Snow storms can sometimes be a good thing…

I have only managed to get in to work one Monday this month due to the weather. This Monday was no exception. But I have to say it was a productive snow day.

As I have been pretty much in full time genealogy mode these past two months a lot of my free time has been spent doing something related to research: organizing, contemplating, clearing out. Yesterday I was going through some Buchanan material which my lovely, sometime assistant, Larisa, sent me from the clan meet she went to last year. After reading the general material over, I started looking through the Buchanan records I had and where the research stood regarding them. In the process I realized that while we have a bit of information on the Buchanans, William Buchanan’s wife, Margaret Mobely, was a mystery. So I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.

I knew Margaret’s birth name because it was listed on her daughter Jane Buchanan Shepard’s death registration. So my first thought was to find an actual death registration for Margaret. She was entered in my records as having died in 1881, but the information wasn’t sourced properly.

My first stop was the Virginia State Archives online death index. I found an entry for a Marg Buckhannon, died February 13, 1883 of consumption, the parents were listed as William and Sarah Mabley. Hmmmm, that seemed to be a mighty nice coincidence to me, Mabley/Mobley. Especially since Margaret and William Buchanan named one of their daughters Sarah. The other interesting bit from this record tells me that Margaret was born about 1832 and not 1810 as I had found somewhere in the past. Underneath her listing in the online death registration book is, probably, her husband William Buckhannon who died in 1891 at 65, Margaret died at 51. Neither of these records match the improperly sourced bit I had in my records. (The first rule for all beginning genealogists – SOURCE EVERYTHING! and source is properly.)

So I have probably found Margaret’s death record, which changes the dates in my records, and adds a possible parentage. All of these records were found in Jackson County, West Virginia, not Wood County, where my previous searches has been. Which makes sense too as the 1880 census had them living in Jackson County. Something I missed when trying to find the vital records years earlier.

The next step was to try and find Margaret’s parents in the census records. It is possible that I have, but I do not know for sure. As Margaret was married by 1850, she would not be found in any censuses with her parents as anything but a number (individuals were not listed on census records until 1850, previous censuses only listed the head of household’s name). The census records I found for her possible parents were all in Marshall County, Virginia with another early record in Belmont County, Ohio. It looks like I have another couple counties to add to my research list for my trip to SLC.

All-in-all a satisfactory day. Of course this was all a carefully devised diversion, just so I wouldn’t have to shovel the 12″+ of snow that was coming down. (Shhh don’t tell hubby.)


Family stories…

I have been a busy little bee in my free time for the past month, filing, sorting, throwing, exclaiming, groaning – basically trying to get a better feel for what records I need to look for in my Shepard search. In the process I have run across a few piles of emails and photocopies that never got filed. Here is a transcription from Evelyn Mason regarding the 50th wedding anniversary announcement for John Shaw and Idea Webb. Enjoy…


Married, at the residence of the brides parents near Newton, Hamilton County, Ohio January 29, 1837, Mr. John Shaw to Miss Ida Webb.

On Saturday January 29, 1887, a very respectable crowd of 40 or 50 of the friends and relatives of Mr. and Mrs. Shaw assembled at their old residence on the Hilltops to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary day, and were welcomed and entertained by Mr. F. E. Bettle and excellent wife and daughters. About 11 o’clock the company had arrived and after friendly greetings and congratulations Professor J. K. Parker very kindly addressed them with a few pointed and appropriate remarks. Letters from Mr. Shaw’s sister, Mrs. Viola Magill, of Cincinnati, Mrs. Anna Rogers of Goshen, Ohio, Mrs. Jane Davis of Indiana, Miss Mary Eberesole of California, Ohio, Mrs. Sarah Webb of Minnesota, Mr. N. E. Armstrong of Iowa, Mr. James Ferguson of Indiana, Mr. Samuel Shaw of Cincinnati. Judge Edward Riley of Kentucky, Mr. and Mrs. Wright of Kentucky and Judge J.Q. Ashburn of Batavia, Ohio, life long friends of Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, sending their congratulations and regrets at not being able to attend in person, were read. Mr. T.P. Webb of Minnesota read an appropriate poem.
    The blushing bridegroom of 77 summers, one of the best known characters in Clermont Co., and a man of more than ordinary menta1 vigor, who has accumulated a vast store of knowledge and general information by thorough course of reading history ancient and modern, and research of the general literature of the day, being called upon read the following humorous account of his courtship, marriage and first years of his married life.
This the Story
    Since the subject of celebrating our golden wedding has been under family discussion a great many questions have been asked, particularly by our younger grand children, some of them wanting to know why grandpa and grandmother were never married before and wondering how grandpa ever found such a good grandmother for them. To gratify their curiosity I suppose I will have to tell them the story and as well as I now recollect here it is.
    About 52 or 53 years ago when the state of Ohio was 33 years of age and I was a few years younger, I became acquainted with a very pretty little girl living on the Little Miami, near Newton. Somehow or other I got to sidling down that way occasionally to see the folks and test my little girls cooking, I some times staid two or three days, and thus it ran on for a year or two when I discover that the exposure to bad weather or some other cause, there was getting something the matter with me, though my gernera1 health was good. Did not know exactly what ailed me at first, so I thought I would go down and tell my little girl about it, and after chalking on my hat “Barkis is Willin” and supposing that she was getting tired of boarding me so long for nothing, proposed that we get married and board ourselves.
    Well, after hemming and hawing awhile she thought may be, perhaps we had better. That little matter being settled the next thing in order was to hunt up the old folks and see what they thought about it. They did not seem to be much surprised and being of good old hard predestination faith I guess they thought that what was to be would be any how, gave their consent and the old lady thought that if we kept in the same mind we ought marry the following summer. Ida thought in the spring would be a nice time. Well that was some concession on their part, but did not satisfy me by any means and I proposed the fore part of the next week as the proper time. But after higling and jewing for some time the best that I could do was get them down to a month ahead, and we settled on the 29th of January 1837. Meaning business now, and to save another trip, I went to the clerks office and procured a license (marriage) of old General Harrison and put in my pocket, thinking now that I had a preemption right to my girl at least. I then felt in good humor and went around whistling “Yankee Doodle” and occasionally a bar of “Old Dan Tucker”, as if there was nothing the matter. After along month expired, I hastened down to finish the matter up, and be done with It. Found & nice crowd of friends there and among them good old Deacon Ferris, whose occupation was preaching the Gospel on Sunday and blacksmithing the balance of the week. Then we stood up and he struck a few sledge hammer blows while the iron was hot and made the weld, pronouncing us one bone and one beef, or something of that sort.
    Now skipping over an interval of ten days we found ourselves settled in our own log cabin, not exactly in the garden of Eden, but high up on Mt. Pisgah, over against Jerico, and south of Sweet Afton, where we spent the balance of our honeymoon, my wife cleaning the log house and I making rails, just as happy as couple kittens.
    When after a sojourn of 2 years in this happy land we concluded to migrate a little south and we pulled up stakes and came down off Mt Pisgah and crossed over the east fork, through the valley of Jehosaphat and up Ulrey’s run by way of Jerico, to the head waters of Twelve Mile, thence westerly through the land of Nod to the big woods. Here on the ground where we are now, we pitched our tent, under the shadow of a beach tree, which as a memorial stands unto the present day.
    Before we got fairly settled in our new abode there came an imperative necessity for a few yards of calico and some other small fixings, and in due time a bouncing little girl made her appearances and took her place as natural as life at the head of our tribe, which has now grown to what we now see here today} four of the first generation and 19 of the second, all standing fair and square on their pins, physically and mentally allright, apparently and if they continue to grow up making good, industrious and useful members of society then the way we look upon it, the country will be slightly in our debt. But if any of them should be so unfortunate in their growing up as to become dudes or drones or shams, or idle drones, then we would have to acknowledge ourselves indebted to the State for their room. Be that as it may we know that we love you all and hope for the best.
    Now, reserving the best of the wine for the last of the feast, we will proceed to business, which will be to step into the dining room and assault the turkey and enjoy ourselves the best we can.

The Internet is fun…

While doing searches for the Shepards has been fun, I am afraid I got bored. After all, only so much can be found, then you are merely ‘rinse and repeating’. On occasion, for giggles, I type in a random surname from our family tree, just to see what pops up. This time it was HATCH.

Something popped up. (Now others might have known about this, but I don’t recall seeing it before.)

Just to refresh, Dillon Hatch ran a furniture factory in Ohio. We have seen pictures of the place and there is even a bit of the factory’s work sitting in some of the descendants homes. Dillon also designed furniture and he even submitted patent applications to that effect, one of which I found in my random search. So I just thought I would share.

Merry Christmas to the Shepard Clan…

The test results have come in and the news is good. Here is a clarification of our results with Wayne Shepard, results which have a genetic marker mismatch of -5:

Distance: 5-6 – Related
61-62/67 You share the same surname (or a variant) with another male and you mismatch by five or six ‘points’. Because of the volatility within some of the markers this is slightly tighter than being 11/12, 23/25, or 33/37, and it’s most likely that you matched closely on previous Y-DNA tests. It’s most likely that you matched 24/25, 36/37 or 37/37 on previous Y-DNA tests and your mismatch will be found within the second panel at DYS #’s 458, 459 a, 459b, 449, or within 464 a-d, or at DYS 576, 570, CDYa or CDYb in our third panel of markers. Your common ancestor is not very recent, but your mismatch is likely within the range of most well established surname lineages in Western Europe.

More on this later…

DNA again…

I heard from Wayne yesterday. FamilyTree DNA has received his kit and we are to expect results sometime in the middle of January. I was hoping that we would have results around the holidays, but I guess that is what is causing the later results date, the holidays. So until then we sit back and wait.

Meanwhile I plan on doing some filing and cleaning up in my office in time for the new year and to get my new “Things to do Genealogy-Wise” list for 2011 ready. I believe it is time to start scanning the Shepard and Shaw documents – at this rate I will be in need of another scanner soon. The poor things keep getting put through their paces.

Have a great Thanksgiving folks. We plan to.

Begging is an underrated profession…

My first SHEPARD letter has not elicited a response, so I have given up on him. But the gentleman I found in Texas, Wayne SHEPARD, was kind enough to respond to me via email and we have had some very pleasant ‘conversations’. The crux of which means he has agreed to help me out by donating his DNA to the SHEPARD project. YAYYY! As he is quite content with his documented data regarding his line he didn’t feel a need to resort to DNA, but I convinced him that by doing so he will be helping out others like us who don’t have the luxury of those same types of documents.

So in a nutshell, when all the testing is done we will know whether or not Bill/Grandpa and Dr. John are descendants of William of Massachusetts.

If they are not, then the next connection to pursue is Phineas SHEPARD and Nancy WELLISON. Phineas is said to be from New Jersey and is also said to have had a son named Elza, a very interesting coincidence.

I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

Later, jen

Another Shepard

Not content with finding just one Shepard descendant of William Shepard of Boston, I have found another. Wayne Shepard currently of Texas. I have sent him a letter asking if he would like to join our little science project. Hopefully he will be amenable. I have yet to hear from the first gentleman I contacted earlier this month, but I am still crossing my fingers.

Meanwhile I have been reading up a bit on the Peshtigo Fire, seeing as this happened in October of 1871 I thought it was also quite appropriate, which gave me an idea regarding trying to find out what happened to Jennie Rosa Smith Lavelly.


Crossing my fingers…

I had a goal today, it wasn’t a big one, but an important one. I needed to find a living Shepard descendant of William Shepard of Boston. The reason for the search is to contact them and try to convince them to participate in the Shepard surname DNA project. If the DNA matches grandfather’s, then the connection to the Westfield Shepards will no longer be speculation, but fact.

So, that said, I found a possible candidate. The letter is written and will be sent out tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

Mental slow down…

‘Tis the time of year that things start slowing down, getting ready for the frigid and dreary winter. That includes me. It has been a few weeks since I touched my genealogy, being busy with life, etc.

But, I have been through my first batch of newspaper film for Parkersburg, West Virginia. And…have nothing of interest to report. Unfortunately this particular paper, at the time (1865-’66), reported very little news of interest regarding it’s citizens. It’s focus was mostly political. Which in and of itself can be very interesting, but doesn’t help much in my research focus.

One item that kept popping up in the paper over the year of coverage that I was skimming through, was the issue of drainage and sewage in the town. Apparently the local paper was finding it incomprehensible that the town wouldn’t clean up the stinky mess of sewage that kept appearing in certain sections of town, yet areas where the well-to-do resided were kept spic ‘n span.

I also have been double checking the Hamburg passengers lists regarding our three families on the JOHN side that came over in the 1800s.

1. JOHN, F.W and Henrietta – arrival 1852, indicates Alt Raden as ‘from’
2. JAHN, Cl. Aug – arrival 1855, indicates Freienwalde, Oberbarnim as ‘from’
3. ISSERSTEDT, F. W. and family – arrival 1855, indicates Wandersleben as ‘from’

Now ‘from’ can mean where they last resided or where they were born, it is not clear. But at least it is a good indicator of where one can continue research in Germany and Poland (in F.W.’s case).

Well that is it for now. Tomorrow I plan on being at the Neenah Country Fair promoting our genealogical society. Talk to ‘ya later.