Thursday, September 29, 2016

Learning More about Heinrich Lange

Several months ago the granddaughter of Friedrich Lange reached out to me after finding this blog. Friedrich was the youngest brother of my maternal grandfather, Gustav Lange. She has shared photos with me, asked her father, Wilhelm, questions, and over the past month or so I have been interviewing him. During our second interview I received enough information to look for the remaining "missing" brother, Heinrich Lange. Mom had known his name and thought he was born about 1903. That was all we knew.

Caroline (Ludwig) Lange with six of her seven children. Left to right: Richard
Lange; unknown woman, likely a relative; Lydia "Lida" Lange; Olga Lange;
Friedrich Lange, in front of Olga; Gustav Lange; and Heinrich Lange. Not
included was Traugott Lange. Personal collection. A big thank you to Willy
Lange for identifying the people in this photograph.

Honestly, we don't know much more now. But every little bit is quite exciting when found.

Heinrich Lange was born on 5 July 1903 in what is now Poland or Ukraine. He was the sixth child of Carl August Lange and Caroline Ludwig. His father died in 1905. A year later the eldest brother, Gustav, went to Essen, Germany, where he worked for five years before immigrating to Canada in 1911. The next eldest brother, Traugott, also immigrated to Canada in 1912 or 1913.

When World War I broke out in the summer of 1914 Caroline (Ludwig) Lange and her five children found themselves in an uncomfortable position. They were people of German heritage living in Russia. The Russian government doubted the loyalty of the more than two million Germans who lived within their borders, and relocated many families, including the Lange family. They were notified they would be moved east and ordered to sell everything.

According on one of Caroline's grandsons, she made quite a bit of money after selling their personal possessions. She was able to buy train tickets for the journey, which not many people could afford to do. And she had money left over, which worried her. She was so afraid it would get stolen, she sewed it within the clothing of her two youngest children, Heinrich (about 11 years old) and Friedrich (about 9 years old).

Heinrich had a tendency to wander off at that age so Caroline told the boys if they missed the train, they would get left behind. They went off to play by a river and Heinrich fell in. When they got back to their mother, she was so angry their paper money got wet. The family settled somewhere in the Omsk Oblast, which is in Siberia and lived there until about 1920, when they were allowed to return to Porazava[1]. When they returned the territory was in dispute between the White Russians and Communists. In 1921 Proazava was ceded to Poland.

The years between World War I and World War II saw Caroline's five youngest children grow to adulthood, marry, and begin families of their own. She died a few months before her youngest son, Friedrich married, in 1929 and was buried in Porazava.

Heinrich married Lydia Hoffman in the mid 1920s. She was the daughter of Ludwig Hoffman and Wilhelmine Krause. Heinrich and Lydia had seven children: Tabea, Friedrich, Hanna, Frieda, Ruth, Rita, and Emil. In 1939 after Germany and the Soviet union signed the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the two countries invaded Poland. Germany attacked from the west on 1 September and the Soviets from the east on 17 September.

Poland after the invasion by Germany and the Soviet Union; couresy
of Zoom Maps

Several members of the Lange family were relocated again. This time to the west, which was the portion of Poland German occupied after invading the country on 17 September 1939. I do not know the exact travels Heinrich and his family were forced to make during the war, but by 1952 they lived in Wettmershagen, Germany, which is in Lower Saxony.

Heinrich and his family immigrated to Arkansas in 1952, but it must not have been to their liking as the next year they moved to Winnipeg, where Heinrich had an uncle, Gustav Ludwig, living.

By 1968 he was registered to vote in Canadian elections and worked as a presser in a laundry. Some time after that, Heinrich, his wife, and at least some of this adult children moved to Vancouver. Heinrich worked on a ranch in British Columbia.

Lydia (Hoffman) Lange died on 22 November 1982 at Burnaby General Hospital of a cerebrovascular accident. She was interred Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby. Sometime after his wife's death, Heinrich moved in with his eldest daughter's family in Port Moody. He died on 3 November 1991 at Queen's Park Hospital of a myocardial infarction. He was also buried at Ocean View Park.
His wife's name was Lydia Hoffman. She was the daughter of Ludwig Hoffman and Wilhelmina Krause. She was born on 19 November 1907 in what is now Poland and died on 24 November 1982 at Burnaby General Hospital. She and her husband lived at 6955 Doman Road in Vancouver at the time of her death. She and Heinrich were interred at Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby.

Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby, Canada; courtesy
of Find A Grave volunteer Karen Hanna

Children of Heinrich and Lydia (Hoffman) Lange

Heinrich and his wife had seven children; however, two are still alive so I will not mention them:
  1. Tabea "Toby" Lange born in 1927 in Poland; died 27 September 2002, Mission, Canada; married Paul Beschetznick
  2. Friedrich "Fred" or "Fritz" born 3 November 1930 in Poland; died 7 April 1991, New Westminster, Canada; married Gertrude "Gerty" Wahl
  3. Hanna Lange born 11 May 1937; died 23 November 2003, British Columbia, Canada; married Hans-Juergen Logeman
  4. Frieda Lange born 17 May 1942 in Matschulek, Poland; died 21 Mar 2015; married Waldemar "Wally" Jack
  5. Ruth Lange born 25 June 1943; died 27 December 2008 in California, USA; married Manfred Czinczoll
[1] Porazava is now in the Grodno region of Belarus. At the time the Lange family lived there, it was in the Volyn Oblast of Russia. Germans spelled it Porozov, Volhynia.

Friedrich Lange's son, Willy, provided the story about relocating to Siberia, and several locations for various family members in interviews. Knowing Heinrich died in British Columbia, I was able to find the death certificates for he and his wife online through the Royal BC Museum. Other information about where they lived after leaving Europe was included in his daughter Frieda's obituary, which Willy kindly sent to me.

