Census Sunday – Mitchell Children in Jefferson County School Census

While at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Oskaloosa, Kansas I found several years of the School Children’s census.  I have found school census enumerations before in other places, but those have always just included numbers.  These notebooks were a great find because they include the names of the children enrolled in school.

Valley Falls Grade School as seen on Google Street View.
Valley Falls Grade School as seen on Google Street View.

Obviously my ancestors did not attend the modern school in the photo above.  I do wonder if the school was located in the same place in Valley Falls in the 1880s.  By comparing an 1899 map of the area to Google maps today, I can tell that my ancestors lived just outside of the town limits on the land.  Did the kids walk into town each day?

Note the bricks in the road in the photo..  A lot of the small towns I have visited in Kansas still have brick roads.  My mom tells me that every town had brick streets as she grew up in Kansas.

I found my relatives in several years of the Jefferson County School Census.  I have pulled their information from the list.  There are other Mitchells listed in the same school but I have not done any research yet to confirm if these are cousins.

I find it fascinating that my ancestors attended school through their teen years.   It must have been a struggle to have their children in school and not farming their land.  I know the family was slowly having a more difficult time with farming and finances.  Moses and Mary Mitchell would sell their land in April 1889 and move to the Arkansas City area.   Education must have been a priority in the family.

The notebooks I found were titled:

Jefferson County Kansas School Children’s Census

Extracted from original records at Register of Deeds Office and typed by Joy (Ward) Hill, alphabetically sorted and printed by Richard Wellman.

1883 Valley Falls School, District 016

1883 School Census

*I am not sure why Henry Mitchell is not listed.  He was 4 years older than the twins and three years younger than Laura.

 

 

1884 Valley Falls School, District 16

1884 School Census

 

 

 

 

 

1886 Valley Falls School, District 16

1886 school census

 

 

 

 

1887 Valley Falls School, District 16

1887 school census

 

 

 

 

 

1888 Valley Falls School, District 16

1888 school census

*Henry finally appears.

 

 

 

 

1889 Valley Falls School, District 16

1889 school census

Surname Saturday – Addie Flock and Frank Tharp

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about finding Caroline Flock in the Enid City Directories at Ancestry.com.  At the time, Caroline was living with her second daughter, Addie Tharp.  I have since done some research into Addie and her life. I was amazed how much I was able to find in a short amount of time about my great-great-grand aunt.

Addie was born Adeline Martha Flock November 5, 1863 in Iowa.  She is enumerated with her parents as Martha in the 1870 and 1880 federal census.  The 1875 Kansas census lists her as “A.”  She is then listed as Addie in the 1885 Kansas census.

I have not found out the exact date but at some point Addie moved to Oregon in the late 1890’s.  I have found the 1900 Federal Census record for Addie’s brother, Pearl.  His son, John F., was born in Oregon in 1899.  It is a very possible that Addie traveled to Oregon with Pearl and his wife, Mary.  Addie married Frank Tharp December 19, 1897 in Albany, Benton, Oregon.

Flock Tharp Marriage

The 1900 Federal Census finds Frank and Addie living in Fairmont Precinct, Benton, Oregon with Frank’s two daughters from a previous marriage.  I believe from a photo I found on Ancestry.com of the family that Addie is Frank’s third wife.

Tharp Frank 1900 census

Frank and Addie farmed in the same area for some time.  They are found again in the Fairmount Precinct in the 1910 and 1920 census.  In the picture below, the enumeration district is pretty much everything west of the Willamette River.  It is just north of Corvallis, Oregon.

Fairmont Precinct

Addie and Frank were married for 23 years when Frank passed away on March 1, 1920 in Albany, Linn, Oregon.  He was buried in the cemetery there.

Tharp, Frank Tombstone

Addie is next found living with her mother in Oklahoma in the 1926 Enid City Directory.  I do not know how soon after Frank’s death that she moved East.  It must have been a very different trip traveling to Oklahoma in the 1920’s then traveling to Oregon thirty years earlier.

Tharp Addie 1930 census

Addie stayed in Enid, Oklahoma after her mother’s death.  She passed away October 3, 1953 and was buried in the same cemetery as her mother.

Tharp, Addie Tombstone

Treasure Chest Thursday – Jane (Berry) Ramsey

I am back again for another set of documents from my Ancestry.com shoebox.  This week I will be focusing on Jane Ramsey.  She is one of the few 4th great grandmothers I have identified on my family tree.

Ramsey line

 

I had two documents that had been saved to my shoebox.  This was a first round of searches after identifying Jane Berry as the mother of Amner Caroline Ramsey.  I made the connection from A. Caroline’s death certificate.  The first saved item was the Ramsey family in the Iowa State Census in 1856.  They were enumerated in Washington Township, Appanoose County, Iowa with the last name Ramsay.  (A common name variation)  Jane is listed second on the list just under her husband Joseph.  She is 52 at the time.  Also listed are most of her children: Robert, Sarah, Caroline, Joseph, and William.

The 1856 Iowa State census is fascinating because it has many questions about the land the families were working.  The Ramsey family was living on 140 acres.  Sixty of these acres were improved land for farming.  They harvested 100 bushels of spring wheat, 300 bushels of oats, and 1000 bushels of corn the prior year.  They also sold 24 hogs for $75 and 7 cattle for $45.

Ramsey Family 1856

 

The second item in my Ancestry shoebox was the 1870 US Federal Census Mortality Schedule.  Jane died the same year as the census so she was listed in the mortality schedule with more information.

Ramsey Jane Mortality schedule

 

Jane Ramsey passed away 18 march 1870 in Washington Township, Appanoose County, Iowa.  Her husband is found in the 1870 census living with his son Robert a few short months after Jane’s death.

A bonus of saving these records to my computer is that I noticed in the right hand column of the image reader a list of suggested records on Ancestry.com.  One of the suggestions was an entry at www.FindAGrave.com.  I checked it out and it seems to be my Jane.  I have saved the information to my computer.  I have also contacted the person who maintains the memorial because I think we may be distantly related.

I checked my digital files and found that I already had the 1850 and 1860 federal census enumerations for the Ramsey family.  I need to make a research plan for this family.  There is a lot of information that I do not know about them.

Treasure Chest Thursday – Radvany Family in Whiting, Indiana

My first set of records I have given sweet genealogy love to from my Ancestry.com shoebox all pertain to the Radvany family.  They confirm the makeup of the family and where they resided from 1937-1943.  This information has been previously documented through other sources such as the federal census, obituaries and death records.

The family appears in the 1937, 1939, 1941, and 1943 Polk City Directories for Whiting, Indiana.

Polk's City Directory 1937 Whiting, Indiana
Polk’s City Directory 1937 Whiting, Indiana

The 1937 and 1939 directory list both Mary and her oldest son, William.  The 1941 directory lists Mary, William, and the second oldest daughter, Violet.  The oldest daughter Julia was already married and living with her husband.  The last directory in 1943 adds Walter to the family listing.  Walter was my husband’s grandfather.

Polk's City Directory 1943 Whiting, Indiana
Polk’s City Directory 1943 Whiting, Indiana

 

We also find evidence of the family in the 1940 federal census.  The family is headed by the widowed Mary.  (Louis Radvany died suddenly after being hit by a car in a neighboring town in 1930.  I have written about his passing here.)  The household lists the remaining children at home: William, 23; Violet, 17; Walter, 15; Gloria, 13; Angeline, 11.  William, the oldest son was the only person in the home to receive any income.  Sadly, the family was living through some very tough times.

1940 Federal Census, Whiting, Indiana
1940 Federal Census, Whiting, Indiana

 

All of the above records place the family at 2416 Schrage Avenue, Whiting, Indiana.  Below is a google map of the area today.  You will notice that the Radvany’s lived within a mile of Lake Michigan and immediately across the street from the Standard Oil plant (today it is a Chevron plant). All of the men in this family worked for Standard Oil.

