Looking over the family tree…

This morning I was looking over my family tree chart to get a feel for how it was looking these days,  (and I must say, my efforts have filled it out pretty well in the last few years), when I realized that my great great grandparents Elza Shepard and Jane Buchanan were second cousins. Susan Smith, who married Hartley Shepard, was the daughter of Catharine Atkinson, William A. Buchanan was the son of Rebecca Atkinson, sister of Catharine. Susan’s son Elza married William’s daughter Jane.

That also means we descend from James Atkinson and Margaret Brown twice. Not an unusual occurrence at all, but one I just realized.

Elza Shepard and Jane Buchanan, 2nd cousins, my great great grandparents on my maternal size. They are sitting on chairs that are on an incline. Hilly country in West Virginia.

Interesting records you can find…

Sylvester Bumann is my deceased father-in-law. He passed away at the relatively young age of 29 in 1958. Because he was in the Air Force for 4 years he was eligible for a military headstone. Here is the application that was filled out to acquire one:

For those trying to find information on a relative’s military background, a document like this is an excellent resource. It gives his exact dates of service, his branch, company, regiment, etc. along with other vital information.

As I knew nothing about what an ‘Installation Squadron’ was I looked online and this was the best information I could find:

Engineering and Installations’s roots can be traced as far back as 1901 when the Army Signal Corps sent Lt. Billy Mitchell to string 1400 miles of telegraph cable across Alaska. In 1938, the Army Airways Communication System (AACS) was organized and was assigned directly under the Army Air Forces in 1943, which became part of the new US Air Force upon its creation in 1947. The USAF distributed the personnel and functions into five Installation and Maintenance Squadrons. Throughout the 1950s, the USAF was in its infancy and much of its infrastructure was still being converted from WWII era Army Air Corps Flying Fields into Air Force Bases.

So I believe that Sylvester was helping to modernize the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada at the time of his service, as that is where the 3595th was stationed at that time. His background and knowledge of electronics is what put him there.

So to the Bumann Clan, enjoy!

It’s always the quiet ones part two…

Emil Hamm, youngest son of George and Amelia Hamm

On the 14th of January, 1910, Emil G. Hamm plead guilty to the crime of abusing a female child under the age of sixteen. On January 26th he was brought before the Grand Jury in Duluth and convicted by Judge Hughes. He was sentenced to the St. Cloud Reformatory for 1-7 years.

Emil’s case file indicates he left home at the age of 19 to better himself. According to his own account he went to Harvard, North Dakota for about 4 weeks and then came back home. Next he taught at the school in Whittlesey, Wisconsin for about a year and by the late spring of 1907 he had moved to Duluth, Minnesota. Other accounts in the record indicate he was actually employed at at least one other town in Minnesota before he appears in Duluth.

He was living at 213 1/2 Third Ave. in a boarding house run by Mary E. Chisholm. Also living in the boarding house was a young girl by the name of Martha Tohantele, she had been fostered by Mrs. Chisholm.

It was in December of 1909 that Martha was found to be pregnant, at the age of 14. Emil was the father.

He was arrested and thrown into the hoosegow. At the hearing his lawyer put forth the following argument:

“Your Honor, this appears to me to be a very unfortunate case for this man, and he has expressed to me a desire to plead guilty and throw himself on the mercy of the Court. He has stated that he had no opportunity to communicate with the girl and the complaining witness in this case; that he desire to do the manly thing if it is possible to do so. He has stated to me that he was willing to take care of this child and to marry the girl if possible, and, if possible, before he would serve any sentence that might be passed upon him. It seems to me this man’s record is dry clear; that it is a case where it wold be very proper for the Court to exercise mercy and give the man a chance to redeem the wrong which he has done. I believe he would like to state his intentions to the Court in the matter in his own words. I have nothing more to say at this time.”

