Saturday, July 1, 2017

Louise (Davis) Dendy Family Tree

This is the family tree for my great-grandmother, Louise (Davis) Dendy. I do not believe that Joshua Davis and his wife belong on this tree.

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And there are the children of her great-grandfather, John Renfro who died in Gibson County, Tennessee:

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Davis, Dendy, Yarberry Photographs

It's a rainy day, and good time to scan and add some family photographs. These will also be added to FamilySearch and Findagrave.

First up is a photograph of my great-grandmother Louise (Davis) Dendy. This photograph is a tintype. Notice that at some point the corners were clipped off. Tintypes were taken over wide period of time, so I will have to use clues in her hairstyle and clothes to date this at another time. She has very dark eyes, which my great aunt Arleen (Dendy) Deaton referred to as "snapping black eyes."

Lousie (Davis) Dendy

Louise Davis was born in Texas in September of 1880.

Next is a photograph of Louise's mother, Mary A. Lavaney or Lavinia (Yarberry) Bittick Davis. She was born in 1843 in probably Gibson County, Tennessee. These photographs were taken on the same day. Notice the similarity in the clothes and the floral corsages. Mary is well into middle age although her hair is still dark. She has the same dark eyes as Louise. Also, they share the same set of the mouth and similar noses. This photograph is also a tintype with the corners clipped.

Mary A. L. (Yarberry) Bittick Davis

This photograph is of Louise's father, Eli Van Buren Davis. He was born in 1844 in Tennessee. He and Mary married in Hempstead County, Arkansas in 1867. This is also a tintype with clipped corners. No doubt this was taken on the same day as the others. I wonder who else in the family had their picture taken that day? Yet another prominent nose. Eli's hair is also starting to recede. I have a cousin who bears a very strong resemblance to him.

Eli Van Buren Davis

The next picture has received a lot of wear, but fortunately their faces are all still visible. The three Davises are older here. This picture was taken when Louise Davis was in her late teens. She married at the age of about 22 in 1902, so this photo is older than that. This photograph was made by a studio in Clarksville, Red River County, Texas. Not only can the clothes be used to help this date this photograph, but the style of the card it is mounted to can be used to date it. If I can find information about the photography studio, that will also help me to date the photograph.

Left to right: Eli Van Buren Davis, Louise Davis, Mary A. L. (Yarberry) Davis

At one time my grandmother told me that this was a picture of her parents, Louise Davis and Buford W. Dendy. That would suggest that it is picture that was taken when they married. At another time she said that it was a picture of Louise Davis and her brother, William Thomas Davis. I do not have another picture to compare with "Uncle Bill Davis," but I think that this fellow more closely resembles my great-grandfather Buford W. Dendy. If this is their wedding picture, it was taken in 1902.

Louise Davis and Probably Buford W. Dendy

This is photograph of Reba Louise Davis, the first born child of Louise (Davis) and Buford W. Dendy. This is also a "hidden mother" photograph. You can see Louise's arms (on the right) as she holds Reba steady, suggesting a baby that cannot quite sit upright on her own yet. Reba died a few months after her third birthday and was forever afterward referred to as "Baby Reba." To my knowledge, this is the only baby picture taken of any of the Dendy children. It was probably taken in late 1903 or early 1904. Notice that the plain, dark card stock does not have a photographer's mark.

Rebe Louise Dendy

After 1910, Eli Van Buren and Mary (Yarberry) Davis joined their daughter Mary Elizabeth (Davis) Hardy in west Texas. At that time, they all lived in Hedley, Donley County, Texas. This a photograph of Louise's sister Mary Elizabeth (Davis) Hardy and family.

William James and Mary Elizabeth (Davis) Hardy and Children

Seated on the left is father, William James Hardy. Standing to the right is Charlie James Hardy. Standing behind him is William Thomas Hardy. Seated is mother, Mary Elizabeth (Davis) Hardy. In her lap is baby Dollie May Hardy. The girl standing on the far right is Myrtie (Hardy) Bain.

Meanwhile, Louise (Davis) and Buford W. Dendy's family was also growing. 

Buford W. and Louise (Davis) Dendy and Children

The boy on the far left is Burl C. Dendy. Seated is father, Buford Watts Dendy and wife Louise (Davis) Dendy. In her lap is baby Arleen (Dendy) Deaton. The boy on the far right is Orval Van Dendy. This is the last photograph of my great-grandmother that I have seen. This photograph would have been taken some time around 1910 or 1911. My great-grandmother had three more children before she died of the flu in 1918.

