Saturday, January 25, 2014

52 Ancestors #3: Mary Anne Hill

Get ready for another family myth-busting ride! For my third installment of this series, I have chosen  to feature my Great Great Grandmother, Mary Anne Hill Daniels. I had not intended for Mary to be such a problem child for this post. In fact, I thought she would be a breeze....and then I had an "out-of-research" experience. You know that feeling, when you've been researching a line, and can recite the facts you've gathered with your eyes closed and at the drop of a hat - and suddenly your own litany has a snag. You can actually see from outside the research realm and catch something you had not caught before....that is a prime example of why this series has proven to be such a great prompt! And why we should practice this kind of "review" from time to time - beyond 2014.

Mary Anne Hill has a wonderful story and family heirloom associated with her narrative. One that has been told time and again about a clock and an Ohio Yankee girl serving up breakfast to a group of Confederate Soldiers during the raiding parties of General John Hunt Morgan. That is...until today...I do believe, after this post, I will be changing the story just a tad....

What I know about Mary Anne Hill:
Name: Mary Anne Hill Daniels
Born: January 30th, 1842, 43, or 44 (various documents list January, but different years) in Radcliff, Vinton County Ohio
Died: 1934, Gallia County Ohio
Married: Madison Daniels, October 29th, 1865, Gallia County Ohio
Parents: Richard Hill of North Carolina & Sarah Oiler of Virginia or Pennsylvania (conflicting records)
Children: John, Minerva, Margaret, George, Jesse, William, Eva, Arizona, Arthur, Clyde

My Grandfather, Charles (mentioned in #2), had a small anecdote about his memory of Mary:
"I don't remember much about Grandma Mary since I was very little, but I do remember she was a very independent woman. She lived on the farm with Uncle Jess and Aunt Min (brother & sister), and I can remember a time when she took a couple of big bowls of beans outside to snap or something, and I went out to ask her if I could help, and she said "No". I pressed her further and asked again to help. She flapped her hands at me and said "No, no, shoo, you kids get out of here!" I guess she just wanted to do it herself." (Charles Daniels Sr., 2002)

What I THOUGHT I knew about Mary - The Mystery of the Clock:
We have a story in the family that centers on a mantel clock that was handed down through the Daniels male line. This mantel clock was said to have come from the farm that Madison & Mary had made their home on for decades. The family legend states that this clock was on the mantel during the time when General John Hunt Morgan was making headway into Ohio during the Civil War. Just before their capture, Morgan's men spread out along the areas near the river, separating into small foraging groups, taking what they needed. As a raiding party in enemy territory, any farm chosen for such ransacking would have been in danger of further harm without capitulation. According to the details of this story, Grandma Mary voluntarily invited the invading men inside and fixed them a big breakfast, which left them full, satisfied, and grateful enough to leave the Daniels household largely in-tact. We also made the assumption that Grandma Mary did this because her husband was a Union soldier, and might have been even more afraid of repercussions. Cool story....but...

What I have realized about the story:
1. This story may not be about Mary at all!
2. Mantel clock age IS correct to validate the story - 1830s Chauncey Boardman "Groaner" Clock made in Connecticut.
3. Time frame of Morgan's men traveling through southern Ohio, just prior to capture: 1863
4. Military service date of Madison Daniels: Sept. 1864 through June 1865
5. Marriage date of Madison and Mary: October 29th, 1865
6. Handwritten notes of repair dates on the back of the clock do confirm it was in the hands of the Daniels side of the family after the War.

So...If the clock was on their mantel, and Mary served them breakfast...
1. Was she living with Madison BEFORE marriage? Highly unlikely for a small community in 1863.
2. If they were living together, Madison would have been home - he had not yet entered the army - which removes the "fear" factor in relation to a Confederates finding out about this being a Union soldier family.
3. My father added an element to the story - that someone was hiding under a bridge in the area while Morgan's men were raiding - where, when, & why?
4. Both sets of parents were alive and living on farms in the area.
5. The Daniels side of the family was from Pennsylvania.
6. The Hill side was from Virginia & North Carolina.
7. Was breakfast served by Grandmother Delila Daniels, a northern woman who may have had another son in the war at the time? (Need to research the rest of the men militarily)
8. Was breakfast served by Grandmother Sarah Hill, or by Mary, still living in her parents' household - could this have been a sympathetic southern family....serving up a little treason for breakfast?
9. The entire story is false?
10. Either way, the troop movements and clock age do coincide to the family farms in the area (after some local research).

