Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - the life of Loring Oliver Pushard

While working on an assignment for my ProGen class, I created a timeline of known events in the life of Loring Oliver Pushard, the great-great-grandfather of my cousins Jimmy and Tommy Pushard and Maryanne Tatterson. I found it really interesting, so I thought I'd post it here.

* Sep 1844 – born in Phippsburg, Sagadahoc county, Maine to parents also both born in Maine (US Federal 1900 census, Loring Pushard death record)
*23 Jan 1862 – enlisted as Private in Company B 15th Maine Infantry (1890 Veteran’s schedule)
*25 Jan 1864 – discharged from enlistment (1890 Veteran’s schedule)
*abt 1866 – married Abby Ellen Rines (US Federal 1900 census, Howard Pushard’s birth record)
*abt 1867 – birth of daughter Annie M. Pushard in Maine (1870 US Federal Census)
*Between 1867-Feb 1870 – family moved from Maine to Massachusetts (1870 US Federal Census)
*Feb 1870 – birth of son Daniel R. Pushard in Massachusetts (1870 US Federal Census)
*1870 – lived in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts with wife Abbie, daughter Annie, son Daniel (1870 US Federal Census)
*Between 1870-1887 – births of five children, deaths of two children, family moved back to Maine (US Federal 1900 census)
*Apr 25, 1888 – birth of son Howard Lincoln Pushard in Wiscasset, Lincoln, Maine (Howard Pushard’s birth record)
*1890 – lived in Wiscasset, Lincoln, Maine (1890 Veteran’s schedule)
*1900 – lived in Wiscasset town, Lincoln co., Maine with wife Abby and son Howard (US Federal 1900 census)
*24 Jan 1907 – died in Gardiner, Kennebec, Maine (Loring Pushard death record)
*Probably Jan-Feb 1907 – burial in Greenlawn Cemetery, Wiscasset, Lincoln, Maine (Wiscasset in Pownalborough, p.400;

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It came!

I blogged last week about learning of a photo of my great-great-grandfather John Gibson. Well, thanks to the promptness of Becca Kohl and the US Postal Service, the photo came today! It was taken in 1891 in front of an old brick building, my guess would be the police station, and there are 23 men in the picture, with John Gibson on the far right of the photo. I love the style of the uniforms, it reminds me of a typical constable from an old British movie or something. The force has one chief, William Sims, and one sargeant, Sam Nicholson, both in the front row. All the other officers are named without title or rank.
Now that I've seen the photocopy, I'm itching to get my hands on a digital print of the real actual photograph. It's a good thing payday is this week, I don't think I could wait much longer! And now, for your viewing pleasure, the photograph:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lightning strikes again!

Last Christmas, I gave my Gibson grandparents each a photo family tree, with pictures and names of their direct ancestors, as far back as I had them. The gifts went over pretty well, and I was happy they were appreciated. While looking at his tree, my grandpa Fred said he knew of a picture of his grandfather, John Gibson, that he'd seen in Helena once. John Gibson was at one point a policeman in Helena, and a photo had been taken of the Helena policemen and put on display at the state archives. That got me interested, so I wrote to the Montana Historical Society and asked if they knew of any archives in their possession or in local libraries that might have a copy of that photograph. They got back to me a few days later, saying they'd forward my request to their Photo Archives department. That was back on the 7th, and I got busy with other things and forgot about it.
Then yesterday, I got an email from Becca Kohl, a Photograph Archivist at the Society, saying she'd located the photograph of Helena's policemen from 1892, with John Gibson listed as one of them! She said she'd also checked the Helena city directories from 1892 through 1899, and 1902. In them, John was listed as a teamster in 1892, a policeman in 1893-1894, a clerk in 1895-1899, and a boilermaker in 1902. This was welcome news as well. I'd found John as a teamster in Ancestry's database of Helena city directories, but only in 1891. I'd also found him in a later directory working as a clerk, but forgot to note the year the directory was published (this was back in the early days of my genealogical research - I know better now!). Ms. Kohl's information now tells me that directory was from 1895-1899. The other entries I'd never heard of, but am now very interested in getting copies of them.
But the best part of all - Ms. Kohl is sending me a copy of the photograph! I can't wait to get it and share it here, and with my family. Once again, my grandpa is dead-on about information regarding his family. What would I do without him?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Research into the Pushard family

