Tuesday, August 30, 2016

1906: When Getting a Home Telephone was News

In the news... Charles Wentworth, L. E. Tibbits, Willard Wentworth and William Peters have put telephones in their residences last week. - Ashton, Kansas, 1906 [see source below]


Alexander Graham Bell placing the first New York to Chicago
telephone call in 1892, only 14 years before "my" family got telephones
installed in Ashton, Sumner County, Kansas (photo from Wikipedia)
It's hard to imagine a time when getting a telephone installed at your house was news! I'm wondering if they were among the first to get phones in this small Kansas town.

I believe these four men (& their households) were all related as follows:

  • Charles Wentworth (b 1855) m. Leni Tibbetts
  • L. E. Tibbetts (b 1838) was father of Leni Tibbetts
  • William Peters (b 1875), brother of my great grandfather, Emil Peters(1877-1955), married Clara Wentworth, daughter of Charles & Leni (Tibbetts) Wentworth
  • Willard Wentworth (b 1866) was a nephew of Charles Wentworth

Source: Charles Wentworth article, Weekly Republican-Traveler, Arkansas City, Kansas, 29 November 1906, page 5, column 5, digital image, newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 29 August 2016)

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

Friday, August 26, 2016

Tip: Finding a Newspaper Article That Is Not Online

If you know of a newspaper clipping but can't find it online, maybe it hasn't been digitized. If so, a great place to find out what repositories have copies of it is at the Chronicling America site.

I've been working on my Dickson family of Tennessee. A 1998 post on RootsWeb by David Walker mentioned an 1846 legal notice. The notice is in regards to the estate of my 4th great grandfather, James Dixon [or Dickson], and also mentions his son, my 3rd great grandfather, Joseph Dixon/Dickson. But, I could not find this article on any of the digital newspaper sites. So, I followed these steps:

Step 1: Go to Chronicling America to see who carries this paper. To do this, go to their site and click on "US Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present." Enter the known information. I entered "Tennessee" and "Academist," which was the name of the newspaper mentioned on RootsWeb. The results showed just one newspaper which was published in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee in 1846.

Step 2: Click on the link to that newspaper and then click on "Libraries that Have It" in the blue strip near the top. The short-lived Academist has copies in five locations.

Step 3: Find the correct date. I know from the RootsWeb post that I am looking for the paper December 2nd, 1846. Since the dating system is a little bit confusing, I'm including two examples.

Chronicling America screenshot showing dates available for the Academist newspaper
at Duke University Library
Example 1: The above example shows Duke University Library's holdings for the Academist. Under dates, it states: <1846:3:18-12:2>  This means they hold all of the published newspapers between the dates of March 18th and December 2nd of 1846. Also, note that these are available as "original" copies, so they are not microfilmed images. Duke would be one place I could find my article.

Chronicling America screenshot showing dates available for the Academist newspaper
at the Tennessee State Library& Archives

Example 2: This second example shows Tennessee States Library & Archives' holdings for the Academist. First of all note that these are available in microfilm format which is different than what Duke holds. The Archives holds the following dates: <1846:3:18, 4:1-5:27, 6:10-7:1,15-9:9, 10:28- 11:4, 12:2> This means they have the following copies from 1846, the only year this newspaper was published: March 18th, April 1st through May 27th, June 10th through July 1st, July 15th through September 9th, October 28th through November 4th, and December 2nd. Since I need December 2nd, this is also a place I could find my article.

Step 4: If none of the locations are nearby, your final step is to contact one of the repositories, or hire a researcher, and have them look up the article. For my article, I chose to contact the Tennessee State Library & Archives. I talked to the reference librarian who first verified they had the paper and date I needed. Then he told me how to send $10, the out-of-state fee, for the clipping. I am now in the process of waiting 4 to 6 business days to receive an emailed clipping of this legal notice! I am hoping it has other helpful information, and I'll be sure to post about it when I receive it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"Unchristened" 13-year-old

As I was working on my Boyers family, I came across a curious entry on a 1850 census record. One of the children in the household is listed as "Unchristened Boyers." After finding this record, I searched Ancestry for all census records for an individual with the "first name" listed as "unchristened." There were 84 results. Some of these were actually listed without a first name, but a researcher has added "unchristened" to the name field. All of the other 83 children are babies who appear to be less than 12 months old.

1850 U.S. census, Cocke County, Tennessee, population schedule, District 11,  p.397 [printed], dwelling 761, family 761, Isaac Boyres household; image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 August 2016), citing National Archives microfilm M432, roll 874.
But, this "Unchristened" Boyers was listed as 13 years old! The family appears to have listed the children by age, so the age appears correct. And, this male is listed as attending school that year, which again dispels the possibility that he is actually an infant. I have no idea why a 13 year old would be listed as unchristened. Any ideas?

Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, database (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 23 August 2016); Record, David Boyer (1837-1891), Memorial No. 37564026, Records of Sarah Ottinger Cemetery, Cocke County, Tennessee. Photo by Marie & Dale V. Used with permission. [Thank you!]

From what other researchers have done, it appears this "unchristened" boy was actually David Boyer who was born on June 3rd, 1837 and died on November 15th, 1891. He is buried at Sarah Ottinger Cemetery in Cocke County, Tennessee.

If anyone has additional information, the person I am really interested in on this census record is the last one: James Boyers [highlighted yellow] who is 21 years old. As you can see, he is not listed in age order as the other "children" are and I don't believe he is one of Isaac and Elizabeth's sons.  If anyone has more information about James, I'd love to talk!

My email address: drleeds@sbcglobal.net.

Friday, August 12, 2016

An Unusual Name for a Child

May I present, Doctor Franklin Boyers? He's only 10 years old, so this is quite an unusual given name. I guess this is one way to make sure your child grows up to be a doctor!

1870 U.S. Census, Prentiss County, Mississippi, pop. sch., Booneville, page 423 [printed], dwelling 47, family 47, Mary Boyers household; microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls, roll 746; (Washington: National Archives and Records Administration), digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 June 2016). 
P.S. Summer is almost over and my intense genealogy course is, too. I hope to be blogging regularly in just a couple of weeks!

"Enthusiastic" Again!

I haven't blogged much in the past five or six months. I went through a significant genealogy "slump" where I wasn't sure ...