Her sisters grew old without her, and as they aged, they looked more like their mother. On the left is elder half-sister Laura Ann (Bittick) Smith and on the right is sister Mary Elizabeth (Davis) Hardy.

Laura Ann (Bittick) Smith
and Mary Elizabeth (Davis) Hardy

Friday, June 23, 2017

Elizabeth, Wife of Ambrose Chapman

© Kathy Duncan, 2017

Documentation for the surname of Ambrose Chapman's wife Elizabeth has eluded me for years. They lived in Marion County, Georgia and are buried in Phillipi Baptist Church Cemetery in neighboring Schley County, Georgia. Both were born in South Carolina in the first decade of the nineteenth century.

For years I've seen her name as Elizabeth Griggs or Greggs. Supposedly, she was Ambrose's second wife. His first wife was supposedly Elizabeth Allen. No one has ever come forward with any documentation to support either wife. Did their names come down through oral tradition? A family bible?

Then along came with their growing collection of records. It is possible to search for documentation for an individual through the family tree and attach the documentation or source. On FamilySearch a large number of children have been attributed to Ambrose Chapman.

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Many of these children did not die until the early twentieth century, which means they might have death certificates that name their father AND mother. One of the best strategies for research is to gather as much information on all the children as possible. With that in mind, I started using FamilySearch's search engine to link sources to the Chapman children.

The first the death certificate that I found was for son Ambrose Taylor Chapman, who died 5 January 1930 in Marion County, Georgia:

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While Ambros Chapman is named as the father, the mother is given as "unknown." That of course, is disappointing.

The second death certificate that I found was for daughter Mary Jane (Chapman) Woodall, wife of Abner Woodall, who died 23 April 1927 in Taylor County, Georgia. 

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Her death certificate provides the information that her father was Ambers Chapman and her mother was Elisabeth Griggs. This the only documentation that I have ever found for Elisabeth Griggs. Of course, Mary Jane's death was 87 years after her birth and 53 years after Elisabeth's death, so it is a secondary source at best. Still, it's the only documentation that I have so far for the Griggs surname.

I still have hope of setting eyes on the death certificate for daughter Martha Dandridge (Chapman) Allison who died in 1928 in Ashley County, Arkansas.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Maria Guadalupe Gurule's Family Tree

This is the family tree for Maria Guadalupe Gurule, wife of Juan Domingo Salazar. Note that her great grandfather is Santiago Gurule aka Jacques Grolet of the ill fated La Salle expedition. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the parentage of Maria Petra Montoya. 

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Juan Antonio Leyba's Family Tree

This is the family tree for Juan Antonio Leyba, husband of Rosalia Madrid: 

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Maria Rosa Leyba's Family Tree

This is the family tree for Maria Rosa Leyba, wife of Jose Ramon Sandoval:

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Rosalia Madrid's Family Tree

This is the family tree for Rosalia Madrid, wife of Juan Antonio Leyba. Note that her great grandfather was Roque de Madrid. 

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Maria Carolina (Sandoval) Selph's Family Tree

This is the family tree for Maria Carolina Sandoval, wife of Iley Nunn Selph:

James Junius Galt Family Tree

This is the family tree for James Junius Galt, husband of Mary Ann Brown:

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Florence May (Brown) Galt's Family Tree

This is the family tree for Florence May Brown, wife of Thomas Reason Galt:

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Walter Ballard Graham's Family Tree

This is the family tree for Walter Ballard Graham. He was the husband of Beulah Frances Galt.

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Lavinia Emily (Burton) Selph's Family Tree

This is the family tree for Lavinia Emily Burton, wife of Rev. Duncan Hyder Selph:

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hardy Julian Selph's Family Tree

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Mary Ellen Graham's Family Tree

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Mary Ann (Brown) Galt's Death Notice

© Kathy Duncan, 2017

Sometimes an obituary or death notice cannot be found in the area where an ancestor lived. Maybe one was not published. Maybe there are no surviving newspapers. Maybe the newspaper has not been digitalized yet. For whatever reason the information eludes us.

Sometimes, however, the notice appears in a newspaper where an adult child lives. Such is the case for the death notice of Mary Ann (Brown) Galt, wife of James J. Galt. 

The Galts had a daughter named Georgia, who married a man named Heath. A search turned up this death notice for her mother Mary Ann (Brown) Galt's death and further clues that Georgia married Sanford Heath and was a resident of Montrose, Colorado.

