Sunday, June 28, 2015

June Ancestor: Elizabeth (Smith) Patterson

It's getting close to the end of June, so thought I better start on my or rather my husband's ancestor.
Elizabeth (Smith) Patterson was born in Illinois (not sure what town or county, probably Lincoln in Logan county) on April 7, 1863 to John W. Smith and Allie (Keisner) Smith.
I next find her in the 1880 census with her parents and younger siblings living in Lincoln, Logan county, Illinois at the age of 17.
She marries William Lincoln Patterson about 1881, probably in Logan county, Illinois. I have not been able to find them in the Illinois marriage index that is online.
William and Elizabeth become the parents of 5 children: Margaret Pearl (1882), Charles William (1885), Martha O. (1887), Hazel F. (1893) and Lester H. (1901), although I believe the 1900 census implies Elizabeth had 2 more children who weren't alive in 1900. The 1910 agrees, as it says she had 7 children, with 5 alive.
So the 1900 census has the William Patterson family living in McDonough County, Illinois. From then they must have moved some time in there, as 1910 has them living in Dallas Ward 1 Township, Henderson County, Illinois. This family was quite mobile, as by 1920 William, Elizabeth and Lester, along with 3 of their grandchildren (Martha's boys) were living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In June 1928, William L. Patterson passes away in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I cannot find Elizabeth in the 1930 census. By 1940, the census finds her living with a daughter, Margaret in Hildalgo county, Texas where according to that census, they had been since 1935.
Elizabeth (Smith) Patterson passes away September 11, 1941 in Tulsa, Tulsa county, Oklahoma at the age of 78. I do have a copy of her death certificate from the state of Oklahoma. She is then buried a couple days later on September 13, 1941 by her husband at the Rose Hill Memorial Park Cemetery, in Tulsa Oklahoma.
Thanks to a Findagrave volunteer I am able to see her gravestone photo:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Patterson&GSfn=Elizabeth&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=38&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=44694532&df=all&

I am working on tracing more back on her line, but Smiths and Pattersons aren't the easiest names to trace.
So in summary, I found her in those censuses, plus I have a gravestone photo, and death certificate. I would really like to find a marriage record for them. Otherwise I think I've done fairly well.
This is my husband's great-great-grandmother. May she rest in peace.

Friday, June 19, 2015

May ancestor: Mary (Junker) Seggerman

Here it is past mid-June and I never did my May ancestor. Well I got a new computer the end of May and it took time to move documents over, so I found my document with my goals. So I guess I better pencil in my June ancestor for next week, and see if I can get that done.

The irony of putting off my May ancestor until now is that I was able to visit her gravestone in person this last week. Mary (Junker) Seggerman was born January 26, 1852 in Germany to Hidde Harms Junker and Steinje Freise. She immigrated to the United States with her family in May 1862. Presumably they settled around Woodford county, Illinois for a while. On December 15, 1866 she married Johann Heinrich (John Henry) Seggerman in Minonk, Woodford county, Illinois. The 1870 and 1880 censuses have the family living in Minonk, Woodford county, Illinois. John and Mary are the parents of 9 children all born in Illinois (probably Woodford county): Greetje "Grace", Rena, Sena, Sarah Ann, Henry, Harry, Herman, Richard "Dick", and Mary.

In 1894, the Seggermans moved to Nebraska on a farm west of Fairbury. After 6 months of residency in Nebraska, Mary (Junker) Seggerman passes away on March 27, 1894. (The math doesn't work out here, so I'm thinking they moved to Nebraska in 1893.) She dies at the age of 42 years old, which consequently is my age now. She is buried in the East Gladstone Cemetery, now known as Zion United Church of Christ Cemetery.

Mary Junker Seggerman is my great-great-grandmother. One of her great-grandsons just passed away this week, who was a cousin to my mother.

So I've found Mary in the 1870 and 1880 censuses; I have her husband's obituary (not hers), and I have a photo of her gravestone. I'm not sure what else I could find on her; she died too early for a death certificate. It would be hard to find early documents on her in Germany.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thoughts on The Genealogy Society

Our state genealogy society is going through some changes. So this brings this up in my mind as I am on the board. Let's discuss genealogy societies.

These questions came from a genealogy friend of mine.

1. Do you expect to pay dues to organizations (and how much)?

Yes, but I expect them to be reasonable. I think the lowest dues I pay is $20 and the highest is probably $48. Those seem reasonable depending on what funds are used for, and the benefits derived (see next question). 

