Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #80 A White Swan

Why did Florence ROYALTY save this photograph of a big white bird?

royaltyquincywhiteswanPhotographed by Cumings of Golconda, Illinois
(no information was found for this photographer)

A Trumpeter swan or a Tundra swan? There are two species of swans in North America with black bills. Since there is no color in the photo one cannot see if this is a trumpeter with a red border on the lower mandible or a tundra with yellow marking on the lore. But then a tundra swan can also have the red marking and some tundra swans don’t have the yellow teardrop spot near the eye. A tundra’s eye is usually distinct from the bill while a trumpeter’s eye is not but the quality of the photo makes it hard to tell. Trumpeters have longer necks in proportion to their bodies than tundras. Distinguishing the trumpeter from the tundra is not easy even when the two are swimming or standing and they can be compared. These characteristics can be used in the field to identify one or the other but from this photograph, it would be a “wild” guess.

“In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the trumpeter swan was hunted heavily, for game or meat, for the soft swanskins used in powder puffs, and for their quills and feathers.” [Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trumpeter_swan]. Extinction of the trumpeter seemed imminent by 1933 when fewer than 70 were known to exist. In the 1950s several thousand trumpeters were discovered in Alaska. The population has been restored to over 46,000 birds in 2010.

royaltyquincywhiteswanbackQuincy ROYALTY
killed this white swan
in a lake in New Mexico
& had it stuffed & mounted
in a glass case.

He sold it to a lawyer
when he left there for $20.

John Quincy ROYALTY (1866-1918), Florence’s brother, was the man who killed the swan. Quincy was in New Mexico from before 1898 until 1903, during the time that the swan was heavily hunted. In 1898 while in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he enlisted in Company E, First Territorial U.S. Volunteer Infantry, and served during the Spanish War until mustered out at Albany, Georgia, in 1899. After a visit to his old home in Pope County, Illinois, he returned to the West. In 1900 he was once again in Albuquerque, living in the household of his brother-in-law John R. BOSWELL and his youngest sister Olive ROYALTY, and working as a watchman for the railroad. By 1903 he had moved to California. This would have been when he sold the stuffed swan for $20.

But there is still one inconsistency. If Quincy killed the swan in New Mexico and sold it to a lawyer before he left there, then when and where did Mr. Cumings of Golconda, Illinois, photograph the swan?

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Sophia and Her Child

Releasing one Negro Woman and child mentioned in the inventory of the estate of Jane Hamilton presented to the Court of Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, during the November term of 1821.

jane-hamilton-estate-inventory-1

Citation: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-21651-60?cc=1909099 : accessed 20 January 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 17 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

In the left margin:
Jane Hamilton
Inventory & appt

We the Subscribers agreeable to an order of the Worshipful the
County Court of Nicholas at the November term 1821 of
Said Court being first duly sworn have proceeded to appraise
the personal Estate of Jane Hamilton Dec’d – as produced
to us by Robert Kelly & John Mc. Hamilton The administra-
=tors on said Estate to wit, on the 18th day of December 1821
                                                                          $ – Cents
one Negro woman & child                  425=00
Saddle Sddle (sic) bags & Bridle                  17=00
Bed Stead Bed & beding                                40=00
one Wheel                                                           3=00
one Set of Silver tea spoons                            6=00
one trunk                                                            2=00
Morses Geography                                           0=75
Wool & Cotton & thread                                11=00
Callico for a quilt                                             3=00
one Umbrilla                                                    2=50

jane-hamilton-estate-inventory-2

Citation: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-21772-76?cc=1909099 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 18 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

                                                  Samuel Neil
                                                  John Groves
                                                  Nathaniel Foster
                                                  John Fitzwater
Sworn to before me Edward Rion

The inventory of the Estate of Jane Hamilton was sold on 25 December 1821. The enslaved woman and child are seen as Sophia & child and were sold to Jane’s brother John Hamilton for $585.

jane-hamilton-estate-sale

Citation: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-21768-88?cc=1909099 : accessed 20 January 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 29 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

