Those Places Thursday – North Star Brewery, San Francisco, California

It turns out to be no surprise that my husband loves to brew his own beer.  His second great grandfather, John Pope, was the owner of North Star Brewery in San Francisco, California.  The brewery was open from 1897-1920.

1902 – Portraits from the Pacific Art Company’s book, Men of California. Photo accessed 6 April 2011 on the Anchor Brewing website (www.anchorbrewing.com/san_francisco/menofcalifornia.htm)

The brewery was located at 3312 Army Street in the Mission.  The photo below was taken from a brochure for a restaurant, The Old Clam House, that occupied the same space later in the 20th century.  The original is held by John A. Pope, Hopland, CA.

1915 Sanborn Insurance Map.  Accessed at burritojustice.com on 6 April 2011.

Matrilenial Monday – 5 Living Generations Twice in Her Life

This article ran in my local paper yesterday.  The genealogy bug in me was fascinated by the story.  If you get a change to visit the paper’s website, there are photos of both sets of 5 generations.
Marin Independent Journal
San Rafael, California
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Page A1, column 2
Also available at www.marinij.com with photos

Terra Linda matriarch has five living generations in her family — again

Loretta Castillo still has the photograph that ran in Ohio’s Toledo Blade newspaper 71 years ago, showing her at age 19 with her infant daughter and her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Nearly three years ago, Castillo’s great-granddaughter, Melissa McSweeney, gave birth to a baby girl — giving the 90-year-old Terra Linda resident the opportunity to boast for a second time that she’s part of a family with five living generations of women. The case is so rare that one geneticist estimated there may be at most two or three other examples in the United States.
“At first you don’t think anything about it,” said Darlene Belluomini, the daughter who appeared with Castillo in the Toledo photograph in 1940. “It’s kind of crazy.”
Now 71, Belluomini lives with her husband in Novato and has hung a placard outside her home with the slogan, “Family is Everything.”
She talks to Castillo on the phone every night and takes care of her 2-year-old great-granddaughter, Abby McSweeney, on Fridays while the toddler’s mother works. Several times a week, Belluomini’s 50-year-old daughter, Susan Belluomini — who lives in Petaluma with her 25-year-old daughter, Melissa, and granddaughter Abby — has lunch at her mom’s house while on break from her preschool job in Novato.
Castillo moved to California from Ohio in 1948 with her two children after a divorce; she had married at age 18. She went on to marry Fred Castillo, who has been her husband for 62 years, and have two more children.
Her daughter, Darlene, married young too, at age 19, and gave birth to Susan 10 months later, making Castillo a grandmother at 39. At the time, Castillo had a 1-year-old daughter and would take care of both children together.
Susan married at 20, and at age 25 gave birth to Melissa, who at age 23 gave birth to Abby.
“I have 12 grandchildren, nine great- and one great-great,” said Castillo, who worked as a waitress at the House of Prime Rib in San Francisco for 35 years. “In my family room, I got pictures galore. I can’t even use the fireplace.”
On Mother’s Day, about 30 family members will gather to visit and eat together at Susan’s house in Petaluma. The family is close and always gets together for holidays, Castillo said.
There is roughly a 1 in 10,000 probability of a family having five living generations in the United States, with most likely about a couple hundred examples nationwide, said Shripad Tuljapurkar, a Stanford University professor of population studies and biology.
But the probability that the phenomenon would occur twice in the same family is extraordinarily low, approximately 1 in 100 million, Tuljapurkar guessed, noting that he’s never heard of another such case.
“That’s really striking,” Tuljapurkar said. “I would be astounded to find even one (case) with this happening twice. This deserves to be known by more demographers.”
Kenneth Wachter, a professor of demographics and statistics at the University of California at Berkeley, also called the case “rare and extraordinary.”
“Back in that generation, people dying at 70 was relatively common,” Wachter said. “To get five generations back then (in 1940) seems very rare. … That’s strong enough to suggest that there could be favorable alleles of genes in that family.”
While many mothers give birth to their first child at roughly the same age as their mothers, a large number of women also rebel and take the opposite route, Wachter said.
“There’s a general tendency for these things, by which I mean early initiation of childbearing … to run in families, but it’s not as strong as you might think because of the rebels,” Wachter said. “To have that general tendency (for early childbearing) expressed so clearly in one family is rare.”
In the United States, the average age of first birth is about 25 for women, said Stewart Tolnay, a sociology professor at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. To have even one instance of five living generations in a family, four generations of women needed to be fertile, have children young and survive to child-bearing age — and in the great- and great-great-grandmothers’ cases, live to advanced ages, he said. “Lots of stars need to line up for this to happen.”
The Castillo-Belluomini-McSweeney women agree that they’re fortunate.
“We’re lucky,” Melissa McSweeney said. “Most of my friends don’t even have their grandparents.”
“When I tell people I have grandparents still at my age, they’re in awe,” Susan Belluomini added. “We’re very lucky to have each other. … Life is tough. We’ve all had our little stepping stones. We always know that through the good times and all the bad, we’re all going to be there for each other.”
Castillo said she still remembers the day she posed for the newspaper photograph with her relatives in 1940. Her great-grandmother, a “full-blooded French” woman, was 88 that day and lived to be 92.
“I remember the words she said to me after we took the picture — she said, ‘Good luck with your bebe,” Castillo recalled, adding that’s she’s happy a picture of the new five generations will appear in the newspaper.
“I know my mother in heaven is going to be very pleased,” she said.

