Saturday, February 27, 2010

Surname Saturday - KIRBY

Huh, Saturday again already! Amazingly, we got yet another major storm here in the Northeast, what a nasty winter this has been! Although, not as bad as the ice storms we got every week for several weeks back in 1995 or 1996.

Of course, back then I was younger so maybe it seemed more significant. Snow storms don't stress me out the way they used to because I guess I don't have as much angst about how I'm going to get in to work. I just bring my laptop home and voila, work from home. What an awesome world we live in.

ANYWAY, here's my surname for this Saturday - KIRBY. I'm sticking with my mysterious theme, so this will be the 3rd week in a row of surnames I have that have been little buggers.

We're still in the state of New York for the KIRBY family, only this time we are over in Seneca County, in the town of Waterloo. That's where I have my furthest back reference to a Samuel KIRBY in the 1850 NY Federal Census.

Last week's posting on AKINS generated a lead for me when another genealogist commented and gave me a link to what she thought might be wills for relatives in Tompkins County, NY. And I think they are! I'll be ordering them shortly and will be looking for a way to pay it forward for someone else!

So here goes, my KIRBY ahnentafel:

1. Leah KLEYLEIN - Me!

3. Deborah DOMELLE - my Mom!

7. Ann MIX - my Grandma! She was born in Tompkins County, NY and spent her childhood years there. After marrying my grandfather (William DOMELLE), they moved around a bit.

15. Cornelia Elizabeth AKINS, born 23 Apr 1887 in Village of Lockwood, Tioga County, NY; died 24 Jan 1986 in Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY. She was married to William MIX, of Tompkins County, NY.

31. Hattie Elizabeth KIRBY, born 19 Mar 1866 in New York (likely in Seneca County); died 04 Jun 1963. She married John Francis AKINS in 1885.

63. Laura Lunett KIRBY, born 21 Mar 1849 in New York; died 31 Oct 1866. So here's the scoop on poor Laura: she died young (only 17 yrs old), 3 days after giving birth to her daughter Hattie (above). Family lore states that she died of a broken heart because....Hattie's father was Laura's sister's husband. Got that?

Laura's sister stayed married to the man and had more children with him after Laura's death, and even named a daughter born in 1868 after her sister. So would that REALLY have happened if her sister had slept with her husband and had a baby? I don't know, stranger things have happened. Sadly, the little Laura born in 1868 didn't live to see her 2nd birthday. Whatever the true situation, the fact is poor Laura died young, and I don't have any proof of Hattie's paternal parentage other than family lore.

126. Samuel KIRBY, born 22 Sep 1814 in New York; died 15 Oct 1894. He married Elucinda Gibbs, born 23 Dec 1820 in New York; died 06 Dec 1901.

I've located Samuel and Lucinda on the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 NY Federal Census's - always in Waterloo, Seneca County. Beyond that, I've got nothing.

Interestingly, the 1880 census showed that Samuel and Lucinda both stated their father's were born in England and in 1870, it states that Lucinda's father was of foreign birth. Samuel and Lucinda both state that they were born in New York state. I haven't yet located immigration records to support this.

And that's it for the KIRBY family!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Surname Saturday - Akins

This surname has been some trouble for me in researching it - a couple generations and BAM! Brick Wall!!!

Also, there are many spellings in the records I've come across: AKINS, AIKINS, AIKENS, and AIKEN.

I suspect it is English/Scottish/Irish, but I have no actual proof as yet. This particular AKINS family was in the Finger Lakes region of New York; specifically in Tompkins and Tioga counties. Where they were before that, I just don't know yet!

Here is my ahnentafel for AKINS:

1. Leah KLEYLEIN - Me!

3. Deborah DOMELLE - my Mom!

7. Ann MIX - my Grandma! She was born in Tompkins County, NY and spent her childhood years there. After marrying my grandfather (William DOMELLE), they moved around a bit.

15. Cornelia Elizabeth AKINS, born 23 Apr 1887 in Village of Lockwood, Tioga County, NY; died 24 Jan 1986 in Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY. She was married to William MIX, of Tompkins County, NY.

30. John Francis AKINS, born 13 Mar 1841 in New York; died 13 Feb 1890. I've located him in Tioga County, NY in the 1870 and 1880 Federal Census's, but that's it so far. He was married to Hattie KIRBY, who I believe is from Seneca County, NY, as the earliest record I've located her in is in the 1870 Federal census in her Grandfather's household in the town of Waterloo.