2416 Schrage Avenue, Whiting, Indiana
2416 Schrage Avenue, Whiting, Indiana

 

Census Sunday – The 1940 Indexes Are Here

Most people know that the 1940 U.S. Census was released on April 2nd.  At the time of its release, there was no index for the census.  You had to search by enumeration district to find your family members.  I was able to find most of the family on my ‘most wanted’ list.  There were a couple of families on my husband’s side that had to wait for an index because they had no known address for 1940.

After the census was released, I helped with transcribing efforts by participating at FamilySearch.org.  This was the crowd-sourcing effort to index the census for free.  There was also a simultaneous effort taking place at Ancestry.com.  The indexing at Ancestry.com was outsourced to several companies located outside of the United States.

This week Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org both announced that the transcribing has been completed.  FamilySearch has most states up and ready to search.  The remaining states are completed and will finish a quality check before they are posted to the Internet in the next couple of weeks.  Ancestry.com has all states ready to search on their website.  Both sites offer free access to the 1940 census.

I took a spin yesterday on the Ancestry.com index in an effort to find my husband’s Chicago area relatives.  Up first was the Radvany family living in Whiting, Indiana.  I searched using the last name and the location.  They were the first family listed in the search results.  I will post their individual census record on another Sunday.

The second family I wanted to locate includes my husband’s grandmother.  I knew this search would be a little tricky.  Gwendolyn (June) Fuller and her mother, Loretta, moved to Chicago after Loretta divorced June’s father.  Sometime between 1930 and 1940, Loretta was married a second time to Alexander Fraser.  I knew that there could be a lot of last name variables when looking for this family.  I was unable to locate the family by searching for a mix of first names and last names.  I then tried using variations of Fraser but still no luck.  My next plan of attack was to search using the first names for mother/daughter or spouse/spouse.  Bingo!  Using the location and first names only for Loretta and Alex*, I found them transcribed with the last name Troger.  I have already added name variations to this family.  I cannot fault the transcriber for this entry.  The census enumerator did not have very clear handwriting.  In fact, if I had transcribed this page I would have gotten it wrong also.

I will be interested to see how Grandma June is indexed in FamilySearch.org.  Illinois is one of the states that still needs to be posted on that website so I will have to wait a couple of weeks.

Census Sunday – Dudley Mitchell Household 1940 Federal Census

Dudley Moses Mitchell is my great-grandfather.  I found Dudley and his family residing at 630 19th West, Hutchinson, Kansas in the 1940 Federal Census.  During a research trip to Kansas in 2010, I took photos of many city directories in Hutchinson spanning the years 1937-1958.  This made it easy to find my family.  I also found a collection of index cards for Sanborn Insurance including photos on the back of each card.

The 1940 census finds Dudley (64) living with Opal (wife, 49), Raymond (son, 19), Elbert (son, 15 – real name Delbert), Kenneth (son, 13), Roberta (daughter, 9), Robert Newby (grandson, 5), and Richard Newby (grandson, 4).  The census shows that everyone in the household was born in Kansas and had lived in Topeka, Kansas in 1935.

Dudley rented the house pictured above for $18 a month.  Dudley worked as the store manager of a grocery store in Hutchinson.  He only worked 6 weeks in 1939 and shows in income of zero dollars.  His sons, Raymond and Delbert also worked in the grocery store.  Raymond was in the meat department and Delbert worked as a clerk.  Raymond work for 40 weeks in 1939 and had an income of $350.  Delbert only worked 14 weeks and made an income of $112.  I believe that Delbert only worked 14 weeks since he was also in school.

My grandmother has always told us that she grew up without much money.  This census enumeration documents that there were 8 people in the household living off of $462.  Times were not easy.  Most of the families on other pages in Hutchinson had an average of 4 people in the household and were making $800-1000 a year.  
 
