Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Copeland Father and Son Travel to Maine in 1904 ~ 52 Ancestors #28

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Travel.

I've been enjoying scanning photographs from my aunt's collection. Both my aunt and my mother have photographs from their father's trip to visit his paternal grandparents in Calais, Maine, from Winnetka, Illinois, in 1904, a trip of over 1,200-miles!

This was a trip "back home" to see Henry Clay Copeland (1832-1912) and his wife Sarah (Lowell) Copeland (1833-1916). I can't tell from my collection of photos if my great-grandmother, Ethel, or grandfather's 18-month-old sister, Betty, went on this trip; there don't appear to be any family group photos.

What a trip this must have been for not-quite-four-year-old Lowell Townsend Copeland! At this age, my grandfather was known as Townsend, but his nickname of Towgie or Towg is noted on the back of some of the photos.

Lowell Copeland and his son L. Townsend Copeland in Calais, Maine
The back of another copy of this photograph reads: "Taken Oct 1904 in New Brunswick - beautiful drive - L.C. [Lowell Copeland] and Towgie [Lowell Townsend Copeland]."

From the back: St. Stephen / Towg - New Brunswick, Jul 1904
St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, is across the St. Croix River from Calais. The date on the back of this photo suggests that they were in Calais by July of 1904.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Samuel Greeley Supported Independence ~ 52 Ancestors #27

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Independence.

My 4th and 5th great grandfathers, both named Samuel Greeley, served in the Revolutionary War from Nottingham West (now Hudson), New Hampshire.

Samuel Greeley (1752-1798), who was "suddenly killed by the fall of a tree," was known as Samuel Greeley Jr to distinguish him from his father, Samuel Greeley Sr (1721-1802).

The History of Hudson, N.H. by Kimball Webster (Manchester, N.H.: Granite State Publishing Co., 1913) is a great resource for the history of this community and includes transcriptions of many old town records in addition to sketches for Samuel Greeley and other men of its early history. (A digitized copy of the book can be found at Google Books and at FamilySearch Books.) This book is considered a DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) source for the service of Samuel Greeley Sr, probably because it notes (on page 252) that the old military records of Nottingham West were lost or destroyed. Much of the following information is from this book, as well as from vital records sources in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Samuel Greeley Sr (DAR Patriot #A047894), responded to the Lexington Alarm on April 19, 1775, leading sixty-two men from Nottingham West, New Hampshire, to Lexington, Massachusetts. On their way, they were met by a courier who informed them that the British had retreated, so the men returned home. Many went on to fight in the Revolution, though not Samuel Greeley Sr, probably due to his age; he was in his 50s. It also appears that Samuel Greeley Jr didn't fight, but he did pledge his support for the Patriot cause. Both Samuel Greeleys are found to have signed the "Revolutionary War Association Test" which men were required to sign if they were supporting the Patriot cause:

WE, the Subscribers, do hereby solemnly engage, and promise, that we will, to the utmost of our Power, at the Risque of our Lives and Fortunes, with ARMS, oppose the Hostile Proceedings of the British Fleets, and Armies, against the United American COLONIES.

Samuel Greeley Sr was born on 10 May 1721 in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts, the oldest child of Samuel Greeley and Rachel Robenson. He moved, with his parents and younger siblings, from Haverhill to Nottingham West, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, in 1740.


Friday, June 29, 2018

Divorce in the Family ~ 52 Ancestors #26

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Black Sheep.

Not that divorce makes a person a black sheep of the family (if that were so, this branch might have a dozen or more black sheep), but this great uncle of mine married and divorced twice and it made the papers.

James McAlpin Pyle was born in 1884 in New York as the oldest of six children of James Tolman Pyle and Frances Adelaide McAlpin. (They gave all six of their children the middle name McAlpin.) He married Miss Anita Merle-Smith on April 29, 1912.

The following wedding announcement was in the April 30, 1912, issue of The New York Times:


(Mourning in the bridegroom's family referred to the death of his father, James Tolman Pyle less than two months prior.)

James and Anita lived in New Jersey and were enumerated in the 1915 New Jersey State Census and the 1920 U.S. Federal Census with their two daughters, Sara, born September 10, 1913 (in 1915 and 1920), and Anne, born September 28, 1915 (in 1920).
~~~~~~~~~

However, the November 23, 1929, Central New Jersey Home News reported that Mrs. Anita Merle-Smith Pyle had requested a divorce from her husband, James McAlpin Pyle of Norodon [sic: Noroton], Connecticut, on the grounds of desertion. He had apparently deserted his family on September 6, 1927.

(Interestingly, James was found twice in the 1930 U.S. census, once listed with his wife and daughters in Bedminster, New Jersey, and also listed with his sister and brother-in-law in Noroton, Connecticut.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Charles Williston McAlpin (Another Charles) ~ 52 Ancestors #25

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Same Name.

There are several men by the name of Charles in my father's family. My father was a Charles, as was his father. I shared photos of them as children at Photos for Father's Day.

My father's mother was Elizabeth (known as Libby), and I have written about her many times. Libby's father and brother were both named Charles. Here is a photo of her father.

All of these men were known at times as Charlie, specifically spelled with the "ie" ending.

So who was Charley?


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wordless Wednesday ~ Photos for Father's Day ~ 52 Ancestors #24

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Father's Day.

Following are four generations of Pyles in photographs.

My father, Charles McAlpin Pyle Jr., at about the age of eight or ten in the early 1930s:



And his father, Charles McAlpin Pyle, at probably about the same age in the 1910s:



And his father, James Tolman Pyle:



A photo of his father, James Pyle, which I found at the Nova Scotia Archives website:



Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Percy and Marguerite Going to the Chapel ~ 52 Ancestors #23

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Going to the Chapel.

My great-grandparents, Percy Earle Hunter and Marguerite Lysle were married in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on 21 October 1897.

Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Clerks of Orphans' Courts, Pennsylvania County Marriage Records, 1885-1950, FHL Film 878632, p 49, no. 13646, digital image, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DY8Q-7CL : accessed 25 January 2012), citing marriage record for Percy E. Hunter and Marguerite Lysle, 21 October 1897.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

So Far Away ~ 52 Ancestors #22

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and last week's writing prompt was So Far Away.

My brick wall ancestor, third great-grandmother, Susan (Rood) Chapin, had several children. One, my second great-grandmother, Susan Arville (Chapin) Adsit, settled in Chicago, Illinois, dying there in 1906. One of the strategies to break through a brick wall is to research siblings of a known ancestor and I have done some research on Arville's siblings to see if that leads me to Susan (Rood) Chapin's death information (or possibly her parents' names).

One of her sisters continued to move further west and settled in Utah. My third great aunt, Jane Eliza Chapin, was born 14 January 1822, probably in Massachusetts. She married Hiram H. Harrison in Chicago, Illinois, on 4 March 1841. The family was in Wisconsin in 1850 and 1860 (per the U.S. Census) and in Salt Lake City, Utah, by the time of the 1880 U.S. Census. That year, Jane was enumerated in the household of one of her sons. (I have not had luck finding the family in the 1870 U.S. Census.)

Jane was not enumerated in the 1900 U.S. Census (though I did find two of her sons in Salt Lake City). Her death record reported her place of death at the 1900 home of her son, Lester.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Wilton Stroud Pyle ~ 52 Ancestors #21

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Military.

Wilton Stroud Pyle was a second cousin of mine who died while serving in the Vietnam War. Wilton was the son of David McAlpin Pyle (1914-1984) and the grandson of David Hunter McAlpin Pyle (1886-1944), the older brother of my grandfather, Charles McAlpin Pyle.

There is an entry for him in the U.S., Vietnam War Military Casualties, 1956-1998, database at Ancestry.com. He died 49 years ago tomorrow (on May 29, 1969). According to this record, his military tour had started just two months before, on March 27.

Additional information from this record states that he was born on April 6, 1946, and lived in Morris, Litchfield County, Connecticut. He served as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has a website which includes the Wall of Faces, a virtual Vietnam Veterans Wall, where photographs of those who died can be found. Wilton Pyle's page includes messages that have been shared there over the past nineteen years.

