Sunday, January 17, 2010

Monster winter break update

Hey all!

Well over break I have been basically pounding through as much genealogy as I can get done in such a short time. I've been trekking all over the internet in search of new little pieces to add to my family tree.

I did some work on my family photo album back in December. Another project has been putting together an application to the Daughters of the American Revolution. This was a rather spur of the moment decision, and as it turns out it is relatively costly to join. I figure I should join at some point, though, because of all of my ancestors who were in the Revolution. I am using Joseph Reynolds (1751-1831, great-grandfather of Everett Elisha Reynolds) as my main ancestor. Later on I can add on and link all of my other ancestors, too.

As part of that experience I asked my paternal grandparents what sort of records they have from that side of the family as far as birth and marriage records. I received not only records but some copies of letters to my great-grandmother Geraldine Reynolds, which contained some new family info.

One letter is signed what looks like "Don"; I don't know who else this may be except for Donald Schwennesen. This letter contains references to some letters my Geraldine had at some point from Harrison McConnell in California. This could be where the whole gold mining story came from. I don't know where these letters are, however. But it did confirm some flimsy census work I had had on Harrison McConnell, as well as his relationship to my family. He included in his letter a skeleton family tree he had been working on.

Other letters were from Randy Gjertson a relative on the Liebenow side. I have since tried contacting him but haven't heard back yet.

I also received a copy of a newspaper clipping that shows Geraldine Reynolds with a doll in the 1920s. I had no clue about this, and apparently my grandmother still has the doll in the picture.

As I said I have been traipsing every which way. I finally found the phone number for Leona Mayville Buttweiler. She is Dewey's daughter, is 85 she said, and as I had read in some old letters, had done quite a bit of genealogy. Well, she is a treasure! All I had to do was mention the family and she just went on about the family and random tidbits I had and hadn't known before, while reiterating several times that she has "lots of stuff on the Mayvilles and Reynoldses."

She gave me her address and I wrote her a letter as she said that when I did that it would make it easier for her to send her some copies of what she has. From what she said, she has a lot of records that don't seem to be in the public records, marriage records and so forth from the mid 19th century. I am extremely excited to see what she may have, and it is amazing to think that she knew all of these people that I only know through records. The closest I have to her is my grandmother Mary Diebold Mayville, who tells me stories about all the relatives on her side. I look forward to hopefully talking to Leona more and seeing what she has. If she had photos, that would be amazing!

I also looked a little more in-depth at the records has been getting transcribed. That has quickly become a treasure trove for me. Their pilot records are located here.

They have Ohio state death records there which enabled me to track down more of, and flesh out, the Noell family. I was able to find out where Julius Noell's parents were buried as well as more definite dates for a lot of his family. I still can't find out where he and Verna Luella Reynolds, along with their children, ended up. I am going to try calling some New York cemeteries to try to figure it out.

familysearch also has cook county, illinois birth and marriage records online which helped me find out a bit more about the Schwennesen family. I found out where Grace Reynolds and her husband Otto Schwennesen is buried as well as their son Donald O. Schwennesen who I mentioned earlier. Donald's find-a-grave page included a full obituary which has a lot of information about his descendents.

Another bit I found on familysearch just tonight was that there were some Washington State death records indexed. I searched "Gloria Mayville" (daughter of Nina Morris and Edmund Mayville) because I still have not been able to find what happened to her. What popped up was fantastic. I still have to confirm this, but if it's the true connection, it makes me extremely happy.

A death record popped up for a Patricia Lynn Barkley who died in 1951 with parents listed as James H. Barkley and GLORIA V. MAYVILLE. the Gloria I'm looking for has a middle name of Velma which meshes NICELY with this. So, next I checked the SSDI for a "Gloria Barkley" it came up with Gloria V. Barkley b. Jan 11, 1924 d. Feb 19 1995. The only thing I have for dates for my Gloria is that she was born Feb 11, 1924, but this date is only from Clorie Greeley Mayville's birthday book - so being off by a month would not be unusual (I have found a couple other such discrepancies in her birthday book).

I am attempting to find an obituary for this Gloria Barkley who died in Vancouver, WA, to confirm the connection but things are looking good. Vancouver WA is just across the river from Clackamas valley, where Gloria Mayville's sister Gertrude Mayville Schultz lived and died.

I'm excited to possibly finally have some information about this line. I hope that Gloria had more children and maybe I can contact them for information on their line. That would be very exciting. The last little bit I found was a transcription of James H. Barkley's grave in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Vancouver, which says :

"James H. Barkley oct 12, 1919 - jun 15, 1978, us army. wife: Gloria Barkley, vancouver, MGM, 19 jun 1978"

I am going to try contacting this cemetery, also to see if they can provide any more information to me.

Well this post has gotten quite long!! I'll hopefully have more information soon.