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Silly Sunday- Joseph Cooper Family in Swimsuits c1912

From left: Joseph Cooper, son Irving I. Cooper, wife Helen (Cooper) Cooper.
From left: Joseph Cooper, son Irving I. Cooper, wife Helen (Cooper) Cooper.

 

Although probably the height of fashion at the time, these swimsuits do seem pretty silly today. Can you imagine wearing all that Helen had on and trying to float in the water with all that weight from wet clothing???

 

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Copyright 2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Five Family Photos for Friday- A Green Family Photo Album

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series A Green Family Photo Album

 

Green Family Photo Album- page 20.
Green Family Photo Album- page 20.

The Green Family- On the Move!

The Green Family Photo Album has so many fun pictures on its pages. Today we are highlighting some with people on the move- or, at least, looking like they are on the move.

Above- some great hats! I wonder if this is a real automobile or a posed picture in a studio. Sadly, we don’t know the names of these people.

Green Family Photo Album- page 7.
Green Family Photo Album- page 7.

We haven’t been able to identify any of the above children on a porch swing, or any of the other beautiful little children.

Green Family Photo Album- page 16.
Green Family Photo Album- page 16.

Another page with people we cannot identify, but a day at the lake and on the move in boats looks like fun!

 

Green Family Photo Album- page 19.
Green Family Photo Album- page 19.

Taking a day off for a picnic, photo, and stroll is another way to get ‘out’ of the city, even if it might be in a local park. That top hat would make a young man look quite dandy strolling down the street. We think the women on the right, both top and bottom, may be Estelle Green.

And we have saved the most perplexing page for last:

Green Family Photo Album- page 36.
Green Family Photo Album- page 36.

We think that the top left picture is, from left, Rose (Brave) Green, Sam Stampfer (her son-in-law, married to daughter Ann Green), and Bess Dorothy Green (Rose’s daughter). Bessie’s daughter had identified the picture of the young woman in glasses as her mother. However, take a look at the photo at the bottom right of the page- the two women sitting almost look like twins! They have different hats so if it was a double exposure, the hats would have needed to be changed. If a double exposure, why only the one woman, not the other? Could they be cousins that look very much like each other? Or were there twins we just didn’t know about in the family? Censuses, family oral history, and other research has never turned up such information. It is one of the most perplexing genealogical puzzles we have ever faced. If anyone out there has any suggestions or knowledge about these people, we would love to hear it!

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Green Family Photo Album

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Those Places Thursday- WW1 and Citizen Historians

Reserve Officers Training Corps, Senior Division, Advanced Medical Course class picture. Taken in Ft. Snelling, Minnesota during the course which ran 14 Jun 1923 to 25 July 1923.
Reserve Officers Training Corps, Senior Division, Advanced Medical Course class picture. Taken in Ft. Snelling, Minnesota during the course which ran 14 Jun 1923 to 25 July 1923. Dr. Edward A. McMurray, Sr., is probably in this picture.

 

“That Place” this week could be anywhere on the Western Front (France and Belgium/Flanders) that British troops served in World War I. You can ‘go’ there, in that time and place, just by reading details of everyday life in the trenches- pun intended (sadly), especially for this war.

Genealogists are pretty much Citizen Historians, especially when they publish their work for others to see. They are also Citizen Historians when they participate in crowd-sourcing projects like FamilySearch Indexing and that of the 1940 US Federal Census.

Zooniverse is a crowd sourcing website that offers opportunities now for citizen historians (in the past it has just been science-oriented) to process data that would either be done by a lowly graduate student, or probably not get done at all in these days of little research funding. By using citizens to classify an overwhelming amount of data, scientists, historians, etc., can then do the analysis they were trained to do, and graduate students get a more interesting learning experience than just counting copepods or classifying galaxy shapes for hours on end.

A new Zooniverse project is “Operation War Diary.” One and a half million pages of British unit diaries from World War I have been digitized and put online. The first World War Centenary is coming up-  the war began 28 Jul 1914- and this project will be used to create a detailed index of orders, signals, maps, narrative reports, etc. Names are mentioned as well. The information is currently available online in a browseable format, but when complete, the index will be a boon to family historians, military history buffs, and university historians.

Worried that you won’t get it perfectly correct? No problem- Zooniverse projects, just like FamilySearch, have many persons classify the data. Zooniverse then uses powerful software that can help decide which is the most correct classification. No “Arbitrators” of questionable ability here- the expert historian (or scientist) has the final say of what is really right.

“Operation War Diary” needs our help! The diaries are not going to be transcribed in full. Each page will be classified, and then entries on each page tagged, sometimes with detailed information like a name and why they were mentioned in the diary. There is a tutorial to help get you started, a field guide to explain more of the information on the pages- I highly recommend going through it in detail before starting- and a discussion room if you have questions or want to share your findings. (Other Zooniverse communities that I have participated in have been great fun- and educational too!) The project supports both Mac and Windows platforms- see the “About Us” page for details on what versions of operating system and browsers are needed.

http://www.operationwardiary.org

Remember, you will need to think with British spelling- “The Queen’s English” is ‘favoured’ in these diaries.

World War I is almost a forgotten war since it was so long ago and those who participated are long gone. It was one of the worst wars though, with chemical weapons and new ways to destroy the enemy and our American sons. Help keep the memory of those who served by contributing to this project, whether you have just a few minutes per day or hours to devote to the project. You may even find a rellie mentioned if you have British roots!

PS- If this project doesn’t interest you, Zooniverse has many others available.

 

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Copyright 2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

[Edited to change name to “Those Places Thursday” to conform to Geneabloggers’ prompts and my previous posts.]

A Little Warmth- Catherine Alexander and Little Bobby Lee at the Beach

Catherine Alexander and Bobby Lee at the beach in Grand Haven, Michigan, August, 1935.
Catherine Alexander and her nephew Bobby Lee at the beach in Grand Haven, Michigan, August, 1935.

With the unbelievable cold weather we have had recently, a virtual trip to the beach is in order.

Never noticed it before in this picture- he loved sailboats even back then. <sniffle>

 

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Tombstone Tuesday- Dr. John H. O’Brien

John H. O'Brien- Headstone. (Used with permission of photographer.)
John H. O’Brien- Headstone. (Used with permission of photographer.)

My mother always thought that her family were most probably just poor Irish or German immigrants, with little education and only blue collar jobs. Little education did not mean little intellect, however- as an example, her father was brilliant and read everything. With the publication of the 1940 census last year I was surprised to learn that her father had only completed 8th grade, and her mother completed 2 years of high school. Education was very valued within the family, and that has been passed on through subsequent generations.

I wish my mother had been able to know about her family- by the time I found the early information on the family, it was too late. She would have been very happy to know about Dr. John H. O’Brien, who was the maternal grandfather of G. W. Helbling.

John H. O’Brien was born in June, 1808 in Carrick on Suir, Ireland. His parent’s names are as yet unknown- there are a lot of John O’Brien’s in Ireland!

Dr. John H. O'Brien- headstone detail
Dr. John H. O’Brien- headstone detail

John O’Brien graduated from the University of Dublin with a medical degree sometime before 21 Jun 1831 when he immigrated to the United States. Western Pennsylvania was in the midst of a cholera outbreak around that time, so his medical skills were put to good use right away. The inscription on the monument is appropriate for his calling, and states:

Blessed is he that understandeth concerning

the needy and the poor, the Lord will deliver

him in the evil day. -XL Psalm 

Dr. John H. O’Brien married Jane Neel who descended from early pioneers, and they lived in Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania, in various places such as Baldwin, Scott, and Pittsburgh. It has not been as easy to find information about John’s life and career as with other doctors- possibly because he was Irish, and they were looked down upon? Or because he initially practiced out on the frontier of Western Pennsylvania?

O'Brien Headstone- Anna Bell O'Brien and Eleanor O'Brien detail. Possibly daughters of John O'Brien and Jane Neel?
O’Brien Headstone- Anna Bell O’Brien and Eleanor O’Brien detail.

John and Jane had at least 10 children, and possibly two more who are listed on the O’Brien monument in Saint Mary Catholic Cemetery, Lawrenceville, Allegheny Co., PA, Section H.

Nothing is known about Jane Neel O’Brien’s death as yet, and she does not appear to be buried in the same cemetery, at least, not with this same name. She did survive him, and one researcher states she died 06 Dec 1895. More to come about the children and Jane Neel and her family in upcoming posts.

A grandchild of John and Jane is also buried in this plot, and listed on the monument:

O'Brien Headstone- Charlie O'Brien detail
O’Brien Headstone- Charlie O’Brien detail

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) The 1940 census was a goldmine for family historians, if you can find how they were indexed- Gerard W. Helbling is listed on Ancestry.com as “Gerhart W. Hebling.” I found the family by looking for their daughter and her husband- they lived in the same house.

2) 1940 US Federal Census for Gerard W. Helbling: Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: St Louis, St Louis City, Missouri; Roll: T627_2208; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 96-670. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls. Accessed 12 Jan 2014.

3) I have been unsuccessful as yet getting information from the University of Dublin re: John O’Brien’s attendance there.

4) A John O’Brien’s immigration is listed in 1840 in Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania, at Source Information: Ancestry.com. U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2010. WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY, Pittsburgh, compilers. A List of Immigrants Who Applied for Naturalization Papers in the District Courts of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh: the society. Vol. 2, 1841-1855. 1978. 139p. 7,800 names, p. 82. Original data: Filby, P. William, ed. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2012. I believe this may be another John O’Brien, or maybe when his papers were filed. More investigation is needed. Accessed 12 Jan 2014.

5) Find a Grave Memorial # 55460843 at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=55460843. Accessed 14 Jan 2014.

 

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Copyright 2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.