Saturday, September 27, 2008

Still More Matlocks: The Eliza Jane Matlock and Elisha James Mathis Family

This is another group of Matlock descendants (Eliza Jane was the sister of my great-grandmother Angeline Matlock Floyd) about whom I know very little. If you are descended from or related to this family, I would love to hear from you.

Elisha James Mathis
b. 18 Apr 1845, Tennessee
d. 5 May 1884, Dallas, Dallas County, TX
& Eliza Jane Matlock
b. 15 Mar 1854, Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas
d. 4 Feb 1935, Dallas County, TX
|.. Ella Mathis
| ....b. 15 Sep 1873, Dallas, Texas
| ....d. 3 Dec 1959, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas
| ..Nettie Mathis
| ....b. Sep 1875, Dallas Co., Texas
| ....d. Johnson Co., Texas
| ..& Joseph Birch Loper
| ....b. Jun 1874
| ....d. 21 Oct 1920
| | ....Corinne Loper
| | ......b. 10 Jun 1900
| | ......d. 30 Nov 1981
| | ....Roy Loper
| | ......b. 7 Feb 1903, Dallas Co., Texas
| | ......d. 30 Mar 1992, Potter Co., TX
| ..Joe? Mathis
| ....b. 1878, Texas
| ..Lena Mathis
| ....b. Mar 1880, Texas
| ..Sidney Young Mathis
| ....b. 8 Apr 1882, Dallas Co., Texas
| ....d. 4 Aug 1887, Dallas Co., Texas

Jim Wheat's Dallas County Texas Archives

Jim Wheat's Dallas County Texas Archives (see link at left) is one of my favorite genealogy websites. During the first couple of weeks of my initial dabbling in genealogy, I made my first real "find" on this website: a transcription of the death certificate for my great-grandfather Harlston Perrin Moore (my mother's paternal grandfather). Until this point the only information I had for him was "? Perrin Moore" in a genealogy for my mother's mother's family. It did not seem right that there was so little information on him. In addition to his full name, Harlston Perrin Moore, the transcript gave the names of his parents -- Spencer Moore and Emily Tarrant -- and his date of death, 12 December 1921. It also provided Lancaster, Texas as the place of death/local address. This was the clue that made me certain that this was the correct Perrin Moore, because I knew that my mother's family came from this part of Dallas County. Recently I have been able to look at a digital image of the death certificate at the Family Search pilot site and fill in additional information not contained in the transcript.

Since then my research has brought me back to this site many times. There are many different categories of information to be found here, including transcripts of newspaper articles, cemetery listings, maps, pioneers, recollections, city directories, obituaries, and much more.

Civil War Record of Joseph Madison Carroll Norman

I am currently researching the family of my great-great grandfather Joseph Madison Carroll Norman of Talladega County, Alabama and Garland County, Arkansas. (At this point it is not in-depth research; I am rather trying to do basic research and organize and clarify what I have already learned about him, his three wives, and their children -- reportedly some 26 or 27 in all -- to be entered into my genealogy program.) Researching JMC Norman involves several challenges. The first is simply to sort out and identify as many of his children as possible, no small undertaking considering how many of them there were. This also means that he most likely has a large number of descendants, and a few of them have apparently already done some research on him. The second challenge is figuring out his Civil War record. A search on the National Park Service's Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System using different forms of his name turns up four items: a Joseph M. C. Norman in Company H, 25th Alabama Infantry, a Joseph M. C. Norman in Company B, 3rd Alabama Infantry, a Joseph C. Norman in Company B, 28th Alabama Infantry, and a Jos. M. C. Norman at the Camp of Instruction, Talladega, Alabama. It is possible that the Joseph C. Norman is another man, but there is a record for a Joseph C. Norman being discharged at Oxford, Mississippi for disability on 4/1/1862 and that is consistent with what I know about JMC Norman. I have received a copy of his and his widow's applications for Confederate service pensions and the only unit named in those documents is the 25th Infantry (or at least in most parts; the first page of his application gives the regiment as the 21st). It may be that he cites only that unit because his medical condition (reported as rheumatism) dated to that time or, as has been the case for other ancestors who fought in the Civil War, assimilation of units into other units over the course of the war may account for some of the confusion. I will soon be signing up for to try to solve this mystery.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Second Look at the Martha Amanda Matlock and Emory A. Gracey Family

After my first post on this family, I started combing through the Texas Death Certificates on the Family Research pilot page and, as reported in a couple of previous posts, found a wealth of additional information on many members of my family lines who died in Texas. The report in this family in particular ended up with a lot of information added. My original intention was to amend the post to reflect the new information, but I have decided instead to simply publish a new post so that the difference can be seen through comparison. Of all the information listed as missing in the original post, everything has been found, and there are little details added here and there -- a middle name instead of an initial or the day on which a person was born in addition to the month and year. Contrast and compare!

