Thursday, December 29, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - Elgin Pocket Watch

For Treasure Chest Thursday I've got my great-grandfather's pocket watch:

It belonged to my maternal great-grandfather, William DOMELLE, b. 1882, d. 1943.

It came into my possession when I offered to have it cleaned for my grandfather. When I brought it back to him, he told me I could keep it. When wound, the watch keeps time quite well, but not for long. The ticking is somewhat soothing in this age of digital clocks. :-)

The manufacturer on the face of the watch is "Elgin". When I looked this up I found that there was an Elgin National Watch Company that produced mid-range pocket watches from 1874 to the early 1960s. Prior to that, they were named the National Watch Company. This watch company was based just north of Chicago. It just so happens that my great-grandfather spent a few years living in Chicago before he moved just south to the north-west corner of Indiana. I know for sure my great-grandfather was in Chicago between 1911 and 1913. By 1915 he was in Indiana. Any time in there could be when he bought this watch.

I did an image search online to see if I could find this exact watch, and I found many that had the same face, but different case, or similar case, but different winding mechanism at the top. Apparently, if I have the watch taken apart and the serial number on the movement noted down, I can then pinpoint when it was manufactured, so that will have to be on my list of things to do!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Let's Start Again

It's been a while now since I've been able to "properly" do some genealogy. What I mean by properly is my internal definition I guess. When I think about that definition though, I really don't have an answer - all I know is it ISN'T what I've been doing for the past year or so!!

I have had some things other than genealogy to focus on this past year, a few health things (fortunately minor) but still major time-suckers; not to mention all these other things that I've been finding more important than genealogy research this past year:

1. Celebrity Gossip
Go ahead, ask me anything. It's so pathetic. But I can visually tell the difference between Demi Lovato and Vanessa Hudgens. Can you? I didn't think so. Also I know which college the girl from iCarly is going to. And I also know what Kim Kardashian did with the wedding gifts that she didn't return and I really really hate knowing anything about that girl.

2. Little Known Movie Facts
I'm totally addicted to going to after every movie I happen across and reading the little Trivia section. Then I annoyingly spout them of to people I'm with who are just trying to enjoy watching a movie.

3. Secret Web-Based Hypochondriacal Searches
I totally made up that variation on the word but anyway, yes, I get some sort of symptom, like for instance, an eye twitch, and then I look up everything that exists on the web about eye twitches and diagnose myself with some brain infection due to a bite from a Tanzanian parasite. Then I lose interest because my symptom goes away. Usually while I'm in the middle of searching it.

4. DVR-ing Stuff
It's really the worst thing I ever brought into my house because all it's done is give me more ways to create OCD rules in my life. Now I have these rules about how full I allow the DVR to get, and then when creating room on the DVR, which shows do I watch first first? Do I use the FIFO or LIFO method? Do I watch the HD ones first since they take up more room? Do I watch the one's I'm least excited about watching before or after the one's I'm most excited about watching? All this just reminds me that I really don't care that much about watching the shows, it's all about how I maintain DVR disc space. Clearly, this thing needs to go!!!

5. Memes
For some reason I adore wasting time looking at what other people have created for internet memes. How much more can I see on the subjects of cats, the way people dress, FAILs, cute baby animals and Graphs?? In the words of Bobby Boucher's momma, The Cheezburger Network is the Devil!

So that leads me to what to do. I've been away from my research for so long, and now I have several days home from work, I have no idea whatsoever where to start, it's been that long.

I figure the best thing to do is to start from the beginning. So I'll start with me. I'll review what information I've included on me (like addresses) and then slowly start working my way back, reviewing my information along the way.

Have any of you had to start fresh like this? And if so, how did you handle it?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - 14 December 2011

Today's Wordless Wednesday is inspired by last weeks posting - After posting last weeks Wordless Wednesday, I found out that it was actually a 50th wedding anniversary party for my paternal great-grandparents, Roman and Wanda (Pokornoski) Pawlak.

Here is another picture that appears to be from the same day, taken on their farm in Minnesota in 1956.

Roman and Wanda are here in this picture, along with all their children, which was a special treat because my grandmother lived in Florida! Left to right, my grandmother Sophia, Delphine, Roman, Wanda, Richard and Edwin. What a nice picture!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - 07 December 2011

Okay, not completely wordless this Wednesday!!

These are my paternal great-great-grandparents, Roman and Wanda (Pokornoski) Pawlak at their farm in Minnesota in July 1956. I wish I could have seen it!

I studied the feast laid out and I can come up with the following:

Mashed potatoes (?)
A stack of white bread (seems to have been a staple on every table in the 50s!!)
Cold cuts on a plate
Green olives
Coffee cups, creamer, sugar

I'm not sure what they are holding - some sort of bread? Any guesses?

