Saturday, January 7, 2017

Cleaning up the Past

When I started the blog in 2012, I made a list of goals for the year.  For continuity's sake, I want to report what has been accomplished from that list.
  • photograph local family headstones
    • ONGOING PROJECT
  • visit Wheatland
    • DONE
  • find burial info for Kate Lucy Waters Moran and her father, Michael!
    • PARTIALLY DONE (Kate found, not Michael)
  • find out what county in Ireland Patrick J. Moran is from
    • DONE pending further documents (niece reported that her father, Patrick's brother, is from Dingle, Kerry)
  • create a spreadsheet for all the people in the tree, cross-referencing all of their in an index
    • NOT DONE
  • create "profiles" for all the people in the tree using the index and spreadsheet
    • NOT DONE
  • scan ALL the images from family members that I can
    • NOT DONE
  • get photos of headstones for the family where location is known (via findagrave.com)
    • ONGOING PROJECT
  • get tracingtheivy headstone cards made (via Hector)
    • NOT DONE, may choose to not do this
  • take at least two volunteer photos per month for findagrave.com
    • NOT DONE
In terms of photographing local relatives' headstones and scanning all the family photos I can, that will just have to be an ongoing project.

When I visited Wheatland, I only managed to go to the cemetery, but I was able to photograph all my known relatives there.  My grandmother mentioned that even in the worst heat there, she would always feel a breeze by our family's plot (or her son's headstone, I can't remember).  I felt it, too.  I didn't make it to the family ranch, but someday I'll get there.  It's rented out I believe, but I still want to see it.

I did finally find Kate Lucy Waters Moran's burial plot.  A very nice volunteer braved the snow in Massachusetts and with the map I provided, she found her.  Unfortunately there's a blank spot where her headstone should be.  Her husband is buried with his second wife and some other people, children if I recall.  

I still want to create some kind of spreadsheet and profiles for everyone, but soon I'm going to look into organizing my research with Evernote, so that goal may actually turn out differently.

As for two volunteer photographs  per month for findagrave.com, I wasn't able to do that, but I may have time now.  I'll think about doing this, but I don't know if I'm going to leave personal cards.  I'm thinking they might blow away in the wind and become trash, and I don't want to anchor them into the ground.  Maybe I'll just leave a flower.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Weekend Wrap-up: What I Accomplished

Ah the sins of my youth...I spent New Year's Eve day finally cleaning up my first Ancestry.com tree.  I had so many duplicates and triplicates and even some quadruplicates.  That tree is 11 years old, and I have my DNA results attached to it.  I guess you could say I'm sentimentally attached to it.  I didn't set out to clean it up.  I meant to fill out a simple seven generation family chart for one of my second cousins, showing how far back I've gotten so far on a particular line (Moran) that we share.  Then I ran into a problem.  David John Kirkpatrick had two wives and a mess of children, and I couldn't tell from that old tree who their mother was:  Margaret Miller or Flora McLeod.  I managed to find a marriage record for David and Flora from 1886, and the children were all born before that date.  I even found another daughter, Rowena, on someone else's tree that needed confirmation.  It all snowballed with the first church record of one son's baptism which had his brother on the next page.  Then I noticed that his brother had the same birthday.  Twins!  I checked the other pages next to the brothers and discovered that all the children were baptized on the same day and confirmed that Rowena was a daughter.

Hoping to ride yesterday's wave of success and productivity, I tried hammering at my Manley brick wall.  Then I used a sledge hammer.  Still nothing.  So for fun I clicked on a tree that I started years ago for my best friend and saw that her mysterious grandfather had a leaf hint.  At first I was a little disappointed that the hint was only for being on some other members' trees.  Then I noticed that he had a different wife and children on two of the trees, so I cautiously texted my friend about it.  Chalk it up to a bad memory; this was known information that I forgot.  She reminded me that he's the mysterious grandfather with the unknown roots.  Challenge:  Accepted!  I found him in the 1930 census with the first wife, first two sons, and a BROTHER.  That also included their immigration year (1913).  I found a death record with a really promising birth year for the brother that lists the mother's maiden name.  I haven't confirmed that it's the same person with another document yet, but it looks good for now.  Their last name had a different spelling when they came to the U.S., but it's very close.  I found them in the 1920 census in Colorado and then the parents in 1930 in Nebraska with a new daughter.  The daughter's birth state says Colorado.  Then I found the parents and brothers on the Ivernia, arriving in Boston in 1913 heading for Brush, CO which is close to the town in which they were living in 1920.  Bingo.  I'd really like to find obituaries on the parents and children to try to confirm the mother's maiden name and any of their background information, but I pulled down a lot of bricks this afternoon.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday Night Fun - Genea-Musings

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings posted this last night.
Challenge: Accepted



