Showing posts from 2010

Agricultural Schedules

During my recent trip to the Family History library in Salt Lake City, I had the opportunity to look for my ancestors in the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 census agricultural schedules.  The agricultural schedules were among the non-population schedules taken in conjunction with the population schedules. 

Before reviewing the agricultural schedules, I was well aware that most of my ancestors were farmers.  However, being a city person, I had no idea exactly what these farmers actually raised. 

Very small farms weren't included in the agricultural schedules, which may be why I was unable to find some of my ancestors, such as the Dudley family.  On my maternal side, I was able to locate my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary E. Shaper, in Hamer Township, Highland County, Ohio on the 1850 schedule.  She owned 75 acres, 20 of which were improved.  She had two horses, two cows, eight sheep, and eight pigs and grew crorn.

I had more success on my paternal side.  The largest farm among my ancestor…

Getting Sidetracked

I have been pouring all of my genealogical efforts into preparing for my upcoming trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and I am getting sick of it!  I am going to force myself to have a totally genealogy-free week before my trip to refresh myself.  I had a nice break on Sunday, though, when I spent a little while researching another family.

It started when I heard my mom and sister discussing "Frieda's cookies."  Frieda and Joe Greenstein were my babysitters and Frieda made the most delicious butter cookies known to humankind.  Rectangular shaped with a fork mark across the top, crisp, sweet, and buttery, these cookies are the stuff of legend.  We have tried a number of butter cookie recipes, but have never found the right one.

Frieda was much more than a wonderful baker.  She and Joe were wonderful people.  I never remember them raising their voices to me.  I remember one time that I did something I shouldn't have and hid under their big bed.  I hea…

A River View

My blog posts have been few and far between recently because I have been preparing for my trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City in a few weeks.  However, each week as I travel on the bridge over the Little Miami River in Milford, Ohio, I get to view my favorite genealogical scene and feel like waxing poetic about it.

As I look north as we cross the bridge I see the river surrounded by thick shrubbery and trees.  If I can block out the cell tower, utility poles, cars, and modern buildings, I can envision how the area might have looked 200 years ago.    I especially like this view in the winter when steam or smoke is rising from distant houses. I can almost smell the 19th century wood smoke coming from the homes of my ancestors, the Price family, and their neighbors.  My fourth great-grandfather, Jeremiah Price, lived on the Milford side of the river and his brother, Nimrod, lived on the Camp Dennison side of the river.  Their father, Daniel, supposedly said something to …

The Graveyard Getaway

Last week my mom, sister, niece, and I went on a two day trip we called the Graveyard Getaway or Cemetery Crawl or Dead Drive, depending on whom you ask.

Our trip began at the Waldschmidt Cemetery in Camp Dennison, Ohio, the final resting place of my fifth great-grandparents Daniel and Catherine Selllers Price and fourth great-grandparents Jeremiah and Elizabeth Wiggins Price.  Germany, as the settlement was originally called, was founded by German immigrant Christian Waldschmidt.  The Price (or Preisch) family were among the second wave of settlers in Germany.  Camp Dennison was built during the Civil War on the land of Nimrod Price, Daniel and Catherine's other son.

Our next stop was Troutwine Cemetery in Lynchburg, Ohio.  My great-grandparents, Jesse and Mary Shaper Dudley, great-uncles Lewis and Thomas Dudley, and uncles Everett and Mitchell Donaldson are buried there.  Jesse's sister, Jane Dudley Setty, is also buried nearby.  My second great-grandfather, John Shaper, is su…

The Kincaid Family

I haven't posted recently because I have been hard at work filling in the many gaps in my family tree.  When I first started my research many years ago, I didn't understand why anyone other than the people from whom I was directly descended should be important to me.  By the time I realized that I had been, well, stupid, I had passed over a lot of important information.  I just finished filling in some gaps in the Kincaid family.

The Kincaids are on my paternal grandmother's side.  Margaret Kincaid was my great-great grandmother and the second wife of Peter Ballein.  Margaret was born in 1836, the daughter of Samuel and Jemima Coulter Kincaid.  Samuel was born in 1804 to Samuel and Sarah Reed Kincaid.  The first Samuel Kincaid died May 5, 1813 during the seize of Fort Meigs in the War 1812.  After the elder Samuel's death, the Kincaids settled in the area around Sardinia in Brown County, Ohio.