Traugott Lange's Descendants
Lange Family Bible Unlocks the Life of Traugott Lange
The Sibling Problem

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Robert Earl Bond: Lost Then Found

Robert Earl Bond was born on 20 March 1896 in Staunton, Illinois to William Francis Bond and Mary Alice Riggin, who was the half-sister of my great grandmother, Ida Mae (Riggin) Muir, making Robert Earl Bond my first cousin twice removed.

Relationship between Robert Earl Bond and me; chart created using
Microsoft Powerpoint

Robert's father was a teamster. Robert grew up in Staunton and when he registered for the World War I draft worked as chauffeur for his father's company, Bond & Son. He was drafted in 1918 and served as a private during the war assigned to Supply Company of the 347th Infantry Regiment, 174 Infantry Brigade, 87th Division. The division was in France, in the Pons area. They worked primarily as laborers while overseas. Robert was honorably discharged on 21 January 1919.

He returned to Illinois and continued working as a chauffeur. He was listed in the 1928 Staunton city directory with a wife named Minta, who was Araminta (Stewart) Johnson. She was the daughter of Green B. Stewart and Sarah Cockron and had been married previously and had two children. In 1930 Robert was farming a rented farm and lived with his wife, divorced step-daughter and step-son in Tyrone, Illinois. By 1940 Robert's step-children had moved out and he and Minta lived alone. The farm was also gone and Robert worked as a foreman for the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

In 1942 Robert lived in Mulkeytown and worked at the Illinois Ordnance Plant in Carbondale, Illinois. Minta was listed as the person who would always know his address.  She applied for a Social Security account in January 1943 as Minta Stewart Bond. But then I lost Robert when I first researched my Riggin line in late 2012 and early 2013.

Recently, a lot of my cousins have taken DNA tests and as I processed their matches, I decided to check the two matches most of us have with known common shared ancestors in the Riggin line. Those matches shared a third match with me I had not seen before. There were only 13 people in this new match's family tree, but the Bond surname was familiar.

DNA match pedigree chart; courtesy of

It turns out the Robert E. Bond listed on this pedigree chart is the same Robert Earl Bond, who is in my tree. And he had a new wife! I don't know what happened to his first wife Minta. She was 14 years older than Robert so perhaps she died or perhaps they divorced.

On 24 May 1958 Robert married Ruby Elaine (Bailey) Sizemore, a divorced woman with three children in their early 20s in Gate City, Virginia. Robert lived in Cedar Bluff, Virginia, and worked as a coal miner. He was 62 years old at the time of their marriage and indicated when he applied for the license that he was single. Ruby was the daughter of James Bailey and Lepora Bumgarner and was 38 at the time of their marriage. They obviously had a child together as that person is a DNA match and from the looks of their family tree are either just beginning to research their family history or do not know much about their father's family.

Robert made a life claim on his Social Security account in 1959, perhaps he retired then. He died in Orange County, Florida, on 29 March 1962 and was interred at Grandview Memory Gardens in Bluefield, Virginia. Ruby married two more times before her death in 1998.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Carroll Families of Colonial Maryland

Aunt Katherine asked me to look into her father's Walter family last year at the Lange Cousins Reunion as she didn't know much about them. I was able to trace the Walter family back to Nicola Walter (about 1720-1804), who immigrated with his wife and children from Rhineland-Palz and arrived in Philadelphia on 9 September 1751 aboard the Patience. Then Aunt Katherine and her son, my first cousin, agreed to be DNA tested so I thought I should research her mother's Carroll family so that I would have a better opportunity to identify their DNA matches.

Aunt Katherine's mother's maiden name was Carroll and her family had lived in Maryland for generations. There were several prominent men named Carroll in Maryland's Colonia-era history and I wondered if Aunt Katherine was related to one of them. But I could only get her Carroll family back to James Carroll, who was christened on 4 May 1768. His christening record listed his parents as William and Eleanor Carroll, but I have not yet found out anything about them.

Aunt Katherine's pedigree chart; courtesy of

Once I hit a dead end working backwards from Aunt Katherine, I decided to learn more about the Colonial-era Carroll family. Perhaps, there would be a clue about William Carroll following that research avenue.

It turns out there were two separate, seemingly unrelated prominent Carroll families in Maryland during the Colonial-era. Both were from Ireland and one was Catholic and one was not, though I believe the original Carroll in that family was Catholic but converted so that he could more fully take part in the business and political affairs offered by the colony.

The first Carroll to arrive in Maryland was Charles Carroll "the Settler" (1661-1720). He arrived in the province on 1 October 1688 and had secured the position of Attorney General before his arrival. His second wife was Mary Darnell, the daughter of Colonel Henry Darnell, Charles Calvert's chief agent in the colony. Two of their sons became known as Charles Carroll "of Annapolis" (1702-1782) and Daniel Carroll "of Duddington" (1707-1734). Charles Carroll "of Annapolis" married Elizabeth Brooke, and their son, Charles Carroll "of Carrollton" (1737-1832) was the only signer of the Declaration of Independence who was Catholic.

The first Carroll to come to Maryland from what became the Protestant branch of the family was Dr. Charles Carroll, Jr., who was born in Ireland in 1691 and arrived in Maryland in 1715. He renounced his Roman Catholic faith upon arrival and became Anglican, settling in Annapolis where he engaged in the practice of medicine and land speculation. He married Dorothy Blake. Their eldest son became known as Charles Carroll "the Barrister (1723-1783), who was an American lawyer and statesman. The Barrister's heir was one his sister's sons, James MacCubbin, who changed his name to James Carroll (1761-1832) in order to accept his inheritance. His son, James MacCubbin Carroll (1791-1873), was a director of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Company. He also served Maryland in the U.S. Congress.