In addition to his parents and extended family, he left three younger siblings.

His FindAGrave memorial provides additional information about him and includes a photograph of his gravestone, which is at Arlington National Cemetery.

Courtesy of photographer "Hope" at FindAGrave

Wilton
Stroud
Pyle
New York
2d Lieutenant
U.S. Marine Corps
Vietnam
April 6, 1946
May 29, 1969

In memory of the second cousin I never knew.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wordless Wednesday ~ Henry Clay Copeland ~ 52 Ancestors #20

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt but this week, instead of using the prompt, I'm sharing another photograph from my aunt.

Henry Clay Copeland was born in Norridgewock, Maine, in 1832, and died in 1912 in Calais, Maine. I don't think I've ever seen a photograph of him and my aunt had four copies of this same image. This appears to be the clearest one.


Following is the backside of another of the images showing three different handwritten notes (suggesting he was 41 years old) as well as the photographer's imprint.

July 1873
Henry Clay Copeland
[sideways:] Eastport - Aug. 21, 1873

The photographer was Davis Loring, owner of Loring's New Rooms in Eastport, Maine. (I looked him up at Langdon's List of 19th & Early 20th Century Photographers.)



I have written about this second great-grandfather at Henry Copeland ~ Lumberman and Military Monday ~ Henry Clay Copeland.

Henry Clay Copeland
|
Lowell Copeland
|
Lowell Townsend Copeland
|
My mother
|
Me

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mother's Day ~ 52 Ancestors #19

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Mother's Day.

I recently visited my mother's sister and she had the following photograph framed on her wall. I did my best to scan it using my Flip-Pal scanner.


The woman in the center of this photograph is my great-grandmother, Ethel May (Greeley) Copeland (1875-1931). Daughters Elizabeth Sewall Copeland on the left (born 17 March 1903) and Ruth Lyman Copeland on the right (born 8 July 1907).

(Perhaps this was taken when my grandfather, the girls' older brother Lowell Townsend Copeland, was away at school in the mid-1910s; or perhaps it was just a mother-daughters photo session)

A later photo of Ethel is at Ethel May Greeley. A yearbook photo of great aunt Ruth is at Ruth Lyman Copeland-Her Yearbook Entry.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Ruth Lyman Wells ~ 52 Ancestors #18

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Close Up.

I feel like I know an ancestor "close up" when I have many photographs of that ancestor in addition to other documents.

My third great aunt, Ruth Lyman Wells (1862-1943), not to be confused with her father's sister, my fourth great aunt, Ruth Lyman Wells (1816-1882), was a much younger sister of my second great-grandmother, Eliza May Wells (1839-1880), who married Samuel Sewall Greeley.

Following are just a few of several photographs that I have of Ruth, who was born July 28, 1862.

This photograph has a Civil War revenue stamp on the back with a May 29 date, suggesting a year 1865. (Revenue stamps were in use from July 1864 to July 1866.)


Ruth was born in Brookline, Massachusetts (close to me; this is just a few miles from where I live) and lived there, in Cambridge, or in Boston all of her life.

However, she did travel.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Visiting Pittsburgh's Uniondale Cemetery ~ 52 Ancestors #17

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Cemetery.

One of my favorite Geneablogger themes over the years has been Tombstone Tuesday. I have visited cemeteries in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to visit my ancestors' gravesites. I have also vicariously visited cemeteries in Nova Scotia, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Kentucky by way of FindAGrave and the kind volunteers who take pictures of gravestones and allow them to be shared on my blog.

In January 2014, I blogged about having many direct ancestors and collateral relatives buried at Uniondale Cemetery in Pittsburgh.

Ancestors of my grandmother, Helen (Hunter) Copeland, their death dates, and their burial locations

I finally got to Uniondale Cemetery last August and, along with my husband and my Pittsburgh cousin, visited the burial locations of four second great-grandparents (James Hunter, Mary (Freeland) Hunter, George Lysle, Marion (Alston) Lysle), eight third great-grandparents (see chart above) and one fourth great-grandmother, Mary (Wilson) Lysle, the mother of George Lysle (d. 1877) in the chart above.

We also visited Allegheny County Memorial Park, where our grandparents and great grandparents are buried.

