but now that I'm back on my original project, I find that I can't just sit down and enter data. I have to keep looking, keep digging, trying to complete the data I'm entering, invariably adding to the mountain ahead of me.

And you know what? I'm totally fine with that. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday - Elyse Doerflinger

For the last few months I've been following Elyse Doeflinger's genealogy blog. She's a very young genealogist, in her mid-20s, but is already VERY good at it. She's already authored two ebooks, Conquering the Paper Monster Once and For All, and A Mini-Guide to Being a Part-Time Genealogist. I recently bought and read these two books and found they had a lot of great information. Best of all, they were both short enough to read in one sitting. I highly recommend both of these books to anyone struggling with time constraints and storage problems in doing your genealogy (like me!).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - More and more Josephs!

Since discovering genealogy podcasts a couple months ago, I've been spending my commute time every day listening to Lisa Louise Cook's Genealogy Gems Podcast, and the Genealogy Guys Podcast by George Morgan and Drew Smith. All of them are fantastic genealogists, and I have been able to put their tips and tricks into practice in my own research, with great results. One example of this happened just this week. The Genealogy Guys have talked about using public and academic libraries, WorldCat, Heritage Quest, and other library-related repositories for your research, which is something I (sadly) haven't done too much of the last few years. I've been trying to find a way to get hold of a copy of a book called Tracks of Time, put out by the Glenella History Book Committee about the area in Mantiboa around Winnipeg and Waldersee. My Joseph ancestors lived in that area for a generation or so, so I've been anxious to see this book. But it's too expensive to buy at the mo (over $70), and no local libraries have it. Per their suggestion, I went on WorldCat to look for it, and saw that two libraries did have a copy. Unfortunately, both libraries were in Canada. Not knowing whether interlibrary loan worked internationally, I thought it couldn't hurt to put in a request for the book, so I did. Then I forgot about it and went on with my research.

Then yesterday, I got an email from my library saying the book had arrived and was available for pickup! I went down on my lunchbreak to pick it up - it's huge! Over 800 pages, about 3 inches thick, and probly 12 or 14 inches long. I spent some time going through it last night, and found the story I knew was already in there about Albert Joseph (my great-great-grandfather Samuel Joseph's nephew, son of his brother Gottlieb) and his family. This story was only two pages long, only really gave info on Albert's wife and children, and I already had a copy of it. So I pulled out my database, and started looking at the other surnames attached to the Josephs to see if I could anything on them.

First I looked for Karl Siegel, who married Wilhelmina Joseph (Sam's sister) and found a 3 page story on them, including a picture! It tells the story of how they met at the butcher shop where Karl worked, and how Wilhelmina's father Ludwig Joseph (my 3rd-great-grandfather) oversaw the construction of his daughter's home. It also said the Joseph family (including Mina and Karl) moved to Montana, but found that Mina's health didn't agree with the climate, so they moved back to Manitoba (a story I hadn't heard, and am still trying to find records to confirm).

Next I rememberd that Sam's oldest daughter Olga had married Gustav Haft (also spelled Heft, Hoft, and Hoeft) and looked for them. I found another 3 page story on Gustav's parents, Augusta and August Heft, again with a picture. This was very detailed, and talked about their family's moving from Germany to Russia, and then from Russia to Canada. It also listed Gustav and his siblings and who they married, which gives me more people to do further research on.

After the Hefts, I went back to my database and tried to find another Joseph daughter, and saw Olga Joseph (daughter of Sam's brother Gottlieb) had married a Philip Oswald. I looked in the index and, you guessed it, found a bio of Philip and Olga. By this time I was thinking I was going to end up scanning most of the book. But I had never seen so much info on the Josephs in one place before, and was thrilled to be finding so much.

The only Joseph female I haven't found in the book is Tina Joseph, Sam's sister, who married John Levick in Manitoba. Most of the bios seem to be written by descendants still living in the area, which would explain why Sam and Tina didn't have bios included (both of their families moved to Montana). I've still got a couple more families to look up, so we'll see if there's any more info on them.

The book also has a lot of geographical, social, and historical information in the front. It has several pages of maps of the land allotments, which all show the last name of the original owner. What's more, it also has articles on the cultural groups represented in the area, including one on the Germans that's a translation of an article written in German for a local paper back in 1904. There was another series of articles on the various settlements in the area, including one on Grass River, why my great-great-grandmother Pauline Joseph died. I still need to go back and review the other articles and check for any more that might apply to my family.

One special treat was a listing of all the churches in the area, with articles of varying length on that church's history, leaders, members, and (in some cases) listings of who was buried in that church's cemetery. The longest article was for the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, attended by the German immigrants to the area, including my ancestors! I gathered this from the church's cemetery listings - my great-great-grandmother Pauline Joseph, as well as her husband Sam's parents Ludwig and Justine Joseph, are all buried in that church's cemetery. I plan on writing or calling the church to see if they have any additional information on them.

All of this came from one book, after making one loan request. I was expecting just the two pages, and maybe a couple more. So far, I've got more than 24 pages of info - bios, church histories, settlement histories - directly relating to the Josephs. And maybe more to come. Can't wait to get home and read!!