So This Is What They Look Like – The John B Fuller Family

Cousin Bait is defined by genealogists as putting your research online as bait for unknown cousins to find you and compare information.   It works.

Late last fall I found another way for cousin bait to work.  This time I was contacted by a man through Ancestry.com regarding my husband’s family.  I replied to him with confirmation that my husband is a descendant of John Buchanan Fuller who passed away in 1938 in Custer, Nebraska.

Our next round of emails revealed the twist.  This man was not a cousin.  He had purchased items from an estate sale.   Using the information on the back of a photograph, he had done a search on Ancestry.com to find someone who was researching the family.  He had for sale a photograph of the John B. Fuller family together at his funeral.

After a couple of quick checks to ensure this was a legit deal, I purchased the photograph.  The original photograph from 1938 arrived approximately a week later.  I was thrilled to find that not only were names listed on the back of the photograph but someone had written names on the front to indicate who belonged to each name.

Fuller Family at funeral of John B Fuller, December 12, 1938.

It was time to take a look at the research I had already completed for the family.  I was hoping to match up the names on the photograph to the names in my family tree.  I was happy to see I had already identified the family unit mostly using census records.

John Buchanan Fuller and his wife Emma Jane Shipman had ten children.  The first three did not survive childhood.  My husband’s great-grandfather, Percy, was the first child to life to be an adult.  He was followed by Gladys,  Clara, Clarence, Roy, Irene, and Alma.

The family was based mostly around the towns of Ord and Custer, Nebraska.  I also found an obituary for John B. Fuller that painted a fuller picture of the family and their life in Nebraska.  You can read the obituary here.

After realizing the names on the photo matched up with the children of John, it was easy to identify the people marked as me and mom.  Genevieve, Emma Opal, and Liata are all grandchildren of John B Fuller.  Unfortunately, not everyone in the photo is identified.  I suspect a couple of the younger people are also grandchildren of John B. Fuller.

My mother-in-law was very excited to see this photo.  She did not know her grandfather, Percy.  Percy and his daughter did not have a good relationship due to Percy and Lauretta Palmatier divorcing when Grandma June was young.  This was the first time my husband’s family knew what their family looked like.

I have added to photo to FamilySearch so it is available for everyone.  I want to make sure it will not be lost to history a second time. If you would like a digital copy of this photo without the names added in I am happy to share my tiff file!

 

Wedding Wednesday – Giacinto Maglione and Maria Anastasia Salarano

January started with my being dragged into a genealogy black hole.  Haha! Let’s be serious.  It was more like I jumped in head first since I was so excited. The culprit was digitized civil records for the small town in Italy where my father’s paternal line originates.  I have found over 25 birth, marriage, and death records to date.  I still have more records to locate but they are taking some time since I need to scan page by page for differing date ranges.

This marriage record for Giacinto Maglione and Maria Anastasia Salarano is one of the documents I have found.

According to church records, Giacinto and Maria were married 8 June 1867.  This document says that on 11 June 1867, three gentlemen presented themselves to the town hall to vouch that the wedding occurred.  It further states that Giacinto Maglione, 46 was the son of the deceased Stefano Maglione and the living Maria Gianotto.  All the above were born and live in Cossano.  Maria Anastasia Salarano, 22,  daughter of the peasant (living) Michele Salarano and the deceased Maria Bonello.  All the above were born and live in Cossano.

I am very curious to know the story of Giacinto and Maria.  I have found no indication that Giacinto was previously married.  This is usually stated clearly in the church records.  His line for previous marriage has a line through it.  He is from a family who is more financially stable or has money since he is not referred to as a peasant.  Also, since Maria is only able to leave a mark, while Giacinto leaves a signature, she has less education.  Their children were born after the marriage occurred. I wonder what brought them together.  Was it love, arranged marriage, financial deal?  I will probably never know.

My favorite part of this document is the end.  There is a signature from Giacinto and a mark made by Maria.

Out With The Old

My blog is officially back online!  The small problems I was having two weeks ago with the blog were actually bigger problems.  A huge thank you to my hubby (aka Chief Technology Officer) for delegating my issues to Justin in Canada.  Justin does technology for a living and made it possible to move my blog from one host company to another without losing any data.  I am really excited about a more stable environment.

