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.)