Friday, October 28, 2011

Joe Manning and the Lewis Hine Project - Follow Friday


"A Tampa, Fla., cigarmaker adolescent. Many beautiful girls and women in the business. Location: Tampa, Florida." Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940, created/published in January 1909 January. Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-nclc-04512 (color digital file from b&w original print) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Joe Manning is a freelance journalist, historian and genealogist. Through his work in these fields he was hired by author Elizabeth Winthrop to track down the history of a real-life girl whose photograph inspired Winthrop's work of fiction: Counting on Grace. The photograph was from the work of Lewis Hine, a prominent photojournalist around the turn of the 20th century hired by the National Child Labor Committee to document the working and living conditions of children between 1904 and 1924. You can view the collection held by the Library of Congress here.

Following his success in tracking down "Addie" from the first photograph, Joe Manning was hooked. He has since learned the stories of many of the other child laborers and families in the Lewis Hine collection. Manning has created a website that shows the photographs he has researched and tracks not only his success in finding the children but also the methods by which he discovers them. It is an interesting read for any genealogist. I was particularly drawn to the story of Catherine Young, widow and mother of 11, forced to make tragic decisions to keep her family alive. To read more about Joe Manning's Lewis Hine Project visit his website here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

William Henry Reece is a silly beast

William Henry Reece is a silly beast. I can't seem to trace him past, well...him. But I have found many Reece neighbors that could be related.

William Henry Reece (1809-1889) is the father of Mary Elizabeth Reece Creed, a lady I have written about before. William Henry Reece married Elizabeth Alexander in Johnson County, Missouri in 1836. They had five children that I am aware of: Van Buren, James, Mary, Jesse and Isham, all of which were born in Missouri. (There is a sizable gap in years between James and Mary so I am sure there may be more children). In 1850 William Reece lives in Jackson township, Johnson County, Missouri with his wife and the children already listed. In the same township, only three census pages later, is Isham Reece (1806) with his family. Next door to Isham is a Jesse Reece (1793). All three of the Reece men I found were born in Tennessee in 1793, 1806 and 1809. Close enough to be brothers. And note that William named one son Jesse and one son Isham. Coincidence? Perhaps.

Sometime between 1860 and 1865 William Reece moved his family to Johnson County, Kansas, and he is found there in 1865. Just eight miles away is Isham Reece with his family, the same individuals from the 1850 census. Again, just a coincidence? I'm beginning to think not. In 1870, William is still found in Johnson County, Kansas whereas Isham has moved back across the state line to Missouri.  

Clearly, Isham is the more popular of the three men because there are 12 family trees on Ancestry.com that include him (and if that isn't an indication of popularity then I don't know what is). Some state that he has a brother named Jesse and most state that his father's name was Jesse. But not a single tree mentions William Reece. I have found quite a few references to Isham Reece across the Internet. Sadly, searches for information on William Reece only yield hits for posts I have made on various boards looking for information. I think the evidence is fairly strong that Isham and William are related. They live practically next door in Missouri and then both move to Kansas in the same time frame, only to live miles apart there. Still not enough proof for me...the search continues for my silly beast.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Follow Friday - Ken Follett's Fall of Giants

Last month I was traveling and finished reading the book I had brought along much faster than I anticipated. I must mention that books are imperative items for my travels as I use them to ward off unwanted airplane conversations...plus I love to read. But I digress. Without a book on a plane I am lost, so I decided to check out the selection at the airport book store. I quickly stumbled across Ken Follet's latest tome, Fall of Giants. It is most certainly a tome as it is nearly 1,000 pages long. But being an ardent fan of historical fiction novels I ignored the insanely expensive price and bought the book. I'm very glad I did.