To celebrate the big move to Go Daddy, I decided to give my blog a new look.  I have chosen the twenty seventeen theme from WordPress.   The clean look really appeals to me.  Also, I get to display a photo of one of my favorite oak trees I see on my walks on Mt. Burdell.

I hope you enjoy the new look!  Time to get back to the regularly scheduled program – Genealogy!

 

A Few Technical Difficulties…

I am currently having some issues with my blog.  You may notice that the entire right hand side of the blog is missing.  Just a little problem….

I have contacted my family’s CTO (Chief Technology Officer), aka husband, to help me get this fixed.  This is definitely an opportunity to update the blog since I have not done so in a couple of years. There may be a new look for the blog when I am up and running again.

Hopefully, I can pull this off in the next few days!  I have had an incredible genealogy month and have so much to share!!

Wedding Wednesday – Charles Francis Dempsey and Josephine Amelia Gamble

Dempsey – Gamble Original Marriage Record

 

My grandmother still holds the original marriage record for her parents, Charles Francis Dempsey (1894-1986) and Josephine Amelia Gamble (1894-1976).  I had the opportunity to digitize this document a few weeks ago at Christmas time.  It blows my mind that there are original documents in our family that are almost 100 years old!

I, T.W. Rosensteel hereby certify that on the 11th day of Feb one thousand nine hundred and 20 at St. Joseph’s Charles F. Dempsey and Josephine A. Gamble were by me United in Marriage.

in accordance with license issued by the Clerk of the Orphans Court of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Numbered 13723 Series L              T.W. Rosensteel, Rector

First Genealogy Black Hole Of 2017

Genealogy researchers all laugh at the memes about getting sucked into an online genealogy black hole.  We can laugh because we have all done it.  Some of my favorite memes come from the Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches blog.  They are pretty on point and funny.

Tonight is shaping up to be one of those nights for me.  The infamous genealogy black hole has sunk its claws into me.  I was just going to check FamilySearch quickly to see if the church records from Cossano Canavese, Italy have been digitized.  They have not but…. there are now civil records from the town available and they are digitized!!!

Who cares if they are in Italian?! I have done enough research to read some key words, the months, and count to 31 (handy number to match with the days of the month.)  For everything else is Google Translate.

Who cares if they are not indexed?! They are browse-able and I have dates for most of my family after hours spent with the church records on microfilm.  I jumped right in by finding my great-grandparents marriage record.  They are on the right hand side of the page.

Civil Marriage Record of Matteo Ciardonei and Adele Siletto, Cossano Canavese (Torino). 

 

The only thing that has stopped me from working through as many birth, marriage, and death records as possible is my children.  They demanded dinner tonight.  The good news is they are now asleep in bed and I can go back to my wonderful black hole.  I have to thank my kids though because dinner gave me time to create a plan of attack so no one gets missed.

Wishing you all a successful genealogy black hole of your own in 2017!

Adding A Sibling To The Family Tree

There are many family trees posted to the big genealogy websites.  My personal opinion about these trees, in relation to my own research, is they should be used a hints.  I always try to contact the tree owner to see if they have any sources of their information.  I am cautious about the online trees but I am also optimistic.

Towards the end of the summer, I received a hint about my grandfather’s family on My Heritage.  I took a look at the family trees posted and noticed a sister named Anastasia Adele Ciardonei was part of the family structure.

My grandfather, Celio Capelli, immigrated to the United States in March 1920 at the young age of 5 after the death of his mother, Adele Siletto.  Upon the ship’s arrival in New York, my great-grandfather, Matteo Ciardonei, was detained at Ellis Island after being diagnosed with tuberculosis.  My grandfather’s aunt (Adele’s sister) Mary Siletto Capelli, traveled from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to pick up my grandfather from Ellis Island.  Matteo was deported back to Italy and Celio became part of the Capelli family. Sadly, Matteo passed away a little over a year later in Cossano Canavese, Italy.  My grandfather grew up in Pittsburgh in the home of his Aunt and Uncle, Mary and Frank Capelli, with his cousins as his siblings.

I had heard a story that Adele Siletto had passed away in childbirth.  I considered this story very likely to be true.  When reviewing the family trees at My Heritage, it seems I had finally might have proof of this story.

I contacted a friend on Facebook, Lily, who lives in Cossano Canavese, Italy.  You can read about how we were introduced and the wonderful presents she gave to me here.  I had received the church death record for Adele Siletto from Lily last year.  What I did not know at the time was to ask if there were any records for this possible sister, Anastasia Adele.