Obviously this was a big family dinner judging by all the mis-matched chairs. I'm sure a good time was had by all!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Comfort is Relative

Comfortable, empty cat bed #1

Comfortable, empty cat bed #2

Comfortable, empty cat bed #3

And she decides to sleep on a paper bag.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - 09 November 2011

It's my great grandmother's house (Cornelia Elizabeth AKINS MIX SIMPSON). Taken on a cold winter's day in Valois, NY, probably some time in the 1950s based on the photograph type.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dinner at Victoria & Albert's

This is a posting for all those foodies out there!

I will admit, I love a meal at a very good restaurant - I love the unusual food combinations, the ingredients I'd never think to put together, the presentation, the service, all of it. Some people complain that the portions are too small at high-end restaurants, but I love it because I get to try more things!!

A few weeks ago I got to take a family trip to Walt Disney World, and they have a restaurant there in the Grand Floridian Hotel called Victoria and Albert's. We've actually been there several times, it is an excellent restaurant you wouldn't expect at a family-oriented resort and yes, it's expensive, but worth the special trip when you are at Disney if you are a foodie of any sort. They only have 2 seatings a night because the dinners are several courses, and they offer wine pairings if you like with each course. There is also a chef's table in the kitchen which offers a tasting menu which we've done in the past. All of it is AWESOME!

New for our visit though, was the Queen Victoria's Room, which is a separate room within the restaurant, behind closed doors, that only contains 4 tables and provides French gueridon service. That means table-side finishings for courses by highly trained waiters. So naturally I said, WANT!!! And signed us up for a reservation!

This is a picture from the website of the Queen Victoria room at the restaurant. The two tables you see there were pushed together for our reservation. That little side table next to the tables is where the waiters do the finishing touches for the French gueridon service. We had a lovely couple serving us - they were married and foodies themselves - they told us they plan their vacations around what kinds of meals they can get! We knew at that point we were in good hands for the evening. And yes, it was all evening - our reservation was for 5:30pm and we didn't stumble out of there until after 10pm that night.

That night I took pictures of every course, so here goes - a picture with the description of what it is (and you can double-click the pic to see a larger view)!

(starting bottom left and going clock-wise)

Soft-poached Quail Egg with Galilee Caviar
Ahi Tuna with Pickeled Ginger
Jamón-wrapped Shrimp with Athena Melon
Butternut Squash Soup

Paired with Pommery Royal Brut NV

(Yeah, uh, sorry about the picture, I accidentally ate it first....)

Heirloom Tomatoes, Octopus, Iberico Ham Croutons, and Burrata Cheese with Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

Paired with Michel Redde Sancerre "Les Tuileries", Loire 2009

Although it's not a course, I thought I should mention they brought out 3 different breads throughout the evening, each paired with a specially made flavored butter. Wow!

Cold “Smoked” Niman Ranch Lamb with Fuji Apple and Curry Dressing

Paired with Grans-Fassian Piesporter Kabinett Riesling 2007

I should mention, the "steam" you see in the picture was dry ice under the top dish.

This lamb paired with this wine was by FAR my favorite of the evening. These flavors together were stunning!!

Alaskan King Salmon Cooked Tableside on a Heated Himalayan Salt Rock

Paired with Kanbara “Bride of the Fox” Gohyakumangoku Junmai Ginjo, Nigata

I learned here the difference between "real" wasabi and what we get normally. Wow - the real stuff is delicate and wonderful!!!

Roasted Quail with Asian Pears and Serrano Ham Jus

Paired with Ceretto Rossana Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont 2006

Roasted Veal Tenderloin with Tomato Jam and Garlic Caramel

Paired with Domaine Font de Michelle Châteauneuf du Pape 2007

Australian Kobe-style Beef with Garlic-Potato Purée

Paired with: Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2007

Selection of Cheese from the Spaulted Maple Tray

Paired with Quinta do Crasto Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2005

All were fantastic, the goat Gouda was especially wonderful!! At the time, being on my 8th glass of alchohol, I uttered these timeless words: "Goat Gouda good!!"

Thankfully, at this point they made some coffee, both regular and decaf, in these wonderful contraptions.

Orange Panna Cotta with Chartreuse-Pineapple Sorbet

Mocha-scented Tanzanie Chocolate Mousse Timbale and Chocolate Cocktail

That's a "spun sugar" bow encircling it.

And finally, some gourmet chocolates which they kindly boxed up for us since at this point we were perilously close to the Monty Python sketch about the diner who eats a disgustingly huge meal, but then actually explodes after the waiter convinces him to finish it off with a "wafer-thin mint".

And since we had some birthdays, they also gave us a little date-nut bread as a treat as well to take home!