Fall of Giants is a historical-fiction novel that follows the lives of five families as they traverse through the turbulent times prior to and during World War I. The families are from Britain, Germany, Russia and America and find themselves intertwined. Ken Follett is a master of making even the most complicated historical facts understandable through the eyes of his characters and he does so well throughout the novel. From the carefree times of the elite and the hard times of the downtrodden, Follett follows the characters as tables begin to turn and giants begin to fall. The book is billed as the first in the series, with the second book slated for a fall 2012 release. The book includes many, many characters, but I did not find it hard to follow. Although I would personally have preferred a little more focus on the war itself, I would still recommend the book. It is a definite must-read for anyone interested in historical fiction, particularly the history of the 20th century.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Homecoming Float - Nearly Wordless Wednesday

It is finally fall here in Arkansas (the high went from 90 this past weekend to 60 today). In honor of cooler weather I am posting a homecoming parade float. This is the Richmond High School class of 1977 homecoming float. (Beautiful, Aunt Mary, beautiful!)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pulling Fanny White out of obscurity - Matrilineal Monday

One line of family that I have found countless brick walls, some of which I have climbed and some I'm still running into, is the White family of Roanoke County, Virginia. I have found some records, a census here, a headstone there. But I have had a hard time finding conclusive facts to track this family. The patriarch of this line is Edmund Penn White. He married Sarah McClanahan on October 14, 1820 in Botetourt County, Virginia.
The Roanoke County, Virginia historical marker. Photo by MarmadukePercy from Wikimedia Commons.
I have found record or "mention" of the following children for Edmund and Sarah:

William White, no dates
Francis P. White, 1822-1891
Virginia Lafayette White, 1825-1913
Agnes Lewis White, 1825-1873
Gay White, 1830-
Marcellus Fulton White, 1832-1895
Ann White, 1835-
Watkins Leigh White, 1837-1903
Mary White, no dates
In an effort to find out more about the White family, I decided to find out more about the siblings of my ancestor, Marcellus. Through doing this I came across a written history of Virginia Lafayette White that included all of the siblings names.
A possible photo of Virginia Lafayette White McClanahan.
But Virginia and her sister Agnes were the only sisters I could pull out of the woodwork until yesterday. I decided to look in to Fannie P. White, a sister I was only aware of because of the listing of siblings in the history of Virginia White McClanahan. A search of marriages on the Roanoke County, Virginia GenWeb page lists a marriage for a Francis P. White to Adolphus Huff in 1841. The date seemed to make sense, but I had no idea if it was "my" Francis. So I decided to add the couple to my "test" tree on Ancestry.com. I maintain a test tree on Ancestry used solely to gather information and records for potential relatives, without inadvertently messing up my "real" tree.

I added Francis and Adolphus and quickly found many census records and nine children. One child was named Edmund and one was named Sallie...names that Fanny's parents went by. A good start, but not conclusive. I was able to trace Adolphus through 1900 where I found him living with two sons in St. Louis, Missouri. A terrific stroke of luck because Missouri has a wonderful collection of death certificates on the Missouri Digital Heritage website. If one of the sons died in Missouri I had them...and potentially had a link to Fanny.

The first son I looked for, named Lindsay B. Huff, died in St. Louis in 1940. But his death certificate lists his parents as "unknown." The second son, Warner, died in St. Louis in 1929. I clicked on his death certificate and low and behold...
His mother is listed as Fanny White. So now I have two mentions of Fanny White linked to Adolphus Huff. I later find Adolphus and Fanny Huff buried in East Hill Cemetery in Roanoke County, Virginia. The same cemetery where other members of the White family are buried. It turns out the Fanny died in 1856.

I have three links to a Fanny White: a marriage in the family's home county, mention on a son's death certificate and burial in the family's home county. The age on the headstone matches what makes sense for my Fanny White. Plus, her children include names from her family line and her family immigrated to Missouri like four of the other White siblings. Have I pulled Fanny out of obscurity? While I don't have actual conclusive proof I feel like I have.

(Note: Following this post I learned from a cousin that Fanny White Huff's children are buried in the same plot as Edmund White. Proof enough for me!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Two White brothers and their girls - Wordless Wednesday

On the left, Allen Griffin White and his wife Beulah Smith White. On the right, Hugh Cleveland White and Minnie Lee Dudgeon. Allen and Hugh were brothers and the couples lived in Grape Grove, Ray County, Missouri. I believe the photo was taken around 1909 just before either couple had children.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Exploring the common: Johnston and Montgomery

James and Jane Johnston are elusive. I don't believe that they intended to be so, but they evade me at even turn. I have written about William Moulton Butler before, but this is an exploration for his wife and her kin, my third-great grandmother, Eliza J. Johnston.
The above is a clip of Eliza's death certificate. It states that she was born in Chicago, Illinois and that her parents were James Johnston of Scotland/England and Jane Montgomery of England. Could there be to more "plain" names, I ask you? This is the only mention of Eliza's mother, Jane, that I can find. Although Eliza was born in America in 1844, I can find no record of the family on the 1850 or the 1860 census. I believe that Eliza went in to service at a very young age as I find her on the 1870 census working as a housekeeper for her future husband. But what happened to her parents?