I got an interesting request last week from my cousin, Jimmy Pushard. He knows I've done research on the ancestry of our grandparents, Fred and Blossom Gibson, and wanted to know if I'd be willing to look into the history of his other grandparents, specifically his dad David Pushard's side. I've been interested in knowing more about that side of the family, since all I know personally is Jimmy and his sister, Maryann, and his brother, Tommy. So I asked him what he knew of the Pushards, and he said his grandfather's name was Earl Pushard, his grandmother was Virginia Sterle, and that was about it.

Armed with all that information, I went online. I didn't know if the Pushards had a long history in Montana, and since I was starting with people too recent to be in the 1930 census, I went to the FamilySearch Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950 database. Nothing came up for Pushard, which I kind of expected, as Jimmy's parents wouldn't have gotten married until the 1960s. I searched for Sterle, and found a marriage for Joseph Sterle, son of John Sterle and Frances ____ to Annabelle Young, an apparent sister of Ruth Young who married my great-grandfather Jim Harris after he and my great-grandma Edna Craddock divorced. I still haven't determined whether Joseph is related to the Pushard-Sterle family I'm related to, but it is an interesting possibility I intend to pursue later.

Since that didn't pan out like I'd hoped, I went to and tried their newspaper database. I stuck with Montana newspapers only, and did a search for Pushard. I found a baptism notice for Charles Hoskin, son of Charles and Mrs Charles Hoskin. (That's one thing that I find a little peculiar about old newspapers - the wife is very often identified only as Mrs. Hoskin or Mrs. Charles Hoskin, not by her own first name). The article said baby Charles was sponsored by aunt Linda Hoskin and uncle Gerald Pushard. That caught my eye, because Jimmy had mentioned having an uncle Gerald, and I hadn't thought to search for him. (Note - sideways genealogy does pay off!!) It also said that the baby's grandparents attended - paternal grandparents Mr. and Mrs. William Hoskin, and maternal grandparents Mr. and Mrs. John Sterle. Now my ears really perked up! Uncle Gerald Pushard + grandpa and grandma Sterle = good chance of a connection!

The goodies didn't end there. It said the baby's great-grandparents were Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Coulombe and Howard Pushard, all of Gardiner, Maine. The Coulombe name I didn't recognize, but the Pushard name I sure did. I asked my grandpa what he knew about the Pushards, and he didn't know that family too well (seems my aunt was only married to David Pushard for a few years) but he thought they were from Maine. I've written before about my grandpa's amazing ability to recite generations of descendants from anyone really connected to the family, so I really trusted his instincts on the Maine connection.

So I went back to the FamilySearch beta site, and found they had a database of Maine marriages, from 1771 to 1907. I searched for Virginia and Earl's marriage in that database - but no luck. I searched for Virginia and John Sterle's marriage - but no luck. I went back to Ancestry, and searched their Maine marriages 1892-1996 database - and hit paydirt. There was a marriage in 1948 of John Sterle to two Virginias - on the same day. One was Virginia Pushard, the other was Virginia Coulombe. It turns out, Coulombe was her maiden name (I have since found her birth record confirming her parents were Joseph Coulombe and Annie Peaslee). Thus she married John Sterle under the name of Virginia Pushard, and the license or whatever record this was taken from likely mentioned her maiden name of Coulombe as well. This record helped explain the names in Charles Hoskins baptism record, too. If Virginia Coulombe and Earl Pushard divorced, with Virginia remarrying to John Sterle, then it was Virginia and Earl's daughter (whose name I still don't know) that gave birth to Charles Hoskin. And it was Virginia and Earl's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Coulombe and Howard Pushard, listed as baby Charles' great-grandparents. It took a few minutes and some mapping it out on a spreadsheet to get it all straight in my head, but once I had figured out what I had, I was feeling pretty excited by this point. What I'd learned up to this point was:

Earl's father was Howard Pushard
Earl and Virigina Coulombe had married and divorced in Maine
Virginia had remarried in Maine to John Sterle, and then moved to Montana with David, Gerald, and an unnamed daughter
Howard was still living in Gardiner, Maine when his great-grandson Charles Hoskin was born
Not content to stop there, I kept going through the newspapers to see what else I could find. It was very interesting! There was an article in 1960 about Gerald Pushard enlisting in the Army, where he would train in cable splicing, and a follow-up article about his completing the cable splicing course. I also found articles in 1964 about his marriage to Carol Parnell, complete with photograph. Seems the Pushards kept popping up in the news, which made for easy tracing of the family.
Now that I knew a bit more about the family, I thought I'd try to go back to the 1930 census and find Earl and his father Howard, where Earl would have been a young man. I knew Howard was living in Gardiner, Maine in 1958, and hoped that he'd stayed there for a long enough time to find him in the census. As it turns out, that's exactly what he did.

I found Howard's family in Gardiner City, Kennebec county, Maine. It was a pretty large family - Howard, his wife Bessie (which was new info for me), and eight children - Earl, Clyde, Kenneth, Frances, Gerald (uncle of the Gerald mentioned above), Donald, Grace, and Clifton. The kids ranged in age from 17 (Earl) to just over 2 (Clifton). I haven't done any research yet to know what happened to the rest of the kids, who they married, etc. But it seems that there were a lot Pushards in Maine to do research on, from this generation alone.

I went back a decade to find Howard and family in the 1920 census, and again struck gold. This time, the family consisted of Howard, Bessie, Earl, Clyde, Kenneth, Frances, and the father-in-law Laforest Rines, giving a possible maiden name for Bessie. The ages all matched, the names and birth order matched, and the father-in-law was an added bonus.

There was a bit of a twist, however, when I went to look for Howard in the 1910 census. I have found Howard, but in this census he's married to a woman named Ina, with a baby whose name looks like Italy, but I hope isn't. So it seems Bessie Rines wasn't his first wife, but his second. A search of's Maine Birth Records 1621-1922 database showed he and Ina had two children after "Italy", a girl named Elma, and another girl whose name was not recorded. Finding out what happened to those children and Ina is, of course, another project entirely. Ancestry's Maine Marriage Records 1705-1922 database confirmed Howard's marriage to an Ina Pollard (though the birth records for their second two children list her maiden name as Ida James, with the birth information being the same), and another marriage record of Howard to Bessie Rines states Howard was divorced and this was his second marriage.

Ancestry had one more find for me that night - a birth record for Howard Pushard. It gave Howard's full name as Howard Lincoln Pushard, born April 25, 1888 to Loring Oliver Pushard and Abbie Ellen Rines. It appears that it's a delayed birth record, as the date the record was filed by his mother with the local clerk was July 6, 1942. The record states that Howard was the 8th child, but by the time of filing only four other children were still living. That matched what was given in the 1900 census, where it was stated Loring and Abbie had had eight children and six were then living (two apparently died between 1900 and 1942), with only Howard living with his parents.

To sum up what I found:
Loring Pushard is the earliest Pushard ancestor found so far. He was born in September 1844 in Maine. He married Abbie Rines, and they had 8 children, last of which was Howard Lincoln Pushard.
Howard married Ina Pollard and had three girls with her. They divorced and he remarried to Bessie Rines, with whom he had eight more children, with Earl Pushard being the oldest child from this marriage.
Earl married Virginia Coulombe, daughter of Joseph Coulombe and Annie Peaslee, and had at least three children - David, Gerald, and a daughter. Earl and Virginia divorced, and Virginia remarried, and moved with the kids to Montana, as stated above.
David married my aunt Eileen, and had three kids, one of which was my cousin Jimmy, the fifth generation of the Pushard family as I have so far traced it.
Not a bad find for a couple of days' research, eh? Now to enter it all into my database and stop doing research for a while, until I can at least get caught up on all I've found and received over the last few weeks.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Surprise Sunday - More Lena Beilstein info comes to light!