Although FindAGrave is a wonderful resource, I love visiting a cemetery in person in order to see the layout of the gravesite and the relation of one lot to another.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy 7th Blogiversary to From Maine to Kentucky

I started this blog in 2011 to share stories with my family and maybe connect with some more distant cousins. I have not only shared stories and connected with distant cousins, but connected with the wider genealogy community.

I took a brief hiatus from blogging last summer when I spent 15 weeks obtaining my certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. Just this past week, I was invited to register for the next session of the ProGen Study Group starting in June. I'm excited for this new educational opportunity but will keep blogging.

Some favorite blog posts of mine from this past year include two DNA posts:

DNA Toolbox ~ This is as much for my reference as it is for my readers!

DNA Resources at DNA Painter Website ~ This post quickly became my most-viewed post of the past seven years.

I also shared a fun feature of Family Tree Maker at Family Tree Maker Color Coding, which prompted me to write a Surname Saturday blog post for Simon Tuttle (about 1560-1630). Three of my four grandparents descend from him! If you can trace your ancestry to colonial New England, I'll bet I'm related to you!

And, of course, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is prompting me to share stories about different relatives, some direct ancestors and some not. I am thrilled that due to one of the prompts, I gathered lots of wonderful stories about my Great Aunt Margie who never married but is fondly remembered.

Snapshot of very old negatives
and their envelopes in my collection
As I shared at blog posts Questions for my Grandmother and The Old Homestead in Old Allegheny, I have digitized hundreds of old negatives from the early 1900s to the 1940s and I hope to share these in upcoming Wordless Wednesday posts.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you're enjoying learning about my ancestors (especially if they're your ancestors) and / or learning about family history research by reading some of my posts.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Lightning's Freaks in New Jersey ~ 52 Ancestors #16

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Storms.

This prompt just begs for newspaper research. I subscribe to Newspapers.com and GenealogyBank, both of which have a variety of old newspapers. The Library of Congress's Chronicling America is a free newspaper resource, as is Old Fulton Postcards.

I searched for different surnames and the word "storm" to see what results I got. One story I found in the New York Tribune at GenealogyBank (entitled "Lightning's Freaks in Jersey") and then found in The Madison Eagle at Newspapers.com was from July 1897 when there had been a series of fierce thunderstorms to hit northern New Jersey. (While searching for the word "storm," I found several other mentions of storms during that week.)

The Madison [NJ] Eagle, 23 July 1897, page 5, column 2; online image,
Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 19 April 2018).

A heavy electrical storm did much havoc at Morristown on Wednesday. Three houses in various parts of the city were struck and considerably damaged. The grandstand at the Driving Park was struck by a bolt and a large portion of it shattered. The large barns of David H. McAlpin, about two miles from the city, were set on fire by the lightning and totally consumed, together with about twenty tons of hay. The loss is about $7,500.

David Hunter McAlpin was my second great-grandfather. His property, Glen Alpin, was the subject of one of my first blog posts at Glen Alpin, Harding Township, New Jersey. Although he was wealthy, I'm sure he was not pleased at losing his barns and that much hay.

More than thirty years later, another lightning storm in that same neighborhood burned down a barn with my dad's pet goat in it. I shared that story at My Dad's Pet Goat.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Wheeler County Texas Tax Rolls ~ 52 Ancestors #15

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Taxes.

I have never really explored tax records, which are a great resource for placing a person (or people) in a particular location at a particular time.

I decided to explore FamilySearch.org at its collection list (https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list) where I simply entered tax in the "filter by collection name" box. (These are not all of the records that might be available at FamilySearch, just what are available in the collection list.)

Very early on in my blog, I shared information (at Texas Stock Farmer) about a third great aunt of mine, Florence (Gorin) Lee, who was born in Kentucky in 1851 and died in Texas in 1925. In 1880, she married John Atkin Lee (1844-1925) in Louisville, Kentucky.

