Friday, August 22, 2008

Reynolds in Maine!

I am exceedingly excited at present because a guy in Maine went to the Green Ridge cemetery for me near Caribou, ME to check out what Reynoldses might be there. He reported that the cemetery might as well be called "Reynolds Cemetery" for the amount of people there with that name. Unfortunately his camera had a serious malfunction so he had to return again at a later time.

Anyway, he was just able to send me the pictures and they are very great indeed. Included in the cemetery are my ancestors Elisha T. Reynolds and wife Adeliza Fuller. Included are most of Elisha's siblings and I think an obelisk for his parents.

But most interestingly enough are three particular stones.

The first says "Everett E. Reynolds" and the symbol of rings "F L T" with the birthdate of 3 Aug 1847 but no death date...

The next stone over is Everett's first wife Grace Melissa Harris Reynolds, saying "Mother" with the dates "1851-1876"

The next stone is their son, Herbert Ellery Reynolds with dates 1870-1886.

Now, this is interesting for many reasons. First, there were no other Reynoldeses in the Caribou/Green Ridge area except my family, so the Everett E. Reynolds in the article my grandma gave me almost certainly must be the same man who is my ancestor. But his stone in this cemetery has no death date-- did someone just not have money for the date, or was he buried elsewhere---- or did he truly disappear completely? The stone of his first wife, though, is part of the evidence I was looking for.

Also interesting is the death year for his son Herbert-- I have in my notes from a Reynolds family book that he died in 1880, but just a week or so ago I had been fiddling with censuses and I found an 1880 census with a boy of that age living with, I think, Everett's parents. No evidence of Verna Luella though (try as I might), who was the only child of Everett's first marriage to make it to adulthood.

Anyways, back from my tangent--- if Herbert was still alive until 1886, why did Everett not take him with when-if he went to Wisconsin? And about Everett's second marriage---- His third child in that marriage, Grace V., was born in 1886. After this time Everett disappears from Wisconsin and might or might not be the man of the newspaper article I have.

I need to find someone in Caribou, Maine who knows about this family, or at the very least about what Green Ridge was, and also if anyone has records for that cemetery. I need to find out if Everett was ever buried there or if he was buried someplace else.

I'm excited because this opens the door to new knowledge while also seeming to prove a couple of theories I had going based on information but I have to be careful to not be too hasty. I only hope that I can somehow find out more information.

Also, I've been working again on the McConnell front since the other day Bob Speckman sent me a link to a site which listed some Jefferson area newspapers in which a "Mrs. McConnel" was listed as dying sometime in November, 1892. I'm on the hunt for this article and it seems there might be someone who may finally be able to tell me definitively about some records for the Hake Cemetery in Jefferson. I'm hoping very much that that pans out since every source I get sends me in a circle back on info I already have and I really just need to find new information!!

Additionally, I spent the past few days up north in Shawano because the lady who currently owns a house my ancestor Collin Mayville lived in with his family, invited me to come help them restore the house. We spent the past couple days pulling old, old wood siding off of the house complete with old square peg handmade nails. That was really neat but also quite a lot of work and quite a lot remains to be done.

In addition, I have been curious about the "F L T" which was on Everett E. Reynolds's grave as well as, I noticed today, on the Mayville family stone up north in Shawano. I just googled to see if I could finally find it (because I think I have some sort of pendant or something that was said to be Collin's which has the F L T on it also) and I found this site:

It explains that F L T is: "A symbol of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal organization. Stands for Friendship, Love, and Truth."

Another interesting tidbit about Everett E. Reynolds. If he was a member of this society...... ???

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Vital Recs visit (Hurley, Christofferson) and McConnell letters

I meant to write since Thursday when I took a tirp to the Vital Recs office but I've been a bit busy, Thursday afterwards being spent with plugging new names into the genealogy and working over all of my usual sources to see if I could find new information.

I didn't research any of my ancestors this time but instead those of my cousin Steph and my uncle Eric. Since Eric's is shorter and disappointing I will tell what I found (or didn't find) on his family-

I looked up Eva Latus/Latue Skolaski to see what I could find of her parents, etc. It provided a father's name of John Latus but no mother. Eva died in 1932 of diabetes.

Next, I finally found George Young's death record. I had started at the beginning of the years and gone through each one to try to find the right George Young, which was challenging because it is English and a common name. In either event, I finally found that he died 22 Mar 1960 of prostrate cancer. In a turn of bad luck, it did not list his parents' names for some reason. I just thought of that I ought to look for an obituary in the Wisconsin State Journal sinc ehe died in the 60s and in Madison he should have an obit... although, probably, if the informant for the death record didn't have his parents' names, the person who put in the obit might not know also. I will have to check.

Another spot of unfortunate luck came when I located August V. Skolaski Sr.'s death record. He died in 1936 and I had been hoping to find the names of his parents. I was unlucky on that respect.

Lastly on Eric's side I looked up Herman Christofferson because I still hadn't found much on that line (isn't it funny on the most important names- the male line dominated lines in my families, its harder to find info? the Mayvilles, Diebolds, everybody-- doesn't go as far as the other more obscure and hidden names). From Herman's death record I found that his parents were Carl Christofferson and Tena Hanson. I tried locating more information about them but was generally unable to. It might take a thorough search of the vital recs office, again, to find anything on these two.

So, now I move on to my cousin Steph's genealogy, of which I found quite a bit to confirm what I had tried to find prior to my visits, and also enough to jog Steph's memory on her family since she remembered very little.

I looked at a bunch of the Hurley family first, starting with Steph's great-grandparents John S. Hurley and Katherine Byrnes. She had provided years of birth and death for them so I was able to find exact dates now. I confirmed a slight guess I'd had that John's parents were Thomas Hurley and Isabel Dockery. In the next week or so I will go to the historical society and check out that couple's death records which I found in the pre-1907 index. This will hopefully provide me more to look for when I try checking into Irish records-- and will hopefully be easier since its not such a common name as my Irish folks (Walsh, Hurst).

I of course found most of these Hurleys then in Wisconsin census and filled out the siblings of Steph's ancestors.

On Katherine Byrnes's death rec I found her parents to be Patrick Byrnes and Bridgett Keenan. Wasn't able to find much of them in the census mostly because of the amount of name variations on Byrnes/Byrns/Burns, but I will keep looking.

Next I checked out Steph's ancestor Paul T. Drescher. It didn't have his wife's name listed to that didn't help much in the way of trying to locate her but apparently she had pre-deceased him. Either way I found his parents to be Gottlieb Drescher and Minnie Kuhnau (although the record was hard to read that last name).

I looked at Steph's grandpa William Ignatius Hurley just to confirm his parents and dates I had. He is buried at Roselawn in Monona.

Lastly I found LaVetta A. Drescher Hurley's death record and found her mother's maiden name to be Marie Brilliott (father Paul Drescher, aforementioned). This is a really pretty surname (Brilliott) of French origin although the family came from Switzerland directly. I'm sure it will trace back to more direct French origins. Because of this unique surname, I found that they were the only family in the United States with that name at all in the census years currently available. They all lived in Sauk Co. Marie's parents were John Brilliott and Caroline Kaufmann. John's parents were the Swiss immigrants, Russ and Mary Agnes Brilliott. I have charted out most of their children as available from census and then online pre-1907 index. Caroline Kaufmann's parents were John and Josephine Kaufmann and I haven't found so very much about them. There are several people researching various Brilliotts (or at least, having one or two familiar characters in their genealogies, so I have been looking into that.

Finally, yesterday I received a letter from somewhere in Perry County, Pennsylvania regarding a letter I had sent quite over a month ago regarding records on Alexander McConnell being born there, in the hopes of tracking down his parents' names.

Well, as I should know by now it is impossible to find anything on this family, and this instance is not any different. The researcher was unable to find his family but there is a family record in their files from when Donald Schwennesen tried to reach them. I hadn't known they had tried to do any research, but it included Donald's letter which had in it much of the information I have already been able to confirm about the family. Unfortunately his letter was from 1979 and he died five years ago. I don't know his children's names or whereabouts otherwise I would write them regarding his researches... although I can't imagine they would be much more fruitful than my own.

In any event the researcher also included a chunk of photocopies out of the "History of York County Pennsylvania," which details the origins of the Hoeck/Hake family-- From their arrival in about 1748/9 to various endeavors throughout the country including, and it mentions this specifically- the group that came to Jefferson Co., WI. The document is rather dense and so will take a couple lookings-at to see if any of the information is viable for further pursuance.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

RAOGK; Skolaski, Hurley, etc.

In preparation for my next visit to Vital Recs on Thursday (which was precipitated by my necessity of finding info about the Hurleys for Steph), I have been digging around to see what else I could spend time looking for while there.

Because of this I discovered that I had not yet found information on Frank Skolaski Sr.'s parents (Uncle Eric's family) besides that they were August Skolaski and Eva Latue. So I decided to look through the census and try to find the family in 1900, which I had been unable to do. I was able to find them with a very bad misspelling of the surname and found the approximate birth month & year for his parents. Then I was able to find them in other census years also with ridiculous misspellings and hidden in the households of their children and narrowed down that they lived past 1920. I did a google search on the name "August Skolaski" and since it is a unique name it came back with several hits which had to do exactly with this family. One was an article about August Skolaski's grandson also named August Skolaski who had something to do with the creation of a church somewhere around Madison. There were several other links including one to a genealogy for August & Eva's son John from someone on his wife's side. This gave approximate years of death for August and Eva so I will make sure to start with those years. I will hopefully be able to find the names of their parents, so that will be exciting.

The other day I did a little digging on the Steffen part of my family. Not much, just dealing with Emma Steffen and her husband Robert Posselt and their children.

I also am now a volunteer for Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) ( This is mostly because for the past year and now for the next few years I have/will live in close proximity to the Historical Society and therefore will be able to constantly access things that people might not be able to if they live a considerable distance away, so I decided I should finally become a volunteer to put my abilities to some use.

Another reason is because I have used the same site twice.. I haven't gotten responses yet, really, except for the guy who I asked to go to Green Ridge Cemetery for me in Caribou, ME. He should be getting back to me soon with what, if anything, he found there.. and I'm pretty anxious about that-- but actually, very glad I was able to find someone who could go there at all! Of course I very much wish I was able to go there myself and check it out but thats not exactly possible with the current state of finances, etc. so I will have to make do with this.

I got my first request the other day and already fulfilled it. It is interesting being part of other people's genealogy and helping them find information important to their research. That's why most of the time I wish this could be a full time job rather than going to college for random stuff, and who knows if I'll actually end up doing that? But oh well, I suppose.