Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday's Obituary ~ William H. Judd, Friend

William Harrison Judd
1st cousin 3x removed
born - December 18, 1881
died - January 17, 1906
burial - Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore City, Maryland

In the following obituary we learn that William Harrison Judd attended the McDonogh School. The school which was established in 1873, was semi-military in nature. Poor orphaned boys were selected to attend in exchange for working on the farm.

The article states William began attending the school in 1895 at 14 years of age. By this time both of his parents had died.

Sadly, William was only 25 years old when he passed away in 1906.

 The Late William Harrison Judd
March 07, 1906
Baltimore Sun Newspaper; pg. 9

William Harrison, Judd, 25 years old, a student at McDough School from 1896 to 1897, died on January 17 at his home, in Lauraville. His funeral took place on January 10. Burial was in Loudon Park Cemetery.

Mr. Judd spent the earlier days after his leaving McDonogh in the employ of H F Miller & Son, this city. Upon the death of Mr. Miller, Mr. Judd moved to New York, where he was made a clerk in the quotation department of the American Can Company, which corporation had been established by Mr. Miller. He remained in that position until he entered the employ of the Automatic Switch Company as chief of the office force.

Mr. Judd's last position, which he accepted upon the dissolution of the American Can Company, was that of bookkeeper with the local wholesale paper house of Dobler & Mudge.

Mr. Judd's reputation among all of his employers as well as his tutors and fellow-students at McDonogh was of the highest order, and he was regarded as gentle, honorable and truthful.

In The Week, a weekly publication of McDonogh School, nearly a column of space was devoted to an account of his death.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Google Drive to the Rescue!

We all have surnames that bring us bouts of hair pulling. Mine is the Gaphardt line. This family appears with so many surname variations. Gaphardt, Gebhart, Gabhart and more! They have presented quite the challenge.

The earliest record discovered was this death record for George Gaphardt, my 3rd great-grandfather. His surname is recorded as "Gephardt". George died July 10, 1879 in Baltimore, Maryland. His residence is listed as "revised" 256 Caroline Avenue.

Last year I started using Google Drive spreadsheets for research. Could this tool help unravel the Gaphardt mess?

click on image to enlarge

In this spreadsheet I entered information found on the Maryland State Archives death index. Death date, age, document number, length of time in residence, address, marital status and place of burial. Goodness, look at the different possibilities! 

Working through the records ... shouts of genealogy joy! What caused my heart to leap? I recognized an address. Catherine Gebhardt, last residence was 256 Caroline Avenue.

Could this be George's wife? Address matches. Age matches. Time residing in this country matches. I believe we may have found my 3rd great-grandmother's date of death. Need to plan a trip to the archives!

With this method I hope to:
  • Discover additional ancestors
  • Prove/disprove relationships
  • Eliminate records
Have a "surname quandary"? Give it a try. Happy adventures in genealogy.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Who Do I Think I Am? ~ Bohemian

AncestryDNA Results
Last year I took the AncestryDNA test. Some results were expected, some not so much.

Looking over the report, theme music for "Who Do You Think You Are" kept buzzing in my head.

Who am I? Well, apparently a mixed bag of interesting heritages. I thought it might fun/informative to write posts about this DNA.

With that said ...Who Do I Think I Am?

Europe East ~ 62%

Goodness! Well over half of my lines come from this region. In fact, the site gives the "typical native" as 82%. If I take a trip to the area, surely will be bumping shoulders with family!

Ancestry states the following:

Primarily located in: Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia.

Map of Bohemia
As I have stated before, growing up I really did not know much about my ancestry. One country of origin that was common knowledge is Bohemia. 

Beginning this genealogy adventure, I wanted to discover more about this heritage. I am embarrassed to admit that region of the world is a mystery. Really folks! I love history! But, geography? Not when one is a bit directional challenged.

Bohemia? Wikipedia states the following:

Bohemia is a historical country of Central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague. In a broader meaning, it often refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia, especially in historical contexts, such as the Kingdom of Bohemia. Bohemia was a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire and subsequently a province in the Habsburgs’ Austrian Empire. It was bounded on the south by Upper and Lower Austria, on the west by Bavaria, on the north by Saxony and Lusatia, on the northeast by Silesia, and on the east by Moravia. From 1918 to 1939 and from 1945 to 1992 it was part of Czechoslovakia, and since 1993 it has formed much of the Czech Republic.