According to author Ronald Hoffman, who wrote Princes of Ireland, Planters of Maryland: A Carroll Saga, 1500-1782, Dr. Charles Carroll, Jr.'s brother was Keane Carroll. His grandsons were Daniel Carroll II (1730-1796), who was one of the founding fathers of country, participated in the Constitutional Convention and was a Senator from Maryland, and Archbishop John Carroll (1735-1815), a prelate in the Roman Catholic church who was the first bishop and archbishop in the United States.

I believe the two Carroll families are related in some way back in Ireland. Dr. Charles Carroll, Jr. and Charles Carroll "of Carrollton" did business together, forming the Baltimore Company Iron Works in 1731 and used the salutation "Cousin" when writing to each other. But how?

On the Hathi Trust website I found, Families of Dr. Charles Carroll and Cornet Thomas Dewey, by Douglas Carroll. The book included letters between Dr. Charles Carroll, Jr. and Sir Daniel O'Carroll dated 1748 and a series of letters between Francis O'Carroll and a Charles Carroll dated 1882-83 which discussed the genealogy of the Carroll family. Francis O'Carroll included this chart with his letter:

Snippet from page 7 of Families of Dr. Charles Carroll and
Coronet Thomas Dewey

Honestly, I don't know what to make of it. The letter in which it was contained purports the chart outlines the connection between the Carroll families. Also included on page 2 was this chart printed by Sir Bernard Burke about 1870:

Snippet of page 2 of Families of Dr. Charles Carroll and Coronet
Thomas Dewey

So I am still completely at sea. I cannot figure out how the Colonial-era Carroll families are related nor can I figure out if the father James Carroll (born in 1768) was a member of either family. But it was an interesting rabbit hole to wander through!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Worldwide Genealogy: AncestryDNA Process for Newbies (Including Me!)

So you have DNA tested with Ancestry. Now what?

My husband and I first had our DNA testing done in 2012 using an autosomal test offered by Ancestry. My two brothers and my 83-year-old mother tested the next year, which turned out to be the year before she died. Dad's dementia did not enable him to understand spitting into a vial. But earlier this year his 89-year-old brother tested. Currently, I administer the results of 11 DNA tests and another 6 are at the lab being processed. I still consider myself a DNA research rookie.

Several of the tests are first cousins on my maternal side. None of us know much about our grandfather, the family Gustav Lange (1888-1963), and more than half of my 11 Lange cousins are helping me in my research by agreeing to DNA test. I have uploaded Mom's raw DNA test results and a gedcom version of her tree to because there is a group of Society of German Genealogy in Eastern Europe (SGGEE) members who share DNA with Mom who understand chromosome matching. I do not. Therefore, this post is about how someone with a limited understanding of DNA can use Ancestry DNA-related tools to further their research.

And I will attest to the success I've had using DNA even with a limited understanding of the science. Some successes:
  1. Confirming my 4X great grandfather Samuel Beard, (1750-1814) was the brother of Capt. David Beard and the son of Adam Beard (1725-1777), which proved my previous research and enabled me to have him re-instated as a Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) patriot.
  2. Identifying a new Beard cousin (descended through Capt. David Beard), whose uncle had written a book which described the family's wagon trip from Iowa to Colorado and California in the late 1890s.
  3. Learning about my previously unknown great great grandmother Barbara Ann Mitchell, who descended from Robert Mitchell "the Immigrant," who was alive and living in Londonderry, Northern Ireland during the Seige of Derry in 1688-1689.
  4. Having the opportunity to interview my first cousin once removed who was the son of Grandpa Lange's youngest brother about the family's experience during and between World War I and World War II
  5. Proving that I had correctly identified the siblings of my great grandmother, Caroline (Ludwig) Lange.
  6. Discovering a five times great grandfather was Robert Mitchell "the Elder" (1714-1799) and finding a book about one of his sons which included a personality profile about Robert Mitchell.
And more...

In order to take full advantage of what little I do understand about DNA, I needed to develop a process to follow when viewing, identifying, and managing the results of the tests as well as how I communicate with the people who have so graciously spit into the tube for me! I thought for my bi-monthly Worldwide Genealogy -- A Genealogical Collaboration, I would detail my DNA process. 

Please click AncestryDNA for Newbies (Including Me) to learn more.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Lange Family and the Forgotten War

On the eve World War I my great grandmother, Caroline (Ludwig) Lange, lived in what is now Porozove, Rivne, Rivne, Ukraine. At the time, the town was in Volhynia Gubernia[1] of the Russian Empire. As World War I progressed the Russia government became sensitive to the over 2 million Germans who lived within their borders and relocated many of them east to Siberia or other parts of the empire. Caroline Lange and her five youngest children were sent to the Omsk Oblast. They were allowed to return to Porozove in about 1920. World War I had ended but the area was not yet peaceful.

Modern day Ukraine in white with Volhynia in gold/yellow; map courtesy of

The Polish-Soviet War occurred between 1919 and 1921 fought by the Second Polish Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic against Soviet Russia[2] and Soviet Ukraine over an area that is roughly equivalent to modern-day Ukraine and the western portion of Belarus. Poland wanted to push its borders eastward as far as was feasible. And Lenin saw Poland as the bridge the Red Army had to cross to assist other communist movements bring about revolution in Europe. Ukraine was trying to establish itself as a country, but had a weak hand as Polish troops occupied much of the western part of the country. Ukraine also had to contend with the Bolsheviks pushing westward until they had pushed Polish troops all the way back to Warsaw.

Poland won an unexpected but decisive battle at Warsaw and advanced eastward. Russia sued for peace and a cease fire was put in place in October 1920. The Peace of Riga was signed on 18 March 1921 and divided the disputed territories between Poland and Soviet Russia.

The territory that included Porozove was ceded to Poland by the Riga treaty. These borders remained in place until World War II.

In between the world wars Caroline Lange's family did what families do. Her children began getting married and having children. Caroline died in October 1929 and was interred in Porozove. Her youngest son married a few months after her death, intending to use the tickets his oldest brother, Gustav (my grandfather) sent, but his new wife didn't want to leave her family, so they stayed.

Germany and the Soviet Union signed a secret pact in August 1939 called the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. It was a non-aggression pact between the two countries that delineated spheres of influence along Germany's easter border. On 1 September Germany invaded Poland from the west and a little more than two weeks later, on 17 September 1939 the Soviet Union invaded from the east.

Caroline Lange's five youngest children, Olga, Lydia, Richard, Heinrich, and Friedrich, found themselves in a war zone yet again.

NOTE: At this stage in my research I do not yet know why the Lange family lived in Porozove. Caroline Ludwig married Carl August Lange in 1886. Their marriage was registered in what is now Rozhysche, Volyn', Ukraine, which is south of Porozove. Carl Lange died in 1905 about three months after their youngest child was born. Caroline supported her family by working as a medicine woman and midwife.

[1] The Volhynia Gubernia is now located in Belarus, Poland, and Ukraine.

[2] Soviet Russia was a sovereign state from 1917 until 1922 when the Soviet Union was formed.

Much of the information about the various dates and places the Lange family lived comes from the few documents I have been able to collect and conversations with Friedrich Lange's son, Willy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Slaves of Samuel Kelly, Greenville County, South Carolina

My 89-year-old uncle's DNA matches are slowly but surely revealing clues to records about my seven times great grandfather Thomas Rice (1656-1711). An account of his life, written by his grandson, Rev. David Rice, stated Thomas had nine sons and three daughters. Various public trees have as many 17 children associated to him.

The following are children proven through the vestry books of baptisms in St. Peter's Parish in New Kent County, Virginia, which included the names of the parents:
  1. James Rice, baptized 4 April 1686
  2. Thomas Rice, baptized 24 June 1688
  3. Edward Rice, baptized 17 April 1690
  4. Mary Rice, baptized 15 July 1694
  5. John Rice, baptized 18 September 1698
  6. Alice Rice, baptized 29 September 1700
  7. Marcy Rice, baptized 5 July 1702
As I was researching the other ten supposed children of Thomas Rice, I came across a Maryann Rice who married Samuel Kelly. Samuel's will was probated in Greenville County, South Carolina, in 1819.

In his will he made the following bequests:

First it is my will and desire, that my beloved wife Maryann Kelly ... also one negro woman named GRACE to have and to hold during her natural life, then to return to my grandson Samuel Forrester.

It is my will and desire that my grandson Samuel Forrester shall have one negro girl named FANNY,  this girl to remain with my wife Maryann Kelly till he shall arrive at the age of twentyone years, then to have and to hold said girl to him and his heirs forever.

The will was signed by Samuel Kelly's mark on 17 February 1819 and was probated on 24 April 1819.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness: Northern Liberties Lot Indenture

I received an email from Russ Bennett, a complete stranger, a few months ago. He had stopped in an antique store in Cleveland, Ohio, and found a large 22-1/2 inches by 13-1/2 inches framed document which looked to be a deed. Russ took photographs of the document, noted the names, dates and city mentioned. Then came home and Googled those names. Russ found my blog and email address and wanted to know if I was interested in the deed.

Of course I was! It transpired the antique store owner would not ship so Russ offered to buy the deed in my stead and ship it to me. Not only did he make that kind offer, he negotiated 25 percent off the price!

Thank you Russ!

Russ Bennett at the grave of his great great grandfather;
provided and used with the permission of Russ Bennett

Now that I have digitized, transcribed and added the deed to my family tree, I hope to be able to donate it to an appropriate historical society. As a result I am communication with the Historical Society of Philadelphia as the lot described in the document was located in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia which is just north of the city center bounded on the east by the Delaware River.

Digitized copy of the 22-1/2 inch by 13-1/2 inch Indenture; personal collection

"This Indenture. Made the Nineteenth day in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and six Between Samuel Blair of Germantown in the County of Philadelphia Doctor of Divinity and Susanna his wife of the one part and William Shippen of the City of Philadelphia Doctor of Physick of the other part,

WHEREAS Doctor William Shippen of Germantown by his Indenture bearing date of the fifth day of September in the year of our Lord 1799 did grant and Convey unto Jane Dring in fee -- A Certain Lot or piece of Ground situate on the North side of Nobel Street between Delaware front and Second Street in the Northern Liberties of the city of Philadelphia Containing in breadth East and West Thirty eight feet and in length or depth extending North and South fifty feet more or less, Bounded Westwards by ground of William Shippen, Northwardly by ground estate of Isaac Leech deceased Eastward by ground granted to Jacob Fryberger and Southward by Noble Street aforesaid -- Subject to an annual Ground rent of fifty Spanish milled silver Dollars and two thirds of such a Dollar payable to the said William Shippen and his Heirs

City Center and Northern Liberties neighborhoods on 1808 Philadelphia map
by John Hills; courtesy of Philadelphia GeoHistory Network[1]

Northern Liberties neighborhood map showing the area where the Shippen-
Blair lot was located; 1895 Philadelphia Atlas Plate 7 courtesy of  Greater
Philadelphia GeoHistory Network[1]

AND WHEREAS the said Jane Dring on the first day of December 1803 by Deed of Assignment on the aforesaid Indenture for the Consideration of Four hundred Dollars did sell and Convey to the above named Samuel Blair and Susanna his wife their Heirs and Assigns the before described Lot of piece of ground with the buildings there Erected Subject to the Ground rent aforesaid

AND WHEREAS the said William Shippen, Samuel Blair and Susanna his wife parties hereunto the [**?**] Legatees of the said William Shippen by their Deed of Partition bearing date the Thirty first day of July 1802 parted and divided his Estate, undisposed of by his last will and the aforesaid ground rent issuing out of the Lot or piece of ground

INTER ALIA marked in the said Deed of Partition S.

B. No. 15 was allotted to the said Samuel Blair and Susanna his wife their Heirs and Assigns

NOW THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH that the said Samuel Blaire and Susanna his wife for and in Consideration of Nine hundred Dollars to them paid by the said William Shippen at the Execution hereof the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged

HAVE and by these presents DO grant bargain sell alien[?] onfeoff[?] release and confirm unto the said William Shippen his Heirs and Assigns All the above described Lot or piece of Ground free and clear of the said Yearly Ground Rent situate on the North side of Noble Street between Delaware front and second Street in the Northern Liberties aforesaid containing in breadth East and West Thirty eight feet and in length or depth North and South fifty feet more or less butted and bounded as aforesaid Together with the buildings there on erected

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said Lot or piece of Ground with the buildings and appurtenances forever free and clear of the said Rent charge and all arrearages thereof to the only proper use and behoof of the said William Shippen his Heirs and Assigns forever AND Samuel Blair doth Covenant promise and agree to and with the said William Shippen and his Heirs that the said Samuel Blair and his Heirs shall and will forever Warrant and Defend the Premises hereby granted clear of all Incumbrances unto the said William Shippen his Heirs and Assigns forever

In Witness whereof the said parties have hereto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written

Witnesses at signing
Thos. Gordon
Samuel Betton

Received on the day of the date of the above written Indenture of the above named William Shippen Nine hundred Dollars being the full consideration money above mentioned.

[Signed by] Samuel Blair"

The back of the deed also included old, faint handwriting:

Digital copy of the reverse side of the Indenture; personal collection

"The twenty third day of May Anno Domini 1806 Before me the Subscriber one of the Justices of the Peace in and for the County of Philadelphia came the within named Samuel Blair and Susanna his wife and acknowledged the written Indenture to be their Act and Deed and desired the same to be recorded as such -- the said Susanna being of full age separate and apart from her husband by me privately examined, and the full contents thereof made known unto her, she thereunto voluntarily consenting witnesses my and hand and seal the day and year foresaid


Samuel Betton


Samuel Blair and Wife
Dr. William Shippen

Lot on North side of Noble St. between Del. front & Second Sts.


Recorded in the office for Recording Deeds
for the City and County of Philadelphia in Deed Book J.A.M. No. 8 page 546

Witness by hand and seal of office this 11th day of February 1870 A.D.

Thos. Horesman [?]

[1] Thanks to the Greater PhiladelphiaGeo Network for the interactive overlay of historic maps with a current Internet-based map application.

Samuel Blair was by 6 times great uncle, son of Rev. Samuel Blair and Frances Van Hook.

"Crossing the Pond" with Edward Shippen (1639-1712)
Pray Together, Stay Together
Revolutionary War Chaplain, Rev. Samuel Blair (Jr.)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Elbin Lee McDougal, Bigamist

Thomas Albert Witt was born on 22 December 1877 in Putnam, West Virginia, to Elles Robert Witt and Emily Alice Billups. His paternal grandmother was Elizabeth "Betsey" (Beard) Witt, who was the granddaughter of my five times great grandfathers, Adam Beard (1725-1777) and Robert Mitchell (1714-1799).

Thomas grew up in Putnam County and became a farmer like his father. At the age of 33, he married Cora Bell (Martin) McDougal on 1 February 1911 and the couple had eight known children during the course of their marriage.

Cora Bell had been married previously to Elbin Lee MeDougal. They had five children between 1899 and 1909. Elbin worked as a sawyer, likely at a saw mill. The 1910 census which listed the McDougal family was taken on 7 May. However, just a couple of weeks earlier, on 20 April 1910, Elbin, using the name John L. McDougal, married Nancy Bennett on 20 April in Lexington, Kentucky. I'm not sure when he left Cora Bell and the children for good, but she was free to marry again in 1911.

Apparently, Elbin was more than a bit of a ladies' man and enjoyed being married. So much so he was married to three different women at the same time. I'm not sure how the women found out about each other, but eventually Elbin was convicted of bigamy and served time in jail. I will let The Big Sandy News article tell the story:


Ecker McDugal, Alias McKensie, charged with having three wives

ROANOKE, Va., Mar. 7 -- Described in letters from Louisa, Ky., as a ladies' man and active in church work, formerly of Ivorydale, Ohio, Edker McKinsey, 30 years old, said to be in the employ of the N. & W., was arrested here today on a warrent charging bigamy.

The arrest was made on information from Lawrence county, Ky., charging that McKinsey is Albin L. McDugal, who escaped from the Lawrence county jail, at Louisa, several years ago. According to information from Louisa, McDugal married Edna May Austin in Lawrence county, Ky., in August 1911 when he had a wife, who was Miss Nancy Bennett, living in Lawrence county, O., near Ironton, whom he is charged with having married Apr. 20, 1910.

Under the name of McKinsey the man arrested today married Mrs. Fannie Groves, a widowed daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Overstreet of Roanoke. -- Cincinnati Enquirer.

This much married and badly "wanted" man is now in the Lawrence county jail here. Sheriff Stone had been on his trail for some time, and when he was arrested in Roanoke the officer set about to bring him back to this county. The prisoner had an examining trial in Roanoke, however, and was released on bail. McDugal did not remain in Roanoke, but broke bail and fled.