I found Loretta Mitchell Cogzill living nearby with her new husband, Grant Cogzill, at his parent’s house.  Loretta is the mother of Robert and Richard.

Census Sunday – Ida Austin Household 1940

The biggest news in genealogy this week was the release of the 1940 Federal Census on Monday, April 2nd.  The week started off with a few bumps but has largely been a success for me.  One of the positives about living on the west coast is that when I woke up on Monday, news was already spreading about the insane number of people trying to access archives.org.  I decided to wait until Tuesday to take a peek at my ancestors.  This plan was somehow communicated to ancestry.com and they loaded the states I needed first (Haha – they did a great job getting all 3.8 million images loaded).  I am extremely happy to say that I have found 7 out of 8 grandparents (I was looking for my husband’s grandparents too.)  The only one missing is a grandparent that lived in Chicago at the time.  I do not have an address for her and Chicago is way to large to just scroll through the images.

I plan on using the Census Sunday theme to share my finds in the 1940 Federal Census.  I will start this week with the Ida Austin household in San Francisco, California.

Ida Austin is my husband’s great-great-grandmother.  She lived at 25 Fair Oaks Street, San Francisco, California.  Also listed in the household (in order) is Alfred Pope, Althea Pope, Joyce Pope, John Pope, Louis Richards, and Sophia Richards.

I laughed out loud when I read that all of the people listed had a relationship as lodger.  All of the other families on the sheet have more conventional relationships listed such as wife, daughter, step-son.  Althea is Ida’s daughter.  She is living with her husband and two children in her mother’s home.  Sophia is Ida’s sister and Louis is Sophia’s husband.

I would love to peek into the past to see who answered the questions of the enumerator.  No one in the household is marked with the X in a circle.  It is possible that one of the neighbors answered the questions for this family.  Since everyone in the household is listed as living in the same house in 1935, they obviously have been living as an extended family for some time.

Ida Austin owned her home and it was valued at $8000.  She made $1470 the previous year and appears to be the only person in the household working.  This is pretty amazing since her age is listed as 65 in 1940.  Grandpa John tells me that his grandmother worked at Columbia Outfitting Company.  Alfred is listed as a laborer but he did not have any income.

The education column is also interesting to me.  Alfred Pope is listed as having only 4 years of education.  When I asked Grandpa John about that, he told me that his father took classes at UC Berkeley.  This might be another indication that a neighbor answered the questions about the family.

Tuesday’s Tip – Review your previous work

I was doing some work on my re-organization of digital genealogy files yesterday.  I found a digital census image that was not added to my genealogy software.  It was the 1900 Federal Census for James Dempsey in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I printed a census form and transcribed the image.  I also added the citation to my genealogy software and to the digital image.  I was reviewing the transcription and realized that I had no note of James Dempsey being a naturalized citizen in my software.  I was so excited to find a new piece of information!

I quickly felt like a fool when I took a look at the 1910, 1920, and 1930 census images for James.  I already had this information and had missed it.

I did not understand the importance of those two little letters “Na” when I started researching my family.  I am sure that I was in such a rush to find more census images that I did not follow up with the information that I had.

So learn from my mistake.  Review the research you have already completed.  There might be a little gold nugget hiding in what you have already collected.  I am adding to my goal list to do a complete review of the documents I have when I finish my organization project.

I ordered the naturalization paperwork for James Dempsey from NARA.  I am hoping that this will lead me to information pinpointing exactly when he immigrated to the United Stated from Scotland.  It might also have information about where in Scotland he is from.

Workday Wednesday – Dudley Moses Mitchell

Dudley Moses Mitchell was my maternal great grandfather (1875-1957).

