Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sports Center Saturday ~ Olympic Athlete in the Family

The last time the Summer Olympics were held in London was 64 years ago, in 1948, after a twelve year hiatus due to World War II. My father's cousin and uncle participated in the Sailing competition in Torbay, on the south coast of England. Wikipedia has a detailed description of Sailing at the 1948 Summer Olympics, where it notes that Hilary Smart (1925 - 2000) and his father Paul Smart (1892 - 1979) won the Gold Medal in the "Star" Event.

The following screenshots are from the detailed page about this race at Wikipedia (accessed July 13, 2012)

I love that the name of their sailboat was "Hilarious." Having known my dad's cousin Hilary, that's his sense of humor shining through.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Birthday Spread

Jill Ball of Geniaus recently posted about the Birthday Spread in her immediate family. It made me think about the upcoming maternal family reunion my family is having and the interesting spread of birthdays that we've noticed in our family at past reunions.

There will be 38 people there, ranging in age from 14 months to 77 years. There are four instances of a shared birthday, with three of those for identical twins. There is one family of five with all April birthdays. We have a Leap Year birthday and a Halloween birthday.

In attendance will be all 22 great grandchildren of my grandparents, Helen (1907-1990) and Toby (1900-1974) Copeland, pictured below.

Helen and Toby Copeland, 1971

Friday, July 20, 2012

Orramel Chapin Moving West Part 2

This is a continuation of the tracing of my third great grandparents as they migrated westward during the nineteenth century. See Part 1 here.

Port Washington, Dist. No. 15, Port Washington, Washington County, Wisconsin, is where I find the Chapin family in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, and now we get to see the names of all the others in the household, as well as some occupations.

O. Chapin, age 59, born in Massachusetts, works as a Forwarder. Relationships to head of household are not indicated (this doesn't happen until the 1880 U.S. Federal Census), but based on other research, relationships are as follows:
O. (Orramel) Chapin is the Head of Household
Susan Chapin, age 51, born in Massachusetts is Wife
H. H. Harrison, age 39, born in N.Y. is Son-In-Law and is also a Forwarder
Jane E. Harrison, age 27, born in Massachusetts, is Daughter
Alfred R. Chapin, age 25, born in Connecticut, is Son and works as a Clerk
Sarah H. Chapin, age 16, born in N.Y. is Daughter-In-Law, who married Alfred that summer 1850 (yes, at age 16)
Henry Harrison, age 4, born in Illinois, Grandson (Jane and H. H.'s son)
Lena Hamit, age 15, born in Germany is perhaps a servant.
I don't show it in this image, but William and Sarah Toogood are listed just above O. Chapin. I believe that they are Sarah H. (Toogood) Chapin's parents.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Orramel Chapin Moving West Part 1

Orramel Chapin (1791 - 1866) is my 3rd great grandfather. HIS 3rd great grandfather was Deacon Samuel Chapin (1598 - 1675), a prominent early settler of Springfield, Massachusetts, who has an entry on Wikipedia. With basic records, mostly census records from, I'm able to track his westward migration.

Orramel's birth is recorded in the Springfield Vital Records: Massachusetts, Town Vital Collections, 1620-1988 [database online].
Original data: Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records.
Provo, UT: Holbrook Research Institute (Jay and Delene Holbrook). Image 766.

Orrimal Chapin Son of Bezaliel Cha-
pin and Thankful Chapin was born
April 5th Anno Domini 1791 has an index of the marriage record of Orimel Chapin and Susan Rood on August 20, 1816, in Ludlow, Massachusetts, but there is no image, so I'll need to order that FHL microfilm to confirm the details and see if there is any additional information in that marriage record. (This doesn't agree with the marriage date on their daughter's family sampler.)


In 1820 (with an enumeration date of August 7), Orromel Chapin is found in Ludlow, Hampden County, Massachusetts, living next to Elijah Torrey, his widowed mother's second husband.

U.S. Federal Census records before the 1850 Census only listed the head of household and categorized the number of people living in that household by age. If a researcher knows the family well, an educated guess can be made as to who is being referenced by the numbers. My educated guesses below are [in square brackets]. The numbers in this census record indicate that the make up of the Orramel Chapin family is:
One male under the age of ten [oldest son, Orson]
One male between the ages of 26 - 45 [Orramel]
One female under the age of ten [oldest daughter, Susan Arville]
One female between the ages of 16 - 26 [wife Susan (Rood)] - She is the brick wall I blogged about previously.
The mark to the far right indicates that Orromel Chapin is a "person engaged in agriculture," that is, a farmer.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mystery Monday ~ Susan Rood's Parents

The brick wall that has stumped me for a long time is my third great grandmother, Susan Rood, b. 1799. I am summarizing what I know about here as a public research log.

The embroidered sampler that twelve-year-old Susan Arville Chapin (1820 - 1906) created in 1832 shows her mother's maiden name of Susan Rood, and her birthdate of January 26, 1799. It also shows her marriage date of September 17, 1816, to Orramel Chapin, for whom I've found information.

Orramel Chapin is descended from Deacon Samuel Chapin, who helped found the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. Samuel Chapin has thousands of descendants and a few genealogies have been written, trying to keep track of all those descendants.