One of the best things about the night was drinking a different wine/alcohol pairing with each course and knowing that all we had to do was stumble back to our rooms in the same hotel! Yay for that!!!!

Every bite was delicious, I'd do it again in a second!!

Overall, I'd have to say it's one of the most wonderful dining experiences I've had!! What really makes a place like this though is the service and they do a great job of that at Victoria and Albert's. I will go again in a second the next time I have a Disney trip!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Clapping Games I Used to Play

Way back in the 20th century when I was in elementary school at good old Burnside Elementary in Norristown, PA, me and my friends would play clapping games. I remember several of them, it's hard to forget like lyrics to a song, if you start doing it, it just comes back! I thought I'd take the time to document the variants that we used at Burnside. Some of them are well-known enough that they have their own pages on Wikipedia! Some not so much, I found variants on people's personal pages or on list forums, but no official documentation.

I remember the clapping games the best, I know we used sing-song stuff for playing jumprope, London Bridge, and some sort of game using long bamboo-like sticks where we'd be kneeling with a girl at each end, holding a stick in each hand and we'd bang them on the ground and together in rhythm to whatever our song was.

Anyway, here's what I remember below. I apologize ahead of time, a couple lyrics here and there aren't that nice, but I'm being true to my memory of what we used. At the time, I was utterly clueless as to what I was saying!!

For those of you that might research folk songs and clapping games, these variations of the songs were sung in the late 1970s at Burnside Elementary, Norristown, Montgomery County, PA. The school has since been torn down, a shame, it was a beautiful red brick building. Anyway, here's the one's I remember!

Miss Mary Mack

Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back.

She asked her mother, mother, mother
For fifteen cents, cents, cents
To see the animals, animals, animals
Jump over the fence, fence, fence.

They jumped so high, high, high
Right into the sky, sky, sky
They never came back, back, back
Poor Mary Mack Mack Mack!

Miss Susie

Miss Susie had a steamboat
The steamboat had a bell
Miss Susie went to heaven
The steamboat went to...

Hello Operator
Give me number nine
And if you disconnect me
I'll spank your...

Behind the 'frigerator
There was a piece of glass
Miss Susie sat upon it
And broke her little...

Ask me no more questions
And tell me no more lies
The boys are in the locker
Pulling down their...

Flies are in the meadow
Bees are in the park
Miss Susie's in the driveway,
Kissing in the

See See My Playmate

See, See my playmate
Come out and play with me
And bring your dollies three
Climb up my apple tree
Slide down my rainbow slide
Into my cellar door
And we'll be jolly friends
forever more - more - more!

See See My Enemy

See, See my enemy
Come out and fight with me
And bring your enemies three
Climb up my poison tree
Slide down my spider slide
Into my dungeon door
And we'll be jolly enemies
forever more - more - more!

Winston Tastes Good

Winston tastes good
Like a cigarette should
Winston tastes good
Like an ooh aih
Have a piece of pie
Pie too sweet
Have a piece of meat
Meat too tough
Ride on a bus
Bus too full
Ride on a bull
Bull too black
Want your money back
Money too green
Eat a jellybean
Bean too red
Climb in bed
Bed too hard
You're a retard
Now count to 10
And if you miss
You try again

I'm not sure what this next one is called, it seems to be a variation of a clapping game called "Rockin Robin" but our words were definitely different than the standard variety out there when I searched on the internet. And yes, looking at this now, I CANNOT BELIEVE we were running around singing this during recess!!! Obviously this is one my Mom did not want to hear me singing:

Swing swing swing
To the limbo tree, hey hey!
Rockin' and a-rollin'
All night long
Huffin' and a-puffin'
A a-singin' that song
All the little girlies
On Happy Days
Love to see the Fonzie
Goin' Hey Hey Hey
Rockin' robin tweet tweet tweet
Rockin' robin tweet tweet tweet
Momma's in the kitchen cooking rice
Daddy's in the elevator shootin' the dice
Brother's in jail
Raisin' hail
Sister's on the corner
Sellin' fruit - cock - tail
Rockin' robin tweet tweet tweet
Rockin' robin tweet tweet tweet
Momma's on the top
Daddy's down below
Baby's in the middle
Sayin' Get it Pop
Get it Pop
Get it get it get it get it get it Pop!

OMG, can you believe it! If I heard my 4th grader singing that I'd freak! lol!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cinderella's Castle and Genetics

Right! So, the other week I got back from a wonderful vacation at Walt Disney World. I was preparing a fun little post of pictures of Cinderella's Castle comparing the castle from 2011 to the slides my Dad has scanned from the 1970s.