Eliza is buried in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois. The plot was purchased by William M. Butler, Eliza's husband, on August 16, 1867.

Above is a record of two of the individuals buried in the plot. The first is a young child that I believe was Eliza's first son, but that is a story for another post. Note the second name: James Johnston. Buried October 16, 1867, I believe that this is Eliza's father. But where is Jane Montgomery Johnston? I have to assume that she died fairly young and was buried somewhere prior to Eliza and William be acquainted with each other, or she would have been buried in the same plot. And where has James been all his life? He was somewhere in Chicago in 1844 because of Eliza's birth, but where is he hiding for the next twenty years? I say hiding, but I'm sure he is in plain sight...I have just yet to find him. Or Jane for that matter. Suggestions welcome.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I love it when a plan comes together

I'll admit it. I was in love with Face from the A-Team. How could you not love that face? Actually, I first loved him as Starbuck, but that's a story for another time. Despite my love Face, it is Hannibal's quote that best fits my most recent finding: I love it when a plan comes together.

Like most seriously passionate genealogists I tend to not put a lot of stock in written family histories that I come across. This is mostly because they are often unsourced and there is no way to tell the validity of the information. Several years ago I came across one such history written about my Creed family line. It was a fantastic find for me as I am one of the only descendants left of my link to the Creeds, so I have always felt a special bond with this family line. The issue I had with the Creeds is that Joseph M. Creed had eleven children and only eight survived to adulthood...all girls. It sure is hard to track female descendants.

Enter the family history stage left. Written by Armintia Creed Whitlock, the history tells the story of her parents, Joseph M. Creed (1841-1917) and Mary Reece (1846-1927), and their children. It talks about how Joseph and Mary met, discusses a myriad of moves across country and the dates/places of the births of each of their children. It is a wealth of information, but doesn't have any sources. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Armintia didn't know her own history. But without solid facts behind the stories I'm just not sure what is fact and what is faded memory.
Joseph and Mary Creed with their daughters. Back row (l-r) - Armintia, Jessie, Monnie, Mattie and Etta
Front row: Betty, Joseph, Gussie (standing), Mary, and Stella

Here is a portion of the history:

"Jessie was married to Burton Parker and later Henry Kellogg. Also Monnie was later married to Marshall Bausell and Gussie to Earl Kuhn. All the girls raised nice families except Etta who had no children and Mattie who married Dr Maxwell in later years had none. Only three of the girls are now living, January 1, 1966, Mrs. Jessie Kellogg, Mrs. Mattie Maxwell, and Mrs. Gussie Kuhn.

The father, Joe Creed, died at Maramec, Ok March , 1917. The mother, Mary E. Creed died in Colorado, March 1927. They are both buried in Pawnee Cemetery. Stella died in 1904, buried in El Reno, OK. Betty died 1934, buried in Pawnee, OK. Mintia died March 11, 1945, buried in Kaw City, OK. Monnie died December 1963 buried in Fort Worth, TX. Etta died January 17, 1964, buried in Brownsville, Texas."
Some of the Creed sisters and children taken prior to December 1963. Front row (seated) Lois Marsh, Jessie Creed Kellog, Gussie Creed Kuhn. Standing (left to right) Etta Creed Demieville, Bonnie Davis, Monnie Creed Bausell, Mattie Creed Maxwell, Flossie Emmons
I must say: pay dirt! Death dates and locations for all of the hard to trace females of the family. But is it accurate? When I first received the history it was hard to tell. I was not able to travel to Oklahoma and Texas to conduct searches, so I had to accept the information at face value. But the Internet is a glorious place and in the several years since I first received this history many new source documents have been posted online. To include early Oklahoma marriages and Texas death certificates. And I am proud to say that Armintia had it all correct. So often we read to not pay heed to printed history...I love how Armintia proves it all wrong. I love it when a plan comes together!