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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Week 5 — At the Library

Week 5 prompt is "At the Library".   I'm going to expand this a bit to say "At the Research Library & Museum".  

A couple of weeks ago while working on my family tree (Ancestry.com) I came across a clue for an ancestor (William Howard Cloe) which had a photo of a quilt attached to it.  The description of the photo said Quilt owned by William Howard Cloe family.  It was buried in a lard can during the Civil War so it would not be destroyed.  According to Peggy Lewis of Oklahoma it is now in a museum in Jefferson City, Missouri.  This was posted by  Marilyn Thompson on 17 Feb 2013.

Quilt made by Mary Cloe circa 1855
Quilt made by Mary Cloe circa 1855

I decided to try to track down the quilt.

I contacted the museum in Jefferson City, Missouri and asked if they had this quilt in their collection.  They said they did not have it but suggested that I contact the Missouri Historical Library and Research Museum in St Louis.  I called there and spoke with a person who took the information about the quilt & family and my contact information and said they would pass it on to the museum curator.  The next day I received an email from Shannon Meyer Senior Curator, Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center.  Her email said:


We have a quilt in the collection, ca. 1855, made by Mary B. Hickey Cloe and donated by William H. Cloe, Jr. and Mrs. Woodson B. McComb. Does this sound like the right people?

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52 Ancestors in 52 weeks

Week 4 — I'd like to Meet...

I would like to meet my gr. gr. grandfather, John Baptist Lane and have him tell me the story of how he learned to play the fiddle.

John was born in 7 June 1841 in Greene county, Arkansas.  Not much is know about his parents, James Lane & Elizabeth Petty, except they they were married in 1840.  James, his father, was about 19 years old and his mother Elizabeth (Betty) about 16 years old.  

John's father died sometime in 1846 when he was 6 years old.  John's mother, a young widow with two small children (John age 6 and his sister Mary age 4) married Joseph Rowlett a year later.  They moved to Travis county, Texas soon after.

By 1850 John's family had grown to include a half brother and sister (William & Elizabeth).

In 1860, at age 18, John was living at Marion, Arkansas with his mother, step-father and siblings Elizabeth and Isabella, but he soon went to Paris, Texas.  

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Week 3 prompt — Unusual Name

Looking through my family tree I found that I have a few unusual female names all from one particular family.  I am actually related to this family only through marriage. These ladies are the great aunts of the husband of my 3rd great aunt. (Glad my Family Tree Maker program will generate the relation to me automatically because I would probably still be trying to figure that one out. Ha!Ha!)

Anyway, this family has the surname BIGELOW. They were a Puritan family who lived in Berlin, Massachusetts. They had 3 daughters; Thankful, Comfort & Freedom. In the Puritan society these were not really too unusual as names go.  But the story that goes with the naming of Comfort & Freedom is what is really interesting.

The father of Thankful, Comfort and Freedom Bigelow was John Bigelow born 09 May 1675 at Watertown, Middlesex county, Massachusetts. 

In the early 1700's the Queen Ann's War was in full swing. The French and British were at war over the control of the North American Continent.

The French with the help of Indians intended to capture large number of English Puritan settlers, convert them to Catholicism, then naturalize them as French citizens to increase the ranks of inhabitants of "New France".

The Indians would capture settlers in exchange for the hefty ransoms that the French authorities paid them.

On the 16th of October 1705 John Bigelow, a carpenter, was working in Lancaster, Massachusetts at a sawmill owned by Thomas Sawyer. The village was attacked by Indians and  John Bigelow,  Thomas Sawyer and Thomas' son Elias (age 16) were taken prisoner. 

The Indians took the men 320 miles on foot to Montreal where they were paid a handsome ransom by the French Governor, Pierre Vandreuil.  

John and Thomas proposed to the Governor that if he would release them and let them return home to their families they would build a sawmill for his city of Montreal, there being no sawmills as yet in that part of Canada. The Governor accepted their offer, a sawmill was built on the river Chamblay, and after about a year Bigelow and the elder Sawyer returned home, the younger man stayed behind for another several months to run the mill and train workmen. 