1895 Kansas Census – Farmer – Arkansas City, Cowley, Kansas
1900 Federal Census – Farm Laborer – Bolton Township, Cowley, Kansas
1905 Kansas Census – Teamster – Arkansas City, Cowley, Kansas
1910 Federal Census – Teaming Flour Mill – Arkansas City, Cowley, Kansas
1918 WWI Draft Registration – Grocer at Scott Grocery Company – Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas
1920 Federal Census –  Overseer Cold Storage – Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas
1925 Kansas Census – Laborer – Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas

I know that Dudley owned a grocery store at the end of the 1920’s in Topeka.  He lost the store during the Depression.  The family moved to Hutchinson, Kansas where Dudley worked as a Grocer in the Save You More Market.

Mystery Monday – Who was Mary Bradley’s mother?

Mary Bradley is my second great grandmother on my mother’s paternal side (William Lawbaugh ->Effie Bender->Mary Bradley).

Mary Eugenia Bradley was born 18 December 1867 in LaSalle county, Illinois.  Her parents are listed on her death certificate as Charles Bradley and Kate Bradley.  The informant listed on the death certificate was her daughter, Matilda ‘Tilly’ (Bender) Case.

Both my mother and one of her cousins remember their ‘Grandma Bender’ (Effie May Bender), Mary’s older daughter & Tilly’s older sister, telling the story about how her mother, Mary Bradley, was born illegitimately to a Jewish woman and forced onto her father’s new bride to raise.  They both also remember a story that Grandma Bender remembers a visit to Mary by the supposed biological mother.

Here are some of the ideas I have researched in my attempt to find an answer to this family story:

Birth Records

  • Birth Records were not kept in the state of Illinois until 1916.
  • LaSalle County, Illinois starting keeping birth records in 1877 but have no earlier records.

Census
An analysis of the census records is not clear either:

  • 1870 Federal Census – living with John and Kate
  • 1880 Federal Census – living with John and Kate and 3 brothers
  • about 1883 – John Bradley dies
  • 1885 Kansas Census – living with Kate and 3 brothers
  • 1900 Federal Census – living with husband, William Bender.  Kate is living in Chicago with her 3 sons.  She indicates that she has had 5 children and only 3 are living.
  • 1910 Federal Census – Mary is living in Kansas with her second husband.  Kate is living with her oldest son and his family in Chicago.  She indicates that she has had 3 children and 3 are living.

It is very interesting that after moving to Chicago, Kate (Cary) Bradley has indicated only 3 children are living when Mary is clearly alive in Kansas.

Marriage Records

  • Mary Bradley’s marriage certificate to William Bender dated 17 December 1877 does not mention Mary’s parents.  There is a certificate signed by John Bender (William’s father) attesting to both Mary and William being of age (18 and 19 respectively).
  • The marriage certificate for John Bradley and Catherine Cary is definitely more interesting.  They applied for a marriage license in LaSalle County, Illinois on November 18, 1867.  The copy of the license I received states that license # 1243 was ‘not returned, missing’.
  • I have also received a copy of the St. Columba Church marriage records (Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois) for Charles and Kate.  The church records indicate that Charles and Catherine were married November 18, 1867.  The marriage was witnessed by William Edding and Mary Noonan.

The marriage date for Charles and Catherine is only 31 days before Mary was born.  I find it very unlikely that a woman in 1867 would wait until she is 8 months pregnant before marrying the father of her child.  Considering the year, I would expect a woman to have gotten married as soon as possible to hide the fact she was pregnant before marriage.

Conclusions
I have not reached any conclusions about who Mary Bradley’s mother is.

I do find the evidence in favor of Kate Bradley being Mary’s mother on the thin side.  The only person who has stated that fact was Mary’s daughter.  She was obviously did not have first hand knowledge of the birth since she was not there.

There is also no proof yet that another woman is Mary Bradley’s mother.

The only clue I have to the mystery Jewish woman is that her last name might have been Udell.  This name was given to my mother’s cousin by Grandma Bender in a conversation.

I am following up on another research idea right now.  I have sent an inquiry to the Catholic Church, St. Columba, in Ottawa, Illinois to see if they have any birth or baptismal records for Mary Bradley.  This is the church that Charles and Kate got married at just a month before Mary’s birth.

I will keep you updated when I receive a response.