The Chapin Genealogy, published in 1862 by Orange Chapin, is an early compiled genealogy and it contains many errors. The copy that has been passed down in my family has all kinds of handwritten notes, correcting dates. Following image is from page 125 of the book which can be found at the Internet Archive.

It notes that Orramel Chapin "m. Sept. 1815, Susan Rood, dau. of Joseph Rood, formerly of Ludlow, Mass." This marriage and bride's father "fact" is what is often found in online trees. Assuming the  handmade sampler is correct, the marriage date in this published genealogy is incorrect, so it's very possible the bride's father's name is incorrect. I also haven't had luck finding a record of this marriage in Massachusetts records (which are generally pretty good.)

More recently, I explored Hampshire County probate records on microfilm at the New England Historic Genealogical Society and, in a nutshell, entries for Joseph Rood of Ludlow from 1806-1808 indicate his wife is Paulina and his minor children are Joseph and Paulina - no Susan.

Periodically, I enter Susan Rood and Joseph Rood into search engines at,, and other websites, but haven't found anything that confirms the name of Susan's parents. There are Rood families in Connecticut and in New York, as well as Massachusetts, and I'm not sure how they are related.

The Chapin book of genealogical data, with brief biographical sketches, of the descendants of Deacon Samuel Chapin, published in 1924 by Gilbert W. Chapin indicates that Susan Rood was of Sangerfield (Oneida County), New York.

Location of Oneida County
Courtesy Wiki
I recently received a reply to an old query of mine on a rootsweb message board from a Rood researcher who has been exploring the Sangerfield, New York Rood family. My next step is to learn about Oneida County, New York resources.

I wonder how Susan Rood and Orramel Chapin met and decided to marry if he was born in Springfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, and she was born in Sangerfield, Oneida County, New York.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday's Obituary ~ Maria Adelia McAlpin Pyle

From The New York Times, May 1, 1968, found at, Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003 [database online].

According to the obituary, Great Aunt Adelia died on Saturday, April 27, 1968. There is a memorial for her at Find A Grave which indicates she died on April 26, which apparently is the date on her tombstone at San Giovanni Rotondo.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More on Great Aunt Adelia

After sharing passport applications for my great aunt Adelia McAlpin Pyle, I wondered if she ever returned to the United States after meeting Padre Pio and converting to Catholicism. One of my readers shared the following:
You wanted to know if she returned to the US after going to San Giovanni Rotondo.  The answer is yes. In 1948 one of her aunts was dying of cancer. Adelia (Mary) went to the US to be with her.  This aunt (I don't know her name) left her an inheritance which Mary in turn used to complete the construction of the monastery in Pietrelcina. Mary stayed in the US for 4 months and while she was here she went to speak at many Padre Pio Prayer Groups.  They already existed in 1948. 21 years before Padre Pio or Mary died.  To my knowledge and research, she never returned to the US  before or after 1948.
I looked at her family tree to see who this might have been, and I am venturing a guess that this would be Sara Pyle McAlpin (1863 - 1949), her father's sister and wife of Charles Williston McAlpin (1865 - 1942), who was her mother's brother. Uncle Charles McAlpin is the family she references in the February 1923 "Affidavit to Explain Protracted Foreign Residence and to Overcome Presumption of Expatriation" referenced in the earlier post.

I then looked for a passenger list with Adelia on it and found the following at New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Year: 1948; Arrival: 15 May 1948; Microfilm Roll: T715_7596;
Page: 81; Line: 24; Record for Adelia McAlpin Pyle

Monday, July 9, 2012

Amanuensis Monday ~ Death Certificate for Arville Chapin Adsit

An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin – some we never met – others we see a time in their life before we knew them.

Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1922 (index and images, FamilySearch,, from Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois, accessed May 2011),
Record for Arville S. Chapin, died 6 May 1906, citing Death Records FHL microfilm 1,239,733
[note: indexed as Arville S. Chafini Ad...]

The handwritten entries are in blue:
Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Department of Health: City of Chicago.
Undertaker's Report of Death.
  1. Name of Deceased (in full): Mrs. Arville S. Chapin Adsit
  2. Sex: M [sic: s/b F]   Color: W
  3. Place of Birth: Mass.   Father's Birthplace: N.Y.   Mother's Birthplace: Mass.
  4. Age: 85 Years 11 Months - Days
  5. Lived in Illinois 65 Years, in Chicago: 65 Years
  6. Died on the 6th Day of May 1906 at about 3:45 A.M.
  7. Widowed.   Occupation: None
  8. Place of Death: 400 Dearborn Ave   Ward: 21st
  9. Place of Burial: Graceland
      Date of Burial: May 8, 1906
      Hour: 2:30 P.M.
10. Undertaker: C. H. Jordan + Co.  Address: 14 E. Madison St.   Tel. C1604   License No. 51

Physician's Certificate of Cause of Death
Immediate and Determining: Hypostatic Pneumonia   Duration of Cause: 6 Days
Contributing Cause or Complication: Cerebral Haemorrhage, arteriosclerosis  Duration of Cause: 8 months, 14 Days

1906 Chicago Directory, p. 2909,
(Signature:) Jas. Murray Washburn
Address: 15 Bellevue Place   Tel.: North823

Previous posts about this second great grandmother of mine can be found at:
Matrilineal Monday
Sunday's Obituary
Wordless Wednesday
Chapin Family Sampler
And you can see her gravestone in Graceland Cemetery at Find A Grave.