09 August 2012

Week Ending August 11, 2012

So far, I have been very busy on Ancestry.ca and FamilySearch.org adding tidbits to my family tree. The persons I added information to are:

Charles Edward DEDRICK (1870-1905), son of John and Anne (Crellan) DEDRICK - added his death date of 24 May 1905 in San Diego, CA, USA; Added his tombstone from Mount Hope Cemetery, San Diego; Added a few marriages including 1892 non-marriage to Clara A. Oswald, 1896 to Luthera Nowlen.

Charlotte Hortense DEDRICK (1858-1944) While searching for information on a whole 'nother family line, I ran across Donna (Holmes) Bonaccorso's tree. She is the g granddaughter of Charlotte H. and Mile Holmes. She has some beautiful pictures of Charlotte and Miles and their descendants.

Minnie Lucretia DEDRICK (1866-?), daughter of Samuel Spurgeon and Lucy (Watts) DEDRICK - added a second marriage to William Gidley OSBORN, 24 Feb 1892 in Jackson, Michigan. She already had a son with Calvin E. Gates, Roy C. Gates (188-?). I also added the following children according to 1900 US Federal Census: Ione (b. 1893), Ryland G. (b. 1894), Willhelmina (b. 1897), and Erma M. (b. 1899). Added a death date for Minnie as well: 13 Aug 1916 in Alamo, Michigan, USA and her and her husband's cemetery - Alamo Center Cemetery. As well, I ran across a user family tree. He is the gg grandson of William G. and Minnie L. (Dedrick) OSBORN!

Alonzo L. SHELLEY/SHELLY - my ggg uncle, he died single 18 Feb 1899 in Wyandotte, Michigan. The son of William (1841-?) and Henrietta Anna (Miller) SHELLY, he was  the younger brother of my gg grandfather, Francis SHELLY (1863-1901). They were the last generation to consider themselves Pennsylvania Dutch - River Brethren Mennonite to be specific. The 4 younger brothers, William (b. 1870), Alonzo (1841-1891), Truman (1877-1946), and Preston (b. 1878) have been one of those genealogical mysteries. I believe William married Ida and had a number of children while farming in Michigan and have made a contact to inquire further (since she is descended from William and Ida). Truman lived in Norfolk County all his life, near Courtland, to be precise. Preston falls off the family tree in 1891. As for their baby sister, don't even get me started. At first, I thought she was the daughter of another Shelly family, then found her relatives out in Prince George, BC. She was born Eleavue Rosette and married a Muma from Oxford County. Needless to say, there is a lot of work I need to do on my family tree!

There has been some more but I think I'll add it another time.

04 August 2012

A Year Sabbatical (But Not Really)

Hmmm ... A whole year, eh?
Honestly, it wasn't a year where I didn't work on my family tree, visit various archives, search on Ancestry.ca or research every moment of my spare time.
Being a elementary school teacher with - what some tell me - is 11 weeks of vacation, you would think I would have more time. But, as my colleagues know, teachers get asked to sit on various community committees, chair events, speak publicly, etc. My "vacations" are really not holidays: I remain just as busy as during the school year.
I think most of the non-teaching public forget that teachers, doctors, lawyers - they help society not just through their jobs but also through their philanthropic and volunteered time spent trying to make the world a better place. On every committee, you will find one of these (and usually 2/3) professionals tirelessly working  to help the less fortunate on their "vacation." We are driven to help others - that's how we found our calling.
But I digress. So my year was busy. Much of my spare time was spent researching - my other calling. I am a question-maker and a problem-solver. I try to make order from chaos. I like to create. Thus, family history research is my outlet for all and more!
One way to make order from chaos - simplify and streamline. Over the years, I have filled up numerous notebooks with information detailing my journey into genealogy. Notes on what I found in archives, leads from fellow researchers and snippets of information, etc. To go back and reflect on what I found never got done. I lost leads, misplaced key documents, and generally have a mess to deal with. So, over the year, I have worked on making order from my own research chaos.
The result: A research journal. In it, are checklists for the 4 focal research lines. Those lines are the Squire R. & Stephen W. HARRIS connection, The Robert MABEE connection to Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada Mabee family, The Charles S. MUDFORD question of where he originally came from in England, and the Emma/Emily Ruth SHELLY/SHELLEY question of where she went after 1910. Each has a divided spot in my binder with a checklist, family group sheet(s), general pedigree chart, and dates notes. In the front is another checklist that amalgamates all of it into 5 or less research questions. When they are solved, they will be posted.
Four research focal points seems like a good number. Not too much, not too little. The aim is to post completed research on the blog. I can't guarantee the frequency of my posts as research is a fluid task. For those that have come to this blog to comment or contact a fellow researcher, I will check at least once a week for posters.

06 August 2011

The Mystery of Ethel and Hannah C. (Dedrick) Davis' Daughter

One of the dead-ends in my genealogical research that really irks me is this picture and the persons in it. I know, from the back inscription that this is, "Luena Davis' old home on Front Road in Houghton." Sarah Luena was Ethel and Hannah Davis' daughter. I believe she is pictured astride the horse in the bottom right. To the left, Ethel's children by Phoebe: Samuel A. who married Celia Becker, Lydia Emma who married Frank LESTER, and Warren T.
Back to S. Luena Davis, born 30 Dec 1866. On 12 Nov 1891 in Yarmouth, Elgin, she married William B. Graham. By 1901, they are living in Ridgetown and have a daughter, Anna, born 04 May 1893, according to the 1901 Census of Canada. After 1901, they seem to drop off the face of the Earth.
I've looked for the birth record of Anna N.L. Graham: No such luck. They don't seem to appear in the 1911 Census, despite my suspicion that they may have moved to the United States. It's just a hunch. Anyone care to help me out?

05 August 2011

Haven't Posted For Awhile ...

Due to a number of reasons (mostly that I lost access to my gmail account), I haven't really posted for awhile. Sad - I have been extremely busy. Over the next few weeks, I'll fill everyone in on what I have been up to.
One major event occurred last weekend. My maternal grandparents, Lawrence and Grace (Mudford) Dedrick, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. They were married in 1941 on a hot August day in Port Burwell, Ontario.
Pictured to the left is a photo taken between 1928 and 1930. It is of the students of Plank Road School in South Walsingham Township, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada. If anyone is out there, and you recognize someone in the picture, drop me a line at trshelly@shellyfamilytree.com.
By the way, my grandfather is in the second row, 4th from the left. His brother, Wray, is holding the sign. As well, my great Aunts Ruby and Marie Mudford are in it as well as my great Uncles Fred, Harold, and Roy Mudford are in it too. Ruby's then-future husband, Ben "Hokey" Hazen is also in the picture.

13 May 2010

Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and a Photo

About six months ago, my maternal Grandmother, Grace, phoned me to say that she had received a number of photographs from her cousin, Kay Jones. Kay had moved to a retirement home and wanted to give these family mementos to someone who would appreciate them. Among them was the photograph pictured to the left.
At first glance, it looks like a school photo, taken in the early part of the 20th century. I didn't really recognize anyone. So, after scanning the rest of the photographs in the collection, I returned all of them to Grandma. About six weeks ago, on Easter weekend, we were poring over the photos, and I picked up the large, cardboard mounted photograph again. Right away, I see my great great aunts Ada Ellen (1894-1959) and Mabel Ruth (1896-?) Mudford. By way of oral history, both had attended Normal School (aka teachers' college) in Saskatchewan. They show up in the 1911 Census of Maple Creek, Saskatchewan with their brother's family, headed by Austin W. Mudford (1890-1959).
So, is this a school photograph or something else. I see a young woman who may be Orpha Pearl Mudford (1899-?) and a man and woman who closely resemble my great great grandfather's second wife, Jane Ellen Robertson (1872-1944). It may be a Sunday School photo or possibly a grouping of attendees at a family reunion. Hopefully, there is someone out there that knows first, why there are so many people in the photo, second, who some of the attendees are, and third, where it was taken. Is anybody out there ...

01 May 2010

The Al Feere Comment

Back in January, the 25th and 26th to be exact, I wrote about one of the mysteries that I love to investigate as part of my family tree. It concerns two boys, Walter and Francis Feere, who were taken in by my 2x great grandfather, James Edward Mudford and his second wife, Ellen Jane (Robertson). They showed up in the 1911 Census of South Walsingham Township, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada, with Edward and Jane, then again with my 3x great Uncle, Austin W. Mudford in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. I had sort of solved it on the documentation front, and had begun to try to contact descendants of either of the two boys.
My first avenue was to mail a letter to Reverand Alan Feere of Stoney Creek. A couple of weeks ago, the letter was returned. I thought that my chances of making a connection had failed and I was doomed to not know the Feere side of the story. Last night, I checked on my Blogger dashboard, and lo' and behold, there was a comment from Al Feere from 22 March 2010! I quickly fired-off a heart-felt rebut with the hope that Al Feere would contact me. As of yet, not return, but I am ever-hopeful!
As for other avenues, there seems to be some Feere's that live around my home county of Norfolk. Maybe they would be an avenue I could follow. If any of you out there have any ideas, let me know!

26 April 2010

I'm Back With a Vengeance!

I really haven't had the chance to update the blog in over two months. It wasn't that I had nothing to say, it's just that my focus turned to trying to solve a few of the mysteries that lie within my family history.
The major mystery is what happened to my 4th great grandfather, Squire R. Harris. On the left, in yellow, is where Squire R. Harris lived from about 1834 through to 1863. Squire was a Yeoman, which was a member of the local militia who owned land as a result of his gentrified position (i.e., received land as part of his clerical position or military service). He was a gentleman farmer, who had servants and farmhands to take care of his small estate. In the 1862 Gazetteer of Oxford County, Squire R. is said to occupy lot 16 of the Broken Front Concession, which lies to the south of Thames River near Centerville in West Oxford Township.
So, the mystery lies in the question of Squire's date and location of death. It has been suggested that he died in 1865 in the nearby town of Ingersoll. By 1871, his widow, Elizabeth Jane, nee Van Amburgh, had married another prosperous Yeoman, Eli Harris, the father James Harris, famous for the Mammoth Cheese. It is unclear why she decided to marry another Harris. She then emigrated to Michigan, with most of her children, except for my 3rd great grandfather, James William Harris, who moved to Walsingham Township in Norfolk County.
Taking all of the facts into consideration, Squire R. Harris most likely died in Oxford County. He may have died in Michigan, maybe scouting land to move his family to, but this is a long shot. Over a year ago, I searched the wills at the archives of the Oxford Historical Society. I didn't find much, but intend to return soon.
Well, I guess that's it for now. I have much more to talk about, but it will have to wait until next time!