Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thirteen Years at FindAGrave

This year, I more than doubled my entries at (mostly owing to a continued debilitating physical condition that prevents my participation in my athletic endeavors).

Marion Bishop (1906-1999) and Thomas Harold Joyce (1902-1964) were two graves that I happened upon.  My mother is descended from Joyce and my father from Bishop.  I have not figured out what relation, if any, Thomas Joyce has to my mother; however, Marion Bishop was found to be my father's second cousin, twice removed.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Finding Entries using a Flawed Index

When you cannot locate someone in an index, try searching with only a first name or view every name in the entire location.  Depending on the commonality of the name and the size of the potential search area, this may be a cumbersome task, but when a thorough researcher needs a record, this is the technique.

Patrick Joyce and his first wife and children were finally located in the 1865 New York State Census without using their last name.

The criteria was to search Pawling, Dutchess County, New York for this family:
- father Patrick
- mother Mary or Margaret
- and at least two children, Mary and Adelia or Delia.

The index at produced only 1,694 people living in Pawling in 1865.  I forwarded to the J surnames in hopes that at least the first letter was recorded correctly.

Found them!

The Joyce surname was transcribed for the index as JAIN.  When you view the actual record (always look at the record, not just the index!), the name was probably spelled JOICE, a variant of Joyce.

It is great to get another glimpse of Margaret Campbell, wife of Patrick Joyce.  She died in 1870  when her skirt was caught as she stepped from a moving train to not be separated from her child.

Adelia was listed as Cordelia.  In the 1870 federal census, she was Adelia.  In the 1875 New York State census, she was Delia.  My grandmother referred to her as Delia Joyce, her paternal grandmother.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Foundling Baby, died 1879

While collecting vital records for the surname Lutter or Luther in New Jersey, I found this sad record of death.

Martin Luther, a baby aged five months, died at the Home for the Friendless in Oceanfront, Monmouth County, New Jersey on June 23, 1879.  Next to his name was "Foundling."  Cause of death was cholera.

He may have been an orphan train rider.  (You can read my review of the novel Orphan Train here.)  According to the death certificate, he was born in New York City and arrived in New Jersey one week prior.  No parents are listed.

This location may have been in Eatontown, a branch location for the Home for Friendless Children through the Female Guardian Society.

If anyone has any information about this destination for unwanted children, please let us know.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Assembling a Couple's Children through Death Records

Otto Lutter (1845-1909) was a brother of my great great grandfather, Herman Lutter (1860-1924).  They immigrated to Newark, New Jersey from Thuringia, Germany in the 1880s.  Otto married Martha Klindt (1864-1922).  In Herman's will from 1924, he mentioned Gussie, a daughter of Otto.  This was Augusta Lutter, born in April of 1892.  I found a record of birth for Augusta, not named at birth, and her sister, Alwine, born in 1895.

According to the 1900 federal census, Otto and Martha had four children, one still living- Augusta.

By going through death records, I located a third child, William.  He died at 39 Rutger[s] Street in Newark on July 26, 1894 and was buried at nearby Woodland Cemetery.  Otto was buried at Woodland fifteen years later, but not with William.

Rutgers Street in Newark no longer exists.
The area is part of the Rutgers University campus.

Baby William was nine months old when he died, so he was born around October 1893.  There is no entry in the birth index for him under Lutter or Luther.

William was probably named after his paternal grandfather.  (The paternal grandmother's name varied on the three records that I have, so that is another mystery to decipher.)  Finding all the children of a couple is important for linking the family together through repetition of given names.  The fourth child of Otto and Martha will probably be uncovered in a death, not birth, record.  Births were not consistently reported.

"Ottillis" Lutter was buried at Woodland in December of 1898.  This could be the fourth child, or it could be Alwine, born in 1895.  I have not found a death record for Alwine yet.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Sale on DNA Tests for Genealogy

All DNA tests for genealogy are on sale at Family Tree DNA through November 21, 2016.

$59 (US Dollars) for the Family Finder (autosomal DNA) is the best deal out there.

This test estimates your ethnic percentages and lists people who share DNA with you.  They are descendants of your ancestors and the next step is figuring out which ancestors you have in common.

Direct lineage tests (Y-DNA and mt-DNA) are on sale and coupons are floating around!  I'll post codes in the comments below and then delete when used or expired.