To understand research into the region, I located to following resources.

Bohemia and the Cechs - Google Books

Czech Genealogy - Archives

The Federation of East European Family History Societies

It's All Relative : Eastern European Genealogical Research

On to my ancestors ...

I have been able to trace several lines to the town of Branice in Milevsko, Bohemia.

Wikepedia - Milevsko is a village and municipality in Písek District in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. The municipality covers an area of 14.81 square kilometres (5.72 sq mi), and has a population of 239 (as at 2005).

Population of 239?! Most likely related to the entire town. That could be quite the home-coming.

Ancestors from this region:

Joseph Frank Jerousek (2nd great-grandfather) was born July 23, 1845, Branice, Milevsko, Bohemia.

He married Barbara Fuka (2nd great-grandmother) on October 31, 1871 in Milevsko.

Barbara was born June 17, 1851 in Branice, Milevsko, Bohemia.

The couple emigrated to Baltimore, Maryland in 1872 along with their son, Frank.

Several interesting sites for the region.

Milevsko: Official town website

Milevsko: South Bohemia and Bohemian Forest

Lastly, I found a great site for birth, marriage and death records. The Digital Archives on Czech Republic State Regional Archives in Třeboň. The information discovered there has been invaluable! It has helped take our family line back several generations.

That wraps up the Bohemian episode of Who Do I Think I Am. I hope you learned something new and helpful to further research.

Until next time ...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

52 Ancestors: #3 - Hunt for Henry Wakefield

Seated front-second from the right
great-grandfather, Charles Wakefield
son of Henry Wakefield

Last week I wrote about my husband's grandfather, Christian Wismer Ruth. Doug thinks I may be the foremost expert on Christian! I have reams of information, from birth to death.

At the other end of the genealogy spectrum? My 2nd great-grandfather, Henry Wakefield. Plenty of oral history, with very little documentation.

What do we have? Hearsay, fantastic family lore and conjecture. Goodness, even his birthday is a mystery!

From my mother, aunts and assorted family members, we have heard the following.

  • Henry was a horse thief ... chased from the border of Scotland
  • Henry immigrated to Maryland from England
  • Henry served in the British military
  • Henry died at sea

  • So .. what do the documents say about Henry Wakefield?

    click on image to enlarge for better viewing

    This record was discovered in "Trinity German Lutheran, 1853-1877: Baltimore City, Maryland. Ruppert, Gary B. Westminster, Md: Willow Bend Books, 2002". Book located at The Historical Society of Baltimore County.

    From record:
    • Parents of Charles (Karl) were Heinrich Wakefild and Elis. Jud - agrees with all records
    • Charles was baptized December 13, 1868 - death record lists birth as October 26, 1868

    We find Henry Wakefield in the Baltimore, Maryland, City Directory, 1868. This is the only directory with a listing for Henry.

    From record:
    • Henry's occupation is tailor
    • Resided at 290 S. Ann Street

    While researching on Google, I stumbled on  "Wakefield Memorial : comprising a historical, genealogical, and biographical register of the name and family Wakefield" compiled by Homer Wakefield. The book was privately printed for the compiler in 1897.

    Searching the index I discovered Henry! Genealogy happy dance! Well, maybe a little genealogy skip. You can see there are quite a few blanks in his entry.

    From record:

  • Born October 14 ___ 
  • Birth in England - 1900, 1920 United States Federal Census, Charles Wakefield lists father's birthplace as England. 930 United Federal Census, Charles lists his father's birthplace as Wales
  • Married August ___, 1867 to Elizabeth Judd - see record below
  • Died July 1, 1871; have found no records to support this date. At sea on ship "Callaloo" - have not found information about this ship
  • Served in United States navy during Civil War - enlisted November 9, 1863 from Baltimore, Md. - disagrees with family lore that states Henry served in the British Navy. Have yet to find records for either possibility
  • Discharged November 22, 1865
  • Resided 290 South Anne Street, Baltimore, Md. - agrees with Baltimore City Directory

  • \
    Baltimore City Court of Common Pleas (Marriage Index, Male) 

    • Only record on site for Henry Wakefield marriage in 1867. 
    • Henry Wakefield 40 years of age - birth date would be 1827
    • Occupation listed as mariner - disagrees with the 1868 Baltimore Directory
    • Bride listed as Elizabeth Young (could this be Judd?) - age agrees

    That is all the information I have for Henry Wakefield. Nothing but frustration at each turn. 

    Any tips/help would be greatly appreciated. Really need to kick down the wall surrounding Henry Wakefield!

    Friday, January 24, 2014

    Genealogy Blogs, News & Tidbits #17

    I'm back! Holidays are over. Back to sharing the genealogy blogs, news and tidbits.


    Lowell Historical Society shares the story of a Civil War flag discovered in the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.

    Learn about the "fascinating things" we learn from reading very old polls on Slate.

    Elizabeth LaPointe of Genealogy Canada posts about four new French-Canadian podcasts.

    Great new series has begun thanks to Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small. Must read! 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Bloggers sharing family stories.

    Have you heard the news?! Julie Goucher, of Anglers Rest, has begun Worldwide Genealogy ~ A Genealogical Collaboration. Bloggers from around the globe, coming together to share family and local history. Yours truly will be making made her debut on the blog this week.

    Nancy of My Ancestors and Me shares the tale of a family history email list saving the day!

    Leland & Patty Meitzler of GenealogyBlog search for prisoners held at Andersonville and Fort McHenry.

    Cindy Freed of Genealogy Circle writes Digital or Bust. Is that the question?

    Kathleen Brandt of a3Genealogy shares Burying, Disinterment, Reinterment of African Americans Remains.

    Learn 7 Tips For Mapping Out your Ancestors on Pinterest from Cody Nelson of Meet you in Ohio.

    Cheri Hudson Passey of Carolina Girl Genealogy tells us about Treasure Chest Thursday: Pop's WWII New Testament.

    Interesting Civil War history from Mysteries and Conundrums with "If these signatures could talk": Banks' Ford Arborglyphs (tree carvings).

    Lynn Palermo of The Armchair Genealogist has great advice with How to Make Writing a Habit.

    Mary Perkinson Nelson of Celebrating Family Stories shares Flip-Pal tips.

    Sue McPeak of CollectIn Texas Gal has begun a 1940's scrapbook restoration project.

    Diane Gould Hall of Michigan Family Trails writes about books. Why we still need them? Which ones are in your library?

    Jen Baldwin of Ancestral Breezes has decided to be S.M.A.R.T.ER in 2014.

    Over on Finding Eliza we read about Frank and Juda Cleage - From Slavery to Freedom.

    Read about Black Heroines of the Civil War by Maggie MacLean on Civil War Women.

    FamilySearch tells us about BillionGraves.

    Two Nerdy History Girls post Casual Friday: Victorian London Street Life.

    Blogs discovered this week:

    Ancestor Sleuth Hound

    Baltimore 1814: Every Day is Monumental

    Dance Skeletons

    Family Preserves


    Granite Genealogy

    Retro Baltimore from The Baltimore Sun

    News (genealogy and history world)

    Take a look at the "marvelous mosaics revealed inside 1,500 year-old church in Israel".

    Excellent article by Robin Foster - Ten tips for more success with newspaper research.

    Having a fun catching up on podcasts on Extreme Genes Family History Radio.

    Sign of the times? New York State Library making difficult decision "what to save, what to shred".

    (United Kingdom) First World War conscription appeals go online.

    FamilySearch has launched a new indexing website.


    Do you know about grave bells?

    No news to the family researcher! Genealogy scientifically proven to be good for us!

    Interesting article - Digitize your old photo albums and home movies

    Wonderful & heartwarming story - Woman Spent 18 Years Looking for Man Who Helped Her Escape Vietnam.

    Latest BlogTalkRadio from Bernice Bennett "The African American Heritage Book with Janis Minor 

    Irish Research 101: Learning the Research Process - webinar - from Judy Wright is free online until 1/27/14/

    Hail from Washington State? Check out HistoryLink.

    Did you know? ... Google's Search Filters Now Update Dynamically Based On Your Queries.

    Hope you discover something new and interesting this week.

    Happy adventures in genealogy!