Jane Hamilton
a/c                                     Jane Hamilton’s Estate, an account of the sale thereof
Sale                                    on the 25 of December 1821 by the Admtr. to wit
                                                                                                                               $  Ct.
Polly Hamilton                  1 Spindle Wheel Inventry                                   3 00
John Hamilton                  Sophia & Child                                             585 00
Polly Hamilton                  Saddle wo. Bridle & Saddlebags Inventry   17 00
      ”                                       Bed & furniture                                                 46 00
      ”                                       1 Set of Tea Spoons                                             7 87 1/2
      ”                                       1 Trunk                                                                 3 00
      ”                                       Wool & Cotton thd. Invy                                 11 00
Robert Hamilton               Morses Geography Invy                                      75
Miss Mary A. Hamilton   1 Umbrella                                                          2 50
      ”                                        Callico for a quilt                                             3 00
                                                                                 R. Kelly
                                                                                 J. Mc. Hamilton   Adtrs.

Jane Laverty Hamilton (1793-1821) was the daughter of John Hamilton (1748-1818) and Rebekah Laverty (1765-1811). In 1820 her older married brother Robert Hamilton had three slaves in his household, two males under 14 years of age and one male 45 years or older. There were several white adults in the household but since Jane had a female slave she was probably not in this household. Robert was the only Hamilton on the 1820 census. One or more of his unmarried brothers may have been in this household.

Jane’s older sister Margaret was married to Robert Kelly who had five slaves in his household, one male under 14 years of age and four females between 14 and 25 years of age. As in Robert Hamilton’s household, there were several white adults in Robert Kelly’s. It is more than likely that Jane was in this household as it also included a female enslaved person who may have been Sophia.

William Hamilton died about a month after his sister Jane. His inventory and sale were recorded at the same time as Jane’s and will be shared next month.

bestwishescathy1

True's statementFollowing my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors. These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project which can be found on Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Black History, Brick Walls, Genealogy | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A West Virginia Coal Miner’s Poetic Memories

My great-grandfather Walter Farmer ROOP (1883-1971) was a blacksmith, coal miner, artist, poet, photographer, and cartoonist. He was 17 years old when the 1900 census was taken and worked as a day laborer for six months during the previous year. He was living in the Cabin Creek District of Kanawha County in West Virginia in his father Gordon‘s household. When he married Rebecca Jane CLONCH on 12 July 1903 his occupation was listed as a miner. This is the profession he would engage in until his retirement.

Walter and Rebecca’s family was missed by the enumerator in 1910. On 12 September 1918 Walter was a mine blacksmith with the Gauley Mountain Coal Company of Ansted per his Draft Card. His place of employment was Jodie, Fayette County.

walter-farmer-roop-wwi-draft-card

Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Per the census, in 1920 and 1930 he was a miner in a coal mine and in 1940 a utility man in a coal mine. In 1939 he worked 44 weeks and received a private wage. The number of weeks he worked in 1939 appears to be the average for the miners in the community.

walter-f-roop-family-with-his-father-gordon-ca-1920-1921In 1942 the Registration Card (for men born on or after April 28, 1877, and on or before February 16, 1897), also known as the “old man’s registration,” has the Gauley Mountain Coal Company of Ansted as my great-grandfather’s employer.

walter-farmer-roop-wwii-card-front

Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

walter-farmer-roop-wwii-card-back

Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

The place of residence on the 1920, 1930, and 1940 census for the ROOP family was Jodie in Fayette County.

The community which would become Jodie was started up when the first houses were built by local logging companies in the late 1800s. The first post office was established in 1894 or 1896 (conflicting sources) when the town was named Imboden. The name of the town was changed to Jodie in 1910. In 1915, the Gauley Mountain Coal Company established Jodie as a coal town. The company utilized the existing lumber company houses and built additional ones. A company store, movie theater, and boarding house were also built but they are now long gone. The houses were sold off to residents in the mid-1940s, and the local mines closed less than ten years later. My great-grandfather very likely worked for the Gauley Mountain Coal Company from the time they established in Jodie until his retirement.

Christopher Taylor, a Shepherd University (Shepherdstown, WV) history major, kindly shared maps, photographs, and explanations to give me an idea of the geographical location of the mine Walter worked in.

1928-jodie-wv-usgs-map-fayetteville-quadrangle

Image and text courtesy of Christopher Taylor.