Notice that in keeping with the time, Mary Ann (Brown) Galt is identified only as Mrs. J.J. Galt. If I had not already known where she lived, this tells me that she resided in Appleton City, Missouri.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Charles Albert Brown

© Kathy Duncan, 2017

Charles Albert Brown was the son of John Deloss and Nancy (Johnson) Brown. He was still living at home in 1891 when The Portrait and Biological Album of Sangamon County, Illinois was published by the Chapman Brothers. 

Birth record of Charles Albert Brown:

Chas. Albert Brown, male, born 18 March 1878 in Nixon Twp., DeWitt, Illinois. Father: John Deloss Brown. Mother: Nancy Johnson.
[Illinois Births and Christenings, 1824-1940, FamilySearch database]

Between 1910 and 1940, Charles moved from Fresno County, California to Merced County, California. He divorced his first wife Sadabel (Austin?) and married as his second wife Gladys Cook, leaving his two children with Sadabel.


Sadabel Austin is listed in the class of 1895 in the Los Angeles, California Public Schools.
[Source: "High School Alumni." Annual Report of the Board of Education and  Superintendent of the City Schools: With Rules and Regulations of the Public Schools of the City of Los Angeles by the Los Angles (Calif.) Board of Education, p. 140]

April 1910, Pleasant Valley Twp., Fresno County, California:

Brown, Charles A. Head M W 32 M-1 8 b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
-----Sadie A. wife F W 32 M-1 8 2-1 b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
-----Bob B. son M W 4 S b. CA fb. IL mb. IL


Sadabel Austin Brown, a housewife of Coalinga, is listed as a summer session student at the University of California.
[Source: University of California, Berkeley, 1914, Summer Catalogs]

WWI Registration:

Charles Albert Brown, 396 Pleasant, Coalinga, Fresno, CA, age 40, b. 17 March 1878. Salesman: Cross Timber Co. Nearest relative: Sadabel Brown. 12 Sept 1918.

1920, Merced, Merced County, California:

Brown, Sadabel wife F W 33 M b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
-----Bob B. son M W 14 S b. CA fb. IL mb. IL
-----Beverly B. dau F W 4 S b. CA fb. IL mb. IL

25 April 1930, Merced County, California:

Brown, Charles A. Head M W 51 M 21 b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
-----Gladys, wife F W 38 M 20 b. CA fb. Canada mb. IL

1930, Merced County, California:

Brown, Sadabelle Head FW 50 D b. IL fb. IL mb. IL
-----Bob Brown M F 24 S b. CA fb. IL mb. IL
-----Beverly son F W 14 S b. CA fb. IL mb. IL

20 April 1940, Merced County, California:

Brown, Charles Head M W 61 M H-4 b. IL 1935- same house
-----Gladys, wife F W 48 M H-1 b. CA 1935 - same house

12 April 1940 Berkley, Alameda County, California:

Burdette, Sadabell A. Head F W 58 D H-4 b. IL 1935 - same place
-----Brown Bob B. son M W 34 S C-2 b. CA 1935 - Merced

WWII Registration:

Charles Albert Brown, 4 East 17th St., Merced, Merced County, California, age 64, b. Weldon, Ill., 17 March 1878, Employer: Cross Timber. Person who will always know where he is: Gladys E. Brown.

Death Records:

Charles A. Brown b. 17 March 1878, Illinois, d. 14 March 1968, Merced, California. Mother: Johnson
[Source: California Death Index, 1940-1997, FamilySearch database]

Charles A. Brown is buried in Merced Cemetery District, Merced, Merced County, California.

Bob B. Brown b. 5 August 1905 in California, d. 24 May 1965, Alameda California. Mother: Austin

Monday, May 29, 2017

Marriage Record of Isaac Duncan and Susannah Kavanaugh

© Kathy Duncan, 2017

Now that we are mostly at the mercy of computer indexing, we all need to learn new strategies for searching for information. Gone are the days when we could skim through an every name index and easily spot potential spelling variants. With a computer database, the only way to search for variants is to pick something like a soundex or phonetic option. That often means wading through several hundred potential variants and still coming up empty handed. That is bad enough. However, the problem today is compounded by shoddy indexing that is guaranteed to stymie our efforts.

I know, shoddy is strong language.