60. John AIKENS, born 1810 in New York. He was married to Deborah, surname unknown.

120. AIKENS. He married Elizabeth, surname unknown. I have a record of Elizabeth because she was living with her son John AIKENS in Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY during the 1850 Federal Census.

And that's it for my AKINS family!

Monday, February 15, 2010

"I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food."

HAHA, who am I kidding, we all know me cooking means it must be Christmas!

That's not to say I don't think about food all the other days. Usually what will pop into my head as I wait impatiently for the 3 minute count-down on any given microwave is something like this: "oh my god could that timer be any slower why does it have to be so long do I have time to go to the bathroom before it finishes holy cow what would I do if I had to actually COOK this".

Cooking used to take a long time (and if you do it right, it should be a chunk of time (as in: more than 3 minutes), just like you should leisurely sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labor). I often consider what my ancestors did for meals while I do my genealogy research. Beyond genealogy, I just enjoy history in general, but not the boring old "on this date this happened" kind of thing - I like to figure out how people actually lived day to day, those little clues to how life is different now.

Here's an example. A couple years ago I watched the movie "Gaslight" for the first time. Great movie!!! But here's a little clue I picked up (I promise I won't ruin it for you if you haven't seen it). Back when people used gas to light their houses, when you turned on an additional lamp somewhere else in the house, the one's that were already going would dim for a second. Makes perfect sense right? You have your flow of gas into the house and when suddenly it has another outlet, there's a disruption in how it's flowing. But you would always know when someone else in the house turned on a lamp, how about that? I know I know, not significant, but still, a tiny little detail of life I tucked away in my memory.

But back to food. How people like their food to look and taste changes a lot from generation to generation. I would love to taste a meal from a couple hundred years ago, I imagine I would probably be stunned at how much I didn't like it, but I'd still like to taste it!

A few years ago I came across a wonderful book that I highly recommend for anyone who is interested in how people prepared food throughout history. It's not too scholarly, I found it very readable and interesting. It's called "Food in History" by Reay Tannahill. Certainly in one book all topics can't be covered, but I came away knowing more and feeling more aware.

There's also a few blogs I follow that focus primarily on historical food that I'd like to recommend if you are interested:

1. Medieval Cookery -

The author is not a prolific poster, but there have been some really interesting posts, one for instance showing a 17th century German etching of a woman selling hot dogs! Take that Oscar Meyer!

2. The Old Foodie -

I really enjoy this blog - there's actual recipes, discussions on spices that are little-used today; and it's not just medieval, it's all over the place in history. Very interesting!

On the topic of colonial American food, I came across an interesting article entitled: "Fast Food in Colonial America". This touches a bit on foods you might find in taverns or would take on the road with you.

Finally, another bookmark I like to keep close is to "The Food Timeline: Colonial America and 17th/18th Century France". There is an interesting note on how our meals have changed - our current idea of breakfast is nothing like an american from the 18th century would have known - and our big sit down evening dinner wouldn't have made sense either. This page also has links to other sites on the same topic.

That's it for now! I'll stop rambling. If you're interested, do check out the sites, it's amazing how different our cooking is now - I'm such a wuss, I know I'd probably die of starvation if I actually had to pluck the feathers out of my own chicken. Yikes! All the cooks of yesteryear have my utmost respect!

Finally, to circle back to the quote at the start of the post, if you aren't familiar with W.C. Fields (you young whippersnappers you), not only was he a great comedian, but check out this juggling:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Surname Saturday: Domelle

Last Saturday I wrote about my mysterious surname KLEYLEIN. This week, I'll talk about my even more mysterious surname DOMELLE.

The surname DOMELLE (variants I've found are: DOMELE, DOMLE, TOMELE) first showed up in the US at the beginning of the 20th century. The surname also exists in Canada, apparently some family members went straight Canada, but I've been unable to connect the two families, although due to the rarity of the name, it's extremely likely they are related.

In the documentation I've found there is variation in what is listed as the "home" town by each person, but all that is listed is within the same small area of what is now modern Romania. In the early 20th century, in was within the borders of Hungary, which was then still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Some of the variation is due to the use of different languages. I've mentioned in previous posts (03-Jan-2010) the difficulty in researching this particular region because each town, each county went by 3 names, the German, Hungarian and now Romanian names. So a document from 1915 might list the Hungarian version of the town name, the ship manifest from 1908 might list the German version of the town name, and finally, when you try to find it on a modern map, you need to know the Romanian version of the town name.

The main family members who emigrated to the US (both DOMELLE and DOMELE) listed their birth places as either NagyOsz or Gattaja. In fact, the same person would switch back and forth on which town was listed.