I've had another case of genealogical serendipity this week. I've been interrupting my main project of going through my files due to scanning some of my wife's family photos (which project I had to interrupt due to the space it's taking up on my hard drive), and thought I'd go back and check the New FamilySearch database of Montana marriages. Well, while I was there I saw a new database - Montana, County Marriages 1865-1950. Very similar to the other database, but with a key difference - this one has images!! So I went in, dug around, and found marriage records (licenses and certificates) for my Lena Beilstein to David Briscoe and Clarence Johnson, her first two husbands. I thought I'd keep digging, and see if I could find more - and I did. I now have marriage records for her marriages to James (Ed) Layfield and to Charles Roper (not Clarence, as I previously thought his name was). It turns out, both of these marriages were in the 1930s - Layfield in 1932, and Roper in 1937. I still have yet to fully analyze everything in these records, because I got sidetracked by another thought - what if I could find marriage records for her daughters? Thinking that they would list their mother by her married name, I thought it might help me pin down how long she stayed with each husband a little better.

So off I went in search of the marriages for each of her four daughters, Edna, Elsie, Grace, and Hazel. This took some doing, as each daughter was married multiple times (one daughter married four times, the others three each). To make a long story short, I eventually found 9 of the combined 13 marriages for these four sisters. (Elsie married at least once in Nevada, so I found her marriage record in a Nevada database, so I guess technically I've found 10 of the 13, but that one was just an index and gave no info other than the names of Elsie and her husband Lester Fleming). I then pulled up Excel and made a little spreadsheet, with columns for the name of the daughter being analyzed, husband in the marriage, year of the marriage, and Lena's name as given in the marriage record. I even included the four marriage records I had for Lena, just to see what I could see.

The results weren't as good as I'd hoped for, but did offer one interesting new piece of information. Of the 13 marriage records analyzed (9 from the daughters, 4 from Lena), seven gave Lena's name as Beilstein, though four of those seven only asked for the bride's mother's maiden name, not current/married name. Three more marriage records gave her name as Lena Craddock, though all of those were from 1945-1946, about 20 years after Lena and Ernie Craddock had split (which is interesting on its own). But the new piece of info I discovered was from Hazel's marriage to Arthur Krutar in 1931. It gives Lena's name as Lena White, a surname I'd not heard associated with Lena before. Lena actually had to sign the record, as Hazel was only 17 at the time, and needed a parent's signature authorizing their minor child to marry. Lena did so, and gave her name as Lena White in this signature box, as well in the section for witnesses to the marriage. The other witnesses included a John C. White, giving a possible source for Lena's name change.

The puzzle is complicated a little by the fact that my Grandma has never heard of John White, or of Lena going by Lena White; the fact that I can't find Lena in the 1930 census to confirm this John White was her husband; and the fact that Lena married Ed Layfield in 1932, and gave her name as Emily Beilstein (Emily was her middle name), and was the only time in a marriage record (hers or otherwise) where her middle name was used without her first name. So I'm still not sure how Lena became Lena White, when she stopped, or why she used her middle name for that one marriage to Ed Layfield.

Like I've said before, the more I find on Lena, the more it throws a new spin on everything I've found before. I still want to take more time to look through all these marriage records and look at the names of the witnesses, see if there are any family witnesses, and where the marriages took place, see what it gives for Lena's residence at the time. I swear, I have never seen an ancestor's life as complicated to figure out as Lena Beilstein's. But that's what makes it interesting, right?