As I was going through everything, I came across this scan of a slide from 01-Sept-1972:

I went to my pictures from the other week, and found this one from 02-Oct-2011:

Nobody can tell me I'm not related to my Dad!!! :-) These pics were taken 39 years, 1 month and 1 day apart (that's 14,266 days total). They do a pretty good job of maintaining the castle down there, don't they? Although it does seem they use a lighter color for the "mortar" in between the stones nowadays...

Another little fun comparison photo I came across while doing this was a picture of the carousel and my sister and my 3 year old niece on it:

And here's me and my Mom! The horses don't look a day older, it's really amazing how things are maintained:

If only I'd thought to look at these slides before the trip so we could try to get the same horse! Oh well...that will have to be next time! :-)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Some Johnsons of Tompkins County NY

This is it, the last two newspaper clippings of obituaries that are in my grandmother's collection! I'm amazed I've actually completed a task - I promise I won't let it go to my head.

The clippings have been trimmed of all identifying information and one of them is maddeningly vague about the person on top of that. To my knowledge, these two people are not family members, so must have been friends or neighbors.

I suspect that they must have been related to each other in some way, but I have no proof for that yet. Both seemed to have lived, or at least were buried in the south-eastern corner of Tompkins County, NY.

First we have a gentleman named Royal C. JOHNSON. Annoyingly, there were apparently multiple JOHNSON men with the first name of Royal during this time period (who knew???), but I was able to find my guy in several federal census records, and I also found his World War I Draft Registration Card. So I know for a fact that this Royal was actually Royal Casey JOHNSON.

In the 1900, 1910 and 1920 Federal Census records he was living in Caroline, Tompkins County, NY with the family members named in the obituary. I can't be sure of his parents because that information would have been in the 1890 census. In 1930, the records show him and his wife living in Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY. All these years he was working in a lumber mill, first as a sawyer, eventually by 1930 he was the foreman.

Now, my next JOHNSON is much more mysterious. This is a really frustrating obituary - no year, no gender, no mention of family members. At first, I assumed it was a woman based on the name. Turns out though as I did searches online, Benonia can be a man's name, and is often interchangeable with "Benona". You learn something every day!

I was unable to locate this person for sure in the records I searched (admittedly, it was only an online search in ancestry, rootsweb and find a grave). The person they were living with when they died (William J. Van De Mark) has a name common enough that I wasn't comfortable making a choice.

Oh well!! I will come back to this one day and we'll see what turns up then!

Obituary Text:

Royal C. Johnson
Royal C. Johnson, 63, of the Danby Rd. died Sunday, Apr. 21, 1946, at his home.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Pearl T. Johnson; 2 sons, Howard Johnson of Las Vegas, Nev., and Lloyd Johnson of Elkhart, Ind.,; 2 daughters, Mrs. Ethel Yonkin of Ithaca RD 3 and Mrs. Thelma Jones of Ithaca; 4 sisters, Mrs. James Gleason of Ithaca RD 2, Mrs. Daniel Flynn of Ithaca, and Mrs. Charles Quick and Mrs. Edward Fitzpatrick of Detroit, Mich.; 3 brothers, Harry Johnson and William H. Johnson of Ithaca and James Johnson of the Town of Caroline; 6 grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held in the First Methodist Church at 2:30 p. m. Wednesday. The Rev. Henry G. Budd, minister, will officiate. Burial will be in Lake View Cemetery.

Friends may call at the Wagner Funeral Home, 421 N. Aurora St., at their convenience.

Benonia B. Johnson
The funeral of Benonia B. Johnson, 78, who died Friday, March 28, at the home of William J. Van de Mark in Brooktondale, was held at 2 o'clock Monday afternoon, March 31, at the Baptist Church in Brooktondale. Rev. C. I. Swayze officiated. Interment was in West Slaterville Cemetery.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Card of Thanks for Amanda Chesley Simpson (1874 - 1961)

In my grandmother's collection of newspaper obituaries there were a couple of these "Card of Thanks" that the family of the deceased would publish after the funeral thanking everyone for their sympathy. The other one I have was for my Great-Step-Grandfather (and alleged half 1st cousin 3 times removed), Leon SIMPSON. This one below is for my alleged half 2nd Great-Grand-Aunt, Amanda CHESLEY SIMPSON (Leon's mother).

Why all the alleged stuff? Well, there is a family story that Amanda's dad (Alonzo CHESLEY) slept with the younger sister of his wife and that girl had a baby girl (my ancestor). Tough for me to prove at this late date, hence the alleges that abound.

My grandmother and great-grandmother in their many lists referred to Amanda as "Aunt Bird".

I don't have an obituary for Aunt Bird unfortunately, just this Card of Thanks that doesn't even state her name, just refers to her as "Our Mother".

The handwriting on the clipping is my grandmother's.

Frances SIMPSON LEONARD was Amanda's eldest daughter.