Nagyősz is the old Hungarian name for the modern town of Tomnatic in Romania. Gattaja is the old German name for the modern town of Gătaia in Romania.

The DOMELLE immigrants to the US were 4 siblings and a cousin and his family:

William DOMELLE (b. NagyOsz, Hungary, arrived Port of New York, 04 October 1911)

Nicholas DOMELLE (b. NagyOsz, Hungary, arrived Port of New York, 26 June 1907)

Anna Magdalena DOMELLE (b. Gattaja, Hungary, arrival date not yet found)

Lena DOMELLE (b. Gattaja, Hungary, arrived Port of New York, 04 October 1911)

John DOMELE (b. NagyOsz, Hungary, arrived Port of New York, 30 March 1906)

wife Mary TUNNER DOMELE (b. Visesha, Hungary, arrived Port of New York, 30 March 1906)

son Anthony DOMELE (b. NagyOsz Hungary, arrived, arrived Port of Baltimore, 30 April 1910)

son Martin Anthony DOMELE (b. Visesha, Hungary, arrived Port of Baltimore, 30 April 1910)

Most ended up in Chicago, then moving down to Lake Village, Indiana to farm. Both sisters married here in the US and ended up in Michigan.

The etymology of the surname DOMELLE has stumped me for a while now. At first glance it looks French to me, but the family stated their ethnicity was German while they lived in Hungary. They spoke German and Hungarian. My family pronounces it "DOM-lee". Family lore also states that the move to Hungary (which appears to have happened in the late 1700s) was from the Alsace-Lorraine region, so we are back to French/German back and forth with that region.

As with the KLEYLEIN's, there aren't a lot of DOMELLE's out there. So if your last name is DOMELLE, it's highly likely we're related!

Here's my ahnentafel:

1. Leah KLEYLEIN - Me!

3. Deborah DOMELLE - my Mom!

6. William Adam DOMELLE - my Grandfather! He was born in Newton County, Indiana and grew up there on his father's farm. He moved to New York and met and married my grandmother, Ann Mix.

12. William DOMELLE, born 27 Oct 1882 in NagyOsz, Hungary; died 20 Aug 1943 in Jasper County, Indiana. He met and married Elizabeth OBENDORFER in Chicago, Illinois. They later moved south to Lake Village, Indiana to farm, along with his brother Nick and cousin John. I've bemoaned my lack of information on William's wife twice before (09-Jan-2010; 07-Sep-2009)

24. Adam DOMELLE, born Bet. 1850 - 1860 in Austria Hungary. He was married to Christine RIZER/REISER.

And that's it! Not too long of an ahnentafel for now. My dream of dreams of course is that Romania wins the lottery and puts all it's church records online for free, indexed in english. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 10 February 2010


Pennsylvania - 10 February 2010 - 12 inches and counting on top of the 20 inches from last Saturday! Storm still has 8 hours to go! Someone come save me! Hellllpppppp!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Family Tree Maker Kinship Report Question

Hi out there all you Family Tree Maker users! If you're up for it, I have a question.

I am newly upgraded (as of about an hour ago) to FTM 2010. For the past several years I've stuck with FTM 16 for mainly one reason...the ability to see what multiple relationships exist in my family tree. I admit that I'm a sucker for finding out I'm my own 6th cousin, I just love that stuff. So I skipped FTM 2008 and 2009 after I saw comments that the kinship report didn't show all the relationships anymore.

So here's my question...

Is it really supposed to take 19 minutes to generate a kinship report for a database that has about 7800 people?

And should the generated report really be 420 pages, with nearly 70% of the relationships noted being the type of "Mother-in-law of 2nd cousin 2x removed" and "Nephew of Husband of 10th cousin 3x removed"?? No offense to those people, but I don't consider them actually related, I'm curious about actual blood relations here.

You see, I did NOT have the checkbox for "Show Unrelated Individuals" checked, so I'm confused as to why all these un-related people are in the report? There's even more un-related people in this report than there was in the FTM 16's version of the report!

Not to mention the 19 minutes??? What's the difference in report generation? My FTM 16 generated this report in 6 seconds. It's all those unrelated "Husband of Aunt of Husband of 2nd cousin 6x times removed" of course!!!!

Am I doing something wrong here? I have to be doing something wrong. Missing something right in front of my face? Any advice from more experienced users would be appreciated!

I could probably deal with it if it weren't for the whole 19 minute thing. To me that's un-usable, sorry, my attention span for that kind of wait was last seen around 1996.