The prosecuting attorney’s statement:

“ As counsel has said, this is a very unfortunate case; it is unfortunate both for the defendant and for his victim. He is a rather prepossessing young man and evidently must have some good qualities about him or he would not be engaged in a mercantile establishment like Marshall-Wells.
    He was rooming up here at a place where this young girl stops. The people there had sort of taken her, adopted her or taken her in. I don’t know as they had ever legally adopted her but they had taken her into their home, Mrs. Chisholm, a widow lady, who lives there with her son.
    This girl is only 14 years and 6 months old and is not of the highest order of intelligence. This young man roomed there and I understand that for about four months he has been having illicit intercourse with her, which resulted in pregnancy, and unless something happens to her, she will, in the due course of time, give birth to a child. I think that is her condition. I think it was her condition that first enabled the people to discover the situation.
    He is 22 years old age; old enough to have known better, and under those circumstances it does not appeal very strongly to me for the court to apply any great degree of leniency to this man. I think the girl and the woman ought to be respected and if people do not know enough and have not got control enough over their passions to keep them within proper and reasonable limits, that the law out to set them an example so that those things will note recurr too frequently.
    As to his marrying her and making such degree of reparations as is within his power, that is something, with which, of course, I have nothing to do. I do not know what is best but I do not think that the Court ought to allow any desire or inclination upon the part of the defendant to interfere with swift and remedial justice.”

Emil’s attorney asked for probation as he had no previous record. The judge asked Emil if he had anything to say before sentence:

“I wish to say that if I had a chance I would marry the girl and save her from disgrace and save the child from disgrace and give it a name. If not now, I wish to say that I will do the same thing after I serve my sentence; I will marry the child in any case; whether before or after. I would like to have a chance to do it before so as to save the girl and save the child.”

The pleas of Emil and his attorney didn’t sway the Judge:

“Under the statute for the offense to which you have entered a plea of guilty you could be punished by prisonment into the penitentiary for the period of seven years. There is not very much in this case to warrant the court in exercising leniency with you. You see[m] to be a young man that has had opportunities; you have had a high school course and was graduated there from; you have taught school and held positions on the fire department and have been with the Marshall-Wells Hardware Company. You cannot plead ignorance as an excuse for your offense. You had such an upbringing that you ought to and undoubtedly did know better.
    The court possibly ought to give you a penitentiary sentence. it appears, however, that this is your first offense so I will not do so. You understand, of course, that after you serve the sentence imposed upon you, that if you again transfers that there is nothing for you but the penitentiary. Possibly you should have that now.
    Your offer to make amends comes a little too late. If you wanted to marry the girl you had an opportunity of waiting until she arrived at that legal age where you could. This is one of the crimes that merits punishment and the one who commits it should be punished.”

St. Cloud Reformatory, Minnesota

During Emil’s stay at St. Cloud, the Superintendant was writing to various acquaintances and previous employers of Emil’s to gather evidence for his parole hearing. In these papers was a letter to the Catholic School in Graceville, Minnesota, a town Emil was working in before he settled in Duluth. Apparently he had been found to be in correspondence with a young lady of 17 by the name of Alice Keefie, he was promising to marry her, telling her he loved her, she was writing back the same. It was recommended that the correspondence be stopped, and it appears that it was, as there are no more letters related to the matter. Which begs the question of just how ‘innocent’ was he?

The majority of replies to his character appeared to be positive, although his last place of employment wasn’t satisfied with his work and was going to be firing him before he was incarcerated. Otherwise he was an all around good guy. Except for his unfortunate affinity for young girls.

Letter from George Hamm to the Superintendant regarding  his son’s character:

Mrs. Chisholm also had her chance to vent her feelings on the matter, (this letter is typed exactly as seen):

“Duluth MN April 9, 1910

Dear Sir in reply to yours of the 4 all i can say is he cirtenely ronged my little girl she will be 15 year the 2 of July she was a little girl i tuck out of the home to be a mother to her but he runed her he was a snake in the grass to think he lived rite in my house and ceped this up for i dont no how long i tuck him for a gentel man but he is a very bad man or he never would have runed that child now poor little girl tha tuck her a way from me and now i cant hear from her to no if ? or good to the poor child if she had a father he would shote him you think what you would do if it was youre daughter he never would tell truth i don’t think and he was very good at ?? to have other yong men drink with him and his associates i can’t tell you nothing but only he had 4 or 5 girls and told them all he loved them and wanted to marri them”

As to Martha, a group of women in the area raised about $100 dollars to send her to an orphanage, which then sent her to the Maternity Hospital in Winnipeg, Canada. A facility run by nuns. I have been unable, as yet, to find out what happened to Martha and the child, which was due in June of 1910.

While in prison he was evaluated by a doctor several times over the course of his stay. The overall consensus was he was mild mannered, general character good, although his morals had declined in the last year or two, his only vices being he smoked tobacco and he had an unfortunate penchant for brothels. His mother would have been proud.

