Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A little update

I have been digging around on my Uncle Eric Christofferson's side of the family again. Apparently I was previously unable to find the family of Frank Grain in the 1900 census but I finally tracked them down today by searching the first name of "Frank" and narrowing in on Seneca, Wood Co., where I believed they lived at the time. I was successful in finding them with a poor misspelling of their last name ("Gren"), and therefore I found more specific dates for their children including Frances Grain.

I also looked into Frances's sister Mary's husband Henry Tidmarsh, who immigrated from England in 1904. I checked the Ellis Island records and found him very quickly. He immigrated on the Carpathia and I thought this was really interesting, because he came only a year after her maiden voyage, and less than ten years later the Carpathia was involved in scooping Titanic survivors out of the Atlantic. Then, of course, it was sunk in 1918. So there's a cool little bit of history on a distantly related man.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cousin's Genealogy; slight Reynolds update

Just a quick note to say I've begun slight work on my cousin Steph Diebold's genealogy for her mom's side of the family. So far I haven't had much luck beyond guesswork with some censuses because she didn't have much info to start with. It looks like I will have to make a trip to the Vital Recs office before I can really make any definite progress. There are weird age gaps in the genealogy and then a bunch of them were recent immigrants who seems to have died not long after arriving, so tracing definite familial connections just in the census is not the best plan. In addition, none of them seem to have registered any births, marriages or deaths in the pre-1907 indices, so that is also not very helpful. But, so far she's got some Germans and some Irish. We'll see where it goes.

A small update on my Reynolds paper: I haven't yet heard from the person I wrote a letter to a couple weeks ago, so I tried to think of other ways I might get the information I need from such an obscure area of the country. I remembered that I had seen a site once called Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness and I decided to look up volunteers in Aroostook County. I found a man who is going to check on Green Ridge Cemetery for me. I still hope that I can find a way to get the better copy of that article my grandmother gave me but for right now chances seem slim. I will have to do some more digging around to see what other places I might be able to write to in order to find this article. Hopefully someplace will have it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Everett Reynolds- The great mystery

I haven't found much lately mostly because for the past two weeks I was away on vacation. In any event, while visiting my paternal grandparents in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, my grandmother showed me a terrible photocopy of a newspaper clipping she had gotten at some point which is about a man named Everett E. Reynolds who matches the man who is supposed to be my 3greats-grandfather: but she does not remember from whence it came. This is unfortunate, and so is the state of the of the photocopy itself as someone had patched the original with tape that mostly blocked out in the photocopy what the article said, and a chunk is completely missing from the bottom. I decided to type up a transcript of the article for better analysis, and where there are parts missing it is indicated by blanks. Its quite interesting and comes with a photo of the man, who does, when compared with a picture of my great-great grandfather Alex Reynolds, look to be exclusively related. Here is the transcript and perhaps I can scan the document at some point and toggle with it to find out what else it says.

Caribou, July 1

“Many times visitors at Green Ridge Grange hall have asked, What’s that? When the first saw the old plow resting quietly on its sh-- in the grange room. Perhaps it is not to be wondered at, as it surely does not resemble a modern plow to any great extent, but it was a plow, nevertheless, more than a century and a half ago.
“A study of its lines and construction, makes one realize how far we have come in our advance from the primitive state of winning a living from the soil of the advanced science of agriculture of today. Sometimes as I stand before the old plow lost in thoughts of the past, I see the generations that have gone, before me, and I listen to the story the old plow tells me of yhat [sic] it has seen since first it came on the stage of life.
“Some of its history is known only to the old plow itself and this it silently keeps, safely locked away from all our curiosity. The latter part of its history is known to us and while there may be other plows that have as strange a history, surely no other plow ever made such a journey as this.
“Some 30 years ago it was the privilege of the writer to see the old plow that was owned by Israel Putnam and which he left in the field hooked to his oxen when the messenger brought the news that the British soldiers had fired on the American farmers at Lexington. The general appearance of the Green Ridge plow is very much the same as the Putnam plow except it is of lighter construction. It must have been made about the same time, possibly a decade _______ later. It is evident that it ___ ____ used to any great extent, _______ that a better or more substantial plow must have come into use soon after it was made. It would appear, and this fact is borne out by what knowledge we have that the plow is about 150 years old.
“It was discovered in 1887 [1881?] in the barn loft of a farmer ___ _orge, Mass., by Everett Reynolds who had taken refuge in the ____from a heavy shower w--e ______hing trip.
“Mr. Reynolds came ________ old Yankee family of Pilgrim stock, and was interested _________iat had American histor__ b----red the farmer for the plow and it passed into his possession. [might say something else?]. Mr. Reynolds was a shoemaker by trade and was at the time located in Bl----- Mass., but with his parents -- a young man had gone into Aroostook county Maine as pioneers. The parents remained at Green Ridge where they settled, in company with a number of families of that --me and their bodies rest in Green Ridge Cemetery.
“After a time Everett returned to Massachusetts to work at his trade. It was during this time that he discovered the old plow _______ conceived the idea of mounting the plow on a wheelbarrow and in this way making a journey to Aroostook county Maine to visit his parents and other relatives.
“He had a wheelbarrow specially constructed for this purpose ______ compartment in the body for a change of clothes and a few th___ necessary for the _________ made him _____________ the purp__________ condition________