I asked Lily to take another look at the church records to see if there was a birth record for Anastasia Adele Ciardonei in the same month Adele had passed away.  Lily became my hero once again when she sent a digital copies of Adele’s death record and Anastasia’s birth and death records.

Adele Anastasia Antonia Ester Ciardonei was born on 12 September 1919.  Her mother, Adele Siletto, passed away a few days later on 18 September 1919.  Anastasia was baptized two days after her mother’s death on 20 September 1919.  Sadly, she did not survive and passed away when she was 29 days old on 10 October 1919.   Just 5 months later, Matteo and Celio would be on a ship steaming towards the United States.

My heart breaks for Matteo Ciardonei.  In less then a year he loses his wife and newborn daughter, tries to reach a better life in America but is deported, and leaves his son with family on another continent.  I am also so eternally grateful for the decision he made to leave my Grandfather with Mary and Frank Capelli.

I want to send a huge Thank You to my extended Italian family who placed Anastasia’s name on an online family tree.  Without their help, I would not have been able research this important story in my family history.  Every piece of the story adds up to explain how so many decisions came to be.

A New Idea To Display Your Family Tree

My house was dominated last year by the movie Inside Out.  This is an animated Disney movie which played on repeat in my house.  You can also find lots of fun games, kids activities, and shop for anything about the movie at Disney Movies.

rich_insideout_header_6017c389

The main characters in the movie are the emotions which control an eleven year old girl named Riley.  Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust run headquarters in the brain where core memories are stored.  The core memories create these islands which represent different aspects of Riley’s personality (family island, friendship island, hockey island, etc).  When you view the islands from headquarters you see lots of color and neon.

At this point you may be asking yourself, “How does this tie into genealogy?!”

Like all things Disney, the movie not only sells merchandise, there is a game you can download onto your phone for your kids to play.  I was playing the game and working my way through family island when I noticed this:

inside-out

A NEON FAMILY TREE!!!  This would be the coolest way to get family interested in your family tree.

I have since amended my dream list of what I would do after winning the lottery to include a neon family tree to hang up in my mommy cave. I just need to start playing the lottery!  I need to take a safer route and ask Santa!

Summer Adventures In Genealogy

The last couple of months have been incredible.  I cannot believe how quickly it has flown by.  Then again they say time flies when you are having fun!

Back in April, I was working on the probate file of Willis Coffey.  I have received more documents from the DeKalb County Historical Society.  The short story is that when Willis passed away, the children from his first marriage went to court against the second wife and their half-brother from that marriage.  It reads like a Lifetime Movie.

I was distracted from the drama of Willis Coffey for a couple of reasons.  First, I was re-elected as President of the Marin County Genealogical Society.  I am looking forward to another year of working with great people on our Board of Directors.

The second distraction is working with a friend on their family tree.  One of our good friends (GG) needed help to work on his paternal line.  He has tested his DNA to compare to a person we are pretty sure is related.  I have been building the paper trail so when the results come in, there is a tree to work with.  This project has been a blast!  I am so lucky because GG’s family only arrived in the United States a few generations back.  The gateway ancestor has a fairly uncommon name so tracing him back to Denmark was a breeze.  From there I have found over 50 digital images of the family in the Ancestry.com Denmark Church Records.

Gregers Erichsen Death Record 1746

The farthest ancestor for GG we have identified is Gregers Erichsen. His death record on 19 September 1746 states he is 77 years old. This gives us the earliest date of 1669 for this family.  Just incredible!!  Just thinking about it makes me happy all over again. I am so thankful for the time I got to flip through the church records and learn all about patronymic research.

My children got out of school in early June.  We have been on one adventure after the next. We visited my parents in Virginia and my uncle and aunt in Seattle.  Not too much genealogy research was accomplished in June but I was able to get a bunch of documents transcribed on the plane rides.

One of my biggest projects this summer has been to clean out our office and the top of my sewing table.  My husband was shocked at the two black garbage bags of paper I was able to get rid of.  Being liberated from all the clutter has led us to start using the office again.  It also created specific piles of genealogy work to digitize and write about.

This month has had genealogy peek into the picture more than I thought it would.  Look for a blog post about a previously unknown sister for my grandfather.  I am also going to blog about my experiences with DNA testing.  In the last month, the autosomal DNA results for both of my parents and one of my mother’s cousins has come in.  I having been immersing myself in DNA education to figure out what it all means.

The rest of the summer includes more adventures with the kids.  They are in dance camp this week, which has created time to write this blog post.  Hopefully, I can keep my new schedule of 20 minutes a day to either scan, transcribe, or write something.

How is your summer going?

Willis Coffey Last Will and Testament

Last week, I told you how there may be some conflict surrounding the estate of Willis Coffey, my 3rd great-grandfather.  You can read about it here.

Today, we will look at what is causing the fuss.  There are a few items to cover before we read the will. Willis Coffey was born in Russell County, Kentucky on May 2, 1804.  He married Velotty (Lotty) Haynes on March 23, 1828.  They had nine children: Louisa, Nebuzaradin B., Teckly, Sara Tiller, Mary Frances, Jackson, Lotty Emeline, Nancy, and James C. Coffey. Lotty Coffee passed away in October 1869 and is buried in the Stewartsville Cemetery, DeKalb, Missouri. Willis was remarried seven months later on June 15, 1870 to Susan Pickett Laffern.  Susan was much younger than Willis (born 1832) and then had a son together (Willis Franklin) in 1874 when Willis was 70 years old. Now that we know the family structure, the will will make more sense.

The lawsuit that follows the death of Willis Coffey will focus on the Will he wrote in 1885, 8 years before his death.

Transcription of the Last Will and Testament of Willis Coffey:

I, Willis Coffey, of the county of DeKalb, and State of Missouri, do make and publish this, my last will and testament.

1st, I give and devise and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Susan Coffey, during her natural life the following real estate (lands), situated in the county of DeKalb and State of Missouri, to wit:

the East half (1/2), of the North west quarter (1/4), of section thirty four, (34); township fifty eight (58); of range thirty three (33).

The above described lands to belong to my wife during her natural life; and at her death, the said lands to become the property of my son, Willis Franklin Coffey.

2nd, I bequeath to my beloved wife, Susan Coffey, a sufficient am’t of provisions for the support of herself and my son Willis Franklin Coffey for the period of one year; said amount to be determined by the Judge of the Probate court.

3rd, I devise and bequeath unto my beloved wife , Susan Coffey, on horse, one milk cow, four pork hogs, and five sheep.  The above personal property to be selected by my said wife, and delivered to her by my executor.

4th, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Susan Coffey, two hundred (200) bushels of corn; and twenty (20 bushels of wheat, and if there be no a sufficient amount of corn and wheat on hand at my death, my executor is hereby directed to pay to my said wife the value of the deficiency, out of my estate.

5th, I will and bequeath to my beloved wife, Susan Coffey, all of my household and kitchen furniture of every description, whatever.

6, And as to the remainder of all my real estate (lands), I hereby direct my executor to sell the same at public or private sale, as he may think best, and to such person or persons as he may think proper and just, and I hereby direct my executor to divide the proceeds of said sale of my real estate as follows: to wit said proceeds to be equally divided between my children and grandchildren as follows:

To the children of my deceased daughter, Eliza Warner one ninth (1/9) part, and to each of my other children as follows: N.B. Coffey, Sarah Clark, Tecka Rippeto, Jackson Coffey, Mary Mitchel, Lotta E Carter, Nancy Stepp, and Willis Franklin Coffey, one ninth (1/9) part.

7th  And as to all debts due and owing to me; I hereby direct my executor to sell the same at public or private sale, as he may think best and to divide the proceeds thereof, as above mentioned in the distributions of proceeds of real estate,

8th,  And lastly, as to all the rest, residue, and remainder of my personal estate, whatsoever, after paying all my just debts, I give  and bequeath to my son Willis Franklin Coffee three hundred $300.00 dollars, then the remainder is to be equally divided between my children and grandchildren as above described.

9th,  And I hereby appoint William M. Stigall, of DeKalb county Missouri as guardian and ensator(??) of my son Willis Franklin Coffey.

10rd[sic], I do hereby appoint William M Stigall, of DeKalb county and State of Missouri as the executor of this my last will and testament; hereby revoking all former wills and testaments by me made.

In witness whereof I have presented my hand, this the 26 day of January, A.S 1885,

Willis Coffey

Signed and declared by the above named Willis Coffey, to be his last will and testament, in the presence of all who at his request have signed as witnesses to the same, in his presence, and in the presence of each other.

Wm T Thornton

James Adams