He was released on parole December 17 of the same year and by July 6, 1911 he was discharge or released from his sentence. Part of his parole agreement was he had to go live with his mother. I am not sure if he actually did that, as his monthly report to his parole office showed him working at the Merchant Hotel in St. Paul checking meals in the kitchen and then working as a night watchman.

He was sending $5.00 a month for support to Martha. He indicated in the records that he wished to find Martha and marry her and take care of the child. At this time do not no if any of that occurred. I can find no evidence that Martha ever existed in any official records, most likely because of her age.

The Maternity Hospital where she was sent is still in operation, under a different mandate and name, but I am hoping that they will still have records of her.

By 1913 or 1914 Emil was married to Rebecca Perusse and living in Duluth. He had three children with her.

It’s always the quiet ones…

It happened when I was doing a search for Fred Hamm in the Duluth papers. A headline that always popped up during previous searches that I would vaguely notice and then promptly ignore.
Search entry result from genealogybank.com.
This time, for some reason, I payed more attention to it. So I clicked to read the entire article.
Then my brain started to slowly process what I was reading and it turned into one of those OMG, no this can’t be, moments where I couldn’t believe my eyes. Emil G. Hamm. Wasn’t my great uncle Emil’s middle name Gustav? So I did a quick check of my database and sure enough, yes Emil’s middle name was Gustav.
Hmmm. 1910. I decided to check the census record:
And I quickly found him. As an inmate of the state reformatory. The age is right, the birth place is right, his parents birthplace is right. Yep! No doubt about it this is my Emil.
And we all thought he was the quiet, no trouble son.
…more to come.

Picture proof…

Margaret Mobley married William Buchanan in Monroe County, Ohio about 1850. The reason I know her parent’s names is because, fortunately, they are listed on her death record in Jackson County, West Virginia, William and Sarah Mabley, now the last name is mangled, but that is nothing new in genealogical research. I used the parents names in a search of Ohio marriages because that is where Margaret and William lived before they moved to West Virginia, and found one for a William Mobley and Sarah Millison for 10 November 1825, in Belmont County, Ohio. This record fits nicely with Margaret’s birth which is about 1833.

The finding of this marriage record was pretty compelling, so I decided to pursue this line of research.

Like a large majority of genealogists my research tends to focus on our direct ancestors. In my case, I move on to siblings when I have run out of sources that will help me move further back, or forward depending on your point of view. In Margaret Mobley’s case I had no idea who her siblings were. One of the reasons is because only the 1850 census shows her parents, William and Sarah, with any of their likely children named. In this case the child is Silas about 12 or 13 years of age.

Well, it looks like Silas was my next victim. I decided to look at other genealogists family trees that include William and Sarah Mobley at ancestry.com and found one interesting entry. They had Silas listed, as a son of the same parents as Margaret, who married Rebecca Buchanan. Interesting coincidence, as William Buchanan had a sister named Rebecca. One of the daughters of Silas was named Sarah, and she is entered as having married a Bloom. Very interesting.

‘Why is this very interesting?’ you ask with baited breath. Because, I have a photograph in our family photo collection of a Sarah Mobley Bloom who married William, and it was addressed on the back to Jane Buchanan, who would be her cousin.

William Bloom, a handsome devil isn’t he, and his wife Sarah Mobley Bloom. She died young in her 30s or 40s I believe.
Gotcha! Proceed with celebratory fist bump. So without any actual documented proof, both the family tree entry I found and this picture pretty much confirm my theory of the parents of Margaret being William Mobley and Sarah Millison. I feel quite confident in proceeding with this line of inquiry. So it is off to the Millisons of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

A mystery possibly solved…

I don’t know if I can say enough times how important land records are in genealogical research.

