Monday, March 23, 2015

Grandmother Elizabeth Adsit - Same - 52 Ancestors #12

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is "Same." Not only do I share the same first name as my paternal grandmother, we do have quite a bit in common.

This blog post is an opportunity for me to link to most of the posts I have made about my grandmother.

Elizabeth Adsit was born on June 18, 1897, in Chicago, Illinois, to Charles Chapin Adsit, a Chicago banker, and Mary Bowman Ashby. She had one older brother, Charles, Jr., who was five years old when she was born. (See a photo of the two of them here.)

Her family lived at 73 Bellevue Place in Chicago and then at 24 Ritchie Court. I couldn't find the family in the 1900 U.S. Census because they were traveling.

All of the official records that I have found show the name of Elizabeth, but she was known to friends and family (including her grandchildren) as Libby. (We never called her grandmother, or granny or gramma.) At left is one of the several photographs I have of Libby as a girl.

Libby was a talented tennis player in her youth. She is mentioned in a couple of newspaper articles in 1912 and 1916.

As befitted a young society lady, she attended what was known at the time as a finishing school: Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut, between 1913 and 1916. After World War II, the school changed its focus to become a well-respected college preparatory school, which I attended almost 70 years after she did. (Although she was not able to be there to see me graduate, she was thrilled that I attended and enjoyed talking with me about her fond memories and about the changes that had taken place over the decades.)

After completing her studies in the spring of 1916, that fall, Libby made her society debut. I shared a couple of photos here.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

NERGC First-Timers: Harold Henderson, CG and Me

The biennial New England Regional Genealogical Conference: Navigating the Past: Sailing into the Future will be held on Wednesday, April 15 - Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Providence, Rhode Island. This will be my first NERGC and I am looking forward to it.

Several bloggers were invited to interview speakers and I chose to interview another NERGC first-timer, Harold Henderson, GC. His speaker bio notes that he has been a professional writer since 1979, a professional genealogist since 2009, and a board-certified genealogist since 2012. (That's what the CG after his name means.)

Following are the questions I posed and his answers:

Elizabeth Handler: What got you interested in genealogy and how long have you been doing it?
Harold Henderson: Our younger daughter got interested in the late 90s, dragged me in, and I never left. I love seeing history from the bottom up. And I love the challenge of assembling indirect-evidence clues.

EH: I see from your bio that you were a writer for 30 years before you became a genealogist. Was that a natural evolution or have you found that being a genealogist requires a different skill set?
HH: Yes and yes. Genealogy is more decorous, and strives to be more scholarly, than journalism. But being accustomed to writing was a big help.

EH: One of your sessions is about writing down your genealogy. Not to give away your talk, but what is one suggestion you have for genealogists who have trouble getting started writing?
HH: Sit down and do it. Don't critique yourself as you write -- that leads to paralysis -- just get it down and fix it later.

EH: Your other session references NY Probate and Property. Was this research for your own family? Do you have any advice about researching in upstate New York? (I have a couple of brick walls there.)
HH: Yes. Make sure you work back and forth between probate and property records, they're like twins separated at birth.

EH: Do you have any upcoming articles that you would like to share?
HH: I'll have "Crossing the Continent with Common Names: The Case of Indiana Natives John and Elizabeth (Smith) Smith" in the March issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

EH: You told me this is your first NERGC. This is my first NERGC as well. What are you most looking forward to at this conference (besides enjoying the company of hundreds of other genealogists)?
HH: I'll be dividing my time between attending talks and helping out at the Board for Certification of Genealogists booth along with friend and colleague Patti Hobbs from Missouri. C'mon by and say hello!

I look forward to meeting not only Harold but many other genealogists at NERGC next month.

Harold will be teaching the following at the conference:
Finding Berrys in NY Probate and Property - Step by Step (Thursday, 1:45-2:45)
Why We Don't Write and How We Can (Friday, 1:45-2:45)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Granville Bowman - Kentucky Politician and Postmaster

In preparing the sketch for my 4th great-grandfather, Granville Bowman, last week, I found some additional information about him.

According to Collins' Historical Sketches of Kentucky: History of Kentucky, Volume 2 (found at GoogleBooks), by Lewis Collins, Richard Henry Collins, published in 1878, Granville Bowman was a State Representative from Cumberland County in 1816.

A few years later, he decided to try for the State Senate. Also from - a newspaper notice announcing his run for the Kentucky State Senate:

Frankfort Argus, 26 April 1821
We are authorised to announce Granville
Bowman, Esq. a candidate to represent the
counties of Cumberland and Wayne in the
Senate of Kentucky.
It's hard to tell from the first image when Wm. Wood's term ended. (It reads 1814- )


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Nancy Rainey of Ireland - 52 Ancestors #11

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is "Luck of the Irish." Do I have a favorite Irish ancestor? Actually, I only have three (possibly four) immigrant ancestors that I believe were born in Ireland.

The one I know most about is the one who lived into the 20th century, mostly from census records, city directories, and her children's death certificates.

Nancy Rainey was born in Ireland sometime between December 1813 (1900 U.S. Census) and 1821 (1860 U.S. Census). I wrote about her in census records here. She married Scottish-born James Freeland before 1850, when her oldest child, my 2nd great-grandmother, Mary was born in Pennsylvania.

Four children followed, all born in Pennsylvania:
William J. Freeland (1852-1918), who worked as a railroad conductor
Anna Claudine Freeland (1854-1952), who worked as a school teacher
Edward C. Freeland (1858-1877), twin
Emma L. Freeland (1858-1893), twin

Her husband, James, died in March 1863.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Granville Bowman of Kentucky - 52 Ancestors #10

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is "Stormy Weather." I couldn't find an appropriate ancestor to write about under this theme, so I am writing about an ancestor from my Kentucky branch.

Bowman vital records in
Gorin family bible
Granville Bowman is my 4th great grandfather who was likely born in Virginia and lived in Kentucky most of his adult life.

According to the Gorin Family Bible that I have, (see several family pages here and a closeup at left), Granville was born on March 21, 1786, and he died on August 11, 1841. (Note that this bible was published in 1856, which means that these birth and death dates were entered much later than the event.) Based on some Kentucky land grants given to a Granville Bowman in 1799, there is either another man by the name of Granville Bowman (possible), or my 4th great grandfather was born by 1778 (maybe 1776).

Granville was born in Virginia, probably Chesterfield County, where his father owned land and was listed in tax records. Kentucky became a state in 1792 and I believe Granville Bowman arrived in Cumberland County, Kentucky within a decade of statehood.

Cumberland County, Kentucky
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Granville married Polly Walthall on May 16, 1809, presumably in Kentucky. I find Granville Bowman in each of the decennial United States censuses from 1810 through 1840, which list only the head of household and tick marks for the other household members. Following is a summary of what those censuses contain: