11 March 2013

More trouble in Brazil

Joaquim Pedro da Silva, b. 1910, taken Summer 1995 by me
In the summer of 1995 my family traveled to Brazil to visit family. I was 14 years old and had never met most of them. I clearly remember meeting my Great-Grandfather Joaquim. He was an hilarious, albeit crotchety, old man.

Since I've had such trouble with the search for my Grandmother Lindalva's birth record I stepped back and thought maybe she might not have been born in Joao Pessoa after all. Her father, Joaquim, was born in Alagoa Grande, about 100 km east of Joao Pessoa. So, on a lark, I decided to look through Alagoa Grande's parish records to see if I could find Joaquim's birth/christening record.

Here's what I knew* before I started:
* by knew I mean that my father had collected these dates/places from speaking with family members many years ago...but there are very few documents (yet) to support these claims.
Joaquim Pedro da Silva
b. 9 Jun 1910, Alagoa Grande, Paraiba, Brazil
m. 15 Sep 1948, Joao Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil
d. 24 Dec 2001, Joao Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil
Note: his marriage date is 14 years after his oldest child, my grandmother, was born. That date comes from a copy of his civil marriage certificate. Perhaps they were married in the Catholic church on another date but didn't register the marriage with the government? As always, more research is needed.
So, I went off in search of his christening record, and here's what I found:
Source: Family Search, "Brazil, Catholic Church Records," digital image, Family Search (familysearch.org : downloaded 11 March 2013), Image 95, page 89, Entry 252; Brazil, Parish and Diocesan Records - ParaĆ­ba - Alagoa Grande - Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem - Batismos 1909, Ago-1911, Maio.
SERIOUSLY!!!???!!! Come on now! Not only is the page torn away but the microfilm-er didn't move over the small stub of the previous page which covered some of what was left. I even tried using the next page (back side of this one) and darkening the bit you could see through the page to see if I could read it. Nope.

Anyway, I believe entry number 252 to be his. Here's what I've worked out:
By looking at a previous entry (from the top of the page) I decided that this particular scribe had a "template" for all his entries. (I double checked that this was the same throughout the previous and subsequent pages.)
Template: Date of baptism, "I baptized in the font of this Parish", Name of child, age of child in days, parent(s) names, godparents names, testify of truthfulness and signature.
So what did I learn from this record?
  • A child named Joaquim was baptized on or around 9 June 1910
  • The child was perhaps 23 days old or even 23 hours old?
That's it!
Researching in Brazil is hard!

05 February 2013

Oscar A. Anderson (Sr.) Household - US 1880 Census

I've decided to focus my energy on the Anderson side of the family...Troy's paternal grandmothers family. So, I'm starting with a timeline and filling in the documents I would expect to find for the family. Birth, Marriage, Death records and Censuses. There are other "side" documents too, but I won't know what I should look for until I have a base of "events" to work around.

Here's how this family relates to Troy:

This first census is actually Troy's great-great Grandfather and his young wife and child in 1880. This was taken 4 months before Troy's great-grandfather was born, so Thirza (or Thersea) would have been pregnant at this point.
Source: 1880 U.S. Census, Kanosh Precinct, Millard, Utah, population schedule, Kanosh Precinct, Millard County, Utah, enumeration district (ED) ED 1, SD 33, 15, dwelling 133, family 133, Oscar A. Anderson Household; digital images, FamilySearch (familysearch.org : downloaded 5 February 2013).


Lines 15-18. Dwelling #133, Family #133.
Page 15, SD 1, ED 33
Kanosh Precinct, Millard County, Utah
7 June 1880

Line 15. Anderson, Oscar A, W, M, 25, Head, married, Freighter, POB: Denmark, Father POB: Sweden, Mother POB: Denmark.

Line 16. ---, Thirza J, W, F, 24, Wife, married, Keeping House, POB: Utah, Father POB: US, Mother POB: Tennessee.

Line 17. ---, Mary E, W, F, 1, Daughter, single, POB: Utah, Father POB: Denmark, Mother POB: Utah.

Line 18. Halsey, William A, W, M, 34, Boarder, single, Saddle & Harness Maker, cannot write, POB: N. Jersey, Father POB: New Jersey, Mother POB: New Jersey.

31 January 2013

Grandma's Birthday -- still unknown!

I have multiple options for my grandmother, Lindalva Ferreira da Silva (Lima)'s birthday.

  • She told my mother (her daughter) and thoughout her life celebrated on 7 Oct stating the birth year was 1934 and that she was married at 16 years old.
  • She was married on 30 Sep 1950 and I have her marriage record. The priest lists her age as 17 years old, which would mean her birthdate was between 30 Sep 1932 - 30 Sep 1933.
  • Her Death Certificate from 6 Jun 1999 states her age at death as 64 which places her birthday from 7 Jun 1937 - 7 Jun 1938. This would, however, make her 12-13 years old when she married, which I find very unlikely. I don't know who the informant on the death certificate is and what his relation is to Lindalva. He may not have known her age accurately.
I'll be honest. This has been very distressing to my mother who I think feels that I am calling her mother a liar. I just want to find her birth/christening record. But I don't know where to look. So I made a chart.
There are 3 parishes and 1 archdiocese in the city of Joao Pesso, Pariba, Brazil. She was married in Nossa Senhora do Rosario, and I have that marriage record. As you can see from the chart, I have yet to find her and all I have left to search are the 1937-38 years (which would make her too young to marry). 

I'm not sure where to go from here. I think I will:
  1. Complete my search of the 1937-38 records for all the parishes.
  2. Ask my brother, or another set of eyes, to search all the same records. Maybe I just missed her? There is no index. :(
  3. There are no civil records digitized or on microfilm for births after 1931.
  4. Maybe an aunt could go to the registrars office in Joao Pessoa and find a birth certificate. Or maybe they already have a copy?
All I want is a document as source of her birth! Is that too much to ask?

30 January 2013

Preparing for a Writing Challenge

I've decided to participate in The Family History Writing Challenge this February. I've decided that for me, I can do 500 words a day, which will come out to 14,000 words all together...not to shabby!

Now, I just have to decide on the topic. This is where I get hung up. Do I want to write about someone or a family that I've already researched, or do I want to start with a new problem? Do I want to stick to one topic or just write about anything I happen to be researching that day?

Here are some ideas:
  • Just do blog posts every day with at least 500 words, with any topic that strikes my fancy.
  • Marrying the Lunds ::: examining the women that married into the Lund line.
  • Lindalva Ferreira da Silva (Lima) ::: My grandmother who's birthdate is still in question.
  • Anna Thome and Jose Ferreira's Love story ::: Met in Portugal, parents refused to let them marry, Anna followed Jose to Brazil to marry him.
  • Ada Rose Taylor ::: Not sure why (probably that she died in childbirth from the same trouble I had with #2) but I have been drawn to her life and story.
So, I will have to make that decision SOON!

And because a post is sad without a picture:
My Dad --Nilton-- abt 1966.

06 December 2012

Etta Lund (Witten) - Obituary

I'm slowly making may way through the pile of obituaries from Aunt Jeanine's house. I'm scanning them in, along with the funeral program if she had it, and then transcribing everything. These obituaries should be a great help in finding all the descendants of Didrick Funk and Karen Hansdatter Lund. Here's the one from today for Etta Lund (Witten), their granddaughter:

Source: "Etta Lund Witten," Obituary, The Ogden Standard Examiner, 22 October 1968 or 23 October 1968, born 15 March 1887, died Monday [21 Oct 1968]. Held by Jeanine Lund (Clountz) (Allen) (Sinsel).


Etta Lund Witten
Mrs. Etta Lund Witten, 81, of 2640 Washington, died Monday night in a local nursing home of natural causes.
Mrs. Witten was born March 15, 1887 in Plain City, a daughter of Mathius and Pauline Swenson Lund.
On April 30, 1907, she was married to Robert Alfred Witten in Ogden. The marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on Feb. 12, 1908. Mr. Witten died Feb. 21, 1937, in Ogden.
She had resided in Plain City and Perry, and most of her life in Ogden. She was formerly employed by the Shupe-Williams Candy Co.
She was a member of Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 3rd LDS Ward and had been a Relief Society teacher.
Surviving are four daughters, Mrs. Lionel (Ivy) Ipsen, Clovis Calif.; Mrs. Robert (Myrtle) Parsley, Panorama City, Calif.; Mrs. James (Verda) Faulkner, Ogden; Mrs. Tom (Carma) Dixon, Las Vegas, Nev.; six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, one brother and two sisters, Heber C. Lund, Farr West; Mrs. Rosella Cottle, Plain City; Mrs. Frank (Clide) Heslop, Tremonton.
Funeral services will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at Lindquists and Sons Colonial Chapel.
Friends may call at the mortuary Thrusday from7 to 9 p.m. and Friday until services. Burial in the Ogden City Cemetery.

What I Learned:
  • Where she was living when she died.
  • Support for her birth date and place and parents. (There were no birth certificates for this date/time).
  • Support for her wedding date, my date came from a family group sheet.
  • Death date for her husband.
  • Where she worked.
  • Names of her four daughters and husbands...didn't know any of this.
  • When the funeral was held.
  • Where she was buried.
What a goldmine!