John Bigelow returned to his family in fall of 1706, his daughter Comfort was born 23 of September 1707 and daughter Freedom was born 14 February 1709. It is said that his daughters were given these names because of the gratitude he had at   returning home after being taken and held prisoner by the Indians & French.

In all John Bigelow and his wife Jerusha (Garfield) Bigelow had 11 children.  Eight of those children being born after John's abduction and release.


I came across a list of goals I had for a previous year and decided I liked it so much that I wanted them to be my goals again for 2019.  

I'm going to post this list on my bathroom mirror so I can see it every day.  I will put a check mark next to each goal every time I accomplish it (some may have more that one check mark at the end of the year).

  1. Pay better attention to the small things people do for me not just the big things. And to say "thank you" to those people.
  2. Cut Calories but not taste. Take a cooking class at the community college.
  3. Take more walks and participate in atleast one 5K walk for charity.
  4. Clean out and reorganize one drawer, area, or part of a closet in my house every month.
  5. Write a narrative history about at least 2 of my family members.
  6. Have a weekend get away with some girl friends
  7. Communicate more with my nieces & nephews, including sending them a personal note on their birthday
  8. Volunteer for the pioneer cemeteries in the area, researching, writing & documenting the "residents"
  9. Help someone discover the thrill of finding their ROOTS
  10. Regularly do something (what ever the need may be at the time) to give a hand up to someone in need, remembering how blessed I am and sharing what blessings I can.
  11. Tell the people in my life as often as I can that they are loved and appreciated.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Week 2: Writing prompt - Challenge

I had made my way back in my family tree to my 3rd gr. grandfather William PERRY.  I finally located him on an 1850 census for Drew county, Arkansas but it had taken me several years to find this record.  It seems that when the census had been indexed the person transcribing the microfilm had mistakenly interpreted William's last name as TERRY instead of PERRY.  I finally requested a copy of the microfilm from the Family History Library of the LDS church so that I could look at the microfilm myself to see if the person indexed as William TERRY was instead William PERRY.  

These days we can look at scanned copies of the original census microfilms in the comfort of our own home on our personal computer.  But on this day many years  ago I found myself sitting at the library in front of a larger microfilm reader where I had loaded the 1850 census microfilm for Drew county, Arkansas.  I used the index  book which had been published to find which page I needed to go to on the microfilm in order to view the record I was looking for. (I'm not sure what year it had been published, but I can tell you that this was in the early 1990s when I was looking at it.)

I finally found the page and below is what I saw.  It is easy to understand why the person indexing the page mistook the P for a T but this is my PERRY family.  All the names and dates match.

The moral to my story... ALWAYS look at the original record.  It will save you many challenges along the way!

1850 census of Veasey Township, Drew county, Arkansas

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

I'm starting a little late but I think this will be a great way for me to get on "paper" some of the stories I have in my head regarding my ancestors.  Isn't the point of doing genealogy to record what you have learned so that future generations can know more about the people who's genes make them who they are?

Week 1: Writing Prompt — First

I first became interest in learning more about my ancestors when I was 14 years old.   I was attending the funeral of my great grandfather, Ruby Monroe Perry, know to all his family as "Big Daddy".

I was named after Big Daddy.  My mother, Alma Jean (Wilson) Lane was the daughter of Big Daddy's oldest daughter, Leona Bernetty (Perry) Wilson.

My mother was very close to her grandfather.  She and my father (Bryan William "Bill" Lane) had decided to name me after him.  I was told that my parents were expecting me to be a boy and I would be called William (after my dad) Perry (after my gr. grandfather), but I surprised them so by changing the spelling of Big Daddy's surname from PERRY to PERI  and adding Ann (chosen by my dad) as my middle name, they were able to have a girl's name and still honor the two men.

As I sat at my gr. grandfather's funeral service listening to everyone talk about him it dawned on me what an honor it was to have been named after this man.  I had had the privilege of knowing him and spending time with him myself and remembered how kind and gentle he was to me.  He had bore four children, two girls and two boys.  But both of the boys had died without leaving any male heirs to carry on the PERRY surname.   It seemed to me that it was my responsibility to make sure that the PERRY family surname was remembered.

