FamHist Blog

Family History Research Hints and Tips

Bad Day in the Lab

The oft told tale by Robert Lewis Stevenson … Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Dr_jekyll_and_mr_hyde_posterDr_jekyll_and_mr_hyde_poster2Dr_jekyll_mr_hydeDr_jekyll_mr_hyde_2Dr_jekyllmr_hydeDr_jekyll_mr_hyde3

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30 May 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You Made Me Love You

Youmademeloveyoucover1913

Al Jolson’s Famous Song … You Made Me Love You… I Didn’t Want To Do It…

23 May 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tunney – Dempsey 2nd Championship Title Match

Tunney_dempsey_fight

After beating Jack Dempsey for the heavyweight championship title on 23 Sep 1926 in Philadelphia, Gene Tunney defended his title against Dempsey a second time on 22 Sep 1927 in Chicago.

A long count controversy marred the 7th round after Dempsey would not respond to referee Dave Barry’s instructions. Opponents claimed the 3 to 7 second delay in starting the count gave Tunney enough time to recover and avoid a knockout ruling.

20 May 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thanks! – William Guyselman – A County Recorder

Every once in a while we find written entries in our ancestors records that make our day.  Yes, it may be ‘THE’ record that crumbles one of our ancestral brick walls or it may be a piece of information that although important, is just a piece of an overall well-sourced record.

Then, there are the men who entered information in records with a flare.  Sometimes the flair consists of fancy script embellishments, at other times it is concise handwriting that fills the page of a census record.  And then, there are the men who spent long hours entering the facts associated with births, deaths and marriages but still had the blossom of art in their hearts and pens.

William A. Guyselman was one such fellow.

I first encountered his entries as a recorder in the Marriage Books of Macon County, Missouri while looking for the marriage date of my great granduncle, Alfred Farrar.

There it was … on page 69.  Alfred Farrar married Emma F. Sawtell on the 7th day of June 1869 in Macon County, Missouri.  William’s script was beautiful, readable and structured to be attractive to any future reader. 

While the tall, leather-bound book would never be a best seller, William Guyselman took pride in his work and frequently embellished its stark pages with hand drawn works of art to commemorate the extremely important marriage event in the lives of citizens of Macon County.

Farrar Alfred Sawtell Emma marriage license art2

Page after page of superbly written flowing text and art unfold as you scroll through the pages he wrote.

His own marriage to Nancy Jane McKee is recorded with an eagle comprised of scrolls and flourishes from his pen.

Guyselman William McKee Nancy Jane marriage certificate art2

I feel an affinity to William and wish I could tell him ‘thanks’ face to face.  I’ve spent more than five decades puzzling out the scribblings and markings of tens of thousands of recorders.  Every time I encounter a document written by a recorder who had good penmanship and used it in the performance of their duties, I offer a verbal ‘Thanks’ hoping it will wend its way to them.

 

 McKearp Nelson marriage certificate art2

Wondering what happened in William’s life, I spent a little time seeking his records.  

In 1850, he was listed as a 10-year-old son of John and Sarah Guyselman in Warsaw, Kosciusko, Indiana.

By 1860, the family had moved to Wayne, Buchanan, Missouri, where the family was recorded as ‘Gisleman’ in the census.

1870 found him as a young married man in Macon, Macon County, Missouri.  He is listed as being 30 years of age and a school teacher by occupation.  His wife, Nancy was 17 and their son John as two months.  His short stint as the recorder for Macon County may have already been over.

In 1880, he was forty, lived in Breckenridge, Colorado with his wife Nancy and three children, William Jr., Lou and Emma.   He reported that he was an attorney by profession and was born in Ohio, while Nancy was born in Indiana and their children in Missouri.

My uncle Alfred Farrar was married in 1869, thus, William Guyselman was about 29 years of age when he served as the recorder of Macon County, Missouri.

Guyselman William recorder art2  In 1900, he still lived in Breckenridge.  The census says that he was born in November 1839 in Ohio, still worked as an attorney, but unfortunately, Nancy had died.  Two sons still lived home with him, 13 year old McKee and 10 year old Plain. 

During the Civil War, William served as a corporal in the Union Army.  He enlisted in Company A, Illinois 113th Infantry Regiment on 15 August 1862 in Chicago until he mustered out on 19 October 1863 and transferred to the U.S. Signal Corps. 

His military service proved to be providential because in his 70’s he was able to both claim a military pension and assistance from a military home, the front runner of today’s veterans hospitals.

By 1923, William had been in and out of a military home six times.  He had served in the army as a private from August 1862 through the end of the ward after 1865.  His military training in the U.S. Signal Corps served him well in later life as his occupation was listed as a telegraph operator during his stays in the military home.

Guyselman William A Veterans Home

I haven’t found a death date and location for William yet, but think that the event took place in or near Breckenridge.  

Because I can’t tell him ‘Thanks’  in person for his clear writing, entertaining and reverential treatment of marriage records in the Macon County, Missouri vital records he maintained, this post is my way of remembering William.

Thanks to all the recorders and government employees past and present who took the time to write clearly.  Family history enthusiasts everywhere not only thank you but appreciate your work.  That’s a praise you probably didn’t receive on the job.

 

17 May 2010 Posted by | Certificates, Marriage Certificate | , | Leave a comment

500 Drown – Hells Gate, New York – 15 Jun 1904

500_drown_hells_gate_ny

Up to 500 people die when the boat, General Slocum, catches fire and sinks at Hells Gate, New York on 15 Jun 1904.

16 May 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Worker Dead At Desk For 5 Days

Worker_dead

Keeping your head down at work isn’t always the best policy.

10 May 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Memorial Day Is Coming

Amforkcemetery

Memorial Day will be here soon. It’s time to plan visits to the graves of family and ancestors.

6 May 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Google Maps – Fewer Trips To Get Lat – Longs

Google Maps is going to save me a lot of money.  I won’t have to retrace many earlier trips to ancestral homes, ancestral burial locations and the waypoints along their migratory paths.  

New features in Google Maps provides the latitude and longitude of these locations.  All I have to do it point at them and read.

gmaps_lat_long

In many locations, the resolution of the aerial images is so good that I can point to my ancestors exact tombstone. 

I’ll miss walking through cemeteries with grandsons just to gather the latitude and longitude information of our ancestors markers, but we’ll find another way to spend ‘together’ time.  

I’ve taken photos of ancestral tombstones and homes over the past decades.  Few of them need to be retaken.  The expense of return visits to gather latitude and longitude data can be budgeted toward other research needs.

The advantages of easily obtaining these addresses is a real benefit to genealogists who document their research with these details.

My data in Legacy is ready for these specific addresses because location fields are available for every location in your database.  Latitude and longitude fields are normally populated automatically for cities and towns, but for special locations like homes, tombstones and waypoints, the fields can be populated manually using the information on Google Maps.

If you don’t use Legacy or a similar program, you can still include the location data in their files.  All of those who later use your genealogical data will thank you for including the exact location information.  You can even use the locations to find great aunt Harriet’s grave after you forget its exact location somewhere down the road.  

Scenery changes with time.  Homes are remodeled or torn down, trees and boulders are moved.  The exact locations associated with your ancestors won’t be lost if you include the data in your database.

Enabling latitude and longitude in Google Maps is simple: 

 

1. Click on the green labs beaker.

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2. Enable one or both of the LatLng tools.

gmaps_lat_long_settings

 

It is just that simple.  Point at the map or satellite images in Google Maps and read the exact location beneath your arrow. 

Genealogists everywhere say “Thanks Google”.

 

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2 May 2010 Posted by | Research Tips | , , | Leave a comment