* Enter the Scheier sources received from the FHL in the database and look at that family line for next steps.
* Enter the Pintel, Schenk, Thompson sources received from FHL, also information from MC about Pintel 2nd marriage and children.
* Use notes from Ohio trip to develop research plan for next steps – Boothby and Salt lines.

* The very next step is to empty the last inbox on my desk (the physical one not on my computer) and sort out all the pieces there. Some I have already put into sheet protectors or photo protectors, but they still need to be used to source or add to my family database and then to be put in a binder or hanging file.
* When that is done, empty the canvas bag hanging on the closet door and do the same with everything in it. The materials are all Denman family-related already, I know.
* Pictures from the Ohio trip are downloaded to computer, but the metadata needs to be created and the files named. Files put in the family directory they belong in.

* Watch one online video or webinar about genealogy. [In June I watched/listened to another Legacy Family Tree webinar done by Thomas MacEntee about finding your New York ancestors. This webinar was done live in April and I just caught it at the end of the free period. I am registered to watch one in July about finding your English ancestors and looking forward to help with this – it is one of my oldest brick walls.]

Some days I become tired and discouraged about trying to produce a blog post every two weeks.  When I have the time to write something I consider interesting or useful I would like it to be read. Sometimes it feels like no one is looking.  Then there are the other times.  These are the times that keep me blogging.

Here are some of the things this blog has brought me:

1.  Contact with cousins I already know, but don’t hear from very often.  I am a dreadful correspondent and it is wonderful to know that my cousins are reading this and enjoying some of the stories I am telling.  As an additional bonus one of them occasionally is able to identify a photograph or add details to a story.

2.  I have found new cousins in many of my family lines.  This is fun just on the face of it, but has also opened up new areas of research and but new branches on my tree.

3.  Inquiries and invitations from all sorts of places.  I have been invited to softball games in Washington state, cemetery cleanups and dedications in Michigan, and bed and board in many places by kind and trusting relatives.

4.  I have received information and permission to use materials in this blog from all over, but the latest and best falls into the kindness of strangers category.  I tell this story mostly because it was such a wonderful experience for me, but also to remind us all that it is possible and wonderful to preserve a piece of someone else’s family history.


I have written  about my husband’s great aunts, Amy and Jessie Martin before.  You can read that post here.


The Martin Sisters



A few weeks ago I received an email from a volunteer at the Willamette Valley Heritage Center.  I am leaving the names of the various people out of this piece to preserve their privacy.  The Center had come into the possession of 80 photographs belonging to the Martin sisters, many of which were family photos.  They had searched the internet and found my piece on Amy and Jessie and wondered if this was indeed my family and if I could fill in any details of the family history.  I filled in precious few details and in return I received 80 thumbnail photos with their catalog entries including the information written on the back of the photos.  Almost all of the photos were labeled or dated or both.


I wondered how the center had come into possession of these photos and they passed the donor’s name on to me with permission to contact her. My donor, let’s call her Jane, passed on the story of the journey of the photograph’s to me.

Jane’s mother lived across the street from the janitor who worked at the school where Amy Martin taught.  One day Jane’s mother was visiting the janitor’s wife, when the janitor arrived with a sack of old photos and handed them off to Jane’s mother saying, “I know you like old stuff.”

The photos were then passed on to Jane who has an interest in Victorian era things.

They sat in a closet for 10 years until Jane decided to take a serious look at them and saw that most of the photos were dated and signed.  On the advice of a friend Jane took the photos to the Willamette Heritage Center.

A wonderful volunteer and the Director of Acquisitions for the Center took an interest in the photos and in the ladies to whom they belonged.  They researched the Martin family and in searching the internet found my piece on the Martin sisters and contacted me.


And so the photographs which could so easily have found their way to a dumpster found their way to the museum and to me.


A complete stranger took the time to take these photos to a history center and the center made the effort to track me down.  I am so very grateful to them both.


I live in Connecticut, but will be attending a wedding in Portland, Oregon soon.  Our time there will be limited, but I am trying very hard to work in a trip to the Willamette Heritage Center to meet the people who saved these photos and thank them in person and to see the originals for myself.





I’m getting ready for a trip to southwestern Ohio with my sister, who is a reliable cemetery

Ready to go!

sidekick. We’ve been traveling together occasionally for a lo-ong time. It is appropriate that I post this today, the day after Father’s Day in the US, since it is my father’s side of the family that we will be researching (and meeting). There are several cousins who I have met briefly but whom my sister has not. I am already connected and making plans with two of these. And I’m hoping for the 3d, although I think he has had significant health problems and may not be up for company.

My sister and I met for lunch on Friday to talk and catch up and make some plans. Long-distance (she lives in northern New Hampshire and I live in Massachusetts) we have put together the basics to get ourselves there and have a car and a place to lay our heads. But we needed to touch base in person and pin down details. I also needed to start refreshing her knowledge of these family lines, since we have only traveled to places for my mother’s lines in the last few years.