2012 Goals

We're halfway through January already, but it's not too late to set goals for the year. I've noticed on the few genealogy blogs I subscribe to on Google Reader, everyone has set goals for the new year. Not to be left out, here is my list:
  • photograph local family headstones
  • visit Wheatland
  • find burial info for Kate Lucy Waters Moran and her father, Michael!
  • find out what county in Ireland Patrick J. Moran is from
  • create a spreadsheet for all the people in the tree, cross-referencing all of their in an index
  • create "profiles" for all the people in the tree using the index and spreadsheet
  • scan ALL the images from family members that I can
  • get photos of headstones for the family where location is known (via findagrave.com)
  • get tracingtheivy headstone cards made (via Hector)
  • take at least two volunteer photos per month for findagrave.com
That feels like a good mix of roadtripping, researching, organizing, and utilizing resources.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rumors

The greatest mystery on my mom's side is wrapped up in the rumor about her paternal grandfather. There is the glamorous claim that he was the illegitimate son of Graf Otto von Bismarck. I asked my mom's step-mom, Grandma Anne, about it the other day. Apparently my mom's younger half-brother, Paul, went on a trip to German with his elementary school. They visited the mother house for the order of nuns that ran his school. In the infirmary, two older nuns got out of bed to stand and show respect to little Paul - the idea being that he resembled Bismarck so much. Also, Grandma Anne said she had a cousin from Bavaria that had remarked to her about what a fine looking man her husband was - supposedly to mean that he also resembled Bismark. I told these two stories to my mom, and she said that she had also been told that she looked like Bismark. I did read once that Bismark had approximately 100 illegitimate children, but it's still an interesting story. I wonder if we'll ever know...

The History behind the Name Frederick John

Frederick John Moran, Sr.'s (1900-1981) mother was Mary Catherine Manley Moran (1871-1938). She was married to James Joseph Moran (1870-1943).


Mary's parents were Anthony B.(1836-1881) and Ellen Frances Manley (1844-1938). Ellen was from Ireland. Anthony was born in England, but his parents were from Ireland.


Anthony had a younger brother named Frederick John (1840-1914), and their father's name was John. Anthony and Fred both had their first child, girls, in Tennessee, and named them both Mary - Fred's Mary E (1867) and Anthony's Mary Catherine (1871. Anthony's second child, Elizabeth Manley Buck, was born in Pennsylvania. Fred, his family, and his father, John, remained in Pennsylvania. Anthony moved his family to San Francisco, popping up in a city directory in 1877. His next child and first son was Frederick John (1876-1900). Mary Catherine had her second child, a son, a few months after her younger brother, Fred, died, and named her son after him.


So the name Frederick John was a Manley tribute and still lives on in Hawaii and Pennsylvania!


Frederick John Manley, Sr.

Frederick John Manley

Frederick John Moran, Sr.

Fred J. Moran III

His Brother's Keeper

I had been trying to research beyond my maternal great-great grandfather, James Joseph Moran, for about six years. He was born in 1871, but I could not find him anywhere before 1900 (this was back when I was still relying solely on census records). The story was that he was from Worcester, MA. Whether that was the city or the county, I didn't have a clue. After a break of well over a year, I picked my research back up with the help of my friend and research master, Bee. We found his mortuary record, but JJ (as we nicknamed him) did not have an obituary. He was married (to Mary Catherine Manley) in 1893, and because of the 1906 earthquake, his marriage certificate was destroyed. We moved on to looking for him in the scanned images of the San Francisco Call, and because he was a patrolman, he was mentioned in many articles. We also found him in the city directory for many different years. For a long time he lived at 521 Laguna Street. I found an article from December 25, 1908 which printed a list of men and their addresses who had made the eligibility list for police officers, over 80 men going for 20 available positions. Something of note: A William T. Moran residing at 521 Laguna Street. Although Moran is a common Irish last name, I thought it was enough of a coincidence to consider William T. a lead.

Hot on the trail, I found many interesting tidbits about William T. According to his headstone (buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery) he was born on February 5, 1876 and died November 6, 1931. He fought in the Spanish-American War and was married to a woman named Ellen "Nellie" McAleer, a native of Ireland. I couldn't find a birth record for William in Colorado, but I tried and tried to find James and William in a household together in 1880 in Massachusetts. Nothing. Then just before Christmas I found a new collection on familysearch.org (thanks to the San Francisco Public Library). The collection is of coroner's records from 1928 to 1956. Of all the people I could have looked up, I decided to look for William, since I was focusing on him at the time I found the collection. Of all the people I have looked for since, none of them have been in this collection, but there was William T., and listed on the record was his brother, James J. Moran and his nephew, Fred Moran. Even better, his parents' names: Patrick J. and Kate Lucy Waters! Zip over to the 1880 census and we find them in West Brookfield, MA. JJ is called Jimmie, William (listed as born in Colorado!!) is Willie, and then there's Lizzie and Johnnie, both born in MA (which leads us to wonder why the second of four children was born in a completely different state). It was actually almost two months from the time I first spotted William T. until I found his confirmed connection to JJ. I

Since then, Bee has been communicating with someone whose husband is related somehow. I'm still waiting to hear that connection (the person is on vacation and has limited internet access).