I found them in Wheeler County, Texas, in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, but I don't know when they moved there and purchased land. Now, I think I do - at least I know when they were first taxed on land purchased there. The tax records at Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1837-1910, at FamilySearch show that Mrs. F. G. Lee was paying taxes in Wheeler County by 1896 and Mrs. Florence G. Lee and John A. Lee were both on the rolls in 1897.

Mrs. F.G. Lee tax entry, Wheeler County Land District, 1896, page 4, Wheeler County, Texas; County Tax Rolls, 1937-1910, citing Comptroller's Office, State Archives, Austin; digital images, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org : accessed 13 April 2018).

Monday, April 9, 2018

Great Aunt Margie: Maiden Aunt ~ 52 Ancestors #14

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is The Maiden Aunt. As Amy notes, even though aunts and uncles are not technically ancestors, they play an important role in our families.

My great aunt Margaret Lysle Hunter was known as Aunt Margie or Aunt Marg (with a hard 'g'). She was the fourth of five daughters born to my great-grandparents, Percy Earle Hunter and Marguerite Lysle: Marion, Caroline, Mary, Margaret, and Helen. In addition to some factual information and my memories of Aunt Margie, I reached out to several relatives to collect stories about her which I am sharing here and there are some good ones!

She was born on April 28, 1905, less than nine months before the state of Pennsylvania required birth certificates, so I don't have an official birth certificate for her. However, I do have a variety of paperwork that was saved in her process to obtain a Social Security Number, including an affidavit of birth from her Uncle Jack (I recently wrote about my Great Great Uncle Jack who lived to 102). All applicants for federal benefits (Social Security or Medicare) were required to have their own Social Security Numbers by 1972.

My grandmother and her family saved photographs and negatives (as I have previously noted). I have shared photographs of the sisters in several blog posts (because I have so many of them):
My Grandmother and Her Sisters
Early 20th Century Hunter Sisters Stories
Early 20th Century Hunter Sisters Update which includes links to other posts. In many of these group photos, I recognize the twinkle in Aunt Margie's eyes.

This photograph of Aunt Margie and Grandmother was hanging in the house I grew up in for years. When I went through the collection of negatives and found that I had the negative for it, I was thrilled. Aunt Margie is on the left, Grandmother (Helen) is on the right. (Marks in the sky are due to defects in the negative.)


Friday, March 30, 2018

The Old Homestead in Old Allegheny ~ 52 Ancestors #13

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is The Old Homestead.

I thought I only had one image of this house on Perrysville Avenue in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, which I originally shared at Hunter Family Home and I share again here:


This home was built by my third great-grandfather, James Hunter, whose wonderfully-detailed obituary I previously shared.

After my second great-grandparents (James Hunter and Mary Freeland Hunter) both died in 1902, it appeared that the Hunter family continued to live there, as they are found at 3623 Perrysville Avenue in the 1910 U.S. Census. This means that my grandmother and her sisters lived in this home with many of their Hunter aunts and uncles before moving to Berkeley, California in about 1911.

However, I recently digitized a bunch of very old negatives mostly from my maternal grandmother's side of the family and found many treasures!

Check out these additional images of the house taken from the street.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Nathaniel Copeland: The Misfortune of Dying Young ~ 52 Ancestors #12

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Misfortune.

Since I wrote about my 4th great-grandmother, Mary (Page) Copeland last week, I thought I'd share the little bit I know about her husband, Nathaniel Copeland.

Although some secondary sources suggest that he was born in Boston, Massachusetts, according to the Vital Records of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, he was born 28 December 1765, in Liverpool, to Abraham and Elizabeth Copeland. His older sister, Mary and next younger brother, Abraham, were also born there.

According to the Copeland genealogy (The Copeland Family by Warren Turner Copeland, 1937), his father, Abraham, was a sea captain, which helps to explain why there are records for him in Nova Scotia and Boston. (In fact, it's unclear as to whether he died in Maine or at sea.)

Nathaniel apparently settled in Boston and by the age of 24 in early 1790, he was working as a shoemaker in his own shop "in Fish Street, nearly opposite Proctor's Corner." I found several newspaper advertisements between 1790 and 1799 at GenealogyBank that indicate that he was a boot and shoe maker and moved his shop several times during the 1790s.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Lucky to Connect with a Page Researcher ~ 52 Ancestors #11

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Lucky.

Lucky can be connecting with another genealogist who has already done extensive research on a brick wall ancestor.

Background:
I have volunteered for the NEHGS for many years and for over ten years as an online volunteer, indexing and transcribing for their online databases. For many years, until his death in January 2012, Robert J. (Bob) Dunkle was the volunteer coordinator of the NEHGS online volunteers.

In May 2010, we were having an email conversation where I shared that I was reviewing my Page family line and found a Dunkle mentioned in a 1991 published genealogy about the Page family, and was looking to confirm my connection.

He replied to my comment with an attachment: The Descendants of Edward Page of Boston, an unpublished manuscript that he had just completed the year before.

Wow - thank you, Bob!

My Ancestor:
Mary Page, my 4th great-grandmother, was born in Boston 5 November 1771. She married Nathaniel Copeland on 13 November 1790 in Boston, as Polly Page. (Polly was a nickname for Mary during this time period.)

This is the record of the marriage intention. At the top is "Anno 1790 Septem[ber]." You can see Copeland at the bottom and to the right: Nathaniel Copeland and under it, Polly Page. To the right of their names is "Boston 8" (i.e. the 8th of September).

Boston, Massachusetts, Marriage Publications, 1782-1798, Vol. 6, p. 187, Nathaniel Copeland-Polly Page, 8 September 1790; image, "Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988,"
Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 March 2018).

They married on 13 November 1790 in Boston and that record indicates that Rev. John Lothrop married them.

Boston Marriages 1761-1807, Vol 12A, p. 40, Nathaniel Copeland-Polly Page, 13 November 1790;
image, "Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988,"
Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 March 2018).

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Grandmother Elected to School Board ~ 52 Ancestors #10

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Strong Woman.

My grandmother, Helen Hunter Copeland, was on the school board in Hampton Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Family lore is that she was the first woman to be elected to this board (but I haven't yet confirmed this).

Tuesday, November 2, 1943, was a rainy day, which reduced voter turnout in the greater-Pittsburgh elections. I have not been able to determine if there was a contested race for school director in Hampton Township, but according to the list of candidates (for Pittsburgh, not in the surrounding boroughs or townships) found in The Pittsburgh Press on the day before the election, there were many other contested races on this election day in Pittsburgh.

"GOP Victorious in Party Fights in Townships: Contests Center in Races for School Posts And Council,"
  The Pittsburgh Press, 3 November 1943, digital images
(https://www.newspapers.com/image/147854242/ : accessed 8 March 2018), p. 22, col. 6.

Republicans took all local offices
in Hampton Twp.
Hugh R. Brankstone and Helen
H. Copeland won six-year terms as
school directors.

Grandmother was 36 years old when elected, and had three young daughters at home (ages 8 1/2, 7 1/2, and 5). I haven't found any other mention of her as a school director, so I'm not sure if she served the full six year term.

Interestingly, when I searched Pittsburgh newspapers at the subscription website, newspapers.com, for Helen Copeland, I don't find other mentions of her. However, I found several mentions of her as Mrs. Lowell T. Copeland or Mrs. L.T. Copeland. (She was active in the local garden club and her high school's alumnae association.) This is yet another example of why it's hard to research our female ancestors: when they're listed as Mrs. "husband's name."

Grandmother's maternal grandfather, George Lysle, Jr., also served on the school board in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, in 1889. (See George Lysle ~ School Board Member.)

Now I know where the interest in participating in politics comes from!

Monday, March 5, 2018

DNA Resources at DNA Painter Website

DNA Painter is a very cool website with a couple of different tools that can be used by people who have tested their DNA. Thank you to Jonny Perl who has put together these wonderful tools! In fact, he just won the RootsTech DNA Innovation Contest. See fellow geneablogger, Jill Ball, interview him at her YouTube channel.

To use the DNA Painter feature, testers have to have results from a company that provides a chromosome browser (FamilyTreeDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage) or have uploaded their AncestryDNA results to the free GEDmatch.com. The goal of using DNA Painter is to know from which ancestor a particular segment came from. Then, when an unknown DNA match approaches me wondering how we are related, I can look at the chromosome(s) where we match and narrow down which ancestral line I should be looking at to find our common ancestor.

Having known second and third cousins in your match lists at these DNA websites is very helpful for this project.

This is the home page of DNA Painter, showing an example of seven (of 23) chromosomes and how the user "mapped" his chromosomes to different ancestors, using the tools at the website and data from one of the above-mentioned websites. Look at all those names and colors!


The following screenshot shows 19 of my 23 chromosomes. Sadly, I have many fewer names and colors. The key in the lower right hand corner is hard to read:
Pale blue: Frances Adelaide McAlpin (my paternal great-grandmother)
Blue: Charles McAlpin Pyle, Sr. (my paternal grandfather, and son of Frances Adelaide)
Green: Lowell Townsend Copeland (my maternal grandfather)


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Descendants of my Great-Grandparents

Because I am interested in figuring out how my DNA matches (at FamilyTreeDNA and at AncestryDNA) are related to me, I decided that I had better know all my collateral relatives who descend from my four pairs of great-grandparents.

My great-grandparents, James Tolman Pyle (1855-1912) and Frances Adelaide McAlpin (1860-1937) had six children: James, David, Adelia (Mary), Sara, Charles, and Gordon. Five of these six children had children.

Of these nine grandchildren (four granddaughters and five grandsons), I have discovered that there are 35 great-grandchildren of James and Adelaide (I am one of them) and that more than half of these great-grandchildren had children. I'm still trying to confirm all of these (I have at least 41) and I know that many have children and some have grandchildren.

The graphical representation below shows my great-grandparents at the top, with their children below and grandchildren below that. The relatives who have done DNA testing at one or another of the DNA testing companies are shaded yellow and green represents the second and third great-grandchildren for whom I do not yet have names.



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My second great-grandparents, Charles Chapin Adsit (1853-1931) and Mary Bowman Ashby (1863-1956) had two children: Charles Chapin Adsit, Jr. and Elizabeth (Libby) Adsit. Only Libby married and she gave her parents one grandchild, my father. Charles and Mary had five great-grandchildren and six second-great-grandchildren.

I have no first, second, or third cousins on this branch of my family, but I believe I have fourth cousins.

This graphical representation is very different from my other branches.



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My second great-grandparents, Lowell Copeland (1862-1935) and Ethel May Greeley (1875-1931) had three children: Lowell (Toby), Elizabeth (Betty), and Ruth. All three married and had children.

Lowell and Ethel had seven grandchildren. All seven married and had children. They had 20 great-grandchildren and at least 27 second great-grandchildren; I am still researching.

I would love to get more family information from the yellow DNA tester in the middle (in fact, I'm not sure which brother it is who has tested), but he has not yet responded to my AncestryDNA messages. Again, the green shaded sections indicate second great-grandchildren who I do not know.



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My second great-grandparents, Percy Earle Hunter (1873-1937) and Marguerite Lysle (1876-1967) had five daughters: Marion, Caroline, Mary, Margaret, and Helen. Three of the five married and two of the five had children, all girls.

Percy and Marguerite had five granddaughters, all of whom married and had children. They had 16 great-grandchildren and 32 second great-grandchildren.

This graphical representation shows that three of the five sisters in the first generation below Percy and Marguerite didn't have children. I believe that I have confirmed the names of all the 32 second great-grandchildren.


In my next post, I will show why I love finding second and third cousins who have tested at one of the companies with a chromosome browser (FamilyTreeDNA or MyHeritage) or have transferred their raw data to GEDmatch.com.

And of course, the next step is to find all descendants of my second great-grandparents, and then third great-grandparents!