FamilySearch, my favorite place to search, is regrettably one of those databases. FamilySearch indexes are created by volunteers. Each entry has potentially been seen by three pairs of eyes. Two perform the indexing. When there is a discrepancy between the two indexers, an arbitrator settles the matter. Ideally, the arbitrator has research experience with older documents and handwriting. I have indexed thousands of records myself, so I know how difficult it is to do a "cold" reading of the record. It is one thing to be looking for a specific name and to be able to power through the handwriting and spelling; it is another thing to have no clue what the name should be and to attempt to decipher it.

However, all too often it seems like the indexers and arbitrators are not even trying. A case in point is the marriage record of Isaac Duncan and Susannah Kavanaugh of Madison County, Kentucky, which FamilySearch has indexed as Isaac Duncan and Susannah Havana. No search engine is going to link Kavanaugh and Havana in a phonetic way. I found this by searching solely for Isaac Duncan of Kentucky.

Fortunately, the image is available in FamilySearch, so it is possible to see what the indexer and arbitrator viewed when they made the decision to index Susannah's surname as Havana. Isaac and Susannah's marriage record is the last line on the page.

An examination of the handwriting around Susannah's name, reveals several features of the clerk's handwriting.

An examination of the H in Harris, shows a downward stroke on the right leg of the H that then moves upward, making a loop that moves up and over to the left, followed by a downward stroke that loops under and to the right.  The K in Chas Kavanaugh's name has a downward stroke on the right that moves in the opposite direction of the H. The loop in the arm of the K moves under and then over, ending in a squatty leg. The initial letter in Susannah's surname more closely resembles the K in Kavanaugh than the H in Harris. At least one indexer should have seen a K instead of an H. Then the issue would have gone to arbitration, and then the arbitrator should have examined the handwriting on the page and arbitrated for the K. Indexers and arbitrator's are supposed to examine the rest of the handwriting on the page to help with deciphering handwriting. Clearly, that did not happen here. It's just frustrating as an indexer to have an arbitrator neglect to examine the rest of the page when arbitrating a record. When this happens, I always file feedback, but does any one ever act on feedback?

So is Susannah's surname Kavana? Not quite. A closer look at the page shows that her name was divided between two lines with "Kavana-" on the first line and "=ugh" on the second line: Kavanaugh. This was a fairly common way to divide a word in the late 18th century. 

Should an indexer catch that? Maybe not. 

Should an arbitrator catch that? Absolutely. 

For the sake of argument, one could say that this happened because both indexers interpreted the name as Havana; therefore, it never went to arbitration. I find that hard to believe. But even worse, if that is the way it happened, it means that we have indexers so inexperienced with handwriting and old records that they are creating errors that in many cases make it virtually impossible to locate records in a database without a lot of creative maneuvering. 

Is this really the best we can do?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Emilia de Casias, Ex-wife of Ramon Sandoval

© Kathy Duncan, 2017


Ramon Sandoval appears on the 1900 Taos County, New Mexico Territory census as a widower. His wife was Rosa Leyba, and she may have died around 1898. However, on the 1910 census, he is listed as divorced. At first, I assumed (big mistake) that this was an error. This was compounded by my sister-in-law, who was over twenty years older than my husband and who also thought this was an error because she had never heard any of the older family members mention a second wife for Ramon Sandoval or a divorce.

In 2015, I came across a newspaper notice in La Revista de Taos, 8 February 1907, concerning Ramon Sandoval's divorce from Emilia de Casias. I searched for her immediately, but did not find a likely candidate. This week's search in FamilySearch, however, I turned up a likely candidate. She was in a 1900 household with two boys Abel and Frederico Coca. However, she was listed as divorced. That would be ten years before Ramon Sandoval was listed as divorced in 1910. I was starting to wonder how scrambled the records were. I found her with her son Abel Coca in 1880 when Emilia was using the Coca surname and married to Lucas Coca. Then I found a marriage record for Emilia Casias (daughter of Mateo Casias) and Lucas Coca. Things were fitting more neatly. By playing with surnames, I found Emilia using the Sandoval surname in 1910 and in the household of her son Abel Coca. She was starting to seem like a more likely candidate although she was listed as a widow. I have seen divorced women present themselves as widows before on the census, probably because of the social stigma. In 1920, she is again listed as Emilia Casias and living with her grandson Demetro "Casias." In 1930, she is Emilia C. Coca, living with her son Abel Coca. Emilia Casias died in 1939. Her death record states that she was the widow of Lucas Coca and the daughter of Mateo Casias. Widowed, not divorced from Lucas Coca?

