Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thrice Awarded the Proximadade

It seems that I have been remiss in acknowledging the fact that the Proximadade Award has been bestowed upon me. Thank you to Sheri Fenley, Julie Cahill Tarr, and Denise Levenick for the honor and I apologize for taking so long to acknowledge it.

The text of the award states "These blogs invest and believe in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers, who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

To be honest, I'm not at all sure what the intent of the award is. Nevertheless I accept it in the spirit in which it was given and I do appreciate it. I haven't had, and still don't have, the time to determine who has or has not received it so am not going to pass it along to anyone else...

Wordless Wednesday :: The Georgia Guidestones

The Georgia Guidestones in Elbert County, Georgia March 14, 2004
Copyright © 2004 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday :: Jacob & Louisa Phend at Hepton

Hepton Union Church is located in Scott Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana. It is two miles south of Nappanee, Elkhart County and a mile east of neighboring Marshall County. Jacob Phend, my second great-grandfather, was one of the founders of the Evangelical Church at Hepton and owned the land upon which the original church was built. The current church building, shown above, is on or near the site of the original church.

Jacob Phend was also one of the founders of at least two other churches; one in Marshall County and the other one in Nappanee.

In the spring of 1852, Jacob moved his family from Greene County, Indiana to Marshall County. In 1865 he purchased the land in Hepton, eventually selling the land in Marshall County to his two oldest sons John and Christian. Jacob had set aside a portion of that land in Marshall county for the erection of a church.

Jacob and Louisa lived on the Hepton farm until 1890 when they sold it to their son John and moved to Nappanee.

According to the Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism, the "Nappanee Mission" was organized in the fall of 1891 in the home of Jacob Phend. In 1892 a wooden frame church was built by the Mennonite Brethren in Christ and the Evangelicals together and was dedicated in the fall of 1892. The two groups worshiped there together for five years and then in 1897 the Evangelicals bought out the MBC. The building was then rededicated as the Evangelical church. In 1905 a parsonage was built and at that time the church had a membership of 110 and Sunday school enrollment of 124. A new and larger building was built and dedicated on October 31, 1926.

Hepton Union Cemetery is located on the north side of the Hepton Union Church. The view above is looking north-northwest. The view below is looking to the east. The graves for the Fisher and Phend families are located on the west side of the twin evergreen trees in the center of the cemetery.

LOUISA C. HIS WIFE / JUNE 27, 1829 - APRIL 4, 1897

According to his christening record (at the bottom of that post), Jacob was born in 1829, not in 1828. He died on October 7, 1917. Louisa's date of death was also inscribed wrong, she died April 4, 1898.

Three sons - John, Christian, and William - as well as some of their children and one of Louisa's sisters are buried in surrounding graves.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Little Over-Optimistic? Perhaps.

The topic for the 63rd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: New Year's Resolutions! Jasia asks us "What plans do you have for your genealogy research next year? How about for your blogging?"

First off, I don't make resolutions. However, I do set goals and have quite a "to do" list that seems to grow longer instead of shorter! It seems appropriate to me to take a look back at the past year and review the goals that were set for 2008 while establishing goals for 2009.


2008 Goals: Continue blogging here at Kinexxions. Quality more than quantity. Contribute to every edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.

Results: I'm still blogging ;-) I like to think that, for the most part, the posts have been good, quality posts, but then I'm just a bit biased. There have been slightly fewer posts this year (308 so far, as opposed to 322 in 2007). I did contribute to most, but not all, editions of the COG.

Goals for 2009: Resume posting on my other blog, Whitley County Kinexxions, at least on a weekly basis. Continue to contribute to the COG and Smile for the Camera. Write a weekly biographical or research article about an ancestor or other relative. Continue with the Tombstone Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday posts.


2008 Goals: Scan Mom's 10 family photo albums, my own family pictures, the letters written while in the Navy, and genea-documents.

Results: Mom's albums are 90% done. My niece handed over the box of her mother's pictures last week. She has them sorted but they still need to be attached to archival paper, scanned and put into albums. My letters have been scanned to both jpg and pdf formats. And, as far as the genealogy documents and papers are concerned, The end is in sight!

Goals for 2009: Finish the genea-document project by the end of February! Scan the pictures of my sister's family by the end of March. Review the box of pictures from my Dad and ensure they have all been scanned. Add captions and metadata to the image files that were scanned in 2008.

Sourcing and Database Cleanup

2008 Goals: The data that was entered into my genealogy software several years ago was not properly sourced at that time. Some sources were entered in notes. But there are some people who have no sources entered for any of their data.

