Sunday, November 28, 2010

Obituary of Ella Graham Akins (abt. 1869 - 1948)

Another entry from my grandmothers collection of newspaper clippings and obituaries.

This is Ella GRAHAM AKINS. She was the wife of my great-grandmother's half-brother, George T. AKINS.

I'm very lucky to have a picture of the three of them:

Ella is on the right, my great-grandmother Cornelia Elizabeth AKINS MIX SIMPSON is in the middle, and on the left is her half-brother, Ella's husband, George T. AKINS.

From what I can tell, George and Ella never had any children. Ella was born in Pennsylvania and George in New York, but they spent many years out in Nebraska, along with George's brother, Absalom AKINS (whose obituary is here). But they eventually moved back to Bradford County, PA, which is right across the border from the counties in New York where most of the family lived.

Here is Ella's obituary:

Obituary Text:

Mrs. Ella Akins of Wilawana, Thursday, Jan. 6, 1948. Survived by husband, George; brother, Loren Graham of Waverly; sister, Mrs. J. D. Troxel of Syracuse; nieces, Mrs. George Conners of Three Rivers, Mich., and Mrs. William Trump of Waverly, Mrs. Howard Sickler of Rochester. The body was removed to the Kolb Funeral Home, where services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday. Rev. Victor Smith, Glenwood Cemetery, Waverly.

Obituary of Charles Tilford Akins

Another obituary in my grandmother's collection of newspaper clippings.

This one has all identifying information clipped off of it. The obituary is for Charles Tilford AKINS.

Unfortunately, no year is given. Even more unfortunately, I have no idea how Charles is related to my known family members. I am guessing he is related, since my great-grandmother was born Cornelia Elizabeth AKINS. Also, the middle name of Tilford only turns up one other time in my records, and that is for my great-uncle Spencer Tilford MIX, who was a son of Cornelia.

I've searched through the census records on but nothing jumps out at me as of yet, so for now, he remains a mystery.

One line from the obituary, that he was a member of "Auburn Aerie 96, F.O.E" does at least give me a little clue. That is the Fraternal Order of Eagles, which, according to its website, was organized in 14 Oct. 1907. Also, the obituary states he worked for the "Auburn IHC plant". The "IHC" stands for International Harvester Company. I found little on the internet about IHC in Auburn, but I did come across one mention of how hard it was on the town when the Auburn plant closed in 1948. If that's really the case, then that narrows down his death to be prior to 1948.

Obituary Text:

Charles T. Akikns
Auburn - Ill only a day, Charles Tilford Akins, 36, Cayuga RD 1, a worker at Auburn IHC plant, died Wednesday in Auburn City hospital. He was a member of Auburn Aerie 96, FOE. His wife, Mrs. Anna Guzalak Akins, four daughters, June Audrey, Mary, Betty and Shirley Akins and a son, Charles T. Akins, Jr., survive.

Obituary of Absalom B. Akins (1878 - 1957)

More clippings from my grandmother's obituary and newspaper clipping collection!

Today's is Absalom B. AKINS who is my half great-granduncle. The half is because it was his father that married my great-great-grandmother, so he was a half-brother to my great-grandmother. (I hope I have all those "halfs" and "greats" right - it's easy to lose track!!)

Absalom married Jessie INGLING (her obituary is here) and lived out in Nebraska for a while before returning to New York.

Here is a picture of "Uncle Abe" and Aunt Jessie (as stated on the back of the photo) taken while they lived in Nebraska:

The obituary has all identifying newspaper information trimmed off of it. The handwriting is not my grandmother's, I suspect it is her mothers as my grandmother appears to have several obituaries that belonged to her mother (Cornelia Elizabeth AKINS MIX SIMPSON).

Obituary Text:

Absalom B. Akins, 79, of Tioga Center, formerly of 518 Fulton St., Waverly, Sunday, Nov. 17, 1957. He formerly was employed by Waverly Water Department. Survived by wife, Mrs. Jessie Akins; sons, Lloyd of Waverly, George of Breesport; daughters, Mrs. Beulah DeWitt and Mrs. Cora Thrasher of Waverly, Mrs. Kathryn Gillette of Troy, Ill.; half-sister, Mrs. Cornelia Simpson of Valois; four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Body at Russell Funeral Home, Waverly. Calling hours: after 4 p. m. today. Funeral there Wednesday at 2 p. m., the Rev. Judd L. Hunter and the Rev. Edward Cuthbert. Forrest Home Cemetery, Waverly.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Obituary of Anna G. Domelle (1920 - 2010)

Yesterday my grandmother passed away. She made it to the ripe old age of 90 and passed peacefully, at home, in her sleep.

In the past weeks, several of my posts have been transcriptions and images of obituaries that were in my grandmother's possession. Now today, I do my genealogist duty, and sadly post hers. She has become part of the collection.

From the 13-Nov-2010 Harrisburg, PA newspaper, The Patriot News:

Anna G. Domelle MILLERSBURG - Anna G. Domelle, 90, passed away Friday at her home. She was pre-deceased by a son, Stephen, 1999. Surviving are her husband of 68 years, William, two daughters, Deborah Kleylein, Philadelphia and Rebecca Lucas, Lykens; 5 Grandchildren, 7 Great Grandchildren. Private services will be held at the convenience of the family. Dimon Funeral Homes, Inc., Tower City has charge of arrangements.

(Reading this drives home to me that you can't always take an obituary as gospel truth. In seeing this for my own close family, I realize the home towns listed are really just generalizations and there is a typo in one of the numbers - there are really 9 grandchildren, not 5. I will read obituaries in the future with better-educated eyes, knowing now that some distraught family member or close friend is trying to think of everyone's names and where they live, and the right number of kids.)

I wrote a blog post about my grandmother back in 2009, listing a few of my favorite memories. In the past few years, Alzheimer's took hold of her mind and that along with physical pain made it very hard for her. So most of all right now, I feel utter relief for her that she is no longer suffering. She's free from it all! My sadness now is reserved for those left behind - my grandpa, and my mom and aunt. It's their pain that breaks my heart.

My grandmother was born in the Finger Lakes region of New York. She was one of 10 children born to William Homer MIX and Cornelia AKINS MIX. She is the last of them to pass away, so all the Mix kids are gone now.

There was not a lot of money to go around when she was growing up, but she always spoke fondly of the region up there - she loved the hills and the landscape in that area. She used to tell me that she learned to not take sugar in her coffee because they didn't have sugar all the time - it was a luxury item. I grew up pouring most of the sugar bowl over my breakfast cereal every day, never thinking for an instant that there wasn't more to refill it.

She married my grandfather in 1942 - another era!! Just think how much everything has changed in the world since then!! And they stayed married all this time.

My grandparents had 3 children, my Uncle Steve, my mom, and my Aunt Becky. Sadly, my Uncle Steve passed away in 1999. I think that pain stayed with my grandma, fresh and unhealed, for all these years.

Here is one of my absolute favorite pictures of her - taken in on a sunny May day in 1947 with her newborn baby Stephen. Isn't she beautiful? :-)

She's 27 years old in this picture, but I swear she could be a teenager.

And here to the left is a picture of my grandma and grandpa with me - isn't it great how babies make grown men act silly?

My dad posted a great quote yesterday:

"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure." --Unknown

I will love my grandma always, I will miss her for the rest of my life, and I will keep her with me, in my heart and mind always. She was a wonderful person, and most of all to me, she was a wonderful grandmother. I'm grateful to have had her in my life, and she is part of who I am today.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What's My Name?

So I thought it would be interesting to find out the most commonly occurring names in my genealogical database! Yes! This is the kind of stuff I find interesting! LOL!!

So, from my exported .csv file, here's what I found out:

Most Occurring Male Name = JOHN

Yep, good old John.

And based on that, it might not be a surprise to find out that:

Most Occurring Female Name = MARY.

Not very exotic, I have to admit. :-)

And here is the top 5 for male and female:

1. John
2. William
3. Thomas
4. Samuel
5. James

1. Mary
2. Elizabeth
3. Sarah
4. Hannah
5. Margaret

Looking at those names, you might get an idea of where my lines come from on my mother's side (which is the tree I'm researching) - they are mostly solid old New England stock. I am sadly lacking in exotic-ness (although, I do have one woman whose first name is "Dangereuse" - so come on, that is so outstandingly awesome it almost makes up for everything else).

I have 8,044 people in my mom's family tree, and based on the numbers, there is a 30.5% chance that (if you are in my tree), your first name is one of the names listed above.