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.

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