Lena SIMPSON WHITNEY was Amanda's youngest daughter (and also the twin of the Leon mentioned above).

Mrs. Leon SIMPSON is my great-grandmother Cornelia AKINS MIX SIMPSON. Leon had already passed away one year earlier.

Jabez and Grover CHESLEY are Amanda's younger brothers. There were 12(!) CHESLEY siblings; after Amanda passed away, only Jabez and Grover were still alive.

Card of Thanks Text:


Obituary of Barbara Jean Mix (1958 - 1960)

I'm closing in on posting the last couple newspaper clippings of obituaries that were in my grandmother's possession.

This one is for my Great-Uncle John's daughter Barbara Jean MIX. Sadly, she died as a very young child.

Interestingly though, the article about her death refers to her as "Waneta Mix". I was pretty puzzled by this since it's not a given name I recognized, nor is it some sort of unusual family name.

But then I remembered 2 things:

1. John's older brother Leslie has a daughter named "Juanita".

2. Journalists cannot be trusted to have good spelling, especially when it comes to people's names. I'm not being insulting to journalists, I'm just stating my experience in transcribing all these obituaries these past months!

So I sounded out "Juanita", and the way it sounds, I kind of get "wah-nee-ta", OR, "Waneta" as the story below states.

Now I'm left with 2 additional thoughts:

1a. My Great-Uncle John called his daughter Juanita as a nickname after his niece.

2a. The journalist screwing up combined with distraught family members resulted in a messed up name in the article.

It's a puzzlement!

Birth Notice, Obituary and Article Text:

A daughter, Sept. 30, 1958 to John and Pauline Mix, Montour Falls.

Barbara Jean Mix, 2, of Montour Falls, Saturday, Dec. 3, 1960. Survived by parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Mix, maternal grandmother, Mrs. Mildred Bush of Montour Falls; paternal grandmother, Mrs. Cornelia Simpson of Valois; paternal great-grandmother, Mrs. Hattie Allen of Valois. Body at Vedder & Scott Funeral Home, Montour Falls. Calling hours: tonight 7 to 9 p. m.; Monday 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p. m. Funeral there Tuesday at 2 p. m., the Rev. Leo W. Dyson. Union Cemetery, Burdett.

Girl Dies on Way to Hospital; Road Hog Delays Ambulance
WATKINS GLEN - Waneta Mix, 2-year-old daughter of Jack and Pauline Mix of N. Franklin St., died en route to the Schuyler Hospital at Montour Falls Saturday at 10:30 a. m.

The child, who was dead on arrival at the hospital, apparently had suffocated.

Irate firemen manning the Glen Fire Department's ambulance complained that a bus loaded with migrant workers would not yield the right of way on the Montour Falls road.

Glen police endeavored to locate the bus driver by assistance from Chemung County authorities. The bus was not halted until it reached Troy, Pa., and as the vehicle had crossed the state lines, the driver could not be returned to Watkins Glen to face the traffic violation.

Jack Irish, assistant fire chief, made the complaint to Glen police. Lloyd Robinson was the ambulance driver. Others aboard were: Medio Simiele, Robert Spencer and Theodore Speechio.

The parents of the girl took the ailing child to police headquarters and the ambulance was immediately dispatched. Mr. and Mrs. Mix reside near the fire station.

Dr. William Tague, as coroner's physician, is expected to file a certificate of death due to natural causes.

Some Simpsons of Schuyler County NY

Well, I'm coming close to the end scanning and posting the newspaper clippings of obituaries that were in my grandmother's possession. Some have been quite a mystery so hopefully with them out on the interwebs some person will come across them and find information they didn't have before.

Today though, I'm posting on some people I do know about, well, one in particular.

So my great-grandmother was always known to me as "Grandma Simpson". She was married to a Leon SIMPSON, but he was her second husband and they did not have children, all her (many) kids were with her first husband, William MIX. He and my grandmother Cornelia divorced in 1935. Their 10 (yes, 10!) kids stayed with him and other relatives while Cornelia moved to Ohio to establish residency in order to get the divorce.

She came back to New York but the kids were kind of scattered around and the story goes that the state came in and said unless she provided a good stable home for them the kids would be taken into custody by the state.

So the story goes that Cornelia and Leon decided to marry. The twist is that Leon and Cornelia were (allegedly) half first cousins.

They were related because Leon's father, Augustus SIMPSON, was married to Cornelia's alleged half-Aunt, Amanda CHESLEY (referred to by my grandmother and great-grandmother as "Aunt Bird").

Okay, so stay with me Aunt Bird's dad, Alonzo CHESLEY, allegedly slept with his wife's younger sister Laura (my great-great-grandmother).

So if that is the case (and right now there is no reason to dis-believe a disappointing family legend like this), that would mean Aunt Bird was half-sister to Cornelia's Mom. So any kid of Aunt Bird's would be related to a kid of Cornelia's Mom.


