Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Long time no see?

I'm sorry about the length of time that has elapsed since my last entry, because, of course, I have been doing genealogy even when not having the time to update this blog.

I haven't found anything extremely big or anything but here are a few little tidbits from recent memory:

Generally catching up on emails, I've been in contact with a lot of random lines all over the place. I found a man, Gerhard Wiederholt, who is connected to the Mayville family through the Nachtwey family (I was able to find that line back to the 17th century!) and ALSO to the Hartung family, which his wife belongs to. So it turns out we are cousins by marriage twice, by two completely different families. Isn't that funny how it turns out?

I was also contacted by a random Mueller who lives in Germany--- between he and Gerhard my German has been quite tried!!--- who was gracious enough to trace back my Mueller line (Bingen ties) although he apparently doesn't have a connection to this line.

Just last week I found out a little more about William Mayville, a stray son of Susan Reynolds and John Mayville. The last I could find of William was in 1910 living in Montana after the death of his wife Acsah Averill Mayville. A Huycke relative occasionally sends me records he comes across, however. Recently he sent me Silas Reynolds's pension files from when he served in the Revolutionary War, and before that he sent me William Mayville's pension files, because he had served in the Civil War.

Well, the pension files were extremely interesting, and included affidavits from both Ephraim and Peter Mayville as well as other relatives and family friends. It also included William's full birthdate, which I had previously not been able to find. And at the very, very end of this huge document was a short little notation stating that William had died 13 Feb, 1919 in Tennessee! I couldn't understand how he possibly ended up in Tennessee. He had been born in Vermont, lived in Wisconsin for a number of years, moved on to Minnesota and then to Montana, before- apparently- deciding to live at the National Soldiers' Home in Johnson City, TN. I admit it's a pretty area but quite the opposite of anything I expected to find.

With this new date I set to work looking for ways to locate his death record and also find where he was buried. Through findagrave.com I found he is buried out in Tennessee and I hope to find someone who would be willing to visit his grave and photograph it. My Aunt Anne Mayville lives in Nashville but the cemetery is actually closer to my dad's family who live in Fuquay-Varina outside of Raleigh, NC. I hope that someone will help me out at some point.

I was able to find that Tennessee has started an online index for some of their later records and this included William's record. I found a volunteer on raogk.org who made a copy of this record for me, for a somewhat steep price of $10. I volunteer at the Historical Society for RAOGK, also, but usually only charge a couple dollars because I don't believe in paying exorbitant amounts for what should, really, be free and available to everyone. I would agree, however, that associated fees are not necessarily the fault of the researcher, buuuut... well.

Anyway, I hope to receive that record soon and hopefully it has something to say, although I would expect it to contain scant information at best.

I may be meeting towards the end of this week with Jack Bingen Copet, because I realized I haven't yet seen the graves of my Bingen ancestors out in Washington Co., WI. He's out of a job and has agreed to meet with me to show me around. We've been in contact probably 3-4 years now so it should be interesting to finally meet!

That is all I can think of for now but I will be sure to update this considerably more frequently now that it is summer break!