Due to the Blogger debacle this week, I was not able to post my Friday Findings in a timely manner. Here's a rundown of my research results for the week of July 26 - August 1, 2008:
More on Many Marriages
While entering the marriage records of my husband's granduncle, Lee Joseph "Mick" MARTIN, I realized that the witnesses for his third marriage, to Martha Isabell (JONES) DVORAK, were his daughter from his first marriage and her husband. Hmm... It made me wonder if his first wife had died by then (I'm not sure how their marriage ended; by divorce or by her death?). I couldn't find any death information for her, but I did find Isabell, as she was called, on the SSDI.
Swedish Parish Records
Also following up on last week's findings, I went to my local Family History Center to use their free subscription to GenLine, the Swedish parish records database, to find and verify my great-great-grandmother's birth (Ida Charlotte (GUSTAVSON) HOLST). I had never used it before, so it took some time. Fortunately, it has a nice tutorial, available both in English and Swedish. It is necessary to know the name of the parish to do a search. The records appear in digital image format, not unlike looking at a roll of microfilm. They are not indexed by name in any way, so it takes some searching. All I had for Ida's birthplace was Hamnada, Sweden. I had no idea where this location was, and used both Wikipedia and the FamilySearch Library Catalog to find it, without any success. I had a feeling I was spelling it incorrectly. I then did a Google search and found a mention in someone's online family tree of a "Hamnada-Småland, Krnberg". I went back to Wikipedia to look at the political structure of Sweden. Småland is one of 25 provinces (landskapen) of Sweden and has no political structure as of 1634. It is a cultural, geographical and historical subdivision. Kronoberg is a county (län), a political subdivision, that lies in what is a part of Småland. I still could not find Hamnada or a a similiar name in any of the lists of municipalities (similar to American townships), villages, or cities of Sweden.
I went back to GenLine, and looking up Kronoberg County records, I noticed that Hamneda was one of the parishes. Bingo! They had birth and christening records up through 1861 (I don't recall the beginning year), so I went to take a look. In 1861 alone, there were NINE Ida Charlottas (no Charlottes) born in Hamneda parish! Only one had a surname close to GUSTAVSON, and that was a Ida Charlotta GUSTAFSON born, it appears on 29 December 1861 and baptized 31 December 1861. I say "appears", because I am not certain of what the dates stand for. There are three numbers and a month before each record. The first number is the record number, as they are all in sequence from 1 until the last record. Then comes the month abbreviation, which is very similar to our English month abbreviations. Then two numbers follow. The first number is always lower than the second number, and none of the numbers go beyond 31, so my assumption is that the first one is the birth date and the second one is the christening date. The words "Births and Baptisms" appear at the the top of each of these pages (in Swedish, of course), adding credence to my theory. I used FamilySearch's online Swedish Genealogical Word List to figure out the words.
My Ida Charlotte GUSTAVSON was born 28 October 1861, but I need to find my source of information for that. Her 1900 U. S. Federal Census enumeration does have October 1861 as a birth date. I ran out of time to double check 1860 records, and there are none available at GenLine for 1862. I will need to search other nearby parish records, too, I think. I also did not have time to figure out how to save or print the image with the birth date of the Ida Charlotta GUSTAFSON I found. This was an interesting first foray into Swedish records, and I felt I learned quite a bit.
I've been trying to find a death date for my 4th-great-grandmother, Lura Ann (JACKSON) PECK CRAPSEY. I know she was deceased by 1900, when my step-ancestor, the Rev. John CRAPSEY, Jr. was listed as a widower in the Federal Census for that year. She was alive as late as 1891, when her husband filed an application for a pension based on his deceased son's military service. They were living St. Paul, Ramsey Co., Minnesota. Attempts to have a volunteer at RAOGK look up her death records did not work out. I then came across John's obituary stating he was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery. There is a Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries in Ramsey County, and I contacted them to see if I could find burial information (and thus a death date) for the Crapseys. I received an immediate response that there was no record of either one in their records. I need to follow up with wording from John's obituary to make sure that the Forest Lawn Cemetery he was buried in is the same as what Park and Mortuaries company now manages, when their records begin, and if they have record of John and Lura's children being buried there (it's possible, if their children are buried there, that John and Lura are buried without markers).
A distant LEWIS cousin of mine, Bob Stefanich, contacted me to tell me about another cousin of ours (related more closely to me than Bob is) and that the LEWIS family reunion is occurring today in Fruitport, Muskegon Co., Michigan (wish I could be there)! I've contacted Jim with the hope that I can get more information on the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of my 2nd-great-grandparents, George Emmett LEWIS and Mary WILKINSON.
Also, a McARTHUR cousin contacted me. She lives in Michigan and is able to visit the ancestral cemeteries. She promised to take some tombstone photos of some of our mutual ancestors...so exciting!
Speaking of ancestral graves, I heard from a Find A Grave photo volunteer--Catherine Bryon--who photographed the graves of my husband's 3rd-great-grandfather, Reuben Wohlford SNOOK, and his second wife, Elizabeth NEARHOOD, at the Forsyth Cemetery in Rosebud Co., Montana. Click on the links to view the photographs. Thanks, Catherine!