This Emilia Casias was a good candidate for the ex-wife of Ramon Sandoval, but was she the right Emilia, and was the Ramon Sandoval, who ran the divorce notice, the same Ramon Sandoval who was Rosa Leyba's widower? My first instinct was to look for a divorce record for Ramon Sandoval, but where to look? I then went to the Taos County, New Mexico wiki in FamilySearch. The wiki can be found under the search tab. I did not find any information about Taos County divorces there, but I did scroll down to the very bottom of the page where I found some interesting links. There were links for Taos County baptisms, marriages, and deaths at the bottom of the page. One set of links for indexes and one for images. Images? In playing around with those links I found that the indexes took me back into the familiar records search on FamilySearch. However, the image links turned out to be images of the original records. Unfortunately, the indexes and the images are not linked to each other. In searching through these same records on FamilySearch, there is no way to know that there is an image for the record let alone the ability to access it from the search results. The images have to be scrolled through, just like a reel of micofilm. Among the links to marriages images, I noticed one that did not have an index: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Taos, Online Parish Records, 1895 - 1956. After a few minutes of digging around, I found a marriage record for Ramon Sandoval in 1903:

Top of page 5 of 1902 Parraguia de N.S. de Guadalupe de Taos, Nueve Mexico.
Click image to enlarge, and you will see that the date for
 Ramon Sandoval's second marriage is 1903

Marriage recorded 21 April 1903, N.S. Guadalupe of Taos

While this record does not provide Ramon's age or mention that he is widowed of Rosa Leyba, it does state that he is the son of Diego Sandoval. This "Emiliam" is the daughter of Jose Mateo Casias. It appears that I have identified the correct Roman Sandoval and Emilia Casias.

It is interesting to note that there is a married man named Lucas Coca on the 1900 census who is the same age as the Lucas Coca who was Emilia's first husband. He is probably Emilia's first husband, and they are likely to have divorced as well.

Is it possible that Roman Sandoval and Emilia Casias annulled their marriage through the church and did not seek a civil divorce? I do not know yet.

Below is a transcript of the records that I found on Emilia Casias, who never appears on the census with Roman Sandoval. The lesson to remember here is that people led rich full lives between census years.

Maria Emilia Casias, daughter of Mateo Casias and Maria Manuela Tafoya, married Lucas Coca, son of Juan Bautista Coca and Maria Dolores Vigil, on 28 October 1878, in Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Church, in Taos, New Mexico.

Fredrico Coco, son of Emilia Casias and Lucas Coca, was christened on 9 October 1881 in Taos, New Mexico.

Emilia Casios, age 77, daughter of Mateo Casios and Manuelita Garcia, widow of Lucas Coca, died 12 March 1939 in New Mexico.

8 June 1880, El Rancho, Taos County, NM:

Coca, Lucas W M 25 Laborer b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
----, Emilia W F 21 Wife Keeps House b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
----, Abel W M 8/12 Oct Son b. NM fb. NM mb. NM

1900, ED 154 Pct 3 Ranchos, Taos County, New Mexico:

Coca, Amelia Head W F June 1862 38 D 22 2-2 b. NM fb. NM mb. NM Laborer
----, Abel Son W M Oct 1881 18 S b. NM fb. NM mb. NM Day laborer
----, Federico W M Sept 1883 17 S b. NM fb. NM mb. NM Day Loborer
[Iley N Selph, son-in-law of Ramon Sandoval, is seven households away]

1910, Talpa, Taos County, New Mexico:

Coca, Abel Head M W 35 W b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
----, Demetrio Son M W 6 S b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
----, Federico Head M W 34 M-1 3 b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
----, Serviona Wife F W 22 M-1 3 0-0 b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
Sandoval, Emilia Mother F W 45 W 2-2 b. NM fb. NM mb. NM

6 January 1920, Talpa Pct No. 19, Taos County, New Mexico:

Casias, Emilia Head F W 56 D b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
----, Demetro Grson M W 17 S b. NM fb. NM mb. NM

12 April 1930, Ranchos de Taos, Taos County, New Mexico
Talpa Public Road

102 - 109
Coca, Abel Head $300 M W 49 Wd 29 b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
----, Manuelita Dau F W 5S b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
----, Emilia C Mother F W 68 Wd 18 b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
----, Demetrio Head M W 26 M 22 b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
----, Eusivia A. Wife F W 23 M 19 b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
Coca, Frederico Head M W 47 M 24 b. NM fb. NM mb. NM
----, Servellona Wife F W 45 M 22 b. NM fb. NM mb. NM