Results: Not much, actually very little, progress on this. I did purchase and download version 7 of Legacy in August but still have not installed it. My reason? Rather lame, but I just haven't wanted to take the time to devote to learning the new features. And I really just want to get that scanning done!

Goals for 2009: Install Legacy 7 and learn the new features (after the existing scanning projects are finished). Ensure that all data entered has been sourced, preferably utilizing the Legacy 7 sourcing templates. Convert existing sources to the new format.


2008 Goals: After reading what I wrote last year, it seems I didn't really set a research goal for this year, though I had a list of obituaries to look up in Elkhart.

Results: Continued research on the Fisher family but did not make it to Elkhart to look up those obituary notices (there's over 100 of them!). In January I resumed research on the Peter and Christina Wise family, which consumed the first three months of the year! For most of September I worked on the family of Henry and Anna Robison.

Goals for 2009: Several of my Joslin cousins and I are planning a research trip to Massachusetts, either in April or September. We'd like to find some documentation to confirm that our Jonas Joslin, born 1769, is indeed the son of Joseph and Sarah (Tarbell) Joslin of Leominster. Plus, we enjoy the company of each other and think it would be a fun excursion and a great excuse for getting together! Obviously, I'd like to make a bit of headway on those troublesome female ancestors (highlighted in the "Roadblock" series of posts) and on those "dead end" lines that are dangling out there in genea-never-never-land: Wise, Dunfee, Hazlett, and Jones.

Society Tasks

2008 Goals: Relieve myself of the responsibilities as editor and chief contributor of Whitley County Roots (the quarterly publication of the Genealogical Society of Whitley County). Finish three long-term transcription projects for the Society.

Results: Resigned as editor of Roots with the June 2008 issue being my last one. Completed two of the three transcription projects. The third one has been put on indefinite hold.

Goals for 2009: Don't take on any more projects for the Society. After nearly ten years of involvement and putting my own research on hold, priorities change. It may sound selfish, but right now my priorities are with my own personal projects!

Good Intentions

2008 Goals: The 12 items in My Plan to Prepare for Disaster, which I'm not going to list here. You'll have to read the post to figure out what I'm talking about...

Results: #1 is done, # 2 has yet to be started (well, two boxes have been opened but not sorted), did #3 but opted to do my own scanning, #4, 5, 6, and 7 are in process as part of the scanning projects, #8 isn't done but the files are backed up on two external drives, #9 is in process, #10 and #12 haven't even been thought about yet, #11 is in process (data is backed up nightly to an external drive).

Goals for 2009: keep on plugging away

Other 2008 Goals
  • Try not to get distracted quite so much.
  • Have more fun! Don't take myself quite so seriously.
  • Make my task list shorter for 2009!
  • Still easily distracted, especially on the internet. You know how those links can take you to places you never expected, sometimes really unexpected! Seems I just can't resist clicking through to see what's on the other side.
  • Still take myself too seriously. Old habits are hard to break. Maybe when the scanning is done I'll have more fun!
  • The task list for 2009 is just as long as it was for 2008. Does that make me a failure? Or just ridiculously over-optimistic? I mean, I did make some headway, but I really didn't complete even one of my goals for 2008! Ah, well, optimism is a good thing! I'm sure my list will be shorter in 2010!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday :: Rest in Peace

On the campus of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College near Terre Haute, Indiana
Winter of 1981
I didn't read the other side of the stones so don't know who is buried there.
Copyright © 1981/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Monday, December 22, 2008

The end is in sight!

Three months ago today, the Fujitsu ScanSnap S300 showed up on my doorstep. (Kudos to Denise Olson for getting me hooked on this scanner, it really is a gem.) Scanning genea-documents can be (actually, it is) a tedious task. (I also appreciate all of the "moral support" I've gotten from my genea-blogging friends with this project, thanks y'all.)

I'll admit there have been times these past three months where I've been ready to toss in the towel and quit. Scanning the documents isn't really the problem though - it's getting all those documents, letters, and papers organized first that takes up so much time. Actual scanning consumes a relatively small percentage of time overall.

But, I've stuck with it, though I haven't gotten nearly as much done this past month as in previous months. I scanned 4, 841 pages in the last month for a total of 22,870 pages in three months. The holidays are partly responsible for the lower page count but also the fact that the group of documents I've been working with this month are in extreme disarray. Thus, they have taken longer to prepare for scanning. I'm almost done with that group and the next batch of papers should go a bit quicker (I hope!).

