Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Noah Grant Church

What do you think of when you hear the word cholera?  As part of my website cleanup, I was digging a little more into Noah Grant Church and his death certificate which I had found some time ago in the vital records images that the West Virginia Division of Culture and History has put online.

Commonly known by his middle name, Grant was the son of William Church and Elizabeth Roberts - an older brother to my great-grandfather, Eli Church.

Grant's death certificate states that he died from "cholerra morbis" [sic] on 03 October 1934.  Per numerous websites, cholera morbus is a term no longer used. As it turns out, it did not refer to the cholera epidemics we think of when we hear the word cholera ... it describes what we now call gastrointestinal illnesses.  The types of illnesses that generally result in cramping, vomiting, and severe diarrhea and dehydration that can result in death if not treated quickly enough.  Apparently cholera morbus was often associated with food poisoning.

In Grant's case, a contributing factor to his death was myocarditis, defined by the Mayo Clinic as an inflammation of the middle wall of the heart and usually caused by a viral infection.  Symptoms include chest pain and it can result in heart failure.  Reading through all the info about cholera morbus and myocarditis, it seems that Grant must have been through quite an ordeal in his final hours.

For a long time I could not decipher the handwritten name of the cemetery where Grant was buried as it appeared on his death certificate. I kept thinking the first word was something like Robain but could never find a cemetery with a name close to that spelling when I searched lists of Wetzel County cemeteries on the internet. Then yesterday morning it dawned on me that it reads "Robsin Ridge C" - an interesting spelling of Robinson Ridge Cemetery.

Next step was to try to find a photo of his gravestone online, but I was coming up empty. Samuel and Jennie Bradley Church are the only two Churches that show up in Robinson Ridge ... but then I discovered a note on the Wetzel County WVGenWeb site that says that there is a whole section of the cemetery that is full of graves with no markers. Perhaps Grant is buried in that section.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Software is driving me nuts

So I've done three updates to the website since my last blog post - one on the 14th, one on the 18th, and the last one just a little while ago.  Check out Recent Updates, General Updates and New Persons Added for all the details.  If you've been keeping an eye on the website, you'll know that I've been busy ironing out some issues I discovered.

Computers and software are wonderful ... except when they're not working right!  It's easy enough to make errors on my own without getting any assistance from my software.  First discovery was that a software glitch seemed to have changed the marriage roles for some couples from being brides and grooms to being ushers.  Seemed odd, but there weren't too many so I fixed them and moved on.  Until ...

Second discovery was that another glitch messed with marriage roles, affecting all people with more than one marriage. Long story short is that roles determine the sentence structures used in the narratives for people.  When the roles got changed, many folks had blank areas in their narratives followed by a citation footnote number.  This one took a lot longer to fix, but I think I've caught them all.  However, if you run across people with blank gaps where there should be info ... please shoot me an email with their name.

In addition to those bumps in the road, when I fired up my laptop on Monday morning, it gave me a message to the effect that Windows couldn't start. Talk about panic!

I didn't want to do a system restore, which was the first choice I was given.  Second choice was to let Windows try to repair itself, but that was unsuccessful.  Fortunately, when I tried booting up a second time, Windows did start slowly and eventually gave me a message that it had repaired itself.  Whew - what a relief!  

So I updated some of my backups just in case ... and I ran all kind of scans but found no issues ... and I crossed my fingers when I shut down the next time.  All seems to be ok now, but like I said at the beginning ...

Software is driving me nuts!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oy vey

Irony ... it just hit me that my last post, entitled ,"Errors, errors, errors, was nine days ago on the 5th.  With that kind of a title, you may be thinking that I'm hiding my head in shame!

Actually, it was a good thing I did post on the 5th - the same day I had a physical and received a tetanus shot.  No big deal ... I've had one before with no issues ... but this time my slightly older body decided to react the next day.  Long story short is that I slept a lot (101° does that to me) and ended up missing the annual Church Family reunion on Saturday. 

Maybe I should have just kept sleeping though ... 'cause Sunday afternoon I pulled a back muscle.  I should know better than to do something so strenuous as bending over slightly to reach into a drawer for my blow dryer! 

For some reason, my creative genius doesn't seem to work when my back hurts so I've been silent here on the blog front.  Although there is one plus to being down with my back - extra time for genealogy! 

My search for more errors and inconsistencies has continued and sure enough, I found more things to fix.  I'll be updating the website either later tonight or sometime tomorrow.  Keep your eyes open!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Errors, errors, errors

Sometimes I think everyone from Marshall County is related to everyone else in Marshall County.  OK, that's a slight exaggeration, but it never ceases to amaze me when I find lines that connect in places where I never expected to see them connect.