Secretly though, this is why I love genealogy. It reminds me of how messy and human we all are.

ANYHOO, so for whatever reason, Leon and Cornelia married. I don't know for sure if they were related in any way, but hey, it was the Great Depression and Cornelia needed to make a home for her kids and probably people have gotten married for worse reasons than that.

My grandmother always remembered her Step-Dad fondly, saying he was a nice man. My grandmother had just turned 15 when they married.

So below are the obituaries for Leon, obviously cut out and saved by his widow Cornelia. Also below is the Card of Thanks published by the family after the funeral. Click image to view larger.

Leon's father Augustus's obituary is here:

And finally, here is the obituary for Leon's Uncle Irwin (Augustus's brother):

Sadly, it looks like the 3 of them all died between 1957 and 1960. Also, according to the obituaries, all 3 are buried in Union Cemetery in Burdett, Schuyler County, NY. However, when I go to rootsweb, interments for this cemetery do not list Leon, but do list Augustus and Irwin (and lots of other SIMPSONS)

Maybe there is no headstone for Leon? Maybe he didn't actually get buried there? That will have to be an investigation for another day!!

Obituary Text:

Hector Man, Stricken at Work, Dies

HECTOR - Leon Simpson, 64, of Hector died early Friday morning after becoming ill at his work with the Schuyler County Highway Department. Simpson, a road maintainer with the department for seven years, reported to work as usual but soon complained of chest pains.

He declined to be taken to a doctor or hospital and was taken home by a fellow employee, Joe Barber, who remained with him. Noting that Simpson appeared worse, Barber notified officials at the highway department who dispatched an ambulance and doctor.

(Note - numerous spelling errors in transcription below match original newspaper obituary.)
Leon A. Simpson, 63, of Valois, Friday, April 15, 1960. He was an employe of Schuyler County Highway Dept. Survived by wife, Mrs. Cornelia A. Simpson; step-daughters, Mazie Patrick of Sodus Point, Dazie DeMarco of Ithaca. Ann Donnley of Educador, South America; stepsons, Floyd Mix of Newark Valley, Laurence Mix of Alpine, William Mix of Ithaca, Leslie and John Mix of Montour Falls, Donald Mix of Trumansburg; mother, Mrs. Armanda Simpson of Burdett; sisters, Mrs. Frances Leonard of Willard, Mrs. Weir Whitney of Burdett; 24 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren. Body at Arnold Funeral Home, Burdett. Calling hours: Sunday 2 to 4 and and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral there Monday at 2 p. m., the Rev. Fred VanZee. Union Cemetery, Burdett.

Leon A. Simpson of Valois. Body at Arnold Funeral Home, Burdett. Calling hours: today 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p. m. Funeral there Monday at 2 p. m., the Rev. Fred VanZee. Union Cemetery, Burdett.

Augustus Simpson, 88, of Burdette RD, today, May 18, 1957. Survived by wife, Mrs. Amanda B. Simpson; son, Leon of Valois; daughters, Mrs. Frances Leonard and Mrs. Weir Whitney of Burdett RD; brothers, Herbert and Irving of Burdett; 6 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Body at Arnold Funeral Home, Burdett, where friends may call Sunday 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p. m. Funeral there Monday at 2:30 p. m., the Rev. William H. Thomas. Union Cemetery, Burdett.

Irwin Simpson, 80, of Bennettsburg, N. Y., Thursday, Feb. 11, 1960. Survived by wife, Mrs. Lillian S. Simpson; daughter, Mrs. Nye Chapman of Cayutaville, N. Y.; brother, Herbert of Valois; two grandsons. Body at Arnold Funeral Home, Burdett. Calling hours: Friday 7 to 9 p. m. Funeral there Saturday at 2:30 p. m., the Rev. Willis Hopkins. Union Cemetery, Burdett.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Obituary of Eva B. Presher (abt. 1897 - 1942)

This obituary is one of the newspaper clippings that was in my grandmother's possession. All identifying information about the newspaper has been trimmed away. Unfortunately, I don't know for sure why this person was in the collection. Many of the clippings she inherited from her mother so it's most likely this person was a friend of the family in some way.

Here is the clipping:

One clue for me is the mention of the town of Waverly. Many of my great-grandmother's half-siblings lived in Waverly, Tioga County, NY (the AKINS family) so it is likely that the connection is through that family line. I am guessing friends or neighbors.

When I searched on I did find someone had posted a family tree that included Eva (and yes, I will contact them to give them a copy of this obituary!) - their family tree lists the same exact death date as this obituary so I'm very confidant it's the same person.