I remember going to my grandmother not long after we attended Big Daddy's funeral service and asking her to tell me about him.  I wanted to know everything!  Where was he born?  Who were his parents?  His siblings? When had he gotten married?  My grandmother seemed pleased that I was asking questions about the family history and she was eager to answer my questions.

So that was the beginning, Ruby Monroe PERRY was the very FIRST ancestor that I put on my family tree. 

Ruby Monroe Perry, "Big Daddy" had been born the 25th of February 1888 on a small ranch northeast of a small town called Ponotoc, Texas. He was the ninth and youngest child born to William Riley & LettieAnn Burnetty (Reid) Perry.

Ruby's mother died 28 December 1889, when he was just shy of two years old. Lettie was only 41 years old. Luckily Ruby had older siblings still living at home to care for him.  

In September of 1891 Ruby's father married Amanda Marshall. Amanda was a spinster of 43 and not fond of children.  So, in October of 1891, when Ruby's oldest brother, Hilliard, married Sarah Edwards, Ruby (still just a toddler) went to live with his brother and new wife.

Although I do not know of the exact timing I do know Ruby's older sister, Alice, married in December of 1893 to Ruben Stone.  In October 1896 their son, Horrace was born,  Horrace lived only a few short weeks.  He died 7 December 1896.  Not long after the death of her son Alice took into her home her brother, Ruby, who was about 9 years old and her younger sister, Theo Docia, who was about 19 years old.  Both of her siblings show up in the Stone household on the 1900 census for Mason county, Texas.  By 1910 Alice and Ruben had two more children born to them; Marie, born 1906 and Lurlene, born 1910 and Ruby (by this time 22 years old) had married his sweetheart, Mary Elizabeth (Bessie) Alexander (They were married December 18, 1909 at Eldorado, Texas). Ruby and Bessie were living in Eldorado, Texas in 1900.

More on Ruby &  Bessie PERRY later.

Good Genealogy Read

Love reading books fiction/non fiction with a genealogy theme.
Just found this author and plan on making his books part of my summer reading list.

The Spyglass File by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

Morton Farrier was no longer at the top of his game. His forensic genealogy career was faltering and he was refusing to accept any new cases, preferring instead to concentrate on locating his own elusive biological father. Yet, when a particular case presents itself that of finding the family of a woman abandoned in the midst of the Battle of Britain, Morton is compelled to help her to unravel her past. Using all of his genealogical skills, he soon discovers that the case is connected to The Spyglass File—a secretive document which throws up links which threaten to disturb the wrongdoings of others, who would rather its contents, as well as their actions, remain hidden forever.

1918-1919 Influenzia deaths

I have been doing some volunteer work for Portland Metro Pioneer Cemeteries office. My current task is to look up names on copies of death records (supplied by Friends of Multhnomah Cemetery who spent many hours in Salem, OR making copies) and determine the location in the cemetery where the person is buried. That way we can place a copy of the death record in the appropriate person's file.

As I have been working on this project I found something very interesting which got me to thinking.

There are many records for stillborn babies & prematurely born babies who died during the time period of 1918-1919. I came across a few (see sample below) which indicate that the cause of death was due to the mother suffering from influenzia.
I wonder if all the statics we read about the thousands who died in the US from the 1918-1919 epidemic include the stillborn and prematurely born babies who died? Also how many of the stillborn births were as a result of a mother having influenzia but a Doctor or corner did not indicate the mother's sickness on the death record of the infant?

Now on Twitter too

Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/genealogyjunkie

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Maui cemetery

Visited the Hanakaoo cemetery today which is south of Lahaina, Maui. I can' seem to find any info about it. It appears to be a Japanese cemetery.

My husband commented that it wouldn't be a real vacation if I didn't drag him to a cemetery. :-D

Jan 12, 2012 - A friend sent me the following... the cemetery is filled with the remains of Asian and Filipino immigrants who made their way to Hawaii to work on the sugar and pineapple plantations.

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