Here’s the plan, in a nutshell. There are several cemeteries I want to check out personally and try to get pictures of family headstones in. There are also 3 houses that my father lived in at different times in his

House at Saltair, from Carrie B. Salt’s scrapbook

life, that I want to see – if they are still there. The house he was born in, in Saltair Ohio, I know is still there. The owner just recently sold it. This is what it looked like when he was born there.

And there are the cousins to see, on both the Salt and Boothby sides. Not closer than a second cousin, but family! Interesting to me that my father never spoke of any Boothby relatives except maybe his grandmother who he lived with off and on. I don’t really know if he knew any of his Boothby cousins or uncles, although at least one uncle and his family must have lived close-by. I start to wonder if that was his mother’s doing, or his relatives on the Salt side.

Besides seeing the houses my father probably lived in, I really want to do some cemetery-walking and see the headstones for the family. I know there are at least two very old cemeteries and at least one more recent that contain a number of the Salt family members. I don’t have a proper “cemetery exploring kit” to take on the plane with me but am putting together my list of names and locations as well as the list of equipment to have along.

The equipment grows every year, in my experience. Let’s see, I need my cell phone and bluetooth earpiece and the charger for that. I need my trusty pocket-size digital camera and the extra battery, and probably should take the charger for those batteries. I have had bad experiences in the past with this camera and batteries when I wasn’t prepared to change batteries! And although my sister will also undoubtedly have her camera, I hate to

Partial pile of equipment to take

have to rely on hers. And then the question of binoculars – do I need to take them or not? (At least they don’t require a charger.) And my handy-dandy digital recorder. I might think about talking into it at the cemeteries as an additional way to have information captured. And the cousins might agree to tell me stories. The recorder at least will operate on a single non-rechargeable battery. I think that is all the equipment I will need. Oh wait, not for the cemetery, but for traveling I will want my eReader. And its charger should probably come along too. And of course I need to take my netbook computer along. I don’t yet have an iPad, although both Judy and my husband are working hard to convince me that I need one. The picture doesn’t show either my netbook or my cell phone (which I used to take the picture), or the binoculars that I am debating with myself about. I think I might need a separate suitcase for all of this equipment.

This doesn’t include the other things I need to take, like clothes and a toothbrush and a book or two (I like to read real books as well as ebooks). And sunscreen. And…

The truth is that I have been too busy with the rest of my life to do any genealogy research or writing, so I am reposting an older piece.

I am using this post because, for some unknown reason, I have been involved in a lot of conversations lately about why people find different things funny–or not.

I thought this was funny.  I thought I was funny, but on reflection, maybe not.

Feel free to let me know what you think.




It was late one night; I should have been in bed.  Instead I struggled with my disappearing ancestors. There in 1900, there in 1920, apparently abducted by space aliens in 1910.  I searched by last name, I searched by first name, I searched by location, I searched and searched and searched.  I banged my head against the desk in frustration.

Suddenly, out of the mists of time or perhaps the humidifier in the corner of the room, a figure appeared, dressed in cape, mask and tights, and eating a double fudge brownie.

” Who are you?” I gasped, a little disturbed by a late night visit from a man in tights.

“Fear not, Judith,” he said, as the room was filled with an otherworldly music, Tchaikovsky with a hint of Steely Dan. Words were heard over the music, “It’s Captain Genealogy, protector of our precious family heritage, able to sort photos with a single glance while restoring them to their original state of grace, able to file piles of documents with a flick of his wrist, able to smash brick walls with a single blow.”

“Whoa!” said I.

“We’ll have you sorted out shortly,” he answered. “Would you care for a brownie?”

“Why not? ” I’ve always felt that genealogy goes well with chocolate.

A few moments passed as I munched contentedly.

“Look here,” he said. “The indexers thought that second “b” was an “l”, making it Bullick, not Bublick.”

“What kind of a moron could think that was an “l”?” I said.

“Now Judith,” he replied, “Everyone makes mistakes.  Genealogists are kind and helpful people, who never speak an ill of those to whom they pay ridiculous sums of money to provide the services they so badly need.”

My head hung in shame, well not really. We do pay these people. “Sorry,” I said.  While you’re here can you help me with these Bloods?”

He cocked his head to the left.  “Gotta go”, he said, “a cemetery is being vandalized in Cleveland.”

With that he was gone in a puff of smoke leaving behind a faint odor of warm chocolate.

Then the otherworldly music started again and the voice over.  “Do not despair.  In your darkest hour of genealogical need, a hero will appear, his tights a little snug from the double fudge brownies, able to solve even the most arcane of genealogical problems.”

As dawn broke, I sorted through my notes and began to convince myself that it had all been a dream.  But as I gathered my things, there in the middle of the desk, I saw a tiny piece of double fudge brownie.

The first people I wanted to look for in the 1940 census I still haven’t found. A day or so after the release of the 1940 census I went browsing to find my parents. Not so different from searching through microfilmed censuses after all, and they didn’t used to be indexed either.

I started out looking in Yellow Springs Ohio for my parents who were both college students at Antioch College from the late 1930s to the early 1940s. I used the Steve Morse webpage to pull up enumeration districts covering Yellow Springs and then to look at the 1940 ED description for each of the three (who would have thought 3 separate EDs for a small village like Yellow Springs??) EDs listed. The ED numbers are 29-15, 29-16, 29-17 for anyone interested in looking. The description shows that there were actually 4 EDs but the CCC camp had no population. There was one ED for the village of Yellow Springs. There was one for Antioch College and Infirmary with a population of 42 (huh?!) and one for the township outside the 2 villages in the township. I took a look at the couple of pages in 29-16 which covered the College and Infirmary and, sure enough, there were a small number of people listed – none of them students. A quick skim of the Yellow Springs village ED showed no students at the college. At this point I decided to move on.

Recently I went back to the Yellow Springs village ED to see how many of the college teachers and administrators I heard about from my parents I could find. The first page produced Paul and Jessie Treichler, which I had seen on the first page when I looked the first time around. He was in the Drama department and she was secretary to the college president. Her mother lived with them, and they had all been in the same house in 1935.

Then there was George Geiger a couple of pages later. He was listed as a Language teacher on the census in 1940 but he was a philosophy professor. His widowed mother-in-law also lived with them. The Geigers had been in Peoria Illinois in 1935 (one of the interesting pieces of information collected in the 1940 census). Both of my parents spoke of Professor Geiger and taking a course with him. Professor Geiger was also another who was still there, still teaching philosophy when I was a student.

Manmatha Chatterjee and his family were found next. He was a Social Sciences teacher and my mother talked of taking courses with him. He had been at Antioch for some time at that point, and was listed with his family as living in the same house as in 1935. Another Social Sciences teacher from that time that I looked for, but haven’t found, was Clarence Leuba. My mother spoke with great respect about both of these professors.

The last professor of note to me, was Denton Magruder, professor of accounting and my father’s adviser his senior year. My father never said much about him, so I don’t have a sense of what he was like in that role. He lived with his wife and daughter in the same house they had lived in in 1935. There was also a roomer living with them, a public school teacher.

I also found several administrative or management people whose names I knew. The first of these was Marion Dickinson, the college office manager. My mother (and probably father) had dealings with her, and spoke fondly of “Miss Dick” who helped them figure life out on campus. She was a roomer in a house with its owner and 2 other women, living in the same place as in 1935.

Then there were the families of Basil Pillard and of J. Dudley Dawson on the same page. Dr. Dawson, who was an icon on campus when I arrived, was listed as Manager, Personnel in the 1940 census. I suspect, but haven’t yet been able to verify, that Personnel may have included the co-operative education department for which Antioch became known. He lived with his wife and three young sons and his mother, having been in Tennessee in 1935. The Pillard family included Basil who was Dean of Students, his wife, two young sons and a daughter. My mother told the story of running across Dr. Pillard riding his young son’s trike on her first day on campus. On that same census page, at the bottom, was Miss Susan Fralick who was the college registrar. She signed a letter for my father in 1942 certifying that he had been granted a B.A. I’m not sure why he needed this, but he had two official copies among his papers.

The other administrator I found, who my mother talked about periodically, was the college president: Algo Henderson. My mother always called him “Algo D.” which I presume is what most people called him. He lived with his wife and two children in the same place they had lived in 1935.

And then there was Bessie Totten, who I don’t remember hearing about from my parents but who I know was the first archivist of the college. She was listed as librarian, I think she was head in 1940, and she retired soon after that but stayed on organizing the college archives.

The one other person who caught my eye was Axel Bahnsen, the local photographer. When my parents were students they all had pictures taken by him as freshmen and again as seniors. The picture of my mother I grew up seeing was her senior college picture taken by him, and she was lovely. Mr. Bahnsen and his wife were counted, living in the same house as in 1935, with no children. He was the proprietor of a photography shop.

This is obviously a limited view of even a small place like Yellow Springs. There were many other people employed by the college in a variety of jobs. There were also many other jobs and industries represented, including shopkeepers, schoolteachers, doctors and nurses, laborers, skilled laborers, maids and cooks and housekeepers, various researchers (at the Fels Research Institute), etc. The most exotic job I noticed was a test pilot at the nearby air field (Wright-Patterson), but there were others also employed in other jobs at the air field too.

Now, 2 months after the census was released, I am back to thinking about how to find my parents. I searched the internet looking for how college students were handled by the Census Bureau back then. It looks to me like the usual approach was to count college students at their parents’ home even if they lived away at school during the school year. Hm. So I need to find my grandparents. Unfortunately I know where my father’s parents were. His father had died almost 20 years before and his mother Carrie had been committed to the Longview State Hospital (for the Insane). Although my father seemed to use his aunt’s address as his home address (my great aunt Susan R. Salt), he was not listed with her there. So I have more searching in store to find him. My mother’s parents were still in Canton and I have an address from 1938 but I haven’t found them yet.