I also quickly found Eva in the 1920 Federal Census in Barton, Tioga County, NY, living with her husband Floyd, and 2 young sons, James and Leon. All these names match the obituary.

If only all my own family line obituaries matched up so nicely like this! :-)

Obituary Text:

Mrs. Eva B. Presher, 45, of Waverly RD 1 died Monday night, Aug. 17, 1942 at Tioga Co. General Hospital. Survivors: Husband, Floyd Presher; daughters, Anna May and Alva, at home, sons, James of Sayre, Leon and Gordon of Waverly, Robert, Floyd Jr. and Wilson, at home; sister, Mrs. Harold Barh of Rochester. Funeral Thursday, 2 p. m. at Kolb Funeral Home, Waverly. The Rev. Delbert Lindsey and the Rev. Judd L. Hunter. Lockwood Cemetery.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Obituary of Helen A. Medlock (abt. 1881 - 1960)

This obituary is one of the newspaper clippings that was in my grandmother's possession. All identifying information about the newspaper has been trimmed away. Unfortunately, I have NO idea why this person was in the collection. Many of the clippings she inherited from her mother so it's most likely this person was a friend of the family in some way.

I found Helen and her husband Harry in the 1930 Federal Census. They were living on North Aurora St. in Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY. They were sharing a house with 2 other couples, one of which was their daughter and her husband (Helena and Kent FREER).

Helena was 49, didn't work outside the home, and it also lists her father as being from New Jersey, whereas she and her Mom are listed as being from New York.

In the 1920 Federal Census, Helen and Harry were still on Aurora St., along with their 14 year old daughter.

In the 1910 Federal Census, the three of them are there still in Ithaca, but I can't tell the street name because the scan is not good on They are listed as being married for 5 years so I would need to know her maiden name to search in the 1900 census, but OH, guess what, the obituary neglects to mention that information. Grrr!

No outright clues as to why my great-grandmother saved this obituary, but it's likely they were friends or neighbors since Helen spent what looks like nearly her entire life in or near Tompkins County, NY.

Obituary Text:

Mrs. Helen A. Medlock

Mrs. Helen A. Medlock, 79, of 20 Abbott St., Binghamton, died Tuesday evening, June 21, 1960, in Wilson Memorial Hospital, Johnson City.

Mrs. Medlock was born in Tompkins County. She was a member of the Tabernacle Baptist Church of Ithaca.

Surviving are her husband, Harry T. Medlock of Binghamton; a daughter, Mrs. Helena Freer of Binghamton; three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; two sisters, Mrs. Ida Brewster of Johnson City and Mrs. Flora Huguine of Groton; several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the J. F. Rice Funeral Home in Johnson City. The Rev. Paul Griffis of the Baptist Bible School Park faculty in Johnson City will officiate. Burial will be in Trumansburg.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - 17 August 2011

Not completely wordless this week....

This is my lovely great-Aunt Mary Ann DOMELLE, who passed away in 2003. She was the only girl with 3 brothers. I like to imagine because of that she could throw a punch and mean it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Obituary of Frederick B. English (abt. 1884 - 1958)

This obituary is one of the newspaper clippings that was in my grandmother's possession. All identifying information about the newspaper has been trimmed away. Unfortunately, I have NO idea why this person was in the collection. Many of the clippings she inherited from her mother so it's most likely this person was a friend of the family in some way.

I tried to narrow down a search on ancestry but wasn't able to due to multiple occurrences of the name. Maybe the 1940 census will have them. If I figure it out, I'll do an updated post!

Obituary Text:

Frederick B. English

Frederick Bates English, 74, of 624 Coddington Rd., died at his home early today, June 3, 1958, after a long illness.

A former foreman in the Department of Public Works, City of Ithaca, he was a member of the Caroline Valley Federated Church of Brooktondale.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Grace Snyder English; 2 daughters, Mrs. Almus Van de Bogart of Danby and Mrs. Leon Robinson at home; 3 sons, Carl of Brooktondale, Rodney of Ithaca and Arlo English of the Slaterville Rd.; 10 grandchildren and a sister, Mrs. Emma Wheeler of Brooktondale.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Caroline Valley Federated Church with the Rev. Dwight Burkham officiating.

Burial will be in South Hill Cemetery.

Friends may call at the Wagner Funeral Home, 421 N. Aurora St., Wednesday evening.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

KLEYLEIN Immigration Trail

Time for another immigration trail! Last time it was DOMELLE, today it will be KLEYLEIN. I am nothing if not blessed with unusual surnames. When I was growing up I used to wish my name was nice and simple, like "Lisa Smith". Of course, silly me, once I started doing genealogy all of a sudden I appreciated the fact that I had these ridiculously rare names to search on!