Sentimental Sunday - A Mother's Poem (07 February 2010)

For today's "Sentimental Sunday" theme, I've scanned in a copy of a poem my great-great grandmother Hattie Kirby Akins Quick Robinson Allen wrote. (And yes, she did marry 4 times!)

Hattie wrote this in 1928 when her son Charley Akins passed away unexpectedly. He was only 39 years old. Hattie was 62 at the time.

"In Memory of Charley Akins
Who passed away November 13 1928

I mourn his loss and well I may
He's in my mind both night and day
his kindly words and loving face
no one on Earth can take his place
the blow was great the shock severe
I little thought his death so near
but only those who have lost can tell
the sorrow of parting with one you
love so well

sadly missed by his Mother"

I have always thought this so touching. My grandmother was only 8 years old when her uncle passed away and I don't know why he died. To my knowledge he was not married and did not have any children. Creating this post made me realize my lack of knowledge on him, so I double-checked and since his death is more than 50 years ago (requirement when not your direct-line), I can order a death certificate from New York state.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Surname Saturday: Kleylein

Well, while the blizzard of 2010 rages outside, I guess I have no choice but to stay inside cozy doing one of my favorite things: wearing clothes that clash. I admit, I get an inexplicable pleasure over clashing, but I try to keep it only to weekends, and only when not going out. Once I hit 70 years old though, I am absolutely heading outside wearing whatever I want, because at that point, you've so earned it, not to mention the fact that you really don't give a crap what other people say anymore. It's one of the absolute best benefits of getting older, and I enjoy every moment of caring less about other people's opinions!!! :-)

And now, back to our story:

The surname KLEYLEIN is a pretty rare one. I don't usually talk about my KLEYLEIN line because my dad researches that line, while I do my maternal genealogy.

It is German, but there is no literal translation for it. It does have the diminutive of -lein; in German you typically see either -lein or -chen as diminutives, so that is a hint. Perhaps "Kley" was a given name? That's still a mystery. It is pronounced "KLY-line".

You might think, since it's German, that it was originally KLEILEIN, and you will find records with that spelling here in the US. It seems it was a matter of choice and mood as to whether my ancestors here in the US signed their name using the "y" or "i". They went back and forth.

Also, in records back in Germany, it is in fact spelled "Kleylein". This makes it a rather unusual name for German. My father has had several German colleagues comment that it didn't make sense as a German name.

All that aside, it originates from a village in the state of Bavaria in Germany. Bavaria ("Bayern" in German) is in the southeast of Germany. The village is centered around the river Rodach and is divided into 2 villages really, Unterrodach and Oberrodach ("under" and "over", respectively). It is within the Franconian Forest (the "Frankenwald").

Back in the day, the main industry in the village was logging and the men would cut down the trees, and ride the logs down the river, tying them together into huge rafts, and they'd connect with larger rivers where the sawmills were. There is a wonderful little museum in Unterrodach on this topic that I was lucky enough to go to several years ago when visiting Germany.

Most Kleyleins who came to the US came through the Port of Baltimore in the early 20th century. And then most settled in Baltimore, although there were a few outliers in other areas. At this point, we are very spread out, just a handful here and there in various states. There are still Kleyleins back in Germany, and just like with the states, there are very small handfuls of Kleyleins all over the world. So there aren't a lot of us, but we're really spread out!

Here is my Kleylein ahnentafel:

1. Leah KLEYLEIN - me!

2. Rich KLEYLEIN - my dad!

4. Leon David KLEYLEIN , born 29 Jun 1903 in Baltimore, Baltimore Co., Maryland; died 29 Dec 1992 in Tonawanda, Erie Co., New York. He married Sophia Eleanor Tekla PAWLAK.

8. Peter KLEYLEIN-WELTDICKER, born 12 Oct 1873 in Unterrodach, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany; died 07 Jun 1925 in Baltimore, Baltimore Co., Maryland. He married Hallie Violet HARRISON and his profession was baking. (in his research, my dad has found that many of the Kleyleins in Unterrodach and the area added suffixes to their names, presumably to identify exactly which Kleylein they were. I guess the land was teeming with us back in those days!)

16. Johann Andreas KLEYLEIN-WELTDICKER, born 04 Oct 1829 in Unterrodach, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany; died 26 Feb 1886 in Unterrodach, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany. He married Katharina SCHALLER.

32. Johannes KLEYLEIN-WELTDICKER, born 31 Mar 1790 in Unterrodach, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany; died 13 Jul 1854 in Unterrodach, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany. He married Margaretha EBER-STUMPF.


And that's the quick overview of my last name! Oh and by the way, isn't "Kunigunda" the best last name EVER????