Here is Jodie as it appeared in a USGS topographical map from 1928. I added labels showing various locations and parts of town. The Buck Run Mine loaded coal into a tipple along the river. In later years as operations expanded southeasterly across the mountain, they discontinued the tipple on the river and sent the coal down to Rich Creek.

tipple

Photo and text courtesy of Christopher Taylor.

The Jodie Tipple on Rich Creek, c. 1940s. Coal from the left hillside came from the No. 1 (Buck Run) Mine, and across a conveyor into the tipple. Coal from the right side came from the No. 2 (Rich Creek) Mine.

My Great-grandfather’s Poetry

Walter’s poetry, written after the 1950 death of his wife Rebecca Jane CLONCH, has been passed down in the family. I have no idea if he wrote poems before my great-grandmother’s death. I think he may have discovered his love for expressing his feeling in poetry following his beloved’s death.

Although most were written for his darling wife, he also wrote two poems reflecting his love of mining. He wrote Buck Run after re-visiting the site of the old mine he spent so many years of toil and happy times.

buckrunbywalterfroop

Buck Run

Old Buck Run Mine has played its part
With vigor, zeal and zest;
Through two great wars that we have fought
She gave her very best.

We miss the rhythmic tramp of feet
Of those we used to know,
Who worked with us at Buck Run Mine
Some forty years ago.

I strolled alone the other day
To visit Buck Run Mine,
The scene of many years of toil
And many happy times.

The old landmarks had disappeared
And all was calm and still.
The only things familiar now
Are Buck Run’s brushy hills.

Old memories gathered thick and fast
Of pals who used to be;
Some rest perhaps on native hills
And some across the sea.

There crept upon my aged form
A feeling strange and cold;
I bowed my head and walked away;
I, too, am growing old.

— W. F. Roop, Jodie, W. Va.

What Remains of Rich Creek Mine No. 2

Similar to the stroll Walter took to visit Buck Run Mine, Christopher hiked up to the remains of Rich Creek Mine No. 2 in 2013. He took photos which he has kindly allowed me to use.

richcreekno2mine1richcreekno2mine2richcreekno2mine3

A Coal Miner Remembers

The second poem, When We Retire, describes what it was like to work in a mine. Clipped and dated January 1952, it was published in the United Mine Workers Journal.

mrin00030-1952-01-19-when-we-retire-by-walter-farmer-roop

“When We Retire,” a poem published in the United Mine Workers Journal, January 15, 1952, pg. 15

When We Retire

I’m just an Old Miner, retired from the mines,
Still I yearn for the days that are dead,
When we labored and toiled, in the dust and the grime,
While dangers lurked over our heads.

Though we pray and we pine till we’re weary and sick,
Fate never will answer our prayer;
To feel the old thrill, of the shovel and pick,
And to be with the gang that was there.

Where we labored and toiled in a world of our own,
By the gleam of a flickering light;
Where the change of the seasons is ever unknown,
And the day is eternally night.

Why we yearn to go back, I cannot understand,
For the dangers and hardships were great,
And many a miner who played a good hand
Has lost in the gamble with Fate.

— By Walter Farmer Roop, Belva W. Va.

Walter Farmer ROOP was an all around artistic talent. He left wonderful gifts for his children, grandchildren, and all later descendants. While re-reading his poems and reviewing his art I realized he left much more than photos, drawings, and words – he actually bequeathed us with parts of his own autobiography.

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Biographies, Genealogy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #79 The Unusual Hairdo (Identified)

I’ve been working on the Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can series for a little over a year and a half. In the beginning, they weren’t posted on a regular basis. Since October 2015, I’ve been doing them once a week on Thursdays.

unkyounggirlbuttonfrontLast week, as usual, I posted the link for the Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #79 An Unusual Hairdo post to my Facebook page and shared on my timeline. Less than two hours later the unidentified young lady with the hairdo that has fascinated me since I first saw the photograph had a possible identification.

Julie, who has been a Facebook friend for only three months, wrote,

Cathy, this picture looks so familiar. She looks very much like the pictures I have seen of my Father’s Mother, Neele Owens Lillie. What do you think Scot (her son) and Jeanne (her sister)?