[a huge chunk is missing and skips up to the next column:]
“yourself but Mr. Reynolds remarked that he was glad to pay for the _____ and that he belonged to a party that preserved the Union and freed the slaves.” He started on leaving the old man glutting after him.
“He reached Bangor on August 28 and remained for the Fair and on the 31st left for Aroostook, and reached Ho--ton [Houlton? This is apparently near Green Ridge Grange] at 5 p.m., September 6, and at Presque Isle in time for dinner Sunday, September 9, stopping at Gus Whitney’s Hotel. Although it was Sunday, Mr. Reynolds was anxious to complete his journey and after dinner he started the plow again reaching the home of his parents at Green Ridge near the site of Grange Hall at 5:30 [a.?] m., 3- days after the start was made. He visited relatives at places along the way and of course could _________d rainy weather.
“The shoes worn on the trip are still in Mr. Reynold’s possession, a treasured ________ of the trip.
“Mr. Reynolds was born at Bridgewater, Mass., August 3 [or 8?], 1847, and is thus near ____ years of age. He still works daily in his shop. He is descended from Robert Reynolds who landed at Boston in 1632 and on the mother’s side of Dr. Samuel Fuller who arrived in the Mayflower in 1620.
“In spite of ____ _____t Mr. Reynolds started his strange journey, on ____dey, his birthday was attended by no adverse handicaps. He now resides in Canton, Maine, and is a well preserved man for his years, both physically and mentally as a recent photograph __________.
“The old plow was presented to Green Ridge Grange by Mr. Reynolds, a quarter of a century ago, and as soon as the new hall is completed will occupy a place of honor again, in the _____. Then a ________ to the good _______that hath for all the na----s [nations?] gone. And glory -- now to the good old plow, when a thousand years have flown.”

Conclusions (notes I wrote when I first looked through this):

-Birthdate matches
-Parents and family all around Caribou & Fort Fairfield. Ancestry of parents matches.
-Canton, 1920 has Everett E. Reynolds living, widowed… article does not mention any wife.

So, article is from Maine.. Possibly Caribou with date of “July 1” while he was living in Canton (so after 1910).

Green Ridge Grange appears to be some sort of building or club?
Definition of a Grange is:
1. A farm, with its farmhouse and nearby buildings
2. Chiefly British, a country house with its various farm buildings, usually constituting the dwelling of a yeoman or gentleman farmer.

Route he took: Bangor NE to Houlton took 6 days, North to Presque Isle in 3 days, then in 12 hours was able to make it to his parent’s house, at Green Ridge Grange.

Further notes:

In the mean time I have written to a place in Caribou, ME asking if there is any way to track down an original copy of the newspaper article, as well as to see if anyone has records for the cemetery these people are supposedly buried in. If I can tie this Everett to the parents I have are his in our family tree, as well as if his first wife Melissa is there or any of his children from his first wife, this would be amazing and I will have finally solved this!! I am very excited and hope I can find someone out in Maine who can help me!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Small update

I've been doing a lot of random little things lately jsut finding out some info from my grandma to put in about the Walsh side of the family and the Ryan connection, trying to track down more relatives on that branch to get a more complete picture and hopefully find out a little more about the ones we don't know much about.

Yesterday I spent some time looking up churches online.. the Ryans belonged to a St. Patrick's in Lodi and I emailed them to try to find out more info about Mary Ann Walsh's sister Ann Nancy Walsh who married Thomas Ryan. I found her death date from an online cemetery record but I was hoping that they might have more info. I also emailed St. Mary of the Lake which is where the Walshes belonged in Westport, and where John and Bridget Walsh are buried, in the hopes that they might have more detailed records,especially pertaining to John Walsh. There is another church, St. Martin's, which is where Mary Ann Walsh and James Hurst were supposedly married, I am going to send them a letter asking them if they have any records, either.

In other parts of the family I received some info from, apparently, someone at the Dodge/Jefferson Counties Genealogical Society.. She emailed me rather out of the blue saying she was responding to my query (and I'm not sure which one?) about the McConnells and Reynoldses in Rock River Cemetery. Either way she had told me she had obits for people I was looking for as well as proof that the McConnells were buried at Hake cemetery, and that she would mail this info to me.

This sounded slightly too good to be true so I guess I wasn't surprised by what exactly I received. I got some transcripts of the cemetery, not records pertaining to who is buried there, and miscellaneous obits for people named McConnell who have no apparent relation. The one gem, I think, it Everett Garfield Reynolds's obituary which I didn't know existed and it provides some interesting info. Here's a transcript:

"Everett Garfield Reynolds was born may 22, 1882, and passed away July 5, 1949 at London Wis. He was the son of Everett Sr. and his wife, Kate (McConnel) Reynolds.
"He attended the London school and as a young man he was employed as a farm hand, but worked the greater part of his life as a painter. Many residents of London and surrounding territory came to know him as their house painter and home decorator.
"As a citizen and neighbor he was always accommodating, pleasant, honest, and gentle. Very quietly he lived a peaceful life, minding his own addairs. He was never married.
"Genereally speaking, his health was always fair, until Monday, June 17, when he suffered a troke. Dr. K. K. Amundson, who attended him, advised removal to a hospital and this was done at once. However, in spite of excellent care, there was no hope of his recovery. He passed away on Friday, July 5th.
"Preceeded in death by his parents and one brother, there are still suviving him two sisters and one brother, who are Mrs. Lu Noel of Yonkers, New York, Mrs. Otto Schwennesen, Chicago, and Alexander of Madison, Wis. There are also three nieces and four nephews.
"The departed attained the age of 58 years, one month, and 13 days. He had been a member of the Moravian church and the funeral services were conducted by the Rev. D. C. Heinrich on July 7 grom the Prescott funeral home at Cambridge. Internment was in Rock river cemetery."