05 December 2012

Oh, sources!

My brother-in-law is getting into genealogy. He chose a line of the family I haven't done any research on and got really excited to see the the work that was "already done." His excitement quickly turned into annoyance when he discovered that none of what he found in online trees was sourced and that he had wasted a lot of time adding three generations to his tree that may not even be related! As I talked with him during our Thanksgiving get-together, I tried to emphasize the one big thing to remember:

If it doesn't have a source, it's not true (yet).

Yes, the topic of sources is a big one and the nuances of each source type and its veracity in relation to any particular event or fact could be, and has been, discussed in depth. However, put very simply: I may suspect something, and possibly use family "knowledge" to help guide my search but until I have proof, it's not true. It's a frustrating lesson to learn but a very important one.

The ancestor in question: Mary Ann Waller (Mills).
At the party we were unable to find her death certificate online at the Utah State Archives...I was hoping to show him what kind of information he could get from that kind of record. Later, at home, I did find it:

Here's part of the email I sent my BIL with suggestions on where he may look next:

I have also attached Mary Ann Waller (Mills) (Hatton)'s death certificate. She did remarry, which is why we didn't find her death certificate the other day. I have not yet updated my database. This is the information I currently have for her:

Mary Ann Waller
b: 16 Jun 1838, Bagshot, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
d: 25 Oct 1925, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
m: 1855 to William Mills
Parents: Sammuel Waller and Diana Wild
Children: Annie Chelsea Mills

I don't have any verification for any of it! I'm sure she had more children. I don't know if she was married in England or in Utah.

Here's the interesting thing about her death certificate - It has slightly different dates and names for her parents. 

Mary Ann Mills Hatton
Born: 16 January 1838, England
Died: 29 October 1928 (at home - 1788 So. 11 East, SLC)
Parents: Josiah Waller and Margaret Wild

The Informant was Edith P. Fowler who may be related...a married daughter, perhaps? Not sure.

I don't know for sure that this is our Mary Ann but I believe that it is. 

From here we could try to find her in a census record living with Richard Hatton. Since William Mills (her first husband) died in 1887 she may be in the census with Richard as early as 1890 (which was destroyed), but also in 1900, 1910, or 1920. If some of her other known children (which we don't know yet but will have to find) are also living with her, that would be evidence that this Mary Ann is our Mary Ann. 

To find her other children, we can try to find her in censuses with her first husband, William Mills. I'm not sure when they immigrated to the US but we could start with 1860, then go on to 1870 and 1880.

06 September 2012

The Great Genealogy Clean-up

I am stuck in a rut. I feel like I have so many options and people to research that I just don't know where to focus next. So, I'm deciding to not focus on any one person and instead focus on ... everyone!

Yes, I will be cleaning out my entire database. In preparation for "The Great Genealogy Clean-up" I've read various posts that have been helpful.
  • James Tanner of Genealogy's Star posted Clean up your Genealogy Database where he talked about looking at place names to make sure there aren't duplicates. I will definitely be doing this, but probably towards the end of the process since I think the method I've come up with will solve most of the issues.
  • Tina Lyons of Gen Wish List has a whole series of posts dedicated to Cleaning up My Genealogy Database. I started using her system, and even printed out 60 pages of names! But after about 10 minutes, I knew this wasn't the method for me. Her process, however, was informative.
So, I made a plan that I think will work for me. My process is more focused on "creation" rather than "deletion." Just as a reference, as of today here's what I'm starting with:

 The Plan:

  1. Create a new database that is blank. To this database I will add people one at a time and work on updating them before moving on to the next person. RootsMagic makes this so easy because I can just drag and drop people into the new database.
  2. Only people who currently have sources associated with them or with a fact will move to the new database. If I can quickly find something to support the fact/person I will do so. Otherwise, they get left behind.
  3. To be "complete" and included in the new database all of the following must be true: A. Each fact associated with the person must have a source; B. Each source must have a complete citation, including a image of the source and transcription/translation; C. Relevant notes must be included with each citation or fact, as needed.
  4. Additionally, I will also be updating all file/folder names as I go along and scanning/filing all originals following my "Family History Filing System" (a 4 page description of my system which I've included with my physical files). I have so many original photos and documents still to scan...I know those will flesh out a lot of the facts that are missing citations.
I am starting as any new genealogist should, with myself. I'll me, my husband and kids then move on to our parents and siblings working my way back.

I'm expecting when I'm done to have far fewer people in my database, but only "real" and verified information will be recorded. I will of course keep my "old" database as a guide when I continue research. Just because great-great-grandma's birth date is not verified (yet) doesn't mean I can't use the "alleged" date as a starting point in my research. As Reagan would say, "Trust, but verified!"