Sheriff Stone was informed of this, and knowing that the man had relatives in Charleston, W. Va., so informed the detectives. McDugal was seen to get off the train in Charleston and was trailed to the residence of one of his kin. Two of his relatives occupied adjoining houses. The buildings were surrounded, and when the fugitive emerged from his hiding plance he was arrested. Sheriff Stone was informed of this and immediately went to Charleston for his man. McDugal at first demurred to coming back to Kentucky without a requisition, but finally consented to waive this formaility, and he and the Sheriff arrived here Monday night.[1]

Snippet of an article entitled "Circuit Court Hard at Work," The Big Sandy
17 April 1914; courtesy of the Library of Congress

On 16 April 1914 Elbin Lee McDougal pled guilty to the charges of bigamy for which the penalty was three to nine years confinement in the penitentiary.  His three wives attended the trial. His children by his marriage to Cora Bell Martin worked to get McDougal released from prison.

He married Minnie (Dawson) Fielder on 13 October 1918 in Mason County, West Virginia. She was a divorcee with four known children. This marriage did not work either. When the 1940 census was enumerated, Minnie lived with a daughter and told the enumerator she was a widow.

Elbin Lee McDougal; courtesy of FAG volunteer,
Bonnie Schermer

Elbin Lee McDougal died on 25 March 1943 at a hospital in Charleston, the city where he lived with his son, Osborne. He was interred at Spring Hill Cemetery in Charleston.

His wives were:

Cora Belle (Martin) McDougal Witt (1880-1957)
Nancy Bennett (about 1890-unknown)
Lilly Mae Austin (1890-1963)
Frances "Fannie" Freeman (Overstreet) Groves McDougal Terry (1884-1955)
Minnie (Dawson) Fielder McDougal (1879-1943)

[1] The Big Sandy News, Louisa, Larence County, Kentucky, March 13, 1914, page 1

Links are to Find A Grave

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What Happened to Little Mary Moore?

When I wrote a post entitled Death and Kidnapping last month, I didn't know what happened to Mary Elizabeth Moore, who had been "kidnapped" from a hospital room the night before her mother died. Mary's step-father accused her father of the crime. Mary was nine years old at the time. Charges against her father were later dropped though it was unclear if Mary was returned to him or raised by foster parents. I have not been able to find her in the 1940 census though I do believe her father had remarried by 1940 and lived in Macon, Georgia, with his second wife and daughter, Betty.

1 July 1934 edition of the Macon Telegraph; courtesy of the Macon Historical Society

I know from Mary's Social Security application records she submitted three name changes throughout her life: 1) in Apr 1953 she said her name was Mary Moore Bradbury; 2) on 21 January 1976 she said her name was Mary M. Lindsey; and 3) on 26 May 1999 she said her name was Mary Moore Lindsey. I suspected the first two name changes were the result of marriages.

It turns out Mary Moore married Walter C. Bradbury, who was the son of John Lewis Bradbury and Mary Phillips. He grew up in Bibb County, Georgia, so it is entirely possible they met in their hometown of Macon. By 1952 Walter and Mary lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he worked as a chemist. Five years later, the couple lived in Corpus Christi, Texas. Perhaps Walter had a job that transferred him frequently?

On 12 August 1974 Mary married Harold Isaac Lindsey in Pasco County, Florida. She was 50 years old at the time of the marriage. Walter Bradbury died in 2008 so they must have divorced. Harold was the son of Walter M. Lindsey and Bertie Perkins. He had been married previously, and at the time of that marriage, worked as a lawyer. Mary and Harold divorced on 1 August 1990 in Hillsborough County, Florida. It appears Mary spent the rest of her life there and died on 25 May 2003 in Lutz, Florida.

I later found a family tree on created by Mary's daughter. That tree indicated she had a child by each husband; the daughter from her first marriage to Walter Bradbury and a son with Harold Lindsey.

It should be noted that John Henry Moore and Emily B. Wilson, Mary's parents, had another child, Nelda Moore. She was born on 1 December 1923 and died on 7 May 1925 in Bibb County. Little Nelda was interred in Riverside Cemetery where her mother was buried. Mary was 10 months old at the time of Nelda's death so likely did not remember having a sister.

Death and Kidnapping

Monday, September 12, 2016

Jesse Lee Children's Home

My first cousin twice removed, Alexander Eugene Muir (1917-1999) married Minerva B. Hansen sometime before 1940. She was born in Chignik Bay, Alaska, on 3 July 1916 to Lars Antone Hansen and Nancy J. Anderson and was eldest of eight children. Her father was Norwegian and immigrated tot he United States when he was 19 years old. I'm not sure how he ended up in Alaska, perhaps he was drawn by the gold rushes in the Yukon Territory. At the time Lars came to Alaska, it was the newest U.S. territory.

Nancy J. (Anderson) Hansen with her parents and siblings before her marriage
to Lars Anderson; courtesy of Puyulek Pu'irtuq: The People of the Volcanoes!
by Michele Morseth

In 1920 Lars was a fisherman working on his own account. He lived with his in-laws. Nancy's father had come to Alaska from Oregon sometime after 1870 and married a woman whose father was Russian and whose mother was Native American. She was considered a Creole and she and her children were marked as mixed race on all census forms. After Nancy married Lars and they had children, those children were also marked as mixed race on each census form.

Lars died sometime before 1930 and Nancy lived alone with her children. Nancy's daughter, Minerva, migrated to Washington State sometime after that. However, by 1940 Nancy had remarried, worked as a nurse at the local cannery, and lived with her husband, a son by her first husband and two other children she had with her second husband. Another son was a lodger with a local family. However, her remaining five children by Lars lived at the Jesse Lee Orphanage Home in Seward, Alaska.

Jesse Lee Home in Unalaska in 1901; courtesy of Wikipedia

I wondered why she made that decision and I will likely never know, but the Jesse Lee Orphanage had a very interesting history. It was first founded in 1890 in Unalaska as a boarding school. Students were mostly Native American and mixed race children from the Aleutian Islands and the Seward Peninsula. During the Spanish flu pandemic the population of many remote, coastal Native American Villages had been decimated. The boarding school became crowded and its buildings were in serious need of repair. In addition it was expensive to ship food and supplies to the school. It was decided to move the institution to Seward, which was the largest port in the territory. The new site consisted of several acres and several buildings, including a shop, vocational classrooms, a darkroom, library, gymnasium, and dormitories.