Case in point.
I have been slowly transcribing the digital images I took of land records from my last trip to SLC. I am currently working on land deeds from Monroe County, Ohio. The surnames I am interested in are SMITH, MOBLY, MILLISON, BUCHANAN, and ATKINSON.
Monroe County, Ohio map 
Joseph Smith and his wife Catherine were the parents of Susannah who married Hartley Shepard. Rebecca Atkinson married William Buchanan.
I have never known the name of Catherine’s parents, it has never been stated in any of my research. However, it is possible that I have found it out.
One of the land records I transcribed for Joseph and his wife, spelled Katherine in this particular deed, indicated a tract or parcel in Section 7 of Township 4, Range 4, I believe it was the SW 1/4. Okay. Cool. I marked the position on my hard copy. Then, a while later, I am transcribing a land record for William Buchanan and Rebecca his wife, remember she is an Atkinson by birth. The tract or parcel described is the exact same one described in Joseph and Katherine’s deed, the Buchanan’s had acquired the property through the decease of Rebecca’s father James Atkinson. Both couples were selling the land to the same person, John Adams.
The property was described as some type of inheritance in Joseph’s deed, but James’ name wasn’t mentioned.
The only reason I could see for the property description to be the same, was if Katherine was a daughter of James and had inherited her portion of the estate. And if that isn’t interesting enough, there is a Jeremiah Smith who married an Atkinson girl living in the same area, and involved in land transactions related to the same Atkinson family.
My belief is that Jeremiah and Joseph are SMITH brothers, who married ATKINSON sisters. Of course, it is possible that I am wrong and Joseph is somehow related to James Atkinson, but I have my doubts, because he would have to be a pretty close relative to be inheriting part of the estate, when there are children and a wife getting their portions also.
Well, that’s my theory so far.

A hell of a haul…

My great grandfather, Fred Hamm, had many wives and relationships, in fact I am sure there are some we know nothing about. His second and third wives were both named Emma, although he didn’t marry his third wife until many years after they had been living together. He divorced his second wife in 1918, so the article below could be about his second wife Emma Steinbach Fischer, or his third girlfriend/wife Emma Paugel Hamm. They were all still in International Falls, Minnesota at the time this incident occurred.
Duluth News Tribune, 4/15/1920, vol. 51, issue 335, page 1.

I don’t know what would have been worse, the illness or the trip to the hospital. This just makes me very thankful for our modern conveniences.

Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie…

We have a couple of pictures in our family of my grandfather, Clarence John, that are a pretty classic American theme:

Clarence John, sometime between 1916-1928 in Wisconsin.

He is clearly wearing a Chicago White Sox uniform. Family rumor had it he played for a farm team for a short while. Unfortunately, I can find no record of Clarence playing for a farm team or for the White Sox. I checked with the Baseball Hall of Fame. It is possible he played for a local team that took on the name of the White Sox. Although I find that idea, passed on to me by an acquaintance, not very likely.

He does look cute in his uniform though.

On the same theme here is a Shepard relative with his baseball team, this one is in West Virginia:

One of the Shepard boys with his ball team, he is front row second from left. It could be my great-grandfather William Shepard, Sr., but I would have to confer with Mother about that.

A work in progress…

When I arrived in Salt Lake City on the 31st of last month, I still had about two hours of research time I could indulge in at the library before it closed at 5:00pm.

I decided to just look at the bygdebøk for Amund’s side of the family, as I can’t seem to get the book inter-library loaned at home. I spent the first half hour just trying to make heads or tails of the information and where I needed to start to find Amund himself.

Then, finally found him.

Now I could start working my way backwards, of course I also only had about an hour left to research. Here is his entry, [this digital image has been annotated by me for my own reference]:

Notice that his name in this publication is spelled Oddmund. I believe the church record of his birth has a similar spelling.

Unfortunately over the week that I was in SLC I only had short spurts of time I could spend looking through the book, so I never actually finished my research on Amund, but I was able to go back to the 1600s in several line’s as I could for Jorgina’s family.

Looks like I will have to go to the Madison Norwegian research center. I hear they are great.

Google maps has a ‘live’ view of the area of Norway that Amund lived so I am including two shots of each side of the road where Amunds’ family came from. After looking at these images I can imagine the appeal of living in Duluth for Amund, and working on the docks, he had water in his veins.

I have indicated ‘Here’ on the map to show the side of the fjord/inlet where Amund’s family came from, they lived up and down this waterway.

Fred’s sibs…

I had a humorous and slightly embarrassing email from Freiderike this week – as she informed me she wasn’t a guy! I knew I should have been a better student of German, I would have realized the ‘e’ at the end of her name was significant.

But all is better now and the confusion is cleared up. The ‘lady’ who has been so kind as to assist me in my Isserstedt research sent me records for 4 of Fred’s brothers and sisters, which may be all he had.

They were:

  1. Johann Heinrich Isserstedt, 1812?
  2. Carl Friedrich Gottlieb Isserstedt, 1812? (died 3 June 1897) 
  3. Marie Sophia Isserstedt, 1816
  4. Johanna Maria Christiana Isserstedt, 1824?

Here are the images. Can you figure out which one is which?