Anyway, yesterday's post listed the new people I added to my website, including Allie (Briggs) Lydick.  I'm a member of a Lydick group on facebook - and reading through some of the comments I found that one of Allie's sisters was Emma (Briggs) Parks.

A light bulb went off as I knew I already had Emma in my database.  Emma married Judson Rossell "J. R." Parks, whose sister Mary Elizabeth "Maida" Parks married Uriah Sheridan Harris (commonly known by variations of his middle name).  Sheridan's parents were Uriah Harris and Mary Ann Lydick.  It's like running around in circles!!

So where does the title of this post fit in?  As I began researching Allie's sister Emma, I looked up her death certificate online and discovered that the death and burial info I had found some time ago from a couple other sources was incorrect. She died in March, not May, and was buried in the Fork Ridge Christian Cemetery, not the Fork Ridge Baptist Cemetery.  Sure enough, J. R.'s burial location was also wrong once I found his death certificate.

I have now corrected my database to reflect the info taken from online images of the death certificates for J. R. and Emma Parks.  Just goes to prove that you always have to confirm info that someone else has collected by tracking down original source documents and seeing them yourself ... an important lesson to always remember in the world of genealogy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Folks and Old Photos

New folks ... just added 14 more people to my website:

It all started as research of Dessie Blake Dobbs.  I have this old photo from Mom's collection that identifies Dessie, except that I don't know which of the two women is Dessie.

Another name is written on the back that looks like it might be Diora Pyles.  As you can see above, I found Anna Diora Dobbs, but she married Clell Lydick - so that leaves me scratching my head right now.  Did she marry more than once, or am I simply barking up the wrong tree?

And then there is the WWI soldier that I have no clue about.  Could be a husband, a brother, or just a friend.

When I look at the same three people in a second photo, it looks like the woman with glasses is older than the soldier and the other woman ... could she be a mother?

If you can help identify the folks in the photos above - I'd love to hear from you! 

One last note:  As for website progress, I made some adjustments in the photo galleries on my website in an effort to get them a little closer to alphabetical order by surname and to make sure photos showed up where I wanted them.  Just another phase in my cleanup efforts. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Harris & Lydick Census Fun

You never know where you'll find someone when you search census records.  For instance, last night I ran across a family in which two grandchildren were listed as living with the grandparents ... and the grandchildren were from different parents.

Here is the household from the 1880 federal census:
Harris, Benjim, age 75 - head
-------, Nancy, age 70 - wife
-------, David, age 27 - son
-------, Bell, age 20 - wife
-------, Joseph, age 1 - son
Lidyck, Florence, age 10 - grandchild
A census is supposed to show everyone's relationship to the head of household, but this enumerator didn't quite follow the rules!

Of course, Benjim should read Benjamin - but if you're writing too fast it's easy to leave out a few letters here & there.  Either that or the census taker was practicing to become a doctor!  But I digress ...

It looks like Benjamin had two wives - but there's no polygamy in the Harris family (at least not that I know about).  Bell is the former Rosa Belle Rulong; she married David Harris who really is Benjamin's son.  So that solves that issue.

How likely is it that a couple aged 75 and 70 have a one-year-old son?  Not very.  Since Bell is shown with her relationship to David rather than Benjamin, it seems much more likely that Joseph is David and Bell's son.  That would make him grandchild no. 1 in this household.

Of course grandchild no. 2 is actually shown as such - although I believe her surname is misspelled and should be Lydick, the spelling used by most of those families in Marshall County.  It's a name that has been spelled different ways down through history, including Leidig, Lidick, etc.

Who is this Florence?  I believe she is the daughter of Oliver Perry and Mahala Lydick - the very next family on that census sheet.  Interestingly, the enumerator spelled their last name correctly as Lydick ... go figure!  This is Mahala Harris, the oldest daughter of Benjamin and Nancy Harris - so there's the connection.  Perry (as he was commonly known) and Mahala lived next to her parents; so while Florence was living with her grandparents, she was still close to her parents.

As I said at the beginning, you never know what you'll find in a census record!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ohio Valley Cost of Freedom Tribute

Wednesday, August 22 ... the American Veterans Traveling Tribute was escorted into Moundsville, West Virginia, by 837 motorcycles.

It was a day of pride - after all, Marshall County residents have always been very proud of the men and women who have served their country.  And this pride was exhibited by the large number of folks who turned out to line the route - one of the largest numbers the Patriot Guard has witnessed according to one of their members.

The next day, that pride was mixed with a lot of emotions as family and friends visited the replica of the Vietnam Memorial to honor the fallen veterans - many laying roses at the base of The Wall, taking photos and making rubbings of the names of their loved ones.

Lyle G. Aston,
11th Armed Cavalry Regiment
"The Blackhorse Regiment"

R.I.P. cousin Lyle ... you may be gone, but you'll NEVER be forgotten.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Anderson Photos

I've been looking for military photos for my sister to display in her store during the Ohio Valley Cost of Freedom Tribute in Moundsville this week.  One that I'm taking is of David Anderson in his Civil War uniform.

Remember my Jesse Anderson post from a few days ago?  I mentioned having photos of three Andersons:  Rachel (Anderson) Aston, Maggie (Anderson) Allen and Dave Anderson - and I'd like to confirm whether or not they are siblings.  I won't repeat all the details, but thought it might be nice to add the photos here.

Here is Dave ... research leads me to believe that he is holding a cavalry sword in addition to the two pistols/revolvers he has tucked into his belt.

Here is the photo with both Maggie and Rachel.  They have their arms around each other, which seems indicative of a close relationship.

They certainly all three have rather square jaws.  Do you see a resemblance?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

David Harris

David Harris was born 20 October 1815 in Virginia (now West Virginia) to John and Nancy (Binnegar) Harris.  He married Melissa Jane Bartlett, whose parents migrated to (West) Virginia from Maine. 

Just as many of my Harris ancestors remained in or near Marshall County, (West) Virginia ... others, including David and Melissa, headed west as so many folks did in the 1800s.  Six of their children were born in (West) Virginia; two more were born in Illinois. 

The photo above is courtesy of Rosann Brown - a distant cousin and direct descendent of David and Melissa who I met online and eventually in person when she came "back east" a few years ago.  I consider this photo a wonderful treasure as it's not everyday I get an image of someone from that generation.  I don't know the exact date the photo was taken, but the year was 1885, meaning David would have been around 70 years old.  I wonder if his birthday might have been the occasion - he was looking quite dapper!

David died on 20 February 1897 at the age of 81; Melissa lived another 17 years.  Both are buried in the Dallas City Cemetery, Dallas City, Illinois.  You can find a photo of their gravestone and additional details about their family on my website - search for either David Harris or Melissa Jane Bartlett.

Reviewing David has been part of my ongoing cleanup as I work through my database.  His ID no. is 253 ... the highest one is currently 2638 ... time to get back to it!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Burial site of Samuel Lydick

The following was posted by Boyd Lydick on the Find A Grave memorial he maintains for Samuel Lydick:
"An article appearing in Moundsville Daily Echo, 12/13/1929 states:
'On the J.R. Earlywine farm - - can be found, in a small burying plot, the grave of Samuel Lydick. The stone marker tells that he was buried there January 5, 1852, or 77 years ago.'
Comment: the year seems inaccurate as his wife is listed as a widow in the 1850 census. Hopefully clarification will come. Also note that this burial site, as stated, is on the J.R. Earlywine farm (on Fork Ridge Road) and very probably is not in this Earlywine Cemetery. The J.R. Earlywine Farm Cemetery is not among Find A Grave's listed cemeteries."

The "Earlywine Cemetery" Boyd references is located in the Sand Hill area, i.e. northern Marshall County. There was reportedly an Earlywine farm on French Run on Fork Ridge - closer to the center of the county.  French Run lies between Brushy Ridge and Glen Easton Ridge Road, north-south roads that connected Fork Ridge and Glen Easton when they were fully open. Knowing that the general area was home to various Harris and Lydick families, it seemed very likely to me that this would be the Earlywine farm where Samuel was reportedly buried.

(Bear in mind that Mary Ann Lydick, daughter of Samuel, married Uriah Harris who lived on Brushy Ridge.  Uriah and Mary Ann are my 2nd great-grandparents.)

Subsequently I ran across another account that referenced the same newspaper article in the Moundsville Daily Echo. In a section titled "Pioneer Graves," the first paragraph referred to the burial of Elias Harris "on the John Long farm near Glen Easton." The second paragraph stated:
On the J. R. Earlywine farm near this place can be found, in a small burying plot, the grave of Samuel Lydick. The stone marker tells that he was buried there January 5, 1852, or 77 years ago. Two of his sons were among those from this section to fight for the reservation of the union in the Civil war.

The Long farm referenced in the first paragraph was located on the lower end of Brushy Ridge closer to Glen Easton. The second paragraph states that the J. R. Earlywine farm was near the Long farm, i.e. on Brushy Ridge. This seems to lend credence to my theory about the location of Samuel Lydick's grave being on Brushy Ridge, closer to the center of Marshall County.
Comments yea or nay anyone?

To get the sources for the info above, check out the citations at the bottom of the Samuel Lydick page on my website.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Website Additions

The folks at facebook are messing with my genealogy schedule.  They updated me to the new timeline format ... which has resulted in two evenings spent on facebook finessing my timeline.  Bummer.

Here's an update of my progress before facebook infringed on my time ... 