While sorting through all of these papers I've come across several groups of correspondence and documents that for some reason never got entered into my database. (Imagine that!) The temptation to stop scanning and get the data entered is quite strong and I gave into it several times but then remembered that my current goal is to just get the stuff scanned. So now when I find things that still need to be entered, I add them to a list and get back to the task at hand - organizing and scanning.

The end is in sight! I'm hoping to wrap-up this portion of my "organization" project within the next month. I will be SO HAPPY and RELIEVED when this scanning is done! It's been a MAJOR project and time consuming but I think it will be so worth the time and effort to have all of my genealogy "stuff" accessible on the computer. (And that means, anywhere I have my computer, I have access to my genea-documents!)

Other posts in this series:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Encased in Ice

What a difference a day makes!

Yesterday was a sunny, bright, beautiful day.

Today is dull and gray. And everything outside is encased in a layer of ice.

But if we have to have dull, gray, icy days, better today than yesterday! Because yesterday I had to take my mom to the doctor for a follow-up exam. That meant a 30 minute drive to Columbia City to pick her up then a 45 minute drive to Auburn. Fifteen minutes waiting to see the doctor, about ten minutes spent with him in the office, and then reverse the drive back home. I'm so glad yesterday was a nice day! And so very glad that I don't have to go out in this mess today!!

The view from my front door. Doesn't look too bad? Well, there is about three inches of compacted slush, snow, ice and sleet in the drive. I haven't ventured out to the mail box yet. No traction. The pictures were all taken within 20 feet of the apartment and I used the flash to get some definition and contrast.

Looking closely at the trees, shrubs and weeds you'll see there is about a ¼ to a ½ inch of ice covering everything. Not nearly as bad here as it is in Columbia City or South Whitley (where my niece lives and is currently without electricity) or further south. And not even close to what struck the northeast coast last week or the northwest this week. So we are very fortunate here. Most of the schools in the area closed for the day giving the kids an extra day for their winter break.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday :: Snowplant

In Our Winter Garden March 27, 2002
Copyright © 2002 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday :: Charles and Naomi Wiseman

CHARLES WISEMAN, Sr. / NOV. 30, 1915 - AUG. 14, 1895.
NAOMI WISEMAN / MAR. 3, 1824 - DEC. 6, 1908.

Charles Wiseman and his wife Naomi Bray are buried in McKay Cemetery, Craig Township, Switzerland County, Indiana. (The links are to their entries in my WorldConnect database.) Charles and Naomi are my 2nd Great Grandparents. They had five children: Susanna, Albert, Samuel, Henry and Charles.

Susanna married James Scott. It was her descendant that gave me the Wiseman family Bible and some unidentified pictures (which lead to a series of Mystery Photo posts). Susanna was named after her grandmother, Susanna Ball Bray.

Albert died in July 1853, just 5 months old.

Samuel and Henry married sisters Amanda and Laura Alexander. Sam and Amanda are my Great Grandparents. Sam was named after his grandfather, Samuel Bray. Henry was named after his great grandfather, Henry Bray.

Charles Jr., obviously named after his father, married Elizabeth Detraz and Cordelia Danner.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Just Three Wishes

Dear Genea-Santa, it seems that one of your elves, Jasia by name, suggested that this year we should ask you for three things that once belonged to (or could have belonged to) our ancestors! Now, I realize that in the "real" world in which we live that it isn't actually feasible for you to bring us things from the past, but, well, we can dream can't we?

Genea-Santa, we don't have to go too far into the past for two of the things that I'd like to have. You see, both of my mother's parents owned their own businesses even though neither one of them had more than an 8th grade education. My grandmother owned a restaurant during my pre-teen and teen-age years and I'd like to have one of menus from the restaurant. It was called the Dairy Bar. I could have taken one of them at any time while I worked there, but just didn't think about it at the time.

For thirty years my grandfather worked for someone else in a typewriter repair shop. In 1950 he opened his own shop in Fort Wayne and worked there for another thirty years when his son took over. The shop was closed about ten years ago. I'd like to have one of the small tools that grandpa used for repairing the typewriters. I asked my uncle what became of grandpa's toolbox and he didn't know. No one else in the family seems to know what happened to it either. Could you find it Genea-Santa? Maybe some of my cousins would like to have one of his tools too.

The third item on my list may take a little more effort, Genea-Santa, and for that I apologize in advance. My 3rd great-grandfather, Jacob Wise, died of illness in a Nashville Hospital in May 1865. His widow applied for a pension and among the papers in that file was one that listed his possessions. Genea-Santa, it said that he had none. Nothing. That just doesn't seem right to me. There must have been something that he had with him. Was there a picture of his family? Perhaps one of the little daughter he never saw? Perhaps he kept a diary of his short journey? I'm not going to be picky on this but I'd like to have something, anything, that belonged to Jacob.

Well, that wasn't so bad was it Genea-Santa?

Sincerely, Becky

P.S. I'm going to break the rules (I never was much good at following rules) and ask that one more wish be granted. . . I wish all of my genea-blogging friends the best of everything for the holiday season. May your brick walls tumble and may you have a happy and glorious holiday!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Décor Downsized

Denise Olson at Moultrie Creek has invited the Genea-Bloggers to participate in a Christmas tour to help celebrate the season!

Although I don't put up a lot of decorations (actually, almost none) for the holidays, I do have a small table-top tree. When we moved from our house in 2006 the Christmas decorations went with my mother, except for a couple of items. My apartment isn't very big and since I'm trying to downsize "stuff" I haven't purchased any decorations other than that little tree along with the ornaments, lights, etc. that adorn it. The tree sits on my dining room table (which is seldom used for actually dining!) and brightens up that corner of the room.

The Angel on top of the tree and the Santa stocking on the wall are two of the decorations I brought with me from the house. I also have a small collection of snowmen that adorn a few spots on end tables and some of them hang on the branches of the Christmas tree. It's not much, but it satisfies my needs.

As far as Christmases past, well, turns out we didn't take pictures of the house after decorating it. There are a few pictures that show the decorations in the background, but they don't show it very well. Mom always went a bit overboard with the lights and tinsel and stuff. Now, her apartment is smaller than mine and she has covered every available space with some kind of ornamentation! Perhaps the sparseness of my decorations are a reaction to her exuberance.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Me and My Drum :: Blog Caroling with fM

Last year I said that my favorite Christmas Carol was Do you hear What I Hear? And, it still is, but of course as with most everything else, there really isn't "just one" favorite!

My next most favorite is The Little Drummer Boy.

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

I wonder what that "surprise" is that Ms. fM has in store for us this year? Her Choir Of GeneAngels last year was really something special.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday :: Icelandic Church

Near Keflavik, Iceland. Summer of 1973.
Copyright © 1973/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday :: Maud Wise Yontz

Scott-Keister Cemetery, Etna-Troy Township, Whitley County, Indiana

MAUD WISE / YONTZ / 1877 - 1953

Maud Catherine Wise Brubaker Yontz was my great grandmother. She was the daughter of William Pythagrus and Sophia Dunfee Wise. Her first husband, Charles Romain Brubaker, is my great grandfather. Her second husband was Joseph F. Yontz.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Old Friends and Fond Memories

Bob, Sandy, John, Gary, and Smitty. This photo was taken in December 1973, just a few weeks before I left Reykjavik, Iceland. It's really hard to believe that it was 35 years ago! My one-year tour of duty in Iceland was made much more pleasant because of their presence.

We stayed in touch for a while. . . Bob was onboard a ship heading for Japan about the time I left there in May 1979. I saw Sandy a couple of times before I went to Japan. John and his wife met me at the airport in Hawaii when I was on my way to Japan in May 1977 and I visited them in Seattle after my return. I have no idea what happened to Gary and Smitty. As often happens, we lost contact after a few years. I often wonder what became of them and some of the other friends I had while in the Navy. Occasionally I Google their names, but haven't found anything on them yet. I did get a couple of emails earlier this year from two of the girls with whom I went through bootcamp. They had found the posts on my letters from bootcamp. It was nice because I actually remembered who they were!

As my contribution to the 8th Edition of Smile For The Camera :: Stocking Stuffer, I would like to stuff this picture into the stockings of Bob, Sandy, John, Gary, and Smitty. Thanks for the memories!

The Heirs of Emily Bair

Last Thursday morning I finally connected with the lady that works in the Whitley County archives and was able to view the guardianship file for the minor heirs of Emily Bair.

There weren't very many papers in the file (packet #544), but more than enough to generate additional questions! (Click on the image for a larger version.)

On April 11, 1877 Franklin H. Bair was appointed guardian for his four surviving children:
Franklin H. Bair Jr., aged 13 years, Jany 22, 1877
Charles C. Bair, aged 12 years, March 14, 1877
Florence E. Bair, aged 5 years, March 17, 1877
Lulu Bair, aged 3 years, Dec 23, 1876
I could be wrong about this, but it seems a bit unusual to me that the father would have to be appointed guardian of his own children. Usually a guardian was appointed when the father died. But, perhaps it was because Emily owned real estate!

Before I get any further into what was in the file, I think I need to address the matter of the ages and dates of birth of the first three children. I didn't know about Lulu before so have not done any research on her except that there is no marriage record for Lulu (or Lula as she is mentioned in the other documents) in Whitley County and she has not been found in the Whitley County census records. I'm presuming that she was deceased by the time of Franklin Sr.'s death in 1917 since she was not mentioned by name in his obituary.

According to the guardianship file, Franklin Jr was born January 22, 1864. He was age 6 in 1870 and 17 in 1880. The cemetery transcription for the Franklin in Burnett County, Wisconsin gives his date of birth as June 12, 1862. The 1900 census (Black Hawk County, Iowa) gives his date of birth as June 1862. Census records for 1910-1930 support 1862 as his year of birth. It is possible that he is not the right person. However, the name of his wife, Nettie, is the same as the woman that Franklin Jr married in Whitley County in 1886.

On to Charles who was born March 14, 1865 according to the above document. In the 1870 census he was 5 years old. I haven't found him in 1880, but in the 1900 census (Christian County, Illinois), his birth date is given as October 1867. Subsequent census records support 1867 as his year of birth. Again, it is possible that he's not the right person. But in 1920, he is living in Pana, Illinois which is where the 1917 obituary of Franklin Sr. says he was living.

Then there is Florence (aka Flora), born March 17, 1872. Her middle initial is definitely an "E" and not a "C" in all instances where it is found in the guardianship file. In 1880 her name is given as Flora Cathy, she was 8 years old, and living with the family of William H. and Catherine Dunfee in Columbia City. She was listed as 24 years old when she married M. C. Leaman in October 1898. In 1900, Flora C. Leaman is listed as born in Mar 1875. In 1910 she is 36 years old; in 1920 she is 40; and in 1930 she is 54 years old. In the Naturalization Index, the birth date for Flora Katherine Hampton was March 14, 1874. As Randy said, changing names sure doesn't help with tracking her. Neither does inconsistent ages and birth information!

Okay, back to the guardianship file.

A document filed April 29, 1877 describes the location of the lot in Columbia City that Emily owned. It would be interesting to find out how and why Emily owned property that wasn't also owned by her husband! Anyway, the document further states that the "lot does not yield a sufficient income to pay the taxes; that said wards are all young children; that this guardian their Father is a poor man working by days labor to sustain said wards; that he has no home for them and is compelled to board them in other peoples homes at great expense; that it would be to the interests of said wards to sell said land and apply the proceeds to their support."

There was no document in the file to indicate when the land had been sold but apparently it was.

On September 26, 1885 Franklin H. Bair filed a report with the court stating that "he has received from the estate of his said wards the sum of one hundred and forty dollars and that he has disbursed the same according to law as follows towit: for board for said wards to John J. White during the year 1877, one hundred and thirty four dollars. For school books for said wards during the year of 1875 about six dollars. That the said sum of one hundred and forty dollars was the amt rec'd from the sale of the real property belonging to said wards."

All four children were listed as wards. There were no records in the file for other years. I'm not sure, but I think he should have been filing reports annually.

A year later, in September 1886, William H. Dunfee petitioned the court on behalf of Florence stating "he has kept maintained supported and schooled said ward ever since the death of said Emily C. Bair and for more than 10 years that she has lived with him and in his household all of said time. . . " that "said Franklin Bair guardian of said wards sold their lands. . . he has failed refused and neglected to make proper report of his duties. . . and has failed and neglected to provide for his said wards. . . wherefore he asks the court to remove him from his trust and from all other and proper relief. . ."

On December 11, 1886 William H. Dunfee was appointed guardian of 14 year old Florence E. Bair. There was no mention of Franklin Jr., Charles, or Lulu. By that time, Franklin Jr. would have been 22 years old, Charles would have been 21 and Lulu would be 10 years old (based on their ages in that first guardianship document).

There were no additional reports made by William H. Dunfee. On May 29, 1888 William passed away. Florence (Flora) would have been 16 years old.

What's next?
  • I've requested copies of the obituaries of Franklin H. Bair (Jr), his wife Nettie, and his daughter Myrta, from the Burnett County Historical Society Research Library. Hopefully, they will provide some useful information - like the names of parents, where they were born, etc. (I can hope can't I?)
  • Try to find out when and where Flora Katherine Hampton died.
  • Locate the land record for Emily's purchase of the lot in Columbia City.
  • Locate the land record for when the lot was sold by Franklin.
  • Hope that a descendant of Franklin H. Bair and Emily Robison see these posts and that they contact me!
For additional information on the Robison family refer to Robison Family - Index to Posts

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wordless Wednesday :: Another Icelandic Sunset

Near Keflavik, Iceland. Summer of 1973.
Copyright © 1973/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Unraveling a little mystery.