Had I only focused on Samuel Kincaid, son of Samuel and Sarah Kincaid, I wou…

His Irish Eyes Weren't Smiling

It's the time of the year when we celebrate our Irish heritage and I have plenty of it. 

My mom claimed Irish heritage through the Donaldsons.  My dad always made fun of her.  I think he bought into the stereotype that the Irish are drunks.  The rest of us didn't care, though.  We were proud to have Irish heritage.  My dad said that his father, James Quincy Davis, always told him the Davises were Welsh.

Very early in my research, I learned of Robert Hamilton, my fifth great-grandfather through my paternal grandmother, Jennie Esther Ballein.  Robert Hamilton was born in Ireland in 1760.  He came to America shortly before the Revolutionary War and served in that war.   I told my dad he had Irish blood and he promptly told me that only the male line (i.e., the Davises) counted when determining one's cultural heritage.

I will always remember the day that changed my dad's life.  I was sitting at a microfilm viewer looking for my great-great grandfather Isaac Davis in the 1…

The Name Game

Why did our ancestors have so many different variations on their names?  Since a very young age, I have known my full name and the correct spelling.  You probably have also.  But I see so many different names for the same people and families and, well, it's frustrating.

First, there is my great-great-grandmother, Lulu Dunn Wardlow.  I refer her to as Lulu, because that is the name on her gravestone.  However, I have seen her name spelled Eulala, Eulali, Ulalia, and Lula.  Someone told me I was wrong about her name but who's to say?

My great-grandmother, Rosa Ogden Davis, has been referred to as Thankful Rosa, Rozella, and Rosie. Again, she is referred to Rosa on her gravestone, so that is typically how I refer to her.

Ballein is problem name.  I have seen it written as Bowline and Bauline.  I can almost excuse this, though, since it is a somewhat unusual name.

Shaper is a problem for another reason.  It is pronounced the way it is written but, unfortunately, is similar to the …

My Family Medical History

I have recently been printing copies of Ohio death certificates from   I already have many death certificates, but this time I am focusing on relatives from whom I am not directly descended (and, quite honestly, for whose death certificates I wouldn't pay).  My primary medical concern has been stroke, since there is a strong family history on my dad's side of the family.  As I read the death certificates, though, I noticed another pattern - death by train.

I have known for some time that my great-uncle, Lewis Jefferson Dudley, died after being hit by a train.  Uncle Lew was the second child of Jesse and Mary Shaper Dudley and the brother of my grandmother, Mary Dudley Donaldson.  Other than the cause of his death, we don't know much about Lew.  From the newspaper account, he must have been walking along the railroad tracks on the night of November 11, 1906 when he was hit by a train.  He sustained a deep wound in the back of his head and a leg was amputat…

The Two Cent Piece

This afternoon I was looking through a notebook with some of my research notes and stopped on the page containing information on my great-grandfather, James Ulysses Davis.  A note from my conversations years ago with my dad, Russell Lee Davis, caught my eye.  My dad told me that his grandfather gave him an 1868 two cent piece.

My dad always kept a little maroon velvet drawstring bag with his coin collection.  He was mostly interested in silver dollars, but also had other assorted U S coins and a few foreign coins saved from his Air Force days in Europe.  He would occasionally take the bag out and show us his coins.  I hadn't seen the little drawstring bag in years and asked my family where the coins were.  We searched and located the coins and found the 1868 two cent piece.  As I compose this post, that two cent piece is on the desk in front of me.  It isn't in mint condition.  It isn't worth a fortune.  But it's quite meaningful to have this memento which was passed f…

Dudley Family Records

This week I had the honor to receive an album of information, newspaper clippings, letters, and photographs related to the Dudley family.  This family documentation was apparently compiled by my great-grandfather, Jesse Dudley with the assistance of his eldest child, Charles.  After Charles' death, the information must have been passed on to his brother, Clarence.  One of Clarence's step-grandsons was kind enough to send the information to me.  One of the pages in the album reads as follows:
These records was set forth by the hand of Jessey Dudley in the year of our Lord Dec-9-1922 and to him goes the credit for their keeping to the best of his knowledge, his records were handed down to his first born son Charles Henry Dudley who has faithfully kept them to the best of his knowledge.  And they will be kept and handed down to all the Dudley progenitors to come.  In God we trust.  Amen.
This family record answers a lot of questions, but also raises a lot of new ones.  Some of the …