2. How do you expect those dues to be used? If more than one, how do you split it?
a. To give you exclusive access to materials (members only access)
b. To cover the operational expenses of the organization (utilities, supplies, copies, equipment, etc.)
c. To purchase additional materials for research (books, microfilm, etc.)
d. If not a genealogy society, to support charity
e. Other, what?

This could be expanded to say how do you want them used.
Okay I expect all three of a genealogy society. I don't want B (covering expenses) but I realize it's a necessary evil. Other organizations I'm in do support charities or give scholarships, so I know that's part of my dues (the $48 one). I don't know how you split it, as I suppose it depends how much you need for choice B, and then A and C can be evenly split with what's left. And one has to hope there is something left. 

3. Do you expect or want a newsletter? How do you want it sent? By email, posted on web site, snail mail (paper copy), or a combination.

Yes I like a newsletter. Why are you paying dues if you don't want to be informed? If it's posted on a web site then I like a link sent to my email reminding me to check it. I don't need a hard copy; I'm all about saving money to have it go to something else besides stamps, paper and ink. 

4. Do you, or would you, consider volunteering your time to help the organization? Even if you are not local, there are usually still ways you could volunteer. If so, how much time would you consider (per week, month or year)?
I would add to this if you volunteer, do you expect free membership? And should the board (who volunteers their time), therefore get free membership?

Yes I do volunteer my time for this group I am referencing. I would consider for other groups but one cannot spread oneself too thin. So maybe currently I would consider 10 hours a month or so. 
I added the following because one society of mostly younger folks offers free membership in trade for volunteer hours. I think this is a great option for younger folk who might have more time than money, and maybe for older retired ones too. I also think the board, assuming they put in "enough" hours, should get free membership. 

5. Do you expect organizations to host programs, classes, entertainment, a conference or some other type of outreach?

I think this is a nice benefit for members and a good way to draw people in. So yes I think some type of class, program or conference is a nice benefit. 

5b. I'm asking because I am conference coordinator. How much would you pay for a 2-day conference with 8 presentations, one hour each with about 5 given by a nationally known speaker? Would you want lunch included or register for that separate? (So many people now a days have food limitations that sometimes this is good.)

Answering my own question, I expect to pay $75 for the 2-day conference, $40 a day without lunch. If a nice lunch is included, add $20 per day, so $110-$115 for 2-day conference including lunch, $60 for one day. If lunch is just a sandwich, chips and fruit, knock the lunch down to $10. And I expect lunch to be an option in registration, not because I have food limitations, but I know many people who do. 

6. If you thought the society could be improved, would you be willing to help on a committee, or serve on a board, to encourage and help change?

Yes in fact I have. Last year (2014) I was disappointed to only see less than 40 attendees at our annual conference so I volunteered to help, became conference coordinator and was happy to see double that (about 80 people) at our 2015 conference. 

This is all the questions my friend had. I thought I had another one but I can't think of it again. It will come to me right after I post, because that's the way it goes.

Yay, I thought of it before I posted.

7. How often do you expect a society to meet? This could vary depending on type of society and location. Do you want to always meet in person, or are conference calls or online meetings acceptable?

Answering my own question again: If a society is local (in one's own county), then I think monthly meetings in person are acceptable. If a society is state or regional, then I think quarterly is enough in person. If more meetings are necessary, then I think conference calls or online meetings should be considered and used. 

Okay I think that's it. Feel free to add your own questions below in the comments. Also feel free to answer these in your own blog, and leave me a link in the comments. Or leave your answers in the comments or send me an email or message. I am interested in more people's opinions. As always, thanks for reading. I may suggest this as a discussion for #genchat too, if we haven't done it already.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

April Ancestor: Lars Jorgensen

Well here it is April 30th and I haven't blogged about my April ancestor Lars Jorgensen. April was a very busy month, for genealogy and a few other things, so I figured I could be late with this one.
Lars Jorgensen is my 2nd great grandfather on my father's side. He could be one of my favorite ancestors. Well maybe they all are.

Lars was born in Denmark, probably in or near Fyn on January 11, 1849. According to his marriage licenses, his parents were Jorgen Rasmussen and Kirsten Andersdotter. I don't know much about his early life in Denmark. Next I find he marries Anna Marie Olsen February 23, 1871 presumably in Denmark. Then some time after, in 1871, they immigrate to the United States, staying in Omaha for 2 years. Their first children, twin sons, were born in Omaha on May 22-23, 1873. I heard one was born before midnight and one after. The second twin, Chris, was my great-grandfather. Shortly after that, they took a homestead in Kearney county. Four more sons were born: Rasmus, Ole P, Rasmus K, and Hans Samuel. The first Rasmus died as a toddler, so evidently they liked the name so well, they named another son. They lived the pioneer life for a few years, working the land. In October 1889 Lars was ordained to the ministry and was a pastor of the Danish Free Mission Church. His first wife Anna Marie passed away in 1906. In June 1907 he marries his daughter-in-law's mother (also my great-great-grandmother) Emeline "Lena" Nelson. Lena passes away in 1914. In 1915, Lars marries Maren Petersen, and she lives until 1920.

Lars lives on the family homestead according to census records in 1880 and 1900. In 1910, he and Emilina are found living in Cheyenne county, with two of his sons living nearby, perhaps on the same land. According to the 1920 census, he is back in Kearney county with wife Maren living at 913 Hull Ave in Minden. I think now I want to drive through Minden to see if that house still exists. From an online map it looks like that would be near the train tracks and highway in the eastern part of town. In 1930 the census lists him living at the "Bethany Old People's Home" in Minden.

Lars passes away at the age of 85 on July 9, 1934 at the Bethany Home (nursing home) in Minden, Kearney county, Nebraska. He is buried in the family plot at Fredericksburg Cemetery near Minden on July 11th. I have a gravestone photo taken by my father.


In addition to census records and gravestone photo, I have his obituary, his last two marriage records, and information about his homestead. I thought I had his death certificate, but I may need to check. 
So I guess this ends what I know about my great-great-grandfather. I should go start organizing my genealogy now or scan some photos. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

March Ancestor: Roy Clayton Sparrow

This year I decided to blog about a few of my husband's ancestors. So the first one I am focusing on is Roy Clayton Sparrow, my husband's great-grandfather. He died in March, so hopefully it fits that I blog his tribute for March.

Roy Clayton Sparrow was born in West Point, Lee county, Iowa on September 15, 1882 to William S. and Ida Evelyn (Swigert) Sparrow. He grew up in the Dallas City, Illinois area. In 1900 I find him in the census living with his parents in the Dallas precinct, Henderson county, Illinois. There is no house number or street name listed, so I assume this is on a farm, possibly the farm which is still in the family. Interesting is 3 households away is another one of my husband's relatives, so remember to check nearby in the census. I go 10 up and 10 down usually.
On July 2, 1903 Roy marries Ivy May Hubbard in Adrian, Hancock county, Illinois. They are the parents of 5 children, the youngest who might possibly still be living. Their children include Lois born 1905, Dwight born in 1908, Harold born in 1912, Velna born in 1914, and Ida born in 1920. Ida is probably still alive as I cannot find any death information for her. She probably has her father's genes to live a long life.
Here is a picture of the family in 1910.
Roy & Ivy Sparrow with Lois and Dwight, 1910.

In 1910, they are living in Richfield township, Adams county, Illinois according to the census.
We find his World War I draft registration card which lists his residence in September 1918 as Niota, Hancock county, Illinois. He listed himself as a self employed farmer, and his wife Ivy as his closest relative. He considers himself to be of medium height and build, a white person with blue eyes and brown hair.
In 1920, the family is living in Appanoose township, Hancock county, Illinois according to the census.
1930 finds them presumably in the same place in Appanoose township, Hancock county, Illinois. Most of their neighbors look to be the same, so that's a good assumption that they are in the same location. Roy is a farmer that owns his own farm in this census, and in 1920.
In 1940 (the last census we can access) he is living in presumably the same plaace in Appanoose township, Hancock county, Illinois. He lists the same house as his residence in 1935. He is a farmer, but now at the age of 56 has a hired man living with them to help with the farming.
In 1942 we find his World War II draft card where he is living in Niota, Hancock county, Illinois.
In February 1946, his wife passes away at the age of 63.
On July 29, 1947 he marries his sister-in-law, Hazel Morrison Sparrow in Washington county, Iowa. She was his brother's wife, and his brother had previously passed away in 1941. That's almost Biblical, right? If a woman was left without a husband, she was to marry his brother. I think that was a Biblical rule.
Hazel lives to the age of 92 and passes away in 1983.
Roy C. Sparrow lives a LONG life. Here he is at age 100 in 1982:
Roy Sparrow age 100

Roy Sparrow lives until March 4, 1988 until the age of 105 1/2. The farming life must have treated him well. He is buried in Harris Cemetery next to his first wife, near Dallas City, in Hancock county, Illinois. Services were held at the church of the Nazarene in LaHarpe, Illinois on Sunday March 6th. 
As you can imagine, since he lived a long life, there were quite a few records available on him. My father-in-law had these photos, I found him in the censuses and draft cards as listed, and I also found him in SSDI (Social Security Death Index), a death notice posted online, and I have a gravestone photo which I took when we visited. 



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dorothy Jorgensen: a sad story of a young lady

Well I feel compelled to blog about this lady, who is a relative of mine. After you read this story, you will probably understand why. She is my first cousin, 2 times removed. So her grandfather is my 2nd great grandfather.

Dorothy Maxine Jorgensen was born in Nebraska to Rasmus K. Jorgensen and Frederica Anderson on September 3, 1919. In 1920 her family was living at 1816 5th Avenue in Kearney, Buffalo county, Nebraska. She had 4 older sisters and 1 older brother. Her father dies when she is a young girl, in 1924. In 1928 her mother Fredericka remarries to George Kroeger. I cannot find them in the 1930 census. Probably I'll find them after I post this.

At any rate, in 1938 Dorothy is living in San Francisco, California with her sister and near her mother and stepfather. She is engaged to be married at the age of 18. She is a beauty queen, being selected as the queen of the 8th annual fiesta of the Eureka Valley Citizen's Association.

On June 22, 1938 Dorothy is walking from her and her sister's house and is struck by a car, driven by Melvin Gaston. Police said it was a hit-and-run, and the driver was SO intoxicated he could scarcely stand or talk. (So what the heck was he doing driving a car?!) Miss Jorgensen was crossing an intersection when his car struck her; she was knocked 40 feet through the air. She was literally knocked out of her shoes, as they were found 25 feet from her unconscious body. The driver sped away, BUT there was a witness. Mr. K. A. Heime was driving the car behind Gaston's and saw the whole thing. He then followed Gaston, stopping briefly at a gas station to yell to an attendant to call the police. Gaston's car was parked in front of his house; Hieme identified him to police who took him into custody.

Miss Jorgensen was taken to Park Emergency Hospital where she suffered a fractured skull, internal injuries and other hurts. She died a few hours after she was admitted. The record of the funeral home shows her cause of death as shock and hemorrhage from following depressed fracture of the skull. She was buried at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park cemetery, in Colma, San Mateo county, California. You can see her Findagrave memorial here:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Jorgensen&GSfn=Dorothy&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=6&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=87747734&df=all&


She left many to mourn her death: her fiance Harold Bush, her sister Judith (June?) Lewis with whom she lived, her mother Frederica (Anderson) Jorgensen Kroeger and stepfather George Kroeger, She also left a brother, Arnold Jorgensen, and 3 more sisters Alta, Aleta, and Gladys.

I found most of this story in the San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday June 23, 1938 page 5 which I found thanks to genealogybank.com. If I could I would thank Mr. K. A. Heime for his efforts to bring justice, and give a hearty talking-to to Mr. Gaston about the dangers of driving drunk.

Rest in peace Dorothy, and I hope justice was served.



Friday, March 20, 2015

Nebraska State Genealogy Conference

Warning: This may read like an advertisement.

Pack a bag, grab a pen and your tablet or smart phone, and join us in Grand Island, Nebraska on April 24-25, 2015 for a great genealogy conference! The Nebraska State Genealogical Society is hosting its annual conference featuring national speaker and author, George G. Morgan. George is from Aha Seminars, and you may have heard him on The Genealogy Guys Podcast.

George will give 3 presentations on Friday and 2 on Saturday. Topics include maps, newspapers, obituaries, the agricultural census schedules, and one more! We are honored and excited to have him.

Other presentations include a forum on genealogy programs, a forum on genealogy societies, and a presentation about how to engage the younger generation. Plus we have 3 evening activities planned, so attendees may choose one of the following: beginning genealogy, "Tools on the Farm" which will be an entertaining presentation given by Stuhr Museum staff, or a trip to the Edith Abbott library where attendees can see what holdings are offered and have some time to research or just talk and connect with other genealogists.

This should be a great conference in central Nebraska. So now I know you're wondering "How do I get registered?" Well you can go to our new and improved web site www.nsgs.org. At the left click on "Annual Conference" Then under that is listed the Conference Registration page. Want to join the Nebraska State Genealogy Society? You can do that at the same time!

Oh did I mention there will be door prizes and vendors?! We have some great door prizes lined up, including a free genealogy program, free access to a genealogy web site for a few months, a book, t-shirt, and more! Do I have to take all this home with me? Register now!

Disclaimer: I am the conference coordinator for this conference, and for the Nebraska State Genealogy Society. I am not being paid to put this on my blog, but because of my position, am using it. So by the same token, if you have questions, you know who to contact (me). So leave a comment or send me a message.