During World War II, the children were moved to other locations and the buildings were painted camouflage. A temporary Fort Raymond Army Base occupied part of the orphanage's property. A 1964 earthquake caused extensive damage resulting in the demolition of one of the dormitories. The Methodist Church moved the orphanage to Anchorage and sold the Seward property to the city. The home has remained vacant since that time.

In an interesting bit of trivia the territorial flag was designed by one of the students at the Jesse Lee Home, chosen among 700 other entrants in a statewide contest. The design is now the state flag.

Creoles: A Social Experiment
Chignik Bay, Alaska

Friday, September 9, 2016

Keeping It in the Family

I participated in two one-place studies of Floyd and Carroll counties, Virginia, a few years ago. The objective was to create family trees in a GEDCOM format. The first phase required volunteers to enter information from heritage books, which included resident-submitted family histories and genealogies. The second phase required gathering of online source citations to validate or disprove those histories. Offline sources were to be collected for facts not proved by online documents and disproved facts were put aside for further review.

I keep one large, sprawling family tree online and because several of the families involved in the one-place studies were tangentially related to me, I entered the data into my online tree, synched it with Family Tree Maker and then split off the one-place studies in that application.

Not long ago I received a question about a couple in my Floyd County one-place study. For that county I had only been involved in the phase that entered data from the heritage book into a family tree application. So none of the information I had was sourced. In an attempt to answer the question, I researched the family group -- much further back in time than I intended as I kept finding men with the surname Quesenberry marrying women with the maiden name of Quesenberry. I figured I had another case of cousins marrying cousins and I wanted to know more. The answer to the cousin question was, as near as I can determine, yes but much more distant cousins than one might think for a county that had a population of 14,405 in 1890 and 15,279 in 2010.

Graphic representing three generations of Quesenberry-Quesenberry marriages
and the spouses relationship to each other; created using Microsoft Powerpoint

Yes, all the Floyd County Quesenberry-Quesenberry marriages were between cousins, but mostly distant cousins.
  • Thomas Henderson Quesenberry married Mary Emma Quesenberry in 1890. They were first cousins twice removed
  • Gordon Lee Quesenberry married Caroline Quesenberry in 1914. They were second cousins twice removed
  • Chester Vinton Quesenberry married Treva Mae Quesenberry in 1939. They were third cousins.
What caught my fancy was three generations of fathers and sons marrying women with the same surname.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Married a Dental Student

Gertrude Elizabeth Walter was my Aunt Katherine's first cousin once removed. Gertrude was born on 9 March 1908 in Sanistone, West Virginia, to Harry O. and Gertrude Frances Walter. She was their third child and younger sister to Harry Maynard Walter. Her father was a cigar maker at the time of her birth. In 1910 the family lived in Green Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and in 1920 they were back in Baltimore, Maryland, Gertrude's father's hometown. They lived at 804 Hollins Street and her father owned and operated a novelties shop.

Gertrude Elizabeth Walter married Domingo Blasini, a young dental student from Puerto Rico, likely in 1926 as their daughter Celia Gloria Blasini was born in early 1927. Domingo was a junior at the University of Baltimore School of Dentistry that year.

1928 class at the School of Dentistry; courtesy of

Her husband boarded the S/S Defina in Baltimore on 17 July 1928 after graduating. He traveled with his widowed mother, brother-in-law, sister and their children back to Puerto Rico. They arrived in San Juan on 24 July 1928.

Gertrude and daughter Gloria followed a few months later. They left from New York City on 16 October 1928 aboard the S/S San Lorenzo and arrived on 22 October 1928. Their destination in Puerto Rico was Mayaguez, where her new husband had settled. The young family was enumerated together when the 1930 census was taken. They lived at 147 Calle Hostos in Mayaguez and Gertrude was listed as speaking Spanish. Her husband was a doctor or dentist.

The marriage must have been fairly short lived as Gertrude and Gloria returned to the U.S. on 28 November 1930 arriving in Baltimore aboard the S/S Barbara. Gertrude indicated to ship officials her destination was 2775 West North Street, the home of her parents. Her mother died in 1938 and her father, in 1940.

When the 1940 census was enumerated on 2 April, Gertrude and Gloria lived at 3319 Gwynn Falls Parkway with her sister Mabel and her husband, John Gibson. Gertrude worked as a clerk at a shoe company. She was also enumerated that year on 6 April with her brother, Henry Maynard Walter, who lived at 209 Crain Highway in Glen Burnie. This is not unusual as the census is taken every 10 years over a few months.

In 1944, Gertrude's daughter, Gloria, was a cadet student nurse at St. Agnes Hospital, her nursing corps card indicated Gertrude's occupation was a clerk.

St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore; courtesy of Kilduffs

Gertrude Elizabeth (Walter) Blasini died on 12 December 1974 and was interred at Mount Olivet Cemetery near her parents and brother, Henry. She never remarried although her ex-husband, Domingo Blasini, went on to marry at least two more times. He died in 1980 in Puerto Rico.

Children of Domingo and Gertrude Elizabeth (Walter) Blasini

  1. Celia Gloria Blasini born 15 January 1927 in Baltimore, Maryland; trained as a cadet student nurse at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore during World War II; married Jose E. Herrera and had three children; lived in Ellicott City, Maryland; died 11 April 2015.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Honoring Ancestors Who Died in Mines

On Labor Day we commemorate working people and the labor movement by observing Labor Day, our national holiday established to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations." Labor Day was born out of the Industrial Revolution and that revolution was fueled by coal. Many of my ancestors worked in coal pits in Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, and the United States. Today, I would like to remember and honor those men who were killed working in coal mines.

John Franklin Austin (1915-1943)
Age at Death: 27
Relationship: First husband of the wife of my third cousin once removed, Clyde Hilton Key (1911-1987)
Parents: Harry F. Austin and Mattie E. Parker
Cause of Death: Crushed between a train and the wall of the coal mine.
Death Location: United States
New Nipper Killed in the Mine

William Collins (1850-1917)
Age ag Death: 67
Relationship: Second husband of my great great grandmother, Clementine (Wells) Riggin (1846-1932)
Parents: William Collins and Mary Lang
Cause of Death: Killed by a fall of slate at the Donk Brothers Coke & Coal Company
Death Location: United States
Coal Mining: A Dangerous Occupation

George White Dick (1871-1925)
Age at Death: 54
Relationship: Husband of my first cousin times removed, Henrietta Brown Muir (1874-1939)
Parents: Thomas and Margaret White
Cause of Death: Shock following injuries sustained after being crushed at Hopeturn Colliery
Death Location: Scotland

Andrew Cairns Muir (1902-1936)
Age at Death: 34
Relationship: Adopted son of my first cousin three times removed, Nathaniel Muir (1872-1936)
Parents: Birth -- Andrew Cairns and Elizabeth Cameron; Adopted: Nathaniel Muir and Ann "Annie" Hutton
Cause of Death: Died of injuries sustained when the roof of the mine where he was working collapsed and fell on him.
Fatal Colliery Accident

Alexander Paterson (1886-1944)
Age at Death: 57
Relationship: Husband of my third cousin once removed, Henrietta Cassells Lively (1892-1948)
Parents: John Paterson and Marion Scoular
Cause of Death: Asphyxia after being smothered by a fall of coal, stone, and dirt when mine ceiling collapsed.
Death Location: Scotland

James Richardson (1896-1921)
Age at Death: 24
Relationship: Second cousin twice removed
Parents: Hugh Richardson and Janet Muir
Cause of Death: Changing a trolley pole and came into contact with a live wire and he was electrocuted.
Electrocuted in the Frederick Mine

James Richardson (1886-1921); photo courtesy of
member and DNA match BarbZale

William Brown Shaw (1866-1878)
Age at Death: 12
Relationship: Step-son of three times great uncle Robert Orr Muir (1839-1917)
Parents: Unknown father and Mary Watson (Shaw) Muir
Cause of Death: Died of injuries sustained when he fell out of cage ascending the pit shaft.
Death Location: Scotland
Fatal Coal Pit Accident

Daniel Boone Wells (1856-1910)
Age at Death: 54
Relationship: Third great uncle
Parents: James Wells and Mary Hearelson
Cause of Death: Killed instantly under a fall of coal at the face of his room at the Lumaghi Coal Company's No. 2 mine.
Death Location: United States
Coal Mining: A Dangerous Occupation

Friday, September 2, 2016

Traugott Lange's Descendants

As I write this post I administer seven DNA tests, have four in the lab being processed and have five kits on order. I'm still learning how to use DNA to effectively enhance my family history research, but what I have learned so far has been a big aid to increased understanding of my ancestors.

Of my four grandparents, the family history we knew the least about was my maternal grandfather, Gustav Lange, who was born in Zamosty, Russia (now in Ukraine); immigrated to Winnipeg, Canada, in 1911; married Wilhelmina Schalin in 1915; settled in Prince George's County, Maryland, where they owned a farm; and had nine children, who are now all deceased.

Mom's pedigree chart; image courtesy of

Before Mom died, she took a DNA test and her results were unsurprising. The three matches with hints she did have were with her children -- my brothers and me. She was inordinately tickled to say we were proven by science! I was able to figure a few more relationships using her DNA matches. All were from her Schalin family, the history of which is well documented in a book entitled Our Schalin Family, 1770-2003, by Lucille Fillenberg Effa.

One of Mom's matches recently led to several breakthroughs in the Ludwig branch. Caroline (Ludwig) Lange was Mom's paternal grandmother. (Ludwig Breakthrough: DNA and Chocolates) Earlier this week a new match led to more discoveries about the Lange family.

Snippet of the master spreadsheet I maintain of all the DNA tests I administer;
the new match is highlighted; created using Microsoft Excel

What was interesting about this match was that it was the first one my brothers and I had on Mom's side of our family tree that wasn't also shared by Mom. If my brother had not tested, I could never have made the relationship connection. Another critical finding aid was the Lange family bible an aunt gave me earlier this year. Because of that bible, I knew one of Grandpa Lange's brother's was Traugott Lange. He went by Fred T. Lang when he and his family moved to California in the late 1920s.

The DNA test named A. L. shared no common ancestor. However, the shared geographies were Russia/Ukraine and Winnipeg so I suspected this was a match on Mom's side of the tree. As I looked through the pedigree of the person who took the test, the name Fred T. Lang jumped out at me, as well as his son, Peter Charles Lang (1919-2007). A. L. was the great grandson of Traugott Lange/Fred T. Lang. How exciting!

When Traugott and his wife, Katherina Magdalena Hirt, moved from Winnipeg to the U.S., they settled in Los Angeles County, California. Many of their descendants still live in the county. Thankfully, California is a fairly open state regarding public records so I was able to put a name to A. L. and learn more about him and his siblings. As they are all living, that's all I will reveal here.

Diagram illustrating the relationship between my brother and his new Lange/Lang
DNA match; created using Microsoft Powerpoint

3 Sep 2016 Update: Today the DNA test named A. L. matches with my Mom and me as well my brother mentioned in this post. I must have discovered the A. L. match when it was very new and results were still populating.

Lange Family Bible Unlocks the Life of Traugott Lange
Ludwig Breakthrough: DNA and Chocolates