Guess Who’s Going to RootsTech 2018?

Me!

But, wait; there’s more.

Guess who won a FREE 4-day pass to RootsTech 2018?

Yup. Me!

Just how did this happen, you may be asking. Let me explain.

I follow a blog called Family Locket. It’s written by a mother-daughter team of family historians. Their site has an emphasis on making family stories relevant and fun for children, something near and dear to my heart.

Nicole, the daughter in the team, was a speaker at RootsTech 2017. You can find out about her class on getting kids involved in genealogy here. Go take a look! There’s lots of information and fun projects for kids of all ages!

Nicole and Diana (the mom of the duo) ran a give-a-way for a RootsTech pass. I entered, and I won!

I’m very excited! I’ve never been, and I’m really looking forward to going. I hope to learn some new skills and information, meet up with bloggers I follow, and make some new connections.

See you there, Nicole and Diana! And, thank you!

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Washington E. Keen: The Last Word for Now

I’m at a dead end of sorts in my quest to find the parents of Washington, my great-great grandfather. Without his parents’ names, I can’t go further back in my Keen/Keene line.

I’d really like to know where they came from!

And, while I haven’t found that information, I did find something else.

I know that Washington E. Keen and Lydia Ann Kent were married in Hartford, Connecticut, January 13, 1830. Washington was about 20; I don’t know his exact birthday, but it’s estimated to be about 1810, based on an age of 34 at his death in 1844. Lydia was about to turn 21, as she was born April 11, 1809.

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I had found their marriage date in an online index of Connecticut marriage records known as the Barbour Collection.

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The Barbour Collection is an index-only record, meaning that the information is listed similar to the form above. It is not a digitized version of the original record or book. And, while the information in index-only records is often quite helpful, often there is much more information on the original that wasn’t included in the indexed version.

I also eventually found the listing for their marriage in a Hartford vital records book.

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This entry had a little more information, as it gave the officiant’s name, the Rev. Samuel Spring.

But, I had really been hoping for more.

In the meantime, I went on to other bright, shiny objects. Such as reading my emails from genealogists that I follow, including Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems.

And, what did I find in the latest email?

No, sadly, not Washington’s parents, but another little piece of the puzzle.

Lisa had section in the email with information on new and updated records on the Family Search site, including digitized records for Connecticut!

I quickly did a search, and viola’!

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The official Hartford vital record book image where their marriage was recorded!

Now, I had the name of the church where they married, which added just a little more information to what I already had.

I got to thinking though, why would two people from Boston and Newburyport go all the way to Hartford to get married?

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From Newburyport, it’s 136 miles to Hartford. From Boston, it’s 102 miles. Remember, it’s winter. In Massachusetts. There were no interstates. No heated seats in your SUV. No McDonald’s for a quick potty stop and a cup of coffee.

Why???

The only explanation I could find was a possible connection between the Kent family and Rev. Spring’s. I did an internet search for him and learned that he and his family came from Newburyport, where Lydia was born. His father, also named Samuel, had been a pastor there.

My next step is to find the location of the actual North Church records, now that I know where to look.

Off to dig a little deeper!

 

Answers… and More Questions!

Thanks to some kind readers pointing me in the right direction, I now have Thelma’s death certificate.

I had looked at My Heritage, FamilySearch, NEHGS, etc., but I hadn’t checked Ancestry. I don’t have an personal account, so I went to my local library and used the Library Edition. And, that’s where it was.

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Thelma passed away on September 3, 1911, of typhoid fever, just one day after the last postcard we have from Charlie about her:

9/2/1911, from New Bedford, MA: Dear Mother. I telephone to Thelma every night and she is still about the same except last night she had a slight hemorrhage but has not bled any more since. We are still hoping for the best. I will see you next week some time. Charlie

She was gone the next day, only three days short of her 19th birthday.

And, while death certificate does give me more information, it also raises even more puzzling questions.

Thelma’s name is given on the DC as “Berthelma H.” Her maiden name is “Page.” Neither of which are on the marriage license dated February 10, 1910. The bride’s name there is “Anna L. Backus.”

Is it possible that there was another Charles L. Keene from Massachusetts, who married this Anna, in St. Joesph, MO at the same time that my Grandpy and Thelma were also in St. Joseph?

Or, did she give a fake name, as she was underage? And, then, who was “Mrs. Mary Handley/Haudley” who signed permission as Anna’s mother? It’s interesting that on Thelma’s DC, the information for her mother and father are marked as “unknown.”

Thelma was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, MA, where many more members of my family are buried.

I need to go visit her.

 

My Parents’ Wedding Notice

A few days ago, I got a lovely little gift in the mail from my cousin, Beth.

Our fathers were brothers, and Beth is just a year older than I am. We grew up seeing each other several times a year, and our parents would always compare our height and weight.

I hated that.

These past few years, we’ve been able to see each other a little more often, and we’re the ones comparing now! But, it’s cholesterol levels and hot flash severity.

Beth and her sister, Sue, are beginning to help my aunt and uncle to sort through their things. And, Beth found a few items that she thought I’d like to have. And, she was right.

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This is the newspaper account of my parents’ wedding from 1941, in the East Los Angeles Gazette. I learned quite a few new things about them reading this.

  1. My mother wore an heirloom veil of French lace that was 136 years old. I have no idea where this is now, and I don’t remember ever hearing my mother talk about it. My hunch is that it came from my dad’s side of the family, through my French-Canadian grandmother.
  2. I didn’t know that my father’s sister, my Aunt Bea, was my mother’s maid of honor. My mom was an only child, and so had no sister who would have been an obvious choice. My dad had four sisters, and I’m so curious as to why Bea was chosen for this honor.
  3. I don’t recognize any of the names of my dad’s  attendants, except Randal Cooper. He married my dad’s sister, Virginia.
  4. I didn’t know that my mom had been a secretary for the Native Daughters of the Golden West. Her mother, my Nanna, was a member and an officer.

On the back side of this clipping is an advertisement from a local store.

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2 pounds of fig bars for 17 cents!

Ice cream for 15 cents a quart!

A pint of gin for 77 cents!

But, I’m really curious about why, oh why, would there ever be a need for 250 brewer’s yeast tablets???

Thanks, Beth!