After reviewing the family of Samuel Lydick and Catherine Fair, I now have eight more people in my database:

I already had 10 children of Samuel & Catherine:  Jesse, Benjamin, Mary Ann, George Washington, Josiah, William, John, Levi, Samuel, and Oliver Perry.  I have now added:

I've also found three more grandchildren of Samuel & Catherine from two of their sons, Jesse and Oliver Perry:

Another son of Jesse Lydick and Jane Billiter:
Two more children of Oliver Perry and Mahala Harris

Leaving the Lydicks and looking back to my Anderson research, I have added a son of John Porter Allen and Margaret Elizabeth "Maggie" Anderson:

The next upload to my website will include the info I have for these nine new people - but I have a couple things I want to check out first.  I'm shooting for a Sunday upload, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Jesse Anderson

Two days ago I wrote that I was beginning a thorough review of my newly expanded website ... here's the first puzzle I uncovered:

Rachel J. Anderson married James Aston - they are my 2nd great-grandparents.  According to their marriage record, Rachel's parents were Jesse and Angeline Anderson.

The antique photo album I received from my grandmother includes a photo that is labeled as Maggie Allen with Rachel Aston.  There are also two photos on facing pages that are identified as Maggie Allen and John Allen.  Sure enough, I found a marriage record for Margaret E. Anderson and John P. Allen.  But here's the rub ... Maggie's parents are shown as Jesse and Anna Anderson.

The album also includes a photo of Dave Anderson in military uniform- if he's in the album, there must be a connection ... don't you think?

I have no proof yet, but my initial guess is that Rachel, Maggie & Dave are siblings.  I currently have two Jesse Anderson's in my database (#176 father of Rachel and #233 father of Maggie), but I suspect they're actually the same man.  Similarly, I won't be surprised to find that Anna and Angeline are the same person.

Can you shed any light on these folks?

Read more about James and Rachel.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Did you miss me?

One of the primary rules for a successful blog is to post frequently ... guess I missed the mark on that one!  Actually I do have a good excuse.  When I started my West Virginia Heritage website last September, my plan was to slowly add people as I worked my way through a huge clean-up process, one person at a time.  And then I changed my mind.

My new plan was to do some "relatively quick" clean-up for limited types of info (primary events like birth, marriage, death, and burial plus a few others).  Then I could expand the site to include all the people in my database that are deceased.  The only problem was that I actually believed that I could do a "relatively quick" clean-up.  Ha!

I still have a few things to find and fix, but I decided to pull the trigger earlier today.  The website now includes 1,274 people (although a few of those are "pseudo people" used to create pages for cemeteries, census records, etc.).

You may run across something that looks a little weird - maybe something out of place or not worded quite right - that's the kind of things I'm looking for so I can get them corrected.  Feel free to email me if you find something.  Think of this as a challenge like "Where's Waldo?" ... except this is "Where's the Errors?"

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Uriah Harris (1823 - 1906)

I recently found Boyd Lydick's memorials on for Uriah & Mary Ann (Lydick) Harris.  They are my gg-grandparents - I descend from their son Samuel Harris.  The memorial listed Uriah's middle name as Binnegar - interesting as that was the maiden name of his mother.  Being the sort who always hopes to find supporting documentation for this type of information, I contacted Boyd. 

Unfortunately, Boyd said he knows he would not have arbitrarily recorded Binnegar as Uriah's middle name, but he is unable to locate any place where he recorded the source at the time.  That's a problem that happens often to genealogists, especially when it's something from their early days of research.  And yes, it has happened to me too ... I sometimes run across something and wonder, "so where did I get that piece of info?" and then have to hope that I'll run across it again in the future.  Moral of the story:  always record your source for all of your research.

While Boyd and I were trading emails, he found a post on GenForum by Bobby Rawls who refers to his gg-grandparents as Sheridan Uriah Harris and Mary Ann Lydick.  Same Uriah (married to Mary Ann Lydick) -- so could this be Uriah’s full name instead?  Possibly …

Uriah & Mary Ann had a son whose name appears as Uriah Sheridan on his death certificate and as Uriah S. on the 1870 & 1900 censuses.  I believe the son was commonly known by his middle name, which I’ve seen spelled as Sheridan, Sherwood and Sherrard.  I’ve also seen the son’s name as Sheridan U. which had once led me to believe that Uriah may have been his middle name in honor of his father. 

If Bobby is correct that the father was Sheridan Uriah (commonly known by his middle name, Uriah) ... and if my thinking is correct that the son was Uriah Sheridan (commonly known by his middle name, Sheridan) ... then that ranks near the top of the list of most convoluted things I've ever seen!

So what is the real full name of this man known as Uriah Harris?  If you have any input, I'd love to hear from you!