Which means....
This story, while still a valid piece of family narrative, should be related in the future with the above considerations. Plus, this just means I have more work to do! I would love to find out more about the farms in the area, the military service of the families, etc. I don't think it's possible to prove the story, but eliminating certain possibilities can be achieved with additional work.

Ah, Grandma Mary - my newest enigma!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Free Event Tool: The History List

Introducing a new FREE Event Database: The History List @ (Don't forget "The"). I've been meaning to post about this new free event tool for awhile, but have been consciously giving them time to get more established. For those who run historical/genealogical organizations and museums - and for those to love attending events at said institutions, you owe it to yourself to check out this new free tool to list your events! So far, they have attracted organizations from around the country, and list history related events by state and/or chronologically.

Based out of Massachusetts, the majority of events listed in The History List, are from the New England area, but they are adding events from new states all the time. The Kentucky Historical Society has had their events listed in this database for over a year now, and we have enjoyed its easy integration into our main web site

On a personal note, I have to add events into the database for KHS on a regular basis, and have observed the following:
1. Each organization has a home landing page with general information and list of upcoming events + Each event has it's own page with an unlimited photo/video option to showcase the event visually.
2. The event pages are easy to read with event location (with map integration), cost, description, event Twitter hashtag, and intended audience information intuitively placed. 
3. Event duplication and repeat planning are a breeze.
4. Events can be added once on this site, with code pulled into your main web site or through an easily generated widget - see one example here on this blog - for KHS events - far right sidebar.
5. Events are searchable by location or event type.
6. ANY Historically related organization that hosts events can join for free to add their content - including Historic sites or parks.
7. Due to their relatively young age, there are some bugs that you should be patient with: Tagging is integrated, but searching does not seem to pull out related events unless the search term is in the title. Event creation can get a little odd with font appearance changing once "publish" or "preview" is clicked. Widgets and coding can have a learning curve or some browser irregularities.
8. Small company, but very willing to work with new organizations to resolve any issues and get feedback for improving the product.
9. Did I mention this is FREE, and provides a place to list History related events? As a History buff, I LOVE this concept and would love to see more organization events listed here. 
10. What a great way to promote the events of smaller organizations that have little to no budget!

Anyway, don't take my word for through the features, and if you belong to any historical/genealogical/museum related organizations, bring it to their attention!
For more information, see this page: How the History List is Different  
For some event reminders, don't forget to follow them on Twitter! @thehistorylist 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

52 Ancestors #2: Richard Daniels

This post is for the little Uncle who never made it to a census. Richard M. Daniels was born on September 3rd, 1913 in Columbus Ohio. He died on April 7th, 1918 in Columbus Ohio...smack dab between the census cycle. According to the back of this photo, he had light hair, blue eyes, and a fair complexion. He was the second child born to Clyde and Ruth (Schilling) Daniels, and therefore, my Grandfather's brother. Besides this picture, and his death certificate, I don't have much knowledge about this little fellow. Although, I will write more about his Mom and Dad later. One thing I do have concerning little Richard, is the following story my Grandfather, Charles Daniels, related to me in 2002 about his brother's death:

"Besides my Brother Horace, I had another Brother Richard, and a sister Garnet. Both of them died at a young age and are buried with my Mom up in Columbus. I was the oldest and next came Richard. He was such a sweet little boy.When he was about five, he got real bad sick and the doctors didn't know what was wrong. He was sick for quite awhile and finally the doctor sent for doctors and professors from Ohio State University to help figure out what was wrong with him. But even them with all their tests could not find out what was wrong. He kept getting sicker and sicker and I remember that two ladies came from the Church and prayed for little Richard. They said 'Lord, if this little boy can't get better and get well, please take him home.' It was only about an hour after they prayed over him that he died. As a little boy this made a big impression on me and I can still see it like it was yesterday."