The Clues.

A photograph, with the words "Detroit Cousins" written on the back. The photograph was one that my aunt Phyllis had loaned to me for scanning a few years ago. When I asked her who the "Detroit Cousins" were she could only give me one first name, Mercedes. She said she remembers them visiting when she was young. (Photo at bottom of post.)

Franklin and Emily Robison Bair were married in 1861 and had five children, one was a daughter whose name was given as Laura Lemmon in Franklin's obituary of 1917. It also stated that she was of Detroit. Emily had died about 1877 and none of the children are listed with Franklin in the 1880 census.

The vague recollection that one of my ancestors "took in" a child to raise. I did a search of notes in my genealogy database for "Bair" and it didn't take long to find what I was looking for.

The Records.

The will of my 3rd great grandfather, William Hamilton Dunfee, bequeaths "the sum of Fifty Dollars" to "Flora C. Bair to be due and payable to her when she attains the age of twenty one years." And, the obituary for his wife, Catharine (Jones) Dunfee, dated February 25, 1903 lists as one of her survivors "Mrs. M. C. Leaman, who was from infancy cared for in the home of Mrs. Dunfee, and loved as her own."

I went back and checked the obituary notices for the children of William and Catherine Dunfee to see if I had overlooked anything. The obituary for Henrietta Rebecca Dunfee of September 27, 1941 published in the Columbia City Post, stated that "She is survived by one brother, William Dunfee of Columbia township, and a foster sister, Mrs. Jack Hampton of Detroit." No mention was made of surviving sisters in the 1942 obituary of Henrietta's brother, William James Dunfee.

Is Laura Lemmon actually Flora Leaman?

The 1880 Indiana census lists the family of Wm H. Dunfee (on page 423) in Columbia Township, Whitley County.
Wm H. Dunfee, 58, farmer, born Pennsylvania, parents born Pennsylvania
Catharine, 52, wife, born Ohio, father born Virginia, mother born Pennsylvania
Rebecca, 28, daughter, at home, born Indiana
William, 26, son, works at tile yard, born Indiana
Flora Cathy, 8, daughter, at school, born Indiana
[The 3rd child of Wm. and Catherine was Sophia, who had married William P. Wise in 1873. They are my 2nd great grandparents.]

Whitley County Marriage Records (Book 6 page 6) show that Flora C. Bair was married to Massilon C. Leamon on October 4, 1898. The Marriage Applications Book 1893-1901 gives his first name as Masilon. Her given name is Florence C. It doesn't list her father's name but her mother's maiden name is Robinson.

There is a Guardianship Packet for Emily Bair in the Whitley County Archives. I've contacted the county archivist to try and set a date to look at the record since the last three times I've stopped by, during the posted hours, she hasn't been there!

Transcribed death records show that "Infant Male Layman died December 5, 1899 age 1 1/2 days. Parents were Malsea Layman and Cora Bair." I haven't seen the record so can't determine whether Cora is really Lora, or not.

The 1900 census for Whitley County shows the Leaman family residing on Ellsworth Street in Columbia City (page 53a).
Morlande Leaman, head of household, Jun 1873, 26, married once, born Indiana, father born Pennsylvania, mother born Ohio
Flora C., wife, Mar 1875, 25, married once, two children one living, born Indiana, father born Pennsylvania, mother born Indiana
Mycituis, daughter, Dec 1894, 5, born Indiana
Alban Bear, uncle, July 1839, 60, born Pennsylvania, father born New Jersey, mother born Pennsylvania

In 1910, I found the family in Fostoria, Seneca County, Ohio (page 28/5a)
Murt C. Leaman, head of household, 37, married once 12 years, born Indiana, parents born Indiana, general painter
Flora, wife, 36, married once 12 years, 1 child 1 living, born Indiana, parents born Indiana
Mercedes, daughter, 15, born Indiana

I didn't find M. C. and Flora Leaman in the ancestry census index for 1920 or 1930 in Ohio or Michigan. Thinking perhaps Flora had married Jack Hampton before 1920 I searched for Flora Hampton. One hit in 1930 only: George H. Hampton and wife Flora in Clinton, Macomb County, Michigan. She is 54, married 22 years, born in Michigan. Not the right Flora.

I'm not sure why, but I then did a search of the 1930 census for Mercedes Hampton, born in 1894, living in Michigan. Up came this family, living in Detroit District 30, Wayne County (page 36):
Robert Hampton, head of household, rents home for $60, 53, first married at age 23, born Canada-Eng, parents born Canada-Eng, Steel worker, Auto Company
Katherine, wife, 54, first married at age 17, born Indiana, father born Pennsylvania, mother born Ohio
Mercedes Wilkinson, daughter, 35, divorced, first married at age 17, born Indiana, parents born Indiana, Saleslady, Ladies Clothes

According to the 1880 census (see above), Flora's middle name was Cathy. So, is it a stretch to think this might be the right household? Of course, the husband's name is Robert and not Jack. But maybe he was called Jack by family members? Katherine is the right age, she and her parents were born in the right places. Same for Mercedes. Note that Mercedes is listed as Robert's daughter but he was born in Canada and her parents were born in Indiana.

I did not find Mercedes Wilkinson in the 1920 census index but did find the Robert Hampton household living on Oakland Street, Detroit Ward 3, District 111, Wayne County (p42/2a)
Robert Hampton, head of household, 40, married, immigrated 1911, alien or naturalized has "Pa" in column, born Canada, parents born Canada, Moulder, Auto Factory
Katherine, wife, 40, married, immigrated has X in column, alien or naturalized has "al" in column, born Indiana, parents born Indiana

I searched the SSDI for Mercedes Wilkinson, but got no hits. Then searched it for Mercedes (first name only), born in 1894, card issued in Michigan.

I got two hits. One for Mercedes Ginther, born December 6, 1894, died Sep 1978. The other was for Mercedes Hernandez, born February 2, 1894, died Feb 1983. I found them in the 1930 census and based on the fact that both are married in 1930 and their place of birth (Mrs. Ginther was born in Michigan and Mrs. Hernandez was born in Mexico) neither one is the "right" person.

*** Update 12:30 p.m. December 3, 2008 ***

Found in the "Index Cards to Naturalization Petitions for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, Detroit, 1907-1995" database on ancestry.
REPAT (in upper right corner)
513 (written) 1211 (typed)
Hampton, Flora Katherine
3-14-1874 BD
*** End of Update ***


Laura Lemmon, named in her father's obituary, is the same Flora Cathy Bair who was "adopted" by William H. and Catherine Dunfee, and she is the same Flora/Florence who married Massilon C. Leamon/Leaman.

Using her middle name Katherine, Flora married a second time to Robert Hampton, aka Jack Hampton. They lived in Detroit, Michigan.

Flora Katherine Hampton was still living in September 1941 but, since she is not mentioned in the obituary of William James Dunfee, she may have died prior to May 1942 (or whomever provided his family information didn't include her, for whatever reason).

Flora and M. C. Leaman had a daughter named Mercedes, who could be the Detroit cousin known as Mercedes. Mercedes married Mr. Wilkinson at age 17 and divorced before 1930, when she was living with her mother and step-father.

*** Update 8:30 a.m. December 3, 2008 ***

As Randy pointed out in his comment, I have no "real" documentation for many of my facts and conclusions. He suggests checking the online Michigan death index as well as Detroit city directories. Thanks, Randy, and I will follow up on those suggestions.

I should have stated in the original post that my conclusions are preliminary and are based on the information that I have gathered thus far. Additional research is definitely needed to "prove" those presumptions.

*** End of Update ***


Of course, as more information is uncovered, additional questions arise. What happened to Mercedes? Did she marry again? Did she have any children? When and where did she die? When and where did Flora Katherine die? Was Robert really called Jack?

Photograph identified only as "Detroit Cousins." My aunt said the ladies' name was Mercedes.

Enlargement of the above photograph.

Enlargement from another photograph. I think the lady in the middle in this picture is the same person in the top picture. What do you think?

Mae Dunfee was the adopted daughter of William James Dunfee and his wife Mary Elizabeth Walker. Hazlette is my grandmother; Jane and Bill are her sister and brother. I think the lady in the middle is Mercedes who would have been about 8 years older than my grandmother who was born in January 1902. I'm not sure that the boy is grandma's brother Bill. He was only 3 years younger than she and, to me, this boy looks younger than that. I'm guessing that this picture was taken about 1920, give or take a few years.

Tombstone Tuesday :: Two Little Babes

Buried in the Scott-Keister Cemetery in Etna-Troy Township, Whitley County, Indiana in close proximity to William and Sophia Wise are two of their grandchildren.

John Wise Brubaker was born prematurely on February 16, 1901. He survived eight days, passing away on February 24th. John was the first child born to Charles Romain Brubaker and his wife, Maud Catherine Wise. It's possible that little John was named for his great grandfather.

Maurice Wise Burns was born on July 31, 1912 and died on October 2, 1912. He was the son of Harlo Asher Burns and Hazlette Ann Wise (Maud's younger sister), and was their first child. The Columbia City Post of October 5, 1912 published this sad notice of his death: "Maurice Wise Burns, the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Harlow Burns, of Troy township, died at 3 o'clock Thursday morning. The little babe was born July 31, and has never been very well, but the parents and friends hoped that its constitution might become stronger and its life be spared, but their fond hopes were blighted when the spark of life became extinct at the hour stated. The funeral will be held Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the house. Rev. E. E. Wright, of Larwill, officiating, and the interment will be in the Scott cemetery." Little Maurice was named after his uncle, Maurice James Wise.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Holiday Traditions and Memories

The topic for the December 1st Carnival of Genealogy is "Traditions - the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice."

Whatever traditions my ancestors may have had have long since been lost or forgotten. We can only guess at how they celebrated Christmas or other holidays. I'm sure though, that family members gathered 'round the table full of food, much the same as we do today. A special meal prepared for all to enjoy. Gifts were given, whether bought at a store or hand-made. The things inside the wrapped boxes have certainly changed with the times, but the thoughts behind the gifts are still the same.

I don't think that any of the things my family does at this time of year are really any different than what many families do. We have a family dinner that seems to get smaller in number with each passing year. The little kids have grown up and have families of their own. Things to do, places to go, people to see. It's virtually impossible to get everyone together in one place anymore. My mom still puts up her Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving and it stays up until New Year's Day. We don't make a lot of cookies or candy anymore. Gifts are still exchanged, though with only a few people.

Last year, Thomas MacEntee at Destination: Austin Family conceived the idea for a bloggers Family History Advent Calendar, and, with encouragement from Jasia, hosted a 24-day Carnival of contributions from the genea-blogosphere on various Christmas Holiday topics. For various reasons, I didn't contribute every day, but listed below are the posts for the topics that I wrote about.
  • Christmas Music - Christmas Music. What songs did your family listen to during Christmas? Did you ever go caroling? Did you have a favorite song?"
  • Fond Memories - Christmas and Deceased Relatives. Did your family visit the cemetery at Christmas? How did your family honor deceased family members at Christmas?
  • Christmas Shopping - Christmas Shopping. How did your family handle Christmas Shopping? Did anyone finish early or did anyone start on Christmas Eve?
  • Christmas Stockings - Christmas Stockings. Did you have one? Where did you hang it? What did you get in it?
  • Christmas Church Services - Christmas Church Services. Did your family attend religious services during the Christmas season? What were the customs and traditions involved?
  • Christmas at School - What did you do to celebrate Christmas at school? Were you ever in a Christmas Pageant?
  • Christmas is Here! - Christmas Grab Bag. Author’s choice! Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!!
  • Fruitcake - Friend or Foe? - Fruitcake – Friend or Foe? Did you like fruitcake? Did your family receive fruitcakes? Have you ever re-gifted fruitcake? Have you ever devised creative uses for fruitcake?
  • Christmas and the Arts - Christmas and the Arts. Did your family attend any special events or performances during the holidays?
  • In a time of need - Charitable / Volunteer Work. Did your family ever volunteer with a charity such as a soup kitchen, homeless or battered women’s shelter during the holidays? Were you able to make the holidays special for someone less fortunate?
  • Holiday Travel - Holiday Travel. Did you travel anywhere for Christmas? How did you travel and who traveled with you? Do you remember any special trips?
  • A Christmas Gift to Remember - Christmas Gifts. What were your favorite gifts, both to receive and to give?
  • Holiday Parties - Holiday Parties. Did your family throw a holiday party each year? Do you remember attending any holiday parties?
  • Christmas Cookies - Christmas Cookies. Did your family make Christmas Cookies? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?
  • Grandpa's Candy - Christmas Grab Bag. Author’s choice! Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!!
  • Santa Claus - Santa Claus. Did you ever send a letter to Santa? Did you ever visit Santa and “make a list?” Do you still believe in Santa Claus?
  • Outdoor Decorations - Outdoor Decorations. Did people in your neighborhood decorate with lights? Did some people really go “all out” when decorating?
  • Christmas Cards - Christmas Cards. Did your family send them? Did your family display the ones they received? Do you still send Christmas cards?