Emory Anderson Gracey
b. 13 Mar 1837, Bond Co., Illinois
d. 3 Aug 1915, Lisbon, Dallas, Texas
& Martha Amanda Matlock
b. 3 Sep 1849, Warren County, Kentucky
d. 22 May 1927, Lisbon, Dallas, Texas
m. 27 Aug 1865
| Malvina Isabella “Bell” Gracey
| b. 10 May 1868, Lisbon, Dallas, Texas
| d. 8 Dec 1934, Lisbon, Dallas, Texas
| & Luna M. “Luney” Goforth
| b. 12 Aug 1865, Missouri
| d. 29 Jan 1940, Lisbon, Dallas, Texas
| m. 1888
| Ann White Gracey
| b. 14 Sep 1869, Texas
| d. 27 Apr 1959, San Angelo, Tom Green, Texas
| & Jerile George Dodge
| b. 19 Apr 1869, Kentucky
| d. 29 Jul 1959, Sweetwater, Nolan Co., Texas
| m. 6 Nov 1895
| Alvie Lee Gracey
| b. 8 Aug 1871, Texas
| d. 29 May 1948, Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas
| & Sarah Elizabeth “Lizzie” Hight
| b. 24 Aug 1875, Dallas County, Texas
| d. 21 Nov 1948, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas
| m. 1899
| Effie E. Gracey
| b. 21 Jun 1872, Texas
| d. 16 May 1956, Herefored, Deaf Smith Co., Texas
| & Joseph Lafayette Hight
| b. 19 Jun 1867, Tennessee
| d. 1 Nov 1942, Canyon, Randall, Texas
| Lura Pearl Gracey
| b. 2 Feb 1876, Texas
| d. 9 Aug 1962, Nolan Co., Texas
| & D. D. Potter
| b. 9 Oct 1872, Texas
| d. 29 May 1951, Sweetwater, Nolan Co., Texas
| m. 13 Jul 1898, Dallas County, TX
| Addie May Gracey
| b. 3 May 1878, Dallas Co., Texas
| d. 8 Jan 1958, Memphis, Hall Co., Texas
| & William Henry “Billy” Goodnight
| b. 12 Jun 1878, Hardin County, KY
| d. 9 Oct 1940, Memphis, Hall Co., Texas
| John Emery Gracey
| b. 30 Aug 1882, Texas
| d. 15 Mar 1961, Brownfield, Terry, Texas
| & Dora Pearl Cruse
| b. 21 Sep 1886, Texas
| d. 28 Feb 1983, Texas
| Ida Gracey
| b. 1884, Texas
| d. 1884, Texas
| Walter Gracey
| b. 23 May 1887, Dallas, Texas
| d. 24 Feb 1956, Terry Co., Texas
| & Jennie Lee Allman
| b. 2 Sep 1894, Texas
| d. 27 Jun 1984, Brownfield, Terry, Texas
| Jo Gracey
| b. 20 Aug 1890, Texas
| d. 4 Feb 1916, Lisbon, Dallas County, TX

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Highlighting the Koehls

I'd like to feature a family on my husband's side for a change. Researching his ancestors is quite different from researching my own. Most of my families are Southern and came over from the British Isles no later than the mid-18th century. My husband's family lines come from Germany, Italy, and Romania and the earliest immigrants among those apparently date to the mid-19th century. They immigrated to New York, New Jersey, and Canada. As a result, I have to learn to use a different set of resources.

Here is what I have been able to learn about the family of Julius Henry Koehl and Josephine Lochner, my husband Stuart's great-great grandparents:

Julius Henry Koehl
b. 1839, Prussia
d. bef 1900
& Josephine Lochner
b. 1842, Wurttemburg
d. bef 1900
| Josephine Koehl
| b. Feb 1867, New York
| ..& Peter Glasshoff
| ..b. May 1866, Germany
| m. 1899
| Julia Koehl
| b. 1868, New York
| Lena Koehl
| b. 1869, New York
| Lillie Koehl
| b. 1872, New York
| Frances Koehl
| b. 1874, New York
| Lena Koehl
| b. 1876, New York
| Harry Julius Koehl
| b. 4 May 1878, Brooklyn, Kings, New York
| d. Feb 1965, New York
| ..& Christine Fichtelmann
| ..b. Feb 1882, New York
| m. 1898
| Augusta Koehl
| b. 1879, New York
| Louis Julius Koehl
| b. 22 Aug 1881, New York
| ..& Katherine “Katie”
| b. 1884, New York
| | ...Louis Koehl Jr.
| | ...b. 1906, New York
| | ...Peter Koehl
| | ...b. 1909, New York

This information is based primarily on census information and the Social Security Death Index. If you are related to this family or researching it, I would love to share information with you. If you are familiar with methods and resources for researching these areas, I would welcome any advice.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Matlocks: Joseph Matlock and Adeline Aiken

Of all my great-grandmother Angeline Matlock Floyd's siblings, this is the family I (and other Floyd/Matlock researchers) know least about. I cannot find Joseph on the 1870 census, and only recently learned his wife's maiden name (from her daughter's death certificate on the Family Search pilot page). Which reminds me, thanks to the Texas death certificates on that website, I now know a lot of the information that was missing for the Martha Amanda Matlock-Emory A. Gracey family (will post an update in the near future).

Joseph R. Matlock
b. Dec 1851, Kentucky
& Adaline “Addie” Aiken
b. Mar 1852, Illinois
d. bef 1920
m. 1878
| Neva Adaline Matlock
| b. 13 Apr 1879, Texas
| d. 5 Apr 1970, Quanah, Hardeman County, Texas
| & Robert Alphaeus Brooks
| b. 24 Oct 1875, Whiteboro, Texas
| d. 3 Oct 1947, Quanah, Hardeman County, Texas
| m. 1908
| Cora B. Matlock
| b. Apr 1885, Texas

Missing information: dates of death for Joseph, Addie, and Cora Matlock.

Hooray for State Archives!

You will notice that my (for now scant, but eventually fuller) list of resource links includes three state archives:  the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, and the Texas State Archives.  I expect to add several others, including the Arkansas State History Commission and Archives.

Why this fuss about state archives?  I confess that I'm guilty of suspecting most government institutions of being tremendous wastes of money, even if they do perform some useful functions. Soon after I took up genealogy, however, I changed my tune when I sent off to the Texas State Archives for copies of the Civil War pension applications of five of my ancestors (I knew which ones to ask for because there is a helpful searchable index on the Texas State Archives' website).  A few weeks later I received a thick envelope back with the five copies and a bill ... and a bill for a whopping $8.00.  That was some of the best-invested money I ever spent.  

The South Carolina Archives also have a wonderful website that lets you search indexes for the relevant documents and even has digital images of some of them (mostly wills) available online.  You can send off to the Archives for copies of any of the documents you pull up in the indexes.  

Recently I sent off to the Alabama Archives for copies of whatever documents they had available on my great-great grandfather William T. Sisson.  The website has a printable form that lets you select up to four categories of documents to request for a fixed fee of $25.00.  They found land deeds, his widow's pension application, and the certificate of marriage to his third wife.  Again, a pretty good haul for a modest fee.

I have just sent off to the Arkansas Archives for the Civil War pension application of another great-great grandfather, Joseph Madison Carroll Norman.  I can't wait for that thick envelope to arrive in the mail....

Although I have not yet done any on-site research at any of these archives, I am definitely looking forward to doing so in the future.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More on Texas Death Certificates

Despite my best intentions, there has been a large gap between my last post and this one. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that we have been packing up and moving my older daughter off to college, and the second is that I have been spending many of my remaining spare minutes engrossed in examining the Texas death certificates on the Family Search pilot page.  I have had family in Texas since 1824, all my grandparents were born here, and all of my great-grandparents were either born here or moved here.  That's a lot of family, a lot of history, and, as it turns out, a lot of death certificates.  I would estimate that over the past couple of weeks I have examined and extracted information from somewhere between 300 and 400 certificates.

The type of information provided by these certificates varies (since the format varies by place and time), but generally contains (if known) the father's name, mother's (maiden) name, the name of the informant, dates and locations of birth and death, cause of death, date and location of burial, and the business handling the burial.  Sometimes the items are filled in "unknown" or the information is incorrect, but when it is used carefully to confirm or refute other information or as a lead, it is amazingly useful.  For many of the people directly related to me that are included in this database (it covers the years from 1890 to 1976), I already had parents' names and the major dates, but there were still plenty of gaps to fill in, and in the case of the spouses of these relatives, it filled in many more gaps.  

It sounds morbid to say so, but much of the information is fascinating.  Each certificate has a little story, and some of those stories are quite touching and, in some cases, even a little sensational.  The deaths of babies and young children are especially heartrending.  When reading about the deaths of prematurely born babies in the early part of the 20th century, we can only wonder how different the outcome might have been were they born today.  My mother's youngest brother and a cousin born in the 1930s died of diphtheria; one of my father's older brothers died of typhoid fever.  A great-uncle died of anaphylactic shock after being stung by a bee.  One of my father's cousins, a 50-year-old saleslady, was killed by four gunshot wounds to the head and back.  I have done a few tentative searches for the story behind this (was she the victim of a robbery?), but so far have not turned up anything.  And as to mental illness in the family, I remember an exchange from the old TV series Designing Women:  "When Southerners meet and talk, they don't ask whether or not there is insanity in your family, they just ask which side it's on."  "And what's the usual answer?"  "Both."  Well, that's true in my family, too.