As a post script to his story, I am including a copy of Richard's death certificate below. The doctor listed pneumonia as the cause of death, and that he had the illness for over two months! He was not quite 5 years old, about four and a half - which was interesting to me. The doctor gave a clear cause of death with a notation that read "No Other Cause". I don't know how common that type of notation would have been. At first I thought maybe Grandpa's memory was a little off, but that notation makes me think he was remembering pretty spot on. He got Richard's age correctly, and the long illness.....
Here is something that might help fill in the blanks - some conjecture - as it turns out, Richard's little sister Garnet had passed away the year before, at the age of one and a half....almost exactly a year earlier....of "lung and cerebral complications following the measles." In the years following the death of the two children, Ruth was naturally known to have not taken this double tragedy well - no one would have. She joined a spiritualist church in an attempt to talk to her dead children. My guess is that the lingering, lung related, illness of her second child, so close to the death of her daughter, sent a panicked stricken Mother to the jugular of the local doctor. If he could not make the child any better, and as Richard continued to decline, I would bet there was some pressure to get extra help in the treatment, perhaps explaining Grandpa's memory about the University doctors and professors. It is heartbreaking that nothing could save this sweet little boy. Perhaps next week I will post about Garnet's death. The double grief caused a ripple effect in the family.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

52 Ancestors #1: Aunt Rose

My first post in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge belongs to my Great Great Aunt Rose Beyersdoerfer Pangburn. I never met Aunt Rose, but she holds a special place in my heart, which I will get to in a moment. For now, here is her profile:

Name: Rose A. Beyersdoerfer
Born: August 16, 1888
Died: ?
Father: John Beyersdoerfer Sr.
Mother: Emma Fleeman (Fliehmann)
Spouse: Emery Pangburn (1885-1976) - Married in 1914
Lived: Foster, Bracken County, Kentucky

What I know about Aunt Rose: I know she was the sibling of a pretty large family - about 7 siblings. She was the oldest daughter, but not the oldest child. The oldest child in the family was my Great Grandfather, John Jr. I know she was born in Bracken County and settled there with her husband Emery. I know she had at least two children: Elma and Virginia. I recently found out that her husband worked for the railroad and that she was listed as a homemaker.

What I don't know about Aunt Rose: Quite a lot. I was surprised to learn that I never recorded her death date. Nor am I quite sure where she is buried. I suspect she is buried in Lenoxburg Cemetery with many of her family members, but this gives me another person to look for when I head up there next time. She needs a good search just focused on her....many sibling lines get neglected too many times among my branches.

Anecdotes related to Aunt Rose:
The photo seen above is one of a tiny pair developed from a booth - an ancient selfie. The other side of the pair is this photo here with Aunt Rose in the back, with her younger sister Celia (called Ceely by family) in the lower right hand side, and a friend, Velma Morford (Mofford) on the left. According to family lore (My Great Grandmother Nellie Cox Beyersdoerfer), Velma was a dear family friend who was favored by the sisters to marry my Great Grandfather John Jr. - Therefore, Nellie couldn't stand her! Nellie got her man, but never forgot about Velma's favored place in the family - she even cut her photo out of a group shot one time - oooh, ancestor drama!!

The reason I feel a little drawn to Aunt Rose is this photo of her as a very young woman. It is probably my very favorite photo in the collection. The original is no bigger than a postage stamp, but I have enlarged it many times and have one such copy hanging in my office at KHS. The time frame is near to the sinking of the Titanic, and with the size of that hat, and the name Rose, I couldn't help thinking she looked as glamorous as the famous Rose of the movie Titanic. Even though she was a humble farmer's daughter, she certainly knew how to glam it up! I wish I knew what color the hat was as I'm sure it would rival any derby hat today!
Sure wish I could have known Aunt Rose, but I'm looking forward to learning more about her as my research grows.

The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt for each week of 2014 and created by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

52 Ancestors Challenge....Deep Breath

This is just a quick intro to the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge posted by Amy Johnson Crow on her her site No Story Too Small. As you can guess, this challenge is daring us to be faithful to blogging our ancestors, one at a time for each week of 2014. It is not meant to be too daunting - you needn't blog their entire life story - just a post about them in general: a story, photograph, biography, or research problem.

After thinking about this one, I am going to attempt to increase the challenge level: Due to the amazing family collection I was blessed with, I am going to try and pick out 52 ancestral individuals who are represented tangibly, either with a photograph or ephemera that represents them visually. That way, I will be sharing something new that I have not shared before (for the most part), which should not only make for an interesting post, but should entertain the family with little before seen gems.

If possible, I would also like to present them almost as wanted criminal profiles. The image should be present, followed by what I know about them, what I have researched, and what areas of research I lack. I am hoping this level of ancestry honesty will kick me in the pants as to the amount of gaps I have in my research. BTW, each post in this challenge will be labeled for easy following.

Be sure to monitor Amy's blog to catch up on the most entertaining and interesting posts that come out of this challenge. So far, she has over 150 participants signed up! This should make for a VERY entertaining 2014!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates