Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Flip Pal Mobile Scanner: A Review

Do you have a pile of photographs waiting to be scanned?

Do you have old photo albums which you want copies of but don't want to risk damaging the photos by removing them?

Or are you going to visit a relative or to a reunion where you might want to scan photos?

A photo scanned this weekend at my mom's of me, age 7, in our roses
Using a flatbed scanner is a tedious, time-consuming process which is more difficult to use 'on the go.' And, using a cell phone to capture images from a relative's scrapbook, which I've done in the past, produces poor quality copies (though they are better than not having any copies!)

I recently purchased a Flip Pal Mobile Scanner. Last week, I tried it on a scrapbook at home; and this weekend, I tried it on a box of photos at my mom's.

My first reaction is: WOW!

I've had piles of photos I've needed to scan, but the process takes so much time and effort that the photos have just sat there. With this scanner, the process is now quick and easy! I'm thrilled with my new scanner. But, there are also a few downsides to this little scanner.

Using the Flip Pal upside down to make copies in an album
  • It's FAST... about 7 seconds when scanning at 300 dpi and maybe 10-15 at 600 dpi (which you need for enlargements)
  • It easily scans photos still in scrapbooks or photo albums
  • It's lightweight and easy to transport
  • It saves files as .jpg instead of .tif (which gives better photo quality)
  • It's hard to see exactly what you're getting when scanning from an album (though it probably gets better with practice)
  • It has a small scanning bed (though it has a 'stitch' function which I haven't tried yet)
  • It chops off a part of the photo if you line it up against the edge of the scanning bed
  • It isn't easy to get a scan straight if you don't line it up against the edge of the scanning bed
The scanner isn't perfect. But, it is a wonderful tool that allowed me to scan more than 100 photos, put them in folders, and label them in only a couple of hours. In that same amount of time, I might have been able to do 15-20 photos with my flatbed.

Note: Though I think using the Flip Pal to scan photos is a wonderful tool, I would still take the time to use a traditional scanner to scan the most important images and save them as .tif files.

I'm excited to tackle some other scanning projects I've had waiting around the house! I've had two stacks of photos my husband's aunt let me borrow that I haven't taken the time to scan. Now, I will be able to scan them and give other family members digital copies of these photos! And, I plan on revisiting my aunt and uncle's house where I took hundreds of photos with my cell phone. This time, I'll use my Flip Pal and get better images from their scrapbooks!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blog as "Cousin Bait"

Cousin Bait. That's one of the reasons I, and other genealogists, blog. In other words, we're hoping relatives will find our blog posts, recognize their own family members, and get in touch with us. When they get in touch with us, we hope they'll share information with us as we share with them, too.

I started blogging about a year and a half ago, though I was fairly sporadic at first. I have now completed 140 posts. And, I recently got my first 'nibble!'

Bob wrote me saying he'd read my post about George Correy of Chester County, Pennsylvania. The post was about George's 1781 will which had been decided upon by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

I actually don't even know if George Correy is related to me, but I do have Correy family members in Chester County during that time period. This is a complicated family with many Correy's in the same area with the same name.

Bob wrote me to tell me he thought I'd made a mistake in my reasoning. And, I had! (I've since corrected the blog post.) But, while emailing back and forth, I was able to help correct one of his errors, too! (Another great reason to have cousins to work with!)

Through our discussions, we found out we are cousins through another Correy couple. David Correy (~1708-1787) and Susanna (~1717-1760) are my 6th great grandparents. Their daughter, Mary Correy, who married John Watson, is my direct line. Another of their daughters, Agnes Correy, who married David Mackey, is Bob's direct line.

We are now working together to try to untangle some of these Correy relationships.

Do you blog? If so, have you met other cousins because of your posts? Or have you found a cousin through someone else's post? If you're not blogging, you might consider it. It's a wonderful way to find more cousins!

Do we share common ancestors or do you know more about the Correy family? If so, I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or email me at drleeds@sbcglobal.net

(Image from Wikipedia)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Tip: Study the Entire Document

The fifth person on this list is Edmund Kaechle. His age appears to be 24 years old and he died about 1885. If you look at the person above him, Charles, you will see he is 5 years old. The "y" for Charles' 5 years looks nothing like the "4" on Edmund's 24 years.

That was my big mistake. Even though everyone in this cemetery plot are my family members, I didn't study the list to see how the ages were recorded. If you look again, you'll see the ages are as follows:
  1. 55y
  2. 2d
  3. 42y
  4. 5y
  5. 24
  6. 90y
  7. 70y
  8. 52y
  9. 72y
Do you see how the ages are recorded? Each age is followed by a "y" for years or a "d" for days. 

I hadn't realized that and mistakenly read Edmund's age as 24 instead of 2 YEARS. What a big difference! Thankfully, I asked a cousin if he knew who this Edmund was who was 24 years old and died about 1885. He replied that he thought the age was 2 years. And, this changed everything.

Reinhardt Kaechle, the first person on the list and my 2nd great grandfather, had a 'missing child.' In other words, he had three sons that I knew about, but his wife, Mary, had listed on her 1900 census that she was the mother of 4 children with 3 still living. This Edmund was likely that 4th child!

I plugged in the name and possible dates (b 1884-d 1886) and got a shaky leaf hint that lead me to Edmund's headstone (which he shared with his father, Reinhard). It turns out that Edmund was actually 3 1/2 and died in 1886, but the information was close enough to come up with the hint.

I've had this record for more than 10 years. I had the clue I needed to find Reinhard and Mary's missing son. But, it took another person's eyes, and really reading over the entire document, for me to solve the identity of Edmund.

What I still haven't solved: Who is #2 on this list, the 2 day old Frank who was born and died in 1909?

(Note: Here's another post about the headstone)

My Line of Descent

  • Reinhard(t) Kaechle (1844-1900) m. Mary Magdalena "Lena" Koerbach/Karbach (1848-1938)
  • Francis "Frank" Kaechle (1868-1911) m. Anna "Annie" Regina Adam (1867-1936), my maternal great grandparents
Do we share common ancestors or do you have additional information about this family? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or email me at drleeds@sbcglobal.net

Friday, September 18, 2015

Headstone Surprise: What I'd Overlooked

The 1910 census has two wonderful columns labeled "mother of how many children" and "number of those children still living." My 2nd great grandmother, Mary (Koerbach) Kaechle, was a 52-year-old widow in 1900. In the census, she's listed as having 4 children with 3 still living in 1910. I only had names for 3 of her children: all sons.

Yesterday, I came across the record that solved the identity of this missing child, another son. The record was a photo of Mary's husband's headstone, Reinhard Kaechle. There, on the bottom of the stone, it lists the name of another deceased. The deceased is Reinhard and Mary's 3 1/2 year old son, Edmund.

Find A Grave memorial photo posted on Find A Grave by Debbie Bleger (thank you!)

I had found and saved this photo about 5 weeks ago, and I don't know why I hadn't look closer at the inscription. Sometimes, we need to slow down and really look at each document, and photo, we find. Otherwise, we are likely to overlook something important: perhaps even a missing child.

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment and/or email me at drleeds@sbcglobal.net

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Surprising Connection Between My Husband's and My Tree

My husband I do not share any direct ancestors. However, my father's DNA test led to a surprising discovery of an 1873 marriage between the granddaughter of my 4x great grandparents and the son of my husband's 4x great grandparents. Here's how I made the discovery...

Ancestry's hint showing my dad's potential DNA
match with Hardin Davis Trammell

I was looking at my father's DNA matches on Ancestry under "New Ancestor Discoveries."  Ancestry says these are "potential new ancestors or relatives who are not already in your family tree." My dad's DNA showed 5 of these "potential" matches. So, what was strange? I recognized 3 of the people. But, not because they are related to me and my father. I recognized 3 of the people because they are related to my husband!

One of these 3 potential matches was for Hardin Davis Trammell (1844-1915). That's a fairly unusual name, right? Well, Hardin Trammell is my husband's 3rd great grand uncle. In other words, he's a son of my husband's 4x great grandparents. I didn't have much information on him, but I did have 25 'shaky leaf' hints. One of those hints was a story by another researcher which says that his second wife's name was Eliza L. Bookout.

Bookout? That's another unusual name! And, it's another name I recognize. My 4th great grandparents were John & Sarah "Sally" (Vaughan) Bookout! And, they had a daughter named Eliza whose family I hadn't yet found.

My next step was to find out more about Hardin D Trammell and Eliza L Bookout.


Hardin Davis Trammell, the son of my husband's 4x great grandparents, first married in 1866 after fighting in the Civil War. He married Sarah (Ragsdale) Cook in 1866 and had 4 children over the next few years. Sadly, Sarah evidently died in childbirth when their youngest son was born on February 27th, 1873. Hardin was left with four young children aged 5, 3, 1, and the newborn.

Hardin & Eliza (Bookout) Trammell in front of their Oklahoma home circa 1910
Photo on Ancestry by mossbuster; used with permission

Not surprisingly for the time, Hardin quickly remarried to provide a mother for his young family. At the age of 30, he married 18-year-old Eliza Bookout on May 29th, 1873. The couple had 10 more children together, so together they raised a total of 14 kids. They remained together until Hardin's death in 1915 at the age of 71.

My husband, a descendant of Jarrett Trammell, and I, a descendant of James & Ellender Bookout, share
DNA with the descendants of Hardin D & Eliza (Bookout) Trammell


Because the descendants of the 10 children of Hardin D and Eliza (Bookout) Trammell share DNA with both my husband's family and my own, Ancestry discovered our "potential match." Although my husband and I don't share DNA or common ancestors, we are both related to the descendants of Hardin D Trammell and Eliza E Bookout!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

What Acts Constituted "Extreme Cruelty" and Could Lead to Divorce 100 Years Ago?

While researching a divorce case believed to be the brother of my great, great grandmother, I came across a book on Google Books that tells of those acts of "extreme cruelty" which could make a divorce possible. The book is dated 1917 and the list was quite enlightening!

It starts by stating "it is not essential that the misconduct charged as extreme cruelty should be of a criminal character, or such as the guilty party can be prosecuted for in the criminal courts, but it is sufficient if the acts are such as are calculated to destroy the plaintiff's happiness, and have that effect."

(image from Wikipedia)
Here are the "acts of extreme cruelty" listed, with my favorite being listed last:
  • ...the persistent circulation of false and slanderous reports by a husband, derogatory to his wife's chastity, especially when the wife is of a refined and sensitive nature...
  • ...the persistent, willful, and habitual conduct of a wife toward her husband in an offensive and opprobrious manner, accusing him in public and private of infamous conduct in violation of his marriage duties, and calling him vile and vulgar names...
  • Consorting with persons of loose morals, or lascivious inclinations toward the opposite sex, and showing or expressing a preference for them...
  • The communication of a venereal disease... 
  • personal violence
  • violence and threats of injury
  • fault finding, nagging, profanity, abuse and violent conduct
  • compelling a wife to submit to an abortion
  • unreasonably and persistently prejudicing children against their mother
  • unreasonable refusal of intercourse by the wife
  • persistently addressing the wife in brutal language, accusing her of adultery, perjury and fraud
  • profane, obscene and insulting language, habitually indulged in towards a wife of refined feelings and sensitive nature
  • accusations against the wife of immoral or unchaste conduct
  • calling vile names and persistently and without cause charging dishonesty and infidelity
  • wife calling husband opprobrious names, accusations of immorality, and unreasonable refusal of cohabiation
  • abusive epithets applied by the wife, and refusal to prepare meals
Source: The Michigan Law of Marriage and Divorce: with Forms of Procedure Conforming to the Michigan Judicature Act" by James M. Powers, 1917, online at ttp://www.archive.org/stream/michiganlawofmar00poweiala/michiganlawofmar00poweiala_djvu.txt (accessed 05 Sep 2015) 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Who was the Father of Reinhard Koechle?

As I worked on my Koechle/Kaechle chapter for the Holthoefer family book, I was shocked to come across a piece of conflicting evidence which threatened to chop off a branch of my tree. For years I'd worked with the thought that Reinhard Koechle's father was Thaddeus Koechle. But, upon discovering Reinhard's death certificate at Seeking Michigan, I saw his father's name listed as Mathias. For about 24 hours, I was desperately trying to determine who really was the father of Reinhard Koechle.

Detail of  Reinhard Kaechle's death certificate (from Seeking Michigan site) showing father's name as Mathias

Reinhard's death certificate (detail above) lists his father as Mathias, not Thaddeus as expected. The informant was Geram Kackle, who must have been Reinhard's son, Jerome. 

Jerome was born in 1871. Thaddeus, Reinhard's expected father, died in 1880. But, though Jerome would have been about 9 years old when Thaddeus died, Jerome lived in Detroit while Thaddeus lived about 120 miles away in Norwalk, Ohio. So, should Jerome have known his grandfather's name? Probably. If he knew his grandfather's name was Thaddeus, why would he say Mathias?

Here is the evidence I have that Reinhard's father is actually Thaddeus, and not Mathias:
  • No records have been found for a Mathias Koechle either in Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio, where the family settled after migration, nor in Grissheim, Freiburg, Baden, Prussia (now Germany) where the family lived before coming to America.
  • Reinhard is found in the household of Thaddeus Koechle both on the 1851 passenger list as a 6 year old child (coming to America) and the 1860 U.S. Census in Norwalk, Ohio at the age of 16.
  • In Reinhard's pension file, there is an affidavit from both Theresa (Koechle) Mueller and her husband, Charles. Theresa is a daughter of Thaddeus Koechle, so she's an expected sister of Reinhard.
  • In Theresa's affidavit, she is trying to prove Reinhard's marriage to Mary Magdalena Karbach/Koerbach. "Lena's" surname had been badly spelled as Garabaugh. Theresa's affidavit states that there were only two witnesses at the wedding of Reinhard & Lena: one was related to the JP and the other was Jerome, "the brother of Reinhard." Thaddeus did have a son Jerome which would mean Reinhard's father was also Thaddeus.
I believe this is sufficient proof that the "Mathias" listed as Reinhard's father on his death certificate was in error. But, after going through all of this, I realized I had another piece of evidence...
  • A baptismal record for Reinhard Koechle with parents Thaddeus Koechle and Katharina Kern in the right year, 1844, and the right place, the village of Grissheim. No other records have been found with his birth date listed. This is just an index listing on Ancestry, but I've ordered the FHL film to get the actual record.
So, between my other pieces of evidence and the baptismal record, I feel confident in saying that Reinhard Koechle's father was Thaddeus Koechle.

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or email me at drleeds@sbcglobal.net

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Publishing Family Research

How do you share your genealogy work? For the past couple of months, I've been working on a family history book for one of my lines: the Holthoefer family.

Although I contributed some of the research to the main part of the book, my 'big' contribution is a short chapter on a collateral line: the Kaechle/Koechle family. Even a 'short' chapter takes a lot of work!

Headstone of Thaddeus Koechle
Photo by Shirley Lindenberger Hazelwood, posted at findagrave.com 

Though it's been a lot of hard work, I've learned a lot as I went through the process. And, no, it isn't over. But, tonight I sent in my "final draft!" We still have a few weeks where we can make minor corrections, but the majority of the work is done.

How about you? Have you ever written a book about a branch of your family? Or how do you share your research with others? I think a book is a great way to share our discoveries!

The 1828 Will of Peter Close's Relict: Catharine Elizabeth Close

Yesterday, I shared the 1810 will of my 5th great grandfather , Peter Close of Armagh, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. Peter's wife, Catha...