Anyhoo! Here is the Immigration Trail of my direct line of KLEYLEIN ancestors going as far back as I know, and ending with the birthplace and childhood home of my grandfather, Leon:

Unterrodach, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany-->(via port of Bremen, Germany and port of Baltimore, MD)-->Baltimore, Maryland

Yep, that's it! Two places. I can see that my urge to constantly move doesn't come from this particular line!

Couple notes here:

1. Bremen is the same port that my DOMELLE ancestor departed from, but there was a 22 year space in between. My great-grandfather sailed on the Donau.

2. What you can't tell from the immigration trail itself is that we have records going back to the late 1700s showing KLEYLEINs living in the town of Unterrodach in Germany. It fact the tiny town was actually teeming with them to the point that people starting slapping additional descriptors onto their last names. We were the KLEYLEIN-WELTDICKER. Just bask in the wonderfulness of that name for a second! I just may change my name to add the descriptor...

So anyway my great-grandfather Peter KLEYLEIN, at age 16, the youngest of 8 siblings, left his hometown to journey to Baltimore Maryland in 1889. His older brother John had already lived in Baltimore for a few years.

Unterrodach was a logging town. This picture from google earth shows large swaths of forest that still exist in the region, thank goodness:

And so ends my immigration trail for today. I promise future one's will have more than 2 places (I have lots of old-timey New Englanders to work on next).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My "Heritage Pie" Chart - SNGF

I loved Randy's idea this week for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Below is a list of my 16 great-great-grandparents and where they were born.  Below that is the actual pie chart showing the birthplaces and how they are weighted.

One of my lines is a little iffy, so I just had to make an assumption of place of birth for this exercise.  Also,  2 of my lines had people born in places that have since changed around since WWI and WWII.  For instance, my DOMELLE line was born in Hungary, but exactly where is not Hungary now, it's now in modern Romania.

My 16 great-great-grandparents are:

1.  Adam Domelle, born Bet. 1850 - 1860 in Austria Hungary.  He died in Austria Hungary.  He married Christine Rizer.
2.  Christine Rizer, born Bet. 1850 - 1860 in Austria Hungary.  She died in Austria Hungary.

3.  Unknown Obendorfer, born in Austria.  He died in Austria.  He married Unknown.
4.  Unknown, born in Austria.  She died in Austria.

5.  John Mix, born 09 Mar 1830 in Tioga County, NY; died 1906 in New York.  He married Mary Ellen Weaver Aft. 1854.
6.  Mary Ellen Weaver, born 19 Feb 1839 in Cooperstown, Otsego, NY; died 13 Jan 1925 in Ithaca, Tompkins, NY.

7.  John Francis Akins, born 13 Mar 1841 in Tioga County, NY or PA; died 13 Feb 1890.  He married Hattie Elizabeth Kirby 17 Apr 1885.
8.  Hattie Elizabeth Kirby, born 19 Mar 1866 in Bennettsburg, Schuyler, NY; died 04 Jun 1963 in Schuyler Hospital, Montour Falls, Schuyler, NY.

9.  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 07 Mar 1858 in Unterrodach, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany.
10.  Katharina Schaller, born 24 Aug 1833 in Unterrodach, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany; died 15 May 1919 in Unterrodach, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany.

11.  John Pawlak, born 24 Jun 1850 in Posen, Poland; died 20 Apr 1911 in Hale Township, McLeod Co., Minnesota.   He married Branislawa Lewandowski 30 Jan 1876 in St. Adalbert, Chicago, Cook Co., Illinois.
12.  Branislawa Lewandowski, born 30 Sep 1856 in Posen, Poland; died 13 Mar 1910 in Hale Township, McLeod Co., Minnesota.

13.  John Pokornowski, born 21 Dec 1856 in Starawies, Gniezno, Poland; died 21 Jan 1939 in Geneseo, Sargent Co., North Dakota.  He married Pelagia Kautz 25 May 1881 in St. Adalbert, Silver Lake, McLeod Co., Minnesota.
14.  Pelagia Kautz, born 11 Mar 1864 in Posen, Poland; died 15 Jan 1964 in Breckenridge, Wilkin Co., Minnesota.

15.  Nimrod Harrison, Jr., born 19 Apr 1839 in Mt. Airy, Carroll Co., MD; died 1919 in Taylorsville, Carroll Co., MD.  He married Sarah C. Watkins 28 Nov 1860 in Frederick Co., MD.
16.  Sarah C. Watkins, born 22 Aug 1845 in MD; died 1931 in Taylorsville, Carroll Co., MD. 

The birthplaces of my great-great-grandparents are:

Pre-WWII Hungary
Pre-WWII Austria
NY (4)
Germany (2)
Poland (4)
Maryland (2)

And finally, here is the actual Heritage Pie chart I came up with, thanks to the great NCES website: