Archive for the ‘Geneablogging Memes’ Category

Amanuensis Monday: Will of Alexander Grant

Monday, April 19th, 2010


Today I’m again participating in John Newmark’s Amanuensis Monday geneblogging meme. I’ll refer you to John’s excellent TransylvanianDutch blog for background info on this meme and to Wikipedia for the definition of Amanuensis.

Alexander Grant, a candidate for the father of my David Miller Grant

Several references in Philadelphia-area church records hint that David Miller Grant, my third-great-grandfather, may have been born to Alexander Grant and his wife Eleanor. David named two of his children Alexander and Eleanor; he is also said to have been born in Philadelphia in 1801.

With this in mind, I went looking at the Philadelphia City Hall for a copy of Alexander’s will when I attended FGS several years back. He appeared in the index book and the clerk in the Register of Wills office was kind enough to retrieve the original packet for me. I had hoped that Alexander’s will might mention his children, but alas no luck. It does, however, give Alexander the title “Mariner”, which seems relevant since David and his son Alexander captained steamships on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

Here’s my best attempt at a transcription.

No. 42

Will of Alex. Grant, dec’d

Recorded in Will Book
No. 6 Folio 570


In the name of God Amen I Alexander Grant, Mariner, Do hereby make and publish this as my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former Wills and Testaments, heretofore made by me –

I give and bequeath unto my beloved Wife, Eleanor — Grant, All the Estate, Real, Personal or Mixed, which I now have or possess, or which I may have and possess at the time of my death. And I do hereby nominate and appoint my said Wife Eleanor Grant, my sole heir and lawful Executrix of this my last will and Testament. Given under my hand and seal at Philadelphia this eighth day of July A.D. 1812.

Alexander Grant

[unreadable] in the presence of

J. Ormrod, sworn Apr. 11th 1818

Sam’l Ewing sworn the 1st day of April 1818

Eleanor Grant the sole Executrix … [unreadable]

Philadelphia April 1st 1818 then personally appeared Samuel Ewing and on the 11th day of April 1818 did personally appear John Ormrod the witnesses to the aforegoing Will and on their Solemn oaths according to Law did depose & say that they did see & hear Alexander Grant the Testator in the said Will named sign seal publish and declare the same as  & for his last Will and Testament & that at the doing thereof he was of sound mind memory & understanding to best of their knowledge & belief.


Sam Bryan Regis…

Eleanor Grant the sole Executrix sworn the same day & Letters Testamentary granted unto her.

Amanuensis Monday: Friedrich Jourdan’s Declaration of Intention

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Inspired by John Newmark of the TransylvanianDutch blog, I’m going to try an Amanuensis Monday post today.

Friedrich Jourdan

I’ll be transcribing the declaration of intention for my great-grandfather Friedrich Jourdan. I’ll follow John’s convention and indicate by boldface the entries used to fill in the blanks on the form.

Triplicate (To be given to declarant)

No. 10333

United States of America
Declaration of Intention (Invalid for all purposes seven years after the date hereof)

State of Pennsylvania
County of Erie


In the Common Pleas Court of Erie County at Erie, Pa.

I, Friedrich Jourdan now residing at 47 Orchard St., Erie, Erie County, Pa. occupation Retired, aged 76 years, do declare an oath that my personal description is: Sex Male, color White, complexion Fair, color of eyes Gray color of hair Gray, height 5 feet 3 inches; weight 130 pounds; visible distinctive marks fourth finger on left hand deformed race German; nationality German.

I was born in Walldorf, Germany, on Feb. 8, 1864. I am widower. The name of my wife or husband was Amelia. We were married on unknown, at Redwood, Jefferson Co., N.Y.; she or he was born at Theresa, N.Y., on Aug. 28, 1867, entered the United States at {blank}, on {blank}, for permanent residence therein, and now resides at Deceased. I have 4 children, and the name, date and place of birth, and place of residence of each of said children are as follows: Amelia 7-3-88, Elizabeth 11-29-90, Emma 9-17-94, Margaret 6-11-03. All reside in Erie, Pa., except Emma resides in Twinsburg, Ohio.

I have not heretofore made a declaration of intention: Number {blank}, on {blank} at {blank}; my last foreign residence was Walldorf, Germany. I emigrated to the United States of America from Genoa, Italy; my lawful entry for permanent residence in the United States was at New York, N.Y. under the name of Friedrich Jourdan, on Feb. 27, 1901 on the vessel SS Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse.

I will, before being admitted to citizenship, renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignity, of whom or of which I may be at the time of admission a citizen or subject; I am not an anarchist; I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy; and it is my intention in good faith to become a citizen of the United States of America and to reside permanently therein; and I certify that the photograph affixed to the duplicate and triplicate hereof is a likeness of me.

I swear (affirm) that the statements I have made and the intentions I have expressed in this declaration of intention subscribed by me are true to the best of my knowledge and belief: So help me God.


Subscribed and sworn to before me in the form of oath shown above in the office of the Clerk of said Court, at Erie, Pa. this 24th day of May, anno Domini, 19 40. Certification No. 7x-24877 from the Commisioner of Immigration and Naturalization showing the lawful entry of the declarant for permanent residence on the date stated above, has been received by me. The photograph affixed to the duplicate and triplicate hereof is a likeness of the declarant.

Clerk of the Common Pleas Court.
By {Signature} Deputy Clerk.

Follow Friday: Joe Beine’s Genealogy Roots Blog

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

fair_angelsRecently on Genlighten we’ve had an influx of new users registering for the site and posting lookup offerings. While most of them represent exactly what we have in mind — local researchers visiting nearby repositories to retrieve and digitize records that are only available offline — some have gone in a different direction than we’d like to see.

These “lookups from online sources” have offered to look up records for a fee that are already available on Footnote or the FamilySearch Record Pilot for free. We see nothing inherently wrong with this (presuming the client is made aware of the free alternative should they wish to search it themselves) but it doesn’t really fit the vision we have for Genlighten.

Genlighten is all about Offline genealogy records

Just as Footnote calls themselves “The place for original historical documents online” we’d like to be, in part at least, “the place to get help retrieving original offline historical documents”. That’s how we’d like to position/differentiate ourselves relative to our competitors. It’s become obvious that we need to spell that out more clearly on our site and in our promotional materials, and you’ll see us doing that in the weeks and months ahead.

In the meantime, one of the things we’re now doing is reviewing each new lookup offering we get before letting it go “live” and making sure that the records the provider offers to search aren’t already available online for free. A great place for us to go and check this out is Joe Beine‘s marvelous sites listing birth/marriage records and death records available online. [He has several other sites worth checking out for other record types as well.]

Joe’s performed a tremendous service for genealogy researchers everywhere. He’s constantly updating his sites; when he does, he lists those updates on his Genealogy Roots Blog. You won’t find a lot of posts here about Joe’s own research or on the usual geneablogging memes — just high-quality links and actionable advice on places you can find the records you want (usually for free!)

If you’re not already following Joe’s blog, I encourage you to do so… you’ll come back again and again and find stuff you never would have guessed was online.

Tombstone Tuesday: Nathan Gulick

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

nathan_gulick_from_find_a_graveNathan Gulick was born 10 April 1777 and died 02 October 1826. He married Elizabeth Erb on or about 24 May 1800.

The stone shown here is in the Pioneer Graveyard in Maysville, Kentucky.

My great-grandmother Louise Grant Smith transcribed the inscription on her great-grandfather’s tombstone as follows:

To  the memory of
who departed this life
October 2nd, 1826
aged 49 years, 5 months
and 22 days.

His languishing head is at rest,
Its thinking and aching are o’er.
His quiet and immovable breast
is heaved by affliction no more.
His heart is no longer the seat
of trouble and torturing pain.
It ceases to flutter and beat,
It never shall flutter again.

The image shown here was posted to Find A Grave by user Debbie J on October 29, 2009. It’s listed there as memorial #43690720.

Surname Saturday: Merryman/Merriman

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

google_books_maryland_historical_magazine_levi_merrymanHere’s what I think I know about my MERRYMAN/MERRIMAN line:

1. Dean Richardson

2. David Richardson, born 17 Nov 1935 in Erie, Erie County, PA; died 16 Oct 1998 in Stanford, Santa Clara County, CA

3. Owen Richardson, born 02 Dec 1899 in Baltimore, Baltimore County, MD; died 05 Dec 1993 in Edinboro, Erie County, PA

4. Allen Chapman Richardson, born 18 Jun 1859 in Baltimore, Baltimore, MD; died 21 Dec 1908 in Erie, Erie County, PA

5. Sarah Rogers Merryman, born 03 Oct 1834 in Baltimore county, MD; died 14 Oct 1896

6. Levi Merryman, born Dec 1795 in Baltimore, MD; died in 1868 in Baltimore, MD

At this point, several compiled genealogies and Ancestry Member Trees are able to trace the Merryman line  from Levi back to 1600′s-era England. The image above is from Volume 10 of the Maryland Historical Magazine, p. 298. I haven’t been able to adequately document Levi’s connection to these sources myself yet. As always, I would welcome contact with researchers pursuing this line.

Follow Friday: Beth Bandy’s “Farms, Creeks & Hollows” blog

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

beth2My main mode of discovery for new genealogy blogs lately has been to look through the most active and interesting people I follow on Twitter and pursue their “Web” links to see what they point to. I’ve often been intrigued by “ResearcherB”‘s Tweets so tonight I visited her blog for the first time. It passed the “frequently updated, original content, quality writing” test, and I’ve added it to my Google Reader subscriptions. Here’s what I like about Beth Bandy’s blog, “Farms, Creeks & Hollows.”

  • The frequency of her posting has increased steadily since she began her blog last August. She’s already reached the stage where she’s posting new discoveries and insights daily… that’s a level that it took me a year-and-a-half to attain.
  • She’s researching in localities that are of interest to me, like Massachusetts, Kentucky, New York, and Northern Ireland.
  • There’s a strong theme of mystery and problem-solving to her posts, which draws me in and makes her narratives entertaining to read.
  • Beth’s got plenty of photos and documents to share, including a bunch she brought back from a recent visit to the FHL in Salt Lake. I look forward to hearing more analysis of her finds there.

From her Twitter stream, it looks like Beth’s involved in her local genealogical community as well, volunteering to help a local historical society digitize its photo collection and fulfilling Find A Grave requests.  To me, that sets her apart and makes me even more interested in what she has to say.

I’d encourage you to visit Beth’s blog and peruse her recent posts. You can also follow her on Twitter, where she’s @ResearcherB.

Wordless Wednesday: Schryver-Greenfield Marriage Announcement

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Note the inventory of gifts at the end of this very detailed announcement of the marriage of Georgianna Schryver to D’Linton W. Greenfield. (Found in a scrapbook at the Rome Historical Society, Rome, Oneida, New York; probably clipped from the Rome Sentinel.)

I think it speaks for itself.

Greenfield Wedding

Tombstone Tuesday: D’Linton Greenfield

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

D’Linton Greenfield, a Rome, Oneida, New York book seller and stationer, was the son of Joseph and Cynthia M. Hubbard Greenfield. According to his obituary (found in a scrapbook at the Rome Historical Society and likely clipped from the Rome Sentinel), he was born in Trenton, Oneida, New York on 25 Jun 1846. D’Linton married Georgianna Schryver in Rhinebeck, Dutchess, New York on 2 April 1885 (again, from a newspaper clipping found in a scrapbook at the Rome Historical Society) and they had one daughter. D’Linton died in 1919 and is buried in Rome Cemetery.

D’Linton is a fascinating name and it doesn’t appear to Google. If you’ve heard it before or know where it might have originated, please let me know.

Surname Saturday: Guilford

Saturday, February 27th, 2010


Here’s what Dean’s been able to learn so far about his GUILFORD ancestors.

1. Dean Richardson

2. Roberta Matthews Knapp

3. Kenneth Guilford Knapp, born 07 January 1906 in Worcester, Worcester, MA; died 8 Sep 1974 in Bradenton, Manatee, FL.

4. Rosamund Guilford, born Jun 1874 in Williamsburg, Hampshire, MA; died 1942 in Westfield, Union, NJ.

5. Andrew Guilford, born 1839 in Conway, Franklin, MA; died 14 Sep 1876 in Williamsburg, Hampshire, MA.

6. Ebenezer Morris Guilford, born 24 Dec 1813 in Williamsburg, Hampshire, MA

New FamilySearch and several Ancestry Member Trees also point to Ebenezer Morris being the son of Ebenezer Guilford and Mary or Polly Packard. We haven’t been able to document that connection to our satisfaction yet.

The image at the top of this post is from the 1860 US Federal Census for Williamsburg, Hampshire, MA and shows a “Morrison Guilford” married to Sally and living next to their sons Lewis and Andrew.

If anyone researching the Guilfords of Massachusetts comes across this and has information to share, We’d be very grateful to hear from you. Thanks!

Follow Friday: Jean Hibben’s Circlemending blog

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

jean_wilcox_hibbenI first met Jean at the St. George Family History Expo last year. She and her husband Butch had an exhibit booth near mine, and Butch played tunes on his saw occasionally throughout the day in the exhibit hall. That got my attention and I was soon able to visit their booth and get to know them. We met again at the Colorado FHE a few months later. I found we had several things in common: in particular, she grew up in Wilmette Illinois where we now live! That led to Jean and Butch giving one of their marvelous musical/historical programs to members of our Stake in Chicago not long afterwards.

Jean’s blog  — Circlemending — combines the two main passions that my wife and I share: genealogy and music, particularly folk music. Jean frequently melds the two topics together marvelously in her posts. An example: she writes about the banjo that belonged to her great grandmother, which she had restored and now plays in her presentations.

Jean shares photographs, artifacts, dates, and places from her own family history (mostly via popular geneablogging memes like Tombstone Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday.) But you can tell she’s most in her element as a writer when she leans back and tells her ancestors’ stories. No doubt her Ph.D. in folklore has something to do with that.

If you’re looking for a pleasant, relaxing geneablog experience with a warm and entertaining storyteller who’s also a board-certified genealogist, you can’t do much better than Jean’s Circlemending blog. Give it a try!