A Tribute to Great Mothers

Happy Mother’s Day!

I want to take a moment today to recognize some wonderful mother’s in my family.  All of these women have helped shape me into the mother that I am today.  I cannot thank them enough for loving me, supporting me, and teaching me.  I love you!

My Mom 

My Maternal Grandmother

My Paternal Grandmother

My Mother-in-Law

Sorting Saturday – My Scanning Goals

I recently started this blog to share stories about my ancestors.  As I have written the first several blog posts, it has become abundantly clear that I need to take some time to scan and reorganize a bunch of my research.  I thought that I had a pretty good system set up that would make it easy to find anything I have input and sourced in my genealogy software.  I realize now that my system is not so great, especially when you want to quickly double check stories and facts when writing a blog post. 

I have decided that I need to spend at least 50% of my genealogy time devoted to achieving these new goals until the project is done. 

I have taken some time and thought about exactly what needs to be done and how I want to reorganize my data both in binders and on the computer.  Here is the goal list:

  1. In my computer, create a new library that holds genealogy files only (they will no longer be split across the documents and photos libraries).  Organize files by family name and specialty folders such as places, books, etc.
  2. When moving all files to their new ‘home’, rename any file that doesn’t match the way I have been naming files the last couple of years.  Also check each file to make sure citations and information about the image is located in the comments section of the image properties. (Yikes, that means adding source information to all of the federal census images I have saved – thank goodness they are all printed on my transcription copies.)
  3. Go through all family binders and check to see if all data (including letters, photocopies made on research trips, photos, and vital records) has been scanned to the computer.  Any information that has not been scanned will get put in a clear plastic box.
  4. Scan all of the stuff that gets put into the plastic box being sure to put the proper citations in the comments section of the image properties.
  5. Attack my stack of research data that needs to get input into my genealogy software.  Each document needs to be cited to the correct ancestor, scanned, filed to correct family folder, and printed copy filed to family binder. 
  6. When finished with this scanning project, burn a new set of backup DVD’s.  I will be backing up during the project to my Sugarsync account.

I expect this to take most of the rest of the year to complete.  I will keep you updated as to my progress every now and then.

Tech Tuesday – How Amazon’s Cloud Crash Should Change Your Backup Routine

Why Redundant Backups Are Necessary

This week Amazon experienced significant problems at their Northern Virginia data center.  The outages brought down part of Amazon’s cloud services.  Since Amazon is one of the largest providers of cloud services, this was a major event.  Many companies were unable to access their data or their websites were unavailable on Thursday and Friday. 

I joined the cloud revolution this year to back up my genealogy data.  I personally use Sugarsync’s 5 GB free account.  One of the other popular providers is Dropbox.  These services are great!  You can back up your data off site to protect against a myriad of things including hardware crashes, earthquakes, and 2 year-olds.  These cloud sites also allow you to access your data from other devices when you are not at home.  For example, you can access your files while at the library if you forgot to bring something with you.  Or the reverse, upload photos and document scans to your data backup while still at the library. 

Amazon’s problems this week should also effect the way that we (the home user, blogger, etc.) backup our data.  My suggestion is to back up your data in multiple ways.  This will ensure that if any one of the back up methods fails, you will still be able to access your data.  I personally backup my data at multiple levels. 

First, as mentioned, I have my genealogy data automatically backup to a cloud service.  This keeps my data off site (out of the house) in case of a massive natural disaster.  In California, we are always worried about earthquakes.

Second, at my house, we have an external hard drive attached to our computer.  We periodically delete all of the files off of the external hard drive and copy over all files from our computer (every couple of months).  This backup is to cover us in case the hard drive on our home computer fails.  Hardware failures are the largest cause of lost data.

Third, once a year, we copy all files to DVDs.  The DVDs are supposed to be kept in a safe spot at my in-laws house.  I have to fess up that the case holding these are in my house right now.  Note to self – drop them off as soon as possible!  Again this keeps all of our data off site in case something happens at our house.  We find this a cheaper way to back up our photos and music than subscribing to a larger cloud account.  Our backup plan is not perfect but it works for our household and is something that we can maintain.

Redundancy is the key and this was proven this week at Amazon.  Many large companies (such as Netflix) pay for upgraded Amazon services to have their data backed up to multiple data centers.  These large companies pay for redundancy.  In return they did not experience any outages since their data is backed up in multiple locations.

Sunday’s Obituary – William H. Lawbaugh

William H. Lawbaugh is my second great grandfather through my mother’s paternal line (William Lawbaugh->Dean R. Lawbaugh->William H. Lawbaugh)The People’s Voice, Wellington, Sumner, Kansas

No. 48, Vol. XXI
26 January 1911, page 1, column 4
“Lawbaugh Died This Morning”
Well Known Painter and Musician Passes Away
Had Undergone Another Operation Yesterday From Which He Failed To Recover.
W.H. Lawbaugh passed away at his home on North Jefferson avenue [sic] this morning at six o’clock.  It was realized yesterday by the physicians and relatives that his condition was critical and there was but little hope felt for his recovery.  Yet death was somewhat unexpected at time it came, as those watching at his bedside thought that they had noticed a rally of strength just a few moments before.  He passed away during a period of unconsciousness.
                A surgical operation on the stomach was performed yesterday morning as the only hopes of saving the patient’s life.  A first operation was performed a few months ago which restored the patient’s health for a time.  But his condition again became serious last week.  The disease of which he suffered was one of the stomach [sic], thought by some of the physicians to be cancer.
                W.H. Lawbaugh has been one fo the best known citizen of Wellington for twenty-three years.  He was a painter and decorator by trade, and one who excelled in his profession.  His eye for colors and careful workmanship marked him an artist in his line.  His work is to be found everywhere about the city.  The interior of the Antlers hotel is one of his notable efforts.  Here he was given the full play of his genius and the work is recognized as one of his best.
                Mr. Lawbaugh was also a musician of marked ability, and has been a leading member of every band organization in Wellington since he came here.  No band was complete without Lawbaugh and his big bass horn, and he was a friend to every ban musician in the city, young and old.  He was one of the charter members of the famous old “Big Six” band of earlier days.  The other members of that organization who will be remembered here by many were Bert Chapman, Chas. Davis, Will Dean, Bert Daniels, H. Teiderman, Claud Sanders and W.H. Caman.  Will R. Stotler was drum major and is the only member now living here. W.H. Caman came down from Beatrice, Nebraska a few weeks ago to see his friend Mr. Lawbaugh, during the latter’s critical illness.
                W.H. Lawbaugh was born in Geneseo, Ill. In 1862 and resided there with his parents until he was 17 years of age.  Then he traveled as a musician with show companies, first coming to Wellington in 1882 with the Simons Comedy Company.  He liked the town and returned in 1887 to take up his residence, having been married in 1886 to Clemie Hudson at LaCygne, Kansas.
                Mr. Lawbaugh was converted in the Williams meetings at the Methodist church a number of years ago and has been a faithful member of the church.  He belonged to the I.O.O.F. and carried insurance.  The deceased leaves a widow and two children, Ione aged 16 and Dean aged 22.  A sister, Mrs. Lou Miles, lives at Geneseo, Ill.  She was here at the time of his first serious attack of illness. 
                The funeral services will be held from the home at 702 North Jefferson at 3 o’clock Thursday afternoon Rev. D.H. Switzer officiating.

Tombstone Tuesday – Bender Family, Sedgwick, Kansas

The Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Sedgwick, Kansas has many Bender’s buried there.  The family patriarch, John, his wife, Matilda, and three of their children are buried around a tree in the middle of the cemetery.  Many members of the immediate family and extended family are buried just to the east of the tree (behind the tree in the photo below). This post includes the tombstones that surround the tree and their inscriptions.

John Bender and Matilda Bender are my third great grandparents on my mother’s paternal line (William H. Lawbaugh ->Effie Bender->William H. Bender ->John Bender)

Two large gravestones in the front and two flat stones in the rear.
 John Bender, 1845-1925; Matilda, his wife, 1847-1932.
Leroy, son of J & M Bender, died April 1, 1884; the rest of the tombstone was too degraded to read.
(Leroy was 9 months old when he died.)
Ella F., daughter of J & M Bender, died Apr 21, 1889, aged 8 yrs 23d’s, she’s waiting for us in the glorious eden land which lies beyone the sunset of life.
W H Bender, born May 23, 1868, died Oct 4, 1902, Dearest father thou hast left us and our loss we deeply feel. But tis god that has bereft us he can all our sorrows heal.
(William was 34 years old when he died.  He was survived by his wife, Mary, and their 5 children.)

Charles Mattson & Wendla Botmaster (Johnson)

Charles Oscar Mattson married Wendla Botmaster (Johnson) on February 13, 1904 in Berkeley, California.  Wendla unofficially took the last name Johnson when she arrived in the United States from Finland.  They had 5 children, 4 boys and 1 girl, during their short marriage.  Unfortunately, Charles died only nine years after they married on May 13, 1913.

Charles and Wendla are John’s second great grandparents through his father’s maternal line (Shirley Gingg -> Agnes Mattson ->Charles Mattson.)

Abraham Strickler 1853 – 1910

Abraham Strickler was born at home along the banks of the Shenandoah River South of Luray, Virginia on October 24, 1853.  The Strickler family was one of the original 8 families that settled what is now Page County, Viginia in the 1730’s.  The original Abraham Strickler who settled the area would be this Abraham Strickler’s great-great grandfather.  Abraham’s great-grandfather, John was granted the 230 acre family farm on the Shenandoah river.  John’s son, Martin (Abraham’s grandfather), bought out his brothers upon John’s death to own the entire farm.  He later bought adjoining property to bring the farm to 350 acres.  Abraham’s father, David Strickler, was running the famliy farm at the time of Abraham’s birth even though his father, Martin was still alive.  Abraham’s grandparents, Martin and Anna, lived in the original family home next to the Abraham’s family.  David built the fancy ‘new’ brick family home in the years immediately before Abraham Strickler’s birth (1851-1852).

Abraham was the youngest of 10 children, 5 girls an 5 boys.  The family was wealthy, living on 350 acres of land.  Even though most of the farm work was done by the sons and hired hands, the family did have 1 slave.
Abraham’s first marriage was to Emma Dovel on December 24, 1874.  Abraham and Emma were 22 and 21 years old when they married.  Emma lived on a nearby farm run by her father.  The Dovel’s were another founding family of Page County.  Abraham and Emma had one son, David Walter Strickler, in March 1876.  The son’s obituary indicates that Emma died in Kansas City, Missouri when the family moved there a couple of years after he was born.  I found both Abraham and David living with Emma’s family in the 1880 census in Page County, Virginia.  At the time of the census, Abraham is 26 years old and David is 4 years old.  Apparently, they had decided to head back to Virginia after Emma’s death.
Sometime between 1880 and 1885 Abraham left his son in Virginia with his deceased wife’s family and he headed to Kansas again.  He was enumerated in the 1885 Kansas Census in the town of Albion, Republic County, Kansas as a farmer living with one of Emma’s brothers, Benjamin.  There is no documentation that shows Abraham kept in touch with his son.  David Walter Strickler’s obituary mentions that he moved in with his aunt’s after his mother’s death.
Abraham married his second wife, Effie Flock, about 1888 in Republic County, Kansas.  Abraham is 35 years old at the time of his second marriage.  His wife Effie is 22 years old.  It is unknown if Effie knew of Abraham’s first family.  Abraham and Effie had 4 children, 1 boy and 3 girls between 1890 and 1902.  The son, Earl Jasper, died as an infant.  The three daughters were named Opal, Ruby, and Emerald.  They were Abraham’s ‘three jewels.’
It appears that the family lived on two different farms when the children were little.  Both the Federal census in 1900 and the Kansas Census in 1905 shows that Abraham owned the farms he worked.  The family first lived in Narka, Republic County (about 1888-1900).  They were in Haddam, Washington County when their youngest daughter was born.  They lived in Haddam approximately 10 years before moving in 1908.
In 1908 the family moved to Fall River, Kansas.  This was a big move as Greenwood County, Kansas is approximately 250 miles southeast of Haddam, Kansas.  I have not found any documentation that indicates why the family made the move to southern Kansas.
According to Abraham’s obituary, he quickly became invovled in the community in Fall River.  He purchased the Rodgers Hotel in town and an interest in the Fall River Creamery.  He also purchased a farm outside of town that he worked.  The family lived in a home in the town of Fall River.  Unfortunately, Abraham had a stroke in October 1909 at the age of 56.  He was not well after the stroke and died 4 months later on March 23, 1910.  He was initally buried in the North Pole Cemetery, south of Fall River.
On a trip to Kansas in October 2010, I was surprised to find Abraham Strickler buried next to his wife Effie in Topeka, Kansas.  Effie had remarried in 1914 to John Scott and was widowed a second time before the 1920 Federal Census.  Effie was again remarried in 1931 to her third husband.  She died in 1939 still married to Daniel Hogbin.  The Penwell Gabel Cemetery in Topeka was able to locate records that show when the cemetery opened Effie bought 6 plots on July 1st, 1925.  There is a letter dated January 5, 1926 asking Effie for payment of $5.00 for meeting her husband’s coffin at the train.  Effie had Abraham disinterred from his grave in southern Kansas so that he could be near to her in Topeka.  Abraham was the 50th person buried in the cemetery in Topeka.  Effie and Abraham are buried next to each other.