Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

My Mother Edith Chaplin

A new picture from my cousin. My mother had a real sense of style. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

1940 Census Will Need Indexers!

The Census release is getting closer, 34 days at the time of this writting. I have been talking to friends encouraging them to sign up to do some indexing.  As a matter of fact I did a test index page on Sunday.  If you have never index, it is easy to sign up and do the program download.  It is a 1000 times better than it was about 15 years ago. 

Anyone can index!  Check it out at Family Search, this link takes you right to the indexing page. The test drive button shows you how easy it is to do indexing.  The second button takes you to the area go actually do indexing.  Try it you will like it!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Look what I volunteered to do!

I do indexing already now to talk some friends into doing some with me.  Maybe I should have a little indexing party on April 2nd.  
It starts 9 AM Eastern Time that is 6 AM Central time. 
I could do an hour before work, and a little party after work.   

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Surprise

Well there has really been two surprises today.
Image from
First this morning one of my second cousin in England emails me with a copy of my grandmother's Naturalization papers.  Now there is no way I would have looked for Naturalization papers on her, she was born in Jersey City, New Jersey.  As I looked at the papers and saw all the correct information.  Yes this is my grandmother but why is she filling out Naturalization papers. 

After a few minutes the light bulb came on and I remembered that my first cousin telling me.  That Grandma Minnie was very involved with the vote for women and she was very upset when she went to vote and she couldn't because her husband wasn't a citizen.  And I remembered that during certain years, women lost their citizenship if their husbands weren't citizens. 
Imagine from

So Grandpa died in October of 1925 and by December 1925 she was sworn in the court as an American citizen again.  I am getting the impression that Grandma was a pretty sharp cookie and she didn't let any moss grow under feet.  I also think it was important to her to be an American. 

The second surprise came from another first cousin who sent me a 4 page document with more information about my grandpa's family.  This is the first time we have been in contact.  This was written by his Mom, my Aunt Bea back in 1988.  The names and dates I knew but she added more stories to the facts.  Some of them very interesting. 

It has been a Family History Fun day!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings is hosting another Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.  I liked this one and had some time and decided to play along.

Tonight's Game is Ancestral Name Roulette:

First you take the year of your parental grandfather's birth, divide it by 100.  This is the roulette number.  My parental grandfather was born in 1891, divided by 100 = 18.91 or 19. 

On my genealogy program the person on the name list with number 19 is Emma Hartmann my great aunt.  She is not to be confused with my Aunt Em that I have written about on this blog. 

The third step is to tell you three facts about this person.  I look at her name and I think I know nothing about this Great Aunt. 

As I looked at my files I realized I do know a couple of things about her.

I found her on the 1900 US Census.  This census is very special to me, as it was the first one I ever looked up and actually found someone on it I knew.  I had looked for my father found him, it was a thrilling moment, as only those first moments can be.

So back to great aunt Emma:
  1. She was 14 in 1900 Census,
  2. She was born in July of 1885. 
  3. She was the oldest girl of six children but the third child. 
  4. She lived in Ward 1, Borough of Queens, New York. 
  5. Five kids lived at home with a widowed father.
  6. Her occupation is listed as Paper Boxes. 

I had never heard of Wards until I read this census. 

I did a Google search and this is what I found:

New York City used to have political designations called wards, which were the smallest political units in NYC. Each ward elected an alderman and an assistant alderman to the City Council.

According to The Encyclopedia Of New York City (1995, Yale University Press) the system goes all the way back to 1686, when Governor Thomas Dongan divided the city, then entirely in Manhattan, into six wards. In 1791, wards were given numerical designations.
The First Ward was the tip of Manhattan, and districts were given consecutive numbers the further north you went in Manhattan. New wards were added as the city expanded northward,and increasing
population of the older wards required subdivision.
The "ward boss", the local provider of patronage and vote gatherer, was a most important element in the power of Tammany Hall, the pre-eminent political machine in the latter half of the 19th
Century. Ward politics diminished in stature beginning with the 20th Century, and wards were formally abolished in 1938.
Brooklyn was also composed of wards. When it became a city in 1837, it was divided into nine wards, and by the time of consolidation with New York City in 1898 it had 32 wards.
1900 Manhattan Wards
Picture from the link below 1890 Map
So this turned out to be fun and informative.  Thanks Randy, maybe I should play more often.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

My Maternal Great Grandparents,
Walter Thomas Chaplin & Mary Ann Holmes.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy

Challenge 3: Assess yourself! You’re great at researching everyone else’s history, but how much of your own have you recorded? Do an assessment of your personal records and timeline events to ensure your own life is as well-documented as that of your ancestors. If you have a genealogy blog, write about the status of your own research and steps you may take to fill gaps and document your own life.

So I pulled out my timeline I made in 2008 and checked it out.  I updated it with a few events that took place over the last couple of years. 

For each event I wrote down and asked myself do I have the documentation and where it is stored.  Like my birth certificate & diplomas are in the safe, other documents are in the file cabinet and others with my genealogy binder.  So some I need to move to the same place, except for that birth certificate, that stays in the safe. 

The interesting things I noticed was that my birth certificate is not suitable for genealogy, it doesn't list my parents on it, just my name, place & date of birth.  It is official with the state seal on it.  It seems I need to request another one.  My Dad purchased this certificate in 1961 so I would have a copy. 

Floor Plan of my first home and
announcement of my new address
This is a copy of the floor plan of my first home I purchased in 1989.  I made many copies of this and wrote a note to all my friends and family announcing my new address.  This is a scan of my original copy.  It says:
August 30, 1989

Dear Friends & Family,
Just a special announcement, to let you know my new address~
2455 E. Broadway Rd # 66
Mesa, AZ 85204
phone # ( not listing it here as it is current)

And since I am now also an official home owner I guess that means you can write my address in ink in your books.  But than again who knows with me. 
Take Care & Be Happy
Love Mary

I did move again in 1993 after Richard & I had been married a year, 950 square feet isn't big enough for a family of 5, but we are still in the same home.

This was a beneficial exercise in updating your own documentation.  Thanks to Amy at We Tree for thinking up these ideas and Thomas at Geneabloggers for running this great series.   

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Elsie Louise Chaplin

My great aunt one of the pictures of cousin sent me.