I wrote about Neele in April 2015 in a post on her husband, Neele, and their daughter Roberta. Up until Julie’s son Scot got in touch with me last August, all my research pointed to their having only two daughters. When Scot got in touch, I learned they also had a son, Robert Walton LILLIE. This son, Robert, was Julie and Jeanne’s father. (Scot is my 5th cousin and Julie and Jeanne are my 4th cousins once removed.)

Cathy: Julie, this is the only photo I have of Neele. Taken from the side, it is hard to tell. Would love input from others.

mrin38267-lillieneeleowens-rooney-collectionJeanne: I’m almost certain that is Nelle

Cathy: Jeanne, do you mean at the top with the strange hairdo or the one I posted as the only photo I have of Neele?

Jeanne: the top one. I have the other one but I have seen that one too. My Dad must of had it because that’s the only place I could have seen it. I’m pretty sure.

Julie’s daughter then posted this photo for comparison:

neele-owens-lillie-courtesy-of-familyNeele Audrey Owens LILLIE (1898-1942)
Robert Walton Lillie’s mother, grandmother of Julie (written on back)
Photo courtesy of the family

Jeanne: I went home to look at a picture of my grandmother and no wonder I recognized it. I have it in a frame!!!

Julie (posted the photo below to my timeline): Cathy, it is 100%. My sister found the picture in her dresser. This just gives me chills.

neele-owens-lillie-photo-in-frame-courtesy-of-family-18-nov-2016Neele Audrey Owens LILLIE (1898-1942)
Photo courtesy of the family

The lady with the unusual hairdo has been identified thanks to her granddaughters and great-granddaughter. This is what sharing genealogy is all about. Who says collateral lines are not important to our family history?

Happy Thanksgiving!

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Old Photographs | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Killed by a Steam Locomotive in a Coal Mine

My GEDCOM file has been online at RootsWeb’s WorldConnect for 15 days short of twenty years. Many people have written to me over the years. And when a person takes the time to send me the key to open a door in one of my brick walls, I do a happy dance and say, “Thank you very much for taking the time to get in touch.”

Oliver Jenkins III of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is one of these people. He sent his email to both of my addresses (to be sure I would receive it) last August and wrote:

I’m hoping you are the same person who posted the following info to rootsweb: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=meder-dempsey&id=I8229
If so:
Regarding the death of Elijah Neal, thought you might appreciate this information.

Who was Elijah NEAL?

Elijah W. NEAL was my  great-grandfather William Henderson DEMPSEY‘s first cousin. They were very close in age, Elijah being the elder by three years. Their mothers were both daughters of Elijah WOOD (1806-1885) and I wonder if the younger Elijah’s middle name may have been Wood. But I’m getting away from the subject. I want to stress that this is speculation concerning the middle name!

For a long time, I’ve had “between 1896-1900” for the year of death of Elijah W. NEAL. I hadn’t found a death record for him and estimated his death as between the time his last child was born and the 1900 census when his wife, Rebecca F. (ARBAUGH) NEAL, was seen as widowed.

Fast forward to this past August when Oliver sent me the above-mentioned email with the transcription and citation for the source giving the date and cause of death for Elijah W. NEAL.

Killed by a Steam Locomotive in a Coal Mine on 3 June 1897

mrin26342-1897-fatal-accidents-cover-of-source

mrin26342-1897-fatal-accidents

Fatal Accidents 1897
June 3d and 4th. Elijah Neal and George W. Crump, Gauley Mountain mine, Fayette county, were killed by a steam locomotive in the mine. The following report was furnished by Mr. W. N. Page: “I regret to report the death of Elijah Neal and George W. Crump in our new mine Tunnell, on Thursday, June 3d, both white and leaving families. Neal’s head was crushed between the cab and rib, from which death must have been instantaneous, and Crump, who was badly scalded by steam from the safety valve, died the following morning. This accident was in no way connected with the working, but was the result of carelessness in running too fast over a new track. Only one pair of drivers left the rail, but at the high rate of speed the safety valve was knocked off against the roof. It is supposed that there was a small scale of slate on the rail, but this is not certain, but it is known positively that they were running at the time beyond the safety limit, with practically an empty engine. Neal was about 35 and Crump about 40 years of age.” On June 10th Mine Inspector John I. Absolom visited the scene of this accident and found the facts to be as stated above.
[Source: Annual Report of the Chief Mine Inspector to the Governor of West Virginia. W.E. Forsyth: Charleston, WV.1898. page 84-85; online at: https://archive.org/stream/annualreportdept18961897west#page/84/mode/2up]

Oliver also did a newspaper search and came up with this article which suggested Elijah’s widow might soon follow him to the grave.

Publication: The Evening Republican, Columbus, Indiana
Published: 4 June 1897
Page 1
ANSTEAD, W. Va.,
A locomotive was wrecked in the coal mines here today. Elijah Neal, engineer, was killed and assistant mine superintendent died from his injuries received.
Neal’s wife is prostrated and will die from the shock.

Elijah’s wife Rebecca did not die from the shock. She was found in the census in 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940, always in Ansted, Fayette County, West Virginia. No death record was found for her on WVCulture.org.

However, her obituary published in the Beckley Post-Herald was located and attached as a source for her death. Aunt Becky, as she was known,  outlived her husband by 52 years, dying on 3 July 1949 in Ansted.

mrin26342-1949-rebecca-neal-obit-beckley-post-heraldPublication: Beckley Post-Herald (Raleigh Co., WV)
Published: Sunday Morning, July 4, 1949
Headline: Neal Funeral Set For Today
Oak Hill, July 3 – Funeral services for Mrs. Rebecca (Aunt Becky) Neal, 87, of Ansted will be held Monday at 2:00 p.m. at the Ansted Baptist Church with the Rev. Stanley Neuman officiating.
Mrs. Neal, who was born in Greenbrier County, died at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Lola Boalt of Ansted, Saturday at 7:15 p.m. following an illness of six weeks.
She was a member of the Ansted Baptist Church.
Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Lola Boalt and Mrs. Ada Dufour, and one son, Raleigh, all of Ansted. Also surviving are 15 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren.
The body will be at the home of Mrs. Lola Boalt.

The Benefits of Having My Family Tree Online

Oliver’s email was very much appreciated as have been all correspondence received in the past twenty years my family tree has been online. My database may have missing information, it may not always have sources cited, it may even have errors. In short, it may not be perfect. But the benefits of having it online far outnumber the embarrassment of mistakes or missing citations especially when people take the time to write to me and offer corrections and additions.

Thank you to all who have contacted me during the past 20 years!

bestwishescathy1

P.S. On 23 November 2016 I heard from Oliver Jenkins III. I wrote to him letting him know I mentioned him (first name only) and his random act of genealogical kindness in my post. He is not a related to Elijah W. Neal and found the information while researching for a client. He wrote, “Feel free to use my full name and email if you’d like. Extra clients always help🙂 ” owjenkins3 @ gmail.com.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #79 An Unusual Hairdo

unkyounggirlbuttonfrontUPDATE: Identified as Neele (Owens) LILLIE (1898-1942)

The unidentified young lady’s hairdo has fascinated me since I first saw this photograph. At first glance, I thought she was wearing some kind of hat sassily pulled down over her brow. At second glance, I saw her hair styled in a French roll or twist bun coiffed on the top of her head and stretched down over her forehead.

She is wearing a white blouse with sleeves attached to armholes that extend below the natural shoulder line. Tiny buttons along the collar and down the front are buttoned through rouleau button loops. The collar appears to be convertible. When worn open as in the picture, lapels are formed with the buttons and button loops extending along the edge. In the open neckline, she is  wearing a fine chain necklace with a pendant.

There is no writing on the back or front of the photograph. Nothing to identify the lady or the photographer.

Any takers on dating the photograph of this unidentified young lady with the strange hairdo?

UPDATE (17 Nov 2016): My 4th cousins once removed, Julie and Jeanne, granddaughters of Robert Wiley LILLIE and Neele OWENS have identified her as their grandmother Neele. I’ve removed the photo of Carrie Enoch that I included for comparison.

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Posted in Old Photographs | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

A 303-Year-Old Marriage Record Found for My 7th Great-Grandparents

Last week I became curious about my “German” ancestors actually being Luxembourgers. I had finally found a map which helped me with the historical boundaries of the country I live in.

My maternal grandfather was born in 1906 in Mettendorf, Germany, and came to live in Luxembourg in July 1914, the month the First World War began. I have avoided seriously researching his line for nearly a quarter of a century. Last year I began writing about his parents, paternal grandparents, maternal grandparents, and 4 sets of great-grandparents.

Now that I have access to the family books of the towns his ancestors lived in at the library of my genealogy society, I am revisiting what I have and what I need to locate. I knew that the towns were just across the border of Luxembourg to Germany but was not aware of exactly when this area belonged to the Duchy of Luxembourg. Surprisingly, this week, I learned the records I have been avoiding researching are actually at my fingertips.

The Church Records for Echternach

While inputting data from the family books I noticed that the compiler of the Ernzen book included annotations concerning the marriage records of certain couples being found in the church records of Echternach. These records are online at FamilySearch.

I spent hours adding birth, marriage, and death records to this German branch of the family. I have not even scratched the surface. I will be busy for weeks, maybe months.

I want to have all information inputted before I do any more in-depth posts on my 4th great-grandparents and each generation back. But I couldn’t wait to share this wonderful discovery!

A 303-Year-Old Marriage Record Found for My 7th Great-Grandparents

Marriage records in Luxembourg have always been my favorite source for information. They were the first and sometimes the only records I obtained for ancestors in this country. Some habits cannot be broken. The first thing I did when I realized the records for the towns of Ernzen and Ferschweiler were located in Echternach for religious events which took place before the end of the French Revolution (1789-1799) was to check for marriages.

echternachchurchcover

Title page of the Echternach church records of marriage from 1706

1713marriagerecordernzen

1713 Marriage Entry in Church Records of Echternach

Dabam Dimissoriales honesti Joannis Adami
Mayers ex Ernzen relicto legitimo filio
Joanni in ordine ad matrimonium contra=
hendu in honesti Adami Dietzen ex
Esseling relicta legitima filia Elisabetha

I gave the certificate to the honorable Johann Adam
Meyers from Ernzen’s surviving legitimate son
Johann in order to contract marriage
to the honorable Adam Dietzen from
Eßlingen’s surviving legitimate daughter Elisabetha

These five lines written in Latin give interesting information. The fathers of the bride and groom were both deceased in 1713. The bride Elisabetha DIETZEN’s father was from Eßlingen while the groom Johann MEYERS’ father was from Ernzen.

Elisabetha and Johann were married on Monday, 27 November 1713. One has to go back to the previous page to see that the marriage took place in November and leaf back to page 22 of the register to see that the year the marriage took place was 1713.

This is, so far, the oldest marriage record I’ve found for the “German” branch of my family tree. A branch which I have disregarded for too long.

Three hundred and three years ago this month my 7th great-grandparents married and their nuptials were recorded in the church records of the very same town my husband and I married in and live today.

Source:
Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Mariages, décès 1706-1778 > image 17 of 293. 1713 Marriage Dimissoriale, left page, first entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32399-12662-32?cc=2037955 : accessed 12 November 2016).

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© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Brick Walls, Genealogy, Luxembourg, Luxracines | Tagged , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #78 Fannie WELLS ca. 1910

Frances “Fannie” WELLS (1892-1975) was the daughter of  Charles Thomas “Tom” WELLS (1859-1934) and Mathilda “Tillie” ROYALTY (1859-1939). Her mother Tillie was the sister of Florence ROYALTY (1868-1946) who collected most of these wonderful old photographs. Fannie’s parents lived in Pope County, Illinois when she and her older brother Charles Edgar (1886-1973) were born.

Florence and Fannie appear to have had a special relationship. Florence saved many photographs of Fannie from the time she was a little girl until she was married and had little ones of her own.

franceswellscollagewatermarked A collage of the photos from this post:
Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #23 Frances “Fannie” WELLS 1892-1975.

While sorting through the digital copies of the collection, I’ve been moving the used images into a new folder so that I have a better overview of all unused photos. Originally there were more than 25o images in the folder. I am now down to a little less than two dozen.

In the unused file, I found this picture of Frances which has not been shared. The digital copies of the front and back of the photograph were originally labeled WielFrances and WielFrancesback. 

1910-ca-wellsfrances-rooney-collectionThe young woman in this picture was photographed from the waist up. Fannie has her hair up and is wearing a blouse with skirt combination or an afternoon dress. Her blouse is high collared with a bow tied in the middle front. The rounded chest inset has a ruffle from shoulder to shoulder. The sleeves are a bit wide at the shoulder level. Were they more tight fitting below the elbow? When she married about 1915 she was no longer wearing her hair up and her face was fuller (see collage). I believe this picture may have been taken about 1910 when she was 18 or perhaps a bit earlier.

The writing on the back was misinterpreted when the digital copies were labeled. At the time, connections between all of the people in this collection were not known and names were not familiar.

1910-ca-wellsfrancesback-rooney-collectionWritten on the back of the photo in pen is Frances Well Ross sent to. Written in pencil in a more childish handwriting, maybe by young Fannie, Aunt Florence. Since Wells is missing the s at the end and Ross was Fannie’s married name, I believe the ballpoint pen writing was added later so that anyone viewing it would not think this was “Aunt Florence.”

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More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Old Photographs | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Adding 3 Generations to the Family Tree

logo_klengI was on duty a week ago Saturday at my genealogy society’s library in Walferdange, Luxembourg. This new library is open to the public on Saturday afternoons from 2 to 5. Three members of the board of Luxracines were present and six visitors dropped in to research and to become familiar with our collections.

As it was not yet too busy, I was able to get some research done while on duty.

  • I opened up my genealogy software (AQ14), went to my maternal grandfather’s pedigree and checked for the closest unknown sets of ancestors. One by one I pulled the family books of the towns they were from and looked up the families.
  • I used Evernote’s Scannable app on my iPhone to scan the images of the pages of the German family books concerning the families I was interested in.
  • I attached the names of 5 sets of NEW ancestors to my family tree, as placeholders. I did not input any further information.
  • To the Research Manager of AQ14, I added a To Do/Research Item for each placeholder person:
    Check the images from the [name of town] family book taken at Luxracines library on 29 Oct 2016
  • I included a red tag for good measure.
  • At home, I sent the images to Evernote. Each image became a note which I titled with the town name, page number, family number(s), surname. The notes were filed in a temporary notebook.

The next step was to begin inputting the information, citing sources, and adding the cropped images to my database. I began with the Familienbuch der Pfarrei Messerich, Dekanat Bitburg, 1720-1900 compiled by Werner Naumann. It covers the towns of Messerich, Birtlingen, Niederstedem, and Oberstedem.

messerich2015Last year I wrote 52 Ancestors: #45 The WAGNER-KERSCHT Family. My third great-grandmother Anna Maria KERSCHT, wife of Johann WAGNER, was the daughter of Mathias KERSCHT (1759-1841), a sheep herder, Schäfer, and Anna EVEN (1766-1828) who were married 26 November 1785 in Messerich in the Eifel. Anna Maria’s parents, my 4th great-grandparents, would be the next logical couple to write about. The Mettendorf FB entry M1158 for them indicated that they had not always lived in Mettendorf. Their first six children had only estimated years of birth indicating the information was not to be found in Mettendorf. Their seventh child, born in 1809, was documented as being born in Mettendorf.

My fourth great-grandmother’s name was seen as Anna EVEN in the Mettendorf FB (Family Book). Since Anna and Mathias married in Messerich this was the logical place to look further for this family line.

To put this in perspective, Nicolas WILDINGER was my maternal grandfather. His line back to Anna is through his mother Catherine PÖPPELREITER, her mother Magdalena WAGNER, her mother Anna Maria KERSCHT, her mother Anna EWEN.

nicolaswildingerpedigreeThe first thing I noticed when I looked up EVEN, the name found in the Mettendorf FB, was that the name was spelled EWEN in the Messerich FB. I had suspected this may be the case as I had found Anna’s parents listed as Gerardus EWEN and Barbara THILIEN on Thomas A. Pick’s Homepage for Eifel Birth and Marriage Data. The data was transcribed from an unknown source and the town of Messerich is seen as Mefserich (clearly a transcription error). This made me question the correctness of Pick’s use of the names EWEN and THILIEN.

In the Messerich FB, Mr. Naumann included the book number, page number, and record number of the church records he viewed. He also mentions other spellings of names or name changes. Although records will have to be obtained as proof, I will, for now, go with the spelling found by Mr. Naumann.

The parents of Anna EWEN (1766-1828) were Gerhard EWEN and Barbara THIL, also seen as THIELEN. Anna had nine siblings born between  1761 and 1780. Not only did I find her parents but also her paternal grandparents, maternal grandfather, and both sets of paternal great-grandparents. The new names in the family tree are seen below in generations 8 and 9 in white.

annamariakerschtpedigreeWhen I finish all of the towns scanned, I will go into AQ14 and re-set the standard ancestral colors so that these new ancestors on my mother’s paternal line will also be pink.

An interesting name change was seen for Anna EWEN’s parents. Her father Remigius was born EUPERS. At the time of his marriage to Margaretha EWEN in 1733 he lost his surname as they lived in the EWEN home and their children were all baptized EWEN. He was known as Remigius EUPERS vulgo EWEN. Vulgo means “alias” or “also known as” and shows his association to the EWEN family and property.

The Mathias KERSCHT and Anna EWEN family group were included in the Messerich FB. However, there are still discrepancies. My Anna Maria KERSCHT is in the Mettendorf FB with birth being circa 1793. She had five siblings born between 1786 and 1794 in Messerich but she was not in the Messerich FB.

When I wrote 52 Ancestors: #45 The WAGNER-KERSCHT Family I discussed my doubts about Anna Maria being born abt. 1793 which would mean she was nearly 50 when her last child, my 2nd great-grandmother Magdalena WAGNER, was born. I didn’t have the WAGNER-KERSCHT family’s entry from the Mettendorf FB when I wrote the post a year ago. At the time the theme of the post was “nur nicht verzweifeln” or don’t despair due to all the missing information. I still don’t have the entry and have added it to the Research Manager as a To Do/Research Item for my next visit to the library.

Messerich, Germany

The first documented mention of the town Messerich, Miezriche, was in the year 1066. In 1852 remains of Roman settlements were found thus proving that the place existed nearly one thousand years before it was first mentioned. In 1473 Messerich had 15 Feuerstellen, or houses which were lived in; in 1525 there were 12; in 1541 there were 14; and in 1624 there were only 5. The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), one of the deadliest conflicts in European history, and the Black Death, which repeatedly struck the Nimstal area in 1620-1633, were the cause for the decline in population. Today there are over 400 residents and 100 houses in Messerich.

messerichinrelationtoluxembourg

Map courtesy of maps.google.lu

On the map above Messerich is a bit south of Bitburg. The closest towns to Messerich are Masholder, Birtlingen, Oberstedem, and Bitburg. Echternach, Luxembourg, the town where I live, lies 17.5 km or 10 miles to the south.

luxembourgpartitionsmap_english

By Spanish_Inquisition (LuxembourgPartitionsMap_english.jpg) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Until the end of the 18th century, Messerich belonged to the Bitburg Provost District of the Duchy of Luxembourg. The borders of Luxembourg, before 1659, are seen above as black lines including areas of present-day France, Belgium, and Germany. The area where Messerich lies belonged to the Duchy of Luxembourg until the dark green area went to Prussia in 1815.

Although Messerich today lies in Germany, during the time my ancestors lived there it was part of the Duchy of Luxembourg. Now I am curious to find out which of my other “German” ancestors were actually Luxembourgers.

The entries from the Messerich FB have all been inputted and cited in my family tree. Schankweiler, Mettendorf, Neuerburg/Eifel, Mürlenbach, and Fliessem family books remain to be done. Hopefully I will have finished them by November 26th when it is once again my turn to be on library duty.

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© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Genealogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #77 Isaac and Florence LILLIE

Last week I shared a photograph of Isaac Spencer LILLIE (1872-1932) and his wife Florence ROYALTY (1868-1946) with their sons Reese Gentry LILLIE (1892-1965) and Samuel Royalty “Roy” LILLIE (1895-1979) taken in the late 1890s or early 1900s (before 1904).

Sometime after the photo was taken Isaac grew a mustache.

isaac-and-florence-lillie-rooney-collectionThis picture was taken by Frank A. Gregory in Metropolis, Massac County, Illinois. Isaac and Florence appear to be about the same age as in the family portrait featured last week.

isaac-and-florence-lillie-with-hats-rooney-collectionThey donned their hats in this photograph taken during the same sitting.

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Old Photographs | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments