Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reynolds & Liebenow updates

Woo, it seems today I have made some small leaps in a couple of what seem to have been brick walls..

I talked to Gilbert H. from Caribou, ME, on the phone today. He is a local historian there, having lived in the area his whole life (73 years I believe). He told me about a pamphlet he had found which was from the Reynolds Family Association and had a section about our family, particularly about Everett Elisha Reynolds. This pamphlet was published in 1931 and apparently Everett was still alive then.

I found there to be some very interesting information in what he read aloud to me from this book: it states that Everett "is a shoemaker of Canton, ME", "Lived in Brockton; Wisconsin for seven years; California two years; Caribou, Hartford, Ft. Fairfield, ME. In 1888 went to Glasgow, Scotland for short time."

He went to SCOTLAND?! He was busy in 1888. This is the year he left his Wisconsin family; the year he supposedly went to California (according to my grandmother her story had been he went to Cali for a gold rush? [gold rush part ruled implausible because of the year] and wrote to the family a few times but then was never heard from again); the year he found the plow and brought it to Green Ridge Grange starting on August 3rd 1888 and taking 37 days to reach Green Ridge, ME.; and NOW he also went to Scotland in 1888. Now isn't that something???

This basically has connected almost everything I have found out so far, from his first wife Melissa Harris (and children, including another daughter that I hadn't known about yet), to his time in Wisconsin and his marriage to Kate McConnell (which this book acknowledges that at the time- 1931- she and the three children were living in Chicago... I'm not sure about that I need to try to see if my grandma knows why she would have been in Chicago at all).

It connects all of the scattered people and places who I have been trying to prove are all tied to a single entity, Everett Elisha Reynolds, rather than perhaps chasing two different people who lived parts of each of these lives but aren't the same person and one isn't my ancestor. No, I can now almost definitively (and only "almost" because nothing is EVER definitive in genealogy or anything else for that matter) say, that Everett Elisha Reynolds, the man I have traced in all of these unlikely, varied places, with varied little notes attached, is indeed one person who did all of these things and is indeed my ancestor without a doubt.

I think most intriguingly is that he sent in this information himself, because he was a member of the Reynolds Family Association (RFA) and I believe that they probably required then, as they do now, all applying members to submit their direct Reynolds lineage and any pertinent information to each person.

I think the last two bits of information I really want are to know if Everett's journal is still around, and also to try to find out when Everett died. I tried looking through RFA obituaries today at the Historical Society, because their yearly newletter/pamphlet contains a section for obituaries of Reynolds descendants, but in years 1931-36 I could not find him. I suppose it wouldn't shock me that he lived to be 100, but who on earth knows. I just need to find out somehow.

Gilbert didn't know anything of a Reynolds diary when I mentioned it, but he said he would inquire around town. He also said his wife's second cousin is a Dr. Jay Reynolds who lives in, I think, Ft. Fairfield, and whom Jim Ashby suggested I write asking if there was such a diary still around. I haven't heard from the Dr. Reynolds but I hope someone will find something out there in Maine.

Also, I have been working on my photo project... It's nearing "final" stages- won't ever be done, really, hopefully, I keep adding new pictures- but one of the last stages is digging through all of my family emails for pictures people have sent me over the years to include in the family photos I have just from my family. The site is

In any event, I was just rummaging through the Liebenow family folder in my email and I found the email where someone transcribed the marriage record from a Pittsburgh church for Ferdinand Liebenow and Augusta Koch. It says witnesses were Ferdinand Koch and Albertina Koch. I decided to search the 1900 census for a Ferdinand Koch living in PA, but assuming I had already done this when I first got the email, I didn't expect to find anything. Well, I found one about 40 some years old in 1900, living in Pittsburgh. He has a huge household, and I look at the bottom and see that his PARENTS are living with him.

Well, I see that this could very likely be the brother of my August Koch, because her death record has the father's name as Earnest Koch and mother as Earnestine Schoso (b. ca. 1832 and living in 1905 with Ferdinand and Augusta in Wisconsin). So, the parents names are Ernest and Christiana. Ernest is b. Jan 1834 and the wife is Aug 1832. Their immigration year is given as 1882, which is [admittedly a sort of long shot] the same year as Augusta Koch immigrated (I don't think I have found their names in any passenger lists yet but I need to try harder to now, to confirm this census-made connection).

So, I am pretty excited about these new openings and will hopefully keep updating this about them

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